As many of you know, I lost my mother in the Spring of 2017. So, I have gotten past the one year mark. And I have learned some very interesting things about grief. Some of which I have blogged about in the months following her death. Some that I have only come to learn in the last couple of months.

As time passes, I have a better taste, I believe, of what life will look like without her…what it will look like to carry on and grieve her in the years to come. And I would like to share some of those insights.

Something shifts right around that one year mark. And things do change. There comes some kind of acceptance. Not that it’s okay that your loved one, or my mother, is gone. But that it’s okay to move on in the grieving process, to move on with life.

You realize that, while you will never get over losing your loved one, you can get through it. You might wonder ‘what is the difference?’. I think that when you lose someone so close to you, they will always be a part of you. There will always be those moments when you catch yourself in a memory…but that won’t always mean that the memory brings pain and tears. Eventually, you will be able to remember them and smile more often than not…think of them fondly.

The sting of the loss becomes more of a dull ache. When I reflect on my mother’s passing, it is no longer the sharp stab of pain. It doesn’t bring deep sorrow. There is an ache there, but I am able to, again, remember her well and share those memories with my husband or my kids and reminisce. This gives those moments purpose.

You probably will still have crying spells. It’s not all sunshine and roses. I pass the cemetery where my mother has been laid to rest every day. I press my hand to the window as if to reach out to her. A quiet sadness touches my heart and I miss her. As well, when my sister laughs, I hear my mother. She shares so many commonalities with my mother it surprises me. Her smile and laughter are just a couple. But it stirs my heart when my sister laughs. It pulls me from the moment and takes me back to moments shared with my mom. And there is the ache. But I choose to let my lips lift and share the joy of the moment both in the memory and in the present. And celebrate my mom living on.

These are just a few of the things I’ve come to find as the days blend into weeks and time marches onward. But they have been true for me. How about you? Are there insights you have gleaned from a loss that you would like to share?


SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Lady Bornekova Series

The Lady Bornekova Series was inspired by time I spent in the Czech Republic. I fell in love with the people, the land, the architecture, and, of course, the history. When I discovered the history behind the Jan Hus statue, I was all too eager for more! Add to that a visit to a hunting/summer chateau kept by the royal family outside of Hradec Kralove, and the wheels in my head were more than turning. This book began as a one-shot, but I fell in love with the characters and just had to finish their story…what happens to them in the course of the 15-year Hussite Wars?

For those of you who are completely lost, the Hussite Wars was a religious civil war fought in the Bohemian lands (current day Czech Republic). It was sparked by the teachings of Jan Hus (largely influenced by John Wycliff) who had some…challenges with the way the Catholic Church of the day was run. He was like Martin Luther before Martin Luther. (In fact, Martin Luther made a statement that he had been “a Hussite” all along.) Jan Hus was martyred for his stand against the Church and this led to conflict and eventually all out war.

Though the wars lasted 15 years, there will not be like…a book per year. There were 5 “Anti-Hussite Crusades” on the part of the Catholic Church. These crusades will be the benchmarks for the books…I will cover at least one crusade per book. But, my female readers out there that don’t necessarily like to read a lot of fighting…no worries! I don’t either. There is only what fighting is absolutely necessary. This series is more about the relationships between the characters and how they interact and struggle during this major conflict in their land.

Now that I have rambled on for quite some time…let me introduce you to the first two books…

The Lady Bornekova

A strong-willed lady torn between her heart and her duty.

Karin Bornekova struggles with her duty to the Bohemian Crown. Harboring thoughts that could be deemed traitorous, she is sequestered to the Royal Viscount’s hunting lodge. She becomes the target of an individual with murderous intent. Her heart soon becomes entangled though her father intends to wed her to another.

Dramatic, suspenseful, and heart-wrenching, The Lady Bornekova follows Karin as her homeland hovers on the brink of civil war.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Karin sighed as she leaned on Pavel’s shoulder in blissful sleep. It was a sweet sound. Gentle, angelic even. They had not been underway for long, but the movement of the carriage had rocked her into pleasant dreams rather quickly.

Pavel’s nerves were alert, seeming to tingle all at once with her so close. But he dare not move away, lest he wake her. So, he sat still, enjoying an even greater closeness than he had earlier that evening. The contact, while they danced, had been exciting. This was more peaceful but, because of the heat of their contact, enthralling all the same.

As she rested, he listened to the rhythmic clip-clop of the horse’s hooves and focused on the gentle thumping of her heartbeat against his arm.

A crunching sound echoed through the night.


The carriage pitched to the side.

Pavel grabbed Karin and held her tight to his body.

Karin awoke with a start, eyes wide.

“Don’t move!” he commanded, wrapping his arms tighter around her as the carriage landed hard, jolting them both.

It continued to roll, slamming them into the side and threatening to throw them out the small window. That would put them in an even more dangerous position.

Pavel kept his body stiff and held on to Karin. He could barely breathe. It was his body that had slammed into the wall and cushioned Karin’s.

The car had not stopped moving, and it threatened to roll onto the roof, teetering precariously between roof and side. How much longer could he hold onto her? How much longer could they endure?

Buy Link


The Lady and the Hussites


Their story continues as the Hussite Wars rage on…

Karin and Pavel arrive safely at his parents’ home in southern Bohemia, but things are not as they seem. There are secrets between them. A wall goes up. And then Pavel is called into battle.

Radek and Zdenek are pulled into the conflict of the Hussite Wars despite their best efforts to remain neutral, while Stepan finds himself ready for bloodshed. With tensions mounting within their circle and throughout their country, what will become of Pavel and Karin? Can they find their way back to each other?

Can Karin and Pavel hold onto each other amidst the hardships of war?

Enjoy an Excerpt


Turning his attention to his beloved, Pavel drew Karin to the horse. He traced a finger down the side of her face as if he could memorize her features more vividly than he already had.

“Your visage will be my constant companion until I return to you.”

Karin’s mouth tugged upward. “Your smile will be mine.”

He leaned in to kiss her once more. This was not the most fevered, passionate kiss they had shared. Not with his parents looking on. Rather it was sweet, tender, filled with hope and promise.

When he pulled back this time, Pavel allowed his fingers to linger on her face but a handful of seconds before he broke all contact with her and mounted his steed. But as she stepped away from the horse’s body, he sought her face. It would be for naught—merely serving to delay him further. Still, he could not stop himself.

But she would not turn. Even as she reached his mother, Karin would not face him.

And he understood. She had met the limits of her strength.

So he urged the horse onward, keeping his eyes on the horizon.

Buy Link


More About the Author

I’m a coffee lovin’, word slinging, Historical Romance author who’s super power is converting caffeine into novels. I love those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That’s what inspires me. Well, that and a good love story.

But of all the love stories I know, mine is my favorite. I live happily with my own Prince Charming and our gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning.

Happy Reading!

Connect with Sara and Her Books

Website: saraturnquist.com

Twitter: @sarat1701

Facebook: AuthorSaraRTurnquist

Pinterest: SaraVTurnquist

Instagram: @sarat0103

YouTube: Sara Turnquist


I will select, by Rafflecopter, a winner who will receive e-copies of both books in the series. I will also select a second winner who will get a $10 Amazon gift card. They will be selected from the same Rafflecopter entry board. Please follow the directions indicated below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Welcome, Readers! I have another fantastic author for you to meet – Author Becca Hart. I came across her in this wide world of the internet through a connection on my blog. And, finding out she writes clean Romantic Suspense, I was happy to host her on the blog. She is here talking about her work, her process, and even has offered a giveaway! So, keep reading and check out the featured novel!

Hello, Becca! Welcome to my blog. Thanks for being here. First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

Against All Odds is a Christian romantic suspense novel about the growing love of Elizabeth Seymour and Dr. Gilbert Callahan in the face of a dangerous game of revenge from the sister of the man Elizabeth shot in self-defense two years ago.

What was the inspiration for Against All Odds?

One of the biggest inspirations for it was Lori Wick’s Sophie’s Heart. Though that novel isn’t a romantic suspense, I was intrigued by the growing romantic tension between the main characters in their unique situation. Pride and Prejudice helped inspire it as well, though Elizabeth and Gilbert get along better than Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

Oooohhhh…. Pride and Prejudice… one of my favorites!

Tell us…did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

Before the age of 15, at one point in my life, I wanted to be a baseball player! Hey, there were once whole teams of women playing the sport during the Second World War. After that, I wanted to be a medical doctor, given my love of science and helping people. However, despite my extroverted nature, I realized I’m an artist at heart, and I love writing too much to do anything else.

Interesting…you don’t hear of many girls dreaming of being a baseball player! Right on!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was 15, we had a free day in gym class, and as was my wont to do in those days, I started wandering around and daydreaming, pictures and stories swirling around my head. I’d already been writing for a couple of years by then, with friends and on my own, but it was just something fun to do. That day in the high school gym, I came to the rather sudden realization that it was no longer just “something fun”—I wanted to keep doing and do it for the rest of my life. The writing bug had officially bitten me!

And, as I’m sure you’ve come to realize…there are things about the whole writing thing that we love and things that we don’t love as much. What part of the writing process do you dread?

This may sound odd, but I believe it’s writing the second draft I most dread. By then, I’m trying to get the story tied down and I often find quite a bit rewriting that needs to be done. My brain’s going a mile a minute, trying to figure out if this thing or that will really work and how. If it won’t, I wrack my brain, pull out my hair, and endure many sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do instead (this is one of the places having a writer’s group can really help).

That’s a good point. More eyes on the manuscript…more creative minds…

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

The biggest one is to persevere. Keep plugging away at it, keep practicing. Get into a writer’s group and allow them to critique your writing. Stay open to good, constructive advice, but remember that it’s your work and you can do whatever you want to.

I set a mood when I write with music and the like. I am always curious if other authors do… What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

It depends on what I’m writing, and I don’t typically do so. I usually only listen to music when I write if I’m trying to get unstuck from writer’s block or just trying to make the images and words swirling around in my head coalesce into something. When I do listen to music while writing, it’s not stuff I can dance to (too distracting). Sometimes, it’s somewhat depressing and maudlin and other times it’s just slow and instrumental.

Just for curiosity’s sake for my readers… How long does it take you to write a book?

That’s a little hard to say. Against All Odds took between five and ten years, whereas the novel I just finished only took less than a year once I buckled down and started writing.

This, too, I know is so different from writer to writer. Sometimes, it takes a while, sometimes the story seems to “pour” out of you and onto the page.

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I often break my own promise to myself here—that is, not to work on more than one thing at a time. Truthfully, while my current romantic suspense novel is on the front burner, I’m technically working on four projects at once, counting that! This newer romantic suspense novel features an invisible stalker, much like the one I just finished and sent to the editor.

I tend to do that, too. Work on more than one thing at a time…it can be stressful! Thanks for chatting with us and sharing a little about your process and your work. And, without further ado, we will dive right into Against All Odds…

Against All Odds

Two years after a violent break-in left Elizabeth Seymour widowed and with blood on her hands, she’s finally starting over in the little town of Avalon, Ohio, with her daughter, Haley. She has the house of her dreams, a good church, and friends she can rely on. Everything seems to be falling into place—until she receives a threatening note from Veronica Sadowsky, the sister of the man Elizabeth shot, the same woman who tried to ruin her life once before. This time, though, Veronica won’t stop until she gets revenge.

When Elizabeth’s home goes up in flames, she turns to family friend, Doctor Gilbert Callahan, a widowed father of three. He invites her and Haley to stay with his family. As Veronica draws Elizabeth into a game of increasing stakes, she and Gilbert only grow closer, learning to trust and rely on one another. But Elizabeth’s presence in Gilbert’s home endangers his family and creates tension with his oldest son. Preserving peace in the house is hard enough, but when Veronica comes after Haley, Elizabeth will risk everything—including her life—to get her child back.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Elizabeth grabbed the mail, calling a quick hello to Mr. Helmheckle next door.

A plain white envelope rested on top of a store ad. Her brow furrowed. What was this? She tossed the bills and ads on the end table and tore the strange envelope open. Who would send her a single folded piece of notebook paper?

There were two typed sentences: ‘You thought you could hide? No, I’m watching you.

Her feet rooted to the carpet.

God, no. She stumbled back onto the arm of the chair. She stared at the words till they blurred. Not here. Why here? It was supposed to be over. Avalon was a safe haven. Her eyes slid closed. Lord God, why’s this happening again? How had Adam Sadowsky’s sister, Veronica, found her again? Granted, Columbus was only an hour’s drive, but still. She hadn’t wanted to go too far away from Dad and Darlene, not to mention her sister, Jenna.

Her throat felt like it was clogged with peanut butter. She tried swallowing. It can’t be…

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More About the Author

A wife and mother of two, I felt the calling to be a writer at the tender age of fifteen. I wrote a few things before that for school and got one of my stories published in The Cauldron, my high school newspaper. Later on in life, I got another short story, “The Drive,” published in the Diverse Voices Quarterly. I went onto to earn my Associate of Arts degree in English from Pikes Peak Community College in 2013. All that time, I’ve worked as hard as I can to learn my craft but learned even more during the editing process of my novel. Against All Odds isn’t the first novel I’ve ever attempted writing, just the first I’ve gotten published. Born and raised in a small town in northeast Ohio, I make my home in southern Colorado in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains with my husband, rambunctious kids, and a crazy cat.

Connect with Becca and her work

Website – beccahartauthor.wordpress.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/beccahartauthor

Twitter – @BeccaHart16


Author Becca Hart is offering 3 (three) free digital copies of Against All Odds one each to the first 3 (three) people to comment on the post and ask a question not among the interview questions. So, get those fingers ready! You can find the button to comment usually at the top of the post. Best of luck!!

INTERVIEW & SPOTLIGHT: Author Jaycee Weaver

Hello, readers! It’s that time. That time for me to introduce you to another fabulous author–Jaycee Weaver. I met Jaycee through a group that formed because of our common writing goals (clean romance), Pure Romance Reads. This is a great website if you are looking for quality contemporary or historical clean romance. Here is the website: Pure Romance Reads. And here is a link to the Facebook page: Pure Romance Reads on Facebook.

But I am getting distracted… Author Jaycee Weaver writes clean Contemporary Romance and it goes deeper than your typical fluffy book. But don’t rely on me, let’s let Jaycee speak for herself…

Welcome to the blog, Jaycee. I’m so glad you are here! First and foremost, I’d like to hear a little about your novella.

Adrift: a Grace Springs novella is the first in a spin-off from my Everyday Love series. There is a fictional church, Grace Springs Fellowship, that I’ve tied this and a few upcoming novellas to. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before, told in first person present perspective. Erin is a woman who’s been widowed for several years, but still struggles with overcoming her grief. She knows she wants to, but her life has become something very different than what she’d planned and she’s learning to let the Lord rewrite her story. While God’s doing His thing in her, she meets this really sweet man who happens to attend her church. I won’t tell more of the plot, just that it’s very journal-like and filled with tons of water imagery. While there is a little bit of romance, the real story is her journey from feeling adrift in the sea of grief.

I like this idea. It’s fresh and new (at least to me)…basing this series off a church. What was the inspiration for Adrift: a Grace Springs novella?

Last winter, my husband was facing a five-week, out-of-state work trip. I had a lot of feelings about this and not all of them were happy ones. One night I woke up with a strange rocking sensation like you get when you’re trying to sleep after having been on a boat all day. I had the introductory words in my head so clearly that I rolled over and typed them into my phone as fast as I could. By the time I woke up in the morning, I knew I wanted to write a story about a woman who had been living in grief for too long and was finally ready to take back her life. The story just took its own twists and turns from there as I wrote.

Wow…when inspiration strikes, it strikes, doesn’t it?

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

As a kid, my top three career dreams were to be a professional singer, a writer, or a teacher. From elementary school I made plans to become a teacher in case I was never discovered as the next Debbie Gibson. Ha ha! Everything I did was with that in mind. I babysat, taught Sunday school, worked in daycare and eventually taught Pre-K. About halfway through my degree, I realized I’d lost a lot of my passion for teaching and I allowed my worries over being able to balance the demands our society places on teachers and the frequently unpleasant ways parents choose to deal with them to win out over the dreams and ideals I had about the actual teaching parts.

Praise the Lord, He never closes a door without opening a window. I had a new dream to become a writer. At the time, I thought I’d write Christian non-fiction aimed at new believers. Books that would help them navigate this crazy Christian world filled with wonderful people and also modern-day Pharisees, understanding God’s heart for His people to bring about real, positive change.

To be honest, I let go of both dreams for far too long. I lived out my ultimate dream of becoming a stay-home mom, and for a while I was even a professional crafter. I still mostly stay home, I do still craft, I sing with the worship band, but now I’m also a substitute teacher and a writer. So, really, God has allowed me to weave all of my dreams together into one huge, beautiful new one that is made up of all He’s ever placed in my heart!

Isn’t He just awesome like that? But, in all that transition, especially that period of being a stay-at-home mom, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I honestly don’t think there was ever a time I didn’t want to write at least on some level. I never really pursued it as a profession, though, until my first full-length book came to me and began really taking shape. And now I wonder why it took me so long!

And we all know that, while there are parts of the whole process we love…there are definitely things about it we don’t care for as much. What part of the writing process do you dread?

The most dreadful part of writing is always a tie between the edit/revision stage and the waiting for feedback from its first readers. Editing and revising take such a long time and require an author to really step back, look through the eyes of a reader, and admit when something you might like isn’t working. It’s emotionally draining but liberating, too. But waiting for feedback is always tense and rife with insecurity and wondering if anyone else feels the way you do about the story!

I hear ya’! It truly is art…and art is so subjective!

I find I learn a lot about the craft of writing from conferences and reading writing craft books, but also from just reading. We pick up so much intuitively.

What are you currently reading?

That answer literally changes almost daily. I read a LOT, and fast. I’m pretty much always reading one contemporary Christian romance or romantic suspense or another. I just finished Jenn Faulk’s latest, Worth It, and it might take me a few days to move forward after that one. It was absolutely wonderful and everything my heart wants Christian fiction to be—honest, raw, emotionally engaging, with real struggles and real people coming into relationship with a very real Jesus, and of course, a happy ending with plenty of humor, too.

That’s great to hear! I am more often reading clean Historical Romance, but starting to dip my toes back in the waters of Contemporary Christian Romance. I’ll have to add that one to my TBR (to be read) pile.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a general mood I like to set when I write. And that includes music. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I listen to music constantly. My favorite genre is singer/songwriter, especially stuff with a fun beat. Rend Collective, Needtobreathe, All Sons & Daughters, I Am They, and City Harbor are some of my favorites. When writing my upcoming Christmas novellas, though, I had to listen to holiday music while writing because writing about winter in the middle of 100-degree heat? Yeah, not happening without some help! Luckily most of my favorite CCM artists have holiday albums I could shuffle through!

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I wish I could get into the groove earlier in the day, but I am so not a morning person. My peak writing hours seem to end up being noon to five, which is a totally inconvenient pain because my youngest gets out of school at 2pm, and the older ones get out across town at 3:30, so I have to quit right as I hit my groove! My usual place is at home, but I bought a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad mini, so now I can write pretty much anywhere, anytime, and sync it to my laptop for formatting later!

Something that I find people are always curious about is: How long does it take you to write a book?

That answer is about as consistent as my routine (clue: what’s a routine?). I’m about the least structured person I know. I’m organized and ambitious, usually efficient, but to be all of that I have to roll with life’s demands, which means no two days look the same, ever. My writing time is the same way. My first book took almost a year to write and edit, the second only about six months. Adrift is a 90-page novella and that still took the better part of four and a half months.

However, the Christmas novella that’s going to be part of an upcoming collection (details coming soon!) was a gift from God that only took TWO AND A HALF WEEKS to write. Seriously, I am still in awe of how that happened, and I’m pretty sure it’s the best story I’ve written yet (which is how I know it’s a gift from God and not anything I did!).

It’s amazing how some work just fairly pours out of you and onto the page, isn’t it?

Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Adrift will release on October 1st, but it’s now in preorder. I have kind of an obsession with kitchen concoctions, especially sweet ones. The novella contains a camping scene where they are making some of the most outlandish s’mores you can imagine. If you like s’mores…or don’t, but like other sweet treats, you’ll have to read that scene!

Last question…I promise! Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m currently working on two Christmas novellas that should be out in early November. One is the second in the Grace Springs novella spin-off series called Faith Like Snow, and the other is part of a latino Christian holiday collection (official titles and other announcements coming soon!). That’s the two-week gift story that I can’t wait to share, but since the group is still working out the details, I guess you’ll have to check back in with me soon to find out!

Thank you again, Jaycee, for joining us today on the blog. And for giving us a peek into your novella and your process. I am so eager for my readers to get an even closer look at Adrift, so I’ll not delay, but turn them loose for the rest of the blog…

Adrift: a Grace Springs novella

I’m overwhelmed.Truth be told, I’ve been overwhelmed for years. Adrift in a sea of stress and grief and clinging to the life raft of responsibility.

It’s time I start swimming again. And someday? Maybe surf the waves instead of being pulled under and dragged out to sea.

God offers so much more for Erin than a life of treading water, focusing all her time and attention on running a small business while raising her kids after the death of her husband.
Through strangely poignant dreams and a series of run-ins with an unexpectedly attractive guy from church, Erin finds the hope she’ll not only feel alive again, but maybe even ride life’s waves victoriously.

Enjoy an Excerpt

That ring was my anchor for so long. It about killed me to take it off, but I couldn’t stand all the pitying looks people gave me when they noticed I still wore it. Like there’s some timeline engraved on a stone tablet out there for when a person should suck it up and move on after losing the love of their life.

Who decided a year was long enough, anyway? Like it’s some expiration date that passes and suddenly you’re supposed to be able to live like before?

It’s been almost four years and I’m still not completely sure what I’m supposed to do here without him.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Buy Link

Adrift: a Grace Springs novella https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H14N8G6/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

Check Out Some of Jaycee’s Other Works

What Could Be (Everyday Love 1) https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C8QGBG4/ref=series_rw_dp_sw 


Whatever Comes Our Way (Everyday Love 2) https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CGHF1MQ/ref=series_rw_dp_sw 

More About the Author

Jaycee Weaver lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her amazing husband, three daughters, a crazy shih-tzu, and a dwarf rabbit. When she’s not writing, she’s probably in hot pursuit of her 90 million other hobbies or shuttling the kids around. Jaycee loves to read books in multiple genres, drink too much coffee (honestly, when are they going to make the coffee IV a real thing?!), sing, take landscape and floral photos, sew, cook, bake, and craft just about anything (can we say Pinterest?). She considers herself a recovering perfectionist and sometimes hot mess. She does her best to live her faith in action, being open, honest, and real and letting God be Lord over the good, the bad, and the ugly even when it’s hard.

Connect with Jaycee and Her Books 


twitter @weaverjaycee

Instagram @jayceeweaver





INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Award-winning Author Linda Brooks Davis

Hello, readers! I have a treat for you today! Award-winning author Linda Brooks Davis is here to share her story and share about her books. Including a first reveal of an AMAZING redesigned cover!! But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe I’m not. Linda’s interview is too good for me to vamp too much before, so I’ll just get to it…

Welcome to the blog, Linda! Thanks for being here. First, can you tell us a little about your novel and perhaps some of the more historically significant events behind your story?

My novel, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, releases in mid-October. Set in 1914, it’s Novel 2 of The Women of Rock Creek series.

[Novel 1 of the series is The Calling of Ella McFarland, which won the Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award in 2014 and ACFW’s Carol Award for Debut Novel in 2016. In this 1905 story, which is re-releasing very soon with a new cover and some added material, Ella McFarland rescues 13-yr-old Lily from a life of depravation and abuse. And finds a calling in the process.]

In The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, it’s 1914, nine years later. Lily is now a grown woman setting out on life with secrets that threaten her every dream. The first flames of the Great War have ignited Europe, and the fight for women’s rights, starting with the vote, is escalating in America. But an additional battle is raging in Oklahoma: a murder trial has concluded, and the jury has reached a verdict. Having testified as an eye witness, Lily’s future rests in the hands of twelve men. Which way will the scales of Lady Justice tip?

Seeking justice, safety for her loved ones, and a voice for women in their governance–the vote–Lily is swept into Texas where she uncovers more than she ever bargained for.

Wow! As a true lover of historical fiction/romance, these sound intriguing! What was the inspiration for your novels?

My grandmother, Ella Jane–for whom the Ella Jane in The Calling of Ella McFarland is named, was reared, married, and bore two of her nine children in Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. My mother, her seventh daughter, was born in Oklahoma in 1919. Both women told tales about the “wilds” of life in Indian Territory and/or the hardships of life in Oklahoma and Texas in the first few decades of the twentieth century. Two elements always stood out in their accounts: faith and grit.

As a child, I was enthralled by these stories and imagined all kinds of life-threatening dangers, loves, loses–and victories. These tales seeded the stories I now write and anticipate continuing to write as long as the Lord blesses me with a brain that still works. (I’m 72, so I’m grateful for each day I can put thoughts to paper–and remember my medications! 🙂

So, these were ideas from childhood…when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Unlike other authors, I can’t say I always wanted to write or I was a writer as long as I can remember. I didn’t scratch out once-upon-a-times alone in my room or in the crook of two limbs of an old tree. Or even in school. I did imagine stories, but I don’t know why I never wrote them down. I think I was just plain bashful, couldn’t imagine setting my private thoughts down on paper for anyone to read. I devoured books and craved the public library in the summer, but those enthralling stories were, I thought, beyond my capacity to write. I enjoyed authorship vicariously, I guess.

While away at college from 1964-68, I enjoyed writing letters home. I imagined my parents and little brother–out on a farm–reading them Waltons-style–and enjoying my college experience vicariously. I told them every move I made (with some editorial flourish, I’m sure) and enjoyed every minute of it. (Later on, as an Army spouse, I did the same thing. But, still, I hadn’t considered writing for publication.0

Then along came a university English professor who took me aside and asked if I’d considered creative writing as a career. The suggestion bowled me over. In a word–No! In fact–Horrors! Put my inner self out there for the world to read and critique? No, no, no. So I chose speech pathology, and I devoted 40 years to working with individuals with special needs of every kind            

Then came first-time grandparenthood–in triplicate form. Yes, my daughter birthed triplets in 2005–a girl and two boys. What a momentous, life-altering event that was! The impact can’t be overemphasized. It literally changed the trajectory of our family’s lives forever. I walked alongside my daughter through her pregnancy journey, one that ranged from simple anxiety to life-threatening moments. She was hospitalized two months. By God’s grace, her body held out to 28 weeks, and the babies weighed in at 2.5 pounds. We basically lived at the NICU for three months.

During that trying time, I wore calluses on my knees. Please, Lord . . . Oh, God, please just . . . Lord, I promise if You’ll . . . My persistence ranked right up there with the desperate widow Jesus speaks of in Luke 18. I love the Amplified Version:

“In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and had no respect for man. There was a[desperate] widow in that city and she kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice and legal protection from my adversary.’ For a time he would not; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will give her justice and legal protection; otherwise [a]by continually coming she [will be an intolerable annoyance and she] will wear me out.’” Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says!And will not [our just] God defend and avenge His elect [His chosen ones] who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [in providing justice] on their behalf? I tell you that He will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”

While the triplets were still fighting for their lives, I vowed to devote the rest of my life to them. And to leave them a legacy of faith in writing. But I hadn’t a clue how or what form it would take. When my daughter named her little girl Ella Jane–for that tiny baby’s great-great-grandmother, my own grandmother Ella Jane–I knew. I’d write a novel. The heroine would be an Ella Jane. The story would be saturated in my grandmother’s history, in the faith and grit she and others in the family spoke of, in the soil where she earned a name worthy of a great-great-granddaughter–Oklahoma’s Indian Territory.

In October a second story about an extraordinary young woman will release. Ella McFarland was born in my grandmother’s life story. And Lily was born in Ella’s. The Lord overrode my inabilities and insecurities. He stands beside me, for better or for worse, a reality I will profess until my dying breath.

What an amazing (and inspiring) story! Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve got nothing that can follow that. Nothing. So, I’ll let that lead right into your novels…

 The Mending of Lillian Cathleen

***Available for purchase on Amazon on October 18, 2018***

Enjoy an Excerpt

This is the opening scene to The Mending of Lillian Cathleen:

Ma resisted a drunken beast as long as she lived.

I lower my head to the barren table and run my hands along its blackened surface, as nicked and pitted as my mother’s skin. She fed her brood atop this slab. As best she could.

My fingers coax from the wood’s crannies a lifetime of embedded moments, photo cards in a parlor viewer.

Long extinguished firelight shimmers in the table’s gentle slopes, back light for a promenade of memories.

Pressing my ear to the hardened plane, I capture a fleeting accompaniment, a dirge played on a broken heart. Tin plates clatter. Bean juice sizzles. One corner of the table rocks atop a nail keg. And hands etched with grime grip spoons as if they’re brooms.

My imagined viewer clicks, and a bitter Oklahoma winter arrives. A blowing rain.

Work-roughened hands upend the table and slide it into a rectangular frame, our shanty’s one door, Ma’s feeble attempt to batten her family against storms.

The scene shifts, and a distant Christmas glows in the wood’s warp and woof. Ma sits alone, abandoned to die. I find her. Feed her. Dress her in decent nightclothes. And spread fine quilts over her skeletal frame.

But she disappears without a word, save a penciled note.

Go back to that fancy college, Lil’. Make somethin’ of yourself, somethin’ I weren’t able to do. Fly. For me.

I trace a fingertip along the board’s undulating lines. Love beyond measuring is ground into the wood grain.

Clenching my eyes shut, I glimpse my mother stumbling through a counterpane of snow. To the blacksmith’s shop. And parts unknown.

One photo slide supplants another, and I’m returning to college on rail tracks headed south. For Ma’s sake.

I blink, and the meager lights darken, stirring scraps of a lonely memoir created months ago. Ma and I enjoy a handful of hours in the deep of night, she on one bank of Rock Creek and I on the other. We whisper secrets across the water and hide from the monster she married.

The table’s wooden canvas darkens to black, save a ghastly figure, Walter Sloat. A feather pillow in his tobacco-stained hands. And Ma, spiritless in death.

I should have killed him.

Curling my fingers around the table edge, I wince. A rough-bored hole has nipped my fingernail, peeling it back. I staunch the scarlet bloom, but what’s to be done for the borehole cruelty carved in my heart?

Today’s announcement in downtown Needham will render the first stitch.

Lifting my head, I lean against the sycamore chair back. Hand-carved and rough as a cob in winter, its bumps and bulges poke at me, prod me to cast aside the haunting photo promenade and to stand.

“Ma would’ve judged this day hotter ‘n a billy goat in a pepper patch, Lil’.” Donnie, my bowlegged brother, leans against the door frame and stares at his meager world outside. Stones encircle an abandoned campfire beneath a stubborn black walnut tree, witness to decades of thunderstorms and lightning, droughts and wildfires.

And tumults of a different sort under our tin roof.

He clumps onto the slanting porch. Rickets has stolen his mobility.

I join him. “It’s a hundred and six degrees.”

“You reckon that’s as hot as Ma’s billy goat?” He runs grubby fingers through the thatch he’s chopped neck length with rusted shears.

I grin and ruffle his coffee-black mop. “I reckon so. It’s out of the ordinary for sure.”

But this is no ordinary day.

The jury has reached a verdict.

“Gotta run, brother mine.”

He peers at me, telltale curiosity rimming his black-marble eyes. “Where ya goin’, sis?”

How much do I reveal? Depravation has cast his mind in a limited mold. “I’m going into town. But I’ll be back later on. With some news.”

“What kinda news?”

I tweak the tip of his nose. “The good kind. The kind Ma would whoop over.”

He slaps a thigh and chortles. “I’ll be watchin’ for you then.”

Striding toward the meandering stream behind the shack I once called home, I halt in the tinder-dry brush. And turn for another glimpse of my brother’s gap-toothed grin.

Joy crests near my heart. Good tidings await my brother and me—and our departed ma—the other side of Rock Creek.

The Calling of Ella McFarland

***This is the new cover for The Calling of Ella McFarland, the first reveal prior to its re-release!***

Ella McFarland sits on the precipice of her life’s dream: teaching at Worthington School for Girls. But in the male dominated world of 1905, scandal clouds her family name and may limit her to grueling farm labor in Indian Territory. As hope for Oklahoma statehood rises, a new love buds in her heart, and the woman’s suffrage debate rages, Ella encounters an abused sharecropper’s daughter, forcing her to make decisions she never imagined about her faith, family, and aspirations. What toll will the turmoil demand of Ella’s dream? And what call might God lay on her heart?

Buy Links

The Calling of Ella McFarland: http://amzn.to/2HyxT64

A Rock Creek Christmas Collection: http://amzn.to/2C9NbP1

More About the Author

Linda Brooks Davis was born and reared on a farm in Raymondville, a small Rio Grande Valley community in the southernmost tip of Texas. Linda earned a Bachelor Degree in Speech Pathology from Abilene Christian University and a Master Degree from Houston Baptist University. She retired in 2008 after forty years as a special educator and administrator. Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren, three of whom are triplets. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

Linda’s debut novel, The Calling of Ella McFarland, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award. It subsequently won the ACFW Carol Award for Debut Novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma and released in December 2016. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910. It released in 2017 as a prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, which is set in 1914 and releases in October 2018.

Connect with Linda and her books

Facebook:   Linda Brooks Davis, Author   https://www.facebook.com/LindaBrooksDavis/

Twitter:   @LBrooksDavis   https://twitter.com/LBrooksDavis

Pinterest:   ljbd1946   https://www.pinterest.com/ljbd1946/

Instagram: lindadavis1321   https://www.instagram.com/lindadavis1321/

Contact Links:

Website: http://lindabrooksdavis.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2qshCKq

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2pAcX52

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/linda-brooks-davis


Author Linda Brooks Davis is offering, to TWO winners, a paperback copy of their choosing between her two novels. The Calling of Ella McFarland or The Mending of Lillian Cathleen could be yours! Keep in mind, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen is intended to be read AFTER you have already finished The Calling of Ella McFarland. To enter for one of the these two wins, you must be located in the continental United States. Find the other directions on entering (no purchase necessary) on the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Toni Shiloh

Hey, all! I have another author for you all to meet today! This is an author I met through Pure Romance Reads, a group of clean Romance writers that help created a place where readers can find clean romance and talk about clean romance on the Facebook page: Pure Romance Reads. I am just as excited as anyone to hear more about her work and dive deeper into her process. As a writer, I feel I can (and should) never stop learning. So, here’s Toni…

Thanks for being on the blog today, Toni. Many of my readers wonder about writers and how we chose this career path…or, for many of us, how it chose us.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

Love this question! It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had different ideas of what that would look like from being a cop, lawyer, interior designer, librarian, and bookstore owner (although that still sounds awesome).

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

The first time would probably be when I took a creative writing class while getting my bachelor’s degree. I had thoughts about it beforehand, but taking that class made it feel like an obtainable possibility.

Alas…you, too, were bitten by the bug! No regrets though, right? Except that there is inevitably something about the writing/publication process that every writer doesn’t care for so much. What part do you dread?

Editing! I love writing the first draft and sometimes even rereading it to polish it. But I dread editing and editing and editing. By the time I’m done editing, I don’t want to read the book any more, lol.

I agree. You get tired of those characters making the same bad choices. Or worse, you get to be like “who wrote this”!?!

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

Read other authors. Figure out what it is about the book that hooked you and then do it in your unique way. Figure out what you didn’t like and avoid that.

I see that. I agree that we pick up a lot intuitively from reading other authors. On that note…what are you currently reading?

While riding a stationary bike in the morning I read Vilette by Charlotte Bronte. For a book club I’m reading Tammy L. Gray’s Until I Knew Myself.

I always have to “set the mood” for my writing…especially when I’m feeling a little blocked. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I love listening to music while I write. I usually try to create a playlist that speaks to what the characters are going through. Usually a mix between contemporary Christian, country, pop, and Indie.

I ask this for sheer curiosity sake from a reader’s perspective. Just one of those “I wonder…” things. How long does it take you to write a book?

It took me three months to write the first draft of Finally Accepted. I would say that’s pretty standard for most of my books unless their a novella or short novel. If that’s the case I probably only need a month or two for the first draft.

Thanks again for being on the blog, Toni, and for sharing with us about your process and letting us “peek behind the curtain” for a moment. Readers, I’ll turn you over to the details about Toni’s Finally Accepted as well as the giveaway below. Happy Reading!

Finally Accepted


There’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.

Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.

As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Grandma, why is my skin different than yours?” Chloe stared at her arms. They weren’t white like the color in the crayon box, but they weren’t dark brown like her grandma’s.

“Because God made us in all different colors. It’s a way for us to remember our uniqueness and how special we are to Him.”

It sounded good, but… “I want to be the same color as you.”


She frowned. Her grandma always asked a lot of questions. “So I can be Black.” She wasn’t sure why people called her grandmother black. She didn’t look like the color but maybe they never heard of dark brown. The kids in her class said she wasn’t Black even though her grandma was. It really didn’t make any sense to her.

“Well, baby, I’m Black and your mama is Black…”

“So I’m Black?” It came out more a question than a statement as her mind tried to wrap around her grandma’s words. Chloe sat up straight. She didn’t know what her dad looked like and right now that didn’t matter.

My mom is Black. Grandma is Black. “I’m Black,” she whispered.

“And loved by God, no matter how light or dark your skin is. Remember that, baby, okay?”

“I will.”

Buy Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2wblC2C
B&N: https://bit.ly/2PgZKeT
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2MsahVP
iTunes: https://apple.co/2MPyHpq
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41150978-finally-accepted

More About the Author

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian contemporary romance author. Once she understood the powerful saving grace, thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.

You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.

Connect with Toni and Her Books

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortonishiloh
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tonishilohwrite
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/tonishiloh
Instagram: www.instagram.com/tonishiloh
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/tonishiloh
BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/toni-shiloh
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cmNFKD
Blogs I’m part of: http://puttingonthenew.com ; http://heartwingsblog.com ; http://diversitybetweenthepages.wordpress.com


Toni is offering, to one winner, an ebook copy of Finally Accepted. Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below to enter.

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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Author Rachel Magee

Hello, readers, I know it’s been a little bit since you’ve heard from me. There’s be a LOT happening in my personal life and it has been hectic. How timely author Rachel Magee’s post is! She’s with us today talking about how to add reading into our back-to-school routines. And, as much as I haven’t been able to fit my normal routine in, reading has not been something I’ve been enjoying lately either. But she has excellent advice. AND she is offering a giveaway! AND telling us about her book Happily Ever Afters! So, this post today, my friends, is full of fun things for you. So, I’ll stop rambling and let you get to it…

Four Ways to Add Reading to Your Back-to-School Routine

by Rachel Magee

Four Ways to Add Reading to Your Back-to-School Routine

It’s back to school season. That time of year when every store is teeming with freshly sharpened pencils and brand-spanking-new backpacks. The air is electrified with the excitement of new beginnings. And whether you’re headed back yourself, sending your little darlings out the door each morning, or simply having to adjust your daily commute to deal with the school zone traffic, this is a great time to rethink daily routine, making healthy choices a priority. But is reading one of those priorities?

Reading has tons of benefits for every age group. Studies have proven spending more time reading or being read to can increase vocabulary, is directly linked to doing well in school, lessens stress and makes you more productive at work. Plus, it’s enjoyable. Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? But in our busy lives, finding time to carve out for reading can be tricky. So here are four easy ways to add more book time to your daily schedule.

  1. Read to your kids before bedtime, even the big ones.

Many parents do this when their kids are little, but do you continue when they get into elementary school, junior high or even high school? Making this part of your daily routine, even if it’s only ten or fifteen minutes before lights-out can be a great thing for both of you. Besides all the benefits of reading before bed (helps you sleep, reduces anxiety, sharpens mental focus) it can also give you a chance to connect with your child. Have your kid choose books he/she likes or pick titles they have to read for school. It’s a great way to learn what your child like as well as spark discussion. You might even try throwing in a favorite book from when you were their age. Your kids, especially the big ones, might find you have more in common than they thought.

  1. Read out loud to your spouse.

I know several couples who have celebrated decades together who have always made this part of their daily routine. Sharing a book with your significant other can create intimacy and keep you connected. At first, choose a book you will both enjoy and take turns reading out loud. As you get more in the rhythm of this routine, take turns picking titles from genres each of you enjoy. This will deepen your understanding and appreciation of each other as well as expose you to books you might not have chosen on you own.

  1. Listen to audio books on your commute.

We all spend time in the car, and with audio books so widely available, this is an easy way to incorporate more reading time into your day. Even a ten minute commute is enough time to listen to several pages, if not a whole chapter of a book. Do you carpool? Perfect! You now have your very own book club. Driving kids to soccer practice and piano lessons? This is a great time to read a book together as a family. For some added discussion, stop the book from time to time and ask thought-provoking questions. You might learn something new about the people you drive with every day.

  1. Make waiting time reading time.

Whether we want to or not, we spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting for an appointment, waiting in carline, waiting to see the doctor or while you get your oil changed. And let’s be honest, most of us waste that time staring at social media. Why not make this time your reading time? Keep an ebook on your phone just for these occasions. Not only will it make the wait go faster, you’ll be doing something good for yourself at the same time.

So what do you think? Are you ready to make reading part of your daily back-to-school schedule? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below and let us know when you’re reading this fall and who you’re reading with

Thanks for that wonderful post, Rachel. Now, if I can nab you for a couple of questions, I’d love for you to tell us a little about your novel.

Happily Ever Afters came to me when I was on vacation with a group of my girlfriends. It is a love story, but at its core it’s a story about friendship, resilience, and learning to love after loss.

I also have a new book coming out next month based on one of the characters in Happily Ever Afters. This new book is a lot of fun and I’m really excited about it, but I’m not releasing any details until next week. If you want a sneak peek now, you have to head to my website: RachelMageeBooks.com

I love those kinds of sequels–ones that are not necessarily a cliff-hanger, but give us more of the story in that “world”.  What are you currently reading?

The titles on the stack of books next to my bed may change, but the composition pretty much stays the same. There is a devotional, a non fiction book about some topic I want to learn about (right now it’s writing) and, of course, a novel with a happy ending.

Rachel, thank you so much for being on the blog today, sharing your thoughts and giving us some practical ways to enjoy reading even as our schedules get a bit more hectic. And now, readers, we’ll turn more toward Rachel’s book, Happily Ever Afters and get a closer look.

Happily Ever Afters

Lainey Stratton does not fall in love with strangers she meets on vacation. It simply doesn’t make sense. So when Lainey meets Carter Thompson on the first day of her Caribbean vacation, she knows it could never amount to anything more than a crush. At the end of the vacation she will return to Dallas, and he will return to DC, and that will be the end of it. Well, unless he wants to join her at a friend’s destination wedding, which would be considered vacation too, right?

But when an unexpected tragedy sends Lainey’s world spiraling out of control, she realizes her vacation crush might be the only one who can help her pick up the pieces of her shattered life. That is, as long as she can get out of the way of her own happiness. And as long as Carter’s past doesn’t catch up with him before she gets a chance.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I found myself face-to-face with a long, slender fish that had to be close to three feet long. His shiny stainless steel scales looked tough, and his eyes seemed to fix on me as he glided through the water with confidence. I inched back, but he continued straight for me. His lips curled up, and he flashed a smile revealing two ominous rows of razor sharp teeth. I’ve seen pictures of the majestic barracuda before and admired their sleek beauty, but seeing one up close and personal made me want to pee my pants.

I scrambled to the side, out of his direct path, hoping he would continue on to wherever it was he seemed so intent on going. But the fish altered his trajectory, his menacing smile widening as he came right at me. The realization that I was his intended destination shivered through me.

Let the record show that in the battle of Lainey versus the fish, the fish won. I conceded. I screamed, a muffled sound that shot out my snorkel, and turned for the boat’s platform. Grabbing the ladder, I pulled myself out of the water and struggled to tuck my finned feet up to the highest rung. The fish sauntered under me, pausing to cast one last menacing glance my direction.

“Holy fish!” I breathed out, spitting the snorkel from my mouth. A chuckle came from above me.

“They might be scarier than sharks.” Carter sat casually on the end of the platform with his feet dangling in the water, his fins and mask propped next to him.

“I wasn’t expecting him.” I climbed all the way out of the ocean and onto the boat. Scanning the water to find Kara and Reece, I located them midway over the reef, seemingly unaware of my absence. I slunk down next to Carter and pulled my knees into my chest. Until my shiny friend was long gone, I wasn’t willing to dip anything into the water. I slid my mask off and wiped the salt water from my face.

“What are you doing up here and not out there?” I asked.

“Watching a hardcore chick take on an unusually large barracuda.”

“Yeah, thanks for the help.”

“I never doubted your ability to take him.” A playful half smile lit his face.

“I did. Did you see those teeth?” I shivered thinking about it. “He was not my favorite fish of the day.”

“You going back out?”

I peered over the side and searched the water below. “Still trying to make up my mind. You?”

“Same. I’m enjoying the solitude of the moment.” Carter stared serenely out at the sparkling water before us.

“Is that a hint for me to dive in?”

“No,” he said, his blue eyes meeting mine. “Stay.”

Buy Link


Also on Kindle Unlimited

More About the Author

Rachel wrote her first novel when she was twelve and entered it into a contest for young author/illustrators. Unfortunately, the judges weren’t impressed with her stick figures. So she dropped the dream of becoming a world famous illustrator and stuck to spinning stories. When she’s not busy working on her latest book, she loves to travel with her family and friends. By far, her favorite destination is the beach, which tends to work its way into most of her stories. Between vacations, you can find her at home in The Woodlands, TX with her wonderful husband, their two adventurous kids and a couple of spirited pets, all of whom share Rachel’s love of the ocean. Well, except the cat and dog. They’re both afraid of water. Find out more about what Rachel has been up to at rachelmageebooks.com.

Connect with Rachel and Her works

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rachelmageeauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/rachell_magee

Google +:  https://plus.google.com/u/2/100755997821645118769


Rachel is offering a $10 amazon gift card for one winner!! The winner will be chosen from among the comments on this blog post. We will close the contest September 5, 2018 at 11:59 pm. You can find the comment button most often at the top of the blog post. You can react to the post in your own words or answer this question:

How do you find time to read in the busyness of the school year?

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Sara Jane Jacobs

Welcome, everyone! I have another author to introduce to you today. I met Author Sara Jane Jacobs through Clean Reads, our common publishing company. But Sara and I are also connected through Pure Romance Reads, a small collection of authors who write clean romance. You can find more information about this group on our website: pureromancereads.com or on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pureromancereads/

But I would love you to meet Sara and get a feel for her process and her work. So, without further ado, here’s Sara:

Hello, Sara! Thanks for being on the blog. First, can you tell us a little about your novel.

Here’s the blurb:

“I’m deploying.”

The words slam into me with an unseen force that robs me of my next breath. Tyler has been my best friend for the last ten years, and we never keep secrets from each other. Well, except that one. The big one. The one where I’m in love with him. And now that he’s deploying as a Navy SEAL, only one thought consumes me: What if I never get the chance to tell him?

But I think Tyler keeps a similar secret of his own. Sometimes I’m sure I see it in his eyes. And then it’s gone.

With his impending deployment, we’re both warring in an inner struggle that threatens our undoing. Throw in my controlling, matching-making aunt and our secret love might never get the chance it deserves.

Or will it?

What a great blurb! I’m drawn in already!

Did you always want to be a writer?


What did you want to be when you were a child?

I wanted to be an actress, although I was very shy! But that didn’t keep me from auditioning for plays whenever I had the opportunity.

So fun! I did, too! But, while I enjoyed being on the stage, my parents encouraged my love of science and medicine.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was working at an insurance company just out of high school. There was a guy who worked in the mail room who was a script writer (his goal was to write for a soap opera). I had this idea that maybe I could create a character for one of my favorite TV shows, so I started to experiment. After I left that job and got married, I decided to try writing a script for a movie. I sent it off to a few places but didn’t pursue it any further. A few years later, a friend suggested I turn my story into a book.

It’s very interesting what paths lead people into writing. But one thing that I find we all have in common is a love of reading and stories. And that never seems to die.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading If Not for You by Debbie Macomber. It’s my first Debbie Macomber book. I am loving it!

I have heard so many good things about her. That makes one more. I need to add this to my TBR pile.

Now, I am always curious about other writers’ processes and writing environments. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I usually don’t listen to music, especially if I’m able to open the windows and listen to the birds. But occasionally I will turn on classical. I can’t listen to music with words when I’m writing. But during short breaks I might listen to a song for inspiration. It will usually be something my current character enjoys or something that inspires me about the story.

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

Early in the morning is my favorite time to write. That way I have a better chance of reaching my word count goal (which can take anywhere from three to four hours). I usually write on my desktop but my favorite place to write is outside.

I am trying to nail down a good balance of marketing and writing and mothering and housekeeping. Though I’ve been doing this for a few years now, things are constantly changing and I am still looking for a good balance.

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m currently working on the third and final book in the series (although there will be at least one spin-off!)

Thanks so much again, Sara, for being on the blog. I have enjoyed talking with you. Now, I’ll turn this over to my readers so they can learn more about Season of Hope.

Season of Hope

Video Trailer

Enjoy an Excerpt

To set this up, Tyler and Phoebe (Amanda’s controlling aunt who doesn’t like Tyler) have just had a huge argument during dinner bringing the evening to an abrupt end . . .

A heavy cloud of silence hung in the room. Amanda looked as if the roof had just caved in. Her eyes met Tyler’s, finding a hint of remorse there before he lowered his gaze and disappeared down the hall.

Ten minutes had passed before he slipped into the kitchen, trying in his own way to make amends. Amanda was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t notice him behind her, until he grabbed a dish towel and reached for the pan she had just washed. He stood next to her, and she could feel him glance her way.

“AJ, dinner was fabulous.”

She turned a blank face to him, then went back to washing dishes. “It was certainly an evening to remember,” she said without emotion.

“Listen,” he continued, “I am sorry. I know she’s your aunt, but—AJ, she is putting her ambitions ahead of your well-being! I couldn’t just stand by and let that happen!”

“Tyler, I know you meant well.” Her voice remained low and controlled, but her anger came through loud and clear. “But you and Phoebe are both forgetting that I can think for myself. I want your advice because I trust you. And I’ve let Phoebe have as much control as she has because I trust her. I realize that she has been taking every offer that we can possibly fit onto my calendar, but right now I need that. I need to stay busy.”

“Why, AJ? Why do you feel like you need to stay busy?” he pressed.

She avoided his gaze, sensing there would be a probing look in his eyes. Her focus stayed on the task of dishwashing as she answered his question. “Because I miss home and the life we left behind. And what might have been if you and I had both stayed on Nathan’s Mountain.”

An inner cringe ran through her over her last comment. The last thing she wanted was for Tyler to know of her feelings for him. Right now it was clear to her that the timing was all wrong for them. The country was at war, and it was just a matter of time before he was deployed. A year ago she was still living in her bubble on Nathan’s Mountain, not knowing what it would mean for Tyler to become a Navy SEAL. Now she understood all too well.

“If you miss home, why don’t you just go back?”

She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “What? The BUD/S graduate wants me to quit? Give up and go home?”

“I want you to be happy.” There was a fierceness in his tone. He took a moment to gain control of his emotions. His voice was calm as he repeated the words. “I want you to be happy.”

Amanda could feel months of pent up frustration rising to the surface as she rinsed the last pan and yanked the stopper from the sink. “Happy, Tyler? Where is the happy in all of this?” she asked, drying her hands and tossing the dish towel on the counter. “Where is the happy in knowing the danger you will be in once you’re deployed? Home can’t fix this, Tyler. Nothing can fix this.” Amanda tried not to burst into tears as she hurried from the kitchen.

A Special Treat – another Video Trailer (for The Visitor)

More About the Author

Sara Jane Jacobs lives life Corem Deo along the Emerald Coast of Florida. She’s a mom to two, a nonni to three and a cat wrangler to four. A morning enthusiast, she loves the outdoors and open windows, even in the middle of summer.

She dabbled in writing for thirty years before deciding to send her work to a publisher in 2016. Her first book, Season of Hope was published in March of 2017. Book two, Season of Deception, followed in August of the same year. The two stories were originally written as one manuscript (Season of Deception) but she was forced to divide them in order to align with submission guidelines and that’s how Season of Hope was born!

Connect with Sara and her books

website: https://www.sarajanejacobs.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarajanejacobsauthor/

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorsarajanejacobs/


A copy of Season of Hope. Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below.

**Continental United States only.**

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REVIEW, INTERVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: Kelly Goshorn’s “A Love Restored”


A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn is a story about the things we tell ourselves, the truth that goes beyond that, and the affect that can have on our ability to love others. It is a lovely story about a romance that is sweet at first, but gains real depth and dimension as you dive in further. The well-crafted writing skills of the author make for an enjoyable and easy read. You can see the mountains, feel your own heart beat quicken with Ruth Ann’s, and even smell the pie.

The characters are well developed and, like the romance, they all have depth to them. And there were all the feels. For sure.

One of the things I loved about this novel was that the main female character is not your “typical” size. She’s got curves. And she struggles for the way society looks upon her (as would be expected during this period for the described amount of plumpness she possesses). This led to some insecurity issues and challenges loving herself, but in no way did the author demean or mishandle the situation historically or for anyone reading that has experiences such inner and outward struggles. To the contrary, I felt Goshorn elevated this situation and showed that this type of heroine is appropriate and belongs.

I absolutely enjoyed this story and look forward to reading what comes next from Goshorn.



Hey, Kelly! It’s great to have you on the blog. I so very much enjoyed the book. But for my readers who haven’t read it, can you give us an overview of the book?

From the back cover: She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.

With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.

When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

You had mentioned something to me about your inspiration for A Love Restored that I found very interesting. Care to share it with my readers?

A Love Restored is based on my real-life love story with my husband, Mike—all of our ups and downs, including our emotionally devastating break up. When I first began writing, I tinkered with a story about Irish mail-order brides (the whole mail-order bride thing just fascinates me). Hubby read it, told me it “wasn’t bad,” then suggested I write our story. Skeptical, I questioned him. “Are you sure. I mean you don’t look so good in that story for a long time.” He grinned and responded, “Yeah, but I think it turned out all right.” I’d have to agree. We celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary in mid-June.

I loved so many things about this. And there were definitely times in the story (knowing ahead of time that it was inspired by your own romance), that I wondered which details were based on real life and which were fictionalized.

How much of your heroine’s journey mirrors your own?

Like my full-figured heroine, Ruth Ann, I’ve struggled with weight issues my entire life. That struggle plays an important part in our story. I’ve had cruel things said about my appearance. Oftentimes by people who were supposed to love me. But their insensitive words failed in comparison to the ugly way I spoke to myself. I’d become so defined by the negative comments and opinions of those surrounding me, I no longer saw anything to esteem. I’d allowed my self-worth to be determined by a yardstick that measured my value according to the size of my waist or the flatness of my stomach, always coming up short. My own journey to self-acceptance, as well as what a loving God will do to grab a stubborn woman’s attention, are pivotal to the story line.

And, as you saw in my review, was one of my favorite things about this book! I loved seeing a heroine that wasn’t so typical, yet was handled appropriately to the period and still affirmed the value of women of all sizes.

You mentioned that your husband “doesn’t look so good” in the story for a long time. What were the highlights and challenges of telling your husband’s journey through your hero, Benjamin Coulter?

Showing readers what a jewel my husband, Mike, is was definitely the highlight. Like my husband, Benjamin makes Ruth Ann laugh, holds her accountable to herself and is very generous with his time and talents. He is extremely intelligent, and like my husband, Benjamin woos Ruth Ann with his guitar and teases her about my not-so-stellar singing voice.

Like my hero, Mike also struggled with his pride and let vows, words he’d spoken over himself, dictate his choices. Benjamin’s journey is about finding the courage to challenge society’s idea of what success and beauty look like as well as trusting God’s plan for his life. I found it challenging to write his character, who struggles to come to terms with Ruth Ann’s fuller-figure, without making him look shallow.

I hope readers will find him to be strong, good-hearted character struggling with a very human flaw who looks to God and scripture for guidance and healing.

Now, as much as the story rings true for you and your husband, there are pieces that speak to history. Care to share the more historically significant events behind your story?

Since the story is based on my life, it was a natural choice to make my heroine a teacher as well. While researching the post-Civil War history of my town and the county as a whole, I began reading about the life of the freed slaves in the area and the Freedman’s Schools to educate them. I discovered that Fannie Wood, a white woman from Middleboro, Massachusetts, came to the area to teach in one of the newly authorized Freedman’s Bureau schools in the nearby town of Warrenton.

But in Reconstruction Era Virginia, Miss Wood’s tenure would not be without opposition from those who did not want the freed slaves educated. A Warrenton newspaper, The True Index, printed the first paragraph of a threatening letter sent to Miss Wood: “We the young men of this town think you are a disgrace to decent society and therefore wish you to leave this town before the first of March and if you don’t there will be violence used to make you comply to this request.”

That threatening note became the inspiration for my secondary storyline in A Love Restored.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Truthfully, I never saw it coming! I had always enjoyed writing papers for my college history classes, but I NEVER considered writing fiction. I’d been a successful in-home childcare provider for nearly twenty years, but I knew in my heart it was time to move on to something new.

My husband and I began praying for God to give me a new direction, a new passion in my life I would undeniably know He’d planted in my heart. On a whim, I began tinkering with storytelling and it didn’t take long for my secret hobby to become my God-given passion!

Though our hearts long to write, there’s always that part of the process we don’t care for so much. What is it for you?

Filling up the blank page. Ugh. Sometimes it is a real slugfest to fill up that empty page and get the draft written. I much prefer the editing process. Taking those rough words and polishing them until they shine is the part I enjoy the most.

Everyone is so different. I’d much rather fill that blank page than edit any day! How fun!

We are also always learning from others – conference, books on the craft of writing, workshops, critique groups…even when we are reading. What about you? What are you currently reading?

I just finished a wonderful retelling of the book of Hosea, Hosea’s Heart, by Linda Wood Rondeau. Next up: I’m torn between The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jamie Jo Wright and More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer. I tend toward historical fiction/romance but also want to read Unbreakable by Ruth Buchanan that looks laugh-out-loud funny and I just picked up Once Upon A Laugh (a collection of contemporary novellas) and am itching to read that as well. Perhaps your readers can help me decide?

I wonder if they can. I may have some willing to give it a go!

My readers all know by now that I have to set the mood for my writing–music definitely included. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

When I’m writing I usually listen to classical or big band music. Nothing with words or I begin singing along and lose track of my storyline. LOL! I do have a playlist for my current series that I listen to when mowing the lawn or driving to keep me connected with the story. Those songs are a mix of country and contemporary Christian music.

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

After living most of my life as a night owl, I’ve become an early morning person! Gasp! I usually roll out of bed around 5am, make a cup of tea, have some quiet time with the Lord and get to it. I usually have my modest word count goal of 1K/day made by 7-7:30 am. As far as a favorite place to write, not one in particular. Have laptop will travel. LOL! I’m downstairs in the early morning so hubby can sleep, but later in the morning when editing or working on other writing related tasks I can be found in the leather recliner, on the back porch when the weather permits or at my local coffee shop indulging in a chai tea latte.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

A Love Restored is not only a story of love, romance, heartache and restoration, but also a story about the power of words over our lives. It is a story about the struggle each of us faces to take our thoughts captive to the truth of Scripture so we may experience the fullness of God’s unequivocal love for us. As Benjamin and Ruth Ann discover, it is only then that we are truly able to give and receive love, unconditionally.

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m very excited about the series I’m working on now, Surrendered Hearts. Set in Civil War Virginia, the series examines what happens when God calls us to surrender those things we hold most dear. Characters are called to sacrifice their dreams and ambitions, their pride, and ultimately their hearts as God recklessly pursues each of them. Hearts and wills are challenged, and lives transformed as characters experience restoration with one another and with God. If readers are interested in learning more, the can visit the Surrendered Hearts page on my website.

Thank you, Kelly for being on the blog today. It has been wonderful to chat with you and delve into some of the things behind the book and behind your process a little bit. Now, I must give the blog over to my readers so they can explore the novel for themselves!

A Love Restored

Enjoy an Excerpt

Loudoun County, Virginia

August 1873

Benjamin Coulter cringed as the shrill tune hung in the air. That woman sure knew how to ruin a Sunday afternoon. Sounded like something was dying and needed to be put out of its misery.

He shook his head. All he wanted to do was rest a while longer. His decision to go around his headstrong superior and talk to Mr. Farrell directly about his boss’s inaccurate measurements had made for a nerve wracking week. That decision could have cost him his job. Thankfully, his discovery had been received well, saving the struggling railroad both time and money.

Benjamin leaned against the sycamore tree and tossed his line into the creek. A slight hint of remorse nicked his conscience. He now sat poised to guide the construction of the Washington & Ohio Railroad through the town of Catoctin Creek and over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester, but he hadn’t intended to get his boss fired. If only the man hadn’t refused to admit he’d made a mistake.

Yep, it was all coming together. Just the way he’d hoped it would when he agreed to leave Texas and take this apprenticeship in Virginia. All he had to do was pass that examination next spring and…

He shuddered. The woman’s screeching escalated to a bone-grating pitch. She’d frighten the fish away for sure. Like most folks, Sunday was his day off, and he didn’t intend to spend it listening to her sing off-key.

Wedging his pole in the mud of the creek bank, he set off to investigate. Her ear-piercing slaughter of The Merry, Merry Month of May led the way. He spied his first glimpse of the lyrical assassin through the thin limbs of a dogwood tree. Perched on a large, flat rock at the edge of the creek, she swirled her bare feet in the water. Behind the rock sat a pair of woman’s boots—fancy ones. Too bad she hadn’t spent some of her shoe allowance on singing lessons. Her voice cracked. “The skies were bright, our hearts were light, in the merry, merry month of May…”

Benjamin winced. That was the fourth time in a row she’d sung that part. For the love of Pete, didn’t Miss Fancy Boots even know the words? He needed to put a stop to this so he could continue fishing—and napping. He stepped forward then stopped. The woman reached up and removed a pin from her hair, then another. Mounds of long chestnut brown ringlets spilled over her shoulders into the middle of her back.

Curls. He groaned. Why’d she have to have curls?

“The skies were bright. Our eyes were light…”

Never mind. Curls or not, the woman’s voice could haunt the dead.

Buy Links

A Love Restored is available on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble

More About the Author

Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.

Connect with Kelly and her works

Website http://kellygoshorn.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/KellyGoshorn

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kelly.j.goshorn/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/kellyjgoshorn/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/KellyGoshorn/


Kelly will giveaway one E-copy of A Love Restored to one random commenter below. To enter, help Kelly choose what book to read next from the following choices: The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jamie Jo Wright, More than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer, Unbreakable by Ruth Buchanan and Once Upon A Laugh (Anthology or Rom-Coms). Be persuasive and let her know the why behind your choice. Have you read it? Want to read it? Love the cover? Read other books by that author?