Monday, May 28, 2012

Wounded Faith - Mary Manners

Welcome, Mary! I think this story snuck out there - I haven't heard much about it so I had to check it out of course...which means I have to share it! It's a quick summer read folks, and oh, so sweet!

Here's what it's all about:

Kylie Jordan struggles to piece her damaged life back together following the senseless death of her sister at the hands of a drunk driver. She spearheads a grief support group at New Hope Church to ease the pain, and tends to the roadside cross placed in her sister's memory. Mason Bennett yearns to make sense of the reckless actions that stole his brother's life, as well as the life of an innocent victim. His pain leads him to New Hope Church--and Kylie Jordan. Kylie and Mason's lives are woven together by a single, irrevocable moment in time. When the past is revealed, will their faith--and love--sustain them, or will Kylie's fragile trust be forever shattered?


Kylie studied Mason as he spoke to the group, introducing himself. "I’m a civil engineer," he shared. "I work on the road repairs around Knoxville. So when you’re stuck in traffic, you can blame me."

An undercurrent of laughter rustled through the group, and Kylie shifted in her seat, sipping coffee.

"It’s sort of ironic," Mason continued. "Because my brother was killed in a car accident, so you’d think I’d want nothing to do with roads. But there were other circumstances surrounding the accident…and I’d rather not get into those right now."

A murmur emerged from the group, and Darlene, the middle-aged woman they all considered a surrogate mother, patted his knee, nodding. "It’s OK, dear. All in good time."

Mason lifted his hand to his mouth as he cleared his throat. His slate-gray eyes, capped on one side by a ridge of scar, narrowed and his broad shoulders tensed. Kylie wondered how he’d acquired the scar, and figured he was remembering his loss, as she did so often. She glanced at her watch and leaned into the circle of friends.

"It’s about time to close the meeting," she announced softly. "Would you like to wait until next week to share, Mason?"

"That would be…better." His long fingers left his mouth to play with a frayed thread along the thigh of his jeans. "I think I’ll be more prepared—ready—then."

"That’s fine. Let’s close with a prayer." 


What a sweet story! 

About the author:

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.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In memory of...

Happy Memorial Day!

Praise God for all the soldiers who have made it home to their families - and thank you all for serving.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost a loved one in service to our country. Our freedoms were bought by many lives over the years, may we always remember.

God bless you all!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soul Food - Tanya Hanson

Wow, Tanya, we made it before you finished your next book! Yes, folks, there are more coming in this wonderful Hearts Crossing Ranch series, but you'll just have to wait for more.

Today, we have Book 5, Soul Food...hmmm sounds tasty!

Care for a nibble?

With her restaurant on the brink of failure, Kelley Martin comes home to Hearts Crossing Ranch both to renew her spirit and make some quick cash as chuck cook on the family’s famed city slicker wagon train adventures. Falling for handsome temporary geneticist Jason Easterday is definitely not on her list of things to do. And despite her wavering faith, Jason’s lack thereof shows her there’s no future for them...even if his kisses indicate otherwise. Always on the move, Jason Easterday has lived his life searching for...something. When he meets Kelley Martin and allows God into his life, Jason feels he's finally found his place. With Kelley at his side, he'll have a home of his own and a wife to adore. But Kelley won't give him the time of day, and she's leaving town to return to her ex. Now, he must find a way to hold his ground, get her back, and remain where his heart has led him.


“There’s a good-lookin’ cowboy out front who says he’s your ride back to the ranch. And he’s not one of your brothers.”

“What?” In her little back office, Kelley Martin looked up from the spreadsheets at Caffey, her wide-eyed waitress, and scrunched her lids shut to hold back tears. Numbers didn’t lie. Her pretty little eatery wouldn’t last the summer. Of course her ancient car had chosen this very morning to conk out. As of today, she’d have to depend on family to cart her around. But ask for money, no. That she couldn’t do.

Her chauffeur wasn’t one of her brothers? She groaned and gritted her teeth. What was that about? She sure wasn’t in any frame of mind to chat mindlessly with some ranch hand on the hour drive back to the Hearts Crossing. Was it a fix-up? That’s all she needed—some sort of quasi-blind date.

Even though the pain of her breakup with Ned was long over, she knew whoever waited for her wasn’t her ex. A rodeo star, he followed the PRCA circuit. They’d bonded during a blood donation drive five years ago, promising to save each other’s life—should need be. But that’s all they had between them. He hadn’t wanted to share her life. Now, everybody back home reckoned she was ready to rumble on the dating scene.

“Listen.” Caffey Matthews turned serious. “You go relax and have some fun on that wagon train. Stacia and I’ll hold down the fort just fine ‘til you’re back next weekend.”

In spite of her worries, Kelley had to burst out in laughter. There was really no fort to hold down. Her job as chuck cook on the city-slicker wagon trains her family ran each summer was something she heartily enjoyed, but the duties were far from relaxation. Starting last summer, she’d begun splitting duties with her sister-in-law Daisy so she could alternate working at Vegeterra every other week. And this year, well, frankly, she needed the extra money she earned on the wagon trains. Stacia, her sous chef, and Caffey, not bad with pastries, had long proven their worth, although the restaurant was always on her mind. Relax?


Then she squeezed Caffey’s hand. “Thanks, I know you’ll be fine. Now, I better see who’s out there and just what’s going on.” Kelley stood and forced a smile.

Caffey leaned forward in a strong hug. “Hey. It’s going to work out.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Kelley’s heart crumpled. She’d been so certain last summer that the Lord had led her here to Sunset Hills, but her personal venture as a restaurateur was failing, failing bad, and failing fast. A vegetarian restaurant and tea room in mountain country alive with hunters, fishermen, ranchers, and local law enforcement wanting doughnuts and burgers. She rolled her eyes. “What was I thinking? Too much testosterone and red meat around here for Vegeterra.”

Caffey leaned back. “Now, you know God doesn’t steer us wrong. And He never sends more than we can bear.”

“I do know, deep down, but it’s hard to believe in the day-to-day.” She didn’t say it out loud, but Kelley hated going home feeling like a failure.

“Unfortunately, it’s easy to do sometimes.” Caffey’s rueful tone turned into a laugh. “But God’s right there. Don’t you forget it. Now get going. I want to know who’s out there waiting for you.”

After Kelley headed into the dining room, she stopped so sudden in her tracks ropes might as well have been tied to her ankles. Good-lookin’ cowboy was an understatement. The guy was smokin’ hot. Had she combed her hair lately? She’d chewed off lip gloss hours ago. Holding a cup of steaming Joe, he leaned against the counter, taller than any human had a right to be. The whiteness of a long-sleeved shirt contrasted great with his tanned face, and the black Stetson riding his skull belonged there sure as dawn came every morning. Since the day of her birth, she’d been around handsome cowpokes and every version of Western man God had ever put on earth, and she never tired of looking, never at all.


Soul Food - that's what Ms. Hanson's been giving us in bite size pieces with each one of her stories in this series! I love it!

From heartbreak and disappointment at possibly failing at her dream, Kelley joins her family on the wagon train and finds not just the peace and direction she needs, but the piece of her heart that was missing.
And although Kelley and Jason get off to an uncertain start, they certainly find their way to where they belong...together.

Once again, great story, wonderful cowboy, and terrific story line! Who would've thought...a vegetarian chef in a cattle family. Certainly makes for some interesting mixes!

About the author:
Although she's a California beach girl, Tanya Hanson loves setting her stories in the wild American West. Cowboys make great heroes. A high school teacher of American Lit and writing, she enjoys traveling with her firefighter husband and spoiling their two little grandsons. You can reach her and

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Right to Bragg - Tanya Hanson

Welcome back for Day 4 at Hearts Crossing Ranch with Tanya Hanson. Today we're gonna meet Bragg. I can't wait!

Morning, Tanya, ready to saddle up? I figured another day on the ranch and maybe we could do some riding! Or we could just wander around and check out some more cowboys...

Right to Bragg

Disowned by her family, Tiffany Vickers faces a lonely Christmas and takes great comfort in the baby boy in her care. Her faith is in tatters, and she guards her heart against the baby's uncle, handsome cowboy, Bragg Martin. It's the season for forgiveness, and while Bragg longs to open his heart and family to the lovely nanny, he doesn't understand her interest in his arch enemy. Saving a man's life and saving Tiffany's faith bring the couple together...and home to Hearts Crossing Ranch.


Comforting the precious-smelling bundle against her shoulder, Tiffany breathed deep of the warm air inside the house and hurried back to the living room. Sure beat the raging weather outside. When she beheld Bragg Martin, sleep-rumpled and drowsy-eyed, her heart tumbled to her toes for its second time in as many minutes. He might as well hire out as a cover model. 

But he was way off limits. She’d only been in Mountain Cove a short time, but she already understood how highly-regarded his family was, how strong in faith and conviction. They sure didn’t need somebody like her to drag them down. 

Now her heart thudded with pangs of grief and lost cause. Back in Lakewood, Paul hadn’t even answered the door. She’d dumped the presents on the porch and headed straight back to Mountain Cove in a torrent of sobs. 

Three hundred miles round trip. Ah well. Tonight in her pillow she could continue to cry after Matty slept tight. Right now, she had a job to do. 

Here inside the tidy, warm townhouse, the men were doing some kind of macho showdown, she could tell. Well, her years as a paralegal had taught her how to diffuse angry people. And tending childlike males such as her brother was something she’d gotten very good at. 

Well, other than today. Likely the snowstorm would hit the Denver area with this same amount of muscle and smother the presents with a dozen icy inches. Eyelashes fluttered away her tears. 

Enough of that. She had a baby to tend.


Well, Ms. Hanson definitely has the right to brag. This is one great story in the line of several wonderful stories. I truly enjoyed the characters as well as the awesome scenery she once again brings out in her stories.

You'll just love Tiffany. She has a little bit of all of us in her, I think...a bit insecure, a bit underestimating of her own strengths, and a bit shy. And Bragg, well, he's once again, the perfect cowboy in this story, standing strong in his beliefs, and in his fairness to all - even those who have hurt him. God's light truly shines through him in his actions as well as his words. And Tiffany learns who God really is, and that He cares for us all.

Once again, great story! I loved it!

About the author:

Although she's a California beach girl, Tanya Hanson loves setting her stories in the wild American West. Cowboys make great heroes. A high school teacher of American Lit and writing, she enjoys traveling with her firefighter husband and spoiling their two little grandsons. You can reach her and

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sanctuary - Tanya Hanson

Welcome back, Tanya, and thanks for bringing along book three from your Hearts Crossing Ranch series!

For anyone else who isn't caught up yet, there are five so far, so this week I've devoted to bringing us up to date.

Wow, Tanya! You just keep coming up with these great cowboys (not that it's hard to do since, well, after all, they're cowboys)!

Here's a peek, folks:

A beautiful plus-one at a wedding, a hunky cowboy..autumn leaves and rugged horse trails. The perfect setting to unite two healing souls...

Ranch foreman and single dad Hooper Martin is ready to put his health and life back on track after battling cancer...including re-entering the dating scene. His little girl sure could use a mother. Falling hard for wedding guest Malia Cameron makes perfect sense to him: she's a survivor, too.

Mallie has put her heart on hold, knowing she will never recover from her struggle with a brain tumor. She can't promise a future to anybody and vows never to fall in love. Letting Hooper Martin into her life would be a big mistake. But his good looks take her breath away, and his living faith starts to gentle her confusion about Who's really in charge


“Excuse me, Mrs. Martin, but I have something else to say to…your son. Could I catch you in a few minutes?”

Elaine Martin’s eyes brightened, and in a better mood, Mallie might have smiled at the glint of matchmaking she saw. If Mrs. Martin only knew.

“All righty then. Better hurry. Hoop’ll be saddling up for a trail ride in a heartbeat.”

Outside, the fresh, cold air eased the heat of her embarrassment. Somehow she had to find Hooper and make things right. Kenn wasn’t a tattle‐tale if that’s what Hooper was thinking. The remark had slipped out when, well, when her brother had mentioned her own struggle upon introducing her. Shaking her head, Mallie remembered she wasn’t even supposed to be here. She’d come as her brother’s plus one after his girlfriend dumped him.

Could that mean….hmmm. That meeting Hooper Martin was meant to be? Two survivors. Her spirits lightened. Or not. She remembered her promise to herself. Then again, a little temporary flirting with a handsome guy never hurt a girl’s ego. She knew he was single, too. When she caught sight of Hooper hustling toward the barn, she stepped up her pace, but the hammering of her heart had nothing to do with the speed of her boots on the hard‐packed ground.

And had everything to do with Hooper Martin.

“Hooper!” Ahead under the gate, she caught sight of her brother laughing and gesturing wildly as he and Kenn rode off on two good‐looking horses. Because the college roommates hadn’t seen each other in years and Brian wasn’t much for texting or Facebook, she figured they had a lot of catch‐up to do. But she needed to waylay Hooper before he rode off to take his brother to task.


When he turned, her pulse raced. 

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, please. I need to tell you something.” At least he met her halfway at a hitching post, his strikingly shadowed face now set with interest rather than anger. “I didn’t mean to…I mean, Kenn wasn’t gossiping about you. If that’s what you’re thinking. And...” She peeked up at him through her lashes. “And if that’s where you’re going.”

His cheekbones turned a dark red. “Well, I don’t much like him letting loose stuff he has no business letting loose.”

“I completely understand. Brian’s the same.”

“Brian? Sorry, but who are you?”

“Oh, Malia Cameron. Call me Mallie.”

Something like unhappiness rolled across his face.

Manners dictated a real handshake about now, but his expression confused her, so she kept her fingers firmly  in her pocket. She rushed on. “Brian thought Kenn needed to know. The only reason Kenn told him about you was, well, because of me.”


Oh my goodness, Ms. Hanson has done it again. She's created such wonderful characters that just toyed with my heartstrings. She had me laughing and crying and wanting to reach out and hug them all. 

She draws you into her story so you feel like you're a part of it, like you're right there with them sharing a trail ride, looking at the beautiful scenery all around you - at God's canvas...or looking into someone's eyes - into the windows to their soul and wanting to dive in. This is what romance is all about!

Great story! Thank you once again, Tanya!

About the author:

Although she's a California beach girl, Tanya Hanson loves setting her stories in the wild American West. Cowboys make great heroes. A high school teacher of American Lit and writing, she enjoys traveling with her firefighter husband and spoiling their two little grandsons. You can reach her and

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mercies in Disguise - JoAnne Carter

Hi JoAnn, and welcome back! You haven't been to this little neck of the web for awhile! I'm so glad to see the second book of your Roarin' Twenties series is out and I just wanted to share it with everyone! What a great story, and a wonderful peek into the past.

Here's a little about the story:

Abigail Madison finally finds a man who captures her affections – Ticonderoga's steamboat pilot, Stanley Fisher. But will the tender shoots of love have a chance bloom after a serious illness strikes and threatens their happiness?

Abigail Madison, a gentle quiet spirit, has always dreamed of a life away from her mother’s controlling ways. Even more than that, she’s dreamed of finding someone with whom she could share her life with. However, her shyness is often taken as aloofness and no marital prospects were anywhere to be found. What was to become of her hopes?

Stanley Fisher, the Steamboat pilot of the Ticonderoga, was drafted and fought in World War I. The experiences he lived though on the battlefield left him wounded -- but not in a way that the naked eye could see. Yet, when he meets Abigail, he yearns for a love like his best friend and Captain of the Ti, Philip found in Ellie. However, with his recurring nightmares from war, what does he have to offer to this special woman?


"Thank you.I-It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Fisher." Abigail slipped off her gloves and tentatively took the letter.

"The pleasure is all mine." Stanley's shoulders relaxed and he grinned. "Did you have a nice trip?"

She gulped and sent up a quick prayer for courage. "Yes, I enjoy travel."

"Ah. Then you've come to the right place since that's our business on the steamboat."

Abigail smiled a bit self-consciously. "Yes, I guess I have."

"Ellie tells me you'll be staying until the wedding."

She nodded. "Will... will you be attending as well, Mr. Fisher?"

Stanley scratched the side of his cheek. "You know, since I work on the Ti, you might want to call me Stanley."

Caught off guard, Abigail lifted an eyebrow in question.

"The crew, save Captain Lawhorn, all go by their first name."

Abigail wondered if perhaps this experience, living aboard the Ti for the next few months, would stretch her in more ways then she ever dared to imagine. "Then please, call me Abigail."

Stanley bowed. "I'd be honored. And to answer your question, of course I'll be at the wedding. In fact, I'll be standing up for the Captain."

"Oh, I see." Butterflies danced in her stomach. Was she actually engaged in small talk with someone she had never met before? The fumes from the train must have left her half off her nut. Either that or God was helping her face her own Goliath. She smiled at the thought of David's victory. Thank you for being with me, Father. She lifted the letter to see it better in the fading light, then glanced around, wondering if she should open it now or wait.

Stanley must have understood her hesitation. "Go ahead. Read it." He pointed to the satchel she had by her side. "May I take that for you?"

"Yes, please." Before she could blink, the weight of her satchel was transferred to his strong arm. She dropped her eyes to Ellie's letter, turned it over, and with a swift movement of her pointer finger, broke the seal.


Oh my goodness, the heart shown in this story is amazing! Abigail and Stanley are such a wonderful pair. She’s so sensitive to his sorrowing heart, and he is so drawn to her caring, gentle spirit that it really seems like a match made in heaven.

You can’t help but hope that Abigail can find the strength to reach beyond her shyness, and that Stanley can lay aside the guilt and pain he feels from the horrors he’s seen.

The real beauty here is in seeing the faith they both possess. As her illness overshadows the future, love shines through the darkness. What a wonderful story this is, as well as a beautiful depiction of the past and what it really meant to those who lived through it.

About the author:

JoAnn Carter writes stories that will encourage your faith through her inspirational romances. 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 ministry events, school events and church retreats. You can visit her webpage @

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fruit of My Spirit - Deanna Nowadnick

I'd like you all to welcome Deanna Nowadnick and her first book, Fruit of My Spirit. What started as a book for her sons on how she met their father, turned into a divine writing adventure—an instrument of God to write of His love and faithfulness through the nine qualities listed by the Apostle Paul. Using pictures to begin each chapter, Deanna invokes a fruit image to relate each attribute to its Greek equivalent. Charming black and white photos capture transformations through thirty years of marriage for Deanna and her husband Kurt, and family time with their sons Kyle and Kevin.

Fruit of My Spirit is for anyone who’s ever questioned God’s ability to love and forgive, who’s ever wondered about their place in God’s family or God’s place in theirs. Nowadnick offers hope for those who dare to question, who secretly wonder, and who fear to ask. Through stories of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, you will experience the enormity of God, too.


Wow, from the opening lines I felt that Deanna was talking about me, reading my inner thoughts. And then, she told me what I already knew: that God is bigger than my very worst - and yours too. God is good! And if you've ever doubted that He was big enough, patient enough, kind enough, faithful enough to do the things He's promised, then you NEED to read this book. I think all of us who call ourselves children of God can learn from what Deanna has shared through inspiration from His Word. What a wonderful blessing this little book really is!

Buy link:

About the author:

When Deanna Nowadnick is not writing, she serves as the Client Service Coordinator for The Planner’s Edge. She’s active in her church, playing the violin and editing the newsletter. She loves to knit, adores chocolate, and most important, enjoys a blessed marriage to Kurt. Deanna lives in Monroe, WA.

For more about Deanna and her writing, you can find her at: .

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Redeeming Daisy - Tanya Hanson

Well, once I sink my teeth into a story that I like, I can't let go until I'm done...or until I've read everything they've written. So, since Book 5 of this series just came out, I've got some catching up to do and just wanted to share a little peek of the 2nd story from Hearts Crossing Ranch.

It's another winner! I can't help but love these big hearted cowboys! Thanks for sharing them with us, Tanya!


Veterinarian rancher Pike Martin has no choice but to advise putting down Daisy Denmore’s fatally ill dog, but she swears it's revenge for her mistreatment of Pike's brother years ago. Although stung by her insult at his professionalism, Pike finds himself drawn to the troubled woman who flounders in faith and aches for love and acceptance.

Costly mistakes have sent Daisy down an unrighteous path. Abandoned by her ex-husband, humiliated and broke, she has no choice but to return to her parents’ home in Mountain Cove, Colorado. As soon as she saves enough money, though, she'll be gone. Until Pike Martin's soft voice, caring manner, and downright empathy for her wounds tempt her to stay.

With God on his side, can Pike help Daisy along the path to forgiveness, trust, and whole-hearted love?

Oh isn't that just a story line after your own heart!!!


After a quick but furious knock, the door flew open so hard it smacked against a cabinet. Glass rattled. “What’s going on, Mom?” Daisy Densmore hurtled inside, the veterinary tech Luanne clutching at her arm.

“Dr. Martin,” Luanne said, apology written all over her face. “I couldn’t hold her back.”

“What’s going on?” Daisy repeated, shrill. “Pops just told me you were here! That something’s wrong with Elway.”

Pike nodded into her dark imploring gaze as she knelt on the floor to grapple Elway close. Her childish gesture and panicked eyes stoked emotions he’d just buried.

While he waited for her to get to her feet, Pike grabbed hold of every professional mannerism he could. Somewhat stiffly, Mrs. Densmore reached out to comfort her daughter, but Daisy shoved away the embrace.

Pike took a deep breath. Well, he had offered to tell Daisy himself. “Daisy, between his kidneys, Elway’s got an inoperable malignant tumor. It’s called hemangiosarcoma.”

Wild-eyed, she grabbed Pike’s hand, and the touch scorched him. “What?”

He repeated the unhappy news.

“Inoperable? Why can’t you operate?”

The question stunned him. Did she really think he had some other choice? “It’s positioned too dangerously between the kidneys. And worse.” He sighed. “Worse, it’s metastasized. Spread. Trust me on this.”

She bristled. “You think he’s going to die?”

Pike knew the odds and told Daisy what he hadn’t been able to tell her mother.

“I’m sorry. Yes.”

Her squeal of pain sliced into his brain like an earache. And he understood. The last innocent, uncomplicated part of her life would be gone too soon. He didn’t think he wanted it, but when she flung herself toward him, he gathered her in his arms, close enough to feel her pounding heart and smell her garden of long black hair.


So much emotion packed into such a short story! Daisy is so lost and just doesn't know how to even reach for happiness, much less where to look - and Pike is so afraid of what he feels and how he reacts to her that he doesn't know what to do except keep her distance. But sometimes God shows us His will and leads us in a way we don't expect or want to go...only to find that His will is indeed better than our own.

Wonderful story! 

About the author:

A high school teacher of American Lit and writing, Tanya enjoys traveling with her firefighter husband and spoiling their two little grandsons. You can reach her at and .