Thursday, August 16, 2018

ESTHER'S TEMPTATION - Lena Nelson Dooley - One Free Book

I'm so excited about this coming book release. Part of the Thanksgiving Books and Blessing series. Each of the 9 books has been written by a different author. They will release one right after the other starting with September 6 and ending with mine on September 14.

Saddle weary, a former deputy US Marshal rides into Denton, Texas. He’d hunted a swindler and his daughter—or identical twin daughters if he's is right—and he feels he finally has caught up with this criminal gang. Unfortunately, He is immediately distracted by a lovely redhead who crosses his path.

Here's an excerpt:
Esther Brians put the finishing touches on her upswept, Gibson Girl hairstyle when Allen knocked on the door of her apartment. She shoved one last hairpin into her hair to anchor it before she answered the door.


“I’m coming.” Thick carpet muffled her footsteps as she crossed the parlor. She opened the door and hugged her brother. “Why didn’t you just use your key?”

Allen returned her hug, then stood back. “I only kept the key because you insisted. It’s a good idea for me to check on things for you when you’re out at the farm, since you’re living here alone. But I won’t use it for any other reason. You deserve your privacy.” He glanced around the room that had been Marie’s home before she and Allen married. He had spent a lot of time here visiting with his sister and later courting Marie. “I like what you’ve done with the place. It really expresses your personality.”

“Thank you, kind sir.” Esther gave a low curtsey. She and her brother had enjoyed a playful relationship all their lives.

“Are you ready?” Allen picked up her jacket from the claret-colored velvet settee. After helping her into the wrap, he opened the door, and they proceeded down the stairs into the warm, August twilight.

Esther placed her hand in the crook of his arm as they walked across the street to the hotel. “It was really nice of Marie to offer to keep Gerald and Linda’s children so we could take them out to dinner for their anniversary.”

“She loves those two little ones. And I do, too. They come over to our house a lot, since we live so close.”

When they entered the lobby of the hotel, Esther glanced around. She didn’t come here often, but she always liked the friendly, yet elegant, atmosphere. The gaslights around the walls gave a warm glow to the plush carpeting and matching wallpaper. Esther liked that they used a lot of potted plants in the decor. It enhanced the sense of opulence ... and freshness. When she came to the hotel, it made her feel that Denton was as cosmopolitan as Chicago or even New York City.

A man descending the wide staircase that dominated the room drew Esther’s attention. He stood taller than any other man she had ever seen. Although his body looked lean, muscles rippled under his shirt and slacks. His dark, clean-shaven face sported a neat mustache. He must have spent a lot of time in the sun, and the tan looked good on him. Much of his forehead appeared lighter than the rest of his face, evidence he wore a Stetson most of the time. The fine lines fanning out from the corner of each eye revealed that he squinted against the blazing sun, and they only enhanced his good looks.

He wasn’t dressed like a cowboy, but as he walked down the stairs, he had the bowlegged gait of a man who spent most of his life on the back of a horse. His luxuriously thick, dark hair looked wet. It was slicked back, but separate locks were pulling into strong waves as they dried.

For some unexplainable reason, Esther felt drawn to him. Her fingers tingled with the desire to brush back an errant curl that had drooped over his strong forehead. She had never felt this way about any man.

For a moment, she held her breath in wonder. His most arresting feature, his eyes, shone a clear, icy blue. When his gaze met hers, something passed between them, a feeling both exciting … and disturbing. As if they were connected somehow. Uncomfortable, Esther quickly looked away.

What in the world is wrong with me? Maybe it was because all her close friends had husbands, and she wanted one, too. Why did some stranger affect her this way? Esther felt relieved when Gerald and Linda arrived at that moment, and the four of them went into the dining room. She tried to dismiss the man from her thoughts as she followed her brothers and sister-in-law to their table.

~~~~~

When they were seated at a table in the dining room, Esther decided to forget what had happened in the hotel lobby and concentrate on her brothers and sister-in-law. “Well, Linda, I guess it’s nice for you to go out without the children.”

Linda smiled at her. “Oh yes, it’s a real treat. It was good of you and Allen to plan this little celebration.”

“Actually, it was Marie’s idea.” Allen picked up his linen napkin and spread it across his lap.
“Why didn’t she come with us?” Linda smiled at her.

Esther laughed. “You mean besides the fact that she’s keeping your children for you?” Linda nodded. “I offered to keep them at the apartment, but Marie thought it would be special for Gerald’s brother and sister to take the two of you out.”

Allen picked up his fork and absently turned it over and over in his hands as if checking its weight. “She really likes having Olivia and Stephen at the house.” He put the fork down and cleared his throat. “She’s hoping we’ll have a little one ourselves pretty soon. I told her it has only been a few months since we married, and I enjoy our time together, but I’m eager for our own children, too.”

Gerald patted his wife’s hand. “Well, we have an announcement to make, and you two are the first to hear it.”

Linda blushed and looked down at the table in front of her. “We are going to have another baby.”

Esther got up, hurried around the table, and hugged her. “I’m so happy for you.” When she passed Gerald on the way back to her chair, she hugged him, too. “And I’m happy for you, big brother.”

The waitress came to their table. “What are we all having tonight?”

“This calls for steaks.” Allen looked at each of them in turn. “Unless you want something else. We have a lot to celebrate.”

When the waitress left, conversation flowed around the table, but Esther’s attention was divided.

That cowboy sat across the room. She could see him when she turned to talk to Allen. He seemed to be enjoying his food, but once in a while, she felt his gaze on her. Why did he do that? It made her very uncomfortable. Even though she enjoyed having this time with her relatives, she couldn’t forget the man or the impression he made on her when they stood in the lobby.

Esther knew it didn’t make any sense. She felt drawn to him, even here in the dining room. She noticed when his coffee arrived. While he ate his roast beef and hot rolls, she looked at him from time to time. He had perfect table manners, not like most of the cowboys she had seen in the past. She didn’t want him to catch her watching, so she peeked at him out of the corner of her eyes to make sure it wasn’t when he was looking at her.

She was acting like a desperate old maid. Just because everyone else was married, it didn’t mean anything was wrong with her life, did it? Her business was successful, and she had a comfortable home, good friends, and a family who loved her.

But they weren’t a husband and children. She felt that deep longing she’d harbored since she became an adult. She wanted to be loved by a man the way her father loved her mother. The way Gerald loved Linda. The way Allen loved Marie. The way Marie’s brothers Oliver and Leonard loved their wives. She wanted a home of her own, not just an apartment above a store … and she wanted children. To feel their arms around her neck. To have them call her, Mother.

Oh yes, Esther wanted all those things more than she could tell anyone. But that cowboy across the dining room wasn’t the man to give them to her.

The ebook is up on Amazon for pre-order. 

I’m planning for the print copy to release at the same time as the ebook.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy any one of my previous books you've been wanting, as long as I have any left in my collection at home. I will give you a chance to choose another.

Readers, here are links to the book.


You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, August 13, 2018

HOSEA'S HEART - Linda Wood Rondeau - One Free Ebook


Welcome, Linda. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I put a little bit of my life or life experience into every character, even the villains. In Hosea’s Heart, I asked myself if I would be that faithful to an unfaithful spouse. Having experienced a divorce, I doubt I would. However, Aubrey’s command for faithfulness came from the Lord. He obeyed, not out of common sense, but out of his allegiance to a greater power.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I was once challenged to eat four pancakes. Simple right? Only, at the time, I didn’t realize the pancakes were the size of a plate. I did it, only because I was too stubborn to admit defeat.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
The old cliché … I was born with a pencil in my hand is almost true. As a young girl, I loved to tell stories to the younger children and write them down for my classmates. My teacher often read my stories or had me read them to lower grades. In high school, I won an award for a poem. I was published in my college journal. I loved to write plays for my church and devotionals for our church ladies. However, I did not consider writing professionally, until I reached my fifties.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Like my taste in music, I enjoy an art well done regardless of genre. My favorite books range from sci-fi/fantasy to historical and everything between.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I am fortunate to have a spouse who keeps me grounded. He tells me to slow down or speed up as the need arises. Since he retired, he likes to clean and cook. I don’t mind. I was primary household manager for the first 35 years or so even when I worked fulltime. Hubs also likes to go for walks in City Park, an occasional movie, or walk in the mall. This change of pace helps me to keep my sanity.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
They come to me. Sometimes, I associate a name with a certain social class or occupation. Sometimes my character’s personality quirks invite a name. Occasionally, I will consult my baby name book or research popular names by year.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My three children. They are more of a blessing to me than the many books I’ve written or any accomplishment in my writing journey. They may not be perfect, but they bring me such joy, in addition to my nine grandchildren!

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d be a tiger. They are majestic and graceful. 

What is your favorite food?
Is it cliché to say chocolate? Chocolate anything. Although one of my favorite dishes is chicken and biscuits. I rarely have that anymore since my husband is not fond of it. Growing up it was always my request for birthday dinner.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
At the moment, I have so many stories pouring out of my brain, I don’t get writer’s block very much as to what to write. However, my creativity is often shut down because of marketing demands. They mentally exhaust me, and I find it difficult to pick up where I left off in my writing. I pull myself out the funk through prayer and writing small amounts. I write something every day even though I might have to put my work in progress aside for a bit.  

Tell us about the featured book.
Hosea’s Heart is a modern day adaptation of the Biblical Hosea’s quest for his runaway wife. Aubrey Beaumont has been in search of his drug-addicted, runaway wife for fifteen years. However, new to faith, she finds him. When they are reunited, Aubrey discovers that she is not only terminally ill, but she is a star witness against a notorious drug lord, her former lover. How much should a wrong husband forgive? The book is set in Washington, DC. Aubrey finds new ministry as a result of his wife’s struggle with addiction. I have attempted to show the human equation in a serious epidemic. Reviewers so far find the book suspenseful as well as heart-warming.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Prologue
Aubrey Beaumont’s heart pounded as Darlene burst past stodgy Mrs. Donovan and ran into his arms. The girl’s reddened eyes confirmed his worst fears.

“Mommy went away again, Aubrey.”

Darlene sobbed against his overcoat while he absorbed the news. From the entryway, he saw Paul and Bradley at the kitchen table, frozen to their seats, remnants of peanut butter sandwiches on their plates. Paul guzzled the last of his milk, and Bradley rocked back and forth as he hummed “Jesus Loves Me.”

“Thank you for staying with the children, Mrs. Donovan. I rushed out as soon as the seminary gave me your message. I don’t suppose you know where Joanna went off to, do you?”

She handed him a note tucked inside Joanna’s wedding ring.

“Sorry, Mr. Beaumont. I got here my usual time, and your wife handed me this package like it were a present. Then she stormed out the door. Slammed it so hard, she done bust the hinge. Said I was to stay here with Darlene and the boys ’til you came home. Then she slapped a twenty-dollar bill in my hand. ‘For the inconvenience,’ she said. ’Taint no inconvenience. I love these kids as if they were my own.”

Aubrey gripped the parchment paper—Joanna’s curt goodbye. She’d never left a note before. Usually, she slithered away during the night. This time she left while the sun still shone. He slid the gold-edged stationery from its circular perch as he gazed toward Mrs. Donovan. “Did my wife say anything else?”

Mrs. Donavan lumbered toward the coat rack. “Nope. Just high-tailed it out that door.” She twirled as she wriggled her wide body into a coat three sizes too small. “Didn’t even take her purse. Walked out with just the clothes she wore … no coat or nothing.” She grabbed the doorknob with one hand and snatched her straw purse off the counter with the other.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Linda, for sharing this new book with me and my blog readers. I’m intrigued by your storyline, and I’m eager to read my copy when it arrives.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Hosea's Heart - Paperback
Hosea's Heart - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. This is available for readers outside the United States. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Sunday, August 12, 2018

WINNERS!!!

New instructions for winners in 2018 - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) 

Kim (NE)  is the winner of This Freedom Journey by Misty M Beller.

Sarah (OH)  is the winner of Sarah and the Doctor by Kit Morgan.

Alison (MI) is the winner of The Belle of the Congaree (Southern Belle Brides) by Lauralee Bliss.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title and author of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

TIME GAME and book one EYE OF THE STORM: THE FIRST TOKEN - D. A. Featherling

Dear Readers, today’s interview is very different. My friend, Dorothy Featherling, came up with an interesting new concept. I think you’ll like it.

Welcome back, D. A. What has drawn you to writing  and creating this product?
I have a 13-year old grandson who loves to read. I wanted to provide him with decent reading material in a genre he enjoys. That was time travel. I started thinking about what kind of time travel book would someone, say 9 – 16 years old enjoy? There have been lots of time travel books written, so I needed to find an original way to get the protagonists from one time/place to another. I decided on a board game to do that.

I designed a board game (Time Game) and have had it produced and do have it available for sale through local vendors and through my websites. It’s a game of luck…not skill…and anyone ages 12 – adult can enjoy playing it.

The series of books I’ve based on the game will be a 13-book series, one book for each illustration on the game board. I’m up through Book 7 (published to date) and working on the 8th one. My reading range has expanded to adults, so now I say my market is ages 9 – 99.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know how quirky it was…but it certainly shook up my sister and my mom. We had been somewhere and I was driving them home, taking some side streets to get to their neighborhood. I spotted a couple of tree stumps in someone’s yard. Cut stumps which had been put out by the curb to be picked up by the trash people. My creative instincts shouted coffee table so I stopped the car, got out and rang the doorbell of the house and asked the owner if they minded if I took the stumps. Needless to say, they were a bit surprised, but gave permission. I put the stumps in the trunk of the car and resumed the driver’s seat. All the way to my mom’s house I kept hearing “I can’t believe you did that’s” from my sister and my mom. But hey, I figure you don’t ask, you don’t have. I’m big on asking.

I love that story. You sound a lot like my husband. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve been a reader all my life (make that avid reader, like on average one book a day when I’m not busy), but I never tried my hand at creative writing until about 1999 when I read an article in Reader’s Digest asking what you would do as a career if you didn’t have to worry about training, time, finances, education, etc. Without thinking, the thought popped into my mind… “I’d write books.” It really surprised me because, even though I loved to read, I’d never thought about writing books. I stuffed the thought into the back of my mind, but it kept coming back until I finally figured “how am I going to know I can/can’t unless I try?” So I tried. That began my writing journey. Since 2013, when I started writing full time, I’ve published 22 books so I guess writing was definitely in my future.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite genre is mysteries. I also enjoy many suspense books, action/adventure/thriller books as well. I do read some historicals and some romances. 

What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve written and published 22 books. Four of those are non-fiction (2 are just e-books), and the rest fiction. I’ve written two different mystery series, a romantic comedy series, an end times series, the afore-mentioned time travel/sci-fi series, and a romance. Probably the most unusual was the non-fiction cold case murder I wrote about that occurred in 1930 in the town I now live in. That was quite an experience, but I’m pretty sure I solved the case.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I am blessed in that I am retired from a day job, so can pretty much keep my own schedule. Things do tend to come to me in clumps for some reason – usually groups of three…so occasionally I’m juggling many plates at the same time. But I can usually manage to stay on track and take time as needed for health issues and other necessities (like grocery shopping…ugh).

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
There is a faith element in all my books. When I started the Time Game series of books, I wanted to offer readers something exciting, yet clean, and not weird supernatural as is so prevalent today. I think I’ve accomplished that with this series and the responses I get from readers of all ages pretty much confirm that. I can’t take the credit, the Lord gets that, but I appreciate Him letting me help.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a cat. I love cats. Unfortunately, my allergies don’t allow a pet, so haven’t had one for years. But they are SO independent and graceful, I just love them. I know I don’t qualify for the graceful designation, but I am independent and can relate to cats on that level.

What is your favorite food?
This is a toughie. If you mean just one food item…it would have to be carrot cake with 4-inch thick icing (if only they’d make it that thick). If you mean food types…probably Mexican food (Tex-Mex). All of it.

Is it hard to break into the children’s market?
Being independently (indie) published, it’s a bit different. I did try for a short time, when I began the Time Game series, to see if any agents were looking for children’s/middle grade books. Only found one and she never responded to my query. So I went ahead with my indie publishing (in which I’d done all my other books). The marketing is challenging. But then marketing is these days for all writers.

What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
Occasionally, I now see there are agents who are soliciting those types of books, so I’d encourage authors who want to write for children to try traditional publishing if they want to. But if they don’t mind the marketing aspect, indie publishing is an avenue to explore. Advice? Try to come up with an original idea…one that hasn’t been done to death and find a fresh approach. It is possible.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
 Eye of the Storm: The First Token is book one in the Time Game series. It introduces the series, the board game, and twins Marcus and Samantha Willoughby. I switch back and forth between them in scenes and chapters so they get equal time. Therefore, the book can be enjoyed by both males and females. The idea came from discovering information about an actual shipwreck that took place on the Great Lakes in 1898 (no, not the Edmund Fitzgerald). The wreckage of the ship in my book hadn’t been found for over a hundred years and hasn’t received the publicity it might have earlier. But it was a great story and I enjoyed weaving my characters into an actual event that was quite dramatic and exciting and I hope, set the tone, for the adventures to follow.

Again, I’d like to mention that the board game (Time Game) was the basis for the themes for all the books in the series and can be played by 2-4 players, including adults. It moves fast but has enough pitfalls to keep it exciting.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have two different websites. One for the Time Game series books and game:
Another for all my books (including the Time Game series and game):
I’m on Facebook at:

Thank you, D A, for sharing this new game and book series with us. I’m intrigued by it, and I’ll want to get the game for my oldest great-grandson for Christmas. I’ll start him on the first book, too.

Readers, here is a link to the paperback.
Eye of the Storm: The First Token (Time Game Series) (Volume 1)
The book is also available on Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

BISCUITS, BUTTER AND BLESSINGS - Linda Kozar - One Free Book


This 90-day devotional is the third continuation to DaySpring’s bestselling, farmhouse-inspired, Grits to Grace and Sweet Tea for the Soul titles. Sweet servings of inspiration, these down-home devotions are chock-full of Scripture, Godly wisdom, and common-sense country wit. Each devotion begins with a thoughtful or witty title, a Scripture, an inspirational story or thought, a faith-check take-away, and ends with a humorous or thought-provoking tag. Like a hand-stitched and heartfelt gift, these faith-crafted pages will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.

Publisher: DaySpring, RELEASES August 6, 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1684085590
DaySpring has set up the code 5BISCUITS good for $5 off any purchase on DaySpring.com. Good thru 8/31/18.

Dear Readers, Linda Kozar is a dear friend of mine. She actually started the Along Came A Writer BlogTalk radio network. The Lena Nelson Dooley Show is on that network. Linda and I have spent time together a number of times, even though she lives in the Houston are and I’m in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. She writes both fiction and nonfiction. She is one of my most fun friends.

Welcome back, Linda. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?

Ten Things You Never Wanted to Know About Linda Kozar

1. I like to put black olives on my fingers and eat them.
2. In July of 2013, I lost the diamond from my wedding band and prayed without ceasing. The odd thing is--I was incredibly chill about it--calm and confidant that God was taking care of the situation. Within a week, God answered! I found the stone on my kitchen floor of all places. Thought it was a crumb!
3. Waiter, waiter--there's a shoe in my soup! That's right. One Sunday after church, our family went out to eat, and a shoe landed in my soup! A little girl standing next to her family was kicking her leg back and forth and I guess her shoe was a bit loose . . .
4. My personal fingernails-on-the-chalkboard moment? I can't stand the sound of styrofoam rubbing against cardboard--unfortunate for me because almost every electronic item I purchase is packaged that way. 
5. On a canoe trip through the Honey Island Swamp, butterflies, attracted to my botanical shampoo thought my head was a designated landing strip. The top of my head was soon a-flutter with a gorgeous array of the colorful insects. If only I had a picture of my butterfly chapeau!
6. The day I gave my heart to Jesus, I was instantly delivered from nicotine! I never ever craved or smoked another cigarette or had withdrawals. God delivered my soul and took away my addiction to nicotine, and I will be forever grateful to Him.
7. My father was in Oschner Hospital in 1989, dying from a massive heart attack. As if the damage to the heart muscle wasn't enough, he had a leaking heart valve and an aneurism that could instantly end his life. Our family joined hands and prayed the night before his surgery. My brother felt moved by God to pray the prayer of Hezekiah and ask God for another fifteen years. So we did. And after Daddy's surgery, the surgeon pronounced the surgery a success. However, he couldn't figure out why the heart valve was no longer leaking and the aneurism had disappeared! And our father lived fifteen years to the day. The surgery was performed on Valentine's Day, 1989 and he died on Valentine's Day, 2004. God kept His promise and granted us more time with our beloved father.
8. I will tear you up in a game of Rummikubs! But I'm pitiful at Yahtzee, terrible at cards, and okay at Scrabble.
9. My mom has dementia and she's adorable! Wherever we go, whether to the grocery store or mall or on a walk, she spots things on the ground—coins, keychain charms, nails, gemstones, thimbles—you name it! So I keep a memory jar of all her finds. A collection of all the wonderful and quirky items she's amassed over the years. I labeled it "Mom's Little Treasures." Like I said, she's ADORABLE!
10. If I tell you I'm going to pray for you—I mean it. I WILL be praying for you and you WILL see the results of that prayer. My Father in heaven always hears my cries for you and He never fails to answer. If you don't expect a miracle, you'll never ever have one. 

I love the list. Readers, see I told you she was fun. Now, Linda, tell us about your family.
My husband Michael and I have been married for 29 years and we have two daughters. Our oldest, Katie is a psycho-therapist and is married to Dan, the youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Lufkin. Lauren is a social strategist at The Richards Group, an advertising agency in Dallas.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
Yes, Sweet Tea For The Soul (also Dayspring), Babes With A Beatitude (Simon & Schuster), Moving Tales, Doomsday Devotions.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Forget-Me-Not just published Calliope’s Kiss, a historical gothic romance set in New Orleans and it has everything a gothic romance should have. A creepy old mansion. A cemetery. Characters with lots of secrets. Suspense. Murder. More secrets. Romance. And a touch of insanity, of course.

I am presently working on another cozy mystery.

I want to feature the gothic romance on the blog. What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
When I’m not writing I like to paint. Either in oil or acrylic usually. But I sometimes dabble in watercolor, though I’m not very good at it.

Why did you write the featured book?
Dayspring asked me to do a follow-up book to Sweet Tea For The Soul, which is quite popular.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
Hopefully, they will read a daily devotion and go through their day feeling blessed. And maybe they will bake some delicious biscuits from the recipes included in the book, with a generous pat of butter!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
I write my devotions from notes I take during my daily time with the Lord. I open my Bible randomly every morning and read the passages on the open pages. And I am never disappointed. God always gives me something wonderful to work with and ideas to combine with scripture. I take a lot of time writing every devotion and making sure I choose the right scripture to go with what I’ve written. There’s a lot of love put into what I do.

Please give us the first page or two from the book.


  
Where on the Internet can the readers find you?

Thank you, Linda, for sharing this new devotional with me and my blog readers. I know what I’m going to be using for a devotional when it comes.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.
Biscuits, Butter, and Blessings: Farm Fresh Devotions for Hope and Comfort

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

My Next Book Is Up For Pre-order - THE 12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS - A Special giveaway

Dear Readers, I've written quite a few Christmas novellas for Barbour collections, but this is my first full-length Christmas novel.  The publisher is Whitaker House.

Can Malcolm MacGregor, a descendant of Scottish Lairds, capture the heart of Brazilian Italian beauty Alanza Cantalamessa in only 12 days? 

Back cover copy:
Malcolm MacGregor is a descendant of Scotland’s Clan MacGregor and a successful young businessman in Fort Worth, Texas. Alanza Cantalamessa works at a gourmet pizzeria owned by her Brazilian artist mother and her Italian Poppa. Both of them are smitten with each other but Malcolm is too reserved to do much more than make small talk—until a promotion at work that will send him away to Australia for six months. It’s December and he has to do something—fast.
Praying about the situation, Malcolm decides to give her twelve gifts leading up to Christmas. Their families and friends think they are moving too fast. And a gold-digger who tossed Malcolm aside in the past has now decided he’s the man of her dreams.


Can Malcolm and Alanza overcome their obstacles before he has to go abroad? Or is it really not meant to be? 


CHAPTER 1
Wednesday – Fourteen Days Before Christmas
Malcolm MacGregor glanced around the dining room of Cantalamessa’s Gourmet Pizzas and More on Highway 10 in Euless, Texas. Each time he’d eaten here, he’d chosen to sit at an out-of-the-way table, separated from most other patrons. With a major project he had nearing completion, he often worked through the lunch hour, even when he went out to eat. This was the perfect place to do it, and the same table where he’d sat before was free. He took a seat, opened his briefcase, and pulled out his laptop. Soon, he was deep into his work.

It was the third time he’d come here since a coworker told him about this place a couple weeks ago. He’d never been fond of the typical American pizza, with its cheap cheese, watery sauce, and way too many greasy spiced meats. But the pizzas here were works of culinary art. Not too doughy and plenty of healthy options. He’d tried a couple different kinds and each was delicious.

“Hey, welcome back.” It was the same cheerful waiter who had served him before. He handed a menu to Malcolm. “What would you like to drink?”

“Thanks. Dr Pepper, please.”

“Should I call that your usual?”

Malcolm laughed. “Sure. Thanks for remembering.”

“I’ll be right back with it, ready to take your order.”

Malcolm watched him walk away, then turned to the all-important file on his screen. In one worksheet, the figures weren’t adding up. He had to find the discrepancy, so he could move forward.

Malcolm’s employer provided specialized equipment for hospitals and medical centers throughout the United States. They recently launched a new division with a charitable outreach arm. Malcolm was keenly aware of its importance—not for himself, but for the patients it would serve. His employer was setting up mobile medical clinics in rural areas, walking the fine line between making enough profit to ensure they stayed open and keeping fees low enough that patients could afford them, even if they had a high-deductible health insurance plan, or no coverage at all. He was also putting together grant proposals to help those with the greatest needs.

Not much time passed before the waiter returned with the soft drink. Malcolm looked up from his laptop.

“What can I get you today? I know you like Dr Pepper, but I think you’ve ordered different pizzas each time you were here.”

Malcolm smiled and glanced at the waiter’s nametag. Ignazio. He appreciated waiters who remembered customers and their preferences. “I’d like to go off-menu today and get a pizza with spinach, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and basil.”

Ignazio made notes on his pad. “That sounds good. Maybe we should put this on the menu. Would you like anything else on it? Maybe extra mozzarella?”

“Sure.”

As the young man headed toward the kitchen, Malcolm went back to his work. He had to make sure the figures were correct. He started going through the columns with a fine-tooth comb. When the error finally jumped out at him, he wanted to shout yay. Probably not the place to do that. There were quite a few patrons here, even though he waited until after 1 p.m., trying to miss the lunch crowd. Cantalamessa’s was probably packed from noon to 1 p.m., like many restaurants. Even when he arrived past the regular lunch hour, there was always a nice-sized crowd here.

“Here you are.” Ignazio set the enticing concoction in front of him.

“Thank you. This smells delicious.”

“Careful, the pan is hot.”

“That’s what makes it so good. Coming straight from the oven to the table.”

As Ignazio walked away, Malcolm closed his eyes and said a silent prayer of thanks.

When he raised his head, he noticed the beautiful young woman who usually ran the cash register. Alanza, her nametag said. He couldn’t be the only one who noticed how gorgeous she was. But Malcolm he always looked beneath a woman’s surface beauty. Alanza’s eyes seemed to be windows to her heart. At first, he was fascinated by the unusual green in her irises. They were the color of budding tree leaves in early spring.

His best friend, Eric Summerfield, had dated a lot of different girls and women—in high school, college, graduate school, and even now. Dating was just a thing for him. He never seemed to be serious about anyone. Malcolm wondered if Eric would ever settle down with just one woman. He knew if Eric ever saw Alanza, all he would see was her lovely figure. Not her inner self.

She was tall, probably near six feet. She seemed confident, but in a gentle, easy way. Happiness and joy flowed around her, drawing other people to her. He’d watched her interact with customers in a way that let him know she really cared about people. He’d even seen her helping the busboys and waiters.

 Malcolm forced his attention back to his files while he savored his pizza. Ignazio came and went, bringing him refills of Dr Pepper when his glass was empty. When all of his work was finally in order, Malcolm happily clicked the save button. The project was finished. He closed his computer and slipped it into his briefcase.

When he glanced up, Malcolm’s gaze was drawn to Alanza. He hadn’t dated a lot because he had asked God to direct him to the woman He’d prepared to be his wife. Ever since he first laid eyes on Alanza, he wondered if she could be the one.

An older man came out of the kitchen area and hugged her.

“Poppa! You’re back.” She threw her arms around his neck.

Malcolm noticed some similarities between them. Was she the owner’s daughter? If so, he needed to pay more attention to them. If she was the woman God had for him, Malcolm would be speaking to her father one day—hopefully soon—to ask for her hand in marriage. Malcolm wouldn’t even date a woman without her father’s permission. His family was very traditional.

For the rest of his meal, he watched Alanza and her father’s every move. The older man made the rounds of the restaurant, stopping and leisurely talking to the customers as if they were old friends. No wonder this restaurant had such a loyal clientele.

Malcolm didn’t wait for Alanza’s father to reach him. He wanted to get back to the office and felt he’d wasted enough time already. Not wasted. Watching the lovely Alanza sped up his heartbeat more than his workouts did. He’d never experienced that feeling before.

When he went to the register, Alanza was talking to another worker. Malcolm leaned against the counter beside the cash register and waited. The man gave Alanza a slight nod and left for the kitchen.

She quickly turned toward Malcolm. When their eyes met, everything around them seemed to fade away. Alanza looked as surprised as he felt. For a moment or two, he couldn’t remember why he was there. Finally, he took a deep breath, and the connection was broken. He pulled a credit card from his wallet and slid it across the counter toward her, along with his bill.

“Was everything all right…” She lifted his card and glanced at his name. “…Mr. MacGregor? You’ve been in here a couple of times recently, I think. I guess you liked it, uh…” An attractive blush tinted her cheeks and her green eyes sparkled like a forest after rainfall.

“Call me Malcolm. Yes. I love your pizzas. Maybe I’ll try some pasta next time.”

She handed him a receipt to sign.

When he finished, he glanced up at her and caught her eyes roaming over his face and upper body. The blush deepened and seeped to her hairline. She was even more beautiful up close.

“Now that you know my name, may I ask your name?”

Her eyes widened. The pulse at the base of her neck started beating double-time. “Alanza Cantalamessa.” Her answer was so soft, he almost missed it.

“So, you’re the owner’s daughter?” He raised an eyebrow.

She gave an expansive gesture taking in almost all of the workers. “Many people who work here are members of my extended family. Ignazio is my cousin. My parents own Cantalamessa’s.”

Malcolm smiled and pushed his wallet into the hip pocket of his suit pants. “I’m really glad a friend told me about this place.” He didn’t take his eyes off her face while he made a declaration. “And I’ll be back soon.”

Did her smile grow even wider? Sure looked that way.

On the trip to the office, his Beemer was almost on autopilot. His thoughts kept returning to Cantalamessa’s and the beautiful Alanza.

*****

Alanza’s gaze followed Malcolm MacGregor as he strode to the front door. Before he opened it, he glanced back at her one more time and gave her a broad smile. Holy cow, he’s so handsome! Why is my heart almost jumping out of my chest?

All afternoon, she kept thinking about him. He was tall, with the thick, wavy auburn hair and eyes the color of a Texas summer sky. He had to be a businessman, with his sharp-looking suits and laptop. Why did he come to the restaurant alone? Most businessmen came in groups, or at least with a lunch date or a friend.

She didn’t see a ring on his left hand. And there wasn’t a white line where one would be if he’d worn a wedding ring out in the sun but had taken it off. Could he possibly be single? Her heart beat faster and she took a deep breath to try to calm down.

What difference would it make anyway? Poppa always said he hoped she’d marry a good, Christian Italian man. Of course, Poppa didn’t marry a good, Christian Italian. Mamma was a strong Christian, but they met in Brazil when he visited Buenos Aires for spring break during his senior year at college. He laughingly called her his “Girl from Ipanema.” He thought of that song when he first saw her. She was almost six feet tall and had a glorious tan from spending time at the beach.

Alanza was like that, too. She never got sunburned. Her skin just darkened.

Mamma was only nineteen when she stole Poppa’s heart. Alanza had heard the stories many times. How Mamma had been heartbroken when Poppa returned to the United States. How she prayed he’d return to her, even though they’d spent less than a week together. How surprised she was when only a month later, she’d watched him walk along the beach at sunset…right toward her. Grandpapa would never let Mamma go to America with a man he hardly knew. So Poppa had to stay until Grandpapa would let her go. They were both stubborn men... but Grandpapa quickly realized just how much Mamma and Poppa loved each other. And the two men made sure the families got together at least once a year—either in Brazil or in the U.S.

And here Alanza was, three years out of college, and she’d never had the heart-stopping kind of experience her parents talked about. Until now.

Whatever happened when she saw and talked to Malcolm MacGregor was strong. She had experienced all kinds of visceral reactions. Breathlessness. Rapid heartbeat. Hummingbirds flitting around her insides, their wings beating right in time with her racing pulse.

Poppa had always talked about her and her siblings marrying other Italians. He would probably have a cow if he knew what she was thinking. With a name like MacGregor, he had to be Scottish. There were lots of miles between Scotland and Italy.

“Alanza.”

She jumped.

Her mother’s voice penetrated her tumultuous thoughts. “A line is forming. Do you need help?”

“No, ma’am.”

Giving herself a mental shake, she turned back toward the cash register. Four regular customers stood ready to pay their bills.

“How was everything today, ladies?”

Here is the pre-order buy link: 


Be one of the first to read this new contemporary romance. If you pre-order, the book will be downloaded into your Kindle the day of release. If you don't have a Kindle, you can read it on  free Kindle for PC, Kindle for Andriod, or Kindle for iPhone.

Because the book won't be available when the winners are announced, I'm giving away a code for a free copy of my audio book, A Heart's Gift, to one of the people who leave comments on this post.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, August 06, 2018

COLD CASE COVER-UP - Virginia Vaughan - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I loved reading Cold Case Cover-up. Romantic suspense is a favorite genre of mine. The setting is one where I’ve never visited. Virginia took me straight into the setting, then peopled the story with interesting characters and kept me guessing to the very end. A very satisfying read.

Welcome back, Virginia. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I am blessed to be able to write inspirational romantic suspense because that’s also what I love to read! I’m been a fan of the mix of romance and danger since I was a young girl and discovered gothic romance writers like Phyllis A. Whitney or Willo Davis Roberts. As the genre grew more and more steamy, I was fortunate to stumble across inspirational fiction that fit my reading preference. So, when I published my first suspense with Love Inspired Suspense, I was one happy lady.

I also loved books by Phyllis A. Whitney, but I haven’t heard of the other author. I’ll have to look her up. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
That’s easy but I would have to pick two days…the days I became Momma to each of my sons. They’re no longer babies, grown—can 25 still be considered grown?—but they each blessed my life in ways I could never imagine.

I’m sure many people consider 25 grown, but although my daughters are in their early 50s, they’re still my babies. How has being published changed your life?
Ironically, it has given me much less time to write! When I was published, I could come home after the day job, take care of the kids, then spend as much time as I liked diving into whatever story I wanted. Now that I’m published, I have to deal with deadlines and proposals as well as the business side of writing that no one ever tells you about—marketing.

What are you reading right now?
I have several books on my To-Be-Read pile right now including Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris, Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman, and If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock. I recently finished Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan, Convenient Lies by Robin Patchen, Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason, and Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley.

Those are all favorite authors of mine, too. What is your current work in progress?
Currently, I’m working on the third book in my Covert Operatives series for Love Inspired Suspense. I just received the approved proposal back from my editor so the story is still new and fresh in my mind. I just finished writing a story for a romantic suspense collection with five other authors titled Exposed that goes live August 3rd.

I’d love to feature both the LI book and Exposed on my blog, too. What would be your dream vacation?
Unfortunately, the summer got away from me this year and I didn’t have time to plan a vacation, but we took a trip to the mountains last summer and I loved the beautiful scenery. I would go back there every year if I could.

I love mountains, too. I grew up in the Ozark mountains in Arkansas. How do you choose your settings for each book?
I love the small-town, southern-life feel and, luckily for me, those are easy to come by in my home state of Mississippi. Although I live just outside the capitol city, it can hardly be called a bustling metropolis. That laid-back, easy-going, small town aura is available to me for inspiration just by stepping out my front door.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
That would be a difficult decision. I suppose I would choose someone like Beth Moore or Christine Caine. In our culture of everyone demanding their right to do whatever they please, these two—and countless others like them—understand that we women need to be empowered spiritually before we can make a difference in the world. I pray my own writing touches someone’s life similarly.

Wow! We are alike in so many ways. I love teachings by Beth Moore, and Christine Caine is often a speaker at the women’s conferences at our church. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I’m raising two little boys again so these days, I spend a lot of my free time on the playground, playing with Legos, or listening/watching such shows as Power Rangers, Pokémon, and Minecraft. When I can find some adult time alone, you’ll usually find me curled up with a good book, sneaking out for a movie, or marathoning a series on Netflix.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Finding time to write and procrastination are my biggest obstacles. Deadlines help because in my on-the-go life, only the things on the top of my priority list generally get addressed. Having a deadline helps me keep my writing at the top of my priority list.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read, read, read, read.
Did I mention reading?
Know what genre you are targeting and read heavily in that market. To me, this is an invaluable step to getting published.

Tell us about the featured book.
Cold Case Cover-Up is the first book in my new series Covert Operatives. An infant is believed to have been murdered thirty years ago—but investigative journalist Dana Lang is convinced she’s that baby. Now someone’s willing to kill to stop her investigation. And only secretive deputy Quinn Dawson, whose grandfather may have faked Dana’s death to protect her, can keep her safe. But a killer’s dead set on burying the past—and them—for good.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Someone was watching her.

The hairs on her neck prickled a warning. Dana Lang glanced around the coffee shop but saw no one looking her way or appearing fixated on her. Still, her instincts were never wrong. As a television investigative journalist, she was used to people recognizing her, but this felt different.

She tried to shake off the feeling and tell herself she was being silly. No one in this sleepy little town of West Bend, Mississippi knew her. She glanced at the television mounted to the wall while she …

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thanks for hosting me, Lena! I love to connect with readers! If you love stories where romance intersects danger and faith, subscribe to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dtFeVP or check out my website www.virginiavaughanonline.com

I can also be found on social media. Here are my links –

Thank you, Virginia, for sharing this new book with me and my readers. I know they’ll love the book as much as I did.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Cold Case Cover-Up Cold Case Cover-Up (Covert Operatives) - Paperback
Cold Case Cover-Up (Covert Operatives) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. A print book if the winner is in the US, an ebook if the winner is outside the US. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: