Friday, September 28, 2012

Hidden in Pages

Wow, looks like another great story from Pelican! I hate getting caught by surprise when I check out what's coming and I see one I didn't know about!

I'm not sure, but I think this is her first release with Pelican/White Rose. Maybe she'll stop by and let us know!

Well, here's a peek for those of you who don't go snooping like I do:

Adelle Bradbury doesn’t like adventure—in books or real life. As a quiet librarian who hides behind reading glasses, she doesn’t expect to be swept into a dangerous mission to recover one of the world’s most famous lost treasures. But that’s exactly what happens when a mysterious history buff enlists her help to recover a treasure map—A map he insists is concealed in one of the library’s old books, its contents revealing the secret location of King Solomon’s missing wealth. Suddenly, mild-mannered Adelle is thrust into a world of treasure hunters, secret societies, and thieving profiteers. In a mad dash to protect the treasure, she finds a courage she never expected and something more—the possibility of true love.


“There’s something deadly in the mist,” the elderly woman whispered. “And it keeps anyone from leaving the jungle…alive that is.”

“How exciting.” Adelle Bradbury managed a polite smile as she stamped the due date for Dangerous Mist.

After all, Mrs. Crabel was one of Lindstone Library’s frequent patrons, checking out multiple novels each week.

“Don’t you love adventure stories?” The older woman tapped the cover to the latest D.E. Hensen novel—a rugged hero crawling from plane wreckage in the wild.

“Oh, not me,” Adelle laughed, tucking a strand of blonde hair back in her bun. An unusual style for a woman in her twenties, but Adelle considered it professional. “Jungle fever isn’t really my idea of fun,” she added.

She blushed, remembering her own tame hobby: scouring book fairs for rare copies of her favorite novels. The only event besides church volunteer work on her otherwise blank social calendar.

This love for old books had earned her the nickname of “Marian the Librarian” among her co-workers. That and the fact she saw nothing creepy in the historic library’s gothic architecture, the only staffer who didn’t feel an aura of shuddering romance in its halls.

“See you next week,” she said, returning Mrs. Crabel’s goodbye wave. Slipping on reading glasses, she began the evening task of cataloguing new arrivals. Except instead of hot-off-the-press editions, these came from a private collection, the possessions of one recently deceased Professor Anderson Hymer.

“Pristine volumes,” claimed the woman who donated them, the professor’s secretary, now in charge of dispersing his estate. “He was the only living direct descendant of Blaine Hymer,” she emphasized. “You know—the architect and garden designer behind the Temple Gardens?”

“Of course,” Adelle nodded.

Designed in the late 1800s, the local attraction was renowned the world over for its unique floral landscape patterned after the blueprints to King Solomon’s Temple. Even the hedges and flowers had been coordinated to emphasize the treasure theme, with blossoms in colors of ruby, ivory, and gold.

Curious, Adelle popped the seal on the cardboard box and rummaged through its contents. Faded hardbacks and leather copies, a few nice soft covers. One large clothbound volume with gold lettering caught her eye, Blaine Hymer himself listed as the author.

The Quest for the Temple Gardens was the title emblazoned across the cover in elaborate swirling font. It sounded like an adventure novel, though she suspected it was merely a nonfiction account of Mr. Hymer’s horticultural masterpiece.

“First edition,” Adelle noted, turning the brittle pages to the copyright information.

The room was quiet, occupied only by herself and Dr. Ravenwood, a kindly, white haired gentleman conducting architectural research in the magazine stacks. He’d visited the library every day this week, often disappearing among the shelves until closing time.

“So many rich sources of study,” he would explain with a hearty chuckle that made her smile. His clipped goatee and neatly pressed suits suggested he might have been a rather dashing figure in his youth.

She could hear him paging through articles even now, his grey flannel jacket visible through an empty slot in one of the shelves.

Five more minutes and she would begin the process of clearing the floors, shutting off lights, and closing blinds. Which was why the trill of the entrance bell inspired an automatic frown. Adelle pictured a pile of overdue books or a college student in need of help for a last-minute paper.

But as she glanced at this newest customer, the usual reprimand froze on her lips.

Dressed in a rumpled evening suit, his tie was loose and trailing with tattered ends. A purple bruise stained his jaw line and his dark hair was tousled in a wild manner, as if fingers had been raked through it both ways.

He all but collapsed against the desk, his gaze roaming wildly around the room before concentrating on her with strange intensity.

“I’m looking for a book,” he began, his tone slightly breathless. “A volume from the 1800s with—” he stopped, gaze lighting up as he spotted the volume in her hands. He reached for it eagerly, his fingers closing around the cover before she could snatch it away.

“Excuse me,” she said, knowing her voice sounded flustered, “but this one isn’t available for customers to check out.” She pulled gently on the book, attempting to dislodge it from his grasp without damaging the fragile binding. His grip tightened in response, his fingers brushing hers in a moment that sent shivers up her spine.

With a gaze that seemed more pleading than threatening, he said, “I don’t want to check it out. I want to buy it. For whatever price you’ll take.”

Was this a joke? Adelle fumbled for an answer amidst her confusion.

“I need this book,” he continued, “and as soon as possible.”

I love it! Doesn't this one sound great! I'm really loving these romantic suspense mystery type stories!!!

Buy link:

About the author:

Laura Briggs graduated from a Missouri liberal arts college in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Since then, she has pursued a career as a freelance writer. Her passion for literature has inspired her to produce a range of online articles on writing and classic authors, as well as her first White Rose romance novel.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Revelation, Book of Aleth, Part 2

Ooh, Revelation, Book of Aleth, Part 2 is out! This one snuck up on me and I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I enjoyed the first one so much I can't wait to dive back into his world.


"We have lost much of what we once were."

A new alliance...After escaping the dwarvish prison in Brekken Dahl, Aaron, Lorik, and two dwarves continue their quest to recover the Book of Aleth, now fallen into enemy hands. To avoid Therion's forces, the band forges deep under the shattered hills into long-forgotten passages, where foul creatures wait in the darkness.

An ancient prophecy...Although each step is fraught with danger and betrayal, the mission must succeed. The travelers encounter beings, both friend and foe, straight from myth and legend. And when a member of the group falls, a new ally of a race thought extinct joins the quest. In the ruins of Kellen Dahl, a discovery is restore hope and a future a new protector must rise.

Now here's a peek:

Torches protruded from iron sconces mounted on the pillars and cast flickering shadows upon the walls. Massive double doors provided the only entrance to the chamber and a golden throne, set in the shadows of the opposite wall, reflected the light of the torches. Upon the throne sat a man, cloaked in the darkness of the chamber. He sat back, rested his hands on the arm of the throne, and gazed down upon the deladrin that knelt before him.
“What do you mean you’ve lost it?” Pale and gaunt, the enthroned man spoke with such power that the air seemed to shudder. The torchlight quivered at the deep voice that resonated through the hall.
The deladrin knelt with its large, leathery wings folded behind its back, head bowed before the throne. Razor sharp claws gripped a black sword that boasted a wide, serrated blade. “Master—” The deladrin’s voice rolled from its throat like thunder. “—it was stolen by a soldier.” Its breath rushed forth like steam as it spoke.
Therion stood from the throne, his steel eyes flashed with anger. “What soldier?”
“Master, I don’t know.” The deladrin trembled. “I found the soldier in the northern forest and killed him, but I did not find the book.”
Therion stepped closer. “You lie!”
“No, master, the book is lost.”
“What else do you know? You and your horde will pay if you try to deceive me.” Therion raised his hand and with a sound like a violent wind, the creature was thrown across the room and crashed against a burning cauldron. Oil splashed the wall and flames danced along the stone.
The deladrin quivered as it regained its feet. It towered over Therion but cowered under the emperor’s wrath. “Master,” the creature continued with slow, deliberate words. “I gave up the search when a battalion of dwarves entered the forest.” The deladrin’s eyes burned red as he looked down upon the emperor. “I left before they saw me.”
“Dwarves!” Therion shouted and moved toward the massive creature. The emperor raised his hand, and the double doors swung open. “If the dwarves have the book,” he said, “I will have your hide hanging like a tapestry.”
“Master, what is your command?”
“We have one chance,” Therion spoke to himself. “If the dwarves possess the book, then we must destroy them before they have the opportunity to use it.” Therion paced with his hands behind his back and slowly moved toward the door. “My command to you is simple…die.” Without looking at the creature, Therion lifted his head and the deladrin stiffened. He listened as the creature gasped and choked for air. When he turned and released the creature from his power, it fell to the floor in a heap. With patient steps, he walked through the door. “Dwarves,” he said, “I hate dwarves.”
About the author:
Michael has spent more than 20 years preaching and teaching God's Word. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Rev. Duncan entered into public ministry and has served in four churches. He currently resides in Washington State with his wife and three children and serves as pastor. When Michael is not preaching or teaching God's word, he spends time writing. His first novel, Shadows, will be released in October, 2011. He is an apprentice-level alumnus of the Christian Writer's Guild. Michael is also a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and serves as a board member and a critique group facilitator. Given the opportunity, he also enjoys time on the golf course.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Welcome back, Delia. What a beautiful cover! I know you're not responsible for that, the artwork at least, but your story is what leads to the beauty created on the outside, so I can't wait to see what's inside.

I have to ask, is this a "tree-hugger" story? and what prompted it?

I guess you could call it a "tree-hugger" story...but not in the way that phrase usually implies. Tim is willing for every tree in the forest to be cut down if necessary...just not this ONE tree. I say it's a tree-hugger story because he does love this tree, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with "going green" or other environmental issues. I guess curious readers will just have to read the whole 6-chapter story to find out!

LOL Well she told me, didn't she! I guess we'll just have to give it a peek!


Tim Kerschner’s attachment to a solitary aspen on property he inherits goes much deeper than aesthetics. Can he make landscape architect Ryann Dean understand his refusal to let her chop down this single tree in a forest of them?

Ryann loves her job in Bliss, Oregon. Junior high teacher Tim Kerschner, on the other hand, she’d be happy to have never met. The man’s handsome face loses any appeal in light of his arrogance and obvious inclination to violence—the latter of which Ryann despises for reasons close to her heart.

A visit to what lies within the branches of the controversial tree could give them both a whole new outlook on life...and on each other.


“Sorry to bother you at home, Miss Dean.” The voice belonged to Amy, her assistant. “I know you planned to go straight to the school meeting today and I wanted to catch you before you got out the door.”

Adjusting her cell-phone earpiece with one hand, Ryann slipped the other arm through the sleeve of a favorite navy blazer. She jammed her right foot into a sensible white wedge pump, and then kicked at a pile of footwear on the floor of her closet. Where on earth was the other shoe?

“Well, you did, just barely. I’ll be out of here in about—oh, there it is!”

“I’m sorry, Miss Dean, what was that?”

“Nothing, sweetie. Look, will you cut out the Miss Dean stuff? I’ve told you a hundred times, I’m Ryann. You say it just like you say your brother’s name—it ought to be easy for you.” She chuckled, plowing through an explanation she had provided countless times already. “I guess my parents thought adding that extra ‘n’ made it OK to give me a boy’s name. Problem is, with it spelled this way, nobody knows how to say it unless I tell them.” She brushed a flyaway strand of dark hair off her face and caught her breath. “But I have told you, so no more Miss Dean. OK?”

“You’re the boss.” As usual, Amy skipped all the fluff and got right to the point.

The girl epitomized efficiency. So annoying.

“I just received a call from the planning committee. They want to put your presentation off until one o’clock. Mr. Kerschner can’t make it until then, and since he owns the land they want him there, of course. What shall I tell them?”

Would’ve been nice of Mr. Timothy Kerschner to provide a little advance warning.

Ryann flopped down onto the bed and kicked off the shoes she had just stepped into. She snatched a thick planner, already mentally shuffling the list of appointments and tasks lined up for the day.

“Miss Dean?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m here. And it’s Ryann, for crying out loud!” She paused, waiting for her assistant to comply. Amy didn’t, so Ryann did, but not without huffing a bit. “Just tell them it’s fine, of course. I’ll make it work somehow.”

She spent the next few minutes on the phone juggling appointments with two other clients. Each profuse apology raised her dander to a new high.

Kerschner’s well-publicized generosity had won the heart of every parent, teacher, and public official in town. A sixth-grade English teacher at Bliss Junior High and great-grandson of one of the town’s founding fathers, Kerschner had inherited the large piece of acreage adjacent to the family homestead when his uncle, the last of the previous generation of Kerschners, passed away a couple of months ago. He gained instant local celebrity status when he offered a portion of the land to the school district to be used for new administrative quarters, thereby freeing up the buildings they were currently housed in for several more classrooms and a rather sizeable expansion of the library.

Which was all well and good, but it didn’t give the man a right to play God with other people’s time.

“Whatever.” Purse hanging off one shoulder and the all-important planner tucked under one arm, Ryann snatched her car keys off the kitchen table and slammed the door, muttering under her breath. “Doesn’t matter what you think. Kerschner is the current darling of local government, so you’ll cater to his every whim and pretend you like it.”

Glancing into the rearview mirror as she backed off her gravel drive and onto the roadway, Ryann twisted her face into a wry grimace. “Not a lot of choice, is there, Ry? You need this job if you want to stay in Bliss.” She tapped a finger on the mirror, teasing a smile from her dour reflection. “And you do, so get the job. Think positive.”

Nor would she allow a little schedule adjustment to spoil her day—not with such incredible beauty splashed so generously over the countryside on the drive from her cabin to the newly arranged first meeting of her work week. She never grew tired of the forests that crowded the back roads, which she chose whenever possible over the busier freeways. As always, she found herself soothed by the pine-scented air and the lush green of the Douglas firs marching up and down each side of the road.

Here and there, a stand of hemlock, spruce or cedar interrupted the visual monotony, along with wild tangles of berry bushes and wildflowers spread out in a vivid array of vibrant color.

Perfect. With the radio off, no one screamed out dark lyrics set to a cacophony of instrumentals that passed for music; no media evangelist pandered to the masses with more focus on bringing in an extra dollar than in reaching needy souls; and perhaps most pleasing of all, no reporter spread horrible news about random acts of senseless violence.

Senseless. The only word she knew to describe the evil that men do. It made no sense when a mother walked into a convenience store for a loaf of bread and never walked out, but that’s what had happened to hers.

Twelve-year-old Ryann had dealt with the loss with determined stoicism and the constant love and support of her father. What choice had there been? Still, she’d like nothing better than to make it through the rest of her life without hearing, seeing, or coming into contact with any kind of violence, random or otherwise.

Forcing the errant thoughts to the furthest corners of her mind, unwilling to face the demons they awakened, she focused once more on the breathtaking surroundings. A smile of pure pleasure tugged at the corners of her lips, and she allowed it to come out and play across her face.

Happiness was living in Bliss, Oregon.


Wow! What a big punch wrapped in such a small package! The pain and heartache felt by both Ryann and Tim is amazing, and the way God uses it in each of their lives is awesome. (Talk about showing that "All things work together for good to them that love God...") I can't believe in these few pages that the lessons of forgiveness and not judging are both brought out in such fine detail.  And oh yeah, she brought tears to my eyes once again. I loved it! Nice job, Ms. Latham!

About the author:

Born and raised in a place called Weedpatch, Delia Latham moved from California to Oklahoma in 2008, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her simplecountry home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. The author enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her through her website or send an e-mail to

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I'd like to welcome a new author (new to me anyway) to join us today. Janice Cantore is here with her latest release, Abducted, book two of the Pacific Coast Justice Series. 

Ms. Cantore has a very interesting past. This is a woman who knows crime from a much more personal aspect than most of us. She is a retired Long Beach California police officer of 22 years (16 in uniform and 6 as a non-career officer). Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments: patrol, administration, juvenile investigations, and training. During the course of her career in uniform Janice found that faith was indispensable to every aspect of the job and published articles on faith at work, one for a quarterly newspaper called “Cop and Christ”, and another for the monthly magazine “Today’s Christian Woman”.

Sounds like she walked the walk in more ways than one. 

I am very happy to share her latest release, Abducted.

Here's a peek:

After solving the Mayor’s murder and exposing corruption among the top brass in Las Playas, Carly Edwards is happy to be back on patrol with her partner Joe, putting bad guys behind bars. For once everything in life seems to be going just right.

But then everything starts going wrong. Slow to recover from an injury, her ex-husband Nick, begins pulling away just as they were starting to get close again. Meanwhile when Joe’s wife lands in the hospital with a mysterious illness, their baby is kidnapped. As Carly chases down every lead in a desperate search to find the baby, her newfound faith is pushed to its limits.


What a great story. Ms. Cantore had me guessing who might have kidnapped the baby right up to the end! And the relationship thing with Nick...and someone! My only regret is that I haven't read the first in the series...yet.

Amazon link:

Accused - available now!
Abducted- released August 1, 2012!
Tyndale House Publishers

Accused, Book 1 of the Pacific Coast Justice Series is also available.


When troubled youth, Londy Akins, is arrested for the murder of the mayor, he asks for ten-year veteran Detective Carly Edwards. Plucked from her normal assignment in juvenile investigations to assist homicide, Carly recognizes him as one of her mother’s church reclamation projects. Irritated by her mother’s belief that God can change anyone, which Carly views as dangerous wishful thinking, Carly presses the kid for a confession that will fry him and bring her a commendation. But Londy doesn’t confess. He insists he’s innocent. Further, he tells Carly he’s a new Christian, not a murderer.

Sounds like a great series. Looks like I have some catching up to do!!! Check out her Brinna's Heart Series also. I know I'm going to!

About the author:

Janice has bachelor’s degrees in Biology (University of California at Irvine) and Physical Education (California State University at Long Beach). She also completed graduate coursework in Criminal Justice (University of Southern California) and is currently a member of American Christian Fiction Writer’s and Sisters in Crime. She attends Crescenta Valley Community Church in La Crescenta California and while a few years ago she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, she currently resides in Glendale California in order to help care for her aging parents. Janice is single and has three Labrador Retrievers, Jake, Maggie and Abbie. Janice’s hobbies are reading, cross-stitching, kayaking, hiking, walking the dogs and trying to stay fit.

For more about Janice go to:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shifting Sands

I'm pleased to welcome JoAnn Carter back for a second day, this time with her newest story, Shifting Sands, Book Three of The Roarin' Twenties Series. 
I'm amazed, JoAnn, you tell these stories as if you lived in those times. How do you do it?

Thanks, Donna. I'm thrilled that you felt that as you read through the series! If I was able to capture the essence of the era, it's because through my research, I fell in love with the 1920's. Let me tell you a bit about how the series started. My husband’s family was up for a visit and we were doing some fun touristy things in Vermont with them. Mind you, the idea of finding a subject to write about wasn’t even in my thoughts—I was only trying to be a good hostess. Anyway, off we went to visit the Shelburne Museum where a beautiful steamboat, the Ticonderoga, had been restored and on display. As soon as I stepped into this boat, there was a special feel to it. While we walked around I read and soaked up every sign there was expounding on her the history. That's when one fact totally captured my imagination—my mustard seed. In 1923, the first female stewardess was hired. It didn't take long for those “what if questions” to start rolling around in my mind and the concept for THE FLOATING PALACE was born. That tiny seed didn’t stop there though. It has carried this series through all the way to the Pine Barren’s of New Jersey.
History came to life for me like never before as I studied the time period and the folks who lived in them. In my research, I came across the fact that T.B was a huge issue in this era. Wouldn’t you know -- in the township that I grew up in as a child/young adult, Pemberton Township, New Jersey, housed a Sanatorium, FairviewCoincidence? I’d rather think it was providence. Book Two:Mercies in Disguise, is set right there in the heart of the Pine Barrens.

To wrap up this trilogy, I was visiting my folks, who still live in the Pine Barrens. They invited me to go to the annual blueberry festival held at Whitesbog in Browns Mills, NJ. I drove down the windy, dirt road that led there, took one look at the restored village building, and my heart sped up. I felt as if I were right there in the 1920's, looking through Dede, the main character’s eyes. That was it – mustard seed 3 -- the perfect place for the last book, Shifting Sands. 

Hey, do me a favor okay? If you are reading this post and are a newbie to this writing stuff and have a thought or a seed and that grows into a story, let me know. I’d love to hear about it!
Wow, those are quite the seeds! Well, let's share what it's all about. 

Dede White is going to shut down the Fairview sanatorium, no matter what. Her beloved aunt died because of doctors like James Riley and she’s not going to let him trifle with any more lives. But -- James Riley isn’t what she thinks. Unfortunately, Dede doesn’t figure this out until she’s done her best to shut his sanatorium down. She might not be able to repair the damage she’s done, and even if she is, will he be able to love her back?
Timber crackled. Orange, yellow and blue flames leaped through the windowsills and pulsated from the rooftop of the Fairview sanatorium. A line of people with buckets of water worked frantically, yet a stream of thick, heavy smoke that made her throat feel as if it were closing, was all the reward they seemed to garner. She raised her hanky to her nose. Was it the stench or the smoke making her stomach feel queasy?
The fire chief shouted to be heard over the noise of the flames. "Get that pumper over here now."
Firemen dodged around her with a thick hose. One bumped into her and she quickened her pace to get out of the way. She desperately wanted to help, but how? Dede scanned the area and neared a group of people clustered together on the edge of the property. Some were crying, others screaming and the rest stood staring at the burning building.
She sent up a quick prayer for the residents' and the firemen's safety, as the emergency personnel continued their efforts on quelling the fire. Why she bothered to pray she had no idea. God didn't seem to listen to her prayers or if He did, chose not to answer them.
She noticed a slightly familiar face in the crowd, yet she couldn't recall from where. She watched him walk up to another tall man in a long, white, soot stained lab coat, no doubt a doctor. A shudder ran down her spine. Like prayer, this was another lesson she learned from the school of hard knocks -- doctors and surgeons didn't always help people. As far as she was concerned, medical professionals could only be trusted about as far as one could throw them -- or less.
Dede sighed and squared her shoulders. Striding forward, she focused on the man she was sure she'd seen before. Ah, yes it's Stanley from the Pig' N Whistle.
Stanley's voice carried above the din. "Dr. Riley, I'm Stanley Fisher, a friend of Abigail Madison, one of your patients. She told me you needed help with transport."
"We do." Dr. Riley looked back to the patient he had been speaking to before Stanley caught his attention. "Please excuse me a moment while I speak to this gentleman." He stepped away and motioned Stanley to follow. "How much room do you have in your vehicle?"
"Quite a bit. I have the carriage the hotel uses to pick up patrons at the train station."
"Excellent. We'll move the most critical first. Nurse Anna can help with that. She has a triage list." He waved to a woman in a blue uniform to join them.
Dede took a deep breath. It's now or never. She took the remaining few steps until she stood in front of the handsome doctor, who was at least a full foot taller than her five-foot-one stature. Craning her neck back, she looked into his lean face. Hazel eyes held hers for a second. Suddenly, the sounds of the fire and people melted away. She could only hear the pounding of her heart in her ears. An awareness, or was it fear, zinged through her. She hated the thought that she could be afraid of a mere man. But he wasn't just a man; he was a doctor.
She blinked and tried to refocus. His brown hair was clipped short, but a few bangs managed to slip forward and a line of soot followed the length of his cheekbone. At least his mussed appearance made him look a bit more approachable -- more human. She blurted. "I want to help, too. I have a car here as well."
He nodded. "Fine. Fine."
After Nurse Anna made it through the maze of people, the doctor said, "These two have offered to help with transport. Please follow them and see what room they have available in their vehicles. Send the most critical to the Birmingham Inn where they offered us temporary housing."
The nurse nodded. "Yes, Doctor."
When the doctor glanced at Dede again, she noticed how worry weighed his mouth down into a frown. Perhaps all doctors weren't as ruthless as she made them out to be. Then again, she'd lost so much. She needed a lot more than a show of concern during a fire to prove they weren't all savages after what happened to her aunt.
He nodded toward her and Stanley, oblivious to the emotional tug-of-war she faced. "Thank you."
The doctor took off towards his patients and she followed the nurse. Granted, she couldn't do anything to help her aunt now, but she could do something to get these poor folks out of the cold and smoke.
Dede is such a strong character. She's the kind of friend you want to have on your side in the hardest times. And although she has misjudged Dr. Riley, and unfairly wronged him, she can't help the admiration and strong feelings she develops for the real Dr. Riley, not her imagined enemy.

 Ms. Carter tells this story as if she lived in those times. Very well done!
Shifting Sands can be found at:
All Romance Ebooks:

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 @

Teacher's Plans

Hi JoAnn! Welcome back! What a lovely time of year to bring to mind school and teachers. For anyone who hasn't seen this book it's perfect for this time of year!

Check it out!


When Amanda Manning, an exhausted, short-handed special education teacher, is given an assistant, things don't turn out as she planned. Her new assistant is anything but what Amanda expected—most strikingly, a male. Tracy Atkins secured a job as a teacher's assistant, but will he be able to secure the hand of the woman he is falling in love with? Especially when she finds out about the secret he is hiding? Come join their adventure as both Amanda and Tracy learn that God's plans are far better than their own. (Jeremiah 29:11)


You get this one,” Wilma said, winking. “It’ll be good practice.”

Amanda handed her cone to Wilma and hopped off the high stool. Two handsome men in starched shirts, bright ties, and well-creased pants headed for the counter.

Wilma muttered under her breath, “They don’t look like locals to me. Who dresses like that for ice cream?”

Hi. Can I help you?”

Give us a minute, please,” said the shorter man.

Take your time.” Amanda studied the other fellow as he read the board. He was tall, with jet-black hair and bright blue eyes. She was thinking what long lashes he had when suddenly, he turned and flashed her a quick grin. Caught in the act of staring, Amanda felt her face grow warm.

What’s your favorite flavor?” he said, pocketing his hands.

Me? Oh, I like this new one,” Amanda said. “Fudge macaroon.”

He grinned. “I was asking him,” he said, pointing to his friend.

Laughing, the friend said, “Gimme a dish of mint chocolate chip, please.”

The tall one nodded. “Sounds great. How ‘bout you make that two?”

By now, Amanda’s face felt like it was on fire. She turned, thankful for something to do. As she grabbed two bowls, the shorter man said, “Nice little town you have here.”

She felt the tall one’s eyes on her as she dipped. “We think so, too.”

We’re on our way to a meeting in Jefferson, but we left a few minutes early so we could stop here.”

Amanda looked up then, wondering how they’d heard about the place. As if in answer to her unasked question, the tall one said, “A couple of our co-workers have been here. Place comes very highly recommended.”

She nodded. “That’s always nice to hear.”

Wilma grabbed the bowls and put them on a nearby table.

How much do we owe you?” The man asked as he reached for his wallet.

Wilma propped a fist on a hip, and called over, “It’s on the house, seeing it’s your first time.”

Free? No one gave away anything at Cone Heads! It was all Amanda could do not to stand there, gap-jawed.

That’s nice of you. But really—”

Just remember to send more friends.” And then she winked.

If Amanda didn’t know better, she’d say Wilma was…flirting!

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 @

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I was going to post pictures - pictures we've all already seen and remember. But we will forever remember the day even without those reminders.

I go to work for 9:00 in the morning. And on this day in 2001 the announcements on the radio as I got to work didn't make any sense to me. Then I stepped into the office and they had a small TV set up in the conference room. We watched the towers get hit the 2nd time. It was still unbelievable that this was really happening. All day long we kept it on, as well as the radio, updating us to what was going on. 

They stole our sense of security, tried to destroy our willingness to help others. But they woke an avenging beast. We didn't cower before them, we struck back.

I will forever keep in prayer the friends and families of all who were lost that day, the many emergency workers who gave their lives trying to save others, as well as the soldiers that continue to fight for the freedoms all people should have.

And I pray that you have the peace that passes all understanding, the peace only God can give to those who know Him.

Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. Their judgement day will come.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bayou Blue

Welcome back, Raquel! I was so happy to see the third book out in your Shades of Hope series. I love the way you write romantic suspense! How many more in this series can we expect? (Quite a few, I hope!)

Sorry, Donna, Bayou Blue is the last book in this series. I’m working on a new Gothic romance series that has been such a hoot to write. In this series, The Noble Island Mysteries, the setting and characters are edgier and darker with unexplained happenings that add to the suspense. The first book, Whispers on Shadow Bay, is set to release from White Rose in January 2013. I can’t wait to share it with fellow romance lovers.

Well aren't you just a busy beaver! I can't wait to see what comes next. You're always full of surprises, but for now I'll just share a peek of Bayou Blue.


Caught between revenge and redemption...

With her family shamed and her faith shaken, Riley Drake carries a heavy burden. She returns to Bayou La Foudre Parish to clear her brother's name, but her mission proves difficult and dangerous. The locals are convinced he's guilty of the tragic bombing that left the town in mourning, and she finds her only ally is Jake Ayers. Frustrated and fascinated by the parish's brooding sheriff, Riley hopes she's found someone to trust with her burden...and her heart.

Sheriff Jake Ayers wants peace and healing in his parish, but Riley's presence stirs tempers into a frenzy. Most of the townsfolk want her dead. Emotions run deep in the bayou, and Jake's are no exception. Keeping a level head and an indifferent heart is going to be as difficult as keeping Riley alive.


I don’t know how to do this, Lord. I don’t know if I can.

Footfalls on the wood planks made me catch my breath. I wondered who found me so fast.

“You promised you wouldn’t come back here.” The unmistakable voice, thick with the drawl of a man born and raised on the bayou, floated to me on the warm night air.

I lifted my head and peered over the lip of the canoe at the man standing on the dock.

Jake Ayers. His dark eyes captured mine, held them for a second, and then looked away. The anguish rolled off of him in dark waves, chilling me despite the summer night.

Bayou La Foudre was his home and my brother, a disturbed young man, had blown up a chemical plant in Jake’s parish, killing twelve people and dying in the blast himself.

My breath caught when I saw the sorrow etched under Jake’s eyes. So much heartache there.

Trying for humor, I sat up in the canoe and hugged my knees. “Is that any way to greet a friend?”

“Nous ne sommes pas amis.” He hooked his thumbs through the gun belt at his waist and shrugged. The dark brown Sheriff’s uniform outlined his tall stature against the lights from the dock. He kept his gaze on the dark water. “We’re not friends, Riley.” He pronounced it rah-ley, like he didn’t realize my name had no ‘a’ in it.

I smiled sadly. This place felt so foreign. Louisiana and I would never be friends.

I turned my head, wanting to see what he was looking at.

Tiny lights flickered and bobbed over the surface of the swamp; lightning bugs.

I turned back to him and tried a strained grin. “What are we, then?”

I honestly need to know.

Jake didn’t answer. Instead, he reached down and grabbed a length of the tow rope. He pulled my canoe towards the dock, and I let him, watching his face in the bright light of the harvest moon. Once he tied the boat in place, he extended his hand and wriggled his fingers. “Come on.”

I tilted my head, looking at him from an angle, but didn’t stand up. I didn’t reach out to him. “I’m not leaving. Not till I get what I came for.”

Jake’s face didn’t change expression. He reached out a little further. “Your hand, Riley.”

Reluctant to leave the safe cradle of the water and trees, I sighed and let Jake help me off the boat and onto the dock. The narrow path made us stand much closer than we would have otherwise. Being so near him made me remember what it was like to have his strong arms wrapped around me, and I blinked back more tears. That he didn’t even consider us friends stung more than I cared to admit.

“You helped me once, Jake.” My voice cracked, and I bit my lip. I wished I could get a grip, but being back here in this place wrenched me wide open. “Can’t you do that again?”

“Getting you out of town is helping you, Riley. You just don’t realize that yet.”

Jake gestured for me to walk in front of him.

I glanced back at the water and then up at the trees, but didn’t move. “There’s more, Jake. There’s more than what they’re telling us, I know it. The FBI is—”

“There isn’t more, Riley.” Jake’s voice sounded tight, as if he was holding back anger.

“You don’t know that.” My voice trembled, and I fought to quell the frustration rumbling up my spine. “All those people, Jake. They died and there has to be a reason. They can’t just have…” My voice broke, and I struggled to push back the sorrow that threatened to crush me.

“Randy did what he did and that’s all there is to it. We just weren’t…” He drew in a slow breath. “We were too late, that’s all.”


Wow, Ms. Byrnes really knows how to drop you right into the heart of things. And in this case, not just the heart, but the heat too.

From the start of this book I didn't want to put it down! Riley wears her heart on her sleeve, and not just for the brother that she lost. Yes, she wants to prove him innocent, not just for herself and her family, but for the sake of his memory. She knows all isn't as it appears and she wants to clear his name. And then there's Jake, a man torn between duty and his own heart. He's the kind of hero we all want in our lives. And he already owns a piece of Riley's heart.

This story is fast paced, even in the slow heat of the bayou, and the heat just keeps building inside and out. Great story! If you enjoy unraveling twists and turns from a crime story, you're gonna love this one.

Buy link:

I live in Southern, California with my husband of sixteen years and our six children. I've been homeschooling for ten years.
I enjoy going to writer's conferences and love to do research for my books. From taking a private investigator course to learning to target shoot, I consider writing a way of life. I have written several books to date.
I love to read and consider it a wonderful way to minister to others. Sometimes taking a spiritual journey with a character you identify with can open up your eyes to the awesome generostiy of the Lord.