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.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Rescue Me by Sandy Nadeau




Meet the author, Sandy, who bravely opted for the infamous author interview.

How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?
Rescue Me came about after my hubby’s years as a volunteer firefighter. It was originally going to be in a group of four novellas with other writers, but that never sold. When we split up, I added to the story (which isn’t as easy as it sounds) to make it longer and eventually sold that to Pelican Book Group, who contracted my first book, Red Gold. I’m glad I had the chance to add to it so that it could evolve into the message that it brings now. It has much deeper meanings in it with the additions. God knew it needed to be on its own. We lived in Colorado and knew the Rocky Mountains really well, so tying the two, experience with location, worked out well. There’s a lot of description of setting in it that readers seem to enjoy.

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?
I love the tag line, “Risking her life to save him is easy. Risking her heart to give him a second chance is impossible.” Here is the back cover info:
First Responder Ronnie Spencer has a no-dating firefighters rule. She lost her father to a fire, and won't risk the heartbreak of losing someone else. But when Steve McNeal returns, Ronnie's heart is tested. How can she swear-off dating a firefighter when she has to work with the one man she used to love?
When the unthinkable happens, Ronnie has doubts. How can a loving God allow tragedy to stalk her life again? As her faith wavers, Ronnie must decide. Will their blossoming relationship be quickly extinguished by the very thing she feared, or will Ronnie trust God and allow her heart to be rescued—even if that means giving it to a firefighter?

Are there any fun titbits about this story you can share with us?
The scene where the firefighters try to humble the rookie Troy, that really happens. lol

How did you decide on the setting?
Having lived in and loved Colorado for thirty years, and how much adventure there is in that state, I like to use that as a setting in my stories. The beauty of God’s creation, the wildlife, the exploration, I just want to share what that’s like with people. It’s an amazing place.

When will it be released?
It released on June 1 of this year so it is available right now.


And now some more personal insights…

Where were you born?
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but we moved by the time I was two so I don’t remember anything about it.

What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you or you witnessed that made you laugh so hard you couldn’t catch your breath?
I was in my fenced in yard in Colorado a couple of years ago watching a herd of elk that were moving through the area. We had an empty lot behind us, so we would frequently get elk and deer (along with bears, cougars, fox and about any other critter). I went out with my camera which I often did. I was getting some great shots when the bull, who was in the rut, turned down off the road and headed into the field. He was huge so the photos I was getting were amazing! Figuring I was safe behind my chain link fence, little did I know that my presence was not welcomed by him. He seemingly ignored me as he trotted down the small hill, suddenly he turned and came straight in my direction. There was a fence post outside of our chain link fence and he very well may have thought that was me. I had the video rolling when he charged. I have never run that fast in my life. Thankfully my back door was fairly close along with a large tree and a bush, so I hoped I had a good chance. He didn’t jump the fence, thank you Jesus, and the video is quite comical as I ran. I sure didn’t have time to shut it off. Once behind my back door, I busted out laughing as I tried to get my heart to calm down. So not only was I laughing, but I couldn’t catch my breath either. For a longgggggggg time.

What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at?
I love to do woodworking. I’ve done some lathe work that my dad taught me how to do. He’s an amazing artist with wood. I love to build things. My husband and I built and designed an amazing railing at our old house out of aspen branches. Colorado has a lot of aspen trees and the wood is amazing. I love wood. It’s fascinating how the different grains and colors meld through a board.

What are you most passionate about, other than writing?
Being here for my grandchildren. Being a part of their lives. Helping them to grow in the Lord.
Feeding toddlers is a whirlwind experience, getting it prepared, cut small, into their respective chairs, I get pretty frazzled and sometimes forget to ask for a blessing. My two year old granddaughter will look at me with this expression that is hilarious and fold her hands all with a mouthful of food, to remind me we need to pray. Which we do. She cracks me up. So it might be me growing in the Lord more than them.

What got you interested in writing?
I’ve always liked to write. I wrote a lot in high school. Always journaled. But I also think it’s a bit hereditary. My mom writes so much, mostly about her childhood during the depression years. And her mom, my grandmother, wrote a lot too in her later years. Writing and being published has always been a dream.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I do. I have been for a little while now. Mostly because life got overwhelming. We had been planning the move to Texas for a long time so we could be near our grandkids. So with packing up a house after 30 years in it and all the details of a major move my writer brain sort of shut down. And now I’m having so much fun with the grands, but I’m slowly getting back into writing. I had a lot of guilt about it for a while, but a dear friend said to me, “It just isn’t the time. Give yourself a break and you’ll get back to it.” That helped a lot to release the struggle.

Who is your favourite author and why?
Tracie Peterson is at the top of the list. She is solid in her research and storytelling. Love her characters too. She endorsed Rescue Me, much to my delight, so she’s pretty special. My writing hero. There are so many amazing writers out there, especially in the Christian market.

Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?
I have a couple of things going. One involves grandparents (write what you know) and the other involves wood. But that’s all I’m going to tell you. *grins*

Do you really, really want a dog?
I really, REALLY want a dog. We’ve always had a dog. Our last one died a couple years ago. He was the best and smartest dog we’ve ever had. He was an Aussie mix so his intelligence was really remarkable. He truly knew what I was saying to him all the time. I’m very hard of hearing, so it helped a lot to have him in my life. Now that we’ve settled into a new home, I see a new dog in our future. Gus will be hard to replace though. Dogs are just the best! I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without one. The companionship and loyalty can’t be beat.

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
I’ve had the flu for a couple of days so it was a frightening sight. Let’s just leave it at that.

What is your heritage?
Norwegian and German. My great-grandfather was Ole Olson and he married Nicolena Sven. Everyone thinks I’m about to make a joke, but that truly was their names. There’s a lot of German on both sides of the family. This would be why I was stubborn enough to keep trying to get published.

Do you sleep with the light on?
Never! It has to be pitch black. If I sense any light at all, I can’t sleep. I can see it through my thin Norwegian eyelids. The time is covered on our radio alarm clock, no night lights to find our way, no light at all. And if the moon is bright, heaven help me. Towels over the blinds. 


You can buy Rescue Me here:






Bio:




Sandy Nadeau loves to go on adventures, photograph them and equally loves to write about them. She and her husband did a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado and shared those experiences with others by taking them up in the mountains. Her writing experience includes a community news column in a small newspaper for twelve years, magazine articles and two novels with adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. She is currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Married for a whopping 40 years, she and her husband are loving life as grandparents to their three grandchildren after the big move to Texas. Travel is their favorite thing to do and they don’t get to do it as often as they’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain.

You can find Sandy here:




Friday, 16 September 2016

Providence: Hannah's Journey by Barbara M. Britton



"Providence: Hannah's Journey" will release in e-book on September 16, 2016 and in print on October 1, 2016. 

I received an ARC of this and LOVED it.
My review:
Providence: Hannah's Journey is an unputdownable story. Pulling you in from the first page, it plunges you straight into Biblical times and the life of someone, who despite her heritage, is little more than a slave, and a disfigured one at that. However, her faith takes her on a journey she could little envisage as she puts God and other's first.


Back cover blurb:
As the sole daughter of the chief priest, Hannah is publicly shamed when the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her.
Determined to restore her family’s honor, Hannah escapes Jerusalem in hopes of finding the prophet and convincing him to heal her deformities. Gilead, a young Hebrew guard sympathetic to her plight, willingly accompanies her. On their way, they are captured by a band of raiders.
Hannah is forced to serve in the household of the commander of the Aramean army, an officer who is in need of healing himself. Meanwhile Gilead is being used as sword practice for the Aramean soldiers.
Hannah must act fast to save Gilead and herself. But survival means coaxing the prophet of Israel to heal and enemy commander.

Extract:

“Alabaster, beads, bangles,” a merchant shouted.
Leave it to a salesman to find opportunity behind the rump of a slow donkey. His father had taught him well.
The chants of the merchant grew louder, came closer. “Men, trinkets for the fair and lovely.”
Hannah believed the heckler was upon her. Did he mistake her for a man? She had no free hand to test his wares.
“Young woman.”
The address was too close to ignore. Her elbow rose to ward off his seller’s assault. Her heart rapped against her chest anticipating a run home.
“Ah, but your arm is bare. Can I not interest you in—”
She whipped her head his direction.
And stared.
At her bracelet. The rubies sparkled in the sunlight they captured.
At Gil. And his radiant smile.
“You do have interest.” He herded her without a touch toward a narrow side street. “Your father has coin, no doubt.”
She matched his pace not knowing where he was guiding her and not caring. Gil had found her and she would follow him out of the crowd, out of the city, out to Mahanaim. “You came.”
He drew her into a doorway. The bustle of the city was but a memory. “Jewels are my business,” he said in a loud voice. And lower, “My mother spoke of a sad girl in need. I know very few who wear such wealth.” He held up her gold and ruby bracelet.


Buy links:




You can find Barb on her website at www.barbarambritton.com and enjoy her Book Video.

Author bio:

Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb kicks off her Tribes of Israel series in October with the release of “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” Barb is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. 

Barbara writes:

My grandparents were both born in Portsmouth, England and emigrated to Canada after they were married. My grandfather served in the Royal Navy and reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander. My dad's family is being recognized for four generations of service to the Royal Navy. My dad rebelled and joined the Air Force.

"Providence: Hannah's Journey" was my first work of Biblical fiction, but the fourth book I wrote. It's fitting that I write Biblical fiction as I am married to an ordained minister and the idea for "Providence" came while I was teaching chapel to elementary students. I taught on young people in the Bible who did great things. Hannah is based on the servant girl in the story of Naaman in II Kings 5. I couldn't leave that brave servant girl in captivity.

Thanks for having me on your blog today Clare. And as my grandparents would say, "Cheers!"

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Love, Lies, and Fireflies by Jan Elder






Backcover blurb:
Didi O’Brien is engaged—at least she was an hour ago. Now she’s not so sure. Her fiancé, the suave Kevin Cabot, has just revealed that he’s been unfaithful, and he’s not the least bit sorry. Reeling from the betrayal, with her plans for a happily-ever-after life in doubt, she prays for direction. The answer comes as a complete surprise. God has someone better in mind.
Middle school teacher, Jake Montgomery, is struggling with some issues of his own. Sadly, a year previously his fiancée had been killed in a car crash. Battling anger and despair, in a mountain-top experience, Jake wrestles with the Almighty, and is ready to live again. In his youth, he’d felt an unmistakable call to the ministry but, like the prophet Jonah, since then, he’s been running hard in the wrong direction.

Through a crisis of faith, and glimpses of mercy, Didi and Jake find each other. But can they find the strength to resolve the many obstacles that conspire to keep them apart? 



Long Excerpt


Love, Lies, and Fireflies
Jan Elder

“But, Kevin, I don’t understand. What do you mean you went out with another girl? What girl?” Didi O’Brien’s swiped at eyes brimming with tears.
Kevin sipped his single malt. “Her name’s Mindy, and she relocated here from the Midwest a few months ago. She’s a Pilates instructor at my gym.” He squirmed in his chair and shrugged. “Look, she’s just a kid of twenty-four, and she doesn’t know anyone here in the area.”
Stomach churning, Didi shoved her dinner away, barely noticing when the sauce from her beef bourguignon splashed onto the white tablecloth. She swallowed, words refusing to come.
Kevin continued in a monotone. “It’s not like I planned it. I was just being a nice guy and showing a stranger around town. You know, being neighborly. Believe it or not, she’s a real nut for baseball, and last night the Nationals were playing the Cardinals….”
“You took her to a baseball game? Last night?” Didi managed to squeak out the words despite the block of granite in her throat.
“Oh, come on. Stop getting so defensive here. You don’t even like baseball. When I saw her last Friday….”
“You went out with her last week, too? On a Friday?” Didi’s voice started out shaky but managed to rise over the conversational hum of the other diners.
“Shhh. Pipe down. Don’t go getting all ‘female’ on me.” Kevin picked up his fork and speared a green bean almondine. “So what if we’ve been to a baseball game, the museum, and had coffee a few times? Last Friday, the Smithsonian had this cool special exhibit on the life of Roberto Clemente. You probably don’t know this, but he’s a Hall of Famer who won the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1966. He led the league in batting average.”
“Have you slept with her?” She had to ask, though she didn’t really want to know the answer.
Kevin didn’t deny it. Instead, he growled, “So what if I did? I told you it’s not serious. Plus, you had some ridiculous church thing going on last Friday, so you weren’t available.”
Her breath caught as she lowered her voice. “That’s hardly the point, Kevin. Did you tell her you’re engaged?”
“Why would I?”
“I’ll take that as a no. Do you love her?”
“Of course I don’t love her, and I’m getting tired of this tête-à-tête. I knew you were going to overreact. Mindy’s a cute kid from Dubuque who needed someone to show her around, and now you’re getting all weird on me, when I was only being considerate.”
Glancing down at his Rolex, Kevin huffed out a sigh. “Maybe we should talk about this after you decide to behave like an adult.” He flagged down the waiter and signaled he was ready for the check. “I decide to be honest, as a courtesy to you, and you put me through a Spanish Inquisition.”
With a hot flush pricking her cheeks, Didi slipped out of the booth, storming toward the exit. She refused to hear any more of his flimsy excuses.
Dodging the other patrons leaving the restaurant, Didi sprinted across the asphalt to her car. She fell into the driver’s seat, jammed her key into the ignition, and zoomed out of the parking lot. She had to get away from that man! On autopilot, she drove through town, barely remembering to stop at the stop signs. Leaving Chez Monte Carlo far, far behind, she headed to the safety of home.
She came to a fork in the road. In no mood to dally, she chose the shortcut home, veering left onto Deer Hollow Road.
Bad decision.
She drove way too fast, but right now, she didn’t care. Sliding on shallow gravel down the first steep hill, she missed the deep ditch on the right side of the road by a narrow margin. Instead, she slammed into a mud-drenched pothole, skittered sideways, and careened toward an ancient oak.
Stamping hard on the brake, she yelped as the car jarred to a halt. Maybe she did care after all. “Please, Jesus, help me get home in one piece. And if Kevin’s still on the road, crash him into the biggest tree you can find!”
Deer Hollow, slippery and dangerous when wet, was rarely her route of choice. Now she remembered why. She shoved her two-door coupe into gear and edged her way toward home. The tires slowed, but her mind raced in circles like an Olympic speed skater. In one tortured hour, her balanced world had been tipped topsy-turvy. She closed her hands tightly around the steering wheel, desperate to make it home before this crazy country lane tore her little red car apart.
With great caution, Didi drove down a steep slope, eased over the one-lane bridge, and rounded a curve. She’d nearly made it to the end of the road when a rabbit darted in front of her. She had just enough time to wrench the wheel hard to the left to avoid it. She braced herself for that horrifying “thump-thump” announcing she’d killed one of God’s furry creatures, then sighed with relief. Missing the bunny was the only happy event in what was otherwise a thoroughly rotten evening.
A cavernous empty space grew in the pit of her stomach as waves of fury crashed over her. Heat crept up her face and tears trickled from her eyes. Why did she always cry when she was mad? Kevin’s announcement had left her reeling. With her adrenaline surging from the near bunny-cide, Didi breathed in and tried her best to calm down. She pulled to the side of the road and stopped the car before she did something stupid. Resting her head on the steering wheel, she slumped deep into her misery. After this terrible night, did she have a clue where her life was going? The uncertainty was unnerving.
A dreary, gray sky hung heavy with unshed moisture. Sheets of rain had drenched the area for three days straight, and another whopper of a storm had been threatening for the past few hours. As she headed again for home, the first drops came splashing and splattering down. Great. Just great. As if to match her mood, wicked forks of lightning streaked across the sky, static electricity crackled in the air, and the rains crashed down with a vengeance.
Didi breathed a quick prayer her car would start and turned the key. Her trusty vehicle purred to life on the first try, even with 138,567 miles and an oil filter that should have been changed a thousand miles ago. She patted the dash and glanced up to the sky. Thank you. Tonight, she would have crawled the three miles home in the driving downpour rather than call Kevin Francis Cabot, a.k.a. The Rat, to come and rescue her.
How could he do that to her? Didn’t she deserve better?
The problem was…she loved him. Until an hour ago, she’d have sworn he loved her, too. What was wrong with her that he’d wanted someone else?
She didn’t want to think about it, didn’t want to try and understand it tonight. With a heavy heart, she banished the conflicting thoughts from her mind and pointed her car toward home.

Short Excerpt:

With sleepy, half-closed eyes, Jake yawned and opened his arms in invitation. Without hesitation, Didi slid into his embrace. “You’re welcome,” he murmured into her ear. He stroked her hair as she nestled into his shoulder. His arms around her were warm and comfy.
Knowing Jake needed his rest, Didi stretched up and planted a light kiss on his cheek. When she tried to let him go, Jake tenderly drew her closer.
“Not this time, Didi.” Pulling back slightly, his gaze full of longing reached out to her. Gentle fingers wound themselves in her hair as he whispered, “Close your eyes.”
His husky voice sent shivers of anticipation down Didi’s spine. Heart pounding, she drew in a deep breath and lowered her eyelashes. Slowly, so slowly, he drew her closer and kissed her with soft, chocolate-scented lips. With her eyes still closed, she melted into him, and he kissed her again—this time not quite so softly.
They stood in the hallway, arms draped around each other, until a drowsy Jake bent back against the door and groaned. “Now I really do have to go before I collapse on your floor, but I’d love to see you again. What are you doing Friday night?” His eyes held a trace of fire as he brushed a strand of hair from her face.
The touch of his fingers on her cheek warmed her heart and gave her shivers. He was a good kisser—no, a great kisser. Beating back apprehension, she made a quick decision. This man was a gentleman, unlike Kevin. “Instead of going out, why don’t you come here? I’ll make dinner if you bring popcorn and a movie. Does that work for you?”
“A nice, quiet evening sounds wonderful, but don’t fuss over dinner. I’m easy to please. Around seven?”
“Perfect.” He leaned in for a swift final kiss, and Didi was charmed that he seemed to have a hard time letting her go.
She picked up his lunch bag from where he’d let it drop to the floor, handed it to him, and stepped back. “Night, Jake.”

Bio:


Jan is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story. Love, Lies, and Fireflies is her third novel. The book delves into weighty subjects such as betrayal, suicide, lost dreams, and the magnitude of God’s mercy and grace. The reader is introduced to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives.  
Besides writing romance, she enjoys the occasional hazelnut cappuccino as well as tuning in to Turner Classic Movies. Always an avid reader, she devours books voraciously, both Christian and secular. She was born a cat-lover and all books will, no doubt, feature a feline in some way or another.

Happily married for thirteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor. 

You can visit Jan at JanElderAuthor.com
Amazon author page


my review:

Didi and Jake seem to be in the right place at the right time for each other. Both have broken relationships, both feel an almost instant attraction for each other, and both are cat people. But is this what God wants for them in the long run? And can they trust God to lead them through the rain into the sunshine the other side.
True love never runs smooth and that's certainly true here. With a hero and heroine you have to root for, an amazing cast of true to life secondary characters, and two adorable felines each with their own personalities, not to mention a villain I wanted to thump a couple of times, this is one gripping, unputdownable novel. I think my new favourite colour is twilight blue.
I loved this book. Pulled in from the get go, my brief read in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep, turned into non stop reading, until I realised it was time to leave for church and several hours had passed. Definitely a keeper and going straight back into my TBR pile.

I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

You can buy the book HERE