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Surviving a Broken Heart

Broken hearts come in so many different ways. Hurtful words. Lies. Betrayal. Physical pain. Being left behind.

Each can rip at you. Tearing away pieces of yourself. Your love. Your self-esteem. Little bit by little bit until all that remains is a lump of a person you don't recognize.

Not every broken heart goes to that extreme, but they are almost always accompanied by tears and suffering.

Eventually the pain lessens and becomes easier to bear, but each time, a sadness has remained with me.

Watching a friend go. A relationship change. Saying final goodbyes to a loved one.  Helpless as a dear one suffers. Pain and anger from gossip, lies, and consequences from choices.

Regrets.

Yesterday at church, we talked about loving one another. Serving each other. There was a beautiful quote read about how we should have a perfect love for each other. Never judging another. Always forgiving. It sounds so nice - but oh so unrealistic.

Or maybe I'm just too imperfect.

But I'm apparently not alone. A handful of ladies shared some perspective and thoughts about the quote read. One reminded us that while the gospel is perfect, the members of the church are merely humans, who make mistakes that may hurt others. Another shared how things someone says or does may not be related directly to you. Consider that there may be other things happening in their lives, frustration that has built up and unfortunately was released onto you with sarcasm, harsh words, or actions.

While I had heard these things before, today they came with comfort and consoled my heart.

A little piece was ripped away recently. I've been in tears, praying to find peace, forgiveness and how to handle the situation.  How to let it go. How incredibly difficult that is. But today, the ladies who shared their insights, words I've heard before, sunk in and glued back together some of my heart. Yes, I still hurt and am sad, but have found a tiny bit of comfort and am holding onto it, grasping it with white-knuckled fists.

Because while it hurts, knowing relationships will never be the same, trust that will be slow to be rebuilt - if it is ever rebuilt - I will move forward. I will be kind, respectful, but I will also guard my heart from being hurt by the same person again.

It will require a little spiritual CPR, but I will survive this broken heart.

The Meanie Mommy Sparkle and Shine!

Tomorrow kicks off a 5 day "weekend" for parent/teacher conferences and in-service days - and I'm so excited!

Sure, about four years ago, these long weekends meant a chaotic, disastrous house. Sometimes some fighting, but often lots of laughing.

There's still some fighting, but mostly laughing - but now, now . . . My kids are old enough to actually do a good job cleaning! My munchkins know these long breaks now mean we do a little deep cleaning each day before diving into the "fun" portion of our activities. For the most part, they don't complain. They just get the work done and get excited about checking off their to-do list. Girly Girl cleans everything she can reach with the Clorox wipes (kitchen handles, knobs, outside of the oven, fridge, and dishwasher. Even the microwave.) Squirrely Girl cleans the bathrooms and windows. The boys vacuum and sort and organize all those Legos (that's a feat all on it's own). Hubby and I usually take on a project or two. Cleaning out the garage and other fun stuff to prep for winter. I may even hang some more pictures.

So my house gets to sparkle and shine!

Then we have fun, fun, fun! I'm hoping for good weather so we can make good use of our bikes one last time before winterizing them until spring. Thursday evening, we're having our family photos taken - so excited about that, too! Squirrelly Girl is into baking, so I'm sure we'll whip up some delicious treats. Have a game board competition - maybe even a dance off and I just might let my kids kick my butt on the Wii. (Simply because there's no way I'll win. LOL).

But most of all, I'm so happy to have five days of family time.

And that's the best sparkle and shine of all.

Mismatched Socks and Mondays

Once upon a time, Mondays were a necessary evil. Dragging myself out of bed to drag my kids out of bed, throw together breakfast, outfits, cleaning off faces, overseeing the brushing of the teeth,  hunting, hunting and more hunting for matching shoes before piling into the van, double checking and triple checking that everyone is buckled in before dropping half of the kids off at that fabulous building where they get to learn and socialize. Then back to home where it was dump out all the toys time, snack time, nap time, clean up all the toys time, then repeat, repeat and pick up the school munchkins and go, go, go until I dropped into an exhausted heap on my bed.

Then Monday repeated itself over and over and over and over until finally it was Saturday. My day to sleep in and rest and let Dad take care of everything.

But now my kids are older, all in school including teenagers. TEENAGERS! Which means my Saturdays and Sundays are as busy as every other day of the week.

My Mondays have become my former Saturdays.

Yeah, I still drag myself out of bed, but now it's for family scripture study and prayer. The kids take care of everything else while I review my day. After dropping off everyone at their schools, I get to come home, chill on the couch, catch up on my favorite TV shows or a little Netflix love while I do laundry and did I mention chill? All day long. Well, at least until 3 pm when I get dressed for the day and pick up the munchkins again. At this stage of my life, my after school hours and weekends are consumed with my kids and their activities. I really love my kids and all their activities. But man, I'm so glad I have Mondays to recover.

So on this chilly autumn Monday, I'm enjoying the smell of Snuggle, watching a little Gilmore Girls, and sipping my favorite chocolaty cocoa.

Ahh, Mondays . . .

Shave Your Legs, Girlfriend!

My friend, Alison, has the oddest dreams ever. She often shares them with her friends on Facebooks and we all get a good laugh. Well, I was sharing a very weird dream I had with my daughter and realized it was Alison-worthy. And that my blogger friends would get a good laugh out of it, too.

So, there I was, prepping to run a 5K race. I went in to register and they wouldn't let me. I was very upset. "But why? Why can't I run the 5K? I've been training, I promise!"

The ruggedly good looking guy behind the registration table replied, "Ma'am" (that's never a good sign for a young chick like me) "You need to shave your legs."

Gasp! What? How dare he imply . . . I look down and holy freaking hannah!

My legs are hairy. No, no. Not just hairy. They are gloriously hairy, with long golden-reddish blonde hair. Thick and beautiful. Totally worthy of expensive hair products and a hair dryer after stepping out of the shower (cause there's no way you'd take a bath with all that hair!).

It was so long and beautiful and glorious that it put the hair on my own head to shame.

Which is so, so, so wrong.

So what did I do? I immediately went out to buy a men's industrial size electric razor to hack off the I'm-better-than-your-head hair. The you-look-like-that-furry-Star Wars creature hair. The hair that I couldn't figure out how to pull a pair of yoga pants over. It was terrifying!

Then I woke up, rubbed my legs and sighed. Because I had just shaved my very hairy (although not as hairy as my dream's legs) the night before. Whew!

A Generation of Ungrateful Parents

A new home comes with new schools and consequently a new PTO. At a recent meeting, this new PTO discussed the upcoming Holiday Mart.

Do you remember Holiday Marts from when you were young? I totally do! My elementary school would put out all the trinkets - necklaces, mugs, note pads, pens, little plaques, and toys. I remember walking past the tables, making notes about what items I'd like to buy for my mom and siblings. Then returning with my envelope of money, showing my math to my teacher for how my budget would work. The thrill of excitement when I took my wrapped gifts home and placed them under the tree. How awesome it was when Christmas morning arrived and I truly had surprise presents for each member of my family.

My mom cherished those gifts. She wore the fake gem necklace and earrings occasionally, but even when she wasn't wearing them, I knew exactly where she kept them in her favorite jewelry box with her other favorite jewelry. I distinctly remember the World's Greatest Mom key chain I gave her, with a drawing of a woman wearing a crown in the center. It was always on her key chain, with her everywhere she went.

When my mom passed away, I inherited these precious items. No, they didn't cost a lot of money, but yes, they are precious. Why? Because of my mom's attitude. She was grateful for my gifts, for the time I took to consider what special item I would give to her - but most simply, because it was from her daughter.

So imagine my surprise when this new PTO expresses their very poor views about hosting a Holiday Mart for the kids. Oh, for sure they want all the vendors to come for THEM. The fun crafty booths, make-up and jewelry stuff, and yummy smelly candle stuff. Oh yes, all of that, they want. But a section for the kids? To buy what they called 'a bunch of junk'? No way! Instead, let's entertain the kids with mani-pedis and coloring pages while the parents shop. The principal even said she's received letters from students who said they wouldn't go to the Holiday Mart because it was a bunch of crappy junk.

Ungrateful parents whose terrible attitudes are raising ungrateful children.

Do these parents not see the value in their children learning budgeting skills? Or building their self-esteem when they surprise mom or dad with a gift they chose all on their own? Of learning to be independent?

No, apparently these children hear their parents calling the gifts 'junk' and a 'waste of money'. Shame on the parents who don't find joy from these precious opportunities and gifts from their children.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The worth of a gift comes from the receiver appreciating the giver's love and desire to give. It's not equal to the number on the price tag.

My cupboards are full of Queen Mom and Dad's the Best mugs. I have lots of glowy pens and multi-functioning tools with Awesome Dad emblazoned on the side. On my kids' beds are the stuffed animals they've purchased for each other.

Where did these fun items come from? Why, yes, our previous school's Holiday Mart. One day, those mugs will be passed down to my kids as gifts when they have their own children. Do you think they'll appreciate that Mom and Dad gave them such meaningful gifts? Or do you think they'll be looking for the price tag?

I'm confident the only thing running through their minds will be the memory of Mom and Dad unwrapping the gift one long-ago Christmas morning.

Rediscovering Myself and My Blog

Last month, I compiled the first year of my blog into a nifty book. It was fun and also a bit sad. I read those sassy, thoughtful posts and wondered "What happened? How did my blog go from the 'real' me to so stifled and blah?"

For weeks, I considered when blogging stopped being fun to kick off my day to a chore, something I dreaded, but felt obligated to do. Did life become too busy and blogging was one thing too many on my to-do list? Did something discourage me?

As I considered the past eight years, one thought stuck out in my mind.

I went from being ME to being neutral.

I set aside my sass, my opinions of right and wrong, what I loved or hated and instead went into middle-ground mode. And let me just say, the middle-gound sucks. In a big way.

So, this is me, reclaiming my blog, reclaiming my throne as the Queen of the Clan. I'm going to write for me, myself and I. The stuff I love, funny things that happen in life, profound moments and why they are so significant to me.

What you won't find on my blog - no more platitudes, no more blah blah blah.

Yeppers, just good old Danyelle. 

I hope you enjoy having me back.

Kansas City Teen Writers Workshop with Young Adult Authors Lisa Mangum & Janette Rallison!

I am absolutely thrilled to host an awesome teen writing workshop with the amazing Lisa Mangum and Janette Rallison! These ladies have not only incredible Young Adult authors, but are also genuinely fun, hilarious, and excellent teachers. If you have a teen who is addicted to books and writing, then this is a definite must-have experience.

Who's invited? Youth ages 12+ who want to learn more about writing

Price: $25, includes workshop, pizza and beverages.

When & Where: Thursday, Sept. 18th from 5-7:30 pm at Danyelle Ferguson's house. 15693 S. Blackfeather St. Olathe, KS

What you'll do: Enjoy a pizza dinner and spend 2 hours exploring plotting, creating great characters, dialogue, setting and other writing essentials. Lisa and Janette will have you laughing and brainstorming together as they share their expertise and stories from their own publishing experiences.

What to bring with you: A notebook and pens


About the Authors

Lisa Mangum  has worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. She attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. She has worked in the publishing industry since 1997. In 2014 she was named the Editorial Manager for Shadow Mountain.

Besides books, Lisa loves movies, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy. She is the author of four award-winning YA novels (the Hourglass Door trilogy and After Hello) and the editor of One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology.


Janette Rallison writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms.  Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 23 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 copies.  Her novels have been on many reading and state lists. Most of her books are romantic comedies or action because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons.  She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric.




One Dirty Bowl: Fast Desserts, Faster Clean Up

Quick desserts and even quicker clean up mean more time with your family and friends, and less time in the kitchen. With One Dirty Bowl, whip up show-stopping desserts like Hazelnut Puffs, Peanut Butter Truffle Bars, and White Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes, all while dirtying just one bowl. Grab your bowl and get ready to bake!











A Mom and Her Teen Review

One Dirty Bowl . . . plus measuring spoons, cups, and general clean up . . . all make for some fabulous and easy baking. Personally, I'm not much of a cooking queen, but my teen daughter is the kitchen queen princess. Here are some things we both liked about One Dirty Bowl.

  1. The way the recipes were organized - and the section titles were so cute! They include: Small & Scrumptious; Beautiful Brownies & Bars; Decadent Dessert Breads; Enticing Cookies; Divine Sweets; and Charming Cakes, Cupcakes, Cobblers & Pies. There's also a section with measurement equivalents and an index in the back.
  2. Easy to find ingredient lists. Each recipe has a banner to the side that lists all the ingredients and measurements. It makes the grocery list so much easier to compile!
  3. Gorgeous pictures! There should be a warning attached to this book. When you flip through it, you'll see so many delicious treats, you won't know which recipe to start with!
What did we make? Paper Bag Cookies. It name doesn't sound impressive, but can I just say YUM!!!

I'm looking forward to my daughter making many more treats from One Dirty Bowl!



For more yumminess by Christina Dymock, check out her website The Hungry Family. It has gobs of fabulous recipes and tips!

Attitude and Gratitude

Have you ever noticed how your attitude effects your level of gratitude?

You may not know this, but I'm one of those people who - put in the right situation - easily gets frustrated. It quickly escalates into mega-frustration and anger. Then it's a serious YIKES! situation. When in this mode, my bad attitude rolls right over into my interactions with my family - who generally isn't even part of the situation. Times when I'm normally super patient (reminding kids three times to brush their teeth) suddenly becomes a major shouting fest - all of the shouting coming from me while my kids scramble away. 

Do I want to be this mom? This wife? This friend?

No, I don't.

About eight years ago, after being in a long, frustrating situation, something finally clicked. I realized just how much my attitude effects my ability to be grateful for my family and the many, many blessings in my life.

Then the purge began. If it was optional, stressful, frustrating - it was eliminated. I resigned from committees that were more about who had a better idea, was right, and competition than it was about helping the organization we were supposed to be supporting. I let some relationships go because I realized the only joy the other person received in our friendship was pointing out all the things I didn't do well enough.

It was super difficult at first. Mostly because I felt guilty, like I was letting everyone else down. But it didn't take long before I realized the most important relationships (my family and with Heavenly Father) were growing stronger. The best bonus - I was so much happier! All those knots in my shoulders, the gut-wrenching twists and worrying that kept me up at night - all gone!

For the first time in a long time, I stopped, looked at my life, and was grateful for every little thing.

I've changed a lot since then. I'm definitely more "go with the flow" and a lot more patient. I'm certainly not perfect, but I'm not trying to be perfect. I just want more gratitude, happiness, and lots of laughter in my home.

Sometimes those frustrating situations pop up - ones that are specially designed traps for me to fall into. And occasionally I do. The difference is that after a day or two, I make myself stop, evaluate my feelings and how I'm treating my family - then force myself to let whatever is causing the frustration go. There are times when that's not an easy thing to do, but when I accomplish the 'letting go', life is better.

My life is infinitely better my attitude is one that allows me to be happy and grateful each day.

Winners, Writers and More - Oh My!

Winners . . . 

The past few weeks have been chuck full of amazing and fun stuff. My blog tour response was beyond incredible. Thank you to everyone who purchased my book, left reviews and entered the blog tour giveaway. The giveaway ended with over 4,000 entries! So, let's kick this blog post off with the winners. Congrats to . . .

$25 iTunes GC - Ali F.

$20 Sports Authority GC - Hai K.

Awakening Avery by Laurie Lewis - Rachael S.

Fallen Angel by Lisa Swinton - Jessica H.

Choice of 1 DiCarlo Brides book by Heather Tullis - Laurie G.

Fortune Cookie by Josi S. Kilpack - Victoria A.

Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards - Lyza Jo

Rebound by Heather Justesen - Loretta B.

Gated by Amy Christine Parker (audiobook) - Diana D.

Winners - watch for an email. You will have 48 hours to accept your prize or another will be drawn.  =)


Writers . . . 

I spent last weekend surrounded by 700 writers at the Utah Storymakers Writers Conference. There was so much excitement, brainstorming, new friendships being forged - the list could go on. It was inspiring. As part of the conference organization committee, I was a tad busy running registration and other stuff, but I did get to attend a 2 hour intensive workshop taught by Elana Johnson and Ali Cross on story structure based off the Save the Cat series. It was awesomesauce! (an Elana term).  I loved their combined teaching style and how they used both a movie and a book to show the different beats a novel should have. I plan to pull out my Save the Cat book and add in all the notes I took during the class.

Here are some of my fave conference pictures (thank you to those who took pics and posted them on FB for me!):

 2014 Storymakers Conference Book Signing
with authors (L to R) - Jordan McCollum, Rachelle Christensen,
Danyelle Ferguson, Connie Sokol, Stephanie Black, and Lisa Mangum.

Author J. Scott Savage won the 2013 Whitney Award
for Best Speculative Fiction - then totally made me
tear up when he took his wife on stage with him and talked about
how he couldn't have accomplished all he did with out the support
and encouragement his wife gave. Jeff & Jennifer are such a great example
of a couple taking care of each other and reaching for their dreams together.


My hubby (John Waverly) and I were honored to present
the 2013 Whitney Award for Best Middle Grade Fiction
to Jennifer A. Nielsen for her novel, The Runaway King.

A totally fun moment after the Whitney Gala when
Stephanie Black grabbed me for a photo and we were joined
by some incredible awesome chicks. (L to R)
Donna Hatch, Stephanie Black, Danyelle Ferguson, 
Janette Rallison (aka CJ Hill), Heather Justsen (aka Heather Tullis),
Traci Hunter Abramson, and Julie Wright. 
I adore these ladies!


And More - Oh My!

The next two weeks are going to be busy ones for my family. It's the end of the school year and we're moving as well. I'm going to do my best to continue posting on my blog, but just in case you see a week go by with no posts - you'll know why.  =)

Also, today is the last day to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for Sweet Confections. Enjoy!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson

Sweet Confections

by Danyelle Ferguson

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
 

It's Book Release Day - and So Much Awesomeness!

The big day is finally here! Sweet Confections is celebrating it's official book birthday with lots of giveaways and great reviews.

But first, I want to wish a happy book birthday to Synchrony by Cindy Ray Hale! Find out more about her fabulous book series on her website. (PS - she has a fabulous giveaway going on, too!)


To kick off the Sweet Confections blog tour, I hit the amazing Down Under. Thank you to the Australian Romance Readers Association for spotlighting my book! It's an absolutely delicious feeling as an author to know you have readers all around the globe.

Today, there are also two reviewers. Laurie Lewis was my first stop this morning. She's known for being brutally honest about everything from characterization to plot holes to grammar issues. As I chewed on my fingernails (my hair is too short to twist around my fingers!), I clicked on her website and quickly read her review. Then reread it . . . and smiled.  =)  Here's a short blurb from Laurie:

Ferguson's characters were thoughtful and real, making it easy for readers to invest fully in the challenges and hiccups in their budding relationship. I especially enjoyed the heroine. Rachel Marconi is not a Barbie doll. Nearing thirty, and a few pounds above svelte from all that delicious baking, she proves that real women eat, laugh, love, work, and drive men crazy--even perfect 10's like Graydon Green. - Read Laurie Lewis' full review here.


The second review for today was over on Heather Justesen's blog. Heather is my partner-in-crime for my book series. My series is Indulgence Row and her book series is In the Garden - but we are sharing a town (Crystal Creek) and we use each other's characters in our books. It's been so much fun to brain storm and create Crystal Creek together.  So, what did Heather have to say about Sweet Confections?

Great characters that made me laugh out loud and fall in love--as any good romance should. -  Read Heather Justesen's full review on her blog.

And, of course, with everything I do, there's an awesome giveaway! Simply click here to enter to win an iTunes gift card, Sports Authority gift card, or a fabulous book.

Looking for purchase links? Check out the sidebar!

Sweet Confections Chapter Five and Upcoming Awesomeness

Only five days to go until the Sweet Confections blog tour kicks off. Which means you get something fun! The final preview for Sweet Confections is up. Check out Chapter Five here.


There's so much awesomeness going on and coming up. Let me update you.

First, if you read my previous blog post, you saw that our house went up for sale and sold super fast. Fortunately, our agent helped us find a wonderful house for our next home. It was a busy, busy weekend, but the hubs and I survived. This week is full of inspections. Next week appraisals. Then we close and move. Oh the joys of a growing family and real estate! Honestly, it's been a blessing. The new couple purchasing our house is so sweet & expecting their first baby. They're super excited about their first home. They'll be such a great addition to our neighborhood.

Second, a shout out to my musically talented daughter. She performed at a Sole & Ensemble Festival this week. She performed a beautiful Jane Austen-esque solo on her flute, and even though there were a few squeaky high notes, she didn't let it bother her. She nailed all the difficult rhythms, did a great job on the flow and emotion of the piece, and nailed a #1 rating. Not an easy thing to nab!

Lesson I learned: Do your best and handle the hard stuff with grace.  (Aren't kids amazing?)

And last, watch for next week's blog tour awesomeness. Week 1 takes us to Australia, the U.S. and England. Week 2 will be stops in the U.S., Canada, and Norway. You can find all the reviewers and their blogs on the nifty blog tour & giveaway link on my menu bar. Or just click here.

Speaking of prizes - 9 lucky people will win something awesome, from gift cards to fabulous books. Keep up with the tour by following my Facebook author page.

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

A Crazy Whirlwind - And Chapter Four!

Our house went up for sale yesterday . . . and received a full price contract in two hours. I kid you not. It was insane! We were packed with showings all day, with more scheduled for this weekend for back up offers. The best part is that we're finally at the point where I get to start looking for our next home. *Crossing my fingers and hoping for something that fits all our needs and near friends*

For my awesome readers who have been drooling over each Sweet Confections chapter - #4 is up and ready for your to devour. Thank you so much to everyone whose been sending emails, comments on Facebook and Twitter. You make me smile each and every day!

Have a fabulous weekend. And just think - we're almost to the 1 week mark for Release Day!

Sweet Confections Chapter Three & a Romantic Suspsense Anthology

It's another fabulous day here on Queen of the Clan. Lots of great stuff is happening this week. Sweet Confection's Chapter Three is up today, Chapter Four will be up later this week, my house goes up for sale Wednesday, and hey, only TWO more weeks until my book is released. Life is a whirlwind of awesomeness. 

And for more fabulousness - check out this incredible anthology below. Seven novels for 99 cents! And let me tell you, these authors are fantastic! But the set is only on sale this week, so nab it while you can. 

Happy reading! 


Breathtaking: Seven Bestselling Novels of Love and Suspense
Boxed set is only $.99 March 24th through March 29th. 






Unbelievable by Sherry Gammon
Deliah Dreser's in town to take care of family business. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but there's more to Lilah than meets the eye. Cole's in danger of losing his heart when this firestorm throws sparks his way. Is she simply playing him for the fool in order to exact revenge for her brother's murders?
Bestselling author Sherry Gammon's reviewers exclaim; "She has a gift for touching her readers with beautiful, gripping stories that you can’t put down."




Home Before Dark by Christy Barritt
Nothing good ever happens after dark. Those were the words country singer Daleigh McDermott’s father always repeated.
Now her father is dead, and Daleigh finds a hidden journal hinting that his death was no accident. Small town mechanic Ryan Shields is the only one who seems to believe Daleigh. As the two work to unravel the mystery, it becomes obvious that someone wants them dead. They must rely on each other—and on God—if they hope to make it home before the darkness swallows them whole.
Award-Winning Suspense Novelist and Bestselling Amazon Author, touted as "scary, funny, passionate, and quirky" by USA Today.

Baggage Claim by Amanda Tru
Rachel Saunders is looking forward to her all-expense paid weekend trip to New York. But, when her luggage is lost and she is accosted by an infuriating Homeland Security agent, events take a dangerous turn.
Amanda Tru, Bestselling Amazon Author of Romance and Suspense. Discover the author who, as an Amazon reviewer raves, “continues to impress me and dominate my time with a book I can’t put down even after it’s ended.”


Cassie's Cowboy Crave by Kimberly Krey
In a moment of weakness, Shane steals a kiss.
In return, Cassie steals his heart…
When Cassie is forced to join the witness protection program, she fears her life is over… but then she meets Shane Emerson — the hunky cowboy posing as her husband. Will this sham marriage turn into the real thing, or will a hidden danger put it all at risk?
Kimberly Krey writes romance that’s clean without losing the steam. What’s Beyond Forks calls this Best-selling Western Romance author “the master of romantic tension.”



A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis
Cami DiCarlo is not happy when her father forces her into heading up guest services at his newest five-star hotel and unveils the existence of four half-sisters at the same time, insisting they live together while they launch the new resort.
When she meets Vince, the sweet, sexy landscaper her father would never have approved of, Cami can’t say no. If only she could be sure she is on the right track—and that they will be able to stop the person who is trying to destroy everything.

You Belong with Me by Shannon Guymon 
Layla Kendall is a burned out social worker one step away from a major depression. When she and her sisters inherit their grandmother's bakery, she doesn't know if she can trust her good fortune or not. But the chance to be with her sisters and get away from the heartache and pain she's faced day in and day out is a chance she's going to take. With Layla's new life, come new friendships, including Michael Bender, a single dad. She doesn't trust men but Michael's little girl grabs her by the heart and won't let go.
Shannon Guymon is an Amazon Bestselling Author of lighthearted and clean romance who according to her many fans, has the ability to paint pictures of her characters so real that readers would know them if they saw them walking down the street.

Blog This by Cami Checketts
Devastated by the loss of her brother, Natasha Senecot exposes the dangers of Matthew Chrysler's violent video games, bankrupting and humiliating him. Chrysler sends a hit man after her. In a race against time, can Natasha expose Chrysler before his assassin murders her family and shatters her world?
Bestselling author Cami Checketts has been touted as, "A genius! She writes about topics that aren't widely discussed, and she does such a brilliant job of crafting these things into wonderful stories that touch your heart and remain with you for days afterwards."

Sweet Confections Sneak Peek #2 and a Book Spotlight: Spark of a Feudling by Wendy Knight

Let's kick off our weekends on a good note: Chapter Two of Sweet Confections is up for you to enjoy!

Also, today I'm spotlighting a new book that released this week. I haven't read it yet, but it looks fabulous.

Spark of a Feudling by Wendy Knight



Hate can start a war, but a shattered heart can fuel it for centuries. 

Everything Ada does is wrong. She’s the daughter of a Duke but she isn’t proper or formal. She prefers the company of her servants—particularly Christian, the boy she’s loved since she was six years old, and his sister, Charity, Ada’s very best friend in the entire world.

Ada isn’t just the daughter of a Duke. No, she’s the daughter of one of the most powerful Edren sorcerers alive, and no matter how strong she is, it isn’t strong enough. Ada will give up almost everything to earn her father’s pride.

Christian has loved Ada since the day his mother became her governess. But two societies are determined to keep them apart—the aristocracy who say a groom will never be good enough for a Duke’s beautiful daughter, and the sorcerers who say a Carules and an Edren can never be together. Christian will do anything to make Ada his—even drive himself to madness.

When Ada suspects her father of hurting Charity and Christian in his quest for knowledge, she is torn between loyalty to him, and a fierce determination to protect them. The division tears her soul and breaks her heart.

The pieces of her broken heart will start a war that can only be stopped by the death of the most powerful warrior alive by the hand of the boy who loves her.



Bonus Story –Feudlings in Peace
Join  Ari, Shane, Ada, Christian and everyone they love as they chase their happily ever after.
 
Excerpt:

He sprinted down the path, into the forest, leaping over huge rocks and tree roots and through streams he couldn’t see but his magic told him were there. He had no idea where he was going, but there seemed to be a tether from his heart to hers — he always knew where Ada was. He ran straight to them, nearly colliding with her father’s guards as he raced through the thick trees.

“What happened to her?” he bellowed, jerking Ada out of Davis’s bloodstained arms.

“She was hit, saving me,” Harrison answered. “Can you help her?”

If there had been time, any time at all, Christian would have paused at that. How exactly had his tiny little Ada saved the giant Harrison? But there wasn’t time. He laid her on the thick grass, searching for the wound. But there was so much blood.

“There!” Davis snapped, jabbing the air above her stomach.

Flames roiled across Christian’s hands and he held them above her, letting the flames soothe the skin before he tried to touch it. They swirled through the air, seeping and mending the broken, charred skin.

“Does she breathe?” Harrison asked, crouching close to put his face next to her mouth.

Christian ignored him. He didn’t care if she breathed or not.
She would breathe, or he would die with her.

“She does.” Harrison sat back, relieved.

“Can you not heal at all? Stop the blood flow from her shoulder!” Christian snapped.

Harrison gaped at him. “We’re Edren. We don’t heal.”

“I’m Carules and I can throw a lirik if need be,” Christian muttered under his breath, but he couldn’t argue with them now.

She moaned.

They all froze in shock, and then redoubled their efforts. Davis jerked his shirt off and held it to her shoulder while Christian’s blue flames leaped and danced from his hands, fighting the poison eating through her body.

“Christian. I knew—” she whispered as her skin healed, leaving only pink burns behind.

“Shhh. Don’t speak. You’re still very weak.” He moved from her stomach to her shoulder, pushing Davis’ shirt out of the way. It was stiff with dried blood and she shrieked when he ripped it from the wound. “Forgive me, dear one,” he whispered, his mouth near her temple, kissing the pain away. “Forgive me.”

“I knew… you would come. I knew you… could heal me.” Her eyes fluttered open, dazed with pain, dark orbs barely reflecting the moonlight.

“Always, Ada. Forever.”


About the Author



Wendy Knight is the bestselling author of the young adult series Fate on Fire and Riders of Paradesos. She was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, no touching the knives…you get the idea). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big—her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S. 

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing. 

Social Media Links:
Blog: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyKnight
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wjk8099
Instagram: http://instagram.com/wendyjo99


Book Review: Luminescence by Braden Bell and a Giveaway

Today's post is by my daughter, MJ.  =)

This series was non-put-downable! Lexa, Melanie, Connor and Pilaf are lovable and fun--and it was interesting to see how they reacted in challenging and exciting situations. It's hard to believe the series has already ended. The Kindling series is AWESOME!

Braden Bell is one of my most favorite authors ever. I can't wait to see what his next book will be - and really hope it will be as awesome as the Kindling series.

More about Luminescence:

 “He’s alive!” she yelled. “He’s alive!”
As Lexa spoke the words, she knew they were true. She knew with total certainty.
“Dr. Timberi’s alive!”

When Lady Nightwing kidnapped Dr. Timberi, everyone assumed their teacher had been killed. So when Lexa discovers that he isn’t dead, Conner can’t believe his ears.

Determined to rescue their favorite teacher, Conner, Lexa, and Melanie confront their worst fears and use their powers in unexpected ways to defeat Lady Nightshade, the treacherous Darkhand leader. But when the trio makes a terrible choice to save Dr. Timberi, their powers may not be enough to keep everyone alive. A thrilling conclusion to the Middle School Magic series!

Your favorite characters return in this satisfying conclusion of the Middle School Magic series! Filled with plenty of twists, humor, and adventure, Luminescence will keep you guessing until the last page.

Study hall? Definitely. Substitute Teachers? Absolutely. Rescuing people from brutal villains? Bring it on!




About the Author Braden Bell 

During his middle school years, Braden Bell was the least-stable, lowest-achieving student in the history of the world. He shocked every former teacher by graduating from high school and college, and then going on to earn both a Master’s degree as well as a Ph.D. A teacher by day and a parent by night, he is around teenagers 24/7. He teaches music and directs plays at a private school, much like Marion Academy in The Middle School Magic series. Whether he fights evil after hours is something he cannot disclose.

Braden Bell holds degrees in theatre from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. from NYU. A committed educator, he has been directing plays and teaching school now for over twenty years. Braden lives with his family on a quiet, tree-lined lot outside of Nashville, TN, where he teaches theatre and choir at a middle school. The author of The Road Show, The Kindling, and Penumbras.

Lean More on his website* twitter* facebook* goodreads* publisher


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