Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sara's Promise by Deanna Lynn Sletten (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes back Deanna Lynn Sletten, author of Sara's Promise!

Author Guest Post

Characteristics of a Soul Mate
By Deanna Lynn Sletten

Soul mates. People use this term for that one special person in their life—that one person who completes them. It is the goal of almost every romantic to find that one person who will understand them completely, and love them for eternity. For some people, the idea of finding a soul mate is an elusive dream, while for others, it is the ultimate goal. But what exactly are the characteristics of a soul mate? And can you have more than one?

We have all heard the term 'soul mate' being bandied about but the exact meaning isn't easily pinned down. The characteristics of a soul mate can mean different things to different people. Some people may feel that their soul mate should be an exact replica of themselves in order to be perfectly compatible. Others believe that they need to find their opposite to complete them. Most people who describe their partner as their soul mate usually can't even tell you how they knew this was the perfect person for them. They say that the moment they met, they just knew this was their soul mate. They may say that it was love at first site, or that the first time they met, it was magic. Others scoff at the idea of one true love. After all, many people have found love more than once, so to some, the idea of one soul mate isn't realistic.

Soul mate characteristics come more from the heart than from a scientific study or survey. You won't find one specific list of soul mate characteristics that you can apply to every relationship. However, here are a few characteristics of a soul mate that many people can agree upon:

• Someone you have an immediate connection with.
• Someone who loves you for who you are.
• Someone who lifts your self-esteem.
• Someone who loves you unconditionally even when they know you completely.
• Someone you feel physically and emotionally connected to.

I believe in soul mates. However, I think that you can have more than one soul mate and it doesn't necessarily always have to be your life partner. A best friend, your child, a parent, or a favorite relative can be a person who understands you completely and loves you unconditionally. We've all met people we have an instant connection to, and these people may become a pivotal part of our lives. If we are very lucky, we will not only meet a life partner who is our soul mate, but will also have other people in our lives who we consider soul mates too.

Do you believe in soul mates?

About The Author

Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women's fiction novels that go beyond the basic romance novel. Her stories dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. Deanna has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna started her writing career in the early 1990s writing articles for parenting publications and local newspapers. Over time she transitioned to writing for blogs and websites and was a contributing writer for the women's website, She Knows. In November 2011, she changed course and put all her energy into novel writing and hasn't looked back since.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.


Book Review

Sara's Promise by Deanna Lynn Sletten
Publisher: Deanna Lynn Sletten, Self-Published
Publication Date: December 8, 2012
Format: Paperback - 258 pages / Kindle - 422 KB
ISBN: 1479112232
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Sara's Promise

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and for hosting a virtual book event on my book review blog site.

Book Description:

Do you believe in soul mates?

William Grafton had the perfect life with his lovely wife, Sara, and two teenaged children. But one day his perfect forever was shattered when Sara died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his children and wonder how he would ever get through life without his soul mate. Five years later, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes that remind him of Sara. The woman is the exact opposite of his late wife, yet he finds he is drawn to her. But after a few strange occurrences, he begins to wonder–are these just coincidences or has his Sara come back to him as she once promised in the form of this new woman?

Annie Paxton doesn't believe in soul mates or fate. She had watched her father die of a broken heart after her mother passed away and has since cast away any fairy tale ideas of love. Then she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams and she begins to see love in a whole new light. But her dream man is still tied to his deceased wife, and Annie doesn't know if he will ever be able to break away from his past. As strange occurrences unfold, Annie wonders if William could ever truly love her for herself and not for the traits that remind him of Sara.

Were William and Annie brought together by fate, coincidence or by Sara keeping her promise?

Book Excerpt:

"Sandy!" Annie sat up suddenly in bed, screaming the girl's name into the dark night. Her heart pounded in her chest, and she was covered in sweat. She looked at the clock beside her bed. 2:10 a.m. The dream had been so real. She'd felt each tight turn of the speeding car and each thud as the car rose and fell, hitting the pavement. Worst of all, she had seen Sandy crying just seconds before the car spun out of control and rolled into a field.

Annie jumped out of bed and hurriedly pulled on her jeans and T-shirt from the day before. The dream seemed too real. From somewhere deep inside her, she knew that it had actually happened. She had to get to Sandy and make sure she was all right.

Running her hands through her hair, Annie found her car keys and purse, and headed out the door into the foggy night. She drove as fast as she dared to the hospital, all the time saying inside her head, I'm coming, Sandy. Hold on. I'm coming.

When Annie arrived at the hospital, she saw three ambulances at the entrance, their lights flashing.

"Oh, God, please let Sandy be okay. Please, please, please," Annie kept repeating to herself as she made her way past them and through the entrance. She hurried up to the counter, where the receptionist sat, talking in a hushed voice on the phone. Annie paced back and forth, unable to contain the adrenaline that was coursing through her veins.

After what seemed like hours, the receptionist placed the phone down. "Can I help you?"

Annie stepped up to the desk with such force that her hands slapped the top. "Sandra Grafton. I'm here to see Sandra Grafton. Is she here?" she asked, her voice trembling.

The receptionist stared at her, startled. "Are you family?" she finally asked.

"I'm her mother."

The receptionist quickly went into action, escorting Annie through the electronic doors and into an empty waiting room.

"I talked to your husband a few minutes ago," the receptionist said. "He's on his way. The doctors will be in to talk to you as soon as they can."

Annie nodded and watched the woman leave. Sitting down in one of the hard, plastic chairs, Annie dropped her face into her hands and prayed. She prayed to Sara to keep Sandy safe. She prayed to the luminous face to not take Sandy before her time. She sat, rocking her body back and forth in the chair, and prayed.


Annie looked up into William's strained face. Behind him stood Sam, looking anxious and scared. Without hesitation, she stood and enveloped them both in a hug.

William held onto Annie a long time. Even after Sam broke away, he held Annie close. He felt Annie's tears on his shoulder through his sweatshirt, and that only made him want to hold on longer. Finally, grudgingly, he pulled away.

"How did you know?" he asked, amazed she had arrived at the hospital before he had. Who had called her? When he'd arrived, the receptionist had told him his wife was already here. "My wife?" he'd asked, confused, thinking she'd mixed him up with one of the other families. And then, when he saw Annie in the waiting room, he understood. The receptionist had mistaken Annie for Sandy's mother.

"I just knew," Annie said softly. William didn't even question her. After all the incidences that had occurred, it seemed only natural to him that she'd instinctively know about the accident.

My Book Review:

Do you believe in soul mates? Do you believe in everlasting love, even after your loved one has passed away?

Two women pass away  ... as they are suspended between life and death, they engage in a conversation which leads one of the women to urge the other to take her place among the living so she can love and take care of her family as if they were her own.

When Sara Grafton suddenly dies, her husband William and teenage children Sandy and Sam struggle to go on with their lives. Sara vowed to always look after her family, even through divine intervention from beyond the grave.

Five years later, the Grafton family is still struggling with grief over the loss of their wife and mother.

Annie Paxton doesn't believe in soul mates and isn't looking for love. But when she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams, William Grafton, she feels an attraction for him.

William isn't looking for a replacement for the soul mate that he has lost, but when he meets Annie, there is a familiarity about her that attracts him to her.

Can Annie and William's relationship blossom into love, or will William's love for his lost soul mate hold him back from having a second chance at love?

Will Sara's Promise to always take care of her family bring happiness and love back into their lives ... even through divine intervention?

Sara's Promise is a poignantly touching story about soul mates and everlasting love. It is also the uplifting story of love, loss, hope and forgiveness. Author Deanna Lynn Sletten weaves a captivating tale of love and forgiveness that will simply pull at your heartstrings. Told in the third person narrative, the reader is swept along with Sara, William, Sandy, Sam and Annie on a journey of healing and love given through the cycle of life. Through a beautiful crafting of words, Deanna captures the essence between life and death; the struggles of loving, losing and second chances; and the belief that everlasting love does exist even after death.

The author draws the reader into the lives of Annie Paxton and the Grafton family as they battle individual personal conflicts while trying to maintain their family structure. The emotional battles and life changes that occur in their lives are realistic, the reader can easily relate to them. You can't help but feel for Annie and the Grafton family as their journey of healing is fulfilled through Sara's heavenly promise. Throughout this story, the author effortlessly provides the reader with the uplifting message that love, hope and forgiveness transcends death. Sara's Promise will make you a believer that soul mates and everlasting love really do exist!

With a realistic cast of characters who come alive and jump off the pages; a richly detailed and descriptive setting along the Oregon seaside; and a simply inspirational storyline that will have the reader experiencing the full gamut of emotions, Sara's Promise is a tenderhearted story of love that will touch your heart and soul, and will resonate with you long after the last page has been read.



  1. Hi Kathleen,

    Thank you so much for this beautiful review of Sara's Promise and the lovely showcase you put together for me. I'm so happy you enjoyed my novel. I love writing so much, and it is rewarding to hear when someone enjoys my books. Thank you for being so supportive of indie authors.

    1. Hi Deanna! Thank you very much for the opportunity to read, review and host the virtual book event for Sara's Promise. It an amazing story, keep em coming! Thank you for the kind comments, it's authors like you who keep my passion for reading alive. :)