Sunday, September 29, 2013

Novel Update!!!

         Finally, I have worked out my novels plot, kinks and everything. I am really happy with how it's turned out. It is a Christian Romantic Suspense novel. I want to introduce you to my leading lady and leading man. My untitled novel is the story of Ariel Comfort and Beau Weston. I'll introduce you guys to them in more detail soon and fill you in on what inspired their names. I will also, on a later date, post pictures of the inspirations for my characters. (That will be fun.) For now, I need to get words on the page and come up with a title, so I can quit calling it "my novel" & "untitled novel"! Talk to you guys soon! :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Born of Persuasion Review

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta                                       Published by Tyndale
Rating: 4 Stars!



                                                                    [About the Book]
The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

This is going to be a quick and very short review. I loved the romance, mystery, and how the book was written. If you love to read Jane Austen, this is a book you should pick up.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Love's Refuge Cover Reveal

     “Love’s Refuge will be released November 2013. Visit Seasons of Humility that month for more information about the book’s release and the blog tour.”  

                                                         Drum roll please..........


Isn't it just GORGEOUS!!! Lena did such an amazing job on this cover! I  don't know about you but if I love a book cover I am more inclined to pick it up and read it! And I can not wait to read Love's Refuge.

[About the Author]

Sandra Leesmith loves to travel in her RV and explore all of nature’s beauty, discover America’s history, and fellowship with the wonderful people she meets while on the road. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, swimming, and pickleball. Learn more about Sandra and her books HERE!!!! 

[About the Cover Designer]

Lena lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose of "sigh-worthy" romance. You can visit her online HERE!! 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Title: What Once Was Lost
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: Multnomah
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Rating: 5 Stars!

                                                            [About the Book]

A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?

On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house inhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”

With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?

                                                               [My Review]

Kim has done it! What Once Was Lost was such a joy to read! I read it in just only 2 sittings, it was that good. I loved the romance, it was my favorite part of the entire book. If you like romance and historical get this book!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Made To Last by Melissa Tagg Review



Title: Made To Last
Author: Melissa Tagg
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: September 15, 2013
Rating: 5 Stars!

                                               [Goodreads synopsis]

Miranda Woodruff, star of the homebuilding show "From the Ground Up," will do anything to keep the job she loves. Due to a painful broken engagement and a faith she's mostly forgotten, she's let her entire identity become wrapped up in the Miranda everyone sees onscreen. So when she receives news that the network might cancel her program, she must do the very thing she fears most: let the spotlight shine on her closely guarded personal life. The only problem? She's been living a lie--letting viewers believe she's married--and now she's called upon to play wife to a sweet, if a bit goofy, pretend husband to boost ratings. 

Desperate to help his family and prove he's not a total failure, reporter Matthew Knox is looking for a breakout story. When he's offered the opportunity to do an online serial feature on Miranda Woodruff, he jumps at the chance, even if celebrity reporting isn't really his thing. But as soon as he meets Miranda, he knows she's keeping secrets. 

When Miranda's former fiance suddenly appears on the scene again, she doubts her life could get more complicated. Juggling three guys, an on-the-rocks television show, and the potential exposure of her deception is way more than she bargained for. Can the woman who makes things look so good onscreen admit it's time to tell the truth about who she is? And if she does, will the life Miranda's built come crashing down just as she's finally found a love to last?

                                                        [My Review]

Made to Last was sitting in my to-be-read-pile for a few days before I decided to start reading it, and I'll tell you, what was I thinking!! Made to Last was everything and more I thought it would be. Romantic, funny, and dealing with real issues like insecurities. Insecurities, we all have them, I have them. I can't tell you how much Made to Last impacted me. Just what I needed, a reminder that God LOVES us even in our insecurities and our faults, all wrapped up in this satisfying and engaging read. OH HOW HE LOVES US SO!!!

NOTE::: Thank You Melissa and the Bethany House team for this complimentary book to review. I was not paid to write a positive review, all opinions are my own!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Evolution Vs God Film Review



    Title: Evolution Vs God
    Created by: Living Waters Publications/ The Way of the Master
    Released: July 9, 2013
    Rating: 5 Stars!



       Evolution Vs God is a film featuring a series of interviews with college students and college professors, specifically evolutionary professors, at a local Southern California university. Ray Comfort always starts with the question, "Do you believe in evolution?" Of course their answers are yes, and Ray continues on asking more questions such as, “Can you give me one example of Darwinian evolution of one kind of animal changing to another kind of animal?"  The only examples given by students and professors alike were not evidence of Darwinian evolution (macro-evolution). Darwinian evolution otherwise known as macro-evolution says a specific species can evolve into another species, however as "Evolution Vs God shows no one can provide any kind scientific proof.

     As you would see in any Way of the Master episode on television the Gospel message is presented to everyone interviewed. In my perspective many of those interviewed seemed to be impacted in some way. I was impacted by Evolution Vs God. I learned some things I did not know and got many tips for evangelizing to those who believe in evolution. I recommend this film to everybody. This film, I believe, can greatly impact the young people of this generation. 

 You can view Evolution Vs God for free HERE.
 You can purchase a copy of Evolution Vs God or EvG merchandise HERE.
 Living Waters Website

Interview with Melissa Tagg, author of Made To Last.

1              Recently I had the opportunity to interview Melissa Tagg, who's debut novel Made To Last, officially releases TODAY! Also, I will have a review of Made To Last coming up soon! Let's get to the interview, enjoy!

        First, why don’t you tell us about your debut novel, Made to Last?

Sure thing—Made to Last is a romantic comedy about figuring out who we are underneath the trappings of success…or lack thereof. :) Here’s the back cover blurb:

Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.
When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?  

2      Where did you get the idea for Made to Last? Any specific inspirations?

I actually first got the idea for this story while watching an old black and white movie—Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely watch it—preferably around the Christmas season. :) It’s about a magazine columnist who has built a fake life for herself…and ends up needing to find a fake husband, fake kid, fake house, etc. I borrowed that “fake marriage” angle, merged it with an HGTV feel (which is hilarious if you know me because I’m not crafty or builder-y at ALL!) and the characters of Made to Last were born.

3      What was your writing schedule for MTL? And how long did it take to write MTL?

Oh, my writing schedule is wacky! I work full-time during the day, so in order to fit writing time in, I usually wake up around 5 a.m., have a little quiet time and then write for an hour or so in the morning. Then in the evenings, I usually put in two-plus hours of writing or writing-related work. And when I’m not traveling, I like to fit a nice long chunk of writing on Saturdays.

As for how long it took me to write MTL, oh boy…I would say it took me about five or six months to write the first draft of MTL. But then I tore it apart and rewrote it probably three times. :) You know what they say, books aren’t written…they’re rewritten!

4      This is something I ask every author I talk to, when did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

I’m definitely your typical “I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid” girl. In fact, I remember feeling lucky in school that I knew what I wanted to do in the future—I didn’t have to try to figure out some elusive career path! But yes, as a kid I was (and still am) a total bookworm, and somewhere along the way, I realized there were people out there writing these stories I loved. I decided I want to do the same.

      When you were trying to get MTL published did you have any rejections? If so, then what advice would you give to other authors who are trying to get published but are getting nothing but rejections and they feel defeated?

To be honest, I didn’t have any editor rejections on this story, but I have had rejections from agents in the past. Funny thing is, one of those rejections ended up being one of the most encouraging pieces of my journey to publication!

But…I definitely DO understand that feeling of defeat. The winter of 2011-2012 was hard for me. The discouragement didn’t necessarily come from rejection, but I’m pretty sure the feeling was the same—the worry that I was wasting my time and money on something that wasn’t meant to be, that my story would never be good enough, etc. But God used Romans 4 to shift my attitude. It’s SO good, people. Try reading it in The Message paraphrase, especially when you’re having those hopeless moments. It talks about trusting God to do things that are too big for us, embracing His promises, God making something out of nothing—and how all that played out in Abraham’s life.

One of the things Paul talks about in that chapter is how God first “named” Abraham a father…and then later made him a father. And so I started thinking about the names God has given me. At that time, I didn’t know if “published author” was a name He’d given me. But I did know He named me His child…valued…loved…a woman with purpose. I had to stop finding my worth, my identity in my writing. It was just a huge spiritual shift for me.

Sorry, maybe that got too deep, but that was my experience with, well, overcoming that feeling of defeat. So my advice would definitely start with making sure you’re not letting those rejections define you. Let God define you! And then…then just keep going. Keep learning and growing in your craft. Embrace hard work.

6       What do you feel makes a great story?

Ooh, I am all about good dialogue. I love, love, LOVE witty dialogue. And I love a good “voice”—personality on the page, a lot of people call it. That’s always sure to suck me in. I also really appreciate stories with a plot that moves forward in each scene and where the spiritual and emotional journeys feel like a natural piece of the story.

7      For writers like myself, who are just beginning their writing journey what suggestions do you have to help us become better writers? Any little tips or tricks?

Fun question! I’ve actually been given so much helpful advice in my years of writing seriously that it’s hard to choose from the mix.

      Find a writing community to both encourage you and teach you. Getting involved in My Book Therapy was a definite game-changer for me. ACFW is another organization in which I’ve found amazing community and teaching.

      Embrace revisions. Yes, it often feels like the real magic happens during that first draft when you’re discovering your story. But I’ve found the hard work of rewrites is what really brings a story to the next level. It’s a chance to dig deeper character-wise, hone the plot and wordsmith until each scene shines. So do the hard work…don’t be afraid to tear a story apart if you have to.

      Be you on the page. I know, now I sound all cereal box-ish and be-all-you-can-be inspirational. Haha! But seriously…take the time to discover who you are as a writer, your unique voice, the story only you can tell…and let that shine on the page.

Thanks so much Melissa for taking time to hang out with us. And letting us get to know you better. Best wishes to you and the success of Made To Last. God Bless!

And thank YOU, Alyssa. I so appreciate the chance to hang out on your blog! J