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I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#ThursdayThoughts Guest post by Kathy Neely

Good Morning Friends and Welcome to the LAST Thursday Thoughts of April 2017!

Today Kathy Neely returns to share some thoughts with us. She was here last month with something she treasures, so please give her a great, big, warm welcome!

The Beginning or the End

Is it the beginning or the end? There’s an obscurity to those terms. When I click my keyboard with the final line of a novel, I have a conclusion to the story. Then the work begins. When the draft is completed, it’s time to go back to the beginning and re-do. Fix typos, grammatical errors, point of view issues, even plot changes. It doesn’t have to be done correctly on the first pass. There’s a chance to make it better.

Sometimes in life, the end is really the beginning. Graduations are called ‘commencement’. It’s a new beginning. When the wedding “I do’s” are spoken, it’s a whole new start. The end of pregnancy is the beginning of parenthood.

And yet, at those Hallmark moments, there is no do-over. You can’t erase choices from adolescence, decisions in parenting, wedding details.

There’s a beginning and an ending that trumps all others. Our journey in this life will come to an end—glorious or tragic. A point in time when there are no do-overs. Jesus used stories to teach. In one such parable, he said, “Therefore keep watch because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13. That’s an ominous truth. The good news is found in 1 John.

“And this is the testimony; God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:11-13.

We have the assurance to know that the end will be a glorious beginning.

Oh WOW, Kathy, definitely something to think about! Now tell us about yourself and your upcoming releases....


Kathleen Neely is an author and former elementary school principal. After growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, she and her husband Vaughn moved to sunny South Carolina. Together they have three handsome sons, one lovely daughter-in-law, and two incredible grandsons. She is a member of Cross N Pens and ACFW.

Kathleen won first place in Almost an Author’s Fresh Voices contest, and is a second place winner in ACFW-VA’s short story contest. She has two novels coming soon through Pelican Book Group. You can find her at http://kathleenneelyauthor.com.

What an accomplishment, congrats Kathy! Thank you for sharing with us today. We're looking forward to hearing more about your PBG books.

Thank YOU, Friends for dropping by. Check back weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.
PamT

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#TuesdayTreasures guest post by Annette Hubbell

Good Morning Friends!

Well, here we are...the last Tuesday in April. I've no idea how we got here so quickly but there's no denying the passage of time. Today's guest is new to me and brought to us by Adams Media, so please welcome Annette Hubble and see what she treasures....

The Grace in the Grace

“Dear Jesus, thank you for the food and thank you for building all the people.”  That’s how four-year-old Wyatt began his prayer before dinner the other day.  How sweet. How profound.

Throughout the world God offers his grace—free and unmerited favor—to anyone who asks.  In my own hands, grace—the saying a prayer before a meal—offers to him the acknowledgement that everything I have is a glorious gift from him.

God built me. God sustains me. Saying grace before a meal gives me a moment to stop the world, so to speak, to breathe in his goodness, and to worship him. At times, I also find myself whispering for his mercy as well, remembering that in his grace he gives me the forgiveness I don’t deserve, and in his mercy he thankfully does not give me what I do deserve. Sometimes I have to think about that—which is which—but in the end I know that being conscious of his love for me gives moments meaning, and saying grace is one more opportunity to remember that. It is his grace in the grace that is yet another of his gifts.

The Look of Love

I treasure them, those looks of love. They are everywhere. God looks at me with love through the rainbow after a spring rain. Oh, the colors! I see that precious look in a baby’s eyes when he reaches for his mother. I even see it in my cat’s eyes when he greets me in the morning—he has a trill like a raccoon! Did you know you can create those looks of love? I do it all the time. I say hello to strangers—and for that moment they are no longer a stranger, but a friend and one of God’s children. I say hello to these friends as we pass each other on our way to or from the grocery store, in the aisles, at the checkout lane. The more solemn the person is, the greater the aha! moment when their entire face lights up in the pleasure of the hello. And who knows, I may have been the only person that valued them that day. God asks two things of us: to love him and to love others. I was a little hesitant at first—to greet someone who obviously was not interested, or lost in his or her own thoughts. For a while I even told myself I was respecting their privacy. That wasn’t the real reason of course—even an extrovert can be shy when it comes to strangers. But that’s the whole thing, isn’t it? I make it a point to not give anyone that passer-by nod—the polite hello without a smile. What would be the point? I would be the polite poser, not really interested in their well-being. And where’s the love in that?

Beautiful, Annette and so true! Now please tell us a little more about you and your book, A Spoonful of Grace....

Q: What inspired you to write your new book?
At a casual lunch with some friends, our host led us in a grace prayer before the meal, and the idea struck me like a bolt of lightning. But writing a book was the furthest thing from my mind—and I was not a faith scholar by any means.  I think that’s why God gave me just a glimpse of the long journey ahead; otherwise I would have surely given up before I even got started, passing it off as merely a wistful dream.

I had grown up with the Catholic grace, and that was the only formal type of grace I knew.  So, when our host began his grace, the Lutheran Grace, I was amazed with this new piece of information.  There must be others, I concluded.  What if I were to collect them—from all over the world—and create a book out of it? I began to imagine the diversity of prayers said by families from across the globe. I could even pair them with Scripture for added meaning.  In effect, I would simply become a compiler—or so I thought. I sent out inquiries, asking everyone to share, eagerly awaiting the replies.  What I got back surprised me. It seemed there were, in fact, only a very few standard graces; most of them are made up every evening according to how the day unfolds. Even more surprising were the responses of those who never said grace but wished they did, and would if they had some structure. 

I set about to write, but publishers soon informed me that there had to be an application. Back to the drawing board to add what came to be the “Grace Notes,” or side bars—much like what you see in a Study Bible—to add context.  Other publishers liked the idea, but only wanted a particular Bible version to be used. I felt that using multiple versions would speak to a wider audience. Overall, I needed a much bigger education to pull this off, so I studied and received a Certificate in Apologetics from Biola University, immersed myself in other Bible studies, and traveled throughout the Holy Lands. After ten years of work, prayer, and relying on God, A Spoonful of Grace is the result.

Q: What should parents know about this book?
A Spoonful of Grace is a collection of 366 evening meal graces taken from all 66 books of the Bible. They are designed to provide meaningful exposure to prayer and the Bible at a most opportune time: the family meal. They are unique, too, because each one is inspired by its companion Bible verse(s), designed to be read in its entirety in about two minutes, and enhanced by a section called “Grace Notes.” Using quotations and ideas to further illustrate the theme of the verse, these “Grace Notes” promote meaningful conversation and to even answer questions generated by the verse. Interestingly enough, I’ve had people—people who attend church often—tell me that saying grace, other than on spe­cial occasions, had never occurred to them. Each day’s grace and devotional are meant to be read aloud by all family members, with friendly, approachable illustrations that are short enough to keep the attention of hungry kids.

Q: How do you envision this book being used by families?
A Spoonful of Grace is suitable for every family, wherever its members are in their individual faith journeys. Whether parents are just beginning to integrate prayer and Scripture into their daily routine or already say grace together, this book sets the tone for family mealtimes—light-hearted, yet full of meaning and purpose. The Grace Notes allow children to think about actions and their ability to make choices.  I envision the children taking turns reading each day’s grace, and the parents guiding the conversation around it.

This book, however, is not just for families. A seeker or new believer is given doses of theology in small, easily absorbed pieces. A Spoonful of Grace is also great for grandparents and caregivers, busy people who want to add more Bible reading into their lives, or people who would like to say grace with others but are uncertain how to start. Because Scripture is taken from easier-to-understand versions like The Message or the New International Version, adult students who are learning English would also benefit.

Q: Why do you believe it is important to create intentional family time in today's culture? 
Mealtime conversation can often take on an intermission-like quality in a busy day, or saying grace can easily fall into an uninspiring routine, or something to get over with quickly. Designed to capture a young person’s interest, especially in response to the social media evolution, these graces are witty and to the point. With minimal effort, mealtime conversation is refocused into conversations about faith and values such as sharing, honesty, friendship, and honorable conduct.  When I tested A Spoonful of Grace with some families, one said, “This consumed the entire conversation during dinner.” Another family told me that their 15-year-old appreciated his family more because they spend quality time together.

Q: You are also an actor and perform some unique plays. Tell us about those.
In 2007, my husband and I explored historical sites along the East Coast. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was a vacation that launched an acting career. Our Gettysburg B&B offered something no other Gettysburg B&B did: people gracing us daily with Civil War stories. Confederate scout Jeb Stuart regaled us of his exploits. A soldier taught us to fire a musket. A widow recounted her days caring for casualties.  We were mesmerized, and I was hooked! The next day I awoke to an epiphany: tell the story of Gettysburg back home in San Diego. Tell it to students studying the Civil War—add depth to their study; engage their curiosity and intellect. The story needed to be compelling: one that focused on the battle, yet put in a greater context. It needed to be a story in which the character was able to stand invisibly alongside generals and soldiers to give people the sense of being there as the battle unfolds, and to answer the question of what happens after everyone picks up their weapons and moves on.  There are many accounts of war and men, but what does a woman see? “Witness to Gettysburg” was born.

Word spread, and adults became interested. It wasn’t long before I, as the character Hattie, was telling her story in an expanded version in the theater and to civic and community organizations. As my confidence in performing grew, my learning of God’s word was on a somewhat parallel track. This gave me the ability to transform the play into a testimonial of sorts; one that allowed Hattie to express God’s place in her life and how he guided her through the tumultuous times that lay ahead.

I have two other productions in my little company: Tea with Mrs. Roosevelt, and Legends and Heroes. “Tea” is an endearing look at Eleanor’s life, what life was like for her, and how the First Lady helped shaped the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “Legends” recounts the lives of eight people who were famous, or once very famous. The world, for the most part, does not know the journey of these world changers; that they were able to have such an impact because they followed God’s calling.

Q: What is your background in ministry and acting?
Learning on the job, so to speak, I began writing and acting in 2007 after retiring as General Manager of a water district. What started as a desire to infuse stories of real-life drama into children’s history lessons grew into a production company performing all over San Diego County. My studies and volunteer work in the church constitute my ministry training. To that end, I like what the apostle Mark (5:19) said, “Tell them how much the Lord has done for you.”

About Annette Hubbell:
Annette Hubbell earned her undergraduate degree in Marketing from San Diego State University, her M.B.A. from Cal State University in San Marcos, and a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University.  She has been featured in over 160 performances, and starred in the DVD,  of “Witness to Gettysburg” edited by 33-time Emmy Award winner, Robert Gardner. She was awarded Presenter of the Year twice at the Civil War Round Table of San Diego, and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Hubbell lives in San Diego, California with her husband of 33 years, Monte. They have a daughter, Amy, who lives with her husband, Scott, in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit www.AnnetteHubbell.com or www.SpoonfulOfGrace.com.

Wonderful Annette! So glad you shared your treasures with us...this book sounds like something we would all treasure too. 

Hope you enjoyed today's post, Friends and that you'll check back weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time...take care, God bless and may GRACE be with you always!
PamT


Saturday, April 22, 2017

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Sherry Derr-Wille & Mistaken Identity!

Good Morning Friends!

It is with great pleasure I bring to you this brand-new-to-me author from Class Act Books!

Sherry lives in a mid-sized Southern Wisconsin with her husband of 46 years, Bob, whom she deems a saint for putting up with a crazy writer.

With three children, seven grandchildren, more book signings than she can sometimes handle, she puts out four to five books a year and loves writing in her hot pink office.

Find more information about Sherry at her Website: www.derr-wille.com


So nice to meet you Sherry! Now tell us a little about Mistaken Identity.....

Katelyn Devereaux needs a vacation. More than a vacation, she needs to put Denver behind her as well as the man who wants her as his wife and the birth family who is insisting on finding her.

A secluded cottage on a lake in Wisconsin sounds like the perfect spot to get away—or is it?

Seth Miller knows the reason that he mistook Katelyn for Genean is his knowledge that his best friend’s wife was adopted by strangers at birth. Of course he can’t change the facts that Genean and Katelyn are sisters, especially after he learns that the company she wants to visit in Wisconsin is owned by Genean’s brother, Randy, and her husband, Brad.

Excerpt:

Sunlight shimmered across the lake and it glistened as though it had been scattered with diamonds. As she stood there in awe, taking in the beauty from the cottage, the dock invited her into the picture of beauty. Taking her sketch pad and pencil with her, Katelyn Devereaux walked across the lawn and sandy beach until she reached the pier. Settling into the deck chair, she gazed out across the water.

It was such a beautiful morning. She was so glad she’d taken the advice of her friends and accompanied Suzie Branch to this secluded Wisconsin lake. She certainly needed a vacation and could think of no place more relaxing than this quaint cottage hidden away in a different world.

In the distance a loon called to its mate, waited for a few moments for a reply and called again. This was the kind of peaceful exchange she had not taken the time to listen for in months. She knew nature was all around her back home, but there never seemed to be time to sit and listen for it. In Denver she was nothing more than a machine pumping out sketches for her clients, and on occasion, playing the gracious hostess for Martin.

No, I don’t want to think of the daily grind of running the Devereaux Agency, nor Martin Collier’s marriage proposal. I need this time to figure out just who Katelyn Devereaux really is.

Katelyn turned away from the peaceful scene before her. Why can’t my life be this peaceful?

You know why, Katie. The sound of her father’s voice within her head caused a tear to escape from the corner of her eyes. She’d lost both of her parents at Thanksgiving and never really gotten over their deaths. The only thing that kept her from going completely over the edge was work, work and more work.

I don’t think I can do this, Daddy. I don’t love Martin. I haven’t even given him an answer concerning his proposal. Maybe I’m not cut out for the wife thing. Even if I did marry Martin, I wouldn’t be a wife, not in the conventional way. With him gone so much, life as his wife would be no different than life by myself.

Katelyn’s thoughts came as a shock. Never before had she admitted her true feeling for Martin. More than anything else in the world, she wanted to be a little girl again without all the problems of being a responsible adult. Back home in Denver, her life had become too complicated to allow her to rest. For the past eight months she’d been running the Devereaux Advertising Agency, and then there was Martin Collier’s marriage proposal. The fact she had just learned of the fact she was adopted, only added to the crazy quilt her life had become over the past few months. Perhaps if her parents had told her the truth the shock wouldn’t have been so profound but they hadn’t. She’d learned of her adoption only days after their funeral.


What a great blurb and excerpt. Thanks for the sneak peek! Where can readers find Mistaken Identity?


Wonderful!

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and, Thank YOU, friends for showing Sherry your support!

Hope you'll join me again each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time....Wishing you ALL the best of luck and God's blessings!
PamT




Thursday, April 20, 2017

#ThursdayThoughts Random Ramblings

Good Morning Friends,

It's been so long since I've share thoughts or treasures with you I have no idea what to even talk about, so today is going to be one of those random rambling days and hopefully we'll discover something meaningful together.

Ever feel as though you're so off track with your faith, life, purpose you doubt you'll ever get back on?

Yeah, that's been me for quite a while now.

March was wrought with deaths in all branches of my family. From young to old, no age group was spared. Between that and traveling and Lent and Easter, well....I'm so out of sorts.

On top of that, seems my writing has come to a halt - Again.

Oh, I've penned a few stories that have yet to find a home.

But I find, I, just plain don't have the drive, ambition or even concern.

Part of me wants to work on something.

The other part just doesn't give a damn anymore.

UGH, not a good place to be.

Alas, the last couple of days the excitement is returning so maybe my drought will soon be over.

This feature was intended to be an uplifting one. Every time a guest asks what they should talk about I say - anything - as long as it is uplifting. So how can I turn this rant into something positive for YOU to take away?

I guess by saying that no matter what life throws at you or how low you feel, learn to go with the flow. Keep an open mind and grateful heart and your world will right itself in time.

Depression is a sneaky bastard so if you find your efforts to rest and recharge don't have the proper effect - see a doctor!

I don't advocate drugs for the sake of them, but sometimes anti-depressants are necessary, but try natural means first. Rest, Relaxation, Meditation, Prayer, change up your routine or toss it completely for a while. And remember (make it a mantra if you have to) .... This too shall pass.

Meanwhile here's a pretty picture that bring me peace. Take a few deep breaths while gazing upon it and have a wonderful, blessed day!



Hope you enjoyed today's random ramblings and you'll stop by weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time.....Take care and God bless.
PamT

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#TuesdayTreasures Guest post by Elizabeth Honaker

Good Morning Friends,

I pray your Easter was blessed and plentiful.

Elizabeth Honaker shared thoughts with us last month, today she returns with some treasures.....

The Action of the Word

Never ask me why I write Christian drama. I can’t really tell you, though I’ve tried to analyze it for years. Perhaps it signifies a certain impatience with prose – after all, action in a story can play out in the imagination in several different ways, but, in the world of my script, I am a “benevolent dictator.” Perhaps it is related to the joy of seeing actors bring scenes to life – being enthralled by their nuanced interpretations of lines. Perhaps it stems from a secret desire to be a multitude of different characters – I get to live inside each of them, as a writer does, but I also get to speak through different mouths and engage the audience with different pairs of eyes.

All I know is that I encountered Jesus Christ in 1973 in a dramatic way, and that encounter has caused dramatic ripples in every area of my life. So I represent it on stage. The following excerpt is from one of my favorite plays, entitled The Bread of the Servant. (Shhh! Don’t tell my actors and crew, but all of my scripts are my favorites!!)

ACT I, Scene 1 

Scripture references: Genesis 1:1, 3 / Isaiah 9:2 / Zechariah 3:8-9 / John 1:1-5, 10-12

A room in a small house on the island of Patmos. There is a raised platform upstage left, on which stands a small table and bench which can seat two people. On the table there are 1st century writing implements, scrolls, pieces of parchment and a candle sitting upright in its stand. A Jewish prayer shawl is draped over the front of the communion rail downstage center.


The stage is dimly lit. An old man, JOHN THE ELDER, makes his way slowly, almost painfully, down the center aisle. He softly chants a psalm of praise as he walks. When he reaches the stage, he walks to the prayer shawl and drapes it over his head. Facing the audience, he begins to pray aloud.

JOHN THE ELDER: Lord, I thank you for allowing your servant, John, one more precious day in which to serve You. I know my time here is short, and I have so much to tell the world about Your Son.

[Finishing his prayer, he removes the shawl and leaves it where he found it. He makes his way towards the platform, then moves up the steps. With a small, grateful sigh, he settles down upon the bench. He lights the candle; the stage lighting should reflect this. Then he picks up one of the scrolls and begins to read thoughtfully, with awe in his voice.]

The scroll of Genesis says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."

[Inspired by what he has just read, JOHN picks up a writing tool and begins to write on one of the pieces of parchment, saying the words aloud as he writes.]

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word...was....God...

[He puts his writing tool down, pausing briefly. He is totally enraptured by his vision of God’s greatness. Picking up the tool once again, he writes, again speaking the words as he writes.] He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

[He pauses again. This time he picks up a scroll lying on the table, unrolls it, and reads aloud.] The scroll of Isaiah says, "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."

[These last words are delivered with emphasis. Laying down the scroll, he picks up the candle and studies it for a moment.] In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

[He writes what he has just said. Then he turns his attention once more to the candle. Standing, he picks it up as if he were illuminating something beyond his work space.]

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. [He sets the candle down. Picking up the second scroll again, he reads from it. ]

The scroll of Zechariah says, "Listen, people! I am going to bring my servant, the Branch...and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day."

[Putting down the scroll, he sits and begins to write again, speaking the words as he writes.]

He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God...

[DIANA enters from downstage right and crosses to the steps leading up to John's platform. She is carrying a wooden plate with bread on it and a cup of water.]

DIANA [Matter-of-factly]: Come, old John, it's time to eat. Hurry and finish your dinner quickly; I've got better things to do than wait on you.

JOHN THE ELDER [With good humor, despite her ill treatment of him]: So it is supper time already?

DIANA [Hands on her hips]: If you wouldn't spend so much time writing your stupid books, you'd know how the day passes.

JOHN THE ELDER [Rising, he makes his way slowly down the steps to receive the food, speaking as he goes.]: Diana, we all have so very little time. I must tell all I know about the Master before He calls me home.

DIANA [Irritated]: Forget about escape, old man! The governor is not likely to pardon you any time soon!

JOHN THE ELDER [With a chuckle]: I was not speaking of the governor's pardon. I was speaking of God's summons. 

DIANA: The gods!? Who cares about them?

JOHN THE ELDER [Patiently]: Not the gods, Diana! One God -- one true God!

DIANA [Sarcastically]: True to what?

JOHN THE ELDER: Not "true to what," Diana. True to whom…true to Himself.

DIANA: Now, listen, old man! I don't care how many gods there are; one or a thousand, they are all the same. Sadistic, they are. Always causing trouble for mankind. I don't bother them, and they leave me alone. A blood sacrifice now and then to keep them satisfied...

JOHN THE ELDER [Smiling, he produces a crude cross from a pocket in his robe as if it were a precious thing.]: Have you seen what I keep with me at all times?

DIANA [Spitting towards it angrily]: A curse on that accursed thing! Why did you make such a thing! My father died on a cross in Jerusalem sixty years ago because the Romans said he was a thief!

[Spitting again and getting emotional] A curse on their crosses! A curse on them!!

JOHN THE ELDER [Quietly and directly]: My Master was crucified on a Roman cross sixty years ago.

DIANA [Reacting in horror]: And you keep that accursed thing with you?

JOHN THE ELDER [Holding it higher and remembering]: My Master served His Master by sacrificing Himself on a cross.

DIANA [Hesitantly]: Who was His Master?

JOHN THE ELDER: God the Father.

DIANA [Reacting with shock and sarcasm]: A god as a father? Impossible! Absurd!! And why would a fatherly god order his servant to die?

JOHN THE ELDER [Going back up the stairs to sit down, and beckoning her to follow him]: It is a very long story, Diana; too long for an old man to tell standing up. Will you sit with me awhile as I explain?

DIANA [Turning as if to go, and taking a few steps]: I have better things to do than listen to fables, old man!

JOHN THE ELDER [In a very authoritative, yet gentle voice]: If you listen to fables, you will learn only morality. If you listen to the story -- the true story -- I have to tell you, you will learn LOVE.

DIANA [Stopping in her tracks, she turns her head, and asks cautiously]: Why are you here, old man? Why have they locked you away on Patmos like this?

JOHN THE ELDER: Because I dare to believe that love allowed itself to be nailed to a cross.

[JOHN resumes his seat at the table on the platform. DIANA walks slowly back to the steps, goes to the top, and sits down next to him.]

BLACKOUT ON PLATFORM. MAIN STAGE IS ILLUMINATED.

What a treasure, Elizabeth!

We wish you the utmost of luck and God's blessings with your plays.

Elizabeth Golibart Honaker hails from Sparta, Tennessee, where she teaches writing support and English at Motlow Community College. Her undergraduate degree is in Liberal Arts, and her first MA is in Theology. This has given her the breadth and scope to write over fifteen full-length passion plays in the last twenty years – seven of which are in print with others being prepared for publication – as well as dozens of shorter scripts, short stories, and poems on Christian topics. Her first historical fiction novel, Come Before Winter, was published in 2014. In that same year, she completed her second MA in English and Creative Writing (Fiction) at Southern New Hampshire University.

When she is not writing or tutoring, she spends her time devising new home projects for Allen, her husband of 45 years. She also enjoys communicating with her two wonderful grown children and buying (and making) trinkets for her four lively grandchildren. She is passionate about sharing Christ, missional activities, and her local church. She also loves gardening, sewing, piano playing, and Star Trek as time permits.

You can connect with Elizabeth on her Facebook page, Bread of Life Facebook page, her blog The Interpreter's House and on LinkedIn. And check out her new book, Come Before Winter on Amazon in Ebook and Print!


Hope you enjoyed today's post friends and that you'll visit each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.
PamT

Saturday, April 15, 2017

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Paul McDermott & Spear of Destiny!

Good Morning Friends and Happy Easter!

Today's guest is a new-to-me author so please give Paul McDermott a warm welcome....

Born in the Year of the Tiger, Paul’s natural curiosity combined with the deep-seated feline need to roam has meant that over the years he’s never been able to call any one place home. His wanderlust has led him from one town to another, and even from one country to another.

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write - my father claims to possess a story I wrote when I was six, which filled 4 standard school exercise books! What I do remember from that time was being told off for doing the Liverpool Echo crossword before he got home from work!”

While Paul was living in Denmark, he allowed himself to be persuaded to write for a purpose instead of purely for his own amusement. Perhaps it was the catalyst of breathing the same air as Hans Christian Andersen.

Paul’s IT guru (aka his talented daughter) has recently constructed a website for him:
www.paulmcdermottbooks.webs.com
Paul frequently lurks at:  www.thewriterschatroom.com  (Sundays & Wednesdays)

So very nice to meet you, Paul....now let's here more about your novel, Spear of Destiny......

In 1945, U-boat Kapitän Herbert Nollau must deliver a weapon which will turn the war in Germany’s favour. His orders are delivered verbally. There will be no written records... and no witnesses.

Alone, far from home, hunted by the Danish Resistance and the might of the Allied Forces, he must obey either his final Orders…or the inner voice of his conscience.

Excerpt:

Überlojtnant Herbert Nollau stood with his Zeiss nightglasses glued to his eyes, impervious to the rain whipped across his cheeks by half a gale. This howled almost exactly at ninety degrees to the tide, which had just reached the full but had not yet begun its retreat. His command craft, U-534, sat uneasily at anchor, dipping at bow and stern in the current, yawing appreciably as frequent Force Ten gusts buffeted her broad flanks. Low, heavy rainclouds hunkered closer, seeming to settle on the upper branches of the natural pine forest which spread untamed, unculled, across the low hills of Schleswig-Holstein.

An identical pair of black Opel staff cars bracketed a canvas bodied Mercedes half-track transport wagon, all three vehicles picking their way carefully along an unmarked country road. The headlights were taped down to the size and shape of a feral cat's vertical slits, acknowledging the strict rules governing all traffic during the hours of darkness. The road to the harbour just outside Lübeck was neither tarmac’ed nor enhanced with any form of lighting. The drivers were obliged to steer cautiously around every twist, using the gears and brakes more frequently than the accelerator.

"Amateurs!" he thought to himself, as the three sets of headlights crawled slowly closer.

He blanked the thought as soon as it intruded on his consciousness, forcing himself back into State-approved Wehrmacht thinking, based on purely practical matters directly related to carrying out current instructions, with maximum efficiency, without question. He pulled the collar of his oilskins closer around his throat in a futile attempt to prevent the rain from seeping through, soaking his uniform. Raising his night glasses once more, he cursed the weather, the Wehrmacht and the world in general, feeling more exposed and vulnerable with every minute that passed as he waited for the convoy of lights to crawl closer, carrying the equipment which he had been ordered to collect. It bothered him that he was expected to set sail immediately, and await orders concerning his destination by radio once he had cleared the bay and entered Store Bælt: technically, that section of the North Sea was neutral Danish waters, and if he were to remain on the surface for any length of time in order to receive orders …

As the lights snaked around another pair of curves and began their final descent to the shoreline and the jetty where U534 was waiting, Herbert Nollau realized that he had on board a much more powerful sender/receiver than any other U-boat: in fact, not just one but two radios equipped with the Enigma cryptographic programme had been installed, ostensibly for testing. With a sudden jolt, the deceptively young-looking Überlojtnant realized that this technology was far more sophisticated than that which had previously been regarded as the best in the world: apart from being guaranteed unbreakable as a code, it could also send and receive radio signals without his craft needing to surface.

He shook his head to clear the worst of the pools which had formed in the upturned brim of his sou’wester and made his way down the ladder bolted to the side of the conning tower, aiming to be waiting on the quay before the three vehicles wheezed to a halt. His mechanic’s ear analysed and diagnosed a list of faults he could clearly identify from the laboured chugging of each engine. Furious at this indication of inefficiency, a corner of his mind decided that he would have had the senior officer responsible for each vehicle court-martialled, if the decision had been up to him. In spite of the horrors he had witnessed in three years of naval warfare, he shuddered. His orders, distasteful though they might be, were crystal clear …

Two gaunt, silent shadows slid with simultaneous choreography from the rear seat of each of the Opels: their sleek black trenchcoats almost touched the planks of the jetty, glistening in the starlight as if the officers wearing them had been marching for hours in the rain rather than just stepping out of a warm, dry car. Nollau fired off his most formal salute: the four SS-officers responded with a world-weary, bent-elbow half-salute and pointedly refrained from returning Nollau’s “Heil, Hitler!” One detached himself for a moment and gave a hand-signal to the driver of the canvas-sided truck.  The driver immediately hammered his fist twice on the bulkhead behind his seat. Four soldiers appeared over the tailgate of the wagon and began to manoeuvre something long and heavy out of the cargo space.

Turning to face his command meant that Herbert Nollau had to turn his back on the four staff officers. Somehow he managed to do this with an insolence which stated quite clearly that, as far as he was concerned, they were barely worthy of his contempt.

He placed a small, shrill whistle to his lips and blew, one long (but not overloud) blast. Within ten seconds, the deck was populated by about twenty matelots, standing at ease, who somehow contrived to arrive from nowhere and in total silence. Close to the bows, and just for’ard of ’midships , cables were deployed from two small jib cranes. Within seconds, the submariner crew were on the jetty, taking the unidentified cargo from the shoulders of the four soldiers and hoisting it with ease onto the foredeck, thence by some lightningfast legerdemain out of sight below decks. The crew had followed, leaving Überlojtnant Nollau as the only member of the Senior Service still on the jetty. At a silent gesture from one of the anonymous black trenchcoats the four soldiers climbed back over the tailgate, into the truck. After about four attempts, the driver managed to coax the engine into life and began to back and fill, facing back the way he had come.

As he completed the manoeuvre and gunned the engine to set off up the hill, the four SS officers opened their trenchcoats to reveal the muzzles of rapid fire MP40 machine pistols. With one accord they raised their weapons and sent round after deadly round of ammunition into both the cab and the rear of the vehicle, holding the triggers steady. Before the hail of bullets ceased, the fuel tanks of the wagon exploded, sending flames soaring high into the night sky, setting small fires in the tree tops as they lost their intensity and curled back towards the ground.

Suddenly, Herbert Nollau’s orders seemed fractionally less dishonourable.

Having emptied their weapons, the four executioners appeared to have rediscovered some of their habitual swagger and pride. Crashing the butts of the now-empty weapons against the rough wooden planking of the jetty they raised their right arms to the fullest, and screamed: “Heil, Hitler!” as their heels crashed together in perfect unison.

Sick to his stomach at the pleasure his countrymen took from the callous murder of fellow Germans, it was all Herbert Nollau could do to raise his arm, bent-elbowed, in the less formal salute he would never under normal circumstances have accepted from others nor used himself.


Spear of Destiny releases April 15, 2017 by Class Act Books and will be available from the publisher’s website, www.classactbooks.com, as well as on amazon.com.

Wow....sounds intriguing.

Hope you enjoyed today's guest and that you'll join me each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and may your Easter be blessed and plentiful.
PamT

Thursday, April 13, 2017

#ThursdayThoughts: Holy Thursday & #EggCerptExchange with Alina K. Field

Good Morning!

Here we are, Holy Thursday, the day leading up to the Last Supper. As I think about what this day means to me, I wonder....did I observe my Lenten practices as best I could? Was I successful? Did I learn anything new? To be honest, I didn't do as well as I'd hoped. Though not a complete failure, this is one year I'm happy to be Lent Free.

Today's guest is brand new to our blog and is the last of our eggcerpt exchange posts for me this year, so please welcome Alina K Field with her book, The Marquess and the Midwife, a Regency romance!

Separated by lies, united by secrets

Finding the woman he lost turned out to be easy. Winning her is another matter.

Once upon a time, the younger brother of a marquess fell in love with his sister's companion. He was sent off to war, and she was just sent off, and they both landed in very different worlds. 

Now Virgil Radcliffe has returned from his self-imposed exile on the Continent to take up his late brother's title and discover the whereabouts of the only woman he's ever loved. 

Abandoned by her lover and dismissed by her employer, Ameline Dawes has found a respectable identity as a Waterloo widow, a new life as a midwife, and a safe, secure home for her twin girls. Called to London at Christmas to attend her benefactress's lying-in, she finds herself confronted by an unexpected house guest--a man determined to woo her anew and win her again. 


But, is loving the new Marquess of Wallingford a mistake Ameline cannot afford to repeat? 

EggCerpt:

Ye gods, but her ladyship needed more maids, and a couple more footmen with both arms and both legs, at least for this type of fetching and carrying.

Ameline chided herself for being insensitive and balanced the steaming bucket. She set down the lamp momentarily to gather her skirts, along with the lamp handle.

A pair of men’s boots moved into view and the lamp bobbled. Fine boots they were.

She sighed, gritting her teeth. Lord Hackwell’s visits had unnerved his lady, and Ameline had counseled him to leave.

Very well, she’d thrown him out, once almost literally. He would wonder what she was doing below stairs. He might send for the accoucheur he was mumbling about, and his lady would not like it.

“I’ve just popped down to the kitchen for a word with Alton, my lord,” she said. “All is going well, except he’s a bit short on staff.”

“We have noticed that.”

The skin on her back rippled and she shivered. This wasn’t Hackwell—it was him.

Panic flared in her and her hands and ankles began to tingle. He carried no light. She let her own lantern dip lower and stepped to one side. What was he doing on the servants’ staircase in the middle of the night?

If he saw her, he would remember her, but he would not want to, unless he would think to befriend her again. Heat flamed in her.

She took in a breath. “Let me pass, Lord Hackwell,” she said.

“Let me carry that bucket for you.”

“No.” She forced in another breath, willing herself to speak calmly. “That is, no thank you. I shall send a servant for you when it is time.”

Footsteps scurried on the stairs. “Mrs. Dawes?” Jenny called, breathless.

Her heart raced again. She’d tarried too long in the kitchen. “I’ll be right—”

Heat touched her hand as the bucket came out. The lantern, too, lifted higher, and she looked up into the face of Lord Virgil Radcliffe, now the latest Lord Wallenford.

Mrs. Dawes?” His eyes widened and then narrowed, and his lips curved down.

Anger spiked in her. “Lord Wallenford.”

He moved down to the step below her, putting them at eye level, and crowded her against the hand rail.

“Give me the bucket, sir. I can manage quite well without your help.” Quite, quite well.

“Can you, indeed?” he drawled, sounding just like his brother the day he’d sacked her.

Blast him. Blast the Wallenfords. Blast the Hackwells. “Alton has a bottle set out. Best go and fetch it.”

His lips quirked.

She gritted her teeth. “Give me the blasted bucket, Virgil.” 

Great eggcerpt, Alina! I know most Regency Romances are a bit steamy so thnk you for sharing a mild excerpt with us :-)

Now tell us a little more about you....

Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but her true passion is the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband, her spunky, blonde, rescued terrier, and the blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.

She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band, and a 2016 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist, Liliana’s Letter, as well as her latest release, The Marquess and the Midwife. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!

Visit her at:


Hope you enjoyed this year's eggcerpt exchanges and that you'll join me each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.
PamT


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#TuesdayTreasures #EggCerptExchange with Diana Rubino

Good Morning Friends,

Well we're in the last week of eggcerpt exchange and today's guest is no stranger to our blog. Although she hasn't been in our spotlight, she's shared treasures and thoughts with us before, so please welcome her back with her new release, Dark Brew....
DARK BREW
A time travel romance
Learn from the past or forever be doomed to repeat it.


Accused of her husband’s murder, druid Kylah McKinley travels back through time to her past life in 1324 Ireland and brings the true killer to justice.

Two months of hell change Kylah’s life forever. On her many past life regressions, she returns to 14th century Ireland as Alice Kyteler, a druid moneylender falsely accused of murdering her husband. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another—she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate—they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or forever be doomed to repeat it.  
An interview with Diana about Dark Brew 
Where did the story come from? 

The story took 12 years from start to finish. I’m a longtime member of the Richard III Society, and in the spring of 2004, I read an article in The Ricardian Register by Pamela Butler, about Alice Kyteler, who lived in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1324, and faced witchcraft charges. After her trial and acquittal, she vanished from the annals of history. I couldn't resist writing a book about her. 

How did you decide to make it a paranormal? 
I’m a believer in reincarnation, and I go on paranormal investigations whenever I can. I’ve gone on several past life regressions. Cape Cod has a lot of history and paranormal activity. I’ve been on many ghost walks and ghost hunts there. I wanted to connect Alice in the past with someone in the present, her reincarnation. 

Was Alice Kyteler famous in 14th century Ireland? 
Not at all but she was the richest woman in Kilkenny, and for that reason the villagers hated her, especially the men. They accused her of killing her first husband, but she was acquitted. Then they accused her of killing her fourth husband, John LePoer, with witchcraft, the accusations more absurd than those of the 1692 witch hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts. Chancellor Edward de Burgh arrested Alice because her stepsons claimed she had murdered John by casting a witch’s spell with malefecia…and she used the enchanted skull of a beheaded thief as her cauldron. 

She went to trial and her dear friend Michael Artson had her acquitted, but she vanished into the annals of history. According to legend, she went to England. But no one knows for sure. 

Why did you make it a time travel? 
Because my heroine, Kylah McKinley, is a druid and has done many past life regressions, she knows she’s the reincarnation of Alice. So she has to go back and find out what happened to Alice, because too many weird things are happening to her in this life that parallel Alice’s life. 

Kylah lives on my beloved Cape Cod. She’s a druid, a ghost hunter and owns a new age store in a restored Revolutionary War-era tavern. She was also the target of a hit-and-run. Another hit-and-run crippled her husband Ted. That’s no coincidence—she’s convinced someone’s out to get them both. 

She brews an ancient Druid herb mixture, goes back in time and enters Alice’s life to find out exactly what happened and who killed her husband. 

These two months of hell change her life forever. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another—she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate—they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or she’s doomed to repeat it.  

Have you ever spoken to Pamela Butler, who wrote the article about Alice? 
Yes, we’ve corresponded. She lives in New Mexico, so we’ve never met in person. I asked Pam what inspired her to write about Alice. I’d never heard of Alice until I read her article, “Witchcraft & Heresy. She replied: 

“You asked why I wrote about Alice Kyteler, who preceded Richard by a century-and-a-half. I only wrote it because others on the listserv encouraged me to write about witchcraft, a subject about which I knew very little. I ordered three books from Amazon.com on the subjects of witchcraft, heresy, Satanism, etc. for research reasons. That was my basis, plus I searched the Internet. The Malleus Malleficarum was published in 1487, just two years after Richard's death, so it's almost contemporary. I chanced across Alice in this reading and thought that it was an interesting case. Witch burning was fairly rare in Ireland, and wasn't as bad in England at that time as it had been on the Continent. I wish that the M.M. had never been published; still, the fact that it was published and accepted may reveal the mindset of those times.” 

An excerpt from Dark Brew 
Kylah shut Ted’s den door. She couldn’t bear to look at the spot where he gasped his last breath. His presence, an imposing force, lingered. So did his scent, a blend of tobacco, pine aftershave and manly sweat. Each reminder ripped into her heart like a knife. Especially now with the funeral looming ahead, the eulogies, the mournful organ hymns, the tolling bells . . .
These ceremonies should bring closure, but they’d only prolong the agony of her grief. She wanted to remember him alive for a while longer, wishing she could delay these morbid customs until the hurt subsided.
Throughout the house, his essence echoed his personality: the wine stain on the carpet, the heap of dirty shirts, shorts and socks piled up in the laundry room, the spattered stove, his fingerprints on the microwave. But she couldn’t bring herself to clean any of it up. Painful as these remnants were, they offered a strange comfort. He still lived here.
“I’ll find that murderer, Teddy,” she promised him over and over, wandering from room to empty room, traces of him lurking in every corner. “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure justice is served. Another past life regression isn’t enough anymore. I know what I have to do now. And I promise, it will never, ever happen again—in any future life.”
She inhaled deeply and breathed him in. “Go take a shower, Teddy.” She chuckled through her tears as the doorbell rang. She cringed, breaking out in cold sweat when she saw the black sedan at the curb.
“Not again.” No sense in hiding, so she let the detectives in.
“Mrs. McKinley, we need your permission to do a search and take some of your husband’s possessions from the house,” Nolan said.
“What for?” She met his steely stare. “I looked everywhere and found nothing.”
“Mrs. McKinley, the cupboard door was open, four jars of herbs are missing, and the autopsy showed he died of herb poisoning. Those herbs,” Nolan added for emphasis, as if it had slipped her feeble mind. “Foxglove, mandrake, hemlock—and an as-yet unidentified one,” he read from a notebook. “The M.E. determined it was a lethal dose.”
Sherlock Holmes got nothin’ on him, she thought. 
“Where’s this cupboard, ma’am?” Egan spoke up.
“Right there.” She pointed, its door gaping exactly the way she’d found it that night. Nolan went over to it and peered inside.

“Ma’am, it would be better if you left the house for a half hour or so. Please leave a number where you can be reached,” Egan ordered.

Nolan glanced down the hall. “Where is your bedroom?”

What could they want in the bedroom? “It’s at the top of the stairs on the right. But we didn’t sleep together,” she offered, as if that would faze them. It didn’t.

After giving him her cell number, she got into her car and drove to the beach.

An hour later, she let herself back in and looked around. They’d taken the computer, her case of CDs, her thumb drive, her remaining herb jars, Ted’s notebooks, and left her alone with one horrible fact: This was now a homicide case and she was the prime suspect. 

Purchase Dark Brew


Contact Diana






#RomanticIdea:

Cook an authentic Italian meal, cheese ravioli with marinara sauce, garlic bread, a salad with Italian olive oil, a fine Italian red wine, and a sweet gelato for dessert. Then put on some Sinatra CDs and dance the night away!

My favorite Sinatra album is Come Dance With Me

We always had Sinatra playing in my house when I was growing up. Nearly everyone from Hoboken or anywhere near Hoboken has a Sinatra story; being from Jersey City, I have a Sinatra story: my great grandmother and his mother Dolly were very good friends. Unfortunately I never asked Great Grandma about what she and Dolly talked about but I’ll bet a lot of juicy gossip went around!

Wow, Diana it all sounds great! 


Hope you enjoyed this eggcerpt exchange, folks and that you'll join me weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.
PamT