A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Honestly, I miss vacations and the planning of vacations. Almost every year I go to Charleston, South Carolina because I ADORE this charming city. But, as you know, not much traveling is happening right now. COVID19 summer could be a bummer for travel. So far, I’m staying home except for jaunts to state parks and wide open places.

So, I stroll down memory lane with my pictures. Those blessed souvenirs of past travels. Why does Charleston come to mind when I’ve been many other places? Well, last year I spent a week there with my wonderful sisters. I can relive each day with them and return thankful that we had the time together.

I’ve also spent time in Charleston with my husband–early in our marriage and recently. While I enjoyed researching my novels, he found unique places and facts that made it into my books. The male perspective is good material every now and again.

About ten years ago, when my novels where just a speck in my cluttered brain, I found myself on a plane on my way to Charleston all by myself. I needed to find the connection between my ideas and the historical value. I found it in the streets of Charleston–the museum, the churches, the houses, the streets, the bookstores, the dungeon, the harbor.

The great thing about vacations (because they are over so quickly) is the memories. These I can conjure up at any point. The pictures sure do help. As I’m waiting to be able to fly away to a fun destination, the stroll flowing with memories will have to suffice.

How about you? Are you vacationing this summer? Where? If not, what past vacations are you remembering? Enjoy the stroll. 

July 4th Celebration Giveaway

July Giveaway 2020Happy 4th of July! It’s a privilege to celebrate our Independence Day. To add to the celebration, I am giving away to a US resident a copy of one of two novels. They that take place pre American Revolution: Bring Me Near: Revolutionary Faith Book Three (1775) and A Heart Set Free (1770) by Janet S. Grunst.

Leave a comment, perhaps about July 4th or a way that you celebrate, for a chance to win.

Good Luck! 

July Camp–NaNoWriMo

KPOQ8333July is here, and I’m so excited about summer camp. Well, a different kind of camp. I’m participating  in the NaNoWriMo Camp where I join other authors on a vigorous journey through the writing world, the highs and lows, the ravines and hills, and hopefully a mountain or two. Each camper has his/her own goal. Mine is a rigorous 50,000 words–new words.

National Novel Writing Month is one of my favorite things to do. I will admit I’ve only done this twice before with success. Why? This is a place I can be held accountable for my goal and my words. That might seem silly because it’s a completely online environment. There are other “people” lurking just like me who need a place to record their words and progress. Each region has a cheering squad where we encourage each other to push forward.

IMG_5960I will post my progress occasionally. As of this moment, I’ve written 2210 words! Woo Hoo! But it is a start, right?

My goal is to complete Whispers of Wisdom (#3 in Gardens in Time) and begin a fun new series yet to be announced. I have my items of inspiration: books, pictures, maps, and vision board. I love the destination, Château de Chenonceau in France. Set in 1747 with the beautiful gardens and the River Cher as the background, my characters are experiencing some interesting scenarios with scheming and intrigue within the grounds they tend.

As I enjoy camp each day, I hope you have some of your own goals and projects for this month. Please share!!!

 

“B” shelf Beauties

IMG_5832I’ve shared my “G” and “S” shelves in my new office. Today I have some treasures from my “B” shelf. I’m not posting these blogs in any specific order; except I did start with where my books fit in first with the Gs.

On with my awesome books. Since I have my favorites and tend to keep series, behind the books that are displayed are stacks of books by the same authors that might complete a series or superb novels that I must keep forever. Here it goes:

Pepper Basham is one of the first authors I started following in the past few years. The Thorn Keeper, Penned in Time Book Two, is set in WWI England.

I met Misty Beller at a conference last year. Since I have read all of her novels, including Hope’s Highest Mountain, historical Montana mountain fiction.

Glamorous Illusions is part of Lisa Bergren’s The Grand Tour Series set in 1913. How I would like to go on a grand tour of Europe again!

I’ve followed Terri Blackstock’s career for a long time, all the way back to when we lived in the same town in Mississippi. Catching Christmas offers a short contemporary read of love and redemption.

IMG_5838I picked up Nadine Brandes magical Fawkes at the ACFW conference in 2019. Wonderful! I have another of her books waiting to be read.

The lucky Bs share the shelf with the Brontë sisters: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

One of my favorite secular authors is Dan Brown. His Angels and Demons inspired me to add a personal tour in Rome that followed the steps of Robert Langdon in this novel. Such fun!

And last, but certainly not least, is The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. I’ll be the first to admit, I have the version in modern English!

Do you have a favorite author from your own “B” shelf? Please share.

Review and Giveaway Betwixt Two Hearts

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book:  Betwixt Two Hearts

Authors: Amanda Tru, Cathe Swanson, Kari Trumbo, Alana Terry, Carol Moncado, & Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release Date: June 9, 2019

 

Six of today’s Best-selling Christian Authors weave six brand-new, unique, interconnected stories where nothing comes between the love betwixt two hearts.

Betwixt Two Hearts by Amanda Tru
With control of their dating website the prize, Bailey and Camden embark on a matchmaking competition that snags on unexpected results. All is fair in a contest of love. May the best matchmaker win.

The Swedehearts Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson
Eleanor ran away to find herself. David knew exactly where he wanted to go. Could a matchmaking agency put them on the same map?

Whole Latte Love by Kari Trumbo
Misguided Drew thinks all quiet women hide harmful secrets. While pretty, new best friend Addi’s soft-spoken nature reminds him too much of past hurts to move their relationship forward. Can a matchmaking agency change his heart?

Seoul Refuge by Alana Terry
Caroline is a new believer, excited and passionate about her faith. Calvin is a Boston police detective, an atheist who can hardly believe Christians have brainwashed his wife. Caroline just wants to follow God. Calvin just wants his wife back.

Guardian of Her Heart by Carol Moncado
Signed up for a dating service by friends and brought together by a stowaway cat, Mark and Casey must decide if they want to overcome their apparent incompatibilities or go their separate ways.

Random Acts of Shyness by Chautona Havig
Heath’s sister, Selby, has laid down the law. It’s time to let her take over his love life. After a series of first and only dates, Heath embarks on her new scheme to help him overcome the debilitating nervous habit that has plagued him all his life. However, between dates, each worse than the last, he tries one more time to do things his way… sort of.

Please Note: The Crossroads Collections are sets of stories that are interconnected in some way, but the collections are independent, complete, and can be read in any order.

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Review

When six authors collaborate, the result is bound to be delightful. These novellas center around the Betwixt Two Hearts matchmaking business. The adventures cover coast to coast and even overseas to Korea and Europe. Three of the authors were new to me. I enjoyed getting to know their work in this way. Although all stories could be standalone novels, I found reading them as a whole gave credibility to the concept of the online business. Follow the characters through many trials including murder, divorce, royalty, missions, humor, quirks, family, and love, lots of true love at last. I look forward to following these authors on future writing endeavors. I had some favorite characters, but I’ll let the reader pick without my bias. Thank you for a unique journey around the world with the Betwixt Two Hearts concept and app.

About the Authors

 

Welcome to the Crossroads!
This is a unique collection of stories, with each never before published book by one of today’s favorite best-selling Christian authors fitting together like puzzle pieces. There is nothing else like it on the market!
If you love the premise of this Crossroads Collection and are eager for more, please check out the other Crossroads Collections. In each of them, you will find all new stories tied together once again where the books intersect at a Crossroads.

Out of the Blue Bouquet
Floral folly fables from Hallee Bridgeman, Alana Terry, Carol Moncado, Chautona Havig, & Amanda Tru

Yesterday’s Mail
Misdelivered mail tales from Alana Terry, Cynthia Hickey, Hallee Bridgeman, Chautona Havig, & Amanda Tru

Under the Christmas Star
Ornamental yarns from Lesley Ann McDaniel, April Hayman, Chautona Havig, Alana Terry, & Amanda Tru

Betwixt Two Hearts
Dating site stories from Amanda Tru, Cathe Swanson, Kari Trumbo, Alana Terry, Carol Moncado, & Chautona Havig

The Wedding Dress Yes
Wedding dress dramas from Alexa Verde, Chautona Havig, Hallee Bridgeman, Alana Terry, & Amanda Tru

When Snowflakes Never Cease
Heartwarming wintery accounts from Hallee Bridgeman, Alana Terry, Chautona Havig, Jaycee Weaver, & Amanda Tru

Sign up to receive Amanda Tru’s email newsletter for news of upcoming Crossroads Collections!
www.amandatru.com/newsletter

 

More from Chautona

“I’ve got a new idea for the next CrossRoads Collection, and I think it might be perfect for your bladder guy.”

Excitement?  Total understatement. Giddy—that’s more like it.  Totally giddy when I “hear” (read) Amanda Tru say, “I’ve got a new idea….”  Without skipping a beat, I typed back, “Let’s hear it.”

As the idea burst into my messenger box, I knew she was right. A matchmaking website?  Perfect for a shy guy with an unfortunate coping mechanism that ensures that he has a string of first and only dates in his back pocket. You can read about that story, here.

I had two months to write it—and had two other books to finish in the meantime.  YIKES!  Still, I had to do it.

I almost made it, too.

For those who don’t know about the CrossRoads Collections, they feature five or six books (of varying length from short novella to full-length novel) and the final (or in the case of Betwixt Two Hearts, the first) book interconnects all the others.  Each collection stands alone, and each story in the collections stand alone, but that one book in each collection ties all the others together in a unique, brilliant way that only the lovely Amanda Tru could manage.

We began with Out of the Blue Bouquet, which tells of five floral fiascos and one florist who causes and redeems them all.

Then came Yesterday’s Mail which features five accounts of lost or misdirected mail and the postal worker tasked with fixing it all.

Of course, when Christmas came around, we needed a good Christmas collection, so our first kicked off with Under the Christmas Star. This collection features five ornaments and the stories connected to each.

Next, we combined forces to do a little matchmaking, and kicked off this collection. Betwixt Two Hearts in a story of a matchmaking website and the people it connected, not to mention the entrepreneurial pair that can’t agree on how to run it!

Of course, weddings are lots of fun, so we came up with The Wedding Dress YesIn it, you’ll meet CrossRoads’ fabulous new bridal designer who thwarts the efforts of a shop owner still stuck in the eighties with dresses that ensure more social distance than most couples care to have on their wedding day.

And most recently, the When Snowflakes Never Cease collection features a snowstorm that sweeps across the nation during Christmas week and tries to prevent two people determined to find someone in the midst of all that frosty carnage.

I’ve loved writing for all of these collections, but my novel, Random Acts of Shyness in the Betwixt Two Hearts is probably my favorite.

All of the CrossRoads Collection books are available on Kindle Unlimited, and several are just .99 to purchase.

The CrossRoads authors invite you to pick up one of the collections today. We recommend starting with Betwixt Two Hearts while it’s still available in one, inexpensive collection.

 

Blog Stops

Connect in Fiction, June 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 24

Artistic Nobody, June 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the Betwixt authors are giving away the grand prize of a 6-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/fc72/betwixt-two-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Be sure to comment and enter.

Tully

I have a 12-week-old puppy!!! Yes, that deserves many exclamation points. I’m not a dog person. Cat lady 100%….but when I saw this puppy under our carport just waiting for me, my heart expanded to puppy size. Not just any puppy. This one! The right size for my life, although I had no idea. I wasn’t looking for another pet. Isn’t it funny when God knows just what I need? A PUPPY!

I’m not so naive to think he’ll stay small or learn to never make a mess or stop chewing up all my stuff or trampling my plants. He’s a puppy. I do see him in the future being a mature dog, faithful and constant. He is already loved no matter his pedigree, which the vet thinks might be part beagle and part something else!!! haha!

Our rescue puppy’s name is Tully–a family name from a long time ago. He’s here to stay. I just know our rescue cats will love him (in time). Now my life includes walks with a puppy on a leash (I think he walks me) and picking up his toys.

Thank you for letting me share our new addition.

Have you ever been given a chance to offer love in a unique, unexpected way? Please share

IMG_5541

Multi-Author Giveaway June 15-21!

Summer book bash multi author 2020Readers, summer begins next week, and we are celebrating with a HUGE giveaway!
Summer Book Bash Giveaway Picture 1Don’t miss your chance to enter to win a $200 Amazon gift card and 37 books in our Celebrate Lit Multi-Author Giveaway.

The event and giveaway is going on now through June 21! Open to US residents only.

Why not enter right now???!!! I’m giving away Hold Me Close.
Good luck, buena suerte, bonne chance!
Summer Book Bash Giveaway Picture 11-2

Two Giveaways! Yes, Two!

This is a reminder to enter the Goodreads Giveaway which ends June 18! I’m giving away ten, yes 10, copies of Draw Me to Your Side. It’s so easy to enter. Even if you have your own copy of the book, this would be a great gift for someone else. Follow the link below.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/307666-draw-me-to-your-side

 

june 2020 giveawayThe second giveaway ends tonight (Sunday night at 11:59 PM)!!! I’m giving away a print copy of Draw Me to Your Side and a copy of The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson to two lucky winners. Comment on this blog for your chance to win. But, you must enter this one today!!!!

This next week there will be two more giveaway opportunities. Stay connected….

 

One of My Happy Places

“The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought…You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11

As I’ve mentioned before, while home this spring during the pandemic, my garden benefited from my presence and the awesome Hand of God. Yes, I give Him the credit. All I did was plant, tend, and water. Now, I have a sea of color in my English-style flower garden. A hodgepodge of flowers–wildflowers, bulbs, seeds–with butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. I now get to admire God’s handiwork.

 

“Let us Cultivate our Garden.” Voltaire’s words apply to more than the green garden plots. We should be about cultivating and tending and pruning and loving the gifts and talents God has given us. Let’s do it.

Enjoy the beauty I admire every day in my own slice of Eden. Zinnias, daisies, gladiolas, lantana, sunflowers, hibiscus, marigolds…Do you have a favorite flower?

June Giveaway

I have two wonderful books to giveaway this month: Draw Me to Your Side par moi and The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson.

june 2020 giveawayLeave a comment from June 8-14 for your chance to win one of the two books: what are you reading? What are your summer plans? Anything….

Good Luck!