Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Florida Author Molly Jebber

Welcome to the Book Loft, Molly! Is there a story behind your book CHANGE OF HEART? 

I wanted to write a story about a woman leaving the Amish community, but not abandoning her faith in God. Becca faces an unknown world and encounters problems many of us face, but I take it further putting her in danger. Becca deals with many twists and turns in this story. I loved writing it.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?

Becca – She’s kind, but speaks her mind. She’s got a large birthmark on her hand, but she doesn’t let it define her. She loves God and appreciates her Amish upbringing, but she struggles with how to react when she’s faced with difficult people and harrowing situations.

What started you on your writing journey?  

My childhood imaginary friends, Bugs and Debbie. As an only child before my brother was born, Bugs was my little companion who got the blame for all the things I did wrong, and Debbie got all the credit for the things I did good. Mom laughed at my imaginary friends. Dad was a little worried about me. They were relieved when Bugs and Debbie went by the wayside when my brother, Mitch was born!  With my imagination, my friends and family encouraged me to write, and I’ve always wanted to.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

My husband, Ed, suggesting we go to dinner or a movie. My daughter, Misty or my friends wanting me to go to lunch for a good gab session, movie, swimming or beach. Eyeing a really good book on my nightstand and picking it up to read a few pages, and then not being able to put it down.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Devotional, Romance and Mysteries

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Swam with the dolphins in an unsafe environment. The instructor for this out of the country company sat on the dock while I played with the dolphins. I got them all to myself, and they swam with me side by side. I held onto them and they pulled me around the water, did tricks and were great. But I wouldn’t recommend it or do it this way again.

What is your favorite season of the year?

Summer! I’m happier when I can see my toes and have sunshine on me!

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up? 

Springboro, Ohio. It was a small town. Everybody knew each other. My brother and I had lots of children our age who lived on our street. My daughter, Misty, was also raised there, but it grew by leaps and bounds before she graduated from high school. We loved the festivals, history, school spirit, local church, and candy store! My little playhouse is still in the back yard. It’s been painted and is leaning a little, but I tear up every time I drive by it and remember my dad building it out of scrap lumber. He passed a few years ago.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

I love cruises. My daughter and I can stay in the cheapest room and go to the least inexpensive place and still have the best time eating the food, seeing the shows, shopping, enjoying the pool, and exploring other countries. My husband likes staying in the nicer part of the ship and seeing different sites. I’m happy doing both.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?

I love visiting Amish towns and learning from them. They inspire me with their strong belief in God and focus on Him. I find their way of life fascinating. I enjoy shopping in their stores and seeing their handiwork. The quilts and other dry goods are beautiful.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?

My mother, Sue Morris, is a wonderful cook. She made up this recipe, and I love it.

Frozen Fruit Salad

In a medium sized bowl:
Mix half of a small box of vanilla or banana dry instant pudding with
¼ cup of milk (can be any kind of milk)
Add more milk if needed to make a paste mixture
Add a drained can of mandarin oranges and a drained can of pineapple tidbits (use fruit of choice)
Add colored or white little marshmallows (as desired)
Add one original size cool whip
Mix and pour into square glass dish and put in freezer overnight.
Take out 30 minutes before you are going to serve and cut in squares.
You can serve it as a salad or dessert!

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?

I like to pray, reflect, read in my bedroom or in a quiet spot by the pool or beach. The quiet allows me to clear my mind and concentrate.

Can you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 KJV
This verse has and continues to remind me when problems and worries come barreling into my life and they make my hair stand on end, I can count on Jesus Christ to do what’s best for me.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book is part of an anthology titled, “The Christmas Sleigh” with Amy Lillard and Kelly Long. My story is “An Unexpected Christmas Blessing”.

As much as Charity Lantz’s children need a father, the young widow isn’t sure her new neighbor Luke Fisher can ever be the right choice. She’s drawn to him, but they’re having more disagreements and misunderstandings than snowflakes in December. Will God show them a way past their conflicts to a forever love?

It is available for preorder now, and due out October 30, 2015.

“CHANGE OF HEART” is part of a three book Keepsake Pocket Quilt theme series. “GRACE’S FORGIVENESS” is the second book and it will be released February, 2015.

Thanks for sharing with us today!

Connect with Molly Jebber at:




 
Molly Jebber is giving away a copy of Change Of Heart. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.







Monday, June 29, 2015

Change Of Heart by Molly Jebber

Ohio, 1899.  Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith's strict rules—until her fiancĂ© jilted her before their entire community. She's never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt's wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

Excerpt

Becca Yost sighed, as David Garber’s face flooded her mind. She pictured herself standing in front of their friends and family as he told her he couldn’t marry her three weeks ago on her wedding day. A memory she would like to forget. Time away from home was a good idea. Besides, a visit to her sister was long overdue.
Her neighbors had made the long ride from home to Massillon, Ohio, an enjoyable one. What a relief. The Eblings hadn’t mentioned David.

The buggy stopped, and Becca bid the couple farewell. The hot sun warmed her cheeks, and the sky was cloudless. Hoisting her bag over her shoulder, she headed downtown. The Ohio-Erie Canal sparkled in the sunlight. Passengers stepped into a boat at the dock. Maybe she would take a boat ride while she was here. On the corner, a peddler and an older man with a weathered face bartered over a handcrafted wooden cane. She smoothed her plain dress and righted her black kapp as she eyed three pretty women who wore colorful dresses with lace trim. What would it be like to wear a printed dress? She mustn’t let her mind go there.

A Note From The Author

I said to my loving husband, Ed, “I’ve always wanted to write a book. A story that readers would get lost in for a while.” He said, “Do it!” My daughter, Misty, brother, Mitch, and Mom, Sue said, “Take Ed’s advice, do it!” So I did. The road wasn’t easy, but the education, Amish research, and ride along the way to getting published taught me to take my favorite verse to heart.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me. Philippians 4:13 KJV

Why Amish Inspirational Romance?

I love their dedication to serve God. I visited Amish Country in Ohio many times. They work hard and have such a close knit friendship with each other. It’s heartwarming and uplifting. At the same time, they face hardships and difficult problems just like we do.

God answered my prayers and gave me the best mentor, author, and friend, Patricia Campbell, to hone my skills. I’m blessed to have Dawn Dowdle as my agent, and John S. from Kensington as my editor.


I’m thankful for you, the reader, for being interested in my book! I’d love to hear from you.

Purchase Change Of Heart at:

Amazon


Molly Jebber is giving away a copy of Change Of Heart. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.




Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Warm Welcome To Ann Mock

Is there a story behind your book [The Union of the North and the South]?
Twenty years ago I visited a Southern mansion in Vicksburg, Mississippi, that had survived the War Between the States because it had been used as a hospital for wounded soldiers.  I was fascinated by a Union cannonball that was still lodged in the door frame over a century later.  This inspired me to start my novel, The Union of the North and the South.  I thought it would be interesting to have a story where a lead character would be forced to confront someone who had been responsible for shelling her home. Last year I traveled on a Mississippi steamboat which gave me fresh ideas that allowed me to finish a novel I had started over twenty years ago.


Sounds interesting. What started you on your writing journey? 
Life intervened, however, and the story remained unfinished until my husband found the manuscript in the filing cabinet and asked what "junk" was cluttering it up. With his encouragement I pulled it out and began working on it again.


What distracts you from writing the easiest? 
Life!


What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!) 
Christian historical romance


If you were a style of music, what style would you be? 
Viennese waltz


What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud? 
Dancing with my husband. Watching my dog Happy.


What is your favorite season of the year?  
Spring


What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up? 
Beautiful  oak trees with Spanish moss and flowering azaleas


Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in? 
Cruises on Mississippi river boats


Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing? 
Travels along the Mississippi



Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?   
The importance of forgiveness


Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)  
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 Its message resonated with me and I believe it will help others to recognize the importance of forgiveness.


When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I haven’t decided if I will do a sequel.  Writing a book was more work than I ever dreamed it would be, but I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed the process.  I was so honored to earn the five star rating from Readers’ Favorite book review company and if I am well received you never know...


Buy her book here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1495249263/
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Union-of-the-North-and-the-South-Audiobook/B00WFM6OCE
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-union-of-the-north-and-the-south-ann-mock/1120264744?ean=9781495249266


About Ann:

Ann Mock’s first novel, The Union of the North and the South, received five-star recognition by Readers’ Favorite. She lives in Florida with her husband Dave and her faithful companion, Happy.  She enjoys ballroom dancing, and cruising on oceans and rivers in both Europe and the United States. Some of her favorite trips were on Mississippi steamboats that visited many of the areas mentioned in this book.


Connect with Ann here:



Ann is giving away a copy of The Union of the North and the South. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.







Happy Reading!


Caroline Brown

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Union of the North and the South by Ann Mock

Back Cover Blurb:
Romance and suspense come alive in this uplifting Christian novel set in the South in the 1870s.

The reader will fall in love with the intriguing story of Laura who overcomes personal tragedy, and is forced to hide a secret that, if revealed, will cause her great heartache. Amidst the revitalized social scene of a South recovering from the War Between the States, Laura has to sacrifice one of her most precious desires in order to protect someone she loves above all else.  Yet as the world around the Malcolm family improves they are also forced to overcome numerous challenges. Sitting on the banks of the Mississippi, Oak Grove, the ancestral home of the family, and the oaks that shaded it symbolize the Malcolms courage, resilience, and strength. Can Laura make her enemies become allies as she confronts her secret and finds the strength to forgive as well as to love again?


Read an Excerpt:

Chapter One 

 Memories from the Past 

** 

Vicksburg, Mississippi 1875 

Fascinated, Jenny sat on the grassy bank beside the stream, watching a proud mother duck lead her ducklings down the short waterfall. Suddenly she cried out in her childish voice, “Look, Sissy. One of the baby ducks is still way behind. It’ll be left!” Jenny’s eyes welled up on the verge of tears as Laura softly spoke. “Look, the other ducks have slowed down. Now reach out and get the baby duck that’s being left behind.”

After gently lifting the soft yellow duck in her small chubby hands, Jenny placed the duckling by its mother as it pecked at her hand. As she watched the baby duck join its mother and the other ducklings, she reached over and squeezed Laura’s neck. “I love you, Sissy!”

Laura’s heart cried out deep inside her, for she wished so much that Jenny could acknowledge her for who she was. She longed to hear the words “I love you, Mama” on her child’s lips.

Abruptly standing up, Laura brushed the grass off of her long blue dress. As she gazed down, she saw the blond curls that fell down Jenny’s back. Jenny’s sapphire-blue eyes looked up at Laura. Jenny was a re-creation of Gerald in every way. It was as though he had been reborn in the lively child. The pain of her husband’s death still made her feel lost, even though he had passed away five years ago. Five years was a long time for a love to fade, but Laura’s love for Gerald had only grown.

** 
Laura loved to relive the happy memories, as she dreamily thought back to her childhood, when she was no bigger than Jenny and ran with Gerald through fields covered with pink, purple, and white wildflowers. He had been two years older, but was thoughtful and kind to her. They had been constant companions since they’d first met in the small white chapel near Oak Grove, her ancestral home. Nanny, Gerald’s childhood nurse, brought him to church, since his parents didn’t feel they needed to go and were always too busy to attend. After the church services, Laura and Gerald occasionally explored the woods together. He often helped her step over dead branches that had fallen on the secret path leading to an abandoned cottage that was located in the far southeast corner of his father’s estate. When they arrived she would pretend to be the cottage’s mistress and sweep the wooden floor with the small broom Gerald had created from a thicket of tall grass by the door. Laura remembered how he pretended to smoke a pipe while he sat in a rickety rocking chair by the hearth. He gently pulled thorns out of Laura’s tangled hair, which was always left to fall free in loose curls down her back.

** 

Realizing they were going to stay by the stream longer, Laura sat down by Jenny as she sadly thought back to the time when she was ten years old and the War Between the States had started, bringing devastation to the South and all its inhabitants. Her family didn’t believe in slavery and therefore didn’t own any slaves. She was glad that slavery no longer existed in the South and wished the conflict could have been avoided and the slaves set free without the horrors of war. The loss of lives and property that the war had brought to Mississippi saddened her. Gerald hadn’t been old enough to fight during the war, but had enrolled in a military school. By the time he had graduated, the war was over.

The war was very personal for Laura since she lived near Vicksburg, Mississippi. “Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket,” President Lincoln had once said. Located on a high bluff overlooking a bend in the Mississippi River, Vicksburg was well protected. The city and its people had fought long and hard. Still the Union Army was able to capture the city in 1863. Laura remembered when General Grant and his men had used her home, Oak Grove, as a hospital for sick and wounded soldiers before moving farther south. He had even slept in her parents’ four-poster bed. His men had treated her and her family kindly and never damaged any of their belongings. Fortunately, the Union soldiers never discovered the secret room behind a bookcase in the study. Because of the gold Laura’s father had hidden there, he was able to recover after the war and restart his bank.

** 

Laura remembered the day Gerald returned home. He had grown up and was no longer interested in their childhood games. He only spoke to her briefly when they happened to meet on Sundays. His family’s plantation had survived, but their means of livelihood had been destroyed as the armies of both the Union and Confederacy had conscripted their livestock, including their prizewinning racehorses. His father also had lost his judgeship, which further reduced the family’s fortunes. After the war Gerald was lucky because he was able to get a job on a barge that hauled freight for wealthy Northerners who had moved to Vicksburg.

Saundra Boulogne and her family had also returned to Vicksburg after the war. She had grown up in Vicksburg with Laura and Gerald, but when her father realized the South wasn’t going to win, Mr. Boulogne went north and sold secrets to the Union Army. After the war Saundra’s father had received an appointment to take control of the local government until elections could be held. Saundra and her father built a large mansion that overlooked the river on the same site of their former home. They named their plantation Camellia Hall, after their original home, which had been burned down during the war. At their new home, Saundra entertained in a fashion unseen since the war had begun. She even invited many of the prominent local families to attend the festivities. At first the leading residents of Vicksburg refused to go, but with time they reluctantly attended, sadly acknowledging the power the Boulognes now had over their lives.

Laura sighed as she thought back to the first time she had heard rumors that Gerald was particularly interested in Saundra. With her fiery red hair and green eyes, the prominent Boulogne heir seemed, in fact, to have all of Warren County’s eligible young men interested in her—that is, everyone except Gerald. Saundra always wanted what she couldn’t have, and she longed only for him. Laura later learned that Saundra herself had started the rumors of Gerald’s infatuation with her. As it was, the rumors died quickly, because he had never shown any interest in Saundra. Instead, Laura, whose light-brown hair was highlighted with specks of gold, increasingly intrigued him. Gerald liked the long tresses that fell loosely down her back. Her eyes were always twinkling, reflecting her love of life. Soon Gerald had eyes only for Laura and her for him. Inevitably they fell in love.

Gerald’s father had different aspirations for his son. The judge had suffered extensive financial losses with the war. Now he wanted his son to marry Saundra because he believed a marriage into the prominent Boulogne family would allow him to be reappointed as a judge in the new government and thereby rebuild his wealth.

The judge was understandably displeased with what he had heard from his neighbors, who told him of Gerald’s fondness for Laura and of their constant companionship; in fact he was furious. Gerald later would tell Laura how awful his father had made him feel as he demanded that he marry Saundra. His father said their entire financial future depended on this marriage. The two men argued heatedly for months about the matter before Gerald made his own decision despite his father’s feelings.

One day Gerald unexpectedly showed up at Oak Grove. Laura clearly remembered running down the long, curving stairs to find him, fuming and upset, in the entryway. “Gerald, what’s happening?” Laura wondered.

“I’ve been ordered to stop seeing you. So I’ve decided we’ll marry right now!” he stated, as he reached out his hand to hers.

She was stunned. She lovingly placed her delicate hand in his. Laura loved Gerald and hoped to marry him one day, but she had never dreamed of marrying in haste behind his father’s back.

“Oh, Gerald, I love you too!” Gazing into blue eyes filled with his love and determination, she added, “We’ll go now, if that’s what you wish.”

Still reliving her memories, Laura thought back to the way Gerald had gently pulled her down to the landing by him. He lifted her chin and looked into sparkling eyes that seemed to radiate with the happiness they would find together. After he gently kissed her, he told her to run upstairs and get her possessions. They’d go to the chapel they’d attended for so many years. He had arranged for their minister to marry them that very afternoon.


Buy her book here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1495249263/
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Union-of-the-North-and-the-South-Audiobook/B00WFM6OCE
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-union-of-the-north-and-the-south-ann-mock/1120264744?ean=9781495249266


About Ann:

Ann Mock’s first novel, The Union of the North and the South, received five-star recognition by Readers’ Favorite. She lives in Florida with her husband Dave and her faithful companion, Happy.  She enjoys ballroom dancing, and cruising on oceans and rivers in both Europe and the United States. Some of her favorite trips were on Mississippi steamboats that visited many of the areas mentioned in this book.


Connect with Ann here:



Ann is giving away a copy of The Union of the North and the South. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.







Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ada Brownell's Facts, Faith and Propaganda

Back Cover Blurb:

 Facts, Faith & Propaganda
By Ada Brownell
Everything about who we are, how we came to be, and why we are here, is settled by faith. This book, written by a journalist who  interviewed people on many sides of the argument, supplies evidence for faith—and reveals forgeries designed to destroy belief in God such as the Piltdown man, missing evolutionary links that DNA proved aren’t links, and a newer theory than Darwin’s, punctuated equilibrium. She also studied extensively on the reliability of scripture and evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus, and took a college course in propaganda. She saw the use of propaganda by secularists, especially in educational institutions. The secular world attempts to destroy faith in God with spinning the truth and brainwashing. You’ll be surprised at this author’s deduction of it all.


Book Excerpt: 

1. YOUR MENTAL WEALTH

“Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
You came into this life “empty-headed.”
When we were kids, my brother used to tell me he could look into one of my ears and see out the other. Then I had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of my brain so I could do a firsthand story on the latest technology for the newspaper where I worked, The Pueblo Chieftain.
I started the newspaper article with “My brother was wrong. There is something in there.”
What I mean by “empty-headed” is no human generated information existed in our brains when we came into this world. New brains are like a new computer. The brain has hardware, fantastic stored data governing our neurological systems and instincts that operate even while we’re still in the womb.
 What God “programmed” into us commanded our arms, legs, fingers, toes, and so forth to work even before birth. Instincts God installed in our DNA through a brain message prompted us to suck, swallow, cry, and feel hunger, as well as caused the various inner parts of our body to function. Babies arrive with a brain download to cry for food, love, care, and being held, and they won’t thrive without these things.
When we were a few months of age, we learned to coordinate movements so we could reach for things because our muscles and brains developed that capacity. Nevertheless, we all needed outside stimuli to use the potential from the brain. Children who are given no attention often don’t learn to sit, walk, or talk.
We learned our language skills by imitating, but experts say language development begins in the womb because the unborn can hear. After birth, if Mom kept saying “Mama” over and over to us or other children in the house often yelled “Mama!” soon we worked our mouths and tongues around, used our vocal cords, and we spoke a good imitation of what we heard. Sometimes the child says “Dada” first. They learn to recognize Mom and Dad before they can talk.
If the parents speak Chinese, the child learns Chinese instead of English, and children of Spanish-speaking parents communicate in Spanish or whatever language is spoken in the home.
All through childhood, children imitate what they see and hear. Adults imitate other people—at least in some degree—all their lives. For instance, we like to imitate the experts on everything from sports to dancing, to gardening, to playing or singing music, to doing tricks on a bicycle or skateboard.
But imitation isn’t all there is. At some point we think for ourselves.
THINK FOR YOURSELF
As children, we started thinking for ourselves when we gagged and spit out the spinach baby food and then decided which cold cereal we like best. If we were born into a poor Oriental family, we might like rice instead. If we lived in an African slum, we’d be grateful for slimy oatmeal gruel from a dirty bowl.
In some parts of the world, you’d think putting live bugs between two slices of bread was a special treat, even though bugs crawled around on your fingers as you ate them. In other countries you’d eat dog and monkey. In times past, it was quite common for Americans to eat cow and pig brains and kidneys. They made “head cheese,” which was a meat jelly made from the head of a calf or pig. You can still buy pickled pig’s feet. I don’t know if they still sell head cheese but it became popular in a society that didn’t waste anything. In hard times, people also ate squirrels and turtles.
You cringe at the thought. Your stomach turns. That’s because you think for yourself and form an opinion.
Your head is not empty now. You learned by experience and from other people. That’s the only way we assimilate knowledge.

After we learn something, we usually can recall it spontaneously. We ride a bike without thinking about how we balance. We can type, text, cook, clean, repair cars, and program computers. We balance checkbooks, do income tax, use math to buy and sell, and make chemical formulas to create medicines that save people’s lives or to invent guns, bombs, and rockets to kill them. You can store billions of information blocks in your memory...
Author Bio:
MEET ADA BROWNELL
Ada Brownell blogs and writes with Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement. She is the author of six books, more than 300 stories and articles in Christian publications, and she spent a large chunk of her life as a reporter, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She now lives in Missouri, a beautiful state except for tornadoes and chiggers.
Among her books: The Lady Fugitive, an historical romance, Imagine the Future You, a youth/parent Bible study .Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, a novel for middle grade up; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal; Facts, Faith and Propaganda, a book that unmasks lies as well as reveals amazing truth; and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; Most books are available in paper or for Kindle. Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at www.Audible.com  Free book with new Audible membership.
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell
Twitter: @AdaBrownell

Readers: You can find Ada’s Books here: 

Ada Brownell is giving away a copy of her ebook Facts, Faith and Propaganda to one winner. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Welcome Back, Missouri Author Ada Brownell

It’s good to have you back on the Barn Door Book Loft, Ada.
Question: Can you tell us a bit about your family, and what it is like where you live?

My husband, Les, and I have five wonderful children, one of them in heaven.

·       Gary made his appearance in 1955. At about 12 he figured out how to wire his train transformer to his transistor radio instead of using batteries. He and his friends formed a Christian rock band and when one of them came over, when our lights dimmed we knew they wired something. A high school friend’s dad offered Gary a job on weekends playing in a night club. He refused. After working in the sound lab at Evangel University during college, he became a professional sound engineer/designer who uses his ministry in churches. He married a beautiful Christian gal he met at Evangel.

·       Carolyn Esther arrived in 1959 when we lived in Thompson, Utah, population 100.  Carolyn had perfect pitch. She could tell what note a person hit on the piano or sang, the note the vaccuum hummed, and she filled bottles with varying amounts of water to play tunes for the younger children. She had a great sense of humor, many friends, was a great musician and accompanied my singing group on the piano. As with four of our children, she attended Evangel and also Bethany Bible College and married a youth minister. At age 30 Burkitt’s lymphoma was diagnosed and she was gone in two months.

·       Gwendolyn Belle was born in 1965 with an amazing head of dark hair. She was so adorable people stopped me on the street to remark about it. Endowed with talent beyond most, Gwen didn’t pursue music although she could play and sing. She was fascinated with health and became a registered nurse. After working nearly 20 years in almost every area of the hospital, she now teaches at Mercy School of Nursing and is near completion of her doctorate in nursing. She married a nurse.

·       Jaron Craig was born in 1968. He won a full academic scholarship to Oral Roberts University and majored in music and marketing. He knew so much about computers (he read the big stack of computer books my husband bought with our computer), so his work study was the computer lab. He was offered a computer teaching job at ORU when he graduated, but he wasn’t interested in teaching. He’s a talented musician, a song writer, and a computer software designer who has won awards for his innovative designs. He serves on the worship team at his church in Florida. He married a beautiful talented Christian gal who works with a large home school group.

·       Jeanette Lynn, born in 1971, is a gift of God to us. Because Jaron had severe allergies and was hospitalized often or ill at night , plus I needed surgery shortly after Jeanette was born, I wondered if I could adequately care for another baby. Jeanette was an adorable easy to please child. Although she had asthma later, she didn’t do a lot of crying, loved Carolyn’s mothering when I had surgery. Also talented musically, she’s a tremendous soprano with great pitch. She’s a pastor’s wife. She majored in mass communications, but works in human resources at a steel mill. She created a great color book for kids about how steel is made.

Thank you so much for sharing your family with us. You were a real cutie. Still are.

Question: Is there a story behind Facts, Faith and Propaganda?

I used more detail in describing my family because it has a great deal to do with the book. I shared with my children as they were growing up what I learned and experienced about God and faith, as the Lord commands.

“Things we have heard and known we will not hide from our children...so the next generation will know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn will tell their children. Then they will put their trust in God” (From Psalm 78).

I taught my children most of the things in this book and we are blessed our children serve the Lord.

On the other hand, any parent who takes their children to church certainly can’t take all the credit for who they are. Pastors, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, Christian friends, musicians, and others influence. Most important, the children decide to accept Jesus as Savior and obey God’s Word and no parent can force it.

I learned much of what I know from being a Bible student from my early teens. From teaching a course on the Bible and Science at age 25. Teaching Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands A Verdict several times. As a newspaper reporter by interviewing atheists, agnostics, scientists, pastors, educators. From taking a college course on propaganda. From doing CDC statistics as a reporter and interviewing health workers at all levels for the seven years I was on the medical beat. Covering politicians, prison wardens, youth and others. From extensive research over a lifetime of study on faith, truth, and propaganda.

Ada, like you, I wrote out some lessons for my children and we would go over them together. That was before the days of the computer and they are long gone. What a pity.

Question: When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

I have 26,000 words written on the sequel to my historical romance, The Lady Fugitive. The book, now temporarily titled The Peach Blossom Rancher, stars John Lincoln Parks, Jenny’s brother. He’s trying to rebuild the peach and horse ranch almost ruined by his uncle, the wicked judge from the previous book.

A desperate girl about to give birth hides out in John’s barn. The baby is wanted by the father’s wealthy mother, and she and her son threaten everyone in John’s house. John is hoping to marry a beautiful widow lady he met at Jenny’s wedding, but she’s in Boston. The baby’s mother and Edwina Jorgenson, who runs a nearby horse ranch for her disabled father, keep John’s emotions spinning while the inheritance left by his mother dwindles and continuous problems surface on the ranch.
Will John find the woman of his dreams? Will he be able to rebuild the ranch and survive financially? Will he be too busy to rekindle his faith in God?

I just downloaded Facts, Faith and Propaganda. I am eager to read it.

Readers: You can find Ada’s Books here: 

Ada Brownell is giving away a copy of her ebook Facts, Faith and Propaganda to one winner. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)



Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Knotty Pines Chronicles by Donna Robinson

This paperback book is a 2-in-1 Collection with two stories in it:
            ROMANCE BY DESIGN, Book One
Goldie Silversmith’s brother, Mike, keeps setting her up with blind dates—men whom Mike says are great guys, but they turn out to be bald, short, fat, toothy… But one day Mike sets her up with a tall, handsome, interesting guy who actually makes her heart race.

Ryan Collins just moved to Knotty Pine after earning a master’s degree in architecture. Growing up with poor parents, he now wants to turn the corner and become rich. Then he meets Goldie Silversmith, who seems to think he’s her blind date. Her date? That’s news to him…

When Goldie discovers she went out with the wrong guy, she calls Ryan the Imposter. But when someone sabotages Goldie’s pottery, will Ryan be able to help her find the culprit?

            ROMANCE IN RECOVERY, Book Two
When Noelle’s grandmother dies, she’s all alone in the world. Not one person from her past—except for him, and she hopes he never finds her.

Tucker Shay is living the good life as a freewheeling bachelor— flying airplanes, playing basketball, flirting with girls. He has plenty of time to settle down and get married. Then tragedy strikes, and nothing is the same.


What is God’s plan for Tucker and Noelle? Will they grant each other a second chance for a happy future together?

Book excerpt

Romance by Design, Chapter One
“I have another blind date for you, Goldie.”
            “Another one?” Goldie almost cut off the cell phone call. Why did her brother think her love life was his responsibility? Ever since he and Anna celebrated their third anniversary, Mike had been throwing men at her, like throwing mashed potatoes at the wall.
            And none of them stuck.
She crammed the small phone between her ear and her shoulder as she selected a frozen dinner from the freezer in her kitchen. “Okay, Mike, who is it this time? Another intern or single doctor you met at the hospital?”
            They were always in the medical field. Goldie pictured her blond-haired, blue-eyed brother sitting in his medical office in a white lab coat. He never told her about these dates at home where Anna could listen in. 
“Au contraire, my sister. Brian has been frequenting our church for a year—very faithfully, I might add, and the thought never surfaced to set you two up.”
            “A guy from your church?” Goldie shoved the dinner tray in the microwave and pushed a few buttons to get it started. “So he’s a Christian?”
            “Yes! I questioned him extensively, especially after that disastrous date you had with Dr. Jonah Tully. But this guy is a Christian gentleman. He’s not only an usher at our church, but also the assistant treasurer.” Mike cleared his throat. “Don’t say me nay, Goldie. Brian’s ready to meet you.”
            Great. She didn’t know whether to be excited or depressed about her brother’s latest find for her, but a tiny ray of hope pricked her heart. “If he’s good with money, I suppose he liked my name––Goldie Silversmith.”
            Mike laughed. “I should enlighten him about your real name.”
            “Don’t you dare!” She looped a strand of blonde hair over her ear. “What’s he like? Does he have a good personality?”
            “It’s, uh, superb. Excellent! He’s astute, quick-witted, and totally, um. . .charming.”
            Goldie put her hand on her hip. “Your scholar-talk is failing, brother. What’s wrong with him?”
            “Nothing. He’s the strong, silent type.”
“So he’s mute?” She pulled a fork from the kitchen drawer. 
“No, he talks. Somewhat. Anna has engaged him in conversation several times at church, but after the initial greeting, he usually stands there and smiles at her, not seeming to know what to say.”
            “Mike! Not another Tyler…what’s-his-name! That man’s teeth gave me nightmares for a week.”
            “Brian doesn’t smile that much, although his smile is rather toothy. He’s just quiet, that’s all. You might have to carry the bulk of the conversation, especially at first, but he’ll come around. He’s excited about taking you out. We set it up for tomorrow night at the Kaffee Klatch.”
            Goldie sighed. “Okay, I’ll try it again.” All her blind dates had started—and ended—at the Kaffee Klatch. Frieda, the owner, must think Goldie was a nutcase. “If we have some awkward moments, Mike, I’m going to text you under the table. And you know the rules—you have to drop what you’re doing, stroll into the coffee shop and rescue me.”
            “Well, eh, that’s a problem this time, Goldie.”
            “A problem?”
            “I have a medical conference this weekend in St. Louis, and Anna’s going with me.”
            “What? You’ll be out of town?”
            “We’re flying out in the morning, but don’t worry. I have the utmost confidence in you. Besides, you always babble on about nothing when you get nervous.”
“Oh, thanks a lot, Mike!” The microwave dinged, and she took out the tray.
            “I lectured Brian extensively, and he won’t do anything inappropriate. He said he won’t even kiss you goodnight.”
            How comforting. She glanced at her fingernails, which definitely needed help. “So he’s picking me up tomorrow evening at my house?”
            “Yes. Seven o’clock.”
She set the dinner on her tiny two-person table. “Now be honest, Mike. Tell me what this guy looks like. Is he fat? Does he have hair?”
            “He’s tall, dark, and handsome.”
Goldie could hear the smile in her brother’s voice, and she huffed out a breath. “That’s what you always say! But I happen to remember that Joshua or Jonathan—or whoever—was short and bald, and the guy named Nathan had a limp.”
            “He couldn’t help it––he’d been in a fight.”
            “Yeah, a great date he was.”
            “Listen, Goldie, I promise you will enjoy the evening like never before.”
            “You always say that, too! But I hope you’re right this time.” That tiny prick of hope dug a little deeper.
            “Hey, I’m just helping you out. Remember your three-step plan?”
            If only she had never told her brother about the three steps—Step One: go out with a good man; Step Two: establish a long-term relationship; Step Three: marry the guy.
            But the men Mike picked out for her always flunked on the first step.
            They said their goodbyes, and Goldie glanced out her kitchen window. A soft June breeze wafted inside, and she closed her eyes as she took a deep breath of the warm evening air.
Another blind date.
To be truthful, these dates gave her something to look forward to as she typed away in the church office. But something was always wrong with the guy. How she longed to find that one man God had chosen for her, a man who—
            “Meow.” Her small calico cat jumped up on the counter.
            Goldie picked her up. “Can you believe this, Felina? A blind date with a man called Dylan.” Setting the cat on the floor, she shook a little dry cat food into the feeding dish. “No, that’s not his name.” Frowning, she slipped into her seat at the table. “Was it Kyle?”
Bowing her head, she murmured a quick prayer of thanks for the food. As she ate, she watched Felina chomp down on the dry cat food with her back teeth. “Brian!”
She frowned. Was that right?
            Maybe Brian—or whoever—would be her heart’s one true love, and these blind dates would come to an end. On Friday, she would put the past behind her and reach forth to something new. Something great. After all this man was number seven—the perfect number.



About Donna



Donna Reimel Robinson is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She’s had three books published by Heartsong Presents, and now she is publishing independently. As a pastor’s wife, Donna plays the piano at church and teaches a Jr. High Sunday School class. She and her husband live in Denver, Colorado. They have four grown children and eleven grandchildren. To see a list of all Donna’s books, visit her website at www.DonnaRobinsonBooks.com.








To purchase her book:
Romance by Design: Kindle
Romance in Recovery: Kindle
Amazon print

Donna Robinson is giving away a copy of The Knotty Pines Chronicles.  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)



Off to read another great book!

Sandra M. Hart

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