Today I’m excited to announce the release of the 2nd edition of my first novella, My S.E.D. Label, originally published in 1996. It’s now available on Kindle My S.E.D. Label and will be available from tomorrow until May 1st for FREE!

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About the book: 

When Greg was in high school, the guidance counselors and social service caseworkers gave him the label of S.E.D. He never understood what they meant. No one even bothered to explain their words to him. All they gave was psycho-babble and stern looks. Who cares, right?He’s just another messed up teenager with no future, except a life of drugs and crime. Didn’t anyone think to dig deeper beneath the crusty layers and help him. Finally, several years later, someone came into his life and made a difference. He was his therapist and he told him that label meant: He was Severely Emotionally Disturbed. Greg immediately disagreed. Yes, he was messed up—but severely, not really. There was more to him than the label. He just wanted everyone to understand


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Excerpt from My S.E.D. Label:

Beads of sweat dripped down my forehead and I nearly passed out from the heat. The windows were closed and locked and my leaden feet held me captive in place, watching the closet door. Not sure how long I stood there, suddenly a loud bang rang in my ears, dulling my senses. Worried my worst fear had come true—I had to check on him. Oh God, I whispered, please let him still be alive.
  

I pushed away cardboard boxes and trampled on a pile of soiled white underwear and socks, trying to get to the other end of the room. Claustrophobia started to suffocate me. I had to open the closet. He was in there. I just knew it. I tripped over a muddy, worn out sneaker and banged my head on the brown dresser. The impact rattled empty beer cans on top—several clinked to the stained carpeted floor. For a moment, I hesitated touching the doorknob, afraid to find him. Slowly I turned the knob and he crumpled in a bloody heap at my feet, next to an ashtray swelling with ashes. His cumbersome body weighed heavily on my small feet, and I shoved him off.

Crimson splotches stained my white socks. I knelt down next to his lifeless form and saw the darkened hole in his temple. He’d done it. Just like he told me he would someday. Uncle Vinny took his life. I pounded his bulging beer belly with tiny fists and screamed until my lungs hurt. “Why did you leave me all alone? You know what mom’s gonna do now. How could you leave? You understood…”

I turned away in silent disgust, while tears streamed down my cheeks. “I hate you, Uncle Vinny!”


 
 
Have you ever been in love—you know, the infuriating kind—where you want to be around this person all the time and yet at other times, this person drives you nuts! Yes, you know what I mean. 

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Well that’s where Detective Marc Abrams finds himself. He is insanely attracted to U.S. Marshall Sam Collins, but she doesn’t seem too interested in him. So what’s a guy to do? Solve a murder for one thing! And maybe even hook up with the sexy and spirited marshall. 

Who knows what will happen when these two collide and join forces! You can meet these exciting characters in my newest romantic suspense novel, Bella Lucia.

Purchase Link for Bella Lucia at Astraea Press


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Excerpt from Bella Lucia...

Reaching into his pocket, he frantically searched for change to finish paying for his coffee. Lint and candy wrappers mixed with the quarters he found. He must not let this woman get away. Ever since he’d met her, she’d ruled his thoughts. He rushed past the line of customers and caught up with Sam. “I thought you’d left me.”

“You’re like a fungus—easy to get and hard to get rid of.”

He followed her as she headed down the sidewalk. “Wow, if your words weren’t so insulting, I’d be impressed.”

“So, was there some actual reason you needed to speak to me, or do you always get your morning coffee here?”

“No, I simply wanted to see you.”

“Couldn’t you at least pretend you needed to discuss the case or something?”

Her words surprised him. “What? I thought women wanted straight talk from men, unless I’ve been reading the wrong playbook.”

She laughed. The musical sound of it made him smile. “We do, but if you’re after a colleague, straight talk isn’t going to cut it, at least not yet. We don’t know each other well enough.”

Sam picked up speed and crossed the street at the corner. Man, she walks fast. Or maybe she truly is trying to get away from me. Either way, Marc didn’t care. He wanted to spend as much time with her as he could. He wondered whether she spoke truthfully or not—perhaps women did play by different rules when amongst colleagues. He opted to follow her lead. “I met with the couple who witnessed the body dump.” She stopped mid‑stride. Now he had her attention. This is a good method, if it’ll get her to look at me.

“I didn’t know there were witnesses.”

“Well, they didn’t see the murder, just the body dump. And now they’re adopting Mrs. Reysen’s baby.”

“What?”

He jumped at the chance. “Do you want to grab lunch later, and I’ll tell you about it?”

She waited, obviously taking time to decide. “Fine, but let’s make it an early lunch. I couldn’t sleep this morning, and I need to get some rest this afternoon before I relieve Eric at the safe house.”

Marc gawked at her, stunned that she’d actually accepted his invitation. Gathering his wits, he mumbled, “Great. Okay, great. Um, I’ll see you later then.”

She called after him as he walked away. “Where are we meeting?”

“Oh, I guess that would help.” Racking his brain for the best pizza place around, he settled on his favorite. “I know a great pizzeria on the corner of Fourth and Exton Street. How does that sound?”

“Fine with me.”

They parted ways, and Marc glanced back a few times to watch her walk away. The words of the waitress from the other day echoed in his mind: Honey, you ain’t fine. You look like a lovesick puppy.


 
 
Today my new romantic suspense novel, Bella Lucia, releases and I wanted to share with you about this story. Thanks for stopping by The Mustard Seed today! 

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Here's what my book is about...

After being married for six years, Gwen and Lucas DeStefano are dealing with the pain of a childless marriage and trying to trust God for their future.  On a weekend getaway to the Poconos, they attempt to relax and renew their marriage, but witness an event that turns their lives upside down.  They see a body dump in the woods while they are on a hike and their lives become entangled in a web of suspense and God’s ultimate blessing in the form of a little baby girl, named Bella Lucia. Will Gwen learn to trust God with childlike faith and wholeheartedly accept His plan?

Det. Marc Abrams is assigned to the murder investigation of Sabrina Reysen and he will do whatever it takes to find her killer. He has his suspicions and is pleasantly surprised when he meets Samantha “Sam” Collins, the attractive US Marshall assigned to protect one of the witnesses in this case. Will Det. Abrams find the killer before it’s too late and is the attraction between him and Sam strong enough to survive? 


Purchase Link for Bella Lucia at Astraea Press


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Just wanted to share an excerpt...

“Bella Lucia.” She whispered the words, and a tear slid down her cheek as she thought about her hopes of becoming a mother and fears of never realizing that dream. Her heart ached with the pain of barrenness.

She heard her husband call for her from inside the bedroom. “Honey, where are you?”

“I’m out on the balcony. I couldn’t sleep.”

He came outside. She felt his breath on her neck. “What’s wrong?”

“Do you have to ask?” Immediately, she regretted her tone. She sniffled, trying to hold back tears as she faced him. “It’s hard, you know, hearing Kari’s news.”

Lucas’s features softened and he reached out to embrace her. “It’s gonna happen, Gwen. You’re going to have a baby. Bella Lucia, remember.”

She pulled back and tried hard to smile. “I know, our beautiful light. Six years is a long time to wait.”

Lucas kissed her lightly on the lips. Tingling warmth flooded her body at his touch. Yes, six years is a long time, but our love keeps growing stronger. She pulled aside, needing answers. “Am I a bad person for feeling jealous about Kari being pregnant?”

He brushed back her hair. “Of course not. It’s normal to feel this way, Gwen. We’re all human. As long as you don’t let it affect your behavior, you’ll be fine.”

She chuckled through her tears. “Hmm, maybe that’s why God brought us together—I have my own live‑in psychologist.”

“If we have too many sessions like this, I may have to start charging you.”

Gwen dodged his attempts to tickle her, and she raced back into the bedroom. Lucas grabbed her playfully, running his hand along her shoulders. “Let’s make a baby now.”

She backed away, smiling. “It’s not the right time of the month.”

He kissed her. “Well, we can practice anyway.”

She succumbed to his kisses, and for the moment, thoughts of Bella Lucia fled to the back of her mind.


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The inspiration for this story...

Bella Lucia is a romantic suspense novel. It’s a very personal story for me, partly derived from my experience—and the rest fiction-based—and I wanted to share how when you invite God into the midst of your circumstances, he always turns everything out for your good…even during the hard times.

In digging deeper, I'd love to answer any questions you have for me about this new book or anything else you'd like to chat about. Thanks so much for everyone's support! :)


 
 
When God delays in answering your prayers or He does not answer them at all, how do you handle that? You can get bitter or you can believe that God has a better purpose and will answer as He knows best. 

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Of course, this isn’t always easy and in all the years that I’ve been a Christian, I’ve struggled with this issue many times. However, I’ve finally come to realize that delayed answers to prayer are a gift—once the answer comes—God gets the glory and it will be worth the wait.

In my new romantic suspense novel, Bella Lucia, the main characters, Lucas and Gwen DeStafano are struggling in their faith as they wait on God for his answer to their prayers—for Him to bless them with a child of their own. I won’t give away any secrets to the ending of the novel, but will tell you this: God is good; He’s not early, never late and always on time. 


Purchase Link for Bella Lucia at Astraea Press



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Here's an excerpt from Bella Lucia...

A moment later, he came into the kitchen and got to work on the salad. “So how was your day?”

“It was good. I had lunch with Kari. I’ve almost completed the edits on my manuscript and did more online marketing for Blind Date.”

He cut the lettuce and put it in the salad spinner. “So how was lunch?”

She listened to the noise of the spinning and tried to decide how to answer. “It was nice,” she said finally.

“Are you sure?”

“Kari’s my best friend. She knows me well and figured me out without me saying a word.”

Lucas laughed. “Maybe she should work for me.”

“I’m sure she’d love that. You’d probably psychoanalyze her all the time.” She took the salad bowl from his hands and dressed the lettuce with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings. He shut the burner off and drained the pasta. After they sat down and he prayed a blessing for the meal, Gwen offered up Kari’s suggestion. “She thinks I need to get involved in something to distract my mind right now.”

Lucas leaned closer. “I can distract you, if you’d like.”

“Watch your shirt, honey. You’re going to get sauce on it.”

“Oh, what’s a little sauce gonna hurt?”

She rolled her eyes. “I care because I have to do the laundry.”

He finally moved away from his plate. “Let’s get back to the distraction topic. I have some ideas.”

“We’ve been married too long, because that’s exactly what I told Kari you’d say…how you could distract me.”

“Well, it wouldn’t be all bad, right?”

“I’ll take you up on those ideas,” she replied in between bites. “But maybe there’s something to Kari’s suggestion.”

Lucas took a sip of red wine. “And what does she propose you do?”

“She thinks maybe I should get involved in a children’s ministry.”

Watching him, she imagined smoke coming from his ears as the wheels seemed to turn in his mind. “What a great idea.”

“You don’t think it would be too hard? I mean being around little kids.”

“It might help. At least think about doing it. We’ll pray about it tonight.”

“Okay, doctor’s orders. I’ll think about it.”

“This could be good for you.”

They finished eating, and Gwen anticipated curling up on the sofa with Lucas. They picked a few shows from their DVR to watch before heading to bed. She enjoyed spending time with her husband, and she loved how he liked being a homebody with her. They made such a great pair. The love in their home was strong, and she knew deep in her soul that God called her to motherhood. Her heart was filled with love to shower on a baby. She longed to hear giggles and the pitter‑patter of little feet traipsing around their home.

What would it feel like to trip over building blocks strewn across the floor? Theirs was a grown‑up home just waiting to be filled with toys and baby stuff. She needed to trust. One day at a time, they’d get through this.  


 
 
Linda Weaver Clarke, a fellow member of the John 3:16 Christian Authors Network is having her Book launch today. You stopped by my blog on the right day! For more information on some great book giveaways, keep reading. Please welcome Linda to The Mustard Seed today.

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Let's meet Linda 

Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching a “Family Legacy Workshop” at libraries, encouraging others to write their family history and autobiography. Clarke is the author of the historical romance series, “A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho” and a new mystery series, “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.” E-mail Linda at: linda@lindaweaverclarke.com

Linda, please share your thoughts on your Book Launch Day.

The first book in this series won the Socrates Great Book Alert Award a few months ago. I was thrilled. I didn't realize that I would go in this direction in my later years. This is my 8th book. I've been told that I have a different writing style, and I've had many people comment on my style, saying they like it. I don't use the familiar one person point of view, but I allow my readers to know the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of each of the main characters, allowing my readers to get to know them intimately, and many people told me that they really like this style. I've been told by professionals that this style of writing is a difficult task for some authors. But I wanted to tackle it and, according to the professional reviews I've received so far, it must have worked.

Congrats on winning the Socrates Great Book Alert Award! Awesome news!


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Please tell us more about your book, Montezuma Intrigue: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.

This book is the 3rd in this series.  

The search for Montezuma's treasure, mysterious events, a good-looking rogue, and family secrets! When a leather parchment of Montezuma’s map is found in great-grandfather Evans’ old chest, April and the twins know this summer is going to be a memorable one. The girls want to search for it but their father is against it for some mysterious reason. With Julia’s help, she and the girls convince John to go on a treasure hunt. Is Montezuma’s treasure a legend or reality? Whatever the case, John insists on keeping their little treasure hunt a secret. If certain people find out about it, the family could be in danger.

While searching for Montezuma’s treasure, Matthew is trying to get the courage to tell April how he feels about her. How does he tell his kindred friend that she means more to him than just a friend? Oblivious of Matthew’s feelings for her, April is gradually learning the importance of her heritage. Who were her ancestors and why have they kept a certain “secret” all these years?

Sounds like a book I'd love to read. Going on my TBR pile. Where can readers find your books online?

Anasazi Intrigue: you may purchase a book or an ebook at Amazon
Mayan Intrigue: you may purchase a book or an ebook at Amazon
Montezuma Intrigue: you may purchase this book directly from Publisher Direct Bookstore or Amazon

This is what Suko’s Notebook (http://suko95.blogspot.com/2011/05/montezuma-intrigue.html) wrote: 

“In the latest book by Linda Weaver Clarke, Montezuma Intrigue, the mysteries continue as this author entrances us with life-like characters and electrifying adventures. The search for Montezuma's treasure is both exciting and memorable. I enjoyed the adventure and suspense in her latest novel, which kept me reading well into the night.”

That's a wonderful review. Thank you for sharing. 


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So, please tell us more about this celebratory Book Launch.

In celebration of our country’s “Freedom” and my Official Book Launch for Montezuma Intrigue, I’m having a Book Give-Away from June 27 – July 7: Win a mystery/adventure novel with a touch of romance, at http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com.

Adventure...Suspense...Romance...Intrigue...Humor! The search for Montezuma's treasure, mysterious events, family secrets, and a good-looking rogue!

When a leather parchment of Montezuma’s map is found in great-grandfather Evans’ old chest, April and the twins know this summer is going to be a memorable one. The girls want to search for it but their father is against it for some mysterious reason. With Julia’s help, she and the girls convince John to go on a treasure hunt. Is Montezuma’s treasure a legend or reality? Whatever the case, John insists on keeping their little treasure hunt a secret. If certain people find out about it, the family could be in danger.

But that’s not all! I have more gifts for you! I will be having a drawing for 2 children’s books: The Magic Word by Sherrill S. Cannon and The Donkey and the King by Lorilyn Roberts. If you have already bought Montezuma Intrigue, I will email you 4 free e-books (pdf):

1. The Treasure of Isian by Serena Clarke. This is a fantasy/adventure novel with a touch of romance. This story is full of intrigue as you watch Garin and Elani search for the treasure of Isian.

2. Reflections of the Heart, which has 13 chapters of inspirational writings such as: The secret of Happiness, Laughter is the Best Medicine, Parenthood – A Great Responsibility, Equal Partners in Marriage, and Music Soothes the Soul.

3. Writing Your Family Legacy, in which I teach you how to write your family history or autobiography. I travel all over the U.S., teaching this class.

4. The Donkey and the King
by Lorilyn Roberts, a beautifully illustrated children’s book about a donkey named Baruch who longs for an easier life beyond the stable.

Linda, many blessings to you and great success in continuing with God's work in your writing. Hope you guest again soon at The Mustard Seed. 


 
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    DISCLAIMER: Book Reviews

    In accordance with FTC Guidelines for blogging & endorsements, I want to post this disclaimer. From time to time, I do purchase and review some novels. However, most of the novels I review are given to me as a complimentary review copy by the author or publisher. I do not receive  monetary compensation for the reviews I complete.

    It only takes a mustard seed to make a dream grow