Thursday, April 6, 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent

~Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY below!~

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Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Walrus Publishing
Publication date: April 4, 2017
Number of pages: 296

A mother's love never ends--not even when her life does.

Longing for her family after her sudden death, Maggie becomes a lingering spirit and returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family's downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing.

Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she is responsible for her mother's death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence.

Although limited by their grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and salvage her family before her second chance runs out.

A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, WAITING FOR BUTTERFLIES will embrace your heart and not let go.


Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my!! If you want to read a book that grabs your heart and won't let it go, you HAVE to read this book! Very well written, with lots of emotionally charged moments and real-to-life struggles that will keep you turning pages. And despite the tragedy that the story is based on, there is plenty of hope, healing, and miracles as the family learns to lean on each other and God to get them through.

I wasn't sure what to expect from a Christian "ghost" story but I was hooked from the beginning.  After all, this is fiction and I read it with that viewpoint in mind.   And I've read and seen plenty of other fiction that includes beings that have not "passed over" and I can't think of any that included a Christian theme.  So this was actually a refreshing change.

This book was full of real life issues that include the tragic death of a young mom and how her family deals with their grief and feelings of guilt.   You have the father who is suddenly thrust into the role of a single parent and has to make some life choices in order to do what is best for his family.  You have the oldest daughter's downward grief spiral that will tear your heart out.   And then you have the bright spot in the story - the youngest daughter who can still hear her mom's "lingering spirit" and tries to get the others to believe too.

With real life issues such as infidelity, grief, guilt, drugs, cutting, and the danger of online predators, as well as the hope of family, healing, miracles, love and faith, you'll be hooked to the end!

*Thanks to SLBTours for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Singing Librarian Books Singing Librarian Books meme
(Singing Librarian Books memes)

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Karen Sargent creates characters whose imperfect faith collides with real-life conflicts, taking readers on a journey through grace and redemption to discover enduring hope. A romantic element is woven within each story. In addition to writing inspirational novels, she blogs at The MOM Journey, where moms aren't perfect and that's perfectly okay. Her writing has also been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine. When she's not writing, Karen teaches high school and college English and resides in the beautiful Arcadia Valley with her husband and two daughters.

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Although I don’t write romances, a strong romantic thread runs through every story I create because I’m a romantic at heart. On the rare occasion when I can pop a movie into the Blu-Ray, chances are the movie is one of these:

  1. The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds tops my list. I’ve watched it so many times I may have the script memorized.
  2. The Lake House, also with Sandra Bullock. What a clever and romantic time-slip drama.
  3. Pretty Woman begins my Julia Roberts line-up, a classic contemporary Cinderella story.
  4. Valentine’s Day has Julia Roberts in a small role, sharing the spotlight with several actors as numerous romantic storylines weave around one another and eventually intersect at the end. Love all the surprises!
  5. My Best Friend’s Wedding doesn’t end with Julie getting her guy but this movie has so many delightful and memorable scenes!
  6. Pearl Harbor, an epic battle between two handsome leading men for the woman they both love—and an intriguing history lesson, too.
  7. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is just sweet, sweet, and more sweet. I love this one!
  8. The Holiday with Cameron Diaz didn’t hook me the first time I watched it, so I’m not sure why I watched it again. But then…I was hooked.
  9. The Wedding Date made me a Debra Messing fan. I couldn’t resist rooting for the anxiety-plagued underdog who doesn’t quite measure up at her sister’s wedding.
  10. Made of Honor—Patrick Dempsey. Enough said.
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    1. This story was inspired by the death of my mother-in-law, who died suddenly and too soon at 61. I wondered, “What if a mother is taken from her family before she is ready to go?” The answer became Waiting for Butterflies.

    2. My protagonist is a “lingering spirit,” which some Christian readers might question. After all, we go to Heaven when we die. But…what if God decided to allow a person (like Maggie) to return for some reason? Does the Bible clearly state that is not possible…if God wanted to allow it? I couldn’t find a clear answer, which left just enough wiggle room for my imagination to play.

    3. It took me 11 years to decide to write Waiting for Butterflies. When I finally started, writing was easy because I had been imagining the story for so long, and it was fun to finally meet the characters who had been living in my head.

    4. The original title of the book was Her Children Shall Rise Up, in reference to Proverbs 31. Then I saw a quote on a journal in a bookstore that inspired the new title. Waiting for Butterflies adds a layer of symbolism and meaning, and without it, the story would not have been the same.

    5. I enjoyed naming the minor characters because I borrowed a first name or a last name from people I know. However, the characters have their own identities and personalities. I can’t wait to see if my friends, family, or former students recognize my “shout out” to them!

    6. Some of the best twists in the story weren’t planned. I would be busy with something other than writing, and then an idea would suddenly pop into my head. It was always such a surprise!

    7. Although it’s not the usual practice, my publisher agreed to let me submit a cover for consideration. I shared my vision with a photographer friend of mine, which inspired her even-better vision. She snapped the photo of the adorable cover model, who is the daughter of a former student. Then I sent the photo to another former student who worked her graphic art magic. I call my cover “a work of heart.” (By the way, the publisher loved it!)

    8. My husband hasn’t read my book and probably never will since it’s women’s fiction, unless an ESPN sportscaster recommends it on TV. However, nobody is more proud of my book than he is.

    9. People often ask if the characters in my book are similar to my family. In some ways, yes. In many ways, no. Maggie’s fear of losing a child—or being taken from her family while they still need her—are my deepest fears. Sam’s occupation and the sense of responsibility he feels to protect his family are similar to my husband’s. Rachel is an eclectic mix of my daughters—Randi’s creativity, Kelli’s perfectionism—colored by my experience with teens in crisis that I’ve encountered throughout 23 years of teaching high school students. Otherwise, the characters have their own identities, virtues, and flaws.

    10. I thought I’d feel like an author once I held Waiting for Butterflies in my hand. But it doesn’t feel like my book. It just feels like I’m holding a book—someone else’s book. (I still can’t believe it.)

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