Sweet Saturday Samples Previews Heartsent

It’s almost here! What is, you ask? The second of The Heart Stories: Heartsent. The Heart Stories is a collection of stories that tell of falling in love under extreme circumstances and there is almost always some kind of miraculous-seeming event involved.

They skidded along the ground for several feet, a bumpy ride, but they didn’t tip over. As they came to a stop, several crewmembers seemed to materialize out of nowhere and began tying off anchor lines. Kevin shut down the burner.

He cocked his head sideways, laughter in his eyes, his mouth twitching into a smile. “So what do you think about our first date?”

Lina raised an eyebrow. “First date? As in you think there’s gonna be a second date?”

Kevin’s eyes danced like twin blue flames and an easy grin slid into place. “Wow, Lina, are you asking me out?”

“That’s not—” She blinked. She hadn’t. Had she? Maybe it had sounded like she’d just asked him out. Truth be told, the man’s double-rounded-backtalk befuddled her on a good day. Well, she could play his game. “What if I am? What if I decide what we do on our next date? Can you handle it?”

Kevin swooped in and captured her lips again. “I think I’m game to take a chance,” he said against the corner of her mouth.

“Eew, you didn’t say you were going to kiss her.”

Lina jerked in Kevin’s embrace. Amelia stood just outside the basket. “Well, if it isn’t your little wingman,” murmured Lina. She turned back to the little girl peering up at them. “Hello, Meelie Bug. I seem to have met your mean uncle after all. How did you get here?”

“Meemaw brought me. We drove the chase truck.”

Lina lifted her glance, and for the first time noticed a shiny black pickup with an enclosed black trailer attached parked nearby. A trim lady with salt-and-pepper hair strode in their direction. Flicking a glance back to Kevin, she shook her head. “You brought me to meet your mother?”

Coming soon: Heartsent, from Astraea Press.

With her strict no-dating-within-the-department rule, Firefighter Lina Standish has a nickname in the Salem Hills Fire Department: Lina “Standoffish”. But Firefighter Kevin Daly has had his eye on Standoffish ever since a locker room incident nearly a year earlier, and now he plans to break all her rules. With the help of his niece and a hot-air balloon, he gets Lina’s attention and she agrees to “hang out” with Kevin as friends off duty, to take it slow and see where things go between them. Then Lina’s life is turned upside down by a surprise miracle who doesn’t even have a name. Kevin’s ready to step up, but is Lina?

And don’t forget the blowout sale to be found across the board. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Astraea Press.


Autumn Harvest: Fall Between the Sheets

It’s Blog Tour time!

As summer winds to a close in the next few days, my favorite season takes up the baton in the relay of the life cycle. I have a new release scheduled to come out in October, and since it takes place right here in my home state, I thought I’d show you some of the local sights. I live in Lynchburg, Virginia. Nearby attractions would be the Natural Bridge, the Bedford WWII Memorial, Downtown Lynchburg, Liberty University, The Blue Ridge Parkway with the Appalachian Trail, and Appomattox Courthouse.

WIN A PRIZE!  Anyone who can tell me the significance of Appomattox Courthouse to the United States will win their choice of one of the following PDF novels:

1. A Deal with the Devil, Part One, by J. Gunnar Grey

2. Heartsight by Kay Springsteen

3. The Keepers by Monique O’Connor James

4. Tinsel Town by Stephanie Taylor

5. Through the Rabbit Hole by Lisa Kumar

6. The Perfect Rose by Felicia Rogers

7. A New Dream by Elaine Cantrell

8. Lizzie and the Rebel by Stephy Smith

9. Wayward Soul by Kim Bowman

10. The Picture by Stephanie Taylor

11. Lucky for Her by Stephanie Taylor

12. Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights by Jean Joachim

13.  Lifeline Echoes by Kay Springsteen

14. Elusive Echoes by Kay Springsteen

15. Matrimonial Mayhem (anthology) by G. Grey, T. Girardi, E. Cantrell, J.F. Jenkins, K. Bowman, and K. Springsteen

Three commenters drawn at random will receive their choice of one of the above PLUS a PDF copy of Heartsent hot off the presses.

Heartsent by Kay Springsteen

With her strict no-dating-within-the-department rule, Firefighter Lina Standish has a nickname in the Salem Hills Fire Department: Lina “Standoffish”. But Firefighter Kevin Daly has had his eye on Standoffish ever since a locker room incident nearly a year earlier, and now he plans to break all her rules. With the help of his niece and a hot-air balloon, he gets Lina’s attention and she agrees to “hang out” with Kevin as friends off duty, to take it slow and see where things go between them. Then Lina’s life is turned upside down by a surprise miracle who doesn’t even have a name. Kevin’s ready to step up, but is Lina?




3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, September 19, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, September 26, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
Winners will be drawn and posted September 27th! ***



6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? WHOO! HOO!! HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!***Authors & Book Pages have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***


Astraea Press continues its blowout sale–all titles, nothing over $2.99Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Try out some Tuesday Tales – they’re not just for Tuesdays.

Sweet Saturday Samples

From Lifeline Echoes  

“You hang on, do you hear me?” she ordered. “I won’t go anywhere until they have you, I swear. But you have to stay with me. Promise!”

“Okay . . . promise.” His words were slurred; his voice sounded weary.

Sandy struggled to think of something to talk about—to keep him talking and alert. “Do I hear an accent, Mick?”

His laugh was slow and soft. “Yep, I’m afraid so. I can’t seem to get the Wyoming out of my voice.”

There! Something she could get him to talk about. “Tell me about Wyoming,” she said.

He sighed. “There’s nothing like a wild gallop across the plains on a fast horse. If you can be up on that horse at daybreak, you feel like you’re flying up to meet the day. And to be in the Red Desert at sundown’s even better. If you time it right, just a split second before the sun’s gone, you feel like you’re inside all that red and orange glow. Then in your next breath you’re standing in pitch black. When you look up, the stars are already popping out. So many stars they blend together. And there’s always shooting stars for making wishes.” He laughed softly. “I guess I sound a little pathetic.”

“No.” She wished she could touch him with more than her voice. “More like a homesick cowboy.”

He was quiet for a time, then, “I guess maybe I am, Angel. I am homesick.”

His quiet admission brought tears to Sandy’s eyes, and she prayed he’d see those sunrises and sunsets and stars again. “So you lived in the desert plains?”

“I had the best of both worlds, Angel,” he told her with an easy pride. “Our ranch is in the middle of a finger of desert that’s nestled between two legs of mountains and forest.”

She could hear the love in his voice as he spoke, knew he was picturing it all in his head. “Why did you leave?”

“That’s a story for another time,” he said. “I’ll tell you when we’re on our first date.”

“Are you asking me out?”

“Oh, we’ll go out.” She could hear the grin in his voice. “I was just making the plans.”

Her lips twitched at his audacity.

Want a chance to read this with a free PDF copy? Leave a comment.

Lifeline Echoes:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble             Amazon Reviews

ALSO AVAILABLE, Sean and Mel’s story:

Elusive Echoes:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble              Amazon Reviews

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Measure of a Hero

“It’s been ten years, but it feels like it was yesterday.” ~Deborah Epps (who lost her brother, Christopher Epps)

Hero: A man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. (dictionary.com)

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (Jesus/John 15:13).

When you put these two definitions together, you see the inner character of those who died on September 11, 2001, so that others might live. America took a hit that day.And in the midst of that hit, we showed who we truly are as a collective people. Red and yellow, black and white – on that day we became all one people, all one color, coated in the gray ashes of our fallen. We pulled together then and in subsequent days as America struggled to recover from being knocked down. But to paraphrase the song by Chumbawamba: we get knocked down but we get up again; they’re never gonna keep us down!

Ten years have passed since the day American lives changed forever – some much more than others. In that 10 years, not only America but the world has changed. We’ve survived, gone on. We’ve lived because others that day gave their lives, because others since that time have put their lives on the line to advance the fight against terrorism.

I am by no stretch an advocate for war. But on this day of remembrance, let us consider not only the innocent people who lost their lives when America was attacked, not only the heroes who risked their lives and those who paid with their lives, but those who have paid over the last 10 years as well – our military personnel in foreign countries, and the families who serve right along with them – sometimes waiting at home, sometimes moving to the other side of the world to be stationed with them. America is a country built on the sacrifices of others.

And let us also consider those who were left behind, those whose family members displayed the ultimate heroism in this war we didn’t start but I sincerely hope we finish. Those who are growing up without fathers…or mothers. Those whose are a brother or sister short. Those who will never see or hold a spouse again. My heart, my prayers are with you all this day.

All people who were old enough when it happened to remember 09/11/2001 can probably state  exactly where they were and what they were doing when it happened, when they heard. Everyone lost something that day. But we also gained. We gained the strength to be found in unity.   I pray we never forget the sacrifices of others. But I also pray for peace to settle in the hearts of us all, and that we can hold onto the unity we found when we worked together. May we all rest easy in the arms of God, whatever your perception of Him.

Elusive Echoes/Sweet Saturday Samples

They’re two people caught between friendship and something more; they can’t move forward, and they can’t let go.

Drawn together from early childhood, Sean McGee and Melanie Mitchell seemed destined for each other. But at age thirteen, Melanie was wrenched from the people she loved and forced onto a path she loathed. Sean was no stranger to people leaving, but losing Melanie devastated him. When she suddenly reappeared in Orson’s Folly, Sean was overjoyed. The Melanie who came home, though, wasn’t the same girl. She’s got a harder edge and she’s obviously hiding something, but Sean no longer knows how to reach her.

Returning to Orson’s Folly as an adult, all Melanie wanted to do was forget the years she spent away. But she soon learned that going home didn’t mean she could return to her old life—or her childhood sweetheart, Sean. Even their mutual attraction to one another hasn’t rebuilt the bond of trust and closeness they once shared. It’s been seven years since she returned and now everything Melanie wants to forget has broadsided her. She must confront her demons and relive her past in an unexpected way or risk losing the only man she’s ever loved. But even if she succeeds, Sean might be lost to her anyway.

###Just closed my eyes and chose this week – hope you enjoy!###

Mel made soft clucking noises that Dev responded to with small twitches of his ears. “Why don’t they just sedate him for mating?”

Sean chuckled, casting her a sidelong glance. “The kind of tranqs he probably needs, it’d be like asking me to perform after giving me Valium and a bottle of whiskey.

Mel giggled then licked her lips suggestively. “Yeah, well, don’t take this wrong, but I don’t think I want to see what that’s like. I kind of like the Energizer Bunny version of you from last night.”

Everything Sean had been thinking was suddenly lost as all the blood left his brain for a trip south of the equator. “Okay. New rule. No talking dirty in the stable.”

“That wasn’t dirty.” Mel’s smile turned vaguely catlike. “Dirty would be if I said come to my place and—”

Sean clapped a hand over Mel’s mouth. He kept it that way while he walked her backwards out of the stable. “You are a distraction.” He pressed her against the outer wall of the stable with his body. Her pale blue eyes widened, then lit with passion. Sean removed his hand from her mouth and replaced it with his lips. ####

Astraea Press continues its blowout sale–all titles, nothing over $2.99Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Try out some Tuesday Tales – they’re not just for Tuesdays.

Read what The Romance Reviews says about Elusive Echoes.  Return to Sweet Saturday Samples

The Rose Catalog

When I was younger, we didn’t have the Internet. We didn’t have cell phones. Until I was about 10, we didn’t have a stereo – we listened to an old tube-filled table-top radio in the morning and afternoon (but never all day). On weekends, my dad would play 45s and 78s on a tabletop record player. When I was 10, we got a stereo – not the “system” kind that audiophiles love these days. It was a simple record player and radio placed in a cabinet with two speakers and stereo sound. My dad graduated to LPs (long playing albums). We didn’t have a color TV until about 1964.

But my mom had flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. Flowers for all seasons from early spring (crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, azaleas, rhododendrons, peonies) in Michigan, to summer (roses, phlox, portulaca, violas, rose of Sharon, delphinium), to autumn (asters and chrysanthemums). What extra pleasures my mom desired in life didn’t come from television or radio. She got it in caring for her colorful garden. And my dad indulged this floral habit, even to the point of helping her watch her flowers grow.

Without Internet, we had snail mail. Every season, Mom would receive gardening catalogs and she had this little routine. First, she’d thumb through them. Then, she’d go through them a little more slowly. Then, she look at the catalogs page by page. She’d take the catalogs to the neighbor’s house – her best friend and a fellow gardener – and they’d pore over those catalogs together, dreaming, planning…scheming. “You buy this two-for-one deal, and I’ll get this one and we’ll swap for the free flowers.”

By far, my mom’s favorite catalog was Jackson & Perkins. Best known for their roses, Jackson & Perkins has been in business since 1872, and they’re still thriving (the company even has a Facebook page). They back their plants with a replacement guarantee but in all her years of gardening, my mother never had to make use of this guarantee.

This past year, I ordered a hedge rose from Jackson & Perkins. I ordered it just before the last day it could be shipped for survival after planting, put it in the ground and it took off. I plan to order more of these pretty babies until I have a living rose fence around my garden. Although I found J&P on line, apparently placing an order put me on their mailing list and today I got my very first, all-glossy 55-page Jackson & Perkins catalog.

I thumbed through it. Then I went through more slowly. Then I set it on the desk in front of me and went through page by page. I don’t have a gardening buddy neighbor but I do have kids with houses….heh heh heh. So the poring over and scheming might just come next.

I have officially become my own mother. I’m off to enjoy my catalog now!

Have you heard about the Astraea Press sale? All books $2.99 or less at all sites: Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Care for a taste of Tuesday Tales?

Camp Wedding on Sweet Saturday Samples

This week I’ve chosen something from the anthology Matrimonial Mayhem, a charity release to help support Alabama disaster relief. I can’t do a p. 99 test because it’s a short, but I can show you a one-third test – a page from roughly a third into the story. Let me know what you think. And remember, all proceeds from MATRIMONIAL MAYHEM will benefit the Governor of Alabama’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for the hardest hit areas of the state. So even if you already have your copy, please tell others about it. (More info can be found on the blog of Sarah Ballance.)


Dan’s hands found their way into her hair when he moved the assault back to her mouth, and Trish’s arms stole around his waist. Had there been any wind, none would have made its way between them.

“Excuse me, Sir . . . Ma’am.” The young-­sounding male voice came from somewhere on the other side of Dan.

Trish tried to retreat from the kiss but with the van at her back, she had nowhere to go.

The voice grew more authoritative. “Sir, you need to step away from the lady!”

Finally, the urgent voice seemed to break through the haze of Dan’s intense concentration. He pulled back, his mouth quirked into a half-­smile, and he turned with a slow, lazy movement. Stepping away from Trish, he slid a hand down her arm and captured her hand.

“Sir, I have to remind you that you may not engage in PDA while here on base.”

PDA? Oh, good grief! Heat began at her neck and flooded her face.

The speaker was a young man of about Trish’s age, with very short dark hair and black-­rimmed eyeglasses. Wearing traditional desert cammies, an arm band designated him as MP or military police. Trish’s eyes widened, drawn downward to notice a holstered pistol at the young MP’s side.

She buried her face in her free hand and groaned.

“Thank you for the reminder. We were just leaving,” Dan murmured in a subdued tone. Trish yanked on her hand but he held on tight.

“Sir, I need you to step away from the lady and show me some military ID.” The young man’s stoic attitude and flat countenance reminded Trish of a bulldog with a bone. He was pure, single-­minded determination. His companion—a kid who might have been his clone except for the blond hair—stared at her with steely blue eyes.

With no other choice, Dan turned loose of Trish’s hand and she edged along her van. “Um, I need to get in to see to our little girl.” Her voice came out sounding like a croaking frog.

The silent MP followed her around to the van and held the door for her. Was it chivalry or was he hoping she had contraband he could secure? Her lips twitched and she had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep the laughter from bubbling up.

“Who are those men, Mama?”

“They’re kind of the police officers on the base,” Trish explained.

“What do they want?” Of course, now Bella would persist like one of the bulldogs outside the van.

“They just wanted to tell Daddy something important.” Such as he wasn’t allowed to engage in a public display of affection! More heat rose from her chest to envelop her face. She tried to recall where Dan’s hands had been. Where were my hands?

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