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

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

#WednesdayWordswithFriends welcomes Lisa K Simonds

Good Morning and Welcome to the Last Wednesday Words with Friends post of Jan. 2020!

I don't even know what to say about that friends. The last Wednesday in Jan. 2020?! One minute I feel like the year is half over and the other I'm relieved it's only January LOL!

Next week I'll announce the winner of this month's gift card so leave a comment and you'll be entered into the drawing!

Meanwhile, please welcome Lisa K Simonds back to our blog. She was in our spotlight earlier this month but today she's sharing some thoughts on Networking. Take it away, Lisa.....



"Networking" is one of those words like "platform" that can make a girl cringe. But networking needn't be a chore, and you don't have to be a glad-hander who feigns enthusiasm to be successful at it.

We all know writing is solitary work. It's just you and the pages. In that way, writing isn't so different from my former profession, air traffic control. When I was a controller, I alone was responsible for a bit of airspace - my blank page, if you will. I alone decided how the airplanes moved across my sector. I might climb or descend them. I might turn them one way or another. Or I might just let them go on their way. It all depended on the big picture. Controllers have to keep the big picture in mind, lest they solve one problem and create three worse ones. Sound familiar?

Even though it was just me and the airspace, we never worked in a vacuum. Neither do you and your pages.

I learned early in my air traffic career that I was part of a community in which I needed to give a little to get a little. Sometimes that looked like accepting extra aircraft that needed to be diverted from an overloaded route. Even when I was already busy. Sometimes it looked like noticing an aircraft heading toward my boundary that had not been handed off and reaching out to the controller working the airplane with a "Radar contact!" Thus saving them from violating my airspace, which would have meant trouble in those days.

Networking means give and take among writers too.

It looks like Pamela Thibodeaux giving me guest spots on her Saturday Spotlight (4 Jan 2020) and Wednesday Words with Friends today. It looked like her reading and reviewing my debut novel, ALL IN. Thank you, Pamela! She offered these gifts freely. We did not barter. Yet the gifts formed a more meaningful connection between us than a simple barter exchange would have. One that enriched my writing community, and I hope hers too. In the back of my mind is the desire to reciprocate in some manner. Not out of obligation, but to keep the gift going.

Years ago, a colleague told me relationships are like wells. Sometimes you need to draw water out, so it's a good idea to put water in the well every chance you get. That way, there'll be plenty in reserve when you need it.

Be the person who puts water in the well. Before you know it, your reputation will precede you and gather opportunities to bring your way.

"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38

Wow...thank you, Lisa for giving us your perspective on networking! You're right, it's more about building relationships and communities than anything else.

Good luck and God's blessings with your writing.

L. K. Simonds is a Fort Worth local. She has worked as a waitress, KFC hostess, telephone marketer, assembly-line worker, nanny, hospital lab technician, and air traffic controller. She's an instrument-rated pilot and an alumna of Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas. All In is her first novel, released from Morgan James Publishing in August 2019 and can be purchased at Amazon. Watch the book trailer HERE and check out this Bookmates4inmates Story video.

You can connect with Lisa at the following locations....

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

Until next time take care and God bless!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Sandra Bretting & Shameless Persistence!

Good Morning Friends!

I always love a true miracle story. Movies and books like, Breakthrough and Miracles from Heaven do so much to build our faith and trust. That's why today's guest, brought to us from Adams Media is so special. Critically-acclaimed mystery author, Sandra Bretting shares her personal story of a miraculous healing in her new release, Shameless Persistence.

How many times have you been asked to pray for someone and thought, “Here I go again?” Maybe it’s for someone’s physical healing. Or his financial situation. Perhaps someone’s made a bad life choice and now she’s suffering the consequences. (The infamous “unspoken prayer request.”) Whatever it is, sometimes prayer fatigue sets in. What’s the point? What difference does it make? I probably won’t even find out what happens to him or her.
And sometimes that’s exactly what happens.

We pray for days, for weeks, for months, even, but we never see an answer to our prayers. We wonder whether God still hears us, or whether he even cares. Then, he startles us awake. He performs a miracle right before our eyes, at a pace that takes our breath away.

Do you need a shot of adrenaline today to bring your prayer life back into focus? A reason to believe you’re not wasting your time? Some real-life examples to bolster your faith in prayer? I hope you find it here, and more. Because my story shows how God works through the prayers of his people. How he heard their cries over one icy weekend in Houston, when more than a thousand Christians came together to rattle the gates of heaven on my behalf. Sometimes, the people who prayed over me didn’t even know my name.

Excerpt from “Chapter 1: AND SO IT BEGINS” from Shameless Persistence

I never set out to be a medical miracle. I never wanted to be a medical miracle. But sometimes, what we want and what God wants are two very different things.

Like many people mentioned in the Bible, God chose someone perfectly ordinary that day when he reached down from heaven in January 2018.

Just another fifty-five-year-old suburban wife and mother who lived on the outskirts of Houston, Texas, with her family. My posse included a husband of almost thirty years (Roger), two daughters (Brooke and Dana), and a slaphappy rescue dog with more brawn than brains (Chance). Brooke had recently married her college sweetheart and moved to Dallas to pursue a career. Meanwhile, Dana lived at home while she wrapped up her senior year of high school and applied to colleges both near and far. Life was pretty good, to be honest. Ever since I graduated from The University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1985, I’d wanted to be a writer. I’d freelanced for newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, when I still lived in California, and then for the Houston Chronicle, when our family moved to Texas for Roger’s career.

Deep down, though, I wanted to write mysteries; my favorite kind of books. After taking a zillion creative writing classes and reading even more rejection letters, God finally granted me a publishing contract in 2012. I wrote one hardcover mystery, and then another. By 2015, I had a six-book contract with a New York publisher to write something called “cozy mysteries,” which are soft-boiled stories that dial down the sex and violence. I was right in the middle of writing my fifth book in the series when Baby New Year arrived in 2018. In other words, I had a loving husband (check), a job I’d always wanted (check) and two amazing daughters. (Check, check.) Life wasn’t perfect, but it was close enough.

Does that sound familiar? The Bible is full of people like me…ordinary people with everyday lives, who chug blissfully along until God upends everything in one fell stroke.

Consider the prophet Jonah. He lived in a mountaintop village about eight-hundred years before Christ was born. Jonah had everything going for him: a close community of family and friends; access to both the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea; and a respectable career as an oracle for God.

What he didn’t have was a desire to preach to the Israelites’ sworn enemy, the Assyrians. So, when God called him to do that very thing in a city called Nineveh, he balked. Several calamitous detours later, including one inside the smelly stomach of a fish, he finally got with God’s program and got his life back on track.

While nothing quite so dramatic happened to me, I felt very much like Jonah pre-Assyrians: blissfully unaware things could ever change.

Until the morning of January 17, 2018, when I woke up feeling “not quite right.” I’d been suffering from lower back pain for a few days, but I passed it off to a wonky spinal cord that acted up every now and again.

Sandra Bretting is the author of the critically-acclaimed book series, “The Missy DuBois Mystery Series” (Kensington Publishing, New York). A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she spent two decades writing feature stories for national newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Houston Chronicle. She is a long-time member of The Writer’s League of Texas and the national chapter of Sisters in Crime. She lives with her family in a suburb of Houston, Texas. For more information visit www.SandraBretting.com. Connect with Sandra on Facebook and BookBub.

Shameless Persistence can be purchased at Amazon.

Wow, wow, wow! Sounds like a book we can all use to bolster our own spiritual walk. Thanks Sandra for sharing your story!

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends. Let's help get Sandra's story out by sharing this post! Be sure to leave a comment so you can be entered into the drawing for a gift card!

Until next time take care, God Bless and remember.... When the going gets tough, the tough get on their knees!


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

#WednesdayWordswithFriends withe Melisa Marzett

Good Morning!

Not a whole lot of new things going on for me so I'll let my guest jump right in......

Everyone should know and understand that certain words that we use when communicating with other people are of no use, and it is advisable to remove them from the vocabulary altogether because they do not make us positive and attractive, but only emphasize shortcomings. That is why it is essential to carefully think through and choose the right expressions since the talking words reflect the inner world of a person and have high power. With their help, we can form thoughts, gain inspiration, or lose hope.

If you want to positively influence others and yourself to look in the best light, try to remove the following words from your vocabulary permanently.

1. I hate
There is no such person in the world who would not use this word at least once in life. The problem is that we use this word too often. Every time people do not like something in their life (even if it is some small thing), they say "I hate" without thinking. Most often, it is due to a bad mood or negative emotions. Of course, sometimes, you need to somehow tell about your dislikes or preferences. Try replacing a negative word with a more positive one.

2. Someday
This word is a clear signal of your uncertainty and confusion. When a person pronounces it, then this person shows low interest and lack of all intentions. If you have a goal, you should go for it, and not put it off "someday," otherwise your dreams and plans will never come true. Usually, we put off important matters and decisions until the time when we are ready, but this time may never come. Act now!

3. I can’t
“I can’t” is a dead-weight expression, a stop expression that prevents us from moving forward. Throwing it out of your vocabulary, you will gain the opportunity to get more motivation, strength, and optimism. Those people who say that they cannot do something that will never be successful. Instead of this expression, you can use the following phrase: "I will learn how to do it." In reality, we can do everything, even those things that at first seem challenging and unattainable. To do this, you only need to be persistent, work, and always believe in yourself.

About the author
Melisa Marzett belongs to the category of persons who thinks positive, make lemonade from lemons, sees glasses as half full and so on. Working as a freelance writer, she writes articles for Writing Help and has a great deal of experience in writing matters. Apart from writing, she loves reading obviously and is a voracious reader and enjoys traveling due to being cannot sit still kind of person.

You are SO right Melisa, I be we ALL can think of a few more words that fit in the category of those we would do well to eliminate from our vocabulary. Thank you so  much for sharing with us today.

Hope you enjoyed the post friends. Be sure to check out Melisa's thoughts and treasures she shared with us last year and stop by weekly for more Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Valerie Massey Goree & Day of Reckoning!

Good Morning!

It's another soggy day in SW Louisiana. We've seen very little sunlight this past week and for many, this kind of weather affects their mood. I'm one of those people. I try to do everything in my power to alleviate the sour attitude that accompanies gloomy weather. One of my favorite ways to boost my mood is dancing and I did quite a bit of that last night!

Today's guest is new to the blog but not new to me. Valerie Massey Gorree is a fellow Pelican Book Group author and is sharing her brand new release with us today so please give her a huge, warm WELCOME!

 International Retrieval Organization Agent Lela Ortiz is assigned the kidnapping case of businessman, Chuck Davenport. When her boss allows Jay Vashon, Chuck’s brother-in-law to assist, Lela accepts the help with reservations, especially when Jay prays at the most inopportune times.

Jay would do anything to help bring Chuck home, even work with feisty Agent Ortiz. As Jay and Lela decipher clues Chuck sends to his son with special needs, they are forced to work in close proximity.

Can Jay break through the barrier Lela has constructed around her heart? Will Lela be able to overcome her distrust of men and God?

And Chuck? Can the pair locate him before the ransom deadline?

Two hours crouched behind a reeking dumpster on a dead-end San Diego street must be the worst possible way to spend a balmy Saturday night. Private Investigator, Agent Lela Ortiz stretched, and massaged her taut neck muscles.

Heavy-metal music pumped out of the open living room windows of the suspect’s house. When would the rowdy party end?

The raid they’d been working on for more than a week had to go down tonight, or the life of a nineteen-year-old girl with a severe medical condition could be lost forever. If they didn’t rescue her now, she would surely end up bruised, broken. Perhaps dead. The tight burn scars on Lela’s torso pinched as if they had a mind of their own. At a minimum, dead inside. Like Lela.

She stood and slowed her breathing, a Tae Kwon Do technique she’d perfected in recent years. Patience was not one of her virtues, but the exercise lowered her stress level.

According to the last check of her watch, another half-hour crept by before the partygoers stumbled down the front steps of the aged house scheduled for demolition in the morning. In the darkness, Lela pressed her back against the warped clapboard siding of the residence. Peeling paint flaked off in her hand.

She counted the people as they staggered down the street or crawled into vehicles. Four. Five. Six.

Where was the last one? From the shadows, she peeked around the corner and almost collided with number seven. Flattening herself against the wall, she reached for her holster.

Drunk, or high, the burly man squinted at her. The streetlight strobed across his whiskered face. His brow wrinkled and he stepped closer, sucking in a deep draw from his cigarette.

A gust of wind swirled smoke in Lela’s face. The pungent odor roiled her insides, raking up bitter memories. No! She refused to visit the past.

“Why you hiding here?” A puff of alcohol-laced air sprayed out with his slurred words.

American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award winner Valerie Massey Goree resides with her husband on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.

After serving as missionaries in her home country of Zimbabwe and raising two children, Glenn and Valerie moved to Texas. She worked in the public school system for many years, focusing on students with special needs. Now retired, Valerie spends her time writing, and spoiling her grandchildren.

Novels include: Deceive Me Once; Colors of Deceit; Weep in the Night; and stand-alone sequel Day of Reckoning.

Valerie loves to hear from her readers. Connect with her on her Website or Facebook. Get your copy of Day of Reckoning at Pelican Book Group, Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

Wow, Valerie, thanks for sharing! We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with your new release.

Thanks for stopping by friends. Be sure to leave a comment if you want to be entered into my monthly gift card giveaway and stop by each week for Wednesday Words with Friends and another Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#WednesdayWordswithFriends welcomes Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar

Good Morning!

January is well underway as we are already on the 15th! Y'all I just can't imagine where time is going and why so fast.

Alas, all we can do is show up, do our best and let God do the rest.

Today's guest is new to our blog. You may remember back in August (2019) Andrea interviewed me RE: The Visionary, for her podcast, Discover the Story so please open your heart while Andrea shares hers....

How Much Are Your Memories Worth?

As I pack on room after another, preparing for our move from Wisconsin to South Carolina, I find things from when my sons were boys, teenagers, and into their college years. I save it. Pack it. But then one of my sons asked why I was keeping all the photo albums from my girlhood too. Goodness! I’m even packing photos from when my mother was a baby.

“Throw ‘em out, Mom,” one son advised. “What are you going to do with them? You’re moving to an apartment.”

He makes a good point and yet, I cannot throw them out. Taking pictures of the pictures and saving them on a CD or flash drive is one solution and one that I may do in the near future.

And then there is the furniture we won’t have room for in our new place. Pieces like the Federal-style rocking chair which my husband and I purchased on our 40th wedding anniversary. Sadly, it’s got to go. But for how much? $5? $10? $25? It’s priceless to us, but people these days don’t care about well-made furniture. They want Ikea-like stuff. It comes in a box, they put it together, it looks great, and it’s inexpensive so they can furnish their homes, dorms, and/or apartments then throw it away when they move or get tire of it.

Meanwhile my precious books, furniture, and framed art is priced to sell quickly. We can’t afford storage or moving fees so I’m advertising locally and it’s got to go.

Still, it’s difficult to see all my memories carried off for a fraction of what they’re worth—at least for what they’re worth to me.

Oh wow, Andrea, I know what you mean! I remember downsizing from a 3 bed room house to living in a bedroom in someone else's home. Now I live in a tiny (12 x 30) house! I still have some things stored at my dad's and plan to weed through and get rid of a lot more this year. Never easy but as they say...you can't take it with you.

Good luck and God's blessings on your move.

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar is a Wisconsin author of over 40 books with ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD! The three components in all of her stories are faith, family, and forever relationships. She also blogs and writes devotionals and magazine articles with the hope of encouraging readers wherever they are in their spiritual journeys.

Find out more by connecting with Andrea on her Website and Facebook. Be sure to check out Discover the Story where Andrea interviews authors about the story behind their books. Find Andrea's books on Amazon.

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

Don't forget ... Leave a comment to be entered into our monthly gift card giveaway!

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Tempered Dreams

Good Morning!

My scheduled guest could not be here today so I'm improvising. Guess it doesn't hurt to share my books with new followers so here goes.....

Dr. Scott Hensley (introduced in Tempered Hearts) has built a wall around his heart since the death of his wife and parents.  Katrina Simmons is recovering from scars inflicted on her as a battered wife.  Can dreams be renewed and faith strengthened?  Can they find joy and peace in God’s love and in love for one another? 

Excerpt:“Spend the day with me,” he urged. “We’ll go to my place. I’ll take a short nap after which we’ll do whatever your little heart desires.” 
“Anything?” she teased.
Her voice was as enticing as silk and just as alluring. Her excitement set fire to his blood. “Anything.” he assured in a thick voice.
His smoldering gaze, as tender as a caress and just as potent, lowered to her lips, lingered, then raked over her in a hungry gesture before returning to capture hers in a heated embrace. Trina felt as though he was touching her in the most intimate of ways. Her cheeks grew hot, her breath lodged in her throat. Desire washed over her in angry waves. She swallowed hard and tucked trembling hands in her lap, desperately trying to form a coherent sentence. “Please, Scott, don’t look at me like that.”  
He could actually feel her trembling response across the table. His voice lowered another notch. “Like what?”
Trina shook her head. “Like you’re starving to death and could eat me up. Didn’t you have enough food?”
Pushing his plate away, Scott stood and held his hand out to her. Trina placed a trembling one in his firm grip. Pulling her gently to her feet, Scott raised it to his mouth, brushing his lips across her knuckles. “Food is not what I’m hungry for,” he informed her in a husky whisper.
Trina waited as he paid for their meal then followed him to the parking lot as gracefully as possible on legs that wobbled. He paused and in a silent gesture, signaled for her to give him her car keys. His fingers brushed sensuously over her wrist and palm, grasping hers gently when she placed them in his hand. 
Locking his heated gaze with hers, Scott raised their clasped hands to his lips, this time lingering over the kiss. He nibbled on her knuckles, teasing the back of her hand with his mouth, then, in one swift movement, turned his attention to the sensitive flesh of her palm and wrist, relieving her of her keys and her senses.
Trina felt the caress to the very core of her being. She moaned, leaning against his hard frame when he pulled her closer. His heat enveloped her until she burned with him, for him. And his lips had never even touched hers.

Purchase Links:

I am offering a FREE audio copy to ANYONE who wants one so leave a comment and let me know!

You will also be put in the monthly drawing for a gift card.

THANKS for visiting.

Until next time take care and God bless.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Getting Healthy by Clarissa Rivera!

Good Morning and Welcome!

2020 has launched and for many, getting healthy is a resolution we aspire to every year. We may start out OK but then old habits creep in and we find ourselves right back where we were. Or worse.

Clarissa Rivera, Content Marketer at Taos Footwear (who visited us back in September) has some tips for us....

5 Tips to Amplify Your Healthy Living Lifestyle

Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle is one of the smartest decisions you can make. With a good plan for health and wellness, you can do a lot to make sure you feel better both physically and mentally. Along with that, healthy living is the key to reducing your risk for a wide range of health concerns.

At the start of your journey to a healthier life, you may have taken the time to build an exercise routine and maybe you did a little research to improve your diet. These obvious steps are a great start, but they shouldn’t be seen as the entire path to improved health and wellness. Along with having an exercise routine and planning some healthy meals, here are some quick wins to enhance your healthy lifestyle.

Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

Snack Smarter

Having the occasional snack is fine no matter what your fitness goals may be. Whether you are a late-night snacker or if you just like to keep snacks at your desk when you work, it isn’t the act of snacking that is the problem – it is the quality of the foods you snack on.

So many of us have developed a habit of reaching for things like cakes, candy or chips when we want a snack. If you want a healthier lifestyle, your diet has to consider the snacks you eat as well as your meals. Instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks, switch to eating fruits, vegetables and nuts when you need a snack.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

If you are trying to improve your fitness, breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast helps to set the tone for the rest of the day, and it is even more important if you have an intense day of exercise planned. Even if you are trying to lose weight, you need to start the day off with a good meal.

Instead of skipping the first meal of the day, you should turn your attention to finding healthy breakfast foods. Oatmeal is a classic that can work well for almost any fitness goal. Beyond that, you could try low-fat yogurt with some fresh fruit or a whole-wheat bagel. You could even include eggs as a part of a healthy breakfast.

Get a Good Pair of Shoes

Exercise is an important part of living a healthy life, but it can put a lot of stress on your feet. Regardless of the type of exercise you do, you should buy shoes that are designed for the activity and you also want to make sure they fit well. Along with that, you should get new shoes when your old ones get worn out. Even if they are comfortable, a pair of old, beat-up shoes can increase your risk of injury.

Beyond exercise, give some thought to the shoes you wear day-in, day-out. You may be surprised to find supportive sneakers in styles usually lamented as foot killers.

One tip for finding the right shoes is to go shopping in the evening. A person’s feet tend to be a little larger later in the day, so you should be able to find a more comfortable pair by shopping in the afternoon or evening. Additionally, your shoes should be comfortable the first time you put them on; don’t rely on the idea that you can break them in to make them feel right.

Exercise in the Morning

Just making the effort to exercise can make a huge difference for improving your health. With that said, your workout schedule can make a difference. If you can plan your workout for any time of the day, you should try to get yourself out of bed early to exercise first thing in the morning.

If your schedule will only allow you to work out in the afternoon, that is fine, but research has shown that there are additional benefits of morning exercise. Exercising in the morning can increase the benefits for weight loss and it has even been shown to improve alertness throughout the day.

Look for Variety

One problem for many healthy eaters is that they have a limited number of meals that fit their lifestyle. With a limited array of recipes, it can be easy to get bored with what you are eating. Along with that, it can be difficult to get all of the nutrients you need if there is not enough variety in your diet.

If you want to avoid getting tired of eating healthy and make sure you are getting enough nutrition, you need to aim for variety. Make a consistent effort to try new healthy recipes to add to the variety. One way to do this is to pick one day a week that is for trying a new dinner recipe. After a while, you will have a wide array of recipes that will help you to keep things fresh as you continue to eat healthy.

Great tips, Clarissa! Thank you for sharing.

Hope you're inspired to make 2020 your BEST year ever, friends and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

REMEMBER....everyone who leaves a comment is entered into a drawing for a $15 gift card of his/her choice (leave your email address too!)

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

#SaturdaySpotlight is on LK Simonds @SimondsLk & All In

Good Morning from Bandera, TX!

Yep, I drove up on Wednesday for a few days in my home away from home to visit with friends. Having fun but I forgot about this Cedar Fever crap and my sinuses are a mess LOL! 

Hope your New Year is starting out blessed.

Today's guest is new to me and our blog but I have a feeling we'll hear a lot from her in the future.

L. K. Simonds is a Fort Worth local. She has worked as a waitress, KFC hostess, telephone marketer, assembly-line worker, nanny, hospital lab technician, and air traffic controller. She's an instrument-rated pilot and an alumna of Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas. All In is her first novel, released from Morgan James Publishing in August 2019. 

A woman's empty pursuit of happiness leads to a crisis before finding redemption in the Lord in this challenging and gritty Christian novel.

Twenty-nine-year-old novelist and blackjack dealer Cami Taylor seems to have it all--but just underneath her confident exterior and newfound celebrity is a young woman in trouble. Cami's boyfriend, Joel, wants to get married, buy a house on Long Island, and raise a family--a life that's a million miles from Cami's idea of happiness. Her therapist suggests compromise and trust, but Cami would rather bolt like a deer.

Breaking things off with Joel, Cami launches herself on a new quest for happiness. But her pursuit of pleasure only takes her further from herself--and toward a harrowing new reality unlike anything she's faced before. What follows for Cami is a fight to the death that can only be waged with God's love.

I wrote Double Down Blues while dealing blackjack at the River Bend Casino in Albuquerque. I told myself that I went to work in the casino to get the experience I needed to develop my protagonist, Jackie. To get firsthand experience of what a dealer’s life is like. Now I know I did it to escape the person I was in Phoenix—the mousy, dumpy bookworm I’d always been. My transformation began there, in Albuquerque. Vicariously at first, through the recklessness of my alter ego, Jackie. Then, as I emulated her, through my own recklessness.
A guy I met at a five-dollar table one night took me up in his airplane early the next morning. I remember it clearly, though it seems like a lifetime ago. How long has it been? Maybe four years now?
It was a still and frosty high-desert morning in November. The airplane was parked under a tiny shed out in a field. He pulled the ancient yellow contraption out into the morning sunlight, tied the tail end of it to the shed, and pulled the propeller around and around to start the engine. It sputtered and caught and finally rumbled to life. We got in—me very bravely—and took off from that field.
We climbed out over the valley, alongside the Sandia ridgeline, our cross-shaped shadow gliding across the craggy, cactus-strewn mountainside. As we sailed between the prickly ground and the infinite blue sky, every ordinary thing was transmuted to glorious.
I still remember how I felt, sitting behind him in that narrow, frail contrivance of wood and canvas. Midway Publishing had just accepted my manuscript, and I was drunk on the thrill of it. The freedom of leaving the earth behind, of going wherever we wished under our own power, was a perfect metaphor for my success. At that moment, anything seemed possible.
Then Eddie—his name was Eddie—shouted, “Hang on!” over the roar of the engine.
The plane suddenly heaved backward on its tail, nose skyward, and slowed until we seemed to hang motionless on the whirling propeller. All of the wind and engine sounds faded to silence.
“Autorotation!” Eddie barked.
As if on command, the body of the thing that held us in space shuddered with a death throe and rolled to one side like a breaching whale. The nose fell through the horizon and pointed straight down, toward the pale New Mexican dirt, and the entire machine began to whip around in a tight corkscrew. Fear snatched the breath from my throat, even though I knew it had to be a boyish prank meant to impress me. Then Eddie threw his hands over his head, and the airplane magically began to fly again.
I did not speak to him after that. Ever.
“All I had to do was let go of the controls and it’d fly right out of it,” he said.
As if that made any difference.
“Autorotation,” I say aloud to the empty apartment.
I now feel that same panic, the whipping, uncontrolled downward spiral. In the windshield the ground spins closer and closer. The eerie silence. If I take my hands from the controls, will everything return to normal as it did on that day? Will my life know how to right itself as that little airplane did?

All In can be purchased at Amazon. Watch the book trailer HERE and check out this Bookmates4inmates Story video.

Connect with LK at the following places....

Leaves of Grace Essays: http://melissakaysimonds.com/

I read and enjoyed All In and if you like gritty, realistic Christian fiction you will to!

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight. Don't forget to leave a comment and enter to win my monthly gift-card giveaway!

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Happy New Year!

Good Morning and Happy New Year!

I've got some exciting news for you.....

Starting Jan 2020 (now!)  I will host a monthly giveaway.

One lucky person who leaves a comment will win a $15.00 gift card of their choice.

The more you comment, the more times your name goes in the hat, so visit weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Winner will be announced the first post following close of previous month, so be sure and leave your email address in the comment so I can reach you.

Good luck and God's blessings in 2020!