Fiction Faith & Foodies

Fiction Faith & Foodies: January 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Announcing a winner!

Rafflecopter picked a winner!

The WINNER of the

Pauline Cotton Osborne

Congratulations,  Pauline!!! 

Thanks for joining in my celebration, everybody!

Happy reading!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On My Kindle ~ BEYOND THE WAVES by Lynnette Bonner

Purchase Link
The Cover Story~
Can a Love Shattered by the Sands of Time...Rise Beyond the Waves?

Taysia Green nearly chokes on her water when Officer Kylen Sumner shows up in her office claiming he’s back in town because he loves her. Since he’s broken her heart more than once, and she recently started dating youth pastor Blaine Pittman, she wants absolutely nothing to do with Kylen. But he’s been asked to stand in as the mediator between Taysia and wannabe model Sophia Clinesmith, who twisted her ankle in the parking lot of Taysia’s business and is threatening a lawsuit.

If she didn’t need him to help save her gym, Taysia would tell Kylen to take a long midnight walk on a short cliffside trail. She’s perfectly happy with her life just the way it is. So why is it that just the sight of Kylen Sumner sets her traitorous heart to dancing faster than it did the time Blaine kissed her?

Sharing my thoughts~ 
Don't you just love reunion stories, especially where the characters never stopped loving each other, and the hero is oh so determined to overcome his past mistakes and show the heroine how much he's changed? :dreamy sigh: Totally my kinda read and write, and Beyond the Waves is exactly all that and more!

Back in high school, Taysia didn't hang out with the cool kids. When Kylen moved next door during the summer and they struck up a tight friendship that quickly transitioned to romance, she warned him that he would be ostracized, but he only scoffed. You see where that's going, right? Yeah, Kylen broke her heart...twice. After a few years apart, Kylen's back, and he's determined to romance the woman who never let go of his heart, to show her that he's a changed man.

And romance he does, with gifts and flirting and buckets of romantic tension. I thoroughly enjoyed several laugh-out-loud funny scenes, but Beyond the Waves isn't all fun and fluff. It tackles some tough topics like abortion, premarital sex, pregnancy outside of marriage, with sensitivity and a tender touch, and a gentle faith thread makes the entire plot a beautiful tapestry, a book I was loathe to put down because I sooo wanted Kylen and Taysia to reach their happily ever after.
"None of us deserve grace, Sophia. I certainly didn't. But God gave it to me when I asked Him. So how can I give any less to those around me?"
Lynnette Bonner is a new author to me, but she's definitely on my radar now! And I can't wait to dive into Caught in the Current, the second book in the Pacific Shores series, featuring Marie and Reece several years later. Of course, the sweet excerpt at the end of this book with an adorable three-year-old just whet my appetite! Overall, I'm so thrilled to add another author to my must-read list!
"We all make mistakes. And since there's no going back, only forward, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to linger on those mistakes. We just ask for forgiveness from those we've wronged, and try to do better next time." 
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Amazon. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Calling all BOOKWORMS and COFFEE/TEA drinkers!

Happy 2015! 

I'm uber excited about this year, especially since I learned that at least four of my books will release in 2015. Yay! It's the year of favor! :)

I'm celebrating by GIVING AWAY a 

So many little time 
15 oz Mug

Just a few clicks and you could win this adorable mug!

The winner will be announced here on Wednesday, 1/28/15, so make sure you come back by.

Happy Reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shutting It Down

"Once upon a time..." in the Land of Nascarville lived a persistent writer who was living happily ever after with her Prince Charming. She cranked out inspirational romances by day and dreamed of one day seeing her name on the cover of one of the many novels she blazed through in the evenings, sometimes two, three books a week with nary a blink.

Then, one day her dream came true. Oh, glorious day, that morning when she woke to find the email in her inbox. "We want your book!"

Suddenly, her workdays lingered into evenings. So immersed in learning the publishing lingo, diving into the world of social media, creating memes (what in heaven's name is a meme?), and writing blog posts, the books stacked up on her kindle with not so much as a sync to load.

She crawled through books at a snail's pace, dwindling to less than two books a month. Not so the list of books she wanted to read. Oh no, that list grew and grew, until it rivaled Jack's beanstalk. Many evenings the laptop replaced the kindle that used to perch on her thighs.

"HAPPY NEW YEAR to me!" she screamed, upon learning that four, potentially five books would release in 2015. But, oh, what to do, what to do? Items from her to-do list ricocheted in her head, refusing to shut down. Edits. Galleys. Memes. Social Media. Marketing. Publicity. Finding a home for her latest series. Ideas for the next series, the characters crying out to come to life.

When she finally sank into her recliner most nights, she dusted off her kindle and caressed the cover, longing to fire it up, but a dozen items on that list jockeyed for position. Book? Blog post? Design a meme? Catch up on social media? So much to do, so much to do, but what to do first, and when?

She stole a glance at her prince, hoping for advice, but his head was bent over a laptop, too. :)

Does this hit home for you? In this age of constant connectivity with tablets and smartphones where immediate responses are expected, do you find it challenging to "shut it down?" For those of you who work from home, how do you shut it down? Do you turn off the light in your office and lock the door or shut down the laptop and refuse to fire it back up until morning? And writers, we thrive on ideas. How do you turn off the "idea light bulb" for a time? Do you use a particular toggle to switch from "live streaming" to "on demand?" Leave a comment. I'd love to know!

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; 
establish the work of our hands, yes, establish the work of our hands. ~Ps 90:17

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On My Kindle ~ Remember Me by Lara Van Hulzen

Purchase Link
The Cover Story~
Detective Ben Russo is in trouble.

He just can’t remember why.

When a car accident lands Ben in the hospital, he can’t recall anything about his life. What he does know is he’s enchanted by a tiny nurse named Tess, but can’t shake the feeling they’re both in danger.

After being left at the altar, Tess Jansenn moves to a new town and starts over. When her ex-fiancé, Ben, shows up in the ER where she works with no memory of her, she must decide – tell Ben who he is or let him remember on his own.

Can Tess forgive and forget what drove them apart, and when Ben remembers, will the consequences of his choices make it too late for love?

Sharing My Thoughts~
Tess Jansenn is finally moving on after ex-fiance, Ben Russo, abandoned her just before their wedding. That doesn't mean she's over Ben, and he surely never stopped loving Tess. When Ben shows back up mysteriously, she must choose whether to turn her back on him or help, and that wasn't an easy choice.

I just love romances about second chances and Remember Me fits the bill! It's also a great reminder that things aren't always as they seem, which is especially true of this book. Not just once, but three times I slapped my forehead with a "Wow! I didn't see that one coming!" The gentle faith thread just ratchets it up several notches for me on the "ahhh" scale. :)
"I believe we meet God in places that aren't always buildings. For me, sometimes church is out there." She motioned to the water with her chin. 
Remember Me is Lara Van Hulzen's debut novel, and I LOVED it! I'm already tapping my foot, waiting impatiently for the next one, Get to Me, which I was thrilled to discover will feature Dane and Aimee. I dug into Remember Me at the start of a six hour drive to visit our son, and didn't stop devouring it until the last page. It was that good!

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of Remember Me. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Life is a Gift...

Feel free to share!

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

On My Kindle ~ Celtic Cross by Tammy Doherty

Purchase Link
The Cover Story~
A stranger arrives on the Donovan ranch just one breath away from dead. Matt Donovan does not hesitate to help, despite her unknown past. What happened to this woman? Who is she? Will the man who shot her come riding down the trail after her, shattering peaceful Glenpark, Colorado?

When Cristeen wakes, she can remember nothing of her past. Only one thought haunts her day and night: trust no one. Matt fears Cristeen's fierce independence will lead only to tragedy. Can he help Cristeen see the need to trust the Lord before it is too late? Can Cristeen overcome her belief that loving can only bring heartache?

Then a madman bent on revenge tracks her down. Matt cannot rescue Cristeen this time. Only the Lord can save her now...if she has enough faith to trust. Can she overcome the past and learn to trust?

My Thoughts~
I must confess I was reluctant to pick up this book because of the title, but I needn't have hesitated. Cristeen rarely speaks Celtic, just a couple occasions, but the title comes from her constant fiddling of a Celtic cross, a gift from her mother. Fiercely independent but lacking self-esteem, she grew up trying to be the son her father wanted and is more comfortable in the barn hanging out with the horses than inside a kitchen. Matt Donovan watched his mother wilt and die on the ranch and vowed never to marry a woman who didn't love the secluded ranch life as much as he did. 

I enjoyed the unusual way the author segued into new chapters, and that this was a love story from beginning to end. But while Matt and Cristeen are drawn to each other, both must overcome internal obstacles.
"I can hire a housekeeper. That's not what I was looking for. I want a 'heart-keeper.'" ~Matt
Don't you just love that? I appreciated the gentle faith thread weaved in this sweet romance. In some areas, head-hopping had me a little confused, but overall, Celtic Cross kept me turning pages because I cared about the characters and wanted them to have their happily-ever-after. 

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of Celtic Cross. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

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