Gail's Book Nook

Friday, May 26, 2017

Looking In The Window: In Honor Of Memorial Day

FREE GIFT BOOK

Messages: Poems and Short Stories To Live By will be free from Saturday, May 27 - Monday, May 29.





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(similar to the Twilight Zone) 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?

From The Readers

“A beautiful book of stories made to savor. Gail Pallotta has put the magic and comfort back on the written page. Southern prose at its finest.” Donna Richards

“This book is full of inspiring poems and short stories that will bless your heart!” Sherri Johnson

“For joyful as well as down times, you will find encouragement in these wisdom filled poems and short stories. The poems give positive messages to lift our spirits, something we desperately require. The short stories return us to a simpler time, yet giving us hope in modern times...” VMLM

“This group of poems made me both laugh and cry. Gail Pallotta is a talented poet that compares to the best. Though I usually don't read poetry, I loved this collection.” Virginia J. Foster

One of the poems

Hope

There comes a day
when only dark clouds
light our way
and rain’s
ceaseless drops of blue
disguise the path
we thought we knew.

We cry
into our rooms of black
and only silence
answers back.

We listen
for a voice to care
and all we hear
is no one there.

Hope is lost
in deep, deep despair.
But wait.
Say a prayer.
God is there.




Story Excerpts

From Stitches in Love

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?

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?"

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."

Snag your free copy on Amazon 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Jennifer Hallmark Talks About Sweet Freedom A La Mode, A Collection of Stories to Bring Peace and Joy



A warm welcome to Jennifer Hallmark


Jennifer will give away a Kindle copy of Sweet Freedom A La Mode
To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.


Jennifer shares a favorite Bible verse and a favorite recipe.

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Growing up, we always had a big garden. As I grumbled my way through hoeing weeds and picking produce, I never dreamed God would take those experiences and let me use them in stories. He certainly does have plans for our future, even when we don’t know it. 😊

We still have a good-sized garden. Our beets will be ready before you know it, so my family knows it’s time for me to cook borscht, a soup made with beets for the main ingredient. I’ve made a few changes in Grandma’s recipe such as adding potatoes, honey and substituting olive oil for butter. It’s still a wonderful recipe and freezes well also…

Grandma Lena’s Borscht

1 cup thinly sliced potatoes
2 cups thinly sliced beets
4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1celery stalk, chopped
2 large carrot, sliced
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped red cabbage
Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Sour cream, for topping

Place sliced potatoes and beets in a medium saucepan over high heat; cover with stock, and boil until vegetables are tender. Remove potatoes and beets with a slotted spoon, and reserve stock.

Pour olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions and salt; cook until onions become soft and translucent. Then stir in celery, carrots, and cabbage. Mix in reserved stock; cook, covered, until all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add potatoes and beets to the skillet. Season with black pepper. Stir in cider vinegar and honey. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer at least 30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream, dill weed, or chopped fresh tomatoes.

Yield: Eight Servings

Yum!




About Sweet Freedom A La Mode

 For some, the fourth of July is a celebration of freedom; for others it is a reminder of bondage. Of pain. Of fear. Of hopelessness. But there is a hope that is deeper, a love that is truer, and a freedom that no one can ever snatch away.

Freedom. Peace-saturated, joy-infusing freedom.

We pray our stories demonstrate what it looks like in the day-to-day…and provide a little insight into how one grabs hold of that treasured state of heart and mind.

Bio

Jennifer Hallmark has published articles, short stories and been part of four book compilations, A Dozen Apologies, Sweet Freedom A La Mode, Unlikely Merger, and Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage. Jennifer’s website and the group blog she co-founded focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers.

Connect with Jennifer

Facebook
Author Facebook Page
Twitter
Pinterest


Monday, May 1, 2017

Looking Out the Window: May New Releases From American Christian Fiction Writers





May 2017 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.


Contemporary Romance:



Amish Brides by Jennifer Beckstrand, Molly Jebber, Amy Lillard -- Under bright blue skies, wedding bells ring--fulfilling sweet dreams, impossible wishes, and joyous new beginnings among these three new stories. (Contemporary Romance from Kensington Publishers)




Sprouts of Love by Valerie Comer -- An overzealous community garden manager delivers more than the food bank manager can handle. Can love sprout amid the tsunami of vegetables? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)





Summer Dreams by Delia Latham -- God's love...reflected in the waters of the Pacific, and in the eyes of a young couple who walk its moonstone shores. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])





Right Where We Belong by Deborah Raney, Melissa Tagg, Courtney Walsh -- Three sweet stories of small-town romance by three tried-and-true authors. Whether in a quaint home bakery in Langhorne, Missouri, a cozy boho coffee shop in Maple Valley, Iowa, or a charming lakeside cottage in Sweethaven, Michigan, love grows best in small towns just like this! (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)




A Spring of Weddings by Toni Shiloh and Melissa Wardwell -- Two Spring wedding novellas, "A Proxy Wedding," and "Hope Beyond Savannah." (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit Publishing)





True to You by Becky Wade -- Former Navy SEAL John Lawson hires genealogist Nora Bradford to help him to uncover the identity of his birth mother. As they work side-by-side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)




Cozy Mystery:


What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman -- A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly, Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House Publishers)


General Contemporary:



A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal -- The heart wrenching love story of a small town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York, of the two men who love her and of the forbidden kiss that changed everything. (General Contemporary from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)








Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman -- A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations. (General Contemporary from Waterfall Press)




Historical:



Blind Ambition by Carol Ashby -- What began as a bored man's decision to try a different road turns into an emotional and spiritual quest that changes the direction of his entire life. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)






Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette -- A broken and bitter Canaanite woman dresses as a man to fight against the invading Hebrews, never expecting that she would live to be captured and married to one of her enemies, and certainly not to find love and healing among the very people who killed her family. (Biblical/Historical from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)


Historical Romance:


  The Secret Admirer Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Molly Noble Bull, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Penny Zeller -- Shy expressions of love lead to nine historical romances. Declaring one’s love can be hard--even risky--especially when faced with some of life's greatest challenges. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)






The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson -- She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)





My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze -- It’s a mail-order disorder when newlyweds realize they've married the wrong partners with similar names. An annulment seems in order--and fast. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca Rice wonders if Tad Fordham wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . . (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)




A Love So True by Melissa Jagears -- They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David's dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)




Road to Harmony by Sherry Kyle -- When Jonas returns to Harmony, Elena's heart is torn between her secret love, and the storeowner her parents hope she marries. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)







Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt -- Can a young widow hide her secret shame from the Irish preacher bent on helping her survive? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)



Romantic Suspense:



Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman -- Each day could be her last...but not if he can help it. An FBI agent must protect the woman who can identify a terrorist bomber in bestselling author Susan Sleeman's riveting romantic suspense novel. (Romantic Suspense from Faith Words [Hachette])