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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Erica Vetsch @EricaVetsch

Good Moring and Welcome to the Last Wednesday Words with Friends post in June!

Well, as of tomorrow, the year is officially half over. This is the time when many folks evaluate where they stand in achieving their goals or resolutions they set on New Years day. As I look back over the months, I know I'm not where I wanted to be writing-wise but my life seems to be on track in most other areas. So I'm not complaining! What I AM going to do is turn this post over to our guest, Erica Vetsch as she gives us a deep dive into writing. Take it away Erica.....

Just Do It.

Can you see the NIKE slogan and swish on the side of the shoe box? Ah, the power of advertising. But the slogan does have a connection to what I’d love to talk to you about today.
One comment I often get from people I meet, once they hear I am a novelist, is, “I have always wanted to write a novel, but I never seem to have the time.”

Fun fact for you. 

Nobody does. 

Nobody is gifted a swath of life covering a couple of months to a couple of years that is chalked off as “This is when you get to write your novel with no interruptions, no other obligations, and no problems.”

Novelists write in the time they carve out. It’s that simple. If you want to be a novelist, you have to say no to other things in order to capture time to write. It might be less TV time. Less time shopping, or hanging with friends. It might mean less sleep. (GASP!) 

It certainly means being aware of where your time goes, and what you can flex and what you can’t. Obviously, you can’t call the boss at the old 9-5 and tell him you won’t be coming in three mornings a week so you can work on The Great American Novel. But it might mean toting your laptop to work and writing on your lunch break. 

You can’t tell the kids to just go lie down in a drawer somewhere over the next week so you can write, but you could team up with a girlfriend to swap play dates so you can have a Saturday afternoon free to work on your story.

Can you set your alarm an hour earlier? (This would be disastrous for me, but it might work for you.) Can you go to bed an hour earlier, take your laptop, and type a thousand words before bed? Can you write while your kids nap, or in the carpool lane? 

Did you know that if you wrote one double-spaced page on your novel every day, at the end of a year, you would have a completed 100K word manuscript? That’s about 275 words per day. (To give you an idea of how much that is, the body of this article is about 500 words.) How long does it take you to write 275 words? Can you find that much time in your day to get it done? 

Wouldn’t you like to be finished with a novel a year from now? Instead of living with the regret and the misinformation that only the time factor is holding you back from fulfilling your dream?

Nearly always, when someone tells me they want to write a novel, but they just don’t have the time, I nod, commiserate, and say, “Maybe someday.” 

But truly, if you want to write a novel, if you’re passionate about it, grab that NIKE slogan by the throat and go! Just do it. 

Make it happen. 

That’s what every novelist does. 

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 is the author of many novellas and novels, including the popular Serendipity & Secrets Regency series and the new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery series

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.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor) and Instagram (@EricaVetsch).

The Debutante's Code can be purchased at Amazon, ChristianBook.com, and anywhere else great Christian fiction can be found!

Check out Erica's previous posts HERE.

You are SO right, Erica! Thank you for the reminder. Good luck and God's blessings on your life and writing career.

Whether a writer, wannabe writer, artist, entrepreneur, or WhatEver your dream is Friends, I hope Erica's post encourages you to do something every. single. day. to make it happen.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Sharon J. Mondragón (@SJ_Mondragón) & The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady!

Good Morning Friends!

If you haven't checked out NN Light's Book Heaven's Audiobook Month Event, do so now as you're running out of time to enter the contest for a $75 Amazon Gift-Card! My Heart Weeps was featured yesterday. You can check it out HERE and/or just Enter the Contest HERE.

Today's guest visited us last month and shared some interesting insights on "The Secret of the Wrinkles." Today she's giving us a sneak peek into her book, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady. So, please welcome Sharon J. Mondragón (@SJ_Mondragón) back! Take it away, Sharon....

A knitting group’s change of scenery changes lives in unexpected ways...

Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.

Uptight Margaret isn’t having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.

Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community--or will the tangle be too much to unravel?

Sharon J. Mondragon’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.


On the fateful Wednesday morning the final battle was engaged, Pete McIlhaney, rector of Hope of Glory Community Church, dressed himself with a sense of adventure and derring-do. He donned a black clerical shirt and white collar as though it were any other day. But then he pulled a black T- shirt with the words Father Knows Best in white lettering over his head—like a surplice over chain mail, he thought.

“Saint George had his dragon,” he encouraged himself as he thrust his arms through the sleeves. “And I have Margaret Benson!”

“Are you sure you want to wear that shirt?” his wife, Linda, asked him over breakfast a few minutes later. “She might take it as a challenge.”

Pete flashed her the boyish, lopsided grin he’d deployed to capture her heart nearly three decades earlier. “Bring it on!” He recklessly slathered an English muffin with far more jam than usual. “These are desperate times, my dear, and I’ve played it safe way too long. I know you think my idea is crazy, but it’s so crazy it just might work.” He’d delivered the movie quote with raised eyebrows and an Italian accent. “Besides,” he continued, suddenly serious and determined, “it’s time somebody stood up to Mrs. I-Run-Everything Benson before she runs this church right into oblivion!”


As the self- appointed head of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry, Margaret Benson arrived fifteen minutes early for the group’s weekly meeting in Hope of Glory’s Prayer Chapel—as usual. The blustery November day was cold enough to wear the fur coat Jim had given her for their thirtieth wedding anniversary, and she laid it carefully across a back pew. Then she strode to the front, where a vase with withered flowers sat on the intricately carved table that served as an altar. Sunlight filtered softly through the windows, highlighting the rich colors of the stained- glass depiction of the nativity. It also highlighted the motes floating languidly in the air. She ran her finger across the tabletop, then frowned at the trail it left in the dust. Really, how many times did she have to point out that the janitor was simply not doing his job when it came to the Prayer Chapel?

Margaret pulled a tissue from her pocket and fastidiously wiped the of ending dust from her finger. Then, vase in hand, she pushed through the double doors of the chapel and made her way to the kitchen of the parish hall, where she dumped the flowers into the trash can. She scrubbed out the vase in the sink, taking care not to splash water on her new wool suit. Then she placed the vase dry and spotless in the cabinet labeled Prayer Chapel and headed for the church office to tackle the problem of the dust in the chapel.


Lucille Brewster, church administrator and general Girl Friday for the rector, sighed as she heard the sharp approach of footsteps crossing the foyer. “Incoming,” she muttered under her breath. She made sure, however, that no trace of chagrin remained on her face by the time Margaret Benson, tall and regal and impeccably dressed in a royal- blue power suit and heels, appeared in the doorway of the church office. Lucille, in her workday slacks and sweater, felt hopelessly dowdy by comparison.

“Hello, Mrs. Benson. How are you this f ne morning?” Lucille hoped the answer would be Fine, thank you, but she wasn’t counting on it.

“Practically choking on the dust in the chapel. It’s disgraceful the way Bill neglects it. Would you please speak to him—again?”

“I’d be happy to.” Lucille resisted the urge to reply through gritted teeth. She could feel Mrs. Benson’s eyes on her as she jotted a brief note—Please dust Prayer Chapel—and then tucked it into the janitor’s internal mail slot.

“I could do that,” Margaret told her. “In fact, I have. Repeatedly, for all the good it’s done. He needs to be spoken to. Firmly.”

“I’ll mention it to Father Pete when he comes in.”

“Never mind. I’ll mention it to him after Prayer Shawl.”

Honestly, Lucille thought as Margaret Benson turned on her heel and headed toward the foyer, Father Pete has more than dust in the Prayer Chapel to deal with these days. If things don’t improve soon, there won’t be a Hope of Glory anymore, let alone a Prayer Chapel.

She reflected on the current situation. In January, the bishop had given them a new pastor and a year of grace. If the congregation continued to dwindle, however, the church was slated to close. The deadline loomed not much more than a month away. Lucille permitted herself a rueful smile and shake of the head, glad she wasn’t in Father Pete’s shoes today. His newest plan to try to resurrect Hope of Glory was bound to send Margaret Benson into a snit of epic proportions.

Sharon J. Mondragón writes about the place where kindness and courage meet. Her debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (originally titled The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry) was the 2017 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis award in the Short Novel Category, and she has also been recognized by The Saturday Evening Post where her short story, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” was an Honorable Mention Awardee in the 2014 their Great American Fiction Contest.

Mondragón has been active in prayer shawl ministry since 2008 and currently serves as facilitator for the prayer shawl ministry at her church, St. Paul Episcopal in Waxahachie, TX. She also knits with the Circle of Healing at Red Oak United Methodist Church. She is a Level 2 Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and teaches beginning knitting at a local yarn store.

Mondragón is the mother of five grown children and has four grandchildren. After 26 years as an Army wife, she has settled in Midlothian, TX with her hero/husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.

Visit Sharon Mondragón’s website and blog at www.sharonjmondragon.com and follow her on Facebook (Sherry Mondragón) and Twitter (@SJ_Mondragón).

Get your copy of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady at Amazon or ChristianBook(dot)com. Check out Sharon's previous visit to our blog HERE.

Hope you enjoyed this peek into Sharon's book, friends and that you'll check back weekly for another edition of Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Lynn Austin @LynnNAustin

Good Morning!

Well, I learned more than I ever thought I'd need to know about SFASU. Orientation was B-U-S-Y. 8am - 11pm Thursday and 8 am to 3pm Friday. Add in the drive up and back and you're looking at one tired Maw-Maw LOL! But I'm so glad I got to experience this with my Angel Girl. 

Today's guest is not new so please welcome Lynn Austin back with some insight to her latest book, Long Way Home....

1. Have you always loved books and reading? What was it about your formative years that informed your love for books and reading?

Books have been part of my life for as long as I can remember, beginning with bedtime stories when I was a child. My mother was the town librarian in the village where I grew up, so it’s not an exaggeration to say I was raised in a library. Over the years, I helped with everything from processing books to reading aloud for story hour, and I developed a deep appreciation for all sorts of books. In addition, my grandmother was a natural-born storyteller whose tales kept my sisters and me spellbound for hours on warm summer evenings. 

2. How did you become a writer?

I loved to read, but after a while it seemed like so many well-written books offered very little hope. Too many themes seemed to be “Life is hard and then you die.” I agree that life is hard—but God is good! So I sat down one day thirty-five years ago (I was a stay-at-home mom with a new baby at the time) and decided to write the kind of book I enjoyed reading—one that makes me laugh, makes me cry, and helps me learn something about myself and my life. I knew nothing about getting published (that would come later), but I quickly discovered how much I enjoyed writing. Eventually God brought a wonderful Christian author into my life who asked me to join her writers’ critique group, where I learned the basics of writing and publishing. As the years passed, I struggled to figure out if God was calling me to be a writer. I decided to persevere, and eleven years after I first sat down to write, my first novel was published.

3. What made you want to write historical fiction? What is it about that genre that you enjoy?

I write historical fiction because I love history, especially the little-known stories of ordinary people. For me, reading about the past and how people like me lived with courage in difficult times helps me to live with faith and grace, with God’s help. When we travel back in history through novels, I think it’s easier to see how God used tragic events as part of His redemption story. And that gives us faith to believe that He is still working now and that our lives can play a part in His story today.

4. What motivated you to write a story about a soldier returning from WWII and the challenges he faces? 

My dad was a WWII veteran who enlisted in the Navy at age 18. While he didn’t suffer from PTSD, thankfully, he never talked about his time in the service, although it surely had affected his life—as it had the lives of thousands of other returning vets. I wanted the novel to show the difficulties vets faced in returning to civilian life after everything they had endured during the war.

5. Please tell us a bit about the setting of your novel. 

Long Way Home takes place in a small town in rural New York State in the Hudson River Valley. Many returning veterans came home from the war to small villages like this one all over the US. The flashbacks to the war years take place in Belgium and Germany during and after the war.

6. Please tell us about your main characters in Long Way Home and what specific challenges each one of them faces.

Jimmy Barnett is an army medic who served in Europe and is hospitalized with PTSD after attempting suicide back home. Peggy Serrano is Jimmy’s longtime friend and neighbor who is trying to help him recover from the war—while also searching for the next steps in her own life. Gisela Wolff is a young Jewish nurse who flees Nazi persecution with her family during the war. Her path crosses with Jimmy’s during the war and she holds some of the keys to his recovery.

7. Who was your favorite character to write and why?

Peggy became my favorite because she is so sweet and caring in spite of the difficult life she has had and the challenges she now faces. I hope readers will be rooting for her to finally blossom and thrive.

8. As your story developed, did any characters surprise you, or did the storyline unfold in surprising ways?

Joe Fiore is a wounded army veteran and friend of Jimmy’s whom Peggy meets as she tries to piece together Jimmy’s story. Joe also suffers from PTSD. I was surprised that he became such an integral part of the story as I was writing it, and I wanted to explore his life and future as well.

9. What lessons can be learned from your main characters?

One lesson is the value of friendship and community for personal healing and wholeness. Life is a journey best taken with others. Also, that wrestling with God over the difficult questions of faith and suffering is part of our spiritual journey.

10. How much research did you do on the WWII time period and the specific challenges faced by soldiers returning home?

I researched the true story of the voyage of the passenger ship St. Louis as told by survivors, as well as life in Nazi-occupied Europe, especially for Jews in hiding. I needed to know about the work of army medics, the Allied liberation of concentration camps, and life for survivors in the aftermath. Much of my research also concentrated on the challenges faced by returning veterans and their families. I read many first-person accounts from vets and their families that helped bring my characters’ stories to life. Post-traumatic stress disorder was not fully understood until the Vietnam era. It was called battle fatigue or shell shock at the time of this novel. Psychiatry was in its infancy, and the only available treatments were those I highlighted in the story. 

11. What is your hope for Long Way Home

I hope it will shine a light on the challenges that veterans and their families face. I also hope it will show the devastating effects of persecution, whether it’s the anti-Semitism practiced by the Nazis or schoolyard bullying.

12. How do you hope this story resonates with your readers?  

Fiction can be a great medium to vividly illustrate important truths. In this case, I hope the novel will be a reminder of the need to love others as Christ loved us, no matter what our differences are.

Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction and was one of the first inductees into the Christy Award Hall of Fame. One of her novels, Hidden Places, was made into a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Lynn and her husband have three grown children and make their home in western Michigan. Visit her online at lynnaustin.org

Get your copy of Long Way Home from Tyndale or Amazon. Check out Lynn's previous visits to our blog and the books we featured HERE.

Thank You so much, Lynn for sharing with us today! We wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with your new release.

Thanks Friends for dropping by and supporting me and my guests. Love and Gratitude/Appreciation for Each and Every ONE of YOU!

Until next time....Peace be with You. Grace and Favor go before you, and my you be Blessed with a Rich Increase of God's ALMIGHTY Good!


Saturday, June 18, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Carolyn Miller @CarolynMAuthor & Midnight’s Budding Morrow!

Good Morning from Nacogdoches, TX!

I mentioned on Wednesday that I was headed here to be with my Angel Girl for SFA Orientation. We'll be heading back home in a bit but I'm SO very grateful to you for stopping by and supporting today's guest. Carolyn Miller is not new to our blog so I'm shining the spotlight light on her and her new book and stepping away.....

Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend’s rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family’s estate, he can’t be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father’s stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn’t until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?

An EXCERPT was not available when Audra Jennings PR sent me the information for today's spotlight but you can get a peek into the novel HERE.

Get a copy of Midnight's Budding Morrow at Amazon or ChristianBook(dot)com.

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 
Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author), Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor).

Check out Carolyn's previous visits HERE

Thanks for sharing with us Carolyn! Wishing you the best of luck and God's blessings!

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


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Kara O'Neal @KaraONealAuthor

Good Morning,

I'm off on another adventure today. My granddaughter has orientation at Stephen F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX and I'm going with her since both of her parents have to work. Retirement is SO great LOL!

Today's guest is not new so I'm just handing the blog over to Kara O'Neal to share her latest release with us. Take it away, Kara.....

I could hardly wait for the second book in my Gamblers and Gunslingers series – FELICITY’S FORTUNE – to release!

When we visited St. Joseph, Missouri, we had to stop at Jesse James’ house. While I was walking through those rooms, I wondered about his wife.

She’d set up a house, cooked meals, raised children…and her husband was an outlaw. She knew what he was, and that surprised me. Of course, who knew how she felt about his choices, and I’m sure it was hard to leave him since she loved him.

But I thought…what if she hadn’t known? What if a woman had married a man who was an outlaw, and she discovered it…

And turned him in.


I had to give her a mighty hero, and so Butch Wilder grew in my mind’s eye. And he’s a good one. He had to be a little sinful, though, but he’s got a big, big, big heart!

I loved writing this story. Felicity’s daughters are the cutest little things.

I also enjoyed sending Felicity to Hell’s Half Acre, because God bless Texas, but that place was scary. It belonged in a book.

You know, that’s the best thing about being an author. You get to put cool places, events and people in your books.

I hope y’all enjoy Felicity and Butch’s story as much as I did! Happy reading!

Blurb: Felicity Capwell Archer had no idea she'd married a thief and a killer. And even though she's the one who turns him in, people still think she helped her former husband steal and is now hiding the money. To protect herself from the repercussions and attacks, she hires Butch Wilder. Gambler. Gunslinger. And a giant who hides a heart of gold.

Butch Wilder grew up on the streets of New Orleans, learning how to fight, how to gamble and how to use a Colt .45 with deadly precision. When Felicity begs him to protect her family, she's too damned pretty and too intriguing to turn down. Determined to avoid any emotional attachments and to keep it purely professional, Butch takes the job. But he finds himself sitting down to nice meals, walking her children to school and being part of a family for the first time.

Only by finding and returning the stolen loot can Felicity and her daughters ever truly be safe. Following clues she deciphers from her former husband’s letters, Felicity and Butch travel to the outlaw-infested Hell's Half Acre. It's madness, but Butch will do anything to protect Felicity. Even if it means his life.


When Butch reached Rickman’s office, he tried to see through the windows to the inside, but the grimy panes allowed for nothing. Cautious but unafraid, he walked in without hesitation.

But when he found who had come calling, he about swallowed his tongue. He stopped short, his hand on the knob, his mind devoid of all thought.

“Are you Mr. Wilder?”

Her honey voice poured through him, grabbing hold of his senses.

She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry to interrupt your work, sir, but I’m looking for Mr. Butch Wilder. Are you he?”

Snap out of it, man! Butch blinked then cleared his throat. “Uh, yeah. Yes. I’m Butch Wilder.” He shut the door.

She looked him over.

He steeled himself against the fear he might see in her eyes due to his size, but when her gaze touched his face, what he found was desperation. Confused and a little nervous, he wrapped his thumbs around his suspenders.

“Do you know who I am?”

Would it upset her if he did? But he couldn’t lie to her. Somehow she’d know if he did. “Yes.”

She twitched her lips as if frustrated by her infamy. He couldn’t blame her.

After letting out a slow exhale, she said, “My home, and by that I really refer to my children, my housekeeper and myself, has been under attack since my former husband was arrested and tried.”

So…she had gotten divorced. Or was it an annulment? He stayed quiet, not knowing what she wanted or if he was allowed to respond.

“We need constant protection until this is settled.” She waved a hand in the air. “Until either the…the hanging or…” She paused, and her gaze went distant.

He narrowed his eyes slightly. What bothered her? The event she hadn’t mentioned or the hanging?

She shook her head. “I apologize. The last weeks have been rather harrowing.”

He could imagine. From the arrest, to the trial, to now…

A portion of what she’d said registered in his mind. “I’m sorry, ma’am. But why are you here? You mentioned…protection?” Hell. Was she going to ask him to…

“Yes. The sheriff’s office can’t provide anyone, so he suggested I hire you.”

Butch’s mind whirled with the implications.

“I will pay you well, plus meals, because I would prefer it if you moved into my home. People come at all times of the day and night. I’m fearful of what has occurred in my absence for the last few hours.” She pressed two fingers to her temple and rubbed. “Not that I can do anything about it,” she muttered. She let out a weary exhale.

While she struggled with exhaustion, he tried to make sense of what she was offering. It was ridiculous. Him? Butch Wilder? Protect her? And her family?

Hell. That was damned laughable.

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! Please visit her at www.karaoneal.com.

Where to Find Kara
Website –  www.karaoneal.com

Blog – The Story Continues -- http://www.karaoneal.com/the-story-continues

Get your copy of Felicity's Fortune HERE. Find out more about Kara and her books by checking out her previous blog posts HERE.

Well, looks like you've written another winner, Kara! Good luck and God's blessings with Felicity's Fortune and all of your books.

Thanks for stopping by to support Kara, Friends. Please be sure and visit Carolyn Miller on Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time.... Peace be with you. Grace and Favor go before you and may you be Blessed with a Rich Increase of God's Almighty Good!


Saturday, June 11, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Amanda Wen @AuthorAmandaWen & The Songs That Could Have Been!

Good Morning and Welcome!

June is trucking right along. We went to a Brooks & Dunn concert Thursday night and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I'll tell you all about it in my newsletter so sign up to receive it now! Meanwhile, let's put the spotlight on our guest, Amanda Wen and her book, The Songs That Could Have Been...

Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.

After a tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Her battle with bulimia is under control, her career is taking off, and she’s surrounded by a loving family. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, leads to old feelings returning with new strength. And suddenly her well-balanced world is thrown off kilter.

Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But the reasons they broke up aren’t lost--and those old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. He isn’t sure he’s courageous enough to make a different choice this time around.

When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim—a name her family has never heard before—a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives—and Rosie’s—forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.

The Songs That Could Have Been is full of the same deftly handled, resonant writing that readers and critics alike enjoyed in Amanda Wen’s first book in the series. Fans of Lisa Wingate and Rachel Hauck will add Amanda Wen to their must-read shelves.

The Songs That Could Have Been is book 2 in the Sedgwick County Chronicles and releases on June 21st so no excerpt is available at this time, but let's hear what others are saying about the book...

“There are so many brilliant moments in The Songs That Could Have Been. Amanda Wen took risks that paid off with a treasure trove of themes which will resonate in my heart for a very long time."
– Deborah Raney, author of Bridges and the Chandler Sisters Novels series

“Amanda Wen is a fresh new voice in the Christian fiction arena! Blending well researched historical events with modern-day, relatable characters, she crafts tales within tales that are guaranteed to delight and inspire readers. I highly recommend this inspiring writer.”– Kim Vogel Sawyer, best-selling author of Freedom's Song

“Readers will be swept off their feet by Amanda Wen’s second installment of the Sedgwick County Chronicles....Past and present are deftly woven together in this dual-timeline narrative that will leave readers flying through the pages. The Songs That Could Have Been is the ‘can’t miss’ book of the year.”
– Amanda Cox, author of the 2021 Christy Book of the Year, The Edge of Belonging

"As poignant as it is intricately crafted...this is a reading experience both heartfelt and heart-tugging, a timeless exploration of young and enduring love and the grace found in second chances. Amanda Wen is a rare and remarkable storyteller and this is a novel I will not soon forget." – Amanda Barratt, Christy Award-winning author of The White Rose Resists

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.
Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. She is the author of Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been.
In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.
To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).

Wow, Amanda The Songs That Could Have Been sounds like another amazing story! Thank you for sharing with us and we wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with it.

Hope you're looking forward to release day for this book, friends. You can pre-order it at Amazon or ChristianBook(dot)com! Read all about Roots of Wood and Stone from Amanda's previous posts HERE.

Until next week take care and God bless.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes @AlinaKField Alina K Field!

Good Morning,

Lot's of things happening today therefore I don't have much time to chat with you. I'm just going to hand the blog over to Alina as she shares something with us about favorite heroes. Take it away, Alina!

Who’s Your Favorite Romance Hero?

Billionaires, Cowboys, Cops, Soldiers, Handsome Next-Door Neighbors, all make good romance heroes. But since I write Regency romance, make mine a duke! 

Or a marquess, earl, viscount, or baron. 

I read somewhere that the reason why readers like the big, bold, take-charge men in their romance reads is that these guys appeal to a desire for security as well as love. Protective, strong-willed macho guys are just waiting for the right heroine to come along and tame them, but it might take some doing because they’ve had years of dodging commitment.  

One of the fun aspects for regular readers of Regency romance is the wiliness of those noble lords.  They have titles that can only be passed on to male heirs. They have bloodlines to keep aristocratically pure, and expensive estates and lifestyles to maintain without (horrors!) having to “go into trade”. 

Their noble lordships are not always dodging marriage. How is a heroine to know if the professions of love are true?

One of my favorite quotes about Englishmen comes from General George Patton (in the 1920s) explaining why he declined a plum military assignment in London:

We have two marriageable daughters who … will be rich someday. If we go to London it stands to reason that one or both of them will marry an Englishman.  Englishmen, well-bred Englishmen, are the most attractive bastards in the world, and they always need all the money they can lay their hands on to keep up the castle, or the grouse moor, or the stud farm, or whatever it is they have inherited.  I served with the British in the war, and I heard their talk.  They are men’s men, and they are totally inconsiderate of their wives and daughters; everything goes to their sons, nothing to the girls. I just can’t see Little Bee, or Ruth Ellie in that role.—Carlo D’Este, Patton, a Genius for War.

A penniless Regency heroine must be careful that the man wooing her is not seeing her in some role other than wife. 

A Regency heiress must be even more careful that the man wooing her is in love with more than her dowry, because in Regency times, divorce was social suicide; not impossible, but very rare and very expensive. 

Lord Rudgwick, the hero of my recent release, Claims of the Heart is just such a man’s man: an earl who is heir to a duke, a hero of the Peninsular War, and a man in need of funds to restore the estate after his late father’s reckless spending. He willingly entered into an entirely unromantic engagement with a duke’s very wealthy and very young granddaughter, and gave his marital future no further thought—until he met Lucie Macbeth, daughter of a fellow military officer and was instantly smitten. 

What to do? Marriage contracts have been signed. If he withdraws from the engagement, the duke will ruin him and his mother socially and financially. If he attempts anything dishonorable with Lucie, her father will kill him. 

Fortunately, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from Elba and marched into France, and nothing could keep him from doing his duty to king and country. 

Severely wounded at Waterloo, he comes home minus his right hand, and with a driving determination to marry the woman he can’t forget, no matter the cost.

Do you read romance? What’s your favorite type of hero? 

USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature but prefers the happier world of romance fiction. Her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., but after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California where she shares a midcentury home with a gold-eyed terrier and only occasionally misses snow. 

Connect with Alina at the following locations....

Check out Alina's previous posts HERE.

Get a copy of Claims of the Heart (Heat Rating: R) at your favorite online retailer found HERE

Watch the book trailer HERE.

Here is the Blurb: 
Since a perilous fall, Lucie Macbeth has been seeing more than a settled future as the heiress to a Scottish barony. The visions plaguing her include a man—one far above her class and breeding, and English to boot. He’s engaged to a duke’s granddaughter as well, and thus wholly inappropriate. Though she can’t marry him, and she won’t become any man’s leman, when the Sight warns her of danger to him, her conscience, and her heart tell her she can’t walk away.

Since his return from Waterloo, Major Lord Rudgwick has been rusticating in the country teaching himself how to live as a man with only one hand and pondering how to end the engagement he contracted before his world turned upside down. But then a letter arrives from an old army comrade, requesting Rudgwick’s aid for his daughter, Lucie Macbeth, the woman he met one year earlier, the woman whose claims on his heart he can’t deny.

AND a short excerpt....

 Across the theater from Lucie, a braw, dark-haired man, as tall and straight as the duke, stood in his grace’s box, a young lady upon his arm. 

Drawn like a giddy moth, she lifted her chin and met his gaze, bridging the yawning space, watching his mouth soften into the quizzical half-grin he displayed to such advantage. 

Tristan Hamilton Howton, Major Lord Rudgwick, was, in fact, in London, in the flesh. He was here and looked ready and willing to annoy her. He looked hearty, healthy and well too; not at all impaired. As fully recovered from his injury as a man who’d lost a hand might be. 

She let out a breath. She’d wondered how he’d fared after she and her parents left him in Brussels. Mother parsed the news she received in letters from Lady Rudgwick, and Lucie was too proud to ask after him. 

She was glad to see him looking so well. Now she must simply keep the chasm between them as wide as the pit of this theater. Easy enough to do, given their different social circles. 

He wasn’t in uniform tonight, yet he’d still make hearts flutter, and the cocky smile said he knew it. Wide shoulders filled out the elegant dark coat, and strong thighs the legs of his trousers. He was, after all, a horseman, a cavalry officer with a stable of the finest horses. 

With a quiet breath she attempted to quell her pounding heart, to blot out the seductive smile that she saw over and over in stirring visions of a future that could not be, that must not be. 
She mustered a bored, how-annoying tone. “Rudgwick is here.”

GREAT article, Alina! I'm very much an Alpha hero girl but my heroes must have a tender heart and touch when it comes to their women and children. 

Hope you enjoyed Alina's post 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.

OH, and in case you didn't notice the graphic in my sidebar, NN Light's Book Haven is hosting a huge audiobook event and giveaway! Details HERE.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Janyre Tromp @JanyreTromp & Shadow’s in the Mind’s Eye!

Good Morning Friends,

I'd hoped my "busyness" had ended but not yet. LOTS to do today, tomorrow and this next week but m-a-y-b-e after next weekend, I can slow down a bit. So, without much further ado, please welcome our new-to-me guest, Janyre Tromp with her debut novel, Shadow's in the Mind's Eye. W-E-L-C-O-M-E Janyre!

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on—responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who’s come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam’s experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand—but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn’t the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she’s terrified he’s going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam’s mental wounds--or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.

"Tromp weaves a complex historical tale incorporating love, suspense, hurt, and healing--all the elements that keep the pages turning." --Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials


Darkness had long ago swallowed the Greyhound bus moving down the road so slow that it might as well have been going backward. It took every ounce of my control not to elbow the driver out of the way and stomp on the gas pedal. After all, the war was over, and every man here was ready to get home to his kinfolk. I wasn’t no exception.

I scrunched my eyes shut and choked back another cough, the burn crawling down my throat and making me gag. Tugging my wool peacoat tighter over my shoulders, I hoped the major next to me hadn’t noticed my flushed cheeks when we boarded. Last thing I needed was some officer ordering me off the bus and into an infirmary.

“You all right, soldier?”

I bristled, habit forcing my body ramrod straight. “Sailor.”


“I was a coxswain for a Higgins boat.”

He stared at me like I was spouting Greek.

“A pilot for amphibious beach landings?”

When he still didn’t show sign of understanding, I shifted the blanket so’s my navy uniform showed. “I’m a sailor,” I said, adding “sir” at the last second. No sense getting court-martialed for disrespecting an officer, even if he was army.

“Right.” The man shifted. “No offense intended, but you don’t look so good . . . sailor.”

“I’m just fine, sir.”

All I wanted was to get home and wrap my arms around Charlotte Anne and my sweet baby girl, then sleep for the next week with nobody pokin’, proddin’, or askin’ me how I felt. The Lord as my witness, I swore I’d never leave our orchard and Hot Springs again.

“There’s a hospital in Malvern. Maybe you oughta—”

“I reckon I’ll take that under advisement, sir.”

Although I’d tried to make my voice respectful, it came out with a shade more lip than I, or my Ma for that matter, would’ve liked.

“Don’t want you bringing home cholera or anything.” He chuckled, then rubbed a hand over his mouth as if he realized how ridiculous he’d sounded and wanted to stuff the words back in.

We’d all been quarantined on the way home long enough that I was sure my backside had grown moss. The U.S. military had seen fit to be sure the only thing I brought home was a mild case of malaria and a smidgen of lead hidden in my shoulder . . . although they didn’t know about the Japanese saber buried under the ratty underwear in my pack. That was my souvenir—a reminder of what happens to somebody who shoots a man in the back.

“Thank you kindly, sir. I’m just anxious to get home to my little girl.”

The man smiled, and I relaxed.

“I got me a son.” He pulled out a stack of photographs—a sturdy toddler, a wife, an older gentleman with grease smudged on his cheek—and I mm-hmmed in all the right places, least as much as was fittin’ for a perfect stranger. It was almost like I’d returned to the person I was before going to war three years back. I traced the image of the little boy with my finger, registering that the major hadn’t likely met his son yet, just like I hadn’t met my little Rosemary.

Lights flashed off in the distance, igniting my memory, and the boy’s picture slipped from my fingers and fluttered to the floor. My breath came in snatches, my mind desperately telling my heart to slow, that there wasn’t nothing dangerous here.

“Just lightning.” The major was studying me. “Makes me a mite nervous too.” I clenched my fingers around the dress gloves in my lap. Even with the thunder, a body would think the hum of tires on the road and no threat of Japanese Zeroes strafing us would help me settle, maybe even fall asleep in two hops of a grasshopper. But I was pretty sure I’d left behind whatever hop I used to have on some island in the Pacific—squashed by the military regimen and then ground down by the Japanese for good measure.

The major leaned over and retrieved his photo. I noticed his perfectly manicured hand as he brushed off a bit of dust before slipping his boy’s smiling face into a pocket of his immaculate uniform, no frayed edges in sight. Wasn’t no way this man had been anywhere near the front. I rolled my head from shoulder to shoulder. Some folks have all the luck.

I could near feel Ma reach out and swat my head for such disrespect.

Samuel Robert Mattas, I taught you better than this.

Sorry, Ma. Maybe you could intervene with the Almighty upstairs and—

“So where you headed?” The major watched me like a body might watch a dog foaming and growling. More than a little annoyance skimmed over a healthy dose of fear. Lord Almighty, I’d turned into a mangy cur.

“I know you mean well, sir. But I’m trying to sleep. It’s been a long time since . . .” Since what, I wasn’t sure. Since I’d been safe enough to sleep without waking to panic coursing through me? Since I’d been home? Since I’d had a normal conversation with a stranger without near biting his head off?

At least he’d served. It was all those 4-Fers who got themselves out of the war, lyin’ back and takin’ it easy that deserved my wrath. Well, maybe not all of them. Certainly not Doc. He’d paid mighty with the polio. Wouldn’t wish that on nobody, least of all my best friend.

Thunder rumbled in the distance, and I closed my mind against the devil clawing at me. I was home, in Arkansas. My Annie and Rosie were waiting for me on the farm. Ma too. No landing run, no artillery, no Japs waiting to light up anything that moved in the waves.

Just a storm.

“I’m headed over to Crows.” The man was still chattering while sweat tickled my spine. Somebody somewhere must’ve told him talking set a man at ease. Must never have met a mountain man.

Just a storm.

I held my breath, the growls creeping closer, seeking a target . . . the world pulsing, vibrating with the sound . . . the smell of fire crawling across the Arkansas plains . . . the green of the seat in front of me surging like the algae-crusted lakes we’d drunk from in the Pacific . . . the sickness roiling in my belly . . .

“My folks live up there.” The major’s voice echoed from deep under the water. “Pop says he held a job for me in the factory over in Little Rock. Don’t know if I’ll be able to take being on the floor, but . . .”

Up front someone flicked on a light, and a face jumped up to my window—hooded eyes, searching, hunting. I lurched to my feet, cracking my head against the ceiling of the bus as I tried to push the major to safety. He latched onto my arm, dragging me under, and I yanked away, panting. Didn’t he know we needed to run?

“There’s somebody out there.” I pulled on his elbow, desperately searching for an escape route through the sea of seats.

What were they thinking letting a bus full of unarmed men meander down a highway with the headlights un-blacked? It was suicide to sit in a target all lit up like a Christmas tree.

“Ain’t no one out there.” The major held his hands out in front of him like he was surrendering to me, pleading like I was about to shoot him dead.

I glanced behind me to prove him wrong and saw my reflection ghosted on the glass. Ears sticking out of dark, messy curls. Eye sockets bruised by exhaustion. More lines than a twenty-seven-year-old man should’ve earned. Other than the whir of its tires on the road, the bus was silent, and everybody watched me. When the whispers started, I leaned over the major and said sorry before yanking the cord to alert the driver someone needed to get off the bus. I grabbed my blanket along with my peacoat, cap, and gloves before stumbling down the aisle, staggering between the seats.

Wasn’t no way I would let them all stare at me the rest of the way to the Hot Springs transportation depot. Maybe a hike would bring me to my senses. A body could hope.

Janyre Tromp (pronounced Jan-ear) is a historical suspense novelist who loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas.

A firm believer in the power of an entertaining story, Tromp is also a book editor and published children’s book author. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, two kids, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog.

You can find her on Facebook (@JanyreTromp), Instagram (@JaynreTromp), Twitter (@JanyreTromp), and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com where you can download a free copy of her novella, Wide Open

Published by Kregel and brought to us by Audra Jennings PR, Shadow's in the Mind's Eye can be purchased at AmazonChristianBook(dot)com and other places great Christian fiction can be found!

THANK you, Jaynre for sharing your book with us. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with it and THANK YOU, Friends for supporting my blog guests!

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Lisa Becker!

Good Morning!

I pray your Memorial Day weekend was blessed and that you took a moment or two to honor the men and women who've died in service. I'm back from Sam Rayburn lake, staying at daughter's house to dog-sit while they're out of town. I believe my travelling is done for a while, so I'll be catching up with you a little each week. Meanwhile, please welcome Lisa Becker back to our blog..... Take it away Lisa!

Raise your hand if you had an unrequited high school crush. 

Back in the day, I crushed so hard on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up strawberry wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. That humiliation was certainly in the back of my mind as I was developing Links. In this second chance sports romance, awkward Charlotte reconnects with her unrequited high school crush, the athletic heartthrob Garrett, fifteen years later.  

While this is a work of fiction, there is an autobiographical element woven throughout, as I was the nerdy girl in glasses who longed to be noticed.  

When I was in the process of developing the storyline for Links, I bumped into the son of family friends, who I had known since I was a little girl.  He made a big deal of commenting about how I no longer wore my “big glasses.”

It was so discouraging. Here I had grown into what I thought was an interesting and successful adult. I had a fascinating professional career in public relations. I was married with kids. I’d written several novels. I was an adjunct professor at a major university. I had traveled around the world. Yet all he could see in front of him was the gawky girl with glasses. 

It was then I realized he would never see me as anything but a pair of oversized frames. I wanted Charlotte to overcome those perceptions in this book. I hope readers connect with her and root for her well-deserved happily ever after.  

A former ugly duckling has a chance encounter with her unrequited high school crush, now a pro golfer. Will their past thwart a second chance at love? 

Charlotte Windham went through a typical ugly duckling phase in high school while harboring a crush on Garrett Stephens, the school's athletic heartthrob. Today she’s a bestselling novelist and no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett gave her.

Garrett transformed from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario and is now a successful professional golfer suffering from a possible career-ending injury.

Fifteen years after high school, Charlotte and Garrett have a chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant, and he can’t remember who she is. But as both hearts flutter with unfulfilled desires, awkward teenage memories might not be the only thing standing in the way of forever. 

Can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be perfect for him? 

If you love second chance romances, swoon worthy pro athletes, smart and witty female leads and happily ever afters, find it now on Amazon or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Links: A Second Chance Sports Romance
Rating: R (for sexual content and adult language)
Genre: Contemporary romance
Audiobook narrators: Stella Hunter and Connor Crais (coming summer/fall 2022)

About Lisa Becker
Lisa Becker is an award-winning romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money - on books and margaritas.  As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! 

Connect with Lisa

I just love those 2nd chance romance stories! Don't you?

THANKS for sharing yours with us Lisa! Wishing you the best of luck and God's blessings.

That's all for today, Friends. See you June 4th for Saturday Spotlight and next week for another edition of Wednesday Words with Friends.

Until then, take care and be BLESSED.