The Music of Memory Box Secrets

Memory Box Secrets playlistI’m blogging over at Inkspirational Messages today! For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been sharing whether we’re a “little bit country” or “a little bit rock ‘n roll.” I took a different path on this topic by sharing what type of music Sheila, my heroine from Memory Box Secrets, prefers.

http://inkspirationalmessages.com/musical-memories/

Also, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more songs from the Memory Box Secrets playlist, talking about how they relate to the story, so I hope you’ll come visit again. :)

Library Book Shelfies

On my visit to the library yesterday, I picked up four very awesome books that just happened to be written by three of my friends plus myself.

No surprise, the books wanted to take a shelfie or two. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
Library Book Shelfie

Here’s a little library book spine poetry:

Library Book Spine Poetry

Of course, you can’t have a shelfie without someone photobombing:

Photobombed Library Book Shelfie

And here’s a fuzzy phone pic from the library shelf where all four books were stacked together.

Shelfie[1] (269 x 600)

–This is also an encouragement to readers to request your favorite books and authors at your local library. As you can see, it works!–

And Thank You to the Anoka County Library system for honoring my book requests! Minnesota does have The Best libraries!

 

Memory Box Secrets, Kindle Version, Now Corrected!

Memory Box SecretsAfter three weeks of wrangling with Amazon, they finally have the correct version of Memory Box Secrets on Kindle. Yeah! So if you’ve been holding off on purchasing it, I now give you my blessing. :) If you purchased Memory Box Secrets before the fix, it will either automatically update on your Kindle (as mine did), or you should have received a notice from Amazon informing you of the change. I believe you would download the update on your Kindle page.

Purchase at Amazon | B&N | BAM

And with the correction, I figured it was time to throw together another short book trailer. It still needs a bit of tweaking, but for now it works. Enjoy!

Memory Box Secrets

Get to Know Author Jo Huddleston

*** Book Giveaway ***
See below for contest rules

Jo HuddlestonI’m very happy to welcome author Jo Huddleston to my blog today. Jo was gracious enough to welcome me to her blog back on June of 2014 following the release of Chain of Mercy, and I’m very happy to return the favor with Jo’s newest release, Wait for Me.

Thank you for visiting with me today, Jo! Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?

I like to laugh with people but not at people. The beach is my favorite vacation spot. I don’t like to see or hear about people or animals being abused. I’m a spectator fan of several sports, my favorite being tennis. I don’t like being in the dark and am fearful of snakes! I live with my husband in the U.S. Southeast, close to our two grown children and our grandchildren.

Wait for MeCongratulations on your new release, Wait for Me! How exciting! Can you tell us about this story? What inspired it?

When I wrote my latest novel, Wait for Me, I had been to a real coal community one time. One memorable time. I went home from college with a girlfriend for a weekend. Her home was in the coal mining region in southern West Virginia. We had arrived at my friend’s home after dark and I did not see any part of the coal community until the next day. My friend took me to the company store. When we left the store and stood on the porch, I saw the coal mine’s tipple. An imposing structure towering above all else around it. The memory of that tipple engrained itself deep within my mind. When I began writing for publication, I always had a desire to write about a coal camp’s tipple. My first published novels, the Caney Creek Series, were set in the southern Appalachians of East Tennessee. I decided my second fiction series would be set in the coal mining region of West Virginia.

Could you tell us about your journey to publication?

As many writers, the dream of writing a novel has always been with me but I began by writing for periodicals. I’ve had more than 200 articles, devotions, and short stories published in over fifty Christian and secular periodicals. I’ve traditionally published three devotional-type nonfiction books. Then I had a health problem that prevented me from writing anything at all. For seven years I was unable to write either with paper and pen or with the computer. After those seven years, I traditionally published my first novel trilogy, The Caney Creek Series. After those years of inactivity I found I was a more patient and God-grounded person. I have now finished book #1 in the West Virginia Mountains Series—Wait for Me.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the second book in the West Virginia Mountains Series. No title yet—I usually get my titles from a scene or chapter in the book.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren. And, of course, reading—I mostly read historicals and mysteries. I love to read cozy mysteries, but I’m unable to write them.

And the most important question: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, or no chocolate? :)

No chocolate—doctor’s orders. I know, what a sacrifice. I do sneak a few bites of chocolate now and then and when I do it’s milk chocolate.

About Jo Huddleston~

Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novels in the Caney Creek Series and her latest book, Wait for Me, are sweet Southern romances. She is a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and holds a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. Jo lives in the U.S. Southeast with her husband, near their two grown children and four grandchildren. Visit Jo at www.johuddleston.com.

About Wait for Me~

Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds? Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love survive their cultural boundaries?

This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love between two soul mates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother demand that Julie chooses to marry an ambitious young man from a prominent and suitable family. Julie counters her mother’s stringent social rules with deception and secrets in order to keep Robby in her life. Can the couple break the shackles of polite society and spend their lives together? Will Julie’s mother ever accept Robby?

Get in touch with Jo~

Website | Blog | Lifelines Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

Purchase Wait for Me~

Amazon


Wait for Me>>>Book Giveaway<<<
Jo has graciously offered to give away one Kindle ebook copy of Wait for Me. To enter, leave a comment below.

This contest ends Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 11:59 pm CST. I will post the winner on Monday, May 18, 2015. Winner will be chosen via Random.org.

Book Review: Shattered Image by Stacy Monson

Shattered ImageA few weeks back you had the opportunity to meet author Stacy Monson and her hero from her debut novel, Peter Theisen. Now finally, here’s my official review of Shattered Image. (Which you can purchase at Amazon, B&N, & BAM)

She’s forced from the spotlight.
He can’t wait to jump in.

SHATTERED IMAGE by Stacy Monson is one of the best books I’ve read all year. Using snappy prose, Stacy has penned a story that grabs you at the very first sentence and doesn’t let go until the last. I really liked that the romance between Kiera and Peter grew organically, and didn’t happen at first sight or first touch. And it was so much fun watching the two fall in love! You really want things to work out for them. But huge obstacles are thrown in their paths as he goes off on his music tour, believing he can have it all, while she stays behind to care for her ailing father, wishing Peter was there with her, knowing that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, praying it doesn’t change him. But it can’t help but change him and her.

Peter and Kiera are lifelike and multi-dimensional characters. I especially like Peter whose bashfulness is adorable. He’s cute, but has no clue, and he’s always stumbling over his words (which Kiera loves). Yet, he’s confident in his musical ability. Whereas Kiera knows she’s beautiful, but she wishes people would see beyond her face and fame to the person and the heart inside (as Peter does). She wants to spread that word to teens through her One of Me program, a program I’d love to see in our schools and churches.

(Also, as a Minnesotan, it was fun seeing our lovely state through a different set of eyes.)

Stacy puts the reader through a gamut of emotions from laughing to crying to wanting to knock some sense into the characters. You care about them that much. She lifts the façade of fame and physical beauty, unveiling the truth. We are so much more than what others see on the outside.

Purchase Shattered Image
Amazon B&N | BAM

Stacy MonsonAbout Stacy Monson~

Stacy Monson writes stories that show an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. Her current release, Shattered Image, is the first book in the Chain of Lakes series. A member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), she is the current secretary and past president of MN-NICE, as well as the area coordinator for Minnesota. Residing in the Twin Cities, she is the wife of a juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, mom to two amazing kids and two wonderful in-law kids, and a very proud grandma. You can learn more about Stacy and her books at www.stacymonson.com.

Get in touch with Stacy~

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram: Stacy_Monson

About Shattered Image~

Kiera Simmons’ career as a high-profile fashion model ends abruptly when a failed relationship nearly lands her in jail. Now she forges a quiet life helping teens understand their eternal value in a world saturated with the distorted messages of society.

Peter Theisen is on the fast track to everything the celebrity life promises, with every step of his meteoric rise in the music world orchestrated by his ambitious manager.

Their sweet, unexpected romance is threatened by her past and his future, a life-changing diagnosis, and financial devastation. As they struggle to find their way back to each other, and to the One who matters most, the allure of wealth and fame may jeopardize everything.

As Love Blooms Visits Como Park Conservatory

As Love Blooms at the Como ConservatoryAs my good friend Lorna Seilstad‘s latest release takes place at the Como Park Conservatory (a beautiful St. Paul landmark) I had to bring As Love Blooms along with me for a day of photobombing. You can see several of the pics at Inkspirational Messages:

http://inkspirationalmessages.com/as-love-blooms-at-como-park-conservatory/

Lorna’s also offering a book giveaway to one lucky commenter at the Inksper blog, so click on over to enter.

 

Pieces of Granite Mother’s Day Sale!

Mother's Day Sale

Amazon | B&N

With Mother’s Day approaching, I can’t think of a better gift than a book about a mom, so it’s a perfect time for a sale.

Pieces of Granite (Coming Home series prequel) is about a strong mom (Debbie Verhoeven), one who’s independent and self-sufficient. But when Debbie’s faced with the news that her unborn baby has Down syndrome and her husband begins to pull away and her brothers refuse to get along, that strength gets stretched to the breaking point.

How many moms haven’t felt that way at times? I know I have.

Too often in our world today moms are told we can be everything and have it all. We can be superwomen! But that’s a lie. Women have to learn that it’s okay not to be strong all the time, and that we won’t be good at everything. We just have to be who God created us to be. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And yes, God certainly does give us more than we can handle–on our own. Often it takes us reaching that breaking point before we realize we need to surrender and let God carry our load for us. That’s the very lesson Debbie has to learn in Pieces of Granite.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31

Novel Anticipation – May 2015

Novel Anticipation

Along with May flowers comes a beautiful bouquet of books–sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😉 This month four of my favorite authors are coming out with new releases, and I know they’ll all be winners.

Question: Which May releases are on your can’t-wait-to-read list?

As Love BloomsAs Love Blooms
by Lorna Seilstad
Revell

Denied a position as a horticulturalist at prestigious Como Park in Saint Pail, Tess Gregory is not above a little benevolent deception in order to get the park superintendent to change his mind and hire her. She plans to infiltrate the world of wealthy and influential people in hopes of drumming up financial support for a world-class conservatory.

On the way to achieving her dreams, Tessa meets Reese King, a handsome gardener at Como Park – and a major distraction. Is his goal to help her? Or to capture her heart?

A Love Like OursA Love Like Ours
by Becky Wade
Bethany House Publishers

Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

As Waters Gone By (387 x 600)As Waters Gone By
by Cynthia Ruchti
Abingdon Press

Emmalyn and Max Ross may have to endure the fight of their lives to mend the tattered fabric of their marriage. His actions ensured that she could never be a mother and put him in prison, giving their relationship a court mandated five year time out. On a self imposed exile to beautiful but remote Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, Emmalyn has just a few months left to figure out if and how they can ever be a couple again.Nudged along by the exuberant owner of the Wild Iris Inn and Cafe’, a circle of misfit people in their small town, and a young girl who desperately needs someone to love her, Emmalyn restores an island cottage that could become a home and begins to restore her heart by learning what it means to love unconditionally. Yet even as hope begins to find a place within the cottage walls, Emmalyn still wonders is she’s ready for Max’s release. She may be able to rebuild a cottage, but can she rebuild a marriage?

Water from my HeartWater from My Heart
by Charles Martin
Center Street

Left to survive on his own as a teenager, Charlie grows up fast—earning a scholarship to Harvard and learning to survive on the outskirts of privileged society. But when his streetwise East Coast business sense leads to disastrous consequences for a faraway mother and child, will a trip to Nicaragua soften his jaded heart?