Author Interview with Alexa Verde + Giveaway

Happy Monday, Friends!

I’m excited to talk to Alexa Verde today about her latest book, Love Me. It’s set in the awesome fictional town of Chapel Cove, Oregon, “where life begins at forty.” Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us.


About the Book

Welcome to Chapel Cove, Oregon, where life begins at forty.

The biggest disaster of her life or the beginning of something wonderful?

Growing up, Kristina Vela never imagined she’d meet her fortieth birthday divorced by her cheating, manipulative husband, and without a house, degree, or career. Back in her hometown, Chapel Cove, to start anew, she’s given up on men. Then she meets grieving widower Greg Matthews and his adorable five-year-old daughter and helps them renovate a house. Just when Kristina feels she can love again, her ex gives her an ultimatum. Can she choose between her own happiness and Greg’s?

Former snowboarder Greg Matthews is moving to Chapel Cove so his daughter can be close to her grandparents. After his wife died, his heart closed to romance. As caring and compassionate Kristina helps him repair his house and his life, he might be falling for her. But if she decides to leave, will he survive a second heartbreak?

Amazon, Goodreads


The Interview

Toni: Welcome, Alexa! I’m so excited to talk about your latest release, Love Me. Let’s talk about your heroine, Kristina Vela, first. What would her dream job be and why?

Alexa: Happy to be here, Toni, and thank you so much for inviting me!

It takes a while for Kristina to find her dream job because for many years she dedicates herself to raising her twins and taking care of her rather demanding husband. When he leaves her and she finds herself starting over at forty, she recalls the dreams she had in childhood and decides to become an interior designer. Growing up in a dilapidated house, she wants to help people make their homes beautiful and full of life, laughter, and happiness.

Toni: I always thought being an interior designer would be cool. How does her ethnicity influence her background and/or the story?

Alexa: Kristina is a Latina and cooking delicious Mexican food is partly how she remembers good parts of her childhood (not so good part was constant arguments between her parents and her mother’s complaints). Coming back to her roots is an important part of Kristina’s spiritual growth. This is how she returns on the path to the person God wanted her to be. Her ex-husband didn’t like her to listen to Tejano music or use Spanish words, and it was one of many ways of him controlling her, but now she can listen to the music she likes, pursue the career she wants, or talk in Spanish to her brother or cousin to her heart’s content. She speaks Spanish fluently and can make great fajitas and tacos!

Toni: You’re making me hungry! 🙂 How does your own ethnicity influence your writing?

Alexa: I’d say rather my nationality influences my writing because I try to incorporate pieces of my Eastern European culture in many of my books. In real life, I’m a blue-eyed blonde living in south Texas, so I stand out like a sore thumb even before I open my mouth (I have a strong accent). But I found Hispanic community as friendly and hospitable as the warm and sunshine weather here. Many of my characters are Hispanic, and I learned to speak Spanish and even got a degree in it. I decided to be grateful to God for creating me just the way I am. Yes, it’s difficult to be different when we have that deep-rooted desire to belong, but God made us diverse for a reason and we should embrace it.

Toni: Amen! One of the things I loved about this story was the age difference. What made you have Kristina be older than Greg?

Alexa: After verbal and emotional abuse from her husband, she feels insecure and unsure of herself. The large age difference with the man she’s now falling for only adds to this internal conflict. However, the age difference doesn’t bother the hero in the least. I wanted to show that when it comes to love and affection, it’s really not about the age, social status, or appearance. It’s the heart that matters. Kristina has a wonderful, loving heart that was hurting for a long time. In the end, she is the right person not only for the hero, but also for his little daughter, Chelsea.

Toni: Aw! What would your characters eat for breakfast and why?

Alexa: That would be a tough choice between chocolate-filled brioches and tacos. Kristina loves anything chocolate (I wonder where did she get that from?), as well as fish tacos, beef tacos, chicken tacos, okay, you get the idea. Of course, she’d never make fish tacos now because Chelsea is allergic to shellfish.

Toni: I approve of tacos! 🙂 How long does it take you to write a novel start to finish, including editing process?

Alexa: It can be from a month to a year. A lot depends on how much time I have to write!

Toni: That makes sense. And last but not least, how can readers help you on your writing journey?

Alexa: I love this question! Readers’ support means so much to me, and it also help other readers find Christian books they might enjoy. Here are some ways that would help tremendously:

– writing a review (even several words count!)

– recommending books on BookBub, GoodReads, social media, and/or in person (the word of mouth matters so much!)

– mentioning the book in readers’ group on social media

– following us on Amazon

– commenting on author’s posts to make them more visible and sharing the posts

– participating in giveaways

– subscribing to the newsletter and forwarding it to friends

– just sending me an email saying they enjoyed my books.

It keeps us authors going. Besides, publishing is extremely competitive these days, and support for books is needed like air! I want to say heartfelt thanks to many of my wonderful readers who are already doing many of those things. I love you.

Toni: Those are great tips! Readers, do you have any questions for Alexa?


About the Author

Alexa Verde writes stories of love, faith, and mystery to warm your heart. She’d love it if you subscribed to her newsletter (every subscriber gets a free Christian romance after confirming the subscription as a thank-you gift). She penned her first literary masterpiece, a rhymed poem, at the ripe age of eight, and since has had twenty books and 200 short stories, articles, and poems published in the five languages that she speaks. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish, a master’s in Russian, and enjoys writing about characters with diverse cultures. She’s worn the hats of reporter, teacher, translator, model (even one day counts!), caretaker, and secretary, but thinks that the writer’s hat suits her the best. After traveling the world and living in both hemispheres, she calls a small town in south Texas home. The latter is an inspiration for the fictional setting of her popular series Rios Azules Christmas and Secrets of Rios Azules.

She hopes and prays that her stories will bring joy to her readers. Heartfelt thanks for interest in her books!

Follow: Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub


Giveaway

Alexa Verde is kindly offering a $5 Amazon gift card to one randomly chosen commenter of this post. You have until May 13th, 9 p.m. CDT to comment. The giveaway is open to people with  an www.amazon.com account.
To enter, answer the question: What would you most likely eat for breakfast?
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Book Review: It’s Like That

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had a great week and an awesome weekend plan. Before you jump into your weekend reading, check out our contributor, Toni Shiloh’s thoughts on It’s Like That. Now’s definitely a good time to add to your TBR pile!

Let’s get started!


About the Book

After suffering a tragic loss ten years ago, twenty-six-year-old Jasmine Richardson has traded her love of lyrics for writing legal briefs. It only takes one encounter with the microphone for Jasmine to realize the music is still in her heart—if only it could pay the bills. After making some bad decisions, Jasmine is thrown into a tailspin. She is forced to consider taking a case that could make her legal career from someone from her past. Suddenly, Jasmine finds herself questioning her future. When the music is still in your heart, sometimes life forces you to make some tough decisions. Sometimes…it’s like that.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

This book has it all. Romance. Mystery/Suspense. Family drama. Etc.

I loved Ms. Splond’s writing voice. It hooked me in and kept me turning the pages. I also liked the story premise. How many of us have wavered between choosing a job that pays the bills versus following your dreams? And that’s essentially what the book is about and what Jasmine has to decide.

With some great secondary characters and a come-to-Jesus moment, It’s All That will entertain you from beginning to end.


About the Author

Chandra Sparks Splond is an editor, speaker and award-winning author and blogger. Her young adult novel Make It Work was named Alabama’s Great Read 2017,  Spin It Like That was chosen as a Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and The Pledge was a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Black Pearls Magazine honored Splond as a Legends & Leaders for 2017 for her blog, Book of Splond (formerly known as Magic City Momma).

Splond is the owner of West End Publishing, LLC, and Live Life Creations, a personalized gift and party boutique. In addition to working for Kensington Publishing as the consulting editor for Arabesque romance, Splond has also done work for Random House, Moody Publishers, Kimani Press (formerly known as BET Books), and Hyperion. She has edited books for several New York Times, USA Todayand Essence bestselling authors. Splond has interviewed New York Times bestselling authors Karen Kingsbury, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Eric Jerome Dickey and actress Meagan Good. She has also worked for Good Housekeeping, Black and Married with Kids, Brides Noir, Weddingpages, Newsday, The Morning Call and Romantic Times. 

Of all the titles she has held, Splond’s most important remain child of God, wife and mommy. Splond graduated from Ramsay High School in Birmingham, Alabama and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa with a degree in journalism. She received her master of science in education degree with a focus on instructional design and technology from Samford University. Splond is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and resides in Birmingham with her family. They are members of Forty-fifth Street Baptist Church.

Follow: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Book Review: The Winter Reunion

Happy Friday and Happy 1st of March!

I hope that this year is treating you right. And I hope you are seeing signs of warmer weather to come. As I type this post, I’m eyeing the possible snow coming out way. Good thing I have books to read! 😉

If you need something to read and it is still a winter wonderland, might I recommend Rhonda McKnight’s The Winter Reunion. It’s sure to entertain you.


About the Book

Everyone knows the woman in the “viral” video that hit two million views on YouTube. Humiliated, Tamar Johnson changed her name and disappeared behind the embarrassing video that captured her losing her virginity on prom night. But who was the guy?

NFL Running Back Stephen Pierce is football’s darling. He’s spent his entire career doing community service work with at-risk kids, and endeared fans as a devoted Christian, even claiming celibacy. It’s time for his high school reunion. Stephen is determined to get his EX, Tamar, to come out of hiding, even going as far as posting their prom picture on Instagram in hopes that she would accept the challenge to show up.

Tamar isn’t interested in the reunion, but her boss is. She writes for a small magazine. Stephen Pierce is a BIG story.
With reunion activity in full swing, the tension between Tamar and Stephen reaches an unbearable level. Before it’s over will the world find out who the real Stephen Pierce is? And will Tamar survive spending time with the only man who’s ever had her heart?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

This book has a really interesting premise. I wasn’t sure how Tamar would be able to overcome the pain of her past and the man who caused it. I liked how Ms. McKnight threaded the faith through the story line and showed us the power of God and forgiveness.

I also really enjoyed the reunion aspect of the book. They are one of my favorite tropes to read so I enjoyed seeing how Ms. McKnight put her spin on it. All in all an enjoyable read to pass my winter reading time with.


About the Author

Rhonda McKnight is the author of several award-winning novels and Black Expressions Top 20 bestsellers, including An Inconvenient Friend, What Kind of Fool and Breaking All The Rules. She is the winner of the 2015 Emma Award for Inspirational Romance of the Year. She was also a 2010 nominee for the African-American Literary Award. Rhonda writes edgy stories that touch the heart of women. The themes of faith, forgiveness and hope mark her stories.

Rhonda has done free-lance work as a developmental editor and writing coach for the past seven years. She’s also the founder of the Write It Right Online Fiction Writer’s Workshop. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for nineteen years. She can be reached at her website at www.RhondaMcKnight.net and at www.BlackChristianReads.com.

Follow: Facebook, Twitter


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Open Discussion: What Would You Like More of?

Happy Saturday, Friends!

I know it’s been awhile since we’ve had a open discussion. Hopefully we’ll have more as we get back into the groove of blogging after our wonderful Christmas break.

Today’s question/discussion is pretty simple. What would you like to see more of in diverse fiction? The world’s your oyster so share in the comments!

 

Book Spotlight: Diverse Christmas Books

Happy Wednesday!

We at Diversity are getting in the Christmas spirit around here! And what better way to do that by diving into some Christmas stories. So today, we’re spotlighting as many diverse Christmas books as we could find.

Happy Reading!


Holiday Town by Jenn Faulk

It’s Christmas in Namibia, and the season is full of drama, love, and faith in the holiday town of Swakopmund.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Follow: Facebook


If You’re With Me by Kim Cash Tate

From the Promises of God Series – Read after Book 2: IF I BELIEVE.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Follow: Facebook


Love, Laughter, and Luminarias by Jaycee Weaver

He has his books. She has her fandoms. They’ve always had their friendship. Could Christmas projects, snowball fights, and local traditions spark feelings neither knew were there?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Follow: Facebook


A Merry Navidad novella collection

4 Latino Christmas novellas – each story with a set of traditional Latino Christmas recipes

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Follow: Kathi Macias, Allison. K. Garcia, Linda K. Rodante, Cynthia Marcano


Missing the Gift by Traci Wooden-Carlisle

Her life depends on her ability to hide her identity.
Loving him may cost her everything.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Follow: Facebook


Santa’s Secret by Linda Leigh Hargrove

During the most wonderful time of the year, Chelsea Parker is struggling to find some Christmas spirit.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Follow: Facebook


A Sidelined Christmas by Toni Shiloh

Will Jahleel and Bebe take a chance on love or let life sidelined them at Christmas?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Follow: Facebook


The Winter Reunion by Rhonda McKnight

Everyone knows the woman in the “viral” video that hit two million views on YouTube.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Follow: Facebook

Book Review: Chances Are…

Happy Friday and last day of November!

If you’re trying to finish your reading goals before the end of the year and need a book suggestion, I’ve got one! Check out Traci Wooden-Carlisle’s Chances Are…


About the Book

It took a 15-second play to bring his career to a halt for the season.
It only took one second for her to bring his heart to a stop.

A bone shattering hit sidelines Antoni Cahill from his top spot as the Scranton Sparrows top-rated kicker, but he is dealt a crushing blow with the news of his grandfather’s passing. To keep his grandmother happy Tony helps her relocate to her childhood town of Chance, VA. His growing suspicion of her true physical health causes him to seek out a nurse/companion for her while he’s away. The woman standing on their doorstep may be exactly what the doctor ordered for his grandmother, but she takes his breath away.

For Meagan Rowe, Sweet Grove has been a place of refuge after the death of her twin brother. For years her decision to become a nurse practitioner was the only one that made sense, both to her heart and the financial preservation of her family. Her budding career and most recent client brings her face-to-face with the extremely handsome yet adorably awkward football star.

It could be a match made in heaven if she wasn’t forced to keep his grandmother’s true health a secret or if his foundation hadn’t failed to help her family in their most desperate time of need.

***Formerly ‘Love’s Bittersweet Beginning’ but with extended alternate ending***

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

This was my first read of Ms. Wooden-Carlisle and it certainly won’t be my last. I picked this read up for a few reasons.

1) the cover. I’m a cover snob. I admit it and don’t feel any shame for it.
2) The hero is a football player. As an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, I had to know what this tale would be about.
3) I had never read this author before. I like trying new authors because I never know when I’ll find one who will enter my always read list.

I was happy that the cover didn’t fail me and revealed a wonderful story within. And football, yes there were football parts but it was not about that alone. And yes, I’ll be reading this author again.


About the Author

Traci Wooden-Carlisle began writing poetry and short stories as soon as she was able to form words on paper. She used that to create worlds, as well as, to communicate with God. A native of Los Angeles, California, she grew up attending United Methodist Church under the leadership of a pastor whose heart was for youth. Once she finished college at she found herself at a loss. She felt caught in the transition between childhood and adulthood. She surrounded herself with saints and volunteered her services as a graphic artist. Through the early-morning prayer, all night Friday prayer and 3-day shut-ins she started on her journey toward her most desired gift, an intimate relationship with God.

She enjoys writing stories that provoke thought and evoke emotions that draw readers into the lives of her characters. The messages in her books speak to her way before they speak to her readers.

Today, Mrs. Wooden-Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband, David Carlisle. When she isn’t writing she assists people with their physical fitness, creates graphics and designs jewelry and swag for authors.

Follow: Website, Facebook, Twitter


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Spotlight: Santa’s Secret

Happy Wednesday, Reader Friends!

I hope you’re in the Christmas spirit because I have a great book spotlight for you today: Santa’s Secret by Linda Leigh Hargrove.


About the Book

During the most wonderful time of the year, Chelsea Parker is struggling to find some Christmas spirit. Mistletoe and ‘Ho Ho Ho’ remind her of the man who left her at the altar two years earlier.

Can charming and successful Marc Waterman, the town’s newest businessman, help Chelsea heal from past hurts and find a way to love again? Or does he have too many secrets himself?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


About the Author

Linda Leigh Hargrove blends suspense, humor, and faith into compelling stories about race and class in America. Her writings include three novels, two romance novellas, and two works of nonfiction.

Linda has taught workshops on fiction writing to adults and teens. To further help would-be writers realize their dreams of publication, she plans to launch “TheFaithToWrite.com” in Spring 2018.

She is a native of Washington County, North Carolina and currently resides near Charlotte with her husband and three sons. Connect with Linda on your favorite social media platforms.

Follow: Website, Facebook, Twitter


Post written by contributor Toni Shiloh

Diverse Christian Fiction Sale

Happy Thursday, Reader Friends!

We’re switching up things a little bit this week. Instead of bringing you your typical book spotlight on a Wednesday, we’re sharing some info about a Diverse Christian Fiction Sale happening from November 1st through the 5th. All the books will be FREE or 99¢ during the sale.

Happy Reading!

Click image to be taken to promo page

Book Spotlight: Deck the Shelves

Happy Wednesday, Reader Friends!

We have a new book spotlight for you here at Diversity Between the Pages. We’re spotlighting Toni Shiloh’s Deck the Shelves which can be found in the boxset collection, Comfort & Joy. 

Happy Reading!


About the Book

Kendall Jackson is the proud owner of Heartfalls’ bookstore, The Cozy Shelf. Her life is one straight out of the pages, except she’s missing that leading man. Although she has a crush on the handsome auto mechanic, Quinton Hendricks, Kendall wants an old-fashioned type of romance—the stuff swoon-worthy romance books are made of. But Quinton seems to need a little prodding.

Something about Kendall sparks hope in Quinton Hendricks that love could be his again. Only being abandoned by his ex-wife has made him cautious to the point of non-moving.

Can two people hesitant on second chances find love as they Deck the Shelves?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads novella, Goodreads collection


About the Author

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian contemporary romance author. Once she understood the powerful saving grace, thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. You can find her at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.

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Posted by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Spotlight: Redeeming Honor

Happy Hump Day, Reader Friends!

Thanks for stopping by Diversity Between the Pages! We’re committed to bringing you ethnically diverse reads so I’m excited for today’s book spotlight, Redeeming Honor. Written by E. A. West, this diverse read was published in 2017. Be sure to add it to your ever growing TBR pile!


About the Book

The Blurb: “Meghan Carpenter loves God, her yarn business, and her twin brother Ryan—a former marine who currently lives with her. When she agrees to let his wounded buddy live with them on her small Indiana alpaca farm, she expects an American marine. What she gets is a former Afghan interpreter who’s painfully shy around women. Scarred from the war, both physically and emotionally, Basir Hamidi is grateful for a place to live. But his attraction to Meghan is a problem. With his honor destroyed by events in his homeland, and nothing to offer her but his broken, scarred self, he vows to avoid her and protect her reputation. Yet he is drawn to her with a strength that can only be God’s leading. For a man who has lost everything, letting go of the past is a difficult process. When he must also redeem his honor, his only chance of success is to rely on God.”

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


About the Author

Award-winning author E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

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