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What leads to a story? Where do ideas come from? I’ve been asked this many times. Well, what day is it? Different days bring different thoughts, different speculations, suppositions and what ifs (a lot of them begin with what if). Some days I overhear a bit of conversation. Some days it’s a song, other times, I reuse a piece of a dream. But since so many readers have asked, I’ve decided to answer everyone at once by adding a little ~history~ after some of my book posts. I’ll see if I can do it without giving too much away, in case you haven’t read the books yet.
WHAT DO A WOMAN OF FAITH AND A HEATHEN BIKER HAVE IN COMMON? THE DEVIL, OF COURSE.
Tessa is moved to intercede for a man she's never met. When they do meet, she's stunned. Gunnar is gorgeous, charismatic, and driven. He's also hostile, self-destructive, and an unbeliever... and she's drawn to him like no other. The temptation she feels is as dangerous as it is alluring. She wants to stay away, but God has other plans. He reveals the devil's intent to destroy Gunnar, and commissions Tessa to keep him covered in prayer. Can she rely on God to keep her from falling... in love, and into temptation? Or will the devil claim them both?
SOME SAY HE’S A CULT LEADER. OTHERS SAY HE’S NOT HUMAN. One thing is certain ~ Jett Cestone is an enigma with a disconcerting connection to the young women in his employ. When the reclusive billionaire takes an interest in Haven’s painting, she wants to believe it’s an answer to prayer, but what if her father is right? What if he’s dangerous?
Haven is the most interesting woman to ever cross Jett’s path. But being as naïve and pure as she is, he can’t have her learning what goes on in his home, or his connection to sex trafficking. That would be bad enough, but she would never accept him if she knew of his abilities, and that his life is much more paranormal than normal. He has to keep her at a distance, even though she’s living in his home. Too bad he wants her more than he’s wanted anyone or anything in his life.
SEBASTIAN IS NO ANGEL. MEN LIKE HIM ONLY WANT ONE THING but Natalie is determined to keep her vow of celibacy. Yes, he’s gorgeous, intelligent and heroic, with unusual gifts, but he’s a constant reminder that she isn’t good enough for him. Can she outrun a club owner who wants her dead when she’s weighed down by the failures of her past?
Sebastian has always viewed women one way—as marvelous distractions. But when Natalie enters his life, he’s forced to see them, and the world, in new light. Teaming with Jett Cestone, they enter the sordid world of sex traffickers to rescue young innocents. But only Natalie can rescue him, and give him the one thing his heart needs.
NOT QUITE ANGEL, NOT QUITE HUMAN, AARO HIGHLANDER IS A SPECIAL BREED
Darcy D’Angelo is an average, contemporary woman. Men like Aaro don’t fall for women like her. He’s heroic, gorgeous, intelligent, and she’s…not. Yet, after only a brief acquaintance, he reveals his intention to marry her.
Aaro Highlander, like his “brothers,” is a special breed—not quite angel, not quite human—with spectacular shapeshifting gifts, deep-running passions and strength of character that drives him to do the right thing. But something has been missing from his life, until now. Romance and his life mate.
He’s finally found both in Darcy, but his commitment to Jett and Sebastian may put wedding plans on hold as they unravel a mystery, discover prophetic secrets, and hunt for a serial killer.
HE’S THE MAN OF HER DREAMS. LITERALLY. BUT IS HE A DEMON?
When they’re together in that misty world, Loria is sure he’s too good to be true, but what does she do when he steps out of her dreams into her everyday world? This is the stuff of fantasy, not real life! She doesn’t even know what he is. How can she trust him?
Ulrick Helmore needs to find the mysterious woman that calls to him from her dreams and hold him night after glorious night in ethereal passion, but she refuses to tell him her name or where she may be found in the waking hours.
His search for her leads him to unanticipated discoveries, including mass murders, sex trafficking, men who share his unique DNA, and learning firsthand what disloyalty to family looks like. Any other man would be destroyed, but having Loria reject him because of his supernatural background is the one thing he can’t handle.
Hard choices must be made ~ choices that may have devastating consequences for everyone.
HAVE I GOT AN ESCAPE FOR YOU…
The Descended Series: JETT, SEBASTIAN, AARO, and ULRICK -- four men with vastly different personalities, SUPERNATURAL DNA, and POWERS to match, drawn together by PROPHECY and DESTINY. Using their UNIQUE skill sets, they must put aside their personal differences and try to identify the head of a human trafficking ring — without killing each other first.
Jett’s philosophy, “Crush the head and the body dies,” sounds logical in theory, but the tenuous bonds of brotherhood might not be strong enough to survive a revelation that brings them full circle.
And of course, there's ROMANCE!
★★★★★ “Jane Eyre meets Batman!” ★★★★★
★★★★★ “Romantic Suspense at its finest.” ★★★★★
★★★★★ Dana Pratola is the Master of the Great Escape! ★★★★★
VOICE of TRUTH
Sophia Gallo is celebrated and adored by millions, but in her meteoric rise to fame, it might appear she’s forgotten the One Who gave her the gift that made possible her life of wealth and glory. She hasn’t forgotten. She’s reminded every day as she endeavors to hide a secret that could change everything and expose her as the freak and outcast she always thought herself to be.
Cade Fioretti has never backed down from finding the truth, and he’s not about to start now. It’s his job and his passion. Sophia is beautiful, talented, and the subject of his next book; but she’s hiding something. No matter what it takes, he’s going to dig it up, and in the process learn all there is to know about this woman who’s stolen his heart.
~VOICE of TRUTH came about one day when I wondered what it would be like to wake up one day and know how to play the piano. I’d always wanted to play, but I didn’t want to learn. I know me, and my lack of musical ability may be only slightly less tragic than my inability to concentrate long enough to learn the keys. I wanted to just know. Like Neo in The Matrix. Hook me up and download it right into my brain and I’ll take it from there. But where would I take it? To suddenly have an incredible gift…. Would I use it to make boatloads of money as a secular artist? Start a Barry Manilow tribute band? Play in church? Keep it to myself and only show it off at Christmas carol singalongs around the Steinway? Which brought me to another quandary – I’d probably have to buy one. Pricy. And getting rid of one, even harder…. Singing was probably a better option. Minimal equipment and I can do it anywhere. Though I still can’t sing, I created a character who could. Sophia Gallo.
The Mayweather Christmas Quest
The forecast is for snow—but she's dreaming of more than a white Christmas. Olympia Mayweather is sure there's only one way to find a husband - through a family tradition that says she must kiss the man of her dreams in a Christmas snow. When a reporter comes to interview her for the local paper, she's afraid he's going to make a mockery of her, ruining her chance for a Christmas love.
David Della Santina isn't sure a magical kiss will make Olympia a bride. But spending time with the charming woman and getting to know her just might make David believe in fairy tales. He'll protect her from a tabloid story, but who is going to keep him from completing The Mayweather Christmas Quest?
A SECOND-CHANCE ROMANCE! Finding love can be tricky, but with some meddling from a dead woman, it is possible.
Even in death, quirky Aunt Ruth is getting her way, not only leaving Cal her worldly possessions, but also an obligation to care for Winsome, a helpless victim of domestic abuse. And to build her a treehouse on his property. He’s not happy about it, but final wishes are sacred, right?
Winsome would love to refuse Ruth’s last wish to see her start her own candle-making shop, but with nowhere else to go and no one to turn to, she is stuck with Ruth’s gruff, unwelcoming nephew, Cal.
Each discovers more than they bargained for, when facing a past they’d both like to forget becomes the foundation that binds them together.
Like A Country Song
FOR EVERY WOMAN WHO DREAMS OF MEETING HER SUPERSTAR FANTASY CRUSH FACE TO FACE. THIS IS THE STORY FOR YOU!
Superstar Jack McKinney’s life couldn’t be more like one of his hit country songs if he’d written it himself. When his wife vanishes at an amusement park, and he finds himself suddenly in need of a nanny, he has no choice but to enlist the park’s princess to help. Fearing what her disapproving parents will think, Charlotte initially refuses Jack’s request to leave her post at Royal Kingdom and care for his daughters, but she’s had a crush on the famous singer for years, and since he is used to getting his way, he quickly wears her down.
Despite a police investigation, an enraged mother-in-law, and swarming press, mutual attraction blooms between them. But there’s a line neither can cross -- Jack hasn’t forgotten he’s still a married man, and Charlotte will never become someone’s mistress.
I had a dream one night. I was at a street fair or something, but I was behind the scenes, you know, where the ride operators and other workers hang out, but the general public isn't allowed. I saw Gary LaVox from Rascal Flatts (the country band for those who don't know), and he looked sad. He was standing with two little girls and I asked him what was wrong. He said his wife left. Then we went into an African themed Taco Bell and next thing I knew we were sitting in his living room (you know how dreams are) and his mother-in-law was accusing him of murder. When I woke up, I remembered it vividly, and thought, 'why not turn this into a story?' So I did 😍
His Heart for Christmas (*a SHORT story)
NEVER FALL FOR YOUR BEST FRIEND. It just isn’t done! With good reason – It’s the fastest way to ruin a friendship forever. Decorating her tree alone on Christmas Eve, Stephanie is agonizing over a decision she must make SOON – Flee to the opposite end of the country and start over without Ryan, or stay here and be tormented by her impossible love for him. If only she could know what the future holds and if risking it all would be worth it. Thanks to the extremely precious, extremely unusual “ornament” Nona handed down to her, maybe she can!
The HAUNTING of JOSIAH KASH
“The odds of being struck by lightning are practically the same as finding the love of your life.” ~Josiah
Josiah doesn’t believe in ghosts. But he can’t deny this abandoned house with its dark history holds more than just shadows of the past. Whether he’s dealing with something other-worldly or the effects of a near devastating head injury, there’s no doubt he’s being haunted.
Brenna’s life has been rough enough lately. Homeless and alone, she’s found safety in an old house atop Unger Hill. But she isn’t alone. She’d heard the rumors of the haunting here, but the handsome stranger invading her sanctuary is all too real, and might be more dangerous than any spirit.
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About the Author
In almost every interview, I'm asked when I first knew I wanted to write. I usually give the short answer: "I always loved to read, and writing was just the natural progression for me."
It's true, but not the whole story. The fact is, many people love to read, but writing isn't something they'll ever do.. Here's the whole truth--well, the concise version, not the entire tale of my childhood, which I will probably write one day...
In one house, I grew up as the youngest of 5 children. In another house, right across the street, I was raised an only child. Confused yet?
My parents split up when I was a baby, and my father had full custody. He worked long,hard hours, and it was rough keeping watch over 5 kids, the oldest of whom was only 10. Two of us weren't even in school yet, and his income didnt allow for childcare, if there was even such a thing back then. As a result, the two youngest of us were sent to live with relatives for a short time, before returning to our house. But I stayed downstairs with my grandparents, since as a baby, I required constant looking after.
I'm not sure of the order of events, and details have changed from one telling to the next, but what is certain, is that my grandmother's best friend, Ruth Dwyer lived across the street with her husband, Joe. The Dwyers loved children and had always wanted a large family, like each of them had had growing up, but sadly, they had been unable to have a baby.
Enter Divine Intervention.
Through God's orchestration, I ended up with The Dwyers, the epitome of love and selfless generosity. I had my father and siblings in one house, and Joe and Ruth would have the child they'd always wanted.
Though I was never legally adopted, they raised me as their own, and I thought of them as Mom and Dad. Still do. Always will.
Back to the writing... Dad read to me every night, sometimes three and four books. I was amazed, thrilled, frightened, consoled and elated by these marvelous creations of words on paper, and I couldn't get enough. This was clearly where I got my love of reading, and the inspiration to form my own stories, first in my little head, then on paper. I started with drawings and soon I learned to write words, sentences, paragraphs....
The funny thing is--and believe it or not, I only realized this recently--if I had been raised solely with my siblings in my father's house, I would never have developed that necessary love of reading. It was only being in that house with Mom and Dad that it was cultivated. I was raised to see the value of books and reading, and of expressing myself through the written word.
Another blessing of my part/time "only child" existence, was that it spiked my creativity. Across the street, I had three brothers and a sister to socialize with and keep me entertained, while back at Mom and Dad's, I had only myself and my imagination.
It was a strange, unique childhood, but a blessed one that I would not change for anything. It was the way God used to mold me into the writer I am today. And it's this respect and love of books, of reading, and of the craft of story-telling that I hope to share with you.
Thanks to all my Readers, the loyal ones I've had from the beginning, and the new ones I'm coming to know, for taking this journey with me.
~~It's not your mother's Christian fiction.~~
God gave me a passion to write Christian Romance. These books don’t contain explicit sex scenes, but my characters have real desires, struggles and choices to make. A lot of the time they make the wrong ones. No subject is prohibited, but good always triumphs and God is glorified.
In my personal life, He has also blessed me with a wonderful husband and three dynamic children, all of whom are destined to make wide, colorful splashes in this world. We share our New Jersey home with three dogs. I have no hobbies to speak of, unless you include writing. I don’t.
Into Chapter 3 of my first 1st person novel and having a great time with it so far. I wish I was as witty as my characters :D
After months of stressing over a query letter and synopsis, I FINALLY sent LIKE A COUNTRY SONG to Carina Press. Now begins the waiting. I'm not too bad with waiting... Though I am tempted right now to go check my email. LOL.
2018 ~ The year I start getting out of my comfort zone. We'll see how that goes :/ Those of you who know writers, know that most of us are "functional introverts." That means I may very well be writing this comfort zone thing the same time next year, lol.
I'm working on several books, including my first, 1st person story. Prayers appreciated.