I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
Readers, Please research and use wisdom before buying

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#ThursdayThoughts: Happiness

Good Morning and Welcome to the last Thursday Thoughts for October 2014! Still can't believe this year is nearly over.

As I sit here in the quiet, early morning hours and take a moment to connect with my soul one thing is abundantly clear.... I AM Happy.

Writing that, emotions swell in my body... a lump in the throat, tears in my eyes, gratitude overflows my heart, my mind is awhirl.

I look back over this past year and recall a conversation with a friend when he said, "happiness is the greatest attraction" and I realize how true that is.

People are more drawn to those who exude happiness, joy and peace.

Just as misery loves company and depression darkens the brightest day, the vibrant energy of happiness permeates the atmosphere and has the ability to raise up everyone around you.

Knowing this, why wouldn't you choose happiness as a way of life?

Now, I know as well as the next person you can't be happy all the time. Things will happen, sad memories will rise up and put a damper on your mood. Some will even try to convince you that you have no right to be happy.

Give yourself permission to feel those feelings then let them go! Do NOT allow the thief to come in and destroy your innate happiness and joy. Afterall, joy is powerful, and happiness is infectious.

So how would someone whose been in a depressed state choose happiness and joy?

One way is to get up every morning and say Thank You, Thank God for even the smallest blessing in your life. Even if that means finding and focusing on one simple thing, do it!

Another is to keep a prayer/gratitude journal. Begin your list with "I'm so happy and grateful that/for (fill in the blank)."

Write affirmations of your choice to be happy.... "I let go and let God, I choose to be happy." I am happy. I am joyful. I am peace. I am gratitude.

Writing and speaking are very powerful tools of change.

Put on some happy, upbeat music and dance every chance you get! Movement is essential for good health and as you loosen up and feel the music down in your soul, realize this is a form of worship too.

These are just a few ways you can increase the level of happiness and joy in your life. Try one or two and I guarantee you'll come up with several of your own.

But bottom line.... Happiness and Joy are a choice. Therefore, choose wisely.

Have a Blessed & Happy Day!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#TuesdayTreasure: Halloween Memories by Alicia Dean @Alicia_Dean_

Good Morning friends and welcome to the last edition of Tuesday Treasure for November 2014!

Y'know I always heard time flies when you're having fun (and when you get older) but seriously?! Where has this year gone?!

Today I have a special guest for you and she is sharing some of her Halloween memories with us....

I met Alicia at a TWRP retreat at the Silver Spur Guest Ranch and it is my pleasure to introduce her to you all!

Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
Find out more about Alicia by visiting her Website and/or blog and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter,@Alicia_Dean_  Pinterest and Goodreads

My three children are grown, but fortunately, they live nearby and we spend a lot of time together. Of course, it’s not the same as when they were small. Halloween was one of our favorite times of year, and I treasure the memories that we made. We loved trick or treating, dressing in costumes, going to haunted houses, and watching scary movies. My children might have been slightly twisted in that, even when they were very small, they loved scary movies. I don’t mean scary-for-kids movies like Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I mean full on horror flicks.

I asked my kids what some of their favorite Halloween memories were, and my girls (Lana and Lacey) chose the same memory. I’m afraid this particular event doesn’t paint me in a very good light. When the movie “I Know What you Did Last Summer” was released in October, 1997 I took the girls, (who were 11 and 13 at the time), to see it and let them miss school.  Uhm….but they had good grades and they didn’t miss much school and the truancy laws weren’t as strict back then…  AND, they remember that time fondly. It was a special memory that they cherish, even now. So…do I get a pass?   

My son, Presley, who is now 21, was a bit of an oddball. (I mean that in the most affectionate sense of the word). Very young, he stopped wanting to play with toys and really didn’t care that much about doing ‘kid’ things like trick or treating. But, he loved scary movies. His favorite Halloween memory is that, every year during Halloween, we would have Michael Myers marathons and watch as many of the Halloween movies as we could (other than Halloween 3, which had nothing to do with Michael). Even now, when we get a chance, we like to watch scary movies together. We loved Rob Zombie’s remake of the first Halloween, but the kids were severely disappointed in Halloween 2, so I didn’t even bother to watch it. This is a pic of my two youngest, Lacey and Presley, in front of ‘the’ Michael Myers home in Covington, Georgia (From the Rob Zombie version)

As much as I love the holiday and spooky things, it’s surprising that I hadn’t written a Halloween story until now. My latest release, Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost, is somewhat sweet and light-hearted, although our favorite Halloween villain, Michael Myers, does get a few mentions, as does Pennywise, the demented clown from the Stephen King story, IT.

A year after her husband’s death, Emily Tillman is ready to start dating again, and hopefully, find what she’s always wanted—marriage and children. But the man who broke her heart five years ago is back. And he’s anything but the marrying kind. 

Confirmed bachelor Reese Caster is perfectly content with his life—and he’s finally over Emily, the one woman who almost made him commit. Now, his world is rocked when her dead husband shows up, demanding that Reese pursue Emily to keep her out of the clutches of her latest suitor—a jerk who is only after her money. 

Being around Emily again has made Reese reconsider his bachelor life style. But now that the threat of the other man is gone, the pesky ghost wants Reese to break things off. Can he and Emily find the love they were denied, or will the ghost of her dead husband destroy their chances? 


With Caster, there was no way he’d ever commit to a woman. That’s why, as difficult as he was to resist, she’d made certain to keep their outings casual. Just a few dinners. She’d made a point to make comments like, “It’s great to spend time with an old friend of Joey’s” and “Being around you somehow makes me feel closer to Joey”—keeping the specter of her deceased husband between them. She had to put up some kind of barrier between her and his irresistibility. Being swept up into Caster’s sexual charms made a woman forget every other man she’d ever known.
She shook off thoughts of her love life and focused on the event at hand—opening night of the haunted forest. Tickets for the first few nights of the event had sold extremely well. Word of mouth would likely determine how the remaining nights went.
“Emily!” Pennywise the psycho clown—aka Bob Ferrell—rushed up to her. “Have you seen Megan? She’s not here and now, Destiny is saying she’ll be Michael’s victim instead of mine. I need a victim, asap.”
Emily rolled her eyes. No doubt the curvy, young blonde would love to trade out horror monsters—Michael aka Caster had it all over Pennywise aka Bob. “Destiny will be your victim, just like we rehearsed, if she wants to be a part of this at all.” Destiny was a switchboard operator at the hospital who was bucking for a promotion, so she’d likely do whatever the administrative assistant asked of her. “I’ll call Megan, and if she doesn’t show—”
“Then maybe you can be my victim?”
Emily turned at the sound of Caster’s voice. He wore the Michael Myers jumpsuit, but was holding the creepy mask beneath his arm, making it look even creepier.
“Uh, yeah…well, I’m sure Megan will show.” Granted, it was do-able. She wasn’t needed to actually run the haunted forest. A few of the nurses from the hospital were manning the ticket desk. Everything was in place, and everyone had their roles. She was just there for problems that might arise. But, being held in the dark so close to Caster…she shuddered. More dangerous than encountering the Michael Myers.

Caster's Unfriendly Ghost can be found at Amazon, B&N & The Wild Rose Press!

Well friends hope you enjoyed this Tuesday Treasure as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you! Stay tuned for this week's Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight!

Until later....take care, God Bless and remember.....things that go bump in the night are usually attached to your feet LOL! 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

#SaturdaySpotlight: @StacyJuba with #DarkBeforeDawn!

Good Morning Friends,

Once again please join me in welcoming Stacy Juba to our spotlight.....

Stacy Juba loves to write stories about Characters at a Crossroads: individuals who are finding themselves and getting on the right life path after overcoming obstacles. Her goals are to entertain readers of all ages as well as inspire them. She has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers. Stacy has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag. Browse her website for more information on her mystery, romance, and contemporary fiction books for adults, teens, and children, guest author features and resources on how to build your own “character,” and for her book/product reviews and advocacy relating to Type 1 Diabetes. Find out more about Stacy by visiting her Website, and connecting with her Facebook, Twitter @StacyJuba, Goodreads and Pinterest!

Dawn has been psychic since she was seven and has always considered herself an outcast. Even her mother discourages her talent, so Dawn has kept her abilities quiet and feared a lifetime of loneliness. When she gets involved with a fortuneteller and two teenage girls who share her mysterious perception, Dawn finally belongs to a group. As her intuition strengthens, so does Dawn’s self-esteem. However, when she learns her friends may be tied to two bizarre murders, she has a choice to make – continue developing the talent that makes her special, or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her.

Excerpt: Dawn Christian curled under the covers, shivering in her nightshirt. Goosebumps popped up on her bare arms. She breathed in and out, trying to calm herself. Even the safety of darkness couldn't hide it.
Something was wrong.
She knew it the same way she had known it would rain despite the weather report. Now gray clouds blistered outside the window.
I can't go, I can't go, I can't go, something bad's going to happen. Dawn rubbed between her eyebrows, the message flying around inside her brain like a loose pinball.
The red numbers of her alarm clock flickered to 6:29. Dawn rolled onto her other side and faced the wall. In an hour, she'd be starting her junior year at a lame new high school. She missed Boston and taking the T, the city’s subway system, wherever she wanted to go. Dawn used to hang out at museums, watch the college kids in Harvard Square and read books at the Common. Sometimes, she and her mother caught Saturday matinees in the theater district.
Not anymore. Ever since the wedding in July, Dawn had been stuck in Covington, Maine, a beach town overflowing with rinky dink carnival rides, cheesy souvenir stores and bad vibrations.
"Dawn?" She turned to find her mother framed in the dimly lit doorway, fully dressed. "Are you coming down for breakfast?"
"I'm not hungry."
"Nervous about school?"
Gulping, Dawn huddled under the blankets. No way could she discuss her feeling with her mom. Her mother wanted a normal daughter who was on the basketball team or school newspaper, had friends and didn’t live in fear. "Kind of."
Her mother lowered herself onto the bed and squeezed Dawn’s hand. Her manicured pink nails shone against Dawn’s pale skin. Since meeting Jeff eight months ago, Dawn's mother had been letting her curly hair hang loose and wearing makeup.
She smoothed back a tangle of Dawn’s chestnut waves. "You don’t look like yourself. Do you feel all right?"
"I’m fine." Dawn shoved her stuffed monkey, Buddy, further under the blankets. Her father gave her Buddy shortly before he died, and holding it was like hugging a piece of her dad. Still, sleeping with a toy monkey was kiddish and Dawn didn’t do it often. Her mother would get suspicious if she noticed.
Darn it. Her mother drew out Buddy by his slender tail and patted his furry brown head. "Calling in the reinforcements, huh? What’s on your mind, honey? Maybe I can help."
Dawn sat up and clasped her knees. Her mother never understood about Dawn’s hunches. "I don’t think you really want to know, Mom."
"Of course I do."
Yeah, right. But Dawn didn’t have the stamina for lying today. "I’m getting one of my premonitions. Something’s wrong. I think it has to do with school."
She waited and sure enough, her mother got the frightened look she’d worn too many times before. Dawn remembered the look that terrible night with Mrs. Frazier ... but she didn’t want to think about that.

Dark Before Dawn, a Young Adult Paranormal Thriller can be found at Amazon, B&N,  iBookstore, Kobo, and Audible!

Hope you enjoyed our spotlight! Check back next week for more Tuesday Treasure, Thursday Thoughts and of course another Saturday Spotlight!!

Until later....take care, God Bless and remember....Live fully~laugh often~love deeply~forgive freely & you will create magic wherever you go...

Something to think about!
"Inspirational with an Edge! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

#ThursdayThoughts: Guest Post by The Writing Sisters

Good Morning Friends!

Today is is with great pleasure I bring to you a pair of sisters I met at a women's conference in September. The Writing Sisters is comprised of Betsy Duffy and Laurie Myers and they'd like to talk to us about Prayer, so without much further ado here they are....

Prayer Made the Difference

The Shepherd’s Song was a different writing experience for us.  After twenty years of writing children’s books for the general market we were now writing our first book for God.  The books we wrote before were from a Christian worldview.  What made this book different was our desire to submit every word to God and to reflect in our words what He would say. An overwhelming task on our own. 

But what if we could connect with God and hear from Him as we worked.  C.S. Lewis wrote once about “taking dictation”  from God. The connection with God was key.  But how?

As we shifted from our writing for the general market to the idea that we would write for God, prayer became important and critical.  We prayed individually, together in groups with others and we enlisted a prayer team to pray for the writing of the book.

Three times stand out as we reflect back over how prayer entered our work and kept us grounded and focused as we wrote The Shepherd’s Song.

The first came at the beginning of our efforts. When we began writing together, we were full of enthusiasm and ideas.  We both took off with to do lists and ideas and quickly we became stressed and anxious.  A book by Andy Stanley, Visioneering pulled us back and helped us focus.

The book challenged us to look at whether we prayed first, then acted, or acted first, then prayed.

The question was convicting  - the notebooks full of our plans and ideas were the evidence against us.  In our enthusiasm we had gotten ahead of God.  What to do?  We stopped and made two decisions:

We decided we would stop all action and spend one week just praying for the book and for direction.

And we also agreed we would never move forward on an idea or action unless we were unified through prayer about the decision.

Throughout the week anxiety vanished. Clarity came, peace descended.  As we individually surrendered the work to God He brought us into unity.

The second prayer time came later.  The book was finished and accepted and paralysis set in.  Now what.  The second book, The Father’s Prayer, was drafted and outlined but we were blocked.  At the same time we were working to build a platform and determine what we should be doing for marketing the first book.

Was it right?  How did we know?  We stopped again and brought the work and ourselves into a time of deeper prayer. 

This time God spoke to us through a book by Mark Batterson,  Draw the Circle, The Forty Day Prayer Challenge.  For forty days we read the devotions and “circled” our work in prayer during our personal time with God.  It was amazing how God used these devotions to speak to us separately and together as we submitted to Him through these prayer times.

Reading this devotional series together and praying through Batterson’s forty days helped us to connect with each other and with God and allowed God access to us through our time with Him.

The third was a prayer for protection. During the year leading up to publication we both went through difficult times with friends and family, mostly medical issues.  We were both pulled off track and struggled to keep focus while undergoing struggles to take care of those we loved.  We remembered our great grandfather’s favorite scripture from Ephesians 6, the armor of God.

We began to pray this daily for each other.  Each morning we would turn to this passage and pray each article of armor for the other –belt, shield, helmet, breastplate, sword, shoes. As soon as we started, peace reigned and through our outward circumstances did not change, we had peace and we able to resume our work on the book.

The end result? 

We don’t know how the book will be received or what will happen as it goes out into the world but the end result for us is peace.  We have no regrets about the writing, no doubts about any decision along the way.  We have assurance that the book is in God’s hands to use as He will. 

Prayer is the key.

The Writing Sisters, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers were born into a writing family, and began critiquing manuscripts at an early age for their mother, Newbery winner Betsy Byars.  They went on to become authors of more than thirty-five children’s novels. Their first book for adults is  The Shepherd’s Song,  Howard Books, March 2014. Find out more by visiting their website and facebook page and be sure to sign up for their newsletter!

Follow the incredible journey of one piece of paper—a copy of Psalm 23—as it travels around the world, linking lives and hearts with its simple but beautiful message.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures…

Shortly before a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote down the powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper for her wayward son. Just before she loses consciousness, Kate wonders if she’s done enough with her life and prays, “Please, let my life count.”

Unbeknownst to Kate, her handwritten copy of Psalm 23 soon begins a remarkable journey around the world. From a lonely dry cleaning employee to a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing her country, to a Kenyan runner in the Rome Invitational marathon, this humble message forever changes the lives of twelve very different people. Eventually, Kate’s paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God changes lives, even through the smallest gestures.

With beautiful prose evocative of master storyteller Andy Andrews’s The Butterfly Effect, this story will touch your heart and remind you of the ways God works through us to reach beyond what we can imagine.

The Shepherd's Song: A Story of Second Chances can be purchased at Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback & Kindle. Also at Barnes and Noble Hardcover, Paperback, Nook and Large Print!

Now, enjoy an Excerpt:

Kate McConnell opened her eyes. Where was she? There were bright lights above her. Movement. The sound of a siren wailing.
She closed her eyes and opened them again, hoping somehow this all would go away. It didn’t.
An ambulance. She was in an ambulance.
What had happened?
A man’s voice called out behind her. “Female, age about forty-five, multiple injuries. BP: ninety over sixty. Pulse: one-forty. Respirations: twenty-five, short and shallow.”
Each bump and jolt of the ambulance brought pain, crushing pain in her chest and stabs of pain down her right leg. Kate tried to grab her chest, but her arms were strapped down. She shivered uncontrollably. Her blue sweater and pants were covered in something wet—gooey and wet. Blood. He was talking about her.
A brief memory came—her car sliding on the slick road, the sound of breaking glass and crunching metal. A car accident. Panic rose in her chest. She had been in an accident.
The newspaper would later say it was the worst traffic accident ever on that section of I-95 between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore—twenty-five cars, six semis, and one bus. The temperature Thursday had been fifty-five degrees, a beautiful day. Then, Friday, it fell to thirty-one, unusual for October. A sudden snowstorm dropped more than two inches of snow in just ten minutes, creating whiteout conditions that took everyone by surprise, including the drivers on I-95.
The voice behind her continued its calm clinical assessment. “In and out of consciousness. Possible head injuries.”
“Help,” she whispered. Each breath was raw. There wasn’t enough air. Dizziness swept over her. She tried again. “Help.”
“Hold on. Try to stay awake.” A young man leaned over her, making eye contact. His voice was calm, but she saw fear in his eyes.
She tried to nod but couldn’t.
“Be still; we’re on the way to the hospital.”
Everything in her wanted to fight free of the straps and the stretcher, but she couldn’t even move her head. Pain radiated from her chest and leg.
The voice began again. “Bleeding profusely from a gash in right leg—looks like an open fracture. Possible internal injuries.”
For a few seconds there was silence, the only sound the hum of tires on the road.
“Will do. We’ll be there in five to eight minutes, depending on traffic.”
What had happened? Kate remembered her morning, speeding from one activity to the next, pushing her old station wagon to the point where it shook. An early-morning run to the grocery store, then back home, then a twenty-mile drive to deliver dinner to a friend who was recuperating from surgery, then a stop to drop off the dry cleaning, then five more things on her to-do list. Then the snow had started.
The cleaner’s. She had been trying to get back to the dry cleaner’s, but for what?
She felt a hand on her forehead, and she opened her eyes. The young man’s face came into view again. His nervous eyes studied her.
“What’s your name?”
She tried to focus. Her name?
“Kate . . . McConnell.” She gasped out each word.
“Your birthday?”
She tried to come up with the answer, but it was too confusing. Tears welled up.
“It’s all right. Just stay with me.”
“What hap—?” She wanted to finish the sentence but could not.
“You were in a car accident on the interstate.” He held her arm, feeling for a pulse. “There was a pile-up. It’s a mess out there.”
Her mouth opened and closed with a question unasked. She wanted to say the words, but nothing came out.
“Matt,” she finally gasped out the name of her son. “John.” Her husband.
“No one was with you in the car. Just rest and stay calm. We’ve got you.”
She could feel the sway of the ambulance as it passed other cars. The voice faded in and out. She closed her eyes.
A new thought came. She might die. Would it be like this, the end? So fast? With so much undone?
Kate’s mind drifted back and forth, weaving in and out of the events of the past week.
“I don’t think my life matters,” she had told a friend. “I’ve been a Christian for almost twenty-five years, and I haven’t accomplished anything. I can’t point to one single person that I’ve had an impact on, even in my own family.”
“Of course you have. You serve on the church worship committee, you deliver meals every week to people in need, and you’re always writing down scriptures for people.”
“But are those the important things?” Kate had asked. “Do those things matter?”
John. He mattered. And Matt.
“Oh, Mom,” she could hear Matt say. “You don’t believe all that stuff.”
Matt, who had drifted away from faith when he’d started college, now refused to go to church at all.
She couldn’t get through to him.
Was she really dying?
Someone lifted her eyelid. It was the young man. He looked closely into her eye, as if he was examining her soul.
“Stay with me now.”
She felt the ambulance sway, then the jolt of a sharp turn.
“Help,” Kate gasped again as pain stabbed through her side.
“Stay with me.”
A wave of dizziness. Then nothing.

Hope you enjoyed this Thursday Thoughts... I sure did! 

Hope to see you next week but until then....Take care & Be Blessed!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#TuesdayTreasure: Book Reviews

Good Morning!

Yesterday I received a wonderful review on The Visionary and thought...What better to share as something I treasure than my readers and the reviews they take time to write.....

Reader, Amy (Seasons of Grace) said about The Visionary....

"This book was captivating from the start. The characters will grab your heart. Taylor and her brother Trevor grew up in a home filled with any kind of abuse you can imagine. Although they are both in their adulthood now, the past still has a fierce grip on them. They have also kept the past a secret. None one has been allowed to enter that territory with them. They desperately need to heal and be able to move on so life can be stable. Together, they have built a successful construction and renovating business.

Enter Alex, a business man himself, looking for someone to fix up an old home he owns. Taylor has a gift - the ability to envision what places looked like in the past. That gift, although at times, a curse, enables her to design the most magnificent homes and renovate them true to their previous state. As Alex gets to know Taylor better, his heart slowly becomes involved. But can Taylor move past the abuse she has suffered and allow herself to love and be loved?

This book is loaded!! Pam is know as an author of "inspirational with an edge". I would definitely say this book has an edge. It is wonderfully written, but I would caution on age due to what I felt was a bit graphic content of the abuse itself. It doesn't take away from the story, but a may be difficult for young readers to grasp. Trevor and Taylor have been extremely emotionally damaged by their abusive father, and because of that have a difficult time trusting God. Taylor seems to slowly grasp the faith, but Trevor struggles. He especially cannot comprehend why God would allow such horrible things to happen if He is a loving God. Pam handles it beautifully, and presents the gospel openly. She does a wonderful job with the faith aspect of the book."

So this morning I'd like to THANK Amy again and say how VERY much I appreciate EVERY and ALL Readers and Reviews!!

May God Bless you ALL this & EVERY day for taking time to read my books and stories because Every Sale is a Soul for God!

The Visionary is available @Amazon in Hardcover, Softcover, and Kindle also at Barnes & Noble in Softcover, Nook!