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

Saturday, December 28, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Jacqueline Seewald & Sinful Seduction!

Good Morning!

Well Christmas is over but before we can truly exhale, celebrations will continue through next week with New Years.

If you've got some downtime during this season, why not relax with a good book?

My friend, Jacqueline Seewald is in the spotlight today with a brand new release so please give her a great big SW LA welcome....

They met and loved passionately in a time of revolution.

Anne McIntyre, a schoolmistress in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey at the outset of the American Revolution, is serious-minded, intelligent, and patriotic. Anne supports her sister in her marital problems and helps the ironmaster’s widow manage a difficult situation with her daughter.

Peter Kensington should have been an earl, but thanks to the duplicity of his younger brother and his own reckless nature, he has ended up an officer in the colonial war. Spying is alien to his gentlemanly code. Yet he must do exactly that. Anne is suspicious of him from the first but as passionately attracted to him as he is to her.

SINFUL SEDUCTION has received an excellent review from the Historical Novel Society: “Sinful Seduction sets a romantic domestic drama against the backdrop of the American Revolution in an innovative way… an enjoyable read.”


New Jersey, 1776

AT FIRST, the trip to Princeton was not frightening. There were no armies of soldiers on the road. Yet the smell of fear was in the air. Anne McIntyre had been told the Continental Army was retreating across New Jersey with the British army in hot pursuit. The coach pressed on. She grimly kept her skinning knife at one side and the spare pistol at the other — just in case. Visions of red-coated soldiers pillaging and raping marched through her mind.

A few miles outside of Princeton, old Jacob sped up the coach. Anne could hear horses racing and drawing near. Soon there was the sound of voices yelling at Jacob to halt.

“Is it soldiers?” Delia Baincroft asked in a small, frightened voice that made her sound more childish than her sixteen years.

Anne turned her head toward the window at the rear of the coach and peered out. There were four armed men on horses chasing after them, but they were in civilian dress.

“It looks like highwaymen, although I cannot be certain.”

The coach could not outrun the men on horseback, and they were forced to pull over. Anne’s heartbeat increased as she gripped the pistol beside her.

“Where are you goin’, driver? And who are the folk within this fine coach?”

“Who wants to know?” she heard Jacob return sharply.

“Do not be rude to your betters, old man, or I’ll slice out your tongue.”

Fanny Baincroft slightly opened the coach door and peered her head outside. “Step away, man. My daughter is ill, and we are on our way to seek a physician.”

“Then surely you fine ladies have money with you to pay a fat fee. Get out of the coach and hand over your valuables.”

“How dare they!” Delia sputtered indignantly.

“Stand and deliver.”

There was the sound of a pistol fired and then another in exchange. Anne brushed past Fanny to see what was happening. Jacob had obviously tried to shoot one of the robbers, but his aim wasn’t good enough. The old man gasped, holding his chest where blood spurted forth. While the men had their eyes turned on Jacob, Anne took up her weapon and aimed it at the leader of the group.

“I’ll shoot you if you don’t get out of here,” she said, cocking the mechanism.

The highwayman laughed at her in a crude, menacing way. “And what does a young woman like yourself know of weapons?” He started moving toward her. “I think you need to be taught a lesson in how to yield right and proper.”

Anne let loose her shot and caught the man in the head. She saw the look of astonishment as he fell from his horse, blood trickling down his temple. She hoped that without a leader, the others would turn and ride away, but that was not the case. Three men charged toward her, and she could only think to remove her knife from its hide casing in readiness. She would not die without a fight.

But suddenly she heard a pistol discharging and then another. A tall man on a great horse dispersed the robbers, another of whom fell from his horse, bleeding profusely while the other two rode away.
“Are you all right?” The man’s black horse reared up.

Anne found herself trembling. She had been fine in the moment that required her greatest effort, but now she felt weak. It was as if her legs could no longer support her. Their savior seemed to sense this. He climbed down from the spirited stallion and put his arms around her, holding her close as if she were a child. Normally, she would have been shocked and offended by such behavior from a stranger, but these were not usual circumstances. She felt his gesture of comfort suffuse her flesh with an unfamiliar but pleasant sensation of warmth.

“They won’t be back,” he said reassuringly.

He ran his hands over her back and continued to press her close against the hard length of his masculine body. Her reaction to him was peculiar. She felt herself begin to tremble as if in the grip of a raging fever. It took all the strength she could summon to pull free of him.

Anne looked up into the handsomest face she had ever seen. The man removed his hat and bowed to her. His eyes were of a deep, dark blue, hair completely blond on top and sandy beneath. He was well-dressed in a great, black cape and fully armed with a sword and brace of pistols. When he returned his hat to his head, he cocked it jauntily like a military man.

Sinful Seduction is available in print and all e-book formats from Luminosity Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Kobo among other online and retail outlets.

Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Fifteen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies such as: THE WRITER, L.A. TIMES, READER’S DIGEST, PEDESTAL, SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE, OVER MY DEAD BODY!, GUMSHOE REVIEW, THE MYSTERY MEGAPACK, LIBRARY JOURNAL, and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. One of her inspirational poems took first place in the Reader’s Digest 2015 Poetry Contest. She’s also an amateur landscape artist and loves blue grass music.

Her author’s blog can be found at: http://jacquelineseewald.blogspot.com

Wow, Jacquie, sounds like another winner for you! Good luck and God's blessings with it.

Hope you enjoyed today's guest, friends, and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Nacogdoches, TX!

Good Morning Friends,

It is Christmas Day so there will not be a guest or anything special today. Just a heartfelt wish for you ALL to have the Merriest & Most Blessed Christmas ever!

And let us not forget what Christmas is really all about.

Hope to see you on Saturday for Saturday Spotlight.

Until later....take care, God Bless you ALL and THANK YOU for your continued love and support. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Richard Quisenberry & Wobbly Willie!

Good Morning!

Well, ready or not, it's here. Christmas is 4 days away - count'em F.O.U.R! I'm sweating delivery of two gifts. One, I know is not going to make it here but the other .... I'll find out today. Otherwise it's a gift card for now and someone, two people actually will get a gift later in the year LOL!

Hey, no use stressing over something you can't control right?

My Christmas Scavenger Hunt is over and the winners announced on my website. I've also put up a new Christmas romance story for newsletter subscribers only so if you're not one, go ahead and sign up! The story will stay up until some time next year.

Today's guest is brand new to me and our blog so please welcome children's book author, Richard Quisenberry with his friend Wobbly Willie Cranford!

Join Wobbly as he embarks on a journey that not only teaches us how to embrace our uniqueness but he reminds us of how to be kind to ourselves. When we address these reminders head-on, the power of a being kind brings us together. Wobbly Willie’s differences help identify and bring awareness to what it truly means to be kind to one another. This book will help redirect the behavior and mindset of children who are having difficulty understanding the value of Kindness, which results in a community that now is aware of the valuable life skills necessary in order to make a positive impact for generations to come.  

Wobbly identifies what it truly means to make a conscious choice to be kind. Everyone has that option to choose kindness or bitterness. Wobbly shares how being intentional in his Kindness efforts creates opportunity, and if we are not as intentional as we can be in making that choice then we may miss these beautiful opportunities to be kind. Join Wobbly as he spreads his message across to the world and shares his story’s that help people find a way to be kind not only to others but to themselves. 

Wobbly Willie teaches both young and old alike that it is okay to be different and shows them that diversity is a beautiful thing. 
Wobbly Willie's Little Reminder: What makes me special, you may not see: my brain; my heart; the good in me. 

All covered by a layer of skin, embracing diversity is where change begins. 

Richard Quisenberry is an educator and John Maxwell certified speaker and trainer. He is passionate about helping students and adults identify and operate in their purpose and reach goals they thought unachievable. He has dedicated over 34 years to guiding others to develop talents that lie within themselves, helping to achieve their goals and dreams, and ultimately leading to personal, academic and professional success.

Richard has achieved a successful and varied career in education since 1983 serving in many capacities including Principal, District Compliant Coordinator, Crisis Prevention Instructor, Intervention Specialist, Health Teacher, Physical Education and Adaptive Physical Education, working with students on the Autism Spectrum, Lead Teacher, and Athletic Coach (basketball, football, track).

Richard is a published author of children’s stories and inspirational poetry. He is the Founder of Golden Recruit Elite Basketball Services, creator of the “Wobbly Willie Kindness Program” for students (Pre-K through 3rd Grade), and CEO/Founder of Unique Proposals Leadership and Transformational Life Coaching Services. He has been a diligent entrepreneur through his creation of Quisenberry Enterprise, LLC. Connect with him at the following locations...


Social Networks

Wow, Richard, what lovely little books!

We certainly wish you and Wobbly Willie the best of luck and God's blessings!

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends. You can order copies of the Wobbly Willie books HERE. Might be a bit late for Christmas but they'll make great gifts for the young readers in your life anytime.

Hope to see you next week for another edition of Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends More on Every Knee Shall Bow!

Good Morning Friends,

Christmas is one week away! Are you ready? I'm still waiting on a few gifts to be delivered and need to pick up a few gift cards, but other than that, I am.

If you didn't get a chance to really read this past week's Saturday Spotlight, it's still there and an amazing story about a beautiful painting.

Today, I'm featuring a few Q&A from Gaye Frances Willard about this painting and the book it inspired....

Q: Some Christians might think Santa Claus and Jesus shouldn't be in the same painting. How do you respond?
A: I get that a lot! Some Christian retailers have refused to carry these images for that very reason. I understand, insofar as Santa Claus is not the reason for Christmas. Jesus is. And they are right, in a very religious sort of way. Because of His righteousness and our lack of it, Jesus really shouldn’t be in the company of sinners. Yet that is why He came. I am very aware of my own humanness, my own sin, brokenness, and need of a Savior. If He had not been willing to be in the presence of the likes of me, how could I ever be made worthy to stand in His? If I insist on separating the human from the Divine, the flesh from the Spirit, then I will never know the fullness of Christ. The two images are the artistic expression of what is true for me. I need Him in my life…in my brokenness…in my heart…with me. I desire the relationship His coming granted me and relationship requires close proximity. Jesus with Santa Claus is just my way of showing the Savior with the sinner. And the sinner doing what he is called to do—worship his Savior.

Q: What do you hope readers will gain from this book?
A: Throughout my lifetime, I have watched the attempts of a humanistic worldview try to obscure the message of the Gospel. During the Christmas season, I see a profound opportunity for followers of Christ to tell the story of Jesus. It is my desire to encourage believers to do just that. Seize the opportunity that the season grants us! Every day we face increasing pressure to keep our Christian beliefs and values to ourselves. Those who know Jesus are the only ones who can tell anyone who He is. I, for one, refuse to confine the Good News of His birth and life inside the four walls of a church. He came to offer peace to the entire world, and we are called to testify to that fact. I hope this book challenges every reader to take advantage of the designated time on our calendar called “Christmas.” We don’t need to spend our energy trying to make a secular society hold Jesus up as “the reason for the season.” They cannot share what they do not know. That is the job of the believer. If every disciple of Jesus makes it their personal mission to tell His story within this space of time so openly granted to us, it just might change the rest of the year. And that is my hope.

Q: Talk about some of the other paintings in the book and what inspired them.

A: In two words—loving Jesus! Each one of the paintings comes from an overwhelming desire to express that love. Some were inspired by actual events. “The Reason” is the result of my time in Africa as a missionary. I was accustomed to the “over-celebrating” of Christmas in my own culture and was forever impacted by the lack of it in another. Others, like “Behold the Lamb,” simply give imagery to scripture. Jesus came in human form so that we might see, hear and touch the unfathomable love of God. That is such a profound and life-changing truth! How can I help but share it in every way that I can?

Gaye Frances Willard is an award-winning artist with commissioned portraits in both private and public collections worldwide. Her painting, “Every Knee Shall Bow, ” was represented in an exclusive line bearing her name, and carried nationwide by Hobby Lobby and other retail outlets. In addition to her latest release, she is the author/illustrator of four children’s books as well as the book, “Common Sense Christianity for an Uncommon People.” She is a member of the Portrait Society of America and makes her home in Trinity, North Carolina. She and her husband, Eddie, have five children and fourteen grandchildren. For more information, visit www.portraitartistnc.com

Find out more about this fascinating book and listen to Gaye's perspective with a couple of videos HERE.

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Gaye Frances Willard & Every Knee Shall Bow!

Good Morning Friends!

December is well underway. Christmas parties have begun and I'm ahead of the game this year where shopping is concerned. How 'bout you?

Today's guest is new to our blog and brought to us by Adams PR Group, so please welcome Gaye Frances Willard with a very special post.....

Painting that was flagged by Facebook as “violent” last Christmas featured in new book

Artist and author Gaye Willard hopes this Christmas is much different than last year. Her painting of Santa kneeling before the baby Jesus was blocked as “violent” on Facebook, and numerous mainstream news outlets including The Blaze, Newsbusters, and Fox News radio picked up the story. Due to the massive media coverage and consumer outcry, Facebook rescinded the blocked content, and Willard was left wondering why the painting became such a target.  In response to that event, which she says brought criticisms from both non-Christians as well as Christians, she decided to write a book detailing what inspired that particular painting, along with several other of her works in the new hardcover book, Every Knee Shall Bow—A Christmas Collection.

“My initial reaction to Facebook calling the painting ‘violent’ was disbelief,” says Willard. “What could possibly be construed as violent in an image of Santa kneeling at the manger? But what I realized was that it was not the actual image that carried a message of ‘violence,’ but the conversations that were the result of viewing it. It had provoked anger from two camps: those who opposed the person of Jesus Christ and those who opposed the depiction of Santa Claus and Jesus in the same space.”

Willard’s painting of “Every Knee Shall Bow” was the basis for a product line carried by Hobby Lobby and other retailers. Willard says it was not surprising that some were offended by the image, but she has been surprised at the level of emotional response it has received.

“Even if I didn’t believe in Jesus, I’m certain that I would still love Christmas,” says Willard. “I love the artistry of Christmas; the beauty of the lights, the bright colors of packages and bows, the sparkle and the festive mood. But there is an element to Christmas that cannot be realized without knowing Jesus. It is a quietness—a sense of awe and wonder. It is reverence. It is worship. And worship of the King is the simple inspiration and message I wanted to convey in that painting.”

Willard says the new book reveals details of a particular image in the painting that she didn't actually draw, but once she discovered it, she was moved to tears.

“I purposefully drew a cross in the form of star over the baby Jesus,” says Willard. “I felt that was more appropriate for the birth of Christ. But God had other plans. When I took a break and returned to my easel, there was a shadow image of the cross that I had not painted! It was perfectly positioned at the feet of Jesus. I got chills and started crying.”

Willard says the on-going arguments over saying “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” or taking Christ out of Christmas should not deter Christians from living out their beliefs.

“Every day we face increasing pressure to keep our Christian beliefs and values to ourselves. I, for one, refuse to confine the Good News of His birth and life inside the four walls of a church. He came to offer peace to the entire world, and we are called to testify to that fact. I hope this book challenges every reader to take advantage of the designated time on our calendar called Christmas. But we don’t need to spend our energy trying to make a secular society hold Jesus up as ‘the reason for the season.’ They cannot share what they do not know. If every disciple of Jesus makes it their personal mission to tell His story within this space of time so openly granted to us, it just might change people’s lives for the better. And that is my hope.”

Gaye Frances Willard is an award-winning artist with commissioned portraits in both private and public collections worldwide. Her painting, “Every Knee Shall Bow, ” was represented in an exclusive line bearing her name, and carried nationwide by Hobby Lobby and other retail outlets. In addition to her latest release, she is the author/illustrator of four children’s books as well as the book, “Common Sense Christianity for an Uncommon People.” She is a member of the Portrait Society of America and makes her home in Trinity, North Carolina. She and her husband, Eddie, have five children and fourteen grandchildren. For more information, visit www.portraitartistnc.com

CAN You Believe FaceBook flagged this as violent?! UGH I LOVE this picture! Every Knee Shall Bow can be preordered at Amazon

Thank you so much, Gaye for visiting us today and sharing the hope of Christmas and miracle of your painting with us. We certainly wish you the BEST of luck and God's blessings with your paintings and this book.

Hope you enjoyed today's post, friends and that you'll check back each week for Wednesday Words with Friends and of course, Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care, God bless and remember....Jesus IS the reason for the season!


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends welcomes Rachel Barreiros back!

Good Morning!

Well, we've gone from 70 degrees back down to the 40's...yesterday was wet, cold, nasty but today promises to be filled with sunshine. At least I hope it is because I'm not a fan of gloomy, gray skies LOL!

I'm having a Christmas Scavenger Hunt on my website. Details can be found HERE. I hope you'll join in the fun.

Enough about me though...on with our guest!

Last month we welcomed poet and hopeful children's book author, Rachel Barreiros. Today Rachel is sharing a few more poems with us so please give her a huge "Welcome Back Rachel!"


Here and now, in this moment you stand
In the moments of yesterday
And in tomorrow’s unplanned,

You know not time, and it knows not you
Time has no friend
No thoughts, no view.

It has no meaning except to the beholder
In passing, it’s harder to hold
And grows much colder,

At each beat and blink, time has passed
Take haste in these!
Each of these is incredibly vast.

In the reflection of time, priority becomes clear
But not news reported events,
Places and trips, or facing your fear,

But rather minuscule things, become important and grand
A warm smile with a heartfelt hug,
A silken touch of a baby’s innocent hand.

The crackling of a fireplace while sipping honey and tea,
Reading a book that touches your soul,
Or the refreshing shade of an airy, wind-blown tree.

Family nearby instead of distanced by far,
A phone call from a longtime friend,
A surprising, passionately expressed card.

I give this to you, I send your way,
My well wishes and prayers,
A beautiful moment in this day,

Be unwearied by kindness, by sentiment and love,
Be restored by the moment
Be strengthened by God above.

Each and every day is defined by you,
By what you make of the moment,
Welcoming each with spirit anew,

I give you my love, this moment of today,
I give you thoughtful prayer,
All unreservedly sent your way.


Don’t step there but step up here
Don’t look down just look away
If you don’t look and you don’t see it
Then I’m sure, almost sure, that it would say
It would say the best of things
That you’re the fairest of them all
That you’re thin and healthy and just a feather
That you’re as strong and sturdy as a wall
Why read the numbers?
Numbers are just a thing
What matters is how you feel
Not how you look but what you bring
I’m sure that’s what it’s saying
And a scale never lies
If you don’t check calories, they don’t count
You’re doing fine! as it sweats and cries
It huffs and puffs to hold you up
And tells you you’ve lost some ounces
“You could stand to eat a little more
You’re a toothpick”, it announces
If when I looked down to see the numbers
The scale was within view
I’m sure there’d be no numbers
It would just read, “YOU’RE A BEAUTIFUL YOU.”


I don’t believe I’m in trouble
For doing nothing and having nothing to do
For smiling like I’m hiding something
Even though doing nothing is truly true

I’m pretty sure there’d be no trouble
For all the things I haven’t done
Although my funny face is troubling
It looks like I’ve done something to someone

Everyone is looking for something
Up my shirt, in my shoes or behind me
For that big ball of trouble to drop
It’s Friday..my Friday face just finds me

I can’t wait to get out of here
To go where I want to go
I don’t know exactly where that is
But it will be where trouble goes

Children’s book writer and poet, Rachel Barreiros, is a wife, a mother of two, a long-time business owner, a dog mom of three, an interior designer at heart and a notable and tremendous animal lover who loves God and loves children, and seems to have a special connection with kids. Her family affectionately calls her Snow White because animals, children and all things innocent flock to her and love her because she has such a sweet and tenderhearted way about her that is appealing and trustworthy.

A former winner of a broadcasting network’s poetry contest, she has been a copywriter, written a published article, studio-recorded corporate on-hold messaging, and ghostwrote a poem that received honors. Some of her work can be viewed on her website and much of it can be read and enjoyed on her Facebook page. She has written a book series of alphabet books, one book per every letter of the alphabet, taking the reader on an eye-opening journey that reveals tangible letters all around them. She is confident that this series is a gem that will come to be a household name.

Rachel is currently seeking a literary agent and publisher for these captivating books that are truly a one-of-a-kind, fun-to-say wordplay, fact-finding, letter-spying adventure. She has written two other children’s book series, one of them representing the greatness that we are capable of through love and helpfulness, and the other celebrates diversities and idiosyncrasies in the many structures of families. Additionally, she has written two other children’s books, one of which retells a sweet story between herself and one of her daughters when she was very young. All these books yearn to be published and take a sweet spot on bookstore shelves.

Most recently, Rachel had the opportunity to read one of her unpublished books to some of St Lucia’s resident children who are members of Sandals Foundation, but the children still being out of school for the summer during her visit brought an obstacle that the foundation was not able to overcome. She hopes to be presented with the same opportunity with foundation children of the Bahamas in several months. Rachel is ready to become a published children’s book author and has many more book ideas ready to write and bring to life. She greatly looks forward to meeting readers and readers’ parents at book signings and readings in bookstores.

Find out more about Rachel by visiting her Website and connecting with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Wow, Rachel, great work! We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings.

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time take care and God bless.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on DiAnn Mills & Fatal Strike!

Good Morning and Welcome!

Well I made it through AEP, exhausted but still here LOL. Today I'll be attending Bayou Writers Group meeting/Christmas party. As we enter into the holiday season with parties and gifts, let us take time to reflect on what the season is all about and to treasure and cherish the deepest part of who we are in Christ.

Today's guest is no stranger to our blog, but please welcome DiAnn back as she gives us a peek into her novel, Fatal Strike....

There’s a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. Authorities have reasons to believe the Veneno gang is behind the hits, and FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down those responsible. Their best lead is an eyewitness who identifies a young man dumping the third body on a church doorstep. But their suspect has gone into hiding, and those closest to him are reluctant to reveal anything that might help investigators find him.

As Leah and Jon check connections among the victims and dig deeper into motives, they discover appearances may be deceiving. Someone is desperate to keep their secrets hidden, and Leah and Jon must face their greatest fears in order to stop the next fatal strike.

Excerpt: SPECIAL AGENT LEAH RIESEL scanned the headlines on her phone. A prosecutor from Galveston had been found murdered behind a construction site, the second apparent victim of gang violence in two days. Both deaths were caused by rattlesnake venom injections to the heart. Before she could pull up additional reports on the woman’s untimely death, Leah’s phone rang.

“Riesel, hostage situation in Galveston,” the SWAT commander said. “Grab your gear. The chopper takes off in five.”

“On it.” She took a last lingering look at the half-eaten blueberry donut and coffee on her cubicle’s desk.

Could this have anything to do with the two murders in Galveston?

Before most of the city began the workday, Leah boarded a 1 Little Bird helicopter beneath whirling blades and the pressure of a critical operation. Dressed in full camo and shouldering her sniper gear, she inhaled the rising temps. Feverish Houston. With the familiar air transport sounds ushering in memories of past missions, her adrenaline kicked in.

A pilot from the tactical helicopter unit lifted the chopper into the air for the twenty-minute ride to Galveston. She recognized him from previous assignments involving aircraft used to deliver SWAT and the elite hostage rescue teams to crisis incidents. This morning her focus eliminated any chitchat.
Leah grabbed sound-canceling headphones and contacted the SWAT commander already on the ground. “Riesel here. Special Agent in Charge Thomas briefed me on a home invasion that’s turned violent.”

The SAC would be watching the operation at the Crisis Management Operations Center.

“Negotiations have gotten us nowhere.” The SWAT commander’s voice rose above the chopper’s blade-snap. “Two unidentified men are holding two women and three children at gunpoint. Galveston PD estimates they’ve been inside the home for at least an hour. Demanding we leave the area after giving them five hundred grand and a gassed-up speedboat. Clock is ticking with forty minutes max. We’ve backed off as far as they know.”

Leah swiped through pics taken with telephoto lenses and sent to her phone. Each ski-masked man held a child as a shield. Leah detested the savagery and the horrific emotions the hostages must be feeling.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure?

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on: FacebookTwitter, or any of the social media platforms listed at diannmills.com
Fatal Strike can be purchased at Amazon and other places you find great Christian fiction.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends guest Laura Tolomei

Good Morning!

Four. More. Days. And I'll have made it through another Medicare AEP LOL!

Seriously I am counting the hours and am SO ready to get back to my 1-5 work schedule.

Enough about me though. Have YOU started your Christmas shopping yet? I have. Honestly I think this is the earliest I've ever done so. Still have to get my tree up and house decorated but that's going to have to wait until next weekend. I look forward to sharing this exciting time of year with you....

Meanwhile, Laura Tolomei was in the Spotlight earlier this year so please welcome her back to share some words with us on the publishing industry....

3 Insane but True Things About the Publishing Industry and Book Marketing

The publishing industry changes all the time, and it's often a constant battle to keep up with it when it comes to marketing your books. As publishing has evolved so has my approach to book marketing. Here are three insane but true things about the publishing industry, and book marketing, and some solutions to how to modify your writing and book marketing practices to get around them.

1. There are literally thousands of books being self-published to Amazon and other platforms daily. The way to handle this from a marketing perspective is to have a regular book marketing practice. The only way to compete with those thousands of new authors is to keep your books in the limelight as far as your target market goes as often as possible.

2. There are a lot of published books that are pure crap. That's right, people that have no business publishing are now publishing. They're rewriting public domain books, they're not taking the time to learn their craft, and they're attempting to do everything themselves without proper research into, for example how to make a good book cover, or how to edit a book. The only way to combat this, is to make sure you have a good book cover, and that you have your books professionally edited, or that you learn to edit and to find your own mistakes in your writing.

3. Self-published authors are churning out a book or more a month, and then only charging .99 per full length novel. This trend has made it difficult for traditionally published authors to sell books, but the solution is not for authors and publishers to lower the price of their own books, but rather to step up their marketing and approach it from a quality -vs- quantity perspective.  Readers are willing to pay more for books that are well written, while cranking out a book or more every month, and lowering your book prices may seem like the solution in the end it only leads to burn out, and lost fans because the books aren't well written, oh, and authors who quit writing. By writing quality books and having a regular marketing routine that includes your back list you have a much better chance of staying in the publishing game for the long term.

I hope an understanding of these trends and this advice helps you to stay ahead of the competition and sell more books!

If you really want to know, I was born in 1965 in Rome, Italy, but soon started my travelling career. At the age of five, my parents took me to Lagos, Nigeria, where I grew up free and hot like I've never been since. I loved it there and still think of it with nostalgia. Anyway, it was also where I learned English. 

After my African experience, I was ready to tackle the US. I lived in Atlanta, GA, five teen-age years, attending the Crestwood High School, where I started my writing career by publishing a short story Nostalgia on the Crestwood Journal. Very thrilled about discovering my new talent, I went ahead during college, writing for the Emory University journal The Phoenix. Three articles mark my first-and last-steps in journalism, "The peace Corps", "WAMM, Women Against Military Madness," and "Lesbism".

After my American experience, I moved back to Rome, but still kept living from time to time abroad, spending several months in Mumbay India, a country I always felt very close to me in more ways than one.

Today, I write both in Italian and English, mostly fiction of various genres, from fantasy erotica, to mysteries up to plain ordinary life stories.

Feel free to look over my current and future projects by visiting my website www.lallagatta.com.

GREAT advice Laura, thank you for sharing! We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings on your writing career.

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

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Monique DeVere & The Wedding Favor

Good Morning and Welcome to the last Saturday Spotlight in November 2019!

I'm a little late posting today as for the first time in a LONG time I slept past 4 am LOL! I hope your Thanksgiving was Blessed and Happy and that you're not too worn out from Black Friday shopping. Speaking of which, I'm having a huge Flash Sale on my Tempered series. If you have readers on your list I hope you'll consider getting them autographed, print copies.

Today's guest hasn't visited since 2015 when she shared thoughts with us so please give Monque a huge, SWLA welcome as she gives us a peek into her latest release, The Wedding Favor....

The Wedding Favor
Copyright © Monique DeVere 2019
The Wild Rose Press
All Rights Reserved
When unlucky-in-love Erin Hart’s workaholic boss asks her to attend a family wedding as his fake girlfriend, hiding her secret crush becomes an impossible task.   

A wedding favor for her secret crush…

When unlucky-in-love personal assistant Erin Hart enters her boss’s New York office to resign her job, she doesn’t expect to exit as his fake-girlfriend for an upcoming family wedding. How is she going to keep her crush a secret when she has to share a room… and a bed… with Max for one sizzling weekend in the UK?

Workaholic CEO Max Ferrell understands women only too well: they either want his body or his money. But fiery, sexy Erin is different and recruiting her to help curtail his over-zealous, matchmaking sisters is proving that it’s far more fun to play while you work. Especially when his prim and proper PA helps him to set the sheets ablaze. But falling for her was not in the plan and if he’s not careful, the next wedding might be his own.

Excerpt: “Look out!” A female voice shouted a second before a wave of water hit the top of Erin Hart’s head and cascaded down her body.

Erin squealed, jerking back way too late to avoid disaster. It was just her bad luck to be passing a café awning the moment someone decided to upend the canopy of collected rainwater from last night’s heavy downpour. One minute, she’d been striding along East 23rd Street at 7:15 a.m. trying to work up the courage to resign her job. The next, she stood—shocked motionless—dripping wet in the middle of the sidewalk.

Max Ferrell, CEO of Ferrell Alliance, Inc, the real estate investment firm on Madison Avenue where she worked, had been hijacking her thoughts for the last three years—and especially this morning—leaving her oblivious to the potential hazard ahead.

Clutching her tote with one hand as she worked to catch the breath the sudden splash of chilled water had snatched, she swiped the other down the front of her brown office dress. Did she really hope she would be able to brush the wetness from the material as easily as she would a speck of dust? When her frantic effort made little difference, she shook herself, much like Buttercup—her teacup Yorkshire terrier—would have.

Sensing eyes on her, she glanced at a couple of snickering teenage girls in tight jeans and tighter T-shirts who gave her a wide berth as they passed.

Suddenly aware of the spectacle she was making; she raised her chin, squared her shoulders, pasted on a smile, and forced one sensible-pumped foot in front of the other until the momentum had her fast-pacing it to Ferrell Alliance, Inc.

Of course, she accumulated countless stares on her way, but she’d faced humiliation more than once in her lifetime. By now, it was a piece of cherry pie to her. Even her crush on Max was proving humiliating. How much longer would she be able to hide the fact that he made her heart pound and her insides flutter?

Her cell jingled from deep inside her brown leather tote and she dove for it. Without checking, she knew who was calling. It would be her sister Nicole, wondering whether she’d given Max her resignation. That would be a big fat no. She’d attempted to hand it in several times over the last week but, each time, Max’s reliance on her as his PA got in the way. It was now Monday, the start of a fresh week and she still had the pristine envelope in her handbag. Every time she pictured handing him her resignation it sent nervous sensations and sorrow swirling in her belly.

Her family needed her and, instead of leaving New York and returning to Baltimore to help her three sisters save the family business, she’d allowed her monumental crush on her boss and his dependence on her to stall her. As a result, her sisters were struggling to keep Hart to Hart Restorations afloat without any help from her.

It took four stabs before her wet fingers managed to let her answer the call, while Nicole’s smiling face stared at her from the screen.

“Hi, Nik. Before you ask, no, I haven’t told Max I’m leaving yet. I’ll do it soon. Promise.” Just as soon as she came to terms with not getting to see Max five days a week—sometimes more when she traveled with him on business trips. She was going to miss her job. Miss the business trips and the challenge of being his assistant. But most of all she was going to miss Max.

“It’s not looking good, hon. We could really use your help around here.”

Guilt washed over her right about the same time a speeding taxi sailed through a deep puddle of settled water and she experienced her second dousing of the morning. Dripping wet, she clutched the phone at her side with a death-grip, trying to catch her breath. A bubble of laughter tickled her belly, and she saw the funny side. Here she was, trying to look calm, cool and pristine enough to hand in her notice to Max, only for some wicked, unseen imp to have fun at her expense.

“Erin?” Nicole’s voice filtered through the cell. Obviously hearing Erin’s laugh, which probably veered close to hysteria, had her sister wondering what had happened.

Bringing the phone to her ear, she swiped the back of her other hand across her eyes. “I’ll call you later, Nik.” She cut the call, wishing she could rewind and start her morning again.

Every time she’d ever taken a risk it had turned out to be a huge mistake. Deciding to walk to work today instead of taking a taxi just proved she shouldn’t take risks. She closed her eyes and in that moment the last three years flashed through her mind. What was she doing? She’d meant to lay low working as Max’s PA, desperate to avoid the people who’d witnessed her humiliating experience back home when her fiancé had jilted her on the night of their wedding rehearsal.

All she’d wanted was time to heal emotionally until she was able to branch out on her own and start her dream business of flipping houses. Instead, she’d developed a crush on her boss and now she was putting her futile attachment to him before her family’s needs. Up until now, she’d hesitated, afraid of losing Max. But really, she never had him. He barely noticed she existed. She heaved in a deep breath, then released it on a sigh. Every thought of him came with a painful pinch at his rejection. The only way she would get over her crush was to put as many miles between the two of them as she could. The notion made her heart hurt, but working with Max and knowing he just didn’t see her as more than his assistant hurt more. Being so close to him, yet not being free to do anything about her feelings made her days impossible to bear.

It was time she started taking risks. Time she took back control of her life. And it started with handing Max Ferrell her resignation.

Monique DeVere grew up on a plantation on the beautiful island of Barbados, where her childhood was all about exploring and letting her imagination run free. She moved to the UK as a teen and soon fell in love at first sight with her amazing, strong-silent-type husband. They have four beautiful children, three incredible granddaughters, and one adorable Yorkshire terrier.

Monique writes sweet ‘n’ spicy romantic comedy, and when she isn’t working on the next novel or movie script, she can be found spending time with hubby and family, armchair traveling, creating recipes, reading, walking, gardening, or simply crazy-dancing around the house. Monique loves to hear from her readers. You connect with Monique at her Website | Blog | Newsletter | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook Fanpage | LinkedIn | Wattpad | Pinterest | Instagram

The Wedding Favor can be purchased at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | The Wild Rose Press 

Sounds like a really cute story, Monique and we certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with it!

Well friends, hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and another Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time take care and God Bless.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Happy Thanksgiving!

Good Morning and Welcome!

Lot's of things to be grateful for today. Every day really. But today I'm especially grateful for ALL of my readers.

That's YOU, dear friends.

I love and appreciate you ALL so very much and I bless each and every one of YOU with a rich increase of God's almighty good this holiday season and into the new year.

Tempered Dreams is up in audio and doing very well. Even hit #2 on Amazon's Christian Westerns and #3 in Western Romance "best seller" lists!

Medicare AEP is almost over (only 1 more week) and I am really grateful for that. I enjoy my job but I work part time for a reason. These long hours and BUSY days remind me exactly why LOL!

We're having a Flash Sale on the Tempered Series print books beginning Black Friday (11/29) through Dec 1st. Details HERE.

Not a whole lot more going on. Plan on getting my Christmas decorations over the weekend and hopefully get my little place cleaned up and decorated and I'm actually looking forward to the new year.

I hope you enjoy our posts each week and that you'll check back for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Meanwhile, I'll close with this poem I wrote a few years ago.....

A day set aside for grateful hearts
To express gratitude to God for gifts He imparts.

Since His mercies are new every morning, Dear
Shouldn’t we Thank Him each day of the year?

When you gather with family and those you love
Please remember to give Thanks and Praise to God above.

Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever! (1 Chron. 16:34)

Until next time, take care, God Bless and Remember.... An attitude of gratitude is one of your greatest assets.

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


Saturday, November 23, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Beverly Bateman and The Fourth Victim

Good Morning Friends and Welcome!

I pray you had a good week and that your upcoming Thanksgiving week will be blessed.

I introduced you to Beverly Bateman last month when she shared some words with us on healthy eating. Today, we get a peek into her novel, The Foundation, The Fourth Victim, Sarah's Story 

Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married.  She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.

Mac is has been responsible for training women in special ops techniques so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara, sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.
Sara graduates and now she and her team have to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions?

The office said he’d had a heart attack. Was he alive? Did she want him to be? What if her husband had to stay home for a few weeks to recuperate? Palms sweating, Sara’s breath came in short, shallow bursts at the thought. 

The taxi jerked to a stop in front of the hospital emergency entrance.

Sara fumbled through her purse and counted out her meager number of dollar bills. Gordon didn’t allow her to have a credit card and he only allowed her to have a small amount of cash. She didn’t have enough money to pay the taxi.

“I’m so sorry. I left home without any cash. I... I ... Would you take a check?” Tears spilled over and trickled down her flushed cheeks.

The driver spun around. A short stubby finger waved at the sign over the rearview mirror. “Look lady, it says right there - No Checks.”

“I know, I know. I’m sorry. My husband’s had a heart attack and I ... I don’t know what to do.” Sara ran her fingers through her hair and scrunched the tight bun at her neck.

The driver shook his head. “Aw, shit. Go ahead, lady. Write the check.”

Sara pulled the single crumpled check Gordon allowed her carry for emergencies out of her purse. When she touched the check a vision of Gordon floated in front of her.

She froze and rapidly blinked her eyes. She only saw the ghosts of dead people. Could he really be dead?

“Gordon?” she whispered.

“Lady, are you writing that check or not?”

“Yes, sorry.” Sara scribbled her signature on the bottom of the check. “Please, fill it in, and give yourself a generous tip. Thank you, thank you so much.” She clutched her worn purse to her chest, slid out of the cab, and scurried through the emergency room doors.

What if he was dead? She didn’t have any money. Gordon did all the finances and never shared anything with her.  How would she manage?

Twenty years ago she could have handled it. Could she do it again? But he couldn’t be dead. Gordon would never allow that to happen.

His face flitted in front of her, fixed in an angry glare.

He had to be dead or she wouldn’t be seeing him. He didn’t want to be dead. He didn’t want her to be free. If he thought she could see him he’d be furious.

Sara shuffled toward the reception desk. She glanced over her shoulder, searching for some sign of Gordon, listening for his voice, waiting for him to yell at her. She couldn’t believe he was really dead, even though she had seen him. She clung to the edge of the transition counter, her head down, chewed on her lower lip and waited to be noticed.

Finally a brusque voice snapped, “Can I help you?”

Sara looked up to see a heavy set, older woman in a loose blue top. The woman’s thick dark brows met in a v in the middle of her forehead.

“I’m sorry, I ...I’m looking for my husband. His office phoned to say he’d been brought here.” Sara shrunk into her body.

 “Name?” the woman commanded. 

“Gordon, Gordon Peters.” Sara stared at her worn black oxfords, then at the scuffed, gray linoleum with the red, blue and yellow lines that led to different areas.  Maybe she shouldn’t have come. Maybe she should have waited for Gordon to call and tell her whether she should be here or not. But if he was dead she would have to make her own decisions. Her pulse raced. Her head pounded. For the last nineteen years she had never made a decision. Gordon made all of them for her.

Oh wow...sounds like an interesting read Beverly! Good luck and God's blessings with it.

Murder, mystery and romance fills award-winning, Canadian author, Beverley Bateman's life. She loves to plot, kill and hopefully baffle the reader. Her nursing and public health nursing background helps with some details and administering a community care facility program had her investigating and directing investigations into irregularities and sometimes a death. She even has court experience. 

She began writing in her preteens and loved to write locked room mysteries. Reading Nancy Drew helped her figure out plots. Facing breast cancer, she decided she needed to do what she’d always wanted and began to write. She completed her first romantic suspense novel and hasn’t stopped writing since. She recently moved and now lives among ranches and wheat fields in southern Alberta, with her husband and Shiba Inu dog. 

Connect with Beverly at the following sites....

Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/beverley.bateman.18
Twitter @kelownawriter 
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Beverley-Bateman/e/B008M01F5E
LinkedIn - babateman@shaw.ca https://www.linkedin.com/in/beverleybateman/
Instagram Beverley.Bateman

Get your copy of The Foundation, The Fourth Victim, Sarah's Story at the following locations....