Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Messages

Christmas shines with God’s grace, forgiveness of sins and salvation. It’s difficult to fathom an unconditional love so great, or ever repay it. All I can do each year is let it fill my heart with joy as I stand in awe of it and accept God’s gift.

A Miraculous Birth
Photo courtesy Photobucket

“God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” Luke 1: 26 - 27
“...the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1: 30 - 33

A Gospel of love

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
“Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22: 36 - 39

Photo courtesy Photobucket

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” John 9: 1 - 3
“...he spit on the ground, made some mud with saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent) So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” John 9: 6 -7 

Pain, suffering and death on a cross
Photo courtesy Photobucket

“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified...” Matthew 20: 17 - 18
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2: 22 - 24


“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”

Eternal Life

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Sherri Wilson Johnson Loving The Book Tour - To Laugh Once More

A Warm Welcome to Sherri Wilson Johnson

Hi Sherri, thanks for bringing your tour to Peering Through Life's Window. First, tell us a little about yourself.

Besides being a writer, I'm also a speaker and I freelance as a virtual assistant for two clients. I love to read and write and spend time with my family. I love to go to church, and I love to make people laugh. My favorite vacation spot is the beach, and whenever I get the opportunity, I go to theme parks and ride roller coasters.

Tell us about your latest book
To Laugh Once More is the sequel to my first novel, To Dance Once More (which re-released December 12th). It is set in Florida and Georgia in 1895. In this novel, Lydia and Hamilton have been married for several years, and things aren't going quite like Lydia had hoped. She loves Hamilton, but she's bored with being a keeper of the home. They go through some major trials which seem quite insurmountable. They struggle to keep their marriage intact, and sometimes, you have to wonder if they will ever be happy again.

What inspired you to write this particular book?
Readers inspired me, I guess you could say. I had a lot of requests for a sequel and I felt like there was so much more of Lydia and Hamilton’s story that needed to be told. In fact, there will definitely be a Book Three in the series and maybe even more.

We'll look forward to it. What do you love about this book?
I love the love story between Lydia and Hamilton because it’s an ongoing uphill battle some days to make things work and I think that’s a lot like real life. Most romances deal only with unmarried heroines, but I believe that the romance doesn’t stop there.

And what do you hope readers will tell others about this book? I hope readers will tell their friends that this book is an inspiration to all young women, married or not. In To Laugh Once More, Lydia is struggling to find her purpose in life, in addition to being a wife and hopefully a mother one day. She knows there’s more that she needs to be doing. I want women everywhere to see that even if they are home with children, that’s just for a season. We all need to be preparing ourselves for the work God has for us to do and wives/mothers need to prepare for the day when we’re empty-nesters.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
They come from all over the place. TV, movies, real life. Everywhere I go, every conversation I have with someone, usually prompts an idea for a romance in my mind.

In three words describe your style of writing.
Emotional roller coaster.

How do you get to know your characters?
I get to know my characters by spending time with them. Sometimes, they start out kind of flat, but by the time I’m finished writing the book (or the series) they’ve developed into quite the complex being. Some people have said that Lydia is a lot like Scarlett O’Hara and that she deserves a spanking. That’s true. But she grows and changes and begins to see her selfish ways. She’s probably always going to deal with pride and stubbornness, but that’s what makes Lydia Lydia.

What themes do you write about?
 I write about romance, forgiveness, starting over, second chances, faith, hope.

Does your faith affect your writing?

It’s in everything I write and in everything I do. I don’t write books that are heavy with my faith, but there’s always a faith element in them. What I mean is that I’m not a preacher. Don’t plan to be one. But everything I write comes from the perspective of a Christian. I can’t imagine writing anything that didn’t at least have some evidence of who I am on the inside and of WHO I belong to.

Introduce us to the main character in your new book.
Lydia Barrington Scarbrough. She’s a brat sometimes. She’s been married for five years and is bored with life on the plantation. She wants to get out and travel and see the world. She’s frustrated with her husband, Hamilton, because he gets to do just that. And he won’t take her with him. It’s not that he doesn’t want to. It’s just that you can’t often take your wife on business trips. Also, Lydia has been unable to have children. So she’s not only stuck on the plantation, she’s stuck there with little to do and no one to care for while Hamilton is away. She pretty much questions everything her life is about. This story takes Lydia on a journey of discovering her purpose in life.

Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I want to entertain and inspire readers, but mainly, I write them because that’s what flows out of me. I want to uplift readers and share with them the wonderful goodness that God has allowed me to see. I want readers to feel hope and to know that there’s always an answer to their troubles. I also want to make them laugh, make them think, and make them swoon.

To Laugh Once More is a Victorian Inspirational Romance set in Georgia in 1895.

The War may be over but the battles still rage.

A dissatisfied wife. A misunderstood husband. Three tragedies will alter their path forever. Will their choices tear them apart, or will they allow them To Laugh Once More?

Three years after her marriage to Hamilton, former debutante Lydia Barrington Scarbrough is dissatisfied with life. She has yet to have children, and she spends most of her days sitting in a circle of women chatting about homemaking. She thought life would be more than what it's turned out to be. Hamilton travels on business and never takes her with him. What's a lonely wife to do when she has no children to raise? She longs for adventure and romance, and really, she longs for the fulfillment of her purpose in life. A purpose beyond being a wife and raising children.

Lydia faces a series of hardships that stretch her faith beyond capacity. Leaving her childhood home in Florida for Georgia proves to be more difficult than she ever imagined, and her marriage may not survive the trials. Lydia’s own personal battles drive a wedge between them. What will it take to make Hamilton attempt to save their marriage and draw Lydia back to him?

As Lydia strives to etch out a place for herself in a new world full of unfamiliar prejudice and attempts to overcome her private battles, she must help Hamilton understand her deepest longings and learn the true meaning of joy. Will she surrender her will in order to find her purpose? Will her future hold a happier marriage, motherhood, and a calling greater than she could ever have imagined?

Enjoy an Excerpt
The following morning, Lydia descended the oak staircase, ten-feet-wide and slightly curved, and headed for the sweet-smelling breakfast room. She'd reach for a cup of Isabel Ann's strong coffee before sinking her teeth into a biscuit or ham after the night she'd had. She'd slept little because of the ache in her side from her bull encounter and in her heart from missing Hamilton.

Each step closer to the bottom reminded her of the days before her marriage when she'd all but floated down the stairs in her ball gowns, ready for a chance to meet fascinating people who'd traveled to places she'd likely never go. Those days seemed like forever ago.

Since her run-in with the bull, Lydia's heart had raced. What was wrong with her that she preferred a confrontation with a beast to the customary responsibilities of running a home? She struggled to stay afloat on the sea of debilitating disenchantment and regret that crept throughout her body. What grieved her more? Was it the argument with Mother and her sisters, or was it the root of the argument—the dissatisfaction with normalcy?

"Lydia, will you come in here, please?" Papa called from his office.

"Of course, Papa." She changed her path and headed toward the front of the house, her heavy skirts swishing behind her on the wood floors.

Sunlight poured into the room. Leather-bound books towered up the walls on oak shelves. Papa puffed his pipe from his chair in front of a boisterous fire, and his dark eyes never left Lydia's face. "Did you get settled?"

"Yes, sir, as settled as a married woman can be in her childhood bed." She tugged at the hem of her sleeve.

"Your mother said you had a bit of a fit yesterday. And when I called to you, you didn't respond."

Buy To Laugh Once More here

About Sherri
Sherri Wilson Johnson is an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, and a former homeschooling mom who’d rather have laugh lines under her eyes than worry lines across her forehead. She lives in Georgia with her husband, her two children and her Chihuahua, Posey. Her favorite thing to do when she’s not with her family is to curl up with a good book or work on her current work-in-progress. She loves to dream of visiting romantic places and is passionate about the Lord, motherhood, homeschooling, and writing. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More, Song of the Meadowlark, and To Laugh Once More. She is a columnist with Habits for a Happy Home and Choose NOW Ministries.

Visit with Sherri on the internet

Good Reads

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Winners of A Question of Destiny and the Mini Spa Packet

Three exciting gifts!

Drum roll....

And the winners are...

One e-book copy of A Question of Destiny - June Foster

Drum roll...

The other e-book copy of A Question of Destiny - Linda Weaver Clarke

Drum roll...

The Mini Spa Packet - Deanna Stevens


Monday, December 15, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Best-selling, Award-winning Author Anita Higman Talks about Her New Book, A Question of Destiny, and Shares a Beautiful Devotional.

A Warm Welcome to Anita Higman

Anita shares a wonderful devotional about something the world needs so badly.
She’ll give away two digital copies of her new book, A Question of Destiny, and a mini spa packet!

That Glorious Gift of Kindness
Anita Higman

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

Oh, how I love presents. Don’t you? Little packages tucked into one’s mailbox. Or enormous presents with big bows that sit around the Christmas tree. Or unexpected gifts that arrive with a hug. I love all kinds. And tearing open the package with all that crisp decorative paper is fun too. Or lifting the pastel froufrou tissue out of the dainty gift bag. What utter joy!

 But the type of present that I enjoy even more, is a gift called kindness. It is a generous offering from someone’s heart. These kindness donors don’t have to give, but they do it anyway, even though this quieter gift might go unnoticed. They don’t seem to care about rewards or praise. Yes, it’s that guileless compassion that puts a smile in my spirit and a spring in my step.

I have been on the receiving end of this gift many times, but one woman who stands out in my mind as a true giver of kindness without ever expecting anything in return, is Debby Hartzell. She is one of the most gracious women I’ve ever known. Debby not only knows about the scripture encouraging us to treat each other with kindness, but she lives it daily.

Our world would be a much finer place if there was less devotion to material gain and personal glory and more attention to this gentler way of life, these gifts of the heart. They are the presents that are bound to always fit and always bring delight!
About A Question of Destiny
Lucy O’Brien is about to be given ten millions dollars and a chance to live a life she never imagined. Will this new found wealth be Lucy’s undoing, or can she rise above the temptations within high society and choose to become a nobler version of herself? And will the solitary Andrew Whitfield—a man who watches over Lucy as she adapts to her new lifestyle—cause her to close the door on her dreams or be the key that opens the rest of Lucy’s destiny?

Buy A Question of Destiny here

About Anita
Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, traveling to exotic places, and brunch with her friends. Feel free to drop by her website at or connect with her on her Facebook Reader Page at She would love to hear from you!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Winner of With Music in Their Hearts

I had to call in hubby to help me with the selection process, and he drew a name!


Congratulations to Shirley!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Carole Brown Talks about Her New Book, With Music in Their Hearts. She'll Give Away an E-book.

A Warm Welcome to Carole Brown

Carole shares a devotional based on her new book, With Music in Their Hearts.
She'll give away an e-book. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.
Why Does God Ask Hard Things From Us?
For the life of him, he had no idea what he’d done to deserve two slaps in the face in one day. Tyrell stepped out of the booth and glanced at the cloudy sky. No sign of the sun, and no sign of God’s face smiling down ready to do battle for him. --From With Music in Their Hearts.

Have you ever wondered why God allowed you to go through that hard/dark/difficult period in your life? Has life always been the proverbial bowl of cherries?

Of course not! It just seems worse for those of us who serve a God in heaven because we falsely assume life will always be full of sunshine.

 Tyrell Walker, the protagonist in my WWII novel, lost his parents as a child. That’s a terrible blow to any child, but God had plans for him. Loving grandparents took over the task and raised him to be a God fearing young man who ultimately follows in his ancestors footsteps by accepting the call of ministry.

 Because of his parents’ marital problems, Tyrell assumes he will follow in their path if he should seek marriage. But God knows differently. He has the perfect person, the perfect plan for Tyrell--if he can only accept it.

 Tyrell has his career all planned out. He’s serving as a minister, but also plans to serve his country as a loyal citizen. What better way than to be one of the first to enlist in the service? Only God knows Tyrell can better serve in a way that the young man can never imagine.

Trust is the answer for Tyrell Walker. Trust and faith. And it’s the answer to any of us who love God. We might never understand why we have the problems we have. But God does.

There’s a song that goes something like this: Faith in God can move a mighty mountain. Faith can calm the troubled sea. Faith can make a desert like a fountain. Faith can see the victory. 

Faith. A simple little word, but how powerful!

About With Music in Their Hearts
Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.

He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?

An Excerpt
A vehicle’s tires spinning gravel behind him warned him he’d not lost the black car. Slowing. Creeping. Engine purring. Only a few feet separated him from the car and making a sudden decision, he jogged around the corner and hugged the building trying to put distance between it. The car’s tires squealed as the car sped up. The driver took the corner, gravel crunching and spinning into the air.
They must have spotted him for the driver braked, throwing the passenger forward. Tyrell flung himself at the car and grabbed for the door handle.

The window slid down.

Something tugged at his arm.

And the handle tore from his grasp as the car accelerated.

The seemingly belated, reverberating crack of a gun vibrated the air around him.
The car spun around a far corner, and Tyrell reached up to rub his stinging arm. The sticky wetness drew his attention.

Blood. He saw the tear in his coat sleeve, the minute traces of blood oozing.

He’d been shot?

Why would they—whoever they were—want to shoot at him? It was a scratch, and they’d been close enough to kill him if they’d wanted to.

They didn’t want to. What were they after? A scare tactic? To warn him away? From what? Perhaps all this was a coincidence, a figment of his active imagination.

No sign of the car. Satisfied he was rid of them, he entered the hotel. At the reception desk, he filled out the necessary papers, climbed the stairs, and headed down the hallway.

At the far end, a red-haired woman inserted a key into the lock.

Was she the same woman who’d been in the recruitment office? That hat . . . He called out, “Hey, lady.”

She glanced his way, her luxurious hat tilted at just the right angle to hide one side of her face. With a flip of her plaid skirt, she shoved open her door and disappeared inside.

Tyrell hesitated at his own door, next to her’s, but inserted his key and entered. Inside, he switched on a light then as quickly flicked it off. He stepped to the window.

And drew in a breath as if he’d been sucker-punched.

Down below, across from the hotel, the streetlight reflected off a long, black Oldsmobile. Standing beside the car staring up at the hotel, stood Ben Hardy.

 His cousin and best friend.

With Music in Their Heart Buy Links:
Kindle Link:
Print Link:

Brown not only has her award winning (RWA International Digital Awards finalist in Inspiration, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.

November, 2013, the first book in her mystery series, Hog Insane, released. It’s a fun, lighthearted novel introducing the characters, Denton and Alex Davies. Look for the second book, Bat Crazy, late 2014 winter.

Released November 1, 2014, is the first book in a new WWII romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Author, Speaker and Acquisitions Editor Paula Mowery Talks about Legacy and Love, Her New Book

A Warm Welcome to Paula Mowery
Paula will give away an e-book of Legacy and Love
To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below

Hi Paula, tell us a little about yourself.
When I look at the title of your blog, Peering Through Life’s Window, it reminds me of one of the roles I have in life – pastor’s wife. It’s been said that we pastor families live in glass houses. I’m glad I don’t really reside in a glass house. I would hate for everyone to see the dust and laundry mountains that are a part of our life. But, I guess this is just proof that we are just normal people who have been called into a different vocation.

I’m a proud mama to a daughter who is a sophomore with Liberty University online. She is studying to go into children's ministry. I had the privilege and honor to homeschool her through all twelve years.

I’m a published author and acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. God has called me to write and for that reason, I only write Christian themed books. He has blessed my writing ministry by allowing me to hear from readers about how one of my books has encouraged them in their faith or made them think about faith in Christ. Recently He has also given me opportunities to share through speaking.

It's wonderful to impact the lives of others in this way. Thanks for sharing. I'd like to add that I'm fortunate enough to have Paula work with me as my editor.

Lots of writers enjoyed reading as children. Did you? If so, what did you read?
Yes and yes and yes! I loved to read. Thank goodness my mother worked at a Christian bookstore and kept me stocked on reading material. I started out with Trixie Beldon. I loved helping her solve mysteries. I loved the Little House books and was privileged to read some of the first Christian romances as they hit the shelves. Still love my Christian fiction of all genres and review many of them.

Let's talk more about your writing and why you're doing it.
As I said above, I feel a call from God to write. I know how many times I would finish reading a Christian fiction and mull over the take-away and be encouraged in my faith. Issues that I’ve dealt with or specific things God has taught me are most likely to end up as themes in my books. And, from feedback I’ve received from readers, these must be similar issues that others are dealing with. Other than the calling I feel, I just love to write stories. I enjoy the process of creating settings and characters and seeing where they go and what they get into.

Tell us about your latest book.
My most recent release came out in March 2014. Legacy and Love actually contains two contemporary romance novellas.

What inspired you to write this particular book?
The inspiration for Legacy and Love would have to be my Mamaw Lindsey. She was a strong Christian woman whose influence I still feel in my life even though she went on to Heaven my senior year of high school. Her godly legacy really fueled the themes in these two stories. You can see the lingering influence of a godly grandparent for both of my main characters.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?
I love the fact that when we are intentional about the legacy we leave, our influence can continue into future generations. I hope readers will tell others how they felt a strong need to be intentional about leaving a godly legacy to those around them.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
Let’s see – The idea for my Blessing Series came from a sermon illustration. Inheritance from Legacy and Love was a combination of my mamaw and an idea of having a secret that is discovered after the death of the granny in the story. The other story in Legacy and Love, The Prayer Shawl, came to me after remembering the short prayer shawl ministry I was involved in. I have a file where I keep ideas and starts for stories. One story I’m working on came from the testimony of a waiter we had while on vacation.

In three words describe your style of writing.
I’ll use what a reviewer and several readers have said about my writing: Thundering with emotion.

How do you get to know your characters?
When I create characters, I will write a one page description listing different aspects about them such as physical description, personality type and quirks, and basic flaws and goals.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
I work part-time as an assistant at a local public school to off-set the cost of my daughter’s tuition. I arrive home at 12:30 each week day, eat lunch, then get to going through emails and updating blogs and Facebook. When that is done, I look at my schedule and take care of writing and editing projects that are due soon. I divide my time between writing my own manuscripts and editing for my authors.
I am fortunate that I have what my husband calls my writing hole. In the extra bedroom at the end of the house I have an L-shaped desk with my laptop, tablet, files, and notebooks. I also have things on the walls around me to inspire me.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
I have a part-time job as well as writing and editing in addition to being a pastor’s wife. I do a lot of juggling. I am a super-organized person. My family might say to the extreme. But, this is the only way I get everything accomplished. I have a planner on my desk that I fill in with tasks that must be completed first. I strive to check off everything each day. If I don’t, I move it to the next day. Also, by having my own space, I can work on something and leave it open on my desk so I can return to it. I definitely take advantage of every moment. I carry my writing notebooks and tablet with me just about everywhere in case I get a moment to work.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on two books with deadlines in April and May. Each will be part of a line releasing from Prism Book Group in 2015.

I’ve done extensive research for Love Does Not Dishonor. God led me to so many discoveries in my research by making things come together that I am thrilled each day as I get to continue writing this story.

The other is tentatively called Love Again and will release through a Christmas line. This will be new for me since I’ve never really written a Christmas themed book. But, I already have a head-start on this story.

About Legacy and Love

The Prayer Shawl
Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?

Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill.

Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due to visit Miss Olivia.

Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?

Paula's Books and Articles

Paula is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. Be The Blessing won the Selah Award in 2014 in the novella category. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. This book went to number five on Amazon’s bestseller category, historical Christian romance. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance.

Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in "Woman’s World," "The Christian Online Magazine," and the multi-author devotional blog, "Full Flavored Living." She wrote a section for Join the Insanity by Rhonda Rhea. She has devotionals included in several collaborative books.

More About Paula

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team. She was a member of the 2014 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference faculty.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

Connect with Paula
You can follow Paula at Learn more about Paula at her blog at or enjoy her monthly columns on You can also check out her blog for Christian writers at

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

And the Pilgrims gave thanks to God...

photo courtesy Photobucket

Wishing many blessings for you and yours this Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Bill Garrison Talks about His Time Travel Book, The Day She Died. Gives Away a Copy.

A Warm Welcome to Bill Garrison

Bill will give away EITHER a print copy OR an e-book of The Day She Died. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Hi Bill. First, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m married with three children and live in Oklahoma City. I’m a CPA and work in healthcare but my real love is great stories. I don’t want to be mindlessly entertained; I want to be moved emotionally. I spend my weekends going to basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball games and love every minute.

Lots of writers were young readers. What about you? If so, what did you read?
I was an avid reader. I remember winning a most read books contest in 2nd grade and getting a free book. In sixth grade, my parents gave me a bunch of books for Christmas, and I remember being disappointed because I wanted toys.

Ahh, sorry about the toys, but congratulations on the contest. Let's talk about your writing. Why do you write?
I really enjoy telling a story and creating a feeling in the reader, a feeling of joy, surprise, shock, love, happiness. I write for the reader. I also write because I have something on my heart and I want to convey something from God. It is hard to write a novel when God isn’t behind it.

About The Day She Died

The Day She Died is my latest book, and my only book. It’s a time travel mystery in which the main character, 45-year old John, wakes up one day back in college, on the day his fiancĂ© disappeared. He travels through time, visiting college, high school, adulthood, then back to college again, gathering clues to both the mystery of his girlfriend’s death and the keys to enjoying a life without regrets.

What inspired you to write this particular book?
 I used to walk from my work to a parking garage several blocks away and just daydream about what it would be like to be back in high school playing basketball with all of the knowledge of the game I had as an adult. That kind of thinking went on for years, just for fun, as I imagined taking the wisdom of a full life back into time to have a few do-overs. Then you throw in the experience of three previous novels and the inspiration of other time-travel books and movies, and the idea for this book was born.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
I really get ideas from other stories. Plot twists, locations, characters…maybe. But the big ideas are the emotions and the feelings you get after you read a great book. I want to create the same feelings in my novels.

What themes do you write about?
When I reflect on the themes of my three novels and I realize there is an over-arching theme, and that is we’ve all messed up, and no one is perfect, but God has blessed each of us with a wonderful life, or God is capable of bringing anyone out of the darkness and into the light, regardless of their past. It feels like the spiritual themes of my novels were written to address my own spiritual weaknesses at the time. Writing The Day She Died helped me accept my life and the decisions I’d made and to not live every day thinking about what I could have done differently.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Never be afraid to ask for help. In fact, force yourself to get involved with other writers and critique groups. You will learn so much and you will be amazed at how willing they are to help.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
Sadly, I’m doing it. Just kidding, but I’m an Auditor for a state agency and work in the health care field. I love spending time with my kids and their sports activities. I’d enjoy working in the food industry. I think it would be fun to run a restaurant…but maybe because I’ve never worked at one.

 Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Thank you for letting me be a guest today. I had a lot of fun answering these questions. You can learn more about me and my novel at

It was my pleasure, Bill. Thanks for visiting.

Buy links:
Barnes and Noble Nook
Barnes and Noble Print Book

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Looking Out the Window: The Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour with Shanna Hatfield. Fun Character Interview. Link to a Facebook Party with Prizes


Welcome to the

Cowboys & Christmas

Blog Tour!

A kickoff of new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield
and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund
An Interview with Two Heroes
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen to a conversation between two heroes from different eras?
Today, Shanna Hatfield brings together two of her popular heroes for an interesting interview. Luke Granger is a banker, rancher, and involved community member in The Christmas Bargain, a sweet Victorian romance taking place in 1893 in Hardman, Oregon. Tate Morgan is from the contemporary sweet romance The Christmas Cowboy. He’s a retired saddle bronc rider who calls his ranch near Kennewick, Washington home.
Welcome to you both. Tell us a little about life where you live.

Luke: I live in the small but bustling community of Hardman, Oregon in Eastern Oregon. We have several churches, a school, a newspaper office, skating rink and mercantile there. My wife, Filly, and I live in the house my parents originally built on the edge of town where I raise cattle and a few horses.

Tate: I live on the ranch that my grandfather started back in the early 1900s. We’re about thirty miles from Kennewick, Washington. We primarily raise beef cattle, wheat, and hay.

What does a typical day entail for each of you?

Luke: My day begins by donning my chore clothes and going out to feed the horses and cattle. I check the coal level in the basement furnace and stoke up the stove in the kitchen before I go out. When I return from completing the chores, I take a bath and dress for work at the bank while Filly makes breakfast. Filly frequently reminds me how fortunate we are to have indoor plumbing and all the latest conveniences in the kitchen, like a refrigerator. After breakfast, I kiss my Filly and our baby, Maura, goodbye then head off to the bank for the day. I also serve on the school board and help at the Christian Church where my friend Chauncy Dodd is the pastor. It is a marvel to me that we have such modern communications with the speed of letters traveling back and forth across the country not mention the telegraph.

Tate: I’m all for modern communication. (Grins and hands Luke his cell phone, giving him a brief explanation of how it works. While Luke reads an article about Hardman Tate Googled, he talks about his day). My wife, Kenzie, and I are both early risers. I get started on the chores outside while she makes breakfast. We can almost get through a cup of coffee before our little boy, Gideon, wakes up. Since we have such a big place, I meet with our ranch foreman every morning to go over details for the day before we head out to work. I can’t imagine trying to feed the cattle without some of our modern conveniences like an enclosed tractor cab. It makes it nice on these cold mornings to step into that welcome heat.

Luke: Tractor? I’ve heard of tractors. Are you telling me they come with heat?

Tate: Sure do. (He takes the phone from Luke and shows him a photo of a big John Deere tractor).

What’s your favorite thing about your home?

Luke: (Smiles) Without a doubt, my wife is what makes it home. Filly is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Tate: (Nods in agreement) Kenzie turned a quiet ol’ ranch house back into a home. She’s the best and first thing that comes to mind when I think about home.

What’s about Christmas? What do you love most about the holiday?

Luke and Tate: (Answer simultaneously) The treats! (Looking at each other, they smirk)

Tate: Kenzie is an amazing cook and she makes these gingerbread bars that are so good. I once compared the bars to her kisses… One is just a taste, two gets me started, and three leaves me hungry for more.

Luke: (Shaking his head) Filly has a reputation as one of the best cooks in the county. She makes all sorts of delectable treats during the holiday season. We most always have pralines and caramels and sweet breads. My brother-in-law, Blake, is quite partial to her kisses.

Tate: (Raising an inquisitive eyebrow) Sounds like a friendly brother-in-law.

Luke: It’s a cookie! The man nearly eats me out of house and home since my sister can’t cook.

Tell us one thing you’ve done that your wife wouldn’t want you to share.

Luke: When I first married Filly, she’d never been kissed. (Tate gives him an incredulous look.) I offered to give her lessons and to further tease her, I sent the boy who runs errands at the mercantile to the house with a container of lip salve. Her face was as red as a holly berry when she mentioned receiving my little gift.

Tate: Kenzie will probably make me sleep in the bunkhouse for sharing this, but she likes to sing Christmas songs when she thinks no one is listening, only she changes the words to a bunch of nonsensical craziness. She also has a thing for Christmas pjs. She wears them the entire month of December.

Luke: What are pjs?

Tate: Pajamas. Like these (pulls up a photo on his phone, causing Luke’s eyes to widen in surprise).

Luke: It appears the world has drastically changed.

Tate: That’s a fact.

 Thank you both for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?

Tate: If you enjoy historical fiction, sweet romances, or good westerns, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in the Hardman Holidays and Rodeo Romance series.

Luke: Be sure to check out The Christmas Calamity, releasing Nov. 13. My assistant Arlan really gets into the magic of the season with the arrival of a prestidigitator in town.

Tate: I’ve never met a prestidigitator, although I’ve been around some great rodeo clowns.

(The two men get to their feet.)

Luke: If you aren’t in a hurry, might you have a moment to explain to me what happened in the last hundred or so years?

Tate: Sure. I’d like to know how…

Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund®

Now through Dec. 24, I’ll donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all my book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. JCCF logoThe JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.

Where to Find The Books

The Christmas CowboyStart the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.
christmas bargain coverTravel back to a different time with the historic Hardman Holiday Series,
beginning with The Christmas Bargain.

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party:

The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here:

In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!

Prize Basket

Enter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.

Find Shanna’s books at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple

Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:

ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Christine Lindsay Talks about Her New Book, Veiled at Midnight, Gives Away an E-book and Shares a Wonderful Devotional

A Warm Welcome to Christine Lindsay!
To enter to win an e-book of Veiled at Midnight leave a comment and e-mail address below.

I used to envy people who grew up in perfect homes. Then I discovered that, sadly, perfect families are an extremely small percentage. All people live with some level of dysfunction.

In my family it was not only my father, but also my brother and sister who suffered from alcoholism. That certainly marred my hope for a perfect family. I never struggled with alcohol, but I did wrestle with other sins that seemed to be handed down generation to generation.

According to Romans 8 there is no longer condemnation for those who follow Christ. I have seen how the Lord Jesus steps in and heals a person, entire families from past imperfections. But these ugly human traits from the past still creep out of our families and spring up in our own hearts at unexpected times.

How long must we wrestle with this conflict in our natures? How long until we are perfect?

One of the clearest examples of healing I’ve seen has been in my younger brother’s life. Two years ago Steve was in such despair over his drinking, he set a photograph of his daughters on his bedside table, his Bible next to that, and he drank a full bottle of vodka along with a bottle of over-the-counter sleeping pills. He expected to wake up in heaven. He didn’t. He woke up very sick in his bedroom.
God was not going to let my brother die in his imperfection.

For the following two years Steve took the brave steps of recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous. He came to live with us for a time, and joined us each Sunday at church. What my brother learned is, the Lord is faithful to those who truly walk the line with Him. Today he is clean and sober, has a beautifully renewed relationship with his daughters, and is living his life with joy. He’s still not perfect though. And neither am I.

There are no easy answers to dysfunction. No quick fixes.

But…and I love this “but”. In Romans 8 we read. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

It seems God likes to work with imperfect people, and the stories of how He heals our imperfections on a daily basis.

In that same chapter 8 of Romans, we learn that we all must live with the torture of trying to walk the line with Christ and failing. But we have the hope that God is constantly working to help us become the people and the families that He wants us to be.

Romans 8: 22 says, “ We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

It’s like giving birth, you can’t rush the process. So when your ugly human traits raise their nasty fangs and you fail, go to God, ask for His forgiveness and strength to get back up again, and know that one day when you see the Lord face to face, then you will be perfect.

And if you would like to read a novel about this moral dilemma of our family natures, keep in mind that the theme verses of my latest novel Veiled at Midnight are Romans 8:38 and 39.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

About Veiled at Midnight (Book 3 of the series Twilight of the British Raj)

As the British Empire comes to an end, millions flee to the roads. Caught up in the turbulent wake is

Captain Cam Fraser

 his sister Miriam

and the beautiful Indian Dassah

Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since the days when he played with the orphans at the mission as a boy. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he?

As this becomes clear to Dassah, she has no option but to run. Cam may hold her heart—but she cannot let him break it again.

Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soulmate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?

The 1947 Partition has separated the country these three love…but can they find their true homes before it separates them forever?

Stories of Christine Lindsay’s ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and now the newly released Veiled at Midnight.

Londonderry Dreaming is Christine’s first contemporary romance set in N. Ireland.

Christine makes her home on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

Please drop by Christine’s website or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest, and Goodreads

PURCHASE LINKS FOR Veiled at Midnight
Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Looking in the Window: A Fun Blog Hop Featuring Mountain of Love and Danger

Thanks to Lisa Lickel, who posted about her children’s book, Matthew LaCraft, The Yankee Boy, last week at Living Our Faith Out Loud for inviting me.

She asked me the following questions about Mountain of Love and Danger, a re-telling of the fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk.

What is the name of your character? Is he/ she fictional or historic?

Jack Greenthumb is the fictitious main character in Mountain of Love and Danger.

When and where is the story set?

The story’s set in current times, but in a fantasy world called Fairwilde Kingdom.

What should we know about him/ her?

Jack’s a young guy, son of Fred Greenthumb, the owner of Greenthumb Acres. Fred supplies all of Fairwilde Kingdom with vegetables and employs quite a few people. Jack’s enjoying riding around the kingdom in his new red car, but Dad’s attacked, the farm vandalized and Jack’s true love, Gwendolyn Bante, kidnapped. Jack must face danger and suspense as he goes undercover in a criminal community. Then he has to climb up a perilous mountain, rescue Gwenie from a giant-sized man and survive a perilous descent to save her and all of Fairwilde's food supply.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his / her life?

The criminals who capture Gwenie and destroy Greenthumb Acres create havoc for Jack and mess up his life big time.

What is the personal goal of the character?

All Jack can think about is rescuing Gwenie and saving Greenthumb Acres.

Can we read more about this novel, or can you tell us more about it?

Recently released, it was in the top one hundred books in amazon’s paid kindle store last week.

Please read more about it at the following places:

Barnes and Noble

A brief excerpt here

To continue the blog hop, I nominate Miss Mae

and Shanna Hatfield

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Jay Companies Fall Contest


Yes, it is definitely that time of year again, when the colors of red and orange come to life as the temperature starts to drop. There is a wonderful sense of possibility and change in the air and there could also be new possibilities when it comes to decorating your tabletop as well. As the season’s colors begin to emerge, why not take the opportunity to style it up with some new and exciting pieces that can really make it stand out. Enter the Jay Companies Contest. Click on link: Jay Companies Contest

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Winner of The Yuletide Angel


And the Winner of The Yuletide Angel is...

Congratulations, Kathy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Sandra Ardoin Celebrates Release Day of The Yuletide Angel, a Chritmas Novella. She'll Give Away an E-book

What an honor to have Sandra celebrating with Peering Through Life's Window on release day! To enter to win the e-book of The Yuletide Angel, leave a comment and an e-mail address.

Hi Sandra. First, tell us a little about yourself.

I write historical romance, am married to a retired man (he robbed the cradle … okay, maybe not) and am the mom of a young adult. When I’m not recording the lives and loves of fictional people, I’m cooking, cleaning, reading, gardening, watching NASCAR, or cheering on the Carolina Panthers football team.

Sounds a lot like the things I'm doing. Lots of writers loved to read as children. How about you? If so, what did you read?

Absolutely. I discovered the joy of reading in the third grade when I devoured the Little House books. As I grew older, I moved on to gothic romances—like Jane Eyre—and romantic suspense. In high school, Mary Roberts Rinehart was a favorite of mine, along with Phyllis Whitney. My favorite of the classics is Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. Even today, I prefer a bit of mystery/suspense in my choice of books, though romance is a must.

I'm a fan of mystery too. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

I’d do more gardening. It’s something I’ve had to cut way back on due to lack of time. With my husband retired, we might do more day trips.

How about your writing? How do you get to know your characters?

Good question. When an idea for a story comes to me, it usually comes with some type of scene that gives me a character idea. Character traits stem from the type of story I want to tell.

For physical traits, sometimes I see the person in my mind as portrayed by a certain actor. Sometimes, I only have a vague idea of what the character looks like, so I go searching for a photo to keep in front of me. On my Pinterest board for The Yuletide Angel, you’ll find photos of how I see my hero and heroine.

I used to do in-depth character trait forms, but not so much anymore. I got hooked on Susan May Warren’s Book Buddy system of plotting, though. In that, the writer gets down to the nitty-gritty of what makes a character tick, which is all-important.

What themes do you write about?

I find I repeatedly focus on the need for forgiveness between characters or a character’s need to forgive himself/herself. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I think it’s pretty universal to a lot of stories. In my novella, my hero must learn to forgive his brother and trust him again, while my heroine deals with an issue of pride.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

Weekdays, I’m generally at my desk in my office—actually our guest room—by 7:30 a.m. and work until somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. I have great admiration for those who work other full-time jobs and still have the responsibility of writing and publishing. I don’t know how they do it. I don’t work on Sunday.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

When I’m asked this question, I say I’m half-and-half. I need some kind of roadmap—the basic plot points and few ideas for scenes—but I’m not a writer who plots every scene before starting. First of all, I don’t have the ability. Second, I don’t have the patience.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

It definitely does. I like to consider my writing a ministry. I’ve been writing for the Christian market since 1986—short pieces for denominational publications, etc. Although, I’d try on occasion to write a novel, I always felt the Lord telling me it wasn’t time. Christian fiction was near non-existent, at least what I wanted to write, and I feared a secular editor requesting changes to include language or situations I had no desire include. Six years ago, when God told me it was time to tackle novels, He confirmed it with a growing Christian market, my discovery of ACFW, and the completion of a full novel.

Tell us about your latest book.

Today is the release date of The Yuletide Angel, a Christmas novella set in December of 1890. It’s about a shy spinster-in-the-making, Violet Madison, who anonymously delivers gifts of food to the poor in the middle of the night. Hugh Barnes, her neighbor and a confirmed bachelor, discovers that she is the celebrated Yuletide Angel and vows to protect her—in secret. Neither of them realizes someone else waits in the shadows, threatening to ruin her generosity and reputation.

What a neat story. What inspired you to write this particular book?

I wanted to write a Christmas novella and experimented with different ideas. I actually wrote about 1,800 words on this one before choosing to start a contemporary. After almost finishing the other novella, I found it didn’t work for me. Between my dislike of the contemporary and receiving a disappointing rejection (another contemporary), I decided I needed a fresh start and went back to the ideas I’d come up with in the beginning. When I reread what I had written for The Yuletide Angel, I really liked it and the words flowed easily. My writing genre preference is historical, because I believe that’s where God wants me. I always find it amazing—and sometimes entertaining—when He nudges me back on track when I stray.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Persistence. Don’t give up. Keep writing. Keep submitting.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I want to thank you for having me on your blog, Gail. I hope everyone enjoys reading Violet and Hugh’s love story.

Also, I’m excited to announce that I’m writing a follow-up novel. A Reluctant Melody (working title) is scheduled to release from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ historical imprint, Heritage Beacon (publisher of the novella), in January 2016. The story involves Hugh’s brother, Kit, a secondary character in The Yuletide Angel.

Today, I’m celebrating the release of the novella with a Facebook party from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come on over, y’all, and let’s have some fun!

Congratulations! Having you was my pleasure.

About the Yuletide Angel

It's Christmastime in 1890's Meadomead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor.

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others.

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh's estranged brother shows up in town...and in Violet's company.

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, preprared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.


 Passionate about horses and a fan of old westerns, it's only natural that Sandra Ardoin sets her stories in the days of the horse and buggy. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, is no exception.

Her short stories have been published in both adult and juvenile denominational publications, and her story "Get a Clue" is part of the Family Ties:  Thirteen Short Stories collection.

Sandy is the married mother of a young adult. Visit her at and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Goodreads, and Pinterest. To receive updates, fun facts, and special offers, sign up for her newsletter.