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

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

#TuesdayTreasures Guest post by Dale Vernor

Good Morning Friends,

When today's guest contacted me I was unsure about how his message would resonate with YOU, my audience. After all, you're used to hearing what authors treasure and learning about their books. 

But I think his message is uplifting and definitely something to treasure so please welcome Dale Vernor....

Treasuring My Sobriety After Alchol Rehab
I look at my daughter now and I know I would do absolutely anything to protect her, to ensure her happiness. But there was a time not too long ago when I couldn’t say that — even in my most drunken moments.
Yes. I’m an alcoholic.
I am one of those fortunate ones who had help, who was forced to get help. And just in the nick of time, alcohol rehab changed my life. Today I treasure my family and in order to be the best for them I have to also treasure my sobriety, if it were not for finding it, I would have no family to love so dearly.

It Wasn’t Bad… In the Beginning

I used to tell myself that alcohol wasn’t all bad because I met my wife in a bar. She was celebrating a cousin’s engagement and she noticed me sitting alone in the bar. She approached me then and there. I should’ve been mortified. But I already had a couple of glasses in me and I readily answered all her questions. I think she really believed I liked her, too. I think it was only later that she realized that I was so flirty with her because I was already drunk.
She always said she didn’t mind that I drank more than she did. She said I was a sweet and quiet when I was drunk. And then she got pregnant and there wasn’t really time for us to think.
After the baby was born, my drinking got worse. It’s scary being in charge of a whole person. You need liquid courage; at least that’s what I told myself. I felt I enjoyed my time with the baby more when I had a few sips. I was more relaxed.

My Wife Knew I Had a Problem

Once, my stash of vodka in the laundry room disappeared. I think, like me, she was trying to deny it.
Until she came home early one day and saw me lying face down, naked a few feet from my robe and the crib. The baby’s face was already red from crying and her bottom was irritated from a very soggy diaper. It could’ve been worse, but it was enough for her. The next day, my daughter spent the day at a childcare center while my wife  brought me to an alcohol rehab facility.
That was more than three years ago.

What I Learned

One of the most important things I learned in rehab was that I had to forgive myself for what I had done in the past, while the alcohol still had its grip on me. It’s not easy. I look at my little girl and wonder what damage I had caused. But I strive to do it, and not as a punishment, but as a way to endure.
My story could have gone in a different direction. My wife and I didn’t really know each other all that well when we got married. I am grateful that she stayed with me throughout and didn’t take the baby and leave. I’m also very thankful that she enrolled me in alcohol rehab.
I cannot describe the wonder of looking at my daughter with eyes not blurred by alcohol. I am amazed at how interesting and funny her three-year-old stories can be. I cannot bear to imagine being drunk and not being able to enjoy them.
And when I go out with my wife, orange juice or ginger ale gives me a buzz when coupled with her boisterous laugh.

Every Day is Wonderful

I can smell the flowers that we planted together. I can taste the different dishes I prepare for them.
And in five months, we will welcome a new member to our family and I’m so excited. Not that I’m void of any apprehension. But I’m in a good place right now—full of gratitude and love for my family and for myself. I have faced obstacles in the past and can confidently say that I can squarely face the challenges ahead.

Thank you so much, Dale for sharing your story! We wish you the BEST of luck and God's blessings as you continue to walk out your journey.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Paul McDermott!

Good Morning Friends!

Paul McDermott returns with another peek into his novel.

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:
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.


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 is available from the publisher’s website, www.classactbooks.com, as well as on amazon.com.

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

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

#ThursdayThoughts with Zoe McCarthy!

Good Morning Friends,

It's been quite a while since my guest today has visited us. Back in 2015 Zoe was in our spotlight with her book, Calculated Risk. Today she is sharing some thoughts with us and a peek into how her newest book, The Putting Green Whisperer came about so please give her a great big WELCOME!

Thank you, Pam, for hosting me on your blog.

Why Would Anyone Who’s Indifferent to Sports Write a Sport Romance?

Ten years ago, I knew I would write romance stories. But I’d have laughed if anyone had asked if I’d write a romance with a golf backdrop.

As a child living in Haiti, I dreamed only of being a cowboy. Living in the tropics, I was a good swimmer, so in middle school, my mom forced me to swim on Miami, FL summer swim teams. As a teen, I lived on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Naval Base and in Westfield, NJ. In both places, romance filled my mind more than sports. At the University of South Florida, I was crazy about a guy on the golf team, so I took a golf class. I made a C in the course and my crush fizzled.

Then when my boys were in pre-school in Lynchburg, VA, my friends played tennis. I latched on to the sport for social reasons. I became a good player. So, if I was to write a sports romance it should have had a tennis backdrop.

I preferred most anything over watching sports. The only time I showed interest in football was when I joined an office pool. I’d pick teams by whether I’d lived in their state or had another connection. For example, I’d choose the Seattle Sea Hawks, because I’d sat through one of their games when I lived in Topeka, KS. I won the pool twice on this strategy. Basketball? I shuddered at the sneaker squeaks when my husband watched Wake Forest basketball on TV.

So, why did I write a golf romance?

Part of the answer comes from the writer’s advice, write what you know. My husband loves golf. My sister-in-law is a director of children’s golf programs. My father-in-law still plays golf in his eighties. My sister and my brother-in-law play lots of golf. Every spring, we join them at what is now the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament. Golf is the one sport quiet enough that I’ll watch it on TV with my husband. I own clubs and have played the sport. I’ve learned a lot about the sport and the pros, and I admit I’ve grown to enjoy watching the sport—while I crochet or knit.

But here it the real reason I wrote The Putting Green Whisperer.

John and I joined my sister and my brother-in-law at a PGA seniors golf tournament in Conover, NC. My sister and I watched the over-age-fifty golfers putt on the fifteenth green. In one group, a male and a female caddy stood side by side on the edge of the green with their backs to us. The two tanned caddies talked quietly while their players prepared to putt. He was tall, and she was petite with her blond ponytail protruding from her pink ball cap. My heart experienced a sappy moment, and romantic what-ifs cluttered my mind. I turned to my sister, pointed at the caddies, and said, “My next book will be about those two caddies.”

Wow....it's always amazing how stories come about isn't it! Thanks for sharing Zoe.
About Zoe:
A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. She is the author of The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. Zoe and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Find out more and connect with Zoe by visiting her website. The Putting Green Whisperer can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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

Until next time take care and God bless.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

#TuesdayTreasures with Laura DeNooyer

Good Morning and Welcome!

Well this year is moving right along. Before you know it, 2019 will be here. I know this because there are Christmas decorations and items already appearing in stores everywhere and Hallmark Channels are already advertising their "Countdown to Christmas" and that's just weeks after their "Christmas in July."

We all love romantic stories set at Christmas but seriously folks.....I truly understand why my heroine in Keri's Christmas Wish had the "bah humbug" attitude LOL!

Enough about that already....as you know I LOVE to bring to you an brand-new-to-me author and today's guest is one of those so please welcome Laura DeNooyer as we find out what she treasures....

       Years ago, when I was a college sophomore, a group of fellow education majors and I headed to Mars Hill College in western North Carolina for an interim class. We hailed from Calvin College in Michigan. What we expected was three weeks of teacher aiding in the mountain schools. What we didn’t expect was being mesmerized by college’s resident storyteller.

In the evenings, we sat around listening to his lively renditions of “Jack and the Northwest Wind” and “Sody Sallyraytus.” This bearded, white-haired man, Richard Chase, spun his yarns with bewitching blue eyes, dramatic tones, and perfect timing.

Years earlier, in the 1940s, author Richard Chase had gathered the southern Appalachian Jack Tales and Grandfather Tales into two books, finally putting the oral tradition into written form for all to enjoy. 


In January, 1978, he brought these tales to life in the college lounge for us unsuspecting students held captive by his storytelling magic.

He didn’t merely make the stories come alive. He thrust us into a time when oral tradition was valued, when it was the only way stories were passed down through the generations.

Back in those days, stories weren’t just fanciful ones, such as when Jack uses magic words to produce a hearty meal. Folks also told family anecdotes about frugal Great-grandma, eccentric Uncle Billy, or flighty third cousin Ruby Mae. Both adults and youth were happy to sit for hours at the feet of elderly storytellers, soaking in their wit and wisdom. This suggests a time of family ties, conversation, joy in one’s work, and valuing one’s simple heritage. And contentment. A far cry from nowadays.

Visiting North Carolina was life-changing for me. Not only because of Richard Chase’s stories, but because of local people we interacted with, folks who epitomized these attitudes. We met Mr. Woody, a woodworker who so enjoyed making chairs that he couldn’t tell you how much time it took to make one chair. Or five. Or ten. Not interested in competing with assembly line furniture factories, he still made chairs the way his family had done it for generations.

We met the blacksmith, who took time to demonstrate his craft while sharing the ways that Christ is like iron, emphasizing the Bible’s claim that Christ will rule with a rod of iron. We learned mountain clogging, loitered at the general store, and hiked the Appalachian trail. Everywhere we turned, we met content and joyful people, a far cry from those who chase after the rags-to-riches American Dream, stumbling up the ladder of success.

Back at home, I read all the Jack Tales and Grandfather Tales from the library. Later, I purchased those two books as a memento of January, 1978. They remind me of lessons learned in North Carolina.

Also, as I reflected on my time there, I wondered, “What if there was a clash between big-city northern values and southern Appalachian culture?” This led me to write a short story inspired by people we met on our trip. It won first place in my college magazine.

Eventually, I developed it into a novel. Strategically placed in each section is a family story told by one of my characters, stories that embody and accentuate each part of the plot.

That’s my nod to Richard Chase. That’s my effort to recapture the stirring moments when he placed a group of college students under his spell.

“All of God’s earth to my brother Nick and me were the streams for fishing, the fields for planting and harvesting, a world snugly enclosed by the blue-misted Smokies. . . . Other than the seasons, nothing ever changed. . . .”

Until the summer of 1968.
Ten-year-old Tina Hamilton’s life changes forever. Trouble erupts when a proposed theme park threatens her tiny Appalachian town. Some folks blame the trouble on “progress,” some blame the space race and men meddling with the moon’s cycles, and some blame Tina’s father. A past he has hidden catches up to him, his family, and the entire town. Suddenly, the clash of a father’s past and present becomes the microcosm of the clash between progressive ideas and small town values.
Tina struggles with her shaken confidence in a father who, in hiding his past, has made a string of choices that shape her childhood. Gradually, Tina gains insight into her father through seemingly unrelated circumstances: her feud with a fellow ballplayer, her friendship with Old Joe who lives alone on the mountain, a gift left to her father by a neighbor fourteen years dead, and a broken promise.
Meticulously researched, this moving and engaging coming-of-age tale is a delightful, richly-textured tapestry of family stories woven with the timeless wisdom of generations past, all of which guide Tina and create the fabric of a journey to forgiveness that will warm your heart.
Tina is forced to answer a difficult question: are secrets worth the price they cost to keep?
Pour yourself a cup of tea, settle in, and come along. Then you decide.

About Laura: Award-winning author Laura DeNooyer lives with her husband Tim near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have four adult children. On either end of child rearing, she taught middle school and high school English, creative writing, and/or art. She currently teaches writing to home schooled students, participates in writers conferences and critique groups, and hosts a blog that celebrates creativity: Journey to Imagination. Laura has a young adult fantasy series underway, as well as historical fiction for adults. Find out more and connect with Laura through her BlogFacebook and Amazon.

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

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on....Me and my upcoming release!

Good Morning Friends,

My scheduled guest couldn't make it today so I'm taking advantage of the rare opportunity to showcase one of my own books, only this one isn't out yet.

In fact, it's not even up for pre-order.

However, I recently received the cover and I wanted to share it with you!

Love in Season is a collection of short romantic stories from Pelican Book Group. It contains 5 previously published stories (Cathy's Angel, Choices, A Hero for Jessica, Winter Madness & In His Sight), Review of Love (which was a free read through PBG but has been edited and expanded AND 2 brand new, never before published stories!

The Big Catch is about a couple who've found some uncommon ground....Fishing! Jeffery loves to be out on the water, casting a line and reeling in a keeper. Karla loves the outdoors and being on the water but just can't seem to muster enthusiasm for the sport. Will their separate views cause a backlash in their relationship?

After a few short years Sandi and Brett have succumbed to the pressure of trying to build a marriage on a relationship that began outside of God's will and competes with Brett's love of football. Can these two grow into the people God created them to be and have a successful life together? Find out in Lilies for Sandi.

I look forward to sharing more about this upcoming collection in the future, but for now, THANKS for stopping by! I hope you'll continue to check back for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

#ThursdayThoughts with Matt Mikalatos

Good Morning Friends!

Whew! I finally feel as though I'm catching up after my Alaska vacation (8/12-21) and subsequent move into a new place. But enough about me...

Last month I introduced you to Tyndale author, Matt Mikalatos when he shared treasures with us. Please welcome Matt back as he shares some thoughts with us.

Take it away, Matt.....

It’s common in stories with teenagers to have them be brooding, angry creatures who hate each other and the world. I was thinking about this the other day while I was barbecuing in my back yard. 

I have two teenaged daughters, and while they certainly have moments where they are upset, angry, or broody, I don’t think it’s any more often than my nine-year-old or, for that matter, their 40-something parents. In fact, when I look at my kids I can’t help but notice that their main motivation in life seems to be to do the right thing. Sure, they miss cues and are lacking life experience in certain areas, but the fact is whether it’s at school or in extra-curricular activities, at home or in the culture at large, my kids want to do the right thing, and they want good things for the people around them. They want their friends to be well and cared for. They’re typically kind to strangers. 

Sure, I understand that might not make for compelling fiction a lot of times, which may be part of the reason we end up with snarky, angry characters in so many novels. Personally, I get a little tired of the cranky, overwrought teens in some YA books.

In my novel, The Crescent Stone, I wanted something different. In this book, the teen characters are passionate about doing the right thing, and taking care of each other. When Madeline Oliver faints in chemistry class, her friend Jason Wu jumps into action to help her. No complaints, no eye rolling, no hesitation. 

When Madeline is promised a healing of her terminal illness in exchange for a year of service in a fantasy land, Jason says he’s going with her to keep her safe, no arguments. When Madeline discovers injustice in the fantasy world, she sets out to fix it, regardless of the cost. 

Throughout the book the teen characters work for justice, are kind to each other, are generous in their relationships, and show loyalty and love for each other. They don’t only love their boyfriends or girlfriends, they love their friends, too, and with a deep commitment to friendship. 

That’s something we could use a lot more in this world, and it was, frankly, a relief to write a book where the strength of teen friendships is put front and center as a virtue, not a conflict. 

You are so right, Matt! We need to focus on the positive and the good our teenagers do and are capable of instead of their bad or negative behavior! 

About Matt:  Matt Mikalatos writes books (surprise!). In the past, Matt worked as a high school teacher and a comic book clerk, but currently focuses on nonprofit work devoted to helping people love one another despite their differences. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, three daughters, two unicorns, a gryphon, a dragon, and three brine shrimp. 

His latest book, The Crescent Stone can be purchased at Amazon and Tyndale.

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

Until next time take care and God bless.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on James Austin McCormick & Prisoner Valathia!

Good Morning and Welcome to another edition of Saturday Spotlight!

Today I'm pleased to bring to your attention another new-to-me author brought to us by Class Act Books.

James Austin McCormick is a college lecturer from Manchester, England and in his free time enjoys writing speculative fiction, mostly science fiction, horror and a little sword and sorcery fantasy. He is also a particular fan of classic Gothic and Victorian horror tales and is currently in the process of writing updated versions of these with a science fiction spin.
 His novels include the trilogy Dragon (Dragon, Dragon: Smuggler Tales, Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane), The Last Synn, a sword-and-sorcery story, a SciFi novel, Sunfall, and a horror novel, Balec. All are available from Class Act Books.

Find out more about James Austin McCormick at:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJamesAustinMcCormick/
Twitter https://twitter.com/jimbomcc69
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9860555.James_Austin_McCormick
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/James-McCormick/e/B00F3F9SGY
Class Act Books http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/james-austin-mccormick

Very nice to meet you, James! Please share with us your newest release....

The Prisoner of Valathia is a continuation of James Austin McCormick’s DRAGON space opera series and the fourth entry in the continuing story of Sillow Low, the elf-like Sylvan, con man, and Agency spy.
The Prisoner of Valathia takes place after Sillow’s escape from Yamerlane, a hi-tech prison, where Darius Drake's apocalyptic plans for the humanoid home-worlds are defeated. Now, Sillow has a new partner…Titanya the Pirate Queen.

The brash pirate queen, and the cowardly, chain-smoking elf take on their first official mission together: investigate the hijack of a prototype military stealth craft and its connection to the mysterious owner of a small mining operation.

What begins as a simple undercover mission soon becomes something far more sinister as they find themselves faceing one man’s obsession with ancient forces powerful enough to destroy them all.
The Prisoner of Valathia explores Sillow’s personal demons, self-questioning, and existential angst. Love, duty and an obsessive desire for belonging pull Sillow in different directions and it is up to him alone to navigate his way along this tortuous maturational path.

Tall, raven haired, with her femininely muscular frame squeezed into a red cocktail dress, Titanya turned every male head as she made her way through the swarm of elite guests. Many tried to think of ways they might meet this amazon and find out just who she was. Even the artificial ruby eye and the silver strip across the cheek just below merely added to her allure. These admirers, however, would have been more than a little surprised to learn the object of their interest was once a “pirate queen,” and the scourge of big corporation haulers everywhere. They would have been equally shocked to discover she was also a fearsome hand-to-hand fighter and one of the long gloves she wore covered a cybernetic arm powerful enough to punch through solid steel.
Few noticed her companion. Like most of the Sylvan race, Sillow was of smallish stature with elfin features making him appear somewhat childlike compared to other humanoid races. In contrast to Titanya’s easy grace, he looked awkward and faintly ridiculous wearing a tuxedo a couple of sizes too big for him.
There was a scowl on his light green features.
“This was really the best you could do?” he complained, rolling his jacket cuffs up as he hurried to keep up with the woman’s swaying strides.
Titanya smiled. “It was the smallest they had.”
Sillow’s emerald eyes swept the area. “This place makes me nervous.”
“Lots of things make you nervous,” the woman told him.
The Sylvan snatched up a couple of champagne glasses from a passing waiter and drank each one down before replacing them.
“Listen,” he protested, “these events are packed with high price assassins. It’s the perfect chance for the elite psychopaths who come to these events to settle scores with each other.”
“So, why do you care?” the woman asked.
“Why? Because sometimes things get out of hand and all hell breaks loose.”
Titanya stopped, hands on her shapely hips. “Really, that could happen, could it? High class parties can just end up as shooting galleries?”
Sillow nodded. “Yep.”
“Give me one example, date, and place.”
Sillow pulled at one of his pointed ears.
“You can’t, can you?” Titanya challenged.
“I heard stories.”
The woman gave a derisive snort. “Yeah, in a low-life bar or casino.”
“Well, actually, it was in the pleasure quarters on Salem Tae when—”
“I don’t want to know,” his companion stopped him. “Why are you even an agent anyway? I never met anyone as easily spooked as you.”
The Sylvan threw her an irritated look. “Hey, I don’t ask for these missions.”
“So why do they send you?”
“Because I’m the best pilot in known space, and I do sneaky well.” He gave a shrug. “What can I say? It’s a gift.” He snatched up another couple of drinks from a tray. This time he held one out to his companion. “Here, it helps the nerves.”

Titanya took the glass. “My nerves are fine, pipsqueak, but I do like champagne.”

Wow...sounds intriguing! Where can we find Prisoner Valatia?

DRAGON: The Prisoner of Valathia is available at amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Prisoner-James-Austin-McCormick-ebook/dp/B0721RR55Q/

Paperback edition available exclusively from www.classactbooks.com

Thanks so much James for sharing your book with us. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with it and your series.

I hope you enjoyed today's guest, friends and that you'll check back regularly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and more Saturday Spotlights.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

#ThursdayThoughts with Melanie Dobson

Good Morning Friends!

Well, here we are on the first Thursday of September and it is a GREAT pleasure to introduce today's guest brought to us by Tyndale House Publishing, so PLEASE welcome...Melanie Dobson!

Influence of Children’s Literature (or)
Helping Kids Choose Great Books

Some of my best childhood friends were books. I learned from their pages as I embarked on treacherous journeys, traveled back in time, and helped my favorite characters solve countless mysteries (as if they needed my help…). Books helped me understand the world, and as I grew older, they slowly began to do something else—they inspired me to write adventures of my own.

Forty years later, I still love to read, and when my husband and I adopted our daughters, we wanted to pass along this love of story to them. We’ve spent many sweet hours snuggled around a book as a family, exploring the world together through its magical pages.

When my girls were in preschool, I began taking them to the library to choose books for themselves, and I was shocked to discover what was now available in the children’s and youth sections. I quickly realized that not only did I want to encourage my daughters to love a great story, I needed to help them develop tools to critique a book’s content before they embarked on their own adventures.

In my latest novel, Hidden Among the Stars, the protagonist co-owns a children’s bookstore. Callie, nicknamed Story Girl, explains how a well-written children’s book can mold and shape its readers. It can be a refuge for the mind or it can open the door to a frightening, hostile place. Through Callie’s character, I wanted to communicate my passion for great children’s literature as well as share some of what I’ve learned as a mom who wants to teach children how to choose books wisely.

Hidden Among the Stars is about children’s literature, but it’s also about the dangers of banning books, particularly during World War II. I’m not encouraging a book ban, but I’m a huge proponent of media education as we help our kids make great, healthy choices for what they consume.

As my daughters grew into avid readers, we developed a critique system of sorts that we all understand, dividing books into three different categories for our brains:

The healthy books we search for at the library are ones that fuel our minds, just like good food fuels our bodies. The fruits and vegetables of literature, they offer the best in nutrition for growing the intellect and imagination.

Compelling novels with depth and purpose are a great choice for children, developing their critical thinking skills as they enter a story world very different from their own. Biographies about remarkable people and the many resources explaining how things work help them learn. Poetry and parables expand their minds, challenge their thinking, and often portray God in a fresh, memorable way.

Some of these books taste like berries, others may seem more like brussels sprouts, but they are packed with powerful nutrition to inspire and educate the mind.

Brain Candy
These are the books we read for pure entertainment, the cotton candy of literature. They are super fun and meant to be enjoyed. I love reading brain candy books with my girls, laughing together as we stumble over silly words or take a journey to a faraway land, but like overloading a body on sugar, our brains start to go numb if we gorge them with entertainment.

For most of us, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few pieces of candy, but too much of a sweet thing can induce a sugar coma. Our brains begin to starve if we don’t feed them something with substance.

Some people believe that children should read whatever they’d like, as long as they are reading, but I think this is a dangerous philosophy. It’s like telling my daughters they can eat whatever they’d like, staying silent instead of warning them if something is riddled with poison. No loving parent is going to allow their son or daughter to eat salmonella-tainted meat, even if this child is craving chicken. They are going to teach them how to recognize and avoid poisoned food.

What constitutes “poison” is different for every parent, but just like salmonella can kill a young person, some of the material in children’s books can slowly kill a mind. Or it can kill the hope that flickers inside.

Books, like movies or music, are not meaningless entertainment. The stories and information inside the covers often begin to define their readers, and I, for one, want my girls to grow strong and healthy in both body and mind, learning to critique their options before deciding what’s best for their brains.

Author Bio: Writing fiction is Melanie Dobson’s excuse to explore abandoned houses, travel to unique places, and spend hours reading old books and journals. The award-winning author of almost twenty books, Melanie enjoys stitching together both time-slip and historical novels including Hidden Among the Stars, Chateau of Secrets, and Catching the Wind. More information about Melanie’s journey is available at www.melaniedobson.com

Hidden Among the Stars can be purchased at Tyndale, Amazon and wherever books are sold!

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

Until next time take care and God bless.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

#ThursdayThoughts with Kathy Bailey

Good Morning!

Been a crazy few weeks for me. On the 12th my dad and I flew to AK to visit my brother and his family including a brand new grandbaby (for him, great for dad and great niece for me). We returned on the 21st and on the 22nd I embarked on moving. Hopefully, September will be somewhat quieter LOL!

As you well know it is always a pleasure to bring you a brand new author and today is no exception!

Kathy Bailey is a newly contracted author with Pelican Book Group. Her upcoming novel, an Oregon Trail romance with a reunion & secret baby will be out sometime next year, meanwhile, please give her a great big welcome as she shares some thoughts with us on doubt....

            I have always loved the story of the Apostle Thomas, maybe too much. You remember Tom, the follower of Jesus who didn’t believe the breathless, glowing reports from the Empty Tomb. Who had to touch the nail prints and put his own hand against Jesus’s shattered side before he believed.  But when he did, that was that and he went on to win a portion of the known world to his Lord. I’m a little bit of a skeptic, I like to touch and see and hear and smell, and so Thomas’s story always connects with me.
            It’s easy to doubt in the current literary climate. Publishing houses merging, lines and imprints closing, and the dreaded “platform” requirements. (I was scared of “platform” until someone explained to me that it’s basically talking to people on line about what I love, which is writing.) While self-publishing has shed its stigma and smaller boutique publishers are filling a niche, writing fiction is still one of life’s riskier propositions. Ten editors can say “no” without drawing blood once, but do you really want to face an eleventh?
Here are some times when I doubt:
1. When I receive a rejection.
2. When I receive contest feedback that doesn't "get" the story. I'm usually pretty good about contests and taking my lumps, but occasionally the judge and I are not on the same page. Possibly not on the same planet.
3. When I'm away from the keyboard for too long and I let the doubts take over because I have nothing else to think about. IF I’m writing, there is always hope.
4. When I read something that is much, much better than I could have done, at least at this stage of my career.
5. Used to be, when an online or physical friend signed with an agent or publishing house that I hadn't had success with, or when someone got published in a relatively short amount of time. I've grown out of that, I realize that in today's market a success for one is a success for the rest of us. A metaphorical rising tide lifts all Christian fiction boats.
6. Whenever I try to do it myself instead of depending on the Lord, and His timing.
I'm contracted now but still feel doubts. Am I a one-trick pony? Am I a pony at all? We'll see.
My husband is an ordained elder in our denomination, and has served several churches in various capacities. He often quotes his first pastor and mentor who told him, “Be very certain of your call. There will be times when it’s all you’ve got.” The same can be said of the call to write. The world will knock you down, if it notices you at all. You’ll deal with unfair business decisions, such as a line closing the week after you sell to them, and the whims and idiosyncrasies of others. It’s a subjective business. It’s a crazy business. It’s an inexact science.
And if you’re called to write Christian fiction, it’s your business.
There will be times you doubt, and each of us has his or her own way of overcoming doubt. For me, nothing works better than powering my way through. Write something. Write anything. Cull out what was good, and write it again.
Keep an encouragement file with a record of your sales, contest finals or anything else that gives you hope.
Get on your knees, then get back to the keyboard.
The Apostle Thomas went on to preach in Greece and India, founding a Christian sect in India that continues to this day. He gave his life for his faith in 72 AD. He overcame his doubts, gloriously, and fulfilled his call.

Wow, Kathy we all go through doubt...great thoughts!
Now, here's a little more about Kathy in her own word....

            I’m a freelance writer with 35 years’ experience in the nonfiction, newspaper and inspirational fields.  Born in 1951, I was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s, and a young mom in the 80s.  It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it.  I spent 35 years in print journalism, magazines and newspapers, before semi-retiring to pursue my first love, Christian fiction. My debut novel, an Oregon Trail romance not yet titled, will release Sept. 20, 2019 with Pelican/White Rose Publishing.  I’ve finaled in the 2014 Unpublished Maggies, 2015Tara Awards (first in my category), 2015 Lone Star Awards, semi-finaled in the 2015 Genesis Awards, was the overall winner in the 2016 Phoenix Rattler contest, finaled in the 2017 Phoenix Rattler and Indiana Golden Opportunity, and am a finalist in this year’s Genesis contest.
            I can be reached at ampie86@comcast.net; through my Web site, www.kathleendbailey.weebly.com, through Facebook or LinkedIn. 
Hope you enjoyed today's post and you'll check back often for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Robb T White

Good Morning!

Well I returned from my Alaska vacation and am trying to get caught up and back in business. Today's guest is new to me and our blog and brought to us from Class Act Books so please give Mr. Robb T White a huge welcome!

Under the names Terry White, Robert White, and Robb T. White, Robert White has published dozens of crime, noir, and hardboiled short stories, and three hardboiled private-eye novels.  A lifelong reader of crime fiction, he published his first story in Gary Lovisi's Hardboiled magazine. Since then, he has published several dozen crime stories, and a collection of mainstream stories in 2013. An ebook crime novel, "Special Collections," won the New Rivers Electronic Book Competition in 2014. 

White was born, raised, and continues to live in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Weaker sex?  Not hardly!
The female is definitely deadlier than the mail.  Short stories about ladies who can hold their own.


Be careful what you wish for, Regina.
Her mother’s words. Sometimes she could hear her mother’s voice in the house.
The Vindicator piece on Bodycomb’s death was two paragraphs.
He was found floating in Lake Milton, a popular summer resort area for fisherman seventeen miles east of Austintown just off the Interstate 80 overpass. Shot by a small-caliber weapon in the back of the head. The important information was in the second paragraph: Bodycomb, it noted, was running a dog-fighting network among three states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia for a loose-knit West Virginia crime family connected to the Pittsburgh LaRizzo family.
Damn you, Leo.
She was blowing through caution lights, ignoring the honking of cars, as she beelined for the office on Market.
Like a script from a cheap thriller, he was there, wearing the same clothes and unshaven, big jowls dark with stubble, pong of body odor in the overheated single room.
“You promised me full disclosure, total honesty,” she said.
She threw the paper across his desk.
“Here it is in case you missed it.”
Be calm, Regina, she told herself. She wasn’t going to lose her temper and a new job in that order.
“I did and I meant it, Baby,” Leo said.
He glanced at the paper sideways and pushed it back to her. He’d obviously read it.
“You asked me—no, you demanded I call somebody. I did,” he said.
He disgusted her with those wagging jowls and big stomach. She noticed his belt was undone and a patch of curly belly hair exposed.
Probably jerking off in here, the freak.
“I suppose you’ll tell me when the mood strikes.”
“I meant the second case—your next case,” Leo said. “Full disclosure, just like you want.”
Her indignation petered out at the prospect. “So tell me about it,” she said.
Bodycomb was moving in on Donnie Bracca’s territory with his dog-fighting, Leo said.
“He can kill all the dogs he wants in West Virginia,” Leo said. “But Donnie B. controls gambling around here.”
“Donnie Bracca was your real client all the time,” Baby said.
“It’s like this, kid. They don’t blow each other up in cars no more. Gentlemen’s agreements, all nice and polite. But rules have to be followed. Bodycomb went rogue.”
She bit back a retort: You mean, like your own father?
Leo went on, waxing large, a hopeless Mafioso lover, although a real mafia man, a made man, could see Leo couldn’t be trusted. But even the Aryan Brotherhood used outside associates to get things done. Leo could be useful if you couldn’t buy a cop or scare off an investigative reporter snooping in shady politics or business deals.
She didn’t feel bad about Bodycomb’s death. After all, she'd wanted to kill the guy herself.
“Damn it, Leo,” she said. “You should have told me this in the beginning.”Baby moved in the direction Bodycomb’s vehicle had taken. After A couple of hundred yards through meadow grass up to her knees, she stopped and listened. Moving on, she dodged stunted bushes that popped up out of nowhere to snag her clothing. The foliage grew less dense. She found the parallel ruts of the Road Runner’s tracks and kept moving, straining her eyes to see light ahead. If Bodycomb was hiding assets from his soon-to-be ex-wife, he was taking a lot of trouble over it.
After five minutes of faster walking in the grooves, she heard barking coming from the right. She saw the first glimmer of light in the distance. The terrain was sparse but small slopes refracted the light source so it appeared and disappeared with every rise of the ground. A single dog barking became two, then three and finally a pack. Beneath their howls, men’s voices.
When she got close enough to make out words, she lay flat on her belly and put the binoculars on a cluster of men beside a ramshackle barn surrounded by cages of dogs in the beds of trucks beside a squared string of light bulbs a dozen feet from the ground. It looked like a crude boxing ring for backyard brawlers.
Its purpose became clear in the next few minutes. It was a dog-fighting pit.

Dangerous Women is available for Kindle and in Paperback!

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

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

#ThursdayThoughts with Tessa Afshar

Good Morning!

We arrived home late last night from Alaska so you still may not hear too much from me until I recover and catch up after 10 full days with little/no computer access LOL!

No worries though, I've got a very special guest today.... Tyndale author Tessa Afshar shares some thoughts and her new release with us.

Welcome Tesa!

Love Never Fails

If you have ever attended a wedding in a church, chances are you have heard someone read 1 Corinthians 13. It is such a familiar passage that we sometimes forget to listen to it. But the words in that passage are remarkable. At the end of the section, Paul makes the most extraordinary claim of all: “Love never fails” 1 Corinthians 13: 8 (NIV).
     But those of us who have been touched by the wounds of wrecked relationships, strained marriages, broken friendships, divorce, and repeated disappointments have had a different experience. Love does fail. In spectacular, heart-wrenching ways. What are we to do with this discrepancy?
     This is the lesson that Ariadne, my new heroine in Thief of Corinth, has to learn. Ariadne lives in first century Corinth. After the wreckage of her parents’ divorce, she is very aware that other people’s love fails. By the end of the book, she becomes aware that her own love has failed as well. In the process of this transformation, of recognizing her own fractured love rather than focusing on how other people have failed her, she comes face to face with her need for God. She learns an important lesson.
     God covers our gaps.
     In his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul prays something striking. He prays that the followers of Christ may have power “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18-19).
     He prays for believers to have supernatural power, the Spirit’s power, in order to grasp the love of Christ. In other words, we need supernatural help from the Holy Spirit to receive love and hold on to it. Need the Spirit’s power merely to experience love. The kind of love God wants us to taste requires a move of God.
     The flesh that has never tasted such a love in this world is incapable of grasping it. We cannot live like beloved sons and daughters because we don’t know what the Father’s perfect love, offered to us through Christ, really feels like.
     But in Christ, we can learn to experience boundless love. And to give it.
     We will still fail to love perfectly. But like Ariadne, we learn two lessons: clinging to Jesus will mean we fail less often, and when we do, God’s perfect love covers our failures.
    One of the first things I learned about my husband was that he was an early morning person. By 9 PM his eyelids started growing heavy. While we were dating, I noticed a sweet tendency in him. He hated to say goodbye. Even though it was long past his bedtime, he would linger for one more word. One more minute with me. We didn’t spend the extra time on any life-shattering discussions or important chores. We merely enjoyed one another’s presence.
    He was willing to pay the price of sleeplessness, exhaustion, and mounting tasks left undone, just so he could be with me a little while longer. Now that I know him better, I realize how much those late nights cost him and am amazed by the sacrifice. It remains one of the sweetest memories of our courtship.
     I have come to realize that we need to linger with Jesus in the same way. To pay the price of staying with Him just a bit longer. Linger to enjoy one more moment with Him. To grasp how wide and long and high and deep His love really goes. His love never fails.

What a lovely thing Tesa....certainly some thoughts for us to ponder today. Thanks for sharing!

Tessa Afshar is the award-winning author of Bread of Angels, Land of Silence, and several other historical novels. Land of Silence won an Inspy Award in the general fiction category and was voted by Library Journal as one of the top five Christian fiction titles of 2016. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious Christy Award in the historical romance category, and Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Christian Book Award for fiction. In 2011, after publishing her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, Tessa was named New Author of the Year by the FamilyFiction-sponsored Reader's Choice Awards.
     Tessa was born in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale Divinity School, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. She serves part-time on the staff of one of the oldest churches in America. But that has not cured her from being exceptionally fond of chocolate. Visit her online at www.tessaafshar.com. Her newest release, Thief of Corinth can be found at Tyndale and at Amazon.

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

Until next time take care and God bless.