Saturday, December 14, 2019

Sweet Romance for Christmas Tour + GIVEAWAY: The Gift of Love by Delaney Cameron


On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Welcome to Prism’s Sweet Romance for Christmas tour featuring clean, sweet romances by 11 authors. Today’s spotlight is on The Gift of Love by Delaney Cameron.


The Gift of Love
(Finding Love #9)
By Delaney Cameron
Sweet Contemporary Romance
ebook, 203 Pages
April 6th 2018

First or even second impressions aren't always right.

Leah didn’t plan to still be searching for love so late in her twenties. Her looks almost guarantee her success with the opposite sex, but quantity doesn’t mean quality. Good thing she’s got a great career to fall back on. The only dark cloud on that particular horizon is the enigmatic Dr. Levy, the man she’s come to think of as a permanent thorn in her side. Brilliant and handsome he most certainly is, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s also stern, impatient, and bad-tempered. Oddly enough, it isn’t their mostly negative encounters that linger in her mind. Instead it’s the sadness she glimpses from time to time in his face. There’s no explanation for why she’s so bothered by this, nor can she imagine a situation where she’ll be in a position to discover the cause of his silent misery. All of which means she’s wasting her time. If anyone can take care of himself, it’s Dr. Levy.

Stratton had only been at Hutchison Clinic a short time before he heard about the beautiful nurse on the second floor. In his usual skeptical fashion he discounted the gossip until he saw Leah for himself. He had no problem admitting that the reports of her beauty hadn’t been exaggerated, but appreciation was as far as he was prepared to go. Love, romance and the so-called happily-ever-after only exist in the movies. Putting your happiness in someone else’s hands is just begging to be hurt. He has a monthly alimony payment to prove it. Getting his family and friends to understand his preference for bachelorhood isn’t so easy. While he appreciates their concern, he doesn’t need the complication of something with such overwhelming odds of failure. One ex-wife is enough for any man.

(Affiliate link included.)


Excerpt

The salad course had just been served when Leah became aware of movement behind her. She turned her head to see what was going on and nearly dropped the dinner roll she’d been in the act of buttering. Under her astonished gaze, Dr. Levy sat down in the empty seat beside her. 

After thanking the waitress for a menu and asking for coffee, he turned to Leah and smiled. “Hello, again. If I wasn’t so sure you don’t like me, I’d begin to think you’re following me.” 

This provocative greeting broke the spell she’d fallen under. “I was here first, so the person doing the following is you.” 

“Don’t confuse the issue with facts.” He opened the menu and ran his eyes down the offerings. “This place has a little of everything, doesn’t it? What did you get?” 

“Grilled shrimp with a baked sweet potato and Caesar salad.” 

“Sounds good. I think I’ll get that, too.” 

As if on cue, the waitress arrived with his coffee and took his order. Leah used the time to finish buttering her roll and quiet her jangled nerves. In the three weeks since Dr. Levy had given her a ride home, she’d avoided going anywhere near his area of the clinic. This kind of behavior was unusual for her, but no one likes being caught in an embarrassing situation by someone who already thinks badly of them. And now, here they were again, thrown together by forces outside her control and which no one could have foreseen. Escape was impossible. Her only choice was to make the best of it. 

“How do you know Evangeline and Cecil, Dr. Levy?” 

He smiled as he stirred cream into his coffee. “The name is Stratton. Save Dr. Levy for work. I don’t know Evangeline at all. I’m one of Cecil’s numerous cousins. What about you?” 

She didn’t hear much of what he said after the word Stratton. It was an unusual name, but it suited him somehow. As for calling him by it, that was something else entirely. “Evangeline and I met in middle school. Her family moved to South Carolina during our senior year. She was thrilled when I took the job in Myrtle Beach.” 

“If we’d known ahead of time that we were both coming this way, we could have ridden together.” 

Leah was saved having to come up with a response to this startling remark by the arrival of the main course. In truth, she was having trouble reconciling this sociable man with the somewhat reserved and often-times stern physician she knew from the clinic. Which one was the real Stratton? 

She almost jumped out of her skin when she heard his voice close to her ear. 

“What are you doing after the rehearsal dinner is over?” 

“I’m going back to Evangeline’s house. All the bridesmaids are staying there.” 

“It’s still early. Would you be interested in taking a drive?” 

Taking a drive? With him? Now things were just starting to get weird. 

When she didn’t say anything, a gleam appeared in his eyes. “It’s okay to refuse, Leah. You won’t hurt my feelings.” 

“It’s not that I don’t want to go; I’m just…” She stopped, trying to think of a nicer word than flabbergasted or amazed. “I’m surprised. Our acquaintance has had some…rocky moments.” 

He speared one of his shrimp and doused it in melted butter. “Then it’s about time we did something to change that.” 

“Is it?” 

“Of course. First or even second impressions aren’t always the right ones. Don’t you think we owe it to ourselves and each other to find out how wrong or right we were?”


Other Books in the Series

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate link.)


About the Author


I'm a Georgia girl at heart if not by birth. I love to read, watch college football, and spend time with my husband. I'm a hopeless romantic so there will always be a happily ever after in my stories. I also like to write about second chances because love doesn't always work out the first time.

My books are sweet romances set in both contemporary and regency settings featuring stories about the journey to love, from that first meeting to the point where two people know their hearts are no longer their own. My characters aren't perfect. They make mistakes and have faults like the rest of us. They learn the sometimes painful truth that the path to love isn't always smooth, but it's a road worth traveling.



Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they're scheduled.)

December 11th: Launch
December 12th: Julie Coulter Bellon - Truth or Dare
December 13th: Delaney Cameron - The Gift of Love
December 14th: Raneé S. Clark - Her Country Christmas Date
December 15th: Stephanie Fowers - Robin and Marian
December 16th: Aspen Hadley - Blind Dates, Bridesmaids & Other Disasters
December 17th: Maria Hoagland - Santa Cam
December 18th: Rachel John - The Christmas Bachelor Auction
December 19th: Sally Johnson - Dear Mr. Darcy
December 20th: D.E. Malone - Love Like Forever
December 21st: Melissa McClone - Mountain Rescue Romance Series
December 22nd: Brooke St. James - The Suite Life
December 23rd: Grand Finale


Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally (as long as winner is eligible to receive prize)
Ends December 28, 2019



Friday, December 13, 2019

Sweet Romance for Christmas Tour + GIVEAWAY: Truth or Dare by Julie Coulter Bellon


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to Prism’s Sweet Romance for Christmas tour featuring clean, sweet romances by 11 authors. Today’s spotlight is on Truth or Dare by Julie Coulter Bellon.


Truth or Dare
By Julie Coulter Bellon
Sweet Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Novella
ebook, 134 Pages
May 8th 2018 by Stone Hall Books

After a year of recovery, wounded war veteran Jonah Harrison comes home for Christmas. No longer the outgoing high school track star, he just wants to be left alone, away from well-meaning friends and neighbors. But when a blizzard strands him with Kami Jackson—the girl who once knew him best—he can’t hide anything from her, no matter how much he wants to. Kami has a wounded heart of her own, though, and it might take a miracle---or at least two matchmaking dogs---for them to find the healing they both long for and the courage to reach for a chance at love.

(Affiliate link included.)


Excerpt

Being here brought back so many warm memories for her, like sunshine chasing away all her shadows. The reality was, though some things seemed the same, their lives were very different than what they had been. She needed to keep that in mind. 

Kami ran a hand through her damp hair and suppressed another shiver. She caught chills easily; that hadn’t changed. Back in the day, no matter what season it was, Jonah would be hot and she’d always be cold. He usually had his arm around her to warm her up, though. That was one thing she wished hadn’t changed, even if it was just for tonight. 

She stole a peek behind her. The military had been good to Jonah. He’d always been athletic and good-looking, but now he was powerful and had a ruggedness to him. His blond hair was cropped, military-style, but the short-sleeved T-shirt he wore that proudly said Marines on it pulled across a broad chest and showed off some muscular arms. On the outside, he seemed more like his old self, but every now and then his change in demeanor told her there was a lot going on behind those blue eyes, and he didn’t seem in the mood to share. For now, anyway.


About the Author


      Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of nearly two dozen romantic suspense novels. Her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense, Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense, and The Captain was a RONE award finalist for Best Suspense. Most recently, her books The Capture and Second Look were both Whitney finalists for Best Suspense/Mystery. 
      Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she's visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. In her free time she loves to read, write, teach, watch Hawaii Five-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.



Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they're scheduled.)

December 11th: Launch
December 12th: Julie Coulter Bellon - Truth or Dare
December 13th: Delaney Cameron - The Gift of Love
December 14th: Raneé S. Clark - Her Country Christmas Date
December 15th: Stephanie Fowers - Robin and Marian
December 16th: Aspen Hadley - Blind Dates, Bridesmaids & Other Disasters
December 17th: Maria Hoagland - Santa Cam
December 18th: Rachel John - The Christmas Bachelor Auction
December 19th: Sally Johnson - Dear Mr. Darcy
December 20th: D.E. Malone - Love Like Forever
December 21st: Melissa McClone - Mountain Rescue Romance Series
December 22nd: Brooke St. James - The Suite Life
December 23rd: Grand Finale


Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally (as long as winner is eligible to receive prize)
Ends December 28, 2019


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Review + GIVEAWAY: A Time to Dance by Patricia Beal


 

About the Book

Book:  A Season to Dance
Author: Patricia Beal
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Release Date: May, 2017

Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

Click here to get your copy!  


My Thoughts

I loved A Season to Dance so much! Patricia Beal’s debut novel beautifully blends together music, romance, drama, and spirituality. Beal’s writing shows much promise in the women’s fiction genre of Christian fiction and I will be ready to read her next release.

A Season to Dance is many things …

… A romantic journey that is propelled by one kiss. It’s the heartbreaking struggle of two seemingly lost loves to Ana, and the agonizing pain of loving someone slowly dying from a debilitating illness.

… An emotional journey, as Ana seeks fulfillment in relationships and career, yearning to perform on the world stage at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

… A spiritual journey. The characters are human, realistically flawed. Nothing is shown explicitly, but Ana made mistakes in seeking contentment through romantic relationships. But the beauty is how the author shows God’s faithfulness, constant presence, patiently drawing us to Him.

One strength of this novel is the world of ballet and the emotional pull of music and dance. I’m a musician, so this theme was especially appealing to me. The author conveys every nuance of emotion and meaning in performances such as Romeo and Juliet. The dance scenes were some of my favorite parts.

Another strength for me personally was the scenes set in Pine Mountain, Georgia – especially Callaway Gardens. I have visited the gardens many times and Beal vividly conveyed their beauty in the spring, and the garden chapel scene was hauntingly real.

I usually don’t care for love triangles, but A Season to Dance rises far above that theme. I loved the chemistry and drama between Ana, Claus and Peter. I also appreciated the spiritual reminder that our own plans aren’t enough; they don’t bring true fulfillment and peace.

I give A Season to Dance 5 stars – not because it was flawless (sometimes the jumps back and forth in time because a little hard to follow) – but because I enjoyed it so much overall. The blend of the romantic, musical, and spiritual themes resonated with me on every page.

Recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Author



      Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Her second novel comes out in February of 2020. 
      Patricia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and has worked for the U.S. Army as a writer and editor for many years. Patricia writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children. 
      You can find more info about Patricia on her website here.  


More from Patricia

A Season to Dance: The Book That Wrote Me

      When I wrote the first line of my first novel in January of 2011, I wanted to get published because I was desperate to feel important. 
      I finished writing A Season to Dance that fall and hired coach Gloria Kempton via Writer’s Digest to look at the whole thing and tell me if it was any good. 
      She saw potential in the story of a small-town professional ballerina with big dreams, but explained I needed a clearer quest, more telling details, better scene structure, and better balance between sequels and dramatic scenes. I joined Gloria’s critique group and spent a year rewriting. 
      During that year, my husband got orders to move the family from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Germany, and he deployed for the sixth time soon after we settled on a lovely mountaintop in Idar-Oberstein. 
      When I finished rewriting, Gloria said the novel looked good and had everything a novel was supposed to have. But… “Something’s still missing. I don’t know what it is. We’ve covered it all.” 
      So of course I did what any writer desperate for validation would do. I told my coach that surely nothing was missing and that it was time to query. I hired a service to blast queries everywhere for me. I know… Shame on me… But God used that.  

God’s Plan—Phase One

      One query ended up with Mrs. Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary. The novel wasn’t Christian—I wasn’t a Christian. She shouldn’t have received my query. But she did. She sent me a note saying she liked the storyline but that in Christian novels the protagonist couldn’t live with her love interest without being married. She was very kind and said that if she was missing the point and if the novel was indeed Christian that I should resubmit explaining the living together piece. 
      When I read it I laughed and rolled my eyes. I started typing a condescending reply. Something about Christian fairy tale brains and me living in the real world, but I decided not to send it. 
      Days passed. A week passed. A month passed. And all I did was collect rejections. I became bitter. Bitterly sad at first. Then bitterly discouraged. And then bitterly ugly. I’d never been ugly before. Not like that. 
      See, up to that point, I’d believed that there was some kind of “god” and that somewhere, somehow, being good was right and that it paid off. But with the disappointments of the publishing journey those beliefs became a joke to me. I stood in the middle of my empty German kitchen—husband deployed, kids at school, my first dog had just died. And I looked at that inbox full of rejections and stated to whomever or whatever was out there: “God is dead.” 
      Mercy. Surely I said that to the “god” of my imagination, and not to the real God—God as He reveals Himself in the Bible. But I know that He was in that kitchen with me. And phase two of His plan was about to start. 
      Luke 22:31-32: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”   

God’s Plan—Phase Two

      As I lost all restraint and became the worst version of myself, God removed me from my green German mountaintop. 
      After less than eighteen months in Germany, we were sent back to America, to the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. To a place called Fort Bliss—a place from which you can see a Mexican mountain with the words: “Cd. Juárez. La Biblia es la verdad. Leela.” That translates to “City of Juárez. The Bible is the truth. Read it.” Gotta love it. God is good. 
      During the first six months back in America, I went to two secular writers’ conferences and met more rejection. My lack of restraint and my selfishness didn’t really make me happy. I wanted to go to therapy. I wanted a job. I still dreamed of that book deal that had to be just around the corner. I wanted, I wanted… 
      But nothing happened, and it didn’t matter how hard I tried to get help, get happy, and find any kind of relief for the pain I felt. Nothing. Happened. I’d never seen so many closed doors—slammed-shut doors—ever in my life. Even the shrink kept double booking, closing early, and somehow cancelling on me. It was ridiculous.  

The One Open Door

      When God planted our family in the desert, He planted us two blocks from a friend from the Fort Benning years. A friend whose claim to fame was church shopping whenever the Army moved her family. I asked her to take me to church on the first Wednesday of January of 2013. 
      I fell in His arms. Surrendered, defeated, and dependent. Or what God likes to call—ready. I was born again two weeks later and was baptized on Super Bowl Sunday that February.  

Gloria’s “Something Missing”

      I had tickets to go to New York for the Writer’s Digest conference that spring, but sometime in March, it dawned on me: “You silly goose of a girl. You wrote a salvation story without the salvation piece.” My first coach, Gloria Kempton, had been right all along. There was something missing! 
      A Season to Dance isn’t just the story of a small-town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York and the two men who love her. It’s also the story of a girl desperately trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with often misguided career and romantic pursuits. 
      I deleted Mrs. Hart’s email that week. Yes, it was still in my inbox. Job well done, Mrs. Hart.
      Now, I had work to do. I spent 2013 and the first half of 2014 rewriting the novel. Five ladies from my Sunday school read chapter after chapter as I produced them and cheered me on through that gruesome process. I couldn’t have done it without their support. God is good. 
      Jeff Gerke edited my novel in the summer of 2014 and had me read Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes. God is good. 
      I went to my first Christian writers conference, the ACFW 2014 in St. Louis. Two weeks later, Les Stobbe offered to represent me. God is good. 
      ACFW 2015 was fantastic and many houses are looking at that first manuscript. God is good. 
      In early 2016, we sold the manuscript to Bling! Romance, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. A Season to Dance released in the spring of 2017. God is good. 
      My family got saved, too. My husband in July of 2013. Our son in December of 2013. My mom in the fall of 2014. And our little girl just this past summer, the summer of 2015. God is amazingly good!


 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Patricia is giving away the grand prize package of a themed basket of book-inspired coffees and chocolate!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the image above or the link below to enter.



Blog Stops

Among the Reads, December 12
The Power of Words, December 12
As He Leads is Joy, December 13
Hallie Reads, December 16
By The Book, December 16
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 17
Texas Book-aholic, December 18
janicesbookreviews, December 19
Godly Book Reviews, December 20
Blogging With Carol, December 20
Christian Bookaholic, December 21
For Him and My Family, December 21
Inklings and notions, December 22
Emily Yager, December 23
CarpeDiem, December 23
A Reader’s Brain, December 24
Batya’s Bits, December 25

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Review: An Amish Christmas Bakery by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin




About the Book

Book:  An Amish Christmas Bakery
Author: Various Authors
Genre: Amish Fiction, Romance
Release Date: October 2, 2019

From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four delicious novellas perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the holiday season.

Cookies and Cheer by Amy Clipston


As Christmas draws near, Alyssa Byler dreams of a window display for the bakery where she works. When she decides to design and build a sugar cookie nativity scene, all she needs is the right cookie cutters-and handsome blacksmith Kyle Smoker is the one she asks for help. Using Kyle’s handmade cutters, Alyssa creates a striking display that brings more tourists to the bakery than she can handle. And when shoppers request handmade cookie cutters of their own, Kyle finds himself overwhelmed by the demand. As Christmas approaches, Alyssa realizes she’s been too caught up in work to focus on the true meaning of Christmas-and too distracted to explore the feelings she has for Kyle. Together, they put aside the holiday rush and spend their time celebrating the season that has brought them together.

Loaves of Love by Beth Wiseman

As the only girl in a family of eight, Katie Swartzentruber has been left in charge of her family’s bakery while her mother recuperates from surgery. At first, Katie doesn’t think tending to the bakery alone will be difficult. She’s worked alongside her mother for years. But Christmas is coming, and with the holiday comes a flood of patrons, both regulars and tourists. When Katie becomes overwhelmed with the orders she is receiving, she is tempted to move her Old Order family into the modern world by purchasing propane ovens to help with the workload. She finds help from an unexpected source-childhood friend Henry Hershberger, who has harbored a secret crush on Katie for years. He’s been afraid to tell her how he feels, but he’s sure that this Christmas is his moment. As the demands of the bakery only get more intense, both Katie and Henry have to decide what really matters . . . and find the courage within themselves to go after it.

Melting Hearts by Kathleen Fuller

Mattie Shetler is an expert baker, so when her aunt Carolyn begs for help during the busy Christmas rush, Mattie eagerly packs her bags and heads to Birch Creek. What she doesn’t know is that her uncle has also asked for help with the bakery’s new expansion, and he’s asked none other than Peter Kaufman, Mattie’s sworn enemy. As the two work side by side, though, Mattie discovers not all is as it seems. With Christmas just around the corner, Mattie and Peter open their hearts for the greatest gifts of the season: forgiveness and maybe even love.

Cakes and Kisses by Kelly Irvin

Martha Ropp works hard at her family’s bakery, making cakes and pies in preparation not only for Christmas but the many community weddings, including her sister’s. To help during this busy season, Martha’s mother hires Ambrose Hershberger to make deliveries. Martha remembers Ambrose as a gentle giant from her school days, but soon discovers that still waters run deep. The more they work together, the more they want to spend time together outside of the bakery, but both Martha and Ambrose are too timid to make the first move. That’s when the town matchmakers step in.   Click here to get your copy. 



My Thoughts

An Amish Christmas Bakery is a delightful collection of Christmas-themed novellas by four talented authors – Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin. The locations are different, but all have a small-town bakery setting. As I would have expected, they are all well written, engaging, filled with hope, love, a timely faith message, and radiate Christmas joy.

Amy Clipston’s writing style and characters had me completely engaged in “Cookies and Cheer.” And I loved Alyssa’s creative design for the bakery’s window display – using sugar cookies in the shapes of angels, shepherds, animals, and stars to surround the nativity figurines. But the greatest impact is the relevancy of the story, as it’s all too easy during the busyness of this season to neglect preparing our hearts for the coming of our Savior.

“Loves of Love” by Beth Wiseman and “Melting Hearts” by Kathleen Fuller emphasize the importance of honesty and forgiveness.

I was so touched by the story of Martha and Ambrose in “Cakes and Kisses” by Kelly Irvin. Ambrose has a mild mental handicap and Martha has the insight to see into his heart and high performing intellect. This story resonated with me so much because of a close family member who has special needs also.

These stories are fulfilling and exactly what I needed during this busy season. Recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt of An Amish Christmas Bakery at https://aerbook.com/books/An_Amish_Christmas_Bakery-226178.html?utm_source=pubpage


Blog Stops

The Power of Words, December 7
The Avid Reader, December 7
Quiet Quilter, December 9
Life as Lanhams, December 10
Britt Reads Fiction, December 10
D’S QUILTS &BOOKS, December 10
Emily Yager, December 11
Texas Book-aholic, December 11
Older & Smarter?, December 13
janicesbookreviews, December 13
Bigreadersite, December 14
Batya’s Bits, December 14
For Him and My Family, December 14
Splashes of Joy, December 15
Lighthouse Academy, December 15
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 15
EmpowerMoms, December 16
Hallie Reads, December 18
Mary Hake, December 18
A Reader’s Brain, December 20

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Review + GIVEAWAY: Breath of Joy! Winter Whispers by Kathy Joy




About the Book

Book: Breath of Joy! Winter Whispers
Author: Kathy Joy
Genre: Non-fiction, Gift Book, Picture Book
Release Date: October 1, 2019

The final book in the series, Breath of Joy, Winter Whispers speaks of the deep quiet earth movements that echo human proving grounds and transitions during rest. Photo Art and Prose. Three everyday celebrations on every page spread are not commercially Christmas but rather interrelational and spiritually poised. This is simply, because in Winter when the earth’s axis is the farthest away from the sun, people warm themselves and grow in the wonder of darkness, where God still sees us, breathing life. 

Click here to get your copy. 


My Thoughts

Winter Whispers, book #4 in the Breath of Joy series by Kathy Joy, is a wonderful little book! Sometimes the best things come in small packages and that’s the case here. Winter Whispers is a personal experience, a visual journey that conjures up the warm glow of memories – and all who read it will connect in their own way.

The Breath of Joy series celebrates each season, and while Winter Whispers is the first I’ve read, I would treasure all of them. The visual story is well grounded in faith, reminding that we are God’s children and that He is with us through even the most difficult of times, working in our lives.

Winter Whispers is a blend of poetic language and evocative images, each complimenting the other in a celebration of the season. I found the thoughts and pictures moving as they enveloped me in treasured memories and gratitude to the Creator. It would make an excellent coffee table book, enticing guests to join in this journey. And it’s a great book just to reminisce with throughout the winter season.

I’ll end by sharing a few of my favorite random thoughts from the creative pen of Kathy Joy, all of which I can relate to …

The honesty of trees in Winter,
how the limbs know to let things go…

Finding resolve in a discouraged spirit …
and discovering music in the pain of a confession

An awkward hello and a tearful goodbye…
A drink from the cup of forgiveness…
Even when the dregs are bitter.

The handwriting of someone you love…
And one small, gracious act that multiplies

Slogging through the waves to the other side of grief,
A soaked and victorious landing on the shore.

Recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Author



      Kathy Joy enjoyed being a popular Christian radio D.J. in Colorado for many years. When her husband wanted to move to Pennsylvania to take over the family farm, Kathy Joy accompanied him with their two young daughters. Four years later, Kathy Joy found herself a widow raising two teenagers. 
      To stave off despair, she began writing three every day celebrations in a journal. Friends on Facebook began prompting her to write a book, and so the beginning of the Breath of Joy series began. 
      Kathy Joy now works in human services, speaking wonder on the weekends to grief therapy groups, motivational corporate meetings, and women’s retreats. Some of her topics include Vision Board workshops, Being a Harbor Pilot, Mirroring the Savior, The Fifth Season, and A Christmas Tea.  


More from Kathy

I’m so excited to join Celebrate Lit for this first real blog tour of my Breath of Joy series!

As a collector of celebrations, curating pithy delights and sharing them with my readers, I do hope you enjoy the visual experience and personal comfort offered in my Winter Whispers book.

Wintertime, especially Christmas and Valentine’s day, can be some of the toughest times of the year for people who have experienced trauma, or significant loss and grief. I’m one of those people.  Collecting three everyday celebrations for me was a means of refocusing on common joys in my life. They were a means of turning my despair into faith. Now, by publishing four books in less than two years, I have encountered another ladder of faith and I continue to face fear in order to live the adventure that God has for me.

Don’t you know, the Lord gives us many different kinds of gifts, and some of those gifts we would rather return to Him?  However, my seasonal “Breath of Joy!” books helped me not only to be thankful for the phase of life in which I found myself, but writing these books also built depth into my relationship with my real self, not my public persona, and specifically with the real God of the Bible.

It brings joy to my heart to collect snapshots of life and give my readers an opportunity to experience simple blessings in fresh, new ways. My books were borne out of sudden loss and grief when my husband of 23 years died of a massive heart attack. Gathering up my will to go forward, I remembered he always encouraged me to collect “beautiful moments” and write them down.

Now, when people connect with me, they say things like, “I couldn’t sleep, and so I picked up your book, and it gave me a new perspective that has helped me go on. If you can do it, so can I.” / “I went to one of Kathy Joy’s vision board making workshops. When I posted my board on the refrigerator, I had no idea how much I would rely on it to get me through the next year.  I am writing this to thank you for helping me stay out of the hospital for a full year.” /

”Just downloaded your file/book. Absolutely beautiful. I thought you wrote prose/poetry. Forgive me for putting you off. I loved perusing the pages. I went through it too fast. I need to sip it. I will peruse it again tomorrow. Totally different from what I thought it’d be. Hmmm. It’s more than a coffee table book. Gift book. Calming book. Nice, very nice.  Let me sit with it and ponder it. Lovely creation.

These kinds of receptions make my day. They let me know that God still has adventures for me to take and purposes for me to speak wonder into other people’s lives.

 

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a copy of the book in reader’s choice of format!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.