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Archive for the ‘inspirational romance’ Category

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Today I am so very thrilled to have Regan Taylor visiting my blog! She is the heart and soul of a romance writer…and so, so much more! Welcome, wonderful Regan Taylor!

One of the best things about writing is you get to create the ending you wish could our would happen in a real life situation.  Another is that our characters can say the things we wish we could but for whatever reason, we can’t. Know what I mean? Some of the things my characters have said are:

In WITH ALL DISPATCH Molly Tanner has woken up to find her roommate is disappeared, apparently traveled back in time:

“Not that anyone has time to pack before time traveling.” Molly laughed, just short of hysterical. “Right. Like I have so much experience with time travel. Let’s see what or who I know who’s done it? There’s Black Eagle coming here. And then there’s Black Eagle going back to his home and yup, that’s a lot of experience you have there, Molly. You’re a virtual expert. Yup, and going a little bonkers here talking to yourself.”

In WORLD IN HER HANDS Sarah Dinetti has Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous and when she confides in her friend, Jan, hears about it she says:

“Well color me relieved. Seriously, Sarah, it’s time to let that chapter end. He’s dead weight in your life. It’s not like you even really have a relationship with him. He’s just there in your life, sponging off you. Cut him loose and look for some fresh meat. And even if the brother didn’t ask for your number, why don’t you get his? Call him and ask him for coffee or sex or something.”

And, in MISTAKEN BRIDE, Kendrick says the one thing I like hearing from my own Mr. Tall and Gorgeous:

“Oh yeah, she’s the one all right. She’s definitely the one I want.”

What is the most memorable line you’ve read from a character in a favorite book?

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, visiting Angie Dobson at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com

 

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr –

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck – http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen –http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor – http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies – www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews – https://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones – lynnhones.wordpress.com

This week you can find me visiting with the fabulous Angie Dobson at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com

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Today I am visiting with Haley Hawthorne, the main character in my Inspirational Romance novel, In Good Faith. As part of the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour, Author (and some characters!) are talking about what inspires them today. I am also appearing on Christine LOndon’s blog this week at http://www.christinelondon.blogspot.com

Let’s hear what Haley has to share with us today!

RA: Welcome, Haley and thank you for your time today.

HH: My pleasure, thank you for having me, Regina.

RA: Tell us a little about yourself.

HH: Sure! I am an Art Director at a high-powered greeting card company in Manhattan. I was orphaned at a young age, and grew up in rural Dunbar Falls. My Uncle Nelson took me in. I felt like Heidi. It was a town of  pasture lands and a clear sense of the things that matter most in life.

RA: Including God?

HH: Absolutely.

RA: Why would you ever leave there? It sounds perfect.

HH: Part of me never wanted to leave. But as UNcle Nelson always said, “A bird’s gotta fly.” He thought I should try new things. He was right.

RA: How did you change when you left?

HH: I became more confident after rising to so many challenges. The flip side of that, though was that I lost touch a little with the values that made me who I was. All the background of Dunbar Falls gave me all the research I needed for a great career in greeting cards, because there was so much caring and so much sincerity.

RA: Then?

HH: Then ironically, I lost a lot of what made me, ME, by getting caught up in the material trappings of what was all aounds me. My cards stopped selling.

RA: So what did you do?

HH: I would have kept going on that way, but Uncle Nelson died and I went back to Dunbar Falls to take care of things. That’s where I reconnected with my roots – did more research, if you will, to find myself again.

RA: What else did you find?

HH: Love, with an old friend, Aaron Carrier. Also, friends and a lot of new adventures. There’s more about that in “Act of Faith” which continues the story of “In Good Faith”.

RA: I heard that was in the wind! Very exciting 🙂 Thanks for being here today, Haley.  Talk to you again soon.

HH: Thanks, Regina! Take care.

Here’s an excerpt fom “In Good Faith” by Regina Andrews:

CHAPTER ONE

“Ms. Hawthorne, could you look at these proofs?”

“Do you have a minute to go over this copy together, Ms. Hawthorne?”

“A call for you from Grace on line three, Ms. Hawthorne!”

Haley Hawthorne tossed her long red curls over her shoulder as she swept through the Creative Area of Sterling Greeting Cards. She carried a designer bag in one hand and a steaming latté in the other.

As Senior Art Director for the largest greeting card company in the world, these early morning entrances refreshed her enough to get through the day ahead. They were her redemption. But I can remember a time when I didn’t feel like that, and it wasn’t so very long ago.

A hush fell over the flock of artists and interns following behind her as she passed. With a frown she accepted a stack of messages from the leathery, outstretched hands of her receptionist Bernice, a fixture at Sterling’s for over forty years.

“I’m already carrying too much, Bernice,” she murmured.

“There, there.” With a motherly pat, Bernice tucked the papers under Haley’s arm. “Toting a heavy load can weigh you down, Haley. Maybe it’s time to think about what you really need to carry and what you can let go.” She gave Haley a look.

“Maybe you’re right, Bernice.” As if I haven’t already tried! That’s what was keeping her awake most nights. The old Haley used to travel light and breezy, her heart and soul as free as a bird. But lately she felt heavy in her heart and she couldn’t put her finger on why. How had things changed so much?

Ignoring the chirp of her cell phone, Haley walked down the corridor to her office, glancing at the framed collections of award-winning cards on the walls and the shelves crowded with shining trophies she’d won over the years. When would she get a chance to start her own company?

The fact that all her talent was padding someone else’s profit column wasn’t the only thing bothering her these days. There was something else that had been nagging at her for some time now, an emptiness she couldn’t fill with work…or with her boyfriend, Derek, either. All she knew was that she had to get through each day.

Her young assistant, Suzie, unlatched the chrome double doors to her office for her and Haley flashed the smile that had been opening doors for her all her life.

She called over her shoulder, “I’ll get to all of you in a minute.” The entourage scattered, leaving her and Suzie in the peaceful calm of her office.

And then she saw him.

“Aaron Carrier! I can’t believe it! What are you doing here?”

She put down her bag and her coffee and reached her hands out to him after smoothing her lemon yellow designer suit.

She gave him a warm hug, then turned to her assistant.”I’ve known this guy since we were kids. He and his two brothers were like triplets, they were so alike. I’ll never forget when he insisted we start calling him Carrier, to be different from his brothers Adam and Austin. Boy, were they mad…”

With his broad, six-foot frame blocking the Manhattan skyline in the window behind him, Haley noticed how his glinting azure eyes and thick hair had grown more imposing in the ten years that had passed since she had last seen him.

He jammed his fists deep into the pockets of his jeans. “Hey. We have to talk, Haley. It’s about Nelson.”

Her heartbeat quickened. “You’ve come all the way here from Dunbar Falls to tell me something about Uncle Nelson?” She glanced at Suzie, then back at him. “It must be bad news.”

“I’ll have Bernice hold all of your calls.” Suzie hustled off in a cloud of expensive perfume, latching the door behind her with a solid ‘click’.

“Tell me what’s wrong, Carrier. Is it bad?”

“Yeah. The worst.”

“He’s -”

Carrier nodded. “Last night.” His piercing blue eyes, steely as two sapphires, searched her face. But they didn’t stop there; they burned into her soul.

“Oh,” she sank into a chair. Closing her eyes, she did something she hadn’t done in ages; she said a prayer. Bless him, Lord, and keep him in Your eternal care.

Only she wasn’t sure how much of it was for Uncle Nelson and how much of it was for her. After a moment she opened her eyes, focusing on the carpet. “How did he-?”

“In his sleep.”

“So it was peaceful.”

“You actually care?”

Startled by his tone, she looked up at him, only to find him regarding her as if he smelled a vat of rancid egg salad.

“Of course I care!”

He continued accusingly: “You haven’t seen him or been back home to Dunbar Falls in ten years.”

Her heartbeat quickened again. “Well, um,…That’s not quite exactly true. I’ve been back. I’ve seen him.”

“You have?”

She nodded as Carrier approached her so closely that she could smell his cologne. Could it be that same fantastic stuff he had been wearing that night on Johnnycake Hill? The memories flashed back into her mind, and so did her embarrassment.

“When were you back?” He looked at her in disbelief.

“Not too long ago.”

“Just that once?”

She shrugged. “Not really. More like, once in a while.”

“I don’t understand.” He looked closely at her. “Why don’t you want to tell me?” His tone eased. “We go way back.”

“I know.”

“You don’t just throw away your old childhood friends.”

“That’s not what I’m doing. Did. Things just change and people move on, that’s all. I don’t remember getting any messages from you. It goes both ways.”

“You left without saying goodbye. I knew you couldn’t wait to get out of Dunbar Falls! I respected that.”

She stood up.” I thought you came here to talk about Uncle Nelson.”

He wagged an index finger through the air towards her. “You’re trying to change the subject, Haley.”

“Carrier! Uncle Nelson died last night! That is what you came here for, isn’t it? To tell me?” Taking a deep breath, she smoothed her curls. Give me strength, Lord! “When is the service?”

“Actually, Watson’s needs to speak with you about that.”

“I’ll call them right away.” Noticing that his hand was on the doorknob, Haley suddenly felt that if she let him walk out now, she’d lose a part of herself and a part of her past forever. Help me, please, Lord! What do I say?

She quickly slipped herself between him and the door. “Listen, Uncle Nelson raised me. He understood that it was natural for me to leave. Being part-owner with his friend William Tyler, he gave me this entrée here at Sterling Cards. Nelson’s air conditioning company was a great business, but it’s black and white, Carrier, not creative.”

She waved her hand around the office. “Look at what I’ve created here! This kind of vision is what I put into my greeting cards. There’s texture, there’s color. It’s evocative and emotional. I couldn’t do this with condensing units at Hawthorne Mechanicals, as much as I loved Uncle Nelson. And I couldn’t do it in the vacuum that is Dunbar Falls. Nelson understood that.”

“You don’t have to defend your decision, or explain anything to me, Haley.”

“I know. I’m not.”

“But I know the real you. And you were running away, Haley.”

“I was headed for college,” she murmured.

“And what about Brandon Winterbottom?”

She felt the color flood her cheeks as she recalled the gang of kids laughing at her after the prom. “Ancient history. I was over him that night when he dumped me.”

“It was a pretty public dumping. And after the prom.”

“Thanks for reminding me! He dumped me in front of everyone. If it weren’t for you, I would have walked home. So thanks again, Carrier.” She changed her tone, trying to lighten things up between them and added: “Hey, I lived.”

He nodded. “And Nelson knew the way you felt about things?”

Haley’s thoughts went back to her uncle’s cozy study; their prayer times and their endless talks by the hearth with a comforting blaze crackling in the fireplace. Haley always thought of her Uncle Nelson, at seventy-five, as a spry and vigorous man who would just go on forever. What will I ever do without him?

“He never mentioned your visits or anything to me.”

“I asked him not to.”

“Why?”

Her voice was barely above a whisper. “I was too embarrassed.” All the familiar humiliation came flooding back.

“But there was nothing to be embarrassed about, Haley.”

“Maybe that’s not how I saw it,” she said. “The whole town was laughing at me that night.”

He shook her head. “I couldn’t believe it. You never even said good-bye to me. We were friends.”

“I’m sorry about that. I just had to go.”

“You wanted to go.”

“Whatever.” Her cell phone chirped again. She was grateful for the interruption. This talk with Carrier was getting way too close to her core. Glancing at the sender, she saw it was another call from Derek and muted the ringer. She couldn’t deal with him right now. Not when she was dealing with her past. “Sorry about that, too.”

“Typical big city stuff, huh?” Carrier raised an eyebrow.

“Right. Pretty empty, though, all of it. With the news you just brought me, Carrier, my big city stuff and the card industry really don’t seem that important right now.”

Reaching for her designer case, she moved from the doors. She could feel Carrier’s eyes blazing through her like a high-tech core-boring machine. Right through her impeccable facade and deep into her less than perfect heart, just like she knew he would.

Yet, for all the confusion he created in her, the heaviness she had been feeling had lifted since he had been there, too. What did that mean?

“There’s no reason to run from me now, Haley. A lot of time has passed. Things have changed for both of us.”

Her lips were parted to reply, but the look in his eyes stopped her short. His forlorn expression tugged at a very special part of her, the part that designed greeting cards so loaded with feeling that they flew off the store shelves as quickly as she could pump them out. She hadn’t felt this in a long, long time.

His expression was filling a gap in her, for he was filling her with exactly the kind of emotion that was so totally absent from her own life. How had that emptiness happened?

She shook her head. It was too much for now. Her thoughts turned back to the present, with Carrier. He was hurting from this loss, too.

She moistened her lips. “You’re right, Carrier, things have changed for both of us. This is a lot for me to digest now. I wasn’t planning on seeing you, it’s a shock. Just give me some time, that’s all. I know you’ll miss him, too.”

Something in his eyes went cold. It seemed to take forever before he answered her.

“Nelson was a phenomenal man, a pioneer in business and a trailblazing entrepreneur. But in the end, he was just another Hawthorne who never said good-bye to me,” he finally said.

 

Links to Regina Andrews’ sites:

Blog address: http://www.reginaandrews.wordpress.com

My website: http://www.reginaandrews.com

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

 

 

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What a great, trend-setting week! Today I am so happy to visit with author Barbara Robinson! Welcome, Barbara!

What prompted you to write your most recent book?

My most recent published book is SOUTHERN SUPERSTITIONS. Mother’s mixture of raising me on Bible verses and Southern superstitions prompted me to write it, but my most recent novel is WHISPERING CYPRESS, which will release in August. I wanted to write something different and didn’t write about strawberries this time. LAST RESORT and SOUTHERN SUPERSTITIONS both have strawberries. All novels are set in the South. The main reason I wanted to write my most recently published book was to illustrate that faith and trust in God are more important than being addicted to horoscopes. God’s on His throne, and He’s in control. I also wanted to write about the South where I grew up. Spring and strawberry season are my favorite time of the year. In Louisiana, spring is strawberry season and vice versa. I spent many glorious spring days in a packing shed with the sun smiling down, the sweet smell of berries tempting me to eat instead of pack, and my youngest son in a baby swing or walker. I wanted readers to experience the hard work of strawberry farmers and enjoy a novel with the delicious fruit.

2. Tell us please about the hero, the heroine and the conflict J

 Andy and June have more than one conflict. First, Andy has to convince June to consider him more than a friend and a big-brother type. Then, there’s Mrs. Myrtle with her wagging finger always telling June she can do better for herself than a common strawberry inspector. To top it all off, Mrs. Myrtle is stuck on Southern superstitions and worries about black cats when they cross her path. She also has a few other superstitions you may not have heard before. Can Andy win her over and convince her he’ll be the son she never had? Will June be able to give Andy a child? The main conflict comes when Andy does a disappearing act while deer hunting during Christmas season. Yes, Andy and June have many obstacles to overcome, if their love is to bloom and survive.

3. Favorite line from the book?   Favorite sentences: It was faith in God that would bring her husband home. Even a lucky penny or dime declared, “In God we trust.”

4.  Congratulations! You have many books to your credit. What are your current plans?

I plan to try my hand at a YA novel which will release in October. It will be my first in that genre.  It’s a story of old love and new. Hope falls for the boy next door, while Granny rekindles a relationship with a man her family didn’t approve of years ago.

4.  Give us a version of a typical day for you.

 I’m up early each morning, work or not, morning person that I am. A normal day off affords me writing time, and I brew a pot of French vanilla Dunkin Donut coffee and start my writing day, which I call French vanilla coffee and writing time. I savor the coffee as much as my blessed writing time. They go so well together. I’ll work at my computer until the sun rises and then enjoy sitting out on my new back deck hubby recently built. I can’t wait until spring break to do just that. I enjoy writing in a spiral notebook while outdoors, as I enjoy watching my two dogs frolic, squirrels play, listen to birds sing, and enjoy the beauty of flowers blooming and trees turning green. I write page after page while savoring my time outside until the sun climbs high and it gets too hot. Then, I go inside and key my writing into the computer, adding to it, layering, correcting, and editing as I go. After I finish my spiral-bound writing, I keyboard directly at the computer. If it’s too cold outside or too hot, I keyboard directly at the computer, but I still love the feel of the pen in my hand and watching those notebook pages fill. I write the morning away, have some lunch and check Facebook while I eat, then I write again. I usually call it quits by early evening, but I’ll have added a great deal of material to my novel with my uninterrupted writing time. I treasure such days. I don’t feel like I’m working because I love writing.

 

5.  Please give us a glimpse of your current writing space and then a vision of your dream space.

 

My current writing space indoors consists of an L-shaped oak desk with a Dell desktop with a 20 inch monitor. Three windows overlook my backyard. I keep the blinds open so I can enjoy nature even while indoors. My current outside writing space consists of a table with an umbrella on the wooden back deck overlooking the backyard. My dream writing space would include a gorgeous lake with azaleas and other blooming flowers. I have the azaleas, but not the lake. A woman can dream, can’t she? Henry David Thoreau had his cabin in the woods, and I once dreamt of having one, too, with that lake.

 

6.  Other than writing, what are some fun things you love to do?

I love to travel, visit zoos, and theme parks. I live in vacation land near all the theme parks. I’ve ridden all the roller coasters except the newest one. I’ve parasailed and zip lined. I love the water. Oh, and I really adore Tennesseeand a mountain-top cabin, especially in the fall of the year when all the leaves are turning. I used to bowl on a league. And, I can’t forget Key West, a mini HawaiiI wrote about in Last Resort and Southern Superstitions. I love visiting with my family, but I only get to see them during the summer. I love my quiet, peaceful morning time with God when I don’t have to work. Remember, I don’t consider writing work, though it is hard work. I love it too much. I’m an avid reader, so if I’m not working on my own WIP, I’m reading someone else’s good book. I also have a blog at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com where I review books.

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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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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 so happy to welcome E.A. West, author of The Key to Charlotte as she celebrates the release of her new book. Welcome!

Please tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is The Key to Charlotte, an inspirational romance. The heroine, Charlotte Harris, is a mute autistic who cleans her church twice a week. Zakaria Rush is the new director of children’s ministries at Charlotte’s church. More than anything, Charlotte wants to be able to carry on a conversation in her own voice, and Zakaria longs to help her achieve that dream. But will his efforts lock away his chance for a relationship with Charlotte?

Do you have any other books?

Yes, I have three other ebooks currently available. My two other inspirational romances, Dreams Do Come True and Healing in Haven Falls, can be purchased from Pelican Book Group (http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec) and Amazon.com. Riley’s Mission, my sweet romantic suspense, is available from The Wild Rose Press (http://www.thewildrosepress.com) and Amazon.com.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I’ve been reading since I was three years old, and I have loved making up stories just as long. Writing gave me a way to share the stories I made up. It also allowed me to take my love of books in a new direction. Instead of just having a love of reading books, I discovered a love of writing books as well.

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing?

I wish I had known the importance of critique groups. When I first started writing, I thought I knew how to write. My friends and family were very encouraging about my writing, so I started submitting my work. Every submission was rejected and I finally joined a critique group. At that point, I learned just how much I didn’t know about writing. My critique partners provided the constructive criticism and advice I needed to grow as a writer so my work was publishable. Although it was a bit of a shock to go from hearing my loved ones say my writing was great to receiving rejection after rejection, joining a critique group is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Without their guidance, encouragement, and honest words about my writing, I doubt I would have ever gotten anything published.

Where can readers learn more about you and your books?

You can learn more on my website http://eawest.mcphitty.com and my blog http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com. If you’re on Facebook, please “like” my author page for periodic updates and thoughts from my writing life http://www.facebook.com/pages/EA-West/34280264617. I’m also on Twitter http://twitter.com/eawest and ShoutLife http://www.shoutlife.com/eawest.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you, Regina, for having me on your blog today! I hope you and the readers have enjoyed this interview as much as I have.

And here’s a blurb and an excerpt:

Charlotte Harris can’t speak due to a quirk in her autistic brain, but that doesn’t stop her from communicating with others. Unfortunately, it prevents her from achieving two of her dreams–to praise God through singing and to carry on a simple conversation with her own voice.

Zakaria Rush is the new Director of Children’s Ministries at Charlotte’s church, and he can’t keep his thoughts off the partially mute blonde with a love for guitar music. Her innocence and love of the simple things in life intrigue him and make him long to give her what she wants more than anything: her voice.

Can Zakaria help Charlotte find the key to unlocking her ability to speak, or will his attempt to help her only lock away their chance for love?

 

Charlotte switched off the vacuum and breathed a sigh of relief. The silence in the small church was pure bliss. She pulled the plug from the wall and coiled the cord around the top of the vacuum, then returned it to the janitorial closet in the basement. Turning around, she pulled out her cell phone and checked for reminders.

Take the rag bucket home.

Yes, she needed to wash the rags and kitchen towels. She returned the phone to her pocket and grabbed the bucket handle. As she headed upstairs, she heard the sound of a guitar coming from the sanctuary. Was someone playing a CD? It sounded like live music, but she’d never heard anyone in the church play a guitar.

Drawn by the soothing strains of the strings, she turned right at the top of the stairs.

No one ever came in the church while she was cleaning. The entire congregation knew her schedule—Tuesday and Saturday afternoons—and they always made sure to come at a different time. Charlotte had never been sure if it was because they didn’t want to get in her way or if her parents had talked to them about the importance of routine for her. When she was little, she’d gotten upset by people showing up unannounced, but now that she was twenty‐three, she liked to think she could handle surprises a little better.

She peered through the open doorway and saw a man sitting on the edge of the platform by the plain wooden altar playing a battered acoustic guitar.

Her breath caught in her throat and her heart raced as she studied him. Not only was he a talented musician, he was gorgeous, more gorgeous than anyone she’d ever seen in this small Indiana town. His black hair was a little shaggy but stylish; his straight nose, high cheekbones, and tan complexion made her think of Native Americans and Italians; his lean build clothed in faded blue jeans, an olive green T‐shirt, and worn‐in sneakers made him look laid back. Peace filled his face as he strummed his guitar. The corners of his mouth turned up slightly, making Charlotte wonder if the sound of a guitar brought him as much joy as it did her.

Suddenly, he stopped playing and looked up at her. She tightened her grasp on the bucket handle.

He studied her with the most beautiful, warm brown eyes she’d ever seen. His smile caused her heart to flutter. “Hi there. Are you Charlotte?”

She nodded.

He didn’t seem to mind that she shifted her weight back and forth. Just as well. If she didn’t rock to release it, the nervous energy building under his gaze would make her cry.

“Pastor Ed told me I might run into you if I came this afternoon. I’m Zakaria Rush, the new director of children’s ministries.” He laid his guitar across his knees and chuckled, a deep, rich sound that warmed Charlotte clear through. “It’s a fancy title for a guy who didn’t want to grow up and found a way to turn it into a career.”

About the Author

E.A. West, author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she discovered the wonders of sharing her stories with others through writing. She picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. Her love of writing encompasses not only the romance genre but also a variety fiction and non-fiction styles.

Born and raised in Indiana, she still resides there today with her family and a small zoo of pets that includes the typical dogs and cats, and the more unusual African water frogs and a ribbon snake. Her interests are as varied as her critters. She has been known to carry on conversations about everything from politics and current events to gardening and theology. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her working on her latest knitting or crochet project.

Thank you so much for visiting today and best of luck with your writing!

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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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