Friday, January 30, 2015

The Friday 56 - Week 212

Welcome to Week 212!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.



It finally arrived! The book that fans have been clamoring for over the last several decades: the release of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Pioneer Girl manuscript, the basis for her famous Little House books.

This annotated autobiography is edited by Pamela Smith Hill, author of Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life. Since page 56 was just a map, this excerpt is from page 156.



14. Ma was afraid. In By the Shores of Silver Lake, Wilder used Ma's fear to reinforce the unspoken conflict between her parents and their views of the American West: "[Ma] did not say anything because nothing she could say would make any difference. Bu Laura knew Ma had never wanted to leave Plum Creek and did not like to be here now" (p.66).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

PBS KIDS Announces Annual Writing Contest!

pbs



The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest is open to children in grades K-3 and encourages creative thinking and storytelling, while building literacy skills through the creation and illustration of original stories.

To enter, kids can submit stories to their local stations, and local winners will then be entered into the national contest. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2015, and the winning stories will be featured on pbskids.org/writerscontest.

This year, the judges include acclaimed writers, producers and children’s media creators, including Marc Brown, author and illustrator of the ARTHUR book series, and the Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, from the PBS KIDS show WILD KRATTS. The national winners will receive prize packages including ARTHUR books and a personal technology device courtesy of PBS.

To enter the contest and for more information on entry rules and contest resources, visit pbskids.org/writerscontest or your local PBS station website.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

As a Busy Mom Thinks


Today is the release of a new regular column at The Busy Mom's Daily. This idea has been in the back of my mind for quite a while. When it began percolating, I envisioned it as a way to share opinions about a variety of things; a springboard for discussions with other busy moms. Let’s face it, not only do we busy moms work hard, we have opinions about a variety of topics. We should be able to share and discuss them whenever we want.

The title of this new column, “As a Busy Mom Thinks,” has its origins with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Before becoming a world famous children’s author, Wilder wrote a regular column for the Missouri Ruralist entitled, “As a Farm Woman Thinks.” She discussed home, family, and world events. I envision “As a Busy Mom Thinks” to be similar.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for “As a Busy Mom Thinks,” please email me at ccmal@charter.net.

I’m going to kick off this column with a bit of a rant. Why not start with a bang, right?

Why is it that working moms are expected to juggle family life and career, but working dads aren’t always expected to help out around the house?

When we first moved in here, both of us worked outside the home. Once I left the corporate world to become a stay-at-home mom, I felt part of my contribution was to take care of the house and run errands. For some reason, however, the expectation is that despite me working 40 hours a week now, I should still be the one to do all the laundry, cook, keep the house clean, and run errands. Do I look like Wonder Woman?

So, I must ask, is it the same way at your house or do I simply need to put my foot down?

Hope you enjoy this new column. I look forward to our discussions.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wordless Wednesday


Kindle Freebie: Hazardous Duty by Christy Barritt


Buying a gun to kill your wife: $3,000
Hiring Trauma Care to clean afterward: $1,500
Having that same cleaner uncover evidence that frames you: Priceless

On her way to completing a degree in forensic science, Gabby St. Claire drops out of school and starts her own crime scene cleaning business. “Yeah, that’s me,” she says, “a crime scene cleaner. People waiting in line behind me who strike up conversations always regret it.”

When a routine cleaning job uncovers a murder weapon the police overlooked, she realizes that the wrong person is in jail. But the owner of the weapon is a powerful foe . . . and willing to do anything to keep Gabby quiet.

With the help of her new neighbor, Riley Thomas, a man whose life and faith fascinate her, Gabby plays the detective to make sure the right person is put behind bars. Can Riley help her before another murder occurs?

“Christy Barritt’s novel, Hazardous Duty, is a delightful read from beginning to end. The story’s fresh, engaging heroine with an unusual occupation hooked me, and I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend Hazardous Duty.”

—Colleen Coble, Author of Fire Dancer, book one of the Smoke Jumpers Series

File Size: 1540 KB
Print Length: 241 pages
Publisher: River Heights; 2nd edition (January 5, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B007NJCDKQ

Purchase here!


Other Books in the Squeaky Clean Series:
#2 Suspicious Minds
#2.5 It Came Upon a Midnight Crime (a novella)
#3 Organized Grime
#4 Dirty Deeds
#5 The Scum of All Fears
#6 To Love, Honor, and Perish
#7 Mucky Streak
#8 Foul Play


Win a Copy of Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen at The Book Connection



Just when you think every book has been written that has a Laura Ingalls Wilder connection, you come across something so unique and fascinating that it begs your attention. Pioneer Girl tells the story of Lee Lein, who finds herself jobless after obtaining her PhD in American literature. She heads home to a Chicago suburb to work in her mother and grandfather's cafe. The tense relationship with her mother only worsens, and then her brother disappears without a trace, leaving behind a gold brooch from her mother's past in Vietnam that was left behind by an American reporter who visited her grandfather's original cafe in 1965. Based upon a passage from the Little House books, Lee is convinced the reporter was Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Does this pin connect her family to one of America's famous pioneering legacies? 

There is so much to this novel, I simply can't state it here and keep the post at a reasonable length. You can read my full review here.

Enter for your chance to win a FREE paperback copy of Pioneer Girl here!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kindle Freebie: Priceless Proverbs by Kristi Porter


Priceless Proverbs Book 2 continues where book one left off - with over one hundred additional kid quotes and illustrations. It is the result of hundreds of interviews with young children ages three to twelve, who were presented with the first half of a famous saying or proverb and then asked to finish it themselves.

It began as part of a larger class project by teacher Kristi Porter and the children of Happi Kamper Child Care, located in North Muskegon, Michigan. Each child was to create an individual gift book for his or her parents, and Priceless Proverbs was simply to be one chapter in each child’s book.

Now, the individual answers of the Happi Kamper Kids, as well as those of the children at Community United Methodist Preschool, and Power Play Childcare in N. Muskegon have been combined. Their diverse, candid, and uncensored answers may surprise you, or even make you laugh out loud, as you get a quick glimpse into the amazing and intricate minds of some of the most delightful and fascinating children around. Enjoy!

File Size: 3901 KB
Print Length: 109 pages
Publisher: Happi Kamper Press (November 1, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692304185
ISBN-13: 978-0692304181
ASIN: B00O18L5GA

Purchase here!


Mailbox Monday - January 26

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Well, we are hunkering down for the historic Nor'easter that is on its way tonight through early Wednesday morning. I have a feeling the girls will be home from school for the next two days. At least I have plenty of reading material.

This is a book that I requested for a March blog tour. I don't know why I keep adding more books to my already overloaded TBR pile, but what can I say, I am a book addict.


Jago Tanner is a loner. He works up a good hunger at his outdoors pursuits centre in Wales and looks upon each female conquest as just another meal. When he’s sated, he doesn’t go back for dessert. Until Riley shows up. A Londoner hired through an agency to assist him with activities, she isn’t at all what he asked for. For starters, with the name Riley, he expected a man. But Riley is all woman—the sexiest woman Jago has ever laid eyes on. Unfortunately she dresses like a trollop and curses like a sailor. Though ignorant about most outdoors pursuits, she’s a skilled horsewoman, able to calm even his nerviest stallion. And her lively and generous nature enchants his housekeeper Emily and his ancient friend, Tom. In short, Jago’s new employee is a bundle of contradictions. Which is why, when Jago falls for her, he doesn’t trust his feelings. Riley seems unusually accident prone, and when her brother’s shady friends menace her, she plays the innocent. But how can anyone so self-sufficient and mouthy also be so trusting and naïve? And can a man with Jago’s volatile nature endure the jealousy a woman like Riley provokes just by strolling down the street?


I'm also on a freebie purchasing binge lately. Here are some free Kindle downloads I discovered. The scary thing is that they are all mysteries of some kind. I promise, these are not research for some diabolical plan I am hatching.


There’s more than one secret in the old Blackmoore house. Some have been buried for a long time and some are sitting closer to the surface. Morgan and Fiona Blackmoore enjoy their simple life in the sleepy ocean-side town of Noquitt Maine where they offer herbal remedies and crystal healing for locals and tourists alike.... Until Morgan is accused of killing the town shrew, Prudence Littlefield.



It is 1929. Asharton Manor stands alone in the middle of a pine forest, once the place where ancient pagan ceremonies were undertaken in honour of the goddess Astarte. The Manor is one of the most beautiful stately homes in the West Country and seems like a palace to Joan Hart, newly arrived from London to take up a servant’s position as the head kitchen maid. Getting to grips with her new role and with her fellow workers, Joan is kept busy, but not too busy to notice that the glittering surface of life at the Manor might be hiding some dark secrets. The beautiful and wealthy mistress of the house, Delphine Denford, keeps falling ill but why? Confiding her thoughts to her friend and fellow housemaid, feisty Verity Hunter, Joan is unsure of what exactly is making her uneasy, but then Delphine Denford dies…

Armed only with their own good sense and quick thinking, Joan and Verity must pit their wits against a cunning murderer in order to bring them to justice.

Death at the Manor is the first in the Asharton Manor Mysteries series: a four part series of novellas spanning the twentieth century. Each standalone story uses Asharton Manor as the backdrop to a devious and twisting crime mystery, from bestselling crime writer Celina Grace, author of The Kate Redman Mysteries.


Includes Holiday Drink Recipes!

After breaking up with hunky movie star Nick Doyle, Grammy Award-winning singer Emma Wild returns to her hometown for Christmas to get away from it all. In Hartfield, a small town in Ontario, Canada, she gets caught up in a murder case after a fan's drink is poisoned at the Chocoholic Cafe, owned by Emma's sister Mirabelle.

Who is the killer and was the drink originally intended for Emma?

To add to the chaos, Sterling Matthews is the detective on the case. He'd shattered her heart nine years ago and inspired all her hit singles, but now they must work together to find the murderer before the murderer finds Emma.

Join Emma Wild on her first adventure in the first book of Harper Lin's 4-Book holiday mystery series.




It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier, and one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns to pay off a debt. Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl's clients, Matthew Voss, has died. The police believe his death was suicide brought upon by bankruptcy, but Annie believes Voss has been murdered and that his assets have been stolen. Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn't leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior. Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco.


My Favorite Corpse centers around Ashley Sands, the owner of a mystery-themed inn located on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. An amateur sleuth, Ashley finds a corpse washed to shore at her inn's private beach. She must learn what happened before her guests begin checking out. While Ashley’s mystery weekend guests usually enjoy the occasional dead body, they prefer the never-previously-animated kind.

Did you receive any neat books in your mailbox?

CFBA: A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliot

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Stitch in Crime
Abingdon Press (January 20, 2015)
by
Cathy Elliot




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in northern California and whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from playing her fiddle with friends to antique collecting and quilting. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antiques and is several years into recovery from her eBay addiction. UPDATE: She backslid a while back, enticed to bid on a 1945 Singer Featherweight. (She won.) But now she’s back on the wagon. Except for the recent crazy quilt pillow purchase. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.


If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch in Crime, go HERE.



Back to Work - Part 3



As I mentioned in my last post, I received an email through LinkedIn that appeared promising. It was from the managing director of an insurance and financial services company who wished to bring me in for an interview. Not only was a thrilled that I had secured an interview, but it felt great to know they were seeking me out, not the other way around.

I’ve always felt that I am a horrible interviewee. I’m nervous and tend to ramble on. After that first interview, which was for a position as a sales person, I came away with some homework. Then I went back for a second interview, left with additional homework, and scheduled my third interview. Each time, I left wondering if I had said something that would mess things up. That wasn’t my largest issue, though.

The more I learned about this position, the more I had to convince myself it would be a good thing. Aren’t insurance salespeople considered one rung up from used car salespeople? And unlike cars, don’t you have to convince people that they need insurance? Each time my husband and I spoke about this opportunity, I have to admit we had more questions than answers. After about four interviews, I decided this just wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.


Back to the drawing board. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

CFBA: Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Blind Trust
Revell (June 17, 2014)
by
Sandra Orchard




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time . . . when not doting on her young grandchildren.




ABOUT THE BOOK


Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can't believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?


If you would like to read the first chapter of Blind Trust, go HERE.



Friday, January 16, 2015

The Friday 56 - Week 210

Welcome to Week 210!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.

I had to share this passage because I certainly wasn't expecting to find it.

As soon as someone entered the restroom, I rattled harder.

"Hey, are you okay in there?" the voice responded.

"Yeah, I'm fine. But my door's jammed."

"Oh, dear, I'll see if I can help." She sounded like an older woman, but I'd take help at any age. Together we pushed, pulled, rattled, and strained.

"Honey, this baby ins't going nowhere," she exclaimed.

I became indignant. "Well, if the door isn't going to budge, I'm coming under!" Without hesitating, I dropped to the floor and stuck my legs under the door.

She gasped. "Ma'am? You're in a cast."


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Product Review: Arbonne® RE9 Advanced Extra Moisture Set


I recently had the chance to try the Arbonne® RE9 Advanced Extra Moisture Set provided by a local consultant. As you might recall, I started using Mary Kay® as a teenager. I simply don't purchase them all the time because they are what I call an "unnecessary expense." I'm finding, however, that as I age I need more than the standard store bought product to keep my skin looking healthy.

The RE9 Advanced Extra Moisture Set is an anti-aging product line for women (They also have a men's version). It consists of six products: Smoothing Facial Cleanser, Regenerating Toner, Restorative Day Créme Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen, Night Repair Créme, Corrective Eye Créme, and Intensive Renewal Serum.

I was provided with two days worth of product to try. The instructions are a simple 5-step process twice a day (night créme and day créme being used once each day). The cleanser and toner have a citrus fragrance that I didn't find appealing because I am so sensitive to scents. After using the toner twice, I felt my skin was too tight so I didn't use it the second day.

My skin felt better and looked nicer after the first day of use. I didn't notice any dry patches on my face, which I often get this time of year. By the second day, however, my eyes were swollen and my face felt itchy and hot. The consultant said this was caused by the new use of "active" products on my skin. That's definitely possible, but it could also indicate an allergy to an ingredient or combination of ingredients. I must say I never had that experience with any of my Mary Kay products. If I decided to purchase these products, I would only use them once a day and still hope to gain some benefit.

Having to go through a 5-step process twice a day when I'm already so busy is an issue. There are mornings I am racing out of here by 8:15 and barely have time to put on foundation, so adding this to my morning ritual made it tougher. The largest obstacle to me buying the RE9 Advanced Extra Moisture Set is definitely the cost: a whopping $323. I considered purchasing only the Intensive Renewal Serum, but even that is $58 for one fluid ounce of product.

The company states it formulates without: animal products or by-products, parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, synthetic dyes, and artificial colors--just to name a few. There is a list of ingredients found in the back of the product catalog. While looking up information on Arbonne, I came across this 2013 article that disputes the purity of the company's products.

At the end of the day, while I enjoyed testing these products, my early negative reaction and the cost will keep me from becoming a regular customer.


This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, January 12, 2015

One Last Hurrah Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Title: One Last Hurrah ... Making Peace and a Difference
Authors: Mark and Brenda Smith
Genre: Inspirational / Christian / Self-Help
Publisher: MicroPress Books
Publication Date: September 21, 2014
ISBN: 978-0578150604

One Last Hurrah allows the reader to experience a story of inspiration, inject their own experiences, unlike other books, so that the reader documents their own life story.

This is, not only, a book about a former professional wrestler overcoming loss, but his journey in finding purpose and peace. The book, One Last Hurrah, documents medical miracles, overcoming abuse and experiences with drug addiction. Mark and Brenda , both, come from broken homes and have found their calling in life working with youth/children for over 15 years.

Having come from divorce, Mark and Brenda had to decide if they were going to break the family cycles of abuse. They dedicated themselves to helping abused and abandoned children. They have been foster parents for several years and open their home to students who have no where to go. For them to understand their purpose, they had to go through a lot of trials. Mark has suffered mini strokes and multiple concussions from a career in professional wrestling. He had to make peace with the father that instilled a childhood of fear. Brenda witnessed Mark and his brother burying their father with shovels and the nightmares Mark would endure. Later, Mark and several of his friends would develop equipment and would be taken to Capitol Hill. He found himself working with military leaders from all over the world. When Mark wanted to give up on living, doors opened!

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One: The Lowest Point in My Life

I walked into our apartment and called out her name. There was no answer. I began the search; I found her in our bed, face down. I knelt on the bed and gently turned her over on her back. I called her name again, and this time she began what I couldn’t decipher was laughing or crying. Whatever it was, it scared the living heck out of me.

Had I driven her over the edge? I accept total responsibility for whatever was happening to her. I know that I was no good for anyone. She would not respond to me; so I went to the other room and sat on the couch and cried. What have I done to her? Whatever was going on with her, I know I was the cause of it.

As I sat there and cried, she came walking into the room and calmly said, “We’re finished.” I looked up at her, staring blankly at this woman whom I loved (but apparently not in the way she needed to be loved). I felt like a loser, not something that a professional wrestler ever wanted to feel. I slowly got up and walked to the door. I looked back at her, lowered my head, and walked out the door.

I went for a drive to try to absorb what she had just said. Her words kept ringing in my head. “We are finished.” I can’t say that I don’t understand. I do. Our world was ridden with booze, drugs, verbal and mental abuse. I couldn’t think straight.

Purchase Book at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Hurrah-Mark-Brenda-Smith-ebook/dp/B00NT8KCTY



God has rebuilt Mark's life with his wife, Brenda, of 22 years. Having never thought he was worthy of being a father, Mark and Brenda have been blessed with three wonderful kids. Mark was diagnosed to lose his ability to walk by age 18. He not only beat the odds, but was invited to Spring Training with several Major League clubs and ended up traveling the U.S. working for Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling.

Brenda has been a Children's Minister for almost 15 years and also loves to lead Women's Bible studies. She has also been a worship leader for Women's Ministry Events. She enjoys singing Contemporary and Southern Gospel music.

Mark, Brenda and their children make their home in Fayetteville, TN.

Visit Mark and Brenda online at www.onelasthurrahweb.com

Contact Mark and Brenda at:
Website: www.onelasthurrahweb.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Brenda-Smith/580166418759709
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mark_Brenda2014

Contest Giveaway


Pump Up Your Book and authors Mark and Brenda Smith are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms and Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
• This giveaway begins November 28 and ends on January 30, 2015.
• Winner will be contacted via email on February 1, 2015.
• Winner has 72 hours to reply.
• VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Soul Painter by Cara Luecht

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Soul Painter
WhiteFire Publishing (March 15, 2014)
by
Cara Luecht




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




A Word from the Author:

I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.

By day, I am an English Instructor at MATC, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband, and Worship Leader for Living Hope Fellowship in Sun Prairie, WI. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.

I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.

If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.




ABOUT THE BOOK



Miriam paints the future…but can she change it?

Chicago – 1890

Miriam watches the people jostle their way below the windows of her warehouse home, never thinking to look up at her as she paints their faces. But Miriam's gift as an artist goes beyond a mere recording of what is: Miriam paints their futures. Only once was she wrong. One woman doesn't match the future Miriam saw. The bright girl was supposed to grow into a respected businesswoman. Instead, Ione disappears nightly into the shadowed alley next to the cathedral with the other prostitutes. Then one night, while walking through the city fog, Miriam finds Ione broken and beaten. Miriam is forced to open her home to the stranger whose face she knows so well and open her life to change she never could have foretold. Women are missing—some found floating in the river, some never seen again. The deacon from the cathedral is the first to help. Soon Miriam’s solicitor, Michael, aids her in rejoining society so they might uncover the evil at work in the corrupt city...and awakens feelings she had never considered before. Finally engaged with the world she has so long observed, finally stirred by love and friendship, Miriam realizes the responsibility of her gifting. No longer can she just paint what will be. She must now help Ione find the future she is meant to have...and find her own along with it.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Soul Painter, go HERE.



Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mailbox Monday - Jan 12

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Well, I missed last week, but here I am again. Working is really cutting into my reading time. Bummer.

I didn't receive any new titles, but I did pick up a couple of Kindle freebies.


A Sweet and Clean Western Historical Romance about Mail-Order Brides set in Montana.

Emma Byrne grew up in a Catholic orphanage in Boston, and her prospects are limited. She and her group of girlfriends, who all met in the orphanage, are barely getting by, working as nannies, cooks, and live-in maids for rich families. When Emma's employer, Gerald, threatens her with losing her job if she doesn't submit to his very unwanted advances, she stumbles onto an opportunity to be a mail-order bride and decides that couldn't possibly be worse.

Except that the groom in question had no idea that his brother sent for a wife. When Emma shows up, at the train station in Bozeman, MT, it's her groom's brother, Joshua that is there to greet her. As it turns out, Ethan is furious that his brother went behind his back and sent for a wife. He's still grieving from the unexpected death of his wife Allison only a year earlier, and spends all his time when he's not working, being a good dad to his only child, Emily, who is three.

Montana is hugely different from Boston, and Emma is surprised that she immediately falls in love with the area. Though taken aback at first to discover that Ethan wasn't aware that she was coming, she's secretly relieved to have a little time to get to know him and her new home. She is also quite fascinated by his family. Ethan is the oldest of ten, and eight of them are brothers, and except for Joshua, all are single. Emma has an urge to play matchmaker, and in book two, her best friend, Julia comes West to meet the brothers.


NOW OPTIONED FOR FILM!

A Cult. A Murder. A Curse.

At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.

Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she'd settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.

One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor's hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.

The Forever Girl is a full-length Paranormal Fantasy novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, vampires, ghosts, paranormal mystery, and paranormal horror.

That last one isn't my typical reading fare, but I like to try new things.

What did you find in your mailbox?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Coming January 26th and 27th!: PBS KIDS PREMIERES SPECIAL DOWNTON ABBEY-INSPIRED EPISODE OF ARTHUR



- Join Arthur and his friends for a drama-filled adventure airing January 26 on PBS KIDS and available on DVD January 27 -

Boston, MA and Arlington, VA, January 8, 2015 – Ever wonder what secrets and stories your family history holds?  This is the question posed to everyone’s favorite aardvark and his friends in “Fountain Abbey,” an all-new, Downton Abbey-inspired episode of ARTHUR, premiering January 26 on PBS KIDS (check local listings). “Fountain Abbey” will also be available on DVD January 27 through PBS Distribution.

In the drama-filled “Fountain Abbey,” Muffy finds herself absolutely devastated when she learns her great-great grandmother, Mary Alice, wasn’t royalty at all.  She was a common maid – oh, the indignity!  However, through reading Mary Alice's diary, Muffy is transported back in time to the famous English estate where her ancestor worked. There she discovers the surprising story behind her humble roots.

"An abbey in jeopardy, a lady's maid causing trouble, and the Dowager Countess unimpressed by all. Sound familiar? We hope ‘Fountain Abbey’ will be a show the whole family can enjoy together!" says Carol Greenwald, senior executive producer of ARTHUR.

“PBS is committed to engaging families with content that is educational and entertaining and this new episode of ARTHUR is no exception. ’Fountain Abbey’ promises to delight not only children, but an entire generation of ARTHUR fans that grew up with the series and can appreciate the humor and fun of the DOWNTON ABBEY-inspired references,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Media, PBS.

The “Fountain Abbey” story is paired with “Arthur Calls It,” a story in which Arthur must deal with peer pressure from his classmates, causing him to doubt his decision to call his best buddy Buster “out” during a baseball game. Is that a foul play, or should Arthur stick to what he believes is right?

The week of ARTHUR continues with funny storylines about everyday life and tongue-in-cheek homages to The Wizard of Oz and The Tell-Tale Heart. In each episode, the characters learn valuable lessons about honesty, empathy, and determination.

Produced by WGBH, the Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS series ARTHUR explores childhood challenges with heart and humor, while teaching problem-solving and pro-social skills. On the ARTHUR website, kids, parents, caregivers, and teachers can access a variety of fun and educational games, lesson plans, and activities. Families can also keep up with Arthur and his friends on the new ARTHUR Family Health Website — a resource that helps caregivers and children build and maintain healthy living habits.

For images, episode descriptions, and more information on ARTHUR, visit PBS PressRoom.


DVD Information
Title: “Arthur: Fountain Abbey”
Run Time: Approx. 56 minutes
SRP: $6.99

“Arthur: Fountain Abbey” DVD, available January 27, includes the following four stories:
Fountain Abbey” – Muffy’s devastated when she learns her great, great grandmother Mary Alice wasn’t royalty, but a common maid. The indignity! However, Mary Alice’s old diary reveals a more interesting story.

Arthur Calls It” – Pressure from his classmates has Arthur doubting his decision to call Buster out during a baseball game. Will he succumb to peer pressure, or stick with what he believes is right?

Whip. Mix. Blend.” – When Rattles’s mom starts dating Archie Vanderloo, Rattles finds himself spending lots of time with Archie’s kids. The problem is, Rattles doesn’t have anything in common with these twins! Can this blended family learn to get along?

Staycation” – Arthur offers to babysit so that his parents can enjoy some peace and quiet in the backyard. What could go wrong? With D.W. on the loose…just about everything!

DVD Special Features: Printable coloring pages and activities.


About ARTHUR
ARTHUR, based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, is television's longest-running children’s animated series. Over the past 18 seasons, ARTHUR has remained one of the highest-rated weekday children’s series on PBS among children 4-8. ARTHUR has won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA, and seven Daytime Emmys®-four for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program. ARTHUR is produced by WGBH Boston and 9 Story Entertainment. Executive producers are Carol Greenwald (WGBH), Vince Commisso (9 Story), and Marc Brown (Marc Brown Studios). Directed by Greg Bailey. Funding for Arthur is provided by public television viewers. Corporate funding is provided by Chuck E. Cheese’s®. For more information, visit pbskids.org/arthur and follow ARTHUR on Facebook and Twitter.

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web. Television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio; 99.5 WCRB; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. Find more information at wgbh.org.

About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online, mobile, and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including the PBS KIDS video player, now offering free streaming video accessible on computer- and mobile-device-based browsers. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math, and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.


About PBS DISTRIBUTION
PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and our production partners.

PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns’ films, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming. As a multi-channel distributor, PBS Distribution offers consumers high-quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming. PBS Distribution is also a leading source for factual content for international broadcast, cable and satellite services.

Contacts

Mandy Miller, WGBH, 617-300-5334, mandy_miller@wgbh.org
Maria Vera, PBS KIDS, 703-739-3225,
mvera@pbs.org

Delilah's Daughters by Angela Benson

An inspirational story about the allure of fame and the faith that binds a family forever . . .
Delilah Monroe has done everything in her power to keep her three daughters strong since the death of her husband. And a big part of that connection is their singing group, Delilah's Daughters. Veronica, Roxanne, and Alisha each have their own unique sense of self, but they all share the dream of Delilah's Daughters hitting the Billboard charts.

Now, just as they enter the final round of a national talent show, a record producer approaches Veronica with the promise of fame . . . if she goes solo. Then the man Delilah has always leaned on wants more from her than just friendship, and someone from her past comes calling with a shocking secret. Will Delilah be able to hold her family together?


REVIEWS
"...instead of Samson’s secret, it’s Delilah’s that threatens to destroy the spiritual foundation she and her late husband, Rocky, build for their three daughters...Delilah’s Daughters is a captivating story from the beginning to the breathtaking end." 4.5 stars (out of 5) -Romantic Times Magazine
"This sweetly tender story of one family’s attempt to navigate the rocky waters of stardom focuses on the importance of loyalty, sacrifice, and second chances. Benson’s intimate knowledge of the music industry is evident, and her charming, inspirational novel will appeal both to fans of Martha Southgate and loyal Behind the Music viewers." -Booklist

PURCHASE
EXCERPT
Prologue
On days like today, Rocklin “Rocky” Monroe hated being dead.

He eased down on the bench next to his wife, Delilah, who sat at the piano near the back of the stage, beaming with pride as their three daughters, “Delilah’s Daughters,” as he’d named their singing trio, took their bows to a standing ovation at the annual Gospelfest in Birmingham, Alabama. The sassy and upbeat rendition of “Revive Us Again,” arranged by their youngest, Alisha, had brought the house to its feet. He put his arm around Delilah’s shoulders. You did good, sweetheart, he whispered, even though he knew neither she nor those around her could hear him.

She shivered, rubbed her arms, and he knew she felt his presence. “These are our girls, Rocky,” she murmured softly. “I’m so proud of them, and I know you would be too.”

I am proud of them! he wanted to shout, but knew it would do no good. He could see her, touch her, smell her, but she could only sense his presence. As he’d learned in the three years since a blood clot in his lung led to his untimely and totally unexpected demise, being dead was certainly a limiting experience.

The applause grew amid chants of “Praise Him!” and “More, more!” The girls glanced back at their mother, whose fingers flowed across the keyboard as they launched into Alisha’s rendition of “Take My Life and Let It Be.” Their eldest, Roxanne, who had the best voice of the three, brought the lyrics alive. When she crooned, “Take my voice and let me sing,” he jumped to his feet along with the audience. Who could keep sitting when his baby poured out her heart and soul that way? It was as though her words became the words of the hearts of her listeners. It wasn’t her song anymore; it was everybody’s song.

Alisha and Veronica backed Roxanne up in perfect harmony. Their choreographed movements, which he knew to be the work of Veronica, the born entertainer of the family, were every bit as powerful as the lyrics. The three of them were angels, singing and dancing with joy before their Lord.
The song ended with the audience on its feet in another ovation and moment of praise. He rushed toward his girls, his heart more full of love now than it had ever been. He wondered how that could be possible, since he had loved them with all that was in him when he was alive. Maybe his heart had grown larger in death.

He reached Alisha first. His baby girl was the shy one who had always been closer to her mother than to him. He brushed a kiss against her forehead and whispered, I love you, in her ear. When he pulled back, her eyes were full of tears. She missed him, he knew, but she also knew he loved her and that he was there with her.

He moved next to Roxanne, favoring her with a kiss and the same I love you. Parents weren’t supposed to have favorites, but God help him, Roxanne had been his favorite. He guessed it was because she was most like him. While Alisha and Veronica enjoyed singing, Roxanne had to sing. The music gave her life and purpose. She sang when she was happy and when she was sad. He knew, too, that she sang when she missed him, sang until she felt him in every part of her being. In those times, he saw her heart in ways he hadn’t seen it when he’d been alive. Sometimes he ached for Roxanne because along with sharing his love for music, she also shared his willingness to do anything for it. Praying she would make better choices than he had, he pressed a second kiss against her forehead, then moved on to his middle daughter.

Ah, Veronica, the child he least understood. She worried him more than the other two. He reached her as the trio moved down the stairs in front of the stage and toward the audience. He managed a whisper kiss against her cheek, so fleeting he was unsure she even felt it. His heart ached that Veronica was as elusive to him in his death as she had been when he was alive. Her thirst for the limelight scared him at times. While he was glad that she was so at ease with the spotlight, he didn’t want it to consume her. He’d hoped her marriage would provide her with some much-needed perspective, but her husband seemed to fuel that fire rather than help calm it.

Shaking off his melancholy, Rocky stood back and watched with pride as his girls mingled with the audience, showing their appreciation with handshakes and hugs. Many of the audience members knew the girls, had known them since they were kids, which made the sharing now even more special. He glanced back and saw Delilah looking on them with pride as well.

He turned to go back to his wife, but a tall, slender man reached her first. Who is that? he wondered.
“Hey, Mrs. Monroe,” the man said, causing Delilah to look up at him.

“Roy,” she said, getting up to give him a hug. “It’s so good to see you. I didn’t know you were going to be here today.”

Roy? Rocky thought. That’s Roy Stiles? Well, that boy sure has lost a lot of weight. How long has it been since I last saw him?

Roy hugged Delilah back. “I missed Gospelfest the last couple of years because of American Star commitments, but I’m back now. I don’t plan to miss another one.”

“We understand, Roy,” Delilah said. “We’re all so proud of you. You’re an example to all the young people. Us old ones too,” she added with a twinkle in her eye.

“I can feel the love, Mrs. Monroe. Some people look at me and think I was an overnight success. I have to tell them that my overnight took fifteen years.”

Delilah laughed. “You don’t have to tell me.”


Rocky agreed. He’d watched Roy’s career, and he’d wanted what Roy had for his girls: to be given the opportunity to sing before a television audience of millions. Like Roy, his girls sang a blend of gospel and pop that he called “gospel for the world,” and as with Roy, he hoped a television audience would embrace them and their sound. You couldn’t pay for that kind of exposure.

Roy pulled a folded sheet of paper out of his shirt pocket. “Delilah’s Daughters is special, Mrs. Monroe, really special. They’ve only gotten better over the years.”


Delilah beamed. “That’s nice of you to say.”

Roy shook his head. “I’m not being nice. I’m being honest. They need the kind of exposure that I got on AS.

“If only there were an American Star for groups,” she said.

Rocky had been thinking the same thing.

Roy chuckled. “Well, there is, or there will be.” He handed her the paper he had pulled out of his pocket. Rocky moved over to stand behind Delilah so he could read it too. “It’s a spin-off of American Star that’s going to be filmed in Atlanta,” Roy said. “They take solo acts and groups. I think Delilah’s Daughters should try out.”

I do too, Rocky said, forgetting that nobody could hear him. According to the flyer, the winners of the Sing for America competition would get a recording contract worth around $300,000. Right then, he began praying Delilah’s Daughters would win.

“I can’t believe this,” Delilah said, still staring at the flyer. “This is perfect for the girls.” She looked up at Roy. “I don’t know if they’re ready, though. Since their father died, they haven’t had much of a rehearsal schedule. Getting ready for Gospelfest each year is a major effort.”

What are you saying, Delilah? Rocky shouted at his wife. The girls are more than ready! If they could pull themselves together for a Gospelfest performance a few short months after I died, they can certainly get ready for this contest.

“Believe me, Mrs. Monroe,” Roy said, “they’re ready. Of course, more rehearsal time will help, but to be honest, I don’t see how they can pass up an opportunity to try out. If they’re chosen to compete, it can be a life-changing experience.”

Not only will they compete, Rocky said, touching Delilah’s arm and willing her his confidence, but our girls are gonna win this thing.

“I’ll talk to the girls about it,” Delilah said, with a little bit more enthusiasm. “What could it hurt?”
Roy smiled again. “That’s exactly what I thought when I tried out for American Star, and look what happened.” He hugged her again. “I need to head off to the green stage for my performance. I’ll look for you and the girls in the audience.”

“We wouldn’t miss it,” Delilah said. She stared at the flyer after Roy left. “If only Rocky were here,” she murmured.

I am here, Rocky said, his frustration at being unheard growing. Though this was his third Gospelfest visitation, the boundaries between the living and the dead still grated on him. The girls have to try out. They’re going to win this thing. It’s their destiny. I feel it, Dee.

He watched his wife as a light chuckle escaped her lips. She felt the girls’ destiny too. He knew she did. When she quickly sobered, he knew she was thinking about him and his dream for Delilah’s Daughters to one day become a chart-topping gospel group. It was a dream that had begun forming early in their marriage, after they’d survived a major challenge to their love and recommitted themselves to each other and their family. It was a dream that later had been put on hold so the girls could complete their education. The plan had been for them to resume their careers after they finished college, but he’d died soon enough after Alisha’s graduation that the dream had been lost in their grief over his death.

“Maybe it’s time,” Delilah murmured to herself. “The girls have to do this for Rocky; I have to do this for Rocky.”

Rocky smiled, his heart full. He never knew what to expect during his yearly visits with his family, but this year was proving especially gratifying as he got to be a part of the moment when his daughters restarted the music careers he had always known were destined to be theirs. He pressed a kiss against his wife’s forehead, thankful for her continued belief in their daughters’ gifts. By the time he returned next year, Delilah’s Daughters would be well on their way to bringing their brand of music to households all over the world.

ISBN-10: 0062002716
ISBN-13: 978-0062002716
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Available: January 28, 2014


For more African-American Christian fiction visit Black Christian Reads, an online community for readers and aspiring writers of Christian and inspirational novels that feature African-American characters. You are invited to visit them at BlackChristianReads.com, Like them on Facebook at BlackChristianReads, and Follow them on Twitter at @BlkChristianRds. In honor of their launch they are hosting a Black Christian Reads Winter 2015 Giveaway through the month of January.  Prizes include a basket of 10 African-American Christian fiction novels and a gift card to either Miss Jessie's(Natural Hair Care Products) or Camille Rose Naturals (Hair, Bath and Body Products).



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Angels without Wings Series Book Blast--Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Chris Smith's Angels without Wings series Book Blast January 5-30!
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AWOW Series - Scepter of Faith - Book 1


Title: Angels without Wings: Scepter of Faith

Series: The Angels without Wings Series - Book 1

Author: Chris Smith

Genre: YA Christian Fantasy

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1622956319



For God, we fight; all angels have heard the command. Troy Decker has heard it from his parents countless times. All he wants in life is a chance to prove himself and be granted his scepter - the first gift angels receive from God in their war against Lucifer. Standing in his way is fallen angel Kyle Downey, who used to be best friends with Troy’s parents but is now on a quest to destroy all that is good in the world.

Will Troy ever earn the scepter that God has prepared for him? And what happened between Kyle and Troy’s parents? As the War for Sins rises to heights not seen in generations, Troy must find the strength to hold his faith when demons target his friends and family. In this war, there is only one winner. Will the world fall to demons or be saved by angels?



Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1, Page 1:

Not for the first time in his life, Troy Decker woke from a dream of howling demons. He paused for a moment and reflected on the scene, wishing for what had to be the thousandth time that the dream had been real. He’d prayed for the chance to go on a demon hunt with his dad so many times he’d lost count. He closed his eyes and saw the black claws slashing toward him and heard the fangs snapping at his legs. He could almost feel a sword in his hands, ready to strike the monsters down.

Hunting demons was what he’d been born to do. Most of his prayers to God included a begging request for the chance to stand before the beasts of hell and send them screaming back to the darkness. But as it was, he rubbed sleep from his eyes on the morning of May the 1st knowing he wouldn’t have the opportunity anytime soon. He’d heard so many stories from his parents about the adventures they’d had with his Grandpa John almost twenty years before, but for Troy, only his normal, dreary life lay before him, as usual.

From the look of the sun streaming through the blinds of his bedroom window, it was going to be a glorious day—or should have been, except that it happened to be Troy’s fourteenth birthday. He rolled onto his side and brought his empty hands in front of his face. Only the disappointing emptiness of his skinny fingers and creased palms was present. He closed his hands with one more wish (added to the tally of millions of prayers) that a sword or some other cool weapon was there instead. The lowest of sighs brushed from his lips before he could stop its escape.

“Good morning Troy,” his mom called as she swung open his bedroom door. “Happy Birthday! Fourteen years old… you’ll be driving before you know it.” Her smile welcomed him into the new day better than any ray of sunshine could ever hope to do. “I’m pretty sure you grew an inch last night,” she continued when Troy rolled out of bed to throw on his Nike t-shirt.



Purchase Book:


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Without-Wings-Chris-Smith-ebook/dp/B00ARI83HC/ref=asap_B00MUDIDJK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417623934&sr=1-1


Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angels-without-wings-chris-smith/1114052282?ean=9781625631220

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17275769-scepter-of-faith?ac=1



AWOW Series - The Path To Sacrifice - Book 2



Title: Angels without Wings: The Path to Sacrifice

Series: The Angels without Wings Series - Book 2

Author: Chris Smith

Genre: YA Christian Fantasy

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Publication Date: August 4, 2013

ISBN: 978-1491022399



For Troy Decker, the world of angels has always been a familiar mystery. Robes, halos, and wings have filled his dreams since he was old enough to crawl. But it wasn’t until the last year that he truly felt like he was one of God’s chosen angels.

He’d thought only a miracle would allow him to receive his scepter. And he was one hundred percent correct. When God granted Troy his scepter, he never dreamed it would be for saving ones of his closest friends. But with many things in his angel life, Troy had to sit back and trust in his faith. Not only in God, but in himself and his family and friends.

Unfortunately, peace rarely finds Troy. With his first gift from God in hand, he must concentrate on the second gift; the robes of an angel - granted for an act of sacrifice. Hindering his progress is a former friend of his parents, Kyle Downey. Kyle is the leader of a group of fallen angels and his sinister plans for Troy bring howling demons and monsters stampeding into the War for Sins.

Can Troy follow the path God has set in front of him? How will he know what to sacrifice to receive the precious gift? And why, more than anything else in the world, does Kyle Downey want Troy to fall?



Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1, page 1:

For the first time in his life, Troy Decker was on a demon hunt with his dad. Not that it looked to be particularly exciting or dangerous, but it was better than mowing the yard or picking up his room. All they were doing at the moment was staring at an abandoned warehouse near a neighborhood of small, shabby houses on the southwest side of Oklahoma City.

Troy had been shook awake on the fine spring morning to his dad hovering over his bed with a look of confused determination on his almost always calm face. The normal, perfectly straight part, on the right side, split his brown hair. Barely a sparkle of the yet risen sun filtered through the blinds of Troy’s bedroom.

“Get ready,” his dad had whispered. “You’re coming with me today. Don’t wake up your mom. Bring your dagger. You may need it.”

“It’s Saturday,” Troy had responded as he swiped sleep residue from his eyes and stifled a yawn while he pulled the small sheath, which held a dagger sharp enough to slice paper without trying, from under his pillow. “Where are we going?”

“Have a job to do,” his dad had given as a cryptic response.

So Troy had rolled out of bed, wolfed down an energy bar, offered by his dad, and shot out the door. Not until they were five minutes down the road did he find out where they were headed.

“Nylla?” Troy scrunched his face. “How big of an infestation is it?”

“Big enough to warrant our attention,” his dad had answered never taking his piercing eyes off the road. “We’ve been noticing some activity in the area for the past month. Demon numbers have been increasing all over the place.”



Purchase Book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-without-Wings-Path-Sacrifice-ebook/dp/B00EBX5E1W/ref=asap_B00MUDIDJK_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417623934&sr=1-3

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angels-without-wings-chris-smith/1118045542?ean=9781491022399

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20617431-the-path-to-sacrifice



AWOW Series - Love's Sweet Sword - Book 3



Title: Angels without Wings: Love's Sweet Sword

Series: The Angels without Wings Series - Book 3

Author: Chris Smith

Genre: YA Christian Fantasy

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Publication Date: February 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1494324575



A ghostly smile haunts Troy Decker’s dreams. A smile of love and sacrifice. A smile that brings heart wrenching waves of guilt. For God, we fight. Troy has long heard the ancient command to God’s angels. His parents have whispered it in his ears with each step. But the last five months have taken a toll on his faith. The War for Sins has raged from one bloody battle to another at the hands of fallen angel, Kyle Downey. Angels have been killed and hordes of demons torn from the depths of hell.

With the help of his friends, Troy struggles to fight the nightmares of the past. Lurking behind a wall of agonizing blame, his dad stresses the importance of the gifts granted to angels by God. Troy has his scepter and robes, but an act of love stands in the way of his sword – the third gift. His eyes often land on his friend, Angela. On her blonde hair and pink angel marks. On the way her smile leaves him breathless with delight. Each heartbeat brings a vision of drawing her slowly into his arms and softly kissing her lips.

Can Troy put the past behind him? What will he need to prove to God in order to be granted his sword? Or will Kyle Downey ravage the world and bring an end to the War for Sins?



Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1, Page 1:

For the first time in his life, Troy Decker was on a demon hunt alone. He’d walked and jogged over four hours to find the street where he was standing. Dark houses lined the neighborhood with only a few overhead lights sparking any hope in the gloom. Troy pressed with the Spirit and approached his target with a determined grin on his narrow face.

It was the eve of his sixteenth birthday, but the normal time of celebration for most teenagers was only another shadowy day to Troy. The last five months had been the worst of his life. Demons filled his dreams whether he was awake or asleep. Howling and cursing, the monsters ate tiny chunks of his soul with each

passing minute. Troy shook his head as the memory of the lion-like beast threatened to creep into his thoughts and send a quiver of pain shooting through his chest.

Quickly, he reached into the pocket of his Nike athletic shorts and withdrew the picture he always had stored somewhere close.

On it was a chubby, white haired baby with a giant toothless grin. Holding the laughing boy was the prettiest woman in the history of the planet.

Dirty blonde hair hung past her shoulders and fell perfectly across her thin back. A pointy chin was nuzzling the baby’s cheek, but everything paled in comparison to the smile.

The love of the Lord thrived in the lifting of her mouth.

Troy swallowed an unbidden sob as he peered at his mom. She’d been dead now for over five months. Killed by the poison of a sinna demon’s barb. And it was his fault. Every time he looked at his dad, that fact screamed into his face with thundering certainty.



Purchase Book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-without-Wings-Loves-Sweet-ebook/dp/B00IODT52E/ref=asap_B00MUDIDJK_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417623934&sr=1-4

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loves-sweet-sword-chris-smith/1118731439?ean=9781494324575

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20903209-love-s-sweet-sword



AWOW Series - Hunting Halos - Book 4





Title: Angels without Wings: Hunting Halos

Series: The Angels without Wings Series - Book 4

Author: Chris Smith

Genre: YA Christian Fantasy

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Publication Date: October 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500750237



The past lingers on Troy Decker’s every thought. Losses have piled into the shadows at his heels. The War for Sins has taken a devastating toll on his life. And now, Lucifer has his eyes set on Troy’s very soul. With his chief fallen angel, Kyle Downey, spreading violence and discord around the globe, Lucifer has set plans in motion to end the War and bring a reign of terror upon the Earth.

For Troy, that means he must rush to receive his final two gifts from God. Gifts that will make him a fully-fledged angel and give him the power to resist Lucifer and all his demons. The granting of his fourth gift – a halo – looms as he struggles to stay one step ahead of Kyle and his Dark Hearts. A simple act of redemption stands in Troy’s way for this blessed sign of an angel. In a race against time, Troy must find the correct path to follow, not only in the eyes of his loved ones, but also for himself… or risk losing everything he knows and loves.



Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1, Page 1:

For the first time in his life, Troy Decker was hunting a human. Or a man who appeared to be human, at least. He’d been dogging the man’s trail on and off for two weeks. Watching and waiting while reading all the news on the mid-term Senate race in northern California.

Mrs. Chelsie Elliott was the front running Democrat in the Senate race, but her aide and assistant was Troy’s true target. The man was tall and thick. Broad shoulders stretched the expensive three piece suit flashing in the California sunlight. A blood red tie tucked crisply behind the shiny buttons. Neatly cropped hair was parted on the left. Soft grey eyes smiled warmly wherever he happened to look. But a menace resided under the glitzy exterior.

“We can’t do this alone,” Mrs. Elliott chanted into a microphone behind a wooden podium. “Each of us has a responsibility to turn this country in the right direction. And I’m here to make sure we steer this great ship back on the correct path.”

Troy shook his head as a gust of hot wind brushed across his face. He was mixed with a crowd of eager voters, but without trying he picked out several staged crew members of the candidate who had been placed to start the cheers and rousing ovations at the right spots of her speech.

For twenty minutes, Mrs. Elliott blared from one wrong doing of her opponent to the next – never actually discussing any plans to truly help her future constituents’ lives. Troy lingered at the edges of the crowd after she finished and kept his eyes on the man who was constantly scribbling notes to hand to the soon-to-be State Senator.

As Troy walked to the rented car, a half a block down the street of the small town he’d driven to that morning, his scepter glowed to life in a peaceful hum against his chest. The foot and a half long golden rod had been gifted to him by the very hand of God nearly three years ago. The memory made a smile lift instantly.



Purchase Book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Halos-Angels-without-Wings-ebook/dp/B00O48YPAK/ref=asap_B00MUDIDJK_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417634597&sr=1-5

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunting-halos-chris-smith/1120455314?ean=9781500750237

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23255430-hunting-halos



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PUYB Meet the Author

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Chris Smith



Chris Smith ignited his love of stories on his sixteenth birthday when his parents gave him a leather bound copy of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Every year since, he has picked up the book and fallen into the world of hobbits, wizards, warriors, and orcs. To him, it’s a birthday present that will continue to be given each and every year for the rest of his life.

He began writing at the age of nineteen as a way to purge his mind of cascading plots and reveal the untold stories of characters who follow him around in his day-to-day life. To date, he has written fifteen novels falling mostly into the young adult, fantasy genre; but he has delved into suspense, crime drama, and post-apocalyptic categories as well.

Currently, Chris is in the middle of writing the Angels without Wings series. The books are young adult fantasy with Christian themes of faith, sacrifice, love, redemption, and forgiveness. Being the father of three young boys is the most important aspect of his life. Worlds of fun and adventure revolve constantly under the roof of their home in Mustang, Oklahoma.

Contact Chris at:

Website: http://www.angelswithoutwingsseries.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Smith/e/B00MUDIDJK

Facebook: www.facebook.com/angelswithoutwingsseries
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PUYB Giveaway



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Pump Up Your Book and Author Chris Smith are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins December 3 and ends on January 30, 2015.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on February 1, 2015.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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PUYB Tour Schedule A

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Book Blast Event Schedule
Jan 5-30, 2014
Monday, January 5
Mom Loves 2 Read
Blooming with Books
Tuesday, January 6
As The Page Turns
Wednesday, January 7
Reviews That Reveal!
Thursday, January 8
Cheryl's Christian Book Connection
Friday, January 9
Deal Sharing Aunt
Monday, January 12
Mythical Books
Tuesday, January 13
The Writer's Life
Wednesday, January 14
Maureen's Musings
Thursday, January 15
The Story Behind The Book
Friday, January 16
3 Partners in Shopping: Nana, Mommy & Sissy Too!
Monday, January 19
Reading and Reviews 3000
Tuesday, January 20
Literarily Speaking
Wednesday, January 21
Read My 1st Chapter
Friday, January 23
Beyond The Books
Monday, January 26
The Book Rack
Tuesday, January 27
Lita's Book Blog
Wednesday, January 28
Brooke Blogs
Thursday, January 29
The Literary Nook
Friday, January 30
Jersey Girl Book Reviews