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Archive for September, 2011

Today I am just delighted to welcome the amazing individual and fantastic author Tina Pinson to the Summer 2011 Blog-String Fest! Tina is an accomplished author and has a wonderful sense of humor. Her writings and her posts are always so interesting. Thank you so much for visiting and welcome, Tina!

Just Breathe.

I’ve just had one of those extraordinary weeks. You know… the kind everyone dreams of?

Okay maybe not…

My week could have been better. It started off great. After singing with hubby at church, we rested and had a wonderful day together. Then while cleaning my teeth like a good girl, a chunk of my back molar broke off. OOOh Yay.

I decided I could handle the pain since it wasn’t too strong and of we didn’t really have the money to bother with it. Then Monday, I woke up with a touch of a headache, by the end of the day it had blossomed into a full-fledged migraine. It lasted through the night into the next day taking any chance for a decent night’s sleep along with it. And if that wasn’t enough… my tooth began a dull throb.

The migraine subsided, but the tooth ache hung on and I decided to call a dentist.

Can I just stop here and say UGH… Dentists are not big in my vocabulary, even though it seems I’ve spent quite a bit of time there. And because we are new transplants to Arizona, I didn’t even get to go to my usual dentist.

So I looked on the internet, and called around for an opening, then spun the wheel and headed out to meet my new best dental friend. After getting through a series of xrays (I have a horrible gag reflex so I really love those little film cards in my mouth) and a bit of prodding with the dental pick, I was told that I needed a few thousand dollars-worth of work.

Some crowns and a couple of fillings add up to a few thousand. Amazing. I am in the wrong business.

And boy was I excited. I was looking forward to setting in that ol chair, leaning back with mouth open waiting for the stab of a needle so my mouth would go numb, and I would get to listen to the whirr and hiss of all the drill and such.

But alas, I had to wait. First, I had to meet with a specialist so he could ascertain if I needed anything else. And guess what?

He found another two thousand in the form of root canals to tack on to the bill.

We moved to Arizona because of the economy and still trying to get caught up, so you imagine that this news overjoyed me.

I wanted to cry. I thought about running down and buying a few lottery tickets or maybe go hunt for a money tree.

Instead, I decided to do something constructive to take my mind off everything. I sat down to work on my stories.

I found that every cog in my head was clicking on the beat. I was so focused. Everything came together. The flow was precise, the editing went well and my characters were following my lead.

I was pumped.

HAHAHAHAHA…. NOT

Nothing was coming together. My thoughts were all over the place. My characters were rebellious. I’d start looking at one story and move onto another one because I couldn’t focus. I was ready to pound my head with the keyboard

So I did what many of do… (Throw my computer across the room and watch it shatter on the far wall in little pieces)

Okay so… I didn’t do that.

Actually I stopped what I was doing, turned my mind off as best as I could and breathed.

Just Breathed.

In through the nose and out through the mouth. One… two… three… four… Slowly, I took long deep breaths to clear my mind. And with each breath… I prayed.

In writing, like life, we can get over run with thoughts and frustrated because nothing seems to be working in our story lines, it’s then we need to stop and simply breathe.

Breathe and let the Author of our life and imagination infuse us with peace and clarity.

Life is going to happen. Things don’t always go as planned, when it doesn’t go quite the way it should, I hope you’ll give yourself the break you need and Breathe.

Just breathe.
*****

Here’s where you can find Tina and her writings:

For In the Manor of the Ghost
Desert Breeze Publishing

HTML, LIT, PDF, PRC
Barnes and Noble
Nook
Amazon
Kindle Edition
Sony Reader Store
Sony e reader
All Romance Ebooks
Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader, HTML, Mobipocket
Books On Board
Adobe Digital Edition
OmniLit
Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader, HTML, Mobipocket
Apple ibookstore
iPad, or iPhone/iPod Touch with upgrades to have ibookstore app access.
Borders Estore
kobo

Touched By Mercy

Sony Reader Store

Amazon

All Romance Ebooks
My website — http://www.tinapinson.com/
Twitter:@Tina_Pinson
Facebook– http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754617103
Purchase my books at:

Desert Breeze Bookstore.
Touched By Mercy http://tiny.cc/0rgkm
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/we4ul

Amazon:
Touched By Mercy http://tiny.cc/k5tgw
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/doc8w

Barnes & Noble
Touched By Mercy—available soon
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/oh767

Christian Books Distributors
Touched By Mercy – available soon
In the Manor of the Ghost http://tiny.cc/4u5h9

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Today I am so happy to welcome the fabulous, accomplished author Karen Wiesner, as she discussed her new release, SHARDS OF ASHLEY, Book 5 of the Family Heirloom Series. Karen will also be giving away a download of BABY, BABY, Book 1 of the Family Heirlooms Series to one commenter. Welcome, Karen and thank you so much for visiting today!
Here’s a story recap and a blurb from SHARDS OF ASHLEY for you to enjoy.

SHARDS OF ASHLEY, Book 5 of the Family Heirloom Series
Karen Wiesner
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Whiskey Creek Press
978-1-61160-017-9 (trade paperback); 978-1-61160-016-2 (download)

Find out more about this series: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/fiction9.html

Book Five Family Heirloom: Learning Trust

In order to reconcile her past, she must face the terrible truth she buried long ago…and, in doing so, she gambles with her heart and the salvation of her own soul.

Ashley Savage grew up in a troubled home with a competitive, pampered sister and an abusive, ridiculing mother who played at being a Christian when she needed to…and led Ashley to more addictions than one child could handle. As an adult, Ashley tells herself she’s put the extreme fears of the past behind her, but she spends most of her time repairing the crumbling wall holding back the horrors she’s not willing to face ever again. She’s become a woman against the world.

The one man who has the annoying habit of getting through her defenses is Jay Samuels, a military chaplain and soon-to-be pastor. Much as Ashley wants to leave him behind like she believes she has the rest of her past, Jay is ambitious to a fault where she’s concerned. He hears only what he wants to hear—and he doesn’t want to hear that she doesn’t love him as much as he loves her.

But even Jay doesn’t realize the extent of all she’s buried deep inside her own subconscious…and what keeps her from giving herself willingly to the God she knows is drawing her inexorably to Himself, to the one place she can’t run, where she can no longer hide…

Excerpt:
© Karen Wiesner

Jay Samuels knew exactly where to find his girlfriend. Not in the waiting area, eager to throw herself in his arms the minute he deboarded the plane and appeared. No, Ashley would be in the gift shop, trying to convey blaringly that picking him up was an afterthought. She’d act like coming to get him from the airport (twice a year or so) was a major inconvenience to her. Maybe it was. Maybe he’d prefer to have her tackle him with enthusiastic love. But he’d always delighted in Ashley’s mystery, her unfathomableness.

He smiled eagerly, making his way around other passengers in the tiny La Crosse airport. Even knowing he and Ashley would spend the entire week he was on leave butting heads, he couldn’t wait to see her. Since she’d moved to La Crosse when she was seventeen, he’d had to take charge to get what he wanted. She never made it easy, never fell in line with his plans without a good argument. He had a big one on his hands tonight, but he was up for it. He was spoiling for it.

Still grinning, he entered the gift shop and saw her immediately. A woman as elegant and breathtakingly gorgeous as Ashley Savage was hard to miss. She wore an utterly feminine, utterly sophisticated expensive business suit that she couldn’t have imagined even touching a decade ago. The suit she wore today was in shades of pink, a floral print, with a form-fitting jacket that followed her exquisite curves, and a little skirt. Three inch pumps showed off deeply tanned, mile-long legs. She was five-ten, only a few inches shorter than him, but taller than most women, especially in the heels. As usual, she wore her waist-length, champagne blond hair in a twist at the back of her head. Wisps hung around her delicate face. He had the feeling she thought tying up her hair the way she did made her unapproachable and unattractive to men. She couldn’t have been more wrong. While she didn’t need the make-up she wore, he had to admit she applied it with an expert hand. She looked completely natural, as if she wore no cosmetics at all. He wondered if she had any idea how beautiful…and intimidating…she was to men. Heck, she probably intimidated women just as easily. But he expected that was her goal. She didn’t allow anyone or anything to get to her.

An ache started inside him that he knew would only get stronger with every minute they spent together in this short time. Does she have any idea what she does to me? For him, no other woman could come close to her. That had never been what she intended, of course, and he’d well known it after they graduated high school and started independent lives. She’d purposed for them to become separate from each other in every conceivable way.

She’d met rich-from-birth humanitarian Amanda Grant, who’d hired Ashley at her interior design company and taught her the ropes. In a very short time, Ashley had obviously learned a lot from her mentor—she’d mastered how to dress and talk properly, but she’d also designed her own style and it was worth gold. Amanda’s clients had fallen for Ashley left and right, and she’d become a success in every sense of the word.

Since then, Jay had to concede that what they’d shared no longer fit—she’d been right about that, in not so many words. He’d ceased to harbor any more illusions about befriending someone who’d seen so much pain. Plain and simple, friendship could no longer satisfy him. Not when he’d seen her strength, the way she’d picked up the pieces of her shattered life and rebuilt herself from scratch. Wanting their relationship to move into something more romantic had become a priority to him, but she hadn’t made it easy for him. To this day, getting anything from her was a never-ending battle, but a worthwhile one that he hadn’t and wouldn’t tire of, not when she allowed him to be with her despite “the inconvenience.” I never made it easy for her either. Just the opposite. I was hell on her when we were younger—just because I enjoyed our sparring so much. Unfortunately, he couldn’t deny that he still derived pleasure from that. But sparring wasn’t all he desired anymore.

Jay’s hands clenched. He loved her, wanted her. While that desire felt old and familiar, the torture in his longing was new and nearly unbearable. The feelings between them used to be so light and fun. The last time he’d come home… Being with her constantly wasn’t enough. Having her next to me, allowing me to touch her…the ache to kiss and hold her won’t be satisfied until she belongs to me wholly. At the time, he hadn’t been sure how to make that happen. He’d wondered countless times what she would do if he told her the only future he could envision beyond being a chaplain and a minister outside the military was all about her. If his life didn’t include her forever, he wasn’t interested. This time, he’d discover one way or another what she would do when she learned he’d already taken a step into a permanent life with her. He planned to ask her to take a step of her own.

Looking at her guarded face now, he already knew the answer to that. She saw him standing here, aware he was watching her, but she wouldn’t admit it a moment sooner than she willed. She wanted to make him wait for her. That was all right with him. Her control issues had given him a chance to look at all he’d missed for months on end.

In a calculated move, she glanced up from the magazine she was perusing, pretended she’d just now realized he’d arrived, and murmured, “Oh, you’re here. Let me pay for these, then I’ll take you home.”

She dropped another fashion magazine into the basket she carried. Jay followed her to the checkout counter, stepping right in front of her just before she got there. Her expression was irritated, just as guarded as before, and it should have reminded him of something hard as ice or stone. Ashley’s intentions to keep everyone away no longer worked on him. Everything about her spoke of soft femininity to him.

“Not exactly the hello I was hoping for,” he said under his breath. He pressed up against her, and she glared at him.

“Can I help you?” the clerk called pleasantly.

Ashley stepped around him, effectively dodging his embrace to put the basket on the counter. Undeterred, Jay put his arms around her from behind. She stiffened defensively, but he held her a little tighter. He put his mouth right against the shell of her ear while the clerk went about the business of tallying her purchases. Breathing in her expensive, mesmerizing perfume, he murmured, “I’d rather not go to my parents’ right away.”

“They miss you.”

“I miss you.”

Impossibly, she stiffened even more. He nuzzled her neck, becoming increasingly intoxicated by the scent and feel of her so close. He wanted to get out of here. Now. I need to be alone with her. This wasn’t the time or place, but he couldn’t get himself to back off. Instinctively, his counselor brain started to analyze both of their actions, but he shook off the need to do that with her. When he was home, he wanted to relax and enjoy his time with her.

She paid and took the bag the clerk handed her. Gently, she nudged him away, turning to ask, “Have you gotten your luggage?”

“Nah.” Seeing Ashley had been his first and last thought when the plane landed.

She led the way to the baggage return across the lobby from the gift shop. When they arrived and watched the bags coming through, she said, “I have to drop off this fabric sample book with a client and then go back to the office…”

He didn’t care to hear the list of things she’d prepared to keep them apart. He slipped through her defenses and put his arms around her while she was still talking.

Read more:
http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/SOAexcerpt.pdf

What’s coming next:

WORLDS COLLIDE, Book 6 of the Family Heirloom Series
Karen Wiesner
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Whiskey Creek Press
978-1-61160-019-3 (trade paperback); 978-1-61160-018-6 (download)
Coming March 2012

Book Six Family Heirloom: Persevering in adversity

Dr. Marcus Samuels is a medical missionary in Japan, and his life has been God’s work despite a severe anxiety disorder associated with being far from home. After twelve years of watching his happily married siblings and their children, he can no longer deny the chronic ache inside him and knows he should start his own family life back in the States—though he has serious doubts about his wife-hunting abilities at the age of forty. Spurred into motion by his mother’s sudden illness, he’s caught off-guard when he realizes just how much he’ll miss Keiko Oichi and her brother Haruki, fellow pediatricians at the Children’s Christian Mission Hospital. The two have not only been his lifeline while in a foreign, distant place, but have also become family to him.

Keiko and Haruki grew up in the United States as foreign exchange students. It was through their host family that she and her older sibling became Christians. Her conversion to Christ, as well as getting to know Marcus, have radically altered her emotionally-detached acceptance of her traditional Japanese future. When Marcus says he’s leaving Japan for good, she feels lost at the prospect of living without her closest friend. Only with Marcus can she be the woman she truly is inside—if she can shed the cocoon of lifelong familial tradition and impossible expectations and be free.
Knowing Keiko has been betrothed since she was a child, Marcus had trained himself not to see her as a potential mate. But learning of her unhappiness and fear of being unequally yoked to an immoral man she can never love opens his eyes to possibilities he hasn’t allowed himself to consider. Who better to fall in love with than your very best friend? When Keiko’s parents learn of her conversion and feelings for a Christian man, the couple faces a crossroads in love and faith that will change both of their lives irrevocably.

Return to the quaint little town of Peaceful, Wisconsin, from Karen Wiesner’s award-winning Family Heirlooms Series, where you first met and fell in love with these colorful, lovable friends. Now you can read the stories of those secondary characters in an all-new spin-off series. Nuggets of faith can be passed down as heirlooms from friend to friend, heart to heart, soul-mate to soul-mate.
Check out this upcoming series (including back blurbs, covers, and details) here:
http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/fiction9a.html

About the Author:

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 85 books published in the past 13 years, which have been nominated for and/or won 114 awards, and 13 more titles under contract. Karen’s books cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. She also writes children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles such as her bestsellers, First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel {A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building}, available from Writer’s Digest Books. Along with her writing, Karen enjoys designing Web sites, graphics, and cover art. For more information about Karen and her work, visit her Web sites at http://www.karenwiesner.com, http://www.firstdraftin30days.com, http://www.falconsbend.com and http://www.JewelsoftheQuill.com. If you would like to receive Karen’s free e-mail newsletter, Karen’s Quill, and become eligible to win her monthly book giveaways, send a blank e-mail to KarensQuill-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

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Today I am so happy and delighted that the wonderful Stephanie Burkhart is visiting the Summer Blog-String Fest! She’s a fantastic author, great friend – and fellow New England-er. Welcome, Steph!

Behind the Scenes of: A Polish Heart
by Stephanie Burkhart

Regina Andrews is one of the sweetest people I know. A fellow Desert Breeze Author, when I learned Regina was from Rhode Island, I felt like I’d met a kindred spirit. I grew up in New Hampshire. My first time to Rhode Island was to Newport in 1985 as part of a school trip. Newport, Rhode Island is beautiful. I visited the mansions of Newport – Rosecliff, the Astors, and the Breakers, and fell in love with the Breakers. What made the biggest impression with me was standing in the middle of the great hall and closing my eyes and envisioning what it like all those years ago.

The Breakers was the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and the home was constructed between 1892-95. The architectural style embodies “The Gilded Age” of America and was the largest, most elegant house in Newport when it was finished.

When it came time to write my inspirational short story, A Polish Heart, I drew upon my knowledge and love of Newport to give my hero, Darrin Riverton a home. Darrin comes from Newport and embodies the American dream.

“A Polish Heart” is a short story included in Victory Tales Press Spring/Easter anthology. The story encompasses inspirational and family themes. Darrin’s a successful architect who travels to Warsaw, Poland on an assignment. Sofia Buraczynski is the beautiful, hard-working and family orientated interpreter who Darrin falls for. Will Sophia’s faith give Darrin his heart back?

What I enjoy about writing for Victory Tales Press are the opportunities to branch out and try other subgenres of romance. “A Polish Heart” has an inspirational message – you are who God made you and you shouldn’t try to be what other people expect you to be. You’ll only be happy when you are yourself. There’s also a family message – a family filled with love offers unconditional support. Darrin’s family has been sidetracked by materialism – and Darrin has lost his way because of it.

REVIEWS: A POLISH HEART
5 Stars, Diane Craver, author of “The Christmas Gift”
Burkhart’s writing caused me to fall in love with Warsaw, even though I’ve never been there. Her descriptions of the setting and culture made me feel like I was experiencing firsthand Poland’s interesting country.

The Set up: Darrin and Sophia are finishing dinner at a local restaurant.

The waiter came and Darrin gave him his credit card.

“I’d invite you shopping with us, but I’m afraid you have a lot of work to do.”

Darrin frowned. He did, but he hated to miss the opportunity to learn about the Easter basket and go shopping for it.

“Why don’t you join us for mass on Palm Sunday?”

“Really? A mass? I haven’t been in months. I’d need a confession.”

“Do you want me to ask Father William if it would be permissible for me to translate for him? He takes confessions on Saturday afternoons.”

“All right.”

“You can work in the morning. I’ll call you in the afternoon. Do you mind taking the metro again?”

“That’s fine.”

“What if he can’t take your confession?” asked Sofia.

“I’ll still go to mass with you, but I’d like to be able to receive the Eucharist.”

Her smile widened, warming his heart.

“I would like that. I’ll do my best to help get you a confession.”

The waiter returned and Darrin signed the bill. They left. Sofia’s car was parked in front of her house. The car ride back to his hotel was silent. She’d given him a lot to think about. How did he want to live his life? Falsely, trying to meet his parents’ expectations? Or did he want to let his heart breathe? He was twenty-nine. Wasn’t he entitled to let himself follow his own course? He had a good job, a nice apartment – he just had to live the way he wanted. And he had to guard his heart, turn away dishonesty and keep his eyes firmly on the path ahead, as the rest of the verse advised.

Sofia pulled up to the front of the hotel and put the car in park. Darrin turned to face her. The fringes of her lashes cast shadows on her cheeks, softening her expression. He reached out and gently took her hand in his. Her touch sent warm tendrils of desire through him. With the other hand, he cupped her cheek. She closed her eyes, and drew in a sharp breath before opening them again.
Lightly, he rubbed his thumb against her jaw.

“May I kiss you?” His voice was low and husky.

“Yes.”

He leaned forward, his lips feather light, touching hers with tantalizing persuasion until she opened up to him. He kept the kiss slow, thoughtful, enjoying the hints of berries and currants that lingered from the malbec. He pulled away gently.

“That was nice,” she whispered.

“Call me tomorrow.”

“I will.”
Darrin opened the door and stepped out. He waved to Sofia and she waved back as she drove away.

Darrin went to his room and revisited his luggage, removing his travel Bible from an inner pocket. He always took it with him, just in case. Opening it up, he went to the book of Proverbs, sat up against the headboard of the bed, and began to read.

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6_397PerU

Buy Links:

Print Book:
Create Space: https://www.createspace.com/3579108

Ebook:
Lulu: (PDF) http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/a-springeaster-collection-sweet/15166166

Smashwords: (multiple formats) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/48682

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Easter-Collection-Sweet-ebook/dp/B004TMPOYM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1314939571&sr=8-2

Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. A member of Generation X, she joined the army in 1986 and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. She’s now a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. Her favorite football team is the New England Patriots. A Polish Heart was inspired by her Polish heritage.

Find me on the Web at:

BLOG:
http://sgcardin.blogspot.com

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357922219

GOODREADS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart

Thank you for visiting, Stephanie, and best of luck with your writings!

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