Karen Campbell Prough Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story fondly welcomes back a very lovely woman and a stirring historical fiction author, Karen Campbell Prough. I’ve enjoyed a great phone conversation with Karen and hope to one day meet her!! For now, this week, we’ll all have a chance to sit back and enjoy the words Karen has chosen to speak up on. Also, check out Karen’s very generous BookGiveaway for 3, yes 3, lucky winners. We look forward to hearing from you!




Ella Dessa


Karen is offering 3 randomly chosen commenters  their choice of 1 of Karen’s novels, either print or ebook (outside of US ebook only). The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on October 27th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.


       Your Words Aren’t Shocking

          By Karen Campbell Prough


Every person who has ever lived, or is now walking this earth, has a story to tell. Most of those stories will never be told, but every story voiced holds bits and pieces of someone else’s life.

Think about it. It’s true.

The glorious heights of human feelings or the deepest, dark secrets of a single person are not limited to only one life or to just a select group of individuals. We share emotions and a vast amount of experiences.

Writing fiction is like using snippets of everyone’s life here on this earth. Writers borrow from what is known to mankind, even when writing science fiction and other types of stories.

If you write fiction and include human experiences, your typed words don’t stand alone as a single revelation among millions of books. That might be hard to accept, but it’s true. It is what you do with those words that counts. General words of description and facts help build the background and storyline to your book. But with the unique style each writer uses … a new book is born to touch more lives.


A story about a forced abortion may clutch at the heart of more than one reader. The story dealing with an elderly couple, standing up to fight for the right to raise a grandchild, could be what your neighbor is experiencing. The broken heart of a young woman is not only one person’s experience. It can be a repeated sorrow in many books, but with different story lines. The parent sitting near the bedside of an unconscious child is not a shocking story to only a few people. The examples can be never-ending.

A writer needs to inject bits and pieces of themselves in their writing. That is what makes the message or story unique. A reader may not feel the same way a writer does, but the passion and vulnerability can be difficult to pull away from, while reading a good book. As we delve into a story, we automatically tie it to experiences we have gone through or know about.

That contributes to the strength of the emotional pull.

How many times have you started to tell a story at a party, or somewhere else, and someone interrupts and starts trying to get ahead of your storytelling. That same thing happens when a book causes a reader to remember a personal event matching a character’s experience. The reader’s mind connects with the emotion. They will not forget that part of the story.

That is what creates a bond between the reader and the writer. The response to a compelling emotion pulls a reader deeper into the story, making them connect and stay with your book until the end. They begin to feel for the characters and cheer them on through the rough times.

And the readers won’t forget your characters, because they seem so real. The reader will want to cheer for the downtrodden walking the pages of your story.

Give your characters more than a lovely reference—printed on smooth paper and encased between an attractive front and back cover. Give them true to life heartaches and joys. Bring them through the fire, so they can stand on mountaintops and hear the cheers from approving readers!

Karen’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

#Inspy author @KCampbellPrough speaks up: Your words aren’t shocking! (Tweet This)

Author @KCampbellPrough shares what creates bond between #reader and #writer. (Tweet This)

Like #ChristFic historicals? Win #BookGiveaway of @KCampbellPrough (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Karen Campbell Prough’s love of the 1800’s fuels her stories of a bygone era. She is the author of short stories and a three-book series, The Girl Called Ella Dessa, Within the Candle’s Glow, and With This Peace. She and her husband live in Florida, near the beautiful Peace River.

Places to connect with Karen:





Karen and I look forward to your comments.


WK and CameAlong

My novella, And You Came Along (it releases as a stand-alone novella on December 2nd) , is part of the fabulous collection, Winter’s Kiss, available for pre-orders now at only $.99!! The collection releases November 7th. You can find Winter’s Kiss here.


Patricia Bradley Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story fondly welcomes back a true pal, a gracious and tireless helper, and awesome suspense author, Patricia Bradley. As many times as I’ve hosted Patricia on this blog, I always learn new things about this talented woman, and believe me, I picked up on several fascinating things about her during this interview. I hope you enjoy what Patricia speaks up on, as well as check out her newest release (which I’ve read and was riveted to!!) that she’s offering for a BookGiveaway. We look forward to hearing from you!

Plus: please check out some exciting book news from me, plus a personal invitation, following Patricia’s feature.




Patricia is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 printed edition of Justice Buried (US residents only) or 1 digital edition of the novel (to outside of the US). The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on October 20th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

Back Cover Blurb for Justice Buried:

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league—and possibly in the crosshairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.


Questions for Patricia Bradley:

In just a few years (I’m so thankful I’ve known you for a while now!) I’ve watched you professionally grow from having your debut novel released to a multi-published author in several genres. Huge congratulations!! Please share your dreams and goals prior to publication. How do they differ now?

First of all, thank you, Elaine, for hosting me on your fabulous blog!

Before I was published, I saw myself published. Not sure if that makes sense, but whenever I thought about my writing, somehow I knew I would be published. I just didn’t realize it would take as long as it did, though.

As for how my dreams differ now, they are the same. I am established as a romantic suspense writer, but I also want to write other genres for the general market. And that’s like starting over.

I want to write cozy mysteries and a time slip mystery/suspense. As soon as I turn in the fourth Memphis Cold Case novel, I’ll write the cozy and see where it goes. And for those who do not know what a cozy is, it’s like the old Murder, She Wrote series. And I’m thinking of, a story set in two different times, like Rachel Hauck’s The Writing Desk or The Wedding Dress.

Do you see yourself strictly writing suspense for the Christian market or plan to one day try for the ABA market?

I write for the Christian Book Association for several reasons, one of which is so that Christians will have suspense novels to read. Most ABA books are difficult to read because of the language and content, so I rarely read one.

I plan to write cozies for the ABA market, and while I can’t put scripture in an ABA book, I can write my cozy from a Christian World View. Believe me, there are many cozies that are not written from that worldview. And if readers like them, then I hope they will buy the CBA books.


I just received Justice Buried, Book 2 of the Memphis Cold Case series and it will be my next read—so looking forward to it! (Note: I’ve since read and enjoyed this newest Cold Case book!!) Tell us about the series. Since this isn’t your first series, I wonder whether you enjoy writing series the best?

I’ve never written a stand alone, but I’m about to try. J I enjoy writing series because of the familiarity with the setting and characters. It’s like visiting old friends.

Each of the Memphis Cold Case Novels centers on a past crime that ties to a present day crime. Justice Buried is set at the Pink Palace and I had the best time touring the museum. I went from the third floor to the basement, looking for places to hide bodies (<smiling>).

FYI, Clarence Saunders, founder of the first modern grocery store, the Piggly Wiggly, built the Pink Palace. Unfortunately for him, he lost his fortune in a battle with the New York Stock Exchange. Fortunately for Memphis they were able to acquire the partially constructed mansion when he went into bankruptcy and turned it into a museum. You can learn more about the Pink Palace at their website.

For our reader viewers: what goes into making a Patricia Bradley novel zing a reader’s interest?

I’m not sure. I just write the story God gives me, and He’s given me some a-maz-ing stories.

For our writer viewers: any tips on self-promotion?

Probably the best thing you can do is write the best book you can, and then turn around and write another one. Word of mouth sells more books than any promotion. I am active on Facebook, twitter and have a blog. One thing about a blog is, you need a hook that draws readers. I floundered with my blog until I came up with the idea of the Mystery Question. Each week I have four statements about crimes. Three are true and one is false. I challenge my readers to figure out the false statement.

Any encouraging words on following your dreams?

DO.NOT.GIVE.UP It took me thirty+ years before my novel was published. What if I had thrown in the towel at year twenty-nine?

Quick Thoughts:

Favorite childhood novel: The Black Stallion

Favorite movie: Gone With The Wind is the only one I can think of at the moment.

Country, Gospel, rock-n-roll: All three!

Fantasy place you’d love to live in: Hawaii.

Best value your parents taught you: If you’re going to do something do it well.

A trait most don’t know about you: At one time I had a bad  temper, but after it cost me $500, I learned to control it.

Hostess or partygoer: partygoer.

Favorite day escape: It’s been so long … maybe a bike trip to Shiloh National Park.


Patricia’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

What goes into a Patricia Bradley @PTBradley1 #Inspy #Suspense novel? #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

How does Patricia Bradley @PTBradley1 tie a past crime to a present crime in her #Suspense novels? (Tweet This)

Interview: award-winning author Patricia Bradley @PTBradley1 + #BookGiveaway of Justice Buried. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case Novels. She also has written sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming available as ebooks. When she’s not writing, she likes to throw clay on a wheel and see what happens.

Places to connect with Patricia:







Patricia and I look forward to your comments.


WK and CameAlong



My novella, And You Came Along (it releases as a stand-alone novella on December 2nd) , is part of the fabulous collection, Winter’s Kiss, available for pre-orders now at only $.99!! The collection releases November 7th. You can find the Winter’s Kiss here.



Want a Fall Getaway? I’ll be signing Always WithYou at The Bookstore Plus bookshop in Lake Placid, NY on October 14th between 3-5 pm. I’d love to see you! 

2491 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946
(518) 523-2950 

Here’s the link.


Diana Cosby Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story welcomes back my long-time friend and ABA Scottish Medieval Romance fiction author Diana Cosby. Diana is also a hero in my eyes, volunteering and fundraising for Habitat for Humanity–please check out her special note following her message. And, Diana’s talent doesn’t stop with writing and helping others, she’s an extraordinary photographer of wild life–I love seeing her photos on Facebook! And, check out Diana’s lovely, original Giveaway below!! We look forward to hearing from you!

Plus: please check out some exciting news plus a personal invitation I have for you, following Diana’s feature.





Diana is generously offering 1 randomly chosen commenter 1 tote bag and 1 mug, both with her personal insignia, US residents only. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on October 13th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.


From Insecurities To Success! by ©2017 Diana Cosby


Dreams are visions of what we can become. But, dreams are also an invitation to doubt, to wonder if you’re good enough, or if you have what it takes. When I retired from the Navy, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a published author. After 100 rejections, I quit counting as I figured I knew how to achieve a rejection. Then, after 9 ½ years, I’m humbled to share I finally sold. The journey taught me many things, which I’d like to share with you.

-Take yourself seriously: Until you take yourself seriously, no one else will.

-Associate with people who inspire you, and encourage you to achieve your dreams. Encourage and inspire others as you grow.


-Set a clear goal: Once you know exactly what you want, break down steps to achieve it. If you’re unsure how to start, read biographies of people who have achieved your dream. What steps did they take? Are there any similar avenues you can pursue?

-Each step forward is exactly that: Success is a compilation of small steps toward one focused goal.

-Affiliate yourself with professional organizations: Join groups where you can learn the craft you desire. In addition to networking, there may be opportunities to learn from on-line or local sources about your area of interest.



-Self-affirmation: Each morning reaffirm that you are good enough as well as clarify your goal of the day. Then, move forward with positive, focused steps.

-Inspirational quotes: I’m a huge fan of inspirational quotes that inspires me.

-Permission to fail: Success is more than a moment, but a journey. As we grow within our craft, there will come times when we fail at a certain steps. Focus not on the failure, but on the lessons learned. What worked, what didn’t? Move forward and make wiser decisions with that knowledge.


-The way we act and talk about our goals reflects our commitment to them: What are you telling yourself? “I WILL do this!” Or, are you assuring yourself that one day you’ll really try?

-A gift of example: When you make the choice to follow your dream, you are doing more than commitment to self, but teaching your children an important life lesson — to dare to dream, and more, to dare to follow your dreams. So, be bold, believe in yourself.

I hope you’ve found inspiration from my comments. Remember, there is no right path, but the steps right for you. Believe in yourself, YOU have what it takes!


Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN Ret.

Romance edged with danger


International Best-Selling Author

Diana’s 13th novel, Forbidden Vow, book #3 of The Forbidden Series, will be released May 15th, 2018! *Available for preorder.


Diana’s Information on Habitat For Humanity:

Diana Cosby’s Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity Home

Goal: Raise $55,000 to build a Habitat For Humanity Home. Now—$10,999!

Thank YOU for making an amazing difference in a deserving family’s life!

*Note: All donations, PayPal or via mail, go directly to the Grayson County, TX. Habitat For Humanity.

**Please note on your donation: ‘For the Romance Readers HFH House.’



Diana’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

#ScottishMedieval #RomanticSuspense author Diana Cosby speaks up: From Insecurities To Success! (Tweet This)

Meet Diana Cosby, author of #Scottish #Romance, #HabitatForHumanity. #Giveaway (Tweet This)

Check out how author Diana Cosby’s Romance Readers Build A Habitat For Humanity Home. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and books #1 & 2 of The Forbidden Series, she’s now working on book #3, Forbidden Vow, which will be released in May 2018.

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

Places to connect with Diana:




Amazon Page

Diana and I look forward to your comments.


Winter's Kiss

My novella, And You Came Along, is part of the fabulous collection, Winter’s Kiss, available for pre-orders at only $.99!! It releases November 7th. It will release as a stand-alone novella on December 2nd. You can find it here.




Want a Fall Getaway? I’ll be signing Always WithYou at The Bookstore Plus bookshop in Lake Placid, NY on October 14th between 3-5 pm. I’d love to see you! 

2491 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946
(518) 523-2950 

Here’s the link.


Pepper Basham Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story welcomes inspirational fiction author Pepper Basham who I now want to so badly call… ahem… a certain beverage (you’ll have to read on–just love it!). I’ve met Pepper at both the Christian Fiction Readers Retreats I and II (CFRR) and wow, you should have seen the costumes she displayed.  I’m so glad Pepper’s here this week with us. Please check out her BookGiveway, what she speaks up about, and a preview of her next novel release in November. We look forward to hearing from you!

Plus: please check out a couple of personal invitations I have for you, following Pepper’s feature.


A Twist of Faith


Pepper is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 ebook of A Twist of Faith, open to international viewers. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on October 6th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.



Words Wield Power by Pepper Basham


Words wield power.

To heal

To wound

To tear down or build up

To romance

To divide

They’re incredibly powerful.

And many times, words, whether spoken or written, can inspire.

My life has been filled with people who have spoken inspirational words into my life, but three people, in particular, comes to mind when I think about my writing journey.

For me, this writing journey started when words were still new to me. In fact, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy stories, which is a hallmark of my Appalachian culture. Stories. Except most of the time stories were oral and not written, passed from one generation to the next.


Even though I come from a very small community in the southwestern part of Virginia, my parents didn’t let the smallness impact their dreams for me. They dreamed BIG. Neither had the opportunity to attend college (and college wasn’t really a common occurrence in my neck of the woods), but they both wanted that for me.

Before college even whispered on the horizon, though, they recognized I had a love, and talent, for stories. I’d write them, tell them, attempt to draw them. I’d design stories for my cousins and I to play together. I’d tell bedtime stories to my brother. I loved stories – and my parents’ willingness to let me talk their ears off with my crazy stories, allowed me the opportunity to continue dreaming about stories.

The love of story was further inspired by my Granny Spencer. She could tell family history back 5 or more generations. I loved listening to her talk about some unbelievable things that happened to my ancestors, but even with all the ‘story-love’ going on, I never thought about being a writer. (I was going to be a pediatrician so I could be Dr. Pepper!

When I was ten years old, my Granny came to my house with a present for me: a second-hand typewriter. The present was soooo sweet, but the words she spoke were what resonated through me with such power, it inspired a paper-and-ink dream. “I bought you a typewriter because a writer needs one.”

She called me a writer.CTT Cover

Her statement had power.

God used it to ignite a flicker in the coals of my creativity He’d already warmed with curiosity.

From that point on, I still wanted to go to college and get a degree (I’m a speech-language pathologist by day), but I also wanted to be a writer. The simple sentence changed my perspective on how stories could become more than just a wonderful family history, but braiding words together into meaningful tales, could inspire others…as her words had inspired me.

So, there you have it. Words matter.

And we never know how the smallest phrase can leave a lasting impact. That’s why I don’t underestimate the ‘calling’ to be a writer. There’s something almost magical about them, isn’t there? We can’t see them, but we can see by them.

Words wield power.

May we use them well.


Excerpt from Charming the Troublemaker,  in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series. Releasing November 1st.

 Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham

He hadn’t been impressed with her small university and even smaller town—and if what Dee had told her was accurate, his move to Ransom had been more of a demotion than a choice.

A forced decision like that had to hit anyone in the pride.

Especially a guy.

Rainey’s annoyance ebbed with a swell of compassion. Being alone, and in a new place, was hard for anyone.

He brought his head up at her gentle rap on the door, and the unique green shade of his eyes paused her brain in the same way it had the first time she’d seen him. A seafoam hue. The kind of color to cause a second look.

“So, how are things going?”

The surprise on his face took a quick spin into ‘interested.’ He unfolded to stand, showing off a solid, lean frame, and rested his palms on his hips. “Better now.”

Another sigh waited for release. Yep, it was the same guy. The flirt emerged complete with devilish grin.

The communication disorders department already housed a resident flirt in Dr. Khatri. Rainey wasn’t sure she could handle another one … and only three doors down from her own office.

“I’m sure it will only keep improving once you get to your rental house.

Mama has a meal waiting for you, and one of my brothers has already started a fire to warm up the place.”

“Are you my personal guide?” He slid a step closer, green eyes sparkling with a mischief she tried to ignore like a migraine. “Please say yes.”

Obvious much? This unrestrained flirting needed to be nipped in the bud quickly. Stepping into the room, Rainey pulled the directions from her pocket, took his hand, and slapped them into his outstretched palm. “Actually, I’m more like the delivery girl.”

His smile fell as he opened up the handwritten note and deciphered the page. He looked back up, those green eyes taking on a darker glint through his lashes. “We’ve had enough conversations for you to know I’m fun company, Rainey. Promise I’ll be good.”

Rainey’s throat closed around a rude reply, and she nodded toward the paper in his palm. “Make sure you don’t stay too long at the office or your supper will get cold.” She tagged on a tense smile. “And you really don’t want to miss Mama’s cookin.’”

The pressure at Rainey’s leg alerted her that Sarah had finally edged into the room behind her. Rainey placed her hand on her daughter’s head and started to leave.

“And who is this?” The most spellbinding transformation tempered Alex’s flirty expression with a look of genuine pleasure. Rainey’s mental snark stuttered in confusion.

“Um … my daughter, Sarah.”

Sarah’s entire body stiffened against Rainey, but Alex didn’t seem to notice.

He reached on the shelf near him and grabbed a piece of printer paper, the gentle appeal in those eyes almost mesmerizing. Even Rainey’s thoughts came to a halt in utter shock.

With a few twists of his hands, he transformed the paper into a white flower and held it out to Sarah in anticipation. “It’s magic, you see? I can only make flowers from paper when I meet a princess.”

And the eye roll commenced. This guy had enough charm to create his own Disney movie. Sarah would never fall for…

Her daughter released her hold on Rainey’s leg and reached out for the paper flower.

“Ah, I knew it! You are a princess.” Alex bowed his head as Sarah took the flower from his hand and to Rainey’s utter astonishment … her little cherub giggled.

Rainey stared at the scene, her poor attempt at deciphering the current enigma evident from the slow processing speed of the picture before her. How on earth had he managed to win over her recalcitrant little girl in a matter of seconds?


Pepper’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet #inspy #romance author @pepperbasham and see why worlds wield power. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

@pepperbasham shares about her Appalachian roots and its influence on her #writing. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Check out @pepperbasham’s #BookGiveaway, and excerpt of next release! (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the INSPYs, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, Just the Way You Are, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Charming the Troublemaker, releases in November 2017.

Places to connect with Pepper:








Pepper and I look forward to your comments.


Like Books?

You’re invited to Anne Garboczi Evan’s Love & Warfare Series Facebook Party this Saturday, September 30th. I, along with several other authors will be cohosting. My hour will be 3-4 pm EST and I’ll be offering a BookGiveaway of Always With You, plus revealing my cover for my upcoming romance novella, And You Came Along releasing this December. Hope to see you!! Here’s the link.




Want a Fall Getaway? I’ll be signing Always WithYou at The Bookstore Plus bookshop in Lake Placid, NY on October 14th between 3-5 pm. I’d love to see you! 

2491 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946
(518) 523-2950

Here’s the link.


Janet W. Ferguson Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story welcomes inspirational fiction author Janet W. Ferguson. I became acquainted with Janet first on Carrie Schmidt’s blog ReadingIsMySuperpower and experienced a “wow” factor when learning about her novels.  I’m so glad Janet accepted my invitation to appear as my guest this week! Take some time to check out what Janet speaks up about, as well as her BookGiveaway of her latest release, Magnolia Storms. We look forward to hearing from you!





Magnolia Storms for web


Janet is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 ebook of Magnolia Storms. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 29th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

Blurb for Magnolia Storms:

Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.

The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.

Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live? 


When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers the Way We Expect by Janet W. Ferguson

Prayer is a joy, a time of praise, a song on the lips. But prayer can be work, tears, a whisper, an anguished cry of the heart. We seek help in faith and love and sorrow and desperation.

Sometimes an answer comes with a resounding yes, a miracle even.The healing comes, the storm passes over our home, or a relationship is restored.

Other times, we pound on the doors of heaven, day after day, and our cries seem to go unanswered. Our child is still sick, our relationship still broken, the storm destroys.

And we are disappointed.

I’ve been there. Maybe you have, too.


I wanted, perhaps needed, to write a story that explores this disappointment. Was there an answer from God to my prayers? Don’t get me wrong. I believe He’s there. But what do I do with the hurt and sadness when life spirals out of my control? How do I reconcile those feelings?

So I did what writers do. I dug into that emotion—searched for answers for my characters and for myself.

You may not know it, but Hurricane Katrina destroyed a large part of my beloved state of Mississippi in 2005. It was catastrophic, a truly devastating event for many people I cared about. That’s the baggage my heroine carries Magnolia Storms. She lost her father, her home, almost everything in the storm, and she’s still grappling with the prayers that weren’t answered the way she wanted or expected.

What she learned, and I did, too, is that God’s still there with us through the storm. He’s still in control.

He’s with us in the pain. He’s there to lean on, or He carries us through if we can no longer stand. He’s with us through other people, a touch, a meal, a phone call. Blessings rain down on us every minute of every day in the little things, like a soft mattress, a rainbow, a sunset. I’ve heard so many times that His ways are not our ways. It becomes trite, at times. But how often have situations worked out in ways I would have never expected, could never have imagined? It just took much longer than I wanted.

My heroine is reminded that Jesus, too, was acquainted with sorrow. He wept when his friend died. He cried over Jerusalem. He went through extraordinary pain, abandonment, and loss. We have a Savior who has been there, can relate, and He cares for me. He cares for you.

No, God doesn’t answer us like some genie in a bottle, but He is never caught off guard. He warned us that in this world we would have trouble, but to take heart, He has overcome the world.

It doesn’t take much faith to believe when times are good, faith comes when life falls apart, and all we have left is to fall into the arms of a merciful God.


Janet’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @JanetWFerguson Speaks Up on: When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers the Way We Expect. (Tweet This)

@JanetWFerguson shares how her characters in Magnolia Storms face their storms in life.  (Tweet This)

@JanetWFerguson shares how #writers cope with their disappointments. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space. 

Places to connect with Janet:






Janet and I look forward to your comments.


Sign up for my Author Newsletter here for upcoming news on Elaine Stock’s releases.



Megan Whitson Lee Speaks Up!

IMG_7190 (4)

Everyone’s Story warmly welcomes back author Megan Whitson Lee. Megan appeared here back in April  and I’m thrilled she’s back to share with us about her soon-to-be release novel, Dangerous To Know, and whether or not those good old days were really great or something we all may romanticize from time to time. Do check out the blurb for Megan’s newest novel, her generous Giveaway of an Amazon Gift Card, and her thought-provoking message. We look forward to hearing from you!

**Look for the upcoming cover reveal for Dangerous To Know




Dangerous to Know


Megan is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  a $25 Amazon Gift Card. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 22nd.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.



Character card of Lord Bromby created by Stephen Lee.

Character card of Lord Bromby created by Stephen Lee.

Blurb for Dangerous to Know:

“Don’t look at him, dear. He’s dangerous.”

Isabella Bankmill seeks a husband whose character matches her list of requirements. The man must share her faith, but he must also possess a certain je ne sais quoi. The enigmatical Lord Gregory Gordon Bromby—London’s newest literary sensation—certainly possesses the latter. Despite a deformed foot and alarming views on politics and religion, he attracts the ladies in droves.

Haunted by his past and overwhelmed by his newfound celebrity status, Lord Bromby’s obsession with his own doom leads to reckless behavior. When he is stalked by an obsessive aristocrat seeking an elopement, Bromby’s friends urge him to marry a suitable lady as soon as possible. Intrigued by Isabella’s convictions, and hoping to avoid further scandal, Bromby proposes to Isabella.

Isabella also receives an offer of marriage from kind-hearted philanthropist, David Beringer—a man equally devoted to his faith—but she only has eyes for Lord Bromby. Blinded by his talent and good looks, Isabella convinces herself that he’s not as dangerous as everyone claims. But when Bromby’s world violently collides with hers, Isabella must decide once and for all who is lord of her life. God or Bromby?


What Was So Good About the Good Old Days? By Megan Whitson Lee


As humans, we love to look back on a previous time in history as “the good old days.” Who doesn’t love Jane Austen and long to live in the charm of the Regency era? Who wouldn’t want to spend a few weeks in Queen Victoria’s kingdom? There is something wonderful about imaginative time travel which allows us to escape our modern, complicated, busy lives and return to a simpler, gentler, more civilized time.

But was the past we revere really so much better?

In Jane Austen’s day, there were no bathrooms, so chamber pots and outhouses were necessary. Bathing in a proper tub required upwards of six buckets of heated water, and full-immersion baths were few and far between. In one household, many people reused the previous person’s dirty bath water.

And wow! How l love the look of the corset, waistcoat, and cravat. But corsets caused poor digestion and dyspepsia, and women often fainted from the constriction of their organs and inability to breathe properly when the laces were pulled too tight (which was often). Men were highly restricted in their dress. They could not remove their cravats (neck cloths) or even their jacket in polite company. One can only imagine what that must have been like in the extreme heat of summer.


No one jumped into a car and took off down the road. Travel was difficult and dangerous—some areas had poor roads or none at all, and highway robbers were a threat.

Typhus, ague (malaria), consumption (tuberculosis), Boulogne sore throat (diphtheria), smallpox, and Typhoid fever regularly took people out. Without penicillin, many were treated with crude concoctions or bloodletting. The idea of draining the blood from an afflicted person was very popular and considered as a cure/treatment for a multitude of ailments. In fact, even though many accounts attribute Lord Byron’s death to fever, scholars say that bloodletting actually killed him.

For those who had to work, life was hard and death came early. They worked an average of sixty-six hours a week (and many kept longer hours than that). In 1800, the average age of death was thirty-nine. No electricity, no air-conditioning, no refrigerators.

So really, what was so great about living in Jane Austen’s time period?

We like to think people “back then” were better behaved, but in reality, they still committed murder, adultery, and theft. They were cruel and heartless and wretched. In short, they were all sinners … like us. The Bible tells us, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” (Isaiah 43:18) It’s easy to romanticize the past, but there really were no good old days. Since the Garden of Eden, we’ve all been struggling with the same moral and spiritual pitfalls.

While escaping from the present and into another world is something I love about historical fiction, I recognize that other time periods weren’t perfect. Now, when I write historicals, I strive to reveal the gritty truth about the times and depict characters who experience the same hurts, hopes, dreams, and failures as all of us. As C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.”

Megan’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @MeganWhitsonLee speaks up on: What Was So Good About the Good Old Days? (Tweet This)

What’s Dangerous To Know in @MeganWhitsonLee’s newest #ChristFic novel? GiftCard #Giveaway (Tweet This)

Moral and spiritual pitfalls have you down? See what author @MeganWhitsonLee has to say. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Megan Whitson Lee is a wife, a mom of two greyhounds, an editor for Pelican Book Group, and a high school English teacher. Her novel, Captives, won the 2016 Director’s Choice Award and was a finalist for a Selah Award in the women’s contemporary fiction category at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

Megan writes women’s contemporary and historical fiction featuring characters standing at the crossroads of major life decisions, crises of faith, and moral dilemmas. Her novels depict real-life problems, address universal spiritual and moral struggles, and offer messages of hope, recovery, and redemption through God’s saving grace.

Places to connect with Megan:







Megan and I look forward to your comments.


Sign up for my Author Newsletter here for upcoming news on Elaine Stock’s releases.



Susan J. Reinhardt Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story welcomes back author Susan J. Reinhardt. Susan and I belong to the same literary agency, but also like many other authors and writerly friends, I’ve met Susan through the circles of social media and I’m so happy we did! This week Susan speaks up on God’s plan for us, even if we don’t initially react favorably to it. Do check out Susan’s BookGiveaway offer. We look forward to hearing from you!






Susan is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 Kindle edition of The Moses Conspiracy. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 15th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

New Back Cover Copy for The Moses Conspiracy:

In 2025, two seemingly unconnected events set a diabolical plan in motion. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

Several years after a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C., Ellie and her son, Peter, go on a field trip to the nation’s capital. Her greatest fear is realized when they become separated. Back home, John witnesses a buggy accident with unusual circumstances.

Caught between strained family relationships and ominous warnings from a faceless enemy, the couple relies on God for wisdom and protection. When the true nature of a past tragedy is revealed, will they survive the heartache it brings?


God Has a Plan – A Good One! by Susan J. Reinhardt

Seventeen years ago, a counselor asked me, “What do you see for yourself in the future? What dreams do you have?” I searched my mind and heart, but there was a giant blank spot. One of the verses she gave me was Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I determined in my heart that I wanted to obey the Lord and do whatever He wanted me to do. At first, it was hard to distinguish His voice from my own thoughts, but I soon learned. If I thought He was telling me to call someone, I did it. Many small opportunities popped up – God assignments.

During this learning time, my cat, Sarah, died. I was heartbroken, and everyone wanted to give me another kitty to love. Although I liked the idea, I sensed a “wait” in my heart. Later in this story, you’ll see why.

My friends and I decided to attend a conference at a Bible School in upstate New York. The whole atmosphere seemed charged with God’s Presence. Instead of being joyful, I entered a period of intense turmoil.

The Lord nudged me to apply to this school for one year, and I wanted no part of it. I was financially stable for the first time in years. My mother lived with me, and her care presented a dilemma. Besides all that, I’d already gone to Bible School and graduated. My desires and God’s direction appeared in direct opposition to each other.


When I said, “Yes, Lord, I’ll go to Bible School,” it seemed like I was destroying everything I’d built over the past few years. Ah, but God was at work behind the scenes. I can see that now in retrospect, but at the time, it was a mystery.

Two weeks after I made the commitment to return to school, I received a message from eHarmony.com. I’d cancelled my membership as a way of breaking ties with my past. Surprise, surprise, an email informed me, “Congratulations, you have a match. David, from Souderton, PA…” I blinked at the computer screen. “Whaaat? Is this some kind of joke, Lord?”

My best friend shrugged it off when I told her about the message. “None of the others worked out, so what’s the big deal about answering?” I figured as soon as he heard I was off to Bible School, he would make a quick exit from our communication.

Except, he didn’t.

David loved the Lord, and the Bible School element got his attention. We talked for hours on the telephone and then met in person. When he returned home from our first date, he called me and asked if I wanted to pursue the relationship. I said, “Yes.” His next statement totally shocked me. “I’m going to marry you.”

During the year at Bible School, he came to see me every weekend. He stayed in the Men’s Dorm and often did work around the school. His support helped me navigate the difficulties of studying after so many years.

You may be wondering right now and asking, “What does this have to do with writing and God’s plans for a future and a hope?”

  1. If I hadn’t listened to the Lord and gone to Bible School, David would probably have moved on to one of his other matches.

  1. If I’d taken in another cat, it would have short-circuited our fledgling relationship. He was allergic to cats.

  1. If our marriage hadn’t taken place, I wouldn’t have moved to Pennsylvania. Here I found other Christian writers, plus my wonderful husband encouraged me to pursue publication.

  1. Even though our time together was short (3 1/2 years), God used my Beloved to set me on this writing journey. When cancer robbed his life, the Lord helped me move forward with the love of dear friends and family.

  1. The Lord showed me He wanted a future and a hope, but it took my cooperation and obedience for everything to fall into place.

I’m re-learning some of these principles as challenges arise daily. As long as I know God is for me and wants the best for my future, I can face them with courage and faith.

Susan’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Can you relate to author @susanjreinhardt’s story of wondering what’s behind God’s plan for you? (Tweet This)

ChristFic author @susanjreinhardt speaks up: God Has a Plan – A Good One! (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of @susanjreinhardt’s novel, The Moses Conspiracy. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Susan J. Reinhardt began her journey as a non-fiction writer. After numerous devotionals, short articles, and several contributions to anthologies were published, she switched gears and entered the world of fiction. The Moses Conspiracy is the first book in The Moses Trilogy.

A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.

Places to connect with Susan:








Susan and I look forward to your comments.


Sign up for my Author Newsletter here for upcoming news on Elaine Stock’s releases.



Ann Marie Bryan Speaks Up!

Ann Marie Bryan - Profile pic

Everyone’s Story welcomes Christian fiction author and founder of Victorious by Design, Ann Marie Bryan. I became acquainted with Ann Marie through the social media circles of all things writerly and I’m honored that Ann Marie has accepted my invitation to be my guest this week.  Ann Marie speaks up on why you should share *your* story, definitely keeping in the theme of this blog! Also check out Ann Marie’s lovely BookGiveaway offer. We look forward to hearing from you!






Ann Marie is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 Kindle edition of A Place for my Heart. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 8th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

Blurb for A Place for my Heart:

Crushed by heartache and desperate for an escape, he makes a life-changing choice.

When Chandler Peynard staggers into Sabrina Benjamin’s life, he is desperate for an escape route. Battling feelings of isolation, he has erected barriers around his heart, often times leaving a trail of broken dreams behind him.

Sabrina’s happily-ever-after was ripped away months ago, but she hasn’t given up on finding love. Still, she is caught off guard by her feelings for Chandler, a man who could hardly be described as a model man of God. As an unexpected bond develops between them, she wants more—a lot more than Chandler is prepared to give, because falling in love and putting down roots are not a part of his plan.

Touched by Sabrina’s kindness and faith, Chandler makes a life-changing choice; however, complication is inevitable when the past he’d thought was long buried, pushes him to confront matters he would have given anything to forget. As he struggles to release himself from his past and embrace the future, he offers Sabrina a place in his heart, but she demands all of it.

In a season that has brought so many changes, Chandler longs for peace in his soul and yearns for love. Will he trust God with all of his heart in order to overcome his past? Will he be able to testify that God’s grace wins every time? Will he find the strength to take a chance at life and love with Sabrina?

SHARE YOUR STORY: Inspire others into action by Ann Marie Bryan

I am an author. This is still surreal. Rightly so, because while I have always been an avid reader, writing a book never crossed my mind.

Why did I start writing?

After I got married, several of my friends and relatives wanted to know how I met my husband. So, I had to share my love story, over and over again. Of course, no one wanted to hear the short version of the story.

Six months later, I received a phone call from a friend whom I had not spoken with in a while. She too, wanted to hear my love story. After hanging up from my call, it hit me… write a book!

A long deafening pause ensued!

A book! A book!

Every reason not to write this book came to mind. Yes, every reason. But, I knew that I wanted to share my story. Further, I knew that if God called me to write this book, He would equip me and surround me with wonderful godly helpers.

So, like any well-thinking Christian woman, I took the matter to the Lord and felt the peace to proceed with this mission.


Approximately two years later, I published my first Christian Fiction, “Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along”, a love story based on real-life events. Two paths, destined to cross. Friendship, faith, and love are intertwined in ways neither could have imagined. Can love conquer all things? Find out in the heartwarming and humorous story, “Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along”.

After the excitement of publishing my first book, my writing journey continued with my bestselling, Encounters of the Heart series, which is based on Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) –“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Book 1 – Shades of the Heart is a novel about the courage to love in the midst of broken promises, and ultimately about the healing power of forgiveness.

Book 2 – Mirrored Hearts: Sealed By Fire is stirring and deeply satisfying new addition in the series. It details the struggles of two broken hearts, mended by enduring love and sealed by fire.

Book 3 – A Place For My Heart is an emotionally gripping account of a most unexpected love, and a marvelous reflection of God’s grace.

Encounters of the Heart series

I write to educate, inspire and empower others. Writing has become a natural way for me to process my emotions and a conduit to inspire those around me.

What about you? Are you ready to write your story?

Perhaps you have an idea for a book. Sounds great, but you already have too many commitments… a job, family, and many other activities. The thought of adding another task to your things-to-do list would cause you to question yourself.

The truth is – there is never going to be a perfect time. Writing is a discipline. Keep at it and before you know it, you will have chapters under your belt.

To move forward, ask yourself this question – Why am I writing?

After you have answered that question, jump into action by creating an outline of your ideas for your book. Of course, you will need to educate yourself about the publishing industry. Don’t be overwhelmed by your lack of knowledge. Select an individual, group or organization with the knowledge to help you succeed. Do research to obtain information on how you can best leverage your abilities to fulfill your dream of writing.

The entire process will be very exciting and you will learn many things about yourself. Your writing journey will inspire, empower, educate, and challenge you. The amazing thing is that God will continue to multiply what you have surrendered to Him.

Don’t delay. Start writing and watch God take you out of our comfort zone, stretch you, and show you that you can accomplish far more than you think.

Ready! Set! Go with God! Write your story and share it with the world.

Ann Marie’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet Ann Marie Bryan @authorabryan, writing novels about love & God’s grace. (Tweet This)

Author Ann Marie Bryan @authorabryan speaks up: Share Your Story: Inspire others into action. (Tweet This)

Author Ann Marie Bryan @authorabryan asks: Are you ready to #write your story? (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Ann Marie Bryan is a dedicated, graceful, multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Shades of the Heart is the first book in her bestselling, Encounters of the Heart series. Book 2 – Mirrored Hearts: Sealed By Fire was released February 2016. Her new release, A Place For My Heart, is the highly anticipated third installment in the series.

Ann Marie’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.

Places to connect with Ann Marie:








Ann Marie and I look forward to your comments.


Sign up for my Author Newsletter here for upcoming news on Elaine Stock’s releases.



Doug Cornelius Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story welcomes debut fiction author D.P. Cornelius, or as we’re invited to call him here, Doug. Doug has a passion to write stories for the YA, Young Adult, market with a highlight on different historical eras. This week he’ll share about The Baker’s Daughter, a novel set in World War II Germany, which is one of my favorite time eras to read about. Doug is also offering it as a generous BookGiveaway. We hope you will enjoy the interview and look forward to hearing from you!






Doug is offering 1 randomly chosen commenters  1 printed edition of The Baker’s Daughter. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 1st.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.




Interview With D.P. Cornelius

Congratulations on your debut novel, The Baker’s Daughter. A Christian novel, what is the theme?

The over-riding theme is God’s unconditional love, and how if truly received and understood, it can embolden a person to personal sacrificial love.

As a novel, is this story intended to be more entertainment or to show a lesson?

I believe that if a person invests a few hours into a book, he or she should get some benefit other than entertainment. Obviously, not all authors ascribe to this theory. Putting myself into the reader’s mind, though, I would just as soon learn something while I’m at it.

What moves the story forward?

One of the main characters is a Nazi officer named Keppler who was once a believer but has forsaken God due to family tragedies and has elevated country to top priority. The central question is whether he will be redeemed by the baker’s daughter, Liddy.


Did you have trouble portraying Keppler as a prototypical Nazi officer?

I’ve depicted Keppler as more than the embodiment of evil. He is a former university music professor caught up in his own love for country, rejecting any Christian values he once had. Part of the intrigue is he forms a delicate bond with Liddy’s 8-year brother, Willy, helping him with his piano playing.

There are many novels set during the WW II time era. How is this story different from many others?

Unlike many others, this one takes place right in the center of Third Reich activities—Berlin. I tried to depict how a typical Christian German family must have struggled with certain moral issues while trying to keep the family bakery afloat. Air raids and spies are more added complications.

Why did you pull into the story noted Christian martyrs of the day, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Father Maximillian Kolbe?

I relished the opportunity to provide an example of the utmost form of sacrificial love. Bonhoeffer was hung as a traitor, and Kolbe gave up his life for another in a concentration camp.

Some reviewers have commented that the ending is a bit controversial. Any thoughts?

The ending was abrupt as I wanted the reader to focus on the symbolism of what transpired in regards to the characters’ changes, embodying both understanding God’s unconditional love, as well as the sacrificial love exhibited by the martyrs. I thought the abruptness made it more powerful than had I continued on with the life stories of the Christian characters.

This is your debut Christian novel. Have you identified this as your niche?

I’m attracted to the Christian historical fiction genre. I like to depict young adults reacting to an adult-driven world that hopefully appeals to all readers teen and above. I’ve released DaVinci’s Disciples for a slightly younger reader, and people are clamoring for a sequel to The Baker’s Daughter.

For fun, Doug, please share your quick responses:

My favorite pastime: Watching the Minnesota Twins or Vikings!

YA fiction vs. Adult fiction: YA as I’ve chosen that as the genre I write

Favorite novel: To Kill a Mockingbird

I (love or am challenged by) research: I love to research any post sixteenth-century history

Would love to visit this country: New Zealand

Time period hoping to explore in future books: I have a pre-civil war period book in mind

What I love most about this present time: What I love the most about the present time is how mankind has used    God-given talents to come up with life enhancing inventions

Doug’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Like #ChristFic #YA novels? Meet Doug Cornelius @DpcBooks. (Tweet This)

Doug Cornelius @DpcBooks speaks out: How a #YA novel set in Nazi Germany was shaped. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Win Doug Cornelius’s @DpcBooks #BookGiveaway of The Baker’s Daughter. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

In his debut Christian novel, Doug Cornelius hopes to inspire young adults to reflect on God’s unconditional love while re-living history’s experiences confronting evil. A Twin Cities, Minnesota native, retired from careers at Target, Amex, and 3M, he enjoys spending time with his wife, two children, three amazing grandchildren, complacent old dog, and frolicsome new cat, Selah.

Places to connect with Doug:







Doug and I look forward to your comments.


June Foster Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story, fresh from a blog-vacation, gives a great big welcome to author June Foster. June, who is fabulously making a 2nd career as a multi-published author, writes Christian, sweet romances with the themes of redemption and grace. Have fun enjoying  June’s excerpt from her recent release, Letting Go, which is also a generous BookGiveaway for 1 fortunate winner! And, if you’ve ever wondered if it’s too late in life to try something new or question if you’ve heard God correctly in His direction to you, then you will appreciate June’s uplifting words. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you!

June also gave my novel, Always With You, a wonderful review if you’d like to check it out hereAlso, please be sure to check out a special opportunity (below June’s feature) for those who subscribe to my Author Newsletter.




June is offering 1 randomly chosen commenters  1 ebook edition of the Small Town RomanceLetting Go. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on August 25th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.


When Pastor Zackary Lawrence lost his wife and unborn child, he couldn’t find the motivation to effectively pastor his church in Oak Mountain, Alabama. Now, six months later, the congregation has dwindled to less than a handful, and the bank forecloses on the building. Desperate, he takes a job at the local hardware store and reluctantly moves in with his parents.

Though Ella Russell has secretly been in love with Zack since high school, her hopes were shredded when he returned from seminary with a wife. Trying to forget the only guy she’s ever loved, she throws herself into her profession as a high school counselor.

Can God resurrect Zack’s life and allow him to finally discover the woman he’s always loved? If Ella entrusts her heart to Zack, will he shatter her hopes once more?

Excerpt from Letting Go:

 Excerpt from Letting Go by June Foster: 


At the entrance to the trail, oaks grew on either side of the dirt path, shading it and giving the illusion of a tunnel created by nature. Silence in the still passageway was only disturbed by a bird’s trill.

About fifty yards into the forest, Zack paused to face her, tugging her hand to his chest. “Ella, I’m not sure if this is the right time, but I’ve thought about little else than us in the last few days. Soon, I’d like to talk about our future—together.” He swallowed hard. “That is if you’re ready.”

Ella glazed her fingers over his rough cheek. Hadn’t his faith in God grown? His desire to serve Him? She could trust him. “I think we’re headed in the right direction. I’m ready when you are.”

Shivers floated through her when he drew her near in a hug. As if they’d melted into one person, she could’ve remained in his arms forever. Finally, she stepped away. “We’d better keep on going. Let’s hope we don’t run into any bears.”

Zack grasped her hand, sending a flush radiating up her arm. “I’m holding on to you in case we see any.”

Ella laughed. “You mean, so I’ll protect you?”

He smiled. A comfortable silence fell between them.

The sun sent shafts of light amid the thick trees, golden reminders of God’s presence among man. The aroma of cedar and sweet shrub enticed her to breathe deeply.

Something cracked. Snap.

Zack stopped in the path. “Hmm. Must be a deer out there.”

Swish. Stomp.

Air thinned in Ella’s throat. “Do you think it could be a bear?”

“Probably not. The black bear is coming out of hibernation about now, but I don’t think they’d show up at the campground. Especially since no humans are leaving food scraps around.” Zack tightened his hold on her hand. “In any case, let’s go back on the outside chance a bear has emerged from its long winter nap.”

Her body flashed cold then hot. “I’m not sure we should let the kids loose on this trail anyway. It feels too remote for me.”

A flash of a person in a black jacket and jeans broke through the bushes. A blast and pressure to her right shoulder then under her arm smashed into her awareness. A scream tore through her and echoed off the trees. Her knees gave way, and she crumbled to the ground. She bit her lips to contain her groaning.

“Ella, what … Oh, no. Merciful God, help her.”

A man wielding a rifle slipped into the woods again, just out of sight. Odd. Someone shot her yet there was no pain. With her left hand, she touched the place where the bullet had entered then stared at her hand. Blood drooled down her palm and onto her wrist. As quickly as the bullet had made impact, now a searing ache sent unbearable throbbing to her arm. A dark fog beckoned.


God Can Use Us at Any Age by June Foster

I’d like to offer encouragement to anyone who feels they have passed the time in their lives when they can be of service to the Lord. Let me share my own story and remind you that God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t play favorites. If it happened to me, it could happen to anyone according to His will. I pray after reading my story, you’ll realize God can and will use us at any age in surprising and wondrous ways.

During my five years of college, earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, I wrote academically—essays, required papers, book reports, a thesis. On the job teaching elementary children, I wrote up lesson plans and student evaluations. But never anything that required plotting and creating a fictional story.

After thirty-four years, I retired and took up scrapbooking and card making, however, as I pasted pictures in my album and stamped cards, I found a story lurking in my brain. I could see the setting, a college campus, and the characters. But I had no idea what it meant.


One day at my daughter’s house, I told her the story, and it unfolded in my mind even more. She listened spellbound and finally said she thought I should write it. With her words, a spark lit inside me. I knew that I couldn’t not write. And there were other stories, too, begging to be told.

I joined ACFW and the scribe’s group, but none of the authors I encountered were anywhere close to my age. Remember, I was a grandmother and now—a great grandmother. I was way too old to start another career, and how was I to learn how to write fiction? The more my first story filled the pages, the more I realized how much I didn’t know. So I plodded along to see where the Lord would take me.

Then I came across another author who was about my age. Martha Rogers. I wrote her an email, and she wrote one back with lots of encouragement. In scribes, I met a wonderful mentor with tons of patience and wisdom. Fay Lamb graciously pointed out my writing mistakes and offered excellent suggestions on how to improve my craft. I poured over dozens of “how to” books as well.

Then there was the matter of publication. Was I to try to get my stories out there? I frequently wear my feelings on my sleeve and hate rejections. So with the first no, thank you letter, I figured I’d give up. But the Lord spurred me on and taught me how to deal with the negative responses. I kept a file of all my rejection letters and decided to paper my office wall with them.

Then one day, I received an email from a small press with an offer of a three-book contract. I screamed so loud, my husband came running from the bedroom to see if I was okay. But after that the we’re not interested letters continued to come, and I still had lots of room for improvement. (I’m still working on that today.) Several other presses I truly wanted to work for said no with a capital N.

But fast forward to today eight years later. The story ideas continue to flow, and I’m now settled in with a great publishing house and awesome editor. To date, fifteen of my novels are published, and there are three more in the works.

God uses me today to share my stories of redemption and grace, something I’d never dreamed would happen. He wants to use you, too. Ephesians 3:20 says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

June’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet award-winning #ChristFic author June Foster @vjifoster. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author June Foster @vjifoster speaks up on Everyone’s Story: Ever wonder how God uses you? (Tweet This)

Like #ChristFic sweet romances? Win #BookGiveaway of June Foster @vjifoster’s Letting Go. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June’s book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC’s eBook awards and a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan’s Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT’s Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan’s Father is published by WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, is available from Amazon.com. The Almond Tree series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, What God Knew, and Almond Street Mission are available at Amazon.com. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. Recently June has seen publication of Christmas at Raccoon Creek, Lavender Fields Inn, Misty Hollow, and Restoration of the Heart.

Places to connect with June:






Amazon Author Page


June and I look forward to your comments.


I’m about to do a Cover Reveal for my upcoming release of 

And You Came Along, a sweet romance novella.

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