Free Friday: Wish Upon a Shell by Kay Correll

Wish Upon a Shell (Lighthouse Point #1) by Kay Correll

Sometimes the right person enters your life at exactly the wrong time…

For the first time in her life, struggling bakery owner Julie Farmington has something that is all hers.

She’s not interested in any entanglements or anything that takes her mind off her goal—including the handsome stranger who is only in town for a month.

Forced to take time off work, Reed Newman makes a spur-of-the-moment decision and books a trip to Belle Island, Florida. A surprising choice that goes against everything in the rigid, well-planned life he fills with constant activity to keep from dealing with his pain and guilt.

As he struggles to make peace with his past—and learn to relax—he finds himself falling for the charming owner of The Sweet Shoppe. But Julie tells herself she isn’t interested in a man who is just going to leave when he returns home. She’s not interested in adding yet one more name to the list of people who have walked out of her life.

She’s not interested. Really.

But emotions heat up. Reed’s past and Julie’s present collide and history threatens to repeat itself.

And neither one saw it coming…

**Disclaimer: Unfortunately, time doesn’t allow me to read every book I share on Free Friday, so I can’t guarantee they’ll all be good. But I’ll do my best to find authors/books I know, know of, or sound good. If I have read it, I’ll make sure to include the link to my review as well.

Interview: Mesu Andrews

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section?

Cards. I know I’m supposed to say books, and that’s my second stop, but I LOVE cards! Birthday cards, Thinking-of-You cards, Anniversary cards—I just love reading them. Weirdo, I know.

Favorite place to write:

The Outer Banks. For the past couple of years, about five writer friends and I have taken a one-week getaway to rent a house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We write ALL DAY and sometimes late into the night, but we always take time to watch the sunset together. We pray for each other through the year and keep in touch about our current projects. It’s been a huge blessing in sort of a lonely profession.

Go-to writing snack or drink:

Coffee, protein bars, and smoothies. It’s what I live on.

What does your writing nook look like?

I have about 3 places in my house that I write. The one pictured is my recliner in the living room. I’m balancing a bowl of Ramen (another staple in my diet) on one leg, my Bible on the arm of the chair, and my laptop on…well, on my lap. Got my slippers on and my head in the story. Because I sometimes write for sometimes 12-14 hours a day (when on deadline), my writing spots all involve cushions and comfort. My other favorites are the back-porch swing and my recliner in the loft of our log cabin. My desk is used mainly to stack junk mail.

Something you must do or have to write:

Coffee—with sugar-free hazelnut creamer.

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe?) writer resource:

If you mean “writer resource” as in a book on the craft of writing, my new favorite is Don Maass’s The Emotional Craft of Fiction. I couldn’t have written the difficult cast of characters in Isaiah’s Legacy (King Manasseh and others) without it. If you mean resource for the biblical research, that’s MUCH easier: LOGOS Bible software. Hands down THE best investment I’ve ever made.

What book is currently on your nightstand?

Jerusalem’s Queen by Angela Hunt and Heaven by Randy Alcorn

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book:

Audiobook these days since I have so little time to read for pleasure. When I do have time, I like switching between paper and e-reader.

What was the inspiration behind Of Fire and Lions?

I’d always thought the story of Daniel would be a FANTASTIC book, but my preliminary research said he and his three friends (Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego) were likely made eunuchs when they were taken to Babylon (2 Kings 20:18). When the idea of Daniel’s story wouldn’t go away, I dug deeper into the Hebrew word used for eunuch and found out it could also mean chief official—as it did when describing Potiphar in Genesis 37:36. Daniel suddenly became the most eligible bachelor in my next novel!

Favorite part of writing Of Fire and Lions:

Re-discovering the God of miracles. Re-awakening to the awe and wonder that Daniel’s God is my God and still holds that same power!

Hardest part of writing Of Fire and Lions:

Deadlines. 2018 was an exceptionally difficult year. I allowed myself to become overcommitted, and my deadlines for OFL fell right around the time our eldest daughter was due with twins! I finished my line edits at her house the night after the babies were born! Very tough to concentrate, but the book is dedicated to those precious grand babies, and y’all will find two sets of twins in the story. LOL! I had twins on the brain that whole year!

If Of Fire and Lions was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

If any of my books NEEDS to be a movie, it’s OFL! We’ve got the three guys walking around in the fiery furnace with God (Dan. 3), Nebuchadnezzar turning into a beast (Dan. 4), and Daniel in the lions’ den (Dan. 6). Action packed! The lead role? Ryan Gosling. Strong, silent type that when he smiles…it really means something.

What is next?

Isaiah’s Legacy, the sequel to Isaiah’s Daughter releases in March 2020—the same time as a reader tour to Israel that my hubby and I are hosting! Isaiah’s Legacy continues the story of Queen Hephzibah, and in this book we meet her son, King Manasseh—the wickedest king in all of Israel/Judah’s history. Traveling to Israel around the 2020 release will give us the chance to actually see many of the locations mentioned in Isaiah’s Legacy as well as locations from my other novels. Registration for the trip begins soon after Of Fire and Lion releases. Readers can visit my website for more details.

What else would you like readers to know?

My hubby and I will soon be moving from our log cabin to an in-law suite in our younger daughter’s basement. It’s a huge life change but one that we’re all looking forward to. Our older daughter’s in-laws live in their basement, so we’re realistic about the joys and challenges. We raised our two daughters in a town surrounded by Amish farms. Our girls attended public school with Amish children whose home life included their grandparents in a “dawdi haus” built onto the main house or right beside it. We’ve always loved the concept of multi-generational living. I’ve never been interested in writing Amish fiction (since we know too many real stories), but we’re trying to implement some of that healthy simplicity that makes those stories so appealing.

About the Story:

Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she’d perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Now, as Daniel’s wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she’s safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear–until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili’s tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?

Ultimately, Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

Connect with Mesu through her *website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Instagram.

*You can order free bookmarks, download Bible studies or group discussion questions from her website.

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Romance
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: January 2019

With little more than a name and place to direct her, Thea Reed arrives in Pleasant Valley to look for the mother who left her on the steps of an orphanage years earlier. When her search leads her to a mental asylum, Thea utilizes her skill as a post-mortem photographer to access the place. But her hunt unearths more than she bargained for. It reawakens the ghost of Misty Wayfair, a woman murdered decades earlier who townsfolk claim haunts the area and especially one family in particular.

A century later, Heidi Lane travels to Pleasant Valley, beckoned by a disconcerting letter penned by her dementia-ailing mother. Her search for answers leads Heidi to the ruins of an old asylum and the mysterious tale of the ghost believed to inhabit it.

Storytelling at its best, The Curse of Misty Wayfair delivers a spellbinding tale. An atmospheric and eerie read that haunts the reader long after its conclusion, Jaime Jo Wright seamlessly blends the past and present in a powerful story of identity and discovering it in our Creator.

Creepy without crossing into horror, Wright expertly uses vivid settings and descriptions to pin her audience to the edge of its seat and kick the heart rate up a notch, proving that one does not need to rely on blood and gore to deliver a deliciously suspenseful read.

The protagonists aren’t your typical (whatever that means) heroes. One won’t find a strapping FBI agent, modelesque detective, or brilliant lawyer but rather a gruff, grease-encrusted mechanic and a groundskeeper with tics and twitches. That is what makes them all the more loveable and heroic. They resemble people I know or can imagine encountering.

Wright masterfully created 3D settings that leapt off the page and had me feeling as though I experienced and interacted with the story world. Returning to reality proved jarring to say the least.

Despite only discovering Wright in December, I have already read all her novels. She has firmly planted herself at the top of my favorites list and become an author to emulate. Out of her three books, picking my number one choice would be impossible.

I strongly recommend The Curse of Misty Wayfair to readers who enjoy tales infused with a strong suspenseful element, a speck of romance, and a thread of faith. Now I’m off to re-read her stories because how else am I to make it until her next release in December?

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

Free Friday: The Obituary Society by Jessica L. Randall

The Obituary Society (The Obituary Society #1) by Jessica L. Randall

When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.

Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when spooky things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like its a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone?

**Disclaimer: Unfortunately, time doesn’t allow me to read every book I share on Free Friday, so I can’t guarantee they’ll all be good. But I’ll do my best to find authors/books I know, know of, or sound good. If I have read it, I’ll make sure to include the link to my review as well.

Interview: Cassidy Carter

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section? Romance, of course! But I’m a very avid reader with varied tastes; I like most fiction, mysteries, nonfiction, comics and graphic novels, everything. There’s a Zane Grey audiobook in my car right now.

Favorite place to write: My own desk. I’ve tried to write on my laptop outside, but there are too many distractions outside of my office.

Go-to writing snack or drink: I must have something salty and a dirty chai latte. I’ve been trying to avoid junk food lately, so my beloved Doritos have been replaced by a veggie plate and Greek yogurt blue cheese. But I still have the chai.

What does your writing nook look like? Oh gosh, it’s like a small cave. Really. My desk is flanked on the left, right, and above by bookshelves, and they are full of books. If I type too hard, I might create an avalanche. If it’s been a few days since y’all have heard from me, send help. I’m under the books.

Something you must do or have to write: Music. Spotify is my life when I’m writing.

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe?) writer resource: This is such a great question. First, of course, is Merriam-Webster. I’m always looking up words. I’m a word nerd. Additionally, I’ve read a lot of books on the craft of writing, and I’ve listened to a lot of talks on the subject. I think I’ve taken bits and pieces of them all. But, honestly, you are your own best writer’s resource. By that, I mean that no craft or industry book is going to give you absolutely everything you need to sit down and write perfectly. I see a lot of writers get bogged down in this or that book method, this “right” way to plot vs. that “right” way to plot. To my mind, the best way is the way that gets that first draft done. You can improve, but not if you are too scared to get it wrong that you never try. You already have everything you need to write; it’s in you. If you’re a reader, you’re the only resource you need to get started.

What book is currently on your nightstand? Firefly: Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove. It’s a novel that’s set in Joss Whedon’s Firefly world. I’m a huge nerd in general.

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book: Depends. I like hard copies for certain things (very loved books, vintage books), e-books for others (when I must have a book right away), and audiobooks for road trips.

What was the inspiration behind Love on Location? Fun fact: It was originally going to be a book about saving a family-owned factory, but the setting just wasn’t fun enough. It needed to be set somewhere the reader could really escape to. I grew up in a very rural small town, traipsing through the woods all summer and going to 4-H camp. It was an idyllic place. Now, my family and I love to visit Flagstaff and Williams, Arizona, to camp, hike, and just enjoy the small-town settings. Both are great getaways from everyday life. So Love on Location started with a setting and grew from there. The romance between best friends was kind of an offshoot of the same concept; we have so many regular worries and stresses, so many distractions, that we get caught up in the day-to-day, and we don’t take time to slow down and consider things—like a chance for love that might be staring us in the face.

Favorite part of writing Love on Location: Plotting it out as though it were a Hallmark movie. Oh, and adding in fun touches like Wyatt’s love of old movies and the angsty teen show that Delaney’s daughter watches, Lovestruck High.

Hardest part of writing Love on Location: Figuring out how to wrap it up. I won’t give it away, but I wanted to leave the story on a positive note, despite the hijinks that happen throughout the book.

If Love on Location was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Image Credit: Pinterest

Image Credit: Pinterest

 

 

I have deep feelings about this. Andrew Walker is Wyatt, and Sarah Lancaster is Delaney.

 

 

 

What is next? I don’t know! I have so many things in the works. I would love to continue the story of the Cabins in the Pines with a few sequel ideas I have for future books. And I’d also love to write a cozy mystery series. We’ll see what the future has in store.

What else would you like readers to know? I would like to say thank you! Thank you, Eli, for having me, and thank you to all of my readers. Every author says it, but it’s deeply true—without readers, I wouldn’t be here.

About the Story:

Maybe what they needed most was there all along…

Delaney Phillips, a divorced mom, works for her longtime best friend Wyatt Andrews at Cabins in the Pines. Wyatt inherited the rustic resort from his father, and both he and Delaney have made countless happy memories there. After a highway bypass leaves it a little too off the beaten path, they’ll do just about anything to keep it open.

At Delaney’s urging, Wyatt auditions for a reality TV program that helps businesses in trouble. The show’s glamorous host arrives with her camera crew, turning the place upside down in hilarious and alarming ways.

But Delaney doesn’t like the woman’s new plans for the business…or her designs on Wyatt. Because even though Delaney’s known him since the first grade, she’s slowly but purely falling in love with him. Can she help him see the cabins—and their relationship—in a different light?

Connect with Cassidy through her website, Facebook, and Twitter.