Saturday, May 31, 2014

Still: Author Interview with Eniola Prentice

It's always exciting to tour a debut novel 'round the blogosphere! Still is a story of med students, penned by someone who recently went through medical school, herself. Here's a more informational look at the book...

A broken soul, 
an alcoholic, 
a certifiable genius, 
a Christian man,
and a secret that will destroy the bonds of their friendship. 

When self-proclaimed atheist Fadesola gets into medical school, she believes that it’s a fresh start of sorts for her. Until she discovers that her classmate is charming and handsome Tayo Smith, a man she encountered in a violent moment years ago. This revelation shatters Fadesola’s already fragile emotional state, but hope comes where she least expects it. A seemingly innocent friendship with Tayo’s friend, Ladi, slowly develops into a smoldering relationship, with both afraid to acknowledge their mutual feelings. Things get even more complicated when Nikky, Fadesola’s classmate and friend, ignores her desperate warnings and decides that Tayo is the man she is meant to be with. However, within the complexities of this friendship these flawed individuals will experience God’s redemptive grace in a setting each believed his love would never find them. Still, the first book of a four-part series, is a coming-of-age story about navigating through medical school in the first year, complete with hilarious hookups and breakups, legendary parties and incessant studying, and experiencing the triumph of success and disappointment of failure. 

Eniola Prentice, in her extraordinary debut novel, has written a gripping and thought-provoking story that examines Christianity, mental illness, suicide, and alcoholism.

An original and intriguing premise, no? Let me introduce you to the author...

* * * 

Amber: Congratulations on your debut, Eniola! How would you describe your journey as an indie author so far?

Eniola: Thank you so much! I would describe it as definitely interesting and challenging. I have had a steep learning curve. I have had to change my plans and adjust, as things changed. My best advice for anyone is that you have to press the mute button at some point. There is so much advice out there on writing, publishing, marketing - some good and others definitely bad. It’s important you trust God and drown out other voices and just take the leap of faith. It has also been a rewarding experience because indie publishing can be very nurturing and collaborative. I have formed connections with people that I never thought was possible.

Amber: I understand what you're saying about the overwhelming amount of "advice" out there. And so true about the wonderful relationships the journey fosters!

So, what have you learned/gained in the medical field that helped you grow as a writer? Anything we can learn from, as well? :)

Eniola: LOL. That is definitely an interesting question. I would say perseverance. My journey through medical school was not typical and it took a dogged faith in God to get me through. Most times I don’t believe it’s my faith that got me through but by His grace. You experience a lot of rejection while writing and publishing a novel; it’s inevitable. The determination I learnt from medical school enabled me to continue writing, continue pushing, continue marketing, to continue doing what I had to do when most times I did not feel like or did not even believe in my novel anymore. However, the perseverance God has given me helped me get up again whenever I felt discouraged.

Amber: Great takeaway! Now is Still part of a series, or is it a stand-alone?

Eniola: It’s part of a series just because I wanted to present an accurate portrayal of each year of medical school. Although it’s part of a series, I want to plan the series so any reader could read any novel of the series and enjoy it without having to read the preceding series.

Amber: Nice! Which of your characters are you most eager for readers to meet? Which character’s story resonates the most with you as the author?

Eniola: I am most eager for readers to meet Nikky. She’s very feisty and she’s the character whose personality mirrors mine. She has the personality I show my close friends. She’s also very childlike and I love her innocence.

Fadesola’s story resonates with me the most. She was the most difficult for me to write because I put exaggerated portions of the more challenging aspects of my life in her. Even during the editing process I did not like to read her parts in the novel because it was difficult. She resonates with me the most because she does not understand her strength even in her brokenness. Like a lot of us, she has yet to grasp the width of God’s love for her. The love she has been searching for is right in front of her.

Amber: Nikky does sound like a fun character! And characters like Fadesola, though not as "fun," certainly have a lot to offer both the reader and authors in their journeys, don't they?

My blog being what it is, I have to ask - what is your favorite season? How might it tie into the current “season” of your writing career?

Eniola: LOL. I really do love these questions. My favorite season is spring. It’s not too hot and not too cold. It ties in perfectly to the season of my writing career because it’s a time of new beginnings for me. I am publishing my debut novel and starting medical residency in a new city all at the same time. It’s almost a time for me to reset and open the next chapter of my life. I would like to walk into it boldly and with grace and I am enjoying every minute of the “newness” of the journey.

Amber: Glad you liked the questions, Eniola. :) Thanks for responding to them! I can totally relate to you with that "spring" season of life right now. God bless you in this new beginning!

* * *

Connect with the Author

Purchase the Book


Eniola is offering a generous giveaway in honor of her debut's release! One person will win a signed paperback copy of Still, a $40 Amazon gift card, and a mystery gift. The winner will be announced on the last day of the tour, June 17th, on Eniola's blog and then notified by email. The giveaway is only open to residents in the United States.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
P.S. Don't forget to follow the rest of the tour HERE!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Missing Lily Blog Tour with Review

Here's a description of the book:

“You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house. 

He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night. 

 Lylin was not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants, and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.

My Rating


My Review

Missing Lily is a simply sweet YA romance story that includes a hero with a tiny bit of brooding but mostly a lot of heart. It's an easy read that's not steeped in research but has enough of a historical setting to appeal to the imagination (complete with a palace and monarchy).

The story starts out with a chase, hidden identity, and adorable romance. When it expands beyond the home of Lord Fallon to include Lylin's family and destined life, new complications arise that throw the hero and heroine into emotional chaos. What begins as something sort of along the lines of Belle stumbling upon Beast's castle in Beauty and the Beast (with a hero that's much quicker to reveal himself a gentleman, mind you) turns into a tale of jealousy, shattered hopes, misunderstandings, and bottled-up fears.

It's rather a frustrating read, in that sense, as so much could be resolved (or prevented) by open communication - but I suppose that's part of the fun of a romance, to a point! And the climax is rather dark for what was more of a lighter falling-in-love and being-thwarted-in-love story until then. While the romance is the driving force, there is an emphasis on familial relationships, as well - both functional and dysfunctional - which plays into that climax.

The wide emotional range didn't overly affect me, personally, but it still made for an interesting read, and there are some really cute moments (and...*potential minor spoiler alert, though you probably know it's coming!* eventual happily ever after). Larsen's first book, Just Ella, seems to be quite popular among fans of clean romance, and I imagine fans will find a lot to love with this overall sweet sequel.

*With thanks to I Am A Reader Blog Tours and the author for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Follow the blog tour at I Am a Reader!

Purchase on

add to goodreads

Not yet read Just Ella?
It is on sale for $3.99 for the duration of the blog tour.
Grab your copy on Amazon.

AnnetteAbout the Author (Annette K. Larsen)

I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.

I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash  ~ Ends 6/15/14 

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced at I Am a Reader as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Revell Blog Tour: While Love Stirs

Here's a description of the book from Revell:

"Take one lovely young woman. 
Add two ambitious young men. 
Stir . . . and stand back. 

As a graduate of Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery, Charlotte Gregory is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution--the gas stove. And she certainly doesn't mind that the gas company has hired the kindhearted Lewis Mathis to entertain at her lectures.

Lewis encourages Charlotte's work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young hospital superintendent Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made--especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode?

Follow the second Gregory sister as she looks for true love and makes her way in a rapidly changing world in this breezy, lighthearted love triangle that will keep you guessing."

My Rating


My Review

I love Lorna Seilstad's take on historical fiction. It's fun. It's fresh. And it's fanciful within the realm of plausibility, as her stories play up unique historical settings and situations.

While Love Stirs explores everything from cooking, doctoring, rehabilitating, touring for a company, and even the theater (through the eyes of Charlotte's younger sister) - all at the turn of the century. The research behind it is intriguing; the way the research is incorporated is engaging. I enjoyed meeting the characters (for the first time, as I haven't read the first book in the series at this point) and witnessing the great battle between Charlotte and one of the young men who admires her. There's definitely a lot stirring in this story, from emotions to ambitions to romance to even a bit of mystery in a secondary character's storyline.

I confess to peeking ahead too I didn't stay fully "in the moment" throughout the whole reading experience. But taking the time to go back and read through each scene was still enjoyable, as Seilstad does a great job with characterization. I just would have liked a little more from the climax.

And my second confession: I believe the back cover copy is sort of misleading. It certainly serves its purpose, as it caught my interest! But I personally didn't feel like the love triangle was much of a love triangle at all, nor was there a whole lot to be kept guessing about, at least in the main romance. (That could be partially a result of peeking ahead, though.) Based on all that the back cover promised, I would have loved a few more surprises - a little deviation from the expected. Yet some might delight to discover that the love triangle isn't overly prevalent.

So, based on my love of Lorna's first two books (in the "Lake Manawa Summers" series), as well as my hopes based on the back cover, I would have loved a bit "more" from this book. However, it's still really fun in the tradition of Lorna's last series - and readers looking for clean and clever historical romance need look no further. Tessa's secondary storyline gave a good taste for her character's personality and interests, so Book 3 in "The Gregory Sisters" series should be another fun installment!

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

Available May 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Conclusion of the Resistance Blog Tour!

Wow - this has been quite the tour! It's been such a delight to see the enthusiasm of long-time, as well as brand-new, fans of Jaye L. Knight/Molly Evangeline throughout this past week.

Want to know what everyone's been gushing about? You can pick up your own e-copy of the book for only $3.99 on Amazon...and rest assured that a paperback version will be available there very soon!

Tour Recap

Did you miss any of the stops along this grand adventure? You can revisit them via the links below!

  • "Knight has created an awesome fantasy world that is great to explore" ~ Rebekah of Backing Books
  • "In some ways Resistance was not what I expected, and I mean that in a good way" ~ Brooke of Breathless Imaginings
  • "Resistance was everything I hoped it would be and more! It is definitely one of the most powerful Christian fantasy books I have ever read!" ~ Laura of Crafty Booksheeps
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed the way Resistance blends the Roman Empire with medieval fantasy" ~ Audrey of The Lore-Mistress
  • "It is, I believe, a book everyone should read at least once in their lifetime" ~ Jack of However Improbable
  • "There is something almost mesmerizing about this author’s writing style" ~ JoJo of JoJo's Corner
  • "The book is filled with action, love, suspense, trial, deliverance, and all the other things you can hope for in a book like this" ~ David of Reality Calling
  • "I have read many fantasy novels and I’m happy to say that I found Ilyon, the land in which the book is set, completely original" ~ Tialla of Tialla's Tellings
  • "I loved every bit if it, and I’m looking forward to the rest in the series. I’ve started many series, but never bothered to finish some. But this one, I’m making it a point to do so" ~ Miranda of To Be A Person
  • "If you’re at all interested in fantasy, Christian fiction, or indie publishing in general, this book is well worth the read" ~ Aubrey of Aubrey Hansen
  • "This book was AMAZING! I guess reading it in 6 hours is proof of that" ~ Mercy of Mercy Ray
  • "I was hooked from the first paragraph and could hardly put the book down" ~ Faith of Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
  • "Resistance was a fast paced, faith-filled, suspenseful journey that I will be sure to jump into again in the near future" ~ Alyssa of Literary and Lace
  • "I have found a new favorite author. Resistance is gripping, intense, the utmost page-turner" ~ Meagan at The Curried Nut
  • "This was a very well told story of two characters who come to their awareness of their faith" ~ Vonnie of Vonnie's Reading Corner
  • "A great new novel, with memorable characters, strong faith, and great dialogue" ~ Faye of Labor Not in Vain
  • "It brought me to tears, made my skin tingle in delight, had my mind racing, and made my heart sigh" ~ Shantelle of A Writer's Heart
  • "I absolutely loved this. It’s a fantasy book without magic which is so unique and well done" ~ Suzanne of Bookblogarama
  • "None of my high expectations were disappointed. Instead, they were blown away" ~ Kendra of O.Scarlett! Reviews
  • "The world of the Ilyon Chronicles [is] entirely new and fresh" ~ Rebeka of The Other World
  • "Thrilling, thoughtful tale of courage, self-sacrifice, and resistance against oncoming evil" ~ Hannah of The Writer's Window
Author Interviews
Character Interviews
Special Feature

Jace and I also posted the title of Book 2 in the series (coming in 2015) and a personality quiz created by the author!


The entries came flooding in for the tour-wide giveaway, and Rafflecopter's randomly chosen winner is...

Serena M.!

Congratulations, Serena - I've sent you an email! Enjoy immersing yourself in the world of Ilyon by smelling the woods, admiring a wolf, and reading the first epic story of the series. =)

If you weren't a winner, remember that you can pick up your own copy of the book on Amazon, purchase a piece of handcrafted jewelry from the author at her Etsy Store, and buy a bookmark from Lodgepole Leathercraft

The End of the Beginning

And so we come to the end of our journey celebrating the release of Resistance. Don't forget, though, that this is just the first in an epic six-book adventure! You can learn more at the Ilyon Chronicles website.

Thank you for joining the resistance, and huge thanks to all the bloggers who made our journey so thrilling!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

God's Will: A Tender Story of Faith and Family

Here's a description of the book:

"Kathy Andrews is good at goodbyes. Her mother is sent to a sanatorium, her sister, left behind in Chicago, and her father, forced to roam looking for work. So she holds close to the only one she has left, her brother Danny. When the two go to live with the Marshalls in the sleepy town of Brighton, she doesn't let anyone past hello.

Elliott Russell frowns at his aunt and uncle's generosity--even though he and his sister are on the receiving end. He frowns, too, at the uppity city girl with a chip on her shoulder whom he can't get out of his head. When a tragedy rips apart what tenuous existence they manage to forge, will they find the sweetest place to be is in God's will--or will they turn their backs on faith that fails to protect against pain?"

My Review

God's Will reminds me of something I love about movies set during the Great Depression: the value placed on family and togetherness. The harsh and difficult backdrop (probably frighteningly familiar for too many people today) really forces characters to sift through the things of life and discover what they long for most - what hope will keep them alive in times of separation and financial hardship. The uncertainty of the era really makes positive outlooks and sweet relationships shine all the more.

That's what stood out to me about Gorecki's debut. While the hero got on my last nerves and didn't entirely win me over, the cast as a whole charmed me with their quiet, faith-based strength and their love for one another. I truly admire the author for pouring her heart into this story - for being willing to test her characters, display their doubts, and point unashamedly to their true source of healing. For a dose of rugged encouragement, and for fans of sweet historical Christian fiction, God's Will is a touching read.

The story is told through multiple POVs, and while the writing gets a little bumpy (at least in the version I read), there are some lovely word pictures and poignant points to ponder. The story is on the shorter end of the novel spectrum (which is how my novels are, as well!), but I still found it to be a slower read...gentle, sometimes drawn out more than necessary, but still very sweet.

If you're looking for an adventure story, you won't find it here - at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, this book offers a rough and longer emotional journey for the characters, but one that has its own rewards tucked into tender scenes.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a PDF copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author

Meghan M. Gorecki is a twenty-something living a hundred or so miles from Gettysburg and a hundred or so years from the history that beckons her. So she goes there (and elsewhere) in heart and on pages. Meghan works as a medical receptionist by day and types away on her novels and blogs at night. She's a redhead thanks to a box, but a daughter of God thanks to the Cross.

Find Meghan on her personal blog, writing blog, Facebook, and Twitter!

Giveaway and Purchase Info

If you'd like a chance to win a paperback copy of the book, there are still a few days left to enter the author's giveaway!

You can purchase a copy of this book here: (affiliate link) God's Will

Monday, May 26, 2014

Fun and Games for the Resistance Blog Tour!

May I just say that this Resistance blog tour has been quite epic? Not only because of the awesome book we're featuring, but also because of all the awesome bloggers helping Jaye and I to promote it. I'm seriously loving the enthusiasm! As proofreader and publicist, I've been given a special glimpse into Jaye's efforts in publishing this story, and her skill and perseverance are quite impressive! Just take a look at the array of reviews popping up to see how that's paying off for this author. =)

Now, the question on readers' minds after finishing Resistance is...where is Book 2?? I'm happy to join Jaye in announcing the title for Book 2, which should be releasing in 2015:

When a mysterious group of dragon-riding cretes arrive at camp, those in Landale must join their mission to rescue a teacher of Elôm and the last known copies of the King’s Scrolls before the emperor’s men can locate them. 

Aaaaand the epic-ness continues! Dragons, an introduction to a new race, a daring and important quest - Jaye's got you covered, fantasy fans. ;)

Jaye goes into more detail about what's to come on her Ilyon Chronicles series blog, so be sure to head on over there to learn more. The note that I found especially interesting (in its connections with the themes of this blog) is that Book 2 takes place in late fall/early winter, and the colder weather sets the tone for the story. I wonder if that might signal a time of "letting go" for the characters - of "dying" to certain dreams and desires and staying strong as they await a season of renewal. We shall see...

Let's talk a bit more about the series characters we already know. A lot of readers have expressed their love for Jace, and I'll admit that he's a favorite of mine, as well! But there's quite a large cast of characters. Many have very admirable characteristics and personalities.

If you've read the book (or heard about some of the characters via the reviews), have you wondered which one you're most like? Well, wonder no more! Jaye has put together a fun personality quiz so you can discover which Resistance character you resemble. =)

Apparently, I'm Kyrin, which means that I'm rather quiet, but I hold family and friends dear. I also have a good sense of self and what I believe - and I'm not afraid to stand up for that. Kyrin's faith is quite admirable, so I can't complain! I'd love to live up to that sort of personality description.

What about you? Which Resistance character did you get? Let's chat about it in the comments section! And do share your thoughts on the title/logline of Book 2!

P.S. The blog tour continues today and tomorrow, so don't forget to get your entries in for the tour-wide giveaway by Tuesday night! Also, there have been a few tweaks to the schedule since my introduction post, so please be sure to check out the blog tour page. I'm keeping it updated with direct links - you won't want to miss any of the great reviews, interviews, or spotlights!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Journey Begins: Resistance Blog Tour!

The Ilyon Chronicles are being introduced to the world today with the release of Book 1, Resistance! Epic imagery, poignant characterization, and a heartfelt and daring stand...Jaye L. Knight begins her NA (New Adult - featuring older teen/twenty-somethings) Christian fantasy series with conflict and courage. Read on to discover how you can join this journey...

Know the History

There are several ways to get your hands on this exciting and compelling introduction to the fantasy world of Ilyon:
  • Purchase a Kindle copy for only $3.99!
  • Enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 signed paperback copies!
  • Enter the tour-wide giveaway for another chance to win a signed paperback! Details below...  

Follow the Plan of Action

We've got a fabulous line-up of bloggers who are eager to inform you about Resistance! Don't miss a single stop...

Tuesday, May 20th
Wednesday, May 21st
Thursday, May 22nd
Friday, May 23rd
Saturday, May 24th
Sunday, May 25th
Monday, May 26th
Tuesday, May 27th
Wednesday, May 28th
 Get the Gear

Time to gear up for the journey! Here's your chance to win...
  • a signed copy of Resistance
  • a Resistance-inspired necklace crafted by the author (Jaye L. Knight)
  • a Better Homes “Warm Rustic Woods” candle
  • a wolf paw leather bookmark from Lodgepole Leathercraft
    Please note that this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What do you think? Are you ready to start the journey with us and join the Resistance?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cedar Fort Blog Tour: What is Hidden

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

"Step back in time to a land of masquerades and mystery! Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of What Is Hidden."

My Rating


My Review

With a cover that promised beauty and mystery (with a Mardi-Gras flair that caught my eye!), and a tantalizing blurb that did the same, I couldn't resist this book. Not to mention the Cinderella reference - gotta love a good fairy-tale retelling!

And indeed, I really did love this read. While I would have enjoyed a little glimpse at the history of this fantasy country where the entire population wears masks whenever others might see them, I was still completely swept away by the gorgeous descriptions and enchanting Venice-style setting. The color and life and intrigue kept me glued to my Kindle. Despite the plot twists and surprises that weren't entirely surprising by the time they came to light, there was still enough mystery and "chase" to hold my attention throughout the story.

I really admired Evie's tenacity, her ability to recover quickly and discover ways to survive and thrive in new situations. (Although her lack of a real emotional reaction to a huge event in her life kind of made her a bit less "real" to me, for a time.) Readers who like heroines who can take care of themselves will appreciate Evie. And yet, she's a balanced character who also loves to tease, make pretty things, and dress up.

The one she loves to tease? That would be Aiden, who takes care of her in whatever ways she'll let him. He's a lot of fun! While he definitely stands out among the cast, there are some other great characters in this Cinderella story that mostly takes place right within the palace itself.

There are a couple of unrealistic reactions (one I've already mentioned) that frustrated me, but overall I had a ball immersing myself in this secretive world Skidmore created. The lovely masks were enjoyable to read about, and yet it's those times when masks are removed that give the story heart. If you enjoy romantic and creative fantasy/fairy-tale reads, What is Hidden is your ticket to a delightful masquerade.

*With thanks to Cedar Fort for providing me with a PDF copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

About the Author

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

Monday, May 12, 2014

"Matching" Snack Size Reviews

This month the four novellas comprising A Match Made in Texas were made available separately in Kindle format! I absolutely love Karen Witemeyer's work, and I heard good things about Regina Jennings' novella, so I decided to pre-order both of those. Here are my snack size reviews...

* * *

A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer

Rating: Spring/Summer

A Cowboy Unmatched features the youngest Archer brother (Neill) and a young widow who surprises him at every turn and thoroughly lassos his heart in no time flat. The love story is incredibly tender, as independent, outcast Clara finds herself wooed by protective, understanding, and gentlemanly Neill. Throw in a figure from Clara's past who poses a threat to Neill and Clara's future, add in some brief appearances and mentions of the older Archer brothers and their families, and you've got another engaging Witemeyer read that offers a sweet ending to the Archer tales!

An Unforeseen Match by Regina Jennings

Rating: Spring/Summer

Currently $1.99 for Kindle

An Unforeseen Match is a story of misunderstandings and a battle of wills. Grace is losing her eyesight, but what's more, she might just lose her heart when a man with a secret shows up on her doorstep, answering an ad she never placed (and one far different than the one she had planned to place). Grace and Clayton's interactions and conversations are authentic and endearing, and I loved watching the romance play out. Some aspects of both the premise and the interactions reminded me a bit of Where the Wild Rose Blooms by Lori Wick (a story I fell in love with when I was younger) - and interestingly enough, the heroes of both books share the same name. This is a touching novella that ends up skimming the surface of some surprising depths.

Note: "Seasoned" or "unseasoned" is in reference to my book rating system. Thanks to Juju of Tales of Whimsy for the inspiration regarding mini reviews!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Precious Book Mail - Round 2!

I received another sweet package recently from a client! ("Round 1" was from the fabulous Lena Goldfinch.) This one was from Sandra Leesmith (whom you all know and love from the various blog tours that have been hosted here!). While she asked me if I'd like my own copy of Love's Promises, she very kindly sent me the whole set of books that we've worked on together so far...

I couldn't have been more thrilled!

Love's Miracles was our first project together - and one of my very first projects with Editing Through the Seasons. I helped edit some of the content and re-type the book, then assisted Sandra in re-publishing it (which was an interesting challenge, navigating the book rights and making sure we did things "by the book," so to speak!).

Love's Refuge and Love's Promises were both previously unpublished (albeit critiqued), so I edited them, and we also hired Rachelle Rea to proofread the former. It was a great experience working "from scratch" with these ones - creating the back cover copies, editing the stories, overseeing the publishing process, and introducing new Leesmith contemporary romantic suspense novels into the world. :)

And of course, you know I have to mention Lena Goldfinch, our cover designer! I absolutely love the work she's done for me and for her own books, and it's so lovely to finally see (in person) the formatting and gorgeous full print covers for Sandra's books, as well. Take a look at the back covers...

I'm in love with these two - the front covers, the back covers, and the spines! The way they capture the mood and settings are so perfect. I had a blast brainstorming with Lena. Although it was all her skill that made them happen, it was a privilege to be privy to the process and to have a say in some of the cover elements. :)

Let me also add that it's super fun to see this...

When we were getting ready to publish Love's Miracles to Amazon, Sandra asked me if I was taking "Amber Press." I ended up going with "Seasons of a Story" for my own publisher name for my books, so I was honored and pleased to let Sandra claim Amber Press. All three of the books include the publisher name on the spines, in the front matter of the book, and on the back cover. :) So sweet! Sandra even recently created a website home for the publisher:

If you'd like your own paperback copies of Sandra's latest releases, they're available for purchase on Amazon:
They have the matte covers, so they're soft, which I love! I'm contemplating doing that for my own books now instead of using the glossy covers.

Tell me, do you prefer matte or glossy? And have you received any precious book mail lately?

P.S. Love's Promises is FREE for Kindle today in honor of Mother's Day! Don't forget to snatch up a copy if you haven't already - and blessings to all you mothers out there! ♥

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Until That Distant Day Blog Tour

I fell in love with the cover of Until That Distant Day when I worked with Anne Elisabeth Stengl to reveal it last fall. Now the story between the covers is finally available for purchase - and to celebrate, Anne Elisabeth organized a fun interview tour for Jill! Read on to see what question(s) I asked Jill, discover a special promotion price for the ebook, and enter the tour-wide giveaway...


Amber: First, let me introduce you all to Jill via her author bio!

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. 

She blogs at Books, Cats, and Whimsy. Do stop by and follow her to keep up with all her writing and reading-related activities!

My question for Jill... In a previous blog tour you mentioned risking your life by driving with your husband on the crazy streets of modern-day Paris. :) Since I gather that you've been to Paris, what's one thing you especially enjoyed about visiting modern France? (Probably not the traffic...)

Jill: Yes, we did visit Paris in 1990—approximately two hundred years after the events of Until That Distant Day took place! My husband did all the driving, to my vast relief. The traffic circle around the Arc de Triomphe was particularly “thrilling.”

I enjoyed touring the Palace of Versailles, seeing its famous Hall of Mirrors, and walking in the gardens. We also enjoyed the Louvre museum, although I wish I had known more French history before that visit. We walked through the Place du Carrousel and the Tuileries Gardens; we crossed Pont Royal and saw many of the buildings my characters would have seen at the time of my story—but I had only the vaguest idea what had once taken place there. The Egyptian obelisk in the Place de la Concorde stands where the guillotine once stood—that was about all I knew. (I did not start writing fiction until the following summer.)

To be honest, I believe the French would like to obliterate much of that bloody history—and who can blame them?

Jill at Eiffel Tower (Champ de Mars)—July 1990

Amber: Indeed. Sounds like an intriguing trip, though! So what's one thing you wish you could experience from the Paris of your heroine's day? (Probably not the dangers of the French Revolution...) 

Jill: I wish I could tour the Palais des Tuileries, which no longer exists; it burned and was torn down in the 1800’s. I would also love to explore the gardens as they were then, and see the Royal Riding Academy that became the first Legislative Assembly. Napoleon Bonaparte had that building torn down to make room for the street that now runs directly north of the gardens. So much has changed, and yet so much history remains.

And you are right: I definitely would not wish to experience the dangers of revolution or the possibly even greater hazards of bad sanitation and crowded living conditions!

Thank you for the fun questions, Amber!

Amber: Thank you for answering them, Jill. :) It's a pleasure to have you here - and congratulations on your latest release!


Read the rest of this ongoing interview with Jill at the stops listed below...

Until That Distant Day
Launch Tour Schedule

May 5

May 6

May 7

May 8

May 9

May 10

May 11

May 12

May 13 – Giveaway Winner Announced


Here's a description of the book:

Colette 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?



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