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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

#TuesdayTreasures Traveling

Good Morning Friends!

Yep, hard to believe but it IS the last Tuesday of August. Bad news, hurricane season is in full swing.

Good news, cooler weather is/should be right around the corner. Hopefully that'll keep the hurricanes off of us.

Anyway, my scheduled guest couldn't be here today so I'm going to share something I treasure with you.....


Although I hate to drag the roads (y'know, run errands all over town, etc), I love to travel. As I'm sure you've noted by previous posts about TX, OK, TN and other places I've been.

I love seeing new places, people and exploring cultures, customs, etc.

Thursday I'll be heading to South Carolina again. This time the plan is to visit North Carolina before returning home. Not sure if the trip back will be through TN or what. Guess it depends on how much fun we're having. :-)

I'll take plenty of pictures and share these experiences with you sometime later, but, speaking of traveling, AHA promo group created by Tina Gayle, is doing a #FallRomanticTravel blog exchange.

I'll be hosting friends and their books here on Tuesdays and Thursdays through early November, after which some will embark on the #HolidayRecipeandRomance exchange.

Not sure if I'll do both, but watch for the hashtag #FallRomanticTravel and this graphic and get ready for some great ideas for your future vacations!

I look forward to sharing these with you and hope to see you often during the exchange and of course, afterward for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

#Saturday Spotlight is on Ryan Clemons and Victorious!

Good Morning and Welcome to the last Saturday Spotlight of August 2016!

Today's guest has been here before. Over the past couple of months, she has shared something she treasures and some thoughts with us.

Today we're going to find out a little more about Ryan's book, Victorious: The Journey of a Single Mom and Her Faith.

Victorious is the story of Ryan Clemons' journey as a single mom. Ryan lived a great life with her family, and her future was bright, but at 19, she gave birth to a son and found herself having to grow up quickly. Ryan sacrificed the things she wanted to become a great mom. The odds were stacked against her; however, she wanted better for her son. Balancing being a mom, a full-time student and an employee with three part-time jobs was challenging. She faced heartache, rejection and guilt, but Ryan was determined to overcome, to make it and be a success, and she overcame all adversities.

With God.

In Victorious, Ryan discusses:
Overcoming obstacles
Finding greater within
Discovering your purpose in life
Declaring your personal desires
Learning to motivate yourself
Providing self-love
Forgiving yourself and others
Reaching spiritual success
Restoring mind, body and soul

Ryan strives to empower and encourage other single moms who are experiencing te same problems she encountered. Being a single mom is not the end of your life. The road to success is not easy, but with this new beginning and your priorities set on God, success and fulfillment can be attained.

Victorious: The Journey of a Single Mom and Her Faith, can be purchased at Amazon.

Ryan Clemons resides in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and a concentration in Public Relations from McNeese State University. Ryan had the opportunity to intern with University Image, a marketing firm at McNeese State University. She also had the privilege to work for three forms of media: Television: KPLC News: News Content Specialist, Print: The American Press, Account Executive Radio: KZWA 104.9, Radio Personality.

Ryan is currently president of 3RP Productions, a nonprofit organization committed to changing lives by touring different cities and hosting the "It's Over" Revival. She's also serves as the Executive Director of Pink Life, a non-profit organization that assists mothers who are in need of diapers and wipes free of charge. In her spare time, Ryan speaks at youth organizations, non-profit organizations, women's conferences and seminars about her journey. She is dedicated to changing this generation by encouraging and inspiring others.

Ryan's Links:
Facebook: Ryan E Clemons
Facebook: Ryan E Clemons- Author
Periscope: Ryan Clemons 

I certainly hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and that I'll see you next week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

#ThursdayThoughts Random Ramblings

Good Morning Friends!

Well it's another random rambling day, but hopefully you'll benefit from my craziness LOL!

Whether by writing articles for my website or magazines, etc., I'm forever researching and signing up for newsletters, etc. to find avenues through which I can expand my reach and grow my knowledge and experience.

One such resource is Freedom With Writing.com

This email comes a couple of times each week and is loaded with paid writing opportunities! And, as someone who would really LOVE to make a living by writing, these emails are some I welcome (in lieu of the "spam" I often get).

In fact, I've submitted to at least 1 publication who came through one of FWW's emails.

I'm sure there are numerous newsletters and E-zines you can subscribe to to receive information about writing opportunities and I'd love to hear if you've found some really good ones so PLEASE leave the info in comments.

Meanwhile, check out Freedom With Writing.

Hope you enjoyed today's thoughts and that you'll check with me weekly for Thursday Thoughts, Tuesday Treasures and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#TuesdayTreasures Guest Post by Gail Kittleson

Good Morning Friends,

On July 7th I introduced you to Gail Kittleson when she shared some thoughts with us. Well today, Gail is back to share something she treasures.....

Words constitute a treasure for me. Long before people understood depression, Emily Dickinson had a lot to do with my survival as a very gloomy teen. 

How can you memorize poems like…… 

“Hope is the thing
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words,
and never minds at all”

….without sensing light at the end of your tunnel, however long and arduous it may seem? 

Isaiah and Jeremiah have always offered me such incredible encouragement. Simple phrases like “Fear not, I am with you ...” 
“I have called you by name ...” 
“In all their affliction he was afflicted ...” 
“A future and a hope” held my attention. I clung to them, filled my mind and heart with them, and prayed they were true. 
One day during college, I discovered the Desiderata. Oh my! 

“Be yourself...do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Through marriage, parenthood, grand-parenting, and transitioning from writing instructor to greeting card creator to memoir writer and workshop facilitator, and now to women’s fiction author, powerful words have accompanied me all the way, through thick and thin.  

“A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Perfect for so many situations. Thank you, Eleanor. I’ll never outgrow my need for quotes. 

Wow, Gail, like you many of us treasure words and inspirational quotes!

Gail's latest book, In Times like These can be found at Amazon.

Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and ESL. She now writes women’s fiction and facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats. She and her husband enjoy family in northern Iowa, and the Arizona Ponderosa forest in winter.

WhiteFire Publishing released Gail’s memoir,Catching Up With Daylight, in 2013, and her debut women’s historical fiction, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Imprint) released in 2015. She also contributed to the Little Cab Press 2015 Christmas Anthology,
The first novel of her World War II series released recently (In Times Like These), and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas will release the sequel in February, 2017. You can count on Gail’s heroines to make do with what life hands them, and to overcome great odds.
Find out more about Gail by visiting her WebsiteFacebook PageAmazon Author Page and following her on Twitter!
Well Friends, I hope you enjoyed today's treasures and I hope you drob by weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.
Until next time, take care and God Bless

Saturday, August 20, 2016

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Harvard Risk Management

Good Morning Friends,

My Saturday Spotlight guest was unable to be here today and I found out too late to schedule another, so today I'm spotlighting Harvard Risk Management.

A week ago on Thursday Thoughts, I shared information on Legal Shield a featured product of Harvard Risk Management.

Today I'd like to talk about the company itself.

Harvard Risk Management has been offering products like Legal Shield to the consumer for over 20 years. It's founder and CEO, Mark Riches began his career with Legal Shield back in 1994 right here in Louisiana, and quickly became one of its top producers. As his team continued to grow, Mr. Riches founded Harvard Risk Management in order to provide training and support. He then began looking for more, high quality products to offer his clients, such as ID Shield.

If you'd like more information on Legal and/or ID Shield please email me at: psthib.hrmc@gmail.com

Meanwhile, you can view all of HRMC's products and services HERE and find out more about the company HERE.

I am proud to be a part of Harvard Risk Management and look forward to offering these high quality products to the folks in SW LA.

If you'd like to become a member of my team at HRMC check out this video then contact me.

I hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and I hope to see you next week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight (definitely an author next week LOL!)

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

#ThursdayThoughts Guest post by Mark Wayne Allen

Good Morning Friends,

Today's guest needs no introduction. Mark has been here before so we welcome him back to share some thoughts with us....

Privacy Rights

The right of anyone to their own sense of privacy over their lives has been a matter of great debate in our legal system for a long time. Wait! Don't get your hackles up yet. This is not an article about laws, but a viewpoint of privacy for everyone.

I'll give you an example. I'm a quadriplegic and have been so for nearly 35-years. When I was initially injured, my parents, whom I was living with at the time, had some critical decisions to make. A major one was how to give me a normal life and free me from my limitations as much as possible.

Something that quickly became a major issue was privacy. I had to have someone clean my entire body, dress me, get me up, feed me, and everything that constitutes living except for breathe, sometimes that too. Yeah, times were rough for me then as they are for thousands of quadriplegics worldwide.

Anyway, I think all human beings have a right to privacy. The courts have repeatedly upheld an individuals privacy rights although the U. S. Constitution does not mandate it. I think it's been deemed by the courts as a human beings innate right, except in extreme cases, such as revealing sources of information in a murder trial, etc.

How did my parents give me privacy you ask? Well, they gave me time to myself when I asked and they each took on part of my life, like a tag team in wrestling, and they held my thoughts and actions private (that they would do on my behalf).

When you see someone in a chair next time, especially a quadriplegic, think about how they maintain their privacy. What honed skills they must they possess at managing their lives...  How could you help them? Think about how much you value your own privacy. I think you'll have a new appreciation what it means to you and others.

-Mark Wayne Allen

Thanks, Mark....that's definitely something to think about!

Mark Wayne Allen was born in Merryvillle, Louisiana where he now resides, but has lived in many states. Due to life tragedies, he is a quadriplegic.

A love of books inspired him to write down his own stories, which, over the years, has evolved to include all categories. From poetry to short stories to novels, his knowledge of the craft grew over time, and so did his love for it.

He wrote two short stories and several poems that were published in a short-lived e-zine called Dementia. In 2013, he published the science fiction book Star Siege which was written during his years at Louisiana State University. Since then, he has placed in several contests since and even had a first place poem. He writes regularly for The Voice Of Southwest Louisiana Magazine.

Having lived in the North, South, East, and West has given him the opportunity to talk with a diverse group of people as well as an appreciation for different cultures. Currently, he lives with his wife of many years, Kelley, and is an active part of the community. You can keep up with Mark through his Website,Facebook and Twitter.

Mark's brand new book, 3 Lifetimes in 1 is available through Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle!

Hope you enjoyed today's thoughts. Check back each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts, and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time...take care and God Bless.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

#TuesdayTreasures Young Writers

Good Morning!

We've been experiencing heavy rains and flooding again in Louisiana. Most of it farther East/SE from where I am and I ask that you join me in praying for those families affected by this ridiculous weather.

I can promise you, I am fed up with the rain!

I know many are begging for it and I sure wish God would send it their way and leave us alone for a few weeks.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I featured a young author on Saturday Spotlight and today I'd like to share with you something I, as an author, mentor and founder of a writer's group treasure: Young Writers

Each year, Bayou Writers Group hosts a "Young Writers" contest for middle/high school students in a 5 parish vicinity. The winners get cash prizes, entry to our conference, as well as publication in BWG's anthology and the Librarian from the winning school gets cash for their library. 

This year I'd like to honor the winners right here on my blog.....

First “Never” by Sydney Manuel 11th grade Sam Houston High School Calcasieu Parish

Second “The Important L Words” Jasmine  Hallmark 8th grade South Beauregard High School Beauregard Parish

Third “Stars Align” Garrett Doucet 11th grade Lake Arthur High School Jeff Davis Parish

First “Evergreen" Kate Cradeur 10th grade Sulphur High School Calcasieu Parish

Second “Script” Kate Cradeur 10th grade Sulphur High School  Calcasieu Parish

Third “I’m Not Crazy” Rondaja Rushing 8th grade F.K. White Middle School Calcasieu Parish

"When I get to tell the kids they placed in the contest I get as excited as if I were the winner!" Says contest coordinator, Beth Savoie.

In the photo:
Susan Gardebled, Librarian, Sulphur High School
Kate Cradeur
Sydney Manuel
Jasmine Hallmark
Rondaja Rushing 

Hope you enjoyed today's post and, like me, Beth and many we know, treasure the young writers in your life!

Hope to see you again weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Karen Pashley & Precious in His Sight

Good Morning Friends!

Way back in June, I introduced to you Karen Pashley and her debut novel, Precious in His Sight.

Today, we are spotlighting that book.

 A determined wife, her guilt-ridden husband, and the other woman, whose struggle may set them all free . . .

What if your husband was cheating? What would you do? 

Feisty, tenacious, and adorably flawed, Sugar Brennan is fiercely committed to her family, her traditional Christian values, and her spotless reputation in her affluent Southern community. When she discovers her husband Clay has been unfaithful, Sugar is determined to right the wrongs in her life. 

Then Clay's former mistress returns to Westfield with devastating news, posing a heart-wrenching dilemma that challenges Sugar to rethink all she's believed about faith, family, and the healing power of forgiveness. 

She's been raised in a preacher's home, taught to love her enemies. 

She's got the fish sticker on her car and a collection of good works under her belt. 

But . . . reach out to the woman who nearly destroyed her marriage? Surely God wouldn't ask her to go that far.

Karen Pashley lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and the youngest of their four daughters. Her first novel, “Precious in His Sight,” won 1st place in the unpublished novels competition at the 2014 Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference. 

Karen is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Association, Word Weavers International, and the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association. Visit http://www.KarenPashley.com for more information.

Enjoy this Interview with Karen...

Q: What inspired you to write the book “Precious in His Sight?”
A: I’ve often struggled with grasping how much God loves me. To think that He cares enough to walk through every dark nook and cranny of my life, and to know He has a good plan even when bad things are happening—that’s a mind blowing concept that is hard to wrap my mind around sometimes. I wanted to write something that would affect people in a deep way. Something that would spark a desire to trust this loving God we serve in a radical, freeing way. This story challenged my personal faith. I hope it does so for others.

Q: Introduce us to your main character, Sugar Brennan.
A: In today’s image-conscious, social media-focused society, it’s tough to filter out all the external influences that can drive our motivations and our actions. Sugar Brennan has been bombarded with messages her whole life about what it means to be an upstanding southern Christian woman. She’s invested a tremendous amount of energy into fulfilling that image. I wanted to explore how she might react when faced with a devastating moral crisis.
Many, many times while writing the early drafts, I would lie awake at night wondering how I would handle her situation, and how God could turn something that awful into something beautiful. Sugar inspired me to dig deeper into my relationship with God. I hope she inspires my readers to do that as well.

Q: There are several twists and turns in the story. Did you have those in mind in the beginning, or did they develop as you wrote?
A: The entire story came to my mind and played out like a movie while I was driving through the hills of Massachusetts with my family one summer. It started as a “what if” kind of daydream, just to pass the time. An hour later, when we pulled into a little country store to fill up on fuel and snacks, I bought a dusty spiral notebook, returned to the passenger seat, and scribbled descriptions for all of the characters and settings. By the time we reached our destination, I had written the entire outline for Precious in His Sight. After that trip, I stuck the notebook in a desk drawer and didn’t pull it out for a year. When I did, the plot and characters begged to be written, and since I had always wanted to write a novel, and I had some time on my hands, a project was born.

Q: The main character makes some life choices that may shock readers. Why did you have her make those decisions?
A: As a married woman myself, I wrestled with Sugar’s choices. The wrestling led me to the conclusion that regardless of the difficult circumstances I might find myself in, there is always hope. And there is grace, even when we fight against the pain. It’s often our futile attempts to avoid pain that wind up causing us even greater calamity. Without pain, we don’t get to the bottom of ourselves. And unless we  get to the bottom of ourselves, we can’t experience the power and peace that come from complete surrender. I wanted Sugar to run, and wrestle, and squirm, and ache to find that “peace that passes all understanding.” I wanted her to experience the freedom of letting go.

Q: The story presents the ethics of risking the life of a pregnant woman for her unborn child. How did you decide how to portray that dilemma?
A: I didn’t set out to write a pro-life story. In fact, while developing the characters, I struggled with their predicament for some time. I researched their scenario and learned that cancer during pregnancy strikes more often than we realize, and that some doctors still advise women to abort their babies, even with today’s medical advances. In certain cases, continuing the pregnancy poses life-threatening risks to the mother. I had to ask myself, as a person of faith, what would I do? The answer seemed simple enough.

But while writing Christine’s character, and thinking about her back story, the question became, what would a woman with no religious allegiance or personal faith do in this situation? At the time, I didn’t honestly know how Christine would handle her plight. As I got into her head more, I felt like the choices she made were a natural progression of her journey.

Q: What do you hope readers will learn from the main character's plight?
A: I hope readers are inspired by Sugar’s tenacity, her deep love of family, and her determination. But more than that, I hope readers connect with her frailties, and her yearning to be real and open and authentic. I hope that Sugar’s journey encourages readers to seek God and cling to Him in the dark times of life, and to trust Him when circumstances don’t work out the way they hope. I hope readers learn that they have the choice and the power to be become women of joy, and strength, and serenity, no matter what life throws at them.
Q: Sugar Brennan is a strong female character. You seem like a strong woman too. Is Sugar modeled after you?
A: Ha! Sugar is a feisty go-getter, that’s for sure, and I think we have a lot in common. But as I wrote Precious in His Sight, I found myself identifying with all of the characters. I think there’s a little bit of me in each one of them. And their struggles motivated me to search my own heart. Like Sugar, I’ve made decisions based on what others might think of me. At times, I’ve tried to out-think God, running from His will in a panic before relinquishing control and finding solitude in His open arms.

Like Clay, I’ve experienced the humiliation of sin, and the haunting regrets that follow a fall, and I’ve felt the forgiving hand of my Savior take mine and say, “Come on, let’s walk out of this darkness together.”

Like Christine, I’ve been confused about God’s love for me, and at times have wondered if I measured up—wondered why He would care about me when I was so undeserving.

Like Daniel, I’ve been skeptical—wary of the church and the hypocrisy that sometimes exists within her walls. But I’ve come to love the church, not the buildings, or the denominations, but the people who exemplify the body of Christ in a variety of flavors and forms, and who are just doing their best to navigate the path to eternity. And like Miranda, I’ve put certain people on a pedestal only to be terribly let down when they don’t meet my lofty expectations. Because of that, I’ve learned to see people’s mistakes as opportunities for them to grow, and I can now look with anticipation toward what God can do, rather than with disdain at what they did.

The wonderful thing I’ve discovered along the way is that God’s love for me underscores all of my shortcomings, all of my fears, and my failures. His grace is gift enough, yet I often fight against that gift, straining and striving to satisfy my insatiable need to put my own stamp of approval on myself.

Understanding His grace, arising in hope, and resting in His steadfast love are the keys to a life that celebrates this undeniable fact—that I am precious in God’s sight—we all are.

Q: What are you involved in besides writing?
A: My husband and I have four daughters, one granddaughter, and another grandchild on the way, so we invest quite a bit of time creating opportunities for our busy family to be together. We take the whole brood skiing in the winter and to the lake in the summer, and we enjoy holidays and special events throughout the year. I’ve always been a big cook, and I love entertaining and getting people together, so a few years ago I combined my two loves into a monthly event called “Girls Dine In.” Each month I create a themed menu, write the recipes, put together table décor and music to go with the theme, and host an all-out cooking frenzy in my kitchen. The women love learning new techniques and inventive ways of serving and presenting a dinner party. And they have a chance to do something just for fun that doesn’t involve the kids or the job or anything. I also like taking walks in the woods, binge-watching Netflix, and painting furniture.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’m working on a new novel about five former college roommates who reunite twenty-five years later. It’s kind of a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for middle-aged women, set on the Gulf Coast beaches of Florida. The characters are quirky and funny, yet deeply troubled and carrying heavy burdens. I’m falling in love with them as a write, and can’t wait to share their story.

Precious in His Sight can be purchased at Amazon and other online retailers as well as your local bookstore. I've read this novel and it is definitely worth your time, energy and money! You can read my review here.

Well friends, hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and I hope to see you each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

#ThursdayThoughts Random Ramblings

Good Morning Friends!

Well today's another of those Random Rambling days. So much going on, so much to do, thoughts are swirling, disjointed and unconnected. Sometimes good things come out of that, LOL.

Sometimes they don't.

If you haven't heard, one bit of news is I wrote and submitted a short story to a popular women's magazine. It's exciting and nerve wracking at the same time, but I'm glad to be writing again.

I'm looking into other writing opportunities -- short stories, non fiction pieces, etc - too so your prayers and positive thoughts are appreciated.

Okay enough rambling... here are a few important things for you to know.....

#1: If you love Christian Fiction and want to receive #FREE books for 2017 sign up with Christian Reader Service. This is a new entity and the #FREE option is for a limited time! Even if you miss out on that, the price is only $48 per year and you get 48 books!! Yeah, sounds too good to be true, I know but check it out! http://christianreaderservice.com 

#2: Do you  ever wish you could just pick up the phone and call a lawyer or have one on retainer? Well with a Legal Shield plan you can! Get details here: http://www.hrmcplans.com/272857

#3: Worried about Identity Theft? For as low as $9.95 per month (Individual) or $19.95 (Family) you'll never have to worry again! Email me for details! psthib.hmrc@gmail.com 

Well friends, that's about all for today. Be sure and check back weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight!

Oh and one more thought....Only 2 Days Left to vote in my poll (right sidebar of blog beneath Bookbub icon) on how you -as a newsletter subscriber - want to receive the FREE short story. Be sure and subscribe for the newsletter too (also in right sidebar just below the poll *join Pam's email list*)

Thanks for visiting! Hope you have a Blessed and Happy day.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

#TuesdayTreasures with Teri Smith Pickens

Good Morning Friends!

A couple of weeks ago, our guest today shared some thoughts with us. Please join me in welcoming Teri Smith-Pickens back to our blog to share something she treasures with us.

Greetings to all and gratitude to Pam for letting me share with you all today. After looking at my bucket list of valuables for a treasure, I came up blank. What if I am running from a fire, what would I grab? My cat, of course. What’s in my purse that I can’t do without? After a long pause, I reluctantly picked my phone, not because I treasure it, but because I can call AAA in an emergency. Don’t get me wrong, I have valuables (the few I haven’t given away), but it dawned on me that I no longer have earthly treasures! My treasures are laid up in heaven. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt…but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven…Matt 6:19

My Tuesday or any day of the week treasure is not visible on the physical plain; it is Inner Peace which comes from God. It is visible in some ways, like the tattered copy of the Holy Bible I carry everywhere, my ability to fall and stay asleep, perfect health, etc. But this wasn’t always the case; I used to treasure ‘stuff’ but it came with the usual insanity, discontent, impending doom - until my awakening. What happened? When I started focusing on spiritual things physical things fell away opening my mind to treasures I couldn’t imagine, like perfect peace, that peace that passes all human understanding. This is huge for me. I used to wake up randomly at 3 am, my mind running 200 miles an hour, leaping from topic to topic before I even realized it was daybreak and all I wanted was to fall asleep. I can live without stuff, but I can’t live without peace. It is inner peace that calms the turbulent storm raging in our minds and that peace is God’s grace.

As a psychotherapist it is hard to tell parents that we can’t fix their kids, we can only give tools. This led me to see Jell-O as a wonderful metaphor for personality because no matter what you put in the Jell-O, your favorite foods or poison, the Jell-O doesn’t care; it sets with whatever you put in it. With a box of Jell-O sitting on my desk, I explained to parents that children mirror the environment; they don’t hear you but they see and copy your every move. Are you consciously deciding what goes into their Jell-O?  This makes it so children under 18 can’t be diagnosed with a personality disorder – their Jell-O is not yet set!

Then came the epiphany, the children didn’t have God in their Jell-O! This thought gave me the title for my new book, God In My Jell-O?  God is already in our Jell-O but there is a spiritual app to turn Him on. If we don’t activate the app God is like the best appliance in the world that will not work if it is not plugged in. Perfect Peace comes from activating God. This invisible treasure, when you find it, is worth all the gold in the Galaxy. ~ Teri Smith-Pickens

You are so right, Teri, Inner Peace is something we all aspire to and definitely worth treasuring!
Teri Smith-Pickens, a graduate of NYU and Hunter College, started in the mental health field with an Honorary degree in Divinity. She is a life coach, speaker, and popular author, who experienced a supernatural epiphany in 2008. Teri described it as if listening to a radio broadcast in her own head that she couldn’t turn off. She felt she had unknowingly knocked, and a door to the unseen had opened. After a couple years the broadcast stopped but whenever she became confused about what she had heard, it mysteriously started again. Teri was thrust into painful situations to experience every symptom of the divine message causing her to coin the phrase, ‘Survival Mode Syndrome’.  Realizing she needed a format that people could not only embrace, but believe, she again knocked, and this time a door in the form of a dream opened leaving her with two words, ‘children’ and ‘parody’.  After arguing with God about the meaning, Teri sat down at the computer and her fingers began to move, and God in my Jell-O was born. 

Connect with Teri on her WebsiteLinked In and Facebook. Purchase Teri's book at Amazon.

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll visit weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight and I hope you've signed up to receive my newsletter and voted in the poll here on the blog (right sidebar)!

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Marie Treanor and Ghost in the Rain

Good Morning Friends and Happy Saturday!

I'm so honored you could join us as I bring to your attention another new-to-me/my blog-author.

Marie Treanor lives in Scotland, in a chaotic house by the sea, together with her eccentric husband, three much too smart children and a small dog who rules them all. Most days, she avoids both housekeeping and evil day jobs by writing stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie is the award winning author of over forty paranormal romances - Indie, New York and E-published.

You can find out more about Marie and her books on her website: www.MarieTreanor.com.

Subscribe to her New Release Mailing List: http://www.marietreanor.com/marie-treanor-newsletter.  

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieTreanor 

Now let's find out about Marie's book, Ghost in the Rain; A World of Gothic: Scotland  

A haunted Highland house, battered by storms and murder...

Notorious rocker Dan Stewart isn’t anything like Dr. Kate Yorke imagined. Arriving at his remote home in the Scottish Highlands to research some valuable letters - only to discover he’s forgotten their appointment - Kate soaks up the Gothic atmosphere of Invershiel House. But it’s the owner who truly fascinates her.

Reclusive and abrupt, Dan is haunted by the deaths of his fellow band members, especially his one time lover Islay Lamont, whose shade seems to flit around the grounds in the rain. But the ghost is not the only mystery Kate encounters. Light bulbs disappear around her – and only Dan knows she’s scared of the dark. Then she trips over a dead body which inexplicably vanishes.

It becomes a race against time to find the identity of the body and the killer. And to discover if she and Danny have any kind of future together. Or even at all...

A World of Gothic is a Gothic Mystery Romance Series by authors all over the world. For information on other titles, check out A World of Gothic Facebook page:

I had to acknowledge that my peace was churned up by his unexpected presence here. It wasn’t even an unpleasant feeling; in fact it felt rather…exciting. But it was disturbing.

I took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes. I suspected Dan Stewart carried such disturbance wherever he went. If I thought about it, the whole house felt different now. As if its peace had gone too; as if it had sprung to life, eager, waiting.

Mocking my own silly fantasy, I stood abruptly and paced around the room, trying to recover my lost concentration. I suspected I was just tired and would work much faster and much better after a good night’s sleep.

I paused by the window to watch the storm. Although the thunder had stopped, the wind and rain were still blasting the trees and rattling the window. Close-up, I could feel the draught through my thick sweater. On impulse, I retrieved my phone from my bag and tried to capture the raging storm on its camera. But it looked too tame on the screen, not deep or dark enough, no real movement in those black clouds still scudding and swirling across the sky. I wished I could paint. For a moment, I even wished I could be part of it, to go outside in it again. There was nothing to stop me, except common sense.

I smiled to myself and lowered the phone, just as a movement in the garden below caught my eye. Someone was out in this. Someone not remotely dressed for it either. Through the darkness and the almost opaque mist of rain, I could make out only that it seemed to be a woman wearing only some kind of floating, white, wispy garment, more like the loungewear of wealthy women of past centuries than anything anyone would wear today for any purpose. The odd garment shimmered as the figure glided across the lawn, impossibly graceful.

On impulse, I raised my phone again and snapped.

Perhaps she moved too quickly. Nothing of her showed on the screen except an indistinct blur of light against blackness. Frowning, I looked again out of the window, but the woman had gone. Vanished.

Ooooh, been a long time since I read a good Gothic and this one sounds like a must read and such a beautiful cover! You can purchase Ghost in the Rain at the following locations.... 

Well I'm off to my Bayou Writers Group meeting. If you're in the Lake Charles vicinity, join us! I sure hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and that you'll visit each week and check out our Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Oh, and if you have a moment, please check out the poll here (right sidebar just below Bookbub icon) and help me decide how to get my FREE short story to newsletter subscribers~THANKS!

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

#ThursdayThoughts Random Ramblings

Good Morning!

Today is going to be one of those random ramblings days as I really have no idea what to talk about but here goes....

One thing that's been on my mind is why we tend to revert to old ways of thinking, living or comfortable things?

For instance, reading old, favorite books or wearing old, comfortable pajamas or t-shirts and jeans.

Is it because those items remind us of better days?

Do we find comfort in the past?


I don't know but last night I pulled an old, favored book off my shelf and although I know it intimately, read halfway through then and finished it this morning and was still as touched, as moved as the first time I read it. Tears and smiles as the story unfolded with each turn of the page.

Perhaps I found comfort in knowing the happy ending would still be in place. Or, in the timeless treasure of words woven together to create a story so compelling I read it over and over. And the prayer that my writing does the same for people.

Alas, who knows the real reasons we do these things....reflection, appreciation, love...all good reasons to wander back through our memories. Whether with photos, music or a good book it's important, though we may not want to stay stuck in the past, to occasionally linger there and perhaps, gain a new appreciation for the lessons learned throughout our journey of life.

Something to think about!
"Inspirational with an Edge!"

If you enjoyed today's random ramblings, please visit here each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlights.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

#TuesdayTreasures Books & Contests

Hello Friends! Today's post is about something we all enjoy...good books and contests...this one brought to you by Cami Checketts. So without further ado here's what you need to know.....

Just in time for the Summer Olympics, bestselling sweet romance author, Cami Checketts, brings you a new Destination Billionaire Romance.

Superstar runner Zack Tyndale was the easy favorite to win gold in the Olympic Games, but a stupid decision shatters his dreams the night before the big race. Unable to face his shame, he escapes to the Caribbean and a life of blissful solitude ... until Madeline Panetto crash lands on his pristine private beach, trying to outrun a gang of pirates with nothing but a fancy evening gown and a flash drive hidden in her bra. Zack finds himself sucked into Maddy's world of mutiny and murder.

Madeline might find refuge from the pirates, but Zach is battling pirates of his own. When sparks fly between them, they're forced to look to their hearts for the answers and that could be more frightening than facing a mutinous crew.

Can these two find refuge from the pirates and with each other?

Find Caribbean Rescue - Amazon * Goodreads
*Enter below to win a $50 gift card and a copy of The Independent One: A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance

Excerpt of Caribbean Rescue:

A few steps from the French doors he heard the high whine of a motor. Zack whipped around and searched the ocean beyond. There were no lights, but the motor sound was unmistakable. What kind of an idiot would be out on the water with no lights on and in what sounded like a small boat?

Zack raced past his pool and gardens, and took the steps to the beach two at a time. He could just make out a small boat, hurtling through the water. He didn’t even have time to be angry someone was invading his sanctuary as he saw the angle they were coming at. “No, not that way!” he yelled, though they couldn’t possibly hear him.

Zack sprinted through the sand and onto his dock. He kept one eye on the boat as he ran the length of the dock, waving his arms and yelling, “Turn! Turn!” Large boulders and a former shipwreck resided just under the water, exactly where that boat was heading. Any other angle into the harbor was deep and safe to take even in his yacht, but this idiot was coming straight for the shallow waters of the dock instead. Why weren’t they slowing even though they were within a hundred feet of the dock?

“Stop!” he screamed. “Turn!”

The sickening crunch was louder than the howling wind and rain. The rear of the boat flung into the air, and the lone passenger flew forward then disappeared into the water. Zack dove off the dock, surfacing quickly, and using strong strokes to cross the distance. Water from the uneven waves splashed into his face, making it hard to see. The person bobbed up out of the water and started swimming his direction. That was a relief. From the hair streaming around her, he assumed it was a woman.

They came within a few feet of each other and Zack slowed and treaded water. “Are you okay?”

“I-I think so.”

“Can you make it to the dock?” His lights reflecting from the beach showed a mop of dark hair and a beautiful face.

In answer, she started slowly swimming that direction, but she hadn’t gone four strokes before she swayed and rolled over onto her back. That’s when Zack noticed the cut on her head. The water turned the blood a watery pink. She’d definitely hit her head on one of the rocks or maybe the old shipwreck.

“You’re not okay.”

“I can make it.” She started to kick. A wave rolled over her face and she jerked up, coughing and spluttering, but bravely kept trying to stay afloat, beating at the water with her arms and legs.
She was tough and not a complainer. Nice.

“I’ve got you.” Zack looped his arm under her armpit and over her chest and tugged her back to the dock. She had a small build, but her clothes must’ve been waterlogged because she seemed to weigh a ton. Zack was in shape, but he tired quickly. Finally, they made it to the dock and the woman clung to the edge. Zack grabbed hold and heaved himself out of the water then helped lift her up.

She collapsed onto her back and released a loud breath. “Oh, thank you, I thought it was time to reacquaint myself with Saint Peter.”

“Saint Peter?” She’d hit her head hard or she was crazy. He looked over her fancy, waterlogged dress and the diamonds sparkling at her throat. She’d been out in the ocean like that, without a lifejacket? Crazy it might be, or with quite a good story to tell.

“You know—the angel at the pearly gates.”

 Zack let out a surprised laugh. “Glad you put that off for a little while.”

“Me too.” She sat up and touched the small gash in her head. Blood trickled between her fingertips. “Ouch.”

“I bet.” Zack pushed his way to his feet and offered her a hand. The wind whipped his wet t-shirt around him. He was glad he shaved his head and didn’t have hair whipping in his face like she did. “Let’s get you up to the house and cleaned up.”

She placed her hand in his, but wavered as he helped her up. Zack wrapped his other arm around her waist and lifted her onto her feet. She swayed.

“Can you walk?”

Her eyes filled with stubborn pride. “Of course I can walk.”

She pulled away from him, took one step, teetered off the dock, and splashed back into the water.

“Oh, boy.” Zack shook his head. He hadn’t smelled alcohol on her breath, but that had to be the explanation. Fancy dress, alone on a boat in the ocean at night. He’d have to help her tonight then load her onto his yacht tomorrow and get her to Belize. If she had any money it was probably sunk with her little boat. He’d get her to where she needed to go and be done with this mess. Oddly enough, he didn’t mind the excitement. It was a good contrast to his normally sedate lifestyle.

She came up to the surface sputtering and flailing. Zack knelt down, put his hands under her armpits, and hefted her back onto the dock. He stood slowly, supporting both of them then swung her off her feet and into his arms. Despite himself, he noticed how nicely she fit against him. It had been a long while since he’d been around an attractive, unrelated woman. “Shall we try this again?”

“Good plan.” Her voice rumbled against his chest and he kind of liked it. “I must’ve thumped my head harder than I thought.”

“Or something,” he muttered.

Her head whipped up. Brown eyes full of fire. “I’m not drunk, if that’s what you’re thinking, I’m…” She quickly looked down again, not meeting his gaze.

“You’re…” he encouraged. He’d like to hear her story and he did believe her that she wasn’t drunk. Her speech was too lucid and her breath smelled too clean.

“I can’t. I don’t know who to trust.” She grabbed onto his arm. “Oh, holy monkey balls!”

Zack jerked in surprise and almost dropped her as she squirmed in his arms. “What are you doing now? You want to fall in the water again?” They’d reached the end of the dock, but she could still fall in the shallow water.

“I’ve got to find something. Please. Can you help me look in the water? Back where my boat is?” Her eyes were wide and frantic.

“Right now?” Zack gestured to the waves building as the storm increased in intensity. “No! You’re hurt. It’s dark. And there’s a storm.” His four-year-old niece had more common sense than this woman, and Chalise hadn’t spoken a word in two years.

The woman deflated and burrowed herself into his arms. Zack liked this quite a bit better than her struggling. He tightened his hold on her. Hmm, her shape was really… shapely.


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See you later for Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.