Saturday, November 30, 2013

Story Saturdays - Love After Snowfall


Don't forget, I have several books at 99 cents right now for the holidays. 

A MIRACLE FOR MARI (YA)
ALL ABOUT ROMEO (YA)
EDEN
SOMETHING ITALIAN (The Italian Series #3)
LOVE AFTER SNOWFALL

Links to all formats can be found on the book page of my blog.

Today's excerpt comes from my latest release, LOVE AFTER SNOWFALL, now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and soon also at KOBO. I featured the first portion of this book on the blog before.

BLURB:

Nathan hadn’t kissed her like that, but Ezekiel would have no way of knowing it. His overtures had been bold, like he was, daring. Not sensitive and giving like this.


Ezekiel pulled back and unspeaking, tucked her head to his chest. One of her hands raised, almost involuntary, scooping beneath his shirt to a place in the center. “I’m not Nathan,” he said quietly.

No, he wasn’t, and she understood that now. He was different and deserved to be seen on his own terms. “Who are you then?” she asked.

“Ezekiel Knapp. Right now, the luckiest man on the planet.”

-----

The death of Clementine Button’s husband left her to fend for herself in the wilds of Alaska, and she was doing pretty well until one cold day after the first snowfall when she shot a moose.

And a man. Or did she? Because the wound in Ezekiel Knapp’s leg seems all wrong for her gun, and now, his life hangs in the balance.

Everything that brought about her husband’s death seems to have come full circle again. Only this time, the last thing she’s going to do is wait and let another man die. Especially not one who in three days has managed to become everything she needs.

In this scene, Clementine Button discovers the bullet in Ezekiel Knapp's leg is suspicious.

EXCERPT:
She reentered the cabin, locking the door behind her, and crossed back over to Mr. Knapp. Pulling a stool over beside the bed, she peeled back the covers and peered into his wound. Good thing he was out cold because this would hurt. No helping that. But, first, she had to clean the wound and that meant removing his pants.
She eyed him. Having seen a man before, this would be no surprise to her. She and Nathan had been wed, after all. But seeing Nathan was vastly different from Mr. Knapp. Chances were Ezekiel wouldn’t like it.
She reconsidered. She could remove the pants leg itself. That’d ruin his clothing, but, better decency than death. She’d remind him of that if he asked.
Pulling a knife from her pocket, she made a slice through the fabric, then cut in a circular fashion around his leg. She laid the cloth open and proceeded to slice into his long johns. The wound stared up at her from his naked thigh. It was a clean shot, embedded not too deep for her to get to it, but deep enough it’d take a while to heal. Dried blood had sealed much of it off.
She rose and moved over to a wood stove in the corner. Stoking the fire, she filled a kettle from a barrel inside the door and set it to boil. She’d need to boil her knife and some rags to prevent infection.
Nathan had done this once before when he operated on Timmy. Timmy had gone and gotten her hide stuck with porcupine quills, one buried pretty deep in her rump, and it’d taken both of them holding the dog and a few bites to the fleshy part of her own palm to get them all out.
She laid a hand to Ezekiel Knapp’s forehead. He was cold, too cold. She could warm him up; body heat worked best. But the bullet had to come out first.
The whistle of the kettle set her to work. Dipping her knife into the scalding liquid, she aimed the point at the wound and carefully pried beneath the bullet. Then sticking her fingers inside the hole, she plucked it out and rolled it over in her palm. She pressed her thumbnail against it.
“That ain’t right,” she said. She’d used a two-eighty bullet and this was a thirty-aught-six. That meant she didn’t shoot him. Her brow furrowed of its own accord.
And another thing … wasn’t likely her bullet went through the moose and out the other side anyway. Possible, but not normal.
But if she didn’t shoot him, then someone else did.
Someone else. She clutched the bullet in her hand, the uneven edges digging into her flesh. There wasn’t one stranger in these parts, but two; and whoever the other person was—
She studied his wound. Inner thigh. Could have come from a random shot. But if someone was shooting at a moose, they’d aimed too low. To kill a moose you wanted to hit the heart or the lungs, the shoulder even. The angle was wrong. They’d done this on purpose.
The chatter of Ezekiel Knapp’s teeth and steady tremor in his limbs sped up her work. Swabbing his wound clean, Clementine wrapped it in boiled strips of an old shirt of Nathan’s, then shed her jacket and shoes and climbed in beside him. She wrapped her body around his and tucked the blankets over them both. Timmy hopped up at their feet, circling three times before settling down.
She shut her eyes. This was a fine pickle to be in. Nathan gone; a stranger on the loose maybe shooting people down, and her in bed with a man who so far, hated her guts.


-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams 
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.  (1 Timothy 2:1 KJV)

THANKS, n. generally in the plural. Expression of gratitude; an acknowledgment made to express a sense of favor or kindness received. Gratitude is the feeling or sentiment excited by kindness; thanks are the expression of that sentiment.

Thanks to my Father God, who fills me every day with the words I write and the strength to write them. Who loves me unconditionally, never leaves my side, and keeps me in His peace. 

Thank you to Dana Pratola. You are the best. I cannot survive without your incredible logic, your bizarre sense of humor, or your inability to actually get mad at me. I truly believe God led us to each other.

Thank you to Laura J. Marshall for always making me smile. No one has a bigger heart and sweeter personality on the planet. No one can keep me on task easier or give me greater encouragement. And no one else enjoys minions as much as I do. (Not to forget all the hours of editing you've done!)

Thank you to Kimi Vice. Your prayers, your words of wisdom, your spiritual strength are such a blessing. More than once, you gave me just the right words from God that I needed at that moment in time. You are truly a woman of God.

Thank you to Kimberly Moats Flory, my dearest friend. I love you more than words can say just for being yourself. All the times you told me I was great are dear to my heart.

Thank you to my daughter, Ashley. You are the best friend a mom can have. We have laughed and listened to music together and run more errands than I can count. I treasure every minute of it and love you more than words. 

Thank you to my spouse for twenty-four years of holding my hand. For working hard and cooking more than half the meals. For still having the most beautiful eyes and making me laugh.

Thank you to my parents, for your guidance, your prayers, and your incredible generosity. No one has taught me to give more than you have.

Thank you to all my fellow authors who have tweeted or shared my book promos in any fashion whatsoever. To those people who follow my author page, who have liked anything I've posted, have reviewed or read any of my books. All of you have made a difference.

Lastly and most heartfelt, thanks to my characters, to the Irish, Italians, Americans, young and old, male and female, for teaching me how great it is to write romance. But especially to Timothy Cooper for putting me on the map. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams 
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Photographs

Here's this week's 365 Project photographs. As always, if you wish to see anything you've missed, visit my Photobucket album.

Day 321, Mud Turtle
Day 321 photo 500-DSC_9569_zps6c2c02ad.jpg

Day 322, Pileated Woodpecker
Day 322 photo 500-DSC_9582_zps5da4e1e9.jpg

Day 323, Juvenile Alligator
Day 323 photo 500-DSC_9590_zpsbf756bf9.jpg

Day 324, Ginger
Day 324 photo 500-DSC_9600_zps19ea8c67.jpg

Day 325, Water Lily
Day 325 photo 500-DSC_9609_zpsdef35d24.jpg

Day 326, Black Vulture
Day 326 photo 500-DSC_9619_zps204fd067.jpg

Day 327, Front Porch View on an 80 Degree Day
Day 327 photo 500-DSC_9630_zps3f661baa.jpg


-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams 
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Story Saturdays - EDEN

A couple new book covers to reveal this week. I'll leave you to speculate on the story lines. Both are romantic suspense, which is fast becoming my favorite genre next to YA.





I have several books at 99 cents right now, both YA and non-YA: A MIRACLE FOR MARI (YA), ALL ABOUT ROMEO (YA), EDEN, and SOMETHING ITALIAN (The Italian Series #3). Links to all formats can be found on the book page of my blog.

Also, GLASS can now be purchased in paperback. Look for EDEN to appear in paperback in the next seven days as well. I hope to put more of my stories out in paperback next year.

Today's excerpt comes from EDEN.

“Oh, God,” Eden cried. “I can’t do this again. I can’t. It’ll be like last time, and my life will be ruined. I just wanted to start over.”

-----

The last thing Eden Riske expected when she came home was the discernment of fellow teacher Austin Lowell. Football coach, history teacher, fitness buff, Austin is strength and patience in a handsome package.

However, it seems even his presence can’t stop the rumors swirling around her or the hatred of someone determined to do her harm. But this job is supposed to be her salvation, her way out of her troubled past.

Except now, everything is falling apart, and the one thing that might destroy her is the very secret she’s held inside for so long.

In this scene, Eden Riske is reacting to fellow teacher, Austin Lowell, saying she's beautiful.


EXCERPT:

Eden stared into Austin’s face, his words soaking through her skin and swishing up her bloodstream to her heart. She’d been told that before. Family. Friends. Guys hitting on her. Photographers. Magazine execs.
But coming from Austin Lowell, it was far more powerful, and it replayed itself in her thinking until she saw he waited for her to respond. She forced her head to stay upright. Ducking and hiding would do her no good at this point. He’d said it; she should acknowledge it.
“That’s sweet of you,” she said.
He crossed his arms, an action that made him look impressive. “It’s the truth.”
“And you always speak the truth?”
One corner of his mouth twitched. “Maybe more the older I get. Not so much when I was young.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Oh? Now, there’s a subject I want to pursue.”
He chuckled. “Let’s just say I was … less than honest in my youth. Got called out for it eventually and changed my ways.”
“Why do I think ‘changing your ways’ is easier for you than for others?”
His smile left, and he worked his brows into a v. “I don’t know. It’s never easy for anyone, but I have had more practice than some. The way I see it, when something’s not going right in your life, you really haven’t any choice but to go another direction.”
“Like with your drinking?”
He inclined his head. “Like that. Or lying as a teen. Or looking in the mirror and realizing I didn’t like myself.”
“Didn’t like yourself? When did Austin Lowell ever have that thought?” she asked.
“When he was a washed-up drunk lying in his own vomit in the floor of the bathroom in some unnamed bar somewhere.”
She all but winced at the image. How could he be so frank about it? Just put his life out there for people to see and judge.
She stood to her feet and returned to the box. “I can’t picture that at all, not and look at the man you are now.”
His hand on her shoulder froze her in place. With gentle pressure, he turned her around. However, he didn’t speak, but gazed down at her, his eyes speaking volumes. The longer he stood there, the smaller she felt, and inept, and vain. And female.
What was this … this strange desire she had to do the right thing when he was around? To confess to him the truth?
He returned his hand to his side, but the weight of it remained. His words penetrated her defenses yet again.
“Whatever it is,” he said. “Whenever you’re ready, I’ll listen.”
She collapsed in her desk chair after he left and buried her head in her hands. There was too much to tell. Too many things that had happened to her, each one a domino leading to the next, and all of them spiraling her life down into an abyss she hadn’t been able to get out of. How to share her descent and the slow, painful climb out?
She raised her head and looked around the room. This was salvation. This job. This place. This was her becoming normal again and not the wasted flesh she’d been. Was it too much to hope it’d work out? Even as determined as she was. Was it too much to believe she could ever have a man like Austin take her seriously?
“Don’t kid yourself.” she said to the empty room.
She was simply a pretty face, something eye-catching, worth looking at until something else more valuable came along.
People didn’t see that side of her life. “It’d be so wonderful to be you,” some said to her.
But it wasn’t wonderful. What she wouldn’t give to be the average girl with the average face who blended in with the crowd.



-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams  
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Great Informer

I see it all the time, some inane statement by some uninformed human who wouldn't have said that if they had a brain in their head. And heaven, help me, I'm going to fix them. I've got this square, know how it's supposed to be. Ask me and I have the answer.

In the pulpit. Out of the pulpit. In a book, a newsletter, a blog. Especially on a social network. God bless their stupid heads and darling hearts. If they had what I have, knew what I knew, they'd sit up and it'd hit them right between the eyes.

They'd have a light bulb moment. "Gee, I'm dumb, and you're right, I should've seen it. I'm so sorry for not listening to you."

That's right. You should have asked me because I've figured it out.

But Suzanne ...

Oh, put your hand down, you know you've been there. You've played God. You, the great informer. You, the salvation of your spouse, your friend, that nitwit over there. That author. That twitter follower. Your Facebook friend. How dare he or she or him or her or that preacher or that wife or her husband or those teens or that college student say such things!

Friends, stupid is as stupid does. Did I in judging them fail to see the telephone pole in my own eye? (Mt 7:3)

I had this thought the other day when hearing a sermon that was just okay from a speaker I neither like nor dislike. The Lord spoke four words in my heart. "Seek Me. Not him."

There is our solution. We seek God, His wisdom, His love, His forgiveness, His mercy, so that we can share it with others, so that we can be more like Him. (Mt 6:33) So that pressed to the wall, backed in a corner, squeezed too hard what comes out is what Jesus would say, the words of the Holy Spirit, the heart of the Father.

And in so doing, we relieve ourselves of half the pressure we feel. We let God tend to him and her. We let God be the one who corrects their behavior. He convicts. He draws. He corrects. (Pr 3:12;2Ti 3:16)

Not me. And not you.

Plus, now I have hours and hours of my day free to do other things. In fact, I have time to pray for that person. I could extend to them the mercy I expect them to extend to me. You know, I think that's what God wanted me to do in the first place.

With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful. (2Sa 22:26 NKJV)


-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams  
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Photographs

Here's this week's 365 Project photographs. As always, if you wish to see anything you've missed, visit my Photobucket album.


Day 314, Brown Anole minus her tail
Day 314 photo 500-DSC_9499_zps7690a954.jpg

Day 315, Azalea (out of season)
Day 315 photo 500-DSC_9506_zps1772160b.jpg

Day 316, Rose for my friends
Day 316 photo 500-DSC_9510_zps9b9c4186.jpg

Day 317, Ginger
Day 317 photo 500-DSC_9517_zps79f8e845.jpg

Day 318, Peanut
Day 318 photo 500-DSC_9529_zps75f21303.jpg

Day 319, Cassia Blossoms (with worm holes)
Day 319 photo 500-DSC_9538_zps7115b5a4.jpg


Day 320, Longtail Skipper on Mexican Sunflower
 Day 320 photo 500-DSC_9564_zps8e6e9c46.jpg

-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams  
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Story Saturdays - Descended ~ Sebastian by Dana Pratola

I have another new release this week, ALL ABOUT ROMEO. This is a fun YA novella with a character, Aaron Loving, that I have to say is  one of my favorites. Only 99 cents during the holidays, so download your copy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Today's excerpt comes from Book 2 of the Descended series by Dana Pratola. Descended ~ Sebastian. If you haven't read Book 1, Descended ~ Jett, it's only 99 cents at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble until Sunday night! Download quick!

Descended ~ Sebastian can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $2.99.

In this scene the main character, Sebastian Gray, has just met his future love interest, Natalie.

EXCERPT:

“Did I do something to offend you?” he asked.
“Not offend, so much as exhibit yourself as a jerk.”
“Well, that might be true, I’m not sure. I had a little too much to drink last night,” he confessed. “So let’s start with one offense. If it’s something I can apologize for, I will. If not, you have to tell me your name.”
Drawing her eyebrows together diminished the impact of her angry gaze some. He couldn’t help smiling. Some women were adorable when angry.
“That doesn’t make sense,” she said.
“Sure it does. Tell me one thing I did to make you think I’m a jerk.”
“You asked every girl at my table for their phone numbers,” she fired, without hesitation.
Sounded like him. “I apologize.”
“Then you asked every girl at every other table for their phone numbers. Including the ones already with someone.”
That explained the pieces of paper in his jacket pocket this morning. “Well, should I have to apologize for that? You didn’t want to be bothered, so I moved on.” She didn’t answer. “I apologize.” The corner of her mouth twitched, against her will, he was sure. “What else?”
“You sent me a drink.”
Sebastian raised a finger. “Ah, only to you, no one else, if memory serves.”
She faced him fully now. “I guess I should have prefaced my argument with, you were already with a woman. The same woman who slapped your face a few minutes ago,” she added, hitching a thumb toward the rear of the plane.
“Ah, I’ve got you there,” he said, pleased with himself. “I can’t apologize for that, because it’s not my fault she followed me. I told her to stay in the suite.”
Her face blanked. Then she blinked.
“It probably sounds bad—”
“Probably?” she asked.
“It sounds bad, but I just met her. It’s not like I cheated on my girlfriend.”
She gasped. “You have a girlfriend?”
“No. No, that’s not what I mean. I mean it was a weekend thing, no strings.”
She arched one eyebrow. “It that supposed to make you look like less of a jerk?”
His reflection blinked back at him from her clear cerulean eyes. He looked clueless. And he had no answer.
Palms out, she raised her hands. “You don’t have to explain yourself to me.”
No. But, why did he feel he should?


-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams  
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fallen

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. (1Co 3:7 J.B. Phillips)

We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed. (2Co 4:8-9 VOICE)

The destruction looked absolute. The walls I'd raised around me lay flat, crumbled, so much paper maché.

I'd worked hard to erect them, too. Hours and hours slaving away to bolster my pride, save face, and protect this image I wanted others to see. 

I wanted it smooth enough the reflection of myself shone back at me, so I could look and see and say, "Yeah, there it is. I've accomplished this." 

But instead, the picture formed there was yours, not mine. You, frazzled from a hard day with the kids. You, tired of struggling to pay the bills. You, seeking peace and safety and security and joy. In your eyes I saw myself for what I really was.

Pathetic. Weak. Self-absorbed. My ego made me ugly and deformed.

I couldn't persist at it. No one selfish ever can because there's not enough fuel to keep it going. It's voracious, greedy, only ever wanting more, never satisfied with what it has, and never reaching high enough, being big enough.

It grows and grows until one crack at the bottom sends the entire structure tumbling down, and you're left with nothing. Nothing. Fragile. Nothing. Temporary.

Something eternal. Because the one thing that stands when all else has fallen is love. The world explodes around us, the ephemeral becoming null, and the symbol that rises from the ashes is the love of God, a stone pillar formed by the sweat on His brow, the holes in His hands, the blood He shed.

It's unfading, unending, unceasing, undying. It's limitless, timeless, termless, deathless. It's everything, all things, the entire shebang. 

It outlasts, out performs, out endures, never fading, never dimming, never dulling. 

You can't kill it. Jesus proved that. You can't snuff it. It grows brighter and brighter with the passage of time. You can't rub it out.

It is all that is left of me now, and yet it isn't me at all. Cracked and chipped, crushed and broken, in some stage of disrepair, the power holding me together is older than time. And stronger than men, governments, nations, kingdoms. Stronger than demons and evil of any kind.

It hung on a cross. It rose from a grave. It ascended on high. And it came to live in me. Forever. Endless. Infinite. Interminable.




-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams  
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Photographs

Here's this week's 365 Project photographs. As always, if you wish to see anything you've missed, visit my Photobucket album.

Day 307, Wildflower
Day 307 photo 500-DSC_9404_zpse1b01fdd.jpg

Day 308, Cassius Blue Butterfly
Day 308 photo 500-DSC_9419-EDIT_zps72143319.jpg

Day 309, Brazilian Sunflower
Day 309 photo 500-DSC_9426_zps23273b66.jpg

Day 310, Wildflower
Day 310 photo 500-DSC_9429_zps3f301e08.jpg

Day 311, Plumbago
Day 311 photo 500-DSC_9459_zps25a08792.jpg

Day 312, Tiny Wildflower
Day 312 photo 500-DSC_9467_zps08564a7a.jpg

Day 313, Bee on Powder Puff
Day 313 photo 500-DSC_9497_zps14497460.jpg

Bee on Powder Puff 11/9/2013 photo 500-DSC_9489_zpsd0f0a3ae.jpg

Thryallis
Thryallis 11/7/2013 photo 500-DSC_9461_zps4702c311.jpg


-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams  
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Story Saturdays - A Miracle For Mari


I have pushed out 4 new releases this week in time for Christmas, but first, don't forget to enter the FALL IN LOVE WITH A NOVELLA event on the blog. Leave a comment and you just might win one of five excellent novellas. Good things come in small packages!


LIFE & DELIVERANCE (The Florida Irish #2) is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and KOBO. $2.99

When Michael O’Fallen walked out of Amber’s life, she never got over it. Now, things around her are falling apart, and she’s tired of living the way she has.

There is nowhere else to run—but into his arms. Or so she thought. Yet he has a wife and a child he adores, and a best friend unlike anyone she’s ever known.

How does she fit in? Can she forget her past? And what of the secret she carries that might destroy them all?

1st paragraph pg. 25:
"He’d thought about asking her to the dinner all night and had come to the conclusion the Biblical phrase “the war with the flesh” was apt. His flesh wanted one thing. His common sense another, and he wasn’t sure which side had won except he’d decided it was uncharitable not to include her."

-----



EDEN is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, only 99 cents!

The last thing Eden Riske expected when she came home was the discernment of fellow teacher Austin Lowell. Football coach, history teacher, fitness buff, Austin is strength and patience in a handsome package.

However, it seems even his presence can’t stop the rumors swirling around her or the hatred of someone determined to do her harm. But this job is supposed to be her salvation, her way out of her troubled past.

Except now, everything is falling apart, and the one thing that might destroy her is the very secret she’s held inside for so long.

1st paragraph pg. 25:
 He smiled and patted her shoulder. “It’s okay. I’ll do my best, but I think you needed a reminder.” He waved her toward the interior of the house.

-----


SOMETHING ITALIAN (The Italian Series #3) is now available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Only 99 cents!

Dr. Marco Bottari has heard many stories from his patients, some more heartbreaking than the rest, and he’s learned how to show compassion while holding them at arm’s length. But something about Patricia Fanning is different. She’s beautiful, for one. Pregnant and single, she’s also scared.

The good guy in him simply won’t let him walk away, especially when a dead body is found in her trunk right outside his clinic. She has no one else and nowhere to go. Yet what starts as a helping hand, soon involves his heart, and a split-second decision that may have sealed his fate forever.

1st paragraph pg. 25:
“Fancy meeting you here,” he said.

-----


Today's excerpt comes from A MIRACLE FOR MARI, now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Only 99 cents!


A fall from grace. A miracle of life. A gift of forgiveness.

Mari Tatum has a secret. Forced to be Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the church play, she finds herself working alongside Shay McNab, the very boy she’s keeping a secret from.

Yet in the story of Christ’s birth, she finds that in God’s hands her fall from grace can become a miracle.

I featured an excerpt from this story on March 16, 2013. Today's excerpt comes from the second scene of Chapter 2. Mari comes face to face with Shay McNab for the first time since she found out she was pregnant. He doesn't have a clue.

EXCERPT:

“Take a seat, and I’ll hand out the parts,” Miss Margaret said.
Shay couldn’t take his eyes off her. She was as beautiful now as she’d ever been. Only, instead of the smile that sucked him in, her lips turned down at the corners and the spark in her eyes was gone. Framed there instead was fear and discouragement.
How’d she get roped into playing Mary? Because no way she volunteered, not given … given—
She glanced away from him, and he transferred his gaze down to Miss Margaret’s shoes. She wriggled her fat toes in a pair of well-worn sandals.
“Here’s your lines, Arlen,” Miss Margaret said, handing him a printed sheet. “You should remember them well enough from last year. And shepherds, here’s yours. Note, I’ve colorized each of your individual lines so you won’t become confused. Spend some time studying them this year.”
She swiveled her head. “Now, Mari, have you ever ridden a donkey?”
At the sound of Mari’s name, Shay looked up.
She was staring at him. “No,” she said.
“Well, perhaps since you and Shay are so close, you can go over and give it a whirl ahead of time.”
Mari’s cheeks turned pink and she opened and shut her mouth.
Shay cleared his throat. “It … it isn’t necessary, Miss Margaret. I’m sure she’ll do just fine.”
Miss Margaret inhaled. “I guess if you’re sure, but I want her to be comfortable.”
Mari’s expression changed, and he couldn’t read it. Was she angry? Sad? He was only trying to help. Why did he feel like he’d made yet another blunder?
Miss Margaret rambled on. But none of it entered his hearing. Focused on Mari’s face, suddenly all the things he hadn’t said to her sat there like lead.
Jittery, he rubbed his fingers up and down his pants leg.
She didn’t want to speak to him. He could never apologize enough. But what if he didn’t apologize at all? She’d remember that. He could offer … something, some kind of I’m sorry.
The clock turned ten and Miss Margaret finished her speech. She set practice for Tuesday evening at seven o’clock and dismissed. Mari rose from her chair and scooted out the doorway without looking back.
Determined to speak to her, Shay followed and caught up to her a few paces down the hall. “Mari, stop.” Snagging her arm, he pulled her to a halt. Her skin warmed beneath his fingers.
She yanked her arm free and turned.
“I know you hate me, and I deserve it,” he said. ‘I can’t ever take it back, but if I could …”
Her lip quivered and her breathing became uneven. “You have no idea what you’ve done,” she whispered.
Yes, he did. He’d ruined them and broken her heart.
“I shouldn’t have told anyone,” he blurted. “It was between us.”
“It was wrong.” She emphasized each word.
“Yes, it was, but Mari, I … I love you.”
Her words spiked into him. “You loved yourself more.”
She backed away, and with each inch between them, his insides ached stronger. She turned the corner, and he pressed a hand to his chest. Was the pain in his chest real or was this just the feeling you got when your life had fallen apart?



-------------------------------
Suzanne D. Williams  
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Story Saturdays

FREE to Email Subscribers This month's free book is "A Cowboy For A Lifetime". The deadline to sign up as an email su...