A Kiss is Still a Kiss- now available!

Yesterday, a second anthology, A Kiss is Still a Kiss, released with my short story, Shackled.

Arizona Territory, 1883KISS Front Cover

He came west to find freedom and ended up shackled to a chair. She’s not sure she ever wants to let him go.

The best thing about an short story anthology is that you don’t have to stay up all night because you got into a novel and can’t set it down. This book is filled with many lengths of  stories so you can settle in for as long, or short, as you want.

So far I’ve read, besides my own story, Deborah Raney’s Going once, Going twice, and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists of the plot. Sarah Monzon’s  Carousel Kisses is short but very sweet. And Crystal Barn’s Let’s Make a Deal was a very fun ride.

I hope you enjoy them all as much as I have so far!

Available on Amazon and from Next Step Books.

 

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Praises for Paper!

Winner of the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and finalist in the 2015 ACFW Carol awards, Dawn Crandall’s beautiful novel the Hesitant Heiress, an intriguing historical romance, is now available on paper!

If you’re anything like me, this is a big thing. As much cuddling up with a digital device appeals to many, I am not ready to marry a android (no offence Mr. Data), or give up the four huge bookshelves that I just set up in my living room! I love the feel, smell, and look of a book-book (not to be mistaken with an e-book).

Back to Dawn and her books (now book-books), as the next two in her series are arriving in tangible form on the 6th of October and the 3rd on November. So mark those on your calendar as good days to raid Amazon. (Or, if you don’t want to wait that long, you can cuddle up with an electronic device as they are already available as e-books 😉 )

Dawn Crandall’s book-book, The Hesitant Heiress:

1.The Hesitant HeiressAfter being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother.

Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt’s Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men—Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother’s tragic death.

However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems…and everything she never knew she wanted. But can she ever really trust an Everstone man?

 

Dawn Crandall:

IMG_3368 (683x1024)A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010. That is the year she shared with her husband her long-time dream of writing books. He encouraged her to quit her job and to pursue her passion to write stories. Apart from writing books, Dawn also recently became a mother—she and her husband were blessed with a baby boy in March 2014. She also serves with her husband in a premarriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

 

 

Connect with Dawn online:

www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com

www.FaceBook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst

www.twitter.com/dawnwritesfirst

www.APassionforPages.blogspot.com

www.pinterest.com/dawnwritesfirst

dawncrandallwritesfirst@gmail.com

 

Now for the most important question of the day…

Wait for it…

What do you prefer? E-books or book-books?

I Always Cry at Weddings

I don’t do many actual book reviews here, but Sara Goff’s I Always Cry At Weddings stood out in a very particular way. You have to understand that usually I read Christian Historical Romance and even fifty years ago it was discouraged by the general population to have intimate relationships before marriage. Somehow in the past few years we have gone from that 61HmFdDarxLwonderful ideal, to premarital sex being almost expected. And it appears that is what Ava, from I Always Cry at Weddings, was also led to believe. Then she watches the deep excitement and love between a newlywed couple who have saved themselves for a real honeymoon, and her whole outlook begins to change.

I Always Cry at Weddings is the first Christian novel I have read that has really addressed premarital intimacy. Not as a “I have sinned”, but “this is something I have done, wish I didn’t do, and don’t want to do again, and this is why.”  With this theme woven tactfully into a entertaining story-line, I enjoyed this book from start to finish.

I want to thank Sara for being a voice to young woman (and everyone, really) who might question whether waiting for marriage is worth it when the media and society cry out that sex is something trivial — a fun way to express yourself. I want to join my voice with hers and say, yes it is worth waiting for! Sex is a wonderful, enjoyable, and powerful thing, given by God to strengthen marriage, and create children. It is sacred, holy, and beautiful when kept between a husband and wife as an expression of devotion and love.

So worth waiting for!

I Always Cry at Weddings: Engaged to a wealthy NYC socialite’s son, Ava is ready to set the city abuzz with her glamorous wedding. At least until she realizes her relationship isn’t what it should be. Then, in a move as daring as a red satin dress, she does the unthinkable–she calls it all off and makes a promise to God that from now on, she’ll save sex for marriage.

She’s convinced the future is hers for the taking, especially when an undercover cop promises a new romance…and an unexpected friendship with the homeless guy under her stoop brightens her days.

But when her carefully balanced life teeters out of control, weddings aren’t the only thing to make her cry. Ava has to figure out what life she really wants to live…and what in the world love really means

Interested? You can find this book on Amazon, and Goodreads.

Well, This is Exciting!

I just received news that A Kiss is Still a Kiss is now available for pre-order! And at a nicely discounted price. 🙂 So, if you KISS Front Coverwant nice, refreshing romance stories that you can fit into your busy life, this is the book for you.

“A Kiss is Still a Kiss offers a buffet of stories to tempt the appetites of romance readers. Twenty authors, from beloved, familiar names to fresh new voices, present tales of love in a variety of genres. Experience the rush of first love, the excitement of unanticipated romance, and the joy of fading love restored. Within these pages you’ll relish a surprising and satisfying collection of styles: sweet contemporary, romantic historical, delightful regency, laugh-out-loud humor, gripping suspense, and even a few whimsical tales of fantasy and science fiction. Why? Because regardless of genre…A Kiss is Still a Kiss.”

My story included in this anthology is set in 1883, Arizona Territory. A US Marshal has saved Nielson Bennett from a lynch-mob, but isn’t about to let him escape justice—even if a bullet meant for Nielson postpones their return to town. Lydia O’Conner is not sure what to make of the man the marshal has shackled to her kitchen chair, but she has no plans on letting him free…perhaps ever.

This book also includes stories by: Amy Barkman, Crystal L. Barnes, Jan Brand, Deborah Raney, John H. Dromey, Kathleen Fuller, Eva Maria Hamilton, Patricia Iacuzzi, Mary Laufer, Gail Gaymer Martin, MaKayla Martinez, Sarah Monzon, Scott R. Parkin, Bethany Rae, Kylara SilversJan Davis Warren, Laura Ware, Deb Wuethrich, and Anna Zogg.

You can pre-order this book from NEXT STEP BOOKS!

Loving the short story–and why it feels like Christmas!

And so August comes to an end. I must say, it was a great month for me and so I thought I’d share. First was the IMG_1540abundance of vegetables from my garden. So good! I also had lots of fun at playgrounds and wading parks with my kids. Family walks. BBQs. And then on August 26th I found out that my short story, When I’m Gone, won the romance category of the “Storming the Short Story” Contest hosted by two Texas chapters of the American Christian Fiction Writers. My story about ballroom dance partners facing the WWII draft will be included in a dance themed anthology.

And life continued… My hubby took some time off work for family and we finally got tomatoes and corn out of our garden (remember we live in Canada so this is an exciting thing). To end the month off with a bang I just found out that a second short story I wrote won a contest, too! I Heard the Bells, inspired by one of my favorite Christmas songs (I’m sure you can guess the one, but if not click here) will be published; my forth anthology since February of this year.civil-war-gingerbread-recipe-225x300

To celebrate, and to get yourself in the Christmas spirit, have some of the gingerbread loaf featured in I Heard the Bells, and stay tuned for more info on my stories and their release dates.

KISS Front CoverAlso keep your eye open another one of my short stories to be released in the anthology: A Kiss is Still a Kiss that will be released on November 1st! Maybe add it to your goodreads “to read” list! 😉

Thanks for dropping by to celebrate my exciting news! And have a very merry Christmas!

 

Shackled (included in A Kiss is still a Kiss)

Arizona Territory 1883

He came west to find freedom and ended up shackled to a chair. She’s not sure she ever wants to let him go.

Just Sit Back and Read :)

For fun this week, I thought I’d let you all have a look at the first part of my short story published in the anthology Out Of The Storm.

Fire in a Storm

USSR, 1934

The stained glass shattered as the brick met the image of Christ, his hand raised to calm a storm. Shards sprayed the air, and Pavel Kozlov stepped back, wiping the mud from his palm. Lightning illuminated the century-old church, followed almost instantly by thunder. Pistol gripped, he mounted the steps. The large double doors at first refused him and he fired several rounds into the lock, leaving only twisted metal and splinters. He pushed his way in, his commander in his wake. Two other officers were stationed near the door at the rear to make sure no one slipped out.

Pavel’s boots echoed as he walked to the center of the Nave. The vast space was illuminated only by the flickering of several candles on the altar. He removed his cap and mopped the water from his face. Why did they have to do this tonight? Not that there was any option but to follow any order given him. His father’s connections had placed him among the NKVD, the Soviet Union’s secret police, and he had yet to prove himself.

“Perhaps they’ve already left.” His voice resonated off the vaulted ceiling.

“There’s one way to be sure.” Kupiev, his commanding officer, strode to the front of the chapel and took a candle. Then leaned it into a gathering of velvet drapery. The flame took to it, racing up the fabric.

What are you doing? Pavel clenched his hands. They were doing what was necessary. He had to learn to distance himself from sentiment. This wasn’t simply an architectural masterpiece, it was a symbol of organized religion and not worthy of remorse. Still, he hated fire.

Somewhere in the church, a door creaked. Father Anitoly Veselov appeared in the shadows, his priestly robes draped across his shoulders. “We have done nothing.”

“You’ve done enough,” Kupiev said. “We’re here to arrest you and your son.”

“But to destroy the church?” His face reflected the glow of the flames as they lapped at the pillars. Perspiration shone on his brow.

Kupiev’s retort was silenced by the crashing of an object through glass. There were more footsteps in the hall. Pavel darted past the priest, who leapt at him to cut him off.

“No!” Veselov’s cry shortened to a grunt as a shot rang through the church. He crumpled to the floor.

Pavel glanced back to Kupiev who was returning his gun to its place. “We have our orders,” he said. “Go.”

Yes, they had their orders, but they hadn’t included killing an old priest. Pavel swallowed back the distaste in his mouth as he continued on his course, reaching the hall just as a shadowed figure threw itself through a broken window. He choked on smoke. It seemed their men had torched the back door, and the flames were spreading quickly. Several more shots cut the night, followed by the deep rumble of thunder.

Pavel vaulted through the gap in the window, one hand pushing off of the heavy woolen coat that had been placed over the shards of glass. He met the ground as one of the other officers raced past. The man jerked, bringing his weapon to bear on Pavel.

“Avoid shooting just anyone, please,” Pavel grumbled, pushing him aside. “Where did the other priest go? That was him, wasn’t it?”

“I think so,” the officer nodded. “He disappeared behind the church.”

Pavel sprinted to the back of the building. Shivering as moisture ran down his neck, he pulled his coat’s black leather collar tight. The hiss of light rain meeting fire did little to hinder the growing blaze. He scanned the narrow canal and the aspen grove beyond. Seeing nothing, he crouched to examine the bank. The ground had been disturbed, a hint of grass ripped — probably by a shoe sliding downward. Straightening, he followed the canal to a rotted footbridge, fallen in halves to the bottom. He jumped in, sending up a spray of mud and water as his boots sank into the shallow stream. Pistol ready, he pulled up one side of the waterlogged structure. There was a feminine gasp.

“Anything?” An officer called from the edge of the grove.

I’m afraid that is all the publisher will let me share here, but feel free to visit amazon for the full book. There are some other great stories included. My favorites are The Grumpy Chronicles (an entertaining spin off of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Dorthy’s Carol (just a sweet story), and Husband Hunting (western Romance).

Also, feel free to visit my pinterest board for some of visuals 🙂 and mood music!

The Kindertransport by guest author Johnnie Alexander

One of the several infamous dates of the World War II era is November 9-10, 1938. Known as Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass, the horrific event was a turning point in the amount of violence unleashed on the Jewish communities throughout Germany. Synagogues, businesses, and homes were destroyed; people were killed; and about 30,000 Jews were shipped to concentration camps.

An orphanage in Berlin was also burned that infamous night. Thanks to the valiant effort of the British Jewish Refugee Committee, these children were the first to travel to England, arriving on December 2, 1938. Over the next several months, until Britain entered the war, about 10,000 children participated in the rescue operation dubbed the Kindertransport.

These young refugees arrived at the train station wearing a numbered cardboard square tied with a shoelace or string around their necks. Some children had relatives in England or pre-arranged sponsors. Those who didn’t were first taken to camps or hostels until foster families could be found for them. Older youth often went to work.

This quote comes from a page titled “Life in Britain” from the official Kindertransport Association website:

Many families, Jewish and non-Jewish, opened their homes to take in these children. Many of the children were well-treated, developing close bonds with their British hosts; however, others were mistreated or abused. A number of the older children joined the British or Australian armed forces as soon as they reached eighteen years of age and joined the fight against the Nazis. Most of the children never saw their parents again.My Knees were Jumping

When the children arrived at the train stations, they wore a numbered cardboard square around their necks tied with a shoelace or string.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for parents to send their children to a foreign country. Their own circumstances had to be horrific—and, of course, now we know that Kristallnacht was only the beginning of a concentrated effort to annihilate all Jews. Thankfully, a unified effort saved at least 10,000.

The documentary My Knees were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransport is directed by the daughter of one of these surviving children.

If you’d like more information on this valiant rescue operation, please visit the Kindertransport Association website at http://www.kindertransport.org.

Johnnie AlexanderJohnnie Alexander writes inspiring stories that linger in the heart. Where Treasure Hides, her debut novel, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011) and Golden Leaf Award (2014). Her first contemporary romance, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series; Revell), and her first novella, “The Healing Promise” (Courageous Bride Collection; Barbour), release in 2016.

She also has won Best Novel and Best Writer awards (Florida Christian Writers Conferences), and Bronze Medalist (My Book Therapy Frasier Contest). She volunteers as a category coordinator for the ACFW Genesis Contest, judges various contests, and serves as marketing director for the MidSouth Christian Writers Conference.

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area with a small herd of alpacas and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees raccoons.

Follow Johnnie Alexander:

Blog     Facebook Profile (Friend or Follow!)     Facebook Author Page     Twitter     GoodReads     Amazon Author Page

Where-Treasure-Hides-682x1024 new cover

Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life.

Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow.

As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?

Read the first chapter here!

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