Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lullabye in Lone Creek - Mary Manners

Welcome back, Mary! Yes, indeed, I love this one, too! Lullabye is the second story in the Lone Creek Ranch series, and already I can't wait for the next one! Thanks so much, Donna!

How many more to come? And when? There are still two more to come...Lesson in Lone creek and Love in Lone Creek. Release dates are not yet firm but I can tell you that Nick and Tanner Merrill are just as fun and lovable as their brothers Carson and Dalton!

Ooh, how fun! Thanks so much for the inside scoop!

Well, here's a peek at Lullaby

In eight seconds Dalton Merrill's professional bull riding days—and the fame he enjoyed—ended. When the adrenaline-junkie returns to Lone Creek Ranch to heal, he discovers a single reckless romp with sweet Emilee Walker has left her with more than a little heartbreak. She’s carrying his child. The last thing he wants is to be tied down with a wife and a son. 

Emilee Walker trusted Dalton with her heart, and he left her for the rodeo. She wanted Dalton to return home, but not like this. Now she wonders if it's responsibility or love that holds him on Lone Creek. This time she vows to show him what family ties and faith in God really means.


The heavy thump of music startled Emilee and she felt the ground vibrate as she worked in the first stall of the stable with a mare named Lucky Girl. She turned and glanced through the open stable doors to see a mud-splattered truck racing up the drive. The truck might have been black at one time…or possibly midnight blue? She couldn’t tell for all the dirt caked from hood to wheel wells. But whoever was behind the wheel was driving way too fast. Gravel spit from the rear tires in an angry rooster tail, leaving a dark trail of dust that clung to the air long after the truck hit the black-topped entrance.

“Who on earth…” Emilee’s voice faded as she turned her attention from Lucky Girl and left the stable to stride across the paddock, toward the road. Someone was about to get a piece of her mind—and how. No one drove around Lone Creek like his hair was on fire. It was dangerous—for the animals, the workers, and the guests—and just plain stupid, too. Now that Lone Creek was officially open for business, its camps up and running, the last thing they needed was the bad publicity of crazed drivers racing along the property.

“Hey!” Emilee shouted as the truck rounded a curve and raced along the paddock fence toward the stable. She stuffed the stethoscope she’d been using into the pocket of her veterinarian’s smock and waved her arms in wide arcs above her head to attract the driver’s attention. “Slow down!”

As if he could hear her with the music blaring full throttle. Emilee frowned and placed a protective hand over her rounded belly as the baby growing inside her kicked and squirmed. The poor little guy wasn’t used to such loud noise. “It’s OK, Colton,” she murmured, giving her stomach a little pat. “You’re safe. I’ll take care of this.”

The truck skidded to a halt inches from the stable, and Emilee rushed toward it, holding her belly as she picked up the pace. Her blood boiled, and a flush of heat washed over her cheeks as the music died and the driver’s door swung open.

“Hey, you!” She jabbed a finger toward the truck as one soiled cowboy boot eased over the door jamb and settled on the blacktop, along with a battered duffel bag that was tossed from the seat. “What do you think—” Emilee’s voice froze in her throat as the second boot dropped, and the driver unfolded himself before turning to look at her.

He reached for a battered cowboy hat from the passenger seat and slipped it on his head, positioning the brim low across his cobalt-blue eyes.


“Hi, Em.” His lips curved into a challenging little smirk as he dipped the hat with a bandaged hand. His gaze swept her, head to toe, pausing as it reached the growing mound of her belly. She heard his slight intake of breath as realization registered. When he spoke again, his voice was a low growl. “I see you got yourself…knocked up.”

The words stole her breath, and once again, her palm splayed across her mid-section covering the restless baby. A flash of heat curled up her spine as angry tears scalded her eyes. Her words trembled. “What are you doing here, Dalton?”

“I’m home—for good.” His voice faltered as his gaze rested on her. He gave the duffel bag a little nudge with the toe of his boot as a flash of anger narrowed his eyes. “But I see I’m just…a little bit too late to pick up where we left off.”

“A little…?” Emilee’s voice caught as her pulse galloped. “You’re gone nearly eight months and that’s all you have to say?”

“I…yes.” His words were clipped. How dare he be angry at her? He massaged his damaged hand through thick, gauze bandages, and Emilee fought the urge to feel even a smidgen of sympathy.

She’d heard about the accident from Dalton’s brother—what he’d been through the first weeks of recovery—she just hadn’t been ready to see the destruction first hand.

“What do you want me to say, Em?” His tone still had that hard edge. “Look at you. What did you…do?”

“What did I…?” A veil of rage blurred Emilee’s vision. She stomped one foot, clad in pale blue leather cowgirl boots, and spun away from Dalton to stride across the paddock. “You’re insufferable, Dalton Merrill,” she called over her shoulder, her voice choked with sobs. “I can’t believe I ever cared an ounce for you. What a fool I’ve been.”

“Emilee, wait! I’m just shocked that’s all.” She could hear his footsteps behind her. At the stable door, she grabbed an empty feed bucket and turned to lob it at him, missing his head by mere inches.

“Go away. Go back to…to your bulls, Dalton.”

“What’s got you so riled up?” He took a tentative step, his blue eyes dark slits beneath the brim of his hat. “Look, let’s talk.”

“You want to…talk?” She turned her back to him again and rounded the stable, double-timing it to the small, whitewashed clapboard cottage beside the main house. Once inside, she gave the door a stiff slam and rested her back against the wood, her arms crossed over her belly. Scalding tears flowed in torrents as the echo of Dalton’s heartless words shattered what was left of her broken heart.

“Emilee, please. Just listen for a minute.” Dalton’s voice was muffled through the wooden door. “I’m sorry I upset you. You just caught me by surprise. You never mentioned you were seeing anybody. I mean, I can’t blame you. I was gone eight months.”

She swiped tears from her cheeks and urged the tremor from her voice as she called, “Forget it. I’m not interested in what you have to say, Dalton. Not now—not ever. Just go away.”


Wow! You want to talk about conflict? This story is just filled with it. Dalton's opening words to Emilee are terrible. The tension Emilee was already feeling just cranks even tighter. But what she doesn't see is that Dalton is all rough on the outside while his insides are a bundle of emotion.

Yeah, he's the kind of cowboy you hate to love, but can't help yourself.

All I can say is Ms. Manners has done it again. From the opening page she wrapped her characters around me and didn't free me until "The End".

Great story!

Buy link:

Mary Manners is an award-winning author of inspirational romance who lives in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and teen-aged daughter. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers.

During the school year, she teaches middle-schoolers reading and Algebra. In her free time, she likes to garden, take long walks with her husband, and read romance novels in a hammock beneath century-old shade trees.
Visit Mary at

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lost in Lone Creek - Mary Manners

Welcome, Mary! And may I say, WOW, before we go any further! I love cowboy stories and you certainly bring out the best in 'em! I can't  wait to read more of the Lone Creek Ranch series! I realize Lullaby in Lone Creek is releasing today and I wish you many blessings with it, but since I missed this one, I think others may have also.

So I'll be hosting Lullabye in Lone Creek on Monday, but for today, I'm spotlighting Lost in Lone Creek. Let's start at the beginning, after all.

So, let me share a little bit...


Carson Merrill loves only one thing more than Lone Creek Ranch—high school sweetheart Jessica Tate. He has plans to marry her, until one fateful night a devastating accident nearly kills her brother, James, and claims the use of his legs. Jessica flees to Nashville, blaming Carson for her brother’s paralysis. She avoids him—and James—for more than a year.

Jessica returns to Lone Creek as one of the top producing land developers in the area, and she has one goal—to banish Carson forever from her memory while taking what he still loves—Lone Creek Ranch. But God has other plans—to draw the two together in a development project that will satisfy both their desires, and help them to reclaim the love they once shared.


Carson cleared his throat and drew his gaze away from the curve of her waist, the creamy skin that peaked from the jacket’s collar. “I asked you a question, Jess. What do you want?”
“I want Lone Creek Ranch, Carson.” She struggled to keep up with him as the heels of her pumps snagged pasture grass. “I want the land it sits on.”
“What?” He choked, sputtered, and swung around so fast he nearly collided with her. Vanilla mingled with spring hay and dank cow manure. “Why?”
“I’m in the business of land development now, Carson, and this area is untapped.” She swept a hand across the horizon framing an endless emerald pasture back-dropped by smoke-hazed mountains. In the distance, water danced beneath sunlight as it raced along a generous creek. “Lone Creek Ranch is prime land.”
“No.” He held up a hand to stave off any further discussion. “Forget it. My answer is no.”
“Oh, for goodness sakes, Carson.” She rushed after him, her fingertips grazing his shoulder. Her touch scalded, and he shrugged off the sensation and quickened his pace, his long strides attacking the ground. “You can’t manage it alone. You need—”
“Don’t tell me what I need, Jess.” His voice was a low, dangerous growl as he entered the cool shade of the barn. “Lone Creek Ranch belongs to me now…and my brothers.” It had for nearly a year, since his mom passed on. Dad had been gone much longer.
Jessica waved her hand with a flourish as she struggled to keep up with him. “Funny, but I don’t see your brothers here. How long has it been, Carson, since they’ve been home to help carry the load?”
“You’re one to talk.” Carson’s eyes burned as he stared her down. “You left me, and you left James when he needed you most. Neither of us has seen you around here for over a year. Where did you run to, Jess?”
“This isn’t about my brother.” Her chin came up, and she tossed her hair back as her gaze challenged. “Besides, you’d know where I’ve been if you bothered to call.”
“You said you didn’t want me to. Was that just a line, Jess? Was I supposed to read your mind and know you really meant something else?”
“Of course not.” She sighed and tugged the collar of her jacket. “Look, Carson, I’m not here to rehash the past. I want Lone Creek Ranch. I’m prepared to make you a very generous offer.”
“I’m not interested in your offer, or anything else from you.” Carson’s blood boiled. He wondered if she could see smoke pouring from his ears. He clenched his fists at his sides. “Get off my land.”
“Carson, wait!” Her voice raised a notch as she crossed her arms. “Be reasonable, please.”
“I like that, listening to you beg.” He speared her with his gaze. “But this conversation’s over, Jessica. You’d better slip back into your shiny SUV and drive your self-centered, snooty little attitude back to town.”
“You heard me.” Carson pointed toward the road. “Leave, before I say something I’m sure to regret.”
She readjusted the sunglasses propped on her head and waited a heartbeat, two, before taking a step forward and jabbing a finger into his chest. “Haven’t you already done that, Carson?”
“Have I? Are you sure about that, Jess?” He turned his back to her and stomped past freshly-mucked stalls, fists clenched again. He wove his way to the cramped office in the back left corner of the barn and slammed through the door. A gelding palomino, Lucky Lou, lifted his head and whinnied in protest from the stall across the aisle. And Sunshine, due to foal any day, paced restlessly in the largest stall, her belly round and swollen.
Carson kicked the door shut. A moment passed, when all he heard was the rush of blood through his ears and Lucky Lou’s nervous grunts. Then sharp heels tapped against concrete, and he drew a deep breath as Jessica strode toward the door. He bit back an onslaught of ugly words when she gave the splintered wood a light rap.
“I’ll go, Carson,” she called, her voice muffled through the wood. “But I’ll be back.”
He counted to ten, his hands fisted so hard his knuckles whitened. Then he blew out a heated breath, slumped into the battered leather desk chair, and tossed his hat onto the scuffed metal file cabinet, doing his best to ignore Jessica. An ivory square of paper fluttered as she slipped a business card beneath the door. He recognized her flourish of handwriting in the number she’d scrawled across the back.
It had a lot of zeroes—more than he’d seen in a long time.
“Here’s my offer.” Her voice carried a smooth molasses drawl. “Call me when you cool off and come to your senses.”
“Don’t hold your breath.” Carson covered the card with the toe of his boot and ground it into the soiled tile. “The earth will freeze over before I let you get your hands on Lone Creek Ranch.”


Lost in Lone Creek is such a sweet tale of losing your way along this road of life - so easy to make wrong choices based on misunderstandings - to lose perspective of what's truly important.

Ms. Manners has done a wonderful job of intertwining the emotional memories that bind Carson and Jessica with the possibilities of what the future could be. She shows us what love really is, and that it doesn't just give up.

I loved Carson and Jessica from the start, both of them acting and reacting out of a pain from the past. Carson is such a gentleman. The epitome of what we all think of as a cowboy. When Jess rolls back into his life you can feel the emotional tension jump off the pages.

This story just pours emotions over your soul - the heartache, the longings...the joy in the welcoming arms of God.

Wonderful story!

buy link: 

Mary Manners is an award-winning author of inspirational romance who lives in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and teen-aged daughter. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers. 

For more about Mary, you can find her at:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hearts Crossing - Marianne Evans

Collin Edwards, a former parishioner at Woodland Church of Christ, has renounced God without apology, his faith drained away in the face of a tragic loss.

Daveny Montgomery cares deeply about her relationship with God and the community of Woodland. But lately she's been in a rut, longing for something to reignite her spiritual enthusiasm.

A beautification project at Woodland seems the answer for them both. Daveny spearheads the effort and Collin assists—but only with the renovations, and only because he wants to know Daveny better.

Despite his deepening feelings for her, even stepping into the common areas of the church stirs tension and anger.

Can Daveny trust in Collin’s fledgling return to faith? And can Collin ever accept the fact that while he turned his back on God, God never turned his back on him?


“How do you feel about God?” she asked gently.
“I don't,” he replied. But then he softened, and gave her an apologetic look. “For now, if you don’t mind, can we leave it at that?”
The answer, coupled with accompanying pain she sensed, left her wanting to press. She wanted to comfort and assure, but she didn't. She didn't want to intrude where she didn't belong. After all, they were just getting to know one another.
“OK, I will. For now. Just one question though. Is that why you don't attend church with the rest of your family?”
Again, like something divinely inspired, the words escaped before she could even consider them or hold them in check. All Collin did was nod.
The reactions, his character, intrigued her tremendously because he seemed a genuinely wonderful person. Daveny sensed as much in the way he behaved and the vibration of goodness he gave off.
Yet he seemed lost, too.
Perhaps God had more in store for her than renovating Woodland.

5 hearts, 5 stars, 5 golden rings....and a partridge in a pear tree, too!
A wonderful story, start to finish!Link
The introduction of this story alone is heart-wrenching. The pain, the loss, the searching for God through suffering, the seeking to understand – the groaning we all feel in our hearts at one time or another – it all comes through the words Ms. Evans has written here.

As attraction zings between Daveny and Collin you can feel the energy. The emotions are pure. The wide eyed wonder of love as it blooms is just a pleasure to behold.

And not only are the characters wonderful, and the emotions raw and tangible, but her words are a feast for all the senses. The sights, the smells, the flavors of all they share become a part of you.
And lastly, but most importantly, the message is truly solid gold. From the weight of guilt creating a wedge with God, to His wonderful mercy, grace, and forgiveness – I dare you to read this story and not have God touch your heart.

Wonderful job, Ms. Evans, I know I'm a little behind, but I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gypsy's Game - Delia Latham

Welcome back, Delia. This has been such a fun few days. I have enjoyed all of your Solomon's Gate stories thus far (as well as chatting with your characters).

This has been fun! I've loved watching you get to know my heroines...and Solomon, of course. He's a bit standoffish unless he wants to be seen. I'm really glad you got that tiny glimpse of him, at least. 

I have to ask (but I'm afraid to know the answer) - are there more coming? After all, the angel promised and showed lots of happy couples. Do we get to see more?

As far as I know for sure right now, our view of Solomon's Gate will close with Gypsy's story. I know, that's sad, and probably the reason I had such a hard time writing this one. I didn't want to say good-bye! However...I do have something in mind for sweet little Lea's future, if I can sell my publisher on the idea. That's something you can all help me pray about. 

I'll certainly keep you in my prayers. Anything else in the works?

While I develop the plan for Lea and try to get my publisher on board, I'm working on several novella's for various anthologies, and one full-length novel. Now to decide which one I need to finish first... 

Well, whichever you choose will be great, I'm sure. I can't wait to see what's next...and sweet Lea? I don't see how anyone can turn her down!

God bless you!

Well, here's a glimpse of the last story from Solomon's Gate. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!


Gypsy Lovell stands to inherit an enormous amount of money from a father who never gave her anything but a ridiculous name. Even now, he doesn’t make it easy. A stipulation in the man’s will demands that Gypsy be married in order to claim what is hers. Desperate for the monetary windfall that could save her ailing mother’s life, Gypsy visits a Christian dating agency, hoping to find a temporary husband. Someone easy to handle for the required six months, and easy to get rid of when she no longer needs him.

Jal Garridan is neither of those things, but he's willing to take on the challenge presented by the beautiful stranger—on his own terms. What Gypsy doesn’t know is that Solomon’s Gate is a dating agency with a Divine connection. What she finds there may save more than her mother’s life. It may save Gypsy’s soul.


“Let me be honest, Destiny. I’m not here to find—” Gypsy tossed a derisive glance at the scripture on the wall. “—’he whom my soul loveth.’ I have no use for romance, and I don’t believe in love. I just need a husband for a few months.”

“I—I beg your pardon?” Destiny stammered.

Her elegant hostess seemed a bit ruffled. Oh, well.

“Look, I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to play games. I stand to inherit quite a bit of money. Money I desperately need.” She balled her fists at her side and steeled her voice. “I am entitled to that inheritance, and I intend to have it. My father owes me.”

“What does that have to do with your being here?”

Gypsy crossed the room to stand in front of the other woman. “I can’t claim any of this inheritance unless I’m married. And I have to stay married at least six months in order to get the entirety of it.” She tried to smile, and felt her lips curl into what felt more like a bitter snarl. “My dad wasn’t around while I was growing up. He left when I was four and we—my mother and I—never heard from him again. Until now, that is, and apparently this is his last laugh. Dangling his money in front of me like a carrot, then jerking it out of reach by attaching this ridiculous stipulation to the will.”

Destiny stood and crossed her arms under her breasts. Her shoulders raised a bit, hunching towards her neck, and she shook her head. “I’m afraid I can’t help you, Gypsy. I’m sorry.”

Something in the matchmaker’s somber gaze gripped Gypsy’s heart. Sadness? Pity? Whatever it was, it curled her stomach into a tight little ball and stung the backs of her eyes with forbidden tears.
On to Sacramento, then.

She bent to pick up her purse and slipped the strap over her shoulder, and then met Destiny’s gaze, which now brimmed with moisture. Oh, good heavens. Waterworks. Just what she needed.

Pretending not to notice the matchmaker’s emotional reaction, Gypsy offered her hand. “I’m sorry, too. I wish we could have made it work.”

To her surprise, Destiny ignored her outstretched hand and pulled her into a warm hug. “I’ll pray for you, Gypsy.” She stepped back and swiped at her damp cheeks with one hand. “I really w—”

“I’ll do it.” A deep, resonant voice interrupted, and both women spun around to face the door. “I’ll marry the lady.”

Gypsy sucked in a startled breath. She wasn’t fond of men, but she wasn’t blind, either. This guy left “mediocre” miles behind. He lolled against the door frame as if he’d been formed for no better reason than to stand there in that position. A pair of dark, impossibly beautiful eyes narrowed as he raked her face with a piercing gaze. A lock of deep brown hair fell over his forehead, and a five o’clock shadow lent a slight rakish look, which was further defined when his precisely molded lips curved into a crooked half smile.

Gorgeous. The man was gorgeous, and he’d offered to marry her. 

Maybe there was a God. 


What a novel path this story took from the rest. Gypsy, the Seeker in this story is not a Christian, but she comes to Solomon's Gate becasue she feels she will be safer in her "unusual circumstances" with a Christian man. What a wonderful testament to the Christians she must have come in contact with in her life.

Obviously, Destiny has a problem with these circumstances and is unwilling to join a believer with an unbeliever - until Jal steps in and relieves her of the responsibility.

This story was so full of the love and understanding mercy that can come only from God, that my heart was warmed with every word Jal spoke.

Thank you for the blessing of this story, Delia. It was phenomenal.

For more about Delia Latham:

Gypsy's Game Buy link:

Kylie's Kiss - Delia Latham

Welcome back to another day of visiting with Delia, Destiny and friends at Solomon's Gate.

Morning ladies! Thank you for having me back. I step through the gates as they swing open.

Delia laughs. I don't think we could have kept you away. You would have probably stormed the gates if we hadn't let you in.

I laugh as I hold up my peace offering of coffee and cinnamon rolls. After enjoying the treat, Delia rushes off...something about another story on her mind. Destiny just smiles. That's just the way it is sometimes when the Spirit moves you.

I smile back, anxious to learn more about Solomon's Gate. Destiny, all kinds of characters must come to you in search of a match. How do you do it? How do you decide who's a good candidate at Solomon's Gate?

She laughs. A whole lot of prayer - and trusting the One who Is love. There's a reason I call them seekers. And there's more to it than your typical dating agency.

I sigh. That's a pretty tall order. Do you ever doubt yourself, or the couples you match up?

Destiny shrugs. Don't we all wonder sometimes if we're following His will or our own? That's really what it comes down to. Sometimes what we see as the least likely match is exactly the match that God has in mind.

Well, have you ever put two people together and then decided that you got it wrong? That you missed something? What if someone lies on their application and they aren't really a Christian?

I suppose that could happen. But I think Solomon's got my back. Destiny grins. I'd like you to meet someone.
I didn't notice when she got there, but a young woman with beautiful golden brown hair stood in the doorway, holding the hand of an absolutely angelic child.

Come on in, Kylie. And where's my hug, Lea?

The blonde girl raced to Destiny's open arms then turned to face me. One side of her face was flawless, the other badly scarred from a burn. I couldn't help but smile at the inner joy shining from her.

She came over to me after a moment and patted my cheek. I felt blessed. I couldn't describe it any other way. I opened my arms and she climbed into my lap where I would be happy to hold her for as long as she wanted to stay.

Looks like she did it again, Destiny.

Destiny smiled at her friend. If she could work her magic on you, what makes you think anyone else can resist her.

The woman laughed and met my gaze. You probably already figured it out, but I'm Kylie, the most recent Seeker to be matched up.

I looked down at the little girl in my lap who was smiling up at me. She's my mommy now. 

Kylie smiled and opened her arms to Lea who jumped down from my lap and ran to her mom. You want to talk about unlikely matches? Well, you'll just have to read my story then you'll know this was a match that could only be made in heaven.

Sigh. It's true. You'll just have to read the story to find out the rest. Here's a peek:


On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon's Gate-Castle Creek's new Christian dating agency-and she finds herself revealing exactly what she's waiting for in a relationship: "The kiss that steals my breath away." What she doesn't reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale-a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He's handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all...including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face. Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She'd love to say yes...but how can she, when every contact with the facility's guests-and Rick's own daughter-will make her violently ill? Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn't stand a chance, but she's forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.


Kylie’s true to life fears (after all, who isn’t afraid of something) make her very real. She’s the kind of character you just don’t know whether to love or hate at first. After all, how can she be so unfeeling to people who have to struggle through life facing their own deformities? But when you get right down to it, it’s not a choice she makes, to not be able to face imperfections, it’s what was unknowingly planted in her head by people who should have loved her, not judged her or compared her to anyone else—definitely a case of not judging someone else before you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up in her family.

Kylie definitely has a core of steel and a heart of gold. She’s a sweetheart underneath all her insecurities.

So just like Rick, once you get beyond her irrational reactions, you can see her heart of gold. And the way God uses Rick’s sweet daughter to help Kylie see with her heart, not just her eyes, is definitely a wonderful moment.

Once again, kudos to this author for bringing such a wonderful story to us. God bless you, Delia, keep them coming!

The Solomon's Gate series can be found at:
Once again, you can learn more about Delia at:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Destiny's Dream - Delia Latham

We're going to visit for a few days with one of my favorite authors, Delia Latham, and spend some time with her characters from the Solomon's Gate series, so I hope you can stop in a few times this week. She'll be here until Friday, with different guests every day.

Hello Delia! I have been looking forward to this visit so much, you can't imagine! Thank you for inviting me to come visit Solomon's Gate. I can't wait to look around. Destiny is here, right?

Delia laughs. Of course she is! And if you're lucky, maybe you'll meet her angel, too.

Wow! Look at those doors! This place is amazing. I can't help but gawk at the huge portals. Wait...her angel? You mean, I might actually meet Solomon?

Delia just smiles as she slides one of the large doors open smoothly and shrugs. Destiny's not the only one who's seen him.

I can feel my eyes go wide as I try to imagine the sight of Solomon with his glorious wings unfurled. I can almost feel their feathery softness around me, calming me.

Delia looks up as a woman comes toward us. Delia pats me on the shoulder. Here's Destiny now. I'll just leave you two alone for a little bit.

Striking is the only way I can describe her. Green eyes and auburn hair is a beautiful combination. I held out my hand and smiled. Destiny, so nice to finally meet you.

Well, thank you! I understand you have a few questions for me. She motions me down the hall. UnfortunatelyI don't have a lot of time since I have an appointment coming in shortly.

That's fine, I said as I hurried to keep up with her. This woman doesn't seem to know the meaning of slow, or casual. We stepped into her office and I couldn't help but notice the plaques on the wall - most quotes from Song of Solomon - except for one. "For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. Psalm 91:11." What a lovely verse!

Isn't it? she says with a smile. It holds a special place in my heart since I strongly believe in angels watching over us.

I lean forward. I've heard! I understand Solomon speaks with you fairly often.

Leaning back with a smile, she nods. He does. But I'm sure you're not here to ask me about angels.

Well, actually I'd love to talk about angels, but your agency has stirred up a bit of interest in the area. And not only that, I understand you had quite a rocky start to your own romance.

Destiny looks away for a minute and a small smile hovers on her lips when she meets my gaze. In some ways that's true. After all, it's not every day that a heavenly match is made at a funeral. She laughs. But who am I to question a match made in heaven.

 So do you consider all your matches to be made in heaven?

Destiny seems to be surrounded by white light as she nods. Solomon makes sure of it.

Oh my! I think that was him standing behind her!

A bell rings out in the reception area and Destiny glances at her watch then stands and offers me her hand. Sorry to cut you short, but that must be my next appointment.

No problem. I'll see myself out. Are you going to be here tomorrow when I meet Kylie?

I should be around. I'll look forward to seeing you again.

Here's a peek in case you haven't read this one yet. After all, you don't want to miss out on any of this wonderful series!


Is a little respect too much to ask at a parent's funeral? Apparently it is for Destiny May. Her mother's "going away party" is crashed by a totally irreverent stranger. Clay Gallagher is built like a small mountain and far more vocal than is fitting. When it turns out he's not even at the right funeral, Destiny demands retribution in the form of an escape from the day's dreary proceedings. Their relationship has some kinks - starting with Destiny's determination to found a Christian dating service in their conservative town of Castle Creek. Clay has little respect or patience for such a frivolous profession. But when Destiny is threatened by an anonymous caller who deeply resents her and what she does for a living, Clay makes it his business to keep the saucy redhead out of harm's way. Trouble is, spending time in her company weakens his defenses...and Cupid's arrows are known to fly straight to the heart.


I’m not usually fond of prologues, but Ms. Latham grabbed me right there, in the opening pages and didn’t let go until I reached The End. There is such heartfelt wonder in the tragic opening event (and no, I won’t even spoil that much for you) that I could have been in the room with them. And the message spoken to Destiny in those first pages speaks direct to the reader’s heart. From that point on I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen.

Ms. Latham’s characters are so dear I would love to have them for my own friends. Someone you could count on to have your back through thick and thin. The love and understanding that travels between them reaches across the pages like being in a room with two people you know are meant to be together, even though it seems doubtful at times that they will ever get to that point.

There are twists and turns to this story that kept me guessing all the way till the end – truly a mark of a great writer.

So if you’re looking for a story that will wrap you in a warm, loving cocoon, but at the same time, leave you wondering if things will ever work out right, then you need to pick this one up.

My hat’s off to you, Delia, well done! I can’t wait to read the next one.

For more about Delia Latham's stories you can find her at:

VRIN - John Michael Hileman

Welcome back, John! I loved Messages so much that I had to go looking at what else you have out there. VRIN was a wonderful find. I'm so glad that you've brought it back so more people can enjoy the world you created within its pages.


Jason Tardin is trapped within a virtual world. He is sure of this- because he has seen the program.

But if this is a computer generated world, how can he reconcile the complexity of its strange inhabitants, people capable of frustration, joy, and pain? Are they computer simulations- or more? 

And what about the power which allows him to create or control whatever he wishes? Is he a god, as the people of Vrin believe? Caught up in the politics of this mysterious world, haunted by a conversation with scientists on the outside, and stalked by a mad god, Jason Tardin must unravel the mystery to save a world- that is not his own. Woven with rich characters, and inextricably filled with secrets about dreams and the afterlife, ten mortal gods is a glimpse into the complex nature of human suffering, and the inescapable reality of eternal truth. 


At the edge of lawn a line of trees danced in the wind. As I stood staring at them a strange feeling washed over me. As if I were a part of the dance. I began swaying back and forth to their slow rhythm. And the wind grew stronger. Nature itself was moving to the beat of my heart and the world was alive around me. I could feel its power soaking into my skin and permeating my senses.

I longed to be walking along the path which twisted away just beyond the flower beds when suddenly a burst of energy coursed through me and I found myself surrounded by thin blue strands. They traveled away from me in every direction. Oddly enough, however, I was not shocked by their presence. Somehow I knew it was my will that had brought them to life, and instinctively I knew their purpose.

Caught up in the chain of events, my body responded to the force of my will, my essence melted into the strand that would bring me to the path, and with a crackle of energy, I found myself standing on the spot I had wanted to be. The wind brushed harder against my face. The sweet smell of flowers filled my nostrils.

I turned and looked back up at the balcony. The strand I had used was still floating in the air. The others had vanished, but this one still had a glow to it.

It seemed Mr. Barrows had been correct, I did possess some sort of power. I wanted to be on the path and the threads had reacted to my will. I looked around. Could I consciously control the threads? I spotted a small rock. Be an egg, I thought. There was no response. I increased my concentration and felt another energy burst. It started from behind my eyes and worked its way down to my hands. I waved my arms back and forth. Although I couldn't see the threads, I knew they were there; my arms tingled as they passed through them. Then all at once the web was alight once again.

I looked down at the rock. Like everything else it got its shape from the blue threads, which acted like an internal skeleton or a wire cage. The colors and textures of the rock were wrapped around this framework. Using the energy emanating from my hands I tried to bend the wire structure. I touched a nearby thread, closed my eyes, and pictured a sphere. Energy left my hands and when I looked down, the rock was completely round. 

The web faded away-- and there I stood, smiling at my creation.

"Deep in thought?"

I looked up to see a beautiful young Asian woman, perhaps in her late teens or early twenties. Immediately I found myself drawn into her eyes. They were exquisite, like two blue embers casting a soft film of sapphire across her lovely features. They were similar to my own, only much brighter. My gaze drifted downward. Her tiny form was distinct under the thin colorful fabric of the dress which fluttered slightly in the wind. She was absolutely breathtaking.

"Who..." was all I managed to utter, followed by open mouthed speechlessness.

A chuckle escaped her lips. "Who am I?"

"Yes, ah... That was what I was hoping to say." 

"Well. Who are you?" she asked playfully.

"N- no one of consequence." 

She straightened and gave a smirk. "Humble-- for a god."

"A god. Yeah..."

She began to back away.

"About that..."

"You should not be in such a rush to find answers. You may miss the moment. And this moment is going to be like nothing you have ever experienced." Her eyes sparkled. "Want to have some fun?"

She did not wait for an answer, but turned and bolted down the path. "Follow me!"

There seemed to be no other option. I looked back at the mansion. No one else was around. She was my best chance to find answers. I burst into a run. 

Her braided ponytail swung gracefully behind her and her soft black shoes made padded thumps on the stone pathway. Each side of the path was adorned with manicured shrubs which acted as walls. In some spots they formed archways crossing overhead. I was surprised to find myself enjoying the exercise; her playfulness set me at ease.

When we emerged from the path we found ourselves on the edge of a steep cliff overlooking a large expanse of blue ocean. Far below, a village sparkled on the water's edge. Millions of tiny reflections danced on the distant waves, like fireflies playing in the moonlight.

"That's Trinador!" The wind blew at her words. "It is my village! I built it from the power of the web! Would you like to see it?" She looked absolutely magnificent silhouetted against the night sky, her delicate oriental curves were highlighted in the soft moonlight which played upon her garments as they rippled in the wind.

I couldn't imagine wanting to be anywhere else but with her.

"Sure! Why not?" I hollered back. "How do we get down there?" 

Her eyes twinkled. "Fly, silly!"

And with that she fell backwards over the edge.


VRIN is a wonderful combination of fantasy/sci-fi, and maybe even a little bit of thriller tossed in for good measure.

With the leading man's amnesia it leaves us on our own to figure out what this world is really all about - if it's in fact a real world. The author does a great job of making it all believable because the world of VRIN is so full of human flaws. From pride to political intrigue, to godlike powers, this story has a little bit of everything.

Without a doubt, if you like fantasy and being drawn into new worlds where anything is possible, you will enjoy this story!

VRIN can be found at:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

To See the Sun - Peggy Blann Phifer

Welcome Peggy! Thank you so much for joining us today! I always love it when I find an author, new to me, whose writing I fall in love with. What a wonderful story this is!


Pregnant and widowed hadn’t been part of her “happily ever after” dream. And now, someone was trying to kill her . . .

Erin Macintyre never expected to be a widow and a new mother in the same year, anymore than she expected mysterious notes, threatening phone calls, and a strange homeless man who seems to know all about her. The thought of raising a child without a father is daunting enough—worse when you have no idea who might want to harm you. Put an old flame into the mix, and her life begins a tailspin into a world she never knew existed.

When P.I. Clay Buchanan, stumbles upon Erin at her husband's gravesite, he’s totally unprepared for her advanced pregnancy. Her venomous reaction at seeing him, however, was predictable. But Clay can’t let her distrust, or his guilt, get in the way—not when he has evidence that proves Erin’s life is in danger.

With few options left, Erin begrudgingly accepts Clay’s help . . . and it just might be her undoing.


Justin Blair Macintyre
Beloved Son * Devoted Husband * Father-To-Be

She sank back onto her heels and buried her face in her hands. Nothing had prepared her for this. Widowed at twenty-nine, and expecting a baby . . . without a father.

"Oh, Justin . . ." The grief she'd held at bay all day overwhelmed her. She wiped the back of her hand over her face, trying to stem the flow of tears. "How can I raise this baby without you?"

A movement to her left caught her attention and she lifted her head to look, still sniffling.

A tall, lanky form moved among the grave markers with the long strides of a cowboy. His right hand lifted a straw Stetson in salute before settling it down over rusty blond curls.

No. It can't be. This sun is getting to me. I should have worn a hat or brought an umbrella to protect my head.

She looked across the cemetery lawn again but he was gone. She shook her head. Now I'm seeing things.

Still on her knees, Erin placed the palm of her hand on her tummy. "Our child is growing, Justin." She smiled as the baby rolled. "Little Mac is quite active."

She glanced around for eavesdroppers and settled her buttocks onto her heels, a bit more relaxed talking to her husband.

"I've kept our promise, you know, about not wanting to know if the baby is a boy or a girl. I love the feeling of anticipation, trying to imagine a little boy with your dark good looks or a little girl with my goofy hair color and freckles, or a combination of both."

A sob choked her. "But . . . you'll never see your son, or daughter. Never hold the baby in your arms, see the first smile, watch the first step or hear the first words. . ." Erin clenched her fists and held them in front of her chest, her body shaking.

"Where are you, God?" she cried, looking skyward. "How did this happen? I thought you loved us. You're supposed to take care of us! Do you call killing Justin love? Why didn't you stop that crash?" She pressed her fists into her face. "You took Justin away from me! You left our baby without a father!"

In her anguish she wept as she hadn't since the funeral. Over the last four months she'd refused to let the tears come. Now it seemed the little Dutch boy had pulled his thumb from the dyke. As the sobs convulsed her body she toppled over and curled into a ball, giving in to her grief, oblivious to her surroundings.

As the heaving sobs eased into sniffling hiccups, awareness returned. She shifted onto her elbow and pressed her hands on the grass to push herself to her feet, but her left leg had gone to sleep and she collapsed onto her knees with a frustrated growl.
And screamed as a hand touched her shoulder.

For more, read the first chapter at:

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From the very first page of this story the author grabs you and never lets go. Such a happy opening - a day unlike any other day. So much to celebrate. A wonderful accomplishment at work,  his wife's pregnancy - their first child - Justin Macintyre has many blessings to be thankful for. Unfortunately, very soon we are reminded that our life is but a vapor, here only for a moment. If this was a movie, some telltale foreboding would have warned us that it wasn't meant to be. Instead of a celebration, we share Erin's shock at the loss of her husband. Her pain oozes from the pages as she struggles through her grief. What a masterful artist Ms. Phifer is as she weaves past present and future together.

The twists and turns this story takes, the heartfelt emotions - it's all wound together in a glorious way. What a wonderful story! You really don't want to miss this one!

About the author: