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!



  1. Good luck, thank you, and God bless!!

  2. Oh Goodness, I'm a first to comment. This series I've not read yet, and I wish I had. From what I saw written for the giveaway, these stories seem like what my heart likes to tune in. Thank you Marianne for this fantastic giveaway and congratulations on your new book. That's a tremendous accomplishment. I hope I'm one of the fortunate winners.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  3. This may be the best story yet, Marianne. Hmm, since I'm wrapping up a series in fictitious Platteville, I know the feelings you shared. No more secondary characters whispering in our ears.

  4. Thanks, LoRee and Barb!!!! I'm grateful for your encouragement....saying 'farewell' to a series you've loved is soooo hard!! :-) God bless, ladies!!!

  5. I want to win!!!! Congratulations to you on all your success with this series. Couldn't have happened to a nicer more deserving person. I am honored and blessed to know you. May God continue to bless you abundantly!!!

  6. It seems as if you have taken some pages from my life. I know what it's like to be broken and I also know how love can heal and restore a broken heart. God has given you such an ability to touch hearts so you explode the world of your characters. He has not only given you the ability to show that true love does fix a broken heart, but also an opportunity to show what He can do with an broken heart....the restoring and growth that comes from Him alone. Plus he gave you enough sass and spitfire to make your books interesting to how the reader's attention. Would love to win, but regardless, I remain your fan and your friend. Blessings to you, Susan

  7. First off congratulations and consolations!
    I've not read this series yet but your promo has totally hooked me. I'd love to win!

  8. Your books sound great and I love finding new authors. I hope all who enter have already read the first one and I could win that one. HAHA.

  9. Forgot to leave my email, Susan

  10. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!! I would love to win it because I am your biggest fan!! lol Does that line sound familiar if not I will just keep that little inside joke to myself..
    Julie Bee Lippo

  11. There are two reasons I would love to win your books. One I want to read the books and second I am opening small library in my church and these books would be nice to put in there and share. I go to a small church out in the country away from any big library so our members got together and voted for a library and I am in charge of it. I am donating many books I have here and will be haunting places for books especially children books since I do not have any of them around here. We hope this will open the doors for more folks around our church to feel welcome and to get to read more if books are handy. Thanks for such a great article here and for a great contest. Great job. susan Leech

  12. What a wonderful party y'all are starting with me here on the blog!!! Welcome, welcome...and thank you!! I can't wait to pass out the gifts on the 6th! Be sure to stay tuned!! In the meantime, who's got the cake and ice cream???? ;-) God bless!

  13. Congratulations, Marianne! You're series sounds great!

  14. Hi Marianne! I'd love to win a copy of one of your books! I loved Face in the Clouds and I know I'd really enjoy your other stories! Thanks for the opportunity to win! :)

  15. Marianne, you are a new author to me. I would love to get to know you through your books. You expressed that you would be sad to say good-bye to your Woodland Church, even though it isn't real. I do have a real church that is no longer standing but very dear to my heart. I grew up in my beloved church and was heart broken when it was replaced by a more modern one. Luckily I have a picture of it on a plate! Great memories were created there. I gave my heart to Jesus in my wonderful church as a young girl. That's why this church is so special to me. The name was simply, Church of God of Stroh.


  16. I already commented but want to say I signed up for Buzzin and think I will enjoy it and it will give me insight for books for my church library. Thanks for your post which is where I found the Buzzin post. susan Leech

  17. I've loved every book in the Woodland Series so far - can't wait to read this last one...and can't wait to see what you come up with next, Marianne!

  18. I love Christian Fiction and would really like to read these books. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.


  19. I've not read any of this series. They sound like books I'd enjoy, and ones I could happily share with my Mum when she arrives to visit soon. We love sharing books together.

    sheiladeeth at hotmail dot com

  20. I would like to win as I haven't read a book by you before. And the trailer makes them come alive.

    Linda at: desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  21. I have heard about your books but never read one before. I would love to win one! Thanks so much!!


  22. This is so inspiring! I hope I win! I look forward to reading the book either way.

  23. Seems like only yesterday it all started with Hearts Crossing! I'm looking forward to reading Hearts Communion and Hearts Key. Your writing Marianne, is so heartfelt. For those who haven't read any of this series, they're in for a treat! :) It will definitely be sad to say goodbye to the Woodland folks but they are only a bookshelf away! Congratulation on your upcoming release my friend!
    love2stitch at hotmail com

  24. Book four on the fourth. Something fun to remember. I'd LOVE to help you celebrate. Please enter me.
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

  25. Thank you for all the lovely words of support and encouragement!! It means so much to me, truly. And as for the writing, I've got Devotion releasing---my Christian fiction debut!!---and I've got prayers going up for another series brewing that I've just pitched to my editor. I'll keep you posted!! Good luck in the drawing, all -- Goodies being delivered on SUNDAY!!! WOO HOO!!

  26. Another new author to me and this series sounds like it is so good. Have made sure to add it to my wish list. I want to win a copy of the book. Please enter me.


  27. Hi Marianne, I hate to admit I have not read this series but am adding to my wish list. You are a new author and I look forward to reading your books.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  28. Oh, Marianne, of course this one sounds as lovely as the rest. How bittersweet this final release must be. But just know that Woodland Church will live on in all our hearts and all the future readers who find their way there!

  29. Oh, Marianne, you have every reason to be sad about leaving Woodland Church. Your writing is amazing! But, think about your next series, which I'm sure will be just as awesome.

    Congrats, Marianne. Happy Birthday to HEARTS KEY. You totally hooked me with that excerpt. Yummmm! I can't wait to read it.

  30. WOW! Chosing six winners on Sunday is going to be SOOOO difficult. I'm going to be putting names in a hat and drawing. Only fair way I know, since you've all been so incredible and supportive!! Thank you for that, and God bless! Keep tuned!!!!!!

  31. YOW!! TODAY IS YOUR BIG DAY! I'M JUMPING UP AND DOWN FOR/WITH YOU, ESPECIALLY TODAY. It was exciting knowing the date of release for Hearts Key was going to be the 4th, but NOW THE 4TH IS HERE!!
    Had to help you cheer some more, Marianne!
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com


    Here are the winners of my giveaway (each of which will be contacted privately via e-mail!)

    Julie Lippo - Hearts Crossing
    JudyJohn - Hearts Surrender
    Susan Leech - Hearts Communion
    Susan French - Hearts Key
    Pam - A Face in the Clouds
    MissKallie - A Face in the Clouds

    Congratulations to all the winners, and THANK YOU for the support, encouragement and for sharing this very special moment with me! Please pick up and enjoy any of the Woodland Series romances from!!

    God Bless ~ Marianne

  33. Thank you so very much! Blessings to you with love, Susan French<3