Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Epic Book Launch: Fighting and Flirting with My Cowboy Enemy by Julia Keanini

About the Book

Book: Fighting and Flirting with My Cowboy Enemy
Author: Julia Keanini
Genre: Clean and Wholesome Romance
Release date: July 26, 2022

Jackson Ashford seems to have it all. Gorgeous looks, fulfilling job, loving relationship with his family . . . and he looks amazing in a cowboy hat. He may be a bit of a grump at times, but that doesn’t deter the women of Blue Falls from vying for his attention. So when Ruby Ellison arrives at his doorstep and hates Jackson on sight, he’s confused, to say the least.

Ruby Ellison never intended to come to the tiny town of Blue Falls, Idaho, but when her best friend’s search for her birth father takes her there, Ruby follows. She comes because she’d never let Madi down, but she stays because she quickly comes to love the small town. It’s the best place she’s ever lived . . . with one exception. Jackson Ashford. But Ruby figures she’ll just avoid him. Blue Falls is a small town but surely it’s big enough for two people to keep their distance.

But when Jackson and Ruby are both asked to coach an eight-year-old girls’ basketball team, Ruby realizes there will be no avoiding the man. She’ll just have to hate him up close rather than from afar. But as Ruby gets to know him she realizes that maybe the man she thought she knew isn’t really who Jackson is at all.

Join Ruby and Jackson as they fight and flirt their way to a happily ever after.


BOOK EXCERPT (#4)

Ruby was obviously the most beautiful woman he’d ever met, with her striking, almost silver-blonde hair, green eyes so light that one would swear they’d just beheld precious gems instead of a pair of eyes, and her long, lean figure.

Jackson perused that figure even though he knew it would drive Ruby up the wall. Actually that was maybe why he did it.

His eyes lingered over her curves. Nope. Annoying Ruby was just a bonus. Jackson was doing this all for himself.

“Ugh!” Ruby screeched before stomping back toward her car.

“Not quite sure that’s the best way to ask for help, darlin’,” Jackson drawled, crossing his arms over his broad chest. He knew that position showed him to an advantage. And as much as Ruby loathed him he knew she appreciated his figure as well. They had a mutual admiration that was just skin deep.

The rest, well . . . he was sure Ruby hated him. She just had yet to say the words.

“I don’t need help,” Ruby ground out as she got back into her car.

Jackson made quick work of the ground between him and Ruby’s car door and held it open as she tried to tug it shut.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Julia Keanini is just a city girl living in a country world (and secretly loving it). She loves the mountains and would adore the beach, if it weren’t for all the sand and salt (wait, that is the beach?). A good book, a great song, or a huge piece of chocolate can lift her mood, but her true happiness is found in her little fam. She writes about girls and women who deal with what life throws at them and always about love, because she LOVES love.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Book Spotlight: Distant Stars by Kassandra Garrison

About the Book:


Title: Distant Stars
Release Date: July 9th, 2022
Preorders begin: May 28th, 2022

Will Rutledge needs a fresh start. After aging out of the foster care system, he and his brother, Kane, have nothing but each other. Maybe that’s why he agreed to his brother’s insane plan to kidnap a millionaire’s daughter for ransom. With his brains and his brother’s muscle, what could go wrong?

Enter Hannah Cole. When her brother died, her family was left shattered. No amount of money could fill the hole in her home… not even if her dad has plenty of it. Hannah thought she knew darkness after a year of living with grief. That is, until she finds herself thrown into the trunk of a car and crying out to God for the first time since her brother died.

Hannah and Will soon find themselves in close quarters, fighting the feelings they are developing for one another despite both their situation and seemingly insurmountable differences. Plans start to unravel and the two risk begging the question: Are some stars just too far apart to collide?


Excerpt:

1

Will

Salty ocean air swept past Will Rutledge as he lounged at a table in the outdoor dining area of a beachside restaurant named Captain Pizza’s. It was a hot summer day in Landau, North Carolina, but the breeze made the smoldering sun tolerable.

His stomach growled as the aroma of pizza announced the arrival of his and his brother’s lunch.

Will tore his eyes from the view of the beach to his right and witnessed his brother take an enormous bite of sausage pizza. Will nodded in appreciation toward the waitress and picked up his own slice.

The pizza was hot against his fingertips as he studied its melted cheese and charred crust from the brick oven. Scattered along the slice were small crumbles of sausage with crispy edges where the oven’s heat had charred the juicy meat. His stomach growled as he took his first bite, a far smaller bite than his brother’s.

“So, what do you think, Will?”

Will’s brother, Kane, continued the ravenous consumption of his pizza and directed his attention back to the beach. It was amazing how much food his brother could fit inside his mouth and still manage to maneuver his jaw.

Will looked out at the busy coast, his eyes finding its target quickly. Both Kane and Will watched the same girl. She was hard to miss. Her skin was paler than most beach bums but not so white her lack of pigment blinded passersby.

The sun bounced off her long, bright red hair as she ran with a football in her toned arms. Her friends chased after her but were no match for her long, lean legs.

Will thought she must have run track in high school, likely playing every sport she possibly could. Her athletic abilities rivaled the chiseled guys tripping over the sand in an attempt to retrieve the ball in her arms.

“Will! Dude, focus.”

Kane waved his hand in front of his brother’s face to redirect the conversation. Will blinked hard before looking back at his brother, watching as the girl accepted high-fives from her teammates.

“I think the plan will work. It’s risky but very possible.”

“I still say we do my plan. I single-handedly could get her to go on a date with me in five minutes. She’d be in my car quicker than you could say no.”

“No. Knowing you, the entire beach would notice your incredible talent of wooing the ladies. There’d be a mob waiting to give their numbers to you.”

Kane puffed out his chest and chuckled, his brother’s sarcasm mistakenly stroking his already enormous ego. Though the two brothers looked similar in many ways, there were several differences in both their physiques and personalities.

Will was lean yet muscular with a rich tan from hours on the beach. His amber eyes and blonde hair seemed to glow in the sunlight. Kane, the older of the two, was an inch taller than his brother, standing at six foot two inches, and had a much stockier build. He had brown eyes, a thick jaw, and short dishwater blonde hair.

While Will was the calm intellect of the two, Kane was cocky and lacked the finesse of his younger brother. When referring to Kane, “bull in a china cabinet” was an understatement.

Kane’s mouth stretched into a wide, crooked smile as he eyed the red-headed beauty across the beach, “If my charm was the answer to our problems, we would be the richest men in America and have one of her on each arm.”

Will rolled his eyes at his brother’s frivolous dreams, “Yeah, and we came so close.”

Kane finished his pizza and shot his brother a knowing look, vigorously rubbing his hands together to rid himself of the remaining crumbs.

“Well, I’d better have some fun before the big event. Watch and learn, little brother.”

The seaside restaurant boasted a setup that could only make sense for a business on the coast. A large reinforced metal door folded into a gap in the wall, opening the entire side of the restaurant closest to the beach and allowing seating to spill out onto the patio.

Will’s eyes followed his brother as he entered the seating area within the walls of the pizzeria. Kane zigzagged through the tables and chairs to the waitress standing at the counter. She was attractive with long brown hair and round blue eyes. Behind her was a large window spanning nearly the entire length of the wall with a view of the street running parallel with the coastline.

As Kane introduced himself, most likely with a ridiculous pick-up line, she smiled flirtatiously and placed her pen in the pocket of her apron. Will had witnessed the same sight time and time again and had little interest in watching the hunt play out. Kane never lost his prey.

Will turned away and gazed at the horizon where the ocean met the sky, letting his own mind wander from the task at hand.



About the Author:




Kassandra Garrison has always been a book lover. After earning her Bachelor's in Business Administration, she decided to follow her lifelong dream and share her stories with others by writing her first novel, The Influencers. She currently lives with her husband and high school sweetheart, Joseph, along with their daughter, Nora. In her free time, she enjoys baking, drinking coffee, and taking her rescue dogs on walks.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Book Review & Giveaway: The Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen

About the Book:

Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.

After a devastating tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, threatens to throw her well-balanced world out of control.

Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But his old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. Is he courageous enough to make a different choice this time around?

When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before—a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives—and Rosie’s—forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.

Click here to read an excerpt.

My Thoughts:

From the beginning, The Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen held my attention with smooth writing and a second chance romance between Lauren and Carter. I enjoyed the delicious chemistry of this dynamic couple while they addressed their past choices and wounds. As the plot unfolded and tackled difficult topics, a powerful message of healing and undying love emerged. The novel shined as it avoided formulaic answers and addressed the realities of addiction. Although the romantic tension dwindled a bit in the latter half, I loved how the story wrapped up for both Lauren and her grandmother.

The Songs That Could Have Been lands as the second installment in the Sedgwick County Chronicles by Amanda Wen. This novel reads fine as a standalone, but Roots of Wood and Stone (book one) is a fabulous read and two characters from that novel show up regularly in The Songs That Could Have Been. With the romance and emotional depth, it is easy to recommend this novel to fans of dual timeline romances, but I suggest reading the Sedgwick County Chronicles series in order.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


What Others Are Saying:


“A reading experience both heartfelt and heart-tugging, a timeless exploration of young and enduring love and the grace found in second chances. Amanda Wen is a rare and remarkable storyteller, and this is a novel I will not soon forget.” –Amanda Barratt, Christy Award-winning author of The White Rose Resists.

“A stunning journey of loss, love, and yearning. . . . Past and present are deftly woven together in this dual-timeline narrative that will leave readers flying through the pages.” – Amanda Cox, author of the 2021 Christy Award Book of the Year, The Edge of Belonging.


About the Author:

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Her debut novel was a 2021 Christy Award First Novel finalist.

Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. She is the author of Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been.

In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).


Tour Giveaway:



Win a copy of The Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen.


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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Book Spotlight: To Kiss a Wallflower Novella Collection

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: To Kiss a Wallflower
Series: Timeless Regency Collection (Book 19)
Authors: Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore, & Anneka R. Walker
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
Publisher: Mirror Press (June 21, 2022)
Length: (305) pages
Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook
ISBN: 978-1952611261
Tour Dates: June 20 – July 1, 2022


BOOK DESCRIPTION

To Kiss a Wallflower is the nineteenth book in the Timeless Regency Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories reveal that eventually, all wallflowers will have their chance at love . . . This is where it begins.




“The Wallflower’s Dance,” by Jen Geigle Johnson

Lottie Hughes likes people, as long as they aren't too close. Does it bother her that no one asks her to dance? Yes, but she's not sure how to drum up dance partners when she has almost no dowry, no title, and freezes up when anyone tries to talk to her. When she suddenly inherits a huge amount and is the new center of attention all over London, her secret dreams might come true but also her worst nightmares. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. Men ask her to dance. And she is inundated with interested suitors. She fights to stay close to the few friends she knows are true. One man saw her before her life changed forever. But does she want to accept his help when he, too, might be insincere?


“Letters to a Wallflower,” by Heather B. Moore

Ellen might be beautiful and considered a diamond of the first water by Society, but she is so very tired of the pressure to marry a titled gentleman so that her beauty won’t go to waste. When her cousin Dinah dares Ellen to attend a ball with no frills and to stand with the wallflowers, Ellen takes on the dare. What’s in the wager for her? The prize cuttings of her aunt’s extraordinary roses. But what Ellen isn’t expecting is Lord Ravenshire to engage her in the most interesting conversation. When she confesses to him of her opposition in marrying for a title, he confesses his distaste of the London scene. They strike a bargain together, one which will either push them apart or lead to a future sweeter than either of them could have imagined.


“To Marry a Wallflower,” by Anneka R. Walker

Charlotte Winters is destined to spinsterhood until she turns down an unwanted proposal and everything changes. With gossip rampant, her father attempts to salvage her reputation by betrothing her to another. Soon she is sent off to her aunt’s to meet Lord Templeton, her intended. Anxiety-ridden, Charlotte begs her aunt to let her observe Lord Templeton from afar before their introduction. She never planned to pretend to be her fictional cousin to learn more about him, or to fall in love with Lord Templeton’s friend in the process. Lord Templeton dreads returning to the empty halls of Newcliff Manor. When his father’s old friend, Mr. Winters reaches out for assistance, Lord Templeton finds himself returning home engaged to a woman he has never met. Desperate to learn more about Miss Winters, he befriends her cousin. He wouldn’t have spoken to her, or lied about his identity, if he’d known the quiet woman would sneak into his heart.


EXCERPT FROM THE WALLFLOWER'S DANCE 

CHAPTER ONE

Despite Lottie’s mother, who wished to know and be known by all and sundry, Lottie was still of the opinion that few people were required for happiness. Three things were needed: her closest friends, a good book, and lovely walks in the park.

And perhaps a husband.

Someday.

If he too preferred little company, books, and walks in the park.

She brought her brush, thick with paint, over the wood of a new table. She’d found a particular shade of lavender and knew it would go well in her sitting room. The lovely rich color covered the white beneath it completely.

Lottie smiled. Once this coat dried, she could add embellishments, flowers, a trailing vine of green, whatever she liked.

Her mother peeked her head in the door to her art room. “Lottie.” The higher-pitched energy that exuded from her mother any time of day only felt companionable when Lottie too was full of energy. Which was usually reserved for the late hours of a ball. Something about the middle of the night filled Lottie with adventure. By then, her mother was typically nodding off in a corner somewhere.

“I’m painting, Mother. Come see this shade of purple. It’s like nothing I’ve ever used before.”

To her credit, she stepped into the room and glanced at the painting. “Very nice. Now. If you could take a break, we need to be stunning, absolutely beautiful for a walk in the park.”

Lottie perked up at walk, but when the gleam in her mother’s eyes sharpened and Lottie paid attention to stunning and beautiful as requirements, she knew this was going to be less about walking and more about being seen. “Perhaps you and your friends could go without me this morning? I’m hoping to finish up this coat.” She knew her excuse sounded weak and her mother did too, judging by the dismissive wave of her fingers.

“Oh come, word has it that Prinny will make an appearance, which suddenly turns a casual walk in the park into a major event of the Season. This is your chance for more introductions, more doors opened to you. Who knows, you may even meet a duke!” The wide, hopeful eyes at the doorway were evidence that Lottie was not going to be able to avoid the park. She left her brush in water and stood, wiping fingers on her apron.

“Should I wear the violet?”

Mother was about to give Lottie’s maid very detailed instructions as to her appearance anyway, so she might as well ask her before choosing a dress herself.

“No, too dark and bold for a walk in the park. Wear a pastel. But a colorful bonnet. Don’t worry, I’ve instructed Dorothea in all the particulars.”

Dorothea, Lottie’s maid, very obviously worked for her mother. She could never be convinced to alter the prearranged instructions on Lottie’s presentation. But no matter. Lottie moved obediently to her bedroom and the preparations began, starting with an intricate hairstyle that would be hidden underneath her bonnet. But Lottie knew better than to discuss her opinion on the particulars. She watched Dorothea in the mirror. Perhaps they would be able to have some entertainment to enliven them both. Entertainment in the form of another maid, reading aloud their latest favorite novel. Lottie’s eyes met Dorothea’s. “Will Penny be able to slip away?”

“I believe so, miss.” Dorothea smiled. She enjoyed the books as much as Lottie, and if Lottie was to be sitting in this chair for hours, they may as well be entertained.

Lottie had discovered the rare occurrence of a servant who knew how to read. Even though she sometimes stumbled, she did less so now that she’d been tasked with the very important assignment of reading to Lottie while she prepared for the day. Penny slipped in through the servants’ entrance. “I’ve just come from the kitchen.” Her mischievous smile made Lottie laugh.

“Are they missing you?”

She waved a hand. “Not at all. Cook has an army of people in there, helping. I’ve finished all my other chores.”

“Excellent and, of course, I called for you. That should help.”

Both servants shared a look, which she took to mean that she had little clout in the servants’ eyes. Well, no matter. “Please start at the beginning.”

Penny nodded, her eyes gleaming with the same hopeful expectation Lottie herself felt. And then she began to read.

“The Family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex.”


ABOUT THE SERIES

Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.  


ADVANCE PRAISE

·         “5 STARS - I loved the unique twists that each author used in their stories and how they tied them into the theme.”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads

·         “What a great set of stories! If you have read any of these three authors you know you are in for a treat. If you aren’t familiar with them, prepare to add their names to your list of favorites.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads

·         “I thoroughly enjoyed all three of these novellas. They were lighthearted, fun, and took me away from my worries for a while.”— A Bookish Romantic, Goodreads


PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS


AUTHOR BIOS

 Jen Geigle Johnson

An award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well.

She loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.

WEBSITE |  TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She's lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 


Anneka R. Walker

Anneka Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor's degree in English and history. When she isn't dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children.

WEBSITE | PINTEREST | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Monday, June 20, 2022

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Impending Strike by Sami A. Abrams and Lynette Eason

Impending Strike JustRead Blog Blitz 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Impending Strike by Sami A. Abrams and Lynette Eason, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Impending Strike

Title: Impending Strike 
Series: Elite Guardians Collection #2
Author: Sami A. Abrams and Lynette Eason
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Protecting him just might cost her everything… 

Elite Guardian Charlie Lee knows that there is no future with the woman he loves—fellow Guardian Lizzie Tremaine. And, he gets it—as a single mom, Lizzie has to protect her daughter. But more than anything, he wants the chance to prove himself. 

Then, the unthinkable happens—while working undercover, Charlie is seriously injured…and his memory of the past four years is lost. Could it be the fresh start that he didn’t realize he longed for? 

Despite a friendship that’s turned flirtatious at times, Lizzie Tremaine has held Charlie at arms’ length. She’s lost all the men she’s ever loved, and is unwilling to risk her heart again. Still, she’s glad to keep an eye on him—as his bodyguard—and while she’s at it, help him put the pieces of his past together, including discovering who attacked him, and why. 

But Charlie seems to have forgotten their agreed-upon professional distance—and suddenly, all the rules are off the table. She’s seeing a side of Charlie she could possibly let into her heart. Problem is, the closer he gets to uncovering his memories, the closer he gets to trouble. 

It’s her heart…or his life. What will protecting Charlie cost her? 

Another edge-of-your-seat Elite Guardians thriller!

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | ChristianbookBookBub


MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

Driving Force Defending Honor


EXCERPT FROM IMPENDING STRIKE


Each planned drug buy raked on Charlie’s nerves. The lifestyle wore on him. After a year of setting up his presence in the drug scene and five weeks of full work undercover, he wondered how much more he had in him to continue.

He shoved his hands in his pockets and fiddled with his burner phone. His touchstone. His lifeline to the safe world. No names, only speed dial numbers of his Elite Guardians Agency teammates and Quinn. The women had insisted that he include their numbers. He’d resisted, not wanting to put the members of the agency in danger. But they’d reminded him that’s what a team did. They had each other’s backs. He was honored to be included among the top bodyguards in the nation, even if he was the only male. Not that he had a problem with that. He trusted them more than he trusted the police officers he’d served with on the Atlanta PD. And that said something.

Knowing that God was watching over him and that the team was a phone call away allowed him to maintain his calm demeanor and play the part of the cocky, confident dealer of his alter ego, Rod. He left the phone in his pocket and strolled down the sidewalk like he owned the neighborhood.

“I can do the hit.” A gruff voice drifted on the night air.

Charlie froze and scanned the area, searching for the source of the words.

“Not so fast,” a second man argued. “You can’t mess this up. We have one shot at killing her, and if we miss, they’ll close ranks.”

The hair on the back of Charlie’s neck rose. He ducked behind a row of trash cans next to an apartment building, grimacing at the strong garbage odor, a mixture between fish and rotten eggs. Forcing himself to focus, he strained to hear the conversation, but the men moved out of earshot.

Charlie slipped from his hiding spot and clung to the shadows on the edge of the street, following his targets. His ratty shirt and stained jeans, not to mention his unkempt hair, gave him the ability to blend into the neighborhood, but a hinky feeling of being watched crept in and stayed.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Sami A Abrams 

Sami A. Abrams grew up hating to read. It wasn't until her 30s that she found authors who captured her attention. Now, most evenings you can find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. In her opinion, a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story. Sami lives in Northern California, but she will always be a Kansas girl at heart. She has a love of sports, family, and travel. However, a cabin at Lake Tahoe writing her next story is definitely at the top of her list. Visit her at http://www.samiaabrams.com.

CONNECT WITH SAMI: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

Lynette Eason

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Life Flight and the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com

CONNECT WITH LYNETTE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Impending Strike and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Impending Strike JustRead Giveaway 

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 20, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 27, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Author Interview & Giveaway: Wonders in the Deep by Chuck Carr



About the Book


 
Book: Wonders in the Deep

Author: Chuck Carr

Genre: Christian Fiction, Inspirational

Release date: April 29, 2021

Love. Loss. Hope. Heroism. Is there safe passage through the torrents and storms of life?

Wonders In the Deep is a dramatic illustration, an emotionally charged depiction of the elements that keep us human, fuel our spirit, and give us the courage to continue.

The life of eighteen-year-old Brandon Lawrence is one riddled with questions. Pained sore inside, he seeks answers that have been swallowed deeply by his own grandfather, whom he lovingly calls Pap. How did his parents and grandmother die? Why does his grandfather resent Natalie, Brandon’s best friend since childhood? Why is he forbidden to step foot on a boat, to ride the waves of the sea? Will he ever find answers?

Pap’s journals. Could they hold the secrets?

Set in the rocky and rugged coastline of Maine, the story uncovers Brandon’s world in the summer of 1998. The 1930s and 40s of his grandfather’s world are now over, along with the flat plains of a corn-belted Illinois town he had decided to leave as a young man. What had happened to cause a man to run from a life he couldn’t handle? What had turned Pap into a man withdrawn from life? A man holding tight to the secrets of his life.

Sitting alone on the same weathered dock Brandon had come to with Pap every Thursday growing up, he tries to piece together the puzzle of an unspoken life. Face to face with the only solution he knows, he must choose between honor and answers; an act of thievery plagues him hard, haunting and jolting his conscience. If his grandfather is too brokenhearted to speak of such things, could Brandon steal the answers he needs from the journals?

Wonders In the Deep is a soothing balm, medicine to a hurting and wounded soul. Faced with the harsh realities of grief and loss, two men embark on a great journey to find healing in the deep and uncertain oceans of life. As you journey with Brandon and Pap, you may identify with their struggles.

Is there true triumph over adversity? How far will one go for answers? How far will you go?

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About the Author



Inspired by life events, Chuck Carr takes lessons learned over his years and forms them into words and phrases meant to lift others from the same hardships he has faced himself. He wraps and weaves the essence of what life is all about into this, his fourth book, a novel. Filled with his own energy, blood, and tears, Chuck combines this powerfully lifting message with one of his greatest passions in life¾his passion for the sea. As a former youth pastor, Chuck Carr has influenced hundreds of people throughout his life. He desires to help others live effectively despite hardships, as his testimony proves that sufferings can be changed into blessings. Losing a spouse in 2008, he strives to help those hurting from the same pain. A life altering accident in 2018 left him with a traumatic brain injury, and his vision and life goals have been refocused to help others heal from devastating traumas. He is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, publishing The Convergence, Navigating Grief, and All That the Locusts Have Eaten, which carry the message that one can live the abundant life God desires for us regardless of hardships and shortcomings we face. His audience at www.Chuck-Carr.com has been blessed by inspirations about topics such as Christian faith, overcoming loss and grief, and achieving purpose in life. Now remarried to a woman of shared life goals, Faerie, he has chosen to live with purpose despite his injuries, being an inspiration to others, residing in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.


Author Interview with Chuck


Q: What was the inspiration behind this novel?

Chuck: My inspiration for Wonders In the Deep is twofold. First of all, I’m a travel nut. I love to see the world, and I figure there is no better way to do it than by sailboat (author smiles from ear to ear). I suppose people might wonder . . . Do you really know how to sail? Yes! I love to sail. It is a passion I hold inside, and as far as I’m concerned, the coastline of Maine is one of the most spectacular places to sail that the whole world has to offer! There is a charm and beauty to it unlike any other, as one could get lost in the breathtaking scenery, the history, the allure of maritime legends, and of course, the seafood. I started this book on the heels of one particular trip that I took with two sons, when we hauled our kayaks to Maine and island hopped enjoying the pristine and undisturbed nature that surrounded us in every direction.

Secondly, I lost a spouse in 2008. She was my college sweetheart, were married eight years, and she died in her late twenties. It was really hard on me. Losing someone close like that changes the course of the rest of your life. Years later, I finally felt like it was time to write something that could take what I learned from my journey through grief and loss and pass it on to someone else who needed it. That’s what life is all about, right? Helping someone else? I figure story is the best way to send a much-needed message, especially if it is a hard one, and the message of Wonders In the Deep could help a ton of people if I could get it on paper. The drive to reach out and help someone else inspired me to write.


Q: What was the most surprising thing you discovered while researching and writing this novel?

Chuck: This book builds while you read it. Some books are action thrillers. This one is layered, with deep insights, one upon another. It builds into a crescendo that takes the reader to a place of discovery. It did for me. And as I went on that journey writing it, hitting that point of deep reflection sparked me internally, even as the author of the book. That’s how my books are, I guess. They are very meaningful. I write with a clear and defined purpose with each one. And when I rode that sailboat with Alan, and I breathed the same sea breeze with him, his discovery was important to me, too. I suppose I learned a lot by putting thoughts on paper with this one.


Q: Do any of the novel’s characters hold a special place in your heart?

Chuck: Of course, they all do! If you don’t want to end up in a book, don’t hang around any authors! All joking aside, when I write my novels, I have the tendency to strongly attach myself to the characters I’m writing about. I study them. I think about them long and hard. I try to figure out how they would act and react, talk, and think. After we hang out a while, meet each other, shake one another’s hands, and tell stories, we become such close friends that it’s tough to disassociate with them. Their voices sooner or later pop up in my head during ordinary life outside writing. Their thoughts and actions sound a lot like my own. Their characteristics take on a mirror image of some of the best and worst of some of my favorite people in life. Without spoiling anything, I’ll share a few of my favorites. For this story, I love the spunk and quirkiness of Natalie Rose. It is attractive to me. I also find it admirable that Alan is so strongly determined, that Brandon is a man of integrity, and that Bonnie’s life impact is so great.


Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this novel?

Chuck: (Excerpt taken from Wonders In the Deep)

“Go on, take it. It’s not going to bite. Take it. Please. Go on, before I change my mind.”

Bonnie smiled that spry smile that only belonged to her. Al knew she was capable of pulling his leg every second for the rest of their life.

“Go on, Al. The sock is clean.” She took his hand, turned his palm up, and planted the old green sock into it, like a kernel of Illinois seed corn, folding the soil of his fingers overtop.

This is my favorite passage of the book. Specifically, the excerpt’s last sentence. I suppose that it brings back my farming roots living in a farming community. Perhaps it is the cry of my heart, as I intentionally put this scene into the book to illustrate how beautiful it is when lovers wait until marriage to give each other their wedding gift. Whatever the reason, like a kernel of Illinois seed corn, folding the soil of his fingers overtop is my favorite line of the entire book, hands down.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from this novel?

Chuck: I wrote this book with a clear purpose, out of a deep and personal conflict that I wrestled with internally for many years. When I lost my spouse in 2008, we were young, and she died in her twenties. In my recovery from losing her, one of the greatest struggles that weighed on my shoulders was the great question of "should I love again?" Being young, so many expected it of me. Some others actually expected the opposite. It was a lot of pressure on me as a man. I felt tossed in the ocean of a no-win situation, one that beat me up and churned me about. Should I love again? Would it be honorable? Would it be respectful? Would it be healthy for me?

Looking back, I want to help those who are in a similar boat. There really is no right or wrong answer. What works for one person is not the right answer for another. I wanted people to see that in that position, they should be free to choose and choose well. Without spoiling the novel, Alan and Brandon chose different paths yet each was the perfect path to take.


More from Chuck

There was never a time in my life so confusing, so emotionally raw and puzzling as when my first spouse passed away in her twenties in 2008.  She had to say goodbye to our two boys ages 5 and 3.  The event changed everything about me in one way or another.  The things I was forced to face since that day are things that unfortunately so many other people are also forced to face as well.  It isn’t fun.  Thus, the birth of my desire to help those who know what I’m talking about.

Initially, I was attacked with the obvious, the daunting question of “why.”  It never fails.  We all ask it.  Sooner or later, that single question begs our attention, and how we answer it will determine our outlook on everything else in life.  It is an unavoidable roadblock that cannot be dodged or taken lightly.  If not properly handled, that monster will bite you from behind and consume you¾it is a foe one cannot play around with.  But not all things are black and white.  Another thing I learned out real fast, was that some things don’t have a right or wrong answer in life.  Yes, I avoided it like the plague.  Almost a certainty, those who meant no harm would bring it up and shove it in my face unknowingly.  It came with incredible pressure, the prod or question no survivor ever wants to look at.  “You’ll find love again.”  Maybe.  But should I love again?  The prompt comes in various forms, yet none look pleasant to the one who has tasted loss.

These two insurmountable difficulties are what prompted me to write the novel Wonders In The Deep: A Tale of Healing.  I wanted others to learn that the “why” is a tremendous opportunity for us if we allow ourselves to go on the journey God promises to walk beside with us.  Only there¾in this incredibly intimate and personal space¾can we understand the richness of a God whose heart is broken right along with ours.  I also wanted to show readers that some may choose to honor those they have survived¾and that is ok.  Some, choose to love again.  It is a deeply personal choice that is extremely hard to navigate.  This book illustrates it well, a way to sort out feelings one might not be able to do alone.

Wonders In The Deep.  A place where one can cross the great divide of heartache to healing.  A journey of a lifetime.  One I hope you will cross with me.


Blog Stops


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 3

Through the Fire Blogs, June 4 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 4

Texas Book-aholic, June 5

Inklings and notions, June 6

For Him and My Family, June 7

deb’s Book Review, June 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 9

Bizwings Blog, June 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 13

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, June 14 (Author Interview)

Rebecca Tews, June 14

Blogging With Carol, June 15

Beauty in the Binding, June 16 (Author Interview)


Giveaway


To celebrate his tour, Chuck is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Link for giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/1e7e2/wonders-in-the-deep-celebration-tour-giveaway