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    Release Day Giveaway!

    release dayIt’s Release Day! Another book baby has come into the world.

    Not just for me, but for my friends, Hillary Manton Lodge and Lori Benton too!

    If historical is your flavor, then get thee to the nearest store and check out Lori’s latest, The Wood’s Edge.

    If contemporary is more your style, then you really ought to pick up Hillary’s Reservations for Two. I had the pleasure of reading this one for endorsement, and let me tell you, it’s every bit as delectable as the first in the series, A Table for Two. I seriously can’t recommend them enough. Hillary has such a way with words, her writing is smart, and the way she tackles family dynamics is absolutely superb.

    Not to mention, Hillary helped me with a scene in my new release, The Art of Losing Yourself.

    There are these two characters, see. Carmen Hart, and 17-year old Gracie Fisher.

    During revisions, I was trying to make Gracie less punk-ish and more spunk-ish. I needed her to get suspended from school. Previously, she was in trouble for threatening a teacher. Not so endearing. Enter Hillary. She suggested something about a goat and I was sold. If you’re confused, you’ll have to read the story to see what I’m talking about!

    I do hope you read it, too.

    I’m particularly fond of this one. I think because of all my novels, this was the most difficult to write. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? The things we agonize over most usually end up occupying a special place in our heart.

    To celebrate this special day, I’m giving away an autographed copy of ALL FOUR of my novels–Wildflowers from Winter, Wishing on Willows, A Broken Kind of Beautiful, and The Art of Losing  Yourself.

    How do you enter?

    Subscribe to my quarterly newsletter.

    I know, I know. Newsletters. Who has time for those?

    I promise, mine are short and to the point, and there are only four per year. They start with a short (and hopefully encouraging) devotional. I share a book recommendation (and plan to start giving away a copy of said recommended book to one lucky subscriber), as well as any great book sales I know of, usually e-book related. I also share my most popular social media post from the quarter and any fun, upcoming book news.

    That’s it!

    I will be doing more of these giveaways in the future, as I really want to start thanking my subscribers for being subscribers, and what better way to do that then with free books?

    If you’re already subscribed to my newsletter, then you’re automatically entered in the giveaway. I’ll pick one winner on Friday, April 24th using random.org and notify the winner that evening.

    Until then, thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, for being a reader! Writing is way more fun when there are people to share your stories with. I’m so blessed to be able to share them with you.

    If you’d like to sample The Art of Losing Yourself before making a purchase, you can read the prologue and chapter one for free by clicking here.

    If you want to read more about the story, enjoy some fun bonus features, and find buy links to your favorite retailer, please visit The Art of Losing Yourself book page.

    Happy reading, friends!

    Comment Link 50 Comments

    Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt: Stop #15 (Pink Team)

    full list

    UPDATE: The scavenger hunt has come to a close and it was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who participated! The winner of the PINK prize is Dana Michael, the winner of the PURPLE prize Kristine Klein, the grand prize winner is Shay Teague, and the two winners of the bonus giveaway are Toni Shiloh and Kay Moorhouse! Congratulations winners! And thanks again to everyone who join in on the fun!


    Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I am a part of TEAM PINK, and this is Stop #15. The Hunt begins at NOON Mountain time on April 16 and ends at midnight Mountain on April 19, 2015, so you have a long weekend to complete all 34 stops and maximize your chances at prizes!

    If you’re just joining us, there are two loops—pink and purple—and they begin at Lisa Bergren’s site and Robin Hatcher’s site for stop #1 for either stream. If you complete either the pink loop or purple loop, you can enter for a Kindle paperwhite and the 17 autographed books from that loop. If you complete BOTH loops, you can enter for the Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire HDX and ALL 34 autographed books.

    BE SURE to keep track of the clues at the bottom of every post in the loop and the favorite number mentioned. You’ll need those clues to enter for the loop prize and every number mentioned in order to enter for the grand prize.

    ALSO, please don’t use Internet Explorer to navigate through the loops. Some web sites won’t show up using IE. Please use Chrome or Firefox—they’re better anyway!

    Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my guest for the Scavenger Hunt, Sandra Byrd. I’ve known Sandra for awhile. Our paths have intersected via various writing circles, so it’s fun to have her here today!

    sandra byrd

    Here’s her professional bio:

    Sandra Byrd is a noted author of historical fiction, including the first book in her Tudor series, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn and her current release, Mist of Midnight. She lives near Seattle, Washington. Visit sandrabyrd.com to learn more.

    Here’s the summary of her latest book:

    mist of midnightIn the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

    Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her…and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca’s name, but her home and incomes.

    That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father’s investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

    A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

    And here’s her EXCLUSIVE content, that you’ll only find in this hunt!

    English and Indian Lace Makers


    East meets West

    India has always been a place of tremendous creative expression, whether that be articulated through color, cuisine, music, poetry or fine arts – even though the delicate and intricate patterns of henna (mehndi) application. English lace making was a new art, introduced by missionary Martha Mault in 1821. Her goal in teaching that art was to provide a stream of income to young, lower-caste women who had no other means by which to help lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

    According to Indian author Joy Gnanadason in her book, A Forgotten History, Mault also taught this craft to the slave girls to give them a means to buy back their freedom. She lived James 2:16, ” If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”

    Honiton Lace

    Martha Mault was from Honiton, an area in East Devon. The Allhallows Museum of Lace in Devon recounts that lace making, which had probably spread from Italy throughout Europe, has been recorded in the area from the 17th century, perhaps earlier. Wives of men who were paid low wages, men who fished or labored for a living, often made the lace as a way to supplement their family’s income. The museum explains that it can take up to five hours to make one square centimeter of lace, perhaps thousands of hours was required for a lace handkerchief or collar.

    Queen Victoria

    queen victoria

    Honiton lace became very popular indeed when Queen Victoria selected it to adorn her wedding gown; although she was not the first royal to be married in white, she was the most popular and was married in the age of photography. The tradition of white wedding gowns, adorned with lace, persists to this day.


    Victorian era missionary to India Samuel Mateer recorded that, “Lace-making, introduced by Mrs. Mault in her boarding school at Nagercoil… has succeeded to perfection. Admirable specimens of fine pillow lace, in cotton and gold and silver thread, manufactured at the Mission school, were shown at Madras, and in the great London and Paris Exhibitions, in all of which they gained prize medals…”

    It was a nod to her progressive nature that Mault encouraged the girls to adapt English methods to their native designs and tastes; they were not to be transformed into English lace-makers but taught to make lace in a manner which could express their own heritage and culture. The Maults and other missionaries networked through the British communities to ensure there was a healthy market for the lace goods.

    Sandra Byrd’s new book, Mist of Midnight, is a Gothic Romance set in Victorian England, but was loosely inspired by real missionary families who served in India, including the Maults.

    *Photo Credit: Queen Victorian, wikimedia
    *Photo Credit: Indian lacemakers, oldIndianphotos.in


    Thanks for stopping by on the hunt! Before you go, make sure you WRITE DOWN THESE CLUES:

    Secret Word: life.’ “

    Secret Number: 12, a number I chose because that’s the day of my April birthday!

    Got ‘em down?? Great! Your next stop is #16, Sandra Byrd’s site. Click on over there now. And if you get lost, a complete list of the loop with links can be found at our mother host’s site.

    bonus giveaway!

    My fourth novel, The Art of Losing  Yourself, is releasing in a few short days. Romantic Times made it a Top Pick, calling it exquisite! In celebration, I’m giving away TWO autographed copies. To enter, all you have to do is sign up for my quarterly newsletter. If you already are signed up, you’ll be automatically entered to win. If you’re not signed up, you can do so by clicking this link and filling out your email address and name. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to your inbox. Make sure to click the link to verify your subscription.

    This bonus giveaway will end at 12:00 a.m. on April 20th. I’ll pull two winners from my Newsletter list using random.org and announce the winner later on the 20th.

    taolyJust like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.

    Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together.  But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.

    Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?

    Comment Link 33 Comments

    Baby Otters and God’s Love

    Hey friends! It’s with great pleasure that I get to introduce you to my friend, Jill Kemerer. Jill’s endurance on this publishing journey has been an inspiration to many, including myself. Not only that, she’s funny and big-hearted and everything else that’s lovely. I hope you enjoy her encouraging words (and a wonderful reminder). Make sure to check out her debut novel at the bottom. It’s getting wonderful reviews! Take it away Jill . . .

    Jill Kemerer

    In December I came across a little book by Joyce Meyer. Good Health, Good Life was exactly what I needed. I’d let my exercise routine slide and slipped into poor eating habits. Needless to say, I gained several pounds! So I was reading Joyce Meyer’s book and I came across something so powerful, I sat back and pondered the words before reading it again.

    “This is how we need to think about receiving God’s love. We need to be hungry for it and passionate about it. I encourage you to go after I, study it, and meditate on it. As you seek it eagerly, you will receive a life-changing revelation of God’s deep love in your heart.” ~ Joyce Meyer, Good Health, Good Life

    One of the things I love about writing novels is sharing my Christian faith. It’s funny how God works—the spiritual truths my characters learn typically are things I unintentionally deal with while writing. In Small-Town Bachelor, my heroine Claire Sheffield thinks nothing of fostering young otter twins until their new home at the zoo is ready. She feeds them, plays with them and loves them without thought of what they can do for her.

    (I have to admit, I really want otter twins in my backyard! They are so adorable!)

    God loves us so much more than we could ever love our kitties, dogs or even otters. Sometimes that’s hard to believe. Bad things happen to us. We pray for relief. Then worse things happen! And we think, God must not love me. We equate the good times with God’s favor.

    I’m the first person to whine and feel unloved when life doesn’t go my way. Ask any of my friends! They’ve heard me whimper and complain many times. But God promises to work everything together for our good. He tells us we will have trouble in this world. He never says the reason people have good health, riches and the hearts’ desires is because He loves them more or because they’re better somehow.

    This year I’m taking Joyce Meyer’s advice and I’m praying for God to show me how much He loves me. I’m meditating on it, praying on it and trusting God’s goodness. Will you join me?

    Thank you, Katie, for generously letting me be your guest today!


    About Jill:

    Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.

    Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&MS, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website www.jillkemerer.com and find her on Facebook and Twitter.


    Small-Town Bachelor

    A Place to Call Home

    When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in.

    Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She’s this city slicker’s opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can’t ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can’t imagine ever leaving her behind…

    Interested in buying Small-Town Bachelor? Click on http://jillkemerer.com/books/small-town-bachelor/ for links to purchase!

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