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

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.


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


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


“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


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;

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 3 of 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

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.

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)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Christmas in July - Novella Discounts!

Today, all three of my novellas are discounted for Kindle! It usually costs $2.99 for just one. Today, you can get all three for $2.97--two cents less than all three!!

Regular $2.99
TODAY ONLY for $.99

Regular $2.99
TODAY ONLY for $.99

Regular $2.99
TODAY ONLY for $.99

If you'd like the paperbacks of these, email me at amandaterobooks@gmail.com. Regularly priced, these are $27.97 for all three. Until July 31, 2018, I'll sell the set of three for $25 total (shipping included).

Be sure to keep visiting these other authors!
July 24, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement

July 25, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
Giveaway: The Father Christmas Confessions.

July 26, 2018
Author  Faith Blum
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement and book sale

July 27, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
Discount: A Time of Grace: The Complete Series
Blog: Spotlight on new book

July 28, 2018
Author Abigayle Claire
Giveaway and discount: Andora’s Folly

July 30, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
Discount: The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks

July 31, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
Giveaway and new release: “Finding Christmas Joy”

The giveaway is still going, if you haven't entered yet!



Scripture Graphics #101

Fear and confidence don’t seem to lend a hand—unless it is this type of fear. Fear of anything else will never result in a strong confidence or refuge, BUT the fear of the Lord.

Which side best describes us? Do our hearts seek knowledge or do we instead stuff our appetite with foolishness? We cannot seek both.

An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire....He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. Proverbs 16:27, 17:9
The contrast of these two verses stood out to me: one who digs, one who covers. Even as believers, we can find entertainment in “digging up” rather than “covering up.” It is our natural state to unearth information (usually we don’t pursue “all the details” when someone is living a godly, upright life; but our ears perk up to scandals, sin, and evil), but God has not called us to do that. What if we worked as hard to cover in Love—as we did to unearth evil info?

Where are you reading today?

Monday, July 16, 2018

Scripture Graphics #100

Have we given much thought lately to seeking good? If not, then what are we seeking?

This one short verse packs some powerful reasoning. We now belong to God—thus, it is only right that we should do what pleases and glorifies God. Does this verse shape our life—or do we see no value in what God has done for us, and do not care about how we dishonor/honor Him with our lifestyle?

It was never the act of circumcision that meant something, but the act of obedience. There are many convictions (based on Biblical principles) where it’s not the *act* that draws us nigh to Christ, but the obedience. Are we more concerned about a list to check off and look good, or our hearts submitted to the leading of God?

He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. 2 Samuel 22:18-19
It does my heart good to remember that, no matter how helpless I feel or how strong the enemy is, my God is stronger. He is my stay (protection, support). It doesn’t matter what I am going through, my God is bigger.

Share a verse that you've recently read.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sons of Blackbird Mountain | Book Review

My Review

Aven was a very endearing character, whose past had been filled with heartache and pain, yet who enters the book with a hope for a bright future. This bright future is found in her cousins’ farm on Blackbird Mountain. As a shock, though, their occupation comes from the very thing that Aven detests: hard liquor, made with pride from the orchards on the Norgaard farm.

Joanne weaves a heartfelt story through the lives of Aven and Thor. I must admit, my absolute top-favorite character was Jorgan. His name, his demeaner, his big-brother relationship with Aven… he was spot-on the best character (in my opinion) and I was happy for every good plot point for him.

Thor was a very intriguing character. I know some of the Deaf culture from my sister having taken ASL and been at several Deaf meetings. This was the first time I had really read it in a book—that, as well as hints of the Ku Klux Klan (which was only in the beginning of the book and seemed to fade as the story progressed). With the limited knowledge that I have of both, Joanne seemed to do a very good job depicting them.

I loved the feel of most of this story—the “backwoodsman” appeal as well as rugged living. Though, toward the end, I’ll admit an event happened that made me just want to skim through the remainder of the pages, and the book lost its homey, cozy feel for me.

So, yes, that “aspect” had to do with the romance portion of the book. There was one character that I was always wary of (which Aven was wary of as well—which I’ll put in that the author did a great job helping you feel what she was feeling). Every time he came on the scene, I found myself almost holding my breath, hoping that it wouldn’t go in the direction I was seeing it headed. Of course, it did go in that direction and there was what I’d consider an attempted-rape scene. I kind of skimmed those pages, because it’s not something I’d care to read. So I can’t say exactly what happened, but it was enough for me to cringe and put a word of caution out for girls who don’t like to read that much content. That, and then there are some bent-on-discreet mentions of the marriage bed and such. It just got a little too much into that, as a non-romance reader.

The spiritual content was throughout the pages, but it seemed almost as if they were all baby Christians, and though they made progress physically (for example, one being free from his addiction to alcohol; which seemed very descriptive and accurate, but may also be a little more than some readers would like to read, as it covers the bulk of the center of the story), there didn’t seem to be a lot of actual God-emphasis. Kind of “reassuring pats” that God would help them handle it, cries for God’s help, and a few Scripture quotations. I can’t fault it for being spiritually shallow, I’ve just been really picky about spiritual content lately. Or maybe it’s just that this isn’t along the lines of what I needed in my spiritual walk right now.

The flow of the story was a little jerky to me. I do like fragmented sentences, but in this book, some of them almost didn’t make sense and I had to reread the paragraph two times to get what the author was trying to say. As the book progressed, though, either I got used to it, or she had less. I also found a little bit of the plot to be jerky as well. That could just be me being nit-picky though, as I've not read much fiction lately.

Besides the latter quarter of the book (for above-mentioned reasons), this was one that I really enjoyed and will imagine many more mature readers will enjoy it as well.

*I received this book from the publisher and am happily providing my honest review*

About the Book

Title: Sons of Blackbird Mountain  
Author: Joanne Bischof  
Genre: Historical Romance

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family. But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength. As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world? A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

About the Author

JOANNE BISCHOF is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com, Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof, Instagram: @JoanneBischof.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, July 5
Carpe Diem, July 5
Simple Harvest Reads, July 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Just Commonly, July 11
Book by Book, July 12
Pause for Tales, July 13
Radiant Light, July 13
Remembrancy, July 14
Vicky sluiter, July 15
By The Book, July 16
Bigreadersite, July 17
amandainpa, July 18


To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away
Grand prize of a country crate, a jar of apple butter, a bag of gummy berries, journal, bath salts, honey spoons, copper earrings, and a blackbird sign!!
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