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

Thursday, February 28, 2019

#ThursdayThoughts with Kathleen Neely

Good Morning!

I'm headed back to Louisiana from Bandera today but PLEASE welcome Kathleen Neely back as she shares some thoughts on writing with us....

When Building Characters, Go Deeper
By Kathleen Neely

When an author begins a novel, they will spend the better part of a year with the characters they create. It’s important to know them well. Let’s create one together. We’ll call him Maxwell.
Maxwell has dark brown hair, that likes to curl at the tips. His eyes have a golden sparkle in a sea of copper brown. Broad shoulders tell readers that he spends some time at the gym. His engaging smile lights up a room and all the ladies want to get his attention.

Sorry, that’s superficial. Go deeper.

Maxwell has some quirky traits. He lives life in the fast lane. I’m not talking about wild living, I’m talking about rapid speech, a pacer who can’t sit down for long. Maxwell jumps right in and gets the job done. He has one speed—overdrive.

Okay, that’s a little better. But if you want to engage readers, you better go deeper.

Everyone has a history, and Maxwell’s no exception. He grew up in a high achieving home. His father, a renowned criminal attorney, never hesitated to show his disappointment in his youngest son. Maxwell’s brother was the golden boy who could do no wrong. That is, until he died of an overdose. Maxwell tried to step into his place, but he couldn’t fool his father. He wasn’t as smart, as charismatic, or as ambitious. His father’s grief and disappointment never ceased to show. Maxwell spent his life trying to earn his approval.

Now we’re getting somewhere. We’re learning what makes Maxwell tick.

Maxwell plays out the main role in our story, but now, actions make sense. We know why he lives on overdrive. His behaviors are a result of his backstory. It’s made him who he is today. But wait—what happens when Maxwell has an opportunity to make it big? He’s on the cusp of an accomplishment that will provide recognition certain to impress his father. He just needs to step over a few minor ethical lines. He struggles, telling himself that the lines are slight and the reward is great. Sleepless nights and that tight knot in his stomach help him to make his decision.

We’re now glimpsing the deepest part of our character. We see Maxwell’s desire, his struggle, his rationale in decision making. We see a change.
That’s the long explanation for characterization, but it was fun creating Maxwell.

A brief recap for creating characters:
  • Know them well before you begin writing.
  • Move beyond appearances. Those are nice details, but they’re superficial.
  • Let your reader know about their quirks and traits, but until we dig deeper, we won’t know why.
  • Provide backstory. For each of us, our history has molded who we are today.
  • Provide a deep look into your character by showing struggle. How does he make decisions and handle temptations, based on his history?
  • Our character must experience some growth. How has he changed through the course of the story?
  • Remember, in real life and in fiction, no one is totally good or totally bad. Show that in your protagonist and your villain.
What tips do you have for creating characters? I’d love to hear.

Kathleen Neely resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She is a retired elementary principal, and enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading.

She is the author of The Street Singer. Two other novels, Beauty for Ashes and The Least of These, will be released in 2019. Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her first novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions. Kathleen's newest release, The Street Singer is available now from Pelican Book Group, Amazon & Barnes and Noble.    

Kathleen continues to speak to students about writing and publication processes. She is a member of Association of Christian Fiction Writers.

Website – www.KathleenNeely.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/kathy.neely.98
Twitter - https://twitter.com/NeelyKneely3628

Check out Kathleen's earlier Tuesday Treasures and Thursday Thoughts visits with us!

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back weekly to see who's sharing thoughts, treasures and the spotlight.

Until next time take care and God Bless.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

#TuesdayTreasures with Kimberly Miller

Good Morning from Bandera, TX!

Yep I'm in my home away from home town for a few days. Drove up Saturday and having a blast catching up with my Bandera peeps.

Today's guest is new to our blog so please welcome Kimberly Miller as she shares some treasures with us....

Welcome Kimberly!

I started writing stories when I was in junior high. A new friend introduced me to the idea that—with a little imagination—we could write about anything we wanted to and even insert ourselves into the stories as strong, fun, funny, insightful young ladies who always came out on top. We’d read these stories to one another over the phone almost on a daily basis, giggling the entire time. I’m fairly certain that during these years I was rarely without a notebook, and I was constantly on the hunt for great story ideas.

Although my friendships have grown and changed over the years I look fondly back to these times when I learned that storytelling wasn’t only important, it was as essential to me as breathing. Now my friendships often allow me to share my stories before or even immediately after publication. I treasure these wonderful people who encourage me to do what I believe God intended for me all along. And of course, I’m especially grateful to my friend Vanessa who opened up the world of storytelling for me in such a fun and exciting way.

My first novel, Picking Daisy, has already received wonderful reviews, and new friends and old offered loads of encouragement as they asked when my next book would be coming. Well, lucky for them Forgiving Tess released earlier this month! I’m excited to continue sharing stories with my friends, family, fans and readers from all over the country and have truly enjoyed getting to know other writers along the way too.

Happy reading, friends!

Wow, Kimberly how sweet. Friends are always something to treasure!

Forgiving Tess can be purchased at Amazon and you can find out more about Kimberly by connecting with her on Facebook and visiting her website.

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

Until next time, take care and God Bless

Saturday, February 23, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Howard Levine & Last Gasp

Good Morning!

I'm headed out to Bandera, TX (my home away from home) this morning but before I go, I have the pleasure of introducing you to brand-new-to-me author, Howard Levine with his book, Last Gasp.

I discovered Howard on my friend Jacqueline Seewald's blog and am so glad he could be in our spotlight today so please give him a huge WELCOME!

Howard Levine is the author of one previously published novel, Leaving This Life Behind.  He is a retired teacher of special education and English as a second language. Before his first public school teaching position—at a high school in the Bronx, NY—he taught Transcendental Meditation, which he still practices regularly.  Howard now lives in suburban Washington DC, where he hikes, bikes, and writes.  He and his wife volunteer at a soup kitchen and a senior citizens center. Find out more by connecting with him on Facebook.

Frank Tedeschi’s niece is dead, one of thousands of victims of a terrorist attack, which has been laid at the feet of “Islamic radicals” by a right-wing US government.  Frank, based on a chance encounter, is one of the very few people who question the government’s explanation.  He is a Vietnam veteran who wants nothing more than to live without further controversy or conflict.  Can he and his grieving brother Rob, a detective with the NYPD, obtain the necessary evidence to uncover the truth, in the face of scorn and incredulity?  Can they overcome their long-term estrangement to work together, given that they are putting their lives in danger? 
 In LAST GASP—a novel that resonates with today’s politics—the answers to these questions unfold in a way that mingles personal and societal issues and intertwines the past and present while moving relentlessly forward.

Excerpt:  “She would’ve come for the calamari, if nothing else.” Rob, eyes shut, sipped from a wine glass, his thick fingers wedged between its flat round base and the reddish-purple curvature of the bowl, which he squeezed as if holding the thing together. “She loved the stuff,” he added, looking up from the goblet, his voice hoarse. “For that, she would’ve come.”
Julie reached across the table and laid her hand on his arm. “She’d have come anyway.  She could’ve compared notes with her cousin over here. Compared studs and tattoos,” Julie said, ignoring the look her younger son shot her as he leaned forward on the other side of Frank. “Plus, even if Laureen acted like it was uncool, she loved her family. Starting with her parents.”
Rob gritted his teeth and looked away, thinking that he either needed to lay off the wine or get soused, that he was now inhabiting a dangerous middle ground. Tears in your beer, only substitute wine in a glass that seemed to magically refill itself, to siphon bittersweet vin rose from the carafe. Either the bus boy was very unobtrusive, or Rob was transfusing the stuff himself without really being aware of it.  
He couldn’t have sworn that Laureen loved her parents, separately or together. Ditto for her extended family. Still, it was Laureen, ironically, who’d brought all of them together. For the second time in a month, no less. They could have left out a glass of wine for her, left the outside door ajar, like the Jews did on Passover. Except that there was even less chance of Laureen showing up than there was of the Prophet Elijah draining the Manischewitz. Besides, it was cold out and they were in a restaurant. The place was crowded, noisy, probably bug-proof, assuming that the so-far anonymous federal spooks even knew that the Tedeschi clan was dining there. And it was a setting much preferable to that of the previous family get-together, Cascardi’s Funeral Home.

Last Gasp can be found at Amazon (Kindle) & Barnes and Noble (Nook).

Howard has a book signing this afternoon, but please leave a comment and he will check in ASAHP - THANKS!

Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and that you'll check back weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

#TuesdayTreasures with Tom Donnan

Good Morning!

Last month I introduced you to Tom Donnan when he shared thoughts with us. Please welcome him back to share something he treasures.

Welcome Tom!

So often, life is lived in an ongoing stream of time. Death on the other hand sits on outside outer reaches of conscience thoughts like that of finding the edge of our universe. Knowing what really matters in life slips behind the veil of everyday events as we move from one day to the next. Odd, how we can live life and not really ever comprehend it. When I looked into the face of my own mortality and I was changed!

February 6th 2006 I had my second heart attack with no notice. They refer to it as the widow maker. It was 5:30 in the evening, I am working out on the treadmill at the health club and the chest pain began. By 6:30 pm I was dead. There are several main factors in me typing this today. First I did not waste time in seeking help. Second, it was not my time to go. I was laid out in the ambulance, paramedic feverously working on me when my heart stopped. It happened so fast I did not notice my status change, meaning one instant I was in the world and the next I was in the spiritual world. It is here God gave me a message in His deep masculine voice saying: “It is only while you are on earth that you can work for Jesus!”

In my left ear, a paramedic is telling me not to worry all my stats look great. I had no idea of what had just happened until three days later while I was in ICU. A doctor came in and asked how it felt to be back from the dead?  BAM! In the back of my mind, before this happened, I knew I was heaven bound. I invited Jesus to come into my heart and life on May 7th 1983 and I was born again. I did not count on being 54 and being with God so soon. I was only halfway through the universe at this point, the anticipated end of my life.

During my months of recovery I had all the time in the world to think about life. What matters the most? God, love, time and investing are important. Knowing God and living in His love and blessings in paramount. Relationships, children, grandchildren, siblings, extended family and people became the focus of my time and learning to invest in them. I have had an additional twelve years now. When I look into the eyes of my children I am grateful to God. Loving them is all that matters. When grandpa walks in the front door they know it is play time and the chase is on. It is a joy to figure out how many different ways to say I love you and esteem them. And, I share my relationship with God with others in hopes of leading them into knowing Him through His son Jesus Christ. I have learned, finding my way to being spiritually born into God’s family is the meaning of life (John 3:3-8).

I've got to tell you about mindset awareness. You know, those mind set decisions we make in our minds and then move on in life. Well, I remember driving past Calumet Harbor on the Bishop Ford express when a Mindset surfaced. Out of nowhere I felt in fullness this thought: “I never wanted to live here.” Meaning, while I was growing up, I told myself I would grow up and move to another place. However I fell in love and built a life in Chicagoland. Now as I am  driving, the full weight of my desire to live in another place of the country hit me like a freight train. Why it surfaced right there going sixty plus miles per hour, I don’t know.

Then, while I am in the ambulance, looking for the light, really, I was looking for the light and there wasn’t any. It gave me a false sense of security. Then, again, with the full emotional weight I felt, I have lived a good life! What? Where did that come from? I am not ready to go but if I do, I feel and  know I have lived a very good and blessed life.

A few years ago, my oldest sibling was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer. While she was going through the treatment, I felt with deep concern, it will only be me and one other sibling left if her treatments are unsuccessful. My sisters are a hidden foundation now that our parents have passed many years ago. We were once five, now we are only three with the possibility of being only two. To God’s glory, the treatments worked and she is in full remission. But, the hidden foundation of family was temporarily exposed and I was shocked how much it threatened me, possibly being alone in the near future.

The love I felt in marriage, for those twenty five years, was deep and powerful. The love with my heavenly father is deep and powerful. My quest in life is to make a difference and leave a spiritual legacy. I have now written five books all with a message on how to be saved, to grow closer to God and opening a window to heaven over our lives and loved ones.  God’s plan of salvation is simple, we have sinned, ask for forgiveness through Jesus' gift and invite Him into our hearts and lives and live for Him.

Tom Donnan
Author of: Healing the Nation
Spiritual House Cleaning
Pastors and the Presence of God
7:14 Angels on Assignment
One Door Between Us
Facebook: Healing the nation ministries
Authors page on Amazon.

Oh wow, Tom what an incredible testimony! Thank you for sharing and YES, LIFE is one of the greatest treasures of all.

Hope you enjoyed Tom's post friends and that you'll check out his book and you'll check back here for more Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlights.

Until next time take care and God Bless.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Gay N Lewis!

Good Morning Friends!

As always it is my pleasure to introduce to you a new-to-me author and today's guest may be new to me but no stranger to the publishing world, so please welcome Gay N Lewis!

A native Texan, Gay lives in Fulshear, a small town west of Houston.  She loves to travel and engage in artistic ventures.  Two videos she produced —The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, sold well in international markets. Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.

As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. She also writes articles for Texas Hill Country.  Gay is also a published author for Pelican Book Group in romance and fantasy fiction. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles.

All of the Sarah books have appeared on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List. The Sarah series is available in eBook format as well as print at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Pelican Book Group, and other book sellers. Some additions are available in Amazon Audible. Each book in the series is a standalone novel.

Her latest books, Mattie’s Choice, and Clue into Kindness are not fantasy and romance. 
These books are women’s fiction. The stories are about abusive men and women who are addicted to an unhealthy relationship.

The books are available in print, eBook, and audio.
For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/
Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog. http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.
Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand

Thursday, February 14, 2019

#ThursdayThoughts Q&A with Carla Laureano

Good Morning Friends!

Last year we got to meet Tyndale author, Carla Laureano when she shared thoughts and visited our spotlight with her book, The Saturday Night Supper Club. Today Carla is sharing some Q&A with us and her new book, Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe (love the name of that!)

Welcome Carla....

1. What inspired you to write Brunch at Bittersweet Café?

Typically, I can pinpoint one moment that inspired the direction of a story, but this book came along far more gradually. I knew after writing Melody in The Saturday Night Supper Club that her relentless positivity and cheeriness hid some deeper issues, so it was really just a process of exploring what those might be—particularly after the hints I gave about her mother in the first book.

The spiritual themes, however, came from growing up as a Christian and how often I’ve seen outward happiness mistaken for true joy. The fake-it-’til-you-feel-it mentality is prevalent in some Christian circles, even today, and it’s one that Millennial Christians are rejecting in greater numbers.

2. 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?

I feel like Melody is a character that most of us can relate to in some way. She has all the ingredients to have her dream life, but she still stumbles along because she’s so inwardly conflicted on what she wants. It can be so tempting to live your life in a holding pattern, especially when the Bible emphasizes patience, but that attitude can also lead us into the trap of simply waiting and hoping without taking any steps of our own. That, combined with the pressure to always show a cheerful exterior, can lead us to magical thinking, where we just know that everything will be all right if we keep going as we are, rather than to a deeper faith in which we are tested and strengthened by trials.

3. What role does faith play in this story?
Through both Melody’s and Justin’s journeys, I explore the meaning of faith and the different—and erroneous—ways we can look at God. I think without meaning to, we can start to view God as the magical gumball machine in the sky: put in a quarter (your prayer), get your gumball (your wish). But our experience with God is not transactional; it’s a relationship. Both characters have to learn that true faith is releasing your dreams, hopes, and sorrows to a God who loves us and trusting Him to give us what we need, not what we think we want.

4. What lessons or truths do you hope people take away from Brunch at Bittersweet Café?

I hope that readers will be encouraged by the idea that they can trust God in both their best moments and their worst, because He knows what lies ahead when we can’t even begin to anticipate. I’m a bit of a control freak, so this is a lesson I have to learn over and over and over again. I’m sure God looks down on me with exasperated amusement from time to time, like “This would go a lot faster if you’d just let me steer.”

5. As an author, what did you particularly enjoy about writing this story?

I love learning about new things, so researching the aviation component for Justin’s career was so much fun. I spent hours reading FAA publications, scouring pilot forums, and learning the ins and outs of general aviation airports. Fortunately, I have a pilot friend who answered my questions, reviewed the flight scenes for accuracy, and even took my sons and me to his hangar to see the experimental plane he built. Were it not for the fact that I’m terrified of tiny planes (airliners don’t count), I would be tempted to get my private pilot license. I find the technical details fascinating.

6. What was the most difficult part of writing this story?
I struggled a bit with revealing Justin beyond what he wanted Melody to see. He’s such a charming, charismatic, keep-it-together kind of guy that at first even I was fooled. It wasn’t until the very end that I finally figured out the things that he was hiding and was able to portray him as an interesting three-dimensional person.

7. The first book in this series, The Saturday Night Supper Club, introduced
us to Melody Johansson. What will we discover about Melody in this book
that may surprise us?

I don’t want to give away all the fun details, but one thing that you definitely wouldn’t expect is her educational background. She was homeschooled, entered college at sixteen, finished at twenty, and promptly abandoned her plans of further literature degrees in favor of something she loved more—baking. I actually borrowed the details from my own history: I turned seventeen shortly after high school graduation and finished college a couple of months before my twentieth birthday. I never intended to become a professor like Melody, but I did at the last minute decide I had no interest in grad school and decided to go into the workforce instead. I was afraid that studying literature was killing my love for it, and I’d rather write it than analyze it.

As for the rest, you’ll have to read to find out!

8. Can you tell us more about Melody’s love interest, Justin Keller? Why did
you decide to give him the job and the backstory that you did?

One of the “rules” for writing romance is to create a potential love interest who seems to be the worst possible match in every way. For a woman who secretly craves permanence and has been betrayed by a man she loved, who could be worse than a pilot who travels more than half the month and stays away from serious relationships because of the demands of his job? Then there’s the fact that Melody is very much a free spirit, and pilots tend to be very focused and literal-minded, so there was the instant potential for interesting conflict.

Because of all those differences, it was fun to discover that they both have hurts in their past that affect their relationships with God and their willingness to commit to each other. In the end, they have far more in common than first appears.

9. Part of Melody’s past involves pain, which tends to influence her decisions and the way she lives her life. Can you tell us why you included those painful circumstances in her story? How do you hope reading about Melody’s story will encourage readers?

Pain is unavoidable in this life, and how we deal with it shapes us as people, whether we mean it to or not. But it’s a topic that isn’t often discussed among Christians. We want to gloss over the hard stuff to get to the part where God makes it okay again, even though it’s the space between the two that forms our strength, our character, and our faith. I wanted to make a statement that acknowledging your pain does not make you a bad Christian. It does not mean you don’t have faith. It means you’re human. That’s one reason that Jesus experienced life as fully human when he could have easily made
everything go his way—he understands what it means to be hurt, betrayed, and alone. I hope that readers who have felt obligated to plaster on a cheerful facade when they’re hurting will say, “No more.” It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to ask for help. None of that makes you weak. It takes more strength to deal with your pain in a healthy way than it does to push it down and ignore it.

10.How do you hope Melody’s story encourages single women specifically?

It can be so tempting to think your life will begin as soon as you find “the one” and get married, but the result is often living as small a life as possible while you’re waiting. The world can use your gifts and your talents, regardless of your marital status. Trust me, God knows where to find you . . . you’re not going to miss the man He has for you while you’re off being the person He meant you to be. I hope my single readers realize that they are complete just as they are and feel empowered to pursue their dreams, trusting that God will bring all the elements of their lives together at the right time.

11.Why do you think it’s important that this series talks about the intersection of culture, feminism, career, and faith for the Christian woman?

It’s downright difficult to be a modern Christian woman! We pursue career aspirations, but we often have traditional plans for our personal lives. We are dedicated to paving a way for the women after us, but we want to be open to God’s detours. So often, we are told that not only can we have it all, we must have it all . . . and if we’re struggling with keeping it together, there must be something wrong with us. In this series, I wanted to show that everyone struggles at times, and although Rachel, Melody, and Ana share similar beliefs, their paths are all incredibly different. It’s okay if your life looks different than everyone else thinks it should, because God’s plan for you is as unique as you are.

Tyndale Author, Carla Laureano, is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.  Find out more and connect with Carla on Social Media by visiting her website.

Her book, Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe, book 2 in her "Supper Club" series is available through Tyndale House Publishing and other online retailers as well as your local book store!

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

ALSO: Today I'm over at Penelope Marcez's blog & Pelican Book Group's Blog talking about Love in Season which releases today!

Until next time take care and God bless.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

#TuesdayTreasures with Angela Couch

Good Morning Friends,

Today's guest is not new to our blog but it's been a while since she's  shared thoughts and visited our spotlight. I also found out she has not only a new book but a new baby! So please welcome Angela Couch back as she shares something she treasures with us.....

When I think of treasures, the first thing that comes to mind is my children. (Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward…. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. Psalm: 127)

Especially my baby boy, born almost six months ago, who finally came after two miscarriages. He wakes me up at night, loves being held during the day, and makes writing a challenge, but I couldn’t be happier. The smiles, the babbling, the tiny toes, and fingers grasping at everything fills each day with so much joy. It makes me sad how so much we see on social media (and media in general) only shares the woes of parenting. No wonder fewer and fewer young people are excited or even planning on becoming parents! But how much joy and satisfaction with life are they giving up?
I also have an 8, 6, and almost 4-year-old and can honestly say, even after years of being single and following my dreams, this is the happiest and most fulfilling time of my life.

Home and family is all my hero in The Tory’s Daughter is looking for. He has two young children, the youngest not quite a year old, and he feels everything is out of his control. He’s lost his wife, his sister is raising his children, and Loyalist raiders endanger his family. It’s easy to question whether the Lord has any interest in your life sometimes.

But He does.

Oh what a lovely treasure Angela, congrats on your sweet baby boy and new release!

Burying his wife is the hardest thing Joseph Garnet has ever done—until he's called to leave his young son and baby daughter to fight Iroquois raiders. When one of the marauders tries to steal his horse, the last thing he expects is to end up tussling with a female. The girl is wounded, leaving Joseph little choice but to haul her home to heal—an act that seems all too familiar. Though Joseph doesn't appear to remember her, Hannah Cunningham could never forget him. He rode with the mob that forced her two brothers into the Continental Army and drove her family from their home—all because of her father's loyalties to The Crown. After five years with her mother's tribe, the rebels and starvation have left her nothing but the driving need to find her brothers. Compelled by a secret he's held for far too long, Joseph agrees to help Hannah find what remains of her family. Though she begins to steal into his aching heart, he knows the truth will forever stand between them. Some things cannot be forgiven.

Bio: To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after three munchkins.

Find and follow Angela on her WebsiteFace Book,Twitter @AngelaKCouch and Good Reads.
The Tory's Daughter, along with Angela's other books, can be found at Amazon 

Thanks for visiting friends, I hope you'll drop by regularly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God Bless!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Kara O'Neal & Destiny's Secrets!

Good Morning!

Kara O'neal is not new to us but it's been a couple of years since she's shared Treasures and been in our Spotlight so please welcome her back with her brand new, Pike's Run book, Destiny's Secrets!

I’m the oldest of four children. I have two sisters and one brother, and they are, without doubt, my best friends. I don’t know what my life would have been like without them, and I’m so grateful God blessed me with their friendship. We’ve been through a lot together, and they are my foundation.
Destiny’s Secrets details the closeness of the heroes, who are brothers, and the development of a friendship between the heroines, who are sisters. Jo and Charlotte didn’t know each other existed, and for most of their life, they’ve missed out on that sisterly bond.

This aspect of the story touched my heart a lot. I enjoyed returning Jo and Charlotte to each other, and also relating the relationship between the heroes, Andrew and Ben. It was lovely to showcase the special bonds siblings can cause, and how important they are. I was able to draw on my own personal experiences, which only made me feel closer to my family. It was wonderful!

Andrew and Ben Lonnigan, brothers and private investigators, have accepted an important case—to reunite the long-lost DuBois daughters with their rightful inheritance. Abducted from their childhood home in New Orleans when they were three and two-years-old, Jo and Charlotte were adopted by separate families.

Andrew heads north to find Josephine Tatum—a pants-wearing, spitfire veterinarian who challenges his mind and captures his heart. Ben travels south to find Charlotte Ryan—the financial mind behind her father’s ranch, with a sweet disposition and, unfortunately, a fiancé.

As the sisters journey toward destiny, Charlotte must guard her heart against Ben, a man too daring to ever return her love. And Andrew must hide his feelings from Jo, a woman determined to carve her own path. While the foursome battle feelings, they must also war with a villain from the sisters’ past, one with the will and the means to destroy everything the DuBois daughters hold dear.

The moonlight shining through the window above the sink bathed the dark room in a silver glow. He wished he’d brought a lantern in order to better see her face. Quiet settled around them, and he cleared his throat. “Did…Did you have a good time?”

“Yes.” She leaned against the counter, putting several feet of space between them.

“You weren’t scared?”

“I was.”

His mouth tipped up at the corners. “But you went anyway?”

He tried to imagine her sitting in a saloon and couldn’t wrap his mind around it. “What’d you do?”

She pushed her hands behind her back. “Played cards.”


“Yes. The owner found us spots, and we used some of Jo’s money. I only played two hands because I wasn’t comfortable betting.” She waited a beat. “That’s not a game someone should learn while using someone else’s coins.”

He had no reply and ached to move closer to her. He wished he could gather her in his arms. The last several hours had been pure torture, and his pulse raced at finally being in the same room with her.

“I also drank some whiskey.”

Her statement had him gaping. “Really?”

She didn’t expand and asked a question of her own. “Is this what you wanted to speak to me about?”

“No, I…” How in the hell did he begin? Why bring this up when she so obviously wanted to avoid it? But he couldn’t handle a chasm in their friendship. Even though he might not see her after Tuesday, he had to fix the tension between them.

“I’m sorry for what I did,” she blurted. “I shouldn’t have done it, especially without asking for permission.”

Permission? Her sweetness punched him in the gut. Before he could respond, she went on.

“I have feelings for you, Ben. Strong ones. I didn’t want you to know because I’m very aware I’m not a lady you’d ever be interested in, but I don’t want to hide my regard anymore.” She pushed away from the counter. “I love you.”

His breath caught at her honesty. Her courage.

“You’re probably confused because I was engaged only a short time ago, but…” She shook her head. “I didn’t love him. Not like I should have. I agreed to marry him to give my family some happiness after the death of my mother.”

Her words came with authority, shocking him into further silence.

“You came into my life, and you dazzled me. You’re so kind,” she said with reverence. “So caring. So…handsome. I’m glad I met you. I don’t regret losing my heart to you, but it’s going to take some work to get it back, and I need your help with that.”

What did she want of him?

“I need space. Distance.” She took a moment. “I’d appreciate it if we just said goodbye now.”

Already? Rebellion reared its head like a fire-breathing dragon.

When she said no more, he realized she waited for his agreement. How could he give her what she wanted?

But why would he hesitate? Her request should be easy to grant. He understood it. Respected it.
“Ben?” she prodded.

“Yes,” he rasped.

“Yes? You’ll honor what I’m asking?”

The hopeful, grateful note in her tone was like a knife to his heart. “Of course.”

Even in the darkness, he easily detected the slump of her shoulders. “Thank you.”

He couldn’t respond. It was impossible.

She shuffled forward a few steps, and he sensed her looking at him expectantly.

“So,” he uttered. “This is goodbye, then.”


He heard her heartache, the tears she tried hard to hold back. He didn’t want this. He couldn’t lose her already.

“Goodbye,” she said softly, her voice breaking.

He swallowed. “Goodbye.”

One second more, then she swept past him, and he quaked with the force it took to keep from yanking her into his arms. He didn’t turn as she walked out of his life.

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

OH NO! Kara! I'm hooked. Got to see what happens now LOL!  

Hope you enjoyed Kara's excerpt as much as I did. Destiny's Secrets as well as the other 10 Pike's Run Books can be purchased at Amazon. Yes, you read that right, there are 11 Pike's Run books and if you enjoy Historical Romances, you'll LOVE this series. But don't just take my word for it, find out for yourself with book 1, Welcome Home

Until next time take care and God bless.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

#ThursdayThoughts with Laura-Dawn Moule

Good Morning!

Last month I introduced you to a new-to-me author when she shared treasures with us so please welcome Laura-Dawn Moule back to our blog!

Take it away, Laura.......

A silence fills the ballroom as the audience waits with nervous anticipation. Lovely, young hands hold a glittering tiara that reflects a fiery, iridescent light, one that promises to change someone’s destiny forever. The host’s deep voice finally speaks: “The winner is…” Another unbearable pause. Then, he calls your name! Thunderous applause wells up like tidal waves.  As you step forward, a beautiful woman who holds the stunning coronet walks towards you. With arms upraised, only a few seconds pass before you feel the weight of the dazzling crown on your head. You can’t see it, but there is an unfamiliar heaviness you’ve never experienced before. The crowd responds with simultaneous weeping, yelling, and cheering. You turn around to face the audience and take the exhilarating walk, waving at people who can’t take their eyes off you as the photographers snap away. The flashes of light seem to capture the immortality of the moment __ one that transcends time and place. You’ve fulfilled a fantasy for them. You are the fairy-tale princess of their childhood.
An already peaceful antechamber becomes even quieter as the much-anticipated meeting is moments away. Then finally, the door begins to open. A small stooped figure arrayed in a white sari meekly walks out. The deep lines of her face reflect a life of deprivation and sacrifice, while her grey eyes mirror fantastical stories of service. Her wimple is the whitest of white with three definitive blue bands that frame her glorious countenance. Her thin lips speak with authority in a distinct Albanian accent. She looks directly into your eyes and addresses you. You feel chosen. The echoes of the conversation in the sacred vestibule carry an eternal undertone that transcends time and place. She has fulfilled a fantasy for you. She is the fairy godmother of your childhood. 

Most of us are fascinated by fairytales. The yearning to hear about them or perhaps to even live them out ourselves stems from childhood when our parents read us the bedtime classics. They are beguiling because every character plays a specific role in a world where the battle between good and evil is an ever-present reality. At the end, good prevails and any enemy is destroyed. In Reflections of India: The Spiritual Journey of a Beauty Queen, you will read the moving story of my experience from the exciting world of beauty pageants to the harsh realities of life seen during the time I spent working with the desperately poor. From a crowning to a calling, my pursuit of the path less traveled provides a unique glimpse into my quest to find God in the most unexpected places. A chance meeting with one of the world’s greatest humanitarians inspires me to travel to India to work in the Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata) slums in an era during which my choice was considered unusual. To my surprise, I find beauty in the midst of great suffering. May the words contained in this book help you lift the veil so you can discover the fairytale that exists for you as you discover how you can play out a unique role in a troubled world that will one day come to its rightful conclusion (Revelation 20:1 – 22:21).

Laura-Dawn Moule

Wow, so true. Thanks Laura-Dawn!

 Having a creative streak from an early age, Laura-Dawn first began writing poetry and recording her prophetic dreams as a young teenager. Her literary skills were honed during the time she spent acquiring her bachelor of arts degree in English literature at McGill University in Montreal. As her interest in theology grew, she went on to write exegeses of scripture while she studied for her master of arts degree in biblical studies at the University of Sheffield. Her fascination with eschatology has continued to flourish over the years and is readily apparent in her first book, Reflections of India – The Spiritual Journey of a Beauty Queen.

Find out more by visiting her Website. Purchase her book from Amazon in print or for Kindle!

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

Until next time take care and God Bless.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

#TuesdayTreasures with Author, M.E. Bakos!

Good Morning and Welcome!

Today we have another brand new-to-me guest so please give M. E Bakos a huge WELCOME as she shares treasures with us....

Time is my greatest treasure now. After leaving the day-to-day work world to “follow my passion” like my heroine, Katelyn Baxter, it’s a treat to steal off to watch a chick flick in the afternoon or read the latest novel. Like my character, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do. Katelyn survives by sheer grit, with bad jobs, bad bosses, and a complicated love life. 

In FATAL FLIP, Katelyn’s new career flipping houses starts off with a bang when she
finds a dead body. Thank goodness, that’s not my life. The complicated love life of my twenties
is gone too.

Katelyn has to sort out her feelings for her dead husband, her ex-husband, and a hunky sheriff. Oye!

Of course, good friends are treasures and Katelyn has that in Myra, who lends an ear, some wine, and a measure of maturity in her house flipping career. Wayne, the handyman does the heavy lifting with the rehabs and Ex-hubby, Eddy, provides comic relief between home repairs and dead bodies in FATAL FLIP.

In my new release, DEADLY FLIP, Katelyn moves out of her comfort zone of rehabbing homes in small town Crocus Heights, Minnesota, to a house in bustling Hiptown, against her better judgement. She learns a woman was murdered and the culprit got off. Justice hadn’t been done for the victim. Who hasn’t seen unfairness in the world or justice gone amuck? In the process of rehabbing she discovers more secrets about the house and good friend, Myra. 

As a fiction writer, I get to right the wrong, and hopefully entertain the reader in the process. I love tying up loose ends, and giving the reader a happy ending. That is a true treasure, besides having the time to pursue a passion.  I hope you enjoy FATAL FLIP and DEADLY FLIP. Please visit my website and friend me on Facebook, M. E. Bakos, Author or Email me at: mebakos@yahoo.com

Thank you so much M.E for sharing with us!
Good luck and God's blessings with your books and writing.

If you love cozy mysteries, check out these books, friends and check back with me regularly for more great books and authors on Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Robert Jones & The Light

Good Morning and Welcome to the 1st Saturday Spotlight of Feb 2019!

Today's guest has shared thoughts and treasures with us and been in our spotlight before so please welcome Robert Jones back with his new book, The Light......

The Light is the beginning of an important conversation with your child about the wonders of being alive and the spiritual life. The text is punctuated by illustrations of the beauty in our world and the love and kindness that exists within us and all around us.

“Breathtakingly beautiful.” — Christian Bookaholic
“The Light shines.” — Chapel Hill News & Views
“Excellent.” — Homeschool Book Review
“Gentle and inspiring.” — Bookworm for Kids

Robert Jones is the author of numerous books, including the Lessons with Lulu series. He is able to spend most evenings writing stories for his daughters thanks to the patience and love of his wife.

The Light can be found at Healthy Life Press and Amazon

Watch the Trailer HERE!

Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and that you'll check back weekly for more great authors and books!

Until next time, take care and God bless.