Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gaining Visibility - Interview & Giveaway

Julia Berkwith’s daughter has moved to Alaska, her beloved mother-in-law is in a nursing home, and her ex-husband is in Hawaii—with a younger woman. In her late forties, Julia is now used to being invisible. But even if she has to do it alone, she’s determined to celebrate her victory over breast cancer by hiking Italy’s Cinque Terre. And while she’s there, she can scout out treasures for her interior design business back in Kentucky.
Invigorated by the beauty of the Italian countryside, Julia seems unstoppable, until she’s injured by a rock—one that happens to belong to thirty-something stone mason Vitale DeLuca. Reluctantly, Julia accepts Vitale’s insistent offer of lodging while she recovers. But in his home, amid his exquisite sculptures, Julia sees beyond his charm and looks to something special: a talent she must bring to the world’s attention. And once she does, she plans to step aside to leave him in the spotlight. But Vitale has seen something in Julia too, something she is no longer able to recognize in herself. And he is determined to find a way to show it to her.
Poignant and uplifting, Gaining Visibility is an exhilarating story of one woman’s realization that even the deepest scars have a beauty of their own—and that it’s time to take her place in the sun once more.

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Twelve Things You Don’t Know about Me … Or Maybe Wish You Didn’t
by Pamela Hearon

1.       I’m a blueblood—a rabid, died-in-the-wool University of Kentucky Wildcat fan.  My two favorite basketball teams are Kentucky and whoever is playing Duke that day.
2.      Blowing air out of my tear ducts to cause a squeaky sound was one of my claims to fame in childhood, but sadly, I lost the ability as an adult … so don’t expect a lively rendition of “Whistle While You Work” when we meet.
3.      My best blind date turned out to be with my boss’s ex-husband (eeeek!!!).  We’ve now been married for 30 years.
4.       Just looking at a pretzel (the skinny, stick kind) can make me barf.  The origin of the aversion is a mystery, but it has something to do with the fact that they smell like fever.  
5.      My best writing happens in the shower … and while I’m asleep.
6.      I’ve seen the movie Dr. Zhivago 27 times, and I’ve read the book (but only once).
7.      My lifelong love affair with chocolate continues with no break-up in sight.
8.     Walking the Great Wall of China, hiking a glacier, parasailing, seeing puffins and grizzly bears in the wild, and riding a bobsled have all been checked off my Bucket List.  Seeing a grand aurora borealis display has not.
9.      I’ve had my jade plant for thirty-three years—that’s longer than I’ve known my husband.
10.  One night, I heard footsteps in a house I was renting.  The house was old and the wooden floors creaked, and the sound was definitely someone walking.  I went through all the rooms and checked everything out, but I found nothing alarming and all the doors and windows were locked.  The footsteps came a second time … and a third.  The next morning, I read in the newspaper that the woman who owned the house had died the day before.  I never heard the footsteps again.
11.   Perfect days usually have a beach involved.
12.   I mix up the flatware in my dishwasher so the pieces can all get to know each other.  They only get to hang out with their own kind in the drawer.

About the author:
Pamela Hearon grew up in Paducah, Kentucky, a small city that infuses its inhabitants with Southern values, Southern hospitality, and a very distinct Southern accent. There she found the inspiration for her quirky characters, the perfect backdrop for the stories she wanted to tell, and the beginnings of her narrative voice. 

Pamela was a 2013 RITA® Finalist and Maggie Finalist for her first Harlequin Superromance, OUT OF THE DEPTHS (August 2012). Six more Superromances followed — THE SUMMER PLACE (National Readers’ Choice Award Finalist), MOONLIGHT IN PARIS, HIS KIND OF PERFECTION (2015 Maggie Finalist), MY WAY BACK TO YOU, RIGHT WHERE WE STARTED, and IN EMMYLOU’S HANDS.

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Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon

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A Sister's Wish - Review & Giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
A Sister’s Wish is Book Three in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Charmed Amish Life series.  This story features beautiful, sweet, caring Amelia Kinsinger, the youngest of the four Kinsinger children.  Amelia’s mother died when she was seven years old, and her father was killed just a few months ago in an accident.  So now twenty-two-year-old Amelia runs the household and takes primary care of the family farm.

Book One in the Charmed series focuses on Lukas, the eldest of the Kinsinger children, while bringing us up to speed on the Kinsinger history.  It delves further into the accident at Kinsinger Lumber, the family business, and the loss of five lives, including their father, the founder and head of Kinsinger Lumber Company.  Lukas has always had sawdust in his blood, so assuming the position of head of Kinsinger in the wake of his father’s death was no surprise to anyone.  And then of course there is the matter of his heart: Will he find happiness in love?

Rebecca’s story unfolds in Book Two. As the second oldest, Rebecca has also worked at Kinsinger Lumber since she was in her teens.  Was that really her choice, though? Or was that simply family expectations?  Rebecca must search her heart for where her career path lies, but, yes, there is also the matter of her heart:  Will she find happiness in love?

But wait a minute.  If this is Book Three, why is it featuring Amelia, the fourth and youngest of the Kinsinger children?  Good question!  Because, Levi, third in line, decided this orphan drama was just a bit too difficult for him at the moment and he needed some time and space to regroup.  In other words, he left town─ ages ago.

So now we’re back to Amelia.  She is in love with Simon, has been for years.  But Simon’s childhood was far from idyllic and that led him to make some very bad choices in his life.  Now, at age thirty, he’s back in Charm and showing interest in Amelia.  Will big brother, Lukas, and big sister, Rebecca, stand by and allow tattooed Simon anywhere near pure and virtuous Amelia? Will they allow Simon to taint their gentle, sheltered baby sister?  And what does Amelia think about her siblings’ perception of this tricky situation, their (over)protectiveness of her?  Is she allowed any say at all in this matter?

Author Shelley Shepard Gray’s books are a wonderful way to spend some quiet hours. Her stories are filled with faith and family and finding one’s way; stories that lift up your heart and make you smile. We all have rocky roads and deep valleys to traverse at one time or another in life. Sometimes the bumps in our paths are way too close to home. It’s refreshing to read how faith and family can be both part of the struggle and also part of the solution. 

In this third addition to the Kinsinger story, I once again enjoyed how the author succinctly laid out the sticky situation. Then she led us step by step to the heart of matter, eventually leading us to the satisfying sigh at the end.  My heart is smiling─again.  I wish the same for you.  Read the Charmed Amish Life series and smile… smile…smile.

Then get ready!  Yes, Book Four in this charming series is coming out very soon! Hurray!

Buy Links:
Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

Author Info:
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook  | Twitter | GoodReads

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