Monthly Archives: May 2016

Promo and Giveaway: Death Under a Full Moon by Dianne Smithwick-Braden

DEATH UNDER A FULL MOON

 

(Wilbarger County Series #2)


by 


Dianne Smithwick-Braden
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date of Publication: February 4, 2016
# of pages: 268
Scroll down for Giveaway!

This second installment of the Wilbarger County Series joins Sheriff Wade Adams and Lizzie Fletcher as they investigate murder. Wade and Lizzie attend a dinner party near the small community of Rayland, Texas. One week later, one the guests is murdered.  With his only female deputy out on maternity leave, Sheriff Adams makes a quick decision to deputize Lizzie. That decision proves to be good for the department but damaging to their relationship. The Sheriff and his deputies follow every possible lead to no avail.  Lizzie happens to overhear a conversation that gives them the break they need. With little time to spare, Sheriff Adams and his team rush to prevent yet another death.
PURCHASE LINKS:
  AMAZON        BARNES & NOBLE

 

Dianne Smithwick-Braden is a native Texas raised in rural Wilbarger County on the family farm. She is a graduate of Vernon High School and West Texas A & M University. She currently resides in Amarillo, Texas with her husband, Richard. She has been a high school science teacher in Amarillo since August of 1990.  Dianne is an avid reader of fiction but murder mysteries are by far her favorite genre. Death under a Full Moon is her second novel and the second installment of the Wilbarger County Series.

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GIVEAWAY! ONE WINNER RECEIVES SIGNED COPIES OF BOTH BOOKS IN THE SERIES PLUS 
DESKTOP NECESSITIES*!
(*Desktop Necessities includes: coffee mug, jelly beans, picture frame, pens, 
mechanical pencils, sticky notes, and maybe a surprise or two more!)

 

 

  May 23 – June 1, 2016
Check out the other great blogs on the tour!  

5/23       Byers Editing Reviews & BlogAuthor Interview #1

5/24       My Book Fix Blog – Review
5/25       Missus Gonzo  – Promo
5/26       Margie’s Must Reads Excerpt
5/27       Country Girl Bookaholic  – Review
5/28       Books and BroomsticksAuthor Interview #2
5/29       StoreyBook Reviews  – Guest Post
5/30       Hall Ways Blog– – Review            
5/31       Texas Book LoverAuthor Interview #3 
6/1         Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their BooksReview
 
 
 
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Author Interview #2: Every Bride Has Her Day by Janice Thompson

EVERY BRIDE HAS HER DAY

 

(Brides With Style #3)


by 


Janice Thompson
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: May 17, 2016
# of pages: 352
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Another Delightful Romance from the Queen of Romantic Comedy
Katie Fisher is ecstatic. Pro basketball star Brady James has proposed, and she can’t wait to start planning their life together. She’s confident she’ll make it down the aisle this time–but it still may be easier said than done. A high-society Houston bride has Katie and the Cosmopolitan Bridal team scrambling to get the perfect dress done in time for her spectacular wedding. Meanwhile, Katie finds herself bombarded with everyone’s competing visions regarding her own special day–and she’s beginning to worry that her own ideas will get lost in the crossfire. Will she ever manage to settle all of the details for her perfect day? Or will bridal shop chaos and overzealous friends and family make a mess of everything? Fan favorite Janice Thompson gives readers what they’ve been clamoring for: another funny, romantic romp with a Texas twang.
PRAISE FOR THE BRIDES WITH STYLE SERIES:
“Readers will fall in love with Katie.”–Library Journal

 

 

“A feel-good romantic comedy of subverted expectations. . . . Readers will laugh and sigh along with Katie as she comes into her own, discovering a life and love beyond her dreams.”–Booklist

 

 

“Romantic comedy at its best. I highly recommend it!”–Cara Putman, award-winning author of Shadowed by Grace and Where Treetops Glisten

 

 

“A delightful mix of romance, inspiration, and humor.”–Judy Christie, author of Wreath, A Girl in the Wreath Willis series 
 

  PURCHASE LINKS:

  AMAZON        BARNES & NOBLE

 CHRISTIANBOOK.COM       BAKER RETAIL

AuthorInterview 

Interview #2 with Janice Thompson,

Author of Every Bride Has Her Day

 

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Because I’m a full-time freelance writer, I’ve crossed genre lines to write contemporary romantic comedies, historicals, cozy mysteries, inspirational romances, and even non-fiction devotionals. I’ve also written dozens and dozens of magazine articles and hundreds of blog posts. I’m perfectly at home in every genre, though I tend to thrive with romantic comedy.

 

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

Story-telling is an art-form that has been passed down from generation to generation. I recently spent time with a good friend who’s eighty-four years old. She has the most amazing family stories. Wow! I love listening to her share about her great-great-great grandfather and her four-times great grandmother, etc. She tells her stories with such effervescence that I can’t help but be drawn in. That’s that I hope to do with my stories, too. I share about loud, wacky families, and most of my books deal with culture clashes (what fun!). If nothing else, these stories explore very real (albeit funny) issues that crop up when you throw a ton of VERY different people into the same scene/situation. In my case, humor abounds. Craziness abounds. Good times abound.

 

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice?

My faith journey is integral to my life. I could no more leave it out of my novels/stories than I could stop breathing! I hope it leaks through on every page. In every situation the characters face I have an opportunity to share nuggets of truth. Oh, what fun I have doing so!

 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I love the (very real) town of Fairfield, Texas and I LOVE wedding planning. To set a wedding in Fairfield was a dream come true. I especially loved the outdoor wedding reception on the courthouse lawn. Boy, oh boy, did I ever have fun coming up with all of the vendors, etc. What a blast!

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I would heal disease. We’ve struggled with a lot of it in my family. My youngest granddaughter has a neuro-muscular disease. My mom, as I said in the prior interview, has Alzheimers. I have autoimmune arthritis. I’d love to snap my fingers and make all of the pain go away.

 

What do your plans for future projects include?

I hope to write a dog rescue series soon and I plan to keep the Bella novellas going as long as the readers are interested in hearing about Bella’s wacky wedding-planning adventures!

 

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

I want to go to Italy.

 

Janice Thompson is an expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into and offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series, the Backstage Pass series, and the Weddings by Design series, as well as Every Bride Needs a Groom and Every Girl Gets Confused. She lives in Texas.

WEBSITE      FACEBOOK


GIVEAWAY! THREE PRIZES!
Prize 1: Box of Texas Treats & Signed Book
Prize 2: $10 Starbucks Gift Card & Signed Book
Prize 3: $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card & Signed Book

(US ONLY)

  May 17 – May 31, 2016
 

Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

 

5/17       StoreyBook Reviews            Review              
5/18       Book Crazy Gals                    — Author Interview #1
5/19       Forgotten Winds  Guest Post #1   
5/20       Country Girl Bookaholic      Review              
5/21       Books and Broomsticks       — Excerpt
5/22       The Crazy Booksellers         Promo               
5/23       All for the Love of the Word             Review              
5/24       Missus Gonzo        — Author Interview #2       
5/25       Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books— Promo        
5/26       Byers Editing Reviews & Blog             — Review              
5/27       Hall Ways Blog      — Author Interview #3       
5/28       A Novel Reality     — Guest Post #2   
5/29       The Page Unbound              — Review              
5/30       Margie’s Must Reads           — Promo               
5/31       It’s a Jenn World  — Review              

 


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Review: Lost Path to Solitude by Maria Elena Sandovici

LOST PATH TO SOLITUDE

 

(A Follow-Up to Dogs With Bagels)


by 


Maria Elena Sandovici
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Date of Publication: February 12, 2016
# of pages: 315
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Once you leave home, can you ever return? Two characters, mother and daughter, contemplate this question in Lost Path to Solitude. Twenty-five years after leaving Romania in order to follow the man she loves to New York, Maria Pop still struggles with accepting her decision. She is determined to go back and recapture the poetry and joy of life in Bucharest, even at the expense of risking her marriage. Meanwhile, her daughter, Liliana, second-guesses her own choice of moving to a small town in Southeast Texas, ironically called Solitude, where she finds herself lonely, bored, and nostalgic for the fast pace of life in New York City. Facing the claustrophobic social climate of a town that goes to bed early, as well as the constrictions of her emerging academic career, Liliana longs for something that would give her existence meaning. The parallel soul-searching and the frustration they experience does little to bring mother and daughter closer. Instead, as each struggles with finding her own place in the world, they become increasingly critical of each other. Will their relationship survive the growing pains they each must suffer in their quest for self-fulfillment?

Review
If I don’t judge a book by its cover, I have a tendency to judge it by its synopsis. At first glance, I decided rather quickly that this book would be interesting but not something that I could relate to. I was very wrong.
I’m the same age as Liliana but our lives have followed very different paths. She’s single due to a broken engagement 10 years prior and on track for tenure at the university she works for. I’m married with a kid and working from home. But we both struggle with the question of whether that is all there is to us. And throw in the drama with our mothers, and I think that Liliana and I could hang out all day after a yoga class.
On the surface, it might seem I could relate more to Liliana’s mother, Maria. She studied to be a librarian and a string of events prevented her from working in the field. I actually quit working as a librarian to raise my son. Ok, well, maybe we don’t have as much in common as I thought. But we do have that existential crisis thing going for us like Liliana. Also, when she makes the decision to stop speaking to Liliana, I can definitely relate. If only my family were like hers, letting the two quarrelers be and not getting in the middle.
I don’t know a lot about Romania and its people, but it was interesting how much the culture and people seem to parallel people in the Philippines (my parents’ homeland). I thought it was hilarious that the family from America was expected to bring back gifts that could probably be purchased in Romania. Or that you had to stay with family when you visited rather than stay at a hotel even though it might be uncomfortable or inconvenient. Don’t even get me started on the sexism, religious fanaticism, and general hypocrisy. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s not pleasant. But when you read about it or think about it in retrospect, it’s pretty entertaining. It’s nice to know that this translates across so many cultures. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel left out.
In a funny coincidence, just the other day my brother-in-law, who is a flight attendant, was explaining to me the difference between Texans and New Yorkers. Both BIL and book pointed out that New Yorkers are very straight forward and don’t sugarcoat things and waste your time like Texans often do. How New Yorkers can be misconstrued as rude because of this, whereas Texans seem sweet even when they insult you with a “Bless your heart.” This might not be earth shattering news, but I felt like it deserved a mention since I felt like New York and Texas were sort of characters as well. Romania, too, of course. But like I’ve said previously, I know nothing of Romania.
Sandovici writes a great tale. My only nitpick on this book is that I wished she put the name of the character at the beginning of each section when she switched perspectives. I sometimes had to read a whole page before figuring out who it was about, and then circling back to the start of the section so that I fully understood what was happening.
I applaud her writing style because of the subtle things. Like Maria’s broken English when she’s speaking to her kids, non-Romanian friends, and strangers. But then her vast vocabulary and colorful dialogue when speaking to her husband and those who do speak Romanian. It’s these little things that speak volumes about an author’s abilities.
Maria Elena Sandovici moved to Texas on a Greyhound bus in the summer of 2005. It would be the beginning of a great adventure. Born in Bucharest, Romania, a place she loves and where she returns often, she’d spend the requisite time in Manhattan to call herself a New Yorker, but also to know she was looking for something else. Her debut novel, Dogs with Bagels, is very much a New York story: the story of an immigrant family forging new identities for themselves in the city that never sleeps. 

Her second novel, Stray Dogs and Lonely Beaches, is the story of a young woman traveling the world in search of herself. This theme persists in Lost Path to Solitude, her third novel, in which characters suffering an identity crisis are caught in a search for the ideal place to call home. Three locales dominate the story: New York City, Bucharest, and an imaginary, caricaturized town in Southeast Texas, called Solitude.In addition to writing fiction, Maria Elena Sandovici paints every day. She has a studio at Hardy and Nance Studios in Houston, and also shows her daily watercolors on her blog, Have Watercolors Will Travel, accompanied by essays about whatever inspires or obsesses her at any given moment.

To support her art and writing, she teaches Political Science at Lamar University. She is also the well-behaved human of a feisty little dog. 

Her favorite places in Texas are Houston and Galveston. 

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GIVEAWAY! TWO WINNERS EACH RECEIVE  COPIES OF BOTH DOGS WITH BAGELS & LOST PATH TO SOLITUDE

 

  May 23 – June 1, 2016
Check out the other great blogs on the tour!  

5/23   Missus Gonzo  –  Review
5/24   It’s a Jenn World – Author Interview #1
5/25   Country Girl Bookaholic  – Promo
5/26   Forgotten Winds  — Review
5/27   Texas Book Lover  – Guest Post #1
5/28   My Book Fix Blog – Excerpt
5/29   Hall Ways BlogReview
5/30   The Page Unbound – Author Interview #2
5/31   StoreyBook Reviews      – Review
6/1     A Novel Reality– Guest Post #2
 
 
 
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Review: How to Be a Texan: The Manual by Andrea Valdez

HOW TO BE A TEXAN: THE MANUAL
by
Andrea Valdez
Illustrated by Abi Daniel

 

Genre: Texas Customs / Social Life / Humor
Date of Publication: May 3, 2016

# of pages: 208, 58 B&W Illustrations

Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

There are certain things every Texan should know how to do and say, whether your Lone Star roots reach all the way back to the 1836 Republic or you were just transplanted here yesterday. Some of these may be second nature to you, but others . . . well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have a few handy hints if, say, branding the herd or hosting a tamalada aren’t your usual pastimes. That’s where How to Be a Texan can help.
In a friendly, lighthearted style, Andrea Valdez offers illustrated, easy-to-follow steps for dozens of authentic Texas activities and sayings. In no time, you’ll be talking like a Texan and dressing the part; hunting, fishing, and ranching; cooking your favorite Texas dishes; and dancing cumbia and two-step. You’ll learn how to take a proper bluebonnet photo and build a Día de los Muertos altar, and you’ll have a bucket list of all the places Texans should visit in their lifetime. Not only will you know how to do all these things, you’ll finish the book with a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a Texan and even more pride in saying “I’m from Texas” anywhere you wander in the world.
 
Review
Let me begin by saying that I love these kinds of books. Tongue in cheek lifestyle manuals with fun illustrations and quirky takes on how-to’s and history are totally my bag. Daniel’s black and white illustrations are a tip off that this is book is not supposed to be the gospel truth on all things Texan. If you’re looking for historically accurate information, read a Texas history book. But if you’re like me and prefer a book that’s fast and entertaining to read (but interests you enough to research certain subjects in depth), then you can’t do any better than Valdez’s manual. She even provides bibliographical information for further reading. So considerate!
I hate to admit this, but I don’t read Texas Monthly often. I have tons of respect for anyone who is published in it (my favorite professor at UT was a regular contributor) because I know how prestigious it is. Valdez’s writing style, beautiful but not flowery, funny but not cheap, makes me want to read the magazine. And the subjects covered in this book  inspire me to read more about our great state and the people who make it so.
Although I’m that disgraceful Texan who’s lived here all her life but has never been to the rodeo (don’t worry! I will go! I promise!), I still know a thing or two about farm life, firearms, and Texan cooking. I know how to two step and Cumbia (the latter not so well), but I have yet to buy my first pair of authentic cowboy boots. This manual has opened my eyes to some lifestyle tips and historical events that I haven’t put too much thought into. Also places in Texas to visit that weren’t even on my radar. And I plan on learning more about these things and places.
I highly recommend this book, especially as a cutesy gift to give to either a new Texan or perhaps a homesick Texan. Me, I would proudly showcase this beauty as a coffee table book or put it up on the shelf next to my copy of The Jane Austen Handbook.

A native Houstonian who has worked for Texas Monthly since 2006, Valdez is the editor of texasmonthly.com. She has written on a wide range of subjects, including more than forty columns on activities every Texan should be able to do, which provided the inspiration for this book. She also helped Texas Monthly launch The Daily Post and TMBBQ.comFOLLOW ON TWITTER

 

GIVEAWAY! FOUR SIGNED COPIES!

May 3 – May 17, 2016

 

Check out these other great stops on the tour!

5/3       Country Girl Bookaholic          — Promo
5/4       It’s a Jenn World         — Review
5/5       Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their BooksAuthor Interview #1
5/6       Forgotten Winds         — Review
5/7       StoreyBook Reviews    — Excerpt #1
5/8       All for the Love of the WordPage Preview #1
5/9       Book Chase     — Review
5/10     Margie’s Must Reads  — Guest Post
5/11     My Book Fix Blog        — Author Interview #2
5/12     Books and Broomsticks           — Review
5/13     The Crazy Booksellers — Page Preview #2                 
5/14     The Page Unbound      — Excerpt #2  
5/15     Hall Ways Blog  — Review        
5/16     Byers Editing Reviews & Blog — Promo
5/17     Missus Gonzo               — Review
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Review: East Jesus by Chris Manno

EAST JESUS
by
Chris Manno
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Publisher: White Bird Publications
Date of Publication: March 8, 2016
Number of Pages: 314
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In the summer of 1969, a small town in west Texas prepares to send one of their finest young men off to fight a faraway, controversial war. A parallel battle of domestic violence erupts at home as a younger generation struggles to reconcile older notions of right and wrong and even fractured family ties with the inevitable price that the fighting demands. 

Much like today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Vietnam war is little understood by those left behind, but the lessons of strength, commitment and duty are timeless, then and now. East Jesus, the story of that national struggle today as well as back in 1969, is a plangent, soulful journey lived through the eyes of a wide-ranging, colorful array of characters, with a conclusion readers will never forget.

 
There’s more.  “East Jesus,” said one editor, “is a message of hope for our children.” Too often, teenagers who’ve survived a young lifetime of domestic violence believe “this is the hell I was born into, this is the hell I must accept for life.” East Jesus turns that notion on its ear: though there’s a price to pay, there’s a better way that rises above the violence.
The novel is peopled by strong characters, particularly women, in a salt-of-the-earth, small town, west Texas community. The price of a far away, unpopular war always comes due in small town America, then (set in 1969) as well as now (Iraq and Afghanistan). But the lesson of hope, sacrifice and redemption is timeless.
To read East Jesus is to live that story, to transcend the fighting at home and abroad, and to embrace the hope and faith in what’s right above all else.

Experience East Jesus, live the story–you’ll never forget it.

PURCHASE FROM:
Review
Now I know that this book isn’t YA, but I have to say that Manno has the teen speak and tone down to the point that I was not expecting the man in his picture (see below) as the author. Sorry if that’s ageist, but I mean it as a compliment. As someone who loves reading YA because I never outgrew the teen angst and obsession with anything Apocalyptic, I don’t think that I could maintain a tone as authentic as Manno. But I’ve digressed.
While I had trouble keeping all the characters straight in the beginning (there are lots of people… and dogs… with strange names), I think I finally got a hang of things about a quarter of the way through. And while I didn’t particularly care for some characters (Travis lost the parent lottery), I found them all interesting and realistic.
So many books have domestic abuse in them and I’ve found that most have some sort of an explanation (not justifying it, but there’s usually some stupid reason) for why it occurs. The reason unfolds at the end of this book. But I was so wrapped up in whatever moment was happening that I didn’t sit and ponder about it.
I’ve lived my whole life in Texas, most of it bordering a sleepy ol’ Western-ish town, but I still feel like I’m reading about foreign places when I read novels like this one. I guess that’s an attribute to just how vast and varied our great state is. I don’t think the fact that it’s set on the cusp of the 70’s is the issue either. There’s just something very different about a town where there’s literally only a handful of places to spend a Friday night. And yes, football does make an appearance.
My takeaway from this book is you don’t get to pick who your family is, but you can pick the people around you who can be your new family. And you might not succeed in protecting each other, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on building a new, good life. Manno doesn’t paint a pretty picture of this town and time period, but I found this book refreshing all the same.

Chris Manno matriculated from Springfield, Virginia and graduated from VMI in 1977 with a degree in English. He was commissioned in the Air Force and after completing flight training, spent seven years as a squadron pilot in the Pacific at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa and Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He was hired by American Airlines as a pilot in 1985 and was promoted to captain in 1991. He flies today as a Boeing 737 captain on routes all over North America and the Caribbean. He earned a doctorate in residence at Texas Christian University and currently teaches writing at Texas Wesleyan University in addition to flying a full schedule at American Airlines. He lives in Fort Worth.
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GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS!
5 WINNERS!
Each winner gets an author signed copy of East Jesus PLUS 
a free download of Chris’s cartoon book #RudeLateNightCartoons 

(US ONLY)

 

  May 10 – May 19, 2016
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:


5/10   Texas Book Lover  – Guest Post #1

5/11   Missus Gonzo  – Review
5/12   Country Girl Bookaholic  – Promo
5/13   Forgotten Winds  — Review
5/14   StoreyBook Reviews     – Excerpt      
5/15   A Novel Reality            – Author Interview #1     
5/16   Book Chase      – Review      
5/17   All for the Love of the Word     – Guest Post #2     
5/18   My Book Fix Blog – Author Interview #2                                      
5/19   Hall Ways BlogReview

 

 
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Review: Her One and Only by Becky Wade

HER ONE AND ONLY
(Porter Family #4)

 

by 

 

Becky Wade
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Bethany House Facebook
Date of Publication: May 3, 2016
# of pages: 368
Scroll down for Giveaway!
After ten years in the NFL, superstar Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself? 

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.


Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives—and their hearts—to one another.


Praise for Her One and Only
“Down-to-earth, in-depth characters give the story an authentic feel. Dru, being the youngest Porter, is headstrong and sympathetic, and when she matches wits with Gray, their connection is as electric as their budding romance is sweet. A delightful read.”—RT Book Reviews
PURCHASE LINKS:
  AMAZON        BARNES & NOBLE
Review
I can honestly say that this is the first romance where I felt attached, let alone liked, every main character. Despite Dru’s beauty and strength, I found her accessible immediately. Of course, the men interested in her would say otherwise. Gray was also easy to like because he wasn’t truly a jerk football player deep down. Actually, if you barely scratched his surface, you could still come to that conclusion. Which explains why his ex of over two years still chases him and his sweet housekeeper pines for him. Before you start to think that this sounds like another corny love story, let me stop you right there.
Dru has a huge chip on her shoulder despite coming from a loving family. And Gray learns that he has the capacity to love despite coming from a family where love destroys lives. Throw into the mix another suitable love interest, and you have a recipe for love triangle suspense. You know who she’s going to end up with, but you’re waiting for the shoe to drop on an ill conceived bet. And because of Wade’s decision to open the novel with a flash forward to the most suspenseful part, you’re waiting for gunshots to be fired as well.
Who is the stalker? I had no clue. I kept changing my mind. And as someone who prides herself in figuring out endings and whodunit, I did not. Great twist, Wade!
I admire Wade’s writing style, likable characters, and natural dialogue. My only critique is her hangups on name brand shoes. It distracted me from the great story when she talked about Adidas slip ons or the brands of her different sneakers. I think colors would have sufficed. But other than that, I had a hard time putting this book down. I hope that I win the rafflecopter so that I can read the other three books.
Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She’s the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart and the Texas-set Porter Family series:  Undeniably Yours, Meant to Be Mine, and A Love Like Ours, and Her One and Only.
GIVEAWAY! TWO WINNERS WIN COPIES OF

 

ALL 4 BOOKS IN THE PORTER FAMILY SERIES

 

  May 3 – May 13, 2016








a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other great blogs on the tour!

5/3       Because This is My Life Y’allReview
5/4       My Book Fix Blog          — Excerpt #1
5/5       Margie’s Must Reads     — Review
5/6       The Page Unbound       — Guest Post #1
5/8       Missus GonzoReview
5/9       Books and BroomsticksExcerpt #2
5/10     StoreyBook Reviews     — Promo
5/11     Hall Ways BlogReview
5/12     It’s a Jenn WorldGuest Post #2
   blog tour services provided by
 
 
 

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Review: Prayerful Passages by Jack H. Emmott

PRAYERFUL PASSAGES
Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation,

 

Separation, and Divorce

 

by 

 

Jack H. Emmott
Genre: Religion / Spirituality / Devotional 
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of Publication: February 9, 2016
# of pages: 64
 

The power of asking God for help while struggling to save a marriage, separating, divorcing, or rebuilding life is the driving force behind Prayerful Passages:  Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation, and Divorce by Jack H. Emmott.  The fifty-six prayers are practical, touching on all shades of difficulty.  They are specific and short; accessible and comforting; inspiring and inspired.
In Prayerful Passages, Jack has opened the doors of comfort and healing to guide a Christian struggling with the anger, loss, and grief that inevitably arise during the separation, divorce, and reconciliation stages of a marriage in peril. Open the doors of your own heart to God’s grace and healing. These prayers will aid you in your journey.
PRAISE FOR PRAYERFUL PASSAGES:

 

In Prayerful Passages, Jack Emmott, with profound clarity, helps faithful people struggling in their marriage to find not only the words they need to pray, but also the Divine Presence and power they need in challenging life circumstances. — Rev. Stuart Bates, Rector, St. Francis Episcopal Church, Houston


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This book will make an ideal gift for a friend or family member going through divorce.  I wish the families I’ve seen in family court had been able to make their difficult passages with these prayers in their hearts and on their lips.  This book would have alleviated their anguish.– Frank Rynd, J.D., Former Family Law Judge
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A compelling sharing of compassion—this book shows the impact a prayerful, Christ-centered life can have on the human spirit.  What a powerful read . . . I was wowed by its wisdom. — Larry R. Cook, CPA
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All you have to do is open to the table of contents to see the brilliance of this wise voice that pushes us all to see the world as a more inclusive, loving place where we are all perfectly imperfect children of God. Jack offers his reader empathy, wisdom and redemption for the human spirit. Don’t miss the wisdom of a man who has lived into surrender at an early age as his polio left him trapped in an iron lung to survive. But, he didn’t just survive; he blossomed and thrives today, venerating the love of the Divine for all of us. This is a must-read for all of us who want to live more fully into our loving relationships.– Micki Grimland, LCSW, Owner and Chief Psychotherapist, Southwest Psychotherapy Associates 

 

Review

Growing up Baptist, I’ve attended many churches and seminars that are Bible-based. When I went away to college, I took a Bible as Literature class to open up my spiritual world. As a relatively new believer in no “true and correct” religion, I still maintain the idea that Christianity must be Bible-based. And according to the Bible, divorce is a no no in most cases.

Emmott provides an excellent resource for people who are so distraught that they lack the ability to form the words to ask God for help. And I was impressed that he provides the template for so many different scenarios that a person might find themselves in; whether that is reconciling a marriage, separating temporarily, or divorce. He also suggests prayers for those with or without children.

I only wish that Emmott provided Bible passages for the reader to immerse themselves in. Specifically, passages that explain why divorce is not desirable. And I wish that he had provided resources within the book for those who are doing all that they can to save their marriage. Praying for help is good, but one has to look for the help as well. It would be a great service to the reader to have some of those resources already in their hands.

I was a little confused by “Prayers for Putting Our Child/Children First”. In that particular passage, it’s not clear whether the spouses are just separated and not divorced. Biblically, man and wife are cleaved and have a covenant with each other, not their children. In a Christian marriage, Christ comes first, then your spouse, and the children after that. If the couple were divorced already or on the verge, I would understand this particular prayer.

Overall, I think this is a good book to share with someone who might be going through a difficult time in their marriage or divorce. I would definitely couple it with some Biblical references to help solidify understanding and provide additional comfort.

 

What makes Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation, and Divorce appealing is the courage, calling and faith of its author Jack H. Emmott. In 1954, just as the Salk vaccine was entering massive medical trials, Jack was stricken with polio and paralyzed from the neck down.  With faith in God and selfless help from his parents, educators, healthcare providers, and later his wife Dorothy and his close-knit family, he became a successful lawyer, civic leader, volunteer, inspirational speaker, author, and song writer. Though today confined to a motorized wheelchair, he has long navigated as a full member of society.

 

 

 

As a member at Gray Reed & McGraw in Houston, Texas, with over thirty-five years working in family law, Jack primarily focuses on collaborative law, a resolution option for divorcing couples. In collaborative process, couples mutually agree to voluntary disclosure of relevant information, which is much faster and less expensive than formal discovery.  The children are protected and shared, not divided like property.

 

 

His life experience and abiding faith in God led Jack to write Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation, and Divorce. Jack says, “The exact words of the title Prayerful Passages literally came to me one night during evening prayer. I felt, at that very moment, I had received an invitation from God to write a book of prayers to help others and to please the God who had always accompanied me in the darkness of disability.”
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 5/5       Books and Broomsticks  — Author Interview #1

5/6       Hall Ways BlogReview

5/7       It’s a Jenn World — Promo
5/8       My Book Fix Blog – Excerpt #1
5/9       Texas Book-aholic – Review
5/10     Book Crazy Gals  – Author Interview #2
5/11     The Page Unbound – Excerpt #2
5/12     The Librarian Talks – Review
5/13     A Novel Reality  — Author Interview #3

 

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