About the book: One decision changed both their lives . . . but will love win in the end? Charlotte Rose Hill enjoys a comfortable life serving up country delicacies, uniquely blended teas, and matchmaking advice for her quirky, devoted customers. The only thing lacking is someone to share it with. At eighteen she denied Sam Wilder's marriage proposal after his family convinced her to walk away from their relationship. They both moved on . . . or so she thought. When Sam walks back into her life more than a decade later, Charlotte is surprised that her heart still quickens. But is it because of his presence? Or because of the presence of Sam's new fiancée? A second chance at love doesn't happen often, but their past may keep them apart. Is it too late for Sam and Charlotte? About the Author: Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, is the author or coauthor of thirty-five books for adults and children. She has recently been honored with a 2013 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award and is a two-time finalist in the 2013 Selah Awards as well as a finalist in the 2013 Cascade Awards. She holds a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends. Please visit her online at www.anitahigman.com
My Thoughts: What is it about a small town, and a love story gone wrong that just pulls you in? A Marriage in Middlebury gives you soooo many reasons to fall in love with this quaint little town and many of those that live there. Charlotte Hill loves her customers and if there is one thing that Charlotte knows, it's people! She listens, cares, and serves each customer with such love and kindness. She also has an amazing way of creating the perfect tea combination for each person and while she may not know the perfect blend immediately, it is in the learning more about each person that tells Charlotte just which teas she should use that is so touching.
Despite all of her successes and much sought after advice, Charlotte has never found love again. That is, not since she was 18 years old and hoping for a marriage proposal from her first and long time love, Sam. She did however, receive that proposal, and never in a million years did she believe her answer would be "No!" She was manipulated and threatened by Sam's Father into declining Sam's proposal, leaving both Sam and Charlotte heart broken. Deceit and ignorance work in many ways, and in this case, it forever changed the course of Sam and Charlotte's lives that day. When Sam returns to Middlebury twenty years later, he brings along his fiancé and has a request for Charlotte, to speak to his dying father. As the web of deceit is untangled and the truth comes out, will Sam and Charlotte be able to deny their love for one another? A Marriage in Middlebury is wonderful and I fell in love with this town, it's people, and each story within it. I sooo appreciated the way the relationship with Charlotte and Sam's Father was written. I don't want to "spoil" it for anyone, but suffice to say, I am so glad that Charlotte was able to see the truth and to offer forgiveness despite what was given to her. The community of people and their relationships weren't perfect by any means, however, one thing stood out to me and that was the love and acceptance of one another. It felt like home, like I knew each one of them, but then again, isn't that the way a small town is. If you love romance and meeting fun loving and quirky people, then A Marriage in Middlebury is definitely for you! I must warn you though, it will pull you in and you may not want to leave… let alone put the book down! Thank you Litfuse for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review! Heart of a BookWorm gives this one 5 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s
Anita Higman is celebrating the release of her latest book, A Marriage in Middlebury, with a double Kindle Fire giveaway (one for you & one to give away!) and a "Tea for Two" Facebook Author Chat Party on December 12th.
One winner will receive:
A Kindle Fire for you AND a friend
A Marriage in Middlebury by Anita Higman (one to keep and one to give away!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 12th. Winner will be announced at the "Tea for Two" Facebook Author Chat Party on December 12th. Invite your friends and connect with Anita for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Anita's next book!
So grab your copy of A Marriage in Middlebury and join Anita on the evening of December 12th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on 12/12!
Built on the hope-infusing truths found in the 2012 Retailer's Choice Winner, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope's new 60-day devotional takes women on a journey toward lasting confidence. Swope has expanded her popular "When I say--God says" statements and Scriptures, and offers women a daily thought-map to help them exchange their most common and crippling self-doubts with God's transforming truths.
Like having a conversation with a friend and mentor, Renee's authentic style and soul-stirring devotions include personal stories, powerful biblical teaching, and real-life application wrapped around one of God's promises each day to help readers:
•live confidently in their God-given roles, relationships and responsibilities •break free from people-pleasing and performance-based living •believe God's promises and apply his truth in their daily lives •trust the certainty of God's truth over their circumstances and emotions My Thoughts: Are you guilty of negative thoughts towards yourself? I call this "stinkin' thinkin'" and I am guilty for sure! As I have gotten older and grown in my walk with the Lord, I have learned how VITAL it is to apply Gods Word when I am thinking negatively towards myself! This devotional is phenomenal in teaching you just that… at the end of each devotion, there is a "When I say this…. God says … " and let me tell you… These are AWESOME!! The devotions are great as well! Renee has an amazing way to write and make you feel like you were having coffee right there with her. She is open, honest, and spoke right to my heart in these devotions. This would be a WONDERFUL gift for ANY and ALL women you know! Teachers, Caretakers, Friends and Neighbors, Co-workers, Bank tellers… You get my drift ;) Seriously, this is a GREAT book and I recommend it HIGHLY!! Thank you Lanette @Revell, a division of Baker Publishing for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review! A Confident Heart Devotional gets a HUGE 5 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s from me!
What does a woman want to do when she retires? Travel? Pursue hobbies? Spend time with friends and family? We all have dreams about what those days will be like. But when it comes to turning those dreams into reality, women's retirement confidence and know-how is low. According to a 2012 survey, 92 percent of women of all ages in this country don't feel they're educated enough to reach their retirement savings goals. For the woman who doesn't know where to start or would like a knowledgeable guide who speaks her language, financial expert Mary Hunt offers a comprehensive but approachable resource for saving and planning for retirement.
Whether she feels entitled to retire at age 65, hopes she'll be able to stop working someday, or is convinced she'll never be able to retire, every woman will find real help in these pages. With her signature no-nonsense, energetic style, Hunt assures women that it's only too late if they don't start now. She clearly covers every aspect of retirement planning during every season of a woman's life, giving women the confidence they need to shape their futures.
Mary Hunt has made this book so easy to read and understand! The chapters range from saving your money today and paying down your debt to investing for your future and everything in between. She keeps the chapters short and yet they are filled with great advice and tips that you can easily apply immediately!
We all should plan for our future and for some it is just frightening and can be overwhelming… if that is you then please read Mary's book, no matter what age you are! You will be so thankful!
Thank you Revell a Division of Baker Publishing for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review
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!
***Special thanks to Katy Lee for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As an Inspirational Romantic Suspense author, Katy Lee writes higher-purpose stories in high-speed worlds. Through her writing, ministries, and teaching, she dedicates her life to sharing tales of love, from the greatest love story ever told to those sweet romantic stories of falling in love. Katy and her husband are born New Englanders, but have been known to travel at the drop of a hat along with their three children. But www.KatyLeeBooks.com is where you can find Katy anytime.
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT
When a drug-smuggling ring rocks a small coastal town, the DEA sends Agent Owen Matthews to shut it down. A single father with a deaf son, Owen senses that the town's number one suspect—the high school's new principal—doesn't fit the profile. Miriam Hunter hoped to shrug off the stigma of her hearing impairment when she returned to Stepping Stones, Maine. But her recurring nightmares dredge up old memories that could prove her innocence—and uncover the truth behind a decades-old murder. Yet Owen's help may not be enough when someone decides to keep Miriam silenced—permanently.
List Price: $5.99
Series: Love Inspired Suspense
Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (October 1, 2013)
Warning Signs is a page turning suspense filled story! It will also leave you encouraged as you get to know Miriam & Owen. Their wounds from the past and struggles in the present open your eyes to a beautiful example of Gods love. The suspense keeps you guessing and turning pages and if you think you have it all figured out, you might just have to think again!!
I highly recommend Warning Signs! AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Drug Enforcement Agent Owen Matthews gripped the wheel of his rented sports boat as he coasted through the North Atlantic at barely half-throttle. The Maine island town of Stepping Stones urged Owen to rush forward to the safety of its shores, but his newly acquired phobia of boats wouldn’t let him speed up even one knot. At this rate the sun would be gone before he arrived at his next assignment.
“What we do for friends,” Owen mumbled through clenched teeth, thinking about his old academy roommate, and the island’s sheriff, Wesley Grant. Even though Wes chose small-town law enforcement and Owen took the federal route with the DEA down to the Mexican border, the two of them kept in touch.
Wes had called, needing Owen’s undercover expertise to take down a recent marijuana problem at Stepping Stones High School. No job was too dangerous or too far for Owen when it came to extinguishing the distribution of illegal mind-altering substances. Even if the job brought him back to these Maine waters where he vowed never to go again.
Owens quashed away the sickening memory. He’d let the guilt return later, but for now he had a job to do. He steered his focus back to the few facts Wes gave him about the case, specifically on how the drugs appeared about six months ago, soon after two new residents moved to Stepping Stones.
Wes was a good cop, but he probably didn’t want to believe a fellow islander could ever bring such harm down on one of his own. Since Owen grew up on the mainland and not with these people, he could offer a more unbiased investigation of all the inhabitants, new and old.
Plus, Owen knew firsthand how the ones closest to us had the power to destroy us—he knew this not because he’d been on the receiving end, but because of the people he’d destroyed. His past offenses convinced him that every islander was capable and a suspect—including the owner of the fishing boat coming at him.
At first, the vessel bobbed alongside a huge rock and lighthouse up ahead, but when it shot off like a bullet, Owen questioned its hurry. Was its retreat an innocent maneuver or had Owen intruded on an illegal happening of some kind?
He kept his undercover status in mind and prepared to make all neighborly with the captain of the…. He strained to read the name of the fishing boat scrawled on its hull.
The Rita Ann.
A harmless enough name. Although typically, a drug trafficker wouldn’t be advertising its wares on its exterior for the world to see. Owen observed more of the rusty, white fishing boat with its tall, lit masthead. A rule follower, it would seem with his adequate safety equipment. But, if one was carrying illegal cargo, it would be in their best interest to keep their light bulbs in working order. Why risk the chance of being pulled over?
Owen searched the dark pilothouse windows for the captain, but only the reflection of the setting sun glinted back at him. He sped up a little to close in, waving his hand high, and slowed to an idle to wait for the lone figure at the wheel to wave back.
Instead, the Rita Ann increased its speed and changed its course—directly on him.
Stunned, Owen’s hand slipped off the gear shift. This couldn’t be happening. Not again. The sun was setting, but he could still be seen. The last time it had been pitch dark. This didn’t make sense.
Snap out of it, Matthews! He ordered himself to reengage, but his stiff hands might as well have been petrified wood. He had to move, but visions of a past splintering boat flying sky-high immobilized his reflexes. Six years of time dissolved into this moment as he relived his first crash.
No, he denied for history to repeat itself. Move! Now!
A surge of adrenaline pushed him to hit the reverse. He blasted back out of the Rita Ann’s path. The fishing boat jetted past him without an acknowledgment.
Owen questioned if the driver had seen him or not. How could he not, though? He watched The Rita Ann chug out to sea. Owen forced his hand to turn the wheel to follow. He would flag it down to find out, but first, he would need to speed up to catch it.
Duty called and Owen’s previous driving-with-caution vaulted to the wind as he kicked up his speed a notch, then another and another. The front bow parted the rolling waves into a frothy wake as he set his sights on the Rita Ann. His attention drilled straight ahead, until a gray object flew past him on his starboard side. Immediately another followed. Owen’s head whipped from side to side in confusion.
They were flat rocks, smaller, less visible than the large one with the lighthouse. The sight of the solid, unmovable masses caused him to slam back the throttle, jolting the craft to a rumbling crawl.
The Rita Ann raced on ahead without him.
It wasn’t the fact that he let her go that choked him, but rather the fact that he could have had a disastrous collision if he had been a few scant feet more to his left.
At least no one was in the boat with me this time. Owen blew out a breath of angry expletives about his stupidity. I have no business being out on these waters. Not even for a job.
With tighter fists than before, he gripped the steering wheel again. In an anxious cold-sweat, Owen drifted with the tiniest bit of gas sent to the engine. In such a slow motion, he realized more and more of these rocks protruded up from the ocean floor around him, leading up to the island of Stepping Stones.
The island apparently got its name from these rocks. The lighthouse itself was built on the largest of them while the others dotted a sporadic path. A beautiful scene for a painting, but in reality, these rocks posed a deadly threat to boats cruising their way up the coast of New England. How the ferry could dock here was beyond him. Maybe that’s why it only came in once a week. Too risky with these formidable pieces of stone that required a wide berth.
Owen made his way back to the rock with the lighthouse. As he approached, something red and gold caught his attention. His rubberneck told him it was a woman.
She lay motionless on the rock, the only part of her moving was a strand of her hair fluttering on the sea breeze. His mind reeled with concern. Was she injured?
Owen swung his gaze back at the departing Rita Ann. Perhaps the woman was hurt by the same hands that piloted the boat. That would explain the hasty departure. Had someone on the Rita Ann dumped her here? Thrown her overboard? Owen’s stomach twisted at the thought. Time was critical if that was the case.
He steadied his gaze on her, but from his vantage point all he could make out was her shock of long, red hair glinting with gold in the sun’s rays. The tresses fanned out against the rock like the rays themselves. He leaned over the steering wheel as if that would get him closer, faster.
With the engine of his boat chugging, he hoped she would hear him approach and lift her head or wave a hand, but she didn’t. Not even when his boat sidled up to the rock and lapped idly in the waves.
“Miss?” he called out over the rattling engine. “Miss, do you need help?”
No answer. No movement, either
Owen cleared his throat and tried again, louder. When that turned out the same, the words ‘deathly still’ crossed his mind. Apprehension niggled at the back of his neck. He rubbed it away with the horrid thought and called out again. “Miss?” he yelled forcefully, but couldn’t deny the waver of uncertainty in his voice.
He hadn’t seen someone this still since his wife, Rebecca, lay in the sand, paramedics going through the motions of saving her only because he begged them not to stop. Owen’s throat filled with a golf-sized blockage. He shot a jittery gaze toward the island, willing someone else to come help this woman.
The docks in miniature glimmered in the sunlight, waiting for his boat to find its place beside them for the night. Oh, how he wanted to do just that. To allow someone else better qualified to help her. He was good at chasing bad guys, not rescuing women. But not one person came into his view. Not one fisherman. Not one loitering teenager. No one at all stood on the pier for him to wave at for assistance.
Owen cut the engine. It has to be me. He dropped his shoulders as he dropped anchor.
He thought about radioing for help, maybe the woman was just in a deep sleep. Just in case she was hurt, though, Owen grabbed the life-saving equipment stored in the rear stern under the padded seats. He yanked open the compartment to find a first-aid kit and blanket, along with life vests. He scooped up the blanket and kit and went portside, reaching out to grab at the crusty barnacle-covered stone.
Swells rocked the woman in and out of his view. With every rise and sway of his boat he caught sight of her one-piece, red and blue bathing suit. He thought it was a mishmash of flowers or something, but didn’t concentrate enough on it to be sure. His full attention was given to the state of the woman’s wellness. In a quick scan, his eyes followed from her bathing suit down her long, muscular limbs of milky white to a set of small feet sprawled motionless.
“I’m coming, okay?” he assured her loudly as he threw his load up on the rock and hoisted his body to follow. Please be sleeping, he thought but said, “Don’t move. You may have a neck injury.” Like Rebecca when she was thrown.
The woman didn’t move. Not even to acknowledge his presence. He watched for any sign of a twinge or breathing as he scraped along the sharp barnacles. Pain sliced through his palms and bared forearms. He used the discomfort to propel him up and forward, but glad for the protection of his denim jeans. Lying flat, he came face-to-face with the still, delicate features of the woman. Long, light lashes rested on pale, freckled cheeks. He hesitated to touch her. Would he find her asleep? Dead? Had his rescue not come in time?
“Miss, can you hear me? Are you hurt? Do you need help?”
His hand reached for the curve of her neck and gently felt for her pulse on skin, icy cold. She moaned and her heart’s life-beating sound brought Owen a mix of relief and elation. She may be hurt, but at least she was alive. Thank you, L-Lord, Owen’s reflexive prayer of thanksgiving had him wiping an old bitter aftertaste from his salty lips.
“God had nothing to do with saving this girl,” he muttered. “God’s not here. I’m here.”
His blunder stumped him for a moment before he launched into the rescue. Owen reached for the scratchy, wool blanket behind him and stretched it over her arms and chest to warm her. Instantly, her eyes flashed wide and another short sound deep in her throat escaped her pale lips. A moan of pain? he wondered. A quick jerk of her head triggered him to brace her just in case.
“Miss?” He gripped both sides of her face and peered into stark, gray eyes, as gray as the stone she lay on. Fear shone up at him. “Don’t move. You could have a spinal injury. Can you tell me if you hurt anywhere?”
She struggled beneath the blanket, arms fumbling and pushing with a strength that caught him off guard. Owen pressed her arms down and shushed her. He couldn’t safely move her to the boat like this.
She moaned again, more forceful, louder. It didn’t sound like a moan of pain now, but rather anger. She was mad at him? For helping her? She shoved harder at the blanket between them. Her lips parted for the loudest most forceful sound yet. It sounded like the word off without the pronunciations of the f’s. It took him a second before her word hit him like a left hook to his gut.
Owen jumped away from the muffled sounds he would recognize anywhere. They were the same kind of sounds his son made when he tried to speak—ever since he lost his hearing the night he’d nearly drowned in the crash.
This woman wasn’t injured at all. She didn’t answer him because, like his son, she was deaf.
Miriam Hunter fumbled under the attack of a strong-armed man. The scare tactics to be rid of her had turned physical. Ever since she arrived here, the islanders had made it known she wasn’t wanted. First, the nasty notes and emails, then the late night crank calls, and now this…this assault.
How dare this guy sneak up on her out in this secluded place? At the one place she could fully get away from their angry stares. As though it was her fault drugs had come to their precious island.
Just because the marijuana showed up after she arrived didn’t mean she brought it with her. The bag of marijuana found in her office had been placed there by one of the very townspeople who wanted her gone—perhaps even by this guy leaning over her.
Angrily, Miriam heaved at the heavy material scratching her skin. She didn’t have to think twice as to why he covered her with it. He might as well have sealed her lips with duct tape. She strained against him to free her hands—her voice. He wouldn’t understand a word she signed, but it would make her feel better to put him in his place. She wouldn’t sit here and allow him to silence her. She pushed at him again, but his strength wouldn’t relent.
Who was this guy? Miriam didn’t recognize him as a parent. He seemed too young to have a child in high school. Thirty-two, tops. His dark cropped hair screamed short, clean-cut military, not shaggy, salt-drenched fisherman.
But the eyes….
She stilled to study the rich black currant irises inches from her face. Sharp and assessing eyes, not accusing and vindictive. She thought they held a message of caring, but before she could decipher clearly, all emotion dipped behind their onyx surface like the secrets of the drink, safely hidden beneath murky depths.
His tensed lips moved, too close for her to read. Then as much as she abhorred talking, Miriam broke her vow and opened her mouth to tell him to get off.
The look on his cleanly shaven face abruptly changed from determination to…shock? Her deafness surprised him? If he didn’t know she was deaf then he wasn’t from Stepping Stones. He was a stranger—and she was alone on a rock in the ocean with him.
Every self-defense move Miriam learned in college jumped to attention in her head. She tried to recall if there was a maneuver for when someone had you pinned under a blanket. Never did she think those tactics would be used, but perhaps this was the moment God prepared her for through all those classes. Stay with me, Father, she signed her prayer of petition in her head because her hands were still secured under the blanket. Give me strength and the knowledge to break away. She mindfully pulled out the scripture tucked in her heart for times of darkness.
Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Miriam used the words from Isaiah 41to hurl all her strength at the man again. This time, he jolted back as though she’d burned him. Without waiting another second, she sat up, flung off the blanket, and scooted back.
He fell onto his haunches, hands raised up in surrender, but her flight reflex still had her retreating farther away until she reached the edge of the rock. Her heart raced, pounding adrenaline through her head and body. Even being deaf, she could hear it coursing through her.
He hadn’t moved from his place but spoke again. Miriam studied his lips as her breathing steadied. He said something about kelp. She shook her head in confusion and a bit of annoyance. People always thought deaf people could read lips. She supposed she could read them half the time, but that left a lot of room for confusion, which is why she usually traveled with her interpreter—except in the afternoon when she swam out to the lighthouse to be alone. Never did she think she would need Nick way out here.
The stranger’s tall, lean frame bent to pick up a box labeled with the symbol of a red cross. He held it up to her and clarity came swiftly.
He hadn’t said kelp. He’d said help. He thought she needed help.
But why? What gave him the idea in the first place?
Miriam searched the island and knew it to be about 500 yards away. Not a huge distance for a former competitive open-water swimmer like herself. But this man wouldn’t know she swam out to the lighthouse for exercise each day. He probably thought only a stranded and injured person would be this far from land.
Miriam supposed she could try to speak aloud to explain, but a long time ago, she vowed only to use her voice when absolutely necessary. And giving this stranger her personal information wasn’t necessary.
In fact, the only thing necessary was to get off this rock quickly. Miriam didn’t believe she faced any danger from him anymore, but she also wasn’t inclined to be friendly.
She cagily followed his movements to the other side of the rock where his boat anchored.
He gestured with his hand for her to climb in, pointing toward the island.
Before thinking, she naturally lifted her hands to sign. After the first few signs, stating she would swim back, she stopped and waved her hands to say forget it. He wouldn’t understand anyway. She stood on her edge, still keeping him in her sight while preparing to dive in. But before her feet left the ground, Miriam gazed back at him one last time, and froze.
His hand pointed to his chest, then rose to the side of his temple. She watched his index finger slowly point up toward the sky. “I understand,” he signed.
She nearly stumbled off the rock. He knew her language? Would he say more? She waited, hating herself because deep down she hoped he would. How quickly she willingly trusted this man just because he understood her.
For so long, though, she’d been a foreigner in this world that was supposed to be her home, desperately seeking companionship. Now she stood face-to-face with the one thing she sought after. Forever on the lookout for someone like her, or someone who understood her. Or at least wanted to try.
Poor Nick earned his pay, and then some. But there were only so many current events and primetime television shows to talk about with one person.
Begrudgingly, Miriam knew her traitorous face was lit in anticipation of finding a friend, but even so, she tried her hardest to be nonchalant about the situation. Tentatively, she raised her hands and swirled her fingers in circles. “You sign?” she asked in her language.
His eyes darkened to those murky depths again. He gave one negative shake to his head and averted his gaze past her shoulder.
He didn’t sign.
Miriam did her best to express a lack of caring with a blasé shrug even though disappointment washed over her like a cold wave. Then her mind stumped on the man’s answer to her question. If he wasn’t able to sign, then how did he understand her enough to answer her?
Unless, he did understand her, and didn’t want to talk to her.
Fine…whatever, she dismissed him with a wave of her hand and lifted off the rock in one clean arc. If that was the way he wanted to be, then he was no friend she wanted.
Miriam sliced through the cold water with precision, letting it cool off her temper, amazed her anger could still boil over so easily. She thought God had helped her with that unwanted emotion a long time ago, but sometimes her anger reared its ugly head and reminded her she still had some things to contend with.
Another day, she told herself…again. She wondered if there ever was a good time to reopen old wounds. She thought not, but especially not right now.
She was in the midst of a troubling drug investigation. She had a drug supplier to find. Making friends and digging into her past were at the bottom of her list.
In fact, her past was one thing better left buried. Nothing good could come out of unearthing those dreams—or rather nightmares. Miriam trembled and it had nothing to do with the frigid northern waters she swam in.
The unnatural bulging eyes of those old nightmares stared at her from behind her closed eyelids; a large hand and a flash of something gold blinded her. Images as real today as they were at ten years old. She pushed through her strokes as she pushed the childhood terrors down into the dark abyss.
Mother always said they were a figment of a childish imagination. Except children weren’t supposed to be imagining such horrifying things.
No, I can’t go there. She swam faster, pushed harder. Her hands sliced through the water, jetting her forward. Miriam had a feeling if she continued to delve deeper into that nightmare, she would never emerge. Not even the dark-haired rescuer she left in her wake would be able to save her from the dangers of that watery grave.
Not even Cheryl Wyatt’s closest friends would dream that this sweet, shy intercessor plots mayhem during announcements at church. She is a Registered Nurse turned stay-at-home-mom, wife and writer who loves Jesus with all of her heart.
Joyful chaos rules her home, and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. She is convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentines Day destined her to write Inspirational Military Romance.
Cheryl loves to laugh and to make others laugh, so she often plans comedic moments for her defenseless characters in spite of their grumbling. She says it’s payback for when they refuse to obey the plots she’s set out before them.
Prior to publication, six of Cheryl’s manuscripts placed in ten RWA Contests. Two of Cheryl’s stories also placed First in ACFW’s Noble Theme Contest 2005 (Contemporary Romance Category), as well as ACFW‘s Genesis Contest 2006 (Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Category).
She currently writes for Love Inspired. Her Wings of Refuge Series, about a team of USAF Pararescue Jumpers and the ladies who capture their hearts, can be purchased anywhere books are sold.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A Strong-Willed Heart
Trauma nurse Kate Dalton can handle any challenge—except love. The combat veteran dreams of settling down, but heartbreak is one risk she won't take. Then a chance encounter opens her heart to a masked stranger…who might not be a stranger after all! Caleb Landis, the army medic behind the disguise, has always admired Kate, even though she only saw him as her best friend's brother. What will it take for Kate to discard her fears and discover the man she's always hoped to unmask?
Eagle Point Emergency: Saving lives—and losing their hearts— in a small Illinois town
ABOUT THE BOOK: A terrifying debut novel about the evil in each of us: when clones of infamous serial killers escape from a secret government facility, it’s up to a former Army Ranger to stop them…with the help of a teenage killer clone.
Trying to develop a new breed of bio-weapons, the US Department of Defense has secretly cloned the world’s most notorious murderers, hoping to study their DNA and isolate a genetic predictor for evil. Now in Stage Three, the program contains dozens of young men who have no clue of their evil heritage—including Albert Fish, Ted Bundy, and David Berkowitz. Enacting a twisted game of nature vs. nurture, the scientists raise some of the clones with loving families and others in abusive circumstances. But everything changes when the most dangerous boys are set free by their creator—escaping with three canisters of a mysterious chemical weapon that could destroy an entire city.
A man with demons of his own, former black ops soldier Shawn Castillo is hot on their trail. But Shawn didn’t count on the quiet young boy he finds hiding in an abandoned house—a boy who has just learned he is the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer. As Jeffrey and Castillo race across the country as unlikely allies on the trail of the rampaging teens’ increasing violence, Castillo must protect the boy who is the embodiment of his biggest fears—and who may also be his last hope.
More than just a serial killer novel, Cain’s Blood melds completely plausible science with terrifying horror, preying on our darkest fears of manipulation, secrecy, and murder.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in Germany, raised in New Jersey, and currently living in Ohio, Geoffrey Girard graduated from Washington College with a literature degree and worked as an advertising copywriter and marketing manager before becoming a high school English teacher. He is currently the English department chair at a private boy’s school in Ohio and is a Masters candidate in creative writing at Miami University of Ohio. Visit him online at GeoffreyGirard.com. MY THOUGHTS: OH MY GOSH!!! In thinking about just how I would write my review of Cain's Blood I had soooo many avenues I could go. This book is CRAZY, FREAKY, FRIGHTENING, TERRIFYING, and soooo much more! From the very first chapter I was HOOKED and even though there were some very gruesome parts, I had a hard time setting the book down! Cain's Blood is well written and for the most part, it is totally possible, I mean, cloning has already taken place and what some will do in the name of "Science," who knows?? Girard sure does and Cain's Blood is an excellent read!! Thank you TouchStone Publishers for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!