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

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Margaret Tanner!

Hello from Nashville, TN!

In case you're wondering what I'm up to, my friend Penney is producing a pilot for a TV sitcom and I'm tagging along LOL! Of course we're taking a little time to sight-see. I'll tell you all about that in another post.

For now, please welcome friend and fellow author, Margaret Tanner with her book, Shattered Dreams.

Margaret Tanner is an award winning multi-published Australian author. She loves delving into the pages of history as she carries out research for her historical romance novels, and prides herself on being historically correct. Many of her novels have been inspired by true events, with one being written around the hardships and triumphs of her pioneering ancestors in frontier Australia. She is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Melbourne Romance Writers Group (MRWG) and EPIC. In 2008 she won Author of the Year at AussieAuthors.com. Her contemporary novel Holly and the Millionaire went to No 12 on the Fictionwise Romance Best Sellers list. Her favorite historical period is the 1st World War, and she has visited the battlefields of France and Belgium, a truly poignant experience.She is married to Laurie and they have three grown up sons. Outside of her family and friends, writing is her passion. Find out more by visiting her website.
Three young soldiers leave a shattering legacy as they pass through Lauren Cunningham’s life. Danny her childhood sweetheart is killed in action in 1915. Captain Blair Sinclair returns from the war with amnesia and believes Lauren to be his fiancée. Dick McKinlay is a shell shocked soldier who is prepared to marry her to hide a terrible secret. Even if Blair can forgive Lauren for being an impostor, will she always be haunted by the ghost of her lost first love and tainted by the scandal surrounding her marriage to Dick?

Excerpt: Another letter arrived, dated the twenty-ninth of March, 1915.

Darling Laurie,

There is not much doing at the moment, but word has it we are set for battle soon. I can't wait. We are trained and ready, yet still they just leave us sitting here. I hope you are well. We had a quiet sort of Christmas, although the food was better. I had plum pudding among other things. There were chocolates and sweets, too,that reminded me of you, as I remember how you like sweet things. Can't understand why you're such a slim little thing the way you eat.

We are burned nearly black from the sun. One poor devil in my platoon has coloring like yours, only his hair is real carroty, and he got badly burned.

Did I tell you we climbed the pyramids, oh, and I saw the Sphinx. Take care, Laurie, and keep writing. The feeling is we will be leaving shortly. I miss you, and think of you all the time. I do love you, and wish, well, you know, I better not say in case your father reads this letter, but I'll never forget. Love, Danny.

She folded the letter up, and got the others out of her jewel case. Sitting on the bed, she re-read each of them and her eyes misted over. Danny, who had always hated school, penned rather a good letter. She had done as he asked and written two letters to Blair Sinclair. If he answered she would continue writing, if he did not, well no-one could say she didn’t try.


0130 hours, 25 April 1915. Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

The air felt chilly as Danny waited on the deck of the troopship. It was so dark he couldn’t see land, even though someone said it was less than three miles away. When his turn came, he climbed down the rope ladder and found himself in a small open boat. Excitement surged through him. He had traveled halfway around the world for this moment and was keen to give a good account of himself. His equipment and ammunition weighed more than eighty pounds, but he wouldn’t have cared if it had been a hundred and eighty.

He found himself next to Ernie, his friend since their training days at Broadmeadows, in what seemed like another lifetime. So much had happened since then. All the biblical places he had visited, the exotic foreigners he had mingled with, Laurie would be enthralled when he told her. It warmed his heart just thinking about the love they shared and she wouldn't cheat on him like some girls did, and he hadn’t cheated on her, either.

I should have finished that letter, he thought, and posted it in Lemnos. Laurie would understand, she always did. He would finish it off tomorrow, and with any luck he would be able to tell her they had actually begun fighting.

When four boats were full, the pinnaces towed them towards land.

“I'm f…f…frightened,” Ernie stammered.

“Nothing to be frightened of, mate.” Danny gave a soft chuckle. “Just pretend you're back working as a grip man on the trams. The noise of the pinnaces sounds rather like a tram, don't you think?” Hope those Turks don't hear us, though.”

He gripped his rifle between his knees as they had been instructed to do, and he was surprised when his hands became sweaty. Ernie's arm shook as it pressed up hard against his own.

“Stick with me—we're mates, I'll look after you,” he comforted his friend, wondering whether the slight clicking noise close to his ear might be Ernie's teeth chattering.

It seemed spooky quiet, as they only spoke in whispers, and the slight splashing of the waves against the side of the boat was barely audible. About fifty yards from shore, the pinnaces cast off the boats and the sailors started to row them to the beach.

Shattered Dreams is just one of Margaret's books available now from The Wild Rose Press!

Remember Friends - my holiday-themed romances will continue on Tuesday. Hope to see you then!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks but No Thanks by Susan Lyons

Happy Thanksgiving!

Seems my whole family and all of my friends felt like a change of scenery would do me good so I'm off to Nashville to visit my friend Penney Carlton for a few days!

But while I'm away, as promised here is another holiday-themed-romance ~ Thanks but No Thanks by Susan Lyons.

Susan is multi-talented and multi-published under her name and a pseudonym - Susan Fox. You can find out more about her at her website.

Thanks But No Thanks is a sweet short story from The Wild Rose Press. Its available as a stand-alone and is also contained in CALENDAR OF LOVE, an anthology of twelve tender romances, one for each month of the year, themed around a holiday or special occasion.

Blurb: When Kari’s friend Nicola offers to fix her up, Kari says, “Thanks, but no thanks.” She’s so shy, she can never think of anything to say on a date. That’s why it’s such a treat when, as a guest at Nicola’s family Thanksgiving, she finds herself chatting so easily with the man she believes to be her friend’s brother. Pity he’s married – it only goes to prove her theory that all the good guys are taken. Or are they?


“You’re going to come here every Thanksgiving until you start a family of your own,” Rhonda vowed.

“You could be stuck with me for a lot of years.” When she’d moved here with her brand-new accounting degree, she’d been sure she’d find romance. In her home town, she’d been the shy, boring girl who wore glasses, and none of the boys had been interested. She’d figured contact lenses and the big city were the answer, but the truth was, she was still shy and boring. Every time she went out on a date, she got so nervous she couldn’t think of a single interesting thing to say.

“I’d never call it being stuck.” Rhonda gave her a quick hug. “Besides, you’ve got so much going for you, you’re going to find a great guy any day now.”

“Yeah, sure. What on earth do I have going for me?” She wasn’t begging for compliments, she honestly wanted to know.

“Aside from gorgeous hazel eyes, a figure to die for, more brains in your little finger than most people have in their whole heads, and a really generous soul? Well, there’s your offbeat sense of humor, your loyalty, the way you love kids and animals, the terrific photographs you take.” Rhonda broke off and grabbed a wooden spoon from a drawer. “I could go on forever but I need to make gravy. Kari, the fact is, you’re a sweet, beautiful, interesting woman, if you’d only let yourself realize it. Your only flaw is, you never let me fix you up.”

“Thanks but no thanks. You know I hate blind dates. Anyhow, I’m pretty sure all the great guys are gone. You took the last one yourself.”

“There’s an idea. Let’s clone Harry.”

The two of them were still laughing when Harry strolled into the kitchen. He cocked an eyebrow. “Been nipping at the cooking brandy?”

Kari smiled at him. She’d liked her friend’s husband from the moment Rhonda had introduced them. It didn’t hurt that he looked like a grown-up version of her own kid brother Ken. He had her family’s hazel eyes, blondy-brown hair and rangy build.

From what she could see, Rhonda and Harry were a perfectly matched couple. They were so obviously in love and they seemed to agree about everything, and never quarrel.

Rhonda swatted her husband with a dish towel. “We don’t need booze to have fun.”

“Speaking of fun, how long until dinner?”

“Another half hour. Are people starving?”

“The appetizers are running low. Nick didn’t have lunch, so –”

“Nick?” Rhonda asked.

“Yeah, you know. The guy I met at the gym? The one who’s new in town and doesn’t know anyone.”

“What?” Kari yelped, and glared at Rhonda. “I can’t believe it. You set me up with a blind date.”

“Did not!” Rhonda declared heatedly, then glared in turn at Harry. “You never told me you invited someone.”

“Oh.” His face fell. “I guess I forgot. It’s been a busy week.” Then his jaw firmed. “Well, what’s the big deal? Since when can’t I invite a friend for Thanksgiving? There’s lots of food, right? And you invited Kari, so it’s not like it’s just family.”

Rhonda fist her hands and rested them at her waist. “You should have checked with me first. Kati hates blind dates and I don’t want her thinking I was trying to fix her up.”

The two people who Kari’d thought never quarreled were shooting nasty looks at each other. Quickly Kari said, “It’s okay. Don’t fight over it.”

“There, you see,” Harry said. “She’s fine with it.”

Rhonda sighed. “No, she’s not, she’s just being polite.” She turned to Kari. “Tell you what. We’ll seat you at opposite ends of the table at dinner, and you won’t even have to talk to him.”

“It’s a deal.” Relieved that the tension was dying down, she joked, “I’ll do anything, even help you deal with the mothers-in-law, just please, no blind dates!”

Well Friends, hope your Thanksgiving is BLESSED and Happy!

Saturday will be our previously scheduled spotlight with Margaret Tanner but the holiday-themed romances will continue on Tuesday!

Until later..... take care and remember.....Giving God thanks should be a DAILY thing!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Snow Kissed by Cindy K Green

Hello Friends!

Please welcome Cindy K Green with her newest release, Snow Kissed.

Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, Suspense, Fantasy and Historical romance. No matter what she writes, she always throws in a bit of humor and fun. Find out more about Cindy and her books at www.cindykgreen.com and http://cindykgreen.blogspot.com/. To join her newsletter email her at newsletters@cindykgreen.com, and she will send you out all three parts of her FREE READ serial, “Valentine’s Challenge.”

Today is one of those days Logan Riley wished he’d stayed in bed. Not only does he have to deal with the annoying Winter Wonderland Carnival but his close friend, that whimsical lover of snow, Holly Armstrong, is leaving town forever. The question is why didn’t she tell him and why today, of all days, does he realize she might be more than a friend?

Holly can no longer stay in town knowing the man she loves only sees her as a friend. It’s time to move on; besides she has other career prospects.

As the carnival unfolds, watch God work in amazing ways. Can He change Holly’s mind and make her stay? Can He help Logan see beyond the friendship? Only time can tell.

Excerpt: As soon as Muriel left, Logan’s mood seemed to shift from irritated to agreeable. His body language became much more relaxed with his hardened chin softening and a real smile moving onto his face. “So, what are you up to this afternoon?”

Before Holly’s expression could waver into a frown, she forced a smile. “I…I’m off for a snow walk.” Possibly my last in Meriden.

“That is what’s so stupid about this…this whole Winter Wonderland Carnival. There’s no snow!” He raised both his hands in aggravation.

“There might not be any right now, but there will be.”

“How do you know? There’s no snow expected. Cold, but no snow.”

“There’ll be snow tonight.” She stepped close to him, laying her hand in the crook of his arm. The contact brought a swirl of pleasure moving around inside her stomach—more so than normal. It must be from all the excitement of her news—nothing more than that.

“Just breathe,” she whispered to him, as she slowly took in a deep whiff. “You smell that?”

He shook his head. “What? Burgers from down the street?”

“No.” She laughed; he could be so dense sometimes. “It’s the first snowfall.” She inhaled another intoxicating aroma of winter air. “It’s coming.”

“And what’s so good about snow? It’s just annoying and inconvenient.” He pulled his arm away and folded them across his lean frame.

“Snow is beautiful…magical.” Her voice came out breathy with the idea of snow making her feel all tingly.

“It’s cold, wet stuff that falls from the sky.”

“Then there are the wonderful clothes: hats, scarves, gloves…”

“…galoshes, wool socks,” he countered.

She continued, not to be undone by his cynicism. “Fresh baked cookies, hot apple cider, hot cocoa, hot toddies…what is a hot toddy?”

He nearly laughed at her, a cute smile building in the corner of his mouth as he shook his head. “A hot alcoholic drink. You want to come in for some coffee? I just made a pot.”

She shook her head and took in a deep breath before releasing it. “No, remember I’m off to take my snow walk through Meriden.” She tilted her head up at him. “I’ll be at the carnival tonight, working the booth for the church. Of course, you wouldn’t dare show your face there, now would you?”

Pausing, she made a concerted effort to memorize his face, including his subtly uneven eyebrows. This was probably one of the last times they’d be together. A breath hitched in her throat at the thought of never seeing Logan again. They’d shared so many memories over the years: spring picnics at the lake, midnight movies, and disastrous cooking adventures. Life wouldn’t be the same without him.

She should tell him she was leaving town for good. This was the perfect moment. Maybe he would respond by telling her she should stay—stay because he loved her too much to let her go. In my dreams.

“Goodbye, Logan,” was all she could bring herself to say. Lord, help me. It was easier than being disappointed.

Snow Kissed is available NOW from White Rose Publishing!

Sounds like another great read from this prolific author and just in time to kick off my Holiday themed romances!

Check back Thursday for another Holiday Themed romance and Saturday for the Spotlight with Margaret Tanner.

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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - KM Daughters!

Hello Friends,

Please welcome back to our Saturday Spotlight ~ KM Daughters with their book: Past, Present and Forever

K.M. Daughters is the award winning writing team of sisters, Pat Casiello and Kathie Clare. Their penname is dedicated to the memory of their parents: Kay and Mickey Lynch. Pat is married to Nick Casiello and has three children, Jen, Emilie and Brian. Kathie is married to Tom Clare and has two sons, Tom and Michael. She has two grandchildren, Natalie and Michael and a new grandbaby is expected in September. K.M. Daughters’ career began with two book contracts from The Wild Rose Press and White Rose Publishing on the same day – January 26, 2008. Three more book contracts followed in 2008 in three romance genres: Inspirational, Romantic Suspense and Contemporary Romance. The Visions of Love inspirational series features Jewel of the Adriatic and Rose of the Adriatic. The author’s romantic suspense Sullivan Boys series includes: Against Doctors Orders, Beyond The Code of Conduct, Capturing Karma and working titles: All’s Fair In Love and Law and In The St. Nick of Time. Visit our website: http://www.kmdaughters.com

Unaware they share the same goal, Lizzie and Jack motivate Jack’s brother Charlie out of his despondency after the death of his wife. Lizzie and Jack both understand loss. Liz was jilted by her fiancé the same day her parents died ten years ago and Jack’s mother abandoned her small sons to life with a father who never recovered from the separation.

Now Liz faces the man who destroyed her at a college reunion, with Jack as her companion instead of Charlie who engineers the covert substitution. As Liz and Jack collide in the present can they overcome their pasts and find forever?

Excerpt: As he turned away to go take another look at those pictures, the front door burst inward toward Jack. Jumping back before it clocked him, he lost his balance as the female that followed quickly through the door did clock him in a soft collision of breasts against his chest.

“Ohmygosh, I’m so sorry.” Standing in front of him, a pretty blush spread on her lightly tanned cheeks.

“No problem…miss?” He backed up to give her space, shoving the front door closed.

“Lizzie Moran.” She held out a hand. “And you are?”

“Jack Clark.” He shook her hand, just skimming her knuckles with his fingers, a pleasant connection. So this is the famous Lizzie, now he was sorry for not meshing.

Beguiling smile, tender eyes, legs even better close up. On the skinny side, but appealing curves where it counts. Plus she obviously cares about Charlie and that means a great deal.

“Oh. Jack finally.” She brushed her bangs out of her eyes. “Mari told me so much about you. Nice to meet you.”

She bent her head and surveyed the floor.

“Looking for your dog?” He turned toward the back of the house joining in the search.

“Ah, yes. Marty. Marty!” she blasted.

Good lungs. His ears vibrated. The dog tore from behind him toward Lizzie with jubilant owner worship yips. Lizzie scooped up the little dog and let her lick the side of her cheek unhindered. Made Jack want to be a Boston terrier.

“Cute dog.” He couldn’t help but look at those legs.

“Thanks. Where’s Charlie?” She looked around nudging the dog away from her face.

“Taking a shower.” Finally getting Charlie up and about brought a smile to his face.

“No kidding?” Her deep green eyes widened twice their size. “What did you do, club him and prop him up under the water?”

Jack laughed. “No. But it crossed my mind.”

She turned toward the open door. “I have to run. Tell Charlie I came back for Marty?”

“Sure,” he agreed following her toward the door.

“Nice to finally meet you, Jack. And, thank you for whatever you did to make the difference with Charlie. I’ve been knocking my head against the wall trying to get through to him.” She smiled and turned slowly toward the street.

“Same here.” He stood and watched her walk the dog down the block. Mari, bless her heart, might have been on to something.

Past, Present and Forever – a contemporary romance is Available Now at sapphirebluepublishing.com, allromanceebooks.com or the Amazon Kindle store.

Wow, sounds like another great read from KM Daughters!

Well Friends, we are rushing headlong into the holiday season. Don't forget, beginning the 24th through Jan 8th I'm going to feature holiday stories so check back often.

If I don't say it often enough - THANK YOU for your continued love and support and May God BLESS each and every one of you - and yours- exceedingly and abundantly more than you can dare to think, dream or imagine!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Upcoming Holidays & Cata Network Single Titles

Hello Friends,

Thanksgiving is a week away and I'm sure you understand why I'm not overwhelmed with enthusiasm over the upcoming holidays ~ this is compounded by the fact that my beloved's birthday is Nov. 29th. Alas, life goes on and I know I'll go on with it and God's grace will get me through.

This said, I may not be writing too many personal posts over the next several weeks - but what I AM going to do is highlight a special holiday romance!

Beginning Nov. 24th with Cindy K Green's new release, Snow Kissed - along with 2 previouly scheduled Sat. Spotlights - I will introduce you to a different holiday-themed story three times a week through Jan. 8th.

So, if you find yourself stressed from the hustle and bustle, relax and enjoy a good book or story that will inspire you.

Now on to more news!

Cata Network has revamped their Single Titles website ~ They've got lots of book excerpts, reviews, and author interviews. Whatever genre(s) you love, chances are you'll find something at Single Titles to read. Stop by soon ~ http://www.singletitles.com

Oh, don't forget, the White Rose Authors are at Coffee Time Romance Reader's Retreat ALL MONTH LONG! So run over and check out the fun.

Well that's about it for now. Until later....take care and Be Blessed!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Judith Leger!

Hello Friends,

Today I'm spotlighting a dear friend, neighbor (well sort of - she lives a few miles down the road from me LOL), fellow author and Bayou Writers' Group member - Judith Leger with her two new releases!

First a little bit about Judy in her own words.....

Born and raised in the South, I make Southwest Louisiana my home. A dreamer, I have turned my writing into a doorway to my imagination to share with the world. Reading--living in other worlds--has always been a part of my life, and in 1996, I decided to let others visit the places in my imagination. My muse set free, I write mostly paranormal fantasy and futuristic stories, but also dabbles in contemporary fiction. I am happily married to a full-blooded Cajun. We have three sons, a horse, a lab and a very, very spoiled dachshund. When I'm not busy writing, I work in higher education and enjoy reading fantasy, romance, and playing video games with my sons. Favorite Saturday evening consists of bowls of buttered popcorn and watching tons of Anime with my boys and Gracie (the dachshund).

Though not her first publication, Love's True Enchantment is Judith's debut novel!

Illusionist Shay Evers needs to right the wrong he committed twenty-four years ago. He has two weeks to convince Caitlyn Reiley magic is real. If he fails, she will die from the curse placed upon her, and he’ll lose the only person he’s ever loved.

Magic is for fools, and Caitlyn Reiley is no fool. As a news reporter, she is chosen for the coveted task of interviewing Shay Evers at his home in Wales. When Shay haunts her dreams and sparks her passion, her beliefs are threatened and she battles her growing desire for Shay.

As the clock ticks, will the unlikely pair discover love’s true enchantment or will time run out?

Judith's other new release is a novela - Heart's Reunion!

After attending her great grandmother’s funeral, Sabre Nichols assumes she’ll stay a week at the old homestead on Witch Mountain and then return to her job as a paranormal researcher. But strange events on the mountain wreak havoc with her plans. Even her late Granny’s tenant seems to hide something eerie behind his brilliant blue gaze...

Micah McGregor seems so familiar to Sabre, and he definitely gets her heart racing. But can she trust him to help find the source of the spectral activities? Or will he believe the tales of her witch heritage? If she puts her faith in Micah, she may find answers... and lose her heart.

Heart's Reunion is a companion story to her story The Witch Within so I'm going to share that one with you too!

A scream echoes over Witch's mountain. A three hundred year old carving attacks for no reason. Widow Glory Sinclair fights against an unknown evil as she struggles with her growing attraction for Sheriff Will Moore.

Well friends if you like Spicy Paranormal Romance - then these books are perfect for you and they are ALL available NOW from The Wild Rose Press!This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Hope you've enjoyed this edition of Saturday Spotlight.

Check back often for more news and spotlights of other great authors and their books!

Until later....take care, be Blessed and remember....everyday is a day for thanksgiving!

Pamela S Thibodeaux

"Inspirational with an Edge!" TM

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

VBT - Christmas Miracles

Today I'm hosting a very special virtual book tour by Kathy Carlton Willis Communications ~ Christmas Miracles by Cec Murphey written with Marley Gibson.

Award-winning writer Cecil Murphey is the author or co-author of 114 published books, including the NY Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). He’s also the author of When Someone You Love Has Cancer and When God Turned Off the Lights, both 2009 releases. Murphey’s books have sold millions and have given hope and encouragement to countless readers around the world. For more information, visit www.cecilmurphey.com.

Marley Gibson is a young adult author whose first published books in the Sorority 101 series were released by Penguin Group in 2008 under the pen name of Kate Harmon. She has a new Ghost Huntress series with Houghton Mifflin written under her own name. She can be found online at www.marleygibson.com

(Atlanta, GA) Many ordinary people experience Christmas miracles—those special moments during the season of giving and receiving when Christmas becomes more than just a holiday. In Christmas Miracles (St. Martin’s Press, October 2009), Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson share the stories of those who have recognized the special moments that transcend daily experience and transform their lives.

In these stories, people overcome desperate situations through a miraculous twist of fate—all during the most wonderful time of the year. A young boy sits down to read a Christmas book and discovers that his learning disability has vanished. A woman stranded in a blizzard is rescued by a mysterious stranger who she suspects is an angel. And a woman living far from home gets an answer to her prayer in the form of an unexpected gift.

Bestselling author Cecil Murphey says, “We all face discouraging times, whether it's the lack of money, being stuck on a road in a snowstorm, feeling stress, or being hungry and homeless. But God's help is available. I want readers to see that miracles do happen—sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural. We start by asking, and in strange and wonderful ways God tiptoes into our dark nights; we experience renewed joy in life and witness God in action through people and unexpected events.”

Interview with Cecil “Cec” Murphey by Marley Gibson Co-authors of Christmas Miracles, from St. Martin’s Press

I am extremely privileged to have the opportunity today to talk to my friend and co-author, Cecil “Cec” Murphey, and to chat about our upcoming book, Christmas Miracles.

Marley: Cec, thanks for spending some time with me today.

Cec: Marley, it's great that you could take time away from important things like making a living to spend a little time with me.

Marley: I’m so jazzed about our Christmas Miracles book that’s coming out soon. I’ve had a lot of questions from folks wanting to know how we met, what brought us together, etc. So, I thought we’d do a back and forth on how it all came to be. Of course, I have to give props to our amazing agent and friend, Deidre Knight, for bringing us together. For those of you who don’t know, Cec co-authored the runaway New York Times bestselling hit 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper.

Cec: I have to say thanks to Deidre Knight as well. Between Deidre and my assistant, Twila Belk, I've been able to sell quite a few books. 90 Minutes in Heaven has been my big book. I'm also proud of a book I wrote in 1990 called Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. The book has never been out of print and has hit close to four million in sales. Early this year, Cuba Gooding Jr. starred in the made-for-TV film version.

Marley: That’s amazing! You are truly prophetic and definitely “the man behind the words.” Now, people ask how we teamed up. Sadly, there was a personal tragedy that brought Cec and me together as friends.

Cec: True. In early 2007, our house burned and our son-in-law died. Aside from the grief over Alan, we lost everything. Deidre and Jan, my-then-assistant, sent the word out of our tragedy without telling me. I'm immensely grateful for every gift people sent, but I probably wouldn't have admitted I needed help and wouldn't have asked. They taught me how much we need other people.

Marley: Deidre put out a call to other clients of The Knight Agency, to help Cec and his family out in any way in their time of need. At the time, my company was moving and we were cleaning house. We had a ton of office supplies that we were either going to throw away or give to some of the charities the company worked with. I got my boss’ permission to send a large care package to Cec…full of office supplies for him to re-stock his writer’s office. You name it…post-its, staples, paper clips, pens, pencils, markers, white out, ruler, scissors, paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes, a laptop case, tape, glue, folders, binder clips…etc. A veritable potpourri of office delights. I was hoping that it would help Cec have a sense of getting his office back so he could keep working.

Cec: Marley's gift was the most unexpected I received. We hadn't met, although Deidre Knight had spoken of her many times and kept telling me she was wonderful. I wonder if you can imagine what it was like for me to open that box from someone I didn't know. I saw all those practical things for my office and yelled for my wife. I felt as if I were reading a first-grade book. "Look! Look and see! Oh, look!" I was overwhelmed by the gift and even more to receive it from a stranger. Those supplies were the most practical gift anyone could have given me. I'm still using black paper clips and red folders from Marley.

Marley: Awww…thanks, Cec! I didn’t have to think twice about doing it. Writing is such a solitary “sport,” but the writing community always astounds me with how they help their own. Not long after that, over plates of spinach and Gouda omelets, Deidre introduced me to Cec in person and I was thrilled to finally meet the man behind the words. Deidre knew we needed to work on a project together and thus began our brainstorming. What did you think of that first meeting, Cec, and cooking up the idea to work together?

Cec: Deidre and I had already spoken about a Christmas book and I had some idea about what it should contain, but nothing had come together. One day Deidre told me that Marley was coming to visit her and she wanted us to work together on a Christmas project. Marley and I talked before we ate and again during the meal. Everything felt right to me. I knew my strengths and Marley knew hers (and Deidre knew both of us). Everything clicked. Marley, a far better networker than I am, immediately sent out the word for submissions. Within days she had almost four times more than we could use. (She read every one of them!)

Marley: I was truly impressed with the submissions we received and it was hard narrowing it down to the ones we chose for the book. We’re fortunate to have such a go-getter agent in Deidre Knight. Cec, can you share how the whole idea of Christmas Miracles came about and what you thought of the project originally?

Cec: For me, it actually started while I was on the rapid-rail train from the Atlanta airport when I listened to teens talk about Christmas and it was mostly about gifts. I had the idea then, but nothing really came together. Months later when Deidre I and had a meeting, she brought up the idea of a compilation and mentioned my working with Marley. I've been Deidre Knight's client since 1997 and I've learned to listen carefully when she comes up with an idea. I said yes before she gave me all the information.

Marley: That’s the truth about Deidre! Getting back to those submissions, I want to say we got more than two hundred submissions for Christmas Miracles. So many wonderful stories to read through and select for the book. It was a challenge to pick and choose which ones were right for the book, but I loved every minute of it. After I chose the entries that would go into the book, Cec toiled long hours editing the works for a unified voice. What was the biggest challenge you found in the editing process, Cec?

Cec: I've been a ghostwriter and collaborator for twenty-plus years and this was a switch to give the book a unified voice—which was mine. It would have been easier to stay with each writer's voice, but the book—like many compilations—would have been uneven in tone and quality. When I discussed this via email with our delightful editor, Rose Hilliard, she was (to my surprise) familiar with my work. She told me she liked the warm tone of my writing and that I don't waste words. "That's the voice we want," she said. It still wasn't easy, but it was an exciting challenge. After Marley and I agreed on the stories and gave them that unified voice, our editor pulled six contributions. Although different, Rose felt they were too similar to other stories.

Marley: Can you give our readers a preview of the book? A favorite story perhaps…or one that moved you to tears? (I have to say the little boy who wished for nothing but to be able to read a book all the way through because of his stutter had me bawling when I read the submission.)

Cec: That's not fair! I liked them all. The one that touched me most, however, is the last story in the book, "Sean's Question." We had almost finished the book and I was teaching at a conference in Florida. I felt we needed one strong story at the end. Despite all the good ones, I didn't feel fully satisfied to conclude the book. On the last day of the conference, I met a conferee named Sara Zinn for a consultation. As we talked, I mentioned Christmas Miracles and that I still needed one more story. "I have a Christmas story," she said and told me about Sean. As I listened, tears filled my eyes—but, being the macho type I am, I was sure it was an allergy. Sara wrote the story, and it became the one I sought.

Marley: Oh yes…that one is an emotional one all right. It was meant to be in the book because of how you met at the conference. Now, you and I have both had challenges in our lives that others might have found too much to take, but we are both very strong in our faith and our relationship with God. How do you think Christmas Miracles is going to help others feel closer to God and experience His miracles in their own lives?

Cec: Awareness and appreciation are the two things I want readers to grasp. Awareness means for them to realize that they're never totally alone in life. Those unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary events remind us of that. Appreciation means to be thankful for what we already have. Too often, and especially at Christmas, we focus on what we'd like or what is supposed to make us happy. Christmas Miracles gently reminds readers of both.

Marley: In this day and age when our country is fighting two wars, unemployment is high, and a lot of people have a lack of hope and faith for their future, what do you want readers of the book to take away from Christmas Miracles and how can the stories in our book help provide comfort to those struggling?

Cec: I want readers to see that miracles do happen—sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural (as in one of Marley's stories). I call myself a serious Christian. For me, the world's greatest miracle began with the birth of Jesus. Regardless of a person's religion, this book encourages readers to think about life during the Christmas season and see that life as more than gifts and celebrations. It's also a reminder that God loves us and hears our needy cries.

Marley: Beautifully put, Cec, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Can we share what’s next after Christmas Miracles? J

Cec: Why it's the Cec and Marley show, of course. Because of our go-getter agent and our enthusiastic editor, we've already received thumbs up for The Christmas Spirit. This will be stories of people who express the true spirit of Christmas by acts of love and kindness, for release in the fall of 2011.

Marley: And I can’t wait to start working on that project! Thank you so much for your time, Cec, and answering my questions. It was a privilege and honor to work with you and I look forward to our future projects together. You’ve helped me along during a trying time and I appreciate your friendship and support.

Cec: I liked this project because Marley had to send out the word, collect submissions, read them, and discard the weaker ones. I get to see only the better-written stories. (Don't tell her that I have the better job.) Although I mentioned only one story, all of those in the book touched me because of the poignancy of their situations and the miraculous answers. I won't say the stories increased my faith, but they increased my appreciation for the delightful mix of human need and divine intervention.

Marley: Thanks again, Cec! God Bless! And to our readers, please be sure to pick up a copy of CHRISTMAS MIRACLES, out October 13, 2009 from St. Martin’s Press. It’s a great stocking stuffer or gift basket filler. We hope you, too, will discover your own Christmas Miracles in your life.

Wouldn’t you love to take home this amazing basket filled with Christmas goodies galore? This amazing gift basket contains everything you’ll need to make your Christmas holiday a success. Inside you’ll find a stocking stuffed with hard candies, kitchen towels and oven mitts, seasonal potpourri, holiday-colored candles, stuffed animals that talk, snowman candle, nutcrackers, Christmas ornaments, gift bags, gift tags, gift bows, ornament hangers, Christmas cookie cutters, a Merry Christmas doorstopper, a picture frame, Christmas cards, Santa ear muffs, and not just one, but two copies of Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson’s Christmas Miracles – one to keep and one to give away to someone special.

Leave a comment for a chance to win the Christmas Miracles gift basket!

I'll send the name of one lucky person to be entered into the drawing for the gift basket.

Good luck!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Rich Dixon

Please welcome this week's guest, Rich Dixon.

Rich Dixon has taught mathematics at Boltz Jr. High in Fort Collins, CO since 1985. While installing Christmas lights in 9187 he fell from the roof in his home and has been paralyzed since. His book, Relentless Grace is the story of his journey through this ordeal.

Rentless Grace is his first full length novel but Rich has numerous articles and essays published in various publications. You can find out more about Rich and his work by visiting his website and his blog Thoughts About Hope

Hearing Rich's story makes me ashamed to whine over anything!

Well friends, hope you enjoyed this week's spotlight - stay tuned for more to come!

Until later.... Be Blessed!

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Working Behind the Scenes

Good Morning Friends,

Until I woke up I had no idea what to blog about today, I mean everything in my life has changed. Where once I saw a bright future, now a huge question mark. I find myself wavering on nearly every decision I have to make ~ not a good thing for someone who was always up for a challenge.

Alas, I'm told all this is normal and one day I'll find my footing again. I know that God has a good plan for my life - Jeremiah 29:11 promises this - and I'm clinging to that promise with every ounce of faith I have.

So much has happened since my last personal post - my brother came in from Alaska for a visit, my Dad celebrated his 70th birthday and I attended my 30yr class reunion - can you imagine? 30 yrs!

I still can't believe - I don't feel that old (most of the time LOL!).

I've been working behind the scenes a lot with my writing - designing a new website, editing a Non Fiction piece that was rejected by 2 publishers - one however, invited me to resubmit after changes were made, and working little by little on new stories.

I am starting to look ahead somewhat and plan promotional activities again - Monday (Nov. 9th) I'll be guest on Anna Katheryn Lanier's blog so drop by and visit me there. The other events I've lined up are for next year so I'll tell you about them later.

This Saturday our spotlight is on Rich Dixon - so please drop by and visit with him.

Well, not much else to talk about.

Until later.... Be Blessed!