‘Hope Travels Through’ by Loni Kemper Moore (Review and Giveaway)

About the Book

Hope-Travels-Through-Front-Cover-208x300Name of book: Hope Travels Through

Author: Loni Kemper Moore

Genre: Contemporary Lit

TeJae Smythe gave up on God and her hometown of Evansville, Indiana, ten years ago, but a deep personal loss requires her to return to both. Her life as a stewardess is going to be perfect. She has a plan. If only life would stick to it.

In Hope Travels Through, TeJae finds the biggest challenge comes from the conflict within herself. Will she hold it all together? Or will she fall apart and embrace the beauty in the midst of disaster?

Based on actual events of December 13, 1977, a date most people don’t remember, but one many living in the Ohio River Valley will never forget, the crash of the University of Evansville men’s basketball team plane.

About the Author

pic-hugsband-likes-169x300Loni Kemper Moore is a Denver-Broncos cheering, Diet-Pepsi sipping, Rocky Mountain adventure-seeking kind of girl. She’s passionate about God and wants to share His beautiful love through life’s ugliness with remarkable women around the globe. Her writing came alive seven years ago after she broke her ankle. The crazy time of being laid up forced her to flip through decades of diaries which inspired the story that became Hope Travels Through. When she’s not writing, she’s an entertainer, technical support analyst; mom of a teenager named Adam; traveler with Robert, her dear “Hugsband,” stepmom to University of Evansville alumna Becca and her husband, Anthony; and spender of way too much time on Facebook. With her experiences of learning to trust God through tragedy, being employed by travel agencies and Delta Air Lines, and attending University of Evansville graduate school, she’s the best person to tell this story.

mythoughts

I truly enjoyed reading this book – a snippet of moments during the year of an horrific plane crash. The plane in question was carrying the University of Evansville’s men’s basketball team. I’d only been living in Australia for six years at the time of this disaster, immigrating from New Zealand. I was only twenty years old, but now, another forty years on, I still remember this day in history vividly. imagesThe lives and dreams of so many beautiful people were snuffed out in an instant.

This book is Loni Kemper Moore’s debut novel. I love to read books written by new authors because I too am a writer, with much to learn. Loni has produced a wonderful story, based on fact, with interesting characters, and an easy to follow storyline. 636395337430095085-BURGER-CHEF-1-24-74-19B9DBFI really loved the description of the seventies era, as I did a lot of my own growing up in the 1970’s. Oh and of course, I too was drinking TAB 

 

 

 

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Evansville University Memorial with Weeping Basketball in the background.

 

I felt deep sorrow for TeJae as she faced her internal battle with, Who to trust with her life.

“Flowers in window boxes showed Mum’s meticulous care. I wished she cared as much about me.”

 

Themes of love, hope, sadness, betrayal, jealousy, and joy moved within the pages, but above all, there was an important reminder to be understanding and forgiving of others especially of family, as we never know when we will be seeing someone for the final time upon this earth. There is probably nothing more devastating than living with regrets.

“Good thoughts are no better than good dreams unless they are executed.”        ~ Mikel

“What else could I have done?” I whispered. “What else?” ~ TeJae

I loved the conclusion to this story – no matter what incidents occur in life, through Love there will be joy in the end. I look forward to reading whatever Loni writes next.

“I’m well aware the odds of my little novel being successful, without the industry connections Margaret had, are low, but it’s been a fun journey even if no one buys a copy!”  ~ Loni Kemper Moore

‘Dear Loni, I am certain many people will want to buy your wonderful book!’

I received a free copy of this book from the author via CelebrateLit. I am under no obligation to provide a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

♥ Click here to purchase your copy ♥

 

Guest Post from Loni Moore

What Made Me Write Hope Travels Through?

The weathered orthopedic surgeon shook his head and stared at the x-rays. Without making eye-contact, he said, “I usually work on Olympians and professional athletes. This doesn’t look good. She’s going to have arthritis and limp for the rest of her life.”

I hadn’t had anything stronger than Tylenol since the entire weight of my 128 (at the time) pounds crunched my left ankle, 24 hours earlier.

Robert, aka Dear Hugsband, had told me, so very graciously, when we arrived at Skate City, “Once you’re over 50, you shouldn’t roller skate.” But our son, Adam was 10 and I wondered how many more years he’d want me to hang out with him, so I’d strapped on the skates and joined the crowd of skaters. I avoided landing on the body of the five-year-old who cut me off. Didn’t that count for something?

However, none of that mattered at that moment. I needed drugs, and Robert agreed to whatever that surgeon said to get my prescriptions.

One afternoon, my stomach growled on a gurney as I waited in the surgery center with IVs in my hands until a perky nurse announced, “The doctor will need to reschedule because something came up.”

REALLY? After waiting 10 days, he no-shows?

I’ve never loved Robert’s New York attitude more than the next day when by 7 pm that evening I was at Red Robin, post-surgery, eating a celebratory French Onion soup. Thanks to a nerve blocker the new, cute surgeon had provided after rebreaking bones and inserting pins.

Adam was able to complete his homeschool work with little interference from my drug-infested brain and I occupied my time by flipping through decades of accumulated diaries. The story of a woman surviving tough times percolated in my brain and I remembered my mother saying, “Everyone has a Great American Novel in her. You just need to take time to write it.”

As my leg healed leaving no arthritis nor limp, I returned to the million things life demands, including a visit to our Becca at the University of Evansville, where I’d done my graduate work. As she showed us the Weeping Basketball, my protagonist informed me the story began in 1976, not 2011. The story climaxed when the university’s men’s basketball team plane crashed, but I was too busy to spend much time on it.

Three days before Christmas that year, my younger sister passed away from Lyme complications, I could barely breathe. I’ve seen it a dozen times someone’s busy life prevents her from taking care of herself until something stops them in their tracks and they cannot move on. That happened to me.

At the time, Dear Hugsband programmed Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machine (you’re welcome), so Adam and I joined him in Atlanta for several months. During that time without the cooking-cleaning-requirements and Adam insisting he preferred the independence of his homeschool curriculum with minimal input from me, I processed my grief by putting the story that became Hope Travels Through on my computer.

“In a weak moment, I have written a book.” Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind

Dear Hugsband loved his project with Coca-Cola and enjoyed everything about working in Atlanta except the humidity, the traffic, and the commute. Typically, he worked in Georgia every other week and was home every weekend.

But occasionally, he’d be forced to stay in Atlanta over the weekend and tried to find something to entertain himself. One weekend, after seeing every movie running, he decided to go to the Margaret Mitchell House Museum where one of my favorite books, Gone With The Wind, was written.

He bought me a mug with the above quote on it which he said was to encourage me in my writing, along with several commonalities between myself and the famous author.

  1. She was short—I am 5 feet tall if I stretch;
  2. Her husband was over 6 feet tall—mine is 6’3 1/2”;
  3. She started writing her novel, after an ankle injury– I started writing after I a similar injury;
  4. She used a typewriter—I use a computer;
  5. Her mother gave her the quotes she used about how to survive in an upside-down world – my mom had a Bible verse for every occasion. I think her favorite was Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind, Loni to whomever…”;
  6. It took Margaret ten years to complete her novel – I’m not far behind, at nearly eight years.

Obviously, I don’t have one commonality with Margaret, in that she died at the age of 48 in a traffic accident, but his conclusions are precious.

 

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Loni is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5be

Hope-Travels-Through-FB-banner-copy

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 16

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Jami’s Words, December 17

Quiet Quilter, December 18

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 18

Inspiration clothesline, December 19

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

Radiant Light, December 20

Carpe Diem, December 21

Avid Reader Book Reviews, December 21

A Reader’s Brain, December 22

A Greater Yes, December 23

Blogging With Carol, December 23

Books, Books, and More Books, December 24

SusanLovesBooks, December 25

Remembrancy, December 26

Mary Hake, December 26

Janices book review, December 27

The Power of Words, December 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 29

Just Jo’Anne, December 29

 

Christmas Embers by Chautona Havig (Book Tour, Review, and Giveaway)

About the Book

Christmas-Embers-Cover-sm--200x300Name of book: Christmas Embers

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christmas

Release Date: November 25, 2016

It’s a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you try to hide it.

Emily Byrne sits in her daughter’s classroom listening to the deepest wishes of twenty kindergarteners as she sketches them. But when little Joey Cordell breaks down, weeping and insisting the only thing he wants to find is his father, she isn’t sure where her Christmas project will take her.

Davia Cordell came to Rockland for one purpose–find her son’s father before she dies. An ex-prostitute, she’s well aware that the news will cause waves, but what’s a mother to do?

As these women join forces to search for Joey’s father–a Rockland area pastor, no less– Emily learns compassion for a woman who just wants the best for her son and can’t quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her.

Each day, Davia weakens until Emily isn’t confident she’ll find the boy’s father in time–if at all. Doubts form. Should she look? Is it right to risk destroying a family like this–an entire church? The weight of that responsibility crushes her as Davia wastes away before her eyes.

A mother’s love. A boy’s confidence. A family’s faith. A preacher’s failure. Is redemption even possible anymore?

Christmas Embers: a story of love, failure, and redemption.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

media-headshot-240x300Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.

 

 

 

MY THOUGHTSI truly enjoyed reading this book. I want to say, ‘I loved it’ … I did, but not in the way you would be expecting. I love Chautona’s style of writing. She drew me into this story from the first chapter. It was sad. It was heart-wrenching. It drove me to tears. Tears of sorrow. Tears of frustration, and sometimes tears of joy.

“Truth never sliced deeper or with more perfect precision. The gaping wound lay bare and open, waiting for the salt of … ”

One might say ‘what an unusual kind of book to have written, to be read at Christmastime’. However, unfortunately for many, Christmas is a time of great stress and seemingly unsolvable problems. Many families are at war with each other. This book examines the issue of adultery, from a biblical point of view. All Chautona’s biblical references are spot on. We see, hear, and feel the thoughts of both husband and wife, as well as friends, extended family, and church elders.

Christmas Embers isn’t a story for the faint-hearted. It’s real life in its ugliest form. It’s very easy to make judgements about the behaviours of others, but the reality is that we are all sinners who are vulnerable to temptation. We sin by our thoughtless actions, but do we sin by our busy thoughts? This is just one question that is answered in this book. Is it okay to have secrets … big secrets, that affect the lives of others?  I thought long and hard about this one. In fact, these thoughts did not leave me throughout my entire journey with the book. If you are looking for something to read that tackles a serious modern-day problem, if you want to examine your own life’s morals, if you want to know what the only solution is, then you must read this fabulous book. The characters of Piper and Joey alone will tug at your heartstrings. For me, this entire book was a ‘Matthew 7:12 moment’.

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law of the Prophets.”

I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the author, via CelebrateLit. I was never under any obligation to provide a favourable review. All thoughts are entirely my own.

 

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Infidelity to the Tune of Adeste Fideles

“I think my husband is having an affair.”

An explanation followed. Look, I tend to be one who assumes the best of others—to a fault even. I read the “evidence” and frankly could see it going either way. It’s hard to tell across thousands of miles. While others on the message board saw red flag after red flag—and frankly, I did, too—I also saw perfectly innocent explanations for things. It’s a curse sometimes—that ability to see both sides of an issue. I cautioned against assumptions no one would want other people to make of themselves. And I prayed she was wrong.

She wasn’t.

It wasn’t the first time I’d come face to face with infidelity. As a child, there was an extended family member. As a newlywed, one of my wedding party—then another. Then another. The excuses, the justifications. Friends and I went to confront a sister in Christ on her affair with her husband’s best friend. We foolishly asked “what happened?” regarding her marriage. Her words: “We drifted apart.”

I wanted to scream the words that battered my brain and heart. “Then row back together!

But over the years, it just grew worse. One by one, wives and husbands tossed aside vows made to a brother or sister in Christ—vows made before the Lord—in favor of what sometimes were serial affairs. Abuse. Horror.

I’ve prayed women I love through court cases, medical visits, and disclosures from children no mother should ever have to hear. I’ve prayed for men I didn’t even like because of the pain their wives inflicted each time she left them alone with the kids. He knew. He always knew.

Adultery is real. It’s ugly. And there’s absolutely a cure for it. Jesus. 100% surrender to Jesus. But as long as we rely on those little loops on the back of our boots instead of the saving, healing, strengthening power of Jesus, we’re just as vulnerable as the next person.

And that’s why I wrote Christmas Embers. I took every heartbreaking story I’d observed over the years and put in each character for a reason. Every scene, every plot point, every twist—I put them exactly how and where they are for a reason.

They’re there as a warning.

This isn’t your lighthearted Christmas novel. Some have suggested I shouldn’t have set it at Christmastime. But you know what? Over half the disclosures I’ve ever heard of happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I couldn’t get the idea of Joey’s story out of my head. And to write his story, it had to be at Christmas.

Let me say it again. While Christmas may not seem like the optimal time for a hard-hitting book like this, I had to do it. Adultery is reaching epidemic proportions in the church. There’s a solution. His name is Jesus.

Giveaway

Christmas Embers GIVEAWAYTo celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a 6 month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c512

 

celebrate-lit-christmas-embers

Blog Stops

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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 16

Janices book reviews, December 17

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Karen Sue Hadley, December 18

Remembrancy, December 18

Blossoms and Blessings, December 18