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Fall in Love - a box set by 5 authors

The fun thing about a book blog is I get to share, not just my books, but other peoples.



CAPTIVE AT SEA by Mary Manners
Claire Mulvaney’s benevolent spirit has her biting off more than she can chew when she spearheads a charity fishing event to raise funds for Winding Ridge’s overcrowded animal shelter and is forced to call on fishing expert Sean Maguire.
Sean blames himself for his brother’s death. He spends his days in mourning and when Claire turns to him for help, he chases her off with gruff words meant to fortify his distance from the pain that has taken hold of his soul. But the enchanting woman with emerald eyes captivates, and Sean soon finds himself drawn to her warm-hearted enthusiasm. 

NEVER THE TWAIN by Delia Latham
Hollywood agent Cass Townsend makes a more-than-satisfactory living helping talented “wannabe” actors become stars.
Thanks to a twin brother who made it big in Hollywood and then estranged himself from his family, rugged Texas horse rancher Ryder Hayes sports oversized chips on both very broad shoulders toward celebrities. He’s not convinced any good at all can come out of Hollywood.
She’s prim and proper to a fault. He’s fun-loving, with a streak of pure mischief. Ryder’s a good man, but not a Christian—not by a Texas mile. Cass can’t remember missing a single Sunday service since childhood. They’re the epitome of polar opposites and never the twain shall meet…or so the saying goes.

FULLY COMMITTED by Dora Hiers
Receiving a Dear Rand email while serving his country didn’t douse the fire in Rand Tenneson’s heart for his high school sweetheart. Fully committed, nothing quenched that love, not even news that Bryanna married. Back home now, Rand enjoys a busy life, firefighting and clowning around with patients at the children’s hospital. But a chance run-in with his ex-girlfriend, now a widow, rekindles that spark. God put her back in his life for a reason, and he vows to be there for her.
Ten years ago, Bryanna Fenwick shattered two hearts, hers and Rand’s. But the Navy SEAL, deployed across the world, couldn’t rescue her from the real fear she faced at home. She made a choice and lived the lie for a decade. When Rand discovers the truth, she fears she’s hurt the handsome firefighter yet again and destroyed her relationship with her daughter. Can God’s grace overcome such a ginormous lie? Has He brought them back together for a second chance at love or only to reveal the truth?

WITHOUT A SONG by LoRee Peery
Still reeling from the loss of her husband, young widow Roni Marsden resolves to be strong for her precocious daughter. Invited to stay on the cleansing hills of her friend’s Nebraska ranch, she tries to figure out the next step. Should she leave Norfolk? Could she find work?
Songwriter Dawson Bennett returns home to his brother’s ranch when the production company for his first album goes bust. He searches his heart for new songs he's unable to write. Even as he seeks direction for his career, he attempts to mend the past with his elderly father. Back in high school, Dawson had crushed on the lovely Roni when she dated his brother. Those emotions are reawakened when he discovers Roni and her daughter at the ranch. Protective feelings for the child, as well as for a stray pup that arrives on the scene, work together to soften his bitterness. Will these connections enable him to write lyrics that honor God?

AUTUMN LOVES by Tanya Stowe
Two years after her husband’s tragic death, middle-aged widow Rylie Thornton struggles to raise her three sons while keeping the family business in the black. As the lush colors of her favorite season display, she finds herself struggling. 
Brain surgeon Micah Haden, on a rare break from his demanding profession, finds his sister’s friend a lovely mystery. He’s happy to help Rylie and her boys prepare for an upcoming autumn event. Why can’t she accept his offer with a little more grace? Is there a chance he could become one of Rylie's treasured Autumn Loves?


Excerpt for Without a Song:
The last time Roni had attended a church service was Jim’s funeral six months earlier. She wiggled, crossed and uncrossed her ankles. Young men weren’t supposed to die and leave a woman alone to raise a three-year-old daughter. With Ivy in Sunday preschool, Roni studied the church she’d attended as a girl.
She raised her head and took in the stained glass. The picture of Jesus with his arm enfolding a lamb drew a frown rather than calm her heart. She closed her eyes. You should smile inside. Jim rests in the arms of Jesus now. Roni opened her eyes. Gilded rays of sunlight graced the Lord’s head with a majestic aura. Her soul softened in repentance.
Caring people made her uncomfortable because they didn’t know what to say about her loss other than how sorry they were, or what a shame, or other useless words. None of it mattered. She missed Jim every time she looked into her daughter’s eyes, inherited from her father.
Nights were the worst.
Pastor Pullman took the stage, which yanked her out of her thoughts. “Joy to all of God’s people, this good morning. What a glorious day for us to meet in this place. We have a special treat today. Our own song-writing country boy, Dawson Bennett, is with us. Recently home from Nashville, please welcome him. Dawson will sing one of his own songs to begin our worship.”
Dressed in a lavender shirt with pearl buttons, dark denim jeans, and cowboy boots, long-haired Dawson leaped over two steps to stand at the mic positioned in front of a stool. “Thank you. I feel as though I should say y’all, but you’d laugh at me.”
Chitters and chuckles spread through the congregation.
Roni remained serious. She’d dated Wayne Bennett, Dawson’s older brother, in high school. Pleasant memories, except she’d always wondered about the boys’ home life without a mother.
Dawson balanced on the stool, lowered the mic stand, and positioned his guitar on one leg. “Have you ever considered how the songs may have sounded, the ones mentioned at various Psalm headings? I thumbed through my Bible one day looking for inspiration. At the beginning of Psalm 56, it says to the tune of ‘A Dove on Distant Oak Trees.’ Are you as curious as me about that tune? It was no doubt played on a lyre or a harp with twice the strings.”
Roni gave herself an inner slap. How long had it been since she turned to her favorite book of the Bible, the Psalms? Had she ever in her life paid attention to the subtitles?
“A dove on oaks made me think of home. The coo of a dove is pleasant, but the trill of a meadowlark from a distant fencepost takes me right to the surrounding grasslands of my youth.”
He scanned the congregation, passed Roni, and came back to her with a smile and narrowing of the eyebrows. Did he recognize her?
She waited uncountable heartbeats as they made eye contact.
Finally, he looked beyond her as his gaze finished roaming the room.
“The landscape of this place in northeast Nebraska is my home on earth. But I look ahead to my eternal home in heaven.” He strummed a chord and his focus turned inward. “I titled this ‘Call of the Meadowlark.’”
Dawson’s melodious voice raised the hairs on Roni’s arms in reaction to his low register. The longing in his lyrics reached her soul. His phrases accented wait, trust, and hope. Edgy and smooth at the same time, as his musical story evolved.
The last chord vibrated in the silence.
Delayed clapping erupted.
Pastor Pullman shook Dawson’s free hand while encircling his upper arm. “Thank you. You’ve blessed us.” Pastor turned his attention to those in the pews. “It should no longer amaze me, but it still does, the way the Holy Spirit reaches more than one person at a time with the same ideas. Dawson’s song is a perfect segue to the message I prepared this morning on trust. But first, the choir will lead us into our first song of worship.”
Roni choked up and could sing few words of the first verse of “Heaven is My Home.” She braced her hands on the back of the pew in front and listened. At the end of each refrain, she heard Dawson’s pure baritone as he sang from two rows in front of her.
She swung her braid over her shoulder as the congregation took their seats, closed out the elder’s announcements, and only stirred at the return of a couple from the choir loft who slid past her to take their seats.
“As I mentioned earlier, this morning I want to focus on the word trust. Depending on the version you prefer, the Bible refers to the word trust over and over.” Pastor Pullman paused. “According to my internet browser, trust is mentioned in the Bible 127 times.”
Roni slid her gaze to Dawson where he sat slanted in the pew ahead and to her right. He brought up one knee, smoothed a lock of light-brown, blondish tinted hair behind his ear, and shot a glance back at her.
His slow smile and deep brown eyes let her know he knew exactly who she was.
She nodded, and turned back to the sermon.
“We all have trials and tribulations. We all have a tendency to wonder and worry about the uncertainty of tomorrow.” Pastor waved a hand to the stained glass on either side of the room. “Take a look at these pictures in colored glass. Peer into the eyes of our Lord. Accept His outstretched arms. Rest in Him. Trust Him with whatever lays on your heart. Open your Bibles to the middle. Find the Psalms.”
Pages turned. The riffling sound drew a comforting response within her heart.
“You should be used to this by now, but stick something in the Psalms and go further back to Second Samuel. Find chapter twenty-two, verse three. ‘My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.’” Pastor looked out over his flock. “I want you to read this again. Every day this week. How can we not trust our great Savior who promises that we have refuge in Him?”
Roni turned to every verse in Psalms Pastor asked them to find. Psalm 7:1, Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue mePsalm 9:10, Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 16:1, Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.
Through the remainder of the service, her heart cried out in pain. Jim had always held her hand in church. He’d balance the Bible on his leg while she turned the pages with her free hand.
The hole in her heart gaped wide open. Forgive me. I do trust You, Jesus. It’s so hard at times. Be patient with me. Show me the way to trust You with my future as I face it without my husband.

Amazon US   Amazon UK

Comments

LoRee Peery said…
Thanks for the spotlight, Clare. Your time and generous heart are a treasure. Autumn is my favorite time of the month and it's a thrill to share stories with others whom I'm blessed to call friends.
Tanya Stowe said…
Thanks for the post, Clare!
Delia Latham said…
Thank you for highlighting our collection, Clare! You're a treasure, and we all appreciate you so much!
Dora Hiers said…
Thank you for the lovely spotlight, Clare! And mega congrats on your most recent book birthday for Dark Lake. :)

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