Sunday, May 7, 2017

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: A Spring of Weddings (book)


Welcome to my stop on Celebrate Lit's blog tour featuring the talented authors Toni Shiloh and Melissa Wardwell! 

Each author wrote a story for this book titled A Spring of Weddings. I thought that it was a great read! Read my review of both stories below.

I hope that you will enjoy getting to know Toni and Melissa as you read this post today. 


Continue reading to the end of this post for details on how you can WIN a Kindle!

Happy reading!


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My Review of Toni's story:

“A Proxy Wedding” is a sweet novelette written by Toni Shiloh. I found her writing style to be fresh, captivating and engaging from start to finish.

The author starts the story with an interesting premise: Her best friend is asking her to be the bride in a proxy wedding and the hero’s best friend asks him to be the groom. There’s only one problem: The hero and heroine, though they both live in San Francisco (California), have never met.

It’s hilarious to see how the author brings the hero (Damien Nichols) and heroine (Carly James) together as they embark on a road trip to Montana to be “married”. The journey begins with timidity but laughter and shared viewpoints on the craziness of what they’ve agreed to do for their best friends breaks the ice, forming a friendship. The romance in this story was a bit rushed but that is expected for a novelette. However, the plot thickens as the story progresses and the author endears the reader to her characters.

I enjoyed seeing how Carly (the free spirit/art teacher) helped Damien (the “I wear a suit and go to work on Saturday” professional man) relax. The author also used Carly’s personal relationship with God to weave a thread of faith throughout this story and bring Damien to a closer relationship with God. But this romance while rushed is not short on conflict. The author skillfully places several roadblocks on Carly and Damien’s path to love.

After reading “A Proxy Wedding”, I definitely want to read more of Toni’s books! This was a beautifully written story that leaves the reader wanting more of Carly and Damien. Perhaps the author would consider writing a novella or novel-length sequel?

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My Review of Melissa's story:

“Hope Beyond Savannah” is a sweet, short story that’s written by Melissa Wardwell.

The author paints a picture with her words and it’s as complex as it is simply beautiful. The relationship between the hero Nik and the heroine Lily is solid and strong. The reader can tell that they belong together. The storytelling style is intriguing and welcoming, making the reader root for Lily and Nik’s romance even in the face of complications. The face belongs to Nik’s mother. She doesn’t like Lily and isn’t scared to voice her strong, culture-related opinions against Nik’s fiancée.

The author does a great job in handling what can be a sensitive topic. Interracial and intercultural relationships even in this year (2017) are still frowned upon and couples in those situations may find their love challenged and feel like they have to answer to the world.

But in this story, Nik and Lily realize that the only One they need to answer to is God. The author makes it clear that her characters believe in God and want to follow His lead in life. She goes on to tell this story in a way that addresses relevant real-world issues and comfort the readers with the faith of her characters.

The conflict in this story isn’t major but it’s enough to keep the reader turning the pages to see what happens next.

This story is a quick read with an ending that may leave you breathless.

Now I want to read more books written by Melissa Wardwell!

*Celebrate Lit provided Alexis A. Goring with a complimentary copy of this book (“A Spring of Weddings”) in exchange for an honest review.



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About the Authors:

Toni Shiloh
 is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. 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. 



Melissa Wardwell was born and raised in a small mid-Michigan community living there still with her Husband and three children. She enjoys taking pictures, reading, and leisurely rides with her husband on their motorcycle. All her stories revolve around women who are mothers. Single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.

Her hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life. 

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About the Book

Book: A Spring of Weddings: A Contemporary Spring Weddings Collection

Authors: Toni Shiloh and Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: March 30, 2017

Blurb for the stories within the book:

"A Proxy Wedding" by Toni Shiloh 

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all, so when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he must take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved.

Will love become real at A Proxy Wedding?

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"Hope Beyond Savannah" by 
Melissa Wardwell

Lily Allman and Nikotemo (Nik) Lagatuo were the poster children for the term “opposites attract.” He was an evangelist and CEO for a non-profit from Samoa who grew up in a large loving family. She was a blond bombshell with a funky style and no family to call her own. 

Two of the most unlikely people meet in the most unlikely of places, but God had a plan when He brought them together. They never let their differences deter them from the love they had for each other, but when Nik’s mother comes to the States for the wedding, the idea of wedded bliss is shaken. 

Can prejudices be over looked, insecurities overcome, and hope for a better future be restored so that these two can have all that was promised?


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Guest posts from Toni and Melissa about their book:

A Proxy Wedding 
Written by Toni Shiloh

Spring is here! I love it because I always think of new beginnings as the flowers bud and then bloom. The trials and tribulation of the winter season are no longer on my mind. My hope that the winter season would not linger begins to become visible as new life takes shape on the bare trees. The seeds I planted in faith of God’s faithfulness sprout up in hope and promise.

When I sat down to write A Proxy Wedding, I had to imagine spring time, because the dreary, overcast skies outside my window were a constant reminder that I was in a season of sickness. One person would get sick, then the next, and the next. By the time the last person got sick, the round would start over. Visits to the doctor were made. Miserable kids were constantly whining in their discomfort.

It. Was. Rough.

It made perfect sense for me to throw my characters into a new situation. One that would make the stretch, take them out their comfort zone, and search for God’s goodness. I wanted to give them a hint of goodness and throw in a trial or two so they could make the decision that sometimes, risk is worth it. Just as we all react differently to new situations, so did my characters.

Carly was intent on making lemonade from her lemons. She tries to get the handsome broker, Damien, to see the importance of smelling roses and lingering over new adventures. Of course, Damien wasn’t partial to the frivolity. He’s so intent on becoming a success that he had no time to slow down.

In order for them to see God’s handiwork in their lives, I had to remind them that they were not products of their past. That in God, they’re a new creation with new opportunities available to them.

I hope you enjoy A Proxy Wedding. May you think of the Father’s love as you take time to stop and smell the roses.

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Hope Beyond Savannah
Written by Melissa Wardwell

I hope you enjoy this story of love, acceptance and new beginnings. It was a joy to write because there is much more to it than the hope of marriage. It is about the blending of two families who are from two completely different cultures. Researching the island traditions, beliefs, and customs was not only fun, but enlightening. Being able to return to my background in bridal as well as the most beautiful city in the United States was just an added bonus.

With Nik and his family being from another country, I gave you a glossary of words and phrases used so you knew what was being said. I found the language to be rather beautiful and to not include it would take away from who these people are. I also give a small explanation as to what Rock-a- billy is. Lily is a funky chick who dresses in a fun and exciting way. When I saw this couple in my head, I knew it would be quite the uncommon match. As you will soon see, they fit together quite nicely.

My point in using a bi-racial couple for this story was based on what we have been seeing in the news lately. It is unlike anything I have ever done but after talking to friends in similar relationships, I knew I had to step out on this limb. I think it is time we begin to look at people through the eyes of God and not man, then we would see how beautiful we all are. It doesn’t matter what color our skin is or what our past contains, we are all God’s creation and we are beautifully and wonderfully made.
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Blog Stops

April 25: Lighthouse Academy
April 28: Mary Hake
April 29: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
May 1: Quiet Quilter
May 4: A Greater Yes
May 5: Carpe Diem
May 7: God is Love
May 8: Autism mom
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Giveaway details:
          

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Follow this link to enter the giveaway contest, https://promosimple.com/ps/b614.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review this book 📚. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. Thanks for your wonderful review!

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  3. These sound like good, light reads!

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  4. These 2 stories were so much fun!!

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