Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish – Win a KitchenAid Mixer!

Blurb:

A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara’s life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl’s recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour—a single father with strange culinary habits—seems determined to win Liesl’s affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family’s past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

You can purchase it here: Amazon * B&N * BAM * CBD * Deeper Shopping

 

About the Author:


Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she’s not writing, she’s a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church’s youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

You can find Christa here: Website * Twitter * Pinterest * Facebook

~My Review~

 
Liesl McNamara was a bread maker by trade but it was more than that. Making bread was a family tradition that was passed from generation to generation. She learned to make bread at the hands of her mother and grandmother, Oma, from the time she was a little girl. When she found her mother dead at the age of only thirteen, Liesl closed herself off from the world eventually turning to bread making as an escape from the memories that haunted her. Now, years later, she hides from the past in her bake house, Wild Rise. Because her apprentice sends in an application for the TV show Bake-Off, Liesl sons finds herself in the middle of production with some hard decisions to make. But a little girl and her father have worked their way into her life and heart and Liesl has to decide if she is willing to let go of the past and look toward the future.
Seamus Tate is the new flour delivery man for Wild Rise bake house. After his wife walked out he found himself as a single father trying to raise a six year-old alone. When his daughter, Cecelia, becomes attached to the bakery owner he soon finds himself becoming attached to her as well. Liesl has worked her way into his heart and when his mother becomes ill and needs constant care Seamus has no choice but to return to Tennessee. Is his love enough for Liesl? Can she give up the one thing she has always used as a balm to her wounds? Or will she give up the only true love she has ever known?
I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this book. I love the traditions ingrained in Liesl’s family. The bread making that was passed from generation to generation is something to be admired because it brought a closeness between Liesl, her mother and grandmother. Bread making was their solace and that is a beautiful thing. There are a lot of descriptions on bread and bread making all throughout the story. So much so that I feel like bread makers will be more likely to get the most out of the story. I loved her mix matched “family” though. They are described on page 211 like this, “…odd, growing Wild Rise family of immigrants, high school dropouts, nerdy engineers, flirty artists, fundamentalist farm girls, and everyone else.” This is such an accurate description and you can’t help but love the characters. Xavier and Tee especially. It also covered an issue that is seldom discussed and that is, self-inflicted pain. Kids often inflict pain upon themselves as a way of dealing with the problems going on in their lives. In Liesl’s case she would beat her legs with a hairbrush until she was black and blue. I feel it’s a problem that should be addressed more and I give a thumbs up to Christa Parrish for bringing it to light.
I am a romance junkie at heart, though, and I feel like the one thing I love took a backseat to everything else. The romance between Liesl and Seamus was slow in developing and I really like that but I wanted to read more about it. I wish it had been woven into the story more often. Seamus was such a sweet, teddy bear of a man and I would like to have seen more of him. Also, all throughout the book the story would just stop and there would be a section connecting Jesus, the Bread of Life, to the bread we consume daily and then the story would resume where it left off. While I completely agree with this theological concept, it somehow seemed misplaced for me. I’m still struggling with how to classify this book as well. Is it romance, self-help or women’s fiction maybe? I’ll let you be the judge. I also feel like there was a loose end. I like my books all tied up in neat little packages but I felt like there was a loose thread left hanging. If you are a romance junkie like I am, while you might like the sense of family this book evokes, you may not love the story as a whole quite as much. However, if you are a bread enthusiast I do recommend it as you will most likely love it because it has a lot of references to and instructions on bread and bread making and it also includes several recipes.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

 

My Rating: 3 Stars *** 

 

 *Tweetables*

 
 
 
 
 

 

Q & A: I ask the question and you answer with your own personal thoughts! 🙂

 
Bread making was a beloved tradition for Liesl’s family that was passed down from generation to generation. It was something that drew them closer and gave them a special bond. What traditions do you cherish in your family?
 
 
 
 

~Giveaway~

 

Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.

#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://bit.ly/1aBTNz9

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/stones-for-bread-by-christa-parrish).

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It’s true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa’s Facebook Page.

 

You’re Strong Enough by Kassi L. Pontious – Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

You’re Strong Enough
By Kassi L. Pontious


About the Book

You’re Strong Enough takes readers on a quest to discover who they are, why they are here, where they came from, and what their ultimate goal is. Christian writer, Kassi Pontious, shares personal experiences aimed at teaching young people that each of us is strong enough for our own trials and challenges. In “You’re Strong Enough,” you will discover who your real enemy is and how to defeat this dragon. As you participate in individual quests at the end of each chapter, you will learn how to cut the strings of dysfunction that may be trying to control your life. Ultimately, you will discover where your true strength lies and how to conquer the obstacles in life’s path. You’re Strong Enough is a book about hope and empowerment. It brings truths to light that will empower your soul and inspire you, and those around you.

KassieKassi L. Pontious

Kassi Pontious is the author of the Christian teenage and young adult books, You’re Enough Series. Kassi wrote the You’re Enough Series, beginning with You’re Strong Enough to help struggling teenagers and young adults who come from dysfunctional families and who feel lost and confused. Her goal is to help her readers to find a way to cope, to forgive, to believe, and to trust again. Kassi is a graduate of the LDS Christian church missionary program and a leader of Christian youth groups. Kassi has studied religion extensively, including four years at seminary and three years at Orem Institute of Religion. She served an eighteen-month mission in North Carolina, leading a group of fifty sister missionaries.

Kassi understands what it is like to be from a divorced and dysfunctional family. Her parents divorced when she was four and she lived with six different families during her childhood. She works with kids that come from divorced and dysfunctional families, teaching them how to cope, and maximize their potential despite their challenging home lives. Kassi is married and has four beautiful children. She runs a successful real estate brokerage firm in Alpine Utah. She loves hiking, playing sports, geo caching, and swimming.

Follow Kassi L. Pontious

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

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This book blast is hosted by CrossReads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay – Win a Kindle Fire HDX & An Austen-Themed Prize Pack!

Cover Rating: 4 Stars ****

Blurb:

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

You can purchase it here: AmazonB&N * BAM * CBD * Deeper Shopping

About the Author:

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in Focus on the Family and the Upper Room. Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. Dear Mr. Knightley is her first novel.

Find Katherine here: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Blog * Goodreads

~My Review~

 
 

Samantha Moore had had a rough childhood with an abusive father, a drug addict as a mother and moving from foster home to foster home. Then she found herself at a Grace House, a home for wayward and orphaned kids, and under the supervision if Father John. Sam had always lived in her books and, being a fan of Jane Austen, she often quoted her characters as a way to hide her true self. When Father John suggested her as a scholarship candidate to the Dover Foundation she refused because she wanted to do things on her own and on her own terms. After failing to do exactly that she contested the grantor of the scholarship to ask for a second chance. It was granted under one condition, that she write letters detailing her progress to his pseudonym–Mr. Knightley.

Sam soon finds herself pouring out her feelings to someone that started out as a stranger but is soon a trusted friend. With Mr. Knightley she can share her deepest, darkest secrets, her fears and her desires, and even a true love. With a new set of “parents”, new friends, a college degree and a new love blossoming in her heart, Sam is finally coming into her own and putting the fears of the past behind her. To her own amazement she is shedding her Jane Austen persona all while bearing her soul to one man and giving her heart to another. Can Sam have the life she has only dreamed of? Could this really be real or is she only a character in one of her beloved novels?

When I first opened this book I have to admit I was skeptical. A book made entirely of letters? My first thought was, “How can this possibly meet my expectations?”. Even though I have read such greats as The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright and The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate I still had reservations. Those books had such great story lines and the letters were a PART of the story, NOT the story itself. So as I delved into this story I did so with a little skepticism. Have you ever done that? Read a book that you had questions about but, once you read it, were so glad you did? That is exactly what happened. A third of the way through I knew I had chosen well, halfway through I was in tears, three quarters of the way through I was literally giddy (did I say giddy? Yes, GIDDY!) at the prospect of how the story was going to turn out every time I picked the book back up to start reading again. I have read tons of books in my life and, although I have seen times I didn’t want to put a book down, I have never felt giddy at re-entering a story. The way Sam bared her soul to Mr. Knightley just tore at my heart. I felt every heartache and disappointment she went through. I felt every loss and rejection and rejoiced with every happy moment Sam experienced. And when she finally found love, which she desperately deserved, I was ecstatic! It takes good writing to bring out those kind of emotions and in the form of letters? Excellent! If you love a story with depth and feeling, a story that makes you feel like you’re a part of it, you’ll love Dear Mr. Knightley. And, I must add, it’s a DEBUT novel! Which obviously means I have many more books to look forward to from Katherine Reay. I was SO pleased with this book and I recommend it HIGHLY!

 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for my honest review. These opinions are mine and mine alone. I was in no way compensated for this review.

My Rating: 5 Stars *****

 

*Tweetables*

 
 
 
 
 

Q & A: I ask the question and you answer with your own personal thoughts! 🙂

While writing her letters, Sam was writing to a pseudonym (A fictitious name). She had no idea who the recipient was or anything about them and that made it easier to be truthful about herself and dig deeper into her life and past. Do you think you could bare your soul completely to a stranger under these circumstances or would it have to be someone you know very well?

 
 
 
 
 
 

Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.

dearmrknightley-400

One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace) 
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 



But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the “Dear Mr. Knightley” Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine’s next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!

The Crossroads Saga by Mary Ting – Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The Crossroads Saga

Crossroads Saga

 

crossroads tingCrossroads (Book 1)

Can two worlds collide in dreams?

Crossroads, Between, Beyond, Eternity, Halo City-novella

Protecting her from the fallen was his duty.

Falling in love was never part of his plan.

Loving her was forbidden.

Being with her was all that mattered, even if it meant he would be exiled for all eternity.

Claudia Emerson’s life is about to change when her good friend, who coincidentally shares the same first and last name, dies in a tragic accident after the homecoming dance. Distraught at the loss of her friend, Claudia’s dreams become tumultuous, and through them she mysteriously travels to another world called Crossroads. Unknown to her, Crossroads is like a second heaven, a place between heaven and earth, where the souls of humans in comas or near death experiences may wander. There, she unexpectedly meets Michael, a nephilim–half angel, half human. It turns out that this isn’t her first visit, which is an enigma, for she has no recollection of being there, and is told that no human has crossed over…until Claudia. Now that she’s been there, fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special, and it is up to Michael and the other nephilim to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most. The situation becomes even more complicated when she is unable to hinder her feelings for her swoon-worthy guardian angel. Can Michael fight his growing feelings for Claudia and protect her as a guardian angel should, or will he be too blinded by human emotions and the struggles of being who he is?

Crossroads is FREE

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords

Download a copy today!!

 

Praise for Crossroads

“Crossroads contains action, twists and romance that has you flipping through the pages so fast that you’re at the end and ready for more before you know it.” ~Gabby, Nashville Young Adult Fiction Examiner/What’s Beyond Forks

“Watch out Edward Cullen! The angel Michael has officially given you a run for your money! Teens everywhere will add a new fictional boyfriend to their ever growing lists! OMWings! An amazing paranormal angel romance that stays with you long after the last page has turned. I need more!” ~Jennifer Howell with LateBloomerOnline.com

“Crossroads by Mary Ting has it all: danger, romance, suspense, incredible characters and an original plot that is sure to thrill. The action never stops as good and evil battle to the death. This well written and fascinating love story will keep readers entranced.” ~ReadersFavorite.com

 

Book Trailer

Teaser

Though Phillip had already told me that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an alkin and a fallen, it was confirmed as I watched the battle. They looked just like the alkins as the two sides battled with swords. Watching, I noticed that Michael had one too, but where had it come from?

“No!” Michael shouted, suddenly standing directly in front of me. “You don’t need her. She’s just a human.”

“Get them!” Aden shouted again.

During the entire fight Michael stayed by my side, protecting me. They fought so swiftly that even with my flashlight it was hard to distinguish alkins from the fallen. I focused intently, trying to figure out who was who, but it was no use. They were too fast for human eyes. I pointed the flashlight, hoping to blind or distract them, but that also proved to be pointless. It was only useful for my vision.

In the blink of an eye they were here, there and everywhere. The clanging of swords colliding was painful to hear. As the screeching sounds continued, all I could see were sparks as the swords made contact, as if we were in the middle of a lightning storm. Fearful of any alkin getting hurt, I covered my ears, hoping that it would end soon.

Suddenly, Aden raised his hand toward the stars, and the fallen stopped. The sounds of the swords crashing against each other came to a dead halt. Aden started circling around Michael and me. As he drew closer, I could see that he looked exactly as I remembered him from my dream. The wrinkles on his forehead defined his age, and though I conceived him as evil, his voice scared me more than his appearance. Aden never lifted a finger to fight; instead, he relied on the fallen to carry out his battle strategies.

“Michael, come with me. I’ll give you anything you want.”

“There is nothing I want from you.”

“They’ve turned you against me. I should have killed you when I had the chance.” Aden’s eyes raged with anger.

“They didn’t turn me against you. I did it of my own free will.”

“Move out of my way!” Aden shouted.

“You’ll have to go through me first!”

As Aden continued to circle around us, I could sense movement from the fallen, edging closer to Michael and me. The alkin must have sensed it too as they positioned themselves right behind us and immediately began to attack the fallen.

Michael moved me to the left and then to the right, fighting while shielding me. Though the fallen were fewer in number than before, they were retaliating in full force. In the midst of all the chaos, I lost my grip on the flashlight, and it tumbled off the cliff. Instinctively I reached for it, and in that split second someone or something collided against me, and I plummeted off the cliff.

Gravity was pulling me faster than my body could resist. I’d always heard that at the moment of death, one’s life flashed before their eyes; all the moments that had brought them to that point, big or small. All I could think of was death itself and the one person who had changed my life forever—Michael.

 

crossroads saga 2

 

 

add to goodreads

mary tingAuthor Mary Ting

Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

 

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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Holiday Kindle Fire HDX Giveaways!

Holiday Kindle Fire Giveaway

Just in time for the HOLIDAYS – Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT!

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)

Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

Holiday Kindle Fire Giveaway #1 Sponsors:

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Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway:

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Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

Ends 12/18/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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