Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan and Amazon gift card Ends January 1st

Welcome Amanda! I'm so glad to have you back here. Amanda is doing an amazing giveaway! She is giving away 5 ebooks of Lonely Hearts. You just have to go to her Facebook Fan page and like it PLUS leave a comment on this blog. The first five to do both of those will be given a free ebook. BUT that's not all! Amanda is giving away a $10 Amazon.com gift card to one lucky winner. Everyone who leaves a comment here will be entered (even if you won one of her ebooks).

LADY DRAGONKEEPER you won Melanie Dickerson's book, The Merchant's Daughter. You need to contact me with an email address. I don't have anyway to get a hold of you! I need to hear back from you by December 19th or I'll have to draw another name.

Amanda Stephan is just a normal, everyday country girl. She resides near Columbia, TN with her husband and children, three cats, one dog, and multiple roosters that love to roost under their bedroom windows. She loves to laugh and have a good time, and loves to read a good book.
She finds writing to be an opportunity to share God's love for others in a fun and entertaining way. Her first novel, The Price of Trust, was published in May of 2010, her second novel, Lonely Hearts, was released at the end of October, 2011, and hit #1 on Amazon.com's bestsellers list! Next on her agenda, Amanda is working on her Slade series which so far has managed to morph into three books and just recently, a wonderful plot line was born for a fourth novel.
If you were to ask her to share one thing about herself that most people don't know, she'd have so many to choose from that she'd probably hesitate for a moment. Not quite a recluse, she's rather camera shy, doesn't like to be in the spotlight, and absolutely LOVES to have her feet tickled. But she would say her most interesting accomplishment is that she laughs like Scooby Doo.

If you're really looking to find and connect with Amanda, you might be surprised to know that she's a major lurker in almost *all* the big places. You'll see her name pop up every once in a while in the ACFW group (I bet you didn't know she was a member there...) quite a few NING sites, as well as ShoutLife! But, if you're in a hurry? A little *bird* told me you could find her flying around here ~ www.twitter.com/amandastephan If she wasn't there, you may find her with her *face* in a book over here ~ www.facebook.com/amanda.stephan1 where sometimes she acts all silly like talking into a *fan* www.facebook.com/creativehomemomma about the *price* of trust www.facebook.com/thepriceoftrust Sometimes she even likes to write in her *web* log www.thepriceoftrust.com When you find her, if you suddenly are at a loss of words, just bring up books as she dearly loves a *good* read! http://www.goodreads.com/amandastephan We hope this has been helpful to you. If you're still unable to find Amanda with all our clues, don't worry. She's probably just searching for *rubies* over here http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/profile/AmandaStephan

Book Blurb:
Lonely Hearts ~ a sweet Christian romance
One lonely mother. Two matchmaking kids. Three eligible bachelors and some very yummy apple pie…

Becky Callis is the widowed mother of two, trying to make ends meet. Moving to a new town, things get a little complicated when her mischievous children think she's been lonely far too long and try to take romantic matters into their own hands.

Scott Boone seems to be everything their mother could like. Handsome and friendly, Scott makes his interest in Becky clear ~ even though she's older. Is he the handsome, debonair cowboy Becky needs, or just a rake looking for another notch in his belt?

Jack Anderson and Becky have been friends since childhood. When they're reunited years after their lives have taken very different paths, this lonely preacher begins to wonder if God has brought her back into his life for a reason.

Pearce Morgan is a single parent raising his young daughter. Divorced and disillusioned, an unlikely friendship arises between him and Becky when his shy daughter decides she loves Becky and her kids.
True love is more complicated than it looks.
*Exclusive Apple Pie Recipe Included!*

Thank you again, and I hope you have a wonderful week!
Amanda Stephan ~ Christian Romance Author

Lonely Hearts
By Amanda Stephan
Author of The Price of Trust
Chapter 1
Becky Callis was new in town, and she felt her intrusion.
A bearded man outside the hardware store stopped sweeping, broom held in mid-air and watched them narrowly as they drove past, perhaps wondering if she were the type to plunder and loot his shop.
A couple of older women that had been chatting outside a tiny florist shop suddenly turned to stone, their mouths gaping open, snickering about what kind of woman would be caught dead in such an old pick-up truck. Becky even imagined one of their tongues hung out. She repressed a giggle and waved, receiving an incredulous half-wave from one of the women, and no acknowledgement from the others.
She hated being stared at, and tried to keep a somewhat pleasant smile pasted on her freckled face as she drove through. She could feel her fair skin literally burning with embarrassment.
Her thirteen year old daughter, Jen, gave her a twisted frown. “Mom, what is wrong with these
people?” Her pixie face turned dark red as a teenage boy waved at her. “They act like they’ve never seen strangers before.”
Becky’s grin grew larger and more realistic as she gave a two-finger salute to the policeman leaning on his squad car with arms crossed as if daring her to go faster than the posted thirty mile an hour sign.
Obediently, she stopped at the one red light the town could boast of and waited for it to turn green.
“I guess,” she said with a shrug, watching an old man sitting outside a diner pretend to read a
newspaper. He spit tobacco juice into a jar and set it down next to his chair, his bushy eyebrows making it very clear he was looking at them. “They don’t get too many newcomers here.
Jen grimaced and pushed her sleeping brother’s head off her shoulder onto the vinyl headrest instead. “Well that’s fine, but they don’t have to stare. Makes me feel like we’re pets in a pet shop.”
“Or beef at a cattle auction.” Becky laughed at her discomfort, noticing that the green light
flickered faintly before going completely out. She drove on at the urging of the honking car behind her before she spoke. Jen grunted. “Oh don’t worry, they’ll get used to us and I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it here. Just think,” she said brightly, turning onto a dirt road the ratty map indicated. “We’re celebrities!”
Jen laughed and looked out the window, taking in the country scene before her, the nosy townsfolk left behind. Large open fields of tall grass, trees lining the road, and mountains off in the distance made it a lovely scene she couldn’t find fault with.
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
Becky smiled a sad, wistful smile, thankful she had her kids. In the nine lonely years following
Frank’s death, she often found herself wondering how she was supposed to cope and go on as she
desperately missed her ‘better half.’
At least I’ll never forget what Frank looked like, she thought a little morosely to herself as she
glanced over at Jeff.
Tall for his eleven years, he liked his dark hair short so he wouldn’t have to mess with it, and his
cherubic face hid a wealth of mischievousness and humor that always brightened her day. Especially
when he looked at her with his guilty dark brown eyes as if to say he were extremely sorry for some
prank he was about to pull or had pulled. Just like his father. Her heart wrenched with sadness, and she
quickly turned her thoughts to another source of comfort. Jen.
When she looked at her daughter, it was like she was looking into a mirror. Petite, sassy copper hair
that loved being just a tad on the unmanageable side, her hazel eyes full of compassion and loyalty,
quick to laugh and quick to cry, she promised to be a beauty when she got older. Like her mother.
That’s what Frank had always said, Becky fought against the lump that insisted on forming in her
throat as more memories of her dead husband flooded in.
Just in time to stop a tirade of reminiscent thoughts that would have pushed her into a melancholy
spirit, Jeff let out a tremendous snore and wetly smacked his lips, making them erupt into giggles as his
head lolled once again onto his sister’s shoulder. She rolled her eyes, but didn’t move him.
A few minutes later, Becky pulled into what looked like a tractor path instead of a driveway and
stopped abruptly when a home came into view. “Jen, would you please check the address and see if this
is the right place.” She asked solemnly, studying the old, dilapidated farm house, complete with thighhigh
weeds for a lawn.
Brittle shutters hung on by sheer will-power next to dusty, grimy windows that hadn’t seen a
washcloth in years. A huge, antique antenna had fallen off the roof and now hung dejectedly by a thin
wire as if for dear life and swung endlessly against the side of the house, knocking off peeling paint with
every slight breeze. A rustic lean-to that served as a shed as well as termite dessert, stood forlornly off
to one side of the drive. She tried to stifle a laugh and ended up snorting instead.
“Mom,” Jen answered doubtfully, looking at the paper in her hand. “This is the right place,” she
wrinkled her nose, “but I don’t think the guy you’re renting it from told you the truth. Didn’t he say it
was nice?”
They looked over at each other and burst out laughing, waking Jeffrey out of a terrific snore storm.
He bolted upright and rubbed his eyes, looking out the window. “Huh? What? What are you guys
laughing at? Why are we stopped here?”
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
“Welcome home kids,” Becky said, grinning as she pulled up alongside the drooping porch and
turned off the truck.
Jen opened her door and glanced down at the weeds. Becky could almost see her thinking about
ticks and bugs getting on her. “Oh my word,” she muttered as she looked around, a dismal frown on her
face. “How are we supposed to get in? Is he going to meet us here or something?”
Jeff, always ready for an adventure, hopped out of the truck and ran to the porch. “He said he
would leave the key under the mat by the front door. Come on,” he said as he ran, wanting to be there
before his more cautious sister.
Always in a hurry, he yanked on the handle of the screen door, causing the whole thing to fall right
off the frame on top of him. “Uh, mom?” He hung his head in shame, embarrassed that he’d already
broken something. “I think we’re going to need a new screen door.”
“I’m pretty sure that’s not the only thing we’re going to have to work on.” Jen laughed, thankful
that it had happened to him, and not her.
“Noted,” Becky answered good-naturedly, giving him a thumbs-up. She unlatched the tailgate and
smacked her hands across her jeans in an effort to erase the dust she’d accrued during their long hours
of driving with the windows down.
“Hey mom! You should see the beehive up here.” He pointed to a gigantic paper wasp hive in the
corner of the porch ceiling.
Jen jumped off the porch, squealing as Jeff picked up a stick to poke at the hive. “Jeffrey Allen!
Don’t you dare!”
“Did you find the key?” Becky called, trying to distract Jeff from the beehive.
“You don’t need it,” he said, innocently trying to hide the stick behind his back. “The door’s open.”
“Leave it alone,” warned Becky just as he was about to give the hive a good whack as she turned to
go back to the truck.
“Aww,” mumbled Jeff, dropping the stick and shuffling to the car with his hands in his pockets. “Do
you have eyes in the back of your head or something?” He grumbled, stepping up next to her as she
pulled some boxes toward the edge of the tailgate of her old beat-up Chevy.
“Here,” she said, handing him a smaller box. “Why don’t you two help me and take some of these
boxes in the house. And no, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head. I just know you awfully well.” She
smiled indulgently at him, ruffling his thick hair.
Jen grabbed a box and started hauling it to the porch. “Too bad we sold our mower. Maybe we
should get a cow!” Hopefully, she looked back at her mother.
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
“What’s the matter? Don’t you like the grass?” Becky laughed as she pushed more boxes near the
end of the truck making it easier for the kids to grab them.
“Grass?” Jeff asked dubiously, struggling with his load. “If it were any taller, it would be over my
Sensing an opportunity to pick on her brother, Jen blurted, “What do you mean, ‘would be’? It
already is.” Somewhat sensitive about his size, he glared ferociously at her and she stifled any more
comments she might have had.
“Come on,” Becky said repressing a grin as she slapped him on the back. “Let’s all get along now.
We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m going to need lots of help. Here,” she handed a box of cleaning
supplies to Jen, and a broom and mop to Jeff. “Please take these into the kitchen.”
They did as they were told, quietly quarreling amongst themselves as they left her to stack things
on the porch. Becky was just setting down another load when she heard a loud crash and screams
coming from the kitchen. Immediately dropping everything and with her heart in her throat, she raced
into the house expecting something terrible. A large box of pots and pans lay ominously in the middle of
the tiny kitchen and several lids had rolled over toward the antique refrigerator. This had obviously been
the loud crash she had heard outside. Nudging the upset box with her toe, she wondered momentarily if
a large poisonous spider had hitched a ride from their previous home and had scared them.
Looking wildly around the kitchen, she was surprised to see both kids standing on the chipped
white Formica counter, their faces white with terror. “What is it?”
Jen pointed to the small utility closet at the end of the room while she clutched Jeff’s arm with the
other. “There’s an animal in there!” She said, shuddering with horror. “I think it’s a huge rat.”
“Of all the things we have to have in the house, it’s got to be a rat.” Becky said shuddering
convulsively, her lips stretched in a thin line. She hated rats and mice more than anything, and was
always disgusted whenever she had to deal with them for some reason or other.
Cautiously, she grabbed a broom and tiptoed to the door, listening intently for any sound inside.
Jeff shrugged off his sister’s hand and lightly jumped down off the counter, interested in seeing for
himself what was in the closet.
“Do you hear anything?” he whispered.
Becky shook her head and gently twisted the knob, ready to use the broom as a weapon and
squash whatever it was. Slowly, she pulled the creaky door open. Taking a deep breath, she peeped
inside and caught sight of two brown eyes looking back at her. Opening the door all the way, she found
to her surprise and immense relief, a pair of baby raccoons.
“Oh look,” she said, motioning for Jen to come down from her perch and look.
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
“They’re so cute,” Jeff said, poking his head inside the door so he wouldn’t miss a chance to see
what had caused all the fuss. “Can we keep them?” he asked, looking up hopefully.
“No way,” Jen said, finally getting up the nerve to climb down. “That thing scared me to death.”
“I wonder how they got in,” Becky mumbled, looking around the closet.
“Maybe it got in through there,” Jeff said, pointing to the broken floor register. When he stepped in
to get a closer look, one of the raccoons backed up to the wall and hissed menacingly at him.
“I think we’re not going to get to keep either of these little critters,” Becky said, pulling him back
out of the closet by the back of his shirt. “Go open the front door and I’ll try to sweep them out. Jen, get
the mop and head them off if they try to escape.” Obediently, Jen grabbed the mop as Becky started
sweeping both hissing and angry raccoons out the door. Finally, after three mishaps with one of the
raccoons almost getting away and Jen re-climbing onto the counter while screaming, they managed to
sweep them both to freedom. Laughing, they hurriedly shut the door before the coons could come back
“Jeff,” Becky said, turning to him. “Get the tool box out of the front of the truck and see if you can
try to fix that register so they can’t get back in that way.” Jeff’s face lit up, happy to have a ‘man’s job’ to
“We don’t have much more to do,” Becky sighed, as she and Jen went outside to finish unpacking
the truck.
Her face red with exertion, Jen swept a few strands of hair back and stood erect, trying to unkink
her back after lugging a large box into the front room. “I sure am glad we decided to have those yard
sales before we moved.”
Becky puffed and tried to navigate around the room with her vision blocked by the load of boxes in
her arms. “Oh come on, don’t you think it would have been interesting for you, Jeff, and me to carry in a
couch?” She laughed as she and Jen slid down the wall and finally slumped to the floor, relaxing.
With an air of delight and pride, Jeff came in and joined them, his grin splitting his face in half. “I
tried to fix that register the best I could. I don’t think they’ll be back. Duct tape fixes everything.”
Becky clapped him on the back. “Thanks. And thank you too Jen. I appreciate both of your help.”
She leaned back and closed her eyes, drained.
Contentedly, they sat for a few minutes, hoping this could be the last move. “Mom,” Jen said, her
alarmed voice breaking the silence. “Someone’s here.” Groaning, Becky stood up and arched her back
just in time to see an old flat bed farm truck coming up the rutted drive.
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
“It could be the guy we’re renting from.” Quickly, she tucked a few stray hairs behind her ears and
dusted off her jeans, trying to look presentable to whoever it was. As it neared the house, the truck
turned off the driveway to park in the long grass right in front of their door.
A bent over old man in greasy overalls managed to get out and limp up the steps, chewing on a
weed. He spat it out and knocked before he entered the room, uninvited. Alarmed, Becky stood with her
hands on her hips, ready to push the fragile looking man out the door if necessary.
“Howdy,” he drawled, eyeing her and the two kids. “Name’s Pickles.” He stuck out a grubby,
calloused hand her way, obviously intending to shake.
Becky took his hand and gave it a light squeeze and a gentle shake, afraid she would hurt him.
“You’re the landlord?” She asked, looking over his shoulder at her open-mouthed kids.
He ran his hands up and down his overalls straps, amused. “Yup,” he said, glancing around at all the
boxes. “This all ya got?”
“Yup,” Jeff mimicked humorously before Becky could answer. She shot him a warning look, her
scowl deepening as he shrugged his shoulders and smiled like a Cheshire cat.
“That’s my kind of boy,” the old man grinned, scratching his bald head. “Ya got a year lease and yer
rent is due the first of the month,” he said, getting right to the point. “I live right down the road to the
left if ya be needin’ anything, just give me a holler. Glad ya made it,” he stuck his hand out again.
Liking his simple, country ways, Becky found herself pumping his hand up and down a little more
enthusiastically this time. “There is one thing we need, if you wouldn’t mind. I don’t have a
lawnmower.” She hinted with raised eyebrows as she walked him out to the porch.
A look of pure astonishment passed across his weathered features as he scratched his head again.
He thought a moment before answering. “Well ya ain’t got to worry about the grass. It’ll die in a few
Becky followed him to his truck, not quite ready to give up. “You don’t have one? We’d really like to
cut the grass.”
Jen snorted, close at her mother’s heels. She hated being left out of conversations. “Yeah, we can’t
find Jeff if he steps off the path.” Becky nudged her in the ribs, making her squeak.
“Sure I got one,” he said, climbing into his truck. “Bye.” He waved as he put the old truck in gear
and drove off, another long weed clutched between his teeth.
Stunned, they watched him leave, a trail of dust clouds hanging in the air. “I think that means he’ll
bring it tomorrow,” Jeff said after a moment, joining them on the porch. Amused, they burst into
laughter at their neighbor’s odd ways.
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
Becky ran a hand over her face, her eyes twinkling merrily. “Who’s hungry?”
Always anxious to eat, Jeff gave a loud whoop as he jumped in the air. “I’m starving! What’re we
going to have?”
She shrugged, looking from one happy child to the other. “I thought we’d just go out for something
tonight, what do you think?” Grinning at their exuberant ‘yes’, she clapped Jeff on his shoulder and
grabbed her purse. “Let’s go!”
Chapter 2
Their hunger being the deciding factor for their visit to the curious town, they didn’t notice when
everyone stopped what they were doing to stare at them as they entered the quaint diner. Almost.
After an awkward silence that seemed to last more than the five seconds it actually was, a pretty
young waitress escorted them to a booth toward the back of the room. She set a few menus down on
the red and white checked vinyl cloth, and asked, “Can I get you something?”
Her face flushed with embarrassment, Becky gave her the best smile she could muster under so
much scrutiny. “Could we get three cokes please?” Bravely, she locked gazes with no less than three
different diners as the waitress went to fulfill their drink order.
Jeff, not in the least bit shy, smiled and waved at several people, earning a few friendly waves in
return while Jen looked through her menu with purpose and dedication, her face brick red.
He turned his attention back to his own table. “Mom? Can I go check out the hobby shop next door
really quick? I already know what I want to eat.”
She looked over the top of the menu and grinned, both eyebrows raised. “I don’t know if you can.
Are you asking permission?”
He rolled his eyes in response, hating it when she corrected his grammar. “May I please go check
out the hobby shop?”
“I don’t mind, but only if Jen goes with you. Do you mind?”
Jen set her menu down on the table with a dramatic sigh. “I don’t mind,” she said grudgingly as she
scooted out of the seat after a very bouncy Jeff. She glared at him. “But you owe me one. We’ll be right
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
“Don’t be long,” she said quietly as they walked past. She watched as they walked the few steps to
the adjoining shop and peered into the glass. Jen lifted a hand to cut the glare on the window as Jeff
excitedly pointed something out, his face wreathed in smiles.
After giving their order to the waitress a moment later, Becky once again felt she was being stared
at. She gave a cursory glance around the well-kept diner. A tall, nice looking cowboy standing by the
counter with some friends gave her a crooked grin when their eyes locked. Embarrassed, she gave him a
quick smile and looked away, the tips of her ears burning. Nervously, she fidgeted with her napkin,
grateful that the kids were returning to the diner as he sauntered toward her.
“Excuse me,” he said politely, standing a little to the side so Jeff and Jen could slide into the seat. “I
couldn’t help noticing that you’re not from around here.”
Shaking her head, she fought against the nervousness that washed over her. “We just moved in
today.” She looked up into his friendly blue eyes and tried to relax.
He twisted the rim of his cowboy hat around, winking at Jen and Jeff as they stared at him. “Today
must be my lucky day then.”
Confusion flooded her face. “Pardon?”
His crooked smile grew bigger as his eyes twinkled merrily. “I figure it’s my lucky day because I’m
the first to meet the prettiest lady in town.”
Jeff groaned, apparently expecting a real live cowboy to have a better pick-up line than that. “Does
that one ever work?” Becky blushed prettily.
His rich baritone laughter filled the diner. “I don’t know. I’ve never tried it before. My name is
Scott,” he held out his left hand. Being right handed, she took it somewhat awkwardly, his larger hand
completely swallowing up her smaller one. He shook it once, giving her ring-less hand an expert onceover,
surmising correctly that she was unmarried.
She felt her face reddening again when she realized what had just occurred. “I’m Becky, this is my
daughter Jen, and my son Jeff.”
“Nice to meet you,” both kids said in unison.
He looked doubtful. “Your daughter and son? You don’t look old enough to have two kids their
She laughed as both kids emphatically nodded their heads. “Oh, I’m definitely old enough.”
With a look of disbelief, he asked, “How old are you?”
She gave him a withering look and clapped a hand over Jeff’s mouth before he could answer. “Don’t
you know you’re not supposed to ask a woman how old she is?”
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
Realizing that Jeff was going to be no help, he gave Jen a winning smile in an effort to coax the
answer from her. “Come on. How old is she?”
She shook her head and gave him a sweet smile, heeding the warning look her mother shot her.
“I’m not telling. I’ve got to live with her.” Again, his rich laughter echoed off the walls.
“You’ve got some cute kids,” he said, still chuckling. “Where did you move to?”
“We’re renting a place from a Mr. Pickles,” Jeff grinned at the name.
It was Scott’s turn to look confused. “Mr. Pickles, huh? Not that old rundown farmhouse?”
Ruefully, Becky shook her head. “Trust me. The picture I received looked much different.”
He shrugged his shoulders. “It may not look like much, but it’s sturdy. Just needs a little bit of work,
that’s all. Been around for years,” he said thoughtfully. “If you need any help, I’d be glad to give you a
hand. Mr. Pickles is a real nice guy, though. Forgets a lot, but he’s pretty good. He should do you right.”
Reluctant to accept his offer of help, she took a sip from her Coke. “Thanks.”
“There were some raccoons in the closet in the kitchen,” Jeff said, anxious to impress his newfound
Duly impressed, Scott arched his eyebrows. “Raccoons? In the house? Be careful. They can be really
He sighed, leaning his head on his palm as he swirled the straw in his glass. “I know. Mom swept
them outside.”
“No kidding. Your mom sounds pretty cool.” He winked at her, making her blush. “Well, I’d better
get back, but,” he said, turning to Becky, “if you’d like, I could show you around sometime.”
She smiled and fingered her paper napkin as a deeper crimson crept up her already flushed face.
“Oh. Um, thanks. That’s very kind of you. I’ll think about it.” He gave her a slow, crooked smile and
tipped his hat to her before walking back to his friends.
As if on cue, their waitress suddenly appeared, a tray of food balanced expertly on her arm. “That
was Scott Boone. He's such a flirt,” she said, throwing a look of utter contempt in his general direction.
Roughly, she set their plates down. “Enjoy.”
Becky watched her retreating back, her heart sinking. “Thanks,” she called after her. She hated to
admit it, but she had been flattered that a young man as handsome as Scott had shown interest in her.
But now, all she felt was stupid. Defiantly, she flipped her hair over her shoulder and ignored the
laughing group at the other end of the diner. No self-respecting woman wanted to be just a notch on a
man’s belt.
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
“Let’s pray,” she said, grabbing the kid’s hands. They thanked God for all their blessings and began
to eat. She managed to disregard Scott, even to the point of turning her head and looking out the
window when he and a friend waved at her, keeping a steady stream of conversation up with the kids.
Jeff leaned back against the seat and sipped his soda when he was finished. “What are we going to
do now?”
Becky checked her watch. “I suppose we should hustle on out of here and find the nearest furniture
store. We need some mattresses.” She dug in her purse and pulled out a few bills, handing them to Jeff.
“Will you please go pay our bill?”
Gathering her purse and leaving a tip, she was surprised when a muscled brown arm held the door
open for her. She looked up into Scott’s twinkling blue eyes. “Well Becky, I hope I’ll see you again.”
She smiled in spite of herself as she walked past. “Thanks, it was nice meeting you.” Pausing next to
her truck she asked, “Could you tell me where the nearest furniture store is?”
He pointed down the main street. “Go to the light and turn left. The store is on the right, but you’ll
find better prices the next town over. It’s a bigger place and they’ve got a lot more to choose from. I can
show you how to get there tomorrow if you want.”
She pretended not to hear his last comment and climbed in her truck, pulling the door closed
behind her. “Thanks. Bye!” She waved as she left him standing on the sidewalk, chuckling.
Jen gave her a disproving look. “Mom, he’s going to think you don’t like him.”
“Yeah,” Jeff chimed in, “he liked you!”
“He did not. Look for the furniture store.”
After a moment, Jen pointed to a sign that hung above the large window of an ancient building.
“That’s it.” She unbuckled as she parked. “You probably scared him off and we’ll never see him again.”
“If he’s really interested, that won’t scare him away.”
“It’d scare me off,” Jeff said, trying to be difficult.
Becky waved flippantly at them and walked into the store, smiling brightly at the clerk. “I’m not
Jen clutched her arm, her voice tight with excitement. “Then I guess you wouldn’t hear me if I told
you that he just parked next to our truck.”
“Jen,” Becky said, rolling her eyes and not paying her much attention. “Very funny.”
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
The sales associate zoomed up to them. “Can I help you?” Becky wondered fleetingly if it was
possible to whiten teeth too much, and if it posed a health risk.
“Do you have a delivery service?”
His smile faltered at the prospect of losing a sale. “No ma’am, but we’re having a sale today, and
I’m sure you could find someone to help…”
She shook her head, disappointed. “Thanks anyway,” she turned to leave and found herself staring
straight into Scott’s broad chest.
“If you need help hauling something, I can do it,” he smiled down at her as Jen stood beside him,
grinning triumphantly.
She ignored Jen’s smug look. “I couldn’t ask you to do that,” she said, faltering a little.
He had her and he knew it. “It’s no trouble at all. Love to help.”
She frowned slightly. “Well…”
“Please mom,” Jeff whispered loudly. “It’s going to be really heavy, and if he hauls it for us, he can
help us carry the stuff in.”
“Yeah mom,” he teased, his eyes twinkling merrily. “I can help you carry the stuff in.” Becky looked
from one pleading child to the other, finally relenting with a loud sigh.
“I guess we could use your help after all,” she said to the sales associate who had been listening to
everything with a hopeful gleam in his salesman’s eye. “We’re looking for mattresses and box springs.”
Thirty minutes later, they were heaving some of their purchases into the bed of Scott’s truck while
the lighter mattresses for the kids were lifted into her older, in-much-need-of-repair truck. They were
ready to head home.
Jeff stood next to Scott, his eyes pleading. “Can I ride with him?”
“Jeff!” She scolded, surprised and a little embarrassed at his putting her on the spot like that in
front of him.
He winked, his face breaking into his now well-known crooked smile. “I don’t mind. It’s just down
the road and it won’t take long. You’ll be able to watch me all the way.”
She put her hands on her hips and gave her son a stern look before turning her attention back to
Scott. “I don’t want to put you out.”
“You’re not putting me out,” he answered smoothly opening his door. “I’ve got to go over there
anyway, right?”
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
“Well I guess if you put it that way. I suppose he could if you don’t mind.”
“I’ll ride with him too, if it’s okay?” Jen invited herself quickly before her mother could change her
mind as Jeff climbed happily into Scott’s big truck.
“Jen!” Becky said, surprised and somewhat horrified at her plucky children. “You both know better
than to behave that way,” she said, more than a little irritated at their behavior.
“It’s ok,” he intervened, settling the cowboy hat back on his head. “They’ve probably never been
around a real cowboy before. I’ll go first if that’s okay with you,” he offered, guessing that she’d be more
comfortable if she could keep her kids in view. “I know where it’s at.”
She gave the kids one last glance that told them they were going to be dealt with at home before
sighing in resignation. “All right. I’ll follow you.”
“Jeff, would you please keep the door open for us?” She called, grabbing the end of a mattress after
she’d unlatched the tailgate of his truck.
“Sure mom,” he called over his shoulder, running up the steps and standing by the door.
He smiled and waited for her to get a good grip on the mattress. “Ready?” She nodded as they
heaved the mattress out of the bed. They worked well together, only fumbling once as Becky misplaced
her foot on the porch step.
They hauled all the mattresses and box springs in and put them into the rooms where they should
go, Scott making it much easier than it would have been with just her and the kids.
Amused, they watched as Jen fussed around making her bed, patting corners and pillows so they
were just right. Becky glanced at him as he wiped his sweaty brow. “Would you like something to
He gave her a grateful smile and followed her into the kitchen. “Sure, what do you have?”
“Water,” she blushed. “I haven’t gone shopping yet.”
“Water is exactly what I was hoping for.”
Jeff grunted and rolled his eyes. “Yeah right.” He ducked a playful punch from Scott.
“As you can tell,” Becky said, opening a box looking for a glass. “My son isn’t as crazy about water
as you are.”
His brows furrowed in surprise. “Why not?”
“It doesn’t have any taste,” he complained, searching for a glass.
Becky turned on the faucet and jumped back thick brown muck came out. “Yuck!”
Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan
She caught just the tail end of Scott’s amused grin as he reached over and turned on the other
faucet as well. “It probably just needs to be run for a while. If I remember correctly, they had well water
and it would do this every once in a while. But when you got to the clear water, it actually tasted pretty
“You’ve been here before?” Waiting a moment longer after the water had cleared, she filled a glass
for Scott and one for her.
As if to show them how good it was, he took a big swig and smacked his lips. “I’ve been here lots of
times.” Cautiously, Becky sipped hers, waiting for some disgusting taste to fill her mouth. “Not too bad,
is it.” He said, smiling impudently.
Surprised, she nodded. “Actually it’s pretty good.” She colored under Scott’s scrutiny, not realizing
how attractive she actually was.
He grinned at her discomfort. “Nothing. Anyway, Mr. Pickles’ son and I were pretty good friends
there for a while, and we hung around a lot.”
“He has a son? I didn’t know that.”
Looking absently out the window, he fingered his glass. “He joined the army and was killed in the
war. After he died, Mr. Pickles just wasn’t the same anymore.”
She managed to swallow past the lump that formed in her throat. “That’s so awful.”
He stared at her a moment, a lopsided grin on his handsome face and a mischievous gleam back in
his blue eyes. “Well, I better get going.” After an awkward pause during which Becky wondered if he
were waiting for some sort of invitation to come back, he finally touched the brim of his cowboy hat and
headed toward the door. “Thanks for the water. I’ll see you around.”
Following him out, she leaned on the porch railing as he started the truck. “Thanks Scott, I
appreciate all your help. Come by anytime.” She wondered at herself as the words tumbled out,
seemingly without thought, and was immediately rewarded with a bigger smile.
It was rather nice to have another adult to talk to, but she couldn’t deny that at times he made her

New Blog announcing giveaways! Want to know where all the book giveaways are? We've started a new blog that gives you the links to other blog giveaways. Are you a blogger or an author needing a way to get the word out to readers you have a giveaway? Check out and follow us: fictionaddictionfix.blogspot.com

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday,  December 26th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, December 5, 2011

2 Books- From This Day Forward and His Holiday Family by Margaret Daley Ends December 31st

Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold seventy-five books to date.Margaret is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of over 2300 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.Until she retired a few years ago, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community as well as serving on her church’s vestry. On a more personal note, she has been married for over forty years to Mike and has one son and four granddaughters. She treasures her time with her family and friends.

 Margaret is giving away 2 books! A copy of From This Day Forward and a copy of His Holiday Family. Leave a comment to be entered.
Be sure to tell me if you follow by feedburner so I enter your name twice! You can just put Feedburner Follower so I'll know.

Five Ways to Avoid an Alligator Attack
by Margaret Daley

What in the world does avoiding an alligator attack have to do with writing? From This Day Forward  is set near the swampy land around Charleston and the river in 1816. You can’t have a story with a swamp in it and not have something about alligators. They thrive in swamps. In fact, alligators used to be an endangered species but have made a big comeback--one of our success stories for saving a species from dying out. Although I wouldn’t want to be swimming alongside an alligator, I’m glad they were saved from extinction. The species is 65 million years old. They were roaming this earth when dinosaurs were. That’s cool.

So how do you avoid alligators.

1.  Don’t go to Florida or Louisiana. They have a large population of the animals. Other states have some, too. Even Oklahoma where I live does. But those two states have large swamps. Remember alligators love the swamps.
2.  Since they are found in the southeastern part of the United States, don’t go swimming at night. The usually feed and hunt at that time. I would prefer not being their next meal so I think I’ll stay out of the water. I will point out here alligators rarely attack human. They go for easier marks--smaller than they are.
3.  If by some reason you do get caught by an alligator and he drags you into the water, you have a VERY short time to do something before it drowns you. It can hold his breath up to an hour. I can hold mine about a minute. So what do you do? Pound on the gator’s nose and head and stick your thumbs in its eyes (that is a very sensitive area for it--hey, me too). Don’t give up the fight until it hopefully releases you.
4.  If it doesn’t release you when you pound and gouge its eyes, then play dead. The gator will release before eating you. Then you might have a chance to get away.
5.  If one gives chase briefly (it won’t chase you around), it’s a myth to run in a zigzag. Alligators don’t like to give chase and a human can outrun them even in a straight line. They can’t maintain their fast burst of speed like a cheetah. They like to wait patiently in the water for their prey.

Rachel Gordon is stranded in South Carolina, pregnant, a recent widow when her husband fell overboard on the voyage to America. Nathan Stuart, a physician who came home from serving in the American army during the War of 1812, disenchanted with his life and the Lord, rescues Rachel and saves her life. Feeling responsible for her, Nathan tries to discourage her from living at a rundown farm her husband bought to start a new future in America. He wants her to return to England.

Rachel refuses to go back to England where her father disowned her for marrying against his wishes. The farm is all she has, and she is determined to make it on her own. But Nathan has other ideas and becomes her farmhand to discourage her from staying in America. Instead he ends up protecting her and being challenged by her. Can two wounded people heal each other?

When Hurricane Naomi tears through a small Mississippi town, a daring rescue unites two heroes. Nurse Kathleen Hart is a single mom racked by guilt over her husband's death. Firefighter Gideon O'Brien—orphaned as a young boy—has lost too many people he cared for. To rise above the storm's devastation, Gideon helps Kathleen and her sons rebuild their home. As Christmas approaches, they discover that even the strongest of storms can't destroy a romance built on the foundation of faith.

 His Holiday Family is the first in A Town Called Hope Series about how a town comes together to recover from a hurricane and renew their hope. The second book in the series will be out in April called A Love Rekindled.

New Blog announcing giveaways! Want to know where all the book giveaways are? We've started a new blog that gives you the links to other blog giveaways. Are you a blogger or an author needing a way to get the word out to readers you have a giveaway? Check out and follow us: fictionaddictionfix.blogspot.com

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, December 19th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson Ends December 12th

I am so excited to have one of my crit partners and very good friend with me today! Melanie is such a blessing to me in both writing and her friendship. So as you read her description of me, keep in mind we are good friends and I am her critique partner. (I think she's just wanting to make sure I don't put a lot of red on her next ms she sends me. LOL) Melanie has generously offered to give away a copy of her new release, The Merchan'ts Daughter to one lucky winner! You are going to LOVE her new story.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And I am thankful to Debbie Lynne for inviting me to be on her blog. Debbie Lynne is a great friend of mine and I love her dearly, so it’s extra special being here today. You will never meet a kinder, more giving person. And she can do anything! Whether it’s embroidering her new grandchild’s name on her Easter dress—a dress she hand-smocked—or painting her entire church’s children’s rooms with Western cowboy themed scenes, and redo-ing the plumbing while the paint dries. Then donning a gorgeous evening gown and wowing her sweet husband at a fancy banquet because she’s just led her cheerleading squad as their coach (volunteer, of course) to a national championship. And all without chipping a nail and writing her 2,000 words for the day. Seriously, Debbie Lynne is AMAZING.

I could talk about Debbie Lynne all day, but she would probably delete it! So I better talk about my new book before I get in trouble.

The Merchant’s Daughter, is, in its basic form, a Medieval romance. It’s also a Beauty and the Beast story and Zondervan is publishing it as a Young Adult book. It’s a love story between two unlikely people who, as it turns out, have more in common than either of them would have imagined. They both have been through some really crushing circumstances in the past and must learn to let God heal them and help them overcome their fears. I really love the interaction between the heroine, Annabel, and the hero, Ranulf, and I hope my readers will too. I can’t tell you how real the characters are to me, and I hope they will be to you too.

The cover fits this story so well, so if you like the cover, I think you will like the story. And the same creative mastermind (Mike Heath) behind my covers for The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter also did the trailers, which you can watch on my website, www.MelanieDickerson.com .

I would like to share a little excerpt from the end of chapter one, where Annabel meets her new lord for the first time. She has heard lots of frightening stories about him and is dreading having to face him.

She struggled to right herself as she fell, and landed on her hip in the dusty street.
Hooves pounded toward her and a horse’s high-pitched whinny sounded above her head. Annabel raised her arm to protect herself.

Just inches away, the horse danced to a halt, snorting and throwing dirt into her face. The animal’s hot breath ruffled her hair. Dust clogged her nose and throat and made her cough.

The rider dismounted. “What are you doing?”

The man’s voice and accent were unfamiliar. Her hair had fallen in front of her eyes, making it difficult to see the hands that slipped under her arms and hauled her to her feet. She pulled away, looking around on the ground for her headscarf.

“Throwing yourself in front of a galloping horse?” The stranger’s voice reminded her of a snarling animal in its pitch and intensity. “We could have both been killed.”

Shiny black boots waited beside her. Even his stance showed his irritation.

Finally seeing her scarf, she bent and snatched it from the dirt.

Her eyes traveled from his expensive leather boots to his broad chest. He wore the most elegant clothing she’d seen since the last time she visited London with her father—a red velvet doublet and gold-embroidered shirt sleeves—a vast departure from the dull gray and brown of the villagers’ coarse woolens.

She beat the dust from her skirt as anger boiled up inside her. It wasn’t her fault she’d fallen in front of his horse. Did he think she had tossed herself into the street? First that disgusting lecher, Bailiff Tom, and now this stranger … Her gaze finally met his face and she stifled a gasp.

A black patch covered his left eye, and a scar cut a pale line down his cheek, through his thick brown beard, all the way to his chin.

The back of her neck tingled. His expression demanded an answer as he glared at her from one brown eye.

Her surprise at his formidable appearance quickly turned to anger. She was determined to let him know she wasn’t a lack-wit and didn’t relish being treated like one.

“My lord.” Her voice was surprisingly steady. “My name is Annabel Chapman, and I am not in the habit of throwing myself in front of galloping horses. I was pushed.” She had to bite her tongue to keep from adding, And perhaps you shouldn’t gallop your horse through the village as though you’re the only person on the street.

She leaned down to continue beating the dust from her clothes.

“Who pushed you?” He shouted the question so thunderously, she forgot about her dusty clothes and stared up at him. “Where is the man who would push a woman into the street?”

Her gaze involuntarily shifted to the butcher shop’s doorway, where Bailiff Tom stood just inside. He immediately stepped back into the shadows.

The lord followed her gaze and then looked back at Annabel. “Wait here.”

His expression became even fiercer just before he turned from her and strode into the shop.
The Merchant’s Daughter is now available in e-book form for your PC, Kindle, Nook, or whatever e-reader device you happen to have! And it should also be available in bookstores everywhere any day now, or for pre-order. It will make a great Christmas present! For yourself or someone you know!

I love interacting with readers, so please check out my website, www.MelanieDickerson.com and friend me on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/people/Melanie-Dickerson/100000220838349
And please leave me a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Merchant’s Daughter! God bless you!

 The Merchant's Daughter

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

The Healer's Apprentice

Two Hearts. One Hope. Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

 New Blog announcing giveaways! Want to know where all the book giveaways are? We've started a new blog that gives you the links to other blog giveaways. Are you a blogger or an author needing a way to get the word out to readers you have a giveaway? Check out and follow us: fictionaddictionfix.blogspot.com

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday,  December 12th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

The winner of Ramona Cecil's giveaway is Melanie! Congratulations!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The House in Grosvenor Square by Linore Rose Burkard Ends December 5th

Ms. Burkard was raised in New York, where she graduated magna cum laude from the City University of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. She lives with her husband, five children and two cats (Calvin and Hobbes) in a town full of antique stores and gift shops in southwestern Ohio. Besides writing, her hobbies include family movie nights, swimming, and decorating. www.linoreburkard.com

I'm excited to have my very good friend and crit parter, Linore Rose Burkard here with me this week. Linore is giving away a copy of her book The House of Grosvenor Square. She is asking that each person who enters tell three people about the giveaway and leave a post to be entered. But that isn't all! Everyone can get a free copy of her first book in the series When the Season Ends. So be sure to download a copy.

Click HERE for free download from Amazon.

Click HERE for free download for Nook.

Click HERE to read first Chapter

Before The Season Ends
Trouble at home sends Ariana to her aunt's townhouse in the fashionable Mayfair district of London. There, she soon finds herself neck-deep in high society and at odds with Mr. Phillip Mornay, London's current darling rogue. Then, a scandal changes Ariana forever. Her heart, her faith, and her future are all at stake in an unexpected adventure that gains even the Prince Regent's attention.
Will Ariana's faith survive this test? What about her heart? For it's Ariana's heart that most threatens to betray the truths she has always believed in. When she finds herself backed against a wall, betrothed to the wrong man, how can it ever turn out right?

 The House in Grosvenor Square
As Ariana Forsythe plans her wedding, she must adjust to the realization that she will soon become the wife of an extremely wealthy man. She wonders if it's wrong to rejoice that her future husband is rich. But, she promises herself to use her new position to do what she can to aid the numerous street waifs she sees all too often in London.
During a tour of her future home-the house in Grosvenor Square-Ariana impulsively makes plans to redecorate (just a little) according to
her tastes . But when Philip arrives home later, he is informed that an expensive silver candlestick and a miniature portrait of George III have gone missing. Moreover, each time Ariana visits the house, another item disappears.
When Ariana suffers an abduction attempt by two villains, and other mysterious goings-on are unexplained, Mr. Mornay must unravel the
mystery of who is after her, and why. He knows he has to prevent any harm from befalling his future bride, even if it means he must keep her
under lock and key in his own house!

"Country girl, Ariana Forsythe, is sent to a wealthy aunt in London to head off an unsuitable match in this faith-based Regency romance. The author's command of period detail is impressive, evident in material details but also in dialogue. The theology is also period authentic. The novel even contains a glossary to help non-Regencyphiles get up to speed about the difference between ladies' pelisses and spencers...On the whole it's a tasty confection."
Publisher's Weekly, 2008

"Well-written, interesting, captivating, romantic, inspirational, and addictive, Before the Season Ends shows how the Lord can influence every part of your life without being overly preachy. To my surprise, I could not put this book down, and I'm recommending it to all my friends."
"For anyone looking for a truly refreshing romance, this beautifully written story is just that and more! This book is a must read for anyone who enjoys Christian Romance. It is fast-paced and exciting from cover to cover. In my opinion, Linore Rose Burkard is an excellent and intelligent writer. I will definitely be looking forward to more work by this talented lady."
"Before the Season Ends is a delightful book that captures the spirit of Jane Austen! This is a beautiful love story with rich character development and wit. Out of the many books I preview for a book club, this one stood far above others in the same genre. The author helps readers take a good look at choices, motivations, feelings, and prejudices through the filter of Biblical truth and provides many areas for group discussion or just self reflection. Do yourself a favor by pouring a good cup of English tea and settling down with this book for a charming literary escape."
S. Andrews

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Quaker Christmas by Ramona K. Cecil or Christmas cookie cutters ENDS November 28th

Ramona K. Cecil is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance poet, and award-winning inspirational romance writer. First published in poetry, she’s had ninety inspirational verses published on gift items sold by Dicksons, Inc., a leader in the Christian gift market. Her other publishing credits include five inspirational historical romance novels and two novellas.
Ramona lives in southern Indiana with her husband, Jim. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.

I met Ramona on online, but had the privilege of meeting her at conference this year. So I am super excited about her being on my blog this week. Ramona is giving away a choice of her new Christmas book or a set of Christmas cookie cutters. Leave a comment to be entered.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I’m in our spare bedroom, which I use as my office. Yes, this is where all my stories happen. And maybe that’s why the room looks like a tornado has happened to it. I’m wearing my favorite raggedy sea-green T shirt top, black sweat pants, and fuzzy magenta slipper socks. At least I’m colorful. :o)
If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?
Elnora in A Girl of the Limberlost. First, I loved the story—one of my favorites by Hoosier author Gene Stratton Porter. I loved Elnora’s determination to realize her dream of attending college despite her poverty and an unloving mother as well as her capacity for forgiveness. I also like how Porter used the story to showcase the natural beauty of my state, Indiana,
What is something that very few people know about you?
I was a tomboy as a child and loved to climb trees. I grew up during the time when TV Westerns were all the rage and I knew all the shows’ theme songs by heart and could out-draw my younger brother in pretend “High Noon” type gunfights.
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
A necklace that belonged to my great-grandmother. It’s gold filigree with one tiny ruby and one tiny pearl.
If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
I honestly think I’m happiest living in the time I’m living in now, though I’d love the chance to travel back in time for short visits.
If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
I’d visit Northern Ireland, Wales, and Germany to experience the places where my ancestors lived.
If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord)
I’d love to meet my dad’s mom, my Grandma Jolly. She died when I was two and I never got to know her.
What is the hardest part in writing a story?
Writing that very first line. I agonize over what will be the best first sentence to catch the reader’s interest.
What is the funniest/strangest/or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
Oh my, I don’t know where to start, but what comes to mind is something I learned while researching a whaling novella. I learned about a substance called ambergris, which is occasionally found in the digestive system of sperm whales and was historically used in the making of perfume. 
If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
Dreamer by Birth, Author by God’s Grace.

Christmas is a simple matter among the Quakers of the historic Ohio River Valley, and a time to welcome love into four households. Mary’s family offers hospitality to a weary traveler, but can they bring light to his hurting soul? Lucinda struggles with faith after her husband’s death. Will knows he should have been the one killed. Can Lucinda and Will rediscover joy and love this Christmas season? Keturah loves God and her Quaker family. Yet the adventure of the river beckons.When two very different brothers vie for her affection, which will win her heart? Newlywed Susanna Griffith faces Christmas alone when her husband is imprisoned for his involvement in the Underground Railroad. Then a pregnant runaway slave’s arrival tests Susanna’s courage as well as her commitment to her husband’s cause. 

New Blog announcing giveaways! Want to know where all the book giveaways are? We've started a new blog that gives you the links to other blog giveaways. Are you a blogger or an author needing a way to get the word out to readers you have a giveaway? Check out and follow us: fictionaddictionfix.blogspot.com

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday,  November 28th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

The winner of Julie Lessman's giveaway is Linore! Congratulations!