Posts Tagged ‘clean reading’

In death she found life

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019
In death she found life.Florence Sterling should be perfectly happy. She’s been given a second chance at life with her beloved husband. But all is not well. She yearns for more children, even though Alex is reluctant. Memories of the day she and her baby were murdered still haunt her. And she can’t shake the feeling she will be separated from Alex again.

As if in confirmation of her premonition, Alex is called on a dangerous mission to enlist America’s aid in WWII. Trying to distract herself, Florence investigates what really happened when her son died. As she searches, she becomes convinced her son is alive, although witnesses say otherwise. And with each clue she discovers, she unwittingly draws closer to her old enemy—the deranged woman who will stop at nothing to destroy her.

When Alex goes missing in action, Florence must reach deeply into her faith as she faces her greatest fears. If Alex is lost to the war, will she allow herself to love another man and fulfill her desire to have a family? Or will she remain alone the rest of her life?

Book one in this series WON the bronze medal with the Readers’ Favorite International competition
in the historical-mystery category!!! 
Make sure you Check out both books in this series!

 

 

 

Marcia was born and raised in Argentina during the military regime which ended with the loss of many young lives in the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Amidst the devastating effects of military government and war, reading and writing became a passion which expanded and transported her imagination with the possibility of a brighter future.
At the age of eighteen, she moved to the United States, where she studied English and started her own family. She soon discovered that the love she has for her husband and children would naturally unfold towards her European roots, leading her to become a genealogist and family historian. A decade of searching, compiling, and learning the stories of thousands of people has instilled in her a profound gratitude for the strong ties that can be achieved in families through personal sacrifice.
So it is that through fiction, Shadows of Time duology (Awaken, Shadows of a Forgotten Past and Alive, Shadows of a Living Past) explores and exposes the characteristics of true love and loyalty in times of fear, war, and finally, death. But perhaps the most captivating element in the story is the battle within the souls of the main characters as they search to know who they really are and how they are connected.

Character Casting

 

Alexander Sterling:Richard Armitage  /  Florence Contini:Emma Watson

 

 

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The need to sell his grandma’s house adds an unexpected complication

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

 

HEATHER TULLIS has been reading romance for as long as she can remember and has been publishing in the genre since 2009. She has published more than twenty books. 
 
When she’s not dreaming up new stories to write, or helping out with her community garden, she enjoys playing with her dogs and cat, cake decorating, trying new jewelry designs, inventing new ways to eat chocolate, and hanging out with her husband. 
 
Learn more about her and sign up for her newsletter on her website.
 
 
Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma’s house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn’t have all those farm animals.
 
 Kaya Feidler’s family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years–long before the neighbors were there. There’s no way she’s giving up the animal therapy business she’s been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery. 
 
Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends?
 
 

 

Snippet:
Jonah picked at a piece of shredded
lettuce on his sandwich. “I’d do anything for my grandma. Besides, I love it
here, and I was ready for a change. A complete change.” He’d been dragging
around trying to paint post-Janet. This was a fresh start in many ways.
“She said you haven’t painted anything in a long time.” Kaya’s words
were hesitant, as though she wanted to ask, but didn’t want to pry.
“I hit a wall.” He paused. It felt wrong to gloss it over with Kaya,
though he didn’t know why. He went with the impulse. “I was dating someone
seriously. When it ended, I found I could only paint dark stuff. Stuff I
wouldn’t buy or hang, and definitely wouldn’t sell. I tried working through it,
but I tried so hard to paint things I wasn’t feeling that I ended up not being
able to paint at all. Nothing remotely good, anyway. Technically correct, but
not emotionally true at all, so I had to stop. The gallery is sort of my backup
plan.” It had taken a long time for him to admit it was what he had to do.
“That seems to have changed.”
“What do you mean?”

 

“I saw the painting of Shyanne this morning; it’s nearly done, right? It’s beautiful. It takes my breath away, actually.”  
 

 


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He needs this job to honor his late wife.  She needs to complete her late fiancé’s bucket list to be free

Friday, December 21st, 2018

 

Jennifer lives in Arizona where she writes escapist fiction she calls “Cotton Candy for the Soul.”

 

 

He needs this job to honor his late wife.
 She needs to complete her late fiancé’s bucket list to be free.
Former action-movie star Chet has counted the days since he lost his wife last New Year’s Eve almost a year ago. When he’s given a shot at starring in a reboot of her favorite TV show, he jumps at it. But there’s a catch: the producers won’t hire him unless he can prove he’s regained emotional stability—by bringing a steady girlfriend to his five auditions.
Which means: five mandatory dates for this bereft widower.
Social worker Holly lost her fiancé to war. With his good life snuffed out too soon, she feels compelled to finish his bucket list of unselfish deeds. But four years later, several remain, and they’re ridiculously impossible. Until she accomplishes her soldier’s dreams, she can’t even consider moving on with her life.
When they meet on the beach at Getaway Bay, what she doesn’t know is homeless-looking mourner Chet is actually Colt Winchester, screen star and fashion icon. What he doesn’t know is that he’s a means to an end.
When their walls start to crumble on their Christmas season dates, can these two find love again, or will they forever be chasing ghosts?”

 

Snippet:
“Excuse me.” A server approached with a silver platter covered with frosted sugar cookies. “Would you care for a cookie?”
“Who says no to a sugar cookie?” Holly took two—a star and a snowman. “Thank you.” One bite of the star’s vanilla-almond buttercream frosting sent her mouth into ecstasy.
“These are good,” Chet ate his green-frosted Christmas tree in two bites.
“Did you try the snowman?” The frosting of her second cookie melted into a sweet coconutty heaven on her tongue. “Mmm. It’s childhood in a sugary bite.”
“Do you bake?” He spoke through a mouthful. “Mmm. Cookies are love.”
Chet caught Holly off guard. He hadn’t seemed like the type to make such a tender analogy.
“Ah, sometimes. And you’re right. Especially sugar cookies. They require so many steps I always just buy them.” She never made them. Not even for Rick. “The only thing that could motivate a person to make them is love of the recipients of the cookies.”
“That,” Chet said, “or a deep love of sugar cookies.”
“Gluttony could also be a motivator.”
“Where’s that platter? We should get more of those.” Spoken like a true hungry person.
Holly had never experienced true hunger, at least not physical hunger. Maybe Chet needed more cookies.
“If we walk around, we might run into the sugar cookie person again.” Or someone with another kind of food, if Chet needed it. However, tonight, Chet seemed a lot less like a guy who needed to fish to feed himself than he had the other day.
They walked toward a table with chairs and sat down. Chet reached across the table and took her by both hands. “I think girlfriend is right for now.”
Girlfriend. Holly stared down at their clasped hands atop the green velvet tablecloth. His were rough, like they’d held a fishing rod in the sun for a lot of hours, day after day. She’d seen him on the shore.
“So that makes you my boyfriend.” The word sounded younger than she felt. The last four years had aged her. Against her collarbone, Rick’s unused wedding ring heated up again. “You work fast.”

 

“Not usually.”
 

 


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But, what about Jacob Marley?  And why hadn’t he been given the same final chance of redemption as Ebenezer Scrooge?

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

 

R. William (Bill) Bennett is the author of Jacob T. Marley, The Christmas Gift, and a new Christmas novel being published by a major publisher for Christmas, 2019
 

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“Marley was dead to begin with . . . “
 
These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 
 
 
But, what about Jacob Marley?  And why hadn’t he been given the same final chance of redemption as Ebenezer Scrooge?
 
 

 

Or had he?
 
 
 
 
 

 

Snippet:
From a scene in which unbeknownst
to Scrooge, Marley’s spirit has accompanied Scrooge and the Ghost of
Christmas Present to the marketplace: 
 
At that moment, an urchin of no more than five stood before the trio. Whether she could not see Marley and Scrooge, or whether she simply paid them no mind, it could not be discerned, but there was no question she saw the ghost, as she surveyed his entire wardrobe and stared with delight into his face. The spirit smiled
down at her. He took his cornucopia torch and tipped it above her head, which
caused a soundless waterfall of glistening sparkles, like a thousand miniature
sprites, that seemed to flow into the girl as they touched her. 
“Spirit,” asked Jacob, “why does she see you?” 
“I cannot stop her. It is not that I choose to reveal myself to her, but I am revealed by her purity. She sees me because her eyes are not shrouded with doubt or hate,
fear or selfishness or greed. Her heart is innocent, and her eyes are an
extension of that heart. My mission is the goodness of man in this season, and
I cannot keep it from her.” 
“Do all the children see you?” 
“No, just the ones whose spirits are so remarkable, they tend to live in both
worlds.” 
“And what is that with which you christened her?” 
“Joy, that it might fill her needs a bit.” 
Marley seemed troubled. “She does not look like she needs joy. I think she needs
food—and clothing.” 
“Look about you,” said the spirit more sternly. “Do you see food?” 
Marley again took in the array of fruits and vegetables and nuts and plants of all
kinds. “I do, Spirit. So much that to feed this little one even all she could
swallow would not make a noticeable scratch on this abundance.” 
“And do you see people?” There were men and women and children bustling about, wishing each other the greatest merriment of the day and generally enjoying the
morning. 
“I do, Spirit, many.” 
“And what number of that many are stooping down to offer one bite, or perhaps an old shawl they would never miss, to this poor girl?” 
Jacob noticed that the crowds seemed completely oblivious to the child, walking
around her and even bumping her at times, looking down only to see what
inconvenience they had stepped on and, upon finding it to be only an urchin
girl, looking back up to continue their conversations, never missing a word.
“None,” Jacob confessed. “Not one seems to notice her.” 
“They all could, Jacob, if they chose. But they seem not to care. So, in this, I provide
a little to give her what they may not.” 
“But if she is hungry, why not give her all she needs?” 
“Do not think that a spirit does not have a kind heart! For we do. I ache for her
needs. But if I were to give her food and clothing and a home, what would be
required of you?” 

 

 


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She’d worried how she could ever fill the hole that Mike’s death had left in her children’s lives…

Monday, December 17th, 2018

 

 
 

 

Award-winning author, wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, karate black belt, and online gamer girl.
 
 
 

 

   
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Recently widowed Rae Cavanaugh just survived the worst birthday of her life. She and her two young children must now face a holiday season filled with so many reminders of what they’ve lost. 
 
But when a coworker who’s raising his young nephew moves next door, Rae discovers that the support of a good friend, and the gift of a child, can bring back some of the joy of the season.

 

 
**A Novelette**
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Snippet:
“Text me when you’re done.” Rae turned with the stroller, but Dylan put his hand over hers on the handle.
“Isn’t Beth going to get her picture taken too?” he asked.
“She’s too young. He’ll scare her.”
“Not if she’s with the Littles. Come on. Do you really want to have a picture of Preston but not one of Beth?”
“Well . . .” Rae hadn’t considered that.
“When she’s sixteen, she’ll want to know why you have a picture of Preston with Santa and not one of her.” He arched a brow, his head tilted. “She’ll play the you love him more than me card.”
Rae frowned, but he had a point.
“Baby, do you want to go with Preston?” When Beth nodded, Rae heaved out a breath and stepped back so Dylan could take hold of the stroller.
“Okay, guys, each of you put a hand over mine.” They did, and the four of them strode toward the Santa Claus line.
Rae’s eyes prickled. That man had been Heaven-sent. She’d worried how she could ever fill the hole that Mike’s death had left in her children’s lives, and then Dylan had shown up.

 

 


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The season brings only heartache after her fiancé was killed in combat two years ago

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

 

 

Hannah Conway is a military wife, mother of two, middle school teacher, best-selling author, and popular speaker.
 
Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists.
 
Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. 
 
She and her family live in Tennessee.
 

 

 
 
Audria Rylatt is the school system’s liaison for homeless students. She strives to make Christmas bright for hundreds, while the season brings only heartache after her fiancé was killed in combat nearly two years ago. So when her family decides to play matchmaker, she is less than thrilled. To make matters worse, they’ve invited a soldier friend of her deceased fiancé to the family cabin for the holiday.
But she’s surprised to find this soldier, Quinton Nolan, standing at the door of heart. Faced with painful memories, the despair Christmas brings her, and the fear to love again, Audria is in desperate need of a Christmas miracle. Or at least some of the hope Christmas seems to offer so many. Can she embrace a new mission? If so, Christmas may stand to deliver a lifetime of magical memories.
 
“Christmas on a Mission” is a delightful story of hope, life, love, and second chances, filled with all the joy and cheer Christmas brings.”

 

Snippet:
She pulled Perry onto her lap and rubbed around his ears until he began to doze. Soon, Gatlinburg faded, and the asphalt roads turned to gravel. They began to wind and curve upward, higher and higher until her ears popped. She yawned to relieve the pressure and watched as the evergreen trees grew thicker with each turn. Freshly fallen snow perched on their limbs. A cardinal darted low, his crimson feathers a delightful sharp contrast against the patches of snow. He
followed along the car for no more than a heartbeat and then flew back to his home high in the treetops. She smiled and let the mountains welcome her back.
The family cabin peeked from its hill, the green roof laden with snow–a Christmas card scene come to life.
It had been two years since she’d seen this place. Two years since she let the hills hold her and speak solace to her soul. This was where she felt closest to God. Why had she stayed away? Why had she not drawn near?
Tension melted from her shoulders, the driest patches of her soul thirsted and craved the respite so near. Two years was too long.
So much had happened.
Parts of her had grown and mended…yet…not all.
But she was back, drawing near, and the thought was at once was both terrifying and exhilarating.
The cabin came into full view, and her body trembled.
Who knew what emotions awaited her? Could she face them?

 

Moments and memories bombarded her thoughts.
 

 


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Suzi Stephens was shocked to learn Serenity Springs Children’s Home and Elementary School faced foreclosure

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

 

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a small office her family calls her pink cave. 
 
She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. 
 
 
Sign up for her newsletter subscription here and receive a FREE copy of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a western historical romance. 

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When a dot com billionaire crashes his sports car into a tree, he wakes up in heaven facing angels Gabriel and Michael. He’s given a chance to redeem his carefree ways by helping an orphanage avoid foreclosure and regain a sound financial picture by midnight on Christmas Eve—or else. To do so, he is sent back to earth as orphanage janitor, Jacob Porter.
 

 

After her father died four months ago, child psychologist Suzi Stephens was shocked to learn Serenity Springs Children’s Home and Elementary School faced foreclosure unless she met a balloon note due January 1. She can’t understand why her late father broke the trust her grandfather had carefully constructed to protect the private home. She is afraid the annual gala won’t raise enough money to pay the note much less the needed year’s operating funds. Trying to do her job plus step into her late father’s shoes has stretched her to her limits.
 
She’s suspicious of the handsome new janitor, who appears more like he’d be at home as a CEO. Could he be a spy for the developer who covets the children’s home property? Suzi overcomes her distrust enough to allow Jacob’s help raising funds. Working together, their attraction escalates but Jacob has nothing to offer the beautiful redhead. He is scheduled for earthly removal at midnight on December 24. 

 

Snippet:
Over
the years, Jacob had forgotten how frightened he and Mike had been as kids.
He’d pushed those recollections to the back of his mind in favor of successes.
Being around the children here rekindled memories of that time. Their worst
fear had been being separated.
Their company—the
one he founded—had been a struggle at first but then had taken off. Within
three years, they were multi-millionaires then billionaires. No one was more
surprised than Jacob. He’d been ultra-cautious for a few years, afraid
something would snatch success away from him.
One day, he’d
realized he had investments and backups and even if he lost half, he’d still be
wealthy. That’s when he’d begun to live the good life. More level-headed,
frequently Mike had cautioned him to limit his excesses.
Mike had said
they shouldn’t have planes, didn’t need as many cars, and one house each was
enough. He’d been right, of course. Here Jacob had none of those things. At
least he’d been there, done that, and had experienced the exhilaration success
inspired.
Now he had a
different challenge. He sure hoped he was up for this one. There was no failing
this time without dire repercussions.

 

 

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Will the Christmas spirit melt her heart or will she miss out on the love of her life?

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

 

Tamara Passey, author of the The Christmas Tree Keeper: A Novel, was born and raised in Massachusetts around a large family, one that has served as inspiration for most of her writing. She loves most creative endeavors and when she isn’t writing or re-writing, you can find her baking or cross-stitching or walking–though not all at the same time. She lives with her husband and children in Arizona.

 

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Welcome to the books of 
Christmas Past, Present and Future.

 

Eleanor is saving her grandmother’s fudge business but is becoming like Scrooge in the process. 
The consultant she hires to help is a friend from high school who hasn’t given up his secret crush for her. 
Will the Christmas spirit melt her heart or will she miss out on the love of her life?
 
 
 

 

Snippet:
Dear Mr. Dickens,
Scrooge is mean, Marley is a ghost. This isn’t the best setup for a
Christmas story. Were you writing this for Halloween or something? Also, why do
you call your chapters staves? Whatever. I’m just glad they’re short.
Missing the mistletoe,
Eleanor

 

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Will Candy have the courage to open her heart before it’s too late?

Friday, December 7th, 2018

 

Peggy is a small town girl who loves the city and the ocean (and the mountains as long as she doesn’t have to camp or hike). 
 
She credits her dad and the lack of television in her parents’ home for her love of reading and her imagination. She credits the guy who’s been hanging the moon for over 25 years for her belief in romance and true love. Five wonderful children, extended family, and great friends keep life exciting. 
 
Find a book you love and read!

 

Welcome to the books of 
Christmas Past, Present and Future.
“A Christmas engagement, broken two months later, rocked Candy Kaine’s world. After months of a schedule crammed with college courses, a full time job, and a few side jobs, the busyness is wearing thin. But school is still top priority. Until a fancy resort threatens to buy the satellite campus in the small town where she lives and takes classes.
 

 

Jace Marlowe has been down on his luck. Can a temporary job for an upscale resort in his home town be the turn around he’s looking for? The only problem? His grandmother’s beautiful neighbor who wants to keep the school just where it is. If she doesn’t get her way will she be as vindictive as his ex?
 
A charmed nativity facilitates the past, present, and future experiences for Candy but will she have the courage to open her heart before it’s too late?”

 

Snippet:
“Can I get you anything before I leave?” he asked his grandma.
 
“I’m fine. I’m just going to watch TV and wait for Saint Nick,” Grandma said.
 

 

     He couldn’t tell if she was serious.
 

 

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What have I done? I was a fool not to wait for Mr. Whittaker. Oh, Gareth, if only you were here…

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

 

Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

 


In this delightful traditional Regency romance, Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott’s Christmas party at Camden House, in the countryside. But things do not go quite as she imagined. Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman’s hut with one of the guests. What a scandal! 
Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival? 
And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma. A must-read for Regency fans!
Snippet:
Diana stepped into the carriage as if hypnotized and sat next to Miss Plymstock. “What are you going to do to me?” she asked.
Mr. Rundle put on an expression of exaggerated surprise while Miss Taggart giggled behind one black-gloved hand. He stroked his beard.
“My dear Miss Dashwood, you are so imaginative. You make me sound like a villain in these romantic novels so popular with young ladies nowadays. I am going to do nothing to you. You will witness the marriage, along with Miss Taggart. I will begin my honeymoon with my lovely young bride, and the carriage will return you to town. Then you will, no doubt, make your way back to London and forget all about Jemima.”
He gave a leering wink.
“She will be too busy learning her new marital duties as Mrs. Rundle to keep up any acquaintance with you.”
He knocked on the roof of the carriage to signal the driver. Miss Plymstock moaned but did not wake. Diana looked out of the carriage window as the horses gained speed.
What have I done? I was a fool not to wait for Mr. Whittaker. Oh, Gareth, if only you were here.

 

 

 

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When darkness settles over Erik and Felicity’s path, will their emerging love be enough to light the way?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

 

Laura L. Walker grew up in a large family in the beautiful Gila Valley of southern Arizona. From the time Laura was young, she spent hours drawing characters on paper and fantasizing about their adventures. Life became more serious, however, when she met her own hero at Northern Arizona University and they later became the parents of six children. 
 
In between spurts of grocery shopping, sewing costumes or quilts, transporting kids to practices, and making dinner, Laura still enjoys putting her imagination to good use. She is the author of seven novels and three novellas.

 

“Nineteen-year-old Felicity Everstone is living her dream while attending college and serving alongside her parents in the North Atlanta Georgia Mission for the LDS Church–not to mention dating a charming guy who sweeps her off her feet. But when she is unexpectedly sent home to Idaho to care for her nephew through her sister-in-law’s difficult pregnancy, and the friend she has been sharing the gospel with no longer wants to pursue that path, everything that once brought light and joy into her life nearly flickers out. Until she meets her good-looking but solemn neighbor, Erik.
Erik Cannon has already lost the love of his life. Now, as a young, successful businessman, making money seems to be his God-given talent, but he can no longer ignore the emptiness he feels inside. He needs to find purpose and meaning in his life once again. When his best friend’s sister comes to help her family through a crisis, Erik’s heart is reawakened. He senses this is a second chance at love for him, and that he and Felicity might be able to build a beautiful life together–until her old boyfriend comes back into the picture.
When darkness settles over Erik and Felicity’s path, will their emerging love be enough to light the way?”

 

Snippet:
Felicity was elbow-deep in a sink full of dirty dishes when the doorbell rang. She quickly washed and dried her hands while Timmy tried to open the locked door. “Wait for me, Timmy,” she called, unlocking the deadbolt and gently removing his hands from the knob. A delivery man stood on the porch steps, holding a huge bouquet of yellow and red roses in one hand and a clipboard in the other. “Yes?”
He rattled off Dustin and Lindy’s address. “A delivery for you, ma’am. Sign here, please.”
Aw, how sweet of Dustin. They would really cheer Lindy up. She took the clipboard and signed her name. He quickly handed the vase over and called out his goodbye.
Shivering against the cool breeze outside, she brought the bouquet inside and set it on the table. “Wow, Aunt Fis-a-tee! Are all those flowers for you?”
“Um . . .” Searching for the card, she grabbed it and pulled it out of its envelope. It read:
Felicity,
Sorry this is a day late. Just wanted to give you a little happiness of your own since you’re always giving it to others.
So they weren’t for Lindy. They were hers. But from whom? There was no signature. Odd. Certainly, if it had been from her mother, she would have let Felicity know. And the handwriting would have been fancier–swoopy. She didn’t recognize the handwriting of this person.
Dustin walked in the door and stopped when he saw the bouquet. “Whoa!”
“Whoa is right,” she quipped.
Coming closer, he read the card. “You have a secret admirer, eh?”
Felicity narrowed her eyes. “You mean you didn’t send this?” After her parents, Dustin was her next suspect.
He shook his head. “Nope.”
Strange.

 

 
 

 

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She wishes to learn the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that stranger is the resident Christmas ghost

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

 

Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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A stolen Christmas kiss leaves them bewildered and breathless. A charming rogue-turned-vicar, Will wants to prove that he left his rakish days behind him, but an accidental kiss changes all his plans. His secret could bring them together…or divide them forever. 
 
Holly has two Christmas wishes this year; finally earn her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and learn the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that stranger is the resident Christmas ghost.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Snippet:
Will set the ladder near one of the columns and eyed the metal supports
bolted to the pillars on either side of the altar. Good. All was ready for the
candles to be placed for the Christmas service. Miss Gray moved like a dancer
amidst the pews, her slender, yet curvy form softly contrasting with the stone
walls. She was such a spot of cheer.
Raised to marry a lord. Not a vicar.
That same kicked-in-the-gut sensation returned. Muttering under his
breath, Will followed the rector into the vestry to collect the candles. He
hurried back, almost starving for Miss Gray’s presence. As they worked, Miss
Gray hummed The Holly and the Ivy.
Will listened to her sweet voice for a moment and couldn’t resist joining
in. Bradbury also sang with a strong bass that harmonized with the melody. Was
there anything that wretched lord didn’t do well? Will indulged in some very
un-Christian thoughts about the oh-so-perfect lord.
Mrs. Gray also sang, with a voice as lovely as her daughter’s. After a
moment, the cheery tunes lifted Will’s mood. Standing on the ladder, Will added
the extra candles needed for the Christmas service, then assisted in wrapping
the columns as Miss Gray had suggested.
In less than an hour, they transformed the humble parish church into a
celebratory Christmas haven, almost fit for a drawing room.
“It’s perfect,” Miss Gray exclaimed. “A pity we cannot hang a kissing
ball.”
Will choked and laughed at the outrageous statement. Honestly, he agreed.
Lord Bradbury’s eyes widened. Mrs. Gray shot her daughter a withering look.
The poor girl flushed and bit her lip, looking down. “Erm, I mean…”
Mr. Appleby didn’t see the humor, either. “Adding such a pagan symbol as
mistletoe would no doubt create a public outcry and possibly have me removed
from my position as vicar.”
Of course, if Will could get Miss Holly Gray beneath a kissing ball….
Ahem.
For all intents and purposes, Will had given his word not to pursue her.
He reviewed his newfound resolve to cling to duty, to turn over a new leaf in
life, and to please his family by bringing honor rather than dishonor to the
Berry name. Keeping his word, duly given to a lady, fell squarely into that
resolve. No more romantic fantasies about Miss Gray.
Very well, he’d
avoid Holly Gray as much as possible without appearing to give her the cut. He
must resist talking to her or even looking at her. He must.

 

Of course, that
included ensuring that she never discover who had kissed her, which meant he
must continue an ungentlemanly deception.
 

 

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Bob is tired of being the smallest dinosaur…

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Tired of being the smallest dinosaur, Bob sets out on an adventure to change his appearance. After facing many obstacles, Bob decides that being small isn’t as bad as he thought it was.

When the wizards steals all the color from Bob’s home, the littlest dinosaur goes in search of the color fairies. But when they refuse to help simply because he’s different, he has to find another way to restore the colors.




 

 

 

Karlie Lucas is a preschool teacher by day and a writer/artist by night.A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.

Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally

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***** Bod the Littlest Dinosaur written and Illustrated by Karlie Lucas

This is a cute tale of how a small dinosaur wants to grow big. He goes to see a wizard and travels through different places to get there. He learns several lessons on his journey to make his wish come true.

Beautiful colored illustrations are found in each page of this book. They are sensible, clear, and cute, not too busy or huge, just perfect for the page. This will be a great addition to any child’s library and can be used to read along with a parent, or alone by a child.

***** Bob the Littlest Dinosaur and the Color Fairy written and Illustrated by Karlie Lucas

In this tale, Bob the littlest Dinosaur wakes up one morning to find all the colors gone from his land. His new friend, the gnome, says it is the bad wizard. He suggests that Bob go to the land of the color fairy and ask them to return color to him and his land. The color fairies aren’t very helpful, with the exception of one. She is different, like Bob. Once again, Bob and the reader are reminded that we should celebrate our differences.

It is nicely done and well expressed. It is suitable for second graders and up, or read by a parents to younger kids.

 

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Jen shows up looking for her friend and Georgia learns that that person is actually Sid the skeleton…

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018
The
Skeleton Makes a Friend
A
Family Skeleton Mystery #5
by
Leigh Perry
Genre:
Cozy Mystery
Pub
Date: 11/6/18
 
Georgia
Thackery is feeling pretty good about her summer job teaching at
prestigious Overfeld College, and she’s renting a rustic cabin
right by a lake for herself, her daughter, Madison, and her best
friend, Sid the Skeleton. Together again, the trio are enjoying the
quiet when a teenager named Jen shows up looking for her friend.
Georgia doesn’t recognize the name, but she learns that the person
Jen was looking for is actually Sid.
Sid
reveals that he and Jen are part of a regular online gaming group
that formed locally, and one of their members has gone missing. Sid
admits that he might have bragged about his investigative prowess,
enough so that Jen wants him to find their missing player. Given that
Sid doesn’t have many friends offline—none, really, unless you
count the Thackery family—Georgia agrees to help him search. They
manage to discreetly enlist Jen, who lives in town, and follow the
clues to… a dead buddy.
Now
they’ve got a killer on their hands. Probing the life of Sid’s
friend, they realize a lot is wrong both on campus and in the
seemingly quaint town, and someone doesn’t want them looking
deeper.

 

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Though
Leigh Perry was born in Pensacola, FL and raised in Charlotte,
NC, she has been living north of Boston, MA for 26 years or so. She
shares the house with her husband, two daughters, two guinea pigs,
and a ludicrous selection of books. While the population of people
and guinea pigs stays constant, the number of books is on an
ever-rising curve. Under the name Toni L.P. Kelner, she’s published
eleven novels and twenty-something short stories, as well as
co-edited six urban fantasy anthologies with New York Times
bestseller Charlaine Harris.
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Bethany Swafford dazzles with her stunning young adult debut, introducing a strong heroine, the hardships of frontier life, shocking twists, and a slow-burning romance

Monday, November 12th, 2018

 

For fans of A Knight of Silence and Read My Lips comes a YA historical western full of grit and heart…
 

In 1874, Ivy Steele’s deafness is more than a handicap. It’s a disease. Surrounded by a family that doesn’t understand her, she’s learned to cope and find solace where she can. Then, the unexpected happens. Her aunt dies, and her uncle sends her away to rejoin her father’s family in Montana.Left to fend for herself, after the companion hired to escort her abandons her, sixteen-year-old Ivy faces continual hardship and danger. Several men see an unaccompanied Ivy as a flower ripe for the picking, and things only get worse when masked men hold up their stagecoach.

Barely scraping through, Ivy makes it to Montana with her nerves shaken and what little money she has in her boot. Expecting a peaceful if not affectionate welcome, Ivy finds herself in greater hardship than she’s ever known.

Surrounded by a stepfamily that hates her, and flung into a life where hearing is vital, Ivy finds solace in a handsome cowboy named Remy. But things with her new family are not what they seem. And Ivy is about to find out that the danger she faced on the journey west, has followed her to Montana…

Bethany Swafford dazzles with her stunning young adult debut, introducing a strong heroine, the hardships of frontier life, shocking twists, and a slow-burning romance that will leave you wanting more.

Third place winner of the 2018 Rosemary Award

 

 

 
 

 

For as long as she can remember, Bethany Swafford has loved reading books. That love of words extended to writing as she grew older and when it became more difficult to find a ‘clean’ book, she determined to write her own. Among her favorite authors is Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Georgette Heyer.
 
When she doesn’t have pen to paper (or fingertips to laptop keyboard), she can generally be found with a book in hand. In her spare time, Bethany reviews books for a book site called More Than A Review.

Top Ten List

Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2018

 

 

  1. Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack
  2. My Sister’s Intended by Rachel Anderson
  3. The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd
  4. Loving Lieutenant Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden
  5. Murder of Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose
  6. A Dangerous Debut by Wendy May Andrews
  7. Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen
  8. Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey
  9. A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman
  • Murder at Ochre Court by Alyssa Maxwell

 

 

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Francis opened fire, and I could hear the bullets glancing off the bots’ metallic bodies…

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

 

 

C.A. Gray is the author of the YA Fantasy PIERCING THE VEIL trilogy, as well as the YA Dystopian trilogy, THE LIBERTY BOX. By day, she is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD), with a primary care practice in Tucson, AZ. Additionally, she writes medical books under her real name.
Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins, and she also reads an exceptional amount of non-fiction. She is blessed with exceptionally supportive family and friends, and thanks God for them every single day!

 

Synopsis:
Sometimes the person you lie to the most is yourself.
The Silver Six have blown the Renegades’ underground compound to bits, killing several of Rebecca’s best friends in the process—and to her horror, the boy Rebecca had convinced herself she loved for all these years was the one to betray them all. At the same time, General Specs, the company Liam was once slated to inherit, has developed a superintelligent robot called Jaguar which is quickly becoming godlike in her omniscience. As the remaining Renegades flee to their last bastion of safety in the Caribbean, Liam makes his way back to London, in a last ditch effort to convince his father to destroy Jaguar before it’s too late.
Rebecca, meanwhile, finally understands her own heart: she never loved Andy. He was merely a ‘safe’ choice who would never require anything of her. Liam, on the other hand, exasperating as he was, had seen past her defenses. All of his teasing and provoking had been his attempt to get her to be real with him—but the more he made her feel, the further she had retreated. She had even substituted her companion bot Madeline for real, deep human friendships, and for the same reason: she’d been avoiding love to protect herself from another loss like the one she had experienced when her father was killed for the Renegades’ cause. Ironically, she only realizes this once Liam is on his way to a similar fate.  But she’ll be damned if she lets him go without a fight.
This high stakes conclusion to the Uncanny Valley Trilogy envisions a world not too far off from our own, in which superintelligence is a reality, humanoid bots have supplanted human power and influence, and there are eyes watching and reporting our every move. If humanity is to survive, the Renegades will have to galvanize support across the globe, under the radar—and it will require every last bit of ingenuity they possess. But is attempting to outwit a superintelligent being really the answer? Or will it require something much more fundamentally human?
And now for the Cover


♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
♡♡♡♡♡♡
♡♡♡♡
♡♡



 

~ Website
Goodreads
 
Let’s take a look inside the book with a Snippet:
 
“He can’t help us!” I shouted to Rick, “He’s unconscious!” 
With one glance back at the hovercraft, Rick tossed the hammer back inside and barked at Francis, “Cover us!” 
“What do you think I’m doing?” Francis yelled back. 
I realized Rick must have sliced open his hand on the jagged glass when he scooped Liam up over one shoulder, leaving trails of blood on his hospital gown. Rick scrambled back to the window, just as the chair in the doorframe slid all the way loose. 
“Closer!” Francis shouted to the hovercraft pilot bot. The hovercraft scraped the ledge now, but it was enough for Rick to leap up to the ledge and haul Liam’s shoulders aboard. I grabbed his legs, held them up, and shoved. 
“Stop!” called the bots in the doorframe. Francis opened fire, and I could hear the bullets glancing off the bots’ metallic bodies. You have to shoot them in the eyes! I thought frantically. The humanoid bots behind us fired bullets out of their wrists. Searing pain shot through my shoulder, just as a strong arm locked around my waist. Francis gave a cry, and just before I collapsed on top of Liam’s limp form, I saw the blossom of blood spreading across the side of Francis’s t-shirt. His face went white, and he let out a gurgle. 
No, I thought, just as Rick shouted at the pilot bot, “Go go go!” Then we rocketed up, leaving my stomach on the ground below.
 

 


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The odds of surviving her investigation could be stacked against her

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018
Yeast of Eden
A Pancake House Mystery
#4
by
Sarah Fox

 

Genre: Cozy Mystery

 

Pub
Date: 10/30/2018 
 

 

In USA
Today 
bestselling
author Sarah Fox’s delicious new Pancake House Mystery, it’s up
to Marley McKinney to discover the waffle truth behind a rival’s
murder . . .

Winter has
come to Wildwood Cove, and riding in on the chill is Wally Fowler.
Although he’s been away for years, establishing his reputation as
the self-proclaimed Waffle King, the wealthy blowhard has returned to
the coastal community to make money, not friends—by pitting his hot
and trendy Waffle Kingdom against Marley McKinney’s cozy pancake
house, The Flip Side. Wally doesn’t see anything wrong in a little
healthy competition, until he’s murdered in his own state-of-the
art kitchen.
Marley isn’t
surprised when the authorities sniff around The Flip Side for a
motive, but it’s her best friend Lisa who gets grilled, given her
sticky history with the victim. When a second murder rocks the town,
it makes it harder than ever for Marley to clear Lisa’s name.
Marley’s afraid that she’s next in line to die—and the way
things are looking, the odds of surviving her investigation could be
stacked against her.
 
 
                                              

In this story you will find an interesting, cozy mystery, full of twists and the right amount of mysteryThe characters are well rounded and likable. The writing is great and entertaining. I would recommend it to all lovers of murder mysteries and cozy murders everywhere. It is a clean and a nice work of art.

Marley McKinney is the owner of the only breakfast Pancake shop in Wildwood Cove, that is until Wally Fowler, the Waffle King, returns to town to be her competitor. The problems start when the king is found dead and Marley’s best friends are on the list of suspected murderers.

 
Sarah
Fox
is the author of the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA
Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing
novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading
her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her
English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a
member of Crime Writers of Canada.
 
 
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Anora Silby can see the dead and turn spirits into gold coin

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

 

 

Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology–all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out (Oct 2018).

 

Anora Silby can see the dead and turn spirits into gold coins, two things she would prefer to keep secret as she tries to lead a normal life at her new school. After all, she didn’t change her identity for nothing.

 

As it turns out, hiding her weirdness is just one of many challenges. By the end of her first day, she’s claimed the soul of a dead girl on campus and lost the coin. Turns out, the coin gives others the ability to steal souls, and when a classmate ends up dead, there’s no mistaking the murder weapon.
Navigating the loss of her Poppa, her mother’s mistrust, and Roundtable, an anonymous student gossip app threatening to expose her, are hard enough. Now she must find the person who stole her coin before more lives are lost, but that means making herself a target for the Order, an organization that governs the dead on Earth–and they want Anora and her powers for themselves. 

 

Snippet:

 

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The only thing that can save her is Rykan’s mysterious Staff, which lies buried in the ruins of Taran’s cellar

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018
Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, where she was born. On leaving school she trained for two years before qualifying as horse-riding instructor. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They enjoy returning whenever they can. Cas supports many animal charities and owns two rescue dogs. She has a large collection of cacti and loves gardening. She is also a folk singer/songwriter and is currently writing and recording nine folk-style songs to accompany each of her fantasy books. You can listen to and download all the songs from her website: www.caspeace.com 
See the video of her performing live at the King’s Envoy book launch here: http://www.caspeace.com/cas-peace/the-wheel-will-turn

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Taran Elijah’s quest for knowledge uncovers a plot that threatens the world…
Desperate to learn how to control his innate Artesan powers, Taran embarks on a foolhardy plan to acquire the teaching he craves. The military backlash his action unleashes forces Albia’s High King to send Major Sullyan as an envoy to the Fifth Realm. But a dark and treacherous power is moving through the realms and all will feel its influence.
Captured and tortured by the power-hungry Lord Rykan, Sullyan is trapped in Andaryon. Aided by the unlikeliest sources, the major formulates a plan to defeat Rykan and end his quest for the throne. But Sullyan’s strength is fading fast and time is running out. The only thing that can save her is Rykan’s mysterious Staff, which lies buried in the ruins of Taran’s cellar.
Sullyan’s lover, Robin Tamsen, sets out to recover the artefact, but the enemy is two steps ahead of him. If Robin fails to secure the Staff, Sullyan’s life, the Artesan craft, and the very existence of their world is under threat.

 

Review:
“Cas Peace’s Artesans of Albia trilogy immediately sweeps you away:  the drama starts with King’s Envoy, continues unabated in King’s Champion, and climaxes in King’s Artesan, yet each volume is complete, satisfying.  The Artesan series  propels you into a world so deftly written that you see, feel, touch, and even smell each twist and turn. These nesting novels are evocative, hauntingly real. Smart. Powerful. Compelling. The trilogy teems with finely drawn characters, heroes and villains and societies worth knowing; with stories so organic and yet iconic you know you’ve found another home—in Albia. So start reading now. I, for one, can’t wait to find out what will happen next.
Janet E Morris: Bestselling Author of The Sacred Band of Stepsons seriesthe Dream Dancer series; I, the Sun; Outpassage; The Silistra Quartet;and editor of the Bangsian In Hell seriesFamed contributor to the shared universe fantasy series, Thieves World.
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 this trilogy HERE
Snippet From King’s Champion:
Sullyan cantered Drum across the plains for the first mile or so, weaving through the trees, Robin and Marik at her back. Then she slowed the stallion to a brisk walk, allowing the other two to catch up. She made for the high road leading directly to the fortress gates, seeing with satisfaction that they were the only people on the road. Warning Marik and Robin to keep their hands well away from their sword hilts, she rode confidently forward, eyes narrowed against the snow glare.
The Count nudged his horse up on her left side, a gloomy expression on his face. “I expect the sentries and outriders will see us soon.”
She gave a snort. “My dear Count, there have been loaded crossbows aimed at our hearts for the past half hour.”
Marik started and looked wildly about, but there was no one in sight. Sullyan continued in silence, highly visible on the coal-black Drum. Her borrowed longsword reared in its harness over her shoulder.
They were about a mile and a half from the gates when the sentries rode out of cover and confronted them. Sullyan immediately halted in the middle of the road, waiting for the twenty-strong patrol to approach. Marik and Robin flanked her. She studied the Hierarch’s men with professional interest. The purple and gold of his livery was evident on their combat leathers, and their leader bore a Lieutenant’s rank insignia, the equivalent of an Albian Captain. A medium height man in his middle thirties, he halted his men a few paces from Sullyan and rode forward alone. He sat his dark bay stallion easily and his hand never left the hilt of his sword, despite the ready crossbows behind him.
He ignored Robin, swept Marik a contemptuous glance, and then turned his attention to Sullyan. He regarded her for a few moments, his pale brown eyes taking in her gold insignia, her battle honors, and King’s Envoy shooting star. When he addressed her, his tone was barely respectful, the attitude of a confident man unused to dealing with armed women.
“Major.” He gave her a slight nod, the only sign of respect she would get.
“Lieutenant.” She accorded him the same bare courtesy, giving her voice an identical inflexion.

 

His eyes narrowed as he reassessed her, taking in her relaxed but alert attitude and the casual way she sat the huge black stallion with its light saddle and bitless bridle. His own mount bore the usual heavy cavalry saddle that could keep a dying man upright, and foam was dripping from the iron bit in its mouth.
 
 

 

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A tale of young love lost, and a life of regrettable what-ifs

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018
Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantoms series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. 
 
Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, a rescue cat named Oscar, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. 
 
When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.

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Stutter Creek (book one) is a romance, brilliantly hidden within a suspense-filled tale
of a psychotic serial killer with a chip on his shoulder. It is also a classic
tale of young love lost, and a life of regrettable what-ifs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Snippet:
SNIPPET 1:
Slowly, she raised her face. The top
of her head barely grazed his shoulder. She had to stand on her tip-toes even
though he was leaning down—then their lips met, and the brilliant rays of
sunlight falling through the pines illuminated his face like that of a saint in
a stained-glass window. “Saint John,” she laughed.
    He laughed
with her.
SNIPPET 2:
He looked up from unloading his truck
just as Turk came crashing through the underbrush. The huge Shepherd was so
excited to see his master that he stood straight up and placed his giant paws
on John’s chest. On anyone else, the paws would have landed on shoulders, but
John Stockton stood six feet four inches tall in his stocking feet. With his
lug-soled boots on, he was easily six and a half feet.

 

 

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