CrossReads Short Takes: Begging for Mercie & A Light in the Darkness

CrossReads Short Takes: Begging for Mercie & A Light in the Darkness

CrossReads Short Takes

Begging for Mercie

by Sharon Srock

Begging for Mercie

Scottlyn Rich has overcome tragedy–and moved on. She’s now a confident college student and about to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday when she receives news that the young man who set her life on its unexpected course has died in prison.

Grieving mother Penny Nelson believes there is only one way to assuage her grief–take the baby and raise her. After all, Mercie is all she has left of her son.

Scottlyn didn’t draw the battle lines, but she’s determined to defend what’s hers. Can God find a way to bring peace to both women, or will someone end up begging for Mercie?

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A Light in the Darkness

by Patricia Bell

A Light in the Darkness

Alexis McGregor is an awkward seven-year-old, who doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. At school, the kids call her “Fat-Lexis”, and at home, her older brother Jake blames her for the break-up of his parents.
When Alexis and her only friend Sierra get into an argument, Alexis finds herself alone, on the streets of her community, after midnight. She’s helpless, frightened and feeling hopeless. That is, until a nice guy, one she recognizes from the neighborhood, happens by and offers her a ride. Tired, and scared, Alexis accepts.
When her family finds out she’s missing, hearts begin to change. Secrets are revealed. Wounds healed. But time is running out for Alexis.
Join Chief Erika Granger as she solves the mysterious abduction, in the first story of A Canyon Rock series. A Light in The Darkness.

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When the Night Is Dark and the Road Long

When the Night Is Dark and the Road Long

by Lisa Prysock

Lift up your head 

Look up 

Sing praise to the Lord anyways 

Lift up your head 

 Look up 

For soon the dawn will blaze 

 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

Soon this tide will turn 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

His whispers you’ll discern 

 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

Can you hear Him cheer you on? 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

He’s given you His precious Son 

 

Lift up your head  

Look up 

When the night is dark and the road long 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

Can’t you hear His song?  

 

There is no greater love 

Than from Him above 

In Joshua 1:9, He promises to never leave us and commands us to be brave and courageous.  In Psalm 27:1, He reassures us that He is our light and salvation, reminding us to fear no one.  In Psalm 32, He reminds us we are forgiven.   In Psalm 96, He tells us to sing a new song!   In Psalm 34, He reminds us the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.  In Psalm 23, He lets the enemy know you’re coming to the wedding supper of the Lamb.  In Psalm 18, He reminds us He is our rock, fortress, deliverer, God, stronghold, refuge, and shield.   In John 14:27, He grants us peace.

If you’re going through trouble, take heart my friends.   Sometimes when trouble comes, it’s actually everything falling into place.   We grow.  We stretch.  Our faith is strengthened.  Remind the enemy of the Word, which will stand forever.   Keep looking up and have a blessed day!

Author Biography

Lisa M. PrysockLisa M. Prysock lives in the countryside of beautiful, rolling Kentucky just outside of the greater Louisville area near horse farms and four board fences with her husband of 19 years.  She homeschooled the two youngest of their five children and is excited about her youngest entering the journey of college life.   

She and her husband live in an average Colonial style home they are continually updating– with a funny looking Heinz 57 dog; an adorably dainty lady cat; two teenagers; a vegetable garden; numerous flower beds; and a tree house undergoing a remodel.  When not in teaching or writing mode, she is teaching herself to play the piano and violin.  Regarding this she laughs:  “It’s a pretty painful process, but I’m truly enjoying it!”   

Lisa loves all things old-fashioned and has adopted a slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl.”  A few of her interests and passions include doll houses, long dresses and hats, gardening, reading the Classics, butterflies, swimming, walking, working out, cooking, sewing, crochet, cross stitching, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, decorating, and drawing.   

Recently, her husband remodeled a room in their home with a picture window overlooking a valley containing a creek and wooded area, transforming the space into a serene writing office/sewing room.  “It’s a great source of peace and inspiration for me… and pure joy not to be writing from the busy kitchen amidst the household chaos on a laptop.  Growing teenagers eating every five minutes makes for a constant stream of happenings!”   

Be sure to check out her new release Geneva, a fiction Christian Historical Romance series with a theme on the fruits of the Spirit!  These days, Lisa is also writing her first Contemporary Western Christian Romance novels as a contributing author to the ‘Whispers in Wyoming’ series with Danni Roan, Kari Trumbo, Lynn Winchester, and Rachel Skatvold.  

Lisa is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of To Find a Duchess, an Inspirational Regency Romance; ‘The Victorian Christian Heritage Series’ which includes Hannah’s Garden:  a Turn of the Century Love Story and Abigail’s Melody; and ‘The Lydia Collection,’ which includes The Redemption of Lady Georgiana (a Ruth love story of modern day Regency proportions), Protecting Miss Jenna (an Antebellum Era Christian Romance Adventure), and Persecution & Providence (a ‘Jane Austen-ish’ mail order bride story from the Pioneer Era).  She is also the author of a devotional/Bible Study, Arise Princess Warrior and recently released The Shoemakeran Old-Fashioned Regency Christmas Romance.  Lisa writes clean and wholesome literature that shares her faith in Jesus Christ.  She is a member of ACFW and Louisville Christian Writers.  You can find out more about Lisa at:   www.LisaPrysock.com

Links: 

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMPrysock 

https://twitter.com/LPrysock  

www.LisaPrysock.com    

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J6MBC64  

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-m-prysock 

CrossReads Book Spotlight: Homeland’s Hope

CrossReads Book Spotlight: Homeland’s Hope

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Homeland’s Hope

by Hallee Bridgeman

Homeland's Hope

The exciting Virtues and Valor serialized story continues with book 2.

Stage and screen legend VIRGINIA BENOIT performs for standing room only crowds in her adopted home of France. When the Nazis roll into Paris, she flees to Casablanca, taking the heart of a enemy General with her. While in there, Virginia devises a plan to use her position, talent, and influence with the high ranking Axis officer to aid the Allied cause.

Virginia joins the Virtues team, assigned the code-name HOPE. Her keen mind trains in the craft of espionage. After staging a rift with the US, she returns to Paris, hiding undercover in plain sight, and spies on the enemy. All is well until the Third Reich imprisons the Virtues wireless operator, code named Temperance.

As the Virtues engineer a plan to rescue Temperance from the Gestapo’s clutches, Virginia takes to the stage to play her part in the daring mission. Will the murderous racism of the Nazi High Command prevent her from fulfilling her duties?

HOMELAND’S HOPE is part two of seven serialized novellas entitled the Virtues and Valor series.

In 1941 Great Britain a special war department assembles an experimental and exclusively female cohort of combat operatives. Four willing spies, a wireless radio operator, an ingenious code breaker, and a fearless pilot are each hand-picked, recruited, and trained to initiate a daring mission in Occupied France. As plans are laid to engineer the largest prison break of Allied POWs in history, the Nazis capture the Virtues’ radio operator. It will take the cohesive teamwork of the rest of the women to save her life before Berlin breaks her and brings the force of the Third Reich to bear.

Some find love, some find vengeance, and some discover the kind of strength that lives in the human heart when all they can do is rely on each other and their shared belief. Courage, faith, and valor intersect but, in the end, one pays the ultimate price.

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CrossReads Short Takes: A Long Way Home & The Homecoming

CrossReads Short Takes: A Long Way Home & The Homecoming

CrossReads Short Takes

A Long Way Home

by Becky Doughty

A Long Way Home

 Long Way Home can be read as part of The Fallout Series or as a stand-alone romance novel.

“This modern retelling of the prodigal story delves into heavier topics such as abuse and rape, but with such a careful touch, it never felt overwhelming. As usual, the writing was lyrical and very visual, like a movie playing in front of me.” ~ Heather Day Gilbert, USA Today Bestselling Author

“Dancing helped me forget…”

“Forget the pain of what I’d left behind. Forget the shame of what I’d done. Forget the fact that my future felt as untethered as the caravan in which I traveled.” ~Samantha Clark

On the run, Savannah Clark lives her life as a modern-day bohemian, hiding her identity behind her beaded scarves and swirling skirts. Marek and the Gypsies, a troupe of dancers and musicians, follow the Renaissance and Medieval Faire circuits, never staying in one place for very long. Her disguise, however, doesn’t fool those who know and love her best, nor does it completely hide the evidence of how difficult living in fear can be.

But an unexpected encounter with Jordan Ransome, her first love, tears open old wounds, and tragic news from home brings Savannah face to face with her worst fears. Will she run again, a victim of the lies she’s come to believe about herself and those she left behind, or can she trust her heart enough to embrace the girl she once was as the woman she has become?

NOTE: This book may contain triggers due to the topic of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

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The Homecoming

by Dan Walsh

The Homecoming

No sooner is Shawn Collins home from the fighting in Europe than he is called upon to serve his country in another way–as a speaker on the war bond tour. While other men might jump at the chance to travel around the country with attractive Hollywood starlets, Shawn just wants to stay home with his son Patrick and the aging father with whom he has finally reconciled. When Shawn taps Katherine Townsend to be Patrick’s nanny while he’s on the road, he has no idea that she will be the key to his future happiness and the mending of his heart.

This heartwarming story of tender love and fresh starts will capture readers.

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What I Learned From Hallmark Movies, Part Two

What I Learned From Hallmark Movies, Part Two

by Suzanne D. Williams

I addressed this issue before, but have a different twist on it this time. Maybe it’s my need to make people smile kicking in. In any case, in Part One, I gave a number of standards that make these movies work:

“A well-defined setting; Two contrasting lifestyles; A big secret that might break the couple apart; A wise sub-character to set them straight; An unusual situation which forces the characters to spend an inordinate amount of time together.”

All still true. Yet, taking a seat from a different perspective, I see several other useful writing tips:

You can name any small town by choosing a tree species and adding -vale or –ville. Cedarvale, Willowvale, Pineville. You get the idea. And small towns have one bright, sunny main street, a lovely pond or lake somewhere with a dock, and a succession of sub-characters who know the main couple is in love way before they do.

An inn/farm/family restaurant is the ideal place to work. Suzy is going home to help her dad or mom who has decided to retire or has developed a sudden minor health problem. They will have a week where they are stubborn and immobile and push their child to work for them and thus find themselves. Suzy is suddenly an expert pie baker, producing award-winning crusts.

And speaking of winning …

Winning the contest at the local spring/summer/harvest festival is a great way for characters to fall in love. All characters must be either competitive or gullible and swayed to be competitive. They will beat out any other competition no matter how inept they actually are and thereby realize they like an inordinate about of public attention. In short, there is no such thing as a bookish-introverted main character like me who’d run if they were put in front of a crowd.

Always insert an adorable outgoing son or daughter. One main character must be a single parent with fond memories of their ex or a good relationship with him/her. It is best if the child be the opposite gender. Dad-daughter. Mom-son. The child is also very perceptive, choosing their new parent way before dumb ol’ dad or mom can see how stupid they are.

The boyfriend your female main character will dump should be clueless about how out-of-sync he is. And probably the guy I’ve named Mr. Puffy Cheeks. I like him as the dumb boyfriend. He’s slightly pushy, too career-minded, and has no idea how a woman thinks. On the other hand, blond-cutie-new-boyfriend slash guy-she’s-known-for-years is compassionate, thoughtful, generous, and talented. He’ll bow out of her life before he’ll see her hurt by anything he’s caused.

Which brings me to my final thought.

The new boyfriend struggles at his career. Or has no career at all. I’m not sure what the guy did in the last Hallmark I watched, but frankly, I didn’t care. He fit all the parameters for swoonability – winning smile, old truck, looks good in blue jeans. I do seem to remember he repaired the dishwasher. But don’t all good men do that?

In all seriousness, though these thoughts are meant to amuse, they teach us two things. One, that too much of the same thing can become annoying. Two, that too much of the same thing, the fact I can expect him to act a certain way and her to react accordingly, makes readers feel safe. This is why we watch reruns on TV. We know what to expect and can set our fears aside (and in my case, let my attention wander. I know how it’ll turn out, after all.)

There is something important to be said for that in reader’s minds. But also for being a good enough writer I can put my own spin on familiar tropes and still have readers come away satisfied. I think it takes a dash of both for a book to find success. It’s balancing the same-old-same-old against a creative mind and finding enough magic to bring readers back again and again.

You never know … if you can pull that off, you might just find yourself on Hallmark.

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God, Girls, and Cowboys

About The Author:

Suzanne D WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at twitter.com/SDWAuthor