Monday, April 30, 2018

21 Days of Joy by Kathy Ide Book Tour and GiveAway


About the Book


 
Title: 21 Days of Joy  
Author: Kathy Ide  
Genre: Non-fiction, Devotional
Release Date: April 1, 2016  
Tour Dates: April 28 – May 11
Oh, the joys—and struggles—of
motherhood!
21 Days of Joy honors mothers of all varieties. Biological moms. Adoptive moms. Stepmothers. Grandmothers. Godmothers. “Second moms.” Even men who “mother” children when circumstances put them in that position. Whether you are a mother, have one, or know one, these heartwarming fictional stories will touch your soul and help you see that you are not alone. The work you’re doing will have an impact for eternity. And those rewards will make the trials all worthwhile. God knows every sacrifice you make for the children He has brought into your life. So take a few moments out of your busy schedule to read this book, and get a glimpse of your daily routine from a divine perspective. Compiler and editor KATHY IDE has written fiction and nonfiction books and is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. She is a professional freelance editor and the founder and director of two organizations for editorial freelancers. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a series of five novels. Kathy makes her home in Orange County, California.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review
 "21 Days of Joy" honors mothers, Biological moms. Adoptive moms. Stepmothers. Grandmothers. Godmothers. “Second moms.” Even men who “mother” children when circumstances put them in that position.

Some of these stories made the tears want to start but they also show what mother hood is like.  The stories are filled with sorrows and joy.  There are 21 stories by 21 different authors.

I recommend this book to all mothers, well to all women.

I think my favorite story  in the book is " You Can Take This Job, and Love It" because it explains all the disdadvantages of being a mother and then shows the joys. Although, after tying that I am thinking Wait, I really like all of them , so I will say they are all my favorites.

There are two stories that I could really connect with deep inside my heart, "My Son, the Swamp Creature" because I have a son that has moved back home and "Treasures" because Mom is in a nursing home and getting ready to go to her Heavenly home.

I am sure that there is a  story that will connect with every person that reads this book regardless if you are a biological mom or a mom through adoption or if you are a stepmom or a grandmother or a second mom or a man who mother children when circumstances put them in that position.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.


About the Author


Compiler and editor KATHY IDE has been a published author since 1989. She has written fiction and nonfiction books and is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a series of five novels. She also writes columns of writing and editing tips for blogs and newsletters. Kathy makes her home in Orange County, California.

Q & A with Kathy Ide

Tell us a little about yourself. 
I’ve been writing for publication since 1989 and I’ve been a full-time freelance editor since 1998. I teach at writers’ conferences across the country, and I’m the director of the Orange County Christian Writers Conference here in Southern California. I’m also the founder and director of two organizations for freelance editors: the Christian Editor Connection and The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network.

  You’ve created a Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. What inspired you to gather a collection of short fiction stories to be used as devotions?
 I’ve always loved Christian fiction, and I’ve seen the power of fiction to touch hearts and change lives, both firsthand and hearing about the experiences of others. But you know, in my quiet times with the Lord, reading a chapter from a novel just doesn’t seem quite appropriate. So a devotional with short fiction stories seemed like a great solution.

  Tell us about the books in this series. Each one contains 21 short fiction stories, followed by brief life applications, each written by a different author. Some contributors are best sellers, some are mid-range authors, and some are new writers. The first book was 21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love. That came out June 1st of last year. The second book, 21 Days of Christmas, released on September 1st. 21 Days of Love came out January 1st.

  Tell us about this third book, 21 Days of Joy.
21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom contains stories about mothers of all varieties. Biological moms. Adoptive moms. Stepmothers. Grandmothers. Godmothers. “Second moms.” Even men who “mother” children when circumstances put them in that position. It makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. And it’s a great way to boost your spirit when dealing with your kids—or your mom—becomes challenging.

  Tell us about some of the stories in 21 Days of Joy.
 Some of the stories are about the struggles moms have dealing with their kids at various ages and stages. Others are about women dealing with their aging mothers. One story is about a young woman who thinks her dreams of having lots of kids are shattered when her fiance dumps her right before the wedding. There are a couple of stories about adopted kids meeting their biological moms. One story is about a barren woman who realizes she actually has lots of children. And one story, written by one of Bob Hope’s comedy writers, is a humorous tale of a woman who applies for the job of mother.

  How do you hope readers will use 21 Days of Joy? This book makes a great gift, with its beautiful debossed hardback cover, full-color interior, even a ribbon page marker. With stories about all kinds of mothers, it’s great for anyone who is a mom, has a mom, or knows a mom. Like the other books in this series, 21 Days of Joy makes a wonderful daily devotional. And if you want to go deeper, you can get a Study Guide with additional questions about each of the stories. It will be available soon as a free PDF download at FictionDevo.com or as a 99-cent e-book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

  What do you hope readers will get out of reading 21 Days of Joy?
I’m praying the Holy Spirit will speak to the hearts of everyone who reads this devotional about how much God has shown His love for them through the mothers in their lives, and what a tremendous impact women have in the lives of the children God has given them to love.

  What is unique about this series? Most devotionals contain true stories. And those are great! But so many believers today are big fans of Christian fiction … because fiction can be a powerful way to soak in spiritual truths and apply them to our daily lives. In this devotional, the authors share the themes and messages they see in the pieces they’ve written, and encourage readers to look for those types of things in these devotional stories as well as in other fictional things they might read.

  What life circumstances worked together to put you in a position to be able to create this series?
 Since I’ve been a professional freelance editor for several years, I’m able to edit the submissions I choose to use, polishing them without losing the author’s unique voice. And since I’ve been teaching and speaking at writers’ conferences across the country, I’ve connected with several authors at all levels, including well-known best sellers. So there are a lot of people I can personally ask about submitting to the books in this series. And I’ve developed a strong social media presence, so I can get the word out to other writers as well.

  What other books have you written? I wrote Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, to help writers and editors learn how to proofread manuscripts for typos, inconsistencies, and errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling, according to the industry-standard guidelines.

  What do you do besides write?
Read, of course. And go to movies. I also love to travel with my husband. We visit our out-of-state relatives (when they’re not visiting us—which happens often since we live in Southern California). We also enjoy going jet skiing, and camping in our RV.

  Can you share some of the names of the authors who have contributed stories to the devotional?
 Absolutely! 21 Days of Joy has chapters written by well-known, best-selling novelists, including Deborah Raney, Lynette Sowell, Mary DeMuth, Sherry Kyle, and New York Times best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall. There are also stories by writers you may not have heard of. At the end of each chapter is an author bio that gives some background information, and usually the author’s website. So if you really like a story in the devotional, you can find out what else that author has written. You may just find some new names to add to your favorites list. And if you haven’t read much Christian fiction, this devotional will give you a small taste of several different authors and genres, without having to commit to reading an entire novel. You might just discover that you actually love Christian fiction!

  Where can people purchase the books?
 They’re available online at Amazon, ChristianBook.com, Barnes & Noble, and other websites. If you go to FictionDevo.com, you’ll find several links that will take you directly to the ordering pages for all of the books in the series. You can also find them at many Christian bookstores and Barnes & Noble stores.

Blog Stops

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a hardback copy of 21 Days of Grace and an eBook copy of 21 days of Joy to two winners!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cc8e

Love, Amy by Amy Young Book Tour and GiveAway


About the Book


 
Title:
Genre: Memoir  
Release Date: June, 2017
She came to China with a lesson plan. What she found was a new sense of purpose.
Amy Young traveled to China in the mid 1990s to teach English to educators. But she never expected the profound way they would enrich her soul. With the influence of the enchanting country and its extraordinary everyday people, Amy extended a two-year assignment to nearly two decades far away from home.
Starting shortly after her arrival, Amy shared her stories and her unique perspective through a series of letters. Her nine years of correspondence demonstrated a country going through growing pains: from political unrest to the SARS epidemic to budding prosperity. Amy battled language barriers, cultural faux pas, and invasive mice with nothing to lose. She even fought for her life with a potentially deadly illness, unsure if she’d survive to share her tale.
Throughout her journey, Amy drew strength from God and came to appreciate the beauty and power of an ordinary life lived well.Love, Amy: An Accidental Memoir Told in Newsletters from China is one woman’s deeply moving journey of self-transformation. If you like humorous anecdotes, immersions in Eastern culture, and honest stories that aren’t afraid to dig deep, then you’ll love Amy Young’s heartfelt tale.

 Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review: 
"Love,Amy" by Amy Young is a memoir that is told in actual newsletters that she wrote from China. The newsletters were interesting to read and some of it was quite fun to read!  She wrote some of the newsletters so well that it was like seeing the events instead of just reading them, like the mouse stories.

I even tried answering the quizzes that she included in a couple of the letters.

There are tips to help with writing newsletters if you write them, I don't write newsletters but I read them anyway.

This book has increased my appreciation for others who give up their lives, ( not in death but in service ) to help others. 

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.



About the Author


Amy Young is a writer, speaker, and advocate for embracing the messy middle of your one glorious life. Author of Looming Transitions, Twenty Two Activities for Families in Transition, and The Looming Transitions Workbook, she also created the blog The Messy Middle (www.messmiddle.com), has been a part of Velvet Ashes, (an online community for missionaries) from the beginning, and contributes regularly to A Life Overseas. Amy enjoys nothing more than being with her people, wherever they are in the world. She also enjoys cheering on the Denver Broncos and Kansas Jayhawks. After nearly twenty years in China, she returned to Denver and much to her shock, discovered she enjoys gardening.

Guest Post from Amy Young

The tug for a life that is “Anything but Boring” When I was in college the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Sarah Plain and Tall changed my life. You’ve probably seen it and been moved too. Sarah, a spinster by the standard of her day, moves from Boston to the fields of Kansas to consider marrying a widower and help him raise his children and work his farm. Her brother could not understand why Sarah would move from so-called civilization to the middle of nowhere. But the longing she felt for her life to matter resonated deeply with me. I was in the liminal space between adolescence and adulthood. Like Sarah, I knew I could stay where I was and live a good life, but I wanted more. And so I moved to China. Our world is one that loves big, change-the-world stories. I love them too. I remember reading The End of the Spear, the story of Jim Elliott and his friends who were martyred for their faith. I also lost myself in the stories of Gladys Aylward, William Carey, Lottie Moon, and Amy Carmichael. I remember reading about a missionary that had some worm pulled out of his stomach that was the size of a large snake. Disgusting! Fascinating! All for the gospel! The life of faith was exciting and God was on the move all the time! While it is true, the life of faith is exciting and God is on the move, it is also ordinary, boring, disappointing, and confusing. When I started compiling the letters I wrote from my days in China, I was embarrassed by what “first year Amy” said. She was so clueless, so uninformed, so willing to display her lack of cultural knowledge. I wanted to put my hand over her mouth and ask her to please pipe down because she did not really believe what she was saying. But she did, “first year Amy” could not know what “fifteen year in China Amy” knew. These change the world stories I love? Turns out they have been more sanitized than I realized without showing the cultural and ministry progression that must have taken place. Even now, knowing what I know, part of me wishes my newsletters contained miracles and throngs coming to Christ because of my work. I thought throngs and miracles were what a “real” cross-cultural worker would do. I thought that would show that my life mattered, like Sarah’s when she moved to Kansas. Don’t we all want our lives to matter? I believed that mattering was measurable. By compiling and writing this book the lesson Love, Amy has taught me is that too often we confuse size with significance. I still hear the whisper that says, “Amy, really? You wrote about the cultural beliefs that influence standing in line and you think that is worth people giving of their prayer, money, and time?” Part of me is reluctant even now to publish these letters because they are common. In truth, I am happy with my life and the contributions I have made. Of course I have regrets and wish I’d handled certain situations differently. But if all we hear are the spectacular stories, we can miss the gift our beautifully ordinary lives can be. Who made it into the Gospels? A widow and her two mites. A boy and his few fish. She is described as offering out of her poverty. His common lunch was used to feed more than he could have imagined. Jesus did not tend to elevate those in power or those who seemed impressive. My first year, a fellow teacher in China told me, “You’re lucky you’re still in your first year. Wait until your second year and you have told all your stories. You’ll have nothing to say in your newsletters.” Isn’t that the heart of what we fear—that we will have nothing to say with our lives? The secret to combating this fear is not that secretive. Show up and be present. Taken individually, these letters don’t add up to much, but put them together and much to my surprise, month after month I wrote an accidental memoir. As ordinary as it is, I do have to say, life in China was anything but boring! If you love memoirs and want to hear stories that will make you laugh or cringe (and sometimes both), join me on a college campus in China.

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, April 21
Carpe Diem, April 23
Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Artistic Nobody, April 27 (Spotlight)
Lots of Helpers, April 27
A Greater Yes, April 29
margaret kazmierczak, May 2 (Interview)

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a grand prize of a letter writing basket that includes a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb73

Sunday, April 29, 2018

"Guide your Mind, Guard your Heart, Grace your Tongue by Carol Burton McLeod Book Tour And Give Away


About the Book



Title: Guide your Mind, Guard your Heart, Grace your Tongue  
Author: Carol Burton McLeod  
Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian Living  
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Every single one of us with a beating heart has spoken words “under the influence” of warped feelings and slurred thinking. And we soon wish we had the magical power to take those words back. We especially regret the hurtful words we have spoken to those we love the most and know the best. This book may just be the solution. Carol McLeod reveals that before the words are spoken, they brew in our hearts and are formed in our minds. It’s our thoughts and emotions that determine what words come out of our mouths. Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue is an innovative blueprint that will enable you to take control of your thoughts and feelings in order to grace your tongue. You won’t find pat answers here, but rather powerful strategies based on the Word of God to reroute disordered thinking and cure rotten emotions so your words can be humbly grateful instead of grumbly hateful.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review: 
"Guide your Mind, Guard your Heart, Grace your Tongue " by Carol Burton McLeod is a really easy book to read and understand, but it isn't a book to just be read, it is a book that should be read and imbedded into your mind and soul and then followed.

I have read this book without really stopping to ponder all it says for the sake of this writing this review, but I can honestly say I will reread and studying this book more deeply. After each chapter there is a section called personal application and I intend to study and do them as well.

This book is exactly what the title says!

I have lots of things underlined in this book. One thing I especially like is that she backs up her thoughts and ideals with Scripture.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.




About the Author


Carol Burton McLeod is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats through her ministry, Just Joy!, and is the author of a number of books. Carol hosts a daily radio show, “Defiant Joy! Radio,” which is broadcast in major markets across America. Her blog, “Joy for the Journey” (formerly “A Cup of Tea with Carol”), has been named in the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women, and her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart won a Telly Award for excellence in religious programming.

Enjoy the Book Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t6L9r3y9hk#action=share


Extra GiveAway
I have an arc copy  that is missing about 30 pages  but if someone wants to be entered for this comment below.


                                      Blog Stops        

                                          Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 17

Genesis 5020, April 18:
Mary Hake, April 19
Multifarious, April 20
Bigreadersite , April 20
Carpe Diem, April 22
Power of Words, April 23 (Spotlight)
Among the Reads, April 23
Beck to Basics, April 26
Artistic Nobody, April 26 (Spotlight)
A Greater Yes, April 30

Giveaway



To celebrate the tour, Whitaker House is giving away the following prizes:
Grand Prize: A copy of Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue, “Grace” teapot from Christian Arts Gifts, Whitaker House/Anchor adult coloring book.

1st Place: A copy of Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue, Abba Jerusalem 6” Scented Pillar Candle

 2nd Place: A copy of Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue, and Whitaker House/Anchor adult coloring book.

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cd18/guide-your-mind-guard-your-heart-grace-your-tongue-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, April 28, 2018

"Misdirect" by Beverly Nault

SBN: 978-1546430803 |  Format: Softcover and Kindle | Page Count:250 | Genre: Christian Suspense| Price: $9.99 Paperback, $2.99 Kindle|

A mission failure has confined CIA covert operative Eve Parker to desk duty and she’s left to pick up the pieces of her broken personal life. But when her daughter’s fiancĂ© is taken hostage, Eve must return to the Middle East armed with rusty tradecraft, and dubious credibility shrouded in her peers’ skepticism. Will she get it together in time to thwart the biggest threat to America since 9/11, or will her old-fashioned ways cause her to fail again?

And if a suspected mole, a missing thumb drive, and a camel ride through the desert weren’t challenging enough, a young Muslim boy with questions about God cause Eve to struggle with her own faith. As the most important assignment of her life draws near, events unfold to demonstrate that, particularly in espionage, things are not always as they seem.

Join Eve Parker as she confronts her past, a national threat, and a crisis of faith in this spy thriller layered with intrigue, suspense, and surprise ending from an award-winning author reviewers call “a master storyteller."



About Beverly Nault:
Misdirect is Beverly Nault’s tenth book, and has already earned five star rave reviews from Reader’s Favorite, and was awarded the Books Go Social Gold Quality Mark for excellence in writing style and editing. Bev’s previous books include Kaleidoscope, a romantic suspense which finaled in the San Diego Book Awards and earned the InD’Tale Magazine Crowned Heart “must read.” Fresh Start Summer, a small town cozy, earned the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild Excellence in Writing and was named one of Real Simple’s Top 21 Summer Reads upon its release. Reviewers and fans call Bev a “master storyteller,” and Misdirect has already earned accolades such as “seriously engaging,” “full of plot twists” and “written with layers of intrigue and suspense.”

Connect with Beverly at:
Website: http://beverlynault.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/beverlynault
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BevNault

Order your copy of Misdirect on Amazon.

My Review: 
I really liked this book. It kept me turning the pages because I just had to know how it all ended.  After reading this book I really would like to read more of these characters. This book has a lot of surprises and the ending was great, not what I expected at all. This book is a perfect example of things are not always what they seem.

There were a couple of times while reading this story, I don't want that to happen but I am glad now that it did because it made the story that much better in the end. There was a couple of times that I was questioning if I understood what was happening but it all made sense at the end. 

The scenes were written so well that I wished I was there especially with the camel riding scenes. 

I recommend this book to anyone that like mysteries without alot of violence. 

There was one usage of the word hell, that I was surprised was in the book because it was used as a curse word not describing a place,  It was "How in the hell are you".   I know that won't bother some readers but I don't like cursing of any kind. That is the only thing I dislike about this book.

 I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

"The Essence of Courage: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Solomon's Locked Garden and in Your Heart (Cinnamah-Brosia's Inspirational Collection for Women) (Volume 1) byLynn U. Watson

AUTHOR BIO

Lynn Watson many years’ experience in women’s ministry, love of essential oils, and her passion for God’s word to bring her readers freshly inspired encouragement for their walk with Jesus. Her devotional, The Essence of Courage, was recognized as a ‘must read’ by regional publishing industry leaders. Married since 1973, Lynn and Steve have filled their Bartlett, Tennessee home with handmade treasures and lots of love for family, especially their five beautiful (of course) grandchildren. Aromas of freshly baked bread often fill Lynn’s kitchen. Jasmine, her tuxedo kitty, enjoys sleeping in Lynn’s lap while she writes. 




BOOK INFO


As women we encounter multiple challenges, while simultaneously wearing many hats. We need courage to face our challenges and commitments in ways that reflect the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In Song of Solomon 4, Solomon ascribes the essences of his locked garden to the courageous woman he has taken as his bride.
In this inspirational collection you'll discover
1 How the fruits, spices, and essential oils of Solomon's locked garden connect to the fruit of the Spirit, and how that fruit is displayed in the lives of real women of the Bible
2 Cinnamah-Brosia (owner of the local Coffee Cottage) and the women with whom she does life — learn how they encourage one another as they share their struggles and triumphs
3 Encouragement to allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate the essence of courage in your heart
4 Icing on the Cake: fun facts about the spice & oils, along with ways to enjoy incorporating reminders of the Holy Spirit fruit they represent into you life.
Suitable for individuals and small groups. Grab a cup of coffee, along with some friends, and come find courage to face life with gusto.


My Review: 
This book was interesting to read as it is  filled with facts and stories about how different spices was used in Bible Times.  It is has stories from the author's own life.  The author list a different spice for each Fruit of The Spirit.   

There are recipes as well and examples of how we can use them today. It was interesting to read the facts about the spices. 

You might think this book would be tedious because of the subject matter but it isn't at all.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit.These opinions are my own.

To purchase go here : https://www.amazon.com/Essence-Courage-Cultivating-Cinnamah-Brosias-Inspirational/dp/0692840532/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=




Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Spotlighting Lucie Ulrich with an GiveAway

About the Author:  
Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Her books are filled with faith, family, forgiveness, and a little humor to round things out.  
A former drama teacher and performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.


Interview

1. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?  
          Not until I was in my 40’s. I started small by writing skits for my church’s drama team. Skits became plays, and plays grew into a desire to take my writing to another level.

2. Where do you get your inspiration for your characters?  
          I’d have to say that 95% comes from my imagination. I might use a mannerism or expression from a family member (or myself), but I do my best not to model my characters after real people. It’s safer that way. Lol!

3. Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
          Wow, tough question. So many things have improved since my early attempts—not that I’ve mastered any. I don’t know any author would admit to being a master. There’s always something new to learn. Since I have to choose, I’d say attention to detail. I’m not a huge fan of over-description in books, so I tended to shy away when writing my own. I’d like to think I’ve found a good balance. 

4. What is your writing Kryptonite? 
          Focus! I’m too easily distracted. Case in point: I have at least six or seven novels on my desktop—all in various stages of completion. Unless a story idea is so strong I can’t pull myself away, I’ll go back and forth between two, three, or even four. It’s not that I get bored with them, but while working on one, I get a brilliant (at least to my mind) idea and have to get something down on paper. I’m currently working on two stories and progressing relatively well with each. But who knows what tomorrow will bring? 

5. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
          It’s safe to say good reviews are easy to deal with. As for bad reviews… well, there really isn’t anything I can do about them. That’s not to say they might not sting a bit, but I learned through years of being part of an online critique group, that not everyone is going to like my stories or my writing style, so I do my best to let them slide—but not before I look to see if there’s something valuable I can glean from the reviewer’s comments.

6. What is your favorite childhood book?
          I wasn’t much of a reader as a child, but one year I received two books: Heidi by Johanna Spyri and Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott. I remember reading them over and over again. Wish I still had them, but they literally fell apart. 

7. What did you edit out of this book? 
          Since the book is a novella, and less than 50k words, I was always looking to add and not subtract. I can’t think of any major plot lines or characters I edited out. 

8. What are you working on now?
          A third book in the Tillie Spencer Series, as well as a full-length novel. Both happen to take place at the beach, though in different states. The novella includes a single father and his five-year-old daughter—my first time writing a character that young, while the novel will involve characters in their fifties—my first time writing lead characters that old. Guess it’s a time for firsts. 

Book Spotlight 

Mountain View Lodge (A Tillie Spencer Novella Book 2) by Lucie ULrich  
Genre: Romance, Inspirational Romance, family
 Blurb: 
After his mother’s death, Coll MacPherson returns to the mountains of North Carolina to work for his aunt and uncle. His part-time position at Mountain View Lodge will allow him to hone his photography skills, and hopefully forget the woman who broke his heart. When Uncle Richard asks for Coll’s help to turn an unused storage building into a shop that would feature local art and artists, Coll figures things can’t get any better—until he meets Autumn Nichols. 
Always the bridesmaid and never the bride has been Autumn’s mantra for the last few years. After three failed relationships, she’s convinced God is trying to tell her something. If she can just get through her best friend’s wedding, Autumn can focus on building her graphic design business while leaving all thoughts of love and marriage in the past—until she meets Coll MacPherson.
Both having loved and lost, Coll and Autumn are happy to settle for friendship. The enigmatic Tillie Spencer, on the other hand, has other ideas. She knows the two are perfect for each other, and, in typical Tillie-style, is determined to prove it.
Excerpt 1: 
“I like that young man.” Tillie leaned close to Autumn. “Don’t you?” 
“I barely know him, and you don’t know him at all.” Autumn checked to make sure Coll had rounded the corner. “That aside, how did you know he was going to ask me to the reception?” 
Tillie’s tinkling laughter rang out as tables were brought in to turn the wedding space into a reception area. “I overheard the bride and groom insisting he come to the reception. I also spied the two of you talking on my way to the dining room this morning. You seemed to get along well. Coll’s only been here for a day, so who else would he ask?” 
The old lady’s answer was thin at best, yet plausible enough for Autumn to let it go at that.  
Coll returned wearing a bright smile. “You’re all set up, ladies. You have a table in the Trail’s End room reserved for six o’clock. As for me, I’m going to change into something with legs. Autumn, I’ll meet you in the library in twenty minutes. The room should be set up for the reception about then.” 
“Okay, but are you sure you want to change? You’re kind of rockin’ that kilt.” 
He laughed while a bit of color came to his cheeks. “Thank you, but since I don’t plan to play the pipes anymore this evening, I’m going for the pants.” And with that, he was gone. 
Dawn pulled off her heels. “My feet are killing me. Think I’ll follow Coll’s lead and change into something more comfortable. See you at dinner, Tillie.” She waggled her fingers and dashed away. 
“Would you mind if an old lady keeps you company while you wait?” 
Autumn narrowed her eyes. Though likable, Tillie was just a touch on the intrusive side. “Why, so you can impart a dose of sage wisdom, or see what you can find out about me?” 
Melodic laughter filled the hall. “I like you, Autumn Nichols. You say it like it is, and I appreciate that.” She looped her arm through Autumn’s and took off walking. “Let’s see what we can find out about each other in the next few minutes.” 
They scooted through the living area where the bridal party posed for pictures, and guests snacked on tidbits while sipping their cocktails. 
Autumn slid one of the pocket doors open and allowed Tillie to step in first. They sat at the farthest table from the entrance. “I can’t believe Dawn will be that bride in three weeks—minus the plaid sash, of course.” A moment of melancholy came and went. “It’s going to be strange not having her as my roommate anymore.” 
“Do you have anyone else lined up to take her place?”
 Warmth washed through Autumn's veins. Her friendship with Dawn went back to their first day of kindergarten. Dawn, brash and pushy at times, remained Autumn’s best friend and strongest advocate. She already missed her. “Nobody could take Dawn’s place. Since my business is doing well, I decided to stick out the rest of the lease on my own. I have a few months to decide whether I want to keep the second bedroom as my office or move to a one bedroom.” 
“You won’t consider another roommate?”
 “No.”
 “Not even a husband?” The glint in Tillie’s eyes let Autumn know they’d reached the moment of truth—at least what Tillie likely considered said moment. Autumn chose to take the lead. “Have you ever been married, Tillie?” 
“Goodness, no. I have to be free to go where the Spirit leads me.” 
“Why?” 
“To offer advice, gently coax, and sometimes give a good push to those in need.” 
Tingles of dread pricked Autumn’s nerves. This quirky lady had an agenda that apparently involved Autumn, and she wasn’t sure she liked being someone’s project. “And you think I’m in need of your services?” 
“Oh, no, dear, not you. Coll.”

Excerpt 2: 
Coll remained silent. He stared after the lady until she disappeared into the crowd of partygoers. The sound of Autumn’s chuckling drew him back to the reason he was here. He focused on his companion. “How long have you known that lady?” 
“I met her yesterday.” 
“She’s . . . interesting.” 
“Interesting is one of Tillie’s many characteristics.” Autumn eyed his attire. “You look very nice, though I still prefer the kilt.” She sighed deeply. “There’s just something about a guy in a plaid skirt and knee socks.” 
“In that case, allow me to escort you to a room filled with guys in skirts and socks. You can ogle to your heart’s content.” She laughed, and he liked the way it sounded—like a spring breeze, light and airy. 
“I’m not going to lie, after that amazing wedding, I just knew I had to get a glimpse of what the reception would be like. Thanks for keeping me from looking like a curiosity seeker.” 
“Thank you for not making me go alone.” 
Minutes later, Coll found himself seated between Autumn and Chloe, the young girl who’d played the flute. Along with everyone in the room, he applauded when the bridal party was introduced and waited out the hoots and cheers when the newlyweds entered. A portion of his heart fractured when the newly-married couple stepped onto the dance floor for their first dance. Why had he agreed to attend the reception? This wasn’t where he wanted to be. It was one thing to be paid to play during the ceremony, quite another to sit through all the toasts and accolades. Sweat beaded on his forehead, and his palms went clammy. 
Autumn touched his arm. “You okay? You look a little pale.” 
He focused on Autumn, making sure he seemed at ease. He’d asked her to join him and would make the best of it. “I’m fine. Guess the last couple of days have caught up with me.” She looked doubtful but didn’t say anything more about it. 
When couples were invited to join the bride and groom on the dance floor, Autumn stood and held out her hand. “Come on.” 
Having no desire to dance, Coll hesitated, but could hardly refuse her offer. He rubbed his palms on his slacks. “I’m not much of a dancer.” 
“Neither am I.” 
Her smile brightened his mood. He pushed his chair back and stood. Taking her small hand in his, Coll walked in the direction of the dance floor. 
“Not that way.” Autumn led him toward the exit. 
“Where are we going?” “Anywhere but here.”


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