Friday, September 26, 2014

Echoes of Edinburgh - JoAnn Durgin

Hello JoAnn! It's been a little while since you visited with me, so welcome back to my corner niche of the web - and thank you for introducing me to Edinburgh! Luckily my passport is up to date and I could visit Scotland with you (I wish)! That is one country I have wanted to visit for a long time, and I hopefully will be able to see it for myself next year (along with Ireland which has always been at the top of my wish list). But in the mean time, I got to soak in a little of the ambiance thanks to you!

I was truly impressed with this story, not wanting to put it down unless I really had to. (It's not often I can say that these days with the overflow of available reading material!)

Anyway, I'm very pleased to be able to share such a wonderful story with my readers!

Back Cover:

 To honor her dying father’s wish, Chicago stockbroker Shelby Harmon promises to hand deliver an envelope addressed to “Robert Nichols, Personal & Confidential.” Her quest to find Robert leads her to a most unlikely place—the Castlehill Gardens outside Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle. Who is this fiercely private man and what is his connection to Harmony Lane, her family’s horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky?

 Harrison Reed cautions Shelby against dredging up hurtful memories for his close friend, Robert. As they explore the city together, Shelby and Harrison find themselves increasingly drawn to one another. When the contents of the mysterious envelope are revealed, the answer gives her hope for the future of Harmony Lane. Is the time spent in Edinburgh with Harrison destined to be nothing more than a beautiful memory? Did Shelby lose her heart in Edinburgh...or find her way home again?

Doesn't that sound great? Trust me, your heart will be drawn into this story from the start! Here, take a peek!

Excerpt:

The tour guide said she’d find the man she sought somewhere on the grounds, most likely in the Castlehill Gardens. After rounding a bend behind a row of hedges, she stopped short. Hunched between multi-colored rose bushes, a middle-aged gardener was engaged in a tug-of-war with pesky weeds. Intent on his work, he grunted with the effort. Thankful he hadn’t yet spied her, she stepped off the walkway, frowning as her new ballet flats sank into the earth.

When she glimpsed his profile, Shelby’s breath hitched. The strong resemblance to the man in the faded photograph she’d found among her father’s possessions was undeniable, the only difference being the added refinement of a quarter century. His dark hair was peppered with silver and cut military short and his faded jeans were tucked into combat boots. The rolled sleeves of his denim work shirt revealed arms tanned a deep brown—an anomaly among the perennially fair-skinned Scottish natives.

He straightened to his full height and released a shallow groan. Sliding his hands down to his hips, he raised his face to the warmth of the emerging sun. As though sensing her scrutiny, he turned, his features a study in curiosity as he spied her.

“Please stay on the walkway, lass.” After tugging a soiled work glove from one hand, he pointed to the path. His slight brogue—husky as if thick with the ever-present mist—was tinged with an unmistakable Kentucky accent, an unexpected solace so far from home. He took a few slow steps toward her, favoring his right leg. As he approached, Shelby caught a glimpse of deep-set, piercing blue eyes that held a guarded wariness.

Not wanting to irritate him further, she stepped back on the walkway. “I’m sorry to interrupt your work, sir, but I’m looking for Robert Nichols from Lexington, Kentucky.”

“You’ve found him.” Standing a few feet away, he tilted his head and narrowed his eyes.
Shelby smiled, hoping to put them both more at ease. “I’m Shelby Harmon, Katie and Tom Harmon’s daughter.”

No immediate response was forthcoming although something akin to recognition flickered in his gaze.

“My Aunt Lily told me you worked at Harmony Lane with my mom when you were teenagers. I believe you knew her as Katie McCormick?” Her professional instincts taking over, Shelby extended her hand.
Robert’s stoic expression relaxed and, for a fleeting moment, reminded Shelby of her father. Gruff around the edges but softening at the mention of her mother. “Aye, I should have known. You have your mama’s same honey blonde hair and bonnie blue eyes.” He removed his remaining work glove and enfolded her hand in his warm grasp. A quick glance revealed the hands of a working man with small, rough calluses. His nails were clean and neatly trimmed, and he wore no wedding band.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve planted my feet on Kentucky bluegrass,” Robert said. “Left a big part of myself there. Kind of hard to shake it out of a man, not that I’d ever want to.” His lips curled as he released her hand. “Tommy was sweet on your mama from the time we were old enough to saddle up and ride.” He smoothed a hand over his short hair and glanced into the distance before returning his gaze to hers. “Seems fitting she ended up marrying the boss’s son and living at Harmony Lane. The way I see it, Katie belonged there all along. Born to the manor.”

Shelby had expected to hear more about her father, not her mother. What was Robert’s connection to her parents, enough to bring her across the world on a personal mission? For a half second, she considered pulling the envelope from her purse and handing it over. The promise to her father would be fulfilled, and she could return home to Chicago and her usual routine. No strings attached. End of story. “Mr. Nichols, I have something I need to—”

“Pops?”


They both turned. A tall, lean man with tousled blond waves rounded the corner. He was rugged with high cheekbones, healthy sun-kissed skin, a square, chiseled jaw with a shadow of stubble, and a well-formed mouth—the latter not something she normally noticed. She estimated him to be in his late twenties to early thirties. With a black T-shirt stretched across broad shoulders, faded jeans and scuffed leather boots, he appeared an incongruous cross between a muscled surfer and an urban cowboy. Most definitely, this was a man she’d never expect to see standing in a garden outside a castle.

Review:

What a wonderful story! Shelby is so sweet, following her heart, wanting to fulfill her father's last wish that she deliver an envelope to a complete stranger in a foreign country. But she finds much more than she could ever imagine when she started out on this adventure. Her father's dear friend shows her around the countryside, introducing her to his best friend who becomes dear to her also. This story is  full of heart. Don't miss it!

Buy Links:


http://www.christianbook.com/echoes-of-edinburgh-novella-ebook/joann-durgin/9781611163957/pd/67977EB?product_redirect=1&Ntt=67977EB&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP



JoAnn Durgin is the author of five full-length novels, including The Lewis Legacy Series and Catching Serenity. Her novellas for Pelican Book Group include Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (2012), its sequel Starlight, Star Bright (2013), and a soon-to-be released Passport to Romance novella entitled Echoes of Edinburgh. After living from coast to coast across the U.S., JoAnn and her family now reside in her native Southern Indiana. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Louisville (KY) Christian Writers, nothing thrills JoAnn more than sharing the love and grace of Jesus Christ with her readers. www.joanndurgin.com

Monday, September 8, 2014

Unexpected Wedding - Carla Rossi

Hi Carla. I'm so sorry I've lagged a bit. I noticed you have a  new story out and I had to go grab a copy. I love it! I hope you don't mind if I share what it's about. It's a great story! So here's a peek at Unexpected Wedding.

Back Cover:

Rocky Lionakis has been a wheelchair user since a fall in college. He plays bass guitar in Cornerstone Fellowship’s worship band and shares his testimony every week with the campers at Towering Pines summer church camp. At peace with his chair, he has settled into a boring but successful career in technology - until stunning camp counselor, Gia Rinaldi, enters his life and turns it upside down.

Lifelong preacher’s kid and occasional wild child, Giavanna Rinaldi, has always learned things the hard way. With a trail of bad choices in her wake, she has finally grown up and found her niche as a student of Christian child psychology. She returns to Camp Towering Pines where she’s worked since high school, but unsettling dreams and an unexplained illness lead her to a harrowing discovery.

Will Rocky and Gia’s budding romance survive her trauma? And is their bold decision an answer from God, or a serious step outside of His perfect will?

Excerpt:

     Rocky Lionakis didn’t know what hit him. Last he remembered, he’d tucked his Bible beside him in his wheelchair and turned to leave the platform. Now he was flat on his back on the wooden ramp, gazing at the blue east Texas sky through a canopy of tall pines. It would have been a beautiful summer afternoon sight if he’d meant to be looking at it. 

He lifted his head and then decided it felt better to stay down. Voices grew softer, and bubbly chatter faded as camp staff herded the junior and senior high audience for his last talk away from the outdoor stage and down the path toward the dining hall. 

Somewhere the wheel of his chair spun with a rhythmic swish and put him in mind of an old bicycle he had as a child. It slowed, and he closed his eyes. Normally a tumble from his chair ended with a quick recovery. Propelled by sheer embarrassment, he could usually steady the lightweight titanium contraption and be upright in seconds. This time his scattered thoughts and developing headache told him he’d fallen harder than he realized. For all he knew, his chair had
landed in another zip code because it sure wasn’t beside him on the ramp. 

He felt for his Bible and discovered it under his left hip. Everything was quiet except for the coo of a mourning dove somewhere high above him and the scrape of a squirrel’s feet as it scampered up a tree. 

As he started to relax, all pain dissipated. Maybe the fall had killed him... 

The scent of something earthy and sweet reached his nose. He sniffed the air. Heaven smelled like strawberries. 

He opened his eyes and looked up into a warm chocolate-brown gaze. An angel stood over him. Strands of long dark hair slid off her shoulders and hung almost to his face as she bent over him. 

She smiled and knelt beside him. “Fall off your horse there, cowboy?”

He blinked. If this was Heaven, God had sent him one sassy angel to welcome him home. Nice.

Review:  

I loved this story! The strength of the characters and the way they are so real about their circumstances is beautiful! This story really makes you feel like you're right there on the sidelines cheering them on. Honestly I just wanted to reach in and hug them sometimes! Great story, Carla!

Buy link:

http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_46&products_id=543

http://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Wedding-Carla-Rossi-ebook/dp/B00J9YQ9ZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396704857&sr=8-1&keywords=unexpected+wedding+carla+rossi