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Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

S&S: Desert Breeze author Regina Andrews turned right on I-95 and landed in our neck of the woods.  Today we’re talking books and baseball.  Welcome, Regina. What prompted you to write Sterling Lakes Book #3, Praise of the Heart?

What a wonderful question.  This book has to do with dealing with the truth in life, whether it is by looking in the mirror, listening to the doctor’s report or finally allowing the love of God to shine in your heart. I wrote this book as part of the Sterling Lakes series. This one takes the series from the levels of the previous two books and turns it completely personal with the themes the characters have to address.

S&S: The hero, Cliff “Clean-up” Markham, plays for the Tampa Bay Stingrays. Do you have a favorite team?

Oh yes. Baltimore Orioles! Long story: RI girl, Red Sox fan forever. Remember going over the AL Standings with my father every night before it was AL East and West: Baltimore, Boston, Detroit…Baltimore, Detroit, Boston…Well, flash-forward to a broken-hearted world of Sox fans in’86 who never recovered (if you don’t know, just trust me!). Always loved the Orioles for their spirit and visited Baltimore lots as I grew up. Well, seems to me they always held pure and true! I love their spirit.

S&S:  Favorite line from the book?   ”Take a stand, find the truth and expose it, don’t run from it. That gives us all hope, Laura. You have done a wonderful thing today.”  (Great question, I am so happy that you asked this! ) [We didn’t pay her to say this!]

S&S: Congratulations! You have six more Sterling Lakes books contracted through July 2014 with Desert Breeze.  Are the books a progressive series featuring the same characters? What a joy the Sterling Lakes Series is! Yes, really for the most part. By that I mean the series is definitely a progressive series thematically, and that’s why this third book of the nine attempted to propel the story arc out a bit further – the series also has recurring characters from Sterling Lakes, as well as featuring a few choice newcomers. Most of all, I am writing these so that a reader can jump into the series any time and become acquainted with Sterling Lakes and the good folks associated with this wonderful town. Hopefully, then, they would be inspired to read another one. (Could I just add the neighboring town, Clark’s Falls, was inspired by Central Falls, RI, home of Academy-Award nominee Viola Davis )

S&S: Give us a Reader’s Digest version of a typical day for you.

Another great question! [Again, no pay, but lots of praise!] Up, to work at my day job as a copy manager at a national jewelry retailer, gym and home, write. Yikes!

S&S:  With six more books in the queue, when do you sleep? Describe your current writing space (dust bunnies and all); then give us your dream space.

My laptop holds a place of honor! It’s in a cozy corner by a sunny window on a spindly table.

My dream space? A octagonal-shaped library/study with sliding hidden doors, book shelves like Henry Higgins, a real desk (mahogany) with drawers and a printer, plus a leather love seat over in the corner overlooking the view out to the ocean and a wet bar with a mind-reading expresso-maker lol. Thanks for that fantasy moment!

S&S: Fantasy is a good thing, right? LOVED Henry Higgins’ library! Other than writing, what’s a fun thing you love to do? Love to sing, love to sun (lol) and love to mini-golf – not that I’m any good!

S&S: Hmmm, we love to sing, we love the sun, and we love to mini-golf (and we’re not that good).  You must be one of our “other” sisters!  Before you go, would you please give us a short excerpt?

With pleasure!  Excerpt from Chapter One:

As he viewed the scene in the St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School picnic area, Cliff ‘Clean-Up’ Markham adjusted the brim of his baseball cap and said a silent prayer of thanksgiving.

You brought me back here to Sterling Lakes, Lord, safe and sound again after another year and for that I give You thanks.

He eyed the group of somber children sitting dutifully on the benches. Not all of them are as fortunate as I am. I’ll never forget the gifts You gave me, and I will always praise You for them. But, come on, we’ve got to liven this place up. They need spirit. Your spirit, Lord. Help me impart the joy of your spirit to them. Amen.

Bounding across the lush, green lawn on the long legs that had been his ticket to a career as a major league baseball outfielder, Cliff cried, “Play ball!”

Every head turned his way, and soon the lawn was a kaleidoscope of color and motion as the youngsters flew across the grass to him.

J.B. Norwood, head of the St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School, exclaimed, “It’s Cliff! It’s Cliff! He’s back! Hi there, Clean-Up!”

“Clean-Up!” A laughing group of children reached him, swarming him before any adults.

“There you are, Russell. Jeremy, whoa, you got tall. Hey, Margaret, how’ve you been? Say, Bucky, what’s up?”

“They call me Billy now,” the boy replied, kicking the ground.

“Right. Good to know.”

Cliff reviewed the sea of faces before him — some familiar to him and some new from last year’s session. In each one he read hope, youth, goodness… and a desperate need for direction and connection.

Then he saw her. Standing by the edge of the grass. Tall, wearing a blue dress. A vision like something from the pages of a magazine.

He smiled, and she walked towards him. Her long, dark hair swayed gracefully with her every rhythmical step. She was in her early twenties, he guessed. She smiled, and Cliff felt the ground shudder under him.

Beaming, she opened her arms and said, “Children, give Mr. Markham some room to breathe, okay? Why don’t we go sit together under the apple tree?”

“Miss Laurie, he’s here to play, not sit around,” came an instant protest

“Russell, you have a good point. Let’s let our star attraction decide.” She tilted her head to one side and with a mischievous half-smile, fixed her gaze on Cliff.

Not many times in his twenty-six years had Cliff Markham been stopped short. Life to him was a big game — fun, baseball, travel, women. Good times seemed to flow his way with his natural charm and ease.

Until now. The challenge radiating from those dark brown eyes stopped him in his tracks, and right away he knew he was in big trouble.

He took a few steps towards her and held out his hand. “We haven’t been properly introduced, Miss Laurie. I’m Cliff Markham. From Sterling Lakes. I play baseball with Tampa Bay Stingrays these days.” He shrugged.

——-

Okay and let me say thank you again so much for inviting me to visit today! What a great time and I wish you both the best in your writings.

S&S:  Hey, thank you! It was wicked fun! Next time we’ll try mini-golf, okay?  We’re so glad you came!

 

For more information on Regina, please check out the following links:

Regina’s Desert Breeze Author’s Page (with links to all her books):

http://bit.ly/Aw27ku

Barnes &Noble: Sterling Lakes Book Three: http://bit.ly/ypLxGI

Amazon: Sterling Lakes Book Three: http://amzn.to/x9LdqX

Blog: regina Andrews.wordpress.com: http://bit.ly/FNY0oj

Website: http://reginaandrews.com/

Treble Hearts Books link to “The Perfect Proposal” http://bit.ly/lAPP21

Awe-Struck Publishing link to “In Good Faith”  http://bit.ly/pLV5w

Twitter: regina_eileen

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/yTXSJy

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Happy New Year, Friends!

If you’re like me, you have resolutions for 2012. Here’s a quick list of mine:

1) Be more promotionally-active! This includes follow-up, like letting you know “Light of the Heart” is up in the Predators and Editors Poll 🙂

Here’s the link: http://critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml

I’m in the link called “All other Novels”

Click on “Light of the Heart” and then you will get an email in your box which you have to confirm — just by clicking — and then the voting is complete.

There are a couple of steps, but all in all, it’s pretty easy! Thank you for helping out!!!

2) Stay in touch with cyber-friends and colleagues
I can’t tell you how I cringe when I see it’s been 2 or 3 months since I’ve been in contact with my virtual friends and writing colleagues. They have been there for me through everything. I don’t know what I would have done without them! And I want to thank them for that! More than that, I vow to be there, actively, for them in 2012.

3) Branch outside the box and travel beyond the comfort zone. As a writer, especially one who is in the midst of a nine-book series, it’s easy to let all your other writing go…but then, how do you grow? Take a pledge with me now to cultivate your own garden and see what you can do that’s outside of the realm you ever imagined — writing-wise. I’ll bet it’s so cool!
Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

 

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CRISIS MODE – so FANTASTIC…this new book in the Sterling Lakes Series arrives Sun JAN 1…WOW and wow wowhttp://bit.ly/v34ZJs

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Today I’m so happy to welcome award-winning author Anne Patrick, who has a new release from Desert Breeze Publishing entitled “Kill Shot”. Welcome, Anne!

About “Kill Shot”:

Former combat medic Kory Wagner has been in four war zones, served three tours in Iraq, survived countless firefights, RPG’s, IED’s and even a helicopter crash. Now she’s home and out of the Army for good and someone is trying to kill her in her own backyard. Just as disturbing is the handsome sheriff who’s on the case.

Sheriff Sean Harding doesn’t quite know what to think of the decorated veteran that managed to outsmart an entire search party. What bothers him more is the body of a PI, whom she hired to find her sister’s killer, was found dead in a building Kory owns. And Kory isn’t being very cooperative with helping him find the answers as to why someone would kill her sister and want her dead. Will he be able to keep her alive along enough to discover the truth?

Excerpt

The steel door creaked as she pushed it open, the sound echoing throughout the metal building. “Mr. Urlik?” She waited for her eyes to adjust to the change in lighting before stepping all the way inside. A wide stream of light from the door spread out in front of her. “Mr. Urlik. Are you in here?”

Kory heard a sound a few yards in front of her. She quickly scanned the area. Three rows of huge metal shelves lined the interior. She inched forward, peering around the corner of the second row. Mr. Urlik lay on his side, facing her, clutching his chest. His eyes were opened and his mouth moved, but no sound came out. A heart attack? She ran to him, knelt down on the cement floor, and took his hand. It was wet, slimy. She looked down and saw his hand covered in blood. Her eyes shifted to his chest. A large crimson stain spread across the width of his white shirt from a small hole near the center. He was breathing erratically. Experience told her a bullet had pierced at least one lung and he didn’t have much time. She immediately pressed the heel of her right hand against the wound.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured.

“Where’s your cell phone?” Hers was in her backpack but she didn’t want to waste valuable time digging it out.

“No time. Get out.”

“Who did this, Mr. Urlik?”

He grabbed her right hand and squeezed it tightly. “You were right — no accident.”

His hand went limp.

Kory felt something in the palm of her hand, looked down and saw it was a key. She shoved it into her jeans pocket. A whizzing sound buzzed past her, followed by the unmistakable clink of a bullet ricocheting off metal. She instinctively threw herself over his body as another bullet struck metal. Kory felt for a pulse. There was none. She lowered her hand to his chest and felt under both arms and along his waist. I thought all PIs carried guns. Just my luck this one didn’t.

She scrambled to her feet, as more shots ricocheted around her, and dove through an opening on the first row of shelves. A piercing pain sliced through her upper arm as she took cover behind some boxes. They wouldn’t shield her from the gunfire but they would conceal her presence while she figured out how she was going to get out of there. She paused long enough to grab her cell phone from her backpack, wishing she hadn’t when another bullet tore through a box beside her. She ducked lower to the floor.

Kory ignored the throbbing in her arm and slithered along the floor toward the back of the building. As a child, she and her sister, Callie, had often accompanied her grandfather to the warehouse where he worked on boats as a hobby. She remembered a back exit that led to the side parking lot and nearby woods. If she could reach the door, she had a chance of getting out of this alive. She looked down at the tear in her shirt, drenched with blood.
This isn’t good!

Kill Shot: Book One Wounded Heroes can be purchased at most online bookstores or from my publisher – Desert Breeze Publishing: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-227/Wounded-Heros-Book-One/Detail.bok

Anne’s Bio: Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award-winning and best-selling Fire and Ash, Lethal Dreams and Sabotage. When she’s not killing off people or falling in love with dashing heroes, you can find her surfing the web or spending time with family and friends. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.

To learn more about Anne, please visit her website: http://www.annepatrick.weebly.com or blog: http://www.suspensebyanne.blogspot.com .

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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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Hi there. Most of you probably know me. But, just in case, I’m Laurean Brooks, writer of inspirational romance with a big dash of humor.

You may look at my picture and say, “Surely this is a woman schooled in social graces.” But to the contrary, this woman would never win an award for implementing Emily Post’s Rules of Proper Etiquette. Instead, in my circle, I’d likely receive a statue portraying a contorted woman with one foot shoved in her mouth.

My desire to make people laugh was inherited from my dad. The difference is he specialized in playing silly pranks and telling funny stories; my humor relies on seizing the right moment to implement a snappy reply. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing folks laugh. But sometimes these “supposedly” funny remarks are taken the wrong way.

“A soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15: 1

Now there’s one I often apply. Sadly, it’s usually after the fact. The scenario goes like this. I say something (I think is) funny, a harsh voice replies in anger, and I apologize. Most of the time the person accepted my apology. A few didn’t. That’s when I promise to try to keep a stronger hold on my tongue.

“Proverbs 25:11 puts me to shame. It reads, “A word fitly spoken and in due season, is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Know why this verse makes me cringe? Because it was probably written to admonish someone whose mouth shifts into gear before her/his brain engages. Someone like…uh…me.

I could give example after example of embarrassing scenarios, results of my impulsive quips. But that would take all day. I’ll confess only two.

The most retold incident (by my family) occurred when my niece and son were toddlers. “Aunt Laurie” (or Mom) was in great social demand in those days, especially at the supermarket. Why? Because I loaded the little ones into the shopping cart and whizzed through the produce aisle, cutting figure-eights around the banana stalks and watermelon rack. The squeals from Jeremy and Mandy kept egged me.

So, it came as no surprise while on a trip to the local IGA, two-year-old Mandy peeled her mother’s fingers from the cart and yowled, “Want Aunt Lau-rie ta’ push!” My three-year-old, Jeremy, joined in protesting from his seat at the bottom of the cart. “Mom! We want Mom!”

Miffed at her daughter and my nephew’s rejection, my sister stepped aside and huffed, “Well! I know when I’m not wanted!”

I grinned impishly and gripped the cart while Emily followed. I pushed it a few feet when a sassy jibe came to me. I craned my neck to look behind, fluttered my lashes, and oozed in a sultry voice, “M’dear, are you feeling lonely and forlorn?”

Before the words left my mouth, a brick wall smashed against my cheek. I whirled to find a 6′ 4” college-aged guy gaping down at me. His face registered something akin to “horror” and “Woman-you-are-crazy!”

I slapped a hand to my burning face and hurried to explain. “No-no! I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to my sis–” I scanned the area, but Emily had vanished! Coward!

The young man jaunted away, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. Emily stole out from the canned vegetables aisle. The hand over her mouth and tears streaming down her cheeks gave her away. My sister was laughing at me! She squealed, “That was hilarious! You had your head against that…that guys chest…gazing up into his eyes. What did you say to him?”

When I relayed my humiliating indiscretion, she shrieked, “You mean…you propositioned that guy?”

What could I say? “Uh-h…it did sound that way.”

The second embarrassing moment occurred when a couple of men waltzed through the doors of the textile plant where I worked. Both men were casually dressed. The older, a distinguished, gray-haired gentleman, paused in front of my work area and asked, “You don’t mind if we walk through, do you?”

My retort? “As long as you aren’t salesmen or politicians. All others are welcome.”

The older gentleman walked past, but the younger man stopped in front of me and whispered, pointing to the older man. “I’m not a politician. But he is. He’s the county judge.”

When he spoke the man’s name, I slapped my hand over my mouth.

The judge must have noticed my embarrassment because he traipsed back to me and placed a consoling arm around my shoulders. “Honey, is something wrong? Anything I can do to help?”

All I could do was shake my head and murmur, “No-o.”

At our family get-togethers, much to my chagrin, Emily brings up the supermarket incident, then adds, “Going shopping with Laurie was always fun. You never knew what would happen.”

There, you have it. I have “Foot In Mouth” disease. What about the rest of you? Have you ever committed public blunders? Oh come on, ‘fess up! I hope I’m not the only one.

Here are links to my books. In Journey To Forgiveness, http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/ my sassy heroine has the same problem with her tongue. Jenny gets into some interesting predicaments as a result.

E-books:
OVER THE COALS- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/44638/
JONQUILS IN THE SNOW- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9341/
SEVERED HEARTS- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/73123/

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With great joy, I am finally able to share the cover of my second book in the Sterling Lakes Series, “Angels of the Heart”.

The cover was ready on time and the book released on time…but my computer decided to…go on vacation. Not in good time, in my opinion!

This was so not easy, being on the dark side of the moon! And with the third manuscript in the series due September 1st. I almost can’t talk about it, because as soon as I start, you just know I won’t stop.

Suffice it to say all seems to be in order now. But I will be backing up my current ms on a disc, as well as my flash drive, that’s for sure!

To be continued.

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