Books · Contests · Excerpt · Scrapbooking · West Virginia · Writing

Embellished to Death Excerpt

In five weeks, Embellished to Death, the third book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series will be released September 23. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. In this book, I take Faith out of Eden to Morgantown, WV for a weekend crop retreat, and also introduce some new people into her life. I’ll admit it was a struggle working with a new setting, and not allowing some of the wonderful secondary characters to take over. I feel in love with one of them and had to keep telling the character it wasn’t their story. Here’s a snippet of Embellished to Death.

EMBELLISHED front under 2mbExcerpt:

 “We’re here for the scrapbooking convention,” I said. “I’m Faith, one of the vendors for the weekend. Scrap This.”

 “I’m Ellie. And this is Pauline.” She motioned toward the other woman. “We’re the embossers. We’re waiting for the doors to open.”

 “I’m going to find the manager to let us in. One of the organizers broke down this morning so they’re running late.”

 “Ladies, I was wondering if you’d mind giving up your spot for a moment.” Steve lounged very attractively against the side of the truck. The women looked over my shoulder, plastered smiles on their faces, and thrust out their chests. “I have to unload this beast.”

 His body was braced against the passenger door. Ever so casual and sexy. The sun gleamed off his shaved head and the sunglasses covering his eyes. His muscular arms were crossed across his equally muscular chest. The stance tightened the bright red t-shirt with white swirly letters encouraging croppers to Scrap This, and showed off the fact there was no body fat anywhere on the man’s stomach.

 Not too many men, hot or otherwise, showed up at cropping events. Usually the only men “attending” were ones keeping nursing babies in rooms, or trying to entertain toddlers in meltdown mode while mom scrapped. When they made an appearance in the crop room, their frantic gazes scattered around the room in a desperate search for the mother of their children.

 Ellie batted her eyes at him. “We’d love to, but there’s no way we can lug our machines across the parking lot.”

 “How about I unload it and place it by the door?” Steve smiled at her.

 Pauline and Ellie looked down at the sidewalk and then at each other. Ellie bit her lip and raised her eyebrows. Pauline shook her head no.

 “After we unload, I’ll have Steve help you get your items from your van.” I hoped I made an offer they couldn’t refuse. “He can use our handcart to transport your embossing machine.”

Pauline grinned and pointed over my shoulder. She fluffed her hair around her shoulders and sent a welcoming beam of a smile toward Bob. “If you can get him to help too, you have a deal. We have our cropping totes that also need brought in.”

Bob had parked in front of the hotel portion of the resort and motioned for me to come over. Sadly for Pauline, her plan to catch Bob’s eye wouldn’t work as Steve was more his type.

“Sure. He’ll help,” I said.

Pauline high-fived her friend. “I’ll move ours. You can move the tote gal’s van.”

Ellie dangled a set of keys. “She left her keys in case her vehicle needed to be moved. Considerate girl.”

I made a mental note to show my appreciation by buying something from the tote gal. I jogged toward Bob, cutting through the parking lot as I didn’t want to misjudge a jump over one of the dividers separating one parking lot from the other. Hopefully, whatever favor he wanted was a large enough request, he wouldn’t be annoyed at me for filling up his dance card.

A woman screamed.

An engine hummed. I paused and turned. A beige car bore down on me. My breath locked in my throat. I felt like a deer during hunting season, did I feint left or right to get out of the way? Strong arms wrapped around my waist and made the decision for me. My rescuer met the hard asphalt and I came in contact with his muscled body. The car whizzed right past us, the breeze it created pushing my hair off my face.

The man’s grip relaxed from around me.

Feet pounded toward us.

“Are you two okay?” Bob’s voice came from the vicinity of the hotel.

I eased off my rescuer to get a look at who risked life and limb to get me out of the way. Steve. Not a surprise. Placing a hand on his chest, I leaned down to kiss my knight. I froze.

His eyes were closed. He wasn’t moving.

Embellished giveawayGiveaway: To celebrate the release of Embellished to Death, I’m having a giveaway for a signed copy of the ARC and also a Scrapbooks Made Me Do It t-shirt. To enter, sign up to receive my quarterly newsletter. The link to join is at the top of my website and also on my author Facebook page.

Books · Craft · Excerpt · Quilting · West Virginia

Crafting Moment from Safe and Sound

With March being National Craft Month, I’m featuring some crafting…and love of handmade items…moments from my novels. In Safe and Sound, Hannah is drawn to venture inside a store that sells handmade goods.


Hannah tugged open the door and stepped inside. A sense of calm filled her as she allowed the love used to make the items wrap around her. She smiled. She could live in the store. Reaching out, she trailed her fingers through the fringe of a cashmere scarf knitted in a mix of red and gold shades.

“Can I help you?”

Hannah gasped and spun around, pressing her gloved hand to her chest.

“I didn’t mean to scare you.” The woman looked her up and down then peered out the window. A frown developed on her wide face. “Are you hiding from someone? Do you think you saw the shooter from this morning? I’ll call the sheriff for you.”

Word sure did get around the small town quick. “A little rattled. Walking by your store, I saw all the lovely things and they called out to my heart. I had to come in and look and touch. I’m calmer already.” Hannah shoved her hands into her pocket. “I promise not to ruin anything.”

The woman smiled. “Don’t you worry none. Just noticed a busybody hovering outside and figured she was bugging you. Please take a look around. I’m Beverly, the owner. Are you looking for anything in particular?”

“The quilts and fabric caught my eye. Nothing says love like a beautiful handmade quilt.”

The woman beamed. “I have some made by a local artisan and a few others I picked up at some quilting shows. The quilts are all on the second floor. There’s a latch at the top of the stair gate, pull it up and it’ll open. Don’t forget to close it.”

Beverly started walking her to the staircase when the front bell jingled. A familiar looking young woman with brown hair stepped inside. The owner rolled her eyes. “Let me go see what Miss One-Thousand-Questions wants this time. Just call down to me if you’d like a closer look at any of the pieces hanging.”

“Thank you.”

Grasping the wooden rail, Hannah went up the stairs. When she reached the top, a gasp once again escaped her. Beauty left her awestruck. Slowly, she walked over to the first queen sized quilt hung on a large wooden hanger and drifted her gloved hand over the intricate hand-stitching on the front of the quilt. A precise line of stitches dipped and swirled over the soft pink and bright green shades of material, the fabric a mix of patterns and solid. A cream border surrounded the quilt.

Using her thumb and index finger, Hannah took hold of the edge of the quilt. She moved it forward on the rack. The next one was black and white with a red border in a contemporary style.

Hannah moved on to the next one. She fell in love. Navy blue and soft silvers complimented the winter scene of a cabin at night. The shimmery fabric used for the stars made the picture life-like. The artist used a silver, cotton fabric to create wisps of smoke coming from the chimney. Hannah could almost hear the fire crackling in the hearth. Smell the comfort of smoke wafting up the chimney.

Soft, almost buttery flannel backed the quilt. Yielding to temptation, Hannah raised a corner of the quilt and rubbed it across her cheek. It felt like home. Love. Safety.

The amount written on the price tag made her sigh. Out of her price point though it was worth every penny being asked. She stroked the fabric one more time and went to a rack with lap and crib-sized quilts. Maybe she’d be able to afford a smaller one. A lap quilt with a Christmas tree appliqué caught her eye. She lifted up the quilt and examined the tiny stitches used to puff out the ornaments. Beautiful.

The bell jingled.

Hannah smiled and gently released the quilt. She knew her husband would come after her.


The hope for a future for the broken begins in Mourning.

Four years ago while deployed, Connor’s new bride lost her way in a blizzard and the mountain claimed her. Grief-stricken and injured, Connor returned home to wrestle with guilt and begin life as a widower. When a woman’s body is uncovered, Connor learns his beloved was murdered…and the murderer has his sights on another woman. Connor’s past and present are pulled apart when the woman claims she’s Hannah.

The murderer who sent Hannah Stratford on the run has tracked her down. Now, the only way to stay alive is for Hannah to prove she didn’t die in a blizzard. Connor offers her safety and protection in his home, but keeps his heart guarded from her. Hannah wants more than to save her life. She wants Connor.

To read more of Hannah and Connor’s story, Safe and Sound can be found at:


Barnes and Noble


Desert Breeze

This Spring, the New Beginnings series will be available in print.

Books · Excerpt · West Virginia

Release Day: Far and Away, Book 5 New Beginnings Series

FarandAwayCoverArt72dpiIt’s a bittersweet day. Far and Away, the fifth book in the New Beginning Series is now available. Release days are always exciting but this one holds a tad bit of sadness as Far and Away is the last book in the series. I’ve enjoyed writing about these characters, and the town of Mourning, and am a little disheartened to have to say goodbye to the characters and the town. During the course of the series, the town of Mourning took on a greater role and in a way became its own character.

This last book features Priscilla Thorn and Edgar Fritz. Originally, the last book was going to feature a different heroine and an unknown at the time hero. But as it came time to write book five, I knew in my heart the story that needed told was Priscilla’s and Edgar’s. In a way, the series began with Priscilla Thorn and seemed fitting to end with her. I was thrilled that Gail, Editor-in-Chief, of Desert Breeze allowed me to change the story not just from the original heroine but also to feature an older couple. Older couples aren’t usually featured in romance, especially in romantic suspense, but this book had to be about Priscilla (62) and Edgar (70). I hope readers enjoy reading about a non-traditionally aged couple.


The hope of a future for the broken begins in Mourning.

Priscilla Thorn’s heart broke when her son killed his wife and now shatters when her son takes his own life. Priscilla’s grief-stricken soul finds little comfort knowing before he died, Samuel turned his life over to God. Priscilla believes for Samuel to receive forgiveness from the Heavenly Father, she must give it to Samuel’s earthly father…her abusive ex-husband.

Edgar Fritz is stunned when the woman he loves takes her dying ex-husband into her home. While Priscilla sees caring for her ex-husband as showing God’s love, Edgar believes Stephen will use the opportunity for revenge. Edgar risks losing Priscilla’s friendship by insisting the man hasn’t changed his ways and has come back to hurt her one last time.

Is Priscilla risking her life by insisting her ex-husband changed so the world — and God — will know her son had changed?


Behind the coffin, the plain wooden cross stood tall and proud. Reminding Priscilla Thorn of all lost and then found when the Savior sacrificed His life on Earth so all had a chance for eternity in Heaven. All. Priscilla held that word tightly in her heart. All. The Lord promised it for all.

Priscilla clutched the single red rose. A thorn bit into her skin. Her son was gone from the Earth. Tears blurred her vision. She blinked to clear them from her eyes. The door to the sanctuary opened and a gust of wind skittered through the church. Strands of gray hair had escaped from the bun and hung down her back, fluttering toward her face. She tipped her neck back, hoping the wind God sent dried the tears on her face.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” a sweet voice broke into her thoughts.

Priscilla startled. Emma Haywood’s compassionate eyes meet hers. Emma squeezed Priscilla’s hand then slipped into the pew behind her.

“You came.” She didn’t know what else to say.

“Of course we would.” Sheriff Haywood’s voice rumbled from the doorway.

Priscilla pivoted in the seat and stared. Friends, neighbors, and the ones she hoped to see but already forgiven if they couldn’t, walked through the door.

“Sorry for interrupting, Pastor,” Sheriff Haywood said. “A car slid into the valley and delayed a lot of people as it got towed out.”

Hannah Stratford slid into the pew beside Emma. “Connor sends his condolences and regrets. They need his search and rescue skills, along with his dogs, to find the driver of the vehicle.”

Angelina Stratford took the vacant seat beside Priscilla while her husband Todd joined Emma and Hannah. “We decided it was best for Renee and the baby to stay at Connor and Hannah’s. Alex decided he needed to go help in the search so Jonas went with him.”

“I appreciate everyone making the trek to Mourning. This isn’t easy for your family.” Priscilla clutched the Bible to her chest, hoping it helped settle the roiling of her stomach and pounding heart.

“It isn’t for you either.” Angelina rested a comforting hand on top of Priscilla’s. “You were there for us in our grief. You took the anger Alex and Renee lashed out at you.”

“They needed somewhere for it to go.” Priscilla rubbed her fingers over the worn leather. “If I could’ve stopped it…”

“I knew that.” Angelina took hold of her hand. “Regardless of the fact Samuel took Melody’s life, he’s still your child. Your heart broke once when Melody died, and now it breaks again. We couldn’t let you go through that alone.”

Priscilla nodded, fighting back grateful tears. They had come. Her friends hadn’t forgotten her or allowed her son’s actions to keep them away when she needed them most.

One of the heavy weights on her shoulders slipped off, the other remained and skipped into her head as a situation played itself out. A car skidded into the valley. She had notified Stephen of the funeral.

Was her ex-husband the missing driver? Stephen drank during times of stress and this qualified. People changed. She had. Samuel had.

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble

Desert Breeze Publishing

Books · Excerpt

Celebrating Valentine’s Day: Romance Scene from Safe and Sound

In continuing the celebration of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be posting a romance scene books three and four of the New Beginning series today. This excerpt is from the third book in the series, Safe and Sound.

Safe and Sound:

Blurb: The hope for a future for the broken begins in Mourning.

Four years ago while deployed, Connor’s new bride lost her way in a blizzard and the mountain claimed her. Grief-stricken and injured, Connor returned home to wrestle with guilt and begin life as a widower. When a woman’s body is uncovered, Connor learns his beloved was murdered…and the murderer has his sights on another woman. Connor’s past and present are pulled apart when the woman claims she’s Hannah.

The murderer who sent Hannah Stratford on the run has tracked her down. Now, the only way to stay alive is for Hannah to prove she didn’t die in a blizzard. Connor offers her safety and protection in his home, but keeps his heart guarded from her. Hannah wants more than to save her life. She wants Connor.


Hannah opened the car door, braced her hand on the door handle, and turned her waist. Her legs remained frozen. Sweat coated her hand and her lungs burned. The air remained locked tight.

What was happening? She tried exhaling but the air refused to leave. She heard her small, painful gasps.

“Hannah?” Connor was at her side. “What’s wrong?”

She couldn’t talk. All she managed was looking into his eyes. Tears trickled down her face.

“I should’ve known it was too soon.” Connor cupped her cheeks with his hands and wiped away the tears. “Let’s go back home.”

No. She wanted people seeing her. Knowing her. Remembering her. The more people who knew about her, the safer she’d be. David might kill her but at least her death wouldn’t go undiscovered… like Kitty. Not once had Kitty’s family looked for her. They didn’t miss their daughter.

Then again, neither did her parents. The tears raced down her face.

Without a word, Connor gathered her into his arms and caressed her back and hair. “This is too much. Too soon. They’ll be plenty of days to try again.”

Once again it felt like Hannah couldn’t breathe. This time it was desire causing the turmoil in her lungs. She melted into his embrace, seeking not just comfort but warmth. The heat from his body started her pulse racing. She felt his heart beat against her chest. Hannah wound her arms around his neck and pulled herself closer. Heat raced through her and a deep craving for her husband.

One of Connor’s hands roamed down her back, settling on her hip and the other stroked her cheek.

She lifted her chin and stared into his eyes. His hazel eyes smoldered. He read her desire. Her wish. Even better, the same wish shone in his eyes. Hannah stretched her neck, seeking out his lips.

He lowered his head the last few inches and made her simple dream come true. He kissed her, a tender feathering of his lips on hers. Sensations long buried awoke in her body. She trembled and a yearning filled her.

Hannah gripped the front of Connor’s jacket and kissed him back. Harder. Demanding. She wanted her husband’s touch to overpower the bad memories. Sweet and heated moments from their honeymoon filled her mind. Her body reacted. Moaning, she deepened the kiss.

Connor braced his arms on her shoulders and pushed away, breaking their contact.

A whimper escaped from Hannah. She grabbed Connor and tugged him back, not ready for the end of the kiss. She needed more from her husband.

“Don’t,” Connor said.

The simple word felt like a slap. She recoiled. Hannah dipped her head. Shame rushed through her. What had she been thinking? Throwing herself at a man who wasn’t sure she was his wife?

Connor caught her hand, his thumb on her pulse and used his other hand to tip her chin up. Desire shone in his eyes.

“Some acts shouldn’t have an audience.” Connor sounded out of breath.

Happiness danced through Hannah. He wanted her. She hoped with all her heart those words meant he believed her, not just a physical reaction to a woman’s passionate kiss.


If you’d like to read Hannah and Connor’s story, Safe and Sound is available at:



Barnes and Noble

Available in print this spring.

Books · Excerpt

Celebrating Valentine’s Day: Romance Scene from Lost Then Found


In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be posting a romance scene from each of books today and over the weekend. I’m starting with the first book published in the New Beginnings Series.

Lost Then Found:

The hope of a future for the broken begins in Mourning.

Skip-tracer Renee Stratford-Knight’s life plan changed upon her sister’s murder. Instead of using her skills to find people, Renee opened New Beginnings a firm specializing in “vanishing” abused women. Now her ex-husband -and former business partner – Jonas Knight reenters her life asking about her most vulnerable client.

Jonas knows his ex-wife helped embezzler Gina Howard elude the authorities and intends to bring the young woman to justice. When Renee is threatened, Jonas grows suspicious of his client’s reason for finding his niece.

In order to uncover the secret a teenager girl disappeared to keep, and a killer wants silenced, Jonas and Renee must struggle through distrust and the pain of their pasts to work together to save the life of teenage girl – and their own.


Renee threw the door open. Jonas snapped his phone shut and started toward her. She held her hand out, stopping his approach. “I know Alex harassed you into this promise. You go home and get some sleep. I’ll get a car and head out.”

Jonas closed the distance between them. “Don’t be obstinate. You have a car and a driver at your disposal, try being grateful for a change. And for the record, your baby brother asked and I agreed because I wanted to.”

“I don’t need your help.” She glared at him.

“Understand that Alex…” He stressed her brother’s name. “…needs me to help you. The kid couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to you. He’d blame himself.”

Tension and memories thickened the air around them, the unsaid filling the small space between them. Tears blurred her vision. No, she didn’t want Alex to carry around the weight of such a burden. She and Jonas — their marriage — crumbled under the pressure of their shared and individual guilt of what happened to Melody. She wouldn’t force the same consequence onto her brother because of her distrust. With God in her life, she could work with anyone. Including Jonas. She’d figure out a way to help Glory and keep Priscilla off the grid.

Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, Jonas frowned as his gaze scanned the parking lot. Renee tried to step away but he tightened his grip.

“Come closer.” Jonas’ jaw appeared chiseled in granite and even the smallest trace of blue disappeared from his gray eyes. His gaze locked onto an object and watched it, the storm in his eyes deepened as he leaned forward.

Renee shifted backwards to put distance between them. “Not on your life.”

He trailed a finger down her cheek. “Remember our cases together. The diversion plan. Always worked best.”

Heat flicked at her face. She steeled herself from reacting to his familiar touch and the memories threatening to weaken her knees and resolve. The Hello Kiss. The Goodbye Kiss. The We-Found-True-Love Kiss.

“It won’t work,” Renee breathed out.

“We have to try. The guy is here.” He placed one hand behind her back, drawing her to his chest as the other hand stroked her cheek. Tenderness seeped into his gaze. “Forgive me,” he whispered and closed the distance between them.

His lips touched hers, the pressure light and feathering, gentler than Renee remembered. The tender caress on her cheek beckoned her closer, as did his arm cradling her back. The familiar touch sent her senses reeling and pleasant memories drifted into her mind. On their own accord, her lids drifted closed and she melted into his embrace.

The reaction shook her. Jonas was no longer hers. She was no longer his. This wasn’t a real kiss. This was breaking her heart. Tears pooled in her eyes and she placed her hands on his shoulders, planning to push him away. Her arms betrayed her and snaked around the back of his neck, fingers threading into the strands of hair curled at his nape.

The pressure of the kiss increased and Renee welcomed it. She wanted to remember what it had been like to have a claim to this man’s love. The temptation to cave into the longing grew. Pressing closer, she surrendered to the embrace and sought the comforting and enticing beat of his heart. The heat intensified between them.

She had to end the moment. Now. Renee flattened her hands against his shoulders.

Jonas pulled back. “It’s all right. He left.”

She was a fool. The kiss hadn’t affected him at all. Turning, she swiped at the hot tears trickling down her face. “Don’t ever do that again.”

If you’d like to read Renee and Jonas’ story, Lost Then Found is available at:


Barnes and Noble


Available in print this spring.

Craft · Disney Layouts · Scrapbooking · Vacations

Meeting Jack Sparrow at Castaway Cay

Here is one of my favorite pages, and not just because of the Jack Sparrow lookalike standing by me–I mean by me and my husband. At the Heavenly Scrapbook Retreat, they were doing a challenge using a kit a Bo Bunny line. I usually steer clear of challenges as I intimidated by it.

When I went to put a ticket into a prize basket up front, I noticed there was one kit left for the challenge. The kit looked like it was more for Fourth of July pages, and as I was doing Disney Cruise felt it wouldn’t work for me even if I wanted to try. I returned to my table where my table mate –and new friend Cyndie– encouraged me to give it a go. See, I realized the colors of the kit would work with the Jack Sparrow page. Wouldn’t it be cool to use something not pirate for the pages, something a little out of the box. And wasn’t it even more out of the box for me to compete in a challenge. Since I write about scrapbooking and book two of my series (Designed to Death) deals with designs and contests, I should give it a try.

So I did. I am so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone. I’m usually a linear, simple scrapper. But as the challenge was to showcase the product, I arranged and rearranged some of the embellishments and paper on the page until I got just the look I wanted. I also discovered I do like layering on embellishments, I just never gave myself the opportunity to give it a try.

Here it is my challenge page: Running into Jack Sparrow at Castaway CayBorder layering

This last picture is a close up of the border I made. I used Kiwi Lane Design templates (love them) to make the three pieces of the border. Actually one of the “waves” was a discard piece from another layout I made using pieces from the challenge kit. I noticed it fit great on this layout. To create more dimension and some shadows,  I used pop dots to lift the piece of the second and third layer of the borders.

Books · Craft · Excerpt · West Virginia · Writing

Long Gone, New Beginnings Book 4, Now Out

LongGoneCoverArt72dpiLong Gone has been the toughest of this series to write as I wanted to fight the book every step of the way. There were two elements of the plot that needed to be in the book but I was uncertain of how readers would react to them … and frankly I was scared to write them as I didn’t know if I could do the issue/situation justice. I am very proud of this book (not that I’m not proud of the others). I know I stretched myself in this book and conquered so my fears and insecurities in doing so. Long Gone, more than the other books I wrote in this series, developed naturally on its own. I had to be willing to pull back from controlling the story and allow it to come as it needed to. This book ended up being what writers term “a book of the heart” when it was completed. I had no idea the impact it would have on me or the emotions it would bring up until I was done writing it.

I went into writing this book “knowing” the story. I knew the hero, heroine, the plot and the main conflict between them … until the story twisted in a way I hadn’t planned on and really hadn’t wanted. But, I did what the story needed and discovered I didn’t  know the real story needing to be told, the heart of this book, until the very end.


Eve Darling won’t allow a repeat of the past. Eight years ago, her boyfriend convinced her to place their baby for adoption with his older brother. Once the adoption was finalized, the ‘love of her life’ abandoned her. When the brother announces his intent to run for governor…and adopt a new child…Eve decides to reveal the man behind the public facade. When no one believes the story, Eve turns to skip-tracer Alexander Stratford to unearth the truth, and stop another woman from being used by the Fallows.

Alex is stunned when Eve Darling shows up and requests help. The woman who once accused him of murder now accuses another man. Alex refuses to be used to damage another person. When Eve is attacked, Alex rushes to her aid– and a quick decision alters lives forever. Can anyone ever truly love him…when he can’t like the man he’s become?


“You’re a menace.” He lifted up the visor and glared at her.

She shot one right back. “I wanted to talk to you. It wasn’t my fault you were speeding.”

“I wasn’t–” Forget it. If one thing he knew about Eve Darling it was no person on the face of the Earth could talk sense into the woman. She lived in a world where only her goals and herself matter. Heck with everyone else. “Go about your business. I’m fine.”

Alex limped toward his motorcycle. Pain arced up his leg with each step. He should stop but didn’t want to show weakness in front of anyone — especially Eve. The woman had set out to destroy him once and her reappearance in his life meant she was gearing up for round two.

Eve placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Are you sure you should?”

“Ignore you? Yes.”

“Move. You look kind of rough.” Eve pointed at his arm then his legs.

A tear ran down the length of the arm of his leather jacket. At least it protected his hide for the most part. Patches of skin were torn off his legs, the left leg bearing the worst injury. Blood ran down his knee, staining his jeans and his running shoes.

“Let me help.”

“You’ve helped enough.” Alex struggled to get the Night Rod righted as pain coursed down his arm.

“Please, I need to talk to you.” Eve sighed and fixed her deep brown eyes on him, sadness mixed with a little excitement lurked in the depths.

Alex wanted no knowledge of the thoughts running through her conniving mind. “I’d rather you didn’t.”

“I need your help, Alex.” She glanced over her shoulder then stepped closer to him. Her lilac perfume weaved around him. The delicate scent was such a strong contrast to the abrasive woman. Alex felt a little tug in his heart. The same twinge he always got when he allowed the protective urge to override common sense. Not this time.

“No way.” Alex stepped away from her and the enticing scent.

“I’m serious. There’s a woman in trouble. A lot of trouble and she needs help.”

“Go to the police.”

“I tried. They don’t believe me.”

After what happened — what she did — when they first met, she expected him to help her? Was Eve Darling out of her mind or think he was a total idiot? Or a glutton for pain and punishment. Okay, he already knew the answer to the first question. The woman expected him to help her after she caused a wreck, and had accused him of being a murderer a little over a year ago. Not a chance. He wasn’t as stupid as she thought.

Books · Heroine Interviews · Writing

SRP Heroine Interview – Tricia Hunter from Eye of the Beholder

Today, I’m interviewing Tricia Hunter from the novel Eye of the Holder by Patty Froese. I hope you enjoy the interview.

EyeOfTheBeholder_w11220_680[1]1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

I felt like I’d lost everything! This is going to sound incredibly shallow, but I used to be gorgeous. I was the kind of woman who never had to open a door for herself. But that was before the accident, and now I look much different. My face is badly scarred, and while the doctors did their best to restore my looks, they didn’t quite succeed. I lost whatever it was I used to have. That was what made me go out to that cabin in the woods–to make peace with all of this.

2. What made you want your story to be told?

I think we all struggle with our looks on some level, and I learned something through all of this that I want to share: you’re beautiful. It’s not about cheekbones or skin tone. It’s about something deeper.

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

I don’t think I chose to change. First of all, the accident changed my looks, and then my attitude had to adjust, or I would have ended up a very bitter woman. I think the hardest changes in life are thrust upon us.

 4. In your life, what has empowered you?

My good looks used to be my source of personal power. I knew what I could get and who would bend over backwards to get my attention. Now, that’s changed.

5. What are strengths and weaknesses?

I’m still insecure sometimes, and that is definitely my biggest weakness. My biggest strength is in these scars, though. God lets these things happen for a reason, and I think that these scars have forced me to see myself in a different way–through His eyes instead of a random stranger’s.

 6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

I used to be a princess waiting for a rescue, but when you no longer have that option available, you simply have to suck it up and get the job done. I’m proud of who I am now. I’m stronger. I’m self-reliant. I’m also in love with an incredible guy.

 7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

You’re beautiful. I don’t care about your size or your bone structure. You’re gorgeous, and the sooner you see that beauty in yourself, the sooner you’ll realize how God sees you. And the funny thing is, other people start seeing you differently, too.

 8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

Proverbs 11:22

 9.  If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

You Are So Beautiful (to me)

10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

No, I don’t think so.

11. Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life?

Not this time.

Books · Heroine Interviews · West Virginia

SRP Heroine Interview: Vada Faith from the novel Vada Faith

vada faithToday, I’m interviewing Vada Faith from the novel Vada Faith written by Barbara Whittington. I hope you enjoy the interview.

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

When I decided to become the first surrogate mother in Shady Creek, West Virginia, I believed it would make me special. Call me selfish. I wanted a down payment for a fancy new house in the swanky new subdivision of Crystal Springs – which I was never gonna get working at the beauty shop with my judgmental twin, Joy Ruth, even if we did own the shop. I wanted more than I had. Much more! John Wasper, my husband, has never been accused of wanting to get ahead in life working at this little limping along trucking company.

I knew if I was ever going to amount to anything big I had to make it happen. John Wasper would live in that old run down Victorian of Grandma Belle’s until we were both dead. He thinks it is famous. Big deal. It is rumored Eleanor Roosevelt once sat in the wicker chair that still sits on our front porch. Well, I had this urgent need to do something big. Different. I was afraid I was going to explode with the feeling. Having my own set of twin girls delighted my soul. It just wasn’t enough.

Then, like an answer to a prayer, Roy and Dottie Kilgore swooped into town, wanting a child of their own and bringing money to burn.  What did I have to lose? Of course, that was before I learned the difference between talking about being a surrogate mother and actually being one. Especially when there was that danged egg to be considered. If only it hadn’t been for that egg, things might have worked out different. Better. But, now? Well, I’ll never know, will I?
2. What made you want your story to be told?

I wanted people to learn from my mistakes. And I wanted them to know that good can come from our mistakes. If you love someone enough. That you can always change and grow even when you think you are done with all that.
Roy Kilgore swayed me when he told me when this whole ordeal started it was easier to get forgiveness than permission. He wanted me to be a surrogate for them without John Wasper’s support. I learned that permission is one thing. Forgiveness is another. You have to be careful when you are dealing with issues that not only change your life but the life of those you love.

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

I hate to say this but Miss High and Mighty (me) grew up during this time. Change is tough. And painful. I saw my own faults. I would always leap before I looked. Then, the mote was removed from my eyes, as the Bible says. ( I am a Baptist and can tell you what the Bible says but not where to find it. Sorry!)

4. In your life, what has empowered you?

Family. I can finally say that after years of not feeling loved by my mother. When she left our family without any notice or reason, I felt unloved. Like I’d done something wrong. When I learned as an adult why she left it all made perfect sense.

5. What are strengths and weaknesses?

My strengths are now I know I’m strong. I stand on the shoulders of all the strong women who came before me. I know I am surrounded by family and friends who love me. I’ve been through the fire and came out on the other end ok. Even that crazy Doreen Moon over at the beauty shop who screws up her hair every other week and expects me to make her look like a movie star loves and supports me. That’s what makes life worth living. Every day miracles.

6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

I would never have called myself a self-rescue princess until recently. It took an ordeal that almost cost me my family to realize how strong and confident I really am. I guess we have to be tested by life’s storms to really know what we are made of. I learned I am a survivor.

7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Don’t be so strong-minded that you can’t learn something from someone who is older and wiser. Someone who has been around the block a time or two. Maybe even your parents or grandparents.

8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

My favorite quote now is the one on the plaque still by our back door that belonged to John Wasper’s Grandma Belle. It says, “Bloom where you are planted.”  This is something I live my life by every day now. If we all did this we might be a tiny bit happier.

9. If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

In honor of the Elvis look-alike in the concert in Shady Creek, I have to say in the beginning it was Hound Dog by Elvis Presley because I was “crying all the time.” Then from the middle to the end it changed to Love Me Tender, also by Elvis, because throughout the book John Wasper loved me tender.

10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

I’m happy to say that I am in the middle of an adventure as we speak. A baby boy has joined our household making John Wasper a very happy man. With the arrival of Sweet Baby James, named after James Taylor whose music I adore, we ended up having quite an upheaval in our lives. A near tragedy strikes and we have to be stronger than we’ve ever been. You’ll have to look for this story sometime in 2013, tentatively titled Sweet Baby James.

11. Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life?

I would not be surprised if Joy Ruth does not want to claim an entire series for herself. She’s very pushy and demanding as you probably noticed in Vada Faith. Her teaming up with John Wasper’s brother Bruiser can only lead to some kind of mischief. SO you’ll have to stay tuned.

If you’d like to learn more about Vada Faith’s author, please visit:


Barbara’s Amazon Author Page

Books · Heroine Interviews · Writing

SRP Heroine Interview: Elizabeth from Nurtured in Purple

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Well, my book blurb would say this: One man. One woman (that’s me). Each bent on personal vendettas. Another man. Another woman wanting only to be God’s salt and light.

But I can tell of an amazing thing that has happened in my life in the past six months. For so many years I had been as narcissistic as one could be. The awful thing is I was oblivious to my self-centered behavior. I had been given everything I needed in life to be the spoiled, rich girl. I had a tizzy fit and acted stupid when I couldn’t have the man I wanted and since I couldn’t have him, I made life hard for the woman he wanted, Kate.

2. What made you want your story to be told?

I want others to know that we can change, with God’s grace and love, and I want to tell the of the change which happened to me. I know it’s hard to believe, but Kate is the one who didn’t turn away from me in spite of how I treated her. Her kindness made me see the selfish woman I was and made me want to change. In my case, redemption did shine brighter on a darker canvas.

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

I thought it was Kate who led me to change, but she pointed out it was really God at work. I hadn’t given God much thought in my life until then. I had seen my husband, Willard, make dramatic changes in his life due to the spiritual influence of Kate’s husband, Seth. Previously, both Willard and I had wanted nothing but bad for Kate and Seth, which shows how misdirected we both were.

4. In your life, what has empowered you?

In my previous life, money and social status and my looks empowered me. Now, I know the power of real love-for my husband and baby, my friends, others. I know about giving and sharing myself with others.

5. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

It means I have learned the hard way to be my authentic self and not the glamour-minded, artificial and selfish woman I was before. I love who I am now, love that I finally had a longed- for baby, and feel good about my job as a teacher of small children.

6. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Life is not all about me, unless I want to miss the best life has to offer. It is about loving and walking in someone else’s shoes.

7. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

It’s hard to pick one and I’m only beginning to learn them, but I do like Isaiah 43:18-19. Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. This one is special because it wipes away my past, my former bad girl behavior.

8. Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

My journey is complete, at this point, but I have a sense some of the younger characters in my story may come off the pages and create lives wanting to be read. We shall see.

If you’d like to read about the heroine’s journey or learn about the author, Jude Urbanski please check out the following links:


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