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Virtual Care Package

Hey, y'all! I just had to share this "Virtual Care Package" that the amazing Erynn Newman sent me while I was buried getting TRINITY: Military War Dog finished and writing one proposal and cleaning up another to send to my agent.

I was so touched by Erynn's thoughtfulness and was laughing so hard, that I actually burst into tears. Check this out. I think Erynn is brilliant!!



First, a basket of assorted coffees for that extra caffeine boost when you're burning the midnight oil. This should be enough to keep your cup full at all times.



Second, unlimited iTunes downloads so you can keep your inspiration flowing.



Third, a team of people to cook and clean for you so you don't have to worry about that.


Fourth, a never ending stash of chocolate to get you through the bleak moments. Can be substituted for the junk food of your choice.



Fifth, a fruity tropical drink to enjoy when you finally get to take that much needed break.



Sixth, an AMAZING place to CRASSSSSSHHHHH! With the waves lulling you to sleep.



Seventh, Chris Evans as your personal assistant to bring you whatever else you need and look good while doing it.



And eighth, the YOU DID IT! IT'S DONE! IT'S DONE! Congratulatory bouquet. You can have Chris present it to you while singing a handwritten song about how amazing you are.

When I thanked Erynn for her genius and thoughtfulness, she told that she wanted to send the real stuff, but Chris's assistant fees were crazy expensive. Then when I mentioned I cried, she told me, "Don't cry! I forgot the virtual tissues!"

THANK YOU, ERYNN, FOR BEING SO AMAZING!


I'm glad God brought you into my life!


Sigh. What an amazing young woman. Watch for her--I know it won't be long before you can find her books on the shelves in your nearest bookstores!

DIGITALIS - 2011 INSPYs Short List Finalist!


I am so tickled to see Digitalis, Discarded Heroes #2, make the 2011 INSPY Short List in Suspense/Thriller!!! OORAH!! Thank you to all readers who nominated Digitalis, and to the judges who have done an incredible amount of reading to determine the short list. WOOT!!


Here is the full 2011 INSPY Short List straight from INSPYs.com:

The INSPY Advisory Board is pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2011 INSPY Awards. We thank you for your enthusiastic nominations of books and again acknowledge the difficulties in narrowing the field with so many quality nominations.

Creative Nonfiction

Little Princes by Conor Grennan, (William Morrow, Jan 2011)

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, (Zondervan, Jan 2011)

Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith (David C Cook, Jan 2011)

The Waiting Place by Eileen Button (Thomas Nelson, June 2011)

The World is Bigger Now by Euna Lee & Lisa Dickey (Broadway, Sept 2010)

General

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell, (Henry Holt & Co, Sept 2010)

The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder (Summerside Press, June 2011)

The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue (David C Cook, Oct 2010)

Wolves Among Us by Ginger Garrett (David C Cook, April 2011)

Words by Ginny Yttrup (B&H Publishing, Feb 2011)

Mystery/Thriller

Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand (Bethany House, July 2010)

Darkness Follows by Mark Dellosso (Realms, May 2011)

Digitalis by Ronie Kendig (Barbour, Jan 2011)

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins (B&H Publishing, May 2011)

The Bishop by Steven James, (Revell, Aug 2010)

Romance

A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell (Bethany House, March 2011)

A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman (Revell, Sept 2010)

The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House, Oct 2010)

Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House, Sept 2010)

Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West (Oak Tara, March 2011)

Speculative Fiction

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, (Bethany House, July 2010)

The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers (Waterbrook Press, Oct 2010)

The Falling Away by T. L. Hines (Thomas Nelson, Sept 2010)

The Resurrection by Mike Duran (Realms, Feb 2011)

The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead, (Thomas Nelson, Aug 2010)

Young Adult

A Girl Named Mister by Nikki Grimes (Zondervan, Aug 2010)

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (Simon Pulse, Sept 2010)

Saint Training by Elizabeth Fixmer (Zondervan, Aug 2010)

The Fences Between Us by Kirby Larson (Scholastic, Sept 2010)

The Truth of the Matter by Andrew Klavan (Thomas Nelson, Sept 2010)

 

Hosting SUSAN SLEEMAN & Behind the Badge!

Enter to win a copy of Susan Sleeman's Behind the Badge and a $50 Amazon gift card!

Susan Sleeman here. Behind the Badge, my second romantic suspense book for Love Inspired Suspense will release on June 6th and in honor of all of you, the readers, I am hosting a special contest on my website for the month of June.

Let’s face it. Without you, the wonderful readers, books would not exist and I wouldn’t be able to wake up looking forward to a job that is fresh and exciting each and every day. Praise God for this incredible opportunity!

Now back to the contest. All you have to do is read the excerpt below then go to my WEBSITE and answer the following question. That's it. You're entered to win.

If you'd like to sign up for my mailing list to learn of other contests in the future you can do that at the same time, too. Full contest rules are on the entry page. Remember only one entry per person.

QUESTION: What item let Russ know the bike was street legal?

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of romantic suspense and mystery novels. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website TheSuspenseZone.com.

Her books include Nipped in the Bud, High-Stakes Inheritance, Behind the Badge, and The Christmas Witness. Also watch for the first two romantic suspense books in her Justice Agency series coming from Love Inspired Suspense in 2012 and featuring a private investigations firm specializing in helping those who traditional law enforcement has failed.

Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson.

To learn more about Susan visit her website, Facebook , or Twitter.


Behind the Badge

"YOUR SISTER IS NEXT!"

A killer is threatening the life of rookie cop Sydney Tucker's sister-unless Sydney turns over evidence from a drug bust. But she doesn't have the evidence. Not that the thug believes her. Now she and the sibling in her care are under the watchful eye of Logan Lake police chief Russ Morgan…but will his protection be enough?

The killer is closing in, picking off the people and places that mean the most to Sydney. A list that now includes Russ. To protect her loved ones, will she pay the ultimate price-her life?

The Morgan Brothers - Bk 2

Love Inspired Suspense June 6, 2011

ISBN-10: 0373444478

ISBN-13: 978-0373444472




READ AN EXCERPT:


Chapter One

Gunshots split the inky darkness.

Deputy Sydney Tucker hit the cold ground, a jagged rock slashing into her forehead on the way down. She reached for her service weapon. Came up empty handed. She'd stopped after work to check on the construction of her townhouse and left her gun and cell phone in the car.

Dumb, Sydney. Really dumb. Now what're you gonna do?

Inching her head above knee-high grass, she listened. The keening whistle of the wind died, leaving the air damp and heavy with tension but silence reigned.

Had she overreacted? Could be target practice. But at night? Maybe. Hunters did crazy things sometimes.

Footfalls pounded from below like someone charging through the brush. No. Two people. Maybe a chase. One person after another. A loud crash, branches snapping.

"What're you doin', man," a panicked male voice traveled through the night. "No! Don't shoot! We can work this out."

Three more gunshots rang out. A moan drifted up the hill.

Not target practice. Someone had been shot.

Sydney lurched to her feet, dizziness swirling around her. Blood dripped into her eyes. She wiped it away, blinked hard and steadied herself on a large rock while peering into the wall of darkness for the best escape route.

Heavy footfalls crunched up the gravel path.

"I know you're here, Deputy Tucker," a male voice, disguised with a high nasally pitch, called out. "We need to talk about this. C'mon out."

Yeah, right. Come out and die. Not hardly.

Praying, pleading for safety, she scrambled deeper into the scrub. Over rocks. Through grass tangling her feet. Her heart pounded in her head, drowning the prayers with fear.

"I'm losing patience, Deputy," he called again in that strange voice. "You're not like Dixon. He had it coming. You don't."

Dixon? Did he mean the man she arrested for providing alcohol to her teenage sister and for selling drugs? Was that what this was about?

Rocks skittered down the incline. The shooter was on the move again. No time to think. She had to go. Now!

Blindly she felt her way past shrubs, over uneven ground. Dried leaves crunched underfoot. Branches slapped her face and clawed at her arms, but she stifled her cries of pain.

"I hear you, Deputy."

She wrenched around to determine his location. A protruding rock caught her foot, catapulting her forward. She somersaulted through the air. Her knee slammed into the packed earth and she crashed down the hill. Wrapping arms around her head for protection, she came to a stop, breath knocked out of her chest, lying flat on her back in a thick stand of weeds.

"So you want to play it that way, do you Deputy? Fine. Just remember, you can run, but you can't hide. I will find you. This will be resolved one way or another." His disembodied laugh swirled into the night.

The darkness pressed closer. Blinding. Overwhelming. Terrifying.

She was easy prey. Even with her bulletproof vest, a few rounds fired in her direction would take her out. She had to get up.

She rose to her knees, but pain knifed into her knee, keeping her anchored to the ground.

Lord, please don't let me die like this. Give me the strength to move. I need to live for Nikki. She's only seventeen. She has no one.

Sydney uncurled and came to a standing position. Taking a few halting steps, she tested the pain. Nearly unbearable. But she could-no she had to do this for her sister.

Thinking of Nikki, she gritted her teeth and set off, moving slowly, taking care not to make a sound.

Out of the darkness, a hand shot out. Clamped over her mouth.

Screams tore from her throat, but died behind fingers pressed hard against her lips.

A muscled arm jerked her against a solid chest and dragged her deep into the brush.

God, please, no.

She twisted, arched her back, pushing against arms like iron bands.

She dug her heels into the ground, but he was too strong. He kept going deeper into the brush before settling them both on the ground behind a large boulder.

"Relax Sydney, it's Russ Morgan," Logan Lake's Police Chief whispered, his lips close to her ear.

Russ Morgan? What was he doing here?

"Sorry about the hand." His tone said she was nothing more than a stranger instead of someone she'd known for years. "I didn't want you to alert the shooter with a scream. I'm gonna remove my hand now. Nod if you understand me."

She let all of her relief escape in a sharp jerk of her head. His fingers dropped away.

"Once the shooter rounded that curve, you would've been a goner," he whispered while still firmly holding her. "Good thing a neighbor reported gunshots."

Sydney started to shiver and breathed deep to steady her galloping pulse. Air rushed into her lungs. She was alive, but barely. No thanks to her own skills.

"You okay?" he asked, his breath stirring her hair.

"Yes." She willed her body to stop shaking and eased out a hiss of disappointment in her performance as a deputy. "How long have you been here?"

"Long enough to hear the shooter claim he's hit Dixon and is coming after you next," he whispered again, but urgency lit his voice and rekindled her fear. "This have to do with your arrest of Carl Dixon the other day?"

"I don't know," she whispered back. "I just stopped to check on the construction of my townhouse on my way home from work."

"Off duty, huh? Explains why you don't have your weapon drawn."

"I left my duty belt in my car." She waited for his reaction to not carrying, but he simply gave a quick nod as footfalls grated against gravel.

"Shh, he's about to pass us." Russ leaned forward and drew his gun with his free hand, but didn't release his hold on her.

Crunching steps came within a few feet of their location. Halted.

"Can you feel me breathing down your neck, Deputy? I'm inches from finding you." He didn't know the accuracy of his words.

She felt Russ's breathing speed up, upping her concern and washing away the brief blanket of security his arms provided. Adrenaline urged her to move. To keep from panicking, she focused on Russ's unwavering weapon.

The shooter took a few steps closer. Her heart thumped, threatening to leave her chest. Russ tightened his hold as if he knew she wanted to bolt.

The shooter spun sending gravel flying then headed up the path.

As his footsteps receded, she tried to relax taut muscles. The warmth from Russ's body helped chase out her fear and the chill of the night. Thank God Russ was here. If he hadn't come.

She refused to go there. God had watched over her. Provided rescue, just not in the form she'd have chosen.

Not only was Russ an officer from the city police force-a team often in competition with the county sheriff's department where she worked-but a man she'd had a crazy crush on in high school. A man whose rugged good looks still turned women's heads.

She let out a long sigh.

"I know this's awkward," he whispered, "but hang tight for a few more minutes. We need to wait for him to head back down the hill."

She wanted to protest and suggest they flee now, but not Russ. He thought clearly. Taking off now gave the killer the advantage of higher ground, making them moving targets. They'd have to sit like this until he passed them again.

If they made it out of here, which the approaching footfalls told her wasn't at all certain.

They pounded closer. The shooter moved at a quick clip this time as if he thought she'd gotten away and he was fleeing. Or maybe he was heading to her car to lay in wait for her.

As the footsteps receded again, she felt Russ's arm slacken.

"Time to roll," he whispered. "Stay here."

"But I-"

"You have a backup?" He referred to a back up gun officers often carry.

She shook her head.

"Then wait here." He gave her the hard stare that'd made him famous around town and crept toward the path.

She leaned against the boulder and wrapped her arms around the warm circle on her waist where he'd held her. Without his warmth, she couldn't quit shaking. The reality of the night froze her inner core.

She should listen to Russ. Lay low. Wait until he apprehended the killer.

That was the safe thing to do.

The easy thing to do.

The wrong thing to do.

Not for everyone, but for an officer of the law, letting a shooter escape without trying to stop him wasn't an option. Even if that shooter had her in his sights, she'd make her way to her car for her gun and help Russ stop this maniac before he hurt anyone else.

*****

Near the ditch, Russ came to a stop and fought to catch his breath. Taillights on a mud splattered dirt bike roared up the trail. He'd warned the suspect to stop, but short of shooting him in the back, Russ couldn't stop him from fleeing into the dark.

At least he'd accomplished his primary objective. To protect Sydney and keep her alive. Now he needed to alert his men and the sheriff's office to the suspect's whereabouts.

He lifted his shoulder mic and ordered a unit from his office to stake out the end of the trail for the motorcycle and an ambulance in case Dixon survived. Then he asked dispatch to patch him through to the county sheriff's department to make sure they knew he'd taken charge of the scene so none of their hotshot deputies arrived with the hope of usurping control.

He turned on his Maglight and headed up the hill. The beam of light skipped over gravel and lush plants lining the winding path. Midway up, rustling brush stopped him cold. He'd left Sydney higher up. Nearer the lake.

Was a second shooter hoping to ambush him?

He flipped off his light and sought protection behind a tree. His breath came in little pulses in the unusually cold air for a typical Oregon fall. Adrenaline with little time to ebb away came roaring back, but even as the noise grew louder, he resisted the urge to take action.

Maybe it was Sydney. The Sydney he used to know wouldn't have listened to his directive and stayed put. She'd trounce down the hill, her chin tilted at the same insolent angle as when he told her he didn't return her crazy crush her freshman year of high school. Not that he'd wanted to send a beautiful, lively girl like her away. He could easily have dated her, but he was four years older, in college. With their age difference, it wouldn't have been right.

Bushes at the path's edge shook then parted. Slowly, like a sleek panther, Sydney slipped out. He watched until she stood tall on those incredibly long legs he'd admired since she was sixteen before lowering his gun and aiming his flashlight at her.

She jumped. Peered up at him, an impudent look planted on her face. This was the Sydney he'd known as a teen and heaven help him, in less than thirty minutes, she'd sparked his interest again.

"Care to shine that somewhere other than my face." She perched her hand over her eyes, warding off the glare.

He moved the light but not before he caught a good look at a gaping wound running from her hairline to eyebrow, covered in congealed blood. He lifted his hand to check out her injury, but stopped. He wouldn't probe a wound on one of his men's faces. As a fellow LEO-law enforcement officer-he wouldn't treat Sydney any differently.

"I told you to stay put." He infused his words with authority.

"I wanted to help. Wish I'd listened. I tripped over the body." She held out blood-covered hands. Her eyes watered as if she might cry.

Man. Don't do that. Don't fall apart. He couldn't remain detached if she started crying. He'd have to empathize, maybe give her a reassuring pat on the arm. Maybe feel her pain and resurrect all the reasons he'd left his homicide job in Portland.

He changed his focus. Nodded at the brush. "Show me the body."

As a faint whine of sirens spiraled in the distance, she limped into tall grass, a grimace of pain marring her beautiful face. He followed, illuminating the area ahead of her. About ten feet in, she suddenly stopped. He shone his light a few feet ahead of her.

Diffused rays slid over a young male lying on his back. Russ swung the beam to the man's face landing on open eyes staring into the blackness above.

Sydney gasped and swung around him. She rushed toward the main path. Even though Russ knew it was a lost cause, he bent down to check for a pulse. No question, this man hadn't made it and no question about his identity. Carl Dixon, a man every LEO in the area knew from his frequent blips onto the police radar and the most recent arrest for selling drugs.

All that ended with three gunshots to the chest at close range from what Russ could see with his flashlight. Once they thoroughly processed the scene, he'd know better. But first, they needed to vacate the area before further contaminating the scene.

He found Sydney near the path, gaze fixed in the distance, hands clasped on her hips and exhaling long breaths as if trying to expel what she'd just seen.

Haunted eyes peered at him. "He's dead, right?"

"Yeah."

"And what about the killer?"

"Couldn't catch him. He took off on a dirt bike."

Disappointment crowded out the fear on her face. "Did you at least see him?"

"From the back. He was my height or a little taller, but lean. Wore a black stocking cap. The bike has a plate so it must be street legal. I caught the first few digits."

"That's something, then."

Russ didn't want to tell her it would do little for them in terms of searching DMV records as three digits would return thousands of bikes, but he didn't think she could take any more bad news so he kept quiet. "Let's head down to the parking lot."

He gave her the flashlight and urged her to take the lead down the steep hill. Once on solid concrete, she handed it back to him. Holding it overhead, he watched her closely for dizziness or other impairments from her fall. He saw nothing out of the ordinary, but a head injury could mean a concussion. He'd have the EMT's check her out when they got here.

He pointed at a rough-hewn bench. "Maybe you should sit down."

"I'm fine " Her voice cracked and she seemed embarrassed over reacting to the murder.

"It's okay to be upset, Syd. A horrible thing happened tonight."

"I'm fine really. I'll be back to a hundred percent by morning."


Text copyright © by Susan Sleeman

Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.




Win a Romantic Night on the Town from Miss Foolish Heart!

Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest Deep Haven book, My Foolish Heart!

About the book: My Foolish heart

Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she’s never really done either. Issy’s ratings soar when it seems she’s falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn’t realize lives right next door.

Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast.

Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host—and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?


About Susan: Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com.

RONIE HERE:
I can say three things about SMW without compunction: 1.) She's simply brilliant when it comes to writing. 2.) She's an amazing teacher--she can bring it down to simple elements that makes the most complicated element easy to understand, and 3.) she's a really beautiful person, inside and out. So, it was with GREAT PLEASURE that I jumped into this blog tour when given the chance.

Ronie's review of MY FOOLISH HEART:


There’s nothing foolish about My Foolish Heart! Susan May Warren is a masterful storyteller, and her skill with words and characters shines in her latest release. As a writer of military-theme fiction, I greatly appreciated the compelling story of her hero, Caleb Knight.

The plight and struggles of Isadora Presley really tugged at my heart but also made me cheer for her. I absolutely loved the thread about Issy’s father, but that’s all I’ll say about that (no spoilers here!). There was also a familiar flavor in this story that reminded me of the Noble Legacy series. Maybe it was the to-die for heroes (because, yes, there are two heroes in this story…and ya know…I sort of wish the “other guy” had his own story because he had some mettle!). Or the strong-hearted heroines. Or maybe it’s just that Susie knows how to tell a doggone good story. Yeah, that’s true regardless. Quite simply, My Foolish Heart is a lovely story of courage and healing.


Read what the reviewers are saying here.

To celebrate this charming novel about a dating expert who's never had a date, Susan has put together a romantic night on the town for one lucky couple. One grand prize winner will receive a Miss Foolish Heart prize package worth over $200!




The winner of the Romantic Night on the Town Prize Pack will receive:

* A $100 Visa Gift Card (For Dinner)

* A $100 Gift Certificate to a Hyatt/Marriott Hotel

* The entire Deep Haven series

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 16th. The winner will be announced that evening during Susan’s Miss Foolish Heart Party on Facebook! Susan will be chatting with guests, hosting a book club chat about My Foolish Heart, testing your Deep Haven trivia skills, and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, donuts, and more!) Don't miss the fun and BRING YOUR FRIENDS!



Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Meet "Kazi" from Firethorn

Today at NovelJourney, you can meet "Kazi" from Firethorn. Or literally, the model who posed as Kazi. Recently, I got to meet her in person, and I think you'll love her story. Check it out!

The Annotated Firebird Giveaway-WINNER!

Congratulations Phyllis Wheeler on winning The Annotated Firebird!



If I do not hear from Phyllis within one week, I will choose another winner.

Wolfsbane - 4 stars from Romantic Times

WOLFSBANE

by Ronie Kendig

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Inspirational

RT Rating

The author’s military background shines through in vivid detail, but the rugged first names (Canyon, Stone, Range) are distracting at first. Then Kendig pulls out all the stops with page-turning action, adventure and danger. Book three in the Discarded Heroes series can pretty much stand alone.

Having escaped a brutal Venezuelan general, demolitions expert Danielle Roark fights her way back to the States, only to be charged with espionage. When she’s forced to return to the jungle to prove her innocence, she is intentionally left behind. What secret does she have that’s worth fighting for? Haunted, former Green Beret Canyon Metcalf is fighting off nightmares of an operation gone bad. When he’s thrown back into the jungle on a Nightshade mission, he must push the memories aside to rescue Dani. Will he lose another woman to the cruelty of war? (BARBOUR, Jul., 320 pp., $12.99)

Reviewed By: Chandra McNeil

Publisher: BARBOUR

Published: July 2011

NIGHTSHADE FINALS AGAIN!!!

I am so stoked to share with you--last night, I got a call from the coordinator for the Faith, Hope, & Love chapter of RWA. Admittedly, I missed the chance to scream in her ear because I didn't recognize the number, so I let it go to voice mail. O.ops!

NIGHTSHADE is a finalist in the Faith, Hope, & Love 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards in the Romantic Suspense category!!

Also, congrats to my beautiful friend GINA HOLMES and CROSSING OCEANS for finaling in the Long Contemporary category!! YAY!!!

Winners will be announced at RWA National in New York. Here is the full list:

2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Finalists

Women’s Fiction

The House on Sugar Plum Lane by Judy Duarte (Kensington)

Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart (FaithWords)

Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson)

Long Contemporary

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes (Tyndale)

The Six-Liter Club by Harry Kraus (Howard)

Long Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio by Serena Miller (Summerside)

Short Contemporary

Tender Mercies by Mary Manners (White Rose)

White Roses by Shannon Taylor Vannatter (Barbour)

Rodeo Redemption by Teri Wilson (White Rose)

Long Historical

The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House)

Abbie Ann by Sharlene MacLaren (Whitaker House)

A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin (Revell)

Short Historical

Walker’s Wedding by Lori Copeland (Harvest)

The Substitute Bride by Janet Dean (Steeple Hill)

A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher (Zondervan)

Romantic Suspense

Too Close to Home by Lynette Eason (Revell)

Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze (Waterbrook)

Nightshade by Ronie Kendig (Barbour)

Novella

The Snowflake by Jamie Carrie (Broadman and Holman)

Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Anita Higman (Summerside)

A Bodine Family Christmas by Marta Perry (Steeple Hill)

The Annotated Firebird Giveaway!

This is a very special giveaway for me. Due to a mix-up, I ended up with two copies of The Annotated Firebird by Kathy Tyers (Marcher Lord Press, $26.99) that just released. So, I am giving away one of the copies, completely free!!

Just leave a comment and tell me why you want this book, what makes it special to you?

For me, I first heard about Firebird on my first-ever encounter with new agent STEVE LAUBE when I pitched my near-futuristic story, LIBERTY'S SON, to him in 2004. I hadn't read much speculative fiction beyond Stephen Lawhead, due to some well-intentioned restrictions by my mother, who wanted to be sure we were honoring God in our lives. Steve told me to read Firebird. So, I did...and it absolutely revolutionized my thinking and writing.

When Marcher Lord Press announced they had secured the rights to re-publish this amazing series and would actually print the remaining books, buying The Annotated Firebird was a no-brainer.

In a war she doesn't believe in, she must forge a bold new destiny.

Firebird: Lady Firebird Angelo departs her home world expecting death in space combat. Captured instead, she finds a startling destiny among an ancient telepathic family-and a new kind of battle against implacable enemies.

Fusion Fire: Firebird discovers both evil and uncontrollable power at the depths of her own spirit, and when her sister commits unspeakable treachery, she must draw on that power to save the man she loves from certain death.

Crown of Fire: Firebird returns to her home world, where some consider her a hero-but those in power have labeled her a traitor. Facing death once again, she discovers the cost of pride and the true meaning of sacrifice.

In a single volume with newly created maps and annotations, here are the first three volumes of the beloved Firebird series, freshly edited for Marcher Lord Press by bestselling author Kathy Tyers.
So, there you go! AMAZING!!! Leave a comment WITH A CONTACT ADDRESS to enter to win!

Sizzling Summer Reading

Hey, y'all. I just wanted to take a minute to share some thriller titles with you that I'm really looking froward to over the next four months or so. I've read a couple of them already, but I haven't read them all so I have no idea if they will uphold my expectations (hehe).

Don't forget--Wolfsbane (Discarded Heroes #3)releases July 1st. So...after you've bought that, feel free to buy any of these other novels. ::grins::

I hope you'll snatch up these great titles and help save an author (hehe).


JUNE

TARGETS DOWN by Bob Hamer - Targets Down is the follow-up to retired FBI agent Bob Hamer's Enemies Among Us, which Publishers Weekly hailed as "a page-turning roller coaster that feels like Jack Bauer’s 24 without sailing over the top."

When an FBI wife is critically wounded and two people are found dead on a mountain pass, special agent Matt Hogan is tasked with identifying those responsible. The undercover assignment takes him into the shadow world of Russian organized crime, neo-Nazis, and the sex-slave industry. Matt's cover is almost blown twice—once by accident, once by incompetence within the FBI ranks—making violence appear to be his only solution. As he confronts evil, Hogan relies not only on the strength of his wife's faith but his own quest to find God. He also finds terror and terrorism on this heart-pounding journey.

TARGETS DOWN IS ALREADY IN STOCK AT CBD.COM!! BUY IT NOW!!!

JULY

THUNDER IN THE MORNING CALM (Pacific Rim Series) by Don Brown - Lieutenant Commander 'Gunner' McCormick is assigned as an intelligence officer to Carrier Strike Force 10, being deployed to the Yellow Sea at the invitation of South Korea for joint exercises with the US Navy. During his pre-deployment briefing, he discovers a TOP-SECRET MEMO revealing rumors that the North Koreans may still be holding a handful of elderly Americans from the Korean War in secret prison camps. As it happens, Gunner's grandfather, who was a young marine officer in the Korean War, disappeared at Chosin Reservoir over 60 years ago and is still listed as MIA in North Korea. Sworn to silence about what he has read, the top-secret memo eats at him. Gunner decides to spend all his inheritance and break every military regulation in the book to finance his own three-man commando squad on a suicide mission north of the DMZ to search for clues about the fate of his grandfather. Risking his career, his fortune, and his life, Gunner will get his answers, or he will die trying. Don Brown is building a loyal fan base by writing what he knows best: thrillers with heart. A former Navy JAG officer and action officer in the Pentagon, Brown pens action-packed plots and finely-drawn characters that are credible and compelling. Thunder in the Morning Calm is a novel of bravery, duty, and family love that will keep readers of all ages reading straight through to the last page.

PATTERN OF WOUNDS by J. Mark Bertrand - For Detective Roland March, his latest case has become personal. March doesn't know the young female who was stabbed to death, but he thinks he recognizes the crime scene. Nearly ten years ago, March gained national fame as the subject of a true-crime book. But now this crime scene bears eerie similarities to that one. And whispers begin to emerge that March may have put the wrong man behind bars. Worse, Houston may now have a serial killer on the loose. As more cases emerge that seem connected, and threats against March and those closest to him build, he must solve the case--rescuing not only the city but his own reputation as a homicide cop.

Ronie here - I love J Mark Bertrand's writing--it has a very classic noir feel to it that is both charming and riveting (if it's possible to combine those in a murder mystery!).


INSIDE THREAT (A Riley Covington Thriller #4) by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn - Military and NFL veteran Riley Covington can't sit on the sidelines when danger looms! When homegrown terrorists overrun the National Cathedral, taking senators, congressmen, and their aides---including Khadi Faroughi---hostage, Riley races to the rescue. Can he secure the captives' freedom before the beheading begins? 384 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

Ronie here - I confess that I have not read any of the Riley Covington novels, but this cover grabbed my attention. I guess I need to check out this series. :-D



AUGUST

KILOTON THREAT by William Boykin and Tom Morrisey - When a high-ranking leader in the Iranian nuclear program converts to Christianity, he seeks refuge in the West---but escape is impossible. Even so, U.S. Special Forces officer Blake Kershaw is assigned to infiltrate Iran and extract the high-value defector. Will he risk his life---and love---to save the world from war?

Ronie here: This book continues Blake Kershaw's adventures, and I have to say--I thought this one was better than the first. It's a definite must read!! And can I just say--I am so glad to see Tom Morrisey's name taking equal billing in this novel. I have massive respect for General Wm. Boykin, but it's a combined effort--and Tom deserves that!

SEPTEMBER

FORBIDDEN by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee - New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker teams with Tosca Lee to create this gripping thriller set in a desolate future.

A terrible truth has been revealed to one man: the entire human race has been drained of every emotion except one-- fear. To bring life back to the world, Rom must embark on a journey that will end either in his own demise or a reawkening of humanity. But to bring love and passion back into existence will also threaten the powers of the world with the revolution and anarchy that had nearly destroyed them previously.

After happening upon a journal through strange circumstance, Rom's world is shattered. He learns that humanity long ago ceased to "live," that it exists today in a living death of emotions. In a terrible risk, Rom exposes himself to the vial of blood folded into the old leather of the journal. His change is fearful and fraught with mind-bending emotion. A once-pious observer of the Order's passionless statues, he is filled with uncontrollable impulses. He is filled with love.

He is undone, terrified, and alone in the desolate world

OCTOBER

TEHRAN INITIATIVE by Joel Rosenberg - The world is on the brink of disaster and the clock is ticking. Iran has just conducted its first atomic weapons test. Millions of Muslims around the world are convinced their messiah-known as "the Twelfth Imam"-has just arrived on earth. Israeli leaders fear Tehran, under the Twelfth Imam's spell, will soon launch a nuclear attack that could bring about a second holocaust and the annihilation of Israel. The White House fears Jerusalem will strike first, launching a preemptive attack against Iran's nuclear facilities that could cause the entire Middle East to go up in flames, oil prices to skyrocket, and the global economy to collapse. With the stakes high and few viable options left, the president of the United States orders CIA operative David Shirazi and his team to track down and sabotage Iran's nuclear warheads before Iran or Israel can launch a devastating first strike.

WAKING HOURS by Lis Wiehl (with Pete Nelson) - All towns have secrets. Some have demons. Welcome to East Salem, a sleepy town with a history older than America where things are just a bit off; where the supernatural bleeds into the everyday. And where a tragic murder mystery is underway. A high school girl is found dead in the town park; and where forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris wants answers. All the suspects were teenagers who were at the party with her the night before--who he last spoke with on their last high school date forever ago. Yet his celebrity status opens doors barred to Dani--so they form an awkward alliance. They soon realize that there's more to the mystery than murder. And more to the evil they are facing than a mere human killer.

Ronie here: Well, it appears Lis has teamed up with another writer, this time for a speculative series. You might remember Lis's name from the Triple Threat Novels (Face of Deceit, Hand of Fate, and Heart of Ice). I really enjoyed the stories ("ripped from the headlines" type of novels), but I am a sucker for a really well-done supernatural (since I'm writing that in my closet, so to speak). It will be interesting to see if Pete keeps our interest with his writing/style. I'm curious and anxious for this release!

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Hey, folks. Well, I thought we'd take a brief diversion from the intensity you're used to finding here at Supernatural Craving so you can have a chance to breathe (we all need to that at least once in our lives, right?), and share a historical novel with you.

Shocking, huh? Well, I got to meet Karen Witemeyer at a writer's retreat and I was so touched by her gentle nature and smile, that when she asked for influencers for To Win Her Heart, I jumped at the chance. (A small confession-normally, when I'm not reading thrillers or spec fic, I'm reading historicals--go figure!). So, here is my official review of Karen's newest release.

Charming and delightful! Karen Witemeyer’s TO WIN HER HEART will steal yours! The characters are unique and so very endearing. I found the backstory of hero Levi Grant to be original and compelling. Truly a great plot concept. The heroine was a bit more typical, but also unique in her own right.

The spiritual elements were done well, and I was pleased to see even the less-than-holy characters in the story turning the upright characters toward the Lord with a few well-placed chides about character and Scripture.

And the ending was perfect! Really made the entire story complete. And can I just say—way to go Ornery!


You'll have to read the novel to get the last line, but hey--I'm just trying too hook you, right?

Wolfsbane Press Release

WOLFSBANE - Betrayal Begins With Trust

CONTACT: Elizabeth Shrider
eshrider@barbourbooks.com

Find this title on Netgalley.com

Author Available for Interview




Ronie Kendig Delivers Action-Packed Drama

In Book 3 of the Discarded Heroes Series

Uhrichsville, OH – From up-and-coming suspense writer Ronie Kendig is the latest in her four-part Discarded Heroes series. Wolfsbane is scheduled for release in July 2011. The third novel embarks upon a perilous mission with demolitions expert Danielle Roark and ex-Green Beret Canyon Metcalfe. Holding a secret worth killing for, the two are trapped in the jungle and forced to fight their way out of the nightmare of captivity.

Dani Roark thought escaping from a brutal Venezuelan general was a challenge. Now she’s charged with espionage and returned to the jungle where a new nightmare begins. Will Dani survive or become just another political pawn destined to be lost forever?
Canyon is disgusted with the suits on Capitol Hill. Still wrestling with the memories of a mission gone bad, he and Nightshade launch a mission to find Dani. Can Canyon rescue Dani, armed with nothing but raw courage?

Find Wolfsbane and its press materials online at www.netgalley.com or follow this
link: http://bit.ly/kICq9e.

Publication Data:

Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig / July 2011 / $12.99 / 352 Pages / Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-60260-784-2

Also Available in Series:
Nightshade - 978-1-60260-777-4
Digitalis - 978-1-60260-783-5

Praise for the Book:

“Wolfsbane is rapid-fire fast-paced and will leave you breathless. An incredible story with intense characters who face timeless struggles. Another favorite for our shelf from Kendig!”
– Kimberley and Kayla R. Woodhouse, authors of No Safe Haven and Race Against Time

“Non-stop, fast-paced, machinegun-type action that will leave you exhausted—and yearning for more. . .A definite keeper for your read-again shelf.” – Lynette Eason –bestselling author of Too Close to Home and Don’t Look Back

“Ronie Kendig’s smooth writing style, realistic scenes, and vivid characters blend beautifully for a must-read experience. A definite keeper!” – Robin Caroll, author of Deliver Us From Evil and In The Shadow of Evil

“Ronie Kendig serves up a mix of machinegun-fast action, touching romance, and more twists than a coil of detonator wire. Get a good grip on the edge of your seat before you start reading!”
– Rick Acker, author of When the Devil Whistles and Dead Man’s Rule

Meet The Author:

Ronie Kendig grew up an Army brat, married a veteran, and they now have four children and a golden retriever. She has a BS in Psychology, speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers. Ronie can be found at www.roniekendig.com.


Author Q & A

Q: Each book in your Discarded Heroes series takes a very real look into the lives of former military men. Where did the idea for this series come from?

The series came out of a brainstorming session with my mentor, John Olson. We had a great bare bones structure, but we were searching for the “heart” of that story, which came to me via a real-life story of a young woman in a Sunday school class. Hearing her testimony, her request for prayer (her husband was spec ops), revolutionized my thinking and heart. I knew I could not pen another military-based story without showing the ramifications of what these heroes do and the toll it takes on them and their families.

Q: Throughout the Discarded Heroes series, readers get to know the members of the Nightshade team. How did you develop the entire team, creating each character independently yet keeping them fluid as a unit?

The members of the Nightshade team just sort of came alive on their own. Max burst onto the page with fire and vengeance. He was very hard to write because of his intensity, but if it weren’t for the calming influence of Cowboy, I think Max and I might have parted ways.

Then there was the silent giant, Griffin “Legend” Riddell, who was like steel poured over the backbone of Nightshade. His dedication to the team, to the mission, helped me stay focused.

Then there’s Marshall “the Kid” Vaughn. . .and I have to say, I’ve gotten some e-mails lately telling me they love the Kid, and that’s been really nice because he provides some much-needed comic relief, especially when paired with Canyon “Midas” Metcalfe, the brooding medic. Azzan “Aladdin” Yasir has brought in some more strength to the team, and John “Squirt” Dighton brought some adventure—and both of these men brought some foreign flavor (Aladdin is half Palestinian, half Jewish, and Dighton is Australian-American).

I made each man independent with their own strengths and flaws, but also made them each absolutely invaluable to the team. Colton, the sniper. Midas, the medic. Max the leader. Griffin, the “sergeant” that keeps everyone in line. The Kid with his wit and humor eases tension. And so on. They are all unique yet a single unit. It’s been amazing even for me to watch how it all came together. I just wrote Firethorn and bawled my eyes out realizing it was the last book. These men are almost as real to me as you are.


Q: The Discarded Heroes series contains several elements: romance, suspense, and action. Which element of the plot do you enjoy creating the most?

Action. Action. We want Action!
A-C-T! I-O-N!

Sorry, the cheer just sort of leapt out of me. Yes, absolutely the action is what I love writing and will probably always write. Although I love suspense and romance (what’s a hero without his heroine and a bit of suspense to keep them apart?), the action is where I seem to hit my stride in each story.

Q: What sort of research did you do in order to keep your Discarded Heroes series militarily accurate?

My “research” started by being a military brat, I suppose. I grew up in a military family, so I had an almost innate respect for our heroes in uniform—in fact, I even married a soldier. He was medically discharged right before our wedding, but his father remained enlisted at the time and retired about 12 years ago. I spoke with Chaplain Carlton D. Hall, who served as a great resource. He works at a VA hospital in central Texas, counseling veterans with post-traumatic disorder (PTSD). He was a great help. I was also was put in touch with a former Army Ranger, who helped me maintain accuracy (as much as possible in a secret black ops group like Nightshade that isn’t technically connected to our military). And last but not least, I spent countless hours poring over articles and books; thesis; independent studies; and medical journal articles about PTSD, combat-related PTSD, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). I also interviewed several veterans and talked with countless others who have a relative with PTSD or TBI. Since research in our country is really just taking off now, I am continuously reading/researching.

New Fiction Releases for May!

Woot! Here are new fiction releases for the month of May, as posted on the ACFW e-loop. There are many books I'm looking forward to reading! More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.Personally, I am looking forward to reading Lynette Eason's books--and there are two this month!! Annnnd...I am reading Karen Witemeyer's TO WIN HER HEART right now--it's a delightful read. Make sure you grab a copy!

A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad -- General Fiction from Revell. She wants to change the world. He wants to change her mind.

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason -- A Thriller/Suspense from Revell. Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. The new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case.

Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy -- A Romance from Barbour. Gabe Lasley finds Shannon Dysart stranded in a mountaintop cave and saves her. She is on a quest to prove her father’s research isn’t the work of a madman, that he really did find a treasure in the wild west.

Died in the Wool by Elizabeth Ludwig -- A Mystery from Barbour. Can Monah and proven sleuth Casey Alexander find the real killer before this librarian is booked for murder?

Fade to Blue by Julie Carobini -- A Romance from B&H Publishing. When confronted with her most painful, past decisions, will Suz Mitchell second guess herself? Or will she learn to let God restore all that once seemed lost?

Journey's End by Dora Hiers -- A Romance from White Rose. When Chelsea Hammond is snatched from her home, can she put aside her fear, and trust Trey Colten with her life? Can she forgive him for destroying her past and let him help to rebuild her future?

Montana Marriages Trilogy by Mary Connealy -- Romance from Barbour. The complete Montana Marriages series all under one cover. One volume encases three acclaimed novels by Mary Connealy.

Over The Edge by Brandilyn Collins -- Thriller/Suspense from B&H Publishing. Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.

Promise of Time by S. Dionne Moore -- A Romance from Barbour/Heartsong. Time promises to heal all wounds, but will Ellie and Theo allow God to work His timing in their lives and bring a new promise of love?

Revealing Fire by Connie Stevens -- A Romance from Barbour/Heartsong. Two people in their September years are blessed with a second chance at happiness, but unexpected arrivals of a long-estranged son and a long-forgotten former admirer threaten to unravel the cords that bind two hearts.

Secrets of the Heart; Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One by Jillian Kent -- A Romance from Rhelms. When Lady Madeline Whittington rescues a runaway from a nearby lunatic asylum her life will be forever changed.

The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus -- A Romance from Barbour. Two artists are drawn together by matchmaking matriarchs.

The Unexpected Bride by Debra Ullrick -- A Romance from Love Inspired. Haydon Bowen has no intention of marrying. Unfortunately, his brother has other plans. Even when beautiful, cultured Rainelle Devonwood learns she's a mistakenly ordered bride, she won't let Haydon drive her away.

Threat of Exposure by Lynette Eason -- A Thriller/Suspense from Love Inspired. In book 5 of the Texas Ranger Justice series, DEA Brock Martin and Texas Ranger Gisella Hernandez must work together to decipher codes, uncover clues and protect themselves from a killer who doesn't want his secrets known.

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer -- A Romance from Bethany House. A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

Undercurrent by Michelle Griep -- A Science Fiction/Time Travel from Risen Books. People go missing every day--many meet with foul play, some leave the social grid by choice, but others are never accounted for...where do they go?

When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley -- A Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah. When an isolated home-schooling widow makes a stealthy bid to escape a cultic group, an outspoken professor encourages her to stand up to her abuser but brings his own set of complications.

Wyoming Weddings by Vickie McDonough, Susan Page Davis, and Diana Brandmeyer -- Romance from Barbour. Three modern Wyoming women face mountains on the road to love.