NEW BOOK RELEASE!
A single moment can change everything...
but can love help us survive?
Genre: Romantic Drama
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Publication Date: April 29, 2017
A single moment can change everything… but can love help us survive?
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be…
Settled into married life, Jessica and Todd think they have so much time… until everything comes to a halt on a snowy back road. When they find themselves in a life or death situation, with rescue seeming impossible, they cling to the only hope they have left: their love for each other.
As Jessica and Todd fight for survival, their connection carries them through the biggest challenge of their lives. Memories and regrets swirl around the couple as they finally take a moment to reflect on what really matters.
There’s one big, icy question that haunts them, though: Is this where their story will end?
"This book took my breath away, squeezed my cold heart, and moved me to tears more than once..."
- DJ Sakata, Goodreads Reviewer
"It's going to be hard to put into words how much I loved this book. This author has become one of my must read authors since the first book I read of hers."
- Amy, Goodreads Reviewer
Prizes up for grabs:
$10 Amazon Gift Card and Remember When Signed Paperback
5 x Remember When eBook Copies
Contest runs from May 29 - June 4, 2017.
About Lindsay Detwiler
An English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay's the English teacher cliché; she love cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.
She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry.
Lindsay's goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she's done her job.
Lindsay's hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility
Official website: http://www.lindsaydetwiler.com
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For more information, visit the Remember When Book Page at Book Unleashed.
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Guest Post: Sally Perkins' Tips for Caregiving
Today, I am honored to welcome Sally Perkins to my blog with some tips for caregivers. For those of you in this position, she has a great article with 30 Tips for Caregivers that you should check out. Here is a sample of some of her tips:
Caregiving? Replenish Your Energy
We tend to think of caregivers as people who are doing things for someone. And while it’s true that caregivers do a lot of things -- cleaning, cooking, shopping etc., caregiving is way much more than just doing. Caregiving is an act of love. It’s astonishing to think of all the ways in which a caregiver gives to a loved one, with the strength of their bodies, hearts and minds. Which is why caregivers need to replenish their energy.
Time to take a day off
If you’re a parent, you know the drill. You cook, you clean, you shop, you do the laundry, then you do it all over again. If you’re a caregiver as well, then you get to do it three times over. There’s no doubt about it, you will get physically exhausted. When you’re wiped out, remember that you’re no good to anyone. Love yourself enough to stop and take a deep breath. It’s probably time to take a day off.
If you’re taking a day off from caregiving, here’s one excellent piece of advice: take the day off. Don’t use your day off to catch up on other errands, tempting as that may be. Here’s the trick. Identify three day-off activities that you find personally relaxing and if possible, a companion to make sure you stick to the plan. A day at the spa; lunch and a movie; it doesn’t matter what, as long as it relaxes you
Need help? Take it
A word to the wise: if you try to be everything for everyone it will end badly. Don’t try to do everything yourself. A caregiver need not be ashamed to ask for help. Divvy out chores in exchange for treats. Every little bit of help counts. Kids can take the trash out, load the dishwasher, play a board game with Grandpa. When a neighbor asks if they can do anything for you, say yes. Do a bit of research to find out what kind of help is available in your area. You might be pleasantly surprised at the range of resources for caregivers that are out there for you. For example, did you know that there are people in your community who have signed up to help caregivers with tasks like meal delivery and driving to appointments. All you have to do is request the help?
Build your energy
You’re not going to make it if you don’t build up your energy. Take care of yourself so you have the strength for caregiving. Exercise and diet are two open secrets in this regard. Where are you to get the time, you might wonder? It’s time to get creative. Become an expert on quick workout sessions. When all else fails, organize an evening dance session for the family. Dancing can be an amazing workout and lots of fun. Learn how to make quick, healthy meals. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, look into getting meals delivered to the person you care for. In addition to a nutritious meal, they will be getting companionship too.
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.
I'll just say it. I suck at cooking. Big time.
So when I told my husband I'd ordered a Hello Fresh box, he thought I'd lost my mind. But the promise of pre-portioned ingredients and cooking for any level tempted me. The idea of trying something new and fancy-ish was enticing. I ordered a box and gave it a try.
It did not go well.
It is not Hello Fresh's fault, truly. When they said it was for any cooking level, I just don't think they realized there are people out there as bad as me. Still, the cooking part was an experience.
Check out our honest attempts at cooking Hello Fresh below and see why maybe you better have just a little bit of skill in the kitchen before ordering :)
Be sure to join us every Thursday at 7pm on my Facebook page for more cooking horror stories, stories about why we are terrible at adulting, and book updates.
Measure Book Signing Success by Experience, Not Sales
For many authors, the thought of seeing your name on the sign at Barnes & Noble for an author event is the thing of wild dreams. I am no different. From the time I first started dreaming about getting published, I wanted to be on that sign. I wanted to have people coming to buy my books, lining up to get an autograph. I wanted my J.K. Rowling moment.
Over the years, I've been fortunate enough to live out my Barnes & Noble dream (minus the J.K. Rowling status) several times. What's more, I've been able to travel to all sorts of amazing places for author events and get that moment to celebrate my works.
This year, especially I've been branching out. We traveled to Gettysburg Book Warehouse last weekend and are heading to State College in July. We'll also be heading to Virginia for a Book Festival this fall. We're traveling and seeing new places. For my husband and I, who are self-proclaimed Netflix junkies and homebodies, traveling is pushing us out of our comfort zone.
But I've come to realize it's a good thing.
However, there's just one problem most indie authors find with book signings: Sales aren't typically J.K. Rowling status or even close. In fact, for some authors, the dreamed of book signing can become the thing of nightmares, leaving you feel like a failed writer.
So how do you balance your dreams with reality, and are book signings worth the risk?
* some successful. some in a monsoon. Some where I left in tears.
Measure your success by the experience.
Places and met people I'd have never met.
Writing journey isn't all about sales. It's about growing as a person and about meeting new people. It's about seeing how your words can affect others and about meeting new people. Break the introvert mold.
Readjusting Book Signing Measures of Success
I have had plenty of successful signings where I sold more copies than I expected.
I have, in truth, also had the exact opposite. I had a book signing where I sold exactly two copies, both of which were friends. I had a book fair in a practical monsoon where we traveled three hours to sell two books and get soaked to the bone. I've had plenty of tears over book signings that many would deem unsuccessful.
However, two years into my writing journey, I've come to learn that success should not be measured by sales at a book signing. That's not what author events are about.
In fact, that's not really what the writing journey is about. Okay, sure, we all want to sell millions of copies and retire to a private island. However, this shouldn't be your driving force. The writing journey is about growing as a person. It's about meeting new people and seeing how your words can affect others. It's about sharing your story, your characters' stories, and your personal truths. It's about breaking the introvert mold and learning how you impact others.
Book signings are a way for you to meet others, to share your story, and to inspire others to attack their dreams.
Because of my book signings, I've had more experiences in the past two years than I could've dreamed of. I've seen amazing bookstores. I've met new people. I've seen cute shops and awesome attractions along the way.
Most of all, I've had the chance to share in the experience with my husband. The memories we've made will last a lifetime...or at least until the next signing.
So to you indie authors out there wondering if book signings are worth the risk of standing alone at a table with pitying looks from strangers, I can tell you... it is. Because every person you meet can affect your writing journey. Every signing, good or bad, becomes a part of your story.
Every experience gives you the chance to grow, to change, and to evolve into the writer you were meant to be.
Title: Curves in the Road
Series: Southern Devotion, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 6, 2017
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Designer: Claire Smith
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Living in Nashville with his daughter, Katelyn, single dad Derrick Collins’s main goal is to provide a good life for his daughter. With no social life to speak of, he knows it’s time for a change. He just needs to find the perfect woman who will complete his happy family. The problem is he’s already met her and let her go.
Mary Jane Evans’s life took a path she could only dream of. Though leaving her home in Nashville meant saying goodbye to childhood friends, family, and the first man she ever loved. Now she has to choose if she will return or continue her new journey.
With a decision to make, is it possible for two lost loves to find their way back to each other or are there too many curves in the road?
The Most Difficult Parts of Writing Curves in the Road
by Amy K. McClung
In the first book of this series, For the Love of Gracie, there were a lot of intense moments involving difficult issues to read (or write). I wanted Curves in the Road to have a more lighthearted feel about it, but to keep to the theme of the Southern Devotion part of the series that involves lifelong friendships full of loyalty and selfless acts. The group of friends in this set of books is special. They’ve been through so much together and stayed strong. The hard part was having people remember how special the group is.
Mary Jane, to some, may appear selfish at times, but when you stop and consider the actions she takes, they show her selflessness has no bounds. She puts everyone else’s happiness in front of her own. As a writer, our characters play out in our heads showing us their story. I could see Mary Jane’s clearly and knew what decisions she wanted to make and why. Another difficult aspect was taking her voice from my head, putting it on paper, and making sure the reader saw the same point of view as I did and didn’t interpret it in a negative way.
In most of my books my favorite characters tend to be male. Of my female characters though, I relate the most to Mary Jane. She’s a plus-sized woman which alone brings up insecurities in life, something I’ve experienced for many years. To meet a man like Derrick who never makes her feel anything less than beautiful was a rarity for her. Then to work so hard to prepare for the opportunity for a dream internship and have it land in your lap the same time you meet the man of your dreams, it’s a decision I don’t envy.
In the beginning of the story, the strength of Mary Jane choosing her career over love didn’t make her selfish or uncaring; it shows her bravery. I want people to see her in the light I do. To see each sacrifice she makes along the way to benefit someone in her life. From the start, she puts her happiness on hold. I hope when people read this book, they see Mary Jane as the loyal friend, the courageous ally, the beautiful person she is. It’s not to say she isn’t without flaws, or that her decisions make the most sense, but she tries. As human beings, the only thing we can do in life is take chances and hope for the best.
ALL BUY LINKS
Southern Devotion Series
Book 1 on sale for 99 cents!
Amy McClung was born in Nashville, TN. She is the second oldest of four girls and occasionally suffers from middle-child syndrome. She met the love of her life online in August of 2004, on his birthday of all days, and married him in September 2005.
Currently they have no human children, only the room full of colorful robots that transform into vehicles and the large headed Pop Funkos who represent their favorite characters. Collecting movies, shot glasses, Pop Funkos, and dust bunnies are some of her favorite pastimes.
Amy began writing in September of 2011 and independently published her first YA novel, Cascades of Moonlight, Book one of the Parker Harris series the following May. Her first book was a means of therapy for her, enabling her to escape reality for a while during a difficult transition in her life.
Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ea80a6ed223/
Your Next Must-Read Thriller, Into the Water
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"I didn't have to be fixed, I could be fluid. Like the river. Perhaps it wouldn't be so difficult, after all."
Although many readers were obsessed with The Girl on the Train and Paula Hawkins had high expectations to live up to, I think she did the unthinkable with this book: She surpassed even her own writing.
For me, I thought The Girl on the Train was just an okay read. I loved the narrative pattern and the whole concept. I just thought the middle of the book lost its edge. Into the Water, however, was completely different in the fact that it never lost my attention for a second. Hawkins weaves together an intricate tale of family secrets, love, power, and revenge. Her expert writing kept the plot moving the entire time. I was stunned by the book and the secrets revealed up through the last paragraph.
The book focuses on a small town rocked by tragedy after tragedy, all centered around a cliff by a particular river. The book opens with a second death that has just happened. Lena's mother and Jules' sister has just died in what seems to be a suicide. However, questions surface as to what really happened on the cliff and if her death could be linked to the death of Lena's best friend, Katie, who died in a similar way.
The characters were lovable in this book and really easy to connect with. I liked that both Jules and Lena, although family, are very distant from each other and very flawed. I liked that they were not perfect characters in any way and both suffered great loss in life. Their relationship and the changes in it was a nice backdrop to the horror of the book.
There are a lot of narrative perspectives in this book, which was hard to keep track of at times. However, I think that is the lure of Hawkins' books; they are complicated to the point that when you finish, you are in awe that she pulled it all together. I liked that I never had everything figured out. I loved the dynamic characters and relationships.
I also loved how everything, even flashbacks, came back to the water. It became not just a setting and plot element, but almost a character in itself.
This book is definitely a must read for 2017. Hawkins shows us again why she is one of the greatest writers of our time with this novel.
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Finding a Magical Love: Sometimes You Just Know
16 years ago today, I was the nerdy, awkward thirteen-year-old walking into the junior high dance with her friends. I was wearing a red tank-top from Deb, my favorite store, and some tan shorts. I had on my wedge sandals that made me feel so cool, and I think I was sporting some glitter eye-makeup. It was the end of the school year, and our band trip to Kennywood was the next day. I had no idea that the dance I was going to would become a full-circle moment years later.
You were the 13-year-old free spirit with more detentions racked up than I could count. You were reckless when it came to school and the class clown. But there was something about you that intrigued me, that made me think we could be good for each other. You made me laugh. You got me. Even then, you were always in my corner.
That night, though, sixteen years ago, everything changed. The slow songs came on, the ones that in 7th grade, we still didn't want to admit we were waiting for. We tried to pretend we liked standing in the corners or dancing with our friends. We tried to pretend boys still had cooties, and you tried to pretend you were too cool to dance with girls.
That night, though, you broke the rules. You crossed the dance floor and asked me to dance. You carefully put your hands on my waist and tried not to stand too close. It was humid in that dance, and I can still remember worrying my bangs were sweaty and gross.
But with Faith Hill's song about magic floating in the air swirling around us, something clicked. I knew something about us dancing there in the middle of all the crazy junior high kids laughing and carrying on, was just right. There were so many people around us, but we didn't notice. Suddenly, I didn't feel like the awkward girl trying to find her place. I felt like everything was just right. I felt like we were just right.
I had no way of knowing that years down the road, glitter eye-makeup would no longer be cool. I didn't know I'd laugh someday about my obsession with butterfly clips or that Deb would close in our mall.
Most of all, sixteen years ago, I had no way of knowing that we'd have this life together we do now. I had no way of knowing that I'd marry the boy who asked me to dance, and that I'd be thinking about that red tank-top and wedge sandals sitting on our sofa, surrounded by a beautiful life we've built together.
I had no way of knowing that over a decade later, we'd dance to Faith Hill's "Breathe" for another first dance...our first dance as husband and wife. What a full-circle moment that was, with everything fading away just like it did that seventh-grade night.
Then again, maybe I did know. Because even then, even at 13, we both knew that whatever it was between us wasn't something everyone had. We knew there was something once-in-a-lifetime about the way we just got each other, the way we made it work. We knew that even though we were so different in so many ways, we were the same, too.
Looking back, I think even then, we both knew the life we could build together could be something magical.
And it is. It truly is.
To the boy who asked me to dance sixteen years ago and is now my husband, I loved you even then. What a beautiful gift it is to find the one for you at such a young age...even if I was wearing glittery eye makeup and butterfly clips.
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's Five-Star Novel About Family, Love, and Identity
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"He never imagined that as the fund grew so, too, would his children's tolerance for risk, for doing the one thing Leonard had repeatedly warned them not to do, ever, in any avenue of life, from the time they were old enough to understand: count the chickens before they hatched."
The Nest is a family saga about the Plumbs and their dysfunction. The siblings in the family all find their own, unique problems. They all have one thing in common, however: they believe the inheritance money their father set aside for them when they are older will solve all of their dilemmas. Estranged from each other, they come back together in hopes of salvaging their wrecked lives with the money only to find things are much more complicated than they could have imagined.
This book touches on so many important themes. It deals with expectations, the power money can have on our lives, love, and how family loyalty is everything. During the course of the book, destruction of each individual character eventually is what leads them back together and what helps them realize that money truly isn't the answer.
I loved the multiple points of view of this novel because it kept it fresh and exciting. There was so much to the plot of this book that it never dulled. I loved following each individual family within the Plumb family and how their lives were a chaotic mess at times. I also really liked the idea of how small of a world we live in because other characters kept coming into the picture in various ways.
Most of all, this book emphasizes the impact we have on others and how our choices can affect so many around us. Sweeney highlights that we truly can't force our family to be what we want them to be. However, at the end of it, we realize that family, even with their flaws, is exactly what we all need to find happiness.
This book has such literary depth. I feel like I could read it again to catch the subtle nuances I missed. Sweeney expertly switches point of view in such a flawlessly smooth fashion, I felt like I was constantly seeing the whole story from every angle. This kept me engaged and helped pull out various themes. This book is a book to make you think and to make you appreciate your own family, troubled past and all.
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Hey Blog Hoppers. It's me, OWEN PHILLIPS FROM THEN COMES LOVE. I hear I'm up for Book Boyfriend 2017, or so Charlotte tells me.In case you're wondering, Charlotte is a lovely 80-year-old woman from Wildflower Meadows, where I'm a personal care assistant. Charlotte is friends with my Grandma, Marla, who also lives at Wildflower. She's part of the reason I took the job there, so I could keep an eye out for her. Those two are always cooking up disasters. From fighting with Catherine, the Queen of Wildflower Meadows, over Bingo to plotting schemes to get her in trouble, they're always stirring things up. They even got into a physical altercation at dance aerobics. Crazy stuff. Most of all, Charlotte is always trying to match me up with her granddaughter Amelia, but I can't say I mind. I'm not going to lie--I've had my eye on that tattooed girl since she first accused me of being a serial killer. Long story, but no worries. I'm really a good guy.
I'm a rocker, or at least I want to be. Right now, my biggest event is playing with my guys at Wildflower at their residents' birthday parties. Still, the ladies at Wildflower whisper that I look like Adam Levine...of course, their eyesight's not the greatest. I'll take it, though. I have a sister Jane who I'm helping put through college. Our parents died a few years back, so I've kind of had to step up to the plate in a lot of ways. I'm hoping, though, that with the help of Charlotte, I might be able to win your vote for Book Boyfriend. Most of all, if I'm being honest, I'm hoping I can win Amelia's heart. We'll just have to see.
So that's my pitch. If you've got a thing for tattooed Adam-Levine lookalikes, then vote for me by sending an email saying you vote for me to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also enter to win the grand prize (A Kindle Paperwhite and 30 ebooks!) by collecting all 30 candidates names and sending an email to the same address. Then Comes Love is one of the e-books you can win, so you can learn more about my story.
Be sure to check out the other book boyfriends up for grabs, and thanks for swinging by!
Here are all the links for the Chick Lit Book Boyfriend Hop. Check them all out for your chance to win the grand prize!
Karen M. Cox
This One is Mine by Maria Semple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Now she understood that there was a whole other dimension where love simply...was."
This is the second novel I've read by Maria Semple, and I have to say her books are very intriguing because they are, quite simply, different. Semple has a quirky, edgy vibe to her work that reads as raw, in-your-face, and real.
Violet Parry has the life everyone wants. She has a wealthy husband, a huge house, a beautiful daughter Dot, and everything her heart desires. There's just one big problem: She's not happy. Her marriage isn't quite what she thought it would be, and she finds herself bored with her life. When she meets Teddy, who is of a very different lifestyle than she is, Violet's world is turned upside down by the temptation of what she doesn't have.
In addition, this book follows Violet's sister-in-law as she also finds out what love means to her and what it doesn't mean. She tries to find herself and her identity through love.
I liked Violet as a character even though she makes horrible choices. There was something resonating about a woman who thought she knew what she wanted in life only to find out it isn't quite what she expected. We all have expectations of what will make us happy. Semple addresses the very difficult and sometimes taboo topic of: What do we do when what we thought would make us happy just doesn't? Violet is flighty, rash, and wanting things she doesn't have. I found her bad choices to be forgivable because Semple helps you understand where she is coming from. I didn't condone Violet's behavior and I am sure some readers actually hate her for what she did, but I just thought Semple was showing how life and especially love aren't these perfectly wrapped, boxed-in entities. People make bad choices. People get confused. People do things they aren't proud of. Violet is human in this book. I liked that.
I, however, found myself being harder on Sally. I found her to be very selfish, condescending, and frustrating. I did not really find her to redeem herself because of what she did. However, I think perhaps that is Semple's point as well. We are all willing to judge certain people for certain things, yet we can forgive others for equally wrong transgressions. Both females in this book have major, major flaws. It is interesting to see which, if any, character you are willing to forgive and why you are willing to do so.
This is what I like so much about Semple's works. They are complex, and their messages are winding. They make you think because it is clear they have depth, but it isn't always clear what that depth means. I found this book to be about identity and also how we judge others. I found this book to point out the idea you never truly know someone's life just by glancing from the outside viewpoint. I thought this book brought up interesting points about marriage, about love, and loyalty, and about drug abuse.
I did find the book to be very vulgar at points. Some of the dialogue was uncomfortable. For a portion of the book, I found it to be over-the-top, almost as if Semple was simply going for shock value. By the end, however, I could appreciate how the vulgarity contributed to character development and helped make the book raw and real. The real world isn't perfect and always comfortable. The real world has plenty of things that push us outside of our boxes. I can appreciate Semple's refusal to censor herself or her themes, even if they do push the envelope at times. Overall, I do not feel the vulgarity of some of the scenes detracts from the message. If anything, it adds to it.
I also appreciate that Semple's books are interesting. It's hard to explain what this means, but I find that her details are quirky and have an element of sophistication. From cultural references to tiny details, Semple's books definitely showcase her voice as a writer. I marvel at her ability to work in quirky details that truly make her a standout writer.
Overall, this is a good weekend read because it explores a less-rosy, much more complex view of love and marriage. I think sometimes it's good to read outside of the box and read books that challenge your views of different things. Even if you hate the characters' choices in this book, it makes you think about your own perspective of love, loyalty, and identity.
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