About the Book
Author: Bethany Kaczmarek
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.
Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.
Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.
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About the Author
Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.
Guest Post from Bethany Kaczmarek
Strains of Silence: A Novel for Anyone Who Can Say #MeToo
We’re everywhere. After years of silence, many survivors of sexual assault are raising our voices. You’ve seen the hashtag. You know someone who suffered like this—a friend, a sister, a daughter.
Maybe you know personally what it’s like to be used.
I’m thankful for the conversations the #MeToo campaign has started, proud of the brave women who are speaking out. But I know some are still quiet, nursing wounds.
I could list loads of valid reasons a victim chooses to suffer in silence.
- People won’t believe her.
- If she doesn’t say it out loud, it’s easier to pretend it was a nightmare.
- He’s got authority over her—at work, at church, in the family—and it’ll cost her too much. He’s done enough damage already.
- He’s threatened to destroy her reputation, and she believes him. One, because he’ll do it without flinching. Two, because she’s already convinced that she’s living a lie.
- Because at church, she’s supposed to be fine, smiling, rejoicing in her suffering and pressing on. Besides, people don’t want to sit with her in her pain and listen. They’d rather offer bumper-sticker theology and trite spiritual bandages.
- The few times she’s tried to speak up, her used-to-be friend basically made her feel like it was her fault.
The list could go on, but it’s fair to say that being honest about what happened to us makes us vulnerable all over again. The idea is understandably stressful.
But you know what? Pretending we’re fine is exhausting too. We bear a great strain when we hide our hurts, for whatever reason.
Kasia Bernolak, the heroine of my novel Strains of Silence, gets it. She’s got reasons for keeping it quiet too. But when God brings some new people into her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be alone.
And speaking up offers a freedom, a lightness, she wants.
It’s a freedom I want for my readers.
I know. Strains of Silence sounds like a heavy book right now. The themes are heavy, no doubt. There’s no glossing over and prettying up sexual assault or domestic violence. But—just like in real life—it’s how well we surround and support the suffering that can set the tone. Kasia’s friends are real, they’re funny, they’re quirky, and they believe in her.
Besides, it’s not all dark and brooding. There’s travel—an entire summer in the mountains of Peru. There’s a lot of music—Kasia’s a singer/song-writer who loves indie artists (I’ve got a playlist on my website). There’s heritage and culture—meet her immigrant family and you’ll get a delicious taste of Poland. There’s humor—enough to keep the story light when you need it to be.
And there’s hope. Kasia’s life is absolutely full of possibility.
So are the lives of everyone who can say #MeToo.
Sometimes, it just helps to see someone else fight the battle on our own horizon. And if you can do it with a fantastic new playlist and some laughs, why not?
My hope is that Strains of Silence will lead to real discussions with reader-friends, book-club gatherings that become turning points, and the true pursuit of freedom. It’s time to throw off the burdens we wear and stand up. Raise your voice, link arms with others, and fight for hope.
Healing is within our reach.
The book sends a powerful message about abuse that many suffer through. Do you remember dating in high school? There was this one guy I wanted to be with so bad. My friends said he was bad news, but of course I didn’t listen. I found out like Kasia that he was possessive and dangerous. I even gave up being in the band for him. He told me that it wasn’t cool to be in the band, so I put my clarinet away and followed my heart. Kasia thought she had found the perfect guy in Blake. When she decides that she has had enough of his anger and abuse she breaks it off. Sometimes it is hard for someone to let go and they feel this need to torture the person emotionally. Kasia is a strong young lady but at times I think she made bad decisions which found her in situations that were harmful.
It is hard when you suddenly realize you have become isolated from friends and you slowly turn away from your faith. I’m glad she decides to go on a mission trip. That trip opened her eyes and grew her back to her family and faith. As parents it must have been so hard for them to see their daughter scared of her ex fiancé. Blake reminds me of a person who won’t take no for an answer. His jealousy of not having Kasia becomes dangerous and threatens her well being. Will she find someone to protect her? Can she depend on God to protect her?
The book has some scenes in it that may bother some people, but I think the author does a great job of showing how dangerous abuse is if you don’t take action. I’m glad the author wrote about young adults because it happens alot to them and many are afraid to speak up. The book is good but I did have a hard time with the polish words and thought maybe the book was a bit long. I appreciate that we were exposed to Kasia’s heritage which helped me to understand her upbringing. Overall a good book with a tough subject that was handled with grace.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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Inklings and Notions, January 7
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Fiction Aficionado, January 8
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Blogging With Carol, January 12 (Interview)
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Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, January 14
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14
Mindy Houg Guest Review on Artistic Nobody, January 15
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Faithfully Bookish, January 16
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Margaret Kazmierczak, January 17
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 17
Carpe Diem, January 18
Remebrancy, January 19
A Baker’s Perspective, January 19
To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand grand prize a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and a $50 Amazon gift card.!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5dc