Excerpt – The Year of Thorns and Honey

The Year of Thorns and Honey JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Year of Thorns and Honey by Amy Willoughby-Burle, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Year of Thorns and HoneyTitle: The Year of Thorns and Honey
Series: Stand-alone follow-up to The Lemonade Year
Author: Amy Willoughby-Burle
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: Clean Women’s Fiction

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Nina is a photographer who really appreciates control. She likes to set up just the right shot with the perfect composition, but life is not always as pretty as her pictures. The lighting is off, the timing is wrong, and the subjects just won’t do like she wants them to.

She’s engaged to her ex-husband, her teenage daughter is testing all the boundaries, and her childhood memories have a For-Sale sign on them. She’s also keeping a secret about the chance of a lifetime, but what she’ll have to give up to get it might not be worth it. Just when she thinks she’s got it all figured out, an important someone resurfaces and forces her to take a hard look at what she really wants and why.

Life can be as prickly as it is sweet. Will Nina be able to let go of the perfect picture she had in her head and let her heart find the sweetness that life has to offer.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub


From Chapter 1.

It’s just like me to force roses into bloom—more like me to find my finger pricked while pruning them. A bright red dot of blood blooms on my thumb, while outside, a gray sky parts to release an unexpected snow. It’s 10:00am on New Year’s Day, and already I’m looking for a loophole to get out my resolutions. 

Be more positive. Drink less coffee. 

Oh well. 

I push open the curtains that cover the glass doorway to my balcony, so that I can get a good look at the white nuisance falling from the sky. I don’t like snow, so sue me. 

Them: Isn’t it magical?  Doesn’t it make you feel like all the world is aglow? 

Me: No.

I check the sliding glass door just to make sure it’s locked, as if the snow has fingers and might slip them around the handle from the outside and slide the door open to let its cold self in. Safely on the inside, I turn the terracotta pot that contains my latest project—roses, orangey red ones whose actual name I have forgotten—around so that the sun can find the other side of the bush. Only, there is no sun. I reach into the plant to pluck a withered petal and am pricked again. 

I give up. New resolutions: Drink all the coffee. Wallow in negativity. 


 Still, there are blooms on the bush, and that says something. On the way to the coffee pot, I put my thumb to my lips and taste the tang of metal. I shiver, having forgotten to turn the heat up last night and the air in the condo is still and cold. My bare feet rebel against the tiled floor of the kitchen. 

What’s the difference between a resolution and an empty promise anyway? And how does the changing of a single second from one year to the next produce significant change? I mean, I’m still wearing my pajamas, and I can technically say that I haven’t combed my hair since last year. Yes, that does it. Pressure off. No need to pretend to become a better version of myself overnight. 



Amy Willoughby-Burle

Amy Willoughby-Burle grew up in the small coastal town of Kure Beach, North Carolina. She studied writing at East Carolina University and is now a writer and teacher living in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and four children. She writes about the mystery and wonder of everyday life. Her contemporary fiction focuses on the themes of second chances, redemption, and finding the beauty in the world around us.

Amy is the author of the short story collection, Out Across the Nowhere, and the novels, The Lemonade Year and The Year of Thorns and Honey. Amy says, “God didn’t give me the desire to understand algebra or the knowledge of exactly when and where to use a semicolon, and I’m not that great of a speller, but He did give me a wild imagination, the ability to string words together, and the desire to tell stories. I hope I can do Him proud.”

CONNECT WITH AMY: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


(1) winner will receive a The Year of Thorns and Honey prize package!

The Year of Thorns and Honey JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 26, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 2, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Disclaimer – I have not read this book so I cannot speak to its appropriateness for a K-12 Christian School library. I encourage librarians to read the book before making a purchasing decision.
I choose to share it because it does sound interesting. If you read it, let me know what you think.

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