Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Until That Distant Day by Jill Stengl: Cover Reveal and Giveaway

I am pleased-as-punch (okay, so I don't really say that in real life) to participate in the cover reveal and giveaway for Jill Stengl's latest book Until That Distant Day. And even more pleased to discover that Ms Stengl currently resides in (blustery, wintry, snowy) Wisconsin like me! How wonderful is that?!?! (The near-to-an-author part, not the freezing tundra part!) She also has my dream job as an English Lit teacher but, alas, I am getting away with myself. Anyhoo... check out the cover and don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win quite the bundle of Jill Stengl novels!

Beautiful, yes? I simply am LOVING the blue (it's a weakness of mine) and that porcelain-skinned lovely on the front looks lost in another world...innocent and wishing on something wonderful....Love it!

About the Book:
Paris, France


Colette DeMer and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.

But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.

Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?

Coming April 25, 2014

Click on the Blog Button above or visit the book's blog page{here}for more about the book!

Jill is offering an enormous bundle prize of ten print novels and novellas, including her award-winning Faithful Traitor, several novella collections, and her three-book Longtree series. These will all be autographed! (US and Canada only, please.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Jill Stengl is the author of numerous romance novels including Inspirational Reader's Choice Award- and Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor, and the bestselling novella, Fresh Highland Heir. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching a high school English Lit. class, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms for her next novel.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blogtour & Giveaway: Love’s Refuge by Sandra Leesmith

First of all, take a look at the cover! It’s beautiful! Granted, I have a serious soft spot for anything ocean-hued, but it’s just lovely, isn’t it?

I read Sandra Leesmith’s Love’s Miracles last Memorial Day weekend and loved Margo and Zane’s story (see more about it below) so I was quite excited to dive into Love’s Refuge. Simply put, I was not disappointed!  Ms. Leesmith has a way with words that quickly transports you to another world – and that is what I look for in a good book – an adventure from beneath the  warmth of my favorite quilt.

About Love’s Refuge…
Skye Larsen loves her peaceful life on Leeza Island in Puget Sound – the tranquility, the friendly neighbors, and especially the safety from big-city dangers. So when cruel pranks start to escalate and changes threaten to overtake the island, Skye is determined to fight for her haven. The presence of a handsome vacationer and the unexpected feelings he awakens can’t distract her from her goal.

Danny Fraser doesn’t realize how desperately he needs a rest until he meets Skye. By allowing him to glimpse her simple way of life, she helps him reorient his priorities – and steals his heart in the process. But his work and home in Seattle keep Skye at bay.

An isolated island girl with painful memories. A dedicated city boy with a wild past. What will it cost for them both to find a refuge from their storms?
I absolutely swooned at the sound of Leeza Island – the tranquility and the quiet – like Skye, I am drawn to the peacefulness of creation, the simplistic way of life in the country. As the main backdrop for the story, I was thrilled to spend a few hours nestled in the trees near Puget Sound.
Skye is easy to relate to – with a deep seeded fear that propels her desire for isolation and safety – she is both strong and determined to make it on her own. Her plan is deeply flawed, though, and the appearance of Danny on her solitary island causes quite a stir of emotion and turmoil.
Danny is the hero we all wish for in a good story – steady and reliable, protective and kind – and yet, he has a past filled with trouble that moves him toward the very people and place Skye fears the most.
I love the juxtaposition of Skye and Danny – how their strengths and weaknesses play out together. Danny’s reliance on Skye for life on the island is mirrored by hers on him in the big city. God’s role is not to be ignored as well – while Skye and Danny rely on one another throughout the narrative, God’s provision and grace is a key character. Ms. Leesmith’s words are never preachy, and she found a way to brilliantly display the work of God in gentle whispers throughout the book.
Another favorite of her writing style is the subtle need to fill in the blanks. There are moments in the story where not every little detail is laid out for the reader, almost as if the characters have had snippets of conversions and bits of activity that aren’t detailed on the pages. I LOVE that… the room for interpretation, imagination, storytelling of your own.
Definitely one for your shelves! And, it’s on sale during the tour, too.

Make sure to enter your info to win a basic Kindle loaded with Sandra’s books! An AMAZING giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If Love’s Refuge sounds like a good read, keep reading for more on Love’s Miracles too!

About Love's Miracles...
Dr. Margo Devaull came to Dominic Zanelli's mountain retreat confident that she could help this Vietnam veteran overcome the torment that kept him apart from the world. But her training as a psychologist had not prepared her for the tragic, explosive contradictions brewing inside him. For here was a sensitive artist who could be gentle – and a man whose eyes flashed with violence and pain when he told her to leave and never come back. Yet Margo did come back, slowly gain his trust, and awaken the sleeping needs of his heart. Only by reliving her own wounded past and helping Zane confront a terrible memory from the war could she set them both free – and save their last chance for love.
Set upon the backdrop of rugged terrain and mountainous living, I found myself longing for the simplicity and beauty of Zane’s cabin. A triumphant love story that crosses boundaries and challenged both the mind and the soul, I truly enjoyed as Margo and Zane moved toward each other.
I haven’t read many books that deal with post-traumatic stress and the sacrifice of a career spent in war but Ms. Leesmith did a marvelous job of bringing the grim realities to life. Watching as Zane struggled to come to terms with his actions while learning to trust Margo was beautiful. And, there was a brilliant example of surrender and care as Margo confronted her past for Zane’s sake.
Whole-heartedly recommended!

About the Author...
Sandra Leesmith loves to travel in her RV and explore all of nature’s beauty, discover America’s history, and fellowship with the wonderful people she meets while on the road. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, swimming, and pickleball. Learn more about Sandra and her books at
You can connect with Sandra on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. You can also find her and her talented writing buddies at the Seekerville blog.  

And, last but not least, don't miss out on the fun... check out the rest of the blogtour info {here}

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru…

Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru…
{In which I wax on poetically* about my mother dearest and my most recent automotive adventures} :-)
*for the sake of full disclosure, this is a relative term

I was not born into the age of digital cameras and video recorders. Instead, my mother walked around with a giant video camera (fuzzy black microphone and all) semi-permanently attached to her shoulder and a hefty camera with the little peep hole to look through and film to develop. The little man (my brother) on the other hand has never understood film or VHS or photo processing. He was born in to the instant-gratification-generation… and my mother knew it.
As digital cameras gradually took over and disposable cardboard box photo booths and watch-the-birdy cameras went out of style, she was always sure to respond to inevitable question (after taking a photo with a digital camera) “can I see it?” with “NO, you cannot. You can wait.” She was the anti-instant-gratification force in a generation filled with it and another quickly forgetting what it meant to wait for anything.

I thought about those moments with my mother and the digital camera a lot this week as I waited… and waited… and waited…

You see, after ten years of zipping about on highways, meandering through quaint downtowns and cruising the high altitudes of mountain-side roads, my little car has reached its end.
It is both bitter and sweet. Many adventures were had behind the wheel of my Volkswagen – first drives with my baby brother, long road trips with Dad, on-my-own journeys to mountain peaks…

And, yet, new beginnings have a way of sweetening the bitterness of goodbyes, don’t they?

I’ve waited years for the “dream” car and all week since its purchase to finally drive it home to my oh-so-blessed life with husband in tow. (The car is, of course, a bit too granola-y for his taste and just perfect for mine…)

And, I think, the waiting makes the final discovery all that more sweet.
My mother knew this, of course. And, because of her, I do too.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"If I'm honest, I have to tell you I still read fairytales and I like them best of all."
Audrey Hepburn

Friday, November 1, 2013

Welcome November

I spent the majority of my day wrapped up in blankets sipping hot tea, trying to soothe a sore throat and an aching head... And as I peered out the window from my cozy perch,  I marveled at the disposition of the weather as it transformed from brilliantly-hued October to moody-cold November. 

"It was November - the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne rolled through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul."
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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