Everyone’s Story warmly welcomes multi-published author Vicki Hinze. While the writing world may appear huge on the surface with so many wonderful authors, it’s really a small tight-knit community. I’ve known Vicki by name for quite a few years and might have bumped into her at a RWA conference years ago. Vicki’s novels lean heavily toward suspense in all different shades, both for the Christian and general markets. She shares with us very encouraging words this week, plus offers a BookGiveaway. Both Vicki and I look forward to hearing from you.
Vicki is offering 1 Kindle edition of The Marked Star. The winner will be announced here on Friday, April 29th between 5-6 PM EST.
** Please note something new regarding BookGiveaways: to further protect your privacy, and since emails are appearing for “my eyes only” when the comments go into my moderation box, emails within comments are no longer required. However, if yours does NOT appear I will leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.
Blurb of The Marked Star:
PEOPLE ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM
Superstar Elle Bostwick is kidnapped in London. But who has kidnapped her? NINA, a group of powerful and ruthless opportunists who will do anything to anyone to gain access to something Elle has that they want? Or the CIA, who is equally determined to prevent NINA access to what it wants? And why a singer? Why Elle? And why does she not know what they’re after?
Days later, Elle mysteriously turns up at a Shadow Watcher’s wedding reception, and the Shadow Watchers, Nick Sloan specifically, is ordered to keep her safe—indefinitely. But the top secret entity issuing the orders doesn’t say why or who is pursuing Elle. All information is being atypically withheld. That has never before happened. Why now?
OLD WOUNDS RUN DEEP
Nick and Elle have a history. He left her without even saying good-bye, determined to never need or want anyone—not after surviving his horror show of a family. Nick learned the hard way to never dare to love anyone. He didn’t know Elle had been walking wounded, too.
Now she’s burst back into his life–with baggage that could get them and the other Shadow Watchers killed. Who is on their side? Who is their real enemy? And what does that enemy really want? Most importantly, will they find out before they end up dead.
CAN LOVE HEAL THEM—IS IT ENOUGH?
Nick willingly risks his life for her, but does he dare to risk his heart? Does Elle? Both have little reason to trust. Little reason to dare, except for the hope of love they find in each other. But neither is certain… Is love enough to heal deep wounds? To spare the lives and hearts of Nick and The Marked Star?
Read the first three chapters of THE MARKED STAR (Shadow Watchers, Book 2)
Read the first three chapters of THE MARKED BRIDE (Shadow Watchers, Book 1)
The Ten-Cent Maid by Vicki Hinze
Many years ago in school, there was a contest for the homecoming court. Everyone was to sell votes for a dime. This was one of the school’s biggest fundraisers, so it wasn’t actually like selling votes in the context we’d think of today. Anyway, everyone was expected to do their part and sell votes.
I worked hard at it. Very hard. And as sales mounted, I finally began believing I might just have a shot at making the homecoming court. Well, the contest ended and the votes were counted, and I lost. By ten cents. One vote short.
In no way can I say I wasn’t disappointed—I had worked very hard—but I can’t say I was devastated, either. I remember thinking there was a reason I’d lost by a dime and just because I didn’t know the reason didn’t mean it wasn’t important. Not winning didn’t mean my efforts had been lacking, though I did wonder if losing by a little bit was going to be the way things went in my life. Being second—second-rate, second best, just second—with the best being reserved for others.
I’m not sure where that idea came from to wonder, but I vividly recall doing it. Yet, even then I thought it was an odd thing to think. Why had it been planted in my mind? I had no idea, but it was there, and I did note it.
Later that school year, I figured I’d needed to note it so I would remember it. The ten-cent maid loss became significant because the girl who won by that dime suffered serious challenges that removed her from school. And it dawned on me that perhaps I’d lost by a dime and she’d won because she’d needed to win more. She wouldn’t have another chance at something like homecoming court, or a second chance at other school-related wins. That day, my attitude changed. I was glad she had won, and I was happy I’d been the ten-cent maid.
Looking back, I have seen that “falling just short” pattern repeat in my life several times. But after the first experience, and the recognition that wants and needs are different and warrant respect, I never again wondered if I was second-rate or second best. Instead, I saw second as a position placement privilege. I understood that sometimes other people’s needs are greater. We all want wins. But only some need wins. The implications were a lot for me to absorb frankly, but the important part stuck with me.
Oh, I’ve won my fair share and then some of honors and awards and accolades, and I truly am grateful for each and every one. But there was and remains something special about the lessons learned at being the ten-cent maid.
In a sense, that’s a similar experience to Elle Bostwick’s in The Marked Star. Elle is a singer, a superstar, and everyone thinks she’s got it all. From the outside, she does. Talent, looks, fame, and fortune. But Elle’s done her stint at the ten-cent table, too. Only hers was in a far more substantial way, and she played her part for a lifetime.
Elle wasn’t given her parents’ name. She was, from the beginning, their secret daughter. It wasn’t that she wasn’t loved; she most certainly was. But the very things others coveted in Elle’s life were the things that made claiming her identity dangerous. Her family wanted to protect her, and her parents did, but at a great cost to Elle.
Like the rest of us, Elle was shaped by her experiences, and while some might have been bitter and given into anger, she sought understanding—and, because she did, she found her heart’s desire. Found it and recognized it and claimed it. And that’s something she couldn’t have done without the lessons she had learned while seated at the ten-cent table.
Sometimes when we feel stuck or as if we’re falling behind and no matter how hard we try we just keep falling short, we need to remember the blessings and joys we learn to recognize by our time at our own ten-cent table.
Vicki’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Multi-published author @vickihinze asks: Are you a Ten-cent maid? (Tweet This)
Everyone’s Story: @vickihinze shares a “falling just short” story. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)
Check out The Marked Star by @vickihinze. #BookGiveaway #Suspense (Tweet This)
A USA Today best selling and award-winning author, Vicki Hinze, has written over thirty-five books (fiction and nonfiction) and hundreds of articles that have been published in as many as 63 countries. She is also a columnist for the global Social-In Network. Vicki writes most often in Romantic Suspense, Thrillers with a romantic element, and Military Romance or Military Thrillers for the general market or for the Christian market. She has written series, political thrillers, suspense, paranormal romantic suspense, time-travel suspense, women’s action adventure, thrillers, psycho-thrillers and contemporary romance with a strong mystery element. All of her books contain elements of suspense, mystery and romance. She enjoys genre-blending and is known as a trailblazer for doing so. After her fourth published novel, she returned to college and earned an MA in creative writing then a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Theocentric Business and Ethics). She founded Writers’ Aids to mentor other authors, which evolved into Writers’ Zone, where she answers questions on craft, the business of writing and the writing life and maintains a free online writers’ library, ON WRITING, on her website (see below). Additional podcasts, workshops, lectures and feature articles are also in the writing library. Raised in New Orleans, Hinze then married a career Hurricane Hunter/Special Ops officer. They and their children moved every few years and have now settled in Northwest Florida.
Places to connect with Vicki:
Always With You
BookDepository (offering worldwide free delivery)
I’ll be at ACFW in August, along at this amazing event… will you be?
— Just Commonly (@JustCommonly) April 23, 2016