Book Spotlight: Welcome to Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne

Happy Wednesday!

We at Diversity Between the Pages have a new book to tell you about! Welcome to Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne releases November 14, 2017 (Waterfall Press) and is the first book in Herne’s new series. It features a diverse cast of characters, one of whom I would consider a ‘main secondary character’ who will get her own story in a future book.


About the Book

welcome to wishing bridgeKelsey is on her way to a life do-over. And it’s not the first time. Abandoned by her drug-addict mother as a teen, she landed in a foster-care group home where she experienced faith and community—and met her best friends, Jazz and Theadora. The trio stuck together like sisters and vowed to make their lives mean something.

Now Kelsey’s pushing thirty, and her life has taken a wrong turn. Pregnant and alone after loving the wrong man, she’s on her way to making another life-changing decision when a wicked blizzard strands her outside the sleepy town of Wishing Bridge.

After being rescued from a snowbank by a handsome cop, she’s embraced by the welcoming village, but she still feels upside down. Fortunately, her frantic SOS brings her besties rushing to help sort things out. They soon find that Wishing Bridge has as many secrets as Kelsey does—and she’s connected to it in ways she couldn’t have imagined.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


About the Author

ruthyBest-selling, multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne is the author of over thirty novels and novellas through traditional publishers and her own independent works. She loves God, her family, country, coffee, chocolate and dogs, and wishes possums would leave the cat food on the side porch alone. With over 3/4 million books in print, Ruthy is living her dream of touching hearts and souls by writing the kind of books she likes to read. She is also part of Mighty Finn Creations with her photographer/editor daughter Beth Jamison.

Follow: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

 

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Author Interview: Chautona Havig and “Will Not See”

We’re welcoming Chautona Havig to Diversity Between the Pages today to talk about her latest release, Will Not See. This is the second book in Chautona’s Sight Unseen series, and it is best to read this series in order. You can learn more about the first book in the series, None So Blind, here. You can also read my review of Will Not See at Fiction Aficionado.


~ About the Author ~

ChautonaAuthor of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.


Connect with Chautona: 
Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest  //  Instagram

~ About the Book ~

When Vikki Jeffries wakes up in a Rockland hotel with no idea of who she is and why she can’t remember… well, anything, the Rockland medical community begins to take a closer look at what may have happened to cause a second case of inexplicable amnesia.

But for Vikki, this is more than a medical anomaly–it’s her life. What is she doing in Rockland, thousands of miles away from her home in Apache Junction, Arizona? Who is she? Why is no one looking for her? Or are they?

The secrets of a past she’s discovering she doesn’t want to know lay locked away in a memory that refuses to acknowledge their existence.

When Brandon Marana finds his neighbor struggling to open her front door, his quiet life becomes a race to protect Vikki and himself from people who are determined to find her.

He’s falling in love with her–but he shouldn’t. He’s a Christian. She’s not. But the more she depends on him to know who she is and learn why these things keep happening to her, the stronger those ties become.

Will Not See: Sometimes, the past needs to stay there.

Genre:  Contemporary Christian Fiction
Release date:  29 August 2017
Pages:  340
Publisher:  Wynneword House

Amazon  //  Goodreads


~ Interview ~

KATIE: Thanks for joining us at Diversity Between the Pages today, Chautona. Let’s start off by taking a little ‘flight of fancy’. Finish these sentences for me:

If I could visit any place in the world, I would visit…

Well, since I’m dying to write this cool book idea I have for an American who marries a Greek man and moves to a small Greek village with no knowledge of the language or customs, I’d definitely say that one.

Lol! Make sure you pack me in your suitcase. I have a feeling that would be a memorable trip!

If I could assign one household task to the fairies forever, it would be…

This is so easy it isn’t even funny.  Grocery shopping.  I hate all forms of shopping, but I loathe, despise, and abominate grocery shopping.  I’ve been working on trying to like it for almost twenty years now—ever since I heard a preacher say that if we MUST do something, we might as well learn to like it.

My seven-year-old LOVES doing the grocery shopping. Go figure! Maybe he’ll change his mind when he’s the one paying for it!

If I was a musical instrument, I would be a…

I’d say if I were an instrument, I’d definitely be a cello.  Besides being rather shaped like me (although I have a much shorter neck), as I’ve gotten older, my singing voice has deepened.  It also has a lot of volume.  Even when you play a cello quietly, it doesn’t whisper—ever.  Yep. I’m definitely a cello.

Oh my goodness! I think you might be my clone!

When I was a child, I wanted to be a…

I had it all planned out.  I’d own a yellow house with a white picket fence and a huge oak tree in the front yard.  I planned to have a collie, and I wanted it to have a genius name like “Inkling” or something. I would teach high school English for 9 months of the year and write over my full three months of summer break (stop laughing.  Even with teachers in my family whom I helped get ready for their classes every year… over summer), I existed in a dream world.

Then, in my spare time (again, stop laughing!) I’d edit during the school year.  This way I’d be able to write one book per year. I had chosen to eschew husband and children, not being interested in having those horrible creatures, you see.  Okay, there you can laugh. After all, I’m pretty sure God got the last one on that idea.  His plans were FAR different (not to mention superior) than mine. Nine kids and a husband later, I write four to six books a  year. Snort.

Bahahahaha! I had similarly idealistic dreams when I was growing up. Something about being a concert pianist, a lawyer, AND having ten children! 😂

My ideal place to read would be…

A “window seat hammock.” I want one so bad it isn’t funny.  Perfect window seat area… nice bay window perhaps… and then a hammock hanging.  Sun shining on my feet.  Balmy breezes flowing in.  Huge stack of books… Oh, wait. What did you say?

Who, me? I have no idea. Would you mind passing me one of those books while I make myself comfortable? 😉

Let’s discuss your Sight Unseen series now, and more specifically, Will Not SeeEach book in this series tells the story of someone who wakes up with no memory of who they are or of their life up to that point. What inspired you to make that the basis of a series?

Well, I tend to be a bit of a rebel, so part of it did have to do with wanting to do something different with a trope.  So instead of someone waking up after a car accident and having to work his or her way back from a blank slate (or doing a “Remember Sunday/50 First Dates” kind of thing), I wanted it traumatic-less.  Inexplicable.  And then what would you do with a clean slate when you knew you’d probably never get those memories back again?

You? A rebel? 😉 But I can see why the idea intrigued you.

Memory loss always seems like a tricky element to introduce to a story in my mind, from a point of view of making it realistic and consistent. How does memory loss affect Vikki in the book, and what kind of research did you have to do to make it believable?

Vikki’s memory loss was harder than Ella’s (from the first book). Ella had family to fill in her past and help her with things.  It also annoyed her because she wanted to be seen for who she’d decided to be rather than who she had been (she didn’t really like her former self when she figured out some things).  But Vikki has a completely different personality.  I really had to struggle to find people like her and study them—people who wouldn’t want to know the horrors of their pasts.

And what I discovered is that even those people would still want to know THEM.  Many I talked to were very connected to their own identities despite agreeing that if there were situations in the past that I’d created for Vikki, they wouldn’t want those details.  The only way I could make it believable was simply to ask.

My mind boggles at the thought of what it would feel like to be in Vikki’s position. It was one of the reasons I found the story so compelling!

Learning Vikki’s ethnic background is a little tricky, given she doesn’t know it herself! Could tell us a little bit about that background, and why it’s difficult for her to discover that background after she loses her memory?

She’ll learn a bit more in book three (if there is a natural place to share it). I know that she was removed from her mother at a very young age and placed into foster care.  I chose not to give her a permanent placement because she needed a logical reason to become who she was. My personal knowledge of people of color isn’t ethnically or culturally much different from me.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m on the west coast or if it’s because I’ve always lived in rather diverse places where most people become rather homogenous.  So that’s mostly why I put her in Apache Junction.  I didn’t see it as too implausible that, once on the streets, she might have been recruited by another runaway and then induced into one of the Hispanic dominated gangs.

So, she has a bit of street slang she has picked up, but since she spent time in the home of an educated family, her speech slips in and out of “street” from time to time.

Okay, so let’s think about this for a moment. You have an ethnically diverse character who’s not exactly sure of her heritage, and you need to write her in a way that avoids clichés and stereotypes. How exactly do you go about doing that?

Well, as I said above, my best choice was to put her in places that could “homogenize” her a bit so she didn’t turn into a TV cliché.  I was so worried about that.  For example, the blacks I know personally (I chose that word for a reason), have said they don’t care to be called “African-American.”  In the words of one man, “I’ve never been to Africa… you’ve never been to Scotland.  Why should you get to be ‘just American’ but I have to be defined by the location of ancestors that go way back?”

I think he makes a valid point.  So, I moved her in and out of enough homes that she identified as a part of whatever group she was in rather than a specific culture or race.  If I’d tried to write someone from the deep South, for example, I’d have under represented her or made her a horrible stereotype.  I really wanted to avoid that.

Whenever I started doubting myself, I actually thought of that man’s daughters and tried to imagine how they’d respond in the situation.  It helped.  A little.

I, too, know people who prefer to be referred to as black rather than African-American. In any case, I think you did a great job with Vikki. She really is her own person!

What inspired Vikki’s character? Was there a reason you made her an ethnically diverse character, or was that just an organic part of the character who presented herself to you?

I fought the ethnicity for a bit, if you want the truth.  I knew she’d be harder to write than another character I have in the works. I knew it would be crazy easy to get her wrong, but she demanded to have a voice.  She reminded me that I have friends of all colors, shapes, sizes, and intellects.  I needed to embrace her for who she was.  I’d never reject someone I met in the store, at a restaurant, or in church based on her color, so why would I do it in a book?

Good point. And it sounds exactly like something Vikki would say!

What do you hope readers take away from this series? (Besides the enjoyment of a riveting read, of course!)

If I can only show one thing through this series, it will be that we often hide from the truths of ourselves because of what we see there.  Well, Jesus’ blood has washed that ugliness away. It’s gone.  Isaiah tells us, and Hebrews reminds us that God won’t remember our sins anymore.  We need to let the blood of Christ be sufficient.  But being blind to them rather than repenting of them doesn’t do us any good.  Like any problem, we have to face them.  Lay them at the feet of the cross.  Step back. Revel in the beautiful work Jesus did there.  But we can’t do that if we refuse to acknowledge and repent of them.

This series really does explore that in a fascinating way. Thanks for chatting to us today, Chautona!


~ Sight Unseen Series ~


Interview by Katie Donovan.

Book Review: Love’s Second Chance

Happy Friday, Diverse Readers!

I truly enjoyed reading Cindy Flores Martinez’ book Love’s Second Chance!

I hope that you too will want to read her story after you read my review of it.

~*~

About the book: 

Can two broken hearts find healing together?

Brad McIntyre is much too young to feel so disillusioned with his life as a deputy sheriff. Esperanza De La Cruz has left the only home she has ever known to work at Sweet Grove’s daycare. When someone steals her car, Deputy McIntyre comes to the rescue.

There’s an instant attraction between them, but they’re both broken on the inside. Her father is in prison for intoxicated manslaughter and she’s afraid that Brad won’t want to be with her because of it.

He’s thinking of leaving the only career he’s ever known but pretends that everything is fine. His desperate prayers seem to go unanswered.

When they start spending time together and their feelings for each other begin to grow stronger, things become even more complicated. When the truth comes out, will it pull them apart or will they find a second chance at love and in life together?

Buy the book on Amazon

~*~

My Review:

I enjoyed reading this book! Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author and her heart for telling stories shows in this story about broken characters that are given a second chance at finding and keeping love.

This story has a relatable and interesting premise. It focuses on Brad McIntyre and Esperanza De La Cruz who both want different things in life but soon find out that they need each other to get what they truly need.

Brad is a disillusioned deputy sheriff. His original passion for his career is long gone and that is evident when the reader meets him. However, since he cannot think of who he would be if his identity weren’t in being a cop, he holds on and begrudgingly makes it through each day on duty. But when his job introduces him to Esperanza, she gradually breathes hope back into his life and helps him rediscover why he wanted to be a cop.

When the reader meets Esperanza she is flustered and discouraged because her car was stolen. She’s also a bit tongue-tied when Brad arrives on the scene to assist. She finds him very handsome but dating is far from her mind because all of her money, laptop, purse, food, and personal items were in her car that was stolen. Now she doesn’t know how she’s going to survive in Sweet Grove, TX without money to pay rent or a place to stay or food to eat.

Brad and Esperanza are both people of faith in God and true to the real life journey of believers in the real world, the author shows her readers in this fictional story that we can make our plans but God determines our steps.

As a reader, I kept turning the page to find out what happens next and was not disappointed in the way this story progressed. The author knows how to capture and keep the reader’s attention from the start of this story to the very last line. Cindy’s storytelling skills are extraordinary. My only complaint is that I wanted this story to be longer like a full-length novel.

However, this story is just what it needs to be—short and sweet.

*I received a free copy from the author. The review is my own, honest opinion.

~*~

About the Author: Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes Christian romance. She has an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world. You can learn more about her at www.cindyfloresmartinez.com.

Follow Cindy: Facebook ~ Twitter

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Book Spotlight: Though I Stumble by Kim Cash Tate

Happy Hump Day!

I hope you’re having an awesome week. We at Diversity have a new book spotlight for you. We’re featuring Kim Cash Tate’s Though I Stumble, book one in the Promises of God series.


About the Book

The Blurb: “Four women, one weekend, and their lives will never be the same.

Stephanie London thought she’d heard from God when she moved to Hope Springs, N.C. But a tragedy in that small town left her soul desolate. Now her husband’s inattentiveness has pushed her over the edge. Bereft of hope, she travels home to St. Louis as a women’s ministry conference kicks off. Though less than enthused to attend, new friendships offer strength and light. But what happens when the weekend ends and real life begins again?

Treva Langston grieves still the loss of her husband of twenty-two years. Now, two years later, her heart is breaking again as her oldest daughter’s travails come to light. Traveling from DC to St. Louis for a women’s conference seems the last thing she should do, given the circumstances. But in St. Louis her path crosses with someone new—and her world turns upside down. Will it only lead to more heartbreak?

Jillian Mason can’t wait to attend the Living Word women’s conference. She’s done their Bible studies for years and expects God to show up in an amazing way. But the weekend delivers something unexpected—a discovery about her husband. As the state of her marriage hangs in the balance, Jillian is suddenly anxious about returning home.

Faith Langston has always been a girl after God’s heart. She loves Living Word studies and registered early for the conference. But at the end of her college sophomore year, she finds herself in circumstances she never imagined—with a heart that has strayed from God. She makes it to St. Louis nonetheless, with her boyfriend in tow—but how will she find her way back to God?

Four women in different seasons of life converge at a women’s conference—with a theme that charges them to run “in hot pursuit” for Christ. But how do they run when challenges seem insurmountable? And can they help one another navigate the difficult terrain?”

Links: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads


About the Author

KIM CASH TATE is the author of several books, including Cling (2017) and If I Believe (2017). A former practicing attorney, she is also a Bible teacher and is currently doing a study on First Samuel on YouTube. She’s been married to her husband Bill for more than two decades, and they live in St. Louis with their two young adult children. You can find Kim online at kimcashtate.com and on social media @kimcashtate.

Follow: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube

Author Interview: Cindy Flores Martinez, featuring “Love’s Second Chance”

Let’s welcome Cindy Flores Martinez to the blog today!

She’s here to talk about her book, Love Second’s Chance.

Read Cindy’s interview below to learn more about her All-American/Latina heritage and discover her passion for portraying Latino-American characters in her stories whose experiences are relatable to the readers regardless of the readers’ race.

~*~

About the book: 

Can two broken hearts find healing together?

Brad McIntyre is much too young to feel so disillusioned with his life as a deputy sheriff. Esperanza De La Cruz has left the only home she has ever known to work at Sweet Grove’s daycare. When someone steals her car, Deputy McIntyre comes to the rescue.

There’s an instant attraction between them, but they’re both broken on the inside. Her father is in prison for intoxicated manslaughter and she’s afraid that Brad won’t want to be with her because of it.

He’s thinking of leaving the only career he’s ever known but pretends that everything is fine. His desperate prayers seem to go unanswered.

When they start spending time together and their feelings for each other begin to grow stronger, things become even more complicated. When the truth comes out, will it pull them apart or will they find a second chance at love and in life together?

Buy the book on Amazon

~*~

About the Author: Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes Christian romance. She has an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world. You can learn more about her at www.cindyfloresmartinez.com.

Follow Cindy: Facebook ~ Twitter

~*~

Interview with Cindy Flores Martinez, author of Love’s Second Chance:

Alexis: Tell us about the First Street Church Romances novella collection. What is it about? How did you get involved? Why did you want to contribute your story to the collection?

Cindy: The First Street Church Romances novella collection is part of Amazon’s fan fiction called Kindle Worlds. The series is based on Melissa’s Storm’s Christian romance series, which includes Love’s Prayer, Love’s Promise, Love’s Prophet, and Love’s Vow. Each of the stories takes place in the fictional town of Sweet Grove, Texas where the First Street Church is an important part of the characters’ lives. I knew Melissa from a boxed set that we were part of together and I found out that she was seeking authors for her Kindle World debut. I reached out to her and became one of twenty authors who were chosen. The Christian romance theme is what interested me in contributing a story.

Alexis: Tell us about your story, Love’s Second Chance. What is it about? What or who inspired you to write it?

Cindy: Love’s Second Chance is about a young woman who moves to Sweet Grove, Texas after landing a job at the daycare there. The day she arrives, someone steals her car and a young deputy sheriff answers the call. They’re attracted to each other and their feelings grow as they spend time together, but they face obstacles that keep them from admitting their feelings for one another. My inspiration came from reading Melissa’s books. Her characters face serious problems in life and find strength and answers through prayer. I had written mostly romantic comedy and wanted to try writing a deeper story like that.

Alexis: Your story’s heroine is Esperanza De La Cruz. She’s a Latina. Which country is she from and how does her heritage affect the way she is portrayed in your story?

Cindy: Esperanza is American with Mexican ancestry. Her character was easy to write because I consider myself the same. The difference between me and her is that I have American Indian ancestry on both of my parents’ sides, so I connect with that ancestry as well. Like me, Esperanza speaks both English and Spanish perfectly, has a college education, and a career, but the Mexican culture has played a big role in her life. Her story reflects the reality of so many Latinos. We grew up as all-American kids who became college-educated adults and we happen to have Mexican parents (or parents from other Latin American countries) who raised us according to their customs.

Alexis: Do you think there is a need for more Latino main characters in fictional stories written for the Christian book market (CBA)? Why or why not?

Cindy: Absolutely! I would love to see more Latino main characters in Christian fiction, as well as more Christian Latino authors. I often see stories that are written by authors who happen to be Latino but the genres aren’t what I want to read. I find myself looking to Christian women as role models and I enjoy reading Christian romance. It’s rare to see a Latino point of view within that mix. If there are other Christian Latino authors out there, please let me know!

Alexis: How did your own experience as a Latina affect the way that you wrote Esperanza’s character?

Cindy: I think the way Esperanza acts and reacts has everything to do with my experience as a Latina. One of my beta readers told me that the first draft of my story had parts that were melodramatic. I didn’t think so because, in the Latino culture, it’s normal to express strong emotions and to look at life in a way that may seem overly dramatic. I mean, some of us were told as children not to go out in the cold without a jacket or else our face would get twisted and stay that way. Talk about dramatic! That’s just one example. Well, the final draft of the story is much calmer than the first, but Esperanza still reacts emotionally when she experiences the problems in her life.

Alexis: In what ways do you hope that Esperanza’s story will impact your readers?

Cindy: My desire is that Esperanza’s story will show others that God is alive and active. He hears the prayers of His people and responds. Things may happen that aren’t fair and that don’t make sense, but He knows why. If you wait on Him and trust in Him, He will lead you to the right place and you will look back and understand why things happened the way they did. Esperanza’s story may be fictional, but the experience of God in her life is very real.

Alexis: Describe Esperanza’s look, personality, and heart. What is her most troublesome character flaw? Explain.

Cindy: Esperanza’s name, Esperanza De La Cruz, means “Hope of the Cross”. Her mother’s name, Milagros, means miracles. I chose those names on purpose to represent the theme of the story, which is the hope of the Cross of Christ. Esperanza is described as young and attractive and her most troublesome character flaw is that she carries guilt and shame over the negative events that have happened in her life, even though she wasn’t to blame. Isn’t that true for many of us?

Alexis: What happened to Esperanza that broke her heart? Is there hope for restoration? Why or why not?

Cindy: Esperanza’s father was arrested for intoxicated manslaughter and sent to prison. He didn’t plan on committing the crime. He had a few alcoholic beverages, drove home and hit and killed a pedestrian. In addition to devastating the victim’s family, it destroyed Esperanza’s perfect life. She suffered the pain of her father being taken away, and as a result of him being gone, her parents lost their home. Esperanza’s boyfriend left her because he couldn’t handle her family problems. She thinks there’s no hope for a better tomorrow, but God doesn’t see it that way.

Alexis: Esperanza works for Sweet Grove’s daycare. Why did you give her a heart for children? What role does her passion play in this story?

Cindy: Esperanza wants to teach kindergarten because she has a desire to affect people’s lives in a positive and lasting way, but she feels that teaching adults would limit her ability to do so. She realizes that teaching children would enable her to make more of an impact on others. Her desire drives her to move to a place she’s never known before and leave her mother in the process. Working at the daycare will enable her to get experience for when she is able to become a teacher.

Alexis: Brad McIntyre is the hero of your story. Describe his looks, personality, and heart. What is his most prominent character flaw? Explain.

Cindy: Brad is young and attractive and he believes that God has given him a calling in life to help others. He has pursued a career in law enforcement after realizing it was part of that greater purpose. His character flaw is that he wishes he can change the whole world and he doesn’t see the positive effect he has on the lives of the people around him. This leads to a sense of disappointment and feelings of being a failure.

Alexis: Describe Brad and Esperanza’s meet-cute. What brings them together? Is there anything that drives them apart? Explain.

Cindy: When Esperanza arrives at Sweet Grove with all of her belongings in her car, she parks in front of the apartment building where she plans to rent an apartment. She enters the building to search for the landlord, and when she returns, someone is driving away in her car. Brad quickly arrives after a witness calls the police. Their meeting isn’t a typical meet-cute because Brad is so focused on doing his job and Esperanza is overcome by the horror of what has happened. When Brad offers to drive her to the First Street Church to see if they can help her, she hesitates. Although they’re attracted to each other, it takes a while for things to become romantic.

Alexis: What’s Brad’s race? How does his heritage affect the way that he deals with people who do not share his same background…or does it not matter to him?

Cindy: Brad is described as having blond hair and blue eyes and he doesn’t fully understand Spanish, but I didn’t emphasize his ancestry. Like Esperanza, he’s all-American, but not Latino like her. He notices her dark hair and dark eyes and that she speaks to her mom in Spanish, and he’s attracted to her wholeheartedly. He helps her without hesitation.

Alexis: What role does Brad and Esperanza’s faith in God play in this story?

Cindy: When Brad struggles with his job situation, he calls out to God for help. When Esperanza needs a job, she seeks God’s guidance. Brad isn’t as confident in his faith as Esperanza. He’s confused about his life, but despite it, he waits on Him. No matter what, God remains their only hope.

Alexis: What’s the moral of the story?

Cindy: No matter how hopeless life can seem, God will rescue you if you seek Him with all of your heart. People often quote Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,” but they fail to continue to the part that says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”. A passion for God is the key to moving mountains.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Cindy! Do you have any closing comments?

Cindy: I want to thank you for letting others know that there are Christian diverse stories available to read. Sometimes our names and ancestries might give others the impression that our stories won’t be relatable to them. The result is that they don’t “hear” the message that God has inspired us to share. By sharing our works, you’ve opened a door that could lead to more lives being touched.

~ Interview conducted by Alexis A. Goring, contributor ~

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Open Discussion – Christian Diverse Fiction Touching on Contemporary Issues

DBTP - letstalk

Happy Saturday, everyone! Lately with all the chatter about race and diversity in the news, it reminds me of the continued importance of not only having diverse characters in Christian fiction but also in responding to racism and other contemporary issues through a Christian lens.

Our question for today is: What are the pros and cons of touching on contemporary issues through diverse Christian fiction? Where have you seen it done well (please name books/authors)? What contemporary issues would you like to see covered in Christian fiction?

We very much appreciate hearing from you! Please comment below!

Book Review: Relentless Heart

Happy Friday!!

I hope you had a great week! I’ve been enjoying some fall reading, so I thought I’d share a review. Today, I’m sharing Tyora Moody’s Relentless Heart. It’s book three in the Reed Family novellas.


About the Book

The Blurb: “Assistant District Attorney Asia Reed is relentless about not losing a case. But she’s fighting a losing battle in the faith department. Now approaching forty, never married and with no children, a growing sense of unease has made her weary about her career and life.

When a former boyfriend and prominent defense attorney is gunned down in his office, Asia is jolted into action, determined to find out who’s responsible. Only hours before his death, Adam Locklear insists they meet about information she needs to know. Did Locklear’s death have anything to do with what he wanted share?

Detective Isaac Coleman seems to think so. Asia is determined to find out!”

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


Review

This was my first Tyora Moody read. Thus, I can see that the Reed family novellas do not need to be read in order. There are mentions of the other characters so I’m sure it would only enhance the reading if I had read the first two.

That being said, I enjoyed this suspenseful read. I always enjoy trying to figure out who the bad guy is. Add a sprinkle of romance and I’m there. Ms. Moody’s writing style is engaging and the cast of characters only adds to that factor.

I will definitely be reading more of her books.

*I received a free copy from the publisher. The review is my own, honest opinion.


About the Author

Tyora Moody is the author of Soul-Searching Suspense books which include the Reed Family Novellas, Eugeena Patterson Mysteries, Serena Manchester Series, and the Victory Gospel Series. She is also the author of the nonfiction book, The Literary Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, and the compilation editor for the Stepping Into Victory Compilations under her company, Tymm Publishing LLC.

As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her design and marketing company, Tywebbin Creations LLC. Popular services include virtual event planning, book covers and book trailers.

To contact Tyora about book club discussions or for book marketing workshops, visit her online at TyoraMoody.com.

Links: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Book Spotlight: Love’s Second Chance by Cindy Flores Martinez

Happy Wednesday, Diverse Reader Friends!

We’re featuring a new book today. Love’s Second Chance is a book that was written by accomplished author/screenwriter Cindy Flores Martinez.

Enjoy her book spotlight!

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About the book: 

Can two broken hearts find healing together?

Brad McIntyre is much too young to feel so disillusioned with his life as a deputy sheriff. Esperanza De La Cruz has left the only home she has ever known to work at Sweet Grove’s daycare. When someone steals her car, Deputy McIntyre comes to the rescue.

There’s an instant attraction between them, but they’re both broken on the inside. Her father is in prison for intoxicated manslaughter and she’s afraid that Brad won’t want to be with her because of it.

He’s thinking of leaving the only career he’s ever known but pretends that everything is fine. His desperate prayers seem to go unanswered.

When they start spending time together and their feelings for each other begin to grow stronger, things become even more complicated. When the truth comes out, will it pull them apart or will they find a second chance at love and in life together?

Buy the book on Amazon

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About the Author: Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes Christian romance. She has an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world. You can learn more about her at www.cindyfloresmartinez.com.

Follow Cindy: Facebook ~ Twitter

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Open Discussion – Historical Authors

Hey Diverse Reader Friends!

Hope you’re having an awesome weekend! I thought it would be fun to share our favorite historical authors (or two) who write ethnically diverse characters.

If you’re an author yourself, feel free to leave a link to one of your books. If you’d like us to feature it on our diverse book recommendation page, please contact us.

Me first: Piper Huguley


Post by Toni Shiloh

Book Review: Chances Are by Traci Hunter Abramson

~ About the Book ~

Maya Gupta is a survivor. After escaping an impending arranged marriage in India as a teenager, she has thrived in America. But now she faces her greatest challenge yet—cancer has invaded her life, and unless she finds a way to participate in a clinical trial in Washington, DC, this may be one battle she loses. When Maya’s best friend Kari offers Maya the lifeline of a place to stay—her brother’s currently vacant DC apartment—the young woman eagerly accepts and goes to meet her fate . . .

Ben Evans’s plans have changed, and he’s heading home for some much-needed rest and relaxation during his off-season in the major leagues. Upon arriving at his DC apartment, however, Ben is shocked to find Maya—his sister’s friend, who he hardly knows—in residence. He soon finds himself trapped between protecting his above-reproach reputation and searching for a way to help a woman he is coming to admire. When Maya’s fight to survive her disease becomes more complicated than ever, she and Ben scheme an extreme solution to her predicament that tests to what lengths they’re willing to go together to save Maya’s life.

AMAZON  //  GOODREADS

~ Excerpt ~

“Maya, I spoke with your father again today.” Dr. Schuster took a deep breath and blew it out as though trying to steel himself against the words he was about to say. “I’m sorry, but if you have no means of paying for your surgery, I don’t have any choice but to drop you from the trial.”
Maya didn’t try to fight back the tears that instantly sprang to her eyes. “Doctor, please. Please give me a little more time. I can come up with the money. I only need another week or so.”
Dr. Schuster sighed heavily. “I’ve already talked to the board, and they aren’t budging on this.” Before Maya could protest further, he added, “Since it’s the weekend, I can delay the paperwork, but if you can’t come up with some proof that you’ll be able to continue treatment after this trial by Monday morning, I’ll have to cancel your infusion.”
Maya lifted her hands to cover her mouth as she bit back a sob. Her mind raced with possibilities, but she knew that even if the credit card came through with a high limit, she would need at least one more to afford the additional living expenses to make it through an extra three months here.
Dr. Schuster clenched his teeth for a moment and then shook his head. “I’m sorry, Maya. I really am.”
“If I can’t come up with the money now, would I be able to get into the trial again in a few months?”
She sensed the doctor’s discomfort as he shook his head again. “If you were responding more quickly, I might be able to get you in, but the truth is that your cancer is probably more aggressive than we first thought for the results to be so slow. If you have to stop now, medically speaking your survival rate wouldn’t be high enough to readmit you to the trial.”
Tears continued to run freely down Maya’s cheeks, and she could no longer form words. The doctor put his hand on her shoulder and then took a step back. “I’ll check back on you in the morning. The nurse will be in to give you something for the pain in about an hour.”
Maya watched him make a quick exit and swiped at the tears on her cheeks. Sliding farther down in to the hospital bed, she curled up beneath the blankets, silently praying that somehow God would give her a glimmer of hope, some indication that her life might still have meaning.

~ Review ~

This is definitely a story that tugs at the heartstrings! Maya Gupta has a large tumour at the base of her skull, and her only hope of survival is treatment to reduce it to an operable size. Chemo and radiation have been unsuccessful, and the clinical trial in Washington DC is her last chance. But even that presents problems. She has no one who can stay with her during the treatment, the side effects of which are nausea, and extreme fatigue and muscle soreness. The one thing she does have going for her is the fact that her best friend’s brother doesn’t need his DC apartment, meaning she has somewhere to stay. Except… her best friend didn’t exactly get permission from her brother, and when he returns from LA much earlier than expected, suddenly Maya doesn’t even have accommodation anymore.

I confess there were a few times I begged Maya to just speak up for herself rather than trying to cope with everything by herself, but I could also understand how she would feel like she didn’t have the right (or the energy) to do so. For that reason, Ben nearly missed learning just how precarious Maya’s situation was, but once he knew, I loved watching the gentle growth of their relationship as he cared for her. And I can’t forget to mention Henry, hospital orderly of the year! What a gorgeous heart he had!

The challenges Ben and Maya face aren’t limited to the effects of Maya’s treatment. A desperate attempt to contact Maya’s family in India has unintended consequences and could see her deported, her financial situation is dire, and Ben’s growing popularity as a rookie in the major leagues makes it difficult to keep his relationship with Maya out of the public eye. And even if they manage to deal with all that and make it through the treatment, there’s no guarantee that the tumour will be reduced enough to operate safely.

The characters occasionally seemed a little too ‘nice’, and there was a tendency toward telling in some of the writing, but it was impossible not to get caught up in Maya’s story as she struggled to overcome the odds stacked against her.

~ About the Author ~

AuthorTraci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children’s teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first three Whitney Awards in 2013 (Code Word), 2014 (Deep Cover), and 2016 (Failsafe.) She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming.

Readers may wish to note that Ms. Abramson is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon), and the faith element in some of her novels is specific to that faith. There are no references specific to the LDS faith in “Chances Are.”


Review by Katie Donovan.