A Christmas Homecoming….By: MaryAnn Diorio plus Kindle Giveaway!

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A Christmas Homecoming….

By: MaryAnn Diorio

Scroll to the end of this post to check out the Kindle Giveaway!

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Seven Christmases have passed since Sonia Pettit last heard from her daughter Jody. Since Jody’s departure, Sonia’s world has been turned upside down. Her husband has died of a broken heart, and her son, bitter over his sister’s destructive actions, has become rebellious.

Her greatest desire is to have her family together at Christmas, but after what Jody has put them all through, can Sonia truly forgive her daughter?

Jody Pettit O’Dair ran away to experience a life of adventure and excitement, but since her departure, her world has been turned upside down. She’s been abandoned by the man she met and married, lost her job, and is unable to care for her two children. With nowhere else to turn, this prodigal daughter begins the long journey home and prays she will be welcomed after walking away so long ago.

Will Jody find forgiveness in the arms of her family as easily as she received it from God?

Purchase a copy here.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Wow, this is a really sweet story to read during the Christmas Holiday Season! This family rec’d a most precious Christmas present! But would everyone accept the prodigal daughter home after being gone so long? You would think so, but then when bitterness takes over, sometimes it causes a lot of friction.

This is my first book by MaryAnn Diorio and I will be looking for more in the future. She created characters that were so realistic I felt they were like my own friends, with a plot that gets more intense and interesting as the story unfolds.

The only negative thing about this book is that it is just too short! I highly recommend this short, fast pace Christmas story that will warm your heart during the Holidays.

An ecopy of this book was provided by Litfuse for me to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Grab a copy of MaryAnn Diorio‘s “A Christmas Homecoming” for JUST .99! MaryAnn is celebrating by giving away a Paperwhite Kindle! Details below!

One “merry” winner will receive:

  • A Paperwhite Kindle
  • A Christmas Homecoming by MaryAnn Diorio

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 22nd. Winner will be announced on 12/23/12 at MaryAnn’s Blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

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PUYB Presents the book….Paperboy…By Stan Crader

PUYB Presents the book

Paperboy

By Stan Crader

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ABOUT PAPERBOY

Paperboy tells the story as only an afternoon paperboy in rural America in the sixties can. Thousands of readers identified with the unique characters of Colby while reading The Bridge. They grew to love Tommy and the band of boys, were entertained by their childish pranks, and touched by their generosity.

In Paperboy, change is coming to Colby. The shoe factory has sold and a hat factory is taking its place. A factory manager has been named and he’s definitely not from Colby. There’s an influx of interesting newcomers.

The high school principal is also new to Colby. He must deal with teenage pregnancy, the snooping high school office secretary, and the Colby Curls rumor mill. He, too, has a mysterious past and uses it to his advantage.

The pregnant teen and her auto-mechanic single mother aren’t Colby natives either. Rumors about both abound. The mother has a past which touches the present, and eventually involves the entire town. Tommy and Booger, while delivering the Colby Telegraph, discover that Colby’s patriarch, Mr. Koch, has a heroic but classified history. While raking leaves for Mrs. Whitener, they learn the origin of her accent and how she got to Colby. It’s not what most people think.

Jupiter Storm, the town’s primary purveyor of gossip, whose opinion always exceeds his knowledge, is perpetually annoying. But Tommy and Booger learn that Jupiter is a decorated World War II veteran. And when a threatening stranger appears on the scene, the entire town learns of Jupiter’s unique but redeeming skill. How will Colby be different, and how will it be the same?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

In Paperboy, we are reunited with Tommy, this time as a paperboy, and his band of boys from The Bridge, and their journey through life in southeastern Missouri. Stan Crader has created a cast of character in these two books that captured my heart. And he so vividly creates scenes so realistic to the 50’s and 60’s era that I found myself so engrossed in the book it was like slipping back in time for a while. In this book, the author so vividly deals with issues of the 60’s that are commonly known to that era, one of the big ones being racial issues that caused so much tension, and the Viet Nam war and the heartbreaks of the families involved with those who served in that war. In this small town where everyone knew everyone else, and all about everyone else, these issues affected everyone in the community, reguardless of the families. And again, this brought back so many memories for me, some I had actually forgotten until I read this Paperboy. Oh and I love the cover of this book, it just looks 60’s!

I highly recommend this book for everyone to read, and especially the baby boomers who grew up during this time. You will laugh and cry at the memories as you read this wonderful book. So take a trip back into your early years and pick up a copy of Paperboy today!

A copy of this book was provided by PUYB Tours for me to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stan Crader

ABOUT STAN CRADER

Stan Crader’s first book, ‘The Bridge’ spent several days on the best seller list for Christian fiction at both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. His articles about flying have been published in flying magazines and local newspapers. He won a Bronze Quill award from the International Association of Business Communications for articles written for his company’s quarterly newsletter.

Stan was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs he had as a child and the people with which he worked for providing him his creative foundation.

Stan’s childhood jobs included grocery store carry out, a paper route, mowing lawns, farm equipment set-up, sawmills, and janitor. “You learn a great deal about people when you see what groceries they purchase,” Stan says.

After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Missouri, where he met his future wife, Debbie at a Missouri / Nebraska football game. It was Debbie who first made Stan realize that his childhood was unique.

They spent the early years of their marriage living in Bollinger County, Missouri. Stan joined the family business and Debbie worked as a community nurse. As a nurse, working with a caring country doctor, she began to collect stories of her own.

The two of them raised three boys and a golden retriever as the life experiences continued. Stan began writing Christmas letters. Friends and family began to look forward to the somewhat informative but largely humorous Christmas epistle.

Stan’s first novel was written after the encouragement of those on his Christmas letter mailing list and the recipients of the company’s quarterly newsletter. He’s flattered beyond measure each time someone who has read ‘The Bridge’ asks about a sequel.

Visit Stan’s site:  http://www.stancrader.com

Please note that all proceeds go to support Resurrecting Lives, a non-profit that supports veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

PUYB Presents The Bridge….by Stan Crader

PUUB Presents

The Bridge

By Stan Crader

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ABOUT THE BRIDGE

Tommy Thompson recalls with vivid detail the summer of 1967, when he was twelve years old and living in a small town in rural America. At that time in his life, all he wanted was a Honda motorbike, and he believed the smartest person in the world was his Uncle Cletus. The Bridge follows Tommy’s summer-long quest for the Honda and his love, Wendy, whom he pursues with the comical romanticism of a young boy. During the course of the summer Tommy helps his best friend, Booger, cope with family tragedy. He is terrorized by Clyde Goodpasture, the biggest bully in the sixth grade, and the town of Colby is shaken by news that its hat factory will close. While he isn’t a religious child, Tommy faces these challenges armed with the few Bible verses that he knows and the support of his Christian family. Tommy has a knack for doing the right thing and ultimately makes a sacrifice that shows without a doubt that his heart is in the right place.
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

If you grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, this book is a must for you. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip back to my early childhood and pre teen memories. And the community so vivid described in this book was a lot like the small community in Virginia that I grew up in. And back in the day when life was so simple, money was tight so toys were simplier but yet we appreciated everything we had. Those days were truly the good ole days! As for the boy stories, I can relate to those so well because of my two brothers. I couldn’t help laughing and crying as I read what these boys did in Stan’s story. It sure brought back many memories of my brother’s early days. And I really appreciate author Stan Crader writing a book about life during this era in history.

There is so many wonderful stories in this book, so I highly recommend everyone grabbing a copy to read for themselves. And this book is not just for those growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, this is a book that can be enjoyed by everyone! You will definitely not be disappointed!

A copy of this book was provided by PUYB Tours for me to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

 

You can purchase this book on AMAZON

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stan Crader

ABOUT STAN CRADER

 

Stan Crader’s first book, ‘The Bridge’ spent several days on the best seller list for Christian fiction at both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. His articles about flying have been published in flying magazines and local newspapers. He won a Bronze Quill award from the International Association of Business Communications for articles written for his company’s quarterly newsletter.

Stan was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs he had as a child and the people with which he worked for providing him his creative foundation.

Stan’s childhood jobs included grocery store carry out, a paper route, mowing lawns, farm equipment set-up, sawmills, and janitor. “You learn a great deal about people when you see what groceries they purchase,” Stan says.

After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Missouri, where he met his future wife, Debbie at a Missouri / Nebraska football game. It was Debbie who first made Stan realize that his childhood was unique.

They spent the early years of their marriage living in Bollinger County, Missouri. Stan joined the family business and Debbie worked as a community nurse. As a nurse, working with a caring country doctor, she began to collect stories of her own.

The two of them raised three boys and a golden retriever as the life experiences continued. Stan began writing Christmas letters. Friends and family began to look forward to the somewhat informative but largely humorous Christmas epistle.

Stan’s first novel was written after the encouragement of those on his Christmas letter mailing list and the recipients of the company’s quarterly newsletter. He’s flattered beyond measure each time someone who has read ‘The Bridge’ asks about a sequel.

Visit Stan’s site:  http://www.stancrader.com

Please note that all proceeds go to support Resurrecting Lives, a non-profit that supports veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Interview with Patrick Dawson, author of Lessons in the Journey Plus book giveaway!

Hello Bloggers. Today I am interviewing  award-winning author Patrick K. Dawson featuring his new book LESSONS IN THE JOURNEY, which won a Bronze Metal with Readers Favorites this year. If you are looking for a gift for that someone special but don’t know what to get, check out Patrick’s book. It just might be what you are looking for. I have read the book, and my review is after the interview. I encourage you to read the interview and my review, then go to AMAZON and see what you think!

Giveaway Info

Oh and Patrick is giving away a signed copy of his book to one of my bloggers. So just leave a comment, and be sure to leave your email address and you will be in the drawing! We will run the giveaway through the end of the year, and give the book away on Jan 1st.

 

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1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I think my first urgings that I had something to say came in high school while attending a Denver parochial school and having to study poetry, bible passages, song lyrics, and novels in a 1978 English class. I didn’t write at that age but learned about the power of words. Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Solomon from the Book of Wisdom, and David in Psalms seemed to speak to me. (Surely it wasn’t Beowolf.) Then during freshman year of college, I had a Rhet teacher from Pennsylvania who was on sabbatical and teaching at Illinois for that one year. He had us write papers, and I kept getting D’s on my first assignments. This was not acceptable to someone who had over a 4.0 in high school, so I asked him what the heck was up with the grades. He said, “I can see you have more than what you’re giving me. You’re holding back. I can tell that you’re a writer. I want you to start writing a journal and just write, create some poems, take some of your song lyrics and tell a story.” So I did. And I ended up with an A or B (I can’t recall) and a new passion to write. I had stories to tell, but was now validated as a writer. Sometimes there are angels in our paths for a brief moment and they change a life. The odds that I had this one teacher in his one and only year at Illinois were a God-moment in my eyes.

2. Tell us about your mentors and how they have helped in your writing?

My first mentor came as a child…my mother. Today we all know about ADD/ ADHD, different learning styles, etc. Well, I probably had those issues and more. They kept me from liking school, and I was bored. Fourth grade meant writing book reports. I hated to read and couldn’t get the concepts of having to write a book report: what is a character, sub-character, plot, body, climax, resolution, etc. My mom spent countless hours helping me, patiently working through them with me. I finally got the hang of it, but I still hated to read. (I later learned my dislike was created because my eyes get stuck while reading and I have to get them to skip over words to continue reading…a learning disability that others may have too.) In Seventh grade, I was still getting D’s and didn’t care about school. I was always creative, so I would draw and dream. Then a teacher noticed that my answers in class discussions showed more intelligence, so she had me take an IQ test. I aced it and the seventh and eighth grade teachers got together and had other kids take one. They realized that many of the underachievers had higher IQ test scores…what gives? We were bored. They started teaching in different ways and some of us took off without looking back.

Those early mentors have given way to more recent mentors related to my writing. First, I would say my father, because he believes in me no matter what on the books, whether he likes them or even reads them. He is my best marketer by word of mouth. Everyone needs a champion. My mother and friends have since followed suit. Second, I would say Catherine Coulter. I met her at an author event in Denver. She discussed how any successful author requires the ability to tell a good story, must have raw talent, persevere, and lastly, have someone who is ‘their luck’. After the event I spoke with her, and she took a liking to me as we were discussing advice on my self-published novel and the second novel. She has been tremendous in giving me ideas on the publishing industry, agents, editors, and information that I never would have imagined. She made me come up with 25 word high concepts for each book. I thought, “I have to sum up each book in 25 words? No way!” It was harder than writing the books. But I did and she offered advice as I wrote them. Since day one, I have been riding the roller coaster of getting published traditionally and the emotional swing from reader’s reviews. Catherine made a comment that gave me the biggest motivation to keep up the fight, “Keep writing because a writer is who you are.” She saw right through that angst to my talent, who I am, and what I have to offer. Maybe that is what she saw the day I met her, because several people have told me that she normally won’t adopt an author…it takes her time and reflects on her. I hope to make her proud or being my luck on this journey. Not everyone will like my work, but I have to believe in myself and just enjoy writing.

3. What is the main thing you want readers to take away with them when reading your books?

Hope. I know every generation believes theirs is the worst of times, and the end of time is near. Today’s social media connection makes news about tragedies and angst travel at the speed of light. The net effect is that we feel the pain of countless others in ways we never did in the past. The magnitude of advances in technology also equates to the increase of tragic consequences from these advances…chemicals in foods, guns, bombs, car crashes, drugs, etc. All of this means we are more frequently faced with tragedy in our lives or that of someone close to us, and we feel it. My novels are meant to deal with different emotions and life circumstances and give readers hope through characters that have survived the battle. And through these characters, I hope readers see tidbits of themselves or those they know, and it gives them permission to face emotions and thoughts they would tend to comb over in daily life for lack of time, fear of having to cope, or some other reason. It is my desire to have left somebody and the world better off than if I wasn’t here and didn’t write.

In book one, I have had readers tell me how my book helped them to deal with ‘why bad things happen to good people’ and struggles with their own faith journey. I have had people who used the book to speak with their spouses about marriage, sex, and intimacy. I have parents tell me they gave the book to their teen daughters on respecting their body, understanding the difference of love versus sex, and being more self-confident. It is these stories that help validate what I am trying to do. To the people my books speak to, I am grateful to have been God’s pen. And whatever people get out of my books, I hope they just enjoy them and feel like they are talking with their best friend. Down the road I can write action adventures or mystery books, but for now I want to offer something bigger to my readers.

4. Tell us five interesting things about yourself that no one would ever guess?

Well, in my bio I list several of them: I sang in choirs for Pope John Paul II twice; I have an undergrad and masters in architecture but now work in business and IT; I sing and compose music on piano and guitar for churches and some events, winning honorable mention in an international music competition for two songs; I’m an Irish-Italian American; and I’m a single and straight male without kids but yet write women’s fiction from a female characters voice. (The last one always amazes people, but if readers read the author’s note in my book, they soon learn how I can write from a woman’s perspective.)

5. Tell us a little bit about how this book idea came to you.

This is strange, because why it did, I can’t explain. Just like with my music, I think my creative juices are divine inspiration and I just am the channel. I was lying in bed and thought I wanted to write a novel. I actually had two distinct ideas at the time: one to write about airplane crashes that were occurring in the late 1990’s as a conspiracy novel of sorts and the other was to write about a woman in her early forties struggling with the tragic loss of her daughter, her marriage thrown into crisis, and wondering how could any God exist in the midst of it. I chose the second story.

Having so many female friends who looked to me as their straight male friend or brother, I had many occasions where I was their listener, their sounding board, and just a friend who cared. I would hear stories from these friends about their husbands or boyfriends not getting them. I’d watch some of my guy friends treat their girlfriends like dirt and the woman insisting they could see the potential in them to change a bad guy to a nice guy. I would hear about the differences between how men think about sex and sexy versus women. I would hear about the struggles people had with being Catholic or Christian and the interpretations of Dogma versus man-made rules. I watched friends and family struggle with what they believed and their faith because of tragedies. I would hear my male friends complain about their wives wanting to change them, commenting on married life, and the way women think compared to men. So the story seemed to unfold and then was validated with the Columbine shooting, 9/11, and other tragedies and stories through the first draft of the book in 1999/2000 until I dusted it off in 2010. The irony was that in rereading the novel to tweak and edit in 2010, I discovered I had endured some intense personal and faith challenges in that span and that the novel was a foreshadowing for how I would handle and cope with my life. We really are more alike than different, making fiction become reality and reality become fiction. (And, no, the book is not based on any real story or people…pure fiction.)

6. Is there another book in the making? If so, can you tell us about it?

Yes. It’s the standalone sequel, Miracle from the Ashes. I envision five novels in the series at this point. The 3rdis a love story about Liz’ great-grandparents in Italy, the 4th is a story about Liz’s best friend, Kate, and her struggle with Breast Cancer, and the 5th is about the family maid and friend escaping the terrible race issues in the south as a child. I am writing each to standalone for people who hate series or read books out of order. They can go back and forth without being impacted, unlike a Harry Potter type series.

The second book looks at the donation of Liz’s daughter’s organs from Liz’s perspective, but then from her omnipotent narrative, it primarily tells of a few of the people who receive their organs. The story shows the gift of organ donation, the issues many of us never think about in requiring a transplant, and the emotional struggles that accompany such situations. It is another book of hope, but for the readers who seem to be caught up on the first novel discussing God and religion, they can take a breath and not feel uneasy with faith discussions. (I guess I hit a nerve in the first book by discussing the taboo subject: religion.) I hope all my books make readers think, and I believe the books will lead to good book club discussions if people want to use that forum.

7. Since you brought the subject up, I noticed in your first book that it has a faith-based tone. Is there a place for faith-based books in the secular market?

I’m glad you asked that. Sadly, we have become a country afraid to say or discuss the wrong things for fear of hurting somebody else. What happened to listening and respectively sharing our beliefs and opinions? We’ve suppressed a huge part of people’s true character by these topic-run-amok fears, religion being one of them. Studies have shown that over 88% of Americans believe in God, and Muslims, Jews, and Christians centrally believe in the same God…that’s the vast majority of the world population. Being politically correct has robbed readers of stories. Look back at authors who 100 years ago were not afraid to show a character’s faith, flaws, struggles with their beliefs and the institutions that exist. They had real novels based on real characters. Granted, religious institutions and zealot believers have led to this divide by being exclusive and showing little compassion. Priest scandals and phony evangelizers have further eroded the idea of organized spirituality being an “in” thing. But that doesn’t make every person who believes in God or their faith bad and taboo, as the mainstream media would have everyone believe. I know what I believe and respect others may believe differently.

Now, readers focus on si-fi, vampires, and other escapes from reality. This is not always a bad thing to want to escape with a no-brainer story, but I think underlying faith-based characters have a place in the secular book market. Challenging issues have a place in novels: Anne Frank, Schindler’s List, etc. are tough topics that need to be heard. Also, when the chips are down and death hits a household, there are two choices: either there’s a God and a place for our loved one to go or not. Readers who have not buried their head in the sand about such faith matters are better equipped to cope when the inevitable tragic situation arises. Wouldn’t helping people to learn they are not alone in their fears, questions, and frustrations make more sense before a tragedy hits?

In addition, publishers are leaving a lot of money on the table ignoring these ‘touchy’ and taboo books by authors, and some Christian books can run into the cookie-cutter mold of ‘all is good with God and a persons faith’ when even strong believers like me run into faith crisis. They lose the reality of the true human condition and faith based development.

So I guess my first novel is a trendsetter stuck in the middle, where it’s okay to mention a realistic character that makes mistakes and is based in a particular faith without trying to convert readers to that faith. My character, Liz, has her faith struggles and is trying to understand what she chooses to believe. Liz is not trying to judge other reader’s faiths but rather just come to grips with who she is and what she believes. In her story I use the priest and Liz to play opposite ends to stimulate thought and discussion from readers.

Faith is a very intimate and personal area, and stories with real characters can hopefully help each of us to grow deeper and less hypocritical in our beliefs. I’d be interested to hear what readers think about this subject and other such taboo subjects dismissed in today’s world. Have we eliminated or water-down God in stories and why? Do we want God back and how do we get it? An Amazon reader I alluded to in your last question obviously doesn’t like a book that includes faith and her review tells people my book is poorly written for doing so when only 30 pages focus on that. I guess she wouldn’t like reading The Shack.

8. Having mentioned the bad review from a reader, what impact do you think readers have on your books when posting reviews on their blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, and other places around the web?

Although all authors wish they could ignore the bad reviews, they can’t hide. We’re human. How many people wake up and say,“I hope somebody hates me or my work today.” Being creative means putting yourself out there and people attacking your work can make a person feel personally attacked. We shouldn’t, but we do. My father would say, “If they could do any better, then they should write a book.” Others will say the same about book critics. So, I’m human and have feelings, too.

Readers have a huge impact on an author’s success or failure. First, if you don’t buy, then we can’t afford to write and publish books. Even self-publishing a book, marketing, etc can run a few thousand dollars. It is magnified ten-fold for publishing houses hitting a larger market with the risks, costs, and inventory of a new book.

E-books, print-on-demand, and social media are dramatically changing the landscape of publishing for authors and readers. For example, libraries are fighting to get content from publishers who are not too eager to assist, yet. How will changes occur for libraries going forward? Next, publishers are seeing Amazon, self-publishing, and e-books alter business models away from brick and mortar storefronts like B&N, Borders, and local bookstores. Authors and agents now have to impress more than the traditional handful of newspapers and periodicals for reviews and reaching readers. Many new authors are bypassing traditional publishing.

This aside, Amazon, Goodreads, blogs like yours, and even, book awards are huge in getting exposure to a book and author. Amazon’s ‘Customers Who Bought This Also Bought’ has led to a huge jump in sales linking readers of Diane Chamberlain and other big authors to my Kindle books. The big name authors may take all of this for granted because their reputation is in place. But for me, it has been the reason for my sales success or failure.

I don’t think people realize that a bad and nasty review can really hurt new authors by distracting some readers with comments that may not be deserved. New authors can hope that readers see past those few negative reviews to see the gems. The more good reviews received, the better to brush aside the negative ones as an anomaly. For some harsh raters a 3 is a solid review and for others a 5 is a solid review. In any case, it helps to have people rate and review books for other readers and authors to know if they hit the mark. There are lots of new books from self-publishing and e-books, so how can readers determine ‘what is what’ without other readers assisting? It takes time and word of mouth to garner reviews, expose the gems to friends, family, book clubs, and church groups, and hopefully see the success of a novel. You are all key to my success and spreading the word about enjoying my novels is what will determine if I can be like Nicholas Sparks, Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, or other best sellers in my genre. You all decide if someday I quit my day job to write.

Breaking through the traditional publishing circles is where average readers can make the biggest impact for a new author. It is what made The Shack take off as a self-published book. I have had several readers tell me that my book kind of reminds them of The Shack with the spiritual discovery. Some even like mine better, which is flattering. (The irony is that I wrote mine before that story. I only read it after all the comparisons.)

I can only hope that my books take off. Reader’s Favorite selecting my debut novel, Lessons in the Journey, as a Bronze Medal winner for “chick lit’ and your amazing review as their random reviewer for the contest have helped my sales on Kindle jump. Thanks to all of my readers and you for your efforts to help make me a successful author. Keep spreading the word by mouth, social media, and even, airplane banners; write to Oprah, Ellen, and anybody else who has a big book club if you believe in the novel and meJ It only takes one big name to make the novel soar.

9. What’s this journey been like as a published author?

It sometimes feels very surreal. I have to pinch myself and find the will to believe in my abilities. I made a comment once to a friend that I am no Ernest Hemmingway. He replied, “Ernest Hemingway wasn’t Ernest Hemingway until after he died and his books and style were considered classics.” So a support system is critical. It has taught me how those around us influence our paths and whether we commit to a project or not. Simple words matter. Had friends not asked to read my novel and then pushed me to get it published because it was like an Oprah book, I would never have pursued it. Had I let the early rejections get me down without somebody mentioning Amazon and Kindle as an alternative to publish, I would have stopped. Had I not received good and honest reviews supporting the novel and my writing talents, I would have lost hope to keep pushing and self-marketing. Had Catherine not taken an interest I would have wondered if I belonged. What you say to those in your life matters. It’s a Wonderful Life is true; you impact the world around you for good or for bad.

I told my friends I feel like I’m on American Idol and received my gold ticket to Hollywood from the initial sales, reviews, and author event invites, and then with the Readers Favorite Award, mentoring from successful authors, and feedback from editors in NY, I feel like I have made it to the  top-twenty. So now I belong, but I have to gain the audience’s vote and the judges to make that big step. You are all those voters and hold my success in your hands. I hope to make you all proud of the vote.

10. And, where can readers find out more about you, and get in touch with you?

First, thanks to my readers, and you, for this chance to share some thoughts. I’d love to hear from anybody on my books et al. Readers can email me at PatrickKDawson@gmail.com or check out my website, www.patrickkdawson.com and post a comment there, read my random blog postings on Goodreads or as shown through Amazon and the website…even follow me on Twitter @PatrickKDawson. They can read the preview of my second book on the website under the Upcoming Novels Tab that I hope will be out in 2013…trying to pursue the traditional publishing route is slower. I am working with Hilary Ross as my line editor. She edited some of Catherine Coulter, Ken Follett, and Stephen Kings earlier books. I’m oh so close to being discoveredJ Thanks to all of you.

And as we’ve mentioned, Lessons in the Journey won a Bronze Metal Award with Readers Favorites. Check out these pictures of Patrick receiving his metal at the Readers Favorites Award Ceremonies in Flordia a few weeks ago.

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MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

lessons-in-the-journey[1]For pediatric surgeon Elizabeth Finch, life is not always perfect, and throws its punches hard, sometimes because of the choices she makes, but sometimes it just happens. We start following Liz’s story when she finds out that her daughter has been shot. And we continue as she seeks to find help in the journey she is facing as her life keeps unraveling before her eyes. Patrick Dawson captures the hearts of his readers in his book Lessons in the Journey; a provoking, moving and heartwarming story that will draw you into its pages and won’t let you go until you finish reading. As with all of us facing difficult issues in life, Liz was definitely not ready for what life brought her way, and she seems to ask the question, Why do bad things happen to good people?
We get to know Liz through the flashbacks into her life, meeting the important people in her life along the way. I enjoyed reading the story this way since it gave me the overall feeling of what her life was like: the emotions, the fears, and the pain and suffering she went through. And I could feel the struggles Liz had with her faith throughout her life as well, not at all easy for her. We can take many things from this beautifully written story. Having a strong relationship with the Lord, and trusting Him during our difficulties, and learning how He can take the difficult things and make something good out of them are all very valuable lessons. And the fact is that bad things happen to everyone, in similar ways to some, differently to some others. The important thing is how we handle the situations.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. And for me the most fascinating thing about this book is that it is written by a man. You will wonder how he writes a story so beautifully that it captures the hearts of women. This would be a wonderful book for a book club to read and discuss!
 

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Litfuse Presents Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love…Plus “Home for the Holidays” 12 Days of Gifts contest

Every Perfect Gift

by Dorothy Love

About Every Perfect Gift:
Book 3 in Dorothy Love’s Hickory Ridge Romance series.
Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.
Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl. Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.
When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She’s equally intrigued but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance.
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/ftJyo
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Sophie Caldwell moves back home to Hickory Ridge to restart the town’s newspaper, but it wasn’t going to be an easy job. First of all, the newspaper office was a mess, the equipment was old and worn, and it was the 18th century and women didn’t own businesses. But that’s not all because when Sophie lived in Hickory Ridge, she lived in the orphanage there, and had a very difficult life because of the way she was treated. But despite all of this, Sophie was determined to make a go of it in her new adventure.

First of all, I love, love, love the cover of this book. It is just plain beautiful and inviting, and is my reason for choosing Every Perfect Gift to read and review. And I really grew to love Sophie and her determination. She didn’t let anyone get in her way or discourage her from doing what she wanted to do. I also enjoyed the way she treated the people she came in contact with. The other characters were realistic and believable and they really grew on you as the story unfolded. Author Dorothy Love did a great job of describing the historical setting in vivid details to give readers a really good feel of Hickory Ridge, and I also learned a lot about newspapers and the printing process and how the running of a newspaper office was back in the 1800’s, which was very interesting.

Overall, this is a wonderful book to read during the Christmas Holiday Season. Since the setting is in a small town, readers will get that homey feeling and enjoy close neighbors, for the most part. I highly recommend Every Perfect Gift to you if you enjoy historical fiction! And don’t forget to check out the first two books in this series to read as well, though they can be read as stand alones if you want!

I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson through LitFuse Publicity Group. I want to thank Amy for making sure I rec’d this book, even though the publisher didn’t send it in time for the tour. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Meet Dorothy:

An accomplished author in the secular market, Dorothy Love makes her inspirational fiction debut with her Hickory Ridge series of historicals set in her native South. Her skillful blending of the historical and the personal reflect her passion for discovering the histories of ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things and set her apart as an authoritative voice of Southern historical fiction.

Find out more about Dorothy athttp://dorothylovebooks.com/.

12 Days of Gifts with Dorothy Love’s “Home for the Holidays” Contest and Facebook Party {12/13}

Dorothy Love is celebrating the new book in her Hickory Ridge Romance series, Every Perfect Gift with a “Home for the Holidays” 12 Days of Gifts contest.

Celebrate the holidays with Dorothy Love and her protagonist, Sophie Caldwell, as they count down the days to Dorothy’s author chat party with 12 Days of Gifts! Dorothy will be giving away copies of Every Perfect Gift and other holiday essentials, as well as key items from the book that Sophie would have worn during or used to celebrate the holidays (a beautiful, red shawl, Victorian ornaments, stockings). It’s all happening on Dorothy’s Facebook page. She’ll post a new giveaway each day.
So bring on the Christmas cheer with Dorothy and the “Home for the Holidays” 12 Days of Gifts. Then join Dorothy on the evening of December 13 for her author chat party! During the party, Dorothy will announce the 12 winners from the Home for the Holidays giveaway and host an author chat about Every Perfect Gift and favorite Christmas traditions. Oh, and she’ll be giving away lots of fun prizes. RSVP today.

PUYB Presents……The Heart’s Journey by Barbara Cameron

The Heart's Journey banner

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Barbara Cameron

ABOUT BARBARA CAMERON

Barbara Cameron is CBD, CBA and ECPA bestselling author of 35 books (including an exciting new series Stitches in Time for Abingdon Press) including fiction and nonfiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers.

Barbara has sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and is the first winner of the Romance Writers of American Golden Heart Award.

Her two novellas won 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love and Hope chapter of RWA.  Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).

Her latest book is the Amish fiction, The Heart’s Journey.

Visit Barbara on the web at www.BarbaraCameron.com.

Stalk Barbara!

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BUY ONLINE

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The Heart's Journey

ABOUT THE HEART’S JOURNEY

Naomi knows she should be excited about her upcoming wedding but she  remains unmoved. Not only are her feelings for her fiance lackluster but  she believes he may see her more as a servant than a partner. And he’s  so controlling. Is it too late to back out of the marriage? While  praying for God’s guidance, Naomi takes a break from her duties as a  quilter and travels with her grandmother to Pinecraft, Florida. Along  the way Naomi finds herself becoming attracted to Nick, their Englisch  driver and friend, and the two begin to fall in love. The journey soon  becomes one in which Naomi explores her most secret dream for love. But  can she veer off the “safe” path she’d envisioned for her life to marry  Nick?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

The Heart’s Journey by Barbara Cameron  

The Heart’s Journey continues with Leah and her family in their little shop, Stitches in Time. This book focuses on Leah’s granddaughter Naomi. Naomi plans to marry John, but she is just not satisfied with the way he is acting. He is so controlling he even walks by the store every day to make sure Naomi is where she is suppose to be. So just imagine John’s surprise when he finds out that Naomi is going with her grandmother to the little community of Pinecraft. Flordia for a vacation. John is definitely not happy with Naomi, and it thrilled me when she wouldn’t even tell him good-by! He deserved that!

Barbara Cameron continues to give her readers Amish lifestyle at its best. In this book, she gives the real issues Amish people deal with from day to day. The spousal abuse with how John treated Naomi is an example of how Barbara’s books are so realistic, because these things happen, even in the Amish communities. She just gives Amish stories a little twist that is different! And I love her books.

The Heart’s Journey is a wonderful heartwarming read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys Christian fiction and especially Amish stories. And I can’t forget to mention, I appreciate the way Barbara incorporates how we should live our lives for the Lord, and always put Him first in our lives.

The Publisher, Abingdon Press  provided a copy of this book through PUYB for me to . I was not required or expected to write a review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Debt-Proof Your Christmas Mary Hunt

Debt-Proof Your Christmas  

Mary Hunt    

debt proof

Book Blurb

Christmas–with no debt, less stress, and more joy!

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the most stressful–and most expensive. Expectations run high, and it’s tempting to whip out the credit cards to create the perfect Christmas, with lavish meals, new decorations, and the latest, greatest gadgets and fashions for everyone on your gift list.

But you don’t have to overspend or go into debt to have a fabulous holiday.

Financial expert Mary Hunt shows you how to assess your situation, commit to no new debt, and think creatively about gifts. With Mary’s guidance, you’ll discover what caused you to overspend in the past and how to approach this Christmas with a plan. It just might be the best gift you can give yourself and your family.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I really like this book! It is chunked full of wonderful tips and information for having a nice, wonderful Christmas Holiday Season without the added stress, financial troubles and all of the related problems. Author Mary Hunt hits the target with her new book Debt-Proof Your Christmas. This is a book every family needs to read, whether you are financially drained after Christmas or maybe you have money left, but still you just spent entirely too much, well this book is something you need to invest in!

I will sure be using some of the ideas Mary Hunt suggests in this book. I love the do it yourself decorations and gifts she suggest. And if you wonder where people get the neat recipe for handmade gifts from the kitchen, this author has added bunches of these recipes in the book. You just can not go wrong with this book. There is sure something you will be able to use. So run out and pick up your copy asap!

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

This book was provided by Revel Publishers for me to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Mary Hunt

Mary Hunt 9/1/11Mary Hunt is the award-winning and bestselling author of several books, including 7 Money Rules for Life, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker who helps men and women battle debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living, which features financial tools, resources, and information for her online members. Her books have sold more than a million copies and her daily newspaper column is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate, and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Everyday Cheapskatereaders. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as Good Morning AmericaOprahDr. Phil, and Focus on the Family. She and her husband live in California.