Tuesday, June 27, 2017

WHO KILLED MY HUSBAND - Michelle Stimpson - One Free Book

Dear Readers, when I saw that Michelle had published this new book, I had to invite her to be on the blog, so I could introduce the book to you. Those of you who have read the other books I’ve featured know why.

Bio: Michelle Stimpson’s works include the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace, which has been optioned for a movie. She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company at WeGottaRead.com.

Michelle serves in women’s ministry at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. She regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored by churches, schools, book clubs, and educational organizations.

The Stimpsons are proud parents of two young adults, grandparents of one super-sweet granddaughter, and the owners of one Cocker Spaniel, Mimi, who loves to watch televangelists.

Welcome back, Michelle. This is a different kind of book for you. What made you venture a little with this title?
After writing 40+ books, an author can get kinda stagnant. I have recently started reading clean mysteries, and I found that I actually enjoy them. They keep me up late at night because I truly want to find out whodunit and why. I’m hoping my readers will enjoy a different pace, too. I think they’ll be glad to know it’s possible to change things up and still keep the message of the book strong.

What is the message of the book?
The main character, Ashley, is struggling to make sense of things as they relate to her. She has suffered much loss in her life already. But she’s going to have to understand that God doesn’t make His plans around her. She may be the apple of His eye, but she is not the center of the universe.  His promise to be there always will have to be sufficient for some of us until we reach the other side.

Wow! That title really caught me. How did you come up with the idea for this book?
You know what, I wish I could remember. Thankfully, I have not experience much death around me, but I know that the longer I live, the more loved ones will pass away. Death is a part of life.  I don’t kill off a lot of characters in my books, but there was just something about this couple that struck my imagination, and I knew they needed a book. Quickly!

How quick?
About 10 days from outline to finished first draft.

Seriously?
Yes, but keep in mind: This is a shorter work of fiction.

I know it’s possible. With my novella that is going up in a collection tomorrow, I had written the first 17,000 words over several weeks. Then I finished over 10,000 words in one week, and it’s a suspense novella, too.Why did you choose to write a shorter piece?
I actually got my start with fiction as a short-story writer. I love shorter reads because I can finish them quickly. My schedule is often irregular, so it’s hard for me to get into longer books during hectic weeks. When I sit down for a few hours with a short read, I already know I’m going to have the satisfaction of finishing it. I usually save longer reads for holidays/vacations.

What else is going on with you outside of the writing world?
Glad you asked! I am now the grandmother of a wonderful baby girl. Bless God! I am spending a ridiculous amount of time just staring at her and nibbling on her juicy cheeks.

I so understand that. Only mine are great grands now. What’s your next release?
I’ve got a non-fiction book coming out entitled Change Your Mind, Transform Your Life: 21 Truths to Renew Your Mind in Christ. I am always sooo excited about edifying believers. Non-fiction is not my first genre, but it is definitely one of the most fulfilling to me.

Do you have advice for aspiring authors?
I have more than advice—I have help! They can visit www.PublishMyBookAlready.com to take classes and learn more about publishing, marketing, etc.

Wow, that sounds good! Now tell us a little about the story.
Ashley Crandall finally convinced her husband, Allan, to attend the Christian men’s retreat ... but he ends up dead there. What happened to him on the campgrounds? Who would want to kill Allan? And why are the detectives pointing fingers at Ashley? In her quest to solve the mystery and clear her name, Ashley will learn something about her husband that she didn’t want to know and something about her Christian faith that shifts her life. 

This short work by national bestselling, multi-published author Michelle Stimpson is packed with emotion, suspense, and a her signature way of weaving hope into a story – always a hit with readers who enjoy faith-based reads.

Please give us a peek into Who Killed My Husband?
Chapter 1
“Thank you for doing this, Allan.” I kept my eyes steady on the unfamiliar, winding road sprawling before me. Already, I had braked three times for sharp turns and a pothole. 

Allan, ears covered by headphones, bobbed as though he didn’t hear my compliment. His baby smooth skin, dimples, and semi-Mohawk haircut made him look much younger than thirty-two. So young, in fact, that a few times, twenty-something chicks at his DJing events had mistaken me as his older sister or his manager, even though I was only thirty. Allan thought that was funny. “It’s good for business,” he’d say, flashing his boyish grin.

I was tired of him acting like a boy. A guy. A dude. A bro. I needed him to grow up and be a man. Start thinking about things that mattered, namely his eternity. Since Allan had agreed to attend this non-church-affiliated men’s retreat, I thought my prayers were finally being answered. I had gone all out to take off work early so I could take him to Peaceful Days. Even dusted on some makeup and flat-ironed my wavy mane so he’d have this awesome picture of me in the back of his mind all weekend.

I tapped him on the shoulder and mouthed again, “Thank you for doing this.”

I knew better than to expect a “Sure thing, Ashley,” or “It’s my pleasure to go,” from him. He was either ignoring me or caught up in his music. No matter, I was used to being blocked out of his life by music, working at KRBF FM radio Dallas. His side gigs. His friends. His lifestyle.
Still, my eyes watered for a moment. The rejection stung worse than a bee. At least when a bee stung, it was defending its own territory. Allan and I were supposed to be one in God’s sight. Why he chose to turn on me—his wife of six years—and treat me like the enemy was unreasonable. We were on the same team.

At least we were until Corey died.

Blinking tears away, my vision cleared just in time to spot a pretty good-sized animal dart into the road. I slammed on the brakes. My stomach squirmed. I winced, hoping the thing had escaped being crushed.

A second later, my body relaxed. Whatever it was hadn’t become a bump under my wheels.

“Geez Louise!” Allan yelled. “Can you not see?”

“It came out of nowhere!” I pointed toward the open field on the passenger’s side.

“I saw it a mile away!” he claimed, motioning toward his window. “You’re not paying attention.”

“Neither are you!”

Allan pulled the headphones down so they dangled around his neck. “I’m paying plenty of attention to the road. Can’t say the same about you since you nearly got us killed.”

Cautiously, I continued our path to the campgrounds.

“Do you need me to drive?” he asked with a hint of sympathy in his voice.

This was my husband’s way of apologizing. He wouldn’t just come out and say, “Babe, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.” He’d offer to do something.

“No,” I said. That was my way of not accepting his roundabout apology.

I had grounds for a full-blown argument. How dare he accuse me of trying to kill us? And why am I driving anyway—I’m the woman! Real men know how to step up and take the wheel in more ways than one. Top that off with the fact that my heart was still racing from the animal-in-the-road scare, and I was primed.

But I didn’t want to go there. Not now. Especially not today. Allan had finally agreed to attend a Christian men’s conference for the weekend, and I’d been praying that God would use this weekend to touch my husband’s heart. Having a big blowout of an argument just before dropping him off wouldn’t exactly be productive.

Thanks to a few books I’d been reading and the personal advice of the Holy Spirit, I had come to the point of understanding that, apparently, Allan was in the “may be won without a word” category. I just needed to keep my mouth zipped and let God do His thing. Problem number one: Allan had a knack for provoking me. Problem number two: I wasn’t always obedient. Problem number three: God was taking His sweet time.

My husband pressed a dial on his headphones. “Hello?”

The caller spoke loud enough for me to hear that it was a man. A hollering man.

“Wait up, man! I gotchu! My first payment isn’t even due until next month, bro,” Allan said.
I put two and two together and realized he was talking to Jerry Albright, the man who had helped finance my husband’s acquisition of the radio station where he worked.

“I’mma have yo money like I said, at the time we agreed to,” Allan said forcefully, slipping into a strong southern accent. “Why you tryna collect early?”

The rest of the conversation was much more calm. Allan wasn’t playing with Jerry. But neither was Jerry playing with Allan, apparently.

Great. Now we have loan sharks after us. This whole DJ Pistol Whip persona was getting out of control.

“Aight. I’ll talk to you next week. I’m gonna be at a…some kind of thing my old lady set me up to…Naw…you know I ain’t goin’ out like that! I got a reputation to protect!” Allan laughed.

Thank God they’re laughing and not threatening each other.

Whatever the man had suggested was probably too civil for DJ Pistol Whip to admit to.

“I’ll catch you later.” He took the headphones off, mumbling to himself that Jerry was crazy. His thumbs whittled away at a message to somebody.

“In one-half mile, turn left on Prayer Lane,” the navigation system instructed.

Allan chuckled. “Prayer Lane.” He pushed his headphones back in place.

I could hardly wait for that half a mile to come and go so I could drop him off at that camp and burn rubber on my way out. I figured, if nothing else, at least I’d get a weekend away from him
As we neared the grounds, we were welcomed by the United States flag, the Texas flag, and the Christian flag. Flowers bloomed in pristine arrangements lining the entryway’s white picket fence. Green grass rolled for acres between small buildings with country flair. A large pond sparkled in the midst of the camp. The scenery alone should have been enough to let Allan know that God is real and loves to bring beauty into this world.

Peaceful Days Camp was painted in bright red letters on a wooden sign. Underneath the facility name was the phrase Come all who labor.

“That’s what I’m talking about,” Allan yelled. His music’s volume must have been so loud he didn’t realize how his voice carried. “Laboring is what I need to be doing this Friday night instead of hanging out with some chumps at a camp.”

“Really?” I yelled loud enough for him to hear me. “You think judging a twerking contest is labor?”

“It’s a hard job, but somebody’s gotta do it,” he shouted back. “DJing and vibin’ with the hip hop culture is the way I make my money. You knew who you were marrying when you married DJ Pistol Whip, right?”

“I didn’t marry DJ Pistol Whip. I married Allan Crandall.”

“One and the same, baby. One and the same.” He bobbed his head even harder and started throwing punches in the air as though fighting an imaginary foe.

All I could do was poke out my lips. He had a point. Allan had turned into this persona he’d created to earn a living. He was very good at what he did. A part of me was glad that he loved his work. But when that work involved MCing wet T-shirt contests, I had a problem. A serious problem.

I followed the signs to the H. P. Lewis men’s dormitory, which had been mentioned in the series of emails leading up to the retreat. Of course, all of the email messages came to me, since Allan wasn’t about to keep track of anything regarding this event.

I parked and, almost immediately, Allan hopped out. I pushed the button to open the back window so he could retrieve his bags. As he walked around to the back of our vehicle, I got the paperwork from my purse. Suddenly, I felt like a mother must feel when she’s dropping her child off at kindergarten. The joy. The pain. The pride.

A sadness swept over me as I wondered: Will I ever experience that for myself?

Thoughts of little Corey filled my mind, nearly overtaking me with their intensity. He would have been three years old the following week. “Horrible Threes” I’d heard people called them. People wouldn’t say such negative things about babies and children—about them waking up in the middle of the night, the crying, the teething, the getting into everything—if they realized what a blessing it was to have a living, breathing, normal, healthy child.

The tears had come too quickly for me to blink them away. I swiped them from my eyes.

Allan closed the back window.

I got out of the car to see him off. I had planned to give him a big kiss and a hug in Jesus’s name, but I wasn’t feeling my husband or Jesus at the moment.

Allan hoisted his backpack on his shoulder as he walked toward me.

All around us were couples saying goodbye. Hugging, slight pecks, praying with one another.
I looked up at him. Forced a smile. “Have a good weekend.”

The heavy weight of concern crossed his face. “Why are you crying, Ashley? I’m at the retreat, okay? This is what you wanted, right?”

As mean as Allan could be sometimes, he always fell apart at the slightest hint of wetness on my face.

Peering into his eyes, I wondered why on earth God had allowed these crazy twists and turns in my life. My son’s death. My failing marriage. Even my mother’s dementia, which had been a long time coming, seemed an odd ending to such a good life.
If only my husband and I were on the same page, spiritually, I could lean on him. We could pray for each other. He could actually love me like Christ loved the church, and I could be submissive because I respected him, and life would be…well…easier and holier and basically better.

But I knew not to share my thoughts to Allan. No sense in talking to a brick wall.

Allan hugged me. “Get some rest this weekend. I know.…” He sighed. “I know what today is.”

“Yeah.”

Allan still couldn’t say Corey’s name.

A tinny beat came from the headphones, interrupting our silent moment.

“Are you going to wear those all weekend?” I asked.

He shrugged. “I guess, when we’re not doing anything.”

I thrust the itinerary into his hand. “You’ve got a full weekend. There’s no way you’ll have time for music.”

“There’s always time for music, baby.” He gave a charming smile.

I sighed. Twisted my lips to the side. This was a joke to him. If all he planned to do was go to the classes between vulgar songs, my efforts to get him here had been nothing but a waste of time, effort, money, hope, and prayers.

I blew a cool breeze from my mouth. “You’re right. It’s totally up to you, Allan. Enjoy yourself.” I turned and opened the driver’s side door, not wanting him to see my fresh batch of tears. I didn’t want him to think I was trying to manipulate him by crying. Guilt-induced expressions of love were always disingenuous and short-lived.

Allan grasped my arm. “Ashley. Wait.” He squared up my shoulders before I had a chance to wipe my cheeks dry.

“I’m here because I want to be here.” He swallowed. “I’m tired of fighting with you. I can’t change what happened. I can’t fix everything like I want to. And I don’t know God like you want me to. But I’m here this weekend because I do care.”

“If you care, then listen? Take off your headphones and listen to what’s in here.” I placed my hand on his heart.

Slowly, my husband removed the black headset. He put it around my neck. Smiled. “You could use some music this weekend, I bet.”

I giggled slightly. “You’re probably right.”

He rested his forehead on mine. “I love you, pretty brown-eyed girl.”

His nickname for me, based on the Mint Condition 90s song, still made me melt. I twisted my lips to one side, then gave way to a smile of my own. “Love you, too. See you Sunday.”

The truth was: I loved Allan and I knew he loved me. But if God didn’t fix him that weekend, I didn’t know what I was going to do. We’d already tried counseling. Well, I tried counseling. Allan went twice and said it was a waste of time. I bought his-and-hers versions of do-it-yourself couples therapy-type books. Allan never got past the first few chapters. I was getting to the end of my strategies for improvement.

Friday night found me in bed crying as I flipped through pictures of our wedding. We were so happy back then. We had the rest of our lives in front of us.

Or so I thought.

Taking off the afternoon and enduring the tension with Allan almost all the way to the camp had taken a lot out of me. I didn’t want to argue with my husband. I didn’t want to be so judgmental. I just didn’t know any other way to make him see how much he needed Jesus.

Rather than cry my eyes swollen, I decided to get up and do some work. I logged into my employer’s system and began to edit and comment on documents the team had uploaded. If nothing else, I could at least find some success at work.

Buy links for the book:




How Can Readers Connect with You?
The best way to keep in touch is through my email list. I send out notice of new books and keep people posted on all kinds of things from events to what’s happening with their favorite characters to upcoming releases. The link is here: http://bit.ly/MichelleStimpsonSignUp

Additionally, they can like or follow me at Facebook: www.Facebook.com/MichelleStimpsonWrites
Or Follow me on Twitter @StimpsonTweets. I blog at www.MichelleStimpson.com.

Thanks so much for the interview!

Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this new book with us. I can hardly wait to read it. You know how much I love your books.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, June 26, 2017

SANCTUARY - T M Brown - One Free Ebook

Welcome, T M. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
First of all, its important to share that I hold all fiction is not created “ex nihilo” — “out of nothing.” All our characters, settings, and storylines are rooted in reality, just disguised or rewritten to paint the desired story we wish to write.

In Sanctuary, family and friends chuckle as they recognize parallels between the main characters, Theo and Liddy Phillips, and my wife and me. Likewise, other characters in the story have inspiration from family and friends, especially my two sons and my grandkids. Of course, they were the reason I launched into this endeavor nearly four years ago.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Over my decades as a student of the Bible, I realized that parables and Bible stories have earned the most attention, so I took my bevy of sermons, Bible studies and devotional expositions and surprised my family and friends by announcing that I would transition to writing contemporary parables as a legacy for my grandchildren from their “Poppy,” ergo Sanctuary and its sequels.

When did you first discover you were a writer?
A lion’s share of my mother’s clover-green Irish blood flows through my veins. As a result, I’ve always been blessed with the gift of the blarney. At least that’s what my family attest. However, seriously drafting my words onto paper did not become a reality until I returned to college and then seminary late in life. There I became enthralled with the value of writing and ever since written far more sermons, Bible-studies and inspirational blog posts than I dare recount. But the notion of writing a novel came from my wife insistence. Of course, I fretted and fussed in the early months as I discovered writing a novel required far more than my Irish gifts could supply. Thankfully, God introduced a fantastic writing coach/editor to me. She became an indispensable mentor and encourager throughout the arduous process.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I am a history major and love all forms of history books, but I also have become fond of mysteries and thrillers by the likes of John Grisham, David Baldacci, Nicolas Sparks, and Charles Martin, to mention a few. In the foreseeable future, I hope to set aside more time to reading after my writing days begin to wind down again. I find myself too engrossed in my writing to fully enjoy leisure reading, and I do miss sitting on the porch with a good book that stirs my imagination.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
A sense of humor! I try not to compare myself with others. This is what I shared with my sons when they were growing up and competing in athletics. “There’ll always be others who are faster, stronger, and smarter than you. Strive each day to be the fastest, strongest, and smartest you can be, and you’ll be surprised how successful you’ll become just being the best you can be.”

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Well, you’ll have to read Sanctuary before I answer that question in total. But I will hint if you study the names of the main characters in the town of Shiloh close enough, many of the readers will find the underlying source of their names. Besides, at the end of Sanctuary, the preacher in the story supplies a strong hint.

I will confess, some of my characters in the sequel, Testament, were named after I took a suggestion from an author friend. I ventured into a couple of cemeteries to scout out unique, memorable names from long ago. Also, to honor my dad, his veiled first name becomes the name of a key older character in the sequel.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Completing two novels and actually working on the third had gotten my attention, but what stands high above that is my marriage of forty-four years this August to my beautiful wife Connie, our two sons and their families.  

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
The answer depends on the time of day and situation. Of course, I’ve been called more animal names than I dare to put into print.

What is your favorite food?
I’m a fan of God’s message to Peter in Acts - “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Kind of makes me a fan of most anything, but Southern barbecue, grits, biscuits, collards, and of course, peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream, all washed down with sweet tea, rank right up there!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Transitioning to writing a novel filled with believable dialog, and learning to “show versus tell” after all my years of expository writing. Thank God for a great writing coach and my wife’s encouragement.

Tell us about the featured book.
SANCTUARY begins a series of stories that affirms the possibility that life often winds its way by personal perseverance with the aid of God’s providence influencing our choices along the journey we find ourselves on. Like Theo Phillips retells his story in SANCTUARY, each of us has particular personal stories that we most often share among friends and loved ones. You know, those stories that evolved over a course of time in our life, and after looking back and taking stock, we discovered that the choices we made along those particular journeys impacted far more lives than what we likely envisioned before we began the journey.

SANCTUARY introduces newly retired publishing executive, Theo Phillips, and his wife, Liddy, to the time-lost South Georgia town of Shiloh as they leave the shadows of Atlanta and move into a quaint home of notoriety. While making new friends, they discover twenty-first-century challenges threaten the town’s laid-back lifestyle. Theo's journalistic curiosity launches him into investigating tragic events that have left Shiloh unsettled. Theo and Liddy’s retirement dreams take a turn that could unravel both them and the idyllic life they and many others look for in Shiloh.

Please give us the first page of the book.
A prolonged Indian-summer gripped Georgia. Though already the first Sunday of November, hot and humid weather more suitable for early September caused sweat to trickle unabated down my neck, dampening the collar of the fresh cotton polo I had just yanked over my head. The moving truck pulled away as I latched and locked the trailer doors. Liddy patiently watched from her passenger window as I walked up the sidewalk and locked the front door of the colonial brick suburban house we had called home for the last seven years.
           
I jumped into the driver’s seat, buckled up and squeezed the hand of my wife of forty years, then reached for the gearshift. “Any regrets?”
           
Liddy raised her window and turned her gaze straight ahead as a silly smirk appeared. “Nope. Let’s roll! We’ve got a moving truck to meet in Shiloh tomorrow.”
           
I dropped the gearshift into drive, and my foot slid from the brake to the accelerator. Our Expedition jolted forward with the packed trailer in tow. Liddy stared straight ahead for the first few minutes while she caressed the manila envelope stuffed with photos, brochures and paperwork pertaining to the house we contracted to purchase for our retirement. Liddy dozed off soon after we turned south onto US Highway 19, and I settled in for the afternoon drive to our destination an hour south of Albany.
           
The all-too-familiar gated communities and shopping centers thriving under Atlanta’s ever-present shadow faded in my rear-view mirror…

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Sanctuary - paperback - Kindle
Sanctuary

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Friday, June 23, 2017

THE SPINSTER AND THE COWBOY (audible book) Lena Nelson Dooley and Julie Carson - One Free Audible Book

Dear Readers, I'm really excited about the release of my novel, The Spinster and the Cowboy, audible edition. I've noticed the new Audible.com ads that call the experience of listening to an audible book as a performance that takes the listener away to another world or realm.

I want to introduce you to Julie Carson, the woman who is the reader for this book. She has experience in television and television production, and she's very talented. This book is truly a performance that will take you away. She's amazing. I'm really blessed to know her as a friend and to work with her on my audio books. She's actually also going to do the audio edition of A Heart's Gift.

You'll find a sample of her work from The Spinster and the Cowboy at this link:

https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A28WSK8AI1QMNV




Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the audio book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

THE MAN SHE KNEW - Loree Lough - One Free Book

Welcome back. Loree. Let’s do some fun questions first. What song most closely resembles your life?
Toby Keith’s “How Do You Like Me Now!” It’s a fun, upbeat tune that give the wink-wink to those who, when I was starting out, didn’t believe “my little hobby” could become a full time career.

I do understand that. I had those people, too. Now they have taken notice, big time. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?
My go-to verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” At several points in my distant and recent past, life sometimes threatened to become overwhelming. And each time, I only needed to read this verse to remind myself that no matter how dark life may appear at any given moment, the Father will bless me with the light that leads me to peace.

What is the one thing you wish you could go back and change in your life?
Anyone who’s over 25 (and I’m more than 2x over 25!) has a few regrets. But instead of seeing them as stumbling blocks, I look at them as stepping stones. Each time I was disappointed (or disappointed others) was a valuable life lesson that made me who I am today. That said, I wouldn’t change a thing!

I’m with you. I own all those mistakes and learned from them. What is the most important characteristic for a good friend to have?
A good friend must be loyal, above all. If I share a heartache, a secret, a bit of joy—and ask you to keep it to yourself—that’s exactly what I expect. And I’ll do the same for you. And since trust and loyalty go hand in hand, I must always feel a true friend can be trusted.

There are too many would-be friends out there. What extracurricular activities did you participate in when you were in school?
I held an assortment of odd jobs, beginning at age 14. Clocking 20+ hours a week while holding tight to an A-B average in school left no time for school-type extracurricular activities. When I could, I volunteered at church, babysitting kids while their parents attended services, or in the local hospital gift shop, delivering flowers and whatnot to patients’ rooms. In the community, you could often find me running errands or doing household and hard chores for elderly neighbors.

I can totally see you doing that, Loree. What is your favorite movie of all times?
Wow, that’s a tough one! I have a couple dozen favorites. The first that comes to mind at the moment is Secondhand Lions, an exciting, adventurous, wholesome story of the importance of family. Two other movies run a close second: Somersby and Shadowlands. Loved all three pretty much equally!

I haven’t seen the last two, but I love Secondhand Lions. Tell us about why you wrote this book.
After reading several articles and watching documentaries about the recidivism of prisoners, I grew curious; surely there were organizations that lent a helping hand to recently released convicts, to reduce the numbers that returned to penitentiaries. I’m blessed to know Linda O’Dell (Letters from the Lord) who routinely visits prisoners in her home state. She was generous with her knowledge of the system, and from conversations with her, I was able to compile a list of questions to ask the experts I interviewed (wardens, guards, psychiatrists/psychologists that work with prisoners), parole officers, half a dozen prisoners, and an equal number of family members who were forced to cope with the system before sentencing, during confinement, and after release. While it can’t be denied that some ex-cons seem incapable of changing, a large number work hard toward reformation. I wrote the book for those individuals and their families in the hope that the stigma of “having served time” could be overlooked on a case by case basis.

Please give us the first page of The Man She Knew.
“Maleah, you want to explain this?”

She placed the bowl of mashed potatoes on the dining room table. “Explain wh—”

When she saw what her brother held in his big hands, the words froze in her throat.

“Tell me you’re not still mooning over this low-life criminal!”

“Mooning.” She forced a laugh. “You’re picking up old-people talk from Grampa.”

“You can’t distract me.”

She’d made two mistakes: thinking the buffet’s silverware drawer was a good place to hide Ian’s photograph, and saying yes when Eliot offered to set the table.

“It’s no big deal.” Maleah shrugged. And there it was… Eliot’s I’m a decorated cop and I can tell when someone is lying look.

Maleah shoved a serving spoon into the potatoes. She and Eliot had gone round and round on this subject too many times to count, and she’d lost every round.

“Only one explanation makes sense. You’ve stayed in touch with him, even though whole family asked you not to, haven’t you?”

“First of all, no one asked anything.” Their relentless demands had been the primary reason she’d traded the comfort of her childhood room for a noisy, crowded dorm room at the University of Maryland. “How any times do I have to tell you I haven’t had any contact with him in…” Years had passed since she’d scrawled Leave me alone! Please! across Ian’s final letter. “Why won’t you believe me?”

He dropped the picture into the drawer and closed it, hard. “Maybe because that creep turned you into an OCD control freak. You can’t sleep with dishes in the sink. And name me one other person who alphabetizes the contents of her pantry and spice rack? Or color-codes and hangs stuff in her closet in order by length.”
Maleah didn’t bother to explain it was because she’d learned how much one mistake could alter a person’s life—and the lives of everyone close to them.

“So I like things neat and tidy. Last I checked, it isn’t against the law.”

He aimed his pointer finger at the ceiling, preparing to add to his big brother tirade, but she cut him off.

“Eliot, let’s not spoil Grampa’s birthday dinner, all right?”

“What. Ever.”
   
She knew Eliot: The subject was far from closed. Maleah could only hope he’d take her advice, and not make a scene on their grandfather’s birthday.

I’m eager to read the rest of the book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Before I list the social networking sites, I’d like to thank you, Lena, for sharing your blog and your audience with me. You’re by far one of the most generous, big-hearted women I have the pleasure of knowing!
Facebook        --         https://www.facebook.com/LoreeLough
Twitter                        --         https://twitter.com/LoreeLoughAutho
Pinterest          --         https://www.pinterest.com/loreelough/
Instagram        --         https://www.instagram.com/loreelough13/
Website           --         http://www.loreelough.com
Blog                --         http://www.theloughdown.blogspot.com

Thank you for the kind words, Loree, and thank you for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Man She Knew (By Way of the Lighthouse) - Paperback
The Man She Knew (By Way of the Lighthouse) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, June 19, 2017

STEPPING ON CHEERIOS - Betsy Singleton Snyder - One Free Book

Dear readers, the title of this book intrigued me when I first saw it. I had to introduce you to this author and her book.

Bio: Betsy Singleton Snyder, author of Stepping on Cheerios, is a pastor, a former missionary to the arts community, writer, and blogger. She and her husband, Dr. Vic Snyder who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, live in Arkansas with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8).
Find out more about Betsy Singleton at https://www.womenadestand.com.

Welcome, Betsy. It’s interesting to me that you live in Arkansas. I spent my first 20 years there. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
I came to motherhood late in life and knee-deep. After being a pastor in the United Methodist Church for almost 20 years, I had my first, and then three more babies, at age 44 and 47.

Tell us about your family.
I’m married to a former Marine, physician, lawyer, and Congressman. We met later in life and wanted children, never expecting we’d have four in less than three years. Our boys are now 11 and 8. We have two dogs, two cats, fish, and a nice array of milkweed butterfly plants. We are into saving monarch butterflies in our little corner of the world.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
Stepping on Cheerios: Finding God in the Chaos and Clutter of Life is my first non-fiction book.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
My website, WomenadeStand.com, is a place for me to work on ideas I have for future projects. The blog, Womenade, takes up topics from parenthood, the history of women, family life, vocation, culture, and Christianity. I’ve made an outline for a book that charts “women trouble,” the complicating factors in our network of difficult relationships that bring us both joy and sorrow.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
We’ve got a nice little cabin up in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas a couple hours from where we live. When possible, we spend time up there hiking, fishing, and porch-sitting. It’s a fantastic retreat in winter, with nice, warm fires and cocoa, or a beautiful place to be outside in spring and fall. In summer, we can hang out by the water or go check out some local caves, with ancient formations. If we’re at home, our family spends a great deal of time reading books, watching movies, and building anything that young boys find fascinating, from Legos to booby-traps. One of my growing interests is in creating Therapy Dog ministries, where people and dogs can serve. My dog has listened to children reading in schools and visited folks in nursing care facilities. It’s a fantastic way to share ministry with your animal who is also a family member.

Why did you write the featured book?
I came to parenthood late. Prior to having children, I’d become a pastor, worked as an urban arts missionary in our city, and traveled to far-flung places like Russia doing prison ministry. Yet, when I had triplets, my second pregnancy, I found my life unrecognizable. I was forty-seven and suddenly had heart failure days after their birth. I found myself in the midst of an identity crisis, of domestic chaos, and survival mode. A month later, my husband returned to his weekly commute to Washington, DC, where he served in Congress. As these events unfolded, I tried to maintain a home with the help of family and friends. Kind people showed up at my home to help me literally hold my babies and feed them. Because I was unable to hop in the car and drive to the church and connect with God through the ways I’d always done, I started noticing the mundane and the sacred, the pots and pans, the Cheerios on the floor, the humor in the chaos, growth in the hardships. I decided to write a book that would tell my crazy story and how I learned to better nurture myself, accept myself, deal with my own identity challenges, and, frankly, help me remember that God is with us moms, no matter how crazy and messy life gets.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
I recently watched a mom on FaceBook get more and more stressed. I could see her doubts unfolding as she put expectations on herself about using particular products like cloth diapers or practicing co-sleeping. I think every parent should make decisions best for them and for their children, but the more this mom said should to herself, the more uncertain she became. My hope for any mom who puts that kind of pressure on herself is that she begin to look at who she is first because God loves her and is not interested in her ruining her mental, physical, or spiritual health because she is a mom. I want the reader to say, “My heavens, this mom stuff really isn’t easy, and it’s okay to say it’s not easy, and to ask for help. It’s okay I’m not reaching the bar that I’ve created, a bar that may not even be helpful for me or my child.”

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
Laugh and be silly, especially when life isn’t going the way you think it ought to. I’m a rather serious person, but I grew up in a family that gave me a great sense of humor. When I get too intense about my role as a parent, I’ve learned that seeing the humor can cut tension like a knife. Get creative with problems.

About Stepping on Cheerios
Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!

Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family.”

Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.

Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.

Please give us a peek inside the book.
Chapter 1
A Hail Mary

Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just a you have said.” Then the angel left her.” —Luke 1:38

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
 —“Let it Be,” The Beatles

I love football because it’s so unpredictable. The weirdest things can happen, right? Such as lateral trick plays in which the chaos of the moment unfolds and the way a running back’s smooth dodge can suddenly bring a team ahead on the scoreboard in the final minutes of a game. And there’s that famous last-ditch effort when the quarterback drops back, his offensive line holds, and he launches that oblong ball spiraling through the air in a lovely, long arc. Wait for it; wait for it as it becomes clear. The ball is finally caught by a young man whose body is hanging in midair. It is a moment worthy of the ballet, when his feet touch down in the end zone. It is a Hail Mary. It appears both crazy and divine.

I’ve met divinely crazy. I caught a Hail Mary and then three more—ahem—quite late in life. I became a mother of four boys, including triplets, in two and a half years when I was forty-sevenish. I didn’t dare drop the extras God had so gloriously and unpredictably thrown my way. I had expected ordinary, and I got extraordinary. Isn’t that just like God and the insanity of football? You may not know what’s coming in life, but it wouldn’t be any fun if you did. Plus, you might refuse to participate because what if you got hurt or couldn’t control most of life, which you can’t. So let’s face it. Authentic, no-holds-barred living creates risk, and there’s no decent spiritual growth without these untamed ingredients. No one grows into mommyhood without her complimentary set of bruises and a strong need for a good age-defying hair-care regimen.

If we bracket the football motif, there are other reasons I’m not your typical mommy, as if any woman’s story is cut out like a cookie. No, we women must have a few flashy sprinkles on top of our own lives. Still my story is, at times, one of biblical proportions. Genesis unplugged, if you will. Thank you, Jesus, for the drama, truly.

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
My website, WomenadeStand.com, is a place for me to work on ideas for future projects. The blog, Womenade, takes up topics from parenthood, the history of women, family life, vocation, culture, and Christianity. I”m also at Twitter, FB and Instagram @ womenadestand.

Thank you, Betsy, for sharing your life and this book with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

WINNERS!!!!

Paula (MO) is the winner of Katie's Quest by Lee Carver.

Edward (VA) is the winner of Encore for Estelle by Kimberly Rose Johnson.

Stephanie (NY) is the winner of Under a Summer Sky by Melody Carlson.

Melanie (TX) is the winner of Saguaro Sunset by Debra E Marvin.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title and author of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A WIFE'S SECRET TO HAPPINESS - Jen Weaver - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I first met Jen when God brought her to the critique group that meets in my home, and she was pregnant with their first child. During the time she was with us, she had her baby and developed this book. We were involved in most of that development. I highly recommend this book for all wives, but especially wives in the first ten years of marriage.

What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
I’m a mess, and I love Jesus. Sometimes when people hear that I’ve written a marriage book, there’s an assumption that I have it all together—or that I think I do. I don’t, and I claim it. I am a woman in desperate need of Jesus, and He meets me every day right where I am to draw me closer to Himself. I aim for my writing to echo that call as I share from my humorous blunders and painful seasons to extend truth and comfort from what Christ brings to me.

Tell us about your family.
My husband, Jared, and I met through the church we attended in California. We both served in our church’s young adult ministry and ended up co-leading a small group together. At the time, neither of us was looking for a relationship, but as we spent time serving, teaching, and praying alongside each other, we fell in love. Jared and I wed in 2008, moved to Texas in 2010, and welcomed our son Dillon on Thanksgiving Day 2014.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
This is my first full-length book, and I pray the Lord will entrust me with other books to write in the future. I also have a beautiful devotional, 31 Days of Encouragement, that’s available as a free download on my website.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
I’m in the brainstorm phase of another book but it’s too big of a jumbled mess to talk about yet.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
Reading. I love to learn so my “must read” list is quite eclectic. I dabble in photography—most photos feature my son—and I also enjoy traveling when life allows.

Why did you write the featured book?
A Wife’s Secret to Happiness grew out of conversations I had with the Lord. He kept talking with me about themes of authority and submission, and how my faith can be cultivated and demonstrated in the way I live as a wife. I truly believe it all started because God wanted me to learn these concepts, and He knew if I started writing, I’d have to study and pay attention. As I started experiencing the freedom and blessings that come from applying these truths to my life, I couldn’t share it fast enough.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
I hope every reader hears God’s desire to be involved in her marriage. That as she reads each chapter, she’d hear His affirmation of her identity and worth. That she’d identify enemy lies and heavy burdens so she could leave them behind, and that she’d leave this book equipped, empowered, and excited to follow the Lord’s instruction for her life in greater measure. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
While applicable to wives of any tenure, I especially have a heart to share this message with younger wives. As a millennial woman myself, I encourage my peers to believe God and follow His plan for their marriages. I write as a friend going through many of the same seasons of life with them. And I’ve heard that A Wife’s Secret to Happiness makes a great wedding gift. ;)

I don’t know who told you that, but I agree wholeheartedly. Please give us the first page or two from the book.
Chapter One: The Blessing Three Strands

Picture me wearing Manolos.

Yep, that’s right. Bold. Modern. Romantic. I pair the gorgeous shoes with killer abs in couture gowns. My prince brings treasures from afar as little woodland creatures do my housework. Even my morning bedhead radiates beauty.

Do you ever wish married life worked like a fairy tale? Yep. Me too.

I chuckle as I write these words, cuddled on the love seat in my Texas-sized bedroom. Barefoot in shorts and a T-shirt, with two-day-old hair and an empty bag of mint chocolate Milanos. Hey, that’s close to Manolos, right?

We know not to trust the fantasy of carriages and horsemen. Yet somewhere in our relationships, we’ve felt the draw to something more. Not something prettier—although we wouldn’t mind—but something deeper. As a wife or bride-to-be, you’ve already heard the whisper in your spirit—the call to a marital experience different from what you’ve seen so far.

Maybe the rumble comes from places of disconnect. Knowing married life could be more—dare we believe, should be more—than the common parade. I’m talking about big things, finding commonalties past the shaky ground of shared interests. Life with a partner, not a roommate, and enjoying every aspect of intimacy—to intercourse and beyond.

We long to build marriages we love in the small moments. Not romanticized tales of perfect hair, homes, and husbands—because who can live up to that? I disqualify myself from my own daydream when he leaves dirty clothes on the floor or releases air biscuits in his sleep. We pretend not to notice these things, until pressure-cooked words erupt like Mount Vesuvius. Or maybe that’s just me. We’re looking for genuine joy in the middle of the mess and learning to make peace with each other’s . . . quirks. Sound like something you want? Yep, me too. We need God’s presence as the blessing of the third strand.

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
I blog at thejenweaver.com and I’m on all social media platforms as @thejenweaver.

Thank you, Jen, for sharing this book with me and my readers. It with great pleasure that I introduce them to this wonderful book.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Wife's Secret to Happiness - Christianbook.com
A Wife's Secret to Happiness: Receiving, Honoring, and Celebrating God's Role for You in Your Marriage - Amazon Paperback
A Wife's Secret to Happiness: Receiving, Honoring, and Celebrating God's Role for You in Your Marriage - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

LOOKING GLASS LIES - Varina Denman - One Free Book

Dear Readers, when I first heard of Varina, I read her first series one right after the other. Her writing, characters, and setting grabbed me right away. That’s why I knew I had to feature her with this new book. I’m reading it right now, and the subject matter is one that I’ve understood as needed by every woman who has ever compared herself to glamorous women. Looking Glass Lies deals with this subject with deep emotions and insight. You won’t want to miss this book.

Welcome back, Varina. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
In each of my books, I include an element of spiritual or emotional healing. In Looking Glass Lies, Cecily Ross must overcome her dangerously low self-esteem, and when she does, she discovers there’s a whole world out there that needs her.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
My next book is still in the depths of my brain. I’m doing research right now and getting very excited to sit down at the keyboard and get started. The book will tell the story of a woman who is grieving the accidental death of her two-year-old daughter.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Beth Moore. She’s so incredibly talented and knowledgeable. I’d like to simply sit with her and listen to her talk about … whatever. And I’d like to get her advice on writing, speaking, and ministry.

I loved the Beth Moore study I took, and I’ve really enjoyed watching her on Life Today with James and Betty Robison. James and I have been a part of the studio audience. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Jane Austen. Her books always take me back to a different time and place, and then they hold me captive until the end. It would be fun to chat and get to know the real Jane Austen.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
That’s just part of it, and it hurts. Almost all writers go through the waiting period, and it can feel like a trial by fire. But there are many things you can do while you’re waiting for your day, mainly do everything in your power to improve your writing. Read craft books, attend conferences, get feedback from critique groups. All these things make a huge difference in your craft, and in so doing, you’re proving to yourself and to future publishers that you will work hard to get your work where it needs to be.

Tell us about the featured book.
Looking Glass Lies tells the story of Cecily Ross, a young woman who struggles with low self-esteem after her divorce from an emotionally abusive husband. She returns to her childhood home on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon (beautiful!) hoping to heal from her pain. With help from her father, a support group, and an old friend who guides her to see her own strengths, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
I woke up in the middle of the night in our cavernous walk-in closet. Again. For a moment, I enjoyed the wispy memory of a not-yet-forgotten dream, but then I realized the plush carpet had become solid rock while I slept, its gritty fibers pressing against me as though I were wedged into a sandstone crevice instead of willingly tucked against the back wall beneath my hanging clothes.

Good grief. You have to stop this, Cecily. I told myself the same thing every blasted time, but so far I hadn’t been able to do it. Even now, I didn’t move so much as a pinkie finger, didn’t open my eyes against the harsh fluorescent light, didn’t crawl past Brett’s shoe rack where I could see myself in the floor-length mirror. Not a chance. Because that would have broken the spell and sent me back to the real world, and—no, thanks—I preferred the fairy tale where high school sweethearts lived happily ever after.

My husband slept soundly in our pillow-top king, just on the other side of the closet door. The phrase sleeping like a baby crossed my mind, and I snickered softly because Brett’s snoring was anything but childlike, and his seemingly undefiled slumber had been brought on by over-the-counter sleeping pills rather than the serenity of innocence.

Besides, Brett wasn’t the one who was childish. He never scrutinized his reflection in the mirror late at night. He never beat his fists against his thighs until he had bruises, hoping a tantrum would somehow change things. He never bawled uncontrollably, wishing he could mold his body into what it ought to be—like Play-Doh—kneading and pressing until the flesh became aesthetically balanced.

He never once cried himself to sleep in the closet.

I uncurled my stiff legs, wiggling my toes and stretching while the shirts hanging above me caressed my skin like an old friend. The back of my hand bumped against solid wood: the leg of the chair where Brett sat every morning, tying his shoes like Mr. Rogers. Smiling.

For seven years it had been the same. On mornings when he found me asleep on the floor, he’d nudge me with his socked toe, wag his finger, and laugh. “Cecily, you silly girl. Get in bed where you’ll be comfortable.” Then he’d pat me on the butt as he slipped his cell phone in his pocket.

I hated that phone. Despised it. It was full of videos Brett didn’t want me to see, websites he claimed he hadn’t visited, pictures he made certain I never had access to. But his temptations didn’t end there. When he left the house, there were billboards and magazine covers and posters in shop windows. There were advertisements and mannequins and sultry radio voices, and there were women, everywhere, in low-cut blouses, short skirts, and thick makeup.
I couldn’t compete with all that. Evidently.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Looking Glass Lies - Christianbook.com paperback
Looking Glass Lies - Amazon.com paperback
Looking Glass Lies - Kindle
Looking Glass Lies - Audio

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: