This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. — Psalm 118:24
Hello, everyone — I hope each of you are staying safe and well!
Granted, Psalm 118:24 is not an easy thing to do during this difficult time of the coronavirus, but all the more reason to do it, in my opinion, because it’s a good reminder to kickstart each new day with our focus on God instead of our trials. I have been making a point of praying this Scripture every morning because the truth is, God DID make this day, which means it belongs to Him and so do we!
Which in and of itself is reason enough to rejoice. But when you realize that praise and thanksgiving (which is how I rejoice) unleashes the power of heaven in every situation of our lives, WHOA, baby, why wouldn’t we do it? Good question! 😉
Before I get into my news I have to share, I’d like to tell each of you about a reallllly cool anti-coronavirus tool available.
It’s called Unite714, an exciting movement that is uniting churches, pastors, leaders, and individuals across the globe to pray for a miraculous healing of our lands from the coronavirus, as well as a spiritual awakening among the nations. It is based on God’s directive in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, who are called by my name,will humble themselves and prayand seek my faceand turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. –2 Chronicles 7:14
I joined the movement, which basically involves a commitment to pray a very short and simple prayer twice a day at 7:14 AM and 7:14 PM in conjunction with thousands of other believers around the globe, so I hope you will join us.
✈️ A Wing & A Prayer is Here!
Yep, the grown-up Gabe O’Connor is here, so buckle up for some high-flying adventures that will give you a whole new respect for Gabe’s father, Patrick O’Connor, as well as the hero, Alex Kincaid. And, if you can’t afford to order now, I totally understand, so I have a number of giveaways listed below.
✈️ & 🙏 Giveaways for A Wing & A Prayer:
Come on by to each of my blog-tour stops for a chance to win a $15 gift card and an e-copy of A Wing and a Prayer. All you have to do is leave a comment, and you’re in the draw!
Giveaway ends April 8 at 11:59pm MT, so be sure to comment on every blog to increase your chances to win. Plus, there are snippets of the book and an interview where I talk about my experiences with being bullied, which is one of the themes in Gabe’s story.
Here are the links and hope to see you there!
March 30: Hallie Reads (Review + Extras: Snippet of a chapter in the book)
March 31: Beauty in the Binding (Review)
April 1: Christian Bookaholic (Review)
April 2: Radiant Light (Review + Extras: character interview)
April 2: Reading Is My SuperPower (Review)
April 3- MJH (Review only, no comments)
April 3 – Britt Reads Fiction (Review + Extras: Snippet of a chapter in the book)
April 3 – My Favorite Pastime (Review)
✈️ More Giveaways!
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8: Want to have some safe and easy fun during this stupid coronavirus and win a book in the process? Well, here’s your chance for a Zoom Q & A with some of your favorite authors, so just leave a comment, and you are automatically entered to win your choice of an e-book of A Wing and a Prayer or Love’s Silver Bullet.
AUTHOR NAMES AND LINK TO COME (PLEASE CHECK BACK)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15: Here’s more fun with video readings by some of your favorite authors of their latest book, so I hope you come by to each and every one at the links given below.
For my video, I will be reading a clip from Love’s Silver Bullet, and if you come by and leave a comment, you are automatically entered to win your choice of an e-book of A Wing and a Prayer or Love’s Silver Bullet. So mark your calendars to come see me on my AUTHOR FACEBOOK PAGE page on April 15.
Here’s the list of all the authors participating. Be sure to check out each of their readings.
FACEBOOK VIDEO READINGS ON WED., APRIL 15:
Cara Putman — https://www.facebook.com/cara.putman
Deborah Raney — https://www.facebook.com/deborah.raney
Robin Lee Hatcher — https://www.facebook.com/robinleehatcher/
Colleen Coble — https://www.facebook.com/colleencoblebooks/
Tamera Alexander — https://www.facebook.com/tamera.alexander
Becky Wade — https://www.facebook.com/authorbeckywade/
Rachel Hauck — https://www.facebook.com/rachelhauck/
Denise Hunter — https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter/
Katherine Reay — https://www.facebook.com/katherinereaybooks/
Beth Vogt — https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBethKVogt/
Hannah Alexander — https://www.facebook.com/author.HannahAlexander/
Julie Lessman — https://www.facebook.com/JulieLessmanAuthor/
✈️ Excerpt for Love’s Silver Bullet!
WHOO-HOO!! Book 2 in my Silver Lining Ranch series, LOVE’S SILVER BULLET, is now available for pre-order on Amazon at a reduced price, so please don’t wait till it comes out on May 31st. To whet your appetite, I’ve included a short excerpt below, so enjoy!
She’s targeting his love.
He’s aiming to steer clear.
Till true love picks them off
in a bull’s-eye of the heart
Unedited Excerpt from Love’s Silver Bullet
(So please excuse any typos)
SETUP: Against his will, Jake is teaching Sheridan how to shoot, and when the attraction gets so strong, he backs away, tripping right over a big rock. To avoid further “closeness” with Sheridan, he plays dead.
Sweet mother of mercy—please—let me be comatose. Jake lay flat on his back with eyes closed, an ache in his back that matched the one in his chest, nothing moving but his lips, begging for mercy.
He knew that voice, and God help him, it didn’t bode well for his state of mind.
Or his body.
“Oh my goodness—are you all right?” He heard the hurried rustle of a skirt.
No. And not sure I ever will be again.
A flurry of activity flickered the sun beyond his closed lids, and the last thing he wanted to do was open them again. To see once more the blue of those eyes that had rounded in shock, as surprised as he when she’d unexpectedly turned, her lips aligned mere inches from his own. A moment in time when paralysis had claimed them both, separated only by rasps of ragged air and a craving so potent, he’d felt the fire clear to his toes.
God help him, for one thundering heartbeat, all he could think about was tasting those pink lips, caressing them, fondling them, coaxing them with his mouth to places he had no right to go.
“Jake!” Gentle fingers stroked his jaw, luring a groan up his throat that he quickly squelched because it had nothing to do with the pain in his body, only his heart. The same shameful pain that plagued his dreams for the last two years, now slipping out in a moment of stun, exposing a weakness he hoped and prayed she hadn’t seen in his eyes.
A love forbidden … and desire denied.
“I don’t want to smell even a whiff of romance around that girl for a long time to come … so, promise you’ll help us keep her path clear until then.”
Another groan almost sandpapered his throat, but he quickly cut it off.
Heck, Sul, she’s practically your little sister, so you’re the big brother who can protect her from herself.”
God help him, he was trying, but the Almighty sure wasn’t making it easy …
“Jake, open your eyes, please!” More fabric rustling, and the deadly scent of lavender shivered him as much as her gentle shake on his arm. His eyelids almost jerked open at the sudden catch of her breath when her hand gently touched the back of his head. “Oh, no—you’re bleeding!” she rasped, and the panic in her voice unleashed an onslaught of guilt. Fortunately, it also unleashed an idea to save him from a lesson he did not want to continue. Maybe—just maybe—if she thought he was knocked unconscious, she would go for help …
He barely breathed as he lay perfectly still, pretty sure this was his best option. Because the last thing he wanted was to return to a lesson where he was besotted with creamy bare shoulders, bewitched by a deadly neckline, or betrayed by a look of longing—in both his eyes and hers.
“Jake, wake up!” She rattled him but good this time, and a part of him felt almost guilty at the terror that laced her tone, but it was for her own good, he told himself. It took everything in him to battle a gulp. And mine.
“Oh … J-Jake!” Tears wobbled her voice as she threw herself across his chest to hug his neck, her weeping racking his soul as much as his body. “Don’t die, please!”
He just might because the moment her body landed on top of his, he’d stopped breathing altogether, so much heat scorching through him, it was a wonder she didn’t go up in smoke. He couldn’t see because his eyelids were pasted to his eyeballs, but he sure in the devil could feel, giving his mind’s eye a vision he’d seen more than once in his dreams. The press of her chest against his, the clutch of her fingernails into his back, the scent of lavender surrounding him like the silk of her hair, which now splayed haphazardly across his mouth. Tears dampened his neck as she wept, her heaves nearly twitching his arms with the impulse to hold her, comfort her.
Sheridan, go get help, he mentally commanded, desperate to get her off of his chest, away from his arms, miles from his lips. But she just continued to cry, drenching his neck with her tears while her sorrow drenched his conscience with guilt. She moved a hair, and his body went to stone at the touch of something warm and soft on his neck, the caress of her lips kindling a fire deep down inside. No! Please, God, make her go …
“J-Jake, I’m so -s-orry …” she whispered, her voice nasal with grief as she hugged him close once again while her hair tickled his nose. “I’m going to go get help, so don’t you move …”
Move? Well, he sure didn’t want to, but God help him, a tingling sensation began to burn inside his nostrils, mounting every time Sheridan’s hair grazed the tip of his nose … until …
Nooooo!! But it was no use. Against his will, his body drew in a sharp breath that tightened the muscles in his chest, eyes squeezing shut while he …
Sheridan froze, body jolted from the force of Jake’s sneeze. “Jake?” She shot up, fingers trembling as she gripped his shirt, lips parted in hope while she scanned his face for some sign of recovery. “Jake—wake up—please!” she begged, but his eyes remained closed as his breathing suspended. She saw a faint twitch in his eyelid, and in one erratic beat of her heart, it all came back, something Maggie had once told her.
As a nurse at St. Mary Louise Hospital in Virginia City, Maggie had cared for an adorable little boy named Wally who was recovering from a particularly nasty case of influenza. All the staff loved him, of course, but the little stinker hated taking his medicine. So every time the nurses tried, little Wally Wilder would pretend to be asleep. “Let him sleep,” the doctor ordered, “because he needs that more than anything, then treat him when he’s not.” So, every time Maggie arrived to give his medicine, of course Wally was sleeping. Until one day he sneezed. “People don’t sneeze when they’re sleeping, unconscious, or in a coma,” Maggie explained, so she promptly tiptoed over and tickled Wally into a fit of giggles that won her his heart, a game they continued until the day his parents took him home.
Sheridan’s eyes narrowed as she studied Jake with more precision—his even breathing, his face an unmovable mask save the almost imperceptible flicker of his lids, body stone-cold still and silent …
Except for that sneeze.
A slow smile slid across her lips as she hiked a teasing brow. Ah-ha! Playing games, are we now, Mr. Sullivan? Well, I’ve got a few games to play too …
Smiling, she leaned in to breathe warm in his ear, her words laden with concern. “Now, don’t you worry, Jake—I’ll be right back with help. She pressed a soft kiss to his cheek and couldn’t help a grin when that formidable jaw tightened hard as rock.
Pretending to rise, she sat up to admire him because heaven knows she may never get this close again. Ridiculously long lashes as thick as his ebony hair rested on high cheekbones in a hard-sculpted face that had always melted her with a smile.
No, today, Jake Sullivan had shown her a side of his personality she’d never seen before.
Hard. Determined. Dangerous.
With a shy grin tugging at her mouth, she grated her teeth against her lower lip while she studied olive skin bronzed by the sun and peppered with a shadow of dark bristle. She supposed she could tickle him like Maggie had with that little boy, but that would only make him laugh. Her chin nudged up in a show of resolve despite the nervous lump in her throat. And she didn’t want him to laugh. She swallowed hard as she stroked his sandpaper jaw with trembling fingers. No, she wanted him to groan in surrender when her lips finally caressed his …
“And trust me, Chica, with a mula like Jake, only a kiss can do that.”
“But … but … what if I d-do it wrong?” Sheridan had said the next day when Sophia and Laurie Mae had helped her get ready, any boldness she’d had the day before as damp as the palms of her hands. “I’ve never been kissed, so I don’t know how.”
Sophia had rolled her eyes. “Bah! Those brothers of yours are handsome, si, but they stick to you like a Puttington agent deeped in tar.”
“Pinkerton,” Sheridan had corrected with a smile, pretty much in agreement with Sophia’s assessment. Between Uncle Finn, Blaze, Dash, and Jake, Sheridan had never even been alone with a boy or man—not on the ranch, not at the annual rodeo dances, not in town, not even at church. A wispy sigh breezed from her lips. So, how on earth was she going to kiss Jake?
“But … but … what if he hates it?” she’d asked with a bite of her thumbnail, a sliver of nail flying through the air.
A low throaty laugh had bubbled from Sophia’s lips. “A man would have to hit his head on a rock, chica, out cold to hate a kiss from you in this.” She tugged Sheridan’s blouse lower on her shoulders.
Close. But a rock was involved …
Sheridan blinked, her focus returning to the comatose man lying beside her.
If, that is, Jake really was out cold.
Only one way to find out. And like Sophia said, this could be her last chance.
“Jake,” she whispered, voice as quivery as her stomach, “before I go, there’s something I need to tell you while you’re unconscious because I don’t know if I’d have the courage to say it when you’re awake …” Fortifying with a deep ingest of air, she expelled it again in one long, trembling exhale before lowering to carefully brush her lips against his. She forced herself to ignore the sudden jolt of his body—and hers—to focus on giving his lower lip a gentle scrape with her teeth just like Sophia had instructed. “As easy as breathing,” her friend had said, and oh, sweet mother of mercy, it was—and ragged breathing at that! Heart pumping, she lost herself in the wonder of Jake, the delicious taste of mint and man muddling her mind while she suckled his lower lip, body tingling so much, she felt like she was floating on air.
“What in Sam Hill do you think you’re doing?” Jake croaked, tumbling her on her back so fast she caught her breath with a grunt, blue fire shooting from his gaze while he pinned her to the ground. “Are you crazy?” His shout echoed across the lake, the whites of his eyes as wild as his hair, which dangled precariously over his forehead and hers.
“I … am crazy, Jake …” Her voice trembled as much as her insides, and she didn’t miss the tremble of his own arms as he hovered over her, biceps bulging with the strain of his weight. “Over you.” A knot ducked in her throat. “And I think you’re crazy for me too.”
Hissing what might have been a swear word, he shook his head with a scowl. “Your head is full of pipedreams, little girl, so you need to get rid of any cock-eyed notions that you and I will ever get together, Sher, you hear me? Because I am not attracted to you that way, Half-Pint, and you need to face that.” He gave her a little shake, every word out of his mouth pooling more tears in her eyes. “For pity’s sake, Sheridan, I’m twelve years older than you, so I only see you as a little sister!”
Liar! Sheridan wanted to smack him, but his hands still shackled her arms, holding her in place.
He softened his tone, the tears trailing her cheeks obviously having an effect. Gently wiping the wetness from her face, he started to rise. “I’m sorry to be so blunt, Half-Pint, but—”
Arms suddenly free, she lunged for his neck, determined to show Jake Sullivan once and for all that he was lying through his teeth. He was attracted to her and she knew it. If not from his strained moan when she’d kissed him, then surely from his glazed look when their eyes met during the lesson. Now, she just had to prove it to him …
Catching him off-guard, she hurtled all of her weight against him, toppling him on his back with a grunt of shock. Flopping down, she kissed him with everything she had, pulse pounding as she waited for him to push her away.
Only he didn’t.
With a pained groan that literally melted in her mouth, he rolled her over so quickly, she had time for only one quivering breath … before he descended with a kiss that stole it all over again.
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt, and trust me–there’s plenty more where that came from, so your continued prayers appreciated.
God bless and stay well!