The Red Journal by Deb Elkink (review)

C22BE60D-B260-4CC7-B12A-A7B0C02E9646In The Red Journal Deb Elkink weaves together the stories of individuals who are searching for fulfillment.  In different ways, each are haunted by the past and struggling to make sense of life while stumbling along the way. Continue reading

Happy Release Day to Friending: Creating Meaningful, Lasting Adult Friendships by Gina Handley Schmitt

I’m excited to share with you that one of my most anticipated non-fiction books of 2019, Friending: Creating Meaningful, Lasting Adult Friendships by Gina Handley Schmitt, MA, LHMC, is out today from microcosm publishing.

About the Book:friending_schmitt_microcosmpublishing

Good friends make a good life.

Friendship is one of the most important yet most underrated necessities of life. A sense of connection and belonging is a key part of being human, and there are boundless benefits from having close friends who know everything about you, can help you out in a pinch, can be there with you through all the joys and hardships of life, and for whom you can be such a friend in turn.

But making and keeping friends becomes increasingly difficult when we become adults with busy careers, family responsibilities, and dispersed locations. Keeping in touch through social media isn’t as fulfilling as developing true, deep, lasting bonds of friendship, argues therapist Gina Handley Schmitt. She proceeds to provide knowledge, perspective, scripts, and worksheets to help you create the friendships you crave.

In this book, you’ll learn the art of choosing and making friends, supporting your friends and letting them support you, maintaining friendships even when your life paths diverge, repairing friendships after a conflict, the difficult decision to break up a friendship, and much more. Life is so much sweeter with good friends by your side.

 GoodReads  Amazon*  Barnes&Noble  Kobo  BookDepository


About the Author

Gina Handley Schmitt, MA, LMHC has been a psychotherapist near Seattle, WA for seventeen years, specializing in achieving their clients’ intrapersonal and interpersonal goals. She teaches Psychology at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College and has been a speaker at the Unite Women’s Conference and the Northwest Ministry Conference. Handley-Schmitt lives with her husband off the shores of Lake Washington, where they enjoy planning their next Disney adventure.

 

 

*This post includes an Amazon affiliate link.  See sidebar for disclosure.

Spotlight: The Sleuth’s Conundrum by Kimberly Rose Johnson (plus a giveaway link!)

The Sleuth's Conundrum JustRead Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz and Giveaway for The Sleuth’s Conundrum by Kimberly Rose Johnson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Sleuth's ConundrumTitle: The Sleuth’s Conundrum
Series: The Librarian Sleuth #3
Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: November 1, 2019

Adam and Tara are sucked into a police investigation that might get Tara killed. Can Adam keep her safe or will he lose her forever?

Tara James, the local librarian assistant, is afraid her past will catch up to her when an infant is abandoned outside the Tipton County Library. Will news of the abandoned baby stir up publicity and force her to go on the run again?

Librarian Nancy Daley’s world has become complicated. Carter is pushing to set a wedding date, a woman was left for dead on the side of the road, and Tara, her assistant, is acting strange. Nancy is working every angle she can think of, but the case goes from bad to bizarre. Can she find the baby’s mother, help Tara, and plan her wedding without upsetting her life’s delicate balance?

Slow news days become a thing of the past for local reporter Adam Stacy when a dead body is discovered on the side of the road. Was the woman murdered or was it an accident? Adam’s feelings are growing for Tara, but she appears to have secrets she’s hiding. Is she somehow connected to the abandoned infant?

When things go from bad to worse Adam does everything in his power to protect Tara, but will it be enough?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Rose Johnson

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

CONNECT WITH KIMBERLY: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card!

The Sleuth's Conundrum JustRead Giveaway

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 11, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm November 18, 2019. Open internationally as long as winner can accept gift card from US Amazon. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Spotlight: Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards with Book Excerpt (and Giveaway link!)

Murder in the Family JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Murder in the Family by Ramona RichardsTitle: Murder in the Family
Author: Ramona Richards
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: September 17, 2019

Greed Poisons Even The Sweetest Well

Storm chaser Molly McClelland must return to her small Alabama hometown when she unexpectedly inherits her hoarder aunt’s house . . . and all of its contents.

Despite her suspicions that her aunt was murdered, Molly wants nothing more than to sell everything and get back to the life she loves. Especially once her homecoming reignites the decades-old family conflict that drove her away in the first place. But when Molly uncovers caches of cash, journals revealing secrets-and a body-amongst the stockpiles, she finds herself locked in a cat-and-mouse dance with a deadly endgame.

Molly teams with local sheriff, Greg Olson, to find the truth. But will her determination and his skills be enough, or will the killer-or killers-put an end to their efforts once and for all?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook


EXCERPT

“Prepping for Fumigation”

Aunt Liz’s words echoed in her head. This is why I’m turning to you … You are the only one who can help them. I hope you find it in your heart to carry out my wishes. And forgive me.

“Aunt Liz, I don’t know if I can.” She stumbled over the corner of a box that stuck out from beneath a chair, and growled in frustration as she kicked the box. A scattering of flies and spiders repaid her anger, and she danced backward, trying not to fall.

In the kitchen, the grit of spilled food, ripped bags, and dirt ground under her bootie-covered shoes. The white stovetop was stained brown with burned grease, and smears of jam and mustard coated the refrigerator door. She opened cabinets, astonished to find one filled with clean dishes. More clean dishes stood in a drying rack, although the dirty ones in the sink had been there awhile. Probably since way before Aunt Liz died.

She opened drawers where she could, pulling the refrigerator door last. The stench shot through the mask and the Vicks and snatched her breath away. Molly swallowed hard and turned, bending over the sink, trying not to lose her breakfast. She inhaled through her mouth, then held her breath as she straightened, turned, and reached in to turn off the refrigerator.

Stepping back, she turned her attention to the basement entrance, near the back door. It opened easily, but Molly could go no farther; the stairs were completely blocked with boxes. She shook her head, not doubting for a moment that every room upstairs, plus the attic, looked the same. Her throat tightened as images of how her aunt had lived the last few years swamped her.

“Seriously, Aunt Liz, fire would be much quicker. And a whole lot easier.” The thought was no longer a joke, no matter what her aunt had begged of her.

Molly left the basement door open, then pushed open the one window she could reach. She paused, looking around the kitchen, trying to imagine where she could even start. She leaned against the counter, bracing herself as tears stung her eyes. “Oh, Aunt Liz.” She looked down, noticing for the first time the cloud of black spots that dotted her white-clad ankles and shins. Fleas.

No wonder Blossom bolted. I wouldn’t live here either.

Abruptly, the sadness that had settled over her fled as a flush of anger returned. Her family’s obsession with acquiring more and more possessions had led to this, had culminated in the misery of a sweet woman who could no longer say no to her family. To stuff.

It had to stop.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ramona Richards

Ramona Richards is the associate publisher for Iron Stream Media, the parent company of New Hope Publishers, Iron Stream Kidz, and Ascender Books. She has been an in-house editor for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Rutledge Hill Press, and Ideals magazine, and has freelanced for a dozen other publishers. The author of nine novels, three books of devotions, and numerous magazine articles, she is a frequent speaker for women’s and writers’ groups, and has presented at numerous conferences across the country. Her latest book, Murder in the Family, released in October from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

CONNECT WITH RAMONA: Website | Facebook | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive two signed copies of Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards (it’s Christmas!), a $15 Visa gift card, and a signed copy of one of the author’s older books!

Murder in the Family JustRead Blog Tour Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 7, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 14, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Cover Reveal: The Forever Sky by Janalyn Voigt (plus a giveaway link!)

The Forever Sky JustRead Cover RevealWelcome to the Cover Reveal for The Forever Sky, the fourth book of the Montana Gold series by Janalyn Voigt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

 

ABOUT THE FOREVER SKY

Series: Montana Gold, Book 4
Author: Janalyn Voigt
Release Date: December 1, 2019
Genre: Western/Historical Romance

Can a young widow with no faith in love, hope for a future with the man who broke her heart?

Maisey isn’t about to give Rob another chance to reject her love. Why should she believe that the man who left town without a backward glance three years ago cares about her? Life had taught her all about broken dreams, and she didn’t want to hope again. If only her young daughter would stop adopting Rob as a father, ignoring him—and her own emotions–would be a whole lot easier.

Thoughts of the woman he’d left behind haunted Rob for three long years. It wouldn’t have been fair to ask Maisey to wait while he mined a gold claim. After making his fortune, he’d returned to his family in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Rob was ready to settle down, and he’d rather do so with Maisey. But after their first encounter, it was clear that he’d lost her forever.

Circumstances force Maisey and Rob into one another’s company. They learn, through hardship and loss, that the only way to one another is to surrender first to God’s love.

Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, The Forever Sky explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.

 

Here’s the Cover:

The Forever Sky by Janalyn Voigt

PREORDER LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt fell in love with literature at an early age when her father read chapters from classics to her at night. After Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with bedtime stories “written” in her head. Janalyn is a storyteller who writes in multiple genres. The same elements–romance, mystery, adventure, history, and fantasy/whimsy–appear in all her novels. Janalyn Voigt is represented by Wordserve Literary. Learn more about Janalyn, read the first chapters of her books, subscribe to her e-letter, and join her reader clubs at her website.

CONNECT WITH JANALYN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | BookBub

 


 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive a $20 gift card!

The Forever Sky JustRead Cover Reveal Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 1, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 8, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

 


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Spotlight: The Telegraph Proposal by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham with Book Excerpt (and a Giveaway link!)

The Telegraph Proposal JustRead Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for The Telegraph Proposal by Becca Whitham and Gina Welborn, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Telegraph ProposalTitle: The Telegraph Proposal
Series: Montana Brides #3
Authors: Becca Whitham & Gina Welborn
Publisher: Zebra
Genre: Western Romance
Release Date: October 29, 2019

In the rough and rugged Montana Territory, the journey to true love is filled with unexpected twists–and sweet rewards–for daring frontier women who faithfully believe every heart has a home . . .

With the help of the Archer Matrimonial Company, Yancey Palmer has finally put Hale Adams, the man she’s loved for ten years–sometimes not wisely or well–behind her. Yancey is so sure of her love for the man the agency matched her with, she readily promises a friend that she’ll help Hale with his mayoral campaign without chasing him.

Hale has also engaged the services of the matrimonial agency. He’s so pleased with one lady, he requests that she join him in Helena to commence a sixty-day courtship. But instead, the Archer ladies arrive in town to reveal the true identities of both Hale’s and Yancey’s matches: each other. Can they look past their misunderstandings and hurt to see that they are still a perfect match?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


EXCERPT

Hale attempted to keep his exasperation at bay. But this woman was pushing his limits of gentlemanly behavior.  “I’m still waiting to hear how far outside normal agency practice you went with regards to Miss York.”

Miss Archer shot a look at her mother, who was now the one looking triumphant. “It’s nothing bad.”

“You’ve already assured me on that point, Miss Archer.” And he was even less inclined to believe her now than the first time.

“It goes back to your rejection of the first nine candidates we sent you.”

“They weren’t compatible.” Which was rather obvious.

“Although they were exactly what you asked for.” She raised her head, a challenge in her brown eyes. “So instead of giving you the woman you askedfor, I sent you the woman you needed.”

He narrowed his eyes, trying once again to picture the qualifications he’d listed eight months ago on his application. But—honestly—did it even matter? Portia was who he wanted. However, the lawyer in him wasn’t about to say as much. “Are you saying she came to your agency in an unusual way?”

Miss Archer shook her head, the dark red feather tucked into the ribbon of her hat waving from side to side. “Miss York filled out an application and was vetted just as you were, Mr. Adams. I only changed her name and some of her specifics so you wouldn’t guess her identity.”

He heard the words and understood their meaning, but he couldn’t quite comprehend what she was implying. Unless… “Are you saying you read her letters to me?”

This time the feather (in her hat) waved up and down.

He crossed his arms over his chest as though they could shield him from feeling undressed. And she thought this was nothing bad? He’d like to hear precisely what she thought qualified for that.

Then again, he really didn’t.

She was talking again. He shoved the arguments and accusations shouting inside his head to one side in order to hear her. “…knew she was the perfect match for you, but in case you rejected her, as you had the others, I didn’t want there to be any awkwardness between you.”

He frowned. “Are you saying I know Miss York?”

Another nod, this one less vigorous so the feather barely waved.

He squinted, trying to picture the women he’d met in Denver. “Who is she?”

Miss Archer shot another glance at her mother, took a shallow breath, and looked him in the eye. “Yancey Palmer.”


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham
Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham

Becca Whitham (WIT-um) Award-winning author, paper crafter, and Army wife, Becca and her twelve-foot long craft cabinet follow her husband of thirty-five years wherever the army needs a good chaplain. She thinks the cabinet should count as a dependent. So far, neither the army nor the IRS is convinced. In between moves from one part of the country to the other, she writes stories combining faith and fiction that touch the heart. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

CONNECT WITH BECCA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

 

Gina Welborn is the bestselling author of twenty inspirational romances, including the Montana Brides Romances from Kensington Publishing. She’s a member of Romance Writers of American and American Christian Fiction Writers. Sharing her husband’s passion for the premier American sports car, she is a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum and a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club. Gina lives with her husband, four of their five children, a rabbit named Hobbit, and two cats that don’t realize rabbits are edible.

CONNECT WITH GINA: Website | Facebook | Pinterest


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and a Montana huckleberry syrup and jam gift box!

The Telegraph Proposal JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 28, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 4, 2019. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

 


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

First Line Friday: The Red Journal

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from a digital galley and may differ from the published text.

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It seems like ages since I read a book, after the events of August and September sent my record reading year off the rails.  But I’m trying to get back on track and I’ll be reading and reviewing The Red Journal by Deb Elkink soon as part of a review tour with Just Read Tours, so I thought I’d share the first lines for this week’s First Line Friday.

Here is the description:

Flirty globetrotter Sybil badgers her friend Libby to travel along in seeking out the world’s “sacred places”—a monastery in Japan, a mountaintop in Africa, a mosque in Istanbul. Her footloose wandering far from family values costs her more than money.

But Libby can’t afford to travel, and she’s plagued by a different kind of restlessness. Grieving the recent death of the grandmother who raised her in their inner-city Minneapolis tenement now slated for demolition, Libby faces homelessness in both heart and habitation.

When Libby discovers a cryptic message from beyond the grave and an antique ring pointing to a mystery in an inner room of a mansion museum in North Dakota, she sets out on a quest of her own for the meaning of heritage and home.

It isn’t often I run across a novel written in present progressive tense, so I couldn’t stop at just one sentence.  Here are the first lines: Continue reading