Friday, July 29, 2016

If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe

{My Review... after a little about where I'm coming from...}

I got married when I was 28 years old. We'd just moved to a new, bigger city (for my husband's job), and we literally didn't know a soul. For the most part, those first four years we spent in Indy weren't all that bad when it came to our relationship--but we really couldn't wait to move back "home". We missed friendly Fort Wayne and our friends there. In Indy, it was proving difficult to make the same kind of close-knit friends we were used to having.

Back then, I would have said that marriage was easy. I read a lot while my husband took three of the four years to complete a Masters of Business and Finance (while working full-time). 

And I wasn't having children... which was a problem.

So in 2010, I started writing The Hesitant Heiress--my first attempt at writing THE BOOK I'd always planned on getting to someday. 

Skip ahead a few years to 2013. We'd moved back "home" to Fort Wayne, I'd written two books by then, had landed a literary agent and we had a pretty good lead on a publishing contract with Whitaker House. 

Then I got pregnant. And signed my first book contract within 6 months. I had a baby boy... four months before my debut novel was to release... which was followed by two more books, the third of which I still needed to finish.

And marriage got hard. Not impossible, but more challenging. And then I had another book contract and another baby.... so yeah. Life got way different FAST.

I'm not really big on reading "how to" books. I'd never even read a book on how to write a novel. I'd simply read and studied the books I loved and figured out what it was about them that MADE ME LOVE THEM. I'm just not super into reading non-fiction, no matter what it's about. Probably something to do with my ADD. :)

Now, about reading this "how to me married" book that I signed up for... It basically took everything I'd been noticing and the knowledge I'd been collecting and put it into a very readable text. I was pleasantly surprised by how straight forward and to the point it was without being boring. The writing style is very fluid and engaging. 

Now that I've read and enjoyed this book, I plan to read her book Mom's Raising Sons to be Men next.

***This book has a rating of 4.22 out of 5 stars (from 18 ratings) on GoodReads. This book will release from Harvest House on August 1, 2016. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

{More About the Book}

Like most brides on their wedding day, you no doubt were filled with love for your husband and the hope of a happy life together.

But perhaps today, as the realities of life together have settled in, those happy expectations are going unfulfilled. And it's tempting to think, "If only my husband would change, I'd be happy."

That myth is but one of many that Rhonda Stoppe dispels in her easy-to-read exploration of what it takes to experience a truly happy marriage. In the process, she addresses such important topics as:
-understanding your husband's need for your unconditional respect
-rekindling the love that drew you to your husband in the first place
-refusing to believe the lie that you'd be happier married to someone else
-learning to be content in the midst of financial struggles
-thinking about sex from a biblical worldview
If you desire to rekindle the love and hope you felt on your wedding day, this book will go a long way toward making that dream come true.
Contains discussion questions and personal reflections at the end of each chapter.

Purchase a copy:

Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. She is an author and speaker dedicated to helping women live life with no regrets. With more than 20 years experience as a mom, mentor, and pastor's wife, Rhonda's wisdom and experience helps women discover significance in God and His specific purpose for their lives, connect biblical principles to everyday decisions, develop a loving marriage that others dream about, and influence the next generation by raising children with integrity.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Writer's Review of The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna White

Five amazing stars!

I'm going to get straight to the point and say that Roseanna White's writing is superb. This book was a delight to read from beginning to end. I liked the first book in the series, but wow... this one was amazing.

Because of the continued suspenseful thread (concerning the curse of the Fire Eyes Diamonds) that spreads throughout the series, there isn't full closure regarding everything that happens throughout the plot... but instead, the closure is all about the developing relationship between Brice (the Duke of Nottingham) and his mysterious Scottish Lady Rowena, his surprising new duchess. They get married at the beginning of the novel as strangers to each other, away from all of his friends and contemporaries--which shocks most of them once they return to England. This sudden marriage is brought on for a number of reasons; deceitful ones, heartbreaking ones, and noble ones.

And I have to say, seeing this particular relationship develope as it does, was an utter delight. I love to write swoon-worthy heroes into my own books of course, but I also especially love falling in love alongside someone else's heroine as well when I read a book. It doesn't ALWAYS happen, but it sure happened while reading The Reluctant Duchess. ❤️

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna White has a rating of 4.24 out of 5 stars (from 436 ratings) on GoodReads. This book released from Bethany House on April 5, 2016. 

Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

5 Inspirational Book Series You Can't Put Down

Today I’d like to introduce guest blogger, Varina Denman.

Varina writes stories about the unique struggles women face. Her award-winning Mended Hearts series, which revolves around church hurt, is a compelling blend of women’s fiction and inspirational romance. A native Texan, Varina lives near Fort Worth with her husband and five mostly grown children. Connect with Varina on her website or one of the social media hangouts.

Welcome, Varina!

Dawn, thank you for hosting me on your blog today. It’s summertime, and we’ve all got extra time on our hands. My holiday break is swiftly getting filled with events, camps, and projects, but I still have plenty of time by the pool doing what I love best ... reading! I’ve put together a list of books to recommend to friends, specifically Christian book series that have been described as "can't-put-it-down." That's what we all LOVE to read, especially during the lazy summer months. I hope your blog readers find a new series on the list, and I hope they pour themselves a tall glass of iced tea, and sit down and relax. Happy reading, girlfriends! (Don't forget the suntan lotion)

Jan Karon’s Mitford Series.
A little about At Home In Mitford: It’s easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable.
Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won’t go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that’s sixty years old.
Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich comedy in which mysteries and miracles abound.

Dawn Crandall’s The Everstone Chronicles.

A little about The Hesitant Heiress: After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt's Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men--Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother's tragic death. However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems...and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all.

Katie Ganshert’s The Gifting Series.

A little about The Gifting: In a world where nothing supernatural exists, Tess Eckhart is positive she’s going crazy. What other explanation is there for the things she sees? After her complete freakout at a high school party, her parents worry she might be right. So much that they pack their bags and move across the country, next to a nationally-renowned facility for the mentally ill.
Despite the whispers and stares, Tess is determined to fit in at her new school. But when it comes to Luka Williams, a reluctantly popular boy in her class, she’s unused to a stare that intense. Then the headaches start, and the seemingly prophetic dreams that haunt her at night. As Tess tries harder to hide them, she becomes increasingly convinced that Luka knows something—that he might somehow be responsible.
But what if she’s wrong? What if Luka Williams is the only thing separating her from a madness too terrifying to fathom?

Melanie Dickerson’s Hagenheim Fairy Tale Romance Series.
A little about The Healer’s Apprentice: Two Hearts. One Hope. Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

Varina Denman’s Mended Hearts Series.
A little about Jaded: As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Now, thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed, and a string of secrets are unearthed that threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside down.
Jaded is the rare novel that is a love story between both a woman and a man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness, and restoration, this book will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.
And now for a GIVEAWAY! 

What books/series are you planning to read this summer? 

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win an Advance Reader Copy of my {Dawn here again, in case you missed that!} October release, The Cautious Maiden as well as an Advance Reader Copy of Varina’s newest novel, Jilted and a copy of Melanie Dickerson’s novel, The Fairest Beauty. I’ll choose a winner in about a week. (Open to US residents only).

Happy Reading!