Friday, September 21, 2018

Orphans of the West | Blog Tour


My author friend, Faith Blum, is releasing more books again! This time, she's concluding her Orphans of the West series.



About the Books

Sing the Wondrous Story

an Orphans of the West novella
Jason was kicked out three years ago. His judgmental actions and decisions caused a rift and turmoil within his family, especially concerning his sister, Jessamine. Now God is leading him to return home—a home he isn’t certain he will be welcomed back to. The last three years has led to personal growth, he still has a lot to learn. Can he overcome his past mistakes or will he always be the black sheep?
Jessamine has popularity and the attention of many in town except the two men she wants to catch for herself. She lives for those moments of attention and needs to marry a rich man to buy all the pretty things she desires. There are two men who fit that and she will stop at nothing to find a husband to make her life perfect. When Jason returns and challenges her actions, will she be able to let go of her plan? Can she find love in more than herself?

He Leadeth Me

(Orphans of the West, #4)
Gage was eight when his parents died, but despite that, he has been content with his life. He misses the farm, though, and when his uncle gives him the deed and tells him to go back, he seizes the opportunity.
Almost a full day’s ride, Gage reconnects with his friend, Danny and settles into farm life. Then someone shows up claiming Gage’s long-dead father owed a large sum of money that has accrued thirteen years of interest.
What will Gage do when he learns of his father’s past? Will he let God lead him no matter what happens?

About the Author


Faith Blum is a small-town Wisconsin girl. She’s lived in, or outside of, small towns her whole life. The thought of living in a city with more than 60,000 people in it scares her, especially after some interesting adventures driving through big cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Faith currently resides in the middle of the state of Wisconsin with her husband and their cat, Smokey. She is blessed to be able to have writing as her full-time career with household work and cooking to do on the side. She loves to paint walls as long as she doesn’t have to do hallways or ceilings.
When not writing, you can find her cooking food from scratch due to food allergies (fun), doing dishes (meh), knitting, crocheting, sewing, reading, or spending time with her husband (yay!). She is also a Community Assistant for the Young Writers Workshop and loves her work there. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her on her website.

Follow Along!

We have two weeks of amazing blog posts culminating in a fantastic Facebook party on the 26th, 1:00 to 2:30 PM CDT!

Wednesday, September 12th

Intro Post // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries Sing the Wondrous Story Spotlight // Faith Blum @ Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections Author Interview // Germaine Han @ The Writing Mafia

Thursday, September 13th

Book Spotlight // Kaylee @ Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Saturday, September 15th

Book Spotlight // Angela R. Watts @ The Peculiar Messenger

Monday, September 17th

Review of Sing the Wondrous Story // Abigail McKenna @ Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors

Wednesday, September 19th

Author Interview // Maddie Morrow @ What a Novel Idea Guest Post // Medomfo @ Writings from a God Girl

Thursday, September 20th

Guest Post // Rachel Rossano

Friday, September 21st

Book Spotlight // Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise

Saturday, September 22nd

Review of Sing the Wondrous Story // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

Monday, September 24th

Review of Sing the Wondrous Story // Grace Maples @ Proclaiming His Excellencies

Tuesday, September 25th

Review of Sing the Wondrous Story // Chloe @ Purely by Faith Reviews

Wednesday, September 26th

He Leadeth Me Spotlight // Faith Blum @ Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections Review of Sing the Wondrous Story // Hanne T @ RockandMinerals4Him Wrap-Up Post // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

Giveaway Info

Enter the giveaway! The winner will receive a notebook, metal bookmark, and a paperback copy of one of the books (winner’s choice).


Click Here to Enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 14, 2018

God's Blessings Day by Day | Book Review



My Review
This is such an adorable little book. The cover makes me smile, and then each two-page spread is colorful and decorated with a cute little animal.

The devotions in this book are very short (can be read in about two minutes). The idea of family devotion time with children really pulled me to this book, but as I got to reading the devotions, I was a little disappointed in them, as they are really watered down. I can see them as good for a toddler, but children of 4-above can process things deeper than we give them credit for. The International Children’s Bible is the main text used for the devotional, and the verses don’t always mean the same thing from this paraphrased text as compared to other translations—which then means that the devotionals, while they have good thoughts, are not in line with the passage quoted.

I know that this all may seem harsh to say, but if you feed a child physical food with little nutrients, the child will grow up weak and sickly. The same with spiritual nourishment. If you just give them tiny nibbles of the truth (“love Jesus and you’re His child”) rather than what the Bible says in full (that we must repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ as our way to heaven), it will stunt their growth as a Christian (I have heard of many people who didn’t really know the true plan of salvation, because they were taught to just do good and love Jesus). Not all of the devotions are as vague as that (yes, there are several that just say “love Jesus and you will have the Holy Spirit”); some of them do go more into detail, but you’d almost have to pick and choose from them.

I do understand that in such small devotions, it is difficult to expound on deep doctrinal truths. So I suppose it is all about what you’re looking for in a devotion book. If you’re just looking for a reminder for children to be good and kind, this fits the bill. But if you want something deeper, you may have to find another book.

*I received this book from Book Look Bloggers and happily provided my honest review*



About the Book
God’s Blessing Day by Day is a trustworthy devotional compiled by renowned pastors and church leaders. Edited by Johnny Hunt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, this devotional is the perfect way to introduce your children and grandchildren to a legacy of faith.
One of the greatest gifts - and greatest challenges - of raising children is introducing them to the ways of God. As parents and grandparents, we want to impart our faith to the children we love so dearly, and it can feel more difficult than ever in the fast-moving, instant-access culture in which we find ourselves.
God’s Blessing Day by Day,compiled by Johnny Hunt and more than 50 pastors and church leaders, is the perfect way to build faith through gratitude.
This easy-to-understand, child-friendly devotional is the perfect way to engage your family. Each devotion is written on topics children care about and includes great prayers and takeaways that will spark conversation as the timeless Word of God instructs and inspires your children.
Impart a deeper connection with the Lord in your children, help them establish healthy habits of devotion and prayer, and equip them with the tools they need to grow their faith.

Purchase on Amazon

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

If Only it Were Yesterday | Blog Tour and Giveaway


One of my dear author-friends is releasing her new, ultra cute and charming book!! If you're a lover of history, you so want this book! I'm serious! 


My Review
Things were so much better in times before us... weren’t they? I’ve been as guilty as Liz Cooke in wishing for simpler times and fantasizing them. Liz learns a timely and much-needed lesson in here.

Yes, this is a time-travel book in a sense—through a dream. I thought the author did a fantastic job at keeping things realistic and interesting at the same time. I’m not a fan of time-travel, but there were absolutely no weird overtones in this book.

The spiritual message was solid and very applicable. Many Biblical principles were presented and Liz was super real as a struggling human. Yet she learned and grew.

The romance... Liz was definitely a hopeless romantic. But even in this, she learned reality. I was personally rooting for her and the man she ended up with, because it was just so natural and not all-consuming passion.

I had the privilege of beta-reading this book, but I liked it so much that when the manuscript was polished for publication, I read and enjoyed it just as much the second time in one year. It’s not a super long book, but it is a super cute and enjoyable book.


About the Book
Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885. As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?
Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.

Giveaway
 What's a release without a giveaway? And A.M. Heath has a fun giveaway that totally fits the book!










About the Author
Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

Author Links: 
You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.
Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

Release Day Spotlights: 
Sept 4: 
Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings 
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Reviews for If Only It Were Yesterday:
Sept. 5:
Laura Wilson @ Blue Eye Books
Sept. 6:
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Sept. 10: 
Karen Hadley @ Karen Sue Hadley
Sept. 11:
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings
Sept. 12: 
Virginia Winfield @ Bigreadersite
Sept. 13:
Heather G. @ Blue Jeans and Teacups
Sept. 17:
Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Are You Getting Back into Music Practice? (or do you have a student who is?)

Next week is back-to-teaching for me after a crazy, hectic summer. I'm really looking forward to seeing all of my kiddos again! But I have to admit, even though I love my little virtuosos, it isn't the easiest thing to get them back into the routine of practice. So, I created a coloring chart for my students that will hopefully help them get from summer break back into music. I uploaded the files on WAJN's website. You can access here:http://www.withajoyfulnoise.com/free-teaching-resources.html


I just sent out my WAJN newsletter, and some have some music-related questions.


Are you...
     - a musician (What instrument[s]?)
     - music listener (who's your favorite artist?)
     - music teacher (What do you teach? When did you resume lessons after summer break?)
     - parent of a musician (What do they play?)

Me? I'm most of the above. Piano is my primary instrument, though I also love the violin and have piddled some with bass guitar and mandolin. I love listening to music! My current favorite artists are The Ball Brothers (for singing) and... a plethora of pianists and other instrumentalists. Actually, you can see my playlist on Spotify. And, added to all of that, my passion is teaching music (piano and violin).


What are some music questions that you've had that you've been trying to find someone to ask? If there was one website that could be your go-to source, what all would it contain?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Needed: Beta Readers for "Protecting the Poor"


Who likes a good Robin Hood story? I have both hands in the air! I have loved Robin Hood since I was little. When I was praying about book three in the Tales of Faith series, I decided to veer away from fairytales and go with good ol' Robin Hood. My character who plays this role is none other than Dumphey, from "The Secret Slipper."

Before "Protecting the Poor" can be published though, I need a few beta readers (or pre-readers).

What are beta readers? I'm glad you asked. ;) The technical beta-reading "responsibility" is to monitor the flow of the story and let me know the "feel" of character development. However, I don't mind if beta readers point out typos or things that just don't make sense (E.g. Does it bring up any questions you feel unanswered? Does it feel like there are any gaps in the story? Something that wasn't clearly explained? Something that seems too repetitive?)

Now that you know what a beta reader is, you know what you might be getting yourself into. ;) There is a slight hitch, though. I work best with a team of about ten beta readers. This means that I have to pick and choose. :P I hate having to do that, but... if you don't make it for the beta reading team, there is always the review team coming up in the future, Lord willing!

Sign up for the beta reading team here.


Have you read my summer releases yet?




I am still ecstatic that the Lord allowed me to release two short stories this summer! (AND finish writing the rough draft of "Protecting the Poor"--it's been a great summer of writing!)

I am open to five more reviewers for both "Finding Christmas Joy" and "Quest for Leviathan." If you'd like to review either of these (click on the titles to read their blurb and what reviewers already have to say), just email me at amandaterobooks(at)gmail(dot)com! First five will get a free e-copy to review!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Progress Report | "Protecting the Poor"


I just finished my first complete draft of "Protecting the Poor!" I am so excited, but I also realize that there is still a lot of work to be done! I'm hoping to polish up this draft in the next week or two and send it off to some beta readers. Then, Lord willing in December I'll have some steady writing time again where I can finalize the edits and get it ready for publication!! It's been a long eight months waiting for the draft to reach a solid foundation, so I'm very, very grateful to be at this point right now!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Let's be informal now, okay??

I know... you've already read two posts from me today. But what's a third? Either I post all the time or never. ;) Enjoy it while you can. ;)


It’s release day today! To say that writing “Finding Christmas Joy” was stepping wayyyy out of my comfort zone is almost an understatement. I mean, it’s a super emotional girl whose engagement was just broken off. I’m not super emotional, and I’ve never been engaged. Oh, and this is the first time that I’ve written anything that even remotely hinted at something romantic. And, I’m so not a romantic! ๐Ÿ˜Finding the humor yet? ๐Ÿ˜‰ The initial idea flowed so very well... until my beta readers began saying they just couldn’t “feel” Melonie’s pain. Ugh. I had to go way above and beyond to make Melonie’s heart bleed realistically. But, if through that, it helps and encourages a reader, it is completely worth it! I’m truly excited for this new little story and humbled that once again, Jesus Christ gave me the inspiration and time to see another project to completion! By the way, for all of you raising your brows at snow in summer... it’s Christmas in July. My impatience couldn’t wait six more months to publish. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In other writing news...
I've been working on "Protecting the Poor" again! I have been keeping my Instagram and FaceBook followers updated, but alas for my poor blog readers (sorry! It's hard enough to keep up with those two :P). I do have a July writing update video though (which hopefully loads all right)!












It's Here! Finding Christmas Joy (with a giveaway, of course)


Ahhh.... the day has finally arrived! "Finding Christmas Joy" is live for local and international readers alike!!! I'm super duper happy to share this little story with you all. Not only does it bring the joy of winter (which we're all longing for in this summer heat), it also has such a special message that is near to my heart--that of true joy.

If you don't know anything about the book... here's the official blurb.

About the Book
Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so. With no plans beyond a Christmas escape, she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?

Available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DGKSWS5




Giveaway
And, because it's me... and I love giveaways...



I'm giving away a copy of “Finding Christmas Joy” with one of my piano CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)


Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 7 of 7

Release day!!!!! I'll be posting later on with a full post about a giveaway and other such stuff... but let's finish out our excerpts first.


EXERPT 7/7

Patricia walked past two doors on the left of the upstairs hall. Her fingertips graced the railing opposite of the doors, overlooking the large family room. At the third door, she stopped. “Here you are, honey. You get the gold room.”

Gold was right. Melonie stepped into a tinsel-and-ornament festooned room. A small tree of deep green stood in the corner, its branches decked with gold and red ornaments, bringing a happy balance to the glitter that cheerfully spread around the four walls.

“Well! I’ll let you get settled,” Patricia said. “If you need anything, just holler ‘til you find me. Wander around. We don’t have any secrets here—except for the gifts. Don’t open anything wrapped.” She winked at Melonie and headed back down the stairs.

Melonie retrieved her suitcase and shut the door. She sank down onto the red-and-white quilted bedspread and looked around the room. Alone. No fiancรฉ, no friends or family who would wrap their arms around her and mourn with her over the loss of her dreams—of her life. She grabbed a pillow from the bed and buried her face into its thick sham as she let the sobs release from her bleeding heart and tear through her throat.
(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero;

Monday, July 30, 2018

Scripture Graphics #102

Now that I've reached 100... I'm going to have to relax my blogging a bit (as I mentioned in the spring). I haven't been able to sit down and schedule my Scripture Graphics posts for a while. If you're on Instagram or FaceBook, though, I usually post daily verses (when life is busy, I might skip a week then get back on it). Feel free to follow/friend me there. I'm very sad that I can't keep it up right now, but maybe in the future I'll get back on it? I loved sharing these and hearing your thoughts and what God had been doing in your life!!

So... the final Scripture Graphics post for right now...



Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
We can either trust Jesus’ promise here, and accept His peace, or we can deny this truth and be fearful and afraid. Peace is there for us, but we have a choice in what to do with it.




Will we strive to be prudent and wise? To get and seek knowledge? We have the knowledge of God’s Word before us—but will we make the effort to apply it?

Share a verse!

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 6 of 7


EXCERPT 6/7

Melonie followed Patricia through the living room, only half-listening as her hostess chatted about Starlight Lodge’s plans for the week. The rooms passed in a flash of green, red, and gold. Melonie hoisted her suitcase higher and walked up the wooden steps, her elbow brushing against the garland that wrapped around the banister. Little red ornament balls hung tastefully from the greenery.
“It’s beautiful in here!” Melonie inserted when Patricia paused in her monologue.

“Why, thank you, dear.” Patricia twisted her head slightly toward Melonie and gave a genuine smile. “Decorating for Christmas is one of my most favorite things of the year. Richard set his foot down, and I can’t pull out any of the boxes until after Thanksgiving, which I’m fine with. I get all decked out for the fall too. But Christmas…” She gave a happy sigh as she walked up the last few steps. “Christmas is my season.”

Melonie had thought Christmas was her season too. Differences were always pushed aside for Christmas, wrongs made right. Holiday cheer hid all of the dirt and grime of daily living. At least, it was supposed to. She had been cheated of her joy this year.

(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero;

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 5 of 7


EXCERPT 5/7

“Pardon the wait.” The woman’s white hair was fixed in a short perm, and she wore a red sweater and black pants with a pearl necklace and matching earrings. “I am Patricia Hayes. You must be Melonie?”

“Yes.” Melonie pasted a smile on and shook Patricia’s offered hand.

“We are delighted to have you here! And for the entire week! I hope you’re ready to have a lot of fun.”

Melonie nodded. Yes. Fun away from all that was familiar was exactly what she needed.

“Do you have your suitcase? Richard can give you a hand if you need it.”

“Oh, no, I can get it all. Give me just a minute.” She returned to her car and threw her duffle bag over her shoulder as she wheeled her suitcase toward Patricia, who was waiting for her with the door open.

“Come along, honey. Can you maneuver both of those up the stairs, or do you need to save one for a second trip—or I can find Richard?”

Melonie managed a carefree grin to assure the old lady. “No worries. I can get it.” She avoided the grandmotherly look of doubt Patricia gave her before turning to lead the way into the heart of the lodge.

(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero;


Friday, July 27, 2018

More Than Meets the Eye | Book Review


This is my second book to read by Witemeyer and I enjoyed it just as immensely.

The orphan train in the beginning immediately gripped me. I loved this patchwork family—their diversities, their struggles, their secrets, and their needs. Then add Logan into the mix with his own problems, and I found a fantastic array of characters.

I thought the spiritual content was a decent balance. It strengthened more as the story progressed, and held a powerful punch at the climax. I appreciated that the characters weren’t perfect but had areas in which to grow spiritually—people to call them out and challenge them about how they’re following God.

The romance was believably progressed. Quite a few mentions of feelings and desires (noticing the brawn and handsomeness, the beauty and physical build), a few semi-detailed kisses, and, in the end, masked comments about marriage intimacy. I would recommend this content for girls 18+.

There was also a bit of violence in here with murders or attempted murders and descriptions to go with both. They fit the story, but some readers might want to be notified of such.

*I received this book from Bethany House and happily provided my honest review*

Purchase on Amazon

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 4 of 7


EXCERPT 4/7

She opened her door and her slick black boots crunched on the snow-encased rocks. Did one just arrive with their bags and claim their room? Or enter and sign in first? She hadn’t really read up on it—just chosen the closest Christmas lodge she could afford that wouldn’t leave her stranded too far from her job in case of a freak snowstorm. The boss had already grown impatient with the days she had been late because of sleepless nights. He wouldn’t take the excuse of a snowstorm delaying her return from vacation. Losing her job would be icing to top the cake for this year—and it sure wasn’t a tasty cake.

She grabbed her purse and walked to the front entrance. A bell announced her arrival as she pushed the door open. From somewhere in the depths of the house, she heard a cheery, “Hello! Welcome to Starlight Lodge! Give me just one moment.”

Melonie waited by a mahogany desk in the foyer, peeking at the next room. Garlands decked the support beams, candles rested on many of the surfaces, nearly hidden by sprigs of fresh greenery. A soft hum of Christmas piano music filled the room. She’d have to talk with Josh about—no. No Josh. She clenched her jaw as an elderly woman walked into the front room.

(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero;
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DGKSWS5) 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 3 of 7


EXCERPT 3/7

“You have arrived,” her GPS broke the silence. She punched it off and drove into the small parking lot to the left of the lodge. Only three other cars were lined up. Two of them were coated with snow, as if they hadn’t moved since the last snowstorm.

She turned off her car and stopped. This had been a whim of an idea, something she had never done before. She had thought she could survive Christmas just fine alone at home, but as the day neared, every shopping trip, every present—even her work—teemed with happy couples that reminded her that she was single. Single, when she was supposed to be married on New Year’s Day. She forced herself to breathe in. Out. In. Out again—in a mournful groan.

I can do this. She had to. This was her only escape.

(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero;

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 2 of 7


EXCERPT 2/7
She was just a few minutes from the lodge. The place was well away from everything familiar—away from work, the drama of family…and miles away from Josh and all of the heartache he had caused.

Her knuckles grew white like the snow outside as her fingers tightened on the steering wheel. She pressed her lips together. Her stomach knotted at the thought of Josh. He had torn out her heart, trampled it, and left it bleeding without a thought when he broke off their three-year engagement. It had been just months before the wedding, but he claimed they were no longer compatible. No, Christmas was not a time to be in her hometown, with memories of everything she had once cherished.

At the GPS’s command, she slowed and took a right. She stopped her car under the colorful sign announcing Starlight Lodge. A white fence ran alongside the road, embracing the borders of the lodge property. The driveway disappeared over a hill, so Melonie accelerated, causing her car’s engine to rev as she continued up the slope.

Melonie stopped again at the crest of the hill, and tears finally filled her eyes. The pictures online hadn’t done Starlight Lodge justice. The lodge was a two-story wood and stone cabin. Bushes dotted the yard in front of it, and decorative candy canes lining the walk up to the front door. To the right of the lodge was a life-sized nativity scene of painted wood. It seemed like the snow was ordered to complete the picture—a dream to save her from her living nightmare.
(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero;

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 1 of 7

The release for "Finding Christmas Joy" is just next week! For the next few days, I'll give you an excerpt (seven in total) that will complete the first scene.



EXCERPT 1/7
Melonie Brown braked at the four-way stop and waited as a black pickup whizzed in front of her. She took a left turn and released a long sigh as her GPS announced, “In 3.4 miles, take a left on Candy Cane Lane.”

A sardonic half-grin slipped over her face as she rolled her eyes. She had already passed through an idealistic town and was continuing down the road that led to countryside speckled with remnants of a snowfall. It was the type of town that Josh would find ridiculous.

Ice slid through her veins at the thought. There wasn’t any Josh. Not anymore. She glanced over the fields of white to keep herself from looking at her left hand, where her engagement ring should be. She sucked in a deep breath and tightened her throat against sobs that crept up against her will.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… The lyrics passed through her mind unwarranted. As she turned onto Candy Cane Lane, it was as if her mind was on musical shuffle, changing from one cheerful melody to another. She bit her tongue and pushed the songs from her mind. They had no place in her life. Not this year when everything looked bleak and dreary.

(From "Finding Christmas Joy" by Amanda Tero; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DGKSWS5)
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