Author: cvegnad

Butterfly Love from Above

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Butterfly Love from Above is the heartwarming story of one little girl’s journey through grief. 

About Butterfly Love from Above

This is the heartwarming story of one little girl’s journey through grief. After losing her best friend—a butterfly named Twinkle—Star must search to rediscover her sunshine. The loss of Twinkle has kept Star under a dark cloud for some time, but her journey towards betterment will touch the hearts of all readers! Star is amazed to discover that she can reclaim her own sunshine by helping others who are also stuck under a dark cloud of their own! And she’ll realize that her light is even brighter than before! Star’s love for Twinkle—and her pony, Luna—will show readers the beauty, joy, and healing power that animals can bring to our lives! Her journey will remind us that there is something beautiful to see when we take a moment to “always look up!”

Our Thoughts

When I first read this story, I cried. Grief is such a difficult thing to go through no matter how old you are. After losing a loved one – we used to have a dove that would sit on the powerline across our street and during our most difficult times, it brought us peace and a reminder that they were always there with us.

Star is a bright, loving young child who loves to dance, smile and is full of happiness. The loss of her friend Twinkle is quite difficult for her to process and she must learn to find this sunshine again with the help of her Mother, friends and an animal friend. As she learns how to process her grief and to find happiness – she also learns how to share this with others (which is a special gift in its own!).

This is a beautiful story for young children with equally lovely illustrations as they navigate the difficult emotions of grief, and learning to find peace and happiness again. It is a great conversation starter for parents as they help navigate those difficult moments and helps to remind us that our loved ones are always with us and that there is beauty every day if we just look up.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and B&N.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Melissa Stuart lives in Los Angeles, California with her family, their English Mastiff, Gucci, and their pony, Luna! Melissa and her husband stay busy traveling all over the country with their boys’ hockey teams. She loves being a Hockey Mom and watching her boys chase their dream of following in their dad’s footsteps to play in the NHL! Her happy place is with her little girl, Stella, at the barn surrounded by horses and their precious Luna. Sun Valley, Idaho is her family’s favorite summer getaway destination. When they’re there, Melissa feels most inspired to write sitting by the river, surrounded by mountains and nature! Her dream of becoming a published author for the first time came true in early 2021, as she shared her story “Find Your Sunshine” in a book co-written by 10 other inspiring authors—all of whom were sharing stories about shining their light and becoming difference makers in the world! Melissa hopes this story will inspire children to always look up. She wishes to teach them that true joy comes when we shine our own light and show kindness to others. That’s the secret to finding our sunshine!

You can connect with Melissa on her website, Facebook and Instagram.

The Giveaway!

Win a signed copy of Butterfly Love from Above by clicking on this link.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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More Than My Scars

More Than My Scars is a story of not just surviving impossible odds but thriving in a world that is too often caught up with how we look on the outside rather than seeing that our true value is within.

About More Than My Scars

More Than My Scars is her incredible story. A story of not just surviving impossible odds but thriving in a world that is too often caught up with how we look on the outside rather than seeing that our true value is within.

Now in her early 30s, Kechi has spent the last 16 years refusing to be defined by her trauma. Follow her as she decides for herself what role her scars will play in her life before society decides for her. Her strong sense of identity, rooted in seeing herself the way God sees her, has allowed her to live authentically in a world that constantly seeks to define us by its ever-changing (and ever-shallow) standards. Kechi’s story will inspire you to love and accept yourself as you are and confidently present your true self to the world.

My Thoughts

Kechi’s story is incredibly powerful and moving – it moved me to tears, made me smile and made my heart swell at the journey she was set upon after surviving a plane crash.

I can’t even begin to imagine the physical pain that Kechi would have experienced in the weeks, months and years following the accident. Combine the physical pain with the emotional and mental tool that recovery takes on you, she has incredible resiliency, belief and family support. My heart was sore at several times as she explained moments when those in the medical field did not listen to her despite her trying to advocate for herself and the pain (this is one of my biggest pet peeves with medicine – we should believe patients and we should never tell a patient what they should be experiencing and how they should be feeling based.

While it can be hard at times to hear her story, she teaches us many valuable lessons. While her faith may have been tested, it did help her through her journey – along with the strong outpouring of love and determination from her family. Both her and her family never saw her as different – and what caused her so much pain also brought blessings into her life. How? Her voice and singing. Kechi took something that happened to her that could have caused her to become full of negativity and turned it into motivation and became a beacon of hope.

I loved the personal tone Kechi takes with her story – I felt like we were chatting in the kitchen together over coffee. She lets you see the vulnerable side of her – not looking for sympathy but being honest and open. She has accomplished so much during such a short time and is an individual that you want to aspire to be like.

This was a touching and powerful story that you will not want to put down – a must read story.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About Kechi Okwuchi

Kechi Okwuchi is a Nigerian American recording artist and motivational speaker. One of two survivors in the Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 crash on December 10, 2005, she was a finalist on America’s Got Talent in 2017 and has put out her own original music since her appearance on the hit TV show. She hopes to use her story and her musical talents to ignite hope. Okwuchi lives in Texas.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed are my own.

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The Element of Love

In The Element of Love, Laura mixed danger, desperation, and deception together. Love was not the expected outcome.

About the Element of Love

With their sharp engineering minds, Laura Stiles and her two sisters have been able to deal with their mother’s unfortunate choice in husband until they discovered his plans to marry each of them off to his lecherous friends. Now they must run away–far and fast–to find better matches to legally claim their portion of their father’s lumber dynasty and seize control from their stepfather.

During their escape, Laura befriends a mission group heading to serve the poor in California. She quickly volunteers herself and her sisters to join their efforts. Despite the settlement being in miserable condition, the sisters are excited by the opportunity to put their skills to good use. Laura also sees potential in Caleb, the mission’s parson, to help with gaining her inheritance. But when secrets buried in Caleb’s past and in the land around them come to light, it’ll take all the smarts the sisters have to keep trouble at bay.

My Thoughts

This was an interesting tale of three sisters with very unique and brilliant minds. Each one having a very special talent that when combined they are unstoppable. This is a gift of education from their equally talented and late Father who felt that it was extremely important to educate his daughters who would one day take over his company.

So many of their dreams and the future that was originally planned out for them fell apart with their father’s death and their mother’s remarriage. So much so that the sisters plan an elaborate escape from their family home in the hopes of finding a man to marry. On their way to marriage, they cross paths with a mission group and their lives are forever changed. Not only are they forced to learn to trust (and love) but they would do anything to protect these people.

I loved the unique nature of this story, it was definitely not something that I had ever read before and definitely kept me on my toes! The sisters themselves are loveable and quirky, your heart goes out to them for the difficult hand they were dealt later in life and the steps that they must take to overcome this. A great summer time read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than half a million books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Along the Rio Grande

In Along the Rio Grande, recently widowed Susanna Jenkins has decided to follow her family to the booming town of San Marcial, New Mexico, for a fresh start and to aid in her family’s sudden change in fortune. 

About Along the Rio Grande

Is her compassion doing more harm than good?

Recently widowed Susanna Jenkins has decided to follow her family to the booming town of San Marcial, New Mexico, for a fresh start and to aid in her family’s sudden change in fortune. They are tasked with managing her uncle’s new Grand Hotel, and it takes all her patience to try to help her parents see the good of their circumstances and relinquish their sense of entitlement.

She’s hopeful when her brother becomes determined to get a job and make his own way, and she feels drawn to his kind boss, Owen Turner, who works as a boilermaker for the Santa Fe’s train shops in town. But the hard work only seems to fuel her brother’s anger, and his rough new friends give her pause.

When misguided choices put Susanna’s family in an even more precarious situation, she worries her help has only made things worse. Leaving her family to fend for themselves seems like the best option, but how can she walk away from the true friendships–and love–that she’s found?

My Thoughts

Susanna is a strong, independent young women who has dealt with difficult parents (and a sibling) and the death of the love of her life. While she came from money, she has a solid head on her shoulders, spends frugally and well, learning important lessons from her Uncle (someone whom she seems closer to than her own Father). This is in complete contrast to her own parents and brother who can’t seem to control their spending, wastefulness, and consistently make bad decisions.

Those bad decisions cause her parents to have to move to New Mexico – a move that they have fought the entire way. She is there to observe and report to her Uncle but she is not supposed to interfere with the lesson that they must learn (and oh boy what a lesson it is!). We are taken along for the ride as her parents and brother fight back at every opportunity they get to live a minimalist lifestyle and to work for a living. The way they treat Susanna at times is horrible and my heart breaks for her. Through all of this, she remains humble, forgiving and resilient. Despite the loss of the love of her life, she experiences a spark in a new flame which gives new home at finding love and building a new future for her.

I loved Susanna’s story and I feel this novel will make a great summer beach read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over 100 novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her many bestselling series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Learn more at www.traciepeterson.com.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Beached Ones

iRead Book Tours

In The Beached Ones, Daniel must fight his way through a fog of disjointed memories and supernatural encounters to face the truth and pay a debt he didn’t know he owed.

About The Beached Ones

Daniel and his younger brother grew up in an abusive home. Daniel escaped. Now an established stunt rider, he intends to go back to rescue his brother. But then one jump goes horribly wrong . . .

He recovers to find himself in Iowa, unscathed, yet his life has drastically changed. His best friend won’t answer his calls. Even his girlfriend is hiding something. Increasingly terrified, he clings to the one thing he knows: He must pick up his brother in San Francisco. In five days.

​From the isolating fields of Iowa to the crowded streets of San Francisco, Daniel must fight his way through a fog of disjointed memories and supernatural encounters to face the truth and pay a debt he didn’t know he owed.

My Thoughts

The Beached Ones is a powerful story that will touch your heart – it will make you want to cry, to laugh and pause.

From the get go, you can tell something is not quite right as Daniel goes through several experiences that make you pause but it was not until he meets an old flame (plus an article encounter) that we realize Daniel has actually passed away. You can imagine his shock and disbelief (not to mention those feelings of someone who loved him!).

The story is told with flashbacks as Daniel, while not remembering much else, knows that he must get to his younger brother with the help of Jolene (his old flame). We are witness in these flashbacks to a difficult and abusive childhood and the love that Daniel has for his brother (this is a powerful bond between siblings) and to the great lengths he goes to, in order to protect him.

This story was powerful – it moved me to tears many times and it also forces you to stop and reflect (I love novels like this!). It explores so many topics – the bonds between siblings, grief, and has an ending that will shock you. It is a definite must read novel!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, B&N, Nook, IndieBound, Kobo.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Colleen M. Story is a novelist, freelance writer, writing coach, and speaker who loves animals, music, and the great Pacific Northwest.

Her novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others. Her next novel, The Beached Ones is forthcoming from CamCat Books on June 14, 2022.

Colleen has written three books to help writers succeed. “Your Writing Matters” helps writers overcome self-doubt and determine once and for all where writing fits in their lives.

Her previous release, Writer Get Noticed!, was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and a first-place winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards. Overwhelmed Writer Rescue was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book in 2018 and was an Amazon best seller.

With over 20 years as a professional in the creative industry, Colleen has authored thousands of articles for publications like “Healthline” and “Women’s Health;” worked with high-profile clients like Gerber Baby Products and Kellogg’s; and ghostwritten books on back pain, nutrition, and cancer recovery. She continues to work as a full-time freelance writer, helping clients create informative and inspiring communications in a variety of media formats.

Colleen frequently serves as a workshop leader, writing coach, and motivational speaker, where she helps attendees remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers.
Go to Colleen’s website for free chapters of her books.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of The Beached Ones by clicking on this link.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed are my own.

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