Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER:

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

Saturday, June 15, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Stanley (S.P) Brown and The Legacy!

Good Morning!

Last month I introduced you to Stanley Brown when he gave us a peek into his novel Fallen Wizard. Today Stanley shares a peek into his novel, The Legacy so please give him a great, big o'le SWLA welcome!

Harry Black has a curse he doesn’t understand, or could it be a gift he can’t escape? He’s the last heir of a dying clan, but there’s a problem. To inherit, he must fulfill the only stipulation in the will—accept the Black family Legacy. After seven weeks of the same nightmare, Harry is desperate to see a psychologist to be “cured.” But instead of help at the hands of Dr. Virginia Rankin, Harry falls headlong into the legacy’s grip when he experiences an ecstatic utterance and inexplicably reveals information to her that he couldn’t possibly know.

Shocked that this stranger has knowledge of her family’s dark secret, Ginny makes a frantic call to her brother. The call makes the Minority Whip of the US Senate late for a meeting at a world economic summit in DC, delaying him long enough to avoid a terrorist bombing that kills two other senators and dozens more innocent people. By saving the life of Dr. Rankin’s famous brother, Harry has also sealed his own fate. Wanted or not, the Legacy has finally come to him.

The Legacy Excerpt

The air shimmered where the surf reached the zenith of its climb up the beach, as though a sudden blast of heat had radiated from the bowels of the earth. Arie Peeters materialized and checked the GPS in his watch to confirm his location. A stiff wind blowing in from the Gulf of Oman peppered his white shirt with spray. He didn’t care. He wouldn’t be stuck in this shithole very long.

The cry of gulls filled the air as Peeters got his bearings. He turned east and let his senses drift out. In a moment, his own working wafted to him as a combination of smell and touch. He threw his cigarette to the sand and lifted his head higher, arms spread and extended from his body. He couldn’t see them, but his contacts were there in the dark, waiting about a hundred meters off. The cigarette’s dying embers vanished as a flood of lights from several motor vehicles backlit the silhouettes of three men. More Jihadist bastards were near, just over the dunes to his right, but he didn’t need his special ability to know this. He expected nothing less of his three contacts. They would make sure he’d come alone. He chuckled, imagining the confusion of the watchers as they puzzled over how he had gotten ashore.

Peeters dropped the bag containing the cash just out of reach of the surf. The message was clear. He would go no farther. His three contacts gave each other sideways glances and started toward him at once. The money was a powerful draw, an inducement to get them here. It would give them something to inspect. The promise of ten million more would keep him safe from any treachery these three might hatch.

It had taken too long to piece this part of the operation together, almost a year of bribing and plying them with sex on the yacht, waiting for him far enough off shore to remain unseen. He’d convinced these three principals they would be needed, not their underlings. It had also taken a fair amount of aeromancy to pull it off, but he had managed it with his own power.

Sounds like another hit, Stanley! We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings!

Nothing fascinates me like writing, creating stories, or sub-creating as JRR Tolkien referred to it. And, of course, to write and write well, one must read widely. It started early in my life and continues to this day. But, long before I began writing stories, I was working long hours as a college professor, squeezing in time whenever I could find the time to work my hobby—which I began in earnest almost 20 years ago.

Readers can find me at the following locations....

Twitter @StanleyPBrown, WebsiteAmazon Black Opal Books and
FaceBook


The Legacy can be found at B&NKobo and Smashwords

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

Until next time, take care and God bless.
PamT

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends with Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger

Good Morning!

I'm LOVING this weather here in SW LA! Cool mornings, hot afternoons. Enjoy opening up the windows and letting fresh air in when possible. This is my idea of perfect weather and I wish it would stay this way. All. The. Time.

Alas, perfection in any area doesn't last long. Life is always moving, always changing, always evolving and hopefully we're growing right along with it. I know, change isn't always easy and sometimes we're dragged into it kicking and screaming LOL!

Today our guests speak to us about Ending a Novel Series so please welcome Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger!

Accomplishing the Final Book

My husband, Will Zeilinger and I co-write the Skylar Drake Mysteries, a hardboiled detective series that takes the reader to 1950s Los Angeles and other areas of the west. Our new book, GAME TOWN, is set in Hollywood and exposes a scandal that rocks the toy industry in Los Angeles. GAME TOWN is the fifth and final book of the series.

We knew that GAME TOWN was going to be the last book of the series. We also wanted to write this series as an episode series. That is, someone can pick up anyone of our books and enjoy the story instead of starting in the middle and getting confused. Also, we began writing the series keeping in mind what kind of endings we could use.

There were several things we wanted to accomplish with this final book. We wanted to:
- tie-up loose ends by taking care of the lingering questions throughout each book.
-re-orient our characters so the readers would know that they would be okay in their next phase of life.

Tying-up loose ends was easy since we kept notes on all our characters, their flaws and goals. However, after the joy ride of 1950s Hollywood, it was coming to an end. And re-orienting our characters was tough.

  Re-orienting our characters was difficult. We had been living with them for five years.  It was sad. Not because each character had sad endings, but because our relationship with them was coming to an end. It was like ending a relationship with dear friends or moving away.

We wanted to be sure our readers were happy that the  major question about the death of Skylar Drake's beautiful wife and sweet daughter was answered. And to be sure our characters did not have sad endings but that everything would work out okay, not necessarily happily ever after, but okay.

It was bittersweet  as we wrote the last chapter. Sadness swept over us when we held the finished manuscript in our hands for the first time. The realization that we would not be writing any more new adventures for them. And that we would not be moving the characters forward.

One of our readers asked,  "What about Fan Fiction?"

Sure, why not. Some of our fans have tried it and said it was fun. So it can be done. Remember,  just because we are not writing the story doesn't mean you need to stop the story.

Many have asked, "What are you going to do now?"

We will continue to write separately and together, more books and short stories as well as essays or articles as we come across them. And though we are not writing about Skylar Drake and his friends, the memory of the plots, sub plots and people in his life will be fond memories.


GAME TOWN is the fifth and final book in the series and yes...we are still married!

That's wonderful Janet & Will! Having written my Tempered Series, I can definitely identify! 

Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn write individually until they got together and created the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1956-57.  Janet has published seven mystery novels and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and live in Southern California.

The next Skylar Drake Mystery, GAME TOWN,  the fifth and final book in the series, will be available April 15, 2019 and yes...we are still married!


Find out  more about Janet and Will at the following locations...

e-mail: janet_lynn51@yahoo.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contact info for Will:
Twitter:  @Will_Zeilinger

Get a sneak peek into Game Town on last month's Saturday Spotlight and check out Janet & Will's previous Tuesday TreasuresThursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight

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

Until next time, take care and God Bless.
PamT

Saturday, June 8, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Diane Burton & Rescuing Mara's Father

Good Morning!

Today's guest is not new to us. Diane has shared thoughts and treasures with us and been in our spotlight before. Today we get a peek into her newest release, Rescuing Mara's Father, a Middle Grade Science Fiction Adventure novel. 


3 friends, a hidden starship, a quest

Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.


Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he’s gone.

Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately. 

Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships. 

Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with himbecause he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.

Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. Her mentor, old spaceport mechanic, seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off their planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.

Excerpt: 
“Sit, Mara.” Basco’s quiet order stops me. His tone has such force I do as he says. “Jako gave you good advice that you should heed. You need a plan.”
“But we’re wasting time sitting here. What if the ship takes off? Call Dockmaster and—and tell him to delay the ship.”
He glances away from me. “The ship is gone.”
“No.” Despair crashes down on me. I slump against the wall. “We’ll never find him. We don’t know where they’re taking him. They’re Coalition. They could take him anywhere.”
“We are not going after your father,” Basco says.
“What?” I cry.
“He gave me explicit instructions to get you to safety if this situation ever arose.”
“Why would he do that? How could he even know the Coalition would come after him?”
Basco sighs. “His actions from long ago have caught up with him. Now, the forces of a powerful person have found him.”
I’m still anxious to get going, to do something, to find Father. “What did he do? Who’s after him?”
“That’s not important now.”
“Yes, it is,” I persist. “How can I know what we’re up against if I don’t have all the facts?” That’s what Father always told me. Get all the facts. “Who is after him?”
“Queen Bormella of Compara.”
“What?” Jako and I whisper-shout in unison.
“The Queen wants Father? Why?”
Basco eyes me as if trying to make up his mind what to say. I can almost see him come to a conclusion. “Taking Grendarus is a means to an end. The person she really wants is you.”
I gasp. “Me? Why me?”
“She has her reasons. That is why I have to take you to a safe place.”
“Forget going to some safe place. I’m going after Father.”
Basco gives me a long look. “Do you realize that if you try to rescue Grendarus, the Queen could take you?”
“So?”
“Mara.” Lukus finally speaks. “Didn’t you pay attention to anything Teacher said about Compara? About what Bormella does to prisoners?”
I hate that he reminds me. Of course, I remember the lectures on corrupt governments among the Central Planets, especially Compara. But that was just lectures. Words about places as far away and as removed from us as storybook tales.
Now it’s real. Father is Queen Bormella’s enemy. Hang on, how would she even know him? We live out on the Frontier. How could he be her enemy? Stars and asteroids, she tortures and executes her enemies. If she wants me, I must be her enemy, too. Fear for Father, fear for myself overwhelm me. I slide down the wall and struggle to breathe.
“Don’t you get it, Mara?” Jako says. “She’ll torture you . . . or worse.”

The first time D.M. Burton saw Star Wars IV: A New Hope, she was hooked on science fiction and space travel. The Star Trek movies made her want to travel to other planets. Alas, she is still Earth-bound. D.M. and her husband live in Michigan, close to their two children and fivegrandchildren.

Join D.M. Burton's readers’ group on Facebook.
For more info and excerpts, visit D.M.’s website: http://www.dmburton.com

She writes adult fiction as Diane Burton, whereshe combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online.

            http://www.dmburton.com
Goodreads:   Diane Burton Author
                        https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19005868.D_M_Burton
Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

Thanks Diane for giving us a peek into your new book! Good luck and God's blessings with it!

Hope you enjoyed the 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.
PamT

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Q&A with T.I. Lowe

Good Morning and Welcome!

It's raining -again- here in SW Louisiana. Seems we can't go a whole week much less two without rain. Alas, it's H-O-T already - 90+ degrees! So rain is a good thing when it lowers temperatures a few degrees. Except for the increased humidity LOL! A firm example of taking the good with the bad.

Today's guest, T. I. Lowe is brought to us by Tyndale Publishing and is giving us a peek into the why's and wherefore's behind her book, Lulu's Cafe.

What inspired you to write Lulu’s Café? The story of Lulu's Café came from me trying to wrap my mind around why a close loved one wouldn’t leave her abuser. I sat down with my mother, who was a survivor of domestic abuse in her second marriage, to discuss why a woman wouldn’t leave an abusive situation. This was during her battle with cancer, and we had long conversations about the topic of abuse during her chemo treatments. The most profound bit she shared with me was, “You can’t fully understand unless you’ve been there.”

First, I thanked God that I hadn’t been there, and then I prayed for those who were to find the strength to get out. The story developed from me wanting to understand, and it also became a creative outlet during the hardest days of my life as I could do nothing but watch my mother slowly succumb to the disease. Leah helped me to better grasp the mind-set of an abused woman who had been so beaten down and brainwashed that she truly did not see any way out. Plus, it was such a gift to be able to create for her a happily ever after! It was near the end of my mother’s battle and I needed that gift of hope myself.

How do you expect the novel to resonate with your audience? What are you most excited for your readers to experience through reading this story? Leah SURVIVES! Praise God, she survives. Even in a devastating situation, there is a way out. A popular highlighted passage from the book is a quote from Lulu. “I know the bad can’t be ignored. It’s everywhere, and I have no doubt that you have survived something horribly bad, but don’t overlook the good. Please remember good is like treasure. You have to seek it out. And remember how rewarding it is when you find it.”

What role does faith play in this story? The story displays other characters’ faith and how that eventually draws Leah to discover her own faith in God. I hope it will be a reminder to readers to be a light and share their faith with others.

What lessons or truths do you hope people take away from Lulu’s Café?
-It’s never okay to be mistreated in any way, whatsoever.
-We need to understand and be empathetic to others and their situations, leaving judgment out of our thoughts.

As an author, what did you particularly enjoy about writing this story? I loved the opportunity to spotlight small-town culture. Southerners have a more laid-back approach to living, and we love to love on people with food! It was fun to also showcase the lighter moments of life, and I hope readers had a laugh or two while reading this story.

Can you tell us about your inspiration for the main character in this book, Leah Allen?  Leah represents every abandoned child and every abused woman. She has a big role to fill, yes, but it was such an important one to take on. The world can feel hopeless in these situations, so Leah has to show readers to never give up and to seek help. To lean on those who cross your path and offer support.

This story is about leaving a past of pain and hurt and starting over. How do you hope this encourages your readers? I hope if someone is in an unhealthy situation that they will seek help after reading this book. I also want readers who are untouched by domestic abuse to be more aware and to be willing to reach out to those in need. We need to take off our blinders.

You say that because Leah is accustomed to cruelty, the kindness she meets in her new life is overwhelming. Can you talk more about that?  We are comfortable with what we know. In Leah’s case, a life of cruelty and setbacks is all she knew before landing in Rivertown. Like a skittish animal, she takes a while to trust, and rightfully so after what she endured. I hope readers will be encouraged to do the same after surviving difficult times.

What was your inspiration for the setting of this book? Can you tell us more about your inspiration for Lulu’s Café itself?  I’m from a small town in the country where family and friendship are important. I wanted Leah to discover this and to show her there was a better, simpler way of living than what she’d experienced. Southern charm and hospitality is like butter melting on a warm, fluffy biscuit. Who wouldn’t be drawn to it?

What can you tell us about the love connection that develops between Leah and Crowley? What difficulties do they face, given Leah’s past? It was a slow progression for them to get to that love connection, but Leah needed quite a bit of time to heal, both physically and emotionally, before even considering another relationship with a man. A friendship was formed first, so their relationship had a firm foundation to build upon. However, Leah struggled with opening up to Crowley and he struggled to understand why, but the Southern gentleman didn’t give up on her. The patience and compassion he so freely gave to Leah was exactly what the fragile woman needed.

In what ways do you hope this story connects with contemporary Christian women? I've had several readers contact me or leave reviews, sharing how my books were relatable. Many shared their personal stories (devastating stories in some cases) with me and how they fell away from their faith during those dark times. It never ceases to make my heart warm and give me goose bumps when they say through my stories, they have found their way back to God. Redemption and transformation are front and center in Lulu's Café. The understanding of forgiving yourself is important as well.


T. I. Lowe is a native of coastal South Carolina. She attended Coastal Carolina University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she majored in psychology but excelled in creative writing. Go figure. Writing was always a dream, and she finally took a leap of faith in 2014 and independently published her first novel, Lulu’s Café, which quickly became a bestseller. Now the author of ten published novels with hundreds of thousands of copies sold, she knows she’s just getting started and has many more stories to tell. A wife and mother who’s active in her church community, she resides near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with her family.

What a wonderful premise, T. I. ! Much like my book, Tempered Dreams. Good luck and God's blessings with it!

Hope you enjoyed today's Wednesday Words with Friends, folks and that you'll check back weekly for more great guests. Also, stop by on Saturday and see who is in our spotlight. Pick up your copy of Lulu's Cafe at Amazon.

Until next time, take care and God bless.
PamT

Saturday, June 1, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Ann C. Sullivan & Unsatisfied

Good Morning!

Welcome to the first Saturday Spotlight in June 2019! As you well know, I LOVE introducing brand new-to-me authors and sharing their books with you. Today is no exception. Please welcome Ann C. Sullivan to our spotlight.

Tell us a little about your book.....

You should be happy, right? Everyone else is. Unsatisfied: Finding Contentment in a Discontented World by Ann C. Sullivan (Abingdon Press, Feb. 2019).

Look at your friend’s perfect vacations on Facebook and smiling faces on Instagram. But, you feel unsatisfied and unhappy with your life. You struggle to find contentment even though you recognize that you are blessed. Ann C. Sullivan has been there. As an active speaker, she found herself scheduled to speak about contentment at a time she was struggling with her own depression. After going through the process to address her depression, she realized she had to rethink her idea of contentment, this thing she had been speaking about for years.

In Unsatisfied: Finding Contentment in a Discontented World, Sullivan sorts through the reasons for our frustrations – Drama, Judgement, Fear, and Comparison – and leads readers on a path to genuine contentment through Hope, Purpose, and Fulfillment. Unsatisfied dares readers to believe that God is closer than you think, sorts through the reasons for unhappiness and frustrations, helps define fulfillment, and leads readers to find genuine contentment.

Unsatisfied:

Unravels our cultural definition of fulfillment.
Identifies the empty spaces the comparison game leaves behind.
Connects the dots that lead to genuine contentment.

Unsatisfied by Ann C. Sullivan guides readers to find genuine contentment.

Praise for Unsatisfied

“In Unsatisfied: Finding Contentment in a Discontented World, Ann C. Sullivan accomplishes something I wish could be taught yet fear that it can’t: She writes an in-your-face book about a deeply difficult subject, yet she avoids preaching. Rather, Ann takes a come-alongside approach and shares her life, warts and all, revealing what she’s learned and how she’s grown—allowing us to apply the morals and principles for ourselves. It’s a work of art.” – Jerry B. Jenkins, Novelist & Biographer, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild

Sounds lovely, Ann. Please give us an excerpt....

Intro to Unsatisfied: Finding Contentment in a Discontented World

When I agreed to speak at a women’s conference out west on the topic of contentment, I had no idea I’d be battling depression. If I’d known, I would’ve cleared my calendar. 

Choosing a topic for a bunch of strangers is a tricky business even without depression. It gets even trickier when a coordinator wants me to announce my topic months before I’m ready to pick one.
I’ve actually received publicity brochures in the mail detailing my talks long before I’ve written them. I’ll read the descriptions and think, Hmm, I’d like to hear that. 

I love connecting with women, but let’s face it, when I land at their retreat, we’re typically strangers. I’ll stand at the podium and look out over the sea of unfamiliar faces and think, I wonder what they’re all retreating from. 

Would they tell me stories of cruddy jobs or cranky spouses? Would they tell me how tough it was just getting away for the weekend? Or would they tell me it’s a great day, and they’re ready to celebrate the good things in life, like caramel lattés and girlfriends. 

What, kids? 

One thing I can count on, though, wherever I’m booked to speak, the moment a topic is
chosen, I know I’m going to get worked over by it, just a bit. It’s God’s way of keeping me real and giving me something worthwhile to say to the strangers who are obviously not strangers to Him.

And it happens every time. If I’m speaking on the topic of contentment, I suddenly have none. If I’m speaking on discernment, I can’t figure anything out. If I’m asked to address the power of self-control, I become the kitchen magnet that reads, “Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.”

A few years ago, I was asked to speak at a moms’ event at a large contemporary church. While I sat at my computer trying to come up with some sort of outline that would inspire the young moms, my own kids were driving me crazy. All I could come up with was:

I. Don’t have any more kids. 
II. Quit while you’re ahead. 
III. Bigger kids, bigger problems.  (Let’s close in prayer.) 

Depression can show up very quickly, usually after a crisis. But for me, depression crept up almost imperceptibly, generously offering a front row seat to the world of discontentment. All the things that used to bring me pleasure suddenly offered none.

I’m not even sure I knew what hope was until I lost it. Before then, life was full of possibilities. 

Then one day, while he was home from college and grabbing the milk from the fridge, my son suddenly stopped and looked at me and said, “Mom, you gotta get a grip.”

 That’s when I realized I’d been crying for six months. Maybe I did have a problem.


Oh Wow! Ann, I can certainly relate! I'm sure most of  our readers can too! Thank you. We certainly with you the best of luck and God's blessings with your book!

 Now please give us your bio and other info.

Ann C. Sullivan is a celebrated author, international speaker, blogger, and freelance writer. Her articles have been included in Christianity Today and Relevant magazine. She graduated from Northern Illinois University where she studied education, history, and philosophy. Sullivan worked more than ten years coordinating women’s studies outside of Milwaukee before expanding her speaking to include the corporate world. She remains passionate about inspiring men and women in all areas of their lives.

Connect with Ann to chat or to book her to speak at your next event.

Website  Facebook

Purchase Unsatisfied on Amazon
Purchase Unsatisfied book on Abingdon
Purchase Permission to Doubt on Amazon

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.
PamT

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Guest Post by Stacey Gagnon

Good Morning and Welcome to our First Wednesday Words with Friends post!

I mentioned to you back on May 6th and listed in the sidebar here on the blog that beginning in June I would be changing from 3 posts a week to 2; combining Tuesday Treasures and Thursday Thoughts into one Wednesday Words with Friends entry.

I thought the first would be something personal, but then I heard about this great children's book and decided to let author Stacey Gagnon tell the story behind the story.

Welcome Stacey!


It was not our initial intention to adopt. We felt that there was a huge need in the foster -care system and we could share our love and family with other children. Our second foster placement was a medically-fragile child and, from that point on, we became known as the family that took in hard-to-place kids. After a child has lived with you for months on end and they start calling you mom and dad, it's not such a big leap to thinking they should stay forever. What we have learned over the years, is that every adoption is a special needs adoption. Kids who come into our home all come with hurts and pains that require special care. These emotional wounds can be far more disabling that any physical "special need" with which they may be labeled. We mistakenly believe that when children see or experience hard things, they just bounce back or forget. Children are not resilient, their brains are malleable. This means that they are affected by adult choices and decisions. Adoption and foster care is about giving a child a family, not getting a child for your family. It is hard work and scary, but it has been the greatest journey of our lives, filled with such beauty. For that reason, we continue to foster kids, and we didn't stop at adopting just one child. At the end of the day, we have adopted children who come with a variety of backgrounds that meld beautifully in our family. Where one child might struggle, we find a brother or sister stepping in to lend a hand...or a leg...or an ear. The differences are not so apparent when you have family. We all seem to help fill the voids in each other.

The Gagnon family never thought they would be writing a children’s book. But then again, they never thought they would foster over 30 children, adopting five with special needs in addition to their two biological kids. The family found themselves in the national spotlight after a Facebook post by Stacey Gagnon went viral about her son, Joel, who was born with Goldenhar syndrome which caused an incomplete development of his ear, soft palate, and facial bone structures. It only affects one side of his face and requires a plethora of doctor appointments and reconstructive surgeries. Stacey’s post detailed an encounter at a new church they visited where other kids just stared and pointed at Joel, causing him to run and hide. That incident sparked social media responses from around the world, and the Gagnons were featured on NBC and Fox, among other media outlets. But it was one response in particular which initially angered Gagnon that ultimately birthed the idea of the new children’s book entitled “Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West.”


“The reader told me that my son would be stared at and pointed at and he needed to get used to it,” recalls Gagnon. “At first, this comment made me angry, but then I started to see the kernel of truth in this statement. As hard as it is for me as his mother, this was going to be his reality. And as I thought deeper, I realized that on some level, we all have 'differences' or things about ourselves that we do not like. When we are seeking acceptance and worth from others, it would always fall short. I understand that Joel must find his worth in who he is and how he was created. There will always be bullies, there will always be stares, there will always be those who seek to make him feel less than worthy; but Joel is exactly who he is supposed to be.”

Joel is not the only real-life character that is depicted in the new book. The family’s pet dragon, Blackbeard, is also a central figure in “Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West.” And Blackbeard has his own back story.

“Blackbeard was adopted from the Phoenix Herpetological Society, which is like an orphanage for reptiles,” says Gagnon. “While on a field trip, the reptile keeper asked my husband if he knew of a family that would adopt a special needs bearded dragon. This bearded dragon had a limb difference and he was being bullied and injured by the other bearded dragons. He needed a family that could keep him safe and would accept him for his differences. My husband knew right away that our family would be perfect for this lizard.” 

A former teacher and now nurse, Gagnon says “Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West” was written to help elementary students deal with bullying. 

“My husband and I are both educators and we believe most children can relate to being bullied or picked on by someone. Our hope is that children learn that the biggest ‘El Maton’ (bully, thug) in their lives is the voice that whispers incorrectly in their head ‘you are not special, you are not worthy, you are not valuable.’” 

Gagnon says their journey of being foster and adoptive parents has taught them that every child has a “special need.” 

“Kids who come into our home all come with hurts and pains that require special care,” says Gagnon. “These emotional wounds can be far more disabling that any physical special need with which they may be labeled. At the end of the day, we have adopted children who come with a variety of backgrounds that meld beautifully in our family. Where one child might struggle, we find a brother or sister stepping in to lend a hand, or a leg, or an ear. The differences are not so apparent when you have family. We all seem to help fill the voids in each other.” 

The Gagnon family is an atypical, hodgepodge mix of humanity. The entire family enjoyed writing this book, with each one contributing their own input. Every child in the family has their own special story, and every one faces their own unique challenges. Stacey, the mom of this bunch, also has a blog called Ransom for Israel. She presents an honest assessment of the orphan crisis and the desperate need for families willing to adopt. After the adoption of their youngest daughter, the Gagnons started a non-profit called Lost Sparrowsdedicated to improving the lives of orphans and those with special needs through education, proper medical care, and adoption. Their current focus is in areas of Eastern Europe and Bulgaria. For more information on the new book, visit http://www.joelsfriends.com.  

What a lovely story, Stacey! Thank you so much for sharing with us today. We sincerely wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with your beautiful family and with Cowboy Joel and the Wild, Wild West!

Hope you enjoyed today's Wednesday Words with Friends, folks and that you'll check back weekly for more great stories and of course, Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.
PamT

Saturday, May 25, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on C. Hope Clark & Dying on Edisto Beach

Good Morning from Beautiful Lake Sam Rayburn, TX!

I hope your Memorial Day weekend has begun with a blast but pray you'll take a few moments often throughout the holiday to remember what it is all about. Pray for those who've died defending and protecting our country and their loved one's.

I introduced you to today's guest in March when she shared treasures with us, but please welcome C. Hope Clark back as we get a peek into her novel, Dying on Edisto Beach.

One death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup.

A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover, standalone mystery!

When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Edisto Beach Police Chief Callie Morgan agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself. When death turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture.

Because poison is growing on this plantation and someone knows how to use it well.

SYNOPSIS
Dying on Edisto – Book 5 in the Edisto Island Mystery Series

Visiting Indigo Plantation during its grand opening week, Edisto Beach Police Chief Callie Morgan finds herself faced with a corpse. A guest, no less, has stumbled upon the body of a nefarious travel blogger along the edge of the Edisto River. A guest who happens to do investigations with the Department of Agriculture and comes with her own federal agent beau.

Big money funded the plantation project, and Callie is discreetly asked by the Charleston Sheriff himself to lead the investigation even though it is out of her jurisdiction. . . the caveat being she’d have a Charleston detective at her side, of course. At first she suspects the sheriff’s request is due to her past as an acclaimed Boston detective, her investigative experiences surpassing anyone else’s in the South Carolina Lowcountry, but she’s soon suspicious as to the sheriff’s intentions as the detective seems to fight her at every turn. . . and the case turns into a murder. Poison, no less. Hemlock at that.

Suddenly the case takes a turn as the sheriff, most likely at the request of big money and politics, no longer wants her on the case, but Callie’s come too far. The higher-ups put the investigation into overdrive, hunting for someone to blame, like the poor waitress caught in the middle of this blogger’s ulterior motives to discredit the plantation.

Callie knows little to nothing about hemlock. Now the Agriculture couple Callie earlier discarded becomes necessary as she teams up with Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo to prove not only how the blogger was killed (by hemlock growing on the plantation) but by whom. . . and uncover an even bigger plot at play than silencing a smear blogging campaign.

NOTE: This is a crossover book. Dying on Edisto is the fifth in the Edisto series, but we are bringing in the protagonist from the Carolina Slade Mysteries to assist Chief Callie Morgan on Edisto Island. We’re excited about bringing the two flavors of investigators together and introducing the readers of Slade to Edisto, and vice versa.

TESTIMONIALS
Murder, corruption, and page-turning intrigue are usually the elements that shine the brightest in mysteries like Hope Clark’s latest Dying on Edisto. But it’s the characters that bring a vivid literary element to Clark’s prose and create a strong emotional response to their tangled lives. The scenic town of Edisto Beach is peopled with a modern-day pirate claiming to be a descendent of Blackbeard, a degenerate travel blogger, a yoga teacher who drives a baby blue vintage Benz convertible, a mixed race waitress and her matriarchal grandmother, and a whole slew of wealthy and crooked good ole boys. Leading the cast are two strong female protagonists—a police chief and an investigator with the Department of Agriculture. Did someone say poison? —Susan Cushman, author of Cherry Bomb and editor of Southern Writers on Writing

"In a plot as complicated as the numerous waterways that create Edisto Island in South Carolina, C. Hope Clark has combined the characters from her two series to solve the murder of a renowned travel blogger. The mystery requires all of their detective skills and blends the two mystery worlds in a page-turning standalone. The story opens with a floater and progresses with edge-of-your-seat action. Prepare to be absorbed by Clark's crisp writing and compelling storytelling. This is one you don't want to miss!"--- Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of three mystery series. She is the author of over 80 books and has received numerous writing awards.


Hope Clark converges her sleuths, Carolina and Callie Jean, on Edisto Island for the finale, Dying on Edisto, concluding her two murder mystery series. Slews of fans always awaited these highly addictive and superbly penned novels - grabbing you from the first page and not letting go until the last. A pristine, sleeper sea island, two determined masters of law who butt heads, a mystery corpse from Atlantic waters, a few idiosyncrasies along the way - the absolute best cast and plot for an intense coastal thriller. ~Karen Carter, Owner, Edisto Bookstore

C. Hope Clark is the award-winning author of the Carolina Slade Mysteries and the Edisto Island Mysteries. During her career with the US Department of Agriculture, she met and married a federal agent-now a private investigator. She plots murder mysteries at their lakeside home in South Carolina, when she isn’t strolling Edisto Beach. 

She founded FundsforWriters.com, selected by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for 18 years. Her newsletter reaches 35,000 readers. www.fundsforwriters.com / 
Find our more about her at www.chopeclark.com  

Her latest release is Dying on Edisto, Book 5 of the Edisto Island Mysteries and can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Find out more about the series HERE.  

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back often.

Until next time take care and God bless.
PamT

Saturday, May 18, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Game Town

Hello from Meade, OK!

I've been here all week for a writing retreat and am happy to report I've actually made progress on one of my WIPs. Hopefully I'll get it finished and have more news to report later in the year on it.

Meanwhile, please welcome Janet Elizabeth Lynn back to our blog with a new release!

 Skylar Drake and his partner are hired as bodyguards for two young starlets. They deliver the actresses home after the Oscar Awards ceremony, but stumble onto the murder of Silver Brovor-Smith, the mother of one of their charges, actress Holly Becker.  Drake wonders why the FBI is on the scene when it looks like a simple case of murder.

Drake is now embroiled in the murder investigation of Silver Brovor-Smith. Suspicion shifts between her husband Peter Smith, and Silver’s three older brothers.

At every turn Drake and Dolan are lied to or misled. Kidnapping and mysterious deaths follow them as they weave their way through the maze of Hollywood’s movie and TV backroom deals. The FBI shows up to make sure Drake and Dolan keep the high-profile people involved from becoming front page news.

 Drake meets and falls in love with Miss Anne the perfect woman to help him move on with his life. But is she a suspect? Then there is Holly’s friend, the sexy, young starlet Theresa Lee who has her own plans for him.

The letters P-E-G-O seem to appear everywhere, and Drake wonders if they have anything to do with Silver’s murder or her husband’s kidnapping.

Follow the detective to Hollywood parties where the forbidden is accepted and the games played are for keeps.

Excerpt: Two o'clock in the morning. I'd just left the Emmy Awards ceremony at the NBC Television Studio in Burbank. All of Hollywood and its finest had shown up tonight to honor the best of television for 1956. The winners and losers were either at a party celebrating or hiding somewhere licking their wounds. I'd just left the event driving south on Cahuenga toward Hancock Park. My partner, Casey Dolan was in the passenger seat. It was pouring rain when we left Burbank. It seemed to be lessening as we headed away from the valley.

We'd been hired by Epic Studios to escort a couple of their up and coming starlets to and from the event. In truth, we were their bodyguards. The motion picture and TV studios weren't taking chances with their human investments.

The two young ladies in the back seat were passed out cold. I suspected they'd had a little too much Champagne before and during the ceremony.

I drove through the Wilshire Boulevard entry gate and onto Fremont Place, one of the most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Ahead we spotted a lot of activity on the street. Dolan sat up and stared at the mess ahead, “What the Hell?”

Several police cruisers and what looked like government cars were lined up in front of a house with their spotlights trained on it. As we got closer, I saw the address. 859 in brass letters, attached to the beam above the front door – the address where I was to deliver the girls.

Oh boy, sounds like another great Skylar Drake Mystery! Pick up a copy at Amazon in Print or for Kindle.

Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn write individually until they got together and created the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1956-57.  Janet has published seven mystery novels and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and live in Southern California.

The next Skylar Drake Mystery, GAME TOWN,  the fifth and final book in the series, will be available April 15, 2019 and yes...we are still married!

Find out  more about Janet and Will at the following locations...


Check out Janet & Will's previous Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back weekly for more Saturday Spotlights and coming soon, Wednesday Words with Friends!

Until next time, take care and God Bless.
PamT

Saturday, May 11, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Stanley Brown and Fallen Wizard!

Good Morning!

It is always my pleasure to bring to you a brand new to me author so please welcome Stanley Brown with his YA Fantasy novel, Fallen Wizard....

Twelve-year-old Peter Michaels is accustomed to weird things happening with a regularity that seems to be a part of his life. But when an old man dressed in strange clothes falls from the sky and lands in Peter’s front yard, the weird quotient, as his dad would put it, gets ratcheted way up. Peter does the only thing he can. He helps the man into his house. That mistake leads to a second, the one that puts an end to Peter’s dream of making the all-star baseball team. As Peter soon discovers, comforting a dying wizard puts your mark on an unbreakable pact—one that will ensnare him and his two best friends, Raven Dakota and Stumpy Simpkins, in a fight for their lives.

 Excerpt: The day started like most days in Peter’s life. Before scrambling from under the covers, he peeked through his bedside window with a guarded eye. Caution was a habit Peter had no choice but to adopt. His father insisted on it because of his son’s peculiar predilection for the unusual, for strange things happening around him with a regularity too frequent to be mere chance. “Curious occurrences” is what his father called the things that seemed to follow Peter like ants to a picnic. Most of the time they were silly little things. Sometimes, though, they could be dangerous. A gift, Mr. Michaels would say, trying to downplay them as a way of safeguarding his son’s mental state. Calling his problem a gift softened it, bringing a sense of normalcy to Peter’s life.

Peter made it a point to look for signs, small indications of impending doom. He’d developed his little routines to keep trouble at bay, or so he hoped. The gift had a nasty habit of inserting itself at precisely the wrong times.

This time, though, everything looked cool so Peter jumped up and threw on his baseball uniform. It was Saturday, which meant practice after his math tutoring session. All set, he took a tentative step into the hallway, Lena’s crappy music blaring from her room two doors down. No danger here. He turned for the stairs just in time for a skateboard to zip under his feet.

Peter had two thoughts as the board sent him hurdling along the wooden floor. His father would have a fit because skateboarding in the house was one of the five cardinal sins. More importantly, his coach would be pissed, and this really scared him. He couldn’t afford to break a body part in the middle of baseball season.

Fortunately, Peter played third base, which meant he had good hands and quick feet. It took both to save him this time.

Wow, Stanley! Sounds like a great YA book! Good luck and God's blessings with it. Now please tell us a little about yourself.

Nothing fascinates me like writing, creating stories, or sub-creating as JRR Tolkien referred to it. And, of course, to write and write well, one must read widely. It started early in my life and continues to this day. But, long before I began writing stories, I was working long hours as a college professor, squeezing in time whenever I could find the time to work my hobby—which I began in earnest almost 20 years ago.

Readers can find me at the following locations....

Twitter @StanleyPBrown, Website, Amazon Black Opal Books and
FaceBook

Fallen Wizard can be found at B&N, Kobo and Smashwords

Thanks Stanley for sharing our spotlight today.

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

Saturday, May 4, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Pelican Book Group's Spring-tastick Ebook Bonanza & Giveaway!

Good Morning and Welcome to the first Saturday Spotlight in May 2019!

Wow...did I really just write that?! I can't believe this year is almost 1/2 over already!

Alas, what can we do but keep on keeping on?

With that in mind, I want to draw your attention to my new blogging schedule (listed in right sidebar). Beginning in June I will be posting 2 x per week instead of 3 by combining Tuesday Treasures & Thursday Thoughts into 1 post - Wednesday Words with Friends.... I look forward to bringing you great authors and books as well as other talented writers with wonderful, important and inspiring things to say.

Now on to today's spotlight....

My scheduled guest could not make it so I want to spotlight Pelican Book Group's Spring-tastic Ebook Bonanaza and Giveaway.


$300 in prizes 30 books (including Love in Season!) 

No matter what you like to read, romance, suspense, YA, general Christian Fiction, there is something in this bonanza for everyone! Some books are even FREE. 

No Purchase Necessary to enter or win!

but HURRY! this special promotion ends on 

May 11th.



Happy Reading!
PamT

Saturday, April 27, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on David Arp & ORB

Good Morning!

Well hard to believe this is the last Saturday Spotlight in April 2019 - where has the time gone?

Alas, my prayer is that your year has been and continues to be filled with blessings.

David is no stranger to our blog. He's shared thoughts with us twice, been in our spotlight and given us a glimpse of what he treasures. Today he's giving us a peek into his latest release, ORB so please welcome him back.... Take it away David!


Billionaire oilman Cole Blackwell hired former Marine and Iraqi war veteran, Wes Hansen, to hunt down the man who assaulted his daughter. Wes has a name, Meshach, and one witness, a dog Wes believes the man used as a prop to walk the streets of Lubbock, Texas, at night, unquestioned. Wes’s business card reads PI, not ghost buster. To put a face to Meshach, find him and put him away, Wes will have to be both. Before the week is done, Wes and his team will be lucky to survive meeting the Man from Fire.


Excerpt

Bubba took a deep breath. “OK, first, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a longer list of coincidences strung together on one case in all my life. Either you or Cole or both of you must be living right. Second, you need to bring the authorities in on this. I’m going to finish these shrimp, which won’t take another five minutes. The water is boiling. Then, I’m going to make a phone call. I’ve got an FBI agent in mind.”

“What are we looking at, Monday?”

“Oh, no, tomorrow, a meeting bright and early in the morning in New Orleans. The sooner the better because if Risa or I didn’t warn Meshach, and we didn’t, I can promise you that whoever did has access to some high level databases.” Bubba turned his attention back to the steaming pot on the stove.

Wes had made the right decision being open with Bubba. His friend was in the clear, but he felt a sense of foreboding instead of relief.

Who could monitor private web exchanges, phone calls and e-mails, find out who looked for whom, and pinpoint their location right down to the hotel they stayed in? He answered the question as quickly as it formed. Only four agencies he could think of had the ability: the Department of Homeland Security, the NSA, the CIA, and the people Bubba wanted Wes to meet with in the morning.

ORB is available from Pelican Book Group and Amazon.

David Arp was born in Arizona, raised in Texas, and lives in Colorado with his wife of 32 years. He’s 61, but has only spent half of the past 40 years at home. The other half he traveled and worked the oilfields of the world, from the deserts of the Middle East to the vast oceans offshore. He has three children and six grandchildren.

Find out more about David and his writing by visiting his website and connecting with him on FaceBook. And check out his YA novel, Me and Jake written under the pseudonym Boo Riley available now from Pelican Book Group and Amazon in Ebook and Print!

Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and that you'll visit often to see what's happening on our blog!

Until next time, take care and God bless.
PamT