I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
Readers, Please research and use wisdom before buying

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Special Edition!

Hey Friends!

Kim couldn't make it this week, but she'll be around in June with her new release so I decided to surprise Sharon Donovan and spotlight her new book, The Claddagh Ring!

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is to never die.”
Thomas Campbell

Struggling with her faith after her mother’s death, Meghan O’Malley finds comfort in wearing her Claddagh Ring, said to be blessed by St. Patrick. And when Meghan meets Rork, she finds love, loyalty and friendship. But before everything comes full circle, Meghan must face the biggest challenge of her life.

Rork McGuire is ruggedly handsome, sings Celtic music straight from his soul—and has a deep secret. When he sees Meghan O’Malley tending bar at her club, he falls hopelessly in love with her and wants to give her his heart. Will the secret he harbors pull them together—or break them apart?

As Meghan mixed drinks from behind the bar of The Wild Irish Rose, the fiddle and violin captured the true essence of Ireland. The tantalizing aroma of Irish stew, corn beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread wafted through the room.

Suddenly, all activity came to a halt as the eerie wail of bagpipes keened through the bar. The lead singer took center stage with his rendition of Danny Boy, the haunting lyrics crawling into Meghan’s skin. Mesmerized by his hypnotic blue eyes, she stopped what she was doing and met his penetrating gaze. With the exception of her mother, she’d never heard anyone pluck the strings of the harp with such finesse. The Claddagh Ring on her right hand felt hot, the heart pressing into her skin. By the time the song ended, Meghan’s green eyes were misty with tears.

“Well now, darlin’,” he touched her cheek. “If I knew Danny Boy would make you cry, I’d a sung When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”

Meghan Shannon O’Malley lost herself in pools of midnight blue.

“I’m Rork,” the corners of his eyes crinkled when he smiled. He took her right hand and kissed the heart on her ring. “Single and looking, are ya?”


“The Claddagh Ring, darlin’,” he kissed it again. “On your right hand with the heart facing outward, means you’re single and looking for romance.”

“Ah…I have no idea what you’re talking about; it’s just a ring, a gift from my mother.”

“Ah, come on now, darlin’ girl,” he got a little closer, staring into her eyes. “Ya can’t fool an Irishman. My mother bought one for each of my sisters. I’ll have ya know they’re all married.”

Meghan felt lightheaded. “My mother gave me this ring the night before she died. It’s a family heirloom, said to be blessed by St. Patrick himself. Mama promised me by wearing the Claddagh, everything in my life would come full circle. So before you go thinking I’m wearing it to find a husband, think again.”

“Do you believe in love at first sight?” his blue eyes seared into hers like lasers. “What do ya say, Meghan, darlin’ girl of my heart.”

Author’s note:
I visited Ireland a few years ago. Rolling green hills, coppery beaches—and whimsical castles straight out of fairy tales make up the rugged landscape of the Emerald Isle. The Claddagh Ring is very much a part of their culture and is carried on through legend and lore. The Irish have a strong sense of family. Their incomparable spirit is passed on from generation to generation by keeping simple traditions: Make your house into a home. Make guests feel welcome with a pot o tea or a cup o Irish coffee. Regale over good times, count your blessings—and never give up on your dreams. Miracles happen for those who believe.
The Claddagh Ring is available now from The Wild Rose Press!
Watch the trailer here!
Hope you enjoyed this special edition of Saturday Spotlight.
Remember, my short story Winter Madness is due to release on March 11th!
Until later....take care and God Bless!
Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" TM

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Christian Romance Magazine

**NOTE** This site is no longer a Christian site....
I've removed all links. Readers please beware!***

Hello Again Friends!

You all know when I find a place for readers and writers to connect I like to share it with you.

Christian Romance Magazine is one of those places! CRM offers a whole bunch of info on Christian books and writing. They also offer readers a chance to comment on their favorite books. Visit their website today and check out the books listed - and if you've read any of my titles, PLEASE leave a comment! All 5 of them can be found on the review page. CRM is listed in the sidebar under Areas of Interest for Authors & Readers.

On another note, Catholics around the world know and understand the Lenten season. It is a special time for reflection, fasting, prayer and giving. Six weeks of focusing on the beattitudes of Christ and implementing them in our life to a deeper degree.

Even if you're not Catholic, this practice is a good one and fasting doesn't have to be food y'know - you can fast television and replace it with prayer or bible study, fast negativism and speak only positive, fast criticism and uplift instead - who knows, after six weeks these may become a way of life.

Well that's about it for today - Oh, Wait!

I promised Sharon Donovan that I'd mention her new story, The Claddagh Ring which was released yesterday @ The Wild Rose Press.

Join me Saturday for a Spotlight on Kim Watters!

Until later.....take care and Be Blessed!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

VBT - Direction

Hello Friends,

Time for another virtual book tour brought to you by Kathy Carlton Willis Communications.

Today's guest is author Cheri Cowell and her book Direction: Discernment for the Decisions in Your Life.

Cheri Cowell, a popular conference speaker and writer, uses her experience in ministry to encourage and equip Christians seeking answers to the unspoken questions of faith. She is earning a degree in theological studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, where she and her husband, Randy, call home.

Blurb: Feeling Lost? Need Directions?
Author Shares Six Tips for Finding Your Route

(Orlando, Florida) Have you ever wished you could look into the future and obtain better insight in order to make wiser decisions for your best outcome? So many times, results from poor choices could have been avoided if we had seriously considered the direction of God's guidance for our lives, instead of trying to figure things out on our own. In her book, Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life, Cheri Cowell presents six questions readers should ask themselves when facing important decisions. Through observation and exploration, she examines each question and shares examples of how others--from Bible times to present day--have used these questions to find God's way in the story of their lives. From career options to medical decisions to relationship questions, Cowell's instruction and guidance helps readers learn how to make confident choices as they seek God's direction on the road of life.

Blog Tour Questions:

Obviously, the search for God’s will is a topic of interest to many Christians today. What would you say is the most common misconception about seeking God’s direction for ones life?

I encounter this same question every time I speak on this topic. The answer is what I call the Myth of the Path of Relative Ease, which says when we finally find God’s perfect will we’ll be on easy street. Easy Street promises smooth sailing and a peace-filled life. But I’ve learned this is anything but biblical. The Bible tells us we can’t use an ‘easy life’ as a road-sign pointing to His way. In fact, His way promises to be a bumpy road filled with potholes and dangerous cliffs. The exciting thing for us is when we learn to walk in His ways, we’ll have a Companion for the journey who knows the dangerous curves ahead.

In Direction, you write about the process of determining if something is God’s will or not. You say to test it against the character of God. How can we know what the character of God is like?

I don’t presume to know all there is to know about who God is, but when looking for the leading hand of God, it’s important to know how we see that hand. Some see God’s guidance as that of a loving Father showing His child the best way to live so as to protect from harm, others know Him as a Best Friend who shares all that’s needed to make wise decisions. Then there are those who see God as a Guide, almost like a whitewater rafting guide who’s been down this rapid before and can show the way.

When you are personally faced with a big decision to make, what’s the first thing you do?

LOL, I think I’m like most people. I have well-worn paths I retreat to, and some are not healthy. I’m afraid I tend to talk it out with friends instead of first talking to my Best Friend. I’m fear-filled first instead of crawling up in my Father’s heavenly lap and seeking His heart on the matter. And yes, I also rely on the common road signs most of us have relied upon when making big decisions—Bible reading, prayer, open & closed doors, and the sense of peace we’re to have when walking in God’s light. This last list sounds like a good thing, but I’ve learned there’s a good way to do this and a not-so-good way. The not-so-good way is the one that says these road signs are to point me to God’s perfect will. The ‘good way’ is to use these same road signs as a means of drawing closer to the heart of God instead of looking for a hidden will. It is in this position, close to the heart of God, where we are best able to hear from God.

Sometimes we think we only need to go to God about the big decisions in our lives. What evidence do you have from God’s Word that He is interested in every decision?
I call this the Too Big and Too Small God problem. When we make our God so big, He becomes aloof and distant. When we buy into this lie we only go to God when the decision is big enough. Such decisions often find us at God’s door begging for direction such as, “Who am I supposed to marry; should I take this job and move my family; or is it ever okay to take my loved one off life support?” These are indeed big decisions that require a Big God, but if we’re only going to God when a situation is big enough, we’re missing most of life. Most of life is lived in the humdrum of everyday decision-making. It is the ordinary day-in-and-day-out little things like, “’Do I run this yellow light; do I tell her how I really feel even if it means losing a friend; or do I pick up the phone and call that person I’ve been thinking about all day?” where the little things add up to become big things. Satan tries to tell us these are the small things a Big God should not be bothered with. This is one of his favorite tools. He used these same lies with Jesus during His temptation in the desert, but Jesus knew they were lies. We, too, need to learn to identify Satan’s lying tongue.

You’re continuing your education at Asbury Theological Seminary. What are you hoping to do once you finish your degree?

It is my prayer to write and speak biblical truths more effectively. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to earn a Masters in Theological Studies. As I gain more knowledge, I’ve seen my writing and speaking gain power and conviction.
When a Christian is totally consumed and overwhelmed by the stress of making the right decision, it is tough to put everything in perspective. Are there some practical tips you can share so that he/she can still continue with their everyday life?

Certainly. My first suggestion is to take time to be alone with God. Our God-time is often the first casualty of a stress-filled life, but this is precisely the time when we need Him the most. Next, find some help. The Christian life is not to be a solitary event. Even Jesus went to the Garden with four friends. Share with a handful of committed Christians your struggles, ask for practical help if necessary, and then invite them to lift you up in intercessory prayer. This last step is forming what I call a Clearness Community. Through this Community you will hear God’s voice more clearly than any one of us can discern on our own.

How is Direction an extension of your own personal search for God’s will?

As I answer these questions I’m sitting in Tennessee in a vacation cabin where my husband and I are seeking God’s direction about a potential move here from our home in Florida. My friends have teased, “You know, there’s this really good book you should read…” Their levity allows me to keep things in perspective as we weigh the options, seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, and trust in a God who walks with us no matter what decisions we make.

Readers pay attention!

Cheri is offering a gift basket worth $135 to one reader who leaves a comment!

Check back Saturday when we spotlight author Kim Watters.

Until then.....Be BLESSED!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Terri Molina!

Well Friends,

It's that time again...time for another edition of Saturday Spotlight. Today's guest is author Terri Molina and her book: His Will, Her Way

Terri Molina is a native Texan, born and raised in Southeast Texas. She is an active member of the Romance Writers of America including the Northwest Houston Chapter and Desert Rose Chapter in Phoenix, Arizona. She writes multicultural romantic suspense, blending in the flavor of the Southwest with her Mexican heritage. After years of living a nomadic life with her Coast Guard husband, she now resides in Southeast Arizona with her husband, four children and a dog. When she's not writing she enjoys reading, singing karaoke with the kids and spending time with family and friends. You can find out more about Terri @ her website.

Blurb: Antonio Hernandez has loved Anita for as long as he can remember, but the only attention she'd give him was in willful response to a dare. Now that she's returned to the valley to run her late grandfather's flower shop, Antonio sees it as his chance to win her heart. But, what Anita doesn't know is that Antonio has made a 'deal with the devil' and he used the shop to lure her into more than just his bed.

Antonio’s lips curved into a sexy grin. “Are you still afraid of me, Anita?”

The amusement in his eyes stopped her from answering. He was baiting her again. Well, two could play this game, she thought smugly.

She moved her hand to the V of his shirt, skimming her finger over his chest. The warmth of his skin shimmered through her, charging every nerve in her body. She’d never seduced anyone before, but maybe it was time she did. After all, she’d moved to the valley to start a new life. And taking what she wanted, when she wanted, was the best way to do that.

She sent him a feline smile and gripped his shirt. “Maybe it’s you who should be afraid of me,” she said, pulling him into a kiss.

Well, that about wraps it up for another Saturday Spotlight!

Join me Tuesday for a very special VBT.

Until later....take care and Be BLESSED!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

VBT - Alysia Lyons

Hi There Friends!

Today I'd like to introduce to you author Alysia Lyons whose book How the Hart Breaks is on virtual tour through Pertinent Promotions!

Bio: Alysia grew up in Fresno, California, and is fourth of six children. She began writing stories on Post-It notes at the age of eight, but found a true love for writing novels at sixteen. How the Hart Breaks stemmed from a brainstorming session with a fellow writer, morphed into a trilogy, and soon took on a life of its own. Now twenty-six years old, Alysia lives and works in Fresno, CA. One day, she hopes to leave her full-time job and dedicate her life to her true passion: writing.

Blurb: There has to be more to life than lame tabloid articles, rumors and always being in the spotlight,” Isabel Hart asks herself at the closing of her fifth year of fame. After much debate, Isabel decides to put her career on hold and enroll at NYU. Finding a balance between her successful, fast-paced music career, her new dreams for a college education and a normal life away from the paparazzi becomes more difficult as she lets down her guard and falls in love with a handsome college student. Will Isabel overcome her fears of true love or will she learn "How big the Hart Breaks?" Read a Sneak Peeek HERE!

Q&A with the Author!

Q: From post-its to a novel, how big a leap was this for you?
A: It actually progressed naturally over time. From post-its to note pads to journaling books and finally a 100,000 word novel. Each time I wrote a story, my writing improved and so did the length and content quality of the book. Writing novels was never a giant task I felt I needed to tackle. It has always been the natural course of things.

Q: I’ve heard a lot of writers have a crutch. Do you, and if so, what is it?
A: I’d have to say that my crutch is discussing my plot with close friends. Being able to about it out loud is a very important part of the writing process for me.

Q: What made you decide to start your writing career with a trilogy? It seems a bit daunting for a new author.
A: When I first started writing the Isabel Hart Series, I didn’t plan on it becoming a trilogy. The original draft had a completely different ending. It became a trilogy with the real Isabel asked me “What happens next?” What happened next wasn’t going to fit in one novel and so the trilogy was born.

Q: Can we find your Favorite guilty pleasure woven into Isabel‘s character?
A: In the book, Isabel goes to a small coffee shop to warm up and find a reprieve. I think drinking coffee is the closest Isabel comes to exhibiting any of my guilty pleasures!

And the frivolous questions all writers get asked!
Favorite time of day to write: Typically inspiration hits me just before I’m about to go to sleep or it’s the thing that gets me out of bed earlier than I wanted too. That few moments between awake and asleep is when my creativity sparks.

Favorite writing spot: The world is my writing spot. All I need is a place to sit and my lap top (not to mention a good cup of Starbucks coffee).

Favorite writing motivation: My motivation comes from the voices in my head, ha! Many times, it is the characters that I’ve created that motivate me to write the next scene or the next chapter.

Favorite writing tip: If you have a story locked up in your mind, get your words out on paper. Don’t worry about the quality of what comes out. Worry about that when you are in the editing stage. Don’t start to edit until you’ve written the entire book. Because if you are focused on the past, you’ll miss the present and the future won’t be what you want it to be.

When can we anticipate the next book in series? I’m hoping to release From the Hart in the Summer of 2010.

Where can we find How the Hart Breaks? Pdbookstore.com, Amazon.com, barnesandnobel.com, target.com

Well Friends, that about wraps it up for another Virtual Book Tour!

Check back with me Saturday for our Spotlight on Terri Molina.

Until the....Be BLESSED!

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" TM

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sweetheart Contest Winner!

Wow what a wonderful response Pertinent Promotions and I received during my Sweetheart Contest!

I'd like to CONGRATULATE winner, Cheryl McEwen and thank EVERYONE for participating!

Cheryl is from Canada and says she enjoys not having to travel for work. In her spare time she likes reading, walking, gardening and swimming (weather permitting).

Pertinent Promotions asked her a few questions and here are her answers.

PP: Are you a writer or a reader or both?
C: I am a reader, hope to one day be a writer.

PP: What type of books do you enjoy reading the most?
C: I like Intrigue and Suspense books best.

PP: Have you read any of Pamela S Thibodeaux's Work before now?
C: I haven't read any of Pamela S Thibodeaux's Work yet.

PP: How did you find out about the Sweetheart Contest?
C: Through a newsletter.

PP: How do you feel about winning the Sweetheart Contest?
C: I am very surprised and pleased to win the contest. I love to read books by authors I haven't read yet.

PP: Would you enter more contests hosted by Pertinent Promotions?
C:I would enter more contests. (I've probably used up my good luck for the year though!)

Maybe not Cheryl LOL!

Cheryl will receive a CD with all 5 of my TWRP titles, The Inheritance, Choices, Cathy's Angel, A Hero for Jessica and an advance copy of Winter Madness as well as a Valentine gift basket.

Look for another great contest coming in the near future from me and Pertinent Promotions!

Wednesday we have a special virtual book tour guest and this week's Saturday Spotlight is author Terri Molina so be sure and drop back by!
Until next time.....take care and Be BLESSED!
Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" TM

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Charlene Sands!

Welcome Back for another Saturday Spotlight!

Remember to read the disclaimer in my sidebar.

Today's guest is Charlene Sands and her book Reserved for the Tycoon.

Charlene Sands is a true romantic at heart, having married her high school sweetheart! She lives in Southern California with her hero-husband. She’s a member of LARA and OCC where she heads up the Ask an Author Program. To date, she’s written 25 books and is the recipient of the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award and the Bookseller’s Best Award. Her Silhouette Desire, Do Not Disturb Until Christmas has been nominated for Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine’s Best Silhouette Desire of 2008. Look for her final book in the Suite Secrets Series, Reserved for the Tycoon in February and Texan’s Wedding Night Wager in September 2009! Presently, she’s working on Napa Valley Vows--a trilogy set in the wine country.

Bold, rugged, heart-stopping heroes and always REAL GOOD MEN.

Charlene invites you to stop by her site or enter her new Suite Valentine Contest at: http://www.charlenesands.com/.

Reserved for the Tycoon Blurb:
This elegant hotel on the lush Hawaiian island of Maui was everything Vanessa Dupree had dreamed of. Working here meant she could take the sweet revenge she had reserved for Brock Tyler, the ruthless tycoon who owned the resort. She'd destroy his business, paying him back for what he'd done to her family. But was this devastatingly handsome—and dangerously charming—man beginning to suspect his new 'right-hand woman'? And was that the real reason for the sizzling seduction that was making it so hard to keep her mind on sabotage…?

Read An Excerpt!

Getting the job at Tempest Maui Hotel as event planner had been a breeze. With her impressive résumé in hand, Vanessa Dupree walked right into today's interview with confidence and answered the hotel tycoon's questions with all of the intelligence and charm she possessed. Then she smiled winningly with promise in her eyes. Promises that arched Brock Tyler's dark eyebrows a bit and had his gaze wandering to her "other" assets. Vanessa silently fumed. Brock was a charmer, all right. Black hair, perfectly groomed, dark eyes that could mesmerize and classy clothes covering a fit body; it was a small wonder her younger sister fell for him back in New Orleans.

He didn't know that Melody Applegate and Vanessa Dupree were related and that's exactly how she intended on keeping it. Vanessa shoved the image of her heartbroken sister, teary-eyed and devastated, out of her mind, for now.

She rose from her seat. "Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Tyler. You won't be sorry you hired me."

The lie flowed easily from her lips.

He stood up and instead of reaching across his desk for a handshake, walked around to grasp her hand and give a gentle but firm tug. "The success of this hotel is very important to me. I handpick all my employees. Welcome to the team, Miss Dupree."

Vanessa squirmed a little under his steady gaze. He stood a head taller than her and she felt his dominating presence far more than when a bamboo-accented desk separated them. The man oozed sexual prowess with every movement he made and his hand touching hers brought queasy jitters to her stomach. "Thank you."

"I'll see you tonight for dinner."

"Dinner?" Vanessa's voice squeaked. The man worked fast.

"There's an employee dinner meeting every Wednesday night. Seven o'clock in the Aloha conference room."

"Right," she said, steadying her nerves. "I'll be there."

Brock nodded and walked her to the door, his eyes flickering from her tightly pulled back platinum hair, down the bodice of her navy-blue business suit, lingering a second on her breasts, then to the hem of her dress. "We dress more casual here. We want the guests to feel relaxed. No more business suits and…let your hair down."

Sizzling heat rivaling the Hawaiian sun raced through her system when his gaze returned to her hair. She touched a strand absently. "It's natural. The color, I mean."

Good heavens, Vanessa. Get a grip.

Those dark brows rose again, but he didn't voice his doubt.

"My mother always said it was a freak of nature. No one in the family has this color hair."

He looked at her hair again and nodded. "Pretty."

"Oh, I wasn't fishing for a compliment, Mr. Tyler."

Though that's exactly how she'd sounded.

"No, I doubt you'd have to hunt down compliments, Vanessa."

The soft tone of his voice when he spoke her name brought another round of jitters to her stomach.

He was good, she surmised.

Sexy. Rich. Powerful.

But Vanessa wouldn't let that discourage her from her mission. She thought of the pain he'd caused Melody last month. Her sister had been beside herself with grief. She'd fallen hard and fast for her tycoon employer in New Orleans and Brock had discarded her like yesterday's newspaper. To him, she was old news. Vanessa had never seen her sister cry so much or so hard. She'd been destroyed by his abrupt dismissal and rejection. He hadn't cared that he'd broken her young naive heart after dating her for weeks and leading her on.

Vanessa had firsthand experience with this kind of man. She'd been dumped a few times and she remembered how much that had hurt. She learned how to weed out the insincere men and steer clear. Melody, on the other hand, being six years her junior, hadn't the experience to handle a man like Brock Tyler.

Vanessa had always championed her younger half sister's cause. She'd watched out for her. She'd protected her all of her life. In most respects, she'd mothered Melody when their own mother had become too ill to do it. Vanessa had taken over the role then and those tendencies were hard to change.

Compelled by anger and a sense of justice, Vanessa couldn't pass up this chance to finally give Brock Tyler a taste of his own medicine. The event planner position had fallen into her lap. She'd always wanted to see Hawaii, and now she'd be here for a time, subletting a little condo on the island. All things had fallen into place.

Yet, after meeting Brock Tyler, Vanessa understood the challenge. It wouldn't be easy. He'd be a worthy adversary but that wouldn't deter her. She'd come to the island for one reason and one reason only.

To ruin Brock Tyler.
* * *

"Vanessa Dupree is teaching the class?" Brock Tyler watched his new event planner on an exercise mat lift one firm, gorgeous leg over her head on Tempest Maui's sandy beachfront.

"Yes, sir." Akamu Ho, his hotel manager, nodded. "Pilates. She didn't want our guests to miss out when Lucy called in sick this morning."

"Enterprising woman." His newest employee had spunk and a great résumé. From the moment they'd met in the interview, Brock had been intrigued. He'd debated about hiring her. His instant attraction to her had knocked his well-honed senses off the charts. Not that Brock had trouble mixing business with pleasure normally, but he couldn't jeopardize the success of Tempest Maui. His focus and all of his attention had to be directed to the newly renovated hotel.

Brock walked from the plush Garden Pavilion onto the sands of Tranquility Bay toward the dozen guests working out on the beach. When Vanessa spotted him, she wiggled three fingers in a wave.

Her natural smile and that Marilyn Monroe hair were eye-stopping enough, but add the skimpy black spandex shorts with her tanned midriff exposed and Brock had a helluva time containing his lust.

He leaned against a tall palm tree and waited for her to finish. After leading the class in a cooldown exercise that had his blood heating up, she dismissed the class. He walked over to her, helping her pick up the mats and stack them in one pile on the sand. "So you're a Pilates expert, too? I didn't see that in your résumé."

Her low rumble of throaty laughter brought images of hot sex on the sand. "I'm not an expert. I just enjoy exercise. I've always been flexible."

Brock cleared his throat, but that image of sex with her on the sand went from hazy to vivid in two seconds flat.

"When Lucy called in sick with a high fever, I didn't want to disappoint the guests. I let them know I wasn't an expert or anything, but I could lead them in a class."

She picked up a towel and wiped sweat from her forehead. Beads of perspiration coated her body and brought a shimmering sheen to her tanned skin.

"They all thanked me," she said with a slight shrug. "I think they enjoyed it."

"I'm sure they did," Brock said, trying to keep his mind on the reason he'd come out here. "In just the week you've worked here, you've made an impression. Stepping in today for Lucy shows you've got team spirit and the hotel's interests in mind."

With the towel placed around her neck, she gazed into his eyes, squinting a bit in the sunlight. "Are you saying you're glad you hired me?"

She surprised him with her blunt assessment. "I'm a good judge of character."

Then he focused on the reason for approaching her in the first place, setting aside the fact that he'd have watched her do her flexible exercises for no other reason than pure fascination. "Actually, I need to speak with you about some upcoming events that are important to the hotel."

"Okay. Should I shower and change and meet you in your office?"

That had been his plan initially, but now it seemed sacrilegious to ask a gorgeous woman to change out of revealing spandex. "No, let's walk the beach. I've got a full schedule today and doubt I'll get outside again before the sun sets."

That much was true. Brock didn't spend enough time outside on these gorgeous Hawaiian days. Whenever he could, he'd go out on his yacht, harbored in Tranquility Bay to get away from the mounds of paperwork he'd encountered since the renovation project began months ago. Now he had a wager with his brother Trent, for ego's sake more than anything else, to make a bigger success of his hotel than Trent had with Tempest West in Arizona. The two had always been competitive and with the added bonus of his late father's beloved classic Thunderbird as the prize, Brock had everything to gain by seeing that his hotel prospered.

They walked in morning sunshine along the warm sand, the ocean humming more like a small kitten than a lion's roar.

Brock got right to the point. "These first few events will make or break our hotel's reputation. As you know, this hotel had been closed down for more than a year due to poor management. Certainly not because of location. My brothers and I saw the hotel's great potential as a destination spot for weddings, conventions, fashions shows and major parties. The renovations are complete and now it's up to all of us, including you, to see that we succeed, Vanessa."

Vanessa nodded, her head down. "I understand that, sir."

He winced at her serious tone. He was used to commanding respect from his employees, but somehow, the "sir" coming from Vanessa's sensual lips didn't sound quite right. "Call me Brock."

When she glanced up, he smiled. "We'll be working closely from now on. You and I might as well drop the formalities."

"Okay… Brock." She cast him a quick coy smile.

Brock couldn't quite figure her out. Several times this week he'd caught her watching him, but the minute their eyes met she'd looked away abruptly. What had he witnessed in those pretty blue eyes?

"We have a wedding next week. It's a big expensive affair and the hotel has booked over three hundred guests. You've been working with the wedding coordinator, I suspect?"

"Yes, since the moment I hired on. I have the details covered, Mr.… uh, Brock."


"I've done wedding coordinating before. I've got it under control."

Her qualifications were impeccable. She'd had experience in event planning for a large corporation as well as a major hotel chain, working at one time for a competitor, actually. Brock had been fortunate she'd come along when she had.

"I'm counting on your expertise to make this happen."

"I'm good at making things… happen." She spoke that last word softly, the woman oozing sensuality.

Brock stopped to gaze into her eyes. A little, throaty laugh escaped and he didn't mistake the demure look she cast him. "How good?" he asked, all thought of business now out of his mind.

"Oh, very good," she whispered, her gaze dropping to his mouth.

Brock was ready to pull her into his arms and crush his lips to hers, until she took a step back. "About the other events?"

"We'll talk about those later," he said, keeping his frustration at bay. He'd almost kissed her. Hell, he wanted to, but she'd backed off.

"Is there anything else you'd like to discuss with me?"

He shook his head. "No. Just concentrate on the wedding."

"Okay. Well, I'd better get to that shower now. I have work to do." She turned and jogged away, leaving him a stunning view of her backside and wondering what she'd do if he'd joined her in the shower.

Sounds like an exciting book!

Charlene can also be found at Petticoats & Pistols!

Monday we're going to spotlight the winner of my Sweetheart Contest so c'mon back!

Until later....Take care and Be BLESSED!

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" (tm)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Authors & Their Books

Promotion is an integral part of an author's career and how readers find new authors and their books.

As you know, when I find a new or unique way for readers and writers to connect, I try and share that with you.

Well, here is a new one for you!

Author Ernie Johnson has set up a blog, Authors and Their Books where he spotlights authors and their books and has a book give-away!

The rules are very simple for authors and readers:

1) First we need to have 50 authors listed on the blog.

2) We need to have 50 DIFFERENT commenters on the author's books. Those eligible to be in the drawing only need to comment on one book, but each one of these authors, and I know from experience, as I am one, we love to see comments about our books because we've worked very hard for our readers.

3) After the first drawing, I have four more books that have been donated to the give-a-way, so it would be a GOOD idea if you followed this blog by clicking the link at the beginning of this blog to keep abreast of the winners, and of the book you can win.

4) The second drawing will be at 60 books, or every ten books thereafter

5) The winner(s) will be announced here at AUTHORS AND THEIR BOOKS BLOG

What an interesting concept!
Tempered Joy is featured on the Authors and Their Books Blog so check it out and leave a comment!
Authors and Their Books is listed in my sidebar under "Areas of Interest for Writers and Readers"
Don't Forget - My Sweetheart Contest ENDS tomorrow and the winner will be announced Valentines Day - so get your entry in now!
Also, Charlene Sands will be our Saturday Spotlight guest - so c'mon back!
Until later....Be Blessed!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's Happening in My World

Hey Friends,

I'll keep this post short and sweet. Just wanted to keep you informed on some things going on in February.

This month I am the Featured White Rose @ LASR.

Tomorrow I'll be the Guest on fellow author and friend, Hywela Lyn's Blog.

Writers, want a great free promo opportunity? Readers, want to find out more about your favorite authors? Then visit the Home Sweet Home Author Challenge!

Don't forget my Sweetheart Contest going on thru Feb. 13th!

Check back Saturday when we spotlight Charlene Sands!

That's about it for now. Until later......

Be Blessed!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Saved!

Hello Dear Friends,

As you know I was in a quandary over the request to pull a spotlight by the featured author due to my "warning" and considered whether or not to discontinue the Saturday Spotlight feature.

I polled a group of authors and all of them basically said the same thing - have the authors rate their work.

However, as one author pointed out in a private email, ratings are subjective too. What one would consider spicy another might consider explicit. What one person considers PG13 others might think it PG17.

I offer this spotlight as a way to help fellow authors - all authors - regardless of what they write or who they write for. All of the authors I've spotlighted are considerate enough to only send excerpts and covers that are not overtly sexual or explicit.

THEREFORE, I am NOT going to have anyone rate anything. You'll notice that I placed a disclaimer in the sidebar about the Saturday Spotlight feature - I trust this is all I need, it will not upset another author, but will be informative to readers.

I want to take a moment to send a heartfelt THANK YOU to Bess for her graciousness in all of this and say - publically - that this was in no way to point fingers or cause her any grief. I truly had no idea that the warning might be upsetting. Those who know me, KNOW I would NEVER intentionally hurt another being!

She is truly a remarkable woman and I'm blessed to know her and I hope/pray she will allow me to spotlight her sometime in the future.

Thank You, Bess and may God bless you!

I would also like to thank each author who posted a comment and/or emailed me about this feature. Your support means more to me than words can express.

God Bless you ALL!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Removed @ Authors Request

I received an email from author Bess McBride asking me to remove her spotlight due to this disclaimer: Please note - I have not read any of Bess's books, but based on the lines she writes for they may not be suitable for conservative/young readers.

She feels that having this warning associated with her work may be harmful to her career since she writes sweet (no explicit love scenes).

As I told Bess in my return email, the warning was NEVER intended to harm or upset anyone!

If you read My Dilemma on Jan 13 th you'll note it was due to an email from an erotic author wondering if I would deny her a spotlight based on what she wrote that I decided to use the warning when unsure whether or not the spotlighted author wrote overtly sexual or explicit content.

To be honest, up until that email, I'd never considered who I spotlighted or what they wrote. I just wanted to help my fellow authors with a little free promotion.

However, as an author, my first obligation is to my readers.

The fact that the disclaimer has indeed upset one of my fellow authors not only distresses me, it leads me ponder what I should do. Should I......

Delete the warning altogether
Ask the author to rate their books for me (G, PG, PG13, PG17, R, X)
Reword the warning


Discontinue the Saturday Spotlight completely?

Others have complimented me on the standard I portray with my blog.

I'm not sure yet what my decision will be....I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Until then ..... post a comment and tell me what YOU think!

Be Blessed!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

VBT - Guided By Him to a Thinner not so Stressed out You!

Hey Friends,

We have another very special Virtual Book Tour going on right now....
Guided by Him to a Thinner not so Stressed out You! is a faith based solution to weight control.
About Guided by Him

Lose the Weight...Lose the Worry!
Mother and Daughter Team Up to
Share the Plan

(Birmingham, AL) - Does the idea of starting a diet make you hungry? Can you eat more than your children's combined weight in twinkies? Don't worry! Help is on the way. Author Julie Morris, RN, and her daughter, Sarah Morris Cherry, have developed a proven method for losing weight and keeping it off permanently. The Guided By Him method not only helps people lose weight, it also helps participants learn how to cope with stress. After years of struggling with her weight, Julie has developed a strategic, humor-filled plan designed to keep participants motivated, laughing, learning and yes, even eating.

In Guided By Him, readers embark on an adventure in weight loss. Julie and Sarah use uplifting scriptures, thought-provoking questions, daily devotionals and fun-filled food facts to ensure readers keep a positive, light attitude toward learning a leaner lifestyle. Julie's experience as a nurse and Sarah's knowledge as a certified counselor, make this a pair of enthusiastic, highly qualified coaches. This study could be used alone in the comfort of home or led in a group setting. It's great for casual girlfriend meetings, church small groups and even the lunchroom at work! Accountability questions keep participants honest and real with themselves and others.

About the Authors
Julie Morris and Sarah Morris Cherry

Julie Morris is a wife, mother, nurse, author and teacher. Since 8 years of age Julie has struggled to control her weight. That struggle of overeating, along with high blood pressure, sent her searching for a solution. After discovering the Christian 12 steps she began seeking God's guidance toward health and wholeness. Now, 25 years later, she's excited to share these tips with others. She is the founder of the Step Forward weight loss program. Guided by Him is a lighter, easier version of Step Forward, for today's busier lifestyles.

Sarah Morris Cherry is a wife, new mother and Licensed Professional Counselor. She has counseled people from two to 92. Whatever the age, she enjoys teaching people new ways to deal with stress as well as facts for healthy living. She coaches them with simple things they can do to become more like the people they want to be. She speaks from experience, having overcome many overwhelming health problems by putting these concepts into practice.

Q&A With the Authors

It seems like everyone is endorsing, writing or following some kind of diet plan these days. What prompted you to write Guided By Him, when there are already so many programs out there?

Julie- I wanted to share a fun and easy way to lose weight--especially designed for busy people who overeat when they feel stressed out. I know personally that this program works. It helps overwhelmed overeaters lose the weight... and worries... that weigh them down. Guided By Him (GBH) is encouraging, inspiring and can be done in just a few minutes a day!

You introduce 12 Steps for weight-loss in your book. Briefly describe the process and importance of these steps.

Julie In 1982, when I first read AA's 12 Steps, I knew they were the answer! I had been trying to figure out how to rely on God's power when I lacked willpower with my eating and the 12 Steps showed me how to do that. The 12 Steps were written by Christians over 70 years ago and have helped millions of people around the world to overcome their weaknesses. GBH steps are similar to AA's, but ours are shorter and they focus on Jesus helping us to quit overeating.

You offer many practical tips, called Stepping Stones, to encourage participants to make intentional choices regarding food. Share a few of these with us.

Sarah We teach you how to spend 10 minutes having a daily Quiet Time that will literally change your life. In those few short minutes you will learn how to draw closer to Jesus, recognize things that are driving you to the refrigerator that day, and surrender them to Him. We also teach you how to use a Prayer Journal so you will learn to cast your cares on the Lord, not the refrigerator, and Food Cards that will help you to eat in a well-balanced way without having to count calories.

Other Stepping Stones provide practical ideas that help you to lose weight. Here are some simple weight-loss tips:
• A good way to decide how much a serving of meat is: look at a deck of cards.
• Never eat while standing.
• Make eating a meal a relaxing event (I'm finding that's really hard with a toddler!).
• Brush your teeth frequently. It helps you reduce snacking.
• As much as possible, stay away from foods that trigger your cravings (mine is peanut butter).
• Chew gum or wear a mask if you're tempted to nibble while you're cooking.

You're a mother/daughter duo. You both bring years of experience to the writing table. How did your careers help you in the writing process of Guided By Him?

Julie I am a wife, mother and new grandmother. I have been a secretary at the Pentagon, Spanish teacher, lay counselor, and RN. But the experience that helped me most in writing GBH was doing things WRONG for so many years, and then watching amazed as God helped me to change. I lost my extra pounds over 25 years ago and have kept them off. And God has changed my misery to ministry. I've been writing, speaking across the country and leading weight-loss groups since 1992.

Sarah I am a wife, new mother and Licensed Professional Counselor. I have counseled people from two to 92. I have worked a lot with overweight people who desperately need to lose weight, but are overwhelmed at the thought of doing it. I love teaching them new ways to deal with stress, facts about healthy living and easy things they can do to help them become more like the people they want to be.

Sarah, how do you incorporate the principles in Guided by Him in your counseling ministry?

Sarah I use them in many ways. I teach my clients how to use Anger Busters, Victory Lists, and Prayer Journals. And I teach them the fun-filled food facts and fitness facts in GBH. I talk to my clients about how quitting their Stinkin' Thinkin' can change their behaviors. One example of Stinkin' Thinkin' might be: "I have already blown it today so I can eat anything I want." I encourage changing that to "Shrinkin' Thinkin': "I need to plan a healthy, filling meal tonight because I am starving!"

When tempted to cheat on your healthy habits, what snack do you each reach for?

Sarah When I'm snacking, I try to balance carbs and proteins so my body stays balanced. And I drink a lot of water with lemon or lime slices.

Because scripture is emphasized in this method of weight-loss, what is your favorite verse to use as a defense against overeating?

Julie There are so many! I guess my favorite is 1 Corinthians 10:13 "...God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." For many years I thought the only way out of my temptation to overeat would be in heaven because I was sure that I'd always be tempted by unbearable food cravings while on earth.

How do you reward yourself for achieving your goals?

Julie This sounds really goofy, but I'll tell you anyway. Every week, I tell my friend Sue how I have done with my eating, exercising and other goals (like not being grumpy). If I have achieved more than 80% of my goals, she gives me a pretty colored sticker. I love having a sticker on my Victory List each week. And I HATE having to tell Sue that I've done badly! But the biggest reward is that I feel so much better when I'm on track with my eating and exercising, and I really feel crummy when I'm not.

Sarah For my rewards, I make extra time for myself to give myself a manicure/pedicure or to watch a favorite TV show. Sometimes I do "Wal-Mart Therapy" where I buy $10 worth of things that I don't normally buy at the grocery store (shower gels, an unusual tropical fruit, a new nail polish).

For moms out there trying to help their children to lose weight, what advice do you have for them?

Sarah- I have a two-year-old so I am finding ways to reward him with things other than food. They include hugs and kisses (of course!) praising him when he obeys and Play-Dough time (his favorite reward right now). I think it is super important to keep kids active, limit TV, computer and game time. Those things are privileges--not requirements--for kids. Other advice to help your child lose weight: exercise and eat in a healthy way as a family. They will do what you do. No pressure!

Sounds like an incredible plan and one I need to check out!

Well friends, hope you enjoyed this VBT brought to you by Kathy Carlton Willis Communications.

Drop by Saturday when we Spotlight Bess McBride!

Until later...take care & God Bless!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

VBT - Marion Stroud - Dear God, It's Me & It's Urgent!

What a wonderful way to start a new month than with an author on tour - especially one with a devotional book!

Today's guest is Marion Stroud and her brand new release, Dear God, It's Me and It's Urgent!

Marion hails from across the pond in Bedford, England and it is my pleasure to introduce her and her book to you!
Ms. Stroud has penned the prayerful words to the most common cries of a woman's heart. This tour will not only inform your readers of an uplifting book, it will also encourage them to take all their concerns to the Lord. She is a wife, mother of five adult children and grandmother to eleven grandchildren. She is an established, popular author and sought-after speaker whose books have been translated into 14 languages. In her spare time she enjoys walking, supporting and encouraging missionaries and traveling. Listeners enjoy her British accent and request readings just to hear her speak.
What others are saying about Dear God -

I have returned to this book over and over in search of encouragement, direction and that extra insight we all go looking for in difficult times. Each time I've returned to these pages I have been deeply blessed. I hope you, too, will find comforting reminders here of your Heavenly Father's love for you as well as challenges that prompt you to surrender every care to His tender keeping. This book is a treasure. ~Robin Jones Gunn, bestselling author of Take Flight! a Sisterchicks® devotional

I don't know about you, but I enjoy giving my friends gifts that can encourage and uplift them throughout the year. This book is an excellent choice for your girlfriend or any woman in your life. It includes prayer for every season of a woman's life to uplift them and help them to make it through any situation. From A Bride's Prayer on the eve of her wedding to A Prayer for Ironing and more, you will find a prayer that will inspire them. ~Janis Rodgers- The Nearsighted Bookworm Blog

Sometimes we need words to shape our fears and longings to better communicate our hearts to a loving God. Dear God It's Me, and It's Urgent supplies busy women with these life-giving words. Marion Stroud beautifully captures a woman's desire to experience God in every facet of her life in an enticing, fresh way. You will be blessed when you read this book. ~ Mary E. DeMuth, author Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God

Read an Interview with Marion Stroud

What are your own private times with God like? If I'm totally honest about my quiet time, they can be very erratic when I'm under pressure. In an ideal world I would follow the contemplative tradition where I read, allow time to sit and listen to what I sense God might be saying, write it down in a journal and then pray about it. But, if I follow that pattern there's the temptation to think that if I haven't got, say half an hour, then there's no point in starting. That's wrong of course. I don't refuse to speak to my husband or children if I haven't got the time for a heart-to-heart. So I try to put an hour aside once a week and ideally, half a day, once a month for a longer time of contemplation.

On other days I may use a devotional guide that might give me a short passage or even just a verse to think about. Writing the key point on a card and keeping it in my pocket means that I can remind myself and talk to God about it during moments. Catherine Marshall spoke of nuggets like this as being like vitamin pills that we should take daily with or after meals and that's a goal for me this year! I also try to walk for 30 minutes first thing in the morning on weekdays--the theory being that I get my exercise before my body is awake enough to object! I have five post cards in my pocket on which I've written various topics and people to pray for. Most days I will pray for these things as I walk--but I try to bring praise and thanksgiving to God first.

Women go through so many experiences during the different seasons of life. How can a transparent prayer life with God help them to cope?I remember when my father was dying with cancer. I had five children at home at the time, ranging in ages from 18 to 8. My two older children were doing public exams, which would decide their future academic path. I felt as if I was being torn into a dozen different pieces! I wanted to help my mom, be at home for my husband and children and support my father. A friend pointed out that I didn't need to try and be God's little helper. I couldn't protect the rest of my family, or control the pressures they were facing. What I could do, however, was to take all these pressures and heartaches to the Lord, tell Him how frazzled and unhappy I was feeling (He knew anyway), and leave Him to deal with my needs and feelings and those of the rest of the family. It was like taking a really heavy bag to the foot of the cross and then just leaving it there. It was the "leaving it there" that was the key.

The prayers in Dear God It's Me, and It's Urgent! are very real-to-life. It's almost like you can read the minds of other women who run to God with their own urgent life situations (big and small). Why do you think God is pleased to hear these very raw prayers? Jesus was always very honest when He spoke to people. Jesus knew what was in their hearts and He didn't mince His words. God knows exactly what is going on in our lives and just as we can only really help a loved one if they are honest, so it is with God. He truly knows the best and the worst about us and loves us just the same. God already knows the underlying truth to our raw prayers and it is only when we acknowledge that truth to Him that we are open to hear His response!

How do women's prayers change as the seasons of their lives change?
Older people sometimes find it hard to remember things and my husband reckons that this is because the "bank vault" of our memories is much fuller! It's a bit the same with prayer. When I was young I knew what it was like to have the concerns and joys of being a "'young mum" and sleepless nights and toddler tantrums loomed large in my prayers, while prodigal teenagers only happened to other people! As I've got older I can remember both the tantrums and the teenage stage but am also grappling with caring for the elderly and praying for those with serious illness. So the scope of my prayers widens. I have children and grandchildren, for whom the tantrums and teenaged years are still very much "today," but, I have the concerns of my "today" to pray for as well. I can quite see why older people need more time to pray as they have so many things to pray about!

You can feel incredibly weighed down by all this need. Sometimes I just have to remember to follow the suggestion of a friend of mine. She focuses on just one or two of the most urgent things and then pictures herself putting the rest of her concerns into a basket. She may picture the basket as one of those gondolas attached to a hot air balloon, and as she releases it, it floats away and she has no further responsibility for it--the wind of God's Spirit has taken over. At other times she pictures it as the basket in which Moses was cradled as an infant, hidden in the reeds. She leaves it there, knowing that God might prompt her to do something to provide an answer to her prayer but in the meantime, He has it all in hand.

How can reading prayers be a comfort to women as they deal with their own life issues? I see these written prayers as providing words where there are no words. When crisis times arise, you may feel that you just can't voice your own feelings. Knowing that someone else has travelled on the same journey and survived, is an inexpressible comfort. It may also give you insights into what friends might be feeling and facing, when you haven't had personal experience of that particular situation, so that you can be more supportive of their needs.

Discuss an example of an urgent time from your own life that became the inspiration for one of these prayers. How did God respond? There have been an awful lot of urgent prayers in my life. But the one I remember most vividly, perhaps, is when our youngest son ran away from home. His three older siblings, who, the previous year had all been home-based the year before, were now at college university or travelling, and we had gone from a family of seven to a family of three in a few short months. I lay in the bath, with tears pouring down my cheeks, asking the Lord where we'd gone wrong. And God reminded me of the feeding of the 5,000 and the fact that the disciples were told to pick up the fragments of food that remained because nothing is wasted in His economy. Our older children had been relatively easy as teenagers, and without this experience, and the issues and events that surrounded it, I would have had a very different view of raising children. But now I was faced with a challenge. I could allow this experience to crush me, or, I could learn from it and share what I've learned with others. I chose to do the latter. It wasn't easy but it has been a very valuable lesson for the many other crises that have beset my path since.

You've written quite a few books that have been read by women both in Great Britain and America. How do you find writing for American women different from British women? What are some similarities and universal truths that bond women from these two different continents together? My American friends tell me that we Brits are more polite; I think that we're more cynical! But when all is said and done, we're all sisters under the skin! Britain is a much more secular society than America, and so what I write for a British audience would assume less faith or even familiarity with God and what He offers. But we share a common need for food, shelter, belonging and living a life that has meaning and purpose. We all love our families and struggle to be the best person we can be. We all realize that this is a tough call because we're so aware of our weaknesses and failures.

Obviously there are a number of cultural differences. Even the words we use can mean different things on either side of the ocean. This is why a wise editor included a glossary in Dear God It's Me. One of the words in the glossary refers to "Marmite." Perhaps this is just as well. I shall always remember when a visiting American friend picked up a pot of Marmite. Marmite; a dark savoury spread, and spread it thickly on her toast, thinking that it was chocolate spread. Her horrified expression as the yeast extract hit her taste buds will remain with me forever!

Well Friends, I hope you have enjoyed this virtual book tour. I hope to read this devotional soon and will let you know what I think.
Until later, take care and God Bless!