My Real Life Romance

Welcome to 2017, everyone! I hope this will be a really fun year with lots of big changes and improvements. Seeing as how I like to write romance stories, I thought I would share my real life love story with you all in the first post of this new year. Thinking back, I realize I haven’t shared how my husband, Rob, and I fell in love. I think I shared our first date/non-date of hiking the upper rim of the Grand Canyon with a friend and discovering that my aunt and uncle lived in his hometown and my cousin had even been his high school chemistry teacher.

However, I don’t think I’ve shared our baseball game date. We lived in Flagstaff, which is two hours north of Phoenix. When Rob discovered that I liked the Diamondbacks team, he purchased tickets to see them. We had a great time talking and laughing on the drive down. He paid for a parking spot and off we went into Chase Field, excited at the prospect of seeing Randy Johnson pitch and the other players hit. (This was back in 1999 so I honestly can’t remember who the other players were.) Well, the game didn’t quite turn out the way we’d hoped. The Diamondbacks lost by one run. It was mostly a defensive game (kinda boring) but we enjoyed being there together amid enthusiastic fans. Although the Diamondbacks were still a fairly new team, they won the World Series only four years later.

Anyway, the retractable roof had been closed during the game due to the extreme July heat. When the game was over, Rob and I left the stadium and walked several blocks down to the place we thought we had parked my car. But it wasn’t there. We retraced our steps and went down a different street, and then another, and another until finally, AN HOUR later, the two of us were so tired and sweaty from walking in the heat that we decided to take a break inside a little cafe. At this point, I was trying desperately to hang on to my patience. Rob ordered two large glasses of lemonade. Then we took our seats at a nearby table.

We didn’t say much. We were too tired and dehydrated to talk but as we slurped through our straws, I stole a glance at Rob sitting across the table from me. He noticed my shy look and smiled–a bashful kind of smile that melted my heart. Until that moment, I didn’t know that this stuff really happens in real life. It had always been something that came off a page in a book.

So there we were–the sky was darkening, we felt somewhat refreshed and were ready to look for my car again. And we found it less than twenty minutes later, sitting all alone in a parking lot that had been completely full when we had last seen it. We made a brief stop at my sister, Vonda’s, place to see her newborn baby and a couple of other places before heading back to Flagstaff. It was late by the time we reached our apartment complex. Rob and I both knew at that point that we were going to get married in the near future. We just seemed to have that connection that couples have, the same one we had seen in our parents and grandparents.

The truly ironic thing about this is that I didn’t have a lot of dating experience and neither did he. But we knew we were meant for each other.

That’s the way it was meant to be.

Now, 17 years later, this is what our family looks like.

It’s been quite a ride!

Merry Christmas!

Here we are, three days before Christmas, and the day we’ve been waiting for is fast approaching. We’re all busily preparing for the Big Day, shopping and wrapping, baking and frosting. We’re almost ready. The kids are out of school, jumping off the walls. If you’re the mom in the family, you’re probably trying not to pull your hair out when you discover you need to make “just one more” trip to the grocery store for more eggs so that you can bake one more batch of cookies for the neighbors or that your kid needs a white elephant gift for a get-together later tonight.

Among the craze, you might pause for just a moment to take a deep breath and reflect on the real reason we celebrate, but then that thought quickly gets pushed aside as our ever-growing list of things to be done encroaches on our moment of peace. And as you rush to fill every stocking, you start to feel grumpier. Sound familiar? Or is it only me who starts to feel this way?

Our family has experienced an especially stressful season as my husband started a new job. Yes, that new job I mentioned we were waiting for over a year ago. It finally did happen, but not in the way we expected. We won’t be moving with this new position, but my husband will have to commute. For this, we had to get him a better-working vehicle–right before Christmas!

I’ll admit that I’ve experienced a few moments of anxiety with this transition. To help alleviate this, I’ve been cuddling up with several fun books. Stories have always been an escape for me. They are a huge stress reliever, almost as necessary as breathing. I’ve mostly been reading Christmas stories, which I really love.

This is one reason I have written a Christmas story every year for the past three years. This year, it was in the form of an ebook, Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish. I was hoping to extend my audience beyond LDS members but still provide a respite for busy readers while including a short spiritual message. As I reached out to nearly fifty bloggers/book reviewers, only a handful of them responded favorably, citing the busy season (which I can certainly understand). I’m very thankful for the ones who have taken time out from their busy lives to help me spread the word about my work.

Today, even though Christmas is right around the corner, I would like to share a few more of the reviews that have been given about my Christmas novella:

First, from author Julie Coulter Bellon

Second, from a Book Loving Mommy

Third, from Martha’s Bookshelf

and fourth, from Wishful Endings.

And while I’m at it, I hope you don’t think this is sacrilegious, but last week, I reached a milestone on my Facebook author page, so I decided to hold a giveaway. And when I presented the idea to other Cedar Fort authors, several of them jumped on it and offered their own books as well. So right now though December 26th, at this link you can be entered for a chance to win NINE books just by answering the question: what is your goal for the new year? What do you want to see happen in your life in 2017?

Right off the bat, my youngest son will be having some major dental work done and his tonsils removed. I’m hoping these two procedures will facilitate better health for him as I’ve spent a good deal of time taking him to the doctor this year. I also want to work on my spiritual and physical health in the coming year. I’m developing a plan to make this happen. Any tips or advice you might have in establishing a set workout time and scripture study time would be appreciated!

Now I would like to hear about your dreams or plans for the next year. Time really goes by fast when you’re actively pursuing a goal.

As always, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2017! (Wow! I’m going to have to get used to that number.) Read! Love! Be happy!

Laura

You’re Cordially Invited

Welcome to Drevier Manor where world class beauty and former model Caitlyn Drevier Reel and her new husband, dashing architect Ridge Reel, are celebrating their recent nuptials at a grand reception at her uncle’s chateau, Drevier Manor, in the French Alps. We are live at the event where celebrities and movie stars galore are in attendance, including Ms. Reel’s ex-husband and her new husband’s brother, country singer Grant Reel. This past Christmas, Grant tried to win his former bride back but Caitlyn only had eyes for Ridge. And Grant seems to have recovered quite nicely from his trouble with the law. Rumor has it that Caitlyn’s altruism had something to do with that. If you want the inside scoop on that, folks, you’ll need to read Caitlyn and Ridge’s love story, which occurred in the beautiful state of Wyoming, in the good ol’ US of A.

That’s right, folks. You heard the scoop here. And now, enjoy watching another famous couple dancing in the Alps as you view this clip from The Sound of Music.

*In case you were wondering, this blog post is a participant of author H. L. Murphy’s virtual ball in which her character, Charlotte, attends several dances/balls in which characters from other works of fiction, both historical and contemporary. If you’d like yo see Ms. Murphy’s original blog post that launched this bit of fun, visit her regency virtual ball here.

Bookish News

In case you’re wondering, Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish has done very well in the last week, thanks to the Black Friday promotion as well as a few reviews on popular book blogs such as ASC Book Reviews and Debra’s Cafe–and you! Thanks for supporting my writing endeavors! If you would like to read what Amada and Debra have to say about this novella, check out their blogs!

ASC Book Reviews

Debra’s Book Cafe

Also, Amada requested an interview, which you can read here: Amada’s Interview

One more thing–and I think you’re gonna love this one because who doesn’t love books?!
Jennie Hansen with Meridian Magazine (who is a well-known author in the LDS world) reviewed Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish and graciously included it with her annual Christmas post along with several other enticing titles. You can be sure I’m gonna be checking them out!

Meridian Magazine List of new Christmas titles

So keep reading and if you’d like to leave your own review of Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish on Amazon or Goodreads, I’ll be forever thankful. If you’re in the a Mesa, Arizona area this Saturday, December 10, stop by and say hi to me. I’ll be at the Red Mountain Library from 1 – 3 PM with author Donna Hatch. Easy Christmas shopping for family and friends. And yourself, right? One can never have too many books. See you there!

Cozy Up With A Good Book Sale

Happy Thanksgiving! I always look forward to this time of year. I love getting together with family members and enjoying wonderful food that we only sample once or twice a year. Also, I love cuddling up with a good book and a hot cup of cocoa while the wind blows outside. This year, check out these awesome ebook titles that are on sale from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. Most are clean while a few might rate PG-13. Find the perfect ebook for you!

.
Donna K. Weaver
Torn Canvas
$.99
(audiobook is only $1.99 if you own the Kindle
ebook)
**Winner of the prestigious RONE Award for best New Adult fiction**
Modern-day
pirates took more than Jori Virtanen’s friends; they stole his face. Not only
does the 24-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive
surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Jori
struggles to make a new life for himself as an artist while evading the press.
They expect a hero, but he knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast.
Olivia
Howard’s given up a normal life for her job, and the sacrifices are finally
paying off. The 26-year-old talk-show host’s ratings are heading to the top of
the charts. Her dream is to make a difference in people’s lives, but the studio
wants mind fluff-like interviewing hot model Jori Virtanen. When Olivia learns
the guy helped rescue passengers on a cruise excursion from kidnappers, she
knows this is the story she needs to make her case. The only problem is the
hero was injured, and now he’s disappeared.
The
more Olivia learns about the man behind the scar, the more intrigued she
becomes. But Jori is no girl’s happily ever after. Once she finds him, Olivia
has to free his heart and help heal the beast.
Wendy Knight
Cauldron Bubble
$.99
“You’ve just always been
the powerful one. I’m the smart aleck.”
“We’re the same. I’m
night, you’re day. You have to have both to have life.”
“You can hide in the
shadows.”
“And you can shine like
the sun. This prophesy is about both of us.”
Destiny doesn’t think
she’s anything special. The daughter of an outcast witch. Her twin, Fate, is
her best friend, so that’s awesome. They’re experts in love potions and selling
them to crazy high school kids.
So they can buy more
shoes.
But that all changes
when their school is attacked by warlocks—warlocks who want her power for their
own. The attack launches her onto the path the stars have chosen for Destiny,
Fate, and their long-lost father.
Oh, and Quin.
Quin, who’s the son of a
witch, only tolerating Destiny’s presence because she can save his mother. Except
along the way, that all changes, and he realizes Destiny is everything he never
knew he wanted. The only problem is she thinks if love can be made from a
potion, it can’t be a real thing.
If they survive this,
he’s going to prove her wrong.
Laura L Walker
Caitlyn’s Christmas
Wish
$.99
Just
when former model and single mother Caitlyn Drevier Reel has finally put her
life on track after a divorce and six-month stint in rehab, she is surprised to
receive an invitation from her ex-in-laws to spend Christmas with them. After
all, she reasons, her ex-husband Grant is constantly on the road with his band
and it’s only fair to allow them to get to know her young son. What Caitlyn
isn’t prepared for, however, is the spark of attraction she feels toward Ridge,
Grant’s older brother, or the sense of belonging to their wonderful family once
again. Ridge, who is recovering from his own personal heartache, seems to feel
the same way. As they work together to ensure the success of the Winter
Festival his parents have organized for their small Wyoming town, Caitlyn
begins to envision a bright future. But will Grant’s unexpected arrival keep
her Christmas wish from coming true?
This inspirational
romance is sure to put you in the holiday mood!
Jaleta Clegg
Nexus Point
$.99

Stranded on a primitive
world, facing death at the hands of the natives, hunted by drug smugglers,
wanted by the Patrol, Captain Dace has one hope of escaping: Convince the
Patrol agent trying to kill her that she’s innocent.

    
  
Dark Dancer
$.99
Have you ever danced in a fairy ring? Sabrina
has, and it opened the door to fairyland. But it’s not the place of legend. The
Queen is missing and the lords of the Seligh are hoarding the magic, using it
to fuel their devices. With the help of a pixie warrior and a renegade elf,
Sabrina must restore magic and solve the mystery of the balmorae, flying
monsters that plague the Winterlands beyond the barrier.
  
Julie Coulter Bellon
All Fall Down
$.99
  • a romantic suspense from
    the Hostage Negotiation Team series
  • #1 Amazon Bestseller for
    Action Adventure/Romance
  • RONE Award Winner for
    Best Suspense
Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies,
ashes, ashes we all fall down . . .
That simple rhyme turns
negotiator Claire Michaels’ current hostage situation into an international
incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis
escalates she realizes she’s dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the
means to become another bin Laden—with the potential to attack America.
Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is
slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the
past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S.
national security?
Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is
on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in
Afghanistan and he doesn’t expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf.
But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a
hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The
terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly
turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his
country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?
The Captive
$.99
  • From award-winning
    author, Julie Coulter Bellon, comes the first book in her new romantic
    suspense series, Griffin Force . . .
Former
Navy SEAL Jake Williams is the newly appointed head of a task force assigned to
rescue a kidnapped American diplomat. Their only hope is Mya Amari, the
daughter of a notorious Algerian hostage negotiator, but she is full of secrets
and complications-something Jake takes as a personal challenge. As they grow
closer, the threat to the mission escalates and time runs out for the hostages.
Can Jake unravel the web of deception to save them all without getting caught
in the crossfire?

Mya
Amari has been in hiding nearly her entire life to escape her father’s enemies.
But when her sister is kidnapped along with an American diplomat, she’ll do
anything to bring her home-including walking into the enemy’s lair. She doesn’t
trust anyone, especially the too-handsome-for-his-own-good Commander Williams,
but when all her careful plans explode out of control, he’s the only one she
can turn to with the truth about her family. Is it too little, too late?
Debra Erfert
Changes of the Heart
$.99
Buying the 1920s farmhouse south of Phoenix, where the rumors of
John Dillinger’s gang hid out in the 30s, is supposed to be accident-prone
Grace Evanheart’s way of escaping an old romance. When she finds an ancient
diary with a map under the bedroom’s floorboard, the rumors solidify into fact.
She doesn’t know who to trust with the news; Micah Stevens, the handsome deputy
and the great grandson of the original landowners with whom she’s attracted, or
Jerry, the young historian who seems too intent on learning about her new home?
Micah
seems convinced their paths cross exactly at the right time and in the right
place for them to fall in love. Now he just has to convince Grace of the same
thing before suspicions of his real motive have her running again.
Window of Time
$.99
CIA courier Lucy James never gets used to seeing innocent people
killed, but she copes with it—every day. Cursed with the ability to glimpse
into the future when a death is about to happen, she has a short window of time
to interfere—risking her life in order to change it. No one knows about her
curse, until she saves a handsome Los Angeles firefighter trapped between her
and foreign operatives hell-bent on intercepting her current assignment.
LA
firefighter Johnny Cartwright’s life changes the moment he meets Lucy. His
uncomplicated days flip to dangerously unpredictable after he’s drawn deeper
into her secretive world of premonitions. His attraction to Lucy grows as he
helps her stop a terroristic plot against the U.S., putting his life between
her and certain death.
 
Marsha Ward
Gone for a Soldier
$.99
·      
Book 1: The Owen Family Saga. 2014 Whitney Award
Finalist-Historical Fiction
Rulon Owen loves two things more than life—his country and Mary
Hilbrands.
When Virginia secedes
from the Union, Rulon enlists, and finds himself fighting foes both in battle
and in his own camp. He struggles to stay alive against all odds, with a
knife-wielding tent-mate and a Union army that seems impossible to defeat. It
will take every ounce of vigilance he has to survive and, with a little luck, he
might make it home to his wife and the son he’s never seen.
Forced to live with
her parents for the duration, Mary faces a battle for independence. With a
mother whispering that her husband won’t come home to her and a son who needs
her to be both father and mother, Mary has to dig deep for strength to overcome
her overwhelming loneliness and the unknown future ahead.
Separated by war and
circumstance, Rulon and Mary discover that not all enemies wear the Union blue.
Rebecca Rode
Numbers Ignite
$.99

Treena and Vance think they’ve escaped the numbers game forever.
They’re wrong.
After Treena’s
disastrous attempt to unite the nation, she has the deaths of hundreds haunting
her dreams. Now, with hatred and accusations following her past the border,
she’s determined to leave that horrible day behind and find a peaceful,
uneventful life with Vance and the settlers. But when she starts seeing
mysterious figures hiding in the abandoned cities at night and uncovers a
strange desert population, she realizes there’s a danger much greater than NORA
to worry about—and she just abandoned her people to their fate.
Vance is a prisoner.
Being rejected by the girl he loves and put on trial for betraying his clan are
bad enough, but now he’s been framed for a crime he never committed. Their
less-than-perfect refuge has become the political game of a madman, and Vance
is the only one who can stop it—if he can keep from being executed first.
Treena and Vance are
still very much in the game, and this time it will take everything they have to
save those they love.
 
  • NUMBERS IGNITE is book two of the Numbers Game saga. Readers who enjoy action-packed sci-fi mystery and romance will love this futuristic thriller from a #1 bestselling author.
  • PRAISE FOR THE NUMBERS GAME SAGA: “Offers new things to the world of YA and there is much to look forward to in the next books.” ~In’DTale Magazine
  • “Gripping, from beginning to end . . . a tale as action-packed as Divergent yet as introspective as The Giver. . . . Sure to be an instant classic in the genre.” –R.J. Craddock, author of The Children of Cain series
  • “Best dystopian fiction I have read since Red Queen!” -Sheri, Reader

Tifani Clark
All is Merri and
Bright
$.99
Merri Wilcox has finally
achieved her greatest dream and opened her own hair salon. Life is bliss until
Brighton Stansbury walks through her door. Growing up, Brighton was behind
every bad thing that happened to Merri. She hasn’t seen him since high school
graduation and could have happily continued like that forever.
When a winter storm traps Merri and Brighton together, will
the pair finally learn to get along, or will the Christmas holiday become their
new war zone? 
  
Losing Independence
$.99
Five years ago, Lauren Walker ditched everything—and
everyone—she knew and headed for Nashville with her bags packed and violin case
in tow, ready to conquer her dreams. With the perfect boyfriend, a great
roommate, and a job she’s good at, she believes it’s only a matter of time
before her talents as a musician will finally be discovered and appreciated.
But, just as quickly as they begin, all the good things in
her life come crashing down.
Out of options and money, Lauren returns to the small town
in Utah where she grew up. Living with her parents and working at the same job
she had in high school is hard enough on her ego, but seeing the successes of
people she once considered good friends is even worse. Especially when one of
those friends is her former best friend, Scott McAllister.
Will Lauren completely lose her independence and her mind,
or will she find a way to manage rekindled feelings and still conquer her
dreams?
Connect with Tifani
Clark:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter (@TifaniClark)
Liz Adair
A Kane County
Christmas.
Free
Spider Latham’s first Christmas Eve in Kane County is complicated by a
fouled-up septic system. Then his foster daughter, Amy, decides to recreate the
Bethlehem Star in the sky above his barn. As Spider’s holiday spirit unravels
with each snag in his plumbing solution, Amy’s star works a special Christmas
magic.
  
  
Carolyn Frank
Remembrance
(Book 3 in the Quantum
Faith Effect Series)
$.99
When the Hallelujah
Chorus is banned from his school’s Holiday Gala, Josh doesn’t want to get
involved and fight the injustice like he usually does. But after book-traveling
through the life of George Frideric Handel in the Literary Loom, Josh has
second thoughts. Those second thoughts grow into a passion as Josh discovers
the mystery behind the quirky new kid at Claremont High, and learns the value
of remembering Christ as he travels through the New Testament. Everywhere he
looks, Christmas seems to be about everything but Christ. He can’t change the
world but he can at least bring back the Hallelujah Chorus and help people
remember what Christmas is all about.


Lucinda Whitney
The Secret Life of
Daydreams
$.99

He planned for
everything except her. She’s too busy to follow her dreams. But sometimes the
dream you never expected is the one you can’t live without.
Six years after a
painful divorce, Josh Conrad is happy traveling the world as a photographer.
When he arrives in Portugal, he plans to complete the assignment as quickly as
possible. What he doesn’t plan for is Sofia, the girl he baptized eleven years
earlier on an LDS mission, and soon he’s making excuses to prolong his trip.
Sofia Monteiro leads a
structured life in Braga, Portugal, teaching high school by day and caring for
her mother by night. After she reconnects with Josh through mutual friends, the
memory of a failed relationship and her new graduate program are enough reasons
to stay away from him.
As they collaborate on
a project, Josh is wary of repeating his old mistakes and Sofia hesitates to
spend time with an American who’s only passing through.
Can two people with
wounded hearts bring themselves to trust their dreams to each other?
The Secret Life of
Daydreams
is a standalone full-length novel set in Braga, Portugal. It’s a
clean and wholesome contemporary LDS romance in the A Love Story From Portugal series.
One Small Chance
$.99
One city of two
million people and only three months to find her. What are his chances?
Isabel Antunes is
content with her life as director of the British Academy in Lisbon. Then she’s
hit by a man on a bike—a man her boss just hired to be her assistant. Despite
Simon Ackerley’s repeated assurances to the contrary, Isabel believes he’s
after her position, but she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if dealing
with him all week is not enough, he shows up at church as well. Her only solace
is in writing to the pen pal she knows as “Elliot”.
Simon Ackerley told
his father that he was moving to Lisbon for the job. But that isn’t the only
reason. Simon is looking for Amélie, the pen pal he’s written for fifteen
years. A woman he knows everything about—except her real name and address.
When the biking
accident reveals that Simon’s prickly co-worker Isabel is the elusive Amélie,
he knows he has to win her trust before he can confess his true identity. If
only he could tell her the actual reason why he’s come, he’s sure Isabel would
treat him differently. But she’s not ready for the truth.
One Small Chance
is a standalone novella set in Lisbon. It’s a clean and wholesome contemporary
LDS romance in the A Love Story From
Portugal
series.
Tristi Pinkston / Amelia C. Adams
Sea of Strangers
by Amelia C. Adams
free

Jeanette Peterson left
behind the man who loves her to go to nursing school in New York, promising to
come back in six months and marry him. His love is the only thing that sees her
through the trials ahead. When the time comes to make the toughest decision of
all, will she choose justice or mercy out of many shades of gray?
Take My Advice
by Tristi Pinkston
$.99
What if the answers to
life aren’t always black and white?
Jill Reed thinks she knows it all, and as the advice columnist for her
high school newspaper, she gets to share her wisdom on a weekly basis. She
handles questions about everything from dating to choosing the right nail
polish, and with the exception of a few bullies, everyone respects her opinion.
But when life throws
her some curves she can’t handle, she realizes she knows a whole less than she
thought she did, and she’ll need to ask others for their advice so she can make
it through.
 
Lindzee Armstrong
First Love, Second Choice
Free
(audiobook is only $1.99 if you own the Kindle
ebook)
What happens when you impersonate your identical twin sister to score a
date with your long-lost high school crush? Enjoy this delightfully sweet case
of mistaken identity today!
  
  
Mistletoe Match
$.99
A kiss shouldn’t be this complicated. When animal rights activist
Michelle kisses a mystery man underneath the mistletoe at a holiday party,
she’s horrified to realize he’s the new marketing director of the
pharmaceutical company she’s trying to destroy due to their nasty habit of
animal testing. Can one impulsive kiss be the foundation for a happily ever
after? Curl up with this delicious holiday romance today!
   
Terry Deighton
Tweaks: The Beginning
Free
Henry Johnson has a best friend, a crush, a life-long enemy, and no
idea his life is a science project.
In sixth-grade,
average may mean boring, but at least it also means avoiding freakdom. Henry is
all kinds of average—that is before other people’s thoughts start popping into
his head. He thinks he’s going crazy until he discovers he’s one of several
kids with genetically modified abilities, including the school bully. How did
they get tweaked? To unravel the mystery, Henry must face family betrayal, his
parent’s abduction by a greedy scientist, and even becoming frenemies with the
bully. Can the Tweaks use their new abilities to avoid being used as demo
models for the corrupt Dr. Grey’s foreign military buyers?
 
Just Say No-el
$.99
Kelly Yeager can never
seem to say no.
With five children to Christmas shop for, a Sunday School class to
teach, and a cub scout den to lead, she has no time to volunteer at the Seattle
Crèche Festival. Reluctantly, she agrees to help her friend arrange the
nativity displays for one afternoon. Somehow, she ends up working for weeks
under Marilynn, a stern woman who organizes the volunteers like an invading
army and relegates Kelly to the Children’s Room where she can’t break anything.
Unable to say no,
Kelly stays on and on. With each new assignment, she wants to get done and get
out of there, but then nativity pieces start to go missing. Before long, Kelly
wants, more than anything, to solve the mystery and make sure the festival
succeeds, but how will she ever get Christmas ready for her family?
Vicki Hunt Budge
Renewal: Kaylas Story
$.99
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
While loving someone
deeply gives you courage.
–Lao Tzu
Kayla Morrison, an LDS
young single adult, grew up in an unloving, verbally abusive home. It’s no
wonder she’s skeptical when charming, successful Chris Christensen brings up
love on their first date. Making things worse, her former fiancé shows up later
and claims Chris doesn’t love her.
Meanwhile Kayla’s
father drops the bomb that he’s not her real father. And then he dies, setting
Kayla on an arduous quest to discover who she really is, and if she’s worthy of
anyone’s love.
Along the way she
establishes new friendships and treasures current friends. But will the drama
of her friends and family strengthen her, or will it cause her to withdraw back
to her destructive beginnings?
Renewal is the
continuing story of love and friendship in the Hope and Healing Series. It is a
story of redemption and faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Kate Palmer
Storm
$.99
A stubborn rancher struggles to save her ranch, but it’s her heart
she’s most in danger of losing.
Storm’s ranch is
teetering on the edge of bankruptcy after cattle rustlers strike. When her
part-time ranch hand dies under suspicious circumstances, she concocts a plan
to save her ranch. Now she just needs to convince her reclusive neighbor to be
her business partner.
Dak Hunsaker moved
home after he lost everything when his wife died from cancer. He has finally
saved enough money for a down payment on a house in the city so he can raise
his girls in the cultured environment he promised his wife. When Storm proposes
a business partnership, he refuses. But when she ends up in the hospital and is
on the verge of losing her ranch, Dak steps in to help. And so does Storm’s old
cowboy flame, Taggert.
In jeopardy of losing
the only place that’s ever felt like home, who can Storm trust with her heart?
Snowed Inn
Free
A woman rancher hitches the community’s dreams to her sleigh ride
business and ropes in a heap of trouble for them and her heart.
Jayne Gardner turned
her family’s ranch into the successful Snowed Inn Lodge and Restaurant. After
she learns the community has one month to earn funds needed for a grant, she
donates her company’s sleigh rides for a community fundraiser.
When Jayne’s new
volunteer sleigh driver turns out to be Forrest Hunsaker, the man who left her
three years ago, Jayne sets up three rules to maintain a professional distance
and protect her heart.
When vandals strike
Snowed Inn, Jayne must team up with Forrest to prevent a fundraiser fail. Now
Jayne must decide if breaking all her rules will break her heart. Again.
Jewel Allen
Ghost Moon Night
$.99
also available in audiobook
It was whispered years ago that when a pirate cursed a Philippine
village with langbuan, or flying undead, a boy received a secret that would
protect him from certain death. But even armed with a secret, can anyone
survive the undead for long?
Seventeen-year-old
Antonio Pulido has never known a time when the langbuan didn’t roam the streets
every Ghost Moon Night, killing anyone in their path. He works hard to protect
his family and the girl he loves from the deadly attacks, but he wants them
stopped once and for all. Can Antonio uncover the decades-old secret and will
it help him defeat the langbuan? Or will Ghost Moon Night come again and take
someone he truly cares about? It falls on Antonio to save his village, but time
is running out. The next Ghost Moon Night is nearly here and Antonio knows this
is his last chance to destroy the undead and end their reign of terror — or
die trying.
 
Soapbox
$.99
Nonfiction/Political Memoir
When a medical waste company tries to relocate to her county, columnist
Jewel Allen never would have guessed it would be the end of one life, and the
beginning of another. Wanting to protect her community, she starts a social
media campaign against the giant incinerator which not only costs her her writing
job, but gives birth to the activist inside. She rallies her neighbors against
the company and the State Legislature bent on invading their land.
As the dust settles
from that battle, she faces an even greater dilemma: The Speaker of the House
and his allies, armed with a million-dollar public relations budget, want to
build a new, water-hogging state prison ten minutes from her home. Equipped
with only her media know-how, Jewel helps her neighbors wage a creative
grassroots campaign to save their town.
In this
more-than-a-memoir, Jewel Allen not only tells her David and Goliath stories,
but shares effective and invaluable secrets and insights to running and winning
a political / grassroots campaign. It answers the questions: What can I do? and
How can I do it? A must-read for anyone looking for motivation, upliftment, and
guidance.
Miranda D Nelson
Healing Hearts
$.99
Joanna Leighton has never
desired a husband. She’s seen what love can do to a person and she refuses to
subject herself to that pain. She’s satisfied to help her uncle, the physician
of Roselund Heights, tend to his patients. When the quiet and secretive Colin
Aldridge moves to town her resolve softens, and she begins to wonder if love is
perhaps worth the pain it inevitably brings. Joanna’s wounds run deep and when
secrets and sorrows arise, she’s tempted to close off her heart forever. Can
she trust Mr. Aldridge enough to risk the pain and give him her heart? Or will
she decide she’s better off spending her life alone?


Charlie Pulsipher
The Crystal Bridge
$.99
A novel that spans worlds and genres, breaking rules at every turn.
Imagine Lord of the Rings meets Stargate.
Kaden’s Egg, a shell
of light only he can see, transports him to dangerous distant worlds, but he’s
afraid to use it. It may have saved his life once or twice, but it’s also
failed him just as often. Aren’s sight reaches deep into the souls and memories
of others, exposing more than she ever wanted to see.
When Aren turns her
gift on Kaden, his Egg responds, sending them spiraling across the space
between universes to a world where dragons, mythic creatures, and peculiar gods
dwell. Separated, lost, and alone, these teens must come to grips with their
unique gifts if they ever want to see Earth again.
Back home, a
biotechnology company tinkers with the science of reality, hoping to cure death
itself, but they will awaken something shadowy and powerful, imprisoned in the
void for millennia. This dark being longs to break free and devour everything.
Infinite universes would be consumed, and Kaden and Aren must decide if they
can save more than themselves.
Can they save us all? 
Jo Noelle

Newbie
$.99

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills. At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching.


Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty. 


This new adult, chick lit novel is a sweet romance filled with humor as Sophie navigates her life as a teacher, trying to balance lesson plans and love in the workplace.

All By My Selfie
Free

While on vacation at McLeod Castle in Scotland, Gwen Mackenzie has nightly dreams of an ancient warrior bound by a curse. During the day, she sees Niall, nicknamed #ScottishBoyfriend. Oh, and can that man rock a kilt! As she gets to know him, she realizes that Niall is the warrior from her dreams, cursed to live as a ghost for the past five hundred years, to see life around him but never see, taste, or feel any of it—except Gwen.


This is a 100 page novella in the clean & wholesome category.

Janette Rallison

Son of War – Daughter of Chao
$.99
on sale from November 25 – 30

Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents have instructed her from the time she was young to look for people with the signs: greater than normal strength, eyes that sometimes glow green, and the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks and unfounded paranoia. 


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, one where Horus and Set still struggle for control and people aren’t who or what they seem to be. Danger will find her, whether she’s prepared or not. 


This urban fantasy takes you around the world: from Arizona to Oxford, England, with stops on the snowy peaks of the Arctic and the ancient ruins of Egypt.

Monica Millard

Faceless

$.99

Have you ever experienced that one moment that made you stop and take notice of a person you see every day, but never truly saw before? That’s what happened to me the day Eli Markham walked away from the school bully, instead of fighting.


It wasn’t the first time he’s done this, but it was the first time his eyes found mine in the crowd and held me captive. Now, I can’t get him out of my head and I’m seeing him everywhere.


Problem is, I’m not the only one taking notice of him. Someone, something, has got him in its sights and they want him bad. Bad enough to try to frame him for the murder of the bully he walked away from.


As his alibi for that crime and then another, I’ve stumbled into the crosshairs of the monster that’s after him and losing isn’t an option for it.

Valerie Ipson

Ideal High
$.99

People say it wasn’t an accident, so what really happened that night at Ritter’s Crossing when a fire at the abandoned cotton gin killed seven students? Or was it eight? Soon the writing on the bathroom wall means it’s up to Taryn Young to hurtle past her grief to figure out just what’s going on at Ideal High School in this page-turning mystery that confronts bullying and betrayal.

Stacy Lynn Carroll
Shattered Hearts
$.99

Sarah Dunkin’s world shatters when she walks in on her husband’s secret addiction. Thrown into the world of pornography, therapy, and support groups, Sarah must find a way to forgive before she drowns in betrayal and despair. The task before her seems impossible as she struggles to care for their five children on her own. Growing up without religion in her life, Sarah is forced to make difficult choices and finds herself being drawn to a higher power she never understood. But with the help of a mysterious friend, Sarah just might be able to piece back together the life, and the love, she and her husband once shared.

Lisa Swinton

On the Corner of Heartache and Love
$.99

Maren’s stuck at the intersection of heartache and love, but happily ever after might be just around the corner.


After three years, Maren Summers is elated to finally have her dream wedding to her dream man, Kevin Bryant. In her sights is the promotion to Weddings she’s worked so hard for at the newspaper. Happily ever after is within her grasp… 


Until Kevin jilts her at the altar, elopes with another woman, and becomes her boss. Devastated by the twisted turn of events Maren moves in with her best friend and notices the not-so-homeless guy on the corner, Zane Whitfield. As his heart-wrenching tale unfolds—his vow to wait a year on the corner for his lost love—Maren sees his compassionate human-interest story as her ticket away from Kevin, weddings, and her heartache. 


But as the New Year approaches, is Maren headed for heartache again if Zane’s lost love returns or has time changed more than one heart?

Susan Tietjen

Dragon Unchained
$.99

Lady Theona McArthur thinks opening The Keeper, a forbidden ancient relic, will help her find the love of her life. At least that’s what her dreams tell her. But instead of being shown where this handsome boy with violet eyes lives, she becomes possessed by evil spirits and is imprisoned for violating the laws of Kildaria.


Then rumors of war bring a foreign prince to seek an alliance with Kildaria, and Theona’s shocked that Prince Gideon Seville is the young man of her dreams, the one with the violet eyes.


When Theona is condemned to death for transgressing the law, those evil spirits—the shades of sorcerers long dead—offer her one reprieve. Just learn to use magic she never knew she had to return them, and their two ferocious dragons, to mortality, and they’ll set her free. She has no choice but to comply, but she fears that if the sorcerers don’t destroy her, the lure of magic could. Her chance friendship with Prince Gideon blossoms into the love of a lifetime, but even together, will they have what it takes to beat the odds against evil sorcerers, magical dragons, war, and death?

Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish is Here!

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It’s here, folks! The day we (hopefully) have been waiting for. Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish, an inspirational ebook novella, hit the Amazon sales page today and I’m so excited to announce a new giveaway for a Christmas pack that includes items relating to Caitlyn and Ridge, my two lovebirds. Enter the giveaway simply by answering the question: What is your Christmas wish this year? on my author page on Facebook or share it for an additional three entries. Contest ends at 10 PM Arizona time on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

Here is the synopsis: Right Family, Wrong Brother

Just when former model and single mother Caitlyn Drevier Reel has finally put her life on track after a divorce and six-month stint in rehab, she is surprised to receive an invitation from her ex-in-laws to spend Christmas with the family. After all, she reasons, her ex-husband Grant is constantly on the road with his band and it’s only fair to allow them to get to know her young son. What Caitlyn isn’t prepared for, however, is the spark of attraction she feels toward Ridge, Grant’s older brother, or the sense of belonging to their wonderful family again. Ridge, who is recovering from his own personal heartache, seems to feel the same way. As they work together to ensure the success of the Winter Festival his parents have organized for their small Wyoming town, Caitlyn begins to envision a bright future. But will Grant’s unexpected arrival keep her Christmas wish from coming true?

I would love it if you would be willing to add Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish to your Goodreads reading list. You can find the listing here: Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish on Goodreads

In the meantime, check out the giveaway and let me in on your secret Christmas wish!

As always, Facebook is not responsible for this giveaway. Good luck!

“Faith and A Life Jacket” Blog Tour

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I read a really cool book recently that talks about some of the things LDS pre-missionaries can do to prepare to serve an honorable mission. Faith and A Life Jacket: 7 Truths for your Eternal Mission, written by Ben Bernards, a seminary teacher and EFY speaker, chronicles his mission to the Fiji Islands. At the first mention of this tropical place, one might think he had it easy. But that wasn’t the case. He had to work hard and learn to love and fit in with the people. He had his fair share of hair-raising experiences, as told by this blurb:

“My panicked, terrified mind was starting to go numb as I realized I had no escape from the angry tribal natives that were planning to attack my companion and me that night. So this is what feels like when someone asks you, ‘Are yo ready to die for what you believe?'”

Several of Mr. Bernards’ anecdotes impressed me, including a very Ammon-like experience that both showed how the Lord’s intervention opened doors that had previously been closed but required much faith on his part and that of his companion. Other miracles occurred throughout the course of his mission, and he learned many lessons that are applicable to all missionaries.

About the author:

Ben Bernards grew up in a big Mormon family in a small farming town in the heart of Utah Country where he and his 8 brothers and sisters were raised on a steady diet of Nintendo, Transformers, Dungeons&Dragons, and Star Wars. He geeks out on all that plus everything marching band, Marvel, and Tolkien (his autographed edition of Lord of the Rings is pretty much the coolest.

He loves teaching youth the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it be in Seminary, Sunday School, at youth conferences or EFY. He served a mission on the Fiji Islands where he survived cyclones, rampaging natives, and swarms of giant bats while living in a hit in the jungle. (He still hasn’t convinced his wife to go back and visit.)

Faith and A Life Jacket: 7 Truths for your Eternal Mission is available on Amazon, Books & Things, and Barnes & Noble.

A New Christmas Story Coming Your Way

Most of you may know that I’ve made a concentrated effort in the past six months to finish writing a novel that I felt needed to be told whose title is tentatively known as Swift and Sure. This story, by far, is the most complicated plot I’ve tried to weave and when I sent it to beta readers, I honestly thought it was as good as I could make it. My beta readers, however, pointed out some very real flaws and even suggested a few plot points of their own, which I reluctantly admitted that would make the story even better. Not that I was trying to claim superiority, mind you, I was just tired of writing! But I was also working on a self-imposed deadline, so I doggedly went back to work and re shaped the story into the vision my beta readers had created. I have to say that I am extraordinarily pleased with the way it turned out and now I am playing the waiting game to determine it’s fate in the publishing world.

So, just when I thought I could take a deep breath and relax, another story idea hit me like a bolt of lightning. An ebook novella was born–well, not literally. I’ve had to jump through some hoops and work through beta readers and rounds of revisions with this story as well. HOWEVER, I’m happy to announce that my new inspirational Christmas novella, Caitlyn’s Christmas Wish, is set to be released on November 15, 2016.

Here’s the cover:

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Here’s the synopsis:

Just when former model and single mother Caitlyn Drevier Reel has put her life back on track after a divorce followed by a six-month stint in rehab, she’s surprised to receive an invitation from her ex-in-laws to spend Christmas with the family. After all, Caitlyn reasons, her ex-husband, Grant,is constantly on the road with his band and it’s only fair to allow them to get to know her son, Brody. What Caitlyn isn’t prepared for, however, is the burst of attraction she feels for Ridge, Grant’s older brother, or the sense of still belonging to their wonderful family. Ridge, who is recovering from his own personal heartache, seems to care for her as well. As they work together to ensure the success of the Winter Festival his parents have organized for their small Wyoming town, Caitlyn begins to envision a bright future. But will Grant’s unexpected arrival at this family get-together keep Caitlyn’s Christmas wish from coming true?

This novella is currently available for pre-orderand will only be sold as a .99 ebook. At that price, it’s a great deal! You can add it to your Goodreads reading list here. Be sure to check back here in a few weeks or follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more updates as the date gets closer.

Thanks and have an awesome day!

Courting the Countess by Donna Hatch

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It is my pleasure to feature Author Donna Hatch’s latest romance, Courting the Countess, on my blog today. I have to admit that I dug into it the same day I received my review copy and stayed up all night reading it. Such a fantastic story!

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But first, let’s get to know Ms. Hatch.

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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.

One thing readers would find unique or interesting
Donna Hatch is reinventing the Clean and Wholesome romance novel with her unique style, weaving virtue and values into her stories, rich in authentic historical culture, and sweet yet sizzling romantic chemistry suitable for all readers of Regency romance.

Facts about Donna
@DonnaHatch has survived falls, 7 car accidents, and a near-drowning. Naturally her books are fraught with danger as well as happily ever after.
@DonnaHatch loves chocolate, baby animals, music, cats, history, books, writing, her 6 children, & hubby of 20+yrs.
@DonnaHatch and her husband of over 20 years are living proof of happily ever after.
@DonnaHatch drew from her own experience as a harpist and a music lover to write Courting the Countess.

My review: Having read two other Regency romances right before settling down to this one probably wasn’t my best decision (Regency isn’t my favorite genre but I’m a marriage-of-convenience junkie) but I can honestly say that I stayed up all night to finish this story. It was different enough from the there that the characters and plot kept me interested. I loved both Richard’s and Lady Elizabeth’s plights, although I kept hoping that Elizabeth’s feelings for Tristan would fade more quickly than they did. My heart hurt for Elizabeth when Richard emotionally distanced himself from her just after their wedding due to a misunderstanding, especially since that had worked so hard to form a bond beforehand. However, I was glad to see the story advance through their marriage, since some authors make the mistake of relying solely on the engagement period to carry the plot. I enjoyed watching their love for each other grow and change. This book is a sure winner for anyone who loves Regency/clean romance.

Grab your copy today:
Amazon

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Courting the Countess on Goodreads

Connect with Donna Hatch:

Author Donna Hatch on Amazon

Author Donna Hatch on Facebook

Donna’s website

Author Donna Hatch on Goodreads

Author Donna Hatch on Twitter

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ANWA Conference 2016

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the annual American Night Writers Association Time Out For Writers Conference this past weekend in Tempe, Arizona and learn from some of the best writers in the business, especially the LDS market. Improving my writing technique is always at the forefront of my mind but this year, several marketing/business-related classes were offered at the conference as well. I took advantage of those and felt overwhelmed by the astounding amount of instruction that was given–so much, in fact, that I don’t know where to begin. However, I’m excited to make a plan and put into action one step at a time.

There were terrific pieces of advice given in each class, but one of my favorites came from Mark Peterson, a freelance copy writer, who said, “Be great! Even if you know nobody’s ever going to read your blog posts, write your best anyway!” (Quote used with permission.) I’ll admit I have often wondered if anybody is reading mine, especially since I receive so few comments. 🙂

This was the first year I attended all three days. For me, Thursday was the most pivotal day in that author J. Scott Savage instructed attendees in turning a single plot idea into a publishable story. Then I participated in a critique group with three other women led by author Jennifer Moore. We became instant friends, and enjoyed an evening of constructive advice on our works in progress. On Friday, I took classes from Heidi Taylor of Shadow Mountain on pitch and query letters and even tried a pitch of my own. (Yikes!)

Here are a few more highlights from this year’s conference:

My critique group led by author Jennifer Moore. We all became instant friends. Loved it!

My critique group led by author Jennifer Moore. We all became instant friends. Loved it!

Harry Potter and his gang defeat the evil Bellatrix Lestrange at the Friday night gala.

Harry Potter and his gang defeat the evil Bellatrix Lestrange at the Friday night gala.

My roommate, Cori, and I caught up with author J. Scott Savage for an autograph and a picture.

My roommate, Cori, and I caught up with author J. Scott Savage for an autograph and a picture.

What a fun, instructional week! The ANWA sisters in charge put on an amazing event. I can hardly wait for next year. I hope to see you all there!