Thursday, January 6, 2011

Unexpected Love - Andrea Boeshaar

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!My Review

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Realms (January 4, 2011)
***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Book Group | Strang Communications for sending me a review copy.***


In addition to writing, Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar speaks at writers’ conferences and for women’s groups. She has taught workshops at conferences such as: Write-To-Publish American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Oregon Christian Writers Conference, Mount Hermon Writers Conference, and many other writers’ conferences. Andrea is also co-founder of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization. For many years she served on the advisory board and was also CEO of the ACFW.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Realms (January 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616381922
ISBN-13: 978-1616381929


Chicago, Illinois, September 4, 1866

Do you think he’ll live, Dr. Hamilton?” The gray-haired man with bushy whiskers pondered the question for several moments, chewing on his thick lips as he weighed his reply. “Yes, I think he will,” he finally said. “Of course, he’s not out of the woods yet, but it seems he’s coming around.”

Lorenna Fields breathed a sigh of relief. It had been two whole days with nary a sign of life from this half-drowned man, but finally—finally—he showed signs of improvement.

“You’ve done a good job with this patient, Nurse Fields.” The physician drew himself up to his full height, which barely met Renna’s five feet six inches. “I don’t think he’d be alive today if you hadn’t given him such extraordinary care.”

“Thank you, Dr. Hamilton, but it was the Lord who spared this man and the Lord who gave me the strength and skill to nurse him.” The old physician snorted in disgust. “Yes, well, it might have had something to do with the fact that you’ve got a brain in your

head, Nurse Fields, and the fact that you used it too, I might add!”

Renna smiled inwardly. Dr. Hamilton always disliked it when she gave God the credit for any medical advancement, especially the miracles. Yet Renna’s intelligence and experience weren’t typical of women her age, and she determined to use them to God’s glory.

The patient moaned, his head moving from side to side.

“Easy now, Mr. Blackeyes.” Renna placed a hand on the man’s muscular shoulder. “It’s all right.” She picked up the fever rag from out of the cold water, wrung it once, and set it on the patient’s burning brow.

Dr. Hamilton snorted again, only this time in amusement. “Mr. Blackeyes? How in the world did you come by that name, Nurse Fields?”

She blushed but replied in all honesty. “It’s his eyes, Doctor. They’re as black as pitch and as shiny as polished stones. And since we don’t know his true identity, I’ve named him Mr. Blackeyes.”

“I see.” Dr. Hamilton could barely contain his laughter.

“Well, I had to call him something now, didn’t I?” She wrung the fever cloth more tightly.

“Ah, yes, I suppose you did.” Dr. Hamilton gathered his instruments and put them into his black leather medical bag. “Well, carry on, Nurse Fields.” He sounded tired. “If your patient’s fever doesn’t break by morning, send for me at once. However, I think

it will, especially since we got some medicine and chicken broth into him tonight.”

Renna nodded while the old man waved over his shoulder as he left the hospital ward.

Returning her attention to her patient, Renna saw that he slept for the moment. His blue-black hair, which had just a slight wave to it, shone beneath the dampness of the fever. The stifling late summer heat of the room threatened to bring his temperature even higher.

Wiping a sleeve across her own beaded brow, Renna continued to sponge down her patient. Poor Mr. Blackeyes had been found floating in Lake Michigan after a terrible storm the past Sunday. The crew of the passing ship that found him had thought he was dead at first. But they pulled him aboard anyway. The ship’s doctor immediately examined him and detected a heartbeat, so he cared for him until the ship docked in Chicago’s harbor. As soon as the sailors could manage it, Mr. Blackeyes was deposited at Mercy Hospital and admitted to the second floor and into Renna’s care. Now, two days later, he finally showed some improvement.

Pulling the fever rag from the round porcelain bowl filled with cool water, Renna replaced it carefully across Mr. Blackeyes’s forehead. She could tell this man was different from the usual “unknowns” that the hospital acquired. His dark features somehow implied sophistication, even through several days’ growth of beard. And his powerful broad shoulders and muscular arms indicated the strength of a man accustomed to lifting or hoisting. And he was handsome, all right. A lady’s man, no doubt.

“But who are you, Mr. Blackeyes?” Renna murmured, gazing down at him.

As if in reply, the man groaned.

Renna settled him once more and then slowly stood. She forced her mind to dwell on her other patients as she made her rounds through the sick ward, a large room with whitewashed walls and a polished marble floor. Eight beds, four on each side, were neatly lined in rows, leaving a wide area in the center of the ward.

Moving from bed to bed, Renna checked each patient, thankful that this ward wasn’t full: only Mr. Anderson, suffering from a farming accident in which he lost his left arm; Mr. Taylor, who had had pneumonia but had recovered and would soon be released;

and, finally, young John Webster, who had been accidentally shot in the chest by his brother. It appeared the wounded young man wouldn’t live through the night, and his family had gathered around him, his mother weeping.

Taking pity on the Webster family, Renna set up several wooden screens to allow them some privacy. Then she checked on John. She could see death settling in. She was somewhat accustomed to the sight, as she’d trained in a Union military hospital in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War. Still, watching a life slip away never got easier. But in this case Renna took heart that the Websters were people with a strong faith. Young John would soon go home to be with his Savior.

“Can I get anything for you, Mrs. Webster?” Renna asked the boy’s mother now.

A tall, very capable-looking woman, she shook her head. Several brunette curls tumbled from their bun.

Renna asked the same thing of the boy’s brother and father, but both declined.

“I didn’t mean ter shoot ’im, Ma!” the brother declared. He suddenly began to sob.

“Aw, I know ya didn’t mean it, son,” Mrs. Webster replied through her own tears. “It was an accident. That anyone can see!”

“Tell it to Jesus, boy.” His father’s eyes were red, his jaw grizzled. “Give the matter to Christ, just like we done gave John over to Him.”

Renna’s heart was with the family, but she suddenly felt like an intruder. The Websters needed their privacy. Stepping back, she gave them each a sympathetic smile before moving away.

Walking to the other side of the room now, Renna sat down on the edge of Mr. Blackeyes’s bed and sponged him down again. Afterward, she checked his head wound—nearly a three-inch gash above his left ear. It had needed to be sutured, and Dr. Hamilton

had seen to that when Mr. Blackeyes was first admitted. “Unknown Male” was the name on his chart. Most “unknowns” didn’t survive, so Renna was heartened that Mr. Blackeyes’s prognosis seemed promising.

Now if only his fever would break. If only he’d regain consciousness and pneumonia wouldn’t set in.

Momentarily closing her eyes, Renna prayed for God’s healing of this man. She had been praying earnestly for the last week. Why she felt so burdened for him, she couldn’t say, but she was.

Suddenly an abrupt command broke her thoughts. “Nurse Fields? Nurse Fields, you may go. I’m on duty now.”

Renna glanced at the doorway where Nurse Rutledge, the night nurse who was also her supervisor, stood. A large woman with beady, dark eyes, she had a no-nonsense way about her. That same stern disposition kept her lips in a perpetual frown.

“As usual, your charts are in order.”

Was that a hint of a smile? Renna guessed not.

“You’re excused.”

Renna replied with a nod. She didn’t dislike the night supervisor, although she wasn’t fond of the woman’s overbearing manner. Still, Nurse Rutledge was in charge. “Thank you, ma’am. I’ll just finish up here, and then I’ll be on my way.”

The older woman came up alongside her. “The first rule in nursing is, do not get emotionally attached to your patients. You know that.”

Renna rinsed the fever rag once more and draped it across Mr. Blackeyes’s forehead. “I’m not getting emotionally attached.” Renna felt her conscience prick. “I’m just . . . well, I’m burdened for this man. In the spiritual sense.”

“Humph! Call it what you will, Nurse Fields, but I happen to think you’re much too emotional and far too sensitive. It’s a wonder you’ve lasted in nursing this long. Why, I heard from the other nurses on duty today that you were crying with the Webster

family over their boy.” She sniffed in what seemed like disgust. “A nurse must never let her emotions get in the way of her duty, Nurse Fields.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Renna endured the rebuke. She’d heard it many times before.

Nurse Rutledge squared her wide shoulders. “Now, may I suggest that you leave your burden right here in this hospital bed and go home and get some rest? You’re due back here at six a.m., and I’ll expect you promptly!”

Renna nodded. Then, with a backward glance at Mr. Blackeyes, she left the sick ward. She gathered her things and made her way to the hospital’s main entrance. Outside, she paused and breathed deeply. The air was thick and humid, but it was free from the chloroform and antiseptics that she’d smelled all day.

She spied a hired hackney, and within minutes, Renna rode the mile to the home she shared with her parents. She was the oldest child in the family, but at the age of thirty, Renna was what society termed “a spinster.” Her two younger sisters were married and

producing children galore, and her one younger brother and his wife were now expecting their first baby.

Renna loved all her nieces and nephews. They filled her empty arms when she wasn’t nursing, and Jesus filled her heart. Time and time again, however, Renna was asked by a young niece or nephew, “Why didn’t you ever get married, Auntie Renna?” And

her reply was always, “I never fell in love.”

But the truth of the matter was no man would have her—even if she had fallen in love. The large purplish birthmark on the left side of her face deterred every eligible bachelor. The unsightly thing came down her otherwise flawless cheek to the side of her

nose and then around down to her jaw, like an ugly purple horseshoe branded into her face. One would think she’d be accustomed to the gawks, stares, and pitying glances sent her way at social functions, but they unnerved her. All dressed up and looking her

prettiest, Renna still felt marred and uncomely under the scrutiny of her peers—especially when she was in the company of eligible men to whom she was supposed to be attractive and charming. Renna never felt she was either of those.

Nursing, however, was different. In the hospital Renna felt confident of her abilities. Moreover, her patients were usually too sick or in too much pain to be concerned with her ugly birthmark.

Rather, they just wanted her care and sensitivity, and that’s what Renna thought she did best . . . in spite of what Nurse Rutledge said about her being too emotional and too sensitive. God in all His grace had given Renna a wondrous work in nursing, and it pleased her to be used in that way. What more could she want? And yet lately—lately Renna desired something more. Was it a sin to feel discontented after so many happy years of nursing?

The carriage stopped in front of Renna’s house. She climbed out, paid the driver, and then turned to open the little white gate of the matching picket fence around the front yard. A slight breeze blew, and Renna thought it felt marvelous after her sweltering day on the second floor of the hospital.

“Well, there you are, dear.” Her mother, Johanna Fields, stood with a pair of shears in her hand. She had obviously been pruning the flowers that graced the edge of the wide front porch. “You’re late tonight, Renna.” She studied her daughter. “Mr. Blackeyes? Is he . . . ?”

“He’s still alive.” She stepped toward her mother. “Dr. Hamilton thinks he may even live, except he has an awful fever now. We’re hoping it breaks by morning and thatpneumonia doesn’t set in.”

“Oh, dear . . . ” Mum shook her head sadly. “Well, we’ll keep praying, won’t we?”

Renna gave a nod before Mum hooked arms and led her into the house.

“I’ve made a light dinner tonight, Renna. Help yourself.”

“I appreciate it, but I’m too tired to eat.”

“But you need some nourishment.” Mum fixed a plate of cold beef, sliced tomatoes, and a crusty roll. “Here, sit down at the table.”

Renna allowed her mother to help her into the chair. After one bite she realized how ravenous she was and cleaned the plate. Minutes later her sister Elizabeth walked in with her twin daughters, Mary and Helena. Delight spread through Renna as the girls toddled into the kitchen.

“Hello, darlings.” She gave each a hug before smiling up at her younger sister.

“Renna, you look exhausted.” Elizabeth shook her head vehemently, causing strands of her light brown hair to escape their pinning. “You’ll be old before your time.”

“And what would you have me do? Sit around the house all day, twiddling my thumbs?” Seeing her sister’s injured expression, she softened her voice. “I’m sorry. I guess I’m more tired than I thought.”

Elizabeth smiled. “All’s forgiven.”

Renna struggled to her feet. Her entire body ached from her long shift. “I’ll have to visit another time. I’m going up to bed.”

After bidding everyone a good night, Renna climbed the steps leading to the second floor. In her small bedroom she poured water from the large pitcher on her bureau into the chamber basin and then washed away the day’s heat. She pulled her cool, cotton nightgown over her head then took her Bible off the nightstand and continued her reading in John chapter 9. Renna realized as she read that physical ailments allowed God to show His glory, and she marveled as she read about the blind man who by simple faith and obedience regained his sight.

She bowed her head. Oh, Lord, that You might heal Mr. Black-eyes. That You might show Your power to those who don’t believe by healing him. Renna paused to remember her other patients then. And please rain down Your peace that passeth all understanding on the Websters tonight.

Despite the fact her eyelids threatened to close, Renna finished her Bible reading. She turned down the lamp as a breeze ruffled the curtains. Somehow Renna knew that John Webster would not be in her sick ward tomorrow morning. Nor would his family be there. Somehow Renna knew that John was with the Savior already.

But Mr. Blackeyes . . . why, he might not be a believer. It pained Renna to think of him spending an eternity apart from God.

Please heal him, Lord, she prayed as she crawled into bed. She allowed her eyes to finally shut, and the darkly handsome stranger who lay fighting for his life was the last person on Renna’s thoughts as she drifted off to sleep.

Unexpected Love was a delight to read this holiday season! It is beautifully written and filled to the brim with characters that I would love to meet in real life.

Lorenna Fields has devoted her life to nursing. She is 30 years old and considered a spinster by most. She has been plagued her entire life by an unsightly birthmark on her cheek. This birthmark has left a mark on her heart as well as she endured numerous rejections from various suitors over the years. Finally Nurse Fields submits to a life of service and does her job very well.

During her work at a local hospital, Renna is tasked with the recovery of a male patient who was rescued from the waters of Lake Michigan unconscious. Upon gaining consciousness it quickly became obvious that not only did he have amnesia but was also completely blind. Renna gave him the nick name of “Mr. Blackeyes” because of his prominent dark eyes.

Renna nurses Mr. Blackeyes back to health but secretly prays that he will not regain his eyesight. She is dreadfully afraid that once he lays eyes on her, he will no longer want to spend time with her.

Once “Mr. Blackeyes” regains his memory and his sight, the real fun begins. The story swerves through dangerous waters, mystery men, murderous plots and of course lots and lots of romance!

I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to any lover of romance!

My favorite quote from this book comes from Mr. Blackeyes himself on page 157

“Renna, a man either believes that God is in control of everything, or he believes God is in control of nothing.”

*This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Paradise Valley - Dale Cramer

This week, the
is introducing
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)

Dale Cramer was the second of four children born to a runaway Amishman turned soldier and a south Georgia sharecropper's daughter. His formative years were divided between far-flung military bases, but he inherited his mother's sense of place—

He took on small construction projects at night to help make ends meet— "and to preserve the remainder of my sanity," he says. While building an office in the basement of a communications consultant, a debate over labor/management relations turned into an article on mutualism which found its way into an international business magazine. It was Dale's first published article, and he liked the feel of it. He bought books, studied technique, and began participating in an online writers' forum, writing during the boys' naps and after they went to bed at night. Before long he was publishing short stories in literary magazines and thinking about writing a book.

Three storylines vied for Dale's attention when he finally decided to write a novel. His first two choices were commercially viable secular stories, and a distant third appeared to be some kind of Christian saga about a broken-down biker. The process of determining which novel to write was settled by a remarkable encounter with his youngest son, a lost set of keys, and God. His sense of direction was suddenly clarified. In 1997, Dale began work on Sutter's Cross, which was eventually published in 2003.

His second novel, Bad Ground (July 2004), while it is not autobiographical, contains a great deal of material drawn from his own experience as a construction electrician.

He and his wife and two sons make their home in northern Georgia.

An Amish settlement in Ohio has run afoul of a law requiring their children to attend public school. Caleb Bender and his neighbors are arrested for neglect, with the state ordering the children be placed in an institution. Among them are Caleb's teenage daughter, Rachel, and the boy she has her eye on, Jake Weaver. Romance blooms between the two when Rachel helps Jake escape the childrens home.

Searching for a place to relocate his family where no such laws apply, Caleb learns there's inexpensive land for sale in Mexico, a place called Paradise Valley. Despite rumors of instability in the wake of the Mexican revolution, the Amish community decides this is their answer. And since it was Caleb's idea, he and his family will be the pioneers. They will send for the others once he's established a foothold and assessed the situation.

Caleb's daughters are thrown into turmoil. Rachel doesn't want to leave Jake. Her sister, Emma, who has been courting Levi Mullet, fears her dreams of marriage will be dashed. Miriam has never had a beau and is acutely aware there will be no prospects in Mexico.

Once there, they meet Domingo, a young man and guide who takes a liking to Miriam, something her father would never approve. While Paradise Valley is everything they'd hoped it would be, it isn't long before the bandits start giving them trouble, threatening to upset the fledgling Amish settlement, even putting their lives in danger. Thankfully no one has been harmed so far, anyway.

My Thoughts

This is not your average Amish love story! I was delighted with Dale Cramers newest work of art! As you follow Caleb Bender to a remote part of Mexico, you find yourself truly wishing you had been born Amish. The Bender family loves God Gott with all their being and their faith is unshakeable as they venture into unknown land, an unknown country still reeling from a revolutionary war. With only one family settling in the beginning, it was up to the women, girls and the men to do all of the hard work required when setting up a homestead.

The Bender family is close knit but definitely human. The story is filled with human desires just like our own lives. They have strong desires to protect their families, provide for their families, desire to help others and of course desires of the heart.

In Paradise Valley, some will learn patience, some will learn invaluable skills and others will learn again the importance of trusting the Lord.

By the end of this book you will be hoping and praying that Cramer has a series up his sleeve with this one! I was not fortunate enough to read his previous book but am putting in on my wishlist!

This family will have you rethinking your internal dialog, teach you not to judge a person until you know who they are and that violence is most certainly not always the answer to tough problems.

My favorite quote in this book comes from Rachel’s thoughts. On page 120 “If you don’t like the way things are, just wait.” – Caleb Bender

This one is a MUST read whether you purchase it today or sign up for it at your local library at once!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Paradise Valley, go HERE.

*Reading material was provided courtesy of the publisher for review purposes

How to be Perfect - Daniel M. Harrell

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

FaithWords (January 5, 2011)
***Special thanks to Sarah Reck,Web Publicist, Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy.***


Daniel M. Harrell is senior minister of Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. For 23 years he served as a minister at Park Street Church in downtown Boston. He is the author of Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith as well as numerous articles that have appeared in Leadership Journal, Christianity Today, The Christian Century, and Regeneration Quarterly. He holds a PhD in developmental psychology from Boston College and has lectured at Fuller Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Gordon College, and Boston University. He lives somewhat obediently by grace in Minneapolis with his wife and daughter.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $19.99
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (January 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 044655717X
ISBN-13: 978-0446557177


Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Challenge!

I've decided to bite the bullet and try a challenge! I have no idea how many books I read last year but this seems like a great one to try!

Challenge Details

•Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

•Rules - Read 100 or more books in 2011

•All books can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

•Only print books and ebooks count (no audiobooks).

•You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

•At the beginning of Jan 2011, I will add a link so you can add your reviews but this is not obligatory.

•You don't have to have a blog to join in
•You can also follow each other's progress and chat about the VC books you read on twitter too - just use #100BooksInAYear :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Very Simple Crime - Grant Jerkins

I'm reviewing over at Radiant Lit today!

Monday, December 27, 2010

An Amish Christmas

An Amish Christmas

December in Lancaster County

By: Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron, Kelly Long

Published by: Thomas Nelson

ISBN: 978-1-59554-878-8

An Amish Christmas is a collection of four Novellas by four creative authors. I was thrilled when this book arrived in time for the holidays. I was not disappointed!

You are first introduced to Paradise. Paradise is a lush Amish community filled with loveable and admirable people. You will meet Miriam who battles with self confidence much like many women do. Then you will meet Seth. Seth was the classic good looking boy who knew it! Daniel was a boy who made a rash decision that affected his entire life and Lydia carries around a pain that any woman could understand.

Following along with these intertwining families, you will meet Sarah and David who are still reeling from the aftermath of a heartbreaking miscarriage last year. You will see how these couples deal lovingly with those outside of their community, handle problems much like the rest of us (except with a bit more faith perhaps) and see how we can find blessings from above in the strangest circumstances.

Last but not least, you will spend some time with Anna who is from a neighboring community. Anna has devoted her life to helping others and Asa has built a life out of punishing himself. After a huge snowstorm and a night filled to the brim with nearly impossible situations, you will see again the power of learning to ‘let go and let God!’

As with most Amish romances, you will find yourself believing in miracles and will put this book down with a renewed belief in waiting on the Lord.

I am thrilled to have read this book this year and plan to keep it safe with my other yearly reading material for next year!

*This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas! Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along through Christmas day as each post shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year. AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS!  Pearls - a tangible reminder of God's grace to us all.


by Lauraine Snelling

When asked to write a Christmas message, one of my first thoughts was Do I climb up on my soapbox regarding changing the words in Christmas songs, using only holiday, etc. I thought about it and decided no. After all, they’re only words and what difference does a word make---really make after all?

Then I kept on thinking. If they’re only words… But we as writers know the power of words, as do readers. When the wrong word is used, it jars, while the right word can be most powerful. Take one highly overused and under practiced word---Love. Four letters is all. We toss it around so glibly, saying love ya and luv and love. But think about the power in I love you. Three of the most precious words in our language when put together. Those of us who write romances or books with romance in them, understand the power when one of our characters tells another, I love you. As humans we can never hear that enough or too much.

Christmas is about love. The greatest love story ever told, that of God for us humans, and it never changes. Customs change, politics change, the years change but God’s love never, ever does. At Christmas we are invited to share that love, to give it away, to pass it around. To find wonder again and joy in simple acts of love. We make contact with people we might never see or talk with through the year. That says I love you. We buy and make gifts to give, we reach out to strangers in need, we try to make sure everyone has a special dinner and every child a present. By giving, we receive.

So, let’s use the power words, but more so, put feet on those words and pass the love around. Let’s look for and find the wonder, the joy and the peace, maybe in small bits and pieces and perhaps in an avalanche of blessings. Make your days brighter with the simple gift of a smile, a kind word, a touch, for every single one that you give away, will come back to you multiplied. As you give, so shall you receive. Merry Christmas my friends. May we all recognize our blessings----and let an attitude of gratitude permeate this holiday and every day. With love and joy on this day, Lauraine!


About Lauraine: Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of more than sixty books, with sales of over 2 million copies. She also writes for a wide range of magazines, and helps others reach their writing dreams by teaching at writer’s conferences across the country. Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a cockatiel named Bidley, and a watchdog Basset named Chewy.

For more information please visit Lauraine's website:


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog ( on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit