Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Mission Stories and a Giveaway!


There was a big announcement today from Excel Entertainment! They have created a new media franchise called, MISSION STORIES, which will focus entirely on telling stories of missionaries for The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. The franchise launched with the theatrical release of MISSION STORIES, a moving retelling of three true stories of missionary work. The feature film opens exclusively in theaters on Friday, May 7 and is distributed jointly with Purdie Distribution.

Assembled as an anthology of three stories told over four chapters, the project was created by the filmmaking team of Bryce Clark (writer, producer, director), Jason Allred (producer), Crystal Myler (writer) and Arthur Van Wagenen (executive producer) after meeting with a full room of former mission presidents and their companions. 

“We heard so many incredible stories -- story after story of events that cannot be simply coincidences,” explained Bryce Clark. “Every story shows that God has his hand in the work and people’s lives are being transformed and saved through this work.”

“People assume they know what a “mission story” depicted on the big screen will be like,” said Arthur Van Wagenen. “Our goal in this film and the entire MISSION STORIES franchise is to tell stories from not just the perspective of missionaries, but from the perspective of people who make the radical choice to become disciples of Jesus Christ.”

The film tells three true stories, including “Hermanos” that focuses on a father overcoming a crisis of faith so that he can baptize his family. “Chuck” tells the story of a man questioning whether God truly loves him and learning to see himself as God does. Finally, “Full Circle” is told in the opening and closing chapters of the film, and shows that the power of faith applied over years or even decades can ultimately bear fruit in overcoming spiritual issues as serious as depression and addiction. 

“Full Circle’ is an especially personal story for me because a character is based on me and the culmination of this story played out as we were developing this project,” explained Clark. “When people watch the film they’ll see when people struggle the Lord never gives up on them, and how the faith of others can help rescue them. I hope sharing this story may inspire others who are facing similar challenges.”

“The MISSION STORIES film is only the first step in creating a full Mission Stories brand and media franchise,” said Van Wagenen. “We are creating an avenue where people can submit their own mission stories which can be shared with the world to help increase people’s faith and sense of worth.”

Going forward, Mission Stories will become an incubator for up-and-coming writers and directors who will continue to tell these important stories for years to come.”

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

Here is the theatrical trailer: 



Monday, April 5, 2021

Freebie for Historical Romance Fans!


If you love historical romance fans, I've got a deal for you! The Timeless Romance Anthology: Mercer's Belles is free today! All of the stories in the collection are based on real-life events, so that makes it even more fun to read.

Get your free copy here

Here is the back copy:

When Mr. Mercer sends out a call for single women to travel to Seattle for teaching positions and the potential of forming marriages, 45 answer his call, becoming Mercer's Belles.

The following collection is based on based on true events during the 1860s:

ONE DANCE by Heather B. Moore:
When Harriet Silverman arrives in Seattle for a fresh start and a new teaching position, the last person she expects is to meet is a fisherman who seems to be every place she turns. As she gets to know Caleb Munns, Harriet discovers they are a perfect match--for friendship. They both have solid reasons for not pursuing marriage. But as their paths continue to cross, Harriet begins to see a completely different future than she imagined.

A JOURNEY TO LOVE by Teri Harman:
Cora, a nurse and surgeon's assistant who learned her skills during the war, joins Mercer's expedition in hopes of finding a job in the West. She's a widow and does not want to marry again. When she meets Albert, a surgeon who is traveling on board the Continental, she finds herself intrigued. Yet, Albert's determined to open his own practice in Seattle, make it a success, and has no plans to look for a wife. But the more time Cora and Albert spend together on the voyage, the more they are drawn to each other.

A FARAWAY LIFE by Linda Carroll-Bradd:
Teacher Sorcha Geraghty yearns for a fresh start after the death of her beau and a factory accident maimed her hand. Asa Mercer’s call for teachers for Washington Territory provides a new opportunity, and she joins his ocean-going expedition. Upon arrival, she learns of the expectation for the women to become wives to the many bachelors. Sorcha needs a new plan and fast. Logging manager Lang Ingemar wants a teacher to provide basic English instruction to his Swedish-speaking crew and keep them out of trouble when they go to Seattle. When he convinces Miss Geraghty to relocate to the logging camp, he has no idea the ways his life will be changed.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Easter Weekend is Here!


I am so excited for Easter weekend! I love all the family traditions and being able to relax and reflect.

We always do a ham and potatoes dinner, have an Easter egg hunt for my little kids, and I do a money hunt for my oldest kids. (I put dollar bills in eggs and hide them.) We also color eggs. 

And then on Easter Sunday we talk about our Savior and his resurrection and the events that happened. It is just a sweet time for our family.

Do you have any traditions?

I thought it would be fun to have a little celebration with you, too, I'm doing a fun little giveaway on my Author Facebook page. So head on over there and enter to win a little Amazon gift card!

Just click here

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April Fool's Day!


Happy April Fool's Day! Do you love it or hate it? Have you ever had any good pranks played on you?

One year my husband, who works in the computer tech industry, went to work early and put a piece of clear tape over the bottom of everyone's computer mouse. It took some people a really long time to figure out why their mouse wasn't working! Haha. 

Today, my daughter is trying so hard to prank my son, but he hasn't fallen for anything so far. It's sort of funny to watch, though.

What about you? Have you been pranked?

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Book Review: The Crown of Rosemund



Michele Ashman Bell has a new YA adventure romance out called The Crown of Rosemund, and it is so good! (And don't you love the cover?)

Princess Rosemund has an idyllic life with her parents---until they are murdered. A kind servant hides her away in the forest until such time she can go back and reclaim the throne that is rightfully hers. Rosemund spends the time wisely, training and learning who and how to trust. But when the country is nearly falling to ruin under the selfish new ruler, Rosemund must return earlier than expected. But danger lurks around every corner and the window she has to put their plan in motion is quickly closing. She has one chance---and if she fails, she will die.

This is such a fun adventure story with a little bit of romance. Rosemund is a relatable character who is thrown into extreme circumstances and muddles her way through trying to adapt. She has good people around her that help strengthen her for the hard road ahead---including Maxwell, a warrior who has captured her heart. But it is his love and support that sustains her and helps her as she works to get her kingdom back. The romance is definitely in the background, however, as the political intrigue is front and center. There are specific trials that have to be overcome before Rosemund can claim her throne and the danger level is ratcheted up with nearly every chapter. Halfway through the book you won't want to put it down, just so you can see what happens to Rosemund as she claims her birthright. A really fun read!

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Anduron, 1498

The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combing the countryside, searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and executed.

Rosemund’s strength grows as she trains for battle and endures the hardships and dangers of peasant life. When chance brings Maxwell, a young man from the nearby village, into her life, Rose finds in him an ally and a friend. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, the time has come for Rose to reclaim her birthright, and in a court controlled by a vengeful new ruler, she must play a deadly game of politics in order to seize the throne that is rightfully hers.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Do You Like Time Jumps In a Book?


Okay, I have a question for you. I recently read a book that had a lot of time jumps in it. For me, it felt like I would get to a really great spot in the book, then there would be a few months' time jump for the characters. I kept reading, of course, but sometimes I thought parts of the story were missing and I wanted to know what had really happened! BUT, I do enjoy an epilogue with a bit of a time jump for the main characters so I can see what happened to them after "the end."

So here is my question: What are your feelings about time jumps in books?

Monday, March 29, 2021

Do You Ever Read Outside?


With the weather getting warmer and the sunshine shining down, I am so tempted to go out on my porch swing to read. There's just something about reading outside in a warm spot that calls to me, especially on a swing that will gently rock me back and forth. Sort of like a hammock. Anyone here read in a hammock? I'm always scared I'll fall out of the hammock, haha.

I also don't mind getting out a blanket and putting it on the grass so I can read while my kids play on the playset.  Then they get some fresh air and I can find out what happens next! I also think it's good for kids to see their parents reading. And I absolutely love when my kids grab a book and snuggle up next to me!

The downside about reading outside is that I don't really like cold. Or bugs. That's why a warm spring or fall is so perfect. Not many bugs.

Of course my absolute favorite place to read is on my comfy couch with my fuzzy blanket and snacks. Maybe with a fire going in the fireplace. 

Do you read outside? Why or why not? 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Great Deal for Historical Romance Fans!



Historical romance fans, here's a deal for you! Esther Hatch's book, Manor for Sale, Baron Included is only .99 cents today! I haven't read this one, but it looks cute!

Get your sale copy here 

Here's the back copy:

She has everything Lord Farnsworth wants, including his manor.

Lord Farnsworth would rather rot in debtor’s prison than sell the one place that feels like home to him—his mother’s manor. That is, until he meets the woman who wants to buy it. Sally Duncan is beautiful, intelligent, and as rich as a baron—a rich baron, not a cash-strapped one like Lord Farnsworth. She’s the solution to every one of his financial problems and is bewitching to boot. All he needs to do is sell her his beloved manor and then charm her to the altar, and the manor will be his again. Simple, right?

But nothing is simple when Sally starts tearing apart his ancestral home and renovating it in a way no one would consider tasteful. She is wreaking havoc on everything, but he cannot give up on owning his mother’s estate again, nor can he imagine anyone but Sally as his wife.

And so he sticks with his plan.

What a horrible mistake.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A Book Lover's Quiz---Just for Fun!


I love taking little quizzes like these. For this one, I got 13. I've never bought a book in an airport because I always bring my own when I'm traveling and I've never stayed up ALL night to read a book. Until the wee hours of the morning, definitely, but not all night, haha. 

What's your score?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Are You On Clubhouse?

 Are you on the new social media app, Clubhouse? It's a cool place where you listen in on conversations in "rooms." You can talk or listen in on so many topics! Writing, reading, TV shows, I could spend all day on there listening to amazing people and then joining in on the conversation! I'm really enjoying it.

If you're on there, I'd love for you to find me! But if you don't know what I'm talking about, I have a few graphics to help you! The Clubhouse app is invitation only right now, but you can claim your name and get on a waiting list. It's so easy!


And I joined the Historical Romance Club on Clubhouse because, as you all know, Historical Romance is my favorite genre!


Step one is so easy! Just download the app.


then reserve your username!


Then start finding your people and interests!


Once you're in, you can invite a few of your friends!


And of course you can join clubs like the Historical Romance Club. It's been fun finding fellow fans!

I hope to see you on there!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Second Look Audio Book is Finally Here!


I am SO EXCITED! It feels like I've been waiting forever, but Second Look is now available in audiobook, so you can get it on Audible and iTunes! 

As you all know, my narrator, Tristan Wright is incredible and truly makes the characters come to life. I love listening to him capture their voices and the story! I think you'll love it, too.

Get your audio book here

Here's the back copy:

With everything on the line, can Nate trust the woman he wants by his side, or should he turn her in as a traitor?

When the most wanted terrorist in the world escapes from a high security prison, Nate Hughes is part of the task force sent to recapture him. During the mission, he meets Abby, a fellow investigator that seems to have it all together. He's drawn to her and hopes they can join forces, but when her past is revealed, loyalties are called into question. Could she have turned against the country she once held dear?

The CIA wants her captured and interrogated, but with a terrorist attack imminent, Abby may be the only person in a position to help them stop it. Nate must make a choice to either trust her or turn her in - but the wrong decision would clear the path for the largest attack on freedom the world has ever seen.

And time is running out.


Monday, March 22, 2021

The New Podcast is Live!


It is your lucky day! The new Authors Off the Page podcast is up and we are discussing luck, lucky charms, Irish actors and movies, as well as our superstitions about bad luck! Come laugh with us!

Friday, March 19, 2021

Friday Freebie for Historical Romance Fans!


Annette Lyon's second chance romance novella, The Affair at Wildemoore, is free today! This cute story of rekindled love is a sweet afternoon read.

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

A wonderful story of rekindling love long after the initial flame has seemingly burned out.

Ellen Stanhope escorts her three daughters to a ball. As her oldest flirts with a beau, Ellen is reminded of her courtship and early years of marriage with Anthony, before tragedy struck, which made their marriage fade and dull. Not until Ellen sees Anthony dancing with a woman he courted years before does she realize how much she misses him, still loves him, and wish he still loved her.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Have You Heard of the Iron Cowboy?


Have you heard of James Lawrence, the Iron Cowboy? (He has a documentary on Netflix if you haven't.) 

He is a man who has done some amazing things and owns a few world records, but right now, he's working on something that is beyond amazing. He's currently doing 100 full distance triathlons in 100 days! (That means he swims 2.4 miles, bikes 112 miles, and then runs 26.2 miles EVERY DAY for 100 days!) 

He is doing this to raise money for Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that works to stop human trafficking. This is such an superhuman undertaking! And anyone is invited to support him by donating to O.U.R or you can walk/run, swim, and/or bike with him. (You can see his routes on his website.) 

I am truly amazed at the grit and determination this man has and how hard he works through some pretty incredible odds. You can learn more here

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Rainy Days, Books, and Snacks


It's rainy and cold here today and that makes me want to whip up some chocolate chip cookies and then curl up with a book. Does weather ever make you want to do certain things or eat certain foods? Or is that just me?

It helps that I have Nancy Campbell Allen's The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart calling to me. I'm a big fan of her historical romances and this one has been really good! I love a good mystery mixed in with the romance.

What book are you reading? And what snacks go along with it?

Monday, March 15, 2021

A Deal for Historical Romance Fans!


Among Sand and Sunrise, an historical romance by Stacy Henrie, is free today! I haven't read it yet, but it looks like a fun Egyptian adventure. 

Get your free copy here

Here is the back copy:

An American heiress and a British archaeologist seek the discovery of a lifetime but in the process may find treasures of the heart as well.

After three failed seasons, heiress Syble Rinecroft is more than ready to move forward in a life of independence and adventure. And what better way to begin than by taking a trip to Egypt to find a hidden tomb with her grandmother and her band of widowed friends? There's just one catch. The archaeologist the widows insist on employing is none other than the annoying Marcus Brandt whom Syble met years ago on another trip abroad. If Syble has any hope of achieving her dream, though, she'll have to learn to work with Marcus.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Spring Forward!


 Some of us are moving our clocks forward this weekend for Daylight Saving Time! If you are one of the lucky people, then here is a handy guide for you. Haha! I am going to be SO tired. Daylight Savings Time is so hard for me. What about you? Does it bother you or throw your sleeping patterns off?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

My Next Griffin Force Book!

 


I've been working hard on the next Griffin Force book, Second Guess, which is Elliot's story. I am loving it so far! And I am so excited for you all to meet Eden. She is definitely a complicated woman in a tough situation. And you won't have long to wait. Second Guess is coming out this summer! Woohoo! 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Freebie for Regency Fans!


One of my favorite books last year was Solving Sophronia and the prequel novella to it, Emmeline, is free today! I really enjoyed this one and the banter between the hero and heroine. Don't miss this one!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

As Arthur Bremerton, Lord Mather, hurries to the opening session of Parliament, he is incensed to find his way blocked by a boisterous group protesting for women’s rights. But his annoyance turns to mortification when he finds his own cousin among their ranks, alongside a beautiful suffragette who engages him in a fierce battle of words and wills.

Emmeline’s fight for equality is just one facet of her wide-ranging interests. At the moment, her most pressing concern is how she and her mother, an eccentric Baroness, are to begin again after the family’s fortune was squandered following her father’s death. After her heated disagreement with Lord Mather, the only thought she gives the infuriating man is the hope that they will never meet again. But alas, this hope is in vain: unbeknownst to them, both Emmeline and Arthur are to be guests at a three-week house party, and fate seems determined to throw them together at every opportunity.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Clean Mystery/Suspense Fans, This Deal is For You!


Are you looking for some clean mystery or suspense books to read this weekend? There's a .99 cent promo going on right now that you won't want to miss with a few of my favorite on-the-edge-of-your-seat writers. 

See all the books here

Thursday, March 4, 2021

It's Hard to Say Goodbye


Our sweet little hamster, Chibi, died in his sleep tonight. He was nearly a year and a half old and lived a good life. But as I tried to comfort my heartbroken little boy, I really wished pets could live forever. It's so hard to say goodbye to an animal you've loved and cared for. I still miss my cat and she's been gone nearly two years. 

Do you have a pet you still love and miss?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

In the Non-Fiction Corner: God Will Prevail

In the Non-Fiction Corner with Lauren


In his new book God Will Prevail, Dr. Kerry Muhlestein discusses several aspects of what it means to be a part of the house of Israel and a covenant-making child of God. He draws upon several stories from the New Testament, translations from Hebrew and modern revelation to help the reader better understand the promises that are made when we enter into the covenant with Heavenly Father. I learned more in the first chapter of this book about the Abrahamic Covenant than I had ever before. After finishing the book, my knowledge was expanded in many ways, from what we learn in the temple to the gathering of Israel. Studying the gathering of Israel can be daunting, but Muhlestein does a masterful job exploring this topic. This book is packed with knowledge, but is deeply apparent that Muhlestein is passionate about bringing his readers closer to Christ through understanding their covenants better.

It is so difficult to pick a favorite part of this book, the entire thing was insightful and well worth the time. One particular part that stuck out to me was Muhlestein’s focus on the Hebrew word “hesed.” According to the author, hesed is hard to interpret, but it is the kind of love that God gives to those who covenant with Him. That He will not give up on them and that that love remains, no matter what. Muhlestein uses many scriptures to illustrate this point, particularly ones that reference “loving-kindness” or where the Lord refers to covenant-keepers as His people. I love the idea that our Father in Heaven has such a capacity to love and as we love him in return, we will want to keep the commandments.

Another part of the book that I found meaningful was when the author went through each tribe and talked about the blessings, promises and warnings given to each. It helped me better understand my own tribe and even my patriarchal blessing, but I also found it interesting to see what is promised to the other tribes and how they all fit together. Muhlestein talked about each of the 12 sons, giving a history of perhaps why their blessing from Jacob included certain things. Muhlestein is extremely knowledgeable, and this well-written book is a treasure for anyone wanting to understand this important part of our gospel more fully.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

"The Lord is gathering those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives. The Lord is gathering those who will choose to let God be the most important influence in their lives."

—President Russell M. Nelson


By entering into covenants with His people, God forges vital connections that allow Him to guide and bless His children in incredible ways. Latter-day Saints have long been encouraged to stay on the covenant path—but what is that path, and how do we stay the course? In God Will Prevail: Ancient Covenants, Modern Blessings, and the Gathering of Israel, BYU Professor of Religion Dr. Kerry Muhlestein encourages readers to take hold of God's promise to gather His covenant people by recognizing the connection between covenant making and the eternal and transformative love of the Savior.

Discover the obligations and blessings of making and keeping sacred covenants, as outlined in the standard works, with insights on topics ranging from temple work and family history to covenant language, the gathering of Israel, and the equalizing power of Christ's Atonement. With clarity and hope, this groundbreaking book speaks to this powerful truth: promised blessings and gatherings are available to all who truly seek to be covenant keepers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Book Review: A Captain for Caroline Gray



I was really looking forward to Julie Wright's new book, A Captain for Caroline Gray. It's the newest in the Proper Romance line and definitely one worth reading!

Caroline Gray has had three seasons and none of them yielded any marriage prospects. When her mother's friend offers to pay for Caroline to travel to India and marry her son, Caroline accepts because there aren't a lot of other choices for a woman in this time period. On the ship to Mumbai, she meets several other young ladies also traveling to find marriageable prospects, and Captain Thomas Scott. The captain tries to stay aloof, but Caroline's knowledge, conversation, and spirit intrigue him. They form a friendship that could possibly turn into more---if Caroline wasn't supposed to be marrying a man when the ship docks in India. Can Caroline and the captain risk it all for love?

I love this tender, slow-burn romance that also has a twist of suspense to it. Caroline is a relatable girl, who has such a vibrant personality. She finds herself making decisions that have unforeseeable consequences, then she has to do her best to deal with what comes her way. I like how kind she was to those on the ship and the friendships she made with the other girls. Thomas was a good hero, with his own thoughts and preconceptions that lead to misunderstandings. He does have a soft heart, though, and I liked seeing glimpses of that in his interactions with Caroline. The villains of the story were well-balanced and not overdone and I really liked the twist at the end. The author does really well with the setting, especially the scenes on the ship. There was just enough detail to help the reader feel like they were there without being overdone. The secondary cast is memorable and brings a nice depth to the story. Ms. Wright has a subtle, nuanced style to her romances and I enjoy that. Fans of the Proper Romance line will not be disappointed when they dive into A Captain for Caroline Gray.

Get your copy here


Here's the back copy:

Caroline Gray would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid, which is why she is still unmatched after her third season in London. Her family’s threadbare finances leave Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend is willing to consider an engagement to her.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the open sea as much as he despises the three-month, twice-yearly trip his ship makes as he ferries young English girls across the ocean. He can’t imagine what family would allow an innocent young woman to be matched up with the Englishmen of questionable reputation who work and live in India.

But when Miss Gray boards the HMS Persistence, all of Captain Scott’s plans are upended. Miss Gray’s fiery spirit can’t be contained, and he is shocked and secretly delighted at her boldness—and her beauty. But the rest of his passengers aren’t so kind.

Caroline finds herself an outcast among her peers, but Captain Scott becomes an unlikely ally. They share the same passions and interests, creating an undeniable attraction. But they both know any relationship between them is impossible. After all, Caroline has obligations to fulfill in India.

Caroline has until the end of the voyage to decide if she is going to marry a man she has never met or be brave enough to love a sea captain who just might break her heart.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Do You Have Any Musical Talent?



Years ago I took bagpipe lessons and learned to play two songs really well. It's a tough instrument to master and you definitely need to be able to use your core to breathe. It is also very loud when you play it inside a house, haha. Sadly, life got in the way and my bagpipes have been languishing in their case under my bed for a really long time. I took them out the other day and played a scale on the chanter. It was fun to remember how much I loved them. I'm thinking about practicing and playing them again.

Do you have any musical talent? What's your favorite instrument to listen to?

Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday Freebie for Billionaire Romance Fans!


Want a Hawaiian vacation, but can't go right now? Escape with a book! Hawaiian Masquerade is free today!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Could Lexi's new billionaire status threaten her chance at love with a jaded, blue-collar worker from Kauai?

On the path to becoming a billionaire, Lexi Burke switches gears and flees the Chicago winters in favor of a slower pace of life along the beaches of Kauai. But when she meets a blue-collar worker and wannabe professional photographer named Derek Mitchell, any ideas for a slow pace disappear. Derek is incredibly hot and tempting, but he has a grudge against rich tourists, and wealthy people in general. Good thing he thinks Lexi is a regular person earning an average wage because the instant attraction is hard to ignore.

From art night to snorkeling lessons, hiking, and chopping coconuts, Lexi can’t talk herself out of spending time with the handsome, hardworking man who knows the value of every dollar. She also can’t find a way to tell him the truth about herself. But then Derek is selected to help in a benefit at a masquerade ball as one of the eligible bachelors up for auction. Lexi must decide whether to wear a mask or unveil her true self and risk losing Derek’s trust and a chance at love.

Is Derek willing to see past the dollar signs to the woman underneath, or will he break both their hearts when he learns about the money behind the masquerade?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Do You Need Some Love and Laughter Today?

 


The new Authors Off the Page podcast is live! In this one we are talking about love, our heroes, and what it means to truly love yourself. There was a lot of laughter in this one, and some tears, too. Jennifer Peel's new book, All's Fair in Love and Blood is spotlighted. I've really enjoyed reading this one. Lots of butterflies and romance and angst. And, of course, we talk about our new projects, and read excerpts from our new book. 

So tell Alexa to play the new Authors Off the Page podcast and come laugh with us! Or you can hear it here

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Second Chance Release Celebration & Giveaway!



I can't tell you how excited I am that Second Chance is out! AND the early reviews have been wonderful, so I thought it would be fun to have a little party and a giveaway! You could win a $30 Amazon gift card or an autographed paperback of Second Chance. Let's celebrate!

Don't forget to scroll down and enter!

You can get your copy of Second Chance here

Here's the back copy:

A mission to capture the world's most wanted terrorist. A computer tech sent in undercover. And a woman with a secret that could change everything.

Griffin Force tracks the world's most wanted terrorist to Libya, but the only one on their team that can infiltrate his lair is Augie---their computer tech. Their Libyan contact sends in a young man to help protect Augie during the assignment, but he’s hiding something and Augie doesn’t trust him.

When the simple observe-and-report mission turns into a much bigger operation, Augie must figure out how to alert Griffin Force to Atwah’s deadly plans without compromising his cover. But things get complicated when Augie discovers the secret of the young man with him. Now he’ll have to find a way to stop Atwah and keep both of them alive---or he’ll die trying.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A New Audio Book!


I am so excited! I just finished listening to the audio book of Second Look. As you all know, Tristan Wright is my amazing narrator for the Griffin Force series and he truly outdid himself on this one. I can't wait for all of you to be able to hear it! 
 
Where are my audio book listeners? Tell me what you're listening to lately?!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Musing--What Do You Think?


I was talking to a friend about this recently and want your opinion. 

If you have a favorite author who is outspoken politically, and their political views are the opposite of yours, (meaning they speak negatively about the politician, platform, or party that you belong to) and they do it regularly on their social media channels, does that affect you wanting to buy/read their books? 

The discussion I had with my friend was along the lines of the author has a right to express their views, of course, but when you have branded your books with your name, will you alienate readers by expressing political opinions? What do you think? (And I'm not looking for political debate at all, because this is a safe space for everyone, I really just want your preferences and opinions as to how your reading time and dollars are affected, if at all, in this situation.)

Friday, February 19, 2021

Friday Freebie for Regency Fans!



If you are looking for a book to read this weekend, Anneka Walker's regency romance fairytale retelling, Her Three Suitors, is free today! I haven't read this one, but it looks cute!

Get your free copy here 

Here's the back copy:

Sophia has three suitors vying for her hand, but the scandal behind her birth could ruin her reputation and her chance at love.

Sophia never expected to grow out of her awkwardness and be nicknamed society’s darling Golden-locks during her first London Season. Now, three of the most eligible men of the ton are invited to her house party in hopes of securing a most advantageous match. Shortly before they arrive, Sophia stumbles upon her birth record and an alarming discrepancy. She is determined to discover the identity of her real mother at all costs. Can she choose someone to marry before her secret is out, and her reputation is ruined forever?

Terrance is a second son of an Earl with no great inheritance and no abundance of charm. When pitted against his brother and his best friend as a suitor for Sophia’s hand, Terrance isn’t even going to pretend to be a contestant. Again and again, fate throws Terrance into Sophia’s path until Terrance realizes two things: Sophia is hiding something and, despite his stubborn nature, he is most definitely in love with her. If he chooses to fight for her, he’ll risk losing the brotherhood he’s relied on all his life.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lamb of God Concert Movie Coming Next Month!



If you have ever wanted a unique Easter experience with your family, you won't want to miss the new concert film, Lamb of God, that is coming to theaters on March 12th! Lamb of God portrays the final week in the life of Jesus Christ from the perspectives of Peter, John, Thomas, Mary and Martha of Bethan, Mary Magdalene, and Christ's mother, Mary. The music is so incredible and will touch your heart as you prepare for Easter.  A must-see!

“I’ve dreamed and planned for years to create a concert film of ‘Lamb of God’ and I am thrilled to bring this new cinematic, can’t miss experience to long-time fans and newcomers alike,” said creator Rob Gardner. “We brought together a world-class, once-in-a-lifetime cast and crew to create this film. And I am absolutely overjoyed that we are able to release it in theatres in time for Easter, and help bring light and hope so desperately needed at this time.”




Fans have compared “Lamb of God” to Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem and in the past decade, “Lamb of God” has been performed throughout the world by tens of thousands of performers for millions of fans encompassing nearly every Christian faith. In addition, the original recording of “Lamb of God” featuring the London Symphony Orchestra and Spire Chorus has been streamed millions of times. The new big-screen version features a new, original song as well as updated narration.



“This unique film brings Gardner’s incredible music to the big screen for the first time,” said Brandon Purdie, founder of Purdie Distribution and co-producer of the film. “Audiences will be thrilled to experience this sacred music in a whole new way.”




About Rob Gardner: Rob Gardner began his musical career in high school as a member of and arranger for the a cappella band Two Five Nine. The group recorded 5 albums together and, while in college, toured around the country. From there, Rob began composing original works for film, theater and the concert stage. He is the author of a handful of stage musicals, including Blackbeard, The Price of Freedom, and 12 Princesses. Rob has also composed several sacred music oratorios. Rob is an accomplished producer and conductor and appears regularly on the concert stage conducting his works.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Freebie for Romantic Comedy Fans!


With all this cold weather, you might need a romantic comedy to warm you up---and Becky Monson's book, Just A Name, is free today! All you need is a snuggly blanket, maybe a bit of chocolate, and you are set! 

Here's the back copy:

Holly has a plan for everything. But she never could have planned for this.

Holly Murphy’s perfectly planned life is not going so well. Her fiancĂ© recently dumped her, the team she supervises at work secretly hates her, and now the promotion she’s worked so hard for is in jeopardy.

Thinking that maybe Holly is too tightly wound and needs a break from everything, Holly’s boss demands she take a vacation. Holly’s best friend Quinn comes up with a wild idea for Holly to do a nationwide search for a man with the same name as her ex-fiancĂ© to go with her on her honeymoon trip. That idea is a no-go for play-it-safe Holly, until her boss finds out and loves the idea.

Resigned, Holly gives in and starts the nationwide search, and when handsome Nate Jones from Newport Beach gets picked to go with her, she wonders if this whole thing won’t be so bad after all.

Will Holly learn that sometimes even the best laid plans need to be thrown out the window once in a while? Or will it send her running and screaming back to her safety net?

Get your free copy here

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A Snowy (and a Little Scary) Icy Cold Morning


 I had to drive my daughter to school this morning and the roads were REALLY icy! It was cold and snowy and I was worried about getting there safely. I pulled into the carpool area of the school and someone had parked their car on the edge of the parking lot---in the perfect spot to be hit if anyone started sliding on the icy pavement. I slowed down until I was barely moving because I didn't want to hit that car! And I didn't. But my heart was in my throat the entire time and adrenaline started pumping through my veins when I fishtailed a bit. What a way to start the day!

Once I was home, I curled up under a warm blanket and drank some of my favorite raspberry hot chocolate to warm me up on the inside. I admit, I wasn't very motivated to begin my to-do list for the day. And I may or may not have started Jennifer Peel's new book, All's Fair in Love and Blood instead. It really sucked me in and was definitely a better start to my day. 

Is it cold where you are? How are you handling it? Reading any good books lately?

Monday, February 15, 2021

Happy Presidents Day!

 


I hope you all have a wonderful President's Day! 

We are just relaxing as a family today. Do you have any special plans?

Friday, February 12, 2021

Freebie for Romance Fans!

 



Since Valentine's Day is this weekend, my small-town second chance romance, Love's Broken Road, is free all weekend!

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Two broken hearts. One more chance at love.

After surviving a difficult marriage, Victoria Newel needs a clean slate for herself and her son. Taking a job as a math teacher, she moves across the country to the small town of Lincoln, Utah, where no one knows her and she can start over. However, her new colleague, Drew Dalton, offers her friendship and maybe something more. But has her heart healed enough that she could trust again?

Drew Dalton lost his wife to cancer years ago and he locked his heart away, throwing himself into his teaching job. But when Victoria Newel starts working at the high school, she awakens something in him that he never thought he’d feel again. Her gentle nature and quiet strength draws him to her, but it’s obvious she’s hiding something in her past from him. Can he open his heart to a woman who harbors so many secrets of her own?

Thursday, February 11, 2021

A Little Reminder About Special Pricing!

 


Just a reminder that we are only a week and a half away from release day for my new romantic suspense, Second Chance and special preorder pricing will end next week! 

I am so excited to share this one with you! (And maybe a little nervous, too! I hope you like it.)

But you can get your special preorder pricing her

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Why Do I Do This?


I laughed so hard when I saw this tweet. I have been procrastinating some writing and editing all week! I have a deadline that I need to meet and I know I'm going to really hate it when I'm stressed because I procrastinated, but I STILL DO IT! LOL 

But I know myself and I know I'll get the job done no matter what. However, it sure would be a lot easier if I remembered that not procrastinating leads to less stress! Haha.

Anyone else out there a procrastinator?

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Music of Battle Scenes


I have some intense battle scenes to write today and I'm gearing up with some great soundtracks. They're so inspiring when you need all the ups and downs of a great battle!

The soundtracks for today's scenes are Speed, Gladiator, and Marvel Universe, with some Transformers and Lord of the Rings thrown in. So next time you read some action scenes in one of my books, you can think of that music and hear the inspirational contributions!

Do you have soundtracks you like to listen to when you're working?

Monday, February 8, 2021

Researching As A Writer


Writing is such a strange profession. I can research for days on the most obscure topics. For example, in my upcoming book I had to research the layout of an oil terminal in Libya. I can tell you so many facts about that! For some of my older books I've researched things like cargo ships, classic cars, guns, rifles, Algerian food, prison security, locks on nuclear facilities, I mean, it's so crazy to have all these hours of research just to get minor details right! 

One time when I was researching cargo ships, there was a documentary about that very thing. It seemed so providential! So there I am taking notes and so excited about this documentary and my kids came in and were so confused. They did not think cargo ships were very interesting! Haha. But I like to think I nailed those cargo ship scenes and if cargo ships ever come up in conversation, I'll have something relevant to say!

I have to admit, though, I do love the research part of writing. I want to get things right in the story, to give my readers an experience, to transport them to another time and place and make it believable. That's why I research so meticulously.  

But, just like the quote says, sometimes I do all that research for one line and then it ends up getting cut anyway! I like to think the research was still worth it, though. Maybe I'll use what I learned in a later book, who knows? 

Until then, my head is filled with a strange amalgamation of details. But, for writers, that could be considered a badge of honor!

What's the strangest bit of knowledge you've ever come across?

Friday, February 5, 2021

Friday Funny!


 I couldn't resist sharing this one with you today. It made me laugh and it is SO true sometimes! LOL

Thursday, February 4, 2021

First Chapter of My New Book Second Chance!


Second Chance, the next book in my Griffin Force series, is coming out in just over two weeks and I'm so excited to share the first chapter with you today. This book has been such a labor of love. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!


Chapter One

Copyrighted Material

All Rights Reserved

Augie Taylor had criss-crossed the world with Griffin Force chasing terrorists, but this would be his first time in Libya---well, it would be if they actually made it out of Libyan airspace and onto Libyan soil.

He peered out of the tiny airplane window, but he couldn’t see much. A few flares were the only light on the ground to guide the pilot of their six-seater plane. There appeared to be some sort of struggle between the pilot and the elements, though, since the airplane was catching air and getting farther away from the lights instead of closer to them. Were they going to overshoot the landing zone? His stomach twisted into knots and he thought he might throw up. Don’t think about it.

He took a deep breath and tried reciting Abel’s Binomial theorem to himself. Anything to distract him from thinking about the statistic that almost half of fatal crashes happened on final descent or landing.  

Nate reached across the aisle and patted him on the arm. “Try to relax."

Augie gave him a smile, hoping it didn’t look as weak as he felt. The plane bobbed a bit more and Augie gripped his armrests. “Abby, what did you say your contact’s name was?" Maybe if he concentrated on the reason he was going to Libya, he could take his mind off of the nausea roiling through him.

She glanced back, her eyes full of sympathy. “Malek. He’s meeting us as soon as we land. We'll be at the safe house in no time.” The plane took a final lurch before it touched down and rumbled over the uneven ground of the field. "See? We made it," Abby said, grinning over at him.

Augie took a breath. “Sure did.” When the plane finally stopped, he nearly jumped from his seat. Grabbing his laptop bag from the floor, he straightened. The doors weren’t open yet, but standing in a stationary plane felt much better. Colt was stretching in the seats near the front and hadn’t noticed Augie’s distress. That was the only good thing about sitting near the back. He didn’t want Colt to think there were situations he couldn’t handle in the field.

            Colt, Abby, and Nate were first to exit the plane. They all quickly walked to the front and helped offload their bags and equipment. When they were finished, the group moved back as the pilot readied to take off again. Augie watched him go, the plane climbing higher into the sky before disappearing into the night. They were safely on the ground. Sort of. How safe was anyone in Libya, really?

            The others had already begun walking toward the van that shone its headlights at the edge of the field. Augie caught up and kept pace with Abby. “I’ve been monitoring all the usual channels, but so far no new chatter on Atwah.”

            “I think we would have heard whispers if he'd left Libya," she said. “But my contact will have the latest.”

            They walked toward the man who was leaning against the hood of a small van, his arms folded. Dents marred the van’s front bumper and, if Augie had to guess, it hadn’t been washed in at least a year. There was barely enough clean space for the driver to see out of the windshield. But it was hard to tell anything more when there were only headlights, the moon, and dying flares penetrating the darkness.

            Abby held out her hand. “Malek, it’s been too long.”

He took her hand and bowed over it slightly. “We have much to discuss, but we can’t linger here. Let’s get you to the safehouse.”

She nodded and Nate opened the van’s sliding door. It was then that Augie noticed the driver, a young man wearing a long white shirt and vest, as well as a keffiyeh. He met Augie’s eyes for just a moment before he looked away. Augie got into the van and sat down on a stained and torn seat right behind the driver. The faint smell of old gunpowder filled his nose. This van had seen some action at one time or another. Juggling his laptop bag on his legs, he shut the door.

            Malek and the driver spoke quietly to each other in Arabic before the van started up and got moving. The driver’s voice had an odd timbre, like he’d been caught between puberty and manhood. Not low, but not high, either. He kept glancing at Abby, too. What was that about? Augie watched the back of the driver’s head, wishing he had a view of the guy’s face. Maybe he should run a background check on him. Abby knew Malek, but how much did she know about the driver?

            Filing that on his mental to-do list, Augie turned to watch the shadowy scenery flashing past him. They’d made it to a paved road with soft edges broken by a few trees. It didn’t take long until they were passing storefronts, most that were little more than a shell with a wall or two surrounded by rubble.

“Are we in Benghazi?” Augie asked, leaning forward.

            Malek turned slightly. “Yes. I have a safehouse here that gets electricity several times a day. And I’ve rigged up an old satellite dish and a generator in such a way that we can get some reliable internet.”

Augie had been told of the outages and spotty internet, but had hoped his intel was wrong. He was used to having the internet at his fingertips anytime he needed it on an op, but this one was going to be old school. They’d all have to rely on their field skills more than ever.

The driver pulled up in front of a small unit that looked like a gated garage. Houses on either side of it looked deserted and had several large gouge marks, as if the buildings had survived small mortar fire.

 "Here we are,” the driver announced, turning to look at Abby once more. She nodded and opened the door on her side. Augie did the same and waited for Colt and Nate to get out as well.

Malek led the way up the small walk and unlocked the gate. He seemed in a hurry to get inside and ushered them all through the front door before walking inside himself and turning on the light. They were in a small living room with three large wooden chairs and a worn sofa against one wall. The driver kept moving to the window, pulling back the heavy curtain slightly to look out. Was he making sure no one saw them?  

“It's not much, but it will have to do." Malek shrugged and turned to Abby. “I know you’re probably tired, and since there’s only a few hours until sunrise, I’ll come back once you’ve rested a bit and we can discuss why you’re here.”

            Augie was listening to what was being said, but he was more focused on the driver. He’d come away from the window and arranged it so he was in the corner with a good vantage point for watching everyone, yet in the shadows where he might not be noticed. He was acting so strangely, it made Augie suspicious. He walked over and stood near him, trying to get a read on what he might be after. Could he be trusted? Should Augie say anything to Colt?

Abby shifted closer to Malek. “Thank you. For the safehouse and for getting us into the country. This mission is time-sensitive and with all the military checkpoints and curfews across Libya, we couldn’t have gotten here in time without your help.” Abby looked at Colt. “Before you go, I’d like to introduce you to Captain Colt Mitchell. He’s the head of Griffin Force.”

Malek nodded toward Colt, but quickly returned his gaze to Abby. “I’m sorry to be so blunt, but this is a very delicate time for our country. We have the opportunity to build a peace accord between General Saleh and Prime Minister al-Masli. Having foreign operations going on while we prepare is very dangerous. For you and us. I need to know what is going on.” He flicked his glance to Colt. “Tomorrow, as we agreed. And then you can leave as quickly and quietly as you came.”

Colt walked over to stand in front of Malek. “I understand what you’re saying. And I support the peace talks. But we have reason to believe Atwah is in Libya. If that’s true, Atwah will do all he can to destroy any steps toward peace.”

Malek immediately shook his head. “No. Atwah is not here. General Saleh would have been informed.”

“Maybe he was informed and didn’t choose to loop you in.” Colt glanced at Abby before returning his gaze to Malek. “How close are you to the general?”

“I’m one of his advisors.” Malek rubbed a hand over his face. He lifted a hand and motioned to the driver. “And by way of my own introductions, this is Rian Dahmani. He’s a runner for the Libyan National Armed Forces, but moonlights for anyone who can pay. Not much happens in Benghazi without Rian knowing about it.”

Rian bowed as well. “Thank you. I’m happy to help with whatever you need while you’re in Benghazi.”

Augie was fascinated by the man’s accent and couldn't hold back his curiosity any longer. "Where are you from?” he asked, trying to keep his tone casual. “I can’t place your accent.”

            The driver glanced at him, but didn’t answer. Abby stood and put her hand on Augie’s shoulder. "I think we’re all tired. Before we break for the night, can you go see what kind of internet connection we can expect? The sooner we get our communications set up, the better."

            Augie frowned. Something was going on with the driver. He didn’t know what it was, but he was determined to find out. He’d let it go for now, though.

“Okay," he said. He walked back the twenty paces to grab the duffel bag that held all their electronic equipment. "Which room is the best place to set up in?” He looked at Malek.

            “The back bedroom closest to the satellite dish.” Malek glanced at Rian. “Go with him and show him the way. Then we’ll head out.”

Rian obeyed, walking past Augie and continuing on down the hall. He was wearing the traditional long white shirt and baggy pants and moved quickly, like a cat. Augie quickened his step, adjusting his hold on the duffel.

The back bedroom was a small square room with two barracks-style cots, a chest of drawers with one drawer missing, and a wooden table near a window. The window was covered with a heavy blanket, making the gray walls seem even more shadowy. Rian showed him where the electrical outlets were and how to connect to the system they’d jerry-rigged to get internet. It didn’t take Augie long to have everything set up.

“How did you figure out how to get internet service that wasn’t state-controlled?” Augie kept his voice casual. He wanted to know more about this driver so he’d have something to go on when he did a background check.

“Malek is actually very talented in that area.” Rian stood back a step to look at the table where the monitors and laptops were all buzzing to life. “Looks like you know what you’re doing as well.”

“How did you meet Malek?” Augie did a few checks of the bandwidth and strength of signal. Everything looked great, considering the position they were in of not having the normal infrastructure for internet.

“We’ve both been involved with the resistance from the beginning.” Rian started to move toward the door, but Augie stepped in front of him.

“You look a little young to have been part of the resistance for the last decade.” Augie waited until Rian met his eyes. “Were you recruited to the cause or coerced?”

Rian’s jaw clenched and he glared up at him. “Do you think to rescue me? You know nothing of what is going on in my country or what we need.” He pulled away and stalked to the door. “You would do well to keep your opinions to yourself.”

“Is that a threat?” Augie met him at the door, anger bubbling in his chest. “Who are you, really? Because I think you’re hiding something.”

If Augie hadn’t been so close, he wouldn’t have noticed Rian’s quick intake of breath, as if his words had hit a nerve. Rian recovered quickly, though, and lifted his chin. “Be very careful. One whisper from me into the right ears and you might find yourself in a situation you and your men won’t like.” His words were soft, yet deadly.

Augie leaned in, using the two inches of height advantage he had. “Should we talk to Malek or Abby about that? Do they know how easy you would find it to betray us?”

“What’s going on here?” Colt’s voice cut the tension that had built between them. Augie stepped back. He clenched his fists and kept an eye on Rian. He knew the guy was hiding something. His body language was screaming it. But he had to be careful.

“Nothing’s going on. I was just getting to know Rian better.” Augie lifted his brows, daring Rian to contradict him.

Rian said nothing and pushed past Colt, heading back to the living room.

Colt watched him go, then stood in front of Augie. “That didn’t look like nothing.”

Augie waved a hand. “Something’s off with that kid. He’s hiding something and I’m going to find out what it is.”

Colt rubbed his chin. “You think we can’t trust him?”

“That’s exactly what I think.” Augie glanced at the door, then lowered his voice. “He said that one whisper from him could put us in a situation we wouldn’t like.”

“What brought that on?” Colt moved past Augie and put his duffel on a cot.

“I asked if he was recruited to the cause or coerced.” Augie held up a hand. “I just want a little more information on this guy so I can do a background check.”

“I’ve never seen you react so strongly to anyone.” He furrowed his brows. “We’ll keep an eye on him and I’ll mention your concerns to Abby. Maybe Malek could give us some background on the kid.”

Augie nodded. “We did manage to get our communications set up. And there’s a small generator in the house that we can use in case of an emergency and the electricity is out.”

“That’s good to know.” Colt walked back to the door. “We’ve got a lot of work to do on this op if we’re going to capture Atwah.”

The sick feeling Augie had been fighting on the plane returned. They needed everyone on deck and all the skill and luck they could muster if they were going to catch Atwah. And they didn’t need a little driver with no loyalty to ruin all of that.

Augie couldn’t let that happen. He was going to be watching Rian carefully. The kid wouldn’t have the chance to betray them if Augie had anything to say about it. And that was a promise.


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Is There a Bad Valentine's Day Gift for Women?


With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I'm sure you've been thinking of what gift you will give your significant other. But here's my question: Can you name a bad Valentine's gift for a woman? Is there such a thing as a bad gift? For me, if I were to pick a gift that might not be what I'm wanting for Valentine's Day, it would be any type of cleaning supplies!

What do you think?