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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.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Daffodils in March by Clare Revell


Blurb: Only given a week’s notice in her current job, Eden Jameson is desperately looking for something new. Being a nanny for her best friend and sister in law, Hanna, is the ideal solution to both their problems.
David Painter has other ideas. Having a stranger in the house could ruin everything he’s worked so long to achieve. He needs to get rid of this nanny and fast.
When Hanna dies unexpectedly, the reading of the will is a shock–Eden and David have been left joint custody of the baby and joint ownership of the house. Can they overcome their differences or is it too late?

Extract:

Eden made her way downstairs, and paused as hushed voices drifted up from the kitchen to meet her.
“Hanna, I can’t have someone else, another woman, in the house. How many times do I have to say this?”
“Am I one woman too many?”
“That’s not what I meant—” David’s voice rose.“—and you know it.”
Eden reached the foot of the stairs. She didn’t want to listen, yet fancied interrupting them even less. Caught between the metaphorical devil and the deep blue sea, she stood in the hallway, the conversation ringing in her ears and burning in her stomach.
“Well, it’s tough, David. Eden’s my friend as well as being Marc’s aunt. Therefore she’s not only a qualified nanny; she’s family and the ideal solution. I don’t see what your problem with her is. You two got on well enough once.”
“Not anymore, Han.”
“What went wrong between the two of you?”
“That is between me and Eden and no one else.” There was a long pause; presumably, he was pacing the room like he always did when he was angry or irritated. Then, he started speaking again, his voice too low to hear.
Really? He hadn’t even given Eden a good reason for them breaking up. One minute things were fine and the next he wanted nothing to do with her. Problem was her emotions didn’t just switch off as easily as his. Part of her still loved him and probably always would.



Buy link:

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Violets in February by Clare Revell

blurb

When uptight missionary, Lucy Boyd is injured her only ride to the hospital 200 miles away is the scary looking guy who delivers their supplies every two weeks. Not only is he scary, he's obviously quite heathen based on the earring in his ear, the heavy metal music blasting from his truck when he pulls into the compound, and his salty language. Jed Gorman doesn't like people, especially Christians. Shuttled from foster home to foster home after the death of his parents, he's had enough "Christian Charity" to last a lifetime. The last thing he needs is that uptight missionary woman as a passenger. But when he sees that her knee is the size of a football he can't say no. It's going to be a rough ride, his truck is old, the monsoon season has hit, and there are guerrillas in the jungle...

extract:

Heavy booted footsteps clomped up the wooden steps outside and across the verandah. The door swung open, and he crossed the room, no doubt bringing in dust and sand to cover her newly swept floor. She could smell him from here. The intoxicating mix of pine and woods and mint that almost conflicted with the tough guy image Jed Gorman held out around him like a shield.
“Dr. Boyd.” His Australian accent rang through the clinic. “What’s a good looking sheila like you doing in back o’Bourke hole like this?”
“Working, Mr. Gorman. The same thing that you are.” Her answer, just like his greeting, never changed. She turned and ran her gaze over him. His sleeves were rolled up to just above his elbows, exposing well tanned, muscular arms wrapped around a crate. There was something about the man’s arms and the way the long vein from elbow to wrist stood out, that set her heart pounding.
But enough of that. Her mind shouldn’t go in such directions. Besides, Jed Gorman didn’t count as a man or eye candy or anything other than a menace.
He grinned at her. “Where do you want me?”

Monday, 8 February 2016

I Thirst - a 40 day journey through the psalms. A FREE read from Pelican Book Group


The authors and staff at Pelican Book Group come together to offer this free devotional for Lent. Travel through favourite psalms and discover Christ in a special way during each day of Lent. 
Available in three formats HERE

Contributors include:
Brenda Baker
Candice Sue Patterson
Christine Lindsay
Claire Sanders
Clare Revell
Delia Latham
Dianne J Wilson
EA West
Heidi Glick
Jamie West
Jan Elder
Janalyn Voigt
Karen Cogan
Kathleen Friesen
Kristen Joy Wilks
Lisa McCaskill
LoRee Peery
Marianne Evans
Marilyn Leach
Mary Manners
MaryAnn Diorio
Megan Lee
Merry Stahel
Natasha Deen
Nicola Martinez
Niki Turner
Pamela Thibodeaux
Robin Bayne
Sandy Nadeau
Susan Lyttek
Terri Weldon
Valerie Goree
Wendy Davy
Zoe McCarthy

Friday, 8 January 2016

Heartache and Hope by Mary Manners





Blurb:
Daylin Sullivan has a passion for two things: books and food. Both help her escape from a past riddled by abandonment; she spent her childhood passed from one foster family to the next. Life has mirrored a game of musical chairs until one New Years Eve she stumbles upon a Dash for the Dream brochure in the local diner. The team is a faith-based group that runs marathons to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research.
Patrick Litton is raising his six-year-old daughter Aubree alone. As the leader of Dash for the Dream, the widower works tirelessly to secure funding in search of better treatment for all those afflicted with CFincluding Aubree. Patrick has no time for romanceuntil he meets Daylin at the Dash for the Dream kick-off party.
Daylin and Patrick don't expect to fall in love, but both learn that when it comes to romance, training for a marathon is the easiest part of their journey.


Excerpt #1:
A chill nipped at Daylin Sullivan’s cheeks as the diner’s door swept open, welcoming the frigid night air. She lifted her gaze from the cup of muddy brew nestled between her palms to see a young couple wedge their way through the narrow entrance, the man’s arm wrapped loosely around his girlfriend’s shoulders. They might have been freshmen or possibly sophomores in college. It was hard to tell with their bulky, snow-dusted jackets and tousled hair spilling from beneath wool toboggans. The girl’s eyes shone with a sparkle of innocence and her laughter tinkled merrily as they wound their way to a booth tucked back in the corner. 
Young love; happy and carefree love. It was just the kind that made a couple forget every trouble in the world and believe their lives would never be touched with even the slightest shadow of heartache. It was the kind of love Daylin longed for and was convinced she’d never have.
Her dating scorecard—if it could even be called that—told the story. Teen years were pockmarked by a flurry of dates with guys she now realized she’d tried too hard to please. Her twenties brought another round of clumsy two-steps with men from the wrong side of the tracks. She knew she was an open and shut case for psychologists, easily dissected as someone seeking a place to belong, finding none that truly mattered, and with a history that could fill an entire series of books cover-to-cover. The product of a father she’d never known and a mother whose longest stint furloughed from the prison system amounted to eight months—not even long enough to birth a baby— Daylin had spent the better part of her childhood passed from one foster family to the next like the odd-man-out contestant in a game of musical chairs. 
As thirty approached she’d sworn off men, instead choosing to cling to the books and sweet confections that had always been there for her—best friends in a sea of heartache. And then she had the misfortune of intersecting paths with Todd Barker. Over the course of several weeks, she’d fallen once again back into the habit of trusting too quickly with her friendship and then her heart.
Four months into the relationship, she’d arrived at his law office with the giddy intention of surprising him with a picnic lunch. Instead of the intimately tender picnic she’d imagined, surprise soufflĂ© had been served up to her on a silver platter when she slipped through the office doorway to find him lip-locked with another woman.


Excerpt #2: 
Trust me. 
A chill coursed through Daylin as she made quick work of unearthing the car from its film of snow before slipping into the driver’s seat to crank the engine. 
Grrr…rrrr…
Gears howled and shrieked as the engine struggled to catch. Daylin’s belly clenched with dread.
“Come on, baby, please.” She patted the ice-cold dash. “You have to start.”
Another crank of the ignition and, like a stubborn child who finally acquiesced, the engine turned over.
“Thank God.” Daylin lowered her head, sighing as frigid air swooshed into the cab. She felt like a traitor. She hadn’t spoken to God—really communed with Him—since her high school days, wasn’t even sure she believed in Him anymore. She removed her mittens to blow on numb fingertips. Shivering as the heater labored toward warm, she took the brochure from her purse and switched on the overhead light. 
Dash for the Dream, read the title in bold, black letters. The small print inside mentioned an informational meeting at Dusty’s Diner in two days. An email address to confirm interest was included. 
Daylin gnawed her lower lip as the car’s heater made quick work of the fogged windshield, unveiling a boulevard that shimmered crisply beneath new-fallen snow. The scenery, devoid of footprints and gloppy-gray slush, appeared so fresh and clean that it nearly stole her breath. For a moment, she felt as if she’d been captured within a snow globe to watch the world dance by while she stood on the sidelines. 
A pain shot through her heart, causing her to cry out. She’d spoken to God once already tonight. Why not again? What would it hurt?
She caught her lower lip between her teeth and then ran her tongue over skin the cold had begun to chap. Her throat tightened, making it difficult to form words. “Please, God, help me find a purpose again. I’m tired of feeling so alone, so lost. I want to do this race. I want to serve others, serve You.”
The prayer of her heart, raw with painful emotion, came as a complete shock. Daylin cringed as the words reverberated inside the snow-crusted cab. If it was possible for lightning to strike in the dead of winter, surely she’d fry right there in the driver’s seat. Through all her heartache, she’d become convinced there was no God. 
And, even if God did exist, why shouldn’t He turn His back on her pleas? Sobbing now, Daylin fished her cellphone from the pocket of her purse with trembling fingers. Without time to second-guess her actions, she typed a quick, shaky message to the inbox noted in the brochure and hit Send.
There…done. There was no backing out now. Daylin swiped her eyes with the sleeve of her jacket and tossed the phone back into her purse. She tightened the scarf at her neck like a noose and gritted her teeth against the desire to cave to the darkness. 
No more…no more. Help me, God!
Tears dripped onto the steering wheel and splattered into Daylin’s lap as the sobs racked her body. Could God still care for her? Could he still hear her pleas?
Heat fogged the windows as a peace cocooned her. Without a doubt, she knew what she must do. She’d attend the Dash for the Dream meeting, listen to the information Patrick Litton-who-had-suffered-some-hardships presented, and decide where to go from there. She could manage that much, couldn’t she? Sorrow parted and a tiny trill of excitement buzzed through Daylin, chasing away a chill of loneliness.

She switched on the wipers, brushing away the last remnants of slush, and shifted into drive. The engine grunted as tires slogged over coated pavement. It would be good to see Patrick again. It had been so long and this chance encounter was a pleasant surprise. Would he remember her?

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Christmastide Outing. Guest blog by Marilyn Leach

A Christmastide Outing

Lively anticipation was to the full as our journey through winding roads and tidy storybook villages of Berkshire and Derbyshire brought us to Waddeston Manor, one time weekend retreat for the extremely well-to-do Rothschild’s. The ascent up the modest hill where the manor house sat did not prepare me for the grandiose home, nor for the extensive countryside view.
Built in the French Chateau style, it looked more like something Louis XIV may have lived in. Statuary sprinkled the garden walk alongside the fountains that lead to the grand entrance. Once inside the imposing doorway, the opulence of the place left me daunted.  Waddeston Manor contains not only a grandiose interior of marble, carved work, and period furniture, it holds the largest impressionist and nineteenth century art collection outside the Louvre Art Museum of Paris.
In fact, the structure was built to house the Rothschild’s extensive art collection. Well, not just house it but show it off. Waddeston was a weekend get-away from London to entertain guests and genuinely impress them. It certainly impressed us, in buckets.
The fact that it was decorated for Christmas only enhanced. The overall theme was Italy, a favorite playground of the Rothschild family. Each opened room displayed a fifteen foot evergreen tree festooned for Christmas and the aspect of Italy it represented. There was a Christmas banquet room with table set for a holiday meal, a room that represented Mount Vesuvius covered with red lights and crimson satin, and even a three room tableau of the story of Pinocchio.  No evergreen was in the games room with the pool table, but it held two living palms, ceiling-high, wrapped in small white lights. Very “Capri”.
Everything about the place called out look at me
This, I thought, is where one would expect a King to be born. Yes, the King for whom we celebrate Christmas. This grandeur would surely suit His stature as Lord of all. 
But He didn’t choose a dwelling such as this as a birthplace. Once outside, I looked across the green leas of the countryside, and the contrast struck my very heart.  The Mighty God became flesh, not in a mansion, but in the humble surrounds of a stable.  He chose, in the dark of night, a small, rough barn to house the greatest Work of Art.   In a sense, I suppose the simple dwelling made the glory of the Christ Child that much more profound.

It became very clear to me on this visit to an amazing manor home that even in its opulence; it was only a shadow of the true beauty of a tiny desert shelter, heralded by a star and angels: birthplace to the Lord of all creation.





Candle for a Corpse: A Berdie Elliott Advent Mystery

Blurb:  Who would guess that a simple Advent wreath would light the way to solving a Christmastide mystery in a small English village?  When Berdie Elliott-the local vicar’s wife and former investigative reporter-gets the scent, she unwraps far more than Christmas presents when a vicarage Advent gathering goes awry and murder rocks the village.  Despite lively newcomers, secret identities, a clandestine wedding, and dissenting constable, Berdie ties up the whole mystery with a bright Christmas bow.  Tea and biscuits, anyone?

Excerpt:  Berdie removed the three weekly advent candles from the holders.  She laid them down across the hearth, bottoms facing her.  She nosed closer to them and squinted.  “These candles have designs carved in the bottom.”
Lillie looked at them.  “Odd.”
“They’re trying to tell us something.”  Berdie spoke her thoughts.
“I wonder where the fourth candle is.”  Lillie looked across the floor.
“Ah, yes, the fourth candle.  I dare say it’s in the bedroom.”
The helper looked perplexed.  “What’s it doing in the bedroom?”
“When we answer that, my dear, we shall have the key to unlock this mystery.”

Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat and the parents stressed and fraught...

One week to go before Christmas. And there is so much to do. Cards to finish writing - though if they aren't done by now you've missed the last posting date! Presents to buy. Then wrap. Then hide from the kids. And the cat! Food to buy and prepare and cook...

Stress levels build. Excitement builds. Countdown of sleeps until a man in a red suit breaks into our houses. eats the mince pies, drinks the sherry or juice, and leaves stuff behind...

But is this the real point of Christmas?



A Christmas version of 1st Corinthians 13:
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not share the true meaning of Christmas, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not demonstrate kindness to strangers, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Author Unknown


And here is the reason why....



Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Deck the soul with boughs of forgiveness by MaryAnn Diorio



Deck the Soul with Boughs of Forgiveness

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

CHRISTMAS!  The word evokes many feelings, depending on our experiences. For some, Christmas is a happy time, filled with beautiful memories and joyful expectations. For others, Christmas is a depressing time, a season one wants “to get over with” as quickly as possible because of bad memories associated with this time of year.

Having ministered to people for many years, I have come to the conclusion that depressing memories at Christmas time are most often related to problems of unforgiveness. Hurts from the past become more pronounced during the Christmas season, but the reason those hurts still affect us is that we have not let go of the bitterness associated with them. In short, we have not forgiven the people who have hurt us.

Why do most people have such a difficult time forgiving? I believe the main reason is that they do not understand what forgiveness really means. If you are one of those people, what follows may help you:

LET’S LOOK AT WHAT FORGIVENESS IS NOT:
• Forgiveness is NOT letting someone off the hook.
• Forgiveness is NOT condoning evil.
• Forgiven is NOT being a doormat.
• Forgiveness is NOT having to trust again the person who hurt you.
• Forgiveness is NOT a feeling.
• Forgiveness is NOT an option.

NOW LET’S LOOK AT WHAT FORGIVENESS IS:
• Forgiveness IS taking the person who hurt you off of your hook and placing him on God’s hook, then praying that God will have mercy on him.
• Forgiveness IS acknowledging that evil was done but choosing to bear the consequences of that evil without retaliation.
• Forgiveness IS taking charge of your emotions.
• Forgiveness IS setting boundaries with the person who hurt you, even refusing temporary or permanent interaction with that person, if necessary. An example would be a wife who is being beaten by her husband.
• Forgiveness IS a decision.
• Forgiveness IS obedience to God’s commandment to forgive.

No matter how badly you have been hurt, choose to forgive. It’s the best thing you can do for your own well-being. Unforgiveness chains you emotionally to the person who hurt you. Forgiveness breaks that chain and sets you free.

What better time is there than the Christmas season to forgive those who have hurt us? The very essence of Christmas is the truth that God forgave humanity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Who are we not to forgive when God has forgiven us?

So this Christmas, forgive! But don’t just forgive. Ask to be forgiven. As the Word of God tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All of us need not only to forgive but also to be forgiven.  And as long as we are on this earth, it is never too late to forgive or to be forgiven.

For a heartwarming, compelling story on the power of forgiveness, you may wish to read my new novella entitled A Christmas Homecoming.  It is available in electronic format for your Kindle, Nook, or iPad.  You may purchase an electronic copy of A Christmas Homecoming HERE, or for a print copy, please email me at maryann@maryanndiorio.com and write the words PRINT COPY in the subject line, and I will send you purchasing instructions.

To view the beautiful book trailer of A Christmas Homecoming, click here.
Last, but not least, may you forge happy memories this Christmas season as the power of forgiveness sets you free!
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*Copyright 2012 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com.
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