Monday, September 30, 2019

One Final Breath | Book Review

This was my first time reading Lynn Blackburn (I know, I know—I totally should have started with book one), and I was totally impressed. The spiritual content was the backbone of this novel and there were really great messages. I specifically appreciated the discussions on God’s calling, and how being a missionary isn’t the highest calling and all other positions reserved for “lesser people.” The characters struggled, but you knew where they stood in their relationship with God. They weren’t perfect, but they were humble enough to seek counsel from wiser, more mature Christians. It went beyond the typical watered-down Christian themes so often seen in books and dealt with real-life issues in very real-life ways.

For the first time in a very long time, I can say that I enjoyed every single chapter in a book. Lynn’s style was engaging, her plot believable, a few twists here and there, and (for me) not too much romance to throw the balance off-kilter.

Speaking of the romance, I thought it was sweet. I definitely missed out on some of the backstory, not having read the previous books, but I liked that Lynn and Gabe had a history and theirs wasn’t a whirlwind romance, but had some foundation. I don’t recall any cringe-worthy romantic interactions but found it to be realistic.

The whole story with Liz was really neat. This wasn’t as suspenseful as some Christian Suspense books I’ve read this year and some of it was semi-predictable to me, but I thought it had a nice flow.

A quote that caught my eye:
“Staying put and doing the hard work right where you are takes the same obedience, the same passion for the Lord, as any other calling.”

*I received this book from Revell Reads and happily provided my honest review* 

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About the Book
When investigator Gabriel Chavez had his cover blown by an aggressive reporter, the silver lining was being able to rejoin the dive team. The downside? Dive team captain Anissa Bell--a woman who both fascinates and frustrates him.

Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and always planned to return after college. But she remained stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her--the murder of her best friend and the disappearance of a three-year-old child.

When Anissa's fractured past collides with Gabe's investigation into the tragic shooting death of a teenage boy in Lake Porter, they'll have to put their complicated history with each other aside in order to uncover the identity of a killer. What they'll discover is that revenge has no statute of limitations.

Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her nail-biting Dive Team Investigations series with a story that will have you wondering how long you can hold your breath.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

One month (and a special deal!)...

I'm super excited and cannot wait to share Stephanie's journey with you! A mix of humor and heart-touching struggles sums up Steph's journey--one with which many singles can identify.

How many of my readers are singles? What are some good singles' books you've read?

For the next thirty days, you can get "Wedding Score" for a discounted price!

Reserve your copy here

You can also pre-order your copy on Kindle for $1.99 and read it as soon as it releases!

Yesterday, I shared the first of what I hope to be many videos concerning "Wedding Score" and singleness. You can stay updated by following me on FaceBook or Instagram. Also, keep your eye open for giveaways and other fun activities!

Are you on Goodreads?
Add "Wedding Score" to your TBR list!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Retellings: Hayden Wand and Fairytale Retellings

Today we have Hayden with some fairytale retellings of her own--and some great thoughts about the fairytales and questions concerning them.

Meet Hayden...
Hayden Wand has been writing stories since before she can remember, but only decided to pursue being an author after she realized her childhood dream jobs were surprisingly unattainable. (Why is it so hard to get a gig as an international jewel thief or a deadly-spy-slash-private-detective these days?)

Her novella “The Wulver’s Rose” was published in Rooglewood Press’s FIVE ENCHANTED ROSES anthology, and she is also the author of two more fairy tale retellings: WITH BLOSSOMS GOLD (2017), and JANUARY SNOW (Coming Winter 2019). She lives in South Carolina with her family.

Hayden's Retellings...


Nella has lived quietly in her tower in the woods for over a decade. After dangerous accusations drove her and her grandmother away from their village, they escaped deep into the forest where no one would try to harm them. Now, after her grandmother’s death, Nella is alone, and she is determined to stay that way. She has no patience for a world she deems judgmental and ignorant.
Or so she tells herself. In reality, her paralyzing fear prevents her from stepping foot outside of the tower.

Prince Benedict Allesandro is an adventurer- a rescuer who prides himself on saving the weak and unfortunate. When he hears rumors of a beautiful damsel trapped in a tower, he rushes to her rescue…only to find a woman who most definitely does not wish to be saved.

But when war breaks out, this reckless prince and reclusive maiden are faced with overcoming their deepest fears in order to determine not only their own fate, but that of their entire country.

A life is a high price to pay for stealing a rose. Nevertheless, Bonnie honors her father’s agreement and travels to the remote, ruinous castle wherein dwells the legendary creature known as a wulver—half man, half wolf. Though he is monstrous to behold, this beast is oddly gentle, tenderly caring for his beautiful rosebush, which blooms out of season. Is there more to the wulver than meets the eye? Is he somehow connected to the frightened child who visits Bonnie in her dreams?

Find Hayden's books on Amazon

The Questions That Drive Fairy Tales
A Note from Hayden...
“But it’s been done before.”

Originality is a haunting concept that hangs over artists of all types—including authors. And perhaps writers of retellings struggle with this even more than others. After all, we know from the start that we are dealing with expanding, twisting, or reexamining something that we know has already been done. But all writers deal with juggling well-known tropes, archetypes, and genre expectations. The trick is how to use those tools effectively—and for someone who writes retellings, the original story is just one of the tools in the box. An important one to be sure, but one that shouldn’t really be all that more intimidating to use than any other.

For me, one of the best ways to effectively retell any well-known story is to focus on the questions the original tale brings up.

Fairy tales are complex and heavily thematic, and at times heavily moralistic. But there is a simplicity to them, too; sometimes, what seems important to us isn’t important to the fairy tale at all! Why did Rumpelstiltskin want the queen’s firstborn child? Why did Rapunzel’s birth mother want forbidden lettuce so badly that she was willing to risk her husband’s life and give up her daughter for it? Did the prince really think that Cinderella’s shoe size was so unique that he was sure her foot was the only one that would fit the slipper?

We don’t know because the fairy tales don’t tell us; those aren’t the questions that the themes of the tales are prompting us to answer.


Answering these questions are a great starting point for writing retellings.

For instance, the entirety of the plot of my Beauty and the Beast retelling, The Wulver’s Rose, came from wondering why on earth the beast was so upset that Beauty’s father took one of his roses.

That single question spiraled out in my planning process, so that it became the central issue that the rest of the story hinged on—and one that drove the story’s theme of reparation, redemption, and forgiveness. 

But sometimes, the ways we choose to answer these questions are simple and don’t end up taking much of the story to explain. In my Rapunzel retelling With Blossoms Gold, the reason Rapunzel’s father stole from the “witch” was because of famine; that’s why the wife would die without it, and why he was willing to give up his daughter. However, this ends up in my character’s backstory and doesn’t play a large part in the plot at all. That question simply didn’t became central enough to play such a large part of the story.

And that’s where different kinds of questions come in. The questions that don’t ask “why?” but rather “what if?”

Each of the fairy tale retellings that I’ve written—including unpublished ones—have their driving force grounded in flipping one aspect of the fairy tale and then trying to remain as true as possible to the rest of the story. I’m not looking to be subversive and completely flip the morals or motivations of the original tales on their head, but rather imagine, “what if this one central thing was different?”

For instance, in With Blossoms Gold, the question was, “What if Rapunzel didn’t want to leave the tower?”

For The Wulver’s Rose, without going too much into spoiler territory, the idea was “what if the Beast was trying to break the spell primarily to save someone else?”

In January Snow, my upcoming twist on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the question became, “what if Snow White, the ‘innocent princess’ wasn’t innocent at all?”

But what really makes a retelling “click” for me is when the “what if?” questions perfectly intersect with the “why?” questions.

For example, the two questions “Why does Cinderella stay with her abusive family?” and “What if Cinderella literally couldn’t refuse to obey her stepmother?” collide in Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted.

In her Lunar Chronicles series, Marissa Meyer asks the question “What if classic fairy tales took place in the future?” but then utilizes the tools of her setting—technology and space—to create parallel situations to the original stories: a cyborg Cinderella loses her mechanical foot rather than a shoe; Rapunzel is trapped in a orbiting satellite rather than a tower. The core elements and imagery of the original story are still there but they’ve been utilized in an unexpected way—subverting and fulfilling expectations all at once.

Any fairy tale retelling you write can be as traditional or as unconventional as you desire—but pondering the questions that tug at you when you read the original usually gives you a personal investment and connection to the fairy tale. If you want those answers, then your readers can usually tell.

And that gets us invested in finding those answers, too.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Calling All Book Lovers!

Calling any and all book lovers!
This invitation is for you if you love books!

Just click on this image on September 30th to be whisked away to the Literary Lodge (otherwise known as Read Another Page).…-hop-real-heroes/

I am happy to share this invitation with you today because I have participated in this blog party before and it was such fun!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Retellings: A.M. Heath and A Season Passed

I'm super excited to introduce you to the third author sharing her retellings with us: A.M. Heath. She's pretty much been my "big writing sister" these past few years. I've been blessed by her advice and in addition to that, she writes some pretty sweet stories.

Meet A.M. Heath...
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 a retired 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.

You can connect with A.M. Heath on these other social media sites: Site, Facebook, Tea Time with A.M. Heath Facebook Group, TwitterGoodreadsBookBub, and Pinterest *Note: I’m most active on Facebook.

Where to purchase: Ebooks and Paperback on Amazon

 A.M.'s Retellings...

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.

During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her thoughts reluctantly travel back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home … 

1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who has spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to melt, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.
Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?

A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.

Find out more about this series here.

Can Scrooge find love from a friendship gone cold?

Sanford Stone cut ties with his best friend, Natalie, in favor of the love of his life … a woman who ended up walking out on him just before Christmas. Six years later, Sanford can’t bring himself to celebrate Christ’s birth with any joy. Little does he know, his grandmother and her companions have dubbed him the Scrooge and intend to help him overcome his bitterness and find happiness again.

The only thing that has hurt Natalie Dunivan more than Sanford cutting her out of his life has been watching his long-held grudges slowly destroy the man she has always loved. When Ms. Carol devises a plan to reach out to Sanford, Natalie eagerly agrees.

Sanford accepts his grandmother’s challenge to celebrate Christmas for 31 straight days, but he didn’t count on her plan involving Natalie. Can his family and friends help their Scrooge see the error of his ways, or will Natalie’s presence only make things worse?

Stay updated with Christmas in Garland projects here.


Behind the Retellings
A note from A.M. Heath...

Thanks, Amanda, for the opportunity to share! I love retellings. I think it takes an extra dose of creativity to tell a new story while keeping certain aspects of the original in place. With most novels, everything you write is all your own and the sky is the limit in terms of what you can do or where you can go. So to suddenly be restricted in ways and yet still walk away with something new and fresh … well, I admire the work involved. And I confess, I totally geek out while reading a retelling.

As for myself, I have two retellings out and one on the way.

ASeason Passed is a series full of retellings. The first two books are available. Book one, IfOnly It Were Yesterday, may not be a technical retelling but it’s heavily inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Book Two of the series, Yesterday’sChristmas, is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Still to come in the series are Cinderella and Snow White retellings.

Just on the horizon is my A Christmas Carol retelling titled Project Scrooge which is due out later this year.

My process behind writing a retelling is to take on the challenge. Retellings are not anything new. We’ve seen movies and books retell classic stories for decades. 

So I start with the questions:
What is my favorite story?
If I could redo any story, which one would I choose?

Once I have a story in mind, I consider all the known versions already out there. How did they change the story? How did they keep it the same?

Now what can I do that is completely different? What hasn’t been done already?
How can I flip this story over on its head by putting it in a location, era, or using characters that are vastly different from the original and other notable retellings out there?

And for me, that’s the really fun part! Most of my ideas started just as a fun challenge. Kinda like a parlor game for the mind. I just wanted to see if I could come up with something. I didn’t have to write it. I only needed to create a solid idea.

Sometimes I spend a few minutes or hours, and sometimes it takes days or even months and years to come up with the perfect solution to my puzzle. In fact, I have some ideas currently in progress in my mind right now. I can feel that there’s a valuable idea there, I just can’t grasp how it will come together.

But once the idea takes root and I decide it’s more than just a game but a story to tell, I begin to take a closer look at the original. While I’m in the early plotting and writing stages, I reread the original work, pulling out any quote that jumps out at me. I might use these quotes in the dialogue or as epigraphs throughout the novel.

Part of my plotting process is to consider the elements of the original that I want to keep in my story and the elements that I will introduce as original.

For If Only It Were Yesterday/Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: I wanted to keep the concept of the heroine falling asleep and having this grand adventure that teaches her something in her real life. I also wanted to keep the whimsical side where some things just didn’t make much sense, as well as some of the quirky personalities we meet from Carrol’s story.

But I wanted to change the setting and the overall theme and message of the story. And, naturally, I wanted to add in Christian elements as well.

In Yesterday’s Christmas/Beauty and the Beast: My plan was to tell a love story about a woman who is stranded in the home of someone she doesn’t like and how their love blossoms from being forced into each other’s company. I kept small nods to the original, especially the movie, by using a dance scene, a rose, and even a library.

But one of the biggest things I changed was to tell the story as a dual-timeline where Glenn was the beast in their early days but Betty becomes the beast when she allows bitterness to taint their marriage.

For Project Scrooge/A Christmas Carol: I really struggled to create the most famous ghost story without using ghosts at all. There have been so many creative takes on this story so I wrestled with this one for some time. I wanted to keep the concept of being taught a lesson by someone around him, but I searched long and hard over how to pull it off.

One of the biggest changes I made was to make Sanford bitter instead of greedy. And his story is a love story at heart. But I was able to use a lot of the original dialogue and I even kept the staves instead of traditional chapter breaks.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek inside my workshop. Whether you’re a writer or not, I’d love to hear which story you’d retell if you could.

And as a special treat, both of my retellings are on sale this week.  

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Feeling nostalgic...

I've been thinking about this little book a lot lately. 

An author's first "real work" holds a special place in their heart. Sure, a few of my short stories reached the Amazon shelves before this one, but this was the story that really made me believe that I was an actual author, not a hobby writer. I learned so much while writing and publishing it--lessons that I have applied to every single project I have done since its release. And yes... sometimes I just get nostalgic over it... guess memories do that to you. ;)

What is the book that holds a special place in your heart (this question can apply to both authors and readers, so have at it!)?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Retellings: Angie Thompson and The Good Samaritan

Today's retelling feature is a Biblical retelling!

Meet Angie Thompson...

An avid reader and incurable story-spinner, Angie Thompson also enjoys volunteering in her church’s children’s program and starting (but not always finishing) various kinds of craft projects. She currently lives in central Virginia near most of her incredible family, including two parents, six brothers, one sister, and five siblings-in-law—plus two nieces, five nephews, and several assorted pets!

Angie's Retelling...

Three boys. One choice. No turning back.

Peyton is a rising star in the church who is well on the way to reaching his biggest dreams. Levi is a pastor's son struggling to live up to his faith under pressure from all sides. DaVonte is a kid from the wrong side of town who would be content if he and his friends were just left alone.

When an act of violence presents a sudden decision, each boy's answer will shake the community to its core and shape its future forever. Love and truth face off against fear and pride in this modern extension of one of Jesus' best-known parables.  

Behind the Retelling
A note from Angie...

Thanks so much for having me, Amanda! I'm really looking forward to this series and very honored to be a part of it.

Now, before I begin, I want to take one moment to address the invisible elephant in the room. Okay, maybe not quite invisible, but the one only I can see. Wait, did that sound worse? :D Anyway, I have to be honest--I knew next to nothing about writing a retelling when I started Bridgers (a modern retelling of the Good Samaritan parable). I'd never read or studied or even thought too hard about what made a good retelling. But when the idea hit, I went with it, aided by recollections of retellings I'd read/heard/watched, a large dose of my own imagination, and God. Definitely God, because my story would have gone nowhere without Him!

So this is the point where you either quietly slink away because you realize I am not going to have proven, rock-solid craft tips for you, or you stick around because you realize that the fact that I did it means you can definitely do it too! (I'll give you a second to make up your minds. No judgment; I'll even shut my eyes... ) :D

For those of you who are still here, I hope you're well on your way to the biggest lesson of all--you can do this! It doesn't take mountains of skill and oodles of research; all you need is a story you love, an intriguing "what if?", and an open mind.
The Story

If you're going to do a retelling, definitely pick a story that resonates with you in some way. An author trying to tell a story they don't enjoy is yuck, but an author trying to tell a story about a story they don't enjoy? Double yuck! If you've always felt "meh" about the plot of Cinderella, don't choose it just because it's classic. Find the stories (or parts of stories) that make you prick up your ears. ("Wait, did someone just say 'dragons'?" Or 'outlaws'? Or 'fuzzy animal friends'?) This will be different for each person, but knowing what it is that draws you to the story is crucial to creating a retelling that feels alive and vibrant and not like a cardboard cutout. Remember, too, that even a strong negative reaction can be a jumping-off point for a crucial twist. If you can't get over the feeling that the princess really should have saved the knight in the climax, then maybe that's the story you were meant to write!

For me, there were two things that really caught my attention when I started thinking about the Good Samaritan parable--the heavy animosity between the Jews and Samaritans and the very personal care of the Samaritan for the wounded man. Eventually, both of these pieces not only pushed me to write the story but also heavily influenced the theme, tone, and plot.

The "What If?"

The "what if" question is crucial to any story--at least for me--but it's even more so in a retelling. It's the part that makes the story your own. If you want to write a story about a band of archers living in medieval England who rob from the rich to give to the poor, well, at this point, you don't really have a retelling. Actually, you have...the original. It's the "what if" that makes your story distinct. A "what if" can range from small to huge and any size in between. If you've got a story that grabs you but don't know what to do with it, try playing around with different questions. ("What if the setting was different?" "What if Robin Hood was a girl?" "What if the sheriff's men were secretly working with the outlaws?") Keep at it until you find one (or more) that stick. Just do remember to save enough of the original for people to recognize; if your steampunk heroine doesn't do archery or have a band of loyal friends or work to help the poor, people aren't going to recognize her as a Robin-Hood type, no matter how much green she wears. ;)

For me, there were two big "what ifs" that I worked from while writing Bridgers--the modern-day setting and the teen cast of characters--and both of them had a significant impact on the plot. Just because a setting change sounds like a minor adjustment, don't underestimate all the complications it can bring! But the balance of being true to the original while working out your "what if"--that's where your story really has a chance to shine!

An Open Mind

This last piece is crucial for achieving balance between the original story you love and all the complications that come with your "what if". It's really easy to limit yourself to one set of options--usually the first one that comes to mind. (Priest = pastor, obviously. Donkey = well, it would have to be a car, right? Thieves = uh, thieves, duh...) But before you commit to those choices, sit back and think for a bit. Peel back the layers of the story and make sure there's not another aspect that's more important than keeping a strict one-for-one swap. Would combining characters or tweaking a role or changing the action a bit bring the theme into focus better? Just like you need to be careful not to stray too far from your core concept, you should also be willing to have a light hand on some of the details, or you run the risk of writing a story that feels contrived and doesn't resonate with readers, no matter how close it sticks to the original. Remember, to make your story a good retelling, it also has to be a good story!

There were several places in my own story where looking beyond the obvious choices made for a better or deeper plot point than I had thought of at first. But by far the biggest breakthrough came when I gave myself permission to go beyond the bounds of the original parable and explore what would happen next. At that point, the story exploded (not literally) and gave me some of the best dialogue, the most fun characters, and the most poignant moments in the whole book.

So, there you have it--three of the biggest lessons I learned from writing my own retelling. And since this means you're already a step ahead of where I was when I started, what are you waiting for? Go out and get started already! I can't wait to see all your creative ideas!

Any thoughts, opinions, or arguments? Hit me up in the comments! I'd love to hear what you guys think. :)  

Monday, September 9, 2019

3 Month tour winner!

I don't usually go the old-fashioned route with drawing giveaway winners because...
Well, for today anyway, I'm at school and can't very well write up a few dozen slips to draw (and... the only container I have is my water jug; no thanks!).

So, thanks to a handy-dandy online generator, names were entered and drawn!

Congratulations, Kassie! I can't wait to share my stories with you!

Meet the Heroine | Librarians of Willow Hollow

You know about the series...

You know about the titles...

Now, you get to meet HER! The main character!! Lena Rose Davis. She's just fifteen. Likes to be ignored. And has a history of hurt.

Want to meet the other heroines? Hop over to the blogs of Faith, A.M. Heath, and Alicia.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Happy Read-a-Book Day!

It’s national read-a-book day!!!!! 

As a small way of celebrating, I decided to snap a quick shot of all my books.

1... We’re not going to talk about how long it took me to get this picture. 

2... But, wow! This is THE FIRST time I have compiled all my books into a picture (minus a couple short stories). 

3... WHEN DID ALL THIS HAPPEN?!?! I am completely overwhelmed with what GOD has done here!!!! <3 

4... God is so good!!! It is by His grace alone that any of this has happened!!

What are you reading today??? If you’re an author, send me an all-book picture of you and your works!!!

In chronological order of publication

13 Reasons Why Blog Tour and Giveaway

I love being a part of tours with authors I'm friends with--and whose message I support. The choice to accept life is a message I fully support and I'm excited about Faith's and Kaitlyn's book supporting this message!

Guest Post

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix TV series centered around a young girl's suicide. There's debate about whether it promotes suicide or simply raises awareness, but the undeniable fact is that this show has persuaded others to take their own lives. Each episode explains a reason for the girl's suicide—13 episodes, 13 reasons. Since both Freedom and Beloved deal with the topic of suicide, we decided to name our blog tour the 13 Reasons Why tour—but each day, we are giving reasons to choose life. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, loved beyond measure by our Creator. And that makes every day worth living.

About the book

Having just returned to American soil from the desert sands of the Middle East, James Greene is done with his life. 'Double amputee' doesn't seem like a strong enough phrase to label the physical and emotional pain he bears. Add the lack of love and communication with his family members, the demons that haunt him day and night, and he can find nothing worth living for. Ending it all is the only way out. 

Alexandria Lorance is a not-so-ordinary physical therapist, content with aiding in her patients' recoveries. Her work gives her fulfillment, but alone in the silence, she still endures the hidden scars of a past, unhealthy relationship. Reminding herself that true healing is found in Christ alone, she seeks to show kindness and love to everyone she meets.

When these two broken ones' paths intersect, the spark of friendship is ignited, bringing hope and joy to both. Can they step out of the darkness of suffering and into the freedom of grace? 

A Marine, broken by war. A therapist, scarred by words. A chance meeting in a parking lot bonded them together. But can love grow in these two hurting hearts? Or are they truly too broken to ever find lasting happiness? 

About the author

Saved by God's grace, Faith Potts is a teenage writer and homeschool graduate, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s not weaving stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading stacks of books, or studying American Sign Language, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and—of course—blowing dandelions.

About the book

Life without love is hopeless.

Foster teen Cara Richards is unloved. With nothing left and nowhere to go, she is determined to find peace, no matter the cost. But despite her intentions, she’s tossed into another foster family and this time, there’s no going back to who she used to be. To make matters worse, one of her five new foster brothers is a Jesus freak, and she refuses to believe that God actually cares.

Her world is thrown upside down in a way she never expects. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her mind is lost adrift among a sea of questions: Is death really the answer? Does God care about someone as unworthy as me? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what?

About the author

Kaitlyn is a farmer's daughter and a born-again believer in Christ with an obsession for books and music. It is these obsessions that led her to write her own stories. Psalm 46:10 gives her inspiration, her brothers make her laugh, and there's nothing quite like the excitement of opening an unread book for the first time. Her passion is to share the steadfast love of her Savior through the writing that takes up much of her free time, whether actual writing takes place or writer's block, in which case she's probably browsing Pinterest.

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