Gail's Book Nook

Friday, October 21, 2016

Looking Out the Window: D.M. Webb Discusses Her Books, 30 Days: A Devotional Memoir and Mississippi Nights and Shares A Devotional. Offers a Winner's Choice Giveaway

             A Warm Welcome to D.M. Webb

D.M. will give away an e-book of either 30 Days: A Devotional Memoir OR Mississippi Nights. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Yeats and Christ
D.M. Webb (Daphne Self)

One of the most beautiful poems I have ever read was "Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats. A portion of it reads: “But, I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

In my devotional 30 Days: A Devotional Memoir, I talked about how we all have dreams and sometimes it was only our dreams that kept us company. Every once in a while we offer dreams to someone and we lay them down at their feet. Our wish is for them to tread carefully on these dreams we offer.

Have you ever offered a piece of yourself, lain it at the feet of someone, and wondered if it would be accepted? Have you ever looked into a person’s eyes, wished for him or her to see your heart, and wondered if it would be accepted? Have you ever listened to your own heart, felt what it said, and wondered if you could accept it?

Life can parallel the teaching of Jesus. He laid His life down for us. He offered His love for us. He placed His dreams before us. We must tread carefully because we tread on His dreams. When we trust in Him, we are accepted, and it is our dreams at His feet. And Jesus treads carefully on our dreams.

“And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold, I, and the children which God hath given me.” Hebrews 2:13

Thanks for sharing with us. Lots of writers enjoyed reading as children. Did you? If so, what did you read?

I was a really big reader as a child. I think the first book that I can remember clearly was The Black Hole, based on the Disney movie during that time. I was in 2nd grade and every chance I had, especially after I finished my work, I would read that book, never mind that I knew it word for word. Later on it became whatever I could get my hands on and what my parents could afford. From Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew to Anne of Green Gables. My favorite during one summer was Eight Cousins and The Prisoner of Zelda. Eventually I graduated to Sweet Valley High then own to the more mature books: Heart of Darkness, A Farewell to Arms, etc.

Let's talk about your writing. Many wonder what makes authors write. Why do you write?

I write because I can’t stop. I started writing at an early age. My first poem was written when I was 6 and titled "Cats." I would think to myself whenever I read a book or watched a movie, “what if”, and that began the framework of creating stories to tell my cousins.

Tell us about your latest book.

My last book published was a devotional, 30 Days: A Devotional Memoir. It was a compilation of blog posts that I had written journaling three years of my life as a widow and single mother who eventually married a family friend. It showcased the ups and downs, and all the storms in between, and how I held on to my faith no matter how small it became.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

Pain. Out of the pain of hopelessness and despair I could still a light at the end, but never knew how I was going to get there. We barely had food some days, struggled to pay bills, and I found myself crying out to God so many times. And one day I realized I wasn’t alone. There were others out there like me: mothers who struggled to provide for their children. People who lost their spouses, went through a divorce, and/or raising children on their own. I wanted to give them hope, too, because it was Christ who gave me hope and led me through my toughest storms. I couldn’t remain silent. I had to share and had to hope that my little book would help another in some way, form, or fashion.

What do you love about this book? 

My favorite part would be my reference to Mark 4:39 and the chapter where I put it all into perspective. But the ultimate favorites are the two stories at the end. My mother told these stories time and time again to me and I passed them on to my readers.

What do you hope readers will tell others?

That it’s an honest book about a woman who was open about her faith and how Jesus remained in the center of all she experienced.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

I could tell, but I really don’t know. For me, I look at a bird or a tree, and idea forms. I read a sentence or hear a story, an idea forms. Things seem to pop into my head. For my first book, Mississippi Nights, it was the idea of a firefighter and what would happen if he allowed a sin to rule his life? After that, it just starting growing and building until I could barely keep up with the words in my head. For my second novel, which I am in process of finishing, it was the idea of what would happen if two people, a believer and an unbeliever, came across information that threatened their lives and the people around them? What would happen if he was a paramedic and she was a reporter?

In three words describe your style of writing.

Emotional. Realistic. Hopeful.

What themes do you write about?

I find myself writing on a variety of themes: addiction, abortion, loneliness, pride, family, and sacrifice….there are so many it seems and sometimes the theme are intertwined with another. Basically, I write about faith and real life problems.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?

I can’t set a writing schedule because it never seems to pan out the way I want it. I grab whatever time I can get because I home school my 15 year old son, babysit my 2 year old nephew, and between all that I’m cleaning house, preparing food, and dealing with bills, new job, and just general life things. To balance it all, I go with the flow. There are times when I can type up 3500 words and then sometimes I can only jot down a few ideas or phrases for the book.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

Faith affects my writing always. I will not use cursing/cussing in my books, but I will elude to the language to show the reality of a person. I will not have any graphic scenes. I don’t want that image in my head and refuse to be a stumbling block to my readers. In all I write, I want people to see Jesus. I want to glorify His name by showing redemption in His love.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Just keep writing. Don’t pay attention to the market, but keep an eye on the market.  Your story should be the best that you can write. Don’t worry about what others are doing or how well they are doing. Your time will come. Even us published authors have a hard time. We aren’t guaranteed publication, but we keep on writing. And a major point: make friends with authors, from the well-known to the lesser known. Some of those friendships will stick for a long time to come.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

I would be painting. And probably pursuing my dream of opening a bookstore. I have always loved bookstores. I mean, who doesn’t, right?

About D. M.'s Books

Mississippi Nights (2012-Ambassador International)

Two brothers, one death--the bond of brotherhood faces its greatest challenge against resentment and guilt.

Together brothers, David and Jeremy Boyette, must decide if the bond of brotherhood is stronger than their resentment and hate as David faces his dark secret and the bitterness that enslaves him.

Can the love between the two brothers eventually win against pain and guilt?

Buy Mississippi Nights On Amazon

30 Days: A Devotional Memoir (2013-Ambassador International)

Do you desire to no longer be alone? Do you yearn for understanding and hope? Do you wish for a closer walk with Jesus?

When a relationship ends, whether through divorce or death, it leaves us with heartache and sadness. Fear of loneliness overwhelms our soul. Anger at God consumes us. We are suddenly thrust into unknown territory, lost and bewildered. Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

30 Days: A Devotional Memoir brings you deeply moving stories to strengthen your walk and bring you closer to Christ. Author D. M. Webb shares her three year spiritual journey with a collection of thirty devotions designed to reach out and uplift those who have endured the turbulent emotions that come with divorce, widowhood, and single parenting. Reach out, place your hand in His, and begin your journey today.

Buy 30 Days: A Devotional Memoir On Amazon

Put book trailers in here - check bio information


D.M. Webb (Daphne Self) resides in Hawkeye and Indians territory a.k.a. Marion, Iowa. A transplant from Mississippi who fell in love with the Midwest state, she spends her days writing, biking, antiquing, and planning adventures with her husband and sons.

Having always dreamed of being a writer she pursues this dream with only one goal in mind: To Glorify His Name.  D.M. not only writes, but she's an avid reader who devours books in many genres. Catch some of her latest reviews here. Beyond her writing and reading, she also volunteers as a judge for the Genesis Contest and Carols Awards through American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She recently received the Radiqx Press Certification of Excellence award for Christian Religious Romance.

Learn more about D.M. on her website

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Looking Out the Window: Wonderful New October Releases by American Christian Fiction Writers Authors

October 2016 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Biblical Fiction:

Providence: Hannah's Journey by Barbara M. Britton -- When the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her, Hannah flees Jerusalem and is captured by an enemy with a curse all his own. (Biblical from Harbourlight [Pelican])

Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette -- In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart's calling to become an apprentice midwife. When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira's people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she's denied herself and embrace who she truly is? (Biblical from Bethany House [Baker])

Christmas Novella:

Christmas Lights by Chautona Havig, Vikki Kestell, Cathe Swanson, and April Hayman -- From historical romance to contemporary cozy mysteries and Christmas wonder, these four "light" reads will warm your heart and ignite your Christmas spirit! (Christmas Novella, Mixed Genres, Independently Published)

Contemporary Romance:

Risking Love by Brenda S. Anderson -- Can cautious bank employee Lissa Morgan risk falling in love with a former thrill-seeker, a widowed single dad, when she may have to foreclose on his house? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Mom for Christmas by Lorraine Beatty -- Noah's dream of a happy family and Beth's dream of a continuing ballet career are both dashed, but when they come together they discover that the Lord might have a new dream for both of them. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sleigh Bells Ring by Sandra D. Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth -- Santa Claus is coming to town, and so are the Tucker sisters. The girls have inherited their father's run-down horse farm for Christmas. It needs some serious TLC in order to make it sell-ready. Joanna knows that by recruiting her sisters and one handsome ranch hand they can fix up the place and even celebrate one last Christmas while they're at it. However, to Isabella, returning to their home in Kentucky bluegrass country for Christmas seems like an impossible hurdle. Can her Chicago boyfriend make life merry and bright again? One thing's for sure: nothing is peace on earth for Sophia as a new beau brings up old wounds. And when the fate of the horse farm is put in jeopardy because Amy accidentally fraternizes with the enemy, tensions rise. But it's not like the land developer stole Christmas . . . just her heart. Can the Tucker sisters have themselves a merry little Christmas? (Contemporary Romance from Gilead Publishing)

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Margaret Brownley -- Stranded at the old Star Inn until the road back to his cabin reopens, lumber mill owner Rick Talbot suddenly comes face to face with the past. The only woman he's ever loved is standing in front of the inn's blazing fire trying to get warm. Both Rick and Sally regret what happened between them years ago, but his family lumberyard clashes with her tree-hugging ways and neither is willing to try again. It will take the storm of the century, one stage-struck young boy, a certain meddling "angel"--and even a cranky cat--to convince them that in matters of the heart, sometimes the second time around is best. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin Press)

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer -- Marisa Hiller abandoned her modeling career to nurse a broken heart in Montana, far from the photographer who ruined everything. Her family farm is now part of a CSA program teaching gardening and cooking to single moms, but when the coordinator begs her to represent the program in the Miss Snowflake Pageant, Marisa balks. God has forgiven Jase Mackie but hasn't answered his prayer to bring Marisa back into his life… until Jase finds himself out West as the official photographer for a beauty pageant, face to face with the woman he's never forgotten. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Room at the Inn for Christmas by Mary Connealy -- Ambitious hotel executive Amanda Star's has got her sights set on the CEO job at the multi-national Halston hotel chain. But then she inherits the Star Inn, a place her father had always wanted her to run alongside him. With no time to be away from her job, she rushes home to put the inn up for sale. Once there, she's struggles against keen regret, sweet memories, and the longing to return, which grows stronger when she is reunited with an old classmate: Anthony Carter, a handyman with a guarded heart. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin Press)

Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac -- A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England. (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

A Christmas Homecoming by Kimberly Rose Johnson -- Interior design assistant Bailey Calderwood suspects the mysterious admirer sending her cards and flowers is none other than the son of her unpleasable, bed-ridden boss. When Stephen Belafonte's mom demands he fire Bailey, can he find a way to heal the rift in his family as well his own heart, or will he be forced to let Bailey go? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson -- When Caden Holt's boss asks her to show off their own beautiful Prince Edward Island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the Red Door Inn, the reclusive executive chef is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen--and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful. (Contemporary Romance from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post -- Grant McAllister, a jaded big-city lawyer and small-town reporter Jami Carlisle have no hope for finding true love--except for a zany old matchmaker who won't give up. In the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there's healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what's needed to finally guide him home. (Contemporary Romance from Waterfall Press)

Insight by Deborah Raney -- She's having a baby. It's a blessing that brings comfort to newly widowed Olivia Cline. Yet with no insurance, no job and precious little money, how will Olivia care for herself and her child? The answer is a handsome and brooding artist seeking an assistant. Reed Vincent has recently regained his eyesight thanks to a donor. And through his eyes, Olivia begins to see all the possibilities before her. Before them. Until, in a flash of insight, she knows why his signature is so hauntingly familiar. (Contemporary Romance from Raney Day Press)

Silver Bells by Deborah Raney -- As Elvis croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town, two people find the miracle of love. (Contemporary Romance from Raney Day Press)

A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed -- In this heartwarming tale set during the Christmas season, a single father and a fashion photographer are brought together by a young boy and a mischievous Bernese mountain dog--but first they must learn to set aside their differences if they are willing to let their relationship bloom. (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

Third Strand of the Cord by Catherine Richmond -- Caroline will do anything to keep her ex-husband from putting her son with Down syndrome in an institution--even enroll the boy in a class taught by a know-it-all karate instructor. Lee Marivaux is an expert at reading people. He knows his feisty new student will thrive with firm guidance - and he's right. He pegs the boy's mother as a clueless socialite who loafs at the country club - and he's never been so wrong. When Caroline's abusive ex shows up, demanding custody, Lee and Caroline must join forces to keep the boy safe. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Buying Love by Toni Shiloh -- Impatient for marriage, Nina Warrenton places an ad in the newspaper for a husband--attaching a monetary reward. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef who answers her add, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money. Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant, but can he let it go to prove his love for Nina? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

Moonlight Over Manahttan by Carrie Turansky -- Professional organizer Sarah Montgomery is hired to organize her elderly neighbor's cluttered apartment by Justin Latimer, her neighbor's grandson. Sarah believes free-spirited Justin is a lazy, unemployed poet who is taking advantage of his grandmother's generosity. Though attracted to him, she guards her heart against her growing feelings. As Sarah and Justin work together to help his grandmother and enjoy Christmas events in NYC, romantic sparks fly. When Sarah discovers who Justin really is, she must decide if she will continue to hide behind her protective wall or open her heart and embrace love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman -- Charlotte Dolinsky needs time to recover after breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan. But when a surprise visitor shows up on her doorstep in Texas, she's forced to put aside her own worries to help her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Daniel Byler struggles each day in his Amish community to heal from his fiancée's betrayal. When he discovers that a member of his family is in danger of being shunned, his pain turns to fear. His only way to help is by partnering with Charlotte, a woman he barely knows who has already deceived them all before. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

General Contemporary (includes Women's Fiction):

Paint The Storm by Dawn V. Cahill -- When Meg is challenged to love her lesbian daughter as Christ would, she struggles to live out God's command, and when her daughter goes missing, she finds herself joined with the unlikeliest of allies in her search for Linzee, and finally learns of God's unconditional grace for sinners. (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Spring Mountain Publishing)

Restoration Road by Elise Phillips -- Mallory Andrews's short trip back to Texas for her mother's funeral quickly becomes a move home to help her grieving father with his contracting business. When her old crush, Tres, hires them for a restoration project Mallory falls in love with the crumbling old house. And when feelings bloom between her and Tres, she finds herself on the road to a brand new, unexpected life filled with faith, sweet tea, and fresh paint. (General Contemporary from Desert Breeze Publishing)

Above All Things by Deborah Raney -- Expecting their first baby, Judd and Evette McGlin are thrilled to become parents. But the couple faces the ultimate test when Judd learns he already has a child: a six-year-old mixed-race girl born amid secrets and lies. Now, Evette must decide if she can accept the child. She thought she was open-minded--until hidden prejudices threaten the future of an innocent little girl, Evette's marriage and the very notion of who she thinks she is. (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Restoring Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti -- Alexis set out to restore a fieldstone farmhouse in need of repair. She didn't expect to restore a life in the process. (General Contemporary from Worthy Inspired)

Strings of Faith by Terry Stafford -- Darcy is a classically trained violinist who dreams of playing bluegrass and winning The National Oldtime Fiddle Contest in Weiser, Idaho. When tragedy strikes, Darcy lays her gift aside for her family and faces unimaginable pain and loss, leading to dissension with her husband, disappointing judgment from her church, and anger with God Himself. Can her gift of music survive when her life is turned upside down? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


The Lost Generation by Erica Marie Hogan -- On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith -- When an accident forces Jonah Ashton to serve as a ship's physician, he boards the Providence with the plan to escort a group of families to their new settlement in South America and then return to Pennsylvania to finish medical school before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he doesn't count on is getting lost at sea... and Marian Foster. When the settlers finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart? (Historical from Crossriver Media Group)

Historical Romance:

The Rails to Love Romance Collection by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens, and Liz Tolsma -- Journey the Transcontinental Railroad along with nine unlikely couples who encounter all the dangers and disappointments of traveling the rails in the late 1800s. From sight-seeing excursions to transports toward new lives, from orphan trains to circus trains, can romances develop into blazing love in a world of cold, hard steel? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Cowboy Christmas Homecoming by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Julie Lessman, and Anna Schmidt -- For widow June Harper, another cold front is about to hit. Most call him Hugh. She'd call him Scrooge, except as the man ensures her needs are met, June can't help but wonder how to meet the needs of his heart. Netty Lewis can take care of herself, has for a while now. And even if Roy, her hired help for the holidays, does take care of her, that doesn't mean he cares for her or that he'll stay past Christmas. Pastor Colton McCabe is not sure he'll make it through the holidays with his new housekeeper. Grace can't seem to do anything right but love. Perhaps being a homekeeper will earn her a permanent residence in his heart. Connie Lancaster is determined to return to St. Louis, and no cowboy can change her mind. But if Isaac can change her heart, maybe Connie will see the homecoming she's been longing for isn't to a place but a person. (Historical Romance from Gilead Publishing)

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep -- Stranded in a strange land, Eleanor Morgan faces starvation or marriage . . . but who wants to marry a murderer? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Rightful Heir by Angel Moore -- Cowboy Jared Ivy must work with stranger Mary Lou Ellison until a judge comes to town and determines which one of them is the rightful heir to his family's Texas newspaper. Intrepid reporter Mary Lou won't lose the Pine Haven Record--the legacy he left her--without a fight. But when she and Jared stop sparring long enough to investigate a story together, they become a force to be reckoned with. Will they let their battle over the Record get in the way of something even more newsworthy: true love? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Christmas at Stoney Creek by Martha Rogers -- When newspaper reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man named Joe, Tom decides to bring him home to Stoney Creek, Texas for Christmas. As Tom and his childhood friend Faith Delmont set out to learn the truth about the mysterious old man with the kind, sad eyes, they discover that God's love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph, and that true love comes to those who wait. (Historical Romance from Realms [Charisma Media])


Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard -- In order to regain her grandmother's favor FBI Special Agent Serena Jones agrees to investigate a missing Salvador Dali painting. But when the evidence points to members of the owner's own household, it becomes clear that Serena won't be winning any popularity contests. Then Serena stumbles upon links to her grandfather's unsolved murder. (Mystery from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Romantic Suspense:

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon -- After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime in the woods. But when someone threatens his neighbor, publishing executive Dana Lewis, Finn and Dana must work together to discover who wants her to leave her lakeside cabin before it costs both their lives. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Identity Unknown by Terri Reed -- When a John Doe washes up on the shores of Calico Bay, no one knows who he is—including him. But one thing's instantly clear to deputy sheriff Audrey Martin: the man's marked for murder. And she's the only one who can protect him from the assassins who lurk at every turn. The arrival of a team of men claiming he's Canadian Border Services officer Nathanial Longhorn only further complicates the matter. As his memories slowly start drifting back, Nathanial and Audrey work to uncover who wants him dead and why. If they don't, this Christmas might be their last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes -- What more can you sacrifice than your life? Parvin Blackwater is dead. At least that's what the Council and the world thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world? (Speculative Young Adult from Enclave Publishing)

Unblemished by Sara Ella -- Eliyana can't bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength? (Speculative Young Adult from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Beast by Chawna Schroeder -- For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master's dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold she dreams of one day becoming her master's favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire. When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers, hunting down the loners. They are so strong, and she is only a beast . . . or is she? (Speculative Allegory from Enclave Publishing)

Accelerant by Ronie Kendig -- He'll destroy the world. But he must save it first. As the only able-bodied heir to the Fire Throne, Haegan, Prince of Seultrie must return to the Nine Kingdoms and fight for his people. But there are insidious forces at work. When reality itself falls into question, Haegan struggles to know where to fight, who to trust. Caught between duty to his country and duty to the world, Haegan must see clearly enough to choose the right path to save his devastated world. (Speculative High Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)


Death in the Mind's Eye by Rick Acker -- It knows what you're thinking. It knows when you're lying. Does it know how to kill? San Francisco attorney Mike Webster and Dr. Johanna Anderson, a brilliant and beautiful psychologist, must clear Jo's name of a malpractice case before the controversial, technologically-assisted Mind's Eye therapy is seized by a shadowy finance firm and used as a weapon. (Thriller/Suspense from Waterfall Press)

The Warrior's Seal by Ronie Kendig -- A Special Forces team is thrust into a war with the past to save the president after an artifact unleashes a deadly toxin. Special Forces operative Cole "Tox" Russell and his team are tasked in a search-and-rescue--the U.S. president has been kidnapped during a goodwill tour. The mission nosedives when an ancient biblical artifact and a deadly toxin wipe out villages. Tox must stop the terrorists and the toxin to save the president. This is a free e-novella prequel! (Thriller/Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Deadly Infiltration by W. Richard Lawrence -- Infiltrators inside the American government are betraying undercover agents while helping sneak weapons of mass destruction across our borders. To keep their work hidden, they are willing to murder anyone who gets in their way. Sara, a brilliant computer expert working for the FBI, finds herself caught in the middle. Sara's young faith in God is gravely tested when she is framed for the murder of an FBI agent, forcing her to go into hiding. Meanwhile, Sara's fiancé Derry lives up to a promise he made to her, and gives up his future to save her and hopefully the country. (Thriller/Suspense from Boarding House Publishing)

Western Historical:

Refining Fire by Carol Cox -- Meet the Arizona Territory Brides. Four strong, independent women--each determined to stand on her own two feet, and not one of them looking for romance. But sometimes love shows up when you least expect it... (Western, Pioneer/Prairie, Independently Published)

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Winner of Rails to Love

I wrote down the names and drew one...

And the winner is...


Congratulations, Melissa!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Looking Out the Window: Liz Tolsma Introduces World's Greatest Love, Her Christian Circus Romance in the Rails to Love Collection

A Warm Welcome to Liz Tolsma

Liz will give away a print copy of Rails to Love (U.S. Residents only). To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Hi Liz, first, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m passionate about my writing and telling people’s stories. I’m passionate about my editing and serving young writers by helping them to get their careers going. I’m passionate about my family, which includes my husband and our three children. I’m passionate about adoption, which is how our children came to be ours. I’m passionate about gardening, walking, and camping with my family.

Thanks for sharing with us. Tell us about your latest book. 

My latest book is World’s Greatest Love in the Rails to Love collection. It just released last week. All of the stories in there have trains as an integral part of them. Mine is set on the Ringling Brothers circus train in 1896. It was a ton of fun to write – and research. All of the stops in the book are the actually places the circus was on those dates. And a good number of the of incidents really did happen.

How exciting for your readers, especially the history buffs. Where do you get ideas for your books?

I get ideas from all over the place, frequently from things I read. I’ll see something in a newspaper or magazine or online, and it will spark a story idea.

How do you get to know your characters?

I spend a good bit of time with my characters before I get going on the actual writing. I put together a character chart with everything from appearance and family background to favorite sayings and quirks.

What themes do you write about?

One theme that keeps cropping up in my writing is the sovereignty of God. Whether the book is about fear or trust or redemption, it all seems to come back to that one issue.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

I like to do most of my writing in the morning. I’m at my best then, and it gives me the rest of the day to edit and do housework. I have a small desk in my bedroom, but I’ve been having problems with my back, so lately I’ve been writing on the couch in the family room with a heating pad on my back.

Oh, I’m sorry. I hope your back will get better soon. Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

A true pantser. While I get to know my characters and the beginning and ending, I love the pure writing process. For me, I see the story in my mind’s eye. When I write, I’m just recording what I see and hear.

Does your faith affect your writing? How? 

My faith is like the rest of my life – it affects everything. There is no way I can compartmentalize it. I hope it flows naturally. And, this has surprised me, but my writing challenges my own faith. As I write about these issues, it makes me look at my life and faith and oftentimes, I’m convicted.

Do you put yourself in your books?

I don’t think you can write without putting a little bit of yourself in your books. They say to write about what you know, and I know me! Even when I write a character that is very different from myself, some of me slips in there.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I’m working on the second book in my new WWII series. The first book, The Melody of the Soul, is schedule to release in April. The second book is set in Poland during the war. What many people don’t know is that Hitler hated the Poles almost as much as the Jews. He sent many of them to work camps, where conditions were deplorable. In fact, as many Polish Christians died as did Polish Jews.

It’s good you’re shedding light on that. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

Ha! Ha! Sometimes I wish I believed in reincarnation, because there are so many things I’d like to do in my life. Being a dolphin trainer fascinates me. So does being a travel agent. Don’t laugh – they get to travel a lot! And I love putting vacations together for my friends.

I could go with the dolphin trainer. LOL. Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time). 

The heroine in World’s Greatest Love is the wardrobe mistress for the Ringling Brothers circus. She’s in charge of all of the costumes. She’s brand new to the circus, coming from Boston, and wants to earn enough money to take care of her poor, immigrant family. The hero is the trainmaster. He’s responsible for loading and unloading the train and making sure everything is running on time. He grew up in the circus.

It sounds fascinating. I love circus stories.

About World's Greatest Love in the Rails to Love collection

Circus costume designer Ellen Meyers rides the rails from city to city with the troupe, but when mystery and suspicion fall on her, can her newfound love with trainmaster Will Jorgenson and their faith in God survive?

Buy links

Barnes and Noble


Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels and prairie romance novellas. The Rails to Love collection released in October 2016. The Matchmaker Brides collection releases in February 2017, and her next WWII novel, The Melody of the Soul, is scheduled to release in April 2017. She has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband and their two daughters. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. Please visit her blog, The Story behind the Story, at She is also a regular contributor to the Pencildancer blog and the Midwest Almanac blog.

Connect with Liz
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Friday, September 30, 2016

Looking Out the Window: Texas-Brides Mail-Order Style—Five of Them. Meet the Midwest Christian Romance Authors. Read Excerpts and Find Links for Free Books Below

A Warm Welcome to the Midwest Christian Romance Authors

Mildred Colvin, Jamie Adams, Linda Cushman and Regina Tittel

Introducing Their Texas Brides Mail-Order Style Series

See links for free books from some of their earlier selections on Amazon and a Smashwords code for free copies of Mail- Order Shotgun Wedding. Each author shares an excerpt below.

Introducing the Group

Midwest Christian Romance Authors is a group of four women who live in the Midwest and write, encourage, and edit each other’s work. Three of us met for the first time in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas when we toured the beautiful historic Frisco depot and grounds for the railroad. As a result, we each wrote a novella called In Mammoth Spring, AR.

A year later, three of us, although not the same three, met in Warsaw, Missouri, at the Truman Lake Visitor Center located on Kaysinger Bason. Later, all four wrote another series that became a sequel to our first series, In Warsaw, MO.

Since that beginning, our MCRA group has written a third series, moving to the wide open grazing lands near the fictitious town of Mesquite Gulch, Texas, in 1890. Texas Brides Mail-Order Style has five books, each ending with true love.

And, yes, we have another series in the works now. Twelve novellas will come out each month during 2017 called Birthstone Brides. Each bride receives her birthstone in some form of jewelry from the man she will marry. You’ll love this series and want to read all the stories.

Meet the Authors and Read about Their Books

Mildred Colvin, wife, mother, and grandmother to three beautiful girls wrote book one, Mail-Order Shotgun Wedding, in the Texas Brides Mail-Order Style series. She has been writing stories for publication since 2001 when Barbour Publishing accepted a book she co-authored with her sister. Currently she has written almost forty books now available through both traditional and Indie publishing.

About Book One in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, Mail-Order Shotgun Wedding

Able Logan is shocked to learn of his father’s impending death, but what’s this mail-order bride notion he’s come up with? He and his brothers have to be married by Christmas or lose their inheritance? Able wants no part of it—until he touches a delicate hand,

looks into sky-blue eyes, and his heart jolts in a way he never expected.
Faith White is thrilled to be going to Texas where she and her younger sister will be close as they each marry a Logan brother. Security and family are all she’s ever wanted until Able Logan touches her hand and sends a smile to her heart. But is Able’s attentiveness a ploy to please his father or could he truly love her? The answer is torn from them both when they are accused of wrong doing and forced into a shot-gun wedding!

Buy on Amazon

Jamie Adams has been making up stories since grade school. An avid reader since childhood, she loves to create places for the characters she dreams up in her head to live and play. Getting to write alongside talented writers like the Midwest Christian Romance Author sisters has been one of the highlights of her writing journey. Jamie’s contribution to Texas Brides Mail-Order Style is
Corralling the Cowboy’s Heart.

About Book Two in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, Corralling the Cowboy's Heart

Not ready to settle down, Joshua Logan does his best to avoid contact with any of the mail-order brides his father ordered for him and his brothers. Ever the obedient son, for the first time in his life he goes against his father’s wishes, and suffers the consequences. Will his blunder cost him the one true desire of his heart?

Shy and happy to keep to herself, Temperance White must come out of her shell if she hopes to find a husband. Her elder sister is the first to marry and now it’s her turn. Neither Joshua nor his brother seems interested in marriage. Unaware that sending for a bride wasn’t their idea, she believes she’s undesirable and doomed to be a spinster. Unfortunately, her heart refuses to accept the inevitable.

Buy on Amazon

Linda Cushman wrote the third book, A Bride by Christmas, and feels very blessed to be part of this group of talented writers who make up Midwest Christian Romance Authors. She’s always been a dreamer, but didn’t start putting her stories on paper until

Writing fiction is her favorite hobby, but she can’t find enough time to devote to it. The mail-order bride stories were fun, and she’s now looking forward to working on the Birthstone Bride series, which is the next project for our group. Each month of  one novella will be published to complete a set of twelve. Each heroine will receive her birthstone in a piece of jewelry given to her by her future husband.

About Book Three in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, A Bride by Christmas

Zack Logan has plans for his life. A herd of cattle, fast horses, and races every weekend keep him satisfied. His father’s ultimatum to be married by Christmas or lose his inheritance hobbles his dreams. He schemes to avoid a trip to the altar even after his father sends for a mail-order bride. When two beautiful ladies arrive, he resolves to marry neither of them.

With a prayer on her lips and faith in her heart, Ida Mae McAllister leaves the orphanage in Chicago. Texas will be her promised land, an escape from poverty. Her most cherished dream is to find a man waiting for her in Mesquite Gulch, a husband who will love her. When her beautiful friend appears, Ida’s hopes vanish. With the refined blonde to compete with, Zack will never notice a freckle-faced girl from the slums.

Buy on Amazon

Regina Tittel is a writer, homeschooler, and love-struck wife. She enjoys adding bits and pieces from my life in my books, while her heroes always seem to walk away with one or two of her husband’s admirable attributes. She wrote the fourth book, The Substitute Groom, and says writing with the MCRA’s has been a lot of fun, and she hopes our efforts provide you with hours of enjoyment and something to take away.

About  Book Four in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, The Substitute Groom

Lily Dixon lives a comfortable, although lonely, life in Chicago. When the benefactress from her youth persuades her to travel to the great state of Texas to become the wife of Zack Logan, she agrees. However, a childhood friend has arrived with the same intentions. Determined to win the hand of the wealthy rancher, Lily struggles with her decision. Does she pursue what could be a loveless marriage, or does she take a chance on a penniless ranch hand?

Buy on Amazon

About Book Five in the Mail-Order Style Texas Series, December Love

Since we only have four authors, we all pitched in and wrote December Love, the fifth book. It's about our older couple.

At last, Will Logan can sit back and wait for the grandchildren to come. If he doesn’t die first. Even after successfully finding mail-order brides for his sons, Will continues to have chest pains, and his sister is talking of going back home to Ft. Worth and her husband. But if she does that, he and Florence will be alone on the ranch and Florence will also have to leave. If his heart pains don’t kill him, he’ll for sure die from losing the city woman he’s fallen in love with, yet all he can seem to do is stick his foot in his mouth when he tries to talk to her.

Florence Foster has accomplished more than what she came to Texas for. Her goal was to help four young ladies find husbands, and she’s done that and made an unexpected connection with her secret daughter as well. Her work is finished and she needs to return to Chicago, but how can she if her heart remains in Texas with Will?

Buy on Amazon


Book One - Mail-Order Shotgun Wedding by Mildred Colvin

September 21, 1890, Mesquite Gulch, Texas

“I’m dying.”

“What?” Able Logan jerked up his head as his two younger brothers echoed his shock. Surely, he hadn’t heard right. “Would you repeat what you just said, Dad?”
“It’s my heart, but that isn’t why you’re here.” Able’s father placed a hand over the middle of his chest as if covering the pain. “I have until Christmas, maybe a few weeks more. I’ve come to terms with this. You can too.” He looked toward his older sister, Mabel Harris then turned to his lawyer and long-time friend, Wade Durham, as if seeking their support.

A blurry cloud of unreality closed in on Able the same as four years ago when Mom got sick. Now it was Dad, only Able didn’t want to believe it. How could this happen? Sure Dad was getting older, but he wasn’t that old. His next birthday he’d turn fifty—if he lived that long. Pain sliced through Able’s heart.

“They should be here tomorrow.”

“Who?” Someone was coming? Able shook his head, trying to free himself from the dark shadow holding him in its grip. He blinked and met the steady gaze of his younger brothers, Josh and Zack. They looked as dazed as he felt. He turned back to his dad.

“Have you been to a doctor?”

A crease formed between Dad’s eyes. “Yes, I have. Doc Brown gave me a thorough examination. I don’t want you boys to worry about me. I wouldn’t have told you except I hoped you’d understand how important it is.”

“What is?”

“Making good matches. I just told you. The ladies will arrive on tomorrow’s stage. I’ll expect you to pick them up shortly after noon.”

“Ladies?” Nothing seemed real. “This isn’t a good time for company, Dad.”

“I wouldn’t call the brides company.” Aunt Mabel spoke up. “They’ll be living here until you boys are married then they’ll move into your houses with you. I understand an escort will come with them, an older lady.”

“Brides!” Zack jumped up. “I don’t intend to get married anytime soon.”

“Marriage sure isn’t in my immediate plans, either.” Josh folded his arms and scowled. “Seems we should be more concerned about your health, Dad.”

Able sucked in a breath. He’d missed something.

“Calm down, boys.” Wade held up a sheaf of papers clutched in his hand. “Let me explain the terms of your father’s new will so you’ll understand.”

Able leaned forward. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Josh take a similar position while Zack slumped back in his chair.

“Because of your father’s serious health condition, coupled with concern over your shenanigans in town each weekend,” Wade looked through thick glasses at each of them, “which often keeps you from God’s house on Sunday morning, your father has come to the best solution possible. Marriage to a good woman will help his sons settle down and become responsible ranchers.”

Zack sputtered, Able opened his mouth to protest, and Josh shook his head, but none of them managed an intelligible word.

Book Two - Corralling the Cowboy’s Heart by Jamie Adams

“Hey, Zack, look who decided to show.” Josh reined in his mount and whipped off his Stetson as he hopped off. He brushed damp hair from his brow before replacing the dust covered hat.
“Well, if it isn’t the old married man himself.” Zack dropped down from the fence housing the livery stable’s new additions. Today’s horse auction was to be held at noon. The event had been on the town calendar for weeks. Zack insisted they get there early to check out the stock. No one knew horse flesh like the youngest Logan boy.

“You two are a real hoot.” Able quipped as he dismounted. His eyes sparkled with a sense of contentment Josh hadn’t seen on any Logan in years. “Either one of you finally wise up and ask Temperance White to marry you?”

Josh squared his shoulders as he waited for Zack to respond. After taking her for a ride last night, he believed he could easily fall in love with her. He didn’t have any right to expect a respectable woman like Tempe to want anything to do with him, but he couldn’t help wishing.

“Like I said from the start, I’m not interested in settling down.” Zack puffed out his chest.
His younger brother’s answer sent a jolt of relief through Josh’s heart. Tempe was both pretty and sweet, but Zack needed a woman who could hold her own. Put him in his place when need be.
“Mark my words, Zack,” Able laughed deeply, his words filled with wisdom. “One day you’ll find a woman who’ll tame you and you’ll be thankful she did.”

Book Three - A Bride by Christmas by Linda Cushman

A smile split Zack’s face, and his heart swelled with pride, and something else. Was it love? Ida had spirit. Enough spirit to be the wife of a rancher who was just starting out with his own spread. He took her hands in his. “Ida, will you marry me? I know this is sudden, but please marry me.”

She pulled her hands free and walked back to the edge of the canyon, her gaze on the horses below. The rain had reached them, and now blew in sheets. Zack moved to Ida’s side, where she stood with her head bowed.

“See the stallion,” she pointed. “He never stops trying to find a way out. There isn’t an escape for him, and soon his spirit will be broken.”

Zack’s gaze traveled to the gallant red horse. He was standing near the gate, head drooping almost to the ground.

“You’d be trapped, Zack. Your father is forcing you to do something that’s against your nature.” Ida turned tear-filled eyes toward him. Rain dripped unheeded from her hair and face. “He’s just bluffing about withholding your inheritance. Don’t ruin your life. Don’t be his marionette.”

Zack watched the defeated stallion. Was she right? Why did his heart ache like it would break? Was it for himself or the horse?

“So you won’t marry me?”


Book Four - The Substitute Groom by Regina Tittel

Rex stepped to Lily’s side and drew a breath, catching hints of honey and vanilla. His eyes trailed from her soft featured face to her golden brown strands. “Why don’t you go riding with me?”


“If you’re going to live out here, you need to learn to ride.”

“I’m not Ida.”

“Of course you’re not.” Her blue eyes clouded over, revealing the depth of her vulnerability. “How about after lunch. I’ll meet you at the barn.”

“Don’t you have a fence to fix or cattle to move? Surely there’s more for a foreman to do than teach helpless women how to ride.”

He enjoyed her teasing and the fact she hadn’t refused him, yet. His eyes dropped to her lips and his blood warmed. In an effort to control the rush of feelings, he centered his attention back on her hair.
“What are you looking at?”

He fought the desire to loosen her bun and feel its softness. Get a grip, Rex, she’s not for you. The self-correction did little good. “Why do all you women wear your hair up?”

As though he’d made her self-conscious, Lily reached back and smoothed her hair. Rex tugged her wrist down. “Don’t worry, there’s never a hair out of place.”

She rubbed her wrist where his fingers had been. Did she feel the same shock as he had? “This is the style … what’s expected.” She stalled then seemed to give into curiosity. “Why?”

“God gave you that pretty crown. You shouldn’t hide it.”

A small laugh slipped past her lips as she shook her head and moved toward the house. “And you should concentrate more on the ranch.”

Book Five - December Love - a collaboration of all four authors

Other than the occasional outburst of voices coming from the front of the building, it was quiet in the back section of the jailhouse. The cells were cleaner than Florence imagined. Not that she’d ever put any thought into the cleaning rituals that went into running such a place. Without any chairs to sit on she gave in and took a seat on the cot. Apparently a thin mattress covered by a rough blanket was meant to serve as both bed and settee.

Alone and afraid, she released a deep sigh and buried her face in the palm of her hands. Her strong resolve to stand up for herself had unraveled faster than a ball of yarn left to a litter of kittens. She’d really messed up this time and in front of Will of all people.

Free Books

Abandoned Hearts by Regina Tittel on Amazon

Mildred Colvin: This Child Is Mine at Amazon here

and Cora’s Deception at Amazon here

Mail-Order Shotgun Wedding Free on Smashwords with the following code 

For a free copy of Mail-Order Shotgun Wedding, click here. Then be sure to enter the coupon code so it’s free using this info:
Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: DN94N
Expires: October 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Looking Out the Window: Gay Lewis Talks About Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes, the Latest in Her Series of Sarah Books about a Bumbling, Match-Making Angel. She Will Give Away an e-Book.

A Warm Welcome to Gay Lewis 

To enter to win the eBook of Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes leave a comment and an email address below.  

Hi Gay, first, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a retired interior designer, a current pastor’s wife, and mother to grown children. Two daughters live near me in Texas, and one moved to Kentucky. I live in a small town west of Houston but drive to the city for shopping. My driving record scares everyone, including me. As I write this, my husband is in the garage trying to repair my latest scrape with the side of our garage. I told him a few minutes ago that I’d leave the car outside from now on and let him park inside for me. Scraping the garage is a habit and I hate leaving scars on the fender. He patiently buffs them out. Sigh. I’ve done this several times.

Good luck with the car and the garage. When it comes to cars, you're a writer, right? Many writers were avid readers as children. How about you? If so, what did you read?

I grew up in Texas and hated heat. As a child, I stayed indoors with a book, magazine, anything I could get my hands on. I read the Louise May Alcott books many times over. I also loved Nancy Drew. Today the books I chose are usually romance or paranormal. I just finished Saint Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel by Dean Koontz. This was the last in the Odd Thomas series and I’m upset that Mr. Koontz ended the series. Odd Thomas was a hoot.
Ahh, that's sounds like fun. Let's talk about your writing. Who do you write for, and what other jobs have you held or do you hold besides writing?

 I write for Prism Book Group, The Texas Hill Country and a new online magazine called God’s Web.  Now and then, I return to the décor arena. A client called me recently and hired me for a home design update. I confess I enjoyed the décor request immensely. I worked in the interior design field for years and sometimes miss it.  I don’t do much of that anymore, but on that appointment, I found that I haven’t lost my touch.

As a pastor’s wife, I work a lot at church. No salary with this job, but I’ve always enjoyed sharing my husband’s ministry. Our church gets two for the price of one. I’ve been a writer for years, but I wrote for religious periodicals. I’ve also produced a travel series. I now write fantasy, romance, and sometimes add a bit of mystery to my stories. When the idea of a bumbling, dyslexic angel  who does goofy things came to mind, I had to write about her mishaps as she tries to help humans. Some of the things that happen to Sarah I’ve endured myself.

Sarah's such a fun character. How did you begin a writing career?

I’ve always written since I was a child with a toy typewriter. I wrote plays for the neighborhood, then as a teen, I wrote them for church. After I married a minister, opportunities for inspirational periodicals kept coming, but I’ve always wanted to write novels.  The day finally arrived for retirement and I began with Women’s Fiction—I wrote two. One of those books will see the light of day next year, and I’m totally excited about it. The name of the book is Choices, and it’s the first one I wrote. Over the years, I’ve rewritten it, and written it…and again written it. Chuckle, chuckle, sigh. The story was good, but the writing needed help. Authors continue to learn about their craft, and the later versions are better. Choices is a dark subject about physical abuse with study questions at the end. My Sarah Series is a lot more fun and it’s light reading. Sarah makes people laugh out loud, but Choices will make the reader cry.

Other than Sarah who is your favorite character in your books and why?

I love the Commander. He gives Sarah assignments at the start of each book and reviews her at the end. He is not God, but the Commander is a servant of the Lord, but like God, he is kind, gentle, and loving. He often must correct Sarah, but he always does it in a generous and humorous way.

Tell us about your latest book, Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes.

Sarah must unite two widows, Bonnie, the mother and Jessica, the daughter, at the same time.  These ladies live together, along with Mackenzie, Jessica’s daughter. The three generations of women are bonded into a tight family, but all three are falling in love. Mackenzie will wait to marry until she finishes college, but Sarah’s mission is to find men for the other two. After guys are found, Sarah must then convince the females to live apart from each other with a new husband. Each woman fears the other will be lonely and neither will break up the household—no matter how much love for a man is involved.  Sarah is terrified. Her mission is to create two simultaneous weddings, and she just might goof them both up on this mission.

What sort of hindrances does Sarah face on this mission?

Finding a love candidate for Bonnie, the matriarch of the family is a challenge. Where should an angel look for a respectable, eligible bachelor? In the following scene, she tries church and manages to embarrass the pastor.

Men in the choir sat in a row next to each other. Perhaps their wives were gathered in those female groups she’d noticed earlier, but then again, maybe not. Sarah lifted her brows and snapped her fingers as a new thought came. An unmarried dude might be in the choir loft. She should wander up to the loft and check the fingers on their left hands. If married, they’d wear a wedding band, wouldn’t they? She knew of men who hid rings when they wanted to step out on a wife, but surely they didn’t do such a thing in a place of worship. Or did they? Nah. Sarah shook her head, unable to fathom such a thing.

Zooming like a politician to a potential voter, Sarah rocketed down the row of prospects. As she whizzed by each man, the wind velocity caused their robe stoles to fly up. One by one, the decorative cloth hit a male face. The visual effect resembled that of a football wave in a crowded stadium. A stole flew up, hit the individual in the nose and then returned to its place. The next one in succession did the same. One man sneezed. Another coughed. The audience laughed.

The men rotated heads to look at each other with quizzical looks. One shrugged and another scratched his ear. The pastor turned to see what caused the hilarity.

“What are ya’ll doing back there?” The preacher’s tone indicated genuine interest.

“Didn’t you feel that gust of wind?” A man spoke from the middle of the row.

“In here?” The pastor furrowed his brow.

“We felt the Spirit. Maybe we’re about to experience another Pentecost.” The choir member’s voice carried all the way to the rear of the auditorium.

The pastor shook his head. “Not in my church.”

The audience roared again.

The pastor’s face turned from pink to purple. “Uh…ah…um…that’s not what I meant. I hope we do have a revival of the Spirit in here—just wasn’t expecting it today.”

More laughter.

Sarah directed her eyes upward and mouthed “Sorry.” Other than disruption, that little escapade failed to bring results. Maybe she’d approached this investigation the wrong way…perhaps she should consider age and eliminate a few choices. Now—who among these men fit the sixty-year-old prospect she hoped to find?

Two men looked to be near the correct phase of life.

Slipping down, she inspected their hands. One wore a wedding band and the other didn’t. The candidate without a wedding band was handsome—tall with salt-and-pepper hair.

Hmm, he could be the one. But then again, maybe not. Perhaps she should follow the dude home, find out his name, and see how he spent his time.

Connect with Gay

At Prism Book Group

Watch video trailers and follow Gay's blog
Check out Gay on Amazon
Facebook and on Twitter @GayNLewis2.

Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand