Friday, December 30, 2011

My Two Tanyas!

I can't wait to introduce you to two remarkable women: Tanya Hanson and Tanya Stowe. These lovely--and very talented--ladies write for White Rose Publishing, and their friendship is precious to me.

They both have new releases out, and I'm using today's post to give you a glimpse!

First, let me tell you about Tanya Hanson's book, Right to Bragg. This is her latest installment in the award winning Hearts Crossing Ranch series:


Disowned by her family, Tiffany Vickers faces a lonely Christmas and takes great comfort in the baby boy in her care. Her faith is in tatters, and she guards her heart against the baby's uncle, handsome cowboy, Bragg Martin.

It's the season for forgiveness, and while Bragg longs to open his heart and family to the lovely nanny, he doesn't understand her interest in his arch enemy. Saving a man's life and saving Tiffany's faith bring the couple together...and home to Hearts Crossing Ranch.


A storm might be brewing, but all Bragg Martin had left to do on this Friday afternoon was chuck off his boots and settle in for a long winter’s nap. Horses ridden, cattle tended, chores done and year-end accounts worked on, and he’d even gotten the dreaded Christmas shopping over and done with.

After he threw on a load of logs, he sprawled happily on the couch in the ranch house’s big front room. The phone rang. Not a muscle moved. With the giant family he had, there was always somebody else to do things he didn’t really want to.

Like get up and answer it.

But the ugly thing didn’t shut up, and with a groan, he hauled his bones to the land line in Pa’s office. Well, it was his big brother’s office now, but Hooper and his new fiancĂ©e Mallie were off decorating her aunt and uncle’s Christmas tree. He sprawled all over this couch and mumbled into the receiver.

“Hearts Crossing.”

“Who is this? Bragg?” His sister Rachel came over the line, amped up, which wasn’t one whit like her. Her mannerisms were always cool, logical attorney.

“Yep. You OK?” For a flash, some alarm tweaked him.

“Yeah, I just need a favor.”

“All righty.” It was the season of giving, after all.

Relief rattled her voice. “Thank God. Ma and Mrs. Densmore are off on that one-horse-open-sleigh caroling thing with Ella’s kindergarten class.”

Bragg smiled at mention of his little niece.

“And I can’t find Scott.”

“Off shopping.” Bragg sniffed at the poor sap.

“Then it’s you. I need you to go babysit Matty.”

“What?” Babysit Matty? His five-month old nephew? Sure Bragg had been raised by equal-opportunity parents, but babysitting an infant wasn’t exactly stuff for a single guy.

“I’m stuck in Rustic Canyon at a deposition. We’re running late. Chelsea’s with him now, but she’s got a date.”

Their other sister Kelley wasn’t due back in town until Christmas Eve, but he had one more brother to ramrod into the task since the newlywed Pike was still on his honeymoon.

“You got the wrong dude, sis. Get Kenn. He and Christy’ll be having kids of their own someday.”

“No. They’ve got Kenn’s faculty Christmas party. It’s you. You’re the only one left. Please? It’s just until Tiffany gets back.”

He grunted. Last week Rachel’s new paralegal slash au-pair had flirted with him with great enthusiasm at Pike and Daisy’s wedding reception, but downright snubbed him when he asked her out. Not number one on his favorite person list, because things like that just didn’t happen to Bragg Martin.

“So where’s she now?”

“Tiffany asked for a personal day.”

A personal day already? What, after two weeks? He tried hard to wiggle out. “Can’t you find somebody from church? I don’t know how to change a diaper.”

Rachel laughed, so he reckoned she believed he’d caved, and she started her closing arguments. “Now, now. You put the little cloth tee-pee over his you-know-what so he doesn’t shower you. If it’s the other, there’s plenty of wet wipes. Then you tape up the sides of the dy-dee. It’s not rocket science.”


“And there’s plenty of breast milk in little bottles in the fridge…”

That did it. “Raaaaaache…” he wailed.

Rachel ignored him “…to put in the microwave for thirty seconds.”

He groaned. Nothing against nature, but…

His big sister went all attorney, now. “Grow up, Bragg. It looks and works like any other milk. Now, hurry. Chelsea can show you where everything is before she leaves. And sweetie, thanks. I owe you.”

“That you do.” Then he recalled where she was. The icy road from Rustic Canyon could be a hard one in rough weather. “Rache, be careful out there. I think we’ve got a storm coming in.”

He could hear her smile over the line. All his brothers protected their womenfolk no matter how loud the gals roared. “I will, little brother. Nick’s got me the best snow tires there are. And I’ve driven in these parts longer than you. Now, Tiffany should be there by six. You can handle it.”

Or not. Hanging up, spirits dark, he climbed back into his boots. Not that he didn’t just love the little guy to death. But what a time for all his siblings to have their own agendas.

Nobody locked doors around here, but he did switch on the Christmas lights, even though it wasn’t exactly dark yet. Just to welcome everybody when they finally made their way back. Plus, Hearts Crossing looked pretty, all lit up. Climbing into a thick wool jacket with fleece lining, he tossed on his Stetson and set off for Mountain Cove, about eight miles away. Driving his big truck under the post gate hung with its brand –two interlocking hearts with intersecting cross— always calmed him down. Today was even better, all strung with lights. This ranch was home, and he was blessed to live here.


Tanya Hanson is a fantastic author. Her stories are told with such a beautiful, engaging voice. She's great at creating a gripping storyline that both wins your heart, and keeps you turning pages. Beyond those skills, however, is Hanson’s ability to draw you into a scene by engaging each of the reader’s senses. That’s a tremendous skill that lends power to her writing, and story-telling.

Right to Bragg upholds my high expectations with flair, and a touching dash of love and emotion -- can't wait for what's next from this talented author!

Next, say a big hello to Tanya Stowe! Tanya's release is White Christmas, part of the White Rose Publishing Christmas Extravaganza!


After his very public break-up from his fiancĂ©, Chad Fletcher is convinced that a healthy marriage and his rising political career won’t mix, and Christmas at his Aunt Nell’s home in White, Arizona is a great way to start fresh.

Political watch dog, Tessa Conway, plans to spend her vacation enjoying her grandparents’ ranch before they must sell it, so she is not pleased with Grandma Sophie and Aunt Nell’s efforts to throw her and Chad together.

Chad begins to believe Tessa may be the perfect antidote to his unhealthy relationships of the past, but when he decides to take support from a company with questionable ethics, his perfect bubble is burst.

Fearing Chad is not the Godly man she believed him to be, Tessa ends their budding romance. Will Chad find the strength and courage to do what’s right even if it costs him his career?


“I don’t know why you insist on wearing those ridiculous things. How can you see?” Aunt Nell asked, rubbing her hands against the cold evening air.

Chad Fletcher pulled his baseball cap lower and pushed the large, black-framed lenses further up his nose. “These were the biggest, ugliest, glasses I could find in the store,” he said, studying the nearby Christmas carolers dressed in scarves, mittens and matching earmuffs. “People usually don’t recognize me when I’m wearing them.”

Nell made a sound that, if Chad didn’t know his proper little white-haired great-aunt better, sounded almost like a snort. “If you spent more time focusing on your job as state assemblyman and less time in the social pages, you wouldn’t have to disguise yourself.”

“Ex-job, Aunt Nell, ex-job. My term has ended, remember? I’m a free man, here to rest, relax, and recuperate before I get back to real life.”

“Real life,” she said. “As if we don’t live real lives here in White.” She made the sound again and Chad smiled.

The small rural Arizona community was as far removed from the high profile life he lived in Phoenix as it could be. Even as a child, visiting his mother’s aunt had been his favorite way to spend the summer. Time with Aunt Nell and working as a teenager for the local ranchers had taught him more about life than all of his family’s country club years in Tucson.

His aunt knew how he felt, so when he took her arm and squeezed, she smiled and patted it back.

“Come on,” he said. “Tell me about the festivities. I’ve been hearing you talk about White’s Twelve Days of Christmas for so long, I can’t wait to see it.”

“Well, as you can see, this is the kick-off event. Main Street is blocked off. We’ve got carolers on this side, a brass combo over there, and Santa Claus right next door. He’ll be giving out bags of treats and hot chocolate. The line started forming to see him about five o’clock.”

“I don’t remember those Victorian light posts.”

“They weren’t here last time you were. At first, I thought they were an expense we didn’t need but when they put them up, well, I’ve grown quite fond of them. They remind me of my childhood.”

“Which wasn’t such a long time ago,” Chad said.

“Hush! It’s a wonder they let you talk at all on the chamber floor. You’re so full of nonsense.” This time she slapped playfully at his hand and he grabbed it.

“You’re freezing,” he said, worry for his seventy-year-old aunt filling him. “Why don’t you put on your gloves?”

“I left them in the car.”

“It’s cold enough to snow. I’ll go back and get them.”

“No, don’t worry about it. I don’t want you to miss the lighting ceremony. They turn everything on at the same time. The lamp posts, the giant snowflakes attached to them and those two huge Christmas trees over there. All the houses for blocks around Main Street turn on their lights, too. It’s my favorite part.”

He turned to see the two trees, situated in the large plaza called Pioneer Square. The trees were well over fifteen feet and decorated with lights and multi-colored bulbs. “You said they start at six? That’s ten minutes away. I’ll be gone and back before then.”

“You might miss it. Just wait a few more minutes.”

Chad studied his aunt’s face and realized she was searching the crowd for something…or someone.

“Aunt Nell, what are you up to?”

Suddenly, her face lit up and she smiled. “Look, there’s Sophie and Jim Conway. Their grand-daughter’s here for Christmas, you know.”

“Aunt Nell, you promised. No more matchmaking.”

“I didn’t promise. I know myself better than that. Besides, you need a good, small-town girl who will keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.”

“I’ve had enough romance to last a lifetime,” he said, his tone tight.

She shook her head. “Your engagement wasn’t a romance. It was a circus complete with performing monkeys and paparazzi.”


Take two loving, and match-making relatives, throw in the spice of political intrigue and a dash of romantic Christmas magic and you’ve got all the makings of a heart-racing, and heart-warming holiday romance.

In the pages of White Christmas, Tanya Stowe creates a world of intrigue and enough romantic chemistry to warm even the chilliest winter nights. I fell in love with Chad and Tessa, and rooted for them from the very first page.

Christmas may have passed for 2011, but there’s still plenty of winter left to enjoy a curl-up romance by this wonderful author. Pick up a copy of White Christmas, and enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome, April Gardner & Warring Spirits

There’s a party going on!!

Historical fiction author April W Gardner is celebrating the release of Warring Spirits, the second book in her Creek Country Saga! Everyone who purchases Warring Spirits on Amazon today, Thursday, December 15, 2011, will be entered into SIX different drawings for some cool and unique prizes. That’s right—ONE purchase. SIX chances to win.


She’s also giving away personalized, signed book plates (labels for the inside cover). One for every book you purchase. That’s a lot of bang for your buck. Order today and cross a few names off your Christmas list!

So what’s this book about? Warring Spirits is the sequel to Wounded Spirits, April’s Grace Award winning debut novel. Here’s a bit about today’s featured novel:

Where blood is spilt, unexpected love may bloom.

In 1816 Georgia, escaped slaves control the land just beyond the American border in Las Floridas. Lost somewhere between white and black worlds, Milly follows hope to the only place that can offer her refuge—the place Georgians are calling Negro Fort. The first, sweet taste of freedom convinces Milly that surrender is not an option. Death would be more welcome.

Major Phillip Bailey has orders to subdue the uprising and return the runaways to their masters. Forced to fight alongside Creek warriors—the same who etched the scars into his mind and flesh—Phillip primes himself for battle. But inside, a war already rages—return for the woman he thought lost to him or concede her to the enemy she loves; follow orders or follow his heart.

Sound intriguing? Head over to APRIL'S PLACE to learn more! Or go straight to AMAZON to get your copy.

Books excerpts are a great way to get a feel for the author’s writing style, so I asked April to share a scene with us. Here’s a taste of chapter one when we’re introduced to the hero, Major Phillip Bailey.


Phillip knew it was a dream. He told himself again, though it did little good. The children’s shrieks grew louder. The flaming pickets roared with new life, as though fueled by his denial of their existence.
His legs churned, but he couldn’t free his mind of the constant nightmare. At least this time, he reasoned, he wasn’t awake. Small blessings.
And then, he saw her.
Arms dangling at her sides and skirt undulating in the waves of heat, she stood across the compound. Her lips were motionless, but her voice echoed through his mind. “Phillip.”
He rushed toward the vision, and she reached for him. “Phillip, love, you must wake up.”
With a cry, he bolted upright.
The silhouette of a woman hovered over him. He stared at her, unblinking, afraid to move and frighten her away.
Sweat poured down his chest—sweat as real as the shadow seemed.
“That’s better,” she whispered. “You’ll be alright.”
He disagreed, but if he spoke, he might shatter her. He’d done it before.
Her loose hair swayed as she moved so near, he should feel her heat.
Taking in the comfort of her presence, he held his breath until his lungs burned with need. Refusing to be contained any longer, air exploded from his mouth. The sound ripped through the cabin, and in one blink, Adela vanished.
A moan built in Phillip’s throat, and he buried his head in his trembling palms. When his fingers collided with the jagged flesh on his face, he recalled again why Adela was no more to him than a mocking shadow, a figment of his deluded, half-crazed mind.
She had turned him down.
Familiar nausea haunted his gut. With a growl, he threw his damp pillow across the room. The sound of splintering glass sent him scrambling for the musket by his bed. He had the unsteady barrel aimed toward the source before he realized he’d been the cause of the commotion.
He dropped the weapon and backed away from it as though it were a copperhead. Blood pounded in his throat. He swallowed hard, terrified of his own mind.
It had been nearly two years. One more night of this and he would prove the gossip correct. He would go mad.
There had to be a better way.
“Help me.” His voice shivered, and for once, he was thankful to be alone. “Sweet Jesus, show me a better way.”


Get on over to APRIL'S PLACE to see what all the hoopla's about! Or go straight to AMAZON to get your copy.

About April:
April W Gardner resides in Georgia with her USAF husband and two sweet kiddos. She is the author of the historical romance series, the Creek Country Saga, as well as the children’s adventure series, the Channel Islands Resistance. She is the founder and senior editor of the fun literary website, Clash of the Titles. In her free time, April enjoys reading, organizing, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian.

Welcome Back, Clare Revell!

Clare Revell revisits the blog today, and I'm highlighting her Christmas release, Time's Arrow!


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

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

Will the arrow of love find them before time runs out and history rights itself?


It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled as the masked man stalked towards the near-empty mansion...

Jonni tossed the book to one side as the phone beeped. It was bad enough listening to the wind rattling the windows of the huge manor house, without reading about it, too.

In six weeks when Dawn, and her new husband Gabriel, returned from their honeymoon, Jonni would tell them to buy some new books for their library. With a whole room of floor-to-ceiling shelves, they should have something other than just classics and gothic horror.

Gabriel, being an author, not to mention an earl, should know better.

Jonni shook her head at the thought of her friend being the mistress of this huge house. Dawn was the last person Jonni’d imagine married to an earl—after herself. That only happened in fairy tales.

She picked up the phone as it beeped again. House sitting for them was all well and good, but once Christmas and New Year’s were out of the way, she had to find a new job—working for her ex-boyfriend and ex-boss wasn’t an option.

She looked at the screen. This would make it twelve texts, and it wasn’t even lunchtime. Jonni let out a deep sigh and shook her head. “Which part of no don’t you understand, Bryan? Is it the ‘n’ or the ‘o’ or the combining of the two letters you don’t quite comprehend?”

Jonni. I’m sorry. I love you. Forgive me. B xxx

“No, you don’t. You just can’t run that office without me. Love doesn’t mean cheating because I refuse to sleep with you.”

She started to tap out a reply, then stopped and closed her eyes. Lord, help me here. Give me the words to get the message across to him this time. Jonni cancelled the text and rang Bryan’s office. If he was in a meeting, his new secretary could take a message.

The call picked up on the second ring. “Mr. Rains’s secretary. How may I help you?”

“I’d like to speak to Mr. Rains, please. It’s Miss Peterson.”

“One moment, I’ll put you through.”

Almost immediately, Bryan’s voice echoed in her ear.

"Jonni, baby. Thanks for calling back. You must be having a busy vacation. I’ve left a dozen messages today.”

The low, husky tone that oozed sensuality now twisted her stomach, as much as it had once made it do cartwheels. Along with his charm and good looks, and—no. She stopped herself short. He was a liar and she was best out of it. She could see the smirk on his face as he spoke. He thought he’d won because she called.

"Mr. Rains. I didn’t resign so you could bug me by text and phone. Any relationship you and I had is over. I shall consider any further communication from you as harassment and treat it accordingly. Goodbye.”

As if a huge weight had been lifted from her, Jonni hung up and deleted his name and number. Something she should have done days ago. She took a deep breath, the warm yeasty smell of baking…the bread.

Jumping up, she hurried to the kitchen, not wanting it to burn. She grabbed the oven gloves and took the baking tray out. She tapped the loaf, smiling at the hollow sound, before placing it onto a cooling rack.

Now all she had to do was run into the village for some cheese and butter, and tea was done. Maybe the walk would encourage her non-existent appetite to return.

Heading upstairs past the huge Christmas tree that dominated the hall, Jonni ran her fingers along the exquisitely carved oak banisters. She pushed open her bedroom door and crossed the room, clicking in exasperation as she tripped over the loose floorboard.

One of these days someone was going to fall over properly and hurt themselves. Knowing her luck, it’d be her. Something else to leave in the note for Gabriel. She pulled on her coat and headed back downstairs.

She’d hoped for snow for Christmas, but frost was fine. No matter what the weather, it always showcased God’s creation to the full. She wrapped a scarf around her neck and pulled a hat over her ears.

Humming Silent Night, Jonni stepped into the bitter cold and shut the front door, catching a last glimpse of the high-ceilinged hallway, magnificent wooden staircase, and checkered floor. She ran down the stone steps and turned to look at Southby—the ancestral home of the Earl of Elton. It was breathtaking. The sloping roof, long wings around the central courtyard and huge shuttered windows—even in five days, she’d not explored a fraction of it, yet.

Jonni walked along the half mile driveway to the main road. She’d give her right arm to see this house in its heyday. It must have been amazing with its servants, and lord and lady in their fantastic clothes, holding parties and living in a way she couldn’t even imagine. Especially at Christmas, singing carols around the piano and the tree alight with candles in the background.

She paused as she reached the oaks standing tall and proud by the entrance to the estate. The bark was rough and gnarly under her hands as she touched it. If this tree could talk, what stories it could tell. Jonni ran her fingers over the carved symbol on the tree trunk. The wood felt old under her fingers, yet love emanated from the carving. A heart encircling two sets of initials, ST and JP. She wondered who they were and whether JP, whose initials matched her own, had done the engraving, or stood and watched while ST did them.

She headed left onto the main road, praying as she walked.

Show me what You want me to do, Lord. Right now, things are confused and I hurt. Why did Bryan treat me like that? Is it because I didn’t give him what he wanted? Or is it my fault for dating my boss? Lord, above everything else, I am Yours, and I know You have a reason for this. I trust in what it says in Romans eight, twenty-eight. Right now, I can’t see the good in this, but I know You can. Give me the patience to wait until You make things clear to me.

Reaching the pedestrian crossing, Jonni pressed the button to change the lights. She glanced down at the ancient milestone, standing next to the lamp post. It looked as though it had been there at least two hundred years. What had Headley Cross looked like, then?

The lights changed and the traffic stopped. As the neon-green walking man came on to indicate she could safely cross the road, Jonni rested her hand on the top of the milestone. Bet you could tell a tale or two if you could talk.

Jonni stepped off the pavement and onto the road.

From out of nowhere, came a shout and a rush of hooves. Something hit her hard and she cried out. She raised a hand to her head, stumbling forward for an instant, before an invisible force slammed her to the ground. She tried to shield herself from the four hooves dancing around her. Voices echoed. A pair of boots entered her field of vision before her eyes closed and blackness surrounded her.


Hooked yet??? This story is part of the Pelican Book Group Christmas Holiday Extravaganza, specially-priced through December 2011!

Purchase Time's Arrow RIGHT HERE


Clare Revell's latest release, Time's Arrow, takes readers on a spin through time that's part Christmas romance, part paranormal/divine intervention, and completely enjoyable!

Toppling two hundred years into the past, Jonni Peterson enters the world of Lord Sebastian Tyler. The pair are destined to be together, and not even time can keep them apart once God intercedes. Elements of this story are based on historical fact, but what steals the reader away is the chemistry between Jonni and Sebastian, as well as the sweetness of the relationship that develops between Jonni and Sebastian's daughter, the precocious and winsome Alexis.

The reader has know idea how Ms. Revell will resolve the story until the final pages, and it's a thrill ride. Give yourself a Christmas treat and pick up a copy of Time's Arrow - it'll be the perfect accompaniment to your holidays!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Welcome, Diane Craver & A Christmas Gift

I'm excited to introduce you to a new author friend of mine, Diane Craver! She's got a new release out called A Christmas Gift that sounds just amazing! More on that in just a bit...first, let's get to know Diane better!

Diane, welcome to the blog! I always like to kick things off by asking my author visitors: When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing but when our oldest daughter Sara was a toddler, I started writing non-fiction. I wrote a partial manuscript, Born to Love, about her and how my faith became stronger as a result of having Sara. It was very therapeutic for me to examine my faith and to learn to give thanks to God for our situation of having a child with special needs.

What an amazing testimony. How did your writing career begin? How did you find your way to that ultimate dream of publication?

My writing career began with a true story in a Christian magazine, “Virtue”, and in the same issue, there was an article about Debby Boone. My sweet mother told me that my story was more interesting and better than the famous singer’s one. LOL I continued writing non-fiction and was published in other magazines, one was in Woman’s Weekly so that was exciting. I first published in non-fiction but realized it was more fun and a wonderful escape to write fiction, especially while raising our six children.

An author, Dianne Castell, encouraged me to submit to Samhain Publishing. They accepted 3 manuscripts within a month. It was exciting. I had my first two novels published only a week apart in ebook, then 3 months later they were both in print. The first was NO GREATER LOSS, an inspirational romance and the second release was A FIERY SECRET, a chick-lit mystery.

Love the titles!! What are you working on next?

My great-grandfather was a Mennonite minister so I decided to write an Amish romance series. Many of his beliefs were similar to the Amish faith. I just finished the first book, A JOYFUL BREAK. An agent requested a partial so hopefully, I’ll get a request next for a full.

Good luck!!
Tell us one interesting fact about you that your readers would find interesting, and maybe even surprising.

I was a carhop at a root beer stand for 3 years during high school. By the way, I didn’t carhop wearing roller skates. LOL Our kids assumed I did.

LOL! That's the image I have, too - what fun!! How do you find balance between being a writer and everything else that goes on in your life?

It’s a bit difficult because we were blessed with six children. Although they are all now adults, two were born with special needs and live at home with us. Also another daughter graduated from college a year ago and has moved back home so she can pay off loans and etc. I have a part-time job as a reader scoring the tests students hate to take. I usually write in the morning when I’m not driving to work after I get our two daughters off to their special programs. I don’t do well in the afternoons to write so might do proofreading then and write again in the evening.

What a great introduction! I'm so glad to get to know you better, Dian. Now, let's find out more about A Christmas Gift! Here's a sneak peek - and leave a comment to be entered in a giveaway! A print edition of A Christmas Gift will be awarded if the winner lives in the US; a download will be awarded if the winner lives outside the US!


Justin Reeves is a man who has it all: a good job, a loving wife and children who are the center of his universe. Justin also has a secret he's hidden from everyone his entire life;or so he thought. Quite innocently his small daughter, Debby, stumbles upon his secret and is shocked by what she finds. She confronts her father with the awful truth, and together they embark upon a journey which takes her father from the darkness of shame into the light of victory.

Drawing from true events in her own childhood, author Diane Craver captivates the reader from page one to a stunning climax which will touch your heart and impact your life forever in this must-read story of love's triumph over adversity.



It was 1957 when I saw something that I wasn’t meant to see. I have never forgotten this night because it had such an impact on me. I was only seven years old, and what I saw my father doing confused me. Finally, I had enough courage to ask my mother about it. After she explained everything to me, I was shocked and saddened.

What happened after I learned my father’s greatest secret was extraordinary to our family. When my father, Justin L. Reeves, decided to conquer an overwhelming disability in life, he was fifty-four years old. He gave our family an incredible gift to last a lifetime because of what he accomplished at this age.

His triumph made me into the woman I am today. My three older siblings were able to make the best decisions of their adult lives because of our father's influence.

This is a story of determination and hope. My father's journey was not easy. But if it had been easy, I wouldn't be telling his story now.

After you finish reading this book, I pray that the true meaning will linger in your heart and mind; just as the outcome of my long ago memory has remained in my soul for fifty-three years.

My name is Debra Reeves Cunningham, and I am sixty years old. It’s not hard to take you back to the beginning in 1957 when I was seven. My life was good and simple. My memories of this wonderful year are crystal clear. We lived on a farm with eighty acres outside of Findlay, Ohio. My petite mother, Lucille, worked hard doing whatever needed to be done on the farm. She was a big help to my dad when it came to dairy chores. With no milking machines, they milked seven cows by hand in the morning and again in the evening.

My siblings didn't help with this time-consuming job. My oldest sister, Gail, was twenty-five and lived at home, but not by her choice. Whenever she mentioned moving to an apartment, our mother insisted that wouldn’t be proper for a single woman. Gail worked as a secretary at the impressive Ohio Oil Company in Findlay. She always dressed in pretty clothes and went out on dates all the time.

My brother, Carl, at the age of twenty-one was in the Army, and he hated it. He wrote me the best letters. The past summer, we all traveled in our blue Mercury car to visit him in North Carolina.

Next in the family was my fourteen-year-old sister, Kathy. We shared a bedroom, and she never complained about sharing a room with a younger sister. She only worried about not being able to dance. From the time she was a small child, she wanted to be a dancer. She watched all the Shirley Temple movies and practiced on the kitchen linoleum floor. I was told how her dancing entertained me when I was a fussy baby with teething pain.

A short time after Kathy celebrated her seventh birthday, she was stricken with polio. She wore a brace on her left leg because the polio had weakened these muscles. Dancing was no longer a realistic dream for Kathy.

It's time to take you back to the night when what I saw made me question everything. From my siblings, I learned that sometimes we see only what we want to see, and only face the truth when we can no longer deny it. I remember everything about that night so well. In my mind I see my bare feet softly walking down twenty-two steps. I enjoyed counting the steps and jumping off the last one.

It drove Gail crazy whenever she was in a hurry and behind me. "Why do you have to count these stupid steps all the time?"

"I like to count them. I always get twenty-two."

And so on this particular night I counted them again. With no light on to guide my footsteps, I didn't want to fall in the dark. I didn't switch the hallway light on because it would shine through the register. My parents might wake up and see the light from their bedroom. Mommy liked to keep a door open for air circulation in their small room. I knew that I had to be very quiet since I wasn't supposed to be up at this late hour. I skipped the jump off the last step so my parents wouldn't hear me. With a racing heart, I slowly opened the old stairway door, hoping it wouldn't make a sound.

Amazon link to A Christmas Gift

Thanks for joining me, Diane - and best of success with A Christmas Gift!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

EA West & The Key to Charlotte

Come on in and meet EA West, author of The Key to Charlotte--a book I can't wait to tell you about--but more on that later, in my review. Suffice to say, as an enticement, this book blew me away.

Here's a bit about EA:

E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she discovered the wonders of sharing her stories with others through writing. She picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. Her love of writing encompasses not only the romance genre but also a variety fiction and non-fiction styles.Born and raised in Indiana, she still resides there today with her family and a small zoo of pets that includes cats, dogs, and African water frogs. When she’s not writing or reading, you’re likely to find her working on her current crochet project or discussing current events.

Next, let me introduce you to this wonderful novella from White Rose Publishing by giving you some insight into the hero of the story--a remarkable man named Zakaria Rush. Here's what EA West has to say about him:

Silly Songs with Zakaria

I think all of us at one time or another have wished we were still kids. The hero of The Key to Charlotte, Zakaria Rush, found a way to make a living while still enjoying childhood. He went into children’s ministry.

One of Zakaria’s favorite parts of his job, aside from choosing awesome Sunday school curriculum and working with the kids, is the music. The goofy songs from Vacation Bible School and Sunday school bring a smile to his face and lighten his heart. I must admit, I share his love for those songs.

I have fond memories of learning all kinds of silly songs during VBS when I was a kid. While I wasn’t the most coordinated child and tended to get lost if the motions that went with the songs were too complex (they rarely seemed that complex to the other kids), I loved to sing those songs and dance with my fellow VBS attendees. Sunday school provided another set of fun songs (usually with simpler motions) to sing and enjoy.

One of my favorites from both Sunday school and VBS found its way into The Key to Charlotte. “Rise and Shine” tells the story of Noah and the ark in a fun way that kids love. As proven by a certain pair of characters in The Key to Charlotte (*cough* Charlotte and Zakaria *cough*) and myself, as well as countless others, adults love the song as well. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s a video of a group singing it:

I think the best part of all of these fun songs from a childhood of churchgoing is that they allow children to musically praise God with easy-to-understand lyrics. Kids love music and they love fun. If you combine the music and fun, plus throw in some praising of God, I consider that the perfect mix for any children’s ministry.

And now, I'm thrilled to introduce you to A Key to Charlotte--along with a request: GET IT. You won't be sorry.


Charlotte Harris can't speak due to a quirk in her autistic brain, but that doesn't stop her from
communicating with others. Unfortunately, it prevents her from achieving two of her dreams--to praise God through singing and to carry on a simple conversation with her own voice.

Zakaria Rush is the new Director of Children's Ministries at Charlotte's church, and he can't keep his thoughts off the partially mute blonde with a love for guitar music. Her innocence and love of the simple things in life intrigue him and make him long to give her what she wants more than anything: her voice.

Can Zakaria help Charlotte find the key to unlocking her ability to speak, or will his attempt to help her only lock away their chance for love?


Charlotte switched off the vacuum and breathed a sigh of relief. The silence in the small church was pure bliss. She pulled the plug from the wall and coiled the cord around the top of the vacuum, then returned it to the janitorial closet in the basement. Turning around, she pulled out her cell phone and checked for reminders.

Take the rag bucket home.

Yes, she needed to wash the rags and kitchen towels. She returned the phone to her pocket and grabbed the bucket handle. As she headed upstairs, she heard the sound of a guitar coming from the sanctuary. Was someone playing a CD? It sounded like live music, but she’d never heard anyone in the church play a guitar.

Drawn by the soothing strains of the strings, she turned right at the top of the stairs.

No one ever came in the church while she was cleaning. The entire congregation knew her schedule—Tuesday and Saturday afternoons—and they always made sure to come at a different time. Charlotte had never been sure if it was because they didn’t want to get in her way or if her parents had talked to them about the importance of routine for her. When she was little,
she’d gotten upset by people showing up unannounced, but now that she was twenty‐three,
she liked to think she could handle surprises a little better.

She peered through the open doorway and saw a man sitting on the edge of the platform by the plain wooden altar playing a battered acoustic guitar.

Her breath caught in her throat and her heart raced as she studied him. Not only was he a talented musician, he was gorgeous, more gorgeous than anyone she’d ever seen in this small Indiana town. His black hair was a little shaggy but stylish; his straight nose, high cheekbones, and tan complexion made her think of Native Americans and Italians; his lean build clothed in
faded blue jeans, an olive green T‐shirt, and worn‐in sneakers made him look laid back. Peace filled his face as he strummed his guitar. The corners of his mouth turned up slightly, making Charlotte wonder if the sound of a guitar brought him as much joy as it did her.

Suddenly, he stopped playing and looked up at her. She tightened her grasp on the bucket handle.

He studied her with the most beautiful, warm brown eyes she’d ever seen. His smile caused her heart to flutter. “Hi there. Are you Charlotte?”

She nodded.

He didn’t seem to mind that she shifted her weight back and forth. Just as well. If she didn’t rock to release it, the nervous energy building under his gaze would make her cry.

“Pastor Ed told me I might run into you if I came this afternoon. I’m Zakaria Rush, the new director of children’s ministries.” He laid his guitar across his knees and chuckled, a deep, rich sound that warmed Charlotte clear through. “It’s a fancy title for a guy who didn’t want to grow
up and found a way to turn it into a career.”

Marianne's Review:

This book, hands down, is one of the best I have read all year. It swept through my heart with so much power I found myself hating to see the story end.

In the pages of The Key to Charlotte, author EA West has deftly explored the top of autism, and how people who suffer from autism--in this case the lovely and musically inclined Charlotte Harris--are created in the image of God. They are more than worthy and capable of love, independence and the fulfillment of God's plan for their lives.

Charlotte works at a small church in Indiana. She's cleaning the facility when music comes to her unexpectedly from the sanctuary. Zakaria Rush, the new Director of Children's Ministries, is playing his guitar. Instantly, and instinctively, Zakaria treats Charlotte with respect and an easy sense of caring--caring that blooms quickly to an even deeper affection.

That affection is what leads Zakaria to take her gently under his wing, and lead her to her heart's desire--music and a sharing of her life, and the gifts God has given her. What could be more beautiful?

At no point is this love story mawkish or overdone. Therein lies its absolute beauty. With the same kind of artistry as Karen Kingsbury displayed in her novel Unlocked, EA West uses heart, God, and a straightforward approach to make Charlotte come alive and be completely relatable in how she sees the world and reacts to it. We understand her, and therefore, we love her and cheer for her. And all I can say about Zakaria is that in him, EA has created a hero worthy of Charlotte.

Don't walk, run to pick it up! Five stars.

Purchase The Key to Charlotte at or at Pelican Book!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pamela Thibodeaux & The Visionary

I'm delighted to welcome a favorite author of mine to the blog today - Pamela Thibodeaux.

Pam is noted for creating inspirational fiction 'with an edge...' and her new release, The Visionary, most definitely will not disappoint her fanbase.

More on that, and my review, after we get to know a bit more about Pam!

First, a meet and greet ~

Pamela S. Thibodeaux is an award-winning author, and 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.”

And boy, does The Visionary deliver on that count...

Here's a bit about the book, and an excerpt:


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 disgustingly 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 awesome power of God's love heals the most wounded of souls.


Taylor thrashed about and fought the fear clamoring in her throat. Panic stole her breath. The monster held her while Trevor grappled with a gun. She struggled and kicked, but the monster held her fast. She had to get away. She had to stop him! She begged and pleaded, but the monster just laughed. His gnarled, horrid sound sent shivers of terror through her soul. A blast of gunshot, a flash of lightning, and the scream tore free from her throat and echoed through the room. The door burst open and strong arms encircled her. Gentle hands stroked and soothed, a soft voice caressed, tender words flowed over her. Taylor buried her face in Alex’s shoulder while he cradled her against his chest and rocked.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you,” she murmured. A pulse hammered against her skin, a tremble shimmered down her spine. She pushed herself closer, found safety and comfort in his embrace.

Alex tightened his arms around her, smoothed her hair. “It’s okay. That’s why I’m here and exactly why I didn’t want to leave you alone tonight.”

Marianne's Review of The Visionary:

This book is unafraid and unashamed to confront the hard-hitting issue of child abuse, yet maintain a hopeful, christ-centered view.

I found it difficult to review this extraordinary book in detail without revealing plotpoints that I must allow the reader to experience on their own. This is an exceptional foray into Christian fiction that is spine chilling, heart-healing, and beautifully told. It takes bravery of spirit to create a novel like The Visionary.

With a deft hand, Ms. Thibodeaux mixes angst, faith, love and hope after horrors into a novel I'll not soon forget. You become firmly engaged in the lives and challenges of the characters in this story and I found myself racing through the pages to see what would come next...and discover this very unique story's resolution.

I highly recommended, and can't wait for more from this talented author. Five-Stars.

Pam's Website:
Pam's Blog:
Bayou Writers Group:

Purchase The Visionary at:

Barnes & Noble:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New & Exclusive Hearts Key Excerpt!

Come on in and cozy up!! I want you to meet Tyler Brock and Amy Maxwell in this exclusive excerpt from Hearts Key!! (and hopefully it'll tempt you to purchase this wonderful White Rose Publishing romance right here!!!!)

With that, off we go to the cool, azure waters of Lake St. Clair......and a leisurely boat ride....


Pastor Ken had tuned the radio to WMUZ, the Christian station in Detroit. A Britt Nicole song, Hanging On, drifted through the air. “Here's what I know about post-highschool Amy Maxwell—” his voice was a slow and gentle leading. Amy knew at once this conversation was headed places. Big places. “—I know you ended up marrying Mark Samuels.”

She had no excuse to hide her eyes. Tyler’s position next to her blocked the blinding orb of the
sun. Still, she reached for her sunglasses, and cleared her throat again as she did so. Tyler took hold of her wrist to still the motion before she could follow through. In emphasis, he slipped his thumb against her skittering pulse point in a light, but deliberate stroke.

“Don’t put up a guard, Amy. Relax.” The stroke continued, lulling. Assuring somehow. “Just talk to me.”

She watched him, Tyler Brock, shadowed and framed against a pure blue sky. She refused to go tense and bitter with memory; she refused her past that kind of subtle victory. And so, she confessed to the worst of it. “I divorced him, too. Best to get that out in the open, I suppose.”

“My folks told me as much. I’m so sorry, Amy. I don’t care how many years have passed, I know who you are, and I know for certain that kind of decision did not come easily to you. What happened, honey?”

The earnest question, the naturally delivered endearment, coasted into her blood stream and stirred up an emotional flood. Instantly she was carried away, her heart delivered to a place where she could reveal herself, and not fear for the consequences.

Patient and steady, he waited, watching her. She lay prone, oddly relaxed in contradiction to the increased tempo of her blood. She needed to see how close Pyper might be, and determine if she was within hearing distance. Amy lifted just far enough to see that her daughter was happily occupied by the companionship of the Brocks, who were presently being charmed out of a sandwich and some grapes.

Assured, Amy laid back down, tilting her gaze toward Tyler. “He…” Amy took in a breath. Like
ripping off a sticky bandage, she came clean all at once, in a quiet, defeated voice. “He abused me, Tyler. Physically and mentally. And he took out a lot of his anger on Pyper, too. He’d startle her with unexpected, unwarranted spankings, he’d scream at her to be quiet whenever she cried, and he’d yell at the both of us for no good reason. Everything he did just seemed to scare
her all the more. He couldn’t hold a job, so his frustration grew by the day—and so did his use of
alcohol as a way of escaping it all. When he started hitting me, I left.” She shook her head. “And when I say I left, I mean there’s absolutely nothing left of my old life. He saw to that quickly and efficiently.”

She was so carried away by the admission, so wrapped up in the pain of a past she fought to move past every day of her life, she didn’t realize until then that Tyler regarded her with steel‐like eyes and a clenched jaw. Automatically Amy reached up, wanting to apologize for upsetting him. She stroked his chin and shook her head, whispering, “Hey…hey…I’m

Tyler flinched. “Stop.” He closed his eyes, taking deep breaths. “You mean to say he physically hurt you? Physically harmed you and Pyper?” All Amy could summon was silence, and a nod. “Gimme a sec.”

Tyler seemed to lose his battle with control. He growled out a sound and sat up abruptly. A startling beam of sunlight crossed against Amy’s face. She shaded her eyes. Tense seconds swirled past, so she reached for her sunglasses and slid them on. Moving into a sitting position, she slowly drew up her legs then encircled them with her arms. She rested her chin on her knees, watching him. Waiting, protectively sinking in upon herself.

“I can’t even find it within myself to pray for him right now,” Tyler whispered tightly, looking out across the water. In the face of his desolate, troubled admission, Amy ignored a round of laughter that came from their cruise mates, the song switched from Britt Nicole to a Point of Grace classic.

“No. Not right now. But you will. It took me a while, too.” When tense silence lengthened, she began to worry. “Tyler, talk to me. Please? What are you thinking?”

“That Mark Samuels doesn’t deserve one precious second of the time God gave him with you, and that wonderful little girl.”

Typical Tyler Brock. He was never, ever afraid to speak his heart. That was the beauty of him. Just like the words and melodies of his music, he laid it all out there and withheld nothing. Oh, how she admired that bravery of spirit.

Once, she had been the same way, but she had never been smart when it came to matters of the heart. Instead, she had opted to keep Tyler playfully enamored, a friend but nothing more while she chased after the bigger, better deal. Well, woe unto her. “I paid the price for being star‐struck by the popular guy, the guy everyone admired. In theory, he was Mr. Right. In
practice he turned into Mr. Devastation.” She pursed her lips, and looked at her daughter. “And you’ve seen how hard it is on Pyper when it comes to adult men. It leaves me sick at myself sometimes.”

Tyler leaned in and captured her chin gently in his hand. He looked intently into her eyes. “Don’t ever, ever take responsibility for a man abusing you and your daughter, Amy. You’ve pulled sunshine out of the rain. Do you understand that?”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

COTT Rages on! Here's the latest...

*Guest post by Michelle Massaro

Week THREE of COTT's Tournament of Champions saw four more authors compete and three more scavenger hunts played.

Here's a recap:

On Monday, players were sent to Elaine Cooper's Blog with a mission: Find the full name of the girl Nathaniel Stearns falls in love with in the book trailer video on her home page. Renee C won a $10 Amazon gift card from Marianne Evans, author of Hearts Crossing.

Tuesday, the hunt was on at Shellie Neumeier's Blog. The question: What is the name of the book Shellie co-wrote with Lisa Lickel? Tammy G won a $10 Amazon gift card from April Gardner, author of Wounded Spirits.

Wednesday we were led to Naomi Musch's Blog. The question: In her new release, The Red Fury, Colette's daughter Lainey is seeking solace from tragic loss and two searing rejections by doing what 2 things? B.J. Robinson won a $10 CBD gift card donated by Ann Gaylia O'Barr, author of Singing in Babylon.

Want your own spending spree? Be sure to play in this week's hunts. Check Clash of the Titles for game info.

And what about the competing books? Who won?

Karen Witemeyer's A Tailor-Made Bride and Lena Nelson Dooley's Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico battled on Monday. A Tailor-Made Bride came out the winner.
Christine Lindsay's Shadowed in Silk and Naomi Musch's The Green Veil struck swords on Wednesday. The Green Veil took the top spot.

These two victorious titles competed together on Friday to determine which would move on to the finals for a chance to win the Laurel Award. And that finalist is...

Karen Witemeyer's A Tailor-Made Bride!

There are now three finalists vying for the ultimate COTT honor. In this final week they'll be joined by a fourth book, then all will be thrown into the ring until only ONE remains. Who will it be? It's up to readers to decide, so cast your votes!

The Laurel will be awarded on November 4th, along with the 15-book grand prize that will be given to one lucky reader. Want a shot at it? You can enter by sharing links, putting up buttons and banners on your blog, becoming a follower of COTT, etc. Details on the prize basket and full instructions on how to enter can be found here. To make it easy to grab n go, here are the banner and button codes (just don't forget to let them know if you put them up!)


Clash of The Titles

Here's the button code:

* Michelle Massaro is the Assistant Editor for COTT. Find her on twitter @MLMassaro, Facebook, and Adventures In Writing.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hearts Key & The Woodland Series Wrap Up

I have to admit it...I'm equal parts elated and sad. Hearts Key releases on November 4th...what a cause for celebration! Hearts Key is book 4 of my award-winning Woodland Series, and these characters took on a life of their own (in fact, secondary characters you meet in this book have spun their way into my Christian fiction debut with Harbourlight Books - Devotion!)

The sad part is, Hearts Key brings a close to a very special place in my heart: Woodland Church.

I can see its gleaming brass steeple, its waterfront location, so clearly in my mind, despite the fact that this church is fictional. I can see it's parishioners as if they are walking straight through the double door entryway... There'd be the entire Edwards clan, with Collin and Daveny...Pastor Ken Lucerne and his gorgeous wife Kiara...the sassy and sparky JB and Monica Edwards...they've all brought me to laughter, and to tears. I've rejoiced in their victories and feel like I've walked a journey right along with them.

Now it's time for the wrap up - and what better story to tell than that of love refound after trials, hardships, and even successes beyond imagining...

In the pages of Hearts Key, you'll meet Tyler Brock and Amy Maxwell - I hope you fall for them as hard as I did. And I bet your heart will be utterly stolen by that precious little cutie-pie, Pyper!


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?


The after-concert crowd ebbed and flowed around Tyler like a tide. He stood comfortably amidst it all, his arm looped around his mom’s waist, his father nearby as well. Back home again.

If only it were that easy.

Amy took a deep breath. It was time to move forward, and act like the friend she had always been. She made progress toward approaching Tyler, watching as he shook hands with members of his crew and received enthusiastic hugs of support. Then in came Rebecca. He saw her immediately and grinned while she made a dash for his ready embrace. She gave a happy shout as he lifted her up, and spun her in a full circle.

“You were great,” she enthused, her voice touched by the cadence of the south. “Honestly, what a show!”

“Inspired, wasn’t it, Becs? It feels so good to be home!”

Rebecca pecked both his cheeks and smiled into his eyes. Amy’s heart sank. His dynamic backup singer then greeted others around them and dissolved into the crowd of tour staffers. Amy winced, battling off turmoil, self-doubt, and inadequacy.

It was a battle she lost.

In that instant, her mature, straightforward intentions vaporized. Hiking up her purse and camera strap, Amy kept a tight hold on them both as she turned to leave. She took a few steps toward the exit. She’d beg off tomorrow’s dinner, and bid this entire, world-rocking episode farewell. In the morning, everything would be back to normal. In the morning, she could—


Amy froze at the sound of the smooth and deep voice that carried with it just a touch of the South. She closed her eyes, and she trembled. Bad.

“You were seriously gonna leave without sayin’ hello to me?”

She couldn’t pull in a proper breath. Her heart skittered wildly. Red-hot heat crawled up the skin of her neck and ignited her cheeks, melting and burning in one fell swoop.

Bravely she turned around, her lips pressed tight, though she fought through it all to offer a tentative smile. “Hey, Tyler.”

It was the best she could manage. His eyes were unspeakably gentle and tender. His attitude of warmth so typical of the Tyler she had known, once upon a life. Amy welcomed that fact, and at the same time, she was swept away by just looking at him.

“Hey, Amy,” he greeted softly. His smile bloomed when he took her hands. A beat later, he drew her in for a long, tight hug that left her aching. He felt so hard, and strong. So wonderful. A lump formed fast in her throat—a bit of mourning, she supposed, for all she missed.

“I, ah, didn’t want to interfere or anything.” As soon as the words crossed her lips, she realized how lame they sounded.

Tyler kissed her cheek, and Amy went a bit dizzy. A bit weak at the knees. “You couldn’t interfere if you wanted to.” He leaned back and drew a fingertip against her chin; he looked deep look into her eyes. “I’ve missed you.”



To celebrate the release of Hearts Key, and the culmination of the Woodland Series, I'm going all out!

I'm giving away an autographed, print edition of Hearts Crossing, Hearts Surrender, Hearts Communion and Hearts Key to four lucky commenters! I'm also giving away two PDF editions of A Face in the Clouds (a Woodland Series short story!) That's six prizes in all!


Leave me a comment, right here, right now, telling me why you'd like to win. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can connect with you if you win! It's just that simple. I'll choose winners on Sunday November 6th and announce them right here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

So join the fun as we celebrate Woodland Church ~ Nourishing Faith...Nurturing Love.....

God bless ~ and thank you for sharing this adventure with me!


Monday, October 17, 2011

COTT - Tournament of Champions - I'm in the Finals!

Guest post by Jennifer Slattery

Last week, Clash of the Titles launched their first annual Tournament of Champions with two clashes and four talented authors. In Clash one, CS Lakin, author of Someone to Blame, and Marianne Evans, author of Heart Crossing, went head-to-head in a nail-biting, literary duel. In Clash two, our very own Gail Pallotta, author of Love Turns the Tide, competed against Clare Revell, author of A Season for Miracles. All four excerpts rocked, and this was a tough call, but you, our faithful readers chose two Tournament of the Champions' finalists.

Those finalists were Marianne Evans and Gail Pallotta.

Exciting stuff, and yet, the games weren’t done. In the next round, COTT staff cast their votes, and once again, one writer rose to the top and will advance to the next round.
That author is…

Marianne Evans!

And here’s a glimpse of what a COTT champion excerpt looks like:

“Collin Edwards stood before the funeral assembly. Heat crawled up his body. He clutched the edges of the podium where he stood and cleared his throat. The gesture was in vain. His throat constricted so much it hurt. Before the altar, just to the right, rested a flag-draped casket.
He looked down, at a piece of paper upon which he had crafted the words to a eulogy…” (Read more of Excerpt B here.)

About the novel, Heart Crossing:

Collin Edwards, a former parishioner at Woodland Church, 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 though, she's been in a rut, longing for something to reignite her spiritual enthusiasm.
A beautification 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?
We’d also like to congratulate our prize-winning readers:

Jessica R Patch! She won a $10 Amazon Gift card from Elaine Cooper.

LoRee Peery! She won a free bookmark design from Delia Latham.

Larry Hammersley! He won a $10 Amazon Gift card from Author Anne Patrick.

Join us this week for more fun and prizes as four more authors jump into the ring hoping not only to advance to the next round, but ultimately reign as the Clash of the Titles’ champion of champions! Remember, every vote counts! Each vote gets your name thrown into the hat for our fab-tabulous grand prize give-away comprised of fourteen novels!

Visit our Tournament of Champions page for a complete list of prizes.

Jennifer Slattery is the marketing manager for Clash of the Titles. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the Christian Pulse, and Samie Sisters and has written for numerous other publications. She also works for Tiffany Colter, the Writing Career Coach, as a professional manuscript evaluator and publicist. You can find out more about her and her writing at her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud. You can find out more about her critique and publicity services at Words That Keep