Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What I am Looking Forward to in September

Can you believe the end of August is here? The summer seemed extra short this year--probably because I had to teach an 8-week class in the first half. I didn't feel like summer started (not talking heat) until July 1. But maybe I should be grateful; fall is the best season of the year IMO. So, it's time to start celebrating fall! Here are some of the things I am looking forward to in September:

1. Cooler nights

The days do not get much cooler in AZ in September, but by mid-month I can usually open some windows at night and enjoy a cool-ish breeze. After being cooped up in stale AC for five months, this always feels great.

2. Pumpkin recipes

I love to use pumpkin to cook. It's healthy and tasty! First up on my baking list is paleo pumpkin muffins.

3. Poldark!!!

If you liked Downton Abbey, you would likely enjoy the BBC Masterpiece series Poldark too. I loved season one and now season two starts on September 24. Can't wait!!

4. ANWA's Writer's Conference

This will be my fourth time attending ANWA's writer's conference. This year it is on Sept. 15-17 in Tempe. I love attending because it stretches me and I learn so much. I'm still working on my costume for the protagonist ball, though. Leave me comment with a suggestion (any character from a book you think would make a good costume). Last year I went as Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

5. Labor Day

Not that I have any plans or anything (too busy to think ahead). Just that a day off sounds nice. And a shorter work week is even better!

6. Project Runway

Season 15 of Project Runway starts mid-month and I will look forward to the new episodes. I miss Michael Kors (Zac Posen isn't as good IMO), but I enjoy the challenges and end products. This article discusses some of the new contestants.

7. New Melanie Jacobson Book

I am always looking for something good to read, and Melanie's books never disappoint. Here's the blurb from the back of the book for her newest, Southern Charmed:

"Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she’s proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn’t take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president’s son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South . . . and teenage Lila. After Max’s family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost.

"When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing—her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love."

Well,  that's all the craziness I have had in my mind running around in between all the lectures and lesson plans I have been prepping. I hope your August was great and September is even better. What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Tour: A Living Hope by E.C Jackson

It was a match made in heaven. Or so everyone thought. Sadie Mae Cummings is all set to marry her childhood sweetheart, Kyle, when she is assigned to tutor Lincoln, the new college football running back. This sophomore phenomenon has all the girls on campus knocking on his door. But Sadie isn't interested in his advances.

Lincoln’s overblown ego doesn't take well to being shunned, and he resolves to make Sadie his own. He pursues her relentlessly, until finally Kyle finds himself shut out of Sadie's life, with their shared future crumbling around him.

After two years, Sadie’s relationship with Lincoln ends, and she is left having to put the pieces of her life back together. She desires nothing more than to recapture her relationship with Kyle. He has stayed true to the dreams they had planned together, living the vision even without Sadie by his side.

When she moves back to her hometown, she labors to rekindle their love. But things have changed, and Kyle has moved on. Sadie quickly discovers how hard it is to rebuild burned bridges.

Follow Sadie’s story as she fights for a chance to restore broken dreams. Will love endure?

This inspirational romance by E. C. Jackson is book two of the Hope series and is a standalone book.

~ Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ Amazon UK

E. C. Jackson began her writing career with the full-length play Pajama Party. For three and a half years, she published the Confidence in Life newsletter for Alpha Production Ministries, in addition to writing tracts and devotionals. Teaching a women’s Bible study at her church for eleven years led naturally to her current endeavor, writing inspirational romance novels. Her mission: spiritual maturity in the body of Christ through fiction.
Connect with the Author here: 

My review: I was excited to get to read the work of a new author, and this volume did not disappoint. Sadie Mae’s character spoke to me—I especially liked scenes with her family members. The complexity of the characters were well conceived and written. Since my own relationships are FAR from perfect, I was deeply touched by a story that emphasized the need to keep working and striving to forgive and do better. Plus! A big shout out for it being a clean read!
Excerpt from chapter 1: She was an expert at fooling herself and others, but today her mind refused to be pacified. One could only pretend for so long before the bottom dropped out completely. Truth had a bad habit of intruding into fairy tales. Especially when the make-believe stories were about real-life events. The ringing cell phone grabbed Sadie’s attention. That her mother was on the other end was a forgone conclusion. Except for an occasional chat with her younger sister and older brother, the cell phone never rang. These days only her mother contacted Sadie on a regular basis. She peeked at the caller ID. A moment before the call transferred to voicemail, Sadie snatched up the cell phone, held it against her chest, then gave a cheery greeting. Minutes later, she sauntered through the studio apartment thinking up reasonable excuses to end the call early. Jeanette Cummings expected a good deal more than her middle child was able to give. Still stumped about finding an excuse to satisfy her mother, Sadie walked around in circles. “Mother, I’m not trying to hurry you off the phone. I recognize your concern for the Franklins. Our families have been friends for years. It’s just … look … it’s … mother, I don’t have time to talk now.” Sadie picked up twine from the counter and wove it between her fingers. Pulling it too tight, she winced, then unwound it from around her fingers and wrapped it around her thumb. “I made plans for the day.” Lincoln could arrive any moment. Somehow, she had to quickly end this conversation without hurting the only person who regularly called. Friendships were difficult to maintain these days. And her brother and sister only gave duty calls, then ended the conversation in a snap. Jeanette sighed loudly. “I would offer to call back at a better time, but there isn’t one, is there, Sadie?” “Mom …” Sadie slowly shook her head. Guilt surfaced each time she talked to her mother. Raised in an orphanage, her mother wasn’t a clingy parent. She believed loneliness caused people to accept unhealthy conditions that a person who felt treasured might avoid. “Of course, you’re removed from the lives of the families in Shiatown,” said Jeanette. Blowing breath through her lips, Sadie laid her head on the cabinet with more force than intended. Wincing in pain, she rubbed the sore spot. The lull in the conversation helped gather her thoughts as her fingers massaged the painful area on her forehead. She parted her lips, then she shut them in hopes that her mother would continue speaking.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

For more content, fun and prizes check out this event below for this Series!
To join the Blitz for the book series click here