Selah’s Dream Blog Blitz plus GIVEAWAY

Dream Horse Adventures Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz and Giveaway for Dream Horse Adventures series by Susan Count, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Today I am featuring Book 2 in the Dream Horse Adventures, Selah’s Sweet Dream



Selah's Sweet DreamTitle: Selah’s Sweet Dream

Series: Dream Horse Adventures #2

Author: Susan Count

Publisher: Hastings Creations

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Release Date: December 15, 2015

Twelve-year-old Selah’s quest to be equestrian superstar is impossible without a horse. Then she spots buzzards circling in the grasslands behind Grandpa’s farm. They’re stalking a horse trapped in wire and Selah is its only hope. But the mare she rescues might be a bigger challenge to her dream than not having a horse at all.

An old friend of Grandpa’s and a world renowned horse trainer offers to work with the wild and defiant mare. Selah jumps at the opportunity. She trains with a fierce determination to equal the equestrian talent of the deceased grandmother who instilled the love of horse in her. But when the horse causes mayhem at the trainer’s facility, he sends them home. Selah must gather her courage and face up to the trainer or watch her dreams gallop away.

Excerpt from Selah’s Sweet Dream

Clouds slipped over the moon as if a child was playing with the lights of the world. One second it was dark like coal tar, and then almost bright enough to read a book. The clouds held no promise of rain, only beauty and entertainment. The whistle of the northbound train traveled crisply through the woods.

Selah sat curled up in a folding camp chair, just outside the stall but near the hay bucket. Her eyes were the only thing moving as she sucked in every detail, every movement, and every twitch of the black mare. Skunk slept soundly at the foot of the chair.

The mare stayed an easy, comfortable distance away from Selah all evening. Still, the horse’s eyes, and at least one ear, remained riveted on her new little friend with cream-colored hair.

“She is watching me, thinking carrots could appear at any time.”

Grandpa stared at Selah from the house and sighed. Stepping out on the porch, he tried to draw her into the house without putting his foot down too hard. “Selah, it’s time for bed. Come on in now.”

“Okay, Grandpa. I’m coming,” Selah answered without moving. “Just a few more minutes with my dream.”

From deep inside Selah, a yawn started and engulfed her whole being. With a Texas-sized exhale, she slipped from her chair onto the barn floor, where she nestled next to Skunk. Selah gathered under her head some of the hay that had filtered down from the net. The sleeping dog dreamed in the soft sand beside her. In spite of Selah’s great effort, she was losing the battle to stay awake. “What should I name you? Hum… You feel like a song in my heart,” she whispered as her eyes curtained.

Grandpa brought a small blanket out of the house for his sleepy girl. Selah kept her eyes closed and pretended not to hear him coming. Skunk raised her head as he approached. He rubbed under her chin, and then draped the blanket over a curled-up Selah. Selah’s cat, Pearl, drifted soundlessly toward the pile of sleepers in the sand to take her rightful place next to Selah. “Sweet dreams for now, girls. I’m afraid you’re in for broken hearts tomorrow.”

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository


Susan Count

Susan Count is a life-long equestrian and owned by a Rocky Mountain Horse that is kind hearted enough to take her on long forested trail rides. She adores grandchildren, horses, and bunnies.

Instilled with the need to create, she loves building projects and writing adventure stories. She writes at an antique secretary desk that occupies a glass room with a forest view. Fittingly, it once belonged to the grandmother who introduced her to the love of reading via Walter Farley’s horse books. That desk has secret compartments which hold memories, mysteries, and story ideas.

Susan has published four books in an equestrian series. As a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Texas Association of Authors, she takes studying the craft of writing seriously. Revision is her super-power.

She says the only thing more fun than riding might be writing horse adventure stories and she invites you to saddle up and ride along. You can learn more about Susan’s work by visiting her website!

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


(1) winner will receive a copy of Selah’s Secret Dream, Selah’s Painted Dream, and Selah’s Stolen Dream plus a $25 Amazon gift card!

Dream Horse Adventures JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 5, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on March 12, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Continental US mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


Some Goodreads Giveaways

Enter for a chance to win ONE of TEN copies of GLORY ROAD, written in Lauren Denton’s signature Southern style!

The only thing certain is change—even in a place as steady as Perry, Alabama, on a street as old as Glory Road.

“Glory Road brims with faith and family, second chances, and new horizons.” —LISA WINGATE, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

 Enter for a chance to win ONE of TEN copies of TO BEST THE BOYS, a thrilling new fantasy from Mary Weber, the bestselling author to the STORM SIREN TRILOGY.

Perfect for fans of THE SCORPIO RACES and CARAVAL!
The task is simple: Don a disguise. Survive the labyrinth. Best the boys.

“To Best the Boys is an addicting read!”—JODI MEADOWS, New York Times bestselling author of The Incarnate Trilogy and coauthor of My Lady Jane

Spirit of Giving-giveaway- From New Growth Press


New Growth Press’ Spirit of Giving Family Devotionals Giveaway

For active families, reading the Bible together can feel overwhelming. However, family Bible study doesn’t have to be complicated! With just ten minutes a day, parents have enough time to pass on the most valuable treasure the world has ever known.

Start off the new year resolved to study the Bible together. New Growth Press has you covered and is giving away a family devotional package every family will want to win!

In this third and final Spirit of Giving giveaway of the Christmas season, New Growth Press is giving away THREE gift boxes of family devotionals (retail value of $148 each). From December 3-8, you can enter to win one of family devotional boxes.
Each gift box includes one copy of the following family devotionals written by Marty 

Listen Up: 10-Minute Family Devotions on the Parrables

Children love stories, and the parables provide a wonderful opportunity to engage their imagination and help them understand and live out the good news of the kingdom of God. After teaching a parable, Jesus often said, “Whoever has ears, let him hear.” In other words, “This is important, so you better listen up,” and what could be more important than the good news of the kingdom of God? This family devotional provides a unique opportunity for parents to help their children “listen up” and hear the gospel as Jesus himself shared it.


Wise Up is designed to connect the teaching of Proverbs to God’s larger story of salvation. Children will learn that Solomon’s wisdom, life, and failures all point to “something greater than Solomon”—they point to Jesus. The goal of this devotional is to present the wisdom of Proverbs against the backdrop of the gospel to show children that real wisdom comes only as we depend on Jesus for daily help and forgiveness.
Long Story Short guides families through the Old Testament stories and is designed to cultivate honest and powerful discussion about the Bible, which is the catalyst for change in children’s lives. Through 78 Old Testament stories, Long Story  Short explains God’s plan of salvation through the Old Testament, focusing on the hero of Scripture and important biblical truths without being corny, confusing, or condescending.
Suited for children from preschool through high school, this gospel-focused book is full of ten-minute devotions to continue the gospel story that began in Long Story Short. The consistent and short structure helps children walk through the life-changing truths of the Christian faith in the New Testament—without overwhelming them. Through 78 New Testament stories, Old Story New does the hard work for moms and dads. Simple discussion questions (and answers!) for each day’s devotion help children understand and connect with Jesus’s life, death, resurrection, and the birth of the Christian church.

This beautifully illustrated storybook captivates young readers with the heart of the gospel. The Gospel Story Bible points to Jesus, helping families and kids identify Christ as the hero of every story. While it’s easy to forget Jesus in the midst of frantic schedules, family squabbles, and conflicting priorities, Machowski reminds families of God’s plan of salvation in Christ, which is continually on display throughout the Bible. Ideal as a storybook for your preschooler, a devotional for your grade school student, a refresher for the adult believer, or an introduction for the new one, The Gospel Story Bible is also a companion to Long Story Short and Old Story New.

In addition to these books for the entire family, the winners will also receive a new book of devotionals just for parents, and New Growth Press’ latest parenting book.

In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips moms and dads to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t. The easy-to-use format provides encouragement to turn to God in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.

Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This child-rearing book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching readers how they can know their own kids well and raise them accordingly. By discussing particular issues moms and dads might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting.

In case you don’t win the prize pack, sign-up for New Growth Press’ e-news at to receive information about their Countdown to Christmas discounts so that you can order copies. Be sure to follow them on social media as well where they will be sharing daily deals throughout the Christmas season ( | |

GIVEAWAY!! Mars . . . with Venus Rising



I am giving away a print copy of the book   Mars . . . with Venus Rising  by  Hope Toler Dougherty 

Contest Rules

Please comment below for a chance to win.
ou can ‘like’ my review, and sign up to follow my blog for 2 extra chances to win.
Please note in message that you have liked my review and  followed my blog.

My son will choose a winner May 17th.

ALSO    May 17th is the last day to sign up for Hope Toler Daugherty’s Kindle Fire Giveaway.

Go HERE for details and my review of Mars . . . with Venus Rising 

Winner of River Rose by Gilbert Morris

Hey folk. Sorry for the delay in the drawing for this book. The results are in. I numbered all of the entries and used to select a number for the winner. And the name that goes with the number 11 is……..Liz! Congrats Liz.

Liz has been sent an email and I will send her mailing address to the publisher for her copy of Gilbert Morris’ new book River Rose.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and for all of you who rated my book review on Blogging for Books!


Thomas Nelson Survey – Chance to Win $10,000

From Thomas Nelson:

One of the highlights of our days in the Fiction department at Thomas Nelson? Receiving reader letters—either directly addressed to us or passed along from our talented authors. It’s critical to be reminded that at the end of our long days acquiring, editing, designing, selling, marketing, and publicizing books, those stories are reaching readers, striking nerves, changing lives. We want readers’ feedback. How stories have given you hope. Which authors’ series you can’t help from sharing with everyone you meet. We want to know what makes you stay up late in the night to finish a story, and conversely what turns you away.

We’re conducting a series of surveys—seeking answers from readers who love Christian fiction. Up for grabs is a free ebook for every respondent who completes the survery, as well as a $10,000 prize for one entrant. The responses we gather will help shape the future of the books we publish for years to come. As well as the data we’re collecting here, we’ll also seek more in-depth feedback from a panel we’ll develop over the next year. More details to come. The note below from one of authors gives a specific picture of how reader feedback shapes her work. In short, your opinion matters! We thank you for your time and appreciate your responding.

Thomas Nelson Fiction

Dear Friends—

Publishing books is a team effort, and there are a lot of players—authors, editors, cover designers, marketing staff, and a host of other behind-the-scene folks who help get the books on the shelves. And readers are also a large part of the process. Your input matters, probably more than you know.

When I hear from readers, I really listen to what they want. This is particularly true with my series books. For example, Seek Me With All Your Heart (book #1 in the Land of Canaan series) wraps up nicely at the end, but one of my minor characters (Katie Ann) was left pregnant after her husband left her. I received lots of emails about Katie Ann from readers, so book #2 in the series—The Wonder of Your Love—is Katie Ann’s story.

With the popularity of social media resources such as Facebook, it has allowed me to keep in close contact with readers and to seek opinions and advice. Several times, the publisher and I couldn’t decide on a cover, so we posted the cover options on Facebook and let readers decide. And if you’re posting anywhere on my Facebook Fans Page, your name could end up in a book. I often scan the names there, so you are unknowingly helping me just by being on the site.

Readers also made it clear that they wanted books in digital format, large print, and audio versions. Authors and publishers listened, and most (if not all) of my books are available in multiple formats.

As an author, I hope to write entertaining stories that will be enjoyed for many years. As a reader, I have favorite authors, and I’m not afraid to let them know what I want in future books. We listen to the likes and the dislikes in our effort to bring you the best stories we can, so don’t be shy. Tell us what you think!


Beth Wiseman

Two giveaways on my blog, one ends Sat.

Hi Folks, Just to let you know that K. Dawn Byrd’s giveaway for an ebook copy of Mistaken Identity ends this Sat. July 2. You really want to read this wonderful book by Ms. Byrd. You will be very glad you did!  Go HERE to sign up!


And Just started today, Laura Hilton is giving away a copy of Patchwork Dreams, another must read, in my opinion!  Go HERE to sign up for Laura’s book.

Interview and Giveaway with Laura V. Hilton

Interview with Laura V. Hilton

Hey readers and bloggers. Laura Hilton is here today talking about her life and her books
Patchwork Dreams and The Harvest of Hearts. She is giving away a copy of her book Patchwork Dreams
to one reader that leaves an answer to her question. And don’t forget to leave your email address so
I can contact you if you win. The contest ends June 8th. I will announce the winner on the 9th or 10th so you
can come back here to see who won!

Hey Laura, it’s great to have you on my blog today. Thank you so much for being here. Tell us a bit about yourself.  

Thanks for having me, Joy. It’s a pleasure to be here. A little about me… I’ve been married for twenty-five years to the same man, we have five children, the oldest one is 20 and the youngest is six. I am a pastor’s wife, a homeschool mom, and a book reviewer. Oh, and we have a Siberian Husky who thinks he’s human.

Sounds like you have a busy life Laura. We are so blessed that you take the time out of your busy life to write these wonderful Amish books for us to read.

How long have you been writing?

Forever, I think. I remember writing stories in kindergarten – but in third grade the “bug” bit me. We were assigned a short story and my story wasn’t so short. I had some poems published in sixth grade and in high school. Now, I don’t know if I could write a poem anymore.

How awesome to be writing in the 3rd grade. I don’t think I could have written anything at that age. You just gotta have the talent.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

The writing part.  I don’t plot my stories out, I just write and see where the story goes. It’s a discovery for me as I find out things about my characters – and I love it when I get to the end and the theme comes out and I realize that my characters knew it all along.

This is the part that goes over my head! I think it is awesome for you Laura to be able to just start writing and end up with a wonderful story.

What is your favorite Scripture? 

Jeremiah 29:11.   For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for good and not for evil. Plans to give you a future and a hope.

That is one of mine too Laura, what an awesome promise from our Lord!

How do you find characters for your books? Are the influenced by family and friends?

No. I’m not influenced by family or friends – And I really don’t go looking for characters either. If I tried to copy someone’s character I’d probably fail miserable.  The characterization comes to me as the character tells me her story. The type person she is (quiet or shy, rowdy, or whatever)

What are 4 things about yourself that most people wouldn’t know about ?

Oh, it seems there’s a lot of things.  

I’m a breast cancer survivor.  I went through chemo and radiation, the whole 9 yards, and with God’s grace flew through it. My Doctor told me that I was on the most aggressive treatment possible and he couldn’t believe how well I did on it. Of course, I had a three year old then… who has time to be sick?

I’m a quiet shy person.  I tend to be super quiet around people I don’t know…

I once stood up to a country music star – I was a waitress and this star kept opening the window in the restaurant. The air conditioning was on, and my boss yelled at me because he kept opening the window.  So—I hate being yelled at for things I didn’t do. It overcame shyness in a hurry. I marched out there and yelled at him for opening the window. He stood up and said “Do you know who I am?” and I said “No. Am I supposed to?” But for whatever reason he decided he liked me and left me the hugest tip – and he asked for me when he came back.

 I love, love, love the beach and lighthouses. 

What a blessing to be a breast cancer survivor. You ladies are always special to me because my mom was a breast cancer survivor and now so is my sister. And….lol how funny about the country music star! I guess you told him how important he really was! But I am glad he didn’t get upset at you, and at least give you a decent tip! And I’m with you Laura on the beach, wish I lived there all year!

When will your next book be out?  

A Harvest of Hearts will be out in September 2011.  It is the story of Jacob’s best friend, Matthew Yoder, (who was alos in the man swap) and  Shanna Stoltzfus, an Amish girl who ran away from home to go to nursing school.

And I can tell everyone it is even better thank Patchwork Dreams, if you can get any better! I love the warm family feeling of reading an Amish fiction.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the third book in the story about Matthew’s cousin, Joshua Esh, and Becky’s best friend, Annie Beiler. Annie is a school teacher for the Amish community, and Joshua is a part of the man swap—but he has some secrets…

And I for one can’t wait until I can read about Joshua and Annie. I love series because you get to know the characters much better.

Where can our readers find you?

On face book – Author Laura V. Hilton – or at my blog

Thank you Laura, and bloggers I would encourage you to go  by and check out Laura’s blog and like her on facebook so you can keep up with her new books.

Anything else you want to add?     

Let me ask your readers a question.   Would you like to be a part of an arranged swap (of adults, between states)?  Why or why not?

And for my answer, I would say YES…that is if I was young, not attached to anyone. I think it would be fun to see how someone else lives. It could or could not be better than the life you have. I think I would want the option to move  back if I didn’t like it. Something like a trial period thing.

Ok bloggers…its your turn, leave an answer this questions to enter for a copy of Laura’s book Patchwork Dreams.

And I wanted to save this one until last, Tell us a bit about Patchwork Dreams and what Inspired you to write this wonderful Amish Fiction. 

Patchwork Dreams Book 1 of The Amish of Seymour, Missouri
Becky Troyer has committed the ultimate sin, and finds herself on the edge of her Amish community. Jacob Miller believes he was sent to the Old Order Community in Missouri to help out a distant cousin. Instead, he discovers he was part of an arranged swap–sending men from his Pennsylvania district to the Missouri district to bring new blood into the Amish community. Becky dreams of marriage, but doesn’t dare hope that anyone would choose her–not with her history. Can God use the lies that have affected Becky and Jacob to bring them together? Or will Jacob rebel and head home to his first love

 What inspired me to write it? 

Well, my agent suggested I try an Amish fiction, and since I love reading it, and since I have Pennsylvania Amish in my ancestors, I thought I’d give it a try. I got the idea from reading another story about a man who was sent away to a community to get him away from his first love—but he returned  home to her—And it was written in his first love’s point of view. Suffering without him… I thought what if… What if the man stayed? What if he fell in love? And I prayed about it, and it came from there.    I set the story in Seymour, Missouri because my husband has a non-Amish aunt there, and the town is only two hours away from me. I could run over there for research any time I wanted.

For me, Amish is wonderful for you, I love your first two books in this series and I just know the next one will be awesome too. Thank you Laura for sharing that with us. And thank you again for being with us today. Blessings to you with your writing, and we especially thank you for the biblical content of your books. Anyone can read your books and clearly know what it means to accept the Lord as their Savior. Thank you for honoring Him.

Ok bloggers, Answer Laura’s question for a chance to win her book. And don’t forget to go by and leave Laura a message on one of her sites.

Win Karen Witemeyer’s book ‘To Win Her Heart’

Win Karen Witemeyer’s book ‘To Win Her Heart’ HERE     Do NOT leave a comment here….you must click HERE to go to the form to enter

2 giveaways on my blog…last day for one


Today Wed June 22  is the last day to sign up for Meg Moseley’s When Sparrow’s Fall, Click to go to sign up screen


And Sunday June 26  is the last day to sign up for K. Dawn Byrd’s Mistaken Identity Click here to go to sign up screen

Mistaken Identity by K. Dawn Byrd and Giveaway

HI Everyone, I am so glad to be featuring K. Dawn Byrd and her new book Mistaken Identity on my blog today. And she is giving away a gift card for a copy of her wonderful book Mistaken Identity this week. To win you MUST leave a comment AND your email address so I can contact you. Thanks much and I will let K. Dawn Byrd tell you a bit about herself and the book.

Title: Mistaken Identity

Book blurb: Eden Morgan longs for a boyfriend of her own, an impossible goal when her best friend, Lexi Branson, gets all the attention and all the guys. When they fall in love with the same guy, Eden believes she doesn’t have a chance. She can only hope that sometimes the good girl gets the guy.


1)      How did this story come to you?

Sometimes I get the strangest ideas! I wondered what would happen if a not-as-pretty good Christian girl and her gorgeous non-Christian best friend fell in love with the same guy. Who would get the guy?

2)      Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.

I had already published several book with Desert Breeze Publishing when they opened a young adult line. I’d been writing romantic suspense and thought it would fun to try my hand at a young adult novel. It was so much fun that I’m signing a contract for a young adult mystery series that will debut in January.

3)      Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

1)      I own two hairless Chinese Crested dogs.

2)      I love sour things….pickles, lemons, sour candy.

3)      I used to ride a Harley, but gave it up in order to have more time to write. (My husband always wanted to stay out way too long and take the scenic route home. He still has his bike, but I don’t miss mine at all.)

4)What are you working on now and what’s next for you?

I’m editing my October release with Desert Breeze. This Time for Keeps is an inspirational romance.

5)Parting comments? Thank you for hosting me! For those of you who love Christian fiction, please check my blog for weekly book giveaways. I interview 3-5 authors a week who give away their books.


6) Where can fans find you on the internet?



I’m also on Twitter (kdawnbyrd) and facebook (K Dawn Byrd.) I am the moderator of the Christian Fiction Gathering facebook group (!/group.php?gid=128209963444) If youjoin this group, you’ll get reminders about the weekly book giveways.


Best friends Eden Morgan and Lexi Branson are as different as day and night. Lexi can get any boyfriend she wants, and Eden longs for boyfriend of her own. As this story unfolds new neighbors move in next door to Eden’s family. And we have all heard about the ‘boy next door’ right? Well these new neighbors included that boy Channing, and wow was he ever drop dead gorgeous! He and Eden seemed to hit it off from the beginning, but the problem was that Lexi wanted him too. And what Lexi wants she gets.

Mistaken Identity, a wonderful and sweet love story that anyone romance fan would like. And I would especially encourage any teenage young lady to read this book because dating is something they will all face at sometime. I loved the teen characters in this story; they made me feel as though I was watching this story in real life! Channing was just a sweet and hot guy that every girl at school had their eye on. The idea of having a Christian and non-Christian going for the same guy was cool. And it kept me wanting to finish the story to see just who Channing would pick, Eden or Lexi. It just all depended on what Channing was looking for in a girlfriend. Now you just need to read the book to find out who the winning woman turned out to be.

I want to thank K. Dawn Byrd for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

You can purchase the book at  AMAZON  and  BARNES AND NOBLE

we have a winner!

Wilma Metcalf  ………is the winner of Dr. Richard Mabry’s book “Diagnosis Death”

A big Thank You to everyone who participated and for all of the wonderful comments. If you haven’t read any of Dr. Mabry’s books, get copies and read them! I already know you are gonna love them as much as I do! And if you do read any of his books, go to some of the online bookstores such as Amazon, CBD Books-A-Million, Barns and Noble and leave a review to help promote his books. And drop him an email through his website and let him know what you think of his books. I know he will appreciate it!

You can find out more about Dr. Mabry and his books HERE on his website.

2 Giveaways on my blog….one ending tomorrow

Ok tomorrow is the very last day to enter to win Dr Mabry’s book

“Diagnosis Death” the third book in his Prescription for Trouble Series.

Go Here to enter….and please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

Also my new giveaway is a copy of Meg Moseley’s “When Sparrows Fall” .

Go Here for on interview with Meg and be sure to see the question Meg asks you bloggers.

You MUST answer the question for a chance at winning the book.

Enter to win a copy of Susan Sleeman’s Behind the Badge and a $50 Amazon gift card!

Enter to win a copy of Susan Sleeman’s Behind the Badge and a $50 Amazon gift card!

Susan Sleeman here. Behind the Badge, my second romantic suspense book for Love Inspired Suspense will release on June 6th and in honor of all of you, the readers, I am hosting a special contest on my website for the month of June.

Let’s face it. Without you, the wonderful readers, books would not exist and I wouldn’t be able to wake up looking forward to a job that is fresh and exciting each and every day. Praise God for this incredible opportunity!

Now back to the contest. All you have to do is read the excerpt below then go to my WEBSITE and answer the following question. That’s it. You’re entered to win.

If you’d like to sign up for my mailing list to learn of other contests in the future you can do that at the same time, too. Full contest rules are on the entry page. Remember only one entry per person.

QUESTION: How many gunshots to the chest did Carl Dixon suffer?

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of romantic suspense and mystery novels. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website

Her books include Nipped in the Bud, High-Stakes Inheritance, Behind the Badge, and The Christmas Witness. Also watch for the first two romantic suspense books in her Justice Agency series coming from Love Inspired suspense in 2012 and featuring a private investigations firm specializing in helping those who traditional law enforcement has failed.

Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson.

To learn more about Susan visit her website, Facebook , or Twitter.





Behind the Badge

The Morgan Brothers – Bk 2

Love Inspired Suspense

June 6, 2011

ISBN-10: 0373444478

ISBN-13: 978-0373444472


A killer is threatening the life of rookie cop Sydney Tucker’s sister-unless Sydney turns over evidence from a drug bust. But she doesn’t have the evidence. Not that the thug believes her. Now she and the sibling in her care are under the watchful eye of Logan Lake police chief Russ Morgan…but will his protection be enough?

The killer is closing in, picking off the people and places that mean the most to Sydney. A list that now includes Russ. To protect her loved ones, will she pay the ultimate price-her life?



Chapter One

Gunshots split the inky darkness.

Deputy Sydney Tucker hit the cold ground, a jagged rock slashing into her forehead on the way down. She reached for her service weapon. Came up empty handed. She’d stopped after work to check on the construction of her townhouse and left her gun and cell phone in the car.

Dumb, Sydney. Really dumb. Now what’re you gonna do?

Inching her head above knee-high grass, she listened. The keening whistle of the wind died, leaving the air damp and heavy with tension but silence reigned.

Had she overreacted? Could be target practice. But at night? Maybe. Hunters did crazy things sometimes.

Footfalls pounded from below like someone charging through the brush. No. Two people. Maybe a chase. One person after another. A loud crash, branches snapping.

“What’re you doin’, man,” a panicked male voice traveled through the night. “No! Don’t shoot! We can work this out.”

Three more gunshots rang out. A moan drifted up the hill.

Not target practice. Someone had been shot.

Sydney lurched to her feet, dizziness swirling around her. Blood dripped into her eyes. She wiped it away, blinked hard and steadied herself on a large rock while peering into the wall of darkness for the best escape route.

Heavy footfalls crunched up the gravel path.

“I know you’re here, Deputy Tucker,” a male voice, disguised with a high nasally pitch, called out. “We need to talk about this. C’mon out.”

Yeah, right. Come out and die. Not hardly.

Praying, pleading for safety, she scrambled deeper into the scrub. Over rocks. Through grass tangling her feet. Her heart pounded in her head, drowning the prayers with fear.

“I’m losing patience, Deputy,” he called again in that strange voice. “You’re not like Dixon. He had it coming. You don’t.”

Dixon? Did he mean the man she arrested for providing alcohol to her teenage sister and for selling drugs? Was that what this was about?

Rocks skittered down the incline. The shooter was on the move again. No time to think. She had to go. Now!

Blindly she felt her way past shrubs, over uneven ground. Dried leaves crunched underfoot. Branches slapped her face and clawed at her arms, but she stifled her cries of pain.

“I hear you, Deputy.”

She wrenched around to determine his location. A protruding rock caught her foot, catapulting her forward. She somersaulted through the air. Her knee slammed into the packed earth and she crashed down the hill. Wrapping arms around her head for protection, she came to a stop, breath knocked out of her chest, lying flat on her back in a thick stand of weeds.

“So you want to play it that way, do you Deputy? Fine. Just remember, you can run, but you can’t hide. I will find you. This will be resolved one way or another.” His disembodied laugh swirled into the night.

The darkness pressed closer. Blinding. Overwhelming. Terrifying.

She was easy prey. Even with her bulletproof vest, a few rounds fired in her direction would take her out. She had to get up.

She rose to her knees, but pain knifed into her knee, keeping her anchored to the ground.

Lord, please don’t let me die like this. Give me the strength to move. I need to live for Nikki. She’s only seventeen. She has no one.

Sydney uncurled and came to a standing position. Taking a few halting steps, she tested the pain. Nearly unbearable. But she could-no she had to do this for her sister.

Thinking of Nikki, she gritted her teeth and set off, moving slowly, taking care not to make a sound.

Out of the darkness, a hand shot out. Clamped over her mouth.

Screams tore from her throat, but died behind fingers pressed hard against her lips.

A muscled arm jerked her against a solid chest and dragged her deep into the brush.

God, please, no.

She twisted, arched her back, pushing against arms like iron bands.

She dug her heels into the ground, but he was too strong. He kept going deeper into the brush before settling them both on the ground behind a large boulder.

“Relax Sydney, it’s Russ Morgan,” Logan Lake’s Police Chief whispered, his lips close to her ear.

Russ Morgan? What was he doing here?

“Sorry about the hand.” His tone said she was nothing more than a stranger instead of someone she’d known for years. “I didn’t want you to alert the shooter with a scream. I’m gonna remove my hand now. Nod if you understand me.”

She let all of her relief escape in a sharp jerk of her head. His fingers dropped away.

“Once the shooter rounded that curve, you would’ve been a goner,” he whispered while still firmly holding her. “Good thing a neighbor reported gunshots.”

Sydney started to shiver and breathed deep to steady her galloping pulse. Air rushed into her lungs. She was alive, but barely. No thanks to her own skills.

“You okay?” he asked, his breath stirring her hair.

“Yes.” She willed her body to stop shaking and eased out a hiss of disappointment in her performance as a deputy. “How long have you been here?”

“Long enough to hear the shooter claim he’s hit Dixon and is coming after you next,” he whispered again, but urgency lit his voice and rekindled her fear. “This have to do with your arrest of Carl Dixon the other day?”

“I don’t know,” she whispered back. “I just stopped to check on the construction of my townhouse on my way home from work.”

“Off duty, huh? Explains why you don’t have your weapon drawn.”

“I left my duty belt in my car.” She waited for his reaction to not carrying, but he simply gave a quick nod as footfalls grated against gravel.

“Shh, he’s about to pass us.” Russ leaned forward and drew his gun with his free hand, but didn’t release his hold on her.

Crunching steps came within a few feet of their location. Halted.

“Can you feel me breathing down your neck, Deputy? I’m inches from finding you.” He didn’t know the accuracy of his words.

She felt Russ’s breathing speed up, upping her concern and washing away the brief blanket of security his arms provided. Adrenaline urged her to move. To keep from panicking, she focused on Russ’s unwavering weapon.

The shooter took a few steps closer. Her heart thumped, threatening to leave her chest. Russ tightened his hold as if he knew she wanted to bolt.

The shooter spun sending gravel flying then headed up the path.

As his footsteps receded, she tried to relax taut muscles. The warmth from Russ’s body helped chase out her fear and the chill of the night. Thank God Russ was here. If he hadn’t come.

She refused to go there. God had watched over her. Provided rescue, just not in the form she’d have chosen.

Not only was Russ an officer from the city police force-a team often in competition with the county sheriff’s department where she worked-but a man she’d had a crazy crush on in high school. A man whose rugged good looks still turned women’s heads.

She let out a long sigh.

“I know this’s awkward,” he whispered, “but hang tight for a few more minutes. We need to wait for him to head back down the hill.”

She wanted to protest and suggest they flee now, but not Russ. He thought clearly. Taking off now gave the killer the advantage of higher ground, making them moving targets. They’d have to sit like this until he passed them again.

If they made it out of here, which the approaching footfalls told her wasn’t at all certain.

They pounded closer. The shooter moved at a quick clip this time as if he thought she’d gotten away and he was fleeing. Or maybe he was heading to her car to lay in wait for her.

As the footsteps receded again, she felt Russ’s arm slacken.

“Time to roll,” he whispered. “Stay here.”

“But I-”

“You have a backup?” He referred to a back up gun officers often carry.

She shook her head.

“Then wait here.” He gave her the hard stare that’d made him famous around town and crept toward the path.

She leaned against the boulder and wrapped her arms around the warm circle on her waist where he’d held her. Without his warmth, she couldn’t quit shaking. The reality of the night froze her inner core.

She should listen to Russ. Lay low. Wait until he apprehended the killer.

That was the safe thing to do.

The easy thing to do.

The wrong thing to do.

Not for everyone, but for an officer of the law, letting a shooter escape without trying to stop him wasn’t an option. Even if that shooter had her in his sights, she’d make her way to her car for her gun and help Russ stop this maniac before he hurt anyone else.


Near the ditch, Russ came to a stop and fought to catch his breath. Taillights on a mud splattered dirt bike roared up the trail. He’d warned the suspect to stop, but short of shooting him in the back, Russ couldn’t stop him from fleeing into the dark.

At least he’d accomplished his primary objective. To protect Sydney and keep her alive. Now he needed to alert his men and the sheriff’s office to the suspect’s whereabouts.

He lifted his shoulder mic and ordered a unit from his office to stake out the end of the trail for the motorcycle and an ambulance in case Dixon survived. Then he asked dispatch to patch him through to the county sheriff’s department to make sure they knew he’d taken charge of the scene so none of their hotshot deputies arrived with the hope of usurping control.

He turned on his Maglight and headed up the hill. The beam of light skipped over gravel and lush plants lining the winding path. Midway up, rustling brush stopped him cold. He’d left Sydney higher up. Nearer the lake.

Was a second shooter hoping to ambush him?

He flipped off his light and sought protection behind a tree. His breath came in little pulses in the unusually cold air for a typical Oregon fall. Adrenaline with little time to ebb away came roaring back, but even as the noise grew louder, he resisted the urge to take action

Maybe it was Sydney. The Sydney he used to know wouldn’t have listened to his directive and stayed put. She’d trounce down the hill, her chin tilted at the same insolent angle as when he told her he didn’t return her crazy crush her freshman year of high school. Not that he’d wanted to send a beautiful, lively girl like her away. He could easily have dated her, but he was four years older, in college. With their age difference, it wouldn’t have been right.

Bushes at the path’s edge shook then parted. Slowly, like a sleek panther, Sydney slipped out. He watched until she stood tall on those incredibly long legs he’d admired since she was sixteen before lowering his gun and aiming his flashlight at her.

She jumped. Peered up at him, an impudent look planted on her face. This was the Sydney he’d known as a teen and heaven help him, in less than thirty minutes, she’d sparked his interest again.

“Care to shine that somewhere other than my face.” She perched her hand over her eyes, warding off the glare.

He moved the light but not before he caught a good look at a gaping wound running from her hairline to eyebrow, covered in congealed blood. He lifted his hand to check out her injury, but stopped. He wouldn’t probe a wound on one of his men’s faces. As a fellow LEO-law enforcement officer-he wouldn’t treat Sydney any differently.

“I told you to stay put.” He infused his words with authority.

“I wanted to help. Wish I’d listened. I tripped over the body.” She held out blood-covered hands. Her eyes watered as if she might cry.

Man. Don’t do that. Don’t fall apart. He couldn’t remain detached if she started crying. He’d have to empathize, maybe give her a reassuring pat on the arm. Maybe feel her pain and resurrect all the reasons he’d left his homicide job in Portland.

He changed his focus. Nodded at the brush. “Show me the body.”

As a faint whine of sirens spiraled in the distance, she limped into tall grass, a grimace of pain marring her beautiful face. He followed, illuminating the area ahead of her. About ten feet in, she suddenly stopped. He shone his light a few feet ahead of her.

Diffused rays slid over a young male lying on his back. Russ swung the beam to the man’s face landing on open eyes staring into the blackness above.

Sydney gasped and swung around him. She rushed toward the main path. Even though Russ knew it was a lost cause, he bent down to check for a pulse. No question, this man hadn’t made it and no question about his identity. Carl Dixon, a man every LEO in the area knew from his frequent blips onto the police radar and the most recent arrest for selling drugs.

All that ended with three gunshots to the chest at close range from what Russ could see with his flashlight. Once they thoroughly processed the scene, he’d know better. But first, they needed to vacate the area before further contaminating the scene.

He found Sydney near the path, gaze fixed in the distance, hands clasped on her hips and exhaling long breaths as if trying to expel what she’d just seen.

Haunted eyes peered at him. “He’s dead, right?”


“And what about the killer?”

“Couldn’t catch him. He took off on a dirt bike.”

Disappointment crowded out the fear on her face. “Did you at least see him?”

“From the back. He was my height or a little taller, but lean. Wore a black stocking cap. The bike has a plate so it must be street legal. I caught the first few digits.”

“That’s something, then.”

Russ didn’t want to tell her it would do little for them in terms of searching DMV records as three digits would return thousands of bikes, but he didn’t think she could take any more bad news so he kept quiet. “Let’s head down to the parking lot.”

He gave her the flashlight and urged her to take the lead down the steep hill. Once on solid concrete, she handed it back to him. Holding it overhead, he watched her closely for dizziness or other impairments from her fall. He saw nothing out of the ordinary, but a head injury could mean a concussion. He’d have the EMT’s check her out when they got here.

He pointed at a rough-hewn bench. “Maybe you should sit down.”

“I’m fine ” Her voice cracked and she seemed embarrassed over reacting to the murder.

“It’s okay to be upset, Syd. A horrible thing happened tonight.”

“I’m fine really. I’ll be back to a hundred percent by morning.”

Text copyright © by Susan Sleeman

Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.


Fiction….Medical Drama……Suspense…….New Book Giveaway

here on my blog. You have until June 15th to enter HERE 

The last day of mom’s memorial celebrations winner

is…………..Liz!    You will get the Cindy Woodsmall “When the Heart Cries” And a couple more Amish books I found. Congratulations Liz

And a HUGE thank you to everyone for voting for my reviews, following my friends blog, and everything else!  You are all so special. I am having another great giveaway starting Monday… don’t miss it!!

Blessings to you!  Joy

More Winners

Ok….Heres another round of winners….and its ONE MORE DAY….if you want to win a Cindy Woodsmall book….plus a couple more that I found lay around as a bonus….go click on the link to enter….

Ok now the winners

Day 6….Springs Renewal……….Diana

Day 7 Winter Awakening…..Carrie

Day 8 Leah’s Choice……..Jo

Day 9 Rachel Garden……Courtney

Day 10 Bygones……..Liz

Day 11 Beginnings……..Nora

Ok and thats it for now….will be back later with tomorrow’s final winner!


Winners and other giveaways.

Hey everyone, We have winners, so sorry I didn’t get these posted each day………

The winner for Monday’s Beverly Lewis’  “The Secret” is………………..Liz

The winner for Tuesday’s Beverly Lewis’  “The Brethern” is……..Charlotte

The winner for Wed’s Beverly Lewis’   “Forbidden” is……………..Anne

The winner for Thurs’  Beverly Lewis’ “The Longing” is………….Courtney

I will email each of you individually……and thanks to all of you for checking out my reviews, reading my blog and honoring my mom!!

Don’t Forget the other giveaways yet to come.

Day six and  seven  giveaway

Days eight and nine giveaway

Days ten and eleven giveaway

Final day…..Day 12 giveaway

Another Great Giveaway

Ok the winner for Sunday May 15th and Beverly Lewis’  book “The Betrayal.” is Charlotte. Congratulations Charlotte and I will email you for your address. Don’t forget to enter for the other 11 giveaways I have here

Click link below for this great giveaway

12 Book Giveaway, easy access

Another picture of our precious mom! In her comfy chair!

Wheeeeeee…..and I crazy or what!!  But I did want to do this for my mom…..she gave so much, I know she would be pleased for me to give something in here memory….or really her honor!

As promised…here is the link to make is easier for you to enter all 12 giveaways. Let me know if you have problems. I did check each out…so hopefully they work for all. Don’t worry if you get confused and don’t tell me about each thing you did for extras. I will check closely to make sure I have everyone entry correct. Also, if you’ve already done whats required for extras…thats ok….I will check that too.

Ok Go HERE….and you will find all 12 days listed. You have to sign up for each giveaway to win the book for those days

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