1/01/2016

New Year ~ New Resolutions



Welcome 2016! Can you believe a new year has come? With each January, people make resolutions for the coming year and they will inevitably break those resolutions by the end of the first month. I've never been much for resolutions though I am goal oriented. However, over the last couple years, I have been less focused on goals, and I need to get back to that because I feel as though I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. Do you know that feeling?


This year I received Sarah Young's devotional Jesus Calling. It had been recommended to me by a dear friend and pastor's wife. So my resolution this year is to spend more time in God's Word, attempt to visit this devotional on a daily basis and utilize my time more efficiently and with less tunnel vision (too focused on one thing and abandoning the rest). 

Thoughts on devotional #1 January 1st. "Do not cling to the old ways as you step into a new year." This of course brings to mind Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

How often do we cling to the old instead of moving on to the new? It's time to transform our minds and cast off those things which keep us down, that keep us from serving God to the fullest. 

Let me close with one of my favorite verses. Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. So enter 2016 with hope knowing God is in charge of your future and give it all to His glory!
 

Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed New Year,
Cindy


 

12/16/2015

My Author Anniversary--9 Years an Author!



I missed it but yesterday was my AUTHOR BIRTHDAY! On December 15, 2006 my very first book (The Spirit of Christmas) released with By Grace Publishing. Nine years an author!

When that book released, I was so pleased. I didn't care if I published anything else but of course it was all just the beginning. When that publisher went out of business, I rewrote the book and submitted it to another publisher. It was renamed All I Want for Christmas and came out in 2009. In 2011, I pulled the book and it's just been sitting on my computer ever since. I plan to do another rewrite and Indy publish it myself in the future.

In the meantime, I've written a prequel to that book, and I'm including in my newsletter this week. Have you signed up? http://eepurl.com/bgISMz

12/12/2015

New Release: Luke's Crazy California Christmas (Snippet Sunday)

New Release! Luke's Crazy California Christmas. Book 1.5 in the Aubrey Christian Academy series.



“Here.” Mom handed me a wrapped package as we pulled up in front of the airline drop-off at the airport.
“What’s this? I thought we said we’d celebrate Christmas when I got back.”
“It’s not from me. Andrea dropped it off when you were gone last night.” She leaned in as if to give me a kiss on the cheek or forehead like when I was little. Instead, she smoothed a piece of my dark hair into place. “I feel like I should tell you something important—advice or something, but you’re pretty much all grown up. Three more months and my baby will be eighteen.” Her expression turned playful as she gave me a light pat on the cheek.
“I better get going before you’re towed by airline security.” I slid closer to the door and grabbed the handle. Before opening it, I turned back to her. “I hate leaving you at Christmas.”
“I know you do, but I’ll be fine with Aunt Renee and Ray and the girls. I won’t be alone. Don’t worry about me.”
“Love you, Mom.”
“Love you too. Have a good Christmas.”I hopped out and grabbed my bags from the trunk.
I waved goodbye and headed inside to check my luggage. A biting wind shot through the entryway to the terminal just as I started to enter the automatic doors.
I did hate leaving Mom for Christmas. I knew she’d be OK with my aunt and uncle and cousins, but it wouldn’t be the same. This was supposed to be our first North Carolina Christmas. Instead, it had turned out to be her first Christmas alone. The first Christmas since my older sister, Monica, passed away after being in a coma from a car accident. The first Christmas since she and Dad divorced. I couldn’t believe what a jerk Dad was being, forcing me to come back to California and leave Mom. No, that wasn’t true. Dad was being true to form.



Only $.99 http://goo.gl/Dj5xb7


High school senior, Luke Ryan, may have gone all-star in baseball the previous year, but nothing about his current life resembles that famed reputation. With Christmas break on the horizon, he resents the compulsory trip to visit his estranged father in California. Not only is he forced to abandon his mother over the holiday, but his pianist girlfriend, Andrea, also--who seems too preoccupied by her Christmas Eve charity concert to care that they’ll be apart. On the way to California, he meets free-spirit Charli who spins his world in a completely different direction. Once in his old stomping grounds, he’s forced to face the reality of his sister’s death and his parents’ divorce. Decisions assail him over his future, his girlfriend, and his home. Is he destined to move back to California to secure a baseball scholarship or does God have another plan for his life?

9/12/2015

Book Review: Now & Forever by Mary Connealy




So, I was accepted into Bethany House's reviewer program which was thrilling!! And the first book I received was the 2nd book in the Wild at Heart series by Mary Connealy. The postman dropped off  the package and my heart beat excitedly in my chest. I ripped it open and found this book just waiting for me to read, but being the busy mommy, wife, teacher, author that I am, it has taken me much longer to read this book than I would have liked.  It had nothing to do with the book and everything to do with finding time to read the book.

I love Mary Connealy’s books and this one did not disappoint!

Not having read book 1, at the onset there was some confusion on who all the characters were and how they were related, but once you get into the first chapter or so the book really is stand-alone. The author capably explains the necessary plot ideas that you might have missed from book 1.

In Now and Forever, we meet Matt Tucker (wild man/mountain man) and Shannon Wilde (pretending to be a man since the Civil War and trying to forget that same war too) who end up going through an adventure together and surviving only to be forced into a marriage of convenience due to propriety.

This is one of those books that you just tuck into, rest back into your pillow and enjoy every moment. Mary's writing style is so easy to get drawn into and before you know it several chapters have gone by. There's just something so genuine in the way the author creates her characters and as they reach their epiphany of life and love it touches your heart in a real way and the words flow over your soul and comfort you.

Matt Tucker for instance is a hero to fall in love with and not just because he's handsome and able to fight and protect Shannon but he also has a heart for God. And he says things like this after Shannon finally divulges something personal and hurtful from her past: “”If I’m strong enough to listen, then for certain God is.”

Memorable characters, terrific writing and the plotting and pacing are perfect. I definitely plan to get the other books in the series. Go out and get this one but maybe start with book 1 in the series. Ava liable at all book outlets such as Amazon.





I received a free copy of the book from Bethany House publishers for an honest review.


8/19/2015

Cover Reveal...Next Door to a Star

We are extremely excited to reveal the cover of NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager! This Young Adult Romance releases September 1st! 


They like me...they like me not.

NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult Romance
★ SYNOPSIS ★
Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte. 

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken. 

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.

Cliques.

Back-stabbing.

Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…
Next Door To A Star?


★ ★ KRYSTEN LINDSAY HAGER ★ ★ 

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.



8/12/2015

Young Adult Giveaway Hop






Welcome to the YA Blog Hop Giveaway! There are a lot of fun blogs to visit and see what they are offering. Lots of books to be had!!

Let me tell you about the Aubrey Christian Academy series--Meet Andrea, the right-brained, neurotic pianist; Amy, the never-wrong brainiac; Angie, the rebellious artist & Alisha, the sweet, beautiful ex-cheerleader.

Book 1--Andrea & the Five Day Challenge:

When a never-been-kissed teenage pianist collides with an all-star varsity baseball player, nothing good can happen...

Public humiliation, a run-in with the head cheerleader, peer pressure, and head-butting the most popular guy in school. Andrea Jamison's life just took a turn for the worse.

High school junior Andrea Jamison, self-proclaimed change-o-phobic and, incidentally, a fabulous pianist in her own right has lost faith in herself and her abilities.  At the exact moment when her parents begin pressuring her about an opportunity that just might lead to Julliard, Andrea’s friend Amy meddles in her personal life trying to pair her up with the cute, transfer jock Luke Ryan. Will Andrea learn to accept her parents often repeated word FOCUS or will she finally start trusting in God’s strength instead of cowering in her own weaknesses?

Want to win a copy of this book & a $10 gift card to Amazon? Then enter using the Rafflecopter below. (US Entrants only. A physical giftcard will be mailed.)



COMING CHRISTMAS 2015! Luke's Crazy, California Christmas-the next book in the Aubrey Christian Academy series.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Play Along with us

8/10/2015

Have You Been Reading This Summer?




Friends of mine have asked if I've been getting any reading this summer. My initial reaction was NO! It has been a crazy, busy summer. I can't believe it's almost over and we start schooling again next week. But then I remembered I had been reading!




This summer I've been 're-reading' all of the Jane Austen novels by listening to audio books using the Librivox app on my phone as I drive or clean house. I decided to read them in backwards publication order. Started with Persuasion, (my fav) then did Northanger Abbey and just finished Emma the other day. Now it's on to Mansfield Park. The best part is that it's FREE! So there is no reason to be too busy to read these days.