Saturday, June 30, 2018

Review: A Place to Call Home by Merrillee Whren

A Place to Call Home
By Merrillee Whren
Front Porch Promises #1
Independent, 2013


Starting over …

After serving six years in prison for the false charge of manslaughter in the death of his wife, Kurt Jansen must overcome a world of bitterness if he wants to start a new life. But his first priority is securing a restoration job to pay a private investigator to find the real killer and a lawyer to get his kids back.

Hiring a convicted wife-killer isn't what kind-hearted Molly Finnerty bargains for as part of the prison ministry she supports. However, she begins to believe Kurt's claim of innocence and gradually finds a great deal to like about him—perhaps more to like than she should.

Can they overcome the past and find forgiveness and love?


My thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming story, book #1n the Front Porch Promises series. Life is messy, and that’s the realism that Merrillee Whren incorporates into her stories. But spiritual themes of hope and the grace of God always shine through as she uses her characters to inspire readers.

A Place to Call Home, featuring the future Hawthorne Valley Inn of Hawthorne, Massachusetts, touches on themes of spousal abuse, prison, drugs, unsolved crime, and child custody. Kurt and Molly are sympathetic, likeable characters who are both grateful for second chances. I felt that I understood these two and really connected with them. Molly has a heart for helping ex-prisoners, and follows that heart in hiring Kurt to restore her bed & breakfast inn. From his determination to secure the job, to the bitterness and anger that often welled up inside, Kurt’s emotional and spiritual journey was heartfelt.

A Place to Call Home is about forgiveness and second chances … essential for both giver and receiver, but just as in real life, never easy to come by. As Kurt worked to restore Molly’s inn to its former beauty, I could easily imagine the beauty of the spindle staircase, woodworking, furnishings, etc. But I also felt that his restoration project had a deeper meaning for him personally – and for us – pointing toward the abundant grace and restoration we find in Christ.


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


Merrillee Whren is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author who writes inspirational romance. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty- plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert. She spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels.

Please visit her Website and signup for her newsletter and connect with her on Facebook.

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Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

About the Book

Title: Just Let Go  
Author: Courtney Walsh  
Release Date: June 5, 2018  
Genre: Contemporary Romance

For Quinn Collins, buying the flower shop in downtown Harbor Pointe fulfills a childhood dream, but also gives her the chance to stick it to her mom, who owned the store before skipping town twenty years ago and never looking back. Completing much-needed renovations, however, while also competing for a prestigious flower competition with her mother as the head judge, soon has Quinn in over her head. Not that she’d ever ask for help. 

Luckily, she may not need to. Quinn’s father and his meddling friends find the perfect solution in notorious Olympic skier Grady Benson, who had only planned on passing through the old-fashioned lakeside town. But when a heated confrontation leads to property damage, helping Quinn as a community-service sentence seems like the quickest way out—and the best way to avoid more negative press. 

Quinn finds Grady reckless and entitled; he thinks she’s uptight and too regimented. Yet as the two begin to hammer and saw, Quinn sees glimpses of the vulnerability behind the bravado, and Grady learns from her passion and determination, qualities he seems to have lost along the way. But when a well-intentioned omission has devastating consequences, Grady finds himself cast out of town—and Quinn’s life—possibly forever. Forced to face the hurt holding her back, Quinn must finally let go or risk missing out on the adventure of a lifetime.


My Thoughts

If ever a story swept me up and wouldn’t let go, it’s Courtney Walsh’s new release, Just Let Go. Walsh is one of those outstanding contemporary writers who pack lots of complexity beneath the surface of what looks like a simple opposites-attract romance, leaving you questioning if they will ever get together. Well written, with snappy dialogue and subtle humor, Just Let Go thoroughly entertains.

The setting of Harbor Pointe, Michigan, is a draw in itself, for who wouldn’t want to visit the quaint shops, meet even a few of the memorable characters, and attend the winter carnival? As for Grady and Quinn … these two might seem to be totally incompatible at first, but as the novel progresses, we begin to see that they are not so different.

At least if her mother had died, she wouldn’t have to
wonder what she’d done to drive away the woman
she thought was supposed to love her unconditionally.
- Quinn

Even though Grady at first comes off as prideful, short tempered, and reckless, hints as to his troubled past are revealed early on, drawing me to him. Quinn, with her obsessive goal to win at the Michigan Floral Expo, equated that as the only way to secure her mother’s attention – a mother who had abandoned Quinn in the past. Romance fans will find the chemistry between these two absolutely delightful!

Stories of redemption and beginning anew are so rewarding to read, walking beside Grady and Quinn and identifying with their struggles and victories. The title also has a deeper meaning that led me to reflect on things that I possibly need to let go of spiritually, something that readers should easily connect with.

Highly recommended.

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

About the Author

Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theatre director, and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two more books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals. 

Courtney lives in Illinois with her husband and three children. Visit her online at


To celebrate her tour, Courtney Walsh is giving away a grand prize of a library of Courtney Walsh’s books and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Click the image above or the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Contest ends July 11.

Blog Stops

By The Book, June 26
Among the Reads, June 27
Splashes of Joy, June 27
God is Love, June 28
Genesis 5020, June 28
Carpe Diem, June 29
Radiant Light, June 30
Quiet Quilter, July 1
C Jane Read, July 1
Baker kella, July 2
Remembrancy, July 3
amandainpa, July 3
Vicky Sluiter, July 5
Bigreadersite, July 8

Friday, June 29, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Breath of Heaven by Alana Terry

About the Book

Title: Breath of Heaven  
Author: Alana Terry  
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction  
Release Date: December 9, 2017

She hasn’t fallen out of love with her husband. She just can’t stand his church. 

Nobody told Katrina being a pastor’s wife would be easy. But she never imagined that the stress she and her husband would face from his new job could so easily destroy their marriage. 

In spite of her mother’s disapproval, Katrina marries a pastor whose job immediately plucks her away from her music, her symphony, and the city life she loves and plants her in the small town of Orchard Grove, Washington. 

If she knew going into her new life that she’d be sacrificing her music career for a congregation full of gossips and backbiters and that the pressure of her husband’s new job would turn him into someone she hardly recognizes anymore, she might have reconsidered marrying him in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s too late to do anything about that now. Or is it?


My Thoughts

Relevant, compelling, engrossing, and real … Breath of Heaven is all that and more. Contemporary women’s fiction is one of my favorite genres and Alana Terry hits it out of the ballpark in her Orchard Grove series that she describes as “real-life couples facing real-life issues.” These stories touch us at the heart of where we live, and therein lies their strength. Breath of Heaven captured my emotions from the beginning and kept me eagerly turning the pages, not at all sure how things would work out.

Pastor Greg and Katrina are newlyweds when his new ministry takes her away from the concert world that she not only loved, but found security in. And then the controlling demands and expectations of the rural congregation begin to change Greg, as they would anybody. Orchard Grove was “a little country church where half the congregation hated him, and the other half was just waiting for him to do something unforgivable, and all of them were comparing him to other pastors in the congregation’s past.” I have family members and many friends in ministry, some who have had similar experiences, so this book hits close to home for me.

As a musician myself, the overarching theme of music resonated in a special way. Katrina, an introvert and very private person who has recently suffered great loss, is completely out of her depth – and then she begins to take up her beloved violin again. In the author's expressive prose … “Why had she neglected him for so long? Why had she ignored the one friend who could truly understand her sorrows and turn each tear into music, a prayer without words that expressed the hidden depths of her soul?”

Above all, Breath of Heaven is Katrina’s journey, emotional and spiritual. Much of the lyrical prose gives voice to Katrina’s thoughts, but it moves at a steady pace that I found fascinating, never boring or repetitive. And then there’s Grandma Lucy, a stalwart Christian that everyone should have in their life. Oh, what spiritual wisdom and heart for prayer! How insightful and piercing are her words to Katrina … “Now tell me, if the Lord is the source of your hope and joy, why does your music sound so wounded?”

Breath of Heaven reflects the nature of Christian living, and it reminds me of how important it is to pray for pastors and their wives. I long for more of this type of ministering fiction from Alana Terry. Breath of Heaven gets 5 stars and goes on my favorites list.

Very highly recommended.

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

About the Author

Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. 

Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. 

She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.


Guest Post from Alana Terry

I used to think being a pastor’s wife would be glamorous. Now I know better!

Although I’ve loved the different churches where my husband has been called to serve, being a couple in full-time ministry can definitely take its toll on a marriage.

Breath of Heaven is a novel in my Orchard Grove Christian women’s fiction series, which deals with real-life couples facing real-life issues. In Breath of Heaven, two newlyweds are thrown into the world of church politics, and the honeymoon period is quickly over.

I wrote this novel to give an inside peek at what it’s like if you’ve never been a pastor’s wife as well as to offer some hope and encouragement to women who know the stress of being married to someone in full-time ministry.


To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a grand prize of books 1-3 in the Orchard Grove Christian women’s series (paperback or ebook)!!

Click the image above or the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, June 29
Splashes of Joy, June 30
Mary Hake, July 1
Carpe Diem, July 6
Bigreadersite, July 7
Margaret Kazmierczak, July 8 (Interview)

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Review + GIVEAWAY: Bamboozled by Barbara Barrett

By Barbara Barrett
Mah Jongg Mysteries #2
Self Published, 2018


Essential oils distributor Dorcas Wiley is the boss everyone loves to hate. So when she turns up dead, killed by her own trophy, disgruntled saleswoman Cathy Broderick is the obvious suspect in her murder. Despite opportunity, motive and incriminating evidence, Cathy declares her innocence and enlists her mah jongg pals—Sydney Bonner and her cronies Marianne, Micki and Kat—to help save her from the death penalty.

Hot off a recent and nearly deadly investigation, the women are cautious about putting themselves in peril again. Syd’s spouse isn’t thrilled about another mystery in their lives, either, but he can’t resist the plea of Cathy’s husband. Soon, Syd is leading the way as they tangle with grumpy salespeople, the victim’s estranged husband and boyfriend, a mysterious housekeeper, a litigious customer, an annoyed sheriff and Cathy’s own arrogant lawyer.

The women have their own issues to deal with in their central Florida town of Serendipity Springs. Kat faces a health challenge, Micki fields a mysterious inquiry from her ex, Marianne has a chaotic anniversary and Syd wrestles with her husband over who’s really in charge. But nothing puts everyday life into perspective like the moment when their investigation brings them face to face with danger.

Amazon   B&N 

My thoughts

Bamboozled is the first mystery I’ve read by Barbara Barrett, and I definitely enjoyed it. Visiting the central Florida of Serendipiy Springs through the author’s eyes brought back fun memories of many family vacations. This story/series is different from most cozy mysteries that I read, and in this case, that difference is very good.

For one thing, the storyline is built around four friends of early retirement years who play mah jongg together and share a unique bond in each other’s lives, beautifully combining elements of cozy mystery and women’s fiction genres. Relationship drama is something I really enjoy, and there’s plenty of that with things such as a cancer diagnosis, a divorced husband contacting his ex-wife, etc. The only thing I wished for was more character depth, as I liked these ladies and their husbands, but never felt that I really came to know them – their thoughts, emotions, past experiences, both good and bad – all the things that make them who they are today.

The game of mah jongg was also an intriguing touch. As I’ve only played it on my computer, I have no idea how the physical game works, but it was fun to imagine. In fact, I go through occasional spells of near addiction to the game!

And of course, murder investigation becomes a part of their activities. While everyone does their part in seeking answers, Syd and her husband, Trip, took the lead in this story. I liked how the questioning was logical and well thought out, and had no clue as to the killer’s identity.

I really enjoyed Bamboozled and appreciated that there was very little, if any, profanity. I look forward to seeing how the series progresses.

I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.

Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.

Bamboozled, the second book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who play mah jongg together and share otherwise in each other’s lives. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.

Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft.

Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.


Barbara Barrett is graciously offering a digital copy of Bamboozled to one of you. To enter the drawing, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment on this blog post. And I just have to ask … Do any of you play mah jongg? I discovered the game on my computer and quickly became addicted, although I only win the “easy” formats.

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Tuesday, July 10. Winner will be chosen by and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe

Welcome to my stop on the JustRead Publicity Tour's BLOG TOUR for Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe.


Title: Falling for the Cowgirl
Series: Big Heart Ranch, Book 2
Author: Tina Radcliffe
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: June 19, 2018 (Print) July 1, 2018 (Ebook)
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Western
Links: Goodreads l Book Bub

She won the job… Can he win her heart?

Hiring Amanda “AJ” McAlester as his assistant at the Big Heart Ranch isn’t foreman Travis Maxwell’s first choice—but his sisters insist she’s perfect for the job. And AJ’s determined to prove she’s just as qualified as any man. But with money on the line, AJ and her innovative ideas could put him at risk of losing everything…including his heart.

LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | iTunes | CBD | Book Depository | BAM! | Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts

     “You’re mad,” she said as though she fully expected the push-back.
     “Mad isn’t the word I’m looking for. Annoyed is somewhat accurate.”
     “Annoyed because you put me in charge and I’m doing things differently than you would have?”
     Travis paused and met her questioning gaze head-on. She was right. That was exactly why he was annoyed. He wouldn’t have had such a big breakfast if he’d known he was going to eat crow today.


Falling for the Cowgirl is a highly entertaining, well-paced story with humor, snappy dialogue, character depth, and a great sense of place. How delightful to discover this gem in the Love Inspired line and Tina Radcliffe is a talented author to watch!

The setting – Big Heart Ranch in the fictional town of Timber, Oklahoma – couldn’t be more appealing. This is no ordinary ranch, for its purpose is to minister to orphaned, abused, and neglected children – a place “where love and the Lord reign.” Travis, one of three siblings who own the ranch, feels that he has to prove himself and is working to secure a grant to start a self-sustaining cattle program. From the many glimpses into all that goes into running a ranch, to the benefits of raising bison, I learned a lot about the complexities of this successful operation.

American Bison
Travis and AJ are strong lead characters, easy to connect with and enjoyable to be around. In the beginning, Travis is prideful and controlling, “highly allergic to relationships,” and AJ is the perfect catalyst for change – to the ranch and him personally. AJ is a born rancher who struggles to succeed long-term in a male-dominated industry. She’s smart, innovative, and felt like she was part of something bigger than herself at Big Heart Ranch. The relationship between these two that begins as friendship and mutual respect is pure joy to watch.

Strong supporting characters add even more richness to this story, such as Dutch and Tripp, the horse whisperer. And I adored AJ’s bunkhouse roommate, Rue, a physician, retired Army general, and woman of faith. The overall spiritual theme of surrendering self will and trusting God’s perfect plan was beautifully reflected throughout the story.

Falling for the Cowgirl is a wonderfully entertaining story and I’m eager to read more of Tina Radcliffe’s stories. And I can’t wait to return to Big Heart Ranch!

Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Just Read Publicity Tours and Tina Radcliffe. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Tina March 2018 2
Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. Her move to Colorado led to a career as a library cataloger. A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, two-time Carol Award finalist, and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

Stay up to date on all her releases by signing up for her newsletter HERE. (

TO CONNECT WITH TINA: website, facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, Book Bub


Tina has graciously offered (1) winner an awesome Falling for the Cowgirl prize pack that includes:

  • An autographed copy of Falling for the Cowgirl
  • Corkcicle Canteen Classic Collection-Water Bottle & Thermos-Triple Insulated Shatterproof Stainless Steel, 9 oz, Gloss Pink
  • ESVAN Original Floral Tote Bag Shoulder Bag for Gym Hiking Picnic Travel Beach
  • 20.00 Amazon Gift Card

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below.  Complete prize open to US mailing addresses only. If international winner, winner will win the gift card only.

ENTER HERE or use the Entry Form below

Giveaway will begin at midnight June 25, 2018 and last through 11:59 PM on July 4, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Be sure to stop at a stop each day for extra entries!


For the full tour schedule, click on either of the launch pages below.

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

About the Book

Title: The Love Letter   
Author: Rachel Hauck  
Release Date: June 12, 2018  
Genre: Contemporary  
Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations ...

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career. 

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny. 

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart. 

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

My thoughts

Rachel Hauck knows how to tell a story that tugs at the heartstrings, and The Love Letter is an interesting and enjoyable read. For the longest time, the dual storylines, separated by 240 years, seemed to have no connection, although I knew there would eventually be a link – and what a great one it was! Chloe and Jesse’s story is a contemporary one set in Hollywood, while that of Esther and Hamilton takes place during the Revolutionary War era.

“This conflict has robbed us both. But it is just a course
in the vastness of human events. It will end
and peace will come. Fight in a time of war
as the man you want to be in a time of peace.”
- Hamilton’s Aunt Mary

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t enjoy the story of Chloe and Jesse s much, not because of Hauck’s storytelling or writing, but because I just don’t care for Hollywood themes. As for Esther and Hamilton, however – well, I wished for a whole novel about them! The American Revolution is my favorite historical setting, and Hauck did a wonderful job with this time period. There’s something compelling about a time when close family ties were broken over the taking of sides in the war.

In our time of social media, e-mail and texting, the concept of a handwritten letter passed down through generations is so very appealing. I even pulled out some meaningful and treasured notes and letters that I’ve received over the years, and plan to write a few myself.

Faith is always a key part of Hauck’s writing, and The Love Letter is essentially a story of love, sacrifice, redemption. I did enjoy it overall and look forward to more of Rachel Hauck’s stories.

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

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. 

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner. 

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like: 

”Really? So why did you do that?” 
”Have you sought help?” 
”Was it love at first sight?” 

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.” 

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound! 

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible. 

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS. Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family. 

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart? 

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers. I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!) 

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes

”Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?” 
”You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.” 

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll meditate on for awhile. However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress. 

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick. I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination. 

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter! 

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one? I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one. 

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you? I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter? 

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets. There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections. Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind? 

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society. Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018? Saw you at your window. You looked hot. Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.” 

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—” 

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month. Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe— 

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away

-- Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 
-- Semi-Grand prize of a book basket 
-- 2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click the image above or the link below to enter.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21
The Avid Reader, June 21
Genesis 5020, June 21
ansel book blog, June 22
C Jane Read, June 24
By The Book, June 25
Carpe Diem, June 26
Mommynificent , June 27
Radiant Light, June 28
Novels corner, June 29
Bigreadersite, June 29
Pause for Tales, June 30
Splashes of Joy, June 30
Remembrancy, July 2
amandainpa, July 2