Tag Archives: Inspirational Fiction

Guest Release–Circles of Fate by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Circles of Fate

BLURB

Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

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EXCERPT

“Todd…”

He sensed her intentions and silenced her declarations of love with a kiss. “Don’t,” he whispered and shook his head. His lips brushed hers in a tender caress with each back-and-forth movement of his head.

“I love you!” She choked out the words when he buried her face into his shoulder.

She’d said it, and Todd’s heart ached with bittersweet pain. Knowing the grief they would cause, he hadn’t wanted to hear those words. He held her and stroked her hair, but never returned the declaration with one of his own.

His orders were to report to Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington two days hence, and Todd did not want to encourage her with the fact that he loved her too—more than he’d ever thought possible. Chances were he might not see her again, at least for the next four years. Then there was the war… Knowing Shaunna, if he told her he loved her, she would spend the next four years waiting and even longer grieving if he went to war and didn‘t survive. She was too young for that.

So he didn’t tell her how he felt. He just held her. When her shoulders started to shake, he rocked her in his arms.

“Don’t cry. Oh, baby, you promised,” he groaned and fought back tears of his own.

“I’m sorry, but- but…I don’t want you to go!” she wailed. Shudders wracked her slender body.

“I have to go, sweetie…” He crushed her to him and buried his lips against her soft mouth to hush her ragged sobs.

Shaunna whimpered as he pulled her against him, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pressed her body against his. With supreme effort, Todd moved her out of his arms, careful to be gentle.

“Shaunna, we have to stop this,” he urged, his voice thick.

“Why?” He could tell she had no idea of the precariousness of the situation.

He stroked her hair off her face. “Because if we don’t…” His words lingered and he wondered if she understood what might happen between them. Not likely. He kissed her again, but kept a tight rein on his emotions. “Because it’s time for me to get you home.”

She shook her head. “Please, not yet.”

Todd took a full moment to consider what might transpire if he honored her request. “Yes, now.” He pulled her close for one more kiss.

“Will you write to me?” She pleaded, and choked back a sob.

“I’ll try,” he said with a shrug. He didn’t want to appear uncaring or callous. God only knew how much this situation tore at his heart. But he didn’t want to tie her down either.

His heart clenched like a tight fist when hurt clouded her eyes. “I don’t know what they have in store for me,” he explained.

She nodded and bit back another sob. “I’ll never forget you.”

He smiled and caressed her face. No doubt he’d never forget her either. But four years is a long time when you’re sixteen. “Maybe not, but you will get on with your life. Be happy, Shaun, and promise you’ll take care.”

With a soft sigh, she nodded and moved away so he could start the car.

Todd didn’t take his arm from around her when he drove her home, grateful for each moment he had her by his side. He walked with her to the door and pulled her into his arms. With one last tender touch, he kissed her then turned away. His heart broke into a million pieces at her soft cries, but he did not look back. Instead he utilized every ounce of strength he possessed and walked out of her life.

Pamela S Thibodeaux publicity photo

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

 

Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

Guest Promotion–Hidden Storms by Nancy Shew Bolton

Hidden Storms

 

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Lilli Clarke. They call her the marked girl. Beginning at her left shoulder, a pink birthmark tracks up her throat just past her jaw, like a finger pointing to her brain. Abandoned by her family, she is ostracized by everyone but her grandmother and cousin Bert, Six years of dust storms have left sixteen-year-old Lilli close to death with dust pneumonia. Now she must leave the only real home she’s ever had, or risk death when the next storm hits.

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EXCERPT

Southwestern Kansas, 1938

My time grows short, while my fevered brain wonders if I’d ever existed to begin with. The inevitable stands before me. The world consists of nothing more than wind and dust, endless storms swallowing all life with their voracious appetites.

If I want to, I can rise from my bed and struggle outdoors in my threadbare, flour-sack dress to stand and release the spark of life within me. To let mind, body, everything, disappear into the whirlwind. Its ceaseless roar can consume me at last and perform the final conclusion left to my imagination. My sixteen years of life at its end. Six years of dust storms had almost done the job anyway. Might as well let them finish it.

But I can’t go. I won’t. I don’t know why.

One more breath. A rattle and rasp scrape in my chest while I fight to draw in air through the wet cloth covering my face. I’ve lost the remembrance of the former blessing of easy breathing. Now, my entire will bends toward the intake of air that will feed the tiny flame of life inside me.
My grandmother’s hands adjust the cloth. I know she sits by my bed and wills me to breathe while the duster pummels our home. She and I, the only ones left in the howling world, are cut off from everyone else as though we lived alone on the moon.

Is Cousin Gerald’s house really down the road, he and Bert hunkered inside? Is the town still there somewhere, standing against the shrieking monster clawing at it? Perhaps, once the sounds cease, anything left alive will creep out to view an endless brown world of dust, all signs of human habitation wiped away. Why do I try so hard to stay alive? Let me go, Gram. Ask me to give up.

But her fingers smooth back wisps of my hair, and the low sound of her murmured prayers gives me something to focus on, along with my labored breaths. Anything but the sound of the wind and the dust scouring the house, trying to destroy our tiny lives and meager possessions.
Gram’s voice rises when she takes my hand. “When you’re better, Lilli, I’ll send you somewhere pretty. Somewhere with trees and grass. Until the land comes back. Then you’ll come back to me, too. And I’ll be here and we’ll plant a garden again.”

Another lifetime ago. Our garden. Greens, corn, and potatoes to have with side meat. Cucumbers for pickling. Berries for dessert.
Oh, Gram, those days are long gone. Swallowed in the dust. I don’t care if there are trees or grass somewhere. I can’t leave you. The only one who ever loved me. I’ll die here, with the sound of your prayers disappearing into the wind, along with my last breath. I’m sorry, Gram.

* * *
Maybe the silence woke me. Had I finally died? My eyes blink open and the ever-present grit hurts my eyeballs while I survey the room. The weathered clapboard walls and roof still stand. I lift a pale hand and study it. I’m still here, too.

The front door yawns open, and the two windows on either side are un-shuttered. A portion of cloudless blue sky shines above the flat, brown landscape. I draw in a shaky breath, relieved that only a slight rattle sounds in my chest. Voices flutter in from somewhere on the porch.

Gram says, “I decided. When she’s strong enough, I’ll send her to my sister.”

“What if Aunt Margaret don’t want her?” Cousin Gerald clears his throat. “Lilli’s bad luck. Cursed. Everybody knows that. She’s marked.”

If I had enough damp in my eyes, I might cry. How unfair people are. It always surprises me, though by now I should have wised up.

Gram’s sweet voice calms my flush of anger. “It’s wrong to blame her for things that happened. It’s not her fault. And I don’t believe in luck.”

“Aunt Helen, open your eyes. When bad things happen, you got to ask why. Cousin Sally lost her wits after she birthed Lilli. She was fine after she had Frank and Jasper. Then, after Lilli, there goes her right mind.”

“It’s not Lilli’s doing. I’ll never believe that.”

“Well, you’re the only one who don’t. This family’ll never live down what happened.” A chair leg scrapes and Cousin Gerald’s boots sound on the porch steps. “I’m glad she’ll be going, though, for your sake. You ain’t had a moment’s peace the years you’ve had her.”

My heart breaks for Gram. Maybe he’s right. Nothing has gone well for her since I came. The few pleasures she did enjoy have been stripped away. Invitations to social gatherings and friendly drop-by visits have dried up like the creek in our back yard. People avoid her, even at church, because she brings me there. They say God marked me, like Cain, though I never murdered anyone like he did. But murder followed me anyway, so they say.
God can smile on her once I leave. The slight, rhythmic thump of her rocker punctuates her humming of “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

His eye is on you, Gram. But He doesn’t care a lick about me. Why do I have to go live with Great-Aunt Margaret? I hardly know her, but she’ll hate me like everyone else does. Everyone except Gram and Bert. I heave out as big a sigh as I can manage and drift back to sleep.

nancy Bolton

Nancy Shew Bolton is a wife, mother of five grown sons, and grandmother to a boy and girl. Ever since she learned to write, she would jot down her thoughts and impressions, and now expresses herself through novels. Nancy loves to write character-driven stories about relationships of love and faith.

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