TJ Mackay Speaks Up!

NewTJ

Everyone’s Story is Excited–with a capital E–to welcome fiction advocate, InD’tale Magazine! publisher and friend, TJ Mackay. I first was introduced to TJ while reading a Seekerville Blog feature and am I ever thankful. Not only did I win a full page ad in InD’tale, but also my novel Always With You was reviewed, and I have a featured article appearing in the February Valentine issue, but I must emphasize that TJ is a sweet, personable woman who really believes in the power of story and giving authors opportunities they might not have had otherwise. And Ho Ho Ho!! Check out TJ’s amazing Giveaway for 2 blessed author winners, as well as my BookGiveaway offer to readers. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

**My novella, And You Came Along, is now available in both print and ebook. Ho ho ho. Please check it out below TJ’s feature.

NewDec:JanIndTale

Giveaway:

TJ is offering 2 totally awesome deals for authors:

1st Prize: 1 full page ad in InD’tale Magazine***

2nd Prize: 1 half page ad in InD’tale Magazine***

***To qualify (and to have some fun!): browse through the December/January issue of InD’tale! and in your comment, please note the article you enjoyed most. See below for the link to InD’tale!

And for those viewers who are not authors, I am offering 1 ebook edition of my novella, And You Came Along.

The winners will be announced Friday morning EST on December 22nd.

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

  http://www.indtale.com/

InDtale logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Story Behind InD’tale Magazine by TJ Mackay

Hey everyone! I am excited to sit down and chat with you for a few minutes about what an amazing journey founding, developing and watching InD’tale Magazine grow from a single idea to a worldwide publication has been.

In a nutshell, I think this journey has been a mix of the perfect storm directed by God’s amazing grace. It began in 2011 as I was working from my home as the Special Features editor of a national publishing magazine. I absolutely loved the work but was very frustrated with the way mainstream publishing was headed – especially in my preferred genre of romance. It seemed that every book I picked was suddenly full of sex. Now while we all know sex in romance books is nothing new, what was new and most disturbing was how hard it was becoming to find books that didn’t include it. And, there was absolutely no way to know what a reader was getting into until they spent the money for the book and started reading. I can’t tell you how many books I purchased only to find they were NOT what I wanted to read!

July-August2017_

It seems I wasn’t the only feeling this way. More and more “clean” authors began contacting me asking if I would help them because publishers wouldn’t even look at their books unless they had the requisite 2.5 sex scenes deemed necessary to sell. This just happened to be at the same time the publishing industry was beginning to ride the Kindle/Nook/E-book/Amazon phenomenon.

I will never the phone call that changed my life. A dear friend had just become the very first self-published romance author to make the New York Times bestsellers list. In the midst of all the squealing she said, “This is going to be HUGE! You should start a magazine for all the indie-published authors and readers out there who need a platform for success! Well, the seed was planted. I decided I would create a magazine that would help all the authors who, through no fault of their own except they weren’t fitting into the correct “box”, find success.   AND, the books in that magazine would include a steam rating so people could determine how must sex was in a book before they had to buy it!

Looking back, I am absolutely amazed at what one can accomplish when they are too stupid to know any better.

TJmeme

I have learned beyond any shadow of doubt that God’s grace is great and that he truly does take an interest and direct us when we endeavor to do good. This journey has been nothing short of a succession of small miracles combined with more work than I ever imagined – prayer so desperate it’s scary at times and an overall sincere desire to bless and help others.

Sounds silly to some and we have had more scoffers than I care to list. Those from mainstream who are disgusted because we refuse to review erotica and scoff at the idea that I and the staff at InD’tale work in large part without payment (truly!) On the opposite side, many in the Christian world doubt because we allow books that have content that isn’t Christian and covers that may have bare-chested men on them (Yep, it’s true!)

NewNovIndTale

But, the whole point of InD’tale magazine was to help ALL people find better books. And, all people are not on the same level. Jesus, our greatest example of all, didn’t sit with only the pious, he got out and worked to help everyone while continually encouraging them to find better. That’s the example I so want to emulate.

So, no matter your situation, whatever your dream, go out there and work to achieve it! I am the perfect example of the fact that you don’t have to be an expert to find success. You just have to have a sincere desire, a lot of faith and a willingness to work hard. I love the saying “Get on your knees and pray – then stand up and get to work”—the very BEST formula for making your perfect storm happen!

 

TJ’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet TJ Mackay of @InDTaleMagazine, advocate of #indie and small publisher fiction. #Writing (Tweet This)

Readers: Check out @InDTaleMagazine for #Reader fun and meet new authors. (Tweet This)

#Authors: Want to win @InDTaleMagazine’s #Giveaway of a free 1-page ad for your book? Visit with TJ Mackay. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Founder/Publisher – InD’tale Magazine

            The publishing industry’s most trusted publication for independent and small published authors and readers. With top level interviews, cutting edge information and educational articles, along with professional book reviews, InD’tale brings the very best in publishing to anyone who loves to read. With worldwide distribution, InD’tale’s premier status was built on the high quality and professional yet personal interest Ms. Mackay is known and famous for.

Founder/Host – InD’Scribe Con and Book Festival

            Held in the fall of each year, InD’Scribe Con focuses on helping, supporting and nurturing authors at any stage of their career while allowing readers the rare opportunity to not only see but actually interact and spend time with their favorite authors. InD’Scribe does this by providing interactive workshops, panels and personal contact with top companies in publishing, as well as social events, signings and activities geared to enhance both the reading and writing experience.

Founder/CEO – RONE Awards

            The first ever awards strictly focussing on the Indie and small published world. Now dubbed, “The Oscars of Indie”, the RONE awards are not only the most prestigious award in the Indie industry but are also the most comprehensive awards in all of publishing today.

Places to connect with TJ:

Twitter

Facebook

InD’tale website

InD’tale Conference and Book Festival

TJ and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

Along:XmasYearRound

Jacey and Zander’s story, And You Came Along, is now out!! 

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble 

Kobo 

iBooks

 

Kathleen Rouser Speaks Up

Kathleen Rouser headshot

Everyone’s Story welcomes back Christian historical fiction author and dear friend, Kathleen Rouser. Kathy and I share the same agent and have clicked ever since. She’s they type of friend I feel as if I’ve known forever, but wished I really did know her since my childhood days… I’m so thankful I got to meet her in person a couple of years ago and look forward to another time, which I hope isn’t too far off. For now, please kick back with a cup of cocoa and enjoy her company. I hope you enjoy the interview and do check out her BookGiveaway offer of her newest release. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

**And exciting personal news to share: my novella, And You Came Along, is now available. Ho ho ho. Please check it out below Kathy’s feature.

SecretsandWishes 500x750 (1)

BookGiveaway:

Kathleen is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter the choice of either 1 paperback edition of Secrets and Wishes (US only) or 1 ebook. The winner will be announced Friday morning EST on December 15th.

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

 

 

 

 

Questions for Kathleen Rouser

Which 3 words describe Kathleen Rouser, the woman?

Believer, wife, mom.

Which 3 words describe the type of fiction you write?

Hopeful, faith-filled, romantic.

Out of the novels you’ve written, which was the most demanding, emotionally, for you? Was there anything or anyone you channeled to prepare or did you just dive in?

I don’t know that I can say that one was more demanding than the others. Writing fiction, for me, and digging into characters’ lives always takes emotional energy. Perhaps Secrets and Wishes was more taxing because I wrote much of it under a deadline.

Prayer is important. When I’m stuck for how to give more depth to a character or plot, I go to the Lord for answers, for inspiration.

KathyMeme

What’s been your biggest challenge in writing?

The discipline of it. I struggle with perfectionism and fearing what I write won’t be good enough, even though I’ve been published. Yet, a first draft will never be perfect. I have overcome it at times but feel I need to work at it to be more productive.

And the opposite: what’s the biggest perk in writing that makes you NOT want to walk away from the keyboard?

Once I’m in the flow of it I love being in the world of my story. It’s so much fun! There’s that goal of getting to the end of the story and looking back at what I’ve managed to accomplish with God’s help.

What type of books do you read for your own entertainment?

All kinds really. I enjoy the classics, romance—historical or contemporary, mystery, fantasy, and YA apocalyptic. I’ve been in a fiction phase for a long time, but also will pick up non-fiction when I need it.

What was the creepiest topic you’ve had to research? And, the one topic that took you most by surprise, delight wise?

Probably the creepiest thing I’ve had to research is about patent medicines at the end of the 19th century. Children became easily addicted and some died from overdoses of these so-called remedies because they were laced with dangerous opioids. Adults became addicted too. Also, learning how people were treated for overdoses at the time was not pleasant.

The most surprising delight wise came about as I researched homes for unwed mothers at the turn-of-the-century in Detroit. I discovered that Crittenton Hospital had been started as a mission for fallen women in Detroit around that time. I also found some books through interlibrary loan that provided a good amount of detail about how the Florence Crittenton homes were set up and run. In Rumors and Promises, the superintendent of the home in Detroit is Mary Hart, and yes, that was the real name of the woman in charge there. I was delighted at how it all fell into place and worked into my story in a way that made me sure God had provided.

What do you hope your life would be like in ten years from now?

Wow! That’s a hard question. I guess I’d say despite all my hopes and dreams I want to be at the center of the Lord’s will, doing what He’s given me to do.

Fast takes:

Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice (But there are many others right up there.)

Favorite music: Contemporary Christian, hymns, and Celtic

Favorite pastime: Hanging out with my hubby.

Country you’d love to visit: Italy

Cook or dine out: Depends on the day.

Scary movie or comedy: Comedy, definitely!

I’d love to________________ because________________:

I’d love to have one of my books made into a movie because it would be so cool to see it played out on the big screen.

51mSpq1l9AL

Kathleen’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

#ChristFic historical author @KathleenRouser speaks out: faith, creepy research, writing discipline. (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story Interview: Learn more about #Inspy author @KathleenRouser. (Tweet This)

Like historical Christian Fiction? #BookGiveaway of @KathleenRouser’s Secrets and Wishes. (Tweet This)

 

 

Author’s Bio:

Kathleen Rouser is the award-winning author of Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and the novella, The Pocket Watch. She is a longtime member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of 35 years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest.

Places to connect with Kathleen:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Secrets & Wishes

Rumors & Promises 

Kathleen and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

SantaStockingMeme

Jacey and Zander’s story, And You Came Along, is now out!! 

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble 

Kobo 

iBooks

 

Michelle Griep Speaks Up!

Michelle GRIEP

 

Everyone’s Story welcomes back popular Christian fiction author, Michelle Griep. Both Michelle’s  feature and BookGiveaway offered this week is in perfect time for the holiday season–I hope you’ll check them out and enjoy. Great ways to de-stress, for sure! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

 

**And exciting personal news to share: my novella, And You Came Along, is now available. Ho ho ho. Please check it out below Michelle’s feature.

 

Bleakly Manor COVER

 

BookGiveaway:

Michelle is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter 1 signed paperback edition of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. The winner will be announced Friday morning EST on December 8th.

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

 

5 Ways to Relax During the Holidays by Michelle Griep

It’s that time of year. Shopping. Parties. Caroling, cooking, decorating, wrapping and—Ack! Stop the merry-go-round. I want to get off. How about you? Are you ready to stop the holiday madness? Do you even know how to stop the madness?

Choose rest.

No, seriously, choose rest. Pencil it down on your To Do list. Write it on your calendar. Every day, set aside fifteen minutes of absolute down time. I’m not talking sit down on your fanny and whip out your iPhone so you can check your email for a quarter hour. I’m saying put your feet up and unplug in a quiet room. Why?

Because creative people must have time to be mentally recharged.

Downtime is essential to the mental process. Rest is too important to leave to chance, and at this time of year, that chance is miniscule non-existent.

But I hear you. As an author, I’m under deadlines galore. Tossing in the holidays and extra expectations sometimes sucks every minute out of my schedule, leaving zero for me to do the very thing I’m advocating here. Never fear, my friends, for I’ve got a handy dandy list of ways you can rest even without closing your eyes or putting up your feet.

MichelleMeme

5 Ways to Relax During the Holidays

  1. Put on some music in the background.

Prudent choice is a must for this one. Play some serene music in the background, not hard-core Christmas jazz. Think peaceful piano or soothing saxophone. Even simply classical has a way of calming down stress.

  1. Drink water.

This sounds like a stupid, made-up way to relax. It’s not. Oftentimes your body rebels and ramps up the stress hormones because you are dehydrated. Fill that water bottle. Drink it down. You will feel better for it. And no, egg nog or pepper mochas do not count.

  1. Breathe.

Again, this seems like a no brainer, but sometimes it takes a conscious effort to do the things your body needs. Like breathing. Take a deep breath, then empty out your lungs. Repeat that 5 times.

  1. Stretch.

Loosening the muscles has a way of shaking off some of the tension of your crazy schedule. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this or even slap on any yoga pants. Just an overhead stretch or two will often do the trick.

  1. Walk it out.

When you’re running errands, skip the parking lot road rage. Take the farthest spot and walk to the store. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll be one less car fighting for a close parking space.

There you have it. Some very simple ways that are free to reduce your holiday stress. It’s essential you take care of your body this holiday season—because nobody else will. They’re too busy getting ready for Christmas.

Oh, and one more thing. The best way of all to reduce stress is to kick back with a great book, and have I got one for you . . .

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series–a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale–by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite.

Michelle’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @MichelleGriep speaks up on: 5 Ways to Relax During the Holidays. #Writing (Tweet This)

Author @MichelleGriep shares what most #writers and #readers neglect during holiday season. (Tweet This)

Like #Historical #Inspy reads? Check out @MichelleGriep’s #BookGiveaway of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

Places to connect with Michelle:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Michelle and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

MotherDetectivememe

Jacey and Zander’s story, And You Came Along, is now out!!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo 

iBooks

 

Bethany Turner Speaks Up!

Bethany

Everyone’s Story welcomes former bank manager turned inspirational author, Bethany Turner. Bethany’s newest release is a romantic comedy, The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, which I won a print copy from a Goodreads Book Giveaway–I have two more books to read from my TBR mountain and then will be turning the pages on Bethany’s novel that is receiving some nice acclaim. Can’t wait!  This week, please enjoy Bethany’s blog feature, some very well-phrased and uplifting words that I’m sure you’ll agree with. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

SecretLife

BookGiveaway:

Bethany is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter 1 signed paperback edition of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck. The winner will be announced Friday morning EST on December 1st.

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

 

 

The Moment I “Got It” On My Journey by Bethany Turner

“…for the most part, I just fear I’m a one hit wonder. Without a hit. Or wonder.”

I said those words several months ago, to my editor. I was entrenched in the process of edits. Oh, edits. How you vex me! I generally tend to believe that my first draft is perfect. I mean, if I hadn’t wanted those to be the words in the book, I wouldn’t have written them. Of course by the time the many, many rounds of edits are completed, I’m able to see that my first draft was in fact a disaster, which bore no actual resemblance to anything other than unpublishable drivel. Nevertheless, until that first round of edits sends me careening back to earth from my lofty, delusional perch on Mount I-Deserve-a-Pulitzer, I get to enjoy a brief moment of satisfaction.

By the time I said those words, I couldn’t even spot the foothills of Mount I-Deserve-a-Pulitzer, or its lower-elevation but rockier-terrain Author Mountain Range counterpart, Maybe-I’ll-Earn-Back-My-Advance. No, I had tumbled into the dark shadows of the I-Can’t-Even-Write-a-To-Do-List Valley.

BethanyMeme

This book is my shot, you know? And once you get your first real shot, whatever that looks like, you have this brief moment of allowing yourself to breathe – maybe for the first time in a long time. You get the job, you sign the contract, you get the guy or girl, you land the big meeting…whatever it is, it’s enough to allow you to breathe. And then, of course, you begin to hyperventilate, because whatever it is that you’ve been working towards is about to cross over from dream to reality, and the real work is about to begin.

So there I was, in the midst of the 542nd round of official edits (Oh, it was only the third? Hmm. I could have sworn…), and doubt crept in. What are you doing? You don’t know what you’re doing. No one is going to read this book. On and on it goes until I’m convinced I will someday look back on all of this as “That time I tried to be an author.”

“…for the most part, I just fear I’m a one hit wonder. Without a hit. Or wonder.”

Yep.

And then the thought occurs…

So what? So what if I never write a bestseller? So what if the only 5-star review I ever receive is from my husband? So what if I never land another book deal? So what if I never even write another book? Does that make the excitement of actually achieving the dream, of seeing my story in print and on bookshelves, any less real and special? Of course not.

I think that often we get so focused on the achievements that we forget about the importance of the journey. At least I do. But isn’t the journey what God actually tends to use most often? Joseph isn’t a hero of the faith because he became the second most powerful man in Egypt, but rather because he never turned from God when everything went as wrong as it could go. David went from shepherd boy to king, but his sins and mistakes are what impact us most. Moses never got to enter the Promised Land, but that doesn’t mean he never should have left Pharaoh’s household. 

It’s the journey that God uses – to change us, to change others. And so often, the destination isn’t even what we thought it was. Isn’t that funny? While Saul of Tarsus thought he was on the road to Damascus, he was actually on the road to becoming the Apostle Paul. While David thought he was taking lunch to his brothers, he didn’t know there were stones waiting there with his name on them.

He is “able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of.” (Ephesians 3:20) When will I finally get that in my head and, more importantly, my heart? I may never have a hit…that much is true. But I will strive to never let a single day pass without observing the wonder of it all.

Bethany’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

#ChristFic #romcom author Bethany Turner @SeeBethanyWrite speaks out on doubts in #writing. (Tweet This)

Bethany Turner @SeeBethanyWrite: Ever fear you’re a 1-hit author? (Tweet This)

Meet Bethany Turner @SeeBethanyWrite, author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Bethany Turner has been writing since the second grade, when she won her first writing award for her essay explaining why, if she could have lunch with any person throughout history, she would choose John Stamos. Do-gooders all around her chose Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachev, but it was Bethany’s ode to Uncle Jesse which walked away with the prize. More than 25 years later, her writing is still infused with pop culture and off-the-beaten-track ideas.

Bethany is a born and bred Kentucky girl who relocated to Colorado in 2001, three years after meeting the love of her life in a chat room, back before anyone knew that wasn’t always a good idea. Thankfully, it worked out in this case, and she and her husband are the proud parents of two boys. In 2014 Bethany walked away from her career as a bank vice president to step out in faith as a writer. Since then, God has not only opened doors in the publishing world, but has also called her to full-time ministry serving on a church staff. She is an innovative systems administrator for a rural church that is passionate about reaching the unchurched.

Places to connect with Bethany:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

 

Bethany and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

AlongWinterdropMeme

 

And You Came Along releases December 2nd, look for buy links next week 🎄

 

Cynthia Roemer Speaks Up!

bio1

Everyone’s Story welcomes inspirational author Cynthia Roemer. Cynthia and I met online in all things writerly and I’m thrilled she’s my guest this week. I’m also excited to learn that he debut novel, Under this Same Sky (don’t you just love that title!) is book 1 of the Prairie Sky Series. I hope you’ll enjoy a good cup of coffee or cocoa as you read how God worked in Cynthia’s life to get her published. Also, check out her  BookGiveaway offer! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Book cover - final

BookGiveaway:

Cynthia is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter 1 ebook of Under this Same Sky. The winner will be announced Friday morning EST on November 24th.

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

Book Blurb: Under This Same Sky

      ~ She thought she’d lost everything ~ Instead she found what she needed most. ~

Illinois ~ 1854

Becky Hollister wants nothing more than to live out her days on the prairie, building a life for herself alongside her future husband. But when a tornado rips through her parents’ farm, killing her mother and sister, she must leave the only home she’s ever known and the man she’s begun to love to accompany her injured father to St. Louis.

Catapulted into a world of unknowns, Becky finds solace in corresponding with Matthew Brody, the handsome pastor back home. But when word comes that he is all but engaged to someone else, she must call upon her faith to decipher her future.

 

YOUR DREAM ~ GOD’S TIMING by Cynthia Roemer

We all have dreams…those driving pulses that spur us to action and set our souls afire. Whether small or great, each of us has deep-seeded wishes we’d like to fulfill. For me, it’s writing. Nothing ignites my creative energies like sitting down at my computer and pouring out words that prayerfully will encourage and strengthen others in their faith.

My thirst for writing began when I was 16 when, through the prompting of my high school English teacher, I entered a short-story contest at a local collage. My short-story won first place, and I was hooked. I knew then, the Lord was calling me to write.

While in college, I began to do research for the historical novel I had churning around in my mind. By the time I graduated, I had written a rough draft of Under This Same Sky, yet my dream of seeing it in print took a back seat as I took a job, married, and raised our two sons. Though I continued to write articles and short-stories for various Christian publications, my novel lay tucked away untouched for a number of years.

CynthiaMeme

In 2012, over twenty years later, my dream of writing novels was revived. With the help of critique partners and online courses through the American Christian Fiction Writers group, I began fine-tuning my writing skills and entering contests. In August of 2016, I met with the owner/publisher of Mantle Rock Publishing who requested a book proposal and later a full manuscript. In September of 2016, MRP offered me a two-book contract. In April 2017, nearly thirty years after I’d penned the original draft, Under This Same Sky was released, though a much different version than the original.

The Lord had at last allowed my dream to become a reality!

Though my dream all these years has been to be a published novelist, my goal has always been to touch lives through my writing. And, while I had to wait three decades for my dream to be realized, my goal of touching lives was fulfilled each time the Lord enabled me to write an article, short story, or devotional that sowed seeds of hope and encouragement into reader’s lives.

Under This Same Sky seeks to assure readers that God can take our deepest heartaches and bring about blessing if we allow them to draw us closer to Him. I wanted readers to know that no matter what they are going through in life, the Lord is there with them, cheering them on and offering strength and comfort.

All my life I’ve witnessed people trying to blame God for tragedy and loss. In Becky Hollister, I created a character who lost everything, including a portion of her faith, but who clung to the one hope that God still cared. Much of the internal part of the story is the Lord gently wooing Becky back to Him through the experiences she undergoes and people she encounters.

The novel’s key verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” Under This Same Sky allows readers to walk alongside Becky as she journeys from the depth of despair to a place of acceptance and understanding.

Whatever your dream in life may be, I encourage you to pursue it, but to allow the Lord time to ripen and mature it. Don’t try to rush it. Instead, enjoy the journey. Let God open the doors and bring about the fruit in His good timing. And while you’re awaiting your dream, don’t forget to make it your goal to touch others’ lives in whatever way the Lord deems best!

Cynthia’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Like #ChristFic historical novels? Meet @cynthiaroemer, author of Under This Same Sky. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

What does @cynthiaroemer advise #writers when waiting for dream to come true? (Tweet This)

Author @cynthiaroemer: How did her dream to become published differ from her goal? (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Cynthia Roemer is an award winning inspirational author with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. A free-lance writer since 1988, she has over 100 short stories and articles printed in various Christian publications. Her love of history and writing culminate in this, her debut novel. Under This Same Sky is Book One in her upcoming Prairie Sky Series. Cynthia writes from her family farm where she resides with her husband, Marvin, and their two college-aged sons.

Places to connect with Cynthia:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

Cynthia and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

AlongCoverCS5

 

🎄 Look for And You Came Along to release December 2nd ☃️

Norma Budden Speaks Out!

Norma in Steinbach (2)

Everyone’s Story welcomes back author and friend Norma Budden. Norma may live in Arctic Canada, but her heart is a warm and caring one, loving and helpful to family, friends, readers, and fellow authors. Patient in fielding my tons of questions and there for me in support, she’s been a true godsend! I’m honored to have her back on my blog. We look forward to hearing from you!

Please Note: Due to a change in schedules, Everyone’s Story has switched it’s launch time from Friday evenings to Friday mornings. However there may occasionally be a temporary, unplanned release time. I’ll do my best to be consistent.

 

An Affair newest download 500

A Book Highlight:

Norma, a prolific author, has chosen to highlight her novel An Affair to Remember. This will not be a BookGiveaway, but here’s the link on Amazon… and it’s only $2.99! An Affair to Remember is the first book of Norma’s Christian fiction “Freedom in Love” series. One Amazon review says about this novel: “It deals with the hearts of people and what happens when married people who intend to remain faithful to their partners are put in unpredictable and unanticipated situations under terrible stress within and without. Budden deals with this theme compassionately without compromising her own Christian values.”

Blurb of An Affair to Remember:

Monica Townsend enjoyed living the quiet life of a book editor – but, from the moment she stepped through her office door one evening, everything changed. Kidnapped at gunpoint, she was held hostage at an abandoned warehouse, praying her life would be spared as shots rang through the air.

Police Officer, Chase Travers, was on duty when the call came in. Being the first officer at the scene, he didn’t anticipate the sight awaiting him – three dead men sprawled on the warehouse floor. Upon further inspection of the premises, he discovered a barely conscious Monica Townsend and stayed by her side until the paramedics arrived.

In the hospital later that evening, supposed to be returning home to his wife and two sons, Chase felt prompted to stay at Monica’s bedside to ensure her safety. In the still of the night, a gunshot rang out in the hospital corridor. 

Chase and Monica escape and begin running for their lives, but they face an even bigger challenge as they battle an attraction to each other which intensifies as each hour passes. Will they be able to withstand temptation or, in the heat of the moment, after one devastating phone call, will they give in, changing their lives forever?

 

Questions for Norma Budden:

Which 3 words describe Norma Budden, the woman?

I asked one of the people who probably knows me better than anyone what three words he would use to describe me. These are his words:

as a woman: resilient, compassionate and a dreamer

as an author: profound, a visionary and a realist

Which 3 words describe the type of fiction you write?

Christian romantic suspense

NormaMeme

Out of the numerous novels you’ve written, which was the most demanding, emotionally, for you? Was there anything or anyone you channeled to prepare or did you just dive in?

I have to be careful lest you see the tears in my eyes, hear the quiver in my voice as I answer your question. All of my stories have been emotional for me, on some level, but Coming Unglued: A Mother’s Journey into Hell would have to be the one story that I wanted to walk away from … so – many – times.

To be honest, I was tired of crying. Tired of feeling like I was the one living in Hell. I was drowning in misery and sorrow, yet still had to find the strength and energy to work at the day job and put a smile on my face for my family. It was a nightmare. At one point, I had to set it aside for a few weeks to get my life back but then the urgency set in and I knew, without a doubt, God would give me the strength to finish it. I know without a doubt I could never have done it on my own.

As a side note: I had wanted to go back to it and journalize my thoughts as I read the story, but I never found the strength to do it until August, 2017. The story wasn’t as dark as I had supposed, but I was still drawn into the pages … still had to cry, still had to put the book down for a few minutes before so I could pick it up and continue reading.

So many people have been helped by Coming Unglued that every tear I shed was worth it, every memory relived. This is not my personal story, though my life has not been exempt of terrifying challenges. This is, however, a compilation of the stories I’ve been told by others who have endured abusive relationships.

What’s been your biggest challenge in writing?

Time. Life is too busy – too many responsibilities, obligations and distractions which doesn’t give the dreamer in me the time required in a day to pursue my dreams the way I would like.

And the opposite: what’s the biggest perk in writing that makes you NOT want to walk away from the keyboard?

My characters have become my friends and I want to see what they are up to these days. As other characters introduce themselves, I become fascinated – wondering what type of people they are, what their back story is, and so on. It is a wonderful aspect of my life.

What type of books do you read for your own entertainment?

Mystery suspense, Christian romantic suspense. I have been known to go outside of these genres but they are my preference.

What was the creepiest topic you’ve had to research? And, the one topic that took you most by surprise, delight-wise?

My books are largely based on events which happen to people and the ensuing drama and emotions involved so there is not a lot of research which goes into my stories, in terms of digging in and researching dozens of articles.

However, the subject which took me by surprise (and turned out to be enjoyable) was in If Only when the father and daughter communicated in a way I never imagined they would at the onset of the story.

What do you hope your life would be like in ten years from now?

That’s easy. I would love to be living in my dream house by the water and trees with enough rooms to accommodate friends and family who come to visit. I’d like to be taking road trips to meet and greet, in person, the avid readers and fans who have stood by my writing throughout the years.

Here’s something about me many don’t know: I’d love to stay young forever because I’ll always be a child at heart. Living this lifestyle would definitely keep me happy as I help others to be happy!

Norma’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Visit @NormaBudden, Arctic Canadian resident, Christian Romantic Suspense author. (Tweet This)

Did author @NormaBudden channel anyone to #write her most emotional story? (Tweet This)

Enjoy author interviews? Visit with @NormaBudden on Everyone’s Story. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Norma Budden is a Canadian author and Administration Manager who has worked in the isolated arctic for 25 years. She has had her share of challenges, yet she has met many wonderful people and made equally wonderful memories during her time in Arctic Canada. However, something shifted in 2016 when her oldest daughter took her two children and went away to college in Manitoba where they would be for a minimum of 3 years.

Since that time, her greatest dreams in this life have become equally divided between becoming a full-time writer, meeting her readership at book signings, and living in close proximity to those closest to her heart. She has grown tired of spending special occasions and holidays with her family and dearest friends scattered across Canada and the United States.

“There’s a restlessness in her spirit, an urgency to live life as if there was no tomorrow. There’s a change coming – a big one,” Norma assures. “I don’t know when, or where I’ll end up, but life won’t stay this way forever. It could turn out to be something like, ‘Now you see me, now you don’t.’”

Until that time, you’ll continue to find Norma working in Arctic Canada, spending time with the family who is still home, as she finds stolen moments to pen the stories which write themselves upon her heart.

Places to connect with Norma:

Website

Book Review Site

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Page

Norma and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

Like Author parties and Giveaways? Hope to see you on the Winter’s Kiss Facebook Release Party this Saturday, November 11th,  from 12-6pm EST: link

SweetRomances

 

Special Edition: Winter’s Kiss

This is a special edition of Everyone’s Story and I’m excited to share it with my lovely viewers. I’m honored and grateful to have been asked to participate with the five other authors of the Winter’s Kiss novella collection: Tanya Eavenson, Laura V. Hilton, Liwen Y. Ho, Ginger Solomon, and Carole Towriss. Each of these lovely and talented authors, under the editorial genius of author Cindy Flores Martinez, bring to the collection, which is releasing on November 7th, a special touch of love and warmth to gladden your hearts. Below, please visit with each author as she shares about her novella.

Please note: Everyone’s Story will now be published Friday mornings instead of Friday evenings. However, occasionally it may also publish at a different time or day. It will continue, though!!

 

Winter's Kiss

Here’s the link if you’d like to take advantage of the 99 cents pre-sale price

before it releases on November 7th: link

 

 

TanyaCover

Blurb for To Gain a Bodyguard:

Undercover ICE agent Madi Reynolds has spent years infiltrating a human-trafficking ring, but when her life is threatened, she is forced to walk away and advised to leave the country. Undeterred, she continues her plan to attend her brother’s Christmas wedding, with her partner assigned as her bodyguard. But after seeing Brice care for her niece, she finds it’s more than her life that needs protecting. Is there really any defense for the heart?

War Veteran and ICE agent Brice Johnson has been defending his country and American lives for as long as he can remember. Now, he faces the biggest assignment of his life–protect the woman he loves. He’s never been one to run from a fight, but when an old flame butts in expecting a second chance with Madi, and crippling visions of war call out to him, he begins to wonder if surrender is an option after all.

NewTanya

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

Brice and Madi have taught me that we all can be heroes in this world to one person or another. Sometimes we just have to step out in faith and do it!

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

Love conquers all, even if the road isn’t always easy.

Author BioTanya Eavenson is a bestselling and award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Visit her at http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/ on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.

~~~~~~~~~~

LauraCover

Blurb for Carousel Christmas:

Every year, Nick Trombley volunteers his time to decorate the Adirondack Carousel barn for Christmas, hoping that this will be the year when Noelle Callanan returns to the New York lakeside village to spend Christmas with her family. And that somehow, he might be able to make amends for the biggest mistake of his life.

Noelle fled from Saranac Lake, New York, four years ago when she caught Nick kissing her sister, April. He said it was innocent, but it drove her and Nick apart. Now Noelle wants nothing to do with home or her family who she believes sided with April. Even though April married another man, Noelle has no desire to see her or Nick again. She has made a new life for herself in New York City and is content. But this year her ninety-three year old great-grandmother wants to ride the carousel and have a family picture made in front of the giant Christmas tree. Her mother insists it’s past time to rebuild the bridges Noelle destroyed when she left home.

When Noelle arrives, her mother recruits her help decorating the carousel barn. She may be forced to work side-by-side with Nick, but will they be able to rekindle their high school romance? Will Noelle be reconciled with her sister and family? Or will this ride end where it started?

NewLaura

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

Sometimes forgiving others before they ask for forgiveness is healing for yourself and begins to break the ground for a restored relationship.

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

I always like to leave this up to God, because He might have a different message in mind. But forgiveness is a huge theme in this story, so I hope that if someone wronged them, they will reach out in forgiveness.

Author BioLaura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New. Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas. Visit her at http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ and http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon.

~~~~~~~~~~

LiwenCover

 

Blurb for Tropical Kiss and Tell:

Micah Chan has loved Lucy Choi ever since they were kids, but life—and some regretful decisions—stopped him from pursuing her. Now he has a choice to make: Let her marry another man or break up her engagement to make this Christmas the most memorable one of their lives.

 

 

Liwen Ho

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

In my novella, we see Lucy and Micah’s relationship grow and
progress from childhood through adulthood. During these years, they
made mistakes and hurt one another, but their love and care for each
other never waned. I love how real and vulnerable these two
characters are and how they used their growing pains to mature in
their faith and character. They taught me the importance of embracing
each other’s strengths, as well as showing compassion and grace for
another’s weaknesses.

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

I hope readers will remember that God is in control and He works everything out for good for us. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and we may not always make the right choices, but God is faithfully walking with us every step of the way.

Author BioLiwen Y. Ho writes sweet and inspirational romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots). She lives in California with her techie hubby and their two children, and blogs about her life as a recovering perfectionist. Visit her at Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

~~~~~~~~~~

GingerCover

 

 

Blurb for Christmas Reflections:

Marisol Jones never expects to marry. Most men can’t see past her scars, but Garth Simmons isn’t most men. He doesn’t seem to notice her imperfections and neither does his daughter.

 

 

 

NewGinger

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

This quote from one of my characters encompasses what this book has taught me (even though I don’t have obvious external scars):

“Your scars don’t define you. They may have shaped the person you are, but they are not who you are. You are God’s child, a princess of the King of Kings. He loves you just as you are. We all have scars, sweetheart. Mine just aren’t as visible. Some of our scars change us, either by making us better people or by making us grumpy, like Mr. Swanson. But even then, the choice is ours — to be better or to be bitter.”

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

The world looks at external beauty, but God loves us no matter how we look.

Author BioGinger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly). She writes or reads inspirational romance of any genre, and if she’s busy homeschooling, doing laundry, or fixing dinner, it’s on her mind. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and blogs regularly. Visit her at gingersolomon.com, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon.

~~~~~~~~~~

CaroleCover

Blurb for A Different Kind of Christmas:

Robinson Taylor Mitchell hasn’t been home for Christmas in four years—not since he walked away from his father’s lucrative but unethical business to live a simple life in Brandon Beach. What he wants more than anything this year is a special someone of his own to celebrate with, someone like Juli, who just moved to town but won’t give him the time of day.

Juliana Hellisch won’t be home for Christmas for the first time ever. She can’t understand why God would keep her away from her mother and four brothers, especially when they need her most. But she’s stuck in Brandon Beach working off school debt as a nanny to an adorable three-year-old, and there is no way she’s getting involved with a rich snob like Rob, not after what happened last time.

NewCarole

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you? What would you hope your readers will gather from your story? (combined answer follows)

They taught me to be patient! And to never give up. This story, and the characters, changed so many times as I was writing it, that it reminded me of what ended up being the message of the story. Sometimes God has a different plan for you, and you just have to be patient until he reveals it. Neither Juli or Rob wanted to be where they were, but they were exactly where God needed them to be to experience the blessing he had in store for them. My life looks nothing like how I would have mapped it out, but it’s wonderful. We have to stand back and give God time and room to work.

Author BioCarole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California, and now lives just north of Washington, D. C. in a Maryland suburb. She shares her home with her husband of 30 years and their four children, Three of which are adopted from Kazakhstan. She is the author of In the Shadow of Sinai and By the Waters of Kadesh, biblical fiction novels set in the time of the Old Testament. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, watches chick flicks, writes and waits for summertime to return to the beach. Visit her at her Website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon.

~~~~~~~~~~

ElaineCover

Blurb for And You Came Along:

A Mother’s Christmas Wish

All single mom Jacey Tucker wants for Christmas is for her young son to have a home and a smile. What she never expected was an eviction notice from her apartment, or the loss of her job. Now she can’t leave Kindred Lake, Pennsylvania fast enough.

A Wounded Detective’s Second Chance

Zander Paxton, wounded on duty while trying to save the life of his partner, needs a new residence for the second half of his recovery. His hometown of Kindred Lake offers promises, but it may be too late to make up for his past.

She heads south. He heads north. In the middle of a blizzard, five days before Christmas, they collide and wreck their vehicles, and nearly each other, on an ice-covered road. The kindness of two strangers provides a cabin for shelter, a place where pain is soothed and hope is renewed . . . until their pasts catch up to their present and threatens a forever separation. Is true love ever mistaken?

CroppedOct

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

It took Jacey a few heavy-duty life lessons, and finally getting stranded in a blizzard, and throw in a handsome cabin companion and the mercy of kind strangers, for her to finally grasp the meaning that if one believes in God that no matter what happens in life, He does NOT surrender His love and hold on you.

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

No matter if the time is a planned one or a complete surprise, but if you find yourself starting yet another new-beginning, with God as your #1 Partner, you can and you will come out ahead in a beautiful way you once couldn’t imagine.

LoveBetter

Tweet:

Meet the authors of the Winter’s Kiss novella collection. (Tweet This)

We look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

 

Look for me to appear on author Norma Budden’s blog, on Sunday, November 5th http://www.normasbooks.com/blog

 

Like Author parties and Giveaways? Hope to see you on the Winter’s Kiss Facebook Release Party on November 7 from 12-6pm EST: link

CuddleMeme

 

Michelle Kidd Speaks Up!

Profile

Everyone’s Story welcomes author Michelle Kidd. Michelle describes herself as a Christian, author of Christian fiction, romance, and time travel… and her novel, Timeless Moments, which is her Giveaway offer, reflects not only her passion but her success! Be sure to check out her novel excerpt. Then take a few minutes to see what Michelle speaks out on. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

TimelessMoments

 

BookGiveaway:

Michelle is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter a print book of Timeless Moments (if in US) or an ebook (if outside of the US). The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST (or possibly earlier that day) on November 3rd.

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

 

 

Excerpt froTimeless Moments

 

From Timeless Moments by Michelle Kidd

Addie Truscott could taste the bitterness of fear, a combination of dry mouth and sour stomach. Nasty business, this sneaking around. She didn’t enjoy snooping, but like anything else distasteful she found it best to close her eyes and avoid thinking about it. After all, a person didn’t spend a lifetime cleaning up other people’s messes by being squeamish.

She let herself into the forbidden room using a ring of keys that had appeared as if from nowhere. The metal cut into her palm. She realized she was gripping them like a vise. Take it easy! She took a calming breath still curious about the mysterious ring. Something about its unusual appearance told her not to reveal her discovery to anyone. Who had ever heard of a colorized picture—colored, not painted! The American flag emblazed in front of two buildings of equal height. Addie had never been to the larger cities, but she knew such structures weren’t possible. In gold letters it had the words: Never Forget. Never forget what? She shivered and ran her thumb over the smooth trinket. Focus, old girl. Now’s not the time to lollygag.

Inside the chamber, she removed the bundle of envelopes from her apron. Many still bore smudges of blood from the day she’d found her mistress. They’d littered the floor like so much confetti. Had this been the real reason for the fight between them? She’d read through each missive countless times, puzzled and fascinated by what they contained. Such nonsense about the future.

She’d always possessed a curious mind, and if there was one thing she couldn’t resist it was a good mystery. Strange things were happening under her roof, and she didn’t like it. She’d never been one to meddle, finding it best to do her job and not get involved. But Miss Jewel was something special. Without warning, the young woman had wormed her way into Addie’s heart. She flinched as her conscience reminded her how freely she’d jumped to conclusions.

Not wanting to stay in the room a moment longer than necessary, she hastily replaced the letters. Dr. Wiltshire must never know she’d taken them. She had intended to approach Miss Jewel and ask her about this mysterious Jack, but Dr. Wiltshire’s sudden return had prevented her from questioning her. Just as well, she didn’t think in her present state Miss Jewel could remember the truth.

Addie had to wonder if it was a coincidence. Many of the things she’d read, letters penned months earlier, were now coming to fruition. This had all the elements of one of her mystery novels. Just like the pages of her books, it was hard to resist, seeing each detail through till the end. This puzzle twisted and turned with hidden compartments, secret messages, and what was shaping up to be a devious villain.

She still hadn’t solved the riddle of how the letters got into the window seat. Was it possible the correspondence was from the future as indicated in the earlier notes? Doubtful. Not that she believed in such things, but she’d left her own message and was curious to see what would happen. The room had remained locked and there were only two sets of keys. She kept one herself, Dr. Wiltshire held the only other key.

How her heart thumped with irrational anticipation. It was time to see if she’d received a response. She took a step, mindful of the boards that groaned beneath her weight; she’d have a good laugh at herself when she opened it and found her own note still there. Such a foolish old woman entertaining this nonsense. Still . . .

Addie shoved aside the cushion, spotting the folded sheet of paper that protruded halfway from the crevice. She blinked at the neat square that lay there, challenging her to deny its validity. It was not the message she had left the day before—that much was obvious. Incredulous, all she could do was stare.

Suddenly, Addie’s heart seized. Her blood froze. She heard the distinct clip of Dr. Wiltshire’s shoes on the stair, their steady pace resounding like the minor keys of a funeral dirge. Trapped! She had mere seconds.

Frantic, she snatched the note, shoved it into her apron, and scoured the room for a place to hide. Her eyes fixed on the wooden armoire. Flinging the doors open, she squeezed inside and made herself as small as possible. She hadn’t even known her stubby legs were capable of such deftness. Oh, how she regretted her midnight raids of the pantry. She waited breathless, shuddering as she tried not to think about what Dr. Wiltshire might do if he caught her.

The jingle of keys never sounded more ominous. The door swung wide as he strode into the room and over to the cushion. Watching him through the sliver between the closet doors, she saw he wasted no time checking the window seat. She was sure she heard the sound of her own heartbeat threatening to give away her location. Thank the Lord she had removed the telltale note—if she’d been seconds later . . .

Addie eased her hand into her pocket, clutching the paper to reassure herself, as she watched him lift the lid. Upon finding it empty, he let it slam close. His eyes darted about the room as if he searched for something before stopping to rest on the armoire.

Did he see her? Spikes of fear paralyzed her. She held her breath, hand flying to her mouth. Addie sought the power to disappear, but found none. All she could do was pray.

Just as she thought he’d descend upon her, he swiveled and headed in the opposite direction—to the bed. She shoved a knuckled fist between her lips to stifle the gasp of relief. She stared with disbelief. His expression was almost unrecognizable. Where was the calm, reasonable doctor who carried out orders with such efficiency? She didn’t recognize this wild-eyed man that stalked about like a hungry lion? His hair, always so meticulous and groomed fell across one eye, casting an eerie shadow on his features.

He dropped to the bed, drawing the pillow to his face with all the tenderness of a lover. What was he doing? Dear Lord!

His lips moved, but she couldn’t make out what he was saying. He pulled something from the slip cover. It looked like . . . it couldn’t be . . . was that a clump of hair—Miss Jewel’s hair . . . tied with a satin ribbon. She observed, horrified, as he caressed it, twirling it around his finger. The clothes and walls of the closet threatened to close in on her. She was hot, suffocating, she had to get out.

Addie closed her eyes and willed herself to breathe. Why wasn’t he at the hospital? She had watched him drive away this morning. Only when she was certain he had gone could she venture from the room. Did he suspect something?

It seemed an eternity passed before he gained control of himself, returned the lock of hair, and smoothed his ruffled appearance. He checked the window seat once more before turning to leave.

She waited until the sound of his footsteps faded before unfolding herself and leaving the cramped space. Her muscles were stiff from the tiny area, but better sore than the alternative. On noodle legs, she eased to the door. She hesitated, listening for sounds of movement. What if he was waiting in the hallway? With a deep breath, she turned the knob. Locked! Oh, lands! Locked in from the outside!

Addie back-stepped trying to figure out what she should do. Her face glistened, damp with sweat. She dabbed at the perspiration with the corner of her apron. The keys dangled, useless in her hand—the lock was on the other side of the door. If only . . .

Fear muddled her thoughts even as she recognized she must keep her wits to escape. Think! Culpeper would help her, but where was he? With hope, she moved to the window. Yes! There, trimming the hedges in the garden!

She pecked at the glass trying to get his attention. He had to see her. He did not look up at first, but after her persistent tapping he cast a wary glance upward. She read confusion on his face even from a distance. Why was he standing there? Didn’t he understand she needed him? She continued to motion for him. Oh, how she wished he’d hurry.

After several attempts, he seemed to understand that she wanted him to come inside. He laid aside his pruning shears, looked from side to side as if assuring himself he wasn’t being watched, and headed to what Addie hoped was the kitchen entrance. She moved to the door to await his approach. It seemed forever, before she heard the familiar shuffle of his feet.

“Addie? What you do’n in Miss Jewel’s room? You fix’n to get yourself in a mess of trouble.”

“Where’s Dr. Wiltshire?” she hissed.

“He gone.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes’m, I seen him drive away not more than five minutes ago.”

“I’m locked in and need your help. I’ll slide the key under. Can you let me out?”

“How you lock yourself in?”

“Not now.” Addie pulled the object from the ring and shoved it beneath the door. “Please, just hurry.”

There was a brief pause and the scratching of metal against metal, before the knob turned and Culpeper’s bent figure smiled at her. “There you go. You want to tell me how you got yourself locked in there? Dr. Wiltshire ain’t gonna like it when he find out.”

“He isn’t going to find out.” Addie did her best to restore her dignity, pulling herself up straight and squaring her shoulders. “This has to be between you and me. Our lives could depend on it, Culpeper. Swear?”

“I swear. You know I ain’t no fan of Dr. Wiltshire, that’s a fact. But you better be mo’ careful from now on. Ol’ Culpeper may not be around to let you out next time. This got something to do with Miss Jewel?”

“Yes, she’s in trouble. I’m just not sure to what extent. We’ve not done right by her, Culpeper. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Be alert. Things aren’t what they seem in this house.”

“I know that’s right.”

Minutes after watching Culpepper limp back to finish his gardening, Addie hurried to the privacy of her room off the dining area. It was a cozy little space filled with shelves perfect for her mysteries. She pulled the crumpled letter from her pocket. She’d put herself at risk to intercept this note. Now she was praying it would shed light on her unanswered questions. With clumsy fingers, she unfolded her spectacles, fastened her greedy eyes to the words on the page, and prepared herself for whatever truth the message may lend.

 

Consider me a friend who wishes to express my deepest concern over the disappearance of my friend, the woman I have been corresponding with named Jewel. I fear for her safety.

I am not sure how little or how much you know about me, but I write to you from the year 2014. As incredible as it seems, somehow our worlds have overlapped, allowing Jewel and I to communicate. Her letters stopped abruptly two months ago, and I’m worried that she may be in trouble. My intentions for writing were never to cause her any grief, but to learn more about our unusual circumstances. Please, if you could tell me what happened to her, I’d be so grateful.

Sincerely,

Jack Vines

 

Addie made the sign of the cross, fanning her flaming cheeks with the letter. Lands! How could this be real? If this was to be believed, Miss Jewel wasn’t crazy. All this time she’s been drugged and held against her will, and she, Addie, had a hand in it. Lord, forgive me!

It also meant she needed to use extreme caution when dealing with Dr. Wiltshire. He had tried to kill his wife, and almost gotten away with it. What would he do if he found out she had read the letters?

Oh, Lord, why? What am I doing?

Thoughts stung her mind like many bees. Her first priority would be to get Miss Jewel off the medication. That would not be easy given that Dr. Wiltshire controlled the dosage and had convinced his young bride of his devotion. Weaning her away from it could be dangerous, too. She needed a miracle, that’s what.

Then there was the business of the letters. Somehow she must let this Jack-person know that Miss Jewel was in danger. But did she dare sneak back inside the room? What if Dr. Wiltshire figured out what she was doing?

The police were not an option. Who would believe such a story? Even if she reported it, it would be the doctor’s words against her own. Who would the authorities be more inclined to trust . . . a doctor or an addle-brained housekeeper? That’s what he’d say. She’d experienced the ease in which he lied. No, she’d have to figure this out on her own.

As she collected a pen and paper, she tried to think what she should write. She positioned herself at the desk, touched the tip of her tongue to the nib, and scratched out a message. With resolve, she did her best to push down the feelings of doubt and disbelief.

 

Dear Mr. Vines,

I am writing this letter on behalf of my mistress to let you know she is in danger. Please understand that I overstep my station in telling you this information, and, I pray you are a man of honor. I find this most remarkable, and have difficulty believing that you are, as you say, from the future. Still, I have seen your letters as proof, and I must take this at face value and not some sort of hoax.

Mrs. Wiltshire is being held here in the house against her will. She is in the upper tower. My employer is a cruel man, and I fear for all our safety. He has convinced Miss Jewel that she has some sort of break from reality and that you are part of this insanity. He has her heavily medicated, and controls the distribution and dosage of the drug. I feel helpless as to how best to help. It is my duty to look after Mrs. Wiltshire.

I . . .

 

But Addie didn’t get to finish that thought. Urgent pounding at the door startled her from her deep thoughts, causing her to drop the unfinished message to the floor. What in the world!

“Addie, I need you to come quickly.”

“Dr. Wiltshire?” Her voice squeaked despite herself. With a haste she didn’t know she possessed, she gathered the letter, folded it, and shoved it as far back into the pigeonhole as she could. She piled several books to the front, hiding any trace of the paper. “Just a moment.”

She swung the door open and stepped out into the hallway. “What seems to be the problem, Dr. Wiltshire?”

“It’s Culpepper. I’m afraid he’s had a terrible accident.”

“Accident, wh-why I just saw him not more than thirty minutes ago.”

His ice blue eyes glittered. “Addie, that’s the thing with accidents, you never know when one might happen.”

The hair on her neck bristled. “Well, is he all right . . . where is he?”

“It’s a mercy I found him.”

You? But I thought you’d gone for the day?”

“Gone? Why, Addie, I never left.”

 

 

Casting Out Fear by Michelle Kidd

 

Whenever I’m asked to write anything outside fiction, I panic. Do I have anything to contribute? What can I say that anyone would want to hear? Who am I and why would anyone want to read what I have to say? Voices of doubt and insecurity creep in.

Anyone who lives with fear and uncertainty knows it can be debilitating. That’s why I’d much rather hide behind fictional characters and hang out inside an alternative reality. From there I’m safe. If someone doesn’t like my work, it’s the character’s fault—at least that’s what I tell myself. On the other hand, if I step into the world of social media, I open myself up to ridicule. I’ve been known to agonize twenty minutes over a 41-character Tweet.

Then I remember what is important.

MichelleMeme

Sharing shouldn’t be about one’s self. It’s not even about the reader. GASP! If what we do is to truly matter, it must be about giving glory to our Heavenly Father. That’s why we have this beautiful nugget of truth: “Perfect love casts out all fear.” When we remove ourselves from the equation and make everything we do about giving glory to Him, it puts our efforts in perspective.

Many people struggle with doubts and insecurities. As writers we are especially prone to this temptation. We often take ourselves too seriously. That, in my opinion, is what the enemy counts on. If he can cause us to take our eyes off giving glory to the Father, he stops us in our tracks.

I often question the Lord why my themes tend to deal with darker matters. Why can’t I write light and fluffy feel-good books? It isn’t as if I haven’t tried. I have purposely set out to do just that, but no sooner do I start when something dreadful happens to my characters and they are forced to overcome some dark monster and conquer their own battles with self-doubt. I suppose books would be pretty boring without conflict, but it’s far different in the real world when we are forced to battle our own demons. As authors, we push our characters to do things we would never dream of doing ourselves.

So, why not just stay where things are comfy and never push ourselves to tackle fear? Why did I agree to do a blog when it causes so much anxiety? Why not make excuses, or more honestly, admit I’m afraid of what people will think of me? The answer is simple. God has promised that his grace is sufficient for us and His power is perfected in our weakness. By faith, I’m learning to allow my love for the Lord to be stronger than my fear of failure.

No one knows our weaknesses better than the Father who created us. So, when I tell him that I can’t do something, He rightly agrees, but reminds me that that is when He oftentimes gets the most glory.

After I wrote my first book, I was absolutely convinced no one would ever want to read it. It dealt with difficult subject matters, and I feared what friends, family, and readers would think. I almost let that anxiety keep me from submitting it to a publisher. I wasn’t sure I could handle dealing with that sort of rejection. Still, I loved my characters and felt the Lord was leading me to share their story. Against every instinct I had, I submitted and was accepted by Amazon’s Kindle Press. Since then, I have had countless readers, Christian and non-Christian, reach out and tell me how Jewel’s story has touched them. There is no greater feeling for a writer than to receive a “THANK YOU” letter, email, or correspondence. Have they all been positive? I wish! But even in this, God receives the glory as He continues to, as the psalmist says, “enlarge my steps under me.” Praise and criticism are a part of growth, and if I connected with one reader to show how faith can overcome adversity, it’s worth the struggle.

If fear weren’t so much a part of who we are, it wouldn’t be mentioned so many times in the Bible. Is there something you feel compelled to do? Are you being asked to branch out in a new direction that requires you to step outside your comfort zone? My question to you today is this, are you willing to lay aside your fear and do all that God asks? When we give ourselves in love, we allow God to work through us, despite our sometimes-clumsy efforts. Moving forward is never without cost, but you never know how God will use you next.

Michelle’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Like reading #ChristFic #Romance and #Timetravel? Meet author @MichelleKidd67 (Tweet This)

@MichelleKidd67 speaks up: Casting out fear in #writing and life! (Tweet This)

@MichelleKidd67: How easy is it for you to move forward? #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Born and raised in the heart of Virginia, Michelle Kidd is an author, quilter, and avid reader. Michelle lives with her husband of 25 years, two sons, the world’s craziest cat, and dorky dog. When not writing, she enjoys homeschooling and time with family. A lifelong writer, she enjoys weaving her faith through her stories. 

Michelle enjoys hearing from her readers and learning how the stories and characters have impacted them.

Places to connect with Michelle:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

 

Michelle 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.

 

Karen Campbell Prough Speaks Up!

NewKaren

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
Candles:KarenPeace:Karen

BookGiveaway:

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.

KarenMeme

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:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

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!

NewPatPic

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.

 

NewJusticeBuried

BookGiveaway:

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.

PatMeme

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:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

BookBub

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.

BookStore

 

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.