Saturday, May 28, 2011

Inspirational romances

Looks like another winner from Mary Manners as she opens the story with one of my favorite verses.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper
time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
—Galatians 6:9

Coming from a broken home, Austin thinks he's left his roots behind, along with the home he loved as a boy. But home isn't just a house and a piece of land, it's a piece of the heart, too. And between Sam and Jenny, Austin has his work cut out for him if he thinks he can be at home anywhere but on the ranch with them.
Ms. Manners does a wonderful job describing the sights and smells on the farm. From Austin's memories as well as his current view of the ranch, it almost feels like you're there with them all. I hope you'll join them too. Enjoy the ride!
Only one thing I'd like to see added to this one...more!

Here's a peek:

Austin McGill has one goal: to satisfy the conditions of his estranged father's will. After living on Starfire Ranch for three months, he'll sell the property and leave East Tennessee and its heartbreaking memories...forever. At least, that's his plan until Samantha Lakin comes along.

Samantha Lakin has one goal: to save Starfire and its summer camp for special-needs kids like her foster daughter, Jenny. To succeed, Sam will have to soften Austin's stone-cold heart. Not an easy task, especially when she realizes the ranch isn't the only thing that needs saving.

Can Sam's devotion and the love of a little girl teach Austin to let go of the past and to trust God for the future...before the ranch and any chance at a happily-ever-after are lost?


His heart skipped a beat and for the slightest
moment, a haze covered his vision. She was the Sam
his father had spoken of in the will? No way. It was a
cruel joke. But then again, the old man had excelled at
cruel jokes.
Rich, dark hair cascaded in waves down her back
to meet legs that seemed to go on forever beneath
faded jeans. He imagined years of riding horses had
made them strong and toned. And her eyes…the
emerald shade matched shimmering pasture grass that
blanketed the ground as far as he could see. A gentle
breeze carried the scent of her shampoo—a blend of
citrus and apples that danced with sweet hay and the
oiled leather of the western saddle across the mare’s
sleek back.
Austin shook his head and found his voice. “I
know where the barn is. I grew up here, at least
until…” He caught himself. No need rehashing the
past, especially not with a complete stranger, no matter
how appealing she might be. “Sam…the name…I
thought you were a…guy.” His gaze swept her head to
toe, and he nodded with appreciation. “But obviously I
was mistaken.”
She studied him as the mare nickered and nudged
her hand. “Well, I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“You don’t…live in the house, do you?”
Her laughter was like tinkling glass. “Of course
not. Jenny and I live in the guest quarters beyond the
house. We’ve been here—I mean, I’ve been here—
almost three years. Jenny came last summer.”
“My foster daughter. She’s seven.” The sound of
an engine rambled through the pasture’s stillness and
Austin followed Sam’s gaze as she turned away for a
moment. Down the road, dust billowed around a small
yellow school bus. “Here she comes. Perfect timing.
You can meet her, Austin. She’s been waiting for you.”
“Waiting for me?”
“Yes. She wants to introduce you to the horses.”
His gut clenched and he shook his head. “Not
today. I’m heading to the house.” No way, no how,
would he get sucked into her ploy to soften his resolve.
Three months, ninety-two days, two thousand, two
hundred eight—no, seven hours left. “I assume the
house is just where I remember it?”
Disappointment shadowed her gaze, and she
nodded curtly. “I assume so.”
“Great. I’ve got the key, so I’ll just go now. Nice to
meet you, Sam. I guess I’ll see you around.” He slid
behind the truck’s wheel and cranked up the music—
anything to chase away the jumbled thoughts in his
head. Dust engulfed the windshield as he gunned the
engine and tires shredded the hard-packed dirt road
until he could no longer see Sam—or those long, toned
legs and waves of hair—in the rear-view mirror.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A moment with a Christian Author

I'd like you all to welcome Dora Hiers and the first of a three part series coming soon from White Rose Publishing.

Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers.

Dora and her husband make their home in Kannapolis, North Carolina. When she’s not writing, Dora enjoys spending time with her family, guzzling cafĂ© con leche, kicking back in her recliner with a good book, teaching Sunday School, vacationing in the mountains, watching football, walking her dog, and did somebody say shopping?

Welcome Dora! So nice to finally meet you! So could you tell me a little bit about what makes you tick? LOL

Well, after a successful auditing career, I left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to my two sons. Eventually, I needed something more to fill my days, so with the support of my husband, I started writing heart-racing, God-gracing books to glorify the Creator.

Sounds wonderful. I'm so glad you did, otherwise we wouldn't have these fabulous stories that are coming!

Here's a sneak peek at the story to come:

JOURNEY'S END ~ By Dora Hiers ~ Releases 5/20/11 by White Rose Publishing

Devastated after the brutal murder of her husband, Chelsea Hammond vows never to love another lawman. Intent on rebuilding her shattered life, she turns her focus to helping troubled teens. But when an angry father bent on retaliation, threatens her, Chelsea must turn to the one man she never thought to trust: Deputy U.S. Marshal Trey Colten. Trey wants only to protect Chelsea, but she blames him for her husband’s death.Trey can relate. He blames himself, also. As danger lurks, Trey begs Chelsea to heed his warnings. He let down one Hammond. He won’t let down another—especially one who now holds his heart. When Chelsea is snatched from her home, can she put aside her fear, and trust Trey with her life? Can she forgive him for destroying her past and let him help to rebuild her future? Where one journey ends, another begins…

Enjoy this excerpt ~

“I suppose I should have been a vet.” Chelsea stroked the dog’s fur from his head all the way down his back, careful not to touch his wounded leg.

“Maybe. But I don’t think you’ve wasted your energy or your talents as a guidance counselor. Teenagers can’t seem to resist you, either.”

That produced a full-fledged smile in his direction. Way to go, Colten!

“Remember that natural charm I warned you about?”

He threw back his head and laughed. “Yes. And after a few days in your presence, I’m inclined to agree with you.”

He pulled into the veterinarian’s parking lot and glanced her way, surprised to see her grinning. “What?”

“Saved by the vet.”

Her words hit him like a piano dropping ten stories. She was flirting with him.

He took his time walking around to her side of the truck. He opened the door and leaned in, planting his hand on the seat next to her shapely legs. His face hovered inches from hers while he savored the way her wavy hair cascaded down her shoulders, the lips that curved in that always graceful way, and the eyes that spoke everything his heart wanted to hear.

Her eyes closed, and her lips parted slightly.

Trey snapped out of it. He couldn’t do this. He was on the job. She didn’t know the secrets he knew, the truth about her husband.

Her eyes startled open. As much as he wanted to partake and enjoy, he couldn’t. He touched a silky curl framing her face and ran it through his fingers. “You need to know that right now I’m working. But there will come a time, soon, when I’m not.”

dora hiers Journey's End ~ available 5/20/11 ~ White Rose Publishing Journey's Edge ~ 2nd Place Unpublished Beacon Contest 2010

Monday, May 16, 2011

Paradox by JoAnn Carter

I'd like to welcome JoAnn Carter this week. I asked her to tell us a little about herself as well as her new story.

Good morning, JoAnn.

Good morning! What a glorious day this is and I just have to share something with you all.

Well, go right ahead, by all means!

This morning while I was lying in bed in the early pre-dawn I heard a bird singing out a beautiful melody. Normally, this would make my heart happy, but then I'd just turn over and try to catch a few more moments of rest. But not today. Today was extra special. Why? Because crazy as this may sound, this little birdie was lifting it's sweet praises in the midst of a thunderstorm. Amazing! God used two rather "ordinary" things to create an extraordinary experience for me—God showed me something awesome and real—a perfect picture of peace. Thunderclouds rolled in, lightning flashed across the dark gray sky, and rain teamed down the windowpane yet this bird was secure. In fact, it was more than secure, it was full of joy, willing and wanting to sing.

This sends Goosebumps up my spine as I think about it. It's a paradox and truly a God thing. Especially since this word, paradox, has been near and dear to my heart. In fact, I kid you not; this is the very title of the book that I wanted to share with you today. Yet, perhaps paradox is not a word you're familiar with, so let me explain. Paradox is flowers on snow, joy in the midst of trials, compassion for others as your own heart breaks. It's what many of us just celebrated, Easter-- Jesus laying down his life for me, someone sinful and undeserving. It's victory and life born out of death and suffering.

Through this experience, God reminded me that He delights in using those ordinary things to accomplish His marvelous purposes. And that's super news! If He can use Fishermen, tax collectors, birds, and thunderstorms, I know He can use me—a very average, ordinary person to do extraordinary things for Him. Perhaps you're feeling "ordinary" today. Take heart, it's through that very thing that God can show His creativity, His power, and even His love just like He did for me in the midst of this early mornings storm.

Wow! Thank you for sharing that with us, JoAnn. Yes, God is amazing, and even more amazing, is the fact that He would use us...US, to bring Him glory with the gifts He's given us.

So can we have a peek at Paradox. Pretty pleeeease...

Lilly Holland’s passion is flowers-not people. All she’s ever dreamed of was a peaceful life surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. The exact opposite of what life is like at the touristy Holland Lodge in the small town of Paradox. So, why does she feel like God is nudging her to go? He, if anyone, should know better than to ask this of her.

Ric Walker, Holland Lodge’s grounds keeper, is Lilly’s only link to sanity. His steady presence and strong faith encourages her through this trying situation. However, that sanity is threatened as she realizes her feelings for him are changing into something more, something deeper.

Will Lilly learn that Paradox is more than a town’s name, but rather a divine place where God can reveal His power, bring healing, and love, just when she thinks all hope is gone?


It was only Tuesday evening... a few days on the job, but it already felt like a few years. The last thing she wanted to do was drive Sharon back to her condo in Jericho, but she had promised. Ric rapped twice on the office door before popping his head in. "Hey."

"Hey, yourself."

He came in and leaned up against the doorframe. "The truck's loaded up."

Lilly shut down the computer. "Great, thanks for helping Sharon get her stuff out there."

"No problem." Ric looked over his shoulder and then back to Lilly. "I don't have any plans for the evening. Would you like me to help you ladies get Sharon's stuff unloaded?"

Lilly shook her head and looked at him -- really looked at him for the first time since he came into her office. His broad shoulders filled the doorway. The sheer breadth made her wonder if he could easily carry any burden life handed to him, physical or emotional. Tempted though she might be to share some of her concerns, she couldn't afford to grow to depend on him -- or anyone for that matter. Granted, it was nice to spend time with Ric and get to know him more. She valued his friendship and looked forward to the times when she could be with him, but this was only a temporary situation. There was no way she would ever let herself forget it. If she did -- she might lose sight of her own dreams -- dreams that didn't include Paradox when all was said and done. "You don't need to worry about us, Ric. We'll manage."

"Are you sure? It's no problem and it might be nice to have some company on the way back."

Lilly sighed. "You're right. It would be, but honestly I'd rather take care of this myself."

Ric stood up and took a few steps into the room. With him came the smell of clean soap and shaving cream. "It can be a mighty lonely life if you never let anyone get close to you, you know."

Shoot, he saw right through the walls that she was trying to erect to protect herself. "There are people I'm close to."

"Oh yeah, who?"

JoAnn Carter


Win a gift box filled with goodies! (A paperback copy of Teacher's Plans, a gift certificate, a mug filled with a package of Green Mountain Coffee, pen and a Tee-shirt.)

How? Help me spread the word about Paradox by sharing the link to this post on your FB, Twitter, blog, etc. then e-mail where you posted it to with "Blog Blitz" in the subject line. A winner will be drawn 5/26/11.


JoAnn Carter writes stories that will encourage your faith through inspirational fiction novels and novellas. She resides in Vermont with her wonderful husband and four children.

JoAnn is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, women's ministries events, school events, and church retreats.

Find her here:

Visit JoAnn's Web site

Connect with JoAnn on Facebook

JoAnn's Blog


I hope you'll be able to pick up a copy of Paradox today @

You can watch the trailer here ~

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Christian romances

Looking for a good Christian romance? White Rose Publishing has another wonderful story from Marianne Evans and she has graciously decided to let me spotlight her for this week.

Marianne Evans is a multi-published author of Christian contemporary romances and fiction. A lifelong resident of Michigan, Marianne is an active member of Romance Writers of America and the Greater Detroit RWA where she served the chapter in a number of capacities, but most notably for two terms as Chapter Treasurer and two terms as Chapter President. She also belongs to the Faith Hope and Love chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.

Find out more about Marianne and her releases at:, or on Facebook at:!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744

While we were chatting, here are some of the highlights I thought you might like to know about Marianne and her writing style.

1) How do your stories come to you? Are they a full blown idea? or are they a vague idea and you create as you go?
I'm contracting on proposal now, which has forced me to transform from a panster (who writes as they go along...) to much more of a plotter (one who maps out the plot in detail, then writes it).

Well, God bless you. I've tried plotting and squashed a couple stories that way. I hope you have much better luck with it!

2) Are your stories plot driven, or character driven? VERY much character driven. My stories are driven by what my characters feel, and how they react to the world/circumstances around them. Those are the stories I love to read, so they 've become the stories I write. :-) I love putting myself into a pair of fictional shoes and taking them for a walk!

Lovely analogy!

3) How well do you know your characters before you start writing, and do they ever surprise you?
That's the hard part of being a reformed Panster - my characters LOVE to take me by surprise (just like God!!). I'll think I've got everything mapped out nice and clear, and BOOM - in comes the story THEY want to tell!

I know how that is, but I love every minute of it!

4) Are you a part of a writer's group? or have you ever been?
I belong to a number of writers groups: RWA, Greater Detroit RWA, Mid-Michigan RWA, Detroit Literary Network and American Christian Fiction Writers.

5) Do you have a critique partner or someone you count on for a first read before you submit your stories?
I have a critique partner who has been part of my writing life forever. I love her and wouldn't make it through without her support, expert eyes, and ability to kindly tell me where my plot has holes the size of the grand canyon....! :-)

LOL Don't fall in!

6) Do you work on more than one story at a time?
Yes, I do. I'm wrapping up a mainstream book and am already starting work on a three-book series I'm eager to pitch to my editor!

Wow! You are one busy lady!

7) What's your next project?
My Woodland Series continues with Hearts Communion this fall from White Rose Publishing. The series concludes in the spring of 2012 with Hearst Key. I've just handed in final edits on Hearts Key. Meanwhile, I'm finishing up a mainstream Christian novel titled Devotion that I'm eager to send to my editor! Devotion tells the story of a marriage in crisis that undergoes the test of commitment, and trust. I'm also mapping out a three book inspy-romance series centered around a mom-and-pop style diner in downtown Detroit and the wonderful characters who stroll through its doors and occupy its booths! I'm eager to tell their stories!

They all sound wonderful! I'll be waiting anxiously for them all!

So here's a little peek at her most recent story, A FACE IN THE CLOUDS :

Reporter Paul Hutchins is all about finding facts and uncovering the truth. Verification, authenticity and quantification are the fuel of his spirit…Until he falls in love with producer Sandy Pierson.

Sandy sees Christ alive in every aspect of her life. No need for quantified facts. Faith is the fuel of her spirit . But her love for Paul puts her at odds with God's call toward faith and all of its mysteries.

Paul considers Christianity to be well-meaning myth—hyperbole. To Sandy, it’s everything—and she can accept nothing less from the man she loves.
Can a miracle happen? Can the touch of God Himself keep their relationship from shattering?


“I know how deeply you feel things, Paul. You have a wonderful heart. That’s part of why I love you so much. I’m torn in two about my feelings for you.” Sandy’s declaration would have filled him were it not chipped and cracked by the impact of her doubts.

“Your reporter’s instinct toward authenticity and revealing the truth is a big part of what I admire about you. There’s nothing wrong with facing the world honestly, but you need to make room for a few other truths.”

“Like God.”

“Yes, and the fact that life holds as much mystery, and as many intangibles, as it does realistic things you can hold tight with both hands.”

She wanted him to change. Right down to the soul. Paul continued to study her. She was hurt enough that she had almost stepped away from attending tonight’s event—out of a frustrated sense of love. Yet here they were—together—out of a frustrated sense of love.

And if he wasn’t mindful of her beliefs, she’d step away from him.

Paul navigated the rapidly-filling parking lot of Woodland Church. Once they stopped, he killed the car engine and used a restraining hand to keep Sandy in place. He closed the space between them and gave her a kiss that lingered and thoroughly tasted. He felt the gesture ease a bit of the tightness in her shoulders and back. “I’ll keep an open mind, OK?”

She touched his face, and there was yearning in her eyes. “Keep an open heart. That’s much more important.”