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, April 17, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Alina K Field @AlinaKField and Storm & Shelter!

Good Morning,

I'm about tired of the rain, let me tell you! It has rained every day this week and the weather app changed from sunshine through Thursday to cloudy - UGH. My Newsletter went out Thursday. If you haven't signed up for it, please consider doing so. Tempered Truth is a month old now. If you've read the book, please consider leaving a review - THANKS!

Today's guest has visited before, so please welcome Alina K Field with her latest release, Storm & Shelter. Take it away Alina....

The year 2020 was awful in many ways, but there were some bright spots. For me, one of those was being invited by the Bluestocking Belles, a group of historical romance authors, to be one of the guest authors in their 2021 story collection. It was a unique experience, and a great deal of fun, interweaving our stories and characters into the collection's setting. All of the stories take place in the fictional Suffolk town of Fenwick on Sea during a "storm of the century". It is the first week of April 1815, and Napoleon Bonaparte has just escaped from Elba.

When this opportunity arose, I was in the middle of writing Fated Hearts, my Regency-set retelling of the Macbeth story. Since Fated Hearts was set in London in March 1815, in the middle of the Corn Riots, and in the week that ended with the arrival of news of Bonaparte's escape, the Storm & Shelter project gave me the perfect opportunity for a secondary character's romance.

Blurb for Storm & Shelter:

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

Blurb for The Comtesse of Midnight:

A Scottish Earl on a quest for the elusive Comtesse de Fontenay rescues a French lady smuggler from the surf during a devastating storm, and takes shelter with her. As the stormy night drags on, he suspects his companion knows the woman he’s seeking, the one who holds the secret to his identity.

Marielle Plessiers may dress like a boy and go out with the local free traders, but she’s really the Comtesse de Fontenay. She trades in spirits, not secrets, but the information she holds will change Malcolm Comyn’s life forever.

Excerpt:

The Scotsman, however, was dead on his feet. She could almost feel sorry for him. He was far from home, and had been traveling for several days. His neckcloth was limp, his cuffs soiled, his coat wrinkled. His boots, well and carefully crafted, if not by Hoby then by some equally fashionable bootmaker in Edinburgh, had not been properly polished in the last few days.

He’d shaved though, probably very early that morning, because a delicious dark stubble had sprouted along his strong jaws.

Did he have a razor in his interesting valise? She wouldn’t molest him, unless he thought to do the same to her. If it came to that, and she prayed that it wouldn’t, she would use her own blade and not some unfamiliar shaving instrument.

“Is this one of your imports?” he asked, swirling the amber liquid. “It’s very good.”

His words stirred her out of her imaginings about handsome young men, and she realized she must manage the conversation else she’d slip into sleep, or perhaps something more inconvenient, without thinking.

The Comte had always succumbed to sleep when they’d conversed, no matter the topic. She must soothe this fine-looking and very fatigued man the same way.

Outside, the thunderstorm had moved on, and the rain pounded in a comforting downpour. With the warm fire, and the heavy blankets, and the sleeping dog, it was quite cozy.

But what to talk about? Most certainly not the free trade. It would be far too diverting to put him to sleep, and besides she had no idea what he would do with the knowledge.

The countryside? She might slip and drop a hint about her home at Bloodmoor Hill.

She thought back to her time on the fringes of a London society that she’d found unbearably dull.

The weather.

“I am glad you are enjoying the brandy,” she said. “But I daresay you are not liking this weather. It is quite the worst storm in many seasons, people are saying. Normally at this time of year the sea has quietened.” A lie, of course, but how would he know?

He sipped his drink, eyeing her over the glass.

Oh. Given that it might remind him of her activities that evening and spark questions, the sea was an inappropriate topic, whether or not one was fudging a weather report. “Winters, however are generally mild.”

He yawned, and she went on, discussing the number of rainstorms in March and going back to February, and then January, and making up the story as she went along, until his eyes drooped and the empty glass fell into his lap and lodged itself next to his fall.

Warmth uncurled in her. His trousers were tight in the usual fashion for gentlemen, outlining masculine endowments that sparked her interest far too much. Retrieving the fallen tumbler was out of the question.

She set down her own glass and fought the urge to join him in slumber.



Storm & Shelter also includes novellas by Jude Knight, Carolyn Warfield, Sherry Ewing, Rue Allyn, Cerise DeLand, Mary Lancaster, and Grace Burrowes. 


Award winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California, where she shares a midcentury home with her husband and a spunky, blond rescued terrier. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. Though hard at work on her next series of romantic adventures, she loves to hear from readers!

Website: https://alinakfield.com/ 

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield 

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/alinakfield

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alina-k-field

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alinak.field/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173518.Alina_K_Field

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alinakf/

Newsletter signup: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z6q6e3

Great spotlight don't'cha think? I certainly enjoyed it. Thank You, Alina for sharing with us today. We wish you and the other authors involved in this anthology the best of luck and God's blessings.

Until next time, Friends, take care and God bless.

PamT

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

#WednesdayWordwithFriends welcomes Diana Rubino @DianaLRubino

Good Morning!

I am home. Returned from my son's house Monday afternoon and let me tell you, it's nice to go but it's always good to be home. I'm sure many of you understand and relate. No matter how much I love to travel and enjoy staying at my son's house and helping him out, I love being home too. I went to his house to help take care of his animals while he was in FL for national dance & cheer competitions. He came home with 3 1st place championships and 3 2nd place and I got a couple thousand words added to my current WIP. Great week!

Anyway, today's guest has visited before so please welcome Diana Rubino back as she shares some words with us on A Necessary End.....

Hello, readers. One hundred fifty-six years ago today, President Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater, in the back of the head by a deranged coward, John Wilkes Booth. I’ve been a Lincoln buff since childhood, and in 2006, I decided to combine my love of Lincoln and the paranormal. I began researching A NECESSARY END, my paranormal twist on Booth's insane plot to assassinate President Lincoln. It contains no fictional characters.  

Abraham Lincoln has fascinated me since I was eight years old. I don’t know what got me started, but it might’ve been a book which I still have titled The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1, written in 1895. When I was in 3rd grade, in the mid-60s (which shows how long I’ve been a Lincoln nut), my teacher asked us to bring a book to school from home, for a show & tell. My mother suggested I bring this Lincoln book, which even in 1966 was in bad shape—yellowed, stiffened strips of Scotch tape barely held the covers to the spine. With the wisdom of an 8-year-old that sadly, all of us outgrow, I demurred, saying, “This old book? She’ll think we’re poor!” My mother corrected me: “No, she’ll think we’re rich. Books like this are rare.” Then she proceeded to tape it up some more. Those 47-year-old Scotch tape fragments adhere to the book’s spine and pages to this day. My teacher, Miss Cohen, was duly impressed. I treasure that book to this day, and it’s one of many on my “Lincoln shelf” which holds books about our murdered president, his wife Mary, his assassin John Wilkes Booth and his family, the “Mad Booths of Maryland” and the conspirators who faced the gallows or years of hard labor because Booth, their charismatic leader, sucked these poor impressionable souls into his insane plot. 

After writing 8 historicals set in England and New York City, I wanted to indulge my passion for Lincoln-lore. I began researching in depth about Lincoln’s life, his presidency, his role in the Civil War, and Booth’s plans to first kidnap him, and then to assassinate him. A NECESSARY END combined two genres I’m passionate about—history and paranormal. I joined The Surratt Society, based in Maryland, and attended their conferences and tours. Through the Surratt Society I met several Lincoln/Booth/Civil War experts. One lady I’ll never forget meeting is Marjorie “Peg” Page, who claimed to be John Wilkes Booth’s great granddaughter. My trips to Lincoln's home and tomb in Springfield, Illinois, Gettysburg, Ford’s Theater, and the house he died in, Petersen House, brought me close to Mr. Lincoln’s spirit. My travels also acquainted me with Booth’s brother Edwin, the most famous actor of his time, and his unconventional family.  A recording of Edwin’s voice reciting Shakespeare on one of Edison’s wax cylinders still exists at  http://www.britannica.com/shakespeare/browse?browseId=248018 

Tragically, we’ll never hear Abraham Lincoln’s voice. But his spirit lives on. In my book, which is fiction--but we all know that novels are fictionalized truths--I gave Booth what was coming to him. He got his justice in real life, but in A NECESSARY END, he also got the paranormal twist he deserves.

And I enjoyed sticking it to him!

I paralleled the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar in this story because in the play, Caesar was known as a tyrant to the Senators, who feared losing their power, as Booth feared losing the Confederacy. Booth always considered Lincoln the tyrant, hence his proclamation ‘sic simper tyrannis’ (be it ever to tyrants) when he jumped to the stage after shooting Lincoln.

Caesar’s Senators, Brutus and Cassius among them, conspired to stab Caesar to death on an appointed day. Booth recruited a group of like-minded disciples to aid him in his insane plot, at first to kidnap Lincoln, then to kill him.

By day, Booth was a Confederate spy and courier, taking dangerous missions so that his beloved South could fight the North in the war that tore the nation in two. But in this story, an even darker secret plagues him–he believes he’s the reincarnation of Brutus, the man who slew the tyrant Caesar, and Booth’s destiny in this life is to murder the tyrant who’s ravaged the South—Abraham Lincoln. In obeying the spirit of Brutus, Booth devises a plot to assassinate the tyrant. 

I wrote it as a paranormal instead of a straight historical novel because spirituality was extremely popular in 1865 and all throughout Victorian times. Mary Lincoln was a staunch spiritualist. So stricken with grief after the deaths of her boys Willie and Eddie, she hired mediums such as Nettie Maynard to visit the White House and hold séances in attempts to contact her boys from beyond the grave. 

The extent of séances, table-tapping, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, and otherworldly activities in this era fit perfectly with the story I wanted to tell. We could never enter Booth’s head, but his insane behavior begs the question: was he truly haunted by a spirit who drove him to his heinous act that changed history forever?

Or was he simply insane? 

Excerpt:

“And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I; Brutus, my country's friend; know me for Brutus!" Booth declared to the proud reflections in his three facing mirrors.

The center mirror clouded over. Puzzled, he leaned into it to peer closer. His reflection faded as if the mirror were clear glass, and another human form took shape, becoming sharper as the mist faded. He was astonished to be looking into the face of a man whose eyes bored into his, pinning him with an unnerving stare. Booth took a step back, glancing to the left, then to the right, but his own reflections were moving right along with him. He focused once more on the stranger in the center, the Roman nose giving the weathered features distinction. He’d seen this face before, but where? 

The head nodded and the hint of a pleased smile curled the thin lips. Without so much as a word, the figure faded into the mirror’s eternal depths, and Booth was once again looking at his own astonished face.

“Damn you! Who are you?” He pounded the mirror and it wavered, his image jerking back and forth with the moving glass.

Exasperated, he turned away.

“I’ll find out who you are if I die doing it.” He twirled around to face the mirror, seeing only his three perplexed reflections.

Visit my Website
Stop in at my Blog
Visit my Facebook Author Page
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Purchase A NECESSARY END
http://mybook.to/Necessary

What an interesting premise for a book, Diana! We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with it.

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

Until next time take care and God bless.

PamT

Saturday, April 10, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on @BarbaraMBritton & Until June

Good Morning!

I'm still in Nacogdoches, TX with my grandson house sitting and taking care of son's dogs and ducks. He's had a wonderful young man come by daily to see about the duck pens and feed those outside, while I've been feeding the babies housed in his garage. Don't worry it's well ventilated. Anyway, two author friends of mine came for a few days (one M-W and the other T-F) and we did some writing. Which I'm happy with and hoping to maintain my momentum after I return home. I know, it's all a matter of prioritizing my writing again and not let any or every little thing get in the way of it.

Anyway, today's guest has visited before so please welcome Barbara Britton back with another peek into her book, Until June. Barbara is giving away a copy so please leave a comment along with your Email address to be included in the drawing.

Take it away, Barb.....

Many years ago, I was working on a Historical novel with a seventeen-year-old protagonist. A publishing insider quizzed me over lunch and said, “Why are you writing that? Historicals with young adults do not sell.” Well, a decade later, the manuscript did sell. The story is “Until June” and Josephine Nimetz and Geoff Chambers shed some light on the challenges veterans face after coming home from war.

The moral of the story is never delete old stories. They may have a life of their own someday.

Thanks for having me back on the blog, Pam.

Book blurb:

When seventeen-year-old seamstress, Josephine Nimetz, agrees to take care of a WWI amputee in a remote Alaskan lodge to escape the influenza of 1918, there’s enough friction to melt the Mendenhall Glacier. Her position is only until June, and it pays well enough to overlook the hardship of managing a rustic home and a shell-shocked veteran, Geoff Chambers.

Geoff makes it clear that he isn’t too fond of the “runt” sent to take care of his needs, nor of her painful mistakes. Dealing with a depressed and addicted amputee, pushes Josephine to the brink of leaving, if not for the money her salary brings.

But Josephine is a perfectionist, determined to get Geoff back on his feet—figuratively. Though, sending a rich, handsome veteran back into society may cost Josephine the man she has grown to love.

Excerpt:

“When’s our story due?” Geoff asked.

“Our? You mean my story.” She gripped the wooden bedpost. “And I didn’t say I was writing one. I’d be more than three weeks behind since Tubby was late with the mail.”

He tapped his fingers on the arm of his wheelchair. “You didn’t answer my question. When’s it due?”

How could she flee from his inquisition with his wheelchair blocking her escape? His chair was like a dislodged boulder on a narrow logging lane.

“The editors have to receive the story by January first. If I did enter, I probably wouldn’t win. I’m not a writer.” She placed the magazine on the nightstand. “Besides, my job is to take care of you.”

He threw his hands in the air. “I’m taken care of, see?” He lowered his hands from his head to where his legs ended. “I’m the picture of health until you get to my stubby legs.”

She held fast to her decision. “I’m not entering.”

“Open that magazine.” He pointed to the Companion. “Show me the illustration of the first story. That bachelor fellow.”

She flipped to the first serial. The black and white picture showed a man and woman standing together in a garden.

“What’s the man wearing?” he asked.

“A suit.”

“Is he taller than the woman?”

“Yes.”

“Handsome?” Geoff’s eyebrows peaked.

She didn’t answer.

Geoff waved his hand. “Flip to the next drawing.”

She fanned the pages to where the next story began.

He strained his neck to get a glimpse of the people. “What’s that man wearing?”

You just saw him. “A tuxedo.”

“Is he taller than the—”

“Yes.” She turned to the next illustration. What was his obsession with magazine models? “Aha! Here’s a man in work pants and a simple cotton shirt, pining next to the bed of a sick woman. We don’t know if he’s tall.” She showed Geoff the picture.

“That man’s legs are huge. Never missed a meal. I’ll bet he’s strong, yet sympathetic.”

“What does this have to do with my story?” She closed the magazine.

“I can’t be those men.”


Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She is published in Biblical Fiction and enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Barb ventures into Christian Historical Fiction with “Until June.” Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America, and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Find out more about Barb’s books at http://www.barbarambritton.com/books.html

 

Follow Barb on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads or BookBub

Get your copy of Until June at Amazon

I 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, April 7, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends welcomes Chris Fabry & A Piece of the Moon

Good Morning from Nacogdoches, TX!

Yep, I'm here house/dog/duck sitting while my son is in FL with his dance and cheer teams for National competition. It's been an eventful couple of days. Two of my friends came to do some writing and my grandson is here also while on Spring Break from school. I've picked up a WIP that I started writing last year during a writer's retreat here in Nac. Hopefully you'll have another book by year's end. We'll see, but enough about me!

Our guest today has shared Treasures and Words with us before so please welcome Mr. Fabry back with some information on his latest book, A Piece of the Moon....

1. Is there anything in our culture today that inspired this story and its themes?
The original catalyst was the story of Forrest Fenn, who hid a fortune somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and gave clues to its whereabouts in a poem. He said the reason he did that was to make people go out and enjoy nature. I took that idea and wondered what would happen if a quirky, rich fellow hid a fortune with the desire to encourage people to read the Bible. That prospect engaged me as a fiction writer.

2. This story takes place in Emmaus, West Virginia. What inspired this setting for your novel?
I find my writing becomes more vivid when I set it in my home state of West Virginia, and I chose the fictional town of Emmaus since it has such rich, biblical meaning. The real treasure in West Virginia is its people, who often are caricatured and marginalized as “simpletons.” But the people I write about are complex people with lots of hurt and pain and struggle as well as grit and determination. I love writing about this area and the people who are part of me, even though I live a “fur piece” from there now.

3. In this story, the main characters come together in search of a treasure. Without giving too much away, can you give us a sense of what they are searching for?
Treasure is the right word. The man who hid it, Gideon Quidley, has never revealed exactly what is inside the treasure chest (which is a replica of the Ark of the Covenant). But conjecture runs wild up and down hollers. What would people do with a million dollars or more? How would that change their lives?

4. What key lessons or themes permeate this story?
One of the biggest themes is the “second chance.” The little radio station in town, Country 16, is populated with people who have been given another chance by the manager, Waite Evers. Waite is a kindly soul who has his own hurts and struggles, so he knows the value of a second chance. There’s also a theme of forgiveness and the power of that act in your own life as well as the lives of others. Of course, there’s a love story in town and I follow that trail with a person who doesn’t believe she’s worthy of love.

5. Who is your favorite character in this story and why?
Her name is Pidge Bledsoe. Pidge is her nickname because years earlier she adopted a wounded pigeon that hit a guy wire at the radio station and she brought the bird into the office at the junkyard where she works and lives. Pidge has had so many obstacles in life and little hope of finding lasting love. Because of her good heart, she’s also taken responsibility for her nephew. I love Pidge’s outlook on life and how it changes throughout the story.

6. What character was the most fun to write?
Gideon Quidley was the most fun because he’s a brilliant guy. He grew up in the hills and made his way to help in the space program. When he came to faith, he went whole hog. So I wed the brilliance of his mind with the faith of a child and I think readers will enjoy the outcome.

7. What character was the most challenging to write?
Antagonists/villains are always most difficult for me because it’s easy to paint an opposing force as only evil and not well-rounded. In this story, the character who opposes the treasure hunt is someone who believes he’s really the hero and is doing everyone a favor.

8. Did the story unfold in any way that surprised you?
Every story I write catches me off guard. With A Piece of the Moon, I began writing about Gideon and his desire to do something good and I knew the people at Country 16 would play a pivotal role in the unfolding. I didn’t know the depth of the backstories of those people, so as it came to me, I realized some of the complexities of the lives they led and the hurts they had experienced. Rick Bragg said the best stories are about people in trouble. And I was surprised by all the trouble these people had encountered. I’m hoping readers will see some of their own troubles represented in the story.

9. Could you relate to this story? How so?
I was surprised at how much I wrote about my own heart. One theme I didn’t mention is that struggle is a sign of life, not failure. So the struggle in this little town and at the little radio station is what propels people into real life. And I’ve seen that at work in my own heart through the years. I equate things going “smoothly” and “well” as success. But most of the really good things that have happened have come through a wilderness journey at some point. So I think anyone who reads it will find the same concept at work in their own lives.

10. How do you hope this story will resonate with your readers?
First, I hope it will draw you in and make you laugh at the faults and foibles in Emmaus. I also hope it grabs you so deep in the heart that you will shed a tear at some of the real struggles you encounter. But mostly I think the takeaway I received is that faith is allowing God to be who he is and letting him work in our lives at his own pace rather than making him conform to my idea of how he should act. Real faith in God hangs on to him in the flood instead of taking us out of the deep water. And then we’ll see that we weren’t really hanging on as tightly as he was hanging on to us.

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. A graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children

MY REVIEW.....

A Piece of the Moon grabbed me from the beginning and didn't turn loose until the conundrum of Gideon Quidley's hidden treasure was resolved. Endearing characters, interesting plotline, mystery and intrigue blend together in a story that is sure to satisfy the most eclectic reader. I give Mr. Fabry 4 stars for this wonderful and entertaining read.

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

Until next time, take care and God bless.
PamT

Saturday, April 3, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Linda Rondeau & Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt

Good Morning and Happy Easter!

Over 2000 years ago today, the world lay in wait. Fear and confusion were the dominant emotions but God had a plan and a surprise that would be revealed tomorrow. No matter what you're experiencing, friend, hang in there for with every crucifixion, there has to be a resurrection.

Our guest today has visited before, although it's been a while so please welcome Linda back with her new book, Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt. Take it away, Linda!

THE STORY BEHIND WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT

I write fiction. At least primarily. The first fiction book I wrote was, I Prayed for Patience, God Gave Me Children. After many versions, I republished the book to include a short study guide after chapter to be used by groups or individuals in discussion.

Meanwhile, back in the jungle … the jungle of my mind … a new nonfiction book began to take place. As I observed both my own personal struggles and those within the church “to do” Christianity, I began a four year study to try to understand why Christ has called us salt. He has not called us to be like the world. Rather, God’s desire is for us to be entirely different. Not by our own power, but through the working of the Holy Spirit. 

Through the course of my four-year study, I began to see a common thread. God does the work, he chisels us into the image he has planned from the beginning. However, our clinging to the old ways of thinking, our search for the latest psychological quick fix to our situations, deter us from the process God has begun in us and desires to complete.

The book is divided into 13 chapters, the traditional church “quarterly” concept and includes portions for individual or group study. I do plan to do a series of short videos to accompany the book and hit on the key aspects of each chapter.

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to share my vision.

BLURB: The world offers much beneficial self-help advice. Shouldn’t the Christian seek to be the best possible version of themselves? Aren’t we supposed to be good people?

Why not look to the world to solve life’s problems?

Because God has called us to be salt.

While there is much good to be found, like vinegar, the world’s best advice falls short of God’s recipe to live a victorious Christian life.

In a down-home, friendly manner, the author provides analogies, inspirational stories, anecdotes, a wealth of Scripture, and optional study guides for both individuals and groups, inviting the believer to discover God’s desires for his salt. 

EXCERPT: 

Part I: Called to Be Salt

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses

its flavor,

how shall it be seasoned?

It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out

and trampled underfoot by men.

—Matthew 5:13

 

Chapter One—Called to Be New

While cooking one day, I accidentally dropped the saltshaker into a bowl of vinegar. The salt within the shaker was ruined, and I had to throw it out. The vinegar also so contaminated the container, I finally gave up and threw it out as well.

Someone told me I could have sterilized the saltshaker to remove the contaminants. Perhaps. But the truth remained the salt within was unusable. The image of the ruined salt stayed with me for some time as I considered why Jesus calls his followers salt and how precious we are in his sight. I was pricked with the realization of how a minute portion of vinegar had spoiled a good thing.

When Jesus spoke of “salt” in the Sermon on the Mount, he addressed the throngs who followed him—Gentiles as well as Jews—and his intimate circle of disciples. How strange to be called salt. I can see those along the hillside scratching their heads. “Did we hear Jesus

correctly?”

“What’s salt got to do with anything?”

 “Who is Jesus calling the salt of the earth?”

Unlike our common table salt of today, salt in New Testament times, though abundant, was a precious commodity. Roman soldiers were paid with salt, from which we derive our word for salary.

Many theologians have likened Christians to table salt and its properties, a seasoning to induce thirst, add flavor, and preserve. There is a problem with only liking this reference to today’s version of table salt. Many scholars believe the symbolism is far deeper.

Many Bible scholars believe the Sermon on the Mount was directed at those who recognized Christ as the Messiah and believed he was sent by God. Though some theological aspects of his divinity would yet be revealed, many already understood he’d come to show them the way to an intimate knowledge of God.

His words, preserved for us by New Testament writers, may have been intended to show those who sought after God, both present and future, the key to living victoriously in a sinful world—a world that not only rejected our Lord but would reject us because we

are one with him.

We Are New

When we accept Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross, personalize it, confess our helplessness to obtain salvation through our own efforts, we begin to realize our sinful nature. God accepts us, fills us, and begins a work in us. We who were once vinegar are transformed into salt. We are no longer the person we once were, and we are being transformed into what God intended for us to be from the beginning of time.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation

has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

(2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).

Our newness is God created. This newness is not something he refashions like an old garment redesigned or handed down. What he creates is entirely different than what we were before. When we become new in Christ, we become reconciled to God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Too often, we envision this plan as action. In truth, God’s plan is for us to be one in knowledge and understanding of our right relationship with him—how this newness will develop and define our lives. Then why do we want to keep being like the person we once were—a person who no longer exists. If we are new, then why do we cling to the old? Perhaps God’s intention is for the believer to become the image of Christ—our true identity and calling.

 Let’s examine the Amplified text for the above verse:

Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in,

joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new

creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit];

the old things [the previous moral and spiritual

condition] have passed away. Behold, new things

have come [because spiritual awakening brings a

new life].

 

By the author of I Prayed for Patience, God Gave Me Children. 

A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau’s varied church experience and professional career affords a unique perspective into the Christian life. When not writing or speaking, she enjoys the occasional round of golf, visiting museums, and taking walks with her best friend in life, her husband of over forty years. The couple resides in Hagerstown, Maryland where both are active in their local church. Readers may learn more about the author, read her blog, contact her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WeWe, Linkedin, and Goodreads, or sign up for her newsletter by visiting www.lindarondeau.com

Get your copy of Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt at Amazon.


Sounds like a lovely book, Linda. We wish you the best of luck and God's blessings.

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends and that you'll check back weekly for another edition of Saturday Spotlight and Wednesday Words with Friends and I pray your Easter celebration and Resurrection Sunday is BLESSED!

Until next time take care and God bless.
PamT

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Wendy Kendall @wendywrites1

Good Morning,

Well, we've made it through Lent and half-way through Holy Week. Have you succeeded in fulfilling your Lenten promises to God? Have you learned something new about His love, grace, mercy or wisdom? Are you a changed person? Will that change last? These are all questions I ask myself and in many ways I can say YES and yet, in others, my conviction isn't that strong. But, as they say, God's not finished with me yet.

HE's not finished with you either so don't give up! Stay faithful, stay positive and continue to show up for your life and watch Him show up and show off for you!

Today's guest, Wendy Kendall has shared words with us and been in our spotlight before, so without much further ado, I'm going to turn the blog over to her. Take it away, Wendy......

            Thanks so much for this opportunity to share Words with Friends this Wednesday. As a mystery author, a very important word for my writing is - research.

            In my cozy mystery Kat Out of the Bag, purse designer/amateur sleuth Katherine Watson sometimes steps on the toes of Jason Holmes who is a cop. Jason is partnered with his K-9 Hobbs. I researched police dogs for my book. What amazing, smart animals. I have such great respect for all service animals. My research included a ride along with a K-9 patrol. What an experience! I've included so much from this adventure in my novel.

I won the ride along in a raffle and it completely hooked me on having K-9 police partners in the book. I love having the dog in the book – he's a whole additional character. So is Katherine's pampered cat Purrada, but the dog Hobbs is so very different with his loyalty to Jason, his playful side, his training, and because he has a job. 

The ride along shift was 7:00 pm to 5:00 am. One of the major advantages of a K-9 officer is they can see in the dark, unlike their human partner. The German Shepherd responded to commands given in German, to reduce the possibility of civilians confusing the dog with their own instructions. Their job is chase and search immediately on the scene. Once done they must hand off the case to a detective. You can imagine, that can be a little frustrating to hand the investigation over. When in the chase, the best chances of following the scent is in the first 4 hours. What the dogs are tracking are the dead skin cells that people shed all the time. Where I live, in the Pacific Northwest is surprisingly an excellent place for tracking. The drizzling rain and small puddles are places where the dead skin cells float on top and are easier to track. The biggest problem for this type of tracking is wind. The dogs are tracking suspects, or evidence and any clues they can find.

            Sometimes the human checks on a situation on his own, like a domestic violence call. He leaves the K-9 in the car. If the situation escalates and he needs his partner, the officer clicks a switch on his uniform vest that automatically opens the door for the dog to run out and join him in a hurry.

            This working dog had a lot of personality, and whenever the man reached for the radio to talk with dispatch his dog wanted to talk too, and he did always share some choice, and loud dog words. After his shift, the dog understands he's off duty and at home with the officer and his family he becomes a loving pet. 

I learned so much on my ride along and it's fun to incorporate it in the mystery plot. If you'd like to

know more about the ride along, you can hear about it on my YouTube podcast Kendall and Cooper Talk Mysteries.

In Kat Out of the Bag, Katherine Watson is opening Purse-onality, a women's history purse museum. Purses show amazing insight into the lives of the women who carried them. At Katherine's gala opening, the town mayor is murdered.  Working to solve the mystery, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner Hobbs. They disagree often, but discover an undeniable attraction. Katherine's mother and grandmother provide helpful perspectives into clues. Young college student Amber who manages the museum gift shop, aids in the investigation. They'll have to focus their efforts and combine forces to find that killer before Katherine becomes the next knock off.

Kat Out of the Bag can be purchased at Amazon Barnes & Noble,   Google Play,   Kobo

Bio:  Wendy Kendall has a passion for purses and stories of the women through history who carried them. Her cozy mystery Kat Out of the Bag is the first book of the In Purse-Suit Mystery Series, introducing Katherine Watson an international purse designer/sleuth. The prequel novella is Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash. Wendy is a blogger, editor, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist. Catch exciting author interviews on her YouTube podcasts—A Novel Talk.and also Kendall and Cooper Talk Mysteries. There are also fun topics on her two YouTube podcasts – Wendy Kendall In Purse-Suit of Fashion and when she joins other authors on The Cozy Mystery Quartet. She's a hiker, biker and avid reader and loves her two sons, Alex and Brad and her Purrada cat.

Web & Contact Links: 
Twitter - @wendywrites1
Instagram – wendyekendall

What a great story, Wendy! My husband was a cop and I, although we didn't own one, I knew all about those K-9 dogs! Beautiful and smart animals. THANKS for sharing. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with Kat Out of the Bag!

Hope you enjoyed our guest today, 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

Saturday, March 27, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Caroline Warfield and Storm & Shelter

Good Morning,

Only one more week and we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Are you ready? I am. It's been an exciting Lent for me and I'm ready to celebrate and commit. Today my Angel Girl (granddaughter) turns 17 and she's getting a surprise gift, another reason to celebrate. I can't wait to see her face. Might share pictures soon either here or in my newsletter so please be sure and sign up to receive it.

Our guest today is brand new to me and our blog so let's give Caroline Warfield a huge ...

W-E-L-C-O-M-E!

Eight All-new Stories, One Catastrophic Storm

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel. Grace Burrowes and Mary Lancaster lead a team of eight authors. Caroline Warfield enthusiastically joins in.

 “The Tender Flood,” is Caroline Warfield’s contribution to Storm & Shelter.

Among the refugees who seek refuge at the Queen’s Barque are Patience Abney who offers to work for the innkeeper, cleaning rooms, to pay for herself and the six little boys she brought with her, and Zachary Newell, a coachman sleeps above the stables and eats in tap room. Neither is entirely what they seem.

The story

Neither battle nor loss of his leg destroyed Zachery Newell. Working as a coachman, he tries to build a life in spite of his injuries, while he plans for the sort of life he knew in childhood, happy and content above his father’s print shop, but when a woman races out of the storm and into the stable yard of The Queen’s Barque with a wagon full of small boys, puppies, and a bag of books, he is enchanted.

Dismissed by a charity school, Patience Abney struggles on her own to create The Academy for the Formation of Young Gentlemen to give every boy a happy and productive life. Now the roof has caved in. Though she managed to get her boys to the safety of an inn, she has no idea how she will rebuild.

Zach knows Patience, the granddaughter of an earl, is far above the touch of shopkeeper’s son. He tries to keep his distance, but when the two of them make their way across the flooded marsh to her damaged school in search of a missing boy, attraction grows into passion, complicating everything. 

An excerpt:

Two things struck him as the wagon lurched to a halt in the shelter of the barn. The wagon’s cargo stirred and shifted under an old patchwork quilt, and the driver, who scrambled down and swept off the ugly hat, was no boy. No lad had eyes so warm and brown, lashes so long, or so glorious a fall of hair; she held him transfixed.

“I need to talk to Mr. Brewster!” The tiny bit of a woman cast wide, frightened eyes up at him as if he could produce the innkeeper. “The road collapsed above town; it gave way and slid down just as we passed.”

“If we were two minutes later, we’d’ve all been tossed into the sea!” The boy who sat with her jumped down beside her. This one, definitely a lad, looked to be fourteen or so.

Mallet set a hand on Zach’s shoulder. “I’ll alert the innkeeper while Jamie tries to wake a groom. You do what you can for the lady and her, er, cargo.”

Zach nodded without looking at his departing passengers, his attention still transfixed on the woman: rum, exhaustion, and a pair of deep brown eyes making it hard to think. One word finally wormed its way into his consciousness. “All?”

He followed her gaze to where the boy pulled back the wet blanket over the bed of the wagon. Five pairs of eyes stared back at Zach, five boys soaked to the skin, and shaken with terror.

“Are we safe now, Miss Patience?” one asked, his voice quivering.

“We are indeed safe, Walter, as I promised we would be,” the woman said with confidence. Only Zach heard her add “Thank God,” under her breath. 

You can buy it at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08L9X3TGF/


Traveler, adventurer, writer of historical romance. Enamored of owls, books, history, and beautiful gardens (but not the actual act of gardening).  

You can find her novels set, mostly, but not entirely, in the Regency or Victorian eras here: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/

or just follow her in her Newsletter or on BookBub 



Find more vendors and information about all eight stories here: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/storm-shelter/

Wow, sounds like a lovely collection, Caroline. Best of luck and God's blessings with this and your other writings.

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

Until next time, take care and God bless.
PamT

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Erin Steveson @ESQwrites back with book 3 in her St. Clair Family Series!

Good Morning,

If you're starting to falter in your Lenten practices, hang in there! Holy week begins with Palm Sunday this weekend. I must say, my commitment to more, quality time with the Lord has been amazing and I'm asking for your prayers to help me continue this appointment with HIM forever. I know life has a way of throwing curve balls in to our best laid plans, but this is one thing I hope to never let slide or become complacent with again.

Enough about me though!

Back in December I introduced you to Erin Stevenson when she shared her Christmas book with us. Since then, Erin has shared book 1 Plan B and 2 Home to You, of her St. Clair trilogy. Today she returns with book 3, Bait and Switch. Take it away Erin.....

Reagan St. Clair is on the run. Her reporter’s nose for news has landed her too close to something sinister, and she’s not safe.

Dane Corsica is a young, successful DEA agent who’s charged himself with keeping Reagan safe. They need a place to hide, and end up on the island of St. Jardin at a honeymoon resort, but the pretense of posing as a newlywed couple is difficult for both of them. A long-ago betrayal has caused Reagan to trust no one, and Dane has his own reasons for guarding his heart.

Just as Dane experiences a personal crisis, Reagan’s sister, Sara, arrives on St. Jardin, and is mistaken for Reagan and kidnapped. Dane has to put his personal feelings aside to mount a rescue effort.

 

The third and final installment in the St. Clair Family Series will entertain you and keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page.

Excerpt:

                Reagan St. Clair slipped into a chair on the back row and adjusted her designer sunglasses on the bridge of her nose. Good. No one noticed her late arrival.  

                She smoothed the full skirt of her flowered halter sundress over her knees. The dress, high wedge sandals, and the luxurious blond curls flowing from under her oversized couture summer hat were so far from her usual look that surely, no one would recognize her. 

                Reagan’s right leg began to tremble. She clasped her hands tightly together and pressed them against her knee, willing the shaking to stop.

                I hate weddings.                              

                The image of Paul in bed with her best friend still had the power to sear Reagan’s memory, even ten years later. His and Reagan’s wedding was just a month away, and everything had to be canceled, despite his pleading and begging for exoneration. 

                Reagan could forgive, but not for infidelity. 

                Her gaze drifted over the small bridal party gathered in front of a rose-covered arch and rested on her brother Landon, standing as best man for their younger brother, Brandon. The St. Clair men cut fine figures in their tuxedos. Standing at six foot four, they could pass for twins even though they were almost a year apart in age. Their features were nearly identical, the only difference being that Landon was blond and Brandon’s hair was dark brown. 

                There looked to be less than a hundred people gathered for the small, intimate Sunday afternoon wedding. From the back, Reagan recognized a few older relatives that she hadn’t seen in years. She supposed the others in attendance were from the bride’s family, or some of her and Brandon’s colleagues. 

                “Join hands, please,” the minister said. Brandon turned to face his bride, Morgan, and the look of pure love and joy on her brother’s face nearly broke through Reagan’s façade. If anyone deserved happiness, it was Brandon. His first wife of over a decade, Darla, had been tragically killed in an automobile accident two years ago. Reagan hadn’t met Brandon’s bride yet, and hoped she didn’t have to today. 

                Two little blond girls in pink and lavender flowered dresses stood with them. They had to be Brandon’s daughters, April and Shelbie. Reagan had seen them only once, at their mother’s funeral. She recalled the maelstrom of emotions she felt when meeting them for the first time: incredible sadness for their loss, an unexpected overwhelming connection with them upon the realization that they were her flesh and blood, and a complete lack of knowledge of how to interact with such small children. 

                The early afternoon sun beat down on the garden wedding, and Reagan was happy for her ridiculous hat. She craned her neck to get a better view. Morgan was similar in coloring to Darla, but tall and slender. Morgan and Brandon had met exactly a year ago on Mother’s Day at a family event, yet another one Reagan had missed. 

                She would have missed this family event, too, if she didn’t need a place to hide. After this current mess with her job was over, Reagan was going to do some serious soul searching and figure out how to reconnect with her family. 

                Her leg began to tremble again, and before she could reach for it, a man slipped into the seat next to her. He wrapped his hand around hers and squeezed. 

                Dane. Her unlikely comrade-in-arms, given their respective careers. Always there for her. Reagan let out a breath and squeezed back. 

                “Breathe, Reagan,” he whispered in her ear. “We’ll get through this.”

 

Purchase links:

Amazon Paperback Edition

Kindle Edition

Barnes & Noble eBook

Apple iBook

Kobo

 

Erin has been writing fiction since 2014. She has published independently and with Pelican Book Group and Winged Publications and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Writing is like breathing to Erin. Stories are running through her mind during most of her waking hours, and by the time she sits down at the computer, the words flow and time ceases to exist. 

Erin was raised in Illinois and has lived in many places in the U.S., including on both coasts, but is a Midwest girl at heart. She spent many years as an educator from pre-school through college levels, and currently works in training and internal communications for a global corporation.

When she’s not writing, Erin loves spending time with her children and grandchildren, and playing in the garden (which equates to mostly pulling weeds) at her central Iowa home. Her secret indulgence is plain M&Ms.

Find out more about Erin and her books by visiting her Website.

Connect with Erin on Social Media! Facebook: ESQwrites
Twitter: @ESQwrites and Instagram: ESQwrites


Thank You so much, Erin for sharing your series with us. We wish you the best of luck and God's blessings in life and with your writing!

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