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  • The Words You Need to Hear

     

    Last week was a rough one. Nobody was sick. No tragedy occurred. In fact, there really was little worth complaining about. It was just one of those weeks, like so many in typical 2020, where you get to the end and think, “Whew! That was rough!”

    Part of what made it tough for me was that it was tough for one of my kids. I remember my mom saying that when you have multiple kids in the house, every day is a bad day for somebody! Since my heart walks around on four different pairs of legs, the chances of it hurting are pretty high.

    In this case, some of the “tough” had to do with my son’s math test.. It’s been a tough math year so far this year, so he was pretty nervous about it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s extremely smart and good at math, which makes the challenge of this year even more frustrating. The night before his test, he reviewed and studied for about three hours. I sat beside him, checked his answers with my own work, and made sure he was understanding the steps of the oft-times complex algebra problems. At the end of the night, I was confident that he knew his stuff. I was wiped out tired and reaching back decades to remember how to graph little numbers and letters on a grid I could barely see. He ended up telling me what I did wrong when our answers didn’t match and understood the material inside out and backwards. I prayed with him before bed and called it good, feeling confident that there was nothing more he could have done to prepare.

    The next day, I got an email from my son while he was at school. Obviously very upset, he told me he’d gone in at lunch to finish his test and scored the lowest grade he’d ever gotten on a math test in his life. Honestly, my first inclination was to try to find out exactly what went wrong. Did you not check your answers? How exactly did you mess up? Fortunately, I read between the lines of his few words. My easy-going, Pollyanna boy was frustrated and saying things like “take me out of this class. I can’t do it.” I took a deep breath and a few minutes before responding. He was frustrated, upset, and worried about how I would react.

    What does he need to hear right now?

    Then, slowly, I typed only a few words in reply: “It will be okay. We will figure it out. I love you.” Then I clicked send.

    He soon replied with only two words: “Ok, thanks.” But even in those two words, I knew that the waters of his emotions were calmed. Because he believed me. He believed it would be okay. He believed I would help him figure it out. And he believed I loved him.

    As I drove to pick him up at the end of the day, I was reflecting and thought about how many times, even as adults, we just need someone to say those same words I spoke to him.

    Then I heard a gentle whisper. Don’t I always?

    I then realized that the Bible proclaims that very message in every page. God has written it there for all to see. But His message to us is even more beautiful and powerful than mine to my son. For God’s words say something slightly different.

    It will be okay. I have it figured out. I love you.

    We often feel like we’ve gotten ourselves into a hopeless situation that we can’t manage to get out of. And we’re probably right. But no situation, no screw up, no tragedy comes as a surprise to God. He knew it was coming, and He already has a plan to get us through it.

    One of the most frequently misinterpreted verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” People often whip out this verse as a band aid when someone is going through something tough. However, if you read the context of the verse, you realize that God didn’t say this at the end of a tough time, but at the beginning. After those words were spoken, things went from bad to worse, at least if you were keeping tabs on the outside circumstances. But God doesn’t work the short game. Through that verse, He was telling His people that things are going to get bad. You’re going to face tragedy, persecution, and dark times. Not everyone was going to make it. But, I know the plans I have for you. They will bring about your eventual good.

    In many ways, this context should be even more comforting. Just because bad things happen doesn’t mean that God has abandoned you. Even if they go from bad to worse and your life gives Job’s a good competition, you can take comfort in knowing that God plays the long game. He has a plan, and His plan is good.

    I don’t know how my son’s math will turn out. I don’t know if he will manage to get a decent grade. But even if he doesn’t, I’ll be right there beside him to figure things out and help him through. And I am confident that whatever happens will be for his eventual good.

    It’s 2020. You pretty much never know what craziness tomorrow will bring. I do know that tomorrow is the election. People are very divided. No matter who wins, one set of people will be happy and celebrate while the other side will be upset and think that times are about to get very dark and tough. Let me encourage you that whatever your circumstances—if your candidate loses, if you’re crying tomorrow and convinced the world is ending, if you’re sick, if you’re facing tragedy, if 2020 has just been a tough one, or if you just bombed a math test…

    Listen to the gentle whisper that echoes an entire Bible of the same message:

    It will be okay. I already have it figured out. I love you.

    Then believe Him.


  • Available for Preorder!

    Preorder for 99 Cents!

    If I only see you once…

    When her flight home is canceled a few days before Christmas, Moe Scott spontaneously agrees to spend a few hours sight-seeing with a fellow passenger. At the time, she doesn’t know the moments with James will change her life, nor does she know that before her plane takes off the next morning, she will turn around to find James gone.

    With no way to contact him, Moe returns home only to lose everything before the new year dawns. Completely alone, jobless, and faced with the news that she is going blind, Moe remembers her time with James and clings to the idea of embracing the moments of vision she has left.

    When opportunities for love and friendship come in the most unexpected places, Moe faces the choice of whether to continue to wait for the man who changed her life.

    Will Moe and James ever find each other again? Can she learn to appreciate the beauty in each moment God provides and inspire those beyond her own darkness, even if she never sees again?

    A once upon a Christmas inspires her story. Her ever after changes the world.

     

    Please Note: While this is Book 3 in the Christmas Card Series, it does not share characters or storylines with the other two books in the series. The books are related only in that they are stand-alone, inspirational Christmas stories and can be read in any order. 

     

    Yay! This is the book that I actually wanted to release last year, but God had other plans! It took me over six months to write, which for me is a really long time! Several aspects of this book make it special. The other two books in the series have become so very popular and loved. God has used them in ways that continue to amaze me. With that comes a great deal of pressure. I don’t want to disappoint, even though I constantly tell myself that I write for him, and it’s only ever been in His hands.

    Further complicating things, The Christmas Card books tend to be my most personal and based on much of my own experiences. I explain in the Authors’s Note at the end of the book, as I did with the other books, what the “truth” of the story is and how it came to be. Writing in this way opens yourself, your thoughts, and your experiences up to the world in very scary way,  and after obsessing about this book for so long, I am quite worried that all of it actually stinks! 😉 While I am assured by others who have read it already that it is quite amazing, I can’t wait until you read it!

    Tip: This is one I would definitely not wait to order! 99 cents is the introductory price, and it is set to increase soon after its release!

    What do you think? Which of the Christmas Card books was your favorite so far (links below)? Any questions or ideas about what this one is like? Warning: Like many of my other books, this one is not going to end the way you think it will! 

    If you just can’t wait, check out or reread the other two books in the series. Though set at Christmas, their story and message is one for the whole year!

    The Christmas Card–Book 1

    A Cinderella Christmas–Book 2

     

    Please Note: Affiliate links may be used on this website. That means that if you purchase after clicking one of my links, I may get a small commission on that sale. A win for both of us! 🙂


  • For Such a Time as This

    I have a confession. I like to skip to the end of the book. Now, I don’t read the end of the book. I just scan it. Especially if it’s a really good, exciting book. I just take a peek—catch a line and a name here and there to make sure I’ll like it and it’s worth reading all the middle stuff to make it to the end. (BTW, this in no way gives any readers permission to skip ahead to the endings of my books.)

    These past few weeks, I have felt caught in a ridiculous plot that I didn’t like at all and made me wish I could fast forward to the end. Even a quick peek would be enough. Could I just scan for a date of when we get to leave our houses and do normal stuff?

    It’s so difficult not knowing. It’s overwhelming when we don’t know when the tunnel ends and we can’t see even a small light. Yet, this week, one thought has replayed over and over in my mind, and it’s helped me feel a little more peace in these present circumstances.

    The verse that keeps whispering to me is the one from the book of Esther. It isn’t even the complete verse, just “for such a time as this.” These were words spoken to Esther, and we seem to usually think of them as a summation to her calling—a banner to wave over her story proclaiming her success in saving her people. But actually, if you look at the verse in context, Esther may actually be being reprimanded!

    Here she is the queen. She had it made and could play life easy being pampered, eating delicacies, and not at all concerning herself with those outside the palace walls. To do anything would risk her life. Her message to Mordecai was telling him the reasons her hands were tied. His response was very near a rebuke, telling her that she just may be in her current position because this was what she was meant to do. If she chose not to do it, then God would save His people another way. But he asked her to consider that God had given her the tools and the position to do exactly what she was being asked to do in order to save her people. And now He was giving her the opportunity to do it.

    Esther’s response was to accept the purpose and risk her life to go to the king on behalf of the Jewish people, saying “If I perish, I perish.”

    Of course, the obvious question is what does this have to do with our present circumstances?

    Hopefully, one of my favorite verses will explain my thoughts:

    “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
    And in Your book they all were written,
    The days fashioned for me,
    When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16

    God knew what each day in April 2020 would bring for me. He didn’t just know, he planned it. And He gave me the tools and position to serve him on this day, just as He gave Esther on the day she appeared before the king. Who am I to say that, like Esther, God has not put me right where I am for such a time as this?

    I don’t have any plans to save a nation. But maybe my purpose doesn’t need to be one with a capital P. Maybe my purpose in serving God through this is to give comfort and encouragement to others. Maybe it is doing something kind that shows God’s love to someone else. Maybe it’s giving a listening ear to someone who is struggling. Maybe it is enduring something difficult and coming out stronger and more able to help others. Maybe it’s giving my kids extra snuggles and games in between the stress. Maybe it’s writing my thoughts down and pressing “post.”

    God knew we would go through this, He planned it for us, and He designed each of us individually so we could serve Him through it.

    Ok, so that sounds like pressure, and I really don’t like pressure right now. I can’t really handle any thought of purpose when the great expedition of the week is finding TP. I’d honestly rather sit back with my eyes closed and eat chocolate. But then I realized that it doesn’t really have anything to do with me; it has everything to do with God, and I get the benefit.

    Esther chose to step away from what she’d rather do and appear before the king, but God gave her the courage and tools to do it. God gave her favor with the king, when he caused him to extend his gold scepter to her and grant the bold request she made.

    I know that some people feel utterly lost right now and God seems silent. Locating a purpose seems more difficult than finding a needle in a large haystack of pointlessness. But a person is not in charge of purpose. God is. Put one foot in front of the other. Breathe in and out (with your mask in place) and wait for God to bring you an opportunity to serve. Remember, you don’t have to save a nation, purpose can wear infinite fashions. Maybe it’s a single conversation, desperately drawing close to God, taking care of others, spending time planting a garden that will later bless others, letting someone know you care or admire them, taking the time to earn a smile from a child, or even just enduring through a time when you don’t get to see God’s purpose until the end. The point is, God meant for you to be here. Right now. And He will not only get you through it, He will make you and others better for it.

    Why is it important to recognize we have purpose in this trial? Purpose changes attitude. It changed Esther. She went from timid to bold, recognizing that she would do what she was called to, even if it cost her life. If I know I am supposed to be here, that changes my perspective. I’m no longer wishing to skip to the end, but I’m looking for what I should do in the now. The Bible is full of countless examples of people who endured horrible things all because they knew they were where they were supposed to be. Noah built an ark when there was no rain. The apostles endured great persecution because they knew that sharing the gospel is what they were meant to do.

    My achievements won’t be preserved for all time, but I am just as convinced that I am meant to be here. I have purpose in this yuckiness, and I am eagerly looking for opportunities where I get to be a part of God’s larger Purpose in all of this.

    When I write books, I don’t include fluff. Every scene I write has a purpose, whether it has to do with furthering the plot or developing the characters. I write so that if a single scene is removed, the book isn’t the same. It’s pretty amazing to recognize that God is a much better author than I am. He doesn’t waste scenes either. Even when the world is crazy and we are stuck in our homes, God is not wasting this time. He has a dual purpose, one that will benefit us and benefit his kingdom through us.

    Every scene, every event in my life is there for a reason, even if I don’t recognize the why.

    After all of these thoughts, I’ve come to one conclusion:

    I want this chapter of my story to be a good one. I want to recognize how God has prepared me for “such a time as this,” and I want to step forward to serve God on this and every day.

    None of this means that I am required to like my present circumstances, that I won’t have my fair share of crying in the car episodes, or that I won’t eagerly look forward to the end of this storyline. However, it does mean that when I do get to the end of the chapter, hopefully I’ll be able to look back and see that, yes, I was created for such a time as this. And, just maybe, I’ll recognize God’s fingerprints on every page.


  • Christmas Scavenger Hunt Round-Robin: A Cinderella Christmas

    Merry Christmas! Welcome to my website, and thank you for stopping by and participating in this Christmas Round Robin! As a reminder, at each author’s blog post, you will find a question that can be answered by checking out the free Amazon preview of their book. Provide the answer in the Google form and then click the link at the bottom of the post to hop to the next blog. You must answer the questions for all of the authors in order to be considered to win. any of the Amazon gift card prizes! (1st place=$300, 2nd place=$150, 3rd place=$75)

    I’m so excited to feature A Cinderella Christmasfor this fun scavenger hunt! This book is a Contemporary Inspirational Romance, and is very personal to me. Though it is labeled as book 2 in The Christmas Card series. It is a complete standalone book and not related to the first book in any way except that they are both Inspirational Christmas Romances. In other words, you don’t need to read anything else to fully enjoy and appreciate this special book.

    After a traumatic accident that was entirely her fault, Emily Jansen struggles with guilt, anxiety, and the desire to prevent others from experiencing something similar. To help work through her issues, she writes in a notebook and prays that God will open her eyes to see those in need.

    When Grant Dillon’s wife passed away five years ago, he scaled back his successful journalism career to better raise his daughter. Now his boss wants him back in the game, and if he doesn’t produce a prize-winning article soon, he will be out of a job. After finding a mysterious notebook, Grant recognizes he’s found his story and now must find the woman he knows only by her inspirational writing.

    It’s just a simple notebook with a message that could change the world. As its message inspires Grant to act differently, it unknowingly produces a chain that changes lives forever.

    Will Grant write his story before his deadline, or will his boss take matters into her own hands? Most importantly, will Grant’s search for the writer of the notebook end with him finding his true Cinderella?

    This book is one of the most popular and meaningful books I have ever written, which is all the more fulfilling because the story is so personal to me. The author’s note in the book explains the story behind the story, revealing the truth in this unique work of fiction. The message of this book has been profound, and I’m continually amazed at how God has used it to touch others.

    Now it’s time for you to check it out! Go to the book on Amazon by clicking on this link: A Cinderella ChristmasWhat is the name of the dog Emily picks up from the vet? When you have the answer, fill out the form and hop over to the next blog! 

    Here is your link to Google form to fill out your answer:  https://forms.gle/KmpSxup17fhRStqd9

    Thank you so much for visiting! The next author on the tour is Linda Shenton Matchett, who is telling us all about her Christmas book, A Doctor in the House (The Hope of Christmas collection). You can find it by clicking this link: Linda’s Scavenger Hunt

    Remember that the round-robin will end on December 16th at 11:59 PM EST!

     


  • Ornament Giveaway

    The “Under the Christmas Star” Crossroads Collection authors are giving away Christmas Ornaments!

    As luck would have it, Emma Sheldon of Under the Christmas Star made these especially for you! 😉

     

        

    No purchase necessary. This is a super easy giveaway, No need to sign up or share anything. We just want your opinion! Simply read about our collection and answer one simple question below.

                                           Under the Christmas Star

    A Crossroads Collection

    Five of today’s Best-selling Christian Authors weave five unique, connected stories where handmade Christmas ornaments lead to miraculous answers to prayer.

    Comfort and Joy by Lesley Ann McDaniel

    Recently divorced from her cheating, narcissistic ex-husband, Joy Bennet has set a firm boundary against dating until her kids are grown. But when Kyle Montgomery brings his dog to her clinic for emergency surgery, her resolve is put to the test. 

    Brushed with Love by April Hayman

    An unlikely couple? Perhaps, but when Shelby Matthews and Beau Wright work together to reestablish the Wright family annual Christmas pageant, a beautiful picture of love, family, and commitment emerges in this modern retelling of Ruth and Boaz.

    Tangoed in Tinsel by Chautona Havig

    It took twenty years for Wayne Farrell to find the love of his life and only a sprained ankle to lose her. Still, when a new shot at romance presents itself, Wayne finds himself tangling and tangoing his life in unexpected directions.

    Shattered Pieces by Alana Terry 

    A young boy discovers the story of how his parents survived as an interracial couple in the American South during the Civil Rights movement.

    Under the Christmas Star by Amanda Tru

    When an autistic young woman’s car and handcrafted ornaments are stolen, she struggles to keep her business and doubts her future could include friendship, love, and answered prayer.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Please share and help spread the word about this giveaway and the Under the Christmas Star collection!

    Open to US residents only. Winners will be notified through email and will then be asked for an address to mail their prize. (Ornaments will arrive after Christmas)


  • A Few of My Favorite Things (Part 3)

    And here we are, at the end of my list of favorite things (for now). If you’re just tuning in, you can get caught up on the other posts in this series by clicking on these links for Part 1 and Part 2.

    This is a list of my not-so-ordinary favorite things. These are things that are unique, maybe a little strange and ridiculous, but when I encounter them, they give me a surge of joy for an almost unexplainable reason. Here are four more making the favorite things cut!

     

    * Thunderstorms *

    Now I only enjoy these from the inside. Definitely not from someplace like the middle of a river, in a float tube, when there is nowhere to get out. (Yes, that’s happened.) However, thunderstorms always remind me how big and powerful God is, and how small I am in comparison. The knowledge that little me is safe from the lightning and thunder fills me with a curious comfort and happiness.

     

    * Fresh Peaches *

    I love a lot of different kinds of fruit. Strawberries are some of my favorites, but nothing quite compares to a fresh peach. In August, we usually end up getting several boxes of peaches from a local orchard. I don’t can them or freeze them, or make jam (though I probably should). I eat them. Sweet, melt-in-your-mouth goodness that makes you think that happiness really does taste like peaches.

     

    * Mispronunciations*

    I have already mentioned that nearly everything to do with my children should technically be on my favorite things list. But this one is rather unique and specific, so I thought I’d go ahead and list it.

    I love it when my kids mispronounce something.

    With my older kids, it is usually because they have read something and just didn’t know how to pronounce what they knew how to read. With my 4-yea-old, it’s just because he’s learning, and cute, and his speech is still developing. His tongue just can’t quite get around on some words.

    When my oldest was little, I was “Monny,” and I loved it. My 2nd son had some great ones a well. He liked battalion (Italian) dressing on his salad, and he talked about lasterday (yesterday), which is how I acquired my pen name for my childrens’ books (J. Lasterday).

    A few weeks ago, we were making hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. We made a hot dog for my 4-year-old, and he decided he didn’t want one. My husband asked me why I had made a hotdog for him, and I said I didn’t think he’d eat a hamburger. Then, said 4-year-old looked up at me with his big blue eyes and asked if he could have a ham-bo-burger. I then turned to my husband and said, “If I knew he was going to pronounce it like that, I would have told you to make him about ten of them!”

    I never correct my little ones on their pronunciation, though I will (reluctantly) tell the correct pronunciation to save my older kids the potential embarrassment. But for the younger ones, those cute little things are so very fleeting. Very soon, we won’t have hambobugers in our house, and I won’t even know when they’ll go away. So I will take as many hamboburgers as I can get him to eat and capture that thrill of hearing him, hoping it will last a little longer for when we have to eat plain old hamburgers.

     

    * Flowers *

    I love them. I love them outside. I love them when my husband surprises me with a bouquet. I love them when my 7-year-old picks dandelions and whatever he can find and puts them in a little vase I keep for him above my kitchen sink. I’ve loved them since I was a child and kept my mom and grandma supplied with roses, tulips, lilies, and lilacs, carefully picked and arranged for their dining tables, and I’ll probably still love them when I’m too old to remember why I love them so.

     

    This last one brings me to one of the projects I am working on. It is a book that has something to do with flowers. (Don’t you love how specific I am?) For some of the advertising and promotions I have planned, I need fun stories, jokes, or quotes that have to do with flowers. If you have any of these, let me know! I can hopefully share more about my “flower project” soon!

    What about you? Can you relate to my favorite things, or do you just think I’m really weird for liking things like crinkled potato chips and thunderstorms? Are there any strange things that you adore?


  • A Few of My Favorite Things (Part 2)

    In case you are just tuning in, I’m comprising a list of my not-so-ordinary favorite things. These are things that are unique, maybe a little strange and ridiculous, but when I encounter them, they give me a surge of joy for an almost unexplainable reason.

    If you want to read my first Favorite Things post, click HERE.

    And here are the few favorite things that made the cut today!

     

    * A cold glass of water *

    I fill up a glass of water from my refrigerator filter, drink it down, and think. “Wow, water is like the best thing ever.” Nearly every time.

    * Clean Sheets. *

    Never do I change the sheets on my bed and not think, “I love clean sheets!” I wiggle my legs across the smooth coolness and can’t help but smile. Everything may be wrong in the world, but for just a moment, clean sheets are enough!

     

    * Rainbows *

    I’ve had a special affinity for rainbows since I was a child. Maybe it’s because, like twilight, rainbows are fleeting, so if I get to see one, I always have a sense of being blessed to do so. Rainbows are also a fascination to me. They change based on your perspective. It is impossible to to catch a rainbow because from whatever position you are, you are looking through the rain at an angle, and your rainbow will look different from someone else’s, even a mile away. I’ve had the experience of driving along to have rainbows change position based on my perspective. If you are fortunate enough to see a rainbow, in some ways, God meant that rainbow for you. Because for that brief moment you are one of the very few people witnessing a sight that can never be repeated in the exact same way. And that is why I love rainbows.

     

    * Scrunchees *

    I do realize the ‘80s are over. And for the most part, that is a good thing. But I love my scrunchees. These are the soft elastic hair band that doesn’t hurt your scalp. They look horribly dated, and you cringe to think that sometimes, you actually go into public with your hair curled into a mom bun with one of these. (Notice I said “you.” Because that is absolutely not the sort of thing “I” would do! 😉 )But I still love them. I have long hair that my 1 year old likes to pull and that drives me crazy when I’m sleeping at night, so hello helpful scrunchee that won’t give me a headache! One of my prized possessions is a really ugly one that I have kept from my childhood. But shhhh don’t tell my sisters that I snagged it, or they’ll be totally jealous! I hope I never loose it. While it is still possible to find a few scrunches here and there nowadays, I might have to invent a time machine and go back to about 1988 in order to find a replacement for my special one.

    *Note on above picture: Three scrunchees? Seriously, that’s a little much, even for me!

     

    So that’s the list today! Check back in tomorrow for the final few weird things that make my favorites list. If you have any out -of-the-ordinary favorite things, let me know. Yours can’t be more random that mine, or can they?

    Until tomorrow, may you enjoy your favorite things and may your day be blessed with rainbows!


  • Huge Book Sale!

    The authors of Echo Ridge decided to organize a multi-author sale during release week and invite our favorite authors to join us. All the books featured on this sale are only $.99 and they are all amazing!
    Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter giveaway for $200 in Christmas Cash.
    Happy book shopping!

    Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology
    Christmas Kisses is a collection from five bestselling and award-winning authors. Set in the snowy town of Echo Ridge in upstate New York, these inspirational romances are sure to delight while you sip cocoa by the fire and listen to Christmas carols.
    Amazon * iTunes * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords * Kobo * Goodreads

     

    Brownies & Betrayal by Heather Justesen
    Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on
    the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name. When her cheating ex-fiance shows up, intent on convincing her to come back to work for him, Tess—armed with an extra batch of éclairs—decides to take control and solve the mystery herself, with the help of friends and frenemies alike.
    But will that be enough to save her when she gets too close and the killer decides it’s safer to get her out of the way?

    Simplify & Savor the Season by Connie E. Sokol

    Ready to enjoy the holidays again? Use this two-part holiday organizer to help you savor the celebrations. In the first half of the book, brainstorm the Big Four; then, detail the To Dos including menu, gift-planning, etc. with success tips on how to eliminate the unnecessary and focus on the essential. Wrap up with “5 Holiday Juicers” to make life joyful. Keep your notes handy in the companion Simplify & Savor Take-along Planner.

    With the second half of the book. curl up with a cup of cocoa and read “Savory Suggestions and Stories,” a collection of laugh-out-loud anecdotal stories including “Let Go of the Cookie Cutter Christmas” and “Thankful for Turkey Warbling”. Make this holiday season one you remember and enjoy!

     

    Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen

    Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she’s especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri’s world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri’s impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success—until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. Adri must race to uncover the secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before she becomes the next victim.

    With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things will keep you turning pages long into the night.

    A Baker’s Dozen by Lucy McConnell

    Tempt your sweet tooth with 13 delicious, easy, and beautiful dessert recipes. Each recipe has been time-tested and found irresistible. You’ll horde the Lemon Brownies but you might be willing to share the Rock and Roll Cake—with a good friend.

    Recipes include: Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies, Pumpkin Bunt Cake, S’mores Cheesecake, No-Fail Lemon Bars

    Impress your coworkers, family, friends, and even the guys at the car repair shop with these recipes. They’re sure to become favorites in your recipe box, lunch box, and ice box.

    The Colony by Cami Checketts

    To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but she worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property.

    Lance, Brinlee’s attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it more than difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion.

    While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger.

    Torn Canvas by Donna K. Weaver

    Modern-day pirates took more than Jori Virtanen’s friends; they stole his face. Not only does the twenty-four-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Up-and-coming talk show host Olivia Howard wants an interview. She, like the rest of the press, expects a hero, but Jori knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast.

    In seclusion and evading the press, Jori struggles to make a new life as an artist. But he can’t hide from himself; more than his face is damaged. How can Jori possibly make amends for all that he’s broken? When Olivia finally tracks him down, he must decide if he can trust her. Could this unlikely woman be a key to freeing his heart and healing the beast?

    The audiobook is only $1.99 with the purchase of the ebook.

    Son of War Daughter of Chaos by Janette Rallison

    Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for people with the signs: greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks-things that get in the way of having a normal high school life. When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.

    Vocal Crush by Lisa Swinton

    Can you ever out run a broken heart?

    Lexi Court spent seven years traveling the world, living the nomadic Broadway life, in an attempt to outrun the broken heart Nick Rivers gave her. Now, there’s nowhere left to go.

    When she accepted a position as a high school drama teacher in Las Vegas, Lexi hoped to get over Nick, find a nice guy, and settle down. But what should be a quiet summer gets turned upside down when Lexi’s best friend, Taffy, drafts her to be an emergency replacement coach on a televised vocal competition.

    Feeling out of her league among the other three celebrity coaches, Lexi fights for the most promising contestants to be on her team. One note from a single voice shatters her summer. Nick unexpectedly auditions and joins Lexi’s team. With her vocal crush on him raging as strong as ever, she has nowhere to run from Nick’s dreamy looks or siren voice.

    Lexi has no doubt that Nick can win the competition. The question is does he want to win her heart as well or will he damage it beyond repair?

    Think television reality show The Voice meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

    Paris Cravings New Image

    Picture Perfect by U.S.A. Today Bestseller Heather B. Moore

    Gemma has never done anything out of the ordinary, until her boyfriend Randy starts to ignore her. But even cutting and dyeing her hair doesn’t get his attention. She decides to join her old high school friends for spring vacation, only to be faced with Drew, her best friend who suddenly seems interested in her as more than a friend. Gemma must determine if her heart is on the rebound or if it’s finally met its true match.

    Endless Modern Cinderella by Jaclyn Weist

    Sydney lives her nightmares every night. While other teenagers are dreaming of boys or traveling to exotic places, she must run a staircase with no beginning or no end, or a terrible debt will never be paid.

    Just before her seventeenth birthday, the dreams change. She is no longer alone.

    But her nightmares don’t end when she wakes up. Her stepmother and stepsisters threaten to ruin everything she holds dear. She must protect the secret that both she and her father have magic or they will use it to their advantage.

    As Sydney learns to control her magic, what seemed impossible before—escaping her stepmother and those ever-present stairs—is now at her fingertips. When she learns the ultimate plan of her evil captor, Sydney must stop her at all costs, or she will forever be trapped inside her nightmares.

    Cookie Girl Christmas by Christene Houston

    Molly Hayes has one more job before Christmas and then she can put her plans for a storefront bakery of her own in motion. What she doesn’t bargain for is the handsome young Scrooge who insults her cookies and makes her blood boil. Toss in a heaping helping of snowstorm and a pinch of romantic old Inn and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for a not-so-silent-night.

    And Something Blue by Paige Timothy

    Bridal consultant Laurie Fletcher spends all her time helping others prepare for the most special day of their lives. Logan Reese is easily the most irritating man on the planet, and for some reason, he’s made annoying Laurie his mission in life. Will true love ever come Laurie’s way, or is she doomed to watch others get their happily ever after while she sits on the sidelines?

    Six Days of Christmas by Kaylee  Baldwin

    When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children who seem to be multiplying, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother—someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.

    Ring Around the Rosie by Julie Coulter Bellon

    As the ex-wife of a law enforcement officer, Sarah Reed has known loneliness and loss. In order to cope, she makes a life for herself that’s full of routine while building a wall of ice around her heart. Everything about her is as predictable as she can make it until a tiny detour for her ex-husband, Ron, changes her life forever. Caught in a bomb crisis, Sarah is taken hostage by a man who wants Ron and everyone around him to suffer—and his idea of suffering is more terrible than Sarah had ever dreamed.

    Captain Ron Reed has seen the worst of humanity in his job with the Hostage Negotiation Team, but he never expected his past to come back with a vengeance—literally. Aaron Starks, a criminal explosives expert, has stolen next-gen bomb technology. He uses it to force Ron to bargain for the lives of his team and his ex-wife, Sarah, the woman he still loves. But the situation escalates when Ron discovers that Starks has an even bigger objective in mind—using the bomb to show how vulnerable America and her people truly are.

    Ron is willing to risk everything to save his country and those he loves, but when negotiations break down, will his sacrifice be too little too late?

    yesterday

    Yesterday by Amanda Tru

    Her yesterday was five years ago. What will her tomorrow bring?

    When Hannah Kraeger saves a family injured in a car accident, she has no idea she has changed events in the past. Waking the next morning, Hannah discovers her yesterday was really five years ago.

    Each trip Hannah takes through time changes the timeline and her own life. With help from Dr. Seth McAllister, Hannah must unravel the mystery of why she time travels and who she actually is before the strange ability costs her future, the man she loves, and even her life.

    YESTERDAY is a thrilling Christian Romantic Suspense filled with unexpected twists, mystery, and romance.

    My One and Only by Shannon Guymon

    Meredith Jensen has seen her share of ups and downs. She’s found love twice already and lost it in spectacularly traumatic ways. Now? She just wants a peaceful life, free from love and drama. Meredith’s plans for the future center around planning other people’s weddings and her new online dating website. Just because she works to help other people find love doesn’t mean she wants any part of it though. Unfortunately for Meredith’s plans, Asher Murphy is determined to get her to give love another chance. But then again, so is Pule Matafeo. Meredith has never denied that she’s stubborn and feisty so it might take the combined forces of all their friends in Fircrest to get her heart back on track in time for Valentine’s Day.

    Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh

    WRITER’S BLOCK, NIBBLED NAILS, PLAGIARISM, OH MY! AND DID I MENTION ROMANCE? Life for Adda Sinclaire, New York Times best-selling author and historical romance writer extraordinaire, reads more like a country song than a breathless, bodice-bursting affair. For starters, she has no romance in her own life. That might have something to do with the fact that her husband—correction, ex-husband—ran off with Stick Woman, whom everyone knew would never be more than a mid-list author anyway. To add insult to injury (and another verse to the country song), her ex not only took their dog but gave it to Stick Woman. If that isn’t enough, Adda has come down with a horrible case of writer’s block, finds herself gifted with a Bible that is determined to speak to her, and is the unwitting target of a romance cover model’s misdirected advances. Just when she catches her breath—and quite possibly the eye of a certain fabulously good-looking man (ahem…her new editor)—her arch-nemesis gives the pot one final stir.

    Spy by Night by Jordan McCollum

    After watching her parents’ marriage crash and burn, CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever afters.” Besides, her job entails eighty-hour weeks, juggling a dozen covers and disguises, and tracking down a dangerous Russian spy ring. She hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone.But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker.

    Danny moved to Canada for a great job — and a chance to start over after a bad breakup. Dating definitely isn’t in his plans . . . until beautiful and enigmatic Talia throws a perfect storm right in his flight path. When he catches a glimpse of the real woman behind her façade, he has to get to know her better.

    Talia has to find a Russian spymaster before he figures out she’s not who she claims, and failing to keep her two lives separate in the process could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. Danny has to decide if a future with Talia — and facing the past — is worth the risk of getting hurt again. If they can break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they just might have a chance at being happy together.

    Saving Grace by Michele Paige Holmes

    From #2 Amazon Bestselling Historical Romance Author and Whitney Award Winner, Michele Paige Holmes, comes SAVING GRACE, a regency romance from the Hearthfire Romance series:

    After the death of her grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace Thatcher wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. Her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing.

    As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage.

    Too late Grace regrets her rash actions when her father’s last choice, Mr. Samuel Preston, proves to be a gentleman and a friend. But Samuel is the sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, the man responsible for her “ruin.” Now instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda.

    Other Hearthfire Romances: LOVING HELEN & MARRYING CHRISTOPHER

    An Unexpected Proposal by Annette Lyon
    While working at a wood camp in the Logan canyon during the winter of 1880, Caroline Simpson is forced to thwart the aggressive advances of Mr. Butch Larson, and in the process discovers that her long-time friend James has genuine affection for her. But as stubborn as Caroline is, she minimizes the emotions James has awakened in her, and it takes almost losing him to admit her true feelings.

     An Unexpected Proposal was introduced in the first volume of the bestselling and award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology series, Winter Collection:

    Amazon #1 Bestselling *New Release* in Clean Romance, Top 10 in Regency Romance, Top 5 in Victorian Romance

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    Paris Cravings by Amazon #1 Best Selling Author for Clean Romance, Kimberley Montpetit
    Can life really turn on a dime, a missed bus—or a stuck pastry shop door?
    Chloe Dillard’s life has always been complicated. Her mother is a neurotic romance novelist and her boyfriend, Mathew, has been pressuring her to go “all the way”.
    But after The Worst Night of Her Life, Chloe escapes on her Senior Class trip to the swoon-worthy city of Paris which takes her mind off her troubles—temporarily. On the final leg of her dream trip, Chloe squeezes in one final run for a last-minute box of decadent pastries. Add a broken shop door, subtract a broken four-inch heel from her cute strappy sandals, and Chloe ends up one stuck girl on the bakery shop floor with a sprained ankle.
    Rescued by the shop owner’s dreamy son with chocolate-syrup eyes, the beautiful city of Paris suddenly becomes Chloe’s personal secret adventure. And even though Jean-Paul, the oh-so-kind La Patisserie shop boy is the gentlemanly guy Chloe has always dreamed of, even he has a girlfriend.
    The police are tracking her down as a run-away, Mom’s having a nervous breakdown over her daughter’s “disappearance”, and Chloe’s just trying to have a Happily-Ever-After even as her dreams with Matt are swirling down the drain.
    What’s a girl to do in the most romantic city in the world?
    Easy Pastry Recipe in the back of the book!

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