About Me

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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.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Guest author Delia Latham

Today, Delia Latham, is blog touring to promote Solomon’s Gate – her new series from White Rose Publishing.

She will be giving away books and a prize of anointing oil to commentators at the blogs she visits. So say hi here and at any of the other blogs listed below.

Kylie's Kiss Blurb

On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon’s Gate—Castle Creek’s new Christian dating agency—and she finds herself revealing exactly what she’s waiting for in a relationship: “The kiss that steals my breath away.”

What she doesn’t reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale—a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He’s handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all…including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face.

Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She’d love to say yes…but how can she, when every contact with the facility’s guests—and Rick’s own daughter—will make her violently ill?

Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn’t stand a chance, but she’s forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.

First a guest blog. Then details of her other stops and pictures of the prize.

Romance, Grandma? Really?

Don’tcha just love love?

I do. I hope I always will. And that, my friends—just in case you’re wondering—is why a 50-something grandmother would write an entire series of books based around a Christian dating agency.

(To be perfectly honest, when I got the first little mustard seed of an idea, I was eleven years younger, had only one grandchild, and hadn’t yet written a novel at all, much less a series of them.) Here’s what happened:

Some years ago, I read a series written by an author I’d never heard of at the time. Her name is Shari MacDonald, and she has an amazing knack for humor. One of the books in that series grabbed me by the imagination and would not let go. That book, A Match Made in Heaven, struck some kind of chord in me. It made me want to write the novel I’d been promising myself for years.

Now, let’s be reasonable here. That was well over a decade ago. Don’t ask me what that pivotal novel was actually about—I don’t have a clue, other than there was a dating agency involved. It made an impression on me, and got me thinking about the matchmaking profession. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to write about a place where Christian singles could go to find—in King Solomon’s words—“he (or she) whom their soul loveth”?

I stored the idea away in my brain, and every once in awhile, I took it out and played with it (not my brain—the idea). I wrote two inspirational romances, neither of which had anything to do with a dating agency, and got them published. I started a couple of other manuscripts, which I still haven’t finished.

Then I woke up one day and it was as though something clicked in my heart—like God was saying, “It’s time. Let’s do it!”

In a perfect world, I disappeared into my office and emerged three days later with a completed manuscript, painstakingly edited and ready to send to a publisher.

Uh-huh. Whoever said this was a perfect world?

No. I still wasn’t completely there. I thought about the idea while I was doing dishes; I mulled it over while driving down the road all by myself; I worked out a fun little scenario or two as I lay in bed at night, instead of counting sheep; I created and discarded a number of storylines and subplots. Weeks, months, and more months went into mentally laying the groundwork.

By the time I actually did go into my office and start writing, I had several nice little scenes all cozied up in my head, just waiting to be put on paper. And…I was no longer just writing a book based around a dating agency. Now it was a series. Three books, maybe more (depending on how well you like them). Plus, God threw in a real surprise for me.

My dating agency would be no ordinary, run-of-the-mill love connection. Sometime during all of those mental writing sessions, it received a touch of the divine. Now it had an extraordinary connection to Heaven.

I’d love to tell you all about it, but then there’d be no need to read the book(s). And I really want you to read the Solomon’s Gate Series.

Destiny’s Dream released in December 2010, and Kylie’s Kiss followed four months later, in April 2011. (Come on, admit it. You’re a little bit curious about this series!) It’s available through White Rose Publishing and Amazon. I’m eager to hear what you find between its covers, because I’m thinking different people might find different things. Divine experiences often happen that way, you know.

The third book, Gypsy’s Game, should release later this year.

Come on in. I’ll leave the Gate open for you.

Beautiful, isn't it? The pendant is a bottle, and the other little bottle in the picture holds Queen Esther anointing oil you can use inside your pendant. (I obtained both necklace and oil from The Master's Jewels.) The pretty stones on the pendant are duplicated on the other side, and then, of course, there's that sweet little pearl hanging from the bottom. The pendant is 2 1/2 inches long.


For every half dozen blogs I visit on June 27th, I will give away one pdf copy of eitherDestiny's Dream (Book one, Solomon's Gate) or Kylie's Kiss (Book two, Solomon's Gate) ; OR a print copy of Morning Rendezvous
(winner's choice). So...if I'm hosted at twelve blogs, I'll give away TWO books. If I have eighteen hosts, THREE commenters will win a book. And so on.

Below are all the blogs Kylie and I will be juggling on June 27th. As I schedule more, they will be added here, so you'll know where to find us. (Two blog addresses beside any host's name indicates that host will post Kylie's and/or my information at two different web locations).

Host Blog Addy

Donna Basinow http://donnabsnow.blogspot.com/

Pamela S. Thibodeaux http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Lena Nelson Dooley http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Barbara Hartzler http://barbarahartzler.com/


Linda Wagner http://onedesertrose.wordpress.com/

Anne K. Albert http://piedmont-island-trilogy.blogspot.com

Tracy Krauss www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com

Robin Bayne http://wwwwritingbetweensundays.blogspot.com

Edwina Cowgill http://www.musingsofedwina.blogspot.com/

Susan Hollaway http://susanhollaway.blogspot.com

Patty Wysong (June 27-28) http://www.barndoorbookloft.net

Elizabeth Johnson http://www.lizjohnsonbooks.com

Shellie Neumeier http://shellieneumeier.com/

Liz Tolsma www.liztolsma.blogspot.com

Teresa Slack www.writersrest.blogspot.com

Rose McCauley http://www.rosemccauley.blogspot.com/

Jeannie Campbell http://charactertherapist.blogspot.com/

Nike Chillemi http://crimefictionandfaith.blogspot.com/

Jo Huddleston http://johuddleston.blogspot.com/

Clare Revell http://telscha.blogspot.com/

Andrea Strong http://andreastake.blogspot.com

Phyllis Wheeler http://www.phylliswheeler.com/blog/

Elaine Cantrell http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com

Cheryl St. John http://cherylstjohn.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Another contract :)

Pastor Jack's story - Cassie's wedding dress - has been contracted by WRP.

Prelim blurb is -
Following a fall at the Grand National, Cassie Hinton, winning steeplechase jockey will never race again. Trying to rebuild her life she helps out in her brother's fabric store. Seeing Jack again, the man she knew and loved in her teens, is hard. Her feelings haven't changed.

Pastor Jack Chambers has long had feelings for Cassie. Now widowed and raising his daughter as a single parent, he runs into Cassie again. This time around the hurdle is she is one of her parishioners.

The Royal Wedding is approaching fast and Cassie has no idea what to do to decorate the shop window. Taking Jack's suggestion, she makes her dream wedding dress that she will never wear and sets it in the window, never dreaming of what will happen.

And yes it needs work. That is my job for Monday before sending back the MIS.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Another day, another disaster in my house.

Twas on a Monday afternoon hubby decides to play in the garden...

Once upon a time there was a fish pond in danger of becoming a fish garden...but that's another story. Anyway, this fish pond has a problem with algae and needs to be cleaned once a week. So it's owner decided to install a pump.

unfortunately it runs off the mains which means the electric bits are in a bowl under the bucket. But a plan was forged to wire it through a junction box and into the house. Via a handy hole a cable ran through. The theory was this was the now defunct terrestrial ariel
But it was the Sky TV cable. :( So since Monday this poor author has been with out TV downstairs.
No disney channel - yayayayayayay. No Wimbledon :( But most important of all. No hunky Aussie Special rescue ops guys. Well downstairs. Upstairs is a sep sky box with sep cable. So yay for said hunky aussie guys in the bedroom. Well one of them does share hubby's name :O
Get your minds out the gutter. I watch said programme with my 12yr old daughter and hubby usually.
So tonight I emptied out the sideboard. See contents of sideboard on table. And under table. And next to table....
This is where the sideboard goes. The sky repair man needs to relay cables along that wall. Then i get to put it all back again.

The good news.... said sky box is covered for accidental damage which includes men with shears. Just as well really.

And the moral of this story children.... Never let hubby anywhere near a cable with a pair of shears. Ever.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Guest Author - K. Dawn Byrd

Today we welcome author K. Dawn Byrd on the release day for her new YA novel
Mistaken Identity

How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?

The Passion Behind the Story:

I admire Christian teenagers who take a stand for God so much. Life isn't easy for them in today's world. The idea for Mistaken Identity novel came to me when I wondered what would happen if a Christian girl and her non-Christian best friend fell in love with the same guy. To sweeten the plot, the best friend is a "wild child" who is popular with the guys if you know what I mean. Who will win the guy? My Christian good girl or the gorgeous best friend?

This book is dedicated to Christian young women who strive to live for Christ and wonder at times if it's worth it all. Temptation seems to come from all sides and sometimes it's hard to make the right decision. May God bless you richly as you carry on...

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?

Eden Morgan longs for a boyfriend of her own, an impossible goal when her best friend, Lexi Branson, gets all the attention and all the guys. When they fall in love with the same guy, Eden believes she doesn't have a chance. She can only hope that sometimes the good girl gets the guy.

When will it be released?

Mistaken Identity will release on June 15 from Desert Breeze Publishing.

My Review:

In a different colour so it stands out :-)

I loved Mistaken Identity. I read it in one sitting, so engrossed that the toast burned and milk boiled over as I read. Eden faces all the problems young Christian girls do today. Short skirts, make up, protective parents (and yes I’m one of those dreaded protective parents who ban her daughters from wearing belts or pelmets – aka short skirts). And when she does finally fall for a boy, admittedly a slightly older boy, not only does she have to worry about what her parents will think, her BF, Lexi falls for him too. Problem is what Lexi wants, Lexi gets.

A book for parents and teenagers alike, this one deals with important issues as well as having an engaging storyline, loveable characters and enough nail biting moments to keep you rooted to the pages and wondering about the characters after the last page is turned.

4½ / 5

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Myrtle Beach, SC during the winter and in the mountains during the summer. I love the mountains, but am not fond of snow. I adore the ocean, but not the southern heat and tourist season.

What’s your favourite colour?

It depends on what it is. If it's an automobile, silver. If it's clothing, black, which hides a multitude of flaws. Recently, I've developed a love of pink.

What music groups/artists blast from your CD player while you write?

None. Unfortunately, I must have total peace and quiet when I write.

Name some of your most favourite things.

My hairless Chinese Crested dogs. My Dell netbook. My BlackBerry.

What got you interested in writing?

I've always been an avid reader and it seemed to be the next logical step.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Don't quit. If you enjoy writing, keep on. I write simply for the joy of placing words on the page. Have fun with it!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

I read the entire chapter before the one I'm stuck on.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

A quickly moving plot keeps me reading. I also enjoy a book that allows me to turn my internal editor off. Point of view should remain consistent and there should be very little backstory.

Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?

I'm editing my October release. This Time for Keeps is a contemporary romance about a woman who becomes engaged to another man the night the long lost love of her life sweeps back into town.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

I'm horrible with titles. I usually ask my husband to come up with one.

Describe your writing space.

I don't really have one space. I hop all over the house with my trusty netbook.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I've always been an animal lover and wanted to be a veterinarian, but when I discovered I'd have to actually "doctor" sick dogs, I decided I couldn't handle the trauma that came with it such as taking care of dogs hit by cars.

Do you really, really want a dog?

I have two hairless Chinese Cresteds that I love very much. I can't imagine life without them.

Do you hate how you look in pictures?

I don't make good pictures at all. I can't think of even one that I can say is good.

What were you doing at midnight last night?

Sleeping. I'm a migraine sufferer and keeping my sleep regulated helps to control them. To bed at 11:00 and up at 6:00 even on weekends.

Have you ever eaten a crayon?

Not that I recall, but my Grandma said that I must have had an iron shortage in my body as a child because I licked the iron door hinges at her house.

What is your favourite animal?

Dogs, especially my hairless Chinese Cresteds, Ponchee and Zippy.

Have you ever cried during a movie?

All the time. I'm very soft hearted. I try to avoid movies that look sad because I hate to cry.

Do you sleep with the light on?


What is your favourite pizza?

Lots of veggies and cheese.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Our very own little house on the prairie

When we were kids, aside from hidng behind the sofa on Sat nights while Dr. Who was on, we grew up watching The Waltons and Little house on the prairie. On holiday when we all went to bed at the same time we'd yell goodnight to each other in true Walton style, say grace holding hands and so on.

But when we first moved to Reading in 1982 we got our very own Little House on the Prairie.
They were building the houses in order. They'd done 1 and had started 2 and 3 - a semi detached. But we wanted plot 7 by Aug 2nd. So the builders started that one. And this is it. We stood on the foundations of the house in May. (should have asked Dad for a copy of that one too)

This was taken in June. Now there are huge fields out the back and massive trees. (Might have to get a photo of that and add it too) Houses to each side and in front. And the parking... HAH don't get me started on the parking.

I would personally Love to drive a fire engine down there some days. Cars parked both sides of the road, people pulling out without indicating or looking. But it was home for 10 yrs and 1 month before I married. This Aug my parents will have been there for 29yrs.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Contracts signed and exchanged

After the Fire

Private Investigator, Freddie Flynn, wants nothing to do with the man who left her fifteen years ago, or the God he left her for. Especially if the reports of corruption within the high ranking levels of the company are true.

Finding missionary life unfulfilling, Jason Bryant returns to Headley Cross and takes a position in the same firm as Freddie. Wanting to make amends, he is halted by a file which states she’s a traitor.

Thrown together on a case that could cost them everything, including their lives, can they see beyond their hurt and work together? Is all lost in the fire? Or will they find forgiveness in the still small voice of love.

Tagline: Forgiveness is found in the still small voice of love.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Race For Life

Have I mentioned I'm doing the race for life to raise money for Cancer Research UK? Having lost a couple of family members to this disease, and have one currently fighting it, the kids, my sisters and I are doing the Reading one in July. Here is my fundraising page. Well mine and the kids.

Anyway, the point of this post is I started training. No I'm not running it. Pfft...me run? Not even for a bus. No, I'm walking it. 5k or 3.1 miles.

I go around the 'big block'. It curves along the main roads. From our road, into Reading Road, up to the A4, then around into Earley, to the next junction then back into Woodley and finally home. Basically turn left every time I hit a main road. The whole circuit is 2.5 miles. I got hubby to drive me around it to measure it in the car.

Walking it with J takes 40 mins cos I walking at her pace. Shall see how it goes on Mon when i do it alone. Going every other day right now. But then seeing as how the most exercise I get is walking half a mile to work... 5 miles in two sessions is pretty good. Well I think so.

Yes there will be pictures when I do it. Lots of pictures. It should be fun.

Planning on keeping up the walking even after July. Prob once or twice a week.