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

Saturday, August 28, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628 & In Search of True North

Good Morning and Welcome!

I'm sure you've heard the latest weather reports and I hope you are praying for Louisiana right now along with our troops and those suffering wildfires and floods. My goodness, our country and world as a whole need our prayers and loving thoughts and I Thank You for yours!

There's only a few days left in Pelican Book Group's Contemporary Tales (which includes a copy of The Inheritance) and Historical Heroes and Heroines giveaways so check them out and good luck if you enter to win one of the many prizes their offering.

Today's guest has visited us before. Last month Kathleen Neely introduced us to her new book, In Search of True North but today we get a peek into the novel. So get your cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

Heartbroken, Mallory Carter leaves home at graduation. She decides to never burden her family with her choices again. Twelve long years of loneliness are comforted only by the homemade telescope she uses to stargaze. Then she receives a call that her sister has died, leaving behind a son, the son Mallory gave up at the tender age of seventeen. When her family pressures her to raise Samuel, she agrees, despite the fact that he’s unaware of their true relationship.

Samuel’s uncle, handsome architect Brady Donaldson, welcomes Mallory to the family, but she doesn’t know how much she can trust him. Brady has a bond with Samuel that Mallory has only been able to dream of for the last twelve years. But Mallory holds secrets that could ruin her new life. As threats surface from Mallory’s past, the relationship she is building with her son is endangered. Will she lose Samuel a second time? She realizes she desperately needs someone to trust, and Brady seems determined to fight for Mallory and Samuel. Searching for true north has never felt so hard. Will Brady Donaldson be the one to guide Mallory home, and to the God she abandoned long ago?

Excerpt: She left the emporium and turned toward Wilmington’s Historic District to her apartment on Third Street. The antebellum house had fallen into disrepair when a greedy landlord got his hands on it. The outside was a masterpiece of architecture with Corinthian columns and Greek revival moldings, but he chopped the interior up, fitting it into tiny efficiency apartments. The price had been right when Mallory moved here ten years ago, but rent increased each year. If the trend continued, it would price her out of living downtown. She had to return her dad’s calls, but not in this suffocating heat. After climbing the three flights to her apartment, she kicked the AC into action, and downed a tall glass of ice water. Then she sat close to the vent that began to release cool air, and placed the call. 

“Mallory Rose, I’ve been trying to reach you.” His voice cracked with emotion. 

She bit her lip as a wave of apprehension rippled through her. “I saw that, Dad. I was working. What’s wrong? You sound upset.” 

“Sit down, Mallory Rose.” He continued to use her middle name. 

Her parents, in true southern style, chose six names for their three daughters—Jolene Rae, Savannah Joy, and Mallory Rose. She couldn’t remember ever being just Mallory until she left home. “I am sitting. What’s wrong?” 

“It’s Jolene Rae and Mark. They were … were …” It took him three tries to get the words out. “There was an accident. A terrible accident.” 

Mallory waited through his silence, her pulse pounding stronger with each soundless moment. When the void of information became unbearable, she broke his reticence. “Dad?” 

He choked out the last two words. “They’re gone.” 

“No!” Mallory sprang to her feet with nauseating force. Jolene Rae, her oldest sister. She couldn’t be gone. A vice squeezed Mallory’s chest. She swallowed the lump that jammed her throat. “Samuel?” She whispered the panicked question. 

“He wasn’t in the car. He’s here with us.” 

Kathleen Neely is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes, The Least of These, and In Search of True North.  She is a former elementary teacher. Following her years in the classroom, she moved into administration, serving as an elementary principal. Kathleen is an alumnus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and Regent University in Virginia. 

Among her writing accomplishments, Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her 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. She continues to speak to students about writing. Kathleen is a member of American of Christian Fiction Writers.

She resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading. Find out more by connecting with Kathleen at her Website or FacebookTwitter or Instagram 

Get your copy of In Search of True North at Amazon.

I read this book and it is a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing, Kathy. We wish you the best of luck and God's blessings in all of your endeavors.

Hope you enjoyed the peek into Kathy's book, friends and that you'll stop by each week for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight. 

Until next time, take care and God bless.


PS: Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing for Pelican Book Group's "Editor's Choice" CD which contains 14 books!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Shelly Genovese-Calhoun

Good Morning Friends,

Well, I'm starting to get and feel caught up after my Alaska trip. As we all know, it's wonderful to go but always blessed to be home. 

Today's guest is brought to us by Adams PR Group and I believe her story will inspire all of us so please welcome, Shelly Genovese-Calhoun!

Twenty years after her husband was killed in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, Shelly Genovese Calhoun admits that the emotions of that day are still raw as each anniversary draws near. In her book, “Twice Blessed: A Journey of Hope through 9/11,” she shares her painful story of becoming a young widow and single mother to a sixteen-month-old daughter. But she also emphasizes the role her faith played to get her through the darkest days. 

“I would not wish upon anyone the pain, heartbreak, and emotional trauma that was thrust upon me when my husband and the father of my little girl died in the twin towers,” says Genovese Calhoun. “Year after year, as the date approaches, my body and mind attempt to go back to that place of fear and terror. I grieve, but not as those who have no hope. My journey of healing since that fateful day has been centered on the freedom from fear that God alone can offer.”  

Genovese Calhoun describes how friends and family surrounded her during that time.  

“It was very difficult for me to watch life go on as normal, when nothing in my life was normal,” says Genovese Calhoun. “I truly didn’t know how to go on living without him. The body of Christ was so unbelievable to me and prayed me through some unbearable times. More than I ever realized, God was always there. He is there to offer comfort in times of trouble and to give us hope when we feel hopeless. I hid myself in the Lord and I refused to lose faith. In return, my faith grew stronger.” 

Genovese Calhoun, who is now remarried, talks candidly in the book about the emotional turmoil of allowing herself to date other men years after her husband’s death.  It is something that is difficult for many widows to contemplate. 

“I believed Steve was the love of my life,” says Genovese Calhoun. “I just knew we would spend the rest of our lives together. I think if you’ve ever truly loved someone, you want that love back in your life. I was so afraid to allow myself to love again that I almost lost my chance at finding true love and happiness. But loving someone again doesn’t mean that you ever have to stop loving the other person. God will give you a big enough heart to love both.”

Shelly Genovese Calhoun is an author, speaker, wife and mother. A former fashion model, she represented East Texas in the Miss Texas USA pageant. During her modeling career, she worked for Anne Klein, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, Panhandle Slim, Dillard and many other notable companies. She resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is married to her best friend, Heath, and their two children. Daughter, Jacqueline, is a senior at Texas A&M University, and son, Cash, is a freshman in high school. For more information, visit www.TwiceBlessed911.com

Read more about Twice Blessed in Shelly's Q&A featured on Adams PR Group and check out the book trailer.

Thank you for sharing with us Shelly! I can certainly relate to being afraid to love again after losing the love of my life. 

As 9/11 approaches, let's remember to pray for those so intimately affected by that dark day in our History and to pray for our nation and leaders. 

Until next time, take care and God bless.


Saturday, August 21, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Kristen Joy Wilks & TWO RomCom Books!

Good Morning,

You know the old adage, "it's good to go but it's good to be home." After a long, busy week in Alaska and nearly 40 hours to get home due to flight changes, I can certainly attest to that LOL!

Last year I was so happy to introduce you to Kristen Joy Wilks with her PBG title, Yellowstone Yondering. Today Kristen joins us with two RomCom titles so please give her a big, WELCOME! Take it away, Kristen....

Why did the chicken cross the road?

The machinations of poultry are difficult to decipher. Add an infuriating youth pastor, a terrifying crash at highway speeds, and trap-building kids too bored for their own good and you have something a little more serious than a knock-knock joke. 

After the local librarian foolishly agrees to haul a trailer full of chickens over the pass, an unexpected crash sends fifteen beloved hens scattering into the wilderness. Shelby and the exasperating Jack must locate, capture, and return the chickens to his nephew before the talent show at the boy’s new school on Monday. The problem: chickens are incredibly difficult to catch. Especially when dispersed throughout the wild. When they take refuge in a coop occupied by twenty identical hens and guarded by multiple NO TRESPASSING signs and a pair of bored mountain children who have been watching way too much TV, tensions rise and feathers fly. Can Shelby thwart an alarming collection of unlikely traps and find the chickens before they are devoured? Imagination and ingenuity go so very wrong in this epic clash of inventive child verses accidental chicken thief.

Shelby gasped for breath, still gripping the wheel. A chicken landed on the wind shield. Oh, no! First a bear and now she’d hit a chicken. No, the chicken was fine. Just a little ruffled. Shelby tried to unclench her hands from the wheel while Avery whooped with excitement, little arms held high as though they’d just done a loop de loo on a roller coaster. Two more chickens landed on the front of the car. One of them clucked and laid an egg.

Shelby gulped down great sucking breaths and stared at the chickens, then the egg.

The chickens!

They were on a mountain pass. She was parked both in the middle of nowhere and also right beside a highway. A more dangerous location for domesticated fowl would be difficult to find and yet Shelby had brought Jonathan’s beloved flock into just such a place. Then she’d promptly smashed their coop wide open. The chickens. The smart and talented pet chickens whom she’d been charged with safely moving—those chickens—were loose.

Chicken Crossing is available now: Paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or Free to newsletter subscribers.

A chicken on the run!

When her traveling chicken coop explodes and scatters everyone into the wilderness, Dandelion Floofums must rescue her boy from evil kidnappers. But how can she succeed when she has to escape insane forest humans, a plethora of pesky traps, and The Stripy Death Kitty who is intent on making her his next meal? God is clearly not a chicken or He would have taken better care of her special boy! Can Dandelion Floofums save her boy and figure out if she can trust her Creator, or will The Stripy Death Kitty win the day?

Straw and wood splinters filled the air. Feathers flew. Dirt and gravel erupted all around. The trailer creaked once and then flopped over onto its side with a thump. The roof fell off and fading sunlight streamed into the coop.

Dandelion Floofums ruffled her feathers and gave a cluck. Her plan had worked perfectly. Thanks to the bear that she had called, every hen in the flock was free! It was time to jump onto that bear and ride their way to Jonathan and a fabulous victory! 

Dandelion Floofums is also available now: Paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or Free to newsletter subscribers.

Kristen Joy Wilks is an author, camp photographer, and the mom of three teenage boys who have pet chickens. She writes about what she loves: the quiet of the forest, the ill-considered schemes of unstoppable children, and the love of loyal pets who will never leave your side … as long as you pack meal worms! Chicken Crossing and Dandelion Floofums are available in paperback and e-book. Or, try one of her chicken-themed books for free by signing up for Kristen’s quarterly newsletter at http://www.kristenjoywilks.com/. I’m also on social media and love to hear from readers! Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Wow, Kristen, these books sound like a lot of fun! Good luck and God's blessings with them.

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

Until next time, take care and God bless.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends .... I'm Catching up with You, Dear Friends!

Good Morning!

We flew into Lake Charles this morning after a week in Alaska and a long, overnight flight. I'm sure your anxious to share in those adventures and I promise I will do so. In my last personal post, I mentioned that I was heading to Sterlington, LA for my Honey's grandson's baseball tournament, the Dixie Majors World Series. This is the last time the grand will play on this particular team because he's aged out of the league. Hopefully we'll get to see him play for The Citadel at some point though. Meanwhile, here's a picture of the 2021 Dixie Majors World Series Champions.... North Charleston!

If you're a fan of this blog, you'll notice a couple of new contests in the sidebar. Pelican Book Group has two giveaways this month a Contemporary Tales & Historical Heroes & Heroines. Be sure and check them out and NN Light's Book Heaven's Dog Days of Summer monthly giveaway.

Readers Take Note: I've teamed up with Isn't it Romantic Book Club on Facebook and we are having a huge giveaway.  Check it out....

One more note of news...

A Tempered Mess is available now for FREE at online retailers everywhere! Even if you've read the series, there is a wealth of information you may not know... The story behind the story, Settings, Characters and My Favorite Chapter of each book. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to pass the info along to your family and friends who love to read. Download your copy today!

Well friends, not much else going on. Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Kara O'Neal @KaraONealAuthor & The Deputy's Damsel!

Good Morning and Welcome!

Today's guest is not new to our blog. In fact, Kara O'Neal is a regular visitor here and I'm always happy to share her new books with you! Many of you know I retired from my insurance job in May and I'll tell you this, if I can get things squared away and some of the irons out of the fires in my life, I only pray to be as prolific as Kara!

Please welcome her back with a peek into her latest Pike's Run book, The Deputy's Damsel. Take it away, Kara!

I’m thrilled to introduce y’all to Joe Lonnigan and Katia Stefanski, the hero and heroine of my newest release, THE DEPUTY’S DAMSEL. This story takes us to Austin where Katia is wrongly of accused of murder, and Joe, a deputy, believes she’s innocent. Joe hides Katia, protecting her from being arrested, which is at great cost to himself. He’s risking his livelihood and perhaps his life.

But his actions caused an even stickier problem that was quite interesting and heart wrenching to write.

Joe’s cousin, Conner, happens to be the sheriff. So, not only is Joe deceiving his boss, he’s also lying to a member of his family. The scenes between Conner and Joe were just as fraught with tension as the moments of fear and despair Katia experiences being wrongly accused of murder.

The family elements in my books are strong and add so much depth to the characters. And as I wrote THE DEPUTY’S DAMSEL, I found the characters having some very real, very gut-wrenching conversations. My heart pounded hard through the last ten chapters!

Reading this romance will give you ALL the feels, I promise!

Blurb: Pike’s Run, Texas, 1887

Katia Stefanski is stunned when she learns her recently deceased step-father has arranged a marriage for her. Even worse, her step-brother intends to honor it. Despite numerous attempts to convince her brother to let her make the choice, she fails. She flees during the party intended to cement her engagement.

Deputy Joe Lonnigan crosses paths with Katia Stefanski and is struck by her beauty and fighting spirit. When he learns she's been accused of the murder of her not-wanted fiancé, he can't believe it. With her step-brother's help, Joe risks everything to keep her hidden and prove her innocence.

But Katia can't let Joe destroy his future. She’s determined to take matters into her own hands, even if it means the noose.

Excerpt: Deputy Lonnigan sat tall in the saddle, his front dark as the moon shone from behind him. He put her in mind of a mysterious night rider, capable of taking what he wanted.

She remembered how strong his chest was, how long his arms. She refrained from gulping and strengthened her resolve. “I’m not going home. I refuse. My friend is just up this road, and I intend to stay with her for a few days.”

A moment of silence passed then the deputy said, “Well, I’m not taking you home. But you are coming with me.”

Confused, she couldn’t think of a reply.

“It’ll be the safest option.” He dismounted.

“Oh!” she gasped and back pedaled. “Don’t you dare,” she warned. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

“I’ve got no time to argue.” He advanced on her quickly.

She spun on a heel, preparing to run, but he grabbed her around the waist and lifted her off her feet. She bucked and kicked, dropping her bag in the process.

“Get your hands off me!” she screamed, terror fueling her jabs.

He gave slight grunts then flipped her over his shoulder.

Her breath whooshed out of her, and blood rushed to her head. “Put me down! How dare you!” She pounded her fists on his back.

He bent easily and picked up her bag with his free hand.

Frantic, she hit him harder, squirming against his hold, but his arm was a vise on the back of her legs. Tears gathered. She had no control. No power. She bit her lip to keep from sobbing in frustration and tasted blood.

After putting her bag on the back of the animal, he righted her and dumped her in the saddle. She knew the moon shone enough to reveal the silver tracks of wetness on her face, but she didn’t care. Panting from the exertion of pummeling him, she surged forward to grab the reins. But he was faster and gathered them before she could reach them. He climbed up behind her, just like yesterday, enveloping her in the cage of his arms.

A handkerchief appeared in her line of sight. Her chin wobbled, and she refused to take it.

“Please don’t cry,” he said softly, as he withdrew his offering. “I don’t have time to explain things to you. We’ve got to get off the road.”

She didn’t understand what he meant, but it wouldn’t matter if she asked. The men surrounding her weren’t listening to her anyway. She kept her mouth shut.

He clucked to the horse then kicked him into a gallop.

She tried to pay attention to her surroundings, noting that he passed the lane that led to the Cummings’ farm. They went through a shallow creek then over a rolling meadow until the shadow of a log cabin loomed.

“This belongs to a friend of mine who’s a Ranger. He’s in west Texas fighting cattle rustlers.”

She didn’t care. This man was abducting her. Her heart pounded hard, and her stomach churned with fear. If she couldn’t get away from him on the road, how would she manage to escape him once he had her tied up somewhere?

When they reached the yard, he dismounted first then lifted her at the waist. He kept his arm around her as he led her into the dwelling.

“I’m not gonna tie you up, Miss Stefanski. You’re not my prisoner. I’m trying to help you, so…” He gently disengaged from her. “Don’t run, all right? I’m gonna light a lantern, and then we’ll talk.”

He’d left the door open. The horse was still saddled. She curled her hands into fists as an insane plan developed like a lightning strike. She nodded slowly, not trusting herself to form a verbal reply since she was no good at lying.

As soon as he stepped away, she dashed out into the yard.

“Don’t,” he called.

She clutched the pommel and put her foot in the stirrup, but before she could pull herself up, he circled her waist with an arm and wrenched her back. Using all her strength, she spun and pounded on his shoulders. “Let me go!”

He switched his grip to her wrists, stopping her hits. “Stop. Please, ma’am.”

His hold wasn’t too strong, and she tried to yank away from him, but he tightened his grasp.
“Miss Stefanski, please, I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Then let me go,” she wailed, choking on her fear.

“I can’t, damn it!” he thundered. “You’re wanted for murder.”

Born and raised in Texas, I had to make the state 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.

Connect with me at the following locations...

Website –  www.karaoneal.com
Twitter –  https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor  @KaraONealAuthor
Blog – The Story Continues -- http://www.karaoneal.com/the-story-continues

Oh my goodness, Kara you certainly know how to hook us! What a great excerpt! Thank you for sharing. Good luck and God's blessings with your entire Pike's Run series and any other books you create.

Hope you enjoyed today's post as much as I did, friends an that you'll stop by each week and check out Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Erica Vetsch @EricaVetschAuthor

Good Morning!

Well we flew out yesterday morning and arrived in AK at 7 pm last night. Today we're taking it easy. Will do some sight-seeing but not too far out. It's quite a bit cooler here than at home in SW Louisiana that's for sure LOL!

Back in May, we introduced you to Erica Vetsch when she was in the spotlight with her book, The Indebted Earl. Please welcome her back to share the story behind the story of this incredible novel.

Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life--especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero's dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man's grieving fiancé and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.
When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.
Sophie is surprised to find she isn't opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed's elderly mother, and she's already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she'll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.
It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he's come to mean to her. Now she'll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.
Q: Both Lady Sophia Haverly and Captain Charles Wyvern feel a responsibility to care for someone that is left behind. From where does that sense of duty come?
Lady Sophia’s care of her fiancé’s mother is born out of her love for him. She was also instilled from birth with the social customs of noblesse oblige. As a woman of noble birth, she has an obligation to live up to that nobility by behaving nobly. While her fiancé is at war, he has entrusted her with the care and companionship of his mother, Lady Richardson. Sophie is delighted with the responsibility, because it allows her to demonstrate her love, and it gives her a bit of freedom that living in her older brother’s household would not afford.
Captain Wyvern naturally shoulders responsibility for his ship and his crew. As the leader, everyone under his command is also under his care. This responsibility extends to the dependents of his crew, including the fiancée of his late best friend. Charles feels he bears the blame for his friend’s death, and he must attempt to make some sort of amends. His natural leadership abilities cause him to throw his mantel of responsibility over Lady Sophia, Lady Richardson, the three waifs who wash up on his shore, and the estate and community he’s inherited.
Q: Marcus tries to get Sophie to come back to Haverly Manor with him after her fiancé dies. Would a single woman in her situation during the Regency period have the choice to live on her own?
It would be difficult for an unmarried woman in the Regency era to live on her own. Though Sophie had the financial means to live independently, it would have been considered improper for her to live alone. However, for her to continue to live with Lady Richardson, as her companion and friend, was entirely proper.
Though Marcus is acting out of an abundance of compassion and brotherly concern, Sophie is reluctant to return to his home. She’s reluctant to give up the freedom she’s gained, as well as reluctant to live in a house where everyone will be watching her grieve. She wants to remain at Primrose Cottage with Lady Richardson.
Q: How does the Captain find himself becoming Earl Rothwell? Is he eager to adapt to the new role?
Charles’s parents were estranged from his family before he was born, and there was an heir closer in line to the earldom than he, so he never expected to inherit the title. But when his cousin, the heir, is revealed to be a traitor to the Crown and is killed, Charles is next in line. He’s never met his uncle, the old earl, and his uncle has never shown the slightest interest in his nephew.
Charles has made a fine career for himself in the Royal Navy, and though the war has ended and many ship captains are without commands and looking for work, Charles is determined to continue a life on the sea. He knows nothing about managing an estate and cannot even ride a horse, having gone to sea as a child. He is a reluctant peer, but his life aboard ship has equipped him in some nonobvious ways to be at the helm of an estate.
Q: Charles ends up proposing a marriage of convenience. What are the benefits of the arrangement for each of them?
Charles’s reasoning is threefold. If he marries Sophie, he can begin to pay some of the debt he believes he owes to her because of her fiancé’s death. He feels responsible for her grief, and if he can take on the responsibility of being her husband in name only, he can see that she is properly cared for. In addition, he would have someone who was properly trained to run an estate house, taking care of his property while he returns to his life at sea. And, finally, it would solve the problem of what to do with the girls. Rather than being sent to an orphanage, which he isn’t comfortable with, or back to another boarding school, which the girls don’t want, they would be able to stay on the estate under Sophie’s care. It all makes perfect sense to him.
For Sophie, marrying Charles would mean she was the one in charge of settling her future, not her matchmaking mama, who intends to find her a husband as soon as it is respectable to do so. It would mean she could maintain the freedom she so dearly loves, she could continue to care for Lady Richardson, who is in the early stages of dementia, and she could keep the girls, whom she has come to dearly love. Though her heart will always belong to Baron Richardson, marrying Captain Wyvern would give her much in the way of stability and freedom.
Q: Can you give us a quick lesson in peerage and the hierarchy of society during this time period?
There are five ranks of nonroyal peerage in Britain: duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron, in descending order of rank. Most titles were entailed, meaning they passed from father to son, or to the next closest male in the lineage. Often a peer would also hold subsidiary titles at the same time, and his heir would be given use of one of the lesser titles as a courtesy. For example, an earl may also hold the subsidiary title of viscount, and while the earl is alive, his son would use the lesser title of viscount until he came into his inheritance.
The British aristocracy during the Regency period was quite small compared to the entire population of England. The government was divided into the House of Lords (where one must be a member of the peerage to have a seat) and the House of Commons, which was open to any elected official. Land was most often owned by members of the peerage. As the Industrial Revolution gained momentum, more and more commoners became wealthy, which caused some friction. As the wealth of a member of the peerage declined, they might look outside their exclusive set to marry some of that new money.
Q: Something doesn’t seem quite right with the staff at Gateshead and the surrounding village. What does Charles pick up on? What trouble does he find himself in?
Charles encounters inconsistencies in the behavior of those on the estate and in the nearby town. The town is more prosperous than he anticipated, people have possessions he didn’t expect, and there are signs that something is amiss. His steward has little talent in organization and leadership, and the accounts are a tangle. Much blame is put on the previous earl’s eccentricities, but is that enough to explain what’s going on?
What he suspects is that he’s stumbled across a smuggling ring. With an estate on the coast, bringing in contraband goods by sea was too easy for the inhabitants to resist. England had been at war with France for many long years, and no French goods were to be imported. However, there were those willing to risk the consequences and bring merchandise into the country illegally. When Charles vows to act on his suspicions, he finds himself under arrest!
Q: Where can Regency fans go to interact and talk about books on Facebook?
I am thrilled that we have a place on Facebook to discuss all things inspirational Regency romance. There is a lively and growing community of readers that can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2568745689914759. We have contests, giveaways, polls, notices of sales, reviews, and much more, and we’re always welcoming new members.

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.  
Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.
Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor) and Instagram (@EricaVetsch).

THANK You, Erica for sharing with us again today! As usual, we wish you the best of luck and God's blessings.

And, Thank You friends for dropping by to support Erica!

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Ashley Martin Cassell & Blue Feather Glass!

Good Morning Friends!

I have a very special guest today and I think you'll find her as fun and interesting as I do. I met Ashley back in 2015 when her family and my Honey's family got together at Sam Rayburn Lake for a get together. Those families have been doing this for years and I was a newcomer, but Ashley and I hit it off right away and have remained friends since. We met up one day when I was travelling back from Bandera and she told me about her stained glass art, so it is a blessing and honor to feature her and her work today. Please give Ashley a Huge, SWLA W-E-L-C-O-M-E!

   I have always loved stained glass! The way the light shimmers and shines, the way the light changes the colors of the glass, it just makes my heart happy!

   I’ve made pieces of stained glass as a hobby for years, and now I’ve finally reached a goal of having an Etsy shop! 

   People ask me why I named my shop Blue Feather Glass.  I’d owned a home daycare for 19 years and I was feeling the need to make a change, close my day care, and do something else.  I was terrified to make a change. I prayed and prayed. I began to find blue feathers everywhere.  I mean EVERYWHERE: 5-6 on my daily walks with my sweet dog; floating in the pool; on my sidewalk as I left the house; everywhere.  I’d collect them and I had over 30 in one week!  I googled “spiritual meaning of blue feathers”, and learned that they mean to follow your dreams, open your heart to your creativity, be persistent, have faith in yourself, and on and on!  So I did! I didn’t make a plan; I didn’t overthink it; I didn’t over worry every decision (and this is totally not like me!)  I mailed my day care license back to the state and closed my daycare.  In honor of the feathers given to me, I named my shop Blue Feather Glass!

 I enjoy working with stained glass in 2 different methods: the Tiffany Copper Foil method and the mosaic stained glass method.  I’ve included 1 of my favorite pieces of each method.

Please visit my Etsy shop at: www.etsy.com/shop/bluefeatherglass You can also follow me on Facebook or Instagram at Bluefeatherglass

I’m happy to make pieces on consignment – you can contact me  at bluefeatherglass@gmail.com  I’ve made different pieces featuring favorite football and soccer teams: hanging pieces and mosaic kitchen utensil holders as well as a larger framed window installed in a kitchen cabinet! 

Many thanks to Pam for reaching out to include me in her blog!

Enjoy in joy!


Oh, wow, Ashley I LOVE stained glass art too and isn't AMAZING how God sends us the signs we need when we need them?! Thank you for sharing your story!

I hope you enjoyed today's post friends and that you'll stop by weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Jennifer L Wright @JennWright18

Good Morning and Welcome!

Last month we met Jennifer L Wright when she shared her new book, When it Rains with us on Saturday Spotlight. Today let's get a peek inside the creation of this book.... Take it away Jennifer!

1. This novel is set in the Dust Bowl era. What led you to set this novel during that time period? 
My husband is an Air Force pilot, and back in 2014, he transferred to a base in southern New Mexico. It was a completely new experience for someone like me who was born and raised in the Midwest, especially when I witnessed my first dust storm. My background is in journalism, so I am a naturally curious (or nosy, depending on who you ask!) person to begin with, and I was soon down a rabbit hole of dust storm research that eventually led to the writing of If It Rains.

2. What kind of research did you do while writing this story? 
Ken Burns’s documentary The Dust Bowl was monumental in getting eyewitness testimony and humanizing the era. Hearing stories from the mouths of those who actually lived during the Dust Bowl was humbling. I also kept Timothy Egan’s book The Worst Hard Time on my desk during all stages of the writing process. His exhaustive account, not only of the lives of everyday people but also of the legislative attempts at diagnosing and “fixing” the problem, was invaluable. I also devoured all the Dust Bowl fiction I could get my hands on, most notably Susie Finkbeiner’s A Cup of Dust, which was so wonderfully rich in atmospheric detail. 

3. What inspired the relationship between Melissa and Kathryn in this novel? 
I have an older sister with whom I’m very close. Our bond isn’t as complex as Melissa and Kathryn’s, but the basis of their relationship is definitely rooted in my real-life connection with her. Some of the other intricacies and details are taken from friendships I’ve had over the years. Female friendships are such a unique and precious gift, and I attempted to showcase many of the best attributes of them in the relationship, not only between Melissa and Kathryn, but also between Melissa and Annie as well. 

4. Kathryn’s favorite book is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Do you have a special connection to that story? 
One of the first movies I ever remember watching was The Wizard of Oz. My mother likes to tell the story that I was so terrified of the Wicked Witch, I hid behind a chair every time she came on-screen—but I still insisted on watching it! My love for the movie eventually encouraged me to read the books. They were my first foray into older, more classic literature, a love that only deepened over time and has lasted to this day. 

5. How does faith play a role in this story? 
Faith is a central theme of both Melissa’s and Kathryn’s stories but in very different ways. For Melissa, it’s about truly coming into your own faith, rather than borrowing or trying to emulate that of your parents’, and the difficulty of doing so when you find out the world isn’t exactly the fairy tale you thought it was going to be. Kathryn’s faith journey comes from a completely different mindset, one in which she feels unfairly put upon or cast aside by God. Hers is not a question of finding faith; it is a question of deciding whether God is worthy of her faith. Is He really good even when life is not?

6. Who is your favorite character in this novel?
What’s funny is the answer to this question changed during the course of writing the book! When I started out, I loved Kathryn. She was a spitfire, she was a bit ornery, and she was quite simply a blast to write. But as I settled into the story and got to know the characters, I found myself drawn to Melissa. She has a quiet strength inside of her to which I really connected, and it was her pivotal scene, rather than Kathryn’s, that had me crying as I wrote. Of course, Kathryn will always have a special place in my heart as well. 

7. What do you hope readers learn from Kathryn in this book? What about Melissa?
I hope people read Kathryn’s story and see the goodness of God. He is so much bigger than our emotions and what we perceive as good or bad; His purposes aren’t just achieved in spite of our hard circumstances, but often times through them. As for Melissa, I hope readers learn the importance of living out our faith. Following Jesus is about so much more than quoting Scripture or knowing the words to our Sunday morning hymns. It’s when times get tough that our faith is proved genuine. 

8. Can you tell us a little about your writing process? 
I typically spend anywhere from four to six months researching and outlining before I actually start writing. Once I’m ready to begin, I force myself to sit and write anywhere from two to three thousand words a day, whether I feel inspired or not—the goal is just to get it out of my head and onto the screen. I don’t self-edit or delete anything during a first draft. All of that comes later when I weed through my “garbage words,” as I call them, and seek to make it readable. I usually go through three or four drafts before I feel confident enough to let my critique partners take a look.

9. This is your debut novel. What has been the most exciting part of your publishing journey? 
I wrote for ten years before signing a publishing contract, so there was nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that, after all these years, I was finally going to see my words in print! But I have truly enjoyed engaging with readers and editors and getting to talk to them about these characters I’ve held close to my heart for so long. To have your story in the hands of someone who appreciates it, who connects with it, and who understands what you were trying to convey is such a huge blessing. 

10. Are there any other eras of history you’d like to write about? 
For my next book, I ventured into the late 1940s and early 1950s, as I went down another rabbit hole, this time about the Trinity test. It was a fascinating time period to research as well as a joy to write . . . and yet I find myself being drawn back into the 1930s for another idea after that! There’s also a story from the late 1800s worming its way forward. I tend to go wherever my curious mind leads me, and there’s no telling what—or when—that may lead me to next!

Jennifer L. Wright has been writing since middle school, eventually earning a master’s degree in journalism at Indiana University. However, it took only a few short months of covering the local news for her to realize that writing fiction is much better for the soul and definitely way more fun. 

A born and bred Hoosier, she was plucked from the Heartland after being swept off her feet by an Air Force pilot and has spent the past decade traveling the world and, every few years, attempting to make old curtains fit in the windows of a new home. She currently resides in New Mexico with her husband, two children, and one rambunctious dachshund.

Find out more about Jennifer by visiting her Website and following her on Twitter  @JennWright18 and GoodReads.

Thanks again, Jennifer for sharing If it Rains with us! We look forward to you visiting again.

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