MORE THAN WORDS, Volume 5 - Heather Graham, Candace Camp, Stephanie Bond, Brenda Jackson, Tara Tyler Quinn
Stories Inspired by Real Life Heroines. Honorees: Erin Puck, Johanna Kandel, Joan Clayton, & Ina Andre, Nancy Sander, Sandra Ramos
MIRA (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-373-83669-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-83669-7
April 2009
Contemporary Anthology

Various Locations - Present Day

MORE THAN WORDS, Stories Inspired by Real Life Heroines; is the tagline of these once yearly publications from Harlequin Enterprises that bring us this beautiful hardcover anthology of five novellas.  These very stories were inspired by five real women who have made their world a better place because of and for those in need.

If I Were Queen of the World - Heather Graham

Inspired by Erin Puck,  www.toyscalm.org ; Erin is the founder of Toys.Calm, an organization that provides a much-needed bright spot in a child's life by bringing toys to children who have been hospitalized by disease.

When Cancer strikes Laurie Mayberry, she dutifully follows through on her treatments, and finally, after years of hospitalization, on the day she receives the news that she has beaten the disease, she meets Brian Thompson, whose friend is also a patient at the same hospital.  Years later, Laurie is now a young reporter wishing she could write real news, rather than dull human interest stories she always gets assigned.  But then she meets Brian once again, and together they work to give back what each of them lost all those years ago.

Breaking Line - Candace Camp

Inspired by Johanna Kandel, www.eatingdisorderinfo.org ; Johanna is the founder of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness.

Nicole McCasland and her friend, Sarah Duncan, are ballerinas for the esteemed Grayson Ballet Company in Austin , Texas .  Nicole grew up with the ballet; her mother was a ballerina, and her Aunt Cyn as well.  Nicole is accustomed to the rigors of the strict regimen that is part of her life: watching her calories, never cutting her hair, the constant, continual exercising.  But her friend, Sarah, has to work much harder to maintain her weight, and when Nicole sees that the pressure of their job is causing Sarah to lose more weight than she should, she begins to wonder if all their struggle to maintain their standards is really worth the cost of Sarah's health.

It's Not About the Dress - Stephanie Bond

Inspired by Joan Clayton & Ina Andre, www.windfallclothing.ca ; The Windfall Clothing Service finds a home for all the stylish clothing and other articles that are thrown away by the boxful when retailers do not sell all of their inventory.

When Chloe Parker discards a dream wedding dress after her fiancé breaks their engagement, just days before their wedding, she soon regrets her impulsive actions.  Now, the wedding is on again, and Chloe must find her one-of-a-kind special order dress, only the bridal shop did exactly what she asked them to; they gave it away.  Before her ordeal is over, Chloe realizes that sometimes a person's dream is not as important as the things that matter most.

Whispers of the Heart - Brenda Jackson

Inspired by Nancy Sander; www.aanma.org ; The Allergy & Asthma Network helps children who struggle with asthma.  Their medications are often locked away, out of reach in a school closet, and having relief near to hand can mean the difference between life and death.

Paul Castlewood does not believe his daughter has asthma.  He thinks she outgrew it years ago. But when Heather has a serious attack, he shrugs it off as just a coincidence.  Little does he know the day is coming when facing her disease and having the right medicine near to hand could mean life or death to his daughter.

The Mechanics of Love - Tara Tyler Quinn

Inspired by Sandra Ramos, www.strengthenoursisters.org ; Sandra Ramos is the founder of the very first shelter that was established for battered women.  Ms. Ramos has spent over forty years helping these women regain their dignity and their grace through her organization, Strengthen Our Sisters.

Tina Randolph and Scott Harbor are falling in love.  Well, Scott is in love with Tina, but Tina won't allow herself to feel any emotional attachment.  Too many secrets from her past keep her from trusting Scott, or any man.  However, when something frightening emerges out of Scott's past, interrupting their lives, Tina learns that real friendship has a way of showing one how to trust someone he or she cares for.

MORE THAN WORDS, Volume 5, is a special tribute to these five phenomenal women and their outstanding accomplishments.  Even though their various acts have reached out to help people in their separate communities, each and every one of these five women has, in her own unique way, inevitably caused a trickle of meaningful works that have resulted in helping many others from all over the United States, and even around the world.  These tributes to their stories reverberate with compassion and love and will inspire women to reach out into their own communities for the better good.

Diana Risso