Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mail Order Bride Series - Four Book Cover Reveal

I'm having a grand time writing these tales. The Ranger's Unexpected Bride is scheduled to release in September!



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Seasons of Love - Four Christian Romance Boxed Sets

Summer for Love includes:

  • Teapots & Tiaras by Autumn MacArthur
  • Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken: Summer by Laura J. Marshall
  • Cotton Candy Clouds by Janice Thompson
  • Time & Tide by Lynette Sowell
  • Heated Summer by Susette Williams                                                          
Falling for Love includes:
  • The Wedding List by Autum MacArthur
  • Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken: Fall by Laura J. Marshall
  • Red Like Crimson by Janice Thompson
  • Counting on Starlight by Lynette Sowell
  • Falling in Love by Susette Williams
Winter for Love includes:
  • A Model Bride by Autumn MacArthur
  • Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken: Winter by Laura J. Marshall
  • White as Snow by Janice Thompson
  • State Secrets by Lynette Sowell
  • Winter Chill by Susette Williams
Spring for Love includes:
  • Forget Paris by Autumn MacArthur
  • Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken: Spring by Laura J. Marshall
  • Out of the Blue by Janice Thompson
  • Spring at Barncastle by Lynette Sowell
  • Spring Break by Susette Williams
Click on the book covers to view the individual book descriptions on Amazon. Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

One Thousand Winks - Cape Cod Romances

Click on the Book Cover to View on Amazon
When Greg Conrad, a man who reminds her of painful memories, asks Samantha Tanner for a date to the annual Valentine's charity dance, she is resistant. She's just started looking for love at an online Christian dating site. But, Greg and her online love interest have something in common. Can mixed-truths, hidden secrets, and goat-stealing accusations end up in true love match for Sam? A heart-warming tale of finding love, healing, and laughter again on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Excerpt:



“What’s his screen name?” Cass stood behind me in the cramped space of my cottage music room, glancing over my shoulder for the seventh time in twenty minutes.
“GoatMan.” I looked up. “Just pull up a chair.”
She dragged one across the kitchen linoleum and through the door, pulling it next to my desk.
“GoatMan? Why … just why?” She laughed, grabbing a chip from the bag before me and chewed happily.
I clicked his profile. “He raises goats for a living.”
“Well, at least he doesn’t look like one.
“No, and he winked at me.”
“What does that mean?” She leaned closer to the screen over my right arm.
I tilted my head. His profile stated nonsmoker, favorite food – breakfast for dinner (so me!) and loves hiking. I clicked the save button. GoatMan had potential. “Winking is flirting.”
“Ahh – okay.”
“Oh! I have a message.” A bright red one glowed across the envelope icon on the Sure Fire Christian Dating site.
Cass’s voice raised an octave in her excitement. “Is it from GoatMan?” She took another chip and munched in my ear.
“Let’s see.” A man’s face flashed on the screen. “No. It’s some guy named TinMan10.”
“Who’s he?” Cass scooted her chair close so she was even with me at the desk. In a minute she’d be snatching the mouse from my hand.
“I don’t know. The message says How you doin’?”
Cass giggled and clapped a hand over her mouth. “You totally just said that in a New York accent.”
I laughed, realizing the truth to her statement. Less than a half-hour on the site and I’d gotten several winks and now a message.
“Let’s go see his profile,” Cass prodded.
My knee jiggled a mile a minute under the desk. I clicked on his screen name and flipped through his pictures.
 “He’s got a go-tee … and huge ears!”
“Cass! That’s not nice.”
“Sam, you know you were thinking it.”
“What do I do? Answer him?”
“Um – well, if you find him attractive.” She drew the last word out syllable by syllable.
“Girl, you have a husband.” I pushed my chair back a few inches, breaking the dating game spell.
“That I do, so I have to live vicariously through you.”
“And you know that’s my end goal.” I scrolled down, “This guy is not looking for that.” The words nothing serious glared up from the seeking field.
“That makes it easier.”
I clicked to the home button. The Yes, No, Save for Later icons were center stage along with another profile picture of a handsome man with brown hair.
“He’s hot,” Cass commented, the chip bag now on her lap but forgotten.
“Yes,” I said. I hit save for later and poof, he disappeared off my screen followed by a red head.
“RustyTodd. Mmmm.”
“Cass! Maybe you need to go home to Brian.”
She sighed heavily. “Not nearly as exciting.”
I clicked past two more guys, pausing on ClassicCowboy. “And this is so romantic?”
“Hey, you’ve gotten five more winks and another message!” Cass exclaimed.


View the book on Amazon here.

Check out Laura's other books on her website at www.LauraJMarshall.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Home by Laura J. Marshall

Their weight sinks into the carpet then the floorboards beneath, permeating slowly into the concrete and the earth. Footprints of time and memory.
My head turns quickly to catch the shadow of a moment, a laugh, a sigh.
In the softness of home, the memories rock me. Gently floating across my mind and falling in waves that ripple like a rock skidding across a mirrored pond’s surface.
The air holds promises kept and broken. Words spoken long ago or tongues stilled out of respect and wisdom. Home has been privy to solitude, closed doors, deep thoughts, and heart’s cries.
When nowhere else would shelter, when no one else would hear,
When memories were once today’s and tomorrow was still promised.
Home was and is something fleeting, yet always steadfast.

Home is where your heart falls asleep on the couch after a meal of Thanksgiving.
It’s often Mom or Dad. Or scattered across miles and held tight in a brief visit.
It’s childhood memories, the laughter and the tears.
It’s rainy mornings and a steamy cup of coffee.
It’s snowy afternoons when hands cold from fort making wrap around a hot mug of cocoa.
Home is said to be where your heart is, but it’s also where you’re given your heart.
Then as we grow, it’s scattered across the country, inside different people. The pieces you’ve given away. Willingly and unwillingly. Wrested over time or given at a glance into the warm brown eyes of a puppy.

Home is inside you and I.
It’s set across years and as we age,
And love and lose, it resides between heaven and earth.
Home is never lost, but rarely whole in one person or place.
But there are moments when the feeling of home is found in one terribly sweet piece of the present.
Grasp it loosely, examine it fully,
For the weight will sink into the carpet then the floorboards beneath, permeating slowly into the concrete and the earth.
Footprints of time and memory.
Of home.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Stormy Towne - Faith & Fame Series

Click to View Book on Amazon
Click Book Cover to View on Amazon

When help arrives in the form of a spoiled, rich girl from New York City, cowboy Justin Olsen is afraid his burden just got heavier. He’s been working and caring for his aunt Velma on his own.

Stormy is heiress to the Towne family fortune. Living in posh hotels and partying at the hottest New York City night clubs is part of her glamorous life. That is, until her grandmother banishes her to Apple Bottom, Texas with a mandate to aid an old family friend.

God surely hasn’t wrought these two hearts for each other, opposites to their very core. But what’s a vegetarian and a ranch hand to do when the failing town of Apple Bottom and Aunt Velma may need both of their help to survive?

The second book in the Faith & Fame series.
Short and Sweets - Cozy Afternoon Reads. Christian Romance.

Lainey Sparks - Lead Singer of Christian Band, Depth
Stormy Towne - Heiress to the Towne Fortune
Red Walker - Executive Officer of MacKenzie Oil

EXCERPT 


Willing himself to remain calm, Justin stood, waiting patiently for her to make up her mind. When she made no move, he walked to his side of the truck and slid behind the wheel, starting the engine. To say it purred like a kitten would have been a gross understatement, but it ran and was reliable. A cloud of dark smoke choked from the engine a moment later. He couldn’t help but split a grin when he heard Stormy shriek and rush to get into her side of the truck.
“Men!”
“Yes, ma’am. That’s what we grow here in Texas.” He put the truck in gear and proceeded from the parking spot. In minutes, he was out on route six and headed towards the highway.
“You hungry?” he asked into the silence.
“No,” Stormy said in muffled reply, her chin resting on a delicate hand perched near the window.
“Okay, but dinner might be long in coming, especially if Velma’s lost track of time again. I’m stopping for a burger. You want one?”
“A burger? Um, no. I don’t eat meat.”
Justin’s jaw worked, but no words came out. He glanced at her full on for thirty seconds before the road called his attention back.
“Don’t eat meat? Good Lord, woman. Whatcha goin’ to eat then?”
“Fruit and vegetables.”
“There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.” Justin pulled the truck into the drive through lane. “You want fries?”
Stormy looked at him and wrinkled her nose. “Fried in what kind of oil?”
“Lady, I have no idea. Does it matter?”
“I guess not. I don’t eat fried things. No, thank you.”
Justin placed his order, paid, and collected his food. He swung into an empty parking space and let the truck idle. Rummaging through the bag, he pulled out the double cheeseburger, conscious he was being watched. His eyes slid to Stormy’s. “What’s the matter?”
“I – I just …” she stuttered, “You’re so callous about eating meat. Do you know where that comes from?”
“Yes, ma’am. A cow. We’ll see plenty on the way to Apple Bottom and on the ranch.”
“Ranch?” Her nose wrinkled, which would have been pretty if she wasn’t so full of herself.
Justin looked down at his now unwrapped burger, turning it over in his hand before taking a huge bite. “Double-Y, yes ma’am. Then you’ll really appreciate your meat.”
Stormy shook her head in disgust at him and turned back to the window. Justin finished the burger in two bites and gulped down half of his soda. He jumped from the truck cab and threw the trash away. Within minutes they were back on the road and headed to the highway.
However long this girl was here, it would be too long. How could he cook for someone who didn’t eat meat? He ran the ranch as best he could, and most nights, he was so tired he couldn’t see straight. He didn’t have time to coddle a spoiled brat of a girl who never grew up.
The Good Lord knew how much they’d struggled this year with steer prices down and feed climbing higher and higher. You raised the animals, and they became your food. You didn’t get attached. They had a good life on the farm, in the fields, until it was time to send them for slaughtering. That was the circle of life.
Stormy, she had a strange way of thinking. She must be from a city with so much concrete between her and the dirt, it had affected her brain. 

View the book on Amazon here.
Check out Laura's other books on her website at www.LauraJMarshall.com
 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

I Was Drawing a Heart

I drew a heart in the sand.

Someone came alongside me and pointed to the outline. "A turtle," he exclaimed.

He called his friend over. The woman looked at the stick drawing, the ocean foam lapping closer to the edges.

"No, it's a dog."

More people gathered...pointing and debating. Despite my protestations, few saw the intended design.

The tide came in and washed the traces of it away.

In relief...and frustration, I sat on the hot sand, staring at where my picture had been.

I was alone.

Was it a snowflake or a cloud? 

"It was a heart," I declared, willing it to return beneath the water.

~  ~  ~
  
Our intentions are not changed by people's perception of them.  

In the end, I will stand before God. He'll see the curves to the lines, viewing that snapshot among the many in my life. 

He will see the heart.




Monday, June 8, 2015

Love Your Curves

God has been really great about putting strong amazing women in my life lately.

Recently, one remarked how she needs to lose 5-8 pounds to fit in some clothes that are just a bit too tight. "I love my curves," she said.

Wait. What?

"I love my curves."

How often do we hear that? If you're like me, you've been beating yourself up for the better part of 25 years for what you did or didn't eat...every day.

Another woman I have the pleasure of working with is a confident, determined, no-nonsense, powerful lady. She happens to be big and beautiful. Her presence is inspiring. She told me the other day she is trying to lose weight.

"No! Not you too!"

Not only is her presence inspiring, but her present -s. She is always there in our conversations and immediately takes action on whatever we're discussing.

Why do we as women have such a problem embracing our curves? Even the best and brightest of us?

I challenge you this summer to stop hiding, abusing, mistreating, beating yourself up. Love your curves. Isn't 25 years enough. Be healthy, but also...love you in the present. The rest of us already do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Excerpt - A Mom's Battle Cry to Overcome Fear

On Amazon

What are worry, anxiety, and fear stealing from your life?

In this little book, set in an easy seven day format, join one Christian Mom in her battle to overcome fear.

"That night who I was changed forever. What the enemy had meant for evil, in that moment, would be turned around…slowly. I couldn't let someone else suffer as I had due to not speaking up. I had to trust that God would protect us, no matter what I had just gone through. I dialed 911. "

Excerpt: 

From Day Three - Sheep Tipping

I have found that anger is not far away when fear is in my life.  As I have relived these moments in this book with you, fear has been my companion many days again and anger has come on its heels; anger not only at what happened, but in the here and now.  Anger over unreasonable things as fear grasped and clung onto my inward soul.  Trust was waning again.  It separated me and called me to a place no one could visit, not even God as He gently knocked and beckoned me closer.

It wasn’t until towards the end of that year that I realized who I was angry with.  Even though He had tried to keep me from it and then got me through the event, I was angry at God for what happened.  When the realization hit me, I floundered.  Who was I to be mad at the Living God?

Fear of God clutched my heart then.  It was a well-placed fear.  It was a healthy fear. 

Psalm 111:10 states:  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.   To him belongs eternal praise.

Proverbs 14:26-27 says, Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.  The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.

It wasn’t many days after that that I cried out to God, literally aloud as I took a tub one night.  Crying tears over that fateful night, and all that I had lost since, in the course of my living in a place of fear and anger. 

In the Bible, we are described as sheep…the followers of God.  I did some research and found that sheep aren’t particularly intelligent animals.  They also have no sense of direction, so when they wander away from their flock, it’s almost impossible for them to find their way back on their own.  They are helpless; they have no way of defending themselves. 

Luke 15:3-7 reads,  Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.  Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

We are never outside God’s grace.  Jesus will come after us, putting us gently on his shoulders to carry us home.  In the year that I walked away from God, ignoring Him, reminders of Him, and His Word, He pursued me.  He never left me.  I left Him.  I refused to acknowledge Him in my life.

It was like someone had tipped my wooly body over and I couldn’t right myself.  I was askew.  The world looked different.  People gathered and pointed at my flailing legs and growing coat of fleece.  People.  People scared me. 

What are your fears?  Are they fears of man, the spiritual realm, public places, the death of a loved one?  Our fears many times sound foolish to someone else. 

In our nursery class at church, I helped the 3- and 4-year-olds make a planter for Easter with live succulents.  After church, we had some extra plants and my pastor’s wife gave them to me to make a planter with my children at home.  

I was excited.  The kids and I filled the planter with soil, rocks, the succulent plants, and sticks glued together to make the three crosses of Calvary. 

I love and cherish this little planter, but I have anxiety when it comes to house plants.  I envy the beautiful plants that people have in their homes; little green treasures with their sprouts reaching towards the sunlight as they line the back of a kitchen sink. I yearn to snip herbs and smell their fragrance as I cook or clean throughout the day.  The problem I have is that I tend to kill them and so this fear has taken root.

A foothold.

When I look at the planter sitting cheerfully in the center of my kitchen table, my hands fairly itch to run and get the spray bottle full of water.  Am I watering it too much?  Am I not watering it enough?  Fear does grip at me somewhat with this houseplant.  I’ve avoided live plants slowly over the years, as I’ve learned that once they enter my home, they leave in a trash bag. 

How am I ever going to grow little pots of scented flowers and herbs that cheer up my workspace if they cause me such anxiety? 

A foothold becomes a stronghold

----

 
Available on Amazon in Ebook and Paperback:  http://amzn.com/B00CHC0FMC
See Laura's Website HERE for other available books.