All for Family Book Tour: Guest Post by Olivia Hardin

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We always enjoying sharing guest posts from the authors of the books we love to review.  As part of the All for Family and The Path book tours--we have have the opportunity to take a look at "acceptance" with a guest post from All for Family author Olivia Hardin.  Enjoy the author's post--and don't forget to enter to win the book tour prize at the end of the post.
We were not compensated for this post.  We may receive complimentary ebook copies of any books reviewed on our site--but, all opinions are our own.

Quick Summary of All for Family by Olivia Hardin.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00016] Wedding bells will soon be ringing in the Rawley family, but gearing up for Van and Kay’s nuptials revives old insecurities for Kay’s sister-in-law Meg. When she learns that her ex-husband is asking for her from his hospital bed, Meg must confront the painful memories of her past.
Family is everything for Jeremy Rawley. Most important is the one he and Meg created together. But their beginning was tangled in memories he wishes his wife could forget for good. A call from her past brings them back to a place he thought they’d never have to be again.
Forgiveness may be the key, but the first step is finding the locked heart that needs it.

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All for Family Book Tour Guest Post 
Acceptance by Olivia Hardin
If I were going to choose a single word to describe All for Family it might be “acceptance.”  Because that’s the lesson that has a prevailing theme for Meg Rawley. 
Meg and Jeremy Rawley were secondary characters in my first Rawley novel, All for Hope.  I always knew I’d go back to invite readers into their past, but it didn’t occur to me until earlier this year how I would do that.  You see, I wrote the initial draft of All for Hope about fifteen years ago and in it I described Meg with two little words:  “short” and “pudgy.”  Not flattering, was I?  But I guess my frame of mind was still in transition back then.  

You see I’ve always been insecure about my weight.  It snuck up on me gradually as a preteen, but it definitely slipped into my psyche without warning because there was a time when I know I believed that I was beautiful.  There was a time when I wore it proudly.  

But then weight crept on.  And some of the kids made fun of me.  I laughed it off.  I joined in with the jokes.  I wore the title of “fat girl” as if it were one bestowed upon royalty.  

I still tried to think beautiful.   But I didn’t believe it.

And years wore on and added more weight.  I ate too much.  I didn’t exercise.  And everywhere I looked were women who were much prettier than I was.  Not only was it beating down my view of myself, I knew I was unhealthy.  My hubby tried to help, encouraging as best he could, but there is one thing you can’t do for someone you care about.

You can’t make them love themselves.  

And that was one of the lessons I had to learn. That is the journey I’m still on.  I had to accept the true beauty in me and to feed it and nurture it so that it remains a part of what I show to other people.  Like Meg, I realized the value of loving me.  Because it’s only when I learned that, that I could open myself up to more fully love those around me.  And that is an amazing thing. Because #YouAreBeautiful

In the midst of all of the internal drama for Meg, she’s also having to reassess the relationships in her life.  She married her next door neighbor.  The boy she grew up with and the brother of her best friend.  She wanted to be a part of that family so badly, that she convinced herself that they were destined to be together.

But they weren’t… when the story into Meg’s past begins we find her divorced from Ray, but still pretending to be married in order to spare his sister’s feelings on the eve of her wedding.  Ray is shallow and unlikable most of the time.  I think at least one of my readers called him a “snake.”  I’d like to think he’s not totally unredeemable, but he’s unsavory to say the least.  

And his sister Rhonda is pretty bossy and demanding.  There are some sweet moments between Rhonda and Meg, and they really do care about each other, but I think it becomes clearer to the reader much sooner than it does to Meg that her relationship with these siblings has moved into a realm that’s no longer healthy for her.

And haven’t we all had those types of friendships?  It is so hard to accept the idea that some friends aren’t for a lifetime.  Just like Meg, we want to cling to them.  But sometimes it’s better for all concerned to just walk away.  We have to accept that some relationships are for a reason, some for a season and some are truly for a lifetime.

So can you relate to any of this?  What things in your life have you struggled to accept?  

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