Gail's Book Nook

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Jennifer Slattery Tells Us about Her New Book, When Dawn Breaks, and Discusses Valentine's Gifts. Gives Away a Book.

A Warm Welcome to Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer will give away a print copy of When Dawn Breaks. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Jennifer's Shares Her Thoughts on Valentine's Gifts

February is coming. You know what that means, right? Husbands across the nation stressing and conniving as they try to find that perfect Valentine’s gift. The media doesn’t help, with jewelry commercials depicting Mr. Sensitive surprising his love with a very expensive ring. The kind I’ve lost. On numerous occasions.

Once it was almost shipped to Japan. It isn’t that I don’t find the ring, or any other gift my husband gives me, special. I do. I cherish that glimmering band, but not because of the rock. Rather, I cherish the marriage it represents.

And all the memories that encompasses. Some of my favorites are the simplest. I find it a bit surprising that most of my memories, in fact, involve he and I walking hand-in-hand, talking. About everything and absolutely nothing.

When our daughter was young, we lived in a small apartment in Southern California. Each day, as four o’clock rolled around, I’d tidy the house, peek out the window, watch the door, anxiously awaiting my husband’s return. Then, when he’d arrive, we’d plop our princess in the baby backpack and walk to the corner store where we’d buy a giant fountain soda and a bag of pretzels. Then we’d walk back, munching, sipping, talking. Laughing.

That was almost 17 years ago, and yet, it’s still one of my favorite memories, one of my favorite “dates”. One that cost us maybe $3. Because often it’s those simple, quiet, and peaceful moments that mean the most.

I wonder if my husband knows this. I have a feeling, even if I were to tell him, he’d still stress, plot, and plan, trying to find that perfect Valentine’s Day gift. And that’s fine. So long as, after the gifts are exchanged and our restaurant meal eaten, he twines his fingers in mine and we go for a romantic, leisurely stroll.

What about you? What are some of your most romantic memories? Do you find any of them unexpected? If you could plan your favorite Valentine’s Day, what would you do? Where would you go?

About When Dawn Breaks

As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution propel her north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. Then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here

You can buy a copy 

On Amazon
On Barnes and Noble

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, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud

Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently on sale at Amazon for under $4 (print and kindle version)! You can get that here

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Stephanie Prichard Talks about Stranded, an Action Adventure Story. She Gives Away an E-Book and Shares a Devotional

A Warm Welcome to Stephanie Prichard
Stephanie and Don will give away an e-book of Stranded. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.
Stephanie shares a unique devotional about the fragrance of Christ.

First Humiliation

My first incident of total humiliation happened when I was age eight. My older brother hadn’t descended into the pit of adolescence yet, so we were friends. He not only acknowledged me as his sister, but he looked out for me. The window of our camaraderie occurred in the two-year time frame of the early fifties when our family lived in Japan.
Dad was stationed at the army base in Yokohama, where we lived on post. Our favorite play spot was a giant hill not far from our backyard. A pleasant walk through a lightly wooded area added to the fun of getting to “Little Mount Fuji,” as we fondly called our hill.

After an afternoon of playing there, my brother and I headed home for dinner. I trudged behind him through the woods, leaving him to guide our footsteps while I let my mind wander. We had explored the woods many times and discovered several small huts inhabited by Japanese families. I wondered if their children spied on our house like we did on theirs.

As we got closer to home, we heard our mother call us. My brother took off at a run, and I picked up my pace to keep up with him. Without so much as a hey-watch-out-Sis, he swerved suddenly to the left. Did I say he looked out for me? Not this time.

There was a reason for his zigzag, and I didn’t zig in time. I plunged straight into a four-foot-deep honey-bucket well. A tidal wave of fermented urine and feces splashed high over my head and plopped (notice I didn’t say rained) straight down on top of me.

The shock of my fall ratcheted up as the stench engulfed me. Weeks—months—years of fomenting organisms had churned the waste products of our Japanese neighbors into a powerful, homegrown fertilizer for their gardens, and I was standing up to my armpits in it.

Adding insult to injury was my brother, bent double with laughter at the sight of his poor, little sister drenched in you-know-what. My scream out-powered his mirth, and he hastened to pull me out and lead me—at a safe distance—home. “Whew, you stink!” he said over and over. As I entered our neighborhood, men, women and children backed away, hands over their mouths and noses. Like Pepe Le Pu, a distinct aura trailed me down the street.

At home, the humiliation continued. No sympathetic hug from my mother, no. Instead she made me strip naked outside at the back of our house and hosed—yes, hosed!—me off. I was sure all the little Japanese neighbor boys were hiding at the edge of the woods, watching and giggling. Finally I was whisked into the house and submerged in soap and shampoo in a long, hot shower. I didn’t stop crying until I fell exhausted into bed.

As Christians, we carry an aroma too. 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 says, “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.”

When the world rejects you for being a Christian, it’s not because you are Pepe Le Pu. It’s because they smell their own death. They smell the “fragrance of Christ”—His amazing humiliation in becoming human and dying for our sins that we might have “life leading to life.”  That’s my prayer for my loved ones—life—because it’s no stinking good any other way.

About Stranded:
All Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants is to give his dying wife a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways.

Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake's survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she's responsible for his wife's death.

Buy link: $2.99 on Amazon

Don Prichard is a Viet Nam veteran who served in the Marine Corps Reserves for thirty-two years before retiring as a colonel. He is also a career architect, whose specialty in government work includes the design of prisons, courthouses, and military facilities.

Stephanie is an army brat who lived in many countries around the world and loved it. She met her husband at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in English/Literature. She and Don have lived in Indianapolis, IN, for forty years, and in retirement have turned to co-authoring novels now that their three children are busy raising a beautiful crop of grandchildren for them.

Learn more about Don and Stephanie:
On their web site     
Visit them on

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Connie Almony Talks about Her New Book, One Among Men, and Discusses Psalm 77:3

A Warm Welcome to Connie Almony
Connie will give away an e-book of One Among Men. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

I remembered You, O God and I groaned (Psalm 77:3, NIV)

From Connie:
This is the favorite verse of the main character, Samantha Hart, in my latest novel, One Among Men. She got this verse from me. It was my first favorite and the very first I’d ever memorized when I began studying the Good Book in my late twenties.

You may wonder why someone would love a verse about groaning at the memory of God. Isn’t that memory something we should sing about instead? Well, yes, but the idea I needed to be reminded of Him is most definitely groan worthy. And yet there was an author, like me, charged with penning the actual Words of God, who needed to do the same.
That gave me hope.
Hope that after having forgotten about Him for too many years, I could also be used by Him to do great things. Samantha Hart feels the same. You see, she’d abandoned God when her mother was murdered many years before, remembering Him only enough to rebel against the things she knew He’d wanted for her. She squandered her relationships only to come up feeling more empty than she’d been after her mother’s death. But God never left her. Much like he’d never left me. He worked in my life, behind the scenes, and would occasionally make His presence apparently clear … until one day, I remembered Him … and groaned.

It was a good groan. Much like the kind we communicate to the Holy Spirit who in turn translates them to the Father. He answers those groans, so I keep verbalizing them. He’s my Daddy after all. The One whose arms I fall into when things aren’t going my way. The One who holds me up when my knees want to buckle. The One who smiles and touches a kiss to my forehead when I need to feel loved. The One who pats me on the back and says, “You can do it” when I can’t imagine how.
I can do it with Him—that’s how.
So I keep remembering … and groaning.

About One Among Men

Samantha Hart is looking for godly purpose, like her missionary best friend, but is forced to take a job as the resident director of the all-male party dorm at the major state university where her prodigal past haunts her. She must avert the pitfalls of a woman in her position as well as the dangerous forces that threaten her life.

Chris Johnson, a rock guitarist, has come back to school as a music major, and finds himself in a business relationship with the ruthless supplier of an on-campus drug ring. He’s intrigued by the lady RD, while learning more about his musical gift and the God who gave it to him. Can he manage his two worlds without risking Samantha’s life?

Author Bio:

Connie Almony is trained as a mental health therapist and likes to mix a little fun with the serious stuff of life. She was a 2012 semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest for Women’s Fiction and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest. She is the author of One Among Men, about a woman whose job requires she live with 500, hard-partying college guys, and At the Edge of a Dark Forest, a modern-day re-telling of Beauty and the Beast about a war-vet, amputee struggling with PTSD.
You can find Connie on the web at, and hosting the following blogs:,, and

You can also meet her on the following social media outlets:


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Robert Graves Shares an Autobiographical Article and Talks about His New Book, The Poet as Prophet. Gives Away a Copy

A warm welcome to Robert Graves.

Robert will give away a print copy of The Poet as Prophet, Wanderer, and Pilgrim in Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Robert W. Graves

The prefabricated, one-story apartment buildings were laid out like Quonset huts. Evidently, they were built quickly and cheaply for employees of the Bell Bomber plant in Marietta, Georgia, which assembled airplanes for World War II. We lived on Wings Avenue. The militaristic names of the streets wouldn’t register with me for many years to come:  Patton Circle, Victory Drive, Aviation Road, Wings Avenue—a leader, the goal, the means, and an individual component. But the war was fourteen years past, and the Bell Bomber plant had been renamed Lockheed. The apartments, well, they became part of America’s public housing effort. Many still housed the employees of the plant, usually young blue-collar workers. By nature, this led to the inevitable: a neighborhood chockfull of kids. My parents contributed, too:  there were four of us boys. I was the second.

When the third child came along in 1957, we packed up, kissed 615 Wings Avenue goodbye and moved directly across the alley to 609 Wings Avenue, a three-bedroom apartment on the end of the building. Not many diapers later, Mama was pregnant again, and in 1958, our family of six was complete.

Mama raised us boys while Daddy worked at Lockheed, when he wasn’t laid off, that is. Daddy was a good worker, but he was a better drinker. There were a number of pubs, taverns, bars, and, as my mama called them—beer joints—all within a mile or two of our house, and they were all on Daddy’s radar screen. Come Friday night and all day Saturday, the siren call of the closest beer joint was more than Daddy, a former sailor, could stand. Sundays were a bit tamer, with blue laws and all, though bootleggers could be found. I was in the car on more than one occasion when Daddy paid a discreet visit to a house near Blackjack Mountain. He’d always get back in the car with an additional lump in his pocket.

Our house, being the five-room apartment it was, wasn’t good for keeping secrets or hiding feelings. One windy, fall Saturday there was a charge in the air and fire in Mama’s eyes. It wasn’t a day for throwing rocks at your older brother, who might end up in the house complaining to Mama. It was a day to get lost, to blend into the walls if you had to come inside, to hang your head and cower like a whipped dog if you had to pass through a room full of hackle-raising electricity. Daddy was nowhere around. That was the problem. He was, as Mama was apt to say, “down at some beer joint drinking up the rent and the groceries.”  She would have to go looking for him to get what was left of his paycheck, so she could feed us the next week. She had an idea that he was at the Dixie Inn, a restaurant and bar on Fairground Street, not far from Lockheed and within walking distance of our house. Mama got my older brother and me in the house and told us to stay in and watch our younger brothers until she got back.

“Sure, Mama. Yes ma’am.” Electricity demanded compliance.

She got into our 1940 faded blue Dodge. It had replaced the brand new 1955 Chevrolet that Daddy had let go back to the bank. It wasn’t more than thirty minutes when we heard the Dodge crunching gravel in a parking area beside the house. Mama was back. She got out and walked hurriedly into the house. The fire in her eyes had subsided. She had found Daddy and he had given her a twenty-dollar bill. I’m sure she gave him a lot more. But things were going to be okay. There would be food on the table next week.

In the absence of fire and electricity, I was beginning to breathe normally when Mama rushed into the living room then the kitchen then back into her bedroom. She scurried from room to room a second time. The fire in her eyes was replaced with despair. She dumped the contents of her purse on her bed and raked her hands through it. The twenty-dollar bill was gone. In her fury, as she left the Dixie Inn, she had put the bill in her lap. By the time she got home, she had forgotten that she had put it there instead of in her purse. When she realized what she had done, she ran out to the car and searched inside and around it. The wind was whipping leaves under the car and down the street. I knew if she had dropped that bill outside, it was long gone by now.

Mama walked slowly back toward the house, her gaze darting left and right, clinging to a quickly fading hope. In the house, she sat on the sofa, her hands cupped over her face in desperate prayer, calling on the Spirit our Pentecostal preacher so often talked about. She batted her eyes, fighting back useless tears. Reaching down, she picked up the newspaper and began tearing it. She walked back outside, got in the car, and closed the door. From the porch, I watched her as she opened the car door. Beneath the high-sitting body of the Dodge, I saw one foot touch the ground then the other. Then I saw a small piece of newspaper fall to the ground at her feet. The wind quickly caught the piece of paper and drove it out of the parking lot and into Wings Avenue. It danced on its corners across the street and into a neighbor’s yard, my mother right behind it. It tumbled through the grass of one, two, three, four neighbors and came to rest against the apartment wall. Not two feet away, pasted by the wind against the base of the wall, was the twenty-dollar bill. My mother danced across the street and back home. There would, after all, be food on the table next week.

A decade or so later, I learned that the Greek word (the language of the New Testament) for “wind” could also be translated “Spirit.” How appropriate, I thought.
*Rights Reserved.

About The Poet as Prophet, Wanderer, and Pilgrim in Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

This brief book, which includes the text of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," analyzes the narrative progression of the poem and its relationship to the Christian symbols and allusions that Coleridge uses and suggests a connection between them and a statement about the prophetic role of the poet in society.

Buy here

About Robert:

Robert W. Graves is the author of The Gospel According to Angels (Chosen Books/1998) and Praying in the Spirit (Chosen Books/1987). His writings have appeared in Moody Monthly, Christian Parenting Today, Ministries Today, Pentecostal Evangel, Church of God Evangel and numerous other publications. He has a master’s degree in English from Georgia State University and has taught writing at Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, and Southwestern Assemblies of God College in Waxahachie, Texas. In 2001, he began honing his skills in fiction. His short stories “The Professor’s Midnight Dream” and “Worn Carpet” were the first-place winners of the 2006  and 2010 Christian Authors Guild fiction contest. His short story “The Altar” was published by Gospel Publishing House and won first place in the 2006–2007 Fiction Writing contest of the Southern Christian Writers Conference. His latest publications are non-fiction: Strangers to Fire: When Tradition Trumps Scripture (2014), a 600-page anthology on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and their continuation in the church today, which he edited and contributed two chapters to (available on Amazon at and The Poet as Prophet, Wanderer, and Pilgrim in Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (2015), a slightly revised version of his master’s thesis (available on Amazon at, which exhibits why students should be taught the Bible if they are to understand great English literature. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers

Thanks to Paula Mowery for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the one who nominated you.
2. Put up the award.
3. Answer the questions you have been sent.
4. Make up ten new questions for nominees to answer.

Here are my questions and answers.

1. What is something you would count as a “success” from this past year?

In writing, getting out a revised edition of my book, Stopped Cold; writing and publishing the novella, Mountain of Love and Danger, fifth in a series with four other authors; having a new novel, Barely above Water, accepted by Prism Book Group and signing a contract with Prism Book Group to write a novella for their new series about love.

2. Who has had the biggest influence on your life? My mother, who prayed with me, read Bible stories and literature to me, listened to me, offered guidance and supported me.

3. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? Make sure everything’s right between you and the Lord. Nothing else matters. It was given by my father.

4. If you could have a week to retreat, where would you go and what would you do? Hawaii. I’d sightsee, swim, go to a luau, sit back, relax and soak in God’s beauty.

5. Looking back on this year, what are five things you are especially thankful for? God’s blessings, my husband, my daughter, other family and friends on and off line and inspirational moments that touched my life.

6. What is one lesson you feel you learned this past year? Unfortunately, sadly, I must be very careful who I trust.

7. If there were no limits, what is one goal you would like to achieve this year? Successfully writing to God’s glory to touch many.

8. What is one Bible verse that is special to you and why? There are three. Matthew 22:  37 - 39, “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.” It’s special to me because it sums up Jesus’s Gospel in a few words.

9. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not? Not in the traditional way, for a couple of reasons. Usually New Year's has come and gone before I've had time to reflect on what my resolution should be. I tend to make them throughout the year as situations arise. Say, I trip over something in my closet, I'll resolve to straighten it. LOL

10. Do you set goals for yourself in your spiritual life? Give an example. I’m constantly setting spiritual goals. For example, if there’s something about a person that rubs me the wrong way, I try to get to know the person better until I find the good things. By then I've usually forgotten about the thing that irritated me.

My nominees are Danielle Thorne, Lisa Lickel, Miss Mae and her character I.B. Nosey, Anne Patrick, Regina Andrews, Emilie Hendryx, Carole Brown, Sandy Ardoin, Linda Weaver Clarke, Deborah Malone

Here are their questions:

1. What was something that brought you lots of joy this year?
2. What is your hope for 2015?
3. What is your favorite leisure time activity?
4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Have you ever written a blog about that place or set a book there? 
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you?
6. Have your learned something new this year about life, people, or writing?
7. Do you have a favorite genre to read? Do you write in that genre?
8. Please share a Bible verse or insightful quote with us.
9. What helps you shut out the busyness of the world when you write?
10. Tell us about one of your blogs or books and what you just love about it.

God's blessings on all for 2015!