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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

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