Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Husband and Wife Team up to Write Christian Fiction

Danny and Wanda Pelfrey are longtime writers of non-fiction books in the educational and inspiration markets. They have for most of their lives been avid readers of mystery/suspense. AS A SHIELD and a previous mystery title are the result of a desire to entertain themselves and others as well as drive home important spiritual messages. Their passion is now “mysteries with a message.”
AS A SHIELD is one of four planned Davis Morgan mysteries set in a small North Georgia town. Davis, a pastor for almost twenty-five years, returns to his hometown after the death of his wife, to operate a rare and used bookstore. He is promptly appointed chaplain of the small police department and recruited by city officials to write a history of his home town. Mystery and romance seem always to be lurking around the corner for the popular bookseller.The reoccurring characters such as Charley Nelson, young police officer; Amy Morgan, Davis’s young daughter who is an English teacher; her roommate Deidre, who Davis is more and more drawn to as time passes; Miss Helen, the local historian and a host of others add to the fun and excitement.

A visit to little Adairsville, Georgia will surely be a memorable event for anyone who chooses to drop-in. In AS A SHIELD, Davis, through his encounters with two strange villains, comes to experience for himself the truth of Psalm 5:12, “For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

About the Authors: Danny and Wanda Pelfrey are a husband/wife team who in the past were active writers of non-fiction material, having, between them, cranked out several books. They are both graduates of Point University and Danny has a Masters from Kentucky Christian University. Danny has spent most of his adult life as a pastor and Wanda as a teacher.Their interest at present lies in the creation of mysteries with a message.

Danny and Wanda are the proud parents of two daughters and five grandchildren. They reside in a little Cape Cod style cottage in the small town in North Georgia that is the setting for their mysteries.

About the Book: Davis Morgan, having left the ministry after the death of his wife, returns to Adairsville, Georgia, his hometown. There he operates a used and rare bookstore while being appointed chaplain of the police department. He and Charley, a young policeman, after discovering the body of a tattooed man find themselves in a serious battle to bring justice to two strange villains who are threating the safety of Davis's daughter. While all this is going on, Davis is struggling with interpreting his relationship with a young history teacher who happens to be his daughter's roommate.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Just Out From Bonnie Leon, Return to Misty Shore, The Third Book In Her Alaskan Historical Trilogy.

A Warm Welcome to Bonnie Leon

Bonnie will give away a print copy of Return to Misty Shore (U.S. residents only). To enter to win leave a comment and an email address

Hi Bonnie, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a Southern Oregon country gal who is still married to my first true love. I met my husband, Gregory, when I was only seventeen. We married two years later and will celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary this summer.

Though I grew up in Washington State my first visit to Southern Oregon convinced me I needed to move. It felt like home right away. My husband and I, with our three kids moved to the foothills of Douglas County, Oregon in 1980. We designed and built a small home, which has grown through the years and is somewhat sprawling now. We’re still here, and our youngest daughter and her family live right next door. I love that. We share a five acre piece of land that rests in the midst of the Umpqua forest.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?

From the very beginning, when I was first reading Dick and Jane books, I knew reading would always be part of my life. Then and now I’ve loved true life stories. One of my favorite books while still quite young was the tale of Helen Keller. She was one of my early heroines and still is. By the time I was a pre-teen I was gobbling down Nancy Drew books. Our local bookmobile always had several on their shelves. As a young adult I enjoyed a variety of stories, including The Hobbit and Ten Little Indians, but I was especially fond of Gothics. Eventually I settled in to reading mostly historical fiction. After reading Hawaii I was hooked. Historical fiction has remained my favorite through the years, but I enjoy just about any kind of book.

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

I don’t recall dreaming about becoming a writer when I was young. I think I had the notion that writers had to be highly educated and extremely intelligent, and I didn’t see myself that way. However, when I was in my late thirties I was compelled to put my thoughts down on paper. I wrote short stories, vignettes and poems. It was fun.

And then, in 1991 a log truck overturned on a corner and hit my van, leaving me with permanent injuries and chronic pain. I felt as if I’d lost my life. I had been a hands on kind of woman, working alongside my husband on our small farm and actively involved with my kids. After the accident that all changed. I couldn’t do any of the things I loved, not even simple things like preparing meals for my family or doing the shopping.

Those were dark days and I sank into a depression and wondered what would become of me. I felt like I had nothing of value to offer anyone. I asked God to give me something to do that would make a difference. He opened every door to a life of writing and gently nudged me through each one.

I feel God called me to write. And until He says otherwise that is what I will do. I love the process, and through the years I’ve heard from many readers who have been encouraged and uplifted by my stories. It is extremely gratifying and a lot of fun.

Tell us about your latest book.

Return to the Misty Shore is the third book in an Alaskan historical trilogy. I love writing about Alaska—it is where I came from through my family heritage.

The principle character, Luba Engstrom is an Aleut who grew up in the white man’s world of late nineteenth century Alaska. When she falls in love with a native man, who lives in a primitive village on the Aleutian Island of Unalaska, Luba chooses to run off with him. Village life is tougher than she anticipated and she is left with the consequences of her choices. But she discovers that God has not abandoned her.

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

I love the backdrop of Alaska, which is an incredibly beautiful place but also one that always seems ready to take your life. Planting the story in the midst of an Aleut village in 1885 was filled with discovery for me. I learned a great deal. The Aleut life style is interesting, appalling and beautiful. It was exciting to experience the life my great-grandmother and my grandmother, who both grew up on the island of Unalaska, may have lived.

Return to the Misty Shore is an historical story, but the challenges the characters face could easily be transplanted into our contemporary lives—living with the consequences of poor choices, abusive relationships, courage to face challenges and the sorrow of loss. But the story isn’t all about the trenches, there is also adventure, beauty and love weaved throughout.

I hope readers will tell others that it’s a book they couldn’t put down and that they loved the characters. And an added bonus would be that their faith was strengthened by something they read in Luba’s story.

In three words describe your style of writing.

This is a difficult question to answer. How do I make an impartial assessment of my own writing? So, I asked some of my readers. Here are the three most common answers I received.


What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

Once upon a time I was extremely disciplined and kept a work schedule that allowed me to publish two novels a year. Not so much these days.

My life is full of children, grandchildren, my elderly mother, vegetable gardening during the summer, mentoring other writers, and a long list of everyday life things that keep me fighting for writing time. Plus, I live with chronic pain and I can no longer put in long days at the computer.

I have an office that also serves as a guest bedroom. There is a comfy recliner where I spend my writing time creating stories. When weather allows, I make sure to keep the window open so I can hear the breeze in the trees, the sound of happy birds and the song of my wind chimes.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

Definitely a plotter. Once I have a basic plot in mind for a story I put together a detailed outline that serves as a map so I don’t get lost along the way. That doesn’t mean I never take side trips. I do. And sometimes they are exactly what my story has been looking for.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

Faith takes a natural place in my writing. It is where I live and it is who I am and it spills over into whatever I’m working on. I’m not sure I can create a story that doesn’t include my devotion to the Lord.

What are you working on right now?

First and foremost I’m on vacation, beginning April 20th. My husband and I are heading to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I’ve been working hard and it’s time for a break. I intend to take an entire summer off. After that I have another historical romance that is calling to me. This one should be great fun. It takes place here in Southern Oregon during the mid-nineteenth century.

There could be a bit of glitch in my plans, however. I’ve been struggling with my eyesight for several years and was recently diagnosed with a rare condition that will eventually take my central vision. If I want to continue writing I’m going to need help. I’m not sure what that’s going to look like yet, but I do know that if it’s in God’s will He will make a way. I ask for your prayers.

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

My dream job is owning a book store. In this day and age, that’s a tough go and probably not a good investment, but I love bookstores. I can see myself spending my days surrounded by books and good people. The store would be homey with overstuffed chairs, a wood stove, and wooden shelves filled with fabulous books. I think a coffee bar would be a good idea too.

More About Return to Misty Shore

In the spring of 1885, Luba Engstrom meets Nicholas Matroona, a strong, brooding Native from the island of Unalaska. Against her parents’ wishes, she elopes, believing love will be enough to bridge the gap between the civilized world of Juneau and the primitive culture of Nicholas’s small village. After all, before Luba was born, her mother lived on a wild Alaskan island until she was forced to leave when a tsunami destroyed her people. But from the moment Luba arrives at Nicholas’s home, she struggles to adapt and learn the village ways.

Will the conflict between her husband’s belief in ancient gods and her faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer destroy Luba and Nicholas’s relationship?

Return to the Misty Shore—the third book in the Northern Lights series.

Buy on Amazon


Bonnie Leon is the author of twenty-two novels, including the recently released Return to the Misty Shore, the popular Alaskan Skies and bestselling The Journey of Eleven Moons.
Bonnie’s books are being read internationally and she hears from readers in Australia, Europe, Poland, and even Africa.

She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions and especially delights in mentoring young authors. These days, her time is filled with writing, being a grandmother and relishing precious time with her aged mother.
Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

You can find Bonnie at

her Website
her blog
on Twitter
0n Pinterest

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Powerful, Miraculous Easter Message

                                                           Photo by Sharyn Duncan

Photo Courtesy of Photobucket

Jesus lived among the Jews and the gentiles showing us his Gospel of love, telling us how to live in peace and care for each other.

“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)

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The suffering He endured illustrates how imperfect and cruel the world can be.

“Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified…’”
(Matthew 20: 17 -18)

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

His crucifixion shows us God’s unconditional love.

“In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him, ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtham?’ –which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

“When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

“Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.”
(Matthew 27: 45 – 50)

Photo Courtesy of Google (

                   His resurrection proclaims there’s nothing, not even death, God can’t overcome.

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen…”
  (Matthew 28: 1- 5)

Photo Courtesy of Google

“Where, O death, is your
Where, O death, if your

I Co. 15: 55

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Hot Off the Press! A Brand New Release, Alice's Notions, From Tamera Kraft

A Warm Welcome To Tamera Kraft

Hi Tamera, Lots of writers loved to read as children. Did you? If so, what did you enjoy reading?

Yes, I read everything I could get my hands on. I always had my nose in a book and would take my flashlight to bed so I could read when I should have been sleeping. Whenever I got my Scholastic Book order form from school. I would pour over the list for hours trying to decide which books I wanted for the money I was allowed. Then I would beg my mom for more money. My earliest memories of books I read were Black Beauty, A Wrinkle in Time, and all of the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries I could get my hands on.

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

I love books, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Life interrupted my plans, but God brought me full circle back to what I love to do.

Tell us about your latest book.

My new book is Alice’s Notions and is just out. It’s an historical romantic suspense.

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

I love the setting and time period. It’s set in a sleepy village in West Virginia, where my mother was raised. The story takes place right after World War 2 so I was able to put in a lot of cultural references from that time. I wanted to get the feel of some of the movies in the 1940s and 1950s. The movie Alice’s Notions most reminds me of is Charade starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

I get my ideas from history. I love reading about American history. Often, I’ll read about an event and wonder what it was like for the people living at that time. That’s where most of my stories come from.

In three words describe your style of writing. 

Faith-filled historical adventures. Even the historical romances I write have a sense of adventure in them.

What themes do you write about? All of my novels seem to revolve around three themes: redemption, risking everything to do the right thing or carry out a noble quest, or carrying on through great difficulty to confront fears and learn to trust God through it. Some of my novels have more than one of these. Alice’s Notions is more about carrying on through great difficulty, but it does have a bit of risking everything to carry out a noble quest in it too.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I’m a bit of both. I do research the history for my book and have a my characters planned out before I start. I also know certain signpost plot points along the novel’s journey before I start writing, but I never plan it out beyond that. I know where the characters are going, but I’m not always sure how they will get there.

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

My faith does affect my writing but not on purpose. I don’t intend or start out writing faith-filled novels necessarily, but because God is my life, it always is interwoven throughout my writing.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently writing the first book for a three books series on Jamestown Brides. These brides came to Jamestown from England, facing adversity and harsh conditions and leaving everything behind, to create a new colony in a new land. They are every bit the adventurers their husbands and sons were.

Introduce us to the main character in your new book.

Alice Brighton married her childhood sweetheart and moved to New York City before the war. She was devastated when she found out her husband Joe had died in the war. She returned home to Burning Bush, West Virginia where she could feel safe and opened a fabric shop. Her plan was to support herself so she’d never risk losing someone she loved again. Throughout the novel, Alice finds out her sleepy hometown village isn’t so safe after all.

Thanks for inviting me.

Having you is my pleasure.

About Alice's Notions

In this quaint mountain town, things aren't always what they seem.

World War 2 widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop. She decides to start a barn quilt tour to bring business to the shop and the town, but what she doesn't know is sinister forces are using the tour for their own nefarious reasons

Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn't know who she can trust.

 Buy Alice's Notions
on Amazon
Desert Breeze Publishing


Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. Tamera has two novellas in print: A Christmas Promise and Resurrection of Hope. Her first full length novel is Alice’s Notions.

Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.
Word Sharpeners Blog

Monday, April 3, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Congratulations to Jennifer Vander Klip Winner of Clash of the Titles Springtime Contest!

Congratulations to Jennifer Vander Klip
and the novel
Protective Custody

About the book:

A cop burned by love falls for a key witness in a crime implicating the town's rich and powerful.

Lifestyle magazine editor Heather McAlister was in the wrong place at the wrong time. What she saw sends her faith and life into a tailspin. As a key witness in a crime shaking the roots of the town's power brokers, doing the right thing may cost her everything. Including her life.

Detective Kyle Taylor is in the midst of solving the town's worst crime spree, a case that cold make or break his career, when the woman he thinks he might have a future with witnesses a gang initiation gone wrong before they can finish their first date. He has spent his entire adult life protecting his hometown. Now he's protecting a woman he'll risk everything to save.

With more than their future at risk, they must discern betrayal from trust, image from truth while avoiding a danger closer than they think.

Christian Romantic Suspense

What Reviewers Are Saying:

I just kept turning pages to see what would happen next! Can't wait for the next one!—R. Cole

This is my second novel from Vander Klipp and I continue to be impressed with her writing.--Kelly T.

Add this book to your must-read list!—Regina F.

What COTT Voters Had to Say:

~Great Book, Jennifer! Kept me on the edge of my seat!!

~Jennifer Vanderklipp, keep on writing. Some days it may seem as if no one appreciates

your books, but believe me, we, your readers, are out here just waiting for your next

release. A. Zuniga

~You have an awesome cover.The book sounds great.

~In love with Jennifer's writings!!!

~Enjoying so many new titles from amazing authors that pour their hearts in to their work. However I have to say that Protective Custody is a nail biter beginning to end. I could not put it down. Kudos to Jennifer Vander Klipp. Looking forward to more great reads from her.

~I like suspense like Jennifer VanderKlipp writes!

About the Author:

I make beauty from neglect, order from chaos. I like fixing messes!

And I get to do that a lot since I’m a mom to two and stepmom to four, navigating the tweens and 
teens while battling my daughter’s juvenile arthritis, exploring the delights of my son’s autism, and keeping gluten free. A California native transplanted to the Midwest, my favorite thing is discovering with my husband how much there is to love about seasons, snow, and the delight that is Michigan.

Upcoming Release:

Promise Me is a prequel novella to Protective Custody, and it is releasing in May. With the same great setting as Protective Custody, (Orange County, California) this story focuses on Cait Bellamy and Grayson Kendall, who make brief appearances in Protective Custody. But we also get introduced to the stars of Protective Custody, Detective Kyle Taylor and Heather McAlistair.

Marketing director for Samashima Family Farms Cait Bellamy, on a break from the endless restoration of her farmhouse, witnesses potentially-devastating vandalism at the farm. Car restoration hobbiest and real estate attorney Grayson Kendall finds himself intrigued by the happenings at the farm which seem to be related to his latest real estate development. He does some digging, unknowingly putting Cait and her beloved farmhouse in danger. Can they both learn trust each other and create something new out of the wreckage their pasts while trying to discover who wants to put the farm out of business?

To find out more about her books, her latest releases, and get free chapters sign up for her newsletter at