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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Stacey Weeks @WriterSWeeks!

Good Morning,

It's not often that we have the same author for Saturday Spotlight and Wendesday Words with Friends back-to-back so you're getting a real treat! Take it away, Stacey....

Shame is not the word Gloria Sycamore would have chosen to describe the emotion that lingers deep inside her. She lives most of her life in the shadow of others, never quite fitting in, never quite belonging. But all that should change on her return to Sycamore Hill. She isn’t looking for a hero’s welcome, but she does expect a friendly one. After all, she is a Sycamore, and she’s dating the local minister. But the community questions her commitment to her faith, the town, and their pastor—who they are not keen on sharing. So, Gloria sets out to prove them wrong, navigating the messy and sometimes hilarious muddy water of dating in the public eye, where nothing is private, and everything is up for debate.

My connection to Gloria
His Sycamore Sweetheart is a work of fiction. That’s an important clarification. Yet, I had so much fun writing this story because I feel a deep connection to Gloria. I’m not only a pastor’s wife, but I’m also familiar with feeling tolerated instead of welcomed and not measuring up. I think, in many ways, there is likely a little bit of Gloria in us all. I feel it when I fail to speak up or stand up or absorb hits, secretly believing I must deserve them. Shame shows up when I overreact to expressions of displeasure with me. I long to please people, and if I can’t, I feel rejected. This is exasperated in church ministry, and I can easily feel worthless, nothing, zero. This is shame. This is Gloria’s reality.

Gloria struggles with the tension of wanting to break free from expectations while feeling pressed to conform to who people expect the pastor’s girlfriend to be. She tries to read between the lines to discern what people want from her. She struggles to understand what it means to serve others and consider them better than herself.

Easy in Theory. Hard in Life.
Gloria will feel a magnetic pull toward her familiar feelings of inferiority and unworthiness. She knows Christ has made her clean. She knows sins against her say far more about the accuser than her. She knows that one touch from Jesus has replaced her shame with his honour. Yet, the feelings return, resisting the truth. To battle this, she remembers the gospel. Jesus lowered himself to elevate her. Jesus doesn’t just remove her shame; He gives her His honour. He replaces shame with honour, so she can walk in freedom.

Stacey Weeks writes faith-filled contemporary romance and romantic suspense with strong female leads and imperfect heroes. She is a multi-award-winning author, conference speaker, and Bible study teacher. She loves to read and will try almost any creative pursuit at least once. Stacey lives in Ontario with her husband of 25 years and three children. When she is not writing, she is probably jogging the trails, homeschooling her kids, or trying out a new recipe. 

Find out more about Stacey by visiting her Website and signing up for her newsletter or connecting with her on the following SM sites.

F: www.facebook.com/writerSWeeks

T: @writerSWeeks 

I: @writerSWeeks 

Get your copy of His Sycamore Sweetheart at Amazon. Check out Stacey's previous visits to our blog (and her other books) HERE.

Thanks SO much for sharing your wisdom and experience with us, Stacey. Wishing you the best of God's blessings with His Sycamore Sweetheart!

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

Until next time take care and God bless.


Saturday, September 24, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Stacey Weeks @WriterSWeeks & His Sycamore Sweetheart!

Good Morning from Nacogdoches, TX!

It's "Family Weekend" at Stephen F Austin State University and since my granddaughter attends college and my son works here, my daughter and I drove up Thursday evening. SIL, grandson & gd's boyfriend came up last night so my son's house is full and my heart is full having everyone (well nearly everyone) all together. We have a day filled with activities ahead of us so I'm not going to take up any more of your time, but WELCOME our guest Stacey Weeks back with another of her Sycamore Hill series books, His Sycamore Sweetheart! Take it away, Stacey....

Gloria Sycamore isn’t looking for a hero’s welcome, but she does expect a friendly one when she returns to Sycamore Hill. After all, she is a Sycamore, and she’s dating the local minister. But the community questions her commitment to her faith, the town, and their pastor—who they are not keen on sharing. So, Gloria sets out to prove them wrong, navigating the messy and sometimes hilarious muddy water of dating in the public eye, where nothing is private, and everything is up for debate.

If you like clean, small-town, faith-filled romances, you'll love visiting Sycamore Hill.

It could be worse. 

Illuminated only by the light of the moon and several strategically-placed motion sensor lights, Gloria Sycamore fisted her hands on her hips. The toe of her three-inch-heeled boot tapped on the asphalt as she surveyed the jam-packed storage unit. Correction—overflowing storage unit. The contents of her life spilled out of the orange, garage-style door. Gloria righted a toaster tipped on its side, and her stomach lurched, just as it always did at the sight of her independence packed neatly into cardboard boxes with the top flaps folded over. 

Just folded, not taped. 

And neatly was a stretch.

A dot of sweat dribbled down her neck, between her shoulder blades, and over each bump in her spine in its descent. Her long-sleeved T-shirt stuck to her body like shrink wrap, and tendrils of frizzy, blonde hair had loosened from her ponytail, growing fatter and fatter with each passing, clammy second. The post-sunset coolness of the late September evening did little to moderate her inner, raging furnace. Acrylic fingernails one through eight dug into her palms, and nine and ten lay somewhere on the ground underneath her sea of belongings. She stepped around the box erupting with scarves and shoes she’d never wear in a small town as far behind in fashion trends as Sycamore Hill. In three long strides, she reached the open trunk of her car, pivoted, and paced back.

The top half of the storage unit had lots of space, but Gloria didn’t have the upper body strength to stack the boxes any higher. She should have waited for Owen. Correction. She had waited for Owen. She’d waited a whole hour. Sixty minutes. Three thousand, six hundred seconds. Now, ninety minutes later, she’d done the best she could, and it still wasn’t good enough. It was the tagline of her life. All twenty-four years. Eight thousand, seven hundred and sixty-some-odd days of not being good enough. Her armpits dampened. She’d blame the growing stains on the physical labor. Not her perceived failure.

Owen was the one who’d picked a Wednesday night for her to move her belongings home. When Gloria announced that she’d given up her apartment in the city, Owen assured her parents that he’d help her, and there was no need for her dad to risk twinging his back again. Okay. Giving up her apartment was a stretch, too. Lost was a bit more accurate. Unable-to-pay-the-rent-when-she-didn’t-have-a-job hit even closer to the truth. Evicted, if she was being totally honest. But this wasn’t about her failure. It was about Owen’s. He said that church meetings happened on Tuesday nights. Wednesday was clear. Wednesday was free. On Wednesday, he’d be all hers.

And in a nanosecond of terrible clarity, she understood what she’d been trying their entire relationship to not think about. Owen would never be wholly hers. Not as long as he was a pastor. He belonged to the church—the only acceptable mistress.

She puffed out a breath that failed to loosen the tension squeezing her chest. If Owen had come, he would have stacked the boxes. Then, she’d have a bit more room and all ten fingernails. But instead of enjoying Owen’s dry banter and benefitting from his upper body strength, she paced in front of unit twenty-one, the one that spewed waves of stuff into view of anyone who happened to drive by the fenced-off self-storage business on the outskirts of town. She pressed her lips together until they tingled. 

What to do, what to do. 

The little piggy that went to market jammed against the edge of a box with the word books scrawled in black permanent marker on the side. As her toe painfully compressed, Gloria threw her hands out to the sides for balance and knocked over a coat rack. She hopped on one foot and shook out the other, her jerky movements knocking the flap of the closest box open because, of course, she didn’t tape that one shut, either. The rhyme scheme from the familiar storybook sitting on top mocked her. When life pours you lemons, think lemonade. When the sun gets too hot, be thankful for shade.

She could use a cool drink of lemonade right about now. Her inability to secure a job after her co-op placement at Grander Nursery School ended had necessitated her move back home. Gloria didn’t want to feel thankful things weren’t worse, because right now, as she wondered who watched her from the vehicle that crawled down the road at a snail’s pace, life felt pretty bad. Unfair. Rip-roaringly frustrating. Still, she automatically followed the directions she gave her precious kiddos. Find the good.

Worse would be not having a place to store her things while she temporarily moved back into her parents’ home. Worse would be needing to live in her childhood home, when instead, she’d chosen to. Sure, the alternative was going into debt and living on credit, but it was still a choice—big difference. Worse would be losing eight more fingernails and adding a headache. Worse would be— She caught her reflection in a mirror leaning against the corner. Frizzy, blonde curls. Skin flushed to the point of blotchiness. Dark circles under her armpits. Worse would be Owen showing up and seeing her like this and deciding that maybe she wasn’t the girl for him after all. No matter how awful or ugly it gets, you can be thankful for something, I’d bet—

“Need a hand?” Owen Mason’s question interrupted the catchy rhyme.

Worse had found her again. And instead of offering her lemonade, she sucked the juices from plain, old, sour lemons. Her mouth puckered.

Despite just thinking—literally three seconds ago—that it was good Owen wasn’t here, her body responded positively to his familiar timbre. His words wrapped around her like a hug that she needed to shrug out of. She didn’t turn around. She wasn’t in a forgiving mood any more than she was in a thankful one.

“I know what you’re thinking.” She spoke to the wall.

“Do you?” 

She heard his smile, and it sanded a tiny bit of the edge off her annoyance. She drummed her fingers on her hips. “You’re probably thinking, ‘How did such a young and successful woman like Gloria Sycamore end up back in Sycamore Hill, living with her parents?’”

He chuckled. It started low and rumbled like the trolley carts the storage unit provided customers for hauling stuff from the trunk of their cars to the units. Carts she wouldn’t have used had Owen shown up on time. The comfort building in her chest cooled a bit. His footsteps dragged along the pavement with a scuffing sound. She could feel him moving closer. It had always been that way with them. 

“What else am I thinking?” His quiet question caressed the back of her neck, and she shivered from the warmth of his breath. She tried to hang onto her frustration, but she couldn’t stay mad at him. She never could. She leaned into him and further into their game.

“You’re wondering if the only reason she came back is because she couldn’t get a job.”

“Try again.”

“You’re wondering if she came back because her family lives here.”

“Wrong.” He loosely wrapped his arms around her middle and tugged her until her back pressed against his chest. If her sweaty dampness bothered him, he didn’t show it. 

“You’re wondering if she is ready for all the changes coming her way.”

He dropped a kiss on her temple.

“Because she’s thinking those things,” Gloria muttered. 

“Are those the only reasons she came back?” 

This time, steamy warmth tickled her earlobe, deliciously toasting her insides like marshmallows over a campfire. Gloria melted like s’mores. “You’re wondering if any other reason drew her back to Sycamore Hill.”

“I am.” He cinched his arms tighter and rested his chin on the top of her head. They fit perfectly like that. She stood one head shorter, even with heels. She always felt safe tucked into his arms.

“Maybe,” she murmured, not voicing the remaining questions that flitted through her mind. 

He’s wondering if she’s pastor-wife material. 

He’s wondering if his congregation will accept her.

He’s wondering if she’ll find a new job in Sycamore Hill and stay for good.

He’s wondering if they have a future. 

He’s wondering if she’s wondering about those things. 

Because she was.

Stacey writes faith-filled contemporary romance and romantic suspense with strong female leads and imperfect heroes. She is a multi-award-winning author, conference speaker, and Bible study teacher. She loves to read and will try almost any creative pursuit at least once. Stacey lives in Ontario with her husband of 25 years and three children. When she is not writing, she is probably jogging the trails, homeschooling her kids, or trying out a new recipe. 

Find out more about Stacey by visiting her Website and signing up for her newsletter or connecting with her on the following SM sites.

F: www.facebook.com/writerSWeeks

T: @writerSWeeks 

I: @writerSWeeks 

Get your copy of His Sycamore Sweetheart at Amazon. Check out Stacey's previous visits to our blog (and her other books) HERE.

THANKS so much Stacey for sharing your book with us today. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with all your works and look forward to visiting with you again.

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


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Jennifer L Wright @JennWright18!

Good Morning Friends,

Today's guest visited our spotlight last year with her novel, If it Rains. Today Jennifer shares with us her new book, Come Down Somewhere. Welcome back, Jennifer!

Jennifer L. Wright has been writing since middle school, eventually earning a master’s degree in journalism at Indiana University. However, it took only a few short months of covering the local news for her to realize that writing fiction is much better for the soul and definitely way more fun. A born and bred Hoosier, she was plucked from the Heartland after being swept off her feet by an Air Force pilot and has spent the past decade traveling the world and, every few years, attempting to make old curtains fit in the windows of a new home.

She currently resides in New Mexico with her husband, two children, one grumpy old dachshund, and her newest obsession—a guinea pig named Peanut Butter Cup.

Find/Follow Jennifer through her Website, FaceBook, Twitter @JennWright18, GoodReads and Instagram.

1. What is it that you enjoy about coming-of-age stories?
The transition from childhood to adulthood is paramount in our own personal stories. I think all of us can point back to specific instances from that time period in our lives that still, to this day, define certain aspects of our personalities. So much is changing within us at that age—not just physically but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually—that any outward changes, be they in personal circumstances or the world at large, have a profound impact on our development. For instance, I was an eighteen-year-old college freshman living away from home for the first time when the September 11 attacks happened. It was an event that absolutely changed our world but for me, because of the age I was, really seemed to mark a distinct end to my childhood. I find it a fascinating topic to explore in the realm of historical fiction—taking real-life history and coupling that with such a vulnerable time in my characters’ lives.

2. Similar to your last book, your protagonist Olive is a spunky young woman. What draws you to this type of character? 
I have such admiration for women who aren’t afraid to be who they are. There is oftentimes an expectation for women to be a certain way: to close their mouths, hide their flaws, and cater to who others want them to be. This was true back in the time periods in which I write, and it’s still true today to an extent. I even sometimes find myself kowtowing to pressure. Writing characters like Olive (or Kathryn from If It Rains) is a bit freeing; while neither of them is perfect, their audacity is a trait to which I aspire.

3. What about the Trinity nuclear bomb test led you to write a novel about it?
My family and I moved to southern New Mexico in 2014, and we actually live less than a hundred miles from the Trinity test site. It’s a fascinating part of history I don’t believe is talked about enough, especially when you factor in the human side effects that are still being felt over seventy-five years later. This isn’t just history; where I live, it’s present in many people’s everyday lives, and a great deal of them feel forgotten. I wanted to bring this story to the forefront and draw attention to the overlooked and underappreciated sacrifice of the people of southern New Mexico during World War II.

4. What sort of research did you do in preparation for this novel?
I read everything I could get my hands on about the Trinity test. Ferenc Morton Szasz’s The Day the Sun Rose Twice was an especially compelling read. The plethora of knowledge offered to me by the wonderful people at the Tularosa Basin Museum of History was invaluable. The most incredible part of my research, though, was actually traveling to the Trinity site and standing in the place where the world’s first A-bomb exploded back in July 1945.

5. How did you incorporate faith in God into this story?
While everyone has their own opinion about atomic weapons and their role in warfare, what I found most compelling during my research was this fear the scientists had about how they were “playing God.” Most of us will never create a weapon capable of destroying the earth, but we all have instances in which we, too, make ourselves “gods” by choosing our own wants and our own desires over Him. In doing so, we almost always hurt those around us. I tried to explore this theme on both a large scale (Trinity) and small scale (the relationships between various characters) throughout the book.

6. What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
I have been to Hiroshima and seen the remnants of the bomb dropped there. Now I live in southern New Mexico, as part of a military family but also part of a community that is still feeling the effects of the test. Because of this, my own personal feelings about Trinity are very complicated. I don’t think it was all bad, but I definitely don’t think it was all good either. Attempting to honor both those who worked on the bomb, believing they were doing something that would win the war and save lives, as well as those living here who were affected in monumental ways through the choices of others, was an extremely difficult balancing act.

7. What do you hope readers walk away with after learning more about this moment in history through your story?
I hope readers have more of an awareness about what happened in the New Mexico desert in July 1945—about the unsung sacrifices of the people of this region and the sacrifices that are continuing to be made. But as always, more than anything, I hope readers walk away with a greater appreciation for the renewing and restoring power of Jesus. He is always and forever the answer to any question we have or circumstance in which we find ourselves.

8. How did the writing process for this book compare to your debut novel, If It Rains?
I’d always heard that writing a second book is harder than the first. And I am here to say that is 100 percent true! Granted, Come Down Somewhere was written during the first and most intense weeks of the pandemic, though, so I’ll chalk up my difficulties to that, if only to make myself feel better. The general premise for If It Rains stayed pretty much the same through all stages of editing. If you were to read the first draft of Come Down Somewhere, you probably wouldn’t even recognize it as the same story. It changed a lot during various drafts, but I’m ultimately happy with the way it turned out, and I hope readers are too.

9. What do you enjoy reading when you aren’t working on your own novels? Is here anything you read recently that you particularly enjoyed?
I’m a voracious reader across all genres, though I tend to gravitate toward historical fiction (naturally). I loved Sarah Sundin’s Until Leaves Fall in Paris and Melanie Dobson’s The Winter Rose. Outside of that genre, I thought Jaime Jo Wright’s The Souls of Lost Lake and Morgan L. Busse’s Secrets in the Mist were both really fantastic.

10. Are there any other historical moments you’d be interested in exploring through fiction?
I ventured into World War II with this book, but I find myself constantly drawn back to the 1920s and 1930s, which is where my writer’s heart truly lies. I’m currently working on a book inspired less by a historical moment and more by historical people—a certain pair of Prohibition-era lovers with a penchant for robbing banks and stealing cars. After that, only time (and my wandering imagination) will tell.

For fans of WWII fiction comes a powerful novel by Jennifer L. Wright about two young women coming of age during the Trinity nuclear bomb test in 1945.

Sixteen-year-old Olive Alexander has lived on a ranch in the Jornada del Muerto region of southern New Mexico her entire life. But when World War II begins, the government seizes her family’s land for the construction of a new, top secret Army post.

While her mother remains behind, Olive is forced to live in nearby Alamogordo with her grandmother and find a place in a new school. When Jo Hawthorne crosses her path, Olive sees a chance for friendship—until she learns that Jo’s father is the Army sergeant who now occupies her beloved ranch. Already angry about her new reality, Olive pushes Jo away. But as she struggles to make sense of her grandmother’s lapses into the past and increasingly unsettling hints about what’s happening at the ranch, she slowly warms to Jo’s winsome faith and steady attempts at friendship . . . until one devastating day when the sky explodes around them and their lives are torn apart.

Seven years later, Jo returns to Alamogordo, still angry and wounded by the betrayals of that fateful day. Determined to put the past behind her once and for all, Jo hunts for answers and begins to realize the truth may be far more complicated than she believed, leading her on a desperate search to find her friend before it’s too late.

Get your copy of Come Down Somewhere at Amazon and other retailers where great Christian fiction is sold.

Hope you enoyed today's post, friends and that you'll drop by weekly for another edition of Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Casey Dawes & Return to Promise Cove!

Good Morning Friends,

It's been a long and busy week. I've ordered the print proof of Kyleigh's Cowboy so (hopefully) both print and Ebook will be available simultaneously. Today I'll be attending Bayou Writer's Group meeting and next Thursday I'm heading to Nacogdoches, TX to my son's house for about 10 days. But, enough about me!

It's always a pleasure to introduce you to a brand-new-to-me-our-blog author and today is no exception so please give Casey Dawes a huge W-E-L-C-O-M-E as she shares her book, Return to Promise Cove with us!

She’s a middle-aged rule follower. But there aren’t any rules for a dead husband with secrets or a second chance at love.

Kelly Richards is forced to return to the tiny town of Promise Cove, Montana to handle an unexpected inheritance. She’s determined to sell the place quickly and go back to the life she knows. But a chance encounter with a first love makes her question everything she believes is true.

After a grueling career in the New York City police force, Ryan Svoboda came home to Promise Cove. Kelly’s unexpected return upsets his carefully constructed life. Can he tell her how he feel—how he’s always felt—before it’s too late?

Excerpt: As she walked up the steps, Kelly automatically deadheaded the flowers that lined the path. The gardening service they’d hired when they first bought the property had been skilled at choosing what to plant and diligent about maintaining it.

When she reached the top step, she noticed a large white envelope from one of the expedited mail services. How long had it been there? She always went in through the garage, so she wouldn’t have seen it. And she hadn’t received any messages telling her that something was on its way.

The return address was from Henderson Law Offices in Whitefish, Montana. Something about her grandmother?

She opened the bright red door and went to the kitchen to open the envelope and quickly scan the letter. She struggled to comprehend it.

Slowing down, she read it a second time.

It seemed her grandmother who had passed during the winter had left her an entire retreat center in Promise Cove, Montana.

But there were conditions.

Return to Promise Cove is a clean, later-in-life romance and is on sale at Amazon for only 99cents now through the 23rd so grab your copy today!

Casey Dawes writes non-steamy contemporary romance and inspirational women’s fiction with romantic elements.

She and her husband are traveling the US in a small trailer with the cat who owns them. When not writing or editing, she is exploring national parks, haunting independent bookstores, and lurking in spinning and yarn stores trying not to get caught fondling the fiber!

Find out more about Casey and her books by visiting her Website and Amazon Author Page and connecting with her on FaceBook, Instagram, BookBub and Pinterest! Sign up to receive her newsletter and get a free collection of short stories!

Thank you SO much, Casey for sharing with us today. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings in ALL things!

I thank YOU, also FRIENDS for your continued support of me and my guests. I hope you'll continue to drop by weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends With ME!

Good Morning Friends,

Great news! Kyleigh's Cowboy is up for PreOrder at Amazon. I'll be working to get the book up at other retailers after I receive and approve the print proof. I'd like for both to be available on publication date of 10/18/2022. Meanwhile, reserve your copy today.

Recently I came upon a book promo site called Shepherd.com where authors spotlight their books by sharing a list of books they love. Of course I had to take advantage of this free publicity and it's always a pleasure to talk about the work of my favorite authors. Below is a jpg of their main page: The Best Books on Christianity which features mostly nonfiction along with the books I deem the best Christian fiction novels that show the awesome power of God to heal the most wounded of souls.

I hope you enjoyed this quick post and that you'll check back weekly for more Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Oh...before I forget! Sept. 20 - 25th NN Lights will be hosting a "Super Sale Bookish Event" which I'll be participating in and where an Amazon gift card will be up for grabs. Watch for the graphic and more info in the days to come!

Until next itme, take care and God bless.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Mary Marelli & Moon Over Montana!

Good Morning from Natchitoches, LA!

Yep, we brought the camper up Thursday and are having a lot of fun exploring our northern neighbors. Today's guest is new to me and our blog so PLEASE give Mary Marelli a Huge W-E-L-C-O-M-E as she shares with us her book, Moon Over Montana....

Megan Donovan's broken engagement has left her aimless with only one place to go: Montana. Her estranged grandfather has left the broken-down ranch of her mother's youth. Trouble is, Mom's memories of that time are so tainted that Megan doesn't want anything to do with the place.

The wild horses that David “Cam” Campbell protects from rustlers need a sanctuary to roam free. What better location than Old Man Jenkins' acreage adjacent to his own successful ranch? But Cam's gotten off on the wrong foot with Megan, and that gal's not selling—not unless Cam can convince her that it's best for everyone involved.

But is giving Megan a reason to leave, really the best he can do?

Excerpt: A soft whinny echoed across the valley. Megan gasped. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she turned her camera toward the sound. The thunder of hooves built slowly and then intensified as a herd of wild mustangs galloped through. A chestnut stallion stood watch over his domain, a sorrel mare by his side. The mighty leader whinnied and tossed his head. Majestic, devoted, and brave, he guarded his herd of mares and foals.

Cam pointed. “This is what it’s all about. This is my passion. My crusade, if you wish. This is what I’m fighting to preserve.”

Megan’s bottom lip trembled, and she lowered her camera. “They’re beautiful.” She shook her head. “No. That doesn’t do them justice. They’re magnificent. So regal and loyal.” She turned toward Cam. “They are, you know. Loyal. They’re a family.”

Cam nodded. “That they are, and I wish more people saw it that way. Look at them. They’re not causing any harm. Cattle don’t graze down in that hollow. It’s too dangerous to drive them down. As long as the horses stay here, they’re safe. It’s when they stray onto the range we rode though, that they’re in danger.”

“Rustlers?” Megan asked.

“That’s what I think.” 


Mary K. Marelli lives with her husband on a private lake nestled in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania.  Her writing is inspired by a variety of true life experiences, and a cause dear to her heart, the preservation of America’s wild horses. Find out more about Mary by visiting her Website and connecting with her on Twitter and Facebook!

Get your copy of Moon Over Montana at Amazon or Pelican Book Group.

THANK You so much, Mary for sharing with us today! We wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with your book(s).

Moon Over Montana sounds like a great reads friends so check it out and come back next week for Wednesday Words with Friends and another Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God bless.


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Christ Fabry!

Good Morning Friends,

Last month Chris shared with us his book, Lifemark. Today we're getting a peek behind the scenes of this incredible story. I'm not sure if Chris can join us, as last month his mother wasn't doing well, so PLEASE say a prayer for him and his family as you read this post.

1. Without giving too much away, can you tell us a little bit about the storyline of Lifemark? 

A crisis pregnancy leads to a difficult decision by the birth mother. Years later the son she placed for adoption wants to know his birth mother—but there are complications. The story goes into all those complications and shows the results. 

2. What intrigued you most about this story when you first heard about it? 

I was arrested by the courage of the birth mother to choose life in the midst of a hard situation. 

3. What do you hope happens with this story? 
I hope the film and book cause someone to choose life. I think this is the only book I’ve ever written where I feel like words on a page might save a life.

4. What is the writing process of taking a Kendrick Brothers movie and creating a novel?
I use a farm analogy to answer that. The Kendricks put in all the fence line and I get to play in the pasture. I know the plot points and all of the hard decisions have been made. All I have to do is ask good questions to go deeper into the people who populate the story. 

5. Is it easier or more difficult to write a novel based on a movie?
Nothing is easy about writing. But having the main storyline and characters fleshed out is a luxury to me. My other novels are built totally from my own imagination. I think that’s harder, but there are struggles with both.

6. What creative liberties did you take with the novelization as compared to the movie storyline? 
I wouldn’t call them liberties because the Kendricks have full veto power over anything I come up with. You’re not going to find space aliens parachuting into the story or things like that. What I try to do is go further into the motivation of the characters and mine what’s going on inside. You can’t do that with a film the way you can with a novel.

7. Talk about some of the major themes of the story and how they impacted you personally. 
Forgiveness and receiving forgiveness is a big part of the story that will connect with readers. I find that many people believe God will forgive others but can’t forgive them. I loved the theme of trust in the face of doubt. The adoptive parents have been through the wringer with a lot of loss, so giving hope one more chance made a huge difference in the story. Then there’s the theme of letting go of outcomes. So much of life is about achieving a desired outcome, but there are some things where you do all you can, you pray hard, and then you simply leave them in God’s hands.

8. Why does our world today need to hear the message of Lifemark? 
The devaluing of life in our culture has had tragic consequences. I’m hoping this story will open hearts to the miracle of life and foster a wider conversation about the value of every life.

9. How do the characters in the novel go against current culture? 
The birth mother weighs her options and chooses the harder route instead of the easier one. The adoptive parents choose to move toward adoption, even in the midst of some pain in their past. Most people in our culture choose what’s easiest. 

10. Which character was your favorite to develop? 
David’s best friend is Nate. He has such a quirky personality in the film and I tried to bring that onto the page. In the novel, you get to see Nate and David in elementary school. You also see Nate’s sister, who has a difficult backstory. I think viewers of the film will enjoy the extra scenes with Nate.

11. What role does faith play in this novel? 
Faith in God and his ability flies like a drone over the whole story. The scene where the birth mother is holding her newborn son, knowing she will have to release him soon, is gut-wrenching, but the prayer she prays is so genuine. All of the characters grapple with the big questions of life. 

12. The film is based on a true story. Did that help as you fleshed out the novel? 
It did. We were privileged to have real people who lived this story as a pattern to work from. At the same time, it’s not a documentary, so we added elements that provided dramatic moments but didn’t do violence to the arc of the true story. Having them give input was invaluable to make this a realistic portrayal.

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. In 2020, he was inducted into the Marshall University School of Journalism and Mass Communications Hall of Fame. A native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris's novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, and The Promise of Jesse Woods, have won five Christy Awards, an ECPA Christian Book Award, and two Awards of Merit from Christianity Today. He was inducted into the Christy Award Hall of Fame in 2018. His books include movie novelizations, such as War Room and Overcomer, and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and the Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. He encourages those who dream of writing with his website heyyoucanwrite.com. Find out more about his books at chrisfabry.com.

Get your copy of Lifemark at Amazon or ChristianBook(dot)com. Check out the movie and check out Chris's previous visits to our blog HERE.

THANKS for sharing with us Chris! 

Hope to see you again this (and every) week, Friends for Saturday Spotlight and Wednesday Words with Friends.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Kathy Bailey & Redemptions Hope!

Good Morning!

Welcome to the first Saturday spotlight of September 2022! 

WOW this year is really flying by, but it's ALL Good!

Today's guest is not new but her book is. Tell us a little about Redemptions Hope before we get the official blurb, Kathy....

“Redemption’s Hope” is the third and last installment of my “Western Dreams” series, following “Westward Hope” and “Settler’s Hope.” The novel takes Janny Thatcher, a secondary character in the first two books on the ride of her life, from the Oregon Country to New Mexico to San Antonio to New Orleans and back, as she looks for her dream and finds herself in the bargain. 

White Bear, the Cheyenne brave, has a foot in two worlds but feels at home in neither. He longs to reconnect with the spirited white woman who had sought refuge with his family three years before. Is his true home with “Blue Eyes,” the woman he knew for only three days?

Only if he finds her.

Wonderful! Now let's get the official blurb....

Two distinct sets of villains. Two orphaned children. A man without a country and a woman with too much past...All in a rambunctious young country where anything goes, especially in the West. Seriously. What can go wrong?

In this latest installment of the best-selling series, "Western Dreams", join Jenny and White Bear as they cross the historic West in an epic story peppered with grit, guns, and glory that award-winning author Kelly Goshorn calls "a sweeping tale of faith, dedication, and perseverance set in the American west."

"...masterful wordsmithing!" says Clarice G. James, author of "The Least of These," "Party of One," "Double Header" and "Manhattan Grace."

Read an excerpt of Redemptions Hope and get your copy at Amazon.

Kathleen Bailey is a journalist and novelist with 40 years’ experience in the nonfiction, newspaper and inspirational fields. Born in 1951, she was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s and a young mom in the 80s. It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and she’s enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it. 

Bailey is the author of the Western Dreams series. “Redemption’s Hope” joins “Westward Hope" and “Settler’s Hope” to tell the story of people who settled out West. The books are published by Pelican/White Rose Publishing, a small firm out of New Mexico. In addition, she has published two related Western Dreams novellas with Pelican’s Christmas Extravaganza series. 

While Bailey has always dreamed of publishing fiction, her two Arcadia Publishing projects, “Past and Present Exeter” and “New Hampshire War Monuments,” made her fall in love with nonfiction and telling real people’s stories. She lives in Raymond, New Hampshire.

Thank you, SO Much, Kathy for sharing your new book with us! Wishing you the best of luck and God's blessings with it and all the rest!

Friends, if you'd like to know more about Kathy's other two books in this series as well as other works, check out her previous posts HERE.

Until next time, take care and God bless.