Monday, November 17, 2014

Release date NOVEMBER 21st. NOT QUITE AN ANGEL. ENTER your name to win your copy

Releasing November 21st 

(Decisions Book Four)

Please come by and say hello

I will be doing a drawing for a free giveaway for this historical inspirational romance set in 1906
If you are interested, leave your name, email address, 
and take a moment to respond. 

Sir Geoffrey Wentworth thought he knew every alluring woman in San Francisco, until on the night before his return to England he meets and is mesmerized by the mysterious Lady Delphia -- daughter of a French Marquis. While she seems to have appeared out of nowhere, she's  also managed to steal his heart. Maybe,  he's finally found the bride he's been searching for.
When Sir Geoffrey tries to learn more about this irresistible lady of the night, the two are caught and wounded in the throws of a San Francisco earthquake. It's there he discovers this  mystery woman is no daughter of a marquis at all. Lady Delphia aka Miss Daphne Jordan is nothing more than  the sister of a simple country parson, whose also about to be married.
If there is anything the honorable Sir Geoffrey Wentworth, 2nd son to the Viscount of Salisbury cannot abide is being duped by a woman who doesn't even exist.
Daphne backed up. She had nothing to say to Mrs. Merrick. She had nothing to say to Trevor. He would not be listening anyway.
She couldn't look again at Sir Geoffrey after catching the poker faced expression he gave her following Trevor's unexpected pronouncement. Trevor made it sound as if he had won her hand in a game of cards.
"I must go." She pressed two fingers against her forehead again. Before anyone could try to stop her, Daphne turned and stumbled toward the polished wood stairs.
It was as if she was once again in the Tapestry Room. Running from something she didn’t want to have to face, this time, something not of her doing. This time no one called out to her in French. This time no one compelled her to return.
Daphne darted up the ruby red carpeted steps past the doorman and through the double doors. After the doors swung shut, she felt reasonably safe she could look back through the porthole windows and down into the elegant hall; no one could see her now.
Sir Geoffrey and Rand had sat back down and were whispering back and forth. Trevor was leaned back on his chair; his arms folded his pathetic chin still up, another blood red drink in his hand.
A single tear trickled down Daphne's cheek, but it was pointless to cry. Trevor had tried to make a fool of her, but she couldn't let it get to her. She reached up and pushed the tear away.
Daphne started to turn then stopped. She had begun to think something good might come of her developing relationship with Sir Geoffrey. Here on the ship they might have had a chance to know each other better.
He didn't realize it, but Daphne had become incredibly and irresistibly charmed by him. She couldn’t begin to explain why.
Now he would never know.
Maybe all this was not God's intention, but it had seemed at first as if it was the Lord who had brought them together again.
It had to be more than a coincidence.
At the table Sir Geoffrey had been amiable, warm, gracious, even. For the first time, Daphne had begun to see him in a different light.
Unfortunately, once Trevor arrived, everything changed. His untimely presence brought to ruin any hope for a growing bond between Daphne and Sir Geoffrey.


Monday, November 10, 2014


 God bless you, our Veterans -- and thank you for all that you've done over the years to keep us free. 
You are thought of always by so many of us, and especially on 
Nov 11th -- your day.
May none of us as Americans ever forget

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reflection -- A pen moment for my own thoughts

There is always time for a bit of night time reflection 
if it is focused in the right place. 

We all need to take advantage of those few minutes in our days when we  can turn off our TVs, cell phones, and tablets, and instead concentrate on God thoughts. 

Do you take much time to think about  
the simple moments in your life? 

When was the last time God brought you 
through a personal thorn or thistle moment with victory? 

How often do you reflect on the promises He has just for you? 

Are you walking on the narrow road 
and watching for Him right now? 

I believe the Lord is coming soon for His church. I believe that moment of Maranatha is coming sooner than we think. 

Our Lord is High and Lifted Up 
He, our Almighty God, is worth every moment we give 
only to Him. 

I hope you'll agree with me; it is time to take time for Jesus. 
God will be blessed by our presence. You and I will definitely be blessed by HIS. 

Have you taken your Maranatha moment yet today? 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sweet, Romantic, Adventure, Historical, Contemporary: Which is for YOU?

 Please join me in welcoming Danielle Thorne here at A Pen for Your Thoughts.  

Danielle Thorne writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of sweet romantic adventure books, both historical and contemporary. Danielle has published poetry and short fiction as well as novels. Danielle is a former editor for Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her popular blog, The Balanced Writer, focuses on life and the pursuit of peace and happiness. Currently, she is a freelance copywriter in-between working on her next book and pursuing a Communications degree. 

Mrs. Thorne shares four sons and one daughter-in-law (at last!) with her husband, Rob. Together they enjoy travel and the outdoors.

Danielle tells us: 

I love writing contemporary and historical romances with quirky characters and unique settings. My books give me the chance to create colorful characters and stories that take readers away, if even for a little while. A sweet, charming romance story focuses on the hows and whys of falling in love, recapturing the innocence of our own relationships both past and present.

By Heart and Compass

When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a screeching halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again. But will finding it cost her heart?

Short excerpt: 

Sitting outside, one of the divers looked busy replacing the o-ring on a scuba tank. "I'm looking for Max?"
The long haired employee didn't bother to stand, much less look up.


"I'm Lacey Whitman, and I'm looking for the Max that owns the museum."

"You call that worthless shack a museum?"

Dumbfounded, Lacey couldn't think of any reply.
"What do you want?"

"I'm looking for Max," she repeated, feeling a flash of impatience. "I have some papers for him."
"Warrant, restraining order, or paternity test?"

After a pause in which she realized he was serious, she replied in frustration, "I have some research for the Bertrand family and someone at the museum told me to come down here."

Lacey caught herself biting her lip.

Finally, the man of absolutely no assistance put down the tank and stood up. Short and compact, he had amazing turquoise eyes that glowed from a dark, tanned complexion. Loose strands of sun-kissed brown hair blew about his face in the breeze.

"Max doesn't need any more paperwork. He doesn't want to see your research, and he is not giving dive lessons."

"I didn't ask for a dive lesson."

The diver sat back down again, crossing thick tattooed arms over himself. They stared one another down until he won. It was cheating to look her over as if she was a sweet little morsel, but it worked.

"I just want to talk to Max," she demanded.

He stared back with no expression. "You just did. Now get off my beach."

Lacey's cheeks were already flushed from getting the once over by this beach bum. His insult made her red all over.

"I'll be sure to let them know at the Bertrand Museum," she threatened, as if it mattered.

She turned on her heel and stalked off but he called after her, "Lady, I am the Bertrand Museum!"


historical romances with quirky characters and unique settings  
sweet, charming romance 
recapturing the innocence





Visit my website:
Check out my back list of romantic historical, contemporary and  paranormal books at:

Friday, May 23, 2014

An Attorney, a Professor, and a Writer

You are going to want to meet Brandi Hudson, 
Debut Author, for Desert Breeze Publishing.
Please join me in getting to know her.

                       Meet Brandi Hudson

And he determined the times set for them
 and the exact places where they should live.  
Acts 17:26

So the Lord determined that I would enter the world’s stage in a small Midwestern town. Surrounded by the comforts country living offers, the outdoors became glorious grounds for my imagination to run free.

Early on two passions emerged: academic learning and writing, which fits well since I am an attorney, professor, and writer.

With this combination, I get to meet so many different and interesting people. People are the common denominator for my calling, and it’s my job to encourage them.

Presently, I live in Franklin, Tennessee, which is one of the most amazing small towns in the country. If you’re ever passing through, let me know. Perhaps Providence will allow us an encounter and I can learn about your story, too.

The Determined Time and Place 

Twenty years ago, Emery Morgan, said goodbye to her fiancé, Hayden Bryant, at his graveside: their future cut short by his death in the Gulf War. She’s kept a vigil in her heart for Hayden’s memory while she’s filled her life with running a farm and serving the local Franklin, Tennessee community.

Jackson Carrington, who’s writing a biography about Hayden, comes to the farm, requesting an interview with Emery.

What ensues is an exchange: Jackson can have the interviews if he helps Emery on the farm. It doesn’t take Jackson long to express his desire to court Emery, but her initial rebuffs prove challenging.

Will he break through the barriers of the past to Emery’s heart? Or will the unfolding events that create confusion for Emery break his?

Why I Wrote The Book

I wrote this story to bring balance to many of the faith-based books found in mainstream fiction today. I wanted to share a story about real people with real problems who serve a real God. I also took a different direction than I've seen in the mainstream faith-based world and wrote a story involving an older woman and a younger man. I wanted to let readers know it's okay to think outside the box, because that's where God is. He's not confined to the perceived limitations of our presuppositions, plans, or problems. 


Chicken noodle was the elixir of the night for Jackson. He ate two bowlfuls at the small kitchen table before finishing another glass of juice. "That was delicious. Thanks." He returned to his room and slipped back under the bed covers. "I'll be fine by morning."

"I'll bring you some water." Emery tidied up the kitchen a little and entered Jackson's room a few minutes later. The lamp on the nightstand was on.

Jackson breathed heavily, deep in a sound slumber.

Emery set the glass on the nightstand and reached to turn off the light. She hesitated and looked at Jackson while he slept. How could anyone resist admiring such a handsome face? What could possibly be done to make him any lovelier? Emery flicked off the light and the moonlight that cast upon him transformed him into a most angelic sight.

Was it wrong to stand there staring like she did? Was it wrong to wonder if maybe, possibly, perhaps her heart held just the smallest, most infinitesimal, minutest spark of feelings for Jackson?

She shook her head as she stood there. You are crazy for entertaining such notions. He's way too young and too good looking. You're just reading him wrong. He's not flirting with you; he's just a really nice guy. Who's going to marry a really nice girl, his own age.

That evening, Emery let low sniffles fill up the silence of the night. She'd given up twenty years of her life and it was too late for love. Jackson had his entire life ahead of him. Maybe if we were only five years apart, maybe then. It was so hard to be honest with herself. She couldn't admit she wanted love and romance, so she did what she did best, she refused to let the feelings from her youth resurrect. She piled the metaphorical dirt on top of the grave of her desires, shoveling heaps of words of discouragement and chastisement. Then she planted over it soothing, flowery words of false contentment.

You can get to know Brandi more by checking out her website at   

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Meet Diane Tatum

Diane Tatum, author of historical fiction stories that will take you back to those unforgettable colonial days.

Diane Tatum grew up in St. Louis, MO. She started writing her own stories in elementary school. Her first novel grew out of a short story she wrote in high school. College was a detour to a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Business Administration and later a Masters in Teaching Language Arts.

Between degrees, she stayed home raising her boys and began writing again. She started freelance writing for magazines and church Sunday school curriculum. She also finished her novel, Gold Earrings.

After teaching middle school language arts  for 11 years, she retired with her husband's encouragement to write the historical fiction books that she had been starting and saving on her computer. Gold Earrings was published in 2011. She completed her second novel, A Time to Choose, in 2012, and finished her third, Colonial Dream, in 2013.

Here is a little more from Diane.

I write Christian historical fiction. My first published book  Gold Earrings is available through Amazon or you can get an autographed copy through my website.

As a writer, my work tends to be invisible to those who know me on a daily basis. Especially now that the college semester is ending, it may seem like I’m just home with nothing to do. I always have many ’irons in the fire’!

At present I am working on a series of novels I call “Faith Amidst the Crucible of American History”. My hero in each novel is a son of a blacksmith.  

The first book in the series is called Colonial Dream

Two friends, Colin Browning and Ben Andrews, who want nothing more than to be Americans, find themselves fighting on opposite sides. Amanda Andrews Browning must learn to be a strong, independent woman as she supports herself and her child, Michael, as an embroiderer/seamstress in Colonial Williamsburg while the men are at war. 

The second book in this series, Transforming Bitterness Into Joy

Michael Browning has had to raise his younger siblings after the death of his parents when he was 17. He has had to set aside any personal life for 12 years as a result, working his father’s forge to support them.  To help him out of his bitter loneliness, Susannah, the daughter of the new pastor at church, decides to play matchmaker. 

The third book is the series, A Time to Choose, is set during the Civil War. 

Andrew Browning, blacksmith and officer in the Union Army, is assigned to protect and guide Lincoln. Maggie is a Northern abolitionist, Harvard-educated newspaper columnist. Terrors come into their lives as she writes about the war effort, runs a stop on the Underground Railroad, becomes a target for Andrews’s revengeful ex-fiancee, and teaches reading to emancipated refugees.  

About Diane's writing process ...
What I love about writing fiction is creating characters that become deeper and fuller as the story evolves. It's almost like watching a movie and needing to write it down as fast as possible before the story evaporates! When an idea comes along, I write as much as I can as quickly as I can. The real work comes later when I then flesh out the story from the kernel already written. It doesn't matter where the written portion belongs in the story; I just write "the rest of the story" around the nugget that inspired the idea.

All of the work that I do is inspired by my relationship with Christ. The themes revolve around important ideas from my daily quiet time and preparation for teaching youth Sunday school. Gold Earrings is concerned with not judging people by their outward appearance because God knows their heart. A Time to Choose is about the choices we make and the ramifications of our choices.

In addition, I do freelance writing online for several blogs, the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and I write about our travels, suggested assignments, and my favorite small business shops.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

He came, He died, He rose, He lives, We live through Him, He's coming again

Alleluia, Jesus Christ is Risen
by Debby Kerner


I'll tell you the story of the Man who died for me
His life led Him from a stable crib to a tree at Calvary
His Mother called Him Jesus cause He'd save us from our sins
The only thing that He requires is that you let Him in 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Jesus Christ is Risen
Alleluia, Alleluia  Jesus Christ is Come
Allejuia, Allejuia, Jesus Christ is Coming Back
Allejuia, Alleluia, Oh, Lord Please Come Soon 

Well, the people rose against Him The Scribes and the Pharisees
They tried Him under Pilate & Pilate said, 
"I wash my hands of these"
They rudely pushed my Lord along into the prison He was led
Thirty-nine lashes on His back a crown of thorns upon His head 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Jesus Christ is Risen
Alleluia, Alleluia  Jesus Christ is Come
Allejuia, Allejuia, Jesus Christ is Coming Back 
Allejuia, Alleluia, Oh, Lord Please Come Soon 

They mocked Him & they scorned Him and smote Him on the face
How cruelly they treated the redeemer of Adam's race
They led him out to bear His cross  but He stumbled and He fell
How strange this stumbling Man has power 
to save our souls from hell. 

Alleluia, Alleluia, Jesus Christ is Risen
Alleluia, Alleluia  Jesus Christ is Come
Allejuia, Allejuia, Jesus Christ is Coming Back 
Allejuia, Alleluia, Oh, Lord Please Come Soon

Lifted up upon the tree  Lifted up to die
His Mother wept as she beheld her Son against the sky
They laid Him in the tomb that day guarded by two men
But early on the Easter morn Our Savior rose again


Alleluia, Alleluia, Jesus Christ is Risen
Alleluia, Alleluia  Jesus Christ is Come
Allejuia, Allejuia, Jesus Christ is Coming Back
Allejuia, Alleluia, Oh, Lord Please Come Soon

Have a blessed Easter
As Billy Graham would say
"Please go to church on Sunday"
What a great way to honor the Lord 
for what He's done for us all

Monday, March 24, 2014

Even to be nominated is a blessing in itself


Hundreds of Blessings to all who have been either nominated or honored as a finalist for the 2014 Inspirational RONE Award and for the 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award, I wish you the best, too. The Lord is good.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Love in the Dust?

I am always blessed to be able to share other authors with my readers.  LoRee Peery is one, who has been a part of A Pen for Your Thoughts for a long time. This week LoRee has graciously offered to share with us a little about herself, her upcoming book with an excerpt, as well as a short reflection. 

Loree Peery, a Nebraska country girl, attempts to see God’s presence every day. Often that gift comes from nature, and she is most relaxed in the outdoors. The call of a cardinal draws her to look for the distinctive flash of crimson. A meadowlark’s melody always transports her to the farm where she grew up. A rainbow holds special significance, since one appeared the day of her father’s funeral and means the promise of the Lord’s presence in her life. She clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. You can find her at or the Pelican Book Group site

Romance in Rugged Isolation

I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:1-2

     On a clear day when I look out over wide open spaces, especially in Nebraska, my heart is triggered to beat faster and I feel butterflies in my tummy. I’ve often wondered how far the naked eye can see.
     Sometimes I want to add to Solomon’s words in Proverbs 30 when he talks about being unable to understand the way of an eagle in the sky, a serpent on a rock, a ship in the middle of the sea, or the way of a man with a maid . . .
     I’d tack on (if it wasn’t wrong to add to God’s Word): the way my heart quickens at the sight of lush pasture hills. I love the Sandhills in western Nebraska: native prairie grasses, peaks and valleys, cattle roaming in the distance.
     The pull to get closer to nature can be extreme. I want to get out of the car, don sturdy shoes, and walk. The urge to investigate what’s hidden around the bend of a hill draws me in. I picture Native Americans and buffalo, Jack rabbits, and red-tailed hawks, and everything flying or creeping in between. I want to sing and dance and let everything that’s built up inside me fly out unfettered.
     Scenes like that are mostly in my imagination, unless I drive away from home. But such a picture draws me out of myself. And that’s what I have to do when I write, set myself aside and enter the world of setting with story people outside where I’m sitting at the moment.
     What a thrill to feel such exhilaration when the words gush forth as my fingers tap the keystrokes. Other times I sweat out those words. It’s a mystery how it all eventually comes together.
     There is nothing like the creative process, be it a story, or paint colors, and fabric shapes. The energy put into producing anything tangible carries us on the journey of creativity, takes us outside ourselves, and yet incorporates self into the product.
     The telephone may ring in the background, my husband’s footsteps may sound up the stairs in the real world. But I live in a world of my own making when I write, such as romantic isolation along with Shana Arnold on Creighton Rice’s rugged ranch.

Creighton’s Hideaway 

Shana Arnold sequesters herself on Creighton Rice’s ranch near Verdigre, Nebraska, to finish her thesis in order to keep her job working with youth in a residential treatment center.
Until he meets Shana, Creighton has been content alone with his God. He is drawn to Shana against his will. Getting close to her makes him face his lifetime accumulation of scars. Plus, she doesn’t share his faith.
When identity theft, car and job loss, as well as a crazed home invader, threaten Shana’s life, Creighton is there to protect her. But Shana determines a woman can lose everything about her life as she knew it, regain courage and strength through new-found faith.

Will she leave Creighton’s offer of love in the dust?


     A lilting soprano voice jolted him back to his childhood, and drew him like the legendary Lorelei. Chill bumps rose on his arms. The sensation rendered him as speechless as Shana’s kiss had the day before.

     Creighton wound his way through the trees into the open, and stood transfixed when he spied the subject of his thoughts. An open hymnal was balanced on her upraised knees. Notes soared pure and light as Shana sang the lyrics to his mother’s favorite song.
     God was surely present in this place. He closed his eyes and listened to Shana continue all the way through to the fourth verse. Shana lifted her chin. Her face glowed.
     His heart picked up its pace and his cheeks grew warm. Were there tears clogging his throat? Something he was slow to name filled his soul.
     Then it came to him as Shana rose to her feet. Humbled. She’d humbled him.
     God had given him a gift in this dark haired sprite who offered her friendship. And he had been too obtuse to appreciate its magnitude. Creighton’s feet remained in place as though they were stuck in a mucky feedlot.
     “Hi.” She closed the gap between. “Is something wrong?”
     “That song,” his voice rasped like a cornhusk. Creighton cleared his throat and tried again, “It’s my mom’s favorite. I grew up with her singing, especially when she pinned the sheets out on the clothesline to dry in the wind.”
     Shana hugged the hymnal close. With a comical scrunched up face, she asked, “Did I slaughter it? I sight read the notes.”
     “Not at all. It was beautiful. Your voice is lovely.”
     “Thanks. I don’t sing much anymore.”
     “Well, here’s your chance to use it. Come to church with me in the morning?”
     The sky glowed pink and purple. While orange streaks danced along the horizon, he waited for her answer.
     “Creighton, I left my business clothes in Lincoln. I only brought country clothes back with me.”
     “No problem. We’re casual. But Rita has things up at the house.”
     Reflections of the sun turned her cheek golden. “You’re right! She offered them to me. Guess I forgot.”
     “So, do you want to check them out now?”
     “Why not? Don’t think I have a hot date or anything.”
     Creighton didn’t want to think of Shana dating. Instead, he nodded at the hymnal. “That belonged to my mom. She had one in almost every room of the house.”
     “Did she sing in the choir or something?”
     “Actually, she played the church organ.” He reached out his hand. “Here, let me carry that.”
     Creighton tucked the old volume underneath his arm and wrapped his fingers around Shana’s hand.
     She gave a secretive woman’s smile that tugged deep at his midsection.
     They strolled through the brush strokes of sunset. A burst of reflected gold painted the clouds rosy pink in the east. The majestic sky squelched any more words.
     At the ranch house, he laid the hymnal on the counter and ran his hand up to the light switch in one smooth movement.
     “Rita tell you which room was hers?”
     “Second on the other side of the bathroom.”
     “Help yourself.” He entered the living area and turned on two lamps. “Since I didn’t feed you yesterday, I’ll rustle up something to eat.”
     She turned down the hall.
     How long would he be able to keep his dark side from Shana?

Drop by and see LoRee when you get a chance. She'd love to hear from you. Once again, you can find her at or the Pelican Book Group site

Monday, January 27, 2014

Joan Leotta is here to say hello. Come say hello back.

A Word or Few from Very Creative Author Joan Leotta  with her Artistic Vision

As a writer and a performer I follow the same artistic vision. Creating on paper with pen, with light as pen through a camera or onstage in performance, my artistic goal is always the same—to show the beauty of the ordinary and lift up my audience—encouraging others through pen and performance.

Creativity is an explosion of expression and a way to share my love or interest in something or someone with others, what I see and how I see it. In writing I like to use poetry, short fiction, long fiction and the non-fiction article. Occasionally even the essay form. Words are my primary palette.  Words carry into performance. Onstage I share my own stories and my versions of folktales and researched scripted stories of real people as one woman shows. For those, I often mine history and blend it to my imagination. When expressing myself through the visual arts, my favorite medium is light and the tools I use are those of photography.

When I'm not writing or painting word pictures from the stage, you can find me with my husband, often at the beach or simply sitting and talking in our home in Calabash, NC. Our favorite thing to do is spend time with each other and with our daughter. Our son has preceded us into Paradise and we take comfort in the  hope of seeing him there.

May these books encourage and entertain, excite you about words and give you the impetus to further your own creative pursuits. The books in the Legacy of Honor series are int eh category of sweet romance, I also think they are great YA because of the history in them and the young age of the protagonists.

Please check out my blog at : and like my Facebook author page  

---Joan Leotta

 A Bowl of Rice

Anna Maria chooses to stick to her commitment to service and by doing so,  looses her long-time college love, Michael. Is Mark, the handsome physician, the balm her wounded soul needs?  Or is it George who will claim heal her wounds with a love that transcends war and the pain she sees all around her?

              A short excerpt from A Bowl of Rice

Anna Maria stood still for a moment, watching him leave. She could still feel the pressure of his fingers on her back. She wondered if she had bruises there. She certainly had one on her heart. Her boyfriend, the man she had laughed with, listened to and planned a future with. He was not who she thought he was. No. She saw him more clearly now. Michael was someone who didn't understand, who didn't even care she that might have her own ideas. He probably never even thought they might have to compromise to continue their relationship. She reckoned he didn't realize a real relationship was compromise and a sharing of ideas between two loving adults. He had just shown her that a relationship was, to him, all about control -- his control of her. She knew that such a marriage with someone like Michael, now or even in the distant future, was not for her. From the examples within her own family she knew that even strong-willed people did not try to control one another in the name of love.

"How could I have been so blind?" she murmured to herself.

What's on the Horizon for Joan?

This book is the third in my series, Legacy of Honor--the time period was set for me but the story was wide open. I chose to have the heroine be on the field of action--as she might have been at the time, as a nurse. This is the story of a woman who defines herself--not by the men she dates, but by her own talents and contributions to the world. That independent strain is carried throughout the series--even from book one which takes place during world War Two--strong women who love family but who find themselves in and out of the family setting.

And Woo Hoo! 
We have a couple of giveaways, folks. 

Get your comments in!

JOAN is in the process of writing book four. SHE would like to do a contest to name a character in book four which will be an intertwined story of civil war and gulf war--so two eras to place your name--and entrants, please specify if you want to be a good guy or a bad guy. Let JOAN  know if you want just your first name or your entire name to be used.

Second Giveaway offer? If you are looking for a new AUDIO BOOK to add to your audio library, a gift worth $17.00, Shirley will be selecting a name at random to win her own Civil War Romance, FLAME FROM WITHINIn your comments to Joan, please also let us know if you would also like your name added to the FLAME FROM WITHIN basket. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

From a Spaceship Captain Hopeful to a Published Author

Alana Lorens dreamed for many years of being a spaceship captain, but settled instead for inspired excursions into fictional places with fascinating companions from her imagination that she likes to share with others. She has been a published writer for over thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida, with a list of eclectic publications from horror to tech reporting to television reviews.

Writing as Alana Lorens, she produces romance and romantic suspense, including the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series, CONVICTION OF THE HEART, SECOND CHANCES, and the latest, VOODOO DREAMS, released by The Wild Rose Press in October 2013. She writes urban fantasy and science fiction/science fiction romance under the name of Lyndi Alexander. The Elf Queen, her first novel, was released by Dragonfly Publishing in July 2010; the series continued with The Elf Child, The Elf Mage and The Elf Guardian. She’s now working on the space opera Horizon Crossover series, and a YA trilogy, The Color of Fear—the first book, WINDMILLS, was published by Zumaya Publications this summer.

She is a single mother of seven, with two special needs children at home with her in Pennsylvania, and she volunteers at her local shelter for domestic violence victims, believing in every person’s right to be safe.

We are happy to share Alana Lorens with you this week.

For more information, see Alana Lorens' fantasy series website at  or on Facebook at The Elf Queen (Clan Elves of the Bitterroot Series); Lyndi Alexander’s blog at; or her Alana Lorens website at . She also writes at, where she talks about life, autism, travel and writing


SECOND CHANCES is the second book in the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series . Each book tells the story of a woman lawyer who practices in Pittsburgh, Pa, which is such a great city.  I wrote SECOND CHANCES because I am a solo law practitioner and I know how hard the economy is for women trying to run their own business. When Inessa loses the job she's had her whole professional life, she's in a bad way. The novel tells the story of how she gets back on her feet and rebuilds her own self-esteem with the help of a wonderful young man who sees just how special she is.

 I also write stories that are focused on the plot much more than the intimate relationships. While there may be a brief interlude in the books, the heroine and hero are not lusting after each other all through every scene. For me, that's really distracting as a reader. I want to know the characters and what happens to them. They can get intimate during the times I have to put the book down, and I'll pick up after.  :-)

Zumaya Publications's release SECOND CHANCES. 

This romantic women’s fiction story begins the day attorney Inessa Regan receives a pink slip after ten years of faithful service. She’s been a mid-level associate her whole career, partners telling her what to do, providing her with an office and everything she needs. Thrown out into the legal world on her own, she doesn’t know how she’ll survive.

Her neighbor brings her first client, Kurt Lowdon, a young Iraq veteran with cancer, who’s looking just to have a will made. Inessa struggles to give Kurt what he needs, and he helps make it easy for her.

Once his immediate needs are met, he takes her under his wing and brings her more clients as well as a place to open an office to see them. Things begin to fall together for her, including a very special friendship with Kurt that becomes something more.

But his past military service in Iraq, and the friends he’s made there, begin to cause problems for them both, as well as issues his drug-addicted sister delivers to his doorstep. He still hasn’t kicked his cancer, either, and Inessa wonders if falling in love with him is a blessing or a curse.

To learn more about Alana and her books, check the following.  or on Facebook at The Elf Queen (Clan Elves of the Bitterroot Series); Lyndi Alexander’s blog at; Alana Lorens website at . She also writes at, where she talks about life, autism, travel and writing.


Inessa had visited the Pittsburgh IKEA store half a dozen times before, addicted to the simple, classic furniture designs and colorful décor items, but none of those experiences had ever been like this.

Perhaps the difference was because Kurt was a man, maybe it was the purpose of the visit, but she had fun. Negotiating the departments along the store’s one-way dictated path became an adventure different from any she’d had with a girlfriend.

The things that attracted Kurt’s attention! Forget the Swedish meatballs. He raved about a cushy pillow in shades of spring green and chocolate. He bought new towels in bright red and orange. Every gadget fascinated him, and he dug a sample out of the bins to test each one.

When they passed one bedroom set-up, the downy beige and green comforter was softly rumpled, as if the owner had just climbed out seconds before. “That looks comfortable.” he exclaimed, and he scrambled right in.

“Kurt!” She’d looked around, mortified. Several young couples passing by in madras Dockers and khakis stopped to stare; some smiled.

“What? This is a display bed. You’re supposed to try it out. Come on.” He held up the covers for her to join him. The mischievous expression on his face broke her up, embarrassed as she was.

“I don’t think so. You rest. I’ll be looking at office supplies.”

“Spoilsport. No one will care if you romp in the bedroom department at IKEA. Look, now everyone else is, too.” He gestured to several displays around them as other customers climbed onto neighboring beds, laughing and teasing each other. When she still held back, he affected a pout and pushed himself out, smoothing the bedspread again. “All right. Business first. Let’s go.”

Over the next couple of hours and the seeming miles of displays, he thoughtfully helped her select what she needed—a desk, comfortable chairs for her consulting clients, bookshelves for her legal research materials—but also remained playful. He had to experiment with every one of the wheeled desk chairs, spinning them around until he found the one with the least traction. “Try this one. It’s better than Kennywood.”

She laughed and checked the growing list of items on the small screen of her Blackberry, and the total she’d be spending. The thought of invading her cushion money sent little electric quivers through her midsection, but now that she was committed to this, it had to be done. “I think that does it.”

“Pick-up downstairs.”

They went down to the first floor and traversed the long rows of cardboard boxes, loading the ones they’d chosen onto a flatbed cart. He grabbed a new desktop set in green and blue. “You need this.”

“I need it? For what?”

“Just for fun.”

“Fun? It’s for work. Work’s not about fun.”

“Every moment should be about fun, counselor. Every moment.”