Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue Spotlight

About the Book

Title: Guide your Mind, Guard your Heart, Grace your Tongue

Author: Carol Burton McLeod

Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian Living

Release Date: April 3, 2018

Every single one of us with a beating heart has spoken words “under the influence” of warped feelings and slurred thinking. And we soon wish we had the magical power to take those words back. We especially regret the hurtful words we have spoken to those we love the most and know the best. This book may just be the solution.

Carol McLeod reveals that before the words are spoken, they brew in our hearts and are formed in our minds. It’s our thoughts and emotions that determine what words come out of our mouths. Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue is an innovative blueprint that will enable you to take control of your thoughts and feelings in order to grace your tongue. You won’t find pat answers here, but rather powerful strategies based on the Word of God to reroute disordered thinking and cure rotten emotions so your words can be humbly grateful instead of grumbly hateful.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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

Enjoy the Book Video


 

 Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 17

Genesis 5020, April 18:

Moments Dipped in Ink, April 18

Just the Write Escape, April 19

Mary Hake, April 19

Multifarious, April 20

Bigreadersite , April 20

Bibliophile Reviews, April 21

Carpe Diem, April 22

Power of Words, April 23 (Spotlight)

Among the Reads, April 23

A Baker’s Perspective, April 24

Resolved for Christ, April 25

Beck to Basics, April 26

Artistic Nobody, April 26 (Spotlight)

Inklings and notions, April 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 27

proud to be an autism mom, April 28

Janices book reviews, April 28

Texas Book-aholic, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Simple Harvest Reads, April 30

A Greater Yes, April 30

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Whitaker House is giving away the following prizes:

Grand Prize: A copy of Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue, “Grace” teapot from Christian Arts Gifts, Whitaker House/Anchor adult coloring book.

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

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

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

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Caryl McAdoo’s Scavenger Hunt

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Unbeknownst to loved ones, a headstrong young wife is snatched off the prairie by two Comanche braves, carried north of the Red River, and traded to their war chief for ponies. After five years, a small detail of Texas Rangers rides into camp, and she determines that day will bring freedom or death. She’ll remain captive no more. Sassy Nightengale almost gives up hope until a company of Texas Rangers rides into Bold Eagle’s peace camp. She learns they’ve come for the negotiated exchange of stolen white women, except her name isn’t on their list. Purposing in her heart to escape captivity with her blue eyed, four- year-old that day, she does everything she can to be noticed. Famed Texas Ranger Levi Baylor spots the red headed beauty and agrees to the war chief’s price adding his personal horse and weapon to the Republic agents’ offerings. The trade propels the couple on a trail of joy and sorrow. Sweet love blossoms but must be denied. His integrity and her faith in God keep them at arm’s length, not allowing even a kiss. Sassy’s still married to her son’s father, and Levi’s honor bound to deliver her home—to her husband. Can their forbidden love be made holy? God hates divorce. Is it wrong to hope, expect Nightengale to relinquish his wife and son? Will Sassy and Levi find the redemption they seek for their troubled souls?

Click here to purchase!

Your secret code word is: READERS

ABOUT THE AUTHORCaryl-McAdoo.jpg

Caryl McAdoo, praying her story gives God glory, loves writing for Christian genres–historical and contemporary romance, Biblical fiction, and mid-grade/young adults.

Caryl’s heart to serve is apparent as she helps other new authors realize their dreams. Besides teaching writing creative fiction, she also works to show them how to format their novels and the importance of good edits from fresh eyes. As she was mentored at the DFW Writers’ Workshop fifteen years (1993-2008), she hopes to pay God’s blessings forwarding mentoring others.

For every good in her life–including four children and seventeen grandsugars–she gives God the glory. Caryl lives a country-life with Ron, her high school sweetheart and husband of fifty years (1968-2018) in the woods a few miles south of Clarksville, Red River County seat, located in the far Northeast corner of Texas.

Blog Stops

proud to be an autism mom, April 14

Bibliophile Reviews, April 15

A Greater Yes, April 16

Texas Book-aholic, April 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18

Janices book reviews, April 19

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 20

Carpe Diem, April 21

A Baker’s Perspective, April 22

Simple Harvest Reads, April 23 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Pursuing Stacie, April 24

Bigreadersite, April 25

Quiet Quilter, April 26

margaret kazmierczak, April 27

Giveaway

amazon gift card

For this scavenger hunt, Caryl is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Be sure to enter the giveaway and keep an eye out for the special code words! Click the link below to enter:

https://promosimple. com/ps/ca82

Treacherous Trails Spotlight

About the Book

Title: Treacherous Trails

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspy Romanctic Suspense

Release Date: March, 2018

Falsely accused…

Can she escape the real killer?

In this second installment in the Gold Country Cowboys series, farrier Ella Cahill is accused of murder—and only former marine Owen Thorn, her brother’s best friend, can help clear her name. Now with someone trying to kill Ella, Owen must protect her…despite his promise to her brother to stay away from her. But can they work together to find the true killer before she becomes the next to die?

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

Guest Post from Dana Mentink

Howdy, friends! I am so thrilled to be galloping into the second book in the Gold Country Cowboy series with you. This book was a hoot to write. It’s got a nice twisty mystery and plenty of danger! Our hero, twin Owen Thorn, is a Marine doing his darnedest not to fall in love with his brother’s little sister, but you know how these things go, don’t you, partners? There’s trouble ahead in cowboy country and this story will take you on a wild gallop to the happy ending! God bless and thanks for coming along!

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 12

Lighthouse Academy, April 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 12

Daysong Reflections, April 13

Karen Sue Hadley, April 13

Janices book reviews, April 13

Book by Book, April 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 14

History, Mystery & Faith, April 15

C Jane Read, April 15

The Power of Words, April 15

To Everything a Season, April 16

Among the Reads, April 16

Genesis 5020, April 16

A Baker’s Perspective, April 17

Two Points of Interest, April 17

Carpe Diem, April 18

Cafinated Reads, April 18

Maureen’s Musings, April 19

Simple Harvest Reads, April 19 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, April 20

Have A Wonderful Day, April 20

Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting, April 21

proud to be an autism mom, April 21

Bibliophile Reviews, April 22

A Greater Yes, April 22

Texas Book-aholic, April 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 23

Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Spotlight)

Kat’s Corner Books, April 24

Red Headed Book Lady, April 24

Bigreadersite, April 24

margaret kazmierczak, April 25 (Interview)

Raining Butterfly Kisses, April 25

Remembrancy, April 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, Cornbread Mix, and Cowboy Caviar Salsa!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca46

The Revolutionary Spotlight

About the Book

Title: The Revolutionary: Liberate the Captives

 

Author: Kristen Hogrefe

Genre: Young Adult, Action, Adventure

Release Date: March, 2018

Freedom costs more than Portia wants to pay, but revolutions run on sacrifice … and blood.

Three months a satellite prisoner, Portia wonders if the Brotherhood has left her to die—until she plunges into the domain of an underground smuggler contacted by her brother. But her rescue comes with a price tag only she can pay, and now, she must forfeit her identity to act as a spy back in the dizzying politics of Crystal. There, she learns that her enemies want the Dome to approve mass satellite executions. No one knows why. Worse, they’re using her friend Luther, now a Court Citizen intern, to sign the short-term orders. She desperately wants to confide in Luther, but can she still trust him with the company he keeps?

Plagued by shadows and guilt for leaving her protector Gath behind on the satellite, Portia must find a way not only to rescue him and the other prisoners, but also to destroy the slave camps once and for all.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Kristen Hogrefe is a multi-published novelist and teacher who challenges young adults and the young at heart to think truthfully and live daringly.

 

Her publishing journey began in 2010 with the first book in her young adult (YA) suspense trilogy Wings of the Dawn. She completed the trilogy in the fall of 2014, and in 2016, contracted with Write Integrity Press for a new YA dystopian trilogy: The Rogues.

Kristen also has the heart of an educator and mentor. She teaches secondary language arts for Alpha Omega Academy and served in youth ministry for many years. Through Word Weavers International, she encourages aspiring writers and acts as president for an online writing group. She enjoys speaking events that allow her to connect with readers and other writers.

A lifelong Florida resident, Kristen loves adventuring outdoors and running with friends. Connect with her online at KristenHogrefe.com.

Guest Post from Kristen Hogrefe

Identity, Coffee, and a Sprinkle of History in The Revolutionary

The primary purpose of fiction is to entertain, but I think good fiction goes deeper by teaching us something about human nature, something about ourselves.

The Revolutionary begins three months after Portia arrived at a satellite prison camp. She feels forgotten by her brother and friends who promised to rescue her. Deeper than the physical pain of starvation, she battles the emotional rawness from the dehumanization of her identity. A number replaces her name, and the Wasps who mistreat prisoners mockingly call them “rabbits.”

When a two-faced smuggler helps her escape, her identity struggles continue. She dons multiple aliases to survive and help the Brotherhood launch a daring plan to destroy the satellite camps and oust the ruling Friend and Dome.

The theme of identity is one I hope will resonate with teens and adult readers alike. At some point, we all ask ourselves, “What defines me?” Is it our friends, an academic program, a relationship, or a job? While those things describe our day-to-day lives, they themselves shouldn’t define us. The source of our true identity must come from somewhere deeper. That’s the question Portia has to wrestle with, and one I hope readers will consider.

A Cup of Joe

Confession: One aspect of characterization I enjoy is giving my characters a small piece of myself. One of my early readers for book one, The Revisionary, remarked, “Let me guess. You like coffee.”

I laughed and replied, “How could you tell?”

Maybe lines like this one gave the fact away: “I start a pot of coffee. At least the aroma makes life smell better” (Portia, The Revisionary).

In book two, I incorporate the memory-association of coffee for Portia as she thinks back to simpler times (like dorm life with Lydia). Coffee also serves as a catalyst for an important scene where Portia, in disguise, serves her enemies and in turn learns of their disturbing plans for the satellites.

What about you? Are you a coffee drinker? If you are, I hope you’ll enjoy a giveaway opportunity for a Starbucks gift card. After all, coffee does make life smell better.

A Sprinkle of History

Two summers ago, my brother and I had the opportunity to visit the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. It’s the historical site for the “shot heard round the world” that ignited the American Revolution.

In book two, Portia and the Brotherhood launch their own threadbare revolution. Though the odds are against them, they’re determined to stop the abuses by those in power.

My own visit to this famous site helped inspire Portia’s journey of discovery and the Brotherhood’s fictional parallels to the American Revolutionary War. Writing the scene where she rediscovers this birthplace of liberty was one of my favorites, because I walked the North Bridge and poured over books researching what happened that fateful day. I hope the scene comes alive for my readers and quickens their interest in history and its relevance for us today.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10

Moments Dipped in Ink, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 11

The Fizzy Pop Collection, April 12

proud to be an autism mom, April 12

Aryn the librarian, April 13

Multifarious, April 13

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 14

A Greater Yes, April 14

It’s Storytime With Van Daniker, April 15

Texas Book-aholic, April 15

A Reader’s Brain, April 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 17

Carpe Diem, April 18

MargaretKazmierczak, April 19

A Baker’s Perspective, April 20

Bibliophile Reviews, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Spotlight)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24

Janices book reviews, April 24

Bigreadersite, April 25

Reading is my Super Power, April 25 (Interview)

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kristen is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca44

Celebrate Lit Spring Scavenger Hunt

spring scavenger hunt copy

About the Book

Cowboys and Amish GirlsSpringsofLoveCover-hires-683x1024

Rodeo cowboy, Truman Gunderson, had never met an Amish girl. Amish sisters, Faith, Hope, and Charity had yet to lay eyes on a real, live cowboy. That is until Truman’s galloping horse crosses paths with Charity’s runaway buggy. Truman is not the type to shy away from any challenge, but after he learns something about Faith, Hope, and especially Charity, he realizes that he has met his match.

About the AuthorWalking the Horses

Thomas Nye writes novels about horses and Amish life, with a touch of romance, and a foundation of faith in Christ. He and his wife, Shari, live on her family farm where they raised five children. Their six grandchildren love to visit Karma and Karla, a team of draft horses which Thomas purchased from an Amish friend. Walking a mail route for the U.S. Postal Service keeps Thomas close to nature and affords him many quiet hours which he uses to dream up novels. Over three decades of friendships with Amish neighbors has revealed a simple wisdom that he weaves into his writing.

Learn more about Thomas from his social media pages!

Blog: http://amishhorses. blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www. facebook.com/AmishHorses
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/ Thomas-Nye/e/B00LP6V9QW/ref= ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Interview with Thomas Nye

Question 1

What gave you the idea to write a story about a cowboy and an Amish girl?

Ha ha, I know it sounds like a strange combination. Over the years I’ve discovered that many young Amish people connect well with country music and western attitudes and lifestyles. My guess is that it has something to do with horses. For many Amish teens, horse sales are one of the few non-Amish events they visit. Horse people often carry that western flare and it bleeds over into Amish culture. Beyond that, it was just another wild story idea I had. I love western movies and writing about the Amish; I just put two and two together.

Question 2

Do you feel that Cowboys and Amish Girls has any overarching messages?

Yes, several. One main idea would be that of cultural clashes. I love to study people and find it interesting to notice how people from varying cultures interact. It’s sad when people misunderstand one another because they don’t take the time to look outside “the box” of their own background. This story may be a little like a Romeo and Juliet story, where the main couple are investigating the boundaries of forbidden love. Another message would be: choosing a partner based on who they are as a person, rather than what they look like. I wrote this story shortly after one of my children went through a heart-wrenching breakup. My goal was to encourage my child and others to look beyond the initial impression of a persons exterior.

Question 3

Doesn’t it seem implausible, a cowboy and an Amish girl falling for one another?

Okay, I’ll admit it would be unlikely, but certainly not impossible. For example, I met an Amish girl at an ice cream shop when I was a teenager. We dated for a summer and her family treated me quite well. I wasn’t a cowboy per say, but a horseman and that was part of the connection. Her family clearly didn’t want her to leave the Amish, but they allowed me to hang around the homeplace and tag along to Amish events. I believe the story could happen in real life, and similar situations have already occurred.

Question 4

Do you think this story would make a good movie?

Absolutely. In fact, the title Cowboys and Amish Girls sounds like the perfect name for a musical. There are many “sayings” throughout the story that could quite easily be turned into songs. “Horses weren’t all born on the same day, you should teach each one in their own way.” And, “Cowboys and Amish girls are like vinegar and oil, they just don’t mix.” Another quote from Truman’s grandpa about horses. “The ones that are the worst at first, are smarter than the rest, and end up being the best.”

I’d love to help a playwright turn Cowboys and Amish Girls into a musical.

 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 5

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 6

Bibliophile Reviews, April 7

Carpe Diem, April 8

Reading is my Super Power, April 9

A Baker’s Perspective, April 10

Simple Harvest Reads, April 11 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

margaret kazmierczak, April 12

Artistic Nobody, April 13

Janices book reviews, April 14

Giveaway

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To celebrate the fun of the spring collections, Celebrate Lit is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card. Click the link to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/cdd6/spring-scavenger-hunt

Your secret code word is: THE

 

A Flute in the Willows Spotlight

 

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About the Book

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Book Title: A Flute in the Willows

Author: Carole Brown

Genre: Historical, Romantic Suspense

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other’s love…and keep the German enemy at bay.

She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?

Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life…especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.

These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their ownselves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Carole-Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Guest post from Carole Brown

How Great is Our God! By Carole Brown

And the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

It seems everywhere you turn today, the world is a mess. I try to keep up with current events, but sometimes I find myself pulling back away from it all. The enemy of us all would drown us in disbelief, doubt and worry if we would allow it. I find my spirit beginning to flounder in that sea of distress and must need revive it with the good things of God.

In my newest WWII Spies series, in book two, soon to be released, both Jerry and Josie Patterson are rebellious, self-centered people. Neither have given much thought to God, and both have gone gung-ho after their own pleasures and desires.

  • Jerry not only suffers a serious physical injury, but his spirit is troubled over actions taken as a spy in Germany. Guilt over the death of a sweet woman, guilt over all the deceit he needed to use, guilt over the temptations that knocked, and though he didn’t give in to them, nevertheless, troubles his mind and soul. Who do you turn to when you have no God in your life?
  • Josie, filled with elaborate plans on becoming an Olympic participant once the horror of war is over, ignores all the people in her life—except when it’s convenient for her to use them. All that matters is attaining her goal and Jerry. Running roughshod over all others, forgiving and forbearing as they are, is her usual ploy in getting what she wants. So who do you turn to when all your dreams turn to ashes?

It’s only after each one of them receive a severe injury that prevent them from doing what they want, only when they think they’ve lost the other, that they begin to listen to what God is teaching them.

Isn’t that so in our own lives? Many times we go headstrong toward our goals, without prayer or definite assurance from God that it’s what he wants for us. It seems a good thing, beneficial, and desirable so it must be good for us, right?

God is so great, so faithful, so loving in pulling us back, in teaching us that He is our all in all. Our strength in times of deep distress and trial, our anchor when the storms of life are blowing us off course, our shield when others would hurt or wound our spirits…our peace through it all.

May we, like Josie and Jerry, learn that our God IS a great God. We need have no fear; he does not fail.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

Red Headed Book Lady, March 29

Multifarious, March 30

Two Points of Interest, March 30

proud to be an autism mom, March 31

A Greater Yes, March 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 1

Janices book reviews, April 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 2

Simple Harvest Reads, April 2 (Guest post from Mindy)

Carpe Diem, April 3

Maureen’s Musings, April 4

margaret kazmierczak, April 4 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, April 5

Reading is my Super Power, April 5 (Interview)

Have A Wonderful Day, April 6

Pause for Tales, April 6

Artistic Nobody, April 7 (Spotlight)

A Baker’s Perspective, April 8

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 9

Among the Reads, April 9

Bibliophile Reviews, April 10

For The Love of Books, April 11

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away a grand prize of a canvas flowered/musical tote, a pink “All Things are Possible journal, and a copy of A Flute in the Willows (winners choice of print or ebook)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e2

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng for Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek

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About the Book

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Author: Bethany Kaczmarek

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 1, 2017

Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.

Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Only God can change you. But I know He hasn’t given up on you. Nor have any of the rest of us. You jump, and your family will meet you where you land.”
The above quote from the book is a prominent theme throughout the book. This is the first book by the author I have read and it was a difficult book to read because it dealt with profoundly emotional issues. It is a very well-written book with beautiful characters and strong storyline. It also has a solid foundation of faith running through the book, as most of the characters are Christian not afraid to voice their Christian perspective based on the Bible. The dialogue is real and down to earth and quite funny at times.
The story revolves around Kasia and Zan. Kasia is a college student, a talented musician, and a daughter of a pastor who finds herself in a relationship she does not want and breaks off her engagement. Zan is a college baseball player, trying to find ways to protect his older sister in an abusive marriage while trying to salvage his ball career and his father’s approval. Their paths cross multiple times and their friendship takes a long time with carefully measured steps to develop. They both have broken pasts and uncertain present and future but realize that dependence on God is the only certainty they can have in life. Zan’s faith journey is powerful and his friend Jayce’s real-life explanations of salvation and life with Jesus are profound, powerful, and moving.
This is definitely a find-yourself kind of journey that 20 year olds take. It is geared toward a younger generation. Unfortunately for me, these main characters are closer to my children’s ages than they are to me so I empathized more with Kasia’s parents than with Kasia or Zan. However, the book is so well-written and emotionally moving that I became invested in all the characters’ well-beings. Reading this book made me more aware of the things of this world that my children face on a daily basis and how mistaken they could be about a parent’s love and God’s love though they may have grown up in a loving Christian home. I’m reminded to pray for my children more fervently and to pray that they will know and understand God’s unending and merciful love and also understand that my love for them will not waver regardless the mistakes, falls, regrets.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher through Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

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Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.

Guest Post from Bethany Kaczmarek

Strains of Silence: A Novel for Anyone Who Can Say #MeToo

We’re everywhere. After years of silence, many survivors of sexual assault are raising our voices. You’ve seen the hashtag. You know someone who suffered like this—a friend, a sister, a daughter.

Maybe you know personally what it’s like to be used.

I’m thankful for the conversations the #MeToo campaign has started, proud of the brave women who are speaking out. But I know some are still quiet, nursing wounds.

I could list loads of valid reasons a victim chooses to suffer in silence.

  • People won’t believe her.
  • If she doesn’t say it out loud, it’s easier to pretend it was a nightmare.
  • He’s got authority over her—at work, at church, in the family—and it’ll cost her too much. He’s done enough damage already.
  • He’s threatened to destroy her reputation, and she believes him. One, because he’ll do it without flinching. Two, because she’s already convinced that she’s living a lie.
  • Because at church, she’s supposed to be fine, smiling, rejoicing in her suffering and pressing on. Besides, people don’t want to sit with her in her pain and listen. They’d rather offer bumper-sticker theology and trite spiritual bandages.
  • The few times she’s tried to speak up, her used-to-be friend basically made her feel like it was her fault.

The list could go on, but it’s fair to say that being honest about what happened to us makes us vulnerable all over again. The idea is understandably stressful.

But you know what? Pretending we’re fine is exhausting too. We bear a great strain when we hide our hurts, for whatever reason.

Kasia Bernolak, the heroine of my novel Strains of Silence, gets it. She’s got reasons for keeping it quiet too. But when God brings some new people into her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be alone.

And speaking up offers a freedom, a lightness, she wants.

It’s a freedom I want for my readers.

I know. Strains of Silence sounds like a heavy book right now. The themes are heavy, no doubt. There’s no glossing over and prettying up sexual assault or domestic violence. But—just like in real life—it’s how well we surround and support the suffering that can set the tone. Kasia’s friends are real, they’re funny, they’re quirky, and they believe in her.

Besides, it’s not all dark and brooding. There’s travel—an entire summer in the mountains of Peru. There’s a lot of music—Kasia’s a singer/song-writer who loves indie artists (I’ve got a playlist on my website). There’s heritage and culture—meet her immigrant family and you’ll get a delicious taste of Poland. There’s humor—enough to keep the story light when you need it to be.

And there’s hope. Kasia’s life is absolutely full of possibility.

So are the lives of everyone who can say #MeToo.

Sometimes, it just helps to see someone else fight the battle on our own horizon. And if you can do it with a fantastic new playlist and some laughs, why not?

My hope is that Strains of Silence will lead to real discussions with reader-friends, book-club gatherings that become turning points, and the true pursuit of freedom. It’s time to throw off the burdens we wear and stand up. Raise your voice, link arms with others, and fight for hope.

Healing is within our reach.


Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and a $50 Amazon gift card.!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5dc