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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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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Godly Book Reviews, April 29
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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
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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.
This was my first from this author. I love, love, loved the voice of the main character, Apryl! She was so unique, so sarcastic, so realistic, so relatable.
However, switching POV was annoying. I really enjoyed the prologue in first-person, but then the first chapter switched to third-person. Then the second chapter switched back to first-person again. I love Apryl's voice in first-person—so unique. We got Chance's thoughts from a third-person view, which felt a little odd.
But then some of the third-person chapters began focusing on Courtney (Apryl's twin sister) and her thoughts. I wouldn't have minded getting Chance's first-person perspective, or maybe even Courtney's if separated into different chapters, but I didn't like the switching from deep to shallow POV between Chance and Apryl in the third-person chapters. The crowning POV mistake in my opinion that almost made me decrease my star rating was when Apryl's thoughts were told in from the third-person POV!
It almost felt like the author experimented with half a dozen different POVs and then left them all that way. While each one worked by themselves, it didn't feel cohesive in several instances.
That being said, I still gave this book 5 stars for the character development, settings, themes, and quality of writing! I will definitely be re-reading this book again!
Apryl and Chance were both so witty that I don't know how many times I laughed out loud! I dog-eared 14 pages that made me laugh, and I know I forgot some more.
I also adored how many pop culture references were included, from Gilmore Girls to Guardians of the Galaxy to Bath & Body Works to Batman. There was even a reference to my favorite book of all time, Pride & Prejudice! That alone earned it kudos. ;)
If you have kids, you probably know what “meta” and “breaking the fourth wall” mean. If you don't, I'll try to explain. It's when the characters in a book or movie or video game make a comment that shows they know they're in a book or movie or video game, or they speak directly to the reader, viewer, or player. For example, in the Emperor's New Groove, Emperor Kuzco (acting as the narrator) actually stops the movie reel and uses a dry-erase marker to point out something in the story, then he rewinds and continues the movie. This author does something similar when Apryl speaks directly to the reader:
“Well, okay then,” I say, sarcasm dripping off of me like I bathed in it...which I kind of do. I know what you're thinking, but it's a one-of-a-kind fragrance made by yours truly. It's not sold at Bath and Body Works. Sorry.
Another example is when Apryl is introduced to her client's husband-to-be, Professor Stanley Sanderson. Here's Apryl'ls reaction: “Stanley Sanderson. Wow. You can't make this stuff up.” The irony is, of course, that the author did make up this name! :D
I could go on and on, but I won't. You have to read it for yourselves. Do yourself a favor and buy this book!
(I received this book for free. The decision to write a review, as well as the opinions expressed in it, are all my own. I was not compensated for this review.)