Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Escaping Reality Celebration Tour

The day is finally here!

I'm excited to be celebrating the release of my new book with a blog tour hosted by Celebrate Lit! Please visit their website to follow the stops on the tour and sign up for a chance to win some great prizes.

~ Excerpt From Celebrate Lit Website ~


Have you ever needed to escape?

Every year my husband and I plan our summer vacation several months in advance. We hardly ever plan anything lavish or expensive. Most of the time we just hook up our camper, load our kids and family dog in the truck and head to a state park for our “escape.” Some of our most treasured family times have been enjoyed without television, electronics or other luxuries. It’s refreshing to leave the noise of the city for a while and enjoy a nice walk in the woods or a quiet night roasting marshmallows over a campfire. It gives us time to rest and appreciate the simple blessings that God has given us.

If someone ever needed to escape, it’s Addison Lewis. From the outside it seemed like she had it all; fame, fortune and a handsome and successful fiancĂ©. However, when her dreams of a happy future come crashing down Addison flees her home in LA and ends up stranded at a dude ranch in the Montana wilderness...



Saturday, June 11, 2016

Interview with JB Hawker

~ Excerpt from jbhawker.com ~

We are pleased to have Rachel Skatvold joining us today.
Hello, Rachel. Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule writing inspirational romance, devotions, and encouraging blogs to be with us. My readers and I are looking forward to getting to know you better.

You recently completed your novella series (Riley Family Legacy Novellas) and your first full-length novel (Escaping Reality) is in pre-order for publication this month. Besides the length, what was the biggest difference between writing a novella and a longer book?

Rachel: Thank you for having me as a guest today. I think the biggest difference between one of my novellas and a longer book is the complexity of the story line. In my novellas I had to stay completely focused on the main characters, so it left very little time to make any subplots for minor characters. With my new full-length novel, Escaping Reality, the plot is still fast moving and suspenseful but you get to know the minor characters a little better and there are more plot twists, which are always fun to create....



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Book Review: After the Final Dandelion by Brooke Williams


After the Final Dandelion 

By Brooke Williams



Release Date: May 17, 2016






Order HERE

Summary

After Renee Lockhart appeared on the local TV dating show "Accept this Dandelion" and found the love of her life, she thought she was done with TV. But when she hears that the entire city has bets on how soon she and her fiancĂ© will break up, she is determined to show that their love is meant to last. When Mike, the KETO producer, approaches her about airing the wedding live, she jumps at the chance. Once she is set up with a famous wedding coordinator, plans take a turn for the worse and the simple wedding they wanted becomes the event of the year. In the meantime, Eva Merida is dealing with her own life changing opportunity. Though she’s in love with her boyfriend, who she met on the second season of the dating show, she can’t turn down the chance to investigate a Hollywood TV show when offered a position. When she runs into an old flame, she questions the stability of her current relationship. Will Renee be able to prove her love for Ben to the city before her wedding falls apart? Who will Eva choose on her own emotional roller coaster? Hilarity ensues as the wedding of the decade melts into the disaster of the year. Because everyone knows weeds take over every garden…


Add “After the Final Dandelion” to your Goodreads list HERE

My Review

After reading the first two books in the Dandelion Series, I was excited to read this one too. Well, once again Brooke has created a great read that is heartwarming and hilarious at the same time. There are so many things I enjoyed about this book. First of all, it was wonderful to be reunited with the characters from the first two books again. This time the point of view switched back and forth between Renee and Ava so we got two love stories in one. Also, I loved the wedding theme throughout the book. I laughed out loud several times when poor Renee had so many mishaps during the wedding planning process. She’s by far my favorite character in this series because of her corky personality and clumsiness. This is a great read for those who love clean romantic comedy. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!



About the Author







Brooke Williams writes in a sleep-deprived state while her daughters nap. Her romantic comedy is best read in the same state. Brooke has twelve years of radio in her background, both behind the scenes and on the air. She was also a television traffic reporter for a short time despite the fact that she could care less about hair and make-up. Today, Brooke stays at home with her daughters and works as a freelance writer for a variety of companies. When she isn’t working for paying clients, she makes things up, which results in books like “After the Final Dandelion.” Brooke is also the author of " Mamarazzi," "Accept this Dandelion," “Dandelions on the Road,” “Wrong Place, Right Time,” “Someone Always Loved You,” and “Beyond the Bars.” She even has children's books on the market, such as "Shower in the Rain" and looks forward to releasing “Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut” in the future. Brooke and her husband Sean have been married since 2002 and have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn (7) and Sadie (3).



Connect with Brooke:
Facebook     Website     Blog



Note from the Author on the book's inspiration:

I wrote “After the Final Dandelion” because I loved the characters of the first two dandelion books so much, I wanted to see what would happen to them myself! Everyone had heard wedding disaster stories and since I had never seen one in person, I was excited to create as many as possible for this poor couple. I loved laughing along as I wrote and hope you get some giggles from the book as well!



And next from Brooke Williams....



Dandelion Sprouts

A possibility for the future



The Leftover

Completed, but not yet scheduled for release

Watch her website for details on upcoming releases....




Thursday, April 21, 2016

3 Things To Do When You’re Struggling by Lindsey Bell



Click here to purchase on Amazon

Excerpt from Unbeaten by Lindsey Bell:

Do you remember when WWJD bracelets were popular? I was in junior high school and just had to have one. Actually, I wanted several in a variety of colors to go with every outfit I wore.


The bracelets asked the question, What Would Jesus Do? They were physical reminders to live like Him throughout the day.


The bracelets are out of vogue, but the goal of the believer is the same: to live like Jesus, or as Ephesians 5:1 says, to “follow God’s example.”


The question is, how can we follow Jesus’ example when bad things happen to good people?


Jesus, more than anyone else who ever walked this earth, was a good man to whom bad things happened. He was perfect — sinless. He was the only one who could honestly cry to God, “This isn’t fair!” and be right.


That is why it is so important to look at Jesus’ response to His suffering. He did three things when He knew His death on the cross was approaching.


3 Things Jesus Did When He Went Through A Trial:


The first thing He did was pray.


In Matthew 26, right before Judas handed Jesus over to the religious leaders, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to talk to His Father. He told His disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Then “he fell with his face to the ground and prayed.” (Matthew 26:38–39)


Some of us do this naturally. When we face a difficult situation, we go to the Lord in prayer before we do anything else. Others of us, especially if we feel God has let us down in the past, are hesitant to bring another request before Him.


What if He doesn’t answer again or worse yet, what if He does answer, and I don’t like the answer? Jesus didn’t give in to those questions. When He faced an unfair trial, He brought it before His Father in prayer.


Jesus also submitted to the Father’s will.


After He fell on His face before God, He said these powerful words, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39, emphasis mine)


Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross. He begged God to come up with another way to bring salvation to the world. But when His Father said no, Jesus submitted Himself to God’s plan.


A few weeks ago, I attended a conference for moms, ministry leaders, and mentors. During the conference, one of the speakers challenged the audience to surrender their plans to God. She dared us to let go of the plans we were clinging to and grab hold of God’s plan for our lives.


As I sat and asked God to help me do it in regard to my desire for children, Satan whispered in my ear, “But what if God’s plan is painful? It was painful for Jesus, you know. What if His plan for you is painful too and His plan is that you’ll never get the one thing for which you long?”


I didn’t have an answer for Satan then, and I don’t have one now. I don’t know if God’s plan includes us getting a baby. I don’t know if His plan is painful. But I do know this.


If God’s plan is painful, He will help me through the pain and use it somehow for my good. If His plan hurts, it’s because there’s something better on the other side of the pain.


A third thing Jesus did when He faced the most unfair event imaginable is He cried out to God.


As He hung on the cross and tried to pull His body up enough to catch His breath, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)


With these words, Jesus cried out to the One who put Him there. The cross was God’s plan from the beginning. It was the reason Jesus came to this earth. Regardless, even though God the Father was the One who planned the pain, God the Son still called out to Him.


Jesus endured the pain because He knew what was coming next. He knew what His Father had waiting for Him on the other side of His death.


We can have that same confidence. We might not know how His plan is going to unfold for our lives on this side of heaven, but we do know how it’s going to unfold on the other side. Eternity awaits us.


Nothing Satan throws at us in this life can change that.


We have hope, not because of our certainty in this life, but because of our certainty in the next.


WWJD bracelets might have only been a fad, but this call to be like Jesus is not going anywhere. Sometimes, being like Him means submitting to a painful plan.


The question is, are you willing to submit?


This post contains an excerpt from Unbeaten: How Biblical Heroes Rose Above Their Pain (and you can too) by Lindsey Bell (CrossRiver Media). Used by permission.


About Unbeaten:

Why does life have to be so hard?


Difficult times often leave Christians searching the Bible for answers to the most difficult questions — Does God hear me when I pray? Why isn’t He doing anything? Does He even care?


In Unbeaten, author Lindsey Bell shares the stories of biblical figures who went through tough times. Through this 10-week Bible study and devotional, she reminds readers that while life brings trials, faith brings victory. And when we rely on God for the strength to get us through, we can emerge Unbeaten.

My Review of Unbeaten:


Unbeaten is an uplifting devotional that shows that God is with us even during the hardest times. In this ten week study, Lindsey Bell draws from biblical stories and her own testimony to encourage readers to live unbeaten. The devotions are the perfect length for a busy stay-at-home mom like myself who has very little downtime. I also loved the journal questions and prayers at the end of each chapter because they reinforced the lesson and allowed time to reflect. I highly recommend Unbeaten to anyone looking for daily encouragement in their spiritual walk.

Giveaway:
To celebrate her book, Lindsey is giving away a HUGE bundle of books! Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. You can get more entries by commenting on other blogs in the tour as well. Get a full list of participating blogs here: HERE.




About Lindsey Bell:

Lindsey Bell is the author of Unbeaten: How Biblical Heroes Rose Above Their Pain (and you can too). She’s also the author of the parenting devotional, Searching for Sanity. She’s a stay-at-home mother of two silly boys, a minister’s wife, an avid reader, and a lover of all things chocolate. Lindsey writes weekly at www.lindseymbell.com about faith, family, and learning to love the life she’s been given.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Spotlight: Forsaking All Others by Kari Trumbo


Forsaking All Others

Western Vows, Prequel

By Kari Trumbo

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Book Summary
Rose dreamed of leaving the Sioux reservation in Santee, NE. Now, faced with the wide world, she must decide if she is truly ready to strike out on her own and take the risk.
Rose has fought against the painful abuse of her father and the loneliness of a mother long-dead of a white man’s sickness. When Pete offers her the chance to escape to a new life, she must take it or marry into the same abuse she’s lived for so long.
Pete has always helped Rose from the shadows. Being half-white, he’s had to. He has loved Rose for as long as he can remember, but he must prove his worth to her by helping her to freedom and safety. Pete must compete for the right to take Rose to Kansas but his young and impetuous heart steers him wrong. In shame, he abandons Rose, but can never leave her care completely to someone else. When they finally make it to Kansas, Pete comes out of the shadows once again.
Once within the safety of a Kansas ranch, can Rose forgive Pete for leaving her? Will Pete remain the brooding half-blood from the reservation, or grow into the man Rose needs him to be?

About the Author

Kari Trumbo Author picture
Kari Trumbo is a writer of Christian Historical Romance and a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. She does freelance developmental editing and blogging. When she isn't writing or editing, she homeschools her children and pretends to keep up with them. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing with the worship team, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of eighteen years, two daughters, two sons, and three cats.


Places to follow Kari:
Website           Facebook         Twitter            Pinterest          Amazon

Buy Links



Barnes and Noble: Forsaking All Others

Apple iBooks: Forsaking All Others


Excerpt from Forsaking all Others

“Pete.” She shook him. “Wake up, something’s out there."

Pete’s eyes opened to narrow slits and he looked at her, sleep still in complete control of him. She shook him again as an ominous groaning sound came from the other side of the rock. Looking up, she caught sight of a huge furry head with a brown muzzle and black nose. A great paw with massive claws came over the top of the rocks. She heard it snort as it sniffed the air. Her eyes flew wide open and she couldn’t control her gasping breaths.

Pete sat upright, fully awake now. He grabbed for his pack lying next to hers by the far rock wall, and banged their spoon against a cook pot. The bear looked down at him with inquisitive, almost sad-looking eyes. It climbed onto the rock above them and stared down, its sides expanding and contracting as if this was nothing new, like it woke humans every day.

“Rose,” he whispered, “whatever you do, don’t run. You can’t outrun it, do you hear me?” He didn’t look away from the bear. Banging on the pot with increasing speed, he had no effect on the massive, hairy beast.

The bear climbed down into their small enclosure. Rose held her breath. She wanted to run more than breathe. Pete gave her a look that told her to stay put. She scooted on her backside as far away from the bear as she could, until her back hit the rock and she was trapped. It sniffed the air again and grabbed for Rose’s pack, which carried the little food she’d scraped together for their trip. The invader turned around, climbed back over the rock and she heard it splash into the river and wade downstream.

She sat with her mouth open and tried to get her breathing under control.

“Well, that was quite a start to our trip,” Pete mumbled as he shoved the pan back into his bag. “We’ll need to find breakfast, since ours is now gone.”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Exciting Book News!


It’s here!


I’m happy to announce that Beauty Within, book one in the Riley Family Legacy Novellas is now available in audiobook form!


It took some time and patience to find the right voice to narrate this story. However I’m so thankful that God led me to a great producer for this project at just the right time.

Listen to a Free sample here!

Available on



Sarah Pavelec was a joy to work with and her narration of the book far exceeded my expectations. I can’t thank her enough for the amazing job she did. If you’re interested in finding out more about Sarah and other books she’s narrated, feel free to visit her website here.


Thanks to everyone for all your support and encouragement. It’s been such a blessing.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Focus


February snuck up on me this year.

Monday came along and I blinked hard at the calendar on my wall. What happened to January? It seems like it flew by…and then I remembered my poor neglected blog.

I’m sorry for the long absence. In years past I’ve made resolutions for the New Year. However this year I’ve made some goals instead. One of them is to blog at least twice a month. Excited? I am!

Which brings me to my theme word for 2016…

Photo Credit: (Idea go.) www.freedigitalphotos.net

Focus.

I don’t know about you but I have a tendency to over think things. There are so many distractions out there waging a war for my attention. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make me lose focus and feel stressed and anxious.

It’s easy to get into a rut and concentrate on the negatives—the problems—the challenges. However, the Bible makes it clear what I should be focusing on.

Philippians 4:8 says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

It’s time to simplify.

It’s time to cut out the distractions.

Time to Focus.

The wonderful thing it, when I put my focus where it belongs…on God, things start to align. Not to say that this year will be perfect, but thinking about God’s blessings instead of the negatives makes a huge difference.

What about you? Any goals or theme words / verses for 2016? I’d love to hear about them!

_____________

Blog Giveaway Winner

In December I participated in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest! Just in case you missed the announcement on Rafflecopter, the winner of the eBook was Holly this time. Congrats! If you didn’t win this time don’t give up. I’ll have more giveaways soon.

Blessings and keep shining for Him!