Finding Peace, the first book in my Love's Compass series, is available for FREE today and tomorrow (September 12th and 13th, 2016)
Police Officer Tuck Chandler is good at his job. He’s also good at holding women at arm’s length. Jilted by his fiancée for his dedication to his job, he’s not about to open himself up to hurt like that again.
Laurie Blake is a struggling photographer. After growing up in a wealthy family, she’s determined to make it on her own, even if it means doing it the hard way.
When Tuck is assigned to a puzzling burglary involving Laurie’s fledgling photography business, he goes into it with his usual perseverance. He wants to help her – if she’ll let him. As the case unfolds and the mystery deepens, another question arises.
Will the past get in the way of their future?
Finding Peace, the first book in the Love's Compass series, is on sale today for $0.99. If you haven't read the book yet, don't miss out on this great deal! Book four, Finding Faith, will be released this winter!
Who doesn't like the chance to win a fun prize package, especially when there's chocolate involved? I had a lot of fun putting this particular one together for you all.
Included is a paperback copy of Finding Peace, a pretty 5x7 picture frame, gourmet chocolate covered pretzels, a snowman ornament, a Hershey's chocolate bar, Faith wings magnet, and three old-fashioned candy sticks.
For your chance to win, enter below. The contest will run through the 15th.
Unfortunately, this contest is open to those with a United States address. My apologies to all of you wonderful individuals living outside the states.
It was amazing to wake up this morning and discover that Finding Peace was listed as the #1 Best Seller in Contemporary Christian Romance! It has been an exciting ride this week and seeing this reminded me of how amazing God is and how He can take something that's close to our hearts and use it to reach other people.
I want to thank everyone who has bought and read this book. I also want to thank those of you who have posted reviews as well. You guys rock!
Here are a couple of reviews from the last few days:
"What a sweet, clean romance with wonderful, real characters and a bit of a mystery, too. I so enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more books by Melanie." - Krista
"Cute book- it was free off Book Bub and worth the time. I look forward to the next book to see who the featured character is. The characters seemed realistic to me. It reminds me of the Glenbrook Series, which is a great thing!" - Adrian
"The story captures you right off the bat! It's hard to put down. I throughly enjoyed the descriptions of the characters and situations - leaving me feel I was right there. Im looking forward to the next book I the series!" - Helen
Finding Peace is FREE through Monday.
For those of you who've been interested in reading the Love's Compass series but haven't started it yet. now's a great time. :-)_
If you pick up a copy and read it, I'd love to know what you think. Kindly leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
Thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy Tuck and Laurie's story!
I hope you all are having a great start to 2015!
We had an icy start with some incredibly cold weather and freezing rain. I think the kids were about to go crazy being stuck in the house for four solid days. Even the blades of grass - as you can see in the photo above, had layers upon layers of ice on them. When the sun finally came out and shone through the ice as it melted everything, it really was beautiful. I'll admit, though, I'll be fine if we don't see any more icy weather like that for the rest of the winter.
The new year was an exciting one with the release of Finding Peace on January 3rd. 340 digital copies of the book were sold in the first three days - a completely humbling experience. I want to send a big thank you to each and every person who bought a copy. I truly hope you enjoy Tuck and Laurie's story.
Now that the holidays are gone and we're into 2015, I'll be starting on the second book in the Love's Compass series this week. I'm currently in the process of outlining the story and doing some research. For those that are curious, this second book will be Lexi's story.
I hope you all find 2015 to be filled with adventure.
God bless you and your family in this new year.
Here's the conclusion of the excerpt I posted on my blog yesterday. Finding Peace is available pre-sale now, and will be released tomorrow. I hope you enjoy the first book in my Love's Compass series!
Laurie’s arms dropped to her sides and she pierced Kentucky with a glare. She turned on a heel and went inside the studio behind her. He followed at a distance and stopped just inside.
He watched her shrug on a dark green jacket. Hair hung to the middle of her back, the ringlets tangled together in a mess of copper red.
He stared at her eyes. They were so green, they reminded him of jade.
“My jacket’s on. Let’s go.”
He moved out of her way as her shoulder brushed his chest. He raised an eyebrow. If she was this frigid with the guy who was here to help, then it was a good thing the person who broke into her car was long gone. Kentucky might have been called in to investigate a homicide instead.
Black boots that looked tiny compared to his own carried her around the car to the passenger side. She gestured to the broken window and buried her hands in her pockets.
Kentucky reached for a small camera in his coat and took a few photos before pulling on the handle. The car door yielded with a creak and he leaned inside.
His gaze swept over the faded seat covers, the stained floorboards, and landed on the dash.
“That’s odd, the stereo is still here. It’s usually the first thing they take.” He stood up again. Laurie was watching him. “If you had nothing stashed in the car, what was the point?”
She shrugged. “They checked the trunk, too. It’s an old car. Probably wasn’t worth their time.”
“Maybe.” He examined the trunk and made a few more notes. “At this point, all you can do is make a claim with your insurance company to get the window repaired.”
At his words, a look of defeat crossed her face.
“What is it?”
“I have liability only.”
He gave her a nod. He remembered when Capturing the Moments Photography had opened up about six months ago. He had even commented to his partner about how the area of town was an unusual place for a business like that. Looking at Laurie’s car, he assumed she was here because it was all she could afford.
He rubbed the back of his neck with one hand. “We will investigate this. If we can find the guy who did it, we’ll let you know. I’m sorry there’s not much else I can do.”
The light from the studio reflected in her eyes. The frown on her face softened as she kicked one of the car’s tires with the toe of a boot.
His eyes were drawn to her mouth as she worried her lower lip with her teeth.
“Do you have any trash bags?”
Her brows came together. “What?”
“If you have a trash bag and some packing tape, I’ll help you cover up that window.”
Her pretty eyes opened wide and she blinked at him as if she were seeing him for the first time.
“Um. Yeah. I do.”
Without another word, she disappeared into her studio. As he waited for her to return, Kentucky wondered about Laurie Blake. Her emotions seemed measured and she certainly was a woman of few words. But he had seen vulnerability – even if it was only for a moment.
She came back with the materials he needed. Together, they sealed off the broken window. When they were finished, he nodded towards her place. “It’s getting colder out here and you have to be half frozen. You should go in for the night. I’ll file all of this first thing in the morning.”
He half expected her to argue with him. Instead, she took the tape back from him and jabbed a thumb at her car. “Thanks for the help.”
“You’re welcome.” He withdrew a card from his wallet and handed it to her. “If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me.”
Their fingers brushed as she plucked the card from his hand. The warmth he felt at the touch surprised him.
Without looking at the card, she slipped it into her jacket pocket. She walked to the door and turned slightly towards him again.
The light lit her face and he admired the smattering of freckles across her nose. “I’m sorry this happened to you.”
She shrugged her shoulders, copper curls falling forward to frame her delicate face. “It is what it is.”
10 Fun Facts About Laurie Blake
#1 - She is struggling to establish a photography studio
#2 - Laurie comes from a rich family but is determined to do it on her own
#3 - Her passion is to take photos for families with special needs children
#4 - She loves to bake in her spare time
#5 - When she was in college, she enjoyed playing basketball
#6 - She has a younger sister, Chelsea, but they aren't very close
#7 - Her parents love to travel and only go home once a year for the holidays
#8 - It's very difficult for Laurie to accept help from others
#9 - She insists her hair is the color of copper, rather than red
#10 - Between her hair and green eyes, she often stands out in a crowd
My Favorite Quote from Laurie
Okay, this is my second favorite quote. I can't really post the first because it might give away some of the plot. ;-) This particular quote still makes me chuckle when I read it. Someone is trying to help her to a waiting vehicle after she has injured her ankle. He asks Laurie whether she will be able to walk outside or not.
“Walk? No. Stumble like a drunk? Absolutely."
I hope you enjoy reading Tuck and Laurie's story. Look for Finding Peace on Kindle January 3rd, 2015 and in paperback shortly afterwards!
10 Fun Facts About Kentucky "Tuck" Chandler
#1 - Tuck is a police officer in the town of Kitner, Texas
#2 - His partner at the police department is Lance Davenport
#3 - Lance and Tuck were best friends growing up
#4 - He doesn't get to very often, but Tuck enjoys playing basketball
#5 - Tuck carries a Glock 9mm
#6 - He is a middle child with two sisters named Lexi and Serenity
#7 - He loves to spend time with his nephew, Gideon, who has autism
#8 - Rogue is his border collie who loves to play fetch
#9 - Tuck is incredibly loyal to his friends and family
#10 - Fellow officers often jab him about his height - over six feet tall
My Favorite Quote from Tuck
There is some drama going on between Tuck's sisters. When Lexi tells him that he could have an opinion, this is his response:
“I do. I choose not to express it. That’s why I became a cop. It’s easier to keep the peace in Kitner than it is in my own family.”
I hope you enjoy getting to know Tuck as you read this first book in the Love's Compass series. Look for Finding Peace on Kindle January 3rd, 2015 and in paperback shortly afterwards!
The edits for Love's Compass - Finding Peace are going smoothly! I'm so excited about this book and I can't wait to be able to share it with you all.
For now, I'll have to be content with sharing an excerpt. Enjoy!
Laurie Blake shivered as the chill in the early night air seeped into her jacket. She reached for the door of her photography studio. Her hand stilled when it swung open a couple of inches before she had a chance to insert the key. Holding her breath, she nudged it open further with her foot. She squinted, trying to make out the shapes in the dark room.
Did I forget to lock the door?
Even as she entertained the idea, she knew that wasn’t the case. If anything, she would have double and triple checked that it was locked before she’d left earlier in the evening.
Hands shaking, she reached for the light switch. Feeling the plastic with the tip of a finger, she pushed it upward. She blinked as light illuminated her studio and stepped inside.
Swallowing hard, her gaze flickered from the desk against one wall to the stands supporting her backdrops. A man stepped away from one of the shadows in the back corner of the room.
Laurie jumped to the side, her arm bumping into a framed photograph hanging on the wall. It fell to the floor, glass shattering upon impact, as her heart thundered in her chest.
The man wore dark clothing. A ski mask hid everything but his eyes. He tightened his grip on the camera bag he was holding and grabbed a second one. There was no mistaking the intensity in his eyes.
He charged at her.
Laurie instinctively grasped a heavy vase. Retreating through the open door, she held the vase above her head, and launched it towards her pursuer. All she could think about was making sure he didn’t have a chance to get to her. God, help me!
I had been planning to release Love's Compass: Finding Peace in November. These last two weeks, I've been trying to decide whether to push that plan or not.
I have decided that I am going delay the release a couple of months, aiming for January 2015. There are a few details I want to work out with the series as a whole, and some more editing work I want to do with this first title.
What does this mean? Hopefully other books in the series will be available relatively quickly after this first book is. I hate making everyone wait, but I would much rather make sure this book is what I want it to be than rush it.
I appreciate your patience!
I live in West Texas so we aren't seeing falling leaves or changing colors, but the weather has gotten cooler. Lately, the temperatures have been between 85 and 90, which compared to this summer, seems wonderful. I'm especially enjoying the early mornings, when the air has a chill to it.
Falling Leaves, Falling Prices
To celebrate the fall season, the amazing Clean Indie Reads group has a sale going on. If you haven't checked the Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale out, you need to! I'm planning on going shopping later today - it's taken me this long to narrow down what I'm going to purchase because there truly are so many wonderful books available.
I'm so excited to not only be a part of the sale, but to participate in this Blog Hop as well. I hope those of you who have been following the blog hop are having fun! I know I've enjoyed learning more about my fellow authors. Please make sure you check out all of the blogs participating as many are doing a giveaway and the deadlines aren't until the sale is over!
Mary Ellen Bramwell
Barbara A. Martin
Sally Sue Fleischmann Ember
Chrystal Lynn Miles Gauthier
Blog Hop Question
Do the changing seasons influence your writing and/or the choice of books you read?
This is a question that all of the bloggers participating in the blog hop have been asked. For myself, I do find that I am more inclined to write a book that takes place in colder months during the summer, and vice versa. In fact, these last two months I've worked on Finding Peace, where the story plays out during the month of January. I found myself enjoying the idea of colder weather and snow during the hot summer we've had here in West Texas. I have a feeling that the opposite may be true when I'm shivering this winter, double socks on my feet, and a mug of hot chocolate sitting on my desk. LOL
I don't know that the changing seasons really affect what books I read, save for one exception: I tend to only read Christmas or holiday novels during November and December. Otherwise, I choose novels based on the mood I'm in at the time.
I just wanted to say that, when you read a book, authors love it if you have a moment to leave a review. Reviews are a great way to provide some honest feedback and help future readers choose a book. I know I truly appreciate them, and other authors do as well.
I am so glad that you took time today to come by my blog. I would love to hear from you! What is your favorite thing about fall? Does it affect what books you enjoy reading?
Information About My Novel
My book, Calming the Storm, is on sale for $0.99 through October 11th. If you enjoy Christian romance, I hope you'll give it a try. The story itself was on my heart for several years before I wrote the book. The song, "Sometimes He Calms the Storm," performed by Scott Krippayne on his album, "Wild Imagination," inspired the book. This song has been a huge help at difficult times in my life. The words in the chorus remind me that, no matter what I'm going through, God is there with me. Even when God doesn't calm the storm that I'm struggling through, He's here holding me as I weather it. I am so incredibly thankful for His love, peace and guidance.
In Calming the Storm, Rachel had a rough childhood and continues to feel like she has no control over her life. She has always felt that she was at the mercy of life's storms. When her sister - the only immediate family she has - is killed in a car accident, Rachel finds herself caring for her young niece. Struggling to find a job and a permanent place to live, Rachel is at risk of losing custody of her niece.
Brandon teaches a class that Rachel attends, but when she has to drop out of college to take care of her niece, he becomes concerned. Learning about the difficult situation she's in, he does the only thing he can think of to help: He suggests a marriage of convenience. With that agreement, she would have a stable living situation, a new job through his parents, and health insurance. All things that would hopefully lead to Rachel being able to adopt her niece and give her the kind of childhood she never had herself.
Brandon reaches out to Rachel as he tries to break through the walls that she's built up over the years. With love and patience, he hopes to help Rachel realize that, even when she experiences storms in her life, she isn't alone.
Calming the Storm is available on Kindle as well as paperback through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and CreateSpace.
Coming in November
My next book, Finding Peace, is the first in my Love's Compass series. The book itself is done and I'm currently in the editing process. I'm so excited about this title and I can't wait for my readers to get to know these new characters.
Kentucky "Tuck" Chandler is a police officer in the small town of Kitner, Texas. When Laurie Blake walks in on a robbery at her photography studio, Tuck is assigned the case.
What seems to be a simple break-in soon becomes a string of incidents. They appear to have no connection, but with each new case, more people are in danger.
Can Tuck find the answers he needs to keep Laurie safe and bring peace back to the residents of Kitner?
I am so excited now that Finding Peace is off to my alpha readers. I absolutely love writing, but for some reason, I find the endings to be particularly challenging for me. It took me about two months to write Finding Peace - and it took almost two weeks to write the last chapter. In fact, in order to write that final part of the story, I went through and read the book twice. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because that means I've gone through and edited it twice by the time I write that ending.
Now that it's finished, I'll be writing the description, which I'll be posting on here soon. I also hope to post a few quotes, or even the first few pages, of the book as well.
Meanwhile, I'm starting to outline the next in the series!