Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy New Year ~ Have an Excerpt


Barnes and Noble
          Christmas is over.  It's always a bit of a let down, so in that frame of mind, here is an excerpt from All For Love.  In this piece, Liz is finally about to find out some information about her husband.  He was at work when the plastics plant exploded:

          The doctor’s lounge was neither bright nor inviting.  It was full of lockers and lounge chairs and a couple of daybeds.  Several small tables were scattered about as if a giant child had tired of trying to arrange her dollhouse furniture and simply swept the little tables all willy-nilly.  The smell of burned coffee made my nose tingle.  My scratchy throat constricted with desire.  No one offered Styrofoam cups of conciliation.  No one had time.  There was too much work to do.  Too much news to impart.
            “Folks,” the manager began.  “I’ve got a list of people who’ve been accounted for.  I’ll read out the names and their whereabouts.  Some have been taken to other hospitals in the area, a couple were airlifted to Lubbock.”  He paused and ran a trembling hand through his thin hair, and I felt something close to compassion.  What an awful job, telling family members their loved ones have died or been mangled or burned.  Joe, that’s his name.  I think Quinn introduced us at last year’s Christmas party, though I met so many that night, I hadn’t been able to keep them all straight.  At that time, the plant had just been sold and the new members of management were all in attendance.  How odd that this near stranger was now about to tell me the most horrific, the most intimately life-changing news one could possibly hear. 
            My mind tried to wander away again: After the funeral, I’ll go somewhere.  I’m thinking this as Joe is going through the list of names.  I recognize so many of the names, but I don’t recognize many of the people around me.  Quinn talked about his work constantly.  I was familiar with many of his coworkers only because I heard about them over dinner each evening.  Lots of his friends had moved on to other companies when the plant sold—I recalled that Bill, one of his oldest friends, even said he was moving on because of the new owner’s poor safety record.
            I pushed that thought away.  I didn’t want to think that this might be something that could have been avoided.  Should have been avoided.  Of course, that would all come later.
            Without knowing what I was about to do, I stood shakily.  “My husband, Quinn Rose.  Is he on your list there?” 
            Joe’s face blanched.  Ronnie patted me awkwardly, but no one told me to sit down.  No one knew what to do with me.  Later, in the restroom mirror, I would understand why no one felt the need to tell me to wait my turn.  Surely everyone there was in the same boat so what gave me the right to demand an accounting right there and then?  My face.  That’s what did it.  The face looking back at me out of that restroom mirror was the face of an apparition.  My husband may have been the one who died, but I was the one still haunting the earth.

Afterthought: Back to work on Moonbow now.  It is a much cheerier book ~ although, in my defense, All For Love has a very uplifiting ending ~ it's just the rest of the book that's dark. LOL.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Congrats and a Review of Sara's Promise

Thanks to everyone who entered the All For Love giveaway on Goodreads. The winner was Holly Anderson and I have already put her signed copy in the mail.

I also gave away a $10 Amazon gift card courtesy of my publisher, 5 Prince Publishing. This was here on my blog.

The winner of the gift card was Sandy Wolters. She has already received her gift card. 

Congratulations to both winners. I love giving things away. Watch for a new giveaway in January!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday ~ 

Cheers and happy reading!

Check out my review of Deanna Sletten's book, Sara's Promise.  If you like love stories, you will like this one!

If you've read Deanna Sletten's work, then you know what a deft touch she has with her characters. Sara's Promise follows that same tradition. The characters are real. They will make you cry, cheer, and cringe, but they won't let you down. In the long run, Deanna's story is one of forgiveness and hope. It is also about the cycle of life, and this is touchingly illustrated by the way the beautiful cover ties in with the ending of the book. All in all, a lovely, lovely love story.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sara's Promise by Deanna L. Sletten

Sara's Promise Book Release Blog Tour & Giveaway

Sara's Promise
Deanna Lynn Sletten

Do you believe in soul mates?

William Grafton had the perfect life with his lovely wife, Sara, and two teenaged children. But one day his perfect forever was shattered when Sara died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his children and wonder how he would ever get through life without his soul mate. Five years later, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes that remind him of Sara. The woman is the exact opposite of his late wife, yet he finds he is drawn to her. But after a few strange occurrences, he begins to wonder–are these just coincidences or has his Sara come back to him as she once promised in the form of this new woman? 

Annie Paxton doesn't believe in soul mates or fate. She had watched her father die of a broken heart after her mother passed away and has since cast away any fairy tale ideas of love. Then she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams and she begins to see love in a whole new light. But her dream man is still tied to his deceased wife, and Annie doesn't know if he will ever be able to break away from his past. As strange occurrences unfold, Annie wonders if William could ever truly love her for herself and not for the traits that remind him of Sara.

Were William and Annie brought together by fate, coincidence or by Sara keeping her promise?


Book Excerpt:

Sometimes, the colors came. As she lay in bed, in that quiet state of semi-sleep, they twirled and danced high above her. Ribbons of watercolors so brilliant that they took her breath away. She wanted to reach up and touch them, but something inside her told her she couldn't. They weren't hers to touch yet.
Behind the colors was the light, a golden light that warmed her all the way to her soul, a luminous face smiling down at her. Even long after she awoke and the colors had faded away, she felt their warmth within her throughout the day.
It was with the fading colors that Annie finally awoke, pulling herself out of her dreams and into the morning. As she showered, she thought about the vibrant colors and what they meant, feeling their warmth still with her. It was but one of many dreams she had regularly that she didn't understand. Dreams that warmed her and touched her soul. They had just become a part of her life, as easily as the town of Seaside had when she moved here four years ago.
Annie made herself toast and a cup of coffee and sat at her small table. She watched the day arrive out her patio window. In the distance, she could see the ocean, the sky and water turning a rich pinkish-blue as the sun slowly kissed them. She loved living in Seaside. She'd actually been drawn to it. It was so opposite of where she'd grown up, so much friendlier in both climate and people. She didn't miss the cold winters of St. Paul, Minnesota, or the few relatives she had there. And she knew that they didn't miss her either. She'd only been a bother to them through the years, an obligation. When she was three, her mother had died after a long battle with breast cancer. Her father, heartsick over losing his wife, had found solace in a bottle and was never the same again. He died of liver disease when she was ten, and although he had tried to love her, all she really remembered of him was his sadness.

Buy Sara's Promise on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback and on Barnes & Noble Nook

About Deanna Lynn Sletten:

Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women's fiction novels that go beyond the basic romance novel. Her stories dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. Deanna has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna started her writing career in the early 1990s writing articles for parenting publications and local newspapers. Over time she transitioned to writing for blogs and websites and was a contributing writer for the women's website, She Knows. In November 2011, she changed course and put all her energy into novel writing and hasn't looked back since.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Connect with Deanna:


In celebration of Deanna's new book release she is having a giveaway! Leave a comment on this site to have your name entered in the drawing for one of four prizes: Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 2 paperback copies of Sara's Promise. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you. You can enter at each site of the blog tour for more chances to win! Giveaway starts December 10th and ends December 17th at midnight. Winners will be contacted December 18th after noon.

Follow the tour schedule here:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas is Coming ...

Christmas is coming soon.  How about a $10 Amazon gift certificate under your tree courtesy of 5 Prince Publishing?  It would also be a nice gift for Hanukkah.  It could even be used to purchase a book!

The Kid's Books Blog Hop was a lot of fun. The winner of the signed edition of The Phantom Student was Roberta Horn.  Her book is in the mail!

The winner of the $30 gift card from Amazon is Karina aka Swordlily.  She has also been notified.  ( chooses all our winners.)

 My awesome publisher, Bernadette Marie, at 5 Prince Publishing, is giving away the $10 gift certificate just for answering a quick question.  That's right.  All you have to do is answer this question from my book, ALL FOR LOVE.  The question is: Could you forgive a cheating spouse?  There is no right or wrong answer, just tell me your thoughts, include your email address (so we can notify you if you win) and then you are  entered.  It's that simple.  So what are you waiting for?  Give yourself a little gift this holiday season! Giveaway ends Dec. 16th, winner will be notified by email on the 17th.

Read on for a Christmas excerpt from All For Love.  

In this scene, Liz travels to Denver to be with her daughter, Ashley (and her husband, Tracy), since it will the first Christmas without Quinn.  (Liz is the narrator)

            I flew to Denver two days before Christmas.  I wanted to avoid the holiday crush at the airports, but I didn’t want to arrive so early that I wore out my welcome before we even had a chance to celebrate.
            We had a leisurely dinner the first night, near the airport since my flight was somewhat delayed, and then the next night was Christmas Eve so we ate sandwiches and then went to the midnight service at the Methodist church Ash and Tracy attended.
            That’s when I first suspected the bloom was off the rose for the semi-newlyweds.
            In the pew, Ashley sat between Tracy and me, but I could see that every time he tried to get close or take her hand, she moved away.  Once, I was certain I saw tears in her eyes but she quickly wiped them away as we lit our candles in the darkness.
            Uh-oh, I thought.  Should I go home, ask what’s wrong, or just pretend everything is all right?  I hoped it was just the emotion of the season plus it being our first holiday without Quinn that was causing the problem, but sure enough, that night after I’d gone to bed, I heard their voices raised in anger.
            I lay in their lovely little guest room and relived the last few months in my mind.  If she’d

said anything about them having problems, I couldn’t remember it.  Christmas morning dawned bright and white.  I awoke to the sound of Bing Crosby singing about his dreams of a white Christmas and tears immediately clouded my eyes.  Quinn had always played that song to wake Ashley on Christmas morning when she was a child.  When she got old enough to wake up first, she would get up and put it on.  At first it was vinyl, then a cassette, and toward the end, it was a CD.

            I walked into the living room tying my robe.  Tracy was turning up the volume on his iPod, which was docked into a slot between a pair of smallish speakers.  “So that’s what it’s come to, huh?”  I tried to sound jovial.
            Tracy looked up.  His eyes were shadowed and I was pretty sure he hadn’t had much sleep the night before.  “Morning, Mom.  Yes,” he indicated the iPod set up.  “I always try to make sure Ashley’s song is playing on Christmas morning.”  He smiled tiredly.  “Hard to believe this is our third holiday together.  It seems bittersweet this year.”  Then he walked over and hugged me.  That worried me.  Tracy was not a hugger.  He and I had a cordial relationship based on mutual respect.  This Tracy was new, but then, a lot had changed these last few months.
            “What is it?” I asked.  “Is Ash okay?”  
            She arrived at that very moment, and seeing Tracy embracing me must have floored her, too.  She turned on her heel and headed for the kitchen.
            Tracy groaned and took off after her.  His folks were expecting us all for Christmas dinner later in the afternoon, but at this rate, I didn’t see how we’d ever get out of the house.
            I stood in the middle of the living room listening to Quinn and Ashley’s favorite Christmas song.  Tracy must have programmed it to repeat; it should have been over by now.  I debated just bursting into the kitchen and demanding to know what was going on, but they weren’t children.  And even if Tracy had been about to confide in me, that wasn’t quite enough reason for me to intrude.

         I gazed at the lovely little tree so gaily lit and gleaming with shiny icicles—Ashley’s favorite trim.  We’d each placed our gifts under the tree before going to the midnight service the night before.  Now, for the first time, I let myself fantasize about what it would be like to have a grandchild to wrap toys for on Christmas.  But that notion was quickly ruined by the loud voices coming from the kitchen.

            Like a mouse, I crept back to the guest room and got dressed.  I said a quick and silent prayer for Ash and Tracy to solve their differences so we could get on with our celebrating.  In the back of my mind, I wondered if I should have done us all a favor and simply stayed at home with my empty house and my memories.

Afterthought:  Hope you enjoyed the excerpt.  Remember to answer the question at the top of the blog to be eligible for the $10 Amazon gift card!