Tuesday, July 23, 2013

30 Days of Giveaways ~ Day 23

Only 7 days left! Can you believe it? And two winners I've yet to post are:

Wendy Newcomb and Kathleen Belongia!

And this week, you're entering for this beautiful set, as well as the daily drawing for Ring of Secrets.


Story Time Tuesday . . . Jasmine by April McGowan

Occasionally I like to talk to y'all about books I've edited, and today seemed like a fine time chat about our most recent fiction title, Jasmine. April McGowan is a talented writer who tells a story of a girl who ran away from a life that could have killed her, landed on the streets, but picked herself up. The book begins when Jazz gets the news that her mother has passed away, and she needs to return to her hometown for the first time in 15 years for the reading of the will.

She survived her past there--but can she face it now?

Let me tell you a bit about what drew me to this book to begin with. I was the acquiring editor for it at WhiteFire, and I was pulled in right away by April's smooth, simple style of writing. The pages turn quickly in this book, so fluid and graceful is the voice. But the story--the story packs a punch. Jasmine is tough, hardened, jaded about some things in life...but she's also a hero. She's turned her life into something beautiful and useful, having earned her doctorate so she could counsel at-risk young women who are in situations much like the one she escaped. Abused, used, and neglected, these women all need to learn the same lessons Jazz did--that it won't get better until they get out.

But Jasmine still has lessons to learn too, and traveling through them with her is poignant and real. When faced with the family she'd turned her back on--and the best (guy) friend who would give anything to be more than that to her--memories long suppressed come flooding back, and with them the weakness she hates in herself. But only in weakness can she see the strength of One greater than she.

This is a book that will touch you, move you, make you cheer. And maybe, just maybe, make you wonder what stories around you you've never seen...and what you can do to help them change.

April's also partnering with her local women's mission, directing readers and in-need women to them--I just love it when my authors put action to their passions!

And this being a WhiteFire book, that means that digital copies are cheap!! =) Check it out at Amazon or B&N, or pre-order your paperbacks now (Amazon). ;-)

Now, an interesting quirk of Jasmine's family is that her mom names all three kids after flowers. The brother is Sweet William (he goes by Bill now--I can't understand why, LOL), Lily is her older sister, and then Jasmine herself.

So my question comes from that.

If you had to pick a new name based on a plant,
what would it be?

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31 comments:

  1. I originally was going to say Acacia because I actually have had that on a list of names I like but then I was looking at flower names and for some reason Calla stuck out to me and I now really like it as a name and I think it would fit me too!

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  2. I would probably pick Rose. I think that is a pretty name, and roses are beautiful.
    MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  3. I always said "Willow"...and now, as it happens, my daughter's best friend is a little girl named Willow. =)

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  4. Juniper! Or Tigerlily. Or...or...Chamomile. ;)

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  5. I think Rose. I know it's a common choice, but it is simple and elegant. And there are so many varieties! cespeary (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  6. I love the name Lily!

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  7. Fun question - I've always liked the name Jasmine - so I'd probably take that one. This book sounds wonderful.

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  8. Maybe Edlweiss. I also like Jasmine and Iris. It would be hard to choose a new name.

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  9. I would pick Rose.

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  10. Bird of Paradise.... I'm kidding. That would be terrible. Probably Lily.

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  11. I suppose I'd choose a family name - my grandma is Violet, great aunt (other side of the family) Iris, cousin Jenna Azalia, and dog Lily. I'd probably better go with Violet over Lily.

    Interesting random fact: according to the Social Security Admin. survey of roughly 2 million girls born in 2000, among the top 1,000 names, Jasmine ranked 28th, Lily 126th, Heather 129, Veronica 138, Daisy 143, Rose 294, Ivy 352, Iris 406, Sage 494, Aspen 572, Violet 754, Willow 772, and Hazel 884. These stats do not include alternate spellings - for instance, Lilly (double L) was 434th. (Jack Sanders "The Secrets of Wildflowers," Lyons Press, 2003)

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    1. My hubby's great-grandmother was the Italian form of Violet--Viola. We had to name our driveway (LOL) recently as WV switches from RR boxes to street addresses, and we chose Viola Dr. =)

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    2. I forgot - we have a Viola in the family too! Dad's cousin.

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  12. It's so much fun reading everyone's responses! I had trouble narrowing it down when I chose the names for her siblings. I even wondered if her grandmother would have been name Maggie--Magnolia. :)

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    1. Magnolia = awesomeness. =) Though I really love that Bill is Sweet William. So can't believe Mom got away with that one... ;-)

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    2. It's funny. When naming Jasmine's brother, I recalled a very old episode of The Waltons I'd seen as a kid where one of the backwoods neighbors had a brother named Sweet William. It just worked :)

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    3. Jasmine was a wonderful book. I'm still thinking about it weeks after I read it. 'Hope there will be more.

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  13. There are so many beautiful flowers too choose from! But my first thought was Daisy:) I have already read Jasmine, and loved it! I plan on buying the paperback version in September also. Looking forward to more books by April McGowan!

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  14. Louise Lankford-DunlapJuly 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    One of the best! April and I are in the same critique group and she is a personal friend. I like to think I had a small hand in encouraging her to go for the publishing. Her talent is apparent in all her writing. I loved Jasmine from the first draft and first chapter and can't wait to hold my own copy in my hands!

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    1. Louise, I got the hold the very first copy just today. =) Always so exciting!

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    2. You...held...her? AHHHHH! I can't wait to see it!

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    3. Louise, you're such a sweet-heart. I'm so blessed to be in your critique group!

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    4. I did. =) Proof copy, which I need to go over with a fine-toothed comb to make sure everything is perfecto! The joys of being the editor, mwa ha ha ha!

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  15. CALLA I'm writing a book and the title is 'CALLA' from Calla Lily. I'm writing a series called Honey Creek Series and the main characters are girl names starting with Abbey, Blair and now Calla. I'm published on Kindle and NOOK under the name W. J. Brown

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  16. Beautiful cover, Ro! I have Calla lilies up in my garden right now and they are rosy colored rather than white! Very pretty and they are durable, too, which surprised me! They really last!

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  17. I like the name sweet pea as a nick name. I have used it a lot with my daughter. I would like to be called Heather I think. Excited to read Jasmine too.

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  18. I'm not sure what flower I would choose to be my name... Probably Honey since I think honeysuckles smell so beautiful.

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