Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Paula Mosher Wallace Shares New Year's Advice and Talks about Her New Book, Bloom in the Dark



 
 
 
 
 
A Warm Welcome to Paula Mosher Wallace
 
Paula will give away a print book and a t-shirt. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below. (U.S. residents only)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




About Bloom in the Dark
Have you ever experienced a hurt that didn't qualify for a sympathy card? Did embarrassment or shame keep you from getting help or support? Do you have a loved one who's been abused?
Many women face trauma and abuse. In these pages, you will read 30 stories, poems, and letters that tell these testimonies. Without sugarcoating her situation, each woman shares her pain, how she made it through, and how God met her. Our journeys to healing are different. Your story may not be reflected in the pages of this book, but you will see that you are not alone. We can all reach out to the same God who helped each of these women. Christ will meet you, carry you, hold you, and heal you, too! Warning: best when read with tissues and a box of chocolates.

What readers are saying about Bloom in the Dark
“No other book has impacted me with emotion more strongly.”
L. G., Special Education

“I could NOT put it down. Gripping and encouraging.”
M. B., Christian Counselor

“Very heartbreaking and inspirational all in one.”
J. H., President of Career Women’s Network

Through the ministry of Bloom in The Dark, Paula focuses on writing and speaking to female abuse victims—raising awareness about abuse, bringing hope to victims, and partnering with ministries to help victims recover.

“Incredible speaker.”
Martha, business executive

“Stunning presentation. Thank you.”
M. T., business owner, artist

Buy Bloom in the Dark on Amazon
Barnes and Noble



Paula's New Year's Advice

The "Easy Button" does not Teleport you to the top of Mt. Everest!

As 2015 comes to an end, we start assessing what goals and successes or failures we've had this year. Maybe it has been an amazing year of goals reached, health reclaimed and relationships healed. Maybe it has been your year to conquer Mt. Everest. Maybe you are thrilled with your personal, spiritual and professional development. Or, maybe not....

Will your New Year’s resolutions work any better in 2016 than they did in 2015, 2014, 2013.....? So many of us have pushed the “Easy Button” and wondered why it hasn’t worked. We want different results without the pain of change. We create a wish list rather than structured goals with accountability. We dream of success without the plan, team, tools, and discipline needed to make it happen. We boast about how we’ll climb Mt. Everest--without applying for a passport, without checking transportation costs, without buying climbing gear, without training, and without even finding out if we’re healthy enough to climb.

Do you even know what you really want to accomplish? Do you know what your Mt. Everest is? Do you know why it is worth the effort? Do you have a purpose and motivation? I spent a lot of years getting nowhere because I didn’t have any goals I was passionate about reaching. At 42, I’ve finally identified my Mt. Everest. I am passionate about reaching it. I’m willing to change. I’m willing to sacrifice. I will overcome the obstacles. I will reach the top, or die trying!

Instead of continuing to push the “Easy Button,” I’ve found my reset button. I'm changing my approach. I’m finding the people who have already climbed Mt. Everest. I'm asking them what is involved. Pros and cons. Skills and tools. Abilities and training. Sacrifices and rewards. I’m recruiting my team to cheer me on. Then, I’ll set a date to arrive at Mt. Everest and start climbing. I’ll announce it. I’ll lay out my timeline for reaching the top and finally putting my flag in the snow. I’ll quit talking about how I want to climb Mt. Everest, and actually climb it.

What is your Mt. Everest? What is the one thing you want to achieve, but have never been successful in doing? My Mt. Everest is spreading a message that inspires broken women to become vessels of honor. I will do this through a successful writing and speaking career. God has called me to this mission. Broken women are my purpose. My boys are my motivation. The One who's chosen me to do this will empower me to succeed.

I’m taking the B.L.A.S.T. Mentoring class with Shannon Ethridge, an extremely successful Christian author and speaker. I’m investing in Michael Hyatt’s “Five Days to your Best Year Ever.” I’m gathering a team of experts in the field who have courses, tools, and skills to help me. I am surrounding myself with Christian executive women who truly want to make a difference. I am using the damage and healing in my life to bring glory to God by helping others achieve the same hope and healing. My first book, Bloom in the Dark:True Stories of Hope and Redemption, was my first step in 2015 toward reaching the top of my Mt. Everest.

Find your reset button. It will never be easy to make all the changes you will have to make to be successful at reaching your mountain top, but you can do it. Start a fresh journey. Make sure you have the experts you need guiding you on your way. Make sure you've counted the cost and are prepared. With purpose, move forward and accomplish your God given mission. Don’t let your past failures stop you. Push your reset button and start succeeding today!

About Paula
Author, Speaker, Blogger, and Advocate
Born in the jungles of Peru to missionary parents, Paula’s beginning in life was anything but typical.
Raped at the age of 5, Paula was caught in a cycle of damage and abuse which lasted into her thirties. From sexual abuse to later mental, emotional and even spiritual abuse, Paula developed a victim mentality, which fueled decades of continued abuse. The trauma she experienced caused her to develop a variety of psychosomatic illnesses which, at times, left her bed-ridden.

Broken beyond endurance and suicidal, Paula cried out to God for help. He miraculously intervened, faithfully walking with her through a dramatic healing process. Along the way, Paula learned to stand up to her abusers and stop attracting predators. She now knows, from personal experience, the healing, deliverance, and hope that only God can bring.

As an ex-victim, Paula’s passion to help others resulted in her writing Bloom in the Dark, a compilation of true stories shared by women who have walked through personal darkness and abuse. Each story tells how God met, healed, and restored an ex-victim. Readers discover that they are not alone and that there is lasting hope and healing!

A single mom living in Nashville, Paula homeschools her three sons, ranging in age from six to fourteen. The boys are a key part of Paula’s support team and her biggest fans. Together they enjoy swimming, hiking and roller skating.

Read more about Paula and Bloom in the Dark at www.bloominthedark.com

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Looking in the Window: When Is Christmas?

Some say that Christ wasn’t born on December 25th. They claim that Christians took the date from a Roman holiday honoring the sun or a sun god. The Britannica Encyclopedia says Christians took the date to rival pagan feasts taking place during the Winter Solstice, which honored a new age brought by the sun. Depending on location, the Winter Solstice occurs on or around December 25th. Even though it lasts only an instant in time, many cultures have held festivals marking it as midwinter. According to some, Christmas simply grew to be one of the most popular events.

Nonetheless, every year by the time we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, festive decorations acknowledging the birth of Christ appear in overwhelming numbers across the American landscape. A majority of homes have wreaths on their doors, candles in their windows, lights in the yards. And jolly old Santa Claus sits in the middle of the mall to greet youngsters. And this country’s biggest celebration continues until after December 25th, so when is Christmas?

While many open their presents on Christmas Day, we open ours on Christmas Eve after we stuff ourselves with turkey. Usually I rush to put away the dishes and clean up our great room so we can make the midnight service at church. Then, we hurry out the door into the brisk, cold night. After a short drive I see the church lit up like a beacon in the still, quiet darkness. We park and walk quickly inside to find three seats on the back pew.

I settle myself and try to hush the thoughts of shopping, baking and wrapping that linger in my head by gazing at the green wreaths, poinsettias and brilliantly lit Christmas tree around the altar. When I turn in my hymnal to “O Come All Ye Faithful” and the choir and congregation start singing, the loud, joyous sound of the season captures my heart. After a family lights the Christ candle on the Advent wreath, which symbolizes Jesus as the light of the world, the minister reads the story of Jesus’ birth and proclaims once again his gospel of love.



At the end of the service the ushers dim the lights, give each parishioner a candle and light the first candle on each row. One by one we tip our flames to the candle of the person beside us and sing “Silent Night.” The flickering lights gradually illuminate the sanctuary and the sweet melody takes me back to the first Christmas, when the angels announced Christ’s birth, the shepherds left their flocks and the wise men started their journey to the manger. After we blow out our candles the service ends with the powerful sound of the choir singing Handel’s "Messiah," and it is Christmas.

Sadly, someone had to crucify Christ to atone for the sins of all of us, but triumphantly he rose to give us salvation. And he lives today. Christmas is when we open our hearts to him.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Award-winning, Best-selling Author Nancy Mehl Talks about Her Latest Suspense, Rising Darkness


A Warm Welcome to Nancy Mehl
 
Nancy will give away a print copy of her new book, Rising Darkness. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below

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

I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. Two years ago, my husband and I moved to Missouri to be near our son, daughter-in-law, and our precious grandson.

I’ve worked in a lot of areas, including Christian radio and banking. But most of my working life was spent doing social work. I loved it!

I’ve been married 43 years this month, and I have a 36 year-old son, Danny. He’s been married for 4 years and has a 2 year-old son named Aidan. Aidan is such a blessing. We just can’t get enough of him!

Since my husband Norman and I have no more children at home, we spend a lot of time parenting our puggle, Watson. Watson is part pug, part beagle. It seems he got the most rambunctious qualities of each breed. LOL!

When I’m not writing, or watching Doctor Who, I spend time doing embroidery. I just recently took it up again after a thirty year break.

Lots of writers love to read as children. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?

Oh, yes. I read constantly. In fact, I volunteered at the school library just so I could find out what new books came in! I could read 3 or 4 a day – even staying up late at night, reading with a flashlight under the covers.

Let's talk about your writing. Why do you write?

I believe it’s what I’m called to do. And I love it.



Tell us about your latest book.

Rising Darkness is about Sophie Wittenbauer, a character in a previous series. It was great to have the chance to finish her story. Here’s a synopsis:

Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. After a rough childhood, her teenage poor choices harmed others, leaving her with no choice but to change her life. Her entry-level writing job at a newspaper puts her in the right place at the right time to overhear office gossip about a prisoner who has information on a decades-old unsolved crime. While the other reporters write off the tip as the ravings of an angry criminal, Sophie can’t ignore it because she knows the name of this prisoner from her old life.

Upon learning from the man that one of the other suspects is hiding out in the Missouri town of Sanctuary, she takes on a false identity to investigate and meets the young pastor of a local church–the very man she’d loved as a troubled teenager. As she gets closer to finding the suspect, will the truth of her own past come out before she discovers the identity of the criminal–or the very person she’s seeking puts a fatal stop to her investigation?

What inspired you to write this particular book?

When the Road to Kingdom series ended, I couldn’t get Sophie out of my mind. I wanted to finish her story. When my editor gave me the green light to bring her back, I was thrilled!

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?

It’s a story of redemption. I hope readers will identify with Sophie and through her story will see God’s loving hand on their own lives. With God, nothing is impossible!

Where do you get ideas for your books?

Most of them just come to me. Sometimes a real life situation will spark an idea.

What themes do you write about?

Although my books contain suspense and mystery, I always add a theme of hope to each story. Usually, it’s the ability to overcome adversity and find God’s good plan for your life. This has been an important part of my own journey, so I like to share it with my readers.

Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?

Absolutely. I wouldn’t want to write if I couldn’t put faith into my stories. I want my readers to leave with more than a good story. I want them to walk away with hope. With the knowledge that God loves them and has a wonderful future planned for them.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a new series about the U.S. Marshals Service. The first book, Fatal Frost, will release in 2016. I’m very passionate about supporting law enforcement, and I get to do that in this series. I believe we need to stand up for our men and women LEOs. They are willing to put their lives on the line for us, and lately they’ve been unfairly attacked. My story will address this current attitude. Maybe it will change some minds.

I'll look forward to that. Thanks for visiting.

Nancy Mehl – Short Bio

Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband, Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored twenty books and just finished a new series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in her Finding Sanctuary series, Gathering Shadows was released in May of 2014. The second book, Deadly Echoes became available in February.  The third book, Rising Darkness released in November. Now she’s working on a new series based on the U.S. Marshals. The first book will release in November of 2016. She is also working on an Amish cozy mystery series for Guideposts. The first book, Blessings in Disguise was published in June, 2015. She will write at least three more in this series.  

Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Renee Blare Talks about To Soar on Eagle's Wings, Gives Away an E-book


A Warm Welcome to Renee Blare


Hi Renee, thank so much for stopping by to share your personal story, Grace Under Fire and tell us about your latest book.
 
Renee will give away an e-book of To Soar on Eagle's Wings to enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.

Grace Under Fire

 

Life…everything’s spinning along perfectly one day and the next? A freight train slams into your world and shatters it into a million pieces. And then a tractor comes by and grinds the shards into powder. Has this ever happened to you? It’s not fun, is it? How did you react?

When my life turned upside down, I didn’t respond well. Yes, I’m a Christian. I know who God is. I know He’s faithful and true. I pray, and He answers. But you have to understand. What happened to us wasn’t fair. And I was mad. This time, praise and worship wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t sufficient to meditate on the Word and soak up His power and strength. I needed to know why He’d let this happen…He wasn’t talking.

I can hear the questions. What happened? What kind of Christian is she?

Since Christmas is near and it’s the one I get the most, I’ll address the last question first. I’m a real one. I share my whole life with Him not merely the elegant parts. After all, God came to this earth, walked as a man, and sacrificed everything for me. And I believe God hears my fears, tears, anger, and my praise.

As for what tipped my world? Early one morning, I awoke to the second half of my soul at the bottom of the stairs. A crumpled heap of a man, unconscious, his body broken and bruised. Humpty-Dumpty would have been easier to piece back together again. He’s on surgery thirty-nine.

How did I respond? I’m not going to lie. I’d like to say rationally…NOT. I’d prefer to admit that I hit my knees and prayed for direction and strength like a dutiful child of God. Sorry, but I can’t. After the shock wore off and reality hit me like a two-by-four, my reaction wasn’t pretty. In fact, you could call it ugly…real ugly.

But my awesome Father didn’t waver. He stood beside me and took the abuse…and loved me anyway. Much like I’ve done with my own child. As to the “why”? That’s the question for which I can piece together only one answer. Freedom. He gave me liberty to rage, whine, mourn, and yes, even to sin. He forgave me when I lashed out at Him and, through the redeeming love of his Son, Jesus, held me close while I cried.

This battle’s not over and life isn’t easy. But my husband’s an amazing man and by the grace of God, he’s still alive. Although pain’s a constant companion, he continues to serve the Lord with a joyful heart and determined spirit. Free from sin, free from judgment, free from expectation. He’s a shining beacon of God’s saving power to all who gaze upon him, including me.

Our love’s stronger than before that fateful trip down the staircase. It grows within the heat of the flame much like the metal in a blacksmith’s furnace. God breathes His strength into us with each strike of the hammer.

As we celebrate Christmas, we remember God’s perfect love, and the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. Through Him, we can do all things…even take on a freight train.



About To Soar on Eagle's Wings

Spring’s in the air. While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the meadows. The area’s new game warden, Steve Mitchell launches his first wildlife investigation of the season but the trouble follows him—straight to town.
Rachel Fitzgerald’s on Spring Break. Or at least she’s trying. Between paperwork, and harassing phone calls, she may as well have stayed in her classroom. So much for relaxation. A ‘chance’ meeting with her brother’s old roommate offers her weary soul a shred of hope, but she discovers love, like life, isn’t easy.

He talks with the wisdom of the Lord but rejects the future. She wants to soar with the eagles but walks alone. And trusting God proves to be more of a challenge than ever before…

An Excerpt from To Soar on Eagle's Wings

A shadow darkened the pages of her book. Shielding her eyes against the late afternoon sun, Rachel followed the bird soaring over lake. She caught her breath as he dove in a sudden display of power and skimmed along the surface, its reflection a shimmering echo. When the eagle climbed back to the heavens, his piercing cry echoed off the white-tipped crags above the high mountain valley.

“What’d I tell ya?”

Her foot vaulted into the air, sending a spray across the water. Rachel peeked over her shoulder and spied her twin brother. He stalked toward the lake, a stranger in tow. She closed her novel with a snap and sighed. He would find me.

Well, she shouldn’t be surprised. After all, today was their sixteenth birthday. She touched her cold ankle with a grimace. Although numb due to its icy bath, the injured joint still appeared puffy. She winced and peeked at the guy with her brother. Now this is embarrassing…

“You ready to head down the mountain? Mom and Dad want to start supper.” Michael propped his hands on his hips and shifted from one foot to the other.

At her twin’s look of expectation, all frustration dissolved. So much like her own, his hair curled around his head. He appeared almost comical. She suppressed a laugh. But when her gaze skimmed over his companion, an unexplainable warmth spread through her.

Her heartbeat thumped in her ears. With her lashes shielding her gaze, Rachel studied his broad shoulders and wavy brown hair. She tore her eyes away from the man and pushed her ankle back into the frigid water with a hiss.

“Rachel?” Michael’s brows sunk low over his eyes. “What are you doing up here anyway? Dad’s not gonna like it.”

She ducked her head. Great. Heat worked up her neck. After rummaging through her backpack a few minutes, she sucked in a deep breath and cleared her throat. The cool mountain breeze blew at her bangs, and she cut her gaze to the stranger. “I love it up here. I can sit and listen to the wind in the trees for hours.”

A low chuckle reached her ears, and she glanced at her brother. A slow smile spread across his face. His shoulder lifted, and he gestured at the pines. “So…what are they saying today?”

“Oh, stop it.” Rachel waved off Mike’s teasing and tipped her head back to track the flight of the golden eagle. “Do you see him? He’s a regular around here. I named him Max. It seemed to fit.”
Michael’s companion bumped him and pointed. “He’s a beautiful bird, that’s for sure.”

A clap shot through the pristine stillness, and Rachel jumped. She glared at her brother when he grinned at her.

“Hey, sis, you met this guy yet?” At the shake of her head, he continued. “This is Steve Mitchell, Paul’s roommate. I guess they’re both gonna be new this semester.”

The University of Wyoming freshman flashed his gorgeous smile, and her cheeks ignited once again. She pressed her palms against her face with a groan. Could she crawl underneath one of these boulders…or push her brother under one?

“Rach? You ready or not?” Michael’s annoyed tone drew her attention away from Steve, and she pulled her foot out of the water.

She bit her lip. “Well, not really.”

“What’d you do now?” The disgust in his voice was palpable.

“Nothing,” she mumbled. Michael’s rough grunt grated along her spine. She crossed her arms in front of her chest. So what if she’d twisted her ankle hiking into the valley? It didn’t matter if she couldn’t—

Rocks and pebbles cascaded down the hill into the lake, and she lifted her head. Steve’s wide shoulders were coming toward her. Snagging her sock, she wiped the water from her toes.
In a flash, Steve hopped the boulders and landed in front of her. “May I?”

“What—no really, it’s fine.” Rachel cradled her injured foot close. When he squatted at her feet, she found herself mere inches from chocolate brown eyes. Oh…does he know how much I love chocolate?

Buy on Amazon

Visit Renee's Amazon Author Page Here

Bio

Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she's been counting pills ever since. While writing's her first love, well, after the Lord and husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.

Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

·         faithwalker007@gmail.com

·         Website: www.reneeblare.com

·         Facebook

·         Google+

·         LinkedIn

·         Instagram

·         Twitter

·         Pinterest

·         YouTube

·         Tumblr: The  Journey

·         Amazon Author Page

·         Group Blog: The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Looking in the Window: Inspirational Gift Book - Just in Time for Christmas






Messages

Poems and Short Stories to Live By


Just in time for Christmas, a collection of inspirational poems and short stories
 

About Messages
Find inspiration for our hectic times in these straight-forward poems for happy and sad days.

Find history, warmth and a touch of the paranormal in three stories.

Getting the Goat peeks into the early 1900's when mountain life was tough. Does Mama's advice hold true today?

In Stitches in Love Rose's deep love for her grandmother motivates others to share their gifts. Does Rose reap her reward?

Robert Horner is tempted in The Stranger, but does he succumb to the lure?

Print copies coming soon!

Excerpt from the Poems

"...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: 37 - 39

Refreshed
Sometimes life
uncovers a sharp, ugly snare
snarling, like a grizzly bear.
Reluctantly we confess
we’re in a forest of distress
where, hopes, like leaves
have fallen off the trees.
Winter icicles we see
hanging on a barren tree.
Life seems hard and cold,
and we feel very old.
How our life has past.
"Where did it go?" we ask.
Then like miracles untold,
new joys unfold.
Love brings blossoms of spring.
The forest begins to sing.
Empty branches
bear new leaves.
With promise, our heart dances,
and our soul no longer grieves.
Looking up, toward the sun,
we say, “My, my life’s just begun.”

Excerpt from Stitches in Love
"Hi. I'm home for the whole month of June. I'm coming to visit you every day."
Grandma Jackie lifted her head ever so slightly toward Rose, but she didn't utter a word, and no signs of life flickered in her eyes.
Rose stood and weakness swept over her like a hurricane coming ashore. She let herself out and locked the door with the key Grandma Jackie had given her seven years ago—the year Rose had turned sixteen. Sobs erupted from the depths of her soul as she slipped into her two-door coupe and drove to 143 Broadway.
Within minutes she walked toward the white-columned two-story home while she bent double holding her stomach. It was a hot, dry day in Springdale, Georgia. No breeze stirred, and the humidity as high as a kite. Air conditioning caressed Rose's face when she opened the front door. Clearing the foyer, she hurried up the oak staircase to her room. Tears flooding her eyes blurred the flowers on the pink and green comforter as she stepped to it and fell face-down on the bed.
Amy, Rose's mama, had called last week about Grandma Jackie's health. Rose could hear her distressed words now.
"Mama hasn't been the same since Dad died. She's been slipping away little by little. The doctors say nothing is wrong other than high blood pressure and cholesterol, but she's just not herself I've hired Miz Mary Clark, a local caretaker, to come during the day to make sure she takes her medicine and to tend to her personal needs."
That's why Rose had come home to see Grandma Jackie. It was worse than she had suspected. There must be something someone could do. She sat up and wiped her cheeks. What if she picked the peaches off the tree and told Grandma Jackie to make a pie? No. The last time Rose talked to Grandma Jackie on the phone she'd told Rose cooking at the homeless shelter wore her out.
Doing things for others pleased Grandma Jackie, but maybe she'd reached a time when she needed others to do something for her. What? She liked to read, but that wouldn't make her want to live. Sweat popped out on Rose's forehead. What did Grandma Jackie love enough to get up and do every day?

Excerpt from Getting the Goat
What was wrong with this animal? Why did Father think he could handle her? His heart pounded as he stood. He raced after the unruly creature, blood flowing from a cut on his leg. She ran in a circle, Norman behind her panting until she halted and let him clutch the leash hanging by her side.
He led her to the tree, secured her, and brushed off his hands. Anger at the goat for her meanness festered inside him, but ire in the boy who wanted to be a man boiled over because she'd gotten the better of him. He hurried to the house and charged inside.
"Mother, look what the goat did."
His mother's eyes filled with compassion. "Sit down." She guided him to a straight back chair at the wooden kitchen table, grabbed a cloth, cleaned his wound and applied iodine. "I'm sorry. Leave the chore for today and try again tomorrow after school."
Norman gasped. "You want me to go back?"
Eleanor hugged him. "If you don't graze the goat, she won't eat, and we won't have milk. We must all do our part while Father's sharing the Gospel."
Norman knew better than to argue. He gritted his teeth. Why did they have to suffer to hold body and soul together on the side of this...what had his grandmother called it? This desolate mountain so Father could save heathens in the hills?
Eleanor patted his shoulder. "You'll feel better tomorrow."

Excerpt from The Stranger
Stress shot through every muscle in Robert's body. "That's ridiculous, Mac. No one turns down money."
"I've been perfecting the design of these nails for years. I painted the tops to keep them separate from my regular supply." He picked up a nail and rolled it around in his hand. "I'm going to market these. Then you can have some for exactly what it costs to manufacture them."
Sweat popped out on Robert's forehead. "What's so unusual about them?"
Mac raised his dark, thick eyebrows. "I'll tell you and everyone else after my final test on Monday."
Robert tried to sound pitiful. "I need to put them in an old green table."
Mac laid down the nail and lifted a small box off the shelf. "Paint the tops of these nails." He handed them to Robert. "You can have them. The box is nearly empty."
"I'll give you a thousand dollars for the green-tipped nails."
Mac's mouth gaped. "I should make quite a bit of money if they stand up to my test, but I can't imagine why you'd want to pay so much."
"This is instant cash. Think it over, and I'll call later." Robert trudged through the sawdust on the floor and left, wringing his hands. His anger over Mac's refusal pounded in his temples. If Mac rejected his offer again when he called, he'd up his price to two thousand."
Fresh air whipped around him, cooling his ire, un-jumbling the thoughts popping around in his head like popcorn. "Hmm. Maybe there was something else he could do. Mac told him to take those other nails. He could paint them, but that creepy stranger probably would know the difference. He'd take the green-tipped nails. Yeah. He had a right to make a living.

On Amazon here

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Linda Weaver Clarke Giveaway









A Warm Welcome to

Linda Weaver Clarke 








Hi Linda,

Thanks for sharing with us. Tell us about your new book and your contest.




Mystery on the Bayou is a Fun New Cozy! Book Giveaway Nov 23 – Dec 7

It’s time to get cozy once again with the Amelia Moore Detective Series. Louisiana, the land of bayous and gumbo! Crawdads, jambalaya, swamps, alligators, and plenty of Spanish moss hanging from the trees! Mystery on the Bayou, book six, blends a nice balance of mystery, intrigue, romance, and humor. Amelia Moore and Rick Bonito, two private eyes and a newly married couple, specialize in missing persons.

To enter the contest, make a comment about the interview and tell me why you enjoy mysteries.

Visit http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com/2015/11/mystery-on-bayou-is-fun-new-cozy.html

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Jennifer Slattery Talks about her New Book, Intertwined, and Shares a Personal Mom Story





A Warm Welcome to Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer's Mom Experience

It’s the one job I most want to excel in and yet the one responsibility I mess up most. But when it all goes well, when, by the grace of God I manage my emotions and hold my tongue, it’s beautiful. Bonding. Healing.

Moms, I don’t think I’m alone in this. Nothing tugs at our hearts quite like our kids, and it’s that intense tug that often does us in. For me, most of my less than grace-filled reactions are usually rooted in fear. And when I’m in that hyper-alert fearful state, I tend to react… before I think.
It was a Sunday night, and my husband I had just returned from an overnight away—our teenage daughter’s first night home alone.  Well, sort of alone. She had a friend over. This trip felt pretty monumental. With our daughter leaving for college next fall, this step of independence only served to remind us of how much she’s grown and how short our time with her truly is.

And I was giggly-excited, thinking about how her night might have gone with her friend. Did they feel like roommates? Did they enjoy their freedom and having the house all to themselves? I had so many questions I wanted to ask our daughter, but it appeared I’d have to wait. By the time we made it home, she’d already left for church. Youth group followed, keeping her out until almost nine.

Needless to say, by the time she returned, she was more than a little tired. But even so, I expected her to come in our room, sit on our bed, and tell us all about her first semi-adult experience. The response I got? Aloof. Maybe even a little snotty. Could I even say rude?

It started out with a simple question and ended with her walking away, not having answered.
My husband waved it off as no big deal, but the more I thought about our interchange, the more upset I became. How ungrateful, I thought. We’ve given her so much, and this is how she responds after having had this new experience of freedom?

Though in truth, I was frightened. I felt like I’d lost my daughter’s respect. Like she felt she no longer had to listen to me. If you have a teen, you know how frightening that can be. So, fueled by the anxiety only a mom can work into a frenzy, I sent her a text explaining my feelings.
Her response: I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful.

I paused, read it again. No excuses? No anger? Just a simple, “I’m sorry”?

Something felt… not right, so I got out of bed and went downstairs to her room. And I simply sat on her bed. To listen, because I sensed there was much more going on with her than an unanswered question.

I was right. Before long, she was in tears, sharing all her fears and insecurities. That overnight that made my husband and I more acutely aware of our daughter’s impeding departure? It’d done the same for her, making adulthood all the more real. And she wasn’t sure she was ready. I rubbed her back, let her know her feelings were normal and that she’d do great. Soon, what could’ve turned into a major argument, dividing a wedge between us—at a time when she really needed me—turned into a wonderful, heart-to-heart, bonding moment.

As I walked back upstairs, I was reminded of the need to resist surface level parenting, making assumptions about behavior without taking the time to reach the heart. And thanking God for His gentle guiding Spirit and the knowledge that I’ll never have to parent alone.

My daughter’s in college now; an adult. But even so, may God help me to continue to seek out and parent to her heart.



About Intertwined

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!

Buy it:
CBD
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Bio:

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet CafĂ© Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Candee Fick Talks about Catch of a Lifetime, Her Debut Novel about a Rookie Coach and an Athletic Trainer



A Warm Welcome to Candee Fick
 
Candee will give away either a mobi or pdf file of Catch of a Lifetime


First, tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been married to a high school football coach for almost 20 years and we have three kids, including a recently-turned-adult daughter with special needs, a high school senior, and the “baby” in middle school. I’m a former chemistry teacher and cross country coach who now works from home summarizing work histories in asbestos cases. In my free time, I savor the escape of fiction through both reading and writing!



Lots of writers loved to read when they were young. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?

I learned to read at age four and haven’t been far from a book since. Some of my early favorites were the Little House on the Prairie series, Chronicles of Narnia, The Borrowers, Black Stallion, Jannette Oke’s Love Comes Softly, and Watership Down.

Let's talk about your writing. Why do you write?
I write to give readers a place to escape the stress of life for a few hours. I also write to create the stories I love to read. But mostly, I craft stories that show genuine faith in action, give a glimpse of God’s character, instill hope that obstacles can be overcome, and remind readers that God pursues and loves them even more than a romantic hero pursues the heroine.

Tell us about your latest book.
Catch of a Lifetime is about a rookie college football coach who breathes football and the bitter tutor/athletic trainer who shudders at the very mention of the sport. As the two work together, sparks fly, but their growing relationship must remain hidden behind a wall of professionalism in order to avoid a career-ending scandal. This story was an ACFW Genesis Finalist in 2014 and is my first published novel.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?

I worked hard to capture the energy of a college football team pursuing their goal of a bowl game as well as the competitive tension of close game with high stakes. Several advance readers told me they couldn’t put the book down with hearts pounding in their throats at the end so I think I achieved that goal. I want readers to find a satisfying read and fall in love with the hero right along with the heroine, even if they don’t particularly like football themselves.

How do you get to know your characters?
I’ve learned a huge time-saving and story-crafting trick from Susan May Warren and the gang over at My Book Therapy. While I generally have an idea about physical traits and a profession for my characters, I don’t really get to know them until I’ve figured out that dark moment in their past that left them wounded and believing a lie about either themselves, the world, or God. While their goal is to avoid repeating that pain, the story’s black moment will re-open the wound and the truth they eventually embrace will bring healing. So, I ask them “Why?” over and over until I reach the heart of the story and uncover their motivation. Of course, I also find a picture of each of the characters and hang them over my computer when I’m writing the first draft.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
Right now my goal is to create three days a week while my special needs daughter is away at her transition program. Sometimes I set up camp in my home office, but other days I take my Alpha Smart to a comfortable chair, park, or the library to just pound out words as fast as I can. Then, I edit and revise what I’ve written on other days or in the afternoons because when I’m interrupted it’s easier to jump in and out of editing mode than the creative fog. All the marketing and social media pieces get fit in around the edges.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I’m generally a plotter. Before I invest hours writing, I make sure I have a solid structure, character sketches, and have divided out the essential scenes into a rough sequence of chapters. I often start with index cards on a grid-marked posterboard but soon transition into Scrivener where I can keep track of the pivotal scenes, dialogue snippets, research facts, and other ideas that have been percolating for months waiting for this story’s turn. Once I’ve filled in the gaps enough to know the story will work, I turn into a “planster” during the first draft. My characters always surprise me with theme elements to take deeper or twists in the plot so I’ve learned to run with the small detours as long as the basic structure stays strong.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?
My faith is such an integral part of who I am that it can’t help but affect my writing. I try to create an honest picture of Christian characters struggling with real issues in life, and yet show hope because God is right there with us through the trials. I also try to weave in some aspect of God’s character. For instance, in Catch of a Lifetime, I focused in on how God examines the heart while mankind only sees the outside appearance.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m plotting the sequel to my next contracted novel that is set in a dinner theater. This heroine is an outside-the-box, anti-rules rebel actress, photographer, creative type person who’s about to discover there is amazing freedom inside God’s plan once she gets her eyes off the religious rules and onto a loving relationship with God. Of course, the rugged hero plays a big part in opening her eyes to the possibility that she tried to fit God into too small of a box.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice is to be patient. Be willing to invest the time learning the craft, reading, writing, practicing, and taking baby steps as you build a solid foundation for a writing career. Self-publishing avenues make it easy to get a book out there, but you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Guard that first book by making it the best it can be. Then work to make the second book even better.



About Catch of a Lifetime

He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.

Watch a video

Purchase Catch of a Lifetime on Amazon

BIO:
Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Learn more about Candee on her web site
Visit her on Facebook

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Lynn Lovegreen Talks about Gold Nuggets, Her Latest Book in the Gold Rush Series





A Warm Welcome to Lynn Lovegreen

Lynn will give away an ebook copy of Gold Nuggets. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address.

Also, be sure to check out her fun quiz at the end of the interview.

Hi Lynn, first, tell us a little about yourself.
I was lucky enough to grow up in Alaska, and still live there. I’m a retired teacher who now writes full-time. I write young adult historical romance, and Prism Book Group publishes my Gold Rush series.

Lots of writers loved to read as children. How about you? Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?

Yes—mine was a reading household, and I read anything I could get my hands on. I read a lot of children’s books (favorite picture book: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, favorite chapter book author: E. B. White). I enjoyed strong young ladies, like the Little House, Anne, and Nancy Drew books. But I also waded into my mother’s poetry and Shakespeare books early on, and read both young adult and adult novels by the time I was in high school. I discovered the power of words and that was it. I was hooked.

Why do you write?
I write to entertain and inspire with stories of old Alaska. I hope readers see themselves in my strong female characters, and enjoy the fun parts of Alaska history. I write to show readers they are not alone. And, of course, I also write because I enjoy playing pretend on paper.

All about Lynn's Latest book

My latest book is the last in my Gold Rush series. Gold Nuggets is set in Kantishna and Denali Park in 1916.





In the shadow of Denali, she has a home, and he finds adventure. Charlotte Cooper wants to stay near her parents' home in Alaska. But her dreams of being a writer call her away to college or work, and she has to choose her own path in life.

Henry Reeves is a wealthy New Yorker seeking a summer adventure when he travels to Kantishna near the proposed Mt. McKinley National Park. He discovers two passions, one for Charlotte, and the other for keeping Alaska wildlife from being wiped out like the buffalo. Charlotte and Henry find an attraction they can’t deny, but can they build a new life together between the wilderness and high society?



What inspired you to write this particular book?
I knew I wanted to wrap up the series near the end of the Gold Rush. Tying it to the beginning of the conservation movement and the creation of Mt. McKinley (now Denali) National Park seemed like a nice transition into the next era of Alaska’s history. Plus, I love the area. I’ve been there several times, and my husband used to drive buses in the Park, so the setting was a natural for me.

In three words describe your style of writing.
Heart-warming, sweet, romantic

What themes do you write about?
So, far, all of my books involve young characters coming of age. I love that scary/heady period of life when we’re discovering ourselves and where we fit in the world.

Romance also finds its way into each story. Love is the most important thing in life, whether it’s romantic love, love of family and friends, or love for our fellow human beings. “Love thy neighbor,” as they say.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read and write! Both will give you models and tools for writing. Get as many hours of practice as you can. Then, when you’re ready to show your work to others, find a critique group or network to help you grow in your writing and support you through your journey. And be ready for a long journey—persevere!

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
It’s not really wacky, but the most risk-taking thing I’ve ever done is retire in order to write full-time. It was scary, but something I needed to do at that stage of my life. And I have no regrets.

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time)
Charlotte grew up in Kantishna, Alaska, far from any town. She is an independent young lady who wants to become a writer. She’s considering what this means for her future plans when she meets Henry, a wealthy, cocky young Easterner who comes to Alaska for a summer adventure.  She is surprised to find they have things in common, and even more when she finds herself attracted to him.
To learn more about Charlotte and my other heroines, take my quiz to find out which Gold Rush heroine you are! 
https://www.qzzr.com/quiz/01a90050-71bf-4c5e-907c-37ae28c99e4b/fi9xdWl6emVzLzc5NDUy

Book Links:

Prism Book Group

Amazon

Website/blog:
www.lynnlovegreen.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Blog Tour Book Launch for What God Knew









A Warm Welcome to June Foster
 
Congratulations on your new book, What God Knew.
 









About What God Knew



Neonatal specialist Dr. Michael Clark is passionate about saving the lives of premature babies. But the pediatrics department at El Camino General can't provide the care many of his preemies require. Now he wants to build a specialty hospital where he can better offer medical treatment for his young patients.

Tammy Crawford is an accomplished geriatrics RN who wants nothing to do with her sister Joella's religious beliefs. She's independent and doesn't need anyone, including God in pursuing a new job as a nurse practitioner.

When she falls in love with the intriguing Michael Clark, she must reconsider her resolve to devote herself completely to her career and not become distracted by a romantic relationship. Now the obstacles are insurmountable. She's in love with a man from another culture and a different race.
Michael acknowledges his growing affection for the beautiful nurse yet can't ignore his brother's deep racial prejudices.

Can two people who are as different as night and day find a life together?

Buy What God Knew here

About June

An award-winning author, June Foster is also a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. In 2013, June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's
eBook awards and in 2014 a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father won The Clash of the Titles book of the month for January 2014 and
was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the 2014 Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in
COTT's 2014 Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown
Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Books One, Two, and Three in the Almond
Tree Series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, and What God Knew are all available from Amazon.com as well as Misty Hollow. June enjoys writing stories about characters
who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom
to live godly lives. Find June on line at http://junefoster.com.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Brandy Heineman Talks about Writing and Her New Book, Whispers in the Braches




A Warm Welcome to Brandy Heineman

Photo credit: Copyright Emilie Hendryx of E. A. Creative Photography, 2014.


Hi Brandy, lots of writers enjoyed reading as a child. How about you? If so, what did you read?

Oh, yes. I always loved to read. I adored mysteries—The Dollhouse Murders and Behind the Attic Wall come to mind—and of course I had my Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High phase, my Roald Dahl phase, my Judy Bloom phase . . . I was quite a bookish child, I’d say!





About Whispers in the Branches




In 1942, Ruby lost something. In 2012, Abby found it.

Abby’s love life, career, and faith are in shambles when she first hears Great Aunt Ruby’s claims that the family home is haunted. Abby moves in, determined to shake out a ghost, but the secrets she discovers there aren’t the ones she hopes to find.

Whispers in the Branches is my first novel. It was released earlier this year by Elk Lake Publishing.

Buy Whispers in the Branches on Amazon

Where do you get ideas for your books?
Since I love to write (and read!) stories that mingle past and present, very often the relics of another time will send me down the rabbit hole of “What if?”

Now, the Eureka moment tends to get all the attention, but it takes roughly a zillion ideas to write a book—character quirks, events, bits of dialogue, plot twists. The joke is to be careful what you say to a writer because it’ll end up in a book, but that’s really true. The key is assembling all those little pieces into a brand new picture.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Metaphorical, considered, mischievous.

How do you get to know your characters?
Sometimes I use character interviews, and personality profiles can be helpful, but for the most part, I just have to write and write about them and see who they become on the page. Oftentimes, this means that inconsistencies get worked out between the early ideation stage and their later, more developed forms. In my current project, I’m at the fun stage where I feel like I know both the hero and heroine really well.

I have a quick funny story on that, in fact. Just today I said to my husband, “Sometimes I just can’t believe my characters aren’t actually real people.”

His response? A slight pause, followed by, “All righty, then!”

That’s okay. I know being married to a writer is a laugh-and-a-half. He’s so patient!

What themes do you write about?
Those past-present connections get me every time. What opportunities were missed in the past? Can one generation make up for the regrets of an earlier one? Does history—family history, personal history—ever really teach us anything?

I love to explore these kinds of ideas in my fiction.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I keep trying to be a plotter, but all the interesting stuff seems to pop up as I’m writing along and some fascinating little detail finds its way from my head to my fingertips . . . and then, of course, I have to see where it goes.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?
Very much so. God really made the parable of the talents personal for me, and I know it is part of my calling to use His gifts wisely. I pray over my work, and I pray for my readers. It’s particularly important to me that whatever treasure the Lord seeds in my heart through His word and the experiences He gives me, that I weave it into my stories in a way that is as beautiful and real as I can make it.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
I’m sure it would be something creative and expressive. I’m a visual learner and I’ve always been a dabbler in arts like photography, page design, photo manipulation, and scrapbooking. If writing hadn’t been the outlet for me, I might have pursued something along those lines more seriously. Who knows—I might still!

For fun, what is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?
I’m fairly self-conscious anyway, so I might confuse “most embarrassing thing” with “just another Tuesday,” but I’ll tell you a doozy . . .  A few years ago our church had a drama ministry, and we used to put on little skits to publicize church events and sometimes longer plays at major holidays.
In one skit, I was to enter after the other actor was already on stage. I was waiting outside the choir loft door, which leads to an open hallway behind the sanctuary, and our pastor and another person were there having a minor pre-service conversation. I worried they would think I was eavesdropping, when all I wanted was to focus on what was happening on the other side of that door and to remember my lines! (You don’t spend six weeks rehearsing for a three-minute skit, you know?)
When I heard my cue, I was never happier to walk out on stage . . . but because I was distracted, I forgot to turn on my headset microphone before I did. I realized my mistake immediately, but it was too late. The other actor spoke her lines normally, but I had to call upon some very rusty, very minimal theatre training to project from the bottom of my not-particularly-powerful lungs.
I suppose the bright side is that I only made that mistake in the second service, so only half of our entire church saw me goof on stage. I’m still cringing.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Just that I’m so happy to have been a part of your blog today! And if readers would like to stay up-to-date with what’s up next… I have a newsletter! This is where my book release updates, giveaway alerts, and other fun tidbits get announced. Sign-up here: http://eepurl.com/boitO9
Thanks so much for having me, Gail!

It was my pleasure.

BRANDY HEINEMAN is a Christ-follower. She’s also a book hoarder, a cat herder, a first-generation Southerner, and a self-appointed family historian. She likes to cook when it’s convenient, and to order pizza when it’s not. An alumna of Wesleyan College (Macon, Ga.), she has written for ACFW’s The Journal, Writer Interrupted, and Book Fun Magazine. Brandy resides in metro Atlanta with her Captain of Street Cred and super-hero hubby, Michael. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at Brandy Heineman

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Kim McMahill Talks about Her New Suspense, A Dose of Danger


                                                                                  

A Warm Welcome to Kim McMahill

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

I grew up in Wyoming, which is probably where I developed my sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. I started out writing non-fiction, and had over eighty travel and geographic articles appear in magazine and other publications. As exciting as that was to see my work in print, my passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew me into a world of romantic suspense. When not writing, I enjoy gardening, traveling, putting together jigsaw puzzles, listening to live music, college sports, and spending time with family.

Tell us about your latest book.

A Dose of Danger is a romantic suspense novel and the first in a developing series. When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they become targets of a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. From the lab in Salt Lake City, Utah to the family ranch in Wyoming, danger closes in on Grace as she struggles to deal with tragedy in the wake of a fire, and the task of keeping all the animals alive throughout a harsher than normal winter. As the investigation progresses and the stakes get higher, she becomes more dependent on the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes that she must trust him with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?

Wow! That sounds suspenseful. What inspired you to write this particular book?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun paying more attention to what I eat and my overall health. The more I read about nutrition and fitness the more confused I become, especially when it comes to supplements. There are a myriad of products out there that make all sorts of claims, but what’s true? I’m sure the answer is very complex because there are a lot of variables that influence a products effectiveness, which makes the subject an excellent topic for fiction. With so many options, it’s difficult to know which companies and claims to trust.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?

I love stories of survival against the odds, and this book has plenty of that. Most of my stories have heroes or heroines who push their physical and emotional capabilities to the breaking point in order to prevail. I always hope I have that much fortitude if I find myself in a bad situation.  I hope readers will tell others that it is a well written book full of action, suspense, drama, and realistic romance. I hope they find it exciting and entertaining, and worthy of recommending to friends and family.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

I get my ideas from a host of different places. A lot of inspiration comes from my travels. I used to spend a lot of time in Mexico, which is where Marked In Mexico and Deadly Ruins came from. Big Horn Storm has a number of ties to my upbringing around horses, Deadly Exodus was inspired by a remnant of a dream I remembered one morning, and Shrouded In Secrets was spawned from watching a show on various mysteries, and one delved into the legends surrounding a group of crystal skulls. My latest novel, A Dose of Danger, may be a manifestation of my mild conspiracy theory paranoia and suspicions of market manipulation on nearly every front, especially when it comes to the health and diet product industry. 

What themes do you write about?

Survival—as mentioned earlier, I’ve always loved stories about testing one’s physical and emotional strength, and surviving against formidable odds. I also enjoy exploring true and lasting love developed through shared tragedy or adventure. I’m not a huge fan of the lust first, love later model.

What are you working on right now?

I just finished with a second novel in the series which begins with A Dose of Danger. The deadly market manipulation continues as the corrupt coalition wields its lethal influence in the manufacturing of those healthy frozen meals that fill the freezer section of every grocery store.

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?

One of my riskiest adventures came from following a small group of cows over a steep embankment during a cattle drive I was on with my dad as a teenager. We were taking the cattle to a high grazing lease for the summer. By the time we reached the steepest, last big push, the cows were getting tired and a few decided it would be easier to slide back down the mountain than to keep climbing. My dad was on a green-broke colt which wasn’t as surefooted as my palomino gelding, and getting a little tired herself with her heavier load. To make a long story short, my dad told me to go after them. I looked at him like he was mad, but nudged my horse, assuming he wouldn’t go if he thought it was too steep. He was a good cow horse, so he didn’t hesitate to plunge over the edge after the cattle. The slope was too steep and the dirt too loose to stop and I ended up beating the cows to the bottom. As calmly as possible with one’s life flashing before her eyes, I gathered the cows up and herded them back to the dirt road where my dad was waiting to help me guide the cows up the hill to the rest of the herd. I still occasionally have those, “Man From Snowy River,” flashbacks, but the experience did help me write a couple scenes in Big Horn Storm. My dad clearly had a lot more faith in the horse and my ability than I did, and thankfully he was right.

That sounds exciting! What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?

The list is lengthy, but probably one of the funniest was the time I went shopping with my husband to a fairly large town about 45 miles away. While he was washing the truck I looked down and noticed I had my slippers on. We had gone too far to turn around, so I proudly wore them while running errands, shopping, and eating out for the rest of the day.

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. 

Grace Talbot is a researcher for a company that develops nutritional supplements for humans and animals. She primarily works on supplements for animals, but stumbles on a product that if it can be modified for human consumption, has the ability to make a few people very rich and end the need for dieting. Grace was raised by her uncle at his ranch in Wyoming after being abandoned by her parents as a child, so she’s had to work through her share of issues to get where she is today. She has a successful career and is a loving niece to her lone family member. 

Learn More about Kim and A Dose of Danger at

Kim's Web site
Kim's blog
Twitter


About A Dose of Danger

When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they are targeted by a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?   

Buy A Dose of Danger on Amazon

An Excerpt from A Dose of Danger

She hadn’t heard Logan enter, but she didn’t object when he pried the handset from her fingers and put his arm around her shoulders. 

“Hey, Moss. How are you feeling today?”

Grace could only hear one side of the conversation, but it was enough to know Moss wasn’t the only one who cared about her fate.

“Don’t worry. I’ll keep her safe, I promise. Yes, I’ve noticed she can be a bit stubborn, but she knows when to cooperate and hasn’t given me too much trouble. No, I can’t give you any details. The less you know the better. We’ll leave as soon as the sheriff calls back with a location.  You have what? Where? If we need it, thanks. If we don’t I never heard those words. Yes, I noticed the trailer lights aren’t working, and the clutch on your truck sticks a bit. I may be from Arizona, but I do know how to pull a horse trailer and operate a truck in four-wheel-drive. We better not tie up the line too long, but we’ll call as soon as we get to wherever we’re going. What? Yes, I’d be happy to do that for you. Take care.”

By the time Logan hung up, the tears were gone. Hearing Moss treating the big, strong deputy like a child made her smile. She missed her uncle so much it hurt. Even in a hospital bed hundreds of miles away, he was still trying to take care of her.

“What would you be happy to do for Uncle Moss?” 

“This,” he replied as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. His lips moved slowly over hers until he felt her arms slide up around his neck. He deepened the kiss, and her response sent fire through his body. Even without his heavy coat on, he knew he would be burning just as hot. She fit against him like they were made for each other. When he finally let her go, she looked up at him with a wicked smile that made him itch to grab for her again.

As if sensing his intention, Grace took several steps back. “I’m fairly certain that wasn’t what Moss asked you to do for him.” 

“Maybe he said something about giving you a hug for him, but I started tuning him out when he decided I needed driving instructions. Anyway, I didn’t want to disappoint an injured old man, so I winged it.” 

Grace studied him for a moment. Maybe he won’t walk out on me, but even if he does, I might as well make the most of every moment we have together. She smiled and moved within reach.

Logan needed no further encouragement. He pulled her toward him. With one arm firmly around her waist, he ran his fingers through her hair. “Yes, those curls are just as soft as they look,” he moaned as his lips descended to hers, cutting off any response.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Winner of For Our Good





I'm drawing a name...


Drum roll....


And the winner is...


Mary!


Congratulations, Mary!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Award-winning Author Paula Mowery Talks about Her Latest Book, For Our Good. Gives Away an E-book


 
A Warm Welcome to Paula Mowery

Paula will give away an e-book of For Our Good. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.


About For Our Good

Charlie Jarvis is haunted by loss that fuels her desire to rid the world of drug traffickers. When her next assignment takes her back to her hometown, she has to confront her painful past. She has no interest in a relationship since God seems to kill everyone she loves.

Colton Thomas appreciates material things and the status of being a corporate pilot. When someone approaches him to deliver a package for a large sum of money that could wipe out his debts, temptation knocks loud on his door even as his partner, Marshall, slams it shut. Meeting Charlie challenges his non-committal stance with women. As he considers who he has become and the kind of man he would want to be for Charlie, he confronts his own shallow lifestyle and the fear that he would never be able to help her heal her wounds.

As Charlie pursues the man causing young boys to die of overdoses, she struggles with the secrets she keeps from Colton. With people around them shining the light of God and encouraging their courtship, both Charlie and Colton have to face hard truths about life, death, love, and faith. And maybe find a fresh start for them both.




An excerpt from the Bible Study in the back of For Our Good
The book's title is from the verse in Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28-39:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 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, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  

*Choose a verse that stands out to you and explain its meaning for you personally. 

Things happen as a result of sin, but God works all for the good. There are things that happen which test us.  

*Has something happened in your life that causes you to doubt God or His plan? 

*Can you look back and see God’s hand in past situations? 

Bad things happen that we don’t understand, but God is not against us. He is for us and loves us with a love that can’t be severed. God doesn’t promise us an easy life with no struggles. On the contrary, He warns often in His Word that we will face trials. But his promise is that He will never leave us. He is always near and always loving us. That is where our comfort comes from. Furthermore, God may even teach us something from our struggles that could increase our faith or our intimacy with Him. Experiencing a trial is not wasted time but more like an opportunity. When we know our struggles have purpose, we can be comforted and overcome.  

*Has God taught you something from a struggle in your life? 

Always be prepared to share God’s truths and how He’s seen you through problems as well as the lessons He has taught you along the way.  

Bio: Paula Mowery 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 was her first solo romance and was a finalist in the Carolyn Readers Choice Awards in 2015.

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.

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 and 2015 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.

You can follow Paula at Facebook.
Learn more about Paula at her blog or enjoy her monthly columns on Christian Online Magazine. You can also check out her blog for Christian writers.