Friday, December 18, 2015

A visit from Terri Crews


Today I’d like to welcome Terri Crews. She has a new release, Outlaw Jack, and she’s here to share her books, her writing, and a little about herself.

Vicki:  Why did you pick Inspirational romance as your genre?

Terri:  Well to answer honestly–not all of my novels are inspirational. A have a variety that I have written throughout the years, ranging from contemporary to paranormal. However, I do believe in letting the imagination take over where it should, the world is already busting at the seams with scenes that are too descriptive.   

Vicki:  You sound like a very well rounded author. I understand your interest in other genres. 
Vicki:  Who is one of your favorite characters in your books and why? 

Terri: The first character to enter my mind- Oscar Paradise - Homeless Hearts (unpublished/ submitted).  A wealthy elderly Native American, who is at times forgetful, cantankerous, doesn’t like change and the locals avoid him because of his outspoken rudeness. But his heart melts when he encounters a kind stranger who buys his breakfast believing he’s homeless, when in fact she’s the one who is homeless.
         Single mother Michaela Hamstern struggled to make ends meet after losing her job. Foreclosure seemed to be the last straw she could bear until her child is diagnosed with a heart condition. It’d been a long time since the queen of screw ups offered a humbled prayer only to be answer with divine occurrences directing her path. With a huge leap of faith, Michaela sells everything and uproots believing she’d start over with a new job and location. Reaching her destination plans fail and doubt creeps in. In the cold misting rain, her car refuses to start, and the need to sob is rerouted by the old man who comes to her rescue.      
          Something about this woman provokes compassion in Oscar’s heart after hearing her story, he offers her a job in exchange for shelter. After seeing the condition of his home, Oscar’s amazed that she’d roll up her sleeves and set to work instead of running in terror.
           A dirty house, and a forgetful grumpy old man was the least of Michaela’s challenges. Oscar’s unbearable and accusing grandson Conner tested her last nerve. His goal was to be rid of the unwanted house guest who posed a threat to his grandfather. She couldn’t understand why- she’d never take anything from anyone and she’d move on once she could better her circumstances. Then she learns she’s not the only one who is dealing with heartbreak and sorrow.  
         Through tragedies past and present two families find a miracle to mend broken and homeless hearts.  A wonderful story filled with everything from restoring faith and hope to romance. Can’t wait for it to become reality.

Vicki:  The story line is very touching. I’d like to read that one, too.


Vicki:  How long does it take you to write a book?

Terri:  Most of my novels were written at a time when my days weren’t so full. I’ve completed fifty-five novels that I work on constantly to improve before submitting them. And if I recall correctly, my first published novel, From Letters to Grace I penned in about two weeks (years ago). However, time is a less generous these days.

Vicki:  Fifty-five novels – wow! I’m duly impressed. We can all appreciate the time snatchers in our lives.


Vicki:  How did you come up with your titles?

Terri:   Sometimes the title is determined before the novel develops, but most often while I’m writing I try to choose something that compliments the plot.

Vicki:  I can relate to that. Sometimes you have to wait for the story to speak to you.

Vicki:  When did you start writing?

Terri:  As a child I remember my grandmother asking, what did I want to be when I grew up? I replied–I wanted to tell stories. I began dabbling with short stories and poetry in middle school, but seriously in 2005 as a hobby more or less when friends liked my work and encouraged me to seek publishing.

Vicki:  I’m glad you listened to everyone including your own heart. I enjoy your stories.

Vicki:  How hard was it to find a publisher?

Terri: Difficult. Hours and hours of searching the web. Many inquiries, and lessons learned. My biggest downfall was being unknown (still rings true even with four published works).  I remember receiving two rejection emails from the same company within seconds of each other. Clearly not enough time for the person to have read the samples I had sent.  So if one isn’t popular already, it is a struggle to swim among well-known authors just to get your name afloat in the same ocean. Ironically, fame isn’t what drives me. I just enjoy sharing a story. Advice to anyone seeking publication, please do your homework before settling with any one company. There are some who will take advantage.

Vicki:  The writer eager to be published may be taken down the wrong path. I had that happen to me in the beginning, too.


Vicki:  What’s new with your writing?

Terri: Good question, I which I have two answers. I have several under contract, but I believe that Pony Chasers is next in line. This novel is set in the 80’s a time when rodeos and country music were very popular. The first part of the novel the main character is seventeen and drifting from town to town with her rodeo chasing father and younger brother. Not a normal family at all, but for Kennie, she was about to learn valuable life lessons. The second part of the book, it’s seven years later. Her passion for country music brings her to her biggest gig yet- performing at Gilley’s. Where she clobbers an over- zealous cowboy with her guitar only to realize she’s face to face with her first love, and first heartache.
       The last novel I’ve dared to ventured in–One of Three, (unpublished/ and not yet submitted) and my first attempt to pen a spy/CIA type of novel. This young woman is an agent in training, whose identity is breached but then she learns that she is one of identical triplets who like herself were adopted, now she must find her sisters, before the enemy mistake their identities as her. This story is full of twists and surprises, who can one trust, what is the real truth and most importantly who is the agent she fell in love with? A work in progress.   

Vicki:  The spy story sounds very interesting. Hope you find a home for that one, too.

 A little bit about Terri:  I reside in the small town of Hilliard, Florida with my husband of twenty seven years. Together we have two children. The oldest Elizabeth (son-in-law Scott), Jonathan and soon to be daughter in law- Briana. I attend First Ave Baptist Church, with a wonderful group of people. I work for Franklin Properties right here in Hilliard as an office manager. My passion aside from family and lending a helping hand is writing.  Somedays even that is a challenge. My mid-twenties I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and then Rheumatoid Arthritis shortly after. These conditions slay one’s physical, mental, and overall general health. There are days I have to push myself despite the pain and lack of energy, but God is good.    
        I love to see people happy and successful. My goal as a writer is to provoke the imagination with stories that overcome with real situations and sometimes a little out of the ordinary circumstances. Once in a while I like to change up the scenarios with a ghost story or fantasy. My favorite era to write about is the old west. You had your share of outlaws, hard work and faith. And I know there are those who love history and want every detail to be in place, but as an author of fiction, it’s about a story.  The struggles, triumphs over tragedies, and good conquering evil.  Which sets the stage for my latest release Outlaw Jack.  

Outlaw Jack: Jacqueline Wallington had been dealt her fair share of heartache and tragedy, but just when life began to treat her kindly, cruel fate strikes again. Two months of marriage to the wealthy cattle rancher is destroyed by his untimely death. And to make matters worse, Bill Terrell slithers upon her front porch with his so- called papers proclaiming her late husband’s outstanding debts and his ill-mannered proposal.
         Angry, hurt, and alone once again, Jack sets out with her the only thing she could manage to take from the property- her late husband’s colts. With revenge driving her misdeeds, she earns herself a title- “The Gray-eyed Bandit”, whose sole purpose is to steal from the man who stole from her and ironically give most of the loot away.
          With the last of Terrell’s bank in her sights, the robbery goes off without a hitch or so she thought. Bullets find their mark, landing her in the dirt and right in the lap of handsome, kind hearted, Deputy Gavin Ward.

            Gavin Ward was elated to know that it was his bullet that toppled the notorious “Gray-eyed Bandit.” Guilt overshadows his pride when he discovers he’d just shot a woman. Fearful for her life and uncertain if he should take her back to town, Gavin takes her to his cabin to tend her wounds. After all she was entitled to a fair trial. As the night wore on Gavin is amazed that she is able to answer his questions. 
          Hearing her story, he changes his mind about turning her in. This beauty wasn’t the nasty outlaw posters claimed her to be, but a troubled young woman driven by a terrible twist of fate.  He could relate with his own demons lurking in his past. Days pass and Gavin sees that there is more to Jack that meets the eye. She manages to stir something he’s never longed for, love, companionship, and family.
          Jack is now well aware of what she’d been missing her whole life. She loved Brody, however he had not once displayed any kind of romantic affection toward her. Why? Brody treated her kindly, lavished gifts upon her, but nothing more. Wasn’t it normal for a man to desire his wife? What was wrong with her? Could what her mama accused her of being be true? Was she a bad seed? Did her unique features disgust her husband?
          When she plagued him with questions of romantic notions, Gavin couldn’t believe his ears. Brody Wallington had to be blind not to be captivated by his own wife. Her eyes alone could mess with a man’s thinking, not to mention the fullness of her mouth. Her inquiries came true to light when fever took hold of Jack. Images of her past life played out in the madness spewing from her mouth. Ugly things ravaged his imagination while he tended her. Her own father, his blood ran cold, and then a husband’s rejection. She called him Brody… she wouldn’t know and a kiss was just a kiss, a pleasant memory or so he thought.  
           Caught up in her fire, Gavin falls head over heels for this uncanny outlaw. He is convinced that he can earn her a new title, but they had to clear up the old one first. But at what cost? Could the plan they’ve cooked up work? Or will the woman he loves hang?
         


Vicki:  Terri – thank you so much for stopping by. I loved learning so much about you.  Outlaw Jack is available on Amazon and look for my review there, too. I totally enjoyed it!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Prism Book Group's Christmas Novellas for 2015

Prism Book Group is offering six amazing Christmas Novellas. Get your favorite cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, a plate of cookies and enjoy a winter afternoon.



Backwards Christmas/Brooke Williams
Every year South Pole, Alaska, celebrates a backwards Christmas. From upside down trees to mistletoe on the ground to presents brought to Santa, everything is the opposite of how the rest of the world spends the holiday. Noelle Richards is a tour guide and every year, Chris Furst, her one-time boyfriend silently takes the tours.

His father started the backwards Christmas and played Santa himself taking the presents to the children in surrounding villages. Chris’ parents died on such a trip, and Chris walked away from the celebration and all it meant, but he couldn’t walk away from the memory of loving Noelle.

Ms. Williams has written a warm Christmas tale involving believable characters set in a magical setting. Even with all the trappings and sparkle of the season, the true meaning of the holiday shines through.

All’s Fair in Love and Arson/Sharon McGregor
Bella takes to the bus to return to St. Christopher during the Christmas season. Izzie, her mother, has broken her leg, and while she’s being doted on by her friend Barton, Bella will run Izzie’s shop.

Two things Bella didn’t expect when she came home was taking her mother’s place in the annual Christmas Production and running into her high school flame, Jake, from twelve years ago. While Jake wants to make amends and tell Bella what really happened when Bella caught him kissing another girl, Bella tries to avoid him.

As several subplots unfold, the most disturbing is who is setting all the seemingly unrelated fires in town. Relationships are mended and old friendships rekindled, and Bella begins to think St. Christopher might just be calling her home.

Delightful read. A little mystery, a little suspense, and plenty of romance make this Christmas Novella a must.

Love Again/Paula Mowery
 Due to a tragic traffic accident Ben Jacobsen is brought home from military service to his children wondering how he will survive without his wife.

After telling her overbearing boyfriend it is over, Jenna Campbell moves to Myrtle Beach to take a position as a children’s minister.

When Ben brings his children to church and his young daughter to pre-school, he’s attracted to Jenna. Both their lives are wrought with complicated circumstances leaving them to wonder if they can love again.

Ms. Mowery has a wonderful way of weaving interesting characters into the normal situations of life. The story is warm and a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.


Christmas Bells/Jewell Tweedt
Christmas has come to the frontier town of Omaha in this delightful novella. Connie the owner of Rose’s Café, now a widow with a small boy has decided to take some time from her busy schedule running two restaurants to attend her friend’s birthday.

James, the only doctor in town attends the party, too. The couple enjoys each other’s company and both begin to realize they’ve put their personal lives on hold for far too long.

A sinister plot from the town banker, a baby born on a cold Christmas eve night, and a visit from a mysterious stranger all make this novella a perfect Christmas read. 

A Medieval Christmas/Rachel A. James
Lady Nola has made a mistake that will cost her family much shame. When her mother finds out Lady Nola is pregnant, her parents decide she’ll be wed immediately.

Fleeing her home, Lady Nola finds herself on the streets of Medieval London. With her jewels she’s taken to pay her passage, lost, Lady Nola sings carols with a group to earn her way.

The troupe is asked to perform for the twelve nights of festival in a smaller town. The very man her mother wanted her to marry is the Lord of the castle.

When he finds out her secret, Lady Nola runs from him, too. Will the love they both feel be acknowledged by the other?

This is an interesting tale told by Ms. James. The information she gives about the medieval history kept this reader drawn in and the book not put down until it was finished.

Fragile Blessings/Susan M. Baganz
Leaving a wealthy family, Grant builds his home in western Wisconsin in the 1800s. He and his wife Lily have lost their first born. She is overcome with grief, and he doesn’t know how to help.

A neighboring farm is destroyed by fire leaving three small children orphaned, the youngest a tiny baby. When the need for a home for them is mentioned at church, Grant feels moved to volunteer and he does without asking Lily.

With their new Grandpapa reading the Christmas story, the three orphans just might mend Lily and Grant’s broken hearts.

Ms. Baganz has given us a wonderful story set in the early founding of our country bringing to the reader the warmth and glory of Christmas love.

All Available on Amazon

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shattered Trust ~ J. Chris Richards

Shattered Trust 

Trust...given or earned?
As Officer Logan Taul’s nightstick plummets toward the teen’s arm, he sees the monster he has become reflected in the warped storefront window.

Thus begins his journey, back to the officer, man, and father he wants to be. Logan must face his own nature and insecurities and defy those who do not want him to succeed. His quest for redemption leads him to search for the family he deserted. Despite physical attacks on both himself and those he loves, and attempts to frame him, can he bring his family back together? Will he once more wear the badge in a position of trust?

My Review: Somewhere in his police career Logan Taul careened off the path of justice. He was no longer the officer upholding the law, but the one breaking it. He saw the monster he was one night when he and his partner rousted a troubled teen, and Logan decided to come clean.
He knew it would be rough, but he wanted to save his job, pay back the child support to the family he walked out on, and make things right. Logan implicated other officers and in turn they came close to taking his life and injuring his family.
Ms. Richards writes a provocative story relating the sometimes insurmountable odds of doing the right thing. When Office Taul hits rock bottom, he holds onto the truth and his beliefs. I stayed up way into the early morning to finish this one. I couldn’t put it down.

About the Author:  J. Chris Richards has been writing all her life for both herself and others. In her debut novel she combines her years as a police and Army wife with her belief anything is possible if people work together to fulfill God’s will for their lives. Chris is the founder of WAY – Words and Youth, conferences for teenage writers. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Words for the Journey. She enjoys speaking at writers conferences including the Colorado and Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conferences, Write to Publish and several one-day conferences. Her other hobbies include reading, needlework, and experimenting with painting and drawing. She spends time walking and hiking throughout her home state of Colorado with her husband, daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren as well as exploring the rest of the United States and other countries. Chris’ passion is to encourage and uplift others, especially writers and military/paramilitary spouses.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Reviving Jules by Peggy Trotter

Reviving Jules by Peggy Trotter

Jules Summers, a proverbial Jonah, runs from family, career, and neighborhood. Where’s she going? To find a place of healing for wounds so deep, she shuts the door against the very One who restores. But God never abandons and a kindergarten angel arrives, towing her father, Rhett Carsen. Rhett Carsen vows never to marry again. He redoubles his efforts to raise his motherless daughter alone, but runs into trouble when work sends him traveling. His daughter instantly bonds with newcomer Jules Summers, who in turn assists him in caring for his daughter. She seems like the answer to his prayers—an instant live-in nanny. Yet, why does she captivate his every thought? They work together as a team to care for Rhett’s child. But is “practicality” the only thing God has planned for these two? Or could there be a whole lot more?

My Review: Jules Summers and Rhett Carsen have both been burned by marriages turned sour. They’ve taken the pledge to never marry again, but Rhett’s five year old daughter, Andi, is praying for a mommy.

Jules rents an old house, has no electricity, and doesn’t even bother to unpack, hiding from her past when Andi arrives in her backyard. When Rhett meets Jules, he becomes a willingly helpful neighbor, mowing her lawn and fixing her problems. Rhett decides since they equally have Andi as their best interest, they should come to an arrangement. Jules and Rhett each have an inner struggle that it might have been a mistake.

Ms. Trotter has done a wonderful job with the character development of Jules and Rhett. Andi is an adorable chatterbox and with God’s help love finds away. Great romance.

About the Author:    Peggy Trotter is a small town Hoosier native who teaches 1st and 2nd grade at a small Christian School and writes Christian Romance in her spare time. God blessed her with a wonderful husband who cooks and helps clean while supporting her crazy dreams. She has two incredible grown kids, one fabulous son-in-law, and two rays of sunshine, commonly called grandchildren.



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sarah Does it Again - Gay N. Lewis

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Sarah Does it Again - Gay N. Lewis


Another short stopover from the bumbling little angel finds Sarah revisiting Tom and Marcy, her first assignment. Tom’s mom, Allison, has asked her son to introduce her to a nice gentleman.

While Sarah quickly removes herself from her guise as a missing eighty year old who can’t keep his dentures in, she finds the couple and “accidentally” helps Allison meet who she’s supposed to.


It’s fun to follow Sarah around. She’s adorable as usual.  





If you haven't discovered Gay's books check out her author page on: Amazon  








Monday, October 26, 2015

Storm Season ~ Anna Marie Kittrell

Storm Season ~ Anna Marie Kittrell


Sometimes the shelter is more dangerous than the storm…

For best friends and high school seniors Molly, Lenni, and Bianca, the future is bright and right around the corner. With graduation just weeks away, the girls are ready to leave behind the emotional insanity of high school and step together into a saner, less dramatic chapter of life.

But when a courageous stranger named Raley Hale risks his life to save the girls from a deadly tornado, his fearlessness leaves them thunderstruck. As his injuries heal, the mysterious hero manages to claim each of the girls’ hearts while reclaiming his strength.

Can friendship survive the brutal winds of jealousy, heartache, and betrayal? Or will graduation from Redbend High really mean goodbye forever?


My Review:  Redbend High will never be the same as graduation draws closer for friends Lenni, Molly, and Bianca. During spring break the girls are saved by a handsome stranger, Rayley, and are tempted by his charms.

Jealously splits the threesome as well as ruins relationships with other people in their lives. As their prom approaches, it appears they’ll all go their separate ways after school is out and never be friends again.

Anna Kittrell has done an excellent job handing an interesting situation involving the three main characters. The emotional wave which develops is carefully told while the suspense kept my interested perked. All this makes this Redbend High novel a treat. 

About The Author: Anna has written stories for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations, leftovers she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime, written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years. She is thrilled to learn some people now believe her tales to be worth more than ten cents.

Anna resides in small town Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband Tim, and their teenaged daughter Brandilyn. Anna works as secretary of her hometown middle school—the greatest place on earth this side of Disney World.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Freed to Forgive by Julie B. Cosgrove

Freed to Forgive
by Julie B. Cosgrove

Shackled by her past, can she be freed to forgive? Abused in her Mexican village, Marisol’s anger is her ticket to freedom in America or so she thinks. But her temper lands her in worse and worse situations. Trafficked and pregnant, she gives up her baby so it can have a better life. Now, ten years later her past returns to haunt her, just when she has caught the eye of Jesse, the one man who wants to know her…and not just her body. Marisol has struggled hard to disguise her past, but will the unforgiving spirit she harbors prevent her from embracing her future? 

Though delicately worded with veiled descriptions, this faith-based novel does depict some disturbing, yet unfortunately all too common, sex trafficking scenes necessary for the plot. 


My Review:  Ms. Cosgrove’s other two novels is this series Hidden Storms and Legitimate Lies build the story of Jen and Tom and their mission to help young girls caught in the trafficking trade, and are both well written and gripping. However, Freed to Forgive is by far the most riveting in the series.

Marisol who is briefly introduced before is now grown and has overcome her previous and horrific life, but she cannot forgive her parents or the men who brought her from Mexico and especially Roberto who was the Jefe of the operation in the states. Even though he is dead, Marisol cannot be free from her past. The main characters in the previous books come together in this final novel and trust, fear, and acceptance are laid on the line.

Ms. Cosgrove peels the layers away so the reader experiences Marisol’s life both in Mexico and in the states. The young girl endures horrifying experiences, yet she survives. This book is an eye opener on how vulnerability and lies can take away the promise of freedom.  

About the Author:  Julie B. Cosgrove is a freelance writer, professional speaker and published author. She is a member of Advanced Writers & Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, North Texas Christian Writers, The Christians Writers Group Two, and Christian Writers Fellowship International. 

She represents Women at Risk International, a Christian missionary group who sponsor safe houses for women and children snatched from human trafficking and slavery in thirteen countries and is actively involved in Prayer For Freedom, a nonprofit anti-trafficking ministry.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Lady for the Lawman ~ Jewell Tweedt

A Lady for the Lawman by Jewell Tweedt 

On special assignment from the White House to the Nebraska prairie... 

Crack undercover Pinkerton agent Jason Reynolds gets the toughest assignment of his career. Sent by President U.S. Grant to Omaha to capture a loco ex-soldier accused of stealing Jefferson Davis' treasury gold, Jason falls for feisty shopkeeper Arianna Quincy. Trouble is, she's not interested. When the lunatic grabs Arianna, Jason's skills are put to the test. Can Jason get his man and his woman?

My Review:  Arianna Quincy’s first impression of Jason Reynolds doesn’t leave her happy – he almost gets her killed. The new deputy in town foils a holdup at the mercantile just as Arianna is about to ask for a job.

Billy, Arianna’s cousin, puts in a good word with Claire Secord Maxwell, owner of the store while Arianna tries to convince her father she’s ready to step out on her own. When Jason, who is really a Pinkerton Agent on a mission from President Grant, falls for Arianna, she makes it clear she isn’t interested.

When Tom, Claire’s husband is also asked to help out President Grant, her ex-fiancé shows up and wants Claire back. Arianna is taken as a bargaining chip and Jason saves the day. When Arianna finds out his secret employment, she doesn’t even thank him and he leaves. Can he come back and settle down in Omaha or will he always be looking for adventure on another case?
I enjoyed the second installment of this enjoyable series. The believable story gives the reader a touch of what Omaha must have been like when first settled. Ms. Tweedt has obviously done her historical research to bring this frontier romance to life in her novel.
  
About the Author:   Jewell Tweedt was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, the setting for A Bride for the Sheriff and the other Nebraska Brides books. She lives in western Iowa and divides her time between teaching middle school students and writing. In her spare time she reads, gardens and walks while plotting out new stories.  Readers can learn more about Jewell and her books at www.tweedtjewell.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mamarazzi ~ Brooke Williams



Please Welcome Brooke Williams



Danica Bennett isn't sure what she hates more...her job or the fact that she's good at it. As one of the many Hollywood paparazzi, she lives her life incognito and sneaks around trying to get the best shot of the latest star. When she is mistaken for an extra on a new, up and coming TV show, her own star rises and she becomes the one in the photographs. Add that to the fact that she's falling for her co-star, Eliot Lane, and Danica is in a whole heap of trouble.


My Review:  Danica Bennett is doing a job she hates to pay the bills and keep her mother comfortable in the Alzheimer’s home. Danica is better than any other paparazzi in Hollywood, but her name is a secret since she soiled the reputations of many famous people.
Quite by accident, while she’s on the studio lot trying to get some scoop pictures, she’s mistaken for an extra and whisked on to the set of the new sitcom Cousins. There she meets Gage Malone and Eliot Lane, the co-stars. Lane can’t take his eyes off her.

She’s suddenly thrust into stardom and her life as the Mamarazzi starts to unravel. With threats from her agent and the vengeful appearance of her cousin Vesper, Danica must come clean with Eliot. They’ve fallen for each other and her past will ruin everything.

Ms. Williams delivers an interesting behind the camera view of the paparazzi. This is an enjoyable well-written novel with a sweet romance.


About the Author:  Brooke Williams is an award winning author and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of articles as well as several novels including Someone Always Loved You and Wrong Place, Right Time. Brooke has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morningside College with a double major in Mass Communications and Religious Studies. She has 12 years of experience in radio broadcasting both behind the scenes and on air. She was also a TV traffic reporter for a brief time. Brooke and her husband Sean married in 2002 and have two daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.