Prayer: A Cure for Self-Doubt — Olivia Rae

Today I’m happy to welcome Olivia Rae for an author spotlight. Find out her advice for curing self-doubt below.

Recently I came in contact with an old friend that I had not seen for many years. We chatted about the past, families, and our present lives. Then out of the blue she said, “You’re such a confident person.” Confident? Really? I then realized this person really didn’t know me at all. Those that know me best would say, “Olivia can’t make a decision to save her soul.”

Not long ago, I retired from my day job to write fulltime. I no longer had coworkers to be my sounding-board for what I should do in the future. Sure I have friends and family, but they are not always available when you need them, and well, sometimes they just don’t seem to have the answer. So I have to rely on myself… Well, that isn’t true either, I am beginning to rely more on God.

I know what you’re thinking: here’s another article about trusting God when self-doubt enters your mind. Easy to say, but hard to do. So true. How do we pray when we doubt ourselves? How can we pray for others when we are riddled with self-doubt?

I am a member of a weekly Bible class and I was reminded of a great mnemonic for the word pray.

P – Praise and be thankful to God for all he has done for us. He sent his son to die for our sins. What a gift!

R – Repent. None of us are perfect and we all sin daily, happily we can ask God to take away all our sins—past, present, and future. Jesus already died and conquered sin and death for us. All he wants us to do is acknowledge that we need his loving forgiveness.

A – Ask. Even though He knows what you need and want, God wants you to come to Him with your concerns and your requests.

Y- Yield. Yep, this is the part where we must stop our jabbering and listen to God. He is talking to you. Seek his direction and accept the fact that His answer is not the same as yours. BTW- He might use others to show you His thoughts.

So what does this have to do with self-doubt? Besides God, there is someone else talking to you too: your negative inner voice. God helps me to push that voice away through prayer. So this is how I pray when the voice of self-doubt paralyzes me, but you can create your own, God isn’t fussy.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your rich blessings and for giving me eternal life through your son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for taking away my sins and cleansing me. Strengthen and keep my mind focused on the positive and take away all negative doubt. Open my ears to hear your will and to keep my steps on the right path. Yours is all the glory. Amen

So the next time you feel lonely, inadequate, or useless, try prayer. You can create your own and keep on praying. For in prayer, I guarantee, God will give you the strength to vanquish self-doubt.

— Tell us about your next book and when it will be published?

I am working on another book in The Sword and The Cross Chronicles. It seems many are interested in seeing another book added to this series. The next book Adoration, will come out early 2018.

— What is your favorite part of writing?

I love to plan new stories. It’s always exciting when I come up with an idea and I am able to come up with a believable story. Starting a project is always very exciting.

— What is your “go to” routine that helps you get in the mood to write?

Usually I like to write in the mornings when my brain is fresh. I get up and spend sometime on my elliptical. After that, I spend sometime in God’s Word and then I head upstairs to do my writing. I work about four hours a day, sometimes more. My daily goal is at least 1,000 words. If I can’t work in the morning then I really try to carve out sometime during the day to write. But life does get in the way sometimes and so does social media.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Joshua’s Prayer

From award-winning author Olivia Rae comes a story of forgiveness, faith, and a family restored.

They only want what is best for Joshua—but disagree about what that is.

When Dr. Sam Morgan’s estranged wife dies in a tragic accident, he returns home from a months-long, overseas surgical mission to discover his disabled son, Joshua, does not remember him. Sam is convinced that he and Joshua can only overcome their heartbreaking memories by leaving their decaying small town and starting over somewhere else.

Nicole James runs a women’s shelter where Sam’s wife fled with Joshua, claiming Sam was not the saint he appeared to be, but a physical and mental abuser. Nicole is determined to protect Joshua by legally preventing Sam from leaving Cedar Ridge with his son until she can get at the truth—is Sam Morgan an abuser or the victim of lies in a marriage that went terribly wrong?

As Sam and Nicole are forced to work together on Joshua’s behalf, they begin to gain a grudging respect for one another. But will mutual distrust prevent them from realizing that the best thing they can do for Joshua is to fall in love?



Olivia Rae is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. She spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town on the edge of a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world.

Olivia is the winner of the New England Readers’ Choice Award, a Buyer Best Book Award Finalist, a Kindle Book Award Semi-Finalist, I Heart Indie Award Finalist, and Grab Me Award Finalist. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Contact Olivia at
For news and sneak peeks of upcoming novels visit:






November 2017 New Releases!

November 2017 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

Rooted in Love by Valerie Comer — A divorcé with a set of rambunctious twins falls for the boys’ daycare administrator, but does he deserve another chance at love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Prescription for Romance by June Foster — Though history teacher Scott Townsend made a commitment to the Lord as a teen, he can’t relinquish his bitterness toward his younger brother after he squanders their parents’ money. When a beautiful, young pharmacist seeks affirmation in a way that challenges Scott’s values, he must uphold his Christian upbringing. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romance [Winged Publication])

Believing in Tomorrow by Kimberly Rae Jordan — Sammi struggles to accept the consequences for her actions and to live with her new reality—unwed mother instead of wife and then mother. Though it eats at her soul, she feels that the judgment she faces is her lot to bear. Can Levi get Sammi to see that their child deserves better? Or will she lose everything she’s dreamed of for her tomorrow because she can’t accept that forgiveness is hers for the taking? (Contemporary Romance, ACFW QIP)

Texas Christmas Twins by Deb Kastner — Miranda Morgan’s Christmas will be twice as busy now that she’s guardian of her sister’s sweet twin babies. But the celebrity photographer is happy to trade a glamorous LA lifestyle for motherhood in her small hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. Unfortunately, the twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, is unconvinced. The brooding rancher isn’t thrilled about letting sunny, spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. Though they disagree on almost everything, Simon and Miranda discover common ground as they work to make the twins’ first country Christmas cozy and bright. Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


The Legacy by Carol Ashby — A father’s martyrdom makes his son and daughter hunger for revenge on their brother who betrayed him and the people who led him to faith until God answers their father’s final prayer in unexpected ways. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)

Jerusalem Rising by Barbara M. Britton — When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit,God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David. Nehemiah challenges the people of God to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Will her father, who rules a half-district of Jerusalem, be forgotten forever? Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same stones they hope to construct? (Historical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Historical Mystery:

Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering — Amateur sleuth Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline travel to Scotland for the 1935 British Open, but instead of a relaxing holiday, they find murder, mystery, and international intrigue. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])

Waiting for His Return by Carrie Turansky — The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor falls in love with an injured artist-correspondent on assignment to cover the battles near Union occupied Nashville. (Historical Mystery from Flowing Stream Books)

Historical Romance:

The Virtuous Viscount by Susan M. Baganz — Lord Remington falls for a woman he rescues and recovers in his home, but can Miss Storm trust his virtue when he risks his reputation to unbeknownst to her, saves her life. (Historical Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Lord Phillip’s Folly by Susan M. Baganz — Lord Westcombe finds himself falling in love with his unexpected wife and having to rescue her from the devices of the Black Diamond with the help of his friends and newfound faith. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

The Regency Brides Collection by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch — Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England…Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love…. Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago. Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism. Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans. Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret. Esther is empowered to choose between two men. Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash. Jamie and William face a daunting London season together. Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas — Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother–and nearly his own life–in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company. Larkin Heyward’s life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more–maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company. Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Legal Thriller:

Guilty Blood by Rick Acker — A desperate mother tries to prove her son’s innocence, but shadowy forces want to keep him in jail–and kill him there. (Legal Thriller from Waterfall Press)

Romantic Suspense:

An Unexpected Legacy by Amy R. Anguish — When Chad Manning introduces himself to Jessica Garcia at her favorite smoothie shop, it’s like he stepped out of one of her romance novels. But as she tentatively walks into a relationship with this man of her dreams, secrets from their past threaten to shatter their already fragile bond. Chad and Jessica must struggle to figure out if their relationship has a chance or if there is nothing between them but a love of smoothies. (Romantic Suspense from Tulpen Publishing)

Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey — Undercover Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn’s convinced Danielle Segovia is really a wanted criminal—until she’s nearly kidnapped right in front of him. Now Colter must keep her out of the clutches of the notorious drug cartel leader whose traitor sister is a dead ringer for Danielle. The drug czar wants the drugs he thinks the pretty shop owner stole from him. And with the younger brother Danielle is raising dragged into the crosshairs, Colt has to find a way to protect them both. But a showdown at Christmas—with Danielle as bait—may be the only way to make sure they all survive the holidays. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright — Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own–are lost? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])


Awakened by Morgan L. Busse — The monster has awakened. After her escape from the Tower and from her father’s experiments, Kat Bloodmayne wakes up to discover the dark power inside of her has grown stronger. Now more than ever she needs to find the doctor who holds the key to healing her, but the only one who can help her find him is Stephen Grey, the very man who betrayed her. Stephen Grey cannot change the past or what he did to Kat, but he will do everything he can to help her now. But will Kat let him? Or will his transgression be too much to overcome? Time races against them as they travel with sky pirates through harrowing storms and across the war-torn country of Austrium in search of the doctor who can cure Kat. But can he cure what is broken inside of her? Or will the monster inside of Kat consume her soul? (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)

A Purpose True — Gail Kittleson

Today I’m happy to welcome author Gail Kittleson as she talks about her latest book. Read through to the end to find out how to enter the giveaway.

War turns things around—my characters exhibit the effects of dire circumstances, life-and-death terror on every hand. For one thing, they’ve had to learn to lie convincingly.

Both Kate and Domingo tell falsehoods regularly. They must, in order to avoid detection by the Gestapo. Imagine a world in which all you’d been taught about morality gets turned on its head. That’s what happened to Secret Operations Executive under-cover agents during World War II.

In fact, Kate’s entire persona, based on a made-up identity, could be called a lie. But she gets used to this—oh, she never forgets the clear line between truth and deception, and neither does Domingo. Everyone came out of the war and returned to a values-centered life.

As a writer, I learned a great deal through the process this time. Since this is the third in the Women of the Heartland series, consistency was essential—I had to recall my characters’ mindsets in books one and two, not to mention all the little details about their histories.

I also learned that you can love a story and still get weary of it. I guess that’s not so unique—we experience ambivalence about relationships all the time. The process of mixing historical research into the everyday lives of characters requires a lot of attention and focus. I admit, I’m ready for a break!

And that leads me to a third fact about A Purpose True: the sense of purpose Kate and Domingo found in their clandestine missions parallels my own commitment to their story. Hearing from readers that they’re waiting for the final release in this series motivates me. Hopefully, their questions will find resolution and provide satisfaction.

Since my new book will not release before this blog publishes, I’d like to offer a print copy (U.S. only) of In Times Like These, the first book in the series, to someone who creatively responds to this question:

What aspect of living in a war-torn area do you think would be the most difficult for you?

ABOUT THE BOOK: A Purpose True

A Purpose True, the sequel to With Each New Dawn, reveals Kate and Domingo risking life and limb in French Resistance efforts to stymie the Nazi advance to Normandy. But even their fierce devotion to liberty cannot preclude doubts and questions raised by the enemy’s cruelty. How can faith overcome in the midst of relentless Nazi atrocities toward innocent citizens? Can the power of Domingo and Kate’s love for each other withstand the worst of evil and forge positive paths for the future?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gail Kittleson

Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language. Now she writes memoir and women’s fiction, and facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats. She makes her home in northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide new novel fodder. To learn more about Gail’s books, please visit her website at

Facebook Author Page:




Twitter: @GailGkittleson


A News Clipping Leads to a Civil War Novel — Terra Lynee

Today I’m happy to welcome author Terra Lynee for an author spotlight,  the story behind her novel, and giveaway. Read through to the end to find out how to enter.

I have a folder on my computer that I cannot open. It’s not corrupt. I just can’t remember the password. It’s a zip file containing six short stories I wrote years ago. I zipped up these stories thinking that I would compile them, along with others, into a book for publication one day. In a time when we are all regularly hacked, I have yet to find a way to hack into this group of files that is zipped up tight.

Once, I did have the password written down in a notebook somewhere, since I knew I might not be using the stories right away. I think the notebook was lost during a move. I’m still more than a little frustrated that I can’t get the zip folder open after trying a number of software fixes. I think about the work that went into the stories, which now sit idle on my hard drive. However, like many frustrations, this one does come with a silver lining. Writing these stories, along with another dozen or so, prepared me to write a book.

I was compelled to write my novel, Nathan’s Fate, after receiving two items: a newspaper reprint of a Civil War letter and a Bible. The reprinted letter had been written by one of my ancestors when he fighting in the conflict between the states. He sent it to the woman he loved and hoped to marry.

The Bible belonged to my great-grandmother, and it contained notes about faith in the margins. My Civil War ancestor survived the conflict and married the recipient of the letter. My grandmother’s Bible sits on my nightstand. Together, they sparked my contemplation of how we are linked to the family that came before us, as we experience love and face tragedies, especially the pain of war.

In my novel, Nathan must choose between life with his fiancée, Lydia, and saving fellow soldiers on the battlefield. His choice leads to a fate that changes his path and his love’s future. Lydia’s struggle to survive despair inspires her descendants, including a young woman named Sara. This connection between Lydia and Sara sets up the book’s theme of love transcending time.

I cried some while writing this book – but I had to pull from my own experiences with grief to bring realism to the story. I also was thinking a lot about my great-grandmother – a woman I respected and loved with a great chunk of my heart.

I still want to write that book of short stories, in spite of some of my favorites being locked from view. I am not sure I could recreate them, and maybe it’s time to move on. However, if you have the secret to cracking zips legally, feel free to email me at Also, be sure to email me if you have questions about my novel! I won’t share your email with anyone, not even my publisher.

— What is your favorite part of writing?

Creating a story that is completely original. I never set out to write a book that fit a certain formula. My book came to me in pieces in my mind before I ever put a word on paper. I felt compelled to do something unique with a literary feel. Nathan’s Fate is a romance (three romances actually), but it’s also a tale of regaining faith. The novel contains subtle symbols of faith throughout its pages, as well as some direct references, such as names of characters.

— What is your “go to” routine that helps you get in the mood to write?

Writing involves quite a bit of sitting, so I try to do some type of physical activity before I start. Maybe I should try one of the desks where you can stand! I make notes on new ideas before I fall asleep at night though I mainly compose at the keyboard. Usually my basset hound is nearby when I write, and I’m drinking hot or iced tea. If I do feel stuck, I follow a trick from a workshop: draw circles on paper with the hand I use least. Then do the same with my writing hand. Next, draw other shapes, like cubes. After drawing for a few minutes, I can usually get my thoughts in order. If not, there’s always chocolate.

— How has being published changed your life?

I have been able to meet, in person and online, so many wonderful people. Their encouragement means the world to me. Also, I am braver! I was a very private person before, not an introvert, just private. Publishing means putting yourself out into the online universe, doing book signings, and entering contests. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. Like any venture, there are people out there to support you and others who could take advantage. You have to be ready to be busy!

Readers, leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win one signed paperback copy, to be mailed to winner within 7 days of name being chosen. (Giveaway is open to US residents only.)

ABOUT THE BOOK: Nathan’s Fate

More than a century ago, an actual Civil War soldier wrote heartfelt secrets to the woman he loved. In his letter, the soldier asks that this woman take his written message:

“…to your heart, and [may] my love be entwined around your heart as the grapevine
around the bush. Long may it stand with you and never be forgotten.”

Author Terra Lynee read the letter from this soldier, who was also her ancestor, in the 1990s. This reading led her to consider the many soldiers of the Civil War who never made it home to their loves. Also in the ‘90s, Lynee inherited her great-grandmother’s Bible. It contained written thoughts and prayers in the margins—a tradition that other family members also practiced. Lynee was inspired by how we are linked to the family that came before us, as we experience love and face tragedies. The result of that inspiration is the novel, Nathan’s Fate.

Nathan’s Fate falls into the genres of Christian Fiction and Historical Fiction. While fighting for the Union, a soldier, Nathan, is faced with choosing between life with his fiancée, Lydia, and saving fellow soldiers on the battlefield. His choice changes his path and his love’s future.

  • The book’s setting moves between two periods of war: The Civil War and the War in the Middle East, yet it is more a tale of love than of conflict.
  • Lydia’s life is linked to that of her descendants through a Bible and through her practice of putting her prayers into writing.
  • Nathan and Lydia are a Civil War couple connected to a modern-day couple—Sara and Dillon.
  • Sara is descended from Lydia, while Nathan and Dillon are united by the women they adore and their service as soldiers.


Chapter One
2002: Ginny Returns to the Fields

The bedroom spoke of an older era. A shining glass lamp spilled muted light into shadowy corners. Time had tinged the lamp’s white ruffled shade with touches of yellow. A soft light bulb illuminated half of a grandmother’s body, propped up on firm pillows, in her queen size bed. Her thin frame was covered by a black and red T-shirt, which announced the year that a local football team had conquered the state. The grandmother’s casual sleeping attire contrasted with the antique gold bracelet on her wrist.

The older woman had no real cares as her day edged away and no idea that the night held travel across tremendous distances into unknown territories. Although most everyone she knew called her Ginny, her actual name was Genevieve Meyer.

Ginny’s long fingers reached for a Bible on her walnut nightstand. The dark-brown book sat next to the glass lamp and a pearl-handled hairbrush. This brush received little use since its owner preferred a plastic one with rubber bristles. Ginny kept the yellowing lamp shade and ineffective brush because they were sweet reminders of a time she loved, when her crinkled reflection did not cause her to wince.

Decades ago, her skin glowed like an eggshell, smooth and white. Eventually, the eggshell became cracked and spotted. When Ginny reached the age of sixty, she asked her daughter, Charlotte, to give her a facelift for her birthday. Her daughter cringed, claiming that if there were complications during the procedure, she would carry the guilt of having caused them. So, Ginny’s skin became patterned with crevices, gradually coordinating with the cover of her Bible. No matter what the days brought, the final minutes of Ginny’s nights were spent reading a page from this treasured book. The cover revealed its time on Earth with imperfections of varying lengths. Tiny paths of wear wound around the title.

Ginny turned the aging pages tenderly, knowing their link to the spine, though still unyielding, became more tenuous with each reading. Some of the gilt-edged sheets were haunted by slight discolorations that crept threateningly toward the printed text. Usually, after placing the book back on the nightstand, the grandmother’s hand with its prominent purple veins would reach out from the bed and pat the Bible as if it were a friend. However, tonight, on the eve of her birthday, Ginny closed the book and drew it near. She adjusted her blue comforter in preparation for sleep, with the worn Bible beside her.

Dove Christian Publishers Copyright © 2017 by Terra Lynee



Terra Lynee was inspired to write a novel that explores how love evolves, and even transcends time. Her first book, “Nathan’s Fate,” is that exploration. While crafting marketing materials and online content for small businesses, Terra began to take time to type the words that would become the novel. She wrote the last chapter first, knowing with certainty how she felt the story should end. “Nathan’s Fate” moves between two eras. It is for the fan of historical fiction and Christian fiction.

Terra has worked as a writer in the fields of: Journalism, Public Relations, and Marketing. During her career, she has won multiple awards for writing business communications. She was born in Oklahoma and currently resides in Texas. The author, who studied English at a Texas university, has lived throughout the U.S.

Learn more about Terra Lynee or purchase her novel at’s-Fate/



Odyssey To Christian Writing Winding Path — Ed Lane

I’m excited to welcome author Ed Lane today as he talks about his writing journey.

I fell in love with a girl when I was 20 and in college studying journalism, English and history. Coming out of high school I dreamed of being a writer and teaching. We dated several years. My senior year she told me there was not enough money in writing or teaching to make a decent living. She said I should apply to law school.

I was shocked. I’d never had any thoughts of being a lawyer. On the other hand, I was terrified of losing her. She was so adamant about this law business, that I knew if I wanted to marry her, I had to at least feign interest in law school. We had become engaged.

So I promised her I’d sit for the law school admissions test (LSAT). It was a spur of the moment decision, and I didn’t think there was any way I’d do well enough on this test to be accepted to law school. I came out of that test, firmly convinced I’d be rejected. The test made no sense to me. There was a diagram on one question containing a diagram that resembled an automobile engine. I had to guess on that one!

I was astonished when I received letters from two law schools accepting me once I graduated from undergraduate school. I had mixed feelings. I made my fiancée happy. However, I had deep misgivings about law school. Surviving the three-year grind of reading ancient casebooks, I began studying for the Texas Bar Exam which is necessary to becoming a lawyer.

As I was awaiting my bar exam results, she informed me she’d met another guy and wished me well. She returned the engagement ring with the marquis diamond and said farewell. While I absorbed this latest turn of events, I prayed earnestly. I’d lost the girl and had only the career she wanted for me. I did feel a little desperate, so I turned to the Bible.

I passed the bar exam and became a prosecutor. Criminal law was interesting, and prosecuting murderers and rapists was fascinating work. However, I still nursed the dream of writing a novel. I read a nonfiction book by a famous Christian leader which convinced me I needed to write a novel which would be interesting to non believers. Maybe the Lord waited until I was ready to tell me I needed to write a book of which He would approve.

I read a passage in John 15 which says, “If you remain in me and my Words remain in you, ask of me anything and I will give it to you.” Since I left the district attorney’s office and started my own office, I can devote most of my time to writing a manuscript which I hope will influence non believers.

Since then I am conferring with other more experienced authors as I work to improve my manuscript. I also have a retired English teacher who advises me on grammar. I used to think my grammar was pretty good!

One of the authors from whom I seek advice said I might consider starting a blog advising other writers about legal issues they may encounter in their writing. A murder case I prosecuted a few years ago was recently televised on ID-Investigative Discovery Channel television as “Murder In The Chat Room.” This brilliant author who helps me, told me a blog about criminal issues might be a way to establish a platform.

In working on this manuscript, I’ve been reading blogs of agents. I’d been writing full speed ahead without any thoughts as to the length of the manuscript. When I discovered from several blogs that 70,000 to 80,000 words was what publishers wanted, I panicked. My manuscript was 144,000 words!

I signed up for a fiction writers’ conference in Dallas (American Christian Fiction Writers) which I attended recently. I was fortunate enough to sign up for a 15 minute critique session with a brilliant author who has given me great advice which I know will improve the manuscript.

I’ve cut out what she suggested and my word count is down to 99,000 words now. There are some other suggestions she made which I feel confident will allow me to reduce the word count to 80,000.

A benefit of the conference was that I became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. A part of that organization is a “loop” containing a group of other writers who bounced ideas off each other. Writers also can invite their colleagues to write guest blogs.

About Ed:

Ed Lane writes from Wichita Falls, Texas, and when he isn’t representing his clients in the legal community, he can be found writing articles for various publications or working on his novel. Ed is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He has received an award for Best Sports Feature and has received other awards from the Texas Interscholastic Press Association for articles he has written for the Midwestern State University school paper. He also won an award for Best Research Paper for “Study of Power Structure in a City of 100,000” at the Southwest Social Sciences Convention in Dallas, which is in the Columbia University Library of International Papers in New York City. Ed has also written several hundred articles published by and has written numerous sports articles for You can follow Ed on his Facebook page or on Twitter @Maxed49.

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)

How Fiction Can Transform Lives — Tamara Kraft

I’m excited to welcome author Tamara Kraft today as she talks about the power of fiction and her latest novel, Alice’s Notions.

The Christian life is meant to be a life of transformation. We are not supposed to stay the same as we were when we were first saved. God is moving us to be better, braver, kinder, more like Him. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

As a reader and an author, I have noticed that God often uses fiction to transform me. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the method Jesus used most when He was on Earth, telling stories. Some stories stay with me long after I’ve read “the end.” I find many times that God is using that story to transform my life in some way.

This isn’t only true in stories I read. As I write my novels, God uses my writing to work out that transformation in me. Writer call it a character arc, a journey characters go through to change how they think, act, or believe. As I’m working out those character arcs, I find frequently God is working on a character arc in my life.

For instance, in my novel, Alice’s Notions, Alice Brighton wants a safe life after her husband dies in World War II. Throughout the novel, she learns we can’t hide from life. I’ve learned that often. When bad things happen, I tend to want to hide away in a cave sometimes and not face the issues in my life. God has shown me, as He did Alice, I can’t hide from tragedy, but I can trust Him to guide me through it. When I allow Him to transform me, I become the hero of my own story.

Another issue Alice had was unforgiveness. Greta, a German girl, shows up at Alice’s doorstep reminding her of her unforgiveness toward the nation responsible for her husband’s death. I wouldn’t have been able to write about Alice’s journey toward forgiving her enemies if God hadn’t been dealing with me first about forgiving my enemies. Ouch.

Has God ever used a novel or story to transform your life?

Author Spotlight Questions:

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading a Young Adult Series called Ranger’s Apprentice. My grandson introduced my to it when we plugged his Kindle into the car sound system on a long road trip. By the end of the first novel, I was hooked. I’m currently about to read novel 8 in this twelve novel series. What I like the most about these novels is the underlying Christian world view with heroic characters young people can look up to. There is little mention of God, but the morality thought-out the series is refreshing.

What is your current work in progress?

Currently I’m doing a full rewrite of book two in my Ladies of Oberlin Series. Book 1, Red Sky over America is due to be released February, 2018. Book 2, Lost in the Storm, will be released in November, 2018. Here’s a little blurb about the series.

It’s the middle of the 18th century, a troubled time in American history, when strong women find it difficult to find their place in society. Three women dare to fight against social injustices, but when they fall in love, things get complicated.

Three women roommates, graduates of Oberlin College, challenge society norms to do what is right even though it may cost them everything, including love. Oberlin College, considered radical at the time, was the only co-education, multi-racial college before the Civil War, and its graduates were involved in many progressive era issues including abolition, women’s suffrage, prohibition, and the missionary movement.

In Red Sky over America, in a nation on the brink of war, America confronts slavery and risks being alienated from her slave owning father. In Lost in the Storm, during the Civil War, Lavena challenges a profession ruled by men to become a war correspondent, but will she keep her job by destroying the man she loves? In The Aftermath, when Betsy’s husband comes home from the war as an alcoholic, she uses unladylike tactics to fight against the evils of drink to save her marriage.

Meet the Ladies of Oberlin, the causes they’re willing to fight for, and the men who capture their hearts.

What would be your dream vacation?

I love historic sites and nature. My husband and I love to travel, and we’ve had many dream vacations. One of my favorites was an Alaskan cruise. It was amazing. We have been to forty of the fifty states, and our goal is to go to all fifty. So, some dream vacations in the future include Hawaii, driving up the coast of California and Oregon, and Yellowstone National Park. These three vacations will cover most of the states we’re missing. We’ll only have Delaware and Maine to go.

About Alice’s Notions

In this quaint mountain town, things aren’t always what they seem.

World War 2 widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop. She decides to start a barn quilt tour to bring business to the shop and the town, but what she doesn’t know is sinister forces are using the tour for their own nefarious reasons

Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn’t know who she can trust.

Buying Links:


About Tamara:

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. Tamera has two novellas in print: A Christmas Promise and Resurrection of Hope. Her first full length novel, Alice’s Notions, was released in April, and the first novel in her new series, Ladies of Oberlin, will be released by Desert Breeze in February 2018.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.


Word Sharpeners Blog:







Darlene Franklin — Author Spotlight

Today I’m happy to welcome author Darlene Franklin as she shares about her writing process.

I just received back an edit. Her comments? It was confusing. Disjointed.

Sigh. Make no mistake about it. Writing is just plain hard work!

Even worse—writing and editing is only half of the process.

The first part–brainstorming, planning, dreaming—is the most fun. I love coming up with story ideas, and have more than I can write in a lifetime.

The last part– marketing, marketing, and more marketing—is time consuming. Although sometimes it’s easier to talk about what I’ve written than to write it.

But oh, the butt-glue, stick-to-it-tiveness that writing, the meat of sandwhich requires. Realistic daily goals and short measured increments are my key to getting it done. I go from blank page to publication-ready mss in four steps:

1. Writing: I write straight through, no edits, no research. I leave question marks or write a note about what to research later. If I’m struggling for the right image, I leave it for later. I take notes of what needs to be revised earlier in the manuscript. I keep a separate file for relevant websites, character names, descriptions, and so forth, to use for consistency.

I set the timer for 15 minutes and between write 150 and 300 words. I plan on 800-1600 words per day on any given projects. Any more than that, and my writing tank seems to empty. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve written 8 novellas, 60 devotions, and numerous articles since January. My last project took 23 hours to write.

2. First Edits: When I began writing, I ran every chapter through several edits a chapter at a time. That went by the way side as I began publishing frequently. Next I used a list of weasel word to comb through my manuscript. Over time I was able to make substantive edits in a single run through.

That single edit takes at least 2/3rds as much time as the original writing. The mss that took 23 hours to write took 16.75 hours to edit.

I also edit to make the POV consistent, meaning and setting plain, the background filled in until it’s as clear to the reader as it is to me. I write my first draft about 10% longer than the requested mss length, because I cut a lot during editing. When I’m done, I sent it to my editor (either private paid or the publisher).

3. Final Edits: When I get my manuscript back, I go through her comments. I try not to debate with her comments and instead look for the reason she reacted that way. This takes a lot less time than either step one or two, but 9.75 still takes me most of a work week (2 hours a day).

Since I don’t seem to have a good eye for typos, I send it on to a proofreader.

After that, I send the mss to my publisher and they put publication into motion.

It’s important to know your own weaknesses (and strengths) and work with them.

— What is your current work in progress?

Several things. I’m working on final edits for the book to be published on October 1st, Her Rocky Mountain Highness. In a story dedicated to John Denver on the twentieth anniversary of his death, I’ve written a deposed prince and the tourist guide who introduces him to Colorado.

I’ve just started on a story for a Harvey Girls collection. In researching the history of the Harvey Houses along the Santa Fe Railroad, I discovered that Charles Lindbergh built the hub of his Transcontinental Air Transport business in Waynoka, Oklahoma. The expensive air-and-rail trip trip across the country (an amazing 2 days!) failed in the stock market crash, but a new industry was born. The book is titled All Roads Lead Home.

I’m also doing background research for a book on prayer which I will begin writing in October.

— What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I’ve become a huge fan of adult coloring books! Here’s a couple I’ve done.

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

Lately it’s my health. I have plenty of time, but I don’t feel all that well, either in pain or with a foggy mind. I just try to stay focused and work when I can, allow myself to be slow (as frustrating as it can be!) and to take more breaks.

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Christmas Child

A year ago scandal ruined the annual Nanepaushat Cotton Mill Christmas Masquerade—the owner’s son tarried with a mill worker and she left, shamed and pregnant.

Tragedy strikes this year when the same son dies in a tragic accident. Can supervisor Preston Marshall and the shunned woman’s cousin redeem the flailing Masquerade and rescue the Christmas child? How will they overcome the difference in their positions?

Check out Christmas Child to read this imaginative retelling of Herod’s massacre of the innocents of Bethlehem.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Darlene Franklin

Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. Mermaid Song is her fiftieth unique title! She’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in five monthly venues. Other recent titles are Wilderness Weddings and Opposites Attract. You can find her online at: Website and blog, Facebook, Amazon author page

Links: Website and blog


Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin

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.