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A Fuzzy Peach — Ada Brownell

Today I’m happy to welcome author Ada Brownell for an author spotlight and giveaway. Read through to the end to find out how to enter.

A ripe peach is a delicacy created by God’s heavenly love with us in mind.

I grew up in peach country and every summer, we visited the orchards. One summer I worked on my aunt’s peach and horse ranch, taking care of her children, making lunch, and later picking peaches and working in her peach packing shed as an inspector.

I had to watch for bad spots, the little hole in one end that signified a split seed, and see that the fruit was an acceptable size. The peaches were poured onto a belt that had rollers to help move the peaches gently down the line into wooden boxes. The peaches rolled around so I could see all their sides if I kept my eyes on the conveyor belt.

Today the taste of a fresh tree-ripened peach is not experienced by many. The trouble is that most peaches are picked green so they won’t be bruised during packing and shipping. A peach ripened in the box is about 10 percent as tasty as a juicy tree-ripened one.

Some orchards near Palisade, Colo., allow buyers to come in and pick their own fruit. Now as sweet as a peach is, you wouldn’t think there is a problem with pulling the fruit off the tree, but every peach is covered with an irritant. The problem is fuzz—peach fuzz!

Pros who work the orchard can’t wait to go home at the end of the day and take a shower. Peach fuzz sticks to sweat on hot sticky days, and it feels about like you’ve been crawling around in an attic insulated with rockwool, or spun fiberglass.

Where I worked inspecting peaches on the conveyor belt, the machine defuzzed the peaches as they went through the line so customers and grocery store workers weren’t bothered by fuzz.

Today scientists are working with peach genetics to get rid of the fuzz. Nectarines are closely related to the peach and don’t have the itchy stuff.

Yet God knew what he was doing when he designed the peach. Experts tell us fuzz protects peaches from loss of moisture due to evaporation, and it also protects the fruit from bugs.

In the last chapter of Peach Blossom Rancher John Lincoln Parks sees his work in the orchards pay off. Here’s an excerpt:

August 25, 1910, arrived with John supervising a crew of peach pickers and packers. “This is the best crop peach growers have had in recent years,” he shared with Paul Jorgenson. “Too many bad years in a row caused a good market. Evidently people everywhere are hungry for peaches.

Paul stood nearby, crutches under his arms. Both hands free, he took two fingers and pulled the peel from a big yellow peach blushed red on the cheeks. He took a bite, and juice dribbled down the edges of his mouth.

Ah. Wonderful.” He yanked a big blue and white handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his face. “Nothing better than a tree-ripened peach.

Bellea walked up behind him, took one crutch, and put an arm around her husband’s waist. “You hungry already? You had a big breakfast.”

Paul grunted as he chewed. “Aw, wifey. I can eat a ripe peach any time. John, how many Arabian horses do you have now?”

With that new colt, I only have the three. I hope to have at least twenty for breeding.”

Sounds wonderful. How do Polly and Abe like their new house?”

They’re happy as two crickets on a summer night. You probably heard their son is back and working for us. We’re building a house for his family, too.”


— What is your current work in progress?

I have about 15,000 words written on the third book in the Peaches and Dreams series. The Lady Fugitive is first, Peach Blossom Rancher second, and Ritah is the working title for the third.

Here’s the summary: Ritah heads off to college, one of the few women who attends college in 1916. She hopes to fulfill her dream of becoming an outstanding teacher. She especially wants to see women succeed in the marketplace in case they need to support their family. But war, trouble back home because of a man trying to make a young friend work in his brothel, sickness, and two men who propose marriage stand between Ritah and the life she hopes to live. Will she marry one of these men? Will she achieve her goals?

— What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

My most difficult writing obstacle is time, and I think I’ve found the answer. I need to get by with less sleep, and budget my time just as I do money. At this moment I’m thinking of writing down what I need to do each day, and writing out a schedule for it all. I need to prioritize like emergency rooms do their patients with triage. I used to do that in my youth quite successfully. I at least need to try it now.

— When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Although I’d written for Christian publications for years, I didn’t call myself a writer until I went back to work as a newspaper reporter and made significant money for my work. I’d read somewhere you aren’t a professional writer unless you’re making a living at it.

For years I only made $3 and then maybe up to $10 or $12 for an article. Yet one time I sold an article to David C. Cook’s Leader Magazine for $35. I had to look at it twice before I believed I received that amount. I was so excited I sold my accordion, put the $35 with it, enrolled in a Christian Writing correspondence course and bought an electric typewriter. It was at least 20 years before I made $35 or more again from one article.

Now that I have seven books and helped put our children through college on my newspaper reporter’s salary, I do accept the title that I’m a writer.

Readers, Ada has a question for you… Have you ever tasted a tree-ripened peach or encountered peach fuzz? She’s giving away one e-copy of Peach Blossom Rancher and one copy of The Lady Fugitive.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Peach Blossom Rancher:


To write this historical romance, the author drew from her experiences as a journalist covering the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, a former asylum; and from working during her teens on a peach and horse ranch in Palisade, Colorado.

Although the fictional asylum is in Boston, the author says you wouldn’t believe the types of diagnoses that could get you committed in the early 1900s. She took the information from historical lists compiled by the Colorado Board of Lunacy Commissioners on the supposed cause of insanity of those held in 1899 to 1910, when asylums were young. Many of those conditions are revealed in the novel.

The leading man, rancher John Lincoln Parks, yearns for a wife to help rebuild the ranch he inherited. He eyes Valerie MacDougal, a young widow who homesteaded, but she also is an attorney who hopes to help those wrongly held in the asylum. One of those she hopes to help is a doctor who had one seizure.

Will the doctor ever be set free from the asylum? Will John marry Valerie or Edwina Jorgenson, the feisty rancher-neighbor he constantly fusses with? This neighbor has a Peeping Tom whose boot prints are like the person’s who dumped a body in John’s barn. Will John even marry, or be hanged for the murder?

21 Reviews

Get e-book or paperback of Peach Blossom Rancher–on sale now for .99 at



Peach Blossom Ranch March 1904

Come on boy, your hard life is over.”

The sleek stallion pulled, snorted, grunted, yanked his head upward and tried to whirl away. John Lincoln Parks held the reins tight. “Come on. The judge isn’t here. The whip’s in your past.”

Bringing the animal all the way from Colorado’s Eastern Slope after the judge’s death hadn’t been easy. The judge, John’s uncle, was murdered near Yucca Blossom and would never return to the horse ranch and acres of peach orchards he expected to inherit from John’s father.

He look like he a good un to breed,” Abe said, sweat glistening on his crinkled chocolate brow, “But an animal abused like ‘im usually is disobedient or loses his spirit.”

John rubbed the stallion’s neck and extended a hand with sugar cubes in it. “I don’t want to give up on him yet. Come on, boy. We’re going to be friends. You should be tired and hungry after that train trip.”

A long red tongue licked the sugar cube into the toothy mouth. Abe followed John to the horse barn.

I’ll get ’im some oats and fill the water trough. He a right pretty animal except fa the welts the judge left on ’im.”

Thanks, Donna, for inviting me to be your guest.



Author of Peach Blossom Rancher on sale for .99 Oct. 19-21

Ada Brownell is the author of seven books. She has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo.

A freckled redhead, she’s used to standing out in a crowd like her seven older sibling achievers she grew up with, most of them redheads. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher, and most of her life sang in Christian gospel groups including the Damascus Singers and Praise Trio. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers.

Read sample chapters of her books on Amazon or listen to her audio Imagine the Future You. Amazon author page is

Connect with Ada at

Book Fun Network:


Twitter: @adabrownell

Amazon Ada Brownell author page:



Blog: Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement



October 2017 New Releases!

October 2017 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner — Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier. (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Waltz for Amber by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Amber, a struggling dance teacher, is desperate to make a success of her studio. The quickly approaching Christmas recital should help except for one problem—the high school music teacher scheduled the holiday program on the same night, causing a conflict for her students. Will she be able to sustain her business or will she lose everything in the pursuit of her dream? Chris is thrilled to be back in his hometown. However, his past won’t stay in the past, and the pretty dance instructor is a constant reminder of his failings. He wants to make up for his youthful mistake directed at her, but how? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Secret Christmas Twins by Lee Tobin McClain — Christmas came early for Erica Lindholm! Suddenly a mom to adorable twin baby boys and part owner of a snowy small-town Pennsylvania farm, Erica is living her dream. Until the boys’ estranged uncle, Jason Stephanidis, comes home to celebrate the holidays. The handsome, brooding detective turns out to be a natural with the babies…and with Erica’s wounded heart. But if Jason knew the truth about their identities, her picture-perfect life could melt away. Will Erica’s secret cost her everything? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Fall Into Romance by Melanie D. Snitker Surround yourself in the romance of the autumn season with 10 heartwarming, sweet novellas from USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. Each story takes you inside the heart of a small town—its people—and features adorable animal friends in need of a forever home.
Take a trip to Romance, Oregon, where falling in love has never been easier and happily-ever-after is guaranteed! (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Texas Holiday Reunion by Shannon Taylor Vannatter — With her foreman out of commission, Resa McCall needs horse trainer Colson Kincaid to run her family ranch through the holidays. But having the handsome single dad back in Bandera, Texas, is unsettling. Colson broke Resa’s heart years ago, and she can’t risk getting close again. Still, working with him and bonding with his sweet little girl is making the ranch feel merry and bright. Being at Resa’s side stirs up emotions Colson thought were long gone. But he has a powerful secret that could keep them apart forever. Can Colson give Resa the one Christmas present that might finally bring them back together—the truth? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall — Arson wasn’t the only fire that ignited between them. Promises shattered. Lies spoken. She was arrested. He returned to the safety of his wealthy parents.
Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialists in the field of speech therapy. They meet again . . . thrown together to help a four-year-old-girl rendered mute after being rescued from a fire. Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized child and her family. Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all? (Contemporary Romance from Woodsmall Press)

General Contemporary (includes Women’s Fiction):

Piper’s Passion by Lee Carver — Piper Jordan, an American reared in Brazil, had her pilot’s license before she could drive and her aviation maintenance certificate before her business degree. Pulled between two countries, two career paths, and separated parents, she strives to determine what is significant and what to do with her life.
Kyle Chamberlain, pilot with Outreach for Christ, wears a wedding ring that says he’s not ready to date again after Rosanna’s death. Wielding a wrench with the cutest pilot/mechanic he’s ever seen turns his head. But would a dynamic woman with her talents and eventual inheritance accept his missionary life in the Amazon? (Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Independently Published)

Grace in Strange Disguise by Christine Dillon — Physiotherapist Esther Macdonald is living the Australian dream, and it doesn’t surprise her. After all, her father has always said, “Follow Jesus and be blessed.” But at twenty-eight, her world shatters. Everyone assures her God will come through for her, but what happens when he doesn’t? Has she offended God? Is her faith too small? So many conflicting explanations. Will finding the truth cost her the people closest to her heart? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano — When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company. When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance–and perhaps even her father’s death. (Historical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Other Side of Freedom by Cynthia T Toney — In 1925, a thirteen-year-old boy witnesses a crime—the murder of a family friend—and must choose whether to remain silent as his father asks or defy mobsters and corrupt police to save his family. (Historical from Write Integrity Press)

Historical Romance:
Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander — In the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas, the cost of love . . . and of loving again. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

The Captive Brides Collection by Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Lucy Thompson, and Gina Welborn — Journey along as nine historical women are about to make their escape from some of life’s greatest challenges. Can their captive hearts be freed to dream, to dare, to love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Mountain Christmas Romance by Misty M. Beller — Stripped of the family so important to his Viking heritage, Matthias Bjork is now on the hunt for his sister. Despite combing the entire Wyoming Territory, he hasn’t found any substantial leads regarding his sister’s whereabouts, but he has discovered a most unusual woman.
Opal Boyd has finally found the haven she’s longed for all her life, in a most unlikely place—working for a German couple in this remote Wyoming mountain town. She learned long ago that most men couldn’t be trusted, but when a mountain man stops in the boarding house where she works, he seems to have the respect and affection of the two people she’s learned to trust implicitly.
But when Matthias’ search for his sister takes an unexpected twist, Opal is forced to make a choice that will alter the course of her life—no matter which answer she chooses. When Matthias’ decisions land Opal in danger, what must he sacrifice to rescue her? (Historical Romance, ACFW Qualified Independently Published)

Fool’s Notion by Lisa J. Flickinger — Feisty Alda Lealand braves fifteen hundred miles with a pack string of mules—and the help of an unexpected cowboy–to save the family farm. (Historical Romance from Forget Me Not Romances [Winged Publications])

Playing by Heart by Carmela A. Martino — Emilia Salvini dreams of marrying a man who loves music as she does. But in 18th-century Milan, being the “second sister” means she’ll likely be sent to a convent instead. Ironically, Emilia’s pious older sister, Maria, would gladly become a nun. But Father won’t allow it—her brilliant language skills are too important to his quest for noble status. Emilia’s only hope is to prove her musical talents are as indispensable as her sister’s skills. First, though, Emilia must win over her music tutor, who disdains her simply for being a girl. Before she can carry out her plan, though, Emilia’s mother dies in childbirth. In her sorrow, Emilia composes a heartrending sonata that causes the maestro to finally recognize her talent. He begins teaching her music theory alongside handsome violinist Antonio Bellini, the great-nephew of a wealthy marquis. The two begin as rivals, but Emilia gradually falls in love with him. (Historical Romance from Vinspire Publishing)

Historical Western:

Too Far Down by Mary Connealy — A citified mine operator and a tough western cowgirl are the most unlikely couple of all as they team up to fight the outlaws that want the Cimarron Ranch. (Historical Western from Bethany House [Baker])

Romantic Suspense:

Dangerous Ground by Gayla K. Hiss — Deputy Marshal Kate Phillips comes to the Great Smoky Mountains in search of answers concerning her uncle’s suspicious death, and finds herself in the middle of an ancient family feud and a land dispute with handsome first responder, David Jennings. (Romantic Suspense from Mountain Brook Ink)

Christmas Captive by Liz Johnson — On his cousin’s Christmas cruise wedding, navy SEAL Jordan Somerton anticipated having the typical best man duties—not facing down criminals boarding the ship. But when the luxury liner is infiltrated by men determined to kidnap the flower girl, he’s plunged into an unexpected mission. Maid of honor and DEA agent Amy Delgado hasn’t forgiven Jordan for a misunderstanding in their pasts. But with her young niece targeted, she must draw on Jordan’s skills as a protector. Signs point to an inside job. With a traitor in their midst, can they ensure that every passenger returns home safely for the holidays…even as they find love amid deepening danger? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Transfusion by Victoria Buck — The world’s first transhuman must save the world, or save the woman he loves. (Speculative from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])


Kill Zone by Rick Acker, Christy Barritt, Patricia Bradley, Braxton DeGarmo, Luana Ehrlich, Heather Day Gilbert, Heather I. James, Robert Liparulo, Jordyn Redwood, and Jan Thompson — Espionage, hacking, police procedural, international crime and intrigue, covert action, spy, secret police, revenge, snipers…and so much more! Ten brand-new, never-before published novellas of suspense, intrigue, and thrills from ten bestselling Christian thriller authors, all packed into this one anthology. (Suspense from Georgia Press LLC)

Michelle Griep — Author Spotlight

Today I’m happy to welcome author Michelle Griep as she shares about her writing. Read through to the end and find out how to enter to win a free copy of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor.

— What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I almost always write historical romances. Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen heavily influenced my love of everything English, so most of my stories either take place in England or have an English main character in them. In my newest release, I combine a bit of Bronte, Dickens and Agatha Christie.

— What is your favorite part of writing?

Honestly, my favorite part of writing is interacting with my readers. I love hearing from readers, even if it’s not particularly book related. I’m a reader myself, so talking about books is a crazy good time for me.

— What is your “go to” routine that helps you get in the mood to write? Special beverage? Music? Etc.

I hand craft a playlist for every book that I write. Usually it’s mood music with very little singing involved, helping me to get into the feel of a scene.

I also love to burn incense while I’m writing. Not the cheap dollar-store carcinogenic nastiness (no offense Dollar Tree…I love your other stuff). I like more refined scents. Cedarwood is a big favorite of mine.

And on cloudy days I love to perk up my office with a lit candle.

Readers, you tell me… What’s your go-to genre that’s your favorite to escape into?

Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a copy of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor.

ABOUT THE BOOK: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger…and love?

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, 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. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

The Hound of Heaven — Latayne Scott

I’m excited to welcome author Latayne Scott today as she talks about her story, A Conspiracy of Breath.

Unfortunately, much of Christian fiction has earned the reputation for being fluffy and focused on escapism. However, those of us who have had difficult lives know that there is admittedly a time for escape, but most of our time is spent in dealing with very real problems that don’t get wrapped up into a neat solution.

My heroine, Priscilla, struggles with selfishness, discouragement, and most of all, disappointment with the fact that she sees miraculous healings done by Paul but her very best friend Cordelia—also a friend of Paul’s– suffers terribly and dies violently.

These were supposed to be the most favored generation of all time! And how they suffered!

Sometimes it feels that God is “after” me. Do you ever feel that way? If you do, you are like Jeremiah, who said:

I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long. He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead.

~ Lamentations 3:1-6

I wrote a poem one time that reflected the thought of a later writer, a man named Francis Thompson, who envisioned God as a hound, chasing relentlessly after him.

The hound of heaven has pursued me

And I coyly hid and cavorted–

Enjoying the chase

Even as I lost a finger or a toe;

Hanks of hair left hanging on

Limbs I’d left


He has cornered me

And He is devouring my arms and legs

And the soft parts

Of my belly

And I have lost

The will to run

(copyright, Latayne C. Scott)

I have concluded, and Priscilla concludes, that process of being chased by Someone stronger and faster than you isn’t a pleasant one. The only thing that makes it endurable is the fact that God pursues us to save us from ourselves.

How has God pursued you to save you from yourself?

About A Conspiracy of Breath

In a richly-textured, controversial and provocative literary work, award-winning author Latayne C. Scott examines: What would it have been like to be a woman, a Gentile, and someone onto whom the Holy Breath moved – to produce what became the mysterious Epistle to the Hebrews in the Bible?


About Latayne:

Dr.  Latayne C. Scott (Distinguished Christian Service Award, Pepperdine University) writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed A Conspiracy of Breath, is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. Her first book, The Mormon Mirage–also controversial– has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has nearly two dozen other published books.

One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom (Discovering the City of Sodom.) Her first novel is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church. Both are…. controversial.

She’s also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she’s not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.

Latayne blogs at She’s @Latayne on Twitter, and Author Latayne C Scott on Facebook.



COME FLY WITH ME by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Welcome author Katheryn Maddox Haddad back as she spotlights the final book in her series. However, don’t despair, because starting next month, we welcome her back to spotlight her next series, Intrepid Men of God.

Is your faith dead? After Jesus’ apostles decided all was lost, Jesus showed up.

Does everyone around you believe because they witnessed something you didn’t? This happened to Thomas.

Have you denied Jesus? Peter did, so Jesus came to the seashore and gave him courage.

Would you like celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday? Jesus came to his own memorial service.

Do you know an old person who has denied Jesus all their life? Jesus appeared in his half-brother, James, who had spent his whole life disbelieving.

Would you like to see Jesus coming in the clouds? Jesus’ apostles saw Jesus ascend to heaven through the clouds.

Have you been condemned over and over for your faith? They beat and imprisoned the apostles for teaching Jesus, and they’d go out and just keep doing it.

Are others holding you back from going out and spreading the gospel? Thaddeus broke from the apostles in Jerusalem so he could become a missionary to pagans.

Do you know what heaven and hell are like? The old apostle John was shown both and described them.


This series of eight novels—THEY MET JESUS—is dedicated to everyone who has ever doubted. It shows people who met Jesus in their stark humanness and curiosity, sometimes loving him, sometimes hating him, but never left the same. I was very careful about adding words of Jesus that are not in the Bible. At the end of each chapter are “Life Application Questions” for individual readers or book clubs, and ancient historical sources such as Josephus. At the end of each book are suggested readings for special occasions. COME, MEET JESUS ALL OVER AGAIN.



Katheryn began writing at age ten, and was “published” that same year in her local newspaper. She grew up in the cold north and now lives in Arizona where she do not have to shovel sunshine. She basks in 100-degree weather along with my palm trees, cacti, and a computer with most of the letters worn off.

With a bachelor’s degree in English, Bible and social science from Harding University and part of a master’s degree in Bible, including Greek, from the Harding Graduate School of Theology, she also has a master’s degree in management and human relations from Abilene University.

Her newspaper column appeared for several years in newspapers in Texas and North Carolina ~ Little Known Facts About the Bible ~ and she has written for numerous Christian publications.

She spends half her day writing, and the other half teaching English over the internet worldwide using the Bible as text book.  She is a member of Christian Writers of the West and is also an energetic public speaker.


Monthly Newsletter:






I’m excited to welcome author Laura V. Hilton today as she talks about her new novella. Read through to the end and find out how to enter to win a free copy of The Second Chance Brides Collection.

When my agent asked me if I’d be willing to write a historical novella for a collection she was putting together for another author, I jumped at the chance. I usually write Amish romance (which I love) but I wanted to try my hand at historical. And a novel set in my home state of Michigan would be a dream come true. I had several ideas and I pitched them all to my street team to see which they liked best and the majority chose this idea.

Then I went to my brainstorming group to help me figure out the hero’s story. And one lady in there, mentioned the Krump family in German and a war they provided weapons to the Boers in South Africa. See – also The Upper peninsula in Michigan produced iron ore ( and what if….

The story was born from there.

Mackinac Island was a popular vacation destination in the Victorian era where the wealthy city residents went to escape the heat of the city. A perfect setting for a wounded hero to escape from gossip – at least until the socialites arrived – and then have to face his demons and come to terms with his past.

While writing this story, I also was homeschooling my two youngest children and my youngest daughter (a reluctant reader) was reading Alice in Wonderland out loud. Since that was a new book on the market at the time my story was set, it seemed fun to include bits and pieces of that story in mind, wrapped with the history of the island and the mess our hero and heroine would soon find themselves a part of.

I hope you enjoy reading Second Chance Brides Romance Collection – as well as my novella, Married by Mistake.

Here’s an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Mackinac Island, 1902

A kiss.

The sea spray touched Bessie O’Hara’s face as gently as she imagined he—whoever he might be—would some day brush his lips across her cheeks.

She couldn’t wait.

If only she could skip all the tiresome courtship rituals like monotonous parlor visits and chaperoned strolls. She’d also eliminate the formal calling cards and fluttering fans society demanded and go straight to the happily-ever-after.

It wasn’t that easy. She glanced at her two cousins, giggling behind their fans, as they stepped off the ferry onto the dock leading to the island. They looked toward some gentlemen who’d come to meet the boat. Judging by their clothing, they were there for the summer season as well. They certainly weren’t employees hired to drive the buggies and wagons.

Bessie smoothed her hand over her dress. Splotches of water dampened the material under her touch. With a sigh, she looked around for her family’s carriage. Papa had wired ahead and told the driver when to meet the ferry. She didn’t see the carriage, but a large crowd blocked her view.

She didn’t want to do this. Not that she minded visiting her family’s vacation home on the island, or escaping the stifling August heat of Grand Rapids, or even spending time with her cousins. But this was so much more than a summer reprieve. Henrietta and Rosella were husband-hunting and dragging her along, completely against her will.

And worse? Her parents completely agreed with her cousins. It was time she got married. That was a woman’s highest calling—to manage a husband and a household.

Or so she’d been told.

She’d been looked over so many times before she was afraid of facing another rejection. Was she somehow defective because her hair wasn’t pale blond like Rosella’s or a deep, dark red like Henrietta’s? She dreaded being put on endless display in the “meat market” and found lacking over and over during the tiresome rituals.

If only she could have said husband handed to her, dropped in her lap, maybe even delivered, gift-wrapped with a ribbon and a card reading, “Here he is. Treat him well.” Instead she’d been forced to endure countless teas in stifling parlors from her usual place on the fringes.

Bessie stepped up her pace to catch up with her cousins who already neared the end of the dock. She didn’t want to be left behind. A gentleman wearing a plaid cap stood in her way, talking to someone, and she stepped to the side to keep from hitting him, but he turned sharply and bumped her in the side with his elbow. Her foot landed on the edge of the dock. She groped for something to grab onto but came up with nothing but air. She gulped a breath that emerged as a high-pitched squeal, and tumbled toward the water.

A strong hand grabbed her by the back of her dress, jerking the fabric up tight, and she flailed. Was this how a fish on a hook felt? She eyed the cold, fishy water she’d almost fell into. Seconds later, another hand closed around her elbow, the grip tightening as the hand on her dress released the material, slid around her waist and hauled her back against a firm chest.

Shocks raced through her body like the rise and fall of waves crashing against the shore during a storm. His arm firm against her, the man loosened his grip on her elbow. Then the arm wrapped around her waist slid away.

Slid—the fingers took a leisurely tour of the silky fabric covering her abdomen. There had to be something improper about this, but the touch set her senses on fire, charring her thoughts almost before they formed. She tried to take a deep breath and lightheadedness made her dizzy, overwhelmed with how quickly her situation had changed from impending bath to rescue.

“Watch where you’re going.” The voice was brusque, hardly matching the rest of the sensations. And with those harsh words, he released her. Her feet set firmly on the wood planks, free from his disturbing touch.

Bessie jerked her shoulders in an angry twitch as she turned carefully around and moved away from the edge of the dock. She didn’t want a repeat performance. “Watch where I’m going? Let’s try being more careful, Mr….”

Her voice trailed off as she stared into grayish-blue eyes, the color of the water on a winter day. Stubble shadowed the man’s chin, and his equally dark hair, a bit on the long side, peeked out from under a plaid cap.

He adjusted the brim as a muscle jerked in his jaw.

Wait. He was the man who’d stood on the opposite side of the ferry and stared at her during their ride over to the island, his gaze boring into her until she turned.

He’d quickly looked away.

Her fingers had itched to sketch his portrait. Strong. Dark. Handsome. And dangerous. She tried to memorize his features, but he’d glanced back at her and caught her staring.

Then it’d been her turn to look away and try to distract herself by listening to another half hour of her cousins giggling about potential prospects.

“You.” The single word sputtered out without warning. She resisted the urge to clamp her hand over her mouth. Maybe she should apologize for being so rude. But then she’d need an explanation for why she’d said it and she had none. Other than… well, he drew her and made her long to be his helpmeet. Not that she’d ever admit it to anyone.

He bowed at the waist, his lips twisting into something resembling a grimace, and he waved his hand. “Ladies first.”

Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a copy of The Second Chance Brides Collection.*

(*USA residents only.)

About The Second Chance Brides Collection

Hope for Happy Endings Is Renewed in Nine Historical Romances

Meet nine women from history spanning from 1776 to 1944 feel the sting of having lost out on love. Can their hope for experiencing romance again be renewed?

Love in the Crossfire by Lauralee Bliss – Trenton, New Jersey, 1776
Gretchen Hanson watched her beau go off to war and never return. She soon falls for an enemy scout who stumbles upon her farm. If Jake is discovered, it could mean death for them all. Will Gretchen let go of love or stand strong?

Daughter of Orion by Ramona K. Cecil – New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1859
Whaling widow, Matilda Daggett, vows to never again give her heart to a seaman. But when debt drives her to masquerade as a cabin boy on a whaling ship, a young harpooner threatens both her vow and her heart.

The Substitute Husband and the Unexpected Bride by Pamela Griffin – Washington Territory, 1864
Cecily McGiver, a mail-order bride, arrives in the rugged Washington Territory shocked to find herself without a husband—that is until Garrett, a widower, offers to take the position. Can the challenges that face them lead to love?

The Prickly Pear Bride by Pam Hillman – Little Prickly Pear Creek, Montana Territory, 1884
Shepherdess Evelyn Arnold left her intended at the altar so he could marry the woman he really loved. Dubbed Miss Prickly Pear, Evelyn is resigned to a loveless life and the ridicule of her neighbors. When Cole Rawlins sweeps her out of a raging river, she realizes even a prickly pear can find love.

The Widow of St. Charles Avenue by Grace Hitchcock – New Orleans, 1895
Colette Olivier, a young widow who married out of obligation, finds herself at the end of her mourning period and besieged with suitors out for her inheritance. With her pick of any man, she is drawn to an unlikely choice.

Married by Mistake by Laura V. Hilton – Mackinac Island, 1902
When a plan to pose for advertising goes awry, Thomas Hale and Bessie O’Hara find themselves legally married. Now Bessie and Thomas must decide whether to continue the charade or walk away. Either choice could ruin them if the truth gets out.

Fanned Embers by Angela Breidenbach – Bitterroot Mountains, Montana/Idaho border, 1910
Stranded in the treacherous railroad camp after her husband’s murder, Juliana Hayes has no desire to marry a ruffian like Lukas Filips. Can she release prejudice to love again? Or will they even survive the fiery Pacific Northwest disaster to find out?

From a Distance by Amber Stockton – Breckenridge, Colorado, 1925
Financial Manager Trevor Fox sets out to find a lady to love him and not his money, then meets and falls for an average girl only to discover she’d deceived him to protect her heart after he unknowingly rejects her.

What the Heart Sees by Liz Tolsma – Hartford, Wisconsin, 1944
American Miriam Bradford is shocked to see Paul Albrecht, her summer fling from Germany in 1939, escorted into church as a POW. Can they rekindle their romance amid the overwhelming objections of almost everyone in town–including her father?

About Laura:

Laura 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. 

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twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton



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SHADOW OF DEATH BY Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Welcome back Katheryn Maddox Haddad again as she spotlights her series, They Met Jesus.

Have you been condemned for standing by someone who is being ridiculed? Governor Pilate stood by Jesus against the priests and tried to free him.

How can you bring an innocent bystander to Jesus? Simon the Cyrene happened to see church with his cross and was pressed into service.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be beaten nearly to death, then suspended by nails for half a day? Read “Crucifixion I ~ the Substitute” and you will never be the same again.

Some believe Jesus faced down Satan, then escaped from hell to do the impossible for us. Read what it might have been like.

Would you like to convert a prisoner? Jesus converted one of the thieves being crucified with him.

Have you hidden your faith to save your job? Joseph of Arimathea did, then got the courage to declare it openly.

Do you know someone who lies about Christianity? The guards who witnessed Jesus’ resurrection from death did.

Can you gather friends around you in the middle of the night to worship?  The five wealthy women who helped Jesus did.

Have you denied Jesus in public? Peter did.

Do you tell everyone who will listen that Jesus overcame death for us? James the Less and Alphaeus did.



This series of eight novels—THEY MET JESUS—is dedicated to everyone who has ever doubted. It shows people who met Jesus in their stark humanness and curiosity, sometimes loving him, sometimes hating him, but never left the same. I was very careful about adding words of Jesus that are not in the Bible. At the end of each chapter are “Life Application Questions” for individual readers or book clubs, and ancient historical sources such as Josephus. At the end of each book are suggested readings for special occasions. COME, MEET JESUS ALL OVER AGAIN.





Katheryn began writing at age ten, and was “published” that same year in her local newspaper. She grew up in the cold north and now lives in Arizona where she do not have to shovel sunshine. She basks in 100-degree weather along with my palm trees, cacti, and a computer with most of the letters worn off.

With a bachelor’s degree in English, Bible and social science from Harding University and part of a master’s degree in Bible, including Greek, from the Harding Graduate School of Theology, she also has a master’s degree in management and human relations from Abilene University.

Her newspaper column appeared for several years in newspapers in Texas and North Carolina ~ Little Known Facts About the Bible ~ and she has written for numerous Christian publications.

She spends half her day writing, and the other half teaching English over the internet worldwide using the Bible as text book.  She is a member of Christian Writers of the West and is also an energetic public speaker.


Monthly Newsletter:




August 2017 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.


Imperfect Lies by Elizabeth Noyes — When another woman emerges from the past to claim Mallory Cameron’s happily ever after, she cuts her losses and sets out to find a headline-worthy story to launch her journalism career. She embarks on a whirlwind journey that takes her across the United States, to the blue-green waters of the Caribbean, on to sunny Mexico, and deep into the dangerous parts of Africa where terror reigns. James Evers turned his back on a life of power and privilege to carve a place in the world for himself. Now that he’s finally discovered his niche as a small-town sheriff and found the woman he wants in his future, a past indiscretion struts in on high heels and sends his newfound love fleeing headlong into peril. His mission: neutralize old enemies, defuse new threats, resolve past mistakes, settle family disputes, and—most importantly—find and rescue his woman from terrorists before the unthinkable happens. (Action/Adventure from Write Integrity Press)

Contemporary Romance:

The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family by Lisa Carter — Young widow Kristina Montgomery moves to Kiptohanock, Virginia, hoping it will give her and her teenage son, Gray, a fresh start. She longs for the peace and quiet only a small town can provide. But her plans are thwarted by her new neighbor, Canyon Collier, a former Coast Guard pilot and a crop duster. Gray is instantly drawn to the pilot and his teenage niece, Jade—and Kristina’s not far behind. She and Canyon are soon bonding over parenting their charges and their spark becomes undeniable. Could it be that the spirited pilot is just what Kristina needs to teach her heart to soar again? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Gift of the Magpie by Zoe M. McCarthy — Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia, has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, Amanda’s heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high-school Valentine’s Day date. Camden may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Mother for Leah by Rachel L. Miller –It’s been ten years since Leah Fisher’s mother died in a buggy accident. But when Leah’s father shows interest in Naomi Yoder, Leah isn’t ready for a new mother. Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder’s happiness at the same time? (Contemporary from S & G Publishing)

General Contemporary:

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli — An antique ring reunites a Boston Marathon bombing survivor with the man who saved her. Together they unearth the two-hundred-year- old history of a woman who suffered tremendous loss in the Boston Massacre, a woman torn between the love of two men – one a patriot, one a Redcoat. (General Contemporary from Tyndale House)

Fresh Faith by Elise Phillips — Joy Abbott had been trying to start her life over for years — and failing. Then a letter summoned her to Texas and everything changed. (General Contemporary from Desert Breeze Publishing)


Enchanted Isle by Melanie Dobson — In the spring of 1958, Jenny Winter embarks on a two-month adventure to a quaint village in England’s magical Lake District. With a new camera and an eye for capturing the beauty others miss, she can’t wait to explore the heathery fells and mystical waters. Adrian Kemp, a handsome and enigmatic local, makes the sightseeing even more beguiling. When Adrian shows Jenny his late father’s abandoned dream, a deserted island amusement park, she glimpses a kindred spirit in this reckless, haunted young man. Yet as she opens her heart to Adrian, the two stumble into a mystery leading back a generation to an unforgettable romance and an unsolved murder. As long-held secrets come to light, it’s left to Jenny and Adrian to put the past to rest and restore a lost dream. (Historical from Waterfall Press)

Titus: The Aristocrat by Katheryn Maddox Haddad — Titus intends to become a famous lawyer in the Roman Empire. Instead, he is sent by Paul to arbitrate between arch enemies in wild Corinth, wilder Crete, and wildest Dalmatia. In each place he suffers. But, long before that, he suffers from guilt over the death of his mother when he was eleven years old. How does Titus survive it all? (Historical from Northern Lights Publishing House)

Historical Romance:


To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander — With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams – provided the truth doesn’t tear them apart first. (Historical Romance from Zondervan)

The Second Chance Brides Collection by Lauralee Bliss, Angela Breidenbach, Ramona K. Cecil, Pamela Griffin, Grace Hitchcock, Pam Hillman, Laura V. Hilton, Tiffany Amber Stockton, and Liz Tolsma — Meet nine women who each believe their chance for lifelong love has passed them by. From the girls who lost their beaus to war, to the wallflowers overshadowed by others, and the widows deeply hurt by their loss, the desire to love and be loved spans American history from 1777 to 1944. Experience the sweet pull of romance on each life and the blossom of faith that leads them to brighter futures. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman — Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady. The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage. Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe? (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)

Romantic Suspense:

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason — When a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan’s life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after she has an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone. In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker])

Plain Retribution by Dana R. Lynn — Ten years ago while on rumspringa, Rebecca Miller and her friends were kidnapped and held captive…and now, living in the English world, she’s nearly abducted again. One by one her friends who once helped send their abductor to jail are targeted, and she is next…unless police officer Miles Olsen can stop a killer. Deaf since birth, the only person on the force that Rebecca can communicate with is Miles, and he needs this case to redeem himself of past mistakes. When the relentless killer tracks them deep into the heart of Amish country, protecting Rebecca must be Miles’s sole focus. Because a mistake this time will cost something worth more to him than his job—the woman he’s falling for. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cold Blooded by Anne Patrick — Detective Gwen Jamison has the highest closure rate in her division, but a string of armed robberies is about to take over her life. Not only will her job be on the line, but the troubling case also wreaks havoc on her personal life. Lieutenant Ian McKean knew he would have his hands full when he took over leadership of the detectives unit. He wasn’t prepared for the headstrong Detective Jamison, though, who quickly becomes a thorn in his side. If they can stop butting heads long enough they might realize they are more alike than either imagined. (Romantic Suspense from Anne Patrick)


I’m excited to welcome author Terri Wangard today as she talks about finding the perfect names for her characters. Read through to the end and find out how to enter to win a free copy of No Neutral Ground.


My WWII series Promise For Tomorrow features large casts of characters in all three books, so I had to come up with lots of names. In the first book, Friends & Enemies, the main female character lives in Germany. That meant I needed German given names and surnames. The last names were easy. With three quarters of German ancestry, I had plenty of selections to pick from my family tree.

Of the six main Promise characters, only Jennie Lindquist in No Neutral Ground does not have one of my family names. She required a Swedish surname, and I have no Swedish ancestry.

Cemeteries are a good place for me to find era-appropriate given names. I first spelled Jennie’s name with a –y, but changed it after seeing the –ie on tombstones. For all the airmen at Ridgewell Air Base, a base roster offered plenty of WWII possibilities, like Herb, Harold, Willard, Homer, and Clyde.

Deciding on names I like is important for the main characters, because I’ll be living with them for at least a year as the writing is in progress, and beyond once the book is published.

Some names are strictly for fun. I didn’t tell a friend I’d used her maiden name in No Neutral Ground, or her married name in Soar Like Eagles. When my next book, Wheresoever They May Be, releases late in August, she’ll find another surprise. Harry Wilson is named after her two dachshunds, Wilson and Harrison.

Wheresoever is unique in that I didn’t use family names. Instead, I turned to television. The 1960s TV series, 12 O’Clock High, featured B-17s and was a big help when I wrote my series. The episode “Decoy” showed a ditching and how the Gibson Girl radio was used to signal for help. The first base commander was Frank Savage, followed by Joe Gallagher. My two main male characters in Wheresoever are Frank Swanson and Joe Gallagher.

The chaplain in the Promise For Tomorrow series is Kyle Hogan. Yes, he got his name from Hogan’s Heroes. I’ve also used Newkirk from that show, but don’t remember which book. That’s the problem with casts of dozens.

In my work in progress, I wanted a name I’d easily remember for the main character’s boss. A former boss of mine is named Marley S. The fictional boss is Martin Sopard. The surname is my boss’ name with a slight alteration.

For two Irishmen, I scrolled through an Irish names website and chose Burke and Caffrey. For a chance to win a first edition copy of No Neutral Ground, name the TV show where I found those names.

(*Author will send print book if winner lives in the U.S. and an ebook copy if an international reader wins.)


About No Neutral Ground

Germany rejected him. America took him in. Now he’s back, at war with his homeland and his father, who turned his back.

After his father divorces his mother because of her Jewish ancestry, Rafe and the rest of his family flee Germany. As a B-17 navigator, he returns to Europe. On the ocean voyage, he meets Jennie, an artist journeying to Sweden to work with the OSS.

Flying missions against his former homeland arouses emotions that surprise Rafe. Despite being rejected, he is troubled by the destruction of Germany and his heart still cries for his father’s love.

Sweden may be neutral, but it’s full of intrigue. Jennie assists the OSS at the American legation in Sweden. She thought she’d be doing passive, behind-the-scenes work. Instead, she’s pushed into an active role to gain intelligence and frustrate the Germans.

How can Rafe and Jennie succeed in their dangerous roles when they are so conflicted?


About Terri:

Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

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GUEST POST — Linda Shenton Matchett

Today I’m happy to welcome author Linda Shenton Matchett as she discusses forgiveness and how our God is a God of second chances.

Forgiveness is a difficult thing. When others hurt us, we may find it difficult to forgive them, even after they’ve given us a heartfelt apology. We also struggle with forgiving ourselves. Despite the fact that Christ has forgiven and forgotten our past sins, we insist on dragging them around with us and allowing them to hinder our progress. When we do manage to cast them aside, Satan pulls them out and waves them in front of us.

The closest thing I come to golfing is a course with windmills, flamingos, and pirate ships, so I’m not versed in the vocabulary at all. But I learned one golf term several years ago from a co-worker who was a golf pro. The inside of his wedding ring was engraved with the word “mulligan” because he and his wife had remarried after divorcing many years before.

According to Wikipedia, a mulligan is “a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or blunder.” Every spring the U.S. Masters tournament, one of four major championships in professional golf is held in Augusta, Georgia. You can be sure that no one is allowed a mulligan.

Fortunately for us, God is a God of second chances, a God who regularly provided His people with a mulligan, a “do over,” if you will. For example, Rahab was a prostitute, yet is part of our Lord’s lineage. Or consider Paul who persecuted Christians, yet became a great missionary.

Do you sometimes wish there was a rewind button in your life? Have you said or done something you regret? Perhaps you are arguing with God about a task he would have. It’s not too late for a mulligan. Your second chance may be less dramatic than that of Bible characters, but it’s no less miraculous. And it’s available for the asking.

One of the themes in my latest publication, Under Fire, is forgiveness. Follow protagonist Ruth Brown as she seeks justice for her sister, and finds forgiveness in the process.

Readers: What is your favorite Bible story about forgiveness?


About Linda:

Linda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, and author. Her most recent book, Under Fire, was just released by eLectio Publishing. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life. She is a docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and Trustee for the Wolfeboro Public Library. Click here ( to sign up for Linda’s newsletter and receive a free devotional, Devotions from a Writer.

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