Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking in the Window: Happy New Year Sale for Stopped Cold and Other Titles with Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery


Snag a copy of Stopped Cold for 99 cents

OR request a Smashwords Code and grab a
copy for FREE there through December 30th.
Just leave an e-mail address below.

Check out all of the books on sale or free with Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery on Once Upon a Word on Facebook  and the blog.

Readers Say Stopped Cold's Great for Teens and Adults

“Stopped Cold is filled with emotion, strong characters, teenage romance, adventure, danger and the intricate workings of modern day high school studies and sports.” Larry Hammersley.

“…follow Margaret’s journey to discover the depth of true character and faith not only in school and friends, but family.” Author and Book Reviewer Lisa Lickel.

“They…” (the characters) “..are as finely tuned as a lovely stringed instrument, each having a different song to play in the story.” Book Reviewer Barbara Shelton

"This is a great read. I recommend it for teens or adults alike. It certainly kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next when Margaret, Jimmy, and their friend Emily go out looking to stop dangerous drug dealers." Connie C

More About Stopped Cold

Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina. Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay. Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean. Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.

Stopped Cold finished fourth in the 16th Annual Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 

A 2013 Grace Awards Finalist

Buy on Amazon
Smashwords (Code for free copy good through December 30st.)
Barnes and Noble

Read more about Stopped Cold and Gail's other books at

Thursday, December 22, 2016

When Is Christmas?

Some say Christ wasn’t born on December 25th. They claim Christians took the date from a Roman holiday to rival the pagan feasts that took place during the Winter Solstice. This occasion honored a new age brought by the sun. Depending on location, the Winter Solstice occurs on or around December 25th. However, the date pales in the significance of Christ’s life. It’s His arrival, Gospel of love and unconditional sacrifice that massive numbers of Christians around the world celebrate each year on December 25th.

Christ is born!

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord.” (Luke 2: 8 – 11). (Photo courtesy of Google images)

Christ’s Gospel of Love! 

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question. Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:  34- 40)
(Photo courtesy of Photobucket)

Christ’s Unconditional Sacrifice!

 “Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day He will be raised to life.’” (Matthew 20: 17 – 18) (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Christ’s sacrifice done! His gift, eternal life, given!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” ( John 3: 16 – 17) (Photo courtesy of Google images)

"Where, O death, is your 
Where, O death, is your sting?"
(I Corinthians 15: 55)

Christ lives today! Christmas is when we open our hearts to Him!

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)
(Photo courtesy of Photobucket.)

Celebrate the birth! 
Honor the name, CHRIST, our Savior! 
Sing it! Say it! Praise it! Shout it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Looking in the Window: Lost and Found at Christmas, a Barely Above Water Short Story

A peek into Christmas in the lives of Matt and Suzie from Barely Above Water. Originally published in the December issue of  Good Stuff from Gail’s Book Nook. See sidebar to sign up for future copies.

Earlier at the shower

Suzie hadn’t seen Aunt Frieda since Matt and Suzie’s wedding, but Suzie intended to become part of Matt’s remaining family, and she wanted Aunt Frieda to know that. She couldn’t believe she’d forgotten the one thing Aunt Frieda asked Matt and her to bring. But she had it now from the local grocery in Hart’s Mountain, North Carolina, and she was headed back to Aunt Frieda’s house. Her mouth gaped in awe at the landscape.

Icicles hung like crystal tendrils on the barren trees on a precipice to her left. The sun glinted off of them in silver tones. An ice sculpture of cascading water that had frozen in its tracks sparkled on a rock embankment on her right. She couldn’t let this magical wonderland distract her for long, but she’d never seen anything like it.

She leaned her head forward as she crept at a snail’s pace on the slippery road. The car inched over the center line, and she rotated the wheel. The vehicle slid then sped downhill toward the cliff. Suzie’s heart pounded in her chest. She screamed, but there was no one to hear.


Matt checked his watch. Suzie had left an hour ago to run a twenty-minute errand. She was so sensitive. Of course, she’d sensed how he yearned to stay close to those he loved, especially at Christmas. Tradition mattered, but now he wished he’d never said he’d brought fruitcake to Aunt Frieda’s ever since Mom died. Suzie had insisted she’d pick it up. Then she got busy throwing the party for the kids he coached in football and writing extra articles for The Sun Dial, the newspaper where she worked in Destin. No wonder she forgot. He wrung his large hands as he paced back and forth in front of Aunt Frieda’s picture window overlooking the snow-covered mountains in the distance. “What was I thinking letting her go out alone?”

Aunt Frieda ran her hands through her dark hair. She looked so much like Mom. The emptiness left in his soul when Mom died seemed worse every Christmas, but right now, he just wanted Suzie back safe and sound.

“Suzie insisted she wanted to take care of it.” Wrinkles creased Aunt Frieda’s brow. “She has her cell phone, doesn’t she?”

“Yes,” Matt called Suzie and got no answer.

“You’re as white as the snow.”

Tears pooled in Matt’s eyes and blurred the ornaments on the Christmas tree. “I lost her once when we were dating because after Mom died...” The words nearly choked him...“I couldn’t deal with illness, and Suzie has Lyme disease.” He wiped his brow. “She’s been so strong and fought so hard to be all right.”

“I’m sure she’s fine. She’ll walk in here any minute. In this weather it could take an extra forty-five minutes to drive to town and back, and she hasn’t been gone that long.”

Aunt Frieda motioned for Matt to sit in the Navy easy chair. He obliged, and she plopped down on the matching sofa.


Suzie raised her head off the steering wheel and rubbed it. “Ouch.” Where was she? Why was everything white? Where was her Mom? Oh, Mom died. Suzie sobbed. She missed Mom so much. Ralph, the only Dad she’d ever known, died too. She had no one until she met Matt. Where was he? Her body heaved with more crying.


Matt tapped his foot on the hardwood floor. “I can’t wait any longer. I’m going to look for her.”

Aunt Frieda scooted to the edge of the couch. “It won’t hurt to search on your own, but if she isn’t on the main road, you’ll need a four wheel drive to navigate the scenic route.”

Matt slapped his forehead. “She took the drive with a view. I just know it. That’s so like her.”

The color drained from Aunt Frieda’s face. “Let’s go. Fred’s old jeep’s in the garage.”

The two of them jumped up, put on heavy outdoor clothing and left. Frozen snow crunched underneath their boots as they stepped to the garage. Aunt Frieda handed Matt the keys and slipped into the passenger’s seat. He backed out and ice cracked as the wheels rolled across the driveway.

“You look just like your mom driving the car, the way you held your mouth when you turned the key, and with your dark hair and eyes.” Aunt Frieda shook her head. “This time last year Fred was shoveling snow in the driveway. We have too many holes in our hearts to be so young.” Aunt Frieda gave Matt a friendly jab on the arm. “Well, at least you and Suzie are young.”

“Fifty-two is hardly old.”

Aunt Frieda chuckled and lightened the mood “We’ll always have our memories, but let’s not forget our blessings. Don’t worry. Suzie’s fine. I’m so glad we have her.”

“Me too, we’ll all stay in touch after Christmas. It’s important for us to be here for each other.”

“There’s the base of the road.” Aunt Frieda pointed, and Matt turned onto a steep parkway covered in frozen snow. The jeep slid toward a rock wall on the left, but Matt straightened the car. His heart pounded in his chest, not only at the near miss, but at the thought of Suzie cold and frightened on this treacherous stretch. If only he could floorboard the pedal and zip to her.

The tires spun. Determination filled every fiber of Matt’s being, and he accelerated to pull the vehicle forward. The car slipped toward the guardrail on the right. Sweat popped out on Matt’s brow as he righted the vehicle. He breathed deep trying to relax. “There’s no one else out here, and I can see why.”

“Everyone who lives in these hills knows better. The surface freezes at one end of the road before the snowplows make it to the other. They’ll close it. This storm came up so fast they just haven’t done it yet.”

Large snowflakes pelted the windshield. Matt leaned forward. “Now, I can’t see.”

“Stop! That’s your car!”

A twinge of hope coursed through Matt as he drove to the wreck. “She crashed into the tree growing up from the cliff. That kept her from tumbling over it.” Matt trembled. Tears rushed to his eyes as he cut the engine.

“We know who stopped that car.” Aunt Frieda touched Matt’s arm.

“Oh yes, thank God!” Matt hopped out and charged toward Suzie, slipping, sliding, and waving his arms to keep his balance.

He opened the door, and Suzie grabbed him around the neck so tightly he hardly could breathe. She shivered in his arms. “How long have you been here?”

“I’m not sure. At first I was thinking about Mom and Ralph, and I couldn’t remember where I was.” She turned and picked up a grocery bag from the passenger’s seat. “Here’s the fruitcake.”

Aunt Frieda took tentative steps to them. Suzie slid out of the car and hugged her, and Matt threw his arms around both of them.

Aunt Frieda wiped tears from her cheeks. “Let’s go home and celebrate Christmas!”

The End

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Looking Out the Window: Linda Weaver Clarke Talks About The First Two Books In Her Robin's Rebels Series. Shares Reviews and Sample Chapters

                                A Warm Welcome to Linda Weaver Clarke          

See links below to read sample chapters of The Rebels of Cordovia

and The Highwaymann of Cordovia

In The Rebels of Cordovia, a group of men and women who called themselves Robin’s Rebels realize they must help the people survive this oppression. In this battle for freedom, a love story begins to blossom. Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn’t realize that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin’s Rebels. Realizing the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin’s Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be?

After reading this story, Susan Ortlieb from Suko’s Notebook Reviews wrote: “Linda Weaver Clarke writes with passion and grace, and the love story in this book is simply wonderful. In fact, this aspect of the story was the strongest draw for me. (Are love stories set in the past more romantic than those set in the present day?) I thought that Robin and Daniel sounded perfect for each other, and I enjoyed the steady development of their relationship. This charming book was a pleasure to read, and I relished it.”

The tales from The Rebel Series have adventure, sweet romance, and delectable kisses. These are stories of love and liberty that take place between the 18th and 19th Century. In the sequel, The Highwayman of Cordovia, the people enjoy their new-found liberty but all is not well. One year after Cordovia gains its freedom, a group of powerful men plan to take over the small country and replace the leader with a king.

With the help of a bold highwayman and a pastor’s daughter, they try to save their country from being taken over by a power-hungry leader. As they strive to stop the Kingmen and thwart their plans, Christine finds herself falling in love with Austin Knight. The only problem with their relationship is that she thinks he is her knight in shining armor instead of a highwayman. If she finds out his trade, what will her reaction be? As a pastor’s daughter, will love override her values?

“Linda Weaver Clarke has a storyteller's talent for enchanting and mesmerizing the audience. There are also some exciting surprises and twists that will delight the heart. Definitely a must read!” --Cindi Clubbs, Mommasez Reviews

The Highwayman of Cordovia, the second book in The Rebel Series, will be available on Dec 3rd, 2016. Read sample chapters of both books at

About the Author

Linda Weaver Clarke has traveled throughout the United States, teaching people to write their family history. She is the author of historical romances, mystery/adventure series, a children’s book, and a cozy mystery series. All her books are family friendly. Visit

Watch a book Trailer below!

The Rebels of Cordovia from Linda Weaver Clarke on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Looking Out the Window: ACFW December Releases, Including Some Special Christmas Stories

December 2016 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Bella Natale! by Marianne Evans -- An aspiring American artist and the widowed, Italian owner of a premier art gallery meet and fall in love in Florence when he champions her work, but there are her American family's expectations and his five-year-old son to consider. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

With this Kiss by Marianne Evans -- A kiss stolen in a midnight snow. A jealous colleague at Jonathan's firm is bent on revenge...revenge that puts Isabella's store into legal peril. Will love be enough to see them through? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

Mistletoe Daddy by Deb Kastner -- Bubbly Vivian Grainger bids on gruff Nick McKenna at Serendipity Texas's annual Bachelors and Baskets for one reason--to help her build her hair salon; but once Nick finds out she's pregnant, he does his best to build a path to Vivian's heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Hero for Heather by Marion Ueckermann -- When a "homeless" man she's been helping rescues social worker Heather Blume from a vicious attack, she's so grateful she violates one of the most important rules in her profession--she takes him home to tend his wounds. But the mysterious Paxton Rathbone is no homeless man…he's a gentleman. When feelings grow, and Paxton's past beckons, both he and Heather discover there's a fine line between gratitude and love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Husband for Holly by Marion Ueckermann -- Holly Blume loves decorating people's homes, but that doesn't mean she's ready to play house. Believing a house is not a home without a woman's touch, Reverend Christopher Stewart is in the market for a wife. What woman would consider him marriage material, though, with an aging widowed father to look after, especially one who suffers from Alzheimer's? Despite their differences, Holly resolves to finish her job of redesigning the Stewart home, while Christopher determines to re-form Holly's heart. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Rocky Mountain Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe -- Twelve years after she married another man, Rebecca Anshaw Simpson is back at Joe Gallagher's ranch as his physical therapist. But healing his body is nothing compared to guarding his heart from the woman he never forgot. Becca won't let regret and a surly rancher get in the way of her job and the chance to start over with her little girl. But Becca never expected she'd fall all over again for her first love. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cozy Mystery:

Christmas Cookie Mystery by Naomi Miller -- With Christmas right around the corner, Katie Chupp and The Sweet Shop get involved in a mystery when a certain dear family finds an unexpected package at their door. (Cozy Mystery from S&G Publishing)


Michel: The Fourth Wise Man by Katheryn Maddox Haddad -- This descendant of Daniel, also a wise man, sacrifices everything - his wife, his father, his home - to do what he is convinced God needs him to do, then finds out he was wrong. (Historical from Northern Lights Publishing House)
Five Nights with Pharaoh by Kristen Reed -- Shortly after entering Egypt with her husband, Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s harem as his newest, most favored concubine. The breathtaking, ageless beauty is forced to cling to her faith in God as she prays for the strength to accept her new position and endures a series of mysterious plagues that can only be indicative of a wrathful deity’s divine judgment. Discover a remarkable reimagining of Sarai’s plight in Egypt, where she humbly set aside her own honor to protect the man through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Historical - Independently Published)

Historical Romance:

Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Leslie Seilstad, Erica Vetsch -- Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children--until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Pony Express Romance by Misty M. Beller -- Pony Express rider Josiah English and the station master's sister, Mara Reid, fall in love, but when the Express shuts down and Mara's family home is in peril, the danger looming over Mara's life may not be half as destructive as that threatening her heart. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Military Suspense:

Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig -- A former Green Beret is confronted by past mistakes as he and his team battle a centuries-old plague and the terrorists bent on rewriting history. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Romantic Suspense:

Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson -- Just in time for the holidays, navy SEAL Zach McCloud returns home from deployment--and discovers someone wants his family dead. When he married his cousin's struggling widow, he vowed to help her and her seriously ill son, and now he'll risk everything to protect them. Even if their arrangement is only temporary. Kristi's certain an unhappy client from the law firm where she works is determined to hunt her down. But when a sniper bullet wildly misses its target, they begin to question whether it's really her someone wants dead. Working together, can they figure out why they've been attacked…and keep little Cody from the nefarious forces dead set on making this Christmas their last? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Christmas Conspiracy by Susan Sleeman -- When Commander Jake Marsh loses control of a hostage situation and Tessa Long is injured, guilt eats at him. He blurs the line between the professional and personal, and visits Tessa at the hospital. But when a man tries to kill her in her hospital room, Jake disregards all of the rules and regulations that have allowed him to control his world and vows to keep her safe no matter what. Trouble is, the situation brings back memories from his childhood of the loss of his entire family, and for the first time in twenty years, he fears he's no longer in charge of his life, and knows when he's out of control bad things happen. Very bad things. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])