Let’s be informal now, okay??

I know… you’ve already read two posts from me today. But what’s a third? Either I post all the time or never. 😉 Enjoy it while you can. 😉


It’s release day today! To say that writing “Finding Christmas Joy” was stepping wayyyy out of my comfort zone is almost an understatement. I mean, it’s a super emotional girl whose engagement was just broken off. I’m not super emotional, and I’ve never been engaged. Oh, and this is the first time that I’ve written anything that even remotely hinted at something romantic. And, I’m so not a romantic! 😏Finding the humor yet? 😉 The initial idea flowed so very well… until my beta readers began saying they just couldn’t “feel” Melonie’s pain. Ugh. I had to go way above and beyond to make Melonie’s heart bleed realistically. But, if through that, it helps and encourages a reader, it is completely worth it! I’m truly excited for this new little story and humbled that once again, Jesus Christ gave me the inspiration and time to see another project to completion! By the way, for all of you raising your brows at snow in summer… it’s Christmas in July. My impatience couldn’t wait six more months to publish. 😉

In other writing news…
I’ve been working on “Protecting the Poor” again! I have been keeping my Instagram and FaceBook followers updated, but alas for my poor blog readers (sorry! It’s hard enough to keep up with those two :P). I do have a July writing update video though (which hopefully loads all right)!












It’s Here! Finding Christmas Joy (with a giveaway, of course)

Ahhh…. the day has finally arrived! “Finding Christmas Joy” is live for local and international readers alike!!! I’m super duper happy to share this little story with you all. Not only does it bring the joy of winter (which we’re all longing for in this summer heat), it also has such a special message that is near to my heart–that of true joy.

If you don’t know anything about the book… here’s the official blurb.

About the Book
Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so. With no plans beyond a Christmas escape, she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?
Available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DGKSWS5

Giveaway

And, because it’s me… and I love giveaways…

I’m giving away a copy of “Finding Christmas Joy” with one of my piano CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)

Finding Christmas Joy – release day!

It’s Christmas in July! Or, for some of us, it is. If you live in the south like I do, you’re more than ready to think of cold weather. And what better way to do it than to grab some sugar cookies and hot chocolate (trust me, after you read the story, you’ll be craving them!) and settle down for a winter read?

About the Book
Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so. With no plans beyond a Christmas escape, she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?
Available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DGKSWS5
Add to your Goodreads shelf:
Author’s Note
July heat causes many of us to yearn for the chill of Christmas—at least, if you’re like me and prefer coolness over heat (and if you live in the South, where humidity and heat combat for the highest number). Sure, Christmas may be far from our minds, but it will be here before we know it!
And when Christmas season comes around, there is just that “feeling in the air.” Christmas music plays in all of the stores, Christmas movies take center stage, and everything is decked in red and green. So often though, what does not take center stage is Jesus Christ—the One for Whom we even celebrate Christmas.
It was Christmas 2017 and I had watched a few Christmas movies. They all just missed the mark. It was the “joy of the season” and the “magic of the holiday” that provided the solution to their problems. As I was thinking about it, the idea for “Finding Christmas Joy” popped into my head. I wrote the entire rough draft in one sitting, not 100% sure where all God was going to lead this idea. Melonie’s struggle was influenced by some events from people in my life. It is definitely something different than I’ve ever written before, involving a girl who is in a relationship (or was).
Though not everyone is going through a break-up during the Christmas season, and though the solution to your struggle may not be salvation (if you’re already saved), I pray that the reminder that the true foundation of joy in Jesus is as much a blessing to you as it was to me.
Giveaway

I am giving away a copy of “Finding Christmas Joy” with one of my piano CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the
happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)
Blog Tour
July 28, 2018
July 30, 2018
July 31, 2018

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 7 of 7

Release day!!!!! I’ll be posting later on with a full post about a giveaway and other such stuff… but let’s finish out our excerpts first.

EXERPT 7/7
Patricia walked past two doors on the left of the upstairs hall. Her fingertips graced the railing opposite of the doors, overlooking the large family room. At the third door, she stopped. “Here you are, honey. You get the gold room.”
Gold was right. Melonie stepped into a tinsel-and-ornament festooned room. A small tree of deep green stood in the corner, its branches decked with gold and red ornaments, bringing a happy balance to the glitter that cheerfully spread around the four walls.
“Well! I’ll let you get settled,” Patricia said. “If you need anything, just holler ‘til you find me. Wander around. We don’t have any secrets here—except for the gifts. Don’t open anything wrapped.” She winked at Melonie and headed back down the stairs.
Melonie retrieved her suitcase and shut the door. She sank down onto the red-and-white quilted bedspread and looked around the room. Alone. No fiancé, no friends or family who would wrap their arms around her and mourn with her over the loss of her dreams—of her life. She grabbed a pillow from the bed and buried her face into its thick sham as she let the sobs release from her bleeding heart and tear through her throat.
(From “Finding Christmas Joy” by Amanda Tero;

Scripture Graphics #102

Now that I’ve reached 100… I’m going to have to relax my blogging a bit (as I mentioned in the spring). I haven’t been able to sit down and schedule my Scripture Graphics posts for a while. If you’re on Instagram or FaceBook, though, I usually post daily verses (when life is busy, I might skip a week then get back on it). Feel free to follow/friend me there. I’m very sad that I can’t keep it up right now, but maybe in the future I’ll get back on it? I loved sharing these and hearing your thoughts and what God had been doing in your life!!
So… the final Scripture Graphics post for right now…

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
We can either trust Jesus’ promise here, and accept His peace, or we can deny this truth and be fearful and afraid. Peace is there for us, but we have a choice in what to do with it.



Will we strive to be prudent and wise? To get and seek knowledge? We have the knowledge of God’s Word before us—but will we make the effort to apply it?


Share a verse!

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 6 of 7

EXCERPT 6/7
Melonie followed Patricia through the living room, only half-listening as her hostess chatted about Starlight Lodge’s plans for the week. The rooms passed in a flash of green, red, and gold. Melonie hoisted her suitcase higher and walked up the wooden steps, her elbow brushing against the garland that wrapped around the banister. Little red ornament balls hung tastefully from the greenery.
“It’s beautiful in here!” Melonie inserted when Patricia paused in her monologue.
“Why, thank you, dear.” Patricia twisted her head slightly toward Melonie and gave a genuine smile. “Decorating for Christmas is one of my most favorite things of the year. Richard set his foot down, and I can’t pull out any of the boxes until after Thanksgiving, which I’m fine with. I get all decked out for the fall too. But Christmas…” She gave a happy sigh as she walked up the last few steps. “Christmas is my season.”
Melonie had thought Christmas was her season too. Differences were always pushed aside for Christmas, wrongs made right. Holiday cheer hid all of the dirt and grime of daily living. At least, it was supposed to. She had been cheated of her joy this year.

(From “Finding Christmas Joy” by Amanda Tero;

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 5 of 7

EXCERPT 5/7

“Pardon the wait.” The woman’s white hair was fixed in a short perm, and she wore a red sweater and black pants with a pearl necklace and matching earrings. “I am Patricia Hayes. You must be Melonie?”

“Yes.” Melonie pasted a smile on and shook Patricia’s offered hand.

“We are delighted to have you here! And for the entire week! I hope you’re ready to have a lot of fun.”

Melonie nodded. Yes. Fun away from all that was familiar was exactly what she needed.

“Do you have your suitcase? Richard can give you a hand if you need it.”

“Oh, no, I can get it all. Give me just a minute.” She returned to her car and threw her duffle bag over her shoulder as she wheeled her suitcase toward Patricia, who was waiting for her with the door open.

“Come along, honey. Can you maneuver both of those up the stairs, or do you need to save one for a second trip—or I can find Richard?”

Melonie managed a carefree grin to assure the old lady. “No worries. I can get it.” She avoided the grandmotherly look of doubt Patricia gave her before turning to lead the way into the heart of the lodge.

(From “Finding Christmas Joy” by Amanda Tero;

More Than Meets the Eye | Book Review

This is my second book to read by Witemeyer and I enjoyed it just as immensely.

The orphan train in the beginning immediately gripped me. I loved this patchwork family—their diversities, their struggles, their secrets, and their needs. Then add Logan into the mix with his own problems, and I found a fantastic array of characters.

I thought the spiritual content was a decent balance. It strengthened more as the story progressed, and held a powerful punch at the climax. I appreciated that the characters weren’t perfect but had areas in which to grow spiritually—people to call them out and challenge them about how they’re following God.

The romance was believably progressed. Quite a few mentions of feelings and desires (noticing the brawn and handsomeness, the beauty and physical build), a few semi-detailed kisses, and, in the end, masked comments about marriage intimacy. I would recommend this content for girls 18+.

There was also a bit of violence in here with murders or attempted murders and descriptions to go with both. They fit the story, but some readers might want to be notified of such.

*I received this book from Bethany House and happily provided my honest review*

Purchase on Amazon

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 4 of 7

EXCERPT 4/7
She opened her door and her slick black boots crunched on the snow-encased rocks. Did one just arrive with their bags and claim their room? Or enter and sign in first? She hadn’t really read up on it—just chosen the closest Christmas lodge she could afford that wouldn’t leave her stranded too far from her job in case of a freak snowstorm. The boss had already grown impatient with the days she had been late because of sleepless nights. He wouldn’t take the excuse of a snowstorm delaying her return from vacation. Losing her job would be icing to top the cake for this year—and it sure wasn’t a tasty cake.
She grabbed her purse and walked to the front entrance. A bell announced her arrival as she pushed the door open. From somewhere in the depths of the house, she heard a cheery, “Hello! Welcome to Starlight Lodge! Give me just one moment.”
Melonie waited by a mahogany desk in the foyer, peeking at the next room. Garlands decked the support beams, candles rested on many of the surfaces, nearly hidden by sprigs of fresh greenery. A soft hum of Christmas piano music filled the room. She’d have to talk with Josh about—no. No Josh. She clenched her jaw as an elderly woman walked into the front room.
(From “Finding Christmas Joy” by Amanda Tero;

Finding Christmas Joy | Excerpt 3 of 7

EXCERPT 3/7
“You have arrived,” her GPS broke the silence. She punched it off and drove into the small parking lot to the left of the lodge. Only three other cars were lined up. Two of them were coated with snow, as if they hadn’t moved since the last snowstorm.
She turned off her car and stopped. This had been a whim of an idea, something she had never done before. She had thought she could survive Christmas just fine alone at home, but as the day neared, every shopping trip, every present—even her work—teemed with happy couples that reminded her that she was single. Single, when she was supposed to be married on New Year’s Day. She forced herself to breathe in. Out. In. Out again—in a mournful groan.
I can do this.She had to. This was her only escape.

(From “Finding Christmas Joy” by Amanda Tero;