Trapped….by Lillian Duncan

BABY STEPS

TRAPPED is my latest romantic suspense novel—heavy on the suspense but enough romance to add to the enjoyment. Being a Christian Fiction novel, there’s always a spiritual message hidden in the pages of the story as well, and this one is no exception.

Angela Matthews had the perfect life until the day she’s kidnapped and trapped in a basement with a mad man. Even though she’s rescued, she remains trapped by the memories she can’t forget.

That’s true for so many of us. Even after the “bad situation” whatever that may be is resolved, we get stuck and can’t seem to move forward with our lives. Instead, we’re angry and bitter or maybe sad and fearful or most likely a combination of all of those negative emotions.

In the story, her rescuer discovers that Angela is indeed still trapped by her horrible experience. He’s had his own share of horrible as a Chicago policeman. Because of that, he reaches out to help Angela.

One of the mantras in the story is “baby steps.” So often we think we have to go from a sitting position to a full-out run or we are a failure. This story reminds us that’s not reality. Each baby step we take toward our goal is a win. Every win brings us closer to our ultimate victory!

But TRAPPED isn’t a self-help book, it’s a suspense novel. That means there’s lots of action, not to mention twists and turns that will keep you guessing who the bad guy is until the very end!

Giveaway:Two is always better than one, especially when it comes to giveaways. So, to celebrate the release of TRAPPED, I’m having two different giveaways! One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card as well as a choice of one of my books (e-book only).  Click Hereto enter. Five more lucky winners on my website will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, go to www.lillian-duncan.comand leave a comment under the TRAPPED Giveaway Post. 

Backcover Blurb:

Angelina Matthews has everything—riches, fame, and beauty—until the day she’s kidnapped and trapped in a basement with a madman, wearing only a stained t-shirt. The dirt is his—the blood is hers. Tormented and tortured, she cries out to God. 

Help comes in the form of Nate Goodman. 

When their paths cross months later, Nate discovers Angelina is still trapped—not in a basement but in the memories she can’t escape. Nate knows all about being trapped, and getting un-trapped. As an ex-Chicago cop he’s had his own demons to wrestle, but his faith helped him to move forward. He reaches out to Angelina whose paranoid delusions have her trapped still. 

But are they delusions after all?

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives—especially God’s Word.

She loves to write stories that entertain but also demonstrate God’s love for all of us. To learn more about her, visit www.lillian-duncan.comas well as her devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com

Stopped Cold

Welcome, Gail Pallotta – Gail shares her latest Y/A novel with us, AND is offering a free Kindle e-book to one commenter. If you have children/grandchildren in this age troupe, you’ll appreciate her plot.

It’s fun to compete and win, and it’s fun to watch winners. People hold contests in everything from quilting and pie tasting to racing cars. However, a problem arises when we fail to put the importance of being number one in perspective.

Unfortunately, I’ve had the misfortune of coming in contact with young people whose inability to cope with not always winning resulted in devastating results. They range from youngsters who had difficulty coping because they didn’t come in first in a race or receive all A’s to young people who attempted or committed suicide.  The drive seemed to originate from different sources, parents, siblings, peers or within.

I wanted them to know they didn’t have to be number one for God to love them. He’d given each of them a gift or gifts to use for Him. The desire rattled around in my head for years and finally became the theme for Stopped Cold.

In “A Young Athlete’s World of Pain and Where It Led,” published on June 22, 2016, in “The New York Times,” Tim Rohan tells the story of a young football player suffering from concussions. He didn’t mention it to anyone because he thought it wasn’t the manly thing to do. He ended up killing himself.

The CDC says “suicide among teens and young adults has nearly tripled since the 1940’s.”

According to the Westminster Catechism, which I studied in the 1940’s and 50’s, man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” 

I’m a fan of healthy competition. It pushes us to do our best, and we often achieve success beyond our goals, or not, but when the game or contest ends, win or lose, we’re still a child of God. Winning or losing doesn’t define our self-worth.

About Stopped Cold 

Stopped Cold is the story of a family facing problems existing in the real world in modern times. Even though their situation may differ from that of others who struggle with difficulties, the concerns, reactions and hardships are ones many can relate to. One reader says, “Very compelling with emotions and feelings that have been felt by everyone in their lives at one time or another.”

Blurb:

Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.

Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school swimming and hanging out with friends—until the day her brother Sean suffers a stroke from taking steroids. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital.

Anger sets a fire for retribution inside her, and Margaret vows to make the criminals pay. Even the cop on the case can’t stop her from investigating. Looking for justice, she convinces two friends, Jimmy and Emily, to join her in a quest that takes them through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture they discover deep in the woods behind the school. Time and again they walk a treacherous path and come face-to-face with danger.

All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.

Buy links:

Amazon.com/dp/B07R7RHF5K

Amazon long link – https://www.amazon.com/Stopped-Cold-Gail-Pallotta-ebook/dp/B07R7RHF5K/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_8?keywords=Barely+Above+Water+by+Gail+Pallotta&qid=1558049626&s=books&sr=1-8-fkmrnull

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stopped-cold-gail-pallotta/1117352035?ean=9781522398578

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?query=Stopped+Cold+by+Gail+Pallotta

Bio: Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former Grace Awards Finalist and a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner, she’s published six books, poems, short stories and two-hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. She loves to connect with readers. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.gailpallotta.com/mainphp.html and visit her website at https://www.gailpallotta.com

Visit her online at the following places:

Blog at https://gailpallotta.blogspot.com

Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsandMore

twitter at  https://twitter.com/Hopefulwords    (Gail Pallotta @Hopefulwords)

The high school in Stopped Cold has a twitter site. The heroine, Margaret, loves it when people follow the Meriwether Sharks at Meriwether Christian @MeriwetherCS (https://twitter.com/MeriwetherCS)

The Lure of Historical Romance

Here’s a genre we don’t often feature: Regency Romance, by Karen Cogan. Karen, welcome to DARE TO BLOOM. I really like the play on words in your title. And here’s the cover . . . Karen is offering a FREE download…go for it!

The Lure of Historical Romance

Do you find historical romance intriguing? I personally love a good Regency novel. The quaint customs of language and activities are fascinating  Unlike our evening at the movies, their evening at the theater lasted most of the night. Sometimes a local blacksmith might set bones for humans as well as for animals. Drinking the water at Bath, England was said to cure gout, lameness, infertility, and diseases of the skin along with many other ailments.

The speech of this time was charming. Women “took a turn” around the parlor or garden”, meaning they took a walk. They used the term “droll” to mean odd, humorous, or whimsical. If they“fancied” a crumpet or spot of tea, it meant they wanted it. This infatuation with the speech and customs inspired the writing of my Regency romances.

My most recent clean Regency novel is titled A Relative Matter. In this story, we are introduced to Anne and her young brother, Jeremy as they arrive from India to live with their grandfather in England. Though they do not know him, the kindly man proves a balm for their hearts wounded by the death of their parents. When their grandfather also dies, he leaves the estate to Jeremy. Since the boy is not yet of age, his grandfather’s nephew, a man with a mysterious past, is named guardian of the property and soon arrives to take up his duty. Though he is kind and loving to Anne and Jeremy, he has a son who is evil and cunning and stands to inherit the estate should Jeremy die. Since he intends to inherit it, he will stop at nothing to get his hands on the property.

Meanwhile, Anne keeps company with Lord Westerfield who is kind and handsome and deeply in love with her. As murder and threats of murder soon threaten young Jeremy, Lord Westerfield is the only one standing between Jeremy and death. Will he be able to protect him?

A Relative Matter is a free download at kecogan.blog and scroll down to the novel.

You may also connect with Karen at https://www.facebook.com/karencoganfanpage/

Novels and More Group:  https://www.facebook.com/Novels-and-More-438244389944940/

See my other Regency romance at: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Cogan/e/B001JSB9XE%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/karencogan

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cogan0238/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karencogan2727/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karencogan2727/

Blog: https://kecogan.blog/

The Superhero School Series

Donna Sager Cowan shares her series for Middle-GradeAuthor children with us today. Donna is happy to offer a giveaway of With the Courage of a Mouse to a commenter. Enjoy!

This series was inspired by my granddaughter asking about what my cat did every night when she stayed out. I came up the bedtime story of Catt saving her animal friends because she was a superhero.  After many retellings, I decided to write and publish the story.

But it needed more background, so I decided to start at the beginning of Catt’s story—How she became a Superhero.  Then Superhero School was born and Simon Cheddar took center stage.


I’ve always wanted to write a positive story for kids about finding that inner strength to keep going. To find the Superhero hiding inside all of us, just waiting for that perfect moment to shine. 
Using animal characters makes the story more accessible to children around the world. They can see themselves in Catt, Simon, Patty and Freddy. See their teachers, parents and grandparents in Mrs. Gee, Grandma Whisker, and even Sergeant Jones and Nigel.
Building the self esteem of kids gets harder every day. I am so thrilled with the reaction to With the Courage of a Mouse from the schools I’ve visited. The simple idea of learning from each other and our mistakes isn’t new, just a little dusty.

Finding friends in the most unlikely places, pulling together to solve the problem, and believing in ourselves is the foundation for every child’s future.

Donna Sager Cowan

Children’s Author, Speaker, Inspirer

Creator of the Superhero School series

Phone: +1 (916) 346-6192

Email:  donna@donnasagercowan.com

DonnaSagerCowan.com

To purchase your copies of With the Courage of a Mouse:

Amazon      Barnes&Noble     Kobo

Books-A-Million     IndieBound

Join the Superhero School!

Jessie and James

Jennifer Beckstrand, an author of Amish fiction, joins us with her first Western release. One look at her cover entices me to discover more, AND she’s giving away a paperback copy to one commenter!

Jessie and James is my first published Western historical novel, and I couldn’t be more excited. The first book I ever wrote was a historical Western, and I’ve been wanting to write another one for ten years. (That first Western is still hanging around my house somewhere. I might decide to publish it next. J) For my research, I traveled to an old mining town about two hours from my house. Yes, it really is named Eureka, and it was a boomtown in the 1880s, the period in which my book is set. I met an old-timer in Eureka who told me some fascinating stories about mining then and now.

Did you know that you may own the ground your house sits on, but you only own it to sixty feet deep? A mining company can come in and dig a mine right under your house, and it’s perfectly legal as long as they have the permits. Many mines were dug straight down or in any direction that would get them to ore faster. In the 1880s in Eureka, often they’d dig straight down using only picks, shovels, and dynamite. A plumb bob was utilized to make sure their tunnels were straight up and down. They usually dug down 600 feet then drifted horizontally a couple hundred feet, then dug down again. Some mines went deeper than 1800 feet. Nowadays, there aren’t many mines that deep. They’re more dangerous, so they’re too expensive to insure.

In Jessie and James, James is an ex-cowboy turned geologist looking for gold. Jessie is a feisty, independent woman who runs a boarding house with her parents and thinks Eureka needs a little more fire-and-brimstone preaching to keep the incorrigible miners in line. Jessie doesn’t want anything to do with a gold digger, and she’s willing to use her shotgun to run James off. But James doesn’t scare that easy, especially when the woman on the other end of that shotgun might turn out to be the love of his life. 

You can order Jessie and James now on Kindle and paperback. 

Jennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, The Honeybee Sistersseries, and The Petersheim Brothers series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer andHome on Huckleberry Hill were bothnominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy, and Alfie and Benji Petersheim. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-five years, and she has six children and seven adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Website: http://www.jenniferbeckstrand.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferbeckstrandfans

Twitter: @JenniferBeckst1

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Beckstrand/e/B0073GHCOG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1488910908&sr=8-2-ent

Instagram: j.beckstrand

Bookbub: @JenniferBeckstrand https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-beckstrand

Whom Shall I Fear?

Feeling Grateful For a Full Fridge: On Rationing and the Black Market in WWII Britain

What was it like for British citizens during World War II, when it came to feeding their hungry families? Read and see…and please leave author Anne Clare a comment, as she’s giving away a copy of her debut novel, Whom Shall I Fear to one commenter. I’ve read this book, and it reminded me that there’s ALWAYS more to learn about this tough time in history. Thanks for visiting!

As I’m writing this, it’s Saturday morning, which is “hot breakfast” morning in my family. This morning, I was in the mood for French Toast. I pulled open my fridge and grabbed eggs- there were plenty left from the 18 I’d bought last shopping run. The milk was a little low, but I could just pick up more later. With the cheap loaf of bread I’d picked up on sale yesterday, I was all set!

The steps between “I want this to eat” and “Hey kids, it’s breakfast time!”  were so simple that it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always so.

Before the onset of the Second World War, the island nation of Great Britain had imported around 70% of its food—not to mention other goods—requiringmillionsof tons of shipping. 

Then, war broke out. 

German U-boat “wolf packs” prowled the Atlantic, blocking shipments, destroying ships, and threatening to starve Britain into submission. How were the British people to be sustained?

The British Ministry of Food enforced a strict rationing program to ensure that there would be sufficient food to go around. Families would register with local sellers to receive their weekly allotments. Lines, or “queues” were long, and families had to plan out how they would use their ration coupons and points from week to week—assuming, of course, that the items they were standing in line for wouldn’t have run out by the time they got to the front. 

THE HOME FRONT IN BRITAIN DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR (D 25035) People queuing at a greengrocers in High Road, Wood Green, North London, a familiar wartime sight. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205195174

  People queuing at a greengrocers in High Road, Wood Green, North London, a familiar wartime sight. © IWM (D 25035)

Kitchen staples like milk, sugar and fat fell under rationing. Average weekly rations for an adult would include 8 oz sugar, 4 oz bacon or ham, 3 pints of milk, 2 oz of tea, and one fresh egg.*

“A shopkeeper cancels the coupons in a British housewife’s ration book for the tea, sugar, cooking fats and bacon she is allowed for one week. Most foods in Britain are rationed and some brand names are given the designation “National”” Photo and caption courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

Non-food items, like clothes, shoes, gasoline and soap, also fell under ration. 

However, fruit and vegetables did not, and many people participated in the “Dig for Victory” program, planting gardens in every available bit of soil. Others found clever ways to make up for items they couldn’t get—girls might paint their legs to simulate “stockings” or use beetroot juice to color lipstickless lips.

Some people, however, chose less reputablemeans to supplement their rationed goods. 

Illegal activities took many forms. In some cases, it might be as simple as someone “forgetting” to mention that an elderly relative had died and continuing to collect rations with their books. Or perhaps someone might raise chickens but not register the eggs that were produced. In the cities, bombed out buildings were a strong temptation for looters. And, as might be expected, a black market thrived. 

Don’t Touch Black Market Goods (Art.IWM PST 16537) whole: the image occupies the whole. The title is integrated and positioned across the centre, in red and in white. The text is integrated and placed in the lower quarter, in white and in yellow. image: a half-length depiction of a sinister-looking black market trader, seen in shadow so that only his eyes are clearly visible. He holds a parcel tied with a red ribbon in his hands. text: DON’T TOUCH… Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/33457

Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum © IWM (Art.IWM PST 16537)

If someone wanted to find something and couldn’t through legal means, “spivs” had wares to offer, off the books, for a price. Even reputable shopkeepers might have a few things under the counter. As the war dragged on, even people who wouldn’t have considered theft in ordinary times might be tempted to supplement their rations if something that had “fallen off the back of a lorry” just happened to be for sale in their area. 

While some steered clear of illegal goods, the temptation was strong—according to the Imperial War Museum, “By March of 1941, 2,300 people had been prosecuted and severely penalized for fraud and dishonesty.” ** And there were still four years of war left to go.

As I was researching all of this for my recently released novel, Whom Shall I Fear?—in which one character finds himself deeply entangled in the underworld of the black market, with dangerous consequences—I found myself newly grateful for the often-overlooked blessings of a fully stocked pantry and grocery stores!

Thank you for letting me visit today, Gail! 

For more information, see my sources below, or for fascinating anecdotal stories about Britain’s wartime experiences, check out the BBC People’s War Archives. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/)

*Stats taken from the BBC news article “Breaking the Law During World War II” by Duncan Leatherdale ( https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-33566789)

**Quote taken from IMW article “What You Need To Know About Rationing In the Second World War” ( https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/what-you-need-to-know-about-rationing-in-the-second-world-war)

Connect with Anne online:

http://thenaptimeauthor.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/anne.clare.1610

Twitter: @anneclarewriter

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Whom+Shall+I+fear+anne+clare&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

The David Years

Welcome to Lillian Duncan, an Ohio writer from Amish country. I’ll let Lillian describe how her writing world changed with her brain tumor diagnosis and her uinique giveaway to celebrate the release of The David Years.

Actually TWO different giveaways! The grand prize is a $25 Amazon gift card and your choice of one of my ebooks. To enter, CLICK HERE and follow the directions! I’ll also pick FIVE lucky winners to receive their choice of one my ebooks  from comments left on my blog about The David Years.  To entered that giveaway, go to www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment under one of THE DAVID YEARS posts. EASY-PEASY!I

First, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 64, happily married, and live in a small town in Ohio. I worked as a school speech pathologist for 34 years, mostly in a large urban school district with deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

I write because I have these stories that rattle around in my brain. I love books and stories. But the real reason is that I believe God created me to write.

I used to not have the nerve to say that! In 2012, I was diagnosed with brain tumors—benign but not benign. They were non-cancerous but they still wreaked havoc on me and my life. One of the results is a “fuzzy” brain or some people call it brain fog. Either way, my brain doesn’t work quite the same as it did before the brain tumors.

But miracle of miracles, when I write, something happens. The fuzziness goes away for a while, I can remember the details I need to for the story to make sense, and I can write! And that’s why I believe God created me to write.

And now, a little about The David Years

THE DAVID YEARS is the sequel to PUZZLE HOUSE. In Puzzle House at the age of fifteen, Nia was anointed to become a healer. Overwhelmed by the thought, Nia’s auntie tells her how King David was anointed at a young age, but didn’t become king for many years. Those were his learning years and now she has her David Years ahead.

Most of this story takes place after Nia graduates from high school as she struggles to find her place in the world. Impatient to begin her life as a healer, Nia tries to make it happen in her own timing. But God will not be rushed and whether Nia likes it or not, she’s still in her David Years. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘we learn from our mistakes.’ Well, Nia learns a lot that year, meaning she makes a lot of mistakes. 

Puzzle House was intended to be a stand-alone novel. But I couldn’t stop wondering about what happened to Nia, so that inspired me The David Years. Even though Nia is a college student, we all struggle to find our place in the world—no matter what age we are. Nia’s lessons may just help someone else struggling to find their way.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

Anywhere and everywhere! In the case of Puzzle House and The David Years, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 2 or NF2 for short. Puzzle House features a character with the same condition.

I get to know my characters as the book progresses through several drafts before I even think about submitting to my publisher. Each draft teaches me more about my characters.

What themes do you write about?

One recurring themes is forgiveness, but another has been emerging: how crucial God’s Word is to our life journeys. My tumors have affected my health, but God’s Word gives me the wisdom and strength I need to have peace and joy in spite of my struggles. I want other people to know that God doesn’t leave us alone in our battles, he’s given us His Word so we can be victorious in spite of our circumstances.

How does your faith affect your writing?

I hope it does! I like to think of myself as a parable writer. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly message. Even my suspense stories have a heavenly message.

Do you put yourself in your books?

Of course! Sometimes it’s a snippet of a real-life event that happened to me or someone I know, but more often it shows up in other sneaky ways without me being aware of it—until I read it back. Then I have to decide whether to leave it in or take it out.

What are you working on right now?

I have another book releasing at the end of September—TRAPPED. It’s completely different from THE DAVID YEARS – romantic suspense with lots of action and a little romance. Along with that I’m also working on the third Puzzle House novel—SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

First, don’t worry about being perfect—just write. Once the story’s finished, you can go back and fix your mistakes. 

Second, write every day—even if it’s for only ten minutes. This will make writing a habit that will help you become a writer and it will help keep you sane when life gets crazy.

How can readers connect with you?

My blog is Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. I also have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com. I’m on Facebook as well and at Lduncan512@aol.com

BLURB: 

Nia looked at her aunt and asked, “So what am I ‘spose to do now?” 

“Have you ever heard of King David from the Bible?”

“I guess.”

 “There were a lot of years between the time David was anointed as the king and he actually became the king. It’s a time for you to grow in your relationship with God.”

“And then later I get to be king?” Nia giggled.

“I meant that figuratively not literally but these are your David Years.”

“My David Years. I like that.”

Nia Johnson has spent the past four years developing a closer relationship to God. She wants to believe she’s still anointed to become a healer at Puzzle House but as each year passes, she has more and more doubts.

Now that she’s graduated from high school and is an adult she is sure it’s time to take the mantle of healing Rachel passed to her so many years before. But the harder she tries, the more it eludes her. 

Ewe R Blessed

Welcome to Karen Allen, a cancer survivor who uses her experience to encourage others. Karen’s book cover features lavender rather than pink to encompass all types of cancer, and she’s giving away a copy of her book to someone who leaves a comment.

Sixteen years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer while working in a cancer research laboratory at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. God was gracious in that the diagnosis stemmed from an enlarged lymph node deep in my armpit. Surgery was followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Over the next nine months the Lord dealt with me in some incredible ways turning my cancer journey into a faith journey. Indeed, my prayer a month before my diagnosis had been to increase my faith! So wah-lah . . . 

Not only did God answer my prayer but He did “exceedingly, abundantly” by expanding my experience to help others turn their cancer journey into something positive. Throughout my ordeal I wrote periodic updates and emailed them to friends and family, many out of state. (Blogs were not the norm at the time.) I learned my emails were being distributed literally all over the world! Turns out, they were a source of inspiration and hope. I considered writing about my journey and approached my pastor. We felt a book would be useful but that a cancer Bible study would be even more useful. I liked the idea.

After several years and lots of setbacks, Confronting Cancer with Faith is now available as a 6-week Bible study (5 lessons per week) written to bring encouragement, comfort, and hope through the trials of cancer or any chronic illness. Confronting Cancer with Faith focuses on God, His promises and attributes. I use my experiences as anecdotes, lessons, and stories to highlight God’s work and personal touch.

The book is perfect for a small study group or cancer support group but also adapts as an independent or friend-to-friend study. Cancer survivors, co-survivors, clergy, caregivers, or anyone wanting to learn more about what a cancer patient goes through will be enlightened, encouraged, and informed by this study. Topics include fear, brokenness, death, hair loss, effect upon family members, acceptance, treatments, side-effects, relationships, perspective, wearing the survivor label, and finding contentment in the aftermath of cancer.

The book is published through Ewe R Blessed Ministries and can be ordered from Amazon. It has received international attention and won the Christian Choice Book Award for Bible studies. A quality CD entitled “The Comfort of His Holiness” produced by me and my husband can be purchased separately if desired. Both the book and CD have garnered positive feedback. 

You may reach Karen at:

www.confrontingcancerwithfaith.com

http://ewerblessed.com/blog/

karen@confrontingcancerwithfaith.com  http://ewerblessed.com/blog/.

Why Don’t I Like This Book?

Jan Cline, historical author, answers this question for us today. Here’s the latest Depression-era novel in her American Dreams series, and she’s offering a free paperback to one commenter on this blog.

It can be frustrating to us as readers to be lost from the beginning of a book, unable to be absorbed in the story because we don’t have an awareness of where the character is. As a writer, I finally discovered why that happens.

If any of you enjoy people watching, you might have observed the way folks interact, feel, and participate. People at a carnival act or even dress differently from what they would at a church service, or business meeting. Weather and time of day and year also come into play in how your character acts. 

Our feelings and actions are often affected by our surroundings. A character in a book needs setting, a description of what they see, hear, and touch in order to do and say and feel what the author wants them to. The connection between the character and their setting should draw you into the story.  

A setting that has been painted well gives the character something to bounce life off of, and goes a long way to deepen the story and the reading experience. It explains why we either trudge through the first few chapters of a book, or devour it because we feel we are there with the characters. 

In the first book of my American Dreams series, Heaven’s Sky, the setting is much like another character in the story. The outer struggle of the relentless dust storms and barren land is a big part of what drives the main characters. The inner struggle is the push and pull of faith versus discouragement about circumstances. As the story of Heaven’s Skyopens, Clarissa Wilding, the main character, has been burdened by vicious dust storms for several years. One of the first lines is: 

The same contemptible dry wind that swallowed up their crops had blown across her soul, stealing her hope and things she held dear.”

That’s a character reacting to her surroundings, giving the reader a taste of whereshe is. This is the essence of book one in this series. In book 2, The Pruning, which has just released, the story continues in a new setting. The Pruningtakes the same family to a new place, quite different from their old home. As they move to a vineyard in Washington State, the dynamic changes of setting from dry and fruitless, to green and prosperous, is still full of challenges for Clarissa. The contrast of the vineyard setting shows us that even when our life’s setting or circumstances change drastically, the solid foundation of our faith, and our trust in one another, steadies us through the hard times. 

I hope you have a better grasp on why some books grab you from the start, and I hope you’ll read both my stories. 

Thank you, Gail, for an opportunity to share. 

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Are Whirlwind Romances Always Fictional?


Welcome to Elaine Stock today as she tells us about her latest release, When Love Blossoms. She’s also offering 1 Kindle copy of this novel to a commenter, good only in the United States.

Many years ago, a college student peered up from her philosophy textbook and off toward her right. She spotted him immediately. In a sea of students who might have been clones of each other because of the similarities of dress, hairstyles, and expression, this guy stood out in a most positive way. The first thing she noted that marked him as singular and possibly refreshingly special was his clothing choice of a vest. Hmm. Interesting. And what kind of glasses was he wearing? Rimless? Different. Not nerdy, but a signature that quietly stated he preferred a distinct preference and didn’t have to conceal it just to look and act like everyone else.

Wow—a fellow individual! Did he have a charming personality to accompany the way he carried himself?

Thirty days ticked by, happily filled with talk between this young woman and man. They enjoyed long walks, dinner out…just time spent with each other.

One night, after having a rough day—what a Friday the 13thshe was having!—she went to his off-campus apartment and surprised him with a dinner-out invitation. For dessert, he took her to buy a diamond engagement ring. Eight months later, they wed on a beautiful, mild cloudless July 4th.

To a few readers, this may sound like a whirlwind tale of lovers. Maybe you’re thinking that it just doesn’t happen in real life and therefore the concept isn’t plausible. Well, dear reader, love can and does happen pretty fast at times. That young man and woman in the above scenario is my husband and myself. And, as July 4thapproaches, we’re looking forward to another blessed wedding anniversary and year to come together.

In my newly released novel, When Love Blossoms, Book 2 of the Kindred Lake Romance Series (though a standalone read), Kierra and Ryan don’t plan on meeting and for that matter, aren’t looking for a romantic partner. The not-too-long-ago breakup with her fiancé still has Kierra’s heart aching. Meanwhile, Ryan is just beginning to get onto his feet after witnessing a sad tragedy, yet his teen daughter’s needs and demands rate number one in his concerns.

But.

Ah, love. True love happens when it does and where it occurs. True love is always right, never misplaced. True love arrives at the right time, never late, nor early.

I hope you will visit with Kierra and Ryan and that their story showers you with hope and joy. May true love bless each one of you. 

Blurb for When Love Blossoms:

The journeys in life take you to unexpected destinations. The love of a good person brings you home.

Kierra Madden, proprietor of the Kindred Lake Inn, struggles for stability after her engagement ends, family strife continues, and business slows. When her mom, sister and teenage niece move in with her, life becomes a lot more complicated. There’s certainly spare room…until one guest arrives…on his bicycle. Ryan Delaney is fit and trim…quite the eye candy.

Ryan, a TV news anchor on a leave of absence following a horrific incident, enjoys the peace long-distance biking offers. Only in town to mend his strained relationship with his teen daughter, he never expects to fall for Kierra fast and hard. Despite her policy of separating business and pleasure, mutual attraction pulls them closer until unforeseen consequences threaten to wedge between them.

Surrounded by springtime beauty, will the temptation of desire bloom into a more powerful and lasting love?

Available on Amazon in print, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/2PNZZi3

Bio and links:

Elaine Stock is an award-winning author of Women’s & Inspirational Fiction to uplift with hope of better tomorrows.Her novel, Her Good Girl, received the Outstanding Christian/Religious Fiction in the 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards, 2018 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal in Christian Fiction and the 2018 American Fiction Awards in the Christian Inspirational category.


Elaine is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Romance Writers of America. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Elaine has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a NYC gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Visit with Elaine at 
https://www.elainestock.com
https://twitter.com/ElaineStock
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaine…

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9873485.Elaine_Stock
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elaine-stock

Get a free book at: https://elainestock.com/free-gift-for-you

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1JYAwNy