Deep in the Heart Cover Final 1-18-2014
Deep in the Heart
by: Staci Stallings
FREE January 25 – 27th
Then, only 99 Cents… January 28 & 29th!

About the Book

Just out of college and completely alone in the world, Maggie Montgomery has one shot left to save her life from an abyss of poverty and hopelessness. Clinging to the last shred of fuel and hope, she arrives at the mansion of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayer. Although Maggie is clearly not what Mr. Ayer and his wife have in mind for a nanny, they agree to hire her temporarily until they can find someone more appropriate to fill the position. However, Maggie’s whole world is about to be up-ended by two way-over-scheduled children and one incredibly handsome hired hand. As she struggles to fit into a world she was never made to fit in, Maggie wonders if she can ever learn to become a perfect version of herself so she can keep the job, or is she doomed to always be searching for a life she can never quite grasp?

Keith Ayer despises his life. As the son of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayer and the fiance to a Senator from Texas’ daughter, it looks great on the outside, but inside, he is dying. He would vastly prefer to manage and train his father’s racehorses. However, everyone else thinks that is beneath him. He needs to get into industry and build on his father’s success. Suffocating under the constrictions of his life, he meets Maggie, and she begins to teach him that wealth and power is not everything in this life. But can Keith defy the two most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart?

“Staci Stallings… Christian fiction at its best!”

Staci Stallings New Headshot 1
Staci Stallings
  A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including being the co-founder of and the founder of Grace & Faith Connection.

Follow Staci StallingsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a Kindle, 6″ E Ink Display, Wi-Fi


a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

(That’s two separate prizes, given to two separate winners!)

Enter below, sponsored by author Staci Stallings!
Drawing on February 4, 2014
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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

I’m happy to welcome author Precarious Yates as a guest on my blog today.  She’s going to share an excerpt from her new book, The Captives, as well as tell you how you can download ALL THREE of her books for FREE!
Precarious Yates

Precarious Yates is a shepherdess living in the middle of the USA, 500 miles from the nearest beach. She hopes to live closer to the ocean soon. While in Ireland, she lived one mile from the Atlantic Ocean. Those landscapes and seascapes inspired The Heart of the Caveat Whale trilogy. The whole trilogy is free for download for the next three days! Here’s an excerpt from the first book, The Captives:

Kindle cover storm 1 The Captives copy

Mookori looked up at the high windows with the lanterns hanging down from the roof. Hopefully he would be able to chance more interior light soon. He stepped through the door with the prisoner’s provisions and set them on the floor as the door locked behind him. The prisoner stood from his lightless hiding in the corner and lurched forward toward Mookori. In the dim illumination from the windows he saw the barnacle armored aquavian; the dull grey armor made him look both lifeless and menacing. It covered most of his body, going up his neck and falling short of his jaw line to frame his face. A fey smirk marred his lurid visage. He poised for attack, then his legs faltered. He collapsed, keeping his gaze on Mookori, his eyes flashing intentions of violence. 

Mookori sat on the hard sand and pushed the plate of food gently toward the prisoner. “If you want to attack, the food will give you the strength you need.” He poured the water into the bowl and placed it beside the plate. “You won’t win a fight half-starved.” The prisoner looked down at the plate and flung it away with all his strength. He continued to glare at the prince. “If you want to defeat us, what good will it do to let yourself die in my captivity? Unless this is not your war, and you remember, somehow, that you were once free.” He remained silent, holding the prisoner’s gaze. 

The prisoner threw his whole face into the bowl to drink. For a long time he didn’t lift his head again. “You are free from their control,” Mookori continued. “Why do you still cling to it? We’re not shifting you from one master to another. You were once a sovereign people; we want to see your sea returned to you again.” The prisoner pushed himself into the air and landed atop Mookori, pressing him to the ground. He used what strength he had left to pin the prince, holding the collar of his cloak. Mookori didn’t struggle with this weakened foe, but waited to see if he would speak in his temporary victory. The prisoner panted and spat, glowering over him.

For the first time, the each book of the trilogy is available for FREE download! This offer will end on Midnight of Wednesday, 1/22, so act fast!  Click on the titles below to download:

The Captives


The Tiller and the Song

If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 2 Corinthians 3:9 (NLT) What would it look like for you to be bold, transparent, free, and truly the person God created you to be? What would it look like for you to BE YOU? In this four week mini Bible Study journey with author Heather Bixler as she shares some of her personal struggles with you in an effort to be transparent with you, the reader. God wants us to shine and radiate His glory, but truly this can only be done through our brokenness. God is looking for transparent women to help guide others to a true and intimate relationship with Jesus through the sharing of their own brokenness, and compassion for one another. If we are truly going to shine for HIS glory in the new ministry of HIS righteousness then we must learn the art of being who God created us to be. We often think this is found through performance and behavior changes, but when we have given our life over to Jesus then everything God created us to be is found in the Holy Spirit that is already living within us. Come and unwrap the beauty that is already within through the four week mini Bible Study, Be You!
Download on Kindle today for Only $0.99!

Free Kindle Book to Celebrate the Launch:

Download your copy of our brand new Mini Bible Study Bundle for FREE! This Mini Bible Study Bundle includes the following Becoming Press Mini Bible Studies in One:

Download the Becoming Press Mini Bible Study Bundle- Vol. 1 for free today and tomorrow (11/29 & 11/30)!

Free Online Bible Study using the “Be You – Four Week Mini Bible Study!

Sign up today for a free four week online Bible Study with author Heather Bixler. Starting in January 2014 you will have the chance to participate in an online Bible Study of “Be You – Four Week Mini Bible Study.” Be sure and sign up today, space is limited and registration is required!
Sign up for the FREE online Bible Study here!


Still time to enter our giveaway. Just submit your entries using the rafflecopter widget below: a Rafflecopter giveaway This is a Becoming Press LLC book launch. Sign up here to become a book launch blogger!

Take the 21 Day Challenge!
Get 5 FREE eBooks – 2 Days Only
10/17/13 and 10/18/13
PLUS enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!


Why 21 Days?
It’s a commonly known fact that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. You may spend 21 days trying to form a good exercise routine or kick a bad habit, but what about taking 21 days to form a new spiritual habit? .

That’s the reason for the 21 days series – to provide you with 21 days worth of biblical devotions to help you form new habits that draw you closer to Christ. And for two days only (October 17th-18th, 2013) we’re giving all 5 books away for free. After that, they will be available for only 99 cents each. So what do you say? Will you join us in strengthening your walk with God? If so, download one or all of the books below at no cost to you during our free promotion – and scroll down to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card as our gift to you!  

Be Inspired…Join the 21 Day Challenge!
Download 5 Free eBooks for 2 Days Only


Book #1: 21 Days of Generosity
generosity challenge

Living a Life of Generosity: 21 Days of Generosity Challenge

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Generosity through this short but powerful eBook.

Download on Kindle Here


Book #2: 21 Days of Faith
faith challenge
Living a Life of Faith: 21 Days of Faith Challenge
If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Faith Challenge through this short but powerful eBook.
Download on Kindle Here


Book #3: 21 Days of Gratitude
gratitude challenge

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. And I sensed Him leading me to do this 21 days of gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I have been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day.

And now I want to share what I learned with you in the short, but powerful book.

Download on Kindle Here


Book #4: 21 Teen Devotionals… for Girls!
teen devotionals for girls
Our lives are ruled by habits. We are defined by them. How our days play out, how we act and react, and even how we eat, sleep and talk are all affected by our habits – for better or for worse. It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one, so why not spend the next 21 days forming a habit of spending time with God? If you’ve got 21 days, we’ve got 21 devotions specifically written for today’s teen girls.

Are you up for forming a habit of spending time with your Creator? If so, download this book and get started on these devotionals!

Download on Kindle Here


Book #5:21 Teen Devotionals… for Guys!
teen devotionals for guys

Teen Devotionals… for Guys!, brought to you by, are written for teen guys who want to find their true strength in Christ, these devotions designed to be read, pondered on and applied to daily life. We want you to know that the Bible isn’t just a book that’s over 2000 years old. It’s completely applicable to our lives today – even as teenagers. We know that girls and guys don’t face the same issues in high school – not even close. So these devotions were written with today’s teen guys in mind. Go ahead. Dig in. Find your true strength in Christ.

Download on Kindle Here


Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to win a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by Body and Soul Publishing
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  This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Welcome To CrossReads’ Fall Into Reading Book Sale!

Where We Invite You to Fall into Good, Wholesome Books – and Save Money!

During the week of October 7th, readers can get books by several of their favorite CrossReads Christian authors who have joined together to offer their books at bargain prices.
Monday through Friday (the 7th-11th), readers can get over 30 books during our book sale and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card to get even more books to read!
Then, we invite you to hop over to CrossReads on Saturday, October 12th, to get 9 books absolutely free and find out who won the giveaway!
The books included in the book sale are listed below – fiction first, followed by nonfiction, and then the giveaway – enjoy!


Mystery, Suspense and Thrillers

Serenity Springs, Ohio by Lillian Duncan Mystery/Suspense

An abandoned bird; an ailing aunt; and an unhappy fiancé. What else could happen? Oh, yeah—a murder! Chief of Police, Matthew Travis moved home to avoid the violence of being a big city police officer, but murder shatters the peace and tranquility of his hometown.
It appears to be an open and shut case. A troubled teenager at the scene covered in blood with the murder weapon in his hand is arrested. Unfortunately, as Matthew ties up loose ends, his once open and shut case unravels.
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Times of Turmoil by Cliff Ball

In this prequel to Times of Trouble and Times of Trial, we follow how the Evans family gained their riches and eventually their power to influence events in the United States. We see important events that the Evans family gets themselves involved in: such as the return of the Israelites to Israel, the assassination of President Kennedy, the terrorism of 9/11, and eventually events that lead to government tyranny in the United States with the sole purpose of destroying Christianity and its influence in the United States.
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Times of Trouble by Cliff Ball

The Atwood family watch the US descend into chaos as the End Times approach.
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Times of Trial by Cliff Ball Thriller Christians are persecuted when the President declares a dictatorship as the End Times approach.

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John Ryan by Cliff Ball

Jon Ryan has to deal with government healthcare as a doctor before the End Times.
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The Mystery of the Indian Carvings by Gloria Repp
Middle Grade/Mystery
A young teen is sent to visit her Canadian relatives who have a wonderful dog, but disappearing artifacts and a spiteful cousin threaten to ruin her hopes for the future. She can’t help wondering: does God care?
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The Difference Between Night and Day by Melissa Turner Romance Nathaniel Taylor was a Christian who thought believers were exempted from “dark times.” That was until he entered his own long time in the dark. When he meets Lilly, a young woman in danger, it sends him on a journey to discover the difference between night and day and that during dark times, the Light is hidden, not gone.

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Rock and A Hard Place by Bonnie Blythe Christian Romance Faith Conrad is used to striving. After more or less raising her twin sisters because of an absent father and ailing mother, she knows the meaning of responsibility. She had to drop out of high school to pay the bills, hamstringing her future. When handsome Bureau of Land Management ranger Shane Zadopec rescues her from a rock climb gone wrong and reveals that he’s a photographer too, she feels threatened and rebuffs his attempts to get close. Will she ever picture them together?

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Forewarned by Debra Ullrick Christian Romantic Suspense After a near fatal accident in the Colorado wilderness, Jasmine Moore suffers during the harsh Steamboat Springs winters. Unable to socialize because of pain, she goes online in hopes of finding some new friends to fill the void the long, lonely winters bring. A budding online friendship develops, and soon, Jasmine finds herself in danger.

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Déjà vu Bride by Debra Ullrick Christian Romance Furious with God, Olivia Roseman vows to never trust Him again. Why should she? Once again her prayers have gone unanswered, and once again another loved one has been ripped from her. With no job and only a few dollars, Olivia makes a choice to start over again. Without God and without love. However, her handsome new boss isn’t going to make forgetting God or keeping her vow to never love again very easy.

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Winter’s Past by Mary E. Hanks Romance When Winter speaks at a conference in Coeur dAlene, Idaho, and her ex-husband shows up, she is shocked by the change in him. Radically different from the self-absorbed guy she remembers, he stands before her crying—crying!—and humbly asks her forgiveness. This man who broke her heart, betrayed her, is now gut-wrenchingly sincere in his apology, prays for her like a long-lost friend, and he has a request. One unbelievable request that could change everything.

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Use Coupon Code: YQ38K

Three Hearts, One Town by Sarah Jae Foster Historical Romance More than courage, she needs faith.

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Rocky Mountain Oasis by Lynnette Bonner Christian Historical Romance He’s different from any man she’s ever known. However, she’s sworn never to risk her heart again. Brooke Baker, sold as a mail-order bride, looks to her future with dread but firm resolve. If she survived Uncle Jackson, she can survive anyone. When Sky Jordan hears that his nefarious cousin has sent for a mail-order bride, he knows he has to prevent the marriage. No woman deserves to be left to that fate. Still, he’s as surprised as anyone to find himself standing next to her before the minister.

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A Heart’s Home by Laura J. Marshall Christian Historical Romance Novella set in 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?

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To Protect and Serve by Staci Stallings Contemporary Romance What happens when a control freak falls for a fireman with a death wish? Lisa Matheson runs a semi-successful ad agency that’s on the brink of falling apart. Her employees are incompetent and her schedule has become exhausting. When she takes on a client with a brilliant idea for a big conference, she thinks that maybe, finally this is her lucky break. However, the fire station wasn’t what she had in mind for finding conference speakers. When she falls for a handsome but shy firefighter, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change.

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Armored Hearts by Pauline Creeden and Melissa Turner Lee Fantasy Steampunk When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother’s side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales. Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park and left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

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Time and Again by Deborah Heal

The olden days aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. . .
Abby thinks tutoring an “an economically disadvantaged adolescent” as her college service project for the summer will be a snap. Merrideth, her sullen 11-year-old student, thinks “No thanks, I don’t need a babysitter.”It’s difficult for Abby to break through Merrideth’s emotional wall. The girl has been closed down ever since her parents’ divorce, especially since she was forced to move to the dilapidated old house that her mom inherited. But when her dad sends her a top-of-the-line computer to make up for it, Abby and Merrideth discover a crazy program that invites them to “Take a Virtual Tour” of houses around the world– including Merrideth’s.
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Unclaimed Legacy by Deborah Heal

Those who have read Time and Again know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house.
And now Beautiful House comes in handy when Abby, John, and Merri agree to help the “Old Dears” next door with their family tree. Except Abby and John learn more about one of the ladies’ ancestors than they ever wanted to know. Convicted in 1871 of murder and arson, Reuben Buchanan is a blight on the family’s reputation. But was he really guilty? Abby and John must get inside the mind of a murderer to find out.
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Return to Kingsley by Cynthia P. Willow Fantasy Thirteen-year-old Callie dreams of having her own adventure in the magical world of Kingsley like her grandmother and her great-great grandmother before her. But she doesn’t have very high hopes since the portal to Kingsley was shut fifty-two years ago. Little does she know that the inhabitants of Kingsley are in desperate need. A plague is killing Kingsley’s creatures. But Callie doesn’t live on the lake, nor does she have the magical bracelet to allow her to breathe underwater. How will she get to Kingsley? And will she figure it out in time to save the land?

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The Captives by Precarious Yates YA Fantasy When the mermen and peaceful aquavians turn violent, who will restore the seas?

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Other Fiction

Sanctuary by Pauline Creeden Apocalyptic Science In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it… When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?

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Rain Dance by Joy DeKok
Contemporary Christian Fiction
What happens when a Christian woman facing a childless future and a woman seeking an abortion are waiting to see the same doctor? What if after that “chance” encounter they are unable to forget each other? What if they find themselves drawn together in spite of their drastic differences by their surprising similarities? What if they somehow find the courage to become friends?
Rain Dance takes the reader into the hearts of these two women as they journey closer to the heart of the One who offers hope and healing.
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Diving in Deep by Nora Ballew
Young Adult
How thin is thin enough? Just as her family’s troubles start to mount in their new home town, Kelly Eberly dives head first into a strict diet and rigorous swimming routine. Nearly drowning in an ocean of doubts and insecurities, and feeling lost and alone in a new place, Kelly wants nothing more than the “nice normal family” her mother talks about.

Before long, even within the chaos that is the Eberly family, everyone is noticing her dramatic weight loss. Her aunt is praying. Her brother is lecturing. Even her new friends are studying her under a microscope. How thin is thin enough? If she gets too thin, will she be able to stop; or is she in too deep? With so much going on in her family, will anyone be able to help her resurface?

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Deep Blue Sea by Valerie Howard
Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Jamie Walker’s life is a mess. She lives like a widow while her husband leaves for weeks at a time on business. She is childless, lonely, and depressed, and now her job as an editor at a magazine is in jeopardy. Not to mention the fact that her past mistakes are threatening to overwhelm her at any moment. Jamie has two options: swallow the bottle of sleeping pills in her husband’s nightstand or reach out to the God she’s been running from since she was eighteen.
Which will she choose and how long can she live like this?
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Sunshine Leaking, edited by Annie Douglass Lima
Created by fifth-grade students, Sunshine Leaking features poetry in a variety of styles, from free verse to diamond poetry, tanka, and haiku. Proceeds from the sale of this anthology will benefit Josie’s Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides food, education, and a secure living environment for impoverished, abused, and at-risk girls in the Philippines.
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Autumn Changes by Beverly Nault
Women’s Fiction
Along with shorter days and cooler nights, big changes are stirring up Cherryvale! While the trees along the CherryPath exchange summer-green garments to autumn’s crimson and gold, Grace and Maggie scurry to prepare for the town’s annual Harvest Festival, but spar over how to help pop star Tiffany Lane adapt to her new lifestyle and adoptive hometown. A surprise visitor—or two—spice up the town like cinnamon in Grace’s pumpkin walnut muffins just in time for “The Scrapbook’s” preview opening. The second book in The Seasons of Cherryvale, Autumn Changes continues the stories of the friendly folks and charming small town introduced in the much loved Fresh Start Summer. Will peaceful Cherryvale be the same after all the changes blown in on the autumn wind?
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The Billionaire’s Gift by Edward Iwata
A greed-driven CEO seeks a higher purpose with the help of his devout secretary.
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Daughter of the King by Carlene Havel and Sharon Faucheux
Biblical Fiction
Princess Michal was the youngest daughter of Saul, the first king of Israel. In an age when fathers arranged marriages, Michal dared to fall in love with a handsome young musician named David, from the little town of Bethlehem.
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Experience Life in Poetry by Shannon Sonneveldt

This is volume two in the Experience Life in Poetry series, a series focusing on observations about life. The second volume focuses on relationships including those between family, friends and romance. The poems are a mixture of fun, sweet, sad and touching moments and experiences, but then life is all these things as well.

Enjoy your journey through life in poetry.
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What If… Super Hero’s Were Real? by Shannon Sonneveldt
Children’s Book
JJ loves to imagine new worlds where anything is possible. In this book, we see the world he creates using his imagination as he plays the ‘What If‘ game with his mom. A world where superheroes are real.
Not only are superheroes real, but everyone has the potential within themselves to become a superhero if they believe in themselves and their unique gifts. A group of young superheroes band together to form the Warriors of Truth and are in a race to help others see their potential before the Band of Bullies can get to them first and convince them that they are unworthy.
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My Journey With Jesus Christ by Corine Hyman Children’s eBook My Journey with Jesus Christ is a personalized devotional, designed to help a child grow in their relationship with Christ while teaching them the key principles of the Christian faith.

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21 Prayers for Teen Girls by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart
Prayer Book
Depression, Purity, Acceptance, Peer Pressure – these are all issues that teen girls face today. But how do we deal with it?
Prayer is the avenue that is recommended the most. We hear all the time that if we are struggling with something, we should pray. But how do we do that?
In “21 Prayers For Teen Girls” Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart model prayers for dealing with many of the issues teen girls may be confronted with on a daily basis. They encourage teens to pray along and make a habit out of praying for God to mold them into the woman He created them to be – a woman whose true beauty is found in Christ.
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Teen Devotionals… For Girls! by Shelley Hitz, Heather Hart and Contributing Authors

90 devotions that will take teen girls on a journey through God’s Word, learning about different areas in the Bible thet can relate to. Followed by ideas for ways they can be applied to real life, and a prayer. Written with teen girls who want to find their true beauty in Christ, the authors encourage you to read one each day, think on it and apply what you have learned to your life.
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Purposeful Planning by Phyllis Sather Christian Living “Late for an appointment, a man hurried out and hailed a cab. Jumping in, he said to the driver, “Get going and drive as quickly as you can.” After a few blocks, he impatiently asked, “Are we almost there?” “Almost where?” replied the driver. In his hurry the passenger had failed to give the driver the address of his destination. That may seem like an unlikely story, yet today many people are so busy trying to keep up with the rapid pace of living, they haven’t stopped to consider what their goal in life is.” Millie Stamm Our book Purposeful Planning will help you figure out what goals the Lord would like you to have as a person and as a family.

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Complete by Arabah Joy Christian Living Research shows it takes only 21 days to change the way we think. In Complete, Arabah Joy takes readers on a 21 day journey to think about themselves truthfully: that in Christ, we are complete. Believe it. Live it. 21 Days.

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21 Days of Generosity Challenge by CJ Hitz
Christian Living
Do you want to live a life of generosity? Do you want your life to be a blessing to others? Do you want to have a giving spirit that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God as provider? If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Generosity through this short but powerful eBook.
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Thoughts on Being Left Behind by Phyllis Sather Christian Living At one time or another we all feel left behind – whether because of illness, loss of a loved one, or the busyness of parenting and/or homeschooling. These timeless pieces, written by someone who went from the life of an active and involved woman to a near invalid within just a few weeks, speak to the heart of anyone who feels like they’ve been put on the shelf and possibly forgotten.

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The Godly Man’s Picture & A Godly Wife by Puritan Thomas Watson Spiritual Growth The soul being so precious, and salvation so glorious-it is the highest point of prudence to make preparations for the eternal world. It is beyond all dispute, that there is an inheritance in light; and it is most strenuously asserted in Holy Scripture that there must be a fitness and suitability for it (Col. 1:12). If anyone asks, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” the answer is, “He who has clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:4). To describe such a person is the work of this ensuing treatise. Here you have the godly man’s portrait, and see him portrayed in his full lineaments.

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Forgiveness Of Injuries by John Angell James Spiritual Growth “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times;” thus inculcating a breadth of forgiveness widely removed from the narrow law of the Rabbis on the one hand, or the supposed liberality of Peter on the other. Let us examine, then, the basis on which this doctrine rests, and the arguments by which it is sustained.

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Reflections on Life by Staci Stallings Spiritual Growth In this thought-provoking Christian book, Reflections on Life, Staci opens her heart and shares with the reader the Anointed words God has given her to write. Find the power of prayer, faith, hope, and joy found in everyday life as you walk the Christian journey with Jesus at your side.

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And Now For A Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to hop on over to CrossReads on Saturday to find out who won and get some free books!

I’m excited to announce that as of this morning, In the Enemy’s Service is available from!  Click here to order the Kindle version of this young adult action/adventure fantasy novel for just $2.99.  You can buy the paperback here for $9.99.  It is also available in other formats such as Nook, Sony Reader, and Kobo here.

Below is the prologue to whet your appetite.  Enjoy!  Please tell your friends!


Anya stared glumly at her plate.  The little half-eaten mound of cabbage seemed to stare back at her, mocking her hunger.  She took her time finishing her final bite of bread with its thin scraping of butter, trying to make it last.

“Can’t we have something else, Father?” she begged, poking at the cabbage with her fork.  “How about dessert?  I could make us a pie.”

From across the table, her older brother Arvalon chuckled scornfully.  “With what?  There’s no fruit in the house, and we’re out of sugar anyway.”

“And we need the last of the flour for tomorrow’s bread,” their father reminded them.  “I’m sorry.  I know you’re hungry, but just finish up your vegetables for now.  I’ll get paid tomorrow when that customer comes to pick up the lanterns he ordered.  Then next week we’re taking another load of tea to Malorn, and if it sells well we’ll be fine for a while.  In the meantime, we just have to tighten our belts a little.  These things happen.”

Anya nibbled at her cabbage, resisting the urge to make a face.  In spite of what her father had said, she couldn’t remember money ever having been this tight before.  Father was a merchant, and although their family wasn’t rich, they had always had what they needed.  But for some reason, everything seemed to have been going wrong with his business this summer.  Customers had inexplicably cancelled orders, suppliers had been out of the items he wanted, goods he had bought in other towns to sell had spoiled or been damaged or stolen along the way.  For weeks now, Father had worn a worried expression nearly all the time, and lately he had been spending every evening poring over the account books in his study.  He hadn’t bought meat for the table in over a fortnight, and supper portions had been growing smaller and smaller.  Now Anya and Arvalon were starting to grow worried too.  What would happen if their family’s bad luck continued?  Father refused to beg from the neighbors, and none of their relatives lived close by.  Surely the three of them wouldn’t actually starve.  Such things didn’t happen to people in real life.  Did they? 

When a knock sounded on the front door, Anya jumped up to answer it.  Customers and business associates often stopped by in the evenings, so perhaps it was good news.  Maybe someone wanted to place an order.

A young boy was waiting on the step.  “Sorry to interrupt your supper,” he apologized when Anya let him into the dining room.  “My father sent me to say he won’t be needing those lanterns after all.” 

The three of them stared at him dismay.  “Why not?” Arvalon demanded.  “We brought them all the way from Wistra.”  Anya knew that her brother had loaded the cart himself, padding the boxes carefully with straw so none of the valuable glass lanterns would break on the way.  Father was training him to be a merchant too, and he took the job seriously.

The boy shrugged.  “Father got some from someone else at a better price.  Thanks anyway.”

When the door had shut behind him, a discouraged silence settled over the family.  Arvalon was the first to break it.  “What are we going to do now?”

Their father sighed.  “Take the lanterns to the market, I suppose.  Maybe Porlim can help me sell at least some of them.”  He pushed back his chair and began pacing back and forth distractedly.  “Why does this keep happening?  I was counting on that sale.  I haven’t even paid for them yet, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to now.”

“Which means we’ll owe interest,” Arvalon grumbled.  “And those Wistran glassmakers never allow returns.”

And what about buying food? Anya wondered.  She knew exactly how much money was left in the savings box Father kept under his bed, because she had borrowed the little key from his desk drawer and checked that morning when he thought she was getting ready for school.  One silver coin and three coppers.  That was all.  She nibbled worriedly on her thumbnail, wondering what they would do when the coins were gone.

Catching sight of her expression, Father stopped pacing.  “Don’t worry, Anya.  And don’t bite your nails.  Look at us, acting as though there’s no hope.  Things will turn out all right.”  He smiled, but it was what Anya had learned to recognize as his just for the children smile.  He wasn’t really feeling cheerful.  “Times are hard right now, but we’ll get through this.”  Father looked around the room.  “Why, we have lots of things in here that we barely use.  If we have to, we’ll just do a little housecleaning and get rid of a few of them.  Someone would probably pay good money for the silver candlestick, for example.”

“But that was Mother’s,” Anya protested.  She had never actually known her mother, who had died ten years ago, when Anya was a baby.  Mother’s special possessions were all they had left of her, and it felt disloyal to think of selling them.  Surely things weren’t that bad yet.

Four coins in the money box.  Yes, perhaps things were that bad.

Father retreated to his study to look over the accounts again, leaving his children to do their evening chores.  Arvalon headed out to the stable to feed their two horses while Anya cleared the table, filled a bucket from the pump out back, and started washing dishes.

“That was the last of the hay,” Arvalon reported grimly, stomping back in and scraping the mud off his shoes.

Anya stared at her brother in alarm.  How did horses tighten their belts?  Maybe they could tighten their saddle girths.

At that moment there was another knock on the door.  She and Arvalon looked at each other, neither eager to answer it this time.  Could someone be bringing them more bad news?

“I’ll get it,” Anya finally volunteered when it didn’t appear that anyone else was going to.  Drying her hands on the dish towel, she crossed the dining room and opened the front door.

A man she had never seen before stood there, holding a flat leather case like the one Father sometimes used for carrying sheets of parchment.  “Good evening,” he greeted her with a smile.  “I’m here to see Karro.  Is he available?”

Anya turned to call her father, but he was already hurrying out of his study toward them.  “Oh.  It’s you.  Well, come in.”  He didn’t sound particularly happy about it, Anya thought, as the stranger wiped his feet on the mat and stepped inside.  Actually, he seemed downright uncomfortable.  Did he owe this man money, perhaps? 

Father ushered the stranger into his study and closed the door behind them.  An instant later the lock clicked, and Anya and Arvalon turned to each other in surprise.  Their father had never locked them out before.  Even important meetings usually took place in the sitting room, with tea or coffee and snacks for all.  Arvalon, who was fifteen and would be a full partner in the business later that year when he finished school, was often invited to join in.  Anya had seldom been interested in their discussions, preferring to practice her sewing or read a book, but Father normally didn’t mind if she sat with them and munched the snacks while she did it.  So why was he locking the door now?

Beside her, Arvalon grinned.  “You want to hear what they’re saying?”


“I know a trick.  I’ll show you.”  Darting into the kitchen, he took two of the wooden cups she had just finished washing from the drain board and handed one to her.  With a conspiratorial wink, he tiptoed to the study and set the mouth of his softly against the closed door, pressing his ear to the cup’s flat base.

Anya watched him doubtfully.  “Are you sure we should be doing this?”

Arvalon frowned and put a finger to his lips.  His expression was already distant as he listened, and Anya’s curiosity got the better of her.  She placed her cup against the door beside his and pressed her ear against it.  To her surprise, she could hear faint but distinct voices from the room beyond.

“So, have you thought over my offer?” the stranger asked.

“Yes,” their father replied, “but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with it.  I want to know more.”

“You know all you need to,” the man assured him.  “I’m prepared to pay you right now if you’re ready to show me what I’ve asked.  And I have eleven potential customers just waiting to be put in touch with you from Mosra, Timenka, Drall, Sazellia, and here in Almar.  Oh, and I know an innkeeper who’s looking to buy a number of glass lanterns to replace the torches he’s been using.  You wouldn’t happen to have any in stock at the moment, would you?”

Anya and Arvalon exchanged surprised glances.  “How do you know about that?” their father demanded, obviously equally surprised.

His guest chuckled.  “I make it my business to know such things.  And speaking of business, are you interested or not?  I have their orders with me now, and I’ll send messages out to each of the eleven first thing in the morning if you’re ready to settle this tonight.”

There was a long silence.  Then their father sighed.  “Three more of my regular customers cancelled their orders this week.  Four, counting the lanterns this evening.  I don’t understand why that’s been happening to me so much lately; I mean, I’m not doing anything different.  I’ve been working as hard as I always have, but everything keeps going wrong, and now the bills are piling up.  I must admit it’s a tempting offer.  But what are you going to do with the information?”

The stranger chuckled again.  “A friend of mine wants to know, that’s all.  What does it matter to you?  A few marks with a pen, and your financial worries are over.  Oh, and if it would make you feel any better, we never had this conversation.”

There was another long silence, and then Anya heard her father say, “Fine.  Let me see it.”  There was a crackly noise, like parchment being spread out, and a few moments later her father sighed again.  “Well, there you go.”

She heard the jingle of coins; rather a lot of coins, from the sound of it.  Were they silver?  Gold?  Surely no one would be paying for something that sounded this important in mere copper.  Anya grinned, imagining steak and mashed potatoes on the menu for next week.  Roast chicken with gravy.  Peach pie.  Apple tarts.  Vanilla pudding.  Lemonade.

“It’s been a pleasure doing business with you,” the stranger announced, and Arvalon jumped aside, dragging Anya with him into the kitchen an instant before the study door opened.  They heard Father escort his guest out of the house before he returned to the study briefly and then to his bedroom.  Putting the money away, Anya guessed.

“What do you suppose Father did to get all that?” Arvalon wondered in a low voice.

Anya couldn’t imagine.  “I don’t know, but who cares?  We’re not poor anymore!”

They both turned around as Father joined them in the kitchen, wearing his just for the children smile once again.  “Who wants to go out to supper?”

“But we just finished supper,” Arvalon pointed out, puzzled.  “Father, who was that man?”

“A new customer who paid in advance,” Father replied dismissively.  “You call what we had supper?  I’m still starving.  Come on, get your coats and we’ll go find ourselves a real meal.  How about that place by the beach that serves grilled shrimp?  On the way over we’ll see if the bakery is still open and pick up something for dessert.”

“Hooray!”  Anya ran for her room, delighted at the prospect of a proper meal and the end of belt-tightening season.  But as she yanked her light summer coat out of the closet, she couldn’t help but wonder why Father didn’t want them to know the details of this arrangement.  He had never been secretive about his work before.

When she returned to the dining room, her father was already waiting, his own coat over his arm.  He didn’t see her coming as he leaned against the doorjamb, staring down at the floor.  There was no question about it, his expression was troubled.  But he looked up quickly as his son and daughter entered the room, and Anya knew the smile he put on was artificial once again as he beamed at them from the doorway.  “Everything is going to be all right now.  Our troubles are over.  Let’s go celebrate!”

Click here for information about Prince of Alasia, the first book in the series.