vote for the book trailer you like best and win!

Since it’s been awhile since we’ve had a giveaway…

Leave a comment about which book trailer you like best and I’ll pick a winner from all of the entries to win a copy of the corresponding book!

Is it the book trailer for Kaydie, Book #2 in the Montana Skies Historical Romance Series –

Here’s the blurb:

Kaydie2

Haunted by her painful marriage, Kaydie Worthington Kraemer is determined never to fall in love again, and it will take the grace of God to change her mind—the same grace that works in the heart of ranch hand Jonah Dickenson, a confirmed bachelor who has unhealed wounds of his own to overcome.

 OR…

The trailer for Hailee,  Book #3 in the Montana Skies Historical Romance Series:

Here’s the blurb:

hailee (3)For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she’s still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.

Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Nate Adams would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate’s parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.

When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?

While there’s not yet a trailer for the book that started the whole series, I invite you to check out McKenzie, Book #1 in the Montana Skies Historical Romance Series:

McKenzie2

Desperate to save her sister from an abusive husband, socialite McKenzie Worthington responds to a mail-order bride ad in the Montana Territory—where God-fearing rancher Zachary Sawyer prays for a wife to share his life. But when McKenzie arrives with a plan that includes divorce, will Zachary’s persistent kindness and self-sacrifice change her heart?

All books are available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook formats.

McKenzie is available at your favorite bookstore or –

Amazon

Christian Book Distributors

Kaydie is available at your favorite bookstore or –

Amazon

Christian Book Distributors

Hailee is available at your favorite bookstore or –

Soooo… now here’s your turn! Tell me which book trailer you liked best and I will choose a winner at random to win a copy of the corresponding book! And although McKenzie doesn’t have a book trailer, you can pick that book if you’d like a chance to win it instead.
The small print: Entering is super simple. Leave a comment below about which book trailer you liked best (or if you’d rather choose McKenzie). Anyone can enter, and if you’re a subscriber to this blog, you get an extra entry. 🙂 The winner will be chosen at random. If the winner resides in the U.S., they will have their choice of either a paperback or ebook version. If the winner resides outside of the U.S., they will receive an ebook copy. Contest expires November 1, 2013.
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Book Giveaway and Guest Post by Author Eva Piper!

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

Eva-Piper-BookI am honored to have Eva Piper as my guest this week! Eva is the author of the new book A Walk Through the Dark. Below is the blurb:

One day Eva Piper was an elementary school teacher, the mother of three, the beloved wife of a strong, protective husband.

The next day she stood at the bedside of a broken man who could do nothing but moan in agony and turn his head away from her.

Later she would learn that he had died and actually experienced heaven before being prayed back to life—a true miracle. Don Piper’s testimony, told in the New York Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven, would one day bring hope to thousands. But all that was in the future. Despite family and friends who kept vigil with her, Eva Piper found herself essentially alone. Walking in the dark. And she had always hated the dark.

Though it parallels that of her husband, Eva Piper’s account is quite different from his. It takes readers not to heavenly places but through a very earthly maze of hospital corridors, insurance forms, tiring commutes from home to workplace and hospital, and lonely hours of waiting and worrying. This is the story of a woman learning, step by darkened step, to go places she never thought she could go and growing into a person she never thought she could be. Packed with hard-earned wisdom about what it means to be a caregiver, to open yourself to the care of others, and to rest in God’s provision, this book provides a dependable source of light to help you walk through the dark.

Eva has graciously offered to give away an ARC copy of A Walk Through the Dark to one of my readers! You won’t want to miss reading this touching book that shows how God is there for us even in the hardest of times.

All of the details about winning are at the end of this post. But for now, let’s join Eva for her guest post “For Better or Worse.”

“For Better Or Worse”

“Do you take this woman/ man to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband?  For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health ‘til death do you part?”

Many young couples have stood in marriage ceremonies across the world and romantically answered “I do.” Fifteen years before Don’s accident we stood at the front of Barksdale Baptist Church with family and friends looking on as we uttered those words “I do”. I must admit that as a young bride I had no idea how my promise would be tested in the years to come. No bride or groom wants to think anything troublesome will come their way. Standing there in front of the altar I was filled with marriage giddiness. I was marrying the most 1386177_wedding_ringshandsome, intelligent, strong Christian man I had ever met. It was a girl’s dream come true.

Shortly after our fifteenth wedding anniversary, I was standing beside a hospital bed looking at a man I could scarcely recognize. His physical appearance had changed after numerous surgeries to piece him back together after being hit head-on by an 18 wheeler which left him encased in metal frames on his left leg and arm in an attempt to repair broken and lost bone. Those were changes I could pass over and still see the man I loved. No, it wasn’t his physical change that disturbed me, it was the change in his personality that was difficult to understand and accept. For weeks following Don’s accident he plunged into a deep depression, one where he wouldn’t speak to me, where the only response I could get was a grunt or single syllable monotone answers. There was no joy, no willingness to get better, no appreciation, nothing. It was like talking to a zombie. As his wife I couldn’t understand why he was not rejoicing in the fact he had survived a horrific wreck followed by medical complications. It didn’t seem like he cared about anything or anyone.

One evening about mid-February I arrived at St. Luke’s Hospital after teaching school. I had a book bag on my arm filled with papers to grade, lesson plans to write, and thank-you notes to send. I stood outside his room for a moment, pasted on my Suzy Sunshine smile, and walked in. As usual I got no response when I entered. The rest of the evening I spent working through the items in my bag and finished before visiting hours were over. Though I typically stayed until the very last minute that evening I decided to head home early. I was exhausted on all levels…physically, emotionally, 1031747_hospitalmentally, and even spiritually. The thought of getting home early, taking a long, hot shower, and then heading to bed sounded like a wonderful escape. I began to gather my things and head toward the door. As I reached for the handle I turned and said, “Guess I’ll head home. See you tomorrow. Love you.” His grunt of response hit me hard. I turned, dropped my book bag, marched over to the foot of his bed and let him have it.

“Why are you acting like this? Aren’t you glad to be alive and here with our kids, with me? Don’t you love me anymore? You are so mean, mean to me , mean to our children, mean to anyone who comes to see you. What’s wrong with you/”

I couldn’t believe I was saying those things but I couldn’t seem to stop myself. All my frustrations came to a boiling point in the moment between the door and the foot of his bed. Seeing my bag on the floor I reached for it ready to storm out the door, that’s when I noticed Don’s face in the large, wall mirror next to his bed. Tears were streaming down his face and his chest was heaving in heavy sobs. Instantly I was at his side, trying my best to put my arms around him, in and through all the metal, saying over and over “It’s Ok, things will be alright, I’m here.We’ll make it through this. Don’t worry. ”

Often I’d put my arms around our children to soothe hurts and pain, now I was doing that for my husband. God took that opportunity to teach me a great lesson.

“God loves us even in all our ugliness. I needed to see Don through God’s eyes.” I stood there holding Don and realized for the first time how hard this was for him. How much pain he was going through and how that 1356536_cross_with_shadow_1had to affect his state of mind. I knew then that we were living through a ‘worse’ time but that God had used it to bond us more tightly together.

It is a blessing I am forever thankful for.

About Eva Piper:

Eva Piper is a speaker and author with a unique insight into the trials of heartache and the triumph of overcoming. The wife of best-selling author Don Piper, Eva was the glue that held her broken husband and her family together. Don’s story, recounted in the New York Times bestseller, 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Life and Death, is Eva’s story too. A teacher of 34 years, she and Don now live in Pasadena, Texas. Visit http://evapiper.com/ to reserve your copy today!

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And now, for a chance to win a copy of A Walk Through the Dark! All you have to do is leave a comment for a chance to win. Your comment can pertain to anything and here is an idea: When was a time when you felt Jesus’ presence – a difficult time when you felt alone, but knew you could rely on the Lord to see you through? A time when the words of Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength an everpresent help in trouble rang true?

The fine print: sorry, but this giveaway is open to residents of the United States only. A winner will be chosen at random using random.org and confirmed subscribers will receive two entries. The giveaway ends August 18, 2013.

**If you enjoyed this post, please share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest by clicking on one of the handy-dandy little buttons below – thank you SOOOOOOOO much for sharing!**

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Book Giveaways This Week…

Happy Wednesday morning! I hope you are all having a great week.

A couple of announcements to share (including a couple of freebies at the end of this post!)…

McKenzie2Today is the last day to have a chance to win a copy of McKenzie on Amada Chavez’s awesome blog at http://ascphotosanddesigns.blogspot.com/2013/02/interview-and-giveaway.html. Amada interviewed me and asked some fantastic questions about the writing life, including how I started writing, where I write, and how I came up with the idea for McKenzie. So…if you didn’t have a chance to download McKenzie while it was free on Kindle last week, here’s another chance for you to get your hands on a copy!

slide fam smSecondly, anyone who has read my books will notice that I’m a huge supporter of adoption. As such, when my fellow writing friend Jessie Gunderson told me of the dream she and her husband have of adopting two precious children from Ethiopia, I knew I had to help.

Jessie and her husband are attempting to raise $1,800 to begin their dossier to bring their children home. She is offering everyone who makes a donation a chance to be entered to win a first place prize of Disney Tickets. There is also a second place prize – a choice of one of any of five of my books (paperback form of McKenzie, Kaydie, Hailee, 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference, or Hollyhocks). All of the details are at Jessie’s blog. Please consider a donation of any size to assist in giving two children their forever home.

77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference

jake and jesusThird, don’t miss the awesome birthday celebration! My fellow author friend, Kelly Hagen, is celebrating the two-year anniversary of her delightful children’s book Jake & Jesus and you’re invited! When you purchase her book, you will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Kaydiebook #2 in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series. You’ll also receive valuable savings off Amanda Beth’s books You Can Have a Happy Family and The Love Walk (both books I would highly recommend!) and a discount off JBAM Candles. All of the details are at Kelly’s blog.

Kaydie2

If you’d like to read the review I wrote of Jake & Jesus, you can find it here. The review I wrote for Amanda Beth’s You Can Have a Happy Family can be found here.

You Can Have a Happy Family is also free on Kindle today and tomorrow. The Love Walk is free tomorrow for Valentine’s Day.

Amanda_Beth_Book_cover

Lastly, join me in the coming weeks for a revamped blog, including some changes on my Movie Monday postings. I’m looking forward to sharing some more fantastic movie reviews with you and some hilarious and inspirational posts. Stay tuned! In the meantime, feel free to check out my Mom-Approved Movie Listings for some fantastic ideas for your next family night.

Planning on a get-together? Find out how to host your own Sisters in Christ Community Girls Night Out.

Have a fantabulous rest of your week and join me later today for my annual Valentine’s Day post.

Guest Post: I’ll Never Get My Life Back (and a chance to win Disney tickets!)

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

My friend and fellow writer, Jessie Gunderson is my guest this week. She and her family are in the process of adopting two beautiful children from Ethopia. Jessie is holding a fundraiser on her blog where you can help out and have a chance at winning a pair of Disneyland tickets.  She’s also giving away a second place gift – your choice of one of my books (McKenzie, Kaydie, Hailee, 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference, or Hollyhocks).

This is such an awesome opportunity to give two children a chance at a forever home!

I’ll Never Get my Life Back

By Jessie Gunderson

I’ve never thought of myself as the mothering type. I was the girl making mud pies and riding horses. The delight I experienced once I started having kids surprised me but I still longed for a day when they’d be grown up and I’d get my life back.

One day I was thinking about God’s profound love for us and how Jesus gave up his life so we could live and I began to change. I realized I couldn’t love God and despise His creation. I prayed for Jesus to show me how to love people.

slide fam sm

The Gunderson family

I’ve been a mother eleven years this December, learning how to love, surrender my agenda and the perfectionist tendencies, and grow to a place where I no longer want a different life. Isaiah 58:10 says to spend yourself. And as I studied God’s selfless character, I realized that’s how I want to be.

I delivered a little boy, my fifth child, at our home in the woods and I knew that our family wasn’t complete. God revealed over the next year and a half, His plan for further growing our family to include internationally adopted children. We’re currently in the process of adopting a 5 and 7 year old brother and sister from Ethiopia. She wants to be a judge when she grows up and he wants to be a runner. The journey toward them is immense and the heart change has taken me a lifetime but I no longer want out. I want to surrender to Christ’s strength and lean on him so I can spend myself loving the least of these.

Don’t forget to stop by Jessie’s blog to read about how you can help the Gunderson family bring home their two newest members of their family and in doing so, have a chance to win!

And the winners are…

Wow! It’s been a busy Christmas and New Year, but not it’s time to announce some winners from the past few giveaways. First of all, thank you to everyone who stopped by and showed their support for my author friends. We all appreciate you!

And now, without further ado, here are the winners:

Winds of Wyoming by Becky Lyles – Amada Chavez

Grace, Miracles, and Chocolate by Marriott Cole – Kay M.

The Love Walk by Amanda Beth – Kelly H.

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California by Keli Gwyn – Lilly

Thank you to everyone who entered. The authors will be contacting you soon.

And thank you to Becky, Marriott, Amanda Beth, and Keli for being my guests!

If you are looking to win my book Hailee, Book #3 in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series, check out the Christian Book Review Blog at http://christianbookreviewblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/author-interview-and-giveaway-hailee-by.html where a copy is being given away to one lucky winner. But hurry! Contest ends January 19, 2013!

 

 

 

Interview and Giveaway with Author Becky Lyles!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! I have one more giveaway for the year. I’ve been having issues with properly accessing my account, so I’ve had to delay the announcement of the winners for the past couple of giveaways, but no fear! I promise to randomly choose those winners and announce them soon.  Until then, enjoy this newest giveaway with featured guest, Becky Lyles!

Becky is the author of Winds of Wyoming. I haven’t yet read this book, but it sounds intriguing!  Below is the blurb:

RCLyles CoverFresh out of a Pennsylvania penitentiary armed with a marketing degree, Kate Neilson heads to Wyoming anticipating an anonymous new beginning as a guest-ranch employee. A typical twenty-five-year-old woman might be looking to lasso a cowboy, but her only desire is to get on with life on the outside—despite her growing interest in the ranch owner. When she discovers a violent ex-lover followed her west, she fears the past she hoped to hide will trail as close as a shadow and imprison her once again.

And now, let’s meet the author behind the book…Hello Becky! Thank you for being my guest. What was your inspiration behind your latest book? My inspiration for writing Winds of Wyoming came late one night as I drove home from team-leading a Bible study at an Arizona women’s prison. Each time I visited the prison, I was struck by the similarities between the incarcerated women and myself. In the same way I loved my family, they loved theirs and longed to see and hold them, especially their children. We also had in common everyday struggles with relationships, forgiveness, transparency, obedience, health, finances, faith, and so much more.

For several years, I’d been trying to write about a woman who left the east coast to start a new life in Wyoming, where I grew up. But I could never come up with a strong enough motive for the move to create a plausible plotline. While driving through the dark desert that night, I realized challenges ex-offenders face when they return to society could provide the basis for my heroine’s obstacles. As believers, freed prisoners have the power of Christ to help them walk the narrow road; however, past failures and corrupt friends still haunt them and fight to drag them back to their former lifestyles. Kate Neilson’s story is one of a young ex-felon learning to live a new life in a new place as a forgiven daughter of the King.

Wow! I love the inspiration behind your book, Becky! Can you expound on the Christian message contained in Winds of Wyoming? One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Hope is a key theme in the book, as are transparency and forgiveness.

becky lylesSince we’re on the topic, what is your favorite book of the Bible? Wow, choosing a favorite book of the Bible is tough! Maybe I’ll narrow it down to Esther in the Old Testament and Philippians in the New Testament. I love the story aspect of Esther, the intrigue, the twists and turns, the astounding miracles, and God’s invisible presence behind every line. Philippians is short and simple yet contains so much wisdom and guidance. I rely on many of the verses for daily living, like 4:6 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” and 4:13 – “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Verse six of chapter one provided hope and power to endure through an especially difficult birth process: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I, too, love the books of Esther and Philippians. And now, while we’re on the subject of favorites” what is your favorite Scripture Verse? Yikes, another tough choice! One verse I really like is this NLT version of Exodus 34:14: “He is a God who is passionate about His relationship with you.”

This question is so much fun to ask…what charity you would found if you were suddenly given 1 million dollars? I’d like to provide homes, jobs and healthcare for families and orphans around the world who have to live in garbage dumps and scavenge through the refuse as their way of earning an income.

Wow! Excellent charity! And lastly, Becky, where readers can find you on the web?

Website:http://www.beckylyles.com

Email: beckylyles@beckylyles.com

Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles

Twitter: @BeckyLyles

Blog: widgetwords.wordpress.com

Is there anything else you’d like to add? I’m in the midst of edits for the Winds of Wyoming sequel titled Winds of Freedom and scheduled to release next spring. Here’s a blurb about some of the characters:

Four women fight for freedom and wholeness—for themselves and each other. Kate Neilson’s own loss and heartache during a long cold winter take a backseat to the needs of her failing great-aunt plus those of her mother-in-law and her best friend, who’ve both been ensnared by evil.

We will keep a lookout for your next release, Becky! Thank you so much for being my guest. It has been awesome connecting with you online. Thank you, Penny, for this opportunity to talk about the Winds books. I enjoyed the visit and wish you and your readers God’s very best for 2013.

And now, readers, here’s your chance to win   all you have to do is leave an encouraging comment for Becky. A winner will be chosen at random. Sorry this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. If you are a subscriber to this blog, you will receive two entries.  The contest ends on January 10, 2013.

Interview and Giveaway with Marriott Cole!

I am honored to have Marriott Cole as my guest. She will be giving away a copy of her new book Grace, Miracles and Chocolate to one lucky winner! I haven’t yet read this book, but it sounds like a must-have for your Christmas reading list. Following is the blurb:

Marriott Cole knows that sometimes it is difficult to trust God, especially during the most challenging moments. In her memoir, Grace, Miracles, and Chocolate, Cole chronicles a life with more than  its share of difficulties while demonstrating how she overcame tragedy through the miracle of prayer, laughter, and the grace of God’s love.

cover gmc-page-001Cole shares poignant anecdotes with accompanying Scripture, tracing her life journey beginning with the details of her first conversation with her birth mother. Despite the horrifying details of her conception, Cole describes how she was eventually led to forgiveness and to accept a second family into her heart. As she retraces her complex life and reveals her unique problem solving strategies, Cole details how she learned to rely on not only her faith, but also her inner strength as she bravely faced widowhood and the terrifying thought of raising seven children on her own,.

Grace, Miracles and Chocolate challenges spiritual seekers everywhere to either develop or rekindle a relationship with Jesus Christ and to always remember that He is with us–no matter what comes our way in life.

“This is an amazing story of God’s faithfulness, love and incredible miracles in the life of His faithful child. …Marriott is a real woman with real heartaches and triumphs. Her life story will touch many, many hearts…” Amy McGuire, author of The Heart’s Discovery

And now, let’s learn a bit about Marriott…

Hello Marriott! Thank you for being my guest. Please share with my readers the inspiration behind your book:  So many people told me that I “ought to write a book” so I wrote Chapter 1 and had it published about twenty-eight years ago; Chapter 31 was written and published twenty years ago; the rest of the book are true miracles and humorous events that have happened in between and since then, along with the tragic death of my son. I wanted other people to realize that when they face tragedies, they can get through them with God’s help and the comfort afforded us through our faith in eternal life through Jesus.

nancy's portrait 007That’s one of the things I admire most about you Marriott – your strong faith in our Lord. You are such an inspiration and testimony of God’s faithfulness.  Speaking of the Lord, do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Proverbs is my favorite book. When it is the first of the month, I read Proverbs 1, the second day, Proverbs 2, and so on. I feel that I have become a wiser Christian and  have more of an ability to do the right thing based on the wisdom I have garnered from Proverbs, which was mostly written by the wisest man in the world, King Solomon, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I love the idea of reading Proverbs throughout the month! It truly is a great book and so full of wisdom. Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? John 1:1 because it is through this verse I learned that Jesus is God in the flesh; He sacrificed Himself so that we  wouldn’t have to suffer eternal death for our sins. He took our punishment, as horrible as it was, upon Himself! I love Him so much because of it!

I agree and share your great love for our Savior.  I’m going to switch topics now and ask one of my favorite questions: What charity you would found if you were suddenly given one million dollars?

My heart’s passion is for evangelism in hard-to-reach countries. Since indiginous missionaries already know the native language, they can readily deliver the gospel to those who haven’t heard as long as they are able to have their daily needs met, which are minimal compared to the needs of foreign missionaries. Since Christian Aid Mission does just that, I would write them a million dollar check instead of reinventing the wheel!

I love your answer! So many have not yet heard of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And lastly, Marriott, where readers can find you on the web?

My blog is www.marriottcole.com. You can also read a preview of Grace, Miracles, and Chocolate here and here  and wherever books are sold.

Than you for being my guest, Marriott. It was an honor to have you here!

And now, readers, here’s your chance to win   all you have to do is leave an encouraging comment for Marriott. A winner will be chosen at random. Sorry this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. If you are a subscriber to this blog, you will receive two entries.  The contest ends on January 10, 2013.

**Stay tuned for the announcement of several winners of some past giveaways after Christmas. Until then, have a blessed and wonderful Christmas season!