Book Giveaway: A Match Made in Texas by Margaret Brownley

9781492608165

A Match Made in Texas by Margaret Brownley

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

Welcome to Two-Time Texas:

Where tempers burn hot

Love runs deep

And a single woman can change the course of history:

There’s a new sheriff in town.

Amanda Lockwood gets more than she bargained for when she’s elected Two-Time Texas’s first female sheriff. Anxious to prove herself, she sets out to stop crime in its tracks—taking down wanted man Rick Barrett in the process. But there’s something special about the charming outlaw. Common sense says he must be guilty…but her heart keeps telling her otherwise.

So what’s a sheriff to do? Gather an all-female posse and ride to save the day.

Things sure don’t look good for Rick. If he doesn’t convince the pretty sheriff to let him go, he’ll soon be pushing up daisies. But his plan to woo her to his side backfires when he’s the one who falls head over heels. Now he must choose between freedom or saving the woman he loves…and the clock is ticking.

Who knew A Match Made in Texas could be such sweet, clean, madcap fun?

New York Times and CBA best-selling author MARGARET BROWNLEY has penned nearly forty novels and novellas. Her books have won numerous awards, including Readers’ Choice and Award of Excellence. She’s a former Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist and has written for a TV soap.  She is currently working on a new series.  Not bad for someone who flunked eighth grade English.  Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound

FUN FACT ABOUT THE BOOK

You’re invited to a hanging; Amanda was shocked when the mayor sent out invitations to a necktie party, but that’s how it was done in those days—for real.

EXCERPT

Rick looked up from the newspaper as Miss Sheriff stormed into the cell room. One look at her face told him she was loaded to the muzzle.

Standing, he gaped at her. Never had he seen her horns in such a tangle. “What’s got you so riled this time?”

She glared at him, eyes flashing blue fire. “I told you once and I’ll tell you again!” The red feather on her hat shook as she spoke. “I am not letting you go. So you can just get that out of your head.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “All right.”

She narrowed her eyes. “I mean it.”

“I heard you.”

Her eyes blazed with doubt. “Whether you like it or not, you’re standing trial. Your lawyer—”

“So that’s what this is about. Birdsh…uh…talked to you.”

“He’s trying to save your neck.”

“By having me admit to somethin’ I didn’t do!”

She blew out her breath. “If you work with him, justice—”

“Justice? Justice! I spent five years in prison for a crime I didn’t commit. Five years! That’s what justice did to me.”

She gasped as if someone had just punched her in the stomach and he immediately regretted his hastily spoken words.

“I-I didn’t know,” she stammered.

There was no way she could know. His breath whooshed out of him. He hated arguing with her. She wasn’t to blame for any of this. The endless court delays and failed efforts to find the real killer frustrated him, but it wasn’t fair to take it out on her. He sensed that she truly cared about him and wanted to help him—or was that just wishful thinking on his part? All he really knew for sure was that he needed someone to believe in and he wanted that person to be Amanda.

“They thought I killed my wife,” he said quietly, the previously unspoken words sounding strange even to his own ears.

Her lips parted and eyes widened, but otherwise she didn’t move. “Go on,” she said as he struggled to continue.

And so, at last, he told her the whole ugly story. Each word weighed heavy, like it carried a piece of his heart with it. How he found his wife dead. The long, drawn-out trial. The fact that it took five years before a witness came forward. He told her everything except perhaps the most important thing of all—that the man he was now accused of killing was his wife’s real killer.

The eyes that had moments earlier blazed with blue fire now softened with sympathy and compassion. “I’m so sorry.”

Something snapped inside him. He didn’t want her feeling sorry for him. Memories of the past had stirred up the anger he’d thought had been long buried.

“So what do you want me to do? Stand by and let justice fail again?” He didn’t know he’d raised his voice until he saw her flinch.

“You can do that!” she shouted back. “Or you can stand up and fight like a man.”

“I am fightin’. The only way I know how. By tryin’ to find the real killer.” He picked up a stack of photographs from his cot and waved them at her. “Given enough time and with Hobson’s help I’ll find him. I swear to God I will.”

Her eyes widened. “Hobson took those?”

He tossed the photographs onto the cot. “I gave him the description of the man seen leaving Cooper’s room. He hauled in every man he could find fittin’ that description, but it took too much time. We figured that photographs would be quicker.” He frowned. “I don’t want the kid gettin’ into trouble for this.”

He heard her intake of breath. “I-I don’t know what to say.”

“Say you believe me. Say you believe I’m innocent. Say—” Surprised that he’d almost asked her to say that she cared, he clamped down on his jaw. “T-that’s all I want.”

“I—” She shook her head. “I want to….”

He didn’t mean to make her feel bad. She had enough on her shoulders. Enough to worry about. Guilt washed over him. He’d tried to take advantage of her inexperience and yes, even her good heart. For that he felt ashamed.

“I won’t ask you to help me escape. Never again.” His voice hardened. “Just don’t ask me to put my faith in the justice system.”

A Match Made in Texas graphic

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$10 Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway: Love, Defined by Leila Tualla

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Title:  Love, Defined
Author:   Leila Tualla
Published:  August 4th, 2015
Publisher:   Limitless Publishing, LLC
Genre:  YA Christian Fiction
Recommended Age:  Upper YA
Synopsis:
 
Into their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends, Alex Makapulo, Lori Hanson, and Andy Taylor had each expected an uncomplicated transition to adulthood. Alex is toying with the idea of leaving the Catholic Church and becoming a member of her best friend, Jack Page’s church. Jack wonders what is keeping Alex from being baptized and fully accepting a new life with Christ. Alex wonders the same thing and believes that she needs to be 100 % in her conviction before fully committing to a new Christian life.
 
For Lori’s twenty-second birthday, her grandfather, Pete Hanson, presents her with a summer vacation to England. While looking up various tourist spots, she meets and befriends Colin Watson, a British musician, online who then suggest they meet when she lands in London. They hit it off instantly but Pete is angry and believes that she only used him as a means to meet Colin. When he finds out that Lori met Colin online, he forbids Lori from seeing Colin entirely. Lori, who has fallen in love with Colin, is heartbroken. Pete threatens to leave England with Lori’s passport. Colin and Lori try to arrange meetups where they can see each other but Pete catches on. Lori takes this as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be. She unhappily finishes her trip with Pete and goes home vowing not to forgive her grandfather.
 
Andy reconnects with her old crush, Miles Webber and decides she wants a more meaningful relationship with him. She tells Alex about the situation and Alex truthfully tells Andy that Miles only wants her for sex. This angers Andy and she walks out of the apartment. After she’s cooled down, she comes up with an idea to throw a surprise birthday party for Alex. Andy believes that if Alex and Jack were to hook up, the focus would shift from Miles and her. Andy spikes all the drinks for Alex’s party and leaves her friend while she goes in search of Miles. He shows up at the bar with another girl. In an effort to soothe her wounded ego, she goes home with someone else. When she wakes up the next day, she realizes she’s in bed with Alex’s young boss from the coffeehouse, David Roberts, Jr. When Alex wakes up the next day, she finds Jack in her room and freaks out.
 
They figure out that Andy had spiked the drinks. Alex gets angry but Jack tells Alex that he is in love with her, and has been since they first met in ninth grade. It only confuses her all the more and causes her to contemplate whether he is God’s blessing or a test to distract her from her beliefs. While she has strong feelings for him, she chooses to ignore Jack’s confession and hopes that he moves on, as she doesn’t want to complicate their friendship. Andy comes home and confess everything to Alex. Alex hesitatingly accepts the apology. Andy vows not to do anything crazy for the next few months and drops the Miles subject altogether. When Andy learns she is pregnant and doesn’t know if Miles or David is the father, she decides to abort the baby, as she not ready to be a mother.
 
Alex opposes the idea of abortion and begs Andy to change her mind. Andy doesn’t waver from her decision and even asks Alex and Lori to take her to a clinic. Their trip to Houston tests their friendship and Alex’s faith. Can their friendship still survive after Andy’s decision? Will Alex find her conviction in the midst of this emotional rollercoaster?
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About the Author:
Leila Tualla is a Filipino American. She is a Christian blogger and writer. Leila Tualla is the author of Love, Defined, a contemporary YA romance. An avid reader, she often posts book reviews on her website at www.leilatualla.com. Leila is currently writing a memoir about her faith, anxieties of motherhood, postpartum depression, and preeclampsia journey. She is a two-time Preeclampsia survivor and online advocate. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found chasing her ‘Mexipino’ rugrats and simultaneously trying to learn her mother-in-law’s recipes and language, and making sure the eggrolls are “made with love,” per her Mama ‘Lil.’
 
Excerpt from Love, Defined by Leila Tualla
Alex:
“Do you think no matter what we do, we are still forgiven?” Somewhere between Francesca Battistelli’s He Knows My Name and Casting Crown’s I Will Praise You In The Storm, Andy finally spoke. “I mean.” Andy stopped.
The last song had reached its thunderous ascent and rolled towards the finish. Alex had barely heard her and for a second, thought that perhaps she had imagined it. Almond shaped brown eyes locked briefly in the mirror with a pair of big blue eyes and Alex waited, expecting Andy to go on.
She didn’t. Instead, Andy broke eye contact and turned her head to face the window.
“Yes.” She finally replied. Andy jerked up, and the two caught each other’s gaze again before Alex had to look back at the road again, frowning. “We can be forgiven as long as we ask for forgiveness, and repent and promise not to do it again.”
Another song began and once again replaced the gap of silence. Alex turned her head this time to see Andy’s eyes closed, headphones on, effectively dismissing her. She sighed out loud and set her sights on the horizon.
Lord, I pray this won’t be the last time she asks about forgiveness.
Skyscrapers of oil and energy giants glistened as they neared downtown Houston. After some guidance with the GPS, her car pulled up into the tightly spaced parking lot of the Women’s Clinic. The brick building was among other non-descript buildings that they could have easily passed by. A lot better than a little backroom, Alex surmised.
“How did you find this place?” Lori asked reluctantly. Alex got out of the Volkswagen and immediately wanted to retreat back inside. The thought of what took place inside started to make her stomach churn. Despite the blaring sun and Texas humidity, she shuddered.
“The internet.” Andy mumbled the answer as she was getting out of the car.
The three of them stood in the parking lot, in a small circle, looking at their surroundings, the traffic behind them, and nervously at each other.
Alex fixed her eyes on Andy. She wanted to say that ‘You have to forgive yourself and then ask for forgiveness.’ But her lips couldn’t form the words. She had three hours on the drive to craft the perfect words to get through to Andy and yet, here they all were, under the Texas heat, in the middle of a parking lot, shivering with nerves and barely registering each other.
After a brief period of silence, Alex cleared her throat. “Andy, you can still change your mind.”
“I know.” Came the softest reply.
Alex’s jaw tightened, and she looked at her feet to hide her feelings once more. Again, her brain tried to tell her lips to formulate the words it wanted and she looked up to open her mouth again and frowned when no words would come. Again.
This time, Alex searched her friend’s beautiful face and prayed that somewhere in those blue eyes, she could find the one thing for her to go ‘Aha! You’re just as scared as I am. You’re just as doubtful about this thing. Let’s get out of here.’ Her heart sank when instead of those things she hoped to find in her friend’s eyes, she found a quiet and settled determination.
She swallowed the defeat, shoulders hunched down and felt there was only one more thing left to say. “You are loved, Andrea Grace Taylor, remember that. Find your courage.”
Andy just nodded with the faintest smile on her lips
“Okay, you guys.” Alex said trying to keep her voice light and tried to respond to Andy’s smile. It wasn’t working. “I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble we saw on the way here. Call me when you’re done.” She was heading for the car, when she turned around and added, “Call me if you change your mind.”
A few minutes later, she maneuvered in and out of traffic, half concentrating on finding the bookstore. The other remained back at the parking lot of the clinic. A bright green Scion cut in front of her with a slew of bumper stickers. Coexist and Got Jesus, but Alex fixed on the yellow sign with black letters that read “Headed in the wrong direction? God allows for U-Turns.” Andy. Dear God, am I doing the right thing?
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Signed copy of the book and $10 Starbucks Gift Card 
Giveaway is US only.
Ends June 19th, 2017 at 11:59 PM ET.

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$35.00 Amazon eGift Card Giveaway: Girl in the Spotlight By Virginia McCullough

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
 
Book Tour Grand Finale for
Girl in the Spotlight
By Virginia McCullough

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below…

Launch – Author Interview

If you could sum the book up in one sentence, what would you say?

Lark McGee and Miles Jenkins shared the painful experience of giving up a child, but without fanfare or effort they’re given a path to see their daughter, and if they have the courage, to grab their second chance with each other.

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Who are Lark and Miles?

When Miles and Lark met as college students both confided their big career dreams. It was such a
pleasure to portray a guy who early in life chose to become a professional speaker/consultant. I’m
familiar with that life, so I know how much time speakers spend in airports and hotel rooms, with phones and laptops as their only companions.

“I so loved this story and I was pulling for Miles and Lark to not only get to meet their daughter, but to realize they were meant to be together. This is a heartwarming tale of love almost lost but found again. I highly recommend Girl In The Spotlight.”

 
Book Lover in Florida – Love Those Second Chances

What would life be without second chances? Pretty bleak, I’d say. I think most of us fall in love with second chance stories. And why not? It’s a universal theme in many ways, because all our lives we identify with the longing for second chances. People joke about Zog and Grog sitting around “the cave” or the campfire telling stories, but for as long as humans have been on the planet, we’ve be inspired by stories. Whether a particular story involves popular culture, folklore, or religion, the “plots” likely offers the characters second chances.

“Girl in the Spotlight by Virginia McCullough puts you right in the audience, sitting high up in the arena seating, experiencing the skating competitions along with the fictional spectators. You’ll hold your breath for every axel and lutz and salchow, and you’ll easily be able to picture the sparkling costumes and the ‘kiss-n-cry’ bench as we all wait for the scores. Though the pace is slow in some places and the story overall is light on romance, you’ll be emotionally invested in this compelling story from the very first chapter!”

Perrie Lynn skated to the center of the ice, and after one last quick pivot, she assumed her starting position in the center of the ice and the melody of Moonlight Sonata began.
Lark’s tears flowed freely. Miraculously, though, after the first couple of jumps her tears stopped. Along with all sense of time and any focus on technical elements. She lost herself in Perrie Lynn’s graceful journey across the ice and the triple jumps that brought outbreaks of applause. Maybe it was the lightness of her arm movements that enchanted Lark the most. No, the extension of her dramatic arabesques captured Lark’s attention.

When Perrie Lynn finished her final spin, Lark let her head drop against Miles’ shoulder. “Thank you for this.”

“Girl in the Spotlight was well written and the words flowed perfectly. I enjoyed getting to know Miles and Lark as well as there children. . . . The book was enjoyable, the characters truly loved the daughter they had been unable to watch grow. “

Becky on Books – Excerpt

Detecting an edge of apprehension in her voice, he said, “Oh, Lark, it’s nothing bad. No need to worry.” He put his hand on his chest, hoping to slow the pounding of his heart. “It’s just that I believe it’s possible, not a certainty, but possible, our—our child, our daughter…is a figure skater. Sort of a rising star.”

A sharp intake of air. Then silence.

“I really enjoyed reading this book. It has a really sweet story that could very well be a true story. It is very real. . . . I would recommend this book to other readers. It is a clean sweet story. I enjoyed it very much.”

Mel’s Shelves – Hope and Healing Come First

Whenever I’m asked about the broad themes of my novels, I quickly respond, “Hope, healing, and plenty of second chances.” GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT is no different. Lark and Miles earn their second chance in stages starting with hope. Lark never stopped hoping that one day she will learn what happened to the child she gave up, and maybe, just maybe, she’ll be give a chance to meet her. Miles hopes Lark will forgive him for not stepping up when they were young and faced with such a life-changing decision. It’s his biggest regret.

“I really felt like this was two books in one – love story meets long lost child story. It had the perfect balance of both stories – neither one dominated the other. This is the first time I have read a book by Virginia McCullough, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve heard from others that I would not be disappointed, and they were right! She has a charming way of telling a story that will tug at your emotions, yet leave you with a smile.”

Harlie’s Books – Excerpt

Lark could probably calculate the exact number of days and hours that had passed since she’d murmured reassuring words to the tiny bundle in her arms. I’m so sorry, but it’s for the best, little one. She’d stared at the perfect little face one last time and drew her closer to her heart. I promise you’ll have a good life with people who will love you so, so much. They can give you what I could never hope to. A family.

It’s All About the Romance – Let’s Go to the Movies! What are Your Favorite Second Chance Movies?

So many all-time favorite movies have a second chance theme. Maybe this is why big fans have watched them multiple times. Here are a few of my favorites.

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt


AMUSED BY HOW proud he was that he’d asked Lark out on a real date, Miles’s heart raced. Even his hands were clammy, like a teenager who knew that his date wasn’t just any girl. She was special. At some point, maybe after watching Perrie Lynn skate live for the first time, Miles was hit by how fast the weekend had passed. He’d wished he could have slowed it down, made it last.

“The girl is a beautiful skater,” Andi said. “From the flash I saw, you and Lark seemed like quite a couple, huddled together, all smiles. Is there something you’re not telling me? And what about Perrie Lynn’s mother? I heard she’s sick.”

I Am A Reader – What Do we Know about Perrie Lynn?

A couple of my reader-writer friends have remarked about Perrie Lynn being so vibrant and real, even though she’s not “on stage” in the book. One friend said she found herself tense waiting for Perrie Lynn’s performance scores—just like the minutes of waiting during televised competitions! I like that—as far as I’m concerned, Perrie Lynn is out there living her life. So, even seeing her from afar, what do we know about her?

The kiss. It was all she’d thought about the last two days. She sat on her couch in the TV room with her feet tucked under her, warm in heavy wool socks. Her open tablet sat balanced on her lap. How delicious to be held in his arms. She shook her head—again—to concentrate on the article displayed on the screen. Normally, a piece on rare and virulent viruses captured her attention. Dawn even teased her about her fascination with medical research. But not that evening.

“The meaning of a second chance is personified in Virginia McCullough’s debut Harlequin Heartwarming novel! . . . The characters are well developed, their story is well thought out and leads us into the turmoil they are feeling from the first chapter. Ideally I would have wanted the ending to happen earlier in the book so we could have seen a little more of what happened after such a build-up, but overall, a great read and a satisfying resolution!”

Sylv.net – Excerpt

“You can leave now, Lyle. I think you’ve done enough damage for one night.” She moved alongside Evan in the small space by the front door. Showing her alignment with her son was the only way to contain her rage at her ex-husband.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below…

Girl in the Spotlight

by Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance

Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The daughter they never knew

When Miles Jenkins sees the graceful young figure skater on TV, he can’t believe how much she resembles Lark McGee, the girl he dated briefly in college. Could this aspiring star be the child Lark gave up for adoption eighteen years ago? He has to find out.

Locating Lark ignites conflicting emotions in Miles—including regrets for what might have been and romantic feelings that take the two single parents by surprise. As they prepare to meet their daughter, this deeper connection between the two just might be the chance at love they never got.

Advanced Praise

Mesmerized by the real world of characters–brought to life beautifully, I found myself entranced by this thoughtful, delightful, sad, and joyous, novel about second chances and all forms of love. The situation, characters, and consequences left me shedding happy tears at the ending. — Casey Clifford, award-winning author
 
A compelling love story crafted with characters you’ll fall in love with. Miles and Lark’s journey to be reunited with their child captured my heart, as did their blossoming romance. The best book I have read this year! —Lily Silver, author of Dark Hero
 
McCullough is always adept at creating suspense on multiple levels. In Girl in the Spotlight, the intrigue builds from page one and doesn’t let up until the end. But she understands that readers need relief from tension, and through her masterful storytelling and perfect pacing, McCullough delivers satisfying outcomes along that way. The relationships she’s developed are complex and realistic, and their evolution is deeply satisfying. — Lynda McDaniel, author of A Life for a Life
 
Girl in the Spotlight swept me away to Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shore and reminded me of loves left behind. McCullough invokes deep emotions through her writing, which will pull at your heart. More than a romantic love story, it is a love story of parents for their children. A must read.”  — Anne Parent, author/reviewer

 
About the Author
A writer all her adult life, Virginia McCullough has had the opportunity to write the stories of her heart in her novels, including Girl in the Spotlight, the first book in her Two Moon Bay series for Harlequin Heartwarming. (Book 2 is scheduled for release in January 2018). Her award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and Island Healing.
 
Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.
 
Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.
 
Tour Giveaway

 
 

1st Prize (US only): Tea & Contemplation, a collection of favorite things, starts with an uplifting message from “Seize the Day” Pop Open Cards. Fill a ceramic thermal mug to sip Lavender Chamomile Tea while you contemplate your ideas and dreams. Write your thoughts in a journal, whose guiding words are: When Your Heart Speaks… take good notes! A Wish pen is included. Finally, pick a place to display a large piece of gemmy rose quartz, a stone long linked to matters of the heart. It’s said when rose quartz is nearby, love (of all kinds) comes along to keep it company. These items will be arranged in a “keeper box” and delivered to your door.

2nd Prize (open internationally): You will receive a $35.00 Amazon eGift Card, and a digital copy of GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT, plus one digital copy of another of Virginia’s five award-winning novels—it’s your choice.

Ends June 16th

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$25 AMAZON GIFT CARD Giveaway: THE COLOR OF A SILVER LINING by Julianne MacLean

RELEASING TODAY
From USA Today Bestselling Author
Julianne MacLean
Sometimes, moving on isn’t the right choice when miracles are leading you back to your past — toward something, or someone, who was your destiny all along.
The Color of a Silver Lining
THE COLOR OF A SILVER LINING
Julianne MacLean
Series: The Color of Heaven Series Book 13
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
It’s been five years since Emma Cochran endured the worst possible tragedy—the sudden, unexpected death of her four-year-old son. The emotional trauma tore her marriage apart, but now her divorce is final and she wants to begin again. She’s found happiness at last with her fiancé, Luke, who is eager to start a family with her.
On the other side of the country, single mother Bev Hutchinson watches helplessly as her five-year-old daughter Louise drowns in a high-profile boating accident. Miraculously, Louise is brought back to life and claims she went to heaven. The news causes a media frenzy surrounding the little girl, and Bev does everything she can to shield herself and her daughter from the relentless swarming of the press.
Lives collide when Emma becomes obsessed with the story of the child, thousands of miles away, who drowned and went to heaven. She wants to connect with the mother, but Emma’s fiancé is against the idea because he wants her to let go of her grief and move on.
The Color of a Silver Lining 3D
An amazing read. The story builds and builds and then suddenly there is a twist and a turn and it all comes together.
– Zena, Goodreads Reviewer
Every book in the Color of Heaven series opens my heart and mind to new possibilities in life. With each story I cry and feel alive. Color of a Silver Lining encourages you to see love here on earth and stretch your mind to believe in the connection of spirit. A truly beautifully written novel that inspires hope; even after tragedy.
– Karen Forrest, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now. Grab your copy today.

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at The Color of a Silver Lining. Read an excerpt from the book.
Chapter 10
It had been two full days, and the reporters were still outside my house.
Louise and I took cover indoors. I’d planned to keep her home from school anyway for a full week after the accident, and I’d asked for sick days at the hospital. Thankfully we had a private fully-fenced backyard with tall trees, so we were able to go outside with Leo and get some fresh air in a safe place with no cameras pointed at us.
One good thing came from our self-imposed lockdown: We had plenty of time to get creative with crayons. Over the course of two days, Louise drew dozens of pictures of her visit to heaven, and I tacked each one to the wall outside her bedroom.
To a stranger, they might have looked like any other drawings by a five-year old because they were images of colorful rainbows and yellow suns, trees and tall buildings—just like what she’d described to me in the park. But to me, I saw something more.
Each time she finished a new picture, she handed the page to me and said, “This isn’t as good as the real thing. I don’t think I can draw it.”
“Would it help if you had something better than crayons?” I asked, encouraging her to continue. “What about paint?”
“That would be good.”
“Let’s go to the art store tomorrow,” I suggested.
In the meantime, she drew hearts everywhere to surround herself and her grandfather, who held her hand wherever they were—in the sky above the clouds or in an orchard with sunlight filtering through pink apple blossoms or rabbits in the tall grass. I could almost hear the sound of insects buzzing, grass swishing against my legs…
And she always drew a mustache on her grandfather.
By the end of the second day, the entire hallway was papered with Louise’s colorful crayon illustrations, but now she was painting with oils on canvas—using an easel I’d purchased at the art store.
I spent a lot of time in the hallway, studying her creations, which she produced at an alarming rate. She drew birds and trees and meadows with colorful wildflowers and sparkling drops of dew. Oceans with turquoise water, dolphins and seagulls. Mountains with white, snow-capped peaks. Sunsets with spectacular clouds and silver linings.
On the third day, when I woke at six am to the sound of rain pelting against my window, I donned my bathrobe, went to the living room and peered through the slats in the blinds. To my relief, the street in front of my house was deserted. The reporters and news vans had departed.
Knowing my sister was an early riser on school days, I called her. She told me to turn on the television because it appeared we were no longer the top news story on every station. We’d been bumped aside by an earthquake in California the night before. I wasn’t happy about the devastation, of course, but I was thankful to have our privacy back.

Giveaway

WIN $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD
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Contest runs from June 12 – 18, 2017.

About Julianne MacLean

Julianne MacLean

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author who has sold more than 1.3 million books in North America, and her novels have also been translated into many foreign languages. She has written twenty historical romance novels, including the bestselling Highlander Trilogy with St. Martin’s Press and her popular Pembroke Palace Series with Avon/Harper Collins. She also writes contemporary mainstream fiction, and her 2011 release The Color of Heaven was a USA Today bestseller. Please visit her website for more information. http://www.juliannemaclean.com.
To receive regular updates from the author, join Julianne MacLean’s newsletter.
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My Weekly Bible Journaling #20

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I am back… sort of!

Taking the past few weeks off have been good for me and my family. Our new schedule is still quite crazy but we are making it work. Our newest addition is lovely and precious and we adore her!

Now the following pages I had actually finished before I went on maternity leave. I just assumed that I would post them sooner but I really enjoyed my break so I didn’t. This week I found a bit of free time so here they are. I will have to see how this next week goes and if I find time to do anything…

So here is what I studied and worked when I could as I am making my way through my Beautiful Word Coloring Bible:

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This page was from when I was still reading about Gideon….

On the last page my paint leaked onto the back. So that interesting blue streak you see on the side is that. Then I tried my best to free hand the verse. I watercolor the rest and then decided to try a little bit of stenciling…

The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive. – Judges 6:16

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I think the story of Samson is a sad one. Here is a man blessed by God and he just threw it all away. How many times do we treat God’s blessings in our own life like that?

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes. – Judges 16:28

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My last page in the Book of Judges. I have enjoyed my time in the book and seeing things I had missed or forgotten.

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. – Judges 21:25

I hope you enjoying this journey with me this year. If you have been Bible Journaling leave me a link to  where you have your pages posted and I will be happy to check them out and leave them some love!

** This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something through one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use this commission for the giveaways that I have here on my blog. **

Check out more Bible Journalers here:

Kids, Crunch, and Christ Journal Through The Bible

Supplies I used this week are listed below:

 

$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: Dancing in the Rain by Lucy Appadoo

Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?

Book Details:
Book Title: Dancing in the Rain (The Italian Family Series)
Author: Lucy Appadoo
Category: Adult Fiction, 274 pages
Genre: Historical Coming of Age/Romance/Family Drama
Publisher: Lucy Appadoo
Release date: March 24, 2017
Tour dates: June 5 to 23, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is physical abuse and death involved.)
Book Description:
Fifteen-year old Valeria Allegro works diligently on the family farm in Italy, where she is torn between her duty to her family and her desire to find freedom from her strict, domineering father. She finds solace in Dario, a young student who provides a blissful escape—until a neighbour’s son, Gregorio, decides he wants her for himself.
This raises an alarm for her father, which leads to family conflict and aggression. When Dario is threatened and her family is plagued by a series of suspicious accidents, Valeria is desperate to keep her loved ones safe. Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?
Buy the Book:

Author Interview

  1. How did you research for your book?

Firstly, I interviewed my mother about her experiences back in the 1960s, questioning her about her childhood environment and culture, as well as factual information about traditions and Italian practices (on the farm, special dishes).

My research involved using google images and landscapes for scenery depicting the Italian villages and natural landscapes.

I used websites such as Co As It (an Italian organisation) and google for facts, as well as watching a tourist video about the village of Laurino.

I also visited an Italian library that stocks books about different areas of Italy.

  1. Your book is set in Laurino, Italy. Have you ever been there?

I visited Laurino and Piaggine when I was seven years of age. I later visited Piaggine and passed by Laurino when I was twenty-three years of age, having spent three months in Italy. The experience was amazing, and I felt nostalgic when I returned to Melbourne due to the beautifully captivating history of Italy.

In Piaggine, I can recall the green, hilly terrain and mountainous landscape, the smells of freshly baked bread, the hard-working hands of my relatives who made cheesy ricotta in tubs, and the family homemade pizzas with their range of toppings to include bocconcini, potatoes, eggplant, basil, and garlic.

As I didn’t spend much time in Laurino, I used some of my time researching the village and asking my family about the place.

  1. What advice would you give budding writers?

I would advise budding writers to learn their craft, do their research, get inspiration from their life experiences, and never give up on self-publishing their own story. We all have a story to tell, and we’re all unique and wise on the deepest level.

It is so easy to let life pass you by as it’s a challenge to make a living as a writer, so you can easily give up. However, if writing stories is something you’re passionate about and you don’t mind not making any money, at least in the beginning, then follow your passion.

 
Meet the Author:
Lucy Appadoo is a registered counsellor and wellness coach with a part-time private practice. She also works as a rehabilitation counsellor for the Australian government. In her spare time, she self-publishes or writes nonfiction and fiction texts. She previously worked as a rehabilitation consultant, caseworker, English as a second language teacher, and proofreader.
Lucy has postgraduate diplomas in psychology, education, and English as a Second Language teaching, as well as specialised qualifications in grief counselling and hypnosis. She has also completed wellness coaching courses (levels 1-3) at Wellness Coaching Australia.
Lucy enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. She writes in the genres of romantic suspense, historical fiction, and romance. She has enjoyed travelling to exotic places such as Madrid, Mauritius, and Italy, and draws on these experiences in her creative writing.
Lucy’s favourite authors include Kendra Elliot, Christiane Heggan, Theresa Ragan, Tara Moss, Nicholas Sparks, Adriana Trigiani, Erica Spindler, and James Patterson (to name a few).
Lucy’s interests include meditation, playing tennis, journal writing, reading fiction and nonfiction texts about writing, coaching, and counselling, ongoing professional development, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and socialising with friends and family.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
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