Red Sky Over America

Tamera Lynn Kraft shares with us the background for her novel, Red Sky Over America

When Ohio Almost Started the Civil War

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

Before the Southern states seceded from the Union in 1860, a small Christian college in Ohio almost caused the Civil War. It all started in 1850 with the Fugitive Slave Act. Before 1850, slaveowners in slave states could not easily retrieve their slaves if they escaped to free states. Many of the escaped slaves settled in Ohio. When the Fugitive Slave Act was enacted, slave owners not only could chase their slaves down in states like Ohio, but abolitionists in free states were forced to hand over these slaves or be convicted of a crime.

That didn’t sit well with most Ohioans, but the students at Oberlin College were enraged. Oberlin College was the only college at the time that allowed both blacks and women to graduate with a college degree alongside white men. A religious fervor had filled the campus, and Charles Finney from the Second Great Awakening had become the college president. Oberlin students felt it their duty to live out their Christian life in the culture of the times. Graduates became missionaries overseas, preached abolition in the South, and women’s suffrage and equal rights for all.

Since the Fugitive Slave Act, many escaped slaves settled in Oberlin and were warned by residents whenever slave catchers were around. In September, 1858, a federal agent arrested a fugitive slave, John Price, in Oberlin and transported him to nearby Wellington, intending to take him to Kentucky. Half the town of Oberlin chased the agent down and took Price back. He was secretly moved to Canada by an Oberlin College professor. Twenty men were arrested and charged with impeding the capture of a fugitive slave.

The trial caused such an uproar in Ohio, there were discussions about seceding from the United States. The federal agents were arrested for kidnapping because they violated Ohio’s constitution against slavery. Ohio Governor Salmon P. Chase was an abolitionist, but he talked the crowds out of seceding. Many wanted him to run for president in 1860, but he stepped aside for a moderate anti-slavery candidate, Abraham Lincoln, who had a better chance of winning.

Red Sky Over America

In 1857 the abolitionist daughter of a slave owner studies at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America’s classmate William goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

“Red Sky Over America tackles the most turbulent time in history with thorough research and fascinating characters. Tamera Lynn Kraft has woven a tale about the evils of slavery that should never be forgotten.” — Mary Ellis, author of The Quaker and the Rebel, The Lady and the Officer, and The Last Heiress.

You can purchase Red Sky Over America at these online sites:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079GQQ9KY/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B079GQQ9KY&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/red-sky-over-america-tamera-lynn-

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States with strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure. 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 novels and novellas in print. She’s been married for 39 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years.

 

You may contact Tamera here:

 

Website: http://tameralynnkraft.net

 

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cdybpb
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7334438.Tamera_Lynn_Kraft
Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/tameralynnkraft
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tamerakraft

Singing the Winter Blues Away

What a treat to have Margaret Kazmierczak, my online author friend from across the Atlantic, with us today. Brew yourself a cup of hot tea and enjoy her musings on winter. And leave a comment if you’d like to win an e-copy of her memoir – with a definite U.K. flavor and humor. 

Why do we call it the middle-of-winter blues – blue? I see no blue outside nor inside! Personally, I believe we ought to change it to the middle of winter greys. The sky is grey; the atmosphere is grey, people’s faces are grey, clothing is grey, the snow, if we get it in the South of England, is grey and slushy, and the days are grey with fewer hours of daylight – do I need to go on?

We eat more than we should and decide that we need to lose weight. So then we get the weight loss blues/greys.

Woe is winter with its rain, cold, damp, grey weather. Welcome to my England – actually, that’s not true as my winter is far from grey. The only grey is my hair! But it was not always like this. I too suffered from the blues for a long time until I realised that January 1st was just another day and February a step closer to brighter mornings–therefore, I didn’t need to put a blue-grey tint to these months.

Grey is a matter of opinion or perspective. Winter always leads to spring. Nature needs to die to reinvent itself. The gorgeous colours of Autumn give way to the life spine of a tree, its scars highlighted by the sun.

Landscapes become visible without the foliage concealing the beauty beyond. There is crispness as you walk, a fresh painting of a spider’s web glistening in the low sunlight. Ice producing dazzling displays of rainbows in fragmented puddles.

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Snowflakes whirl in the wind, dancing to the heavenly music of the angels.

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Birdsong greets me to a new awakening.

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The flowers now gone promise to rise again in Spring in a celebration of hope.How can this season be blue/grey?

We need a break in the seasons, to reassess our lives. Are we at the ending of a story, or at the beginning? Winter allows for both, the blues followed by the yellows. How long you remain in the blue will depend on your winter.

Winter is a great reminder; it tells me of how fortunate I am to live in a country where we have heating at the click of a switch. We can snuggle under duvets in the safety of our homes. Water comes out of a tap, and the air is relatively unpolluted. Christians can freely worship, and there are life choices we can make each day without fear.

I need winter to remind me that without death I cannot begin again. Nothing is permanent…only God.

January is often a difficult month for many, with the bright lights of Christmas doused. It is easy to sink into the dull months and respond accordingly. But what if we shone brightly during the downpours and sing in the rain, so to speak? How many sad faces could be turned upside down into a smile?

I don’t do New Year resolutions, but maybe this year I shall target the blues with a sunshine beam to get the happy juices going in my fellow human beings. Perhaps the seeds will break through early this year if we turn our faces to the Son and remember that after the blues (the passion) comes the resurrection. Now, that is something to celebrate!

One of my favourite experiences is walking into my home after escaping the frozen outdoors and feeling the warmth hug me. Peeling off my coat, scarf, hat and boots and flopping into a comfy chair with a steaming cup of hot tea. It is by far the epitome of joy in winter – a spirit lifter.

And that is indeed one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone else who is suffering from the middle-of-winter blues. To be a spirit lifter. To share a picture of hope in a person’s life. To show the beauty of winter in all its glory, because nature never stops creating breathtaking pictures.

Excited About Memoir

I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Gail Johnson to Dare To Bloom this week. The two of us share a love for the genre of memoir, and she clarifies that here. What do I mean? The deep, underlying belief that our stories matter, and that the sacrifice involved in telling our stories has the power to free us…and others.

As I’ve often quipped when facilitating a memoir writing workshop: “Our stories are the best gift we can give.” Enjoy, and Gail will give one free print copy of her memoir to a commenter. Thanks for participating! 

Excited About Memoir

Nonfiction never entered my head until 2016 when I couldn’t shake the need to write my memoir.

Of course, I had no idea about writing a memoir. I had studied fiction for years. So how could I take those skills and write my story? Interestingly, the same skills I learned as a fiction writer can be used in nonfiction writing. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I would like to share why I’m excited about this genre.

Dig deep.Write scared. gailjohnsonauthor.com

Purpose

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive (Genesis 50:20 KJV).

Memoir writing is cathartic, exhausting, and painful. But through my journey, I realized scars can be a life-changing testimony of God’s ability to heal the unspeakable. I found purpose in spite of my pain. My memoir wasn’t about my story alone, but HIS story through the heartache, healing, and recounting of my journey. As a Christian writer, my purpose was to share the redemptive story in my own way. Mine was memoir. Yours may be fiction. Either way, there is a reader in need of hearing the good news.

Vulnerability

Memoir scared me. In memoir writing there is no hiding. The character was me. The story was mine. And the whole world would know the truth between the pages. But, I knew there was only one way to get to the heart of my reader. Vulnerability.

And from the feedback I’ve received from my readers, it was worth mining the deep.

Audience

As a reader, I love books that speak to my heart. As a writer, I wanted to speak to the heart of kindred spirits. What did I want to share with them? What did I want them to remember after reading my story?

Just as in fiction, I wanted to offer hope in the middle of my heartache. I wanted to give them a satisfying ending, and I did that by sharing the promises of God.

Vulnerability gailjohnsonauthor.com

Closure

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed (1 Samuel 2:3 KJV).

Does this mean everyone must write a book to find closure? Not necessarily. But in my case, I needed to see the big picture. My thoughts and notes were scattered throughout multiple journals. When I had finished reading my manuscript, the words solidified the lessons learned. The simple task of closing a book took on a spiritual meaning.

So, if you have a memoir buried within you, I encourage you to write it. Connect the dots. Publishing it will be your choice. Write on, dear one.

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You may contact Gail at the sites below:
Gail Johnson Book Pic 300 dpi

 

 

 

 

 

https://gailjohnsonauthor.com/
https://www.facebook.com/gailjohnsonauthor/
https://twitter.com/GailJohnson87

Star of Wonder

Star of Wonder

When I was a child, Christmas meant three things: Santa, pictures, and a tree.

Santa was easy—the Sears catalogue was handed around to each child in turn, and we could choose three items: one toy, one game, and one other thing. That one other thing could be clothes—although it rarely was—or something fun like a toboggan or ice skates.

The picture-taking ritual happened on Christmas Eve as we hung our stockings, a solemn procession to the mantel, posing with stockings in hand. We went into the living room with stockings in hand and exited empty-handed. And on Christmas morning, the tradition was repeated, except this time we entered with nothing in our hands to discover a treasure trove of gifts.

The tree was a mysterious part of our ritual. First it went up, then it was tied to hooks in the wall so it wouldn’t tip over, then the star went on top. It was a wonderful creation, although its condition declined over the years as the heavy foil nicked and chipped. In front of the star, a simple blonde-haired, blue-eyed angel, whose pink lips faded with the years and the forty-watt bulb that lit it from inside.

No matter how bent the star or how tired-looking the cherub, nothing could diminish the wonder of staring at the top of a tree that seemed ready to burst through the ceiling, listening to Christmas music on the radio while we hung the ornaments and tinsel.

I could just about imagine that my father managed to capture the same star that led the shepherds and wise men to Bethlehem on that first Christmas morning so long ago.

Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to that Perfect Light.

 Petty Cash prelim coverAbout Petty Cash:

Carly Turnquist, forensic accountant, is headed off for another mystery. She and hubby Mike head to Cape Cod as emotional support for their daughter Denise and her dentist husband Don who finds himself in the middle of a potential practice dissolution. But when their host fails to make an appearance, and a tropical storm blows through the area, things are topsy-turvy. Then when their host’s body washes ashore, Don is suspected. After all, they’d had several arguments witnessed by a number of people. Can Carly figure out who the real killer is before her son-in-law is shanghaied into a life sentence?

About Leeann:

Leeann Betts is still a child at heart when it comes to Christmas. She Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released six titles in her cozy mystery series, By the Numbers, with Petty Cash releasing in aaaLeeann Betts_02 croppedDecember. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft. She publishes a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at www.LeeannBetts.com or follow Leeann at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com All books are available on Amazon.com in digital and print, and at Smashwords.com in digital format.

Website: www.LeeannBetts.com Receive a free ebook just for signing up for our quarterly newsletter.

Blog: www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/1pQSOqV

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1qmqvB6

Books: Amazon http://amzn.to/2dHfgCE and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2z5ecP8

 

 

 

“Johnny Come Lately”

I’m excited to welcome Linda Matchett to Dare To Bloom, because she loves the World War II era–a kindred spirit! By leaving a comment, you qualify for a free e-book copy of A Doctor In the House.

Linda, tell us about your new Christmas historical fiction. 

Countless books and articles have been written about the cozy relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt during WWII, however their troops didn’t always enjoy the same chummy feeling.

The two world leaders had known each other since Churchill was First Sea Lord at the Admiralty, and recognizing that Britain’s combined military strength was greater than America’s, Roosevelt cultivated relations with England by inviting the King and Queen for a U.S. visit in the late 1930s. After the war began and against the wishes of his isolationist-leaning citizens, Roosevelt continued to develop the friendship by creating the Lend-Lease program to provide supplies to his unofficial allies.

The desire for neutrality and not “getting involved in a war that isn’t ours” was strong. Then one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the U.S., and the country was forced into the conflict fighting on two fronts.

After a period of training, many of the American troops assigned to stations around the world encountered condescension and hostility from the British. Nicknames such as “Johnny-come-lately” and comments such as “late to the last war and late to this one” greeted the new arrivals in 1942. British morale was low, and the soldiers were poorly paid and bedraggled. In contrast, the Americans were well-paid, wore brand-spanking new uniforms, and had access to goods and equipment unavailable to the English. The catch-phrase describing the “Yanks” was “overpaid, over sexed and over here.” The Americans didn’t help matters by complaining about the food, weather, and a country they considered old-fashioned.

However, nothing erases prejudice like exposure, and authorities embedded British and American troops into each other’s units, improving relations dramatically. According to one American soldier, “When you fight with them and next to them they are really all right.” The British agreed. One Tommy commented he worked with “a very nice set of fellows indeed.”

By Linda Shenton Matchett

The Hope of ChristmasA Doctor in the House (part of The Hope of Christmas collection): Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?

Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?

Buy Link: Available from www.amazon.com/dp/B077656725

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Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, blogger, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

 

The Essence of Advent

Since people have already started preparing for the holiday season, I’ve invited Lynn Watson to share about her Christmas devotional with us today – first of all, here’s an enticing trailer to watch:  https://youtu.be/ZT5_uGmptZM

Also, Lynn is giving away one copy of The Essence of Joy, either print or Kindle, to a commenter (Kindle only outside the USA.)

These Christmas readings provide ample food for thought. The reader-friendly style invites us to contemplate many aspects of the nativity story–especially the scents and tastes of the season. Several sections would be perfect for sharing as a group devotional. I was also impressed with how Lynn shares the spotlight with her cover artist. 

Take it away, Lynn…

Fictional character Cinnamah-Brosia was born in the first book in this series, The Essence of Courage. She has transformed Miss Dot’s Café (her Gram) into The Coffee Cottage. She and her friends hang out there, invite you in and share their stories of challenge and triumph as each chapter begins.

courage-book-cover-frontI approached my friend Allisha to create the character. Don’t laugh, but ‘C-B’ began as a super-hero character – a pretty cool one, I might add. But we doubted she would be believable or very well liked. Many drawings later, the cover features her at the patio table warmly inviting readers to enter.

When it came time to plan the next cover, I asked Allisha, “Are you in?” She agreed.

“This cover needs to say Christmas, but not scream it. We need friends in the picture, and The Coffee Cottage. Let’s include hints about the devotions and suggest some of the aromas. Above all, this cover needs to connect to the first book.”

 

Front bookcover2

Just imagine the concepts she drew and we discarded before being rewarded with this beautiful cover illustration!

The Essence of Joy features Cinnamah welcoming guests for a Christmas party in the section, “Mint – The Joy of Giving.” Cinnamon and citrus on the wreath highlight “Citron – The Joy of Legacy” and “Cinnamon – The Joy of Integrity”. The blue framed piece on the cottage wall relates to “Frankincense – The Joy of Forgiveness.”

Allisha Mokry earned her BFA from Memphis College of Art. I trusted her imagination, instincts, and artistic gifts to create the characters and the covers. With encouragement to draw and develop as God led, her confidence blossom as I watched. I’m so proud of her and the work she has created. You may viisit Allisha on Facebook /artfulexplorations, and order The Essence of Joy at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/069296391X/.

The Essence of Courage:

You may contact Lynn at  www.lynnuwatson.com

Walking on Eggshells

Have you ever felt you must walk on eggshells? Many of us can relate to Karen Stork’s story of learning to value herself. Screw the Eggshells 250 wide RGB

The “Back” Story

It is said that we teach people how to treat us. So I have always wondered how  I taught my husband to treat me with verbal abuse and control? And why would I continue to subject myself to this kind of behavior for so long?

Such questions were always in the back of my mind as I thought about the effects of being verbally abused. Helping young women avoid a similar path was another incentive for me, and the dream of becoming a published author was one that had festered for years.

Finally, on a beach in Florida in 2016, I decided it was time to get serious and turn my dream into reality. In one month, the story was outlined. Along with  chapters about my marriage, I also wanted to explore my childhood and my experiences and adventures as a single woman after marriage.

Returning home to Lincoln, I continued to write, but had no idea about publication or what would follow. I simply worked on writing and/or rewriting various chapters every day. After all, I needed a lot of experience writing in a very short time, since it hadn’t been a regular part of my daily routine since returning to college in the 1980s!

Early in 2017 I realized I couldn’t do this all on my own. I found a company in Omaha, NE to provide editing, book layout, cover, and assistance through the publication and marketing process. It wasn’t until late spring of 2017 that we had a title and format for the book — my literary baby was finally born on September 12, 2017. And the title was my inspiration!

Becoming an author fulfilled a major dream and helped me to understand some of my questions about th past. Other unanswered questions may never be resolved, but that’s okay. I don’t believe we can ever understand everything about our past; we just have to accept that whatever happened got us to where we are now. And this publication journey has been one of the greatest joys of my life.

To learn more, visit my website at www.karenstork.com.

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Karen Heckman Stork calls herself “The Grandma Moses of writing” because it took her 53 years to achieve her dream of becoming a published author. She is a columnist for the Lincoln 55+ senior quarterly newspaper with a column entitled “A Lincoln Life.” She also co-wrote and produced a family book entitled “Between the Generations, Poems by a Nana and her Grandson.” Karen is a member of the Nebraska Writer’s Guild and is available to read from her book and speak on subjects including the harmful effects of verbal abuse, aging without growing old, life lessons learned and poetry.

 

 

Roses Galore!

Catherine Castle visits us today with her story, A Groom For Mama, and she’s giving away a free e-book to one commenter. Thanks for joining us, Catherine.

                    My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

Readers often want to know if authors insert themselves into their books. I’ve noticed that there are a few things that always seem to slip themselves into mine. Flowers tend to be one of those things. That’s probably because I’m a gardener and love flowers.

My newest sweet romantic comedy, A Groom for Mama, is no exception. At one point in the story, Allison, Jack, and Mama visit a rose garden. So I thought it would be fun to show you some pictures of the rose gardens I’ve visited.

Columbus park of Roses, Columbus Ohio

picture  2 Innswood Metro Gardens

 

Isn’t this bench inviting? This garden has hundreds of rose bushes. The minute you walk into the park you’re surrounded by the heavenly scent of roses. I imagined the garden Allison, Jack and Mama visited smelled as heavenly as this one.

 

Innswood Metro Gardens – My husband took the shot of the roses through a circle opening in a lattice gazebo. I just love the juxtaposition of the dark and the light.

Kingwood Center garden

 

 

This as another artistically composed shot from my husband’s camera. He was an art student, so naturally he looks at the composition of a photograph.

The Roses at Disney World.

picture 4 Roses at Disney World

 

This picture was taken during Disney’s Flower and Garden Show. Every year in March-May they display hundreds of beautiful flowers. If you’ve never been, and you love gardens, you really should try to get there. It’s fantastic.

 

Catherine’s garden

 And of course, I couldn’t show you the lovely pictures of gardens I’ve visited without including one of my own award-winning garden. This is the view out of my office window. I planted knockout roses and ribbon grass around the ugly transformer box in the front of my yard. I got tired of looking at the hulking green metal box all the time.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little trip through the roses. Now, I hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from A Groom for Mama.

AGroomforMama2_200Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

 The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

 A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

EXCERPT:

 Beverly’s pale face broke out in a smile. “Jack!” She took the flowers from him and buried her nose in them. “They smell wonderful.” She waved him inside, hugging him as he passed by her.

He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek and then glanced around the foyer.

“She’s not here right now.”

“I’m just making sure the coast is clear.” He followed Beverly into the kitchen, the click of her shoes against the hardwood floor leading the way. The house slippers had disappeared with Allison’s arrival, and Beverly had started dressing up more. He was glad to see that. He eased his tall frame into the bar chair in front of the peninsula and set the fruit basket on the counter. “I’m planning to stay as far away from Allison as possible.”

“Is that so?” Beverly’s voice held a hint of sarcasm. “You’ve been over here a lot more since she arrived.”

“Son-in-law prospects, remember?”

As she retrieved a vase from the cabinet, he busied himself untying the string around the flowers, ducking his very hot, and most likely, red face from her view. She hit closer to the mark than he cared to admit.

“How are you feeling?”

“Okay, for now. Allison’s not doing well, though. The doctor visit hit her hard. She’s determined to save me, in spite of the odds.” Beverly took the flowers from him and dropped them into the vase. “Have you got some men for me?”

He swept the fallen flower leaves off of the counter into the waste can beside the bar. Then he concentrated on flicking imaginary pollen off the granite into his hand.

“I’ve been thinking, Beverly, are you sure you want to go through with this? Wouldn’t you rather spend what time you have left with Allison just being together? This bridegroom business has to be a bone of contention. I hate to see you two in disharmony.”

“Jack Somerset. Are you trying to get out of a deal with me? Because if you are—”

“Of course not. It’s just that—”

“—you don’t want to see her with someone else?”

His head snapped up. “I’ve had her once already and found her to be a contrary woman.”

Beverly grinned. “Me-thinks thou dost protest too much.”

No answer to that. Until their breakup they hadn’t ever argued. Back then, even when they didn’t see eye to eye, they could talk. He took a set of folded papers from his hip pocket and slapped them onto the counter. “Here’s the first set of men.”

“This one looks okay,” Beverly said as she scanned them, “but let’s scrap the rest.”

He checked her selection. “I think we should let Allison decide. After all, she’s the one who’ll be saddled with the guy.”

Beverly cocked her head and studied him. “What an odd way to put it. She’s supposed to fall in love with the man and live happily ever after, you know.”

Supposed to being the operative words.”

Want to read more? You can get A Groom for Mama at Amazon.

CT Bio 8x11

About the Author:

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. Her most recent release, A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy from Soul Mate Publishing. Both books are available on Amazon.

Buy link for A Groom for Mama www.amzn.com/B074SZSGB1

 Catherine’s website: https://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com

Catherine’s blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/

Catherine’s Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle

Catherine’s Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle

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

Facebook: https://facebook.com/catherinecastleauthor

Stitches Thru Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

SMP authors blog site:   http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

 

 

The Power of Story

IMG_7762I met author Terri Picone at the Oregon Christian Writers’ Conference this summer, and asked her permission to reprint this article about the power of STORY… and she has also agreed to share a prize-winning story with you at the end of this article.

Your Reader’s Brain on Story by Terri Picone

Coffee, chocolate, exercise, and . . . story?

Seems like a trick question from a standardized test. But after reading Lisa Cron’s book, Wired for Story, it’s simple.

Cron shows that just as when we eat specific foods or engage in physical activity, reading a story causes our brains to release dopamine. This truth reinforces pleasurable feelings, enabling our survival.

Readers needn’t feel guilty about indulging in an afternoon or evening of reading story. Reading a novel is not frivolous. It is fundamental.

From earliest days, stories around the campfire proved to be more than entertainment. Those who heard stories learned how to avoid danger. The brain reacts in the same way whether we run from a tiger or engage in a story with a character that shares a boat with a large tiger. The advantage of story is we don’t have to take the risks. We can learn from story. We’ll know what to do the next time we meet a tiger.

Our brains are programmed toward story. Our brains instinctively tune-in when we hear “once upon a time.”

Writers can capitalize on this whether we write fiction or nonfiction. Whatever we write, we can illustrate our nonfiction points with a story. Good stories sell, as proven by the marketing community who use story plot in their campaigns.

Writers play a powerful role in the world since brains are created to crave story. Knowing this, we can use our craft of story to share the passions in our hearts with readers. Don’t forget—it’s a proven matter of survival.

Here’s Terri’s prize-winning 2017 story, published in Idaho magazine- it’s still in my mind after reading it some time ago. If you’d like to ask Terri any questions, ask away!

https://www.idahomagazine.com/contests/fiction-writing-contest/colors-of-a-river-2017-first-place-winners-circle/

Check out Terri’s author FB page@Terri Picone, Writer