Monday, March 30, 2009

Joshua's Hope

ISBN: 9781601543219
Available in both print and ebook format

When I began writing my novel, JOSHUA'S HOPE, my goal was to write a story about hope, trust, and faith. I wanted to show a person who loses everything can find hope by letting God into their life. But I wanted to make sure that the story didn't turn anyone off by being too preachy. When I received my latest "4.5 book" review from Long and Short Reviews. The reviewer, Lilac, said: "There is also [a] great message woven in throughout this story about trusting in oneself, others, and in God to help you through difficult times. The author did a wonderful job of portraying this through the actions and experiences of the characters without sounding preachy." Click here to read the full review.

Blurb: Hope Courtland escaped her marriage to save her life. Her only regret is leaving her four-year-old stepson, Joshua, behind. Though she wants custody, no attorney is willing to tackle her ex-husband in a custody battle. Hope’s faith begins to falter. She learns that Joshua is paying the consequences for her freedom, and in an act of desperation, she kidnaps him. Suddenly, she becomes a suspect in her ex-husband’s murder.

Zack Stone is content to be sheriff of Pine Cove, Tennessee, where the worst conflict he deals with is handing out speeding tickets. Though his faith is strong, he struggles with issues of forgiveness surrounding his wife’s death. When he rescues Hope in a rainstorm, the last thing he expects is to find a woman who stirs his heart. Being a small town sheriff shouldn’t involve kidnapping and murder, but Zack can’t turn his back on Hope and the little boy she loves.


Time and time again, in my life, I've found hope in God's grace. He has proved over and over to me that His love is never ending. Hope, the heroine in my book, found the peace that comes with letting God into your life and giving Him your burdens.

Carol Ann Erhardt

Blatherings about "Journey To Forgiveness"

Hello Fellow Authors and Bloggers,

My name is Laurean Brooks. (Pronounced Lau' ree un), please. It's been a busy two weeks since UPS delivered three boxes of books to my back door. The long-awaited moment finally arrived. "Do you have a knife?" I asked the delivery man.

"Nope, but I got something just as good." He pulled out a key and ripped through the tape on the top box.

I pulled out "Journey To Forgiveness" and stroked the cover before explaining that it was my first book. He asked me to describe the story. I had not much more than spoken the word, "romance" than I looked up and caught him racing toward his UPS truck, "hightailing it" for parts unknown.

What is it with men and romance? We ladies mellow at the mention of the word, but you would have thought I'd said, "Don't look now, but there's a Grizzly bear right behind you!"

My first book signing at the local "Pappy's" restaurant went well. I met up with friends, some I had not seen in a decade. Then last Friday, I was interviewed by the local newspaper at the same restaurant. Another enjoyable event, to inform the town of my upcoming book signing at the Fulton Public Library.

People are calling to tell me how much "Journey To Forgiveness" has touched them. Some have even said it should be made into a movie. God's hand has been on it since the beginning. A lot of prayer went into the writing. He bailed me out many times when I hit the proverbial wall. I would remind Him that this book was His, and that I wanted it to bring healing to many. And if He wanted it "out there" He was going to have to give me the words. I learned early on to pray for guidance "before" I wrote. It saved a lot of time.

Since this historical book addresses abuse (though mostly fiction), and is based on my mother's life, I wanted it to be special. But I didn't realize how involved I had become until I was keying in a nightmare scene about the abuse and began to shake. Before I could recoup, I had to shutdown and take several deep breaths. Have you ever been affected that way by your own writing?

Though "Journey To Forgiveness" deals with a serious topic, it also ripples with humor. The newspaper interviewer asked me, "How do you add humor to a story as serious as this?"

That's easy, I replied. "When certain characters come on the scene, they bring the humor with them. Their personalities change the atmosphere."

The hero, Austin Grant, plus Oscar Ellwood, and Trudy Hopkins, (secondary characters) all add rib-tickling laughter. Every story should have light moments to balance the dark ones. My book is no exception.

I learned by watching Michael Landon, the Master of Emotion. The man could move you from laughter to tears--from tears to joy--on "Little House On The Prairie" and "Highway To Heaven." My goal is to do just that. After all, if the reader isn't moved, she/he doesn't get much out of the story.

One of my favorite scenes is when my heroine, Jenny, is directed to unlock the storage shed for my hero, Austin. He wants to borrow tools to help rebuild a small town devastated by tornadoes. She reluctantly goes outside with him, but tries to keep her distance. After all, if Austin Grant will coerce money from a church congregation, what else might he do?

After Austin walks out of the shed laden with a couple saw horses, he asks Jenny to come inside and pick up the pile of tools he has selected. He follows her back inside. A hefty gust of wind slams the door shut. Lo and behold, it latches on the outside! All the pummeling and screaming does not bring Jenny's aunt to her rescue. Now what?

Austin suggests they wait out the storm. He unfolds a couple chairs. Jenny moves hers a little farther away, scanning the dusky building for the shovel she saw earlier. Just in case she needs it for a weapon. She spies the shovel a couple feet from her chair and kicks off one shoe. Wrapping her toes around the handle, she slowly drags it closer and closer until...

Sorry. You will have to read the book to get "the rest of the story."

Here's the blurb:

When Jenny Hinson's abusive fathr deserts the family, the responsibility of the family's Tennessee farm falls to Jenny and her mother. Four years later, in 1938, boll weevils infest the cotton crop, plunging the Hinsons into dire financial straits, and Jenny takes the train north to find work.

Electricity has yet to reach rural Chicory Valley. But, not only is the young woman introduced to it in its tapped form in Chicago, but also encounters a few jolts along the way when she challenges the infuriating Austin Grant over a luggage mishap. Sparks fly outside the Kankakeee train station when Jenny discovers her missing vanity case under Austin's arm. She labels the man a thief. And after Austin coaxes money from her aunt's congregation, Jenny determines to find enough evidence to expose him and his nefarious deeds.

Why did Austin pull money from the mission strongbox and stuff a sizable roll into his pocket? Wasn't this just the proof Jenny needed? Then why was she reluctant to report the theft? And why did her heart race at every encounter with the notorious Austin? Jenny's personal convictions would never allow a relationship where trust was blatantly missing.

Can Jenny muster enough courage to ask Austin the tough questions that will ultimately make or break their relationship? Can she forgive her father's brutality in order to move on with her life? Find out as you read Jenny's struggles in...


"Love and Forgiveness Spiced with Humor."

Available through White Rose Publishing at
Amazon Type "Laurean Brooks" in the search when you get there.
Barnes & Noble site http://www.barnes&

Visit me on my blog at Laurean's Lore:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let's Talk Genres

What are Genres? Here's my definition. Writing genre's are marketing categories such as romance, historical, fantasy, mystery and science fiction. Stories that have cross-genre's are historical romance, science fantasy and the one I like to call cozy romantic mysteries.

Lethal Lasagna is a cross-genre book and it's my newest title coming out by White Rose Publishing. I love this book because I've taken my favorite two genres, romance and cozy mysteries and combined them to create a cozy romantic mystery.



She has to die.
Mitzi Douglas is sweet and kind, but she’s making my life miserable. I can’t have her coming into the room and being the center of attention, it’s just not fair. A layer of lasagna noodles went into the pan.
She makes me sick! A chuckle filled the kitchen. Now that is funny … she makes me feel bad, and so I’m making a special dish to make me better, much better.
The fragrant scent of meat sauce rose as it poured on top of the pasta. Ummmm, this smells good enough to eat. But, I won’t. It’s for Mitzi alone. She’ll just die when she gets a taste of this.
Laughter filled the room, and more layers were added to the poisoned pan.

Chapter 1

“She was my best friend. Why would I kill her?” I grumbled, resenting this recent summons to appear at the police station. A mint caught my eye as I dropped the car keys into my pocketbook. Walking and digging at the same time for the elusive candy, I pondered my friend Mitzi’s murder.
My head slammed into a wall of firm human chest. As I was propelled backwards firm fingers grabbed my upper arms.
Shocked, my gaze moved from the strong hands up to determined brown eyes. Had I not been the one falling backwards into what I knew was hot concrete, I would have found the whole scene amusing.
He jerked hard, and I found myself slamming into his chest once more. This time, he held me in place until I felt steady, and then he gently set me back. “Are you okay?”
Heat filled my face and all the spots where I’d made contact with him. “I’m sorry . . . I think so.”
“Good.” He smiled.
That simple action caused his eyes to turn from deep brown to a light caramel. My heartbeat picked up, and I couldn’t breath. Get a grip! To my shame, my senses ignored the silent command.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Special Guest - Jill Savage!

We have a very special guest today, Jill Savage and her book: Real Moms, Real Jesus

Jill’s recent book Real Moms…Real Jesus, just released, and I wanted to ask her about her real mom moments..

Jill, tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Mark and I have been married 25 years and we have five children. Anne is 24 and married to our wonderful son-in-love, Matt. Evan is 21 and married to our beautiful daughter-in-love, Julie. Erica is 18 and a college student at Heartland Community College. Kolya is 15 and in the 8th grade. We adopted Kolya at the age of 9 from Russia---the God story about his adoption is included in the Real Moms…Real Jesus book. And Austin is 12 and in the 7th grade.

Tell us about your newest book Real Moms...Real Jesus?
Real Moms…Real Jesus is a book designed to help moms understand that when Jesus lived on this earth he was fully God, yet fully man. We don’t often think about the fact that he was a human being and he lived the full human experience: pain, hunger, fatigue, frustration, betrayal, disappointment. He experienced it all!

There’s one verse in the Bible about Jesus that simply says “large crowds followed him everywhere he went.” Well, isn’t that the life of a mom? Large crowds follow her to the bathroom. They follow her to the kitchen. To the grocery store. She’s in high demand! And when Jesus lived on this earth, He was in high demand, too.

Why did you want to write this book?
Most of us long for a friend who understands. Yes, we need girlfriends who understand what our life is like. But we also need to understand that we have a friend who understands in Jesus. Too many of us think of God as being distant and unable to relate to our daily struggles. But nothing could be further from the truth! He understands and he wants us to build our friendship with Him. He wants to not only be our Savior, but also our Friend.

What do you hope your readers will gain from this book?
I hope that readers will gain a new perspective about their relationship with Jesus. I also hope to weave God’s truth into the daily life of a mom.

What unique elements will the reader find in Real Moms…Real Jesus?
Each chapter looks at some character trait in Jesus’ life that can help us in our life as a mom. In between the chapters are interactive vignettes that provide brief, refreshing glimpses into our real, messy, busy lives.

There are also questions at the end of the chapter for further consideration and suggested Bible reading in the book of Matthew. If the reader chooses to pursue the suggested reading, she will have read the book of Matthew completely by the end of the book!

There is also a leader’s guide in the back of the book so it can be used in a group setting.

This is a Hearts at Home book. What is Hearts at Home?
Hearts at Home is an organization that encourages, educates, and equips women in the profession of motherhood. Hearts at Home encourages moms through annual conferences, our extensive website (, a free bi-weekly electronic newsletter, a radio program, and an entire line of books designed to meet the needs of moms all over the world!

Any closing thoughts?
I am very excited about this book! I believe that if a mom can strengthen her relationship with Jesus Christ, she will feel more equipped to be the mom she wants to be. I’m also offering an online book discussion on my blog beginning Tuesday, April 7. If you’d like to join us, you can subscribe to my blog at

I’d love to hear a reader’s thoughts after they read the book, too! You can connect to me through my blog at

Thanks, Jill, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your real mom, real Jesus moments with us.

You can purchase your own copy of Real Moms…Real Jesus by clicking here.

And be sure to check out Hearts at Home, their conferences for moms, and all their online resources

Sounds like a wonderful book for mom's everywhere!

Hope you've enjoyed another WRIB special guest!

Until later....take care and Be Blessed!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rumors from Orchard Hill

Hello all,
This is Cora Applebaum from Orchard Hill. You know, the quaint little town that Kara Lynn Russell writes about. Yes, that Orchard Hill. Well, we all thought we'd seen the last of Kara and her stories about our fine citizens. But today I heard... You know I really don't like to pass on rumors. Maybe I'd better not say. I mean, it isn't like I've got proof or anything.

No, I've made up my mind. I ain't saying. You know how I don't believe in gossip. We'll just talk about the weather. It's cold and nasty today, isn't it? You know I saw the first robin last week and it's snowed twice since then, so that means only one more snow until spring. And no, that's not just an old wives' tale. Three snowfalls on the robins is just as reliable as that groundhog and his shadow anyway.

Now, I know you want to bring up that thing with Kara Lynn again, and it's no use. I told you it's just a rumor anyhow. There's probably nothing to it. Why would Kara want to write another story about us Orchard Hill people anyway? Not that she is. Well, not officially. I mean, I've heard talk about it, but I don't actually know that there's going to be another Orchard Hill story.

And even if I did know that there was going to be another Orchard Hill story, I couldn't possibly say that it's about Susan. You remember Susan, don't you. She's the real estate agent that Jeff dated before he fell in love with Angel. Kara told that story in Entertaining Angel. I know Susan wasn't very nice to Angel about the whole thing...okay, she was down right nasty...but there's a reason Susan behaved that way. I think that's what Kara wants to tell people about in her new story.

If there is one. Which I'm not saying there is. But there might be. Just remember, you didn't hear it from me.

Cora Applebaum

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Teri Wilson is Back!

The White Roses are pleased to welcome Teri Wilson back with Book Two in her Hoofbeats & Heartstrings series, Love, Lilies & the Unbroken Straw.

Blurb: Christabel Wilde’s life has just turned upside-down. With little more than the clothes on her back and her newly rescued Chihuahua tucked under her arm, she makes a pledge to start over and applies for a job as a groom at a horse rescue farm. Nevermind that she’s never been up close to a horse before, she has a bigger secret to hide. A mysterious gift her new neighbor, Dr. Declan Armstrong, is determined to uncover. When the irresistible veterinarian volunteers to give her riding lessons, Christabel knows it could be the end of her secret. With the Easter holiday approaching, she tries to remember that sometimes what looks like the end is really a new beginning.

Excerpt: He wore a straw cowboy hat, frayed leather work gloves and faded jeans. Period. She suspected cowboy boots completed the picture, but he stood too close for her to get a glimpse of his feet. He didn’t wear a shirt, though. That much was certain. Christabel drug her gaze from the stranger’s rippling abdominal muscles and somehow managed to look him in the eyes. Of course, they were nearly as distracting. Clear, ice blue. Twinkling with good humor. “Um, I guess I could use a little help.”

He flashed a crooked grin. “Pop the hood and I’ll take a look.”

“Thank you.” She did as he said, scooped her dog into her arms and stepped out of the car while he held the door open for her.

A gentleman. Nice.

“I’m Declan, by the way.” He tipped his hat and gave her a wink.

She made every effort to keep her gaze focused firmly on his face… or the car… or anywhere but his bare chest. “I’m Christabel. Thanks for your help, but I’m afraid my car might be hopeless.”

“We’ll see about that.” He took off one of his gloves and scratched the dog on the chin. “Cute Chihuahua. What’s her name?”

“Snowdrop.” The pup’s nose quivered and she licked the tips of Declan’s fingers. In the past weeks, Christabel had wondered more than once what kind of dog she’d brought home. “Do you think she’s a Chihuahua? I wasn’t sure.”

“Definitely a Chihuahua. See the dome-shaped skull?” He ran his fingers over Snowdrop’s forehead, pausing to scratch behind her ears. “It’s a dead giveaway. Is she a rescue dog?”

Christabel’s tongue tripped on her reply. The man asked a loaded question to say the least. “Y-you could say that.”

“It looks like she’s lucky you came to her rescue, then.” He met her gaze over the top of the dog’s head and she became transfixed by his sapphire eyes. They possessed an intensity that made her feel transparent, as though he could read her thoughts. “Snowdrop, huh? Nice name. I suppose that’s because she’s white like snow.”

She tore her gaze from his, telling herself she only imagined his extraordinary perception. Of course he couldn’t tell anything about her just by looking at her. “Actually, a snowdrop is a type of flower.”

“Really? I’ve never heard of one before.”

“They have a unique history – their own mythology.” What was she doing standing here rambling about flowers? She needed to get out of here and figure out what to do with the rest of her life.

“Do they now?” Declan’s brows lifted and he leaned closer, clearly interested in the story behind Snowdrop’s name.

“According to legend, the snowdrop started as a snowflake that was magically transformed into a flower to comfort Adam and Eve when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Now they’re known as a symbol of consolation and hope.” Her cheeks burned with heat and her gaze darted once again to his muscled physique. She looked away, trying to ignore the fact that he stood before her half as naked as Adam himself.

Declan’s face grew serious, his voice quiet as a whisper. “What do you hope for, Christabel?”

Hope. The word alone held so much weight. She’d come here today with a heart full of hope, only to find that hope dashed. What did she dare hope for now?
Love Lillies & the Unbroken Straw is available now in Ebook and will be in Print next month!

Find out more about Teri and her books at her website.

Good luck Teri!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lucky Shamrock Contest

Ever Wonder How St. Patrick's Day Came to Be? Here's the story!


Patrick was made a Bishop by Pope Celestine in the year 432 and, together with a small band of followers, traveled to Ireland to commence the conversion. Patrick confronted the most powerful man in Ireland – Laoghaire, The High King of Tara – as he knew that if he could gain his support that he would be safe to spread the word throughout Ireland. To get his attention Patrick and his followers lit a huge fire to mark the commencement of Spring. Tradition had it that no fire was to be lit until the Kings fire was complete, but Patrick defied this rule and courted the confrontation with the King.

The King rushed into action and travelled with the intention of making war on the holy delegation. Patrick calmed the King and with quiet composure impressed the King that he had no other intention than that of spreading the word of the Gospel. The King accepted the missionary, much to the dismay of the Druids who feared for their own power and position in the face of this new threat. They commanded that he make snow fall. Patrick declined to do so stating that this was Gods work. Immediately it began to snow, only stopping when Patrick blessed himself.

Still trying to convince the King of his religion Patrick grasped at some Shamrock growing on the ground. He explained that there was but one stem on the plant, but three branches of the leaf, representing the Blessed Trinity. The King was impressed with his sincerity and granted him permission to spread the word of his faith, although he did not convert to Christianity himself.

Patrick and his followers were free to spread their faith throughout Ireland and did so to great effect. He drove paganism (symbolized by the snake) from the lands of Eireann.

Patrick was tempted by the Devil whilst on a pilgrimage at Croagh Patrick. For his refusal to be tempted, God rewarded him with a wish. Patrick asked that the Irish be spared the horror of Judgement Day and that he himself be allowed to judge his flock. Thus, the legend that Ireland will disappear under a sea of water seven years before the final judgement, was born.

Patrick died on March 17th in the year 461 at the age of 76. It is not known for sure where his remains were laid although Downpatrick in County Down in the North of Ireland is thought to be his final resting place. His influence is still felt to this day as nations the world over commemorate him on March 17th of every year.


Here’s how: The White Roses are holding a Lucky Shamrock contest to celebrate our new home, White Rose Publishing. All you have to do to win a pot o eBooks donated by participating authors is answer this simple question:

QUESTION: When St. Patrick showed a three-sided shamrock, the flower of Ireland, to the king, what was he comparing it to?

Leave your answer as a comment and you will be entered in the Lucky Shamrock contest. The winner will receive a delightful assortment of eBooks. Good luck!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The Irish are notorious for spinning a wee tale or two when it comes to legend and lore. And being Irish, I’ve been known to weave a little extra yarn into a story for a dash of color. Humor is the spice of life. Regaling over age old legends in front of a roaring fire with a cup o’ tea or Irish coffee keeps tradition alive from generation to generation. Some of the things associated with St. Patrick’s Day are the wearing of the green, shamrocks and pots of gold—and who could forget the mischievous leprechaun?

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th. And if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s the spinning of favorite myths while regaling the day. Here are a few fables we can count on:

Green shamrocks, green t-shirts, green party hats, green beer, green everything!
The color green in any form on March 17th will bring good luck.

But as much fun as we have with the color green on St. Paddy’s Day, the deepest origin represents the coming of spring when the earth is reborn with new grass, budding trees and flowers after a long, harsh winter.

Wear a shamrock on your left lapel and you will be blessed all year with the wink of St. Patrick himself
This is fun and we all partake in it, but the true meaning of the shamrock, the three-leaf flower of Ireland, was used by St. Patrick to demonstrate the Trinity.

Shake this stick and ward off bad luck and evil spirits
All fun and games aside, this club was used by the ancient Druids and thought to have the ability to shake it at the dead and bring them back to life.

Associated with the wee folk stealing the pot of gold and hiding it—and finding it over the rainbow.
But the pot of gold is associated with the goddess Cerridwen, worshiped by the Druids. And when Cerridwen’s gold was stolen and transported from Irish soil to Britain soil, it was gone but never forgotten.

Spot a wee cobbler on St. Patrick’s Day and good fortune will befall. Rub the belly of a leprechaun on St. Paddy’s Day and you will come into great wealth and fortune. Trick a leprechaun and steal his lucky charms and riches will bestow.
But in reality, the leprechauns were wee gods, mean little creatures with shaggy red beards, tart mouths, born with the ability to steal a pot of gold in the blink of an eye and never get caught. It is believed the leprechauns stole Cerridwen’s gold.

We’ve all heard the one about St. Patrick standing atop the Croagh Patrick and shaking a stick at the snakes, sending them all into the sea.
In reality, there were never any snakes in Ireland. Snakes are associated with evil Druids and black magic. The fable of St. Patrick chasing all the snakes out of Ireland refers to his chasing the Druids out and spreading Christianity throughout the land.

And that’s what St. Patrick’s Day represents, bringing Christianity to a land ruled by ancient gods and druids. And the man responsible for doing this is St. Patrick, born Magonus Sccatus, later christened Patricus Thought to be born in either Scotland or Great Britain, Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and sold to a sheep herder in Ireland where he was held in captivity for six years. But one night he escaped by boat, returning to his homeland. But deeply haunted by some of the things he’d witnessed in Ireland, human sacrifices made to ancient gods, many of which were children, Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary where he lived until his death. And because of the tireless efforts of one man spreading the word of God despite the risk of persecution, Patrick won the war when he drove the druids out of Ireland.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Ireland, the home of my ancestry. The Emerald Isle is truly an enchanting land, rich in culture and tradition. Whimsical castles loom high above heathery mountains and rocky headlands, giving way to green rolling hills and long stretches of coppery beaches. And with the sheep grazing high on the hillsides of the misty mountains, it’s like stepping back in time.

A lot of writers come from Ireland, including James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. With its green hills and rugged landscape, major movies have been filmed here. The Irish take great pride in pointing out the farmhouse on the Dingle Peninsula where Ryan’s Daughter was filmed. Inch Strand Beach, shaped like a sandy half moon, is one of the most remote areas of the island. But the best part of the trip was learning the significance of The Claddag, which has an ancient history dating back three hundred years.

According to legend, the first Claddagh Ring originated in a small fishing port off the coast of Galway. Truly a land of legend and lore, the Irish are known to spin a wee bit of the “Blarney” from time to time. Some say the original Claddagh Ring was blessed by St. Patrick himself. Others believe the first ring was dropped into the lap of a woman by an eagle. And others say the original ring was brought back to Galway by a man who was captured by the Algerians and sold to a Moorish goldsmith.

But whatever the case, the tradition of The Claddah has lived on for the past several centuries. And in today’s materialistic world where love and friendship are taken far too lightly, the significance of The Claddagh Ring has strengthened.

The Claddagh is said to bring eternal love and lasting friendship to its wearer. The design consists of two hands holding a heart and a crown on top of the heart. The heart represents love, the hands friendship—and the crown designates loyalty. But in order for the ring to cast its mystical spell, it needs to be worn in a certain way.
If worn on the right hand with the heart facing outward, this means the heart is open to love. If worn on the left hand with the heart facing outward, it means the wearer is taken. But when the ring is worn on the left hand with the heart facing inward, the wearer has found true love for all eternity and will be forever blessed.

Being part Irish, I was born with a superstitious nature. Totally awed by this legend, I was inspired to write The Claddagh Ring, a White Rose rosette of 34 pages. Because I had the pleasure of touring the Atlantic Breakers and the Cliffs of Moher, part of my book takes place in County Clare.

The Atlantic Breakers pound the west coast of the county, sculpting the grey limestone into a myriad of shapes, the most notorious the Cliffs of Moher. A rich plethora of birdlife as puffins and shags dominate these rugged cliffs, adding to the savage grandeur. Beneath the rocks, the waves have spread a thin dusting of golden sand, said to be sprinkled by angel wings. Standing on these cliffs with the wind at my back and the sun on my face, I truly enjoyed writing The Claddagh Ring. Here is a blurb and excerpt.

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is to never die.”
Thomas Campbell

Struggling with her faith after her mother’s death, Meghan O’Malley finds comfort in wearing her Claddagh Ring, said to be blessed by St. Patrick. And when Meghan meets Rork, she finds love, loyalty and friendship. But before everything comes full circle, Meghan must face the biggest challenge of her life.

Rork McGuire is ruggedly handsome, sings Celtic music straight from his soul—and has a deep secret. When he sees Meghan O’Malley tending bar at her club, he falls hopelessly in love with her and wants to give her his heart. Will the secret he harbors pull them together—or break them apart?


As Meghan mixed drinks from behind the bar of The Wild Irish Rose, the fiddle and violin captured the true essence of Ireland. The tantalizing aroma of Irish stew, corn beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread wafted through the room.

Suddenly, all activity came to a halt as the eerie wail of bagpipes keened through the bar. The lead singer took center stage with his rendition of Danny Boy, the haunting lyrics crawling into Meghan’s skin. Mesmerized by his hypnotic blue eyes, she stopped what she was doing and met his penetrating gaze. With the exception of her mother, she’d never heard anyone pluck the strings of the harp with such finesse. The Claddagh Ring on her right hand felt hot, the heart pressing into her skin. By the time the song ended, Meghan’s green eyes were misty with tears.

“Well now, darlin’,” he touched her cheek. “If I knew Danny Boy would make you cry, I’d a sung When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”
Meghan Shannon O’Malley lost herself in pools of midnight blue.
“I’m Rork,” the corners of his eyes crinkled when he smiled. He took her right hand and kissed the heart on her ring. “Single and looking, are ya?”
“The Claddagh Ring, darlin’,” he kissed it again. “On your right hand with the heart facing outward, means you’re single and looking for romance.”
“Ah…I have no idea what you’re talking about; it’s just a ring, a gift from my mother.”
“Ah, come on now, darlin’ girl,” he got a little closer, staring into her eyes. “Ya can’t fool an Irishman. My mother bought one for each of my sisters. I’ll have ya know they’re all married.”
Meghan felt lightheaded. “My mother gave me this ring the night before she died. It’s a family heirloom, said to be blessed by St. Patrick himself. Mama promised me by wearing the Claddagh, everything in my life would come full circle. So before you go thinking I’m wearing it to find a husband, think again.”
“Do you believe in love at first sight?” his blue eyes seared into hers like lasers. “What do ya say, Meghan, darlin’ girl of my heart.”

The Claddagh Ring Available Now!

To see the book trailer, visit my website:


February 25-March 17
Visit my website for contest rules
Winner to be announced St. Patrick’s Day!
And will receive…


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Spring

Well, it's almost spring. It's only 26 degrees in northeast Ohio, but it's not snowing and for that we are thankful! Daffodil shoots and hyacinth leaves are popping through the soil and that's a sure sign spring is coming.

Blooming flowers and budding trees (and melting snow) make spring my favorite season so that's where my Crystal Falls Series begins. A flower theme starts with Lilacs for Laura and carries into the sequel, Roses for Rachel. Both take place in the heartland of America, a fictional small town in Ohio. These romantic mysteries convey a strong theme of love flourishing with trust. Readers discover that God loves unconditionally and will forgive any mistake if we only trust in Him.

Here's an enticement from the Crystal Falls Series:

Lilacs for Laura:

Laura James loves working in her family’s flower shop, but has to ward off advances from her brother-in-law. She distrusts men but cannot deny her attraction when she stumbles into Brett Mitchell. Drawn to one another despite their conflicting goals, Laura longs for a secure future in her Ohio hometown, while Brett yearns for adventure and an escape from his abusive father. When he lands a NASCAR job in North Carolina, Laura fears she will never see him again. Devastated, she withdraws just when she needs help most. Her brother-in-law is murdered and all evidence points to Laura. Brett knows members of her family, as well as the town gossip share motive and opportunity. Will he return to help clear her? Who will reveal the killer in a shocking twist? And will Laura ever find security in love?

Roses for Rachel:

Young widow Rachel Santos raises her daughters alone and tries to get past the pain of losing her husband. When she dumps her cheating boyfriend, someone vandalizes her house. Rachel confides in faithful Elliot Truman, but refuses to trust her heart to another man. Then the stalker breaks into her home, and Rachel fears for the safety of her daughters and herself. Will Elliot help protect her children? Who can stop this demented stalker? And will Rachel ever be convinced that some men are worth loving?

Sharing God's love is what White Rose books are all about. I hope you'll read the stories and invite your friends and family to enjoy them too.

Have a great day and Happy Spring!

:) Dianne

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March Madness!

Hey Friends!

Great news! My new short story, Winter Madness releases today at White Rose Publishing - the Inspirational imprint of The Wild Rose Press!

Blurb: Sienna has survived what most succomb to - the death of a spouse and child and has maintained her faith despite her troubles. William has never met anyone who actually lived out what they say they believe. Is it true love between the faithful optimist and broody pessimist or simply winter madness?

Excerpt: They met on a cold winter morning in a cozy coffee shop. Not just the tinkle of the bell above the door announced his arrival, but also the quickening of her heart, the slow thud of blood through her veins, the sharp curl of need in the pit of her stomach. Even before she saw him, she knew the minute he’d walked in. A dream from her past.

He turned; their eyes met.

William’s eyes widened, and his breath caught. There she sat all soft and glowing. A ghost from his past. He hesitated, blew a soft rush of air to cool the steaming brew he’d just purchased. A sigh escaped followed by a resigned shrug. There was no way out of the meeting now. Only a few steps separated them physically, miles emotionally. One hurdle at a time, he thought, and joined her at the table for two beside the window.

In conjunction with my new release, Winter Madness, I'm having a month-long sale on The Inheritance!
Get an autographed copy for only $8.95 + s/h!! For details visit My Website OR Pertinent Promotions!

Well that's about it for today. Until next time.....

Take care and Be Blessed!

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" TM

Monday, March 9, 2009

Forgive and Forget? Not Really...

To forgive is a powerful thing.
To not forgive is even more powerful. But not in a good way.
Huh. I guess I should be working on that…

I’ll explain.
I am a lifelong Christian. My first love was Jesus, my first classroom was Sunday School. My Godly mother instilled in me the basic truths of my faith and I embraced them. I obeyed the Ten Commandments, loved my neighbor, and exercised my mustard seed faith. As far as I knew, I’d learned how to turn the other cheek, love my enemies, and forgive - just as God instructed over and over in His Word.

Then last week as I talked to a friend about a sad period in my life when I was hurt, betrayed, and persecuted by those who were supposed to be my friends and fellow believers, I stumbled upon a terrible truth about myself: I was the owner of a king-sized grudge. The more I shared with her about how I was wronged and cast out, the more anger and resentment bubbled inside me, and I knew if anger and resentment resided there, it was because total, honest forgiveness had not taken place.

I decided to investigate further. “Do you think I hold grudges?” I asked my husband as we waited for American Idol to start.

“Yes.” He didn’t even hesitate.

I was appalled. “Really?”

“Aw, c’mon, Bun.” (He used to call me Honey Bunny, which morphed into Bunny, and now, just plain Bun.) “You’re still mad at me for things I did fifteen years ago.”

“I am not.”

“You are. Remember when I accidentally mowed down your wisteria?”

I became royally agitated. “Give me a break! I put a bright orange ribbon on a huge wooden stake. How could you not see that? The space shuttle could detect it from space, and you just mowed right over it!”

“I rest my case.”

Next stop: prayer closet.

I began to prayerfully explore hidden anger and buried resentment. I asked God to show me where I’d messed up, who I’d neglected to forgive, and what I needed to do. I delved into submerged pain and forgotten hurts and one by one asked God for help. And the funny part? I realized I never had any trouble asking for forgiveness, I just had a heck of a time giving it.

The challenge: Take a look inside yourself. Are you harboring resentment? Or withholding forgiveness from someone who needs to know it’s okay? The time and energy spent holding that grudge is time better spent receiving the blessings you’ve missed.
Find it, fix it, forgive it, forget it.

Carla Rossi is the author of Limited Light, Almost Home and the soon to be released Under the 5th Street Bridge – an Easter Lilies Contest Winner due out April 9th. Visit Carla at or by e-mail at

Thursday, March 5, 2009

One Word

This year I decided to set my writing goals by choosing one word that I wanted my writing to reflect for 2009. The word I chose was PROGRESS. From January 1st to December 31st, I want to see PROGRESS. That may mean three romance rough drafts, a completed novella, agent interest, a publishing contract or a deeper understanding of plot, characterization or pace.

How do I not lose the original momentum on my quest for progress this year? Each week on my blog, I chose a word that best describes my writing progress for that week. For me that keeps me honest and forward moving. I don't want to publically admit that my writing isn't a priority in my life with words like lazy, ignore, blocked so I make sure I do something each week.

So far this one word system has worked for me. I've completed a rough draft of a romance novella, wrote, polished, submitted a short romance story, caught up on marketing and sending work for hire packets for my children's writing, researched agents websites and garnered my first acceptance for the year (an article on retelling Bible stories).

What one word would describe what you'd like to accomplish with your writing this year? Will you share it?


PS I think PROGRESS also describes our new publishing company-White Rose!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's In A Name?

Good morning, everyone! (It's only 6:30am out here in sunny, Southern California).

My name is Ashley Ludwig, and I'm an inspirational romance author with White Rose Publishing.

Wow. It feels really good to say that. But, does it tickle my heart any more than it did to say that I am a published author with The Wild Rose Press?

No. It does not. I'm proud of The Wild Rose Press. They're amazing. They took this fledgling author of the inspirational, historical romance, All or Nothing, gave me an astounding editor, a contract, and a garden full of amazing women with talent streaming from their fingertips. Then, they hosted a contest for the line I write for - The White Roses - and challenged me and my fellow authors to come up with a story based on a verse from Song of Solomon. Like the lily from the thorns, so is my love among the maidens. Thus, By Another Name was born. Next thing I knew, I had won the contest, along with two other authors. Who was 1st? WHO CARED?!?! We all won. It didn't matter. How cool was that?

Perhaps this is as good a place as any for a discussion of how important names really are. William Shakespeare said it best when Juliet says of Romeo, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet..."

I know there's been a lot of discussion on how separate we are -- do we do things differently now -- and our editors have been wonderful in sharing with us what all this means. So, here's my take:

Whether you write for any shade of rose for The Wild Rose Press, or are a reader who loves all lines -- the important thing is, we were all brought together in a lovely bouquet. The blessing of this new publishing arm is, we no longer have to explain to our audience who might find themselves blushing a bit at some of the other shade of roses covers -- to look beyond and go to our pages. They can now breeze in and pick stories without wilting in the process!

So, again, this author thanks Rhonda and RJ, Nicola, and all the editors and cover artists who have joined us here. Blessings to all of you, and to my writer friends in every sub-genre and line. We're all still a happy family. We've just added on to the house!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Monday, March 2, 2009

TWRP Opens New Inspirational Publishing Company!

Well Friends, looks like things are on the up-and-up for The Wild Rose Press and their White Rose Authors!

March is White Rose Month @ TWRP and as a surprise to EVERYONE, including the authors, Rhonda, RJ & Nicola introduced some exciting news and now I'm passing it on to you!

We're excited to announce the arrival of White Rose Publishing.

On May 1, 2006, two writing critique partners, RJ Morris and Rhonda Penders, decide to open a "kinder and gentler" publishing company. That company was, and is, The Wild Rose Press. Their premise was to grow a "garden" where authors would be treated with respect, concern, and understanding. RJ and Rhonda wanted a publishing company that didn’t make authors wonder what was happening with their manuscripts. The two also believed that no one should ever again receive a form rejection letter. If the manuscript was not something the company could use, every writer who sent a query would receive a personal, prompt, and courteous letter of rejection explaining exactly why the manuscript wasn’t accepted and what the author could do to improve it. If an author was to receive a contract, the process would be as efficient as possible, and the author would be kept in the loop with communication every step along the way. In fact, communication was to be one of the key strengths of the company.

Almost three years later, RJ and Rhonda have successfully fulfilled their goals, and over five hundred authors in a range of fourteen different lines have been published at The Wild Rose Press, and a staff of close to fifty includes a Graphic Arts Department, Production Department, Proofreading, Marketing and, of course, Editing.

Continuing to cultivate The Wild Rose Press was to be the end of the story. However in late 2008, RJ and Rhonda became aware that some Christian readers and authors were reluctant to visit The Wild Rose Press catalogue site because of some of the non-Christian covers that sometimes appeared on the front page as new titles in the non-Christian lines were released. Not wanting to offend, RJ and Rhonda quickly bulit a White Rose portal at so that Christian visitors could avoid non-Christian content if they so chose. But, on further research, both agreed this was not enough.

VOILA! White Rose Publishing was born. With the experience of RJ and Rhonda behind it, along with the impeccable reputation and RWA recognition that The Wild Rose Press is an upstanding publisher, pays royalties promptly and on a regular basis, and is not a vanity or subsidy publishing house, White Rose Publishing sees its dawn as we move towards becoming the online place for quality Christian romance. We will publish books and stories in various lengths ranging from Rosettes (which are quick reads) to Roses (which are 100,000 word novels). All books over 65,000 words will be released in both print and ebook form. Anything less than 65K will be available as an ebook at a variety of distributors, including Amazon Kindle, Sony Ebook store, and Fictionwise, among others. Printed books will be distributed through,,, and can be ordered by libraries, bookstores through such distributors as Bakers and Taylor and Ingram.

As a new publishing venture, we are actively seeking quality submissions in all romance subgenre. Senior Editor Nicola Martinez, holds to strict guidelines of what is and isn’t acceptable for a White Rose book. While we will publish some titles that might be considered “edgy” according to regular CBA guidelines, with her team of three editors, Ms. Martinez will work hard to bring readers entertaining, quality stories that also glorify Christ by upholding a strict code of Christian values. For informaton on how to submit, please read our submission guidelines.

Wow, isn't that Wonderful!?!

Visit the new White Rose Publishing and check out all they have to offer.

Until later....Be BLESSED!

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" TM