Welcome to the blog tour for Weddings Willows, an Revised Expectations! Hallmark lovers beware – this is a story I could easily see on the TV screen one day 🙂
About the Book
Book: Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations
Author: V. Joy Palmer
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Release Date: February 14, 2019
Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.
But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon shes forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.
Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart.
But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?
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This was a fun story to read. First of all, I have to say that Apryl kind of reminds me of myself, which turned out to be pretty eye opening. She is quick with her comments, and her sarcasm mirrors my own. I found a lot of the things she said to be funny, and I could imagine myself saying a lot of the same things. BUT the more I read about how it affected others, the more I started second guessing my own wit and sarcastic comments. Could I be hurting people too? While it is never my intent, it’s just the way I’ve always been – to pick on people so to speak. It means I love them, truly. I have never been mean to someone, in the sense that Apryl was in the story a few times, I didn’t expect while reading a contemporary romance story to be taking a look at my faults!
Aside from that, I really did like the story. I laughed at the banter between Chance and Apryl. Some of my favorite couples are those who are just so “against” having feelings for each other that they argue and fight over the silliest things. The two of them had a lot to sort through before they could truly be a couple. Apryl needed help in the self confidence department, no thanks to Chance’s dad. She really needed to understand her true self worth – which only comes from God, not from people on this earth. Chance needed to stop following what his dad wanted for his life. And while he appeared to be doing this throughout the book, I think he was still caught up in the “I want to impress my father” feeling. Seeing both of them grow in their own stories was great, as was seeing them put these amazing wedding arrangements. I wish there were pictures – although I bet the pictures in my mind are probably better 😉
Two surprises in this story to me – the first was having character growth in a secondary character. Yes, Courtney had her own hurdles to jump through. At first I was against her reaction to the issue that she was dealt with (sorry no spoilers here – read the book!), but as I kept reading about her character and got to know her better, I totally understood the reasoning behind it. Before she could come to terms with what had happened she needed to grow in her relationship with the Lord. Although I wished there was more of Courtney’s storyline, the author did a great job in giving her character as much time and attention as she could.
The other surprise in the story was how much the Lord appeared, really to all the characters. Grandma spoke so freely about it, as if it was second nature, and I found that to be so endearing. I kind of wish I had my own grandmother like that, but I will just enjoy her for now. Any time an author can present the gospel in a way that flows beautifully within the storyline is a hit with me. It never felt forced, awkward, or out of place.
I recommend this book to all the romantic readers out there. Yes, Apryl can get a little rough around the edges, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we all have a vice that we need to deal with. I would say put that aside and just enjoy the fun of the book as much as you can. You just might find yourself reading about one of the most romantic proposals out there! Might.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterationsand a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.
More from Joy
I’ll confess something to you guys.
For about a year, I hated these characters. Like I vehemently hated them. For their refusal to bow to my will, I counted the ways I could take revenge against them for my own sadistic pleasure, and I seriously considered printing the manuscript just so I could burn it in an oil drum while I laughed like a Disney villain. I’m told my “Ursula laugh” is uncanny.
Some of you may be laughing. Some of you may be rolling your eyes. Some of you may be gasping in horror at the thought of an author killing her beloved characters. Or some of you may smirk and say, “I’ve been there, only I did kill my characters.”
I dove into the story with a wide-eyed innocence that came from thinking I was in charge of the story. My characters slapped that doe-eyed look off my face, letting me know I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, I knew the basics… They start off arguing, then fall in love… I had a couple great kiss scenes planned… Worth in God would be explored… Jokes would be made… But I could not get these stubborn characters to cooperate, and I was pulling my hair out by the roots trying to force them to get on board with my excellent program! I didn’t understand them, and their actions didn’t make any sense. Then my computer crashed…and died…taking over twelve thousand words with it. (A part of me thinks Apryl was behind it.) Suddenly, I was at square one, but I was actually a little relieved. Now I could start over.
Cue muffled sobs here.
After the untimely demise of my computer, I went to the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers conference. At that conference, Ted Dekker said something in one of his keynote sessions that changed everything for me.
“Write to discover yourself.”
I still get chills when I think about this, and it has nothing to do with the below zero temperatures in my neck of the woods.
My writing changed after that. I made myself vulnerable, pouring my heart into Apryl and Chance’s journey like it was my personal journey. And as my literary world started to blossom, my literal world felt like it was being scorched by an exploding sun of heartache. And when that nasally (or does it only sound that way in my head?) voice whispered that I was worthless, God’s declaration of love was a big, bold font across the pages.
Through Apryl and Chance, I rediscovered my own worth to my Father.
And I hope you can, too.
I hope you laugh (the seagull scene is a favorite of mine). I hope you swoon (Apryl and Chance Forever!!). I would be especially pleased if you had to look up one or two pop culture references because I’ll just feel cool. But more than anything I hope you can rediscover your worth in our Father’s eyes, whether it’s for the first time or the seven hundred and eleventh time.
Our worth isn’t defined by our jobs, our mistakes, our families, or the plans we have. Our worth is in a loving God who calls each of His children by name. Our worth is in our Father.
Set to the tune of a romantic comedy, there are a lot of little truths sprinkled throughout Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, but our worth in God is the glue that holds it all together – at least for me! This was the truth I wanted to convey in Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations all along. But until I started to understand this (I definitely haven’t mastered it!) in my own heart, how could I write about it?
I hope you guys enjoy Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations. I hope this truth touches your heart in some way.
And I hope you laugh. A lot.
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The Becca Files, April 28
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Godly Book Reviews, April 29
Just Your Average reviews, April 29
Kat’s Corner Books, April 30
Creating Romance, April 30
Maureen’s Musings, May 1
Hallie Reads, May 1
For Him and My Family, May 2
Vicky Sluiter, May 2
Wishful Endings, May 3
Emily Yager, May 3
The Christian Fiction Girl, May 4
Inklings and notions, May 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, May 5
Through the Fire Blogs, May 6
A Baker’s Perspective, May 8
Cultivating us, May 8
Texas Book-aholic, May 9
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9
A Reader’s Brain, May 10
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To celebrate her tour, Joy is giving away a grand prize package that includes a signed copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations,
a signed copy of Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, a Hand-Carved Reading Willow Tree Figurine, a Character-Inspired Locket,
a Custom Roaring Twenties Book Sleeve from The Cozy Life Etsy Shop, an Anne of Green Gables Mug Rug from Bookish Star Designs Etsy Shop, and a Chai Latte Soy Candle in a Vintage Mug from Joplin House Cafe!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dfea/weddings-willows-and-revised-expectations-celebration-tour-giveaway