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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Down in Yon Forest - Clare Revell


Having suffered a panic attack on stage during a performance, violinist Meredith Stranraer flees to the small town of Paradise where her grandparents live. For some strange reason, they don’t want her around and their rejection is more than unsettling, it’s downright alarming.

Jeremiah Mantle is the local forest ranger. He watches the girl in the grey cloak from a distance, his assignment to protect her as well as the forest. However falling in love is definitely not in his job description.

Thrown together at the annual Christmas ball, things soon escalate. There is something wicked in the woods and a dark past is determined to rip them apart.


tagline:
There will be trouble in Paradise this Christmas

extract:

As the snow fell harder, Meredith’s breath caught as something moved in the woods ahead of her. She gripped the phone tighter as a man with long black hair emerged from the tree line and blocked her path. He stood there for a moment, before stepping to one side. “Afternoon.” His dark gaze lingered on her.

The hair on the back of her neck rose.

He seemed vaguely familiar. Did she know him? Despite her unease, she nodded politely as she hurried by. She sped up, hearing footfalls behind her, muffled on the snowy path. In her haste, she missed her footing. Her feet slid, and unable to regain her balance, she fell. Arms outstretched, her phone flew forwards. She landed on the cold ground with a thud.

Meredith cried out, pain shooting through her palms as the snow-covered rocks bit into them.

Running footsteps headed her way and a pair of muddy black boots stopped in front of her. “Are you all right?”

“I think so.”

The owner of the voice wasn’t the dark haired man she’d seen. She took the outstretched hand and let the stranger help her. She gazed up into concerned brown eyes. A lock of brown hair fell over his brow under the peaked cloth cap. High cheek bones, a faint smile, and a firm grip, all took her breath away far more effectively than the actual fall did.


Wow. He was definitely not the first bloke she’d seen.



Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas on Mistletoe Mountain - Dora Hiers


Christmas on Mistletoe Mountain
A snow storm. A cozy fire. Two hearts that desperately need grace and healing. All Kane wants for Christmas is a chance at love with his longtime friend. Sydney worries that when the gentle giant learns about her hidden sin, he’ll vanish from her life. Will God grant them a Christmas miracle?

Blurb:

A snow storm. A warm cozy fire. Two hearts that desperately need grace and healing and a Christmas miracle. This Christian romance novella, Christmas on Mistletoe Mountain, is the first novella in the Grace Nest series.

After college, Kane Kirkland returned home to Mistletoe Mountain a changed man, fifty pounds lighter and a new Christian. Six years later, with a successful real estate career and a fresh boost of confidence, all he wants for Christmas is a chance at love with longtime crush Sydney. Something happened to his friend while he was away. Something dark and life-altering ripped the joy from her spirit. And he intends to find out what…

After a disastrous relationship unraveled Sydney Camden’s life, broken and devastated, she gave up all hope for her happily-ever-after. Those silly fantasies belonged only in romance novels, not in real life. Besides, who has time for love? Her life is crazy busy caring for a disabled father and volunteering at Grace Nest, a home for pregnant teens. But then Kane turns up the heat. The gentle giant has always attracted her, but the idea of loving and losing her friend terrifies her. Because when he learns about her hidden sin, surely he’ll vanish from her life forever.

A snowstorm forces them together and unleashes their fears. Kane worries if Syd still sees him as the overweight kid from their past and questions whether a future together is God’s will or his most treasured dream. Syd wrestles the demon of lies as she relives horrendous memories.

Grace Nest…where broken hearts heal, chains are loosened, and hope is restored. Where love finds its way home during Christmas.

Scoop up this inspirational Christian romance, a story bursting with grace, healing, and love. Another Heart-Racing, God-Gracing Romance from inspirational Christian romance author, Dora Hiers.

Bio: Dora believes that a person should love what they do or choose to do something else. She’s doing exactly what makes her heart sing, and considers every day a gift. When she takes a break from cranking out heart racing, God-gracing romances, Dora adores reading, chowing down on her hubby’s lip-smacking home-smoked ribs, and sipping coffee on a mountain cabin deck. Life’s too short to be stuck in traffic, to drink bad coffee, or to read books with a sad ending. Dora and her real life hero make their home in North Carolina, but with a world full of amazing places to explore, that’s only a landing point.

Come hang out with Dora on Fiction Faith & Foodies, TwitterFacebook, Pinterest and Instagram. She loves hearing from reader friends at DoraHiers@gmail.com. Dora also writes sweet romance that sizzles under the pen name, Tori Kayson.

A Christmas Promise - Tamera Lynn Kraft


A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773
During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape.
When John is called away two days before Christmas to help at another settlement, he promises he'll be back by Christmas Day. When he doesn't show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.
Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

Buying Links:
·         Pelican Book Group http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68_41&products_id=512
·         Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Promise-Holiday-Extravaganza-ebook/dp/B017QL648W/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479409719&sr=1-1&keywords=a+christmas+promise+kraft
·         Christian Books.com https://www.christianbook.com/a-christmas-promise-short-story-ebook/tamera-kraft/9781611163285/pd/48711EB?product_redirect=1&Ntt=48711EB&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP
·         Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-christmas-promise-tamera-lynn-kraft/1117544822?ean=9781611163285

Excerpt:
December 23, 1773, Schoenbrunn Village, Ohio

Anna Brunner kneaded dough while she tried not to notice it was almost dusk. Her husband still wasn’t home. She wiped her hands on her apron and glanced out the six-pane window. The last glint of sunlight blazed the horizon gleaming on the dirt path. No trace of him.
After scooping some sugar, she worked it into the dough and strove to reflect on the Christmas Eve Lovefeast and all the work she had ahead. She’d been honored with the mission of making the sweet buns and would be one of the Dieners serving the meal at their newly built church.
It did no good to fret about what was going on at the meeting down the road. She’d find out soon enough. She released her anxiety on the dough as she squeezed her fingers through and pounded it into shape.
After living in this village for over a year, celebrating the yuletide with all the fanfare it deserved would make up for everything.
Almost.
The children giggled as they finished a game of jackstraws. Belinda, eight years old, failed to remove a straw without touching the others, and Lisel, the round faced six-year-old, smirked as she shouted out in triumph. Three-year-old Katrina’s brown curls bounced as she clapped for Lisel. She hadn’t managed to win any rounds, but Belinda insisted they let her play until a winner had been declared.
“Let’s get the tree ready,” Belinda said.
The girls threw the wheat straws in a basket and dashed to the wooden pyramid frame their father had built. Large boughs were stacked in the corner of the room. Earlier today, before John was beckoned, he’d cut them from the pine trees that lined God’s Acre, the village cemetery.
Moravians didn’t cut down trees and drag them into houses the way some did. By using the frame built from wood, and boughs cut from limbs, they still managed to build a nice Christmas tree.
Once all the limbs were in place, the girls would decorate it with pieces of paper with Scripture verses written on them, and pure white beeswax candles with red ribbons tied around them to represent Jesus, the light of the world, who shed his blood on the cross.
Maybe this year will be better.
Anna’s thoughts drifted to when her husband announced his decision to move to the Ohio wilderness. She had been livid. Many Lenni Lenape were forced to move west, but that didn’t mean the missionaries from the Moravian Church needed to follow those Delaware Indians, at least, not the missionaries with families. There were still plenty of natives in Pennsylvania.
John had gazed at her with his steel blue eyes. “Anna, we learned to speak Lenape and taught it to our children for this reason, to share the Gospel with the natives.”
“We’re already doing that. Think of the danger.” She delivered a daunting glower of her own, meant to dissuade him. “We have children to consider.”
For days, she’d tried to change his mind by pointing out they didn’t need to leave their family and friends in Bethlehem to serve God. He promised her they’d be safe, that the girls would be protected, but she told him he should stop making promises he couldn’t keep.
“We have our duty as missionaries to the natives.” His voice was calm as if his statement settled the matter.
“I won’t go.” The declaration had shocked her as much as it did her husband.
Anna glanced out the window. Dark clouds had blown in obscuring the rising full moon.
John should have been home eating his supper by now.
Earlier, she’d arrived from walking the girls home from school to find John huddled around the fire in discussion with Brother Luke, a village elder. Luke had been a Moravian for so long, she sometimes forgot he was Lenape.
“We can’t let him face them by himself.” John’s furrowed brow wrinkled his normally pleasant face.
When Anna closed the door, the conversation abruptly stopped.
Luke stood. “Forgive the interruption, Sister Brunner. The elders have need of your husband’s wisdom.”
John had grabbed his coat and kissed her on the cheek.
Anna placed a hand over her stomach. “When will you be home?”
“I don’t know, but it’ll be in time to sup with you and the children. I promise.” He closed the door behind him before she could say more.
That was four hours ago.
Lisel attached another bough to the tree and scooted next to Anna pulling on her skirt. “Mama, when do we eat? I’m hungry.”
Anna reached down and gave Lisel a hug. “Soon, child. Help Belinda and Katrina with the tree.” She grabbed the copper ladle hanging on the wall next to the fireplace and stirred the stew she kept warm on the embers. The aroma of pieces of roast pig, overdone potatoes, and turnips made her stomach rumble. If he took much longer, she’d feed the children without him.
She remembered the astonishment in John’s eyes when she had told him she was staying in Bethlehem. He didn’t say anything, didn’t chide her, or tell her she was a disobedient wife. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her forehead.
She quivered under his touch.
He kissed her in a way that overpowered her objections as she melted against him. Pulling back, he said in a quiet voice, “Shall we deny the Lamb that was slain the reward of His suffering by refusing to go?”
A lump formed in her throat, and before he released her, tears rolled down her cheeks. What choice did she have?
So they set off with a group of twenty-eight Moravians, both white man and native, to settle the wilderness and preach the Gospel to the Lenape.
Anna hadn’t felt safe since. She punched the dough and set it on the bread board to rise.
Since they moved to Schoenbrunn Village, most Lenape welcomed the Moravians, but some looked upon them with suspicion even though most of the families in the group were natives. Then there were the Iroquois, Wyandot, and Shawnee, all warrior tribes leery of the settlers, and some of them hostile towards Lenape.
Looking out the window, she couldn’t see anyone coming down the path, only shadows of other cabins. She grabbed the flintlock on the mantle and lit the candles so they could see to eat their supper.
There’d even been an incident in Gnadenhutten, their sister village to the south, of some Wyandot marauding homes and stealing supplies. They didn’t hurt anyone, but they might next time. Or they might decide to pillage Schoenbrunn Village.
She rubbed her belly, hidden by the light blue apron that protected her blue and white striped wool dress. She’d sewn it last winter out of the material she’d bought before they left Pennsylvania.
New life growing inside helped keep her mind off the dangers. Maybe next year she could give John a son. That would make things the way they used to be. She would tell him the news on Christmas Day.
She set tin plates on the wooden table next to the wall where the children had decorated the tree. Many of the preparations for the celebration were already done. The tree took up too much space in their small cabin, but it was worth it.
They still had room for the rocking chair perched by the fireplace. John had made it for Anna last Christmas. Baskets, water carriers, a spinning wheel, and various other tools were hidden away on shelves in the corner to provide more room. A straw tick where the children slept was tucked under the rope bed.
Lisel reached up as far as she could to attach a bough to a higher wooden beam. Katrina only managed to reach the lower planks. Belinda moved the papers and ink bottle from the table where she’d been writing out Scriptures to hang on the branches.
Anna’s oldest daughter reminded her of her husband, not only because of her straight blond hair and ruddy complexion covered with freckles, but because of her devotion to God and courage in adversity, virtues Anna once had before…
The door flew open, and the burst of frigid air chilled the room and blew out one of the candles.
John stepped inside with a recent Lenape convert who had been baptized under the name Paul. Anna was glad the man had converted. Brother Paul was six feet tall and built like a tree.
Her husband was almost as tall and as broad across the shoulders, with a pleasant look that seemed to want to break into a smile at the slightest provocation. John’s strength helped her feel safe, as if being wrapped in a warm blanket. Even though she’d lived among Lenape most of her life, Brother Paul scared her.
Belinda and Lisel ran to their father and gave him a tight embrace. Katrina tugged on his trouser leg until he picked her up and ran a hand through her brown ringlets. Katrina was the only one of their children who favored Anna.
“Papa,” Belinda said. “I’m writing Scriptures to hang on the tree, and I helped Mama with the buns for the feast. We’re almost ready.”
John hugged his oldest girl. “You’re such a blessing to your mama.” He said the words in English, which was odd. They spoke Lenape when natives were around, especially ones who hadn’t learned English. John would normally remind the girls to speak Lenape when they had a guest.
“I helped, too.” Lisel allowed her lower lip to almost reach her chin.
“No sulking.” John patted Lisel’s head. “There’s enough work for everyone.”
“I help Mama,” Katrina said.
“Of course, you do.” John set Katrina on the dirt floor.
“Children.” Anna grabbed hold of Katrina’s hand. “Give your father an opportunity to settle. Why don’t you work on the Putz?”
Lisel clapped her hands together, and the girls gathered near the blazing fire where pinecones, cloth, and papers lay in a wicker basket. The children would make figures out of them depicting the Nativity, the wise men, and the Exodus from Egypt. John had already whittled a small manger. Katrina, as the youngest, would place the pinecone baby Jesus in it on Christmas Eve after the Lovefeast.
Anna tucked a stray curl into her Habba, turned to Paul, and spoke Lenape to welcome him. “Nulelìntàm èli paan. May I serve you anything—coffee, water?”
Brother Paul shook his head. He wore a grey shirt and trousers, a buckskin coat similar to her husband’s, and had shaved his Mohawk. But when he crossed his arms and leaned against the door post, he looked as intimidating as when he wore black and red paint around his eyes, and dressed like a warrior.
“We’ll need ashcakes.” John now spoke in Lenape. His Adam’s apple bulged as he grabbed the musket hanging on the wall over the fireplace. “And a couple canteens of water.”
Anna wrapped the cornmeal ashcakes in a cloth and poured water from the pitcher into the wooden canteens. “I kept some stew warm for you. Do you and Brother Paul have time to sup before your journey?”
“No, we must make haste.” John glanced out the window. “It’s already dark. We need to arrive at Gnadenhutten before it gets too late.”
She motioned John to the corner of the cabin, and whispered so the girls wouldn’t be alarmed. “Something’s wrong.”
“A delegation from a nearby Lenape tribe arrived at Gnadenhutten. They have requested to meet with leaders from both of our villages.” John touched her arm. “Don’t be troubled. They mean no harm. They only want to know more about what we’re preaching.”
Anna’s stomach knotted. “Is there any danger?”
“You fret too much.” A smile played with the edges of John’s mouth. But that’s all it did. “They only want to converse, nothing more.”
“How many will accompany you?”
“Brother Paul and Brother Luke.”
Her shoulders relaxed. Luke had been a trusted native helper to the Moravians since his youth. They’d known him for years in Pennsylvania. But Paul showed up at the village a few months ago.
“Why must you go?” Anna wrapped her arms around John. “You have responsibilities to your family. Let somebody without a wife and children take your place.”
John hugged her for a moment, and then pulled back to tilt her chin towards him. The lighthearted facade had been replaced by an intense gaze. “We came here to advance the Kingdom of God. Shall I pull back now?”
Anna wiped away the stray tear rolling down her cheek. “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.” She said the words in Lenape to reassure him, but they didn’t make her feel any better.
“Amen.” Brother Paul stepped over to them and put a hand on John’s shoulder. “Brother, we must go now.”
John nodded.
Anna swallowed back the lump in her throat and spoke in English. It seemed too intimate a moment with her husband to let Paul understand her words. “Will you be home in time for the Lovefeast tomorrow night?”
John’s brow furrowed. “I don’t know.”
“You can’t miss the celebration of the birth of our Savior.”
“I’ll try to be back in time.” John’s jaw twitched. “I promise to be home for Christmas.”
Anna wanted to argue with him, tell him not to go, but it wouldn’t do any good. She forced her breathing to slow to a normal pace. “Then I’ll make it the best we ever had.”
“That won’t be hard,” John said. “Any Christmas with you and the girls is good.”
“Brother John.” Paul nodded towards the door. “They’re waiting.”
“I’ll meet you outside.”
The door made a thumping sound as Paul closed it on the way out.
“Children,” Anna said. “Papa’s going on a journey. Come say good-bye.”
The girls ran to their father and hugged him.
“When will you be back?” Belinda asked.
“Maybe tomorrow in time for the Lovefeast.” John wiped his hand across his neck. “If not, I’ll see you Christmas Day.”
John took Anna into his arms once again and kissed her. The heat of the moment swept through her as she leaned into the kiss with parted lips. He rested his mouth against her neck, and then pulled away. After strapping on his supplies and musket, he opened the door.
The blast of winter filled the cabin and sent a chill through her. She scampered to the fireplace, grabbed her ladle, and dished stew onto tin plates. “Children, come to the table to sup.” The door shut with a dull thud behind her.
John was gone.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Plundered Christmas - Susan Lytekk

Short blurb: When compelled to spend Christmas on the private island of her father’s intended bride, Jeanine must cope with pirate legends, unexpected storms, and murder. Will she and her family discover the truth about Anne Bonny’s connection to the Banet family before someone else winds up dead?
Back cover blurb:  Compelled to spend Christmas on a private island with her father’s future bride and family, Jeanine learns that Margo Banet is descended from a pirate queen.
Relatives and friends all have their reasons for attending the festivities—including the legendary treasure. But when Margo’s nephew winds up dead and a violent storm cuts them off mainland, Jeanine has to wonder if they will solve the mystery before someone else dies trying.

Book excerpt
I held up the parchment. “This raised brick caused the last carton to spill. We found this under it.”
“Oh my.” Margo’s mouth fell open as she claimed the find.

****

Christmas decorating was put on hold immediately. All of Banet Island wanted to see the mysterious parchment and what it contained. I heard whispered questions. “Is it the map?” and “How could a visitor find what none of us did?” as well as grateful exultations. They all hoped I had stumbled upon something, something precious and priceless for the Banet family.
In the grand dining room, we huddled around the ancient paper as Margo used a hot skewer to lift and cut the wax, preserving the seal.
Then William suggested that I, someone with no connections or interest in whatever it was, open the parchment and read it.
Nervously, wearing the white cotton gloves someone loaned me, I unrolled the document. I wasn’t sure what I expected to find, or what they expected me to read, but it seemed to surprise everyone. The ornate script was difficult to decipher at first, but then, as I grew accustomed to it, a mysterious woman came to life upon its page.
The year of our Lord, 1720, December
Mary died. My best friend in all the world burned up by the cruelest of fevers. That was all I could turn my mind to when the cell door opened. They had come for her body.
I had seen the baby kicking within her as Mary thrashed in agony. The poor thing did not realize its mother was dying. Nor did it know it would also, without ever seeing the light of day. I hugged my own belly. Oh dear God in heaven! What hope remained for my own infant?
I felt a pang of another kind. What about my other child? Who had he become? Now that I had no hope of life, I longed for him, the one I had thrust aside for my pleasure and adventure. Fate is cruel and leads us in its merry ways simply, I believe, to see how we will dance.
However, it was not the gaoler who opened the door to my confinement. Much to my surprise, it was my husband. I did suppose, even after my transgressions and flights of fancy that he was still my husband.
“Be still,” he told me in a whisper. “Your father and I have arranged for your escape.”
That my father could and would do such a thing, I could believe. Since the death of my mother, he indulged me far too much. But that he and James would work in concert seemed an incredible thing. Father had never cared for James. He often called him weak-willed and lily-livered. At sixteen, I believed not a word of it. On the other hand, perhaps I did give it credence and wanted to defy my father anyway.
James urged me to silence as he afforded my exit. We had to be quick about it. The guards had been paid for only momentary blindness.
I said a quick word of farewell to my longest, truest friend and put my favorite (and only remaining) shawl across her face. Then I followed James up and out to freedom.
In the harbor, a small frigate with my father’s colors awaited us. After we boarded and set sail, James let me know the plan.
Through his connections with the governor, he found a small, uninhabited island. Using the monies he had earned as informant, he purchased that same island. There, he explained, we would live in blissful anonymity.
When I began to protest, he told me some details about the layout of our new abode and the way the prevalent currents avoided it. Few people, without intending to visit us, would find us. However, we had a ship.
His plan was wise. The years had grown well on James. Father provided that he would leave us be and circulate various rumors about my disappearance: that I had died, that I had remarried and lived as a sedate housewife, and that I vanished as mysteriously as I had been born.
Father only had two conditions for helping us. One, that we make available various items of interest we, shall we say, stumbled upon in our journeys for him to dispose of however he should wish. Some he would sell to profit by, but knowing how Father collects things which please him, others would find a place in his abode. However, the second condition was more personal. Perhaps he felt it made up for him being first an absent and then a permissive father? He required that I keep a journal, a record of my life and days to be available for him to read if ever he should visit us on the island. If I refused to do so, he would turn me back in to the Jamaican authorities.
As Father had never made such a promise of retribution before, I had no reason to doubt it. However, as James explained, with what we planned for our livelihood, it would not do well to have all the pages in the same place.
This, in evidence, is the first of such pages. I attest it to be as real and as truthful as I ever wrote.
Anne, Queen of Banet Island

Beneath her final words, a compass rose was drawn with one arrow pointing north and another southwest. I could only guess what that meant.


Author bio Susan A. J. Lyttek, author of kids’ comedy, Guzzy Goofball and the Homeschool Play from Outer Space and the cozy mystery trilogy by Harbourlight Books which includes Plundered Christmas, is a wife and the mother of two homeschool graduates who writes early mornings in the shadow of our nation’s capital. She also enjoys training up the next generation of writers by teaching middle and high school co-op classes. Learn more about her and her projects at sajlyttek.com.


Keri's Christmas Wish - Pamela Thibodeaux


Christian Theme:
The power of faith to heal 
                                        
Tagline:
Can Keri get past her angst over Christ’s birth and enjoy the Christmas season?

Blurb:
For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?

A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?

Find out in Keri’s Christmas Wish

Synopsis:
In Keri's Christmas Wish we get a glimpse into the life and spiritual practice of an ordinary woman who goes through an extraordinary experience.

Keri Jackson is an accountant who, although she loves Christ, abhors the hype, commercialism and controversy of His birth. As she embarks on a spiritual quest to determine why she feels this way, a rare bacterial infection threatens to take her life before she can find answers.

Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist whose practice is a bit unorthodox as far as the medical community is concerned, has been enthralled by Keri from the moment the two meet. He feels she is a highly intelligent, deeply emotional, intensely complex human being. He has studied the human psyche and spiritual evolution for as long as he can remember. Keri's attitude toward Christmas baffles him, but Jeremy is sure together they can get to the bottom of it. Until she is beset by a rare infection that she may not recover from.

But what Jeremy and the doctors don't know is that while her body is under attack, Keri's soul is alive and well in another realm.

We travel this journey with Keri as she discovers a spiritual truth that is sure to set many people free from preconceived notions about heaven, angels, Christ, Christmas and the value of a relationship with Jesus.


Excerpt #1: Later that evening, Keri sat in her apartment bewildered and confused. Her search around the apartment complex after work had uncovered not a single string of wind chimes. Not one. She’d found nothing to explain the music she’d heard while drifting off after her evening prayer the night before.

Goose bumps rose on her flesh in response to the shiver that shook her soul. Could it be God used the music to acknowledge her prayer? Would this be the year she finally let go of all the angst she felt around Christmas and just enjoyed one of the holiest seasons? Would her Christmas wish finally be granted?

Excerpt #2: She turned to face him, took his hands in hers and stood on tiptoe to brush her lips across his. “Thank you. I’ll bet you do wondrous work with your patients. You sure have made me feel better.”

He caressed her cheek with the back of his hand. “I’m not the Healer, love, just the vessel. Not the Source of Wisdom, only the messenger.”

Keri’s insides turned to mush at his use of the term ‘love’ when addressing her. She smiled. “And you do both beautifully.”

Excerpt #3: Nothing fascinated Jeremy more than the mind, body and emotions of man, and the effect one had on the other. How the mind could cause fear to manifest in the body and how emotions could influence both physiological and psychological functions amazed and baffled him in equal parts. When you added the spiritual aspect to the equations, it added a whole new level of intrigue to the entire concept of what a human being was comprised of. He’d found that miracles and madness sometimes went hand in hand.

Excerpt #4: An image began to form in her mind…a young girl being led around on a horse by an ethereal figure. As the trio came closer, Keri felt as though she looked in a mirror. Her heart swelled. Tears clogged her throat, filled her eyes, and slipped down her cheeks.

“Hi, Keri!”

The childlike voice reverberated through her entire body. Keri smiled and whispered, “Hello.”

Excitement lit the youngster’s eyes. Brilliant colors vibrated around her. “Do you know who I am?”

“You’re me as a little girl. That’s Spark, my horse who died when I was a teenager.”

Spark nodded his head as the girl giggled—a joyous melody that rang through the atmosphere. “No, silly, I’m your big sister. Only, I didn’t live very long.”

Tension seeped in, a mixture of shock and awe.

“Don’t be afraid. Ask mom.”

And then the mirage disappeared.


Excerpt #5: She awoke in another dimension. Keri had no idea if she was in Heaven, but neither did she fear Hell. Her surroundings were reminiscent of a dense forest at dusk. Shadows danced against a sunset where brilliant colors bled from the sky. A light shone in the distance but as she moved toward it, Keri felt as though she plowed through molasses. Unease pricked her skin. The sound of water drew her deeper into the woods until she stood at the base of a vast waterfall and rapids so swift she dared not attempt to cross the river.

The light grew stronger, brighter. Beckoning.

I need to get to the light.


Q&A:

Question:  What inspired you to write your newest release Keri’s Christmas Wish?
Answer: When I look back on the beginning I can honestly say Keri’s Christmas Wish was totally inspired by God. I’d finished a short story and sent the collection off to my editor when a vision of a young woman scrolling through her newsfeed came to mind with the words: Bah Humbug…. The entire story evolved from that one image and I completed the manuscript within a very short time. Since this was the first, original fiction story I’ve written in its entirety since 2009 I’m very excited to see it come to fruition.

Question: Why should people buy this book and who is your potential audience? 
Answer: Keri's Christmas Wish will give readers an enjoyable fiction story that shares the miracles and magic of the books and movies made over the last several years based on a true account of someone's visit to heaven. Those who love reading, hearing about and watching a true account of someone's visit to heaven as well as those who wonder if heaven is for real and what it is like, will enjoy Keri's Christmas Wish. 

Question: Is there anything else you feel is relevant to this story?
Answer: True accounts of heaven, angels, miracles as well as Energy Medicine, and meditation/self-help techniques are huge topics of interest in the world today. This story combines all of the above in a manner sure to entertain as well as enlighten.

Question: What is the message you hope to get across in this story?
Answer: That regardless of where you are in your faith journey God and His angels are always there to guide and guard and that He loves you in spite of your doubt and fears.

Question: What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
Answer:         Q: To what or whom do you credit your success?
                        A: Many people have a love/hate relationship with their muse. My muse is the Holy Spirit and I accredit every ounce of success to the grace of God because without HIM I seriously doubt I could write a single word, much less stories that bring hope and healing to so many.

Question: What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
Answer: Unlike many writers, I'm not strictly disciplined. However, when I am actively writing, I write—very little editing, or working on other projects, limited time online, not much networking or blogging, sleep comes only in snatches, meals are scarce and light, and definitely no playing!

Question: When do you feel like it all began to come together for you as a writer—was there a particular moment?
Answer: After years as a closet writer, penning stories in 5-subject notebooks, I'd have to say when I purchased my first, USED word processor and started typing in all those handwritten manuscripts I really began to feel like a writer.

Question: Who has influenced you most as a writer and why?
Answer: There is really no one person to whom I can attribute this to, so many have helped me along the way. I’d have to say that my love of reading has influenced me the most. Reading opens doors to the imagination, takes you places you’d never be able to go otherwise and improves your visualization and vocabulary skills. Now, I’m able to implement all those things into my own writing.

Question: What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Answer: The biggest challenge I face is not having my work accepted by the “Christian” publishers. As one reviewer said, “though undeniably Christian, it is never dogmatic or insular; offering faith rather than religion.” (Review of Tempered Dreams by Elizabeth Burton for Blue Iris Journal) My books deal with issues in a way that is unacceptable in the traditional CBA market. Now that is not saying that my books are better than those published through traditional CBA publishers, only different. As I’ve said many times, everything that gives God glory deserves to be praised!

Question: What are a few writing tips you could share with aspiring writers?
Answer: The bible exhorts us to “study and show yourself approved.” Keep studying, keep writing, keep learning, stay open to constructive critique and NEVER GIVE UP! Writing is both gift and talent given to you by God. Don’t hide your gift or bury your talent. Whatever you write, write well. Strive for excellence. Stay teachable, pliable, and flexible. Never believe that you know it all because knowledge is power and the more you know the more valuable you become. Above all share what you learn with others and make someone’s load lighter to bear.

Question: Any marketing tips?
Answer: Marketing is an intricate part of the publishing business and publishers today expect authors to do their fair share. However, marketing/promotion can be overwhelming as the more you learn, the more there is to learn. For everything you accomplish, there are hundreds more you can do. My motto is: Do something every day and your best then let God do the rest and remember it takes time to build a career.

Question: What is your goal or mission as a writer?
Answer: A committed Christian, I firmly believe in God and His promises. God is very real to me. I believe that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them and I do my best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with Him. The deepest desire of my heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust, and forgiveness to a hurting world. My hope is that all of my stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and - in some way - bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him.


Author Bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

URL for Photo: http://bit.ly/SAsS2T 

Links:
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com    
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU 
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

Blog Tour Stops:

Dec 3rd – Saturday Spotlight on my personal blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Dec 4th – Patty Gordon/Patricia Kiyono Blog: http://creative-hodgepodge.blogspot.com/

Dec 5th - Linda Rondeau Blog:  http://lindarondeau.com/snarksensibility
Dec 6th - Clare Revell Blog: http://telscha.blogspot.co.uk/
Dec 7th – Diana Rubino Blog: http://dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com/
Dec 8th – Tina Gayle Blog: http://tinagayle.blogspot.com/2016/10/pam.html
Dec 9th – Linda Carroll-Bradd Blog: http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com/
Dec 10th – Marilyn Leach Blog: marilynleachteaandbooks.com
Dec 11th – Robin Bayne Blog: http://wwwwritingbetweensundays.blogspot.com/
Dec 12th – Raquel Byrnes Blog: http://nitewriter6.blogspot.com/
Dec 13th – Cami Checketts Blog: http://www.camichecketts.com/  
Dec 14th – Linda McLaughlin Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Dec 15th – Diane Burton Blog: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/
Dec 16th – Maureen Bonatch Blog: http://www.maureenbonatch.com/blog/
Dec 17th – Alicia Dean Blog: https://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/
Dec 18th – Jody Day Blog: http://jodysdevotionaljournal.blogspot.com/

Dec 20th – Marian Merritt’s Blog: http://marianmerritt.blogspot.com



* Rafflecopter Giveaway – 5 E-copies & 5 Print copies of Keri’s Christmas Wish
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Monday, 5 December 2016

Radio Wave Romance - Katie Clark

BLURB:
Hit radio show host Annalise Waters is challenged on-air when social studies teacher, Christopher Sanders, accuses her of being cold-hearted toward the needs of the local children’s hospital. Afraid of public backlash, the station arranges a fundraiser for the hospital, with Annalise at the head. But it’s a fundraiser that drags up painful memories from Annalise’s past.

Christopher hadn’t intended to be hustled into a fundraiser—he’d only wanted to make a point. But as he spends more time with Annalise, and realizes his mistaken judgment, he can’t deny the growing feelings for the woman who is anything but cold-hearted.

Will she ever forgive his on-air accusations and see the depth of his true feelings?



EXCERPT:

CHAPTER 1
Annalise pulled two steaming cups close as she scooted past a coworker in the hallway. Sam stood down the hall at the door of the studio, with her hands on her hips and an exasperated expression on her face.
“You’re on in thirty seconds!” Sam’s call from the end of the corridor urged Annalise forward.
“I’m coming!” She rushed down the short hall as Sam shook her head and hurried inside.
Annalise could almost hear her thoughts: Why can’t that girl make it on time?
She set her coffee at her desk, and hurried to Sam’s side to offer a hot chocolate peace offering. “You know I love you,” she said with a wink. Then, she slipped into her own side of the two-room studio, and grinned across the glass at Sam.
Sam smiled and rolled her eyes as Annalise jerked the headphones into place. “You’re on in five, four, three, two, one.” Her voice carried through the small pass-through that had been cut out from the bottom of the window separating the rooms.
“Good morning, sleepy Salem! Welcome to Mornings with Annalise. This is Annalise Waters. We’ve got traffic on the hour, and we’ll be taking calls at twenty after. Until then, enjoy a commercial-free music marathon.”
“Clear,” Sam said. She leaned back in her seat and shook her head, her long, graying curls bouncing around her shoulders. It was only the twinkle in her eye that gave away her true feelings—she could never be mad at Annalise. At least, that’s what Annalise liked to tell herself.
“Why do you insist on doing this to me?” Sam teased.
Annalise bit her lip, then blew on her still-too-hot coffee. “Sorry. I really needed my coffee. And I brought you your favorite!”
Sam chuckled. “You better be glad that I love you back. Now take off your coat.”
“I’m glad for your love every single day.” Annalise removed the heavy coat, hung it on her chair, and then flipped through the day’s script.
Script was a loose word. It was more like a few notes scribbled on a piece of paper from Sam’s husband’s hotel letterhead. Some days it was longer, but today the checklist was short, just a few points she should touch on throughout the show.
“Are you ready for the caller hour?” Sam asked. “Last week was a bit of a disaster.”
“I can’t help it when people want to argue with me,” Annalise defended herself. Just thinking of the woman who had started an on-air feud made her blood boil. “Doesn’t anyone screen these calls?” The plea sounded true enough, but deep down she knew the truth. She thrived in the midst of conflict. It got her blood pumping and her adrenaline rushing. Made her feel alive, which was important.
Sam’s raised eyebrows showed she wasn’t fooled by the claim. “We can all agree she was a pot stirrer, true. But try being a little nicer next time, eh?”
“Her theory was wrong. That’s the point of the segment, isn’t it? I’m teaching fiscal responsibility in these little weekly snippets. What if the rest of the listeners went out and tried her ridiculous suggestions?”
Sam didn’t reply, but she narrowed her eyes.
Okay, so maybe she could have been a little nicer. She would try harder. It would make Sam happy, if nothing else. Besides, once they’d gone off the air Annalise had offered to meet with the lady to work out her budget—which the pot stirrer had refused.
“We’re back on in thirty seconds. It’s the weather, news, then get ready for caller one.”
Annalise slipped the headphones back into place, and adjusted herself more comfortably. She hated the weekly Q & A, but when ratings had taken a slight dip, Mr. Winslow, the station owner, had scrambled for something to keep her afloat. The Fiscal Responsibility segment was Sam’s idea.
 “Did you know the number one reason for divorce is finances?” Annalise opened. Which was a stupid line because everyone these days knew the number one reason for divorce was finances. She hated opening with it, but Mr. Winslow insisted. “In this week’s Fiscal Responsibility segment we’re going to take calls from the public—that’s you—so get ready. But first we’re going to traffic, weather, and news.”
She switched over to the affiliate news station, who jumped right into the latest traffic pile up.
Sam sat across the glass, already taking phone calls and questions.
Annalise took another swig of coffee, which had finally cooled to an acceptable temperature. The sweet but bitter warmth spread through her. It loosened her muscles and mind as she pulled out the financial guru stuff the bosses had put together for her to reference. She’d read through it multiple times, but when it came to answering these people’s questions, having it nearby gave her a boost of confidence.
The traffic, weather, and news went off without a hitch, and Sam gave the nod. Annalise leaned toward the microphone, ready to go live, and this time she was ready. She waited for Sam’s fingers to tick down five, four, three, two, one.
“We’re back with this week’s Fiscal Responsibility segment. We welcome your financial questions, and I believe we have our first caller.”
Sam nodded and punched a button on her end. A smooth masculine voice filled the airways. “Miss Waters, do you advocate supporting local charities as a part of regular fiscal responsibility?”
“Charitable donations are a great way to get tax breaks. So as long as it’s in your budget, I say go for it.” She waited for the standard “thank you” that always followed.
“Funny, because I’ve been a listener for a while, and I’ve never picked up on any charities you actually support. In fact, I’ve done a bit of outside research, and I still haven’t been able to find anything.”
Heat erupted in Annalise’s ears and she turned worried eyes to Sam. Sam frowned and bit her lip, but the public was waiting. Dead airwaves were bad airwaves.
Annalise fumbled for something to say.
 “And what would you suggest?” That was as good a save as any.
“Well, the children’s hospital is my personal favorite. Have you ever visited?”
The heat faded into a throbbing, a deep spasm in the pit of her stomach. It spread quickly to her heart and brain until she couldn’t block it out. “Once or twice, yes,” she forced out. Painful memories flooded her mind.
“And you didn’t find it donation-worthy?”
She swallowed hard. “Your point has been made. I will update my donation information on the website soon. Thanks for your call.”
She switched herself off the air, and glanced at Sam. “I’m taking a break.”
Sam nodded and hurried to switch the station to music, while Annalise stomped to the bathroom. Images from the past raced through her head—hospital beds, beeping machines, and worried faces that would never leave her mind’s eye.
She turned on the faucets and splashed cool water over her cheeks and eyes, then grabbed a paper towel to dry herself off. What a disaster. Now she looked like a monster, and they were going to be getting hate mail and who knew what else.
The nerve. How dare anyone question her donations? She gave to her church, above and beyond what she tithed. It wasn’t anyone’s business what she did with her money.
She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the mirror.
It was everyone’s business. She was a public figure, and people wanted to know. They always had and they always would. Now the station was going to get demands that she prove what types of charities she supported. It was going to mean public announcements, fundraising events, the whole shebang.
And that meant people would be getting to know her. Asking her questions. Digging into her past—a past she didn’t want to remember.
The bathroom door opened and Sam slipped inside. “You okay? You looked as pale as a ghost.”
Annalise straightened and took a deep breath. She was overreacting. People forgot things they heard on the radio five minutes after it aired. “I’m fine. I told you we needed to screen these calls.”
“I’m sorry, Sweetie.” Sam’s arm slipped over her shoulders. “You’ve got to go back on air, though. Can you do it?”
Suck it up, Sweetheart.
It was what Dad had always told her when she was a kid. She did it then, she could do it now. “Yeah, I can do it.”
“Good. And we’ll get lunch on the station. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.”
Annalise managed a smile. “They told us yesterday they were buying lunch today anyway.”
Sam grinned. “You remember that, do you?”
Annalise went back on the air like nothing had happened, but her mind was never far from the caller. The guy who thought he should challenge her on the air, for all the world to hear.
If she ever met him in person, she’d give him a piece of her mind.

My review:
This one gave me chills and tears and smiles, all wrapped up in a huge Christmas bow. As a parent who's spent weeks in a hospital intensive care unit with a small baby, I not only felt but understood Annalise's reactions to the children's hospital. Set in the midst of a fundraiser, Annalise and Christopher's story is sure to delight you.

Amazon link to Radio Wave Romance:

Barnes and Noble link:

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas 'Couragement - LoRee Peery

Blurb:
Liam once approved of helping others, but not anymore. He lost his mother due to a crazed street person, and he's hardened his heart. Now a successful photographer, he’s returned to set up shop in his hometown--directly across the courtyard from his sister’s best friend. Zoe runs an outreach center and encourages the homeless and needy, especially at Christmas. Nursing a soft spot for Liam that started as a girlhood crush, she sets out to help him by creating her unique brand of encouragement cards. Her hope is to reignite the fire and love for Christmas and God, which Liam once had. The cards and ornaments countdown to Christmas, but what if Liam doesn’t want to be one of Zoe’s projects? What happens when her crush grows into something more? What if they both receive more than expected?



Excerpt –

15 years ago

Her heart did a flip-flop at the sound of his deep voice. They’d never be in the same school again. Next year he’d go to high school at the same time she and Meredith advanced to middle school.
“Let her be, Liam.” Meredith hit her brother on the shoulder. “So what if she says the word without the beginning letters? I want to always be a little girl at heart.”
Zoe reached for Meredith’s hand. “That man on the bench. He’s sad. He’s cold and alone. I want to make a Christmas card to ‘courage him.”
“OK, squirt.” Liam circled her tender earlobe, freshly pierced. “I got it. You want to encourage the man to make him feel better.”
“Right. Could you ask your mom to take us to the craft store on the way home so Meredith and I can make a card tonight? Let’s look for him next week after the movie.”
That night the girls sat at Zoe’s kitchen table, now covered with scrapbooking materials. “Meredith, since Mom works at the hospital on Saturdays, I’m glad your mom drives us. Do you think Liam will walk us girls around a couple blocks by the theater? I’ll pray first on Friday night.”
“I’ll pray too. I want to give this card I’m making to just the right person.”
Zoe worked her tongue while she cut silver paper. “Did you see the face of the man on the bench today?”
“I did. He made me think of Santa Claus.” Meredith swung her heavy, long braid over her shoulder.
“It shouldn’t be hard to find him with that white beard. I want this card to go to him. I wish I was older and had a job so I could buy him a big blanket to keep him warm.” Zoe handed the scissors to Meredith.
“You look for him. I want to look for a raggedy woman. Maybe even someone who has a place to sleep at night, but looks lonely and lost. God will show me if a sad lady needs Christmas cheer from my card all decorated like a beautiful tree.”
Three weeks later, the girls waited inside the lobby for Liam. He and his friends had met for a sci fi movie, yet to end. Meredith bopped to a tune plugged into her ear.
Outside the theater, the girls held hands, Liam walking behind so it didn’t appear as though they were together.
A homeless man pushed off the wall of the building and into their path. “You girls are angels.”
Liam’s shoes slapped on the sidewalk as he ran to catch up. He placed a hand on each of their shoulders, preventing them from getting too close to the man.
Zoe smiled at the man who wore a light jacket over a frayed, hooded sweatshirt that looked more gray than black. “We’re not angels, we’re ‘couragers.”
“I like that better. It takes courage to approach a reprobate like me. I’m not gonna hurt them, laddy. You girls encouraged me last week by that beautiful gold angel card. Prettiest thing my hands have held in a long, long time. You gave me hope, so much I’m gonna clean up and find a church Christmas Eve.” He gave a slight bow and moved aside.
The kids didn’t say a word as they walked the two blocks to the SUV.
Liam clamored into the front.
Zoe waited to open the door. “Meredith, let’s always remember each other at Christmastime.”
“Why would we forget? We’re best friends forever. How could we forget each other?”
“I don’t know.” She braved a look at Liam through the window, where he slouched in the seat, drumming his fingers on his knee. “He always keeps us safe when we walk downtown.” I’ll never forget Liam, either.

Present Day
Zoe would have liked nothing more than to catch up with Liam as he strode down the street. At the moment, she was more thrilled over reconnecting with Meredith. Questions for him would have to wait. He was headed in the direction of the Haymarket. Could his studio be there? If so, he wouldn’t be too hard to find.
As far as that went, she could ask Meredith about her brother. They continued to text and finally agreed to talk later that night, since Meredith needed to get back to her office. Zoe fired off one more text message. How did your bro lose the spirit of Christmas?
When Mom died.
Maybe it was a good thing Zoe hadn’t asked Liam about his mother. As children, neither Meredith nor Liam talked about the absent Gorgeous father.
Instead of heading to Agape Wear, Zoe scurried to her car and turned southeast to the craft store. Her mind was full of Liam, as memories spun to her girlhood times with Meredith. He was in the background as they made the Christmas cards at Meredith’s home. He had fun teasing Zoe as much as his sister, never in a mean way.
Liam had obeyed his mother and escorted, rather trailed behind a few feet, as the girls sought just the right person to hand their cards to. Sometimes they later cried over the joy they’d brought to a recipient.
Zoe experienced much the same fulfillment now, helping the helpless. She’d learned not every directionless man on the streets was a drug user, lazy, or mentally ill. They were often victims who’d never connected with the right advocate and availed themselves of the aid available.
The faces of the homeless stretched far beyond the men who slept on vacant benches or under bridges. The women and children who had frequented Agape Wear shared awful stories. They were in trouble due to loss of homes because of fire or abandonment. Many dependent children of a father who was the main bread winner lost their security when the man’s job didn’t pan out. Other honest families went broke due to lack of insurance to cover medical bills. Then there were the women who had to start over because of abuse.
Help was available for everyone if they had the right advocate or avenues.
Zoe didn’t want to contemplate the effect drug users had on families. She knew what heartache addiction caused. When it came to loss of livelihood due to that affliction, she identified with many of the people she encountered on a daily basis.
Tears threatened at the way the Lord saved her from her weak self. She still worked on being deserving of her financial status. “Thank You, Abba Father, for the desire to pass on what I can, without hurting another’s sense of self.”
She arrived at the craft store, ready to spend some of that money on craft items to lift another’s spirit.
What had happened to make Liam so serious his eyes lacked luster and his face looked as if it would crack if he smiled? If anyone needed ‘couragement, it was Liam.
Let the Christmas countdown begin.


Bio:
Christian romance author LoRee Peery attempts to see God’s presence every day. Often that gift comes from nature, when the call of a cardinal draws her to look for the distinctive flash of crimson. A meadowlark’s melody always transports her to the farm where she grew up. A rainbow holds special significance, since one appeared over her father’s grave the day of his funeral, assuring her of the Lord’s presence. She clings to I John 5:4 and prays her blended family and dozen grandchildren see that faith. Find LoRee at www.loreepeery.com or on Amazon http://tinyurl.com/kafhkcc


My favorite part of Christmas is the music.