Check out a Q&A with the author.... Beach Haven by T.I. Lowe (Interview) @TyndaleHouse


Welcome! I'm excited to be sharing about T.I. Lowe's newest as
well as her interview from the publisher. Check that out below...

Beach Haven
(The Carolina Coast Series #1)
By T.I. Lowe
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
April 7th 2020 by Tyndale Fiction

Summary

Free-spirited Opal Gilbert seems to have everything she needs to keep living a happy life in Sunset Cove as she refurbishes vintage furniture to sell at her funky ocean-side boutique, Bless This Mess. Until Lincoln Cole, a new-to-town ex-Marine nursing deep wounds and harboring hurts he can’t seem to shake, wanders into her shop. Opal knows a person in need when she sees one and offers Lincoln a job in her workshop. But the brooding former soldier has no interest in Opal’s offer. Thanks but no thanks.

But then a hurricane strikes, damaging Bless This Mess. Feeling guilty for how he treated Opal, Lincoln decides to help her repair the store. And soon it becomes clear Opal wants to restore not only her business, but also help Lincoln find restoration. As much as Lincoln tries to keep her at arm’s length, Opal’s well-meaning meddling begins to heal his wounds . . . and capture his heart almost before he realizes it.

(Affiliate links included.)

Interview

1. What inspired you to write Beach Haven?

The Bible verse shared at the beginning of the book sums it up. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11). Storms in life can come in and make such a mess that this promise can get overlooked. Haven means “refuge,” so I was inspired to write a story centered around finding our haven in God during these storms, seeking his refuge and redemption in the aftermath. Readers will see this physically manifested through a hurricane and spiritually demonstrated through Lincoln’s redemption of faith.

2. What are you most excited for your readers to experience through reading this story?

I’m most excited for readers to experience the victory of redemption. Lincoln will make mistakes, he will fight against necessary change, and he will try running from his faith and the feelings developing for Opal. I loved, loved, loved when I finally got to the part of the story where this giant of a man humbles himself to accept it all. He is a decorated soldier and wore bravery like a fine suit before he was wounded in battle, but I found him at his strongest when he stood up for Opal and when he reconciled with his father.

3. What role does faith play in this story?

Life is a gift from God, even when we perceive it to be in ruins and past repair. During a confrontation with Lincoln, Opal points this out to him by checking his pulse. She tells him, “Each pulse you have is another chance. Another opportunity. . . . You’re a living breathing miracle. Your life is a gift from God and yet you’ve just wasted eighty-eight chances to appreciate that in the last minute.”

4. What lessons or truths do you hope people take away from Beach Haven?

Just because a chapter of your life inserts an unexpected plot twist and is far from what you had planned doesn’t mean the story is over. Embracing change is never easy, but it’s a part of life.

5. As an author, what did you particularly enjoy about writing this story?

The most enjoyable part of this story was introducing the Knitting Club, a geriatric group of busybodies. Opal has this thought in the book: “It was said that the Knitting Club came over on the Mayflower and somehow found the fountain of youth upon landing.” These feisty broads are the comic relief of the story with interesting dashes of wisdom thrown into the mix. They are big fans of mischief and meddling.

6. What was the most difficult part of writing this story?

When I create a character with such an altruistic background as Lincoln’s military career, my goal is to pay my respects and to honor them. I’m always a little nervous about getting that right and mindful of how it will be perceived.

7. Can you tell us about your inspiration for the main character in this book, Opal Gilbert? What about Lincoln Cole?

Opal is what folks consider weird. Different. Too silly at times. She allows people to form those opinions but doesn’t allow them to keep her from enjoying the eccentric fit of her quirkiness. Opal’s purpose is to inspire readers to own up to their uniqueness. Lincoln is a big ole teddy bear hiding behind a grouchy pout, but boy does he have one fierce stubborn streak. Once his mind up is made up about something, there’s no wavering from it. Lincoln finally reaches a point in the story where there is no other choice but to come to terms with accepting God’s repurposing plan for his life.

8. Can you tell us more about your inspiration for Opal’s shop, Bless This Mess?

I’m a huge fan of the show Fixer Upper, and I love the idea of taking something old and considered unappealing and transforming it into something new and charming. On the show, the designers highlight imperfections instead of trying to hide them. None of us are perfect, but our flaws can be used in an appealing way. This is what I hope for readers to discover while they are exploring Bless This Mess.

9. What can you tell us about the relationship that forms between Opal Gilbert and Lincoln Cole?

Neither one of them wanted a relationship. Opal’s focus was restoring her shop in the aftermath of Hurricane Lacy, and Lincoln’s focus was restoring his life, which was left in ruins due to a career-ending injury and the poor choices he made afterward. Even though they both fight against their developing feelings, of course love wins in the end. Exploring the unexpectedness of their love story was an appealing challenge for me.

They butt heads quite a bit, but both have that endearing quality where they have each other’s back. I’ll share one of my favorite scenes below that showcases this when a guy makes fun of Opal in public.

“Aw, come on, Opie. You know you earned your weirdo status.” Ray laughed like it was the funniest thing until the formidable man behind her leered over her shoulder. Lincoln’s rigid

stance pressed close to her, and Ray’s taunting eyes froze as the shadow encased them both. “Who are you?” Lincoln asked with enough grit in his voice to scare even Opal.

She was about to back away from the confrontation when a strong arm secured itself around her waist, a wall of muscle pressing firmly against her back in a united front.

“Ray Owens. I’m a friend of Opal’s from back in high school.” He reached a shaky hand out and Lincoln ignored it. After getting the hint, Ray retracted his hand and swiped it over his

forehead, looking right nervous.

“Opal’s never mentioned a friend named Ray. Certainly never mentioned an idiot dumb enough to call her a ridiculous name. What are you, two?”

Ray stammered out a shaky laugh. “Come on, man. I was just joking around. I mean . . . look who we’re talking about.” His head tilted toward her with his eyes growing round. “No way are you talking about this woman standing in front of you. She’s one of the most

creative and kindest people I know. You’d be wise to take note of that and to also take note I won’t be putting up with anyone treating her with anything less than absolute respect.” Without another word, Lincoln used his hold on Opal to spin her around and place her away from the hurtfulness the guy had just pushed on her.

Opal was used to having Lincoln’s strong personality aimed against her, but it was remarkably comforting to have it used as a shield of defense for her.


10. In what ways do you hope this story connects with contemporary Christian women?

By the time the contemporary Christian woman makes it to the last page of this story, my hope is that she will have a renewed confidence to be the individual God created her to be. We are not intended to be cookie-cutter humans.

Coming Soon in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author


Tonya “T. I.” Lowe is a native of coastal South Carolina. She attended Coastal Carolina University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she majored in psychology but excelled in creative writing. In 2014, Tonya independently published her first novel, Lulu’s CafĂ©, which quickly became a bestseller. Now the author of twelve published novels with hundreds of thousands of copies sold, she knows she’s just getting started and has many more stories to tell. She resides near Myrtle Beach with her family.



Are you a fan of this author? What did you like about the interview? Will you be reading this series?

Check out an excerpt for this exciting middle grade read... The Star Dunes by Trudi Trueit (Excerpt & #Giveaway) @jeanbooknerd


The Star Dunes
(Explorer Academy #4)
By Trudi Trueit
Middle Grade Mystery
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 216 Pages
March 17th 2020 by Under the Stars

Summary

Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado at the Explorer Academy, where he and 23 other kids from around the globe are training to become the next generation of great explorers. But in addition to making new friends and attending cool classes, Cruz must also unlock clues to his family’s mysterious past and tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him … and why? Secrets creep out from the shadows and leave Cruz with more questions than answers in this fourth title in the hit series.

A major discovery forces the Explorer Academy into the limelight in The Star Dunes, but Cruz has much more on his mind than 15 minutes of fame. A new face on board the ship brings Cruz's worlds colliding, and someone close to Cruz ends up on the brink of death. En route to Africa to dispense life-saving medications to gorillas, thwart pangolin poachers and capture images of the last known cheetahs in Namibia, Team Cousteau is now down a major player, and Cruz can't help but be preoccupied by the hole in his life. The discovery of his mom's next clue leads him to the most exotic location yet--a vast desert--with no other information to lead the way, while an unlikely ally helps Cruz pursue another piece of the puzzle. Just as things seem like they might turn out alright, Dr. Fanchon Quills has a technological breakthrough which gives Cruz a glimpse into the past and reveals more about his future than he may really want to know.

Praise for EXPLORER ACADEMY Series

“This series opener from a new imprint of National Geographic is a fully packed high-tech adventure that offers both cool, educational facts about the planet and a diverse cast of fun characters.” ―Kirkus
“This exciting series opener introduces young readers to the joys of science and nature.” ―Publisher’s Weekly
“Sure to appeal to kids who love code cracking and mysteries with cutting-edge technology.” ―Booklist

“A fun, exciting, and action-packed ride that kids will love.” ―J.J. Abrams, director and screenwriter of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Lost,” “Alias”

“Inspires the next generation of curious kids to go out into our world and discover something unexpected.” ―James Cameron, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and acclaimed film-maker

“Explorer Academy is sure to awaken readers’ inner adventurer and curiosity about the world around them. But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out Cruz, Emmett, Sailor, and Lani’s adventures for yourself!” ―LeVar Burton, host of “Reading Rainbow” and “LeVar Burton Reads

“Absolutely Brilliant! Explorer Academy is a fabulous feast for the mind and heart — a thrilling, inspiring journey with compelling characters, wonderous places, and the highest possible stakes. Just as there’s only one planet Earth, there’s only one series like this. Don’t wait another instant to enjoy this phenomenal adventure!” ―T.A. Barron, author of the Merlin Saga

“In the midst of fast-paced action, Explorer Academy captures the power of learning through exploration. The excitement of hands-on discovery is modeled in Cruz’s adventures, which encourages kids to take on the mind-set of explorers.” ―Daniel Raven-Ellison, National Geographic Explorer and Guerilla Geographer   
“A fictional setting like the Explorer Academy allows children to forge connections between science in the abstract and practical applications, holding their interest and fostering a love for, ‘all the different things the planet has to offer.’” ―Book Riot

(Affiliate links included.)

Excerpt


About the Author


Trudi Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences. She has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction, including The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Trueit lives in Everett, Washington.  

PHOTO CONTENT FROM TRUDI TRUEIT


Blitz Giveaway


- 1 Winner will receive the entire Explorer Academy Series.
Book 1: EXPLORER ACADEMY: THE NEBULA SECRET
Book 2: EXPLORER ACADEMY: THE FALCON’S FEATHER
Book 3: EXPLORER ACADEMY: THE DOUBLE HELIX
Book 4: NEW! EXPLORER ACADEMY: THE STAR DUNES
Plus
Explorer Academy Code-Breaking Activity Adventure
Explorer Academy Ultimate Activity Challenge
BONUS: Explorer Academy Field Journal.

- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends April 21, 2020

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This looks like a series two of my kids would love. Have you read any of the books?

Check out a Q&A with the author... For Whom The Sun Sings by W.A. Fulkerson (Interview & #Giveaway) @Celebrate_Lit


Welcome to my tour stop! Check out the interview and enter the tour giveaway below...

For Whom The Sun Sings
By W.A. Fulkerson
Christian YA Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 233 Pages
March 17th 2020 by Enclave Publishing

Summary

The world is blind…then one boy is born with sight.

Nestled in a mountain haven, the remaining people of the world live in a village that is ordinary but strict. A severe peace must be kept severely, as they say. It’s all that keeps them from descending into the chaos that claimed the world a hundred years ago.
Led by the Prophet Valdas and his Regents, the villagers work, play, marry, and have families. They gather in ceremony once a year to celebrate their Day of Remembrance. Life is planned, precise, and predictable until the special abilities of eleven-year-old Andrius threaten to undermine it all.

(Affiliate links included.)

Interview

Would you tell us what inspired you to write For Whom the Sun Sings?

There’s an old saying that begins with the words, “In the land of the blind…” and it got me thinking. What would the land of the blind be like? How would society be different if no one could see? How would they build their roads, their houses, conduct business, and what would their beliefs be? Then, what would happen if one person were to disrupt this society, someone who could see? I like to write from burning questions – from ideas that I just can’t get out of my head. This one was too intriguing for me not to write it.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

The dedication in the front of the book reads, “To everyone who has ever felt alone in knowing the truth.” That’s what I love most about it. I think it’s a book that people are going to be able to relate to on a lot of different levels, to say, “I’ve been the lone voice of reason before. I know what that’s like.” It’s sort of a catharsis to that feeling, as well as an examination of the cost of a breakthrough. I can’t get too specific on plot points without giving it away, but I think people will find there’s a lot to love.

What challenged you about writing For Whom the Sun Sings?

This is a world where no one can see – where no one even knows what sight is – so it was important to me that I didn’t use words like “see,” “look,” “watch,” etc. since no one would know them. That naturally included colors as well. As I began writing, I realized how many words are specific to sight! Writing without them was difficult, and even with consciously avoiding these words while writing, it took the editors and I several passes to catch them all. But it makes for a more immersive experience, so I think it was well worth it.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Study the greats. Read their work and analyze it. Deconstruct it and ask yourself what makes it tick. If you want to understand how a thing functions, you have to be able to dismantle it and put it back together again. It’s all too easy to retreat inside of our own heads as writers, but we learn from outside of ourselves. Pick a favorite author and imitate his or her style in your practice. Ask what you like, then why you like it, then how the author accomplished it. Dig deeper into the craft than you think you need to, and it will pay off.

What are you working on next?

I’m always juggling a few projects. I have a TV series that we’ve had a few table reads for, and we’ll see where that goes. I’m writing a new fantasy trilogy (that I can’t discuss the details of yet), I have an urban fantasy novel with a really intriguing antagonist that should be coming out relatively soon, and a re-release of my Starfall Trilogy. If you want to keep up with what’s coming out next, follow me @wafulkerson on Instagram or sign up for the newsletter at my website www.wafulkerson.com!

About the Author

W. A. Fulkerson is the author of ten books, including Writing With Purpose: A Step-By-Step Guide to Producing Your Best Book. He works in film as a screenwriter, having written the award-winning documentary Save My Seoul with Jubilee Media. He teaches regularly at San Diego Writers, Ink in Point Loma, CA. Fulkerson is a voracious reader across genres, but J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Isaac Asimov, Michael Crichton, T. H. White, Pablo Neruda, and John Donne are particular favorites. In his free time, he enjoys coaching wrestling, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and studying languages. He lives in San Diego with his wife and son.


More from W.A. Fulkerson

You know the feeling.

Your co-worker is clearly lying again and again, but your boss doesn’t see it. People in your neighborhood keep voting for the same crooked politicians, but they don’t listen when you suggest an alternative. You know you’d be the perfect couple if he/she only gave you a chance. You’ve found the secret to living a better, freer life, but no one else cares to participate.

Sometimes, it seems like the whole world has gone crazy, and you’re the only one who refuses to swallow the crazy pills. It’s an aggravating feeling, and it lies at the heart of my new novel For Whom the Sun Sings.

It’s dedicated “To everyone who has ever felt alone in knowing the truth,” but the book is not an allegory. It doesn’t hint at political points or try to convince you of anything. It’s a catharsis, vented by way of a story that will hopefully have you putting off your to-do list so you can finish the book. (A lot of the advance readers have read it in just one day, which makes me feel good, as the author.)
The main character, Andrius, is the ultimate expression of that frustrated feeling of something being so clear to you, but you lack the ability to explain to, cajole, or convince anyone. Writing it felt like healing, for that reason, and I hope it’s refreshing to you as well.

Tour Schedule

Wishful Endings, April 3 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, April 5
Emily Yager, April 8
Pause for Tales, April 10
amandainpa, April 11
Simple Harvest Reads, April 12 (Guest Reviewer Donna Cline)

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, W.A. is giving away the grand prize of an autographed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


What connected with you the most in the interview? Will you be reading this one?

Check out this new YA contemporary... What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume (#Giveaway) @jeanbooknerd


What I Like About Me
By Jenna Guillaume
YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 304 Pages
April 1st 2020 by Peachtree Publishing

Summary

You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES? This vacation is probably not going to be that.

The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she’d be doing over vacation is entering a beauty pageant. Not when she’s spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone. Not when her Dad is AWOL and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie’s already shaky confidence. And especially not when her best friend starts flirting with the boy she’s always loved. But Maisie’s got something to prove.

As she writes down all the ways this vacation is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn’t let anything, or anyone, hold her back.

Jenna Guillame’s American debut features a plus-size protagonist with a compelling, funny, and authentic narrative voice. This relatable and charming novel about friendship, confidence, and self-love will draw readers in as Maisie’s realistic emotional journey unveils the importance of embracing one’s body and celebrating one’s self.  

Praise for WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ME

“Debut author Guillaume's novel features funny dialogue and fresh takes on body image and personal relationships as well as a plucky heroine who slowly but surely comes into her own…. Perfect for fans of Dumplin’, a hilariously sweet yet complex romance.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Guillaume’s delightful debut deals with teenagers and their self-esteem, as Maisie’s story is relayed through her journal entries. This intimate lens will invest readers in Maisie’s journey to self-acceptance and confidence. A fun story, abounding in humor, romance, and inspiration and filled with multifaceted characters that readers will enjoy.” ―Booklist

“This book draws obvious parallels to Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’, but Maisie and her diverse cast of friends are fresh and distinctive, as is the Australian setting…. A fun, upbeat, and tender coming-of-age story written in an engaging and lively diary format.” ―School Library Journal

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


Jenna Guillaume was editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia, where she wrote about very important things like pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and Chris Hemsworth's biceps. Previously, she spent more than half a decade in the features department of Girlfriend magazine, editing the sealed section (yes, all those questions are real), and writing about everything from bullying and body image to bad kisses and boy bands. She was also a contributor to Girlfriend Life Hacks, an essential guide to navigating a girl's completely-awkward-but-totally-awesome teen years.  

PHOTO CONTENT FROM JENNA GUILLAUME


Blitz Giveaway


- 5 Winners will receive the WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ME and Book Branded Mirror by Jenna Guillaume.
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends April 20, 2020

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Is this one already on your list?

A must-read, heartfelt Regency romance... Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker (Review) @ShadowMountn


Welcome! I've been really enjoying the historical romances I've been reading,
and this is another one to definitely add to your list! See my full review below...

Lakeshire Park
(A Proper Romance)
By Megan Walker
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
April 7th 2020 by Shadow Mountain

Summary

Brighton, England 1820

Amelia Moore wants only one thing—to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather’s looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own—without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.

Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his own sister. Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter—and eventually playing by his rules—makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim: her heart.

Advanced Praise:

“Charming, beautifully written, and hopelessly romantic. Sure to be a new favorite.” - Julianne Donaldson, best-selling author of Edenbrooke

“This gentle love story is a treat.” - Publishers Weekly

“Walker effortlessly amplifies the decorum of Regency England with chic wit and delightful characters who will stop at nothing to reach their nuptial goals.” - Booklist

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

LAKESHIRE PARK is a story of struggle, family loyalty, and romance set during a house party. The characters are easy to like, the romantic chemistry and banter fully entertaining, and the story itself pulls on the reader's heart. This is a heartfelt and enjoyable story from beginning to end and one highly recommended to historical romance fans!

This story! Oh, my heart! First off, these sisters are looking at destitution as soon as their father-in-law dies since he plans to leave them nothing. Their last chance is a house party where they hope the younger sister, Clara, will make a match and be provided for. However, nothing seems to go as they hope from the start. The older sister, Amelia, becomes more and more desperate, but tries to find happiness while coming to terms with what her future will be and trying to still ensure Clara is taken care of. There is such loyalty between these sisters and also between Peter and his sister.

The first impression Peter gives it a bit of a spoiled, silly, flirt. However, the chemistry and attraction (Amelia can deny it all she wants!) is palpable. You can feel it immediately between these two and anticipate fun ahead on that front. The romance is this great back and forth pull of Amelia trying to dislike Peter and remain aloof while he tries to charm her as they get to know each other. It is such a delight to read as their relationship develops and grows! I wasn't too sure about Peter at first, but he definitely grew on me. I would have liked to have seen what happens afterwards with Peter's mother since she's alluded to and nothing really comes of it.

One thing I appreciated about this story versus some others in the genre, is that there is a bit of mystery and uncertainty. The sisters don't know how they got invited to the house party. The lady of the manor references she's looking for a wife for a gentleman, but who that gentleman is isn't disclosed until later on. The girls don't know when they will lose their father-in-law. Then there's the back and forth over who will win the young lord's heart that Clara is vying for, as well as Peter possibly wanting to win Amelia's heart (but there is always a question of if he's genuine or just playing with her affections). All these uncertainties make the story not too predictable and wanting to turn the pages to find out what will happen. And I loved that there were twists I didn't quite see coming.

My only complaint, and it's very minor, would be that I really disliked Peter's sister and wished that he had seen her poor behavior and tried to correct it instead of seeming completely oblivious. I think that the fact that they're connected made it harder to completely love Peter at first.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! It's a delightful read, but one that contrasts hardship and heartbreak against family, friendship and love. Highly recommended!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author


MEGAN WALKER was raised on a berry farm in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where her imagination took her to times past and worlds away. While earning her degree in Early Childhood Education at Brigham Young University, she married her one true love and started a family. But her imaginings wouldn’t leave her alone, so she picked up a pen, and the rest is history. She lives in St. Louis with her husband and three children.


Other Proper Romance Books


  
   
   
   
   
  The Lady of the Lakes: The True Love Story of Sir Walter Scott (Historical Proper Romance #2) The Sheriffs of Savage Wells
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast Forever and Forever (Historical Proper Romance) A Lady's Favor My Fair Gentleman
Heir to Edenbrooke Lord Fenton's Folly A Heart Revealed 
   
(Books linked to my review or an Amazon affiliate link.)


What did you think of my review? Will you be reading this one?