Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tamara Passey Guest Post

10.2.17

I read the news and learned of the Las Vegas mass shooting at 8:20 a.m.  

“No!” I cried out. A mind, heart, and soul—“NO.” 

Random and reckless. Terrifying and too much. I have to remember once again that I live in this world where people can hurt, maim, and kill. I can already see the waves of grief spreading out over the city, and state, the country and the world. It takes all my willpower to resist the fear and refuse the helplessness.

A single thought whispers: Do goodSomething, anything. Do something kind for someone today. It seems pointless or ineffective or thin in the face of such thick evil. Yet the thought persists because of what I know.

You see, my son shares a birthday with his uncle. My brother. The brother that was killed—kicked to death—by three men. This isn’t a fact we dwell on when November rolls around and we sing happy birthday to him. For years after my brother’s death, I wished my son could have been born on a different day. 

But their shared birthday led me to a mental comparison I might not have made otherwise.

My son is also a liver transplant recipient. Some organs you can share without giving your life—like kidneys. While others can only be given when your life ends—like hearts, for example.  So, yes, a child died unexpectedly and his parents agreed to donate his liver to our son who had been on the waiting list almost three months. (The same list that as of today, an average of 20 people die each day waiting.)  Through the next 24 hours of tears and prayers and skilled surgery, he emerged with a healthy liver and a body capable of living. And live he has. For 23 years, our family has known joy. Whole-souled, awe-filled joy because of him. Not just because of the miracle of his life, but because of the miracle that someone we didn’t know was allowed to choose to give him another chance at life. Choosing to do good, even in an hour of pain and grief.

While I have grappled with the heart-sickening actions of others—both mistakes or hateful acts of violence—and how those actions are allowed to wreak havoc in the lives of innocent people, I have gradually come to see what this means for the loving actions of others. Loving actions are allowed to impact us as well. Generous gestures, kind compliments, and heroic rescues can all create waves of comfort and peace. Doctors who dedicate years to study and practice so they can heal, save a life, or relieve a pain. Friends who show up on doorsteps with dinner, neighbors who water your plants and watch the street when you’re out of town. Family members who listen, encourage, and cheer you on—give you a hug (a high-five, a fist-bump—whatever love language you speak.) All of these loving actions can supply happiness and peace, hope and joy. Love can help and heal and give life. And like a wave, it can move through a family, a city, and the world too. 

This is my reality: three men I will never know changed the landscape of my family’s life causing immense grief and pain by ending my brother’s life. While another three people, two parents and a child, were allowed to give the gift of life, also changing my family’s life—bringing infinite happiness and joy. 

It may be impossible to avoid grief on a day like today—where the news headlines are driving pain into my heart and home. I don’t have maxims or mottos or not least of all, answers. 
But I do have a longing swelling up into a soul-filled determination to push back against the wave with one of my own. Do good today—something, anything—good

Tamara Passey

You can find Tamara here:





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What Now? 8 Ways to Deal with Life's Difficulties by Connie E. Sokol

 My good friend, Connie Sokol, has just written a new ebook! (So I had to share it with you).

Having just experienced a tough trial in her life, she is sharing the go-tos learned as she has thrived through it. It hit #1 on Amazon as a preorder! Called "What Now? 8 Ways to Deal with Life's Difficulties" it's a quick jumpstart to deal with what is. No matter your life stress, the simple tips help you move from soul paralysis, indecision, or frustration, to taking a productive step. Get a chance to win a free ebook copy today by sharing this blog post and commenting below. 

Visit her fabulous website www.conniesokol.com or connect with her here:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads




Monday, September 25, 2017

A Promise for Tomorrow by Michele Paige Holmes


Coming November 2017, from Michele Paige Holmes, Amazon’s bestselling historical romance author and Whitney Award Winner, comes the Hearthfire Historical Romance, A PROMISE FOR TOMORROW, sequel to Yesterday's Promise.
Scottish Highlands, 1700s:

Barely two weeks have passed since Laird Collin MacDonald first darkened Katherine Mercer’s doorstep and married her. Marriage has hardly been what she expected, given their grueling and adventurous days of travel to the Scottish Highlands. Along with the discovery that Collin’s twin Ian would like to see her dead, Katie must now face her own clan, whose chief wants to kill Collin and take her to wife himself. All because Katie possesses the Campbell gift of sight, passed down through centuries of her ancestors.

With little more than faith in her grandfather’s vision and her unique bond with Collin to guide her, Katie steps bravely into an unknown future, where the glimpses afforded her may bring more danger than direction. When the misuse of her gift takes Collin from her side, she is left alone and vulnerable. Help arrives in the most unexpected form as Ian MacDonald makes good on his threat to attack the Campbells and Katie learns that the bond between brothers and love knows no bounds.


Other Hearthfire Romances:
SAVING GRACE
LOVING HELEN
MARRYING CHRISTOPHER
TWELVE DAYS IN DECEMBER
YESTERDAY’S PROMISE (Scottish Historical)
A PROMISE FOR TOMORROW (Scottish Historical, coming Fall 2017)
HEARTHFIRE ROMANCE COLLECTION, VOLUME 1 (box set)

Find it on Goodreads.






Monday, September 11, 2017

Love Remains by Sarah M. Eden

Another fun Book Tour scheduled for Love Remains by Sarah M. Eden:

September 11 - My Book A Day
             Smiling Book Reviews
              Peggy Urry (you're here!)
September 12 - Bookworm Lisa
Wishful Endings           
September 13 - LDS Writer Mom
September 14 - Literary Time Out
September 15 - Katie's Clean Book Collection
                         Why Not? Because I Said So!



Back of the Book: For nearly a year, Tavish O’Connor has carried the crushing weight of his family’s future on his shoulders. He has taken on the care of his youngest brother, Finbarr, who lost his eyesight in a terrible accident. But the lad needs more than Tavish can provide. Finbarr needs hope.

Cecily Attwater specializes in hope. As a tutor to the newly blind, she has dedicated her life to helping others overcome the obstacles she herself has conquered. Her new assignment in a remote corner of Wyoming proves trickier than usual: Finbarr refuses to learn. To make matters worse, his family—and the other Irish townspeople—are less than thrilled to discover an Englishwoman in their haven.

Cecily’s only hope lies in securing the cooperation of her pupil’s brother, Tavish, who happens to be her harshest critic and quite possibly the most frustrating man she’s ever known.

For Finbarr’s sake, Tavish and Cecily forge an uneasy alliance that, as the weeks pass, tiptoes toward something deeper than either dares admit or face, and toward a future they know to be impossible. There can be no hope of a happy outcome for an Irish man and an English woman amongst a people reeling from violence and centuries of hatred between their two homelands.

My take: I laughed, I cried, I felt for the very real characters in this novel and it made me want to be a better person. Highly recommend. (It isn't necessary, but may be helpful to read Longing for Home Book 2 Hope Springs).

You can catch up with Sarah here:


Be sure to pick up your own copy of Love Remains and don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thursday, August 17, 2017

Adventure!



An adventure novel about four lucky kids and a mysterious, but thrilling ride for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Jurassic Park!

CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World's Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it.
There's Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There's Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Internet sensation. Nika's wealthy grandfather isn't too pleased about her participation. And Cameron, he'll be the first to tell you, is a certified genius.

The whole world is watching. But as the kids set off on their journey, they begin to realize that there is perhaps more to their fellow contest winners than meets the eye. And the Adventure Machine? It might just have a mind of its own.

Join the contestants on their wild ride if you dare. Your adventure starts now!












Other blogs you can check out on this fun tour:

August 17: Peggy Urry, Literary Time Out Rorie

Before you read what I thought about the book, take time to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My take: I don't normally read Middle Grade, so take everything I say with that in mind. I would give this book 3 1/2 stars (out of 5).

What I struggled with: Keeping track of the characters in the beginning and several places throughout the book I wasn't sure whose point of view I was in. In the end, there was an inconsistency that I still am not sure whether it was intended or not.

Things I liked: The concept of the book, that the kids had to work together to 'solve' the adventure, once I got into it, it kept my attention, it didn't wrap up too neatly (meaning it wasn't just solved with a magical wave of a wand or good luck--which is a very good thing).

Would definitely recommend.


*I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I am excited to show you the new cover in the Hearthfire Series by Michele Paige Holmes.

Release date: July 5, 2017

Book description:

New from Michele Paige Holmes, Amazon’s bestselling historical romance author and Whitney Award Winner, comes the newest Hearthfire Historical Romance, YESTERDAY’S PROMISE.

In the Scottish Highlands, 1746:
Nineteen-year-old artist Katherine Mercer dreams of selling her paintings to help support her struggling family. Before she has the opportunity, Katherine learns she is to be sold—or practically so—given in marriage to a lord she has never met or even heard of. In return, a much-needed settlement will be made upon her mother. 

Katherine’s situation goes from frightening to surreal when her husband-to-be Laird Collin MacDonald arrives with an entourage of men, each heavily armed and speaking with a thick brogue. As if leaving all she knows behind and traveling to another country with strangers isn’t bad enough, Katherine soon discovers a Scottish heritage she knew nothing of, a brother-in-law who wants her dead, and far more at stake with her paintings than she had ever imagined. Forced to turn to her reclusive husband for answers, comfort, and even her very survival, Katherine begins to unravel the mysteries of her past and what it is to love and be loved.



Other Hearthfire Romances: 

SAVING GRACE
LOVING HELEN 
MARRYING CHRISTOPHER 
TWELVE DAYS IN DECEMBER
YESTERDAY’S PROMISE (Scottish Historical)
HEARTHFIRE ROMANCE COLLECTION, VOLUME 1 (box set)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Shattered Worlds Boxed Set

This is available for pre-order for only 99 cents. Seriously how can you beat twenty-three great stories for that price? And one of my favorite authors, Jane Redd, is one of the authors. If you haven't yet pre-ordered this speculative fiction set, don't miss out on this fantastic deal.

About the book:

Escape into twenty-three epic worlds that will leave you breathless.

From dystopian nightmares to gorgeous steampunk and fantasy settings to fairy-tale retellings and beyond, SHATTERED WORLDS has every story you've been dying to get your hands on!

This unique Young Adult/New Adult collection, inspired by the creative minds of today's New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors, promises to satisfy your cravings for action and adventure as you experience rune magic and time-travel, overthrow corrupt governments, meet reapers and aliens, battle dragons, fall hopelessly in love, and break ancient curses, right alongside some of the bravest characters in fantasy fiction!

Each book within this collection is exclusive to the set and can't be found anywhere else.

Here's the fabulous cover of Mistress Grim, the story by Jane Redd, who you may know as Heather B. Moore. Pre-order your boxed set today to get some great reads.