Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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 a prompt to try today:

"What was the best Christmas present you ever received? Why? Describe it in detail."

Happy writing!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Motivation: Make It Happen!

Some motivational words to begin your week:

"The indispensable first step to getting the things it you want out of life is this: decide what you want."
                                                                              — Ben Stein

"Some people want it to happen. Some wish it would happen., Others make it happen."
                                                                              — Michael Jordan

"If you really want something, you can figure out how to make it happen."
                                                                              — Cher

"There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only scarcity of resolve to make it happen."
                                                                              — Wayne Dyer

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, December 18, 2015

"An Endless Christmas" by Cynthia Ruchti... and a GIVEAWAY!

In celebration of her latest release, Cynthia has graciously offered to give away a hard copy of the book (US Only). To enter, see the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post. (Contest ends December 25, 2015.) If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information. Good luck!

A Word from Cynthia…

An Endless Christmas was truly a labor of love. Endless love :) I tapped into a beautifully loving extended family (my own) who showed up in a line here, a phrase there, a grace action there throughout the story. It was a joy to use a sweet tradition of giving as part of the story and a tender song that my dear friend's husband used to sing to her every night in the months before he died. As I move through life collecting ideas and snippets of conversation and head tilts and body language and heartache, I pull from that overflowing file to create a story like An Endless Christmas. It tugs at my heart with its unique approach to the holiday that's in risk of being taken for granted unless we let ourselves "land" on it and ponder.

My Review…

Katie does not know what to expect when her boyfriend Micah invites her to spend the holidays with his family for their Binder Family Christmas celebration. She expects it to be extremely awkward after she declines Micah’s proposal. Katie is harboring a secret, which leads her to believe she could never be the wife he deserves.  She is shocked by how much everyone (grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, and grandchildren) embraces her. Everything is so different from her own dysfunctional family. Katie is determined to put her distress aside so that Micah’s grandparents can enjoy what may be their last Christmas together. Will the Binder family show Katie what true acceptance really means?

While this is a quick read, it is certainly not one to take lightly. It is a heartwarming holiday tale, full of faith, family, flawed but realistic characters, and numerous touching scenes. I wanted to jump into the story at times and share the holidays with this family! Some scenes brought back fond memories of childhood Christmases spent with my own grandparents. The reader is left wondering for a while as to what could possibly be preventing Katie from accepting Micah’s proposal. There were a few parts I really loved, such as:

·         Dodie’s reminder that when you are married you are “in it for the long haul,” which this family truly demonstrates,
·         The family bonfire where they “burn the past year’s regrets,”
·         And the importance of honoring family traditions because, “A family without treasured traditions isn’t very interesting.”

Ruchti, through the voice and actions of the Binder family members, reminds the reader how important it is to make the most of every moment while offering forgiveness and unconditional love. This is the perfect cozy read for the holiday season.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon link for purchase…

About Cynthia...

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through her award-winning novels, novellas, devotionals, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. Her books have been recognized by honors such as the Selah Awards, Christian Retailings' BEST Awards, and Foreword Book Reviews Book of the Year Awards. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Where you can find Cynthia online…


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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Regina Jennings’ "At Love’s Bidding" Cozy Winter Night Giveaway

Join Regina in celebrating the release of At Love's Bidding by entering to win her Cozy Winter Night giveaway and RSVPing to her January 5th author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive everything you need for a cozy winter night:
at love's bidding - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 1/5. The winner will be announced at the At Love's Bidding Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Regina and other readers, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

at love's bidding-enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

My Review…

Miranda Wimplegate and her family run the illustrious Wimplegate Auction House in Boston, which specializes in the finest of antiques. They are used to catering to the wealthy. Unfortunately, their business is put in jeopardy after they accidentally sell a prized painting to an anonymous bidder. Miranda and her grandfather decide to track down the painting, which leads them to Pine Gap, Missouri, where they quickly discover that they are out of their element. However, it is imperative that they track down this portrait, as the prestigious LeBlanc family will bring suit against them if it is not returned within a month. Prior to their trip, her grandfather purchased a local auction house, sight unseen. Grandfather didn’t realize that this auction house specializes in livestock, not antiques. Manager Wyatt Ballentine is frustrated, as it was his dream to own the auction house. He wants them gone as soon as possible, which is exactly what Miranda plans to do. Can they work together to find the missing portrait? Does Wyatt know more than he is letting on?

This is the first book I have read by Jennings, and I found it to be simply enchanting. It contains the perfect mix of romance, mystery, and humor. The faith elements are woven throughout the story and are not overpowering. The relationships develop at a reasonable pace. The cover is a perfect fit for this charming tale.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review.

To Purchase a Copy...

About Regina…

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her ornery husband and four dangerously charming children.

You can find her online at:

Twitter:        @ReginaJennings

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Rachel Hauck’s "The Wedding Chapel" $100 Giveaway (Litfuse Blog Tour)

Join Rachel in celebrating the release of The Wedding Chapel by entering to win a copy and a $100 cash card—perfect for finishing up your Christmas gift shopping! 

wedding chapel - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Wedding Chapel
  • A $100 cash card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 31st. The winner will be announced January 4th on Rachel's blog.

wedding chapel - enter banner

My Review…

Years ago Jimmy Westbrook put his heart and soul into building a wedding chapel outside of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee to be used for his marriage to Collette Greer. However, that wedding never occurred. For 60 years that chapel has stood as a testament to his love. He feels it is now time to move on and sell it.

After a whirlwind romance, photographer Taylor Branson married Jack Forester. While Taylor’s business is slowly growing and Jack is a successful ad exec, their marriage is strained and in need of repair after only six months. Both are dealing with past secrets and demons. Taylor will have to face hers when she accepts a photo shoot of the chapel in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee.

Despite Jimmy’s insistence on selling, Taylor believes it is the wrong decision and is determined to change his mind. She knows that she feels the heartbeat of God there and is pretty sure Jimmy does as well. Both will soon find that they must confront their pasts to move forward. Along the way, secrets will be uncovered which could change the lives of many.

This is the first book I've read by Rachel Hauck, but I will definitely be adding her books to my TBR pile!  "The Wedding Chapel" is told by alternating characters: Jimmy, Collette, Taylor, and Jack. The story shifts between the present and the past (1948-1951), seamlessly blending everything together to create a beautiful story. At times, the Taylor/Jack storyline is pushed to the side, but stick with it as there is a reason. The characters become more alive to the reader as the story unfolds. While complex, it is very easy to follow and each character is well-developed. This multi-generational tale is full of intricate details and vivid images. It is an uplifting and engaging read which will remind the reader that love requires honesty and risk

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review.

About Rachel…

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, bestselling author of critically acclaimed novels such as "The Wedding Dress," "Love Starts with Elle," and "Once Upon  A Prince." She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, "Softly in Tenderly," one of 2011's Top 10 Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy and a conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

You can find Rachel online at:

Twitter:        @RachelHauck

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

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 a prompt to try today:

"You decide to volunteer at a homeless shelter. You meet an interesting  woman there. What is her story, and how will it change your life?"

Happy writing!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Motivation: Conceive, Believe, and Achieve!

Some motivational words to begin your week:

"What is in the pencil is greater than what is around it. The talents in you are greater than the environment surrounding you. Your potentials will change your environment." — Israelmore Avivor

"Never doubt, pray and believe." — Lailah Gifty Akita, Beautiful Quotes

"If you believe in something, then you shouldn't give up on it." — Harry Styles

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, December 4, 2015

"Trials and Tribulations" by Rachel Dylan... and a GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the release of Rachel's latest book, she has agreed to give away a hard copy of the book to one lucky person (US only). To enter, see the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post. (Contest ends December 11, 2015). If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and and pass your information along. Good luck!

A Word from Rachel…

I did not plan on writing Trial & Tribulations. I was actually at the beach on vacation and working on a new book. I  had written about ten pages when I stopped writing. I just wasn’t feeling inspired.

But then another idea came to me. A totally different story. A story about a legal battle and a spiritual one. The character of Olivia Murray formed in my mind. And from that point on, the idea was clear to me: a book about two battles—one inside the courtroom and one on the outside. I knew from the very beginning that this book wasn’t going to have a subtle faith message. This book was going to be an in-the-trenches look at spiritual warfare.

I wanted to use my background as a lawyer and write a true-to-life legal suspense. But I wanted to mix that with the spiritual battle that happens around us everyday. I also hoped to write a book that deals with spiritual warfare in a contemporary way—especially taking technology into account.  So that’s how I decided on the book having two New Age tech companies in a lawsuit over an app.

I can say that writing this book was a fulfilling experience and one that only deepened my faith. I jumped in and committed to the story and never looked back. I poured my heart, mind, and soul into this book, and I hope that readers will find something meaningful in reading it. 

My Review…

Attorney Olivia Murray is quite comfortable in her DC office. That is about to change when she is sent to the Chicago suburbs to participate in what will become the trial of her life and a huge test of her career and faith. She will be representing a new age technology company, Astral Tech, against their biggest competitor, Optimism. The opposing counsel is Grant Baxter. It soon becomes apparent that God brought Olivia and Grant together for a purpose… His purpose. While Grant is not a Christian, he quickly becomes an unlikely friend. The two of them must work together and rely on Olivia’s faith as they encounter a spiritual battle like no other. They will be left wondering whether or not they have any allies or if everyone is in the Devil’s pocket. Will Olivia be able to lead Grant to the Lord, or will she lose him to the dark side, especially after he sees the power firsthand? Will she be able to shut down the companies, or will evil flourish?

Even though this is a work of fiction, Dylan does a phenomenal job of depicting the very real battle one encounters when dealing with spiritual warfare. Olivia is steadfast in her faith and a tenacious character, perfect for the fight with good versus evil. The story is extremely engaging, and that only increases as Olivia prepares for her legal and spiritual battle. All secondary characters serve important purposes; none are wasted. Thanks to Dylan’s background, the legal accuracies are spot-on. The visuals will grab you, almost like watching a movie unfold. This is an in-your-face look at the very real presence of evil in the world and how one must be prepared to do battle. This can only be done by putting on the armor of God, which is exactly what Olivia must do if she wants to survive. I highly recommend this book!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

About Rachel…

Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction, including inspirational romantic suspense for Love Inspired Suspense and the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series. Rachel has practiced law for almost a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at:


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday Tip: Plan a Work-cation

"As writers, we do most of our work in the privacy of our own minds, but at some point all of us need to take a vacation — a working vacation — in order to recharge the batteries and open our minds to new perspectives, new experiences, and new landscapes."
— Kevin Larimer

Everyone has heard of a vacation, but have you ever heard of a work-cation? Many of us probably do this without even thinking. It's when you combine work with pleasure. As a writer, this can be used to your benefit.

Whatever business you may be in, there is a certain part of continuing education that must take place. For a writer, this may be exploring new locations to be used in your next novel. Everything needs to be as accurate as possible, and the best way to do that is to see the setting in person. Also, it is important for a writer to attend writing conferences, book festivals, and other industry-related events. These take place all over the country. If you have family or friends living in the area of these conferences, or the vicinity of the setting for your next novel, you could combine work and pleasure in your trip. Working remotely is quite common in the typical workplace, so why not for a writer?

If you view your writing as a business, it is important to invest time and money in it just as you would for any other occupation. A work-cation can help grow your business over time. So be sure to schedule them in.