Saturday, September 14, 2019

13 Reasons Why Blog Tour - Day 13: Q&A + Giveaway Winners


It's the last day of the 13 Reasons Why tour! *cries* How has it all gone by so fast?! Thank you all so, so much for following the tour and joining in the fun—and if you shared reasons to live, thank you for spreading Christ's love! This whole tour couldn't have been possible without y'all. <3


Today's reason to live: love. John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God sent Jesus to die. For us. Because He loves us. Us. Look at us—we're about as far from perfect as you can get. Are we really worth it? By ourselves, no. But that's the beauty of it; we don't deserve love, but God gives it freely! He sent His Son to take the punishment for our sins, and took our worthlessness to turn it into value. Because once we've accepted Christ's sacrifice, when God looks at us . . . He sees Jesus. Jesus, Who sacrificed Himself so that we could have eternal fellowship with Him. And that, friends, is true love. Love that makes life worth living.

Now, let's finish the Q&A! Again, my answers are in teal, and Faith's are in purple.

How do you go about choosing names for your characters? 
I used to just pick whatever name sounds cool; and for flash fiction stories, I generally do that. But for Beloved specifically, I tried to pick names that had meanings I could incorporate later on.

I literally have no system for it… xD  I just use names I like and try to make sure they sound okay with the character’s last name.

What happened to Peter's siblings?
Umm . . . if it’s what I think it is . . . *races to proof copy* yep! They were sent to different foster homes. If you’re asking what happened later on . . . I have no idea, haha!

Will Kade and Cara be seeing more of each other...? 
I hope so… *smirks*

I don’t know, honestly. I purposely kept romance out of Beloved because I wanted a different kind of love portrayed throughout the story. I actually dislike romance in general, so to write a romance as a sequel to Beloved really doesn’t appeal to me. Like, at all. But, then again, as of now I’m not planning on a sequel at all anyway, so I suppose you can use your imagination and run with it. ;)

Visit Faith's blog for the rest of the Q&A questions!

All right, all right, now, the moment you've all been waiting for! (If you scrolled past the Q&A to this part right away, shame on you. But #relatable)

And the grand prize winner is . . .
Ellen S.!
Ellen, you will receive a signed paperback of both Freedom and Beloved! Congratulations!

2nd place:
Abby G.
Congratulations, Abby! You will receive a signed paperback of either Freedom or Beloved. 

3rd place:
Patience
*throws confetti* Patience, you get an ebook of either Freedom or Beloved

All three of you will be getting an email in your inbox ASAP. Thank you to everyone who entered! <3


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?



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?



Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Choose life.

Friday, September 13, 2019

13 Reasons Why Blog Tour - Day 12: Choose Life


Today, Faith and I are doing something very special. We're sharing the R2Ls of people all over the internet that joined in the 13 Reasons Why Tour movement.


Today's reason to live: there's no such thing as bad luck. In case you haven't noticed, today is Friday the 13th. And in case you didn't know, Fridays that happen to be the 13th of the month are known as days for bad luck. It's superstition, just like walking under a ladder, or stepping on a crack in the sidewalk, or crossing paths with a black cat . . . you get the idea. But ya know what? The Bible tells us that nothing happens without a reason. That means life isn't the 'luck' of the draw. Good things happen and bad things happen; it's a fact of life. Everyone has bad days; it's not just you. Hold on. Better days are coming. Trust God. Trust His plan. Put your belief, faith, and trust in Him. Not in 'luck.'

Abigail
A reason to live is your story is not over. Your story really is not over. God has amazing plans for you. I know that it may not seem that way in this moment but just push through and give God your fears, worries, and anything else that is holding you down. God wants you to come running to Him. He wants to help you. He wants YOU. He loves you so much. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. So please don’t give up! This is not the end of your story, it’s only the beginning.

Ryana
R2L for today is memories. The good and the bad. Who enjoys thinking of bad memories you ask? No one, but hear me out. Most of the time when I mull over bad memories it upsets me at first, but the more I think over them, turning them over and over, I'm able to find something in them that God is trying to teach me. Whether it's praying over the person that hurt me or realizing something in my life that needs to change or just seeing God at work even in the bad times, 9 times out of 10, I can take away some good even in the bad. And good memories...who doesn't enjoy those. That time you laughed way too hard with a friend...the book/movie that touched you in a way you can't explain...the day you spent with a dear relative before they passed on...that promotion you got at your job...the time you totally aced that test (or got a grade higher than your normal average. I was excited to get and 80-90 in math, lol)...the time that random dog came over and showered you in love and kisses...the first time someone shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with you. Cling to the good memories and learn from the bad.

Kassie
My R2L...friends. ;) Think twice about the people you’ll leave behind. You may be the only person who does whatever with someone. Even if they never expressly say it, somebody needs you to have their back and believe in them.

Angela
New song releases.
Bringing a smile to a stranger’s face in the store.
To learn to do something new.
Saving the turtles who wander into the road.
Laughing over silly things till your stomach hurts.

Kaitlyn S.
Today I ask you to choose life because of the little moments. The special moments woven throughout each day that you get a glimpse of. A child’s laughing face; the breeze blowing through your hair; the one person who smiled at you. These were not accidents you witnessed, my friend, they were gifts from the God who created you, sent to encourage your soul that this world is, indeed, a beautiful place. A broken place, yes, but a place of beauty nonetheless. Store up these little pieces of beauty, and search them out.

Brooklyne
My reason to live is to "change the world" by making a positive impact. The people we meet, the words we write, the songs we sing, the talents we have. We have been given so many opportunities to change someones world. And you, my friend, are one of a kind. You are world changer material, and if you let God use you, YOU can change the world.

Ellen
JESUS.
My one and only reason for, without Him, you've got nothing. He's placed each one of us here for a purpose, and that purpose is to serve and glorify Him. Our lives are in His hands!

Katja
-Friendship. That feeling when you and your friends have the most hilarious conversation that would creep any normal person out. When your friend gives you a sweet compliment. When your friend gives you a hug. When you chat over the phone. When you read a book together. When you encourage each other in Christ. God orchestrates the most amazing friendships.
-Music. Violins. Pianos. Trumpets. Sonatas. Hymns. Impromptu singing. Choirs. Birds chirping. Music is so beautiful. Find the really good pieces and songs and listen to them. Nothing brightens your mood like music.
-Nature. There is so, so much beauty around us. Sunsets. Flowers. Trees. Grass. Lakes. Clouds. I love the beauty of nature. It’s amazing.
-Ice cream. And all those other little treats that make your day. Muffins and ├ęclairs and candy and chocolate and cookies and cake and pies and pastries...
-Adventures. Big eyes full of amazement. Laughing yourself speechless. Discovering things. Exclaiming over stuff. Enjoying your family. Making memories. Doing something new.
-Meals. Sharing your favourite food with someone you love. Relishing the tastes that fill your mouth. Poring over recopies. Appreciating the beauty of vegetables and meat and fruits.


If you got left out of this post, or maybe you just never gave your own R2L . . . don't let it stop you. Continue to spread the love. Comment below. Comment on Faith's post. Comment on others' posts. Share your R2Ls on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, everywhere. Suicide is far too rampant. It's time to step up and share some love.


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?



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?



Blog Tour Stops
Abigail @ Novel, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors — Review of Freedom

Last day to enter the giveaway!


God has a plan, y'all. He's in control. Choose life.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

13 Reasons Why Blog Tour - Day 11: Thirteen Reasons to Buy Freedom


I know I just posted a review of Freedom. I flailed. I practically tumbled over my words, even though I typed them instead of speaking them. Shoot, I downright fangirled! "That's all well and good", you might be saying, "But why would we want to buy this thing—spend all that money—after you gave us about 18302 reasons in your review?"

*grins* well, let me enlighten you!

But first . . .


Today's reason to live: God wrote your story. Let me repeat that: God wrote your story. Let that sink in for a moment. Now, I'll say it again: GOD WROTE YOUR STORY. Do you realize what this means?! He sees you. He loves you. He's written your story, and once you put your trust in Him, it's going to be so much more beautiful than you can imagine. God wrote your story! The Creator of everything—the stars, the oceans, ALLLL DA PEOPLE—wrote your story. Don't waste it. If you've placed your trust in Him, no matter how bad things become you'll always have hope. Because He wrote your story. And that makes life well worth living.

Okay, now, 13 REASONS TO BUY FREEDOM

1. James (c'mon, who wouldn't want to read a book about him?)

2. Alex ('cause we all need a snarky therapist.)

3. PTSD. (there aren't nearly enough books out there on this subject.)


4. Suicide. (okay this sounds creepy but honestly, this aspect was portrayed SO WELL.)

5. It's serious. (it really gets you to thinking about things you wouldn't normally think about!)

6. It's hilarious. (who wouldn't want to read about a double amputee that putts around Walmart on a sit-n-shop while his therapist tries to keep him from making a disaster of everything?)


7. It hurts. (man, my heart hurts for these people. But man, it's so, so good.)

8. It's gonna make you cry. Or at least tear up. (if it doesn't, then you're hard-hearted or something)

9. Uncle Joe. (because we all need an Uncle Joe in our lives)


10. Forgiveness. (have I mentioned how much I love the themes in this book??)

11. Perseverance. (I loooooove it when people work hard to beat physical handicaps. One of my favorite tropes.)

12. Brian + Lester (man, I love these two. Especially Lester. Faith knows why, muahaha)

13. If you order order a signed paperback, all the proceeds go to an organization dedicated to veteran suicide prevention!



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?



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?



Blog tour stops
Esther @ We’ve Got Pockets — 2x Interview

Click on the image to be redirected to the giveaway
LAST CALL FOR THE Q&A!


God wrote your story, y'all. He loves you. Choose life.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

13 Reasons Why Blog Tour - Day 10: Book Recommendations


Today, Faith and I are sharing about books that have similar themes as our own! But, of course, you know the drill . . .


Today's reason to live: books. I've loved books for as long as I can remember. I probably devoured them (literally) as a lil' kid, and then once I grew old enough to appreciate them, I devoured them in a more metaphoric sense. ANYWAY. Books are amazing, y'know? They also put all sorts of ideas into your head. If you have any imagination at all, books have the power to practically control your mind for days, even after you've finished them. Why? I . . . don't know, really. But I do know that if you read the right books (aka hopeful books), your mindset will be a whole lot better than if you read depressing books (*cough* like Salt to the Sea *cough*). If you read uplifting books, the effects will be incredible. Trust me on this one. Don't end it all because you're feeding your mind garbage.

Freedom—Faith Potts (obviously)


AS IF YOU NEEDED ANY EXPLANATION. Read my review HERE.

Living Lies—Natalie Walters


I'm definitely not a romance person, and this book just reinforced my opinion on that. But the suicide aspect . . . read my review HERE.

A Brother is Born—Angie Thompson

This. Book. Aaaaahhh! *clutches heart* I loved this baby so muchly. <3 The foster care, the insecure girl, the brothers . . . Read my review HERE.

100 Days of Sunlight—Abbie Emmons


So, I'll admit, this book doesn't have a whole lot of the same themes as Beloved, but it definitely does have the girl that's basically lost all hope. So there's that. Read my review HERE.

The Divided Nation—Angela Watts


Yeah, yeah, I know—those of you who have read both The Divided Nation and Beloved are probably going, "why in the world is she adding this one to the list?!" Okay, I know, it's a stretch. But the brothers, y'all. The BROTHERS. (And this book deserves to be mentioned, soooo) Read my review HERE.

Between Sundays—Karen Kingsbury


Foster care. Need I say more? (Also it's got football players in major roles, so how can you go wrong?)

Wonder—R.J. Palacio


I honestly didn't understand all the hype about this book . . . but it really makes a person think about how they treat each others. And that's a reminder everyone needs every once in awhile. 

Through the Tunnel—Rebekah Morris


Once again, foster care! Each of Rebekah's books is better than the last! <3 Read my review HERE.

The Silence of Murder—Dandi Daley Mackall


Don't let that title/cover freak you out—it's not a horror story! Another story that makes a person think about how they treat those around them . . . read my review HERE.



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?



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?



Blog Tour Stops
Rebekah @ RebekahAshleigh — Interview w/ Kate


DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE Q&A!


Read good books, y'all. And choose life.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

13 Reasons Why Blog Tour - Day 9: RELEASE DAY + Review of Freedom


IT'S RELEASE DAY. Today, our books are being released to the world. *lowkey screaming* You can purchase the ebook (and the paperback, once Amazon approves it . . . *growls*) HERE

World Suicide Prevention Day. We're releasing books that both celebrate life, and expose the darkness of suicide. I hope that both of these books bless you. But today I'm reviewing Freedom.

This book, y'all. I laughed, I cried (on the inside, of course. I don't think that I've ever cried legit tears while reading a book . . . ), I virtually hugged all the characters. *coughs* But, um, I'll get to that in a second.


Today's reason to live: words. Words are amazing things. I mean, really—there are twenty-six letters in the alphabet. These letters make up millions of words. How amazing is that?! With these words, we have power. We have the power to affect our lives, the lives of those around us . . . the world. You have the power to change lives, all through words. People are going to say awful things—it's just a part of our human nature. But people can also say incredible things. It's your choice to use either toxic words or healing words. You have the power to either lift someone up or tear them down. Speak life.

Now, on to my review of Freedom!

My rating:

Can I just scream to the end of the earth how amazing this book is?? Definitely one of my favorite reads of the year! (And I'm not just saying this because she's my precious fren and release buddy, either.)

So, I was actually super hesitant to read this book. *Coughs* Faith is an amazing author, and I've loved other stuff that I've read by her, but . . . this is also a romance. I don't like romance. I knew that I'd probably be reviewing Freedom during the blog tour, but if I rated my bestie's book anything less than 5 stars, I'd feel bad. But I read it anyway.

And I'm so, so, SO glad I did!

Ack, this book. I love it so, so much. Let's start off with the characters . . .

James—I love this dude, kay? His sarcasm and heart and struggles and lovable-ness just made me wanna jump into the book and hug him.
Alex—Awwww! I love Alex so much. At first I was afraid that she'd be the typical I'm-gonna-act-like-a-snob-to-test-if-you-really-love-me kinda girl. But not at all. She was super sweet, and snarky and adorable.
Joe & Gloria—the mentoring adopted parents. Marriage goals + so much yes.
Lester & Brian—I'm kinda partial to Lester. (Faith knows why . . . *smirks*)

THE NICKNAMES. Shall we just talk about the nicknames? I loved how Alex called James Semper Fi. And how he called her Lil' Miss Therapist. Just . . . yes. Please.

The romance—Okayyyy . . . so I'm gonna be completely honest and say that James and Alex's relationship was super awkward for me at the beginning. But it was super cute, so I'm not sure why . . . ? I mean, it could have to do with all the Princess Bride references. I saw about the first 10 minutes of that movie and didn't even like that much, soooo . . . (how can it be so popular?!) But the romance improved throughout the book. Faith actually writes romance that I like. Now that is quite an accomplishment.

Random lovable scenes—I love the Walmart scene. That one is hilarious. And then the ice cream shak scene. And the In Christ Alone scene. And the 5k scene. And the TRAVIS SCENE (FAITH HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU DO THAT)?! If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about! I looooove all of these so much.

The suicide aspect was so. real. Wow. Wow, wow, wow. James' inner struggle was so raw and heartfelt and will impact anyone who reads this book. It's powerful. It's scary. It's dark. It's real. But you know what? It's also hopeful. Faith doesn't just point out the darkness of suicide—she also points out the light: the hope we have in Christ alone.

I'm definitely going to re-read this book sometime in the near future.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.



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?



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?



Blog tour stops

Click on the image to be redirected to the giveaway

Don't forget about the Q&A!


Speak life, y'all. And choose life.