Tag Archives: Family

Book Blitz: Tangible Spirits by Becki Willis

 
TANGIBLE SPIRITS 
BOOK BLITZ 
by
BECKI WILLIS
Genre: Paranormal / Thriller / Suspense 
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: May 13, 2017
Number of Pages: 316

Reporter Gera Stapleton has a difficult choice to make: write the story of a lifetime or save the legacy of a town—and a man—she has come to love. Assigned to a piece in Jerome, Arizona about a once-friendly ghost gone on a crime spree, Gera stumbles upon an amazing tale of greed, deception, and family honor—and murder. When the killer targets her as the next victim, an unlikely savior comes to her rescue. Smart dialogue, plenty of action, and a touch of the supernatural make this a must-read novel.

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AMAZON     SIGNED PAPERBACK

2018 Best Paranormal Fiction
by The Association of Texas Authors 
2018 RONE Award Nominee for Paranormal Long
Crowned Heart Recipient from InD’Tale Magazine


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ABOUT THE RONE AWARDS:
Each year InD’tale Magazine honors the very best books in the Indie and Small publishing industry by awarding the prestigious RONE award (Reward of Novel Excellence). To achieve this award, a book must go through the most comprehensive process in the industry today, with three distinct areas of focus— highly rated and reviewed, loved by fans, and critiqued by qualified judges. No other award system today compares, making the RONE award the very highest of honors bestowed on a novel in the publishing industry.

 The first round of voting (happening May 7-13, 2018 for TANGIBLE SPIRITS) allows the reading public to choose their favorites. Books with the most votes proceed as finalists. The books chosen as finalists will then be read by a group of industry professionals and will be judged based on a specific list of requirements. Those scores will then be tallied by a professional company unrelated to InD’tale or its employees to determine the winner of the coveted RONE award.

CAST YOUR VOTE
FOR TANGIBLE SPIRITS! 
Please register now at www.indtale.com and cast your vote for TANGIBLE SPIRITS by Becki Willis. http://indtale.com/2018-rone-awards-week-four *Please Note* To maintain honesty and fairness in the voting process, only registered InD’Tale website subscribers can vote. Registering is completely FREE and does not require any commitments whatsoever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: To the delight of readers around the world, Becki Willis writes memorable characters in believable situations. Best known for Forgotten Boxes and The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series, Becki has won numerous awards, but says her biggest achievement is her family and her loyal reader base.

TANGIBLE SPIRITS
COMING TO

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JUNE 27-JULY 6, 2018
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Review & Giveaway: Leave Tomorrow by Dirk Weisiger

 
LEAVE TOMORROW:
My Ride to the 
Bottom of the World
by
Dirk Weisiger
  
Genre: Memoir / Travel / Inspiration
Date of Publication: October 27, 2017
Number of Pages: 232

Scroll down for the giveaway!

After building a successful business, Dirk Weisiger was ready for something new. But he wasn’t sure what. Maybe a motorcycle adventure, I’ve never done that! 
What followed was a fourteen-month, solo motorcycle journey from Austin, Texas to Ushuaia, Argentina, filled with unexpected adventures, surprises, and lessons about life and travel.  

In this book, you’ll not only enjoy Dirk’s adventure and insights, but find inspiration for your own journey.
(A portion of proceeds from this book help sponsor children at the Colegio Bautista El Calvario private school in Managua, Nicaragua.) 

PRAISE FOR LEAVE TOMORROW:
I may not ride a motorcycle to the bottom of the world, but my soul comes alive when I hear about people smashing fear and following their dreams. This book will truly inspire you.
–Abigail Irene Fisher, traveler and speaker

Leave Tomorrow is a fun, engaging, and thought-provoking read. If you are looking for a blend of humanity, culture, scary moments with a medicine man, military police, attempts at extortion, and unexpected challenges–along with insightful observations and humor, this book will definitely spark your imagination to “live your own movie.”  
–Steve Scott, business coach and author of Wings to Fly

This inspiring and entertaining book is just the tonic needed to get you up out of your chair and ready to “Leave Tomorrow.”
–Julie Mundy, Guidebook Author and Travel Blogger, Australia

For everyone thinking of a new adventure, a new life, or even a new venture: DO IT.
–Jim Rogers, bestselling author of Investment Biker and Street Smarts 
This is not the first book I’ve read on riding to Ushuaia, but it is probably the most enjoyable. Dirk writes about his experiences in an upbeat manner, taking each experience and each day in perspective.
–Muriel Farrington, Ambassador, BMW Motorcycles of America


>>CLICK TO PURCHASE<<
A portion of proceeds from this book help sponsor children at the Colegio Bautista El Calvario private school in Managua, Nicaragua.) 
300b2-review
I’m not too proud to admit that I sort of begged to review this book. My husband owns the DVD boxset of The Long Round and The Long Way Down, and I was hooked right away. When I saw that Weisiger’s book was of a similar nature, I had to get my hands on it. I was ecstatic to see that he covered a different part of the world and completed the journey ALL BY HIMSELF! No camera crews to back him up if something went wrong or a translator was needed. And as I set the book down and got my notebook ready to take notes, my husband glanced at the cover and said, “Hey, I want to read that when you’re done with it.” I’m an avid reader and that is probably the second time he’s ever said that to me during our nearly 10 years of marriage!
What really stood out to me is the odd formatting of the book. Because the sections are quite short, I guessed that the blog posts he wrote during the journey were used for this book. Upon investigating his website, I noticed that there weren’t many blog posts, and that these travels were not among them. So if my hunch is correct, he probably took the posts down.  No shame in the game. Plus, in case you missed the text below the CLICK TO PURCHASE link, a portion of the proceeds benefits the children at the Colegio Bautista El Calvario private school in Nicaragua. When I got to the part of Weisiger’s journey where he wanted to do something for those kids, I honestly smiled knowing that this book will do even more great things for people that Weisiger has met along the way.
The short sections work though because the story flows nicely. And even when he says something aside or pauses the story for a quick tip, it’s relevant to what is happening and doesn’t really take you out of the story. I really enjoy the variety of those tips because they are a tasting of what this book is: part memoir, part travel guide, part inspirational book. I don’t know where you are in your life right now, but this book was exactly what I needed.
Sometimes when life gets you down, belief in a higher power is the only thing that will lift you up. So I loved the imagery of his recollection of struggling to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. How he wanted to give up on ever reaching the top, but knew that if he would just step right where his guide had step, then he would eventually get there. He uses that as a metaphor for his faith in God, but as he later says, “This book isn’t a Sunday School lesson, but might be a Monday-school lesson in pursuing your dreams” (p. 9). I loved that!
Weisiger doesn’t talk much about his artistic side, but he has a great eye for composition. I wish that the photographs in the book were color, but I guess this will encourage people to visit his website. (Toggling back to his page now…) Where you can actually buy prints. Well, there you go. Looks like he knows his photos are pretty darn good! I hope to one day take Weisiger’s advice and just plan that trip and go.
Something that might be slightly uncomfortable but I feel I had to mention: Weisiger’s compassion for the plight of illegal immigrants vs his intention to vote Trump (this was before the election, obviously). It really underlined for me how multifaceted politics and people’s political leanings can be. And it made me even prouder to live in a country where we can vote more than one way. That our only choices aren’t socialist or dictator, like many of the countries Weisiger visited.
This book also pointed out to me that these “scary” countries are 95% people just trying to provide for their families and the other 5% is what makes national news. If it bleeds, it leads is the saying, right? Also, this isn’t the first time that I’ve heard of people from other countries telling the U.S. traveler to spread the word that U.S. citizens are welcome in their countries. And lastly, a great nugget of wisdom: while learning the language isn’t necessary, it is much appreciated.
I really learned a lot about people and culture reading this book. I think that those who tend to only read blogs or short articles will be able to digest this very well. I am confidently passing this book on to my husband with the knowledge that he, too, will come away with something new as well. I look forward to talking to him about it. Leave me a comment once you read it too.

Dirk Weisiger is a travel trekker, trick roper, and storyteller. He’s the author of the new book, Leave Tomorrow: My Ride to the Bottom of the World. Dirk has always enjoyed speaking to groups, spinning tales, ropes, and offering lessons he’s learned in adventures of life and business. He’s traveled to five continents and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Most of all Dirk loves people and believes that making new friends is the best part of travel.
 ║ Website║ Facebook 
Twitter   LinkedIn
Instagram 
║ Amazon Author Page ————————————-

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Three Readers Each Win a Signed Copy + $5 Cash!
FEBRUARY 21-MARCH 2, 2018
(U.S. Only)


VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

2/21/18
Author Video
2/22/18
Guest Post 1
2/23/18
Review
2/24/18
Guest Post 2
2/25/18
Trip Pic
2/26/18
Review
2/27/18
Trip Pic
2/28/18
Guest Post 3
3/1/18
Review
3/2/18
Review
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Review & Giveaway: Why I Hate Green Beans by Lincee Ray

WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS
and other confessions about relationships, reality tv, and how we see ourselves
by
LINCEE RAY
  
Genre: Humorous NonFiction / Memoir
Publisher: Revell
Facebook   ⎸ Twitter
Date of Publication: February 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 208

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Insecurity. As women, we all struggle with it. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our age-defying serums with flecks of gold refuse to erase our crow’s feet. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else’s picture-perfect lives. If you’ve ever felt uninteresting, unlovable, or unattractive, you’re ready for Lincee Ray’s particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection.
Like a trustworthy friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection and trust that God knew what He was doing when He made us. From maneuvering the muffin top to navigating the sketchy waters of singleness to walking the judgmental halls of the workplace, Lincee’s laugh-out-loud look at real life reveals many of the key truths she’s learned about her identity:
Yoga pants are your friend, Jesus sees you, and green-bean diets are never the answer.

PRAISE FOR WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS:
“Lincee is a brilliant writer. She once described me as ‘smelling of worn leather, a vintage nine iron and swagger.’ She pretty much nailed it. She is definitely worthy of the final rose.” —Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s Bachelor franchise and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
“I found myself laughing out loud, wiping away a few tears, and cheering her on every step of the way. Lincee is the best friend you wish you had. Get ready to fall in love with her and her fabulous debut book!”  —Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama blog 
“By the end of this book, you’ll think of Lincee as a favorite friend: someone who shoots straight, finds the funny in every situation, and reminds you what matters most. You are in for a treat!” —Sophie Hudson, author of Giddy Up, Eunice and cohost of The Big Boo Cast podcast


Review
For a good while, I thought there was another girl in Texas living my exact same life. I, too, am an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Ray and I share the discomfort of people noticing us out in public, but are totally fine dancing up a storm or stealing the mic to sing our lungs out. We also dated a younger guy in high school who we left behind when we went to college. And there our stories diverged, but I continued to be captivated.
Was it her Disney internship that had me chomping at the bit? I had always dreamed of being Mulan or Pocahontas. Or perhaps it was the funny coincidence that we both worked in oil and gas. Those are just a few places where our adult lives intersected, but I found so much that I could relate to. As I read on, I realized that Ray had a few years on me, but we share the same generation. Our parents were different but the same in many ways, just like we are. And the pop references from childhood through adulthood kept me thoroughly entertained.
As a Christian, I appreciated her sprinkles of scripture here and there. But to be honest, I was a little taken aback when she really goes full on Bible at the end. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I feel compelled to write it here. I guess I hadn’t really seen the book going in that direction all along. But if that section brings someone to Christ, or closer to Him, I can get behind that. I know that I can always use the reminder about the Refiner’s Fire. Everyone knows the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But I always loved the Biblical imagery of your hardship being the equivalent of you being thrust into the fire and each strike making you stronger.
Some of my favorite parts include the section where her friends share stories about her with their children. I like how she has a comical quip to add at the end of each anecdote. I loved how she had a great Language Arts teacher (they’re always the best for some reason) that assigned a coat of arms design assignment like mine did. I can’t remember all the bits on mine, but I do know that the young me held a lot of the same values and quirks as me today.
My only regret is that Ray never tried Events and Adventures. I’ve been begging my single friends to give it a try and report back, you know, for science. Maybe she could include it in her next book – the one about all the crazies she met while speed dating.
I think women in all walks of life would enjoy this book, but especially ’70s and ’80s kids. If there’s a pre-teen or teen girl in your life that’s got it rough, the first few chapter are really uplifting. I plan on sharing this book with my group of gal pals.

Lincee Ray is an accidental blogging superstar from Texas who now writes for EW.com and the Associated Press. An active speaker, she can be found at her popular website ihategreenbeans.com, where she makes it clear that she believes it’s important to tell your story—even if it makes you seem a little crazy.

Connect with Lincee!
 ║ Blog║ Facebook  Twitter   
Instagram Podcast 


————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FEBRUARY 13-22, 2018
GRAND PRIZE:
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and Lincee’s Loves Basket which includes: Rave travel hairspray, Minnie Mouse ears, Vodka*, Heartbreakers Candy, Dr. Pepper, chocolate rose, and green jelly beans.
2nd PRIZE:
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3rd PRIZE:
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
(U.S. Only; *proof of age required for vodka)

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

2/13/18
Notable Quotable
2/13/18
Notable Quotable
2/14/18
Review
2/15/18
Playlist
2/15/18
Author Interview
2/16/18
Review
2/17/18
Guest Post
2/17/18
Excerpt
2/18/18
Review
2/19/18
Notable Quotable
2/19/18
Notable Quotable
2/20/18
Review
2/21/18
Top Five
2/22/18
Review
2/22/18
Review
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Review & Giveaway: Aransas Morning by Jeff Hampton

ARANSAS MORNING
by
JEFF HAMPTON
  Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Life
Date of Publication: September 22, 2017
Number of Pages: 304

Scroll down for the giveaway!

When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas, Texas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.


PRAISE FOR ARANSAS MORNING:
“Engrossing characters that keep doing unexpected things. Strong sense of place along the Texas coast and deep knowledge of the culture. This book is about relationships and how ‘family’ and ‘community’ might be redefined.”

“In this heartwarming book, Jeff Hampton took me to a place I’ve never been and captured me with his delightful characters, seaside landscape, and deft use of words to portray a small group of people who came together to create and run the Dream Bean cafe. Great summer reading.”

“I loved the characters, with their flaws and their graces. It is an honest and heart-warming story of redemption coming through community. I’m really glad I read it.”

“Really nice character development, articulating in a very comfortable and readable style the messy, complex, joyous and hopeful ways we build, break and nurture ‘community.’”
“Very quickly in the story, the characters became like friends. The book is engaging and held my interest.”


CLICK TO PURCHASE:
◾   Barnes& Noble  ◾   Jeff Hampton Writer   ◾   
  ◾   Etsy  ◾    Amazon   ◾   
300b2-review
For me, characters carry a book. If I don’t care about the characters or find them impossible to believe, I can’t read more than a few chapters. Hampton’s characters pulled me in; hook, line, and sinker. And there was even a beautiful pace in which each new character came along and the narrative followed them a bit.
Sam Barnes is a beatdown man who just bums around the beach. He works the odd job so he can eat canned soup in his tin can of a trailer home. Locals know who he is, but nobody really knows him. In retrospect, Sam asking a man who is staring out at the water what he sees is a bit out of character. But it’s this interaction that changes everyone’s lives.
When Hampton follows a character, he seems to write in their voice yet maintains that third person perspective. The tone shifts are truly remarkable. When we’re with Sam, sentences are short and details are sparse. Shelly’s first chapter is descriptive and the language flows. Dave’s chapter talks about the present but constantly circles back to Debby, his wife who passed away a year prior. When Sam collides with Dave, which rolls them toward Shelly, everything is set into motion. As the book progresses, it feels like a single voice has taken over the narrative; either Hampton’s alone, or all of the characters as a collective.
I found it sad that Sam was sort of a wake up call for Shelly and Dave. Neither of them wanted to end up like him, destitute and miserable, so they made big decisions to leave their old lives behind to find new ones. But happily, they wanted to share their new lives with this man who was so much more than he seemed. “He dreamed of being a king but he’d always just been a jester.” (p. 4) was a line that grabbed me.
It was amazing to watch such strong characters with fierce opinions and habits to come together and achieve a common goal. Who could foresee that this strength and ferocity would transform into loyalty, trust, friendship, and love? And I think one of the big lessons of the book is that you have to forgive yourself once you’ve already been forgiven by others. Other gems I have taken away are the importance of living your best life, handling business matters with integrity and respect, and marching to the beat of your own drum.
My only critique is that I wish Hampton didn’t spell out situations so explicitly at times. He literally tells us about a jealousy that’s not romance based- it’s pretty obvious. When there is some friction between two of the main characters, he tells us why they’re acting cold to each other when we could already glean that from the previous scene.
I highly recommend this book to people who love a good redemption or personal transformation story. I am glad to hear that there will be an Aransas Evening coming soon. I look forward to reading it.

During a 35-year career in journalism and communications, Jeff Hampton has covered and written about topics ranging from business and finance to history and faith. His bylines have appeared in publications ranging from The Dallas Morning News to The New York Times.
He attended Baylor University where he majored in journalism and was editor of the Baylor Lariat campus newspaper. He began his professional career at the Waco Tribune-Herald and has written for newspapers, magazines, businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Hampton has based his life and career in Texas where his interest in observing the people around him has led him to write essays, short stories, and novels that explore relationships and communities in their many forms.
Aransas Morning is his fifth book, following Grandpa Jack, When the Light Returned to Main Street, Jonah Prophet and The Snowman Uprising on Hickory Lane.
Watch for Aransas Evening, a sequel to Aransas Morning, in 2018. 
 ║ Website ║ Facebook  Twitter   
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FIVE SIGNED COPIES!
JANUARY 23-FEBRUARY 1, 2018
(U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

1/23/18
Promo
1/23/18
Promo
1/24/18
Guest Post
1/24/18
Review
1/25/18
Excerpt Part 1
1/25/18
Excerpt Part 2
1/26/18
Review
1/27/18
Review
1/28/18
Author Interview
1/28/18
Playlist
1/29/18
Review
1/30/18
Promo
1/30/18
Scrapbook Page
1/31/18
Review
2/1/18
Review
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Review & Giveaway: A Good Girl by Johnnie Bernhard

BNR A Good Girl JPG

A GOOD GIRL

by
JOHNNIE BERNHARD
  Genre: Southern Historical Fiction
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Website    Facebook
Date of Publication: March 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 288
Scroll down for giveaway!
A Bible’s family tree and an embroidered handkerchief hold the key to understanding the past as six generation Texan, Gracey Reiter, prepares to say goodbye to her dying father, the last surviving member of the Walsh-Mueller family. The present holds the answer and the last opportunity for Gracey to understand her father’s anger, her mother’s guilt, and her siblings’ version of the truth.

The Walsh-Mueller family begins in Texas when Patricia Walsh leaves the famine of nineteenth century Ireland, losing her parents and siblings along the way.  She finds a home, love, and security with Emil Mueller in a German settlement near Indianola on the Texas Gulf Coast.  They begin their lives on a small cotton farm, raising six sons. From the coastal plains of Texas, five generations survive hurricanes, wars, The Great Depression, and life, itself.  
An all-encompassing novel that penetrates the core being of all who read it, A Good Girl pulls back the skin to reveal the raw actualities of life, love and relationships.  It is the ageless story of family. 

CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER!



PRAISE FOR A GOOD GIRL:

*2017 Kindle Book Award Finalist*
*Over 50 5 Star Reviews*
One of 2017’s best will surely be A Good Girl by author Johnnie Bernhard, who as much as any writer since Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, offers a breathtaking tour of the human heart in conflict with itself, desperately searching for grace and redemption in the face of unremitting loss.  Bernhard’s sentences are filled with the stuff of what blues and country music singers refer to as “soul” and “high lonesome.” 
–Jim Fraiser, The Sun Herald Newspaper
Relatable and real, A Good Girl speaks to the heart of what it means to be human and that generations come and go, but love binds us together.
Kathleen M. Rodgers, author of The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately, & Seven Wings to Glory
A Good Girl is a raw, real, and relatable gift to the soul on every level. Ms. Bernhard’s writing is so descriptive, reading this book is truly a visceral experience. One cannot help but reflect on their own family legacy and life journey. Prepare to be riveted by this heartbreaking, yet healing story about family, self-discovery and learning how to love.  
–Eva Steortz, SVP, Brand Development, 20th Century Fox

A beautiful debut novel across oceans and time, with a clear, objective yet poignant Southern voice. A timeless voice much like Doctorow’s Ragtime, A Good Girl is a true Southern American story. A story of one family spanning generations, dealing with love and loss, despair, and redemption, that leaves its readers with a timeless lesson.   
-Kathryn Brown Ramsperger, Author of The Shores of Our Souls and Moments on the Edge. 
I have found Johnnie Bernhard’s book to touch a powerful chord in my heart.  Masterfully written with deep insight into the journey of family and forgiveness, I’m a better person for having read this book.
-Cynthia Garrett,  The London Sessions & The Mini Sessions (airing regularly on TBN Network),  Author of The Prodigal Daughter

══════════║║║══════════
Sales benefit Port Lavaca, Texas! Much of the setting of A Good Girl, a six generation Texas saga, is set in Port Lavaca, Calhoun County. During the Lone Star Book Blog Tour, all author’s royalties will be donated to the Calhoun County Museum of Port Lavaca in its recovery effort after Hurricane Harvey. Texas Proud! Port Lavaca Strong!
CLICK TO PURCHASE
Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo

 

 

300b2-review

Only recently have I begun to enjoy stories and the history of people across the pond, but I have always been drawn to pioneer and immigrant stories in American history. Bernhard’s story taught me a great deal more about these experiences than what was covered in my history classes. I had no idea just how oppressive the British were on the Irish and the false promises made to entice whole families to board coffin ships. Much like what Henry’s children came to realize, this book made me reflect on how different the hardships of the poor back then are from the poor now.

 

Although my parents’ immigration story is very different and my father was never an abusive drunk, I can relate to the dysfunctional family thing. Why is it that terrible traits like abuse, addiction, and adultery get passed on from generation to generation? I found myself wondering why the men never worked to break the cycle, but then I look at my family and see the same. And just like the book, it seems to be the women’s job to keep the family together and to encourage forgiveness. Why does it always seem that the women have the closer relationship with God as well?

Bernhard’s gift for storytelling let me ponder the deeper meaning of the story rather than trip over clunky dialogue or strapping myself in to suspend my disbelief. I feel like I could reach out and touch each person in this story. I sort of mentally catalogued each person under the categories of slap, shake, and hug. For the most part, I felt like I got to know each character as much as I wanted to, with the exception of Patricia’s mother and three brothers who were left in South Carolina. I know that their family line doesn’t extend down to Tom, Gracey, and Angela, but I hope that Bernhard might consider writing something about them one day. Perhaps they made it out ok but never got around to finding Patricia and poor Ana Grace.

I loved how time moved in this book. The alternating chapters of present and past worked together beautifully. And though there are many characters spanning several generations, it does not get confusing at all.

I am only beginning to learn this for myself, but I feel that the moral of the story is to forgive and let go so you can go and be happy. In church, forgiveness is a huge subject that is either glossed over or explained with the “forgive as the Lord forgave you”. But we’re not great like God; forgiveness is hard. And the truth of it is, forgiveness is for yourself too. Anger stored up inside will just fester and rot you from the inside out. That is something everyone can relate to, whether or not they believe in God.

 

             Johnnie Bernhard, a former AP English teacher and journalist, is passionate about reading and writing. Her works have appeared in the following publications: University of Michigan Graduate Studies Publications, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, Houston Style Magazine, World Oil Magazine, The Suburban Reporter of Houston, The Mississippi Press, University of South Florida Area Health Education Magazine, the international Word Among Us, Southern Writers Magazine, Gulf Coast Writers Association Anthologies, The Texas Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Her entry, “The Last Mayberry,” received over 7,500 views, nationally and internationally.  
            A Good Girl received top ten finalist recognition in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, as well as featured novel for panel discussion at the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals.  It is a finalist in the 2017 national Kindle Book Award for literary fiction and a nominee for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.
            Her second novel, How We Came to Be, is set for publication in spring 2018. It is a finalist in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.   
Johnnie is the owner of Bernhard Editorial Services, LLC, where she writes book reviews for Southern Literary Review, as well as assists writers in honing their craft.  Johnnie and her husband reside in a nineteenth century cottage surrounded by ancient oak trees and a salt water marsh near the Mississippi Sound. They share that delightful space with their dog, Lily, and cat, Poncho. 
WEBSITE   GOODREADS
FACEBOOK   TWITTER   LINKEDIN

Johnnie will be on the road with A Good Girl at the following locations: 
October 26         Southern Bound Book Store, Biloxi, MS, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., http://southernboundblog.net/index.html
October 27-28     Louisiana Book Festival, Baton Rouge, LA, state capitol, http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/
November 4      Peter Anderson Festival, Ocean Springs, MS, Poppy’s on Porter, Washington Avenue, http://www.peterandersonfestival.com/
November 13     Live on KSHU Radio 1430 AM, Houston, Texas, 8 a.m. 
November 16     Calhoun County Historical Museum, Port Lavaca, Texas, 5 p.m. http://calhouncountymuseum.org/
November 18    River Oaks Book Store, Houston, Texas, 3 – 5 p.m., www.riveroaksbookstore.com
December 6 – 8    Words & Music Literary Feast, New Orleans, LA, www.wordsandmusic.org
December 10        Barnes & Noble, New Orleans, noon – 2 p.m.
—————————————–
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October 26-November 4, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

26-Oct
Excerpt 1
27-Oct
Review
28-Oct
Author Interview
29-Oct
Guest Post
30-Oct
Review
31-Oct
Notable Quotable
1-Nov
Review
2-Nov
Scrapbook Page
3-Nov
Excerpt 2
4-Nov
Review


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Review & Giveaway: #BabyLove: My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

#BABYLOVE:
MY TODDLER LIFE
by
CORINE DEHGHANPISHEH
  Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Technology / Family
Publisher: My Art to Inspire
Date of Publication: September 20, 2016
Number of Pages: 40
Scroll down for Giveaway!

 


A curious toddler loves to play…especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment.  Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.
Her simple reminder: Put down our phones.
Praise for #BabyLove: My Toddler Life:
“This poignant and entertaining tale about a playful toddler aimed at young lap readers works on a much deeper level for parents.” – Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) 
“This light-hearted reflection on social media habits is a great tool for starting discussions with young children.” — Forward Clarion Reviews (5 Stars)
“Dehghanpisheh’s illustrations and text are simple, colorful and charming, and many families will relate to the question of how, and how much, to integrate technology into their child’s day.  #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is a fun and timely picture book for 21st century preschoolers. — BlueInk Review 
 “I can’t wait to read this to my 2 year old grandson.  This book is his life curious, sweet and funny.  His mommy has a collection of his photography on her phone.  Priceless. — Kindle Verified Purchase
300b2-review
I read this book with my preschooler even though he’s a bit past the toddler life, and he really enjoyed it. Maybe because he thought the book was about him (there is a slight resemblance), but he actually engaged with me while I read. And who could blame the kid? The text has a nice rhythm to it and very natural rhyme. The illustrations are in that lovely place between adorably hand drawn and Photoshop perfection.
Every page could be taken from our personal life, and my son connected with that. He has painted messy works of art, made beautiful noise with instruments, and loves to take photos with Mommy and Daddy too. And he has certainly gotten in trouble when he’s taken someone’s phone without permission. It really makes for a great teaching moment that children shouldn’t take things that aren’t theirs. But the even bigger lesson is that while it’s wonderful to have technology to remember and share memories with others, most of the time it is best to just enjoy the moment you are in.
Some things I especially enjoyed as an adult who enjoys books and art: I love how the artist uses the phone screen as a sort of photo booth frame that draws attention to her toddler. But the artwork spans two pages, so you’re still getting the full picture from Mommy’s perspective of what exists beyond the cropped edges. For example, you see her hands holding the phone and the family dog hanging out in most frames. I also like the pages that show how Mommy curates the photos and videos as collages to remember special moments and the use of hashtags to commemorate the different events.
This is a beautiful way of showing how technology has changed our ways of capturing and sharing memories. And I especially like the end bit that reminds us to live in the moment as well. I recommend this book and look forward to reading Dehghanpisheh’s other works.
Corine Dehghanpisheh is an award-winning author, whose own family life serves as inspiration for her fun and engaging children’s books.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in New York City.
Ms. Dehghanpisheh currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her family.  There she continues to write the #BabyLove series, focused on the blending of modern technologies with classically familiar child raising situations.
The 2nd book in the series, #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is now available along with #BabyLove: My Social Life, which is a Next Generation Indie Book Awards winner.
Her debut children’s book Can We Play Again? is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist. Corine’s inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC.
 ————————————— 
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THREE SIGNED COPIES!
(US ONLY)
  May 29-June 7, 2017
Grand Prize: Signed Copies of #BabyLove 1 & 2 + $20 Amazon Gift Card
First Runner-Up: Signed Copies of #BabyLove 1 & 2 + $10 Amazon Gift Card
Next Two Winners: Signed Copy of #BabyLove: My Toddler Life + $5 Amazon Gift Card
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
5/29
Promo
5/30
Review
5/31
Sneak Peek Excerpt 1
6/1
Character Interview
6/2
Review
6/3
Sneak Peek Excerpt 2
6/4
Promo
6/5
Review
6/6
Scrapbook
6/7
Review


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Promo & Giveaway: Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio

BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS
by
CAMILLE DI MAIO
  Genre: Women’s Fiction / Historical / Family
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of Publication: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 334
Scroll down for Giveaway!
After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.

She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.

Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

Check out the book trailer!
Praise for Before the Rain Falls:
Still wiping away tears! Before the Rain Falls is simultaneously heartbreaking, hopeful, and joyous: a story of complex characters with varied pasts and bright futures. Loved it! – Jennifer B. on Goodreads
This novel takes readers on an emotional, fast-paced, ride through one sister’s journey to self, redemption, and the true meaning of “freedom.” – Nicole W. on Goodreads
There is romance, mystery, and secrets that are kept till the very end that will have you not wanting this beautifully written story to end. – Carol B. on Goodreads
Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmer’s markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. The Memory of Us is Camille’s debut novel. Her second, Before the Rain Falls was released on May 16, 2017.

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 ————————————— 
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THREE SIGNED COPIES!
(US ONLY)
  May 17-31, 2017 
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
5/17
Promo
5/18
Review
5/19
Excerpt 1
5/20
Review
5/21
Promo
5/22
Author Interview
5/23
Review
5/24
Promo
5/25
Guest Post
5/26
Review
5/27
Excerpt 2
5/28
Promo
5/29
Review
5/30
Deleted Scene
5/31
Review
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