Just stopping in to make sure you know about this weekend’s super great deal going on. Grab Someplace Familiar for Kindle/eBook for only $0.99 today through Sunday (June 23-25)! Perfect timing for adding to your summer reading pile.
This past week was a BLAST, visiting with several bloggers and fellow authors about Someplace Familiar. There were Q&As, behind-the-scenes, interviews, favorite quotes, and much more.
It is my pleasure to turn the screen over to my guest, Amanda Everett! Amanda is a tender-hearted author I’ve had the blessing of connecting with. I’m sure you’ll find her equally delightful. Take it away, Amanda!
There’s a wonderful quote by Cassandra Clare that says, “One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
How true that is! Words are powerful, and what we fill our mind with will often overflow into other areas of our lives. It’s for this reason alone I primarily read Christian fiction.
Whether or not you’re an avid reader, I think it’s safe to say that we all have at least one book which has profoundly affected our lives. Here are five of my favorite novels, in no particular order, and the ways they have influenced my walk with the Lord.
- The Glenbrooke series by Robin Jones Gunn – Secrets, book one in the Glenbrooke series, was the first contemporary Christian novel I ever read. It opened my eyes to a world of romance and the joys of God-centered relationships as I’d never seen before. Gunn’s writing gave me hope and made me raise my standards for the type of man I wanted to marry. I know some people may say that romance novels give readers unrealistic expectations, but in this case they couldn’t be more wrong. If anything, they encouraged me to hold out for a man who loves and serves the Lord whole-heartedly.
- Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – No other novel has made me more aware of my own sin and of God’s relentless, unconditional love than Redeeming Love. While reading this book for the first time I was smacked across the face with the many ways I run from God and all the times he pursued me when I didn’t deserve it. Any book that points out my need for a Savior is a definite favorite.
- Though None Go with Me by Jerry B. Jenkins – The heroine in this novel makes a promise to follow Christ no matter what. That’s a cliché phrase we often toss around, but what does that actually look like? Though None Go with Me showed me the power of choosing to follow Christ in the small, everyday moments and the far-reaching impact it can have on those around me. It took the concept of laying down my life to follow Christ and made it relatable to me as a woman in the present day.
- The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers – This series. Wow! It had me examining my own walk with the Lord and the way I serve others. The heroine, Hadassah, is a humbling example of what it means to love and serve others, even our enemies, as Christ loved us. I often found myself questioning whether or not I would have the same kind of faith if I was in her shoes, and that alone challenged me to dig into God’s word more. It also gives a staggering glimpse into what early Christians endured for the sake of following Christ.
- A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade – I finished reading this book a week before we became foster parents to two little ones. During the sleepless nights and heart-wrenching days that followed, when I didn’t have the energy to shower let alone read my Bible, the message of Becky’s book stayed at the forefront of my mind. God is good. I clung to those words, repeating them over and over to myself when it felt like my entire world was falling apart. While the children have since moved on, the impact A Love Like Ours had on me during that time still brings me to tears. I know God used Becky’s writing to minister to me when I didn’t have the strength to seek Him on my own.
I’ve heard people write off Christian novels as being too preachy or filled with trite clichés, or worse yet, accuse them of being irrelevant. But as Cassandra Clare said, words are powerful. God himself gave us the greatest love story ever told—written on pages and bound together for us to read. While Christian novels are no substitute for spending time in God’s word, they have the unique ability to reveal different aspects of God’s character in a way we may not have known before. As a writer, what could be greater than impacting others for Christ?
I’m curious to know, what books have most impacted your life? Tell me in the comments section below.
It’s Teresa again… Thanks to Amanda for this great post! Have you been enjoying the tour around the blog-sphere this week, chatting with other authors/bloggers about Someplace Familiar? If you’ve not visited yet, be sure to check out these posts and chances to enter the Someplace Familiar Blog Tour Giveaway!
Someplace Familiar has been out “in the wild” for over a week now, but the celebration continues! For the next week, join me and 10+ of my fellow authors and bloggers in chatting about the book. You’re invited to visit each blog on the schedule below, leave comments to join the chat, ask questions you might have about the book (I’ll be visiting and answering any questions you may post), and even enter a special giveaway. More on that at the end of this post!
BLOG TOUR PARTICIPANTS!
GIVEAWAY – WIN IT!
At the end of the blog tour, one reader will win an autographed copy of Someplace Familiar, $10 Amazon gift card, and a one-of-a-kind 8×8″ canvas painting by artist (and my sister) Cyndi Browning!
Be sure to visit each post throughout the week (check my Facebook page for links each day) for more chances to enter.
I can’t wait to chat with you all about the book! Have a question? Post it below or visit each stop along the tour and see if I answer what you’re wondering about.
This is going to be fun!!!
I’m going to keep this short and sweet…because my excitement is making it hard to sit still long enough to type. It’s the BOOK BIRTHDAY of my very first novel (and certainly not the last). Someplace Familiar is officially OUT IN THE WILD and available for purchase!!!! You can get your paperback and eBook copies at Amazon!
Know that it’s my prayer that this book touches each and every reader in a special way with a message of God’s grace, love, hope, and the power of forgiveness and new beginnings. I sure hope you experience just that!
I’m also super excited to announce the WINNER of the big Book Birthday Giveaway – including a Kindle Fire, autographed copy of the book, Amazing Grace necklace, book sleeve, and more. The lucky winner is ALLY SWANSON! Ally, watch for an email from me with details!
You may now carry on with your originally scheduled daily activities. LOL
Writing this post has been a long time coming, friends. Today I am starting my official countdown to RELEASE DAY! In ONLY EIGHT DAYS, on May 30, my debut novel Someplace Familiar will be available in print and e-book under my self-publishing imprint, Good Day Publishing!!!
I’m doing a few (fairly low-key) things to mark the occasion that I wanted to share with you all.
Pre-Orders Now Available!
First of all, for the next few days you can pre-order the book for Kindle/e-readers for only $0.99. This limited-time offer expires next Monday.
Big Book Birthday Giveaway!
Second, if you’ve not yet done so, be sure to enter the Someplace Familiar Book Birthday Giveaway to win a signed paperback copy of the book, a Kindle Fire 7″ 8GB (!!!!), “Amazing Grace” necklace from MinMac Shop, a book sleeve from The Cozy Life Shop … PLUS, some unique treats from the heart of the very area of the Blue Ridge Mountains that inspired the book. ENTER TO WIN HERE through May 30!
Blog Tour | June 10-17
Then, coming up a few weeks after the book releases, me and several of my closest book buddies are teaming up to bring you a super fun Blog Tour for Someplace Familiar! Each day from June 10-17, visit a new blog (or two or three) to learn about the book and get a chance to win another giveaway prize pack including a signed paperback copy of the book, a custom 8×8″ canvas painting by artist Cyndi Browning (our book’s heroine, Livy, is a painter!), and a $10 Amazon gift card!
I’ll be continuing the countdown on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram–including a video of me opening up my PRINT PROOF (first in-hand copy of the book) which should arrive TODAY–so be sure to follow along! I’m also considering some in-town celebration options … I just can’t decide! So, stay tuned for those fun details.
Thanks for being on this journey with me. These last few years have been a roller coaster of emotions, challenges, and pushes out of my comfort zone. I give God all the glory for being steadfast and faithful in his promises to never leave my side. The book is HIS…and I hope it touches your heart.
Before I go, I wanted to share a HUGE giveaway opportunity from Reading Is My Superpower. Head over there for all the details about this MEGA giveaway!
Wowzers, if that doesn’t get your attention, then what will people?
So, in celebration of the book birthday of Someplace Familiar, coming up very soon at the end of the month, I’m giving away:
- Kindle Fire 7″ 8GB with Alexa
- Signed Paperback copy of Someplace Familiar
- Large Book Sleeve from Live the Cozy Life
- Amazing Grace Necklace from MinMac Etsy shop
- And a few Blue Ridge Mountain goodies that inspired parts of the book (secret fun!)
Entering couldn’t be easier…just requires an email address. Winner announced on release day, May 30!
Check out some of these fun book quotes for a sneak peak at Someplace Familiar. Click on each for a closer look. Which is your favorite?
And here’s a lovely review from Laurie Tomlinson received earlier this week. Blessed my socks off!
I’ve got a treat for you today! I’m excited to be one of the stops on The Sound of Emeralds birthday blog tour! I’m posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s third installment in the Steadfast Love series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century!
Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds and The Sound of Silver, the first two books in the series. She has also written Write Well, a guide for writers! Last summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the Steadfast Love series! I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Emeralds and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win signed copies of all three books!
An Interview with Rachelle
When and where did you first get the idea for the Steadfast Love Series?
A song I was listening to on the radio inspired the title of the first book. So I wrote Diamonds, but when I finished it, I realized to my great frustration that the characters weren’t done with their story, even though I had been quite adamant that I would write a stand-alone novel. But the story wasn’t finished, so I kept writing.
Readers often pick out favorite quotes from a novel. Do you have a favorite of your own from The Sound of Silver?
Yes! In fact, my friend Mindy, a calligrapher, even created a beautiful piece of art from one of my favorite quotes: “Within the pages of books one’s heart can be revealed.”
Can you tell us what first drew you to writing Inspirational Historical Romance?
My first exposure to the genre came when I read Heartsong Presents novels when I was twelve. Those small books introduced me to how much I believe in the power of story, especially love stories set in times gone by.
I saw on your website that you also write reviews, articles and offer editing services. What’s one of your favorite things beyond writing novels that you enjoy?
Editing is such fun! I daresay I enjoy editing a page full of my own (or others’!) words just as much as I enjoy splashing words onto a blank page. I recently released my first nonfiction book, Write Well, which is a short ebook designed as a guide writers!
About The Sound of Emeralds
What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?
With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…
As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?
About Rachelle Rae Cobb
Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago–her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She’s a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March 4th!
Giveaway: Win ALL THREE of Rachelle’s Novels
Enter using the Rafflecopter form below to signed copies of ALL THREE of Rachelle’s novels. The whole series, signed!
International friends, this giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive all three e-books.
I am so excited to introduce you to a sweet author that I just met myself recently on Facebook. Kara Swanson writes Young Adult fiction, and if her writing is any bit as awesome as she is, we’re all in for a treat. Enjoy this interview with Kara, and be sure to leave her some love in the comments.
Welcome, Kara! Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 20 years old and was first published at 17, so this writing journey began at a young age for me. It’s always amazing for me to look back and see how much I’ve grown since then! But the process of putting my soul-stories to paper will always thrill me, no matter how many times I do it.
I spent sixteen years overseas in Papua New Guinea, as my parents were missionaries. I lived in the middle of the jungle, only accessible by airplane, without internet connection or cable TV. Needless to say, I read. A lot. And it has greatly shaped my own writing—I devoured novels by authors like C. S. Lewis, Wayne Thomas Batson and L. M. Montgomery. Writing my own stories seemed like the natural thing to do next, after spending hours in their worlds.
I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease about two years ago. We realize now that I’ve had it for about six years. Struggling with heavy fatigue, aches, loss of mental clarity and many other symptoms has taken college out of the running for the time being, and really stripped me of the things I’ve always held tight. Things that, looking back, had taken the place of dependence on my Savior. So, in some ways, while having Lyme has made it difficult for me to function, spiritually it’s a major blessing. When I’m weakest, He is strongest, after all. Not to mention that having a disease has given me a lot more time to write because I simply have nothing else I can do. It’s been such an honor to be able to use the stories of how He has carried me through the tempests to encourage others. Stories of how His strength is truly displayed in our weakest, most broken moments.
Wow. That is a beautiful testimony. I sure wish you healing and success on your journey. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
The writing! J I love getting to let my words carry me away to far off places. I love the creative process. Because I write fantasy, sci fi and everything in between, I get to do a lot of creating when I write. Worlds. Customs. Even foods. 🙂 I also adore that process of being able to develop a complex and unexpected character. Watching them shape and grow the more I write. That moment when you hit your stride and the words don’t feel forced or uncertain. Where they just flow. Those are the moments I live for as a writer.
What is your least favorite part?
Rewriting. I find when I have to fill plot holes and rewrite huge chunks that its mentally and physically exhausting . You’re not creating so much as doing patchwork. That’s probably my least favorite part.
I think a lot of us authors can relate to that! Can you tell us about your latest/upcoming book?|
My upcoming release is called The Girl Who Could See. Its about… A girl who is crazy. Her imaginary friend who claims he’s not imaginary. And the monster threatening both their worlds. In order to survive, Fern will have to confront her own insanity—and believe in the impossible 🙂
From where did the inspiration for this book come?
The idea for this one was very on the nose J I literally had two sentences that kept playing through my head, forcing me to tell the story that was woven between them:
They say every child had an imaginary friend.
Mine never left.
What was the last/current book you’ve read?
I just finished The Awakening, book two in Katie Ganshert’s The Gifting series. It was such a good read! ❤
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
Oh, so many! I love, love, love Lewis. For so many reasons. His creativity. The way he told stories. The way he wove spiritual themes throughout. The way he combined various influences.
I also have the great pleasure of knowing quite a few amazing writers. One of them, Joanne Bischof (author of historical fiction. If you haven’t read The Lady and the Lionheart yet—go read it. SO. GOOD. You have no idea) is a very close friend and mentor of mine. I don’t write the same genre she does, but in some ways I think that’s why she sharpens my writing so much. She has a unique perspective on it. Plus she’s just brilliant 🙂
Yes! Joanne is wonderful! What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give other writers?
Write…write…write. The more you write, the better you will get. Write foremost for yourself because you love it, then as your craft grows, start writing so others will enjoy it too. So that the story you have to tell can impact others. And—its okay to fall in love with your characters. Get to know them so well that you are dying to write their story every day. 🙂
And just for fun… What’s your favorite food/movie/vacation spot/song?
Eeesh, not sure, but I’m always a sucker for a good Marvel movie. Spider Man: Homecoming looks amazing 🙂
The Girl Who Could See: A Novella
All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.
Pre-Order The Girl Who Could See here.
About Kara Swanson
As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself.
At seventeen, she independently published a fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia, and has since gone on to have several articles and short stories published. Kara’s upcoming release, a novella titled The Girl Who Could See, releases in June. Kara received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer Award in 2015. When she’s not creating new stories and placing characters in peril, she’s probably binge-watching Marvel movies, playing with her huskies, reading till two in the morning or experimenting with a dairy-free mocha Frappuccino (skills, I’m telling you).
You all know that I have a soft, squishy spot for Appalachian life and stories. It will come as no surprise to you, then, that I’m secretly in love with Pepper Basham‘s books! One of my favorite recent reads is Pepper’s A Twist of Faith. Today Pepper is celebrating the release of her newest book Just the Way You Are, a “culture clash between Britain and Appalachia.”
About Just the Way You Are
Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her heart a very different type of discovery.
Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.
When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?
Humor, love, mystery, cute kids, crazy families, and culture clashes make this Britallachian Romance a unique and delightful romantic comedy sprinkled with adventure.
Get Your Copy of Just the Way You Are on Amazon
My copy of JTWYA is waiting in my Kindle for me to get my eyes on as soon as my crazy pre-release schedule allows me. In the meantime, here’s what people are saying about this much anticipated release into the Christian fiction world.*
“With equal parts side-splitting wit and humor, sparkling romance and two vivid cultures colliding all in the name of Love, Ms. Basham’s latest literary offering will no doubt become a classic in the genre and in new and old readers’ hearts. Just the Way You Are will leave you swooning, happy-sighing and wiping tears away in turn. A truly unforgettable novel!”
– Meghan Gorecki
“Wes and Eisley [main characters] are what propel this story from a light and humorous start to an ending with surprising transformation, romance, and depth. Add in the fairy tale-like England trip, family mystery, and pop culture references and you have the perfect witty romance.”
“On a scale of cotton candy to Brussels sprouts, Just The Way You Are by Pepper D. Basham is Lindt Lindor Truffles (my fave is dark chocolate). Chocolate crunch on the outside and creamy goodness in the center, but wait, it’s in book form!”
– Barbara B.
Get Your Copy of Just the Way You Are on Amazon
*These reviews are taken from the reviews for JTWYA on Amazon.