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Archive for the ‘Jewels of the Quill’ Category

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October 24th, 2012

I’ve been tagged by the talented Diane Craver for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. We’re going to hop from blog to blog to discover exciting books we might not have heard about or that are still WIPs. This is Week 18. The hop rules require me to answer 10 predetermined questions, and then at the bottom of my post, I’ve listed authors who will answer the same ten questions on their blogs next Wednesday. So, let’s get started.

What is the working title of your book?
Light of the Heart (Sterling Lakes Book One) and I am currently finishing Book Five, Reflections of the Heart.

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
Growing up in a small New England town, I loved the experience of living in a community. I realized it would be interesting to share that viewpoint, and explore all it demonstrated about human nature.

What genre does your book fall under?

Light of the Heart is an Inspirational Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Reese Witherspoon would be able to play Cascade Preston. She has the strength of character and vulnerability that Cascade demonstrates. For Dan McQuay, I would have to go with Rob Lowe.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Stained-glass artist  Cascade Preston has overcome a dark childhood, deeply shadowed by domestic violence, in the town of Sterling Lakes…but when she is approached to design the new windows for the town church, she has to decide if she is going to live in the shadows of the past or if her faith will carry her to the light of tomorrow.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am happy to say it has been published by Writer’s Exchange Publishing (www.writers-exchange.com). In fact, they will be publishing all nine books in the Sterling Lakes Series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
This story was waiting to get out; I completed it in 3 months. At the same time, I was basically writing the story arc for the series. The first 3 books deal with themes of the past, the next 3 deal with themes of the present and the final 3 address theme about the future. In a heartwarming, fun way.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It’s similar to series books by other Inspirational romance writers in that it has three main characters instead of two: the hero, the heroine and God. Janelle Burnham, Tracie Peterson, Gayle Stattler and Lena Nelson Dooley come to mind as writing similar Inspirational romances.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
When I witness struggles that people go through in their lives, some at a very tender early age, it seems that faith in God keeps them going. To explore in writing how folks find strength in adversity felt natural to me. That spirit came from the loving example of my parents, who found joy in every day, who led by an example of love and who knew the true meaning of sacrifice. They gave everything to each other, to their family, their community, their country and their God.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
At some point in our lives, we each face a moment of truth, a moment that will forever change the direction of our lives. The courage to make such a profound decision, like the one facing Cascade, rests on our shoulders as individuals – but we do not make that decision alone. God is always there with us, whether we admit that or not. Do you take the leap of faith and trust God? Do you have the courage to try and love again? Do you listen to what God is telling you? Or do you hang on to what you think is the truth? Maybe Cascade’s childhood memories aren’t entirely accurate…and she has to learn the real truth now as an adult.

Also, readers will find the supporting characters interesting and fun. They’ll like the settings and I think the dialogue as well, and they’ll relate to the way the characters evolve and change, developing  throughout the course of the book. All this will be very warm and satisfying – I hope!  Most of all, the romance between Dan and Cascade is a believable, exhilirating roller-coaster ride!

Next Wednesday check out these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing.

Regan Taylor

Suzie Carr

Nike Chilleme

Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

Christine London

Thanks to everyone for visiting, to Diane for tagging me and my five author friends above for joining the Hop!

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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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  1. Barbara,  would you please give us an excerpt?

Prayer versus Southern superstitions when a woman’s husband mysteriously disappears in the swamp on a deer-hunting trip. As steamy as the hot, thick, sticky heat ofLouisiana, this page-turner will keep readers in suspense, as the author spins a tale of love, loss, superstition, pain, heartache, and faith in God. Reviewer Kathy Boswell says, “Very good! She never gives up hope that Andy will return to her someday. She puts it all in God’s hands like she’s done every crisis in her life. She knows He will take care of this for her.” God and the power of prayer versus Southern superstitions. Through belief, faith, hard work, the power of prayer, and God’s help, this powerful, moving story is a thought-provoking Christian romantic suspense about a young couple who fall in love, but have to change her mother’s mind in more ways than one, if their relationship is to survive. Can Andy convince June there’s more to their relationship than friends? Will he win the approval of Mrs. Myrtle, her mother, and can love survive strawberry season and an April flood? Will June be able to give Andy a child? A Southern story of love and faith.

Excerpt:

Rod joined the search party to help investigate his dad’s disappearance. It’d disbanded at nightfall and picked up the search again at daybreak, but they’d found no sign of his dad. Rod guided a canoe deep into the marshes and swamps. He’d hunted with his father many times in these wetlands so he knew where to check. No word or sign of his father made the cold, Christmas season stab like an ice pick, and his heart ached for his mother, left alone.

He slid the canoe through a wall of cypress trees, deeper and deeper into the heart of the swamp. He figured his father headed for the hills. White cranes flew from the cypress limbs. The canoe hit a cypress knee, and Rod gently eased it around a few more. The way they stuck out of the shallow water, like protruding nubs, they reminded him of his grandmother’s warning finger wagging in his face. They could tear a hole in the bottom of a boat. Thank God my boat survived

the lick. Maybe that’s what happened to Dad.

 

Finally, after twelve hours of searching, Rod spotted his dad’s pirogue on the side of the hill, where they’d hunted the previous year. He tied his canoe to a tree limb. “Dad!” He raced to the dome tent and unzipped the door. “Dad?” The tent looked as if his dad made camp, but hadn’t yet used it. The sleeping bag was still rolled up in a corner. The butt of his dad’s 30-30 stuck out from under a sleeping bag. The supplies were still there. Outside, there was no sign of a campfire. It looked as though he never got to hunt. There was no sign of him. Where was he?

Rod picked up the rifle and carried it back to his canoe. He left the other items in case his dad returned looking for them.

They searched until dark. Rod dreaded giving his mother the disappointing news. She’d worry even more, because the pirogue was in perfect condition and so was the tent. No leaking pirogue kept him from coming home. The campsite looked peaceful and serene, not like anything bad had happened, but still there was no sign of his father.

Mom’s on pins and needles, yet she clings to her faith and trust in God. I hear her

faithfully pray for Dad’s safe return. Maybe she won’t fall apart when she hears the news but oh,how I dread having to tell her.

 

To obtain a Kindle copy:

http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Superstitions-ebook/dp/B006X8GAWA/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327008085&sr=1-2

Book trailer:

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-249/Southern-Superstition-BJ-Robinson/Detail.bok

Publisher’s link where you may purchase a PDF file to read on your laptop or computer, or an ePub file.

B. J. Robinson is a multi-published, award-winning author of two Christian romantic suspense novels, Southern Superstitions and Last Resort. She makes her home in Florida with her husband and pets, blessed with children, grandchildren, and faith. She’s an avid reader and passionate writer. Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com.Visit her author page at http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-template/BJRobinson/Page.bok.

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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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What an exciting day! Today I am thrilled to welcome Diane Craver as my very first guest of the New Year! An accomplished author, Diane is sharing a blurb, excerpt and review of her book , “The Proposal” with us today. Thank you for visiting, Diane, and welcome!

 

BLURB for “THE PROPOSAL:

Jacqueline Andrews hopes her boyfriend Brad’s surprise is an engagement ring for her twenty-sixth birthday. Her best friend, Tyler Jordan, wants Jacqueline to be happy but not with Brad. Tyler regrets blowing off Jacqueline’s confession of love for him before he left for college. When he returns to their small town as a physician’s assistant, he falls in love with her. He needs to win her love back. Will his hot kisses sway her? Or is she going to marry Brad?

EXCERPT:

She nodded. “To show my appreciation for the great birthday gift and for you treating everyone to dinner tonight, I’ll even make extra bars just for you to eat with lots of cream cheese frosting.”

He put his fork on his empty plate. “You can show your appreciation in another way.”

“Oh really, what way is that?”

“A thank you kiss is definitely in order.”

She shifted toward him and planted a sweet kiss on his lips. Even though, Jacqueline’s quickness in responding surprised him, he wanted more and reclaimed her lips. He loved feeling her quiver at the tenderness of his kiss. She definitely wasn’t just giving a chaste kiss to her best friend. I might be getting through to Jacqueline that we should be a couple. How would Brad take it if Jacqueline broke up with him? He did feel guilty about not speaking up in the beginning to Brad, but he couldn’t say anything when Jacqueline’s happiness was more important. He never expected their feelings for each other to escalate so fast.

“You two need to get a room,” Alex said as he put his plate on the counter.

Jacqueline blushed as she moved slightly to look at her brother. “I was just thanking Tyler for everything.”

Alex chuckled. “I don’t go around kissing people to say thank you.”

“Hey, don’t tease your sister. It’s not everyday I get a kiss that tastes like candy.”

“I heard your phone. Did Brad call?” Alex asked, leaning against the counter.

She nodded. “It was good to hear his voice. I can’t wait to see him next week.”

Alex looked amused. “The competition is on. Two guys in love with my sister. May the best man win.”

LASR REVIEW:

This charming tale of second chances holds few surprises, but don’t let that put you off. Ms. Craver packs plenty of anticipation and emotional swings and round-a-bouts into this sweet romance that would give credit to a full length novel.

Discovering you’ve made a bad judgment that has your dreams crashing and burning is not an easy discovery to handle; but with the help and support of her long-time friend, and once hoped for future, Tyler Jordan, Jacqueline Andrews has some hard decisions to make and a lot of soul searching to work through.

This is not a simple story of friends to lovers to happy ever after; there is a need to forgive, understand past actions and come to terms with their consequences. Ms. Craver does not offer her readers a perfect heroine. Indeed, Jacqueline is a heroine most women can relate to. So full of future dreams she misses plenty of signals out there for her to spot is she only removed her rose coloured spectacles.

When Brad, the man she hopes to marry, fails to fulfill Jacqueline’s hopes and dreams she discovers his agenda is so far off beam from hers, her faith in her own judgment is once again sorely tested. Tyler, her friend let her down many years ago and now she’s back to square one, or is she…?

The hero, Tyler, has a mammoth task ahead of him if he’s going to persuade Jacqueline to believe in his feelings for her now. It is the way the author takes all her characters through the multi-faceted emotions in this story that make it such a charming read, and yes, I will use the word ‘cute’ to describe The Proposal.

The characters are believable, the plot may appear simple but is not, and the conclusion, though not unexpected, still creates a sigh of satisfaction at the end.

~~~~

The Proposal sells for 99 cents on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/The-Proposal-ebook/dp/B005895S4G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1309113290&sr=1-1) and Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/69282 )

Thank you again, Diane! 

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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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I’m always excited to greet the New Year, like you, too, probably, right?

There’s so much promise and excitement associated with a new beginning, and a whole new year presents, to me, almost unlimited possibilities! I can’t sleep!

BUT, this New Year’s Day is ultra-exciting for me, since”Praise of the Heart”, the third book in my Sterling Lakes Series is now out!

Tell me, what do you think of the cover art? I love to hear your comments!!! And tell me, too, what do you think of the story? I love your comments!

“Praise” is the story of a small-town boy who makes it BIG in the major leagues as a baseball player and a small-town girl who wants to stay in her comfort zone…but God seems to have other plans for both of them!

Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/v34ZJs

And here’s an excerpt:

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.

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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 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:

Click to access 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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