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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, 28 October 2013

Heavenly Haven by Christine Lindsay

Avalanches happen to other people, not us. Marital problems happen to other people, not us, especially nine days before Christmas. At least that’s what Jack and Shaina Burke thought. Married for ten years, avalanche control expert Jack, and Shaina, only wanted to celebrate their December anniversary in a romantic way, until the shifting snows on the mountain bring havoc tumbling down upon them. Can they find renewed love in a heavenly haven of snow?

Eighteen-month-old Zoey knew a smattering of words, but hung on to everything Scottie said, as if she considered his commentary with all judiciousness. She adored her big brother, and he basked in that adoration. But his one-sided conversation on Ninjas possibly repelling down the mountainside and attacking their vehicle grew boring after a while. Soon Scottie was asking to stop for something to drink.
Waving her hands encased in scarlet mittens, Zoey added her own request in a jumble of words which Scottie translated. “She wants a coffee break, Mama.”   
“It won’t be much longer, kids. Daddy’s camp is about two miles aw—”
Shaina’s words were cut off by the muffled echo of a rifle shot.
The sensation of ice trickled down her spine. Dear God, surely she wasn’t in the area that Jack was actually working!
The snow on each side of the Jeep was a foot deep, nothing the vehicle couldn’t handle. Still, she craned her neck to stare out and upward through the windshield.
At the first sign of the white cloud wafting over the treetops, her heart and soul froze. Sickening knowledge filled her mind with cold clarity. It was happening.
Any second now.
Stay in the car. Stay in the car.
The snow landed on the vehicle’s hard top and from the front, engulfing them in a heartbeat. Cutting off all light. Something slammed into her face. She couldn’t breathe.
The Jeep rocked. Then came to a solid stop. Her befuddled mind took in Zoey’s screeching, Scottie whimpering, “Mama?” and the pain in her face.
The airbag deflated and she could breathe. That was what had punched her in the face. “It’s all right, babies, we’re going to be okay—don’t be scared.” Thank God they’d remained upright on the road, and the avalanche hadn’t sent them careening down the mountainside.
She wiped a smear of blood from her nose and reached behind to check the kids. Their car seats had kept them safe. They seemed fine, but Zoey cried out, “Dadda! Dadda!”
Had the slide fully ended? She prayed it had. Suffocation was the major reason for death during an avalanche. Her brain clicked into the list of procedures Jack had gone over with her time and again. Conserve air and energy. Don’t jeopardize your air pocket.
The remaining air inside the closed Jeep would keep them alive for a while. But how deeply were they buried? They were now at the mercy of others to rescue them.
Was anyone nearby? Don’t shout. Shouting wastes your air supply.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Love is a rose by Pamela S Thibodeaux

Music is the magical entry into the spirit world; the golden gate into the Kingdom of God. But we mustn’t be of the mindset that God only uses Christian music to reach out and touch our mind, heart and spirit. God uses any and every means available to speak to His children.

Our job is to be open and receptive.

In this devotional, Pamela S Thibodeaux shares how God opened her spirit to a deeper understanding of the abundance of His grace and mercy through the words of the song, The Rose sung by Country & Western artist Conway Twitty.

Pamela offers Seeds to Ponder and a prayer as she parallels the love of God and the Christian life to each verse of the song.

Nearly every Christian song I hear touches my heart in some way, urging me into a closer walk with God and bringing me a truer knowledge of Jesus. Amazingly though, the one song that really opened my spirit to a deeper understanding of the abundance of His grace and mercy wasn’t a Christian song but a Country one.
I’ll never forget the morning in 1995 when The Rose as performed by Conway Twitty came to me in its entirety with Bible references or Scriptures correlating to every verse….
Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed… A bruised reed He will not break.”
Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed….Bible Conversion; a cutting or stripping away of old beliefs.
Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless, aching need"As the hind longs for running water, so my soul longs for thee oh God...”
I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…”
It’s the heart, afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance… David danced before the Lord.
It's the dream, afraid of waking, that never takes the chance… "Entrust your works unto the Lord and your plans will succeed."
It's the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give… “Love is not selfish…For God so loved the world He GAVE…!”
And the soul, afraid of dying, that never learns to live… "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For what is man profited if he should gain the whole world but lose his soul?” Or more accurately…“Let not your heart be anxious, for I am with you always, even unto the end of time.”
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long… "I am going but I will not leave you alone. I will send you a comforter, a counselor to guide and help you.”
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong….  “God is love and he who dwells in love dwells with God. The meek shall inherit the earth…blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”
Just remember in the winter (of darkness and sin)....Jesus died so that we might have life, He conquered sin and darkness…. “I came so that you might have life, in abundance, to the full, overflowing.”
Far beneath the bitter snows... How can something so beautiful, so pure, be so bitter and cold? God is light. He washes us clean with the shed blood of His Son so that we might be as pure as the snow.
Lies the seed, (of faith)... that with the sun's (Son's) love... in the spring... (season of new birth, new life)... becomes the rose (an attractive flower).
Wow, what a revelation!
I immediately sat down and wrote the ensuing compilation paralleling the love of God and the life of a Christian to the words of this song.

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.”

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com  
Bayou Writers Group: http://bayouwritersgroup.com  
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Purchase Links:
Deeper Shopping http://bit.ly/1cxivVf
Amazon Kindle http://amzn.to/186dblN 
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/16vCHl4
B&N Nook: http://bit.ly/1cbEEZc   

Friday, 25 October 2013

Dark Biology by Bonnie Doran

Blurb: Renowned vaccinologist "Hildi" Hildebrandt has set her sights on beating her brother to a Nobel Prize, and the opportunity to conduct experiments on the International Space Station might just provide the means to obtain that goal. Chet Hildebrandt should have had that opportunity. But now he'll teach a lesson to them all: his hot-shot astronaut sister, his philandering hypocritical father, and the CDC for not properly appreciating his work. One vial of a virus purloined from the CDC labs and released at his father's marriage seminar should do the trick, without hurting anybody. After all, it's only a mild influenza strain...Or is it?


Hildi’s nose itched.
She ignored it. While she waited for her lab partner to emerge from the airlock, she checked the seals of her blue biocontainment suit again. Good habits could save her life.
Hildi pulled a coiled yellow air hose suspended from the ceiling and plugged it into a socket near her waist. The deflated suit expanded as air roared past her face. The familiar ballooning sensation saddened her for a moment. She’d miss her work here.
Then she grinned. She’d be wearing a pressure suit in her new job and performing similar cutting-edge work in an even stranger environment.
Her practiced eyes appraised Biosafety Level 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most dangerous lab. Everything “down and cold.” But an adjoining room held liquid-nitrogen freezers filled with hot agents, the deadliest diseases known to man. Francine stepped from the airlock. Hildi’s college friend had never worked in Level 4, but she moved with confidence. Hildi stared into Francine’s faceplate and noted her calm expression. She’d do fine.
Hildi maneuvered past the stainless-steel tables dominating the room. She pulled two-inch test tubes, a push-button micropipette, and other tools from drawers and placed them in the biosafety cabinet, a glorified box with a fume hood and clear front that rested on the work counter. She detached her hose, inhaling the reserved air in her suit.
Humming to herself, she walked into the adjoining room and attached her suit to another hose. Every time Hildi moved in the lab, she repeated the procedure, a necessary inconvenience if she wanted to continue breathing.
She punched a code into the lock of one of the stainless-steel freezers and extracted a vial of the latest X virus that may or may not have killed John Doe.
Returning to the biosafety hood, she slipped her yellow-gloved hands under the clear protective shield, a sneeze guard at a toxic salad bar. She withdrew a tiny sample of the unknown and released it into one of the tubes. After Hildi repeated the protocol many times, she keyed the information into the computer.
Hildi glanced at Francine just as she straightened from a hunched position over a microscope. Francine turned, her movements jerky like a marionette’s. Her suit’s chest zipper gaped, exposing her blue scrubs underneath. She seemed to shrink as her biosuit deflated.
Hildi froze.

“I’ve got a problem here!” Francine yelled, her voice quavering. The rush of air in their ears turned conversations in Level 4 into a shouting match. Francine fumbled for the zipper with trembling fingers.

Bonnie’s debut novel, Dark Biology, released September 2013 from Harbourlight, an imprint of Pelican Book Group.

She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband of thirty years. They’re owned by two Siamese cats. John is an electrical engineer who works with lasers for a living. He’s also a Mad Scientist who owns 2,300-pound electromagnet.

Bonnie’s other interests besides writing include reading, cooking, solving Sudoku puzzles,  and volunteering at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She attends a local science fiction convention as well as various writers conferences. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, its North Denver Chapter, and the Denver Area Science Fiction Association.   

Website: Where Faith and Science Fiction Collide: http://www.bonniedoranbooks.com/
Twitter: @bonniedoran
Twitter hashtag: #DarkBiology 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Circle Girls by Anya Noviko

An ordinary California teenager, Delli Willis finds herself in some kind of dreamscape whenever she drifts off to sleep. 1692, in the hotbed of the Salem Witch Trials. There, she’s Deliverance Wyllys, struggling against accusations and suspicion as well as the appearance of a mysterious dark-haired young man with strange tales of his own.

Back in her own world, parallels with the past abound. She meets a real-life mysterious neighbor, handsome Gabriel. Is he her present? Her future?

Or her past?

She’s eager to share him with her circle of friends but fingers point, jealousies surge. Lies cast, sides taken. A modern-day witch hunt collides with 1692 in ways Delli never dreamed. Standing up to bullies tightens Delli’s faith in God, Who pulls her through some trials of her own.


    Deliverance was listening to forbidden music in a time of fear and death. She was in a place she had not known to exist before this minute.  All of this was either a miracle or a spell. She prayed for a miracle, for a spell would bring death.
    "Good day, mistress," he said finally. His voice was low with an unfamiliar burr.  The left side of his face, the side that wasn’t masked by his hair, was beautiful. The half-mouth was well-shaped and rosy, the slender half of nose handsomely carved. He placed the instrument to his mouth once again and started a lilting tune.  She could see that he held some sort of flute, handmade from a reed.
     La-la-la. La. La. La. La. La. La.
     Suddenly the dangerous sounds hammered into her.
     "Oh, no, you must stop!  It is not wise. Someone might hear. These are strange days. Goodman Crowninshield is a fine man, but there are so many others..." She thought of Goody Putnam and reached to stop him.
     As he turned away, the long curtain of hair lifted like a bat stretching its wing. She saw the rest of his face, and gasped out loud.
     The left side of his face was as perfect as that of the alabaster saints the Reverend railed against. The gray eye watched her with much interest.
     The right side was a twisted web of tortured flesh with a cold, dark hole that had once been an eye.
     Was he a demon after all? Was this good and evil combined? Her breath came out in loud gasps that she could see in the air.
     "Do not fear me," he told her finally.
     How could she not? What if he was a spirit or a wizard? The prophet Isaiah clearly admonished against such a thing. But her left hand seemed to have a mind of its own. It reached for him. She placed it gently over what had once been a face almost like she had done so many times before.
     Then he took her hand and placed his lips at her wrist.
     Her pulse jumped with life against his mouth, but she found a lump of revulsion in her throat as she tried to swallow.
     "You can trust me," he said. “I mean no harm.”
     She turned from him, filled with interest but also with loathing.
     “Trust?” She wanted to escape. “Trust does not exist here in Salem Village.” For the first time, her feet seemed stuck in the mud.
     "I will find you, you know," he told her confidently.
     Startled, she looked at him one last time.
     He pointed to the eyeless hole. "I am not blind.  I see most everything.” Then his voice sounded sad.
     “But I cannot see yet if you are my doom or my deliverance. Maybe you are both. Or maybe I am yours."  With no other word, he turned and swiftly vanished into the evening trees.

Anya Novikov has long been intrigued with the Salem Witch Trials and their timeless message.  A career teaching American Literature at a Catholic high school is the backbone for this Young Adult story of dark dreams and fierce faith.

A native Californian, she lives on the central coast with her firefighter husband. She keeps busy with family, travel, and volunteering at the local horse rescue, thanking God for the blessings of love, faith, and good health. 
Blog: anyanovikov.blogspot.com

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The People in the Park by Margaree King Mitchell

Lauren Moffit is privileged and overprotected by her wealthy parents.  She is one of the few African American students in a prestigious prep school in a predominately white neighborhood.  The world is her oyster.  Nothing can prepare her for the devastating scandal that rocks her world when her father is charged with investment fraud.  Spoiled and self-centered, she struggles to keep her head high.  But it’s not until she hears the stories of the people in the park, where she takes her daily run, that Lauren realizes she can rise above her family “situation.”

Book Excerpt – The People In The Park
With newspaper in hand, from the garage I pushed open the mudroom door.  Mrs. Robinson, our cook, had the week off, cruising the Caribbean with her sister.  Usually when I reached this area, smells of dinner wafted from the kitchen.  Today I didn’t smell anything, which was unusual because on Mrs. Robinson’s days off, Mom took over and cooked favorite meals from her childhood.  Being in the kitchen was natural for her, having been taught by my grandmother to cook up a batch of collard greens, pork chops and gravy, fried corn, salmon croquettes with rice, fried chicken, barbecued deer ribs, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, fried okra, you name it, Mom could cook it.  Sharing meals from her childhood was her way of keeping me in touch with my African American heritage since otherwise I didn’t come in contact with many black people in Fairfield. 
            None of the familiar smells greeted me today.  Maybe we were going out to dinner.
            I knew something was wrong when I walked into the kitchen and saw big ugly tears flowing from Mom’s eyes as she sobbed uncontrollably.  She quickly wiped her eyes. Without saying a word she beckoned for me to sit down at the table with her.  With my eyes I questioned her.   But she didn’t say anything.  Instead she grabbed the TV remote and pointed it at the television set that was mounted on a wall in the kitchen.
            I sat there mesmerized as the TV anchor said, “Peter Williams, Founder of Williams Ortiz L.L.P., was arrested this morning.  He is accused of bilking clients out of millions of dollars.  An early estimate puts the figure at $300 million.  Arrested along with him were other top officials of the law firm, including Samuel Ortiz, Chief Financial Officer, and Roger Moffit, Managing Director.  It is not clear the role they played in the fraud, what is known…” the anchor continued.
            But my mind stopped when the reporter said Roger Moffit.  My Dad.  Roger Moffit.  It couldn’t be.  There had to be some mistake.
            Roger Moffit, who always taught me right from wrong.  Roger Moffit, who always told me that stealing is wrong.  Not that Roger Moffit.  It must be somebody else.
            I sat there in a stupor.  Mom reached out her hand and touched mine.
            “Your father will be home soon,” she whispered.  “He called right before he went to the police station.  His lawyer will take care of bail.

About The Author
Margaree King Mitchell is the author of WHEN GRANDMAMA SINGS, winner of the 2013 Living The Dream Award, illustrated by James E. Ransome, HarperCollins.  It was also named one of the best children’s books of 2013.  She is also the author of the Coretta Scott King Honor Book UNCLE JED’S BARBERSHOP, illustrated by James E. Ransome, Simon & Schuster, and GRANDDADDY’S GIFT, illustrated by Larry Johnson, Scholastic.  An award winning musical featuring Broadway veteran Ken Prymus has been adapted from UNCLE JED’S BARBERSHOP.  She is the creator of the EveryBody Has A Dream program, which empowers students in urban and rural areas to shoot for the stars with aspirations for their lives.  THE PEOPLE IN THE PARK is her first young adult novel.