- “I couldn’t put it down. The vivid descriptions and the setting pulled me into the story.” – reader Joy
- “The sisterly bond was wonderful to see, how they stuck by each other. It was good to meet up with DeeDee and Livy again.” – reader Julia
Happy Monday! I’m excited to announce the third and final book in my Sunriver Dreams series. Designing Love has released in both print and Kindle.
Someone is framing Sierra. Can Spencer Preston discover the true criminal before he loses her?
Sierra Robbins, single mother and interior design assistant, wants to provide a stable home for her teenage son and become a successful interior designer. She’s well on her way to both goals when she agrees to house sit a home in Sunriver, Oregon. It couldn’t be more perfect. She’ll be close to her job at Belafonte Designs while living rent-free. But things don’t go as expected beginning on day one when a police officer responds to the alarm they set off at the house. Was that alarm a sign of trouble to come?
Spencer Preston, lives for his job as a police officer in Sunriver, but when he responds to a house alarm and finds Sierra and her son there everything changes. Suddenly he finds himself torn between the upholding the law and protecting the woman he believes is innocent.
I thought it would be fun to post a GoodReads review here from an early reader to whom I provided an ARC. She gave it a five star rating–I believe this it he first time she gave one of my books a 5-star. Her review is below.
“Kimberly Rose Johnson is an author you can trust for clean reading with a fun, light-hearted touch of romance. She writes biblical principles into her stories and encourages living your faith.
This book is listed as a contemporary romance, but I would consider it more of a romantic mystery. The mystery extends itself to both the characters and the story.
I really enjoyed the storyline even though mystery is not something I would normally choose. I felt the characters were well-developed with strong backstories which left you fully engaged with them and the story. I truly think this is one of this author’s best.”
I hope your spring season has gotten off to a great start. What is your favorite part about spring? What are you looking forward to the most?
Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing.
She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.
Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/index.html
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Colt’s memory is returning after the accident that ended his career. Now he wants to take over his family’s inn, but he’ll have to partner with his former fiancée to be able to afford it. He’ll need forgiveness to make that happen. Tia’s goal is clear: to return the inn to its former grandeur. And she’ll even work with Colt to do so. But like the inn, their relationship needs a lot of work. He broke her heart…can she ever trust him again? Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nyIXcn
Robin Bayne is the award winning author of 17 novels, novellas and short stories. She writes contemporary Christian fiction, and works a day job in community bank lending. She lives in Maryland with her husband of 26 years, and for extra torment, is learning to golf.
Lies, guilt, stalking. Natalie is injured and left lying on the ground. Melanie is terrified of her step-father. Bryce is drowning in guilt. Billy is frustrated, mad at himself. Emily is despondent. Claire has something up her sleeve.
Two handsome men vie for Natalie’s attention, traveling from Newport Beach to Scottsdale, Arizona to woo her. But one caused her back injury, and one strands her on the top of a Ferris Wheel knowing how terrified she is of heights, even though she took sky-diving lessons with him.
Depressed Emily confides in Natalie, and Emily’s life takes a turn thanks to Nick’s meddlesome mother, Claire. Is love still possible? If it is, what would the Feng Shui designer chose as a wedding theme? Certainly, not pink. And, hot dogs at the reception?
Will Natalie ever find love? She wants it badly, but is thrilled two Candy Canes are expecting babies. She will be an aunt again. But, when will she be a wife and mother?
Natalie stared at the ceiling in her bedroom. Her life seemed to revolve around a cat and her friends. No romance. She knew of all the Candy Cane sisters she was the least chic. Doreen was a model now, Noelle with her blonde hair and effervescent personality and stylish taste in clothes had always been dubbed stunning, Connie was a fashion designer and pretty and wore her own gorgeous designer clothes as well as now being married to a handsome banker, Candy was just Candy. She was truly beautiful and loved so much by a man who showed that love to convince her to marry him – twice. Cindy, of course, glowed with the Lord’s light. She was the consummate leader, the one who encouraged and prayed and the one they all truly believed would plant a church in Costa Rica, the one who loved Rob with all his health failings, the one who had given all of them the first Candy Cane baby. Now, because of Cindy, they were all aunts.
Her mind wandered to Melanie, the latest Candy Cane who was so graciously accepted after she had caused Doreen’s accident. Melanie was special and had become an integral member of the group. She prayed with them, she supported them, she shared her own pain. Natalie felt a unique bond with her. Yes, she was special.
What was she, Natalie? How special was she to anyone?
“A grandchild.” What Bonnie Engstrom prayed for many years. Finally, it happened, then there was the explosion – six grandchildren! Four live in Scottsdale a stone’s throw from her and Grandpa Dave, and two live in Costa Rica on the beach. Surf’s Up! Pura Vida. All make occasional cameo appearances in her stories.
When she finally realized her other dream of publishing Christian fiction she sandwiched it between taking grandchildren to soccer practice and gymnastics (after the years of changing diapers). Now, she juggles picking up four children after school to help her daughter who is the director of a Christian Pre-school and Kindergarten, and when the kids are settled with their IPads (best Christmas present ever), she slinks into her den and writes.
Life is frantic and crazy sometimes, but always entertaining and filled with joy.
Bonnie and her psychologist husband Dave have been married for over 53 years. A true milestone for a shrink. Yes, we all affectionately refer to him as the resident shrink who now teaches online classes for the University of Phoenix and classes at the hospital where he is on staff, and frequently babysits his grandkids. He is a great support to Bonnie in her writing, and as the now resident chef makes a succulent dinner.
Bonnie was raised in Pittsburgh, PA and Dave in Chicago, and they raised their children in Newport Beach for over thirty years. So, if you have roots in any, please share. If you wish to contact her, please email her at email@example.com. Be sure to put the word BOOK in the subject line in case your post goes into her crazy junk mail file.
If you enjoyed Natalie’s Deception, please start from the beginning of the Candy Canes stories and read Noelle’s Christmas Wedding. I promise you will not be disappointed. All the Candy Cane girls are unique and have fun, share faith and friendship.
You can also reach Bonnie through her website www.bonnieengstrom.com and Face Book. Put her name in, but she is not a frequent FB contributor because she is not real good at it.
Amazon purchase link: http://amzn.to/2mbNDRn
Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Novels in her West Virginia Mountains series, her Caney Creek series, and her standalone novel, Tidewater Summer, are sweet Southern historical romances. Jo is a member of ACFW and the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN). Learn more at www.johuddleston.com where you can read first chapters of her novels and novellas and also sign up for her mailing list.
With Good Intentions is A sweet romance spiced with deception, set in 1959.
Jean Stewart and her mama stand firm to protect their family business from a big-city developer’s takeover. Oscar Wainworth sends his son William to convince the ladies to sell their property. William has an instant attraction to Jean, believes he shouldn’t be the one to discuss the sale with the Stewarts, and gives them a fake name. If they know he’s a Wainworth, he’s likely to find himself out on the sidewalk.
One lie leads to another until William may have dug a hole too deep to escape. By stealth he learns that Jean can’t associate with anyone who is dishonest. To win Jean’s love, William must convince her that his lies flowed from good intentions.
October 1959—Birmingham, Alabama
William Wainworth shifted in his chair, stretched his long legs beneath the massive conference table, and braced for the impending reprimand from the CEO. This regular Monday morning meeting of Wainworth Development sales staff had gone on longer than he’d expected.
He would loosen his necktie but doing so would violate the expectations Wainworth’s CEO held for his male employees: wear a coat and tie when representing Wainworth Development. His daddy being the CEO of Wainworth Development, William had that rule ingrained in him from an early age.
Among other stellar traits, his daddy dressed immaculately, and he expected his workforce to follow his example. His appearance had favorably impressed many clients who sat with him in his Birmingham office. Every weekday, he never ventured outside his home without the requisite coat and necktie. William had never seen him wear wrinkled pants or curled-up shirt collars.
Now, Oscar Wainworth stood tall, slender, and good-looking between the head of the table and an easel, his index finger tapping on a sketch positioned there. William moved his attention from his daddy to the sketch, a street-level drawing of storefronts along a sidewalk in Conroy, Alabama.
Wainworth Development sought to purchase that entire block of businesses, demolish the buildings, and replace them with an apartment complex having a bookstore on the first floor. Sitting across the street from a growing college, the location proved ideal for Wainworth’s purpose.
The building plans had received the city’s approval. Wainworth representatives had successfully gained signatures on real estate contracts to acquire all the properties except one. The smallest business on the block refused to sell, despite repeated overtures from Wainworth Development.
Oscar Wainworth faced the dozen or so men seated around the table in chairs upholstered in rich, brown leather. He put his palms on the gleaming tabletop and leaned forward. “Gentlemen, this one small store is the monkey wrench in this whole deal. We’ve bought up all the properties on the block, yet here’s this little hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop smack-dab in the middle that you’ve not convinced to sell. Why is that? Why this one store?”
Mumbled reasons and comments circulated around the massive table. William and Oscar had heard them all before. Oscar Wainworth stood straight, his six-foot-four height menacing, and met the eyes of each salesman. “Yes, the owners are females, and you’ve all probably tried to be gentlemanly in your contacts with them. That’s commendable and appropriate.
“But, men, you need to work with these ladies just as you would any other client. Wainworth Development is a business, and you must conduct yourselves accordingly—doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a man or a woman. However, it’s time to get tough with these women. Understood?”
The men bobbed their heads in sync as if they followed the directions of an orchestra conductor, and his daddy continued. “Do I have to go down there and show you how it’s done? Must I close this deal myself? I assure you I will not be happy if I do.”
His gaze settled on his son. “William, I want you to go down to Conroy and convince the owners to sell. This has become a special case, and if you’ve learned anything from me in your thirty-two years, you’ll be successful. You drive on down there and stay as long as it takes to get the job done.”
“Yes, sir, I will.”
“Get going. Now.” He waved a hand toward the closed door to spur William into motion. “Ask Gloria for the files on this property and be on your way. Check back with me when you get there.”
William pushed his chair away from the conference table and rose. “Yes, sir.” His daddy was a workaholic, especially since his wife, William’s mama, had died five years ago. Oscar Wainworth put in a sixty-hour work week, never leaving a job undone. He expected similar dedication in his staff.
Finally outside the conference room and waiting at Gloria’s desk for her to collect the files, William exhaled. He didn’t mind that his daddy booted him out of the meeting—anything beat sitting in a stuffy roomful of cigar smoke.
Gloria returned and handed him several file folders. “Here are the files you need. Good luck. I hope your trip goes better than those of the other men Mr. Wainworth has sent down there.”
“Thanks. Where did the other guys stay? You got the name of a hotel?”
“Yes, they stayed at the Conroy Hotel. I’ll telephone to reserve you a room. How long will you be staying?”
“Maybe for the remainder of the week.”
Same Day—Conroy, Alabama
William carried his luggage up to a second-floor hotel room, then returned downstairs to grab a late lunch in the hotel’s dining room. When he crossed the lobby, the antiquated wooden floors groaned beneath his every step. Inside the dining room, booths lined one wall and tables covered with white linen tablecloths dotted the floor space.
He asked the hostess for a booth, and she seated him at a high-back wooden booth near the entrance. After a light lunch of steaming vegetable soup and a ham sandwich, he found a pay phone in the lobby and stepped into the booth to call Birmingham.
“Good afternoon. Wainworth Development.”
“Gloria, ring my daddy’s office, please.”
Shortly, he heard his daddy’s voice. “That you, William? How does the lay of the land look down there?”
“Just letting you know I’m here. Haven’t seen the owners yet, but plan to go there now.”
“Fine, fine. How about you call me every morning about ten o’clock to bring me up-to-date with what you’re doing? We’ve got to get this deal finalized.”
“Yes, sir, I’ll do that.”
William stepped out of the telephone booth to walk outside the red brick hotel. He stood on the sidewalk, hands shoved into his pants pockets. Without haste, he scanned what he could see of the town—to his left, a bank stood on the corner, and to his right, a drugstore anchored that corner, its front facing away from him.
Not many folks moving around, and from the casual dress of those passing by him, then had to be college students. He glanced at his polished shoes and creased dress pants—shades of Oscar Wainworth. He’d stand out like a palm tree at the North Pole among these young people. Might as well put a sign on his back saying, Here I am from the big city. I want to buy your property.
He returned to his hotel room, tugging off his necktie as he opened his luggage. Later, again on the sidewalk, dressed in blue jeans with his long-sleeved dress shirt now open at the neck, his black leather bomber jacket, and loafers, William breathed in the fresh air. A satisfying change from the pollution that filled the air over Birmingham.
Turning to his right, he sauntered west until he reached the corner and stopped. He faced the street in front of the drugstore and read the signpost: College Street. Some committee must have worked many hours to come up with that original name—the street sliced through downtown Conroy, Alabama, between the college and the town. The next block to his left held the businesses Wainworth Development had bought. Except for the ice cream shop. Might as well head on down there.
He crossed the street when the traffic light changed. Again on the sidewalk, he passed the stores that would soon disappear once Wainworth had acquired all the properties.
Before he reached his destination, the clock tower atop a lofty red brick building across College Street tolled the hour. Three o’clock. A spattering of foot traffic moved across the manicured lawns of nearby campus buildings. Probably class-changing time.
A short distance farther, William stood outside the building whose purchase depended on him. The sign above the door read: Stewart’s Ice Cream Shop.
Inside, William verified that his daddy had been correct when he referred to the business as a hole-in-the-wall place. With about only 400 square feet, the twelve-foot wide, deep room measured about thirty-five feet from the entrance to a closed swinging door in the back. Along the right wall, chairs occupied the length of the room, stopping at a pay phone attached to the wall and a display case that faced the entrance.
The tile floor shone, and on his left stood three ice cream cases, each about eight feet long. Their fronts were white and spotless, and no fingerprints smudged the glass through which sat numerous opened tubs of ice cream. The sweet, pleasant scent of ice cream filled the room and drew William to follow the customers already in the shop.
He fell in line with a few college students awaiting their turn to be served. The kids weren’t impatient, but rather they calmly shuffled toward the cash register. He’d skipped dessert in anticipation of his visit to the ice cream shop, and the various flavors listed on the wall tempted him.
An attractive woman probably in her late forties with dark hair and a pleasant face worked efficiently behind the counter. Another female stood behind the tall display case near the rear of the room. He could only see the back of her head and didn’t have a clue to what she did. Soon William stood first in the line.
“May I help you?” the woman asked.
“Yes, ma’am. I’d like a cone—two scoops, please.”
“Vanilla and chocolate. Would you please put the vanilla on the cone first and then the chocolate?”
The woman dipped his ice cream onto a cone while William read the flavors painted on a wooden board hanging above a counter behind her. “You certainly offer a lot of flavors here.”
“And yet you choose our trusty standbys—vanilla and chocolate.”
“Yes, ma’am. Always been my favorites.”
William paid for his treat and took a seat in the last chair against the wall. From there he had an unlimited view of the business except for the area behind the display case to his right. His attention fell to the contents of the case. Behind the glass sat numerous delicious-looking desserts—artfully decorated cakes and pies waiting to be personalized with someone’s name, a tray of individually-wrapped ice cream sandwiches, and two log rolls made of chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.
Everyone had been served, and either left with their ice cream or taken seats along the wall to eat their treats. The woman who had served him sauntered toward where William sat. She stopped at the empty counter space across from him, reached underneath it, and brought out a large piece of flat cardboard decorated with balloons of red, blue, green, and yellow and the name of the ice cream shop.
While the woman worked with the cardboard, she spoke to the girl behind the display case near him. “Did any Wainworth people contact you before I came to work?”
William angled his body toward the entrance, pretending lack of interest in what the woman had said. He watched the traffic outside the front window but kept his attention on the conversation before him.
The girl behind the display case joined the woman assembling the cardboard into a cake box. “No, ma’am. No one has come by or called, which is unusual for a Monday. For weeks now they’ve been persistent, showing up here almost every day.” The girl had on a white basic bib apron, as the older woman did, over her skirt and blouse and wore blue Keds on her feet.
“Maybe you’ve finally convinced them you mean it when you say we don’t want to sell.”
“Mama, I hope so, but I doubt that.” The two could be sisters, as attractive as they were, rather than mother and daughter. Probably the owners. The girl reached beneath the counter and pulled out another sheet of cardboard to give the older woman. “I’ve talked with some of the other business owners, and it appears we’re the only holdouts on the block.
“If that’s the case, rather than give up, Wainworth Development will increase their pressure on us to sell. I cringe every time someone dressed in a suit and necktie come through the door. All the Wainworth people think they can make us sell—they’re so arrogant and expect us to roll over and play dead when they wave money in front of us.”
Good thing William had changed clothes before visiting their shop.
“Their money would be nice, Jean. We could pay off the mortgage here and have some left over. I could get used to not working outside the home again.”
“Mama, please don’t go soft on this. We’re not going to sell! Daddy started this business, and we’ll do everything we can to keep it going.”
Jean’s mama put the assembled boxes underneath the counter and started toward the cash register to help new customers. The girl returned to whatever kept her busy behind the dessert case.
William left his chair and stepped nearer the display case, continuing to enjoy his ice cream cone. Bending at the waist and peering inside at the cakes, William didn’t notice the girl behind the case had approached him. A female voice drew his attention. “May I help you with something from the dessert case?”
He straightened and turned toward the voice. When their eyes met, hers were the color of the deepest part of the Gulf of Mexico waters and turned him into a bumbling adolescent. “Ah, well, no, thank you. Just, uh, looking. Did you make all these pretty cakes?”
She smiled, apparently enjoying his discomfort. “Yes, I did. See something you like in there?”
Not in the dessert case, he didn’t. But he wouldn’t mind getting to know the dark-haired woman standing next to him. “No, thanks. Guess I’ll just finish this cone I’ve started.”
“I recognize our regulars, the college kids, but I don’t believe you’ve been in here before. You new in town?”
“Yeah, you could say that. I’m, er, I’m doing some work on the college campus.”
“Oh? What’s that?”
“Uh, helping one of the professors with some research.”
“Then welcome to our town. I’m Jean Stewart.”
“Thanks. I’m Will….” Beyond her shoulder, he saw the wooden board where they listed their ice cream flavors. “…Will Woods.”
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ENGAGED: Coming Spring 2017
Trish Maxwell returns to her mountain hometown after a failed move to New York City with a lot of apologies to make. The Speculator Falls residents haven’t forgotten how she left, and want to know what’s next for her. Paramedic Wayne Peterson encourages Trish with her idea to market Adirondack store fronts to increase business traffic, but he also wonders if her love for city life will lure her away from their blossoming friendship. Can Trish find a “Plan B” that will satisfy her and gain back the trust of everyone in Speculator Falls?
While You Wait:
Julie Arduini has a FREE 14 Day devotional based on the characters from Entrusted, Entangled and Engaged. FINDING FREEDOM FROM SURRENDER features the surrender issues fear, loss, and change, including Julie’s own surrender experiences. Click link for your copy. FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER.
ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past, Book 2
ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, Book 3, Coming Soon
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG
Against the Odds by V.B Tenery and David Arp
It was the mother of all bad days. The date, September 11, 2012. The place, Benghazi, Libya. While a brave band of warrior’s fight for their lives in the consulate and CIA annex, outside, a Mossad Agent, a missionary, and a Mississippi giant fight a different battle. Caught between terrorist and an enraged Russian arms dealer, they must complete the mission and manage to stay alive until they can escape or the cavalry arrives. Never assume things can’t get worse.
Award willing author V. B. Tenery lives with her family in East Texas. Her passion is writing novels with shinning characters, settings, and plots so exciting readers can’t put them down and they come away feeling delighted with the reading experience—honoring God in the process. Not content to stay in one genre, her novels range from contemporary suspense and supernatural suspense, to an upcoming historical suspense set in WWII England. When not writing she enjoys reading, hiking, and tube-floating down rivers in the beautiful Texas Hill Country
God’s child, trying to make Him proud.
David was born in Arizona and raised in Texas where he began a career in the oil and gas drilling industry soon after graduating high school. Since then, he’s traveled the world to places like Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Malaysia, India, China, Mauritius, and Namibia.
He discovered his love for writing while working for Aramco, drilling wells throughout Saudi Arabia. He even learned to speak decent, albeit Texas accent-laced, Arabic.
Today, David splits his life evenly between his wife of 30 years, Karen, at home in Colorado and a deep-water drilling rig on the Gulf of Mexico.
Blog: Take a Walk in the Patch