Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Winner of Higher Mission



The Winner of Higher Mission is Regina Andrews. Congratulations, Regina!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Astronomy Buff and Sweet Romance Author Larry Hammersley Talks about His Newest Outer Space Novel, Higher Mission. He'll Give Away an Adobe Copy and a Free Read to a Short Story.

A Warm Welcome to Larry Hammersley

What a treat! Larry not only talks about his new book, Higher Mission, but he shares his favorite Bible verses and a recipe for whole wheat bread plus the cute story behind it.

He offers a free read of his short story, "Ice Rink Romance," and will give away an adobe copy of Higher Mission. To enter to win the copy of Higher Mission leave a comment and an e-mail address. To read the short story, click on the FREE READ link below.

First, tell us a little about yourself. I am 76 years old, married, have two children and five grandchildren. I have a BS in chemistry from Purdue University and MS in chemistry from Indiana University. I grew up in Williams, a small town in southern Indiana, and attended high school there. I worked forty years as a civil service chemist, now retired. I am active in the Church of Christ at Oolitic, IN, am an amateur radio operator, call sign WA9FFZ, jog, do a little woodworking, collect old chemistry and astronomy books, and have been writing fiction for forty years.

Tell us about your latest book. Higher Mission was released in October 2013. It features widower, Joe Cramer, whose higher mission is to continue care for his ill daughter, Cindy, who is in a hospital on Mars. Paired with Mona Watson they take on dangerous jobs in the solar system. Brad Whitherspoon, the solar system’s tycoon has another mission for them: a first ever trip to the star, Sirius. Cramer refuses but is shanghaied for a trip at sub light speeds that will take several years to complete. Will he ever see his daughter again? To complicate things he is falling in love with Mona who is along on the trip.  

What inspired you to write this particular book? My love for astronomy, sweet romance and the theme of an ill daughter who is permanently ill like our first born child was. Cindy is healed, a dream I had wished for our dear departed daughter, Tisha.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it? The upbeat theme of healing, sweet love, adventure and the research required in astronomy. I want readers to tell of the clean romance between a man and woman, the love between father and daughter, and the determination of a man and woman to overcome all odds to survive.

What themes do you write about? I write about a hero and heroine who must overcome obstacles to find love. The theme of the main character that must fight all odds to survive and benefit others in the process is a favorite of mine.

Does your faith affect your writing? How? Yes. My hero and heroine remain pure in their actions toward each other. There is no sordid agenda like we see these days. My short story Motorcycle Woman featured a woman who was persuaded to go to church with the hero, Johnnie. My Smashwords story, Runner’s High had the hero preaching a lesson one Sunday and his love interest attending and looking up scriptures.

What are you working on right now? A new science fiction novel, The Silver Dart needs one more read through. It is about Jade Cromwell and his dog, Spike, who travels in the high tech ship Silver Dart to locate his wife, Darla, and daughter, Missy, who have been taken captive by a race in a distant galaxy. I am about finished with a short science fiction story entitled "Sagittarius Bound."

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time) My novel, Higher Mission features Joe Cramer who is a widower and mining expert in solar system missions. Mona Watson is a single woman who is also expert in space exploration in the solar system.

Faith:  Larry Shares Some of His Favorite Bible Verses

Ruth 1:16-17
V 16: And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

V 17: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.

These wonderful words were uttered by Ruth to her mother-in-law, Naomi, as they left the country Moab, Ruth’s homeland, to go to Bethlehem. She journeyed with Naomi and left her own land to a land foreign to her. She proclaims her love for Naomi who had suffered so much in the loss of her husband and two sons. She proclaims her love and faith in God through this action.

These words are often used in a marriage ceremony.

2 Kings 4:12-13
V 12: And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite, And when he had called her, she stood before him.

V 13: And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? Wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.

This is the prophet, Elisha, who has been dealt kindness by the Shunammite woman and he wants to do something for her. It is in his power to seek favor from the king or captain of the host for her. She has been described as a great woman in an earlier verse.

Many interpret the term “great” as being rich. I’m not so sure of that but she is great in her character as she and her husband built an extra room on their house for Elisha so he can stop there on his frequent journey from his home in Abel-meholah to Mt. Carmel.

It was her that instigated the kindness shown to Elisha. It was in her power to ask Elisha if she could have something done for her by the king or captain of the host, both men who could give her anything she might desire. Her simple reply was that she dwelled among her own people. What an unselfish woman she was as this shows. The rest of the story about her is in 2 Kings 4 and 2 Kings 8.

Food -Larry's Favorite Recipe and the Cute Story Behind It

Whole Wheat Bread

2 ½ cups warm water (125-130)
Add: 4 Tablespoons margarine
4 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons syrup, honey or brown sugar
Mix dry 2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups gold medal flour
Take 1/3 of flour mix and mix 2 pkg. active dry yeast.
Add water mixture to this and beat 2 minutes.
Add remaining flour and beat.
Let rise in warm place 30-40 minutes or until doubled.
I put the bowl in the oven with a pan of hot water underneath it to provide the warmth. I cover the bowl with a dish cloth.
Beat 25 strokes, divide into 2 greased pans.
Pan size 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ¾ or 9x5x3 inches.
Let raise to top of pan or 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F, bake 40 minutes or until done.
Insert a toothpick into bread to make sure there is no dough on it or tap on the bread and note if it is pulled away from the pan to determine if it is done.

Permission to print this recipe was received via email dated May 30, 2012 from Kelly Gross of General Mills and Betty Crocker. The recipe comes from an old cookbook called Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook from page 105. The email was actually signed by Donna.

I made two loaves of this bread one time when my wife was in the hospital with the birth of our last child, Lisa. I entered the bread in the open class at the Lawrence County 4H Fair and won a blue ribbon on it. The woman who notified me thought it something that a man won a blue ribbon on a baking entry. Truth was I had to try a couple of times before I got the results I wanted. The first loaves had cracks in the top. There was an article in the local newspaper about it but I seemed to have misplaced that article. At least the blue ribbon and entry tag have survived.

A Brief Excerpt from Higher Mission Takes Us to Outer Space

Simultaneously, the rover driver jumped out his door and Dirk reached across in front of Cramer for the passenger side handle, but Cramer beat him to it. He opened the door and leaped for the snowy surface just as the canon emitted a scarlet beam in their direction. The blast exploded the pirate’s rover into a thousand pieces, the debris striking Cramer and sending him tumbling in space away from the blast. During his somersaulting he spotted Dirk flying above him, frozen entrails trailing his lifeless body. Cramer couldn’t see the other man among the tiny pieces of metal and plastic from the exploded rover. He felt his own suit losing pressure. The self sealing mechanism kicked in and barely managed to handle the small leak.

He lost consciousness as his oxygen pack provided him its last gasp of air. At the point of blackout he saw Europa’s icy surface coming up to meet him. His whole life seemed to flash before him like the time on Earth when he fell into the old fishing hole and almost drown forty years ago. The last image burnt into his mind before oblivion struck was Cindy’s face in the Martian hospital.

Buy links for Higher Mission

Champagne Books
Barnes and Noble

Larry's Other Stories and Books

Visit Larry's page on Wild Rose e-Books here
Photo Beauty
Runner's High
A Change of Heart
FREE READ - Short Story - Ice Rink Romance Here

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Carole Brown Talks about Her World War II Spy Novel, With Music in Their Hearts and Writes a Devotional about Contentment. She'll Give Away an E-book.

A Warm Welcome to Carole Brown

Carole will give away an e-book of With Music in Their Hearts. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Sometimes It’s Hard to be Content

I Timothy 6:8 says, “Having food and raiment (clothes) let us be content.

In my novel, With Music in Their Hearts, Emma Jaine Rayner, really wanted to be content and in many ways, was. She had a business she loved. She enjoyed the company of her tenants and their varied personalities. She adored her family, and she lived a comfortable life. But . . .

She grew tired (although she wouldn’t admit it!) of the constant responsibility of caring for her family, and her inability in “making” them do as she thought they should.

She worried about the more problematic residents.

And she yearned for a man of her own.

What’s a woman to do?

I love the thought of being content. That place where you feel satisfied and pleasant and have ease of mind. Euphoric experience, right?

That’s NOT the norm though in our wonderful country.

  • I need some new clothes.
  • This car is two years old; let’s get a different one.
  • I don’t want my kids to go to that public school. I’ll have to get another job to send them to that prestigious one on the other side of town.
  • Can’t you see we need to start college funds for the kids?
  • I’m tired of cooking. Let’s go out to that new restaurant in town.
Our society is trained to be greedy. To want. To expect. To GET.

Yes, I know some things are legitimate. Necessary. But many things are not, and I don’t want to seem unthankful for the blessings God has bestowed upon me. Does everything go smoothly for me? Am I seeing my world through rose-colored lens? Of course not. I realize and experience heartache and suffering and disappointment. Yes, I even get discouraged. But I have so many blessings, how can I not be thankful to a wonderful God who loves me and gives me so much?  Everyday I like finding reasons to be grateful I have another day on God’s earth.

  • Besides life, I have plenty of food, a warm cozy house, and water to drink
  • I have a caring husband, two great sons and a good daughter-in-law, and three adorable grandsons.
  • I have friends galore!
  • I have the God-given talent and love for writing with multiple published novels.
  • I’ve traveled all over the country and seen many beautiful spots and God has granted this to me and protection on the roads.
These are only some of the many reasons why I try to be content. In everything be content? Well, maybe. At least I’m working at it.

Like Emma Jaine in my WWII romantic suspense, I’ve had to accept that everything will not go as I want it too. I won’t always succeed or have all I “want.” But I do recognize that with God’s help and strength for me, and encouragement and leading, I can focus on the good things in my life . . . and be content.

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

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

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

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

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

Buy With Music in Their Heart
amazon kindle copy here
amazon print copy here

EXCERPT from Chapter 18 of With Music in Their Hearts
The giggle exploded from her. “You’ve got more faith in humanity than most.”

Tyrell lifted the kettle of hot milk, fumbled and nearly dropped it. He reached for a potholder and poured it into two clean mugs. “Think I could talk a swell gal into a date Friday evening?”

A rush of recklessness spilled through her whole being. He was so much fun. “Depends.”

“If I tried, what kind of success rate do you think I’d have?”

She pretended serious contemplation while letting her eyes twinkle in mischief. “Your rate might shoot up to one hundred percent. But Bette could be busy on Friday.”

His mug settled back down on the stove top. “My family never did train me how to handle too much teasing from a snazzy girl like you. So…I’d better…” he advanced toward her in exaggerated strides, his hands extended, his fingers wiggling in anticipation of tickling her.

Emma Jaine jumped up, the fun over. She couldn’t stand to be tickled. Besides he wouldn’t dare. Would he? “Don’t you dare. Tyrell, I hate to be tickled. Stay away.” She hissed at him in a loud whisper and prepared to run.

Before she took two steps, two muscular arms encircled her and pulled her back
against a strong chest.

Her breath came in gasps as a delightful panic rose from her stomach. She struggled for a minute before collapsing against him.

The chocolate-y peppermint scent of his breath warmed her cheek. His cool lips brushed against her ear. His whisper tantalized her thought. Husky. Tempting. Dangerous.

“I’m going to let you go this time. But if you ever flash those big eyes at me again, daring me, you’ll have to pay the consequences.”

His arms spread wide and Emma Jaine sprang toward the door. She stopped midway through and flung back at him. “And what are the consequences, Mr. Walker? I’d like to—”

Eyes narrowed in his lean face, and the warm warning and laughter in them sent her heart to her throat. Before he could speak, she wrinkled her nose at him and lifted a hand to give him a finger wave. “Night.”

With a hurried step, she headed straight for her own room. She’d played with danger long enough for one evening.

Tyrell Shares His Recipe for Hot Chocolate
In With Music in Their Hearts, Tyrell and Emma Jaine come in from being outside, and Tyrell offers to make hot chocolate for them. Here’s his recipe:

Tyrell’s Special Hot Chocolate Recipe
1 large cup milk or water
1 Tablespoon of honey
1 Tablespoon of dark syrup
A pinch of salt
4-9 chocolate kisses (or about the same size of chocolate bits)
Optional: a dab of peppermint or stir with a peppermint stick
Pour chocolate drink in cup after heating on low fire
(Thank you, dear hubby, for creating this sweet, sweet recipe for me! I’m sure Tyrell is thankful too!)  --Carole

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

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

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

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

Connect with her here:
Personal blog:

She's also part of several other blogs:
Stitches in Time:
Barn Door Book Loft:

Monday, February 2, 2015