Thursday, December 4, 2014

Trim the Tree Blog Hop

Click on the Picture Above to Go to CandleLight Reads

We have yet to trim the tree this Christmas. Every year we take out the ornament boxes and my children hang their favorites on the tree. Between Thanksgiving and December 25th, they each get a new ornament which we label with their name and the year. When they grow up and marry, we will wrap these special ornaments for them to hang on the Christmas tree in their own homes. 

It's bittersweet as the ornament collection grows and the days pass quicker between each holiday. I couldn't pick a favorite. Each object holds a memory, of gingerbread men made, trips to the nearby Hallmark store, or even to Target to pick that year's special ornament. Paper decorations hang heavy with glitter and glue, gracing the tree along with the outlines of hands made into reindeer. These are my treasures, growing whispy with age...the ones not perfect enough to make the cut to be carried to new homes, but those that I will keep and hold close to my heart.  

Enjoy an excerpt from my newest release A Christmas Coffee, now $0.99, from Astraea Press. Meet Sarah and Parker and Parker's little boys, Strawn and Marco at a villa in Sicily at Christmas.

The boys were content listening to Chef Antonio tell them a story of a Christmas past and a grand adventure through a snow-covered mountain. Their eyes slipped lower and lower as they leaned back against the cushions of the couch.
Soon they were asleep, taking long deep breaths. The group paused in their conversations to watch the little boys. Their straight black bangs hung close to their eyebrows as dark lashes fell against chubby cheeks. There was nothing like the gift of children and the life they added to a celebration.
Sarah moved to Parker’s side at the glass windows. He faced her and gave her a lopsided grin, clasping her hand and opening the door to the patio. He pulled her gently through and closed it behind them.
“We…can’t,” Sarah said, her lips trembling.
“Don’t be embarrassed. It’s just time for…goodbye.” His grin had faded, and he grew serious. “This seemed the appropriate place.”
Holding onto her hand, they crossed to the chairs standing in the darkness of night with a cloud-covered moon.
She sat down, their hands separating. The air cooled her moist palms and ruffled her hair. Parker continued to stand, his shoulders squared. “It’s been…unforgettable.”
Sarah nodded, then realizing he hadn’t seen her agreement, said aloud in a breathless whisper, “Yes.”
“I want you to know you can call me anytime.”
“And you as well. I’ll be around…at the bakery and, eventually, school.”
Parker voice stilled the air. “And I want to just say on the death of your…”
“Husband,” Sarah said, her voice catching and the blood rushing to her head.
“I’m so sorry. Your husband.” He pulled a chair close, facing her, and sat. He tilted her chin up, so her eyes gazed into his. “Lean on God instead of away from Him. And…you can lean on me too, as a friend or…someday, maybe more.”
Tears made his image waver. She closed her eyes, the drops falling heavy against her cheeks. He bent forward then, brushing his lips against hers with the barest pressure. She was breathless. Her heart and her head warred.
She pushed against him with her hand and stood. “I can’t feel…not again. It’s too painful.”

At Amazon and Other Fine EBook Retailers.

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Leave a comment below with a favorite childhood memory, yours or one you'd like to share you experienced with your family. 
Winner will be drawn December 9th and contacted by Laura. Please don't forget to leave your email. 

Visit the other authors offering awesome prizes: Ebooks, gift cards, swag and more.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Enough - Thanksgiving Blog Hop

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The bills are stacking up, the car needs tires, the house payment is late...

Stop. Screech! Put the brakes on. 

We can, all of us, focus on our problems and lack. There never seems to be quite enough or an end to the toil of our days.

But today, this upcoming week, Thanksgiving... 

Let's take the opportunity to count our blessings.

While the world around us tells (or screams) that we need to buy, decorate, and have more than enough, an excess, to celebrate...we can take some time out to focus on the precious things in our lives we tend to take for granted.

As I sit here, with my children due home and a quiet moment stolen, to be thankful for:

The breath in my lungs.
The precious lives of my husband, children, and family.
The warmth of dear friends, near and far, and God's care over us all.

My prayers are with those whose hearts are still healing from loss of loved ones and those without family close by. Let's all reach beyond ourselves this Thanksgiving and Christmas to extend hope, love, and charity.


Laura's newest release, A Christmas Coffee, touches on the loss of a loved one during Christmas and asks the question if loving again is worth the risk. You can see it here on Amazon Also available at other EBook retailers.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Candlelight Reads Fall into Books Blog Hop + Free Book & Giveaway

Blog hop question: 

Books!  That's the sole reason we're here!  We all have that special place we love to read at or a special book that we go back to time and time again.  What's your favorite place to read, and what is that special book you want to fall into again and again?

As an author, I fall into the books I write and live each one, much like when reading a well-crafted favorite. The hushed quiet of my bedroom at night once my children have all settled in is my favorite reading spot. The Stonewycke Trilogy, which I have in paperback, is one I've chosen over and over again to relive. Share your favorite place where you lose yourself in a book in the comments and enter to win the prize below.

Download the first volume in the serial novel "Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken" FREE on Kindle and other Ebook retailers. (Amazon Link)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lainey Sparks (Faith & Fame) Excerpt
Click on Cover to See it on Amazon
What do you do when all you've thought important seems like a charade?

Meet Lainey Sparks, worship leader turned Christian recording artist. People look to her to lead them to God but she doesn't know her motives anymore. Then she's introduced to Nick DeAngelo, a man with a secret. Could he ruin her reputation and ultimately her career? Or is he the only one she knows to lean on when tragedy strikes?

The first book in the Faith & Fame series. Novella Length Christian Romances.

**99Cents for a Limited Time


 The bright sky of the afternoon waned to gray shadows and the light breeze began to blow harder. Nick gathered up the blanket as I fiddled with my phone. I’d taken a few shots of the blanket in the leaves, the trees, and fading sunshine.
“Do you mind?” I held up the phone and smiled convincingly.
“Of me?”
“One of you, one of…us.”
He shrugged, put the knapsack back on the ground and turned towards the camera, posing. “Duck face?” He asked teasing with a smile.
I shook my head, letting out a loud laugh. Click. Covering my mouth with my hand, I quickly looked at the picture I’d taken of him on my phone. It sobered me. He was so handsome, I ached. And still it didn’t do him justice. It hadn’t captured his heart.
“You and I.” He came up next to me and encircled my waist with his arm. I could feel his warm hand lazily skimming my hip. I held up the phone. “Ready?”
He tucked his cheek next to mine, skin to skin. His face had a faint feel of stubble. He smelled of leather, and musk, and…man. I clicked a few pictures. He turned his lips to my cheek and kissed me. Click.
“Do you mind if I?” He pulled his phone from his back pocket, settling back close to me.
“Sure.” We posed again.
I looked down at our feet. Mine in high black boots and his in the calf-skin shoes. I aimed the phone. Together in a park in Chicago on a sunny day, I’d started to fall in love. 

Coming Soon:
Stormy Towne - Heiress to the Towne Fortune

Caroline Winters - Food TV Celebrity Chef

See Laura's website HERE for book listings on other online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, ITunes, and Kobo. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Archibald and the Fiery Furnace Paperback Book Giveaway

Meet Archibald.


Hundreds of years ago, when Archibald was a kitten, no one thought he would survive. The tiniest of the litter, while his brothers and sisters got loving homes, Archibald was forgotten.

Sad and unloved, he sat down, determined to never get back up. That was when God spoke to Archibald for the very first time. He said, in a way only God can speak to someone inside their heart, where no one else can hear, “You’re not alone, Archibald. I am always with you.”

Archibald perked up his ears, but couldn’t see where the voice had come from. “Where are you? Why can’t I see you?” He asked cautiously.

“It would be difficult to understand unless I show you.”

“Then show me.”

“Very well. Close your eyes.”

Archibald closed his eyes where he sat on the hard dirt ground. He first became aware of his own breathing, in and out evenly through his nose and mouth. Then he felt his heart speed up and slow down.

God spoke again, “I created you, Archibald. I am within and around you. I preserve your life.”

The wind increased. It ruffled Archibald’s black fur and he shivered. He opened his eyes to see the branches of the trees around him swaying. A bird burst into song and flapped its wings loudly, flying away.

“And You are in the breeze through the trees and the birds of the air?” Archibald asked, astonishment making his eyes grow wide.

“I am.”

Join Archibald on his first adventure, as he discovers God's purpose for his life and meets Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Some say cats have nine lives, but Archibald only had one. However, while looking for his forever home, God placed Archibald in different lands and times to see amazing miracles that He did for His people. With lessons intertwined within each story and four included devotionals for you and your child at the back of the books in the series, these stories are sure to become a favorite. Each book also includes a "Find the Hidden Character" fun feature for younger children to look for as they listen. Included devotionals written by Karen Michelle Ricci.

See the Reviews and buy a Kindle or Paperback copy on Amazon.

 Win a Paperback Copy of Archibald's First Bible Adventure below, Archibald and the Fiery Furnace by Laura J. Marshall. 

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Monday, February 10, 2014

CIA Valentine's Blog Hop - FREE Kindle Book

Welcome to the Christian Indie Authors Blog Hop!

February 10-14 


As my gift to you, A Heart's Home, is FREE for a limited time on Kindle. Click on the book cover to go to Amazon.

1746 India

Born in England and raised in India by her father after her mother's untimely death, Asyra has been ostracized from her small village most of her life. News of her impending marriage arranged by her grandmother back in England only serves to confuse her further about who she is and where she fits in. When Madras is attacked by the French before Asyra's ship sails, she must pretend to be the wife of her grandmother's agent, who happens to be the elder brother of her intended. Can she move beyond prejudice to find her place in the world?

Home by Laura J. Marshall

Their weight sinks into the carpet then the floorboards beneath, permeating slowly into the concrete and the earth. Footprints of time and m...