Friday, July 31, 2020

My Blog turns 10 this August 2020! You are invited to the celebration!


Dear Blog Friends,

My blogging journey on "God is Love" began when I published my first post on August 2, 2010. I shared a song "I Still Want You" performed by Tramaine Hawkins.

Holley Gerth, one of my favorite writers who used to work for DaySpring Cards (company), was the first and only reader to comment on my first blog post! She made my day!

Since then, I've discovered my "voice" as a blogger and God connected me with wonderful people who now provide most of the content for my blog through guest posts, stories and author interviews.

Over the years, many of my guest bloggers have become good friends. And you (my blog readers) have also become special to my heart. I hope that my "God is Love" blog has been and will continue to be a blessing for your heart.

Now that my blog is turning 10 years old in only two days, I'd like for you to help me celebrate this amazing milestone!

My author friends who have been guests on my blog over these past ten years, have graciously agreed to help me celebrate my blog's birthday! They want to celebrate this milestone by giving away some of their beautiful books!

Every day in August 2020, there will be a book giveaway contest that you can enter via Rafflecopter. One of my author friends will be featured each day here on my blog. All of the info you need to know about their book(s) that they're giving away will be in the daily blog posts this August.

This grand giveaway event starts on August 1 and will end on August 31. The winners of each book giveaway contest will be announced on my blog by September 2, 2020 and they will be connected with the authors via email so that the authors may send their book(s) to the winners.

I say "book(s)" because some of my author friends have offered to give away more than one book! One of my author friends has agreed to give away 10 e-books! Other authors have agreed to give away at least one, signed paperback copy.

I am SO excited to celebrate my blog's 10th birthday! I hope you are too.

May God bless you and keep you!


Alexis A. Goring, MFA
Founder of "God is Love" blog

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Will

Remaining in God’s Will
A devotional by Temeka Borden

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” 
– Matthew 6:9-10 (KJV)

One of the most common questions I receive is, “What is God’s will for me?”

Typically, when I am asked this question by my readers and viewers, they are asking in regard to a major decision they must make such as a relationship/marriage, a career opportunity, et cetera. To questions such as these, I typically respond by encouraging the reader to invest in some real “God time” so they can get the answers they need, although I know some are looking for me to give them a more specific answer. 

In fact, I remember one reader telling me her entire situation regarding her boyfriend and asking what she should do. It’s almost as though she knew the right thing to do, but she was hesitant to do the “right thing.” I felt as though she wanted me to give her an answer different from the “right one.” However, I responded by saying, “I can’t answer that for you, but if you pray about it, God will show you the answer.”

God Time 

I know it’s not easy making certain decisions, which is why I constantly discuss the importance of prayer, worship, meditation, and studying our Bibles. Doing so helps “unclog” our ears so that we can hear the truth. Doing so helps soften our hearts and humbles us so that we obey God. Doing so helps clear our minds so that we are not deceived and distracted by our freshly desires.

Prayer, meditation, and Bible time (God time) is not a chore. God time is not something we just check off our list. This time is precious. It shows God that He is first in our lives, that we truly love Him, and that we are committed to continually developing our bond with Him.


You may notice I keep mentioning “God time.” This precious time may entail various things to various people. However, for me and as already mentioned, it involves prayer, meditation, and studying the Bible.

Regarding prayer, another question I commonly receive is, “How should one pray?”

Well, I wrote a separate post regarding that topic, and one thing to note is that we should always ask that God’s will be done, as stated in Matthew 6:10. God knows what is best and it is in His will that we find continued protection and direction. Our flesh can get us into trouble. Allow me to write that again. Our FLESH can get us into trouble!

Our flesh clouds our vision of what God wants in our lives, and it is so important that we keep our flesh under subjection. God sees things that our flesh (or natural eyes) cannot see, including any hidden dangers. For example, we may be presented with an opportunity, and to the natural eye, that opportunity may seem perfect. However, behind that opportunity may be much grief, pain, and sorrow. Again, there may be hidden dangers that we did not see or consider, and we place ourselves in positions where we face hurt that could have been avoided had we listened to God. Thankfully, we have a compassionate, forgiving Savior who rights our wrongs, but also expects us to learn from our mistakes.

Look, we have all been there at one point in our lives. We allowed flesh to dictate our decision. We rushed into a decision. We allowed people to pressure us into a decision. We wanted something so bad that we convinced ourselves that something was God approved (and it wasn’t), and we ended up making the WRONG decision. However, hopefully, we learned. We healed. We allowed the hardship we endured as a result of our decisions make us stronger, and we committed to working on getting better aligned with God.

Remember, if we receive a “no” from God regarding something our flesh wants, His intent is not to hurt us. Quite often, it’s His method of protection. So remain under God’s protection. Remain in the will of God. Trust His wisdom and let Him lead you in all things!

Author Bio:
Temeka Borden, better known by her pen name “Positivity Inspires,” is an author, speaker, minister, PharmD, multi-state licensed pharmacist, founder and owner of Positivity Inspires, LLC, and most importantly, a servant of the Lord. 

She was introduced to Christ at a very early age and was raised in the church. Her ministry focuses on encouraging Christians to love God first, to love all people, to continually strengthen their bond with Christ, and to study His Word, and live His Word daily.

Dr. Borden has been blessed with a variety of gifts, and she has gained much professional experience in a variety of settings. She also has served in administrative roles in the professional and church settings.

In addition to obtaining her PharmD, she also obtained her bachelor's degree in biology (minor in English), and she is working on her third degree. What's more, as stated in her words, “I completed a specialty pharmacy residency that prepared me for the workforce and made me a force to be reckoned with.” She is a long-distance runner, a drummer, a singer, and she has a strong “fashion sense.” She also can read and type at almost supersonic speed in some instances.

Dr. Borden loves to learn and is constantly looking for new ways to challenge herself.

She loves God and she loves people. She is “crazy about her family,” and she adores her friends. She strongly encourages others to show kindness, respect, and love to everyone. She loves and welcomes diversity and flourishes in culturally diverse environments.

Dr. Borden loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh. She also is passionate about giving back to the community. Her favorite sayings are “Speak Up!” and “Watch God Work!”

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: You are a masterpiece created by God!

God’s Masterpieces

A devotional by Karen Marstaller

“For we are His workmanship, created by Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” –Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

When I was young, my Grandma taught me how to Cross-stitch.

She was an expert with a needle and embroidery thread, and I spent happy hours going through her thread box, choosing colors, and then learning how to make beautiful stitches. Her handwork was exquisite and every time I look at an art piece that she created, I’m reminded of the Great Craftsman of my life.

In Ephesians, Paul teaches us to walk in Christ. He reminds us of our beginning—we are God’s workmanship, His handiwork. As we take a close look at our hearts, we see some characteristics that really don’t remind us of the Lord’s creative genius, and yet the psalmist proclaims in Psalm 139 that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Every fiber of our being was deliberately and intricately designed by the Author of life. Even when we sin, He knows our every thought, and He remembers why He created us. On top of that, He forgives us when we ask Him, and He sets us back on the good path He’s chosen for us.

As our Savior, Christ Jesus created us for good works. These aren’t the petty little deeds we do in hopes of receiving a pat on the back from other people. Good works are actions of the heart, created by the Lord and presented to God as sacrifices to glorify Him. We don’t need to win a Nobel Prize or some great humanitarian award—we simply love our neighbors as we love God. If we show God’s love and mercy to those we meet, then we’re on the road to completing that for which He’s made us. With an open heart to serve others in humility, we obey our Lord’s commandment. Loving others like we love the Lord is our highest calling, and He sees our hearts.

Before we were even born, God set His plan in motion. His design is for us to be the lovely canvas where His perfect plan blossoms. In His hands, our lives make sense. Even when we’re heartsore and afraid to hear the latest pandemic reports, we turn our eyes to Jesus and are comforted by His words, “You are My workmanship, and I have something good for you to do.”

How do we know what to do? The best answer I’ve heard these past few months is, “Do the next right thing.” Choosing to serve the Lord by serving our brother is always the “next right thing.” We have a divine responsibility to lavish good on our fellow sojourners. We’re all His workmanship! It’s time for us to act like we understand what it means to be His creation, and His handiwork.

It doesn’t matter if we’re from French Guiana, Canada, or Brazil, just as it doesn’t matter if we hail from Indiana, Georgia, or Oregon. What matters is that we’re a product of God’s own heart. Every one of us is His design. We’re exactly as He created us to be, and the beautiful thing about God is that He always sees what He plans. What if my life doesn’t look like it’s going according to plan? Not to worry. A repentant heart brings us right back into His perfect place, and His perfect peace. With good works for us to do with our next step, or with our next breath, we reach for His hand. Our Good Father always knows the way. We trust in Him.

In our living room, a framed counted cross-stitch holds a prominent place. In the center of the shadow box, it says, “His Name is Jesus,” and around the sides are the many names by which our Lord is called.

Every time I look at the beautiful handwork, I’m grateful for the connections I have to my friend who embroidered it, my grandma who taught me to appreciate hand crafted art, and especially, to my Wonderful Savior who created me for His good works. Contemporary Christian music artist Steve Green sings this beautiful song based on Philippians 1:6 (ESV) where the Lord says, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.” Listen to the song on YouTube for free! Here's the hyperlink.

What an astounding privilege it is to be one of the myriad colors of thread in His great creative work. Hallelujah! Thank You, Heavenly Father (God)!

Author Bio:

During this time of quarantine, Karen enjoys reading, writing, and connecting with friends and family via phone calls, texts, emails, blogs, live-streams, and video conferencing. 

She is grateful that the Lord has provided so many ways for humankind to stay in community, even when we are all hunkering down in our homes.

Karen says, “In this unprecedented time, we know that He has prepared us for such a time as this! To God be all the glory!”

You can reach Karen by emailing her at this address:

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Romantic Reads: Lean On Me

Welcome Pat Simmons to the blog! 

She's here to share the story behind her story, Lean On Me

The story behind the story of Lean On Me by Pat Simmons:

Thank you, Alexis, for allowing me to share my thoughts about my newest release Lean On Me.

From the beginning, I wanted to toy with a premise of a mystery lady on the run. Aunt Tweet’s character was somewhat shaped on the antics of my grandmother when I was her caregiver.

If I wanted my grandmother to reach her late nineties like her mother (my great-grandmother), I had to become her caregiver. The gamut of emotions I experienced were unexpected.

I couldn’t understand how this woman who had known me all my life didn’t recognize me. How this independent woman who worked on the railroad and purchased a boarding house to help others had become helpless. The memories of Grandma Jessie living with me are forever etched into my mind, my children’s, and my husband’s.

Originally, the Family is Forever series was penned the Caregivers. This pearl of a story was tucked away in forgotten files. The year I contemplated I would no longer write, the Lord reminded me of the caregivers series proposal that had been dormant for seven years. “Someone needs to hear from Me,” Jesus (Christ) had said.

I guess, the timing hadn’t been right. Maybe, because in the mid-90's, nursing homes and assisted living facilities met all the needs of seniors. Then things shifted. Once again, multi-generations were living under one roof, and roles reversed between child and parents.

Now according to the Family Caregiver Alliance website, more than forty three million people are caregivers annually. How could I dismiss this journey as a back story?

As a Christian romance author, I want the reader to embrace the emotional connection, but be inspired that if they would find themselves in such a scenario that God would be with them.

Lean on Me is more than an undying affection for a loved one who is mentally slipping away. It’s about love. Commitment. Hope. Tabitha Knicely is not a typical damsel in distress.

Marcus Whittington is more than a handsome hero. He becomes her fierce protector, because he soon learns every caregiver needs a caregiver. Once a misunderstanding is cleared up, and each flaw is exposed, a sweet romance has the making for a movie with a happy ending until the next time Aunt Tweet escapes.

Sometimes, not all the time, but every now and then, an act of kindness reminds us that God sends the right person at the right time for us to lean on.

Author Bio:
Pat Simmons is a multi-published Christian romance author with more than thirty-five titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. 

She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Pat’s first inspirational women’s fiction, Lean On Me, with Sourcebooks, was the February/March Together We Read Digital Book Club pick for the national library system.

Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a life-altering experience. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country. 

She has converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter. 

Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Visit her online at

Book Blurb for Lean on Me:

First in an emotional African American Christian romance from acclaimed inspirational author Pat Simmons featuring a tender-hearted heroine who puts her family first and a misguided hero who needs a little nudge to realize that sometimes all you have to do is believe.

No one should have to go it alone ...

Tabitha Knicely believes in family before everything. She may be overwhelmed caring for her beloved great-aunt, but she would never turn her back on the woman who raised her, even if Aunt Tweet's dementia is getting worse. 

Tabitha is sure she can do this on her own. But when Aunt Tweet ends up on her neighbor's front porch, and the man has the audacity to accuse Tabitha of elder abuse, things go from bad to awful.

Marcus Whittington feels a mountain of regret at causing problems for Tabitha and her great-aunt. How was he to know the frail older woman's niece was doing the best she could? 

As Marcus gets to know Aunt Tweet and sees how hard Tabitha is fighting to keep everything together, he can't walk away from the pair. Particularly when helping Tabitha care for her great-aunt leads the two of them on a spiritual journey of faith and surrender.

Buy Pat’s book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Connect with Pat:

Monday, July 27, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Words

Old Words
A devotional by Glynis Becker

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” –Hebrews 4:16 (NASB)

Sometimes the words won’t form. When life is hard, or chaotic, or not understandable, it can be hard to express our feelings in conversations or in writing. Sometimes I find it’s impossible to even pray, usually during the times I need prayer the most.

In addition to the Bible, our family has found great comfort for the last few months in an old copy of The Lutheran Book of Prayer. There are prayers for every morning and evening, special prayers for certain seasons of the year, prayers for the sick, during an epidemic, during a war and more. We gather in the evenings together to pray and rather than feeling like we need to find words within ourselves, we can turn to prayers penned many years ago and used to comfort generations of Christians since. I appreciate the time and care someone put into writing down these prayers and how helpful they continue to be.

The world we live in is constantly changing, building and exploring. Hundreds of new products and services and discoveries are presented to us every day. It can be easy to throw out something old and dusty in favor of the newest and shiniest item. But we have to remember that not everything new is better and not everything old is irrelevant.

I’m absolutely not against progress. I love computers and convenience. My degree is in mechanical engineering so I’m not against new inventions! But I fear we forget to give credit to the foundation of the things that came before us and fail to realize how much they can still help us today, just the way they are.

The words of Scripture were written down over centuries to give us a glimpse into the heart of God. They are meant to teach, comfort, rebuke, and save us. How grateful I am that God gave those words to so many people, so long ago, and breathed His own Spirit into them, that they are still living and active for us today.

What words of comfort do you need to hear today? Is there a Bible verse that is particularly meaningful for what you’re going through? Or maybe the words of a Christian who came before us? Even if the words are not Holy Scripture, they can be inspiring and encouraging to us as much as when they were when they were written down. Let’s find some good words to read, pray, or share with someone today!

Let’s Pray:
Gracious God, comfort me with Your Spirit today so that I may be a comfort to others. Give me words of love and kindness and grace and peace to know deep in my own soul and to share with the world you created and love. In Jesus Christ’s precious name, I pray, Amen.

Author Bio:
Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume. 

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two teenage children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting. You can find her at

Friday, July 24, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Weakness

What’s Your Weakness?

A devotional by Amy Odland

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. –2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

How many of us would be quick to raise our hand if we were asked the question “Who would like to have Christ’s power rest on them?”

How quick would we be to raise those same hands if it was mentioned that in order for that to happen, we need to immediately start boasting about our weaknesses? And to do it gladly? I don’t know about you, but I for one don’t like to run around “gladly” mentioning my shortcomings to everyone I interact with each day. As a matter of fact, I am not happy at all to volunteer that I have a quick temper or am short on patience most of the time. How about you? Do you enjoy confessing you struggle with anger or addiction or are eyeball-deep in pride and self-absorption?

None of us like to look bad in front of others. While some of us find it easy to not care what others think, most of us spend a great deal of time and energy keeping up appearances to those around us. We cover our sins as best we can until we can’t anymore and they sneak out. Our kids definitely do this (as we did before them); they can keep up appearances for the most part while at school or with the grandparents, but as soon as they get home with us, the “real” kid shows up pretty quickly.

We learned fairly early on as parents to use the “Ask the Teacher” trick to point out this discrepancy between public vs. private behavior: when they’ve been misbehaving at home – whether by not doing chores, fighting with siblings, or just generally not listening to me or my husband – we ask them if we should talk to their teacher about getting some advice on what we could do to get them to listen better at home. We ask, “What would your teacher say we should do? Your teacher doesn’t ever say you act like this at school, so maybe we need to get some suggestions from your teacher.”

Once the threat of tarnishing their “perfect” reputation with the teacher is out there, they shape up awfully quick at home.

The fear of what others think of us controls us whether we realize it or not. What we maybe don’t even realize is how it also affects if Jesus Christ’s power can work through us or not. If we’re listening to the opinions of those around us and spending our time worrying about our image more than we are listening to and spending time with God, the power of Christ will not rest on us as it should. If we’re focusing more on outward voices and input, we have less energy and time to focus on the inner influences of the Holy Spirit. We have less of Christ’s power to get us through our day.

So how do we boast more about our weaknesses and allow God’s grace to be sufficient in all we do? Here are a few ideas:

We should admit when we’re wrong.

Apologize when we’ve messed up.

Give the benefit of the doubt more than we do.

Be slow to judge.

Be quick to forgive.

Be able to say “I don’t know.”

Focus on the needs of others.

Find ways to make others feel important or special.

Look for opportunities to help the oppressed or hurting.

Seek counsel for help with addictions or strongholds.

We don’t have to shout our weaknesses from the mountaintops for all to hear. We can share with trusted friends or trained counselors, those we know are safe and helpful. What we definitely aren’t supposed to do if we want Christ to overlook and forgive our weaknesses, is walk around with an attitude of unwillingness to overlook and forgive the weaknesses of others. His power will rest on us in great ways if we humble ourselves, pray, and seek His ways.

Do you have a weakness you feel God calling you to gladly boast about today?

Author Bio:
Amy Odland has been serving in church ministry as a volunteer leader for over 16 years, in various worship, prayer and women’s ministry roles.

Her passion for helping women stems from her own struggles and lessons learned in her journey as a Christian since first deciding to follow the Lord in 1994.

Amy’s priorities after her faith include her family — husband Rick, and their four kids — as well as extended family who all live close in proximity and the many friends she’s made over the years.

In addition to a love of teaching and helping her husband with the bookkeeping for their many businesses, Amy has recently expanded her stay-at-home work to include leading author’s book launch teams for publishing companies like Baker, Revell, Barbour, and Lifeway.

She also enjoys teaching new authors about platform building, self-launching, and online marketing.

Connect with Amy:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Plan

Trust God’s Timing And Plans
A devotional by Julia Wilson

“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 a hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

God has a plan for your life and He has a plan for mine. Sometimes He reveals His plans many years in advance. Other times, we do not even realize that we have glimpsed the plan for our future.

Let me share with you the plan that God showed me though I did not realize it at the time and I was too young to even know about God. My twin brothers are three years younger than me. This event happened before they were born. I do not know how old I was.

I remember my Mom dressing me in an all-in-one winter suit and my parents popping me in the car. We drove somewhere. We got out of our car and walked. I remember seeing a bridge across a river with rows of houses either side. I felt drawn to that place.

Bewdley in England (Photo Credit: Julia Wilson)
The longing for that place with the river, the bridge and the houses never left me. As I grew up I would constantly question my parents, asking, “Where did we go?” The answer never changed: They had no idea where it was nor did they know what I was talking about.

I got married, had a family and we lived in four different houses in three different towns. The sense that I desired to go back to that place never left me. I walked my children to school every day. It was about a mile and a quarter up to school and back. I did it twice a day.

One day as I was walking to collect my children, I rounded Beales Corner (as I always did). Suddenly, it was as if the scales fell from my eyes as I looked ahead.

There was the river with the bridge and the houses either side! The place I had been longing for all my life was the place I now lived, and had lived in for several years. Wow! I had done that walk so many times yet never seen it like I saw it that day. Years and years of yearning to return … and yet, I was already home.

Bewdley in England (Photo Credit: Julia Wilson)
I do not know why God put that desire on my heart as a very small child. I do not know why I did not recognize the place of longing the first time I walked to school. But what I do know is God was with me, even when I was too young to know Him. He planned my life out. He put a desire in my heart. And He fulfilled that yearning all in His timing.

I never need to worry about my life because God holds me in His hands. God holds us all in His hands and in His heart. Even when we do not know God, God knows us. He loves us and He cares for us.

If you do not know my caring and loving God, you can know Him today. You can trust His timing and you can trust His heart.

May I lead you in a prayer to help you get to know God?

Let’s Pray: Dear Jesus Christ, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust You and follow You as my Lord and Saviour all the days of my life. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.

Author Bio:

My name is Julia Wilson but I also go by Christian Bookaholic. 

I live with my husband and five cats in a small town in Worcestershire on the banks of the River Severn (England). We have four grown up children and three granddaughters.

I have always loved reading and have always been surrounded by books. I used to work as a teaching assistant for special needs in the local high school. Ill health forced me to stop working in December 2015. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (known as M.E.) and fibromyalgia. I now have plenty of time to read and review books!

Our eldest son set up my Christian Bookaholic blog. I review every book I read. I read over 300 books a year. I read Christian and mass market. I prefer stories set from 1850 onwards. My favourite type of books to read is stories set in WWI and WWII, and Russia under Czar Nicholas II.

I am a historian, having a Combined Humanities degree where I majored in History and minored in English. I also love swimming. I only learned how to swim in 2017 and go swimming four mornings a week for 90 minutes before breakfast, it keeps my joints going.

I am also a crazy cat lady. I absolutely love my cats. I have grown up with cats and cannot imagine life without them. My dream is to own an old fashioned seal point Siamese … but not while we have our young rescue cat as she hates other cats!

I love God and love going to a large lively church called Lifecentral. I cannot imagine life without God. He gives a peace even when life does not. He guides my life. He is my Rock.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Romantic Reads: Focus on Love

Welcome Candee Fick to the blog again! 

She was here on June 23 to feature the first book in The Wardrobe series. 

Candee has returned today to talk about book two in the series.

This book is called Focus on Love

If you or anyone you know loves photography, this is a post for you to share! 

Enjoy your time with Candee today!

Interview with Candee Fick about her book, Focus on Love:

Alexis: Focus on Love is the second book in The Wardrobe series. What can you tell us about its placement in that series? Can you give us a glimpse of the first story in the series and explain how that set the stage for your characters?

Candee: The first book of the series introduces several actresses at a musical dinner theater in northern Colorado. Dani, an orphan looking for her brother (in the first book), is roommates with Liz in a company apartment shared with the resident diva and the diva’s sidekicks. The company starts the all season performing 42nd Street, but when rehearsals begin for White Christmas, Liz’s name is left off the cast list leaving her floundering for a new job. Without plot spoilers from book one, there’s a crime, suspects, and a dramatic unmasking of the culprit…leaving an unexpected opening in the cast for Liz to fill.

Alexis: Tell us about your story’s heroine Elizabeth Foster. What does she look like? Sound like? Act like? What are her hopes and dreams? What makes Liz a free spirit?

Candee: Elizabeth—Liz—is a spunky redhead with long straight hair and green eyes. As an actress, she can sing and dance, but while she’s not a traditional “drama queen” seeking attention, she’s not afraid to speak her mind even with a touch of snark. Growing up, she was the creative and artistic sort pursuing both dance and photography with the encouragement of her loving Irish grandparents instead of being stifled by her legalistic religious father. She dreamed of stepping into the family’s photography business and even took a few business classes in college so she could be even more prepared. Despite those dry class topics, she’s the one most likely to color outside the lines or look at the world in a different way.

Alexis: Why does Liz pursue a career in musical theater over photography? Did Liz’s dad pressure her to become a photographer like him and join the family business? Why or why not?

Candee: The opening scene of the book recounts the moment Liz made that decision, so without ruining that moment, let’s just say that Liz’s dream of being a part of Foster’s Fotos looked very different from her dad’s intentions. While she longed to be behind the camera, he ignored her talent and wanted her in an administrative role. And when their visions clashed, he laid down an ultimatum she couldn’t accept, leaving her with a difficult decision that could cost her a connection to her family.

Alexis: Why is it that a possible career in photography and a dream career in theater are pulling Liz’s heart in two different directions?

Candee: After that past pain, Liz only picks up her camera as a hobby while devoting most of her time to rehearsals and her life at the theater. Then our hero Ryan gives her the chance to get paid to help photograph a local charity event. But with her camera in hand and the shutter clicking, all those dormant dreams come roaring to the forefront. Could she build a new dream as a freelance photographer or should she stick to the safer career on the stage even though casting decisions were not guaranteed? Could she have both?

Alexis: If you were to step into your story as a life coach, would you caution or encourage Liz to follow her heart? Why or why not?

Candee: Because Liz can be a tad hot-headed and impulsive—especially when angered or hurt—I’d caution her to make a rational, well-thought-out decision. In other words, look before she leaps. Can she make a living at it? Does it bring her joy? But I’d also encourage her to pray a lot and ask God to reveal the unique gifts He gave her and where she might use them. Liz had turned her back on family and faith, but once she’s reconnected with God, her heart is receptive to that Heavenly wisdom again.

Alexis: Let’s talk about your story’s hero, Ryan Callahan. What does he look like? Sound like? Act like? What makes him strong and what makes him weak?

Candee: Ryan is a stereotypical Montana cowboy complete with jeans, hat, and swagger. But despite being raised on a ranch, his parents gave him the freedom to choose his path and supported his dream of photography. His faith makes him strong along with confidence in his award-winning skills and high-paying contracts that take him around the world. Weaknesses? That same confidence in his talent also makes him resistant to change or new ideas, especially if they come from someone with less experience. (Ahem. Liz.)

Alexis: Why did you make Ryan a sought-after photographer and what role does his life profession play in this story?

Candee: I wanted to give Liz a choice. With her past—and the spoiler I didn’t reveal from the opening scene—she’s got a strong aversion to photographers and not just because they represent the dream she left behind. So Ryan’s mere existence rubs salt in her wounds. And yet, there’s something about him that creates a longing to pick up a camera…and her faith again. Knowing Ryan opens the doors of possibility but also sets her up for failure and more pain.

Alexis: Why does Ryan put his career on hold and how does that choice lead him to Liz?

Candee: When his National Guard brother-in-law is deployed while Ryan is between assignments, Ryan comes to Colorado to help his sister with her two small children. And to help support them without taking on a full-time job, he starts looking around for opportunities to make a few bucks. Why not see if the local dinner theater would let him take family photos in the lobby before the Christmas production? He walks in the door to inquire about the possibility and Liz is the only one there to pass his message on to the owner.

Alexis: What are Ryan and Liz’s first impressions of each other? Why?

Candee: At first Liz thinks he’s there to audition for a role in the upcoming Seven Brides for Seven Brothers production. I mean, why else would he wear a cowboy hat and walk into a theater? Tall, dark, handsome. Oh, and he’s a photographer? Never mind how cute he is. She’s done with that world. But why would a well-known photographer want to drum up seasonal business? Something’s not quite right…

On the other hand, he’s immediately attracted to the smiling redhead who’s gushing about getting a miracle. But too soon he’s competing with her for the chance to implement his brilliant idea. Just who does she think she is? Then he sees the raw talent in her photos and wants her on his side.

Alexis: Why do Ryan and Liz have trouble with trusting people?

Candee: Liz has been hurt by her father’s expectations and the betrayal of her ex-boyfriend. If she puts her heart on the line again, what are the chances she’ll end up broken again? On the other hand, while his parents supported his dream, others in Ryan’s life wanted either to force him into their plans or exploit his connections. So while he’s happy to get to know Liz, there’s a part of him that wonders what the future would bring. Would she try to change him?

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about this story?

Candee: The surface plot is all about photography and pursuing a dream. But in addition to the romance, there’s another love story woven through the pages as Liz wrestles with her faith. Her father always preached adherence to religious rules but Ryan’s relationship with God is instead rooted in love. So, I want readers to remember to focus on the Love. Because God so loved the world, He sent His Son. And in response we are to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.

Alexis: Complete this sentence: If I were a photographer, I’d specialize in __________________ photography because _________________.

Candee: If I were a photographer, I’d specialize in nature photography because I get so inspired by the vast beauty of God’s creation and the intricate details revealed if you take a closer look. Plus it’s the perfect excuse to visit lots of places on my bucket list!

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Candee! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Candee: At the conclusion of Focus On Love, readers clamored to know more about Liz and Ryan’s story especially when it came to resolving things with her father. So … I wrote a novella to wrap up all the loose ends. That’s why I’d recommend A Picture Perfect Christmas as a follow-up!

Author Bio:

Candee Fick is a multi-published, award-winning author.  

She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome.

When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Blurb for Focus on Love:

His love healed her broken heart, but now her love could set him free. 

Free-spirited Elizabeth Foster turned her back on her father's photography business—and her faith—to pursue musical theater instead. Now, with a one-show contract, Liz is a few weeks away from unemployment forcing her back home until a chance encounter in the theater lobby resurrects her childhood dream of a life behind the camera.

Meanwhile, sought-after photographer Ryan Callahan has put his freelance career on hold to help his sister's family while her husband is deployed. While looking for seasonal income, he discovers a spunky actress with a talent for capturing faces and her quick-shutter enthusiasm ignites more than his dormant creative spark.

After another heart-breaking rejection by her father, Ryan is there to pick up the pieces, however the promise of a bigger assignment could lure him away. With two career opportunities unfolding before her, Liz faces her biggest challenge yet—listening to her heart. What dream would develop if they could only focus on love?

If you like photography, musical theater, and sweet, faith-based romance, you’ll love this second installment in The Wardrobe series by Candee Fick. Get Focus On Love and experience the life-changing journey toward love today.

Buy Candee’s book on Amazon or listen to it on Audible

Connect with Candee:
Facebook Author Page:
Amazon Author Central:

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: The Light

Toward the Light

A devotional by Malinda Fugate
Key Scripture:
2 Corinthians 5:7, John 8:12, John 1:5, Psalm 119:105 (NIV) 

In an instant, my apartment was plunged into darkness.

The abrupt power outage eliminated the neighbor’s garage security light as well as the neighborhood street lamps that normally peeked through the windows.

At first, I froze, waiting for my eyes to adjust. The passing moments proved that I had no choice but to feel my way through the familiar room, relying on touch and memory. Soon, my hands grasped the trusty aim-and-flame lighter, giving life to the sweet-smelling candle on my bookshelf. The soft glow illuminated the entire studio apartment, turning the cold darkness into cozy comfort. Let there be light.

The darkness in our lives isn’t always as abrupt as a power outage. It can creep in like a steady dimming of the lights as circumstances become troubling and our mental health needs care. In these times, God can feel far away or not present at all, leaving us stumbling through the darkness, trying to find our way. How can we function without the Light of the Lord? Suddenly, despair sets in, and possibly even panic as we struggle with each step in what seems to be His absence.

These are the moments when 2 Corinthians 5:7 echoes through our hurting hearts: “For we live by faith, not by sight.” Our feelings don’t always indicate what is true, and just because we cannot see the light does not mean that God isn’t right there with us. We stumble step by timid step in the dark, reaching for what we know. Just as our memory of a familiar room guides us through a power outage, the precious Scriptures we have hidden in our hearts become the guide for truths we cannot currently see clearly.

So, what do we need to do when we’re in the dark? The first thing we need is to turn on the light. According to John 8:12 (NIV): When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

When we declare the truth of who God is and what He has promised, it’s like lighting a match of hope. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Even in a cave, deep below the earth and far from the sun, the smallest light can push away darkness. It may not illuminate every nook and crevice, but it has the power to light the way. The Bible says in Psalm 119:105 (NIV), “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

So too, does God’s Word have the power to pierce the darkness, leading the way to more of His marvelous light.

This world does indeed have trouble, but the Light of the World (Jesus Christ) has overcome it. He never leaves nor forsakes us even during the times we cannot see Him clearly. His truth remains unchanged and we can rely on it in any circumstance, even when it seems the darkest.

The moments of despair are temporary, because our God of love keeps us close to His heart and brings us into His light. He is trustworthy and He will not abandon us in the dark.

Author Bio: 
Malinda Fugate writes from the heart.

Though she serves full time as the Children’s Education Director at a church in Southern California, she is also a crafter of words published in books. 

Her writing includes children's faith resources, commercial copywriting, and various faith-based stage and screenplays.

Malinda invites you to explore the various 3:16s in the Bible with her new book, The Other Three Sixteens (published by Ambassador International in May 2020).

She also invites you to read her previously published books: Bible Time for Active Kids, which is an activities-based devotional that is available for purchase on, and The Pen and the Sword: Connecting With the Word of God, which is an interactive creative writing journal.

Malinda earned a communications degree with a theatre emphasis from Azusa Pacific University, and then worked behind the scenes at the Los Angeles Salem radio stations, including The Fish and KKLA.

When she's not writing or working at church, Malinda might be creating art, reading, or exploring the many adventures to be found in the Los Angeles area. She lives by the beach with her pup, Yoshi. 

Visit Malinda online via

Friday, July 17, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Rest Well

Do you rest well?
A devotional by Alexis Newlin

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 
–Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

Do you rest well?

God has made it more apparent to me that I do not. I am my own worse task masker, constantly driving myself to do more and more until I break down. As I am breaking, weary, crying and feeling as if the world is closing in on me, God whispers to me.

Our conversation sounds like this: 

God: Will you let me have it all? Please, just rest.

Me: But God, I have a million things to do. There are people counting on me. I have to get things done. I can’t rest right now.

Convinced that everything rests on my shoulders, I attempt my many things on my overflowing to do list and find that I simply can’t do it. God whispers to me again: “Just rest.”

When I finally do rest, I read God’s Word (The Holy Bible). I listen to my favorite podcast or music. I pop on my favorite comedy. I go get a massage. I take a nap. In doing these things, I find that I start to feel better, to feel lighter. The weight of world begins to lift and I realize that I’ve carried burdens that I am not meant to carry.

I’m reminded of this verse in Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV): “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I’ve tried to do it all, without consulting God. Often, I ask myself, “Do I keep working, or do I take a break?”

Just that simple question in prayer to God would make my life so much easier. I often forget that Jesus rested. 

There are many verses that detail Jesus taking breaks from His ministry:
Jesus resting on a boat during a storm (Mark 4:35-40).

After feeding the 5000 people, He went alone to pray (Matthew 14:22-23).

Encouraging the disciples to take a break after going out to minister to others
(Mark 6:30-32).

God rested after His creation of this world and all that lives within it 
(Genesis 2:2-3).

If the God of all creation can take a break from his work, it is okay for us to do so as well. We need rest. Our bodies are not meant to work constantly. If we are constantly working, we leave no room to replenish ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seemed to confuse resting with laziness. I’ve bought into the lie that if I allow myself to take breaks, or do things that I enjoy, I’m being lazy. Yet, that is so untrue! The truth is that we need balance of work and rest. If we are tired and weary all the time, we will be ineffective for the kingdom.

So how can we rest well?

1) Spend time with God:
Just that alone helps you rest. In your quiet time, you can lay out all your worries and cares to God. He can let you know which burdens are actually His and ones you need to let go of. If you find it difficult to read or pray, just worship. Singing praises to God will lift your spirits and bring joy to your soul.

2) Take care of yourself: This is a big one that I struggle with daily. It is important to get enough sleep, eat well, hydrate, exercise and take breaks. It’s amazing what a simple nap can do! By taking care of ourselves, we’re better able to do the things God has called us to. My pastor once said that we should be working out of the overflow that God gives us. If you’re empty, you can’t help others.

3) Do things that you enjoy: It is okay to watch your favorite show, listen to music, read that book, go outdoors or hang out with friends. God wants us to engage in things that we enjoy. He wants us to spend time with those that we love.

Remember the importance of taking care of yourself, as our Savior did the same.

Take time to just sit at His feet and rest in His presence.

Author Bio:

Alexis is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA.  

You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip.

Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis.

Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.

Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and launched her first podcast – The Brave Podcast – in January 2020.

Connect with Alexis:

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Thankful Thursdays: God's Provision

Thankful Thursdays: God’s Provision 

It’s Thursday and I’m thankful for God’s provision!

Over the course of these past five weeks, God has provided answers to my prayers in sweet surprises that I did not expect!

Ever since last year, I’d wanted to attend the Entrusted Women Conference. However, I had not been able to afford the travel fees along with other fees, and I wasn’t able to go over the weekend (it usually takes place on Fridays and Saturdays which conflicts with the time I spend in church and with ministry related events).

But this year, due to COVID-19, most in-person conferences had to be cancelled because of social distancing and protecting people’s health. So it was announced a few months ago this year that the Entrusted Women Conference would take place online. It would be their first virtual conference!

Delighted, I put a note on my calendar earlier this year to pay the registration fee by the deadline in June 2020. I figured that I would have more work that pays well by then and that I’d be able to pay the fee. However, two days before the money was due, I still could not afford it. I saw the note on my calendar and gave a resigning sigh because I thought that there was no way I was going to have the money in only two days. I deleted that note in my calendar and accepted the fact that I wasn’t attending this phenomenal conference for women communicators of color.

However, minutes later, I saw a new post on the Entrusted Women Facebook Group page from the founder Kia Stephens. She said that someone “just paid for a VIP Registration” to the conference. She suggested that anyone in financial need should send a message to her inbox. I noticed that the time stamp on Kia’s post indicated that she posted this message exactly 17 minutes before I read it. I figured that someone else in our group, which at the time, consisted of nearly 800 women, had already grabbed that opportunity. But as a leap of faith, I decided to apply anyway. And minutes later, I received a message from Kia saying, “You got it!” I was overjoyed!

I was also able to attend because the online version of this conference started on a Wednesday and ended on Saturday of that same week. So I was able to attend from Wednesday right up until Friday afternoon. Then since my VIP Membership included free replays until July 11, I had plenty of time after that Saturday of the conference to watch what I missed that took place after sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.

The conference was truly remarkable! I learned so much from the presenters and the workshops were wonderful! I am so grateful to God for making this happen for me! One point that I didn’t mention earlier: For the past five years since attending my first in-person writers’ conference, I had thought deep in my heart that I’d love to be able to attend more conferences. I had prayed about it too. After almost five years of not being able to attend any conferences, God answered my prayers by making a way for me to attend Entrusted Women Conference in June 2020. He also made a way for me to attend a Christian editors’ conference called PENCON in July 2020!

Now about the PENCON 2020 Conference … I wasn’t sure if I would be able to attend this one either because I could not afford it, even with the discount that I was given as a benefit of being their social media person and for serving on the conference planning team. However, at the last minute before the deadline to pay my fee, a family member surprised me with the money I needed! So I paid the fee and attended that conference from July 8 to July 10! It was a blessing.

In closing, please remember these main points:

#1: God knows the desires of your heart. If you delight yourself in Him, He will give you those desires if they are in accordance to His will. Read Psalm 37:4.

#2: God is the giver of good gifts! He wants to bless you! Read James 1:17.

#3: Just when you think all hope is lost, God will provide whatever you need! Read Philippians 4:19. My maternal grandmother used to say, “God may not come when you want Him to but He’s always on time!”

I hope that my testimony has encouraged you to reflect on God’s goodness in your own life. 

Don’t be afraid to tell your story!

It’s Thursday and I’m thankful for God’s provision. What are you thankful for?


Alexis A. Goring, MFA
Founder of “God is Love” blog

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: We Are One

We Are One in Jesus Christ
A devotional by Christa MacDonald

“Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” 
–Ephesians 4:3-6 (ESV)

One of the most beautiful things about Christianity is that there is no test to pass, no requirements other than repentance and faith. There’s no “Christian bloodline” or “Christian country.”

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 ESV). You can be born in any country, be a member of any family, any ethnicity, any cultural tradition, and Jesus welcomes you. How rare is that in our world?

Tribalism seems to be on the rise these days with folks picking sides and narrowly defining who can be in their camp. Express an opinion on social media and you’re likely to see a quick reply from those who don’t agree. It isn’t just politics anymore. It’s as though someone turned the temperature up on all our arguments.

Every hill is one we’re ready to plant our flag on and defend to the end. I’ve often written about the need for Christians to seriously consider their use of social media and remember that we are a Christian witness every time we log on whether or not we’re sharing the Gospel. How we treat others and what we say are all part of our witness if we’re public in our faith, as Christians are called to be.

The verse above reminds us that there is one true Church, but we sometimes act as though we are one of a thousand denominations that aren't sure whether or not any of the other Bible-believing denominations may or may not be “real” Christians.

We’re so quick to subject our brothers and sisters to purity tests that the Bible simply doesn’t have. Salvation isn’t out of reach if you vote for a Democrat or Republican. You’re not doomed to hell for believing the earth is billions of years old. But aren’t we so quick to draw lines and excommunicate those we think are wrong before we even engage with them?

My husband and I don’t see eye to eye on everything. I’m the fire to his ice in our arguments. He can “What if…” a girl right out of her mind, yet we make it work. For most national elections, we’re checking different boxes. But like all Christians, we agree on the big things. Jesus Christ was both God and man. He walked this earth and experienced what it was like to be fully human while also being fully God. He died for the sins of the world, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.

The Gospel is simple: If we repent of our sins and place our faith in Him as our Savior and Lord, then we are saved from eternal damnation. By Grace we are saved, not works. Don't add anything to the Gospel.

Regardless of your denomination, your political affiliation or your cultural situation, if Christ has adopted you, we’re siblings. The Church needs to let go of the idols (statues, flags, nationalities, membership cards) and cling to the Cross. 

Put Jesus Christ first. Be Kingdom-minded in all you do.

Author Bio:

Christa MacDonald is a 2017 ACFW Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction. 

A native New Englander, she was inspired by her travels through the north woods of Maine to write The Broken Trail, which would become the first in the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

Christa's writing focuses on the real-life challenges of the modern world, love’s sometimes crooked path, and the redemptive power of Grace.

When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty.

She and her husband live with their three kids, two cats, and one dog along the coast of New England. Connect with Christa at

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Romantic Reads: Love and Other Mistakes (book) by Jessica Kate

Join me in welcoming Jessica Kate to the blog! She hails from Australia! 

I met her at a Christian writers conference five years ago. Since then, she's become a published author! We're featuring an excerpt from her debut book, Love and Other Mistakes on my blog today. 

Happy Reading!

Excerpt from Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate:

The squeak of rubber soles on the court echoed around Natalie as she froze in the doorway of the recreational center’s basketball court, two weeks after leaving Jem on the hospital sidewalk.
Three guys raced toward the far end of the court, chasing their opponent, whose long legs propelled him down the court at a lightning pace.
After another depressing day of job hunting, the last thing she’d wanted to do on her Friday afternoon was play in the weekly social basketball league. But Mom had convinced her to get off the computer—she’d been researching weird M&M flavors to buy—and instead run off the stress, all with a twinkle in her eye Natalie hadn’t quite deciphered.
Now she recognized it—the cunning of a woman determined to get grandchildren. Mom had been single minded toward that endeavor ever since Natalie made the mistake of telling her why she missed the head-office rep meeting.
But if the dream involved Jem, it had to die.
Cheers swelled from the handful of bystanders as Jem leapt through the air and dunked the ball. Even the opposing team members clapped.
“Way to go, Jem!”
The corners of her mouth lifted. She’d practiced with him for countless afternoons till he mastered that move. From that day on, every time he nailed a dunk his eyes would search her out, whether she was beside him on the court or cheering in the stands. His lips would pull into a grin that seemed to combine Did you see that? with Couldn’t have done it without you, babe.
Her mind landed back in the present at the same moment Jem’s gaze locked with hers.
She froze.
He grinned. Did you see that?
The corner of her mouth twitched upward.
Another thought slammed into her mind. He has a baby with someone else.
She whirled and headed out the door. How could he grin at her, like the last seven years hadn’t happened?
Her ire built with each step, threatening to spill over into frustrated tears. He had a baby. She’d felt sick each morning when she woke and remembered that the man she’d thought would raise her children now had one with someone else. And the fact it bit so deep dragged her self-esteem down another three notches. He’d obviously not missed her at all, and here she was still affected by him. After seven years.
Natalie rounded a corner and pulled her keys from her pocket. She needed time with Jeremy Walters about as much as she needed a cockroach under her pillow.
“Nat! Wait up!” Jem’s voice echoed down the hall.
The open door to the sports equipment storage room presented the perfect hiding place. She flew in and dove behind a pile of dusty gym mats.
She fought a sneeze as his footsteps approached, then paused.
“Your foot is sticking out.” Laughter rumbled in his voice.
She wriggled her way upright, brushing a monstrous dust bunny from her blue-and-gold uniform.
“I was just, uh, looking for something.” Like peace and quiet.
He nodded. “There’s a dead moth in your hair.”
“Just kidding.” He smirked.
Trying to claw back some dignity, she crossed her arms and surveyed him. How was it fair that, even after so long, those mischievous blue eyes and boyish freckles hadn’t lost one ounce of their charm? Time to go on the offensive. “What are you doing on my team? Don’t you have an article to write or a baby to take care of?”
“Didn’t realize you owned the team. Or still played.” He quirked an eyebrow. “Is it a problem?”
Rats. No good way out of that one. “Of course not. You’d better be able to pull your weight, is all. You’ve got a bit of a dad bod going on.” An utter lie. Curse his physique.
He slapped a hand on his stomach. “Didn’t know you’d been checking my bod out.” The words were laced with laughter, but Natalie just stared. Not going there.
The mirth drained from Jem’s expression under the weight of the silence. “Okay, I can’t do fake nicety-nice with you.” He ran a hand down his face, pulling his cheeks. “I talked to your mom.”
The air left her lungs.
“She told me about Phil. I’m sorry, I knew he was sick, but I didn’t know how bad.”
She flinched at the mention of Dad. He’s in remission. She fought the urge to shout the words. Yes, technically he was in remission. But the writing was on the wall, and barring a miracle, they all knew what the future held. The question was when.
“And she said you can’t find a job and will have to move back in with them.”
Natalie sucked in a deep breath, pressure building in her brain. “Why would—”
“I need someone to take care of Olly.”
She gaped at him. “Have you lost your mind?” The man had told her he loved her. Asked her to marry him. Dumped her and disappeared for seven years.
And now he wanted to be her boss?
Blurb for Love and Other Mistakes:
Jessica Kate’s heartfelt and romantic debut proves that love always comes in God’s own time.  

           Natalie Groves once had big dreams. But soon after her fiancĂ©, Jeremy Walters, inexplicably broke off their engagement and left town, her father was diagnosed with cancer. Now tasked with keeping her family afloat, Natalie’s grand plans have evaporated . . . and God feels very far away. Fast-forward seven years, and Jeremy is back in Charlottesville with an infant son and years of regrets. When his niece, Lili, lands on his doorstep in need of a place to stay, Jeremy needs help—and fast. 
         An internship opening finally presents Natalie a chance at her dream job, but she needs a second income to work around it—and the only offer available is Jeremy’s. They could be the solutions to one another’s problems, provided they don’t kill each other in the process. When they join forces, sparks fly. But they both know there’s a thin line between love and hate...and that love will turn out to be the best decision—or the biggest mistake—of all.
Review of Love and Other Mistakes by Erin S. on

5.0 out of 5 stars Tackling some Hard Topics

Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2019

My Thoughts on Love and Other Mistakes:
Love and Other Mistakes is a fast reading cute novel. While it’s a romance it adds other aspects as well that allow for deep thinking.

When I first picked up this book I thought it was just going to be a romance. A cute story about how this couple finds each other after years apart and a broken engagement. Then they realize they’re still in love, a few bumps in the road, and they get married. Cute and sweet mostly.

But instead, I got this book.

It’s. . . wow.

This book is so much more than that.

Here you have this book and yes it’s a romance, but it’s also so much more. Within the pages of Love and Other Mistakes you’re going to see a single dad, an affair, an out of wedlock pregnancy or two, hidden sins, hard lessons learned, lies, and so much more. It’s so much more than a romance book and I think you should read it.

I read the book in an afternoon/evening. It was so good I didn’t want to put it down. So many twists and turns that I was not expecting and so much good food within the pages.

Have you ever struggled to forgive? I know I have. And then I know that forgiving isn’t forgetting as well as forgetting isn’t forgiving are some key things that I’ve thought on before so it’s nice to see a character in a book struggle with this too.

Definitely a new to me author that I’m now wanting to read more from. This is one to watch!

Author Bio:

Australian author Jessica Kate is obsessed with sassy romances.

She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast (official podcast of Reading Is My Superpower!) 

When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.

Her debut novel Love and Other Mistakes released July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback hit shelves in January 2020.

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Buy Jessica Kate's book, Love and Other Mistakes on 

Connect with Jessica Kate:
Facebook and Instagram: Jessica Kate Writing

StoryNerds podcast: Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at

The McLeod’s Daughters Podcast: Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at