Always For You–On Sale Now! (And enjoy this excerpt)

Welcome to Burton, Georgia, a small town just west of Savannah. In this farm community, the women are sassy, the men are sexy and happily-ever-afters are a specialty of the house.

I love Burton. It’s one of my favorite places to write about, because I know it so well. I could visit and walk the streets of this fictional town, waving as I pass Cory Evans on her way to the library, stopping by Kiki’s bakery for just the right treat, lingering in the town green to catch up on the gossip . . .

And of course, I’d have to drive out to pick up the best fresh produce at the Colonel’s Last Stand, the farm stand that belongs to the Reynolds’ family, before I swing over to the Road Block to have a beer and shoot the breeze with Mason.

If you love this small town, too, I have some great news! This year, I’ll be releasing a new Love in a Small Town romance. It’s called The Love Song Girl, and it kicks off the next trilogy of books in this series.

And to celebrate this event, Always For You, book 5, is on sale right now for a very limited time–free!

This story is one of my favorites. Maureen has been in love with Smith Harrington since they met at college. She never acted on her feelings, but over the years, they’ve kept in touch . . . and when she needs a partner at the veterinary clinic she just took over, Smith is the first person she calls.

But can she keep their friendship uncomplicated and easy?

The following excerpt is one that might leave you a little breathless . . . so you should probably go download Always For You now!

 

 

iBooks/Amazon/Kobo/Google/Nook/Books2Read

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“Did the famous Tim kiss you good night?”
I dropped my eyes to the table. “Do you think that’s any of your business, Smith?”
“Probably not, but I’m asking anyway. Call it my right as your cookie supplier.”
I huffed out a short laugh, but Smith didn’t even smile. His eyes were fastened on my face, as though my answer really mattered to him.
“He did. Sort of. I mean, just a light . . . kiss. Not even. He barely touched me.”
“Ah.” Smith nodded. “I guess that was one way to go. A man kisses a woman like that, it means one of two things. Either he isn’t really into her and just wants to be kind to end the evening, or he does want her, but he’s taking it slow. Building up. Setting the stage for when he gets serious.”
“Really.” I meant for my voice to sound amused, but it came out as almost a whisper. “And suddenly you’re the expert in how and why people kiss?”
“Oh, I’ve definitely got some expertise there. And in this case, judging by how he looked at you when he was here, I’d say it’s more likely the second. He thinks he’s got time to pull you in. Next time, next date, he’ll step it up. A little more of a kiss. Maybe a little tongue. Maybe not.”
I pressed my lips together, as though I were denying Tim access. “You said it was one way to go. You would’ve gone another?”
“Oh, yeah. I get patience. I understand a man who can practice it. But that wouldn’t be me. I figure, if I can hold off on kissing a woman and it doesn’t matter to me that much, or if I can handle just giving her a bland, meaningless kiss, she must not matter than much to me. There’s no spark.”
My eyes widened. “Spark?”
A smile spread slowly over Smith’s face. “You know. The spark. The thing that makes your heart beat a little faster when you see the other person. Makes it hard to breathe for a few minutes when she smiles. And when you make her laugh, you feel like you’d give anything in the world to do it again.” He lifted his hands. “You literally itch to touch her. You look at her skin, her hair, her body, and you think, if I have to go another moment without putting my hands on her, I might die. And when you do finally kiss her, it feels like you never want to stop.”
I was mesmerized, a hot mess of electrified nerve endings and yearning pulse points. If Smith so much as moved toward me, I was certain I’d jump him. Knock him onto the kitchen floor and . . . well, I was pretty sure what would come next would be strictly NC-17.
“If it had been me in that car with you, I’d have started out slow, probably. I’d have taken that route. But I wouldn’t have stopped there. After I’d brushed a kiss on your lips, I would have pulled back, stared into your eyes for the space of a few heartbeats, and then I would have leaned forward and taken your mouth again. But this time, there would be nothing gentle about it. I’d have opened your mouth, used my tongue to stroke the inside of your lips, all the time holding your face in my hands. Your tongue would begin to tangle with mine, both teasing and thrusting, and I’d lower one hand to press against your back, so that your . . . chest was plastered into my body. I’d spend an endless amount of time learning every part of your mouth, and even then, it wouldn’t be enough. When we finally broke apart, because we had to breathe or die, it would be like we’d never touched before and we’d be on fire for the next kiss, just by looking at each other.”

 

Epiphany, One Year Later

Last year, on Epiphany, January 6th, our family’s life changed. In the year that’s passed, I have sat down to write about what happened, but each time, I felt a stop. I wasn’t ready. But now, a year later, I am. This is what happened, the lessons we learned, the challenges we faced and the blessings we’ve experienced.

Christmas of 2016 was a stressful time. Well, let’s face it: the Christmas holidays are stressful all the time if you’re in ministry, because it’s traditionally the time of the year when churches pull out all out the stops and DO ALL THE THINGS. Nativity plays. Concerts. Caroling. Cookie exchanges. Potlucks. Added services mean more bulletins, more email updates, more time on the job for the priests.

Since my husband entered parish ministry late in life, this was quite a jarring experience for our family initially. Yes, we always went to church on Christmas Eve, but we weren’t used to my husband having to be at the church, working feverishly and against the clock. We weren’t accustomed to him having to get up on Christmas morning and co-officiate at the Christmas morning service, because we never went to church on Christmas morning. My kids were not happy about that.

2016 was worse than usual, because there had been tension building in the ministry team. My husband, who was on the lowest-rung of assisting priest, bore the brunt of a lot of things. When he put together the bulletin every week, it had to go through a lengthy and complicated approval process, where often, one person would contradict what another suggested. As with much at this church, there was seldom a defined plan, so at the last minute, everyone would be scrambling to do something–even if no one really knew what they were doing.

I remember on that Christmas Eve, sitting in the front behind my husband and the rest of the priests. My oldest daughter and son-in-law and I were all serving on the altar at that service, so we had a front-row seat to the obvious tension there. My heart ached for my husband, who only wanted to do the right thing.

What no one else knew besides my husband and me was that as the situation at the church had been deteriorating over the past months, we’d quietly spent the final week of Advent–the week that led into Christmas–fasting and praying for God’s direction. We tried to listen to what He was saying to us. And together, along with another praying friend, we received a strong and clear message: I am doing a new thing.

We made it through Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years. Life began to calm a little as we moved into Epiphany, but at the church, things were getting worse. Since I always edited the bulletin, too, I was on the email loop and saw how my husband was being treated. It was hard to see that. It’s always hard to see a loved one being abused.

On Friday, January 6th, I went to church for our noon time Epiphany service. My husband’s week had been long and stressful, so he opted to sit with me during the service, since the other priests were officiating. After the service was over, we both spoke at length to people around us who we knew were suffering, going through difficult times. We spent time praying with some of these folks. I felt an ease that I hadn’t at church for a long time. Afterwards, I said good-bye to my husband and left.

Three hours later, he was home. Carrying a box of his stuff. With an expression of shock on his face, he told me that he’d been let go by the church.

People are fired from their jobs every day. It’s never something easy, and I already know that others have it much worse than we did. What made our situation painful was the immediate severing of a huge part of our life. We lost more than an income and health insurance; we lost our church. We’d attended that church since 2010. Our daughter had been married there. We’d made friends who were almost like family. We’d settled in. And now it was gone.

Was it our choice to leave the church? On one level, yes. No one told us we should. But we also knew that God was most definitely moving us from that time and place. Staying would have been painful for us and divisive for the church body.

The days and weeks and months that followed Epiphany were filled with anger, bitterness and hurt–for me. I was really mad at the church leadership, who had let us down as a family long before Epiphany–but I’d been trying to find the good, up until that January 6th. Now that sense of grace had evaporated, particularly when I learned that they’d known they were letting us go long before we were informed.

I was mad at the people who messaged me or emailed me and told me that I was being unreasonable about all of this–that I needed to display more humility, more grace and less anger. How dare they! These people, who still had their jobs, their comfortable lives and their church family. I was mad at the people who simply stopped talking to us–some of whom we’d been ministering to for years, giving of our time and energy and love.

I spent a lot of those days spewing vitriol at anyone who would listen. I’ve always been a relatively calm person who tends to give the benefit of the doubt. But that was gone. The gloves were off. On car rides when I was alone, I played angry music (The Dixie Chicks Not Ready to Make Nice was a favorite) and screamed along with it.

But there was, under it all, a quiet saving grace. First, I knew one truth right away. I knew that this was of God. The way it happened? No, I don’t think that was God’s idea. That was utterly and painfully human. But I do know for sure that He saved us from a bad situation. He rescued us from that church. He liberated us from being stuck in something that was not going to end well, no matter what.

And then there were the small miracles. First of all, I had a strong sense from the very start that my husband was not meant to seek another job in the church or return to hospice chaplaincy, which had been his job before the church. That was a big deal for me; giving up the ‘security’ of a regular, dependable salary, no matter how small it was, was something that could have only come from God. I felt very strongly that we were to rely solely on God for all of our needs.

If you think that’s easy in this day, think again. Even when we felt completely secure in God’s provision, there was always someone to question our sanity (“But what about retirement? What about a safety net?”). And when we explained that we were doing out best to rely on God, trusting that He has our interest at heart, is our best plan for the future and the very strongest safety net, we got either a pitying stare or a incredulous, skeptical sigh. From people who claim to be Christians, believers.

However, God HAS provided. He rarely uses conventional means–my book sales haven’t skyrocketed, though I’ve seen a nice steady rise that has helped to sustain us. And it’s not always in our timeframe, either; sometimes, bills have been late. Sometimes, we’ve had to change plans. Sometimes He uses other people, and sometimes He uses complete strangers.

Those are miracles, too.

We’ve seen doors open that we never would have expected. We’ve seen lives begin to transform, because of the work God is doing through my husband. We’ve seen relationships form. We’ve seen people seeking God in new ways.

We’ve had the greatest support from those who either have never been church-goers, or who once were and then stopped, along with a wonderful remnant from our church family who have been steadfast friends.

It’s not only a matter of trusting God for our sustenance, either. We have to trust that God is leading us in His path, and that’s not always easy. It means there are some days when it feels as though tumbleweeds are rolling through the kitchen . . . and others when it feels as though there aren’t enough hours in the day. Some days we feel forgotten, and some days, we feel overwhelmed.

And what’s also miraculous is that I’m not quite so angry anymore. Yes, there are still a bunch of unsent emails in my draft box, responses to those people who felt like they knew more than we did about the situation. Yes, there are times when we still run into people who cut us off once we were no longer a part of the church, and it’s awkward, if not downright unpleasant. But it no longer ruins my day. I can laugh, because I know that we’re smack in the middle of God’s will for our lives.

Do we veer off course now and then? Sure. We’re human and we’re imminently fallible. Are there frustrating situations? Do I still get anxious over money? Am I often worried? Uhhh . . .yeah. All of the above. Can I find peace in leaning on God? Yup. I can.

So happy Epiphany to all. You know, the word Epiphany means this:

a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something 
(2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking 
(3) an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
b a revealing scene or moment
That’s why I know this is all of God. Because the entire last year WAS our Epiphany. It goes on. And so do we.

(If you want to know more about what we’re doing, go to http://thecommunitychaplain.com or our Facebook page . To contribute to the ministry, you can use PayPal or our donation page at YouCaring.)

Recommended Reading!

I’m thrilled to share with you some really amazing books . . . and the authors who wrote them! Enjoy . . . these are terrific reads for the holidays and beyond!

I’m a newbie to the world of Magical And Undead Creatures, but thanks to Lynlee and Rhiannon, I’m learning. My new friends have taken me under their wings and made me a part of their inner circle. But with the holidays approaching, I want nothing more than to crawl back into my hole. I don’t do Christmas. Ever.

But when a mysterious package arrives on my doorstep, a completely unexpected brand of magic seeks to draw me out of hiding.

Does a genie have the power to get this Scrooge into the Christmas spirit?

Amazon

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When your soul shatters, how will you pick up the pieces?

Jezebel Tate’s writing career has reached success few experience, but when the light of fame shines too bright, Jezebel is cast back into the shadows, where she’s forced to ask herself what happens when admiration becomes obsession.

James Blakely is running from his past. A broken man haunted by a deadly mistake, James reluctantly accepts a position as Miss Tate’s private security and finds himself a pawn in her game of seduction.

When their worlds collide, Jezebel and James must decide how far they’ll go to escape the sins of their pasts.

Goodreads: bit.ly/2jFnBXk

BookBub: bit.ly/2jDfQ4s

Amazon US: amzn.to/2kgKrUJ

Amazon UK: amzn.to/2jltmfT

Amazon AU: amzn.to/2nOo3XI

Amazon CA: amzn.to/2kP7IkI

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/2ki1KoB

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A COUNTRY MUSIC CHRISTMAS by Maggie Carpenter.

AN AMBITIOUS SONGBIRD. A TAKE-CHARGE HERO. A PERILOUS BLIZZARD.

Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, wannabe country singer Summer Brown is standing nervously on the porch of the man who can make her a star, but when he opens the door she loses her nerve. Instead of begging for an audition she asks if she can be his personal assistant.

Looking for an escape from his hectic Nashville life, cowboy and legendary record producer Liam Taylor has just bought a house in a small peaceful town. He needs help setting up his new home, and when a gorgeous girl shows up looking for a job he hires her on the spot.

Weeks pass and a smoldering chemistry burns between them, but when Liam learns she’s an ambitious singer he feels betrayed. A lifestyle dominant, he delivers a sharp spanking and sends her home, but a fierce snowstorm sweeps in and they are catapulted back together.

He can bury his anger in order to survive the treacherous conditions, but will he find a way back to their burgeoning love…?

If you enjoy atake-charge hero, a determined young woman, and a riveting romance with a fairy-tale ending, you’ll love A Country Music Christmas. Click the link today.

Publisher’s Note: A Country Music Christmas includes sexual scenes and spankings. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

AMAZON

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Coming 1/19/17

Elizabeth Johansen lives her life by a specific code of values. She has worked hard to obtain everything she owns, and she wants nothing from anyone. But now, she faces a dilemma when an unexpected inheritance from her Great-aunt Edna forces her to reexamine her values and embrace the culture she has long since forsaken.

Rohan is the son of an Athabaskan chief. At twenty-six, he is more focused on amassing his fortune and preserving the land of his ancestors. So, when he learns the large parcel of acreage adjourning his property has been left to a woman who has no interest in preserving their customs, he sets out to convince her to sell.

But Rohan finds the independent beauty irresistible and sets out to win her. Elizabeth, proud and self-sufficient, soon discovers that the man of her dreams is part of the culture she abandoned. Can they each find a way to meet the other halfway between his life and hers.

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Love-Relentless-Ju-Ephraime-ebook/dp/B076MG24QQ/

Nook:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-love-relentless-ju-ephraime/1127276647?ean=2940158624377

Kobohttps://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-love-relentless

iBook: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-love-relentless/id1299058586?ls=1&mt=11

Follow me on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ju-ephraime

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Melting Into You (Stewart Island Book 2)
By Tracey Alvarez

Big, sexy men who don’t relate well to kids need not apply…

Ben Harland is, by his own admission, a bit of a grouch. He doesn’t do soppy chick-flicks or cosy home and family. He sure doesn’t need any more drama in his world. But life has a way of biting him in the ass. Cue insta-daddyhood to an eight-year-old girl who lands on his doorstep, and an out-of-control attraction to Stewart Island’s hot school teacher.

Kezia Murphy plays her widow card well. When you don’t trust people not to let you down, you don’t get involved. Though Ben makes her skin sizzle just by looking at him, he’s counting the days until he’s once again a single man. But no matter how much Kezia yearns for his touch, and her daughter Zoe longs for a daddy, can Ben ever be the right man for the job?

Get it FREE Here! 

Instafreebie:

Retailer Links to other books in the series:

Book 1 In Too Deep (Free) Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Google Play
Book 2 Melting Into You Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Google Play
Book 3 Ready To Burn Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Google Play
Book 4 Christmas With You Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Google Play
Book 5 My Forever Valentine Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Google Play
Book 6 Playing For Fun Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Google Play
Book 7 Drawing Me In Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Google Play
Book 7.5 Kissing The Bride Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Google Play

 

About the Author

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, USA TODAY bestselling author Tracey Alvarez writes steamy but heart-warming contemporary romances set in New Zealand. Her two series, the STEWART ISLAND series and the BOUNTY BAY series, both focus on small coastal towns, close communities, and family.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.traceyalvarez.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TraceyAlvarezAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TraceyAlvarezNZ
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TraceyAlvarez
Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/traceyalvarez
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tracey-alvarez

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The Rescuer by Ann Omasta

Universal Amazon link:  http://viewBook.at/TheRescuer

He owes her.
She needs him.
He’ll save her… no matter what.

Imagine you are waiting in line at the bank. It’s the most boring, normal thing in the world until a band of armed robbers arrives and wreaks havoc.

Becca Nickles was biding her time in line watching a lovely little girl and her handsome father communicate with each other through American Sign Language (ASL).

When the robbers invade, Becca becomes an unwitting hero by volunteering to be their hostage, in the place of the frightened young girl.

Cade Tanner owes his little girl’s life to seemingly fearless Becca, and he will do whatever it takes to liberate the brave woman from the criminals.

KEEPING SCORE for Only 99 Cents!

Football is everything, but love is the only game that matters.

Leo, Quinn and Nate . . . They’ve been best friends forever, but life is about to take them in different directions. Decisions about love and friendship could change their paths forever.

Read the three-book series that will take you from the highs of first love to the painful lows of heartbreak and loss, all set amidst the pageantry and passion of football.

Nate: He’s been in love with Quinn since junior high. She’s always been his fierce protector, the one person who looks beyond his physical challenges to see who he really is. But Nate knows the hard truth. Leo holds Quinn’s heart. He’s the one she loves. Still . . . Nate won’t give up, not even when all seems lost. 

Quinn: She’s tired of waiting for Leo to realize that he loves her. But even when he finally admits his feelings for her, Quinn’s loyalty to Nate and doubts about Leo could destroy their friendship.

Leo: He’s the football star, the guy all the girls yearn to have. But the one girl he secretly needs–Quinn–is the one he’s afraid to want. He knows she’s too good for him, but he can’t seem to resist loving her anyway . . . no matter what the cost to all of them.

Amid the joys and heartache of first love, crushing loss and unthinkable decisions, Leo, Quinn and Nate struggle to find their way forward without losing each other.

PLUS an added, never-before-published short, FOURTH AND LONG. 

ONLY 99 cents Everywhere This Week!

Books2Read

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And don’t forget that the story continues with Gia and Tate in NOT BROKEN ANYMORE

Football is everything, but love is the only game that matters.

Tate Durham, the newest Philadelphia football hottie, has been in love with Gia Capri since the moment he laid eyes on her back in college. Unfortunately, that happened the same night her destructive and doomed relationship with the troubled Matt Lampert began. Tate didn’t stand a chance. 

In the year since Matt took his own life, Gia’s been sleep-walking through her days and just barely surviving her nights. She’s not sure that she’s capable of anything else . . . until Tate finds her sitting on the floor of a grocery store, crying over potato chips.

Tate’s patience and honesty begins to heal what’s broken in Gia’s soul. Still, no matter how hard he tries—or how much he loves her—making her whole again might take more than he can give.

But love never gives up. And neither will Tate.

 iBooks

Amazon

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Google

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Books2Read

 

Evergreen: A Career Soldier Christmas Serial

Coming This Christmas!

Being in the Army means making new friends every few years . . . and leaving them when it’s time to move yet again. Career soldiers Max Remington, Kade Braggs, Shaw Kincaid, Jake Robinson, Derek McTavis and Owen Hughes are used to this way of life. But knowing it and liking it are two different things.

During the years when they were stationed together at Fort Lee, these men all found love with feisty women. Now that everyone’s scattered at different posts around the world, these women are hatching a plan to bring everyone back together for Christmas. It won’t be easy, with schedules and duties and the inflexibility of the Army.

But when something unexpected and terrifying happens, suddenly all those obstacles mean nothing.  After all, the holidays are about family . . . and bringing this one together will be worth every bump in the road.

This story will be released in four parts, beginning on December 1st. To read it, you can sign up here to receive the link in your email each Friday in December *OR* you can read it on Radish.

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