Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book of the Day with Author Norma Gail

Please welcome Author Norma Gail as my guest today. She is a writer of contemporary Christian romance. I am featuring her book Land of My Dreams today. Read the interview below and click on the cover to find out more information.

When and why did you begin writing?

I was in junior high when I first began writing, though I have been making up stories for as long as I can remember. When I married and was working full-time as an RN, I quit writing and didn’t start again for over 20 years. During that time I would write letters to the editor and letters about various issues, always believing in the power of the written word to communicate, but it took my father’s death in 1995 to start me writing poetry, then devotionals, and finally my long-time dream of fiction again.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Land of My Dreams is the story that wouldn’t go away. It began while preparing for a trip to Scotland to celebrate our 30th anniversary, but I didn’t begin writing it until I was sidelined by a broken foot in 2008. Along with the desire to tell the story was also a knowledge that I wasn’t getting any younger and if I was going to find out if I had what it took it was now or never.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I write from the seat of my pants. The words just flow as I sit at the computer. I can ignore hunger, darkness, timers, everything, when I am in the middle of an important scene. Then I revise, revise, and revise again. It may not be the most efficient way to write, but it’s how my mind works.

Can you tell us about your book?

Land of My Dreams is a contemporary Christian romance, about an American college professor struggling for faith and finding love when she lease expects it. When she accepts a position at a small college in Scotland, Bonny Bryant has no idea that she will find love with widowed Scottish sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, or the twists, turns, and matters of faith that will test them. Land of My Dreams travels from New Mexico’s high desert mountains to the misty Scottish Highlands with a story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

How did you come up with the title?

The title, Land of My Dreams, is the result of a dream about a Scottish man in his kilt, high on a misty mountain with his bagpipes and his sheep. Visiting Scotland had been a dream of mine since I was a child, and the trip was everything I hoped it would be. It is also symbolic of the dream of the heroine, Bonny Bryant, that she would find peace in place of the loss and heartbreak she has suffered.

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, set in Scotland and New Mexico released in April 2014. She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. Her devotionals, poetry have appeared at, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 38 years. They have two adult children.

Connect with Norma on the Internet at:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book of the Day with Author Marcy Dyer

My Book of the Day Author is suspense writer Marcy Dyer. Please welcome her. Keep reading to find out more about her and her books.

When and why did you begin writing?

I've been writing for as long as I can remember, but about ten years ago, I began to take it more seriously. As I grew more serious about writing, I began learning as much as I could about the craft.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was written many, many years ago and to be honest, I don't remember the inspiration for it. My first published book was inspired by my wild imagination. I had a character in mind, then I thought about how she would react in various situations. 
Do you have a specific writing style?

I'm a plotter. My books are all plotted out ahead of time. Often as I'm writing, the plot will morph and change, but I need the basic plot down before I begin.

Can you tell us about your book?

My most recent book, Blood & Lies, is the 3rd in the Desert Winds Series.

While JD Miller is chaperoning a group of teens on a mission trip to Kherson, Ukraine, one of the boys vanishes from the group without a trace.

Leandra Davis hasn't seen her father in over twenty years when he shows up and asks her to fly to Ukraine to join the search for a brother she's never met. Anger at her absentee father compels her to walk out and ignore his pleas, but anguish at the thought of her brother all alone in a foreign country, at the mercy of kidnappers, convinces her to abandon her life in Odessa, Texas and join the search.

When she and her best friend fly to Ukraine to search for the kidnapped teen, she meets the passionate paramedic, JD Miller. Together, they search for the missing young man and begin to uncover deadly secrets Leandra's father wants to keep hidden. 

How did you come up with the title?

The titles of the Desert Winds Series play off each other. The titles are: Down & Out; Out for Blood, Blood & Lies and coming next November, Lies & Alibis.

To find out more about Marcy you can visit her at her website, Facebook, and Twitter. You can click on any one of her books covers to find out more about each one.

Thanks for coming today, Marcy! I enjoyed your visit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book of the Day with Author Parker J. Cole

My Book of the Day Guest Author to day is Parker J. Cole. If you like speculative fiction, you might want to give her books a read.

Thanks for joining me today, Parker. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’m a diehard Trekkie fan (TOS) sci-fi lover, off and on Mountain Dew recovering addict, knitter, reader, singer, and radio show host. I’ve been married for almost eight years. 

What type of books do you write?

I have two great loves, speculative fiction (with an emphasis in horror) and romances. One may wonder, why those two? They’re opposites! Well, to be honest, I grew up reading Stephen King, Dean Koontz and other like-minded authors. Then I discovered romances one year when I found an Harlequin book under my cousin’s bed when I was fourteen. Over the years, I’ve found I can blend my faith with my love for speculative fiction and romance. Now, I have a happy medium.

What about your newest book?

Leah Westwood loves her husband Jacob with all her heart, even as the smoldering glances of her ex-flame Vincent Miller continue to affect her. What she once shared with Vincent threatens to rip apart the bonds she is trying to build with her husband.

Jacob's heart belongs to Leah, but his body refuses to accept that. Rachel is the one who has been his mainstay at the most difficult times in his life. How could he leave her alone?

Vincent wants Leah back and all he has to do is watch and wait as Jacob and Leah's relationship unravels.

Ultimately, Leah must make a choice . . . between fantasy and fidelity.

What gave you the idea/inspiration for this book?

The idea came to me a couple of years ago. The Other Man was the first book I worked on in the Sins of the Flesh series, but I set it aside when my main character’s sister and husband bopped me on the head and told me to tell their story first. Their book is entitled Many Strange Women. After I finished, Leah, Jacob, and Vincent all crowded around, looking down at me and so I have to finish their story.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The only thing challenging about my writing is the lack of clones to write down all my ideas.

I would love to include a little ditty about why you wrote this book, a funny story about something that happened while you were writing, a difficulty you had while writing, or simply a word to your readers.

A funny thing that happened with this story is that I had about a hundred pages of a subplot involving Celeste and Solomon from the first book included in this one. My agent, who read the first draft of it, suggested I remove it. At first, I didn’t want to but then I realized if I continued in this vein, the book would be over 500 pages long. Needless to say, I removed it.

I know you do a radio show. How did you get involved in that? Also give me info on when people can tune in.

The radio show idea was suggested by my agent and I simply went with it. I was surprised because I never thought I’d be doing something like this. A year prior to the show, I met the producer of the network at a business networking function. So when my agent gave me the idea, I contacted the producer and the rest as they say is history.

I have two shows. The first, called Write Stuff, is on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm Eastern time where I showcase Christian authors of fiction and non-fiction. The second is called The Parker J Cole show where I also interview guests, provide commentary, and talk about things in, out, and about the Church. It airs on Saturdays at 2:00 pm Eastern time.

If Parker's book sounds like something that would interest you, simply click on the cover.

You can find Parker on her website, her radio show, or send her an email

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book of the Day with Author Naomi Musch

My Book of the Day Author today is Naomi Musch. Naomi is an award winning author who writes from the pristine north woods of Wisconsin, where she and husband Jeff live as epically as God allows on a ramshackle farm where they spend quality time with their children and grandchildren. Amidst it, she writes novels about imperfect people who are finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles.

In non-fiction venues, Naomi spent five years as a staff writer for the EPA award-winning Midwestern Christian newspaper, Living Stones News, telling true-life stories of changed lives. She has also written dozens of magazine and internet articles for the purpose of encouraging homeschooling families and young writers, and she is currently serving on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Writers' Association.

Continue reading to find out more about her and her writing.

How long have you been writing?

I turned in my first story for critique to my 4th grade teacher when I was 10, so I've been writing for a long time. Writing for publication didn't start until I was in my later twenties, and I first published a novel in my 40s. I just recently signed a contract for my 8th novel, The Love Coward, which will be the 6th with Desert Breeze Publishing releasing in May '15.

What gave you the writing bug?

As a child, learning to read was so thrilling to me. Writing became the natural next step. I was born a story-teller. I first seriously tackled penning a novel in 1983 when I was in my early twenties. That novel is in a file somewhere, never published, but it sure felt great to write it! I'd just finished reading Great Expectations, and my first Christian romance, Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly. So I set out to write a prairie romance with the vastly intertwined plot structure of a Dickens novel. It was great training.

What type of books do your write?

Nowadays I mostly write historical fiction with a strong romantic element. The book I'm sharing here today is a step away from that. It's a full length, fantasy version of Beauty and the Beast called Trevelyan, but even that felt like writing historical fiction. I would classify most of my writing as Women's Fiction, because there are always issues of interest to women flowing through my work, and my work tends to be multi-point of view, and the hero and heroine don't always meet on page one. I sometimes also tag my work as "Wilderness Fiction", because most of my stories either take place in the wilderness or in some country setting. My next novel takes place largely on a farm in rural Wisconsin right after WWII. I only have one contemporary novel set in town, and that's a town on the shores of Lake Superior. That outdoor element plays strongly in the story (Paint Me Althena).

How do you come up with ideas?

I don't come up with ideas. Ideas come up to me. They leap in front and shout, "Ta-da! We're here!" That often happens if I read about something historical that intrigues me, or if someone I am close to is dealing with an issue that stirs me, or if a Scripture passage speaks to my heart in a special way that I know a character could convey in action.

The Empire in Pine series (The Green Veil, The Red Fury, The Black Rose) chronicles a great deal of lumberjack/railroad history in Wisconsin, while telling the romantic, adventuresome stories of three generations of women. Writing those stories was a thrill as I learned more about my own state.

Paint Me Althena came to me as a dream after thinking long thoughts about women I knew who were considering leaving their families to "find themselves".

As for Trevelyan, I'd always wanted to expand on the children's fairy tale, so I did.

I would love to include a little ditty about why you wrote this book, a funny story about something that happened while you were writing, a difficulty you had while writing, or simply a word to your readers.

I wrote Trevelyan - A Tale of Beauty and The Beast because it's the fairytale I loved reading over and over again as a child, but always felt there was more to the story. I wrote the first draft before Disney made their movie, and readdressed the work years later as a gift for my kids and grandkids. That made the story even more special. I read it aloud to them. What a delight to see how much they enjoyed it! I've since discovered that even though the book is listed as a Young Adult novel, readers of all ages have really loved it.

I hope readers will hop on over to my one of these social media sites and say hello. Check out all my novels while you're there. They're available as both paperback and ebook except for the novella Heart Not Taken, which is e-only.

Find me here:





More Reason to Write (Blog)



Swashbuckling heroes and elven princes journey to rescue Belle from captivity. For the Beast of Trevelyan and Evensong's faeries, time for redemption is running out.

Five men and two elven princes have embarked upon a quest: to save a sister from the wasteland of the Great Winter where she is held in the clutches of a Monster Lord who all believe brought desecration and ruin to the once glorious kingdom of Trevelyan. It is a land where hideous creatures and madness prey upon the careless, a land where faerie magic has taken an evil turn. For fifty years, no man or ally of men has been safe beyond the Cranreuch Plain.

Until Belle's choice leads them all to discover the truth.

Now rescuing her might come at a cost no one expects -- and from an evil no one but a princely beast and the faeries of Evensong ever anticipated.

If you want to find out more about Naomi's books, click on the book cover or any one of her links.

Thanks for visiting, Naomi! It was a pleasure having you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book of the Day with Author Tammy Doherty

Congratulations to Madgygirl! You are the winner of the free copy of Tammy's book. Please send me your email address so we can get it to you.

If you enjoy reading inspirational romance, than today's Book of the Day Author, Tammy Doherty, is for you! I asked her a few questions about her book. See if it's one that you might like to add to your TBR pile.

Tell us a little about your book.

She's Mine is an inspirational romantic suspense, set in a small town in central Massachusetts. It tells the story of Caitlin Harrington who has just moved back to her childhood home to take a new teaching job. Just in time to get away from Adam, the guy who has proven Caitlin was right when she vowed never to get married and therefore never to date. Now someone is leaving ominous notes on her door. Could it be Adam? Sean Taggart is attracted to Caitlin, but a failed engagement taught him to guard his heart. Despite Caitlin's aloof attitude, Sean's convinced she needs protecting. When he finds out the truth, can he rescue her before stalking turns to murder?

What gave you the idea/inspiration for this book?

I started with the premise of a young woman who was an "ice princess" in school. What would make her aloof? Why would she not want to meet and marry the man of her dreams? I explored the possibilities related to growing up with parents whose hate for each other left no room for loving their children. So many children today are divided between parents and too many are nothing more than pawns or, worse, a nuisance, to their parents. Caitlin's childhood history grew from these observations. After that, her behavior came naturally in reaction to the situations I placed her in.

Once I created Caitlin, I knew the next logical step was to have her meet and fall in love with the man of her dreams. But there needed to be a big obstacle to overcome and since I don't write "just" romance, I knew there needed to be a mystery or suspense element that Caitlin and Sean would have to face. That's when the idea came to me: Caitlin only dated  one guy who she thought of as just a friend but he thinks she belongs to him. And that's when the character of Adam took flight.

What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?

Caitlin struggles with the idea that God is always with her. She gets wrapped up in her own worries and fears, forgetting to rely on the Lord. It's such an easy thing to do. I hope my readers will see that when Caitlin turns to God, lays her anxiety at His feet and lets Him guide her, things are much better. Sean has a similar problem. He wants to be in control of his life. Yet it isn't until he lets God be in control that happiness can be reached.

There's also a double meaning to the title. Caitlin's stalker feels that she belongs to him. He warns Sean, "She's mine." In truth, Caitlin belongs to the Lord. As He orchestrates her life, he proclaims, "No, she's mine."

Are any of the characters like you or someone you know?

There is some of me in the characters. When I was younger, until senior year in high school in fact, I didn't date and never wanted to get married. Of course, my life went much differently than Caitlin's. I met my now husband during my senior year, we dated for two years then got married. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with worries and anxieties, fear about the future bashes at my faith. I've learned to fight back, to forcefully refocus on the Lord, in those times. I think we can all relate to that aspect of Caitlin.

I would love to include a little ditty about why you wrote this book, a funny story about something that happened while you were writing, a difficulty you had while writing, or simply a word to your readers.

I wrote three historical novels before deciding to try contemporary romantic suspense. "They" say write what you know, so I decided to set my new stories right here in my back yard.Here's an interesting little tidbit about the restaurant Sean takes Caitlin's named after my childhood babysitter! Claudia has become a friend now that I'm all grown up. She once owned and ran a pub-style restaurant here in town; it seemed natural to call the eatery in my story "Claudia's" in her honor.

Now...guess what? You can win a FREE copy of Tammy's new book. All you have to do is leave a comment and a random winner will be chosen. You have until Friday at midnight to enter. 

You can find Tammy on Facebook, her website or her blog. You can purchase her book on Amazon by clicking on the cover.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book of the Day with Author Katie Mettner

Today's Book of the Day Author is Katie Mettner. I "met" Katie through online sites geared to Christian writers wanting to help promote each other and good writing. She has some Christmas books with unique characters. You'll want to check them out. Just click on the covers to follow the links.

Welcome, Katie!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Ruth, thanks for having me today! My name is Katie Mettner and I live in Northern Wisconsin, where I’ve lived all my life. I’ve been married to my husband Dwayne for 15 years and have three kids, one girl and two boys. I also live with two leopard geckos and a fish, all named after Japanese Anime characters, thanks to my daughter! I’m a ballroom dancer turned amputee and I’m an advocate for amputee’s right to a well fitting prosthesis. I’m also an advocate of organ donation, because it has so closely touched my life.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Hmmm, I guess the answer here is never. I’ve always loved to write, but up until a few years ago I didn’t even know you could self publish books. I always thought “Vanity Publishing” was a thing only rich people did. When I wrote Sugar’s Dance, my first novel (also centered around Christmas), I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I just wanted to write. When a friend read it she said, “You have to publish this!” I didn’t have a clue how. So after some investigating I found Amazon KDP and Createspace and the rest is history.

Can you tell us about your books?

I would love to! I write inspirational romance. I have several series, The Sugar Series, The Northern Lights Series, and the Snowberry Holiday series. There is some romantic suspense in the first two and the last series, Snowberry, is a new adult series. The stories are always centered around a particular Bible verse, though not Christian romance by any definition. They are real life journeys through pain and disappointment to find their true love. In each book one character has a disability they must overcome in order to find happiness. I think it is really important for people in special circumstances to see that they can find love and there is someone out there that will love them completely once they accept themselves. It isn’t easy, I know this from experience, but it’s worth it!

These particular books are centered around the Christmas season. What is it about Christmas that made you want to write them?

This is a funny story. The first in the Snowberry Series, Snow Daze, is a short novella I wrote last year for a contest. It was based loosely on my husband and mine’s relationship, which was as many romance readers call ‘instalove’. The whole book takes places in the span of a month, until the end where you get a prologue a year later. When I didn’t win the contest I published the story myself and was never more shocked to see how much people loved holiday stories! Snow Daze is a little bit spicier than the next few books in the series, but nothing graphic or outlandish. The sex in the story is there to help Snow get past her disability and accept the love Dully has to offer.  Here’s where the funny part comes in, it was meant to be a standalone novella, end of story. However, there were two readers in particular who kept saying they wanted to know more about this town and these characters. “Please write another book! We want to know about Dully’s brother, Jason”, who was mentioned once in the story! So, this spring I sat down and wrote December Kiss, Noel’s Hart (January 2015) and I am currently working on April Melody, out for Easter 2015.

Can you tell us a little bit about your characters?

The characters in this series are all based around one family, The Alexanders. In the first book Dully Alexander is a special education teacher who meets Snow Daze, a physician at the local hospital where he was visiting a student. We don’t meet any other Alexanders specifically in the book, but he tells Snow about his brother, Jason, who was born with spina bifida and has been in a wheelchair his whole life. Snow is also in a wheelchair and was struggling to accept that a man like Dully could love her knowing she would always be in a chair.

Jason Alexander, Jay as he prefers to be called, was a college student when Snow Daze was written. December Kiss opens with him newly graduated and looking for a job in his hometown of Snowberry. He meets December Kiss in a rather uncomfortable situation and has to accept help from her to get back to his car when his wheelchair breaks down. Jay is a good guy, a social worker, who has seen his share of pain and disparagement. He loves his little niece, Sunny, Snow and Dully’s daughter, and Sunny plays a big role in helping him overcome his fears about being a husband and father. December is an all around awesome woman who is a nurse at the same hospital where Snow works. She slowly falls in love with Jay’s charm, but she’s been hurt deeply by her own family, including her twin, Noel. Jay stumbles upon a chance to bring the two of them together and takes it.

Noel Kiss owns and operates seven cafes in southern Minnesota. When you meet him in December Kiss he’s feeling the heaviness of not having his twin sister with him and really wants to reconcile, so when Jay shows up he takes the unexpected opportunity to do so. When he goes to Snowberry for Christmas he meets Snow’s best friend Savannah Hart. He doesn’t know why, but he instantly knows she is going to need something from him. Drawn by the need to be close to Snowberry he buys an old closed down restaurant next door to Savannah’s Flower Emporium, so he can keep an eye on the woman who has found a way into his heart, even though he still has no idea why. This is where the series diverts from the Alexanders and moves into the rest of the town as a whole.

April Melody is Noel Kiss’s right hand woman. She runs the front of the café and does the books for him, grateful to find a job where her disability can stay hidden. A child singing star God threw her the biggest curveball anyone has ever seen and she’s still trying to figure out why. When a kitchen accident sends her to the local hair salon she comes face-to-face with the man who just moved into Old Lady Lifton’s apartment next door to her, a man who just goes by ‘Crow’.

I would love to include a little ditty about why you wrote this book, a funny story about something that happened while you were writing, a difficulty you had while writing, or simply a word to your readers.

I’m sure you can see by the descriptions of the book that each book is a play on names. Snow Daze was written because I had an old patient who would come to the doctor I worked for, and her name was Snow. I always thought it was a great name for a character and finally took the plunge and based a story around it. When it came time for Jay’s story I knew it was going to end on Christmas Eve, so December Kiss was just the best name ever! Noel’s Hart, well Savannah Hart steals his, you get it. I try to find titles that will intrigue people and make them wonder how I got there with the name. The story of how the character got their name from their parents is always revealed inside the book, so the reader is never disappointed.

Where we can find out more about you and read even more of your books?

You can find me lots of places!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book of the Day Author Suzanne Williams

There are soooo many good books out there (dare I say it?). almost too many to read in one's life time. Because of the number of good books, who wants to waste their time with bad ones? Over the next couple of weeks or so, I will be spotlighting books from authors who write from a Christian perspective. You'll find books from all genres, so everyone is sure to find something they like.

My guest today is Suzanne Williams. I had a few questions for her about her book A Kiss in September

Tell me about your book.

A KISS IN SEPTEMBER is a novella about a girl named September Blessing who through a series of happenstance events finds herself stranded at the grocery store. A grocery store employee, James Davis, steps into help her. When a few hours together shows the promise of true love, they determine to see each other as boyfriend-girlfriend. But a series of unplanned accidents gives her parents the wrong impression that no matter how hard they try seems will keep them permanently apart.

What made you decide to write it?

I was at the grocery store, actually, with my daughter, and we couldn’t find a clerk to help us. There we stood spinning in circles, wondering if our food would thaw before we could check out. The opening scene where September is trying to buy a pot pie and its melting is mirrored after that.

Did you learn anything from writing it?

I always learn from writing. The more I write, the more I better my craft. This story had an intricate plot that needed quite a bit of fine tuning. Also, the sub-character, James’ best friend, Chuck, takes a key role. Making him likeable at the end took deft wording because he misbehaves through much of the story. 

When and why did you begin writing?

I was a graphic designer first, doing newsletters, book covers, etc. I also wrote devotionals and published my personal testimony. Delving into fiction came through the encouragement of a friend, and though I was way over my head at first, I never looked back. It’s been the best part of my life since.

I would love to include a little ditty about why you wrote this book, a funny story about something that happened while you were writing, a difficulty you had while writing, or simply a word to your readers.

Writing YA is therapy to me. I also write “adult” Christian fiction, but I always come back to the simplicity of YA. It removes all the junk in my head and returns me to a happy place where love is young and fresh and spontaneous. This book is a slight side-trip plotline-wise from the ones I wrote previously. I like to be upbeat and funny, and this story has that … but it also looks at how misunderstandings and personal judgment can cause a lot of hurt. I try to give all my YA a moral, of sorts, but I also like to remind readers that it IS fiction and meant to be enjoyed as such – a few hours of a reader’s day when they can step away from life and live in a book.

A Kiss in September is available for only ¢.99 today. Grab your copy while you can!

Best-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit or link with her on Facebook at

Thanks for stopping by, Suzanne!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Giveaway - Merry Christmas to YOU!

Ok, so I'm a little late in letting the winner know, but I won't bore with all the details why. Let's get to the information you really want.

And the winner is...

Kathryn Svendsen

Congratulations, Kathryn! We will be in touch with you so you can receive your book.

Cut It Out
by Terri Gillespie

I'm so excited that one of my cyber writing friends, Terri Gillespie, released her new book CUT IT OUT this week. I’ve already had an opportunity to read it in advance of its release (I love my job!). It’s wonderful! Because of all this excitement and wonder, she is offering to give away a copy of her book, you can choose either print or ecopy. All you have to do is leave a comment and your name will be randomly chosen. Make sure to leave your email address so I can get in touch with you. You don’t want to miss this great read!

Here is my review of CUT IT OUT and a few words from Terri:

This is my second go–round with the Mavens. While I did find the first book a little difficult to get into (probably because of too many distractions in life!) I had no trouble whatsoever with Cut It Out. It pretty much began right where book 1 left off.

The new Hair Mavens Salon is about to open and everything is falling into place…almost. A receptionist is suddenly needed. The salon manager Shira hired doesn’t seem to be getting along with the other mavens. Katya, who has come out of her shell, is insistent on the salon getting involved in some silly organization, and Shira just does not have time for that! Then there’s Jesse. *Sigh*

One of the things I loved most about this story is the camaraderie amongst the women. So needed, yet so lacking, in our society today.

This is definitely a great read, especially if you’ve already read She Does Good Hair. If you haven’t, you need to.

Thanks to Terri for allowing me to read your book before many others get a chance. Job well done!

A Word from the Author:

This may seem a tad grandiose, but my reason for writing The Hair Mavens’ series was because of Jesus’ prayer in John 17. He prayed that the Jewish disciples would first be one with one another, then He prayed for those who would come to faith through their words—those of the nations—would be one as well—Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah. I really wanted to be part of the answer to that prayer. Pretty presumptuous, right?

But the really cool thing is that the first example of this type of unity was two women—Ruth and Naomi—a Moabite and a Jew. Their beautiful story of unity is why I write the stories I write. Women who become sisters in Jesus—what could be better?

You can visit Terri at

If this sounds like a book you'd like to read, simply click on the cover to go to Amazon. Or if you would like to WIN A FREE copy, leave a comment.

You can also purchase Book 1 She Does Good Hair by clicking on the cover to the right. It's only ¢.99 as of this posting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Table Talk

What is quality time with the family? We hear a lot of talk about that today. I saw a commercial that proposed that quality family time was spent in front of the TV. It is enjoyable for our family to order pizza and rent a movie to watch together, but I much prefer the times we can actually talk and get to know each other better. That’s the way it was when I was a kid.

As we become adults we realize that it’s a fact of life that kids grow up, move away, and sometimes start their own families. That is when it’s time for family reunions where everyone gets together and remembers the past. It seems we don’t often remind each other of the sensible or successful things we have accomplished throughout our lifetimes, but of the silly, the stupid, the ridiculous, the things we would rather not be reminded of. At least that’s the way it is with my family.

One of the events that’s always remembered among my family is dinnertime. It’s brought to mind the most because that’s where we were together as a family. Mom made sure of that. If us kids weren’t working, we were expected at dinner with the family.

There were four kids in our family and the dinner table was where we told of the day’s events, our plans for the next or where we vented our frustrations with the world and with each other.

One thing that always comes to mind is when during dinner my dad would fuss at those preachers that promote quality time is made at the dinner table. My dad very much enjoyed listening to those preachers, but oh, how he wished to invite them to dinner at our house. He always asked, after someone belched, made a rude comment or some such nonsense, “Is this their idea of quality time?”

Our dinner table could also actually be a place of warfare. It was also where most “accidents” occurred.

One time, my sister, Martha, had been bothering me all day long. After my parents left the table my sister pushed me to the limit. I pushed her, right into her tuna noodle casserole. She came up dripping with noodles. They hung from her eyelashes, chin and nose. Then a pea rolled out from one of her nostrils. Needless to say, she didn’t bother me for the rest of the evening.

A couple of hours unannoyed by your little sister, that’s quality time.

As a child, there were times that I believed that brothers were put on this earth for the sole purpose of annoying sisters. Mine tried to get me in trouble whenever he saw an opportunity. And because I didn’t get caught too often he tried his best to succeed in bringing my wrong doings to our parents’ attention.

One cold morning before school, my mom was in her “you need to eat a hot breakfast” mode. Billy and I were sitting across the table from each other eating before school, when I sneezed unexpectedly. Unlucky for him, my mouth was full of cocoa.

He yelled that I spit in his mug on purpose, even though it didn’t go anywhere near him or his mug. Mom made me drink his, while she gave him a fresh cup.

Getting your goody-goody sister in trouble, that’s quality time.

Then there was my youngest sister Sarah. She didn’t always want to eat what she was given, so she would arrange her unwanted food underneath the edge of her plate, trying to make it look like it had fallen off. One night, she had a little help from big brother. When they were finished, one side of her plate was three inches higher than the other. Did they think Mom wouldn’t notice?

Sharing the blame with your favorite brother, that’s quality time.

The rest of us had ways of getting rid of unwanted food. Billy simply put his on Martha’s plate when she wasn’t looking. Martha put hers in the pockets of her overalls, and then went to feed the cats after dinner. Of course, this only worked till mom found squash in the pockets one day while doing the laundry. I would wrap my food up in a napkin and throw it behind the water heater in the bathroom. I wish I had known that my uncle was coming over to help my dad replace the water heater. I would have gotten in less trouble if I’d had fair warning to get rid of the evidence.

After our tricks were found out, we just had quiet food fights after my parents left the table. They couldn’t understand why we were so eager to sweep the floor after dinner, but we all remained silent.

Siblings sharing secrets, that’s quality time.

All that sounds like we wasted a lot of food, but we really didn’t. We were a family with a healthy appetite so there were hardly ever leftovers. One night we had a cookout. We had steak, baked potatoes and fresh salad with vegetables from our garden. I had already had my share and then some. There was one potato left and we were taught manners, so I asked if anyone else wanted it. No one answered, so I reached out to grab it. Suddenly, my dad’s fork was lightly poking my hand. I looked up and he smiled and said, “I’ll split it with you.”

Sharing the last potato with dad, that’s quality time.

Corn on the cob was a family favorite. We served it one night when the Pastor’s family came over for dinner. The corn was fresh and it was juicy! When I took a bite, juice flew from my cob and hit my pastor right between the eyes. He wasn’t too happy about it, but I really didn’t mean it. Neither did his wife when she got him in the side of the head a few minutes later.

Helping a stuffy pastor relax a little, that’s quality time.

The furniture and house helped make dinner exciting, too. We lived in an old farmhouse. Our kitchen table was an antique hand made by my great-grandfather. Neither the floor, nor the table was level. Actually, they leaned in the same direction. One night dad, at the high end of the table, was cutting his pork chop when his knife slipped. The knife scraped across his plate and hit his peas. We all watched as a dozen peas rolled down the table into my mom’s lap.

A show and dinner with the whole family, that’s quality time.

Then there was the time none of us will ever forget. As children are learning to cook, sometimes things don’t always come out well. We all burned things! A friend of our family’s stopped over right before dinner, so my mom invited him to stay. I was fixing dinner and most everything was cooked to perfection, except the rice. You know, the kind you have to sauté first and if you don’t keep a close eye on it, it will scorch? This friend of ours must never have cooked for himself or at least cooked worse than I did at the time.

I scorched that rice so badly nobody wanted any. However, Mr. Friend couldn’t stop eating it. We all encouraged him to take as much as he wanted.

Not having to eat all that scorched rice ourselves, that’s quality time.

There were some very precious moments that happened over dinner at our house. However, when we are all around the dinner table or tables now, depending on how many grandchildren join in the fun, it’s the silly, stupid things that we all remember. They were, after all, much more numerous than the serious or sad.

We still get together for dinner, though not as often as we all would like since between the four of us kids, we live in three different states.

So for all those parents out there that complain about everything that happens at the dinner table that isn’t particularly pleasant, stop and enjoy. These are exactly the times that will be remembered and cherished. Create some memories while spending time with your family because just like everything else, time spent all together will pass away. I think that if Christ was at the table with my family, even He couldn’t help but laugh and enjoy Himself. The most special guest for dinner is your own family.

And even after all these years, my dad still wishes to invite those preachers to share a meal with our family because the grandkids come up with new tricks that make him question the value of quality time during dinner at the table.

That in itself, is quality time.

This Thanksgiving I hope your family is like ours. We ENJOY being all crammed around the table together. That way no one misses anything and everyone feels special. Make some memories!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas

I have the pleasure of a job that I love. Who wouldn’t like to write and read all day? All right, I know there’s probably plenty of people that would not enjoy that, but for me, it’s next to heaven, especially this time of year when I can work curled up with a quilt next to the wood stove.

Because of my love of books, I often enjoy passing along my joys by giving them as gifts to others for Christmas, whether hard copies or ebooks. When I give a book, I feel that I am giving a gift that will last a lifetime. Once a person reads a story, it becomes a part of them. So, here are some of the favorite books I’ve read this past year. Click on the covers to go to Amazon and find out more about them and make purchases for the readers on your list.
The Shift by M. Ann Ricks
I, Saul by Jerry Jenkins
The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky
Three By Ted Dekker
The Reunion by Dan Walsh
Belonging by Ruth O'Neil

If you are more into shorter fiction, here is a short story to help you and your family get into the holiday spirit. "Christmas at Martha's House" is a story that was written by my mother when us kids were young. I may or may not have a part in it. If you know me and my family well, you can probably pick me out. I may even be willing to tell people if anyone asks in the comments. I love this story as it brings back so many memories of Christmases past for me.

These are just a few of my favorite books. To see more, follow this link to my book review page for even more good books. What are some of your favorite books you’ve read this year? What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? I’d love to hear from you, so please share them in the comments. For anyone who shares a comment, you are automatically entered into a contest to win a small Christmas gift from me.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wonder Woman

I once knew a woman who was constantly looked down on by her mother in law because her home was not perfectly clean. This mom spent her days taking care of her son knowing the days with him were short. She chose to enjoy every moment possible. While she kept up with household chores while he napped there were some things that were neglected, but a perfect house wasn’t of great importance to her.

Once you have children your time is no longer your own. Your days are filled tending to other people’s needs. Often it may seem there are not enough hours in the day to cram in everything you need to do.

If you weren’t feeling badly enough about all the chores you’ve left undone, along comes Wonder Woman whose house is in perfect order, never fixes her family frozen pizza for dinner and is always impeccably dressed with her perfect hair and perfect make-up. The same goes for her kids. You think it’s great if your kids are all fully clothed. We all inwardly do not like this Wonder Woman.

Let me tell you a secret, even Wonder Woman has dust bunnies under her bed.

Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes there is a time for everything under heaven. There is a time for us to plant our gardens and also a time to pick the vegetables that have grown there. The key is that we must do everything in its time. When our children are young, we must put time and effort into raising them. Read a book or play a game with them. Forget the laundry that isn’t folded and the pile of dishes on the counter that is growing larger by the second. What is truly important here? The child.

Take the thirty minutes to an hour, or even a whole day if necessary, to spend time with your precious offspring. No, the laundry and the dishes won’t be done, but they’ll still be there later – trust me on this, I know.

Take note of what is truly important and spend your time there. No one ever said on their deathbed they wished their house was cleaner. Yes, the mess may make your home seem a little more chaotic, but you are creating something pretty special in that chaos – a happy childhood. Don’t worry about perfection. Your home should be clean enough to be healthy, but perfection can be a trap and an unattainable goal.

The holiday season is fast approaching. We seem to be called on to make each year surpass the last. But remember, we cannot do everything all at once, but we can do everything in its own time. That makes you Wonder Woman.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Power of Prayer

This post is a little bit different from the norm, but maybe there is someone out there that needs it today.

Do you remember important dates like when you bought your first car or house, your first kiss or your wedding and when your kids were born? Do you record milestones of children in baby books?

Do you remember what was going on in your life when prayer became real to you? A lot of us prayed as children just because our parents did, but there needs to be a time when your prayers made a difference in your life.

I remember when it changed for me. We found out my mother had cancer. The doctors gave her thirty days to live. Imagine discovering that you have to cram the rest of your life into thirty days!

Naturally, I prayed for God’s healing. I believed God could heal her and didn’t want to believe that He would do anything else but make her well again. She was a beautiful, Christian woman and still had children to raise. She was too young to die.

Everyday I prayed, “God, heal her.” I thought I should have some semblance of God’s comforting presence after I prayed, but I didn’t. God wasn’t answering my prayers?

One night, my husband and I were talking about my mom and he asked, “What if she does die? Will you be able to handle it?” I don’t know why he felt he needed to ask me that. I didn’t think it was necessary for anyone to force reality on me.

As much as I hated to admit it, his "what if" question made me think of things I had pushed aside for so long. I realized that she wouldn’t always be a phone call away, even if she did live for several more years. I didn’t know it at the time, but those questions changed my prayer life.

My dad’s reports on mom’s health were good. Maybe he didn’t want to face reality either. But, since I lived in a different state and couldn't see her I had to live on the hopes that my family gave me.

Later that night, I started to say the usual shallow prayer for my mothers return to health. I still believed in intercessory prayer and that God could heal her. I still prayed that he would, but I added something new. “Lord, you know I want her to be healed and I know you can make her healthy again, but if she does go home to You, please prepare me for that.” I didn’t know if it would make any difference, but I tried.

There were so many people at church who tried to give me support by saying, “If your mother does pass on, it will be a great relief to you and your family to know that she is home with the Lord and that she is no longer suffering.” “You know she’s saved, so you’ll see her in Heaven again someday.”

I loathed being told those things. I wanted to scream at them, “You’re talking about my mother, my best friend, my daughter’s grandmother. How can you tell me how I’m going to feel and that it’s going to be OK?”

To be honest, I didn’t believe that knowing my mother was in Heaven would be much consolation for me, no matter what anyone said. All I was sure of was that my mom would not be here on earth with me, where she was needed. I wouldn’t be able to talk to her and she wouldn’t see my children grow up. Being an adult, being married and being a mother myself, made no difference. I still needed her.

When the phone rang one evening, I didn’t want to answer it. I knew who it was and what they were going to say. Knowing that whether I answered the phone or not, the message would still be the same, I picked up the receiver.

“Hello?” I hoped for a wrong number.

A voice that sounded like my brother’s, but was quiet with sadness, simply said, “Mom’s gone.”
I told my husband and then I sat down, expecting the tears to start flowing uncontrollably. A few did come, but not as many as I had expected. They were almost forced. I felt guilty. I thought I should have been bawling my eyes out. She was my mother after all.

When the funeral was over and everything had settled, my husband made a comment that again made me think. “Your family seems to be doing OK.” That was when I realized that what I had prayed for, God had granted; the part about being able to handle whatever God sent my way. True to one of His aching souls, He prepared me.

The last words my mom said to me were, “I love you. I want to go home.” Now she was finally home, doing what she had been created for, worshipping her Lord.

Through this, I have really learned to lean on God and apply scripture to my own life. My favorite verses in the Bible are Romans 8:26-27. When I use these verses, they bring peace to my prayer life. I have asked the Holy Spirit for help many times since then. And every time when the problems were all over, I could see where God’s hand had been at work. He was strengthening my family and me. Every time God provided the comfort I needed, and I know that He will continue to do just that. I can see God at work more now than ever before.

The power of prayer is not something we can be taught, whether we were raised by Christian parents or not. We can watch other people learn, but it won’t really have any effect on us till we learn it for ourselves. Praying is such a large part of our walk with Christ. It is how we communicate to God and partly how God communicates to us, if we are willing to sit quietly and listen. His comfort is always there, waiting.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Clean Indie Reads Fall Book Sale

CIR Fall Sale Graphic

The change of seasons brings about the need in many people to change other things. Some people change out their wardrobe. Some people change the decorations in their home. Me, I look forward to cooking recipes appropriate for the new season. I love soups and stews in the winter and salads in the summer.

What about when it comes to reading and writing? Do your tastes and choices change with the seasons? Do mine? I’m not sure my tastes change; I ALWAYS love to read and write. There is something about summer that makes me want to read more. Perhaps it’s because I can easily take a book outside and enjoy my guilty pleasure: the sun.

I find that I do more writing during the winter months while I curled up under a quilt near the wood stove. I do like to read Christmas stories during the holidays to help get me in the mood. Here’s a link to one short story to help you get in the mood for the holidays. It’s entitled Christmas at Martha’s House and it’s only $.99. Just click on the cover.

How about you? Do your reading and writing habits and choices change with the seasons? Let me know in the comments.

If you’re looking for some more great deals on books try visiting my fellow bloggers on the Clean Indie Reads Blog Hop or click on the CIR graphic above to find even more books on sale.

for more blog hop news!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

And the Winner is...

Today is the day that we find out who the winner is of the Kindle!

But first, I would like to take the time to thank you all for your support of Belonging. Many of you read my book before it was published, to give me feedback. You know who you are and you are irreplaceable to me. I am fortunate to call many of you dear friends and your friendship is something I will cherish forever.

There are those of you who purchased books. Unfortunately, I don’t know all of you by name as Amazon does not give me that information for sales. You are priceless. Thank you for your multiple purchases.

Thanks to all of you who have shared information about my book with your friends, family members, and followers on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. There is nothing that helps get the word out about books than good old word of mouth. I often buy books that others have recommended to me. I hope others do the same when hearing of my books.

And now, without further ado, the winner of the Kindle is ….

Kate, booklover

Here is her 4* review – “A sweet story of discovery. Shelly discovers parts of herself she never knew, discovers new faith in God as she 'steps out of the boat', and finally, discovers a family she never knew she had. A little predictable in spots, it was still fun to read and had many little gems of wisdom. As a shy person myself, I could relate to Shelly's struggles to overcome her fears and anxiety when dealing with others. It was also a pleasant surprise to recognize the area where 'Belonging' takes place, right down the street. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a pleasant way to pass a few hours.”

Congratulations, Kate! I will be in touch with you. Thank you so much for your support!

If anyone would like to further help me promote Belonging, I am working on a Thunderclap campaign. This just helps me reach people that I would not normally be able to reach. All you have to do is sign up, Thunderclap does the rest. It’s easy, painless, and FREE! Your support will help get the word out about Christian books and spread the Gospel to some who may never have heard. Follow this link if you care to help.

If you would like to purchase Belonging, simply click on the book cover above to go straight to Amazon. For those of you who have asked, I will let you know when I have paper copies available.

Thanks again to all of you. Words cannot express how much you mean to me!