Wednesday, January 31, 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:

Write a short story about five objects that are near you at the moment.

Happy writing!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Motivation

"It doesn't matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going."
— Brian Tracy

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

"Never Look at the Empty Seats" by Charlie Daniels (a memoir)

My review...

If you are a fan of country music, or if you just enjoy a good memoir, this is a book you will want to check out.

Growing up, my family was a fan of Charlie Daniels’ music, so I was quite familiar with him, at least the musical side. However, this book offers the reader a chance to see the more personal side of the music legend — in his own words. He offers his views on life and world events, including Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, and 9/11. He opens up about his childhood, as well as his alcoholic father. Overall, the book is well-written and insightful. As a warning to some readers, there is mild swearing (less than five times). Daniels is upfront about his political views, as well. The chapters are short, almost as though you are hearing a collection of stories while sitting across the table from Charlie, which makes the book go by quite quickly. A number of personal photos are included, which really adds to the book. This is a heartfelt and encouraging read which runs the gamut of emotions, from funny, sad, to be honest.

Some of my favorite quotes include:

  • “Walk on stage with a positive attitude. Your troubles are your own and are not included in the ticket price.”
  • “You’re concerned with the people who showed up, not the ones who didn’t. Always give them a show, and never look at the empty seats!”
  • "I've always ascribed to the theory that if you can't get what you want, take what you can get and make what you want out of it."

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

"In Bloom" by Kayla Aimee

My review...

Have you ever struggled with insecurity, fear, felt you were less than enough, or wasted too much time comparing yourself to other? If you can say “yes” to any of these, then this is a book to add to your TBR (to-be-read) pile.

Aimee’s latest contains numerous personal stories in an honest, transparent way. She discusses her struggles with insecurity and finding her identity in Christ, and she wants to help the reader do the same. Various areas are addressed, including our bodies, our gifts, our relationships, and our pasts. The reader will likely find at least one area relatable. Aimee’s writing style is very conversational, and it often feels like she’s speaking right to you (and that she has been spying on you, as well!). Appropriate scripture verses are referenced throughout. Despite the seriousness of the topic, there are a number of humorous scenes. There is a study guide included for individual or small group study, along with links to download journaling pages, scripture affirmations, and more. This book would be appropriate for women of all ages, including teens, as self-doubt and insecurity can occur at any age.

Some of my favorite quotes are:

  • “Because regardless of our age, we all just want to fit in.”
  • “We all just want someone to tell us we matter.”

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy as part of the B&H Blogger Program/Launch Team, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Takeover Thursday with Michelle Levigne ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Michelle Levigne has graciously offered to give away an electronic copy of this new release. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends February 1, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) Here's Michelle...

DORM RATS: The newest Neighborlee, Ohio story.

Dorm Rats is the rest of the story of Lanie Zephyr growing up, learning to be a semi-pseudo-superhero and guardian of the town of Neighborlee.

Nothing is ever simple when it involves this weird, magical, dimension-spanning town.

Neighborlee first came into existence when I wrote a short story that took place in Divine's Emporium, the central point of all the magical, weird events in town. I wrote several very short stories and made notes for more story ideas. One was published, then the online magazine I was writing them for folded.

I played with the idea of a superhero who was sick and tired of picking up after the mental midgets in the town she was assigned to protect. She quit and moved to another town, where weird things seemed to be happening, and yet no one paid much attention. She encountered another superhero, whose job seemed to consist of kicking grumbling superheroes' butts and getting them to go back to work. That story kind of died out after about one hundred pages. When I came back to it years later, it became the basis for Hero Blues. In it, Jane, a superhero called the Ghost, returns to the town where she was found as an abandoned toddler and learns more details about her mysterious past.

However, before that story was restarted and fixed and finished, I wrote a series of silly short stories dealing with Fae running amok in the mortal world and falling in love, called All's Fae in Love and Chocolate. So I had a good idea of the Fae, their society, their "justice system," and had an idea about a rebellious young Fae (young at 200 years old). Maurice pushes the envelope and gets sentenced to two years of exile in the mortal world, shrunk down to six inches tall, with shrunken magic and wings Tinkerbell wouldn't be caught dead in. He was exiled to … Divine's Emporium. I recycled and added to the first Divine's stories, basically following Maurice as he learned to temper justice with mercy and helped bumbling mortals find true love, guided by Angela, the mysterious proprietor of the shop, who is also his parole officer.

During this time, I roughed a book called Living Proof, about a wheelchair-bound comedienne who worked at a small-town newspaper and happened to be a broken semi-pseudo-superhero. Where else was I to put Lanie Zephyr but in Neighborlee? Lanie and her friends appeared in the books that followed Divine's Emporium. I figured out more about Lanie, how she and her friends landed in Neighborlee, the mystery of the Lost Kids, and other "rules" about their powers and the magical, weird, wonderful things that happen in town. I also used Neighborlee as the "landing" spot where kids from another dimension gathered in a YA fantasy series called The Hunt.

Then Splickety Magazine came into existence. They do flash fiction, which is a story of 1,000 words or less. I took it as a challenge and wrote a story about Lanie's first Christmas after she was adopted out of the orphanage. Midnight Magic dealt with her problem of trusting her new parents with the secret of her semi-pseudo-superhero powers. That was followed by several other stories of Lanie and her friends, Kurt and Felicity, as they figured things out and sometimes got in trouble. For instance, the time they decided they were aliens and tried to "phone home" at Halloween.

By this time I had a number of books planned out to follow Living Proof, but I needed to get from Lanie as the six-year-old adoptee, learning how to be a superhero from reading comic books, to Lanie with the broken back and snarky attitude, spouting one-liners. (As a side note: Lanie's humor is borrowed directly from my brother, a comedian in a wheelchair. I'm serious. He did comedy on a regular basis for many years in the Northeast Ohio area. I have his joke book for a resource.)

Thus, Growing Up Neighborlee was born. The adventures of Lanie, Kurt, and Felicity, dealing with learning their powers, their duties as guardians of Neighborlee, and the general weirdness of the town. The book goes up until Lanie's sophomore year of high school. Dorm Rats, the newest Neighborlee book, starts with a family vacation/research trip to England, then takes Lanie through college (from which comes the title, after discovering a somewhat insidious experiment, manipulating the freshmen class's living situation) and ends with the accident that lands her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

See? How the story came to be written is not a simple answer at all.


Lanie and her Lost Kids friends continue growing into their semi-pseudo-superhero powers and responsibilities and learn more about what it means to be a guardian of the odd little town of Neighborlee. Sometimes that meant protecting the rest of the world from the everyday weirdness and magic around them. 

The transition from high school to college is marked with challenges and mystical, magical attacks from outside Neighborlee's borders. When the academic game-playing and politics of the local college are used to run a questionable experiment on the entire freshman class, Lanie is there in the middle of it. Sometimes those who realize there's something strange going on aren't as enchanted as Lanie and her geek friends, and it takes a lot of fast talking and faster maneuvering to keep the lid from blowing off the entire town.  

The threats grow bigger and the enemies grow meaner, but it's all in a day's work for the guardians of Neighborlee. This is home, and they're willing to pay the price. Sometimes, they do. With their lives.

The really big questions remain: Why are they the way they are, and how can they do the things they can do? At least when they mess up and use their talents in public, most people don't even notice. It's just part of the background weirdness of Neighborlee, Ohio.

Purchase links...

Book page at Uncial Press:

About Michelle...

On the road to publication, Michelle fell into fandom in college (she is a recovering Trekker and adores “Warehouse 13,” “Stargate SG-1,” "The Dresden Files," and "The Librarians."), and has 40+ stories in various SF and fantasy universes. She has a BA in theater/English from Northwestern College and a MA focused on film and writing from Regent University. She has published 70+ books and novellas with multiple small presses, in science fiction and fantasy, YA, and sub-genres of romance. Her official launch into publishing came with winning first place in the Writers of the Future contest in 1990. She has been a finalist in the EPIC Awards competition more than thirteen times, winning with Lorien in 2006 and The Meruk Episodes, I-V, in 2010. Her training includes the Institute for Children’s Literature, proofreading at an advertising agency, and working at a community newspaper. She freelance edits for a living ( for info/rates), but only enough to give her time to write.

Where to find her online...

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Affective or Effective?

When choosing between affective and effective, the right choice is generally effective.

Affective pertains to emotions. It's most commonly used in relation to a psychological condition, such as seasonal affective disorder.

Effective is a synonym for forceful, powerful, useful, and capable.

Monday, January 22, 2018

"Silent Song" by Jaci Wheeler (Release Day Blitz Tour)

Title: Silent Song
Author: Jaci Wheeler
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 22, 2018


I’m Deaf. What most people view as a disadvantage, I see as an advantage.
I feel my way through life in my 1969 Ford Fairlane.
The vibrations and speed sustain me, the race track is where I dominate.
I thought racing was all I needed to survive…but I was wrong.

Music is my life. I inhale the melody and breathe in the lyrics.
That was until I met someone that opened my eyes to a new culture.
Who knew all it would take was silence for me to really experience music.

When Silence and sound collide it creates an explosion of the senses.


Free in Kindle Unlimited


“Could you…I mean, would it be okay if you sang to me?” My head snaps up and I look at him. He’s looking down sheepishly, but he raises his eyes to meet mine. 
“Why sing if can’t hear you?” 
“I can a little…if you let me put my head on your chest.” I look at him skeptically and he is quick to follow up, “I swear it’s not a line. My mom used to sing to me that way, and it’s been a while, so I was just curious if it would work with you.”
“Light on off which?” I repeat. 
“I prefer low light, always on.” He flips off the main switch and turns on the nightstand light, which isn’t more than an amber glow. 
I roll to my back and he places his head on my shoulder. I think about what song to sing. It’s not like it’s really going to matter much to him, but I never make a song choice without thought. Music is the sound track of life to me, so I decide something a little sad and soulful is in order. I pick ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley. Singing while flat on your back with a person on top of you is no easy feat. I guess it doesn’t really matter what the sound is like as long as the vibration is there, so with that in mind, I keep my tone low and raspy. Luckily, I tend to feel right at home singing alto, so this works out pretty nicely. 
I start off soft and low, and let the music build. He is tentative in the beginning, who am I kidding, we both are. This should be seriously awkward. We hardly know each other and we’re entering major bubble territory…yet there’s also something very innocent and pure about it. I can tell when he starts to relax and is more comfortable. I’m really letting go as well now and just singing from my soul. He moves to where his head is fully on my upper chest, right below my throat. By the third verse I stop worrying about how weird this might be and the beauty of the situation full on hits me. I’m able to give this man something that he’s never been able to give himself. Sharing the joy of music isn’t only a passion for me, it’s a need, so we are just two souls fulfilling a great need in each other.
His tears are completely silent as they slowly hit my exposed skin and pool in the hollow of my throat. They spark my own tears. The idea that I can touch him so deeply this way, giving him nothing but my voice, touches me deeply. Without thinking, I bring his arms around me and place his hands flat against my back so he isn’t only getting the sound vibrations from my chest, but he can also feel them from behind. It has its desired effect when he sighs out against my neck. The song ends but neither one of us move. To be honest, I have no words. In this type of communication words are useless. I close my eyes and go right into ‘Brightest’ by Copeland. Somewhere around ‘As my guitar gently weeps’ by the Beatles, I drift off. 

Author Bio

Jaci Wheeler lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband and two precious kids.

Her love of literature began in Jr. High when she was introduced to Lowis Lowry’s books. Since then she has had a passion for writing Young Adult books, and creating strong female leads. When she’s not writing, she is advocating for Autism Awareness and involved in the deaf community.

Her favorite things to do are play with her children, craft with her friends, sleep while her husband watches movies and indulge in her favorite addictions: Coffee, candy, and shoes.

Author Links

Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Sacred Rest" by Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D. (LitFuse Blog Tour)

My review...

“Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested—now there’s a challenge.” This quote sums up nicely what the author hopes to address in her latest release.

Dalton-Smith is a woman who understands what it’s like to need rest, and she wants to show the reader how it can be achieved. While it is written from a Christian perspective, it is not overbearing in any way. The author is a physician, and she incorporates scientific and medical evidence to support her observations throughout the book. That said, it is not too technical for the average reader to understand and utilize. The chapters are short, so they can easily be fit into a busy schedule.

This book is structured in three parts. In Part I, "Why Rest?," the author breaks down the various types of rest (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative). She helps the reader determine which type (or types) of rest is needed. Part II, "The Gifts of Rest," discusses the spiritual aspects of rest in twelve areas (boundaries, reflection, freedom, acceptance, exchange, permission, cessation, art, communication, productivity, choice, and faith). Part III, "The Promises of Rest," provides a Personal Rest Deficit Assessment Tool and an online option to sign up for the Thirty-Day Sacred Rest Challenge.

Some of my favorite quotes include:

  • “Many of us run from rest because it seems like giving up.”
  • “Rest is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.”
  • “The desire to overwork is an attempt to justify ourselves.”
  • “You don’t find purpose. You live and let purpose reveal itself to you.”
  • “You are made to live within the wide-open space of God’s validation and affirmation.”
  • “God did not make rest a mere suggestion. He commanded it.”
  • “You can be busy and still lack productivity.”
If you are weary and want to change that, consider adding this book to your To-Be-Read pile for 2018.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the LitFuse Blogging Program. I wasn't required to leave a positive review.

Link to blog tour landing page

About the author...

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan teaching courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women's Day, Redbook, and First for Women magazine. She is the author of Set Free to Live and  Come Empty (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist). She is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and a repeat keynote speaker at their annual gathering. She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 healthcare professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person.

Friday, January 19, 2018

"Beneath the Summer Sun" by Kelly Irvin ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Kelly Irvin has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new release. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends January 26, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) 

The story behind the story...

The idea for Beneath the Summer Sun and the series around which it is built came from reading an Amish scribe’s blurb in the newspaper The Budget. The scribe gave annual statistics for her community that included births, deaths, weddings, number of adults, number of children, number of baptisms, number of graduates from school, and number of widows/widowers. The number of widows and widowers was important enough for her to include in her summary. That made me wonder how widows are integrated into a society that is centered around husband-wife family units.
From that seed, I developed a proposal for a four-book series. I wanted to explore the lives of Amish women and how it must be different to be a widow at twenty and at seventy. Beneath the Summer Sun is the second in a four-part series that examines those seasons in life. The first book, Upon a Spring Breeze, follows the story of Bess Graber, a young, pregnant newlywed who finds her life irrevocably changed after a terrible tragedy.

In Beneath the Summer Sun, I delve into Jennie Troyer’s life as a thirty-something widow with seven children. The third book centers around a grandmother and the fourth book, a great-grandmother.
Jennie is encouraged by her community to remarry, but she resists. She’s afraid of committing the same mistake twice. How can she trust her feelings when they led to her first marriage to an abusive husband?

Domestic abuse in Amish marriages is an anomaly, but the idea that it does sometimes happen made me want to explore the reactions and repercussions. The Amish don’t believe in divorce. Their vows are sacred and unbreakable. They believe that there’s nothing that can’t be forgiven. They also prefer to have as little contact as possible with the English legal system. Given those three facts, what happens when a woman goes to her bishop to seek relief from an abusive husband?

In The Amish by Donald Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt, the authors note that sexual abuse and domestic abuse likely result in the same challenges for the Amish, including the reluctance to report them to outside authorities. “Abuse is typically reported to church leaders, who are always male. Because the church, family, and community are knit together and the authority structure is patriarchal, male leaders may not be sensitive to the needs of female victims. Men may minimize the acts of a male perpetrator or blame female victims for the violations.”

The authors also touched on an article from Family Life in the mid-1990s when a group of Amish women calling themselves the Sewing Circle collected stories of domestic violence and printed them in a booklet to raise awareness of the problem. This bolstered my belief that there are Amish women who will stand up for themselves in these situations and reach out to others to help them heal.
We tend to over-simplify the lives of Amish families, and The Amish reminded me that these folks are human and face some of the same challenges and issues that we do in English society. Beneath the Summer Sun delves into one woman’s life and how she overcomes her fears. She learns that she deserves to be happy. She learns to be brave and grasp her second chance.

It’s a difficult topic and not one we find often in Amish romances, but I want to explore all facets of love and life, not just the easy, simple, sweet ones. I believe readers will be touched by Jennie’s story and there are those women who will see themselves in Jennie’s situation. It’s my hope that they’ll find some measure of healing and hope in her story.

Back cover blurb...

Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry. Can she overcome a painful secret and open her heart to love?

It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to marry again for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is that grief isn’t holding her back from a new relationship. Fear is. A terrible secret in her past keeps her from moving forward.

Mennonite book salesman Nathan Walker stops by Jennie’s farm whenever he’s in the area. Despite years of conversation and dinners together, she never seems to relax around him. He knows he should move on, but something about her keeps drawing him back.

Meanwhile, Leo Graber nurtures a decades-long love for Jennie, but guilt plagues him—guilt for letting Jennie marry someone else and guilt for his father’s death on a hunting trip many years ago. How could anyone love him again—and how could he ever take a chance to love in return?

In this second book in the Every Amish Season series, three hearts try to discern God’s plan for the future—and find peace beneath the summer sun.

About Kelly...

Kelly Irvin is the author of Upon a Spring Breeze, the first book in the Every Amish Season series from Zondervan/ HarperCollins. It follows the Amish of Bee County Series, which included The Beekeeper’s Son, subject of a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it “an intricately woven masterpiece.” Among her other works are novellas in three collections. She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest House Publishing. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

Kelly’s novels, The Beekeeper’s Son and Love Redeemed, were finalists in the 2015 and 2016 contemporary romance category of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Awards Contest. The Beekeeper’s Son, An Amish Christmas Gift, and An Amish Market are Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (EPCA) bestsellers. 

Kelly is currently working on the third novel in the Every Amish Season series. Additionally, she is contracted for novellas in two anthologies to be published by Thomas Nelson in 2018 and 2019. She recently announced that she has signed a contract with Thomas Nelson for two romantic suspense novels. The first one, Tell Her No Lies, will debut in January 2019.

The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter. She recently retired after working twenty-two years in public relations for the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. Kelly is married to photographer Tim Irvin. They have two young adult children, two grandchildren, and two ornery cats. In her spare time, she reads, blogs, and writes articles on being a cancer patient for Cure Today Magazine.

Where you can find Kelly online...

Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin

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Wednesday, January 17, 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:

Write a story with this as your title: Stray Shopping Carts of London.

Happy writing!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Motivation

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
— Walt Disney

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Takeover Thursday with Melanie D. Snitker (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Melanie D. Snitker has graciously offered to give away an electronic copy of this new release (or the first book in the series). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends January 18, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) 

How the story came to be...

 When I began writing Finding Grace, I wanted to tell Tyler and Beth's story with an emphasis on the role grace plays in our lives. I had no idea at the time that I would soon be facing the toughest seasons of my life. The very grace I was writing about was exactly the kind I needed for myself: the grace to admit that I'm overwhelmed and to give myself the time off I've needed over the last two months.

It is my hope that Finding Grace will remind readers that it's okay to not only give themselves the kind of grace they might extend to others, but that our Heavenly Father is always there to offer a generous helping of it as well.

Finding Grace is the sixth, and final, book in the Love's Compass series. While each book does give updates on characters that have been featured previously, they are also complete stories that stand on their own.

Thank you, Leslie, for the opportunity to be a guest on your blog today. God bless!

Book blurb...

Single dad Tyler Martin can't be more grateful to the woman who finds his missing daughter. Even though he feels a spark between them, falling in love is a risk he shouldn't take. Too bad chance encounters and his stubborn heart keep trying to convince him otherwise.

After escaping a nightmarish relationship, Beth Davenport is content with her safe and blessedly normal life. Yet something about Tyler and his adorable daughter makes her wish for more. With the walls around her heart finally starting to crumble, she's afraid of a future she can't predict.

Can they let go of their fear and trust God to lead them to the love they desperately need?

About Melanie...

Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing fiction for as long as she can remember. She started out creating episodes of cartoon shows she wanted to see as a child, and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children, who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs, who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crocheting, baking, and hanging out with family and friends.

Where you can find Melanie online...

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Peek vs Pique vs Peak

When you peek at something, you're doing something you shouldn't be doing. A good way to remember this is to think of the ee in the word peek as two eyes looking at something.

Scotty peeked at his Christmas gifts in the middle of the night.

Pique comes from a French word, and it means to excite.

The odd-shaped package piqued Scotty's interest.

A peak is a real or metaphorical pinnacle or high point.

The package marked the peak of excitement for Scotty.

Friday, January 5, 2018

"The Melody of the Soul" by Liz Tolsma ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Liz Tolsma has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new release. The book can be winner's choice of an ebook or hard copy (US ONLY for hard copy). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends January 12, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) 

Back cover blurb...

By 1943, Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost everything, including her career as a concert violinist and almost her entire family. The only person she has left is her beloved grandmother, and she's determined to keep her safe. Protecting Grandmother won't be easy — not with a Nazi officer billeted below them.

Anna must keep a low profile. There's one thing she refuses to give up, though. Despite instruments being declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to practice her violin. She has to believe that the war will end someday and her career will be waiting. Fortunately for Anna, the officer, Horst Engel, enjoys her soothing music. It distracts him from his dissatisfaction with Nazi ideology and reminds him that beauty still exists in an increasingly world.

When his neighbors face deportation, Horst is moved to risk everything to hide them. Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals to her might break her trust and stop the music forever…

(I rated it 4.5 stars - TOP PICK!)

My thoughts in a nutshell...

If you only have time to read a few books this year, be sure Tolsma's latest is on your list! Yes, it's that good! It's really setting a high standard for the other books I review this year. It is such an emotional read and hard to put down. It's sad to see the story come to an end, and I can't wait for the sequel. It's amazing to see how the author can weave together the beauty and evil in such a way that you can still see God's love in the middle of it all.

Some of my favorite quotes...
  • "Cling to your memories, yes. They are good, a blessing from the Lord. But if you allow the past to weigh you down, you cannot move forward. You have to deal with the present and reach for the future."
  • "Don't judge him by the uniform he wears, but by the kind of person he is underneath."
  • "You're dwelling on things you can't change. Focus on what you can."

About Liz...

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shown through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means More to her than her family. She married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

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Wednesday, January 3, 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:

Write about your goals or resolutions for 2018.

Happy writing!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Monday Motivation

"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand ending."
— Carl Bard

Have a wonderful week!