Pockets of Joy by Roxane Battle (BOOK SPOTLIGHT with GIVEAWAY)


pockets of joy aAbout the Book

Name of book: Pockets of Joy

Author: Roxane Battle

Genre: Non-fiction, inspirational

Release Date: September 5, 2017

“No matter your situation, you have a choice. I chose joy.”

Roxane Battle was on television for much of her adult life. As a news reporter and anchor, she traveled the world and met notable people from Jay Leno to Mariah Carey to Prince. But shortly after landing her dream job in her hometown of Minneapolis, Roxane’s marriage fell apart. Every day was a battle to keep it together on camera while piecing her life back together at home as the single mom of eleven-month-old Jarod. At one point, broke and alone, dinner was a single chicken McNugget. With wit, dignity, and gripping detail, Roxane shares her story of intentionally looking for joy during this challenging chapter of her life. Her faith was the guiding force as she searched for moments of gratitude and found a lifetime of grace. She also includes secrets to spiritual, professional, and personal wholeness for today’s woman, with chapters on authenticity, service, generosity, gratitude, self-care, yielding, forgiveness, and more.


pockets of joy bAbout the Author

Author Roxane Battle is veteran TV news journalist well known in the Minneapolis region for her work as an anchor, reporter, and former co-host of the KARE 11-NBC Today show. She currently produces award-winning videos for corporate and non-profit clients through her company, Roxane Battle, M. A., LLC. Named an “Architect of Change,” Roxane is a contributor to mariashriver.com and has been featured in Working Mother, Ebony magazines, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press. An entertaining and inspiring speaker, she is regularly called upon to address civic, business, and philanthropic groups. She’s recently been a keynote speaker at events hosted by the Girl Scouts, TeamWomen Minnesota, and the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. For more on Roxane Battle: www.roxanebattle.com





Guest post from Roxane Battle

What this book is about is the season in my life when I was on my own and overwhelmed with trying to put my life back together while I learned how to raise a child and navigate a demanding television career. A working, divorced single mom. That was me. For years. There were many days when I smiled in front of the camera and cried alone at night. During those years, my time in the wilderness, I learned a lot about myself.

I am now at a point when I am able, willing, and desire to share the very personal and intimate stories of how I found peace in the midst of my struggles. I discovered what I call pockets. Pockets of joy. The kind of joy that causes your eyes to mist and wash over the hurt. The kind of joy that catches you by surprise and for a moment makes you forget, if ever so briefly, that you ever felt pain. The kind of joy that, in some ways, cannot even be described.

It is my hope and prayer my story will enable others to grasp a piece of the kind of joy I’m talking about and allow it to stir the kind of hope within that can renew and transform.

pockets of joy cGiveaway

In honor of her tour, Roxanne is giving away:

Grand Prize Package: Pockets of Joy, hard cover edition, in Pockets of Joy tote bag with Abba Jerusalem Frankincense pillar candle, and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book.

1st Place Package: Pockets of Joy, hard cover edition, “You Are An Amazing Woman” (Abbey Press) mug, and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book.

2nd Place Package: Pockets of Joy, hard cover edition and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c16e


pockets of joy

Click here to purchase your own copy of this delightful book.


Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 26

Carpe Diem, October 26

autism mom, October 27

Avid Reader Book Reviews, October 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 29

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 30

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 31

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 1

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 2

A Greater Yes, November 3

A Reader’s Brain, November 4

Splashes of Joy, November 5

Mary Hake, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

Texas Book-aholic, November 8

Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport (Book Review & Giveaway)

colors of christmas celebration tour FB banner copy_preview

Click here to purchase a copy of this beautiful book.


About the Book

Colors of Christmas cover_previewName of book: Colors of Christmas

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Contemporary Christmas

Release Date: October 1, 2017

Christmas in Blue
Angela just wants Christmas to be over. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration, and everything goes from bad to worse. Can she rescue Christmas for the town—and herself?

Christmas in Gold
When eighty-year-old Astrid moves into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up Christmas hope one more time.




What a beautiful time of year Christmas is! 

It’s a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus with family and friends, a time for reflection and hope … the most joyful of all days of any year. This sweet book contains two stories. Gold Christmas is Astrid’s story, and Blue Christmas belongs to Angela. Both stories centre around a theme of hope, which one would assume to be a fitting theme at Christmas time. However, both Astrid and Angela have difficulties in feeling that quiet peace that God’s hope brings.

Astrid has suffered enormous hardships most of her life living through World War 2 in Germany. Her life wasn’t any easier with her move to America, however, Astrid maintains a firm resolve when she couldn’t be blamed for feeling that her whole world was crashing down around her. Out of all the changes she’s had to compensate for in her 80 plus years of life, probably leaving her lovely family home to move into an aged care facility has been the most challenging. But when strong-willed Astrid crosses paths with a young woman with enormous problems that could possibly put her life in danger, she comes to the rescue and stirs up some more hope for the season, and a whole lot of gold. She’s not the doddery old woman her children seem to think she is.

In Blue Christmas dear Angela is in quite a fragile state. Her very best friend has passed away, but no one in the town seems to appreciate her grief. Angela finds herself in a predicament when the church committee volunteers her to organise the town’s “Christmas To Remember” event, an event that was always expertly organised by her dear friend Carole. Poor Angela is so depressed and stressed that she cannot see any hope for a successful celebration, and just wishes that Christmas would be over. Due to the kindness and love of a mysterious stranger, who everyone suspects is responsible for all the mishaps that continue to occur throughout the town, Angela finally realises that hope and experiences an exquisite joy that will be carried over into all the Christmases to come.

At first, I had my reservations about this book. I enjoyed reading Astrid’s story, but for some reason, I felt less enthusiastic to read about Angela. I knew I had an obligation, so I kept reading … and wasn’t I glad I did! By the third chapter I was engaged with the story, and towards the last half dozen or so chapters I was in tears … sad tears, but eventually tears of joy.  This is the first book of Ms Newport’s that I’ve read, and I’m impressed. I like her style of writing, characters are all credible, and each story flows nicely.

I would recommend buying this sweet book as a Christmas present for someone special.

I was provided with an ARC by the author via CelebrateLit, and at no stage was I compensated or obliged to give a positive review.

christmas bag_previewGiveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas Bundle Bonanza which includes 7 Jumbo rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, 2 sets of stick-on gift tags,  2 packages of Christmas cards and envelopes, 2 collections of Christmas novellas—18 stories in all, and a signed copy of Colors of Christmas!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c319

About the Author

Olivia Newport _previewOlivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide a welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.




Guest Post from Olivia Newport

We All Have a Story

I’m younger than most of the people I exercise with. It started when I had a lot of pain in my feet and needed low-impact classes with the option of sitting down and learned I didn’t have to be a senior citizen to take their classes at my gym. Then I discovered how tough most of them are. Years later, though my feet are better, these are still my people.

A couple of years ago, while we waited for the younger and allegedly-but-not-really-tougher crowd to clear out of the group exercise room so we could invade it, a woman I would not have guessed to be 80, because she could out-cardio and out-lift me any day of the week, mentioned she had been widowed since she was 39. And she’d been widowed the first time at 19. And she’d grown up in Germany while Hitler was intent on destroying Europe and life was not easy.

Then the changing of the guard happened and I was left with my mouth gaping. I knew I had to hear this story. The next week after class, we went across the parking lot to Culvers for lunch and I scribbled notes on the backs of a pile of brown napkins while Astrid talked. Later she let me read the account of her life that she had written herself.

Astrid faced so many tragic circumstances, but she would be the first to tell you that God was with her even before she knew how to call on him. Many people with her life story would have found plenty of reason to wallow and stagnate. But not Astrid. Truly she is one of the most hopeful people I know.

Her story was the beginning of Colors of Christmas, which includes two stories. Astrid’s is “Christmas in Gold,” and the other is “Christmas in Blue.” Astrid inspired me to write about hope for a time of year when the Christian message resounds with hope yet so many people struggle to grasp hope for themselves. I pray these stories will help many recover a sense of hope afresh.

Blog Stops

Books N Baubles, October 17

Christian Bookaholic, October 17

Bukwurmzzz, October 17

Janices book reviews, October 18

Singing Librarian Books, October 18

Moments Dipped in Ink, October 18

A Simply Enchanted Life, October 19

G.O. & D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 19

Bigreadersite, October 19

Reader’s cozy corner, October 20

Have A Wonderful Day, October 20

Reflections from my bookshelves, October 20

Blogging With Carol, October 21

Just the Write Escape, October 21

Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 21

A Greater YesOctober 22

Mary Hake, October 22

Daysong ReflectionsOctober 22

A Baker’s Perspective, October 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 23

Baker Kella, October 23

Smiling Book Reviews, October 23

The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 24

It’s Storytime With Van Daniker, October 24

Remembrancy, October 24

Carpe Diem, October 25

autism mom, October 25

Bibliophile ReviewsOctober 25

A Reader’s Brain, October 26

By The Book, October 26

The Power of Words, October 26

With a Joyful Noise, October 27

Pause for Tales, October 27

Splashes of JoyOctober 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 28

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 28

Karen Sue Hadley, October 28

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 28

Vicky Sluiter, October 29

To Everything a Season, October 29

Pursuing Stacie, October 29

Just Jo’Anne, October 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 30




Author Feature with Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb @newromantics4

Love Books Group

Today on Love Books Group Blog, I am delighted to have a special author feature with Lizzie Lamb. Welcome to the blog Lizzie and thank you so much for sharing your beautiful post and photographs with us today.
Kelly x

my work desk (2)Hi, Kelly and many thanks for inviting me onto your fabulous blog. For those who don’t know me, I am an indie author and published my latest Scottish-themed contemporary romance, GIRL IN THE CASTLE in May 2017, So, how did I manage to publish four novels in under five years and work collaboratively on two others? Read on –

author photo my novels.png

Here’s an extract from the end papers of Girl in the Castle which tells you a little more about me. When I was about seven years old I, along with two friends—Freda Wallace and Rosemary Smiley—went to Woolworths each bought a notebook and pen. Rushing home, we sat on my back…

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Friday Friends – Jeanette O’Hagan’s ‘Arkad’s Children’

First book in another intriguing series by Jeanette O’Hagan 🙂

Working Title Blogspot

From Arkad’s Children – which is released today!

Lutan Jakan nodded to the Tamrin guard and pushed open the makeshift door of the stables. A musty smell of old hay, manure and sweaty fear pervaded the dim interior. Patches of light filtered down through the rotted thatch roof and warped walls onto a hardened mud floor. A rag tag bunch of girls and boys ranging from ten to sixteen sat around the on sacks, piles and boxes or sprawled out on sleeping mats.

‘Listen up, youngsters. This is Dinnis, another lost waif. Hasuk lad, show him the facilities and a place to doss down for the night.’

Even in the filtered light, it was obvious all present had the bronzed colouring of the Tamrin. No blue-skinned Nolmec here. The palest was the colour of pig ivory, others like dark wood. His sister was not among them.

Dinnis caught the Lutan’s…

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The Oregon Pursuit: Christian Western Historical (Window to the Heart Saga Book 4) – BOOK REVIEW

About the Book

Jenna BrandtSurrender to destiny: a window to the heart opens, when one door closes.

The Oregon Pursuit (Book 4) After Amelie Leclaire’s parents pass away in a tragic accident, she must return home to West Linn, Oregon to take over the family bakery. Amelie was training to be a midwife but must give up her plans in an attempt to provide a stable life for her younger sister. Pierre Girald, the Vidame of Demoulin, is traveling to West Linn on business. A chance meeting at the bakery and Pierre is instantly intrigued by the alluring Miss Leclaire, she on the other hand, is less impressed until she gets to know him. Through many trials and setbacks, will the couple be able to form a lasting relationship or will his past and her financial problems put an end to their potential?

Window to the Heart Saga: a recountal of the trials, adventures and relationships of the family and friends of Lady Margaret. The first three books detail her journey and book four focuses on the cousin of her best friend. The series has compelling themes of love, loss, faith and hope with a supremely gratifying conclusion in book 3 and 4.

Exceptionally sincere and wondrously engaging, The Oregon Pursuit shows the journey between letting go of a troubled past and finding new hope.

This sweet, clean book can be read on its own as a stand-alone book or as part of the series. 


… and I thought the story had reached its conclusion.

What a gorgeous book, the best in this series so far!

I have enjoyed reading this entire series, but just as I’m thinking ‘Aha! I’ve found my favourite; Ms Brandt does her magic and creates something even more amazing. I thought that we would be hearing more about Margaret’s journey, and in a way, we did when she appeared towards the end carrying a sweet surprise; but the new characters that have been introduced within book 4 are just as interesting and credible. I absolutely adore the determination and resilience of Amelie and love the way Ms Brandt has intertwined new and old characters together. Even the minor characters are so well developed, I can visualise them clearly within the story. Jenna’s depiction of how vastly different attitudes were towards women, and the male expectations of the day, were expertly captured throughout the entire book.

I loved the transformation of certain people’s attitudes and consequently their life journeys. The biblical aspect was handled well, portraying and delivering the message without being too preachy. I could not wait to finish this fabulous story, but I didn’t want to reach the end either. I’m so glad that there will be more chapters in this intriguing saga. Although the plot runs sideways with previous books, there is a distant but distinct connection between the characters, the story flows delightfully. I find myself thirsting to read more.

Yes, you may read ‘The Oregon Pursuit’ as a stand-alone novel, but frankly, I’d read the whole darned lot if I were you.

The author kindly provided me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Window to the Heart Saga

The English ProposalBook 1: The English Proposal purchase here

The French Encounter by Jenna BrandtBook 2: The French Encounter purchase here

The American ConquestBook 3: The American Conquest purchase here

Jenna BrandtBook 4: The Oregon Pursuit
Click here to purchase your own copy

Book 5: The Oxford Challenge (coming early 2018)

About the Author

Jenna BrandtJenna Brandt is an ongoing contributor for The Mighty website and had her blog published on YahooParenting as well as being featured on the ABC News, The Grief Toolbox and Good Morning America websites. Jenna started writing stories as a little girl and has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as edited for multiple papers. She graduated with her BA in English from Bethany College and was Editor-in-Chief of her college paper. Writing is her passion but she also enjoys reading, cooking, social media, being active in her local church including leading a grief support group and spending time with her three young daughters and husband. Discover more about Jenna and her lovely books right here

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan (Blog Tour, REVIEW, and Giveaway

Deadly proof FB banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy


About the Book

Deadly-Proof-194x300Book title: Deadly Proof

Author: Rachel Dylan

Release date: September 5, 2017

Genre: Legal Romantic Suspense

Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career. What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company’s dangerous new drug. But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate. He’s still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again. But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything–even commit murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

As danger closes in, Landon can’t help but admire Kate’s courage and resolve–but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk?



What a fabulous book! Even though I’ve been time poor lately, once I began to read, it was almost impossible to put down. I couldn’t sleep last night, so around 2.30am I hopped up, put the kettle on to boil, then climbed into my comfy armchair, and finished off the second half of the book while sipping on my tea. However, I found it annoyingly necessary to keep getting up to make another cuppa.

“Deadly Proof is a legal thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night because you will have to know what happens next!” – Lynette Eason, award-winning, bestselling author of the Elite Guardian series

DEADLY PROOF, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series is the first book of Rachel Dylan’s that I have read, and I must say I am more than adequately impressed. If all of Rachel’s books are written as brilliantly as this one, then I shall have to hunt them all down.

I have been reading different genres for a while now, but I haven’t read a good mystery/suspense/thriller for absolute ages. I’ve mostly been reading historical romance, contemporary romance, and a fair bit of creative non-fiction. I didn’t even realize that there were any mystery/suspense novels out there, written by Christian authors. I’m afraid I now have a serious addiction.

“It’s all part of me, and those experiences shaped who I am today.”

Ms Dylan’s personal experience within the legal environment is probably the best research a writer could get. Rachel is an excellent communicator of story … a superior storyteller.  She draws on her own expertise to shape the scenes throughout, explaining most of the legal jargon for greenies like me. Rachel also uses her own personal experience with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression to shed some light upon the difficulties which sufferers may battle within their everyday lives, and this really struck a chord with me.

“My faith is what has gotten me through difficult times in my own life.”

“Faith can only get you so far. It can get pretty dark when God turns His back on you.”

Her heart broke. “You don’t really believe that God abandoned you, do you?”

Both main and sub-characters are well developed and credible. I just adore Kate. She is such a softie and feels genuine empathy for the pain and suffering of others. I fell in love with Landon James … what a dreamy hunk, but what tinkles my bells the most about this gorgeous man is his open show of vulnerability in front of Kate. Once he showed his gentle, empathetic side, I melted. His humility, loyalty, and trustworthiness are endearing.

“Just when Landon thought he couldn’t be any more surprised by Kate, she’d taken in a three-legged cat. Talk about having a big heart. He wasn’t used to dealing with people like her. After all the heinous things he’d seen, she was a breath of fresh air.”

The ebb and flow of suspense throughout the book is clever. For me it was quite a rollercoaster ride … and then when I was certain I had everything figured out, Ms Dylan expertly threw in a red herring or two. I also appreciated the splattering of subtle humor throughout the story … and just enough romance to warm my toes. I cannot wait to be able to read book two in this series.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, via CelebrateLit. I did not receive any monetary compensation, and all thoughts are my own.


To celebrate the tour, Bethany House is giving away four Suspense Novels and a $25 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04912/


About the Author

Dylan_Rachel1-200x300Rachel Dylan was a litigator in one of the nation’s most elite law firms for over eight years and now works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the author of four Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband. She is active on social media, and you can visit her website at www.racheldylan.com.






Q & A with Rachel Dylan

The Atlanta Justice series is centered around strong, female lawyers who take on high-stakes cases. What made you want to write their stories?  I’d have to say it’s personal! Having been an attorney for eleven years now, I love being able to pour parts of myself into the books. My everyday life as a lawyer isn’t that exciting and is definitely not as dangerous! But I’m able to draw on what I’ve lived through to bring life and authenticity to these characters.

What type of research did you do for Deadly Proof?  One of the great things about writing books related to my career is that I know lawyers who practice all different types of law. Deadly Proof focuses on Kate Sullivan, who is a plaintiff’s attorney taking on a big pharmaceutical company. I don’t do this specific type of plaintiff’s work, but I know lawyers who do, and I was able to talk with them. Also, I was able to relate to my characters on the defense side because I’ve done that work for years. It was really fun to write the perspectives of characters on both sides of the case.

Is there a reason you chose Atlanta for this series?  Yes! I’m from Georgia and lived in Atlanta, practicing law at a large law firm, for eight years. I wanted to pick a setting I was intimately familiar with to give readers an authentic Atlanta experience—sweet tea and all.

Where do you think Kate’s passion for her work comes from?  Kate truly believes that her life’s work is to help those who have been wronged. I believe a lot of her passion stems from her strong faith that has developed over the years. She’s not a lawyer to make big bucks but to change people’s lives for the better.

What is the next book in the Atlanta Justice series about?  Book two is about Kate’s friend Sophie Dawson, who we meet in Deadly Proof. Sophie is an Atlanta prosecutor. This story is exciting because it involves a completely different type of legal case than Deadly Proof. But I promise things get just as dangerous!

Blog Stops

September 26: A Baker’s Perspective

September 26: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

September 26: Faithfully Bookish

September 27: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 27: Fizzy Pop Collection

September 27: Blogging With Carol

September 28: Fiction Aficionado

September 28: Moments Dipped in Ink

September 28: Genesis 5020

September 29: Just Commonly

September 29: Bukwurmzzz

September 29: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

September 30: 100 Pages per Hour

September 30: Smiling Book Reviews

October 1: A Reader’s Brain

October 1: Bigreadersite

October 1: Carpe Diem

October 1: Christian Bookaholic

October 2: Karen Sue Hadley

October 2: History, Mystery & Faith

October 2: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot

October 3: A Simply Enchanted Life

October 3: Avid Reader Book Reviews

October 3: Just the Write Escape

October 4: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

October 4: Mary Hake

October 4: Through the Open Window

October 5: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

October 5: Inklings and notions

October 5: Ashley’s Bookshelf

October 6: Pause for Tales

October 6: Have A Wonderful Day

October 6: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 7: Just Jo’Anne

October 7: Redeemed Hope Dweller

October 7: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

October 8: Neverending Stories

October 8: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

October 8: Cafinated Reads

October 9: Blossoms and Blessings

October 9: His Grace is Sufficient

October 9: Raining Butterfly Kisses

PAST FORWARD 1 by Chautona Havig (Blog Tour, REVIEW, and Giveaway)

 Book Synopsis

Alone without friends or family to comfort her after the death of her mother, Willow Finley’s idyllic life is over—and just beginning.

Past Forward 1 Chautona HavigThe Finley women’s lives, while rich and full, aren’t easy. rejecting electricity and many other modern conveniences, they live purposefully and intentionally–alone and isolated from the world around them.

When Willow Finley awakes on a hot summer morning, she is unprepared for the grief that awaits her. Jerked from a life of isolation with her mother, Willow learns what alone really means when she finds her mother dead.

From the moment Willow arrives in the police station with her startling announcement, Chad Tesdall fights the friendship he knows he can’t avoid.

Volume 1: This collection of Past Forward opens with Willow’s life-changing discovery and gently guides the reader through aspects of her life–the past weaving through the present and into the future. Experience her first morning in church, her first movie, and the culture shock of her first trips to the city. A birthday party and a street faire add welcome diversion from butchering, canning, and the beating of area rugs. Disaster strikes. Will she be able to continue her life, or will an offer in the city change it all? Find out in this first volume.  Note:  Past Forward is a serial novel, not a book series. As such, each full-length volume does not completely wrap up the story.

Purchase Your Copy Here


I love this book! I am dying to read all the episodes now (when I’m not reading something else). Chautona’s classic style of combining the serious bits with abundant and adequate humor shone through on every other page. The use of Willow reading back through Kari’s journals as a tool to provide the necessary backstory was brilliant. I also found Willow’s conversations with her mother’s spirit delightful. As I read this first episode, I found myself alternating between laughing uncontrollably with tears flowing down my cheeks, and sobbing with Willow as I felt her loss, grief, and deep sorrow.

“Tears fell as one more familiar thing twisted her gut. Sobs shook her shoulders. She gripped the counter as she realized that it was yet another thing she’d never do with her mother.”

Main and sub-characters have all been perfectly polished … I believe a lot of thought has gone into their development. Each time I picked up this beautiful book to have a read, I felt like I’d arrived home again, to spend time with well-acquainted friends.

There’s oodles of conflict throughout the book so far, both externally and within each main character’s own psyche. “The grass may be greener in the other paddock …” may be an appropriate saying here, as Willow, Chad, and Bill are all torn between what may be, what they think they want in life, and perhaps the frustration of not being able to “have it all”.  No matter what choices everyone makes, there will always be pros and cons for each. It’s interesting how different characters are motivated by different realities. Some suffer total naivety while others are just too stubborn to see the light of day.

“That’s not what I said. You know me better than that. I just know you. You’re not as hardened as you like to let yourself think. I don’t want to see your heart seared because of a misplaced dream.”

I’m looking forward to the second and third episodes … I truly am. Surely Chad won’t settle for policing in the City of Rockland … perhaps he’ll come to his senses and realise his feelings for Willow run deeper than a casual friendship. Maybe, just maybe he’ll press those warm, wanting lips of his against Willows soft, silky cheek, and they’ll both begin to live.


Don’t Forget To Click Here For Giveaway


media-headshot-240x300About the Author

Bio: Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. So, if her theology seems a little dry, or she gets a little long-winded, there’s an obvious reason for that. But she loves Jesus and the weather helps keep her on fire for Him! For more about why she writes, visit her website Bio page: https://chautona.com/bio/


You can also find Chautona at the following:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chautona

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/justhewriteescape

My blog: http://chautona.com/blog/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/ChautonaHavig

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2946954.Chautona_Havig

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/chautona-havig

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Chautona-Havig/e/B0032191W2

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/chautona/videos

My newsletter (sign up for news of FREE eBook offers): https://chautona.com/chautona/newsletter

Chautona’s Thoughts

The delicious scent of spices mingled with meat filled our tiny kitchen as I read a line from a new book. Curiosity prompted a question. “Mom?  Why do clouds move?”

Standing at the stove, stirring something, Mom didn’t even turn around.  “Well, why does a leaf tumble and skid along the ground?”

past forward image 1“The wind!  It blows—oh!  There’s wind way up there?  Wow…”

The blue Chevy S-10 pickup whizzed down CA-126 from Ventura toward Saticoy on a crisp fall morning. Unusual fog for that time of year created an ominous feeling.  “Dad?  How does everything—sun, moon, stars, planets—how do they keep in such perfect orbits?”  I’d intended the question to be a scientific one.  Dad flopped it on its head.

“The Lord. If the Lord released His control over the systems He put in place for one second, it would all be obliterated.”

My “explanation” of what I meant welled up in me, but understanding dawned.  “So, it stays put because God created the physics and the magnetism or whatever to ensure that it does?”

“Precisely.  But if you take God’s plan out of the equation, the answer is insufficient and incomplete.”

past forward image 2And such was my childhood.  I didn’t know it as I wrote Past Forward, but the way my parents taught me about life and more academic things, even, shaped the course of that book.  Willow learned to tell time and her 5x multiplication tables at a young age—simultaneously.  Why?  Well, that’s how my parents taught me to tell time. I memorized counting by fives first, then five times one… two… three…  And then, I could look at a clock and multiply any number on that clock and know approximately what time it is.  Big hand on the 4. Five times four is twenty.  Little hand not touching the 3 yet?  It’s two-twenty.

I see much of my parents in Kari—particularly my father’s rugged independence, need for solitude, determination to cut his own path. I see Mom in Willow. They’re both comfortable with who they are.  They don’t make excuses for people or themselves.  They speak frankly but usually with kindness.

Dozens of emails flood my inbox each week. Sometimes hundreds. And of them, at least half will mention Past Forward.  Of that half, most will say some version of one thing.  “I want Willow’s life.  I want chickens, goats, and a garden. But living in the middle of a city without a way to move means that’s impossible.”

past forward image 4Do you know what I think?  I think they don’t really want Willow’s exact life as much as they think they do.  They want the purposefulness, the beauty, the life lived intentionally and with a thought to glorifying the Lord in all they do.  And in Willow, they see a blueprint for how it could be done.

I just think that imitating the way someone lives out Scriptural admonitions to do all for the Glory of God instead of grasping the principle and seeing how to apply it in our own lives is a recipe for discontent and probably disaster. 

past forward image 3I tend not to like cliched sayings that become trite with overuse.  But there is something to that popular catch-phrase, “Bloom where you are planted.”

Welcome to Willows world.  She takes the best of the beautiful, simple things of the past and brings them forward to today.  And as she does, she lives a life of intentional purpose. I learned much from her as I wrote her story.

Blog Stops

September 28: Reader’s cozy corner

September 29: The Scribbler

September 30: Just Jo’Anne

October 1: Quiet Quilter

October 2: Inklings and notions

October 3: Fizzy Pop Collection

October 4: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 5: Carpe Diem

October 6: Have A Wonderful Day

October 7: A Baker’s Perspective

October 8: Christian Bookaholic

October 9: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

October 10: His Grace is Sufficient

October 11: Blossoms and Blessings

Featured Books on the Tour (all recommended reads)

Past Forward 1 Chautona HavigPast Forward— A life lived intentionally. That’s how Kari Finley would describe the world she created on her farm for herself and her daughter, Willow.  But when Willow awakes one morning to find her mother with Jesus, that life changes in ways she never would have imagined.  Past Forward is a serial novel released in six volumes.



HLvol1smHearthLand— Intrigued by Willow’s lifestyle, Ralph Myner sinks most of his retirement fund into creating an intentional community.  People from all walks of life join together to “live life more deliberately.”


smalronReady or Not—When Aggie Milliken’s sister and brother-in-law die from a freak medical accident, the twenty-two-year-old recent college graduate is thrust into the role of “Auntie Mommy.”  One child would have been a challenge, but eight?  Follow her journey from inept babysitter to Mommy in the Aggie’s Inheritance series.


speaknowsm-1Speak Now— When Jonathan Lyman met Cara at a wedding, he had no interest in forging a relationship.  Still grieving the loss of his wife, he didn’t know there’d be someone so perfectly suited to help soothe the pain that still gripped him and his children.  But Cara’s gentleness and adaptability proved to be exactly what the Doctor of doctors ordered.


hopecoversmDiscovering Hope— When Jay Brown overhears an epic brush-off, he and the brusher, Hope Senior, forge an unlikely friendship.  He’s an Indian immigrant.  She’s so All-American that her family dates back to the Mayflower. But through Christmas lights, epic laser tag, grief, saris, and a few hundred mistletoe sprigs, they may just form more than the friendship of a lifetime.


mfmsmManuscript for Murder—  When local celebrity, author Alexa Hartfield, finds her next novel played out as if a script for murder of local residents, she’s both grieved and incensed. With the help of a local officer, she’s on the hunt for who could have “dunnit” before the murderer kills another resident and her career.


prairiecoversmPrairie— When Jessa Davidson awakes in the place of her dreams, she finds herself thrust into a world that feels almost too good to be true. Only the new friendships she makes and the lessons the people of Prairie teach her help keep her rooted when her mind insists that none of it can be real.


confessionscoversmConfessions of a De-cluttering Junkie—  Kaye Harper has had it.  No one needs six can openers, four umbrellas per person, or a closetful of games all missing pieces.  So, with her family watching on in horror, and her feline nemesis determined to trip her up at every move, Kaye embarks on a de-cluttering mission that might just become a bit of an obsession.


cornerboothsm1Corner Booth—  Who knew you could lose your heart to someone you’ve never spoken to? When a strange girl stops at Dean Sager’s table and asks if she can join him to avoid a line out the restaurant door, he has no idea that this one shared meal will become a weekly ritual. But contrary to his talkative nature, Dean doesn’t say a word that day or any of the following days.  And an experiment in self-control becomes a lesson in really seeing and understanding people.


nonesoblindcoversm-1None So Blind— Waking up in a house you don’t recognize and with a family hurt that you don’t remember them is hard enough.  But when it feels like you’re forced into a life you didn’t choose, things become almost unbearable.  The only thing keeping Ella Weeks from running from it all is the one thing that survived her inexplicable memory loss—her faith.


jmsm-1Justified Means—  An organization designed to protect people where the law can’t, The Agency prides itself in a decade-long almost perfect record. But after an involuntary extraction, Keith Auger can barely stay ahead of those hunting down the woman under their protection.  It doesn’t make it easy when Erika Polowski is determined to escape from her “captors.”


notawordsmNot a Word— We all make mistakes, but Savannah Forrester had no idea that her biggest mistake has ruined the life of the only guy she’s ever really cared about. Todd “Mac” Mackenzie has allowed the town to think what he will of him to protect her reputation. But when she returns to Brant’s Corners, they both have some explaining to do.


shadowsfrontsm-1Shadows & Secrets—  In the heart of medieval England, adventure awaits.  Philip Warden has known of “the creature” his entire life, but a chance encounter helps him discover that there’s more to a person than what you see, or don’t see, on the outside. Who knew he and the village pariah would have such great adventures together or become such close friends.


LoV1smLegends of the Vengeance— Sebastian Soranzo wants nothing more than a normal life in a village somewhere far away from the pirate ship where he lives with his father.  He can’t understand his father’s thirst for revenge and the drive to help those wronged by their governments. But when an old enemy catches up with them, Sebastian finds himself out in the Atlantic in a ship too small to make it safely to the east.