Live pure & free with Dave Howe on the couch

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Dave Howe author of Live Pure and Free

Live today on the couch is Dave Howe

Let’s welcome Dave Howe author of Live, Pure and Free to my couch today. Live, Pure and Free is on tour with Celebrate Lit from September 1st-14th.

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Dave Howe author of Live Pure and Free

It’s a pleasure to host you, Dave. Come on everyone give Dave a warm hello.

This is an I Love Authors Interview 33

This is my special couch where I get to ask you questions on a desert island. Why? Because I want to find out something different about you than the other interviews produce.  And it’s fun too and I like to do fun things for the Celebrate Lit blog tours.

So Dave onto the first question..

What food would you miss the most being on a desert island?

Dave –  Coffee and chocolate followed by hamburgers.

An interesting combination. I would agree with the chocolate (mouth beginning to water at the thought of it and Margaret goes off on a dream filled with chocolate).

Live, Pure & Free by #davehoweministries #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #interview & enter #free #giveaway $25 gift card. Click To Tweet
Oh sorry about that, now where was I, oh yes question two..

You find a piece of paper with a pencil left behind from the previous Author who was shipwrecked here, what encouraging message would you leave for the next cast away?

Dave – Take time to enjoy the island because you will not be here too long. This island is near a popular shipping lane.

You are rewriting the rules here Dave. My desert island is deserted, in the middle of no-where. But hey rules are there to be broken sometimes!

Tell me something about your book..

What favourite sentence do you like from your most recent published book?

Dave –  “I am learning to be more and more careful of the manner in which I live, conscious of my surroundings.”  I realized that we get into trouble through the accumulation of many careless actions. Ephesians 5: 15-20 talks about this. “Be very careful then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”

A wise sentence and one we could all take as a daily quote. Days are evil, however, with God, we have a Greater Good to call on. I think that is such a comfort.

I love to know why people become writers..

On the island you have time to think, can you tell me why you decided to become a writer?

Dave – I am a creative person and I’m a melancholy Irishmen. Writing was inevitable! My first creative expression has always been music. I started guitar lessons in the 4th grade and was in rock bands in high school.

It was during my time working at the Billy Graham Association (1995-2003)  that I began taking non-fiction writing classes. My first goal in writing was to write about my childhood trauma and other life difficulties. That is when I started writing stories and articles. Some of my articles were published in the local Christian newspaper and in our church newsletter.

It sounds like you have a lot to write about Dave, with some important messages. Having read your guest post below I understand that you reach your readers by bleeding all over the pages. This is a powerful statement. It is wonderful that you are using your writing and experiences to encourage and help others. I am sure God will bless you through what you are doing.

What you write is gritty and real and..

The desert island is very hot, do you like hot or cold weather and which helps you focus on your writing better?

Dave – I prefer hot weather, but the weather I prefer for writing is more like fall and spring. That is invigorating. You can have the windows open and enjoy the fragrances.

Those seasons have wonderful colours and smell. A delight to the senses and a time when we can see the glory of God’s creation as the days produce both the dying and rebirth of nature. I’m not surprised that the autumn and spring bring out the creative streak in you.

Well, Dave, that is all we have time for today. It has been a pleasure to interview you. Thank you for visiting with us today. I hope you have a successful tour and that people will buy your book.

This interview was brought to you today by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Giveaway – To celebrate his tour, Dave is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Peet’s Coffee Gift Card!! Be sure to comment on the blog stops including mine please, for nine extra entries into the giveaway! See below for details.

Click here to purchase your copy!

If you enjoyed my interview with Dave Howe, please comment and let me know. Thanks for reading.

About the Book

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Dave Howe author of Live Pure and FreeBook Title: Live Pure and Free

Author: Dave Howe

Genre: Non-fiction devotional for men

Release date: December 1, 2017

Live Pure and Free is for men who want to win in their battle for purity. Live Pure and Free is real. It’s gritty. But most of all, it gives hope.

About the Author

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Dave Howe author of Live Pure and FreeDave Howe is an author, speaker, musician, consultant, retreat leader, and a Regional Group Leader for Pure Desire Ministries. After fighting his own battle for purity, Dave co-founded For Men Only, a support group for men seeking freedom from sexual sin.
His prayer is that  Live Pure and Free will be a game changer for men around the world as they seek their freedom in Christ.

Guest Post from Dave

This is not a fluffy book. I talk about the real things that guys in my purity group were going through in their struggles, as well as my own story. It reflects my 10 years of leading men through their journey to purity, which is only found in Christ and with God’s power.

Some of the devotions get gritty, and real. In Revelation 12:11 it says, “ And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” I wanted the reader to say to themselves, “this guy is real. He’s been through this and has overcome. If he can do it, I can do it.”

I heard one writer say that you have to have that personal connection with the reader through your honesty. “You have to bleed all over the pages.” That’s what I did.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 1

Mary Hake, September 2

A Reader’s Brain, September 3

Creating Romance, September 4

proud to be an autism mom, September 5

Artistic Nobody, September 5 (Spotlight)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 6

Reading is my Super Power, September 7 (Interview)

Carpe Diem, September 8

A Baker’s Perspective, September 9

Bigreadersite, September 10

Power of Words, September 11 (Spotlight)

Janices book reviews, September 12

margaret kazmierczak, September 13 (Interview)

Just the Write Escape, September 14

Giveaway

2b2ec676-46bb-4388-9806-2754fee34350

To celebrate his tour, Dave is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Peet’s Coffee Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ce/live-pure-and-free-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dance with Jesus it will change your life

dance with jesus FB banner copy

Dance my friends as today I have Susan B Mead on the couch with me. However, we are not on the desert island this time as Susan has some imaginative writing to share with you. So today’s interview will be a look into her world of hope.

This is an I love Authors Interview 32

Hello and welcome Susan. Thank you for joining me on my couch today. I have five questions for you and I can’t wait to hear your answers.

Susan – Thank you, Margaret, for inviting me.

Well, if you are sitting comfortably let’s begin.

A dog starts talking to you, what conversation would you have with him/her? Why?

Susan – In the poem, The Hound of Heaven, Francis Thompson calls the Holy Spirit of God the Hound of Heaven, for He pursues us fervently! It makes me wonder if this dog talking to me like Balaam’s donkey talked to him to correct his path and lead me in the way of the Lord?

What would I say to the dog? Do you know we hear that all dogs go to Heaven? I pray you do too. Do you of Jesus? Oh, how He loves you, for He created you for His pleasure… My son, Kyle, is there and will play with you as you two run through fields and streams. Can you imagine the beauty of your forever home?

Do dogs go to heaven?

Honestly, I do not know whether dogs go to Heaven or not, yet it is a comforting thought. We know Jesus returns on a white horse, so what if there are dogs in Heaven too?

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you…In God’s hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7,10)

“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.” (Proverbs 12:10)

Not many people think of measuring righteousness by this standard.

I would like to think there are animals in heaven just as it is described in Isaiah 11:6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” This I feel is a beautiful vision of life in heaven.

A tree 1,000 years old is weeping, what do you think it is weeping about?

SusanRomans 8:19-27 (NIV) tells us the whole earth is groaning, crying, like a woman in labor, in eager expectation of liberation from its bondage of decay!

Romans 8:19-25

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:26-27

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

This is so true, Susan, nature yearns for the coming of God just as we do. It goes through the seasons, birth, life, death and resurrection each year waiting for the final amen.

Your calendar has an extra month, what is it for?

SusanAnd the sun stood still…

So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. Joshua 10:13

WOW! We have a whole month! What enemy do we fight, Lord? Those lost from the Lord. Go preach the good news of Jesus Christ…

Still later, as the Eleven were eating supper, he (Jesus) appeared and took them to task most severely for their stubborn unbelief, refusing to believe those who had seen him raised up. Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned. Mark 16:14-16 (MSG)

This is certainly our task – to bring those souls to the Lord who do not know Him. I love this answer, Susan, an extra month to do God’s bidding.

A flower is depressed how do you help it unfold its petals?

Speak love…I love you. You are beautiful. Let your beauty unfurl, slowly show and shine your unique beauty that only you can reveal, for you have a purpose here. Lift your head and let your heart open for you are safe here and loved, oh so loved.

You have moments to unlock a door and escape from a terrifying chicken, what key five words do you think will open the door?

Susan – The door will be opened.

Ask, Seek, Knock spells ASK! So ask God…

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

Yes, that is so true Susan, so often we forget to ask. Perhaps if we remember what ASK means we might be quicker in finding out the solutions. We might be a little less anxious and keep the terrifying chickens at bay!

An alien demands that you read a book to him/her that epitomizes earth, what would you chose and why?

Susan – The Bible it begins with the creation and foretells the end of the earth. What better description is there, good, bad, ugly and HOPE of Heaven when the earth “rolls up” at the end of this age.

That’s a great answer, Susan and a fitting end to my questions. Thank you so much for sharing your hope with us. Your book Dance with Jesus is full of encouragement to deepen faith and move on with life. I hope you have a great tour with Celebrate Lit and manage to reach out to many readers who need your book.

Friends show your appreciation for Susan B Mead. What an incredible lady.

This interview was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Dance with Jesus @SusanBMead #book on tour with Celebrate_Lit read #interview & enter #free #giveaway $50 amazon gift card Click To Tweet

Giveaway – To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!! See details below.

And please don’t forget to comment on my blog, it is truly appreciated – thank you.

Click here to purchase Dance with Jesus!

If you like what you read please comment below and don’t forget to enter Susan’s giveaway.

About the Book

Dance With Jesus Book CoverBook Title: Dance with Jesus

Author: Susan B. Mead

Genre: Non-fiction: Christian life, Bereavement, Grief

Release date: March 31, 2015

Grief hits each one of us and can come from so many different directions…

HAVE YOU LOST SOMEONE DEAR TO YOU? A brother, sister, parent, grandparent, family member, friend or a child? A relationship? A body part to cancer or an accident? Do you want to experience the joy of moving from broken to blessed? From GRIEF TO GRACE? Do you want God to take your hand and teach you to dance…with Jesus? Yes?

Then devour the words of Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace! Expect to laugh through the tears and experience a deepening of your faith.

Are you looking for a free mini-course to deepen your faith? Text DanceWithJesus (all one word) to 444-999, then reply with your email to receive 6 days of Biblical encouragement.

10% of the profit from Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace will benefit Water for LIFE to help dig water wells in remote locations around the world. People Matter!

About the Author

susan b meadA master storyteller and award-winning, bestselling author, Susan B. Mead leaves audiences motivated to live a life free of regrets even though she has done the hardest thing any parent can do – bury her youngest son, Kyle. With over 22 years in corporate America, 2 million airline miles under her belt, 1 eLit Book Award Gold Medal and 2 Christian Literary Awards on the shelfan MBA and a Certificate of Ordination hanging on the wall, as well as a Doctor of Theology candidacy in process, Susan shares her expert teachings on business, grief, spiritual warfare and relationships.

Susan has been described as a solid, comforting voice in a messy world. Whether speaking to business professionals, women’s conferences, industry leaders or writer’s workshops, Susan’s insightful wisdom inspires audiences, empowering them to make healthy mental u-turns to help them find calm in the chaos.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, August 28

Josephine’s Thoughts, August 29

Carpe Diem, August 30

Multifarious, August 31

Simple Harvest Reads, September 1 (Spotlight)

proud to be an autism mom, September 2

Reading Is My SuperPower, September 2

Texas Book-aholic, September 3

Artistic Nobody, September 4 (Spotlight)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 5

Janices book reviews, September 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 7

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 8 (Interview)

A Baker’s Perspective, September 9

Bigreadersite, September 10

Giveaway

 

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0bc39d2b2/?

Spotlight Five on Joey by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley

Spotlight Five on Joey by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley by Margaret Kazmierczak

 

Spotlight Five

Spotlight Five. Today I am doing a spotlight on “Joey” by  Jennifer Marshall Bleakley which is on tour with Celebrate Lit from May 31-June 13. Jennifer also has a GIVEAWAY  for you so don’t forget to enter for a chance to win.

To spotlight  Joey I would like to talk about some of the reviews this book has received. I hope you this helpful in deciding to read Jody’s book. Thanks for popping by 🙂

A touching book

It is always helpful to read other reviews and one of them that touched my heart was the comment  “As expected, I fell in love with Joey but what I didn’t expect was how much I would care for so many others in Joey’s story. It would be hard to pick a favourite character.”  What an accolade!

I have read further comments such

“It was such a well-written, engaging read!”

“One of the most heartwarming true stories I have read in a long time.”

“I pray this amazing story gives true Hope to all who have the privilege of reading it! You do NOT want to miss this precious and true story!!!”

Does it deserve five-stars?

So what is the bottom line after 115 reviews, I think this statement sums it up:

“Oh, this story will capture your heart very early on. This is a powerful story where yes, the main character is technically a horse, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it is some whimsical child’s book”

With only one four-star and 114 five-stars, (according to Amazon) it seems apparent that this book is well loved for its storyline and hero. The reviews speak for themselves and yes, having a blind horse as its main character is certainly different, but then it is a true story and there is nothing stranger than true life.

Should you read Joey?

Well, I don’t know about you but I am putting it on my ‘to read’ list 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy.
Joey @JenniferMarshalBleakley on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #spotlight & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

Spotlight Five on Joey by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley by Margaret KazmierczakTitle: Joey

Author: Jennifer Marshall Bleakley

Genre: Inspirational, Memoir

Release Date: May 8, 2018

The heartwarming true story of a blind horse named Joey.

At the height of his show career, this beautiful Appaloosa’s majestic stature, strength, and willingness to work made him the perfect partner. But when an injury cost Joey his show career, he moved from one owner to the next, ultimately experiencing severe abuse and neglect. A rescue group found Joey nearly dead from starvation—and blind.

Then he came to Hope Reins—a ranch dedicated to helping hurting kids who had been abused, emotionally wounded, or unwanted. By teaching these children to care for rescued animals, the Hope Reins staff were convinced they could reach kids with love and hope and show them that we are never forgotten by God.

But could the financially struggling ranch afford to take care of a blind horse that no one else wanted? Could Joey somehow learn to trust people even though the world had hurt him so badly? And what would happen—to Joey, the kids, and Hope Reins—if they failed?

A true story of friendship destined to become a classic, Joey will touch your heart and reveal the power of finding light in the darkness.

More Information About This Book

  • When a blind horse named Joey meets a struggling ranch owner dedicated to helping troubled kids, the result is a story of friendship, faith, and overcoming–and ultimately, a tale of how God always cares for the cast aside and uses them for His glory.
  • Joey is an inspirational memoir-like read that delights readers with a story about finding healing and restoration in the unlikeliest of places.
  • What a blind horse can teach you about overcoming your past and living fully in the life God has called you to have.
  • An unlikely story of God using a blind horse to bring healing and restoration to hurting children.
  • A percentage of the author’s proceeds from her book, Joey, will go to supporting Hope Reins which pairs hurting kids with rescued horses.
  • God said “you’re worthy” when the world said “you’re worthless.” Joey, an inspiriting story of finding healing and restoration in the unlikeliest of places.
  • The Hope Reins ranch set out to save these horses, but in the end, the horses saved them.
  • How the story of Joey saved the ranch… and taught the most valuable lesson.
  • Joey… your family’s next read.
  • Let God wake you up to life lessons learned in unexpected places!

About the Author

Jennifer BleakleyJennifer Bleakley graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in biology and was planning to apply for medical school when her best friend’s father died of pancreatic cancer. Walking through that experience with a family she had loved for so long left a permanent mark on her heart, and she soon realized that God was calling her to stand alongside other families facing similar heartbreak and loss. Jennifer earned a master’s degree in counseling from Nova Southeastern University and began working at the local hospice in St. Petersburg, Florida, as a child and family grief counselor. It was a job she loved deeply and one she continued doing until she and her husband started a family.

God’s path

When her husband’s job required the family to relocate to Raleigh, North Carolina, God began awakening in Jennifer a long-forgotten passion for writing. She began journaling—recording evidences of God’s hand at work in her new season of motherhood. Her journal morphed into a blog, and she still writes regularly about glimpsing God’s grace in her daily life at jenniferbleakley.com.

Jennifer now writes curriculum and devotionals for her local church, is a contributing author for Treasuring Christ curriculum and She Believes online Bible studies, and leads a community women’s Bible study. She loves introducing children at her church and in the community to Jesus, helping them discover his goodness. Even though she once asserted she was much too introverted to be a public speaker, Jennifer has found that God’s grace is big enough even for lifelong introverts, and she now delights in speaking to audiences about his extraordinary grace at work in our ordinary lives.

Guest Post from Jennifer Bleakley

Captivated

One October evening I stared into the eyes of the most unusual looking horse I had ever seen—his black and white spotted coat resembled that of a Dalmatian; his soft pink lips were chewing at some invisible morsel; and his charcoal eyes seemed to peer into my very soul.

And although I’m not what anyone would describe as a horse person, I was completely captivated by this horse.

Can horse’s smile?

I inched closer to him, compelled forward by some unseen force, until only a thin rail separated us. He stared at me. I smiled. Can a horse register a human smile? I had no idea, but I smiled anyway. The founder of the horse ranch was telling our small group about the ministry she had started—a ministry that pairs rescued horses with hurting children to help them find true hope and real healing. I listened to her words, but my eyes never moved from the horse. He looked at me as if he could read my every thought. As if he knew exactly why I was at the ranch that night. That I had been feeling a bit lost, struggling to find myself—my calling—in the midst of a new season of life. That I was on this tour in the hopes that I might find answers here—maybe even a purpose.

He bent his head toward the railing just inches from my resting hand. His eyes now level with my own, the setting sun reflecting brilliant hues in the depths of his eyes.

How beautiful, I whispered as my fingers reached toward him.

Seeing beyond the blindness

“And our Joey here is completely blind…” I heard the woman say. “He was a former champion…injured…sold…abused…abandoned….

The fragmented sentence floated around the picturesque scene, but the words just didn’t make sense. Surely the woman wasn’t talking about this horse? Not the one who could see into my soul. Not the black and white beauty who knew all my secrets with just one look?

The woman handed Joey a carrot. His greedy lips taking the treat from her hand, leaving it free to scratch him behind the ear.

“But Joey was rescued and now he lives here,” she continued, “Where every day his determination and blind faith, point hurting kids to hope. Kids who have also known abuse and abandonment. Kids who see Joey choosing to live, choosing to learn, choosing to trust, and realize that maybe, just maybe they can too.”

Tears flowed down my face as I watched the horse nuzzle the woman’s hand. A blind horse leading people to see hope. The phrase swirled around my mind, before settling in my heart.

Helping me find my purpose

I had gone to the ranch that day looking for a purpose. Thinking that I could volunteer—use my long forgotten counseling degree in some way. Thinking that time spent here would ease the transition from full-time mommy to mother of school-age children. However, days after meeting the horse his eyes still haunted me. His story still captivated me. And so in spite of knowing very little about horses, and having never attempted anything like writing a book before, I sat down to write about a horse named Joey. A blind horse who was helping me find my way home….

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 31

ansel book blog, June 1

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 1

Bibliophile Reviews, June 2

Janices book reviews, June 3

Carpe Diem, June 4

A Baker’s Perspective, June 5

Girls in White Dresses, June 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 6

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 7

Texas Book-aholic, June 8

Lots of Helpers, June 9

Mary Hake, June 9

proud to be an autism mom, June 10

margaret kazmierczak, June 10 (Interview)

Red Headed Book Lady, June 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 11

Pursuing Stacie, June 12

Bigreadersite, June 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 13

A Greater Yes, June 13

Giveaway

 

e06f18c6-15ae-4809-92ff-e47aec28e7a6To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of a beautiful hope necklace!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cca4

Secrets and shame. Strains of Silence has it all

Strains of Silence FB Banner copy

My Penny’s worth

Secrets and shame

We all bear secrets and shame in some form or other. I have a littered life of disasters that have followed me on my journey. Each requiring revelation and forgiveness. Nothing good can grow in the darkness of fear!

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek

Opening up

I welcome Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek as it opens up a can of worms that needs to see the light of day. Indeed in England, there is a campaign to educate young men and woman about what ‘no’ means in a casual or seasoned relationship. I am glad that the secrets and shame of my generation are being met head-on in the younger age groups.

A controlling nature

This book is heavy at times, but then the topic is not light-hearted. The two characters involved in this sordid mess are Kasia Bernolak and Blake Hamilton. The needs of Blake are overwhelming and controlling, so much so that Kasia seems unaware of his true nature. I have met a few of these young men in my time – not a pleasant experience. But Blake takes Kasia’s snub to a higher level.

At times I empathised with Kasia as she struggled with others taking control of her situation, all with good intentions, but sometimes stifling. The men in her life want to protect her as if she were a delicate plant. I think I would have wanted to run away to Peru too even with her secrets and shame following her.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek

Biblical words

Bringing in Bible verses to show Kasia that she is worthy in God’s eyes helped reveal an essential element in this story. So often we feel we are not worthy of God’s Grace and Mercy because we have messed up. Those who have lived through the same experience as Kasia need to know how much God loves them no matter what, especially when they are Christians – we are all fallen.

The other characters

There are a lot of different people to help make the story flow, each bringing a distinct flavour to the mix. Some, in my opinion, are just extras and feel forced to make the storyline neat. Nonetheless, I think Kasia is very fortunate to have so many men running around wanting to protect her. I doubt this is the norm.

What I felt was lacking

Strains of Silence is a book of glimpses. A brief insight of Peru, a slither of Polish life, a hint of culture, the promise of music all lead me to want more. Yes I know the book is of secrets and shame. However, I felt denied as though this extra material, were an eye in the keyhole. In the blurb, it stated there would be lots of music, but I couldn’t hear it. I wanted more, to taste, smell and inhale the food and culture.

This book is not for everyone as it deals with sexual assault – I think it important to state this to give the reader a heads up.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Book

Author: Bethany Kaczmarek

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 1, 2017

StrainsOfSilence_h12295_750 (2)Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.

Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

bethany-kaczmarek-HR-2Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.

 

 

Guest Post from Bethany Kaczmarek

Strains of Silence: A Novel for Anyone Who Can Say #MeToo

We’re everywhere. After years of silence, many survivors of sexual assault are raising our voices. You’ve seen the hashtag. You know someone who suffered like this—a friend, a sister, a daughter.

Maybe you know personally what it’s like to be used.

I’m thankful for the conversations the #MeToo campaign has started, proud of the brave women who are speaking out. But I know some are still quiet, nursing wounds.

I could list loads of valid reasons a victim chooses to suffer in silence.
  • People won’t believe her.
  • If she doesn’t say it out loud, it’s easier to pretend it was a nightmare.
  • Blake has got authority over her—at work, church, in the family—and it’ll cost her too much. He’s done enough damage already.
  • He’s threatened to destroy her reputation, and she believes him. One, because he’ll do it without flinching. Two, because she’s already convinced that she’s living a lie.
  • Because at church, she’s supposed to be fine, smiling, rejoicing in her suffering and pressing on. Besides, people don’t want to sit with her in her pain and listen. They’d rather offer bumper-sticker theology and trite spiritual bandages.
  • The few times she’s tried to speak up, her used-to-be friend basically made her feel like it was her fault.

The list could go on, but it’s fair to say that being honest about what happened to us makes us vulnerable all over again. The idea is understandably stressful.

But you know what? Pretending we’re fine is exhausting too. We bear a great strain when we hide our hurts, for whatever reason.

Kasia Bernolak, the heroine of my novel Strains of Silence, gets it. She’s got reasons for keeping it quiet too. But when God brings some new people into her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be alone.

And speaking up offers a freedom, a lightness, she wants.

It’s a freedom I want for my readers.

It’s not just a heavy book – there is more

I know. Strains of Silence sounds like a heavy book right now. The themes are heavy, no doubt. There’s no glossing over and prettying up sexual assault or domestic violence. But—just like in real life—it’s how well we surround and support the suffering that can set the tone. Kasia’s friends are real, they’re funny, they’re quirky, and they believe in her.

Besides, it’s not all dark and brooding. There’s travel—an entire summer in the mountains of Peru. A lot of music—Kasia’s a singer/song-writer who loves indie artists (I’ve got a playlist on my website). Heritage and culture—meet her immigrant family and you’ll get a delicious taste of Poland. And humor—enough to keep the story light when you need it to be.

And there’s hope. Kasia’s life is absolutely full of possibility.

So are the lives of everyone who can say #MeToo.

Sometimes, it just helps to see someone else fight the battle on our own horizon. And if you can do it with a fantastic new playlist and some laughs, why not?

My hope is that Strains of Silence will lead to real discussions with reader-friends, book-club gatherings that become turning points, and the true pursuit of freedom. It’s time to throw off the burdens we wear and stand up. Raise your voice, link arms with others, and fight for hope.

Healing is within our reach.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, January 6

proud to be an autism mom, January 6

Inklings and Notions, January 7

Bibliophile Reviews, January 7

Fiction Aficionado, January 8

Genesis 5020, January 8

The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 9

Bigreadersite, January 9

Red Headed Book Lady, January 10

Mommynificent, January 10

Texas Book-aholic, January 11

allofakindmom, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 12 (Interview)

The Power of Words, January 12

Pursuing Stacie, January 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 13

A Greater YesJanuary 13

Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Mindy Houg Guest Review on Artistic Nobody, January 15

Janices book reviews, January 15

Faithfully Bookish, January 16

Kat’s Corner Books, January 16

Margaret Kazmierczak, January 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 17

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, January 18

Carpe Diem, January 18

Remebrancy, January 19

A Baker’s Perspective, January 19

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand grand prize a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and a $50 Amazon gift card.!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5dc