Jaded: A Book Review

When I had the opportunity to read Jaded by Varina Denman and review it on my blog, I was very excited at the prospect. I love helping new authors, but I was also very interested in reading the book. It deals with a sensitive subject matter, especially for those who write for the Christian market. The concept of us against the church. I was anxious to see how Varina handled the situations and the lessons learned.

Ruthie can remember exactly when she and her mother stopped going to church, but she didn’t know what happened. The circumstances surrounding their break with the church are eventually revealed along with secrets that have been kept for many, many years.

The first thing that stands out in this novel is the author’s understanding of small town life.  All of the relationships, the intertwining lives, secrets kept and held, gossip, and general slow-paced bustle that can only happen in tiny rural towns.

I enjoyed the characters, how they dealt with one another, the histories they shared and how they coped with it each and every day. That’s not to say that all of the characters are lovable. But isn’t that the way of life?

All in all, the book was an easy read. I found the pages flying by as the story of Ruthie, her mother and father, and all that happened all those years ago was revealed.

Yet Jaded is more than that. It’s the tale of the new preacher coming to town, a little unsure of his talents and a lot unsure of how he fits into the church/town dynamic. It’s the tale of a convicted felon, recently released from prison, coming back for a second chance. But more than anything, it’s about understanding and trust.

With such well-defined and well-developed characters and a touching tale of love, forgiveness, and second chances, Jaded is a story for everyone. I loved every word.

Here’s a little bit about Jaded and Varina Denman.

jadedAs a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local cooperative, and is a home educator to her five children. She resides with her family in North Texas. This is her first novel.

Get your copy of Jaded on AMAZON and B&N

Cover Reveal

Here it is! The fabulous cover for my new contemporary romantic comedy, Southern Hospitality! This is an Amie Louellen book  and is  rated A. For more info on Southern Hospitality read the blurb HERE. And  coming up in the next two weeks, the fabulous book  video as well as a sneak peek  at Malcolm and Roxanne. Thanks for reading!

Southern Hospitality

amatory

It’s a BLOG RELAY!

Welcome to my Blog Relay. I’m so glad you’re here today. I thought it would be great fun to share with you one of my favorite scenes from my latest book, Courting Emily.

Now, Emily is the bishop’s daughter, a good girl who does her best to always do the right thing. But when Luke, her life-long love, leaves their home in Wells Landing to drive racecars in the English world, Emily is torn between the world she has always known and the man she always thought she would marry.

blog relay 1 (1)Then Elam steps in, using Luke’s absence to show Emily how much he cares about her. And…well, that’s all I can say about that for now. For those of you who haven’t read the book, I can’t give away all the surprises.

The scene you are about to read occurs after Emily has started going to Elam’s house to help take care of his father. Elam is prideful and hates having to have help for his family, even as deep down, he knows how badly they need it. Add in his secret feelings for Emily, and he’s barely accepting of all these changes in his life.

For now, sit back and enjoy this little glimpse into Courting Emily. There are ten blogs in all, including this one. They are all linked so never fear, as long as you click on the link at  the bottom of each site, you’ll stay  in order. Don’t forget to leave a comment on each blog to be entered into the drawing for the purple themed basket. Also, while you’re out and about, I’m sure the bloggers would appreciate it if you took a moment to check out their sites. Who knows? You might find a great new site to join.

Thanks for reading!

Amy

We’re starting off the relay with Ida Davis. Check out her site: Idasbooks.blogspot.com

Let the relay begin!

Why purple?

How do you like my new purple website? I’m loving it! Purple has always been one of my favorite colors. My high school colors were purple and gold–Go Bears!– and purple is just a great color.

But the color isn’t the only thing I changed. I consolidated a bit, moved my contemporary books over to share the same space with my Amish and other inspirational novels. It makes things easier on me in that I don’t have to keep up two separate websites. As of right now, I may host a few visitors on my Amie Louellen site, but most everything will be right here in one convenient place.

purple blog 2There are a few other changes that I’ve made. I’m instituting a new rating system which will help readers know the sensuality and spirituality content of the book. Since I write all over the place, this genre and that, it’ll help everyone know which books are about what. See, that’s what happens when you have a crazy, chatty muse like I do. It’s good in that I never run out of ideas, but ‘bad’ in I never know where those ideas are going to land.

Be sure to check out the For Readers tab; there are recipes and other fun stuff lurking there. And the All Things Amish tab which will lead you to…well, all things Amish.

But lastly, I made my blog purple in honor of Fibromyalgia Awareness. I’ve never really talked openly about my battle with FMS, figuring that no one really wants to hear about my problems. But then I heard Robin Roberts speak. For those of you who don’t know, she’s a newscaster on the Today Show. Robin has been battling cancer and since her treatment is now fighting off a rare bone marrow disease. She has an unbeatable spirit and such a positive attitude that it is simply mind boggling. In this interview she shared her mother’s advice: Make your mess your message. We all have troubles and issues, things, diseases and difficulties that cause us to feel like less than we want. And we should share these with each other to help one another get through. We may be suffering, but we are not suffering alone.

So that’s my mess–fibro with a couple of autoimmunes thrown in just to keep things interesting. I do my best to not get down about the things I can’t do and concentrate on the things that I still can. I can write books, share my stories with you, and still get around better than most. And I plan on writing these stories for a long time to come.

Speaking of which, the color purple has a prominent place in my soon to be released, Courting Emily. So be on the watch for giveaways of purple prizes, purple recipes and other purple things.

Just remember, Purple is as Purple does.

Amish Quilt Giveaway

 

I’m SO EXCITED to tell you about the latest  giveaway–an Amish made quilt! And this quilt is totally special because the fabric my Amish friend is going to use to make it will be supplied by you, the readers.

How do you get in on this great idea, you ask? Just send a 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 square of fabric to Stacey Barbalace 3751 Proctor Lane Baltimore, MD 21236. Each square sent will be incorporated into the quilt. Only one square per person.

We’re collecting fabric, then taking it to Pennsylvania to have the quilt made. Because of this, the exact date of the actual giveaway has not been decided. But there is one definite date you need to mark on your calendar. And that date is January 24th. Your fabric needs to be received before that date in order to be included in the quilt. Fabric received after that date will not be used and cannot be returned to the sender, so get your fabric in quick. And don’t forget to check on the quilt’s progress as well as fabric updates and other Amish tidbits by joining my Facebook group dedicated to the quilt giveaway. https://www.facebook.com/groups/824715970905343/

There’s one more very important fact to remember. Before you send your fabric be sure to take a picture of it. Hold onto the pic for now. Soon I’ll tell you what to do with it. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Amy

quilt

Complete details can be found under the CONTEST tab here on my website.  http://amywritesromance.com/contest/the-amish-quilt-giveaway/

 

Release Day!

I’m so happy to announce that today is the release day for not one, but two of my books!

BG dual meme

Welcome to Loveless, Texas, a small town in the Hill Country. Like most small towns, everyone pretty much knows everybody and word gets around fast. So it’s no surprise when Bethie Grace McGee comes back  to town that everyone knows. Everyone including JD Carmichael, her first love.

JD and Bethie Grace once had everything a young couple needs: each other. But Fate stepped in and tore them apart. Fifteen years have passed…can they rekindle the love they shared or will today’s commitments and yesterday’s mistakes keep them from their second chance?

I know this is a different sort of concept, but I decided to put out two versions of the story. Take Me Back To Texas is an inspirational tale. There is no sex, no bad language, and faith plays a key role.

Welcome Home, Bethie McGee is the  ‘sexy’ version of the story. My goal was to make a tasteful, contemporary romance. (No 50 shades here.) There is very mild language and the characters still attend church. I mean, after all, this is small town Texas.

Can’t decide which one to read? Buy one and I’ll send you a coupon to get the other one for 99¢. Can’t beat that deal! That’s two full length stories for $4! Just send me a copy of your receipt for the story and I’ll forward you the coupon.

Thanks to you all for reading and I hope you enjoy JD and Bethie Grace’s story!

Amy