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

Saturday, October 30, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Kara O'Neal @KaraOnealAuthor & The Princess's Knight!

Good Morning,

Our guest today needs no introduction. Instead, I'm going to turn the spotlight on and let Kara take over....

THE PRINCESS’S KNIGHT is book 17 in the TEXAS BRIDES OF PIKE’S RUN series. And it almost never existed.

I started writing the Texas Brides series in the year 2000 and had no plans to give a story to Madeline Talbut. Because…well…Madeline is the “mean girl”, and I had every intention of keeping her that way.

Except as I went through the series, little tidbits popped up about her, and she ends up with a backstory that is pretty heartbreaking. I felt for her. I thought, “Well, perhaps she does deserve redemption.”

But I hadn’t any idea who her hero ought to be.

Then I wrote book 8 – THE EDITOR’S KISSES – and Carl Dawson, a sixteen-year-old, know-it-all who preferred a wandering life to getting hitched declared that he’d never settle down, least of all with someone like Madeline.

And that was it. THE PRINCESS’S KNIGHT was born.

I enjoyed messing up Carl’s plans, and I really enjoyed watching Madeline redeem herself. That was something I didn’t know if I could tackle correctly. I feel as if Madeline’s arc is well-done, but readers will have to tell me the truth!

Blurb: Pike’s Run, Texas, 1890
Carl Dawson finds himself in a Georgia prison with only one way out – get Madeline Talbut, the viperous ice princess and his childhood nemesis, home to Pike’s Run, or lose a year of his life in jail. He takes the deal and finds her playing hostess on a magnificent showboat.

Madeline Talbut has a past she’d like to forget, and she can do that while taking care of the guests aboard the Princess. But, as she sails the mighty Mississippi, a newcomer infiltrates her space, shaking up her heart, awakening the desire she’d thought dormant and reminding her that the past must be dealt with.

Carl learns there is more to Madeline than he’d once thought, and she’s becoming more important to him than he wants. But he must hide his identity from her, or she might not return to Texas and all the pain it holds. And, even worse, if she discovers who Carl really is, he might lose her. Forever.

Excerpt: “Miss Talbut has taken on all my duties aboard the Princess,” Mrs. Cole explained to Carl, “and I’m so grateful to her. And, as you can imagine, I can’t have anything happening to her.” She sniffed, then with care, she smoothed the hair at Madeline’s temple. “Tell me, Mr. Dawson, what do you do for a living?”

Not an odd question, but he felt it was going to lead somewhere. But what could he reveal without giving away who he was? He continued to sense it was better that Madeline not know his connection to her. At least, not yet. “I don’t have a profession. I travel, do odd jobs here and there.”

Mrs. Cole smiled at him. “And save damsels in distress everywhere you go, I bet.”
He’d aided ladies, yes, but not everywhere.

“I’m quite certain you’re nothing but a gentleman. A true knight,” Mrs. Cole remarked, while Madeline shifted uncomfortably.

“I try, ma’am,” Carl answered.

Mrs. Cole removed her hand from Madeline’s tightly linked fingers and leaned forward. “I have complete faith that you do, and I must ask for your assistance.” She gazed at him in earnest. “Would you watch over Miss Talbut for me? Be her protector while she carries out her duties?”

Well…damn it all. Relief poured through him. He glanced at Madeline again and saw her lips had pinched, and she looked ready to argue. But…she didn’t. Another revelation.

“I’ll pay you, of course, and it’s temporary. My husband will get better, and no one would dare harm Miss Talbut when he is present.” Mrs. Cole gave a sharp nod to emphasize her statement.

He studied Madeline for a brief second, realized she would abhor him guarding her. But did he have any other choice? “I’ll take the job.”

“Wonderful!” Mrs. Cole exclaimed, clapping her hands together.

Madeline looked ready to spit nails.

Well, he’d seen her tantrums. He could handle them.

Award-winning author, Kara O’Neal is a teacher and lives in Texas with her husband and three children She write stories with strong family ties, lots of romance and guaranteed happy endings! You can find out about Kara and her writing and connect with her on her Website, Blog, FaceBook, Twitter, Amazon, GoodReads, B&N, Pinterest, and BookBub.

Get more information on the Pike's Run series and sneak peek into the characters as well as exclusive content on The Story Continues Blog.

Get your copy of The Princess's Knight HERE and check out Kara's series by reading her other posts HERE.

Wonderful premise and excerpt, Kara! We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with this latest edition to your marvelous series.

Until next week for Wednesday Words with Friends and/or Saturday Spotlight, take care and God Bless, Friends!


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Cara North!

Good Morning!

It is always a pleasure to introduce to you a brand new-to-me author so please give Cara North a huge, SWLA W-E-L-C-O-M-E as she talks to us about Holiday Prep.....

It’s that time of the year when the Halloween decorations start to go on sale and all the bright lights and ornaments begin to appear. My decorating timeline is probably a bit earlier than most. I take Halloween down (mostly) and put Christmas up at the start of November. I’ve considered leaving the tree up year-round and just decorating it for the various holidays. I’m a bargain shopper. This means if you get a holiday card from me, it is from last year’s batch when they went on clearance. You see how my holiday planning is not as much before the holiday as it will be for after the holidays, all holidays. Right now, October 25th, I have my eye on a Zero decoration. I will be stalking the Halloween section at that store in hopes I will get it when it goes 50-75% off, whichever they do the day after. If I miss it, that is totally fine. I don’t NEED it. I just WANT it, which is why I will not pay full price for it. 

My personal planning is simple, I usually mail out cookies to the various households since most of my nieces and nephews are of an age they just want a gift card anyway and the ones who are younger are already going to get too many toys and such, so I tend to send a hat, glove, scarf combo for them. 

My author planning is far from simple. The first week in December, I send out my Patreon supporter 4th quarter mailings. Because it is the holiday season, it is what I call “the big mailing” because other authors send me goodies to ship out to them. My high tier patrons get a box, low tier get an envelop but they are both filled with a variety of stuff. In addition to the Patreon mailer, I send out cards every year and not just to my family. I have been mailing cards every year for a while, so I have about a hundred people I send cards to. I will continue to do that because I never know who isn’t getting anything for the holidays, especially in these crazy times. This is the link to sing up for my snail mail mailing list:  https://forms.gle/Vn729gAqTbYM7Xhc6

Essentially, for author holiday planning it looks like this:

1. August, put the call out to all authors I know if they would like to get their promo and books in front of my Patrons, to send that before the end of Nov. as I mail 1st week in Dec.

2. Keep an eye out ALL year long for great sales in low quantities. Journals, pens, adult coloring books, and more. Pick those up and save them for the 4th Q mailing.

3. Use Cricut to customize some things for them. (This can take 8-16 hours, so I space it out starting in November. 1 day cutting, 1 day weeding, 2 days ironing or transferring)

4. Add new addresses to the label list

5. About 15 November, begin batching cards for mailing: signing, adding stickers (holiday and my promo ones). Once all the cards are signed and sealed, I put the labels on them and then drop them in the mail either the last week in Nov or 1st week in Dec. 

Then I wait for the holidays to be over…and do it all again! 

Look for Cara North in the upcoming Limited Edition Box Set: Holly Jolly Rom Com this 2021 Christmas! Available at Amazon in Kindle Unlimited or only pick it up for only $2.99!

Find out more about Cara’s other books by visiting her Amazon Author Page 

All GREAT advice, Carol! THANKS for sharing.

Hope you enjoyed today's 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.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Barbara Britton & Providence Hannah's Journey!

Good Morning!

One more week and October is over. Can you believe it? We're already seeing Christmas commercials and movies and decorations out with urgings to buy now and PRAY we get our purchases before then! 


When did everything become such a mess?

We could discuss that for a lifetime LOL! But we're not going to! We are going to welcome fellow Pelican Book Group author, Barbara Britton back to our spotlight. Take it away Barb.....

Thanks for having me in the spotlight, Pam. October is a special month for me. My debut novel released in print on October 1, 2016. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I had no idea that when my book launched, I would be a breast cancer survivor. The theme to Providence: Hannah’s Journey is “God is in control even in the chaos of life.” I lived the theme to my first novel.

I’d like to share the wisdom that I gleaned while battling cancer.

-Schedule a yearly 3D mammogram.

-Do not wait to biopsy if something shows up on your mammogram.

I had three clear ultrasounds the day the spot showed on my mammography. I was told to return in six months. The spot was cancer. If my cancer had been aggressive, my story may not have had a happy ending. I started my fight eight months late.

-Do not suffer in silence. I was on several prayer chains and could feel the power of prayer.

-Accept help from friends and family. People are scared of cancer and don’t know what to say to a cancer patient. Allow friends to bring meals or go to the store for you. Loved ones want to be there for you, but they may need direction on how to help. I used takethemameal.com to organize meals for my family.

My family, my church family, Scripture, Christian music, and cards from friends, all encouraged me during my journey.

One elder asked me if I was embarrassed to ask for prayer for breast cancer. I said, “No way,” rather loudly. I wanted all the prayer that I could get.

Great advice, Barbara we are SO very glad your story had a happy ending and you're here to share your wonderful books with us. Tell us more about Providence Hannah's Journey...

As the sole daughter of the chief priest, Hannah is publicly shamed when the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her.

Determined to restore her family’s honor, Hannah escapes Jerusalem in hopes of finding the prophet and convincing him to heal her deformities. Gilead, a young Hebrew guard sympathetic to her plight, willingly accompanies her. On their way, they are captured by a band of raiders.

Hannah is forced to serve in the household of the commander of the Aramean army, an officer who is in need of healing himself. Meanwhile Gilead is being used as sword practice for the Aramean soldiers.

Hannah must act fast to save Gilead and herself. But survival means coaxing the prophet of Israel to heal an enemy commander.

(A story similar to Naaman’s in II Kings 5)


“Alabaster, beads, bangles,” a merchant shouted.

Leave it to a salesman to find opportunity behind the rump of a slow donkey. His father had taught him well.

The chants of the merchant grew louder, came closer. “Men, trinkets for the fair and lovely.”

Hannah believed the heckler was upon her. Did he mistake her for a man? She had no free hand to test his wares.

“Young woman.”

The address was too close to ignore. Her elbow rose to ward off his seller’s assault. Her heart rapped against her chest anticipating a run home.

“Ah, but your arm is bare. Can I not interest you in—”

She whipped her head his direction.

And stared.

At her bracelet. The rubies sparkled in the sunlight they captured.

At Gil. And his radiant smile.

“You do have interest.” He herded her without a touch toward a narrow side street. “Your father has coin, no doubt.”

She matched his pace not knowing where he was guiding her and not caring. Gil had found her, and she would follow him out of the crowd, out of the city, out to Mahanaim. “You came.”

He drew her into a doorway. The bustle of the city was but a memory. “Jewels are my business,” he said in a loud voice. And lower, “My mother spoke of a sad girl in need. I know very few who wear such wealth.” He held up her gold and ruby bracelet.

Setting her jar out of the way, she met his gaze. He grinned as if she had bought all his trinkets.

She let him take her arm and slip the bracelet on her wrist. His calloused fingers slid over her skin like a silk ribbon.

“It is a perfect fit,” he said, eyeing a passerby. His fingers cocooned her hand and wrist.

“We are in public,” she whispered.

“Did I not say it was lovely?” He winked and dared her with his just-made-a-sale eyes.


You can purchase “Providence” on Amazon, B&N, or wherever books are sold. Libraries can order it too.

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast, Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She is published in Biblical Fiction and loves bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Her WWI Historical Until June released in 2020. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Romance Writers of America. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Find out more about Barb’s books on her website at www.barbarambritton.com.

You can also follow Barbara on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub and Goodreads AND check out Barbara's previous visits to our blog HERE.

THANKS so much, Barbara for sharing your story and a peek into your novel with us! We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings moving forward in life and in your writing.

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

Until next time, take care and God Bless.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes ME....

Good Morning!

It's the time for me to share my heart with you this month. If only I had a powerful and meaningful message. Those will come. God is working in me every day. The holiday season is right around the corner and I encourage you to think of all God has done for you. The Bible talks about God having a "book of remembrance" - We should have one too! 

A gratitude journal or if you're not a writer or feel you don't have time to write down your blessings and miracles, then have an attitude of gratitude. A mind to remember all the good and a voice to speak those things out loud. Even in the privacy of your home or car but especially in public.

Never be ashamed of the blessings God has bestowed on your or to give Him honor for them!

I have a new FREE story up for my newsletter subscribers this month, so if you haven't subscribed, do so now using the signup feature in the sidebar or on my FB Author Page.

Great news!

Lori's Redemption is now available in Audio! I have some codes for a FREE audio book to anyone willing to post a review. Respond to this post OR email me (pam@pamelathibodeaux.com) and I'll get that over to you ASAHP.

Tempered Truth has been recorded and approved and is awaiting release through ACX. I'll keep you posted on that. AND, Keri's Christmas Wish is in production after which, Love is a Rose devotional will be next. Circles of Fate and The Visionary are scheduled for 2022.

That's about it on the writing front. I haven't written in a while, been busy with updating platforms and getting books at Ingram Spark and other things, but once completed, I should be able to write more steadily. I know, I know....you can't find time to write, you have to make it. It's a matter of priority and I need to practice what I preach LOL! 

I will....I will. But until then, I pray for your patience and hope you'll drop by the blog each week for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.


Saturday, October 16, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Elizabeth Hull @chevyhull (AKA Izzy James) & The Dollmaker's Daughter

Good Morning and Welcome!

The weather has turned nice here in SW Louisiana as a cold front moved in last night with another to follow this coming Wednesday or Thursday. Other than a few showers to usher them in, we're expecting sunny days, lower humidity and cooler temps. Guess Fall has finally arrived ~ praise God! You know I'm a Summer person but 90-100 degrees with 100% humidity is just too hot, especially the older I get LOL!

But enough about me!

Our guest today has visited twice before, so please give a huge W-E-L-C-O-M-E to Izzy James as she shares her newest release with us, The Dollmaker's Daughter. Take it away, Izzy....

Forgetful scientist Simon Morgan lost his chance with Amity Archer ten years ago. He knows there is no hope...until a sea captain trades a meal for an ancient stone reputed to have the power to give him his heart's desire. Immediately after pocketing the stone, Simon runs into Amity. Did the ancient artifact cause this chance encounter or was it mere coincidence?

Like her favorite travel writer Mrs. Peabody, Amity Archer yearns for adventure, but she's horrified when her father asks Simon Morgan to escort her on her first real adventure. 

With Amity's Aunt Clementine as a buffer between them, will Simon be able to prove that his love for Amity is real? Can Amity show Simon that her love for him has nothing to do with a so-called magical rock?


The smell of Norfolk burning stained the inside of Simon’s nose. Throughout the wet ride toward Williamsburg, he couldn’t escape the acrid fumes as the last of the buildings were sacrificed in the name of independence. It was the right thing to do, but he couldn’t help wondering what would happen to the people and the businesses they’d forged, some nearly a hundred years old. 

Every part of his world swirled in turmoil. Hester insisted on staying with their aunt and uncle in Kemp’s Landing instead of coming home with him to Maple Bridge where she would be safer. He couldn’t find a way to like it, but Hester was a grown woman with a mind of her own. He couldn’t control her any more than he could control Woodford and Howe’s efforts to protect Norfolk. 

Drizzle drowned the glow of twilight from the window where Simon stared at the steam rising from his cup of chocolate in Miller’s Ordinary. The innkeeper’s daughter placed a candle on the table next to his open book. The girl took the time to smile at him while she brought flame to wick. Simon nodded his thanks and looked down at the open page. He’d been on the same page for three days. Images of his friend’s wedding played across his mind. A jubilant Field couldn’t keep his gaze off his new wife, Delany, resplendent in a silver gown. Field had been jubilant. And seeing Field always reminded Simon of Amity. Their features were similar, the same brown hair that glowed red in the sun, but Amity’s eyes were the color of a storm on the bay. Would Amity be jubilant on her wedding day? Sharing secret smiles with her husband she thought no one else would see? He hoped he’d never see it. 

“Mind if I join ye?” A full tankard sloshed on to the table. Simon snatched his book from the running puddle. Above him stood a barrel-chested man. Blue eyes glowed from a weather-wrinkled face. 

“Captain John McCabe.” The man reached a dirty hand across the table. 

A welcome diversion for thoughts sliding in the wrong direction, Simon shook the man’s hand warmly. The next hour passed quickly as Simon listened to the story of Captain McCabe’s latest voyage across the Atlantic. 

“Our Tom was a sorry lad. Coming home after his education,” The captain leaned in, “he told me how he’d found how to get anything he ever wanted, so he was coming home.”

“Everything he ever wanted?” Simon hoped his smile didn’t drip with the cynicism he felt, the memory of soft storm-colored eyes twinkled at him. 

“Sure. That’s what he told me and then he showed me this.” The Captain pulled from his pocket a medallion of clear green stone. It spun like a coin and came to rest across from Simon. Could this be a gemstone? It was the largest he’d ever seen, spanning nearly three of his fingers. The room was too dim to make out the carving in the center. The candlelight reflected off its polished surface like dark window glass. 

A little arc of excitement sparked to life in a remote memory of Simon’s brain and shivered down his spine. “Is this what I think it is? May I?” 

McCabe shrugged. 

Simon reached for the stone. Cool and smooth to the touch, the hatch-like carvings were barely perceptible under his thumb though they did not appear worn. 

“What do you think it is?” 

“I’m not sure, but there are legends about ancient stones.” 

“This couldn’t be one of them stones. My cousin Tom didn’t travel in them kinda circles. It’s nothing but a piece of junk he picked up somewhere,” he laughed, “but Tom’d believe just about anything you told him. Some scoundrel told him a fanciful tale, and he believed it. Gave all his money, poor sod.” 

A cool disappointment breezed through Simon. “You’re probably right, I mean what are the odds that a regular person would come across something like that when people have been looking for it for centuries?” Even as he said it the possibility niggled. Excitement deepened. 

The captain took a long swig from his cup. “And regular he was and no mistake. And all the money he had would have been a couple of pounds. Now I’ve got to take his things to his mother. It’s a visit I would avoid if it were possible. You have family?” 

“My mother and father passed away a few years ago.”

“No wife?”
“I have a sister.” The captain grimaced. “Maybe I should give you this stone. Our Tom believed it would do him some good, maybe it will do for ye.”

Simon reluctantly laid the stone back in the center of the table. “You should keep it or give it to his mother. Perhaps it will bring you all you ever wanted.” 

“I’ve got what I want, lad.” A knowing smile wrinkled his face. “My wife is waiting for me at home with four boys. And what Tom’s mother will want no rock can do.” 

Simon nodded his agreement. No stone would give him what he wanted either. Although if it were the right stone it could add significantly to his knowledge of electricity. There was nothing to be lost in giving it a try. “I’ll buy your dinner in exchange for the stone.”

McCabe smiled, “Ye, too?” 

“I don’t think it will get me everything I want, but I do think it would make an interesting scientific experiment.”

“Whatever ye say, me lad.” McCabe stood on unsteady legs and tossed the stone to Simon. “I’ll be on me way.” 

Simon nodded to the Captain. Smooth and cool to the touch, the stone slipped into his pocket without a catch. He closed his book, turned toward the stairwell and his room. From his right, in a corner of the room a shout of “huzzah” and the clink of raised goblets grabbed his notice. Near the bar, a young man knocked sideways through the thinning crowd as he pushed his way out of the Ordinary. When Simon looked forward again, he found a pair of stormy eyes. “What are you doing here?” He put his hand in his pocket. Was the stone warm? No, it wasn’t possible. Was it? 

Elizabeth Chevalier Hull, writing as Izzy James, is the award-winning author of The Christmas Gift, The Christmas Plainsong, and Finding Boaz. Izzy writes contemporary and historical romance. She grew up on the Chesapeake Bay in coastal Virginia. She still lives there still with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

Find out more by connecting with her on her Website, Facebook, Instagram @izzy.james Gab: @izzy_james and MeWe

The Dollmaker's Daughter can be found at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo and GooglePlay.

Check out Izzy's previous Spotlights HERE and HERE.

Sounds like you've written yourself another wonderful book, Izzy! Thanks for sharing it with us today. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with it.

Hope you enjoyed Izzy's visit as much as I have, friends and that you'll check back each week for another edition of Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Carol James @CarolJamesAuth

Good Morning,

On Saturday our guest shared a peek into her new release, No Longer Captive. Today we get some inspiration behind the story!

Learning a Lesson 

Have you ever run away? I remember when I was about eight years old, I decided I would run away from home. I had a good homelife and loving and supportive parents. But for some reason, something (I don’t even remember what it was) had happened, and my eight-year-old self wanted to “teach them a lesson.” If I ran away, they would be sorry they had wronged me, and they’d never do it again.

In No Longer a Captive, the heroine, Ethne, is running away from her past. But as far and as fast as she goes, she can’t escape the pain. It haunts her, follows her. She blames God for allowing her to be treated as she was and runs from Him, also. She’s like the proverbial hamster in the wheel. Running, running, running, always moving but never making progress.

The story of the Prodigal Son has always been one of my favorites. Filled with pride, the son leaves home. He wastes his inheritance, and in fear and shame decides to return home to face his father’s wrath. But the Father welcomes him home in love. The Bible tells us we cannot hide or run away from God. Wherever we might run, He is there. He is quietly waiting for us. Not in anger, but in love.

As I child I understood the part of the story about sinning and asking forgiveness. What I missed was that the Father had been watching and waiting for the son to return, and when he neared his home, the Father didn’t simply wait for him to arrive, but the Father ran to meet him and celebrated his return.

A simple Bible story that most of us know, but often forget to apply to our lives. What situation, person, failure are you running from? Turn and run toward the One who can handle it. He’ll meet you more than half-way.

And my running away episode? With my bags packed, at the last minute, I changed my mind. I realized how sad my parents would be and didn’t want to hurt them. I was the one who was “taught the lesson.”


Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. She loves creating Redemptive Romance. She lives in Lilburn, Georgia, a small town outside of Atlanta, with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell Terrier, Zoe.

Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she'd been encouraged by the works of other authors of inspirational fiction.

Her debut novel, Rescuing Faith, was an Amazon number one best-seller. Visit her website to sign up for her newsletter to be the first to learn about new releases: www.carol-james.com

Just recently, Carol allowed Zoe to start an instagram page with two of her dog friends. Follow them at 3DogsandtheirAuthors to learn the behind the scenes info about being a writer.

Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. And most days, in the late hours of the night or the wee hours of the morning, she can be found bringing her newest novel to life.

Connect with Carol at the following locations....

CarolJamesWebsite ~ FacebookCarolJames ~ InstagramCarolJamesAuth ~ TwitterCarolJamesAuth

GoodreadsCarolJames ~ BookbubCarolJames ~ AmazonCarolJames ~ Newsletter Sign-up


No Longer a Captive purchase links:

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/56pdpzmy

Pelican: https://bit.ly/3lve7NN

B&N: https://tinyurl.com/4jnj8u7p

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/no-longer-a-captive


BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/no-longer-a-captive-by-carol-james


Good reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58857487-no-longer-a-captive

Read Carol's previous posts HERE

What a sweet story, Carol! I believe we've all run away, or considered doing so, at some point in our lives. Thanks for sharing.

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

Until next time, take care and God Bless.


Saturday, October 9, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Carol James @CarolJamesAuth & No Longer Captive!

Good Morning!

It's been a busy few days since I drove home from my son's house in Nacogdoches, TX Wednesday. The weather is beautiful. Still hot days but cooler nights and dry for a change. There's a lot going on but I'll wait to catch up with you a little later in the month. Meanwhile, our guest today is not new. Carol James has visited many times but please WELCOME her back with her new release, No Longer Captive. Take it away, Carol.....

When Ethne O'Connor's brother, Sean, tells her of father's unexpected death, he asks her to do something she promised herself she'd never do. Come back home.

A victim of childhood abuse, Ethne left her father and the small Texas town of Crescent Bluff ten years ago on the night of her high school graduation. She's determined to end the cycle of abuse and believes the only way to do that is remain single. If she has no husband, she'll never have children that can be abused.

Then she meets Daniel Spenser, a handsome doctor with chocolate-kiss eyes. Daniel understands her past in a way no one else does. He's lived it.

Will Daniel be able to help Ethne break the chains of captivity around her heart?

And will God release her from her past, to be free to trust the man she comes to love? 


So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

John 8:36

            The gravel crunched beneath the tires as Ethne OConnor steered the box truck onto the shoulder of the narrow country road. Today would be a scorcher. The clock hadnt yet reached nine in the morning, and already the numbers on her dashboard read ninety-two. The birth of another lovely summer day in Central Texas.

            The heat waves rising from the pavement in front of her mirrored the waves of nausea that had steadily intensified since shed left Fort Worth. She shifted the truck into park, flipped on the emergency flashers, and turned the air conditioning on high. Closing her eyes, she pushed her head back against the seat and begged the cold air to rush across her face and relieve her churning stomach.

            She couldnt believe she was doing this. One May evening ten years ago, with her suitcase already packed in the trunk of her car, she walked across the stage in the high school auditorium, received her diploma, and made a promise to herself, a vow that had never been broken…until today. Seans pleading phone call on Monday had changed everything. She was returning home.

            The nausea somewhat under control, she shifted the truck into drive, pulled back onto the roadway, and turned off the emergency flashers. One last mile to go. Anticipation was a funny thing. When she wanted something to happen, it took forever to come. If she dreaded an event, it arrived before she knew it. These last several days had gone by way too fast.

            Slowing the truck, she turned left and began the journey down a meandering river of asphalt. As she rounded the final curve and her childhood home came into view, she gasped. In the ten years shed been gone, absolutely nothing had changed. The two-story farm house was still painted white with black shutters. Large Boston ferns hung from under the edges of the front porch and swayed in the ever-present Texas wind. Even the flowers waving in the pots beneath them were the same—purple petunias.

            Nine oclock and no Sean, but she wasn't surprised. Punctuality had never been expected of him. On the other hand, Vaughn had always demanded she be on time. Even early. That requirement had served her well over the years, birthing in her the organizational skills that helped her successfully start and run her business.

            She parked the truck at the top of the circular drive, and despite the heat, slipped on her sweater, and inched across the pavement and up onto the porch. She grasped the doorknob. As she expected, it was locked, and she didnt have a key. Years ago, shed thrown hers away because she would never need it again. If shed kept it, she could have at least gone inside and escaped the heat.

            She turned and walked toward one of the rocking chairs. A forgotten green turtle with a chipped front leg smiled at her from underneath one of the pots of flowers. She picked it up and slid back the door on its belly. A key fell out into her hand. When she was a little girl, she always believed the key was there for Sean and her—in case they got locked out and Vaughn was still at the office. That was certainly one of the reasons, but when she was eleven, shed discovered another.

            She returned the oblivious little turtle to his home and then inserted the key into the lock. Taking a deep breath, she turned the key and pushed the door open. Cool, silent darkness greeted her as she stepped into the spotless—Vaughn would have it no other way— foyer.

            She set the key on the console table beside the door and then tiptoed, for some unexplainable reason, further in. She paused and glanced first toward the living room to her right and then toward Vaughns home office to her left. There was only one choice to make. She headed right and walked to the wingback chair next to the fireplace. Sitting, she nestled into the cushions. She pressed her nose against the fabric. Even after all these years, she could imagine the soft fragrance of Mothers perfume lingering in the ivory brocade.

            Heavy draperies hung closed over the living room windows. A shaft of light shot out from the middle space where the panels failed to meet completely and illuminated a flock of dust motes as they floated in the bright morning sun. When she was five, Mother told her the particles were tiny fairies dancing in the sunshine, but they were usually invisible. Only the magic of the sun unveiled them.

            One day, Ethne had asked Vaughn if she could borrow his magnifying glass to see the fairies, but hed refused, saying Mother had filled her head with nonsense. Fairies werent real.

            Turns out, that was one of the few truthful statements hed ever made to her. She now knew the ‘fairies’ were nothing more than a combination of dead skin cells, fabric fibers, pollen, and dirt. He was right. Nothing magical about that.

            As she walked over to the window and threw open the curtains, the fairies disappeared.

            “So, the prodigal sister hath returned.”

            She jumped and spun to face the foyer. Her little brother spanned the doorway. He had grown up. The last time shed seen him at his college graduation three years ago, he was at that stage where the calendar said he was a man, but his body was trying to catch up. He had certainly filled out, and he now sported a short, precisely-trimmed, chestnut beard. His hair, unlike hers, had deepened from bright copper to rich auburn.

            “Sean. Youre late,” she snipped. This was not the way shed envisioned their first meeting after all this time. She took a deep breath, reined in her emotions, and smiled. “Or maybe Im a little early. I have a reputation for that.” She pulled him into a sisterly hug.

            His grin answered hers. “Early, late, whatever. Im just glad you came. I was beginning to wonder if Id ever see you again.”

            “The road runs both ways, you know.”

            “Yeah. Sorry.” He held up the key shed placed on the console table. “I see you remembered the turtle. I figured Id find you sitting on the porch in one of the rockers.”

            He set a small, black gym bag on the floor. “Wheres your suitcase? Need me to get it out of the truck?”

            “Im not staying here. Ive got a room in town.”

            “Eth, I can see how hard this must be for you.” Tears filled his eyes. “Believe me. I know.”

            He really had no idea. The man he knew as Dad was not the same one she knew as Vaughn.


Links to the Book:

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/56pdpzmy

Pelican: https://bit.ly/3lve7NN

B&N: https://tinyurl.com/4jnj8u7p

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/no-longer-a-captive

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/no-longer-a-captive-by-carol-james

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58857487-no-longer-a-captive

Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell "Terrorist," Zoe.

Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she'd been encouraged by the works of other authors of inspirational fiction.

Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. And, most days in the late hours of the night or the wee hours of the morning, she can be found bringing her newest novel to life.

Connect with Carol via her WebsiteFacebookInstagram & Twitter. Read Carol's previous posts HERE.

No Longer Captive sounds like another great book, doesn't it, Friends?

Thank you, Carol for sharing with us. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings.

Until next time take care and God Bless, Everyone!


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

#WednesdayWordwithFriends Welcomes Kristen Joy Wilks

Good Morning,

Well after several days of rain last week we're back to cooler temps at night and sunshiny days! Last month Kristen was in our spotlight with two rom-com books about chickens. Let's see what she has to share with us today....

How Pet Chickens and Homemade Traps Inspired a RomCom

I am the proud mom of three sarcastic teenage boys. They are hilarious. But once upon a time, I was the proud mom of three middle grade boys who lived and breathed all things chicken! No, not eating chicken. We were gifted with pet chickens and believe me, those feathery gift-birds wormed their way (ha!) into every aspect of our lives. 

Long summer days were wiled away training chickens to do tricks. Yes, a chicken will do just about anything for snacks. Although I had stern rules about chickens in the house, the boys smuggled those hens inside, onto bunk beds, into blanket forts. They built tree forts for their chickens and could be spotted high up in the branches with a blanket, a book, and a chicken cuddled close. They begged for weird gifts such as chicken diapers and chicken sweaters. Not sweaters for themselves, nope, sweaters for their chickens to wear. Thankfully, their grandmother is a talented knitter and all three received sweaters and leashes for their chickens one Christmas. The chickens visited the boys’ school for show-n-tell. The boys even played chicken games at recess and a variety of children could be spotted running around the playground clucking and flapping enthusiastically. 

Chickens are very hard to catch, especially if you are over the age of twelve. But all three of my boys could catch their hens with aplomb. If I needed help, and I always did, they would come to my rescue. 

I started imagining what might happen if some beloved pet chickens got loose in a dangerous location. How would book characters figure out how to catch them? So, I dreamed up a dangerous place: a mountain highway. Both a deadly road and vast acres of forest were there, just waiting to menace innocent barnyard fowl! Then I imagined a reason to be hauling a trailer full of chickens over a mountain pass in the first place: moving to a new town. Then I put in a ticking clock: the most special hen has to be back in time for the talent show at her boy’s new school on Monday! 

More perils were needed!!! I looked through our chicken books (we have several) and discovered that skunks will sometimes eat chickens. Perfect! Skunks could menace both chickens and humans. I had attempted to tell the boys’ chickens apart from their cousins’ birds without much success and so I added some look-a-like hens. But why would there be a chicken coop in the forest? I added a spooky mountain cabin surrounded by NO TRESPASSING signs. Now, I grew up in a mountain home surrounded by NO TRESPASSING signs (my grandfather went a little wild with them) and one of the things my brother and I did when we were bored was to build traps! We had watched “Home Alone” one too many times and it seemed like a great idea. We had a log and a boulder attached to trip wires that were supposed to roll down the hill. Our mother was horrified and made us dismantle them for fear that a forest service worker would be maimed. So, I made up some bored mountain children to build traps around my spooky cabin and its chicken coop. 

So so fun!!! 

Finally, the finale. In my misspent youth, my brother and cousins and I dug a snake pit. Yes, a snake pit. We had recently watched “Indiana Jones” and thought that a snake pit was just the best idea ever! It took a long time as the dirt is like concrete in Eastern Washington, but finally, our pit was complete. Then, four excited children spent all day catching gardener snakes. I think we ended up with twenty-one disgruntled serpents for our pit. Then, we carefully crafted a tripod out of logs so that each of us could have the chance of being dangled over our pit. I volunteered to go first! Only, I was too tall. My head touched the bottom and the snakes were crawling through my hair and it wasn’t as scary as we had hoped. Sadly, we discovered that almost touching the snakes if far more terrifying than having them in your hair and realizing that they really aren’t doing anything particularly menacing there. So, my shorter cousin stole my place as the damsel in distress and it was all very fun and terrifying. 

Of course, I had to menace my poor heroine with exactly the kind of creative children that we were back in the day! Shelby is not nearly as blasé about snakes either.

So, if you find the plotlines of Chicken Crossing and Dandelion Floofums to be unrealistic, well you simply didn’t know the right kind of crazy kids growing up. We were a bit rowdy but it certainly comes in handy when creating insane situations for RomComs! 

What is the weirdest pet/project you had as a child?


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.

Chicken Crossing
Paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or Free to newsletter subscribers.

Dandelion Floofums
Paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or Free to newsletter subscribers.

How funny, Kristen! My son is a duck lover but chickens? I think I've heard it all now!

I hope you enjoyed Kristen's post as much as I did, friends and that you'll check out her books and that you'll stop by weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.


Saturday, October 2, 2021

#SaturdaySpotlight is on DiAnn Mills @diannmills & Trace of Doubt!

Good Morning from Nacogdoches, TX!

I drove up yesterday to house/dog/duck sit for my son this weekend and then next week we'll finish up his tax return. The weather here is about the same as home....soggy with a 100% chance of humidity and more rain. Alas, it's starting to cool down which is a welcome relief from ninety-something-degrees. My prayer is that we have a drier Fall than Spring and Summer have been. SWLA is already more than 20" above average rainfall so we need dry and sunshine!

Today's guest is not new to our blog. Last month DiAnn compared writing to cooking. Very interesting information to say the least. Today we get a sneak peek into her latest novel, Trace of Doubt. But first, she has a question for all us writers. Take it away DiAnn....

What is a Professional Writing Attitude?

A writer longed to develop a professional attitude and build a brand. She contracted for a polished website and learned ways to discover her audience. She established a presence on social media where her audience hung out, asked open-ended questions to encourage interaction, and wrote a weekly blog post that showed her expertise and passion to help others. She followed the experts and generally prioritized readers by focusing on their needs. 

She believed as her platform grew, she’d reach more people and eventually her sales would increase. Relationships always came first.

This writer belonged to a writer’s group whose membership ranged from beginning writers to those with NYT bestseller status. At the close of a meeting, a new writer posed a question to all in attendance about how to begin the process of branding.

1. The NYT bestselling writer immediately left the meeting, walking past the new writer who had a question. The NYT writer clearly had things to do of more value than wasting time with a new writer. 

2. A published writer who often taught at writer conferences soon left the meeting and didn’t give the new writer a second glance. The published writer must have been on deadline.

3. Our hard-working writer, who was busy building her own platform, texted her husband and let him know she’d be later than expected. Her goal was to help the new writer as best she could. She understood the attitude of paying it forward. The writing and publishing business wasn’t all about her.

What about you? Do you look at other writers as rivals? Or are you filled with compassion for those who might struggle with what you already know? Is your writing attitude packed with paying it forward to the next generation of writers?

Fifteen years ago, Shelby Pearce confessed to murdering her brother-in-law and was sent to prison. Now she’s out on parole and looking for a fresh start in the small town of Valleysburg, Texas. But starting over won’t be easy for an ex-con.

FBI Special Agent Denton McClure was a rookie fresh out of Quantico when he was first assigned the Pearce case. He’s always believed Shelby embezzled five hundred thousand dollars from her brother-in-law’s account. So he’s going undercover to befriend Shelby, track down the missing money, and finally crack this case.

But as Denton gets closer to Shelby, he begins to have a trace of doubt about her guilt. Someone has Shelby in their crosshairs. It’s up to Denton to stop them before they silence Shelby—and the truth—forever.

Read an excerpt from Trace of Doubt HERE and get your copy where all great Christian fiction is sold! Find out where HERE.

That's really a GREAT question, DiAnn! I would hope that I never have too much to do before helping an aspiring writer or writers. Even if I can't get to his/her at that moment, I'd do my level best to set up a time that's convenient for both of us (or them) to answer his/her/their questions. THANKS for reminding us to do so!

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure?

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and Mountainside Retreats with social media specialist Edie Melson. DiAnn speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on: FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestGoodreadsBookBubYouTubeLinkedIn or diannmills.com

Read DiAnn's previous posts HERE.

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

Until next time, take care and God bless.