Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Calm I Seek by Christina Lourens

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Calm I Seek by Christina Lourens. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a fantastic guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Calm I Seek
Author: Christina Lourens
Publisher: Pheasant Hill Press
Publication Date: November 26th 2020
Print Length: 250 pages
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
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With love, betrayal and grief disrupting her perfectly peaceful life, will she fight for the happiness she deserves?

After the violent death of her husband, Rebecca Holmes is content leading a quiet life spending time with her sisters and niece. When her younger sister Hannah asks her to plan her wedding, Rebecca discovers her friends and family all think her life is empty. Determined to prove them wrong, Rebecca takes up salsa lessons where she meets the charismatic salsa teacher, Gabriel Rodriguez.

Falling in love is the last thing Rebecca wanted to do, but she is inexplicably drawn to Gabriel. Opening her heart again is terrifying, especially after what happened with her late husband. With the help of the local vicar, Rebecca starts to believe that maybe she deserves a happy ending after all.

Just when she’s decided to give her heart to Gabriel, a betrayal brings back demons from the past. Heartbroken, Rebecca closes herself off again, but when disaster strikes her family, she is forced to confront her past actions. Can there be redemption for her and can she forgive those who betrayed her?

The Calm I Seek is a heartbreaking novel about forgiveness and redemption.

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EXCERPT:
Someone clinked their fork against their wine glass, and it took me a few moments to realize this was done to draw our attention. A short inspection around the table showed us the culprit: Michael. We all groaned. Now was not the time to regale us with speeches.

He stood. “I’m sorry to break into your daydreams, but I wanted to say a few words.” 

Hannah smiled as her cheeks reddened. What did she have to blush about?

“As you all know, I dearly love your sister Hannah. We’ve been together for two years now, and we feel as if we’re made for each other.”

What was this? A public declaration of love? I could really do without that after stuffing myself full of turkey.

“Since we’ve been together for that long, we thought we’d make it official this year. If you permit us, that is.” He bowed slightly at Laura, who looked as confused as the rest of us. When he beamed at her, she realized a reply was expected.

“Sure,” she mumbled, although I doubted she knew what she was assenting to.

“Wonderful. Then it’s decided.” Michael now beamed at Hannah. Too much beaming going on for my liking. Hannah stood up as well, and he put his arm around her. “The wedding will probably be over the summer, although we haven’t set a definite date yet.”

Wait, wedding? 

“You’re getting married?” Emily hadn’t eaten that much and was clearly more with it than the rest of us.

Michael’s smile faded slightly. “Yes, that’s what I was telling you.”

“Well, congratulations.” She moved around to Hannah and hugged her. 

I was still trying to get my turkey-fogged brain to accept the new reality.

“A wedding? Well, that’ll be something to look forward to.” Laura’s smile seemed a bit strained, but that could have been indigestion. She also got up and hugged Hannah.

I got to my feet too, and since Michael was closest to me, I hugged him instead. Robert followed with manly shoulder claps and vigorous handshaking.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Christina Lourens has always been passionate about writing, but life got in the way of her writing career. She’s never given up and can be found writing in the evenings and on weekends, often accompanied by her pug. When she’s not writing, Christina keeps busy at the day job (until her writing career takes off) or snuggles up on the couch with a book. She loves crocheting, but because of her busy life, crocheting projects tend to take a long time to be finished.

Christina has lived in three countries, but is currently living in the UK with her husband of 20 years, their two children, pug, canary and pheasant.

The Calm I Seek is her first novel. 

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GUEST POST:
- What is the most romantic thing someone has done for you? 
When I saw the topic for this guest blog post, I turned to my husband of nineteen years and asked him, “What is the most romantic thing you’ve done for me?” We looked at each other in silent puzzlement, unable to come up with anything. 

Horrified, my husband asked, “Am I that bad at doing romantic stuff?”

Truth is, neither of us are the big-romantic-gestures-type. And that is fine, especially considering the origin story of our relationship is in itself quite romantic.

It was the late nineties and the internet was still in its infant stages. I lived in the Netherlands, my husband in Canada and neither of us knew of the other’s existence. I had discovered IRC chats and enjoyed talking to people from all over the world.

It was in one of the chatrooms that I met my husband. We chatted and became friends. My husband had a friend in the Netherlands—coincidentally in my town—and he mentioned that he would be visiting his friend in the summer. It was too good an opportunity to pass up, so we planned to meet each other.

It was love at first sight. What was meant to be a quick coffee ended up as a whole day at the beach with a lovely dinner to finish. And the rest, as they say, is history. We did the long-distance thing for a year, then I moved to Canada for a year on a university exchange program, and then we did another three years of long distance before we got married. 

I don’t need big, romantic gestures. I’d rather have the smaller moments which so far have lasted twenty-four years of our relationship, with more to come. I have to admit that my heroes in my novels don’t tend to make big, romantic gestures either. Even Gabriel in The Calm I Seek is low-key, with the only big, romantic moment completely backfiring on him. Better to leave romantic gestures small, I think.
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GIVEAWAY:
Christina Lourens will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

63 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me, Heather. I had fun writing about romantic gestures, although it's a bit embarrassing that my life isn't more romantic :-).

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    1. Thanks for stopping by =) My life isn't romantic either, and my husband has never been one for romance, lol. I also met my husband online. He was living in England, and I was living in Texas at the time.

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  2. Thanks so much for both the book description and giveaway as well. I enjoy hearing about another good book.

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    1. You're welcome. Hope you like reading the book as well!

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  3. I like the cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you, I love the cover too. It took a lot to get it to where it is now, but I think it turned out perfect.

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  4. Love, betrayal and grief. The holy trinity of a good book. Thanks for your good works.

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    1. Thank you, hope you enjoy reading it. It was a difficult book to write, but very rewarding.

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    1. It took me two months to write the first draft and then two years to edit that rough draft into the book it is now.

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  6. This excerpt sounds wonderful.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

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  8. wonderful cover, congrats on the release

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  9. I have holidays on the brain. What's your favorite holiday?

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    1. Easter is my favourite holiday. I love the cosiness of Christmas, but I love Easter because that's when Jesus died on the cross for us and rose again. From a Christian point of view I find it more meaningful.

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  10. Book sounds wonderful and such a pretty cover to this book.
    @tisonlyme143

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  11. Great blog post- love finding new (to me) authors

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  12. Looks like a great read. Love the cover!

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  13. love the cover. thanks for this chance

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  14. Love the cover ! Sounds like a great read - DolphinBaby1369@aol.com

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  15. Sounds like a great book can't wait to read it 😀. Thank you so much for the chance.

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  16. I like the cover. It sets the tone for the book.

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  17. David HollingsworthNovember 18, 2020 at 1:27 AM

    Sounds like a really intriguing book.

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  18. The title and the cover match perfectly.. thank you and best of luck with the book....

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  19. What a sweet book cover. Thanks for your good works

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  20. I think that the cover of your book looks wistful and attractive.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  21. Nice cover. I liked the blurb and excerpt. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  22. I like the beautiful artwork on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  23. I enjoyed reading the excerpt. Thank you for sharing it.

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  24. This sounds like a truly Inspirational read

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  25. The cover is beautiful! and what keeps you going when you think you have come to and end on that dotted line.
    @tisonlyme143

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  26. I love the cover, I cant wait to check it out. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  27. What did you most enjoy about writing this novel?

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  28. This sounds so good can't wait to read it!

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  29. I like the cover, it makes me want to know more about the book :-)

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  30. Inspirational Fiction - I would like that.
    And the cover is so calming.
    Thank you for sharing the review.

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  31. What is your favorite thing about writing?

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  32. sounds like a fun one

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  33. This sounds like a wonderful story! I am looking forward to reading more!

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  34. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  35. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover.

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  36. The cover looks like the kind of book experience I need right now.

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  37. This book sounds so good and would love to read!

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