Wednesday Words – Erin Unger

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Please welcome author Erin Unger to The West Corner!

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Never give up! It sounds so easy to say but at times nearly impossible to do, right? Well, God had to show me a thing or two about waiting on Him and not giving up. My writing journey wasn’t this beautiful gallop across the meadows into publication. As a matter of fact, it was more like the ‘are we there yet, National Lampoons Vacation’ type with one misadventure after another. …And I almost gave up many times. I even stopped writing for almost a full year in my attempt to show God I wasn’t supposed to be the writer He called me to be.

I learned some valuable lessons through that time—like don’t even try to talk God into a different plan. I tracked forward and then backtracked like a million times. And don’t think I didn’t want to do it His way once I returned to His will. But finding it was like a scavenger hunt in the pitch black. Move forward, hit your nose on a brick wall. Turn left, stub your big toe. Go back the way you came. But it was all worth the wait—and the learning—to do it God’s way and in His time. He says:

Lamentations 3:5 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

I have a full year of harvest in 2019! Five of my romantic suspense novels will be releasing throughout the year. Because I didn’t give up.

If you know God called you to do something, keep pressing forward. Work through the obstacles and learn from them. Grow strong in your faith as you seek the finish line. He’s there waiting to bless you and love on you.

About the Author

photo of author Erin UngerErin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids. Her novel, Practicing Murder, releases March 29, 2019.

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Practicing Murder cover artBook Description

Graduate student Maddie Clare is never talking to her ex-boyfriend Joze Evans or God again. Broken from her past and Joze’s betrayal, she must go home for her Aunt Lonna’s funeral. But after a run-in with a stalker, who insists Maddie knows the secret that had Aunt Lonna investigating him, she’s afraid for her life and must accept Joze’s protection.

As the stalker draws closer, how will Maddie and Joze face the past and their love that never died? And will Maddie stay out of the stalker’s grip long enough to figure out what secret he possesses?

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Monday Mentions – Irresistibly Yours by Andrea Boyd

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Please welcome Andrea Boyd to The West Corner! She’s here today with her Christian romance, Irresistibly Yours.

Book Description

Irresistibly Yours cover artMarriage is no picnic. At least the one Vivian Emerson shared with her late husband hadn’t been. Unfortunately, the devastation Craig had brought into her life didn’t end with his death. Not only did he leave Vivian without closure, he had to go and die in a way that made her the talk of the whole state of South Carolina and beyond. Now her daughter wants nothing to do with her because of him. She would just stick with the single life from now on, thank you very much.

For the last fourteen years since the death of his wife, Bo Manning never even considered wanting another woman in his life. That is until he comes to the rescue of a certain woman with haunting, jade green eyes. Despite Vivian’s resolve not to give her heart to another man, Bo sets out to patiently woo her into the loving relationship he is offering.

Irresistibly Yours reveals God’s fervent effectual call in the form of a classic romance.

Excerpt

Craig Emerson would turn over in his grave if he could see her now. Rolling down Highway 22 toward Myrtle Beach, windows down, radio blaring a classic rock station, the wind blowing through her short hair, with a three-inch wedge sandal pressing down on the accelerator. No one—not even his wife—ever drove his orange and black, 1970 Plymouth GTX.

“Craig, are you seeing this?” Vivian had been talking to her husband this way ever since his death almost a year ago. After this weekend, she decided these little talks would come to an end. There had been plenty of things for her to get off her chest—things she had wanted to say while he was alive, but he would never listen.

So many times in the past year, she would go out to the garage, sit in Craig’s car, and pour her heart out. Sometimes she would talk quietly while tears streamed down her face, and other times she would yell. But this was the first time she’d actually driven his car. So far, her one-sided conversations on this trip had been backed with laughter. This trip to the beach would be her last act of letting go. She was ready.

Vivian smiled at her reflection in the rearview mirror as she ran her fingers through her dark brown hair. Craig had wanted her to keep it long, and she had. At her first stop for a bathroom break, she had tried to brush through the long, tangled mess thanks to driving with the windows down. As the brush snagged another knot, she decided right then it was time for a change. A search for the nearest hair salon on her cellphone’s GPS landed her in front of The Cut and Curl.

After everyone oohed and aahed over the GTX and she finally sat in the angled chair, Vivian told the stylist that she didn’t care how it was cut, as long as it was shorter and easier to manage. Less than an hour later, she emerged with a slightly longer version of a pixie cut. The style suited her, and it definitely showed off her eyes. Why hadn’t she done this years ago? She headed back out on the road feeling light and carefree.

She crossed over Highway 17 and carefully turned into Walmart’s parking lot. The muscles in her upper arms tightened in response to the lack of power steering. No wonder people had been in better shape back when this car was made. As she searched for a spot closer to the door, she started making a mental list of things she needed to purchase to get her through the next four days.

Her ankle twisted a little with her first step toward the store. Vivian had not worn heels in over twenty years because Craig had only been an inch taller than her. She was determined to get used to wearing them again. In fact, she’d bought herself a whole new wardrobe last weekend. Gone was the drab clothing that now hung loose from her frame due to the thirty-five pounds she had lost in the last year. No diet or exercise had been necessary. The junk food Craig loved so much was no more. Plus, she had lost her appetite for a while right after his death.

Vivian tugged the bottom of her orange sweater down in the back. It was a warm day for mid-March, but the wind whipping through the open windows of the GTX had still been cool. She was extra thankful for the layers of clothing when the air-conditioned breeze greeted her as the automatic doors slid open. In less than fifteen minutes she was headed back out into the warmth of the sun.

After loading her groceries into the trunk with the rest of her stuff, she carefully made her way through the parking lot in the tank-like car. Thankfully, there was a stoplight that would make it easier for her to get back onto the busy highway. The light was red and she had almost come to a complete stop when the brake pedal suddenly dropped to the floor. The car rolled past the line until the front end completely blocked the first lane of the road in front of her.

She gripped the steering wheel and her whole body tightened as she prepared for impact. Her head jerked to the left at the sound of screeching tires and a blaring horn. A huge burgundy Suburban stopped just a few feet from her, close enough for her to see the scowl on the face of its curly-haired driver.

Vivian looked in her rearview mirror. A man stepped out of the car behind her and walked toward her. Fear coursed through her. The urge to roll the window up before the stranger got there was strong. But that would be silly. He wouldn’t harm her with so many witnesses.

Another horn blared as the angry woman in the Suburban finally moved around her, tires squalling once she got past the nose of the GTX.

“What’s the problem?”

Vivian jumped at the sound of the man’s voice, but the tension in her shoulders eased when she looked up into his smiling face. “The brakes won’t work. The pedal went down to the floor.”

“Have you got it in park?”

Why did she feel like she’d done something wrong? “I didn’t want it to roll any further.”

“That’s good. Do me a favor and pump the pedal a few times. Does it feel like you have brakes now?”

The pedal didn’t go down all the way this time, but it felt softer than usual, like it would give with enough pressure. “It’s better than before, but it still doesn’t feel right.”

“They should work well enough for you to get off the road. I’ll back up so you can.”

“Okay, thanks.”

She watched in the rearview mirror as his car backed up a good distance away from her before she put the car in reverse. As soon as the road in front of her was clear, her helper moved around the GTX and left the parking lot. He didn’t even look back as he passed by. The only person he’d been trying to help was himself.

What now?

She needed a wrecker but had no idea who to call. Craig had always been the one to take care of things like this, and before him, her father had done it. According to them, a mechanic couldn’t wait to see a woman come into his shop because he could charge whatever he wanted, and she would be none the wiser.

A car pulled up behind her and blew the horn. She hunted around on the steering column until she found the switch for the emergency blinkers and then waved the car to go around her. She was alone now. Craig was gone, and her parents were in Colorado. She didn’t even have a son she could call on. There was nothing left to do but handle this the best way she knew how. Vivian slipped her phone from her pocket and began scrolling through her options on Google.

~~

Irresistibly Yours is available from Amazon.

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About the Author

photo of author Andrea BoydEach of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God.

Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible.

Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC.

Connect with Andrea Boyd online

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Monday Mentions – Adrift by Jaycee Weaver

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Please welcome Jaycee Weaver to The West Corner! She’s here today with her recent Christian novella, Adrift.

Book Description

Adrift cover artI’m overwhelmed.Truth be told, I’ve been overwhelmed for years. Adrift in a sea of stress and grief and clinging to the life raft of responsibility.

It’s time I start swimming again. And someday? Maybe surf the waves instead of being pulled under and dragged out to sea.

God offers so much more for Erin than a life of treading water, focusing all her time and attention on running a small business while raising her kids after the death of her husband.

Through strangely poignant dreams and a series of run-ins with an unexpectedly attractive guy from church, Erin finds the hope she’ll not only feel alive again, but maybe even ride life’s waves victoriously.

Adrift is the first of several novellas tied to the fictional Grace Springs Fellowship in the full-length Everyday Love series.These journal-style novellas are roughly 18-20K words, filled with vivid imagery and reflect the ways in which God at work in the main character’s life.

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Adrift is available from Amazon.

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About the Author

photo of author Jaycee WeaverLover of Jesus, family, books, coffee, music, and crafting (in that order), Jaycee Weaver is perpetually pursuing at least one of her passions. She writes contemporary Christian romance stories featuring realistic characters in everyday situations where God is at work in big ways. She appreciates books where the characters face shortcomings, temptations, and adversity but always get their happy ending, so that’s what she writes.

 

Connect with Jaycee Weaver online

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Monday Mentions – Berserker by Dyane Forde

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Please welcome Dyane Forde to The West Corner! She’s here today with her fantasy novel Berserker, Rise of the Papilion Book III.

Book Description

Berserker Rise of the Papilion Book Love…can destroy, it can build, or it can do both at once…”

With the Papilion’s whereabouts unknown, the Shadow pursues its plan for Marathana’s destruction. In control of the Northern tribes and strengthened by allies in the Deep Southernlands, the Shadow prepares to unleash its ultimate weapon, the berserker.

Jeru’s sudden reappearance reveals the presence of a powerful, new will at work. Blessed by the Lightbearer and supported by a ragtag group of survivors and unexpected allies, Jeru prepares to lead the small army into enemy territory.

As war breaks, Kelen and Jeru clash one last time. One seeks to destroy, the other to save. The strongest will prevail, sealing Marathana’s ultimate fate.

Excerpt

Bolo sighed and after a moment or two of struggling, did what Gareth asked and finally, the two managed to stand with Gareth leaning heavily on him. They took a few staggering steps, each one drawing groans from Gareth. Bolo finally let him down a few minutes later to scour the area for sticks or anything to better brace the foot with, but the plain was raked clean of anything useful. Panting and sweating, Gareth signaled for Bolo to come back to help him up. Bolo jogged back over and bent down to him.

The boys screamed when the ground began to shake. At first, the vibrations were slight, like the little quakes that sometimes rumbled through the north when sleeping volcanoes stirred with life, but they quickly intensified into tremors that nearly knocked Bolo off his feet. The clouds above pinked and deepened to purple, swirling in the moonlit sky like wraiths driven by a livid wind and, oddly, the sky began to brighten. A vortex of wind swooped down towards them, yanking at their clothes and whipping their hair.

“What—?”

Bolo pointed to the sky. The falling star changed course and dropped like a rock, hitting the ground with a thud, compressed air spewing gravel and dirt. Gareth wiped his face clean, his skin smarting from the unexpected assault. The boys hugged each other, praying to the Ice-gods for protection. Tears poured from their eyes. Gareth could barely see.

The dust finally cleared, drifting to the ground. Outlined in the strange purple light, a bare-chested man stood with his back to them. Long, black hair waved in the air above his shoulders, as though teased and lifted by invisible fingers. The man breathed hard, gasping from exertion. A thin, white mist coated his body, rising into the air like tongues of white fire and crackles of what looked like lightning crisscrossed his body before dissipating.

Did he…did he just fall out of the…sky?” Bolo whispered.

The man stiffened and half-turned towards them. The boys gasped.

“His eyes…” Gareth choked out, gripping Bolo’s arm in a death grip.

The eyes, indeed.

They shone in the darkness like glowing chunks of emeralds.
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Berserker is available from Amazon in ebook and print.

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About the Author

photo of author Dyane FordeDyane Forde (aka Delia Talent) writes short-stories, novels (Rise of the Papilion Trilogy), poetry, movie reviews, and guest blogs. Forde appreciates the challenges writers face in the pursuit of their craft and offers tips, insights, support and promotional opportunities through her blogs, Christian Creative Nexus, Dropped Pebbles, and on social media.

Connect with Dyane Forde online

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Monday Mentions – Hair Calamities and Hot Cash by Gail Pallotta (GIVEAWAY)

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Please welcome Gail Pallotta to The West Corner! She’s here today with her upcoming sweet romance, Hair Calamities and Hot Cash. She’s also giving away an e-copy of her romance novel Barely Above Water to one luck commenter! Details below.

Book Description

Hair Calamities and Hot Cash cover art“A comedic romp from small town to big city in search of missing money, hair catastrophes, and love. A truly fun read”—Cynthia Hickey, author of the Shady Acres Mystery series.

What happens when a New York stockbroker crashes his car into Eve Castleberry’s North Carolina beauty shop…on the same day the young widow’s defective hair products are causing wild hairdos? Soon Eve finds herself helping the handsome stranger hunt the thieves who stole his client’s cash…and hot on the trail of two of the F.B.I.’s most-wanted criminals! Romance blossoms amid danger, suspense and Eve’s hair-brained plan to get back the money.

Excerpt

The bright May sun beaming through the window of my beauty shop created a stripe across the black shampoo bowl. Every day the ache in my heart reminded me that Eve’s Clips was my life now. I leaned Joyce Westmoreland’s head back and scrubbed her blonde locks. Then I reached for the conditioner on the metal shelf behind the shampoo bowl. The bottle was empty, and it was the last one I had. That ne’er-do-well Durbin Brown hadn’t delivered my products.

A breeze hit me in the face as the door swung open, the pink flowered curtain flapping. “Hello, where have you been? You were supposed to come on Monday.” I held out the container. “I’m out.” My insides boiled at such bad service, not to mention that my creepy new salesman reminded me of Ichabod Crane.

He plopped down several cardboard boxes, ripped the top off one and handed me Strawberry Fields Conditioner.

“Thank you.”

Durbin pulled a small pad out of his pants pocket, flipped it open, and tapped his foot. “I’m writing a bill for you.”

The building shook. Metal crunched. Bricks fell amid loud scraping.

My nerves vibrated. Durbin’s mouth twitched. Joyce bounded out of her chair, her blue eyes wide.

“Quick, under the vanity,” I yelled out.

Joyce shot to it like a bullet, but Durbin froze. I grabbed his spindly arm and pulled him behind me, the heels on his black boots scraping across the gray laminate floor. “Get under here.” I couldn’t help but use a harsh tone. He hunkered down, and I scooted beside Joyce. He nuzzled into my shoulder and shivered like a wet puppy. My head spun as the walls shook, shards of glass fell, and sheetrock dust trickled into the air.

Finally, the structure stood still and quiet. I crawled out, and my legs nearly buckled under me. Joyce and Durbin followed. Then we all turned toward the window. My heart sank and landed like rock in my stomach.

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Hair Calamities and Hot Cash is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Giveaway

Gail Pallotta is giving away one Kindle copy of Barely Above Water. To enter, leave a comment below. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm Eastern on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Gail will contact the winner on Thursday, October 25.

Barely Above Water cover artHere’s a little more about Barely Above Water:

An illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. Suzie relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, and turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida. She takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer swim team. She’s determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but can he overcome his fear of losing a loved one and regain Suzie’s trust?

Barely Above Water is available from Amazon.

About the Author

photo of author Gail PallottaAward-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she’s a Grace Awards Finalist and a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards recipient. She’s published five books, poems, short stories and two-hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

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Wednesday Words – Katie Clark

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Please welcome author Katie Clark to The West Corner!

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Hi everyone! So GREAT to see you here!

My book, The Rejected Princess, is a romantic fantasy tale of strange powers and true love. One of my favorite questions I get asked about my books is how I got my ideas, or what inspired the story.

I thought it would be fun to share my inspiration with you today in the form of visuals! The spark for this story came from a single sentence one of my teen students shared with me—but the rest of the story came together based on pictures in my head. Here’s a peek!

photo of ornate curving wrought iron staircase

This is the inside of Roanna’s home. She lives in the palace at Chester’s Wake, and this is the staircase she uses to get to and from the dining hall from the family wing.

photo of woman in black and white sleeveless gown

One of many fashions portrayed throughout the story!

photo of woman's black top hat with lace veil

We can’t forget accessories.

photo of antique lab equipment

Roanna’s story takes place amidst steam powered vessels and the workings of alchemists, botanists, and chemists.

photo of fantasy steam engine train

Steam powered engines, right?!

photo of man in historical clothing

My inspiration for Prince Benjamin Bellevue of Lox <3.

photo of steampunk pendant

You can’t have steampunk without neato devices, yeah?

So there you have it! A peek at the inspiration I used as I wrote my story, The Rejected Princess.

***Right now you can get the ebook copy for only $.99!***

Now it’s your turn! Tell me, which picture above inspires you the most?

DSC_8889About the Author

KATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes young adult speculative fiction, including her romantic fantasy novel, The Rejected Princess, a supernatural survival novel, Shadowed Eden, and her dystopian Enslaved Series. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

The Rejected Princess cover artBook Description

When Princess Roanna Hamilton’s parents arrange a marriage with a prince of Dawson’s Edge—the mysterious and backwards kingdom to the south—Roanna reluctantly agrees. But when Roanna is introduced to Dawson’s royal family, strange mind-bending anomalies are awakened within her, and she discovers the Dawsonian royal family holds secrets of their own. With threats growing daily, Roanna comes to realize the danger she is in. If Roanna is to save herself and her future, she must stall her marriage and squelch the growing rebellion—all while discovering how deeply her power runs.

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Rejected Princess is available from Amazon.

Monday Mentions – Finally Accepted by Toni Shiloh

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Please welcome Toni Shiloh to The West Corner! She’s here today with her Christian romance Finally Accepted.

Book Description

Finally Accepted cover artThere’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.

Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.

As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.

Excerpt

“Grandma, why is my skin different than yours?” Chloe stared at her arms. They weren’t white like the color in the crayon box, but they weren’t dark brown like her grandma’s.

“Because God made us in all different colors. It’s a way for us to remember our uniqueness and how special we are to Him.”

It sounded good, but… “I want to be the same color as you.”

“Why?”

She frowned. Her grandma always asked a lot of questions. “So I can be Black.” She wasn’t sure why people called her grandmother black. She didn’t look like the color but maybe they never heard of dark brown. The kids in her class said she wasn’t Black even though her grandma was. It really didn’t make any sense to her.

“Well, baby, I’m Black and your mama is Black…”

“So I’m Black?” It came out more a question than a statement as her mind tried to wrap around her grandma’s words. Chloe sat up straight. She didn’t know what her dad looked like and right now that didn’t matter.

My mom is Black. Grandma is Black. “I’m Black,” she whispered.

“And loved by God, no matter how light or dark your skin is. Remember that, baby, okay?”

“I will.”

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Finally Accepted is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iTunes, and Kobo.

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About the Author

photo of author Toni ShilohToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian contemporary romance author. Once she understood the powerful saving grace, thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.

You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.

Connect with Toni Shiloh online

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortonishiloh
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tonishilohwrite
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/tonishiloh
Instagram: www.instagram.com/tonishiloh
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/tonishiloh
BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/toni-shiloh
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cmNFKD
Blogs I’m part of: http://puttingonthenew.com ; http://heartwingsblog.com ; http://diversitybetweenthepages.wordpress.com