Fun fact: It’s always been my dream to go on a safari. A real one. In Africa. And can I admit that I was a little envious when my son, at 14-years-old, got to go with his grandparents to visit my sister-in-law’s family in Kenya AND WENT ON A SAFARI? Because I was.
So while I sit here, lamenting over the fact I’ve still not been on a real safari, let me tell you about another safari that’s just as (okay, honesty time: almost) as fun as a real safari!
Singing Librarian Books had the genius idea to run a FUN reading challenge!! What does it mean for you? Why, the chance to WIN BOOKS, of course!
Head over to the Christian Fiction Summer Reading Safari page (you might need to scroll down just a little bit) to learn all about it and see how YOU can have the chance to win some books! Not all the buttons are live quite yet, but the “Share Buttons” button is!
You guys. I’m so proud and excited to have my beautiful critique partner, Teresa’s, debut novel featured here today!!! And she has a GIVEAWAY going!!!! You won’t want to miss this book. Trust me.
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger. I’m posting today about this debut novel, a contemporary southern romance with themes of faith, hope in new love, and grace. It’s the first in a series of books set in Laurel Cove, a fictional town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I’m joining other bloggers this week to tell you a little about the book and spread the news about the giveaway Teresa is hosting! Be sure to enter to win a signed book and more from Teresa at the end of this post. And leave your comments and questions below—Teresa will be stopping by to visit with us!
First, here’s a little about Someplace Familiar:
Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That’s what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason.
Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon’s Supplies, and once again the town’s most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project—and an undeniable whirlwind romance.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts to discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?
I’m thrilled to have Teresa answer a few questions for us!!
Christian romance is a popular genre. What defines the genre for you as a writer?
The story of Christ’s love for us is the truest, most pure romance. So, when a book of fiction can combine the love story between two humans with the transforming, powerful love of God it’s the best of both worlds. I personally enjoy romances that show readers that real life and relationships are messy and the “happily ever after” isn’t necessarily riding off into the sunset, but rather comes with sacrifice and compromise. So, that’s what I aim to write, too!
As an indie author myself, I know how difficult choosing to independently publish can be. What was the biggest challenge about the decision to self-publish Someplace Familiar
Oh boy! Self-publishing has taught me so much about the business of being a writer. The most challenging part is keeping all of the spinning plates moving and not crashing to the floor. Editing, design, marketing, networking, etc. These days, however, even traditional publishing requires authors to be major players in every step of the process. So, I think all authors must learn to multitask—and, for me, that’s a challenge.
Thank you so much, sweet friend.
My (admittedly short) review:
It isn’t often a debut author can pull off a novel of such depth and beauty (and some fun flirtations!), but Teresa Tysinger has done it. From her descriptions that pull the reader right on in (I could *smell* the fresh mountain air!) to the romantic tension between Jack and Livy to the plot itself, Teresa Tysinger has truly shone.
Teresa Tysinger is a wife and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas. When not working as the Director of Communications for a large downtown church, she writes charming southern romances inspired by grace. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Religious Communicators’ Council, and the Association for Women in Communications, Teresa has spent over a decade committed to telling stories of faith through written word. She loves coffee, caramel, and stories with happy endings.
You guys. For real. Please go buy this book. It’s beautiful and sweet and charming and deep and truly, truly amazing! But if you’re a patient sorta person (so not me) and want to wait a couple of days, you have a chance to WIN A COPY of Someplace Familiar AND an 8×8″ original canvas painting by the extremely talented Cyndi Browning, and a $10 Amazon gift card! And if you don’t win, promise me you’ll go buy it!
ENTER HERE (https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e36c22633/) to win a signed paperback copy of Someplace Familiar, a custom 8×8” canvas painting by artist Cyndi Browning (in honor of the book’s heroine, Livy, who is an artist), and $10 Amazon Gift Card. Winner will be announced on Teresa’s website on June 18 once the tour wraps up. (Open to continental US residents only; sorry international readers!)
You guys! Release week for Count Me In is going so far beyond what my imagination, well, imagined, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Thank you for making it such a smashing success!! I’m seriously blown away.
In other FUN news, Carrie over at Reading Is My Superpower is hosting a huge giveaway of books written by indie authors like (and actually including) me! Believe me when I say, you do NOT want to miss this giveaway!
Look at these prizes in four different genre categories!
(Did you see Count Me In in the contemporary category?!?) So go on over right this very moment and enter!
(Click the picture above to be taken to the giveaway post. If it doesn’t work, please click HERE.)
This Is the Way the World Ends. Four years after a tragic mission decimated his team, Cole “Tox” Russell has been disavowed by the United States. And that’s fine–he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.
Tox and his former Special Forces team regroup to work with FBI deception expert, Kasey Cortes, and fiery archaeologist, Tzivia Khalon, to search the globe for answers–and a cure. As the mission leads from one continent to another, it becomes clear they’re not just fighting a plague but battling an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.
With time running out and the threat for a global pandemic rising, Tox and his team realize their sole chance might be to reach back through centuries of silence to find the only answer that can save them all.
Okay. So if you read my reviews at.all., you pretty much know that I’m a Ronie fanatic—uh, fan. Her books have always thrilled me. But Conspiracy of Silence…you guys. For serious. THIS. BOOK.
Here’s what I wrote on Goodreads: I can’t even. I just can’t. Ronie is THE WOMAN when it comes to writing incredible, fast-paced military action with twists that I can’t even hint at because they’re too awesome.
You NEED to read this extremely well-written, entertaining, makes-you-Google-things book!! I can’t even begin to say enough! My eyes rounded, my mind raced, and my breath was stolen. I loved this book!
That pretty much says it all, but because I know you’re curious about the writing style as much as the content, I will say Ronie’s style lends to the tension and rapid-fire pace of her stories. Conspiracy of Silence is no different. Actually, I would venture out on a limb and say this is her best yet. Brutal (not in a graphic way, but…oh, just read it already), brooding, fast-paced, thrilling, unexpected, with a twist. And that cover!! I’m a sucker for a good cover, and CoS is definitely a GOOD cover! From the front cover to the back cover, and every single, deliberate word in between, Conspiracy of Silence is probably in my top three favorite books for this year. And I’ve read a lot of good books this year.
I love this book so much, that I’M GIVING AWAY A PAPERBACK COPY!! I’m so bossy when it comes to telling you to buy books (especially if you’re a friend on Facebook), that I’m hoping you already own this one. But if you don’t, rest assured, I’m going to give one away to one lucky winner! Just leave a comment below, and one person will receive a shipment from Amazon (who doesn’t love it when an Amazon box shows up on your doorstep?!)!! YAY FOR GIVEAWAYS! The winner will be chosen THIS FRIDAY, December 16, 2016 at 4:30pm CST. (Open to US residents only. I’m sorry!)
And speaking of giveaways, head over to Instagram to participate in the #ToxFilesChristmasChallenge hosted by @createexploreread. Make sure to read the instructions on that post in order to receive entries to a FAB giveaway!!! Seriously. I’m dying over this giveaway.
*Note: I was actually not asked to post a review on this blog, but I loved this book so much, I had to. And while I did receive a free copy, I also bought it. And yes. You should, too.
Yeah, I know. I say that with pretty much every book review. But for serious. I have excellent taste in books. You guys should know that by now. 😉 So don’t be shocked when I say, you must get this book!
I’m talking about The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall. This is the fourth book in The Everstone Chronicles, meaning it’s Vance Everstone’s story. Go ahead, everyone. Let’s all together now, SIGH. He’s swoon-worthy like nobody’s business. And Violet Hawthorne is a worthy heroine. ❤
I had the huge privilege of writing an endorsement for the ARC (advanced reader’s copy), and honestly, I don’t think I can say much about this book any better than that endorsement. So, here it is for you:
“Dawn Crandall’s unique voice in historical fiction blends romance, faith, and a hint of intrigue into one masterful tale. The Cautious Maiden, the fourth book in The Everstone Chronicles, is no exception. She has crafted characters you will immediately love and cheer for, whose passion for one another stems not just from the physical, but a spiritual and emotional attraction, too. The story told through Violet’s eyes is lifted by Dawn’s elegant prose, and brought to life by the spiritual truths woven throughout. Dawn has become a ‘must read’ author for me, and The Cautious Maiden has only reinforced her status.”
And just so you know, even though I own the ARC, I still bought the ebook. Because there’s nothing better that you can do for authors than to buy their books (or request them from your local library so they buy them) and leave reviews.
About the Book
Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents’ New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks, but when Violet’s own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance, Vance Everstone. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust—and who to leave behind.
Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which consists of four books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, The Captive Imposter and The Cautious Maiden.
Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.
So YES! Dawn is a must-read author, and The Cautious Maiden is a muuuuuuust reeeeeaaaaaaad. So go buy it, please.
Contest Time! And GUESS WHAT?!?!?! Dawn and her publisher are being so extremely gracious and doing a giveaway of The Cautious Maiden!!! I’m so super excited for you all to read this highly romantic story! To enter, leave a comment answering the following question and I’ll choose a winner randomly on October 21st!
Question: Vance was pretty rotten in the prior books. How do you feel when a previously unlikable character is redeemed? Do you have any favorite redeemed former villains?
And for more opportunities to win, Dawn is running a giveaway herself through November 4th. Check out Dawn’s contest HERE or click on the picture below!
If you haven’t read the other books in the series, click on the covers below to be taken to their Amazon purchase page!
Oh friends, have I got a treat for you today! I’m so beyond excited for this out-of-the-norm Tuesday post. 🙂
Welcome to the Pinned in Time Blog Hop: a twelve day party celebrating Pepper Basham‘s Penned in Time series! There is a Pinterest scavenger hunt, exciting giveaway,
behind the scenes looks into the worlds of The Thorn Bearer and The Thorn Keeper–as well as a glimpse into the heart of their talented author.
Do you want to see a glimpse of the prize? Yes? Okay! You can win all this and a $25 Amazon gift card!! Hello!
Doesn’t that look fab??? But first things first. I need to tell you about my very sweet, lovable friend, Pepper Basham. I love this lady more than I can possibly even get into in one blog post. Because she’s fab. And today, I get to host a blog hop for her–and give you a clue to her giveaway! So be sure to read the entire post. 😉
So, about Pepper:
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. You can get to know Pepper on her website, pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.
Told you she was great. 😀
For today’s stop, I get to pick out a modern-day outfit for Pepper’s characters, Ashleigh and Catherine, in The Thorn Bearer and The Thorn Keeper. And by now, you might know I love doing this kind of thing.
But you guys need to get to know their stories! First up is Ashleigh in The Thorn Bearer.
Title:The Thorn Bearer Series:Penned in Time, Book 1 Author: Pepper D. Basham Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LLC Release Date: May 7, 2015
When Ashleigh Dougall’s fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. In an attempt to escape her shame, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.
Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help his childhood friend, Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and companionship as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in the love of his childhood friend.
Neither are prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.
Purchase The Thorn Bearer on Amazon. You can read my five-star Amazon review of this book HERE.
So how would I dress Ashleigh today? Oh, this is going to be fun! I love how Ashleigh looks romantic and mysterious, and dressed so elegantly in the cover photo…like she’s keeping secrets. So, let’s go with this outfit for a formal event:
And this outfit for a fun Saturday out with friends (after all, one can’t always be secretive and mysterious, sometimes one needs to be romantic and playful!):
Now it’s Catherine’s turn! First, a bit about The Thorn Keeper.
Title:The Thorn Keeper Series: Penned in Time, Book 2 Author: Pepper D. Basham Publisher: Vinspire Publishing Release Date: February 28, 2016
With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?
Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.
David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.
When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever.
From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.
Purchase The Thorn Keeper on Amazon.Read my blog review HERE.
Catherine is the quintessential redeemed woman. She’s made some bad choices, but she’s on the right path and is full of love. And she’s a de…well, I can’t give that away. So let’s see what she might wear today.
For a formal event:
For a casual day with her newfound love, David:
See how fun that is?!
Now for the Scavenger Hunt!!
One winner will receive a basket filled with English goodies. Hello!! ❤
Here’s how to play:
Each blog hop stop contains an image clue, with a link to a Pinterest Board filled with pictures related to the Penned in Time series.
Using the image clue, find the corresponding answer image.
Create a Pinterest board, titled “Penned in Time,” and pinned the answer image to your board, and hashtag #pinnedintime.
Enter your pinned (answer) image link on the Rafflecopter entry form, correspond to the stop on the Blog Hop.
Check out the other blog hop stops for more entries!
Are you ready for your clue? Click on the image to be taken to Pepper’s Pinterest board. Make sure to come back here to click on the Rafflecopter link below!
So…here it is!
Carrie started the Pinned in Time Blog Hop off yesterday over at Reading Is My Superpower. Make sure you go over there to get the first clue!
To enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, click on the image below:
Follow the blog hop each day for more chances to win!
If you’ve been on my Facebook author page, have read a few posts here, or are friends with me, both on Facebook and real life (wait…isn’t Facebook real life??), you know that I’m a ginormous fan of author Dawn Crandall. So, it’s a true honor and huge treat for me that today, I get to participate in her cover reveal!!! <—That’s three exclamation marks, people!
Dawn has written an absolutely incredible series called The Everstone Chronicles (click on the title to be taken to the ebooks). These include the titles, The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, and The Captive Imposter(click on the titles to be taken to the paperback books). Well, despite no original plans to do so, she’s been contracted and is currently writing book four, The Cautious Maiden! Color me excited, dear readers!!
Here’s a little bit about the Fall 2016 release:
Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother transforms her deceased parents’ respectable country inn into a brothel to accommodate the lumberjacks in the area. When her reputation is compromised, she finds herself forced to enter into an engagement with Vance Everstone. Can she trust this man she hardly knows who has a scandalous reputation in his own right?
So…are you ready for the cover?
Start. Drumroll. Now.
Isn’t it gorgeous?!?! And if I can brag or a moment, *sniff* I was one of a select few (read: around 15 or so) who caught a first glance of two potential covers. And yes. This one was my favorite. Okay. It was everyone’s favorite. 😉
Now who’s ready for a giveaway?!? Dawn is graciously giving away paperback copies of The Everstone Chronicles, an Everstone Chronicles mug, and a $25 Amazon gift card! Hello!
Can you believe it’s already 2016? I’m not necessarily having a hard time accepting that fact, but I am having a hard time reconciling the fact that I still feel like I’m in my early- to mid-twenties, even though I’m…well, beyond my twenties. I still tell people I’m either 27 or 29, depending on if I did my makeup that day. 😉 However, my two younger kids haven’t smartened up yet; they still ensure that everyone knows just how old I really am.
So, my birthday was just over a week ago and I wanted to post this then, but you know how that week between Christmas and New Year’s is: you’re in a food and celebration coma and don’t have a clue as to what day it really is. All this to say, here I am, on January 4th, getting ready to “celebrate” my birthday with you by…are you ready?…having a giveaway!
Yes! A giveaway! I love giving things to make people smile, and you, dear readers, are very patient with my sporadic postings. So while I don’t have my own book to give away yet, I do have something for you. I found it in a sweet decor shop here in the city (of course I bought one for myself; I couldn’t resist!) and thought it would be a fun little trinket to send an avid reader.
So here it is!
You’ll get that sweet sign and a $5 Amazon gift card to purchase a Kindle book of your choosing (or whatever you wish to spend it on). All you need to do is leave a comment answering this question:
What goals have you set for yourself for this year? They can be writing, reading, personal, health, relational, you name it! I’m always interested in hearing what other people wish to improve upon.
Open only to residents of the United States and Canada. The winner will be chosen via Random.org on February 1, 2016. (See? I wrote the year correctly! Yay me!) I’ll announce the winner both here and on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mikaldawnauthor/), so be sure to head to Facebook and “like” my page if you haven’t already!