Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Meet Author Tanya Stowe!

I'm delighted to introduce you all to the lovely and talented Tanya Stowe! Tanya is a fellow White Rose Publishing author with a new release titled "Tender Touch." More info on that exciting development to come - but first, meet Tanya!

Tanya Stowe has written for the real estate industry, television, publicity firms and national publications. Her first novel, a time-travel adventure, Time’s Embrace, was released in the United States in 1993 and internationally released in 1995. Tanya has an eclectic career, doing market research, working at a performing arts center and for the American Cancer Society. Recently, Tanya contributed to a collection of women’s survival stories titled, Triumph! The Beautiful Face of Courage and collaborated on her first full-length play, a Christmas musical titled, The Night Before Christmas.

Tanya has been married to her high school sweetheart for thirty-seven years which is a romance story in itself. Currently they are visiting the East Coast and soon they will travel to the Middle East to begin a new adventure!

To give you a better look at Tanya's inspiration for Tender Touch, here's what I like to call 'The Story Behind the Story' - straight from the author herself:

Years ago when my children were young, my husband went back to school, leaving me to handle our four young, rambunctious children. To help me out, my sister organized a long summer vacation, touring the California Gold Country.

We visited Sutter’s Mill, Columbia, Angel’s Camp, most of the major gold camps of the past. I was struck by the beaut y of the gold country, the mountains, caverns and rivers, so different from the deserts of Southern California where I lived. I wondered what it must have been like for those early pioneers alone, in this rugged land, filled with gold fever and determination. But mostly I wondered how these lovely little towns survived after all the gold fever passed.

I was also a new Christian and I had witnessed some of God’s very miraculous healing power. Those experiences had amazed me, but also frightened me a little and left me with a lot of questions. Of course, our Lord had the answers for his young and inexperienced Christian. But Lacy’s story was born out of those early questions and that very memorable trip through the California Gold Country.


Without further delay, please enjoy this introduction to Tender Touch - I'm sure you're going to love it!

Lacy Butler is graced with the gift of healing. She can save strangers…even those undeserving…yet fails to save her mother.

Rejecting her gift, God, and society, she's content to live alone high above the mining town of Harperville. But her solitude is shattered when Royce Darnell builds a water flume through the middle of her mountain. To protect her sanctuary, Lacy sabotages his efforts. Little does she expect Royce to track her through a blizzard and end up half frozen to death on her doorstep. She can heal him, but why should she when he threatens to steal her peace...and her heart?

With the livelihood of the miners and their families depending on his project, Royce refuses to stop building, no matter how good the reason or how lovely the masked saboteur turns out to be. Besides, he's convinced God wants Lacy to use her gift for good and not to hole up in her cabin like a reticent recluse afraid of human contact. But first, she must learn to trust, and Lacy doesn't trust anyone, not Royce and especially not God. Soon Royce finds himself in a battle to save the two things he loves the most…Harperville and Lacy. Is his faith strong enough to save them both?



"Lacy--look at me," Royce commanded. She looked up. "Feel the music, Lacy. Just move with me."

Her muscles eased. Her breathing slowed. She seemed to sense the rhythm of his body and took her cues from the slight touch of his hand. He dipped, she followed. He swept, she flowed, her skirts swinging in a graceful arc behind them. They sailed around the room in perfect motion.

Royce smiled. "I knew you could do it."

"Thank you for teaching me," she murmured.

Royce looked at the woman in his arms. He'd known the minute she'd entered the room. He was shocked to see her, knowing instinctively that the crowd and the noise would not be to her liking. But, when he'd seen the pink of her cheeks and the high color of her eyes, he knew she was enjoying herself ... and that made him happy. He liked the little giggle she tried to suppress and the way her eyes lit when the dancers came near her. So he’d asked her to dance.

“Thank you," Lacy repeated.

"My pleasure, ma'am. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

Her features turned somber. "You can let me go, now, before it's too late.”

She was asking him to do what he'd vowed to do. But looking at her lovely features, he knew he wouldn't do it.

"I can't, Lacy. I've tried and I can't."

The truth of his words flowed over both of them. They stood still in the middle of the dance floor. He wondered where the words had come from, and how he would take care of this fragile, beautiful creature in his arms.

Purchase Tender Touch Right Here


Tanya, thanks so much for joining me on the blog today! I've thoroughly enjoyed your company and wish you much success and abundant blessings with Tender Touch! As part of Tanya's blog tour, if you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win a copy of Tender Touch! Tanya is also giving away a copy of Rodeo Redemption, by fellow White Rose Publishing author Teri Wilson, so you've got two chances to win two great books! Enjoy the contest, and good luck!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Royal Wedding to Come

I freely admit it. I was one of the millions who savored the coverage of the wedding of the century between Prince Charles and Lady Diana. I’m a romance writer – I’m a romance fan. How could I not watch the extravagant, beautiful nuptials and sigh with the bliss of a happily completed fairy tale?

Now it’s Prince William and Kate Middleton who take center stage, their son and his long-time girlfriend. The idea of watching them get married can’t help but be a bit of history repeating itself. I’m sure the ceremony will be fantastic.

But what about the couple?

Prince William seems to have genuine commitment to the life he was born in to. I think Kate, while gorgeous and appealing in much the way Diana was, seems ready to take on the title and life of being part of the royal family in ways Diana probably wasn’t. I pray God blesses them both with the ability and strength, and love, to persevere in what is most definitely a gilded cage.

I admit to being surprised that Prince William gave Kate the ring which Prince Charles gave to Diana? How do you all feel about that? Is it a bad omen? Bad karma?

I had to think about it a bit before coming to a lasting conclusion on that topic. After all Charles and Diana’s marriage didn't end the way we all dreamed when we watched them walk down the aisle of St. Paul’s Cathedral. But then I dug a little deeper. I read up on the “Royal Wedding Hubub,” and realized that there’s a loving, sentimental significance to the ring for William. To him, their son, the ring honors two of the people he loves the most - his mother and his father - even if they didn't find the happily-ever-after that was dreamed of back on that fateful day in July of 1981.

Chime in with your $0.02 on the Royal Wedding to come! I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

Until next time – blessings!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, With This Kiss!


It's been two years in the making, but With This Kiss is finally available. Please check it out at:


Here's a blurb and excerpt to tempt you along!


‘So Bella, do you still like the way snowflakes feel when they touch your skin?’

Many Christmases ago, a stolen kiss beneath a snowy sky sealed their fate. Now, will love be enough?

Jonathan Santini heads a preeminent labor law practice in New York. He’s driven by passion – unrelenting in his pursuit of two things: A better life through labor law, and Isabella Alfano.

But the Santinis possess a somewhat checkered family history - one that puts Jonathan on the outside of Isabella’s branch of the Alfano clan.

Bella’s tangled emotions can’t stop what she feels for the bad-boy turned good. Taking over her grandma’s deli brings them together again, and the chemistry is electric.

But the obstacle of family honor isn’t the only thing in their way. A jealous colleague at Jonathan’s firm is bent on revenge - revenge that puts Isabella’s store into legal peril…


“Isabella Julianna Alfano,” Jonathan repeated in a murmur. “That’s not a name, that’s poetry. I’m delighted to meet you.”

The comment snared her wide-eyed attention. The blush deepened but she replied, “Thank you. It’s a pleasure. And, unfortunately, Grandma never fails to use the unabridged version of my name. I’m usually called Bella.”

Translation: Beauty. Jonathan grinned. “Indeed.”

Grandma Rach chuckled low; Bella averted her gaze, but rebounded quickly. When she looked back up at him there were questions in her eyes. Questions, and intrigue.

Aunt Bella!”

Bella’s attention slid to Jonathan’s left. He turned, following the direction of her gaze.

“Hey, Nick!” Isabella called, her voice a perfect blend of smoke and satin. “Come here and give me a hug. I haven’t had a chance to see you yet. Did you get a look at all the gifts under the tree?”

The youngster, maybe six or seven, all but rocketed into her open arms. A look of love bloomed from Bella’s smiling lips to the depths of her eyes.

Fleetingly Jonathan envied the boy for being on the receiving end of her tenderness and enthusiasm.

Bella crouched and flipped her hair to the side so she could give her nephew a quick peck on the cheek.

The back of her gown, like the front, scooped discreetly; once more the sight of her exposed skin turned into a siren call, prompting him again toward a light, soft caress. Again Jonathan’s fingers twitched, but for the second time he quelled the impulse.

Nick pulled urgently on Bella’s hand, yanking her free of their group, saying, “C’mon! You’ve gotta come to the window and look outside. It’s snowing like crazy!”

She looked back at Jonathan, apology in her eyes. He smiled and nodded in understanding.

When Bella drifted away from the table, a middle-aged woman took her spot. Carrying a goblet of red wine, she regarded Jonathan with unhidden speculation and more than a touch of hauteur when she asked, “You are?”

"Jonathan Santini.”

In an instant her attitude graduated from haughty to ice-cold. That left him confused; he’d never met her before.

“Santini. Would Carlos Santini be your father?”

Oh yes, he thought. Here we go. This woman knew his dad, the scrappy, opinionated, tough-minded businessman and former union boss.

Life experience had taught Jonathan to remain smooth and calm in the face of hostility. Further, he refused to ever hurt or offend Grandma Rach, so he regarded the woman politely. “That’s right, yes. You would be?”

“Isabella’s mother,” she answered with succinct cool. “My name is Emily Alfano.”

Rachel gave her daughter-in-law a quelling look. “Em, did you know that my Jonathan here is attending Columbia Law School? In his spare time, he’s been helping me out at the store. I wouldn’t make it without him. He’s a God-send.”

Jonathan took Rachel’s soft, gnarled hand in his and held it firm. “Labor of love, Grandma Rach.”

Emily, however, remained stoic and unswayed from a suspicious demeanor. “Interesting style of help you’ve recruited for the Deli, Mom. I hope you keep as close an eye on him as he does on you.”

Rachel’s mouth went taut, her lips pressed tight as she glared at Emily. Jonathan addressed his next comment solely to Rachel. “I’ll be back for a visit shortly.” But before he walked away he couldn’t resist looking once more at Isabella’s mother. “Mrs. Alfano, I’m glad to have met you. Enjoy the evening.”

Jonathan’s struggle to remain proper evaporated once he left. He clenched his jaw and strode toward the bar. Right about now something cold, and preferably spiked, was definitely in order.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Everybody Loves A Winner!!!


My month-long blog tour to announce the arrival of Hearts Surrender has come to a close, and I'm delighted to announce the prize winners! These are folks who left comments at one of the wonderful blogs I visited this past month! Prizes were awarded, via e-mail and blog notice, just a little while ago. Hope you enjoy!

Drum-roll please!!!!!

Miss Mae - $10 to White Rose Publishing - For visiting Regina Andrews blog!!
Rebecca Booth - $10 to - For visiting the Inspirational E Books blog!!
Rebeka Stowe - Autographed copy of Hearts Surrender - For visiting Tanya Stowe's blog!!

Congratulations, Miss Mae, Rebecca and Rebeka - and thanks to everyone who paid visits, offered love, support and encouragement. It means far more than these mere gifts can ever express.

Until next time ~ Blessings!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Hearts Surrender Tour!

Throughout the month of September, I'm blog touring to announce and support the release of Hearts Surrender. Join me, won't you, at the following locations? Those who comment on any of the blogs listed below will be entered in a contest to win:

1. A $10 gift certificate to White Rose Publishing

2. A $10 gift certificate to

3. An autographed print edition of Hearts Surrender

The three winners will be announced here on September 30th at the end of the tour - so stay tuned!

JoAnn Carter
September 03 2010

Dawn Roberto (Love Romances & More)
September 06 2010

Regina Andrews
September 07 2010

Robin Bayne
September 08 2010

Mary Manners
September 09 2010

Holly Hewson (The Romance Studio)

Clare Revell
September 11 2010

Therese Travis
September 13 2010

Tanya Stowe
September 15 2010

Gina Welborn
September 15 2010

Delia Latham
September 17 2010

Mary Eason
September 18 2010

Casey Herringshaw
September 20 2010

Book Discussion-White Rose Readers Group
September 20-24 2010

Carol Ann Erhardt
September 29 2010

Shawna Williams

Each comment earns you an entry, and here's a bonus - comment here, and that counts as well!!

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy Hearts Surrender! It's an awesome story of finding love and God's grace in the most unlikely - but wonderful - of places!

God bless!

Friday, August 6, 2010

I want you to meet some friends of mine...

First off, say hello to Jeremy Edwards and Monica Kittelski:

Jeremy “JB” Edwards dreams of one thing: Having a loving wife and children of his own. Not a surprising ambition, since he was raised at the heart of a large, tight-knit family.

Monica Kittelski spends her days at Sunny Horizons Daycare Center pouring her heart and faith into other people’s children. But Monica harbors one impossible dream: Having children of her own someday.

JB and Monica seem the perfect match, but what will come of their electric, sassy relationship when Jeremy learns of Monica's infertility?

Hopes and reality collide when they must confront the idea of finding God's plan and following His will when a dearest hope is destined to remain unfulfilled.

Can these two loving, passionate hearts survive a communion of dreams and reality?

Hearts Communion, Coming Soon from White Rose Publishing!


Next, I’d love to introduce you to Tyler Brock and Amy Maxwell (oh...and that adorable little pixie, Pyper, too!):

A chorus of faith sung in the key of second chances.

Life hasn't been kind to Amy Maxwell. Once, the effervescent leader of the pack, her marriage should have been perfect. Instead, she escaped with nothing but the clothes on her back and her daughter, Pyper.

Tyler Brock is dazzling. The once shy teen has evolved into a powerhouse in Christian music, and when he returns to Woodland for a benefit concert, Amy can’t believe he is as faithful and tender as ever. He even manages to touch the heart of a doubtful Pyper.

But, Amy can’t escape her own self-doubt, and she questions the wisdom of her heart when it comes to the charismatic musician who is so different now, yet so much the same.

Can the key to their hearts unlock a lifetime of love?

Hearts Key, Coming Soon from White Rose Publishing!


These beloved characters of mine comprise books three and four of the Woodland Series, and they’re coming very soon to White Rose Publishing! The Woodland Series takes its name from the church, and characters, you first met in Hearts Crossing. Readers and reviewers asked for a sequel to Hearts Crossing, and I’m thrilled to be able to deliver on that request through an extraordinary publisher of Christian romance.

Book two, Hearts Surrender, releases in just a few weeks, on September 3rd! I’m so eager to share this story with you! Hearts Surrender, the story of Woodlands pastor, and the woman who claims his heart, will be available in both print and electronic formats via White Rose Publishing and

Rest assured, each book in the Woodland Series stands alone as a touching, heart-stealing romance, but when you connect the storylines, from Hearts Crossing onward, I think you’ll find yourself carried away into a church family, and the lives of characters you won’t soon forget.

So dive on in! Join the Woodland family of faith, and fall in love…again, and again!

~ Woodland Church...nourishing faith, nurturing love! ~

Until next time, blessings!!


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Long & Short Reviews!

Hi, everyone!

Long & Short Romance is celebrating its third anniversary - and I'm one of the party hosts! The gifts, however, are all yours! Participate in a scavenger hunt where LASR is giving away THREE Nook eBook Readers, along with a $50 gift certificate. Bonus? The Nook comes pre-loaded with dozens of romance and juvenile fiction current release, Hearts Crossing, included!

All you have to do is "Find Marianne's NOOK!!" It's somewhere on my website,
Here's a hint: Think about...uhm...stuff I have coming up in the future - LOL!
Find my nook, and then fill out the form you'll find on the entry toggle below! It's that easy! What are you waiting for? Click, and go huntin'!!! Have fun, and good luck!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oh, the glamour of business travel...

I'll be the first to admit it. When I hear about friends and colleagues who jet off to big cities on business trips, there's a part of me that thinks:"Gee. How fun. How glamorous..." You fly in, check in at what will most likely be a very comfortable hotel, accomplish some business goals, have a nice dinner, mix and mingle with people you may have only known through cyberspace or phone calls...sounds good right?

Sure it does.

Let me share the 'glamorous' story of my recent business trip to Chicago.

My plane departed at 7 am, so I arose at the horrific hour of 4 am to be sure I got there on time. Delays in getting a shuttle from the parking area to the terminal ate up a bit of the extra time I had built in, but no worries. Until I checked in at security, that is.

The 7 o'clock hour heralds the first morning flights to most major cities along the east coast from Detroit, so security was an absolute madhouse. After an hour in line, and a mad dash to the gate, I boarded the plane. Just barely.

Arrival in Chicago was uneventful, and actually quite fun, as the city skyline came into view. I had met up with a colleague from Ohio and we made our way to the Midwest headquarters of our company. We checked in at the security desk of the office building, and that's when problem number one came up. I lost my drivers license.

I had it when I went through security, and I slid it into my tote bag after that, so all I can figure is it came out when I was reading a book on the plane and I didn't even realize it.

Frantic calls to the airport, to the TSA, offered up only voicemail recordings. I finally connected to a human being who told me the documents I'd need to get home the following day. He also warned me to be prepared for a "slightly longer security check" on departure. Fine, I thought, as long as I get home.

Issue settled for now, I met up with my colleagues for - yes - a very glamorous dinner at the Signature Room, on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building. Outstanding views!! Wonderful atmosphere and food! After that, I literally sank into bed and was out before my head hit the pillow.

The next day we concluded our business activities and headed to the airport with plenty of time to spare (and get me through security without a photo ID...!) It only took an extra 15 or 20 minutes, and I had plenty of time, but the TSA team was thorough. They opened and searched my overnight carry-on. They emptied and searched my tote and purse, and even took apart my phone. They were nice, but very businesslike. And, since I had nothing to hide and was very eager to simply be aboard my plane, that was fine by me. I didn't even object to the full pat-down in the plexiglass security/holding pen...
However - I shouldn't have been in such a hurry.
I boarded the plane, pulled out my book to read (after making sure nothing fell out! LOL!) and the crew buttoned up the aircraft and we pulled away from the gate.
And stopped.
The captain came on, informing we were under a full ground stop at O'Hare due to severe, late afternoon storm systems moving through the Midwest. We'd be stopped for, at minimum, an hour and a half, but perhaps as long as two and a half hours. A sense of claustrophobia set in almost instantly. They kept the air running, but it wasn't very cool, and we were asked to close our window shades to further aid in keeping the cabin cool. Mid-July in the Midwest is typically humid and sunny - and late afternoon storm systems like this happen frequently - but I couldn't get over the idea of feeling trapped, and hemmed in.
I worked hard to distract myself with e-mails from my BlackBerry, reading, chatting with my seatmate, I even tried to write, though, to be honest, though I had a scene idea in mind, I just couldn't focus to that degree.
Thankfully after an hour and a half on the tarmac, we were cleared to take off. Just less than an hour later I was back home - drained and exhausted and eager for nothing but comfy clothes and fresh, cool air!! Added bonus? I had a trip to the Secretary of State in my future!
It sounds horrible - and, yeah, parts of it were, but it was also beneficial to me, fun, and just a small taste of that glamour I always thought about when hearing about business travel. Now, however, I understand more clearly when those who travel frequently on business tend to warn: "It's okay - but it's not as alluring as you'd think."
Be blessed everyone - and see you next time!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Dreamed a Dream...

And White Rose Publishing is making it come true!

When I made the switch from writing secular romances to writing Christian inspirationals earlier this year, one of the factors that motivated me was the idea of creating a series of books based upon a single place of faith and worship – a church not unlike millions of others around the world, where people gather, bond, share and grow. After all, as we grow, we help and enable others to grow.

In book form I longed to paint that picture with words and stories that would, of course, feature a stirring romance, but reveal the beauty of a circle of faith and worship.

As most of you know, Hearts Crossing, my debut Christian inspirational, came about as the result of a writing contest sponsored by White Rose Publishing. While I waited and sweated the results, a second story took off – and I even had niggles of what I wanted to do with books three and four. Ultimately, I could see these stories becoming “The Woodland Series.” Though – bear in mind – I hadn’t gone anywhere with Hearts Crossing yet…

Talk about dangerous “prepare thee for disappointment” territory…

Well, nothing is dangerous when it comes to God, and His will. Shortly after the sale and debut of Hearts Crossing, I was able to present my editor with its sequel, Hearts Surrender. In that offering I explained that I also had ideas brewing for two more books after that.

She reviewed Hearts Surrender, and placed it under contract – and she asked for a synopsis and opening chapters of books 3 and 4, which I provided. I cloud danced for a bit, then got to work! Now, contracts have just been executed for Hearts Communion and Hearts Key, and I'm thrilled! Although, it hasn’t taken me long to figure out that it’s an exciting kind of terror to write on speculation.

So, a dream becomes reality – and beyond the Woodland Series, I’m very optimistic about my continuing relationship with White Rose Publishing. This publishing house holds my heart and loyalty. They do things the right way with regard to everything from author support and responsiveness to editorial talent and production quality. I feel so blessed and honored by this show of confidence as White Rose continues to grow and prosper.

There's much more to come, naturally! But for now, please enjoy the stunning cover for Hearts Surrender (artist Nicola Martinez absolutely outdid herself!). Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on Hearts Communion and Hearts Key. Please keep these efforts in your prayers. We need messages of faith, hope and love in today’s world! I've said it before, but I'll say it again: It's not about 'me' and 'books sold' - it's about honoring my God, and my beliefs in Him, His grace, mercy, provision and love.

For a bit more about Hearts Surrender, here’s a blurb:

Kiara Jordan is a sophisticated modernista, but beneath an engaging personality and super-model looks, her heart hungers, and she longs for deeper meaning in her life.

Ken Lucerne is the charismatic young pastor of Woodland Church; he's adjusting to life on his own following the death of his wife and copes by keeping as busy with parish life and mission work he can.

A home-building mission in Pennsylvania brings them together, and forces them to look hard and deep at the relationship they share, and where God means for it to go. Already bound by mutual respect and caring, love dawns, a love that takes them to a life-point neither would have expected.

After all, can a chic, vivacious woman find fulfillment within the quiet, mission-centered life of a clergyman? Can they trust God's hand strongly enough to surrender their hearts to one another…forever?

Blessings, friends!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

And the Winner Is.....

Mary McCall!

Mary, you've won an autographed, print edition of Hearts Crossing!! Look for an e-mail so we can exchange info!

To those who stopped by, and commented, both here and at the White Roses in Bloom Blog, I thank you for your support and encouragement. Hearing your stories and individual testimonies is a blessing.

Just days after my blog post, I received a completely unexpected but most welcomed Google alert that Long and Short Reviews had given Hearts Crossing a 4.5 Books rating! Amazing, from such a highly respected review site! Furthermore, I'm nominated for "Book of the Week!" Voting Starts Saturday, and I'll be posting links all over the place, so watch for it. I'd love to earn your vote!

Nice thing is, White Rose Publishing has TWO books in contention for Book of the Week at LASR - Hearts Crossing and Nicola Beaumont's fantastic kick-off to the WRP Christian Gothic line, a novella entitled: Into the Grae! I've read it, and it's fantastic. So, in honesty, I don't care who wins, but giving White Rose authors a strong vote of support would be just great.

I want to see the Inspys do well! There's so much hope and love to find out there in the genre of Christian Romance.

Thanks again, gang - and Blessings!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'll Give a Little...So You Get a Lot!

It's not about me. It's not about making book sales, or gaining New York Times acclaim. My most recent writing ventures, and successes, are centered on being a disciple. It's about using my time and talents in the way God calls.

But here's the quandary of adopting that attitude in our modern, explicit, 'life by titillation' culture: Many people equate Christian fiction, and sweet, Christian romance in particular, as being dry. Or, worse yet: self-righteous and preachy.

I want to dispel that idea as best I can in my little corner of the universe. How am I doing that? By giving a little, to make a bigger impact. I'm offering a chance to find out, for free, that those perceptions couldn't be farther from the truth. I want to do my part to foster changes in attitude and opinion, because the more inspy fiction I read, the more I enjoy both the quality, and content. These are realistic stories, featuring heros and heroines you can relate to, facing life's challenges wherein sometimes they stumble and fall, yet always, in the end, find the helping hand of God and a richly rewarding love story.

Hearts Crossing, as most of you know, is my debut as a Christian Inspirational author. I'm very proud of this work, and am forever grateful to White Rose Publishing and my gifted editor, Nicola Martinez, for blessing me with the chance to see this story released. Hearts Crossing carries with it a message of love, faith and a redemptive mercy that, to my mind, is desperately needed in today's world.

But I want to put my convictions where my mouth is. Check out the link in my story title and read a brief excerpt, and the blurb. See if it hooks you in. You might also check out the character interview section to find out more about Collin Edwards, the hero of Hearts Crossing. If you're intrigued, then leave me a comment. From there I'll chose someone to receive an autographed print edition. The winner will be announced on Friday, June 11th - so check back in and see if you win!

What have you got to lose? Go ahead and give it a try! After all, like I said, it's not about me, it's about Him. Experience the smart, real, humorous and even heart-tugging way Christian Romance can hook you in, and leave you not just pleasantly surprised by the content, but uplifted and affirmed as well. My bet is you'll be back to White Rose Publishing, and the 'new age' of Christian inspirational romances for even more!

Until next time - Blessings ~


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Welcome, Delia Latham!

Today's post is a special treat here at the "Minute" blog! I want to tell you about my friend and fellow "White Rose" author Delia Latham. Delia is a wonderful talent in the world of Christian romance, so I wanted to introduce you to her, and let you know about her new release, Yesterday's Promise, from White Rose Publishing.

Here's a bit about Delia, so you can get to know her better:

Delia is a born and-bred California gal, recently transplanted to Oklahoma where she lives with her husband Johnny. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend—but above all, she treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. Delia enjoys big, loud, happy family gatherings and quieter times with just her own four children and grandchildren. She loves to play piano and sing, read, drink in the natural beauty of her surroundings, design marketing products for authors, and write. Delia’s inspirational novel, Goldeneyes, was released in March 2008. Yesterday’s Promise released through White Rose Publishing in March 2010. A children’s book, Adam’s Wings, will be available in December 2010. Find out more about this author and her books at

To draw you into the world of Yesterday's Promise, here's an overview, and excerpt - followed by my review and details on an exciting contest that's being held in conjunction with Delia's blog tour!


A spur of the moment wedding near Bridalveil Fall.
A young bride who awakens the morning after to find her new husband gone with the mountain wind.

Songbird Hannah Johns supports the child born of that ill-fated union by signing in a dinner lounge. Her dream of someday owning the elite establishment and turning it into a venue more suited to her Christian values is shattered when an unexpected transaction places it in the hands of Brock Ellis, the handsome biker who abandoned her in their honeymoon suite.

Ensuing sparks fly high, revealing buried secrets and forgotten pasts. Seeking to find peace with her painful past, Hannah returns to Yosemite, and Brock follows hard on her heels. Back where it all began, she finds herself in danger of losing her heart yet again to the man who shattered it the first time around.


Gazing in dismay at the tattered strips of rubber hanging from her right front wheel, Hannah shuddered. "Whatever a smithereen is, that's what I think this thing is blown to."

Dutifully opening the trunk, she stared down at the spare tire. There it lay, right where it was supposed to be. Tentatively she poked it with one finger. Now what was she supposed to do with it?

The warm late-June air did little to relieve the chill spreading throughout her nervous system. Miserably, she berated herself for ever thinking she could pull off a trip like this on her own. Just look at where her little streak of independence had gotten her: Here she sat, all alone at the side of the road with a crippled car on her hands. She barely knew how to fill the fuel tank, much less change a flat tire. And who knew what kind of deranged person might stop and offer to "help"?

At the thought, one shaky hand flew to her lips. "Oh, God, be with me!" The frightened, whispered prayer came from the depths of her soul.

Hurrying back to the driver's door, she slid behind the wheel, where she hurried to raise the convertible top, roll up the windows and lock both doors. Her heart trip-hammered as she recalled in full detail every horror story she'd ever heard about lone women attacked at the side of the road by sadistic human monsters.

Allowing her head to sag wearily against the steering wheel, Hannah did what she always did in desperate times.

"God, I'm in trouble. I don't have a clue how to change a tire. I really need Your help this time, Lord. Won't you send someone along that I can trust?"

The roar of an engine outside her window brought her head up. She wasn't even aware of the tears on her cheeks.

Several yards ahead of the mustang, a man dressed in solid black dismounted a huge Harley-Davidson motorcycle and reached up to remove a shiny black helmet.

God were You even listening? I asked for someone I can trust!


Without even realizing it at first, Hannah Johns holds the key to unlocking a number of troubling ‘blank spots’ in Brock Ellis’ mind – and heart. Their whirlwind marriage and his subsequent abandonment of Hannah, possess the answers to a series of events in Brock’s past that weave a complex, relationship-driven conflict. This is a story I thoroughly enjoyed, and definitely kept me turning the pages.

An added bonus to Yesterday’s Promise is the authentic, loving portrait Delia Latham paints of Yosemite. I love it when a skilled author places a reader deep into a setting without overwhelming the book with too much detail.

I was won by the struggles Brock confronts both in his memory loss, and an embattled relationship with God. I also found Hannah to be a most admirable heroine – fully devoted to her son and her and the manner in which Hannah asserts herself as a heroine of the first order – using smart logic, her head and her heart, to help Brock , and herself, move past pain, and into a life-long love as well as a renewal of faith.

Five stars, Delia – very well done!


Delia’s on the move until the end of the month – and she’s giving away two $10 gift certificates to White Rose Publishing at the end of her blog tour. Winners will be drawn from the comments left at the blogs during this 3-week event. So, when you comment, be sure to leave your e-mail address so Delia can connect to you if you win. Every comment generates one entry, so follow her on the schedule I’ve provided below to increase your chances!

Delia, congratulations again on the release of Yesterday's Promise - and best of success to you!!

Tori Close
a Merciful Heart
Shirley Kiger Connolly
A Pen for Your Thoughts
Angie Breidenbach
God Uses Broken Vessels
Teresa Slack
Joy in the Journey
Come Meet AusJenny
Sharon Ball
A Break from the Norm
Kara Hunt
Fiction with Faith
TRS Blog (Guest Post)
TRS Blog
Vickie Price Taylor
Write Along the Way
JoAnn Carter
White Roses in Bloom
Robin Bayne
Between Sundays
Carla Stewart
Carla's Writing Café
Miralee Ferrell
Coming Home
Susan Holloway
Journeys of Love…Inspired by Faith

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Livin' the "BIG"GBY Life!

Sometimes, the hardest step to take is the first one.
Here's the scoop. I want so very much for my current release, Hearts Crossing, to reach, and touch, as many 'hearts' as possible (pardon the pun!). After all, isn't that the point of writing? Of sweating and agonizing over each detail of the novels we create?
When White Rose Publishing, my fantastic authorial home, enabled print copies of novellas, I jumped at the chance to be able to offer both electronic and print versions of this contest winning story. However, beyond that, I wanted to promote. We want to reach readers.
So, after hearing about the success people had at coffee house signings, I thought: Hey, I could do that! I love coffee, I love getting folks together, I love sharing my work...
But then came shyness. Then came doubts and insecurity. I mean, really. Me? Who wants surrender part of a gorgeous spring Saturday in Michigan (after enough rain to float a boat!) to visit with an author and simply buy a book?
Then came an epiphany - something that should have occurred to me much earlier. Promoting, signings - they're not about me. They're about my work - a book I believe in with all my heart. That's what I'm asking people to take note of and support, not me.

That mental adjustment gave me just enough courage to put together a promotional piece, some business cards, and go to my local Biggby Coffee Shop and ask if they might be interested in letting me camp out at a table for a few hours and have a book signing.
I was overwhelmed by their response. Not only did they welcome the chance to have a local author conduct a signing at their shop, they promoted it on Facebook and Twitter (just like I did on my own sites...), they broadcast a promotional PowerPoint presentation I put together on their big-screen TV's, and were incredibly gracious as folks came in!
I gave away a Biggby Gift Card (Congrats Christy Ciaramitaro!!) and a Gift Certificate to White Rose Publishing (Congrats Suzanne Calvano!!) and so many great friends, family and fans came out!! Here are some pictures from the event - and for any subsequent publications, you can bet I'll be setting up signings at Biggby Coffee in the future.
Remember - it's all about the BOOK! I was nervous at the start, and as I set it up, but executing and enjoy the day was really fun, and was well worth the shaky steps forward into self-promotion.
Thanks for letting me share my excitement about a very successful and tremendously fun event! I feel so blessed!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Finding Your Writer Self Through the Movie Finding Forrester

Happy weekend, everyone - and debuting now? Part 2 of finding your writer-self via the wisdom of the movie Finding Forrester! I've enjoyed diving into this movie very much. Following are some more thought provoking ideas and circumstances from the movie that truly hit home with me as a writer:
Forrester (to Jamal): Do you know what the absolute best moment is? When you've finished your first draft, and you read it by yourself. Before these editors take something they couldn't do in a lifetime and tear it down in a single day.

Forrester (to Jamal): Crawford cannot understand how a black kid from the Bronx can write the way you do.


(Following is one of my FAVORITE scenes!! A classroom confrontation between Professer Crawford, Jamal, and a student with the last name of Coleridge! GO JAMAL!)

Crawford – in class, lecturing: In looking at this book quotation, what, if any conclusions, might we be able to draw?

Coleridge, a student Crawford called on: You mean about the author?

Crawford: About anything, Mr. Colerdige….and, feel free to view this as the appropriate time for a response.

Coleridge: Er….

Crawford: Mr. Coleridge, “Er” does not excuse the fact that you don't know who wrote it.

Coleridge: I'm sorry, sir, I just don't...

Crawford: And you, of all people, should know who wrote that passage. Do you know why, Mr. Coleridge? I repeat: Do you know why?

Wallace (quietly to Coleridge): Just say your name, man.

Crawford (overhearing): Excuse me, Mr. Wallace - did you have something to contribute?

Wallace: I just said that he should say his name.

Crawford: And why would it be helpful for Mr. Coleridge to say his name?

Wallace: Because that's who wrote it. His great-grandfather.

Crawford: Very good, Mr. Wallace. Perhaps your skills extend a bit farther than basketball.
You may be seated, Mr. Coleridge.

Wallace: Further.

Crawford: Excuse me?

Wallace: You said my skills extend "farther" than the basketball court. “Farther" relates to distance. “Further" is a definition of degree. You should have said "further."

Crawford: Are you challenging me?

Wallace: No more than you challenged Coleridge.

Crawford: Then perhaps the challenge should have been directed elsewhere. (quoting)
"It is a melancholy truth that even...

Wallace (interrupting): "Great men have poor relations." That’s from Dickens.

Crawford (quoting): "You will hear the beat of..."

Wallace (interrupting): Kipling.

Crawford (quoting): "All great truths begin..."

Wallace (interrupting): Shaw.

Crawford (quoting): "Man is the only animal...”

Wallace (interrupting): “That blushes - or needs to." Mark Twain.

Crawford: Get out!


Forrester (to Jamal): You did nothing wrong. You just beat him at his own game. You have a gift that should allow you to do remarkable things in life. That is, if you don't screw it up...


Wallace (to Forrester): What's the reason for having a locked file cabinet of writing no one can ever read?


Jamal’s Brother (Handing an envelope to Forrester): It’s from Jamal. He wrote that for you.

Forrester: When?

Jamal’s Brother: Last night. After the game. He's going back to that school this morning. Going to face Crawford, and the rest of those people about the contest. It's funny. They always let you get just so far before taking everything away. He's such a good kid, man.


(The following scene never failes to give me chills - this scene, and the confrontation between Jamal and Crawford are worth the price of the DVD!)
Forrester (Entering Crawford's classroom): Professor Crawford. May I read a few words?

Crawford: Yes, of course, by all means.

Forrester (Now addressing the class): My name is William Forrester. The title of this piece is:
Losing Family. ‘Losing family obliges us to find our family. Not always the family that is our blood, but the family that can become our blood…’ (continues reading, to an enraptured class)

Crawford: Mr. Forrester, I'm sure I speak on behalf of everyone in thanking you for this visit. The quality of your words is something we should all aspire to reach. May I ask to what do we owe this honor?

Forrester: Professor Crawford, I spoke here today only because a friend of mine wasn't allowed to. A friend who had the integrity to protect my anonymity when I was unwilling to protect him. His name is Jamal Wallace. Those words that I read today - I didn't write them. Jamal Wallace did.

President/MC BoT: Jamal, these are your words? At sixteen? Remarkable. Mr. Wallace, you’re excused from Monday’s Board Meeting. This situation has been more than satisfactorily resolved.


Wallace: So where are you off to?

Forrester: Well, I have a homeland I haven't seen for too long.

Wallace: Hey…be sure to write.

Be sure to write.
At the end of the day, as authors we need to always keep that in mind, no matter what the obstacles, opinions, and intervention of others. Keep pushing to be the best we can.
Isn't that a great lesson? For writing, and for life?
Thanks for stopping by - and let me know your thoughts!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Everything I needed to know about writing...I learned from Finding Forrester

Today's blog? And the next few that follow? I'm delving into the psyche of a writer - and the process of writing, and writing well. Obviously, given my background, this is a topic about which I am passionate. This movie captures the essence of writing so beautifully - and I highly, highly recommend. In fact, if you haven't seen it, run, don't walk, to the closest rental shop!!

To begin - of course - every writer's nightmare -- the "Synopsis:"

Jamal Wallace is an inner-city kid who is great at basketball, but a genius at writing. Despite just adequate grades, Jamal comes to the attention of a prestigious New York prep school. Both Jamal and the school know that the real reason they took him on is for his prowess on the basketball court. Befriended by Pulitzer-prize winning author and recluse William Forrester, Jamal pursues his dreams both on and off the court while overcoming obstacles placed in his way by a bitter literature teacher. The friendship between Jamal and William Forrester leads to William to overcome a reclusive life and Jamal to overcome racial prejudices and pursue his true dream - writing.

What follows are quotes from the movie that, to me, say it all - about writing, and even life - with its myriad of challenges:


Wallace: What's it feel like? Writing something the way you did.

Forrester: Perhaps you'll find out.


Forrester (to Jamal): Why is it the words we write for ourselves are always so much better than the words we write for others?


Forrester (to Jamal): Thinking comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The key to writing is to write, not think!


Forrester (to Jamal): There's something you should know about Robert Crawford. He wrote a book. All the publishers rejected it, which was the right decision. But instead of writing another one, he took a job teaching other people how to write. So remember – bitterly disappointed teachers can either be very effective – or very dangerous.


Wallace: Why does a guy like you waste his time reading The National Enquirer? You should be reading The New York Times or something.

Forrester: I read The Times for dinner. This is my dessert.


Wallace: They got some writing contest at school. You ever enter one of those? A writing contest?

Forrester: Yeah. Once. A long time ago.

Wallace: Did you win?

Forrester: Well, of course I won.

Wallace: What – like money or something?

Forrester: No. The Pulitzer.


Wallace: They make all the students read their contest entries in front of everyone.

Forrester: What the hell's that got to do with writing? Writers write so that readers can read.

Wallace: You ever read your own book?

Forrester: In public like that? Hell, no. I barely read it in private.


President/Mailor-Callow School: You don't think he wrote it? That's a serious accusation, Robert.

Crawford: I'm aware of how serious it is. It's remarkable work.

President/MC BoT: Maybe he just needed direction.

Crawford: He's a basketball player. From the Bronx.

President/MC BoT: Have you considered that he might just be that good?

Crawford: Not this good.


There's more to come in a couple days - hope you enjoy! Let me know your thoughts about the mind of a writer!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm fairly new to the world of e-publishing, and the nuances of promoting an e-pub novel - but I'm trying to learn fast. This weekend I got my first review from a review site, and found out I was fortunate enough to win nomination in a book trailer award at (feel free to vote for Hearts Crossing, if you're so inclined!).

Anyway, I'm delighted by the review, and the trailer nomination - but the trailer nod made me think. Naturally, the most important thing, to me, about Hearts Crossing is what's between its covers, not just the way it's promoted. After all, solid writing is what's going to win reader's hearts and loyalty - nothing else. And that's exactly what I want - to touch souls and bring them closer to God by the power of (what I pray will be!) a great, romantic story.

Still, I got to thinking about trailers, and their impact on whether or not I'll read a book, or see a movie. And I have to say, this self-analysis led me to realize, trailers pack a lot of punch! My most current favorite, and the movie I simply "MUST" see once it comes out, based solely on the trailer, is "Letters to Juliet"

The romance writer in me cannot wait to see this movie. Meantime, the realist in me wonders: Will it live up to what seems to be an incredible, heart-touching love story? I sure do hope so!! It hooked me in. I'll be gonig to see that movie the weekend it releases....based solely on the power of its trailer. Now that's impact.

How about you? What do you think??? What are your thoughts/opinions? I'm eager to know!
Now to the good stuff!! A promo of my own to hopefully entice you to read Hearts Crossing and follow my progress via this blog!
Leave a comment and become a follower of this blog and you'll be entered to win a gorgeous print edition of Hearts Crossing from White Rose Publishing! It's just that easy. Comment, follow, then you're in the drawing! The winner will be announced on Friday the 26th - and hopefully I'll have good news to share about the trailer competition at YGR! :-)



Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award -- A Minute With Marianne Has Won!

Thank you, fellow author E.A. West for giving my blog this award!

However, accepting the "Lovely" award comes with responsibility! I now have the honor and privilege of passing it on to others. Those who have won, here are the rules:

Accept the award, then post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, along with their blog link. Pass the award to 10 other blogs that you enjoy. (Okay, so 10 can be a lot to come up with! Pass it on to as many bloggers as you can, up to 10. I'm passing it on to 7.) Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

And so, I pass this award on to these truly deserving blogs. I hope you will check each one of them out!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Minute with

You enter the restaurant and scope out an early-evening crowd that already packs the tables and booths at 220 Merrill, the swanky, upscale eatery located in downtown Birmingham, Michigan.

You spot your party and grin, looking forward to fun and gossip. You step up as Kiara Jordan sips from a wine goblet, half-filled with chilled chardonnay. On approach, you overhear her sigh, and say with unmistakable affection:

“…I swear. I love her to pieces, but sometimes Marianne is just so ridiculous! It’s silly to be shy about sharing a great love story with the world, right? … Oh! Hi!”

Kiara spots you and stands, sliding out gracefully from the intimate corner booth. She beams a from-the-heart smile, greeting you with an enthusiastic hug.

“Sit down! I’m so glad you made it!”

“Am I late?” You ask, joining the table of a half-dozen or so friends who send up cheery salutations as well.

“Not a bit.” Kiara sits back down. Along with everyone else, she resumes snacking on hor douvres. A rolling hum of conversation fills the air, as does the aroma of roasting meats and savory spices. Wait staff, dressed in traditional black and white, move smoothly past. You order your drink of choice, and settle in, grabbing a chunk of perfectly prepared bruschetta. Then some risotto balls.

You don’t want to be behind the times, so you lean into the conversation at hand, continue to munch on some delectables, and beseech: “So fill me in, Kiara – tell me what’s going on with Daveny and Collin! From what I understand, those two are amazing!”

"Are they ever! I love those two! Talk about a God-ordained couple..."

On that heartfelt declaration, Kiara wastes no time launching into a full report.

“You see, here's the thing. Marianne documented their story in Hearts Crossing, but I’ve been Daveny’s best friend since college. I’ve worked with her ever since she opened the doors of Montgomery Landscaping – and I’ve never seen Daveny so swept away, so captivated by a wonderful man…and Collin – well – let me just say, despite their tribulations, I wish I could find a man just like him…"


"How do you feel about God, Collin?"

"I don't."

Collin Edwards, a former parishioner at Woodland Church of Christ, has renounced God without apology, his faith drained away in the face of a tragic loss.

Daveny Montgomery cares deeply about her relationship with God, and the community of woodland. Lately she's been in a rut, longing for something to reignite her spiritual enthusiasm.

A beautificiation project at Woodland seems the answer for them both. Daveny spearheads the effort and Collin assists, but only with the renovations, and only because he wants to know Daveny better. Despite his deepening feelings for her, even stepping into the common areas of the church stirs tension and anger.

Can Daveny trust in Collin's fledgling return to faith? And can Collin ever accept the fact that while he turned his back on God, God never turned his back on him?


Wistful sighs course the table. One participant asks: "So what happens next? Tell me more!"

Like an imp, Kiara just grins, then helps herself to some calamari - perfectly prepared. A handsome and solicitous waiter asks if a refill is necessary on Kiara's nearly empty wine goblet. Completely enthralled by the story, she negligently refuses his offer. Meanwhile, he lingers, watching her with unabashed longing. Several of your tablemates share knowing grins. Kiara's a knock-out, yet has no realization of her impact.

So, the hostess with the mostess continues, excited and thrilled for her dearest friend...


The closer he got to Woodland Church, the more Collin's tension increased. He faced that fact without flinching, and without apologizing.

He couldn't help the sense of anger he felt whenever he considered matters of faith, so he didn't try to stem the tide. Helping his mom is what mattered, and the thought kept Collin centered as he turned off Jefferson Avenue and into the church parking lot.


The single word exclamation was Collin's instinctive reaction upon seeing the church. Grounds were torn up in large spots and contractors worked at the open sores. He slowed his truck to a stop next to a series of graders, haulers and a semi presently swarmed by what he assumed were church volunteers.

He hopped down from the cab and released the back latch, looking for a person who might be deemed the project leader.

The fact that he stopped to stare drew the attention of a by-passer, who called affably, “Need some help?”

“Delivery. Can you point me to the right person?”

“That’d be Daveny. She’ll get you taken care of. Follow me over.”

They crossed the lot and closed in on a cluster of folks who were in scrubby clothes, water bottles and gardening tools in hand. At the center stood a slender, petite woman wearing jeans and a lime green t-shirt. They stepped up and Collin realized she was in the process of assigning volunteers to designated sections of the church grounds.

During a pause, Collin's escort spoke up. “Daveny, this gentleman brought us some supplies.”

“Perfect. Thanks, Gabe.”

With that, she turned. Collin's world tilted when her gaze lifted to his in greeting. Something overwhelming and instantly captivating swept through him like wind song when she smiled.

“Hi, I'm Daveny Montgomery.”

Collin stumbled over his own name, stalling out while he stared at her. There was a purity he sensed – elusive and instantly haunting.

“Collin Edwards,” he finally managed, taking hold of her extended hand. Firm grip, he realized, soft as silk skin. Nice.

Suddenly, he didn't want to leave. Not quite yet anyway.


The evening continues amidst laughter and fun. Table candles flicker and glow, illuminating the space around you. At that point, at long last, Marianne enters the scene and slides into place next to Kiara, asking, "What have I missed?"

The entire table of friends erupts into laughter.

"Oh...nothing..." Kiara answers, sharing a wink with the group at large.

Meanwhile, you notice the way Marianne casts a calculating glance at the willowy, super-model chic woman who hosts the evening's festivities. You can almost see the wheels turning. Perhaps Marianne is considering: Wouldn't paybacks be fun? Wouldn't Kiara be knocked out of sight by starring in a love story of her very own...?