Friday’s Feature with Tanya Stowe

 

Fatal Memories

Border patrol agent Jocelyn Walker has no memory of how she turned up unconscious with a cache of drugs—or why a gang is dead set on killing her. Joss turns to driven DEA agent Dylan Murphy, who guards—and suspects—her. But will trusting each other lead them into a trap?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Read an excerpt

Crawl! Crawl away or you’ll die!

That’s right. The tunnel. She had to get out. Now.

Unable to lift her head without piercing agony, she slid one leg upwards and pushed her body along the ground. The grit scraped her cheek as she moved. No matter. She had to get away.

Raising one hand, she pulled herself a little farther. After a moment she was able to coordinate her hands with her legs. She pushed and pulled herself inch by inch, through the tunnel. Her head throbbed with blinding agony. Her cheek burned and still she crawled forward, driven by fear of what lay behind her. She had to get away.

She dared to look up. Pain shot through her head. Light. Light just ahead!

A click echoed behind her.

Too late! An explosion rocked the darkness. The shock wave slammed her head onto the gritty ground and she slipped into darkness again.


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About Tanya

Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.

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Tuesday’s Teaser with LoRee Peery

Meet in the Middle

Thank you for being here today, LoRee.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The concept for this story began because I heard a pig squeal from a TV in the hospital at the time of my husband’s back surgery in October 2017

How would you describe your main character(s)?

Elena Garber was raised in an apartment above a bar, so she has become a self-reliant recluse. She’s sure of herself, capable, and resists the influence of others, except her grandmother, who is now deceased. Elena moves from the city onto her grandmother’s small farm and works from home as a voice over internet.

Colin Lovelady worked as an EMT and ambulance driver but now has PTSD. He also carries a facial scar from a bullet that grazed him and knocked him out while his best friend died beside him. Colin retreats to the quiet of his uncle’s old place, which border’s Elena’s grandmother’s farm. He first meets Queenie, then follows her and meets Elena.

Queenie, a feral pot-bellied pig, is also a star character.

What is the problem your character(s) face in your story?

Elena discovers a letter pointing to buried money that would grant security if she remains on her grandmother’s farm. Colin is in a dark, scary place and can’t pull himself out of it, but his uncle’s money, buried between his place and Elena’s would help him fix up the house.

What would you like your readers to know about your characters?

Elena and Colin carry scars and/or wounds that make them who they are as adults. They deal with their own insecurities and face the prospect of letting another person in on their lives (and secrets). Neither is looking for romance, but Queenie keeps thrusting the two together.


Find her publications at Pelican and Amazon


Read an excerpt from Meet in the Middle

How had Colin come so low as to stay in his uncle’s uninhabitable shack? Especially considering it sat on the edge of this Podunk town, where rumors once abounded about Glen Lovelady’s gambling. The bed, such as it was, had him off the grotesque floor. He’d all but covered his head to fight off the chill so, at least to his awareness, no rodents had crept over him during the night.

He fluffed his pillow and smoothed the sleeping bag over the cot. In the gray light of early dawn, he straightened to get out the kinks, rolled and cracked his neck.

The smell hit him. Rotten wood. Mold. Fecund animal droppings. He’d been too tired to breathe last night. Who knew what kind of filth he’d inhaled as he slept? The place looked horrid in the daylight. Unsanitary even for an avid outdoorsman, which he’d never considered himself. He’d have to find a room in town until his next step.

Whatever that might be. What was he even doing here? A desperate move on his part, thinking he could fix up the small house and make a profit so he’d have the means to stay by himself without a job. Just a while longer, at least until the end of summer.

Wouldn’t it be something if the rumors about hidden money were true?

He dragged open the door, no easy feat due to the swollen, broken wood panels, and stepped on the rotted porch. A rusty hinge from a nonexistent screen door snagged his flannel shirt. If he attempted to stay, what should he fix first? A sneeze jerked him. No surprise, considering the dust.

He lumbered to his truck, grabbed a reasonably clean napkin from the console, and blew his nose. He stuffed the used napkin in the white sack from last night’s drive-through meal purchased halfway between here and Lincoln.

Then he retraced his steps, zipped his pillow inside the sleeping bag, and tucked the bundle behind his truck seat. He sneezed again on his return to the poor excuse for a house, retrieved the cot, where he stored it in the truck bed against the cab.

It may be April, but the onset of spring sparked nary a thought of anything good for Colin. Rather than pay attention to varied greens and the touch of the sun now visible above the horizon, he blinked away from the rising orb. Adam had always laughed at those times the sun’s brightness made Colin sneeze. He rolled his shoulders and gazed at the trees lining the Platte River.

And this flat land. It’s prime, surrounding Maplewood, his mom’s hometown, where its bottom land proved fantastic for producing rich crops.

The distant foghorn of air brakes carried from the highway on the other side of the water, as a semi slowed for the lower speed to go through the village.

Poets no doubt had a heyday penning beautiful words concentrated on fresh mornings such as this, but the glory of the day mocked his severed heart. Let the world welcome spring in all its rebirth glory. The only thing that consumed Colin was loss.

The ecstasy of his own rebirth, thanks to Jesus, just as well belong to some other man. He stretched. “How long, Lord, how long until I want to live as I once did, in tune with Your Spirit?”

It took too much energy to pursue a good mood. Easier to stay low, remaining in a dark frame of mind seemed friendlier at the moment.

Friend. He knew in his head that Adam now spent his time in the presence of Jesus. Yet, rejoicing for his friend’s home in heaven escaped Colin’s sensibility.

After all, he’s the one who deserved the bullet.

The Bible talked about restored joy in the morning. He’d rather stay in the dark and absorb the sound of silence, which had become his latest best friend. But he had no power to stave off a new day. The earth still spun on its axis. Living things continued taking the next breath.

All the while, he wallowed in mourning and fought off horrific nightmares that always ended the same. With him unable to save his best friend.

He stumbled along through the weed-entangled yard. Why had he paid taxes to keep this place all these years? Inherited from his mother, who got it from his bachelor uncle, just to keep it in the Lovelady family?

A wadded ball of dried roots from years of over-grown weeds caught his toe. He staggered, regained his balance, and looked up again. Silly. No one around to see him almost fall on his face. He knelt to untangle his booted foot. Moist soil met his fingertips.

A grunt jerked his head to the right.

He rubbed his eyes in disbelief. He blinked. Focused. Nope. No figment of his imagination. He knew what it was, but he’d only seen the pigs on film.

A pot-bellied pig ambled along the ancient rusted wire of the fence that marked his Uncle Glen’s decrepit property, the last acre on this edge of town, bordering a picturesque small farmstead.

Curious, Colin followed the pig’s journey as though it was the Pied Piper. Past Uncle Glen’s property line and onto the next, which happened to be the first farmstead outside Maplewood.

The pendulous animal snorted again, bobbed its snout, and a clot of roots topped by dried strands flew to the side.

The act would be funny, if he felt like laughing.

First, they came upon a small shed, bordered by a plot of fallow, unfenced garden. The pig bypassed a row of what looked like maroon tipped flower heads poking through earth like pebbles to greet the sun, and circled toward the only wreck on the place, an old corncrib with the sun glinting through its unpainted ribs on the back of the farmstead.

His steps ground to a halt as he closed in on the leaning building. He stared through the empty center of the peaked structure. The crib. Money. Whoever in the family came up with the rumor that Uncle Glen had buried money near a building? No buildings on his place, except an unsafe, lilting garage.

Details of the old story flew out of nowhere. A notorious gambler, Glen Lovelady never believed in banks. Family lore claimed Uncle Glen had hidden thousands of dollars at the corner of some old building, way back when.

Colin surveyed the surroundings of the neighbor’s acreage surrounded by farmland. A garden shed. A detached garage. The corncrib. No barn, outhouse, well house, or machine shed. Such buildings would have existed fifty years ago.

Who paid attention to rumors anyhow?

The reality of buried treasure was way too fanciful for a guy like him to consider. On second thought, he had to pull life together and heal from the incident that stole his normal life.


About LoRee

Christian romance author LoRee Peery writes to feel alive, as a way of contributing, and to pass forward the hope of rescue from sin. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. LoRee clings to 1 John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and author. She’s been a reader since before kindergarten. Connect with LoRee through these links: www.loreepeery.com

https://twitter.com/LoreePeery

https://www.facebook.com/LoReePeery

Friday’s Feature with Linda Rondeau

Hosea’s Heart

How much should a wronged husband forgive?

This time, Aubrey Beaumont’s wife has left for good. Though a single dad with three children to raise, Aubrey diligently searches for his drug-addicted, runaway wife. Fifteen years later, he has relocated from Vermont to Silver Spring where he serves as a respected minister and chaplain. He is caught in a quandary when he is called to a community hospital to counsel a terminally ill patient and comes face-to-face with his long-lost wife.

After leaving her family, Joanna Beaumont becomes a madame for Washington’s rich and powerful. With God’s forgiveness, she desires to find purpose in her final days and negotiates a plea bargain for testimony against her drug-lord lover. She accepts God’s judgment and expects no healing miracle. Her salvation and reunion with Aubrey is grace enough.

While Aubrey can understand his wife’s drug addiction, her romantic liaison with a vicious criminal seems beyond his human capacity to forgive. Does God expect him to rescue her from the bowels of degradation like the biblical Hosea? Why did God bring her back to him only to watch her die?

Joanna and Aubrey’s paths will crisscross Washington’s underworld where they discover how God weaves threads of failure into tapestries of hope.


Read the Prologue to Hosea’s Heart

PROLOGUE

Aubrey Beaumont’s heart pounded as Darlene burst past stodgy Mrs. Donovan and ran into his arms. The girl’s reddened eyes confirmed his worst fears.

“Mommy went away again, Aubrey.”

Darlene sobbed against his overcoat while he absorbed the news. From the entryway, he saw Paul and Bradley at the kitchen table, frozen to their seats, remnants of peanut butter sandwiches on their plates. Paul guzzled the last of his milk, and Bradley rocked back and forth as he hummed “Jesus Loves Me.”

“Thank you for staying with the children, Mrs. Donovan. I rushed out as soon as the seminary gave me your message. I don’t suppose you know where Joanna went off to, do you?”

She handed him a note tucked inside Joanna’s wedding ring.

“Sorry, Mr. Beaumont. I got here my usual time, and your wife handed me this package like it were a present. Then she stormed out the door. Slammed it so hard, she done bust the hinge. Said I was to stay here with Darlene and the boys ’til you came home. Then she slapped a twenty-dollar bill in my hand. ‘For the inconvenience,’ she said. ’Taint no inconvenience. I love these kids as if they were my own.”

Aubrey gripped the parchment paper—Joanna’s curt goodbye. She’d never left a note before. Usually, she slithered away during the night. This time she left while the sun still shone. He slid the gold-edged stationery from its circular perch as he gazed toward Mrs. Donovan. “Did my wife say anything else?”

Mrs. Donavan lumbered toward the coat rack. “Nope. Just high-tailed it out that door.” She twirled as she wriggled her wide body into a coat three sizes too small. “Didn’t even take her purse. Walked out with just the clothes she wore … no coat or nothing.” She grabbed the doorknob with one hand and snatched her straw purse off the counter with the other. “Look, I gotta get home to my Artie. I fed the kids. Want me to come back after I take care of that rascal man of mine and put them to bed for ya?”

Sorrow would have to wait.

“You’ve done more than enough already. I’m sorry my wife caused you trouble. How can I make it up to you?”

“Ain’t no bother.” Mrs. Donovan stroked Darlene’s cheek. “Not when it comes to these here precious ones. Don’t worry none about your seminary studies, either, Mr. Beaumont. I’ll look after the children for as long as you need me to.”

Aubrey shoved the ring and note into his pocket. “I appreciate your kindness. I know my wife’s behavior has made it difficult for you at times.”

Mrs. Donovan crossed her arms. “Maybe a tad. But I figure, if I help you reach your ministry goals, it’ll be like I’ve done my own mission work.”

Aubrey gifted Mrs. Donovan a kiss on the cheek, as a son to a mother. “You tell Artie he’s one lucky man.”

Her ruddy complexion deepened to a crimson red. “How you talk, Mr. Beaumont. I’ll be here when the rooster crows to get the kids off to school.” She covered his hand in a maternal clasp. “Personal feelings aside, I do pray Mrs. Beaumont comes back. She always has before.”

“I don’t know. Something in my gut tells me this time is different.”

She arched her back and huffed her condemnation. “Any woman can walk away from these sweet ones don’t deserve ’em. That’s all I got to say.” With that, she headed out the door and scooted to the green clapboard house next door.

He gasped—a protracted breath, a prelude to an expected dawn, though he never wished for this day to come.

Fischer had predicted this end when asked to be Aubrey’s best man. “She’s gonna break your heart. Mark my words, buddy.” His “I told you so” wafted on the air, though the man nowhere in sight. Aubrey chewed his lower lip and sighed. He’d grieve the end of his marriage later. First, the children.

He unglued Darlene from his coat. “Time for bed, guys.”

“Can’t we wrestle first, Daddy?” Paul asked.

Darlene gazed toward the cluttered table. “Kitchen needs to be cleaned up.” She grabbed a towel and went to work. He thought how matronly she’d become, this daughter not of his blood but of his heart. As if to fill a mother’s void, she read to the boys, certain to tell Aubrey whenever they needed discipline. Her azure eyes gazed up at him. “I won’t cry anymore, Aubrey. I know Mommy’s not coming back this time.” She tapped her chest. “I feel it inside.”

Paul and Bradley slipped from their chairs, and Aubrey tackled them, the green-shag carpet a mat of delight as he diverted his tears to momentary laughter. Paul squeezed free like a greased pig at the fair. He laughed like one too.

A sudden pain shot across Aubrey’s shoulder, a signal the game needed to end for tonight. “Go to your room, guys. I’ll be in for prayers in a bit.” The twinge grew into raging pain. What happened to that burly quarterback from Brattleboro High? He’d have to accept the fact he could no more prevent the advancement of years than he could keep his runaway wife at home. Time moved forward with or without her.

He hobbled into his sons’ bedroom, instantly enveloped in memory. Joanna had redecorated their room last summer, right after her third rehab. She’d searched every department store in town before choosing the sport-themed decorations. “Boys need heroes, Aubrey,” she’d said as she carefully hung posters of the legends: Babe Ruth, Ben Hogan, Bobby Orr, Wilt Chamberlain, and Johnny Unitas. Aubrey’s favorites, too, and evidence of a love she could never verbally express.


Get your copy here!

https://www.amazon.com/Hoseas-Heart-Linda-Wood-Rondeau-ebook/dp/B07FT2JWYM/r


About Linda

God is able to turn our worst past into our best future. This is the theme of every Rondeau book. A veteran social worker, Rondeau delves into the intricacies of human relationships, earning her critical acclaim for her heart-warming stories of deliverance and forgiveness. The author now resides in Hagerstown, MD with her best friend in life, her husband of over forty years. Active in her local church, she enjoys playing the occasional round of golf, a common feature in many of her books. Readers may contact the author through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram or visit her website: www.lindarondeau.com.