Monday, November 28, 2011

The Other Side of Darkness

Welcome Linda! I'm so glad you could stop by today to share a little about your story The Other Side of Darkness.

I just loved the story, but I've got to ask, where did the idea come from? And are you familiar with the area you used as a setting?

I have always been intrigued by the Southern Adirondacks and their role in American History. The area is beautiful with rolling hills and an abundance of scenic lakes. One day my father and I were driving down a road and he went searching for a little fishing hole he'd spotted once while hunting. We didn't find it but he said it was the purest water he'd ever seen. That's where the idea of Mirror Lake came into being. I also fashioned much of Malone's (my home town) history into Haven's history. The basic plot evolved when I wondered what it might take for a prosecuting attorney to do a one-eight in her life. The area is rich in wildlife. I needed something more than a deer. A friend of mine had mentioned that if you hit a moose and lived to tell about it, you were very lucky.

How much plotting did you have to do?

I'm more of a panster type of writer. I've found that too much plotting restricts me. I told one workshop leader that I'm so rebellious by nature I rebel against myself. But I do have a skeleton plot idea that I follow. I know the key points in the story. That way I don't wander away from the basic premise.

Wow, great job! I can't imagine writing suspense without plotting it out!

And your knowledge of the way the legal system works - any insider information that helped you keep it realistic?"

I do have above average knowledge of legal aspects due to my experiences as a family caseworker, particularly child protective services. My husband served as a casework supervisor for several years in Child Protective Services as well. I do have acquaintances who are lawyers are they were helpful in helping me understand the rule of perpetuity. I did extensive research into what might constitute prejudice on the part of a prosecutor, and gender was a significant factor. I also did major research on house arrest programs in NYS and found cases of murder convictions that were placed under house arrest. Some of the legal matters addressed in the book actually happened. When turning state witness, prosecutors have a lot of leeway.

Very well done! Let's share a bit, shall we?


After setting out on a forced vacation, and literally running into a moose, Manhattan Assistant D.A. Samantha Knowles finds it’s not so bad being stranded in a quirky but intriguing Adirondack town. But when her three-year prosecution against convicted killer, Harlan Styles begins to unravel, she’s thrust into a whirlwind of haunting memories, fear, and danger. And suddenly, Haven isn’t so safe, after all.

With no future in Haven, and no way to escape the small town, teacher Zack Bordeaux fears he’s doomed to a life of mediocrity.

Haunted by the deaths of his wife and son, landscape artist Jonathan Gladstone feels bound to an estate he both loves and loathes. But when Zack and Jonathon meet Samantha, their lives take on a different course.

Three lives intertwined, tied together by dangerous circumstance and the faint echoes of an elusive hope. To make it through, each must find their way to the Light that’s found only on the other side of darkness.

And here's an excerpt:

“Abe has arranged for you to take a three week vacation—his orders…his treat…his itinerary.”

“You have got to be kidding. Not now—not when Styles has filed another appeal.”

“Abe’s worried about you, and he thought maybe you’d listen to me better than you listen to him. You haven’t slept in weeks.”

True enough…sleep was a rare luxury over the past three years. Might as well let Justine think Sam’s sleeplessness had been caused by case worries. If Justine knew about the nightmares, she’d tell Abe, and he’d drag a shrink into the whole mess.

Justine leaned in like a period at the end of the sentence. “Besides, you know how slow Justice is. Chances are nothing will happen for months.”

“Yeah. Slow, all right…in Kiley Smith’s case it crawls. She would have been five years old today.” Rest in peace little girl.

“Abe thinks you’ve become obsessed, and frankly, I agree. You need to take a break.”

“I don’t—”

Justine glowered, and when she glowered, it meant only one thing—the fat lady had sung her last aria.

“Fine. I can’t fight both you and Abe. So where am I going?”

“Vermont. It’s all arranged.”

Vermont? The other ADAs described the state like a wilderness ready to be discovered. Not for Sam. Vermont meant nature, and the closest to nature she ever got was a walk in Central Park to mull over her latest strategy against Styles’s petitions. “What am I supposed to do in Vermont?”

“Ski. Your instructor will be Alonzo Altamont. Handsome and available, I expect.”

“With my luck, gay or married. Besides, I don’t have time for romance. I’d prefer to catch up on my reading.”

“Read or ski. Whatever.”

Skiing…not a chance, not even if Mr. America waited for her at the end of the trail. “What if I refuse?”

“You can’t.”

Abe wasn’t God, he was only her boss. “What does that mean?”

“It means you either go on this vacation, or Abe’s writing you up for insubordination. He thinks you need perspective. You could pack your whole wardrobe in those bags under your eyes.”

5 Star Review

What a marvelous job Ms. Rondeau does of keeping the reader on the edge of the seat all the way through the story.

With a touch of humor, a jolt of suspense, and confusing attraction all jumbled together, she leads you through quite a winding tale. I honestly wasn’t sure how it would all end—and I really love it when that happens!

From her untimely meeting with a moose, Assistant District Atty. Samantha Knowles weaves her way down an unmarked path leading her to a life she never expected, and certainly never planned. And although choices are taken out of her hands, it’s quite obvious that God’s hand is guiding her all the way.

The rest of the cast of characters is a wonderful mix of people, too. I certainly hope you get to meet them.

Great story!

LINDA RONDEAU, writes for the reader who enjoys a little bit of everything. Her stories of redemption and God’s mercies include romance, suspense, the ethereal, and a little bit of history into the mix, always served with a slice of humor.

The Other Side of Darkness Trailer:

You can find her at: of scenic lakes. One day my father and I were searching for a little fishing hole he

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today's proverb

Often when I read my proverb each day, I take it in one large gulp, not really breaking it down, but digesting it whole. Yeah, even that way it still carries me through the day with God right there beside me. But each day I also notice that there are certain verses that snag me, that make me sit back and take notice, so I'm going to highlight them on days when I don't have a story to share.

So today, Sunday, 11/27/11, Proverbs 27:1 is in the spotlight.

Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

Do you ever find yourself doing that? So proud of something that's happening tomorrow, or next week or next month, that you can't help but tell everyone about it - and have you ever had those plans fall through and have to mumble your way through excuses about why you're around instead.

None of us knows what tomorrow will bring (except for God - and He's not telling). It's OK to look forward to things, but boasting and being prideful is a surefire way to hurt someone's feelings. Not to mention it's a sin...not to mention all our blessings and talents and gifts come from God.

So instead of tooting your own horn how about giving thanks to God for all He's done.

God bless! I hope you all have a wonderful day with God walking beside you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Carol Ann Erhardt - Trapped

Inspirational romantic suspense writer, Carol Ann Erhardt, touches the hearts and emotions of her readers every time.

Welcome, Carol Ann! What a lovely story you have to share with us today! I thoroughly enjoyed it! And what a perfect picture of little Jenny on the cover! I love it!

Well anyway, I'll stop babbling and let them have a peek.


She’s a woman who doesn’t trust cops. He’s a cop. She’s determined to keep her past a secret. He’s determined to find out what she’s hiding.

High school bus driver, Summer Grant, flees from death threats and winds up trapped in Havens Creek, a small town not far enough away from danger. With a broken leg and no transportation, she is forced to accept the hospitality of strangers. Staying with the police chief’s sister and five-year-old daughter in an isolated mountain home might be the ideal place for her to hide until she can get back on her feet, but if the man she’s hiding from learns her whereabouts, no one will be safe.

Havens Creek Police Chief, Jake Taylor, always protects his own. He feels duty-bound to help Summer when she ends up in his small town claiming she has no family. He has a soft spot for strays, but this two-legged one is hiding something, and he’s determined to solve the mystery.

An unwanted attraction draws them together. Evil threatens to rip them apart.

Doesn't it sound great! Here's a little excerpt to whet your appetite...

Jake chuckled. “Sounds like you‟re hungry.”
“I guess I am. How long have you been Chief of Police?”
“Six years. How about you? What kind of work do you do?” He sat beside her.
She turned away from his probing gaze. “A little of this and a little of that. I‟ve had several jobs.”
“Really? What type of jobs?”
“Nothing as exciting as being Chief of Police.”
“Being a policeman isn't exciting. It's a lot of paperwork. Nothing glamorous.” He stood and lifted the grill cover. “So what brought you to our neck of the woods?” He turned the meat.
“Just passing through.”
“Headed home?”
“Not exactly. Just taking my time reaching Cincinnati.”
“Do you have friends there? Family?”
“No. Just a change.”
“I‟m sorry that I delayed your travels.”
“It wasn't your fault. I should have been more careful.”
“Wasn't you. I didn't have both hands on the wheel and I, of all people, should know better.”
Becca knew her brother, that's for sure. Arguing with him over this wasn't going to change a thing. No matter whose fault the accident had been, she couldn't go anywhere for a while. She had the hospital bills to pay, a car to buy… She needed to find a job. Her small savings might not be enough to do that let alone tide her over while she found a new place to live. A place far, far away from here.

Now doesn't that just make you want to dive in and find out what's going on...

4 1/2 star Review:

I really don't want to give too much away. This is a sweet, sweet story with a cast of characters that are real enough to make you feel like you know them. From Summer's understandable fears, to Jake's take charge personality, this story reels you in from the start, cheering for the good guys (well, lady), and hissing at the bad guys. But Ms. Erhardt makes even the villain understandable, making your heart bleed for him just a little. She also gives you just enough insight to watch it all happen and wonder what will happen next.

Well, I guarantee that you won't want to put this one down until you know the ending, so happy reading!

Oh, and leave a comment along with your email address! Carol is giving away a free copy to one lucky commenter!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Paul and Silas sang praises unto God, even from behind prison gates, I don't think it's asking too much for us to give thanks and praise for all He's given us in this world and the one yet to come.

So count it all joy, both the blessings and the trials as He molds us all into what we should be.

Even as I try to count my blessings, I know they are more abundant than I can ever recognize, and I know my thanks are nowhere near what He deserves, but still, on this very special day, even more than usual, I give thanks for all He's given for me, and all He's given to me!

God bless you all! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anne McCaffrey

I'm sure the dragons of Pern are bowing down as tears rain from their eyes. It's a sad day for those lovers of fantasy, who remember the Dragonriders of Pern and other such tales.

Anne McCaffrey was one of the first authors to introduce me to the world of dragons and other such creatures. To this day I have several of the series on my bookshelf, held in the same esteem as Frank Herbert and JRR Tolkien.

But Ms. McCaffrey has passed the torch to her middle child, Todd, who penned several stories with her, as well as a few on his own. May he carry the torch proudly and share the land of dragons with the next generation.

If you'd like to learn more about the life of Anne Inez McCaffrey (1 April 1926 - 21 November 2011), this biography by Robin Roberts gives a good picture of her life.

I believe her Dragons of Pern will live on for generations to come, but her loss will be felt by all readers of fantasy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Beginnings

Welcome Wendy, and thanks for sharing New Beginnings with us! What a great story!

You know, the more I read, the more I realize there are just too many great stories out there, and not enough time! I know I'm gonna miss some so let's hurry down this rabbit trail before this one gets away...


Security expert Adam Peyton wants a second chance with the woman who captured his heart and walked away with it several months ago. When he agrees to be her bodyguard on a Caribbean cruise, he takes the opportunity to do much more than just protect her.

When the man who has been haunting Cora Andrews' dreams for months walks back into her life, she must choose to release the pride holding them apart, or risk losing him forever.

Will Adam have the new beginning with Cora he has been praying for?


DB: After reading this story, Wendy, I couldn't help but wonder if there's ever been a "second chance" relationship in your life? or a time when you wished for one, when you wondered, "what if..."?

WD: I married the love of my life, so as far as second chance relationships, I haven't needed one in the romance category. However, when I think of second chances in my life, I think of how God has blessed me with forgiveness, time and time again. Although as a Christian, I try to do what's right, I make mistakes. Sometimes over and over again until God points them out to me and even after He does, it's not easy to keep on track. But, He's always willing to forgive. As I see it, He's the ultimate author of second chances, and third, and fourth...

Agreed! And life is full of choices. We all stumble and make mistakes, but you are so right! God is the ultimate giver of second chances...and as many after that as we might need.

Well, let's share a peek at your story, and give everyone a first chance to see what they'll be missing if they don't read it!


“You never know. It could turn out to be fun.” Adam’s familiar voice sent a wave of memories crashing into her...

“Fun?” She turned her wide eyes to him. “You mean like when you lied to me about who you are? Was that fun?”

"I didn’t lie.” His voice lowered as he stepped into the elevator with her.

“You kept the truth from me. That’s the same thing.”

"Do we have to go through this again, Cora?” he asked as a sigh heaved his broad shoulders.

“Not if you leave me alone. But you won’t do that will you? Harry asked you to go so you will. Just like that.”

“It is my job, Cora.”

“You’ve made that more than clear.”

The elevator began its decent from the top floor. Adam’s tall, masculine presence made the small room feel even smaller. She faced the doors and watched the numbers light up with each passing floor.

“Is it really that horrible that I’m coming with you?”

She met his eyes. “Harry has no right…”

“Let’s not make this about Harry OK?” His gaze seared into hers as he added, “Like you do everything else in your life.”

She gasped. “I do not.”


Cora ground her teeth and fisted her hands as she turned to face him and sucked in a breath. Before she had a chance to say a word, Adam placed a warm, calloused finger on her lips. He stepped close and whispered, “I’d like to do a lot of things with you. Fighting isn’t one of them.” He gently traced his finger along the contours of her lips as his eyes followed. The elevator chimed and the doors opened. He stepped back. “I’ll see you next week.”

Well, if that just doesn't get your blood pumping! Oh my goodness! Well, "What if you don't take the time to read this story? What if there's a message here just for you? What if..."


5 Star Review

Ooh, talk about ruffling someone’s feathers! You can feel your own hackles rise with Cora’s at the words on the first page. And that’s before you even take into consideration the ex-factor! And Adam sounds like the least likely ex- you’ve ever seen!

But Cora has to dare to look beyond her own skewed perceptions to see the truth.

And this story is full of truths. Come check it out! It’s a real short/quick read, but in these few pages there is lots of emotion, and more angst than you would ever expect!

Don't miss your chance! I just love second chance romances, as you all know, and this one is just mmm mmm good!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inspirational Romantic Suspense - Purple Knot

Welcome, Raquel! I'm so sorry I didn't have you stop by sooner! I really loved your story but somehow let it slip through the proverbial cracks without mention.

So I hope you don't mind if I share it with others!


A killer strikes. A love rekindled. A life-altering choice.

When her best friend, is murdered, Reyna Cruz doesn’t believe the police have the whole story. An investigator by trade, she has the talent to track Summer’s killer, but when clues lead to a family connection and a vicious gang, she suddenly becomes the hunted. At the end of her rope, Reyna must decide to trust the God she believes abandoned her.

Wanting justice for his sister’s murder, lawyer Jimmy Corbeau agrees to help Reyna—even though she’s his ex-fiancĂ©, and their break-up devastated him. Romance is reawakened, but so are memories of their tragic undoing. Jimmy must decide if he will fight for a future with Reyna or allow their past to derail the investigation and his second chance at love.

When the investigation goes awry and Summer’s infant daughter is kidnapped, Reyna must put her life on the line. Will Jimmy and Reyna survive the desperate measures it takes to recover his niece, catch a killer, and secure a happily-ever-after for them all?


“Summer has a fat lip, and I’ll bet her wrist is sprained. Talk some sense into her. Tell her to go and visit you for a while.”

“I already tried that. Did they book Parker?”

“I made sure they did.”

I could tell he was looking at Summer by the way he emphasized his words.

“You coming up here, Rain?”

“Probably not.”

“Why not?”

“Why not, Jimmy? Are you serious?”

I said it a little too loudly. My hands shook, and I fought for control.

“I can’t go and see her face all bruised up and be able to make out Parker’s fist print. I just can’t. Do you know how many times I’ve had to read her pain medication bottle for her because her eyes were swollen shut?”


“I can’t do this any more. I’m tired of trying to save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.”

I was angry. At Parker for being who he was, at Summer for being a victim, and at myself…for thinking that way.

Jimmy was silent.

I looked at my phone to be sure I was still connected.

“You probably have to go, so I’ll give the phone back to Summer.”

I could tell he was mad. Jimmy never gave up on anything...ever. I had disappointed him. I could hear it in his voice.

“Jimmy, I’m still here for her. I just can’t run out there every time she lets him hurt her.”

“It’s not a ‘letting’ thing, Rain. Do you really think that?”

I hesitated. I didn’t want to fight with Jimmy, but then again, I did believe that.

“Jimmy, on some level, at some point, she needs to stop letting him do this to her by leaving. I have places for her to stay. I have money. I’ve even researched OB/Gyn doctors here. But she needs to take the first step, and she won’t. Short of dragging her here by the feet, I don’t know what more I can do.”

How's that for a bit of a teaser? Don't you just want to dive right in! I did, and boy, did I love it!

5 star review

I just love well written romantic suspense and this certainly falls into that category. Not only is the story suspenseful, but what a fabulous job Ms. Byrnes does of making us feel what Reyna feels, starting with the helplessness of watching someone who isn’t willing to be helped. Emotions run rampant as Reyna is put in an impossible position by her best friend’s choices. The choices she has to make in response leave her exposed to dangers she is totally unaware of until it’s nearly too late. Toss an ex-fiancĂ© into the mix and you have a powder keg of emotion ready to blow with a fuse already burning.

Well done, Ms. Byrnes. You kept me on the edge of my seat through it all, not knowing whodunit until the end, and the twists of the relationship between Jimmy and Reyna were heartwarming, and heartbreaking in turns.

I loved it!