Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome to 2011

Hey, all! Liz Johnson here.

I'm honored to get to share with you on New Year's Eve. This is one of my all-time favorite holidays. There's something so wonderful about looking forward to a fresh year. The slate is clean. The opportunities endless. One of my favorite literary heroines, Anne Shirley, is famous for saying, "Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it." And that wish is never as real to me as it is on December 31. Tomorrow is fresh--and with it the rest of the year.

Now I've never been one for making resolutions. They seem so easy to
break. I mean, you're practically expected not to follow through. But I do like the idea of setting goals and challenging myself. Stretching out of my normal routine.

Last year that revolved around my unhealthy book-buying patterns. I had a terrible tendency to go to my local Christian bookstore, Barnes and Noble, or even Walmart and buy three books but only get around to reading to one. What a waste of both money and perfectly wonderful books that just sat on my bookshelf. Unread. Unappreciated. So last Christmas I committed to not buying a single book for myself this year.

Tonight my dad asked me how I'd done. Truthfully ... well, I wasn't perfect. When I saw the spread of L.M. Montgomery books for sale at Green Gables when I visited Prince Edward Island this summer, I plum forgot. I snapped up five new books on vacation. And then I picked up a couple Christmas novella collections back in October--to help me research what I needed for the novella that I'm working on. But other than that, every book I've added to my collection this year has either been a gift, trade, or purchased with a gift card.

I even took it a step further and gave away nearly 25 books from my shelves--giving them homes where someone will love and read them.

For a bibliophile like myself, 2010 was certainly a test. But I'm glad I did it. What an encouragement to know that I can walk into a bookstore and leave empty-handed. I hope practicing that self control will help me show restraint in other areas of my life, too.

So what does 2011 mean for me? How am I challenging myself this year?

I'm giving up cable TV.

This is huge for me. But I'm ready. I'm ready to save $50 a month and countless hours of wasted time. Who knows what I might get done without a perpetual distraction? And that money? I think I can come up with some good uses for $600.

So how are you planning to stretch yourself in 2011? Have you made resolutions? Set goals?

Thursday, December 30, 2010


2011 is rapidly approaching. Yikes!

And with the new year comes the challenge to make goals. All the experts say if you want to make change, you need to have goals. Definable, attainable goals. Then you have to communicate them so you have accountability.

So in that vein...what are your goals?

You want to write a book? Great! What is your plan to accomplish that? Do you have a daily word count? Monthly word count? Germ of an idea?

You want to be a better spouse or parent? Excellent! How will you tackle that? Read books? Take classes? Change your approach?

For me: I want to get back in shape. Now that Daniel is 4 weeks old, I'm ready to start exercising again. In January, I have two proposals to write while I wait to hear on projects that are being considered. Then it's time to start writing the book due in August. I also have parenting books to read. With a tween, I realized it was time to start focusing on preparing her for those teen years. I've already read How to Keep the Little in Your Girl by Dannah Gresh -- fantastic book!

So what are your goals??

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Eeek, I love my new washer and dryer!

Pamela Tracy here, and I just want you to know I'm a proud member of the 'I Hate Housework' organization. I'd carry a card, but it's probably lost in one of the piles of paper that litter my office.

My mother was a housewife. Our home was spotless, and I think, if I didn't work full-time plus write, that maybe my house would be spotless, but hey, I love my life so when I look around my home, I think, "Spotty is good!"

Here's an email my cousin sent me, and yes, I can remember going to grandma's and watching her use this washer, only hers was white.

History of this recipe:

Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave a new bride this advice. This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook -spelling errors and all.

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.
Sort things, make 3 piles
1 pile white,
1 pile colored,
1 pile work britches and rags.
To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.
Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.
Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.
Hang old rags on fence.
Spread tea towels on grass.
Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
Turn tubs upside down.
Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

For you non-southerners - wrench means, rinse

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hope is alive!

Hi all, Lynette here. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I spent the day with family and friends. We had a great time and the kids had a blast. During a moment of alone time and reflection, I just stopped to think how truly blessed I am. I have SO MUCH. Much more than a lot of people. I know the holidays can be very depressing for those who have lost love ones, jobs, etc. and sometimes it seems hope is lost.

I want to tell you about a ministry. It’s called Hannah’s Hope Ministries. Hannah’s story is below. I know her parents. And I watched their family go through something you never want to think about happening but their story is amazing and I wanted to share it with you. I often read Deb’s (Hannah’s mother) devotions for my daily quiet time with the Lord. Hannah’s father wrote this below. You can visit the website at It’s totally uplifting, absolutely amazing and will be a blessing in your life.

November 29, 2006
Hannah and Her Dad Homecoming October 13, 2006
Hannah Marie Sobeski was an All-American girl who loved life and lived it to its fullest. She would be the first to tell you that she was simply a sinner saved by grace. Hannah loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and faithfully served Him in all that she did. In May of 2006, near the end of her junior year of high school, Hannah learned that she had a rare form of Sarcoma cancer. The tumor was growing rapidly and required immediate treatment. She spent seventy-seven days at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX undergoing aggressive chemotherapy. During this time, Hannah’s story of faith and praise in the midst of her storm captivated her entire community. It has since spread all across America and into many foreign countries. God did many miraculous things through Hannah’s life and journey. Perhaps none was greater than sustaining her for thirty days in ICU on a ventilator, then restoring her strength to the point she came home to Spartanburg, SC to continue her treatment. As friends and classmates went busily along with their senior year of high school, Hannah was in and out of the hospital. God had a final big moment planned for Hannah as her classmates nominated her for the Homecoming court. She was voted as the 2006 Dorman High School Homecoming Queen by the student body. On a chilly night in October, she was crowned queen to thunderous applause. The next day she learned that her tumor had doubled in size, and without a miraculous healing from God, her time left here was short. Hannah believed until her last breath on earth and first in Heaven that God was going to heal her. On November 9, 2006, in the presence of her family and a home filled with friends, He did. He healed her wholly and completely, as our Homecoming Queen went home to eternity to be with her King!
Written by: Mickey Sobeski

If you are suffering or know someone who needs hope, I urge you to visit and share this website, order the dvd of Hannah’s Celebration of Life (funeral), watch her tell her community via news channel 7 about the love of Jesus. And see hope in action.

Merry Christmas to you. Hope came in the form of a baby, love oozing from every pore, for you and for me. I pray you open your heart and accept it.

God Bless!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day

I wasn't able to drop in yesterday, but that's okay. I can offer my best for Boxing Day and the new year coming up. We had a quiet but pleasant Christmas and have spent some time together, my family and I. Our church had a wonderful Christmas Eve service and tomorrow I am hosting my daughter's future in laws for a nice dinner. They are good friends, and if we're lucky, we'll have a game or two of Apples to Apples.
I hope the rest of this week and the new year coming up will be good to all of you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Celebrate today!

Merry Christmas!

From the Craftie Ladies of Suspense


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve traditions

Hello, all. Dana Mentink here, looking forward to some lovely holiday traditions on this Christmas Eve day. I just love this day, mostly because of the sweet family service at church. My youngest will be doing a reading and lighting the advent candle so I'll probably cry. Just being there, singing together, worshipping together warms me in my soul. Before we leave for church, my husband concocts his famous herb pizza dough and the kiddos each make their own personal pizza. In the fridge it goes and after church, into the oven! Christmas Eve pizza for everyone! There's a Christmas movie to be watched, a bible reading to be enjoyed and the girls open their present to each other. So much fun and joy in one twenty four hour period! What special things to you enjoy on Christmas Eve?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2 Days Left

Leann Harris here. In my other life, the one I went to college for, I taught deaf kids. When Christmas comes and I'm sitting at my computer writing and a Christmas carol come on, I stop and sign it. Signing for me is a way of worship. It it the entire body involved with the singing and praising.

This year, I signed "Let There Be Light" by Point of Grace for the Christmas luncheon I attended. This video I did afterward.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

With Christmas so close and 2011 to follow in a week, I thought I would just take this time to wish all of you lovely readers and writers a very wonderful and 'merry' Christmas. (Isn't 'merry' a funny word? What other context do we ever use that word?)

Every year this time I usually come up with my list of 'best books' of 2010. I read tons of fiction. That goes without saying! And so, for this blog I thought I would mention four NONfiction books which have meant a lot to me this year, and why:

1. Last Christmas I received a copy of Everything Must Change by Brian McLaren. I read it with an eye to the need for our message and thinking to reach this first generation of people who were raised without any kind of knowledge of God.

2. Wayne Jacobsen's book He Loves Me was like a breath of fresh air. There is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and there is nothing I can do to make God love me less. All he wants is me, not what I can 'do' for him.

3. Our small group studied through Holy Curiosity by Winn Collier. This is an amazing book which tackles all the tough issues that we all grapple with - even if we don't admit it out loud. He talks about doubt and feeling abandoned by God. And as I make my way through this Christian life and journey, usually on the knife-edge between doubt and faith, it was refreshing to realize that other Christians have struggled with major issues as well. A good book for small group study - if you happen to be looking for one.

4. Last August Ruth Haley Barton was the keynote speaker at our denomination's annual convention. I bought her book, Sacred Rhythms and it is amazing! It's all about listening to God and carving out times and spaces to be with him.

With Christmas just a few days away, I recommend all of these books to buy for friends!

Talk to you all in 2011!

Linda Hall

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Today we're welcoming Rachel Long, the heroine of Yuletide Defender, by Sandra Robbins, releasing December 2010.
Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.

I’m a newspaper reporter for the Lake City Daily Beacon, and I’ve been writing about the murder of gang members in our town. The police thought it was rival gangs trying to kill each other off, but that all changed when I received a tip from a confidential source. He said he’d witnessed one of the murders, and it wasn’t committed by a gang member. He believed there was a vigilante who had committed the murders in hopes of sparking an all-out gang war. Of course this story was too good to pass up, and I soon found myself following every lead which led to my becoming the target of the vigilante.

2. So, during the book you met Matt Franklin. Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?

When I first met Matt, I thought he was so handsome, and his clothes looked like they were very expensive. He could very well have passed for a fashion model instead of a police detective. It took me a while to realize the feeling I had for him was love. When the vigilante ran my car off the road and it sank in the lake, I knew I loved him and wanted to see him again.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness?

I am dedicated to my work, and I love my family. I realize that someday my special needs sister is going to be my responsibility, and I’ve been very frugal. I save my money because I know it takes a lot to provide her with the things she needs.
As for a weakness, I’m afraid to trust men. My father deserted us when my sister was born, and every boy I ever brought home to meet my mother dropped me after they met my sister. I didn’t think Matt would be any different, but he was.
4. What scares you?

It scares me to think I may not be able to provide for my sister.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be less cynical about people and why they do things. I suppose being a reporter and dealing with my father’s rejection of his family has left me afraid to trust people.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?

My mother always made me go to church. When I got out on my own, I drifted away from God. At the beginning of the story, I believed in Him, but I didn’t see any need for Him in my life.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?

It was only through God’s protection that I survived the attempts on my life, and it was only because of God’s love that Matt came into my life. At the end of the story my life is recommitted to Him.
8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
The scripture is: And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Psalms 9:10.
Even though I had ignored God for years, He had never given up on me and hadn’t forsaken me. When I needed Him most, He was there to provide protection and love. When I realized that, I put my complete trust in Him.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?

I think I’d be a chocolate chip cookie. I think of them as a comfort food, and I want to be a comfort to my family, especially my sister. Some chocolate chip cookies are baked soft while others have a harder texture. I want my words and actions to be soft and inoffensive to others, but I want to have a tough streak that is willing to stand against wrongs and injustices. And like the chocolate chips that are hidden in the cookie, I think I have great morsels of love hidden inside me just waiting to be given to the person God has for me.

Sounds like a great read! Thank you Sandra for sharing Rachel with us.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Is a vigilante responsible for the murders of Lake City gang members? According to reporter Rachel Long's anonymous source, yes. The goal is to trigger a gang war—and her investigations lead Rachel to the heart of the battlegrounds. Which is where she finds handsome officer Matthew Franklin. The protective cop wants her out of harm's way. But she needs the raise from a big story to secure care for her special-needs sister. Rachel won't walk away, even though the vigilante is now aiming at a determined reporter—and a tailing cop—for a showdown just in time for Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm never Lisa Mondello

The subject of retirement always seems to come up in conversations that I have with my friends. Over coffee a few weeks back a friend was discussing how she wanted to retire early and that over the next few years she wanted to put as much money into her 401K to make that happen. It sounded like a good plan to me. She works in an office and although she likes her job and the people she works with, she longs to have time to stay at home and putter around the house and make cookies.

I realized then that I am never retiring. You see, for years, I've had the best of both worlds. I work at home as a freelance writer and write fiction. Now, I can see giving up writing sales letters...eventually. (There are some days I feel like an infomercial!) But fiction? NO WAY! Why on earth would I give up something I love doing? I get to hang out with imaginary people all day AND bake cookies. Writing is the best job in the world!

So, I've decided that I'm never going to worry over the balance of my 401K. I'm not going to worry about how many years I have left until I can enjoy the big R. I'm just going to live my life as I do now (minus the sales letters) and write. As it is I have enough ideas on my hard drive to keep me going for years even if I never get another story idea.

Many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yuletide Confession

Hi, I'm Ramona and I have a confession: I'm not a very Christmasy person.

I know, I know - that's almost like admitting that you collect cat recipes or make fun of babies. Truth is, I'm not much for decorating ANY time of year and for the most part, I view cute things that sit around the house as cute things that need to be dusted . . . which is another thing I do about twice a year. A "homemaker" I'm not. And I hate shopping, and being "forced" to shop because of a day makes me nuts. (I'm usually the designated babysitter on Black Friday.)

But before you think I'm a total Scrooge, let me tell you what I do enjoy about this season.

1) Christmas music. I'm a nut about it. Could listen to it (and sometimes do) all year round. Corny or inspiring, it makes me smile.

2) The special worship services. I ADORE the Christmas Eve service, with its quiet reflection (and music). I like cantatas and kids programs and food. I love worshiping the birth of Christ.

3) I love the way people go around wishing other folks happiness (or "merriness").

4) Lawn lights. Yeah, it may be tacky, but that's OK. Lights with music....even better. My house may be dark and undecorated, but you will find me wandering the streets next week, looking for them...and grinning.

This last one, lawn lights, does take me back to my childhood, when my dad would take my brother and me out looking for the lights on Christmas Eve. When we got back, we'd missed Santa! Mother would tell us all about the visit and we'd dive into the presents. Even long after neither of us believed in Santa.

So I leave you with a video that combines a lot of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas-special moments

Hi, from Margaret Daley. I wanted to tell everyone Merry Christmas now because I won't post until after Christmas the next time. This year has been a busy and challenging year. I have reached a couple of goals I wanted to fulfill. But in reaching them they have given me a whole new set of challenges.

I went to granddaughter #3's first school program this past week. She is 3 and a half and her preschool put on a Christmas program. It was so much fun. I thought she might just stand up there and not sing at all, but she did the hand movements and sang through the whole song. I may have a performer on my hands. These kind of moments make Christmas so special. What are some special moments you have had either this year or in the past?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Night Prey Interview

Today we're welcoming Jenna Murphy, the heroine of Night Prey, by Sharon Dunn, set to be released in early December. Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.I run the rapture rescue center here in Hope Creek Montana. We’ve had some birds come in with unusual injuries that makes me think someone is targeting these birds of prey.

2. So, during the book you met Keith Roland. Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love? Keith and I grew up together. He lived in another town, but he spent summers at his grandparents’ ranch. We did everything together from building tree houses to learning to rock climb. He left when he was seventeen. The last I had heard he had joined the military. I was surprised to see him back at the King Ranch after all these years. We were just kids when he left. I had no idea I feel this strong attraction to him all these years later.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness? I think I am really good at caring for the birds of prey. When I was a kid growing up my father rescued songbirds and kept some birds as well, but I was always attracted to big wild birds. My heart beats faster when I see an eagle or a hawk flying. I admire their strength. They truly are one of God’s most beautiful creatures.

My greatest weakness? I can be a little bit stubborn. Keith says I get an idea in my head and I am like a pit bull,I won’t let go.

4. What scares you? Because of my relationship with my father which has always been tumultuous, I think I am afraid to trust men. Don’t get me wrong. I love my father. He raised me as a single father. He is the librarian here in Hope Creek, an intelligent gentle man. I got my love of reading from him. It is just that, for a number of reasons,the relationship is strained.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Right before Keith left when he was seventeen, he really needed me as a friend and I think I let him down because of my own fears. I wish I could go back in time and be a stronger person in that moment, less afraid.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? I became Christian in high school and really have only had minor doubts since then. Something about being out in nature and being around these birds, I get to see God’s handiwork everyday, it feeds my faith.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? I think that by the end of the story I learn to trust people as much as I trust God. God never intended us to be Lone Ranger Christians. We were meant to be dependent on each other. Trusting means taking chances and risking being hurt, but it is so worth it.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant. The scripture is from Psalm 91 where God is compared to a bird. I like to think maybe the bird was an eagle. God covers me with his feathers and I find refuge under his wings. Having watched a mother eagle with her baby, I know that that is a picture of safety and protection.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? I love chocolate and dark chocolate with almonds is my favorite.

Thank you Sharon for sharing Jenna with us today.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Jenna Murphy wants to ignore the anonymous, puzzling note. How could she leave the work she loves at the ranch's Birds of Prey Rescue Center? But when someone attacks the birds under her care, she starts to worry. And when Jenna is attacked, she knows she's in over her head. She never expected Keith Roland to come to her rescue. They were childhood friends before he fell in with the wrong crowd. Now the former troublemaker is a soldier, and a changed man. Yet has he really reformed? Can Jenna truly trust him with her safety—and her heart?

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's officially the Christmas Season

Liz Johnson here, writing from frigidly cold Nashville. If you consider the necessity for winter-weather outerwear, the pervasive use of twinkle lights in my apartment, and the hot apple cider being made in my microwave ... well, there's no other possibility than the arrival of the Christmas season.

For most this season is filled with shopping, parties, travel, and family bonding. My life is no different. As I write this, I'm waiting to get on a plane for 3 days of travel for work. I'm still trying to decide what to get my dad. I haven't even started the family Christmas letter (one of the perks of being the writer in the family). Oh, and let's not forget that proposal my editor asked for and the novella that's due in February. It's a plumb busy season.

But as I think about the rush and tumble of these coming weeks, I'm encouraged by a single verse from the book of Matthew.

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” – Matthew 1:23

Not only is Christmas a reminder of Jesus' birth and his death and resurrection that saves us, but it's also a reminder of the promise that God is with us in the good and bad days of our lives. It's a reminder that through the grace of God we have the strength to make it through every day--even the crazy holidays.

So the next time you're feeling a little bit worn out, remember that God is with you, giving you the strength you need. And I bet there's someone else you know who could use a reminder that they don't have to just suffer through another hectic holiday season. This is a time to be merry because the grace of God came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ. And that God is with us every step of the way.
So, here's to a Merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy the season and find a renewed strength to enjoy every moment of it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

God is a God of Miracles

Today my youngest is one week old. Last Thursday, I went to the hospital at 1:30 wondering if I was in labor, and less than three hours later was holding my new son Daniel Reagan. Don't ask -- I am the most clueless of women :-)
But I can tell you as we welcome little Daniel into our family, that God is a God of miracles. There is something about the process of welcoming a new baby that just reinforces that reality to me. Who but God could have designed the elaborate system for bringing babies into the world? There's no way that could just happen over billions of years of accidents.
And we are so thrilled to welcome Daniel, even if the younger two were soon enthralled by my old laptop.
Praying your Christmas season is filled with miracles that have God's fingerprints all over them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Terri Reed here, I wanted to share with you a scripture from Ecclesiastes. Now I've read this book before several times and I've really liked chapter 3, you know the part about there being a season for everything. The movie Footloose used this passage, which I thought was interesting. There are songs that recite this passage. Its a good passage.
But I didn't stop there, I kept reading. So as I was reached the end of chapter 5 , the last few verses really spoke to me. I felt like God revealed something new to me.
v 18-20 This, then, is my conclusion: the right happiness for man is to eat and drink and be content with all the work he has to do under the sun, during the few days God has given him to live, since this is the lot assigned him. And whenever God gives a man riches or property, with the ability to enjoy them and to find contentment in his work, this is a gift from God. He will have no need to brood at least, over the duration of his life so long as God keeps his heart occupied with joy. (New Jerusalem version)

Did you catch the last phrase? That has become my prayer. That God would occupy my heart with JOY. For if I have a heart full of joy, there's no room for anything else. Isn't that amazing!

So I prayer that for you, dear reader, may God occupy your heart with JOY during this season as we celebrate the birth, the life, of our Savior.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top Ten Bestsellers of 2010

Pamela Tracy here, and I do like lists, probably because I make so many. My lists are boring:

[] Mikey to school by 8:00
[] Work by 9:00
[] Take papers to testing center by 12:00
[] Enter grades
[] Take library books back

Well, you get the idea.
Every end of year I look forward to seeing the top ten books. I like to see what I've read. There've been years where I've read most of them, and years when I've read none of them. So, without further ado, compliments of Barnes and Nobles tallying, here are the top ten fiction bestsellers of 2010. At the end of the day, I'll tell you which ones I've read. Fill free to check off the ones you've read (and think about whether you liked them or not , note the ones you mean to read, and speculate on the ones you're going to pass on.

[] Diary of a Wimpy Kid
[] The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
[] Mockingjay
[] The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
[] Delivering Happiness
[] Decision Points
[] The Help
[] The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
[] Dead in the Family
[] The Girl who Played with Fire

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Bodyguard Interview

Today we're welcoming Elizabeth Walker, the heroine of Christmas Bodyguard by Margaret Daley, December 2010, Love Inspired Suspense.

Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense?

I work for Guardians, Inc. as a bodyguard. Slade Caulder hired me to protect his teenage daughter. I have been a bodyguard for five years, mainly protecting children and women. My petite stature sometimes fools people. I am very good at protecting my clients.

2. So, during the book you met Slade Caulder. Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?

Slade is a self-made millionaire who runs a worldwide corporation. He is a widower with a 16-year-old daughter. He is a take charge kind of guy who is at a loss in this present situation. He will do anything to protect this child.

Seeing his devotion and love to his family is what drew me to him. I didn't have that when I was growing up.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness?

I have worked hard to learn to protect myself from others. I will never allow a person to abuse me again. I know how to defend myself physically, but after meeting Slade, I realize I don't know how to defend myself emotionally.

4. What scares you?

Not much scares me anymore, but I have worked very hard to overcome my fears.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I had not gone from one extreme to the other--from being too dependent on others to being too independent.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?

My faith is very strong. The Lord is who gave me the strength to pull my life back together after my husband divorced me and I hit rock bottom.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?

My faith has been strengthened as I have shown Slade the power of the Lord.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say: Here I am. Isaiah 58:9
The significance of this Bible verse is that the Lord is always with us, even in times of trouble.
9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?

Vanilla ice cream--a no nonsense dessert

Thank you Margaret for sharing Elizabeth with us today. Sounds like a good read!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Someone's after wealthy Texan Slade Caulder's daughter. Desperate to keep her safe while he determines the motive, the widowed father hires a bodyguard for Abbey. A female bodyguard, with the training to protect the girl—and an understanding of a willful teenager who keeps trying to outsmart her. Elizabeth Walker is the perfect combination of caring and toughness for her job. But as the holidays approach, the stalker's threats escalate. And Slade finds himself willing to risk everything to keep his Christmas bodyguard by his side…forever.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

name that christmas movie!

Ah December! Dana Mentink here and I just love this month. Twinkly lights, yummy treats, friends and family. So sweet! Let’s test your Christmas savvy shall we? Here are some quotes from famous Christmas movies. See how many you recognize. Feel free to add some of your own for us to guess!

1. His wealth is quite useless to him, really. He doesn’t do any good with it; he doesn’t even make himself comfortable with it.

2. We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

3. Strange isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?

4. Didn’t I ever tell you about bumbles? Bumbles bounce.

Christmas Lights

One of the added joys of the Christmas Season is the lights everyone puts out. Now, personally, my husband and I don't do the outside lights, but lots of people in the neighborhood do.
One of the nicest displays is a shopping center close by. I love their display and made my husband take me to dinner so we could get pictures. I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

By Barbara Phinney
We've run out of coffee! I woke up this morning to find that my husband had resorted to the coffee substitute in which I often indulge late in the evening. I blame my daughter, with her university paper due today. She made a pot for herself last night. So any mistakes in this post, take them to her!!!
Seriously, after I had gasped at my husband, he said, "Doesn't bother me", I began to think on my need for caffeine. His parents are the same as he is, as they can get off the java without headaches, as easily as he can, whilst I drag my feet around all day and hold my head.
So, along those lines and early in the morning, without coffee, I have asked myself, "Do I rely on the Lord the same way I rely on coffee?" Am I addicted to the Lord?
With the word 'addicted' having such a negative connotation, maybe I should use another one? But maybe not? Words are, after all, just words. Maybe we should be 'addicted'? Maybe we should be relying on our Lord for all we're worth. I had a pleasure of listening to a Wycliffe speaker, once, and she admitted that yes, she waits until things get really bad before she prays, too.
The first thing in the morning, I have a coffee. But maybe I should be 'shuffling' over to the Lord first, getting my 'jolt' of Him first thing. Use His love for us as my pick-me-up.
I bet this post is making some of you uncomfortable. All this talk of addiction mixing with God and His eternal love for us, it's making me squirm, too.
But God wants us to meditate on His precepts day and night. We should crave God the most, above coffee, fame, security, love, the computer, even romance novels. He will set all the other things in their proper perspective. We can even use uncomfortable words because the Author and Perfector of our faith is also the Author of all, including squirmy little words.
Coffee is fine. Just rely on the Lord more. He's the best pick-me-up I know.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I offer another video today. I watched this one a few days ago. Then I watched it again. I am still thinking about it.

If you are interested in writing novels, reading novels, or just growing in your understanding of stories and story telling, I would really encourage you to take 45 minutes of your day and watch Jeffrey Overstreet in this presentation video.

I'm not as adept as yesterday's video poster. I couldn't seem to figure out how to get the video to appear right in this box, (believe me, I tried!). So you'll just have to trust me, and click on the link below:

Yours until next time, Linda

Monday, November 29, 2010

Laughter in The Great South with Bill Cosby

Ok, y'all, I couldn't resist. I live in Spartanburg, SC. I came across this video and laughed my head off. I hope y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are now in the mood for a laugh.

God Bless!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Christmas Rescue Interview

Today we're welcoming Kayla Wilson, the heroine of The Christmas Rescue LIS, Laura Scott, November 2010.
Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. Honestly, it was a shock to me to become involved in the middle of a suspense too! I’m the owner of a nice quiet Bed and Breakfast in the middle of the woods in northern Wisconsin, when suddenly I began experiencing break-ins. Soon, I realized that me and my daughter Brianna were in danger from a man who may have murdered my husband. Thank heavens for Chief Petty Officer Rafe DeSilva. He saved my daughters life.

2. So, during the book you met Rafe DeSilva? Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love? Rafe was my brother Alex’s partner, so I met him before, but he’s generally bossy, likes to take charge and he’s far too attractive for his own good. However, he is also a great guy to have by your side in a crisis. Honestly, I don’t think I would have survived this adventure if not for Rafe. I knew, the moment he risked his life for me and my daughter, that I loved him. I’m very lucky to have found such a great guy.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness? I’m not so sure I have any great skills, except the determination to find my daughter Brianna. When she was kidnapped, I nearly went crazy with fear and grief. And when Rafe found her, I was never so thankful.

4. What scares you? Losing my husband was very scary, because the responsibility of being a single parent can be overwhelming. But having your child kidnapped was by far much worse.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I think I would like to have a skill other than being a good cook, lol. But then again, my B & B guests don’t seem to mind.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? In the beginning, I didn’t have very strong faith at all. I watched my brother Alex change from a single minded DEA agent to a man of the church, but didn’t really understand what the big deal was. Until I met Rafe. He helped show me the way to our Lord.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? After Brianna was kidnapped, I learned the true power of faith and prayer. I’ll be forever thankful for our Lord keeping her safe.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant. During the story, I meet bad, terrible men who would try to hurt my daughter and the scripture from Psalms helps me to remember that God takes care of those who are faithful.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? I think I’d be a Pumpkin Pie because hiding beneath the serene outer layer is a spicy spirit.

Thanks so much for having me! Kayla DeSilva

We love having such special guests! Thank you Laura for sharing Kayla with us today

Friday, November 26, 2010

More Thanks and More Turkey by Lisa Mondello

Hello from Lisa Mondello, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday yesterday. I know I did. Being with family around the holiday is always so important.

By now you're probably feel full from all that turkey and stuffing and pie from yesterday and only want to kick back on the sofa and watch some good movies. I admit I will be doing a fair amount of that this weekend in between running around with the kids. But I'll also be working on finishing another story and trying to get rid of all these leftovers without getting sick to death of turkey. So I'll leave you with a quick recipe that hopefully is different enough that your husband and kids won't run from the table because you're using leftovers! This is one that I used to do a lot when I sold Pampered Chef kitchen tools. Enjoy!

Pampered Chef's Turkey Cranberry Wreath

2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. honey Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
1/2 C. celery, sliced
3 T. fresh parsley, snipped
1/2 C. dried cranberries
4 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded (1cup)
1/4 C. walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 egg, separated

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into 16 triangles. With wide ends of triangles toward the center. arrange 8 triangles in a circle on Large Round Stone. Corners of wide ends will touch and points will extend 1 inch beyond of baking stone. Arrange remaining 8 triangles in center. matching ends. Seal seams using pizza roller. (Points will overlap in center; do not seal.)

Measure mayonnaise, mustard and black pepper into a bowl. Grate cheese into a bowl. Mix filling. Scoop filling over seams of dough, forming a circle.

Coarsely chop walnuts; sprinkle over filling. Beginning in center, lift one dough triangle across mixture. Continue alternating with outer triangle, slightly overlapping to form wreath. Tuck last end under first.

Separate egg over bowl. Beat egg white lightly; brush over dough. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Yields 10 servings.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank You, Mrs. Camp

It began with a simple question. “Did you know Mrs. Camp lives down the hall?” My mother asked this one day after she’d settled into her new home at the assisted living center. “Number 4.”

Joyous, I went to room 4, knocking lightly. I didn’t know if she’d recognize me. After all, it had been more than 40 years since we’d seen each other. “Oh, Ramona! Do come in!” Spry and bright-eyed, with the same hair style she’d had 40 years before, now a crown of pure white. “Sit down and tell me about these books you write!”

Mrs. Fay Camp taught first grade for almost 50 years. (That room there on the right is where she taught me.) She raised up thousands of bank tellers, doctors, lawyers, factory workers . . . and more than one writer. She had a gift for spotting natural talent, and she knew how to deal with active children who read too much. Even heading into her 90s, she still taught those around her, speaking little of herself (she missed her home) or her illnesses (she was on dialysis).

Instead, she focused on whoever stood before her. For me, it was as if no time had passed.

But time does pass. So do we. As I write this on Tuesday night, I’m preparing to go say one final goodbye to Mrs. Camp. She was 93.

There are tears, but there are also great prayers of thanks. I’m thankful she taught me to read, to write, to use my imagination. I’m grateful I had a chance to visit her again, and to say thanks for all she’d done.

When I dedicated a book to her, she cried, telling me it was a great honor. To me, it was the least I could do.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m saying numerous prayers of thanks for the people in my life who have helped and loved and taught . . . and generally made me the woman I am. I hope I serve them well.

And I hope you ALL have a glorious Thanksgiving with lots of hugs and time to let people you love that they matter.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A different kind of Thanksgiving--Lenora Worth

This will be a new kind of holiday for my husband and me. We're empty nesters now and since all of our family lives away, we will be alone on Thanksgiving. But we don't mind. We stay in touch with our two children and hopefully they will both be home for Christmas. We've decided rather than cooking, we'll go out and eat and maybe go to a movie. It will be nice to spend a quiet day together. We also have New Orleans Saints football on that day. They are playing the Dallas Cowboys. Any predictions on who might win? I'm cheering for the Saints, of course.

It's bittersweet to realize we have no one else with us on this holiday, but we did our job. We raised our children to the best of our abilities and now they are out there on their own. And while we'll miss relatives who are far away, we know we are loved. We've had several invitations to join others and we're blessed with good friends. But the idea of not fretting about cooking, cleaning and making sure everyone is happy is very appealing. There is something to be said for a quiet holiday where we reflect on our blessings, consider our ways and send up prayers for those we love. We are blessed. And that is the real Thanksgiving gift.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope wherever you are, you know that you are loved and appreciated.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Yuletide Sanctuary by Terri Reed
A cry for help shatters youth counselor Sean Matthews's quiet Christmas night. He saves Lauren Curtis from her attacker—for now. But the vengeful man on her trail won't be held at bay for long….

Christmas Target by Stephanie Newton
She hadn't wanted the contest "prize" in the first place. But when police officer Maria Fuentes arrives for the holiday vacation she won, she finds much more than expected. Her "date"—handsome weatherman Ben Storm—is in danger, and Maria is the only protector he'll trust.

Holiday Havoc Interview

Today we're welcoming Ben Storm, the hero of “Christmas Target” in HOLIDAY HAVOC, by Stephanie Newton.
Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. I’m Ben Storm, a meteorologist with Weather 24, the cable weather network. And before you ask, I was actually born with that name. I can’t tell you much, but what I can tell you is that someone was very determined to kill me.
2. So, during the book you met Maria. Tell us a bit about her. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?
Maria and I met because she won a contest for a vacation...and a date. My first impression of Maria? She was dressed in cargo pants, combat boots and I couldn’t see much more than her crazy hair. But she had these really beautiful eyes. I think I first fell in love when I realized that protecting my life was more important than saving her own. She’s really unselfish, like that, but I’m not sure she even realizes it.
3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness?
I think I have a good head on my shoulders. My greatest weakness? You don’t really think I would tell that in an interview, do you?
4. What scares you?
Not being able to finish the job. Not being able to be the man I know I can be. Not being there for the people I love.
5. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant. Lamentations 3:21-22 says, “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease.” I lost my wife two years ago. This verse kept me from losing my mind.

Today we're also welcoming Lauren Curtis, the heroine of “Yuletide Sanctuary” by Terri Reed in the book HOLIDAY HAVOC.
Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. I’m an artist by passion and career but a few years ago a horrible nightmare derailed by life. I was physically and emotional scarred. I’d moved to Cannon Beach to hide from the world but my nightmare showed in the flesh and shattered my peaceful, if lonely existence.
2. So, during the book you met Sean Matthews. Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love? I did meet Sean quite unexpectedly. He happened to be out for a run just at the precise moment that I need someone. I don’t believe in coincidence. I know God put Sean out on the beach that night for a reason. I thought he was handsome and kind to help a stranger in peril. I knew pretty quickly but I was afraid to even hope for love so it took me longer to admit it to myself, let alone to him.
3. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? I’m very much questioning God, His goodness and His plan for my life. I was angry and feeling unloved.
4. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? With Sean’s help I realized that God’s plan is not our plan. I’ve come to accept the circumstances of my life and embrace my faith in God. I know God loves me and is with me regardless of how I feel.
5. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? I’d be Christmas cookies. Sweet goodness, sprinkled with love and decorated with care. Because that is how Sean’s love makes me feel.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Thanksgiving Tale of Terror--Debby Giusti

Pamela smiled as she looked first at Cranton and then at Johnny. “I’m the missing link.”

“What!” both men exclaimed in unison.

“Mr. Sirocco personally hired me to track down the Americans. He knew where they were being held but had no way to reach them.” She pointed to her brother. “Johnny can attest to my nautical ability. Sirocco realized the insurgents would never suspect a lone woman in a sailboat as being a danger to them.”

“You know where the Americans are being held?” Cranton stepped closer.

Pamela nodded. “They’re on a small fishing vessel in international waters off the Canadian coast, guarded by only a few men. Probably because the insurgents never expected the hostages would be discovered there.”

Cranton grabbed her hand and entwined his fingers through hers, sending tingles down her spine. “If we work together, we might be able to save the men after all.” His eyes were filled with hope as he gazed down at her.

“Grandfather’s boat is docked at the marina.” Johnny pointed though the window at a tiny sailboat moored in the distance. “The guy in the bedroom is tied up and won’t cause us any problems. Let’s move.”

The three patriots were soon out at sea. Pamela steered them through the deep waters. A faint outline of the Canadian coastline was barely visible on the horizon. The sun slowly set and darkness covered them just after they spotted the anchored fishing vessel and the lone lookout that kept watch on deck.

“I go in first,” Cranton said, donning a wet suit. He pointed to the guard who had failed to notice the approaching craft. “Once I take down the guard, I’ll signal you to board.”

Pamela was well aware of the danger, but whether the American service members lived or died depended on Cranton’s surprise attack. The odds weren’t in his favor, and she knew the three of them needed help.

Placing her hand on his shoulder, she felt his strength and resolve. Had they only known each other for a week? The sense of completeness that swept over her brought clarity. She had been waiting her whole life to find Cranton. She couldn’t let anything happen to him now.

“Lord,” she prayed. Her voice was husky with emotion. “Protect Cranton in this mission. Allow him to surprise the captors and free our brave military men.”

He pulled her close. “Protect all of us this night, Lord.”

Johnny touched Cranton’s arm. “It’s time, buddy.”

With a determined nod, Cranton released his hold on Pamela and slipped into the dark water. The chill of the night circled around her. “Oh, Lord, keep him safe,” she whispered.

Johnny pointed into the distance. “Looks like we’ve got another problem.”

She followed his gaze. Her stomach tightened as she spotted the fog rolling toward them. Glancing back at the fishing vessel, she watched it quickly disappear in the thick haze. “We’ll never see Cranton’s signal,” she told her brother.

“And we don’t have enough visibility to approach the vessel in this fog. Looks like Cranton is on his own.”

Pamela strained to hear anything that might provide a clue as to what was happening on board the fishing vessel, but the lapping of the water against the tiny sailboat was the only sound in the eerily quiet night.

As the minutes turned to hours, the possibility of success faded and was replaced with an ominous sense of foreboding.

Tears filled Pamela’s eyes, yet she continued to pray. With each passing hour, she knew the outcome wouldn’t be good. No doubt, the insurgents had captured Cranton, and she could only imagine what type of torture they were using to learn more about Sirocco Enterprises.

“We need to head back to the US,” Johnny finally said. “This mission has failed.”

She shook her head. “I won’t leave without Cranton.”

“That’s crazy, Pamela.” Just as the words left his mouth, a glimmer of light broke through the darkness.

“The fog is lifting with the dawn,” she told her brother. “Maybe God heard our prayers after all.” But her optimism plummeted when she spotted the fishing vessel. The empty deck caused the last bit of hope she had been holding onto to dissolve in the murky waters.

“We need to get out of here before we’re spotted,” Johnny insisted as he reached for the rudder.

“Wait.” She put her hand on his arm to stop him.

A faint rumbling sounded in the distance. “Is that coming from the ship?” he asked.

A smile spread over Pamela’s face and tears of joy burned her eyes as the sun’s rays cut through the haze and bathed the fishing vessel in bright light. Cranton stood on the deck surrounded by a group of men dressed in US Army uniforms. Their cheers rose in jubilation and spread across the water.

Pamela shouted for joy, but her gaze remained locked on the hero, who had saved the mission and the men. Within minutes, she had maneuvered the sailboat close to the fishing vessel and boarded with Johnny following close behind her.

Before she could say anything, Cranton wrapped her in his arms and pulled her close. She melted into his embrace. A lump filled her throat. “Mr. Sir…Mr. Sirocco said someone would rescue the hostages, but I didn’t think it would be my handsome neighbor from across the street.” She gazed up at Cranton with love and admiration. “The Turkey Drop was successful, after all, and the soldiers will be home in time to celebrate the holiday with their families.”

“I never thought I’d get a second chance to save them.” Cranton’s fingers tangled through her hair. “I’ve got a lot to be thankful for, Pamela, and the most important thing is you.”

He lowered his lips to meet hers, and she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she’d be spending this Thanksgiving and all the Thanksgivings for the rest of her life with Cranton.

Then she pulled back ever so slightly to ensure she wasn’t dreaming before she allowed him to capture her lips once again. Cranton wasn’t a dream. He was a dream come true.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Thanksgiving Tale of Terror -- Ramona Richards

Pamela swung her gaze back to Cranton, her irritation growing. “He’s not my boyfriend, but he is going to explain this. Aren’t you, Cranton?” She stretched his name out over at least two extra syllables. “And I doubt it has anything to do with food deliveries or your mother’s gravy recipe.”

The corner of his mouth jerked. “Hardly.” He nodded at Johnny. “Although I don’t know what he has to do with it.”

A groan sounded from the man on the floor and they all looked down. Johnny bent and grabbed the guy’s arms, lifting him into a fireman’s carry. “I’ll make sure this guy is out of commission for awhile. You explain it to her.” He lugged the man into the bedroom, slamming the door with his foot.

Pamela stepped closer to Cranton. “Stop stalling.” Sweat glistened on his upper lip, and his scent, a cologne made deliciously musky by their action, was unexpectedly alluring. She swallowed, forcing herself calm. “Now. I was a Ranger. Stop holding back.”

After a moment, Cranton let out a great sigh. “TURKEY DROP was a failure. My failure.” He stepped back, running his hand through his hair.

“It’s why you were hiding out?”

“Yes. After my last tour in Iraq, I joined Sirocco Enterprises.”

“The private security company.”

“Right. Because of my work as a mediator, they brought me in to arrange a prisoner transfer. Some of their guys had captured a group of insurgents. They’d received word that the insurgents' cell group would be willing to trade them for a group of Americans being held. Neither side wanted the Army or NATO involved. The goal was to get the Americans home for Thanksgiving. Thus . . .”



A few uncomfortably odd sounds from behind the bedroom door caught their attention, then Johnny emerged alone, wiping his hands on his thighs.

Pamela turned back to Cranton. “So how did it fail?”

He shook his head. “Too complicate to explain. It just did.”

“Spectacularly,” said Johnny. “A third party got involved. Now at least two separate groups want him”—he pointed his thumb at Cranton—“dead.”

“Thanks for the reminder.”

“What about our people? What happened to them?”

He shrugged. “Not sure.”

“They’re across the border.”

Cranton and Pamela stared at Johnny. Pamela found her voice first. “You mean Canada?”

“That’s why I’m here. Sirocco brought me on after your boyfriend’s fiasco to track the prisoners. He’s the talker; I’m a tracker. The insurgents wound up with no choice but to get them out of the Middle East. They smuggled the prisoners into Canada.” He glared hard at Cranton. “They’ll still make the trade, but they want you to do it. No authorities. No Sirocco. Just you.”

Pamela watched the color drain from Cranton’s face.

“I almost got them killed,” he whispered. “I can’t protect them.”

The enormity of what Cranton had tried to do, the way he’d tried to serve other Americans even after his time in the service, washed over Pamela. She felt a sudden surge of pride.

“Yes, you can.” She glanced once at the Glock, still clutched in her hand. “We can.”

“Now, wait a minute—” Johnny started.

Pamela shook her head, barely glancing at her brother. “No. We have to get them home to their families for Thanksgiving.” She focused on Cranton. “As I said, I was a Ranger. We can do this. You can do this.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Johnny's movement was automatic. The man who'd sprayed the window with bullets from the front porch before bursting through the front door was now down on his belly, knocked out.

Cranton knew then that Johnny wasn't only a soldier in Afghanistan, he was Special Forces. Only specialized training could have a soldier moving with precision like that so quickly. He wondered if Pamela knew. The question of why Johnny was suddenly here at the cabin grew more urgent.

A stunned Pamela stood in the middle of the floor looking at her brother. Hard eyes lifted to Pamela, and Johnny said, "Don't ever do that again."

"Do what?"

"You should have stayed covered and let Johnny handle that. He may be your little brother, but he knows what he's doing," Cranton said.

"And how would you know?"

Johnny leveled him with a hard look, then pointed to the floor. “Never mind. We have to figure out what we’re going to do with him.”

“You’re bleeding,” she said, running to her brother’s side, putting her hands on his chin and pulling his face toward her for a better look. “It’s only a small scratch.”

“I’d climbed out of the bedroom window and moved in behind this clown just as he started shooting the window. Must have been caught with some flying glass.”

“I’m going to see if there is any antiseptic to clean that and then I want some answers. From both of you.”

Cranton caught the suspicious look on Pamela’s face, and even in the slightly rattled state she was in, she was a stunner. Her slightly upturned nose looked too cute when her lips where tight with anger. And she was miffed. He just wasn’t sure if it was because she was still in the dark about what was going on or because her brother got nicked from flying glass.

With Johnny’s face cleaned up, Pamela propped herself on the edge of the sofa and folded her arms across her chest.

“I’m not stupid. I know you’re being here for Thanksgiving is no accident, Johnny. You would have told me you were coming. So out with it.”

“Perhaps he has a reason he doesn’t want to share with you,” Cranton said, his heart rate kicking up a notch. This was either going to go bad…or it would be his salvation. The next few minutes would decide. He prayed they’d all be leaving this cabin alive.

"What does Turkey Drop mean to you?" Johnny said.

Cranton's eyes widened only slightly to let Johnny know he understood, but not enough to cause alarm that may be misunderstood. But Pamela caught that one tiny move.

"Turkey Drop. What are you talking about?” Looking from Cranton to her brother, Pamela said, "Is someone going to finally fill me in on what's going on?"

Johnny's hard glare locked onto Cranton. "You’re right, Pam. I'm not home for the holiday. I came here looking for...your boyfriend."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Thanksgiving Tale of Terror - Part Four by Cara Putman

Cranton inhaled as he tugged Pamela through the unlocked front door. Johnny followed them, but not before Cranton caught the hardened glint in the younger man's eyes. A hard tale filled that look, one he didn't have time to probe.

Sooner or later he'd known this day would come. He could only hide so long. But he'd never imagined civilians being in the way. Like it or not he was now responsible for keeping them safe, too, even if the kid had Army veteran written all over him from stance to voice.

More gunfire trailed their steps as they rushed up the stairs. Johnny closed the door behind them, then pulled the couch over. Pamela sank behind it, her breath ragged and her eyes darting around the darkened room.

"Johnny, do you think Grandpa's shot gun is still in the bedroom?" Her voice sounded steady, surprising considering the circumstances.

"I'll look." The brother moved with the stealthy movements of someone used to slipping in and out of buildings while hunting the enemy. The movements of someone who was more comfortable hunting, than being hunted.

Pamela turned to him. "What's the plan?"

Cranton's thoughts raced. "How did they find this place?"

"I don't know. It's not in my name yet, and should be off the radar." She rifled through her bag, and pulled out a Glock. She slid the chamber back and checked for a bullet. "They've been too quiet."

He had to agree. And he didn't like it. Not one bit. Especially since he'd barely had time to stop the car let alone do an onsite walk-through. He'd never felt more like a sitting duck. He pulled his trusty SIG from the back of this waistband, just as the sound of exploding glass came from behind them.

"Johnny!" Pamela was on her feet and racing to the sound before he could grab her.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Thanksgiving Tale of Terror-part three by Terri Reed

Pamela couldn’t believe her eyes. “That’s my brother Johnny. I didn’t know he was home from Afghanistan.” She sent up a prayer of thanksgiving that he was here in one piece. But why was he home?
Cranton put his hand on Pamela’s arm preventing her from exiting the car. “Wait. You can’t tell him about the man with the gun.”
She frowned. “Why not?” She narrowed her gaze. “What are you into? Drugs? Gambling?”
He shook his head. “Nothing like that.”
“Then why did some guy show up on your doorstep with a gun?”
He stared out the front window, his strong jaw tight. “It’s complicated.”
She was well acquainted with complicated. Her gaze left Cranton’s profile to watch her brother striding toward the car. “For now you’re my new boyfriend. But later you will tell me what’s going on.”
Cranton’s eyes widened. Then he grinned. “Sounds like a good cover to me.”
Her heart did a little flip. She let out an indelicate snort to downplay the affect his smile had on her. She opened the door and rushed to meet her brother. Forgetting about her handsome, albeit secretive, neighbor for a moment, she let out a happy yelp and embraced her brother. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming home?”
Johnny looped his arm around her shoulders. “I needed a little down time first.”
Understanding twisted inside her. She’d done the same thing when she’d first returned.
Johnny’s gaze zeroed in on Cranton, who had climbed out of the car. “Who’s this?”
“This is Cranton Berryfield. My...boyfriend.” The word stuck in her throat. Longing hit her square between the eyes. She wished it were true. Wished that Cranton Berryfield was her boyfriend and not her mysterious neighbor on the run from a gun toting man. What had she gotten herself into?
The sound of tires crunching on the dirt and gravel road filled the air. A second later, a black sedan came into view. The same car that had driven down their street. Pamela’s stomach dropped.
Cranton ran around the front end of the car, grabbed Pamela by the hand and pulled her toward the cabin. “Inside, quick!”
A spray of gunfire erupted.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Thanksgiving Tale of Terror -Barbara Phinney

Automatically, Pamela’s training from her time in the Rangers kicked in. She elbowed her assailant hard, and then as he bent over, she flipped him over. He let out a painful exhalation as he hit the ground.

She gasped. Cranton! She bent over him, and immediately he pulled her down onto him.

“Where did you learn to do that?”

Oops. She hadn’t wanted anyone to know that. She smiled weakly. “I, um, took a self-defense course.”

“Oh." He looked suspicious. "I wanted your help, not to be beaten up. Is that guy out there, still?”

She scrambled up and peered out the window. “Yes! Oh, no, he’s headed over here. I think he saw me.”

“Get back!”

She hurried back, expecting her handsome neighbor to be still prone. But he was standing, and grabbed her. Within seconds, they were in her front hall closet.

The closet door clicked shut the very same moment a harsh rapping started at the front door.

Pamela held her breath. She’d wanted to get close to this guy, but this wasn’t what she had in mind. They stood there, her nose bumping his chest, his breath fanning the top of her head, and all the time, waiting until finally, the footsteps stomping off the porch told them it was safe to leave the closet.

“Now, we need to get out of here,” Cranton said.

“I’ll say,” she whispered back. “I had no idea I had this many coats and shoes. I really need to go through my stuff.”

“Not today. Today, we need to leave town.”

“We? You gotta mouse in your pocket?”

He slowly opened the door. “That guy who wanted to turn me into Swiss cheese must have seen you watching from your window. That means you’ve become a target, too.”

“We’ll call the police.”

“Yes, we will, but right now, we need to get far away from here.” He turned and cupped her face. She nearly melted when she looked into those brown eyes.

“What’s going on here? How did you get into my house and why is someone after you?”

“I’ll explain everything. But first, is there any place that only you would know about, and can get into?”

Pamela bit her lip. The day she left the Rangers she went straight there. That whole awful first month that she’d needed to get herself together, was spent…spent there. It would be safe for Cranton. But would it be safe for her? For her sanity?

“There’s one place you can go to. But I don’t think I should go.”

“You’ll have to. Is it safe for you?”

“Physically, yes, but, Cranton-”

“We’ll deal with the other issues later. You have one minute to grab what you can. Hurry!” He pushed her gently toward the stairs and she bolted up them, only to return a moment later with her purse, her toothbrush and of all things, a box of tissues infused with Vicks Vaporub.

He looked at them, then at her. “They smell good,” she explained with a shrug. “And you never know when you’ll need a good box of tissues.”

Cranton rolled his eyes. “Let’s go.”

She gave him hasty directions as they drove out of Maple, punctuating them with questions, for which she got no answer. And yet, as crazy as the situation seemed, she knew one thing.

She trusted Cranton.

They made it up the coast, hours later and close to sunset, to her grandfather’s cottage. It overlooked an inlet near Blueberry Cove, not far from Bar Harbor.

“Whose place is this?” Cranton asked as they pulled into the deserted driveway.

“My grandfather’s. He died last year.” She looked across the car at him. “But I own it now. I just had it closed for the winter.”

He stared hard out the windshield. “So, who is that guy standing on the porch?”