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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get Hooked On "From Ashes to Honor"

Excerpt from Loree's book "From Ashes to Honor." (any spacing issues were caused by me when pasting)

They cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and He delivered them from their distress.
Psalms 107:6

New York City
8:40 A.M.
September 11, 2001

As on every morning, the sweet scents of cinnamon and
mocha mixed with drugstore aftershave and pricey cologne.
And, as on every morning, Austin ordered a large black coffee
with a shot of espresso.

A strange vibration rumbled above the whir of blenders,
busily whipping milk into froth for cappuccinos and lattes. A
New York City trash truck, or another fender bender? he wondered
as his cell phone chirped. It only took a quick glance at
the caller i.d. to inspire a low groan.
Eddy smirked. “Your brother?”

“Third time this week.”

“Sheesh. And it’s only Tuesday.”

Becky, the counter girl, held out one hand. “That’ll be a
buck fifty, cutie pie.”

Austin handed her two singles and told her to keep the

“Let me guess,” Eddy said. “He wants you to get a safer job,
one with a more predictable schedule, so you can spend more
time with your mom.”

"Bingo. All I can say is, thank God for unlimited minutes.
The two messages he left yesterday?” Austin pocketed the
phone and cut loose with a two-note whistle. “To call ’em long
is an understatement.”

"You know what they say about paybacks.”


“Well, all I can say is, rambling messages must be in the
Finley DNA.”

“Bite me,” Austin said, grinning as Becky handed him his

“No, seriously, Finley.” He looked left and right and waved
Austin closer, as if preparing to divulge a state secret. “Listen
up, dude. There was a big story about birth order on the news
this morning.” He shrugged. “This stuff with Avery? It’s all
’cause he sees you as his baby brother.”

“Aw, gimme a break. He’s five stinkin’ minutes older than

“Big difference, five minutes. Made him ju-u-ust older and
wiser enough to become a hot shot Wall Street investment
banker.” He gave Austin the once-over, from close-cropped
blond hair to spit-polished black shoes. “And develop the opinion
that he needs to watch over you. Y’know, since you’re only
one of many tiny little cogs that make the City’s gears—”
Austin chuckled. “Yeah, well, you can both bite me.”

Becky wiggled a forefinger at Eddy. “Your turn, honey pot.”
He leaned a forearm on the counter and frowned. “Holy
moly, Beckster, you gotta quit partyin’ all night, ’cause—shooeee
and wowza, dudette—you are some kinda green around
the gills this mornin’!”

She blew a baseball-sized purple bubble and popped it with
her front teeth. “Some days it’s hard to believe you found a
woman willing to marry you.”

Eddy snickered, then ordered decaf with double cream, pretending
not to hear as Austin and the rest of his cop pals agreed
with Becky. The good-natured taunting came to a halt when
a second rumble shook the windows and rattled the mugs,
stacked pyramid fashion on glass shelves behind the counter.
For a blink in time, the West Street Coffee Shop fell completely
quiet. Then a chorus of buzzing cell phones, radio bleeps, and
the sputtering of dispatchers summoning all available personnel
to the World Trade Center ended the eerie silence.

Amid the clamor of cops and firefighters charging into the
street, Austin disregarded a second call from his twin. Tossing
Eddy the keys to their cruiser, he growled “You drive for a
change. I’m afraid I’ll take my bad mood out on some ‘Got my
license in a gumball machine’ sightseer at Battery Park.”
Siren blaring and lights flashing, they peeled away from the
curb. “Smart decision,” he said, honking and shaking a fist at
the slow-moving taxi that blocked him from the destination,
just half a mile away.

Emergency vehicles, city buses, cabs, and limos joined
the rows of cars and delivery vans that rolled to a dead stop.

“What’s the holdup?” Eddy demanded. “Can’t those clowns see
that the light is green?”

“I hate these stupid tests. It’d make a lot more sense for the
big shots at city hall to do stuff like this when the roads aren’t
clogged with traffic.” Austin shook his head. “But no-o-o, we’ve
gotta put on a good show for the tourists.”

“Guess we can’t complain about getting paid to sit on our

“Yeah? Well, I can complain, about these exhaust fumes for
starters.”The radio buzzed and hummed with steady static, and
Austin beat a fist on the dash. “Oh. Great. Now this piece of
junk decides to die, leaving us clueless about what’s going on
at WTC.”

“I hate to break it to ya, pard, but you were clueless before
we—” Eddy draped his upper body over the steering wheel
and looked up. “What—Is—That?”

Squinting, Austin scrubbed the inside of the windshield
with the heel of his hand. “Turn on the defogger, genius.”
But the murk was outside. Fierce, roiling white smoke
stained the blue early-autumn sky. “I have a feeling this is no
ordinary test,” he said grimly. “We’d better hot-foot it the rest
of the way.”

“You’re right. Ain’t like we’re gonna block traffic.”

Side by side, the partners jogged toward the Towers, and
the closer they got, the harder it became to see through the

“Must be one heckuva fire to make a mess like this.”
In his pocket, Austin’s cell phone buzzed, and he ignored
it for the third time in five minutes. When he got hold of his
twin later, man, was Avery gonna get a piece of his mind.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Review!

Years ago I received a review that began with, "Although I dislike and never read this subgenre, I decided to review such and such--" and then went on to trash the story. This time I am happily surprised to find a reviewer willing to try something new!
Thanks to The Romance Reviews for this lovely review! (excerpt)

Inspirational romance as a genre is quite a departure for me, but I was intrigued by the thought of a long-lost love returning to the town—and the woman—he left behind, and the journey both characters would have to make in order to find a future together. I am pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed—in fact, I was actually pleasantly surprised.

Megan Roberts has scrimped and saved ever since her parents' death so she can fulfill her father's last wish and purchase her grandfather's final painting at a local auction. Left without a family, the painting has taken on an enormous significance to Megan, and she is determined to take it home with her, even if it takes every cent of her savings. So when she loses the painting to a higher bidder, it doesn't seem that things can get much worse—until, that is, she sees the man who won.

Michael Kirk has changed in the fifteen years since Megan last saw him, but deep down, she knows he is the same man who she loved with all her heart, and the same man who walked out of her life and never looked back. Knowing that speaking with him again will only end in more heartbreak, Megan takes the risk in order to ask Michael to sell the painting to her. The Michael she remembered would do anything to make her happy.

But the Michael who has returned has different priorities. Concerned primarily with his career, Michael has purchased the painting for his boss, who is an avid collector of Megan's grandfather's work. Desperate to make partner in his law firm, Michael refuses to sell the painting, despite the fact that simply seeing Megan's face brings back memories and emotions that Michael thought himself no longer capable of feeling. With so much hurt and so many misunderstandings between them, can there ever be a future where Megan and Michael can find happiness together? Or will the legacy of her grandfather's artwork drive them apart forever?

There was a kind of literary magic that occurred when Michael and Megan were together. All the fear and the hurt and the worry each character felt individually faded to the background when they spoke and laughed and reminisced. It made the times when they were apart, when the petty jealousies of their hometown were brought to the forefront, that much more frustrating by contrast. But these emotions are what make for good romances, and I found myself eager for Megan's next meeting with Michael, when that spark between them could be seen again.

All in all, this was a charming story of love lost and found, and I was surprised by how much I came to care for the characters and the small town of Carrolton. The depth of feeling in this story made each character memorable, and the plot had a few twists that genuinely surprised me, making for a satisfying conclusion all around. Though I don't consider myself much of an expert in this particular genre, I can say that I will be keeping my eye out for any more of Ms Bayne's books in the future!

Thanks so much!!! Visit their main page for a chance to win many prizes while they celebrate a Grand Opening!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Great Prizes Coming Just Before Easter

Check back on April 23 for a chance to win a Nook, Kindle or $150 gift card from Long and Short Romance Reviews. I'll be guest blogging there that day.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Artist's Granddaughter Arrives!

The Artist's Granddaughter

No, not a new baby, but a re-release of my 2002 novella which won the Carol Award for Best contemporary romance, e-book category. To celebrate, I'm holding a drawing. From now through Easter, everyone who "likes" my Facebook author page and comments on their traditions for Easter or another favorite holiday will be entered to win:

A silver plated heart shaped ring box, a print copy of my 2007 novella "From Now On," a print copy of "Fiction and Truth," (non fiction anthology compiled by Kathy Ide) and a Maryland style Ty Beanie Baby Crab. Also a pdf copy of my 2010 novella 'Prodigal."

Hope to hear from you on Facebook!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gold Pens Falling


by Bill Yount
www.billyount. com

St. John 21:25 "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which,
if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could
not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

I saw Gold Pens falling out of Heaven onto the earth as though they were being
thrown by the angels like javelins into the hands of unknown people. I saw these
pens turning into spears and swords as they fell into these hands. As their
fingers began to write; books, songs and poetry were becoming lethal weapons to
war against the enemy!

Psalm 144:1 was being activated throughout the earth! "Blessed be the Lord my
strength, who teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight!"

In the Spirit I saw huge warehouses in Heaven that appeared to be full of books,
songs and poetry.

I noticed these books had no titles on their covers or any words written on
their pages. These were wordless books, blank bundles of sheet music and empty
pages of poetry stacked high to the ceiling. A sign was over the huge door that
read. . . .

"Stationery to be released and published in the last final hour upon the earth."

I heard the Father give a command to the angels. "Empty those warehouses and
deliver it to the earth! There are books yet to be written, new songs yet to be
sung, poetry yet to be recited that will woo hearts back to Me!"

Drop the pens down first and empty those warehouses!"

I heard the Father say. "I'm releasing a "scribe anointing" upon the earth!"

In the Spirit I saw as though the Grand Canyon itself was becoming one of the
many distribution centers filling up like a huge library in the earth filled
with testimonies, books, songs, and poems. Then angels would swoop down and
carry these writings to God given destinations; to saints and sinners in many
parts of the earth! I saw the seas and waters of the earth being covered with
writings and literature floating upon them. The Glory of God upon these waters
from the writings would actually change water currents and carry them to places
where man was unable to go!

I sense the Lord Himself was going into marketing His material that He was
releasing to the earth into hands that were being inspired to write by the Holy
Spirit. I sensed the Father had great desire to literally fill the earth to let
the whole world know what great things He hath done for His people.

"The Lord sent His word and great was the company of those who published it!"

Is there a book in you?
A song stirring in your heart?
Poetry that keeps coming to the surface?
Perhaps the Lord is calling you this hour to pick your pen up!

by Bill Yount
www.billyount. com

Thursday, March 10, 2011

LoRee Perry

Great post today on the White Rose Author's Blog!

Meet author LoRee Perry!

I'm so excited. Yesterday, on my personal blog I was able to post another wonderful true story of a woman's journey to faith and publication... LoRee Perry. This stuff is just too good to keep to myself, so I thought I'd share it with you! :)

LoRee, can you tell me about your journey to faith?I grew up going to church and never doubted John 3:16. But that promise wasn't real until I was 27 years old. Thanks to Bible classes I became familiar with God's Word as a girl. I went through my teens and young addulthood with this weird idea that I was a Christian and would have a few seconds before dying to ask for and receive forgiveness of sins.
One April morning in 1975, I woke up to my husband asking, "You believe in God, don't you?" Then he told me my brother had called to say our father had been murdered. It rained the day of his service and from a distance afterwards, a rainbow arced over the grave.
A few months later, on the day before Thanksgiving, my husband fell off the 2 1/2 story garage roof and crushed both heels. The three days we waited for the swelling to go down in his feet to enable surgery (they were the size of footballs), I read a paperback New Testament in the waiting room of the hospital. I have no memory of specific verses, but God's Word was my only solace.

Read more here!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Still Believing

I saw this posted in a discussion and remember it from taking Beth Moore's online workshop called "Believing God."

She stresses this five-finger pledge:

God is who He says He is.

God can do what He says He can do.

I am who God says I am.

I can do all things through Christ.

God's Word is alive and active in me.

I'm believing God!