Thursday, March 22, 2018

Takeover Thursday with Krysten Lindsay Hager

Can Dreams Come True? (Book One of the Cecily Taylor Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Contemporary YA fiction

Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?

Excerpt 1...

I started to feel anxious after lunch. After all, I had been an Andrew fan for a long time, and even though I had seen him in person, this was a huge deal to get to meet him. What if he wasn’t what I had imagined? I didn’t expect him to fawn over me or anything, but what if he was rude or ignored me? It would kill my fantasy of him as being this sweet, quiet, sensitive songwriter who wore his heart on his sleeve while also being kind of a loner/rebel with just a touch of bad boy in him. Oh man, I would be crushed if he didn’t notice me or worse—if he ended up flirting with Harlow. 
In all his magazine interviews Andrew always said looks weren’t important to him, and what he noticed in a girl was if she was true to herself. He said he went for “bright girls who were sweet and easy to be with.” Now that I thought about it, that was the kind of fake crap magazines put out about all the teen celebrities. It was like when I saw Lawrence Claibourne, my favorite actor who claimed to be Mr. I’m-just-looking-for-a-sweet-girl-to-read-poetry-to on a red carpet with a model whose boobs were falling out of her dress and had overdone the lip fillers—I mean, you just knew he wasn’t into her for her personality. But Andrew wasn’t like Lawrence. Andrew seemed so sincere and deep. Lawrence had a smirk and you could tell he was a player, but Andrew seemed like he had been hurt and needed to find the right girl who he could open up to and learn to trust again. . .or at least that’s what he said in his last interview.
The final bell rang and my heart shot up to my throat. This was it. I was on my way to meet my crush. From now on, any dreams of him would be marred by the reality I was about to face.
Was it better to keep wondering what if and keep the fantasy alive or to go and actually meet him?

Excerpt 2...

          Okay, if I wanted to do a good job in this music video then I had to become this character and show how she and Andrew were soulmates who would recognize each other just by walking by.
          Andrew got into position and the director yelled, “Action.”
          Andrew and I began to walk toward one another. He glanced away from me and then right as we got closer, he gave me an intense, longing stare which almost took my breath away. I lost all focus and forgot what I was supposed to do. It was like time was standing still and we were the only two people in the world.
          “Cut!” Dimitri said. “Perfection. You absolutely nailed the look, Cecily. Let’s try it again, but this time the focus will be on Andrew’s angle.”
          My face felt warm as I walked back on my mark to go again. How did I get my look so perfect when I hadn’t done anything intentional? Andrew’s gaze had been so overwhelming I had forgotten everything I was meant to do. Then it hit me—my look hadn’t been an act. Whatever I did in the scene was how I actually felt in the moment and if Dimitri said it was the perfect look then it meant I must have been showing my true feelings for Andrew. How embarrassing! Did people think I was acting or was my stupid kiddie crush apparent to everyone now? Andrew would probably take the security guys aside and tell them there was a stalker present and to quietly escort me off the premises without making a scene. The whole crew would laugh over how the dumb star struck kid got caught up in her obsession with the pop star. I never should have done this. At least before I had the fantasy, now Andrew was aware of my existence and instead of remembering the connection we had earlier, he’d see me as just another fan.

Buy links...

About Krysten...

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2) and Dating the It GuyTrue Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist.

​Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on the talk show Living Dayton.

Where you can find her online...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Vein/Vain/Vane

In addition to blood vessels, vein is used to describe things such as wood, metal ore, and ribs in a leaf.

Vain is used to describe people who seem to be full of themselves and are viewed as "empty." It can also be used for an act that didn't quite go as planned, so it was "done in vain."

Vane is usually used in reference to a weather vane, but it can also refer to a blade.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Jan Drexler's "The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart" tour (JustRead Tours) ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Jan Drexler blog tour

Welcome to The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart blog tour and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


the amish nanny's sweetheartTitle: The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart  
Author: Jan Drexler
Publisher: Love Inspired Historical
Release Date: March 1, 2018  
Genre: Inspirational Historical Amish Fiction
Love in Plain Sight

As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp’s finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farmworker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own.

Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community—even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes—and hearts.

PURCHASE A COPY: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

The story behind the story...

     When I started writing for publication, I knew where my stories would come from.
Growing up, I knew our ancestors had been Amish, but I didn’t really know what that meant. I also knew that we were no longer Amish, and I wondered why. The more I searched for answers, the more questions kept piling up. Before long, I realized that family trees and history books could give me facts, but they couldn’t open a window to let me get to know the people behind those facts.
With that realization, I knew the only place to find the answers I was looking for was my imagination…and the stories were born.
     My books, including “The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart,” all start with a kernel of truth.
In this story, the hero is Guy Hoover, a young man who had grown up in an orphanage in the 1920’s. He been abandoned by his father as a young boy after his mother had passed away. I based his character loosely on my grandfather, who also grew up in an orphanage. The one thing Guy wanted out of life was a home. The kind of home he knew before he lost his mother.
     The heroine, Judith, is a mixture of several people I know. She grew up in a dysfunctional family and is trying to find her way into “normal” Amish society – something she has only observed from the outskirts. She longs to blend in, to be part of the church, and to marry an Amish man who has the respect of the community. She wants a home and family of her own.
     From there, my imagination had to fill in the details. Of course, we all know Guy and Judith will fall in love, but first they must realize they have the same ultimate goal…even if they have very different ways of arriving at that goal.
     If you enjoy family trees and family stories, have you ever thought about writing books based on those stories? They can be a window into past generations.

jan drexler

Jan grew up surrounded by books and storytellers. With Pastors and Teachers populating both sides of her extended family, we aren’t surprised that she wanted to be a first-class storyteller herself.

Born and raised in Michigan, Jan is the descendant of Amish, Mennonite and Brethren immigrants who settled in Berks, Somerset and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania in the mid-1700’s. The descendants of these immigrants pioneered in Maryland, Ohio, and finally Elkhart and LaGrange Counties in Northern Indiana in the 1850’s.

During the years when Jan was raising and homeschooling their children, she and her husband moved nine times in thirty years, finally landing in South Dakota where they enjoy incredibly Michigan-like weather. A northerner is always a northerner!

The ideas for Jan’s books come from the stories told by her parents and grandparents, seasoned with a lot of research and imagination.

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Jan Drexler giveaway 400x400


Jan Drexler is giving away a print copy of The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one winner! Open internationally, as long as winner can receive books from Book Depository and accept egift card from US Amazon. Void where prohibited by law. Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

tour schedule

March 20th

March 21st

March 22nd

March 23rd

Sunday, March 18, 2018

"Fierce Faith" by Alli Worthington

My review...

This is the first book I’ve read by Worthington, but if this book is any indication, it won’t be my last! I’ve struggled with fear, worry, and anxiety for as long as I can remember. Logically, I know I can take it all to God in prayer and then let it go. However, the application is not always easy for me. And this is exactly what Worthington tackles in Fierce Faith.

Each chapter addresses a different fear, so there is likely something relatable for everyone:

  • Fear of Rejection
  • Fear for Our Children
  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of Betrayal
  • Fear of Missing Out
  • Fear of the Future
  • Fear of Not Being Enough
  • Fear that We Are on Our Own

Worthington uses lists all over the place, which made list maker very happy! The lists are designed to help the reader create their own battle plan for when they’re under attack and headed toward the “Bad Bs”: busy, blame, bury, binge, and brood.

While this book is geared toward women, there are lessons and wisdom in this book which are relevant to anyone. The tips are practical, and the author encourages the reader all through the book with personal stories and tips for when the enemy attacks. She strives to empower the reader to replace the enemy’s lies with God’s truths. I have highlights and notes all over the place, and I know I’ll go back and reference them on more than one occasion.

Some of my favorite quotes (reminders) are:

  • “Fear is a liar.”
  • “Our thoughts give life or steal joy.”
  • “Don’t let the fear of tomorrow steal your life today.”
  • “If God, maker of all heaven and earth, has complete confidence in us, who are we to doubt ourselves?”
  • “Your worries won’t change your what-ifs, but prayer will.”
  • “God’s presence doesn’t mean you are fearless; it means you can fear less.”
  • “Failure is the rich soil in which our faith grows.”

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the HC BookLook Bloggers program, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.

About the author...

Alli Worthington is the author of Fierce Faith and Breaking Busy, she's a speaker, and a business coach. Her goal is to help women live the life they were created to live.

Alli is a sought after coach and consultant who has helped individuals, small business owners, and Fortune 500 companies be more successful.

Alli's no-nonsense, guilt-free take on motherhood, parenting, and balance has lead to appearances on The Today Show and Good Morning America.

She lives outside Nashville with her husband, Mark, their five sons, and the only golden retriever who refuses to retrieve.

All spends way too much time on Instagram at @AlliWorthington, and you can find out all about her at

Friday, March 16, 2018

"The Heart Between Us" by Lindsay Harrel ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Lindsay has graciously offered to give away a paperback copy (US ONLY) of this new release. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends March 23, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) Here's Lindsay...

The story behind the story...

The very first thing that sparked this story idea was a feature story I heard on the radio about a woman who went skydiving because her heart donor had always wanted to. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if someone fulfilled all the bucket list items on someone else’s list?” From there, Megan’s story began to form in my mind. I actually dreamed up her twin sister Crystal’s story much later, after my agent challenged me to make her more than an antagonist. Since I grew up with a mother who was chronically ill for much of my childhood, I was easily able to imagine what it was like to grow up with a sick sister—and how it might have affected Crystal in the long term. 

Q & A with Lindsay...

Q:  Let's start with a few serious questions. What message do you hope readers take away from your story?
A:   I truly hope everyone who reads Megan and Crystal’s story knows without a doubt that reconciliation is possible, that fear is a liar, and that we were made to experience freedom. In addition, I want readers to come away with a new desire to live their own lives to the fullest.

Q:  Definitely some important takeaways! What can you tell us about your next project? 
A:  I turned it in February 1, and it won’t release until next February (everything in publishing takes a long time!). It’s called The Secrets of Paper and Ink (don’t you just love that title?!) and it’s about a broken woman who travels to Cornwall, England—the setting of her favorite author’s novels—to find the courage to write her own story.

Q:  I love the title, and I can't wait to read it! Finally, what's your favorite writing-related book? 
A:  Anything by Susan May Warren is a goldmine. I learned how to write a novel primarily from attending My Book Therapy workshops and reading Susie’s craft books. The Story Equation is one of her best!

Q:  Now, a few fun questions. What's one thing about you that would surprise your readers? 
A:  It might surprise them to know that I was in a Christian rock band in college. J Now I’m more of a musical theater nerd, but I had some fun back in the day rocking out on the microphone!

Q:  Ooh, I wonder if anything can be found on YouTube 😃 Do you have any writing rituals (such as a particular pen, outfit, or music) you must have or do when writing? 
A:  Not really—I just really crave silence. I usually write when my kids are napping and I’m down on the couch curled under a blanket (if it’s cold, which it currently is!) plunking away on my laptop. I do always make sure I have a tumbler full of ice water and/or iced tea right next to me, as well as a notebook and pen on the side table in case any thoughts come to me. I process things better when writing them down by hand (though I’m not one of those people who writes an entire first draft by hand or anything like that!).

Q:  Who are three fictional people you'd like to meet? 
A:  Anne Shirley (for her spunk), Elizabeth Bennet (for her wit), and Melanie Hamilton Wilkes (for her ability to see the best in people)

Q:  Great choices! Thanks so much for stopping by, Lindsay. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know a bit more about you and your latest release.

Link to my review on the RTBookreviews website
(I rated it 4.5 stars - TOP PICK!)

About Lindsay...

Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at

Where you can find her online...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Writing Prompt Wednesday

If you're feeling stuck in your WIP (work in progress) or just want to shake things up a bit, here's something different to try today:

The last time we spoke...

Happy writing!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Motivation

"Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me."
— Carol Burnett

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Takeover Thursday with Andrea Boyd (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Andrea Boyd has graciously offered to give away an electronic copy (from Instafreebie) of this new release. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends March 15, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.)

One conversation with a friend plus a series of dreams and Bo Manning was born. I imagine the whole “I’ll never get married again” speech happens quite often. I said it after my first marriage ended, and I still believe that if anything happened to my husband now, I’d remain single. This was the idea that breathed life into Irresistibly Yours. Vivian Emerson felt the same way and with good reason. Her late husband most certainly had not been devoted to her for the last half of their twenty-year marriage.

Then Bo shows up and wrecks her plans for the single life. 

He comes to Vivian’s rescue on several occasions without expecting more than friendship in return. And, oh man, is he good looking! And sweet. And he’s faithful. He’s a great dancer, and, wow, is he a great kisser. Who could resist, right?
Irresistibly Yours is a Southern contemporary romance with a beach setting. It’s about friendship and love’s second chance, and it reflects God’s irresistible call.


Marriage is no picnic. At least the one Vivian Emerson shared with her late husband hadn’t been. Unfortunately, the devastation Craig had brought into her life didn’t ended with his death. Not only did he leave Vivian without closure, he had to go and die in a way that made her the talk of the whole state of South Carolina and beyond. Now her daughter wants nothing to do with her because of him. She would just stick with the single life from now on, thank you very much.

For the last fourteen years since the death of his wife, Bo Manning never even considered wanting another woman in his life. That is until he comes to the rescue of a certain woman with haunting, jade-green eyes. Despite Vivian’s resolve not to give her heart to another man, Bo sets out to patiently woo her into the loving relationship he is offering.

Irresistibly Yours reveals God’s fervent effectual call in the form of a classic romance.

About Andrea...

Each of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre, but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible. Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC.

Where you can find Andrea online...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Is irregardless a word?

Many people cringe when they hear someone say, "Irregardless." So, is it really a word or not?

Regardless is the word you want to use. It's already negative, so it doesn't need ir-. If you put that prefix on regardless, you are creating a word that means "without without regard." So, while it may be used, it's best to just avoid irregardless.

Monday, March 5, 2018

"Jesus Calling Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering" by Sarah Young

My review...

I love coloring, and I love devotionals, so this book seemed like a perfect choice for me when it was offered for review.

Young’s latest book brings together quotes from her Jesus Calling devotional, as well as Bible verses. The cover is foil-embellished, and it gives an idea of the illustrations found inside. There are over 100 illustrations which are beautiful, detailed, and include images such as animals, flowers, and random designs. The pages are even perforated, so they could be framed, if desired. This book is a bit different than most of its kind, as the author wants to help the user learn to do hand lettering. There is a page in the back designed for tracing upper and lowercase lettering, and that same thing is done with some of the messages and verses throughout the book. The drawings are not so small that they are impossible to color. Gel pens, markers, colored pencils, and even crayons could work to add variety. The paper is a bit thicker than in some books. However, markers and gel pens may still bleed through a bit, depending on how they are used. This book would be wonderful for individual use or even as a gift, as there is a place to list “To,” “From,” and the “Date.” Overall, I found this to be an encouraging and relaxing book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the BookLook Bloggers program. I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.