Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hearts Crossing, Marianne Evans

“How do you feel about God, Collin?”
“I don’t.”

Collin Edwards, a former parishoner at Woodland Church, has renounced God without apology, his faith drained away in the face of a tragic loss.

Daveny Montgomery cares deeply about her relationship with God, and the community of Woodland. Lately she's been in a rut, longing for something to reignite her spiritual enthusiasm.

A beautification project at Woodland seems the answer for them both. Daveny spearheads the effort and Collin assists, but only with the renovations, and only because he wants to know Daveny better. Despite his deepening feelings for her, even stepping into the common areas of the church stirs tension and anger.

Can Daveny trust in Collin’s fledgling return to faith? And can Collin ever accept the fact that while he turned his back on God, God never turned his back on him?

The closer he got to Woodland Church, the more Collin's tension increased. He faced that fact without flinching, and without apologizing.
He couldn't help the sense of anger he felt whenever he considered matters of faith, so he didn't try to stem the tide. Helping his mom is what mattered, and the thought kept Collin centered as he turned off Jefferson Avenue and into the church parking lot.
The single word exclamation was Collin's instinctive reaction upon seeing the church. Grounds were torn up in large spots and contractors worked at the open sores. Collin slowed his truck to a stop next to a series of graders, haulers and a semi presently swarmed by what he assumed were church volunteers.
He hopped down from the cab and released the back latch, looking for a person who might be deemed the project leader.
The fact that he stopped to stare drew the attention of a by-passer, who called affably, “Need some help?”
“Delivery. Can you point me to the right person?”
“That’d be Daveny. She’ll get you taken care of. Follow me over.”
They crossed the lot and closed in on a cluster of folks who were in scrubby clothes, water bottles and gardening tools in hand. At the center stood a slender, petite woman wearing jeans and a lime green t-shirt. They stepped up and Collin realized she was in the process of assigning volunteers to designated sections of the church grounds.
During a pause, Collin's escort spoke up. “Daveny, this gentleman brought us some supplies.”
“Perfect. Thanks, Gabe.”
With that, she turned. Collin's world tilted when her gaze lifted to his in greeting. Something overwhelming and instantly captivating swept through him like wind song when she smiled.
“Hi, I'm Daveny Montgomery.”
Collin stumbled over his own name, stalling out while he stared at her. There was a purity he sensed – elusive and instantly haunting.
“Collin Edwards,” he finally managed, taking hold of her extended hand. Firm grip, he realized, soft as silk skin. Nice.
Suddenly, he didn't want to leave. Not quite yet anyway.

Five Hearts – The Romance Studio, Brenda Talley
Ms. Evans has presented her readers with a highly-emotional, poignant book that (I promise) will tug at your heartstrings. She presented a plot that was impressive and involved several different support characters. These people were also interesting and drawn into the story. I loved the way this book unfolded. It showed a realistic look at Christians without being preachy or over-the-top. I know anyone who reads this book will love it. In fact, I hope there is a sequel.

4.5 Books – Long & Short Reviews, Orange Blossom
Ms. Evans certainly knows how to set a scene. Her word descriptions put you right there in a scene until you can taste the scented breeze. She writes sensually sweet which allows the reader into the heart of the characters as they experience every emotion in this whirlwind tale. It’s a story which touches the heart and tickles the senses.

WHY Marianne Wrote the Book:
I wrote the book in response to a contest sponsored by White Rose Publishing, and my entry ended up winning! What a thrill! I liked the idea of exploring an issue that hits all Christians at one point or another: Why does a loving God allow evil? Why does a loving God allow bad things to happen?

I think the last line of my blurb says it all: Even when we turn our back on God, God never, ever turns his back on us. My prayer is that readers take hope from that truth!

Other Books in The Woodland series (coming soon):
Hearts Surrender
Hearts Communion
Hearts Key

Marianne Evans has written numerous contemporary romances. Kensington Publishing purchased her first book, Friends & Lovers. Her second, Right Hand Man, followed shortly thereafter. Her third release from Kensington, Hannah’s Heart, won critical acclaim from The Oakland Press. Her fourth book is her inspirational romance debut with White Rose Publishing – a contest winning novella entitled Hearts Crossing.
The success of Hearts Crossing as led to the creation of The Woodland Series. Hearts Surrender, Hearts Communion and Hearts Key will tell the continuing story of characters first introduced in Hearts Crossing, all of which will revolve around Woodland Church. The series will be available in both print and e-book format. Hearts Surrender will be released in late 2010.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Marianne is an active member of Romance Writers of America. She’s a long-time member of Greater Detroit RWA where she served the chapter in a number of capacities, but most notably for two terms as Chapter President. She also belongs to the Faith Hope and Love chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.

Don't forget to leave a comment to enter this week's drawing. Winner will receive today's featured ebook, Hearts Crossing by Marianne Evans, plus And The Beat Goes On by Tracy Krauss, and Love Turns the Tide by Gail Pallotta.


  1. Always something of interest when I visit this blog.

  2. Hello Shawna, The interview with Marianne is very interesting and gave me hope that beginning writers can indeed succeed. The story line of the book really intrigues me, because I'm fearful of a loved one turning away from God through a personal tragedy. I believe the story content would be helpful to helping others return to their faith. I also like the idea of winning 3 excellent books in this giveaway. Thank you for the chance to win.

    Blessed Be in Christ,
    Barb Shelton

  3. hello this sounds like a wonderful book.she makes the characters sound so real.please enter me into the draw thanks

  4. Silverbill, I couldn't agree more! Shawna has done an outstanding job!!

  5. Barb,thank you for your visit to the blog! I have to give credit for the plot line to a brainstorming session I had with my daughter to create the premise for Hearts Crossing. We were playing a game of 'what if' and Collin's backstory developed. There were several scenes in this book that brought me to literal tears as I wrote them. :-) Hope you enjoy, and blessings!

  6. Marianne,

    Hearts Crossing has a powerful message and is beautifully written. I am so pleased to see this great work featured here.

    Mary Manners

  7. Hi, Kellie! Thanks for stopping by! :-) I appreciate your kind words so much! Hope you enjoy Hearts Crossing - Daveny and Collin are very near and dear to my heart. One of the benefits of creating the Woodland Series is the opportunity to stick with my characters for just a little while longer! :-) Blessings!

  8. Mary, you are such a sweetheart! Thank you!! I appreciate your kind words and support so much!!! Blessings!

  9. love the last line of the blurb too. Reminds me of something I heard the other day.
    "I dont' believe in God."
    "Well, tough, because He believes in you."

  10. I must say H.C. for me was a great page turner. Marianne Evans had me from the beginning. I'm cant wait for Hearts Surrender to be released.
    I remember someone said... always give a blessing and to be a blessing and Marianne you have displayed both in your writing, and as a person.
    Thanks Shawna, great interview.

  11. Fantastic! Thanks for the inspiration! Great interview!

  12. Wow, I'm just getting the chance to check in today. Lots of comments for this early. I've got you all entered into the contest, and thank you so much for your kind words about the blog. Blessings!

  13. Neecy, you rock the world, girl. :-) Thanks so much for the encouragement. The series will definitely challenge me as a writer, but in the best way.

  14. Clare, it's so very, very, very true that God never gives up on us. At times, in our frail, imperfect humanity, it's so easy to fall into the cultural trap and thinking that God's not there, and that God doesn't care. When I find myself straying onto that road, I force myself to remember His faithfulness!! Thanks for the reminder!

  15. Thanks for stopping by, Rita, and for the compliment as well! I appreciate it so much! Blessings!

  16. Shawna, I can't thank you enough for allowing me to be a guest on Inspirational Ebooks - I'm delighted to be here, and I count myself abundantly blessed that our cyber-paths have crossed. I appreciate you very much!

  17. Oh cool. I'm just here to support a member from the Michigan Literary Network ! Awesome!

  18. As her husband, I had the opportunity to read Hearts Crossing and give her my 2 cents. She then let me read Heart's Surrender...except she did not quite have it all done by the time that I was ready for the last 2 chapters. All I can say is that I really enjoyed both books and I can't wait for everyone else to have the chance to read them. Lunch sometime, Honey?

  19. Sylvia, thanks so much for the support! I appreciate it very, very much! :-) The Michigan Literary Network is fantastic - a true boon to authors!!!

  20. Steve, you crack me up! It's true he was basically drumming fingertips on the table top waiting for the last chapter or so...that's when I pretty much let myself hope Hearts Surrender would become the sequel to Hearts Crossing, and that a series just might come to be. By the grace of God, I now have a lot of writing to do! LOL!

  21. Awe...I believe your proud hubby just asked you out on a date, Marianne. Glad to facilitate the romance.

  22. I have already read this, so don't enter me in the drawing. But I really enjoyed it!

  23. hi Marianne, I have read this twice and will keep it in my Kindle forever. So please pass on to someone else if I win LOL. You yourself are a terrific inspiration to me, as well as your writing. Thanks for being my friend. oxoxox

  24. I love the blurb. I can really connect to Collin. I would love to have the book to read.


  25. Great interview and super giveaway. I am in the process of ordering a Kindle so this would be a perfect way to begin my collection.

    Thanks and God bless!
    Jan Marie


  26. Tanya and Robin, you guys are sooooo unbelievably supportive and wonderful - and I can turn the writing compliments right around and give them back to the two of you. Robin and Tanya are two more (of the many!) reasons why White Rose Publishing is on the rise. The quality is just fantastic! :-) Hugs, guys!!!!

  27. Ladydi, thanks so much for the compliment on the blurb! Lord how we authors sweat the blurbs, and excerpts - hoping to capture, in so short a space, the very essence of our book. Glad it connected with you!!

  28. Jan Marie, thanks so much for stopping by! Isn't this blog awesome? Shawna, please take another bow! You deserve it! :-) Good luck in the drawing!!