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 Led Astray

In continuation of my Valentine’s Day celebration, here’s a scene from the second book published in the New Beginnings Series.

Led Astray:

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

When a mining company promises jobs in exchange for the mountaintop where the church resides, a battle erupts between the sister-towns of Mourning and Haven, West Virginia.

Skip-tracer Danita Ballinger races to Mourning before the lives of New Beginnings clients “vanished” to the off-the-grid town are jeopardized.

Pastor Riley Coole refuses the mining company offers, and the help of the brazen woman forcing her way into his business and his towns.

The murder of a key player in the tug-of-war over the mountain puts plans of retaliation into motion. Danita and Riley must put aside their private battle to protect the people relying on them for safety. Will seeing each other in a new light put them on a path of acceptance and true love, or create a further divide ripping apart the town and their own hearts?


Iciness gripped Riley’s insides and twisted them. The pain came so hard and quick, he struggled for breath. Wade Peake hired that person. They knew Riley didn’t have the strength to stop him, but Danita did.

Oh, Lord, what have I done? Riley fell to his knees and clasped his hands together. He’d brought Danita here. He’d put her danger. He placed the well-being of the mountain over the well-being of a woman.

He’d change his mind. Tell them they could take whatever they wanted from the mountain as long as they left the people alone. But of course once he told them, they’d have power over him and the town. What demands would come next?

Once he gave in to this request, Peake wouldn’t stop. Men like him never did. How would he explain to the community, to the residents of Mourning, why he chose the safety of one woman over them? Danita wouldn’t stand back and accept the change of plans. She’d continue to fight and become the advocate for the town of Mourning instead of him.

Lord, how do I keep her safe? No answer came. Riley wasn’t surprised. He wasn’t the type of man people ran to for safety — but Clayton was. Would his brother help him keep Danita safe?

Of course he would. Clayton had already stepped in twice to make sure someone didn’t hurt Danita. Clayton had empathy for the beautiful and tough woman. He knew she needed someone to stand up for her, even though she pushed away everyone who tried.

Riley stood and drew in a cleansing breath. There was no shame in asking his brother for help. Since arriving in town, Clayton had kept a close eye on Danita. He wanted to help. Yes, he and Clayton had differences in the past and it was obvious his brother didn’t trust or think very well of him… but how much of the attitude had Riley brought down upon his own shoulders?

Look at how he talked to Danita. His judgment of her was as clear as a sunny, cloudless day.

Riley opened the classroom door and headed for the sanctuary. The silence, deep and thick, made his heart jump against his chest. Sweat broke out across his forehead, and he tried to keep the alarm at bay. This was a church, a place of worship. Silence should be golden as it showcased hearts filled with prayers and praises to the Lord.

Or could it mean Riley was alone? Did someone come into the building and snatch Danita from the safety of the church’s arms? No.

Riley repeated the word over and over again as he walked to the front of the sanctuary, eyes scanning the area for a sign of anyone else being, or having been, inside. Coldness raced through his body. There was no one. She was nowhere to be seen.

Please, Lord, please let her be okay. His sneakers shuffled across the carpet, making a whisking sound with every step.

“Danita.” His voice echoed off the walls and returned to him. No answer. No movement.

He picked up his pace, continuing to pray, and snatched his cell phone clipped to his jeans. He’d call the sheriff. Connor. They’d find Danita. He’d even call Edgar and Clayton and have them comb the area. Whoever took her couldn’t have gotten far.

Riley stopped in tracks, and his breath hitched in his throat. He drank in the beautiful sight.

Danita laid on the pew, knees curled, one hand pillowing her head. Her shoulders rose and fell with her soft breaths. The mass of curls trickled past her shoulder and down her neck, puddling into the nook created by her other arm.

“Thank you, Lord,” Riley whispered.

She looked so vulnerable and breakable. He brushed a lock of hair from her forehead. A light purple bruise marred her skin. Rage swept through him. He clenched his fists. He wanted — needed — to find the man responsible for causing her pain.

Danita sighed and stretched out.

He focused on her slightly parted lips. Her mouth drew him. A beacon begging Riley to drop to his knee and placed a tender kiss on them. Riley drew back, and averted his gaze. Even asleep, the woman was a temptress.

The front door to the church opened. Every muscle in Riley’s body tensed. He moved to Danita, squatting down, readying to snatch her against him if the person intended to harm her.

“Pastor Coole, is everything all right?” Naomi struggled with a large picnic basket and watched him.


If you’d like to read Danita and Riley’s story, Led Astray 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.

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 · Holiday · Writing

The Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour — Christina Freeburn

Thank you for joining me on the next stop of The Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour, sponsored by the Grace Awards which has the goal of expanding the tent pegs of Christian literature. This tour features scores of talented Christian fiction writers.

Today, I’m introducing you to my Inspirational Romantic Suspense Series, New Beginnings, which features heroines and heroes who are determined to help women have a new start at life.

The first book, I’d like to talk about is Safe and Sound, the third book in the series, but one that has a Christmas time setting.

SafeandSoundCoverArt72dpi Safe and Sound, the third book in the New Beginning Series, is a contemporary Christian romantic suspense novel. It’s a sweet romance with some blushing moments. There is some mild violence and sophisticated themes.

Four years prior, Hannah Stratford got lost during a blizzard and the mountain claimed her, leaving her husband Connor Stratford grief-stricken and filled with guilt. When a woman’s body was discovered after an explosion, Connor learned her death wasn’t accidental but a probable murder. Now, one of the men responsible  for Hannah’s death is hunting down another woman. To keep the young woman safe and draw the murderer to him, Connor offers her safety and shelter in his home.

When the woman claims to be his wife Hannah, Connor finds his past and present pulled apart. Is this woman who she claims she is…or is she running a scam with the man who murdered his wife?

What makes Safe and Sound perfect for Christmas reading and gifting?

With a Christmas setting and a theme of forgiveness and love, Safe and Sound reflects the spirit of the Christmas season and also the hope of renewal.

Link to Buy: Safe and Sound

Even though Safe and Sound is the third book in the series, it doesn’t need to be read after the first two books in the series. Each book stands alone and features a new couple, one (or two) of the characters introduced in another book. Since some readers do like reading books in order, I’m including information about Lost Then Found and Led Astray below.

LostThenFoundCoverArt72dpiLost Then Found, Book 1 in the New Beginning Series, is a contemporary Christian Romantic Novel. It’s a sweet romance with some blushing moments. There is some mild violence and sophisticated themes.

Skip-tracer Renee Stratford-Knight’s life is becoming stable again. Eighteen months prior, the murder of her sister and the soon-to-follow collapse of her marriage left her reeling. She made it through those dark days with the help of family, embracing faith and starting her own skip-tracing business, New Beginnings, which specializes in relocating abused women. Now, her ex-husband — and former business partner — Jonas Knight shows up asking about her most
vulnerable client.

Jonas knows his ex-wife helped embezzler Gina Howard elude the authorities and plans 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 secrets their clients hold, Jonas and Renee must struggle through distrust and the pain of their pasts to work together to save the life of a teenage girl — and their own.

Link to buy: Lost Then Found

LedAstrayCoverArt72dpiLed Astray, the second book in the New Beginning Series, is a contemporary Christian romantic suspense novel. It’s a sweet romance with some mild violence and sophisticated themes.

When a client’s privacy is threatened by a Hatfield and McCoy battle erupting, skip-tracer Danita Ballinger heads to Mourning, WV, hoping to settle the feud before it starts. Danita’s rescuing is seen as interference and improper by Pastor Riley Coole, the target for the mining company’s strong-arm tactics.

Pastor Riley Coole isn’t pleased by the person his uncle hired to ‘help’ the town. The outspoken, brazen young woman isn’t who they need. Riley prefers the calm approach to dealing with the mining company not a fight fire-with-fire plan.

When a murderer targets the key players in the mining war, and retaliation is set into motion, Danita and Riley must put aside their private battle to protect the people relying on them for safety. Will seeing each other in a new light put them on a path of acceptance and true love, or create a further divide ripping apart the town and their own hearts?

Link to buy: Led Astray

Thank you so much for stopping by and ‘visiting’ with me and learning more about these stories which are ‘books of my heart’. These are still I felt compelled to write, as they wouldn’t leave my mind or heart until I got into the computer.

The Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour runs through to December 22nd. Don’t forget to check out all the other authors on the tour. Below is a link telling you who all the authors on the tour are and what dates they will be on their own blog sharing about their novels.

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:


Desert Breeze


good reads


Face Book


Web site     blog

Books · Excerpt · West Virginia · Writing

Release Day: Safe and Sound

Today is the release day for Safe and Sound, book 3 in the New Beginning Series. The plot for this book actually came to me midway through book two, Led Astray, and resulted in having to go back and make sure these two storylines blended together. Safe and Sound isn’t a ‘part 2’ to Led Astray, but actions in Led Astray is what ‘started’ the story for Safe and Sound. I like how the plotlines feed off each other. I’m also excited about this book because it’s my Christmas setting story. I always wanted to write one and using a holiday setting worked for this story. It’s not exactly a Christmas story but the holidays gave it the mood I wanted.


Four years prior, Hannah Stratford got lost during a blizzard and the mountain claimed her, leaving her husband Connor Stratford grief-stricken and filled with guilt. When a woman’s body was discovered after an explosion, Connor learned her death wasn’t accidental but a probable murder. Now, one of the men responsible for Hannah’s death is hunting down another woman. To keep the young woman safe and draw the murderer to him, Connor offers her safety and shelter in his home. When the woman claims to be his wife Hannah, Connor finds his past and present pulled apart. Is this woman who she claims she is…or is she running a scam with the man who murdered his wife?


Katrina fled down the small hallway leading to the back door. She slammed her hand onto the bar and the door shot open. Run. Don’t look back. The pace of the words matched her heartbeat and she sprinted down the sidewalk.

Footfalls sounded behind her.

She pushed past people. Knocked into a young mother.

“What’s your problem, lady?”

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Katrina ran. She couldn’t waste her breaths on words. She had a few precious moments, one last time to outrun the past coming back to claim her. She scanned the area for a place to hide or seek help.

Across the street was an alley leading to the fire station. Safety. Katrina surged forward. A horn blared. Brakes squealed. She pivoted away from the car and leapt onto the sidewalk.

A twinge in her ankle sent her reeling forward. She grasped onto a parking meter and regained her balance. Ignoring the pain in her foot, she pounded down the sidewalk and made it to the opening of the alley.

Darkness surrounded her. She fought the instinct to stop instead of plunging into the damp, musty pathway. She was too close to change plans now. This was her one way to freedom and hope. A hand bit into her shoulder. She screamed and twisted. Her injured foot slid on something slick. The man tightened his grasp. He lifted her and pushed her against the building.

“You made this so easy.” He pressed into her back, his body holding her against the brick.

Katrina stomped on his foot and jabbed her elbow into his stomach. He sucked in a breath but the pressure against her didn’t decrease. A hand inched down her stomach and rested at the waistband of her jeans.

“How should I make this look? An assault? Robbery gone bad.” He twisted her arm behind her back. “Let’s just go with dumping you in the middle of nowhere. Don’t have to worry about anyone looking for you. You’re already dead.”

Encouragement · Everyday Life · Writing

You are a Diva if — Not!

You are a Diva if…

you are not doing what others expect you to do at all times.

Or at least that is the impression I’m getting lately. Diva (along with narcissist) is a word I see and hear quite frequently. Sometimes diva is said tongue in check and a term a woman applies to herself, and other times it’s a putdown used against others. A recent blog post I read has me thinking about this a lot today and mostly because it has hurt people. Good people. Wonderful, hardworking, loving, giving women stretched almost to the point of breaking are made to feel that devoting time to their own dreams and goals is wrong. Sinful.

For most people, time is the most valuable and limited resource. Between jobs, second jobs (writing for some authors), family, household, volunteering most people are hanging on and just managing to get everything done. And sometimes tasks are not done and it adds on a layer of guilt and makes a person feel unworthy. Lacking.

Instead of trying to ease the burden, some are heaping on more guilt by labeling people divas or narcissists because they aren’t doing enough for others. And interesting to me, the “others” the labeler seems to be talking about is themselves. In these hand slaps, what I hear loud and clear is basically, “Using your time on yourself, and not me or what I say is important, makes you a Diva.”

Sadly, this phenomena seems to be more prevalent in Christian organizations and circles. If a woman (and yes, it’s usually a woman it’s directed at) isn’t giving all her ‘free’ time or personal time to causes and in support of others dreams and goals then she is a Diva with a capital D. To make sure she gets the point, some version of the “God is not happy with you” quote is throw in. I think sometimes in our quest to prove ourselves a good Christian to the world and make God love us, we forget 1. pointing out others ‘faults’/’sinful’ behavior isn’t proof and 2. He already does.

We do not know all that is happening in a person’s life at any given moment. Sometimes I don’t even know what is happening in mine. When someone doesn’t step up the way you feel they should, doesn’t do enough for you, it doesn’t mean they are a Diva. It could mean they have a lack of time. It could mean they’re struggling. It could mean they need your help.

“Do onto others as you would have them do unto you” should be said and thought of with a loving and giving spirit, not with a self-righteous and punishing spirit. As bling does not make a Diva, nor does having limited time to help others in their pursuits make a writer a Diva.