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Saturday, March 30, 2013

EXCERPT FROM ALL FOR SPILLED BLOOD ~ R. ANN SIRACUSA


ALL FOR SPILLED BLOOD

Fourth novel in the Tour Director Extraordinaire Series
 
An international youth convention, art smugglers, and terrorists trying to recruit young computer geniuses and a national art treasure.
Harriet Ruby, tour director extraordinaire, and her fiancé and favorite spy, Will Talbot, travel to Russia undercover as tour directors for the US delegation to an international youth conference.  Harriet tackles her first covert assignment to investigate smuggled artwork while Will’s mission is to locate and destroy a group of terrorists recruiting young computer experts.
Their marriage plans hit a snag when Will locates a long-lost cousin with startling news about his heritage.  When the artwork being smuggled has particular significance to one of the terrorist sympathizers, their missions entangle and begin to unravel, leaving Will at the mercy of terrorist kidnappers and Harriet holding the bag.
 
 

The temperature had dropped, and nasty gray clouds hung low and heavy over the city, as if the heavens prepared to rip open and weep for us in advance.
Oh, man. Get a grip, Harriet. Maybe hunger had made me delirious. Or my grim mood might be inspired by the fear that I could soon lose nearly all the things I cared about in life. Even inside the car, the cold wind seemed to chill me and set my teeth chattering.
Minute by minute, we moved into unfamiliar territory with no more famous monuments or charming European architecture to distract me. While it didn't seem we'd traveled far from the historic center, and although we were still near the Neva River, the industrial area around us appeared unkempt and ominous. Not a part of St. Petersburg the causal tourist visited.
The day grew darker the further we went, and I expected Vitaly to turn on the headlights. The crush of pedestrians had disappeared from the sidewalks, leaving them abandoned to silence and an occasional soul battling against the wind, anxious to be out of the weather.
Behind me, Charlie grunted. "So once they've got the chips, are they gonna let us walk out of there? I had the impression they didn't want us to know who they are."
I turned as much as possible in the cramped quarters. "You're catching on. They don't want you to know, but if they think you're still in the game and still need you to do something, they might let you off the hook." Liar, liar! Not going to happen. They might walk out, but they wouldn't get far.
No way did I intend to suggest these terrorists would be happy to eliminate all of us in one diabolical stroke. And whatever they had planned would look like an unfortunate accident. "After all, they're supposed to give you instructions for the next steps, so they must want you to do more to make this fire sale happen."
Vitaly raised one eyebrow a smidgen, as though he knew bullshit when he heard it. He glanced at the address again, slowed the car, and turned at the next corner. From there, I spotted an unfamiliar bridge spanning the Neva River and along it were crowds of people. In spite of our location, we were not that far from one end of the parade route.
The car crept forward for several blocks before our driver pulled to the curb a block from our destination and stopped. All conversation died an instant death, and we sat in silence, listening to the hissing and popping noises made by the cooling engine.
Gray, undistinguished four- and five-story structures, leftover relics of the Communist regime, lined both sides of the deserted street. The sidewalks made of paving stones were broken and worn, the street full of potholes. If the storm broke, they would soon overflow with rainwater.
Nervousness made my skin itch with anxiety in spite of the cold and humidity. I glanced around, imagining Russia when outsiders were segregated and not allowed to mingle. When the government paid unemployed people to stand around in threes to observe the actions of others and to report any unusual behavior.
"I don't like this place," SD finally whispered, again sounding her age.
Neither did I. "We'd better get out of the car before the whole neighborhood knows we're here. We'll have to play it by ear."
"Don't talk when we get out," Vitaly warned. "That's the building over there. David, can you lead the way from here?"
"Yeah, I think so." He opened the car door and got out.
The rest of us followed, clumped together, as clingy and silent as cobwebs. The closing doors clicked as they latched, thunder in this silence. All my unspoken fears choked together in a lump in my throat.
Sienna Dawn grasped my hand. "I'm scared."
We trailed behind David, who turned every few seconds for signals from Vitaly, who was bringing up the rear. Why did he insist on being behind everyone? The fine hairs at the base of my neck bristled with trepidation.
We followed the sidewalk to the end of the building, then turned down an alleyway, hugging one wall as we negotiated our way carefully across the rough asphalt scattered with occasional bricks and other debris. The penetrating cold of the spring storm wiggled its way inside my jacket and seemed to take up permanent residence in my body. I pulled my coat tighter around me with one hand and wished I had gloves to keep my trigger finger warm.
At the end of the alley, we came to a fence around a small open space between the buildings. At a sign from our Georgian guide, David pushed on the unlatched gate. The metal squeaked and groaned, as though unused to the abuse of being opened.
The place seemed too deserted. My free hand patted the gun in my pocket. The gate emitted a desolate clunk as Vitaly eased it shut behind him.
The fence enclosed a small public garden of sorts. A little park surrounded on four sides by old buildings which, at first, appeared to be warehouses. I'd thought we were in some old industrial area, but the park made me wonder if this could be residential.
Not a very cheery place to live, for sure. I stared up the sides of buildings to the dark holes in the façade that were windows. In this light, they seemed covered on the inside by black paper. A sliver of light appeared around one of them.
Our destination, perhaps.
SD was right—the place was scary and did little to inspire confidence.
We exited the garden through another gate that groaned the same way as the first, rounded the corner of the building, then stopped against the wall. Eerie silence enveloped us. The heavy atmosphere sucked up the shuffling of our feet. One of us drew in a deep breath, and it sounded like a windstorm.
Still taking his cues from Vitaly, David led us around and over piles of broken bricks, pipes, and construction materials strewn about. From the look of things, someone was in the process of replacing plumbing pipes. The wet ground squished around our shoes, and we slipped and slid through the mud. When we came to an open trench filled with slush, Andy took Sienna Dawn's arm and helped her over it, leaving Carla and me to leap across unassisted.
So much for age before beauty. 
 
 
 
Amazon Buy Link
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-allforspilledblood-1078454-149.html
http://www.bookstrand.com/all-for-spilled-blood


 
 
 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Last Friday of the Month Recipe - Sausage and Rice Casserole

My husband and I make very few casseroles, but this Sausage and Rice with all the veggies is one of our favorites and tastes even better the next day. 

Plus it's easy and pretty darn quick.




We use rice cooked in a rice cooker, but however you cook your rice will work.  This is not a fussy recipe.

Ingredients:
8 cups of cooked rice
1 lb of sausage, use your favorite, either ground or link
2 cans of mushroom slices, drained
2 green bell peppers copped large
4 or 5 stalks of celery cut 1/4 to 1/2"
1 onion chopped coarsely
16 oz (usually 1 can) chicken broth
EVOO, Canola Oil or Veg Oil, your choice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:
Cook the rice and let it sit while the rest is being prepared.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

I saute the veggies along with a turn of the oil bottle, it doesn't take much oil :)

 
 
After the veggies are slightly transparent (we like crisp veggies) I add the sausage and canned mushrooms and cook until sausage is done.
 
 
 
Then I add the rice to a large lidded pan, stir in the veggie/sausage mix and add the can of chicken broth.  (For easy clean up, I spray the pan with cooking spray.)
 
Put in the oven until hot, about 20 minutes and enjoy your favorite beverage while it's heating through and the flavors are blending.
 


Set the table and enjoy. 


The dish is filled with veggies, along with just the right amount of rice and protein. 

Yum. 

Hope you enjoy.

~LA




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

THE MYSTERY CHARACTER IN YOUR NOVEL ~ SETTING

Please join me in welcoming R. Ann Siracusa to My Story, My Way.  Just wait until you read her post on Setting As A Character!!

Ann is involved in many activities, but her two favorite are traveling the world and writing fiction.  This talented author combines those passions into novels which transport readers to exotic settings, immerse them in romance, intrigue, and foreign cultures, and make them laugh.
 
 
Today, she is retired from a career in architecture and urban planning where she was multi-published in professional non-fiction categories. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and writes full time. Her first novel, a post WWII mafia thriller, was published in 2008.  She now writes for Breathless Press who has published the first four of a five-book romantic suspense series, one sci fi romance, and two short stories.

Her latest book, All For Spilled Blood will be Saturday's excerpt.

An international youth convention, art smugglers, and terrorists trying to recruit young computer geniuses and a national art treasure.

Harriet Ruby, tour director extraordinaire, and her fiancé and favorite spy, Will Talbot, travel to Russia undercover as tour directors for the US delegation to an international youth conference.  Harriet tackles her first covert assignment to investigate smuggled artwork while Will’s mission is to locate and destroy a group of terrorists recruiting young computer experts.
Their marriage plans hit a snag when Will locates a long-lost cousin with startling news about his heritage.  When the artwork being smuggled has particular significance to one of the terrorist sympathizers, their missions entangle and begin to unravel, leaving Will at the mercy of terrorist kidnappers and Harriet holding the bag.

Breathless Press Buy Link
Amazon Buy Link
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-allforspilledblood-1078454-149.html
http://www.bookstrand.com/all-for-spilled-blood


 
Setting As A Character

You've done character profiles for your hero, heroine, antagonist, and secondary characters. You've plotted your novel. You're ready to go. But wait! Have you overlooked that mystery character?
Who's that?
Your setting, of course.
When I e-mailed Leslie Ann about guest blogging, I said I'd write about St. Petersburg, the setting for my most recent release All For Spilled Blood. "Great," she replied. "Setting is another character."
Absolutely! That stirred the juices, and I decided to blog on using your setting as a character in your novel.
SETTING OF THE NOVEL
Without place, the characters are just there without reason to act or care. Setting is not only the time, location, and circumstance of where the story takes place, but the social milieu which shapes values and the characters. Nathan Bransford sees three important traits in a novel:
● "Change Underway: The best settings are not static, unchanging places that have no impact on the characters' lives. Instead in the best worlds there is a plot inherent to the setting itself: a place in turmoil, or a place that is resisting change but there are tensions roiling the calm, or the sense of an era passing in favor of a new generation."

● "Personality and Values: A great setting has its own value system. Certain traits are ascendant, whether it's valor and honor, justice and order, every man for himself, or it could even be a place where normal values and perspectives have become skewed or inverted…There's a personality outlook that throws us off kilter and makes us imagine how we'd react if we were placed in that world."

● "Unfamiliarity: Most importantly, a great setting shows us something we've never seen before. Either it's a place that most readers might be unfamiliar with and have never traveled to, or it shows us a place that we are all-too-familiar with, but with a new, fresh perspective that makes us look again."
The setting may establish the mood of the novel, as well as serve as a character that helps the protagonist achieve his or her goals, or as the antagonist working against them [e.g. a novel where the protagonist's goal in climbing Mt. Everest and the setting does everything it can to prevent that with wind, falling rocks, breaking ropes, and so on].
So, your setting is definitely a character in your novel. Whether it's a primary or secondary character depends on the kind of novel and what the author wants. But choosing the correct setting is just as important as the other components of the novel. It can assist the reader to experience the drama and feel the moods and emotions of each particular scene, as well as the novel as a whole.
Sometimes settings are such that the story couldn't take place anywhere else because of the mood, physical features, social values and customs. Think about what makes your setting unique.
Author Susan Meissner writes:
"We are wired to assign value to places. That's why home is so sweet, Yosemite is so beautiful, Paris is so romantic and a moonlit beech is so calming. It's also why dark houses scare us, crumbling cliffs intimidate us, and foggy moors depress us. Places communicate something to us. A spider doesn't care if it makes a web in a dark, musty cellar or under a chair in an opulent ballroom. But we care!"
You can set a novel in a place you've never been and pull it off, but having been there is better. Physical presence gives you a sense of how the location feels, tastes, and smells. You hear the background sounds, feel the rhythm and pace. These things are often hard to research. Even if you've never been to the location where your novel is set, thinks about those characteristics of place.
While setting may not be the same as mood and atmosphere, the reader's emotional response to the time and place of the setting, each setting has its own unique mood and atmosphere. And the more familiar you are with the sense of place, the more you can use it to assist or hinder your protagonist, which will add depth to your novel.
Doing research in advance allows the author to pull those in as details that affect and further plot without stopping in the middle to look things up, or going back later to add them…and then forgetting to do that.
A few things to look at include: Weather and climate, slang and language, particularly if the setting is foreign, the appearance at different times of day and in different seasons. You may even want to find out of the location is on daylight savings time…and that's not just for the US settings. What places in the setting are particularly scary/dangerous and peaceful/safe, map and satellite pictures, topography and physical characteristics.
Susan Meissner also suggests, as part of your research, that you look at the location's newspaper on line and check out "real estate ads, the society page, obituaries, and the restaurant guide." You can get a good sense of what the city or town is like. Personally, I'd throw in reading the police blotter or equivalent, too.
SETTING OF EACH SCENE
I was intrigued by Author MaryLu Tyndall's list of six ways the setting can help or hinder the protagonist in achieving his/her goals in general and in a scene. It's worth the time to read her article. (See Resources) Here's a recap of her points.
● The setting as a friend / a comfortable, relaxing place where protagonist can reflect, or a safe place to hide from enemies.
● The setting as an antagonist / introduce conflict, trouble, thwarts protagonist's plans.
● The setting as a mentor / a place to learn or make discoveries, a place to prepare to take something on.
● The setting as a shadow for protagonist / a shadow reflects the deepest flaws of the character / a setting that opens the character's eyes to his/her own flaws.
● The setting as a model of what the protagonist wants to be / a setting that fosters qualities to which the protagonist aspires.
● The setting as an example / a setting that either assists or hinders the character in the particular scene.
There are important roles of the setting of each scene.
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
St. Petersburg is a beautiful city founded by Tzar Peter the Great in 1703. Although created to be as much like other contemporary European cities as possible, nothing is really old by European standards, and the buildings themselves take on some of the special expansive qualities typical of Russian architecture.
 
 
I didn't know, when I went there in 2004, that St. Peterburg is called the Venice of the North. It was originally constructed on ten islands on the north side of the Neva river delta. Today the city spreads over more than forty islands and has 342 public bridges of all sizes, types, and designs. It’s impossible to walk more than a few hundred meters without crossing a bridge. The canals and the morning fog give the city a very romantic and picturesque mood, as do the white nights when the sun goes down at 1 am and the rest of the night is like twilight until the sun comes up at about 3:30 am.




The Tsar expected residents of the city to move around during the summer months by boat on the canals. In the winter, when the canals are frozen, they were expected to use the canals with sleds. I guess that didn’t work out. After Peter’s death, they started building bridges. The first permanent bridge of bricks and stone across the main branch of the Neva was constructed in 1850.
 
The Russian people are integral to St. Petersburg as a setting. I found them friendly, helpful, and often outgoing…but serious. Yes, they do laugh and smile, and they know how to have a good time, but in the shopping center or along the streets, most of them seemed to go about their business with unsmiling intense expressions, as though they take life very seriously. The older ones rarely step out of the box of their responsibility, seemingly conditioning from prior times.


If you read All For Spilled Blood, you will see how I use the setting as a character in the novel.




 
 
Ann loves  to hear from her readers and can be contacted through her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.
Website:          http://www.rannsiracusa.com/blog
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/AnnSiracusa





       



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beyond the Big Six Studios...



Bringing you another news link from Studio System News. 

 

Beyond the Big 6: Mini Majors Gain Momentum

20 Mar 2013
By


Excerpt:
Surveying the domestic box office revenues of the past several years, it’s no surprise that the Big Six of studios hold court at the top of the list, consistently commanding upwards of 90% of the market share. These household-name media conglomerates—Paramount, Warner Bros., Sony, Disney, Universal and 20th Century Fox—have long dominated the upper rankings year after year. But the mini-majors are worth a closer look; these smaller companies are fast rising in the ranks, one steady percentage point at a time. The mini-majors perform the same functions as the majors whom they directly compete with: They finance, produce, market and distribute films. But they operate without the safety net of a diversified parent company.
 
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT:
 
http://www.studiosystemnews.com/beyond-the-big-6-mini-majors-gain-momentum/#comment-7909


 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Excerpt from Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman




Please enjoy this excerpt from Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

“A sad case, that one.”

Slade glanced at Mr. Thompkins.

“He lives down on the other side of the tracks. Got a timid little wife and two kids. A boy and a girl. He’s done a few odd jobs around town. Does a good job too, but he don’t stay sober long enough to work no more’n one or two days, and he’s at it again.”

The shopkeeper shook his head and turned away to finish Slade’s order. Slade tried to ignore the man slumped against the porch steps of the mercantile, but his thoughts wouldn’t let him. The whole situation reminded him too much of his own father. His father had stayed drunk, hardly knowing, or caring, if the rest of them had anything to eat or clothes to wear or even a roof over their heads.

He thought of the little boy he’d given the money to. Could this man be the boy’s father? More than likely. There probably weren’t too many drunks in a town the size of Wisdom.

“All right, mister, here’s your order,” Mr. Thompkins said.

“Put it on the Lazy M tab, will you?”

“Sure thing.”

Slade picked up his supplies and headed out the door, Buck right behind him. A little boy stood beside the drunken man.

“Pa?”

The man grunted. “Wha’? Wha’cha want?”

“It’s time to come home, Pa.”

The man brushed the kid away. “Leave me ’lone. Can’t you see I’m sleepin’?” He curled himself up on the porch.

Slade stuffed his saddlebags with his packages, unable to ignore the child as he tried to rouse his pa. As he suspected, it was the same boy he’d met down by the railroad tracks. Somehow he’d known those kids were hungry. They hadn’t asked for money or a handout. But he’d known.

“Pa, you’ve got to come home.” The youngster tugged on his pa’s sleeve. “Ma’s got some rabbit stew cooking. Don’t you want some stew?”

“Don’ want no stew.”

Desperation clouded the boy’s expression. “But, Pa—”

The shopkeeper stepped through the door. “Better get him out of here.” He sounded apologetic. “Or I’ll have to call the sheriff. Can’t have him running off all my customers. Especially the women. They won’t come in here with him plastered all over my porch.”

“Please, Mr. Thompkins, don’t call the sheriff.” Fear shot across the boy’s face. “Ma don’t want Pa to go to jail again. He’s almighty mean when he gets out.”

“I know, son, but he’s got to go.” Mr. Thompkins glanced at Slade, clearly in a quandary.

Slade looked at the boy. “How about if I help you get your pa home?”

“Would you, mister? I’d be mighty obliged.” A light of hope shone in his eyes.

“What’s your name, son?”

“Jimmy—” He drew himself up tall. “Jim Denton.”

“I’m Slade Donovan, and this here’s my brother, Buck.”

As Slade pulled the man to his feet, Jimmy’s pa glanced around wildly. “Where we goin’?”

“Goin’ for a little ride.” Slade helped him up on his horse. Denton groaned and slumped over the saddle horn.

Buck jerked his head toward his own mount. “You want to ride out to your house, Jim?”

Jim nodded, his too-long bangs flopping into his eyes. “Yes, sir.”

Buck helped him up onto the gentle horse, and Jim led the way out of town. Just as Slade suspected, they crossed the railroad tracks past the church and headed down a rutted lane. Less than a mile from town, they came to a dilapidated shack.

Jim slid off Buck’s horse and ran toward the house. A thin young woman with light-brown hair came to the door. A look of relief eased her tired features when she saw her husband.

“Mr. Slade and Mr. Buck brought Pa home.”

“Ma’am.” Slade touched his hat.

It didn’t take much effort to haul Denton off the back of the horse and propel him toward the porch steps. He disappeared inside.

The woman turned to Slade, her gaze not fully meeting his. “Thank you.”

“Welcome, ma’am.”

Little Jim studied the ground.

Slade ruffled his thick shock of hair. “Jim, we could use some help out at the Lazy M. Would you be up to doing a little work this summer?”

“Could I, Ma?” The boy’s face lit up.

Mrs. Denton glanced toward the open door of the shack and twisted her hands in her faded apron. “You’d have to ask your pa.”

The boy’s face fell.

“You do that, Jim.” Slade gathered up his horse’s reins. “I’ll be by later in the week and we’ll see about it, okay?”

“Yes, sir,” Jim mumbled, head lowered as he toed the dirt.

They rode home in silence. Slade knew he and Buck were both thinking about the abject poverty the Dentons lived in. The kind of poverty they both were familiar with. The kind that seeps into your pores and stays with you for a long, long time.

Slade took a deep, cleansing breath. But not anymore. His mother no longer lived in a drafty shack on the edge of town. He fingered the letter in his pocket, anticipating the day she’d arrive. He couldn’t wait for her to see the Lazy M ranch house. It might need work, but it was a mansion compared to where she’d lived for as long as he could remember.

Only one thing tempered his bright new future.

Mariah and her grandmother would pack up and leave as soon as his mother arrived, and he only had himself to blame.
 


 
Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel. www.pamhillman.com
 
 
 
 
Buy Links for Claiming Mariah
          B&N link: http://tinyurl.com/ays6fq7
          CBD link: http://tinyurl.com/bvjx3m7
Goodreads link: http://tinyurl.com/d9u2k6j
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pam Hillman ~ For the Love of a Child: An Ode to Will

Please join me in welcoming Tyndale author Pam Hillman who was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay.

In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of!

Her work has placed in dozens of writer’s contests, including being a four-time finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest for unpublished novelists with Claiming Mariah, her second novel, winning the coveted Golden Heart. Her debut novel, Stealing Jake, is a 2013 Epic eBook Awards finalist. www.pamhillman.com


Now that you've read this, you'll glean a bit more about Pam from her post below:




Will Woods was our milk man when I was a little bitty squirt. And by milk man, I don’t mean he picked up those small 5 gallon milk cans. He drove a milk tanker and transported a gazillion gallons of milk every day.
 
 We lived down a long dead-end country road, and I could hear a car coming from a mile away. So it was no wonder that I could hear Will comin’ long, long before he got there.

Will gave me my first tricycle. Mama said Will didn’t have kids at that time, so I don’t know where he got the tricycle, but I distinctly remember that he brought it to me in the cab of his tractor-trailer for my birthday. I loved Will with all the passion of a pre-schooler who didn’t see anybody other than my parents and older brothers all week. Since my parents both worked on the farm, I didn’t go to pre-school or daycare: the dairy was my daycare; my brother, the dogs, cats, and newborn calves my playmates.

Will picked up our milk every other day, but I was too young to process how often “tomorrow” really meant, so I’m sure I drove Mama crazy asking when Will would be there. But I was old enough to know that if Mama and Daddy were done with the milking, it wouldn’t be long before Will showed up.

I have a good imagination (I’m a writer, after all), and this is kind of hazy, but I seem to recall sitting on the cement steps at the barn many a morning on those off days, and then trudging to the house when I realized Will wasn’t going to show up that day.
 
One Sunday morning, Mama was getting us all ready for church, rushing around as only a farm mother can do after getting up at five am to milk a herd of Holstein cows, and next thing she knew, I came flying out of the back room like a wild cat. She made a grab for me, but I tore out of the house toward the barn, yelling “Will’s comin’! Will’s comin’!” 

She hadn’t heard a thing. But I had. 

I’d heard that big motor, and those big wheels bringing my friend to me. And it didn’t matter that on some days all he brought was a tootsie roll or a piece of gum. He’d remembered me, and I was happy. 

While I had a loving, Christian family with roots deep in the red clay hills of Mississippi, my friendship with Will reminds me of Jimmy Denton’s relationship with Slade and Buck Donovan in Claiming Mariah.

Jimmy’s home situation isn’t the best: His pa is a drunkard, and they live in a shack that is falling down around their ears. Slade and Buck Donovan see a bit of themselves in the little boy, and they befriend Jim. Eventually, the caring and acceptance of the Donovans touch the entire Denton family, allowing healing and family to mend. Jimmy’s story is not the main thread in Claiming Mariah, but it is an important part. Jimmy weaves himself into Slade and Mariah’s story and finds a home there. Right where he belongs. 

Back to my friend, Will Woods. In my young mind, I assumed Will lived far, far away. As I wrote this blog post, I couldn’t remember his last name, so I called my mother. Mama told me she’d recently seen Will at a Wildlife Jamboree in our community. Over forty years after he ran the route as our milk man, some little nugget prompts me to write an article to honor the attention a man showed a little girl who lived on the back side of nowhere, only to find out he lives right here in my community, and not far, far away as I’d always thought. 

That God. He’s amazing, isn’t he? 

And so are the men and women who take time for a child.
 


In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Fredrick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.



          B&N link: http://tinyurl.com/ays6fq7
          CBD link: http://tinyurl.com/bvjx3m7
Goodreads link: http://tinyurl.com/d9u2k6j
 
And if you want to contact Pam, here are numerous ways. 
 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PamHillman or @PamHillman


Thanks Pam, for visiting with us, and I hope you all enjoyed her stay here.

ciao
LA
 
 
 
 


 


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