Memorial Day Weekend Sweet Saturday Samples

In honor of our military personnel on Memorial Day, I’ve chosen just a little teaser from the Heartsight Series – this is from Operation: Christmas Hearts – but is from one of the scenes that takes place in May. 

The roar and crash of the surf gradually crowded back into Ashley’s awareness and she stretched. The sun wasn’t as warm. Or as bright. It must have gone behind one of the clouds that had been on the horizon earlier. Shuffling sounds in the sand nearby let Ashley know she wasn’t alone. Bella and Trish had probably returned from their walk.

“Did you find anything pretty, sweetie?” she asked the little girl without opening her eyes.

“Yep, darlin’, I did,” murmured a deep voice. “And if I’d known mermaids sunbathed here, I’d have volunteered for beach patrol years ago.”

Ashley’s eyes flew open to the vision of a pair of white athletic shoes filled with sports crew socks that led to well-shaped male shins. She looked up the muscular bare legs to the black running shorts and then up…and up…and up along a bare chest with a fine sheen of sweat… This had to be the tallest, leanest, fittest body she’d ever seen. She raised a hand to block the sun and continued her appraisal. A strong jaw, clean-shaven. A grin, flirty but not leering. Short sandy-brown hair. Hazel eyes glimmered down at her, crinkled at the edges as though in silent laughter.

“Hello, handsome,” she murmured with a smile. And hello, Summertime.

<><><><>Operation: Christmas Hearts BLURB<><><><>

Ashley Torrington never cared much about Christmas before. But this year she’s having a particularly blue holiday because Marine Special Operations Team member, Nick Turner got under her skin just before he was deployed to Afghanistan. With her neighbors’ precocious daughter Bella volunteering Ashley for a special project at school, and a mysterious white-haired stranger named Estelle in town buying gifts from Ashley’s shop, not to mention the odd assortment of presents Ashley’s been receiving from an anonymous source, she shouldn’t have time to worry about her guy. But when he and his team go missing the week before Christmas, she realizes only a Christmas miracle will reunite them.

Captain Nicholas Turner never backed down from challenges—on the battlefield or in his personal life. But he’d never met a challenge like Ashley, who doesn’t want to be anyone’s “girl back home.” Now he’s on the other side of the world, wanting to be anywhere but in Afghanistan for Christmas. About to embark on one of the most dangerous missions of his life, he needs Ashley to know she’s much more than the girl he’d left behind, and he does plan to come home to her. But in the meantime, a little Christmas magic would be appreciated. Little does he know, he’s about to get his wish.

For Memorial Day weekend only, e-versions of Operation: Christmas Hearts and the story that started it all, Heartsight, are on sale for just 99 cents each. Click the picture below to go to my Amazon page for more information: 

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Abiding Echoes/Sweet Saturday

Jim nodded toward the mountains in the distance. “See those specks flying up there?”

Beth squinted. A pair of birds circled, so far away they were tiny as ants. “Are those…vultures?” Her stomach did a slow flip. Had someone or something else been killed up in the hills?

“Nope. Those are eagles.” He shaded his eyes with one hand. “I’d say bald eagles.”

She followed his lead and shaded her eyes with one hand. “You can tell from here?”

“That they’re bald eagles and not goldens? Nah.” Chuckling, Jim dropped his hand. “But I know bald eagles tend to range up that way…near the Green River. I see ‘em up there a lot…soaring and gliding. I had a Shoshone friend once who told me eagles are considered of the earth by not in it…kind of spiritual overseers.” He watched them for a few minutes in silence as he rubbed his fingertips along his jaw, obviously deep in thought.

In turn, Beth studied Jim. She supposed it wasn’t exactly ironic that father and son would both have an appreciative affinity for flying objects. Had Jim ever taken Justin kite flying?

He sighed deeply and returned his focus to Beth. “You know as high as they are, they can still spot a trout flashing too close to the surface just begging to be their next meal? They’ll glide up in the sky for hours waiting for it…or they’ll set up in a tree perfectly still makin’ sure their shadow doesn’t fall across the river. Soon as they see that sparkle of scales, they’ll be on that trout like a lightning bolt.”

“They just wait? They don’t go hunting?”

Jim shrugged, more with his face than his shoulders. “That is hunting for them. Never seen an animal with so much patience as an eagle.” He gazed into the distance again. “I reckon the view from up there likely makes just as good a reward for all that patience as the meal itself.”

A breathy laugh escaped Beth’s lips. “Heights kind of make me dizzy.”

He swung his gaze back in her direction and winked. “Guess it’s a good thing you have your feet on the ground then. But whatever view you like best, patience earns the reward in the end.”

She stared at the eagles. From so far away they barely seemed to move. They appeared to have just been suspended against the sky.

“I think I’ll go pester Mary about baking some oatmeal cookies.” Jim pushed off the fence and tipped his hat at Beth. “Justin’s in the cow barn pulling a calf.”

Beth stared after Justin’s father as he ambled to the house. His gait was steady if a little slow and tired. Before he opened the back door, he tossed a casual wave in her direction. She raised her hand but he was already stepping through the door. A chill tickled the base of Beth’s spine.

Patience…not even close to her strong suit. But if she listened to Jim McGee, very rewarding to enjoy the view while she waited. If only she knew what she was waiting for.

She turned her head and stared at the cow barn. What exactly was pulling a calf?

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Abiding Echoes on Sweet Saturday Samples

It’s finished and under contract! Hopefully you’ll see it this summer. Abiding Echoes, Justin and Beth’s sweet love story.

“Justin, come look at the sky!”

Justin strolled over to the blanket and sat, taking care to keep to the edge without being obvious. He’d seen the stars over Wyoming many times while sleeping out on the trail during roundups. But as he eased onto his back and allowed his eyes to adjust to the darkness, he took on a new appreciation for the vastness of the sky.

Beth rolled onto her back again with a sigh and began to speak in a soft voice. “Back home, we have too many city lights, so we only see a few stars. I can’t imagine being able to walk outside any night to look up and see this view. It’s like holes in a curtain…or maybe a comfortable old blanket with little pieces of heaven shining through.”

Justin’s heart did a little flip-flop and he concentrated on slowing his breathing. “Do you reckon someone’s out there looking back on us as we’re looking at them?”

Beth shifted back onto her side and propped herself on one elbow. Her hair shone pale in the dim moonlight. “As big as the universe is, I can’t believe we’re the only ones here. But if they are looking at us? I wonder if they think Earth is really all that interesting.”

Justin rolled over and propped his head on one arm so they faced each other. He knew something on Earth that interested him. Or rather someone.

Beth moved closer and Justin stopped breathing while she arranged herself on her back against his side. “See the Big Dipper?”

She pointed into the sky and he tried to follow her gesture. Finally, with a helpless shake of the head, he gave up, wishing he’d at least learned how to find a couple of constellations while he’d been out on the cattle drives.

Beth picked up his hand, holding it with the back against her palm. She nudged his forefinger apart and used it to draw an imaginary line in the sky. “See that bright star there?”

Following the line of his arm as Beth held it, Justin surprised himself by picking up a star that was definitely brighter than others around it. “Yeah.” He nodded, excitement taking over. “Yeah, I do!”

Beth gave Justin’s hand a quick squeeze. “That’s Dubhe. It’s part of the cup on the Big Dipper. So if you follow a line down, the next bright star almost underneath it? That’s Merak. And then move across…this way…” She drew the line with his hand. “You’ll see Phecda. Then up a little to Megrez, over to Alioth, to Mizar, and a little bit down to Alkaid. See it?”

He did. Quite clearly. Lightness eased into his heart for the first time in months and he laughed. “It’s a little like playing connect the dots, isn’t it”

She laughed with him, and then began pointing to other stars, naming the ones she knew, making up outrageous names for the ones she didn’t.

In the meantime, why not check out the first two books in the Echoes of Orson’s Folly series?(Click on the picture below to learn more.)


Sweet Saturday Sample from New WIP!


Bella’s laughter filtered through the headset plugged into Dan’s laptop and he paused the program that had been reading to him. The Internet version of the AP wire could wait. Dan slipped the Earbuds off and laid them on the table.

“What’s so funny?” he asked the nearly eight-year-old.

“Mama’s tummy. It’s moving.”

He couldn’t help it. The grin spreading over his face wouldn’t be denied. It happened the same way whenever he thought about the baby. They’d about given up hope of ever having one and then bam! Out of the blue a Christmas miracle.

Well, Bella was convinced it was anyway. The miracle part Dan couldn’t deny, given the grim prognosis for future progeny handed to them by every one of the top specialists they’d seen. And he supposed it was a Christmas miracle, considering that was when they’d found out about the little guy.

“Oh!” Trish squealed. “I think he’s dancing a jig this morning.”

“Here.” She touched Dan on the forearm, then lifted his hand and pulled it across her abdomen.

The soft cotton top stretched tightly over her growing abdomen. Had she grown that much just overnight? He added his other hand and cradled her belly.

Nothing happened.

“Huh!” Trish laughed. “It’s so weird how he calms down whenever you tough him.”

Dan concentrated on not frowning. Because the fact was he wasn’t touching the baby. Only Trish’s rounding belly. Other people got to see his acrobatics but not him. And except for one time when the baby had first kicked, Dan hadn’t felt anything either.

“Hello? Hello?” He moved one thumb back and forth next to Trish’s belly button. “Are you in there, Little Boy Blue?”

Bella giggled. “That is not—his name.”

Dan chuckled and dropped his hands. “It will be if we don’t agree on what we’re going to call him.”

Time enough to feel his son move. After all, he was due in just under a month.

Also in this series (click on a pictures for details) – Camp Wedding for Kindle will be free at Amazon today:

Heartsight print copy giveaway on Goodreads. Sign up today!

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