About Me

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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Londonderry Dreaming--a Passport to Romance novella by Christine Lindsay




Acclaimed New York artist, Naomi Boyd, and music therapist, Keith Wilson, loved one another five years ago, until her grandfather with his influence over Naomi separated them. 

That root of bitterness keeps them apart until a letter from Keith’s grandmother, Ruth, draws Naomi to Londonderry to find she’s too late. Ruth has passed on. After the death of his beloved grandmother, Keith has also come to Londonderry only to open the door to his past…Naomi...beautiful as ever, the girl who broke his heart.

A mysterious painting in Ruth’s attic brings up questions about their grandparents’ entwined past and their own broken romance. But more comfortable with the unspoken languages of art and music, Naomi and Keith find it difficult to share their old hurts and true feelings.

Will the majestic coastline of Northern Ireland inspire them to speak the words to bring peace to their grandparents’ memory and to rekindle love?

Excerpt:

Blowing wind and the keening of puffins and other seabirds were the only sounds.
At the bottom of the cliff the ground grew rough where the inlet opened up. Forty thousand, interlocking, basalt columns—the result of ancient volcanic eruptions—stood up from the crashing sea. A handful of tourists scampered from column to column that in all created a small hill.  
He had eyes only for Naomi, standing with her hands tucked into her jacket pockets, her slender shape in faded jeans, her blond, chin-length hair kissing her cheeks. Without a word, he took her hand to help her climb over the columns to stand on one of the highest and closest to the ocean. Waves spewed upward as the surf surged and swirled around the causeway, and she released his hand to grab hold of him around the waist.
Laughter rippled from her as each wave hissed and lapped at the column.
“You remember the legend?” He wrapped his arms around her, clasping his hands at her back to hold her close. 
“About Finn McCool’s fight with the Scottish giant across the sea who hurled an insult at the great Irish warrior?”
“Yeah, that’s the guy. Good old Finn McCool. Then the two giants picked up pieces of rock and started to pelt each other with great hunks of land. Thereby creating this fine piece of landscape we’re standing on. Nothing at all to do with any geological phenomenon.”
She laughed up at him, setting his heart to swell. “No of course not.”
He drew her closer so that his chin grazed her cheek, his voice going husky. He was going to take this moment no matter what. “Who cares about logical, scientific explanations when there’s a romantic legend instead?”
Her hands at the base of his spine opened up and flattened against his back. “There are times when logic should simply be ignored,” she whispered while lowering her lashes. Her eyes fluttered open. “Don’t you think?”
If he moved, lowered his head two inches, their lips would touch. This was what he wanted with all his heart. What he’d anticipated. She stood warm in his arms, her face lifted to his. Just like five years ago. “Do you remember the last time we stood together on this coast?”
“Yes.” Her sea-gray eyes grew wide, her mouth tremulous.
Barely able to breathe, he pulled her closer and bent his head to brush his lips across hers.
At the meeting of their mouths, all thought left him. His heart drummed in rhythm to the pulsing sea around them as her lips moved with his. Though his feet were firmly planted on the column, he felt it as he and Naomi swayed. He caught her closer still, bracing their weight with his stance. A tingle ran along his spine as her hands moved upward along his back, pulling him deeper into her embrace.   
Her breath hitched, uneven, like his. A small sigh escaped her when they parted for only a moment. They came together, and he kissed her again, longer, slower.
At last they stood apart, her hands grasping his forearms that held her from him, supporting her. He slowly exhaled, and sunlight danced inside him at the euphoria awash on her face. Her lips parted, her eyes half closed, she swayed again, and he wanted to scoop her up into his arms and lay her down somewhere soft, warm and cozy, and never let her go.
It seemed forever before she spoke. With a little swallow she smiled up at him. “I always did lose my mind when you kissed me.”
His hands moved up her arms to cup her shoulders. “That goes two ways.”
She cleared the huskiness from her throat, but remained quiet. Nor did he feel the desire to talk. At this moment they didn’t need words. If only they could just keep on communicating in this language.


www.christinelindsay.com 

ABOUT CHRISTINE LINDSAY
Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship. 

It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her Multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj. Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.

Christine makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books. 

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE:
Please drop by Christine’s blog site www.christinelindsay.org or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest and Facebook and Goodreads


PURCHASE LINK FOR

Friday, 14 February 2014

From the Ashes by Clare Saunders



Fleeing a secret that changed her life forever, Judith Robertson decides she can live in the little cabin in the woods that she inherited from her grandfather. The big barn and the quaint little church just add to the allure of the four hundred acres of her new home. Within minutes of her decision, Reverend Washington asks to use her church building, and Jacob Fraser wants to cut a deal to timber the woods Judith now owns. But arsonists are burning African-American churches and threatening anyone who dares to intervene. Judith loans her church to the recently burned out members of the All Faith Community Church, which brings troubles beyond anything she ever imagined. And Jacob Fraser is everywhere, causing a heart she'd thought was stone cold dead to flutter with emotions she had lost a long time ago. But Jacob has secrets, too.  Can two heartbroken people gain the courage to challenge the status quo and accept the Lord's blessings? 




Author bio:
After many years of writing and publishing in the nonfiction world of academia, Claire turned her energy, humor and creativity towards the production of compelling romantic fiction. Claire writes captivating stories that fit the genres of contemporary, historical, and inspirational romance. Claire creates heroes any woman would want to be with and heroines who overcome all obstacles to find love. Written with wit and tenderness, her stories engage the readers’ hearts and imaginations. Readers will find themselves anxiously turning the pages to find out what happens next. Claire lives in the greater Houston area with her daughter and one well-loved dog. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her cooking, gardening, and dreaming of places to travel.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Bogota Blessings by EA West



Blurb

When Kayla Shaw travels to Bogotá to help renovate a house for a mission to street children, nothing can prepare her for the ever-present mission employee Mateo Luis. He looks like he could be one of the rebels who have caused so much fear throughout Colombia. Then she begins to see him with her heart instead of only her eyes.

Mateo Luis Gómez Días has dedicated his life to the mission, and he's determined to help as many street children as he can. Unfortunately, he can't keep his thoughts off the beautiful American helping renovate the new children's home. Although he would love to have a relationship with Kayla, his past and the bad neighborhood God has called him to serve in prevent him from pursuing her.

Has God truly led Kayla and Mateo to each other, or does He have something else in mind for their lives?

Excerpt

He stepped outside and gazed at the clear blue sky framed by stucco and brick buildings in various states of repair. A group of children played fútbol down the dusty block, their clothing ragged and their faces dirty. His heart went out to them. He had been like them once, one of los desechables—the disposables—impoverished and starving, barely surviving his life on the streets spending much of his time looking for ways to get food or money. Then he had been taken by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, and his life had become a waking nightmare. Those years before he’d been left for dead were the reason he worked so hard to keep the street children out of the hands of the FARC.

Mateo drew in a deep breath of cool air to clear his mind of the memories of his teen years. The FARC was in his past, and God had forgiven him for the things he had been forced to do. What mattered now was helping to insure the street children of Bogotá were given the best opportunity to survive and possibly, by some miracle, even thrive.

He headed toward the group playing fútbol, regulars at the mission. They grinned and ran toward him, their game forgotten. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of hard candy in distinctive green wrappers with yellow letters.

“Is this what you’re hoping for?” Mateo said, showing them the coconut-flavored sweet he carried everywhere.

“Please, Mateo, may we have a piece?” one of the boys asked.

“I have enough for all of you.” He passed out the candy, then unwrapped one and popped it in his mouth. The sweet coconut flavor took him back to the first time he had entered the mission as a seventeen-year-old on crutches, barely healed from a surgery that saved as much of his left leg as possible. Maria had welcomed him warmly and given him a piece of the coconut candy to keep him occupied while he waited for Carlos to arrive.

A tug on his sleeve brought Mateo back to the present, and he looked down to find Claudia standing beside him, her hopeful brown eyes peering out of a dirt-smudged face. The six-year-old was one of his favorite regulars at the mission, and her sweet smile had melted the heart of more than one volunteer.

He pulled out two pieces of candy and handed them to her. “Here you go, Claudia. I haven’t forgotten you. There is one for your brother as well.”

“Thank you, Mateo,” she said with a shy smile.

Then she darted away, presumably to find her nine-year-old brother, Juan Miguel. The two children claimed to live with relatives, whose supposed relationship to them changed with great regularity, but no one from the mission had ever seen evidence of an adult presence in their lives.


The fútbol game resumed, and Mateo headed for the parking lot behind the mission. He would love to save every needy child, with or without family, but it was an impossible dream. The best he could do was brighten their lives with a little candy now and then, share the love of Christ with them, and help however many children he could. If by doing that he kept even one desperate youngster from voluntarily joining the FARC for the promise of three meals a day and two sets of clothing, he would consider it worth the heartbreak of seeing so many kids suffer in extreme poverty.


About the Author

E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West and learn more about her books in the following places:

Blog: http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com
Website: http://eawest.mcphitty.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/EA-West/34280264617
Twitter: http://twitter.com/eawest
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/eawest
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/eawest

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The 10 Commandments of Writing



We've all heard of the Ten Commandments - and no doubt seen several versions of it on the TV. 
So a bunch of us authors thought it might be fun to jot down our dos and don't's for writing. If you like our 10 Commandments of writing.





Here are mine. Gratuitous pic of me just in case you didn't know what I look like.


1 Thou shalt not write on a Sunday

- this doesn't work for everyone. Some authors I know write masses on a Sunday. But for me it doesn't. Writing is my work and Sunday's are for God and family and not work. If the muse strikes, I jot down brief notes and deal with it on the Monday.

2 Thou shalt hand write every thing first

I find I can't write any other way - but that's just me. Then as I type it up it gets edited into the second draft. I find the story flows much better that way

3 Only write what you feel comfortable with

Does this need explaining? No. If you don't want to write the scene, no one is going to want to read it because it will be cold and clinical and boring. Yes, in my case I mean sex. None of my books contain it cos no one is married. And in the odd one or two where they are, nothing like that happens. Why? Cos my 14 yr old daughter reads my stuff. And a good story (Christian story) doesn't need a sex scene thrown in for the sake of it.

No, I'm not having a go at people that write sex. It's just not for me.

So the Thous's didn't last LOL. I didn't think they would do.

4 Fade to Black

Yes, I touched on this above Sometimes, yes, we need to come out of our comfort zones, write about stuff that we wouldn't normally, in which case, let that event happen 'off camera' and deal with the aftermath.
Having said that I have scenes where people die - Wednesday's Child has a massacre detailed, but its not pointless violence. It's needed. In fact, I only referenced to the scene (in the initial copy my editor saw) in flash backs. Wednesday's Child started in the cafe where Liam met Jacqui. My editor insisted I wrote the scene where Sally - Liam's wife is murdered - and put it in, because it makes Liam the man he is.

Is that really only 4. Hmmmm. Time to put the kettle on. It helps. So does a picture :)




5 Planning v Winging it

I do both. I prefer just to write and see what happens, but most of my books now are being contracted on the synopsis. Which means certain stuff has to happen. As it's planned to.

Yeah, umm, anyway, sometimes it works.

Both systems work just fine. Don't let anyone tell you how to write. The important thing is the story gets from your head onto paper. Whether that's planning or winging it or typing or computering or handwriting.

6 Don't worry if the characters run away with the plot. Or hijack it

Mine do frequently. Take Detective Sgt Nate Holmes. He'd popped up in several stories before he got his own in Tuesday's Child. He starts off an ordinary bloke. Cop, single parent to his niece, partner to Dane. Runs a self defence class. Winds his boss up. Has a stupid sense of humour.

(No blogger, defence is not spelled incorrectly. Nor is humour. I'm using English tyvm!!)

Anyway, about half way through the book, Nate decides he's an Earl in waiting.

I'm like: Hold on a minute. Have you any idea what that's gonna mean to my carefully written out plot???
Nate: Yup. It means that right now I'm a Sir and when something happens to my father, hopefully not for many years to come, I'll gain his title. And become an Earl... You're English, you know what that means.
Me: I didn't mean that
Nate: So what's the problem?
Me: I have to rewrite huge chunks of this story now
Nate: smirks in that really annoying way he has that winds up his boss something chronic. Makes a really bad joke that annoys his partner intensely and just swings back and forth on his chair.
Me: Fine. but you're the one that's gonna have to deal with the fall out
Nate: (Freezes mid swing on chair) What do you mean?
Me: I ain't telling Adeline. At all. She's gonna find out the hard way and then you're gonna pay. In spades.
Nate: Whaaaaattttttttttt?
Me: smirks.

See told you the tea would help. Or was it the hot cross bun? Or maybe its the fact its stupid o'clock and I'm sat here letting the muse write the blog post. (That's 2am btw or was when I started this. It's now 2.39am)





7 Write what you know

Think about it. It makes sense. And its much easier.

All my books, well most of them, are set in places where I live or have visited. And Dad is always noticing the little things. Like the couple that hold hands in church. And the orchestra. And the quirks that someone may or may not have. And the bridge - see above - which incidentally is really in Scotland and not several hundred miles further south in Berkshire.

And no Pastor Jack is not Pastor of my church. OK?

Just because the church in Headley Cross is based on the one I go to...

And here's Tilly, come to see what's going on. Have you met Tilly? She's my daughter's kitten and pretty cute. Gratuitous Tilly picture - She likes helping me write....


                          



8 Research is your friend

And it's FUN. Sunday's Child is based around the RNLI. I knew some stuff, could get it off the internet, but nothing compares to actually contacting a lifeboat station and asking to go visit. Red Watch from Hayling Island RNLI were more than kind and spent ages answering questions. See below. Plus it made a great day out for the kids.




And shoot people an email. Ask questions. If they don't want to answer, they wont' reply. But I've contacted the CPS, the Panama Canal. Twitter is great. A firefighter and police officer both answered questions and did a tech edit of scenes for me.

Because accuracy matters. A firefighter will only leap through a window into a burning room on TV. In reality they check the floor is still there first. They will check a door for heat before opening it. You want people to believe what you write, then spend a few minutes checking the facts.

9 Show not tell

Not only is it more words, it makes the scene more believable and helps your reader picture it.
eg
Draft one.

Luke walked into the room, face as black as thunder, and sat on the couch.

ok, that gets the point across. You know he's in a bad mood because I told you. Now read this:

The door flung open, bringing the conversation to an abrupt halt. Luke stormed in, his jaw clenched and his lips set in a tight line.

The anger filling him made Sara shiver. What now? “Problems?”

“In a word, yes.” Luke’s voice was curt and taut. He sat beside her and picked up his coffee, his fingers tightening on the handle.

“Can I do anything?”

“No. It’s work related.” He took a mouthful of his coffee.

See the difference?

10 Have FUN

Not sure why this is the last because it should be the first. If you're not having fun in what you write, its not going to be fun to read. Not everyone is going to like what you write. Because everyone has different tastes in books. I know that. I also know I'm not going to win awards for my books. Or become rich. Or famous.

But I do what I do because I love it. It's fun. And if I don't write I go stir crazy.


You can find the other participating blogs here.

Delia Latham on Write Right!  
Jayna Morrow on JaynaMorrow.com    

Brooksie on Groovie Brooksie 


Linda Yezak at 777 Peppermint Place - posting Thursday

Julia M.Toto

Therese Travis at Paperfaces

Pam Thibodeaux


And finally, when all else fails remember this:


And now it's 3am. Time for one more cup of tea and break out the notebook to start writing a new book for an hour before going back to bed. Having finished two this week, I'm going to start another. Deadlines are such fun. Seriously. If I didn't like this I wouldn't be doing it.

Live long and prosper - Deut 5:33. Seriously. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Betrayed by Lillian Duncan


BETRAYED by Lillian Duncan

BACK COVER:
Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules--every rule. She's given up everything--her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future.
Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.
When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she's wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one...and that's her first mistake.

 BIO:
Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net.  She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com

Amazon link:  http://buff.ly/1cdlbkX

PELICAN LINK: http://buff.ly/1cdnEM1  (publisher)
SPECIAL NOTE FOR BLOG:

To celebrate the release of BETRAYED, I’m giving away a virtual gift basket at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. The virtual gift basket includes e-copies of all my books. Along with the books, a $25 Amazon gift card is included. To enter the contest, simply hop on over to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com, leave a comment on the post titled CELEBRATION! Winner will be chosen and announced on February 14.