Loyal by Yasmin Shiraz


Virtual Book Tour,  Loyal, a Young Adult Novel

Releasing August 30, 2016

About The Author

Yasmin Shiraz is an author, filmmaker, speaker and activist. She uses her passion for life to fuel her books, documentaries, speaking engagements and social activities. She’s spoken at over 100 colleges, universities, middle schools and high schools as well as non-profit organizations. 

She’s an award winning Writer/ Director and enjoys producing work on youth and community issues. By day, she’s the President of Still Eye Rise Media and runs the Yasmin Shiraz website.


About The Book
When a teen girl discovers her brother has been shot, she learns about firsthand about loyalty. Should her brother be more loyal to her or the gang members he’s so eager to impress?



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He’s Still Working Miracles: Daring To Ask God for the Impossible by Dana Rongione

Hes Still Working Miracles

About the Book

What if you could replace your fear with courage, your doubts with faith and your questions with proclamations of God’s goodness? What if someone could take you on a guided tour of God’s provision and faithfulness to His children? How would your life change if you dared to ask God for the impossible? Christian author, Dana Rongione, wants to challenge you to do just that.

Each chapter of He’s Still Working Miracles highlights a story in the New Testament where an ordinary person met an extraordinary God and gives application of how these encounters relate to your own life and circumstances. You are not alone in your struggles.

You don’t have to face your heartaches alone. Call out to the One who cares. The One who can make a difference. The one and only God of possibilities.

In this book, you will:

  • Learn to identify miracles in your own life.
  • Understand how to apply the principles of Biblical miracles to specific circumstances that the Bible doesn’t address.
  • Discover compelling reasons why keeping the faith is so difficult, yet imperative.
  • Be encouraged and inspired to stay on course with God for years to come.
  • Glean valuable insight from each story’s unfolding and conclusion.
  • Learn how to pray and accept God’s will in every situation.
  • Find the answer to the question, “Does God still work miracles?”

It’s time to lay your questions and doubts to rest. The God of yesterday is the God of today. He is still watching. He is still working. And He is still doing miracles.

Book Excerpt

Delight in the Darkness

At six o’clock this morning, I was awakened by the sound of not one or two, but an entire choir of whippoorwills. (If you’ve never heard a whippoorwill, it sounds a lot like an owl on steroids.) From the sound of it, the ensemble was directly outside my bedroom window. One would call out, and the others would answer. At first, I felt privileged to listen to the melodic conversation, but when it went on and on, I became agitated. It was, after all, only six o’clock in the morning, and Jason hadn’t gotten home from work until after two o’clock. I’m no math whiz, but I can tell you right now that that amount of sleep is not enough for me.

For nearly half an hour I listened to the sound of the whippoorwills. At one point, I wanted to open my window and scream into the darkness, “This is not the time for choir practice!” Thankfully, they quieted down before I did so.

Later on, after I had time to wake up and shake off my grumbles, I realized how foolish my behavior and attitude had been. What right did I have to begrudge the birds their song simply because I wasn’t ready to get out of bed yet? In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had been wrong, not only in my attitude but also in the words that nearly tumbled from my mouth.

Anytime is a good time for choir practice!

The whippoorwills were simply carrying out the command issued over and over again in the Bible—sing unto the Lord. They had something to say, and they didn’t hold back. They had a song in their hearts, so they let it fly. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Isn’t that what the Bible instructs? Don’t we have something worth singing about?

Now I understand that some people are more prone to sing than others. I also understand that some people enjoy singing while those around them wished sincerely that they didn’t. I wouldn’t say these people are tone deaf, but their song can only be described as a joyful noise. But you know what? That’s okay. God would rather hear that joyful noise than to see a saint without a song. He longs to hear our praise, and He deserves our worship!

As we abide in Christ, trust Him, and depend on His grace, we always have something to sing about. – Warren Wiersbe, Meet Yourself in the Psalms

Paul and Silas understood that. Acts 16:25 tells us, And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Exhausted, wounded and weary, the missionaries found delight in the darkness of the dungeon. They didn’t throw a pity party. They didn’t complain or contemplate defeat. No, they prayed and sang.

And I don’t believe their song was “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.”

In fact, I believe their song might have closely resembled “Praise You in This Storm” or “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Whatever their song, it was not a soothing humming. The Bible says it was loud enough that all the prisoners heard. (We can only hope the duo were not in the “joyful noise club,” lest the other prisoners think the midnight serenade was part of their punishment.)

Corrie ten Boom once stated, “When you’re covered by His wings, it can get pretty dark.” Yes, in His wings there is safety, but that doesn’t mean there will be no darkness. Nevertheless, like Paul and Silas, we, too, can find delight in our dungeons of darkness.

Dana Rongione

 

About the Author

Dana Rongione is the author of several Christian books, including the highly-praised Giggles and Grace devotional series for women.  A dedicated wife and doggie “mom,” Dana lives in Greenville, SC, where she spends her days writing and reaching out to the hurting and discouraged.  Connect with her at her website and be sure to sign up for her daily devotions.

 

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Get Organized: find your keys and figure out life by Dee Bentley

Get Organized

About the Book

While other guides present quaint or complicated methods, this guide is practical, easy to use, and delves into the heart as well as closets. Suitable as an all-in-one family management guide for the thoughtful woman, who is looking for direction and a deeper walk with God.

The author began a triple bottom line business using the organizational concepts in this book: financially responsible, caring for the environment through green practices such as re-purposing items, and being a good citizen of the world by giving to those in need and helping women in developing countries.

Follow this guide to achieve a well run home and explore suggestions to help you discover your next step.

Book Excerpt

It Worked For Me — It Can Work for You

Have you ever noticed that feeling disorganized usually goes along with a sense of aimlessness in life? I was at that sticky place in my life. I kept thinking, “If I could only get the house organized again, that would help me figure out the next step.” It worked. And I discovered how spiritual truth was related to areas of my home. How did I get stuck?

After my husband and I began a family, we felt a strong desire to homeschool our children. We jumped in and learned everything we could. Once we began, I gave it my all and we embraced the lifestyle. Seven years later, our youngest was born. When he was ten years old, he decided he wanted to attend school since he was lonely. His older siblings were moved out by then, which was also a difficult transition for me.

I flopped around for a while furthering my education and working, hoping to find a place I fit. Nothing seemed right. After two years, I seriously considered starting my own business, but what? I decided to get my house into shape. Bit by bit, as I organized my own home to reflect our life changes, a bright ribbon appeared, connecting each portion of my life. Suddenly, a plan became obvious. I wondered if this strategy could work for others?

There are many guides on organizing available, but organizing one’s home and life works best when we do the hard work of relating our inner homes to our outer: untangling the past, accepting the present, learning new systems, and going into the future confident that we are on the right path.

I recommend working through the book while you work through your home and heart. Every chapter has suggestions gained from twenty years of organizing in workplaces, within volunteer roles, my own home, and homes of others. At
the end of each chapter you’ll find a Heart Check section to help you examine life as related to areas in the home, a Prayer, and finally a Resources & Actions section.

While I recommend books throughout, most should be available through public libraries or as ebooks; alternatively, you could search similar topics on the Web. The Bible readings are available online at Bible Gateway. Keep a notebook handy as journaling will help you personalize the process. For simplicity, throughout the book I refer to children as either he or she, though sections may apply to both. I’ve also chosen to use Canadian spelling and hope it
will not be distracting.

Inside each of us is a desire to do meaningful work. God designed each of us for specific work yet at times we lose our way. When we get stuck, we should do our best to get up, shake off hopelessness, and do the work in front of us. There we will find meaning in the menial and hope for the future.

heart check

Are you up for the challenge of organizing your home? Are you tired of your life and ready for change?

My prayer for you–

Father God,
Please meet (dear reader) and help her through this journey. I thank You that You see her, and know all the hurts, joys and disappointments shebs been through. Wrap Your arms around her and draw her close to you. Give her Your
strength and bring her to a time of healing, refreshing, and new beginnings. You designed her with a special purpose in mind. I know and trust that as she is faithful to You, You will reveal Yourself and Your purpose to her.
Amen

resources & actions

Read Psalm 139
Mediate on the psalm and journal your thoughts and feelings.

 

Dee Bentley

About the Author

Dee Bentley is a life-long writer and organizer. Her love of story began with picture books, and she’s written her way through personal struggles and into many periodicals, including Alberta newspapers, national magazines, and North America wide journals. She was a freelance writer/columnist for two decades, and has recently been published in a literary magazine in short story and poetry. Her first picture book is due to be released fall 2017. She grew up in southern Ontario, but has made Alberta her home for over 30 years, loving the mountains, the northern forest, the badlands, the cities, and all the great coffee spots.

Buy the Book

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The French Collection by Kim Louise Clarke

The French Collection

 

About the Book

In this series of devotions, the reader travels through Paris with the author on her vacation and her journey of faith.

Six days are spent exploring some of the city’s lesser known sites, in anticipation of meeting up with her daughter for another three days of sightseeing.  Together reader and author become familiar with the fascinating history and culture of the city of Paris.

Certain moments stand out above all others from the vacation.  They are more intense, or more amusing, sometimes more embarrassing, or even more fearful.  Kim has written about these moments, developed them around the sights and history of Paris, wrapped them in Scripture and turned them into The French Collection.

 

Book Excerpt

From Chapter One – Stepping Out in Bijou

My mom used to say that a vacation that started off badly would be a great trip. I never took this seriously, and certainly never purposefully attempted to do something foolish before a trip if nothing bad had yet happened. I also do not remember her saying this after she became a

Christian, and not surprisingly, I can’t find any Scripture to substantiate this idea.

It was a few days before I flew to Paris, and my feet were resting comfortably in bubbling, silky warm waters: I had finally used my gift certificate for a pedicure. From the wide selection of colours, I chose a deep pink called ‘Bijou’, which is French for ‘jewel’. My silky smooth feet would soon be strolling around the exotic streets of Paris.

With a sense of enchantment, I stepped back out into the shopping mall but the feeling of specialness quickly began to fade as the tinges of a migraine that had been lurking around the back of my head grew painfully obvious.

I took meds but they proved ineffective and, as I passed a few stores, every movement emphasized the headache’s onset. I began to feel extremely ill. While I made my way over to one of the comfortable chairs clustered throughout the mall, I dug out my cell phone to tell my husband that I didn’t think I could drive home. A prisoner now in my favourite mall, I sank low in the huge chair, convinced I’d either pass out or vomit if I made any attempt to get up. Relentless mall noise whirled around me from all directions, and time crawled forward in slow motion.

What relief I felt when Ian’s voice came into the mix, and what a sense of gratitude that he had dropped everything to rescue me! I was unsure about my physical stability, so Ian stepped into a nearby store to ask for a plastic bag. After a few moments, I moved to get out of the chair.

How life’s situations can change so quickly. One moment I’m a lady exiting an expensive salon; the next, I’m a crumpled heap in a chair, vomiting into a bag.

            I can’t go to Paris. How am I going to manage on my own for six days, when I can’t even get home by myself from the mall?

Later, near midnight, with my headache well under control, we returned to the mall to retrieve my lonely car. We had no problem finding it on the deserted field of asphalt.

Most of the time, my migraines are manageable. It’s rare to have such a rapid descent into the pain with nothing able to ease it. Deep down, I knew nothing could stop me from going to Paris. Nothing could hold me back from almost a full week on my own in the warm August sun, seeing whatever I chose, all at my own pace. Topping it off would be the most wonderful highlight: meeting up with my daughter, Hannah, and touring around Paris with her for another three days. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame were on our list to explore together. This freed me up to visit some of the lesser known historical places in Paris on my own, so I threw myself into the research about places to seek out. Being on my own was usually not a problem, but I really didn’t like the idea of being alone and ill. I brushed up on many French phrases, but I hadn’t yet worked out, “Can you please help me? I think I’m going to be sick.”

The next day, feeling tired but better, I went over my migraine medication with my doctor. It gave me a certain peace of mind and more confidence physically. Of course I could have thought back to my mother’s old adage and taken some comfort in considering that, since my trip had the markings of a bad start, a great vacation awaited me—but I’m not superstitious so there was no comfort there.

Having been a Christian for more than thirty-five years, I knew that real comfort lay in knowing God would be with me at every step. Scripture verses came to my mind that promised God’s presence. These were promises meant to be claimed, meant to comfort, like Jesus’ promise to be with us “always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

But I didn’t feel comforted, despite my inner theological voice saying, “Of course, God is always with you. You’re indwelt by the Holy Spirit.” I desired a special sense of God’s presence. I felt oddly insecure and wanted to feel assured that God would be with me in Paris, but that didn’t happen.

I told myself to get a grip. My travels were not to a country torn apart by civil war. I didn’t have to pack my mosquito net and malaria pills to join up with a tropical mission team. My path wasn’t the sacrificial kind where one might think a Christian would require a special sense of God’s presence.

What reassurances of God did the average tourist need? There was nothing heroic about the path of a person fully intent on sitting at outdoor cafes in Paris, visiting fine museums, buying a lovely scarf or two. I would be just another tourist like millions of others, with Euros, credit cards and a return ticket home.

I was fairly sure I wouldn’t have another migraine episode, and I didn’t believe that I would pass out on the banks of the Seine. But then I started to imagine myself passing out on the banks of the Seine. I also saw myself vomiting and collapsing on a park bench far away from my hotel. Being a short, slight-of-frame, middle-aged woman on iron supplements, I wondered if I’d even be noticed if I did collapse.

Then I realized the heart of the problem. I was assured about God’s presence, in the sense that He would be somewhere in my vicinity. But even after so many years, I doubted that He would actually be close to me personally. I doubted His loving care for me. I doubted my importance to Him.

But I had to believe that God would be as close to me as He would be to any of His children, that God travels alongside the vacationer. He wouldn’t dismiss me or forget about me while I went on a holiday where it appeared that I wouldn’t be doing much spiritually, as if He would be back in touch with me upon my return. Blessings are not suspended until we’re back to work, back to ministry, back to what some call real life. God is the God of all of our times, the God of all moments. He has met me in the darkest times of my life and I needed to believe He would be equally with me in the brightest times. He is the God of the good and the exciting, not only our pain and sorrow. I need such a God, because when fun opportunities come along in life, I want to enjoy them. I don’t want fear, worry or guilt to dampen those joyful times.

Any reassurance I wanted had to be by faith, believing God saw me as important. I knew that wherever I went in the world, even if it was only across the street, desiring God’s presence was okay. He promises His constant presence. And constantly is how often I need Him. I had to believe and start packing.

Kim Clarke

About the Author

Kim Louise Clarke became interested in writing in 2010, challenging herself to write a mystery novel, which today still remains in draft form.  She finds writing creative non-fiction to be her niche, and several of her essays and devotionals have been published.  The French Collection is her first book, which she published after the manuscript was shortlisted in the 2015 Canadian Women’s Journey of Faith Contest. Kim lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband and they have two adult children. She is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and has a Bachelor of Religious Education Degree from Prairie College (Prairie Bible Institute). Visit her website.

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Chapters

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Unlocking the Truth of Daniel by Laura J. Davis

Unlocking the truth of Daniel

About the Book

Do you long to immerse yourself in God’s Word and discover its truths for yourself? The new and exciting Digging Deeper Series was created just for you! Embark on a fulfilling journey through God’s Word using a foundation of Scripture as well as history.

Will there really be a seven-year peace treaty with a man known as the Antichrist? Who are the Kings of the North and South and what role do they play in the end-times? Have the prophecies of Daniel already been fulfilled? Many have speculated on who they could be. Using Scripture and history as our guide, this study will seek to reveal the truth. Discover God’s plan for the Jewish people and for the world. See how events played out historically, and where we can expect to be taken next. Undertake a journey through the Book of Daniel and discover God’s plan for your life.

Book Excerpt

It isn’t easy being a follower of Christ. Our current culture is often intolerant of Judeo/Christian values and beliefs. Christians are becoming the minority in a world that has grown hostile towards us. This is why Daniel is the perfect book for today’s Christian. Daniel and his friends Meshach, Shadrach, and Abed-Nego are excellent examples of godly men. They lived obedient and courageous lives for God. They did this while earning the admiration and respect of those who had taken them captive.

The book of Daniel was written for the Jewish people during their Babylonian captivity. The first half provides us with valuable lessons on how to live faith-filled lives. The second half of Daniel opens up a world that is both prophetic and historical in nature. I am sure it will encourage discussion and deep thought as you dig deeper into its truths.

Group Discussion:

Have you ever had to stand up for your faith? If so, what happened? How did it make you feel? What were the end results?

Read Daniel 1:1-21 and answer the following questions:

1. When do the events of this chapter occur?

2. Who was the king of Babylon and what did he do?

3. Read Daniel 1:2 and 2 Kings 24:14-15. Who did Nebuchadnezzar capture?

4. Read 2 Kings 24:14. Who was not captured by Nebuchadnezzar?

5. Read Daniel 1:2 and 2 Chronicles 36:18. What else did Nebuchadnezzar take from Jerusalem?

6. Where did Nebuchadnezzar take his captives?
The land of Shinar, also known as Babylonia, was the ancient name for Babylon. Babylon is in Iraq.

7. After Nebuchadnezzar took the vessels from the house of God, where did he put them?
If you are using an NIV or NASB, the Hebrew word for “official” is cariyc and it means “eunuch.” Ashpenaz was the chief or master of the eunuchs.

8. The king ordered Ashpenaz to select youths from Israel and the royal family to serve in his court. What qualities did these youths require?

9. What did he order Ashpenaz to teach them?

10. How long were they educated?

11. What were the new names given to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah?

12. What was Daniel determined not to do?

13. Who did Daniel seek permission from to carry out his plan?

14. What did Daniel propose to the chief of the eunuchs and what was the result?

15. What did God give Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah? And what was Daniel’s particular gift?

16. What did the king find unique about them?

17. How long did Daniel serve the king?

This first chapter of Daniel shows us what God will do for those who wish to honour Him. Daniel did not want to defile himself with the king’s food. As an Israelite, many foods were forbidden to him, foods that were part of Nebuchadnezzar’s meal plan. But Daniel trusted that if he honoured God, the Lord would hear and answer his request, which He did.

As we continue with our study, we will discover that because he stood firm in his faith, Daniel was a man highly esteemed by God.

LIFE APPLICATION: Have you ever had to stand up for your faith? What about your convictions, those areas of your life where you stand firm, never crossing the line? If lying is wrong, but telling the truth could hurt someone, would you still persevere in your conviction not to lie? Today, try to be aware of those areas in your life where you may be failing and be a Daniel. Stand firm.

Laura Davis

About the Author

Laura J. Davis is a former singer/songwriter who took to writing full-time after emergency surgery caused the loss of her singing voice. Her singing career had lasted for 30 years. Her first book, “Come to Me,” was a novel on the life of Christ through the eyes of his mother. It went on to win a Reader’s Favorite Award. She followed that up with a Bible study on the life of Christ called Learning from the Master, Living a Surrendered Life and soon found her true calling – writing Bible studies. Her latest book, Unlocking the Truth of Daniel is the first in the new Digging Deeper series that explores prophecy and history in context with Scripture. You can follow her blog online  or touch base with her on Twitter  or Facebook.

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Lifelines by Eleanor Bertin

Lifelines

About the Book

Life had been going swimmingly until biologist Dr. Robert Fielding was bewildered by a squall that still threatens to shipwreck him. Tormented by the losses in his life, there are a dozen reasons why he doesn’t need the friendship of his new neighbour, Anna Fawcett. After all, a senior and her son with Down syndrome aren’t exactly in his league.

But how’s he supposed to turn down fresh cinnamon buns? And Robert hasn’t bargained on his neighbour’s innocent, probing questions. They erode his faith in naturalism and collide with his assumptions about life, love and truth.  Have his foundational beliefs been the cause of his personal losses? As he searches for answers, Anna’s example of loving integrity keeps him coming back. Or maybe it’s her homemade pies. Yet to risk re-thinking his core convictions for a chance at personal peace would expose his soul and tear open an old wound.

Others in the neighbourhood, too, are under Anna’s thrall – a teacher facing a crisis pregnancy, a crusty cat lady, a cancer-ridden conspiracy theorist, a Cambodian immigrant family. Each is touched by the power of her obscure and ordinary life.

Book Excerpt

Dr. Robert Q.M. Fielding was vexed—with the prickly branch of
overgrown rose bush that had just scraped his face. With the grating
screech of hinges as he opened his neighbour’s screen door.
With the wasps that worried past his ears to the few remaining faded blossoms.
He blew pent-up air out of tight lips, pffpllpff. And with himself.
That he should have accepted a dinner—scratch that, supper—invitation to
his senior neighbour’s this evening was… It was preposterous. That cursed
inability of his to think fast on his feet too often got him into uncomfortable
spots like this. Yet here he stood at her door.

He should have seen it coming. The mid-August day he had moved in,
there she was at his door looking up at him over her glasses and proffering
a couple of still-warm cinnamon buns. Her cheery waves or greetings the
last few days when he came home after work. Attempts at long-distance
conversation from her back deck when he was mowing his grass. Then her
handicapped twenty-something son, Jesse, brought him some cookies he
had baked himself.

The day she had asked him a simple question he’d been unable to
answer about the oscillation of her new lawn sprinkler, he was annoyed for
hours. First, with himself for finding that a PhD in biology hadn’t sufficed
to solve an elementary plumbing problem, but worse and more puzzling,
with the odd and unaccustomed feeling of guilt his curt response had
brought him.

So when Jesse came to his door last week with an invitation card written
carefully crooked and wearing a smile carelessly wide, Robert Fielding
surprised himself and said, “Yes, I’ll come.” And he knew precisely why
he’d accepted. Anything was better than sitting at home waiting for the
call that never came.

 

Eleanor Bertin

About the Author

In a fit of optimism at age eleven, Eleanor Bertin began her first novel by numbering a stack of one hundred pages. Only two of them were ever filled with words. Lifelines, her first completed novel, was shortlisted in the 2015 Word Alive Press Free Publishing Contest.

Eleanor holds a college diploma in Communications and worked in agricultural journalism until the birth of her first child. The family eventually grew to include one daughter and six sons (the youngest with Down syndrome) whom she home-educated for twenty-five years.

Eleanor and her husband live amidst the ongoing renovation of a century home in central Alberta where she blogs about sometimes-elusive contentment at jewelofcontentment.wordpress.com.

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Another Man’s Treasure by Joy Avery

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Book Title: Another Man’s Treasure
Publication Date: June 18, 2016
ASIN: B01HAKBZ0Q
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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By day, Joy Avery works as a customer service assistant. By night, the North Carolina native travels to imaginary worlds—creating characters whose romantic journeys invariably end happily ever after.

Since she was a young girl growing up in Garner, Joy knew she wanted to write. Stumbling onto romance novels, she discovered her passion for love stories; instantly, she knew these were the type stories she wanted to pen.

Real characters. Real journeys. Real good love is what you’ll find in a Joy Avery romance. Joy is married with one child. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cake decorating, pretending to expertly play the piano, driving her husband insane, and playing with her two dogs. Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.

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Graphic artist Trinity Hargrove never knew real passion until she sleeps with her boss’s son. Mistake number one. Mistake number two…liking it too much. But they agreed to only one night. Simple enough, right? Wrong. He may be out of her bed, but their intense night together still burns in her memories. As long as she keeps her distance from the oh-so-desirable Xander Duval, everything will be okay. Unfortunately, fate won’t go along with her plan.

Restaurateur Xander Duval agrees to Trinity’s “one night” stipulation, but only in theory. He has no intentions of not being with her again. Especially when his mind—nor body—will allow him to forget the fire that blazed between them until the wee hours of the morning. When Trinity is injured in an automobile accident, he jumps at the opportunity to be her arms and legs. He plans to show her just how determined he is to make her his…for far longer than just one night.

Read A Preview: http://a.co/14ZfHvW

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Amazon: http://bit.ly/anothermanstreasure

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Website: http://www.joyavery.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorjoyavery

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorjoyavery

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