Book Tour~The Marriage Bargain by Sandra Edwards~Character Interview

First, I’d like to thank Melissa at My Chaotic Ramblings for having me today. On this blog tour, I’m going to try a little something different and conduct interviews with my characters so you can learn a bit about them and their stories.
Today, I’m going to interview Julian de Laurent. He’s the hero of my contemporary romance The Marriage Bargain.
So, here we go….

SE: Julian, thanks for dropping by. Can you share a bit of your background with us?
JdL: Sure. I’m the firstborn child of Maurice and Naoma de Laurent. My mother died when I was five, and I’ve been groomed since birth to take control of the family business. I have a younger brother Andre, and a younger sister Lecie.
SE: Sounds like a lot to place on one person’s shoulders.
JdL: Oh, I’m used to that. But my father can be a handful at times.
SE: Is he not yet ready to fully turn over the reins?
JdL: No, he’s quite happy in his retirement. It gives him plenty of time to interject himself in other people’s affairs.
SE: Sounds like he needs a hobby.
JdL: I’m afraid he has one. Me.
SE: Care to elaborate?
JdL: He wants me to get married!
SE: Are you seeing anyone who’d fit the bill?
JdL: Oh, he’s got someone definite in mind, but I’m not interested in getting married. At least, not for real.
SE: Is there any other way?
JdL: You’d be surprised.
SE: Will your father get his wish?
JdL: Not if I can help it.
SE: From what I’ve heard about your father, he’s not going to rest until he sees you married.
JdL: I’m one step ahead of him.
SE: How so?
JdL: He wants me to marry Madeleine, but I’m going to make that an impossibility.
SE: Intriguing. You’re not going to kill her, are you?
JdL: No. (he mocks me) I’m not going to kill her.
SE: Well, there aren’t many ways to make getting married an impossibility.
JdL: It’s kind of hard to get married if you’re already married, now isn’t it?
SE: But you’re not married.
JdL: (laughs) not yet.
SE: You’re going to marry someone else so you can avoid marrying Madeleine?
JdL: That is the plan.
SE: How is that going to solve anything?
JdL: I’m going to hire someone to marry me temporarily.
SE: Are you sure that’s a good idea?
JdL: It’s better than getting married for real.
SE: Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. I hope you know what you’re doing.
JdL: Don’t worry, I’ve got it all figured out.
SE: If anybody can pull this off, it’ll be you.
JdL: You know it. Hey, look, this has been fun, but I’ve got to get going.
SE: Where are you off to in such a hurry?
JdL: America. I’m going to find me a bride!
###
On my next “guest post” stop on the tour, I’ll be interviewing Camille Chandler, the leading lady of The Marriage Bargain, so keep following the tour!

Thanks so much for stopping by Sandra! After reading this great interview, don’t forget to stop HERE and enter for your chance to win 4 of Sandra Edward Books in Print and a $100 Amazon Giftcard

Book Tour:THE LUMINARY BY ELLE J ROSSI Author Guest Post

The Luminary tour banner

Voodoo Dolls and Gargoyles
Elle J Rossi

Voodoo dolls and gargoyles… Two items on my Christmas list this year. Actually, they’re the only things on the list.

I want a voodoo doll for the simple reason of pretending to take down my enemies. So what if I really don’t have any true foes? It’s a good feeling to know that I’ll be ready, voodoo doll and needle in hand, should I ever cross paths with anyone unworthy.

Actually, I’ve been doing some research on voodoo in hopes of adding that element to a story I’ll be writing next year. There’s quite a bit more to it than what I had ever thought…

“Voodoo is not some kind of black magic cult. It’s the distillation of very profound religious ideas that came over during the tragic era of slavery.”
-Wade Davis

From religion, medicine and karma to spirits and healing to good and evil…The list goes on and on. To really get a feel for what voodoo is all about, I may have to take a trip to the contemporary voodoo hub—New Orleans! Who’s up for a road trip?

Gargoyles? Doesn’t everyone want one residing on the front patio? I’d love to have one of those unique and stunning creatures to stand guard and keep out all my enemies! Wow, somehow I got right back to enemies. I must sense something in the air. One never knows when an attack lurks on the horizon. I should probably get at least two gargoyles—massive ones with muscular legs, sharp claws and razor-sharp teeth. While I’m at it, I may as well get a dragon for the back yard. Children need protection too, right? Hmm…Maybe I’ll call the landscaper and have him dig a moat. Wait. Reality check. I don’t have a landscaper. This means I’d have to dig the moat myself. What to do? What to do? Okay, I’ll provide cocktails and pizza and y’all come over and help me. Don’t forget your shovels!

How about you? Got anything crazy on your wish list?

 

The Luminary Cover

When Meera Brennan learns she’s a Luminary, one of the most powerful witches in existence, it rocks her already fragile world. The revelation explains the disturbing episodes that made her question her sanity, but does little to soothe the sting of discovering her life is now at risk. To save herself and keep peace within the veiled community, Meera will have to hone her powers and brave an ancient realm to destroy the slayer’s magickal source. She alone must dispel chaos and ensure the balance of good and evil for all mankind.
Banished and stripped of his guardian powers because of a witch, Ghanem Adamo, former prince of the Saharren realm, receives a chance at redemption when his estranged father reveals an immortal battle destined to alter all realms. In order to protect the innocent, regain his title and reunite with his family, Ghanem must destroy the slayers’ source of power and bring down their terrorizing leader.
Her life . . .
Or his throne . . .
When the war against the slayers force Meera and Ghanem to work together, more than magickal sparks fly. Challenged by fate, can love survive a nefarious battle that can result in only one prize?

Buy Links:
Amazon

AUTHOR INFO:
Elle J Rossi photoElle J Rossi grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by great people, a huge family and more animals than she could count. But the sites and sounds of the world beckoned, so she left her small town to escape into a creative world full of music. As a full time singer she was able to lose herself in a thousand different songs in a hundred different places.
After meeting the love of her life and settling down, she yearned to find a new and fulfilling creative outlet. Overly fond of the happily ever after, she wondered what it would be like to have her own characters lead her down dark and twisted paths. The very first word on the very first page sealed her fate. She’d found a new love. She’d found her escape.
Now along with weaving haunting tales about the journey to love, she’s creating cover art for authors around the world and loving every second of it. For fun, she cranks country music to take her back to her roots, and sings karaoke anytime she gets a chance. Her husband, two children, and a cat that rules the roost keep her company along the way and guarantee she doesn’t get lost in the enchanted forest. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook

A Chance of Fate Book Tour: Author Guest Post

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Emleigh Walsh for stopping by and sharing this guest post with us!

Damn the Dam

I started writing for myself when I was very young.  I didn’t want to share my work for fear of rejection.  Besides these were my daydreams and fantasies; I didn’t want anyone else to know what was going on in my head.  So I kept all my ideas and writings to myself, locked away in a hidden lake inside my brain.  Of course, they couldn’t stay there forever.   What I didn’t know was that eventually the lake would get too full and the dam holding back the words would burst.  Everything would come spilling out and if it didn’t get contained quickly there would be an imminent flood.

Graduating from college was the catalyst that started the crack in my dam.  I didn’t go to college until I was 40.  I had a lot of things in my life that had always taken priority over the ever growing lake in my head.  It finally became time, however, to get that degree and in doing so the creative juices started flowing more and more.  As I neared the end of college, I started to feel the pressure…the pressure to write, to create, to do something with those ideas and words swimming around in my brain.

After graduation, I began putting words to paper.  It was amazing to see those visions only I had seen and to hear those voices only I had heard written down so now everyone could see and hear what I did.  I was still worried about rejection, but I got a lot of support from my family.  And then I found even more support from the stupendous writing groups I found on FaceBook.  I realized there were a lot of people like me learning how to swim in the waters of creativity.  Without those supporters I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have.  Without them I would have surely drowned by now; they have all been my life preserver.

The best advice I could give to any aspiring writer is to get support.  Support from friends, family, and writing buddies.  They can help you through dry spells (because yes, you will have them).  They can support you through the trials and tribulations of writing, be your reviewers and even be your thesaurus. They are your greatest fans and your harshest reviewers. And they will never let you down.   As your creative lake starts to overflow, find the right supporters and let it go.  Open up the dam and let the waters flow free!

And don’t forget about the giveaway going on for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an Autographed copy of A Chance of Fate, Mouse pad, and a coffee cup.

Make sure you stop by and Follow the tour!

What I Didn’t Know by Rhonda Shrock


Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother’s Day blog series – a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today’s best writer’s (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John, and more). I hope you’ll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother’s Day.

AND … do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/6-5/13 and the winner will on 5/14. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT Mother’s Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother’s Day!


What I Didn’t Know by Rhonda Shrock

I always knew I wanted to be a mother.  As a girl, I played house with my dollies, shushing them when they cried and kissing their plastic heads.

Looking back at that girl, I realize now that there was a lot she didn’t know.  This morning over my fresh-ground coffee, this mother of 22-1/2 years scratched out a list of 10 things she didn’t know then that she knows now.

1.  I didn’t know – how could I? - just how completely a tiny, helpless scrap of humanity can capture the heart and hold it forever.  From that first whooshing heartbeat and the first butterfly brushes, a mother’s heart is never again her own.  For all eternity, it enlarges, walking and pulsing and moving outside of her body; in my case, in the shape of a blue-eyed boy with rooster tails.  Times four.

2.  I didn’t know that the size of a mother’s heart is always changing, stretching to embrace each new baby that comes, then growing again to love their friends and then their own families.

3.  I never knew, as I changed my dolly’s dress, how many reasons there are to worry when you’re a mama.   Didn’t know about the nighttime vigils.  Didn’t know the anxiety of separation, the terror that floods when you turn around in the grocery store and they’re gone.  Didn’t know about the fear of the pond next door or the concern that pays for swimming lessons.  Didn’t know the thousand-and-one reasons that keep a mother awake, whispering prayers on her pillow in the dark.

4.  No one told me that loving so much means that you will hurt hard and keen;  that what pains your child hurts you even worse.  I didn’t know then that a playground taunt travels through that smaller heart and lands square in yours, stinging and burning like fire.  I didn’t know that motherhood makes lionesses of us all and that there’d be days I’d have to bite my tongue and pray to not sin.

5.  I didn’t know how exhausting it is, being a mother.  I didn’t know that it takes everything you’ve got and then some.  Didn’t know the bone-deep exhaustion; how it strips you bare and shows how selfish you can be, but, too, that you have more strength than you know.

6.  I didn’t know, playing house, how much joy mothers feel; joy so big that it makes up for the pain.  Just looking at those eyes and the curve of the cheek can make you so happy it hurts.  Watching them grow and find their talent and win at something…all the money in the world can never buy that kind of happiness.

7.  I didn’t know how making babies and raising them, how it binds you to their father.  I didn’t know the intimacy you feel when your eyes meet above those tousled heads, and your smiles say, “Just look at what we’ve done.”

8.  That girl in the homemade dress, she didn’t know that letting go is one of the hardest things a grown-up mama will ever do.  Rocking those babies in that small rocking chair, she didn’t really know that babies grow up and walk away and there goes your heart, out into the big, wide world.  No one told her that part.

9.  I had no idea how rewarding it is, being a mother.  How the happiness that comes from boy kisses and awkward hugs can’t be bought or sold.  How proud you feel when you see what they’re growing up to be and that all the planting and pruning and watering and feeding is finally making fruit!

10.  I didn’t know how much my babies would enrich my spiritual life or how they would change the way I pray.  I didn’t realize they would lead me to a deeper dependence on the Heavenly Father or how I much I would need His wisdom to raise them aright.

These are things I didn’t know before I was a mother.  But I know them now.  Oh, how I know them now!  And I’d do it all again.

###
Rhonda Schrock lives in Northern Indiana with her husband and 4 sons, ages 22, 18, 13, and 5. By day, she is a telecommuting medical transcriptionist. In the early morning hours, she flees to a local coffee shop where she pens “Grounds for Insanity,” a weekly column that appears in The Goshen News. She is an occasional guest columnist in The Hutch News.  She’s also blogged professionally for her son’s school of choice, Bethel College, in addition to humor and parenting blogs, and maintains her personal blog, “The Natives are Getting Restless.” She is a writer and editor for the magazine, “Cooking & Such:  Adventures in Plain Living.”  She survives and thrives on prayer, mochas, and books.  

Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies and Iridescent Faith will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls Facebook Page (and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!

He Will Walk With You by Carey Bailey


Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother’s Day blog series – a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today’s best writer’s (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John, and more). I hope you’ll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother’s Day.

AND … do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/6-5/13 and the winner will on 5/14. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT Mother’s Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother’s Day!


He Will Walk With You by Carey Bailey

As a little girl, I loved baby dolls. Loved them! I played school, adoption agency, daycare operator and babysitter all day. I felt like I was born to be a mama. Therefore, I was a bit anxious when the ages, 22, 25, 28 and 32 came and went and there were no babies. Have you ever desired something so much and feared never getting it? That was me.

My day finally came at the age of 34. I soon realized that God knew what He was doing when He had me wait. To my shock, it wasn’t as easy as playing with dolls. I was surprised that it wasn’t the dream world I imagined it would be! I felt like life became a gigantic prayer.

“God, HELP me!”

“Please, God. Please, please, please make it all better. I can’t do this!”

“God, this feels impossible. Where are you?”

While I adore motherhood, it is harder and there are more adjustments than I expected. (I am hoping there are some nodding of heads and Amen’s being said out there in cyberworld.) Not only did I have a new life to care for, but my identity suddenly felt all scrambled up. It took me until my son was one to finally feel confident in my new role as a mother, confident that I could drop my child off at preschool without crying, confident that I could go out with the girls’ and the world wouldn’t fall apart, and confident that I could go on a date night and have conversations that didn’t revolve just around our son.

I was feeling settled in my new world and then WHAM! I discovered I was pregnant again. Can I be vulnerable with you? I actually cried when I found out. And they were not tears of joy. I feel awful saying that out loud, and I hope you will give me a moment to explain. It was not that I didn’t want another baby or feel like I couldn’t love a new life, it was just that I got scared. Discovering a little person was on the way sent a panic through me. Would my son still receive the love and attention that he deserved? How was my husband going to feel about my body changing again? Would I ever be able to pursue the vision I felt God had for me in writing and publishing? I was truly wondering if I was going to be able to handle another intense wave of identity crisis like the one I had just been through. I wasn’t sure.

God and I needed a serious talk. And in that conversation He carefully reminded me of this:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

He reminded me in our time together that I, too, am His child and He has every intention of loving me, caring for me, and giving me the future that He has planned for me.

As mothers, we can get so caught up in parenting that we forget that we, too, have a spiritual parent who loves us as His child. He loves you as much as He loves the children He has given you. He will never forsake you.  And on those days when motherhood seems too overwhelming and too impossible I step back and take a deep breath. Then I remember that this journey I am on, right now, is the one He has designed and create uniquely for me. I simply need to live in it, learn from it, and allow His love to sweep over and through me.

He will walk with me! He will walk with you! Grab His hand.

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Carey Bailey is a recovering perfectionist, wife, proud mama, and the Family Life Director for her church in Arizona. She hosts an online community for moms called Cravings: desiring God in the midst of motherhood where she strives to make God time easier. Not less meaningful, just easier. She is the author of Cravings {The Devotional} which is a set of forty devotional flashcards for the mama on the go. Visit Carey online blog: www.cravingstheblog.blogspot.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CravingsOnline and Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/careycbailey/

Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies and Iridescent Faith will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls Facebook Page (and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!

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