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, 20 June 2014

Harte's Peak by Maria Michaels



Blurb:
Vera Carrington loves her newly renovated home and her cafe, The Bean, but with a balloon mortgage looming over head and a man from her past ready to bounce on her misfortune, she may have to face the agonizing decision of keeping one and selling the other.
Deputy Sheriff, Ryan Colton, is a new man in Christ. His days as a flamboyant pro-circuit skier are behind him, but to help Vera keep her home and her business, he agrees to coach her for an upcoming open ski tournament. He even agrees to hand over the purse if he should win.
Can Vera beat the odds and win the tournament? Will Ryan save the day, or will they both learn to trust God, no matter the outcome?

Extract:
“Hey, Vera. Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” Ryan had his flashlight out but avoided shining it in her eyes.
“I’m sorry about that. Hit the snooze too many times. I overslept.”
He took out his ticket pad, expertly balancing his flashlight. “I know what that’s like.”
“I’m not a morning person and I would assign the shift to Annie, but I can’t afford the payroll right now.” Maybe with his newfound religion, Ryan might have a little compassion for a hard working girl.
“Especially with Maggie on maternity leave. You know, Jack’s wife?”
“You wouldn’t be trying to talk me out of writing this ticket, would you?” He was clean cut now, having shaved off his beard a few months ago, though it didn’t take away from his rugged good looks. He’d always been difficult to ignore and now he was so darned nice.
“Who, me?” Vera tossed her hair back and hoped she wasn’t too obvious. Ryan was not as gullible as the younger officers.
“Because I do recall the last time I let you go I reminded you it would be the last time.” He flashed that disarming and cocky grin.
Stop it; stop smiling at me like that. “I do remember that.” She tried not to melt under his penetrating stare. His expressive brown eyes had a way of untangling her frayed nerves

My Review:
A gripping read. And when I say I read this in one sitting, I'm serious. All 204 pages of it. I read way past my bedtime. This book made me grin and chuckle. Vera loves speeding, but she doesn't like the speeding fines and tries to talk her way out of them. That doesn't work this time with Ryan, who happens to be one of the best looking cops in the small town she lives in. They have a past, but once he got religion he stopped asking her out. Which was probably just as well, as Vera knows he would want nothing to do with her if he knew the truth.

Tackling the issue of falling behind on the mortgage and foreclosure, this book pulls no punches. It also has plenty of action on the ski slopes as well as twists and turns that I didn't see coming.

Buy links:

Character interview:
1.      Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?

My name is Vera Carrington and I own the charming little café on Main Street, The Bean.

2.      Tell us about where you live and why you choose to live there?

I live in the Sierra Mountains – Harte’s Peak. I landed here several years ago after a difficult time – and I stay here because of the people.

3.      What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn't know?

I love Christmas lights, even in July. Sue me.

4.      Name two things would you hate people to know about you?

I love to break the speed limit, a habit I’m trying to break. I also wish people didn’t know how much I hate the gym, but around here it’s hard to keep a secret.

5. Tell us about your special bloke. What makes him special? 

I could say it’s his brown eyes, which remind me of melted chocolate, or maybe his smile- a cross between a Boy Scout and Dennis the Menace – but it’s really Ryan’s heart that makes him special to me.
I would tell you more about his heart, but that might embarrass him. Let’s just say that he knows how to love.

6. The first time you saw him, what did you think? Did you like him immediately, or did he have to grow on you?

The first time I saw Ryan, he’d stopped traffic to help a little boy catch his dog. I did not like him because he made me late for work, but secretly I thought it was sweet. It doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes.

7. What would he hate people to know about her?

He will watch girly movies with me.

8. What is your favorite thing to eat and drink?

Red velvet cake (Ryan’s favorite) and milk

9. If you had to fight, what would be your weapon of choice and why?

It would be a knife, because I know my way around the kitchen.

10. Pepsi or coke

Coke

11. tea or coffee

Coffee

12. elephant or tiger

Tiger

13. roast dinner or burger and chips (fries for our US readers)

Burger and fries

14. classical music or pop

Pop

15. sunrise or sunset

Sunset (Ryan can tell you why)

16. walk or run

Walk – I don’t run unless there is someone chasing me. (see #4)

17. chocolate or crisps (chips for our US readers)


Chocolate – I’m a woman.



Bio
When early onset stage fright dashed dreams of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status, Maria Michaels tackled her first book in 2010, and now the people and voices that occupy her head refuse to leave.
She no longer sings unless you count randomly bursting into song to annoy her children (and the dogs).

Maria lives in northern California with her family, including two beagles, one who can say ‘hello’ and the other who can feel a pea through several pillows. 

Precious Embrace by Donna B Snow


Blurb:
Laura Senton has found peace and happiness, knowing she’s right where she belongs, running her own kitchen at A Piece of Heaven, a Christian coffee house in Pingree, MD. Being partners with her dear friend, Trina, she has carved out a niche and counts her blessings daily for being able to do something she loves doing. When the sins of her past are brought to mind by the appearance of Sean Laylor, her teenage crush, Laura tries to hide from Sean, as well as her own feelings.

At first not recognizing Laura because she changed so much, Sean is at a loss as to why she tries to avoid him. He has no idea of what Laura went through years ago, or how she felt toward him, but he still feels a share of the guilt for her past once he learns  some of the choices she made.

Both covet the memories of their time together, but sins of the past can be a tough hurdle to get over.

Extract:
Trina’s voice carried in over the sounds of the crowd.

Laura set four salads onto the tray to fill the next order while she hummed along with the song. She loved this version. How amazing God’s grace really was. Not even a year since they opened the doors to A Piece of Heaven and already they were talking about expansion. Well, Jared was talking about expansion, probably because he would be doing the construction. But Trina, as usual, was dragging her feet. Getting that girl to commit to change was about as quick as tapping sap from a maple tree.

And Laura knew just how quick that was. After growing up in Vermont with forty maple trees to tap, she had learned patience when she was young, patience she had needed as she grew up.

Lise swept into the kitchen next and grabbed her dressings out of the fridge. “Can I have the bowl of chowder now, please? They want it with their salad.”

“How are you holding up tonight?” Laura asked as she ladled chowder into a bowl and turned to set it on the tray, placing a sprig of parsley on top and a crust of bread beside it.

Lise had only been with them for a few weeks and this was definitely a trial by fire.

“I’m OK,” she answered. “I’ve seen worse. The last place I worked was like this almost all the time, but I had to dodge grabbing hands while I delivered meals. That was the worst.” She laughed as she lifted the tray and headed for the door. “So, as long as I don’t have to worry about that part, I can handle busy, no sweat. Plus it’s not like this all the time, so—piece of cake.”

“No, silly. A Piece of Heaven,” she said and laughed.

My Review:
As Ms. Snow once again opens the doors of A Piece of Heaven she gives us another glimpse of life in a small town where everyone knows everyone and what everyone is doing. But when Sean walks back in he doesn't immediately recognise Laura who has changed over the years. But she knows him, and knows that she's changed more than he realises. After he left, in her mind spurning her all those years ago, she fell into a downward spiral from which she thought there was no recovery.

A wonderful read, this one kept me gripped to the pages wanting to know what happens next. A lovely example of how God keeps us all in His care and how second chances are never beyond our reach.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Moon over Maalaea Bay by H.L. Wegley





Blurb:
In an instant the Maui honeymoon of Lee's dreams morphs to a nightmare when Jennifer disappears on their wedding night. Were the abductors the trafficking ring Jennifer crippled or does an even a more sinister organization want her for other purposes.
With the clock ticking toward Jennifer's impending sale, Lee, accompanied by their fifteen-year-old foster daughter, Katie, and Jennifer's grandfather, begins his own search of the island. As the search by Lee and the authorities intensifies, he fears beautiful Katie might end up in the crosshairs of the traffickers.

Can Lee save both his bride and his future daughter? What if he has to make a choice? If Jennifer is sold, could she kill herself to avoid a life filled with degradation and horror? If she did, would God forgive her?

Extract:
In light of recent events, she should be dead. Jennifer Akihara should no longer exist.
And now she doesn’t.
The thought brought a smile to her lips.
Nearly nine hours ago, in another world three thousand miles away, Jennifer Akihara became Mrs. Lee Brandt. “Jennifer Brandt,” she whispered. It sounded right. It was right. And the dangers that nearly prevented her from taking Lee’s name were gone, either locked away in a federal prison or dead.
Spending her wedding night with Lee in a tropical paradise would be the perfect start to their life as man and wife. But the perfect start had been delayed.
In the fading twilight, under a purple sky, Jennifer glanced up at Lee’s brilliant, blue eyes as he walked beside her in his cargo shorts and muscle shirt, looking—she hated clichés, but there was simply no other word for him—hot. Tonight, on this island, extremely hot. And the warm, humid trade winds, which caressed her skin and ruffled Lee’s hair, cooled nothing.
Lee seemed unusually quiet. Maybe he was disappointed about their room not being ready.
She moved close to him, gently brushing against his side with each step as they strolled through the menagerie of colorful Kihei shops. The fragrance of pineapple, mango, and coconut mingled with those cloves and cinnamon near the kiosks selling soaps, candles, and lotions.
She looked up at him, wondering what was on his mind. It was time to probe. “If someone hadn’t broken into our room just before we arrived, right now we would be—”
“We’d be watching the moon over Maalaea Bay out that big window. I know.”
“If someone hadn’t insisted on that room, maybe we could’ve gotten another room, and we could be—”
“I know, sweetheart. But when you see the sunset from our room tomorrow evening, you’ll understand. That room is special. We can eat dinner here at the shops, and by 7:30 our room door will be fixed and the electronics that were stolen will all be replaced, just like the manager promised. And…we get a free night for our inconvenience.”
“Inconvenience? That’s hardly the word for what I feel.” She met his gaze with love and longing in her eyes.
Thoughts of being alone with him filled her mind. She touched her face. Like Lee, it was hot. 

My Review:
If you thought the first two books in this series were a whirlwind of activity, you ain't seen nothing yet. This book starts on a honeymoon, so you expect flowers and candles and... Wrong. What you get is heart-pumping nail biting action as Jennifer is kidnapped and thrust back into the nightmare of the traffickers. Definitly a kindle keeper, this book will keep your attention gripped from beginning to end.

I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for a fair review

Interview with Jennifer – done at SeaTac Airport before they leave on their honeymoon:
Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?
I'm not sure why you wanted to do this interview at SeaTac Airport. I've only got a few minutes, because Lee and I are headed for our Maui honeymoon. You see, about 2 hours ago, I became Jennifer Akihara-Brandt. I'm Japanese-Hawaiian, raised in the islands, but attended college and graduate school at the University of Washington. I dropped out of my PhD program to work for NSA. I work in big-data analysis, Internet forensics, and wireless communications analysis. My graduate work in computing security is what brought Lee and me together.
Tell us about where you live and why you choose to live there?
Lee and I just bought a house in the foothills, southeast of Seattle. It's close to our work and the high school Katie wants to attend—why are you looking at me like that? I know… I'm not old enough to have a 15-year-old daughter. She's a foster child, but Lee and I plan to adopt her, even if I am only 11 years older than Katie.
What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn't know?
My personality… The burning question. Burning … that used to be my personality, acrid, temper hovering near 212. But that was before Lee introduced me to God … to Jesus.
Name two things you would hate people to know about you?
First, I would hate for people to know that I almost always think I'm right. It's been that way since I was a kid. For some reason, God gave me a double portion of intelligence … you're looking at me that way again. Look, if you multiply your IQ by two, you get … yes, I can see now that you understand.
I would also hate for people to know about my drug addiction. Caffeine. I can't function without it, and Lee says I get really grumpy if I don’t get enough.
Tell us about your special bloke. What makes him special? 
Lee has been my husband now for a little over 2 hours. He was my fiancé for 8 months prior that. He loves me and thinks I'm special. But most of all, he saved my life several times, and he introduced me to the one true God who saved my soul for eternity. And… I think Lee's cute, in a rugged, superbly handsome, hunky sort of way.
The first time you saw him, what did you think? Did you like him immediately, or did he have to grow on you?
The first time I saw him? Not good. He reacted just like the guy who stalked me. Well, his eyes did. He went gaga on me. But I soon found out Lee was considerate. He tried to protect me when danger came. I'd say he grew on me for about 6 hours. That’s how long it took before I knew there was something special between us.
What would he hate people to know about him?
Lee would hate it if anyone thought he was a typical computer geek. I mean he is, but he isn't. He does computer work, but he loves athletics, competition. He has a genius level IQ, but he doesn't flaunt it. His 90 mile-per-hour fastball … that he flaunts.
What is your favourite thing to eat and drink?
My favorite thing is, hands down, coffee. Not the black, bitterer stuff, but creamy light brown, macchiatos or dark brown mochas … and 2 shots of espresso in a tall, 3 shots in the grande, and always 4 shots in a venti.
If you had to fight, what would be your weapon of choice and why?
Fighting isn't something I like, but I've done my fair share. I know a little karate, but I prefer my .38 special, because I hit what I aim at with it. There are 3 notches on that gun, but I’m only responsible for 2 of them. Enough about guns. This is my honeymoon, in Maui no less. So, I'm not bringing my .38. Who needs a gun in a tropical island paradise?
Pepsi or coke
Coke. Pepsi tastes better, but Coke has more caffeine.
Tea or coffee
Coffee. It tastes better and has more caffeine.
Elephant or tiger
Elephant. I don't like dangerous things, or people, who can sneak up on me. It's hard for an elephant to do that.
Roast dinner or burger and chips (fries for our US readers)
Don't tell Lee, but burgers and chips. At 26, I can still get away with eating junk food.
Classical music or pop
I have a mathematical mind. I can hear what Bach and the other classical composers are doing—their systematical variations on a theme, but I prefer pop—simple, pleasant, relaxing and with words that actually say something.
Sunrise or sunset
Lee’s a meteorologist. He loves sunsets and would shoot pictures nearly every evening, if I let him. But I love sunrises. Everything is beginning fresh and new, just like God’s love and mercy. Another day and another chance for everyone and everything.
Walk or run
Run. Lee taught me about running. Let the endorphins flow! I love that runners high.
Chocolate or crisps (chips for our US readers)

Chocolate. It goes better with coffee than chips.

Buy links:
Amazon
Pelican Books

Review of book one HERE
Review and overview of book two HERE

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Choices by Pamela Thibodeaux


Blurb: Best-selling novelist and songwriter, Camie Rogers has penned numerous accounts of the secret love she holds in her heart. Country-Music Superstar Kip Allen has changed from the shy, humble boy, to the epitome of “star.” Can the two rediscover each other after one night of his Home is where the Heart is Tour?

Excerpt: Too soon, the concert was over, and security officers rushed her backstage. Waiting in the shadows apart from the throng of frenzied fans vying for autographs and pictures, she watched with concern as Kip raked his fingers through his hair. He heaved a tired sigh, insisted on no more autographs, and then headed for his dressing room.
Camie stepped forward, "Just one more autograph?" Kip turned at her soft request. His eyes lit with recognition, and he gave her an unreserved smile.
"Camie!" He enfolded her in a big hug. "What are you doing back here?"
A flush warmed her skin at the velvety-roughness of his voice. "I won the prize package from the radio station. You know: Front row seat, backstage pass, autographed C.D., etcetera, etcetera, etcetera." Her heart raced at his nearness, her body trembled in his strong embrace. Feeling way too comfortable in his arms, she disentangled herself and took a step back. 
 He grinned. "Great. You look good."
Her heart skipped a beat. "So do you." Electricity sizzled between them.
Always had.
Even in high school.
Theirs had been a subtle romance, underscored by sensual currents that hummed whenever their eyes met or they ventured into a conversation, both too shy to take the relationship further.
"What ever happened to us?"  She wondered aloud, finding it difficult to speak past her heart hammering in her throat. "I still get all tongue-tied when you're near." He smiled, that lazy, heart-stopping grin that drove females from age five to fifty into a frenzy.
 "You do?" he queried, pulling her closer once more.
The husky softness of his voice sent delicious shivers down her spine, and she choked on a yes.
"Me too." He stroked her cheek.
Her senses swirled at the tender touch. She placed her hand over his and gazed into his sea-green eyes. Whether a moment, an eternity, or the simple span of a heartbeat passed, she wasn’t sure, but she relished the encounter. He dropped his hand from her face and broke eye contact.
"I don't know what happened. I wanted to roam, you wanted a home." He chuckled at the corny rhyme.  "Sounds like the makings of a hit."

Review:
Kip and Camie have very similar dreams, but go about it in very different ways. A short, but wonderful tale of love, reunion and how love triumphs.

Purchase Links:
Pelican Book Group http://pelink.us/13N5j5g
Kindle http://amzn.to/15Iyny0

Friday, 13 June 2014

In His Sight by Pamela Thibodeaux

Blurb: Grade school teacher Carson Alexander has a gift—a gift that has driven a wedge between him and his family. Worse, it’s put him at odds with God. Feeling alone and misunderstood, Carson views God’s gift of prophecy as the worst kind of curse…that is until he meets Lorelei Conner, landscape artist extraordinaire, and perhaps the one person who may need Carson and his gift more than anyone ever has.  

Lorelei Connor is a mother on the run. Her abusive ex-husband has followed her all over the country trying to steal their daughter. Distrusting of men and needing to keep on the move, she’s surprised by her desire to remain close to Carson Alexander. Through her fear and hesitation, she must learn to rely on God to guide her—not an easy task when He’s prompting her to trust a man.

 Can their relationship withstand the tragedy lurking on the horizon?

Excerpt: Carson Alexander walked through his classroom and tugged desks into a semi circle around the dry eraser board. One thing he loved about teaching sixth-grade English at Stars Crossing Middle School was that the classes were so small. With no more than fifteen students at a time he could work closely with each one and give them the attention they needed and deserved. Another thing he appreciated was the lack of standard or strict curriculum. As long as the children passed the exams set forth by the Department of Education, he could teach as he pleased.
So far, his kids excelled, maintaining some of the highest scores in the entire school. Pride filled his soul and caused his heart to swell, chest to puff out.
Pride cometh before the fall.
The Voice echoed in his mind, ricocheted through his soul. He shrugged off the warning, walked to his desk and picked up the name tags for each incoming student. He thumbed through the stack, pondered each one and wondered about the child attached to the name….Jenny & Jerry Smith – twins or un-related? One name struck him hard, sent unnamed emotion curling through his system – Laurel Connor.
He hadn’t heard the name Laurel in years and then, used only as a surname or when referring to the small town in Mississippi from whence he came. He moved to Stars Crossing, Tennessee five years ago for two reasons. One, the teaching position and two, the town though smaller, reminded him of home.
Memories crashed through the floodgates he’d built around his heart…..the huge two-story house and two-hundred acre farm where he grew up. His seven siblings, parents who adored him – their eldest son, and the pain of losing everything he held near and dear to his heart.
Tears threatened. His vision blurred, hands began to shake. Carson swallowed the lump in his throat, put the stack down, and shoved his hands into the front pockets of his slacks. Adrenaline pumped through him, caused his pulse to skitter and jump. Saliva pooled in his mouth. By sheer force he willed his emotions under control. The bell rang and he turned to greet the children who rushed into the room. He watched as one-by-one they filed in and took a seat.

My review:
When Carson and Lorelei first meet, fireworks doesn't even begin to describe it. A bang would come close. But the link between them goes further and deeper than either realise, almost derailing things before they start. But with danger ever on the horizon, this story will keep you turning pages til it reaches its gripping conclusion.
A heart-stopping read that shouldn't be missed.

Purchase Links:

Pelican Book Group http://pelink.us/18aucLC

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Quick and Easy Homemade Jam

I promise this really is as easy to make as it sounds. And it's delicious. Even hubby who won't eat jam unless its on a scone covered with real clotted cream has been eating it.




All you need are equal quantites of fresh fruit and sugar.

So I used 400g raspberries
400g granulated sugar
2tsp lemon juice (its roughly 1tsp to each 250g fruit)
This made two jars.

Heat the jam jars. Either microwave or fill with boiling water.

Put everything in the pan and mash slightly.
Put a small plate into the freezer to chill.
Heat and bring to the boil
Boil for 5 mins.
Then put a tsp jam onto the cold plate and put in fridge for 30 secs to test setting point
If the jam wrinkles when you run your finger through it, its done.
other wise boil for another minute and retest.

decant into the hot jars and seal immediately.

Eat.




A hero for Jessica by Pamela Thibodeaux


Blurb: Anthony Paul Seville is known as the ‘most eligible bachelor’ in New Orleans, possibly even the entire state of Louisiana, but finds himself alone—completely and explicitly alone. Jessica Aucoin is a writer on her way to fame and fortune, but is haunted by a man from her past. Will the “champion” lawyer and the author of romantic suspense find love written in their future? 

Excerpt: “Mr. Seville; how very nice to see you again.”
“The pleasure’s all mine,” Paul assured. He lifted her hand to his lips and watched her visitor through lowered lids.
A dark flush crept up the man’s neck. Anger clouded his face. His eyes took on an ominous glow. The guy spun on his heel and stormed off while muttering under his breath.
“Friend of yours?” Paul queried.
“Hardly,” Jessica answered, and disengaged her hand from his. The icy tone of her voice warned him not to pry.
He supposed now was neither the time nor place for such a discussion. There’d be enough time for that later; he’d make sure of it.
“Would you like me to sign those for you?” she asked, indicating the books under his arm.
He handed her the books without another word, watched and waited while she stepped over to the table, slid into the chair and searched for a pen. When she didn’t find one right away, Paul watched her beautiful eyes grow watery with unshed tears. No woman would cry over not being able to find a pen; that guy had truly upset her.
He reached into his pocket and then handed her a pen. Like an electrical conduit, her warmth permeated the slender, gold tube. She smiled her thanks, hurriedly wrote a greeting and signed her name, then handed him the books.
Paul was not immune to the changes in atmosphere. The icy tension had dissipated, only to be replaced by one of a more intimate nature. He sensed her tremble, noticed her heightened color and felt the breath back up in his lungs. The woman was too beautiful for words. A tiny, but vital--very vital--step back, broke the sensual charge between them. He knew he’d never forget the moment of awareness that sparked between them nor the quick spurt of longing that surged through his system at the sight of her sitting there, those fathomless green eyes swimming with tears and a wealth of conflicting emotions.
He took the books, read the inscription, whispered his thanks and strode to the checkout counter as readers gathered and vied for her attention.

Review:
A short story, which my daughter loved the look of because the heroine has the same name as her. Even though she is at the age where she thinks boys are silly, she like the idea of there being a hero for her somewhere.

Jessica is an author, Paul a lawyer. Their paths first cross at a talk Paul gives. She then engages his services professionally. It’s nice to see an ‘older hero’ with silver touches in his hair, that’s kept his figure and is still macho and heroic. It’s also lovely to see his interaction and love for his mother. So often parents are not mentioned at all.

A quick read, this has everything you need. Loveable characters, gripping story line that keeps its inspirational edge while grounded in reality. Worth reading.

Purchase Links:
Pelican Book Group http://pelink.us/16uzi4c

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Winter Madness by Pamela Thibodeaux

Blurb: Sienna has survived what most succomb to - the death of a spouse and child and has maintained her faith despite her troubles. William has never met anyone who actually lived out what they say they believe. Is it true love between the faithful optimist and broody pessimist or simply winter madness?

Excerpt: Her merry hazel eyes danced with humor, but she simply arched an eyebrow at him without comment and rose from her chair. She held a hand toward him. “Come on, I know what we’re going to do today.”

He couldn’t resist the lure of her joy, and grinned as he placed his hand in hers. “What are we going to do?”

“I’m going to show you the beauty and joy of life, if only for this one day.”

Hope flared in his heart that she may be the one person who could do what he considered the impossible. After all, he’d never really gotten over her. Nor did he forget how she’d touched his heart so many years ago in a way no other had since. They paused at the door to fasten their jackets and slip on caps. She took his hand again and led him across the way and two blocks down to a park on the other side of the street. The tiny wooden bridge they traversed crossed over a creek and swayed under their feet. Sienna stopped midway to their destination.

“Listen,” she urged.

He cocked his head. “What?”

“What do you hear?” He turned in the direction she looked, stood still, and tried to hear what she heard. A smile tugged at his lips when he turned to her. Her eyes were alight with joy.

“You hear it too, don’t you?”

“Tell me what you hear, Sienna.”

“Children laughing, the sounds of joy, of love, two things that make this world go around are love and joy. A child’s laughter encapsulates both.”

His heart melted another degree.

Review:
High school sweethearts William and Sienna meet again several years later. Not your normal reunion story, this one adds a modern twist. A charming short story that leaves you warm and content.

Purchase Links:

Pelican Book Group http://pelink.us/15NWhrY

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pamela Thibodeaux week continues with The Visionary


Blurb: A visionary is someone who sees into the future Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society.  Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?

Excerpt: “Thank you for taking such good care of me.”
“I’m not through yet,” he mumbled, then slid off the couch and swung her up in his arms.
Fear snuck in, darkening her eyes. She stiffened and opened her mouth to protest. He brushed his lips over hers and silenced her objections.
“I just want to hold you,” he whispered and laid his forehead against hers. “That’s all. I promise,” he added, unable to camouflage the need in his voice.
***
He’d offered her another step to relinquish her fear and trust him. Triumph lit his expressive eyes when she wrapped her arm around his neck, smiled, and whispered, “Okay,” then snuggled her face against his shoulder and let him carry her to the bedroom.
With exquisite tenderness, he laid her on the bed, crawled up beside her, and took her in his arms. Taylor felt the strength of his need in the heat and tensed against the hardness of his body. He eased his grip and propped up on one elbow beside her. His eyes pleaded for grace when he stroked the hair off her face and said in a soft, husky voice, “Please don’t be afraid of me; please trust me. I will never force or even persuade you to give more than you’re ready to.”
They gazed at each other for a long, tender moment. She cupped his cheek in her hand, brushed her thumb over his mouth, then curled her fingers in his hair and urged his head down to fasten her lips to his. A low moan escaped his throat, yet he held himself taut.
Taylor ran her hand over his shoulder and back in a soft caress then wrapped her arms around his waist. “Hold me, Alex, I trust you.”
The emotions reflected in his tone caressed her heart when he thanked her in that beautiful velvety-rough voice. He rolled onto his back, pulled the covers over her, and held her while she slept.

Review:
When Alex Broussard hires Taylor Forrestier and her twin brother Trevor to renovate and restore the old house he bought, he has no idea what he’s getting into. For one thing he finds himself attracted to Taylor and for another he’s picking up vibes of something simmering below the surface. It’s not just the gift she possesses either, which makes her restorations perfect.

This novel by Pamela Thibodeaux is set in Louisiana and is full of the richness and beauty of the Deep South. Its vivid descriptions and wonderful characters add a depth to the story which serve to pull the reader in. The romance is mixed with mystery and a dark past which threatens the safety and sanity of all of. Well worth reading.

Purchase Links:
Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/1fZ0bV3
Print @Create Space: http://bit.ly/1lNvyWD  

Deeper Shopping http://bit.ly/19lw1Kc  

Monday, 9 June 2014

Lori’s Redemption (short story spin-off of Tempered Fire) by Pamela Thibodeaux


Blurb: Lori Strickland (introduced in Tempered Fire) has always been known as her father's "wild child" with no desire to change until she meets ex-bull-rider-turned-preacher Rafe Judson. Her attempts to change her wanton ways come to naught until she realizes redemption only comes with true repentance.

Excerpt: Lori headed toward Recluse, Wyoming after another round of rodeos where the cash and prizes vaulted her to the next level of achievement. She hadn’t thought of Rafe in months. Hadn’t allowed herself to think of him, and wouldn’t indulge in useless fantasies now.
She’d made peace with the fact she was nothing more than a bad seed and there was no way around it. Oh she tried to be good. She stayed out of the bars for weeks on end, attended the prayer services before or after each rodeo when available, even visited with a group of supposedly devout believers who traveled a state-wide circuit within the national itinerary, but nothing seemed to help or make an impact on her life. Nor had she found the support she’d hoped, only judgment and criticism. Answers to her questions only incited debates until she was scorned for her doubt and unbelief or shunned completely. Maverick was right when he said there was no in between and since she couldn’t succeed at being good, Lori figured she’d be bad.        
Just as she had all of her life.
More than once she thought about calling Stanley or Amber or even Lexie for counsel, but was too ashamed to admit the total mess her life was in. She even considered quitting. Just give up and go home. But she was too close to making pro status, too close to the culmination of the dream that began in her heart nearly four years ago.          
A dream she once thought came as a directive from God.
Now, she knew better.
God didn’t give success to losers; the devil lured them into it then left them to their own devices no matter how hard they tried to be good. Besides, even at her best, there was no way she’d ever be good enough for a preacher.

Review:
Horses, cowboys, preacher man, cowboy, rodeo, cowboy... Did I mention this book has cowboys in it? Seriously, what is there not to love about this new story from Ms. Thibodeaux. This short read has 59 action pack pages that will pull you in with a lasso and not let you go til you turn the last of them. We catch up with Lori from Tempered Fire and meet Rafe, a famous rodeo rider, who changes his career after an accident. Fast paced, lots of action, gripping storyline... I loved it. It's gone straight back into my TBR pile.

Purchase Links:

Deeper Shopping http://bit.ly/14Hm4Cs

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Pamela Thibodeaux week

This week:
I'm showcasing some of the books of Pamela Thibodeaux. 



Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Today we're kicking off with her devotion.



Blurb: Music is the magical entry into the spirit world; the golden gate into the Kingdom of God. But we mustn’t be of the mindset that God only uses Christian music to reach out and touch our mind, heart and spirit. God uses any and every means available to speak to His children.

Our job is to be open and receptive.

In this devotional, Pamela S Thibodeaux shares how God opened her spirit to a deeper understanding of the abundance of His grace and mercy through the words of the song, The Rose sung by Country & Western artist Conway Twitty.

Pamela offers Seeds to Ponder and a prayer as she parallels the love of God and the Christian life to each verse of the song.

Excerpt: Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need...
How very true!  The Bible speaks of a longing of our soul to be in communion with the Lord. Psalm 42 says, "As the hind longs for running water, so my soul longs for thee, oh God..."

Endless, aching need; we all feel it––the need to be loved, to be worthy; the ache to know God more intimately and to glorify Him.
           
Many describe this aspect of their walk with God as an ache or a hunger which is forever present. Sometimes it is more prevalent than others but always there….The need to be close to Him, to know His will, to feel His presence, to be made worthy and whole by His Holy Spirit.
           
Just when we feel we’ve gotten closer to Him still, the ache smarts again––deeper, more desperate than the last time. A longing that cannot be described––one that can only be satisfied by the Holy Spirit leading you closer and deeper into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Every one of us can relate to the insatiable hunger we’ve experienced in our lives. Many times we seek after and pursue more…bigger and better things (money, houses, cars, jobs) thinking those will satisfy, not realizing the hunger in our soul is one only God can satisfy. As I look back over my life, I recall a time when I got wrapped up in the things of the world, and yet, I’ve always been a seeker of peace above all things. Oh, that we would teach our children that more is not better and the more things you have, the more time you’ll spend taking care of them and the less time you’ll have to pursue what really matters in life—people and relationships!

The accumulation of things will never satisfy the soul like an intimate relationship with the Creator and His creation. Get rid of the “stuff” in your life and see how much peace there is in simplicity.

Seeds to ponder: In Matthew 5: 6, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” How many times do we fill the hunger in our hearts with things of the world instead of filling it with things of the Spirit?

Prayer: Dear God, help me to recognize true, spiritual hunger and turn to You instead of giving in to the lusts of my flesh and the lure of the world by engaging in unholy attitudes and actions.

Purchase Links:
Print @ Amazon  http://amzn.to/1gHr9A3
Smashwords http://bit.ly/16vCHl4   
Deeper Shopping http://bit.ly/1cxivVf


Come back every day this week for the chance to read about another one of Pam's books.


Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Cat Lady's Secret by Linda W. Yezak



Blurb:
Millie wears crazy clothes and carries a tote bag and a fish net to capture feral felines. She walks all over town, and everywhere she goes, she encounters people with wishes, wants, and needs—and all are fulfilled.


But who is the real force behind these blessings? A journalist wants to know, and the love of her life finds out. Can their rekindled love survive?

Extract:

Emily wrapped her arms across her chest and shook her bowed head. No one but Connor knew what had happened, and he knew only the business end of it. She’d never voiced the rest. And couldn’t, even now.

Buy links:
Pelican books - choice of formats