Wednesday, February 26, 2014

CFBA: Dating, Dining, and Desperation by Melody Carlson

Song Stuck on the Brain: Every Breath You Take by The Police

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
 
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)
by
 
Melody Carlson



MY TAKE:

Dear Daphne is back. The advice column she took over when her aunt passed is going well, but Daphne still has to find a husband before May if she wants to keep her Aunt's inheritance. She thought she had something going with Jake, but now she's not so sure. She's putting distance between them in an effort to get past her feelings and move on. Daphne would be just fine with not worrying about a husband, but she can't ignore it if she tries because everyone else in town has other plans. Her dad is getting married, and he and her step-mom to be are matchmaking. So is her new neighbor Sabrina. Even Jake is setting up dates.

Melody Carlson has set us up once again for another fun and touching ride. What I really loved about this story, is that it's not just a story about dating and insecurity. It's also about faith, and trust and the desire to help others. Daphne meets a wonderful little 7 year old girl, a new neighbor named *Mable Meyers who's moved in with her sick grandmother. She's in desperate need of a friend and Daphne steps in to be for Mable, what Daphne's Aunt Dee had been for her. With Mable comes a surprise. Uncle Daniel, a very good looking Marine.

Daphne is determined to not freak out over her situation, but instead trust God. What will be, will be. That motto is a hard one to live by, but I appreciate her faith and determination to trust so fully. We single girls can identify with Daphne in a lot of ways, but I love Melody Carlson's choice to help us see our lives through others eyes and then remind us that God is in charge and we can live our lives happy and fulfilled as long as we focus on His calling for us. It's also a good reminder not to let fear of being hurt of failing stand in the way of taking a chance at a fuller life.

There are 2 more books coming in the series, but due to some changes in the B&H Books publisher, the next two will be released as e-books until a print version can be made available. This is good news for those of us with e-readers, we won't have to wait so long to find out where Daphne goes next.

*Interesting bit, I have an aunt named Mable Meyers. Made that little girl a little more special in my eyes. :)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column. But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child -- whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I'm going to be a guest...

Some exciting news, Seekerville has invited me back to guest post tomorrow!


Stop by Thursday February 20th and "Find You in your Writer's Voice", chat with me live and there's another opportunity for you to enter to win a Free copy of Dysfunction Junction.


If you haven't visited Seekerville's blog before, then now is a great time for you to discover award winning site full of writerly help and book info from both well known and up and coming new authors. See you tomorrow! :)

Writer's Digest: 2013 Best Writing Websites (2013)


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CFBA: Once Upon a Winter's Heart by Melody Carlson

Song Stuck on the Brain: That's Amore by Dean Martin
 


I dare you to read the book and not have it stuck on the brain. :) At least it's a good song!

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
 
Once Upon a Winter's Heart
Center Street (January 7, 2014)
by
 
Melody Carlson


MY TAKE:

Emma has become cynical about love. For her, Valentine's Day is not a day to celebrate. Her Poppi would be heartbroken to discover her change of heart. Emma's grandfather was a romantic and loved Valentine's Day. When circumstances put Emma smack in the middle of Valentine's headquarters, otherwise knows as her grandfather's bookstore, she's forced to take another, deeper, look at love.

Once Upon a Winter's Heart was sweet and both expected yet intriguing at the same time. It's probably not a surprise to most romance fans to hear that in many ways, the plot was exactly what was expected. There were several things I saw coming from the very beginning (like the painting - read the book if you want to know more). But just because there was an expected formula to the basic storyline, didn't mean that it wasn't good or enjoyable. The characters are well written. The interaction between them - their journey - is what makes the story worth reading. Some days you're craving something spicy and exotic, other days you want nothing more than a good old fashioned brownie all warm and chewy and comforting. That's how this story felt. A classic that leaves you satisfied and feeling warm all over.

Emma and Lane are fun and romantic. A perfect match - surely her Poppi would be pleased. I know I would certainly be pleased with a Lane Forester of my own. If there are any magical little cupids hanging around out there in cyberspace, let's see what you can do. ;)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart d├ęcor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Once Upon a Winter's Heart, go HERE.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she
has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

We Have a Winner...



to
 
Hilary M.!
 
 
Hilary is the winner of the
 
Dysfunction Junction Valentine's Day Giveaway

 photo DysfunctionJunctionValentinesDaygiftpackage.jpg
 
Thanks for entering Hilary, enjoy your book,
music and jewelry!
 
A big thank you to the all the rest of you who entered. You can find links to buy my book by following the tab at the top of the blog.  For more information on our original music, visit www.TheErwins.com.
 
And if you loved 'Rissa's Bracelet', then be sure to check out the rest of Angel's Divine Designs on Etsy. She also takes custom orders.
 
 
May your Valentine's Day be Sweet! 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Dysfunction Junction Valentine's Gift pack - Enter to Win

Valentine's Day is almost here and love is in the air. For some of us long time singles it's not always an enjoyable day, but that can change, right?
 
For Kianna Ravencamp, true love seems to be a thing of the past. Dysfunction is what seems to rule. She's 26 and never been kissed - but this year things are looking different. It's raining men and sparks are flying. Does this mean God has a True Love planned for her after all?
 
Find out in my newest book Dysfunction Junction, a Christian novel where Comedy, Drama, and LOVE abound.
 
Bonus: Kianna is a songwriter in Dysfunction Junction. As part of this gift pack, you win 2 of my original songs - Rain on Me and Free to Fly. There's also a bonus track of the very romantic Wedding Song. All performed by my sister Angel and I.
 
Speaking of Angel, she's an amazing jewelry designer and has teamed up with me to design 'Rissa's Charm bracelet', just like the one Rissa wears in the book! Check out her other designs at Etsy  or at http://www.facebook.com/AngelsDivineDesigns.
 
 
 
 
 

Contest runs from 2/5/2014 12am - 2/10/2014 12am. I'm ending the contest early in an attempt to mail you your bracelet in time to wear yourself or give to your special Valentine.


* Click the link above and enter through Raffle Copter for a chance to win. One of the options is to comment on this blog and answer the following question for a bonus entry. What is your Favorite Valentine's Day Memory?

Want to share the contest? Click HERE.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul

Song Stuck on the Brain: Do You Believe in Magic by The Lovin' Spoonful


Realm Walkers book 1
Zondervan
 
by
 
 
 

 
MY TAKE:
 
Cantor D’Ahma is starting his life. The last 20 years have all been preparation for the day he’ll become a Realm Walker. First he must find his dragon constant, but he can’t take the first dragon he stumbles across. Can he? Bridger the dragon thinks so and there go the dominoes for the rest of the story. One thing leads to another and soon Cantor has embarked on an adventure with a dragon, a cat, and a very unique and talented girl named, Bixby. For Cantor and his friends their adventure is only beginning. There is a great evil they must face in order to save the realms. It’s an adventurous ride that had me addicted to the very last page.

Donita K. Paul has once again crafted a masterful story full of humor, adventure, magic and (of course!) dragons. It’s also deftly woven with words of wisdom and faith. I found myself mulling over a characters words multiple times and thinking, “Well said.”

Her novels are always fun and capture your heart and attention. Keeping you awake ‘til all hours reading, investing yourself in the characters, and visiting a brand new world never before seen. She’s also very good at using clear allegories to present what a healthy relationship with Jesus should be. Primen is the name of the Creator in Realm Walkers, he’s the giver of all gifts, including things like discernment. Cantor and his friends know that all glory goes to Primen, not man; but there are many in the Realms who are forgetting that. For me, a part of the allegory represented how the world has become too focused on man’s achievements and built up an egotistical and false front to the point of pushing Jesus out of the center of everyday living and praise. It’s laid out beautifully in the chapter called “Sanctuary”. There is so much more to the beauty of the allegory and that part of the story, but you must read it to enjoy it.

One Realm Beyond is a gold medal winner in my book. Good for young and old readers and all of us in-between. It’s got all the adventure, fantasy and fun you could ask for with a bit of substance. Not too heavy, not too light – Just right!

(Now I'm sitting on pins and needles anxiously waiting for book 2...)


ABOUT THE BOOK:

"Cantor D'Ahma has waited his whole life for this day. Born with a gift, the young Realm Walker is finally ready to leave his elderly mentor and accept his role as protector and defender of the realms. But mere hours after he first steps through a portal, Cantor discovers that his job will be more dangerous and difficult than he ever imagined. The realms are not as safe as they once were, and members of the Realm Walkers Guild have become corrupt and can no longer be trusted. To make matters worse, his first assignment---finding a dragon to assist him on his quest---has led him to one who is clearly inept.
With the help of his new friends Bixby and Dukmee, Cantor must uncover the secrets of the corrupt Guild before they become too powerful to be stopped. But can his skills progress in time? And will Cantor remember where his true allegiance lies?"

Read an excerpt HERE

If you're a Pinterest fan, check out Bixby D'Mazeline's board that features her unique fashion style. FUN!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.”

She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops.

“God must have imprinted 'teacher' on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.”

Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh.