Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Caryl McAdoo

It's a pleasure to welcome Caryl to our blog today! She lives an interesting life, and it's no wonder this book
is historical! Tell us, Carol . . .

Is there a story behind HEARTS STOLEN? 
The stories (plural) behind HEARTS STOLEN came from the fascinating research of the Republic of Texas’ early days. The captivating history of the Texas Rangers, which I can hardly mention or think of without McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove’s Call and Agustus coming to mind.

How awesome would it be for my grandsugars’ generation to feel the same about Levi Baylor and his sidekick Wallace Rusk? There are so many stories outside of HEARTS STOLEN that can be told of these two brave and heroic Rangers, their meeting, the historical battles they fought together, and countless encounters with bad guys.

President Sam Houston’s 1844 Treaty of Tehuacana Creek with the Comanche chiefs and the Native Americans themselves provided fodder for this novel. Seems to me there’s never been an era when Texas history was any bigger than in the nineteenth century, and I love writing in this period of my great home state.

Wonderful. Love that history information! What is unique about the setting? How does it enhance the story?
Texas! J Everything about the Lone Star State is unique and special and enhances any story that happens to be set here, right? :) Well, in my humble opinion it does! I’ve lived in and traveled all over Texas in my lifetime. There’s hardly a part I haven’t been to, I know it and love it, and to be set in 1844 Texas, when the new Republic flourished, makes HEARTS STOLEN even more unique.

Its travelers arrive home to Red River County – where I live with my husband and two grandsons – a few miles south of Clarksville, Texas. Hero Levi Baylor co-owns over 16,000 acres that includes what is now the 916 acre McAdoo Ranch with his Uncle Henry Buckmeyer. So, the home place in the story, I know personally, every creek and hill, clearing and wooded area. I believe that, too, adds to its uniqueness and enhances the story.


Did you have a specific theme in mind as you wrote [title]? Did a theme pop out as you finished the book? Did the theme change?
This is a very interesting question in retrospect. Being a writer who writes for discovery—a panster I’ve heard it called—I don’t know the end at the beginning. In HEARTS STOLEN, my hero and heroine have quite a huge predicament to overcome, a problem that my agent told me wouldn’t work in a Christian historical romance, that it couldn’t be, yet it was.

But in the end of my story, as God often does in our own lives, as He did in Sue Baylor Buckmeyer’s life in VOW UNBROKEN, His hand moves and fixes it all in a way one might never imagine. I do love my Father in Heaven and His wonderful plans to get us out of the trouble we often find ourselves in. Reminds me of the old hymn, ‘Love Lifted Me’.

I would say the theme which certainly did pop out as the story ended, is that NOTHING—no. thing.—is too hard for our God. When things seem totally impossible, and there’s no way in a situation that we can figure out for normalcy to reign, He comes through again and again and fixes it all! I LOVE writing stories that can extol His greatness!


What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?
The earliest writing that is still a WIP on my computer is from a handwritten novel IN THE BEGINNING where Enoch was the main character. When first read at the DFW Writers’ Workshop, it was all tell and no show. It had no one character’s POV; well more accurately, it probably had all the characters’ POVs! And it included every other mistake that can possibly be made by a new writer.

From its first eighty pages, A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS sprang forth, a Biblical fiction that only covers two generations of mankind, Adam and his sons, not seven. It’s told along three parallel story lines; two on earth, one with Adam and Eve, another with Cain and his wife, and the third in Paradise with Abel and an ancient cherubim named Namrel.  


What character types do you find the most fun to create, and why?
Seems to me, story after story, the ones I have the most fun creating are the children. In VOW UNBROKEN, nine-year-old Rebecca stole my heart and cracked me up. In HEARTS STOLEN, without a doubt, it is four-year-old Charley who wins the day, a chunk of my heart, and makes me smile almost every time he comes on stage. And I know it’s silly to say, but I burst out laughing at the little guy a lot.
I love children, God’s best blessings to any family! Such a shame they have to grow up – no, I apologize. That was not a nice thing to say! J I have fourteen grandsugars to model kiddos after and have the most fun by far with the things they say and do. I hear from readers all the time that they, too, love the youngsters in my historical Christian western adventure romances!

.
I always say: anyone who doesn't love kids and animals, well, I'm a little suspicious of them! Lol. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write your first draft?
Both come naturally to me, although there are a few rules that refuse to embed into my brain. With Spell-check, no one should have to be too concerned over spelling though I suppose it’s important to know which word to choose as the replacement. Really funny things can happen if you don’t.

Of course stair will become stare or waist turn to waste as a type-o that needs to be caught during the editing process, but those mistakes aren’t usually a matter of not knowing what’s correct but rather my brain going faster than my fingers. SO, my answer is no, not really. J


When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it? 
The debut of HEARTS STOLEN is September 5th, 2014 and I have several titles at publishers for consideration. I’ve submitted SING A NEW SONG and THE PREACHER’S FAITH, contemporary Christian novellas; ONE AND DONE, a contemporary Christian romance with a different Texas Ranger—a baseball pitcher—as a hero. I’m finishing up book three HOPE REBORN now then will complete THE BEDWARMER’S SON which is about half done already.


Busy girl, but we love it and wish you much success! 

Thank you so much for having me for a visit to the Loft! J

You're very welcome!



Buy her book here:


About Caryl:
Caryl McAdoo and husband Ron—high school sweethearts—live with two grandsons in the woods south of Clarksville, the county seat of Red River County in Northeast Texas. She enjoys four-wheeling over the 916-acre McAdoo Ranch, horseback riding, and singing the new songs God gives her. For every blessing in her life, including ten children (counting in-loves) and fourteen grandsugars, Caryl credits her relationship with the Lord, and her heart’s desire is to glorify Him.



Connect with Caryl here:
Website: www.CarylMcAdoo.com
Blog:  www.CarylMcAdoo.blogspot.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

Google+ :  https://plus.google.com/u/0/116386927782468472563/posts
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/gramilady/



CARYL is giving away a copy of Heart Stolen. 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, September 13, 2014

Heart Stolen by Caryl McAdoo

Back Cover Blurb:

Unbeknownst to loved ones, a headstrong young wife is snatched off the prairie by two Comanche braves, carried north of the Red River, and traded to their war chief for ponies. After five years, a small detail of Texas Rangers rides into camp, and she determines that day will bring freedom or death. She’ll remain captive no more.

Sassy Nightengale almost gives up hope until a company of Texas Rangers rides into Bold Eagle’s peace camp. She learns they’ve come for the negotiated exchange of stolen white women, except her name isn’t on their list. Purposing in her heart to escape captivity with her blue eyed, four-year-old that day, she does everything she can to be noticed.

Famed Texas Ranger Levi Baylor spots the red headed beauty and agrees to the war chief’s price adding his personal horse and weapon to the Republic agents’ offerings. The trade propels the couple on a trail of joy and sorrow. Sweet love blossoms but must be denied. His integrity and her faith in God keep them at arm’s length, not allowing even a kiss. Sassy’s still married to her son’s father, and Levi’s honor bound to deliver her home—to her husband.

Can their forbidden love be made holy? God hates divorce. Is it wrong to hope, expect Nightengale to relinquish his wife and son? Will Sassy and Levi find the redemption they seek for their troubled souls?



Read an Excerpt:

Chapter One
CHAPTER ONE
Just thinking about him made Sassy want to stick her tongue out like she used to do to her father when he ordered her around. But Charles had married her, and she promised to love, honor, and obey him. She loved the man alright, leastwise she guessed she did. If he’d only treat her like a wife, not a child... Of everyone, he should understand most that she was grown; coming on sixteen, as mature as she would ever get.

Rosaleen he’d called her. She hated her given name. Pshaw, she could do both, visit her mamma and have his ol’ supper ready. As the sun peeked over the treetops, Sassy leaned forward and tickled the mare’s ribs with her heels. “Haw, pretty girl; we don’t have all day. He said he’ll be back by dark.” 

Stretching her gait, the mare flew over the rolling terrain. The wind whipped Sassy’s hair behind her. Oh, how she loved riding, always had. In barely any time, she slowed the mare into a lope and topped the last hill before Kickapoo Creek where she always let Bliss get a sweet drink, but not too much, from the easy flowing stream. With only another eight miles to her folks’ place, she might make it in time for some breakfast leftovers. She clicked her tongue.

Bliss cleared the far bank then her snort and shiver pulled Sassy’s attention to follow the mare’s gaze. Two bare-chested Indians sat on painted ponies. The bigger one pointed a long handled club at her and whooped. Sassy hammered her heels into the mare’s ribs. The gray shot forward hitting a full gallop in fewer than ten strides.

Calm, stay calm, but her heart beat like the nines. She’d never lost a race in her life, not on Bliss. She definitely couldn’t lose this one. With a good lead, she’d outrun the little ponies. But as much as she pressed the mare, Sassy didn’t feel the horse giving the normal punch she counted on.

Never should’ve run almost the whole way to the Kickapoo. Should have thought…

She glanced under her arm. They cut the butter and were closing in. Her heart skipped a beat. She tensed and held her breath. Willed her horse to run faster. She slapped the reins back and forth across Bliss’ neck. Laid low on top her mane.

Where should she go? Was anyone nearer than her Daddy?
The whoops behind her moved closer.
Everything happened in slow motion.
One of the Indians came even. He glanced over and smiled a sickening grin.
She couldn’t breathe.
No God, no.


Buy her book here:
Amazon


About Caryl:
Caryl McAdoo and husband Ron—high school sweethearts—live with two grandsons in the woods south of Clarksville, the county seat of Red River County in Northeast Texas. She enjoys four-wheeling over the 916-acre McAdoo Ranch, horseback riding, and singing the new songs God gives her. For every blessing in her life, including ten children (counting in-loves) and fourteen grandsugars, Caryl credits her relationship with the Lord, and her heart’s desire is to glorify Him.



Connect with Carol here:
Website: www.CarylMcAdoo.com
Blog:  www.CarylMcAdoo.blogspot.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

Google+ :  https://plus.google.com/u/0/116386927782468472563/posts
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/gramilady/



CARYL is giving away a copy of Heart Stolen. 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, September 12, 2014

Creighton's Hideaway by LoRee Peery

Needing to finish her thesis in order to keep her job working with youth in a residential treatment center, Shana Arnold sequesters herself on Creighton Rice’s Nebraska ranch. She expects the secluded hideaway to provide a peaceful environment. What she doesn't expect is to become the victim of identity theft and a crazed home invader.
Creighton Rice has been content to live alone with his God--until he meets Shana. He's drawn to her, but must fight the attraction. Getting close makes him face a lifetime's accumulation of scars. Plus, Shana doesn’t share his faith. But when Shana's life is threatened, Creighton must protect her--even if it means letting her in.

Will Shana discover that even when a woman loses everything, she can regain courage and strength through faith in God, and can Creighton allow God to heal scars and open the door to a lifetime with Shana?



Excerpt



A lilting soprano voice jolted him back to his childhood, and drew him like the legendary Lorelei. Chill bumps rose on his arms. The sensation rendered him as speechless as Shana’s kiss had the day before.
Creighton wound his way through the trees into the open, and stood transfixed when he spied the subject of his thoughts. An open hymnal was balanced on her upraised knees. Notes soared pure and light as Shana sang the lyrics to his mother’s favorite song.
God was surely present in this place. He closed his eyes and listened to Shana continue all the way through to the fourth verse. Shana lifted her chin. Her face glowed.
His heart picked up its pace, and his cheeks grew warm. Were there tears clogging his throat? Something he was slow to name filled his soul.
Then it came to him as Shana rose to her feet. Humbled. She’d humbled him.
God had given him a gift in this dark haired sprite who offered her friendship. And he had been too obtuse to appreciate its magnitude. Creighton’s feet remained in place as though they were stuck in a mucky feedlot.
“Hi.” She closed the gap between. “Is something wrong?”
“That song,” his voice rasped like a cornhusk. Creighton cleared his throat and tried again, “It’s my mom’s favorite. I grew up with her singing, especially when she pinned the sheets out on the clothesline to dry in the wind.”
Shana hugged the hymnal close. With a comical scrunched up face, she asked, “Did I slaughter it? I sight read the notes.”
“Not at all. It was beautiful. Your voice is lovely.”
“Thanks. I don’t sing much anymore.”
“Well, here’s your chance to use it. Come to church with me in the morning?”
The sky glowed pink and purple. While orange streaks danced along the horizon, he waited for her answer.
“Creighton, I left my business clothes in Lincoln. I only brought country clothes back with me.”
“No problem. We’re casual. But Rita has things up at the house.”
Reflections of the sun turned her cheek golden. “You’re right! She offered them to me. Guess I forgot.”
“So, do you want to check them out now?”
“Why not? Don’t think I have a hot date or anything.”
Creighton didn’t want to think of Shana dating. Instead, he nodded at the hymnal. “That belonged to my mom. She had one in almost every room of the house.”
“Did she sing in the choir or something?”
“Actually, she played the church organ.” He reached out his hand. “Here, let me carry that.”
Creighton tucked the old volume underneath his arm and wrapped his fingers around Shana’s hand.
She gave a secretive woman’s smile that tugged deep at his midsection.
They strolled through the brush strokes of sunset. A burst of reflected gold painted the clouds rosy pink in the east. The majestic sky squelched any more words.
At the ranch house, he laid the hymnal on the counter and ran his hand up to the light switch in one smooth movement.
“Rita tell you which room was hers?”
“Second on the other side of the bathroom.”
“Help yourself.” He entered the living area and turned on two lamps. “Since I didn’t feed you yesterday, I’ll rustle up something to eat.”
She turned down the hall.

How long would he be able to keep his dark side from Shana?

About LoRee


A lifelong Nebraskan, LoRee Peery has lived most of her life in the country, where she feels grounded in her sense of place. She learned to read when she was four and has devoured books since. She values one-on-one time with her grandchildren and loves time spent with other writers.


LoRee clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan.





To purchase LoRee's book:

LoRee Peery is giving away a copy of Creighton's Hideaway.  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




Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Warm Welcome to LoRee Peery

Is there a story behind your book Creighton’s Hideaway?
This title first appeared on the page as “The Healing Hills,” and is my second completed manuscript. I dug it out of storage after I’d written “The End” on several more projects.  I wrote it while my youngest daughter still worked in health and human services. She has since earned two nursing degrees. Also since the story’s inception, identity theft has become a highly sophisticated white-collar cyber crime.

What started you on your writing journey?
The idea was planted when we were traveling on Interstate 80. I slapped a magazine in my lap and said, “I could write better than that.” My dear husband responded, “Why don’t you?” The seed sprouted and I discovered how much I had to learn. The time was pre-Internet (younger writers and readers cannot relate). When I joined Romance Writers of America, I learned more about craft and the business of writing in six months than I had in the ten years prior.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Oh, ugh. Appointments and obligations away from home. I could easily stay in my little corner of the world for three weeks and go nowhere other than church. But that’s not healthy so I try to take walks and go to exercise classes. I do a little socializing, I see my chiropractor on a regular basis. I’m also involved in choir and Bible study. I cherish times with other writers who “get” me and this crazy thing of living in fictional worlds.

What is your strangest habit?
I’ve been known to take pictures of weird things like highlighted spider webs or interesting fungal growths. I missed a shot of a cicada shedding its shell, but I wouldn’t miss sharing the moment with a grandson who brought it to my attention. I “see” things like faces and hearts in tree trunks. I have pictures of dew on pine needles, the sun shining in a golden shaft on the snow. I guess I see things in nature others may miss, including crosses at the tops of growing pine trees.

What is your favorite season of the year? 
Fall is my favorite season. I’ve recently blogged about celebrating October. I love being outdoors to relish the cool nights and emerging colors of September and October. Though I can lose myself in the beauty of flowers and butterflies and birds in the summertime, I do not care for the heat and humidity. And autumn always reminds me of my mother. Her favorite colors were the warm colors of fall and her birthday fell in October.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
I put off cleaning house. And when I do, I “attack.” There are so much more interesting things to do with my time. Like write, and read, and sew.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
Based on I John 5:4, we have victory in Jesus. Though we are hit with troubles and surrounding dysfunction every day, if we view them as spiritual battles our whole outlook changes. I believe my imagined characters and people I know are meant to live beyond survival. We are overcomers if Jesus resides within us because He won the war over the enemy, who merely shoots us with stumbling blocks. But we’re human and often we try things on our own strength. We’re only strong and victorious when we admit our weakness and let Him fight for us.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
My front porch if the sun isn’t beating down. A shady chair or bench in or near my flower-rock garden is my second choice, where I can enjoy the music of nature and the kiss of a breeze. Third choice at night, or when the weather is inclement, is my easy chair or lying on the couch with soft instrumental music in the background.

Why do you continue to write?
I write to feel alive and not waste my time. I consider writing as a way to contribute, to pay it forward if you will. And I believe it’s the job the Lord has given me to do right now. I want readers to realize there is hope of rescue from sin in this crazy out-of-sync world.

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

I don’t have cover copy or release dates, but Where Hearts Meet and Paisley’s Pattern have been contracted with the White Rose Publishing arm of Pelican Book Group.

Back Cover

Needing to finish her thesis in order to keep her job working with youth in a residential treatment center, Shana Arnold sequesters herself on Creighton Rice’s Nebraska ranch. She expects the secluded hideaway to provide a peaceful environment. What she doesn't expect is to become the victim of identity theft and a crazed home invader.
Creighton Rice has been content to live alone with his God--until he meets Shana. He's drawn to her, but must fight the attraction. Getting close makes him face a lifetime's accumulation of scars. Plus, Shana doesn’t share his faith. But when Shana's life is threatened, Creighton must protect her--even if it means letting her in.
Will Shana discover that even when a woman loses everything, she can regain courage and strength through faith in God, and can Creighton allow God to heal scars and open the door to a lifetime with Shana?

To buy LoRee's book:
Pelican
Amazon


About LoRee:

A lifelong Nebraskan, LoRee Peery has lived most of her life in the country, where she feels grounded in her sense of place. She learned to read when she was four and has devoured books since. She values one-on-one time with her grandchildren and loves time spent with other writers.


LoRee clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan.

To connect with LoRee:

LoRee Peery is giving away a copy of Creighton's Hideaway.  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

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Winners from The Barn Door Book Loft

Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.

And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:

Gail Gaymer Martin who offered her Romantic Mystery Treasures of Her Heart.
And Diane and David Munson who offered the Christian Suspense Novel Facing Justice.



And now: We're pleased to announce this week’s winners:
Heather S. has won Gail Gaymer Martin’s Romantic Mystery Treasures of Her Heart.
And Janet E has won Diane and David Munson’s Christian Suspense Novel Facing Justice. 


 Congratulations Winners! Remember, it's your responsibility to contact me  sharonalavy {at} gmail {dot} com) with your address so the author can send you a book. 


Be sure to check past winners posts. Subscribing by email will ensure you don't miss seeing the winners list.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Georgia Author Ane Mulligan

Hello Ane! Welcome to the Book Loft. Is there a story behind your new book Chapel Springs Revival?

I once heard a young wife at church grumbling about her husband. She said, "I never prayed for a husband, and I've often wondered if maybe God had a different one picked out for me."

That stuck with me, and for years, I thought I'd write a Bible study on that topic. But God had another idea. He knows me best, and I have to agree. The idea of me writing a Bible study set my church pastoral staff to loud chortling.
Gathering what was left of my shredded dignity, I set myself to writing it into a novel. Chapel Springs Revival is the result.

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

Claire. She's such a mess. She moves and speaks before she thinks, which gets her into all kinds of trouble, but her heart is huge and she's fiercely loyal.

I think I like her already. What distracts you from writing the easiest?

We have two English mastiffs, Shadrach and Oliver Twist. They know I'm behind that closed door. What they don't understand is that I'm working. If they want something, they talk to me through it. The funny thing is the hubs can ignore them if he's say playing chess on the internet. They know that, so they come to my door. The mumble-growl-talking of a mastiff is persistent. When you don't pay attention, it turns to barking. A 225 pound bark is not an indoor voice.

I've included an English mastiff in Chapel Springs Revival, and Shiloh is a combination of Shad and Ollie.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? 

Women's fiction is my favorite genre. I have a Top Ten list each year that I publish on my website. Soon, they will go onto Novel Rocket as the President's Picks. Bridge to Haven, by Francine Rivers is wonderful, and Driftwood Tides, by Gina Holmes is so good. Jessica Dotta's sophomore novel, Mark of Distinction, is even better than her first book,

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?

Pretty much everything. I've got a whacked sense of humor and filter the world through it. I find life immensely funny. Why even the Bible tells us laughter is good medicine. And I know for a fact, God has a wonderful sense of humor. Just look at me!

What do you like most about the area where you live?

I didn't grow up in the South ... well I did, but it was Southern California. I got to Atlanta as quick as I could, though. There is something about the South that gets into your soul. Southerners are stubborn, loyal, and gracious. Why, we even insult graciously, bless your heart.

That's a sneaky way of avoiding snow. Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Housework, definitely. I do what I have to so the neighbors won't call the authorities, but be duly warned: don't look under any rug or inside any closet.

Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?
This is easy. Philippians 1:6 because I'm such a mess. "Of this I am confident that He Who began a good work in you will continue it until the day Christ Jesus return."
That's an Ane Mulligan paraphrase from three different versions of the Bible. It's my life verse and always keeps me remembering God's grace. He will change me as long as I yield to Him.
And that's Claire's problem—yielding. As a potter, she makes the clay yield to her shaping. I chose her profession purposely. Her potter's wheel is where she thinks and where God speaks to her—and often with humor.
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?

Every other summer, we had a family reunion on Daddy's side of the family. He was the youngest of nine children, so I had plenty of aunts and uncles and a herd of cousins.

The summer I was seven, our reunion was at Lake Tahoe. We were in our car waiting in a long line to enter the national park. Up ahead, we could see an old gypsy woman with long stringy hair hanging from a colorful scarf tied around her head. She pestered each car, tapping on their windows with her tin cup full of pencils. She slowly made her way down the line of cars, until she reached ours. That's when—to my daddy's mortification, we discovered it was Auntie Flo in disguise. I was thrilled beyond words and determined to make it my life's work to imitate her. Poor Daddy.

(Laughing out loud!) Let's have some more fun. If you were a style of music, what style would you be?

Definitely ragtime or jitterbug.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I don't know about quirky, but one of the funniest things—it wasn't sunny at the time—that happened to me was on a camping trip with three other couples out in the desert. Back then, camping didn't include any motorhomes ... or portapotties. If you had to go, you went behind a cactus. I had to. I did, but didn't see the shorter cactus behind me. You really find out who your friends are when they're willing to pluck cactus thorns out of your behind with tweezers by the light of the moon.

What is your strangest habit?

I'm normally barefoot. When I wear shoes, I'm forever kicking them off and leaving them somewhere...like under the pew at church and going home without them. Fortunately, we've gone to the same church for eighteen years and they're well acquainted with me. Any stray shoes found, they know must be mine.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

The mountains. While I love the ocean, I'm not a beach person.

Is there a sequel to Chapel Springs Revival?

There is, Chapel Springs Survival. Here's a teaser:

When sacrifice steals her pride, it's Claire who needs the guardian angel

With the success of her Operation Marriage Revival, life is good for Claire Bennett. That is until the mayor's brother blabs a secret: Claire's nineteen-year-old son, Wes, has married a Brazilian mail order bride—one who is eight years older than him. When Claire tries to welcome her new daughter-in-law, she's ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus. Will Claire and her family survive her son's marriage?

Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa—then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Along with her new marriage, she has a dream to expand her business by adding guest rooms. Things are going according to plan. That is, until her groom's adult son moves in—on everything. Will her dream survive her stepson?

From the first sighting of a country music star in Claire's gallery, The Painted Loon, to the visit of a Hollywood diva, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, forcing lifelong residents to flee the area. When her best friends put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she’s got. With her son's future at stake and the town looking to her to solve their problems, Claire's not sure she can survive this merry-go-round of trouble.


Thanks for sharing and making us all smile!

Connect with Ane Mulligan at:


Ane Mulligan is giving away a copy of Chapel Springs Revival. 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, September 8, 2014

Chapel Springs Revival by Ane Mulligan

With a friend like Claire, you'll need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is personal.

With their marriages as much in need of restoration as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.


Excerpt

Claire Bennett couldn't remember when the tradition began—meeting her friends at the bakery, Dee's 'n' Doughs, before the workday started. It must have been after their nests had emptied, since none of them had any tag-alongs velcroed to their ankles. Whatever the cause, stopping for a chat and a hot cup of coffee got her creative juices flowing. Okay, maybe that was the caffeine and sugar, but she couldn't imagine life without her girlfriends.

She wished she could share her deepest heart with Joel. They used to talk, sort of, but something changed between diapers and soccer. It was around the time she started going to church without him. She shuffled through a pile of leaves on the sidewalk. The dry crunch reminded her of their conversations. He wasn't much of a talker and never had been, but he'd become noticeably quieter lately.

Soft light poured through the picture window of Dee's 'n' Doughs. As she pulled open the glass door, the brass bells attached to a wrought iron hook shaped like a loon, announced her arrival. She paused on the threshold for a moment, closed her eyes, and let the heavenly aroma of yeast, vanilla, and almonds entice her. That indulgence alone would probably add another inch to her waistline. When she opened her eyes, her studio/gallery partner, Patsy Kowalski, was chuckling at her.

Claire dropped her black tote on a chair. Today, all the tablecloths were printed with woodland creatures. The ones yesterday had been fishermen.

"Morning. We the first?"

"Aren't we always?" As Patsy sipped her morning French roast, a tiny crease appeared between her eyebrows. "Hurry up and get your coffee. I've got something to tell you."

With intuition borne of being best friends since kindergarten, Claire sensed disquiet in Patsy's tone. It was probably one of the kids. Even though they were grown, worrying about them never failed to make that crease materialize, and between Patsy's three and Claire's five, they had plenty to worry about.

She scurried over to the row of insulated airpots, selected the breakfast blend, and added a shot of cream. When she reached for a packet of sugar, a pan of warm, gooey cinnamon buns Dee had left out for them, leered at her. She squeezed her eyes to slits and tried to focus on the coffee, weighing those size ten jeans against the taste of golden brown pastry laden with butter, cinnamon and rich, gooey icing.
No good. Those buns tempted her beyond reason. If only she had more self discipline—like her friends. She bit her thumbnail. If she skipped the sugar in her coffee ... she snatched the clamoring pastry onto a plate, sucked the frosting off her fingers, and grabbed a packet of sugar substitute.

Clutching a napkin between her fingers, she slipped into the chair next to Patsy, ready for a good natter. "So what's up? You're worried about something. Is it the kids?" She pinched off a piece of the bun and popped it into her mouth. Yummy. Dee and her doughs should be on the Food Network. Either that or arrested for assault on Claire's backside, which was exactly where this bun would end up.


Patsy's hazel eyes warmed, crinkling the skin around the edges. "No, kids are fine." Her expression changed, the light extinguished. "It's—"

About The Author


While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, multi-published playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion.

Purchase Chapel Springs Revival at:


Ane Mulligan is giving away a copy of Chapel Springs Revival. 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, September 7, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Jennifer Slattery!

A very warm welcome to Jennifer! So thrilled to have you here visiting again. Tell us, 

Is there a story behind your book Beyond I Do?
There is. The novel is about a woman called into homeless ministry, and I felt compelled to write this story for two reasons. First, having spent time as a homeless teen, I’m always looking for ways to increase awareness and compassion for the pervasive issue of homelessness. There are so many myths and assumptions when it comes to the homeless, assumptions that prevent people from getting involved. I want people to know lives change radically when they are introduced, through the actions of loving Christians, to God’s amazing grace. I know firsthand—am proof of—how powerful grace can be in transforming a broken life.

Second, I’ve served in homeless ministries as an adult, and finally, many scenes in this book arose from my time serving at Forest Avenue Women and Children’s Shelter in Kansas City, MO. As I was writing, I could often visualize the faces of the women and children I encountered at the shelter. I suspect many aren’t aware of the number of children living on the streets or in shelters. It’s sad, and yet, through Christ there’s always hope. As Christians, we’re called to point the hopeless to the hope of Christ.  


What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Facebook, which somehow leads to me to a Youtube video, which links me to another video, which initiates a Google search that leads to a blog post that leads me back to Facebook to post the article’s link!  And that’s when I’m home alone. When my family’s with me, well, they’re just too hilariously fun to avoid!


:) What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)
I love all kinds from numerous genres. Anything from Mary Conneally is great. I just finished A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick. It’s about a freed slave making her way across the west, hoping for a better life in Oregon. This was a tear-jerker, for sure! Another novel I loved, loved, loved was Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge. I also really enjoyed Connie Almony’s At the Edge of a Dark Forest. She did a great job with crafting the hero of that one! Wow!


Good recommendations there! Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Honestly, I loved them all, even my minor characters, though I was probably drawn most to Ainsley Meadows, my heroine. I recognize a bit of myself in her struggles. She longs to follow God wholeheartedly, but fears, insecurities, and wounds from her past hold her back. Then there’s the whole uncertainty of following after a calling. Ainsley’s dream is to become a singer, a career that feels as unreachable as writing does to many of us. J I believe if God’s birthed the dream, He’ll carry it out. I hope Ainsley can grab hold of that same confidence.


What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
All writers are quirky, right? (Please say yes!) Apparently, according to my family, anyway, I’m quite the animated typer. Especially when I’m engaged. My head bobs, or shakes, and I’ll smile or scowl, depending on the mood of the scene. There’ve been numerous times, pages into a tense chapter, I’ll glance up to find my husband watching me, amused.


What is your favorite season of the year?
This is tough. If I could pick two, I’d say spring and fall, but if I have to pick one… fall. I love the colors, pumpkins, the spicy scent of apple cider, and roaring bon fires. Where I live we have an amazing pumpkin patch that has rides, corn mazes, great food, and bon fires. It’s called Valas and a dear friend introduced me to it last year. It’s one of those places we Nebraskans look forward to all year!


Oh, my. My two favorites too! What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I grew up in northern Washington State with its coniferous trees, hiking trails, grassy meadows, and beautiful mountains. But what I love most is Pike Place Market in Seattle. I have some great memories of going there as a kid and later, a few special romantic outings spent with my husband.


I've only visited parts of it, and I loved Pike's Place in Seattle. My eyes were big, I'm sure, with all the fascinating colors and activities. I'd would love to return some day for an extended visit! What is a favorite memory from your childhood? 
I don’t know about favorite, but I have one that’s very special and that I believe helped infuse in me a love for writing. My dad and I used to play rhyming games while walking—skipping, actually. At the time, I thought we were just having fun. Looking back, I can see how even then God was leading me toward my future calling. Parents, keep laughing with your kids. They will remember!


True. Parents really need to interact in a big way with their kids. Laugh. Talk. Involve! What's your favorite meal with family and friends? (and feel free to share a recipe with us!) Ugh. You want a recipe? I’m not so good at following those. In fact,  after 19 years of marriage, my husband still urges me to call his mother for recipes of his favorite dish. It’s not that I don’t like cooking. I’m just more… free-flowing with the ingredients. And I don’t set timers, or if I do, I don’t hear them. This means my family has had more than their fair share of burnt dinners. *sigh*.

Luckily, there’s a frozen yogurt store not far from our house! I’m a big believer in eating dessert before—or instead of—dinner. On occasion. J

Lol. The farther I get "into" the writer life, the more I tend toward the same thing. Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?   
It seems my books often point the characters toward surrender—either for the first time as they come to understand God’s saving grace, or a deeper level of surrender as they grow in their relationship with Him. My books also have a missional or outreach angle—a believer called to share God’s love and grace with someone who is broken and living without hope.


Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
In the morning, I have my quiet time curled in the corner of the couch with a ginormous mug of coffee, heavily sweetened, of course, in hand. Then around midday, I love grabbing my Pandora radio, praise music on, to go for leisurely prayer and praise walk.


Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)   
Ephesians 2:10 is my life verse. It says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NLT). It reminds me that I was created for an eternal purpose—that God has work specifically for me to do; work that fits me like nothing else because I was created to do that very thing.


When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
 I don’t have a date other than 2015.
It’s titled When Dawn Breaks:
Jacqueline wants purpose and restitution, but must she relinquish her chance of love to find it?

A hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate. Looking to begin again—and reconnect with her embittered daughter—Jacqueline heads north. Reconciliation is hard, but she has a handsome new friend to lean on. Most importantly, she knows God is standing beside her. 

When her daughter rejects her, three children abandoned by their mother open their hearts. But can God use a woman who dashed the hopes of her own child to bring hope to someone else’s? 


Thanks so much for visiting!


Buy her book here:
 New Hope Publishers
Amazon
Christianbook.com




About Jennifer:

Jennifer Slattery lives in the Midwest with her handsome railroader and their teenage daughter. She loves taking long walks with her husband, hitting the mall with her daughter, and foregoing dinner for a ginormous serving of frozen yogurt.

She writes missional romance novels for New Hope Publishers.


Connect with her at these places:
Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud and the group site, Internet CafĂ© Devotions. You can also find her at Inspy Romance.com and  Faith-filled Friends where she chats about the intersections of faith and fiction.


Jennifer is giving away a copy of Beyond I Do. 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

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009 Design expanded and personalized by PattyWysong.com 2011.

Back to TOP