INTERVIEW & SPOTLIGHT: Author Bruce A. Stewart

I am pleased to welcome you to my blog once again to meet another Clean Reads author, Bruce A. Stewart. I cannot say that I have noticed Bruce before, but I will keep my eyes peeled. Not only are we signed with the same agent, the premise of his books are intriguing and deep. Definitely makes this clean Historical Romance reader itch to pick up these contemporary pieces. (I will note here that, as an author, it is ALWAYS a good idea to read in all genres, there is so much to be learned by doing so.)

But I am rambling once again…so I will shift our focus to Bruce…

Welcome, Bruce. Thanks for being on the blog today. First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

Since tragically losing his wife three years ago, Live Oak, Louisiana dentist Joe Whitaker has relied on his steadfast mother-in-law, Laura Everett, to help with his two small children. Abby Sumner, an attorney currently living in California, has come home to Live Oak only long enough to attend her father’s funeral and settle his estate. Afterward, she plans to return to Los Angeles and never look back. After a spirited first meeting between Joe and Abby, sparks begin to fly in more ways than one. But now Joe begins to notice distinct changes in his mother-in-law’s behavior. Unsure of the reason, he soon learns of a terrible secret from long ago that could jeopardize his relationship with both women. When tragedy strikes the family at Christmas, Joe seeks divine intervention. But can he hold it together while he waits for the miracle that may or may not come?

Sounds tense. I like it!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always written in some form or fashion. When I retired in 2009, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. Along the way, I was fortunate to have a few short stories published and to sign with Hartline Literary’s Cyle Young. Sing Me Something Happy is my debut novel.

Congrats on publishing and signing with an agent! Both good early accomplishments 🙂

But it’s not all sunshine and roses, as you well know. There are things we writers love and things we don’t like so much… What part of the writing process do you dread?

Getting started. Once I get kicked off, I’m good to go.

That initial hump is quite the barrier. As you know, we pick up from other authors as much as we do from craft books. So, I always ask–what are you currently reading?

Recently finished Still Waters, a lovely novel by my friend, Lindsey Brackett.

My readers know by now that I set my writing mood with music. What about you? What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I don’t always listen to music while writing but when I do, I prefer movie soundtracks. My favorite is The Last Samurai. I also like Braveheart. These just seem to motivate me, especially when writing a particularly moving or suspenseful scene.

I’m a movie soundtrack person too. Star Wars is always in my player 🙂

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I prefer writing early in the morning. My brain seems to work better right after a good night’s sleep. I can start around five a.m. and write until about three p.m. After that, I’m a complete zombie.

I look forward to the distraction lessness that must be life with no kids at home 🙂

How long does it take you to write a book?

As short as six months, as long as a year.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Sing Me Something Happy currently has 30 reviews on Amazon, 29 five-star and one four-star.

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

My next Clean Reads novel, Hurt Road, is scheduled for release March 13.

Thank you again, Bruce, for being on my blog today and sharing about your work and process. I’ll turn this thing toward sharing about Sing Me Something Happy and look forward to seeing more about Hurt Road in the future!

Sing Me Something Happy


“Abby glanced at the bright red digits on the clock next to her head and sighed. If she had the power to turn back time, she would definitely do it now.”

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More About the Author

Growing up in the colorful, multicultural state of Louisiana, Bruce was reared with an appreciation for diversity and a love for small town life. After high school and a couple of years of college, he began his twenty-eight-year career as a Louisiana State Police trooper, retiring as a sergeant in 2009. During that time, he witnessed the humorous, the sad, the tragic, and even the unimaginable. These life experiences give him tremendous credibility when writing about the many aspects of the human condition. Having been deployed to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Lake Charles after Hurricane Rita, he has seen firsthand the determination and courage of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

Connect with Bruce and his works

SPOTLIGHT: Author Misty M. Beller’s “This Treacherous Journey”

The Treacherous Journey

Escaping north is her only option…And he’s the only one with the skill to get her there.

Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?

Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.

But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Emma fought a wave of protectiveness as the mountain man peered at Joseph’s arm again. His face was hard to read, but she didn’t like the way he’d tried to get rid of her. He either didn’t know as much about doctoring as he’d made it sound, or the work ahead would be painful for Joseph. Either way, she would be here to protect and support her brother. She’d had more than her fair share of secretive men with hidden agendas, and she wasn’t about to let Joseph suffer more than necessary at the hands of this one.

The mountain man rose to his feet, and she took an involuntary step back as his height towered above her. He was taller than Joseph. Taller than her late husband by at least six inches.

He strode to the other side of the room and opened a wooden box. After rifling through for a moment, he extracted a small cloth bundle and turned to face her. “I’m going to get a splint. Steep this in a tea for your husband.” He tossed the parcel, and she barely caught it in the crook of her right arm.

“He’s not…” She started to correct him about her relationship to Joseph, but the man slipped out of the cabin and shut the door before she could finish.

She held up the pouch, tied closed with a strip of leather, then glanced over at the pot warming on the hearth beside the fire. Should she make a whole kettle of the tea, or just one cup for Joseph? Her poor brother was pale as fresh milk, and his mouth was pinched in a tight line. If this was meant to help his pain, he’d need a whole pot full. She crossed to the fire and poured the contents of the pouch into the metal pitcher.

With the tea steeping, she knelt on Joseph’s good side and stroked the hair from his brow. “How’re you feeling, love?”

“Hurts.” Joseph didn’t open his eyes. And the fact that he didn’t try to make light of his pain or sound reassuring gave truth to the intensity of his anguish.

“I’m so sorry.” She combed through his curls, letting her fingernails skim his scalp in a way she hoped would be soothing. “I think we’ve found someone who can help you.”

As if summoned, the door opened, and the mountain man stepped inside again. He wore buckskins like the frontiersmen they’d seen in Fort Benton. Except this man even wore them on his feet, laced up to his knees. She’d only seen Indians wearing shoes like that, and even then, she’d only seen drawings on flyers advertising Wild West shows as she and Joseph had traveled up the Mississippi.

Was this man an Indian? His dark hair appeared more brown than black, even in the dim light of the cabin. And those blue eyes… They’d been piercing as he’d stood in front of his home like a sentry, glaring at the two of them. No, he didn’t look the way she’d heard the redskins described.

Although maybe there was something a little savage about him. No, not savage, just…wild. Something that made you take a second look at him. Something she wasn’t sure if she should fear or admire.

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More About the Author

Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love. For a limited time, you can get her bestselling novel, The Lady and the Mountain Man, FREE here:

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Connect with Misty and her books


Twitter: @MistyMBeller

Facebook (Author Page): MistyMBellerAuthor




Amazon (Author Page):


GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Author Daisy Townsend

How to be Happy with What We Have

by Daisy Townsend

Recently I became obsessed with finding a rug just the right size for a floor area we wanted to cover in our bedroom. The size rug we needed wasn’t easy to find, not being a standard size. I measured several times and pictured what the different-sized rugs would look like in our bedroom. I hunted at Ollie’s and online.

One day I noticed the carpet remnant on the family room floor left over from when we’d had our upstairs carpeted four years ago. The longer I looked the more sure I became that this carpet remnant was exactly the right size for the area we wanted to cover in our bedroom. (A standard size rug would easily replace the remnant in our family room.)

When Donn and I carried the remnant to our bedroom, we found it was a perfect fit! I kept thinking of the irony of how hard we’d tried to find the perfect rug when we already had exactly what we needed. I wondered how often in life we do the same thing─go out searching for what we think we need when we already have it.

One woman I knew had been married many years to a good man but decided she wasn’t happy. Eventually she left her husband and found the man she thought she wanted. Things didn’t turn out well. I asked her gently, “Do you have regrets?” Sobs shook her whole body as she nodded. “So many regrets.”

I read of a similar case of a woman who spent many years complaining to her calm, easy-going accountant husband and her friends about the unexciting life they led. When Tim died of a heart attack in his forties, Diane found the man of her dreams. He was debonair and charming, an exciting date. However, after they married, she discovered he wanted to party every night and cared little about managing finances. Later, Diane told a friend, “I wish I had married someone who was content to stay home and good at managing money.” Her friend looked at her and said, “Someone like Tim?” God had given her exactly what she needed, but she’d been too blind to appreciate him.

This reminds me of two of my favorite children’s books: Old Hat, New Hat and The Best Nest. The moral of each story is the same. In Old Hat, New Hat the bear sets out to buy a new hat. He tries on or looks at 31 different hats, but finds something wrong with each one. (Do you remember? “Too big. Too small. Too flat. Too tall. etc.”) In the end, he puts on his old hat, looks in the mirror and says, “Just right! Just right. Just right. Just right.” He leaves the store wearing his old hat with a smile on his face.

In The Best Nest, Mr. Bird loves their nest and sings often, “I love my house. I love my nest. In all the world, my nest is best!” Mrs. Bird has a different opinion but in the end, after looking at many other nests, Mrs. Bird also realizes that the nest they have is, after all, the best nest.

Old Hat, New Hat and The Best Nest have happy endings because the “people” come to appreciate what they already had. However, in the real world, as in the other two stories I shared, the endings aren’t always happy. We may leave a marriage, a job, a house, or any number of places or situations, and later, when we realize the value of what we had, we discover it’s too late.

Charles Stanley recently said many people love to quote Psalm 37:4 (Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart), but fail to understand that the promise has a condition we must fulfill. Psalm 90:14 says, “Satisfy me early with your love that I may delight in you all the day.” As the Lord becomes our delight, He aligns our desires with His.

If we find ourselves unhappy and dissatisfied with our marriage, our job, our church, our home, perhaps the first step shouldn’t be to look for a new man/woman, job, church, home. Perhaps the first step should be to ask God to satisfy us with His love so that we can delight in Him and trust Him to give us the desires of our hearts. In many cases, we may discover that He already has.

Father, forgive us for trying so hard to find what we want that we’re blinded to the fact you’ve often already given us what we need. Amen.

Daisy, thank you so much for this post and for being on my blog today. If I may, let me turn our conversation toward your novel, Sarah’s Legacy. What was your inspiration for this novel?

We researched the history of our home (over 100 years old) and I was so inspired by some of the former residents (late 1800’s-early 1900’s) that I decided to write a Christian historical fiction based on some of their lives. A 95-year-old friend whose husband lived in that house from the age of ten provided more history that prompted me to write the book.

That inspiration just sparked, huh? Did you always want to be a writer?

As a child, I wanted to be a wife, mother, and writer. I have published writers on both sides of my family an older sister and now a niece who are published writers. Maybe it’s in my blood!

Sounds like it! How long does it take you to write a book?

My first book was a compilation of devotionals written over many year’s time. It took me a year to compile them into an autobiographical devotional book, including writing more devotionals and editing previous ones. Sarah’s Legacy, my first fiction, was started in 1998, put away in a box maybe six months later when my life became too busy, then finished in 2015-2016 after Homespun Faith was published and people were asking, “What will you write next?”

Maybe I’m being sneaky here…but could you tell us something about your novel that is NOT in the blurb?

Polly Dye finds much more than she was looking for in the diary of Sarah Davis, previous owner of their 19th century home…

Intriguing… Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m working on the second book in the Sarah’s Legacy Series, Sarah’s Legacy Shared.

Daisy, thanks again for being on the blog and for answering my random questions. I won’t keep my readers from digging deeper into Sarah’s Legacy, so I best stop my rambling 🙂

Sarah’s Legacy

Exuberant, 18-year-old Polly Dye, torn between pleasing her mother and pleasing her beau, moves with her family into a house that evokes a chilling sensation as she steps over the threshold. She can’t decide whether something bad has happened here or if something bad is going to happen.

Soon Polly discovers the diary of the original owner, Sarah Davis. She hopes it will answer her questions about the dark foreboding she senses in the house. Instead, she wrestles with the many losses Sarah experienced while still maintaining her faith in God. What good is a God who doesn’t protect one from pain, Polly’s utmost goal in life?

As Polly experiences losses of her own and learns through the mistakes Sarah made, Polly realizes it’s not enough to have faith in her mother’s faith. Will Sarah’s legacy help Polly develop a faith of her own and will her questions about the house be answered?

Enjoy an Excerpt


February 1910

Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania

Polly burst through the front door of the large, two-story house. A sudden chill of apprehension stopped her exuberant rush. She shivered. Sunlight flooded the faded red and gray wallpapered room. It glistened off the leaded window beside the door, at odds with the darkness and oppression.

Footsteps pounded across the porch as the rest of the family pushed past her with loud, excited exclamations. The younger children raced through the empty rooms and up the stairs with Polly close behind.


The urgency of Mother’s voice squelched Polly’s enthusiasm just as effectively as the strange foreboding had a moment before. She teetered on the bottom step. Why wouldn’t her parents call her Polly as everyone else did?

More About the Author

Daisy Beiler Townsend had a life-long dream of being a writer and published her first story in 1981. Writing and honing her craft has been an ongoing theme while she and her husband, Donn, raised a family, did foster care, and mission work. Daisy also did Christian counseling. Her writing has been published more than eighty time in magazines such as Guideposts, The Upper Room, The Secret Place, New Man, Christian Home, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and many other Christian periodicals. In 2014 Daisy self-published an autobiographical devotional book, Homespun Faith and a historical Christian Fiction, Sarah’s Legacy, in 2017. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Daisy was also certified with the National Christian Counselors Association as a Pastoral Counselor and ordained by the National Conservative Christian Church as a Minister of

Counseling in 1998. Her training created an understanding of the five temperaments which contributes to creating characters with depth. She and Donn also served with One Mission Society as missionaries to Japan for a total of four years, besides six other short-term mission trips to Japan between 2001-2016. They live in Greenville, Pennsylvania, and have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Connect with Daisy and her books

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter – @DaisyDonaisy

Instagram –


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Daisy Townsend has generously offered a giveaway to one person – an ebook copy of her newest release, Sarah’s Legacy. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter (below). Entries will be accepted through Monday, February 5, 2018 at 11:59 pm. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Hello, readers! Today is a great day to introduce you to one of my fellow Clean Reads friends, author K. R. (Karen) Martin. And if you enjoy pirates, history, adventure, romance, a combination thereof…has she got a novel for you! I am so eager to jump into the interview so Karen can speak for herself, that I’ll stop gabbing and get right to it 🙂

Karen, thanks for being on the blog today. First, can you tell us a little about your novel.

The Pirate Princess is a coming of age story about a princess who yearns to be more than a pretty face. She secretly learns swordsmanship, becoming one of the best, and ready to fight to earn her place as queen of her nation. After a tragic loss, she flees onto a pirate ship, using her skills to fight for her people, and gains her own force of loyal men to help fight to reclaim her throne.

Interesting… I love a girl who can swing her own sword!

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

Writing wasn’t something that jumped out at me as a child. I loved reading, but I didn’t realize I could really create stories until college. Like most girls, I wanted to be a ballerina, until I discovered how awesome History was, and then I wanted to be an archaeologist, a la Indiana Jones.

Gotta love the pull of history 🙂 So, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote simple, short stories in high school, but it was really in college when I realized I could write a novel, and that I enjoyed creating these stories and characters.

I know we writers glean insight from reading other authors as much as we learn from craft books. What are you currently reading?

I actually just finished A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White, and it was amazing. Now I have to wait for her third book. lol

And do you have to “set the mood” when you write? Listen to music and what not? I guess I’m wondering what kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I actually like to watch something when I write. I tend to gravitate towards movies that are similar to what I’m writing, such as lots of Pirates of the Caribbean, some classic pirate tales, and I love the romances in fairy tales, so those tend to sneak in to my ‘watch’ list.

I do a little bit of that too, but I’m more drawn toward music to set the tone for me.

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I definitely write better at night when the sun’s down (and also when my kids are down lol). I usually set up in a comfortable chair with my tablet, put a movie on, grab a hot tea, and sit and write for a couple of hours.

Sounds nice. I’m in that club too (“when my kids are down”).

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

Currently, I’m trying to finish the sequel to this book, and it’s been fun continuing these characters’ journeys.

Something to look forward to. Thanks again for answering my questions and for sharing about your work and process. I am eager to introduce my readers to your novel, so I won’t ramble much longer…

The Pirate Princess

Raised to marry a king, Renee’s greatest desire is to be a true queen. So, while other girls learned the art of embroidery, Renee perfected her skills with a sword. She was prepared to earn the respect of her future husband, but a chance encounter with a handsome stranger awakens her heart to the possibility of love.

… a girl must become a pirate.

When tragedy strikes, Renee flees, right onto a pirate ship! Surprising herself, she offers to join their crew. Happy to finally put her swordsmanship to use, she fights injustice on the seas, but when her kingdom is threatened, can she give up the safety and happiness for an uncertain future? Or can she finally become the leader, the princess, her people need?

Enjoy an Excerpt

No sooner had she turned, but Renee faced an oncoming rush of villains. Metal rang through the room as the blows were blocked. Renee’s eyes grew wide as a large man singled her out, his sword swung above his head. She parried, her sword vibrating with the force of his blow. Judging by the sounds that raged above, this battle was just as fierce. The cramped quarters made it difficult to fight well, and Renee began to feel her strength wane. She was beginning to lose her nerve as well; this man was far better than most she had fought, and for the first time since she joined the Qilin, she felt real fear.

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More About the Author

K.R. (Karen) Martin has always loved stories, whether reading or writing them. Her passion for stories led her to a BA in History with a minor in English. She’s unapologetically a princess at heart, even if she loves a good rapier as much as a formal gown. Deeply romantic, she loves that she gets to live with her own prince charming, and her best friend, in Texas along with their cat and two children.

Connect with Karen and her works





INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Danielle Doolittle

Welcome, readers! I have another Clean Reads author for you to meet: Danielle Doolittle. AND…congratulations are in order as today is her 10th Wedding Anniversary as well! CONGRATULATIONS, Danielle and hubby!! Hope your day is filled with wonderful things 🙂

I’d love to gab some more about the greatness that is Clean Reads, but if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you already know it. And I am eager for you to learn more about Danielle and her books (both of which are only $0.99 right now!!!! So, let’s jump right in…

Oh, Danielle is also offering a GIVEAWAY (details below)!!! So, be sure to enter!

Thanks for being with us today, Danielle. It’s always nice to have another Clean Reads author on the blog. First, can you share a little about your inspiration for Royal Pain?

Prince Harry was 100% behind Royal Pain. Seriously. I wrote this book when Harry was getting himself into all kinds of trouble *cough* the Vegas incident *cough* and I really wanted to know what would happen if a royal was forced to turn his partying ways around and maybe find love along the way. Thus, Prince Henry took on a life of his own.

What about for Regret?

For Regret I was looking for something to read and just couldn’t find anything that interested me. I really wanted something that pulled in some history with myths and theism, plus kissing because almost all good books have kissing. I wanted something that was adventurous, with a strong female lead who didn’t have to play the damsel in distress. At the time I couldn’t find it, so I decided to write it!

Interesting. I like strong female leads who aren’t damsels in distress!

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

A singer songwriter! I had notebooks full of lyrics I just knew were going to be hits. They weren’t. Ever.

🙂 I was supposed to be a famous pianist at one point. Oh well, we move on, don’t we?

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always been a storyteller, but I really started to take it seriously in college. It wasn’t until my later 20’s that I took the risk and finished my first full length manuscript.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize writers love what we do, but there are parts of that we don’t love so much. What part of the writing process do you dread?

REVISIONS! I know they’re necessary but I always, always, always find a way to ADD words instead of slim down in this phase.

Isn’t that the truth! I always want to go deeper…when I should be cutting…c’est la vie

I always “set the mood” for my writing sessions. Music is a big part of that for me. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

It depends on the story and where I’m at in the storyline itself. I tend to pick a genre based on the feel of the book. For Royal Pain I listened to a lot of indie folk music, for Regret it was a mix between early 2000s pop punk (read: basically the music of my soul in high school) and rock music. Each of my books has their own black moment anthem.

Fun. Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

Because I have four kids I tend to write at night after they’ve gone to bed. This way I don’t get distracted and can wear one hat at a time so to speak. I usually write at my desk in the corner of my living room with my ear buds in and Spotify on my current book mix.

You are speaking my language. It is so difficult to write with the kiddos around, isn’t it?

How long does it take you to write a book?

It really depends! I wrote Regret in a month, Royal Pain took me about two. I’ve been working on their sequels for AGES! I blame the new baby. He’s cute, he can handle it.

LOL! It does seem to go in ebbs and flows…and, I agree, life is mostly to blame for that!

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

ALL THE SEQUELS! I have Henry’s Royal big brother, Alexi’s story started (it’s super fun I promise!) and Pen and Kane from Regret are getting another book!

It’s a lot of work there, but I’m sure you’ll get it done 🙂

Thanks again, Danielle, for being on the blog today and for offering a GIVEAWAY! I look forward to reading more about your books (below). So, I’ll stop yapping and let my readers get to the goodies!

Royal Pain

Prince Henry Fitzgerald’s life has taken a drastic turn. The once high flying playboy finds himself grounded and forced into rehab after one too many wild nights. Changing his ways wasn’t in the cards, a fact he makes loud and clear during treatment. But when he faces off with feisty horse trainer, Carleigh Philips, Henry starts thinking he’s not as far gone as everyone-including himself-thought.

Carleigh Philips has had her fill of arrogant, too good looking to be true men. Since discovering her ex in bed with another woman she’s contented herself with training the horses on her family’s ranch turned rehabilitation center. But when Prince Henry comes storming into her life she can’t ignore him, even if half the time he makes her want to scream, she learns that some men are worth taking a risk on.

When a series of accidents add up to foul play, Henry must set aside his fear of failure and act quickly to save the woman who made him believe he could be a better man.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“What is wrong with you?” Carleigh hissed as soon as she was sure they were out of earshot of everyone else.

“ I don’t believe I know what you mean. “

Don’t play games with me, Henry. You’re shaking like a leaf. You’re sweating. Your color sucks, and I bet you’re burning up. They stopped walking once they reached the living room. Carleigh folded her arms over her chest, hoping to convey how serious she really was.

What are we wagering?

Henry looked down at her in mock superiority. Carleigh would have been offended, but she recognized that his flirting was just a defense mechanism. Well, it wasn’t going to work on her. She stepped closer to him, hoping to push her point. If he was going to try intimidation, two could play at that game.

Listen here. I’m sure you’re used to everyone around you breaking under that condescending glare you’re trying desperately to hold on to, but it’s not going to work around here. It sure isn’t going to work on me. You need to look past your overinflated ego and realize all those people who you think are just trying to ruin your good time are genuinely concerned for you and only wish to help.

Carleigh hadn’t realized she’d been inching toward Henry until her finger poked the solid wall of his chest, emphasizing her last few words with sharp little jabs to his sternum. She had to crane her neck to maintain eye contact, but she wasn’t going to let his size — no matter how impressive — intimidate her into backing down. The man was going to hurt himself if he kept insisting he was perfectly fine. Carleigh pushed aside the prick of pain caused by thoughts of him injured or seriously ill. Now wasn’t the time. She wasn’t sure there would ever be a time for that.

“Are you genuinely concerned for me, Carleigh?” Henry asked after a long beat of silence.

“Yes, you big dummy, or I wouldn’t be standing in my living room, screaming at you.”

Carleigh didn’t see him move. One second he was standing in front of her with his arms relaxed at his sides, and the next she found herself in those arms, the hand she’d been poking him with now flat upon his muscular chest. She told herself it was the shock of his swift movements that made her unable to back away as she watched his mouth descend upon hers. Surely, her eyes closed in panic, not longing, as he gently brushed his lips across hers. Once, twice, his full lips teased hers with the barest touch before deepening the kiss, and Carleigh began to drown. She wasn’t sure the moan that filled the room was hers or his, as strong arms pulled her closer into his embrace.

Buy Link



Life in a small town had its perks. Knuckle-dragging jocks, obsidian-eyed hunks, and creepy growly things in dark caves don’t exactly make Penelope Green’s top ten list (well, except for the hunk part).Either way, life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

Since her family moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Penelope’s enjoyed comfort of the insular community. When a new family makes the island their home, her world gets turned upside down. She comes face to face with her past, the truth of her birth parents’ deaths, and the secret heritage that makes her so much more that a typical teenager. Not to mention the moody, broad-shouldered Kane Whitmore.

Learning she is a Guardian with a special talent for manipulating energy to heal isn’t the hardest pill to swallow for Penelope. It’s the dreams—both frightening and heart-wrenching—that nearly bring her to her knees.

As each dream returns more of her memories to her, she is both frightened and thrilled at the possibilities that open up before her, one of them a very real future with the man who’s loved her most of her life. When the vengeance of madman bring everything crashing down, Penelope is faced with the very real possibility of losing the very person who’s come to mean more to her than anything…even her own survival.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I was fifty feet from the house when something grabbed my hair and pulled. Hard. I fell to the ground with a resounding thud and looked up into searing red eyes. The monster looking back at me looked nothing like the man he once was. His skin stretched tightly across the bones of his face, and those red eyes were slightly sunken into his skull. He reminded me of the photos of the emaciated victims of famine I had seen in a history class once.

Still holding me by the hair, he circled around and sat on my chest. My arms were trapped at my sides by his knees. Under his weight I could barely breathe, let alone wiggle free. I was trapped, and he knew it, judging by the smile that bloomed across his haunting face. He squeezed his thighs, proving to me how strong he was and struggling would be useless. Putrid spit ran down from the corner of his mouth like he had forgotten how to swallow, or maybe he was just really hungry. He bared his sharp, shark-like teeth and gave a self-gratified growl. Okay, hungry then.

Thisss was much easssier than we were led to believe,” he hissed to himself, blowing fetid breath in my face. “He won’t mind if I have a little tasssste.”

He ran a sharp-nailed finger down the side of my throat like he was deciding the best place to sink in his teeth. I nearly gagged at the thought of his mouth any closer to me. I knew what would happen if he managed to get his mouth that close. I wasn’t ready to be anyone’s snack. I pushed at his shoulders, tried kicking my legs, doing anything to try to fight back.

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More About the Author

Danielle Doolittle has always had a knack for storytelling. When she completed her first work of fiction at age six about a bunny and particularly juicy carrot she was hooked. Years later, she’s spinning tales of first loves, awkward moments, and the occasional creature that goes bump in the night. She lives in the wilds of a Northwest Ohio college town with her husband and four small children where she consumes above average amounts of coffee and dark chocolate and spends way too much time on Twitter.

Connect with Danielle and her books

Twitter: @elledoo
Instagram: elledoolittle


Danielle is offering one ebook copy of each of her Clean Reads titles: Royal Pain and Regret. The winner will be selected by Rafflecopter (below) which will run until MONDAY. For those of you unfamiliar with Rafflecopter, use the arrows underneath the ebook and title to get to the other giveaway (there are 2 giveaways – one for each ebook):

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ADHD/AUTISM: Are we making any progress!?!?

I think one of the hardest things about living with ADHD/Autism is this very issue: ARE WE MAKING ANY PROGRESS!?!?

First, I think I should share a few things about my kids:

  • My son who is autistic is high-functioning. If they still had the Asperger’s diagnosis, he would fit in that classification most likely. And our pediatrician was very hopeful that with the right therapies, he would “lose his diagnosis during his elementary years. How does an autist “lose their diagnosis” you ask? Well, they don’t truly. He will always be autistic. His mind will always work differently (not a bad thing, I love how his mind works). But he will (with work), lose his qualification for services.
  • This same son who is on the spectrum also has ADHD, but not severely.
  • My daughter who has ADHD is a severe case. Her behaviors indicative of this condition are very apparent and rather difficult for her and us to manage even with medication from time to time.

“Mountain Top” Seasons and “Valley” Seasons

I use the word season here because I mean a period of time. Sometime it’s a couple of days, sometimes it can be a couple of weeks. But it’s rarely shorter. But there seems to be this pattern with my sweet kiddos and their behavior challenges.

I like the mountain/valley illustration for this because it definitely feels like an up and down kind of thing. And it feels almost cyclical, to the point its even routine. Can anyone relate?

Some days it seems we are on the “mountain top” – everything is going well, everything seems to be clicking, and we’re on the “home stretch”. Then other seasons are definitely of the “valley” type  where we struggle, struggle a lot, and struggle hard.

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

There are definitely times in our progress that it feels this way (2 steps forward and 1 step back). Let me first say that the successes with both Autism and ADHD are HUGE! They are worthwhile and they are AMAZING! Because you work and fight so hard for progress. You really have to celebrate those victories because there are definitely times when they are few and far between. But it does happen that we take a huge leap forward (ergo “two steps”) in one area, only to have a set back in another. This can be very frustrating, as you can imagine.

Say my son who is autistic is showing signs of becoming more interested in others socially. Like, he goes up to a stranger at the doctor’s office (in the “Well Waiting Room” of course 🙂 ) and starts a conversation with no prompting. That’s a win. Then we get home and he screams about and refuses to eat one peanut butter cracker or let us make him any milkshake he wants (because that’s the only protein he will eat) even though this is a hump we’ve “overcome” two weeks ago.

These things do make you think: ARE WE MAKING ANY PROGRESS? Is there an end result? Will we ever get there?

The answer to the first two questions is a resounding YES!

Are we making any progress? Early on, when my son was diagnosed, the 100 DAY KIT (the packet given to every family when a member is diagnosed with Autism) encouraged us to film his progress from the time he started therapy and on so we could look back and see the progress. We did some of that…but when we are discouraged, we do think back to when he was first diagnosed, to 6 months ago even and the struggles we were having. And we do see the progress. We think about the struggles my daughter had last year in school and where she is now. And we celebrate it.

Is there an end result? There will be. But how we define it says a lot about my kids and their ability to meet that goal. And it says even more about us as parents. Will we let our kids be who they are and love/accept them as they are? Or are we constantly looking for the next month, the next year and what that will bring? This applies to parents of all kids. Are you content with your crawler? Or are you eager for them to start walking? Do you enjoy the cuddling phase for what it is? Or can you just not stand it you’re longing for the day when they won’t need you so much? It will come. And you can’t go back. I don’t say this to mom guilt anyone. I just say this to gently remind you to enjoy and accept where you are right now. To remind myself just as much to love my kids where they are in their challenges today. No matter how challenging it is. While it’s okay to not love the challenges, to be careful not to wish this time away.

Unfortunately, the answer to the last question – Will we ever get there? – I believe the answer is NO. At least, I hope not. I hope we will all, in our own way, (my kiddos included) continue to grow, learn, and challenge ourselves (whatever that looks like) until we come to life’s end.

So, my question for you is…what is your biggest victory to date? What is your biggest challenge currently?