Love Strengthens by @StephanyTullis is a Fall Into These Great Reads pick #inspirational #giveaway
Title: Love Strengthens (What Love Can Do Series, Book 1)
Author: Stephany Tullis
Genre: Inspirational, Inspirational Romance
CAN KEVIN AND DEE'S MARRIAGE SURVIVE THE LOSS OF ONE OF GOD'S GREATEST GIFTS?
When stunning Deidre Torres, the new HR Director, introduces herself to Kevin O'Connor at an Executive staff meeting, Kevin's heart forewarns danger.
When he invites her to have coffee with him the next day, she hesitates but accepts.
The following week, she flatly refuses his dinner invitation citing company policies that prohibit co-worker dating in the office.
After six months of Kevin's non-stop persistence, Deidre risks her job and agrees to have dinner.
Deidre and Kevin follow their hearts despite the objections and advice of well-meaning family and friends who advise of the complexities of interracial dating. In a fairy tale-like wedding, they vow to each other and before the many doubting wedding guests that nothing will ever separate them.
Six years later, they not only violate their vows but for the first time question the depth of their love for each other. Previously unknown racial stereotypes, beliefs and differences threaten to destroy their marriage when their three year old son is killed by a stray bullet at a local community event.
Will Kevin's hatred of his son's killer unmask feelings he never knew he had?
Can their marriage tolerate the escalating inter-family turmoil?
Dee blamed herself for her son's death. She'd suggested they take Kyle with them to the local peace rally. Dee's organization, a local not-for-profit that focused on community health care, had partnered with several not-for-profits, and with private sector support, organized a demonstration in support of the homeless. It was a community-based event and expected to be fun. Volunteers arrived early at their allocated spaces to set up their stations. Private companies had donated clothing, sleeping bags, toiletries, and other necessities. Local pastors and their church members from various denominations volunteered to assist—some bringing their choirs and musicians. Barbers, physicians, dentists, and other service-oriented professionals volunteered as well. All were primed for a great day of giving!
The event was held Thanksgiving week, and everyone was excited about sharing their bounty in the spirit of helping those less fortunate than they. Dee's staff was responsible for checking in volunteers and assigning them to predesignated stations. Once she touched base with her staff, she and her family mingled with the crowd, greeted agency volunteers and chatted with those in need of services.
There had been no forewarning. Kyle O'Connor, little KO, was giggling, arms wrapped tightly around his father's neck. Kevin O'Connor, Dee's husband, held his son's legs promising one last spin before they helped mommy clean up. They learned later that more than an estimated three thousand people attended the rally. An outsider may have mistaken the event for a huge outdoor festival based on the live music, array of mouthwatering food, and camaraderie of attendees. Local community police wandered in and about the crowd cheerfully shaking hands and stopping periodically to chat—some officers walking, others whizzing in and around the crowd on motorized mini-scooters. Those riding horseback received the most attention—many attendees asking the officers for photo ops.
Fear, paranoia, and bedlam massacred the peaceful gathering that local news reporters had already promoted as a success. The once relaxed and cheerful attendees screamed and scrambled in multiple directions knocking each other down to escape the unknown source of a barrage of gun shots. Squealing tires, shouts of fear, sirens and a flurry of blue uniforms dominated the festival site. Officer commands to “Get down! Get down!” replaced the laughter and joy.
Kevin didn't know what was more frightening, the look on his wife's face as she covered her mouth in a futile effort to prevent the screeching emanating from the bowels of her being.
Or the pointing fingers and screams.
Or the full weight of his son's body as it reeled backwards with no evidence of self-control.
Or the deep red liquid that he knew—but tried to refute—was his son's blood. Everyone around him seemed to be moving in slow motion. Dee who had been heading toward him now lay prostrate on the ground, banging her head against once-freshly mown green grass now purplish black due to the blood. He then and only then realized that KO’s yell to his mommy was an expected response to what he most likely viewed as his mother's 'accident'. Before Kevin could respond to his wife’s predicament, he grabbed KO’s legs to prevent him from sliding down even lower on his back.
"Sir? Sir?" A woman's voice and a warm hand on his arm sounded the alarm that was followed by his scream, “Oh, God, no! No!"
Broken hearts, devastated spirits and a destroyed relationship replaced the O'Connor's love for and commitment to each other.
Once loving hearts were now frozen.
Efforts to reach those frozen spaces failed.
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What’s your favorite thing about the fall season:
I’m definitely a summer sunshine and beach ‘girl’ however there is something so special about nature’s way of reminding us that we are moving into another season. A season of new beginnings. It’s exciting to see the gradual change in the color of the trees as the green leaves magically become a bright orange. There’s no better way to enjoy this change of season than a long drive that culminates with my annual visit to a favorite apple orchard. Fresh fall vegetables, fruit and the warmth associated with the promise of a warm and cozy winter.
What inspired you to write this story:
Love Strengthens is inspired by my niece’s decision to take a gigantic big step (one she never imagined)—and marry the love of her life who just happened to be a ‘white male’ that she met on her job. This persistent co-worker, despite my niece’s reluctance to maintain a relationship of ‘of just friendship’ (with him) finally agreed to a first date. They have now been married for four years and are the proud parents of a pair of super adorable, handsome twins who just celebrated their second birthday. Love Strengthens is dedicated and written in honor of this perfect union!
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or CA account to win.
Runs September 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on October 1.
Stephany Tullis is the USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of character-driven edgy inspirational fiction including The Master’s Plan, A Novel, her What Love Can Do, Angelica Mason and Chandler County Series. Stephany grew up in upstate New York fell in love with books after his first trip to the local library; influenced by her mother who was an avid reader!
Her motto, 'writing with purpose', reflects her intent to have her stories not only entertain readers but to inspire and uplift their spirits. Her readers write: " As is the norm with this author, she has a firm grasp on human nature and what makes them (people) tick.
Stephany currently lives in Metro Atlanta and has an extensive public service and not for profit business management background.
Stephany is energized by the sun, thrives on music (all genres) and is inspired by the serenity of the ocean. She loves to travel and summer is her season. Beach-based outdoor music festivals allow her to creatively combine these interests.
"At a time when we all need some inspiration, Stephany Tullis' books make us glad we woke up and can share another day with someone, maybe even a new friend."
Calib Prittle, III, Author/Publisher
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