Echoes Of Paradise – Review & Contest!

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3 PAPERBACK copies of Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler

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Echoes of Paradise

Deanna Kahler 

echoescoverGenre: Fiction/Paranormal

Publisher: Rose Petal Publications

Date of Publication: January 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615863399

ASIN: TBD

Number of pages: 228

Word Count: 54,000

Cover Artist: Cover photo by Paul Kahler

Review:

Echoes of Paradise is a sweet tale with a metaphysical slant about spiritual growth and enlightenment.

It’s atypical of the romance genre. The main character, Celeste is married with a 5 year old son, living in a flawed yet manageable relationship. It’s a situation she accepts. However, when Connor, the love of her life who left to work overseas, decides to come home, she feels conflicted. His impending return resurrects old feelings. After all, if two people could be described as soul mates it was Connor and Celeste.

Unfortunately, Connor dies in a plane crash before they can ever re-connect. Celeste grieves as someone who has lost the love of her life, confusing her current husband, Dave. He is a shallow but well meaning guy who assumes she’ll get over it. When strange, inexplicable things start happening, Celeste realizes Connor has come back as an angel to guide  her and son, Chip.  She eventually tells Dave about Connor’s visits who remains skeptical at first, then succumbs to jealousy.

And then we go on a metaphysical journey, exploring theories and beliefs of the afterlife as the story unfolds with Connor teaching Celeste how to live a happier, fuller life.

I was fine with this since it echoes my fundamental beliefs. Others may consider it fantasy or paranormal. Regardless, the story is strong enough to please both factions and a good read for romance fans of contemporary, sweet, or paranormal genres. The characters are interesting and believable.

My only criticism is the ending seemed a little contrived but once again, what’s a sweet romance without an HEA? The writing flows easily even though I found the dialogue simplistic at times. But that’s just me. I tend to read edgier content anyway, so go figure.

I recommend this book for romance fans, especially those who enjoy stories about loving ghosts, life beyond death, metaphysics or parables of enlightenment such as The Celestine Prophecy.

Book Description: 

Does Love Survive Death? When Celeste’s one true love Connor dies, she’s left with many questions and regrets. Caught in a web of painful memories from her troubled past – and a complicated marriage to a materialistic executive – she ventures into an unknown world.

What she experiences makes her more determined than ever to find out what really happens after death and what became of her lost love. Her journey takes her to places she never thought possible. But just around the corner, danger still lurks. Will she find the answers she seeks and ultimately discover the truth?

Short Excerpt: 

Celeste began sobbing uncontrollably. She struggled to see the road ahead of her through tear-filled eyes. The landscape became a fuzzy blur of moonlight and shadowy trees. The world around her spun into an unrecognizable mix of darkness streaked with occasional rays of dim light. As she drove blindly ahead, she felt as if she were plunging into nothingness. And she didn’t even care.

She would have continued in her oblivious state, but somehow, out of nowhere, she heard a very clear and distinct male voice pop into her head. She thought that surely she must have imagined it, because it sounded like Connor.

Pay attention.

Suddenly a deer darted out in front of her, its startled eyes aglow from the blazing gold headlights. Blood pulsed through her veins as she abruptly swerved her car to the right, narrowly missing the animal. With her heart still pounding, she took a deep breath and tried to regain her composure.

“That was close,” she said aloud to herself. “Stay focused, Celeste. Keep it together.”

Although she was alone in her car, she noticed a distinct presence. It felt like Connor was somehow with her. First the voice, and now this? Surely she must be losing her mind! Even so, she had an irresistible urge to talk to him. Maybe it was silly or useless, but she couldn’t fight this desire brimming inside of her. She didn’t just want communication with her deceased former love; she needed it—even if it was one-sided. She began to have a conversation as if he were right there with her.

“I’m so sorry,” she sobbed. “I’m sorry I didn’t stay in touch with you and try to be a part of your life in some way. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you or able to help you. I’m sorry for the night I left you. I’m sorry I didn’t let you get closer to me or tell you that I love you. I’m just so sorry.”

Tears streamed down Celeste’s face like the rain on a shiny glass window, and she gasped for air. What she wanted most right now was to know that Connor still existed somehow, somewhere. She wanted proof that his spirit lived on. She wanted to know that he was alive and well in heaven. Although she had been raised Christian, her faith had faded as she’d grown older. Life’s circumstances, unanswered prayers, and the cynical, materialistic world around her had left Celeste with doubts and questions. She now wondered if God and the afterlife even existed at all. She wanted to believe. She just didn’t know how.

Right after she spoke to Connor, a song came on the radio. The words caught her attention, and she stopped crying long enough to listen. It was a tune by Nickelback titled “Someday.”

For a brief moment, Celeste noticed a tingling sensation run down her spine. She felt like Connor was speaking directly to her through this song. It felt as if he were trying to respond to her. Were the words to this song meant for her? Did he somehow hear her cries? Was he trying to tell her he was going to help her in some way?

“No,” thought Celeste. “You’re being ridiculous. This is all just a coincidence. Connor can’t hear you or help you—he’s dead.”

Somehow, even though her rational, logical mind told her this, her heart told her otherwise. Maybe Connor really was alive in the afterlife. Maybe he really could hear her. She needed to know the truth. She wanted answers.

About the Author:

Deanna Kahler is an accomplished writer and proud mom. Her work has been published in numerous corporate newsletters and magazines across the country. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives. deannakahler

Echoes of Paradise is Deanna’s second book. Her first book, From Pain to Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption, details her difficult journey to motherhood and provides tips and resources for those facing similar circumstances.

Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb, where she enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.

For more information about the author, please visit www.deannakahler.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/deannakahler

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/echoesofparadise

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7087819.Deanna_Kahler

It’s HOT for the HOLIDAYS!!!!! Bewitching Book Tours Giveaway Starts NOW!

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I”ve been biting my tongue while waiting to tell you about the fantabulous Holiday Giveaway offered by Bewitching Book Tours. The Grand Prize – a Kindle Fire HD (or equivalent value in an Amazon Gift Card) – is enough to convince most people to enter this incredible contest . . . but it doesn’t stop there. Roxanne Rhoads, our esteemed leader and owner of one of the best virtual book tour and promotion companies around, has aligned with the stars (as in talented authors) to create a truly awesome event. There’s something for everyone.

 Just look at the rest of the available prizes:

THREE Bewitching Prize Packs full of books and book swag goodies- open to US Shipping. Prize packs may contain print copies of The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle, Would Be Witch by Kimberly Frost and Earth Angel by E Van Lowe, Paranormal Pleasures by Roxanne Rhoads, Tasty Christmas Treats by Roxanne Rhoads. Books will be distributed among the 3 prize packs

1  e-book set of the first three books in the Seven Seals Series by Traci Douglas 

1 Release, book 3 of The Angler series by Annie Nicholas 

1 ebook copy Murder on Mars A New Orleans Mystery by MM Shelley

1 Ebook giveaway Hollow’s End by Marianne Morea 

1 Ebook copy of Tigress by JE Taylor 

1 ebook copy of In Flames by Jessica Jayne

1 copy of River Road by Suzanne Johnson 

1 ebook copy of Visionary- Unleashed by N Dunham

1 copy of each Bleeding Hearts and Blood Rush by Ash Krafton 

1 ebook copy of Soul Meaning (Seventeen Book 1) by AD Starrling

1 ebook copy of Blaze Ignites by JL Madore

1  e-book copy of Operation Earth by Maria Hammarblad

1 Earth’s Requiem by Ann Gimpel. Print if in the U.S., an e-copy otherwise.

1 ebook copy Silent Oath (Book 2 of the Locked Within Trilogy) by Paul Anthony Shortt

1 Ebook: Five Golden Rings by Jeffe Kennedy from the Season of Seduction Carina Press erotic holiday anthology

1 eBook: An Unexpected Bride (The Bride Series, Book 1) by Shadonna Richards 

1 eCopy of Divine Destiny by Joanna Grace

1 Ministry Protocol: Thrilling Tales of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences 

1 Ebook giveaway. “Beautiful Stranger” by Katalina Leon

1 ebook copy of Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak

1 ebook copy of Cleaning Up by Jophrael L Avario

1 One e-book copy of Haven by Celia Breslin

1 one e-book copy of Dragon Fire by Dina Von Lowenkraft

1 ebook copy of Hex and the Single Witch by Roxanne Rhoads

1 one kindle copy of Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden

1 One ecopy of Cursed Ever After by AC James

1 copy of The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter by Jillian Stone

1 ecopy of Catwalk:Messiah by Nick Kelly

1 ecopy of Wucaii by Pembroke Sinclair

1 ecopy of The Bottom Line by Shelley Munro

1 Ebook copy of Dangerous Pursuit by Margaret Daly

Can you believe it??? Like I said, there’s something for any reader’s tastes. All you have to do is enter, which is soooo easy! Just click on the Bewitching Book Tours Button at the top of this post or on this link: 

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And if you’re a visual person like me (one picture is worth a thousand words), you’ll enjoy this enticing display of book covers and prizes featured in the contest. Remember, BBT’s HOT HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY is open to everyone, whether you’re naughty or nice!

“Lucky Phoo” is a Doggone Good Tale!

And to make this “tail-wagging” virtual book tour even more fun, enter the tour wide CONTEST to win awesome swag!
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Click on the RAFFLECOPTER link to enter one of the following prizes:

  • 4 bracelets- US Shipping Only
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  • 4 plush dogs with Lucky Phoo dog tags- US Shipping Only
  • 3 Copies of the Lucky Phoo Ebook for download- international

 

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Lucky Phoo coverLucky Phoo
Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon

Genre: Children’s Mid Grade

Publisher: Imajin Books

Date of Publication: August 1, 2013

Number of pages: 109

Word Count: 43,000

Cover Artist: Ryan Doan

imajinbooks.com, amazon.com, luckyphoo.com and www.staciadeutsch.com

Book Description:

Seventh grade best friends, Caylie Jiang-Kahn, Lauren Blindell, and Sabrina Robinson have busy middle school lives.

Sabrina wants to make a movie about their friendship, but a stray dog shows up and ruins the day. In frustration, Lauren curses, “Oh Phooey.” The name sticks. The crazy mutt will forever be named Phoo.

Sabrina pieces together bits of the footage she shot. She highlights Phoo’s silly antics and puts the video up on a movie contest website.

The video goes viral and suddenly, Lauren, Caylie, and Sabrina are celebrities at school. When a volunteer at the dog shelter sees the film, she assumes the dog belongs to the girls and calls them to come collect Phoo.

The girls arrange to take turns caring for Phoo until he can be adopted.

While sharing Phoo, Caylie, Sabrina and Lauren begin to notice that if the dog is around, lucky things seem to happen. The moment he’s gone…the luck disappears.

When they all need the dog’s magic at the same time, it’s up to the girls to decide once and for all: Is Phoo truly a lucky dog?

Review:

I don’t usually read children’s books. I made an exception with “Lucky Phoo” because I’m a sucker for dog stories and I respect the writing accomplishments of authors Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon. I’m glad I did.

What I discovered is “Lucky Phoo” might target the children’s market but it is a well written tale that adults will enjoy, too.

This short novel is an engaging story in a contemporary setting . . . three young girls who aspire to be filmmakers . . . and the stray dog who adds a bit of frenzy to their lives. The characters and dialogue are realistic but not so juvenile as to be offsetting to an older reader. What I really found refreshing (besides Phoo’s crazy antics) was the serious issues that weave throughout the story without dampening the fun. They unfold in such a way as to offer positive guidance and good lessons for today’s youth.

“Lucky Phoo” will draw you in and hold your interest. I highly recommend it for mid-grade children and adults, alike. And who knows . . . it may even convince you to foster a homeless dog!:)

What other reviewers have to say:

“With punchy dialogue and a fast moving pace, LUCKY PHOO takes readers on a wild adventure as three friends try to share fostering duties of a lovable stray dog.” —Marianne Mitchell, author of FIREBUG

 “Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon are two very best friends who write books together, which is very lucky for their readers. You’ll want to share LUCKY PHOO with all your friends, too!” —Jennifer J. Stewart, author of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD WORLD KIND, Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award List; Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award List; Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award List

 “LUCKY PHOO is a great story about friendship, love and responsibility–Phoo, the lucky dog who wanders into Sabrina’s, Caylie’s and Lauren’s world is indeed  lucky–although maybe not as lucky as these girls whose life he changes.” —Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of STUCK IN NEUTRAL

 “Okay, full disclosure: I LOVE good, strong, dog stories–Lucky Phoo is precisely one of those!” —Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of STUCK IN NEUTRAL

 Excerpt:

Mrs. Salinas was ready to go. “So if you girls are sure you can’t take him any longer, I’ll just head on over to the van―” She took a few steps forward then turned back to the girls. “You’re sure you can’t foster him any longer?”

“I can’t,” Sabrina said, her voice tight and sad.

“Not me,” Lauren confirmed.

“I might be able to squeeze out another weekend,” Caylie said, “but we’d be back here on Monday.”

“Right,” Mrs. Salinas said. “And at least this way he has a chance of getting adopted in Fresno.”

She took a few more steps towards the van. The rain, to Lauren, seemed to be coming down harder. The drops blended in with her tears now. And looking at Caylie and Sabrina, Lauren couldn’t tell, but was pretty sure they were crying, too.

Mrs. Salina’s stopped one more time, just at the edge of the parking lot. “It was great having him,” she said. “Wasn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Lauren agreed. “Great.”

“We had fun,” Caylie said.

“Fun,” Sabrina repeated the word. “Yeah. We had a good time.”

Mrs. Salinas nodded. “I thought so.” She looked down at the dog, then back at the girls. “Tell me,” she said, her voice soft, drippy like the rain. “Weren’t things better when Phoo was around?”

The remark caught Lauren off-guard. What was Mrs. Salinas talking about?

“I think she’s right,” Lauren said, turning to Caylie and Sabrina. “Things have been going better than usual for me lately.”

“You don’t think he might have some kind of powers?” Sabrina looked over at Mrs. Salinas who was now at the van, loading Phoo inside.

“Well,” Caylie said, considering.

“I think maybe,” Lauren said tentatively. “I saw this show about luck and how―” Lauren stopped herself mid-sentence when she saw Mrs. Salinas push Phoo into an empty carrying cage. His voice joined the choir of barking dogs and was the loudest of them all.

In a sudden move, the girls rushed forward to stop the truck, shouting together, “Mrs. Salinas! Wait!”

 

About the Authors:

Rhody Cohon wishes she could adopt a million pets! Until her house is big enough she’ll pamper the few she has and help others find the perfect home.

Find Rhody at www.rhodycohon.com.

 

Stacia Deutsch sits at the keyboard crafting stories all day and then, plays with her own crazy, lucky, dog at night. She and her three kids live in Southern California. You can visit Stacia at www.staciadeutsch.com or on twitter at @staciadeutsch.pic 4

Website: www.staciadeutsch.com, www.rhodycohon.com

Blog: http://www.goodreads.com/staciadeutsch

Twitter: @staciadeutsch

Facebook: www.facebook.com/staciadeutsch  or www.facebook.com/luckyphoo to post your own pet photos and videos

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sfdeutsch/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/staciadeutsch

AuthorCentral: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMB0UE