Recap December 2017

As we bid a fond farewell to December and welcome in January; Let us take a brief pause to take a look back at the book fun we enjoyed in December.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

IfNotForTheeIf Not For Thee

The House on Foster HillThe House on Foster Hill

CountMeInCount Me In

Whither Shall I GoWhither Shall I Go?

AWreathOfSnowA Wreath of Snow

MotherForHisFamily  A Mother for His Family

HisForgottenFianceeHis Forgotten Fiancee

AMatchOfSortsA Match of Sorts

WrappedInRedWrapped In Red

MHBinNiagraFallsNY  My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York

ALawmanForChristmas  A Lawman for Christmas

Author Interview:

MikalDawn  Mikal Dawn

Cover Reveals:

AmongstTheRosesAmongst the Roses

A+Tale+of+Two+Hearts+cover  A Tale of Two Hearts

I’d love to hear from you:

Did you have a favorite book from December? What book are you most looking forward to reading?

I will be unveiling a new site logo in January and offering a giveaway. Be sure to follow my blog so you don’t miss out!

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Author Interview & Giveaway with Mikal Dawn “Count Me In”

To say I’m excited to have Mikal Dawn on the blog today is a serious understatement (excuse me a moment while I gush and go fan-girl here)!!  I “met” Mikal on Facebook through mutual bookish friends, and while I’ve not yet had the pleasure to hang out with Mikal in person, I’m fairly confident, that we’d have a blast! I recently read her debut novel “Count Me In” and I was swept away on a euphoria of words (see my review here). This is such a super fun story, I couldn’t put it down! If you haven’t yet meet Mikal or read “Count Me In”, this is your golden opportunity!

MikalDawn  Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast and proud military wife. By day she works for an international sports ministry, and by night she mutters to imaginary friends, performs sketchy Google searches, and procrastinates (like any good writer!). When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Born and raised just outside of Vancouver, Canada, Mikal has lived throughout the southern United States, currently residing in Nebraska (and loving it!) with her husband, three kids (two of whom she drives *everywhere* for ALL THE SPORTS), and one ferocious feline.

Web Page // Goodreads // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest //

CountMeInAllegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she’s out of a job.

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.

It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.

  Count Me In (An Emerald City Romance #1)

Please join me in giving Mikal a warm welcome!

Thank you sooooooo much for having me, Trisha!!! You’re the bomb! 😊

Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Mikal:  WINTER!!!! What could be better than cold, snow, cozy fires, plaid, warm Christmas lights, thick blankets, soup! And did I mention SNOW? #myfavorite

Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Mikal:  Like every other family, it seems, we’re a super busy one. We’re at the ice rink four days a week, the dojo two nights a week, church…you name it. So the best part of my day is when we’re all under the same roof at the end of the day. I adore my family.

Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Mikal:  Oooo…what a GREAT question!! Hm. Ten years ago… I re-read a lot of books around that time, all older. My favorite is Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh. It was the book that told me I could write Christian romantic comedy. Others that were (and still are!) my favorites are In Honor Bound by DeAnna Julie Dodson (she now writes cozy mysteries as Julianna Deering), The Russians series by Michael Phillips & Judith Pella., and books by Irene Hannon.

Trisha:  Those are all great books! I enjoyed reading the Russians series and the Stonewycke Series by Michael Phillips & Judith Pella.

Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Mikal:  It’s Christmas!!! You would find Christmas music. Strictly Christmas music. But after Christmas, you’ll find a gamut of music! I love most songs put out by Postmodern Jukebox (seriously, look them up!!), U2, Bon Jovi (okay, most 80s music—and early- to mid-90s, too!), Crowder, City Harmonic, For King and Country, Needtobreathe, Rend Collective, Noah Mac and Chloe Kohansky (from The Voice), Pentatonix, Straight No Chaser, and a bunch of individual songs from well-known artists (though I wouldn’t go buy their albums in their entirety), and you have a bit of an eclectic mix.

Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Mikal:  It was actually the last “big” scene that came first. A class I was taking had an assignment for a particular part of the book, so I wrote that. A couple of people emailed me and said they’d love to read the story in its entirety (of course I didn’t have it!), so I thought, “Why not?” And Count Me In was born. I make it sound easy, but it really was anything but. I’m super thankful for the incredible critique partners and brainstorming partners I had!

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Mikal:  Honestly, two side characters: Bo and Story. I didn’t really have plans to write this as a series, but then when I was finished writing Count Me In, I had critique partners and early readers asking me what was going on with those two and when their story would be written. I truly didn’t even realize they’d written themselves their own book. Ha!!

Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Mikal:  I’m old, man. I can barely stay up until 11pm anymore. LOL! And writing is exhausting for me, emotionally and mentally. So when I write, it’s usually only for an hour or two—at the most four. I think the latest I stayed up was 1am. No where near other friends of mine who have pulled all-nighters then stayed up all day for their families or to go to work.

Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Mikal:  LOL!!!!! Honestly? Nothing!! I tend to write with brevity. My poor editor. She’s fabulous. But I’m sure she felt like she was pulling teeth. Most authors seem to have to cut words to get their books into the required length. Me? No. I had to add words. Lots of them. My editor worked with me to show me where I could pour more words, enhance description/setting, and add a few more scenes for depth. This book was truly a team effort.

Q:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)  🙂

Mikal:  I’m EXCITED you’re eager!!!! That seriously makes my day. 😊 Well, my plans were to write Story and Bo’s story next. And I tried, I really did. But those two…they’re stubborn (which is pretty obvious when you read Count Me In). I fought with them for a few months. Thankfully, I have some pretty incredible friends in my corner, and after talking with them, praying (both them and me), and doing some deep thinking, I’ve set Bo and Story aside to let them stew a little longer.

Right now, I’m working on a novella that’s connected to this series! It will be releasing as part of a collection this coming Spring. I’m super honored and excited to be part of this group of authors—it’s still pretty surreal, to be honest.

And because Bo and Story are taking their sweet time telling me their story, I’m moving on to Caprice, Allegra’s (from CMI) sister. In Count Me In, Capri was an intern for a fashion designer. Well, she’s come into her own and is being noticed. So take one part fashion designer, one part military service member, add a dash of matchmaker mother, and the Emerald City, and you get A Cut Above.

Trisha:  Eeep! I can’t wait to read about what happens with Caprice! Thank you so much for taking time to visit today! It has been fun getting to know you a little better.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Mikal Dawn is giving away 1 (one) digital copy of her book “Count Me In.” Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What is the most adventurous thing you have done?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

*** Giveaway Ended ***

Congratulations to our winner:
Janice M.

Count Me In (An Emerald City Romance #1) by Mikal Dawn

Synopsis:

Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she’s out of a job.

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.

It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.

My Thoughts:

This story surpassed my expectations! There are so many things to love about this book, that I find myself overwhelmed with where to even start! Delightful characters that are easy to love, a beautiful setting, fun pros, moments of laugh-out-loud enjoyment, this book has all that and more! I purchased my copy of this fabulous book a few months ago after hearing rave reviews, and I am so glad that I did!

I found myself identifying with Allegra on several levels. Her love of coffee and books are the standout obvious ones, her hesitancy to participate in thrill-seeking (dare I say death-defying) extreme adventures, and the fact that she isn’t a size 2 (no offense to those who are).

I laughed out loud and stayed up hours past my bedtime, reading “just one more chapter” and, let me just say… that being tired the next day was definitely worth it!! I couldn’t wait to finish work and return to Allegra & Tyler’s story!!

I enjoyed the hidden surprises in the story and I really liked how Mikal Dawn described the scenes, and how the characters were feeling. It was fresh and exciting and kept me glued to the pages. I especially enjoyed finding familiar names mentioned in the story (sorry, you’ll have to read the book to find out what names!), It brought a smile to my face every time they were mentioned!

I highly recommend this delightful 5-star book and I am eagerly anticipating reading more fun stories from Mikal in the near future! Run, don’t walk to purchase a copy of this book for yourself, and your friends too (don’t forget them)! You will thank me, I promise! ❤

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

CountMeIn

About the Author:

MikalDawn  Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast and proud military wife. By day she works for an international sports ministry, and by night she mutters to imaginary friends, performs sketchy Google searches, and procrastinates (like any good writer!). When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Born and raised just outside of Vancouver, Canada, Mikal has lived throughout the southern United States, currently residing in Nebraska (and loving it!) with her husband, three kids (two of whom she drives *everywhere* for ALL THE SPORTS), and one ferocious feline.

Web Page // Goodreads // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest //

  Count Me In (An Emerald City Romance #1)