Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sharing links...

Writers in the storm shared proofing and editing tips:
http://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/proofing-and-editing-equals-great-story/
Side note: WITS has moved their blog, however, this link still works.

Sharing the links to some of my favorite blogs, the ones I visit as soon as I see there's a new post:

http://dianegaston.com/blog/

http://www.halleethehomemaker.com/

http://www.unknownsoldiersblog.com/

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where do I find inspiration...

I was recently asked this question. The simple answer is "Everywhere."

Sometimes something happens to me or to someone I know. Sometimes I hear something on the radio or television or read somewhere.

No matter what the source is there is always only one question to start the story in my head: What if...

On FB, yesterday, I shared a picture of one of my sources of inspiration:
My dog. I miss her.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Finding Home cover art is here...

Carol Fiorillo is a wonderful cover artist. I'm so grateful she's mine. She's done such an awesome job of coordinating the covers for both of my series.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

My newest DBP release is here...

It's the 21st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Grace's Possibilities is available. The last of the Thorn children, Benjamin, finally shares his story.

Carol Fiorillo created the perfect cover.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Impossibilities and Grace's Possibilities

Impossibilities is a free short story available through Desert Breeze Publishing.
http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/endless-possibilities-prelude-impossibilities-pdf/

George Budge is a military man. He's survived the army for over seven years. The night before the battle at Waterloo, he endeavors to impart to his protégé what matters most.

Taken under George's wing when he joins the army, fifteen-year-old drummer Leo stands on the brink, more man than boy, facing the fight of his young life.

Life's unexpected twists demand uncommon fortitude, dogged determination, and unfailing courage. From time to time, God sends a pair of unlikely angels.

Will Leo accept the vagaries of war and choose death or allow God to reveal another way and step through the door with the boldness for which his mentor nicknamed him?

Coming this Saturday, June 21st:

To protect her honor, a lowly seamstress is forced to marry the man she always loved, despite the fact he hates her for betraying him.

Grace's Possibilities
 
-->
Hannah Budge married one of her dearest friends to protect her honor and her other best friend, the man she loves. The death of her husband leaves her vulnerable to the advances of a man she loathes, the father of the man she loves.

Benjamin Thorn always planned to marry Hannah, until his two best friends betrayed him. They made their choices, and he made his. With his dreams dead, he throws himself into other pursuits, until he must save Hannah from his own father.

Hurt and suspicion will tear them apart forever, unless they learn to trust God and each other...
 
Excerpt:
 
-->
"Please, Benjamin, stop," Hannah pleaded. Confusion overrode the whirlwind of emotions clamoring for expression. "What happened to you? Why are you..." She swallowed hard. "Your manner mirrors your father's," she whispered.
"I am not my father," Benjamin growled. "He'd not offer you marriage, as well you know. I'm offering, but if you prefer to live with the shame, so be it. Far be it from me to interfere in the destruction of your precious reputation."
She sought some shred of softening in his face and found nothing but contempt.
"Why are you doing this?"
"Because my father compromised you, and unlike him, I am an honorable man."
"No." She shook her head and cut the air with a wave of her hands. "Why are you treating me like... like..."
"Like a faithless traitor? Because you are."
Completely closed to her in every way, he met her dismayed gaze but revealed nothing.
"How can you say such a thing?" She scrabbled for the possible reasons her dearest friend would act in such an appalling manner and came up with only one possibility. "It wasn't what you think."
"And what is it you believe I think?" His innocent question held a poorly hidden sharpness in each word.
She could play ignorant and force him to bluntness, or she could follow his line of thinking as she had all their lives.
"I-I chose George over you."
"You did," Benjamin stated, cold, unfeeling, except for the tightening of his jaw.
"We didn't have a choice."
"Didn't you?" he mocked.
"You never gave us an opportunity to explain. You left, without a word. You never spoke to either of us again."
"You're accusing me? I'm to blame?"
"No, of course not, but if you'd give us a chance."
"I couldn't stay." A sliver of pain peeked through his stony countenance, but he slammed it away with a blink.
"Why?" she whispered, hoping for some way to reach him.
"I loved you," he stated, without emotion. "I believed you shared the same sentiment. I was wrong." He held up his hand. "It matters not. The past is past. You've only one question to answer now. Will you use me to preserve your precious reputation? Yes or no? Consider carefully your decision, for not only your wellbeing sits in the balance." He spared a derisive glance for Leo. "Yes or no? Yes, you'll marry me to save your reputation, or no, you'll allow your reputation to be shredded and you and your brother to be shunned. No one will seek your services, and you both will starve, at least. Which is it?"


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Unexpected Possibilities

One Directive

In 1816 England, James Thorn, by his father's command, must marry a titled lady in exchange for his inheritance. He is granted one Season in London to accomplish the task or lose everything.

Two Stumbling Blocks

James suspects his inheritance is not as lucrative as intimated. The young lady for whom he must sacrifice his soul in order to inherit may not be worth the price.

And an Unexpected Distraction

Lily Milton, housemaid, earns the unenviable role of conspirator in her mistress' plan to hoodwink the young lady's suitor, none other than Lily's own knight in shining armor. Darker schemes lurk, with twisted intentions bent on destruction, but God never abandons His own.

Excerpt:

James gave the damsel in distress an encouraging smile. If he did not believe in God, he would count himself lucky. However, he did believe in God and silently thanked the Good Lord for His divine intervention. James would confess to no one he strolled past the church every day, in the hopes he might catch a glimpse of her, the one place he was certain he might find her.

When he caught sight of her standing on the steps of the church, his heart leapt into his throat, leaving him breathless, a condition he would never admit to anyone. He noted not what she wore, instead captivated by her glorious hair. Pulled back in a knot and covered in a white cap could not hide the mahogany tresses, shot through with auburn and gold. The memory of it haunted his dreams, every night.

He squared his shoulders, prepared to hail her when she rushed down the stairs and around the corner. No respectable young lady would lift her skirts in such a manner. They certainly wouldn't sprint in public, and yet his angel had done so. He never anticipated she might be a hoyden and almost abandoned his interest in her, certain this was proof positive of his own madness. Even so, something urged him to follow.

The reason for her behavior unfolded before him, and his admiration soared to the moon. He also wanted to throttle her for placing herself in harm's way. The disturbing memory would cling to him for the rest of his life.

He pushed away the recollection and focused on the lady herself.

"Are you well, miss?"

"Lily. Lily Milton." She offered him a shy smile, which he accepted gratefully. "Thank you for coming to our rescue, sir."

"James--"


http://www.amazon.com/Endless-Possibilities-Book-Three-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B00G1YLULC/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1386438402&sr=8-5&keywords=laurel+hawkes

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/endless-possibilities-book-three-unexpected-possibilities-epub/

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Tough Luck" is here!

The fourth novella in the series is finally here...

Welcome back to Holiday, USA, small town America, where nothing happens, except holidays... and maybe a little romance, if the hero and heroine trust God.

Holiday's playboy, Brent Kelly, returns home a changed man, if only everyone would believe him. The First Annual Tough Luck Run offers him the opportunity to prove he turned over a new leaf.

Cindy Garvey has worked hard her whole life, and now she is preparing to move from employee to business owner with her best friend. The last thing she needs is one more surprise in her life.

God provides the way to Happily Ever After, no matter how far astray His children wander...

Only available on Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Tough-Luck-Holiday-USA-Book-ebook/dp/B00KYXDFQ4/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1402708069&sr=8-7&keywords=laurel+hawkes

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hidden Possibilities

1816, England

Caitlin Roper's past demands she pursue a solitary existence. Her life as a staid and contented spinster vanishes the moment a handsome gentleman tumbles into her world.

Fynn survives the fall from his horse in body but not in memory. Is he beggar or thief? Gentleman or laborer? He must decide.

Hopeless dreams awaken, and the door to a new path opens. Complications abound when the worlds of class differences and propriety clash.

Torn between the possibilities hidden in the future and the secrets of the past, they both must choose...before time runs out and the past decides the future for them.

Excerpt

"I imagine your family's missing you," she continued with a quick breath, her tone nonchalant, perhaps hoping to distract him. "If you'll tell me who they are, I'll send word to them straight way."

He heard her slight hesitation. A frown wrinkled his brow, and a prickling fear slithered through him.

"Sir?"

"I am certain I have a family, somewhere," he grumbled. "I should, shouldn't I? Everyone comes from somewhere. One does not simply spring from the ground, but for Adam, of course. Your name isn't Eve, is it?"

The woman shook her head, narrowing her eyes.

"No, 'tis Caitlin, Caitlin Roper. I live here at Felliford Manor."

"Felliford Manor," he murmured, tasting it for any recognition, hoping to tamp down the growing fear. "There is something passing familiar about the name."

"Well, of course, there is. The Duke of Manchester is the Governor of Jamaica. This is his family estate, his home when he's in England."

"An honor, Caitlin Roper. I am at your service. No surprise you're not Eve, now is it? If we were Adam and Eve, I'd hardly find myself in such a comfortable bed, now would I?" Of a surety, he'd transformed into a silly, babbling brook, but he could not bring himself to care. It kept the fear at bay.

"As likely as not, sir, but you've yet to answer my question. In order for us to inform your family of your mishap, we first need to know who they are."

"'Ay, there's the rub,' as the Bard would say." He took a shallow breath, held it, and released it. "You see, try as I might, I cannot recollect them, not their names, nor even their faces. Isn't it odd, now?" He swallowed the knot forming in his throat.

The woman's breath hitched. "Not so odd, actually," she continued in a gentled voice. "You've quite the goose egg on the side of your ideabox. The apothecary suggested you might not remember everything, at first. He even said there might be a few things you never remember."

"Indeed? Tell me, did he perhaps mention when I might recall my own name?"


http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Possibilities-Endless-Book-ebook/dp/B00BXQEVIW/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1SJNCX36AM1WMAXDQX89

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/endless-possibilities-book-two-hidden-possibilities-epub/

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New DBP Releases on June 11...

It's the 11th, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Promise of Possibilities

In 1816, Spinster Elizabeth Thorn serves more as a slave than a servant as her father's housekeeper. The courageous war stories penned by Paul Silver inspire her to correspond with him, but after years of heartfelt letters, he ceases replying. Her father accepts a lucrative marriage bargain on her behalf, and her dream of sharing her life with a kindred spirit withers.

Jonathan Silverton blames himself for failing his best friend. To escape his shame, he moves to the countryside and meets none other than the woman he wrote for a decade. He dares not reveal his secrets, but he will not deny his desire to marry her.

Secrets breed distrust and misunderstandings. The past refuses to stay buried.

Shattered trust and faith may tear them apart...unless they each discover the courage to embrace the truth. 

EXCERPT:

"Matthew," Elizabeth hissed.

He grinned, unrepentant. "My sister instructs me I am not to ply you with my myriad of questions, at least not yet."

"You're incorrigible," she muttered. It was all she could do not to clamp her hand over her mouth. She'd never meant to utter the words aloud.

Mr. Jonathan Silverton turned his full attention on her, his gray-eyed gaze flicking over her from head to foot and back again.

Vague discomfort rippled through her. She knew she was unaccustomed to a man's attention, but had he lingered overlong in his perusal of her? Had she ever endured such scrutiny? Under her sire's critical gaze, of a certainty, and perhaps his cronies as well. This had felt different. The latter invariably filled her with the sensation of being one of her father's breeding mares, but not coming from Mr. Silverton. Instead, she had sensed something more -- familiarity or perhaps recognition -- and yet how could such a thing be when they'd never met before this moment? She would remember if they had, without a doubt. His brooding world-weariness and striking appearance were unforgettable.

She concentrated on keeping her own gaze directed to the gentleman's face, endeavoring not to notice his broad shoulders and chest, encased in a close-fitting coat and waistcoat, or his trim waist and lean hips and legs, in tailored trousers and boots, all of chocolate brown. In contrast, his shirt was stark white, and the cravat was tied with practiced carelessness. She suspected his piercing gray-eyed inspection of her discerned a great deal more than she wanted to reveal. Dragging her gaze away from his eyes to the rest of his face, she noticed it was tanned, his cheekbones high, his forehead broad, framed with light brown locks curling in disarray. His straight nose drew her perusal to his bow-shaped lips, the lower being fuller than the upper, and accentuated by his square jaw.

He stepped forward, and she offered her hand, smiling, hoping her own nervousness did not show. As handsome as he was, a darkness overshadowed him, a burden on his soul.

Tucking away her contemplations, she interjected, "Please pay no attention to my brother. He may be three and twenty, but when it comes to horses he is more like three and ten."

"Ellie, never say so. Seven and ten, at least, was when I knew enough to appreciate quality, when I saw it, and even you cannot deny those horses were prime quality."

Though Mr. Silverton offered a pleasant smile, it did not reach his eyes.


http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Possibilities-Endless-Book-ebook/dp/B00909PNB8/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1TMSVFWD1AH6V3BN66QD

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/endless-possibilities-book-one-a-promise-of-possibilities-epub/

Monday, June 9, 2014

My new FB Banner...

Have you seen it?

Thank you S²! I love the light, the book, and the silver trifecta of words. :-)



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Links to Share...

Donna Hatch writes Regency and shares what she learns in her research:
http://donnahatch.com/the-queens-drawing-room/

Diane Gaston also writes Regency and posts on her site every Thursday. The most recent was about her visit to Stratford Hall in Westmorland County, Virginia.
http://dianegaston.com/blog/

I've started reading Kathryn Springer's Mirror Lake series. She writes Inspirational romances and has been on my favorite authors' list for several years:
http://www.kathrynspringer.com/

God bless.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hallee Bridgeman...

At the AZ Dreamin' Reader's Conference, readers are given the opportunity to meet authors. There is "speed dating," during which the available authors visit each table of readers and talk about their books for two minutes. Readers are then given the opportunity meet up to 7 authors by signing up for 6 Book Clubs, no more than 10 people in each group, and Dinner, 8 at the table.

Before attending the conference, I visited the AZDRC website and checked out all the authors. I investigated the types of books they wrote, including reading samples, and made a list of the authors I wanted to meet, some I knew already and some new.

Book Clubs last 30 minutes. Some authors read portions of their book. Some play games, have quizzes, share audio portions of their books. They all share goodies with their fans. It's also an opportunity to have books signed.

I read "Greater Than Rubies" by Hallee Bridgeman (it ties book 1 and 2 together) and knew I wanted to meet her. She writes the Christian Romance novels I want to read! Yes, writers are fans, too.

http://www.amazon.com/Greater-Rubies-Christian-Romance-Jewel-ebook/dp/B00AV59ANM/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1401902554&sr=1-6&keywords=hallee+bridgeman+jewel+series

I chose Hallee as one of my Book Clubs as well as dinner. What a delightful experience!

For the book club, she and her husband provided a healthy bowl of fruit, coffee, and donut holes. Yummy! We talked as friends do, sharing experiences in writing and our journey to become better Christians. In attending her Book Club and dinner, I also met some wonderful people. It's a joy to walk into a room and know you already have something in common with everyone present, a love for some of the same books.

I bought the Jewel anthology and look forward to reading it, soon. I need more time.

Dinner offered the opportunity to become better acquainted. We shared a prayer before eating, something I usually do alone. We Readers asked questions and the Bridgemans answered and gave more. I was fed not only with delicious food but with fellowship.

What the Bridgemans didn't know: My family was going through a make it or break it time. Because of their faith and example, I was encouraged and strengthened to meet the tribulation waiting for me.

I enjoyed the entire weekend, but my time with the Bridgemans alone made it all worth it. I hope to see them again, next year. I will never look at Monopoly the same way. Read "Greater Than Rubies" and maybe you won't either.

http://www.halleethehomemaker.com/

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hunted down on FB...

My heroes found me on FB, today...

Patrick: Cheer up, Brent.
Brent: Is she back, yet?
Leo: Our Lady returned a day or two ago.
Brent: Then it's true.
Richard: What truth is so horrible you bear the appearance of one who's lost his best friend?
Brent: She's forgotten me.
Ian: Rubbish.
Leo: She forgets no one.
Benjamin: Unfortunately.
Brent: Easy for you to say.
Benjamin: Do tell.
Brent: Your publish date is set and on schedule.
Leo: Preening is unseemly.
Benjamin: I am not preening.
Fitzgerald: You are, but it is not the concern of the moment.
Ian: Sorrows shared are halved, and all that.
Benjamin: I don't know why you're complaining. You'll be published before me.
Brent: I was supposed to be published last March. March!
Dusty: Life happens.
Jordan: A series of unfortunately events.
Richard: Best laid plans of mice and men.
Brent: Murphy's Law.
Fitzgerald: What is this Murphy's Law?
Leo: Ask Jack. He knows everything.
Jack: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible moment.
Jordan: O'Toole's Corollary declares Murphy was an optimist.
Brent: Not helping, guys.
Leo: Never give up hope.
Jack: Our Lady's world has undergone a number of upheavals, but it is settling.
Leo: Stand strong, gentleman.
Jack: Indeed. It's the least we may do.
Patrick: Buckle up, Buttercup. We're in for a bumpy ride.
Benjamin: Who is this Buttercup?
Jack: It's a figure of speech.
Benjamin: It's ridiculous.
Jack: It made you smile. It even made Brent smile.
Dusty: Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reveiw of AZ Dreamin Readers' Conference...

Loved it!

First, I presented a workshop, A Writer's Environment, at the amazing Buildin' the Dream conference, run in connection with AZ Dreamin'. The first is for writers of any kind, and the second is for romance readers. What an amazing opportunity and experience. I learned from every class. Of course, the problem was wanting to be in two classes at the same time.

At the readers' conference, the following day, I attended book clubs ~ 30 minute blocks ~ with some of my favorite authors. Fan girl moment: I met Hallee Bridgeman. I discovered her books because of the conference. She writes the kind of Christian Romance novels I love to read. I'll write a complete blog on her, including a link to her blog, on Thursday.

I renewed friendships, seeing some wonderful people I haven't seen since last year's conference, and made some new friends I look forward to seeing next year.

The hotel was lovely, located on a golf course, and the area was beautiful. I enjoyed gazing at the north side of Camelback Mountain from my balcony. I spent time every morning breathing in the view and the cool air. Yes, it was still cool in the morning.

Fun side notes:

At breakfast, in the dining room, I sat by the window or outside, and saw the little cottontail who lived in the area. Cute!

On Sunday morning, I sat outside on the balcony while I read my Bible. At 8:05, a line of golf carts trundled along the path between the hotel and the golf course. The first thing to pop into my head was: A ride in Disneyland!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Newest DBP releases on June 1st...

It's the 1st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.