Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shattered Vows—Excerpt 4

Excerpt 4:
Fear stabbed her heart. With her face buried against Stewart's white dress shirt, she clutched at his back like a drowning cat. Heat from his body rose around her emitting his natural smell mixed with his tangy aftershave. "Stu, you're scaring me. What's going on?"
He stepped back and cupped her cheek before slipping an arm around her waist. "Let's go into the living room, and I'll tell you." The boxes at the foot of the staircase caught his attention. "What's all this?"
"I'm finally getting around to packing Emily's things. The Salvation Army truck will be by tomorrow to pick them up. I figured we could store the crib and other items in the attic until we need them again." Stu had been a rock and stuck by her every step of the way. Even when his own anguish was almost more than he could bear, he’d remained strong for her.
He squeezed her waist. "That’s great, sweetheart. I'm proud of you." Darn, she was proud of herself. A year ago she'd have been hysterical if anyone mentioned packing Emily's things.
"Yeah, well, I couldn't have done it without you. You shored me up when I’d have crumbled.” Actually, in many ways she had crumbled. Her depression had been long and painful. She glanced at Stu and her gay mood wilted. His complexion, usually a healthy ruddy pink, was now pale. She grabbed an arm and led him to the sofa. "Are you hurting, Stu? Your face has lost its color. "Here, sit down. Can I get you something?"
"A glass of water would be good.”
When she returned with his drink, she handed it to him, and then settled on the sofa facing her husband with her knees drawn up under her. When he finished off the water, he set the glass on the coffee table and leaned back against the sofa cushions. He’d regained some of his color, but he looked to the ceiling as if begging for divine guidance.
     "Stu, whatever it is, I'm sure we can get through it. Our love is strong. My faith has been rattled, but yours has remained steady through it all. Just spit it out, will you?"

     He raked a hand through his wavy auburn hair. Pain-filled eyes met hers. "I've been unfaithful."
Copies are Available in ebook and trade paperback at
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt and are anxious to learn how Annie is going to react to  Stu's news.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shattered Vows — Release Day — Excerpt # 3

Excerpt #3:
Sitting on her knees, Annie lifted Emily Ann’s favorite stuffed animal from the rocking chair. After one last snuggle and sniff of baby powder mingled with other baby smells, she placed it the in the box and sealed it with packing tape. On the outside, she labeled the box—baby clothes and stuffed toys. She rocked back and crouched on the balls of her feet. There, she’d done it. It had taken her almost two years to get to this point and pack up Emily Ann’s things. Their precious daughter had lived just over six months when SIDs took her, shaking Annie’s sanity and almost ruining her and Stu’s marriage. It had taken over a year of intensive counseling for Annie to recover. 
She stood, pushed the box out the door and with a shove, let it slide down the stairway. As the carton thumped its way down, Annie gave a nudge with her foot when it slowed. At the bottom, she stacked it on top of one of the others. It was the last one. She strode to the fireplace and lifted the photo of Emily Ann from the mantle. Grinning, with two bottom teeth shining, she was the image of good health. Those beautiful red curls; she’d inherited the color from Stu and the curls from Annie. Annie could almost feel their springy texture. Her baby’s blue eyes looked out with such delight, as if the world and everyone in it was her plaything, which wasn’t far from the truth. Tears pooled in Annie’s eyes, and she struggled to not let them fall. She didn’t know why God had taken her baby, but he had, and Annie had to move past her grief and enjoy the memories.
The wall clock in the hall chimed five o'clock. She’d better start dinner. Stu would be home early tonight. Stu had teased, “Maybe I have a long lost ancestor who’s left us an old house that’s haunted.” Yeah right, more likely the casino was being sued, and they wanted Stu there to take charge of the paperwork or maybe testify against them.
The front door opened and Stu entered the entry hall and dropped his keys in the ceramic bowl on the small cabinet by the door. He set his briefcase on the floor.
His tie was unfastened; his jacket was folded over one arm. It must be over 100 degrees outside—not a fun day to navigate the airport inside or out. She hurried over to relieve him of his coat. “I’ll take that.”
He leaned down and gave her a brief kiss. “Thanks.” She laid his coat across the back of the sofa for him to take upstairs later. He strode to the bar and fixed a drink. After taking a swallow, he raised his glass. “You want one?”
Surprised at his actions—they rarely drank—she shook her head. “No, thank you.”
He nodded and tossed back the remainder of his drink, and set the empty glass on the tray, and turned to her.
Worry lines that hadn’t been there this morning etched Stu’s mouth and eyes. A muscle in his jaw clenched. She was startled. Annie walked toward him and enfolded him in her arms. "What's wrong, Stu?"

His arms locked around her like steel bands, and he dropped his forehead to hers. His voice hoarse, he rasped out, "No matter what I tell you today, Annie, remember I've loved you since the day I laid eyes on you and always will."

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Happy Reading!


Release Day! Shattered Vows is Out.

Today is RELEASE DAY! Shattered Vows is now available 

on both B&Noble and Amazon /

Can betrayal be forgiven and lead to redemption?

I hope you'll pick up a copy.

Excerpt # 3 will be up tonight. Many thanks everyone!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Excerpt 2 Shattered Vows — Releases tomorrow November 11th in both ebook and paper.

I hope excerpt 1 grabbed your attention. Here's part 2.

Excerpt 2:
Mr. Hampton’s expression softened, no longer the eagle-eyed lawyer, now more a sympathetic friend. “I assure you, sir, there is no need to be embarrassed. Our company is very discreet, and we’ve handled many similar cases.”
What type of situation did he refer to? It’d been over a year since he’d seen Josie. Why would she contact him now? Oh, God, did she have AIDS and had just found out? What if he’d given the disease to Annie? Nausea roiled in his stomach.
“Josephine Lawrence died in a car crash two weeks ago.”
Josie dead? The nerves in Stu’s scalp tingled and shot down his spinal cord. He’d never wanted Annie to find out about his one-time indiscretion, but he wouldn’t wish death on Josie either. “I’m so sorry to hear that. I didn’t know her well, but did know she was a valued associate at her company.”
“Yes, it’s been a great shock to her co-workers and to her mother. And that’s why I’ve called you here today. She left you the sole custodian of her child.”
His heart hammered in his chest. Why would she leave him custody? “I didn’t know Josie had children.” They hadn’t exchanged more than five words that night—that he remembered. “Why . . . why would she give custody of her child to me? We barely knew each other.”
Mr. Hampton removed a 5x7 professional photo from the folder and laid it in front of Stu.
Stu gasped for breath and pulled at his tie.
The lawyer hit a button on his phone. “Mrs. Keller, please bring Mr. Rayburn a glass of water.”
Within minutes Stu was downing a bottle of water. He looked up at the young woman and flashed her a weak smile of gratitude.
Stu picked up the picture and studied the baby girl—copper wavy hair, the same shade as his, blue eyes and a smile that would draw honey from miles away. Tears sprang to his eyes. He wanted to speak. His mouth moved, but no words came out.
Mr. Hampton stood and strode to his side. “This is a shock of course. We’ll give you a few minutes to digest the information. DNA tests can be conducted.”

Stu caught the attorney’s coat sleeve and shook his head. “No need for tests.”

Due to our road trip, I probably won't be home until Thursday or Friday so I won't be able to begin my contest until then. I must learn to use Rafflecopter and I need to find the perfect 1st prize. I love to give away jewelry that has meaning to my stories, so I'm thinking this story calls for a charm. I'll also give away a paper copy and at least one ebook.

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