Hey, Readers! Would you like to take a survey?

Authors do a lot more than write. We do research for our books. We search for the best ways to market our masterpieces. We constantly look for ways to reach more readers. But most of all, we wonder.

photo of nervous young woman

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What do readers really want? Are we doing it right, or will we drive readers away with our efforts to connect with them?

In case you didn’t know, authors can be a really insecure bunch. If we could, most of us would lock ourselves away and write all day, every day, but in addition to real life getting in the way, we have an innate desire to connect with readers and make them happy. That’s one of the reasons we write — to give readers entertaining stories they’ll love to read over and over.

illustration of man leaning against clipboard with checked boxes

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

That’s where the Reader Survey comes in. From April 13-20, 2014, you (the reader) get to tell authors what you really want. You also get to tell them what you love and what you hate about their efforts to connect with you. It may not feel like it sometimes, but the publishing business is all about readers. Without you, we authors would be out of a job and devastated that we couldn’t share our stories with you.

So, please take pity on us insecure authors and share your opinions on the Reader Survey. It’s completely anonymous, so be please honest, even if you think your opinion won’t go over well. Sometimes the truth hurts, but we authors can’t learn what you love or hate about our efforts if you don’t tell us!

Click here to take the survey

In conjunction with the Reader Survey, I’m running a giveaway on my Facebook page. Entering is super easy. All you have to do is share the survey and let me know in a comment on the pinned post. Full details (including the prizes) can be found on my author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/EA-West/34280264617

Thanks for helping make this survey a success!

Posted in Miscellaneous, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | 2 Comments

New Release – Collide by Ashley Stambaugh

Please welcome my fellow Astraea Press author Ashley Stambaugh! She’s here today celebrating the release of her new adult urban fantasy Collide.

Collide cover artBlurb

Melina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions.

Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift.

The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn’t survive.

Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her.

As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will.


Chapter One

Melina Rowe peered out of her bedroom window and wrinkled her nose. It was late October, so she knew it was cold outside, but it also appeared to be windy. These weather conditions weren’t her favorite, but she was determined to continue with her morning runs until snow prevented her from doing otherwise. She pulled her long brown hair up into a ponytail, slid a fleece headband on over her ears, and zipped up her coat before heading out her apartment door and down the stairwell to her bookstore below. The store didn’t open for another hour, so she had plenty of time. She took a quick look around and then turned to exit through the back.

Starting off in a slight jog, she followed her normal path toward the park, taking in the city in its early morning state as she went. Traffic was light, and there was only a handful of people out and about. The sky was a dull gray, and brown, dried up leaves swirled and danced around her, giving the city an even gloomier feeling. She hoped the blustery wind didn’t mean rain was on its way.

After only a few short blocks, the wrought iron gates that surrounded the park appeared alongside her. She picked up her pace and rounded a corner to her right, making her way toward the entrance, when she came upon an elderly man walking from the opposite direction. They met each other so suddenly that neither of them had a chance to move out of the way. Melina collided with the man, and it was in that moment that it happened.

As soon as their bodies made contact, she felt a powerful surge of energy pass through her and then a bright white light exploded between them, knocking them both away from each other. Melina, who had been knocked to the ground, pushed herself up to her feet, wondering what had just happened. The sensation that went through her body was like nothing she had ever felt before. It was very sharp and intense, like an electric shock, but at the same time it was soothing and warm. The feeling still lingered in her body as she finally looked over at the man.

After catching his balance, he looked over at her, and she noticed his expression of confusion and shock. His mouth opened as if to say something, but nothing came out. He stared at her for a moment and then finally he spoke to her.

“You,” he muttered.

“Excuse me?” she asked, returning his confused look.

“You’re one of them.”


You can purchase a copy of Collide from Astraea Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.


About the Author

author photo of Ashley StambaughAshley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

Social media links

Website: www.ashleystambaugh.blogspot.com
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/ashleystambaughauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashleystambaugh

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Interview with Author Alison Stanley

Please welcome author Alison Stanley to The West Corner! We swapped interviews, and I’m happy to have her here today. If you want to check out my interview on her blog, you can find it here.

Without further ado, let’s get to Alison’s interview.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Alison Stanley author photoI have been married for 8 years (time flies!) and I have two delightful little girls who are 6 and 4 years old. We live in Sydney, Australia.
I work full time, and I’m also studying this year. Some people think I’m crazy!
In my spare time, I enjoy writing novels. I also love to read. I have too many hobbies and not enough spare time :)

Please tell us about your latest release.

My latest book, Trust Me Twice, is an inspirational romance book based in Australia. The story follows Alana Johnston, a talented interior designer, who returns to her hometown in the country for Christmas and bumps into the last person she ever wanted to see again – her ex-best-friend Zac Whitehouse.

Alana’s first instinct is to hide from him behind her hard exterior, but he slowly starts to soften her heart. When she ends up stranded with Zac in the middle of the biggest natural disaster in years, she is forced to make a decision. Is she able to trust Zac again after the hurt he caused her, and will her faith in God be restored?

Particularly aimed at teens and young adults, although versatile enough for all ages to enjoy, this book gives encouragement to those feel that God has let them down.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Trust Me Twice is available as both paperback and e-book. You can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Kobo and many other retailers.

What inspired you to write this book?

As a Christian, I know that God has a plan for my life, but when things gets tough, it is easy to feel lost or like God doesn’t care. I have seen God at work through difficult circumstances in my own life, and I wanted to share that hope with others through my book.

Alana was a minor character in my first book, Second Chances, and I was curious to find out her story. She seemed kind of mysterious to me, and as I wrote, I got to see her story unfold. It was fun.

What made you want to be a writer?

Until about 2 years ago, the thought had never even crossed my mind. Then there was one night when I was feeling energetic and I’d run out of good books to read, so I thought “Hey, why don’t I try and write my own book; the kind of book I’d like to read.” This is where Second Chances started. It was just an experiment, but as I spent the next 12 weeks getting lost in the lives of my characters, I realised that writing was something that filled me with joy.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Like you, I am also a bit of a pantser (flying by the seat of my pants). I general have a brief synopsis that summarises the main characters and conflicts, but I love the feeling of typing onto the blank screen and seeing my stories come to life. There are so many times I’ll sit back and think – “Wow, I totally didn’t see that coming.” I almost feel as if my characters are writing their own story and I’m just the conduit.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I would tell them not to put too much pressure on themselves to be the next big bestselling author. Writing is about connecting with readers. When it becomes purely about technique, marketing and making money, I think a writer loses out, and so do their readers.

If you had to pick a theme song for you book, what would it be and why?

Ooh, good question!  ‘Gravity’ cover by Brittany Cairns. I listened to this many times when I was writing my book.

Where can readers learn more about you and your books?

They can visit my blog where I write about all kinds of things, or ‘like’ my author page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter (@alisonwrites).

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks so much for the opportunity.

Thanks for being here today! Readers, be sure to check out the blurbs and gorgeous covers for Alison’s books below.


About the Author

Alison Stanley is a working mum, living in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two young daughters. In her spare time she writes inspirational romance books for adults and teens. She published her first book, ‘Second Chances’, in 2012, and her second, ‘Trust Me Twice’, in 2013. She is now working on her third and fourth books.

Alison’s passion for writing has grown out of a love for reading. She enjoys a wide range of authors, both Christian and secular. She also enjoy playing music, exploring new holiday destinations, planning home renovation projects (and sometimes attempting them), and viewing the world through the eyes of her children.

To connect with Alison, visit her on Facebook – www.facebook.com/AlisonStanleyChristianFiction, or follow her on Twitter – http://twitter.com/alisonwrites.

To find out more, visit www.alisonstanleychristianfiction.wordpress.com


Second Chances cover artBlurb

Even as a child, Rachel had her whole life mapped out – study teaching, marry the perfect guy, have some kids and be a stay at home mum. With two different guys after her attention, Rachel must make a choice – will she choose rebellious single dad Nate or sensible youth leader Steven?

Meanwhile, Hannah is on top of the world, engaged to be married to the love of her life, until a chance encounter with someone from her past threatens to take away her happiness. Will her relationship survive when the secret she has been keeping for so many years is uncovered?

As these best friends lean on God and each other through different trials, they both experience God’s forgiveness and his provision of second chances.


Trust Me Twice cover artBlurb

From the day they were both born, Alana and Zac were best friends,  until an incident on a school camp causes Alana to push Zac away and to doubt God. Ten years later, Alana returns to her home town of Oakley and runs into Zac again. He is now a famous TV star and super-cute, but can she forgive him for hurting her all those years ago? While stranded alone with him in the middle of a natural disaster, she must decide whether to open her heart and trust Zac, and God, again.


Where to Find Alison’s Books

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Searching for Diamonds, Finding Love Blog Hop


A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. As an author I spend much more time working with words than pictures. Based on that experience, I think the saying may be slightly off. Depending on the picture, it could easily take more than one thousand words to accurately describe every element, capture every emotion, convey the feel of the photograph. Sometimes, a picture says it more easily than words, but there are three words every man, woman, and child crave from birth — I love you.

As a romance author, love is an important part of everything I write. So, when Astraea Press issued a challenge to its authors to write short stories that included love and diamonds, I had to accept it. Fifteen of those stories were compiled into an anthology, Love and Diamonds. I’m thrilled to have one of the stories in the book. The other fourteen authors are a talented group!

Love and Diamonds cover artHere’s the blurb for my contribution, “The Heart of Africa”:

For Mara Taylor, the beauty of diamonds is lost amongst the violence and poverty in Central African Republic. The mission she has dedicated her life to sits near rebel-controlled diamond mines, giving her a front row view of the devastation. When a pair of unconscious, injured children mysteriously appear on the mission’s doorstep, Mara must set aside her feelings and focus on helping the resident doctor, Gary Delaney, treat what appears to be the result of a mining accident. But can she look past the nightmare caused by greed and open her heart to love in the midst of a war-torn African nation?


The fifteen authors of Love and Diamonds are giving away six prize bundles. Visit the Giveaway page for a complete list of the prizes.

To Enter

Find the secret word on my blog (hint: look for the pretty picture with diamonds and roses) and enter it in the form here. That gives you one entry. For more entries, click on the banner below and visit the other participating blogs. Winners will be chosen on February 15, 2014 and announced on the Astraea Press Facebook page.


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Two releases in one week makes for a happy author

I flying high on excitement this week. For the first time in my life I’ve had two books release in the same week. What makes it even better is that one is an anthology that I wrote along with fourteen other authors, and the other is the first in a new series one of my publishers created. I love being in the company of awesome authors!

Now for the details I’m sure you’re all dying for. *wink, wink*

Release #1 is Love and Diamonds from Astraea Press.

Love and Diamonds cover artBlurb:

Love and Diamonds is a collection of romantic short stories written by some of the best Astraea Press authors. So sit back, relax and fall in love all over again.

Contributing authors in alphabetical order are: Kathy Bosman, Liz Botts, Kristine Cheney, Sherry Gloag, Jennifer Gravely, Heather Gray, Patricia Kiyono, Zanna MacKenzie, Kelly Martin, Brenda Maxfield, Amy Mullen, Vivian Roycraft, J. L. Salter, E. A. West and Nicole Zoltack.

You can purchase Love and Diamonds from Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers.


Release #2 of the week is Bogotá Blessings, the first in the Passport to Romance series from Pelican Book Group.

Bogota Blessings cover artBlurb:

When Kayla Shaw travels to Bogotá to help renovate a house for a mission to street children, nothing can prepare her for the ever-present mission employee Mateo Luis. He looks like he could be one of the rebels who have caused so much fear throughout Colombia. Then she begins to see him with her heart instead of only her eyes.

Mateo Luis Gómez Días has dedicated his life to the mission, and he’s determined to help as many street children as he can. Unfortunately, he can’t keep his thoughts off the beautiful American helping renovate the new children’s home. Although he would love to have a relationship with Kayla, his past and the bad neighborhood God has called him to serve in prevent him from pursuing her.

Has God truly led Kayla and Mateo to each other, or does He have something else in mind for their lives?

You can purchase Bogotá Blessings from Pelican Book Group, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers.


It’s been a busy week around here, but I love it. I hope you’ll check out both of these books and let me know if you enjoy them!

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Welcome Author Lillian Duncan plus a giveaway

Please welcome my fellow Pelican Book Group author Lillian Duncan! She’s here today with a guest post to help celebrate the release of her latest book Betrayed. Be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end!



by Lillian Duncan

There’s more to life than romance.

An odd statement coming from someone who writes romantic suspense novels, but the truth is the truth. We can’t survive on romance alone. We all need connection with other people in all sorts of different relationships—not just romantic relationships.

BETRAYED, the second in my Sisters by Choice series, just released.

So, why did I choose the name Sisters by Choice for the series, especially when they are romantic suspense? As in life, not everything is about the romance!

Friendships are important!

For many people, their friends are more important in their daily lives than their family. With families scattered from one end of the country to the other and even in other countries, the friendships we form often replace the family bonds from past eras.

Sure, we still love our families but if they aren’t nearby, it can make for loneliness and feelings of isolation—if we let it! But we don’t have to let it and that’s what I wanted to show in the Sisters by Choice series. Family isn’t just blood, it’s about the bonds we form.

Those bonds are formed as we go through life together and help each other. We can be there to help others during their crises and as we do emotional bonds will form. Those bonds can take strangers, acquaintances, and even friends, and transform them into family.

That’s what I want to show in my Sisters by Choice series. Women who are willing to help others in their time of crisis. Women who will go the extra mile—take the extra time—use the extra energy to help another woman in need.

The first in the series was DECEPTION, which is about a pair of estranged twins. As Patti searches for her twin, she forges an unlikely bond with the wife of a terrorist.

BETRAYED features Maria, the wife of the terrorist in DECEPTION. She’s given up her life to enter into the Witness Protection program to ensure her daughter’s safety. Her new life begins to crumble when a child goes missing in her new home town of Sunberry, Ohio.

Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one until her dead husband calls from the grave! Then, she has no choice. She enlists the help of a female police officer. As they work to find the missing child, they become family to each other.

And we all need family—whether it’s by birth or by choice.

Giveaway Details

To celebrate the release of BETRAYED, I’m giving away a virtual gift basket at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. The virtual gift basket includes e-copies of all my books. Along with the books, a $25 Amazon gift card is included. To enter the contest, simply hop on over to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com, leave a comment on the post titled CELEBRATION! Winner will be chosen and announced on February 14.

About the Author

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net.  She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com

Betrayed cover artBook Description

Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules–every rule. She’s given up everything–her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future.

Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.

When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she’s wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one…and that’s her first mistake.

Betrayed is available from Pelican Book Group.

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New Release – Authorpreneurship: Build a Successful Business as an Author by Sharon C. Jenkins

Take control of your writing career!

What does it take to become a successful author in today’s publishing world?  It’s not enough to write a powerful book – today’s author must understand and leverage the business side of writing.  Authorpreneurship by Sharon Jenkins takes the aspiring writer from curiosity to career, combining both sides of publishing – author and entrepreneur – to empower writers with direction, publishing options, marketing solutions and business savvy to grow their career.

You’ll learn:

  • What publishing model is right for you
  • Branding and how it sells your book
  • Your publishing personality, and how to leverage it
  • A business plan for a successful book launch
  • How to manage your time
  • How to create a powerful product
  • Winning traits of a personal support team
  • How to financially support your dream
  • Strategic and easy marketing secrets – online and off!

And resources to help you apply what you learn!

See what others are saying about this book:

The book I wish I had when I started my writing journey.  Authorpreneurship is a practical, thorough, empowering tool for writers at every level to that will equip them to create a thriving career.  Best-selling, award-winning novelist and founder of My Book Therapy, Susan May Warren

I want thank Sharon for her dedication in supporting aspiring writers and authors like myself! In writing my first ever published book, Stories of An Entrepreneur in August, 2012, I dedicated it to Sharon Jenkins for providing me the tools and resources to write and share my book with my audience of start-up entrepreneurs of Women Entrepreneurs of America. Yolanda Lamar Wilder, Founder of Women Entrepreneurs of America

Sharon has been working with authors for years, giving us opportunities to learn from one another and benefit from her wealth of knowledge. Finally, she has gathered her resources and put them in an easy-to-read guide that will help authors follow their dreams! Best Selling Author Michelle Stimpson

Sharon Jenkins’ book, Authorpreneurship: Build a successful business as an Author , is a must read for anyone aspiring to master the art of writing, while at the same time learning what it takes to market and publish a book in today’s competitive landscape. You won’t be disappointed! – Cynthia O’Neal, TM3, LLC, Founder

Where to Buy

My Book Therapy Marketplace **special: Buy Authorpreneurship between now and February 6th, and get 2 free video classes with your order!

Amazon (Softcover)

Amazon (Kindle)

NOOK to come!

About the Author

Sharon C. Jenkins is a literary project manager, author, motivational speaker and visionary who serves as the Inspirational Principal for The Master Communicator’s Writing Services.  Formerly the managing editor of four electronic and print journals (business, community, health and wellness, faith-based) for one of the largest African American marketing and communications companies in Houston, she has also written articles in various national and local publications. These include Yahoo Shine, Diva Toolbox, Beauty Come Forth Magazine, Gospel Truth, d-mars.com, Houston Black Book and Small Business Today.

Jenkins is also the best-selling Amazon author of Beyond the Closet Door and has co-authored two other books, Songs of Three Sisters and Ready, Set, Succeed: Making Your Dream Come True.

Known as the Master Communicator, because she is proficient in communicating in multiple forms of media: radio, newspapers, magazines, and spoken word, her prevailing mission is to equip authors to live their literary dreams without emptying their bank accounts. She started this undertaking four years ago with the Desire to Inspire Workshops, which progressed to the 2010 – 2013 Authors Networking Summit, which were hosted in Houston and Detroit.

Sharon can be found at: http://www.sharoncjenkins.com/

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Setting the Tone for 2014

Some people believe the first week or two of January will set the tone for the whole year. Personally, I think it’s a superstition that holds little weight. After all, how can two weeks in the middle of winter (or summer for those in the Southern Hemisphere) predict how the other fifty weeks in a year will be? But just for the fun of it, let’s take a look at what 2014 holds for me based on that superstition.

My year so far has been a mixed bag. We’ll call it interesting, for lack of a better term. In the last eleven days, I’ve dealt with the good — seeing a cousin for the first time in way too long and my dryer finally getting repaired after three weeks of not working. The bad — having to put my male cat down because of complications from a urethral obstruction. The weird — a winter storm that dumped ten inches of snow and brought wind chill temperatures colder than Mars. And the exciting — receiving the official release date for my next inspirational romance.

With a start like that, I can’t begin to imagine what the rest of the year will bring. It should be interesting, to say the least, but what will the tone be? Because I’m an optimist and don’t believe in coincidence, I think the tone of 2014 won’t be set by the events of the last two weeks. It will be set each and every day by me. I’m sure more bad things will happen in the coming months, but how I react to each incident is what really matters.

This year and every year, you have the chance to set the tone of your life each and every day. Bad things are bound to happen, but so will good things. You may be devastated by an event, but will you let that ruin your life or will you pick up the pieces and move past it to better things? You don’t have to be a victim of circumstance. A positive attitude can get you through the worst parts of life and keep you on the path to better things.

In 2014, I challenge you to put more focus on the good things than the bad. Look for things to be thankful for every day. It doesn’t matter how small they are. All that matters is that you find anything that makes you smile, brings you joy, makes you thankful for it. By the end of the year, you’ll look back on 2014, remember what you placed your focus on, and realize that it didn’t matter what happened in the first two weeks of January. You set the tone of the year with your attitude toward life.

Help encourage those who may not be having the greatest year so far. Share something good that’s happened to you or something you’re thankful for in the comments.

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Another year draws to a close…

With the end of 2013 less than two days away, it’s time to think about new beginnings. I’m always looking for new ideas, not just for books but also for my blog and other aspects of my life. As I look back over the last year, I see some cool things that have happened (seeing my first novel published and in print, winning a writing award, getting to know some amazing people). There are also somethings I know I could have done better – such as regularly writing content for this blog.

With that thought in mind, I want to give you readers what you want in 2014. This is your chance to tell me what you like and what you hate on an author blog. Is there anything you want to see more? Anything you never want to see again?

Share your opinion in the comments! I love to hear from readers. After all, I’m in this business for you guys.

Thanks for a great year. Here’s to an even better year in 2014.

Thank you on fireworks background

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New Release – Nowhere for Christmas by Heather Gray

Please welcome my fellow Astraea Press author Heather Gray back to The West Corner! She’s here with her new Christmas romance, Nowhere for Christmas.


Nowhere for Christmas cover artBlurb

Anything can happen on the road to Nowhere…

A journalist and single mother, Avery is used to being in control, though she tries to remind herself to let God take lead in her life. Eli, her teenage son, is happy as long as he has his music, plenty of food, and the occasional adult on which to practice his rapier wit.  Gavin, a virtual stranger, is a photojournalist who mysteriously disappeared from the scene a few years ago.

The trio ends up together for a Christmas road trip to the small town of Nowhere.  An eight hour drive in a rental car turns into two days of misadventure and calamity as bad luck stalks them.  They get a flat tire, the bumper falls off, the car overheats – and that’s only the beginning! Along the way they meet some interesting people – from a bait shop owner who moonlights as a mechanic to a chatty preacher’s wife and a highway patrolman whose wife and mother can’t agree on the best way to remove a skunk’s stink.

Hungry, cold, and tired, the three finally arrive in Nowhere only to discover the town is nothing like they expected. Reaching their destination, it turns out, doesn’t necessarily mean the journey has ended.


“I’m going to have to go get the other big one out of the attic,” she said with a sigh, hoping her son would volunteer to climb up in there and retrieve it for her.

Instead, he nodded and asked, “You want me to pull the ladder down for you?” She grinned to herself as she nodded. They had a regular battle about the attic. Neither of them liked going up there. Since he’d gone up to retrieve all the Christmas decorations earlier in the month, she’d let him have the victory this time.

After Avery scaled the creaky ladder up into the attic, she scanned the web-dusted contents, quickly locating the suitcase she needed. It was older and more faded than the green one, and it had a rust-and-mustard-colored seventies floral pattern on it. At least no one will try to steal it.

As she dragged the suitcase with its one broken wheel across the attic floor, a cloud of who-knew-what gently puffed up into the air around her. Then she got a mouthful of it and started coughing, which led to more grime and dust billowing into the air. That, of course, led to more coughing.

Avery lost her balance and started to fall out of the attic opening, but the suitcase blocked her way enough to pause her descent, giving her time to reach out and grab the back of an old chair that had been in the attic longer than they’d lived in the house. The suitcase wasn’t so lucky. It fell zipper-over-wheel down the attic ladder and landed with a loud thud on the carpeted floor below.

By the time Avery pulled herself back to her feet and made her way down the ladder, she expected to find Eli standing there wondering where his dinner was. Alas, her teen was blissfully unaware of her near-death-by-attic experience. He was in his room listening to his MP3 player. It’s for the best. I wouldn’t want him to pull a muscle laughing at me.


You can purchase a copy of Nowhere for Christmas from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Astraea Press, Smashwords, and Kobo.

About the Author

Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing.  Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell.  Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

Connect with Heather online

My Website – http://www.heathergraywriting.com

My Blog – http://www.heathergraywriting.com/blog

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/heathergraywriting

Twitter – http://twitter.com/LaughDreamWrite

Goodreads –  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4051662.Heather_Gray

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