Thursday, July 26, 2012

Found in the Woods

When my editor, Jamie West, and I were working on the manuscript she reminded me of a wonderful passage in Job 12:7-10. Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
I think of these verses often when I am outdoors or when I talk to others about the wolf I named Lakota in Found in the Woods.

Rather than a fun read like the other Frivolities books, Found in the Woods is edgy with elements of suspense

Beth Phillips returns to Platteville, Nebraska in order to begin a new life and to hide from her abusive ex-husband. The secluded cabin offers a chance to stay hidden and to draw closer to God, but Beth quickly discovers she is not alone in the woods. She befriends a curious, displaced wolf, but instead of fearing the animal Beth finds comfort in his company.

When field biologist, Aiden Holt, follows up on reported wolf sightings, he finds the animal and Beth Phillips. With emotional baggage of his own, Aiden usually prefers animals to people, but Beth's passion to keep the wolf draws Aiden in. Experience tells him the wolf needs relocation. His heart tells him he needs Beth Phillips. He camps nearby to capture the wolf, but can he capture Beth's heart, too? 

Two souls, each lost in their own way, are brought together by one of God's beautiful creations. Will the Lord's path to their destiny be found in the woods?


Beth’s insides had been fluttery and nervous ever since her fingers grazed Aiden’s back. Had he felt it, too? That zing was still there. She’d folded her hands between her knees, trying to get rid of the tingle, but the connection remained.

It didn’t help that she had imagined being held by him.

Even though the Lord fulfilled her deepest longings, she still yearned for a human touch, the assurance she could be wanted for the right reasons.

She jumped up from her chair, as antsy as Aiden for something to do. She’d been tempted by too many men. Didn’t want to go there. He was a decent enough guy, but too much was as stake for her to be so attracted.
Attraction. Could that be the reason he was restless?

“Would you mind bringing in a couple logs?” She didn’t give him the chance to answer. She yanked his coat off the chair and turned, arms outstretched. Aiden was so close in the small room, leaning forward and invading her space, that her knuckles hit him in the sternum. Awareness of his body heat, his nearness, awakened her nerve endings.

He bent nearer still. She smelled the chocolate on his breath. He pulled her towards him until only her hands fisted in the folds of his coat separated them.

In slow motion, he lowered his head. Only his strong arm supporting her back kept her from falling. She raised her face degree by degree, trying to concentrate on his sparkling, multi-colored brown eyes. But then she saw only his lips as he drew closer. His smell came close to intoxicating her. She was a goner. Aiden tasted as good as he smelled, earthy. Like fresh new leaves, wood, straight-from-the-trees outdoors, and a little smoky from her own fire.

Meeting his lips was as familiar as a recurring dream, yet as frightening as a nightmare.

His arms pulled her to him. The coat sighed to the floor.

She felt her hands encircle his neck as though they had a mind of their own. In Aiden’s arms, Beth felt as fragile as a sapling fighting for survival during the spring storm.

He pulled back. Had he felt what she did at their explosive connection?

She kept her eyes closed, and concentrated on savoring the moment as she felt his warm breath on her face.

The reality of being in Aiden’s arms was an exaggeration of any white-knight fantasy. His arms again obliterated the outside world.

Her whole body jolted at the intensity of their next kiss. The pressure of his lips deepened and swept her away. Sanity eventually returned. Beth turned her head and pushed on his shoulders. Did he react the way she had, with spots and flashes behind her eyelids? Would she reveal too much of those fireworks when she opened her eyes? She didn’t want him to view her as vulnerable.

“I’ve tried to imagine how you would taste.” He reached for her hands and lowered them in his. “You are the real deal, Ms. Beth Phillips.”

No. I’m all mixed up.

Lord, why would you bring someone like Aiden into my life when I’ve had such a weakness for men in the past?

That old looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places phrase hit her full force. Now that she was a Christian, she had no business becoming interested in a man who, by all indications, didn’t share her faith. She took two giant steps backward, until she felt a camp chair against her leg.

But space between them meant nothing. Aiden had slid under her defenses and rattled her solitary foundation.

“I’ll help keep your wolf safe,” he rasped as he bent to retrieve his coat. “Keep your Lakota safe.”

His pronouncement rocked her to the marrow.

As his promise to help the wolf sank in, her mouth remained open. Before she could formulate a response, he shut the door behind him.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Monday's Child by Clare Revell

Based on the new version of the nursery rhyme Monday's Child comes a new series of romantic suspense novels by Clare Revell. One for every day of the week.

Monday’s Child must hide for protection,
Tuesday’s Child tenders direction
Wednesday’s Child grieves for his soul
Thursday’s Child chases the whole
Fridays Child is a man obsessed
Saturday’s Child might be possessed
And Sunday’s Child on life’s seas is tossed
Awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost.


Monday’s Child must hide for protection...

This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn’t be so bad if Sara wasn’t such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her.

When, Sara Barnes is thrown into the witness protection programme, she becomes the “wife” of Lt. Luke Nemec, an American cop on temporary assignment with the British police. Despite Luke’s American bravado, she finds he’s kind and considerate in ways her late husband never was.

But things aren’t always what they seem, and Luke soon realizes he’s fighting a battle of two fronts to keep Sara safe. Loyalties are called into question, and he’s no longer certain who he can trust. Luke is way out of his depth. As the threats against Sara escalate, it’s a race against time to find her husband’s killer before Sara is silenced forever.


Luke smiled at her and offered his hand.

Sara ignored it, staring aghast at Wilcox, shock resonating through her, and not just at his abrupt tone. Was there something wrong with her hearing? There was no rank of lootenant in the English police force, for one thing. Or leftenant come to that. For another, he didn’t look like a soldier, and—wait a minute, did he say marriage? “I’m sorry?”

“Lieutenant Nemec will be with you on a full-time basis. As far as the world is concerned, you’ll be his wife. First name terms only.”

Furious, Sara shook her head. Her eyes narrowed and her lips set. “Oh, no. There is absolutely no way, either in this lifetime or the next, that—”


“Don’t you Sara me. I am not going to live with anyone, Inspector. Especially someone I’ve only just met. And I am definitely not marrying him.” She glanced at Luke, deliberately pronouncing his title the English way. “No offence, Leftenant Nemec.”

Luke slid his hands into his pockets. “None taken, but my name is Luke. If it helps any, I was just told myself.”

Taken aback by his accent, Sara did a double take. “You’re American.”

“And you’re British.” He tilted his head, flashing his teeth in a broad smile.

Buy Links

Ebook from pelican books

Paperback from pelican books

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pelican Book Group at the RT Book Lovers Convention

White Rose Publishing and Pelican Book Group were well represented at the RT Book Lovers Convention in Chicago a short while ago!

Authors Dora Hiers, Mary Manners, Marianne Evans, and the writing duo of KM Daughters had a blast mixing and mingling with romance readers and authors at the Rosemont Hyatt Regency! Here's a look at some of the fun to be had at Club RT, the Book Expo (E-Book) signing, and the Giant Book Fair (Print Books) signing.

We were all so awed and humbled to support this awesome publishing house! In a very fun--if nerve wracking--honor, Hiers, Manners and Evans presented an interactive reader panel discussing the topic: 'Beyond the Bodice - Lacing Together Faith & Romance." The responses they received about what readers want (realism and modern storylines!) were illuminating, and a lot of fun to discuss! Audience member Katy Lee walked away with a Kindle for joining in the fun!

Hope to see you at next year's RT Book Lovers Convention in Kansas City! Pelican Book Group authors would love to welcome you with open arms!

Our Kind of Town!
 Lacing Together Faith & Romance
 Promo Lane - Lots of Goodies!

 Mary Manners, Marianne Evans & KM Daughters!
 Dora Hiers
 Mary Manners
 KM Daughters
Marianne Evans

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sage and Sweetgrass

Survivor Lanae Petersen finds a moving love letter in an antique and seeks to discover the writer. Sage Diamond is holding on to the memory of his deceased wife. The last thing he needs is a tenacious woman who threatens to uncover his family secret.

While I was writing Moselle’s Insurance (the first novel in the Frivolities series), I determined that Moselle’s mother Geneva (Rainn on My Parade), and her aunt Lanae, deserved their own happily-ever-after. That idea was reinforced by writer friends who loved all three characters. The series is centered around Frivolities, a kooky shop in fictitious Platteville, Nebraska, created by Geneva and Lanae.

Blurb: Diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating illness, Lanae Petersen vows to pursue life to its fullest. When she discovers mysterious love letters hidden within an antique desk, she begins a quest to discover who the young lovers were. Little does she realize that in trying to bring closure to their lives, hers will be turned upside-down.

After the death of his wife, cowboy Sage Diamond wants to be left alone on his acreage in peace and anonymity. When Lanae approaches him with letters to a family member, she not only threatens to expose his family secrets, but also stirs something inside him that he neither expects, nor welcomes. Sage fights his attraction, determined not to fall for a woman whose health is so fragile. Can Sage trust God's guiding hand, or will his fear of losing another love crush his chance for a future with Lanae?

Excerpt: The sky was clear and enormous where it met the horizon. The whinny of horses carried up from a pasture on the other side of the barn. The acreage represented everything she loved about being outside the city limits. Expanse, horses, a sprinkling of trees in the distance…God’s country.

When she caught sight of the cowboy, the vision was complete.

She sighed. Home. How crazy. She felt like she’d come home.

The cowboy rounded the corner of the wood-sided barn that she guessed to be sixty feet long. He loped in the loose way of a man comfortable on the back of a horse.

And she enjoyed every step as he approached.

He even tipped the brim of his hat. “Mornin’. You Lanae?”

Wow was the only thing she could think to say. But she kept it to herself.

Her mouth went dry.

His nose was bent, just off to the right of center. He had a full bottom lip, thinner upper, all accented by what she supposed was a year-round tan. Myriad facial lines gave testimony to a life lived outdoors.

She cleared her throat, mustered up some moisture for her vocal chords in order to answer, “That I am.”

“Sage Diamond.”

When he drew close enough, Lanae was dumbfounded at the impact of his eyes. They were an unbelievable piercing blue with a hint of lavender.

“Did you have any trouble finding the place?” Sage spoke in an unhurried manner.

Lanae wondered if he felt rushed about anything. She started to open the door.

“You always leave your car running?” A hint of amusement tugged at his mouth.

Oops. She turned the key. Great first impression.

He held the door.

Still caught in the lavender blue of his eyes, shadowed now from his hat, Lanae swallowed what felt like the chaff of an August hayfield.

No more singles ads for me.

Frivolities #3, available 2-24-2012 at

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Resting in Jesus' Lap

The second week of December I went in for my annual mammogram. I've never had any problems and as far as I know there is no history of breast cancer in my family but so many women are diagnosed every day, that I'm grateful my insurance pays for a yearly exam.

With the new digital imaging, there is no waiting until the x-rays are developed, so I'm usually in and out again in fifteen minutes. No change this year.

However, the next day I received a call from the Women's Health Care Clinic. The radiologist had seen something suspicious and wanted me to come back in for a different diagnostic mammogram. They had an opening the following day. This time I went in a little scared. So many women in our church had battled breast cancer, some several times. I prayed and tried not to worry.

After the second mammogram, I was asked to have a seat in the waiting room and the radiologist would talk to me about the results. The wait was very nerve wracking. I just kept praying and asking God to comfort me. Finally, I was called back to meet the radiologist. She smiled and then showed me some bright white spots on the screen image. She explained these were microcalcifications but she couldn't tell from the picture if they were benign or not. Her explanation is that irregular shaped spots or spots clustered in one area, such as mine, sometimes indicate cancer. She said she would need a biopsy to further assess the situation. I blinked back tears as I agreed.

Next I was asked to go back into the waiting room while they contacted my doctor to get the biopsy scheduled. Fear gripped me with tight fingers. I repeated the Lord's Prayer over and over and repeated Psalm 23 in my head. Then I began my conversation with the Lord. Isn't it wonderful that he can hear us when we are talking silently?

I told Him that I was afraid and that I could not handle this on my own. I knelt at his feet and asked him to take me on his lap and hold me. What a wonderful feeling! I felt His comforting touch and laid my head on his chest and let my worry go. I can't explain the abolute peace which overcame me as the fear washed away.

My biopsy was scheduled for a week later. During that time I didn't focus on the negative. I knew whatever happened God would be with me and all would be well. And it was. The results of the biopsy showed I have fibrocystic breasts and there is no cancer!

Resting in the arms of Jesus, I received the most wonderful Christmas present. In times of trouble He is always with me as well as in the good times.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Musings from my heart...

It's a new year! Don't you just love fresh starts and new beginnings? It's the one time of year where I sit down and take stock of what has been accomplished and what I'd like to see accomplished.

This year I had a shocker. As I sat down to write goals and pray over my writing and what direction God wants me to go in, God showed me something that still has my head spinning. You know, I've always said that I wanted to write to be a pen in God's hands -- to touch other's lives and encourage their faith. I believed that, and yet, gulp... I found myself judging my success (or lack of) by the numbers of books I sold. In fact, so much so that I'm ashamed to say, I became addicted to checking my books rankings at least once a day and sometimes five or six times – within a 24 hour period. (I know – nothing like overkill!) Why is it so easy to get our eyes off the goal and become so sidetracked?

I knew I was going to need some help. I told my husband and one of my sons, who was sitting with us at that time, about my desire to lay my books, once again, at the foot of the cross. It is still my desire to allow God to use them however He sees fit. I asked Glenn and Jonathan to help me stay accountable. They gladly said yes and we made a deal. So, this is what we came up with... if I look at my books more than once a week, I need to wash and dry the dishes when it's their turn. And you know what? Granted, we're only three days into the year, but it's kept me on track so far. :)

I realize without Christ, none of my "work" has eternal value. For 2012, I want to have a soft heart towards God. I want to completely give my writing – any and everything I do -- to Him. And if He wills, and it's time to move on from writing to something different, I want to be willing to give it up. For I know that when I'm walking in fellowship and obedience – that's where He will be able to use me to be His hands and feet and bring about His purposes in my life.

What does that mean for my writing goals for 2012? Well, I'm going to finish the contracted project I have now and then I plan on just waiting on the Lord. I'm confident that He will direct my path. With a new project in the works or not, if I can keep my eyes fixed on Him, it's going to be an awesome year!