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

Saturday, May 30, 2020

#SaturdaySpotlight is on T.I. Lowe & Beach Haven!

Good Morning!

Welcome to the last Saturday Spotlight in May 2020. Today's guest visited with us last month and shared insight into the writing of her book. Today we get a sneak peek into the story itself....

Free-spirited Opal Gilbert seems to have everything she needs to keep living a happy life in Sunset Cove as she refurbishes vintage furniture to sell at her funky ocean-side boutique, Bless This Mess. Until Lincoln Cole, a new-to-town ex-Marine nursing deep wounds and harboring hurts he can’t seem to shake, wanders into her shop. Opal knows a person in need when she sees one and offers Lincoln a job in her workshop. But the brooding former soldier has no interest in Opal’s offer. Thanks but no thanks.

But then a hurricane strikes, damaging Bless This Mess. Feeling guilty for how he treated Opal, Lincoln decides to help her repair the store. And soon it becomes clear Opal wants to restore not only her business, but also help Lincoln find restoration. As much as Lincoln tries to keep her at arm’s length, Opal’s well-meaning meddling begins to heal his wounds . . . and capture his heart almost before he realizes it.

Weaving through a jungle of the most outlandish antiques he’d ever come across, Lincoln Cole was dumbfounded and intrigued all at once. Surrounded by unusually dressed pieces of furniture, he did a three-sixty and scratched at the scruff on his cheek. The scruff indicated he was more than a few days past needing a shave, but the rebellion that had taken root in him since the injury he sustained in Syria had overruled grooming protocol that morning. Waking up from the recurring nightmare often left him too raw to focus on such mundane things. At least he had managed a shower and a fresh change of clothes.

Whimsical feminine humming somehow found its way to him as he suppressed the limp wanting to reside in his left leg while hobbling another few steps forward. Although it was a sunny day in late September, his leg was telling him the pleasant weather wouldn’t last for very long.

Nothing good ever lasts long . . .

Lincoln huffed in frustration over his own thoughts and stood semi-hidden in a section of old desks. He cast his gaze upward and blinked a few times. Various tables and chairs were suspended from the ceiling. A few had been converted into light fixtures, while the rest of them looked like they were being held hostage by thick cables.

“Good morning,” a cheery voice came from behind him. “Welcome to Bless This Mess.”

Keeping his focus on the ceiling, Lincoln spoke the first thing to flicker through his mind. “Is that even safe?” He pointed to the pieces of furniture that appeared to be floating above their heads.

“Oh yes. Code inspectors have deemed my mess safe.”

The woman’s teasing voice finally had Lincoln turning in her direction. Peering at him from the other side of a wooden hutch that had been transformed into a bath vanity was a sprite of a woman with the wildest head of golden-red curls he’d ever seen. The tips were lighter as if the sun had reached down and stolen the color. She closely resembled the mosaic fairy he’d seen on the outside of the building.
Clearing his throat, he offered a curt “Good.”

A smile began to blossom across the lively woman’s face as she smoothed some kind of flowy blouse with her petite hand, causing a gaudy collection of bracelets to clang against one another.

Lincoln assessed her as he’d been trained to do in the military. He measured her no bigger than a minute and figured he could apprehend her with one hand tied behind his back, but he considered those big green eyes of hers and cataloged them as her secret weapon. They sparkled, but that wasn’t what set off the warning bells. No, those eyes were watching him way too closely and had already seen way more than they should. Assessment complete, he began to slowly back away.

“I have the perfect piece for you.” She held an index finger in the air, halting his attempted retreat. She skipped off in the opposite direction, sending the spirals of soft red-and-blonde hair into a dance. “I’m Opal, by the way,” she said quickly over her shoulder.

She disappeared from sight, but he could hear the banging and clattering from his two o’clock, giving away her location. “I didn’t come here for furniture.”

“Oh, that’s okay. This piece was meant for you, nonetheless, so I insist on you taking it.” Her grunts came from the back and sounded like she was struggling with something.

Sighing, Lincoln looked heavenward at the craziness on the ceiling one last time before walking through the maze to find her. He stopped cold in his tracks when he found her sitting on a soldier’s footlocker.

“I found this on a junking trip last year.” Opal smoothed her tiny hand over the thick gray cushion that had been fitted on the top. It reminded Lincoln of a military-issue wool coat. “For some reason, I just knew it needed to be transformed into a bench seat. Possibly for an entry piece where someone can sit and remove or put on their shoes. Or maybe at the foot of a bed.” She swung her feet back and forth, looking like a little kid. Flip-flops peeked from the edges of her fraying bell-bottom jeans each time her legs swayed forward.

Not letting himself get caught in the confusing inquiry of where she found such an odd pair of jeans, Lincoln crossed his arms and regarded the piece suspiciously. “Why’d you make it so tall?” His eyes dropped to the thick wooden spindles she’d used for the legs. They were painted a neutral gray to coordinate with the creamy beige used on the trunk. It was obvious she’d put a lot of thought into the piece, even re-stenciling the ID number along the front side in the same gray as the legs.

“I had a feeling the owner would need the extra leg space. What are you, six-four?” She gave him a swift once-over.

Six-five. “Close enough.”

She smirked like she had a secret. “If you’re not here for furniture, then what are you here for?”
Lincoln moved his eyes away from the peculiar woman and swept them over the menagerie of furniture pieces while rubbing a hand through his long brown hair. Haircuts were another ritual he’d allowed to die several months ago, right along with his military career.

After giving her question some thought, Lincoln answered honestly, “I’m not sure.” He turned and began moving through the rows as quick as his achy leg would carry him.

“You forgot your bench!” Opal called from behind him. “And you didn’t even introduce yourself!”
Her petitions did nothing to slow his already-sluggish getaway. He didn’t stop until he was piled back into his Jeep and heading down the beachfront road.

“Smooth, Cole. Real smooth.” He groaned and released one tight-fisted pound against the steering wheel. Between the throb in his knee and the unsettling encounter with the store’s owner, all he wanted to do was go back to his beach cottage and hide from the feeling that he didn’t fit anywhere anymore. The doctors had done the best they could with his knee, putting enough hardware in his leg for him to be considered part cyborg, but no bolt or pin could put his destroyed life back together.

Tonya “T. I.” Lowe is a native of coastal South Carolina. She attended Coastal Carolina University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she majored in psychology but excelled in creative writing. In 2014, Tonya independently published her first novel, Lulu’s CafĂ©, which quickly became a bestseller. Now the author of twelve published novels with hundreds of thousands of copies sold, she knows she’s just getting started and has many more stories to tell. She resides near Myrtle Beach with her family. Connect with her on her Author PageT.I. Lowe’s Website   Instagram   Twitter (@TiLowe) and Facebook  Get a copy of Beach Haven at Tyndale, Amazon OR wherever books are sold.

WONDERFUL excerpt Tonya! Thank you for sharing. Good luck and God's blessings with your new series.

Remember friends, today is the last day to enter my monthly gift card giveaway so leave a comment.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

#WednesdayWordswithFriends welcomes Idabelle Aylor!

Good Morning Friends!

Well, we've made it to the last week of May. Many states are beginning to open up for business - though I'd venture to say "as usual" is not the case and won't be for quite sometime, if ever. We've heard of several local businesses who are permanently closed due to the financial strain this virus has had on the economy. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is personally affected in any way by Covid-19!

Enough about that though. Idabelle Aylor is brand new to our blog so please show her a huge, warm WELCOME and let's see what she has to say today.....

Image by JulieAnne van der Lek @ Pixabay
When I opened my personal Facebook account the other day it showed me a memory from six years ago. I don’t usually re-post those but this one, this one was special, so I had to save it. Just to get the ball rolling, have any of you ever had an attack rooster? Yep, that’s right, an attack rooster. Apparently, it’s not as uncommon as I first thought. But, for my family, it was a brand-new experience.

Let me start off by saying that this Rhode Island Red rooster was hand fed strawberries, apples, and whatever other fruit happened to be handy, from the time it was a chick until it was given to us by an acquaintance. OK, in our defense, we did hand feed him fruit from time to time but we needed him to be our hens’ rooster, their guardian, their protector! He had it made at our place, free range of all the acreage, hens, endless bugs, and that wasn’t even the least of it.

So, we get him home and we’re all excited for our new addition to the family. Everything was great...until...it wasn’t anymore. No one is quite sure what went wrong in his little head, except maybe...puberty? Our son said maybe the rooster, Red was his name, was angry with us for not hand feeding him like he was accustomed to. Mmm, maybe. But, whatever it was that triggered him, it set him off good.

It started one day when I went out for a run. It was a nice morning and felt good to be out. I walked down our driveway toward the road and, before putting on my headphones, I heard quickly approaching footsteps from behind. Turning to see what was behind me, I saw Red, running full force on his little chicken legs, toward me. I thought he was coming to say ‘hi’ so I talked real nice to him. I quickly realized the error in my assumption as he flew at me, spurs readied. He got me really good a couple times before I picked up a stick and swung it at him. He left me alone then but wasn’t done terrorizing the family.

After a few weeks, when everyone had had a run in with the rooster, and the kids had learned to listen and beware, you could walk outside and see the sides of the driveway were littered with sticks, waiting to be used as protection against the rogue Rhode Island Red rooster named Red.

Of course, we all laugh at the memories of it now, but at the time, it was almost scary to hear those fast little chicken feet coming up behind you in such a frenzy. 

Idabelle Aylor is a small-town girl who has done big town things during her life. Since she was a girl, people watching and family stories have gotten her creative juices flowing like mad, and because of that she’s had stories brewing in her head, fighting to get out and down on paper, since she can remember. When she isn’t curled up on the couch, or porch swing, or in her little trailer named ‘Story’ writing her next greatest work of art, she’s hanging with her best friend/husband and her crazy kiddos.

Find her books by visiting her Amazon Author Page.

Wow...I know what you mean about being chased/attacked by a rooster, Idabelle! I remember the fear and pain myself.

Thanks for sharing your story with us. We wish you the BEST of luck and God's blessings with your writing.

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends. Don't forget to leave a comment - I'll be drawing for my monthly gift card giveaway next week!

Until next time take care and God bless.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

#SaturdaySpotlight is on D. V. Stone & Rock House Grill!

Good Morning from North Toledo Bend State Park!

Yep, while you're reading this I'm probably out fishing LOL. I'm not going to get all cocky though ;-) I'll just turn the spotlight on today's guest.

I introduced D. V. Stone to you last month as a new to me author and she shared inspiration and ideas with us on Wednesday Words with Friends. Today, we get a peek into her book, Rock House Grill published by The Wild Rose Press.

Take it away, D. V!

One man’s choices—One woman’s impact

Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He's rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?

Excerpt: “Easy, you’re going to be okay.” A soft voice eased through the chaos around him. The owner of the voice grabbed his arms and held them in a firm but gentle grip. “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.” 

“Can hardly m-move.” His voice slurred. “C-can’t see anything.” 

“You’ve been in an accident. I’m an EMT with the ambulance squad,” the velvety voice calmly explained. “You can’t see well because we’re under a tarp. Hold still, okay?” 

“‘K.” A small light flickered at the edge of his vision. It shone into a bag next to him. Penlight. 

“You’re restrained to a board. It’s to keep your head from moving and causing more injury.” She continued to talk to him. The voice reached down somewhere inside him, calming and peaceful, so he focused on it. A glow from spotlights on the outside lit whatever covered them. The shadow gave the woman the appearance of a halo—like an angel.

Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for a time on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved this time to Sussex County.  They live with Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter and their cat Baby.

D.V.’s career path varied from working with the disabled to become a volunteer EMT, which in turn led to working in hospital emergency rooms and then in a women's state prison. After a few years, she took a break from medicine and became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop in Sparta NJ, and a small restaurant in Lafayette. Life handed some setbacks, and she ended up back in the medical field, but this time in a veterinary emergency hospital. 

During the poor economy, she was laid–off from a long-time position she cared about. Devastated, D.V. wondered what to do with her life. Finding comfort in her love of reading, she realized it was now time to follow her dream of writing. It's been a long road but worth every minute of it. Now a published author, she also works in a people medical office again.

Find out more about D. V. by visiting and connecting with her on  her  Website  Facebook   Twitter     Instagram    Pinterest     Bookbub      Goodreads    Amazon Author Page   Welcome to the Campfire Blog  and sign up for her Newsletter

“Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Each time you open the pages to one of my books, I hope you'll be swept away by the story and find encouragement in your own life, never to give up on hope.” ~ D.V. Stone

THANK YOU, D.V., for sharing your book with us today. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with your writing career!

Don't forget to leave a comment friends, and enter into my monthly gift card giveaway!

Until next time, take care and God bless.