De-cluttering Junkie Kick-Off!

Alright, so this is the giveaway I’ve been talking about for a while… the one I’m so excited about!! First off, I’m pleased to announce, Confessions of a De-cluttering Junkie is now available on ALL platforms! And, of course, when I do a major kick-off for one of my books, I love to give something away, both as incentive to spread the word, but also just because, well, I really like giveaways!

If you’ve been following the newsletter or the De-Cluttering Junkie blog, you may have seen  the short story about Kaye’s latest obsession and how it caused the de-cluttering junkie herself to relapse. The first two segments of “The Best Laid Plans” are up: Part 1, and Part 2.

Part 3 will go live by 9am PST Wednesday 4/23/14 and there’ll be installments on Thursday and Friday as well!  So check De-cluttering Junkie all week for Kaye’s story.

So, for a limited time, Confessions of a De-cluttering Junkie  is only .99 on all eReader platforms. Here’s your chance to get the book at a great low price, plus the opportunity to win  what has lately become one of my most favorite creative outlets: an Erin Condren Life Planner (suggested retail value of $100)! or, as usual, one of a couple of Amazon Gift Cards that I give away every week. To see how I use my Erin Condren Life Planner, check out my post on the DCJ Blog.

How do you win you ask? I’ll tell you!
We have lots of options. We like to try to make it easy for everyone to get at least two entries. We use PromoSimple widgets as our giveaway manager. Just enter your email address and name into the widget and that’s one entry! Answer the question in the comments below, and there’s another entry! Then, for those who like social media (and more entries into the giveaways) here are more entry options!
Like our Facebook Page/Post
Tweet this giveaway
Pin the Cover on Pinterest
Pin the Trailer on Pinterest
Sign up for our Newsletter
The book is available at .99 for a limited time (subject to change at Ashley’s whim) on
Amazon
Kobo
Nook
Comment Request: Have you ever heard of Erin Condren Life Planners before?


Posted in .99, Contests, General Information, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

Lessons Learned: Discovering Hope

hopecoverfrontBackground for Discovering Hope:  Hope was a NaNoWriMo challenge to myself.  I told myself I wanted to write the sappiest book I could possibly fathom.  At the time, I couldn’t have written anything that dripped with more sap if I tried.

Originally, I named it Hope 101.  I wanted to offer true Hope without being obscenely preachy.  I don’t know that I succeeded, but I do love the finished book.

Characters: The book is full of favorite characters. Kirky is inspired by a friend of mine.  The “real” Kirky and I spent hours searching the internet for just the right dress for Hope to wear to the opera.  We never found one, but we had fun “creating” one.  Raj is “real” too.  Another dear friend shared one her friends’ quirky twists of American idioms–and his idea about American names. And Hope’s last name was inspired by a lovely woman in Georgia who talked me through many late nights and early mornings as I wrote Hope’s story.  Thanks, Lisa!

MC:  I love Hope’s strength-wrapped femininity.  I’d never thought of it until just now, but there’s a certain bit of Fanny Price from Mansfield Park in her.  She’s strong in her beliefs, but not overly vocal about them unless pressed.  She’s endured a lot of pain in her few years, and I think that’s what I learned the most from–how she embraced and balanced the truths of grief and joy that come when a Christian is finally home.  We weep for them–we weren’t done with them here yet–but we also rejoice in knowing they are complete.  It’s such a difficult combination of feelings.  We feel guilty for the anger at our loss, knowing that they truly are “better off” (do you know anyone who likes to hear that?  The words hurt rather than console most often).  Yet during those moments where we truly can rejoice for their wholeness with Jesus, we then feel the guilt of not being grieved for the loss.  I tried to show those in Hope–just a bit.  I didn’t want it to be too heavy.

Second MC:  Oh, Jay.  Writing about Jay and his family gave me such a deep love for Indian culture.  I did soooooooooo much research on this book.  I stalked Tamil forums, searching for the right words to use here and there.  I wanted the flavor of India without bogging down the story. One of the hardest things to read was how often non-Indian women fell for Indian men who (often telling them up front) would never marry them.  Their families have expectations and arranged marriages are much more common even now than I realized. I almost changed Jay when I read that, but I couldn’t.  So I wrote the ending that so many non-Indian women would have wished to have. It isn’t impossibly unrealistic, but it isn’t as common as I assumed.

One of the amazing things about Jay and his story came when I researched his head injury.  I had no idea what to expect from it.  I first had to discover if that injury could happen!  It isn’t likely, but it is within reasonable possibility.  I then had to decide what kind of result there would be.  What amazed me was how everyone’s stories were different.  Some people had short-term memory loss similar to what you’d see in Fifty First Dates or Remember Sunday (I prefer this one for the record).  Others had only loss surrounding the accident… a day or two before and until they were fully conscious after a short coma (medically induced or not).  Others, like Jay, lost their memories but retained their skill sets.  That was the most common that I found, so I chose to give a common result to an uncommon injury.  What surprised me, however, was how many people emailed me asking who in my family had suffered such an injury–how did I know what it was like?  I didn’t.  I just read medical articles–most without anecdotes–to learn what could happen.

Another thing Jay and his family taught me was to embrace truth and beauty–even if it comes from an uncomfortable source.  The Hindi festival of lights was very difficult for me to read about. Parts of it made me want to leave it out completely, but I saw truth in other parts and I learned from it.  All things must be compared to God’s Word before we embrace them, and not all things related to something that fits in God’s principles will be appropriate for Christians, but I learned to reject only that which God has not allowed for His people.  It was a difficult lesson for my natural love of rules and formulas, but God is very good to me.

Third Character:  Raj.  What can I say?  I love his wit, his acceptance of his son–even when he doesn’t understand Jay–and the love he inspires in his wife and son for him. Raj and Amala blessed me.

Theme:  Hope and faith–the deepest part of who we are and how it makes us respond to others.

Response:

I was impressed with the boldness of Hope’s faith combined with the respect she has for those who don’t share it. Jay has the gift of seeing to the heart of a matter; a gift I think he shares with the author.  ~LisaK

Tender, entertaining, refreshing. Discovering Hope weaves the story of atypical college students Jay Brown and Hope Senior. In classic Chautona Havig style, the witty but realistic dialogue unveils three-dimensional characters while weaving the story of two parallel and gradual romances. Jay is tenderly and gradually drawn into faith in Christ, while, at the same time, Jay and Hope’s friendship overcomes trying circumstances over the course of more than a year. This is the story of Jay’s journey to hope and Hope.   ~Barnabaswoman

Another very refreshing aspect of this story is the journey Jay takes as he discovers who Jesus is. I’ve seen too many Christians become offended by the doubts and questions thrown their way. Jay was allowed to question, he was given the freedom and time to search for answers and possibly most importantly, he had a friend who let him make his own decision. ~ Lynn :o)

This is a review full of firsts. Let me explain. I am a reader – a very avid reader. I have read so many books this year that I can’t even begin to count. But this is the first time I’ve stopped to review a book. This is big. I’m just not a write-a-review type of person, on anything, even when I’m blown away by the product. I am THAT impressed with this book – that I took the time to sit down and tell you about it. My other first is this: This is the first book I’ve read by Chautona Havig. I’d never even heard of her. I am in love with her writing style. I cannot wait to read every single book she has out. I thought I knew of every good Christian author but I’d managed to miss this author somehow. So glad I found her! This book was so emotional and personal. I felt like I knew these two people – Jay’s character is still with me. He was so very real to me. I love who he was and hope to find someone like him one day. ;) A girl can dream! This book made me laugh, cry, and think real hard. I’d say that makes this book a winner. If you are debating on whether or not to read this book, please do yourself a favor and read it! It’s got a unique storyline and genuine, likable characters that feel more like people than characters. This is also a book that I could read over again later – after I’m done thinking about it from the first go ’round. :).  ~ejay429

Summary:  This book is about faith.  Faith in the Lord Jesus, of course, but in the Hope that is within Jesus’ followers.  It’s about trusting the Lord to draw people to Him when it doesn’t seem like He’s paying attention.    But of course, Hope (upper and lowercase hope) plays a big part in it.  Hope in the Lord, hope in the face of dreams shattered, and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Posted in Lessons Learned Series | Comments Off

Discovering Hope for Tax Reprieve

hopecoverfrontWhew! I don’t know about you, but  this year more than most others, I am proud and happy to see the date switch to April 16th. In honor of “the day after tax day,” we’ve dropped the price of Discovering Hope for a limited time (at least 24 hours) so here’s a chance to get the book at a great low price and the opportunity to win one of a couple of Amazon Gift Cards that I give away every week. How do you win you ask? I’ll tell you!
We have lots of options. We like to try to make it easy for everyone to get at least two entries. We use PromoSimple widgets as our giveaway manager. Just enter your email address and name into the widget and that’s one entry! Answer the question in the comments below, and there’s another entry! Then, for those who like social media (and more entries into the giveaways) here are more entry options!
Like our Facebook Page/Post
Tweet this giveaway
Pin the Cover on Pinterest
Pin the Trailer on Pinterest
Sign up for our Newsletter
The book is available at .99 for a limited time (subject to change at Ashley’s whim) on
Amazon
Kobo
Nook

Comment Request: I “hope” to incorporate this year to save a bundle in taxes.  What do you think my business name should be?”


Posted in .99, Giveaways | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Wool Over Their Eyes… Argosy Junction @ .99!!

For a peek into the music of my childhood, and a story that tells how I feel about the heartbreaking way the church wounds its own, I recommend Argosy Junction

Ashley has dropped the price of Argosy Junction for a limited time (at least 24 hours), so for those who haven’t met Lane and Matt (or those who only know them from Past Forward), here’s a chance to get the book at a great low price and the opportunity to win one of a couple of Amazon Gift Cards that I give away every week.  How do you win you ask?  I’ll tell you!

We have lots of options.  We like to try to make it easy for everyone to get at least two entries.  We use PromoSimple widgets as our giveaway manager.  Just enter your email address and name into the widget and that’s one entry!  Answer the question in the comments below, and there’s another entry!  Then, for those who like social media (and more entries into the giveaways) here are more entry options!

Like our Facebook Page/Post
Tweet
this giveaway

Pin the Cover on Pinterest
Pin the Trailer on Pinterest
Sign up for our Newsletter

The book is available at .99 for a limited time (subject to change at Ashley’s whim) on:
Amazon
Kobo
Nook

Comment Request: Matt always wanted to see what life in places he’d read about was really like, so he went to Montana and discovered that their grass may be green, but that didn’t make life perfect.  Did you ever have a dream that turned out to be all wrong?

AND, for those who have been so patiently waiting, I was able to twist my assistant’s arm so she’d finally sort through the great response we had to our reviewers party and pick two names at random. If you aren’t signed up for the newsletter, or haven’t been opening those emails, you may have missed out on the announcement for this special drawing. (Make sure you sign up for the NEWSLETTER, if you haven’t already!)Two lucky gals are going to be getting a little shopping boost with the $25 Amazon gift cards they just won!

So, without further ado, the winners of the review party, who will be receiving one $25 Amazon gift certificate each are:

Sue Fain

and

Rebecca Popejoy

Congratulations, ladies!!!

I really want to take the time to say a heartfelt THANK YOU, to each and every one of you, who took time out of your days to post reviews for my books. It means so much to me. I deeply appreciate your kind words and honest reviews so much!

I’ve also written a “Lessons Learned” post about Argosy Junction.  You can read that post HERE.

(Remember: The links on this site are often referral links. For more information, read my disclosure policy here.)


Posted in .99, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Winner of…

goldfish… the as of yet unfinished Chinaberry bead necklace is…

MARI!

Ashley chose “the goldfish story” as the winning story!  :)

Posted in Giveaways | 1 Comment

Spring Forward with Past Forward

Anyone ready for spring yet? ;) aprilfoolIt would seem the weather across much of the nation is attempting to pull an overused April Fool’s Day prank. Ah well, if you’re in an area that’s getting unseasonal snow (or even if you’re not ;) ), I’ve got a special going that will have you curled up on the couch enjoying some good reading! As a fun treat for April Fool’s Day, I’ve lowered the pri ces for the Past Forward Volumes (1-6) to just .99 each on all eReader platforms. So, whether you’re missing one or three, you can easily fill in the gaps at this low price. PLUS, if you’re new to Past Forward, and want to take a test drive, Past Forward The Beginning (the first 5 chapters) is FREE!

I have several ways you can help spread the word and earn an entry in my weekly giveaway to win one of two Amazon Gift Cards. BONUS!  If you answer in the comments as well as on the widget, you also have a chance to win the **Chinaberry Bead Necklace.**  Just tell us the best/worst April Fool’s Joke you’ve ever played or had played on you. Ashley will be judging ONLY from the blog comments (but in order to get your actual entry in, you must comment on the widget as well).

**What is this chinaberry bead necklace I speak of?  Well, while attempting to channel my inner Willow this week, I decided to make chinaberry beads out of the berries from my trees.  THIS BLOG POST at Fairburytales.com explains a bit of the process and shows the first steps in making these beads.  Once the necklace/s are complete, the lucky winner will receive hers in the mail.

Amazon: To take advantage of this limited time special download the volumes:
One, Two, Three, Four, Five and Six.

Kobo: One, Two, Three, Four, Five and Six

Nook: One, Two, Three, Four, Five and Six

Facebook: Please link to the Amazon page
Twitter: Please Tweet the Amazon page

Pinterest: Please pin:
The Cover
The Trailer

Comment: What is the best/worst April Fool’s Joke you’ve ever played or had played on you?

Additionally: Encourage anyone you know who likes my books to please sign up for the NEWSLETTER.

Feel free to use the images and share this special on your blog.


Posted in .99 | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

For Those Who are Ready or Not…

smalronAlright, so I’m beginning a fun new journey at the moment, as I just got an Erin Condren Life Planner and have been enjoying (perhaps a bit too much) customizing it to my liking. I’ll probably go to bed tonight dreaming dreams of washi tape, task stickers and to do lists. Come to think of it, Aggie could probably benefit greatly from one of these. (Watch for a GIVEAWAY for one of these cool little things and a new mini story about Kaye and Purrlock over at www.declutteringjunkie.com)

Anyway, in the interest of new journeys, this week’s special is Ready or Not (Book number one in the Aggie’s Inheritance Series). I have several ways you can help spread the word and earn an entry in my weekly giveaway to win one of two $5 Amazon Gift Cards as well as a chance to win one of 10 copies of your choice of any of the recent .99 books!

Amazon: To take advantage of this limited time special DOWNLOAD the book.

Nook

Kobo

Facebook: Please link to the Amazon page
Twitter: Please Tweet the Amazon page

Pinterest: Please pin:
The Cover
The Trailer

Comment: Why do I make you comment anyway? :D

Additionally: Encourage anyone you know who likes my books to please sign up for the NEWSLETTER.

Feel free to use the images and share this special on your blog.


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Winner of the boxed set of books!!

Did a little drawing tonight for the boxed set of books I mentioned on my previous blog post.

And the winner IS: Betty Landesman!!

Congratulations, Betty. If you would be so kind as to email me and let me know if you’d like the boxed set or one of my books, I’ll get it sent out to you as soon as possible!

Posted in General Information | 4 Comments

Boxed Set of Books by Several Authors!! WOOT!

DRAWING TONIGHT!!!

A while back, an author contacted me with an invitation to be a part of a “boxed” set of books for a fun promotion. I wasn’t able to get the information to them in time to contribute, but I did want to share the exciting deal.  I’ve never read anything by any of these authors, but I’m definitely buying the set myself.  I hope I’ll find some great new authors to read, and if not, at .99 for ALL the books in the set, I really can’t go wrong.  Here’s what they shared about it:

Breathtaking: Seven Bestselling Novels of Love and Suspense

Boxed set is only $.99 March 24th through March 29th. 

Unbelievable by Sherry Gammon

Deliah Dreser’s in town to take care of family business. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but there’s more to Lilah than meets the eye. Cole’s in danger of losing his heart when this firestorm throws sparks his way. Is she simply playing him for the fool in order to exact revenge for her brother’s murders?

Bestselling author Sherry Gammon’s reviewers exclaim; “She has a gift for touching her readers with beautiful, gripping stories that you can’t put down.”

Home Before Dark by Christy Barritt

Nothing good ever happens after dark. Those were the words country singer Daleigh McDermott’s father always repeated.

Now her father is dead, and Daleigh finds a hidden journal hinting that his death was no accident. Small town mechanic Ryan Shields is the only one who seems to believe Daleigh. As the two work to unravel the mystery, it becomes obvious that someone wants them dead. They must rely on each other—and on God—if they hope to make it home before the darkness swallows them whole.

Award-Winning Suspense Novelist and Bestselling Amazon Author, touted as “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky” by USA Today.

Baggage Claim by Amanda Tru

Rachel Saunders is looking forward to her all-expense paid weekend trip to New York. But, when her luggage is lost and she is accosted by an infuriating Homeland Security agent, events take a dangerous turn.

Amanda Tru, Bestselling Amazon Author of Romance and Suspense. Discover the author who, as an Amazon reviewer raves, “continues to impress me and dominate my time with a book I can’t put down even after it’s ended.”

Cassie’s Cowboy Crave by Kimberly Krey

In a moment of weakness, Shane steals a kiss.

In return, Cassie steals his heart…

When Cassie is forced to join the witness protection program, she fears her life is over… but then she meets Shane Emerson — the hunky cowboy posing as her husband. Will this sham marriage turn into the real thing, or will a hidden danger put it all at risk?

Kimberly Krey writes romance that’s clean without losing the steam. What’s Beyond Forks calls this Best-selling Western Romance author “the master of romantic tension.”

A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis

Cami DiCarlo is not happy when her father forces her into heading up guest services at his newest five-star hotel and unveils the existence of four half-sisters at the same time, insisting they live together while they launch the new resort.

When she meets Vince, the sweet, sexy landscaper her father would never have approved of, Cami can’t say no. If only she could be sure she is on the right track—and that they will be able to stop the person who is trying to destroy everything.

You Belong with Me by Shannon Guymon 

Layla Kendall is a burned out social worker one step away from a major depression. When she and her sisters inherit their grandmother’s bakery, she doesn’t know if she can trust her good fortune or not. But the chance to be with her sisters and get away from the heartache and pain she’s faced day in and day out is a chance she’s going to take. With Layla’s new life, come new friendships, including Michael Bender, a single dad. She doesn’t trust men but Michael’s little girl grabs her by the heart and won’t let go.

Shannon Guymon is an Amazon Bestselling Author of lighthearted and clean romance who according to her many fans, has the ability to paint pictures of her characters so real that readers would know them if they saw them walking down the street.

Blog This by Cami Checketts

Devastated by the loss of her brother, Natasha Senecot exposes the dangers of Matthew Chrysler’s violent video games, bankrupting and humiliating him. Chrysler sends a hit man after her. In a race against time, can Natasha expose Chrysler before his assassin murders her family and shatters her world?

Bestselling author Cami Checketts has been touted as, “A genius! She writes about topics that aren’t widely discussed, and she does such a brilliant job of crafting these things into wonderful stories that touch your heart and remain with you for days afterwards.”

Hopefully, next time I’ll be able to join.  Meanwhile, it’s spring break and I’m going to be reading a few books!  And for the fun of it, I’ll gift a set of these books to one commenter!  :) (or send a free book to someone who purchased it for themselves )
I also finally opened comments. OOPS!
Posted in .99, General Information | 19 Comments

Why Isn’t There…

90205382A “Paypal” type service available to “tip” online customer service representatives who go above and beyond the call of duty?

I just spent almost two hours on the “chat” thing at Verizon.  “Vinay” went through a nightmare service call, trying to fix my messed up email account.  If it could go wrong, it did.  He never lost patience, never hinted that maybe it was something I should call about, never once became abrupt with me.  The man was a gem.

We had to reinvent the account repeatedly until we finally made it work.

Excellent customer service has become almost impossible to find these days, but Vinay went above and beyond just getting me into my email account.  He helped me reset it up so that it would definitely work, went through it several times to make sure it wouldn’t glitch, and then helped me work on my Thunderbird client to get it working even though that isn’t a Verizon supported program.  One thing wouldn’t work.  He tried anyway.  He let me try.  Fail.

I told him not to worry.  I could get my mail and I could send through my domain account.  I’d figure it out and I was grateful.  He asked for permission to try.  While I’d been typing, he’d obviously done a Google search to figure out how to fix it.  THAT fast.  He got in there made it work, tried several times–the works.

I wanted to tip him.  He earned one. He didn’t just do his job, he went far above and beyond it.  We need a program where companies who have customer service people can sign those people up.  Verizon. Amazon.  eBay. Sears. ANY company that employs customer service agents.  You just go to the website (I envision something like customerservicetips.com or even better thanksforbeinggreat.com) and select the company.  Drop down box and click on the agent’s name.  You use your paypal or credit card and send a tip.  It might only be five dollars, but with all they go through every day, that’d add up to incentive to keep going when hard calls come and they can’t please someone.  Y’know?  If the company wasn’t listed, there’d be a place to type in the name of the company and the customer service person’s name.  Then that service would send an email to the company letting them know that someone wants to reward an employee of theirs for excellent service.

Look, I know I’m probably missing some reason why that wouldn’t work.  But there HAS to be a way that something would  I want it.  I really want it.

Soooooooo who’s gonna do it?  Please, someone.  Do it  I would, but I can’t write AND start a customer service business.  If I could, I would.

Meanwhile, Vinay, you’re amazing.  You made a very frustrating problem a joy to remember.  I never thought I’d say I was GLAD to be without email for a week!  Thanks for being excellent and if you ever read this, email me. I’d love to send you an Amazon gift card as my thanks.

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