Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Harvest of Winners!

I have a list of winners to announce today - such a fun time! 

The first is the winner of the handmade Kindle bag, which was the prize Sandra offered in conjunction with her latest cover reveal last Friday. If you missed the cover (or you just love to look at cover pretties!), here it is again:

So sweet!

And the winner of the Kindle bag is...


Congratulations! I've sent you an e-mail, and you have until Wednesday, October 2nd to confirm your entry and claim your prize.

(Speaking of cover reveals, I have to add that there will be another one on Tuesday, October 1st. Two fun things about this reveal: 1. The author is also the cover designer. 2. It's a special edition cover, and that cover design will only be available in paperback format!)

And now, on to the list of winners from the Autumn Bash 2013! (Click on the button below to see all of the autumn bash posts - there are some great interviews worth checking out if you missed them when they were originally posted!)

The following winners were chosen randomly using the List Randomizer on They have until Wednesday, October 2nd to respond to my e-mail and claim their prizes before new winners are drawn - and they must be from the eligible countries (dependent on the particular giveaway) in order to claim their prizes.
  • Carissa won a copy of Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz!
  • Anne Elisabeth Stengl's cover reveal winners will be announced on her blog in a couple of days!
  • Amy C. won a copy of Made to Last by Melissa Tagg! 
  • Danie Walther won a copy of Dark Road Home by Elizabeth Ludwig!
  • Barbara Thompson won a copy of The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim!
  • Melody won a copy of Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta!
Congratulations, winners!

Huge thanks to the authors for their time and generosity - and to all you readers for supporting them and sharing the enthusiasm this past week! I hope you all had a lovely time at the bash. =)

More cover reveals and blog tours and reviews to come! I'm behind on my reading still, but on the plus side my sweet aunt taught me an easy way to knit hats! I'm so excited to know how to do something crafty like this (besides cross-stitching, which my grandma taught me), and who doesn't love a handmade hat this time of year, right? My family and friends' heads will be kept warm this fall, hehe. ;) Hope you all are enjoying the start of this delightful season!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Autumn Bash ~ Celebrating with Jessica Dotta!

Today's guest is Jessica Dotta, author of Born of Persuasion. From the absolutely lovely package Jessica sent me - an ARC of her debut for review, with a wax seal and other fun designs on the brown paper it came in - I saw that Jessica is a creative, thoughtful, and meticulous person. I'm excited to read Born of Persuasion! I imagine it showcases these awesome aspects of Jessica's personality. =) Read on to learn more about her and her book...


Amber: Welcome, Jessica! What does autumn mean to you, in your writing career and in your life? Is there something you especially love about the season?

Jessica: I write better during Autumn, more so than other season! There's something about this time of year that woos me to write.

 When I was younger, there was a living historical farm in my area. Each year, they'd have a Harvest Time Festival where I would spend the entire day wandering about the property. I can still remember the clackity-hum of the spinning wheel, the scent of lye being boiled to make soap, the charred smell of burning wood as scrabble was cooked over open fires in cast iron pots, and the stickiness of pulling taffy.

During the festival, we were invited to dip wicks melted fat and wax, to harvest apples, to draw water from a well—so for a full day each year, I wandered in the late 1700's/early 1800's. I loved every minute of it. Perhaps that's one reason why when frost comes and the wind grows brisk, I feel drawn to withdraw and write the past alive.

Amber: That's so neat! Sounds like a memorable season, for sure!

If the hero of Born of Persuasion was invited to a harvest party, what would be his reaction? If he decided to go, what would he wear and how might he get involved?

Jessica: He would not become caught up in the gaiety of the party, but remain on the fringes, observant.

Amber: Intriguing... ;) What about your heroine? What is her favorite part about autumn in her hometown?

Jessica: Her home was isolated from the village and surrounded by tall grass. In the autumn, she would have relished long, winding ramblings through the countryside, and then coming home with numbed fingers and cheeks, ready to spend an hour in the kitchen, sipping a bowl of broth, while the maid-of-all-work, Sarah, told stories as she blackened the stove or cored apples.

Amber: Sounds lovely!  Could you share a snippet from the book?

Jessica: Here's a tea scene from Chapter One...

~ Excerpt from Born of Persuasion ~ 

“I am quite vexed with you.” Mrs. Windham placed a slice of lard cake on a plate. She eyed my dress hanging loosely over my frame, then added another sliver alongside a gooseberry tart. “Why did you not tell us your mother was ailing? Had I knowledge, I would have visited before she passed; indeed, I would have.”

My hand faltered as I reached for the plate. While I’d known the topic of Mama’s death was unavoidable, I had not expected it so soon.

“Mama.” Elizabeth cast her mother a disapproving look over the rim of her teacup. “You can scarcely blame Julia for it.”

“Blame Julia?” Mrs. Windham dabbed her eyes with the corner of her gardening apron. “What a notion, child.” Then to me, “Did she linger in much pain? Did she send me remembrances? Did she call for me in her deep despair?”

Tightness gathered in my chest as I sought for an explanation, knowing full well the Windhams wouldn’t be fooled into believing Mama had pined herself into an early grave over my father’s death.

I placed the plate on my lap, then set about tearing the cake into bite-sized pieces. “She called for no one. The cholera took her quickly.”

Elizabeth froze, midsip, as if detecting my lie. Mrs. Windham frowned, but I wasn’t certain whether she sensed deception or simply disliked being robbed of the notion that Mama had died crying out for her.

Mrs. Windham turned toward the window, pressing her lace handkerchief against her mouth. “Well, if you’re going to try to spare me, I am sure there is nothing I can do.” Her voice trembled. “I have lost my dearest friend, but why should anyone consider me?”

A long silence ensued, during which Elizabeth frowned and I twisted my cup in its saucer. We both knew trying to start a new conversation would be useless until her mother had been properly indulged.

After a minute, Mrs. Windham’s mouth puckered. “Humph. Well, do not think yourself cleared on all accounts. I am even more outraged you agreed to have this . . . this guardian. I scarcely believed my own ears when I heard the tidings. Nothing, no, nothing, could have made me believe you would choose this person over me. Whatever are you thinking?”

I tore the cake into yet smaller pieces.

Elizabeth darted an apologetic look at me, wrapping her hands about her cup. “Mama, you can scarcely blame Julia for whom her parents selected as her guardian.”

“What else am I to think? Especially when Lucy wrote me a mere month before her death begging me to care for Julia should this very thing happen. Well, all I can say is that Julia has certainly made it clear whom she prefers. Surely this person has no tie, no claim over you. I never heard of such an odd thing in all my life. Not give a name, indeed! And that man who came. That rude man! Is it so unreasonable to assume your guardian would have taken it into account that I have a daughter, and as such made allowances? See if I merit approval. Of all the insults.” She snorted into her half-empty cup.

I shot Elizabeth a questioning look. She’d not written anything about my guardian sending someone to Am Meer. Instead of meeting my eyes, her gaze drifted to the open windows.

“I never met such a rude man as that Simon.” Looking at my untouched food, Mrs. Windham fluttered her handkerchief at it. “Indeed, I wish we’d begun dining amongst higher spheres before I listed our acquaintances. That would have swept the smug look off that Simon’s face.”

Elizabeth let out a short sigh. “His name was Simmons, not Simon.”

“I think I should remember better than you, missy. I tell you it was Simon, and I cannot imagine a more disdainful or trying butler.”

“Butler?” I asked, more perplexed than ever. “Are you saying my guardian’s butler came here?”

“He was no butler; trust me,” Elizabeth said.

~ End of Excerpt ~

Amber: Love the sense of mystery! Thanks for sharing with us today!



Jessica is giving away a paperback copy of Born of Persuasion! Here are the rules:

  • Leave a comment with your e-mail address (required). Let us know what you think of this introduction to the hero and heroine of Born of Persuasion!
  • This drawing is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
  • One winner will be randomly drawn using the List Randomizer on, and will be announced on this blog on Saturday, September 28th.
Tomorrow all of the winners from the Autumn Bash (as well as the winner from Sandra Leesmith's cover reveal) will be announced! Good luck!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Autumn Bash ~ Celebrating with Jolina Petersheim!

Today's guest is Jolina Petersheim, author of The Outcast. Jolina's debut released in July not too long before mine, so we became book-release buddies on Twitter. =) She's awesome, and I'm excited to host her! Read on to learn more about Jolina and her "baby"...


Amber: Welcome to "Seasons of Humility," Jolina! What does autumn mean to you, in your writing career and in your life? Is there something you especially love about the season?

Jolina: I began writing my debut novel, The Outcast: a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter set in an Old Order Mennonite community in Tennessee, in earnest two autumns ago. Just today, I started working on my third novel, and though the morning was still hot on the front porch, later in the evening, I could almost smell the scent of fall on the breeze, and I wondered if it had drawn me to writing like an enchantment. The chunky-knit sweaters, the tobacco barns adrift with smoke (I live in Tennessee, y’all), the pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chai (why I am most productive from September – November), and candles make this my favorite season. I even held off marrying my mountain man husband so we could officially be married in the fall.

Amber: Love all the little things that bring you joy in this season - and too cute about being married in the fall! I think it would be a lovely time of year for a wedding. =)

Speaking of celebrations... If the hero of The Outcast was invited to a harvest party, what would be his reaction? If he decided to go, what would he wear and how might he get involved?

Jolina: The hero of The Outcast would have to be Judah King, who continues loving the Hester Prynne character, Rachel Stoltzfus, even though she thinks she cannot love him back. If he was invited to a harvest party, he would probably stay on the outskirts but keep watching everyone. I imagine this harvest party would take place after he leaves the Old Order Mennonite church at Copper Creek, so he would wear Wrangler jeans, ropers, a Carhartt jacket over a button-down shirt. I don’t think he would participate unless someone else invited him to dance.

Amber: The brooding type, perhaps? Or just a shy, thoughtful kind of guy? There is a certain appeal there. ;) I'm eager to "meet" him sometime, as I have your book on my Kindle!

As for the heroine... What is her favorite part about autumn in her hometown? 

Jolina: Rachel Stoltzfus’ favorite part about autumn in her hometown of Lancaster is Roots Market, where the vendors sell a delightful mixture of wares that celebrate the season: like pumpkin pie or apple schnitz and steaming wassail in a deep Styrofoam cup. After this, she might venture over to the New Holland horse sale and remember the days her father led the festivities like a ring master under the big top.

Amber: Nice!  Could you share a snippet from the book?


~ Excerpt from The Outcast ~ 

The women were seated beneath a maple tree whose orange-leafed branches fanned out over the yard, providing enough shade to keep both us and the leftover food from expiring beneath the rare heat of the Indian Summer sun. I tried to work on a quilt block for a while but had never really learned this typical Mennonite trade since, throughout childhood, I had always used the excuse that my fingers were not as deft as my sister’s. Giving up and setting the tangled thread in my lap, I peered out over the sun-parched field, watching the men climb up and down ladders with nails clamped between their teeth and hammers weighing down one side of their pants pockets. Sweat trickled down many of their faces and necks, darkening the backs of their blue, white, yellow, and brown collared shirts. The few men who were not soaked through were so ruddy from exertion, I feared they might collapse, which is more than just a hindrance when you are putting tin on a fifty foot roof.

Servitude did not come naturally to me, but it did to my sister. I knew what Leah would do if she could have been there. Refilling the bucket from the well, I went over to the fencerow and broke off a bundle of meadow tea that Katie Mast had uprooted from her Pennsylvania yard and planted when they moved down to Copper Creek. This I tore into sprigs and dropped into the bucket. I let the water steep in the shade until the mint had blanched from the leaves, flavoring the liquid like tea. I carried this bucket and a wooden ladle across the field. The women stopped chattering amongst themselves as I drew closer to the men, but at that time—and as Leah’s sister—I was automatically above reproach. They did not question my motivations, as then, neither did I.

~ End of Excerpt ~

Amber: A very intriguing and mood-setting glimpse into the story. Thank you for sharing with us today, Jolina!



Jolina is giving away a paperback copy of The Outcast! Here are the rules:
  • Leave a comment with your e-mail address (required). Have you ever read The Scarlet Letter? What do you think of this introduction to the hero and heroine of this retelling? 
  • This drawing is open to U.S. residents only.
  • One winner will be randomly drawn using the List Randomizer on, and will be announced on this blog on Saturday, September 28th.
Tomorrow's guest is Jessica Dotta, and we'll be chatting about Born of Persuasion!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Autumn Bash ~ Celebrating with Elizabeth Ludwig!

Today's guest is Elizabeth Ludwig, author of Dark Road Home, the second book in the "Edge of Freedom" series. Elizabeth was my editor for Bleeding Heart, and she's also in charge of the group blog I contribute to (The Borrowed Book). Read on to learn more about this awesome lady and her latest release...


Amber: Lisa! It's a pleasure to host you here, dear friend. =) What does autumn mean to you, in your writing career and in your life? Is there something you especially love about the season?

Elizabeth: Autumn was always my favorite time of year when I lived in Michigan. There’s a crispness in the air, mingled with a hint of wood smoke—either from stoves gearing up in preparation of winter or from the last of summer’s campfires. Having grown up surrounded by farms, I’ve always appreciated autumn’s bounty, from tart red apples to pumpkins and squash. And the color! I’m still filled with awe when I behold a landscape clothed in orange, red, yellow, and brilliant purple.

Now, I live in Texas, and autumn is still special, only now it means Friday Night Lights, and the scent of BBQ and hot links mingling on the air with fresh cut grass.

Amber: Love your descriptions of how the season differs in different locales!

If the hero of Dark Road Home was invited to a harvest party, what would be his reaction? If he decided to go, what would he wear and how might he get involved?

Elizabeth: The hero of my latest release, Eoghan (pronounced “Owen”) Hamilton, is a bit of a loner. He’s the lean, muscular type, stubborn, with a fiery temper to match his russet hair. Thankfully, he’s also steadfast and loyal, and he loves to tease, so I think he would be in his element at a harvest party, so long as there weren’t any dark characters hanging about. If there were, he’d be in protective mode so he could safeguard the heroine.=)

As for what he’d wear and how he might get involved, well, Eoghan doesn’t care for the limelight much, since he’s spent the past several years in hiding, but if it meant taking a turn about the ballroom with the heroine…yeah…he just might be convinced to dance.

Amber: Awww! He loves to tease, he has a protective mode, and he'd like to dance with the heroine? I like this guy, Lisa! ;)

As for your heroine... What is her favorite part about autumn where she lives?

Elizabeth: Since my heroine, Ana Kavanagh, lives in New York City in 1897, she doesn’t get to enjoy the sights and sounds of autumn much, but she still loves the scents and smells. And she’s a fantastic cook, so she makes the most of all those wonderful seasonal vegetables.

Amber: I bet the hero appreciates that! ;) Could you share a snippet from the book?

Elizabeth: I’d love to! Here is a piece from DARK ROAD HOME (Bethany House, 2013).

 ~ Excerpt from Dark Road Home ~

Ana scraped the last bit of orange flesh from a pumpkin then set the empty rind aside to be cut into a bowl for baking. Pumpkin custard. Her mouth watered at the thought of the sweet, spicy scent that would soon fill the kitchen. The seeds, too, were delicious when roasted and lightly salted. She couldn’t wait to show Cara, who’d promised to stop by for a visit later, after she and Rourke had tended to a few tasks at the office where he worked.

Laverne, the boarding house cook and housekeeper, shuffled into the kitchen bearing a tray with the remnants of Amelia’s afternoon tea. “How ya coming with that custard?”

“Just fine,” Ana said, lifting the bowl to display her prize.

Laverne’s head bobbed with pleasure. “That’ll make a nice dessert, sure enough. Need me to fetch you some eggs?”

Thanks to the lamps Giles had rigged in the barn, and the warmer than normal temperatures, the hens were still laying. Ana nodded and pointed toward the counter. “I’ve a couple there, but with this much pumpkin, I’m sure I could use a few more.”

“Coming right up.” She scooted to the back door, her steps so light as to make Ana think she wore wings on her boots.

“Say hello to Giles for me,” she called teasingly. Laverne never missed an opportunity to visit with the hired handyman, today notwithstanding. Not that Ana minded being left alone to finish the dessert for tonight’s meal. Truly, she enjoyed her job at Mr. O’Bannon’s candle shop, but working alongside Laverne in a warm, toasty kitchen with the scent of baking bread tickling her senses. . .

Ach, this indeed was heaven. And tucked away where no one could see, she need pay no heed to what others might think of her hands.

What Eoghan might think.

Ana frowned. As quickly as the name—and the face that accompanied it—rose in her thoughts, she shoved them away. Oh, but she wished she could as easily shake the feeling that something about him was familiar. Maybe then she could finally rid her thoughts of his wry grin and dancing, devilish eyes.

Devil, indeed, she huffed, giving the spoon a hearty tap against the side of the bowl. Who else but a devil could ensnare a woman’s thoughts so?

~ End of Excerpt ~

Amber: Hehe, nice! Definitely gives a great sense of fall - I love roasted pumpkin seeds, so that mention has me eager for them! And love the romantic quandary. ;) Thanks for sharing with us, Lisa!



Elizabeth is giving away a paperback copy of Dark Road Home! Here are the rules:

  • Leave a comment with your e-mail address (required). Let us know what you think of this introduction to the hero and heroine of Dark Road Home! Or tell us what autumn food you're most looking forward to enjoying this season. =)
  • This drawing is open to everyone!
  • One winner will be randomly drawn using the List Randomizer on, and will be announced on this blog on Saturday, September 28th.
Tomorrow's guest is Jolina Petersheim, and we'll be chatting about The Outcast!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn Bash ~ Celebrating with Melissa Tagg!

Today's guest is Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last - a contemporary romance that just released this month! I'm getting ready to dive into it, and I'm excited - I've heard great things! Read on to learn more about this debut author and her book...


Amber: Welcome, Melissa! I'm excited to switch places and host you now. =) What does autumn mean to you, in your writing career and in your life? Is there something you especially love about the season?

Melissa: Autumn is my favorite season by far. I love everything about it—the cooler weather, the beauty of harvest (I’m a true Midwest girl!), my birthday and everything pumpkin. But probably my favorite thing about fall is that sense of change it brings. I love my routine, yes, but at the same time, I tend to crave change in many ways…and autumn always feeds that part of me. =)

Amber: I so love this season, too - such a beautiful time of year! And happy early birthday!!

So, if the hero of Made to Last was invited to a harvest party, what would be his reaction? If he decided to go, what would he wear and how might he get involved?

Melissa: Oh, he’d be all about a harvest party, I’m sure. Why? Because, like me, my heroine loves autumn, so she’d totally be attending…in which case, he’d definitely want to be there. LOL! He would wear his usual—jeans and a tee. And he’d totally start a hay-throwing fight during a hay ride.

Amber: OK, if I wasn't already eager to read this book...I am now! I love a hero that's totally in love with the heroine. And a guy with a sense of humor? Let me at 'im! ;)

What is your heroine’s favorite part about autumn where she lives?

Melissa: My heroine lives in the Appalachians, so she loves the beauty of autumn—the fiery colors and crisp mornings. She also loves the excuse to wear a flannel shirt. =)

Amber: Nice! Could you share a snippet from Made to Last?

Melissa: Here’s an autumn-ish snippet from about halfway through the book. My main characters, Matthew and Miranda, have traveled up to Minnesota to spend time with Matthew’s family and they’re hanging out at a pumpkin patch. Just a couple notes by way of explanation: At this point in the story, Matthew isn’t very happy with Miranda. =) And Matthew’s niece, Cee, is deaf—she speaks in sign language and reads lips.

~ Excerpt from Made to Last ~

“Okay, we’ve got our pumpkin,” Matthew announced as he lugged the pumpkin. “Now what?”

“The hay bale maze!” Cee spoke, her hands moving rapidly. “I want to go with Randi.”

Something warm and maternal sparked in Miranda, warding off the chill of the Midwest wind…and Matthew’s ire. Like she’d seen Matthew do, she waited until Cee’s eyes were trained on her face to speak. “It’d be my pleasure. You’ll make sure we don’t get lost, right?”

Cee gave a serious nod. “I know the way.”

“She should. She’s been through the thing three times already this fall,” Jase said.

“How about Jase and I go pay for the pumpkin and load it up?” Izzy suggested. “You two can take Cee through the maze, and we’ll meet you back at the car.”

Miranda caught Matthew’s eye. He grunted his agreement. Was the man going to play caveman all day? They followed Cee to the structure. The hay bale walls stood at least six feet high, casting shadows over the ground.

“This is some maze. I’m impressed,” Miranda said as they started out. “Wouldn’t it be scary in the dark?”

Cee skipped along.

“She can’t read your lips if she can’t see your face, Rand.” Matthew walked on the other side of Cee, about as far away from Miranda as he could. Both hands were jabbed into his jacket pocket.

“Maybe I was talking to you. Although, why I would, I have no idea. You give the silent treatment better than a thirteen-year-old girl.” And no, she hadn’t missed the way he’d reverted to the shortened, less personal version of her name. “You’re the one who wanted me to come today. I’m sorry if I’m totally ruining it for you, but I came because you asked me to.”

“You came because you don’t want me to tell anyone you’re a liar.”

Miranda stopped, dark hurt trekking a path straight to her heart. No, his judgment didn’t surprise her. But its sharpness did. “Maybe you should just do it. Publish the truth about Blaze and I. Whatever might happen couldn’t be worse than your high-and-mighty treatment. I’m sorry I’m not the picture of moral perfection you obviously want.”

The musty smell of the hay pricked her eyes and fogged her thoughts. What did Matthew want from her?

Up ahead from a fork in the path, Cee whirled around. “Come on, keep up!” She turned to the right.

“Are you sure that’s the right way?” Matthew called after her. But Cee had already galloped ahead. He turned back to Miranda.

She stood rooted in place, arms folded, a shield against his disapproval. He dropped his hands from his pocket, his tight stance loosening. “I’m the last person to expect perfection.” He rubbed his hand over his chin. “But honesty…I value that. So yeah, I’m having trouble getting over the fact that everything I thought I knew about you is a lie.”

~ End of Excerpt ~

Amber: Oooh, this is intriguing! 1) I love the fall references! Yay for corn mazes! 2) Sounds like some interesting characters and some great tension brewing - double yay! Thanks for sharing with us, Melissa. =)



Melissa is giving away a paperback copy of Made to Last! Here are the rules:
  • Leave a comment with your e-mail address (required). Let us know what you think of this introduction to the hero and heroine of Made to Last! And please do wish Melissa a happy early birthday (saw on her website's calendar that it's this Saturday, the 28th)! =)
  • This drawing is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
  • One winner will be randomly drawn using the List Randomizer on, and will be announced on this blog on Saturday, September 28th.
Tomorrow's guest is Elizabeth Ludwig, and we'll be chatting about Dark Road Home!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn Bash ~ Celebrating with Anne Elisabeth Stengl!

Today's guest is Anne Elisabeth Stengl, author of Dragowitch and the upcoming "Tales of Goldstone Wood" novella release, Goddess Tithe, which will be available November 12th! Read on to learn more about Anne Elisabeth and the characters (and cover) of Goddess Tithe...


Amber: Welcome back to the blog, Anne Elisabeth! What does autumn mean to you, in your writing career and in your life? Is there something you especially love about the season?

Anne Elisabeth: Funny, since autumn is a time of quieting-down, of death and deep sleep, but I find the season rather an exciting one! I recall the summer I wrote Heartless, my debut novel . . . the first half of the book blazed to life for me in a few weeks, then stopped dead. I had to sit on it for most of the summer as I dealt with various difficulties in my own life. But then, come September and the onset of autumn, I felt a renewed interest and excitement in the project. I finished it up in a matter of weeks, and I’ve been working steadily on various writing endeavors ever since!

These days, autumn often means a deadline for me. This year, I have a deadline to finish my book 7 by the end of October, which is starting to loom a bit more than I like. LOL. I also have the excitement of Goddess Tithe’s release this November to look forward to. Hoorah for autumnal projects!

Amber: I love how the change of seasons can inspire us. You sure are keeping busy with your projects! Congratulations on the upcoming release. =)

Speaking of Goddess Tithe...if the hero was invited to a harvest party, what would be his reaction? If he decided to go, what would he wear and how might he get involved? 

Anne Elisabeth: Munny, the young hero of Goddess Tithe, grew up in the dockyard slums of vast Lunthea Maly city, about as far from harvests as he could be! However, this doesn’t mean that autumn didn’t bring changes and festivities. At the turning of the year from summer’s heat to the cooler days of autumn, all Lunthea Maly likes to celebrate. A parade marches through the main streets, making its way from the emperor’s palace down through the city, then back up again to finish at the Temple. Parade day is one of great excitement, and Munny used to enjoy following the procession as far as he could, hollering and shouting, trying to provoke the solemn priests and musicians into cracking smiles.

But at moonrise the day turns more solemn. For Munny is the son of a sailor who was lost at sea. On that night, the wild merriment of the parade forgotten, he and his mother would make their way down to the docks along with hundreds of other widows, orphans, and bereft mothers. Munny and his mother would save their pennies for weeks in order to afford to buy a humble white paper lantern and the candle shining inside it. Munny would build a little raft out of sticks and string and, as he murmured prayers for rest and blessing in unison with his mother, they would set their lantern adrift into the harbor. Before long the whole ocean was lighted up like the sky fallen to earth. Munny liked to think that the Lady Moon and her children in the heavens would look down with compassion on those lights and guide his own lantern safely out to sea where it would rest at last over the very place where his father drowned.

This year, Munny’s mother would have to celebrate Lantern Night on her own, for Munny was far away on his first sea voyage. He wondered if she managed to scrape together the means for a lantern . . . and he wondered if she, not knowing his fate, lit one for him as well . . . .

Amber: Oh, Anne Elisabeth, you capture the excitement and melancholy of the season so well in your descriptions! Sounds like this would be a hard time of year for Munny and his mother. 

What is/was your heroine’s favorite part about autumn in her hometown? 

Anne Elisabeth: When she was younger, Munny’s mother used to enjoy the coming of autumn. Her Kitar family was affluent, and she herself was a great beauty, so she enjoyed great prestige among her peers. Autumn meant a time of dances and parties, celebrating the phases of the moon and the turn of the year.

But now, her circumstances reduced, she enjoys more simple pleasures. The light she sees in her only child’s eyes when he, coming back from watching the great parade, tells her all that he has seen and all that he did, exaggerating tremendously so that she knows she ought to scold him . . . but can’t quite bear to. And she loves the sound of his young voice murmuring the prayers of rest and blessing as he kneels beside her to set the lanterns afloat on Lantern Night. He never knew his father, but she hears the truth in his words, and she knows he loves this man for whom he prays yet whom he will never meet.

Amber: Munny's mother sounds like a special woman and a wonderful parent.

Now, could you share a snippet from your latest release?

Anne Elisabeth:  Here is an excerpt from the middle of the story. In this scene, Munny has been ordered to Captain Sunan’s cabin to clear away his breakfast . . . an unexpected task, for a lowly cabin boy would not ordinarily dare enter his captain’s private quarters! Munny hopes to slip in and out quietly without attracting the captain’s notice. But his hopes are dashed when Sunan addresses him, asking how their strange, foreign stowaway is faring:

 ~ Excerpt from Goddess Tithe ~

“And what do you make of him yourself?”

Munny dared glance his captain’s way and was relieved when his eyes met only a stern and rigid back. “I’m not sure, Captain,” he said. “I think he’s afraid. But not of . . .”

“Not of the goddess?” the Captain finished for him. And with these words he turned upon Munny, his eyes so full of secrets it was nearly overwhelming. Munny froze, his fingers just touching but not daring to take up a small teapot of fragile work.

The Captain looked at him, studying his small frame up and down. “No,” he said, “I believe you are right. Leonard the Clown does not fear Risafeth. I believe he is unaware of his near peril at her will, suffering as he does under a peril nearer still.”

Munny made neither answer nor any move.

“We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly, won’t we, Munny?” the Captain said. But he did not speak as though he expected an answer, so again Munny offered none. “We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly and there let him choose his own dark future.”

“I hope—” Munny began.

But he was interrupted by a sudden commotion on deck. First a rising murmur of voices, then many shouts, inarticulate in cacophony. But a pounding at the cabin door accompanied Sur Agung’s voice bellowing, “Captain, you’d best come see this!”

The Captain’s eyes widened a moment and still did not break gaze with Munny’s. “We’ll keep him safe,” he repeated. Then he turned and was gone, leaving the door open.

Munny put down the pot he held and scurried after. The deck was alive with hands, even those who were off watch, crawling up from the hatches and crowding the rails on the port side. They parted way for the Captain to pass through, but when Munny tried to follow, they closed in again, blocking him as solidly as a brick wall.

“Look! Look!” Munny heard voices crying.

“It’s a sign!”

“She’s warning us!”

“It’s a sign, I tell you!”

Fearing he knew not what, Munny ran for the center mast and climbed partway up, using the handholds and footholds with unconscious confidence. Soon he was high enough to see over the heads of the gathered crew, out into the blue waters of the ocean. And he saw them.

They were water birds. Big white albatrosses, smaller seagulls, heavy cormorants, even deep-throated pelicans and sleek, black-faced terns. These and many more, hundreds of them, none of which should be seen this far out to sea.

They were all dead. Floating in a great mass.

Munny clung to the mast, pressing his cheek against its wood. The shouts of the frightened sailors below faded away, drowned out by the desolation of that sight. Death, reeking death, a sad flotilla upon the waves.

“I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Munny looked down to where Leonard clung to the mast just beneath him, staring wide-eyed out at the waves. “How could this have happened? Were they sick? Caught in a sudden gale? Are they tangled in fishing nets?”

There was no fear in his voice. Not like in the voices of the sailors. He did not understand. He did not realize. It wasn’t his fault, Munny told himself.

But it was.

~ End of Excerpt ~ 

Amber: Oooh, what an intriguing glimpse into the novella. And Leonard is back! So glad to have you back today, Anne Elisabeth - thank you for sharing all this with us!


Cover Reveal!

Talk about awesome timing - the Autumn Bash coincided with the cover reveal for Goddess Tithe! I also posted about the cover on The Borrowed Book today, so be sure to head over there if you want to learn more about the cover design, illustrations, etc. And now, for the epic reveal...

The Vengeful Goddess
Demands Her Tithe 

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home. 

Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe. 

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend? 

My Thoughts: I love the colors and motion of this cover! It looks mysterious and intense, promising danger, adventure, and a little bit of magic, if I may call it that. The red adds a certain "pop," and perhaps symbolizes the sacrifices that must be made along the journey. The boy himself looks a bit hardened by circumstances - his posture shows he's up for a challenge, but there's a certain sadness and loneliness in his face. The cover overall feels a bit melancholy, but hopeful with the splash of colors in the sky and sails. And the blurriness of the background gives a sense of distance, placing the story very much in the fantasy/fairy-tale realm. The cover reminds me a bit of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis - and that's not a bad thing at all!



Anne Elisabeth is doing a special giveaway in honor of the cover reveal. If you're a resident of the U.S. or Canada and you'd like a chance to win one of two proof copies of Goddess Tithe, enter via the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tomorrow's guest is Melissa Tagg, and we'll be chatting about Made to Last!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn Bash ~ Celebrating with Laura Frantz!

Happy first day of autumn - and welcome to the Autumn Bash 2013 (which is taking the place of the End of Summer Bash this year)! This week, we'll be celebrating the new season by learning a little more about some fabulous authors and the characters from their most recent releases. And yes, there will be giveaways! ;)

Today's guest is Laura Frantz, author of Love's Awakening - the second book in "The Ballantyne Legacy" series, which just released this month! Read on to learn more about Laura and her latest book beauty...


Amber: Welcome once again to the blog, Laura! Always a pleasure to have you visit. =) So, what does autumn mean to you, in your writing career and in your life? Is there something you especially love about the season?

Laura: I love the rich colors and cooler temps and that “feeling” in the air that something is about to change. Fall is when our apples and pumpkins and sunflowers are at their peak and I love to make applesauce and decorate for fall. Plus it paves the way for the holiday season!

Amber: Yes, I love that "feeling," too - plus the apple cider!

If the hero of Love's Awakening was invited to a harvest party, what would be his reaction? If he decided to go, what would he wear and how might he get involved?

Laura: My hero, Jack Turlock, would probably bring a keg of hard cider given his family’s occupation ;). Jack loves autumn though it tends to make him a little melancholy at times given the turmoil in his life. Since he is all fight and no finesse, he’d wear a simple linen shirt and breeches and boots. He despises dancing but likes a good fiddle and would enjoy watching from the sidelines.

Amber: He appreciates fiddle-playing? You know I love that in a hero! ;) Can't wait to meet him very soon!

What is your heroine’s favorite part about autumn in her hometown?

Laura: Western Pennsylvania is one of the most glorious places on earth in autumn. Since it was mostly rural farmland in Ellie’s day (1822), she’d savor the color in the woods and fields and enjoy a fall frolic. She loves to dance so would join in the festivities with abandon – unlike Jack!

Amber: I really need to visit the eastern portion of the country during the fall someday! Sounds breathtaking.

Could you share a snippet from your latest release? 


~ Excerpt from Love's Awakening ~ 

Ellie’s gaze flickered west to River Hill’s unseen fields. It was far too easy to imagine Jack swinging a scythe in the moonlight as Chloe told her he sometimes did, followed by a swim in the chill of the river. She forbade her thoughts to stay on this and thought instead of autumn with its corn stubble and spent fields to unseen rivers locked fast with ice, barring his way back to them.

Eyes damp, she bit her lip, stunned by the ferocity of her feelings. Since Chloe had told her he was leaving – selling River Hill – she’d felt she was drowning in emotion and couldn’t get sure footing. She longed to talk to someone, to pour out her heart aside from prayer. But that, she knew, would only make matters more complicated. She’d caused the household worry enough with her waywardness on the road. She wouldn’t add to it with her angst over the Turlocks, too.

~ End of Excerpt ~

Amber: Love your writing, Laura - sounds like this story is going to be an intense and intriguing addition to the series. Thank you so much for joining us today!



Laura is giving away a signed paperback copy of Love's Awakening (complete with bookmarks)! Here are the rules:
  • Leave a comment with your e-mail address (required). Let us know what you think of this introduction to the hero and heroine of Love's Awakening!
  • This drawing is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
  • One winner will be randomly drawn using the List Randomizer on, and will be announced on this blog on Saturday, September 28th.
Tomorrow's guest is Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and we'll be chatting about Goddess Tithe (complete with a cover reveal!).

Friday, September 20, 2013

Coming This November ~ A New Romance from Sandra Leesmith!

I'm incredibly blessed to still be working with my first client for Editing Through the Seasons (my freelance editing & publicity business). I had the privilege of assisting Sandra Leesmith in republishing Love's Miracles this last spring, and now we're going through all the steps again for self-publishing a brand-new contemporary romance. Read on to learn more about the book and today's celebration...

A Cover Story

Once again we teamed up with the awesome and amazing Lena Goldfinch in order to bring you another beautiful cover! Lena and I have a lot of fun with our secret Pinterest boards, brainstorming cover ideas as we search for the right models to fit a story's characters. When I first started editing Sandra's latest, I did a quick search on some stock photo sites and found a model that I thought fit the heroine perfectly - long blond braid, earthy/flowy clothing, a contemplative and competent look. Lena didn't end up using the model's face on the cover, but her braid makes an appearance. (Ah, the magic of Photoshop - and Lena's talent in using it!)

Lena suggested branding Sandra's covers by having some similarities in the composition, etc. So we started looking for couple photos that might fit Danny (the hero) and Skye (the heroine), since we had a couple cover for Love's Miracles. After pinning a lot of different couple pics and images of the setting (Puget Sound area) and other little things to share ideas, Lena started putting together some comps. I think what helped bring it all together was the new title and a gorgeous background Lena found.

If you haven't yet heard (it's been kept sort of hush-hush, but not entirely), the title for this book is...

Love's Refuge

We decided to brand Sandra's latest releases, not just by cover, but by title. I came up with a list of ideas for a new title (mostly including synonyms of "refuge"), and after getting some feedback from Sandra's fellow authors at Seekerville, Sandra and I agreed that Love's Refuge was the most fitting.

While I had originally envisioned an eagle or plane for Love's Refuge where the daisy was on the cover for Love's Miracles (you'll have to read the book to find out why I focused on those symbols!), I love how Lena encompassed the theme so well in the background image. The title was done in the same style of Love's Miracles, and the couple came together beautifully once the heroine was given her braid and everything was made to match. =)

Here's the result of it all:

What I Love: How well this cover complements that of Love's Miracles. The title and the focus on the couple, with a down-to-earth approachability and a sweetness that shows the sort of romance story this is. The atmospheric background that depicts the isolation of the setting and the tone of the book. The building (a lighthouse instead of a cabin this time) that symbolizes the hero and heroine's togetherness. See what I mean...?

Ah! So lovely together!

What I also appreciate about the cover for Love's Refuge is the yellow in the word "refuge" that goes with the soft yellow light shining from the lighthouse, as well as the calming blues along with the hint of darkness to show this isn't all just fluff. Another fantastic cover from Lena, in my opinion!

About the Book

 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?

Meet the Author

In case you're not yet familiar with my awesome client, here's a little info about her:

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 her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Giveaway & Freebie

To celebrate the unveiling of her new cover, Sandra is generously offering a giveaway and a freebie!

The giveaway (open to U.S. residents only) is for a handmade Kindle bag. It was crafted by these lovely people:

And it looks like this:

Sweet, no?? You can enter to win via the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner will be announced here on the 28th, along with all the winners of next week's Autumn Bash giveaways!

And what better coordinating freebie than a Kindle book? If you've yet to download Sandra's latest release, Love's Miracles, today is the day to do so! It's FREE for one day only (today, September 20th), and you can find it HERE.

Cover Reveal Participants

What makes a cover reveal so exciting is seeing the cover debut on various sites and hearing readers' thoughts on it! So do stop by these great blogs today to learn more about the book and what others are saying about the cover:
What do you think of Sandra's new cover? Does it make you want to read the book?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Autumn Bash 2013 ~ Coming Soon!

In place of my annual End of Summer Bash celebrating the change of seasons, I'm doing a strictly fall-related party this year. But don't worry - the Autumn Bash will still include a fantastic author line-up, fun interview responses, book excerpts, and giveaways! It's all autumn-themed this time around, and there will also be a cover reveal and review or two thrown in there to round out the occasion. So mark your calendars, and please grab the button if you'd like to help spread the word!

Copy this code to your website to display this banner!

Autumn Bash 2013 Schedule:
  • Sunday, Sept. 22nd ~ Laura Frantz (Love's Awakening)
  • Monday, Sept. 23rd ~ Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Goddess Tithe w/cover reveal)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 24th ~ Melissa Tagg (Made to Last)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25th ~ Elizabeth Ludwig (Dark Road Home)
  • Thursday, Sept. 26th ~ Jolina Petersheim (The Outcast)
  • Friday, Sept. 27th ~ Jessica Dotta (Born of Persuasion)
  • Saturday, Sept. 28th ~ Winners Announced
I will note the rules for each giveaway on its corresponding post. I'm still undecided as to whether I'm going to put together Rafflecopter forms for the giveaways or just have you enter via the comments section... The former would probably be easier and more organized for me, but if the majority of you don't like to use those forms, I want to keep things simple for you, too! So do chime in with your thoughts and preferences on entering giveaways, if you're so inclined. =)

Can't wait to celebrate the new season with you and these wonderful authors! What are you most looking forward to about autumn?

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Review of On Distant Shores

Click HERE to read my official blog tour post, which includes a description of the book, information about the author, and links. (Please note that the giveaway has ended.)

My Rating


My Review

Sarah Sundin can be counted on to produce quality WWII fiction filled with interesting details, well-mixed themes, and tender romance. On Distant Shores is no exception.

It starts with a slow waltz back into the lives of characters from With Every Letter, with a few spins and turns as the reader gets new perspective from previous secondary characters. I found it interesting that the book begins before the ending of With Every Letter, although it quickly catches up to where that first book in the "Wings of the Nightingale" series left off. I appreciate that the hero and heroine I'd come to love in With Every Letter weren't neglected throughout the entirety of this story, and the hero and heroine of the third book (coming 2014) are also included, with even a little bit of character growth for the next heroine.

As for Hutch and Georgie, the hero and heroine of this book... Era- and war-specific romantic tension is Sundin's specialty. I confess that their scenes apart were frustrating to read, as I enjoyed witnessing their interactions. Yet a certain scene in the middle is all the sweeter for the long solo flights it took for them to get there. And a certain "other girl" enriches the story all the more...

I'd say there's a little more action in this book than With Every Letter, although the romance didn't woo me quite as much, or at least not in the same way. I confess that socially awkward Mellie and her epistolary love story were a little dearer to me than Georgie's story. But what I love about Sundin's books is that each one is so unique, despite being centered on the same war and often similar professions. Each character's fears and struggles are depicted in a memorable, thematic way. Georgie's lessons on safety vs. strength and Hutch's lesson in contentment resonate, and the use of gifts and outings to convey them is very well done.

For those who desire to be completely immersed in another era and to stay there for a while, On Distant Shores offers a worthwhile and well-crafted journey. The length of the book wasn't quite as enjoyable for me this time around, but I still think it's an excellent read when you're in the mood for this genre.

*With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion, to be shared during the Litfuse Publicity blog tour.*

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Review of Shades of Mercy (CFBA Tour)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shades of Mercy
River North; New Edition edition (September 1, 2013)
Anita Lustrea
Caryn Rivendara


Authentic. That’s the word heard over and over when women describe Anita Lustrea. She is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, and an amazing communicator as co-host of the award winning Midday Connection radio broadcast. Her deep desire is to communicate freedom to women and help them nurture and care for their soul. Anita is the co-author of Come to Our Table: A Midday Connection Cookbook and Daily Seeds from Women Who Walk in Faith, a devotional for women. Her first solo venture as an author releases in November 2010, What Women Tell Me: Finding Freedom From the Secrets We Keep. Anita and her husband, Mike Murphy, a pastor, along with her teenage son John live in the Chicago suburbs. When she’s not traveling or speaking, you can find her reading and drinking a venti hot tea at her local Starbucks.


Caryn is a sought-after writer and speaker. She’s the author of four books—Shades of Mercy: A Maine Chronicle (River North, September 2013), Known & Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms (Revell, April 2013), Grumble Hallelujah (Tyndale House, September 2011), and Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. (WaterBrook Press, March 2009)–and a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s Her.Meneutics as well as columnist for Re:Frame Media’s ThinkChristian blog. She has written dozens of magazine articles. Her work has appeared in such publications as Christianity Today, Relevant, FamilyLife, and Engineering and Mining Journal (you read that right). Caryn leads workshops and speaks at conferences and church groups across the country. She’s also a regular guest on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection with Anita Lustrea and Melinda Schmidt and has been featured on such radio shows as The John and Kathy Show, Changing Worldviews/WOMANTalk with Sharon Hughes, I Thought She Said with Faith Daly, The Paul Edwards Program with Paul Edwards, and Talk from the Heart with Rich Buhler, among many others. Caryn also appeared on The Harvest Show. Caryn earned a B.A. in English from Calvin College and attended the University of Chicago’s publishing program. She lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Rafael, her three kids, a rescued pit bull terrier, two hermit crabs, and several tank fulls of who-knows-what-kind-of fish. Caryn and her family are members of Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois, where Caryn recently joined the worship staff.


It's 1954 and the world - even the far Northwoods of Maine - is about to change. But that change can't happen soon enough for fourteen-year-old Mercy Millar. Long tired of being the "son" her father never had, Mercy's ready for the world to embrace her as the young woman she is - as well as embrace the forbidden love she feels. When childhood playmates grow up and fall in love, the whole community celebrates. But in the case of Mercy and Mick, there would be no celebration. Instead their relationship must stay hidden. Good girls do not date young men from the Maliseet tribe. At least, not in Watsonville, Maine. When racial tensions escalate and Mick is thrown in jail under suspicion of murder, Mercy nearly loses all hope-in love, in her father, and in God himself.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Shades of Mercy, go HERE.




Shades of Mercy is a gentle tale with an understated tension. While the focus and details feel fresh, the story itself feels familiar - sort of a "new classic" that highlights some important issues but does so in an inconspicuous and unassuming way. The country girl whose eyes are opened to the injustices of life as well as true hope...the rural community that struggles with its perception and treatment of those who are seen as different and possibly threatening...wrongful disputes...a time of change for everyone - it's all there. This is a very traditional story from the perspective of one girl on the verge of womanhood who observes the people she's grown up with and their need for varying shades of mercy.

The plot itself didn't overly impress me. There isn't a whole lot that happens, and the things that do are marked with a subtle strain that doesn't entirely engage. In some ways the story has its surprises, but sometimes I wished for deeper explorations of different characters. However, the writing itself - while sometimes feeling a tad bit "done before" - is really rather lovely. There are some great lines, and the simplicity of the era and the characters' lifestyles is rather charming, although the difficult realities and unkind attitudes are not glossed over.

For those who enjoy a quieter book with a "classic" feel, Shades of Mercy should satisfy - and if that hint of more recounting to come (in the epilogue) is ever fulfilled, there's potential for another, possibly more romantic "Maine Chronicle." I did like this book and the stroll through memories of another time, along with the timeless lessons. But this sort of story - with its unhurried pace and lack of energy and novelty - isn't really my cup of tea.

*With thanks to the publisher through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Contentment Reading Challenge 2013: July/August/September

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I am behind once again in this challenge and in my posting... *sigh* But I finally re-read another book! That brings my total up to 5.

When super-awesome author Krissi Dallas offered me an early e-copy of Watermark for review, it was the perfect excuse to re-read Watercrossing. It actually kind of became a necessity, 'cause when I tried starting Watermark without re-reading Watercrossing, I realized that it had been too long since I had been immersed in the White Island life. And since Watermark starts right where Watercrossing left off, I needed to be reminded of all that went down in book 3, LOL.

Doesn't this series have such pretty, eye-catching covers? Love the symbolism and colors!

So here's the lowdown...

There are four books in the "Phantom Island" series so far: Windchaser, Windfall, Watercrossing, and Watermark (officially releasing October 29th). (And, as far as I know, there are four more books coming featuring "Fire" and "Earth" - but we don't know the order yet, as that will reveal something about the love triangle... *wink*) While all of them should be read together and in order for maximum enjoyment, the "Wind" books and the "Water" books really do go hand in hand. So while you can take a break between the "Wind" books and the "Water" books, it's especially hard to break the couples up! Let's just say it's been a long wait for Watermark. (But definitely worth it!)

Anyway, this is a YA fantasy series about three best friends who help out at Camp Fusion - a camp for young people who are dealing with difficult losses. Whitnee, Caleb, and Morgan all attended the camp when they were younger, and now they're giving back. But little do they know that this summer is the summer that will change a portal located across the river sends them to the White Island, where Whitnee's past and future collide. 

And figuring out how to get back to the mainland isn't even the half of it!

I really do love this series - it's incredibly engaging. Even having read Watercrossing once, I got pulled in again this second time around, flying through the pages and feeling all the excitement of the romance and danger. There's just something magical about the settings, the properties of the White Island and its inhabitants, and the relationship drama. You can read my full review of Watercrossing HERE - and here are my reviews of Windchaser and Windfall (books 1 and 2).

I just finished Watermark...and wow. This is an epic conclusion to the "Water" books and the first half of the series. I'll be reviewing it soon, so stay tuned!

Update: I reviewed Watermark on The Borrowed Book.

In the meantime, do share what you've re-read recently, if you've had a chance to get some re-reading done! And if you're participating in the challenge, you can link up below: