Welcome.

Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Who's For Dinner Fridays, and Saturday Sampler.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Post Christmas

I hope you all had a great weekend. My family did.. One of the great things about moving to Michigan's west coast is being close to our daughter and her family. On Saturday, we went to the children's service at their church. I love how the pastor drew in the children and made them part of the Christmas story.

Even though we live twenty minutes away, we stayed overnight so we could watch the kiddies open their gifts. I love how our daughter and her husband allow the kids to examine/play with a gift as long as they want before opening another gift. It sort of drives me crazy because I want them to hurry up and open our gifts. LOL

Christmas means so much more than gifts, as our son-in-law emphasized in his blessing at meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I'm so proud of what he and our daughter are teaching their children. The real meaning of Christmas--celebrating the birth of our Savior.

As many of you know, I'm a contributor to The Roses of Prose blog. Each December, we present serialized short stories. My story starts today with The Mistletoe Kiss. I hope you'll stop by and, if you enjoy the story, leave a comment.

Thanks for being such faithful readers.

PS My mother made the ceramic nativity set shown above. Each year, when I put it up, I think of her and all the work she put into making the set.






Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone the happiest holiday!




Happy Hanukkah





Wishing you peace and joy.





Thursday, December 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Love at Last by Sharon C. Cooper


Love at Last


A Jenkins Family Christmas

By Sharon C. Cooper


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Amaris Publishing LLC

Release Date: December 2, 2016

Length: 115 Pages

Carolyn Jenkins has never had a problem getting a man, but keeping one is another story. After two failed marriages and numerous short-term relationships, she’s ready to wave the white flag and give up on love. Yet, with Christmas quickly approaching, she dreads spending the holiday alone. Will a chance encounter with a handsome stranger make all of her Christmas wishes come true?

After thirty years of a nearly perfect marriage, widower Lincoln Richwood struggles to move on with his life. The idea of dating at his age seems daunting … until he meets the vivacious Carolyn Jenkins. Normally a straitlaced kind of guy, there’s just something about the woman that tempts him to walk on the wild side.

Opposites attract, but will their differences derail their relationship and keep them from embracing the love they both desire?




Book Excerpt


“Okay, you’re up. I have a feeling you’re going to knock down all the pins this time and break a hundred.”



“Yeah, we’ll see.” Lincoln lifted the bowling ball as if it weighed nothing. Standing in front of the pins, his height and broad shoulders were on full display making him appear even taller than his six-foot-plus stature. Though she felt bad that he wasn’t bowling well and at times seemed frustrated, she hadn’t had this much fun in a long time.

Lincoln moved forward and released the ball. The power behind his roll and the sound of the pins slamming together was like a roar of thunder shaking the building. Even after all of that, only five pins fell.

Carolyn burst out laughing.

“It’s not that funny.”

“Yes, it is. You roll that ball so hard, it’s a wonder all the pins in the building didn’t fall.”

He ran a hand over his head and again frustration showed on his face. “Any tips?”

“Maybe don’t roll the ball so hard. You’re confusing the pins. They’re bumping into each other unsure of what to do. Instead of falling they spin and wobble but remain standing.”

His brows dip. “You’re not serious. Confusing them? They’re damn pins. You’re talking like they have a mind or something.”

Carolyn laughed again, unable to help herself. She moved closer. Her hands gripped his thick biceps and she dropped her voice to almost a whisper and her mouth brushed against his ear. “Treat those pins like you would treat me if you were trying to bring me pleasure. I imagine you would take your time kissing and touching every inch of my body with your big, strong, powerful hands. Stroking … caressing … loving on me with authority, but also with a gentleness that would have me whimpering your name and begging for more.”

A tingle crept up Carolyn’s inner thighs as her words evoked erotic thoughts of what it would feel like to have Lincoln buried deep inside of her. Her heart pounded hard against her chest as she held onto him tighter, struggling to press down the desire suddenly raging within her. The last thing she should be thinking about was getting intimate with him while hanging out in a bowling alley, but if they ever made love, no doubt it would be deliciously intense.

His hand moved to her hip and he pulled her against his body, staring down at her lips. He lowered his head, excruciatingly slow, causing her to pant for what she knew was coming. His mouth, only a breath from hers, suddenly stopped. “You might be on to something.”

Carolyn tsked when his hand slipped from her body, immediately missing the heat from his touch. He grabbed his bowling ball like a man on a mission. She watched each measured step he took. It was as if a different person was bowling. The ball glided smoothly down the alley, picking off each pin one by one, giving him a spare. Since it was the tenth frame, he bowled again and got his first strike of the night.

Carolyn jumped up and cheered, “Yes! Now that’s what I’m talking about!”

Lincoln walked back to her with purpose and didn’t stop until he had her wrapped in his arms. “You should’ve given me that sexy-ass tip nine frames ago.” His mouth devoured hers, again. She succumbed to the forceful domination of his lips, neither caring that they drew attention from the other bowlers as he aroused a passion rivaling their earlier kiss.

When he finally let her up for air she said, “Well, hell. If I knew you’d kiss me like that, I would’ve.”

Copyright © November 2016 by Sharon C. Cooper


About Sharon C. Cooper





Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life.

Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014.

When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit her on the Web.


The Giveaway


$10 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Novel Book Tours


Monday, December 19, 2016

Patricia Josephine's Cover Reveal

Instead of my usual Monday Morning Musing, I'm helping my Michigan friend Patricia Josephine reveal the cover for her newest story, Abducted Life.



Blurb:

Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no memory of what happened to her. Savannah struggles to move forward as strange, new abilities manifest.

Evan Sullivan never gave extra-terrestrials much thought until the night he and Savannah were abducted. While Savannah’s memory was wiped clean, he remembers every horrific detail. Constantly reminded of the experiments that made him less than human, Evan hides in the shadows and watches Savannah rebuild her life without him.

But neither can let the other go. When their paths cross, Savannah and Evan finally see a glimmer of their old lives return. As they face what happened to them, they soon discover they aren’t safe. There’s more to fear than what’s hiding in the stars.

About Patricia Josephine:

When Patricia Josephine isn't writing, she is watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. It is her dream to one day have what resembles a petting zoo. She is also an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn! She also writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

My links:

Friday, December 16, 2016

#SFRBrigade Holiday Showcase



Books, Giveaways, Recipes, More

If you're looking for my post for the Science Fiction Romance Brigade Holiday Showcase, just click on the tab above. 

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Keri's Christmas Wish by Pamela S. Thibodeaux Blog Tour & #Giveaway

Please welcome Pamela S. Thibodeaux back to my blog. She's celebrating the release of her new Christmas story. Here's a little bit about it.


Christian Theme:
The power of faith to heal 
                                        
Tagline:
Can Keri get past her angst over Christ’s birth and enjoy the Christmas season?


Blurb:
For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?

A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?

Find out in Keri’s Christmas Wish

Synopsis:
In Keri's Christmas Wish we get a glimpse into the life and spiritual practice of an ordinary woman who goes through an extraordinary experience.

Keri Jackson is an accountant who, although she loves Christ, abhors the hype, commercialism and controversy of His birth. As she embarks on a spiritual quest to determine why she feels this way, a rare bacterial infection threatens to take her life before she can find answers.

Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist whose practice is a bit unorthodox as far as the medical community is concerned, has been enthralled by Keri from the moment the two meet. He feels she is a highly intelligent, deeply emotional, intensely complex human being. He has studied the human psyche and spiritual evolution for as long as he can remember. Keri's attitude toward Christmas baffles him, but Jeremy is sure together they can get to the bottom of it. Until she is beset by a rare infection that she may not recover from.

But what Jeremy and the doctors don't know is that while her body is under attack, Keri's soul is alive and well in another realm.

We travel this journey with Keri as she discovers a spiritual truth that is sure to set many people free from preconceived notions about heaven, angels, Christ, Christmas and the value of a relationship with Jesus.


Q&A:

Question:  What inspired you to write your newest release Keri’s Christmas Wish?
Answer: When I look back on the beginning I can honestly say Keri’s Christmas Wish was totally inspired by God. I’d finished a short story and sent the collection off to my editor when a vision of a young woman scrolling through her newsfeed came to mind with the words: Bah Humbug…. The entire story evolved from that one image and I completed the manuscript within a very short time. Since this was the first, original fiction story I’ve written in its entirety since 2009 I’m very excited to see it come to fruition.

Question: Why should people buy this book and who is your potential audience? 
Answer: Keri's Christmas Wish will give readers an enjoyable fiction story that shares the miracles and magic of the books and movies made over the last several years based on a true account of someone's visit to heaven. Those who love reading, hearing about and watching a true account of someone's visit to heaven as well as those who wonder if heaven is for real and what it is like, will enjoy Keri's Christmas Wish. 

Question: Is there anything else you feel is relevant to this story?
Answer: True accounts of heaven, angels, miracles as well as Energy Medicine, and meditation/self-help techniques are huge topics of interest in the world today. This story combines all of the above in a manner sure to entertain as well as enlighten.

Question: What is the message you hope to get across in this story?
Answer: That regardless of where you are in your faith journey God and His angels are always there to guide and guard and that He loves you in spite of your doubt and fears.

Question: What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
Answer:         Q: To what or whom do you credit your success?
                        A: Many people have a love/hate relationship with their muse. My muse is the Holy Spirit and I accredit every ounce of success to the grace of God because without HIM I seriously doubt I could write a single word, much less stories that bring hope and healing to so many.

Question: What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
Answer: Unlike many writers, I'm not strictly disciplined. However, when I am actively writing, I write—very little editing, or working on other projects, limited time online, not much networking or blogging, sleep comes only in snatches, meals are scarce and light, and definitely no playing!

Question: When do you feel like it all began to come together for you as a writer—was there a particular moment?
Answer: After years as a closet writer, penning stories in 5-subject notebooks, I'd have to say when I purchased my first, USED word processor and started typing in all those handwritten manuscripts I really began to feel like a writer.

Question: Who has influenced you most as a writer and why?
Answer: There is really no one person to whom I can attribute this to, so many have helped me along the way. I’d have to say that my love of reading has influenced me the most. Reading opens doors to the imagination, takes you places you’d never be able to go otherwise and improves your visualization and vocabulary skills. Now, I’m able to implement all those things into my own writing.

Question: What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Answer: The biggest challenge I face is not having my work accepted by the “Christian” publishers. As one reviewer said, “though undeniably Christian, it is never dogmatic or insular; offering faith rather than religion.” (Review of Tempered Dreams by Elizabeth Burton for Blue Iris Journal) My books deal with issues in a way that is unacceptable in the traditional CBA market. Now that is not saying that my books are better than those published through traditional CBA publishers, only different. As I’ve said many times, everything that gives God glory deserves to be praised!

Question: What are a few writing tips you could share with aspiring writers?
Answer: The bible exhorts us to “study and show yourself approved.” Keep studying, keep writing, keep learning, stay open to constructive critique and NEVER GIVE UP! Writing is both gift and talent given to you by God. Don’t hide your gift or bury your talent. Whatever you write, write well. Strive for excellence. Stay teachable, pliable, and flexible. Never believe that you know it all because knowledge is power and the more you know the more valuable you become. Above all share what you learn with others and make someone’s load lighter to bear.

Question: Any marketing tips?
Answer: Marketing is an intricate part of the publishing business and publishers today expect authors to do their fair share. However, marketing/promotion can be overwhelming as the more you learn, the more there is to learn. For everything you accomplish, there are hundreds more you can do. My motto is: Do something every day and your best then let God do the rest and remember it takes time to build a career.

Question: What is your goal or mission as a writer?
Answer: A committed Christian, I firmly believe in God and His promises. God is very real to me. I believe that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them and I do my best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with Him. The deepest desire of my heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust, and forgiveness to a hurting world. My hope is that all of my stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and - in some way - bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him.


Here's an excerpt from Keri's Christmas Wish

Excerpt: 

An image began to form in her mind…a young girl being led around on a horse by an ethereal figure. As the trio came closer, Keri felt as though she looked in a mirror. Her heart swelled. Tears clogged her throat, filled her eyes, and slipped down her cheeks.

“Hi, Keri!”

The childlike voice reverberated through her entire body. Keri smiled and whispered, “Hello.”

Excitement lit the youngster’s eyes. Brilliant colors vibrated around her. “Do you know who I am?”

“You’re me as a little girl. That’s Spark, my horse who died when I was a teenager.”

Spark nodded his head as the girl giggled—a joyous melody that rang through the atmosphere. “No, silly, I’m your big sister. Only, I didn’t live very long.”

Tension seeped in, a mixture of shock and awe.

“Don’t be afraid. Ask mom.”

And then the mirage disappeared.



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.”

Links:
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com    
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU 


Pamela is giving away 5 E-copies & 5 Print copies of Keri’s Christmas Wish.


Blog Tour Stops: drop by each blog and enter the giveaway!

Dec 3rd – Saturday Spotlight on my personal blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com
Dec 5th - Linda Rondeau Blog:  http://lindarondeau.com/snarksensibility
Dec 6th - Clare Revell Blog: http://telscha.blogspot.co.uk/
Dec 7th – Diana Rubino Blog: http://dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com/
Dec 9th – Linda Carroll-Bradd Blog: http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com/
Dec 10th – Marilyn Leach Blog: marilynleachteaandbooks.com
Dec 11th – Robin Bayne Blog: http://wwwwritingbetweensundays.blogspot.com/
Dec 12th – Raquel Byrnes Blog: http://nitewriter6.blogspot.com/
Dec 13th – Cami Checketts Blog: http://www.camichecketts.com/  
Dec 14th – Linda McLaughlin Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Dec 15th – Diane Burton Blog: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/
Dec 16th – Maureen Bonatch Blog: http://www.maureenbonatch.com/blog/
Dec 17th – Alicia Dean Blog: https://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/
Dec 18th – Jody Day Blog: http://jodysdevotionaljournal.blogspot.com/
Dec 19th – Marian Merritt’s Blog: http://marianmerritt.blogspot.com
Dec 20th – Kim Headlee Blog: https://kimiversonheadlee.blogspot.com/   
Dec 21st - Patricia Preston Blog http://patricia-preston.blogspot.com/
Dec 22nd  - Delia Latham Blog http://chirpnchatter.blogspot.com/

If you enjoy Keri’s Christmas Wish check out Pam’s other books, all of which are on sale through Jan 3rd @ AmazonB&N; and Smashwords!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holidays, Vacations, and Trouble


What do holidays and vacations have in common? Among other things, rushing around ahead of time. Instead of happily anticipating a vacation, we run around making sure we have everything we need or must do ahead of time—buy miniature toiletries and new clothes, cancel the newspaper, stop the mail, etc., etc., etc.

Christmas should be a time of joy and remembrance of the reason to celebrate. Instead, we are consumed by what we have to do. We have to buy presents for our loved ones—oh, and don’t forget that gift for the office exchange. We have to bake cookies. We have to clean. We have to decorate our houses. We have to send out cards. We drive ourselves crazy trying to remember what we’ve forgotten.

Along with all that rushing around comes trouble. Several years ago, while thinking about what I still needed to do before a vacation, I didn’t see a curb, tripped, and fell to my knees on the sidewalk. Ouch. That shook me up enough to make me slow down. In anticipation of driving to our sister’s for Christmas one year, my other sister hurriedly walked her dog, slipped on ice, and broke her wrist. People have car accidents because they’re thinking about something else and not paying attention.

There’s the crux of the problem. Not paying attention. You would think that after falling (or nearly falling) I would be more careful. I am. Usually. With the first big (no, make that BIG) snow of the season, I’m cautious as I walk outside. No rushing for me. So what did I do? I tripped in my own house over something I should have put away and slammed into a curio cabinet. I didn’t fall, thank goodness, but my upper arm sports a huge bruise.

From the above anecdotes, you might think what a klutz. And you’d be right. I was never graceful, even in my younger days. Although I try to be more cautious, I don’t always pay attention—like the time a couple of us left book group, talking, and I missed a step and landed on my hip. Good thing I have lots of padding there.  LOL

My advice—to you and, especially to myself—is to slow down. And all those things that you have to do? The world will not come to an end if you don’t do them. Don’t stress over what you haven’t done. Relax. Enjoy the season. Don’t get so wrapped up in the rush. Be careful. Remember why we celebrate. 


Saturday, December 10, 2016

#WeWriWa - #Sunday: Bygone Brother - Killer's Mom


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

This is the last snippet from my PI mystery, The Case of the Bygone Brother, a contemporary cozy, that takes place in a small Lake Michigan resort town. Alex (Alexandra) O'Hara has taken over her dad's investigation agency, struggling to keep it going. Alex and Nick are surveilling a client's husband. This snippet picks up with Alex escaping over the fence after peeking in the basement window.
On the other side of the fence, practically nose-to-nose with me, stood Mother Nature’s idea of a joke--the monster dog, a cross between a rag mop and a small beagle. Nick and I scrambled back to the car.
Inside, I started laughing and Nick said, “Killer?”
That set me off again, “Don’t make me laugh or I’ll pee my pants,” I groaned—I couldn’t believe I said that.
I sobered quickly and, as I started the car, I said, “So much for catching my client’s husband doing the hanky-panky.”
“You didn’t get pictures? You have got to be kidding, after all that, you—”
“No hanky-panky—” shooting him a gloating look “—more like the waltz.”
“Say again.”
“Killer’s mother is a dance instructor.


Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Meet Author J.Q. Rose & #Giveaway


I'm please to welcome J.Q. Rose to my blog today. She was kind enough to help me promote Mission to New Earth. Now I get to return the favor. Let's get to know J.Q.


Welcome. Please tell us about yourself.
Hello Diane. Thank you for hosting me on my Dangerous Sanctuary Virtual Book Tour. I’m celebrating the release of my romantic suspense, Dangerous Sanctuary, by giving away a PDF copy of the book. A lucky commenter will win the book just by leaving a comment below. The winner will be chosen Sunday, December 11 at 10 pm EST.

Update 12/13/16: the winner of the copy of Dangerous Sanctuary is Pamela T. Congrats, Pam.

Since you asked to tell a bit about me, I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and snowbird. However, I prefer the term sunbird to describe my husband and me. We leave the north in the fall, migrating like the birds, to the warm sunny winter weather in Florida, then return to the north for the lovely spring sunshine. So we follow the sun, and escape from the snow.

Where can readers find you?
Readers can find me online here

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I began writing stories in the second grade in order to keep out of trouble. Yes, I was one of those chatty, little girls who loved to visit with classmates when I completed my assignment. Because my mother was my teacher that year, I had to behave. She didn’t put up with me or any of the kids disturbing others during study time, so I kept busy by making up stories.

Who was the greatest influence for you to become a writer?
My grandmother Maw is the one who encouraged me to be a writer. In seventh grade I wrote my first “book,” similar to my favorite story, Black Beauty. Maw took my hand-written “manuscript” and typed it on sheets of paper on her old clickety-clack typewriter and produced something that actually looked like the pages of a book. I was overjoyed seeing a title page and my name as the author and the neatly printed pages. That gave me the bug to become a published writer. I dedicated Dangerous Sanctuary to her because she was my first publisher and Bible teacher.

What does your family think of your writing?
My family gets a kick out of my writing. They’re happy to see that I’m fulfilling my lifelong dream to be a published author. One of my biggest fans is my granddaughter, 7-year-old Aubrey. She told me last week she wanted to write a story together. I was thrilled she was taking an interest in writing, let alone wanting to join me in a project.

This past summer, I took her to buy a book from my friend Jane Stroschin, a talented artist and children’s author. Her picture books are works of art. We visited Jane’s home where Aubrey picked out the book she wanted, and Jane drew a character in the front of the book and autographed it for Aubrey. Needless to say, Aubrey was smitten with this special woman. When we said good-bye to Jane, we returned to the car. As Aubrey strapped on her seat belt in the back seat, she said, “Now I know two famous people.” I twisted around in the driver’s seat and asked, “You do? Who are they?” She replied, “Jane and you!” Ah, she truly is my number one fan.

What is the best part of writing for you?
The best part of writing is getting the idea for the project. A news story, a person I meet, a place we visit are all fodder for sparking a story. Then I let the inspiration swirl in my brain when I walk, shower, wake in the middle of the night. I allow all of the “what-ifs”, the possibilities and potential of the story to foment in my mind.  The excitement about sharing the characters and their passion with readers and, oftentimes, an underlying message in the words builds until I have to rush to grab a pen or click on a blank page in Word to finally write it down.

What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?
Actually I already have two books including jobs I have done in my life. My mystery with a paranormal twist, Deadly Undertaking, takes place in a funeral home because my family was in the funeral business. I helped my mom and dad when I was a little kid all the way through high school. I set up flowers for visitation, ran errands like picking up the printing and death certificates, arranged seats for the funeral service in the chapel, and even dusted caskets. My husband and I owned and operated a floral shop and greenhouse business, so in the romantic suspense, Dangerous Sanctuaries, the sidekick to my main character, a female pastor, is a florist named Lacey.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I bet you know the answer to this one—reading. I enjoy reading a printed book, but I love reading e-books on my Kindle too. I can adjust the font, highlight passages I want to return to, make notes, and immediately access a dictionary when I want to look up a word. Plus when I turn on the Kindle to the book I am reading, the page where I left off pops up, and I’m ready to read. I also enjoy listening to audio books on my Kindle. I download them from my local library via overdrive.com.

Besides reading, my husband and I travel. In fact, we were full-time RV’ers for eight years after we sold our flower shop business. We still camp with the kids and love getting away with the family. We’ve enjoyed visiting almost all fifty states including Hawaii and Alaska. All that sight-seeing fits in with my next hobby, photography. I’m always in pursuit of that perfect photo of nature, family, and friends.

Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Previously published as Coda to Murder

BLURB:
Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. 
Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her. 
Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

Available at Amazon in print and e-book at  http://amazon.com/dp/B01MQIFQFI

EXCERPT: Dangerous Sanctuary, excerpt from Chapter 10

“The detective practically accused me of killing William, right there, right in the park.” Sitting on the screened-in porch at the rear of the parsonage, Christine expected Lacey to be as angry as she was at such a ridiculous idea.

Instead, her friend held her slice of pizza midway from the greasy box to her mouth long enough to ask, “Hey, you didn’t tell me you were at the park with Stephens this afternoon. How’d that happen?”
“What? You’re more interested in why I was at the park instead of being accused of murdering William? Come on, Lacey.” She planted her feet firmly on the cement floor and stopped the gentle rocking of the glider. “Don’t you get it? I could be tossed in jail for something I didn’t do.”

“Don’t be silly. You’re innocent. You know it, and so does everyone else.” Lacey popped the last morsel of pepperoni in her mouth. “Anyway, tell me how you met Cole Stephens at the park.” Her friend licked the pizza grease from her fingers and then grabbed the thin paper napkin to complete the grease removal from her lips.

“Excuse me, Lacey. Some people in this town are spreading rumors that I killed William. I wouldn’t be surprised if it weren’t some of my own parishioners involved in spreading them. There were several folks who weren’t too happy to have a young woman for their pastor.”

“You don’t think they’d spread malicious lies to get you out of here, do you?”

“I hope not.” Christine sat back on the glider and sipped her light beer. She was too upset to eat the pizza Lacey had brought over.

“I guess we could always do our own investigation, eh?” She threw it out there to get a reaction from her friend.

“Sure, Sherlock.” Lacey laughed. “We could go to William’s house to see if someone left a note telling us who killed him.”

Christine sat bolt upright. “You’re right! We could run out there and investigate.”

“I’m sure the police have already done that. There’s nothing left to check out.” Lacey piled the paper napkins next to the half empty pizza box on the patio table.

They sat in silence for a few minutes allowing the peaceful twilight to restore tranquility. Christine couldn’t let go of the idea of checking out William’s home. After all, William had shown her where the key was if she needed to get into his house in case of an emergency. I think trying to find William’s killer could qualify as an emergency.

Christine moved to the patio table. “We’ve got to go to William’s house and look for clues to his killer.”

“We can’t even get into his house.”

“Oh yes, we can. I know where he hides his house key. Come on, let’s go.” Christine swooped up the pizza box and bottles.

“Hey, what about the pizza?”

“I’ll store it in my refrigerator for a midnight snack. Let’s go now.” Christine was fired up to prove her innocence. Sitting back and waiting to find out who murdered William was no longer an option.



Thursday, December 8, 2016

Guest Veronica Scott

I'm excited to have Veronica Scott back on my blog. She's celebrating a new book, Star Survivor. I bought this book the day it came out and read it right away. I included my review at the end. Here's Veronica.

Star Survivor by Veronica Scott


Thanks for having me as your guest!

There’s nothing more fun for an author than revisiting favorite characters from a past novel, especially if now is the time to tell the story for two of those people, who were not the primary couple in book one. Almost as soon as I finished writing Wreck of the Nebula Dream, my “Titanic in space” scifi novel with romantic elements, I was being asked by readers to write the sequel. It seemed people really wanted to know what was going to happen next for Twilka, the ‘Socialite’ rich, spoiled girl and Khevan, the sexy, deadly bodyguard/assassin who serves a jealous alien goddess.

I honestly can’t tell you if I originally intended for them to be together at the end of Wreck, but as characters so often do, they told me in no uncertain terms that they were attracted to each other. (The joys of being a “seat of the pants” author who lets her stories unfold as they will!). It made sense though. My characters went through a lot to survive the wreck of the Nebula Dream, and reach safety, so it seemed natural that these two had formed a bond.

For the ongoing story in the sequel then, I had to develop a lot more detail of the lives each one stepped out of when they survived the disaster. The wreck was a moment in time and now I was going to do more of a deep dive and see what Twilka and Khevan each were about, and  how they’d go on once the excitement and adrenaline of the near-death situation was over.

For Twilka, I envisioned immersion in the world of fashion and celebrity, because she was already a famous party girl. Add to that the notoriety of surviving this most terrible spaceship wreck in the history of the galaxy and she could leverage her ‘brand’ to do certain things. I had a lot of fun researching various celebrities in our modern day who could serve as role models for different aspects of Twilka’s choices. (I’m betting a lot of names come to your mind, as they did to mine LOL.) I also – being a huge fan of the “Project Runway” show – seized my moment to stage a fashion show, with all the behind the scenes chaos and craziness and put Twilka square into the middle of it as the strongminded designer.

Khevan was a different issue. When I started working on Wreck of the Nebula Dream and doing the world building for the Sectors, which is my interstellar civilization, I knew there were two alien goddesses, sisters, remnants perhaps of a long ago intergalactic race. The Sisters have treaties with the Sectors, because they’re valuable allies against a marauding alien race everyone fears. The Red Lady is served by deadly men and woman, who kill or guard at her whim and command. The Lady in White is more interested in doing good works and keeping her bloodthirsty sister in check. As a D’nvannae Brother, or adherent of the Red Lady, Khevan had sworn powerful oaths. Writing Star Survivor allowed me to go deeper into the D’nvannae and share some of the behind the scenes aspects.

I also brought back Nick and Mara, the hero and heroine from Wreck, in a supporting role.
And I have a new character, known as the Renegade. You’re probably going to see him in his own book at some point.

So I united all these disparate people together in my attempt to answer the question, what happened next for Twilka and Khevan?

I hope the readers won’t be dismayed at what the couple has to work through to achieve their Happily Ever After – nothing worth having is ever simple, right? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?
 I did try to make Star Survivor as standalone as possible. I don’t feel you have to read Wreck of the Nebula Dream first.

The story:
The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.

The long-awaited sequel to The Wreck of the Nebula Dream

They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.

Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?

D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady.  Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.

But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?

The excerpt:
The dreams she couldn’t escape for long were especially bad tonight. Twilka tossed and turned on the huge bed in the city’s most luxurious hotel, more than a little afraid to seek more sleep. She’d clawed her way out of the nightmare where she was surrounded by laughing, faceless drunks, intent on living their last few hours of life aboard the Nebula Dream by passing her around among themselves. In the dream, there was no help coming, no rescue, and she woke screaming. Heart pounding, she lay still for a moment before reaching for the glass of water at the bedside. Should she take the meds her doctor had given her to suppress the memories?

No, the prescription stuff made her into a robot who’d sleepwalk through tomorrow’s activities, and she needed all her wits about her in the negotiations. Taking the glass, she kicked her way free of the covers and strolled barefoot to the private terrace, high above the planet’s surface. Inhaling a deep breath of the flower-scented air, she took one tentative step onto the balcony, clutching the door handle with her free hand. Acrophobia was a bitch. As she sipped the water, she reflected on the irony that she, of all people, was reluctant to take a drug to quell the nightmares. “A legal one no less,” she muttered to herself. After years of enjoying all the feelgoods all the time with no regard for consequences.

The view of the city was breathtaking, all colorful twinkly lights at this hour. Raising her eyes to the plateau, she took a deep breath. The Red Lady’s oversize temple dominated the horizon, glowing ruby like a baleful eye. Shivering, wishing she’d put on her robe, Twilka pivoted to re-enter the room. With a stifled scream, she saw a dark shadow standing beside the bed. Breaking the water glass on the door frame and holding the jagged base fragment as a weapon, she said, “I’ve activated my personal panic button. The hotel’s security detail will be here in a minute. Leave now and I won’t press charges.”

He stepped into the moonlight. “We need to talk. Cancel the alarm.”

Khevan.

Buy Links:
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Author Bio:

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”



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Diane's review:

This sequel to The Wreck of the Nebula Dream answered questions about what happened to the main and two secondary characters. I'd hoped that Twilka and Khevan would find their HEA. The road to true love did not run smooth for these likeable characters. In Nebula Dream, we saw a hint of Twilka's strength. She had no idea what would be expected of her--or what she would agree to.

Khevan needed a good kick in the pants for not following Twilka after their life-threatening adventure on the Nebula Dream. But the D'nvannae Brother had a jealous mistress, The Red Lady. And she is vengeful toward those in her service who put others first, especially, a human female.

Ms Scott weaves a complicated tale of separated lovers who need to dig deep for inner strength and find the courage to decide if love is worth the risk. A fast-paced, action-adventure tale that you'll want to read in one sitting--or stay up late reading far into the night.

Star Survivor is a standalone book, but it's more fun if you read The Wreck of the Nebula Dream first.