Three Strand Cord by Tracy Krauss

About the Book

Tempest. Stella. Cherise. Fate brought them together, but can their friendship survive the tangled web of danger and deception that threatens their very lives? When Cherise convinces Tempest to pretend to be her so that she can sneak out of the country to be with her dashing Italian boyfriend, she is inadvertently implicated in an international drug ring. An unexpected complication forces Tempest to prolong the charade and she finds herself attracted to the very man who might be out to cause her harm. Meanwhile, Stella’s high ideals are met with suspicion and disdain at her father’s Texas ranch, until she uncovers a dangerous secret that could put all their lives in jeopardy. At the same time, her own errant emotions take over as she falls in love with two brothers at the same time. Things heat up when Cherise is kidnapped and the three friends must turn to one another – and God – to get out of harm’s way. Three Strand Cord is a story of intrigue and romance told from three different points of view, all coming together to prove that when it comes to true friendship, ‘a three strand cord is not easily broken’.

Book Excerpt

Prologue

Stately red brick, manicured lawns, and well kept flower beds – the perfect backdrop for Parkview Private Girls’ Academy. Nature itself crowned all with a cobalt sky and warmth from the golden sun. All was exactly as it should be for an institution that prided itself on turning out well bred young ladies of means.

“Quick! This way!” A dark haired girl of about twelve gestured to her companions, her voice barely above a whisper. All three girls ducked around the sculpted hedge and squatted, peeping through the foliage.

The blonde one giggled. “This is sooo exciting!”

“What if we get in trouble?” The third girl pushed her glasses up on her nose with her forefinger. Her chestnut hair bobbed as she shook her head. “I’m not sure this is such a good idea.”

“Sh!” The dark haired ringleader held a finger to her lips. “Here comes Casey Brinks.”

The three waited, holding a collective breath as their arch nemesis, another twelve-year-old girl, neared the appointed spot under a tree. Suddenly, an explosion of water soaked her as a water balloon hit her dead on. “Ah!” The girl stood frozen while she tried to catch her breath.

“Come on,” hissed the leader – and the one with the accurate aim. The threesome crept from the shadows as stealthily as twelve-year-old girls wearing uniforms were able, and made a break for it, letting their excited giggles burst from their lungs unfettered.

“I see you, Stella Crayton!” The enraged mini-diva called after them, hands on hips. “You and your little cronies! The headmistress is going to hear about this!”

The girls kept running. They’d been caught outright and all that was left now was to wait for the punishment. Stella reached the maintenance shed first, her black hair flying out behind her. She yanked the door open and all three slipped inside.

“What do you think they’ll do?” Tempest’s eyes looked even bigger and wider behind her spectacles.

Stella shrugged. “Call our parents.”

“Do you think they’ll send us home? I don’t want to live with Aunt Rose.” Tempest frowned, her eyebrows disappearing behind the rims of her glasses.

Cherise flipped her blonde tresses back off her shoulders. “Don’t worry. Daddy’s on the board of directors.”

“Oh. Are you sure they won’t send us home?” Tempest’s eyes were wide, her voice hopeful.

“Nothing is ever for sure,” Stella stated. “But our folks are paying way too much for them to get rid of us. Besides, I’m the one who threw the balloon, not you.”

“But what if your folks make you go home?” Tempest began twisting her hands together. Stella snorted. “The last thing my stepmother wants is to have me back home.”

“You wouldn’t want to go and leave us anyway, would you?” Cherise teased. “Your two best friends in the whole world?”

Stella shrugged. “Not that I don’t love you two, but…”

“You miss Texas,” Tempest supplied. “Like I miss California. And… and…” She clamped her mouth, blinking her eyelashes rapidly.

“Hey, it’s okay.” Cherise put a comforting arm around Tempest’s shoulders. “I know you miss your folks. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost mine like you did. Even if they are a pain sometimes.”

Tempest shook her head. “I don’t want to live with Aunt Rose,” she stated again.

“We won’t let that happen. Will we, Stella?” Cherise looked to the other girl for confirmation.

“We’ll try our best.”

“Why doesn’t your stepmother like you?” Tempest swiped at a tear that had strayed down her cheek.

Stella shrugged. “Guess she wants my dad all to herself.”

Tempest leaned her head back against the rough wall and sighed. “What do you miss most about Texas?” Stella furrowed her brow.

“Besides the ranch? Zane and Blue.”

“Are those your pets?” Cherise asked.

“No, silly. Zane and Blue are my best friends – well, besides you guys,” Stella explained.

“You have boys for friends?” Tempest’s eyes had become almost as round as her glasses.

“You’re so funny!” Cherise giggled. “I’d love to have boys for friends – especially with names like Zane and Blue. Are they cute?”

Stella frowned. “They’re just friends. You are so boy crazy, Cherise Hillyer.”

Cherise just shrugged. “So?”

“Anyway, there’s no chance of me going home now. My stepmother has seen to that. She couldn’t wait to get me out of the house just as soon as she married my dad.”

“Just like a fairytale.” Cherise sighed dreamily.

“Believe me, there’s nothing fun about it.” Stella sat up and crossed her arms over her chest.

“At least you have parents.” Tempest’s voice was quiet. She fixed her gaze on her lap, blinking rapidly.

“We’re your family now, Temp, right Stella?” Cherise gave Tempest’s shoulder a quick squeeze before she shifted, straightening. “Enough gloom! Let’s talk about Casey Brinks. We got her good! She is such a snob. I can’t believe I used to be friends with her.”

“Yeah, until you started hanging around with us,” Stella stated. “We weren’t cool enough for the Casey Brinks fan club.” She shifted her position so she could peek out a small knothole in the wall of the shed. “Coast is still clear.”

“You’re way more fun, anyway,” Cherise declared. “This is so exciting. And kind of scary, too.” “Just wait till Ole Miss Crankypants gets a hold of us,” Stella said, her eyes twinkling.

“Now, that will be scary.”

“So what do we do now? Just wait to get caught?” Cherise asked.

“Pretty much,” Stella said with a shrug.

“Hey, I have an idea.” Tempest dug in her pocket. She pulled out several bright strands of colored embroidery floss. “I read a book on making friendship bracelets and I just got some new colors. We could make some. If you want to, that is.”

Stella nodded. “Why not?”

“Okay,” Cherise agreed. “So what do we do?”

“It’s kind of like weaving,” Tempest explained, beginning to work with the threads. “I read that once you tie it on, you can never take it off. It means you’ll be friends forever.”

“Neat! I want some of this color,” Cherise exclaimed, reaching for a few hot pink strands.

“We should make them for each other.” Stella took the pink strands from Cherise.

“Or, how about if we each work on all three?” Tempest suggested. “That way, we’ll be connected forever.”

“Good idea,” Stella agreed. “Friends forever.” “Friends forever,” the other two echoed.

 

Chapter 1

The cab wound its way along the tree-lined drive and slowed to a crawl on the circular driveway, finally coming to a halt in front of the mansion tucked well within the depths of Boston’s old moneyed district. The grand facade, with its pillars and over-sized windows, spoke of wealth. It was a nervous few minutes as Tempest surveyed the posh brick two story structure. It had been a few years since she’d been here to visit. Cherise’s parents weren’t much for entertaining strays from boarding school. At least, not strays without a pedigree.

“You plan on getting out?” The cab driver raised his brows questioningly as he made eye contact via the rearview mirror.

Tempest blinked back to reality. “Oh, yes.” She rummaged in her purse for the correct amount owing. Her own car was in the repair shop, so taking a cab was a necessity. “Um, here.” She shoved the bills into the cabby’s waiting palm. She couldn’t really afford such a generous tip, but it was just too embarrassing to have to wait while he made change. He was probably wondering what a person like her was doing in this neighborhood in the first place.

She stepped out of the cab, hauling her small suitcase behind her, and shut the car door with a decisive click. She waited until he had driven away before venturing up the wide steps to the menacing double doors, her small black case thumping up the steps behind her.

The bell barely had time to quit resonating when the door swung open.

“Tempest! You made it!” Cherise squealed, enveloping her long time friend in a warm embrace.

A rush of relief swept over Tempest’s body. What had she been so nervous about? This was Cherise, after all – the same blonde bombshell she’d grown up with at boarding school.

“Sure,” Tempest replied, disentangling herself. “The cabby knew exactly where to go.”

“Sorry someone didn’t pick you up at your aunt’s,” Cherise apologized as she led her further into the spacious foyer. The ceiling in the entrance rose overhead the full two stories. A large gilded mirror hung over an equally elaborate side table a few feet inside the doors. Polished white marble floors led off in several directions, including toward the grand staircase that curved upward. “The chauffeur had to take Mother to the country club and I just got back from my masseuse.”

“The cab was no problem,” Tempest assured.

“You look nice.” Cherise scanned Tempest from top to toes. “New haircut?”

“Um, yeah.” Tempest touched her reddish brown hair with tentative fingers. It was stylishly short, with just a hint of subtle highlights, and still salon fresh from that morning. It would never look this good again. She just wasn’t that good when it came to doing hair.

“Well, I like it,” Cherise stated with a nod. “Now you just need to get rid of the glasses and update your wardrobe and you’ll be a knockout.”

Tempest looked down at her outfit. Nondescript slacks and a button up blouse. She was tall and rather willowy and knew she could probably wear clothes that had a little more pizzazz, but… “I just like to be comfortable, that’s all.”

“Comfortable? With that body?” Cherise scoffed. She shook her head and expelled a dramatic sigh. “One of these days.”

“You’ve been warning me.” Tempest smiled.

“And I mean it,” Cherise affirmed. “One of these days you’re getting a makeover, lady, and there’s nothing you can do about it. I can’t believe we’ve been friends all these years and you’re still dressing like a librarian.”

“My bad.”

“In fact, just wait until you see what I’ve got planned for tonight!” Cherise exclaimed.

“Oh, oh. Now you’ve got me worried,” Tempest said, still smiling, but in truth feeling a bit uneasy. She wasn’t sure she was up for it.

“Don’t worry!” Cherise took Tempest’s arm and started walking toward the stairs. “It’s just some good old fashioned girl fun. It’ll be just like old times -” Cherise cut herself short as she stopped abruptly in her tracks. “Is that all you brought?” She gestured to the small rolling overnight bag that was following Tempest like a stray mutt. “You are staying, aren’t you?” Tempest stared at the shabby suitcase for a moment and blinked before looking back up at Cherise. “It’s just one night.”

“I thought you were staying in Boston for a few days.”

“I am,” Tempest replied. “But I have to stay with Aunt Rose for the rest of the weekend. I don’t visit her nearly as often as I should, and well, you know how it is. She is getting on and she’d be miffed if I came to town and didn’t stay with her.” There was a moment of silence as Cherise pouted. “But I’m here for tonight,” Tempest offered.

“It’s going to be so much fun!” Cherise reverted to her former animated excitement. “I’ve got all kinds of things planned, just like when we were girls at school. We’ll do facials and pedicures. Listen to loud music…”

“Your folks won’t mind?” Tempest asked. From what she remembered, they were rather preoccupied with themselves, anyway.

“Silly!” Cherise laughed. “This is an old fashioned sleepover, not some kind of orgy! What were you expecting?”

Tempest blinked and pushed her glasses up with her finger. Sometimes it was hard to gauge whether Cherise was serious or not. “I, um… nothing.”

Cherise giggled even more. “That’s what I love about you, Tempest. You’re so droll!”

Tempest smiled weakly, wondering what was funny. She never had been good at catching on to jokes and things. Oh well. At least Cherise hadn’t changed any either.

It was strange the way life worked. They had been so close while growing up – Cherise, Stella and herself – and had remained fast friends even into college. But now, over the last two or three years, they had begun to drift apart. Go their separate ways. Build their own lives apart from one another. Life was like that. People got busy. Stella had sought further education, Cherise was busy as a Boston socialite, and Tempest herself had finally launched into a career as a writer.

Well, “career” was stretching it just a bit. She was writing for a small newspaper about an hour’s drive from Boston. It was satisfactory. She was doing what she enjoyed – writing. But sometimes it was difficult. There was only so much that could be said about the local chapter of the dog society.

Tempest started up the steps behind Cherise, the suitcase bumping behind her. Cherise stopped and turned around, frowning. “Goodness! I was so excited about seeing you I forgot to call Crosbie. Just leave your case there and he’ll bring it up later.”

“It’s not that heavy.” Tempest retracted the pull handle, and picked it up by the regular one. “I can do it.”

Cherise considered this for a moment, as if the thought had never occurred to her. Then she shrugged. “At least let me take it for you.” She snatched the small bag and started up the stairs again. “I can hardly wait to tell you everything that’s been happening.” T

empest watched as Cherise skipped up the steps in front of her, her mini-skirt bouncing against her rounded backside with each step. Tempest’s lips curved upward slightly. Cherise might come across as shallow, but underneath the rich girl exterior was a truly loyal friend.

#

Tempest glanced around Cherise’s bedroom. It looked much as she remembered. Lots of evidence of the spoiled little rich girl. Pictures, frills, ribbons and lace… everything spoke of a pampered princess who had never quite grown up. “When are you expecting Stella?”

“About seven.” Cherise deposited the suitcase near the door and then flopped down on the bed. “Something about shipping some boxes back home to Texas.”

“Moving can be a lot of work,” Tempest offered.

“I guess. Anyway, she should be here in time for dinner.” Cherise rolled onto her stomach.

“Imagine! Stella with a Master’s degree! She’s probably the smartest person I know. Present company excluded, of course.”

“Of course.” Tempest pulled out a pink satin covered chair that had been tucked under Cherise’s dressing table which was littered with makeup and jewelry.

“What do you do with a degree in ‘Environmental Studies,’ anyway?” Cherise asked.

“I’m not sure exactly. Field work? Environmental testing?”

Cherise sat up and patted the bed. “Come sit here! You need to tell me everything that’s been going on since last time I saw you.”

Tempest let out a small laugh, but got up and moved to perch on the edge of the bed. “That was only yesterday at Stella’s graduation.”

“I know, but we didn’t get much time to talk. It seems like ages since we had any girl time together.” Cherise sighed dramatically. “I just don’t know how I ever got to be friends with you two. You’re both just so smart! What in the world did you ever see in a bimbo like me?”

“You’re not a bimbo,” Tempest defended. “You’re smart, too. About lots of things.”

Cherise laughed, that flippant tinkling sound that Tempest had come to know so well. “There you go, always trying to make people feel good about themselves. At least that’s one thing about Stella. She’s honest.”

“Well, I just meant -”

“Forget it.” Cherise waved a dismissive hand. “I don’t mind, you know. Being a bimbo.”

“You shouldn’t call yourself that,” Tempest chided, her voice soft.

“Why not? I don’t mean it in a bad way. Actually, playing the part has its advantages.” Cherise raised a brow and smiled. “Guys seem to go for it.”

“And you’ve never had trouble in that department,” Tempest commented wryly.

“My point exactly,” Cherise replied, flipping her blonde tresses. She lowered her voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “Just wait until I tell you about Roberto.”

“Roberto?” Another in a long string of boyfriends, no doubt.

“He is an absolute dream!” Cherise flopped back onto the bed and flung her arms above her head. “He’s Italian, and you know what they say about Italian lovers.”

“Um, right.” Tempest focused on the bedspread’s stitching, tracing it with her index finger.

“It’s all true.” Cherise sighed. There was a moment of awkward silence until she sat up abruptly. “So, anyone new in your life?”

“Nope,” Tempest replied.

“Still pining for what’s his name?”

“Ron,” Tempest supplied curtly. “His name is Ron, and no I am not pining. We only dated for a couple of months and it was a perfectly logical decision on both our parts. Our paths were going in different directions. It was for the best that we end it before things got too serious.”

“Oh please!” Cherise groaned and rolled her eyes. “Our paths? That sounds like a cop out if ever I heard one. Admit it. He was just running scared.”

“Well -”

Cherise cut her off. “Seriously. I thought he was supposed to be a Christian or something. How dare he string my best friend such a line?”

“I’m a Christian, too,” Tempest defended. “He’s going into the mission field. A long distance relationship is just too hard. It makes sense.”

“Phooey on that. If it’s right, it doesn’t matter where in the world you go.” Cherise pinned Tempest with her eyes. “If you want to know what I think, Ron is probably secretly gay or something. Why else would he dump you like that?”

“Cherise!” Tempest shot back. “That’s not true.”

Cherise raised a brow. “How do you know? Ever sleep with him?”

“Of course not. I don’t believe in sex before marriage and – and neither does he.” Tempest blinked rapidly and pushed her glasses up. It was mostly true.

“Oh right. Something I never did understand.” Cherise flopped down on her back again. “I’m glad you’re the one who got religion and not me. I couldn’t handle it.”

“You might be surprised.” Tempest shrugged.

Cherise shook her head. “No way. I mean, I’m happy if you are, but don’t expect me to change. And as for Ron, I say good riddance. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.”

Cherise giggled. “Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall for some hotty and change your mind about the celibacy thing.”

“I doubt it.” Since becoming a Christian eighteen months ago, Tempest had given up on casual relationships. Not that she’d been licentious or anything before her conversion, but now she had a legitimate excuse for avoiding men. She’d only had sex that one time in college and well, she’d rather forget all about that. It was possibly the most embarrassing moment of her life.

“It could happen.”

Tempest frowned and looked over at Cherise. “What?”

“It could happen,” Cherise repeated. “You falling for some hot guy and give up on becoming a nun.”

“I’m not becoming a nun. I’m not Catholic.”

“Whatever. You know what I mean.”

Of course she did. Cherise had a one track mind. Tempest straightened her spine. “When the right person comes along – the person God wants for me – I will be more than happy to engage in… well, you know. Once I’m married, of course.”

“But how will you know if you’re even compatible?” Cherise asked. “You know… in that way?” “Is that all you care about?” Tempest stood up and crossed back to the chair. Lord, give me patience with Cherise. She doesn’t know any better. She took a deep breath before turning around. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you. Tell me more about Roberto instead.”

The hurt look in Cherise’s eyes melted almost instantly. “Roberto,” she repeated the name softly, like a mantra. “He is so perfect. Charming, good looking, great build and well, I already mentioned that other part.” She sighed. “I would literally follow him to the ends of the earth.”

“That good, huh?”

“In every way. Of course, my parents don’t see it that way. They are always so out of touch. I think they expect me to marry someone from their pre-approved lineup.”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, you know. Old family friends. Someone with connections. The right bloodlines and all that. But I’m not having any part of it.”

“Good. It’s your life.”

“You’re not going to lecture me?”

“Why would I do that?” Tempest asked.

Cherise shrugged. “I don’t know. The religion thing? I know you don’t approve of my choices.”

“Have I ever lectured you?” Tempest blinked, tamping down the hurt that had risen in her breast. It was a topic that struck a nerve. Sometimes she felt like a bad Christian for not being more enthusiastic about witnessing to her friends. True, she’d shared her faith, but the last thing she wanted was to alienate them, so she avoided leading conversations, opting for the ‘friendship evangelism’ model instead.

“Well, no,” Cherise admitted. She looked down at the bedspread and traced some stitching. She looked up again abruptly, her eyes shining with unshed tears. “But sometimes I feel it. Like you’re such a good person and I’m, well… not. One of these days you’re going to just jump ship and leave me to my own devices.”

“Cherise!” Tempest bolted from the chair and bent to envelop her friend around the shoulders. “I’ll never abandon you. You or Stella! You know that. Friends forever, right?” Cherise sat up and they hugged properly. “Friends forever.” When they pulled apart, Cherise examined Tempest closely. “But do think I’m crazy? Falling so hard for Roberto, I mean?” “Well… How would I know? I’ve never met him.” Tempest smiled.

“Exactly!” Cherise gave Tempest another big squeeze. “I’m so glad the two of you agreed to come over for one last girl’s night before we go our separate ways. I’m going to miss you so much.”

“You make it sound like we might not see each other again. I mean, I’m not that far from Boston.”

“Oh, I know. But who knows where Stella might end up? I know she’s planning to go back to Texas for awhile, but after that, who knows?”

“True.” Tempest wished she could add a ‘who knows’ to her own future. Right now it seemed pretty stable. And pretty dull. But there were bills to pay… ”

Anyway, let’s go see what Cook is making for dinner tonight,” Cherise suggested, rolling off the bed.

Tempest followed. It was hard to mull over life’s bigger issues with Cherise around.

 

About the Author

Tracy Krauss is a multi-published novelist, playwright, and artist with several award winning and best selling novels, stage plays, devotionals and children’s books in print. Her work strikes a chord with those looking for thought provoking faith based fiction laced with romance, suspense and humor – no sugar added. She holds a B.Ed from the U of S and has lived in many remote and interesting places in Canada’s far north. She and her husband currently reside in beautiful BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. website: http://tracykrauss.com – fiction on the edge without crossing the line –

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Enduring Love by Danyelle Scroggins

This is one of my tour stops during my one week tour for Enduring Love by Danyelle Scroggins. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs April 23-28, 2018. Book your own tour here WNL.

Enduring Love

Genre: Christian Fiction

Publication date: March 16, 2018

ASIN: B07B8X7RVY

No one ever truly realizes the power of their love, until love is tested and they have to endure things unimaginable and sometimes hurtful. And if the truth is declared, no one wants to but…
Sometimes we find ourselves standing in the test of love and this is exactly where Priscilla Marshall finds herself. Married to Steven since she graduated college, together they were the perfect couple. Both making successful business moves, both loved their choices, but one had a secret that could change their lives.
Priscilla, now forced to make a plan to secure her future, finds out that a plan without God involved is not a plan at all because “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). What will God use to make this woman’s plan come full circle with His own, and after the test, will they find that they truly do have an Enduring Love?


About the Author


Danyelle is the Senior Pastor of New Vessels Ministries North in Shreveport, Louisiana, who is a dynamic author of both Christian fiction and non-fiction books. She studied Theology at Louisiana Baptist University, has a Psychology Degree from the University of Phoenix, an Interdisciplinary Degree in Psychology /Biblical Studies, and a Master’s in Religious Education from the Liberty University. She owns Divinely Sown Publishing LLC and is an avid reader. She is the wife of Pastor Reynard Scroggins and the mother of three.



Priscilla reasoned why God would choose her to be the carrier of life. Married for almost fifteen years, sexual pleasures only happened on special occasions. Often without romance, and starting with a touch here, feel there, and a real quick release on his part. The thought of making a baby vanished long ago.

In reality, indecisiveness plagued her like a severe toothache regarding being a wife or instead, being his wife. Her mind and ambitions settled on being the audacious executive she fancied herself. Relinquishing all thoughts of motherhood, that were now nowhere in the plan.
Many are the plans of man…but it is the Lord’s plans that prevail.
Dr. Thorpe’s private practice became her haven, the place where swift answers and solutions to her most pressing issues materialized. Today, he acted as the grim reaper delivering death-blows instead of solutions. Death to her plans, dreams, and her one hundred and thirty-five-pound figure. She worked hard for her body, and to destroy it for a child neither of them wanted put her in a complete stupor.

As she sat in a makeshift gown barely covering her breasts, Priscilla sighed. Moving to get more comfortable on the green leather table-bed covered with a sheet of wrinkled white paper, she felt hopeless. Priscilla swung her legs as though they could propel her into another space in time. She took a deep breath. Lumps in her throat seemed to suffocate her and caused her to give in to the explosive stream of tears cascading down her face.

How am I going to care for a child in the midst of running a company? Marshall’s Mortgage a premier mortgage company and her baby, her purpose that bequeathed her employees who became family. A creative concept and idea birthed right after leaving college with a degree in accounting and nourished with intensity and integrity. The thought of leaving it with anyone for more than a day or two frightened her. Because of this baby, she would have no choice.

“Priscilla? Are you alright?” Dr. Thorpe inquired.

Startled by his voice and still confused, she hadn’t noticed his return. “Dr. Thorpe, I’m not alright. This pregnancy is so unexpected. I thought maybe the flu or a virus. But this? I took a darn pill every day since Steven and I married. They’re supposed to prevent this. I don’t understand how it could happen,” she responded with a pant and sniffle between words.
“I’ve been an OB doctor for well over twenty years, and I promise I see women who swear they took their birth-control pill on time and still got pregnant. I know you are quite familiar with God and His work. And, I consider us close friends so I can say this.”
Priscilla nodded.

“No matter what and how we try, we can never abort the plans of God. He knows this child is going to gain a complete knowledge of Him. The Father chose you and Steven to protect, nurture, and train him or her in the way they should go. Priscilla instead of the questions why and how be excited, and grateful God chose you.”

“I don’t feel like this is something I want to do. I don’t even know if I can do it.”

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Blast from Her Past by Katy Eeten

About the Book

After a disastrous failed engagement, Sydney Hampson is leaving her past—and her faith—behind to focus on her career instead. However, following through with her new, albeit misguided, resolution proves easier said than done when former classmate, and reformed bully, Grant Williams signs on with her company, and they must work closely together. Grant Williams gave up his teenage antics years ago, and now he’s looking forward to a future that includes a strong relationship with God. When he realizes he’ll be working with none other than Sydney Hampson—the girl he had a secret crush on throughout high school—he couldn’t be more thrilled. Until he discovers she’s not the same caring, compassionate woman she used to be. When a business trip gone awry leaves the pair stranded in the middle of a snowstorm, Grant sees his chance to make things right and put their past wrongs behind them…if only Sydney can get over her distrust of men. And with a conniving coworker working to destroy Sydney’s happiness, no matter the cost, can she put her faith back in God and learn to trust in Grant before she loses her chance at happiness?

 

Excerpt from the Book

Note: The below excerpt takes place while Grant and Sydney (ex-classmates and now coworkers) are stranded in their company car during a snowstorm. Grant confesses he’d had a crush on Sydney in high school and the following exchange ensues:

Sydney swallowed hard, her face growing red. She had no idea how to respond to this news. Sure, it had been fourteen years ago, but was Grant basically admitting that he’d had a crush on her? “But what … I mean … why?”

It was Grant’s turn to look embarrassed. “I really admired you.”

“You did not,” Sydney said, brushing off his compliment. “You’re just saying that now because we’re about to freeze to death.”

Grant laughed at her exaggeration. “No, I’m serious. I really did. I thought you had it all together, and I liked how you didn’t seem to care what people said about you. You were really nice and really smart. What was there not to like?” …

Sydney let his comments soak in. “You liked me so much so that you never told me, huh?” she asked, her tone a mixture of sarcasm and melancholy.

“I know, Sydney. I was a coward back then. I cared more about my friends than about most things. Definitely more than your feelings or even my own desires. … I know it’s stupid, but, I told you, I’m a different person now.”

She glanced at him with an almost regretful expression. “Yeah, so am I.”

“I bet you could still channel your inner high school self,” Grant said teasingly.

His tone was all congeniality, but Sydney could hear the truth there too. She stared off into the distance, a twinge of sadness in her eyes. “Maybe.”

 

About the Author

Katy Eeten lives with her husband and two sons in southeast Wisconsin, despite her dislike of cold weather. She works full time in the business world, but writing is her true passion. Katy is a new author whose debut novel, Christian romance “Blast From Her Past” published by Anaiah Press, released earlier this year. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found taking walks, baking goodies, dining out, or simply spending time with her family.

 

Buy the Book

Amazon

(can also be accessed through bit.ly/EetenBlast. Only available for Kindle or Kindle Unlimited download right now. Paperback copy coming soon!)

 


DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

Beauty for Ashes compiled by Zara R. Broadenax

Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my two week book tour for Beauty for Ashes, Compiled by Zara R. Broadenax. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs April 9-20, 2018.

ISBN-10: 1973224151

ISBN-13: 978-1973224150

Genre: Christian Inspirational

About the Author

Zara R. Broadenax is a bestselling author, ministerial visionary, entrepreneurial trailblazer, altruistic philanthropist, spiritual counselor, and leadership expert. She was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting. She received her Masters of Science in Management from Troy University.
As an author, Zara contributed to 2 Amazon International Best-Selling books, Beyond the Woman and 100 Voices of Inspiration, Awakening & Empowerment. She is placing the finishing touches on her first children’s book, School Days, and currently working on a 30-day devotional God Speaks to be released soon.

Zara holds several awards and certifications. She is a highly decorated veteran with 20 years of service with multiple diplomas in Leadership and Management from various leadership schools from within the Department of Defense. Zara holds a Yellow Belt certification in Lean Six Sigma. She holds 2 certifications from Defense Acquisition University: Senior Program Management and Introductory Information Technology. Zara is a 2015-2016 Inductee, VIP Woman of the Year Circle for the National Association of Professional Women; a 2017 Member of Continental Who’s Who; and a 2017 Woman of Excellence of Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide.
Zara is married to Timothy and is the mother of two beautiful daughters, Jacqueline and Sabrina.

Excerpt

As an only child with a single parent, I knew the odds were against me. I knew that not having a father in the house or my life had marked me to be unsuccessful. However, I was determined to be successful. I wasn’t going to fail and that is where pride found the open door.
Pride is a very dangerous thing. It can hinder you in asking for help. It can conjure up truths that you didn’t know existed within you. It can have you make decisions that aren’t completely thought through. Pride displays a person that is contrary to who you believe yourself to be. Pride had set up camp in my life, and I didn’t know it until what I thought was too late.

About the Book

Beauty for Ashes is the inaugural book in The Father’s Daughters Anthology Series. Eight women gather together to show how God transforms wounds for worship, pain for praise, and tragedy for triumph. These real-life experiences show sour lemons turning into sweet delights. It is a testament to how life changes for the better when faith allows God to comfort, heal, and love His daughters.

Connect Socially

Website     Facebook

Purchase Links

March 29 Book Blast

Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for fiction authors Lisa Watson, Nicole Hampton, J.L. Campbell and Perry Busby. This tour will run March 29, 2018.  Follow the tour here.   Book your own tour here.
About the Author
J.L. Campbell is fascinated with Jamaican flora and has hundreds of photos to prove it. She writes contemporary and sweet romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, as well as new and young adult novels.
Campbell, who features Jamaican culture in her stories, has written twenty-seven books and two short story collections. She is also a certified editor.
About the Book
Aside from a brief stint of madness during their teen years, Vance James and Ayisha Glenn are not each other’s idea of relationship material. Vance, a financial analyst and avid golfer, is preoccupied with getting his fill of women, and finding that special someone doesn’t factor into his plans. Yet all it takes to turn his world upside down is one remark from Ayisha about his lifestyle. Suddenly, his focus shifts and he’s spending his days trying to prove he can be the man she needs.
Ayisha is a go-getter who knows what she’s about—a successful business, a lifetime with the man of her dreams, and children to complete the picture. Vance is an expert at romance, but with Ayisha it’s all or nothing. She’s waited years for Vance to stop chasing the wind in pursuit of what’s already in front of him. Now that he’s set his heart on having her, will she accept his love?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About the Author

 National bestselling author, Lisa Watson, is a native of Washington D.C., and writes in the Multicultural & Interracial, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, and Sweet Romance genres. Having her debut novel nominated for Best Contemporary Fiction, sparked Lisa’s desire to continue creating engaging storylines, strong characters with universal appeal, and a keen sense of humor. They are drawn together by love, respect, and a strong family ties.
Lisa loves traveling, so weaving beautiful destinations into the pages of her novels as lush backdrops, or the heritage of her characters is not uncommon.
About the Book
Danger doesn’t make an appointment…it just shows up.
When Sasha Lambert’s debut novel, The Passport Diaries, hits the bookstores it quickly becomes a bestseller. Her ex-boyfriend, and Greek tycoon, Milo Georgopoulos, believes one of the characters in the book sheds a not-so-positive light on his own extracurricular activities. He gives Sasha an ultimatum: Ditch the book or else.
Retired football player, Pierce Deveraux thinks he too has been placed between the pages of The Passport Diaries. Determined to make Sasha pay for putting a ding in his knight-in-shining-armor image, Pierce contemplates how best to even the score.
Suddenly strange things start happening wherever Sasha goes. Even her twin sister, Dr. Sienna Lambert-Deveraux worries for her safety. With an adoring assistant, an ambitious publicist, and jealous ex-lover vying for her attention, Sasha soon finds herself at the center of dangerous tug-of-war.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
About the Author
Nicole Hampton is a compassionate woman, who loves to create stories readers can relate to in a way that validates situations that occur daily the lives of many. Her love for reading developed at an early age. She often spent hours becoming lost in the worlds of characters of her favorite books. Born in the South Suburbs of Chicago, IL, reading offered an opportunity for Nicole to dream about life outside of her community and fed her desire to want to explore the world beyond her modest surroundings.
Nicole earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and utilizes the skills and knowledge learned to address the issues presented in her debut novel Glimmer in the Darkness in a manner that allows people to connect and understand the struggles of her characters. Nicole lives in North Carolina, is a dedicated wife and mother of six, who spends any time she can snatch, developing characters and story lines to share with her readers. Her second novel, Tears of the Storm, will release in summer of 2018.
About the Book
For Shannon Johnson, full-time wife, mom and freelance writer, life as she knew it changed one spring afternoon with the ringing of her doorbell. On the other side stood Vaneetra James, former mistress of Shannon’s husband, Daniel. With two sons, Shannon resisted the urge to leave Daniel in order to keep her family intact. However, she refused to deal with the issues resulting from Daniel’s extramarital affair.
When Shannon thought her life couldn’t get any worse, a tragic turn of events in Vaneetra’s life turned Shannon’s already fractured world upside down, sending her marriage into an even deeper peril.
Feeling desperate and trapped, Shannon made a series of rash decisions that landed her in the arms of another man, bringing her already fragile world crashing downward. Having to come to grips with the reality that the man she once thought was extraordinary was just ordinary, she had to trudge the road of forgiveness, while learning to love again and accept what she never imagined could ever exist.
Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction
                              About the Author
Perry Busby is an author and founder of Buzz Word Publishing. In addition to writing, he is a freelance programmer and data analyst. His client list includes both government and private organizations; from NASA, to the Federal Reserve Bank, and political campaigns; from Fortune 100 companies to non-profit organizations and local business. After 30 years of designing and analyzing software and data, Perry now turns his creative energies and keyboard to write about a journey that has been just as adventuresome as it has been nerdy. When he isn’t writing, Perry dedicates time to engage and counsel minority youth and college students on the obstacles and opportunities of working within the IT sector.

Website: http://www.buzzwordpublishing.com

About the Book
Phil Jacobson, a young African-American computer enthusiast and hacker, lands a prized position as a programmer with Intellect Technology Incorporated, a leading technology company. While coping with being one of a select few minority programmers the company has recently hired, Phil discovers a fellow hacker has uncovered evidence that points to his hiring as being part of a more egregious cover up.
On the brink of closing their doors for good, and faced with competition from a growing personal computer industry, Jack Sherman, the CEO of ITI, hedges his bets on his young chief financial officer, Vincent Martello, and a new technology called the Internet. ITI is set to acquire the first Internet browser from WorldNet Labs, a small startup company founded by Phil’s longtime friend, Malcolm Graves. The deal between ITI and WorldNet Labs could potentially be the smartest and most lucrative corporate deal of the century. But, ITI’s questionable employment practices, a reported EEOC complaint, and Jack Sherman’s sordid family alliances, could kill the deal in its tracks. Relying on the skills he learned while assisting his father and information he’s gathered from the Underground (a virtual network of computers on a Bulletin Board System), Phil rushes to uncover ITI’s secret past and put an end to what may be the worst deal ever for his friend.
With Charlotte, North Carolina, as the backdrop Perry Busby weaves a suspense tale about a family confronting life’s changes as society prepares for its next disruptive invention, the Internet.
Genre: Mystery

The Land Lord by Cheryl Colwell

About the Book

Land lords: China’s most threatening export yet. Incensed at the economic takeover, America’s ethnic populations are killing each other. Bombs are blowing up buildings, buses and businesses. The President knows someone in his White House is manipulating the hatred. But who?

Book Excerpt

“If we focus on what is different between us, we each become a community of one.” She let that sink in. “The alternative is to look for what we have in common, what each of us has to offer. Only then can we create a community that can accomplish great things.”

About the Author

Cheryl Colwell drops characters you love into stunning locations, where dark contemporary and historical occurrences summon them to action. Each novel takes you on an adventurous quest popping with mystery, romance, and suspense. Inspired by museum finds and historical events she unearths in the cities and countries she visits, her stories keep you guessing what is fact and what is fiction. And who dunnit.

Buy the Book

Amazon.com

 


DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

Book Blast


WriteNow Literary Book Tours is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for fiction authors AngeliaVernon Menchan, Michelle D. Rayford, Naleighna Kai and Pat Simmons. This book blast will run March 22, 2018.  Follow the tour here.   Book your own tour here.

                                                          About the Author


Naleighna Kai is a national bestselling and award-winning author of several controversial novels, contributor to a New York Times bestseller, and the E. Lynn Harris Author of Distinction. She has penned Every Woman Needs a Wife, Loving Me for Me, Was it Good For You Too?, Open Door Marriage, She Touched My Soul, Rich Woman’s Fetish and other contemporary fiction novels that plumb the depth of unique love triangles and women’s issues.

In addition to successfully cracking the code of getting published and landing a deal with a major publishing house, she continues to “pay it forward” by organizing the annual Cavalcade of Authors which gives readers intimate access to the most accomplished writing talent today. She also serves as CEO of Macro Marketing & Promotions Group which offers aspiring authors help with editing, publishing, marketing, and other services to jump-start their writing ambition. Additionally, she is Editor-in-Chief for Naleighna Kai’s Literary Café Magazine and Acquisitions editor for NK Recommends—a mail order book service that caters to a select audience. She was born and raised on the Southeast side of Chicago, the setting for most of her novels and where she is currently working on her next books: Slaves of Heaven and Mercury Sunrise.

Website: http://www.naleighnakai.com

About the Book 

Michael “Magic” Arrington’s sudden fame and startling climb up the music charts skyrocketed him into the world of Hollywood glitz and glamour. While all was exciting and wonderful at the beginning, the shady undertakings of the music business caused his life to take a downward spiral, ultimately separating him from his family and his hold on reality. Then he met Maya.

Maya Gervais has completely distanced herself from her past, even going as far as changing her identity to protect her from the one man who wants her dead. She is a civic-minded lawyer who champions for clients who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. So trusting someone enough to fall in love was never a consideration, especially since it could cost her much more than she was willing to give.

After the two have a chance meeting at a concert, a daring escape leads to an exploration of pain and pleasure that sets them both on the path to healing and an into an unlikely romance. However, the path to blissful happiness is never an easy one, as they both have their own demons to confront, including Michael’s jealous manager and Maya’s reluctance to deal with things she would rather forget.

She Touched My Soul is a gripping, engaging novel of loss, love, and everything in between.


Genre: Contemporary Fiction


           About the Author

Angelia Vernon Menchan is wife, mother, nana and mentor. Since January 2006, she has published 34 printed books and an additional 124 ebooks through her small publishing company, MAMM Productions. She is also the Co-founder of Honorable MENCHAN Media, through which she has published books for 15 authors to date. Her personal motto is, ‘There is abundance through God for all of us; we simply have to be open for our blessings.’

In 2017 she decided to add her hallmark phrase “Just LOVE” to coffee mugs and tee-shirts. This phrase has taken on a life of its own! In addition, Angelia is a prolific public speaker and mentor to women of all ages. 

She resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and cover designer, Maurice Menchan.

Website: http://www.angeliavernonmenchan.com

                       About the Book 

Kent and Cina Markham are returning home to start their own business with the thirteen year old son, Kente. Kent has decided that though Kente is a good kid with great grades he is too soft. To correct that he tells Cina ‘hands off’ he’s taking over from there. Cina is miffed but concedes. The thing is who is really schooling whom? Not only that who assists Cina when Kent is mostly focused on his son? Schooling His Son deals with complex father and son and husband and wife issues, realistically.

Genre:  Fiction


            About the Author

Michelle D. Rayford knew she wanted to write books the moment she won a literacy contest in the fifth grade. The writing seed was planted. It only took a couple of decades for that seed to bear fruit. Michelle was never good at gardening.

Even while pursuing a degree in Business Administration, working a government job, getting married and having two daughters, the stories didn’t stop churning in her head. Some even made their way into print in the form of poems, short stories and blog posts.

Michelle lives in a Southern city where she spends any free time reading, writing, listening to 80’s music and playing NBA2K.  She can be contacted at mdrayford@gmail.com or through her website

http://www.michelledrayford.com

                               

                  About the Book 

Adrienne always wanted a child. Too bad her husband, Logan, doesn’t.

When Adrienne decides to have the baby, her marriage is tested in new ways. Her husband’s reluctant acceptance of their son comes at a price Adrienne doesn’t know she is paying. She has the life she always wanted. So, why isn’t she happy?

Logan’s focus has always been on taking over the family law firm. Having a beautiful woman as his wife completes the picture. When a wealthy client comes to town, Logan seizes the opportunity to surpass his father and put the law firm on the map. If only he can keep his wife in line and his own secrets from coming out. When the past makes its way into the present, will the truth finally set Adrienne free?

 Genre: Fiction
 Amazon: http://amzn.to/2GRYWYT
                                                                                             

                                                        About the Author

Pat Simmons has penned more than thirty-five titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a life-altering experience. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country. Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Website: http://www.patsimmons.net

                                                              About the Book


Three sisters living in three different cities (Baltimore, St. Louis, and Nashville) make a pact to share responsibilities for their aging relative after authorities find Aunt Tweet across state lines. Her destination had been a neighborhood grocery store. The siblings soon learn the definition of caregiver includes a cup full of patience, a slight sense of humor, and when to cry out for help. Women juggle between career and family all the time, but Tabitha Knicely (St. Louis) is struggling to find a balance. Romance is the last thing she is trying to add to her list. The Aunt Tweet she knew all her life is not the same one who is residing in her home when she accepts the role as a caregiver for six months. Overwhelmed can’t begin to describe her emotions. Marcus Whittington is an opinionated, successful business owner, but he has a soft side when it comes to the elderly. They remind him of good memories of his grandparents. When Aunt Tweet is the mystery woman who stakes out his porch, he becomes concerned that she is not being taken care of properly. He sheds his misconceptions about what Tabitha isn’t doing right when he discovers that every caregiver needs a caregiver. Marcus knows in order to win Tabitha’s heart; he has to charm Aunt Tweet’s too.

Genre: Christian Romance
Releasing:  April 3, 2018. For information about this book visit the author’s website: http://www.patsimmons.net