Books · writing

I’d Rather Be Reading (or writing or anything that isn’t dishes)

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When we moved into our “new” house, one of our friends hefted one of the (many) boxes of books and told me if he’d have known this was the gig, he’d have bought us all Kindles.

No thanks.

I don’t know you about you, but I have strong feelings about books in hand, books on my shelves, books stacked two deep on windowsills, and accruing library fines because I haven’t written down all my favorite quotes yet and can’t bear to take it back. (I promise I’m returning Guernsey … next week.)

I’d love to know how books–even if they’re downloaded by the hundreds to your device (to each his own) or arranged alphabetically or carefully curated to match your decor–affect your life?

Are books a must-have? A luxury? A compliment? As necessary as strong coffee and good wine?

What are your favorites? Which ones are you ashamed you haven’t read? What did you hate–but still value? What did you hate and regret the money, time, or energy lost? What do you love but never admit? What do you pretend to love so you look smarter?

I’ll tell you mine if you’ll tell me yours. All this week I’m sharing book love in my Instagram feed and stories (@lindseypbrackett). The books that stir me, save me, challenge me, and gut me.

The kind of books I’d write about in my own collection of bookish essays. But I haven’t written that yet so instead I’ll just have to give away a copy of I’d Rather Be Reading!

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A few years ago, just as I came out of the fog of young motherhood and began to wonder how, exactly, one became a writer, I found Anne Bogel, aka Modern Mrs. Darcy. She was a reader. And a writer. And a unique lifestyle enthusiast.

She was a breath of fresh air in my feed and inbox and oh my gosh, the book recommendations. Girl knows her story. And plenty of others. But I think I was sold on this little fact she doesn’t make her platform–she’s a busy mother of four kids. She’s homeschooled and private schooled and public schooled and all the in-betweens. Her words felt like the cry of my heart for learning and literature–among the laundry and meal prep and motherhood.

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Her new book, I’d Rather Be Reading, releases TODAY! You can snag it from your favorite online retailer, indie bookstore, or big chain. You can order it on Audible (read by Anne herself). You can request your library add it to their collection.

You can win a copy over on Instagram by following (and engaging) with my posts this week because I absolutely can’t wait to share this book with y’all. And I really can’t wait to meet Anne Bogel in person at The Story Shop in Monroe, Georgia on September 11!

Just call me fangirl.

If you sign up for my newsletter, Just Write Life, you’ll be entered for ANOTHER CHANCE TO WIN a copy of I’d Rather Be Reading and you’ll get a monthly installment from me with writerly-bookish-helpful things like recipes, reading suggestions, and quick listen podcasts. I’d love to know how I can help you find more time for the creative life among your everyday ordinary.

Until then, happy reading!

 

P.S. Don’t forget, sweet readers, I want to talk all things bookish with you on Instagram this week, so follow me over there or leave me a note right here in the comments, and I’ll give you a shout out (and an extra entry to win).

 

 

 

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writing

Spring Fever Giveaway :: Johnnie Alexander, Joy Dekok, and Dawn Ford

I took the weekend off from my computer so today we’re catching up with the Spring Promo posts. This is a great lineup–and I’m not just saying that because a couple of these ladies are personal friends of mine and have said nice things about my book 🙂 I hope you’ve taken every chance to get your name in the running for the Kindle Fire, or one of 5 Amazon gift cards.

Johnnie Alexander imagines heart-tugging stories in multiple genres. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, is a CBA bestseller. She’s also the author of the popular Misty Willow Series: Where She Belongs, When Hope Arrives, and What Hope Remembers. Since talking about writing is so much fun, Johnnie hosts Novelists Unwind, which features videotaped interviews with inspirational authors. Sharing Johnnie’s vagabond life are Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her on her website or on her Facebook Author Page.

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move on from her grief. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family’s ancestral homestead so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she’ll have her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted the homestead. Inherited as a punishment from his grandfather, it has sat empty for fifteen years and fallen into ruin. He’s glad to finally unload it. But a clean break isn’t possible when he can’t get the young widow Shelby off his mind. Welcome to Misty Willow, a place that will have as great a hold over the reader as it does over its inhabitants.

The Misty Willow story continues in When Love Arrives and What Hope Remembers.

Sign up for Johnnie’s newsletter on her website and receive the first chapter to Where She Belongs.


I’m delighted to also introduce author and photographer, Joy DeKok.image

Whether Joy is writing fiction or non, she writes from the heart. She lives with her husband Jon just outside of Pine Island MN on thirty-five acres of field and forest with their dogs Sophie and Tucker. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s roaming their land taking nature photos.

Here’s a little bit about Joy’s books:

Rain Dance
What happens when a Christian woman facing a childless future and a woman seeking an abortion are waiting to see the same doctor? And what if after that “chance” encounter they are unable to forget each other?

Between the Lies
Everything was going just fine for Olivia Morgan. Until the dead guy in the elevator, her lover’s dismissal of her, the loss of her dream job, and an FBI agent who is looking into the past she’s worked so hard to hide. What’s a woman to do when she’s suddenly un-kept, a murder suspect, and has her own personal stalker? Olivia uses her artistic talent to remember and reveal what she knows. Will it save or convict her?

De’ ‘Ja Brewed
Things are getting nasty in Nice, MN. Who really killed Judge Justice twenty-five years ago? Was the right person convicted? When things don’t add up and Vanessa starts to get weird messages, The Mississippi Queens, five life-long friends, set out to figure out who is behind the ominous messages and why. Can The Queens celebrate the fourth of July, help their princess plan a wedding, and protect one of their own from possible danger?

To receive updates from Joy about upcoming book releases, special prices, cool stuff from other authors, and other updates, sign up for her newsletter! As thanks, you’ll receive a FREE ebook copy of De’ ‘Ja Brewed.

 

 


 

Today’s featured author is the award-winning Dawn Ford. She’s a young adult fiction writer who looks beyond the lies we tell ourselves to reveal the truths we cannot face. Her debut novel, Knee-high Lies, is available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Dawn lives nestled in the Loess Hills in Iowa with her husband, youngest son, and a wonder beagle. She works with Splickety Publishing Group in her spare time, and is often caught daydreaming about plots for new stories. (Dawn and I met working for Splickety together! Good times.)

A bit about KNEE-HIGH LIES:

What happens when the lies you tell grow so high you can’t see the truth?

To the outside world Avery Denton’s life looks happy, normal even. But it isn’t. Not even close. She believes nothing can make it worse. When her mother skips town with their banker, the small-town gossips focus on her.

Jaxson Stewart, Avery’s neighbor and friend, has had a crush on her for years. She makes his heart race, which is dangerous for a boy with a heart condition. Unlike their community, he refuses to hold her mother’s actions against her.

Avery’s summer heats up when Jaxson kisses her under a star lit sky. The rest of her life boils over, though, when Avery becomes the target of revenge, her alcoholic father’s anger escalates, and long-hidden family secrets come to light.

Dawn is currently working on a second book in the Knee-high series, and has just finished writing a middle grade twisted fairy tale novel. If you’d like to keep up with news about Dawn’s books, sign up for her newsletter HERE.

Don’t forget to come back each day for more chances to win in the Spring Fling Promotion!

And today’s secret Word of the Day is:  persimmon

Tomorrow we’ll meet Kimberly Rose Johnson!

writing

Spring Fever :: Day 3 with Edisto!

Welcome to Day 3 of the 2018 Spring Fever Book Promotion!

Remember – With 10 authors involved, you have at least 10 chances to win awesome prizes! Plus, extra chances to win by entering the “Word of the Day” (found within each day’s posting), answering a simple poll, or tweeting about the promo!

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Today I’m the spotlight–but if you’re a regular around here, you probably already know all these things. I bet you can guess the keyword too.

Lately I tell everyone I write southern fiction and cook big family meals, even though I complain about the dishes. Right now, my beta readers are looking over the Still Waters sequel before it goes off to my editor’s capable hands.

Fun fact about Lindsey:  Edisto Beach is our family place. My mother grew up spending summers there, and I grew up spending summers there. Now my children are getting the chance to experience this family tradition. (Hint: this just might have something to do with her debut novel!) For more about Edisto and its history visit ExploreEdisto.com.

Currently, I’m a community “star” in Dancing with the Stars for Hope, an annual fundraiser for Circle of Hope, a domestic 

violence shelter. You can vote for her team, Plot Twist, at www.dancingwiththestarsforhope.com/vote Every $1 vote goes to charity and helps them win the People’s Choice award. My partner is my friend Jeremy. They’re using their theater backgrounds to create an epic number sure to please. The performance will be showcased on March 17!

Here’s a new blurb for Still Waters. What do you think?

Cora Anne graduated from college with a plan that didn’t involve her grandmother’s ramshackle beach cottage or Tennessee Watson, a local builder dedicated to the preservation of Edisto Island—and her heart.

You can buy Still Waters on Amazon and at other booksellers.

Here’s the link for the Spring Fever Promo.

And for an extra chance to win, enter the Word of the Day:  Edisto

 

writing

Spring Fever :: Day 2 with Brenda Anderson

Welcome to Day 2 of the 2018 Spring Fever Book Promotion!

Remember – With 10 authors involved, you have at least 10 chances to win awesome prizes! Plus, extra chances to win by entering the secret “Word of the Day” (found within each day’s posting), answering a simple poll, or tweeting about the promo!

Thanks to Barbara Ellen Brink for kicking off the event yesterday! Over the next nine days you’ll discover more contemporary authors ready to take you on adventures that will carry you through the rest of the winter. So curl up next to the fireplace with a blanket, your favorite mug (mine’s full of Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tea), and a book!

 

Today we’re spotlighting Brenda S. Anderson. Brenda writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 ACFW Chapter of the Year. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching

 

movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 30 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

Brenda is excited to tell the world about her next book project with The Potter’s House Books! In the Fall of 2017, Brenda was invited to join six other authors to tell stories of Hope, Redemption, and Second Chances. Long Way Home, coming out on May 8, is Brenda’s first book in the Potter’s House Series. You can find more information here: http://pottershousebooks.com/. For those who’ve read Brenda’s Coming Home Series, you’ll be reunited with a bunch of old friends! A short story bridging the Coming Home Series with Brenda’s Potter’s House stories will be coming out soon!

The best way to learn about updates and book releases is to sign up for Brenda’s enewsletter. She’s even giving away a free ebook of Risking Love, a Where the Heart Is Romance #1, just for signing up!

During this ten-day promotion/celebration, you can pick up an ecopy of Capturing Beauty, book #2 in Brenda’s Where the Heart Is series, for only $2.99. That’s a savings of $2.00 off regular price!

About Capturing Beauty:

He’s a nature photographer returning to make amends. She’s a camera-shy naturalist seeking privacy. Their love for a boy brings them together, but the camera could drive them apart.

Photographer Haven Carlysle is a changed man. Six years earlier, he had run from his tragedy-filled life in Duluth. Now he’s back in town to capture the North Shore’s beauty … and to recapture the love of his son. But that means making amends with his ex-girlfriend too. When camera-leery Callie Beaumont steps in to bridge the relationship between Haven and his former family, he’s wary, but she’s his only hope.

Callie Beaumont is surrounded by beauty. Her parents are local news celebrities. Her sister is a model. And Callie is … Ordinary. All her life, Callie has longed to work outdoors soaking up God-breathed beauty, and the opportunity is finally on the horizon. But being the liaison between the handsome photographer and his son has thrown her dreams, and her heart, into chaos.

Can Haven capture her heart when she won’t let him capture her image? And will his poor choices cost Callie her dream job and him the love of his son?

Connect with Brenda:

Here’s the link to enter the Spring Fever Promo: a Rafflecopter giveaway

And for an additional chance to win, the secret Word of the Day is Lilac.

Stop by tomorrow–Still Waters is up! Bet you can already guess my word of the day… it’s my favorite place …

writing

Spring Fever Giveaway :: Day 1 with Barbara Ellen Brink

A couple weeks ago I was invited to join several Christian fiction authors in a Spring Fever giveaway and it starts TODAY!For the next 10 days, discover great deals on books, and get to know amazing authors. Stories of redemption and grace, romance and mystery, and much more. There are tales that will take your mind off the bitter cold and long, dark days of winter until the thaw has begun and spring has finally sprung!

Unless you live in the South like me and you’re already experiencing a thaw and dreaming of hammock days. You’ll need a book or two for those.

With 10 Christian fiction authors involved, you have at least 10 chances to win awesome prizes! Plus, extra chances to win by entering the “Word of the Day” (found within each day’s posting), answering a simple poll, or tweeting about the promo!

First up on the Spring Fever docket is Barbara Ellen Brink.

An award-winning author, Barbara writes action-packed mysteries brimming with suspense and interwoven with a thread of romance. She grew up on a small fruit farm in Washington State, but now lives in the mean “burbs” of Minnesota. In her spare time, she likes to take her motorcycle for a spin, hang out with friends, or go hiking with her husband and their spoiled dog. She is currently working on the 4th book in her Double Barrel Mysteries series, and the 3rd in her Christian romantic suspense series, Second Chances.

Running Home is FREE at Amazon thru March 2nd (reg price 3.99)
Split Sense is on sale for .99¢ at Amazon (reg. price 4.99)

Here is a little about Barbara’s TWO book deals:

In Running Home, Ivy’s husband disappears in a cloud of suspicion and leaves her and the children to pick up the pieces of their lives and move on without him. Back in her hometown she dreams that everything will be better. She can start over and hopefully not make the same mistakes she made in the past. But her philandering husband left her with more than bills to pay and children to raise. He left her in a world of trouble. The FBI thinks she knows something and the bad guys think she has something.

When her husband is found murdered, special agent Samson Sinclair is assigned to keep an eye on her. He’s willing to take a bullet for her, but can she trust him with her heart? Ivy’s attempt to assemble the broken pieces of her life is proving harder than she anticipated. Will her husband’s secrets push her over the edge or into the arms of grace?

Split Sense is a Christian thriller that interweaves the lives of two families, twins separated at birth, and two different but unbelievable gifts that each child discovers which impacts their lives and others in startling ways.

Connect with Barbara online:
Facebook
Twitter
Bookbub Author Page
Webpage

The 3rd book in the Second Chances series will be (fingers crossed) coming soon! Barbara’s first grandbaby is due to arrive in a couple of weeks, so she won’t make any set-in-stone promises, but visit her webpage and/or sign up for her newsletter for all the newest updates!

***Sign up for Barbara’s newsletter on her webpage and get a FREE copy of Entangled!***

For another chance to win in the Spring Fever promo, enter the secret Word of the Day:  blatherskite

Here’s the Spring Fever giveaway link:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come by tomorrow to meet prolific author Brenda S. Anderson!

1000 gifts · giveaways · writing

Ordinary Graces (Book Review + $75 Giveaway)

I believe wholeheartedly in the glory of the everyday ordinary.

The morning light through the window on the hardwoods of my kitchen floor. The coolness of clean sheets after a long, weary day. The colors of peppers and onions caramelizing in a cast iron skillet.

In her new book of everyday devotions, Lucinda Seacrest McDowell distills the great ordinary graces of this world into one word a day.

Sleep. Flavor. Resource. Restore. Story. Weary. Carry. Baggage.

Sustain.

I’ve been reading out of order, choosing a word that suits my early morning, sipping my first cup of coffee, dark-thirty before everyone’s up mood. I guess you can tell some of my struggles just from some of those words.

But each day, Lucinda’s reflections speak to me. She pulls out a verse, such as Psalm 3:5–

I lay down and sleep; I will wake again because the Lord sustains me.

Then in only a few short paragraphs, she unpacks its simple wonder and reminders that first and foremost, I am God’s beloved, and He is mine. Sometimes there are statistics (apparently I’m not the only one whose anxiety rears up during sleep), references to movies, pop culture, or great theologians. Always, the reading closes out with a short prayer, a moment when I close my eyes, breath in my coffee’s steam, and open my heart.

A lovely devotion perfect for any one, in any circumstance, Ordinary Graces will bless your heart. In the good way of course.

Want to win a copy for yourself or a friend? How about $75 for Etsy? I’m delighted to be participating in this awesome blog tour giveaway with LitFuse Publicity. You can enter to win below.

Ordinary Graces Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Are you ready to receive gifts of ordinary grace and abundant life from God and His Word? Join Lucinda in focusing on one word a day through devotional readings and short benedictions in her new book, Ordinary Graces. God has given us many gifts, such as his grace—the gift we don’t deserve and can never earn. Promises from the One who declares we are already loved, already accepted, already created in his image. The question becomes, will we truly receive that gift? Will the reality of it actually change the way we think and notice and reach out?

Celebrate the release of Lucinda’s new book and grace your holiday season with a $75 Etsy gift card giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Ordinary Graces
  • A $75 Etsy gift card
  • A grace bracelet
  • A set of Ordinary Graces greeting cards

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 24. The winner will be announced November 27 on the Litfuse blog.

Did you know Lucinda endorsed my novel? She called it a “brilliant debut”. I’m still smiling. You can get it right here.
I adore this book. It is wonderfully written and tells the story beautifully.

 

Christmas · Uncategorized

What I’m Crushing on for Christmas

I know. It’s still two days before Thanksgiving. But y’all. There’s shipping to consider and handmade gifts from busy moms who are also entrepreneurs are well worth a little early shopping.

And crushing.

These items are on my favorites list for Etsy and Santa. Hoping you’ll find something to love–and just know purchasing from these shops directly funds small businesses with big dreams and great goals. Like empowering women, adopting children, and trusting the creative spirit that enlivens us all.

And there’s a little something for you at the end.

What I'm crushing on for

For My Tree…

I love these seriously sweet ornaments from One Less Lonely Child (formerly Black Tag Studio). We bought one last year for our tree, and this year I’m giving a couple as gifts. But the real gift is that your purchase helps fund my friends Lance and Julia’s adoption of Zara from Uganda.

For My Walls…

This wall statement has been on my list since Jennifer, 163 Design Company owner and designer, was my roommate at the Allume Conference in 2013. She and her parents handcraft these gorgeous pieces of jewelry and home decor from their home in Maine, but don’t let the address fool you. Jenn’s a southern girl at heart. Hence one of her newest creations that needs to find its way to my kitchen, Sweet Tea and Grits. And I’m forever in love with my necklace–Well With My Soul of course.

 

For My Kitchen…

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My family is seriously talented, y’all. My beautiful cousin, Jocie, launched her own business this year making her passion–beautiful, unique,  and functional pottery pieces as Jocie Pots. For my sister’s wedding, she pressed lace from the invitation into individual pieces for us, in addition to being our florist and designer. She’s got a cake stand standing by for me, and I’m thinking some of those perfect size mugs need to make their way into my cabinet as well. Because the only way to prepare for edits on my first book is with lots and lots of coffee.

For My Laptop…

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When we were graced with a gift that enabled me to purchase my own laptop this year, I went on a search for the perfect bag to accompany me to writers conferences (like FWCW and BRMCWC) and to my weekly “office”, a booth at our local Chic-Fil-A.

I’ve yet to make this purchase, but when I do, I’m hoping it’s the 13″ laptop sleeve with leather strap from Better Life Bags. This company’s vision is why I’d be willing to shell out big bucks for a quality bag I can use for a lifetime. Every piece is hand-sewn by a woman in the Detroit area with a barrier against traditional employment.

For My Kids…

My sister, Katy, will monogram anything that stands still. But how cute are these shirts? She’ll make you anything you want with the use of her heat press and a roll of glittery (or not) vinyl. That softball shirt cracks me up because we actually had a sister who played softball, so some of us didn’t have a life outside of tournaments. She can customize, so you just insert your passion. Right now ours would credit community theater, but come spring it will definitely be all about the track. You can find Katy hanging out on Facebook way too much as BoardHouseWife Crafts.

Now onto the real reason you read to the bottom of this post–

GIVEAWAY!

Julia will be giving away a personalized swirl ornament, Katy will monogram you a leather cuff, and if you’re local and order from Jocie Pots, I’ll make the trip to pick up your goodies so you don’t have to worry about shipping. (Well that last one’s just a freebie for all.)

Just leave me a comment here on the blog about what’s on your Christmas Wish List–and if you pin this to Pinterest or share on Facebook and tell me, you’ll be entered twice!

I’ll choose the winner by random selection on Black Friday. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and may the cash be with you.

Comments closed! The winner is Hannah Hall! Congrats!