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

Saturday, September 29, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Willis Abshire and his trilogy The Curse, the Diary and the Cross!

Good Morning and Welcome!

Today's guest was in our spotlight back in 2013 with book 1 in his trilogy. Earlier this year, he shared some thoughts with us. Today Willis Abshire returns with a sneak peek into books 2 & 3!

 The infant Franklin Joseph Burns, great grandson of the evil Count Wilhelm von Brunstoke, has been spared from the efforts by Andrea Polans to present him as a blood sacrifice to her god Nachash. But his freedom cost. His father Joe murdered at the hands of Andrea and his mother Teresa succumb to Tuberculosis has left Frank an orphan. He is adopted by his caretakers Isaac and Mildred Walker.
Frank grows up with the belief that a loving, merciful God does not exist or if there is one, then he has singled Frank out and is using him for cruel malicious target practice.
Driven by a lust for women and life, Frank exploits his good looks to experience sin and its pleasures. But deep within, the tormented young man searches for the reasons of his existence in the shadows of his past.
Shomer, guardian angel to the recipients of righteousness and Leb, agent of the Almighty, guides Frank to see himself for what he is. Blinded by pride and self reliance Frank battles against his own reasonings. Everywhere he turns, everyone he interacts with, smacks him up against the thing he hates most vehemently—the Cross of Jesus Christ.


Spring 1921
Brunstoke, Germany

FOR THREE DAYS the torrential deluge pounded the community of Brunstoke—but today the rains ceased. He hovered above the river’s edge looking out at the savage current. The raging waters exhilarated him. It wouldn’t be long before the banks would over flow. He gloated as he watched the uncontrolled current devour everything around it.
He smiled, his dark glistening ominous wings spreading over a twelve-foot span—his breathing going in rhythm to his fluttering wings. The muscles of his body showing through his black shroud rippled, moved up and down in shimmering splendor.
His eyes glowed red like the blood he feasted on—the coppery taste of the human sacrifices still tantalizing his taste buds. He smiled, baring his yellow teeth as he softly voiced the thought that sent ecstasy through his whole being: “Lives will be lost.”

Vengeful anger is a deadly emotion. If unchecked, it will fester and fill one’s passions overflowing its cancerous wrath to the heart.
Count Wilhelm von Brunstoke upon discovering that his father is the murderer of his mother has vowed revenge.
Now, seven generations later, Jordan Burns descendant of the self-absorbed Count has been handed a diary revealing the life of the evil Count.
Jordan must now go back to the land of his ancestors and confront this insidious curse that has ruined the lives of his generations past.
Within the pages of this diary a riddle is presented. There is only one requirement to be met to break the curse’s power. A male ancestor of the Brunstoke line must take his own life. Blood has been shed to feed the curse now blood must be shed to break it.
Which will it be? Die so others may live or allow the curse to continue to flourish in a macabre world of narcissism.
Leb continues his tale in this finale of the Master’s great Love.


the gusting winds beating against his body. Sweat trickled down to his face—his sulfur stained eyes lurched in rapid succession—waiting. Arms crossed, he stared into the howling squall—listening.
Finally, the winds lessened and a twisted grin erased the scowl etched on his face A whisper perched on his shoulder, spoke softly into his ears, “You have failed.”
Rah knew the order. Would he meet Ganav in his imprisonment in the abyss?
He snapped, “I won’t give in. The fool eager for my position must be my executioner—rules of the game...” Rah gasped, then a smile revealed yellow, razor fangs. “Perhaps I’ll rate the great one himself.”
Respected among his peers, yet feared and hated, Rah, the magnificent, found himself at an impasse. Expert in religious deception, his inability to produce a Burns male sacrifice for Nachash shouted an indictment against him.
Rah lashed out, “Complete obedience, one-hundred-percent success, it’s what he expects. Lucifer’s been unable to accomplish it, yet he demands it of us. I’ve destroyed William Burns and Angelica Poltrane. What more does he want? My master’s a hypocrite. He’s always been.” The words fell, pulled down by his weak reasoning.
He stood, unmoving, listening—there, a rustling behind the line of tall pines or was he imagining things? His end was coming.
So, he waited, recalling the days of his innocence, when he walked in the Eternal Light, basking in the Creator’s glory, and the freedom he experienced in serving the Almighty. Now, he is nothing more than a rebel consumed by the fire of his allegiance to the Father of Lies.

Willis R. Abshire is a retired Residential and Commercial Painting Contractor from a small rural community in south central Louisiana.  A former Pastor he enjoys his writings and spending time with his wife Vickie along with their seven children, fourteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren with one on the way expected in November 2018.

Find out more about Willis by connecting with him on Twitter and Facebook.

His trilogy can be purchased through Amazon.

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

Until next time take care and God Bless.

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.