Healing Grace by Beth Shriver – Book promo

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
and the book:
Realms (October 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Althea Thompson for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Beth wrote her first novel in 2002 and a year later it was published. She was a caseworker before starting a family, grew up in Nebraska, and now lives in Texas.

She became interested in writing about the Amish when researching her family history and found she was related to the the Glick families in Europe. Beth also freelances for the local papers in her area, writes columns, devotionals, and novels in a variety of genres in both fiction and nonfiction. Beth followed her passion and now writes full time.

Beth has plenty of company when she writes, with her two cats and a beagle. She visits Amish communities in her area and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When not spending time with her family or friends she helps feed the homeless in South Dallas.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Can Abby overcome the pain caused by her father and find acceptance among the Amish? Abby finds more than love and safety when she meets Mose, as she struggles with the faith she left behind after the death of her mother. After time spent with Mose and his family she knows she has to make a choice. Will Abby stay with Mose or go back to her sick father who needs her.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Series: Touch of Grace (Book 3)

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Realms (October 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1621362973

ISBN-13: 978-1621362975

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

“This is all I have.” Abby flashed the money at the horse trader. It was more than she had planned to spend, but the filly was worth it. Did this man know the value of what he had, or did he just feel sorry for her? It hadn’t been all that long since her mother passed away, but he and everyone else in town knew her dad was a swindler. He wouldn’t be empathetic.

“That’s what they all say.” He grinned. “You know your horses.” He leaned back against a wooden post by the stall.

She studied him for a moment, trying to decide if she trusted him. Abby did have a knack for picking horses. Focusing on conformation, temperament, and breed, she also had a good eye to go with her knowledge and experience. All of this told her that this equine had bloodlines for excellent breeding. Abby had learned the process from her father, Jim, who once was one of the best breeders around. But Abby’s dream was to train them for shows, something Jim thought was ridiculous. With a horse like this, they could make it happen.

The last bit of sunlight disappeared, darkening the old barn. She didn’t like this part of town, and she was still unsure about this dealer, but he had the horse she wanted. She flipped her long blonde ponytail behind her and studied the filly before locking eyes with the trader. “She hasn’t been used on the track, has she?”

When he hesitated, Abby moved toward the horse.

“’Course not,” he scoffed.

She lifted the filly’s upper lip. No tattoo, the mark of a racer. She didn’t want a three-year-old burned-out horse. “Just checking.”

His dark eyebrows drew together, changing along with his demeanor. “I’m an honest horse seller, unlike your old man.”

Abby froze and stared at the horse until the heat in her face cooled down. She tried to think of how to respond, but she knew he was right, so she decided to ignore the comment. “Can I see the papers?”

“Sure.” He pulled some folded documents out of his back pocket and handed them to her. “Sign this one, and our business is done.” He pointed to the line where she was to write her name.

Abby paused. This was all the money her mother had given her—money Jim didn’t know about. How would she be able to explain this?

She looked over at the bay-colored mare. The brown tones contrasted beautifully with the white socks on all four of her legs, and her sleek body structure was the making of a fine competitor.

“Second thoughts?” His tone was flat, not friendly, but not flippant either.

“No…I—”

“You can wait and come back another time and see if she’s still here.” He almost sounded sincere.

She looked up at him to see a confident smirk appear. She knew the lines and had heard every spiel. Jim was the master of horse-selling tactics.

“You know better.” There was something about him she didn’t trust, so she stuck the money back in her pocket. “And so do I.” He was getting a good deal, and Abby hoped she was too.

He grunted, amused, then conceded with a nod.

She signed the papers and kept her copy. “This way you’ll know I’ll be back,” she said. Abby took one more look at the filly. “Yeah, this is the one,” she whispered, and she walked out of the barn.

The Crossroads Saga by Mary Ting – Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The Crossroads Saga

Crossroads Saga

 

crossroads tingCrossroads (Book 1)

Can two worlds collide in dreams?

Crossroads, Between, Beyond, Eternity, Halo City-novella

Protecting her from the fallen was his duty.

Falling in love was never part of his plan.

Loving her was forbidden.

Being with her was all that mattered, even if it meant he would be exiled for all eternity.

Claudia Emerson’s life is about to change when her good friend, who coincidentally shares the same first and last name, dies in a tragic accident after the homecoming dance. Distraught at the loss of her friend, Claudia’s dreams become tumultuous, and through them she mysteriously travels to another world called Crossroads. Unknown to her, Crossroads is like a second heaven, a place between heaven and earth, where the souls of humans in comas or near death experiences may wander. There, she unexpectedly meets Michael, a nephilim–half angel, half human. It turns out that this isn’t her first visit, which is an enigma, for she has no recollection of being there, and is told that no human has crossed over…until Claudia. Now that she’s been there, fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special, and it is up to Michael and the other nephilim to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most. The situation becomes even more complicated when she is unable to hinder her feelings for her swoon-worthy guardian angel. Can Michael fight his growing feelings for Claudia and protect her as a guardian angel should, or will he be too blinded by human emotions and the struggles of being who he is?

Crossroads is FREE

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords

Download a copy today!!

 

Praise for Crossroads

“Crossroads contains action, twists and romance that has you flipping through the pages so fast that you’re at the end and ready for more before you know it.” ~Gabby, Nashville Young Adult Fiction Examiner/What’s Beyond Forks

“Watch out Edward Cullen! The angel Michael has officially given you a run for your money! Teens everywhere will add a new fictional boyfriend to their ever growing lists! OMWings! An amazing paranormal angel romance that stays with you long after the last page has turned. I need more!” ~Jennifer Howell with LateBloomerOnline.com

“Crossroads by Mary Ting has it all: danger, romance, suspense, incredible characters and an original plot that is sure to thrill. The action never stops as good and evil battle to the death. This well written and fascinating love story will keep readers entranced.” ~ReadersFavorite.com

 

Book Trailer

Teaser

Though Phillip had already told me that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an alkin and a fallen, it was confirmed as I watched the battle. They looked just like the alkins as the two sides battled with swords. Watching, I noticed that Michael had one too, but where had it come from?

“No!” Michael shouted, suddenly standing directly in front of me. “You don’t need her. She’s just a human.”

“Get them!” Aden shouted again.

During the entire fight Michael stayed by my side, protecting me. They fought so swiftly that even with my flashlight it was hard to distinguish alkins from the fallen. I focused intently, trying to figure out who was who, but it was no use. They were too fast for human eyes. I pointed the flashlight, hoping to blind or distract them, but that also proved to be pointless. It was only useful for my vision.

In the blink of an eye they were here, there and everywhere. The clanging of swords colliding was painful to hear. As the screeching sounds continued, all I could see were sparks as the swords made contact, as if we were in the middle of a lightning storm. Fearful of any alkin getting hurt, I covered my ears, hoping that it would end soon.

Suddenly, Aden raised his hand toward the stars, and the fallen stopped. The sounds of the swords crashing against each other came to a dead halt. Aden started circling around Michael and me. As he drew closer, I could see that he looked exactly as I remembered him from my dream. The wrinkles on his forehead defined his age, and though I conceived him as evil, his voice scared me more than his appearance. Aden never lifted a finger to fight; instead, he relied on the fallen to carry out his battle strategies.

“Michael, come with me. I’ll give you anything you want.”

“There is nothing I want from you.”

“They’ve turned you against me. I should have killed you when I had the chance.” Aden’s eyes raged with anger.

“They didn’t turn me against you. I did it of my own free will.”

“Move out of my way!” Aden shouted.

“You’ll have to go through me first!”

As Aden continued to circle around us, I could sense movement from the fallen, edging closer to Michael and me. The alkin must have sensed it too as they positioned themselves right behind us and immediately began to attack the fallen.

Michael moved me to the left and then to the right, fighting while shielding me. Though the fallen were fewer in number than before, they were retaliating in full force. In the midst of all the chaos, I lost my grip on the flashlight, and it tumbled off the cliff. Instinctively I reached for it, and in that split second someone or something collided against me, and I plummeted off the cliff.

Gravity was pulling me faster than my body could resist. I’d always heard that at the moment of death, one’s life flashed before their eyes; all the moments that had brought them to that point, big or small. All I could think of was death itself and the one person who had changed my life forever—Michael.

 

crossroads saga 2

 

 

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mary tingAuthor Mary Ting

Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

 

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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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The Preacher’s Wife by Brandi Boddie – Book Promo

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
and the book:
Realms (October 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Althea Thompson for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Brandi holds a juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law and a BA in political science from Youngstown State University. Her love of writing and research has led her to work that includes case management for the Office of the Attorney General in Washington DC and teaching assignments for elementary and secondary students. When she is not working on a story, Brandi enjoys hiking, fencing, and swing dancing. She loves spending time with her family, which includes a cocker spaniel who aspires to be a food critic.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

During the hot, windy summer of 1870 in the burgeoning prairie town of Assurance, Kansas, Marissa Pierce is fed up with her abusive boss. She longs to start a new life and is growing weary of convincing townsfolk that she is most certainly not a prostitute.

Civil War veteran and preacher Rowe Winford arrives in town intent on leaving the tragic memories of his deceased family behind. Although Rowe has no plans to fall in love anytime soon, the plans of God rarely match those of man.

Faced with adversity and rejection from the town and Rowe’s family, can Marissa overcome her past, renew her faith, and experience the life of love that God has planned for her?

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Series: Brides of Assurance (Book 1)

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Realms (October 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616388439

ISBN-13: 978-1616388430

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Chapter 1

July 1870, Kansas Plains

What did I get myself into? Rowe Winford carried his three large valises from the passenger train to the station wait area. He had arrived in Claywalk, Kansas, sooner than he expected. Then again, he had been daydreaming the entire trip, from the carriage ride in Richmond, Virginia, all the way west on the tracks of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.

So this was to be his new home, away from the war reformations, away from the bittersweet memories of his late wife, Josephine, and their stillborn son. The land seemed to engulf every living thing in its wide-ranging vastness. He felt like a tiny speck upon the face of the green, rolling earth.

“Over here, sir.” A tall, lean man in rugged canvas trousers, work shirt, and Stetson hat waved him over to the other side of the wait area. A small schooner and horse awaited him.

“Welcome to Kansas, Rev’ren.” The man’s white teeth flashed in his tanned face as he grinned. “We wouldn’t have expected you this early if you hadn’t sent that letter. I’m Dustin Sterling.” He stuck out his hand. “My friends call me Dusty. David Charlton sent me to come get you and take you to our lil’ town of Assurance down the road.”

Rowe shook his hand. It was rough with calluses. He guessed him to be a horseman or rancher of sorts. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dusty. My name is Rowe Winford, but how did you know I was the new minister?”

He pointed to Rowe’s overcoat and gray trousers. “Clothes don’t get that fancy in these parts. I knew you must be one of them city preachers back East.”

“Richmond.”

“Yep, I was right.” He picked up Rowe’s valises and hoisted them into the schooner. “Well, you’ll get used to this place soon enough, if you have the mind to.”

Dusty drove him away from the train station. The trip toward the “lil’ town of Assurance down the road” turned out to be more along the lines of sixty minutes. Rowe passed the time taking in the nearly treeless plains and the endless open sky. To his left and right he found himself surrounded in a sea of green grass.

“We just got rain last night, after a dry spell.” Dusty chatted amiably along the way about the land. “You have to watch out for the July wind.”

“Wind? There’s barely a breeze out.” As the words escaped Rowe’s lips, a sudden gust blew in his face. He grabbed hold of his hat before it flew from his head. “Where did that come from?” He coughed as the wind forced air down his throat.

Dusty chuckled. “Some say the devil’s in the wind. That’s how come it knocks you off your feet.”

“Well, as long as we can keep him in the wind and out of town, things should be alright.”

The wiry man cast him a wry glance. “’Fraid you might be getting here too late then, Rev’ren’. The devil’s come and set up shop in Assurance. And, sadly, business is sure boomin’.”

“What do you mean?”

Dusty shook his head. “There’s a saloon run by a businessman named Jason Garth. He can get a man to part with his wallet faster than a rattler strikes your heel. His girls help, with their short skirts and paid services.”

“You mean prostitution.”

Dusty shrugged. “I went to the dancehall before it got bad the last year or so. I haven’t been lately, but you’ll hear things. You’ll get your fill of gossip in Assurance.”

Rowe thought about the people who hired him. “What about the church? Haven’t they tried to put a stop to what the saloon is doing?”

“They grumble mostly. Folks here believe they shouldn’t sully their hands with the things of the world. Much easier to judge from a distance, I suspect, but I’m just a hired worker.”

“Aren’t you also a town citizen?”

He shook his head. “I’m all the way from San Antone. David Charlton hired me to tend his cattle, but I used to drive longhorns up here to the railroad.”

“Well, it sounds like the people of the church don’t want to confront corruption.”

The cowboy gave him another look. “Maybe that’s why they hired you.”

Rowe chewed on the inside of his jaw. His first position as head of a church. An apathetic one, from what Dusty implied. He could prove himself by going after the saloon and its seedy practices, but what would be harder, doing that or convincing the church to get their hands dirty along with him?

“Get thee clothed, heathen woman!” A man yelled down at her from the raised dais of the town square. “Thou art the scourge of this fine land, with your harlot’s garments!” He shook his fists.

“I’m not a harlot. I’m just a saloon and dancehall girl.” Words she had repeated all too often.

Marissa Pierce recognized the man as a traveling speaker, clutching his worn Bible to his chest. She hurried along the edge of the main road toward the bank, doing her best to hide her face from the disapproving looks from several of Assurance’s finest and upstanding populace.

They would be right to judge me if I was an evening lady, she thought. I wish they knew the truth.

She walked faster, adjusting her headpiece in a selfconscious attempt to push down the high feathers. Jason Garth, proprietor of the town’s only saloon, sent her out on a last-minute errand while she was getting dressed for the weekly Wednesday Night Revue. The money had to be deposited in the bank before it closed today, he stressed. Well, he could have let her know that earlier, before she changed into the tawdry costume!

More than a few men eyed her in her knee-length ruffled skirt and soft-soled dance boots peeking out from her coat. She knew a number of them as patrons. Those walking with wives, mothers, or another respectable woman had the presence of mind to avert their gazes.

“Have you no shame, lady of the night?” The orator cried in the profession’s flowery prose.

“More than you’ll ever know,” she muttered.

Marissa kept her back straight and face forward, tightly gripping the leather money satchel that held the saloon’s illbegotten earnings. Would that she could put a stop to the corruption and leave the shady establishment today, but soon she would be away from it all. Her saloon contract with Jason was about to end, and she had some money saved for room and board.

She considered her investment in a small share of the general goods store in Claywalk that was up for sale. If she received all the money due her, it would be enough to live off of until she found employment in the nearby town.

A rush of excitement surged through her as she contemplated a new life elsewhere. She would be free, in a respectable position where no one knew of her horrible past.

Marissa slowed her steps as a schooner rolled down the street. A dark-suited man seated atop peered about curiously, shielding his eyes from the afternoon sun.

“That must be our new preacher.” Linda Walsh, the town’s young seamstress, walked up beside Marissa. Always eager for conversation, Linda would speak to anyone who stopped to listen, as Marissa had learned since coming back to Assurance a couple years ago. “We weren’t expecting him for another two weeks. I wonder what made him take off from home so fast.”

Marissa groaned at the thought of meeting another preacher. Every preacher she came across had turned her away once they discovered her profession.

She watched the small schooner pull up to the local inn. She recognized the driver Dusty Sterling seated beside the other man. Dusty hopped down and tethered the horses. The man in black stepped onto the dusty curb. His recently polished boots gleamed.

“Fancy one, he is,” Linda continued. “I hear he comes from a city somewhere in Virginia.”

“Where did you hear that?”

“It was in the paper a month ago. Our advertisement for a new preacher was answered from a man back East.”

Marissa focused again on what was in front of her. The traveler indeed looked foreign to the prairie. Not a hint of travel dust stuck to his long, black frock coat and four-inhand necktie, probably changed into just before departing the train. His gray pants were new and expertly tailored. He removed his hat briefly to wipe his brow, and Marissa saw the dark, wavy hair cropped close to his head.

“He doesn’t have a wife or children with him. Such a shame.” Linda clucked her tongue. “He’s a handsome fellow, for certain.”

Marissa agreed with her on that. He must have stood over six feet tall, with broad shoulders and a powerful build. The man’s profile was strong and rigid, his square jaw and straight nose a true delight for the eyes. Assurance’s former preacher, Reverend Thomas, did not look like this.

“Would having a wife and children make him a better preacher?”

Linda tossed her a look. “That’s got nothing to do with it. One ought to be settled down at a certain age, wouldn’t you say so? Instead of running wild with the barmen?”

Marissa absorbed the sting of emotional pain. Anything she said in response would not sway Linda or anyone else’s notion that she was just a beer-serving streetwalker. She put on a polite stoic face. “I’m sure the ladies of this town will clamor for his attention. Will you excuse me, Miss Linda? I should be going.”

She left the seamstress just as Dusty carried the new preacher’s valises inside the inn. The preacher moved to follow then stopped short, pausing for Marissa to walk past. Marissa saw his blue eyes widen and take in her entire form, from the feathered hat on her head to the dainty-heeled boots on her feet. By his expression she didn’t know whether he admired or disapproved.

His lips settled into a firm line of what looked to be distaste, and she got her answer.

The preacher hadn’t been there for an hour and already she drew out his scorn. Marissa returned the stare until her image of him blurred with beckoning tears.

He jolted from his perusal. His low, straight brows flicked. “Good day to you, ma’am.” He amiably tipped his hat to her.

She paused, not used to being addressed in that fashion. Kindness was in his greeting, not the sarcasm she normally heard from others. Marissa tilted her head to get a clear look at him. His eyes were friendly, calm deep pools. The rest of his face, with its strong, angular lines, remained cordial.

“Good day,” she replied, hoarse. Awkwardness seized her person. Marissa hastily continued on her way to the bank.

Rowe stared after the brightly costumed woman, not noticing Dusty come from the inn until he stood in front of him, blocking the view.

“Your cabin by the lake is still bein’ cleared. The Charltons will pay for your stay here since they don’t have room at the farmhouse.”

“That’s kind of them, Dusty. Who is that saloon woman? I hoped she didn’t think me impertinent for stepping in her path.”

Dusty squinted in the distance. “Oh, Arrow Missy? She’s a dancer down at Jason’s.”

Dancer. That explained the light-stepping gait. “Why do you call her that?”

“She’s got a sharp tongue and even sharper aim with the drinks. That is, before I stopped going there.” Dusty scratched his chin.

“I think I upset her. She looked sad.” Rowe studied her shrinking form as she went inside the bank. She was a lovely young woman, tall and raven-haired. Her features carried an exotic lilt. He guessed her to be in her early twenties.

If he wasn’t the one who caused her to be upset, then what made the tears brim in her eyes?

“You carrying that last bag in, or you want me to do it?”

Rowe picked up his valise. “I’ve got it, Dusty.” He went inside the inn, glancing one more time in the direction of the bank, his mind still on the melancholy woman with the dancing boots.

Keeper of Reign (Book 1) by Emma Right – Book Promo

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
and the book:
Emma Rightt an imprint of Telemachus Press (May 19, 2013)
***Special thanks to Emma Right for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and His Word deeply, and when she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.

Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

Visit Emma Right at her home site and blog for tips and ideas about books, homeschooling, bible devotions, and author helps of various sorts: http://www.emmaright.com

and follow her on facebook emma.right.author and “like” her fan page at http://www.facebook.com/keeperofreign

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it?

For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema.

Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn’t get himself killed first.

Product Details:

List Price: $17.99

Paperback: 340 pages

Publisher: Emma Rightt an imprint of Telemachus Press (May 19, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1939337690

ISBN-13: 978-1939337696

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Prologue: Beginning

“Sire, you’re running out of blood.” Eleazer’s voice quivered as he addressed the only other occupant in the royal chamber. He tried to veer his eyes from the King’s bruised arm but could not pull his gaze away.

The young King grunted a response, his attention focused on the red words whispering out of his plumed pen.

Glancing at his cupbearer, he said, “I am aware, Eleazer.” His velvet lapels caught the golden gleam flickering from the lanterns hung on the columns and gave it a rich burgundy sheen.

“Perhaps the wine will help?” Eleazer poured scarlet juice into a goblet and held the fluted stem out, his eyes drawn to the highness’ pale wrist. His master’s pallid face sent a shiver up his spine, and a knot of worry formed above Eleazer’s brows. Palm clammy, he set the goblet next to his master’s arm.

The room was dim despite the golden sparkle of the dragonfly lanterns hooked to the four columns of alabaster that flanked the two draped windows. Books, their golden spines atop each other, were stacked on the mahogany table. Copper wires forming two “X”s upon each spine bound the leaves of the magnificent Books.

“The new star,” the King said, “will be birthed tomorrow, so I must finish writing the Sacred Tomes.” He paused and shot Eleazer a smile. “Why don’t you bind this remaining stack? You can include this end page I am finishing later.” He waited for Eleazer to reply, but the servant only stared at the floor. “My instructions are in the Master Books, but you must inform the others to keep the matter to yourselves.”

“I know— Gehzurolle must not find out.”

“More importantly, do not let him deceive you.”

“I promise.”

“You are a most faithful servant—friend, Eleazer. Thank you.”

“It has been my honor, Your Highness. I should thank you.” Eleazer wanted to say more but his throat strangled the words. He swallowed hard a few times and bowed, as a sigh slipped from his lips.

“Do you comprehend my wishes?” The King’s eyes rested on Eleazer’s face.

“Completely.” Eleazer dared not add anything further lest his voice break entirely. His hands busied with the binding of the closing chapters, whilst his master penned the final paragraphs.

All those books yet not a single ink pot on that writing desk, or, on any other furniture in that library. Too soon Eleazer would have to bid his master adieu. What if he failed the King?

“Master, I wish you didn’t have to d—”

“Don’t start this again, Eleazer — no other way exists. You must trust me. If all of you heed the Words, you will end up better off.” Without looking up, the King said, “Once you’ve completed the binding you must leave me alone. I am almost finished.”

Afraid he might forget the Majesty’s visage, Eleazer’s eyes flitted to the King’s face and drank in the dark brows, the high cheekbones, the soft lips. He opened his mouth to say something, but only shook his head, bowed a fraction, and exited through the double doors.

Alone in the chamber, the King pierced his bruised vein a last time and completed the closing paragraph.

1. ONE NIGHT

The last thing Jules Blaze thought of before he closed his eyes was how he, how anyone, could undo the curse his people were under. He was in the middle of a dream, a nightmare as far as he was concerned, begging Grandpa Leroy and Grandma Bonnie not to leave, when someone banged on their front door, shaking their entire treehouse.

Who’d be crazy enough to disturb them at this hour? He sat up on his bed and cocked his head. His mother’s soft tread tap-tapped on the wood floor of their treehouse.

“Who’s there?” her muffled voice asked, harsh and whispery from sleep.

The banging stopped.

“Erin, open up.” Mr. Saul’s voice, gruff and loud, jolted the last fog of sleepiness from Jules. He peered over at his brother sleeping noiselessly in the bunk below him, and quietly slipped down the ladder. On tip toe he sneaked to the trap door opening that led down to the living room where Mr. Saul stood dripping from the rain.

“Is everything okay?” Erin said.

“Would I visit now if it were?” Saul said. Then in a gentler voice he added, “I’m sorry. Please, let’s take a seat, Erin.” He nodded at Jules who’d slipped down the pull down ladder to join them. “Jules.”

Jules thought about his father at the war front and swallowed a lump in his throat. Was this why Dad hadn’t sent any word to them for the last months? Because he couldn’t?

Saul held Erin by the arm. He led her to the dining room chairs behind the sofa covered with knitted shawls and afghan throws.

Jules trudged to the window and peered at the branches outside. The arm of the oak tree grew so thick they could easily live in it, although getting up there could be a problem, especially since he was afraid of heights. These days they didn’t even live in stone houses, or even wooden ones, unless living under a tree counted as a wooden home. Elfies lived in trees, or burrowed under rocks, in the forest of Reign.

“Take a seat, Jules.” Mr. Saul locked eyes on him for an instant. “I just received word from the river front patrol—Leroy and Bonnie’s boat capsized in the storm. They’re searching for the bodies, but it doesn’t look good.”

Erin let out a gasp and brought a fist to her mouth. “No!”

“Boat? How can they be sure it was them?” Jules leaned forward in his chair.

“Some of their belongings floated to shore, and I identified the wreck—the pieces drifted to the bank.”

Erin looked at him blankly.

Saul said, again, “The boat…was a wreck.”

“Boat?” Erin said.

“I’d loaned it to them.”

“Why?”

Saul looked at the ceiling. “They’d wanted to get across to Handover.”

“Handover? That’s preposterous. After telling us never to cross the river and saying how dangerous Handover is?” Erin’s voice sounded angry amidst her sobs.

Saul pushed his chair back and stood. He reached into the cloak of his pocket, brought out a few items and laid them on the dining table. “Some things to remember your folks by.” And with that he turned and stalked back out into the dripping night.

Jules stared at his grandpa’s pocket watch, the green felt hat the old man always wore, especially on damp days, and his grandma’s silk scarf she donned when the wind ruffled her snowy white hair. Erin sobbed more violently, and Jules stood behind his mother’s back, leaned over and hugged her trembling shoulders.

Giveaway – A Light in the Window by julie Lessman!

A Light in the Window Contest!

The final video for Julie Lessman’s A Light in the Window is finally complete! I have seen this trailer (created by her husband) and it is absolutely beautiful. If you haven’t read the book yet you will want to after seeing this video. I promise you! I have had the pleasure of communicating with Miss Julie through email and she is truly a beautiful person. I am greatly Blessed by knowing her and her Journal Jots are truly inspiring. If you haven’t signed up for her newsletter yet I strongly recommend you hop on over a do so.

Now on to the contest! Miss Julie is running a contest right now on her Blog and it’s very simple really. All you have to do is watch the new trailer for A Light in the Window and fill out the Rafflecopter form to be eligible. I have included the video below. 🙂



 
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There are THREE chances to win!!

PRIZES:

1st Prize (person with the most points) — gets a character named after them or a loved one in my next book, a signed copy of that book, and a $50 gift card.

2nd Prize (random drawing where every point  earned is an extra chance to win, but even one point can win) — gets a character named after them or a loved one in my next book and a signed copy.

3rd Prize (random drawing based on 1 point per name entered) — gets a signed copy of any of my books.

The contest runs from November 11 through December 31st, with the winner announced in Miss Julie’s Journal Jot January 3rd so hurry on over and get registered!

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Blurb:
 
One Woman. Two Men.
One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.
But who will win her heart?
Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston’s most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart.
While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the “light in the window,” meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.”
 
 
 Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 16 RWA awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers’ Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Award winner. You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“A Light in the Window” Video

 

LINK TO PURCHASE ALITW E-BOOK FOR 99 CENTS!

 

 LINK TO PURCHASE ALITW PAPERBACK FOR PRICE REDUCED BY ALMOST $2.50 PER BOOK!