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Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year!!


I wish you all a happy, healthy, safe and productive new year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And the winner is. . .


Thanks to all who visited during the Christmas Extravaganza! E.A. West managed to comment the most and so wins the book. Cheers!

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Boxing Day

Boxing Day (Dec 26)

Give With Good Cheer



You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully.

2 Corinthians 9:7


When your decide to give to those in need, do it with a smile and much love.

Boxing Day was first observed in Queen Victoria’s England, in the mid-1800's, with servants and tradesmen receiving gifts and money. Children received small gifts from their parents, and the poor would go door-to-door hoping for treats to fill their boxes. The custom is still practiced today in England and Canada, but the concept of charitable giving is upheld in countries all over the world.

Jesus encouraged us to take care of the poor, to share our worldly possessions with those of us less fortunate. Throughout the holiday season, individuals and businesses donate what they can to ease the burdens of others. Make it a habit to think of the poor all year round. Share your material wealth and your spiritual wealth– the knowledge of God’s love. Un-box His word and share the joy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Keep These Things





The gifts were many, each a treasure

Some of wealth, more of the heart.

The greetings robust, yet hushed

And filled with awe.

The star shimmered still, even

As morning neared.

Her body drained, Mary sighed, breathing in scents

Of pungent hay, and sheep, and donkey.

Her pulse quickened again at the wonder—

Her new son, her Jesus, who would be Lord.

She knew the Scriptures and held them dear.

Her stomach clenched, overwhelmed at being chosen.

Her, a common girl, not worthy, not ready.

The baby fussed, and Mary hugged Him to her chest. A breeze

Tickled the hairs on her arm, and she smiled.

She thought of the Angel’s words, the shepherd’s words.

The voices lifted in praise.

Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.

She held them dear.



Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Let's Brag About This One



Disowned by her family, Tiffany Vickers faces a lonely Christmas and takes great comfort in the baby boy in her care. Her faith in tatters, she guards her heart against the baby's uncle, handsome cowboy Bragg Martin, a man with baggage of his own. While Bragg longs to open his heart and family to the lovely nanny, he doesn't understand her interest in his arch enemy. Saving a man's life and saving Tiffany's faith bring the couple together…and home to Hearts Crossing Ranch.


Watch the trailer here!!

Order here!


Tanya Hanson is a California beach girl who love her cowboys. A former high school English teacher, she loves traveling with her firefighter hubby when she’s not working on her eight-book Ranch series. The two recently returned from a fantastic tour of the East Coast just in time to welcome their daughter’s first child, their second grandson. Their son’s little boy stole Tanya’s heart upon his arrival four years ago. God is good.



EXCERPT:

Tiffany got up for another cup of coffee, Matty’s eyes watching her every move.

“He sure notices you,” Bragg remarked as the baby drained the bottle.

“Yeah. We bonded right off. I’m so glad about it.” As she’d made a snap decision just then, she rushed on. “I left behind my precious nephew. I guess in my psyche somewhere I figured maybe nanny to Matty might help ease that hole in my heart.” Gently she rubbed her hand over Matty’s head, the edge of her hand tugging at Bragg’s shirt and causing a funny havoc. Mostly though he listened to her pain.

She sank back down into a kitchen chair, resting her cheek in her hand. “I was with Connor from the moment he was born. Paul and Diana wanted me there. Then things went haywire. It was my fault. You talk about forgiveness, but there isn’t any in this case. And I miss that little boy. Oh, I miss him so. I need him. His love was unconditional, you know. He’s three now. I can’t let him forget me.”

Bragg’s heart tugged at the agony on her face, and Matty’s little hand flailed. Tiffany took it at once. “It can’t be that bad, can it?”

“I’ve been disowned, so, yeah, Bragg. It’s that bad.”



Order here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Everyone Wants A White Christmas!


After his very public break-up from his fiancé, Chad Fletcher is convinced that a healthy marriage and his rising political career won’t mix. Christmas at his Aunt Nell’s home in White, Arizona is a great way to start fresh. Political watch dog Tessa Conway plans to spend her Christmas vacation enjoying her grandparents’ ranch before they must sell it. So she is not pleased with Grandma Sophie and Aunt Nell’s efforts to throw her and Chad together during White’s Christmas celebrations. Chad begins to believe Tessa may be the perfect antidote to his unhealthy relationships of the past. But when he decides to take support from a company with questionable ethics, his perfect bubble is burst. Fearing Chad is not the Godly man she believed him to be, Tessa ends their budding romance. Will Chad find the strength and courage to do what’s right even if it costs him his career?

My opinion? I was first pulled in by the lovely cover, and soon found myself enjoying Ms. Stowe's small town romance. Tessa and Chad are made for each other, but it takes the magic of the holiday season to bring them together.



Tanya
has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 1992. She’s taught at writing conferences and numerous workshops. A popular guest speaker, Tanya is often featured on radio and television programs, as well as seminars and conferences throughout California. On her blog, Creative Writing Forces, she blogs about all things writing. Follow the workshops, authors and ups and downs of writing at Creative Writing Forces.

Order here!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sage and Sweetgrass


Diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating illness, Lanae Petersen vows to pursue life to its fullest. When she discovers mysterious love letters hidden within an antique desk, she begins a quest to discover who the young lovers were. Little does she realize that in trying to bring closure to their lives, hers will be turned upside-down.

After the death of his wife, cowboy Sage Diamond wants to be left alone on his acreage in peace and anonymity. When Lanae approaches him with letters to a family member, she not only threatens to expose his family secrets, but also stirs something inside him that he neither expects, nor welcomes. Sage fights his attraction, determined not to fall for a woman whose health is so fragile.

Can Sage trust God's guiding hand, or will his fear of losing another love crush his chance for a future with Lanae?



A lifelong Nebraskan, LoRee has lived all but 11 years of her life in the country, where she feels grounded in her sense of place. She and her husband have five children and 11 grandchildren. She enjoys creativity in the many forms it takes, and loves color, especially the colors of autumn.

LoRee clings to the word overcomer and knows nothing in life is too big for God. She is thankful for all the writers who have helped her on her journey, and considers it a blessing to be part of the Pelican Book Group through White Rose Publishing.

Visit her here.


Excerpt:

The sky was clear and enormous where it met the horizon. The whinny of horses carried up from a pasture on the other side of the barn. The acreage represented everything she loved about being outside the city limits. Expanse, horses, a sprinkling of trees in the distance…God’s country.

When she caught sight of the cowboy, the vision was complete.

She sighed. Home. How crazy. She felt like she’d come home.

The cowboy rounded the corner of the wood-sided barn that she guessed to be sixty feet long. He loped in the loose way of a man comfortable on the back of a horse.

And she enjoyed every step as he approached.

He even tipped the brim of his hat. “Mornin’. You Lanae?”

Wow was the only thing she could think to say. But she kept it to herself.

Her mouth went dry.

His nose was bent, just off to the right of center. He had a full bottom lip, thinner upper, all accented by what she supposed was a year-round tan. Myriad facial lines gave testimony to a life lived outdoors.

She cleared her throat, mustered up some moisture for her vocal chords in order to answer, “That I am.”

“Sage Diamond.”

When he drew close enough, Lanae was dumbfounded at the impact of his eyes. They were an unbelievable piercing blue with a hint of lavender.

“Did you have any trouble finding the place?” Sage spoke in an unhurried manner.

Lanae wondered if he felt rushed about anything. She started to open the door.

“You always leave your car running?” A hint of amusement tugged at his mouth.

Oops. She turned the key. Great first impression.

He held the door.

Still caught in the lavender blue of his eyes, shadowed now from his hat,Lanae swallowed what felt like the chaff of an August hayfield.

No more singles ads for me.


Read about LoRee's stories here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thanks to All Who Voted!

Thanks to Nicola Martinez of White Rose Publishing for creating the cover for "Christmas Pearl," which won the Clash of the Titles

cover art contest!

One reader commented:

I love the contrast of the “wintry scene” in the reflection on the necklace but yet the “real” scenery looks like a sunny beach Christmas. A true reflection of Christmas for all seasons!

Christmas Pearl makes me want to see what other reflections show up on it. It’s beautiful.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Pearl!



Today "Christmas Pearl" is officially available!


Excerpt:

Joseph Gardner stared out at the clear night sky, wondering how the lawn had grown so frosty it down-right sparkled. It was still early after all, he thought, leaning against the wood railing of the Gazebo Café’s front porch, hoping it held. His family gathered inside, laughing and planning the upcoming holiday season.

He, however, felt like grinding his boots against the brick walkway in a quick getaway. If the holidays never arrived this year, that would be fine with him.

The front door squeaked behind him, his cousin Daniel had come out to check on him, no doubt.

Joe sighed, and rolled his shoulder muscles to ease the tension. “I’m about ready to take off.”

Silence. A truck passed on the road in front of the café, and Joe inhaled diesel exhaust. Even in a small town, trucks held a presence. Behind it, a white car turned into the drive and headed for them.

“Latecomer?” Joe asked, pushing his hat off his forehead.

“Guess so.” Daniel moved out onto the porch. “Looks like Liza’s Camry.”

The car stopped and a blonde woman got out, carrying a purse and what looked like a basket.

“Hey, it is Liza,” Daniel said, waving the woman over. He turned to Joe. “This is someone you should really meet. Single, an attorney. Good looking—and a Christian.”

The blonde reached the porch and stepped up, her heeled boots clicking on the wooden planks. Joe watched, appreciating her slim figure and long hair. There was something familiar about her. As she neared he inhaled a whiff of some sweet perfume, again, something he’d smelled before.

Daniel kissed her cheek and relieved her of the basket. “Glad you came!” He gestured toward Joe. “This is my cousin Joe.”

Their gazes locked. His heart thudded. Joe saw the silver flecks in her blue eyes glint when she recognized him. Probably ice crystals.

Her smiled faded. Shoulders rigid, she took a step back. “You’re Daniel’s cousin?”

After a few beats Joe nodded. “Elizabeth,” he said, wondering why he’d never heard her called by a nickname before. From the corner of his eye he saw Daniel staring at him, his arms folded across his chest.

“Mr. Gardner.”

Joe could hear the frost forming in the yard as they stood there.

“Well,” Daniel said, “why don’t you both come in for dessert?”

A few more seconds clicked by in the evening air.

“I was just leaving.” Joe kept his gazed locked on her.

“Sure, I’d love to,” Elizabeth said, stepping forward and flashing an almost defiant glance at Joe.

She hadn’t forgotten what went down, and that was OK because he hadn’t either. He felt a tug in his gut and almost wished he’d talked to her back then, cleared the air. OK, he’d change his mind and stay a while. Just to make Daniel happy. Yeah, that was it.

“Then again what’s the rush?” Joe forced a grin he didn’t feel.

Daniel held the door, and they both moved into the light spilling from the Café. Watching Elizabeth’s hair shine under the lobby chandelier, he wondered what she was thinking about him. When she disappeared into the crowd, he noticed Daniel studying him. Great, now he had to worry about Daniel too, which was interrupting his ability to think of something appropriate to say to Elizabeth. Of course, she might just avoid him for the rest of the evening, but that was OK. He deserved it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas With Miss Austen


Julia Allen is a waitress by day, painter by night, and…a famous 1800s authoress on weekends?

Moonlighting as Jane Austen for a historical open house is a strange hobby for a contemporary artist, but Julia loves the role–until she falls asleep and gets locked inside after all the visitors are gone! Rushing home from the dark, historical mansion, she collides with a stranger in the snowy park, and discovers later her shortcut cost her the rare copy of Austen’s Northanger Abbey borrowed from a friend’s treasured collection.

Book historian Eliot Weston thinks he imagined the Regency-era figure, but the book he finds in her wake proves otherwise. The first edition of Jane Austen’s novel is authentic and incredibly rare, but he fails to find any trace of its owner. Reminders of the unusual encounter keep popping up, however, like the pretty modern artist eager to buy an identical volume. Coincidence? Or Divine intervention making it clear this is anything but an ordinary Christmas for these two hearts?


Read an excerpt and order here!!!



Laura Briggs graduated from a Missouri liberal arts college in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Since then, she has pursued a career as a freelance writer. Her passion for literature has inspired her to produce a range of online articles on writing and classic authors, as well as her books with White Rose Publishing.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Travels in Time


Touching a milestone, Joni Peterson is catapulted through time into a world both familiar and strange. Finding herself in Victorian England, she discovers love in the most unexpected place— at the feet of the man whose carriage knocked her down.

Lord Sebastian Tyler needs to remarry, but preferably not a woman of his mother’s choosing. The woman his carriage runs over both irritates and fascinates him. Could she be the answer to his prayers?

Will the arrow of love find them both before time runs out and the portal to the present reopens?


Order here!


Excerpt:


Jonni twisted her head to the left. A young girl of no more than fifteen, wearing a rag cap over her blonde hair, got up and ran from the room. She opened her mouth to speak, but before she could say anything, a girl with dark curls started speaking again.

"My name’s ‘Attie, miss. Now don’ yer go movin’ or nothin’ til t’master’s bin an’ sent for t’doctor. Yer took a nasty bang t’noggin under them ‘orses ‘ooves an’ been asleep for nigh on t’whole day."

Jonni rubbed her head, wishing the girl wasn’t speaking in such a broad dialect. "Horses? I don’t remember any horses."

"According to my driver you all but threw yourself under them, madam. He was hard pressed to stop." The distinctly suave male voice, haughty and disapproving, came from the doorway.

Jonni twisted to look toward the voice. Her eyes widened at the vision of perfect manhood that strode over to the bed, his hands clasped behind his back. His form fitting breeches, shirt, waistcoat, and tail coat showed off his slender figure to perfection. But, why was he in fancy dress? Had she missed a costume party?

Long black hair framed his face and fathomless brown eyes stared down at her as his baritone voice rang out again. "What did you think you were doing running out into the road like that, madam? You could have been killed."



Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, sewing or keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make, she's working part time in the breakfast club at one of the local schools.

She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.

Visit Clare here.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Christmas in Coyote County


In Coyote County, Christmas means festive lights, the town parade, hot coffee and cinnamon rolls...not creatures from another planet. While a glowing green Peeping Tom with two antennae is a little hard to buy, Libby Hawkins doesn’t believe her former school teacher suffers from either dementia or a runaway imagination. There’s a logical explanation, and she intends to discover it before the older woman is placed in a nursing home.

After a twelve year absence, Sheriff Jackson Carter returns to Coyote County to clear his father’s name. He never expected to be waylaid in his quest by alien sightings, and it doesn’t help that stubborn Libby Hawkins--his former girlfriend--is determined to meddle in the investigation. He hurt Libby when he left town after his father’s death, but it was for her protection. Now Libby’s stumbled on something dangerous. Can he keep her from harm this time? He doesn’t know, but one thing is certain: Christmas in Coyote County has never been so interesting.



Order here!!

Mary L. Briggs is a wife, mother, and registered nurse. She enjoys writing inspirational fiction and is also a free-lance writer. She has had two romance stories and one mini-mystery published in Woman's World Magazine. She enjoys reading, writing, studying American history, cooking, quilting, herb gardening, and crafting. Mary lives in a cordwood home in the Ouachita Mountains with her husband and two daughters. She also enjoys the company of five cats, three dogs, and a flock of chickens

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas Sanctuary


Dea Lacey is on the run. Scared and alone, she has to protect her endangered nephew. If she can find Garrett's father, perhaps he'll keep the boy safe and learn to love the child she'd trade her life to keep.

Jesse McTavish has lost his family. Abandoning his faith, the seeds of destruction are sown. As he struggles with grief, the last thing he needs is a woman showing up with a child who's the mirror image of his dead son. But he can neither ignore nor reject the woman and child who threaten to break through the protective shield he's built around his heart.

Through the ensuing storm of pain and loss, Christmas teaches Dea and Jesse about faith and forgiveness.

Sanctuary may be what we ask for, but God gives us so much more.



Order here!


Merry Stahel lives in a little house in the woods of the Midwest, surrounded by wild animals. Owned by three dogs and three cats, she sings for her church's Praise Team, and dabbles in quilting and sewing. Occasionally, she packs up and takes trips with her husband of thirty-three years to parts unknown, just for the adventure. You can reach her at merrystahel@gmail.com.


EXCERPT:


“Oh, no.” Dea felt the thud of her battered heart as it dropped into her empty stomach.

“What is it, Mommy?” Garrett struggled to unclip his seatbelt, sitting up to peek over the dashboard. “Oh. It’s a church.”

A church.

She peered at the address and matched it to the sign propped against a huge live oak. 1225 North Street. David, Oklahoma. A phone number and the last pastor’s name, Jesse McTavish, was printed beneath it. And underneath that, a Bible verse. Dea stared at the verse.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Exodus 25:8.”

Sanctuary.

She and Garrett definitely needed that.

When she’d stopped in town to get groceries and ask directions, the clerk hadn’t mentioned the building was a church—she had, however given Dea the scoop on the last occupant of their future home.

“A curmudgeonly hermit with a grudge. Been that way since his wife and son died a while back. Moved out. Never changed the mailbox or the sign...Lost his faith, that one.”

Dea hadn’t paid much attention. She hadn’t known what sign needed changing, but now it was clear. Still she had no intention of letting some bad-tempered old man influence her decision. He wasn’t the first to lose his faith or the last.

She’d come too far.

But, dear Lord, a church?

And it was out in the middle of nowhere. The parking lot next to it was paved, but weeds grew in cracks in the pavement.

An abandoned church.

What had Aunt Amelia been thinking to leave Dea a church? And the eighty acres surrounding it. Dea’s gaze settled on the little wrought iron fence off to one side…just great. A cemetery, too!

“If we fix it up, Mommy,”—Garrett’s small voice was placating—“and paint that top thing, maybe we can make it pretty again.”

She looked at the steeple. The church was made of brick, but the wooden eaves and the steeple did need a new coat of paint.

“And pull the weeds,” Dea muttered, feeling a sense of anger and betrayal. She didn’t have money to buy paint.

“And mow the grass. And fix the sign.” Garrett’s voice was warming to the theme.

“Oh, honey.”

Immediately, his face fell, and he huddled in. His beautiful blue eyes filled with the hopelessness that had dogged them for the last year.

She felt like a heel. Even if she had nothing left in her so-called heart, did she have the right to ruin it for Garrett?

“It will be a lot of work, honey.” She ruffled his hair. “We’ll have to slave to make it look nice.”

“But we can do it, Mommy.” Garrett straightened, the hope in his eyes shining bright.

Dea’s heart crumbled. She wondered how he could be so trusting. She’d done nothing to deserve his trust. How could he still hope? Was it the innocence only a child could feel? She strained to hide her dismal thoughts.

“The lady said the house was in back.” The excitement in his voice was almost catching.

Almost.

Dea turned the car and followed the weed-choked driveway to the back of the church. The now-familiar glimmer of fear rose again.

There was no house. Only a huge barn with a corral and the remains of a garden to the right of it. Another large building with broken windows looked like a dormitory. Was that the house?

To the right was another garden. This one had a wild tangle of flowers that needed pruning. A two-car garage bordered the final line of the L-shaped back yard. Above the garage was what looked like an apartment or attic. A shutter hung loose at one of the several broken windows. Was that the house? She looked over the rolling pasture and saw nothing else.

Her hand shook as she reached for the door handle. Garrett was already hopping out. He didn’t seem to notice there was no house.

“Look, Mommy! The church has back doors!” He giggled as he bounced up the three stone steps. “What kind of church needs a back door?”

One where the sinners could run out and hide from their fellow man. She knew too much about sin. And about hiding.

“Come on, Mommy!” Garrett was tugging at the door.

It took three tries to get the right key. Her mouth dropped open in surprise as she opened the door.

The house was behind the church.

Literally.

Attached to it.

No way to escape. No matter what she did, she would always be in church. Her aunt would get her way at last.

Oh, Lord, please don’t do this to me.

“Mommy! I want this bedroom!” Garrett’s voice snapped back her attention.

She forced her feet to move through the living room—Past the broken chair that was the only furniture, past the gleaming oak and tile fireplace that she would have admired in normal circumstances, and into a fully furnished little boy’s room. The border paper had tractors, backhoes and trucks on it. Bright blue walls set off the cheerful green of the furniture. Yellow accented the shelves. The bunk bed had red bedspreads and blue poles. Two bean bags were stationed in a corner, one red, and one blue. Crayon colors for a little boy.

Dea looked around in amazement.

While Garrett explored the closet she went quickly down the hall looking into the two other bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, great room and what was obviously meant to be the pastor’s study. No other furnishings besides the broken chair. And yet, this fully furnished room made for a little boy.

Dea wondered who her benefactor was. No one knew she was coming did they? The lawyer was from Stillwater, and he’d mailed Aunt Amelia’s Will, a letter and the keys. She pulled the letter out to re-read it. Maybe she’d missed something.

Dearest Dea,

If you’re reading this then it means I’ve passed on. There isn’t much left of anything. I sold what furniture I could, stored the rest in the barn, and came to live here at Cimarron Oaks. I kept the property though, and have passed it on to you since Laceys have lived on this land since the original Land Run.

All the buildings belong to the Laceys. The big one was originally an orphanage. Then it became a boarding house and later a bunkhouse when we used to run cattle and had a few cowboys around. The space over the garage was originally the ranch foreman’s apartment. It’s all empty now, Dea. Empty of the laughter, of the love that used to be here. Fill it again, my dear niece. Fill it with love and laughter.

Think of it as a second chance. That’s what I did. And I got your Uncle Owen because of it. This is where your mother and I met Owen and your Dad. We never got a chance to come back to live because Owen went ministering other places. But it has always been ours.

I know you’re troubled. I saw it in your eyes when you last came to visit. Oh, Dea, I wish for you…well, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride as they say. I’ll say a prayer for you. Take this place. Think of it as a Christmas present, this house. Make it mean something to you. Give Garrett roots. Bring him here and remember a lot of Laceys have lived and loved here. You’ll be safe here. And Dea…keep God and hope in your heart. Only good can come from it. God Bless you, always.

Love, Aunt Amelia

A second chance.

Aunt Amelia was aware of Dea’s life crumbling away. How had the woman known they weren’t safe? How many people had seen and known and felt pity?

And now Dea felt nothing. Well, almost nothing. Fear ate at her daily and was a constant companion. But with Aunt Amelia’s legacy, maybe the fear would go away.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Second Chances Are a Gift!


Savanna's Gift, a Christmas Romance (White Rose Publishing, Dec 2011)

When she gets a second chance at the love of her life, will the dream that once divided them get in the way?

Just before Christmas, Savanna Holt returns to the ski lodge where she once worked hoping to deliver her goddaughter to the child’s grandparents and flee the mountain resort before memories of one special Christmas there reminds her how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life.

But Savanna is stunned to discover Luke, the man whose heart she broke three years ago, now manages the resort. Seeing him reminds her of what she lost, but Luke wants no reminders of his hurt. He’s changed, but so has she.

When a blizzard traps her at the beautiful rustic mountain lodge over Christmas, she sees the forced proximity as a gift from God and is determined to win Luke back. Can she convince Luke she has changed and her interest isn't because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?




Camille Eide writes contemporary romantic women’s fiction. She lives in Oregon with her husband of 28 years and is mom to three brilliant college-age kids. She’s grateful for the amazing grace of God, and either in spite of or thanks to that grace, she has a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way. She’s also a church secretary, a bassist, and a passably devoted fan of classic rock, muscle cars, and Jane Austen.



Website: Camille Eide, Author (www.camilleeide.com)

Blog: Extreme Keyboarding (http://www.camilleeide.blogspot.com)


Read an excerpt and order here!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Have a Kindle?

I'm happy to announce "Christmas Pearl" is available now for the Kindle! Check it out here.

If you don't have a Kindle unit, you can download a free application from Amazon that lets you download and store Kindle books on your computer.

Want a pdf file of the story? That will be available December 15th. Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Mystery At Christmas Time!





High school geometry teacher, Donna Russell likes her life well-ordered and logical, even if it is a tad solitary at times. But when a charming co-worker at the local food bank disappears just before Christmas, Donna is left with more questions than solutions.

After the missing man's neighbor, muscle-bound EMT Sam Holton, volunteers as Donna's crime-fighting sidekick, sparks fly between them. Donna wonders if Sam can be trusted, or if he's trying to throw an unknown into her calculations—and her life.

And when police recover a body from the icy Niagara River, Donna is faced with the most frustrating equation of all: can murder plus mayhem ever equal romance?

Order here now.

Visit Barbara here.
Watch a book trailer here.

Barbara Early grew up buried in the snowy suburbs of Buffalo, NY, where she developed a love for all things sedentary: reading, writing, classic movies, and Scrabble. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, but her penchant for the creative caused her to run away screaming from the pocket-protector set. She taught secondary English and science for several years in a Christian school before home schooling her daughter successfully through high school. Barbara cooks up cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance, and was a double finalist in the 2010 ACFW Genesis competition. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her husband and daughter.


Excerpt:

Food pantries are lousy places to meet men.

I slammed another dusty can of sauerkraut into the rough wood shelving to punctuate that thought, enjoying the reverberation through the brick storefront. Don’t get me wrong. That’s not why I volunteered. My days of pining after some testosterone-charged he-god passed a decade or so ago when all my friends married and started having kids. I’d officially become “Aunt Donna,” and I was pretty okay with that.

Most of the time.

I had my friends, my students, and my cat. Only my friends were all busy chauffeuring their kids to basketball practice and dance recitals, my students at the high school drove me up the wall, and my black cat was one of those independent sorts, content stalking birds from the window. He rubbed against my leg twice a day when I filled his food dish, and that was pretty much the extent of my physical contact with other living things.


Read more here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This Time of Year

Welcome guest blogger Dora Hiers!

Don’t you just love this time of the year?

Kids bundling up to play in the snow, then racing inside with rosy cheeks, flushed with excitement. Christmas music playing softly on the radio. Pumpkin pies baking in the oven, the scents of ginger and cinnamon drifting through the house. Whispers and giggles as children point out colorfully wrapped presents under a gigantic pine tree loaded with pinecones and sentimental ornaments. Snuggling in front of the fireplace with hubby while you cheer for football teams or watch your favorite movie. Loading up the car for road trips to visit family members you haven’t seen in awhile. Squirting whipped cream on a tall mug of hot chocolate for a late afternoon yummy. Watching the glow of a thousand candles light up a sanctuary, and songs of praise reaching toward heaven.

Christmas is a highlight of my year. Sure, it’s crazy busy with buying and wrapping gifts, attending school and church programs, making the rounds at holiday parties, school exams, visiting relatives. But, during this hectic season, I make a conscious effort to slow down, to thank God for the “ultimate” gift given to me.

What’s the ultimate gift? A chance for a fresh start. A giant eraser to wipe away the grunge. Paint bright enough to cover black walls. Spring-cleaning from the ceiling to the floor and all those dusty blinds in between.

It’s a gift given to you by a loving Father. No strings attached. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9, NIV)

Wow! Merry Christmas!

What about you? What’s your favorite time of the year and why?
************************************************************************

Thank you Dora!
Check out her exciting story- available here now!


JOURNEY’S END
Devastated after the brutal murder of her husband, Chelsea Hammond vows never to love another lawman. Intent on rebuilding her shattered life, she turns her focus to helping troubled teens. But when an angry father bent on retaliation, threatens her, Chelsea must turn to the one man she never thought to trust: Deputy U.S. Marshal Trey Colten.

Trey wants only to protect Chelsea, but she blames him for her husband’s death. Trey can relate. He blames himself, also. As danger lurks, Trey begs Chelsea to heed his warnings. He let down one Hammond. He won’t let down another—especially one who now holds his heart.

When Chelsea is snatched from her home, can she put aside her fear, and trust Trey with her life? Can she forgive him for destroying her past and let him help to rebuild her future?

Where one journey ends, another begins…



JOURNEY’S END Excerpt:

“I suppose I should have been a vet.” Chelsea stroked the dog’s fur from his head all the way down his back, careful not to touch his wounded leg.

“Maybe. But I don’t think you’ve wasted your energy or your talents as a guidance counselor. Teenagers can’t seem to resist you, either.”
That produced a full-fledged smile in his direction. Way to go, Colten!

“Remember that natural charm I warned you about?”
He threw back his head and laughed. “Yes. And after a few days in your presence, I’m inclined to agree with you.”

He pulled into the veterinarian’s parking lot and glanced her way, surprised to see her grinning. “What?”

“Saved by the vet.”

Her words hit him like a piano dropping ten stories. She was flirting with him.

He took his time walking around to her side of the truck. He opened the door and leaned in, planting his hand on the seat next to her shapely legs.

His face hovered inches from hers while he savored the way her wavy hair cascaded down her shoulders, the lips that curved in that always graceful way, and the eyes that spoke everything his heart wanted to hear.

Her eyes closed, and her lips parted slightly.

Trey snapped out of it. He couldn’t do this. He was on the job. She didn’t know the secrets he knew, the truth about her husband.

Her eyes startled open. As much as he wanted to partake and enjoy, he couldn’t. He touched a silky curl framing her face and ran it through his fingers. “You need to know that right now I’m working. But there will come a time, soon, when I’m not.”


She can’t bear to look at yesterday.
She has no strength to face today.
She won’t believe in tomorrow


meet Dora Hiers…

After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son didn’t want her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing heart racing, God-gracing books. Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers. Dora and her husband make their home in North Carolina. When she’s not writing, Dora enjoys reading and family gatherings. She despises traffic, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with happily-ever-after’s.

Readers can connect with Dora:
Website: www.dorahiers.com
Blog: http://dorahiers.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Dora Hiers Author
Twitter: @DoraHiers

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Theme Is Hope

/\/\-----------------------------------------------------------------
\ / TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT -- http://www.heartlight.org/
--\/------------------------------------------------------------------




November 27, 2011



VERSE:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
-- Romans 15:4


THOUGHT:
If the Bible is a love story, then its theme is hope. No matter how dire the circumstances, no matter how big the enemy, no matter how deep the sin, no matter how lost the people, no matter how empty the cupboard, no matter how wide the river, no matter ... God repeatedly gives his people reason to hope in a brighter tomorrow.
Then God brought the assurance of that tomorrow in Jesus!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Texas, Christmas and Mystery!



A lady Coastguardsman searches for a killer. An oil rig troubleshooter accused of murder races to clear his name. The murderer strives to silence them both. As Amber Meredith seeks to arrest Derrick Darbonne, sparks fly. She needs to solve her first case. But the handsome Cajun suspect makes her heart race and her toes tingle. Derrick has worked all his life for his high-paying, adventurous job. When his past threatens his future, will he endanger the woman he loves?

Want to be notified when this is available? Click here!





Award winning author ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. She writes both historical and suspense novels. After falling in love with several countries and their people, Anne set a number of her books in exotic locations. She and her hero husband, Army Special Forces Colonel Larry Greene, have visited twenty-five countries, including three communist countries. A visit to Scotland resulted in her newest book release, Masquerade Marriage, published by White Rose Publishing. When she’s not deployed with her husband, Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Two of her four children live nearby. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. In 1990, Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas, Dallas. Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. To learn more of Anne and to view pictures from her extensive travel, visit her at AnneGreeneAuthor.com.


Excerpt--

CHAPTER ONE
Galveston, Texas
Only one thing scared Derrick Darbonne. He had no fear of fire, hurricane, sabotage, high seas, drunken roughnecks, reckless roustabouts, brawls, or hard work. But losing the job he’d slaved all his life to obtain terrified him.
He’d worked himself up from oaks draped with Spanish moss, murky alligator-filled water, and a tiny cabin on the banks of the bayou with no running water or electricity. He’d finally gotten to where he wanted to be. And now someone was trying to pin a murder on him. Some Christmas present.
Derrick crushed the schematics he’d been scanning and jammed them into his pocket. He braced his legs wide on the steel floor of the oil rig and raised the powerful navigational binoculars. A Coast Guard cutter slashed a white wedge through the sparkling Gulf waters straight toward his oil platform.
His jaw tightened, his spine stiffened, and he swallowed.
Standing beside him, Joe Bridges, the MIC, Man in Charge, swore.
If Derrick had been a swearing man, he would have joined Joe. Instead, he gripped the navigational binoculars tighter. “Third time this week. If I had anything to hide, I’d jump ship.” He smacked his hard hat so thoroughly his ears rang. “Thought so! That guardsman is a female.” Here was a Coastie bearing down on him with the authority to shut down the operation. The men would be out of work just in time for Christmas. What pretense to investigate the murder was the Coast Guard using this time?
Derrick lowered the binoculars and frowned. “She looks familiar.”
“Ever since you arrived for the routine inspection, Cajun, the Coast Guard’s been on our backs.” Scowling, Joe thrust out a hand for the glasses. “Then there was the murder. That’s the reason the big boss’s keeping you out here again, so long.”
“Don’t I know it! I’m looking for a saboteur as well. Probably the same guy.” Derrick slapped the binoculars into Joe’s hand and tried to lighten his foreboding with a jabbing tease. “Now I’ve got to get the Coast Guard environmental crew out of your hair.”
“Rib me, will ya?” Joe repositioned his yellow hard hat over his bald head and shook a work-hardened finger. “I’ll bet you I can get that Coastie to go for me and my shiny head before she goes for you and that Cajun accent of yours. Loser pays a hundred bucks.”
“You want us to distract her with our masculine charm so she won’t sniff out any violations that could shut us down?” Derrick surveyed the rig’s two-hundred-foot deck looking for any OSHA or EPA trouble the Coast Guard might use to give a citation. Sunlight slanted off the metal plates causing enough glare to hurt his eyes. He didn’t like Joe’s plan.
“You got it.” Joe grinned.
Derrick gave a tight smile. He slid his gaze to the roughneck inside the glass-enclosed room, jiggling the joy sticks and pushing the buttons that worked the rig’s floor. The big man hooking a new drill in place beneath the five-hundred-foot drilling tower wore his safety equipment. No problem there.
Derrick flicked his gaze over the new hire, the eighteen year old from Galveston. The kid’s long blond hair straggled from beneath his yellow hard hat. He was bent over washing sludge and mineral oil through sand to clean out the last drop of hydrocarbon before reusing the sand. Kid was a hard worker, already adept at his job. No laws broken. No environmental procedures shortcut.
The rest of the roughnecks and roustabouts worked steadily. None violated safety measures. No oil spills or pipe breaks had occurred. The hole drilled through the sea bottom was clean and not yet exceptionally deep. They should hit oil soon. Joe Bridges had a salty vocabulary, but the boss man ran a tight rig. So why suddenly all the anonymous phone calls about regulation problems? Had to be the murder.
Derrick needed to come up with answers.
“Alamo Oil pays you a hefty salary to make sure things run smooth on all two hundred of its rigs.” Joe’s voice sounded more than a little jealous.
“Don’t I know it.” Derrick ran a hand over the stubble already growing after his close morning shave.
“Alamo doesn’t want to fork out any stiff fines or lose any drill time because of environmental pollution, safety violations, mismanagement, or accidents. So make sure that Coastie’s distracted.” Joe winked. “And don’t mention the murder. We’ve trampled that ground too many times with the Coast Guard already.”
“Right.” Derrick rubbed the back of his neck. An uneasy feeling kept nagging him about the murder. Nothing he could put a handle to, but—too many clues led directly to him. Once the Coast Guard put the puzzle together, they’d come looking for him. He grunted. How had his personal helmet wound up grasped in the dead kid’s hand?
Joe swore loud enough that the crew cleaning sand looked up. He lowered his voice. “That Coastie’s gonna cause trouble. I feel it in my bones.” His eyes, shadowed under his hard hat, looked wary. “We gotta keep her thinking about us, not her job.” He handed the binoculars back.
Derrick frowned. “I think you’re just hard up for a date. You want a girl friend to share Christmas with.”
“Whatever!”
As the Coast Guard cutter pulled alongside their offshore rig, Derrick focused the binoculars on the trim figure in her blue uniform. He’d not seen many women in the Guard, and none that looked so curvy…wow, hotter than a Louisiana mudbug boil. He loved that spicy crawfish dish.
Dread inside his gut heightened. Sweat beaded his forehead. He got tongue-tied around women. “This can’t be good!”
“Yeah. The broad’s probably a—”
“It’s Amber Meredith!” Derrick fumbled the expensive binoculars, made a grab for them, and caught them just before they hit the deck.


Also by Anne Greene--



Check it out here!

News from Anne!! Congrats!!

My book, Masquerade Marriage,
won the 2011 Laurel Wreath Award. And for those of you who haven't heard,
Masquerade Marriage also won the 2011 New England Readers' Choice Award,
received the Heart of Excellence Award, placed 3rd in the Published Beacon
Award, and finaled in the Maggie for Published authors.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Visionary


A visionary is someone who sees into the future Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society.Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?Find out in…The Visionary ~ Where the power of God's love heals the most wounded of souls.

Meet Pamela Thibodeaux!


Everyone who comments will have their name tossed in a hat to win a copy of The Visionary. And I'm sure Pam wouldn't mind answering questions if you have any.


Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Question: What inspired this novel? How did it come about?

Answer: When I first wrote The Visionary in a 5-subject notebook (where most of my stuff began way back when) I had in mind a sweet romance featuring m/f twins and their love interests. When I first typed the novel, I thought, “this is my light romance!” which was a great relief after some of my other work which dealt with subjects like domestic violence, grief, and betrayal. However, one day I sent off the first 3 chapters to a friend and her response was, “these twins are awful close, you need to be careful.” Of course that made me wonder Why? What happened to them or between them to make them so close (I couldn’t seem to tone down their intense feelings for one another). Then one day I walked out of my office into the living room where my husband sat watching a popular talk show. In a heart-wrenching scene the young man on the show apologized to his sisters because he couldn’t stop the abuse they suffered at the hands of their father. I swear, every drop of blood drained from my body and I began to argue with God…. No! Not that! Anything but that! I can’t write this! I have no experience in this! I’m not qualified as a minister or therapist! God….PLEASE….no. Three days of wavering, three days of arguing, three days of not being able to sit down and write a single word and God finally confronted me with…. “Who are you writing for anyway?” I capitulated and wrote the entire story in 4 months during the busiest time of year for a bookkeeper/tax preparer (Jan - April).


My own thoughts on this story:There are many subjects that seem to be taboo in Christian fiction -- sexual abuse, especially against children, is one of them. Ms. Thibodeaux has handled this loathsome subject with class in her fictional tale of love, forgiveness and redemption.


Trevor and Taylor, twins with an unthinkable past, grow and find love in the course of this novel. They not only have to forgive their father, but also themselves, and learn to trust and be intimate with their new loved ones.

The author blends in secondary stories with ease, tying all the loose ends up easily. Their story is told with sensitivity against a rich, colorful background of southern style and history. This story was a journey I feel richer for taking.

Loved it, Pamela!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kicking off The Season!


White Rose Publishing and sister company, Harbourlight Books, are proud to host a Christmas Story Extravaganza. Over a dozen authors are included--most stories will be specially priced at $1 for the event!


Tessa, the youngest Spencer sister--and the most impulsive--rushes into the Mount Ridge crisis center bent on saving her brother-in-law. She's ready to handle Brent's abductor, with or without help. What she's not ready to handle is the effect policeman, Colin Phillips, has on her. Romance is the last thing on Tessa's mind. She longs for the adventure and fast-of New York City, not being tied to Mount Ridge and a man who insists she shouldn't be so impetuous. After all "independent spirit" is what Tessa does best!

Colin transferred from the police force in Atlanta in order to find closure after the brutal murder of his younger sister. He wants a nice, safe future, not one filled with caring and worrying about another impulsive woman. His sister was naïve and unpredictable, and while Colin is drawn to Tessa's spunk and vitality, her willingness to rush into danger scares him. No way could he cope with another devastating loss. His heart must remain closed where Tessa is concerned. But God has His own plans...and His own way of changing hearts and cultivating love.

Order this story here!

Excerpt:

A crowd gathered along the street in front of the center as rain began to spit. Suddenly the cruiser sirens stopped shrieking, unveiling the crowd’s chatter like a swarm of distressed bees in a damaged hive. Emergency lights continued to bathe the lawn surrounding the crisis center in flashing light. Max, the veteran police officer who had issued Tessa her fair share of speeding tickets over the past few years, motioned people back as a younger officer—tall and built like a star lineman with short-cropped hair and an edge to his dark gaze—ran neon-yellow caution tape along portable barriers.

Light cascaded from a second story window—Brent’s office. A shadow hovered as a man—taller than Brent and heavyset from the look of his silhouette—paced the room. Tessa gasped as he paused in front of the window and scratched his T-shirt-covered chest.

“Mattie—Jason Sloane’s up there with Brent.” Tessa stepped forward and dipped beneath the caution tape. “Remember the threats Jason made last week when Brent tried to help his wife?”

“Yes.” Mattie paused as she approached the caution tape. Blue and red light washed over her. “But, Tessa, wait! You can’t just go in there.”

Undaunted, Tessa wiggled from Mattie’s grasp and pressed forward. Her heart pounded, and she shivered as the wind picked up and the spill of rain grew from a spit to a shower. The caution tape fluttered and danced in cadence to her nerves. Jason Sloane had fumed when Brent offered Jason’s wife the childcare job at the center, had said he wanted her home with their kids, not raising someone else’s. If Jason Sloane was up there, Brent was in danger. She couldn’t just stand there and wait for something to happen—for someone to help him. “Of course I can go in there…and I will.”

“Hold up there.” The cop holding back the line of spectators planted himself like a gigantic boulder, shoulders back, palms clasped tight at his waist. “Move back.” He thrust his head toward the tape. “Get behind it.”

“No.” Tessa sidestepped to dart around him, but, despite his size, he was just as agile and blocked her path. His gaze speared her as she crossed her arms and stretched to her full height. The rain made it difficult to see, and she wiped moisture from her eyes with the back of her hand. “Let me through.”

A flash of shock brightened his eyes as his jaw clenched. A burst of light revealed a shadow of stubble that covered his chin, and Tessa imagined he couldn’t be much older than she was. His hand clasp tightened and his shoulders flexed. The outline of a bulletproof vest beneath his navy blue shirt made Tessa’s heart stutter. For a fleeting moment, she felt as if she’d been swept up into the movie set of the latest blockbuster thriller. Things like this—cruisers on the lawn of the town square, cops in bulletproof vests—just didn’t happen in Mount Ridge.



Mary Manners
is an award-winning author of inspirational romance who lives in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and teen-aged daughter. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers.

During the school year, she teaches middle-schoolers reading and Algebra. In her free time, she likes to garden, take long walks with her husband, and read romance novels in a hammock beneath century-old shade trees

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Honor of Veteran's Day



Publishers Weekly
Prolific novelist and nonfiction author Goyer (All Things Hidden) pens a contemporary story rooted in World War II, where several of her historicals have been set. TV producer Ava Ellington is suffering from heartbreak and making professional mistakes. An unexpected opportunity to go to Europe with her grandfather Jack, a WWII vet, to visit battle sites promises emotional escape and a set of great stories about vets returning to Europe. In Paris, a complication materializes: Ava’s first love, Dennis, is accompanying his grandfather Paul, Jack’s wartime buddy and family friend, on the same trip. Jack has ghosts to face as Ava is reminded of her own past pain. Goyer does well with the Greatest Generation, showing that war is more than nostalgia. Some might well wish for more information about the historical battle sites that frame the present action, but this is a light fictional treatment of a heavy subject. This novel has a sweet way of describing family relationships and will particularly speak to those closely connected to WWII veterans, who are taking their stories with them to the grave.


Order here.


Excerpt: Remembering You


Chapter One

Ava Ellington pulled the lid off the red sharpie with her teeth and drew a thick line from one corner of the clipboard page to the other.

As head producer of Mornings with Stacey and Clark, Seattle’s top morning news show, she had booked best-selling author Dean Trust to talk about his dad, a fisherman who’d died in 1981 while rescuing a drowning teenager—a heroic father who was said to have inspired Trust’s latest novel. Instead, as the cameras rolled, Trust had blabbered about the Seattle rain and an idea for a script that he was hoping to sell. Rubbish!


Ava bit her bottom lip as she strode down the television studio hall and pushed open the door to her office, resisting the urge to slam it behind her. She scanned her stacks of files and notes and wondered if she should pack her things now. Returning the lid to the pen, she tossed it on her desk. It rolled off and onto the floor. With a swift motion, she kicked the pen under the bookshelf filled with travel guides of places she hoped to visit someday. Places rimmed with stories she would never hear. Heart-tugging segments she’d never produce.

If Ava prided herself on anything, it was that she knew how to turn seemingly small ideas into breakfast-time entertainment that refreshed people’s hearts. But all it took was one logjam to cause everything else to pile up—one babbling, unfocused guest—or at least that was her excuse today. But what about the last few weeks? Few months? It was hard to want to entertain and inspire people when her own heart was breaking.

Her cell phone buzzed in her pocket, and Ava hit Ignore. Yet another task-reminder.

She bent down to retrieve the pen, and her fingers brushed something else under the bookcase. A business card maybe? Pulling it out, her throat tightened. It was one of the photos of her and Jay that she used to have pinned on her bulletin board. She brushed the dust from his face with her thumb, and her heart clenched at his smile.

She blinked the tears from her eyes and before she could talk herself out of it, dropped the photo into the trash. It was the never-ending lists of tasks and calls that, perhaps, had cost her what she wanted most—a man who claimed to love her with all his heart.

Jay had seemed like the perfect guy. He was easy to talk to. He laughed at her jokes and e-mailed her funny YouTube videos. He encouraged her to find tales that would inspire people. He believed in her. Or at least she had thought he believed in her.

Ava refused to think about that now. Or about him. Right now she had to think about keeping her job. She’d moved to downtown Seattle to be close to Jay and had bought a condo she couldn’t afford, believing it would be their home together. If she lost her job too, everything would be gone. Then where would she go? More than that—who would she be?

A soft knock sounded, and Ava glanced up to see her boss Todd standing in the doorway. He didn’t say a word, but she noticed his tight-lipped grin and furrowed brow.

“I talked to Dean Trust last night,” she tried to explain. “He told me he was happy to talk about his dad and the inspiration for this novel...I...I don’t know what happened.”

Todd raised his hands. “Listen, I don’t want to burst your bubble, Ava, but even if he had talked about his novel, the critics are giving it a C− just to be kind.” He lifted his chin, which always seemed to have a five o’clock shadow. “You know what we need and what our viewers expect.”

Ava slumped into her leather chair. The pressure weighed on her shoulders.

“Obviously I don’t. Everything I’ve put together lately has been a fumble.” She glanced up at him under her eyelashes. “I have a worse record than the Seahawks this season.”

Todd nodded and ran his hand through his dark hair. He opened his mouth and then closed it again. From the pity in his gaze she expected the worst.

“Listen, even though we never want our personal life to affect our work, it always does. I tried to explain that to my boss—”

She stood, as if pushed from her seat by a spring. “I’m working on something. Something that’ll knock your socks off. Something viewers will love.”

Todd cocked an eyebrow. Then hecrossed his arms over his chest. “You want to tell me about it?” Even if he knew she was fibbing, he didn’t let on.

“Tomorrow.” She brushed her long blonde hair off her shoulder. “I have a few details I need to work out.” Ten minutes before, she’d assumed this would be her last day, but now she planned to stick around if she could come up with something good.

She glanced at the photo in the trash. You can’t take my work from me too. You’ve already crushed my self-confidence, not to men- tion my heart. You can’t have this too.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Waiting

Wait Up
by sanewriter


The phrase “wait up” can be used in two contexts. When I have an evening speaking engagement to which I go without my husband, it’s always nice to come home because I find that James will “wait up” for me. He foregoes his comfort and stays awake so there will be someone to greet me when I get home. The second use of the phrase happens when I am walking along with my son Matthew. He is taller than I am so his legs are longer. Since his youth gives him more energy and vigor than I now possess, I often find myself lagging behind and imploring him to “wait up.” With this, I mean I need him to slow down so I can catch up to where he is and we can walk together.

God shows us that His people benefit when they “wait up” for Him. “Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers; they shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick up the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD, for they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me” Isaiah 49:23 (NKJ). If we as God’s children are patient, no matter what hardships we may be going through at the time, God will work everything out for our good, even if that means putting us in a position to be served by those much greater than we. We simply need to “wait up” because God is on His way. And when God shows up—as He definitely will—we will have nothing of which to be ashamed.

Why does it seem God has yet to show up in your situation? Think of the two uses of “wait up” once again. Maybe you’ve refused to “wait up” for God. Instead, you’ve given up or have gone to sleep thinking He’s not going to show up. Or maybe you feel it’s taking God too long, so you’ve rushed ahead without Him. Sooner or later, you’ll realize that when you outrun God, you arrive at places where He is not. Is that really what you want? Slow down; “wait up.” Once you are side-by-side with God again, match your pace with His so that when you get where you want to go, He’ll be there with you.

________________________

©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to
receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website

Friday, October 21, 2011

Write A Book Next Month?


I saw over at Paperback Writer that she's planning on doing November's Book in a Month challenge again this year. I've never attempted it, being in the busy month of November. Who is trying it next month? Who has had success with it in the past?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meet author Staci Stallings

Some of you may remember Staci Stallings for her contributions to my collection of writer's devotionals, Words To Write By. Please join me today as I interview her.

1. Please tell us about your current project. What influenced or motivated you to start it?"



Well, I have a lot of current projects because I've recently put ten going on eleven books on Kindle and Nook. Some of these have been out in print. Others were serial-blogs. So I'll pick one of those.
Like many of my stories, "Deep in the Heart" started as a dream. I don't even remember too much about the original dream. All I know is I woke up one morning with a name. It was very clear in my head, and I knew exactly what the guy looked like though honestly, I do not remember ever having seen him before. I got up, went to the Internet, typed the name in, and there he was--the exact guy I was picturing. (Weird. I know!)
So I kind of started with him. I knew it was set in Texas, and I wanted the title to reflect Texas but not be overt. I'm sure you've heard the song "Deep in the Heart of Texas," right? Well, it fit.
"Deep in the Heart" is the story of Maggie Montgomery, a young woman who life has not played fair with. She's struggling to make it to her next meal and desperate for a job, she applies and gets the nanny position at the mansion of a Texas billionaire. On her first moments there she meets the handyman who turns out to be much more than she ever expected. It's a fun story, but one that will make you think about how you treat people when really, you know so very little about them.

2. How much of your own experiences influences your characters?
It's not so much my experiences that influence stories--as in, "Oh, I did this, I'll put that in." Rather it's more that I experience life differently as I write and that goes into the story. One of the ways that happened in this story was there was a Bible verse: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. --Ephesians 2:8
I knew I wanted to use that verse somewhere in the book because it fit so well. I finally put it at the end. Just after finishing the book, a friend gave me a little journal. That verse was on the front. It was like confirmation that it was supposed to be in the book. Those kinds of things happen all the time with my writing. I will start having a verse or a theme follow me around, OR after I write it, I will get confirmation that that was supposed to be in there. It's more like my real life has a sort of existential conversation with my writing life if that makes any sense.

3. What themes exist in your stories that you hope the reader sees?
That broken isn't permanent if you will give all the pieces to God and let Him love you back into a new whole.
Broken comes in a lot of ways: Death of a loved one, addiction, past mistakes, not knowing God, disappointment, betrayal, abuse, and so many others. And there are so many broken, hurting people out there who don't know how to get out of the yuck they are in. I think my stories give them a glimmer of hope and maybe point them in a direction they had either abandoned or never knew was there.

4. What gives you the most difficulty in your writing? What comes easiest?
Marketing is hard. Not because it's hard, but because it takes so much time. Beyond that... What comes easiest is whatever I just finished. What comes hard is what I have to do next.
Seldom does God let me in on what comes next. It is literally almost always a step out into the darkness with Him saying, "Trust Me. Just trust Me." When I'm writing, I don't usually have a plan so every twist and turn has me as confused and as concerned about where this is headed as it does the reader. Many times I'm left going, "Okay, Holy Spirit, where is this going?" But I've found, whatever step He puts in front of me--whether that's writing the next scene, doing the next interview, publishing the next book, or whatever... as long as I take those steps, when I look back, I see the profound wisdom of why He had me do what when.
So, what's the hardest thing? Learning to trust God in this moment.

5. What will your next project be?
Right now, I'm working on a story about a dyslexic writer. Really. I didn't know he was dyslexic at first. I thought he was a loner, but about 50 pages into that story, life stopped me. During that writing pause, my own son was found to have dyslexia. When I went back to writing, I started noticing that with Jake (my character) although I could "see" the stories he was writing in his head, he was always very careful not to show me his computer screen. It was only after we found out my son's issues that I realized why. Jake was just like my son--incredibly creative and intelligent, but writing and particularly spelling was a huge challenge for him. It's been an interesting ride with that book ever since.

6. What do you do for fun, other than reading and writing?
I play the guitar, the piano, and the drums (although I play the drums badly!). I play with a couple of local choirs. I also volunteer for fundraisers at my kids' two schools as well as directing the VBS plays each year and teaching Sunday School. I also love to watch movies and listen to music. Oh, and my one "surprise" fun thing is playing Wii Snowboarding--don't ask... I don't understand that one either.

7. What advice would you give other authors?
Write your heart. Unless you are really only in it for the money, don't let anyone talk you out of your voice or your stories. It's really easy in this industry to be told that "right now they are only buying..." fill in the blank, historicals, contemporary, suspense, etc. But if that's not what you write, don't follow the crowd. I started writing Contemporary Christian Romance before there even WAS such a thing. About three years later that genre burst onto the scene. If I'd been trying to write to the market, I would've been writing things that were not me and then I would have completely missed the genre I really loved.
TRUST WHAT GOD IS TELLING YOU TO DO. Take the step He is asking you to take--whether that makes sense with what the world says or not. God doesn't do things the way the world does. He always does them better. Follow Him. Ask Him to guide you. Be willing to follow what He tells you. That is the best advice I can give.
Oh, and be nice to everyone. You never know where life is going or where your writing will take you. It's much better for people to remember you as the person who was nice to them when you had no idea who they were. :)
Thanks for the opportunity, Robin! It's been great!




A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:
Spirit Light Moments -- One moment with God each day
http://spiritlightmoments.com

Facebook Author Page at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Light-Author-Staci-Stallings/266593276699576

Staci's Bookshelf:
http://stacistallings.wordpress.com/

Spirit Light Books--The Blog
http://spiritlightbooks.wordpress.com/


Or...

Follow Staci on Twitter @StaciStallings

Come on over for a visit…

You’ll feel better for the experience!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Under His Wings

\ / TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT -- http://www.heartlight.org/
--\/------------------------------------------------------------------






October 9, 2011


VERSE:
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge ...
-- Psalm 91:4
http://www.SearchGodsWord.org/desk/?query=Psalm+91:4

THOUGHT:
Life is filled with many uncertainties. You never know when something unexpected is going to happen. You have no idea when the next disaster will strike. In a world filled with hate and terrorism, none of us has a clue when the next horrible atrocity will take place. So what do we do when we can't be sure of our circumstances? We take shelter under the wing of the One who is above all circumstances! We take assurance in our Father who has promised to bring us to himself no matter what may happen today ...
in our world ... and to our bodies. Our lives are hidden with our Father because we've been joined to Christ. He is our Refuge! His wings are our shelter!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Happy Birthday White Rose!

Join us to celebrate the second anniversary of White Rose Publishing and the launching of its sister company, Harbourlight Books.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Too Good To Be True?

-/\/\-----------------------------------------------------------------
\ / TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT -- http://www.heartlight.org/
--\/------------------------------------------------------------------





September 30, 2011


VERSE:
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you
do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an
inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of
your faith, the salvation of your souls.
-- 1 Peter 1:8-9

THOUGHT:
Can you trust what you don't see? Of course! What kind of
question is that? Our lives depend on what we cannot see -- things
like gravity and the air we breathe, just to name two. Faith in
Jesus is as natural as faith in each of those things. The problem
is that our hearts are skeptical. We find it hard to believe that
anyone divine would love us so much. Our experience says, "If it
seems too good to be true, it is." That skepticism is just the
twisted form of the response God longs to see from us:
"inexpressible and glorious joy." I don't know about you, but I've
tasted both. I prefer joy over skepticism!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Golden Anniversary




Happy 50th Anniversary, Mom and Dad.



1 Corinthians 13:
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Seek Not To Please Myself

\ / TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT -- http://www.heartlight.org/
--\/------------------------------------------------------------------




September 16, 2011


VERSE:
[Jesus said,] "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."
-- John 5:30



THOUGHT:
"So who you tryin' to please, anyway?" These words of my dad still ring in my ears. His point? There are only two we MUST
please: (1) our Father in heaven, because all praise and honor is due to him, and (2) ourselves, because we want to know that we've done the best we could do and been the best we could be. But I guess I've learned over the years that I can't begin to do the second of those very well without seeking the first one. Don't you hope that someday you reach the place where you can join Jesus in saying with absolute assurance: "I seek not to please myself but him who sent me!" The closer we approach that reality, the more we realize that we can't do anything of eternal significance on our own. Only when we live to honor God do we find the significance and have the impact that our lives were made to have.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Q&A With Author Diana Brandmeyer


I'm excited to get to know Diana Brandmeyer today, thanks to her interview with author Laura Hilton. Her latest release is: We're not Blended, We're Pureed, A Survivor's Guide- Concordia Publishing House

Why do you write the kind of books you do? I write Christian fiction/nonfiction because time I feel my time on this earth is too short to waste with writing books that don’t introduce Jesus or encourage believers. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? Every time I think ‘this’ is the happiest day of my life I get another moment. I don’t think there can be only one happiest day of your life.

How has being published changed your life? Now I feel pressured with the, “When’s the next book coming out?” question.

What are you reading right now? I just finished reading Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brendan, on kindle ap on my phone I’m reading Pride and Prejudice again. And on my nightstand waiting for tonight is Julie Lessman’s new book, A heart Reveled. I sure wish it was time for bed so I could start reading!

What is your current work in progress? I’m waiting for edits to come back for A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee which will be released in May 2012. What would be your dream vacation? Anywhere near a beach with my husband. How do you choose your settings for each book?

I don’t have a method. Something about the area intrigues me or a character that’s waiting for a starring role. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? Nate Berkus because my house needs help! As an interior designer I find his style appealing. What three things about you would surprise readers?

I love black jelly beans, cotton candy and being driving places as I dislike driving. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Quilting, learning to cook new gluten free recipes and biking

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Doing it. Seriously, I find cleaning out the dust in corners easier to do than sitting down to start a new book. I overcome it by setting my timer for five minutes. Then when it goes off I picture my husband crawling on his knees to lay pavers in 100 degree weather. That usually keeps me in my chair writing. What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Learn the craft. Study, but give yourself permission to just write the first draft.

Tell us about the book. We’re Not Blended-We’re Pureed, A Survivor’s Guide is my personal journey of blending a family, but what makes in unique is the follow up from a licensed counselor. It’s like you can read about real life and get an answer on how to keep it from happening to you or maybe you’ll find you’re doing everything right.

What do you want readers to take away from the book?

Most important take away I’d like readers to get from this book is that your family may be blended but the family next door is having many of the same kind of issues you’re having. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other moms and dads and ask if they have any advice.

Thanks, Diana and Laura!