Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Promise to Protect by Liz Johnson

Back Cover Blurb:
Navy SEAL Matt Waterstone knows about keeping people safe. When his best friend's sister is attacked, Matt promises no harm will come to Ashley Sawyer-not on his watch. But Matt's not the only protective one. Ashley will do anything to safeguard the residents of the battered women's shelter she runs. She's sure she can handle the threats she gets in return. What she can't handle is the way Matt scales the walls around her heart. Yet when she falls prey to a crime web more sinister than she'd realized, trusting Matt could be the only way to survive.



 

Read an excerpt:


"When do you go wheels up?" Ashley Sawyer asked as she walked down the street toward the local grocery store several blocks away.

"I'm impressed," her brother teased, the warm amusement in his voice coming clearly through the phone line. "You've been paying attention to the lingo."

"And you're avoiding the question." Tristan had been deploying with his team of U.S. Navy SEALs since she was sixteen. She knew that when he didn't answer a question, it was usually because he couldn't.

Stepping onto the curb, she asked, "Well, you and Matt just take care of each other, okay?"

Silence hung on the line for so long that she checked her phone to make sure she hadn't dropped the call. "Tristan?"

"Matt's not going this time."

Her heart squeezed just a bit. She'd counted on Matt Waterstone, her brother's best friend since their first day in SEAL training, to watch out for Tristan. Matt had a habit of being in the right place at the right time, protecting Tristan from at least one bullet during their deployments. And that was just what he would actually own up to.

She swallowed an unexpected lump in her throat at the thought of harm coming to the man she'd had a crush on once upon a time. "What happened?"

"Nothing major. He'll heal up just fine with a little time. Hey, maybe I'll send him your way for a visit—keep him from getting bored here on his own."

Ashley chuckled as she stepped down from the curb to cross the street. "Right, I'm sure he'd have more fun in tiny little Charity Way, California, than in San Diego. Besides, I wouldn't have much time to entertain him. We just got a new guest at Lil's Place who needs somewhere to stay out of town. My next few days will be pretty full setting that up."

Lil's Place had been housing battered women and their children for nearly ten years, and Ashley had served there for the past three. Within the past year she'd taken over as director of operations for the shelter. The new girl was her responsibility—along with all the other women and children at the shelter.

"Oh, Tristan, she's so young—maybe not even quite eighteen, and so petite. This guy must have been a monster, because she's bruised from her wrists all the way up to her elbows."

Her stomach swooped at just the thought of Joy, the young girl who had been dropped off the night before. If she had to guess, she'd say the girl was probably Korean, but Joy hadn't spoken more than a few words since arriving at Lil's, barely offering her name. That was certainly understandable. It was hard to talk with anyone—let alone a stranger—after suffering at an abuser's hands. After all, Ashley hadn't spoken to anyone about it for months after the first time Paul hit her. Just the memory made her cheek sting, and she rubbed it absently as she entered the grocery store.

"Where'd she come from?" Tristan was always so straightforward. His question brought a wry grin to her lips.

Looking over her shoulder and around the end of the aisle to make sure she wouldn't be overheard in the store, Ashley whispered, "My friend Miranda dropped her off last night. She just said the girl needs to get out of town and asked if I knew of a place where she'd be safe."

A full-body shiver made her wrap her arms around her middle. She didn't like moving abuse victims out of Charity Way—leaving an abuser was traumatic enough without having to adjust to a new town—but in certain high-risk situations, it was necessary. Some abusive men went after their victims. Hadn't Paul come after her every time she broke things off? Every time she changed her phone number? And Joy deserved to have a safe place to recover until she was ready to face her attacker.

Tristan let out a slow breath. "She's lucky to have you looking out for her. But don't forget to look out for yourself. You know what my rule number two is, right?"

"Don't fall out of the boat?"

He snorted. "Know your enemy. You've got to know who's been hurting this girl if your friend thinks there's a chance he'll come after her."

"And is rule number one as useful in this situation?"

"Don't get shot."

"All right. I won't. You don't either."

Having paid for a box of bandages and a compression wrap, Ashley exited the shop and started heading back home. As she crossed Main Street, she happened to glance to the side, directly into the reflection of the sun off of the windshield of a white sedan. Suddenly its tires squealed against the pavement as the car barreled toward her, gaining speed with every inch. Her mind froze, and her instincts took over as she fell backward. Her hip slammed into the sidewalk just as the car flew by and disappeared down another side street.

To Purchase her book, go here:
loveinspiredsuspensebookstore



To Keep in Touch with Liz:
www.lizjohnsonbooks.com,
 www.Twitter.com/LizJohnsonBooks
 www.Facebook.com/LizJohnsonBooks


About Liz:
Liz Johnson graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations and works as an editorial and marketing manager at a Christian publisher. She is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Promise to Protect is her fourth novel with Love Inspired Suspense. Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her two nephews and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings.



  Liz is giving away a copy of A Promise to Protect. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.









Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

Friday, December 28, 2012

Designed for Devotion by Dianne Neal Matthews



Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible (Tyndale House) and Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation (Baker Books). She also writes regularly for websites and blogs (such as CBN.com and FindingGodDaily.com), contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ 2013 Mornings with Jesus), and enjoys speaking and teaching at writers' conferences. Dianne is a 2006 CLASS graduate and a member of Advanced Writers & Speakers, Christian Authors Network, and Toastmasters International. She and her husband, Richard, currently live in Salt Lake City, which is too far away from their three grown children and two adorable grandchildren. To learn more, please visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

 

Featured Book: Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation (Baker Books, Sept. 2012)

Genre: Nonfiction; one-year devotional

Book Cover Blurb:
There is no better way to know God more intimately than to immerse yourself in His Word, and Designed for Devotion helps you do just that. Whether you are new to Bible study or you simply long to learn more about God's Word, this is the perfect devotional to bring you deeper into the Scriptures as you deepen your relationship with God.

 

Full description:
There is no better way to know God more intimately than to immerse yourself in his Word , and Designed for Devotion helps you do just that. Combining fascinating historical background information about the Bible with practical application you can implement in your life each day, Dianne Matthews takes you through the Bible from beginning to end. Guiding your journey, she

·        highlights key stories, characters, and basic teachings

·        explores Old Testament passages that reveal Jesus as the Messiah

·        offers historical background about each book of the Bible, including author, theme, and purpose

·        ties the Old and New Testaments together to show the Bible as a single story

·        shows you how to apply each day's lesson to your own spiritual journey

Whether you are new to Bible study or you simply long to learn more about God's Word, this is the perfect devotional to bring you deeper into the Scriptures as you deepen your relationship with God.


 
 

January 1

The Bible: God’s Masterpiece

God's word is living and active. Hebrews 4:12

How could the writings of at least forty men from different walks of life, writing over a span of twenty centuries, flow together to tell one continuous story? 2 Timothy 3:16 gives us the answer: “Every Scripture is inspired by God”. The Greek word usually translated as “inspired” literally means “God-breathed”. Although God allowed each author to write from his unique perspective and in his own personal style, God’s Spirit controlled the outcome.

Just as God breathed life into Adam and Eve, he breathed life into his Book, giving it power to transform lives. Through the Scriptures, we understand our sin and God’s offer of forgiveness and eternal life. Our Creator shows us how to enter into a personal relationship with him. We receive practical instruction in how to live life to the fullest. By studying and applying God’s Word, we allow his Spirit to control us so that we can reflect his character to the world.

No book has ever been more loved—or more hated. Through the ages, many people have risked imprisonment or death to share God’s Word; others have dedicated their lives to destroying it. At one time, church leaders tortured or killed anyone who translated the Bible so that people could read it for themselves. Through all the vicious attacks, God protected his Word and today we have many choices of translations and languages.

How could we ever take such a treasure for granted? To think that the Creator of the universe went to such great lengths to make himself known to us is mind-boggling. Many people look for miracles or seek out emotional highs while ignoring the primary way God reveals himself. We can’t grow in our relationship with God without studying what he wrote to us. Why would we let a day go by without taking time to see what he has to say?



Dianne Neal Matthews is giving away a copy of Designed for Devotion. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your e-mail address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.
 


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Please Welcome Dianne Neal Matthews



Good morning, Dianne. Can you tell us a little background on your idea to write DESIGNED FOR DEVOTION?

 
I worked on this project with the title The One Year Bible Journey in mind. When the team at Baker suggested Designed for Devotion as the main title, it took a day or so to grow on me. But the more I thought about it, the more I appreciated its threefold meaning. First, as human beings, were designed to be devoted to our Creator. We are wired to worship—if not God, then something or someone else. Secondly, our Creator designed his Word to reveal Himself and to help us enter into that intimate relationship with him that we naturally long for. And finally, this book is designed to be the readers’ companion as they take a journey that will hopefully increase their devotion to God and his Word.

What started you on your writing journey?
 
 
As a little girl, I loved to make up stories and share them. Writing assignments were always my favorite part of school. But as an adult, I didn’t have the confidence or courage to pursue creative writing. It was just something I fantasized about until my mid-forties when I began writing occasional articles for my church’s newsletter. Urged by a friend, I attended a writers’ conference (Write-to-Publish Conference, Chicago area) asking God to show me if writing was His will for me or my own self-centered dream. He answered clearly that week and I’ve never doubted my calling since then.

What do you like most about writing devotions?

 
Writing devotionals keeps me excited about how fresh and relevant God's Word is. I love finding creative ways to illustrate a Bible verse or spiritual principle, whether using elements of nature, historical events, pop culture trivia, news events, my own personal experiences, or any other source. I love drawing out practical application that demonstrates how relevant the Bible is to our lives today. I also enjoy trying to find a way to end with a statement that helps the content stick in the reader’s mind (especially when I come up with a pun). And feedback from readers motivates me to keep writing devotionals. It's such a blessing when someone tells me that a devotional has spoken to their specific situation, or says that one of my books is a part of their regular quiet time. 

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)

 
I love reading classic literature by authors like Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, George Eliot. I also love J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. As for contemporary authors, two of my favorites are Stephen Lawhead and Frank Delaney (who writes about Ireland). There’s no way I could ever pick out one novel as my favorite, but I’ve always felt that Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is one of the most perfect books I ever read. Besides a gripping story line, it gives the reader a dose of history, philosophy, sociology, economics, and more. The story also gives us a picture of unconditional, sacrificial love, reminding readers of the love that Jesus demonstrated toward us.
What is your favorite season of the year? 
 
That’s an easy one. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the splendor of trees in their fall colors, the crunch of leaves on the ground, the brisk breezes, and the tastes of autumn, like hot spiced apple cider and pumpkin bread. Maybe it’s because I grew up on a farm, but autumn still holds a sense of the summer’s long, hard work being rewarded by the harvest bounty.
 
What do you like most about the area where you grew up?
 
It’s funny, but the things I value most about my childhood are things I didn’t always appreciate back then. I grew up way out in the country in west Tennessee, with my family of six working our cotton fields, growing most of our food, and taking care of a few cows. We learned to work hard and appreciate what we had, not expecting things to be handed to us. Plus, I spent any free time entertaining myself, mostly playing in the woods. That allowed my imagination to develop—and boy, did it ever! By today’s standards, I grew up in poverty, but we were rich in our family life and community within our tiny country church. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
 
What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
 
 
I once performed as a rapper—and at church. Almost twenty-five years ago, a few women at my church wrote a VBS curriculum on the subject of heaven. They knew I liked to make word plays and rhymes, so they asked me if I could write a rap to go along with it. I agreed to try as long as someone else would perform it. I ended up teaching the rap to the kids each day with my friend, Carolyn, who was leading the music that week. We dressed in oversized neon t-shirts, sneakers, caps turned sideways, and called ourselves “Rosie and Rita, the Righteous Rappers.” We even performed in front of the parents at the closing program. Our public loved us—except I think I saw my own kids hiding under a pew.
     
Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you (and why it's special).
 
 
When I attended my first writers’ conference in 1999, deep down I expected to be asked to leave when my manuscript was evaluated; instead, the editor wrote positive comments that seemed too good to be true. All that week, Ephesians 3:20-21 kept coming to my mind. The same verse sustained me when I was asked to write two of my one-year devotional books in impossibly short periods of time. And this newest devotional represented the biggest challenge yet—giving an overview of the Bible from beginning to end. Once again I clung to that passage. That’s why I’ve included these verses in the front of each one of my books.
    Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. 
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)
 
 
***Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation can be purchased through local bookstores (Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million as well as Christian bookstores) and all online outlets.

 To learn more, please visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
 
Dianne Neal Matthews is giving away a copy of her devotional, DESIGNED FOR DEVOTION. The giveaway is only available in the U.S.
 
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.
 
 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Warm Welcome to Award Winning Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Is there a story behind Betrayal on the Border?
I have strong concern about issues regarding the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The situation with the drug cartels just south of Laredo, TX, is appalling. Decent people hardly dare live in the area. Friends of ours operate a mission outreach there. They used to live in Nuevo Laredo, but their location became so dangerous they had to move their base north of the border. They travel in and out of Mexico to reach out to the suffering people there. The children, especially, are helpless victims. Many are absolutely destitute.

In Betrayal on the Border, I envision a joint effort between U.S. forces and Mexican forces to wipe out a particularly noxious cartel. As the title implies, a betrayal occurs, with tragic consequences. The story takes up from the point of the tragedy and leads the reader through a hair-raising race to expose who on the U.S. side is hand-in-glove with the cartel.

Sounds fantastic. What started you on your writing journey?
Well, it was God, I believe, but He worked through my 6th grade teacher to provide that shove from avid reader into avid writer. Unwittingly, my teacher helped me realize that I wanted not only to gain pleasure from a good book, but I wanted to give that pleasure to others. That school year, I wrote my first novel--a perfectly horrible mystery. (What else?) The world is grateful that not a shred of the manuscript yet exists! However, I did finish it, which is a milestone moment for any writer. Too many lovely story ideas get started, but end up moldering unfinished in a would-be author’s desk drawer or hard drive.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
My grandchildren! I have two biological grands and four more grands-in-love. I drop pretty much anything to spend time with them.


I can sympathize with that "problem." lol. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
As I’ve often said, I write what I like to read—tales of mystery and suspense seasoned with romance, humor, and faith. Most recently, I finished rereading the first two books in the Squeaky Clean Mystery series by Christy Barritt, and then read her newer release in the series, Organized Grime. You can tell from the title that it’s a humorous and spine-tingling romp. Highly recommended!

A few days ago, I turned the last page on Nikki Arana’s The Next Target. This one is a must-read for anyone concerned about forming an accurate and compassionate picture about Islam--the radical elements, as well as the decent, moderate majority being swept into the fanaticism of the few. An awesome read!

I agree! Both authors are great. Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?

I had a lot of fun writing the character of Maddie Jameson. She’s a female ex-Army Ranger and not your stereotypical romance heroine. It was a challenge and a pleasure to craft her and her love interest, Chris Mason, in such a way that the role reversal didn’t detract from, but rather enhanced, their natural genders. I invite my readers to see for themselves if I succeeded. J

Tell us about a favorite childhood memory.

I remember one year when I was around the age of 9 or 10, I became indignant that Santa Claus only came to children, and a brilliantly absurd idea entered my head. I decided to play Santa for my parents.

For weeks, I squirreled away a portion of my allowance and began to purchase small trinkets like pens or nail polish or candy for my mom and dad. I even made them stockings out of scraps of felt. The stockings were amateur hour to say the least, but I had fun making them. Christmas Eve night I snuck out of bed and into the room designated as the “playroom” for us kids, hung my parents’ stockings on the toy shelf and filled them with the little treasures I’d collected.

The next morning, after we kids had collected our Santa loot, I dragged my parents into the playroom and proudly presented my handiwork. I remember feeling so fulfilled as they oohed and ahhed over the little nothings I’d managed to collect for them. It was definitely the thought that counted!

What a lovely memory! What is your favorite season of the year?

I love fall—the colors, the smells. Grilling chicken or steak with family on a beautiful Indian summer evening is my idea of perfect relaxation.

Me, too. What's your favorite meal with family and friends?

My family get excited when they hear I'm going to make stromboli. Simply put, this dish is bread dough wrapped around a seasoned hamburger and cheese filling with sauteed onions and/or mushrooms optional. I usually have to make a plain version and a version with the onions and mushrooms in order to satisfy everyone’s tastes. (I like the kind with everything on it!) It’s really easy to make.

Simply thaw two loaves of frozen bread dough (either white or wheat, whatever is preferred), and then flatten each loaf on a greased cookie sheet. Brown two pounds of hamburger seasoned with garlic powder and spread the hamburger down the middle of the flattened dough. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the hamburger. Use generous handfuls! The cheese can be cheddar or mozzarella, whatever folks like at your house. Add the sautéed onions and/or mushrooms if desired, and then pull the sides of the flattened bread loaves up over the filling and pinch the dough together until the filling is completely enclosed.

Bake the strombolli in a 350 degree oven for half an hour. Let the loaves cool for five minutes or so then slice and serve.


Yum. Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
My life verses are II Timothy 2: 24 – 26. And a servant of the lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (NKJV)

These verses have inspired my life mission statement: I am a woman of the Word, called to be a woman of the word.


When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book is tentatively entitled Shadow of Suspicion and takes up the story of David Greene, a secondary character from Betrayal on the Border. David is the only suspect in the murder of his girlfriend. He would be in prison but for insufficient evidence to convict him in a court of law. However, he has been convicted in the court of public opinion, rendering his life horrid and lonely. Even David himself is unsure whether or not he killed his girlfriend. He was a non-Christian party animal when the murder occurred and has no recollection of the fateful night in question. In Shadow of Suspicion, my readers will find out what really happened. The release date for Shadow of Suspicion is not yet determined. Sometime in 2013 I hope.

 

Purchase her books at:
loveinspiredsuspensebook store

About the author:Award-winning author and writing teacher, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, writes what she likes to read—tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith. Jill is a popular speaker for conferences, writers groups, library associations, and civic and church groups. She delights to bring the “Ahah! Moment” to her students as they make new skills their own. Her handbook for writers, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View, is now available at: http://amzn.to/IvQTkj

Visit Jill on the web at: www.jillelizabethnelson.com

or look her up on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JillElizabethNelson.Author 

or Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JillElizNelson.

Her next release is Betrayal on the Border, coming in December from Love Inspired Suspense.


Jill is giving away a copy of Betrayal on the Border. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.





 
 
 
Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown







Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Warm Welcome to Liz Johnson

What started you on your writing journey?I’m not sure exactly what got me started. I was just sort of always writing. When I was seven, I was given a school assignment to write two paragraphs about a bear. I ended up writing several pages. That was probably the first indication that I was going to be a writer, and I just never stopped. I wrote all through junior high, high school, and college. All of it was great practice.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
ANYTHING! I’m so easily distracted. Anything on my computer seems shiny compared to writing some days. Twitter. Facebook. Spider Solitaire. I’m not picky. Anything that’s easier than writing is a distraction for me.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love reading just about anything. I'm a big fan of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and other books. My all time favorite book is The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, a Newberry Award Winner from 1955. But close behind that are The Princess Bride and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I'm also a huge fan of Karen Witemeyer's and Julie Klassen's historicals. From dystopian YA to historical romance to biographies and christian living books. I enjoy all sorts.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
I like to think that I'd be something fun and low key. Maybe some southern rock. I'm not really very southern--even though I live in Nashville now--but I love the idea of being cool and relaxed and fun and bouncy, too.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was 19, I decided that I needed a nose ring. At the time, I was working at DisneyWorld, and I wasn’t allowed any visible piercings except my ears. So I had to wait for about two months, but the day before I left Florida, I got my nose ring, which I wore for two years through the rest of college. Then I promptly cut my hair short into a pixie cut. I loved it! But the day I graduated from college I took it out. Sometimes I still miss it, but it doesn’t exactly go with my day job, so I guess we’ve seen the last of my nose ring.

What is your favorite season of the year?
I love the fall. The brilliant color of the leaves (something I missed out on growing up in the Arizona desert) never ceases to enthrall me. Plus it’s cool enough to want to wear a sweater, but a heavy coat isn’t needed. It’s the perfect prelude to Christmas, which is my favorite holiday.

What is a favorite (season) memory from your childhood?
When I was very young, my family lived on an acreage in Iowa, and we had a huge lawn with great big trees. That left leaves everywhere. My brother and sister and I were responsible for raking, bagging, and disposing of the leaves. But we always raked them up into big piles and then jumped into them. I don’t know if kids still do that, but it’s one of the things that I really missed when we moved to Arizona and didn’t have leaves to rake.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
I’m a terrible procrastinator, so I’ll put off just about anything I can. But the thing I’m worst about is cleaning my home, although my house is always cleanest when I’m on deadline. :) When the words aren’t coming, cleaning suddenly seems like the most fun thing to do.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
I’m not much of a cook, but I love my dad’s hamburgers, green bean casserole, and pistachio salad. I’m not sure where the pistachio salad recipe came from, but it’s a family favorite. Just add one packet of pistachio pudding mix (just the mix, not the actual pudding), one can of crushed pineapple, and one tub of cool whip. Mix it up and put it in the fridge to set. Simple, sweet, and a family favorite.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I generally write about whatever God is teaching me. I don’t usually set out to write a specific spiritual theme, but as my walk with God is growing and changing, those things organically show up in my writing. For example, in A Promise to Protect, the hero and heroine both have to learn not to boast in their own strength but to rely on God’s strength. That was something that God had been teaching me leading up to the writing of the book, and it showed up in the characters without a lot of planning on my part.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
I love Romans 5:5. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” I love that promise. The verses leading up to this one talk about how struggles lead to perseverance, which leads to character and character leads to hope. I cling to this verse in good times and bad, and I never hesitate to hope.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book is due out early next fall. It doesn’t have a title yet, but it’s a follow up to A Promise to Protect and features another Navy SEAL, Tristan Sawyer, who is Ashley’s brother and Matt’s best friend. Tristan rescues an American woman from a Middle Eastern prison, but she’s overhead something that means her life is in danger, even back in San Diego.



To Purchase her book, go here:
Liz Johnson graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations and works as an editorial and marketing manager at a Christian publisher. She is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Promise to Protect is her fourth novel with Love Inspired Suspense. Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her two nephews and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings.

To Keep in Touch with Liz:
www.lizjohnsonbooks.com,
www.Twitter.com/LizJohnsonBooks
www.Facebook.com/LizJohnsonBooks

 Liz is giving away a copy of A Promise to Protect. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

 
 
 
 
Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


 

 

Betrayal on the Border by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

About the Book:

 
Former army communications specialist Maddie Jerrard may not remember the details of the deadly mission on the Texas-Mexico border, but she knows one thing. She's not the one responsible for the massive ambush that left only her and investigative journalist Chris Mason alive. The culprit must be the only other survivor—Chris. Yet with suspicion—and danger—targeting Maddie and Chris, and a killer on their trail, partnering up is the only solution. But as Maddie and Chris get closer to uncovering the truth, they'll have to trust each other to make it through alive.




Read the excerpt:
Chapter One

If that off-white chunk of clay was craftsman's putty, Maddie Jameson would eat her tool belt. What was C-4 explosive compound doing on the kitchen table in this unit at Morningside Apartments? A chill rippled her insides.

Not everyone would recognize the remnants from the construction of a pipe bomb. To the untrained eye, the dab of C-4 could be mistaken for putty and the bits of wire and lengths of sawed-off pipe merely scraps from a handyman project. But then, not many apartment-maintenance workers were ex-army rangers with Maddie's skill set—or a history that meant she must keep her head down and her eyes peeled.

Those who hunted her were relentless and ruthless, and she was damaged prey. She needed to see them coming before they got to her. Not that she ever knew exactly what hired assassin would be after her. She could bump into one on the street and not know it until he tried to take her out. Everyone was a suspect. If only she could figure out why she was marked for death. Had she seen something the night of the attack a year ago on the Rio Grande? If so, her head injury had erased it from her memory.

Was she the target of the bomb these Morningside tenants had been making? If the three attempts on her life within the past year were any clue, she'd be an idiot to think otherwise. Where was the bomb planted? Her caretaker's apartment on the premises? Maddie's mouth went dry. There could be collateral damage. Dozens of people—including children—lived in this building, and a bomb didn't care who it destroyed.

Dear God, please don't let innocent families be hurt because of me.

Fighting for a full breath, she looked down at the work order in her hand. No, she hadn't made a mistake. The order listed this apartment and stated that the tenants had given permission for the maintenance person to enter in their absence in order to replace a torn window screen. But she'd checked the screens—they were whole. Why would the tenants give permission for her to enter the premises on a trumped-up excuse and then leave their bomb-making scraps lying around in plain view?

Unless this was a trap.

The air in Maddie's lungs went arctic. Maybe the bomb was planted in this very unit. The timer could click down to zero at any second.

Her feet cried Run—seek safety somewhere…anywhere! But flight wouldn't help the other people who could be blown to smithereens.

Sweat trickled down her scalp, despite the coolness blowing from the wall-mounted air conditioner. The scar above her right ear itched, but she ignored the sensation as she yanked her two-way radio from her belt and began to search the premises with her eyes. There wasn't much space to cover in this studio apartment. A kitchenette. A living-room area with an easy chair and matching ottoman, a television the tenants had left blaring, and a couch that had been slept on, if the rumpled bedding was any indication. A hide-a-bed pulled out from the wall filled the rest of the space. That, too, hosted a nest of wadded bedding.

"Bill, do you have a copy?" Maddie spoke into the radio.

She took her thumb off the button and listened for a response. Silence answered. Great! The apartment manager had chosen this critical moment to be absent from his office.

Maddie gingerly cracked the oven door open and peered inside. No bomb. She checked the refrigerator. A half-gallon carton of milk, a partially eaten brick of cheese and an overripe peach, but no bomb. She opened the cupboards with one hand while using the other to keep calling for Bill every few seconds. Still no answer. Her throat tensed as if invisible fingers had tightened around her windpipe. A little voice in her head screamed she was running out of time.

The tenants in this unit had opted not to hook up a land-line phone, and company regulations dictated that employees not carry cell phones. Bad policy in this instance. Maybe she should run to the office herself and phone for the bomb squad. But the bomb could go off in her absence and kill any of the neighbors above, below or on either side. If she found the apparatus, she could defuse it as well as—or better than—the police experts.

She went to the clothes closet and pulled back the sliding door. Phew! The scent of onions rolled out. One of the owners of the stack of luggage that filled most of the space must have a love affair with the vegetable she most despised. Maddie let out a heavy sigh. She'd have to search each bag, and she'd be surprised if she didn't find a different name on every airline tag. Crooks who wanted to fly under the system's radar sometimes generated pocket money by walking off with pieces from baggage carousels and pawning or selling the contents.

From the hallway came the sound of male voices. They drew nearer…nearer…and then stopped on the other side of the apartment entrance. Maddie froze. The tenants were returning? Then the bomb wasn't here. Her shoulders slumped, but then her gut tensed. It was too late to slip away unseen. She could hide in the closet with the onion odor, but to what purpose? If the tenants were in for the evening, she'd be found eventually. There was no way to exit this third-floor unit except through the front door.

Well, then, that's how she'd leave. If she could bluff her way out, fine. If not. Tingles traveled down her extremities. Her muscles gathered. Combat instincts reared their ugly heads. Instincts she wished to forget. Instincts she might need. Again.




About the author:

Award-winning author and writing teacher, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, writes what she likes to read—tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith. Jill is a popular speaker for conferences, writers groups, library associations, and civic and church groups. She delights to bring the “Ahah! Moment” to her students as they make new skills their own. Her handbook for writers, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View, is now available at:http://amzn.to/IvQTkj.

Visit Jill on the web at: www.jillelizabethnelson.com or look her up on:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JillElizabethNelson.Author

or Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JillElizNelson.


Her newest release is Betrayal on the Border, out in December from Love Inspired Suspense


Purchase her books at:
loveinspiredsuspensebook store



Jill is giving away a copy of Betrayal on the Border. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.  To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.



 
 
 
 
Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weekly Winners!!



Welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.

Before we announce the winners we'd like to offer a special thank you to:

Sherri Wilson Johnson for offering a copy of her book: SONG OF THE MEADOWLARK
Marlene Banks for offering a copy of her book: GREENWOOD & ARCHER

And now, we are please to announce this week's winners:

Jo has won SONG OF THE MEADOWLARK
KayM has won GREENWOOD & ARCHER

Winners, it is your responsibility to contact me: CarolAnnErhardt {at} gmail {dot} com with your mailing address so the author can send you a book.
Subscribing by email will ensure you don't miss the winners list. ;-) 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Welcome Back Michelle Sutton

Welcome to the Book Loft, Michelle. It's great to see you again. We are talking about your newest book Surprise Love today. Is there a story behind this novel?

Actually, there is. I thought about creating a plot for the Love Finds You line and in fact the acquisitions editor suggested the setting involve baseball. Well, they didn't end up taking my proposal but I had a first chapter written and I figured I might as well write the rest, so Surprise Love would have been LFY in Surprise, Arizona, had they bought it. Of course, since it wasn't sold to them the story itself became a lot edgier as I went along. I figured, why not?

What’s the last thing you wrote?

Besides this book, the last thing I wrote was Decision to Love, the third book in the Sacred Vows series.

What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?

My first project was Tombstone Treasures, book 1 First Impressions. I revised it about fifty times and made it from a full length novel, then shortened it to a novella length, then ended up making it a full length novel again.

Who is the most fun character you ever created?

Probably Donato Garafalo, Jr. from Out of Time (AKA my sexy racecar driver story) because he is so heroic in the story. He was a real playboy before he found faith in Christ. He struggles with how to live his life with a renewed mind because his life had been full of activities that didn't glorify God before he was saved. Plus, I just like to torture my male characters. I'm just mean that way.

Michelle, we've been friends for a long time. Before you published your first Novel. And now look at your portfolio!

Which of your written plots is your favorite?

That's a tough one. Probably my book, Never Without Hope because of the ministry value of the book and the fact that it has touched so many broken lives and helped readers to heal. I basically took a decent church-going family and gave the husband an impotency issue that he didn't want to deal with. I had the wife beg him to get help and when he refused to listen she ended up in the arms of another man. The theme of the book is the importance of sex in marriage but also how God can restore any marriage no matter how far one spouse strays. But the marriage has to be centered on Christ to truly be restored and healed.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

I rarely get writer's block, but when I do I just start another project or read for a few days and do no writing at all until my brain sprouts an idea that will work for the story.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?

Historical romance. I don't have the patience to do the research, but I sure do love to read it. My favorite subject is history so that's mainly what I read.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?

Honestly? Three. I have a number of other books that I started years ago and will get back to, but I'm actively writing three books right now that are all due in the near future.

How do you find the time to write?

I write on my days off and the weekend. I just have goals for myself, but if I'm not motivated to write, I don't force myself to do it. I have gone a few weeks without writing a word. But I always start up again. Some days I can really crank out the word count.

How do people react when they find out you write?

They look at me like I'm famous or they think something lame about me, like I'm rich. Of course, I'm not.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

Actually, I plan to put out a short self-pubbed book called Somebody Love Me and it's loosely based on my teen years. After that I have the first book in my High Desert Devotion series titled Collette's Crusade. In all, I'll have 29 books out by January 2016.

That sounds great, Michelle. I can't wait to read it.

You may purchase this e-book book at:

Michelle Sutton is giving away a copy of her ebook Surprise Love. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. you can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Surprise Love by Michelle Sutton


Back Cover Blurb:

Bryan Miller's dream is to become a professional baseball player. At least that’s what he's always believed. Then this stunning woman enters his world and he's instantly smitten. But she dares to shake his foundation by asking if playing pro ball is his dream, or his parents’ dream for his life. Who does she think she is to question his future plans? Sure, he has always enjoyed solving math equations and teaching people more than playing sports. Of course he wants to play pro ball, doesn't he? Suddenly he’s not so sure anymore.

Kami Garrett traveled the country with a women’s professional rodeo circuit before a serious injury two years ago took her out of the arena. Now if she stays in Arizona for the rest of her life that will be fine by her. She’s content to teach riding lessons. She adores baseball, but refuses to hook up with a pro ball player. Then this amazing man comes to Surprise for Spring Training and she's torn. Are they meant to be together, or are their different goals in life destined to keep them apart? 

Book Trailer:

 Book Excerpt:


(Cheers erupted from the stadium in Surprise, Arizona. The familiar sound met Kami Garrett in the parking lot like an old friend. As she stared at the stadium off in the distance, her mind slipped into the past to a time when she'd lived to hear the very same clamor and the rush she'd felt when the fans applauded her performance. Smiling at the frenzied noise, she closed her eyes and reflected on a time when she feared nothing.
  The rodeo crowd went wild as she waved from her perch on the saddle. Fans stomped and cheered in appreciation of her well-executed stunts. Her spotlight was due to end in less than ten minutes. Scanning the place where her father would normally sit, she found it empty. Again. He promised to come to her last performance of the season. So where was he?
  Shifting her attention back to her next stunt, she needed to focus on her performance before she lost her edge and made a costly mistake. Smokey, her quarter horse, switched from a canter to a steady gallop at her urging. She waved and couldn't resist scanning the crowd once more. No sign of her dad. He hadn't made it in time to see her perform. She swallowed hard, disappointed, but not surprised by his no show. Today he'd promised he would be there no matter what, and he'd let her down again.
  She swallowed the ache of disappointment in her throat and tried to focus on her performance. Her mare circled the arena over and over like they had done a hundred times before. She pin-wheeled on and off Smokey's saddle, her pace increasing with every rotation, her body spinning. What a rush she felt every time she spun in sync with the music. She had choreographed each stunt with precision and they had to be perfectly executed or disaster could happen.
   As she circled the arena she spied a man with a white cowboy hat and red vinyl jacket in the bleachers. Had her father made it? While elation made her heart race, her slight hesitation threw her timing off by half a second and her left leg missed the stirrup.
  She scrambled to hang on, but her right leg had hung up on the rear cinch at the same moment she grabbed the stirrup with her left hand. Everything happened as fast as a flash of lightning. She responded on instinct and she fought to hold on.
  The pain radiating from her thigh nearly caused her to let go of the reins. The crowd cheered like they thought her strange position was intentional. The pickup men raced toward her, and the crowd fell silent.
  Smokey continued galloping despite the pickup men's attempts to intervene. Adrenaline shot through her when she realized her leg was still twisting. She screamed and fought the momentum, unable to get control of her horse. Her femur snapped before they intercepted Smokey. She started to black out from the pain and prayed for release.
   Groaning, she tried not to lose consciousness as the pickup men finally interrupted her horse and released her leg. She heard the sickening thud as her body hit the stadium floor. She'd never forget the gritty sensation as her mouth filled with dirt. Her horse neighed, clearly upset that something had gone wrong. Smokey snorted her objection when forced to trot out of the arena with one of the men.
   A deadly hush from the crowd hung in the air until the announcer told them help was on its way. The announcer discussed upcoming events in an effort to distract them from her predicament. For Kami, everything sounded muffled like the voices had been sucked into a wind tunnel. She struggled to stay conscious, but the unbearable pain won and turned her world pitch black.
  She stirred again. Sirens peeled in the distance. Or were they blaring while she rode in an ambulance to the hospital? People knelt beside her and crowded her face. "Kami, can you hear me? Hang in there. We're taking you to the hospital. You're going to be just fine, okay?"
  A sharp jab in the arm and the sensation of cold fluid entering a vein made her shiver.
  "Kami?"
   Dryness filled her mouth and she tried to speak, but couldn't. Her leg throbbed where her spiral fracture had healed and her arm hurt as if she'd been freshly pricked.
  Or was someone grabbing her arm?
  "Kami?"
   The cacophony from fans carried on the wind and extended several blocks. She blinked and took a few seconds to reorient herself. She wasn't on her way to the hospital but stood outside the Surprise stadium in the parking lot. Now she remembered her plans for the evening. She and her cousin were standing outside the stadium waiting to see a baseball game, not to attend a rodeo.
   More shouts and whistles. Someone must've hit a homer.
   "Kami?" Her second cousin Mindy jiggled her shoulder. "Where were you, girl?"
   Kami glanced at Mindy and tried to relax her breathing. "Sorry. My mind drifted."
   "Your mind's always slipping off to somewhere else.")

About the Author:

Michelle Sutton has been reading since she was in kindergarten but never enjoyed writing, and she certainly never expected to be an author herself. However, in 2003, she felt God calling her to write. Once she got started she discovered she has no desire to stop. Now she is a multi-published, award-winning author of numerous romantic fiction titles. She still reads a lot of books and in her spare time writes reviews for a variety of blogs and websites as a media reviewer. Michelle lives with her husband and two sons on four acres in sunny Arizona.

Read more about Michelle here: 
Find her on Twitter:  Facebook: 

Michelle Sutton is giving away a copy of her ebook Surprise Love. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. you can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Purchase this e-book book at:




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