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

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Kathy Neeley & In Search of True North!

Good Morning!

I scheduled today's post yesterday before the ball game. Yep, as of this writing we're still in the running for Dixie Youth World Championship game. I'll let y'all know on Saturday how we ended up!

Today's guest has been here often sharing treasures and thoughts with us and in our spotlight so please welcome Kathy Neely back with some encouragement for inadequate writers....

Words From an Inadequate Writer

Many years ago, fresh out of college with my shiny new teaching certificate, I landed my first teaching position. Fourth grade. I walked around my empty classroom, the four walls that would be my domain for shaping young lives, and had a strange feeling. Me—a teacher?  How long until they all figure out that I’m out of my element, that I’m an imposter with no idea what I’m doing? 

Many years have passed since that fearsome first day. By the end of the school year, my confidence had grown and I settled into a career that I would love and eventually miss. Years later, my principal encouraged me to go into administration. I earned my principal’s certification and worked in leadership until my retirement. 

Today, I’m a writer. That truth took some time to solidify in my mind. When I began writing, I couldn’t help feeling like I had snuck into a culture where I didn’t belong, and soon people would find out. Others around me were versed in a lexicon that was foreign to me. They had published books while I had an over-edited five chapters. I say ‘over-edited’ because I couldn’t move past those early chapters. I couldn’t get the story on paper since my focus was on every little word. Did I have enough details? Were they too drawn out? Should I add more sensory language? Will this make sense to anyone but me? 

I didn’t have confidence and didn’t believe in myself. But Jeremiah 17:7 says “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” The real truth is this—I don’t have the ability to be a writer, or a teacher, or a parent, or much of anything on my own. It’s only through the power of Christ in me that I can write. 

So often, we allow what we do to define us. That’s a feeble concept because things of this earth are so fragile. Jobs are lost. Marriages fail. Books remain unpublished. My value is not because I write. It’s not because I taught students. My value is because I’m a child of the King. 

If you’ve ever shared those feelings of inadequacy, consider the following scriptures. Post them at your writing station as a daily reminder. 

Isaiah 32.17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace, its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. 

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.

Romans 8:28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

In a recent interview, I was asked when I discovered that I was a writer. I think I discovered that I’m a writer when I realized that people actually liked what I wrote. 

My advice for new writers is this: Do everything in your power to hone up the skills of the trade, knowing that it will not be enough. Place your trust in the Lord and allow Him to do the rest. Don’t allow writing to define you. Yes, I’m a writer—a child of God who writes fiction for God’s glory and your enjoyment. 

Kathleen Neely is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes, The Least of These, and In Search of True North.  She is a former elementary teacher. Following her years in the classroom, she moved into administration, serving as an elementary principal. Kathleen is an alumnus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and Regent University in Virginia. 

Among her writing accomplishments, Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions. She continues to speak to students about writing. Kathleen is a member of American of Christian Fiction Writers.

She resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading. Connect with Kathy by visiting her Website and connecting with her on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram

Blurb In Search of True North: Heartbroken, Mallory Carter leaves home at graduation. She decides to never burden her family with her choices again. Twelve long years of loneliness are comforted only by the homemade telescope she uses to stargaze. Then she receives a call that her sister has died, leaving behind a son, the son Mallory gave up at the tender age of seventeen. When her family pressures her to raise Samuel, she agrees, despite the fact that he’s unaware of their true relationship.


Samuel’s uncle, handsome architect Brady Donaldson, welcomes Mallory to the family, but she doesn’t know how much she can trust him. Brady has a bond with Samuel that Mallory has only been able to dream of for the last twelve years. But Mallory holds secrets that could ruin her new life. As threats surface from Mallory’s past, the relationship she is building with her son is endangered. Will she lose Samuel a second time? She realizes she desperately needs someone to trust, and Brady seems determined to fight for Mallory and Samuel. Searching for true north has never felt so hard. Will Brady Donaldson be the one to guide Mallory home, and to the God she abandoned long ago?

Order your copy at https://www.amazon.com/Search-True-North

Love your advice Kathy, we all feel inadequate from time to time. Thanks for sharing and we wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with In Search of True North!

Until next time, friends, take care and God bless.


Saturday, July 24, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Kara O'Neal @KaraONealAuthor & The Inventor's Heart!

Good Morning from Sterlington, LA!

We drove up yesterday for the Dixie Youth World Series. My guy's grandson is playing on SC team for the 3rd year in a row. It'll be his last though, so we hope they win (naturally!)

Today's guest has visited many times so please welcome Kara O'Neal with her book, The Inventor's Heart....

Pike’s Run, Texas, 1885
Alex Davis has just returned to Pike's Run, Texas, from Yale with a fabulous invention that could revolutionize the use of electricity. He can't wait to show his work to his family and his dearest friend in the world, Julia Forrester. But from the first day he arrives home, Julia avoids him. He doesn't understand and tries everything he can think of to spend time with her, but he fails.

Julia Forrester has loved Alex Davis since their school days. He was her confidante and her champion whenever she struggled with her studies. She helped him with his inventions, spending as many of her free hours as possible with him. She'd thought he'd loved her, but when he went off to college without her, her heart broke. And the infrequency of his letters proved his feelings didn't match hers. Now that he has returned, she is determined to move on with her life. She has written a symphony, and she won't let past hopes and dreams overtake her again.

But Alex won't give up, and when Julia confesses the reason for her distant attitude, the "Genius of Pike's Run" realizes his stupidity. He is in love with Julia and will now move Heaven and Earth to have her. But he is battling more than her distrust. Julia has another reason to keep away from Alex, and he sets out to fix it. Will the "genius" be able to prove his theory?


“You don’t want to stay here with me? Why?” Alex tried to calm his rising anger, but hurt at her obvious want to escape him overruled his will. “You prefer to be caught under the mistletoe and kissed by every fellow in town?”

Julia reared back. “I want no such thing!” she declared, trying to tug her hand free of his.

He would not let go. “Could’ve fooled me. Fitzsimmons practically had you off your feet. And Hollister is married and lingered entirely too long when he grabbed you.”

With force, she tried to yank free, but he was having none of it.

“It’s just a game,” she argued with a scowl. “I didn’t plan it, and I can’t control how any of the men kiss me.” She lifted her chin. “Besides, it’s all in good fun.”

Fun? Every embrace had torn him inside out. “None of them should have touched you. You’re my friend.”

“What does that mean?” she asked, her voice rising. “I belong to you?”

He almost shouted the affirmative, but he controlled the overwhelming feeling of possession. Instead, he kept quiet, not knowing how to explain his statement.

“You’ve been gone for five years, and I have other friends. Am I supposed to sit on a shelf waiting for you to come home?” She glared up at him.

Was she considering stepping out with someone? Jealousy roared inside him. “You think another man is better for you than me?”

“Emmet might have swept me off my feet, but at least he paid attention to me, at least he seemed to be interested in me, at least—”

Unable to take her compliments of another man a second longer, he yanked her forward and slammed his lips on hers. As desire engulfed him, he plundered her mouth, snaking an arm around her waist and pulling her up against him.

She moaned, and the sound spurred him on. He shoved his tongue inside, demanding she open for him, needing to prove that he was the man she wanted. He turned her and shoved her up against the wall, and she let out a whimper as she ran her fingers through his hair.

A shudder went through him, and he drank from her, never wanting to let her go. How had he not understood that her arms were his safe place? Why hadn’t he ever realized his best friend could set him on fire? His heart pounded hard, echoing in his ears and making him sing with life.

Born and raised in Texas, I had to make the state the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Connect with Kara at the following locations....

Get your copy of The Inventor's Heart HERE: https://books2read.com/u/3n7oqo

Sounds like another exciting addition to your Pike's Run series, Kara. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with it!

Hope you enjoyed the post friends and that you'll check back weekly for Saturday Spotlight and Wednesday Words with Friends.

Until next time take care and God bless.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends ~ A note from Yours Truly....

Good Morning Friends!

If you read my introduction to the Saturday Spotlight post on July 10th OR received my newsletter, you know that my beloved Silver Spur Guest Ranch is closed until a new owner is found. I went to Bandera and the Spur on July 9th for a "Farewell Silver Spur" party on the 10th. Bittersweet visit but good in that I was able to visit with friends I hadn't seen in years. Here is a pic of most of the people I worked with on the Spur. A few couldn't make it but we felt their spirits all around us.

I'm not sure what's going to happen to the Spur once a new owner is in charge. I can only hope and pray it once more becomes a place of healing and hope as it was for me when I worked there between 2010 and 2014. 

Friday I leave for Sterlington, LA for the Dixie Majors World Series baseball tournament and next month I'm going to Alaska but never fear, Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight will go on!

I have some good news to share with you....

I've contracted a narrator and Tempered Truth & Lori's Redemption will both be available in audio later this year. I'll keep you informed on that as production begins and moves along.

I know you're seeing a lot of "Christmas in July" specials, movies, sales, etc. I understand the marketing concept behind these things but sometimes I feel like the heroine in Keri's Christmas Wish.... Bah Humbug! Heck, as it is, Christmas decorations are up alongside Halloween costumes! Just can't get away from the hype and personally, I feel the more hype, the less we focus on the real reason for the season.

Speaking of Jesus, have you seen The Chosen?

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful portrayal of Jesus! I'm loving this series so much I've watched seasons 1 & 2 twice AND bought the novel based on season one! Click on the pic to find out more about this wonderful series portraying the life of Jesus and His disciples.

Well friends, not much else to share with you today. I THANK YOU for dropping by and wish you the best of luck and God's blessings in your life.

Until next time, take care and God bless.