Love at Lakewood Med Book Blast Kit

Love at Lakewood Med Book Blast

About the Book

Love at Lakewood Med

Genre:  Adult, New Adult,Conetemporary, Romance
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: March 13, 2018

Savannah Drake would be thrilled about starting her final year of medical school if it weren’t for one thing: she has to spend a month working in the emergency room with cold, aloof Dr. Wesley Kent as her mentor. When her first day in the ER proves to be a humiliating disaster, Savannah is ready to swear off emergency medicine forever. Gradually, though, she finds that the unpredictable, emotional experience of caring for patients in the emergency room is affecting her far differently than she expected – and Dr. Kent turns out to be anything but the arrogant attending physician that she assumed him to be. But just when Savannah finally admits to herself that she is falling for Dr. Kent, she learns that things at the hospital are not all what they seem. Faced with a seemingly impossible choice, Savannah must decide between her future career and everything that she has come to care so much about.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

tj-amberson-author-photo

TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and nutty cocker spaniel. Her most recent novels include The Kingdom Of Nereth, Fusion, and Love at Lakewood Med. When she’s not writing, TJ can probably be found enjoying a hot chocolate, pretending to know how to garden, playing the piano, or surfing the Internet for cheap plane tickets.

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | WEBSITE 

Author Interview #1

1. If you could go to lunch with one of your characters from Love at Lakewood Med, who would you go with and why?
Savannah, of course! Her subtle sense of humor cracks me up, and I would love to hear more of her stories about the ups and downs of working in an emergency department.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research (expense covered for you by an anonymous donor), where would you go and why?
Oooo, this is an awesome question. Ultimately, I would choose to travel back to the UK in order to do more research and get more inspiration (aka sightseeing!) for books two and three of my young adult medieval historical fantasy trilogy. I am currently finishing book two of this trilogy, THE COUNCIL OF NERETH, and I’m excited to share the story with readers soon.

3. What does your writing process look like?
My writing process is quite variable. Some days, I’m totally in “the writing zone” and churn out a lot of words for a manuscript that’s in-process. Other days, I’m in an editing mood, and so I focus on polishing the manuscripts that are already completed. I try to allow myself that type of flexibility as much as possible, so the writing process never becomes a chore or something forced.

4. Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write is in my office at home. It’s quiet, and the view out the window is beautiful. But I’m always up for taking my laptop somewhere scenic! 

5. If you could choose someone famous for your lead characters to star in Love at Lakewood Med as it is made into a movie, who would you choose and why?
Another awesome question!

For Savannah, I envision someone like Alexis Bledel from her Gilmore Girl Days in the role – she both looks the part and has the right personality:

 


As for who could portray Doctor Wesley Kent (swoon!), I actually had to think about this for a while. I could see someone like Ben Barnes in his post-Narnia days looking right for the role:

 

6. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about it?
The first, as mentioned, is THE COUNCIL OF NERETH, book two of the Nereth Trilogy. It’s a YA medieval historical fantasy – I’m really looking forward to taking my readers back to the land of Nereth.

The second is a new romantic comedy, THE BEST MAN. I am having so much fun writing this lighthearted story!

The third is a YA paranormal romance, BETWEEN. I actually wrote it years ago, and now I have pulled it off the shelf and started the polishing process.

Author Interview #2

1. What does “a day in the life of TJ Amberson” look like?
A day in the life of TJ Amberson is hard to predict! Some days, I’m at home writing, doing laundry, walking the dog, and making a run to the grocery store. Other days, I am heading to my “real” job. And somewhere in there, I try to fit in yard work, riding my bike or working out on the elliptical, and helping my husband with home renovation projects (thank goodness, he knows what he’s doing!).

2. Who are some of your favorite authors?  Do these authors inspire your own writing?
This question is a meaningful one to me. I’m deeply indebted to numerous authors for inspiring me both as a reader and as a writer over the years: L.M. Montgomery, Victor Hugo, Beverly Cleary, Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, Sophie Kinsella, Dan Brown, Charlotte Bronte, C.S. Lewis, Norton Juster, and Chris Van Allsburg, to name just a few. Since I was a child, a wide array of authors’ works have captivated and taught me, made me laugh and cry, and inspired my writing. And authors both new and old continue to entertain and enlighten me now.

3. What period of history interests you the most?  Does this influence your own writing?
Cool question! I don’t think there’s one period of history that captivates me more than all others. So if I could go back in time somehow, I would be in trouble because I don’t think I could choose! Thankfully, as an author who loves writing in several genres and voices, I get the chance to explore many different time periods, cultures, and settings, which is about the best of all worlds!

4. How many books have you written and in what genres?
My first published novel, THE KINGDOM OF NERETH, is a young adult medieval historical fantasy – I am in the process of finishing its sequel, THE COUNCIL OF NERETH, which I am very excited to publish at the end of this year, and then the final novel of the trilogy should be out in 2019. My second published novel, FUSION, is a contemporary, YA lite sci-fi action story, which is one of my favorites! My third published book was LOVE AT LAKEWOOD MED, a contemporary romantic comedy that centers around an emergency department. Meanwhile, I’m working on another romantic comedy, THE BEST MAN, and I’m polishing a manuscript that I wrote years ago, a YA paranormal romance, BETWEEN.

5. How important are the names of the characters in your novels?  How do you choose the names for your characters?  Do you have any name resources you would recommend?
For me, characters’ names are extremely important – I think that a name conveys so much about the “feel” of a character! I enjoy the process of choosing names, even though it can be an arduous task at times! I first research names that are appropriate for the novel’s setting and time period. I then do research to make sure that the name isn’t too common and that there isn’t already a famous person or character with the same name. I also like to make sure that the characters’ names in a book start with different letters of the alphabet, to add subtle variety.

6. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
When I’m not wearing my author hat, I might be pretending to know how to garden, working in the emergency department, riding my bike, or hoping to find cheap plane tickets on the Internet.

Snippet #1

Danielle uses her fork to stab another strawberry out of her fruit salad. “Come on, you can’t tell me that working with someone as good looking as Doctor Kent isn’t going to help you enjoy this rotation a little bit.”
   “Are you kidding?” I exclaim. “You saw how he was at the orientation meeting yesterday. He’s completely devoid of personality.”
   “Devoid of personality or not, Doctor Kent is handsome.” Danielle gives me a wry smile. “At least your view at work will be nice.”

Snippet #2

Footsteps approach fast. An instant later, the drunk guy is ripped off of me by a person who is wearing dark scrubs. I collapse to the floor, shaking from adrenaline. Havoc continues directly above where I’m cowering. I crawl away from the stretcher and stagger to my feet. Turning around, I am met by the sight of Doctor Kent pinning the drunk guy down on the stretcher.

Snippet #3

 “The patient thinks she’s a hiccup,” I announce.
   Doctor Kent scratches his chin. “She has hiccups?”
   “No. She believes that she is a hiccup, and she states that she has been a hiccup for a long time. Oh, and she would like to go home.”
   He arches an eyebrow. “I see. Does she have any signs and symptoms of someone who is a hiccup?”
   I’m hit with a pulse of alarm. Doctor Kent isn’t kidding. Did I miss a class about patients being hiccups? Or is there a different meaning of ‘hiccup’ that I’m not thinking of? How—
   “I’m only messing with you.” Doctor Kent gets to his feet.
   “What?” I’m not sure whether to laugh or kill him. “You . . . you were . . .”
   “I’ll go give her my blessing so she can go home.”
   Doctor Kent heads off to Room Seven. I gaze after him. I have to admit that what he did was kind of funny. Actually, it was really funny.

Snippet #4

Next to me, Doctor Kent remains all business. He moves to my right side and carefully lifts me to a sitting position. The next thing I know, he has slung my arm over his shoulder, picked me up, and begun to carry me. At first, I’m too shell-shocked to do anything. But as I get rocked by the steady motion of his steps, weariness overcomes me, and I drop my aching head against his chest.

Guest Post #1: Balance

Thanks for the chance to join you on your blog!

Balance. How do we keep balance? This is a recurring theme in writing as in life, and I’m often asked something along the lines of how I keep sane as a writer, how I balance writing with the rest of my life, how I keep the creative juices flowing, etc.

These are great questions.

And, I realized long ago, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. What works well for one person may not work at all for another. So for whatever it’s worth, here are my thoughts on the topic:

I have found that allowing flexibility has been key for me. Some days, I am in the writing “zone” and can churn out tons of words on a manuscript that’s in-process. On other days, I am simply not in a “write new stuff” type of mood. And there are even occasional days when I don’t have the inclination to do anything writing-related.

For me, accepting instead of fighting this variability has kept the writing process fun and fresh, rather than making it a chore. On days when I’m in the “zone,” I go with it! On days when I don’t have creative juices flowing, I still stay productive by editing manuscripts, or doing book promotion and advertising. And on those occasional days when I want to step away from all things writing, I allow myself to do so. Granted, there are times when deadlines are looming – and there are times in life when you just have to hike up your britches and get ‘er done, whether you’re in the mood or not. But I surprisingly get more written, and better words written – and I get more done overall – when I allow myself to mix it up and step away when I need to, rather than trying to force creativity when it’s at a standstill.

Whatever your answer for finding balance, the key, of course, is making sure that you do what you need to do so writing remains a joy. Because that is what it’s all about.

Guest Post #2: Social Media

Thank you for allowing me to join you on your blog!

I thought I’d talk briefly about a topic that comes up a lot – not surprisingly, since it’s relevant to just about everyone: social media. As someone who entered the social media scene on the later end of things, I’m certainly no expert. But it doesn’t take an expert to recognize that social media has significant pros and cons. Nor does it take an expert to recognize that social media is now a mainstay in our culture, for good and bad.

This duality of social media holds true in the writing world. How grateful I am for social media, which has allowed me the wonderful opportunity to be in touch with my readers, as well as to advertise, network, and support other authors. Both for my independently published and traditionally published novels, social media has allowed me to share my love for reading and writing with audiences that I never would have reached otherwise.
My main social media tools are Facebook and my author website. (I’m just not cool enough to also do Instagram, Twitter, and whatever the latest social media thing is!)

Of course, almost everything has a downside. And social media is a glaring example. Great reviews and likes on social media have become essential to an author’s success, although this is not necessarily fair or right or accurate. And authors certainly are not superhuman – they can be negatively impacted by what is said online. In many respects, social media is “a necessary evil” for authors.

But I am thankful for social media, despite its shortcomings and significant flaws, because it has opened doors that I would never have been able to access otherwise.

Most importantly, though, I extend my immense thanks to my readers – the people who have supported me on social media. Your support is what really makes the difference. Your positive reviews, your heartwarming comments, and your ongoing enthusiasm means everything. Thank you, thank you!

Guest Post #3: Love

Thank you for letting me join you on your blog today!
Question: why do we love stories about love?
There is no question that stories about love captivate us.
Perhaps there’s no better example of how much we love stories about love than the books of Jane Austen.  Her novels have been cherished, quoted, and adored by thousands – all over the globe – for over 200 years. Her books have been made into movies and stage productions, which have gathered their own unfailing fan clubs. Austen’s tales have been the inspiration behind spin-offs, modern-day retellings, and countless other novels.
And beyond Austen, we can cite equally influential and adored love stories as penned by other great authors, such as Shakespeare, Bronte, and Hugo.
Certainly, the love of love is not limited to literature. Music is driven by love, too – love has been the inspiration behind songs for as long as music has been sung. And let’s not forget artwork, which is also often dedicated beautifully to the subject of love.
It’s apparent that this love affair with love has been ongoing for centuries, and it continues in full force today. Romantic comedies abound (hooray!) in literature, television shows, and movies. Pop music fills the radio with matters of the heart. Social media posts about love are frequent. And even grocery store checkout aisles display those gossipy magazines that are filled with stories about – you guessed it – celebrities’ love lives.
Why do we love stories about love?
Frankly, I’m not sure. Perhaps it is because love is one of the basic emotional needs that we all strive to fulfill. Perhaps it is because love – with its ups and downs – is something universally understood. Perhaps it is because it is one of those ties that bind, and stories about love speak to our souls as much as they do to our minds.
We may never understand completely why, but I am immensely thankful for the love of love stories. I love reading them. I love writing them. And I am grateful for the unfailing support of those who have loved my stories. Thank you!!

 

Giveaway

LaLM Book Blast Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Book Blast Schedule

July 26-
Cafinated Reads
CherylBBookBlog
Wishful Endings
Paulette’s Papers
July 27-
Singing Librarian Books
Heidi Reads…
Why Not Because I Said So
July 28-
Life Is What It’s Called
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
Blooming with Books

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Helpful Tour Information

1. The book blast kit  for Love at Lakewood Med is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

July 26-Cafinated Reads (Book blast info + extras (Author Interview #1) | CherylBBookBlog (Just the book blast information) | Wishful Endings (Book blast info + extras (Snippet #1) | Paulette’s Papers (Book blast info + extras (Guest Post #1)
July 27-Singing Librarian Books (Book blast info + extras (Snippet #2) | Heidi Reads… (Book blast info + extras (Snippet #3) | Why Not Because I Said So (Book blast info + extras (Author Interview #2)
July 28-Life Is What It’s Called (Book blast info + extras (Guest Post #2) | Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Book blast info + extras (Snippet #4) | Blooming with Books (Book blast info + extras (Guest Post #3)

***Reminder: Those that signed up for “extras” have each been assigned a different blog post.

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The Secret of Haversham House Tour Kit

The Secret of Haversham House Tour

About the Book

The Secret of Haversham House

Genre:  Christian, Fiction, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: June 12, 2018

Francesca Haversham is eighteen years old and about to step into a glittering future – all she has to do is secure her wealth with an advantageous marriage. Then she learns the truth:her entire identity is a lie. Now Francesca faces a horrible choice. Will she give up all she knows or continue to lie about her past and risk everything, including her heart?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

MATERN Julie_author photo

Julie Matern is a resident of Utah. She attended the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, and graduated with a double major in French and Education. She was born and raised in England, moving to America after her marriage and is the mother of six children. She has served in the PTA for over 20 years, taught tap dance, and enjoys amateur photography. She is the author of ‘British War Children’ ( for which she received a “Recommended Read” award from the League of Utah Writers) and ‘British War Children 2: An Enemy Among Us’.

Hometown: Highland, UT

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE

Author Interview

(Insert the interview below via SLB Tours OR your own interview with the author)

1. If you could go to tea with any of the characters in The Secret of Haversham House, who would you go with and why?
Lady Augusta Haversham firstly, though she might refuse the invitation as I am a social ‘nobody’! I would ask her if she is lonely and whether her pride is worth the price of exclusion from her family. I would also ask her if she has any regrets about her own behavior.

Secondly, I would be very interested to talk to Antonio, Francesca’s birth father, about how he felt when he learned that he had a daughter and all the emotions it stirred up and if he was angry about the contract they made him sign.
I think I might also like to go to tea with Mario and ask what he really thought of Giorgio’s revelation about a secret granddaughter and the search for her.

2. Did you travel to gather research for The Secret of Haversham House?  If so, where did you go? If not, what did you do to gather your research for this story?
I travel to England frequently to visit family and I have lived in France twice and often pop over when I am in England. So my research has been conducted over a lifetime. I have been to Italy once but a daughter spent time there on a study abroad and shared her love of it. In terms of research of the language style, I read Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskill and watch lots of period dramas.

3. What did your writing process look like for The Secret of Haversham House?
This was my first book for adults and though I was careful not to write down to the middle grade readers obviously, the language for an adult regency book needed to be of a higher level. Also, the number of characters was much greater (necessitating some family group sheets and family trees to keep it all straight!) and the plot was more complex. I am not an extensive planner when I write (though many authors are). I know the end and perhaps the middle but then I let the story write itself. It can surprise me and is an exciting way to write. The characters are like this to some extent too. I write a bio of each character for reference at the beginning but they often change during the course of the novel and I have to go back and edit the bio. I also often write amidst lots of noise and activity. I am drawn into the writing so much that I am able to block the disturbance out, fortunately, which means I can be in the middle of my family while writing and not closeted away.

4. What inspired the idea for The Secret of Haversham House?
Social class. It is still alive and well in England but not to the extent it was in this period. One day I wondered what would happen to a person who discovered that they were actually from a much lower class. Would it change the way friends and family treated them? I decided it would and thus a main character with a secret past was born.

5. What did you as a writer take away from writing The Secret of Haversham House?
When I started the novel I did not know that Phillip was going to experience an emotional crisis. His reaction to Francesca’s heritage showed me that we all might have hidden prejudices that we only discover when circumstances tease them out. I also firmly believe that through Christ we can overcome all and any prejudices.

6. What is your current WIP?  What can you share with us about this project?
Arranged marriage was obviously the standard during this period. Jane Austen’s writings show us that marrying for love was an often unattainable wish. It is a concept so foreign to our culture that I wanted to examine it. In order to do this, I created a character who is thrust into different households as a governess. She experiences the difficulties of arranged marriage as an observer. I plan on writing a third novel from the viewpoint of the bride of an arranged marriage.​

Guest Post

Book Covers

Book covers are somewhat of a science, incredibly. I recently took a class at a writer’s conference where the presenter shared a story about an author who was having moderate sales of a book and then changed the cover, after researching popular covers in the genre, and how the sales soared. Covers matter.

My publisher creates the covers of their author’s books. They asked me some questions about the plot and the main character and what I might like depicted on the cover. They also explained that I would not have the final say, though my input would be considered. Then the graphic designer created the cover. Fortunately, I loved it immediately. If I had not liked it I would have been able to say why and they would have again considered my opinions but that does not mean it would have been changed. Like I said, it’s a science and they are the professionals in that area and I trust them.

If you do a quick search of the genre on Amazon, most of the covers have a photo of a girl in period dress on them so mine fits right in with what is trending.

 

Making Characters Believable

This may be the crux of a book’s success or failure. For me, this will be an evolving skill throughout my career as a writer. The key is to get your readers to engage with your character in such a way that they are compelled to keep reading. How do you do that? The reader must either relate to the character through a shared experience, sympathize with them or really like/hate them.

When I am editing I ask myself some questions; Is this action consistent with the character I have created? Would the character speak this way? Is this character unrealistically good? All people have faults – what are theirs?

I took a writing class on secrets. The presenter emphasized the power of secrets on the reader. The secret can be something the reader does not know until later in the novel, or a secret that the reader knows but the character does not. If your reader has bonded with your character then they will have an emotional response if they know something the character does not. It can be a powerful tool that I hope I employed successfully in The Secret of Haversham House.

 

5 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

In no particular order-

 

  1. Writing isn’t just about writing any more.

 

I had no idea how much the publishing industry had changed because of the internet. (Yep, I’m old!). When I first started out, before I had anything more than an idea for a plot, I took an adult education class at a local college by a visiting presenter and came back absolutely overwhelmed. I had thought I was going to a class about how to write a book and found out it was really a class about how to market the book you have written. I almost gave up as this was not really what I wanted to sign up for. I decided just to write the book and worry about the other stuff later. I entered my book into a local contest which meant joining my local writer’s chapter. This was a gift. I was with like minded strangers who were hiking the same path as me and once a month they had education classes on the whole industry. It has been invaluable.

I won third place in the contest! (we had self-published and made mistakes on the formatting and done the cover ourselves – these were the main critiques)  This was the validation I needed that I could write. Then I had the courage to take the plunge into the marketing side.

It has been five years and I still feel like a marketing novice but I am continuing to learn new things all the time.

  1. You feel like a fraud.

It’s called the ‘Imposter Syndrome’. It’s a real thing and there are studies about it. When I grabbed my courage by the throat and attended my first writer’s meeting I felt way out of my league. I almost didn’t go back. These people were real writers (or so I thought) and I was just a pretender. After attending several meetings and meeting a few of the other members I learned that  many of them had not published anything. That didn’t mean they were not writers.

Jennifer A Nielsen author of ‘The False Prince’ gave the keynote at the second writer’s conference I attended. It was a game changer for me. She gave the most inspiring pep talk ever and really boosted my confidence. Then she showed us the pile of rejection letters she had received when trying to get her book published. She had felt like a fraud once!

  1. You can spend a lot of money.

If you have a ton of money then spend away. Most people don’t so I would caution you to be careful with your precious funds.

I self published my first book on a shoestring. Three web-site domains that were $15 each, I incorporated by creating an LLC and the license cost approx $40. I designed the cover and we used KDP to upload the e-book and Createspace for the hard copy which are both free. So for around $100 my first book went live. My initial goal was just to publish a book. For $100 I achieved that goal and it was a great feeling. Did I make any money on it? Nope. But that was not my initial goal.

Here’s some ways you can spend money to improve your chances of making money on your book:

 

  • Pay an editor. The price here can vary but it’s not cheap. This is valuable if you don’t have the best grammar and are worried about plot holes etc…
  • Pay a cover designer. Again the price can vary widely. If you send your finished manuscript to a publisher they may not use your cover.
  • Pay someone to design your web-site and pay to have someone maintain it.
  • Pay for FB or other social media advertising.
  • Hire an agent to sell your book to publishers.
  • Buy promotional products to give away.

 

  1. You’ll make lots of new friends

If you are an introvert you may not see this as a perk! Joining writer’s groups and attending writer’s conferences are great ways to meet new people who are like-minded. The conference I attend has evening social activities for those from out of town who are staying at hotels near the conference.

  1. Critiques can be harsh

I have a critique partner who is a close friend who is an author. She is kind in her critiques.

My writer’s group moved closer to me so I thought I would try their critique session. There were not many in attendance that night so I was not put with people who write in my genre. They were brutal. I was a mess. I had already had my manuscript for Haversham House accepted by this point and I was still a mess at their harsh critique.

 

10 Things you didn’t know ( and maybe didn’t want to know) about Julie Matern

 

  • I was born and raised in England.
  • My name was going to be Victoria as my maternal grandfather died just before I was born and his name was Victor.
  • I attended an all girls high school from age 11. We had a very strict uniform. At the beginning of each school year the teachers checked our uniforms to make sure they were to code. They even measured the height of our heels. They couldn’t be higher than 2”. I credit that school with giving me the best of educations and helping me believe that I could become anything.
  • I love dogs. I have had 7 dogs during my life. My current dog is a Golden Retriever named Duchess.
  • I was a tap dance teacher for 7 years.
  • I love amateur photography. I cannot do it for money as I become neurotic that the pictures won’t be good enough and drive myself and my husband crazy!
  • I sew. I sew clothes, curtains, baby bedding and table runners.
  • Thrillers and detective novels are my guilty pleasure. I have subscribed to the Reader’s  Digest edited books for decades. This is how I read my thrillers and detective books – edited.
  • I am the mother of twins. Double trouble and double the fun. I have six children and three grandchildren.
  • I hate running. Like really hate it. I could dance for three hours straight but I can’t run to the end of the block.

 

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

  1. The view from the villa in Grasse, France is the view from my apartment when I worked there one summer. I pulled back the shutters ( all French homes have them) and just gasped. 
  2. Septimus Sladden is an actual ancestor of mine. It was such a delicious name I had to use it. Although the actual man was not a vicar the name seemed to suggest that profession to me. 
  3. I have been to Italy but only to Rome. The movie, ‘A Room with a view’ was my inspiration for Giorgio’s empire. 
  4. The first manuscript was full of dates. Then one day I realized that the French Revolution might prevent some of my events and after further research I took out all the dates so that the timeline was more vague. 
  5. My first two books were historical fiction for ages 8-13. There was a small cast of characters so keeping track of them was easy. Not so with this book. Every new event seemed to call for new characters and in the end I had to put them on a genealogical tree and fill out family group sheets for each family to keep them straight. I also had a bio sheet for each character for reference. 
  6. Many of my ancestors are from Wiltshire which made it a good choice for Haversham House. Having been raised in London myself and taking every opportunity to visit the places of interest I think I’ll have to set a future novel there. 
  7. The idea of arranged marriage is a very foreign notion to our culture but quite standard for the upper classes of that period. I am fascinated by it. Francesca’s paternal grandparents, though both selfish and egotistical have managed to build a workable relationship when we first meet them. It makes me wonder how many people were able to be happy in such forced unions? It is a topic I will continue to prod in future novels. 
  8. I do not need a quiet place to write and I am able write in snippets if that’s all the time I have. This year I opened a fortune cookie and this was inside: (picture) ( I’ll send it in a separate email as I can’t figure out how to insert it here on my phone. Hopefully you can make that magic happen!)
  9. I thought perhaps Augusta Haversham was too unrealistically awful and that no one would treat their granddaughter that badly but I am part of a closed FB group and not long after I created Augusta someone shared a true story about how awful her mother was to her and I decided perhaps Augusta wasn’t unrealistic but that I was just blessed to be part of a great family!
  10. I must confess that I have never dated anyone as heartless as Mr Ashbourne. My husband is definitely a Phillip!

Snippet

Francesca stopped breathing as Mr. Ashbourne gently took her gloved hand in his and expertly spun her around the room, leaving her former partner spluttering at the lack of manners, in the center of the dance floor. She became dizzy at the realization that Mr. Ashbourne was actually dancing with her. After several turns, he lowered his head and whispered into her ear, his nose tickling her skin and sending a thrill up her spine, causing a delicious sensation in her midriff. “Are you unwell?” he asked. “You look faint.” She recovered herself and observed that he had a playful smile on his lips, fully aware of the power his presence had on young ladies. Not wanting to appear as inexperienced as she really was, she blurted out, “Oh no, you merely surprised me, that is all.” “Then I shall take pleasure in surprising you whenever I can as it only serves to heighten your beauty!” Francesca’s cheeks burned under his scrutiny and she bent her neck to avoid his piercing gaze and gather her confused thoughts.

Review

(Insert review here)

Giveaway

TSoHH Tour Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Tour Landing Page

July 23-The Power of Words | Paulette’s Papers
July 24-Life is What It’s Called | Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen | Blooming with Books
July 25-Pause for Tales | Reading Is My SuperPower | Singing Librarian Books
July 26-Heidi Reads… Bookworm Lisa | Why Not? Because I Said So!
July 27-Remembrancy | Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic 
July 28-Edits and Reviews by Leslie | Jorie Loves A Story​

SLB Tours Button for Team

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for The Secret of Haversham House is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

July 23-The Power of Words (Review) | Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight (no review))
July 24-Life is What It’s Called (Review, Author Interview (you ask the questions)) | Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Guest post (pre-made by author) (Book Covers)) | Blooming with Books (Review, Author Interview (you ask the questions), Snippet)
July 25-Pause for Tales (Review) | Reading Is My SuperPower (Review) | Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Guest post (pre-made by author) (Making Characters Believeable), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 26-Heidi Reads… (Spotlight (no review), Snippet) | Bookworm Lisa (Review, Snippet) | Why Not? Because I Said So! (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), Snippet)
July 27-Remembrancy (Review, Guest post (pre-made by author) (5 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before)) | Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight (no review), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 28-Edits and Reviews by Leslie (Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Guest post (pre-made by author) (10 Things you didn’t know ( and maybe didn’t want to know) about Julie Matern), Snippet) | Jorie Loves A Story​ (Review, Author Interview (you ask the questions))

Building a Life Tour Kit

Building a Life Tour Banner

About the Book

Building a Life

Genre:  Inspirational, LDS, Romance
Publisher: Books You Can Trust
Publication date: May 8, 2018

Sara Castleton resolved to make better choices now that there was a new life growing inside her. When her husband, Peter, plowed through that stop sign and left this world, he left a mess behind. Picking up the pieces of her shattered life and finishing the house Peter started could be the answer to her future, but she needed help.
When Nicholas Bradford was asked to step into Sara’s unfinished house project, he reluctantly agreed. He didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Peter’s friends and business associates, but one look at his pregnant widow and Nick couldn’t say no.
Before they know it, they aren’t just building a house, they’re Building a Life.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

lauraine-henderson-1_orig

Lauraine lives with her husband, dog and cat on 68 acres of woodland 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. After growing up in Oregon, they moved their family of three children to Utah. From there they moved to Hawaii and Arizona, finally coming back to Oregon in 2015. Their three children, two girls and a boy, are all grown and live across the United States. After being a professional bookkeeper for over twenty years, she turned her hobby of writing into her first published novel in 2016. She loves to write inspirational romance and hopes her readers will be both entertained and uplifted by her stories. When she’s not writing, she loves to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course!).

 FACEBOOK | BLOG | AMAZON

Author Interview via SLB

(Or insert your interview below.)

1. What kind of research do you do?
I’m still in the phase of writing what I know. I’ve been around awhile so there is still a lot in my life to draw from. J How long do you spend researching a book before you begin writing? Any research I do I usually do as needed. If I have a question about a medical condition, for example, I Google it while I’m writing and then use the information I discover when it’s appropriate.

2. What does your writing process look like?
I struggle with making time to write every day, so I have participated in NaNoWriMo twice and have had great success writing that way. It gets me going and committed to writing at least a little every day. Other than that, it seems like I can’t focus on writing until the dishes, laundry, and my other part time job are done. Once of these days, I plan to put writing first. Once I’m in the groove, it’s hard to stop, but I always take time out for my family.
In the sense of how a book comes to fruition, I write the rough draft, send it out to critique partners, revise, revise, and revise some more. Then I hire a professional editor, revise some more, and then work on cover art, back cover copy, and book description. Finally it’s ready for publishing.

3. Do you have a day job?
I have a very part time bookkeeping job for a company in Hawaii that I used to work full time for. I work from home and remote into their computers. It’s a little silly because I only work one day a week for a couple hours, but I like to keep the connection to Hawaii. Do you like it? I’m a bit weary of bookkeeping. I’ve done it for over 30 years. Writing is much more fun!  Does it ever get in the way of your writing? Not really. I don’t have enough work for it to get in the way.

4. Do you enjoy book signings?
I’ve only been to one book signing and it was a mass signing at a writer’s conference. Honestly, it was more interesting talking with authors whose books I’ve read than the actual book signing. It would be interesting to do a book signing at a book store. I still think it’s kind of funny that anyone would want my autograph.

5. What of your books was first to get published?  How did it feel when you finally had your first book published?  What did you do to celebrate?
My first published book is called The Triple-Date Dare.

Since I published it myself, it was a quiet press of the computer key that finally published the book on Amazon. I was adequately stupefied. It all seemed so unreal until I met other authors who were just normal people like me, and I realized I could be part of that community.

It was in the middle of the Christmas holiday season, so my celebration was limited to acknowledging the event at dinner and lots of support from my family and friends. I did a big post on Facebook, though!

6. What inspired the idea for Building a Life?
My husband is a builder and I’ve been surrounded by building ever since we met over 40 years ago. He’s told me for years that I could probably run a building project since I’ve been involved in the building of so many of my own homes. The actual story came to me suddenly while I was on my way home from work when we lived in Hawaii. I remember the exact place in the road when I had the thought. I firmly believe Heavenly Father helps me come up with story ideas. It truly just popped into my head.

7. What did you as a writer take away from writing Building a Life?
I wrote this book during a NaNoWriMo month. Every day I sat down at the computer and although I had a general outline, the details of the story were vague to begin. As I would write, the characters took the story line in their own hands and I simply followed. There are many parts to this story that I feel wrote themselves. That’s the miracle of writing for me and this book amazed me in that way. Every book isn’t that way, but I love the writing process and the inspiration that comes as the story unfolds.

8. What is your current WIP? What can you share with us about it?
My current WIP is called Daisies in the Driveway.  It’s about two unrelated grandchildren who take over their grandparents’ bed and breakfast and campground so the grandparents can retire and get married. The story centers around the younger generation learning the ins and outs of running the Inn and the campground and the various problems along the way as they fall in love with each other.

10 Behind the Scenes Facts about the Book

1. My husband, a builder by trade, built two houses for us during the writing and revision process of this book. To make sure I had the facts right, I would sometimes stop him in the middle of working on our house to clarify details.

2. Nick’s two soccer goals in the book were taken directly from my son’s high school soccer experience as a center forward. Nick’s love of the game beyond high school and college stemmed from my husband’s experience playing on a city league when we were dating.

3. Nick’s neglected drafting table in his home office was a salute to my late father-in-law who was a professional draftsman before the days of computer aided drafting programs.

4. Brenda’s house that screamed with bright light was originally supposed to be a house that was immersed in darkness. I had stayed with some friends who lived with the drapes drawn, the blinds closed, and the TV room dark like a theater and found it terribly oppressing. I thought it played well into her dark nature, but I was afraid this friend would see themselves in the book if they read it and changed it to the opposite. I felt it still worked well, showing Brenda as a woman who lived in fear of the dark instead of embracing it.

5. Nick getting beat up was a complete surprise until the day I wrote the scene. In my notes and outline, there was no mention of Nick being attacked. When the story headed that direction, I followed along, interested in seeing where it would go. I was impressed by how well it fit into the story.

6. I didn’t dwell on the many opportunities for complications during the birth of Sara’s baby, but the part where she held Nick’s hand and squeezed it so hard she almost broke his fingers happened for real during the birth of my second child. It was my first natural delivery and my husband shook out his hand and offered two fingers for me to squeeze instead so I would hurt him. It’s amazing how much strength a woman delivering a baby has!

7. Nick and Josh’s experience with the welcoming attitude of people in the LDS church when they were investigating various churches was much like every ward I’ve ever visited or moved into. I wanted to show the openness that the church demonstrates to people who are new.

8. When Sara described Nick’s maneuvering in the trusses as a slow dance, it was exactly how I feel watching my husband when he sets trusses on a house. When the crane operator knows what they’re doing, it can be as smooth as I made it sound and just as riveting.

9. The name of Peter’s friend, Mitch, was just a name when I started writing the book. During the course of revision, I met someone named Mitch who turned out to be the boyfriend of the daughter of people who were living with us. (another story). While I was describing the storyline to the mom of the daughter (to pass the time while we painted the house), Mitch (the boyfriend) joined us. I immediately apologized for the name and explained that the Mitch in the story wasn’t a good guy. He reassured me it was okay and kind of liked the idea that his namesake was the bad guy.

10. Nick’s smile is a direct correlation to Josh Turner’s smile on the cover of his album Haywire. It’s a breathtaking sight to behold and truly swoon-worthy! (Or you can watch the video of Josh’s song Firecracker for more of that Hollywood smile.)

Snippet

She thought of Brenda. No, she couldn’t. Brenda drove her crazy. She still wasn’t sure her in-laws realized she wasn’t moving in with them. Her mind automatically landed on Nick. She could call him. He would take her to the hospital. She wasn’t sure she should be driving anyway. If she had a contraction on the way to the hospital, she could get in an accident. She shivered. She tapped Nick’s speed dial number.

He picked up on the first ring.

“Sara,” he started. “I’m sorry. I mean, I’m not sorry I kissed you. I’ve wanted to kiss you for a long time, but I’m sorry I didn’t give you more warning or whatever, so you were prepared and didn’t think I was kissing you to prove a point. I know you were upset, and I was trying to be supportive, and I heard what Mitch said and it worried me, and I was trying to comfort you, and I just got carried away when you were talking about Peter, and I just don’t want you to think I was trying to take advantage of you because I wouldn’t do that. I really do care about you.”

Finally, he took a breath.

“Good,” she said with a glimmer of a smile after his rambling, “because I need your help, again.”

“Sure, anything. What can I do for you?”

“I need a ride.”

“Did your car break down? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I’m at home, but I can’t drive. I’m in labor.”

“Oh,” He paused. “Oh! I’ll be right there!” The line went dead and Sara smiled, knowing she had called the right person. Regardless of where things stood at the moment, she knew Nick would take care of her.

Review

(Insert review here.)

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Giveaway

Building a Life Tour Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway includes the winner’s choice of an e-copy (International) or autographed signed print copy (US only) of the book.  Giveaway ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

July 16-Heidi Reads…
July 17-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
July 18-Singing Librarian Books
July 19-Wishful Endings
July 20-Jorie Loves A Story
July 21-Reading is My SuperPower

SLB Tours Button for Team

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for Building a Life is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

July 16-Heidi Reads… (Spotlight, Snippet)
July 17-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 18-Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight, Author Interview (via SLB), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 19-Wishful Endings (Spotlight, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 20-Jorie Loves A Story (Author Interview (you ask the questions), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
July 21-Reading is My SuperPower (Spotlight, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)

The Last Summer Tour Kit

The Last Summer Tour

About the Book

The Last Summer

Genre:  Contemporary, Inspirational, Romance
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: June 2017

A group of seven friends navigate relationships and personal growth during a season of change.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

Bruceauthorphoto (1)

Brandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last Summer, Looks Like Love, and The Romano Family Collection. Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Colorado.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | BLOG

 

Author Interview via SLB

1. What does your writing process look like?
I write as the story comes to me. I don’t usually create outlines; sometimes I’ll list out things that I know need to happen in the story (or to help me keep track of my timeline). Usually, I write the story in order, but often one or two scenes will come to me out of order and I’ll jot those down to add in later.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research (no cost to you), where would you go and why?
England! I’ve been once before and loved it so much. Also, I love writing about travel. My novel Looks Like Love involves a trip to Europe, and I hope to eventually write another book that includes travel.

3. What does “a day in the life of Brandy Bruce” look like?
My children trickling into my bed, one by one—usually by 7:30 a.m. Then everyone starts begging for breakfast, and my husband and I have to get up. It’s summer now, so our days are pretty low-key. My husband heads to his office, and the kids and I do whatever we’ve got planned for the day. (This usually involves playing in the backyard and eating ice pops.) Lots of snacks and sunblock happen—then finally Jeff comes home. We eat dinner early at our house, usually by five o’clock. Then Jeff and I switch off, and I work on whatever freelance edits or writing projects I have going on before we tag-team bedtime for the kiddos.

4. If you were to go to lunch with one of the characters from The Last Summer, who would it be and why?
I’d choose Sara. She’s my favorite out of the gang, and I think we’d get along well. Also, we both really like California Pizza Kitchen. That’s where we’d go.

5. What inspired you to write The Last Summer?
I was in college when the story came to me. It’s a time when friendship is paramount, and that’s why it’s a huge theme in the book. All seven of the main characters came to me almost at once.

6. What did you as a writer take away from writing The Last Summer?
That friendships change as we grow older and enter different seasons of life. And that when it comes to real-life love stories, no one is perfect. That’s where grace comes in.

7. What is your current WIP?  What can you share about this project with us?
We’re going through the proofs for the follow-up book to The Last Summer. (Squeals with happiness!) I’m so excited about this next novel. It’s slated to release early February 2019 and I’ve poured my heart and soul into it.

10 Behind-the-Scenes Facts

about The Last Summer’s Texas Setting

  1. The museum’s Pink-Floyd-laser-light-show date that Sara goes on was inspired by one of my first dates with my husband! He planned the whole date and we went to the Spaghetti Warehouse (which was also a place my parents went to when they were dating) and then the laser light show at the very same museum. Best. Date. Ever.
  2. Bodegas, the restaurant near the museum where Sara and her friend Wendy like to eat, is a real restaurant very near the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
  3. I wrote the scene about the gas station barbeque because there’s truly a gas station in Texas that serves amazing barbeque. (There are probably hundreds actually!) The food in Texas can’t be beat.
  4. Sara and her girlfriends go eat doughnuts at Shipley’s. Shipley’s is my favorite doughnut chain in Texas. I am still devastated that there are no Shipley’s in Colorado. For the longest time, no one I knew in Colorado had ever even heard of kolaches! What in the world. I grew up eating sausage kolaches and chocolate-iced doughnuts at Shipley’s Donuts, and every time I’m in Texas, finding a Shipley’s is a must.
  5. The Lake Shore Woods lake house was inspired by a real lake house out in East Texas. My best friend and I stayed there for a weekend years ago and I remember loving how woodsy and beautiful the area was, and thinking that I was going use that setting in a book too.
  6. Sara goes shopping in The Woodlands at a place called Market Street and it’s an area I love to go to whenever I’m back in town—lots of fun restaurants and shops and a movie theater.
  7. There’s a scene where the gang are all hanging out in Hermann hospital waiting room and one of the characters, Debra, brings in several sacks of Whataburger meals. Which is Texas to a T.
  8. I mention Dickens’ on the Strand at Christmastime in the book. This is a real festival in Galveston, Texas, held in late November/early December. It’s a Charles Dickens-esque Christmas celebration with people in costumes and a parade and carolers and street vendors. My grandmother was the one who first told me about it. She and her best girlfriends loved to go to Dickens’ on the Strand together.
  9. When describing Sara’s parents’ house in the affluent Willow Heights area, I mention the azalea bushes by the back deck. This stemmed from the trail of azaleas in Houston’s River Oaks section. It’s a beautiful area with stately homes and during azalea season, you can drive through and see what they call the trail of azaleas. My dad used to drive us through River Oaks when I was a little girl.
  10. As you can probably tell, I love Texas. I was born in Houston and lived there, then Conroe, Texas, and then Porter—both on the outskirts of the city—until I went away to college in Virginia. All of my extended family still live there and whenever I step off the plane and feel the humidity and heat of Texas—and see all the belt buckles and cowboy hats and T-shirts that say, “Most likely to Secede”—I know I’m home again. The places in the book that I didn’t create, such as the museum district and The Woodlands and San Jacinto, are all real places that I’ve touched and experienced. And from the sweet tea the girls drink to the tomato plants Addison grows, these little details come from real-life in Texas.

Guest Post: Everybody Loves Jason

I’ve had people ask about the inspiration behind the characters in The Last Summer and while I love talking about the group of friends, truth be told, they came to me so long ago that it’s hard to remember the original inspiration! Almost all seven friends came to me at once. The book was always meant to be a story about friendship. Every member of the group is essential. But over time, as I reworked and rewrote the story, the characters became more developed, and I can definitely see some glimpses of who and what inspired the people they became.
I’ve said before that the image of Sara in my mind looks a lot like my sister, who happens to be named Sara! 😊 My sister is elegant and introspective and great at design. I think I put some of my own characteristics into her as well (mainly my love for Diet Dr Pepper and tacos). So, in some ways, Sara’s character is a bit of a blend of me and my sister. Jason is another one who is clearly defined for me. I have a cousin named Jason, who happens to have tattoos and dark hair and he’s Hispanic (so am I!) and he’s funny and delightful.
I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sure Luke was heavily influenced by an early Brad Pitt (think Legends of the FallA River Runs Through It, and Oceans 11). Not a bad place to start, if you ask me! As time went on, Luke started to look a lot like Chris Hemsworth to me (aka Thor). Everett’s character, while not really a member of the group, also came to me almost from the beginning and was essential, of course. As I worked through his character, in my mind he started to look a lot like Henry Cavill (also known as Superman).
To me, all the characters bring to the table something that adds to who they are as a group. The insecurity and yet elegance of Sara; the sweetness and levelheadedness of Addison; the Southern sarcasm and loyalty of Lily; the swagger and flirtatiousness of Jason; the easygoing, along-for-the-ride person who is Sam; and the calm, dedicated, a-bit-hard-to-read (intriguing) Luke. Then you add in the charm and boyishness of Everett, and you’ve got a story.
One thing I found to be unexpected and great was that as we were going through the editing process, I had two lovely girls as my editors. When I’d read their comments, I kept seeing “Team Jason!” or “Team Everett here!” or “Team Luke!”, which I thought was hilarious. I loved how invested they were. I honestly think I saw “Team Jason!” the most. And when feedback started rolling in from other authors who read the book for endorsements, I started hearing again how much people enjoyed Jason. He seemed to be a favorite among the group. He’s a favorite of mine too.
I mainly just love the idea of a group of friends who love each other like family. That sense of community—that you always have people who will show up for you. In The Last Summer, that perfect circle of friendship gets a bit fractured, and I think that’s a mirror of real life too. Friendships change over time and as people move into different seasons of life. I think lots of people have certain groups of people during specific times in life. You’ve got your college friends, then young marrieds or maybe work colleagues, then often, you find yourself looking for fellow moms and dads to be friends with. Church groups, neighbors, friends at work—it helps to have community to lean on and help each other. But people change, sometimes they move away, and sometimes friends just drift apart. All of that is normal and part of life. Sometimes this can hurt more than others, and I explore a little of that in The Last Summer. The beauty of friendship and the push and pull of life changing.
One thing I think a lot of readers don’t know about is the Pinterest board I created for the book. I love Pinterest boards for writers. It’s a great place to gather photos that help you visualize your characters or settings. My Pinterest board is where I gathered photos of actors who look like my characters, quotes, images of lake houses that are what I envision for the book, and pictures from the book launch gathering. So hop over and take a look and get to know these characters even better! (The specific Pinterest board is called ‘book launch for The Last Summer.)
The follow-up novel releases in early February next year, so now is the perfect time to read The Last Summer!

Meme

IMG_7447

Snippet

They all exchanged looks around the table. I felt like they were having this private conversation and hoped the conclusion would be that they wanted me. Because there was something special about the people at this table. The way they kidded and joked and touched each other and moved like one breathing organism. The way they did seem like a family. Six people connected to each other. I wanted to be the seventh.

“I have a feeling, Sara Witherspoon,” Addison said, tilting her head to the side and studying me as though she could see all the way to my heart, “you belong too.”

I don’t know how she knew, but she did. Like I said, Addison is the leader. She’s the glue. Once she said those words, all tension melted away, and I was included. If Addison said I belonged, I did. She reminded me of Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. If Mrs. Wilkes was the cool-headed voice of reason that could settle the chaos around her, Addison was that same strong, trusted constant amid these six friends. Her word was law. And from that day forward, the six people around that table at Isabella’s became like six extensions of myself.

We were a circle. Within a month, Jason asked me to go out to dinner with him. Luke hadn’t shown any romantic interest in me, and there was Jason, with that thick, dark hair and playful personality and handful of tattoos on his olive skin—how could I say no? We started dating. A year after that, we

broke up. As much as I truly liked Jason and couldn’t help feeling attracted to him, I hadn’t fallen in love. I couldn’t picture us married and having babies. We were better as friends. I know Jason didn’t agree, but he and I both refused to let our break up damage the circle. Eventually, things between us returned to normal.

During my dating-Jason phase, Sam and Lily got married, which didn’t really change anything since they were already such a unit. I realized early on that Luke and Debra were never an item. I’d mistaken Debra’s warm and friendly demeanor and Luke’s tendency to be protective and kind as the traits

of a dating couple, but those endearing qualities of both of them extended to all of us. My crush on Luke diminished as Jason and I dated and then shifted to ‘just friends.’

Sort of.

And somewhere along the way, painfully, Luke and I became best friends.

Review

(Insert your review here.)

Giveaway

TLS summer pack giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway package includes the following: summer swag (beach towl, flip flops, sunglasses, bookmark, and candy) & winner’s choice of a print or e-copy of the book.

Giveaway open to US residents only and ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

July 16-Jorie Loves A Story | Joy of Reading  | amandainpa
July 17- Paulette’s Papers  | The Power of Words
July 18-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic | Pause for Tales | Among the Reads
July 19-Book by Book | Edits and Reviews by Leslie | The Green Mockingbird
July 20-Heidi Reads… | Reading Is My SuperPower | Why Not? Because I Said So!
July 21-Remembrancy | Katie’s Clean Book Collection

SLB Tours Button for Team

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for The Last Summer is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

July 16-Jorie Loves A Story (Review) | Joy of Reading (Spotlight (no review), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)  | amandainpa (Review)
July 17- Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight (no review), Snippet)  | The Power of Words (Review)
July 18-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight (no review), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | Pause for Tales (Review) | Among the Reads (Review, Guest Post Provided by the Author, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
July 19-Book by Book (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), Guest Post Provided by the Author, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | Edits and Reviews by Leslie (Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Guest Post Provided by the Author, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | The Green Mockingbird (Review)
July 20-Heidi Reads… (Review, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | Reading Is My SuperPower (Spotlight (no review), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book) | Why Not? Because I Said So! (Spotlight (no review), Guest Post Provided by the Author, Snippet)
July 21-Remembrancy (Review, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book) | Katie’s Clean Book Collection (Review)

 

My Israel Trail Tour Kit

My Israel Trail.png

About the Book

My Israel

Genre:  Contemporary, Historical, Inspirational, Non-Fic, Memoir, Self-help, Religious
Publisher: Plain Sight/Cedar Fort
Publication date: May 1, 2018

Mayim Bialik calls the book a “fascinating journey” and “beautiful exploration of self and identity”. Natan Sharansky celebrates Aryeh’s “engaging passion and persistence”.
After his devastating divorce, which rocked his world and confounded his deeply-held optimism, Aryeh Green’s goal was to get his life back on track. His hike along The Israel National Trail enabled the discovery of a number of universal truths for living based on Jewish tradition.
In a uniquely moving and uplifting book, Aryeh invites you to join him on his trek, as he shares with you both a new perspective on Israel – the land, the country, its history and people – and illuminating insights from the experience.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

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Aryeh Green is a passionate lover of Israel – the people, the land, the country, and the idea. Residing in or around Jerusalem for the past three decades, Aryeh lives and breathes a vibrant and living Judaism, which affects all he does – including serving as Chief Strategy Officer of EnergiyaGlobal, a Jerusalem-based renewable energy platform for Africa; as Director Emeritus of MediaCentral, providing services for the foreign press in the region; formerly as a senior advisor to Israel’s deputy prime minister Natan Sharansky; as a backyard vintner; and as a writer, activist, husband and father.

BOOK FACEBOOK | AUTHOR FACEBOOK | TWITTER

INSTAGRAM | LINKEDIN | WEBSITE

Author Interview via SLB

1. What inspired the idea to write My Israel Trail?
I thought others might enjoy vicariously joining me on a walk through the Land of Milk & Honey. And more, I thought others might perhaps benefit from the personal growth I experienced on the hike, the lessons learned which helped me complete the trek and meet and overcome the personal challenges I was facing (recovering from my devastating divorce).

2. What did you as an author take away from writing My Israel Trail?
It was almost harder (certainly longer!) than the actual hike. The writing consolidated my thinking, and certainly reinforced, and planted even more deeply with my consciousness, the lessons I learned and wrote about. I find myself more patient, tolerant, optimistic and focused as a result of the writing (as well as the trek itself.)

3. What type of research did you to so you could write My Israel Trail?
Well… I walked the entire length of the Land of Israel – that’s sort of a ‘practical research’ aspect, no? Otherwise, I did look up sources for the quotes and historical references I made in the book (to assure accuracy). But it’s a memoir, so not really relevant imho….
What did your writing process for writing My Israel Trial look like?
Went through many phases. I tried to dedicate 8 hours a day for a few months; then 4 hours every morning as I completed and re-edited the work. I ‘borrowed’ a room in a neighbor friend’s home and disconnected from the Internet to reduce home/house-related distractions, and took a week’s writing retreat on the Golan at friends who own a B&B. And I periodically took long walks in the countryside to re-kindle the feeling of the trek and remind myself of the pace and feel of the hike.

4. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
The lessons I learned on the Trail and which helped me move on with my life are incredibly applicable to our conflict here in the Middle East. I had originally included these applications to develop a radically new approach to resolving the Arab-Israel conflict, but my publisher (rightly) suggested we leave this to another book. So… When My Israel Trail becomes a bestseller (!) I expect to publish a companion, or follow-on, applying the themes of the book to our situation. (I published an article along these lines a year ago – see here.)

Snippet

I’m scared, standing on a thin ledge on the side of a cliff. To my left is a sheer rough wall; to my right, a drop of 30 feet or so to the river bed below. But directly ahead an angry tree blocks the way. (How does it hold to the side of the rock?) It seems threatening as it jumps in the hot wind. With about 50 pounds on my back, I’m too afraid of falling to turn around. Turn to the right and my backpack hits the rock face; turn to the left and the weight of the pack puts me off balance. And the boulders down below aren’t very welcoming.

What to do?

The trail leads into an abyss. Literally. I guess I’ve lost the path, which, while it’s happened before, has never been such a problem. Usually you just retrace your steps, find the last trail marker, and then pay a bit more attention to discover where you missed the next one. But here, on a cliff in Nachal Amud, the Stream of the Pillar connecting the holy city of Tzfat (Safed) with the Kinneret, the Sea of

Galilee, it’s just not that easy. Even with the backpack on (including the small guitar hanging from its side), just a minute or so ago I pretty nonchalantly leapt over a three-foot gap in the ledge a few paces back. But I just know—with all my casual confidence built up over the preceding weeks of hiking through Israel’s desert mountains and northern reaches—I can’t do it again.

That is, if I can even turn around on this one-foot-wide ledge.

It may be the perfect metaphor.

Sometimes you reach an impasse. Not only is it unclear what the next step is, but you’re also not sure how the heck you got there and are too scared to move. All the alternatives you can imagine are dangerous, or unpalatable, or frightening. You’re stuck, and the panic starts to rise.

Times of personal hardship, relationships, work situations, and other challenges we face test our mettle. Rabbi Herschel Schachter taught that the biblical “value” of a person in Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus, is calculated by his or her response to suffering and adversity. Elie Weisel and Victor Frankl took the personal and national horror of the Shoah/Holocaust and translated their experiences into timeless lessons for humanity. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl stresses the importance of having a goal to strive for, pushing us to move ahead, to take the next step, and the next.

My goal that day was to get to the Kinneret by nightfall (and not to plunge down the cliff face onto the rocks below). My grander goal was to finish what I’d started, hiking the Israel National Trail (“Shvil Yisrael”) from one end of our tiny country to the other. (It’s not that tiny—the Shvil runs some 1000 kilometers or 600 miles from the Red Sea in the South to the border with Lebanon in the North.) And after my devastating divorce, my ultimate goal was to get my life back on track, or to find a new track for myself.

I take three deep breaths—thank you, Thomas Crum—to calm down, focus, and discover the possibilities open before me; then I make a decision. Not moving my feet an inch, I lower the pack slowly to the ground, managing to lean it against the rock. Freed from the weight of the bag, I turn carefully and retrace my steps along the narrow path on the side of the cliff—jumping over the breach—and yes!—find the trail-marking high up on the rock face above an almost invisible foothold carved into the cliff. I did that ledge once with the pack, I know that; all I have to do now is convince myself I can do it again, this time in the opposite direction.

Retracing my steps, it’s funny, but when I (carefully!) heft the pack on my back, it seems somehow lighter, more manageable. It hasn’t changed; I have changed. Or rather, my attitude, my sense of self and sense of direction and purpose, my confidence and belief in my ability to walk the path, has changed.

It’s not that I’m no longer afraid; I just know I have it in me to keep going.

Sometimes we need to set aside our baggage and re-evaluate. My hike along the

Israel Trail—or my Israel Trail as I’m calling it—enabled the discovery, or rediscovery, of a number of essential truths for living. All come from the ancient wisdom of the

Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish tradition, but at the same time they are universal and universally relevant for anyone seeking inner peace.

I was overwhelmed by the daunting challenges facing me—on the Trail, in my life, and at the national level. Every day brought a new difficulty, from scorching heat and impossible inclines to aching loneliness and crises of confidence, from news of family problems to news of terror attacks. I meditated on mountaintops and cried in dry creek beds; I wrote anguished journal entries and composed songs to lift my spirits. I looked back, and inward, and up to the night sky, and over the valley to the next mountain range, and down at the ants in the dirt, and back along the trail to see how far I’d come.

What I discovered on the Shvil was a sense of self, a sense of personal and national history…and a perspective of sorts on the human condition. These are my reflections, a meditation as it were on existence, relationships, happiness, challenges, and hope.

Review

(Insert your review here)

Giveaway

MIT Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.  Giveaway ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

July 16-Blooming with Books
July 17-Why Not? Because I Said So!
July 18-Paulette’s Papers
July 19-Singing Librarian Books
July 20-
July 21-Heidi Reads…

SLB Tours Button for Team

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for My Israel Trail is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule & Assignments

July 16-Blooming with Books (Spotlight (no review), Snippet from a chapter in the book)
July 17-Why Not? Because I Said So! (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), Snippet from a chapter in the book)
July 18-Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight (no review), Snippet from a chapter in the book)
July 19-Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Snippet from a chapter in the book)
July 20-
July 21-Heidi Reads… (Spotlight (no review), Snippet from a chapter in the book)

Sophie Washington: Mission Costa Rica Tour Kit

Sophie Washington-Mission Costa Rica Tour Banner

About the Book

Sophie_Washington_Book_6_ebook

Series: Sophie Washington
Genre:  
Children’s, Fiction
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: June 2018

Sixth grader Sophie Washington, her family and friends are in for an adventure-filled week of boa constrictors, monkeys and mayhem after they sign up to take part in a church mission trip to Costa Rica.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

Tonya Duncan Ellis

Tonya Duncan Ellis is the author of the Readers’ Favorite “Five Star” rated Sophie Washington children’s books series, geared toward readers ages 8 to 12, and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She has received awards for literary excellence and worked as a journalist and freelance magazine writer.

The Sophie Washington book series recounts the adventures of a precocious African American preteen from Houston, TX and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness and perseverance. Books in the series include Queen of the Bee, The Snitch, Things You Didn’t Know About Sophie, The Gamer, Hurricane, and Mission Costa Rica.

Tonya lives in Houston, TX. When she’s not writing, the author enjoys reading, biking, swimming, travel and spending time with her husband and three children.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE

Snippet

Chapter 1

Welcome to the Jungle

The sky is sunglasses-required bright. It is hotter than a coal-fired pizza oven. Sweat drips into my eyebrows, and my t-shirt sticks to my back like gum to the underside of a desk. Ignoring the baking temperature, Carlos, our guide, is the one of the cheeriest people I’ve ever met. It’s like a smile is tattooed on his mouth as we bump along the narrow, winding road at about ten miles per hour.

“Ev-er-y-body, stop!”

Carlos abruptly puts on the brakes and yells, still grinning, to get our attention. My dad jerks our golf cart to a halt right behind him.

It’s Day One of our trip to Costa Rica, and Dad, Mom, my little brother Cole and my friends Chloe, Valentina, and I are taking a tour of the golf course near our hotel.

Ooo! Ooo! Ooo!

The exotic sounds of howler monkeys and sights of red, yellow and blue parrots, lime green iguanas, and tropical plants mingle with the common golfing fairways and tees.

“Whoa! Check that out over there!” Cole points out a thick, gray and forest green-colored hose sliding on the turf.

“What do we have here?” asks Carlos.

“Get back, kids!” Mom exclaims. “It’s a snake!”

Sophie Washington excerpt

A five-foot-long serpent glides near Carlos’ feet, and instead of moving away our crazy guide eases toward the creature.

I freeze. Everyone else steps back.

“Not to worry, the snake is not poisonous,” Carlos reassures us. “It’s a boa constrictor.” Then he reaches down to pick it up and wraps the snake around his neck as we all stare with our mouths agape.

Smack!

Mosquitoes buzz toward my open lips and I whack at my mouth to stop them. I can’t keep my eyes off the serpent. And it looks like he’s checking me out too.

“Would you like to pet it, young lady?” Carlos inquires. “We see this snake on the path nearly every day; he won’t hurt you.”

“A boa constrictor’s bite won’t hurt you, but it can squeeze you to death,” warns my father, holding his arms out to keep me from getting too close.

“I bet Sophie is part Slytherin, just like Harry Potter,” says Cole, comparing me to the snake-loving members of the club from the Harry Potter book series while he observes the snake and me watch each other.

“Be quiet, Cole, and all you children stay back,” scolds my mother.

I blink and the spell the snake cast on me is broken. I am able to move again.

“I can’t believe we’re this close to a boa constrictor,” Valentina says as she snaps a picture of the snake-clad Carlos with her cell phone. “No one will believe this is real.”

“Yeah, looking at that creepy thing makes my skin crawl.” Chloe smooths a black curl off her forehead and peers to get a better look. “Take one of me standing with the snake in the background, Valentina,” she asks, striking a pose.

I roll my eyes. Leave it to my two friends to be snapping selfies when we might be in danger. Though we are all on the cheerleading squad, Chloe Thompson and Valentina Martinez would probably be considered the most “high maintenance” in our group. Both love to shop and spend lots of time talking about hair and makeup. They are both very pretty too. Chloe is tall and thin with dark curls and caramel skin, and Valentina, who was born in Mexico, has long black hair and can do back flips across the school gym.

Chloe and I have been best friends since we were small. We’ve been in most classes together at Xavier Academy, the private school we attend, until last year when she was placed in some special classes because she has dyslexia. The learning disorder makes her see letters backward so Chloe needs more time to do her reading assignments than other people. Some kids used to make fun of her about it until they found out that Chloe has a temper, and since she’s one of the tallest girls in our grade you don’t want to mess with her.

I used to think Valentina was just a bubblehead until she and her family had to leave their home during a hurricane earlier this year. They camped out with us in my father’s dental office for a few days because parts of our neighborhood were flooding and we couldn’t stay in our house either. During our time in the office, Valentina and I became friends and she convinced me to try out for the cheerleading team.

“Can I see the pictures?” Cole bumps me out of the way and shoves in closer. “I left my camera at the hotel.”

“Ouch!” I stumble back off the path and into a huge pile of fire ants.

At least fifty angry bugs crawl up my leg and start biting.

“Aaaaah!” I shriek.

Mom rushes over and swats the ants off with her sun hat.

“Everybody back on the golf carts!” she commands.

“Is your daughter okay?” A lady from one of the two other carts touring with us walks over to offer help.

“Yes, thankfully, she’s not allergic to fire ant venom,” Mom answers. “It looks like she’ll have to suffer through pain from a bite or two the next couple of days.”

“A bite or two? There must be at least twenty bumps on my leg!” I exclaim. “And it’s all your fault, Cole!”

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

  1. Tonya Duncan Ellis took a family vacation to Costa Rica in 2012.
  2. On her first day in the country the author stepped in a fire ant pile and had an allergic reaction.
  3. Sophie Washington: Mission: Costa Rica was originally planned to be the third book in the Sophie Washington series, but the author kept getting inspired to write about other topics and it became book number six.
  4. The many animals mentioned in Sophie Washington: Mission: Costa Rica are no exaggeration. The country hosts more than five percent of the world’s biodiversity, though it’s landmass takes up only .03 percent of the planet.
  5. Most of Sophie Washington: Mission Costa: Rica was written from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. during a three-month time span.
  6. Tonya Duncan Ellis still fondly remembers the delicious meat, rice, bean, and salad dishes she ate while in Costa Rica.
  7. Howler monkeys are the loudest animals in the world, and their calls can be heard as far as three miles away.
  8. The author keeps a bowl made in the Costa Rican pottery village Guaitil on her family room coffee table.
  9. The “Agnese” character was originally planned to be a Costa Rican boy who would play soccer with Sophie’s little brother Cole, but then the author changed her mind.
  10. When first conceived, the book was planned to be about a school trip with Sophie’s class that would be called Sophie Washington: Costa Rican Caper.

Graphics that can be used with the 10 behind the scenes facts:

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Review

(Insert review here.)

Giveaway

Sophie Washington Tour Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Tour Landing Page

July 9-cherylbbookblog
July 10-
July 11-Paulette’s Papers
July 12-
July 13-
July 14-A Baker’s Perspective
July 16-
July 17-Singing Librarian Books
July 18-
July 19-Locks, Hooks and Books
July 20-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
July 21-​

SLB Tours Button for Team

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for Sophie Washington: Mission Costa Rica is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule & Assignments

July 9-cherylbbookblog (Spotlight (no review))
July 10-
July 11-Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight (no review), Snippet)
July 12-
July 13-
July 14-A Baker’s Perspective (Review, 10 Behind the scenes facts about the book)
July 16-
July 17-Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight (no review), 10 Behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 18-
July 19-Locks, Hooks and Books (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), 10 Behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 20-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight (no review), 10 Behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 21-​

Love’s Silver Lining Tour Kit

Love's Silver Lining Tour

About the Book

Love's Silver Lining

NOTE: This book is a sweet inspirational with a bit of a higher level of romantic passion.

Series: Silver Lining Ranch
Genre:  
Christian, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: May 19, 2018

Desperate to escape an arranged marriage to a womanizer, twenty-two-year-old Maggie Mullaney flees New York for Virginia City, Nevada with her Aunt Liberty, two spunky suffragists intent on bettering the lives of women. Fresh out of nursing school, Maggie hopes to devote herself to serving others rather than just one man, a goal quickly affirmed when she encounters Blaze Donovan, a womanizing cowboy who both riles and rouses her pulse. But when Aunt Liberty’s parents’ house burns down, she and Maggie are coerced into staying at the ranch of Liberty’s ex-husband, Finn McShane, who just happens to be the uncle of the cocky cowboy Maggie had hoped to avoid.

If there’s one thing twenty-nine-year-old Blaze Donovan can’t abide, it’s respectable women who spout piety and prayer, so when he butts heads with perky Maggie Mullaney at St. Mary Louise Hospital, he wants to stay as far away from her as he possibly can. Unfortunately, she now lives in the bedroom next to his in his uncle’s ranch house, a revolting development that sends Blaze to The Ponderosa Saloon more than usual. But when Maggie interferes in Blaze’s life by converting his favorite “disrespectable” girl, Blaze is determined to make her pay. Only problem is—the price HE has to pay may be a little too steep for his heart.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

julie-lessman_3_orig

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, Heart of San Francisco, and Isle of Hope series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 18 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction. Her independent novel A Light in the Window was an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers’ Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. Contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at http://www.julielessman.com.

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOOGLE PLUS
PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON | WEBSITE
​NEWSLETTER | THE SEEKERS | JOURNAL JOTS

Review

(Insert your review here.)

Giveaway

LSL Blogstop Tour Giveaway

Comment on this blog for a chance to win an e-copy of Love’s Silver Lining.

Giveaway is open Internationally and will end at 11:59 on 7/7/18.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Details for giveaway: At the end of the tour please randomly select a winner from the commentors on your blog.  Please contact them to let them know they have won and then send me their information to pass on to Julie to send them their prize.  Thank you!  Please send me their information by 7/12/18.

Tour Schedule

July 2-Locks, Hooks and Books
July 3-The Power of Words | The Green Mockingbird
July 4-Reading Is My SuperPower | Faithfully Bookish
July 5-Book by Book | Why Not? Because I Said So!
July 6-cherylbbookblog
July 7-Mindy,  reviewer​

SLB Tours Button for Team

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for Love’s Silver Lining is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule

July 2-Locks, Hooks and Books
July 3-The Power of Words | The Green Mockingbird
July 4-Reading Is My SuperPower | Faithfully Bookish
July 5-Book by Book | Why Not? Because I Said So!
July 6-cherylbbookblog
July 7-Mindy,  reviewer​

The Painting on the Pond Series Tour Kit

The Painting on the Pond Series

About the Books in the Series

Series: Series: The Painting on the Pond
Genre:  
New Adult, Fiction, Suspense
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: Re-release on April 11, 2017

An intriguing plot meshes the past and present into a story that takes David Young down a path he never imagined in this crisp, clean mystery novel. City-born artist David Young has traveled a difficult journey during his twenty-seven years. It has finally taken him to a spectacular valley in the Pacific Northwest. Settled in a comfortable cabin he is free at last to explore, paint, and create the future of his dreams. However, a mysterious woman’s disappearance, a haunting legend, and unsettling dreams unnerve David, threatening his hopes and plunging him into the most formidable struggle of his life. While he is engulfed in mystery, adventure, and romance, an unseen hand draws him to his destiny, and into the rugged wilderness of Alaska.

Book 1: GOODREADS | AMAZON

Book 2: GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

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Sharon Lewis Koho grew up on a small ranch near the town of Inkom, Idaho. Her beloved father died when she was five years old, and she and her siblings were reared in humble circumstances by a hard-working and courageous mother. In her youth, Sharon discovered she could create any world she wanted to visit, or any story she wanted to be a part of by climbing high in the trees bordering her cherished ranch. Daydreaming there amid songs of birds, rustling leaves and the babbling of the nearby creek, inspired many wonderful stories. Sharon married Bill Koho from Nampa, Idaho in 1967, and they were married thirty years until his death in 1997. She is the proud mother of six children. Although she is a Licensed Practical Nurse by profession, she has had much more experience in creating and telling stories. Her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her children and grandchildren. She also enjoys visiting, traveling, camping, reading, writing, swimming, and any adventurous idea that pops into her head.

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK

Review

(Insert review here)

Deal Alert

Deal Alert

Book 1: AMAZON

Book 2: AMAZON

Giveaway

8

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Tour Landing Page

June 11-Jorie Loves A Story (Review, Book 1)
June 12-Paulette’s Papers
June 13-Singing Librarian Books
June 14-Robin’s Nest
June 15-
June 16-Remembrancy
June 18-
June 19-
June 20-Reading is My SuperPower
June 21-Jorie Loves A Story (Review, Book 2)
June 22-Why Not? Because I Said So! 
June 23-​

SLB Tours Button for Team

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for The Painting on the Pond Series is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

June 11-Jorie Loves A Story (Review, book 1)
June 12-Paulette’s Papers ​(Spotlight (no review), Snippet from a chapter in the book)
June 13-Singing Librarian Books Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Snippet from a chapter in the book, Sample Chapter)
June 14-Robin’s Nest (Spotlight (no review))
June 15-
June 16-Remembrancy (Spotlight (no review), Snippet from a chapter in the book)
June 18-
June 19-
June 20-Reading is My SuperPower (Spotlight (no review))
June 21-Jorie Loves A Story (Review, book 2)
June 22-Why Not? Because I Said So! (Review, Snippet from a chapter in the book)
June 23-​

The Whispering Winds of Spring Tour Kit

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About the Book

The Whispering Winds of Supring

Series: Seasons
Genre:  
Historical, Romance
Publisher: Bird’s Nest Books
Publication date: May 31, 2018

Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.

When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

robin-e-mason_1_orig.jpg

I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.

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Author Interview

1. What does your work schedule look like when you are writing?
What is that funny word that starts with sch… and ends with … ule??? I’m kidding. Sorta. Apparently I work better with a deadline… I am not a morning person (AT ALL) and am a slow waker-upper. Add the RA to that and my mornings are not productive (AT ALL.) Once I have my breakfast (sometimes as late as 11:00 or noon!) I wade through my emails; I follow maybe 30 or 40 blogs, and while I don’t always read them or comment, I do share them to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Then I focus on my blog, and send out reminders, interview questions, etc. Then I spend time on my WIP, usually later evening. And yes, I’m up til after midnight most nights. Hey, it’s my body clock—what can I say??? Oh, and I read after I’m in bed.

2. How long does it typically take you to write a book?
Wellll…. I winged it with my first one (Tessa) and started college not long after I started writing. Then after graduation and no grand career in my field, I went back to writing Tessa. That was September, and she was finished the following January. Without a deadline to work toward, the subsequent two books (Clara Bess and Cissy) took about a year each.

Then I jumped into Seasons—and wrote all four in a year and a half! I WILL NOT attempt that number in that short time frame again! Ever!!!

Looking forward, I anticipate 6 months to a year per book. I now have readers waiting for my stories (do not pinch me, I do not want to wake up!!) and will work diligently not to disappoint. And when I’m on point / in the zone I can write approx. 1000 words per hour, and I break every 1000-ish words, then I go back in.

3. Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
Not sure how much of a quirk it is, but I write my stories on my laptop. Period. I do not, nor do I want to, write on a tablet or dictate to my phone. *note: when inspiration strikes, and pen and paper are not handy, I will voice-text note, and email it to myself.

That said, if the story calls for letters or poems (there were plenty in Cissy) those I write by hand.

But for my stories, something about the tactile experience of typing feeds the flow of words. I’ve written numerous scenes while staring out the door, some even with my eyes closed—I really get into character when I’m writing!

4. What inspired the idea for The Whispering Winds of Spring?
This rather goes with the inspiration for the whole series, since it’s ONE | GIANT | STORY. The Whispering Winds of Spring is not only Simone’s story, but it is the conclusion of the series.

Honestly, I had a totally different story in mind when I set out to write this one. LOL The first book in this series, The Long Shadows of Summer, basically set the whole story line in place, and each book added layers (and twists! muwahahahah) to the overall story. I’m a pantzer so I learn much of the story as I go—not so different to how the reader learns as they read!

5. What did you as a writer take away from writing The Whispering Winds of Spring?
With every book I’ve written, my life as an author has become more cemented and solid. If I had to identify one thing from this book, it’s that I write Faith Fiction, and yes, I do believe I’ve coined a new genre. Any of you who have read my books knows that I cannot market as Christian Fiction, no matter how much my faith or the Gospel message shows up in the story.

Simply put, my takeaway is, as is true for each of my main characters, is my identity.

6. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about it?
Make that workS in progress!! I did include the opening scene to my next story, One for the Price of Two. It’s a story that has been hanging out in my imagination for a long while now, and will be my first attempt at romance. Meredith and Elizabeth are identical twins, so identical in fact that their parents can’t even tell them apart. They play the classic twin pranks, and in the end, they get pranked! It is the first book in a new series, FourSquare (I didn’t know until recently that it would be a series! Already it’s funny… ) Mostly, though, I’m taking a wee bit of a breather…

Meanwhile, I am embarking on kids stories! Some of the neighbor kids have asked me to write them a story, so that’s simmering, too.

Oh! And after FourSquare, another series that has been simmering, The Steppe House, brings back a small character from Seasons. Literally a small character. Agnes Townsend is all grown up and now she has a story to tell.

7, When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
My degree is Interior Design, so there’s that. Though I’m not employed, I can do concept work if opportunity happens to present itself. Meanwhile, I’ve designed my own dream house…

I love working in the yard when I can, and baking. I play the piano (just don’t have one to play right now… ) I sing, act—love to do my British and Irish accents—and am currently learning Irish. I love love love going for walks, and after my knee surgery later this month (and recovery! LOL) I’ll be able to get out and move around again.

​What I love most is spending time with my granddaughters. One lives across the street and I get to see her most every day. The other sweetie gal lives about 50 miles away and I don’t get to see her nearly often enough.

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

  1. Because of the aforementioned time crunch, and said time running short, I all but suspended my blog for the month of April. (paid off, too!)
  2. I mostly “meet” my characters much as my readers do. When I get to the point in the story that they make their entrance, I see the visual image of them, and usually know their name (unless it’s a minor character, in which I’ll find a name that suits.) I write / include their quirks and characteristics pretty much as I learn them.
  3. There were two topics in this series that I tried (unsuccessfully) to talk with a live person for more info—midwifery and the Catawba / Chicora Indian Nation. Not sure why I couldn’t get a response on either, but Google sufficed and/or I wrote the bare minimum.
  4. Tag to #4, and part of why it wasn’t so critical to have exact information on the Indian heritage—the small village in this series, Quexo, it a band of people who separated from their ancestors for a couple of reasons: a) they were acting as guardians to a white man and his family, and when they fled, so, too did the Indians; and b) they further split when missionaries converted some of the tribe to Christian faith.
  5. The location is a mash-up of geography and topography. I’m not really sure there is so much coastal marshland as far inland as I placed my town. But it’s fictional AND I never specified exactly where it’s located… That’s okay, right???
  6. ALL | THE | NOTES!!! Because the series tells one overarching story and because Whispering Winds is the final story, I had to answer or address all the lingering bits from the first three! Which meant reading (skimming) through all of them to find the loose ends I needed to tie up. Which meant ALL | THE | NOTES!!! There were pages and pages of notes, which I culled through, separating out those on like topics i.e. Lissette, the Colonel, previous conversations, etc. As I pared the list down, I rewrote it til it was down to a single page.
  7. Early in the series, it was revealed that Simone was a) kidnapped; and b) that she had suffered amnesia. It wasn’t until February that I knew what caused the amnesia!
  8. I didn’t know who the villain was for the series until 20 April!!! I mean, seriously!! I was within the last 10K of the end when I made this discovery!!!
  9. When Simone was kidnapped, her captor didn’t call her by her true name—got a little dicey there keeping track of that a few times.
  10. Whispering Winds has three different time lines that show up—when she was kidnapped, current story year, and before she was kidnapped!

 

Author’s Top 10 Favorites: Top 10 Favorite Movies

 

  1. The Sound of Music
  2. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – the one with Kevin Costner…  #swoons
  3. Pride and Prejudice – the one with Colin Firth – #doubleswoon
  4. Ever After
  5. Leap Year
  6. Stranger than Fiction
  7. Top Gun
  8. While You Were Sleeping
  9. Last of the Mohicans
  10. Diary of a Mad Black Woman

 

Snippet

I had heard, of course, rumors and scuttlebutt of Monsieur Fontaine as I scuttled about town. And as I knew him to be significant somehow to Lissette’s manipulations, I paid special attention whenever I heard his name mentioned.

He gambles, and evidently not very well; he loses more than he wins.

He has lost nearly everything he owned, and has suffered beatings and worse when he had nothing to offer as payment. How he came away with his life—on more than one occasion apparently—was a mystery and a miracle.

But the curiouser bits I heard were of days when he’d not been such the tyrant. When he had been an upstanding person in the community.

The vineyards had thrived then, producing a fine and abundant crop, and LeNuit wine, a wine I had had the pleasure of tasting on many occasions.

I heard the rumors of a ghost in the house, Bastille, and howling in the night. A woman traipsing about in her nightclothes, a woman who drove the horses in the ditch and burned the vineyards.

And I heard of a fire in the house, also at the hand of the woman.

But I never heard the name of the woman—and wondered had it been Lissette.

Was Fontaine the A.F. of her letters? Was he her brother? And what had happened to turn him from a happy man to the monster I now heard tell of?

More importantly, had it been from some deed at Lissette’s hand?

Memes

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Review

(Insert review here)

Giveaway

TWWoS Giveaway

Prize pacakge will include the following:

-China cup and saucer
-Sampler of Saisons Plantation Tea
-Journal, hand made (not pictured)
-Earrings (not pictured)
-Candy (not pictured)
-Book mark
-Signed copy of Whispering Winds

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Tour Landing Page

June 4-Heidi Reads…
June 5-ReadingIsMySuperPower |  Paulette’s Papers
June 6-Singing Librarian Books
June 7-Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
June 8-Broken and Reclaimed
June 9-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic

SLB Tours Button for Team

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Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for The Whispering Winds of Spring is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

June 4-Heidi Reads… (Spotlight (no review), Ten Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book, Author’s Top 10 Favorites, Snippet)
June 5-ReadingIsMySuperPower (Spotlight (no review), Ten Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book) |  Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight (no review), Snippet, Quote Memes)
June 6-Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Ten Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book, Author’s Top 10 Favorites, Snippet, Quote Memes, Social Media Share Graphic (provided by SLB))
June 7-Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations (Review, Ten Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book, Quote Memes)
June 8-Broken and Reclaimed (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), Ten Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book, Social Media Share Graphic (provided by SLB))
June 9-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic​ (Spotlight (no review), Ten Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book, Snippet)

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