Thursday, June 23, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday On Thursday

I know, I know, I should have posted this yesterday, but I've been preoccupied with holding my new grandbaby. It's the most amazing experience!

As we all just witnessed the miracle of birth and have a new baby fresh from heaven in our midst, my heart has been turned to Jesus Christ. I've been reading Emily Belle Freeman's book, The Christ-Centered Home. In it, she has gone through the four gospels and paid particular attention to the times when the Savior was in someone's home and what he taught there. I had honestly never thought to look for those patterns and have been amazed at the lessons the author points out.

In the book, she describes twelve scriptural accounts of how Jesus came to be in this person's home and what events transpires. Then, she talks about the lessons learned and combines them with stories on how she learned from this in her own life. I've always been particularly touched by all of these scriptures and Ms. Freeman points out perspectives that I hadn't considered, but have now been something I've been thinking about as I look at my own home. Would I be ready to receive my Savior? With twelve "lessons" you can try to implement each invitation for the Savior in your home each month for an entire year.

The twelve lessons in the book also include discussion questions for members of the family and even recipes for treats after the lesson. I thought the book was well thought-out and something I'm excited to try implementing in my own home with my family. It's not a long book, but there is a lot to think about with each chapter.  I'm definitely taking a second look at these familiar scripture stories and how I can invite the Savior into my home in a new way.

You can buy your copy here

Here's the back copy:

We often think of Jesus' ministry as teaching to the multitudes, feeding the 5,000, teaching in the temples and synagogues, teaching on the mountainside of the seashore. But many of His most personal teachings were done within the walls of a family's home. His followers invited Him into their personal spaces, and He blessed them, healed them, and performed miracles for them. So it is today. When we invite Jesus into our homes, we will also be blessed and healed and see miracles.

Best-selling author, Emily Belle Freeman invites readers to create a more Christ-centered home through a series of twelve stories featuring Jesus teaching in the home, including the houses of Zaccheaus, Jarius, and Peter and houses in Galilee, Jerusalem, and Capernaum. Freeman encourages families to experience a Christ-centered conversation, connection, and celebration. She writes, "Maybe you could set aside one night every month for your family to discuss an attribute of Jesus Christ and a lesson He taught within someone's home. Then you could set a family goal that would allow your family to connect personally with that lesson, and you could end the evening with a simple celebration." Invite Christ into your home and allow Him to make your home a home of refuge, grace, and joy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Preview Function--Awesome or Ho Hum?

I recently became aware of a new feature. I can offer previews of my books right here on my blog! I've been experimenting with All Fall Down on the sidebar. You can preview the first few chapters by clicking on "preview." So far I think it's pretty awesome and readers will like it. It's nice that it's so versatile.

But here's my question: do you use the preview function before you buy a book? Or do you just buy a book from the back copy? For me, I've mostly just bought the book if the back copy was intriguing, but with the ease of the preview function now, I might change my ways.

So, tell me what you think of the new preview function.  Awesome or ho hum?

(And just to experiment a little more, here's the preview for The Captive)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Have A Decision to Make & I Need Your Opinion!

At the beginning of this year I had a publishing schedule. It's actually been going very well. I've met my deadlines and everything is on track. I'm supposed to be releasing the companion novella to Ring Around the Rosie in August and the last novel in the Griffin Force series in October.

But then I hit a snag.

I had an entire romance story come to me with the characters, the plot, everything. It just came to me! And it really wants to be written. It's different than anything I've written before, but I'm excited because the characters are full of angst and romance. I smile just thinking about it. But I can't fall in love with it just yet when this new story creates such a problem.

Do I mess up my entire publishing schedule, set aside all those other projects, and write the romance that can't seem to leave me alone? Or do I stick to the plan and write the romance next year?

Decisions, decisions.

This is where you come in. I need some outside opinions! So, as my loyal readers, what would you like to read next from me? The novella and novel that was planned or the romance? *flips a coin*

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Exciting Life-Changing Event

I usually do book reviews on Monday, but this past weekend, a miracle happened. I became a grandmother!

It's been such a tender time, full of emotions. This little baby is already so loved and has changed my life forever. Hearing that little cry for the first time was incredible. I can hardly describe my happiness!

So, today there is no book review so I can just celebrate my baby having a baby! And get used to the title of grandma. (Or maybe I should go with Grammy. It's so hard to decide. Maybe I'll have to let the baby choose . . .)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is a heart-tugging romance from Jennifer Moore called Change of Heart. I recently reviewed it, since it hasn't been out very long. Her publishing is celebrating an anniversary this month and have chosen to give her book away, so I'm passing on the deal to you!

Click here to see my review of it.

Here's the back copy:

This summer, Nathaniel Cavanaugh vacations in Lobster Cove to spend quality time with his kids after his estranged wife’s tragic death. Successful and well-connected, he is on the fast-track to the highest legal positions in the country, but his family life suffers. After an accident throws Val nearly into his lap and costs her a job opportunity, Nathaniel surprises himself by overlooking her outlandish appearance and lack of qualifications to offer her a job as his nanny for the summer.

Valdosta McKinley wishes for an internship at a Paris Art Institute to use her newly acquired art-history skills. She knows Nathaniel could never develop feelings for a girl from a trailer in a rural West Virginia holler—a lesson she learned the hard way years earlier.

Will pursuit of their professional goals require Nathaniel and Val to give up the dream of being a family?
Click here to go to Wild Rose Press and download your copy for free!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Spotted In The Wild Of The Library

As you all know, we do a Bellon family summer book club and when I walked into the library, I was surprised to see this:

I have to admit I was excited to see it. I love libraries. I love their purpose, not only for entertainment, but for leveling the playing field and making knowledge available to everyone.

One of the best features for my city library is they offer Kindle books. I get to download them and then three weeks later they disappear off my Kindle. No late fees! Since most of the time my late fees could probably pay for a new wing in the library (I know, I know, I'm working on that) this is a nice perk for me.

Really, the library has a lot of nice perks. They have exploration backpacks for kids (like one is filled with astronomy things and a telescope so we can look at the stars together, things like that) and we love all their reading programs for my preschoolers all the way up to teens and even me! There are so many awesome finds at the library. But seeing my book highlighted on their new fiction shelf front and center was one of the best ones ever!

Have you visited your local library lately?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I've been reading the May installment of the Power of the Matchmaker series and I'm about halfway through this one. It's hard to put down!

Andra Stone finds out that her boyfriend cheated on her so she heads over to his house to spray paint TOOL on his truck. She knows it's not her finest moment, but the cheater's roommate, Everett Covington, agrees with her assessment and helps her. (He was about to ask Andra out himself when the cheater roommate stepped in and ruined everything.) After an attack of conscience, they go to clean it up together, but the cops show up. And that's where everything gets dicey for everyone, but especially for this newfound romance. 

I love the attraction between these two. They have so much in common, but so much to learn about each other at the same time. It's definitely a heart-tugging romance, but I love Everett. He's the kind of hero that would give any girl butterflies. Poor Andra, though. She's really being put through the wringer.  Can even the matchmaker save this couple?

I will let you know what I think of the ending!

You can download your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Every time Andra Stone crosses paths with Everett Covington, trouble follows. First she loses her scholarship, then she loses the apartment she’d wanted more than anything. But tragedy hits hardest when she loses her grandmother—the best friend Andra has ever known. She determines that Everett is a talisman of ill fortune. When Everett comes to work in her hospital and is applying for the same position she’d been working toward since residency, Andra believes him to be her personal poltergeist. The human heart has four chambers—four chances to get it right. Andra has only one chance left