Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sandra R, Amber and I would like to wish our dear friend, Sandra Moore, a very happy and HARMONIOUS birthday...(grins).

PS...I'm the skinny one. ;-)
Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner is:

Anita Mae Draper
- Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal by Ada Brownell

Congratulations, Janet! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your email address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and you have several chances to win. Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Ada Brownell and her nonfiction book Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I am delighted to have Ada Brownell with us today at The Borrowed Book. Ada is a retired newspaper reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado and now is a free lance writer who lives in Missouri. She has had 250 articles and stories published in Christian publications. Her latest book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal is available at You can find out more about Ada at her website or at her blog.

Welcome, Ada. I understand you have a new non-fiction book that just released. Tell us the name and give us a short blurb about it.

The title of the book is Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal.

Do you know you are more than a physical body? Evidence shows our body is constantly dying and being renewed cell by cell and about every seven years ojur body is totally rebuilt-even our bones. We start as an egg about the size of a dust mite, yet we were the same person in the womb we are today. We may lose limbs, gain and lose weight, have vital organs removed and mechanical or transplanted parts inserted, and we're still the same person. Inside us is LIFE, and a soul and spirit which were designed by God for eternal life.

What influenced you to write a book about life after death?

We lost our 31-year-old daughter to an aggressive form of lymphoma. Suddenly I needed to know if I believed what I thought I did about heaven and the eternal. Using my contacts as a medical newspaper reporter and my familiarity with the Bible, I researched everything I could find and picked experts' brains. I underlined every scripture in the New Testament that had to do with eternal life. But it took me years to complete the book.

In your personal experience of losing a loved one, how did God comfort you?

He is the Comforter and peace is a fruit of the Spirit. I had amazing peace and comfort much of the time, but still the grieving process can be excruciating. God in His mercy allowed me to travel the road through grief a few steps at a time. He didn't dump it all on me at once. I believe we are designed so that physically we have a measure of shock and we don't feel the pain as deeply as we would without it. But then the Lord takes our hand and leads us safely through the jagged painful places. He promised to never leave us or forsake us-and He doesn't. It helps to stay in God's Word and spend lots of time on our knees. We also can lean on loved ones and soak in the Lord's presence when we're in His house.

What do you want readers to take away from Swallowed by LIFE?
  • Those who don't know the Lord: Amazement at the evidence we have that we're more than a body.
  • Individuals who fear death or are curious about it: Faith they can trust Jesus to keep His words from John 11:26 that whoever believes in Him will never die.
  • For religion classes: Deeper faith and a desire to tell others.
  • For grief or cancer support groups: comfort
  • People with chronic or terminal illness: Certainty that this life is just the beginning
  • Thos who counsel the terminally ill and grieving: That they testify God still does miracles and heals. But I hope they share the physical evidence we have for eternal life, and point out the reason Jesus came to earth was to do something about death. Jesus is the Redeemer promised in Genesis 3:15 right after Adam and Eve sinned. God warned the first couple if they ate the forbidden fruit, they would die. There in God's garden, they became mortals. Their flesh would be subject to illness and dying, and it would affect every person born thereafter.
Where can readers purchase your book?

It can be purchased at Amazon, and it should be in some retail outlets soon.

What are you working on now?

I have a Christian historical novel, The Belle from Peachville, and hope to get an agent or publisher soon. I also have a teen novel, Terror Blasters being considered by a publisher. I also write for Christian publications and do op-ed pieces now and then for newspapers.

What message about life after death would you like to leave with our readers?

John 3:16 says it all: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

That's a wonderful verse to leave with our readers today. It's been a pleasure having you on The Borrowed Book, Ada. We wish you much success in your writing journey.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Getting ready to begin a new manuscript can be a daunting thing. At the beginning of this year I start a contracted work for Abingdon's newest Quilt series. At this point the proposal has been approved, the contract is in place, the vaguest of research has been conducted--usually enough to give some idea of setting as background for the proposal, but not enough to consider research complete enough to support an entire story--and all looks well. But as every writer knows, nailing those first chapters is the toughest nut to crack. There are so many elements that need to be established. For your convenience, I've included a list of guidelines to help you scale the hump that is "Chapter One."

First chapter essentials:

Prologues are optional but if used they should add  dimension to the story and be relevant.

The hook needs to be interesting without being forced. If you can't think of anything brilliant revisit the first line later.

Weave in setting with the opening dialogue and narrative. 

Use snippets of the characters backstory to raise questions, add interest and establish characteristics unique to your protagonist. 

Award winning novelist S. Dionne Moore is a recently named 2011 Carol Award finalist. She enjoys history and spending time with her family on their little plot of heaven in PA.

For more information, visit her at Follow her on Twitter: @sdionnemoore, or join me on LinkedIn.

Monday, December 26, 2011

About the Book:

"Half of Er’Rets is locked beneath an impenetrable shroud. On the side that still sees the sun, two young people struggle to understand the mind-communication abilities thrust upon them. It’s called bloodvoicing. Some say it’s a gift. One of the newly 'gifted' wish it had never come.

Achan has been a slave all his life. He is consigned to the kitchens of a lord and forced to swallow a foul potion every day. When an enigmatic knight offers to train Achan for the Kingsguard, he readily accepts. But his new skills with the sword do not prepare him for the battle raging between the voices in his head.

Vrell Sparrow is not who she seems. She masquerades as a boy to avoid capture by the powerful forces that seek to exploit her. But Vrell feels called to help a young squire who recently discovered his bloodvoicing gift, even if doing so requires her to work with those who could destroy her.

While Achan learns to use his new ability, Vrell struggles to shut hers down. All the voices strive to learn Achan and Vrell’s true identities—and a different kind of voice is calling them both."

Amber's Review:

An exciting and intriguing beginning to the "Blood of Kings" trilogy, By Darkness Hid is a fabulous fantasy novel! An imaginative world, dastardly villains, and plenty of plot twists abound in this book that has a lot to offer fantasy fans of either gender.

Achan is a boy on the verge of manhood - and on the verge of an epic adventure. It would be a dream come true for him to find a life beyond kitchen duty at the palace. But when he discovers he has a powerful gift and a destiny that unfolds one step at a time, Achan realizes that reality can sometimes be bigger than a mere dream. Challenges come one right after the other, and the physical pain matters little compared to the sacrifices he must make in order to truly love others and serve the God whose voice is the only one that brings fire and peace inside of him.

Vrell took on the appearance of a boy in order to escape marriage plans of which she wants no part. But what started out as a simple and relatively safe secret quickly escalates into a dangerous deceit that could spell disaster for her future. Barely able to make contact with her mother in another part of Er'Rets, she ends up in some pretty crazy circumstances that leave her clinging to her faith and fighting for her life.

The book ends with some big questions that beg to be answered - meaning that it's a wonderful thing By Darkness Hid isn't the end of the story! While it can be very frustrating waiting for certain secrets to be revealed, this book makes the waiting very fun indeed. If you love a good story, then you might want to consider taking a journey to Er'Rets - although don't be surprised if you realize you want to plan a return trip as soon as you come to the last page of By Darkness Hid!

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author:

Jill Williamson is a novelist, dreamer, and believer. She writes stories that combine danger, suspense, and adventure for readers of all ages. Her first book released in April 2009 from Marcher Lord Press. By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, Book 1) is a medieval fantasy. Jill has served alongside her youth pastor husband for the past ten years and loves working with teenagers, especially to encourage young writers. She gives writing workshops at churches and schools. You can learn more about Jill on her Web site at

Book Trailer:

*You can buy the book now on in print or e-book format!*

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner of our special .pdf book is:

Janet Ruth - When Love Collides by Michelle Sutton

Congratulations, Janet! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your email address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and you have several chances to win. Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Michelle Sutton and her new release, When Love Collides (winner receives a .pdf copy of Michelle's book).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm delighted to welcome Michelle Sutton to The Borrowed Book today. Michelle, otherwise known as the Healing Hearts author, is a prolific reader/book reviewer/blogger, and the author of over a dozen inspirational novels. She lives in Arizona with her husband of over twenty years and her two college aged sons.

Welcome, Michelle. It's great to have you as a guest today. You have a book releasing this month. Give us the title and a short blurb about the book.

The title of the book is When Love Collides. Raquel longs for physical healing, but God uses someone from a dark time in her past to heal something more important...her heart.

I like the name Raquel that you've given your heroine. She is described as an emotionally fragile woman. What has happened in her past to make her that way?

She married a man ten years prior who acted violently toward her, so she learned to tread carefully around people so she wouldn't provoke wrath in others. She has trust issues as well from her father leaving her and her sister as young girls, pluse she felt like a plain woman next to her gorgeous sister who always attracted more attention from men.

Many individuals (women, men, children) are victims of abuse. How do you deal with the subject in your book?

I show how even a decade after an abusive relationship ends the victim may continue to deal with the ramifications from that one negative relationship spilling over into another. There is always a bit of mistrust and waiting for things to fall apart. Normal anger takes on a different meaning, as well as typical male/female arguments, which seem more threatening. Everything is filtered through the "lens" resulting from abuse.

When readers encounter a character who is suffering from past experiences, they want to see someone who is going to be able to help that person cope with the past. How does your hero Scott help her do that?

Scott tries to see past her behavior to support whatever it is that is causing her pain. She doesn't tell him at first because she fears rejection. He just knows some bad things happened to her. As she slowly tells him about it over a period of time, he finds himself showing more and more empathy, not pity, for her situation. This causes her to grow stronger, and it helps their love to not only blossom, but deepen over time.

What do you want readers to take away from your story after reading When Love Collides?

That healing can occur no matter how damaged the heart is or how much trust was destroyed. If Christians loved like we are supposed to, more people would be open to a relationship with Christ, but it's so much easier for many people to point the finger and judge. It's sad, actually. Also I wanted readers to see that true love is not about doing things for each other or seeing yourself as valuable to another person, it's about a heart connection. Raquel had a hard time seeing herself as anything but a potential burden on Scott due to her debilitating symptoms. He showed her that no can love him like she did and that was what mattered most.

I like how you describe yourself as an author of Healing Hearts. How does this theme play out in all your books?

I always have situations where people are broken hearted for one reason or another. I like to show how healing can occur in many different forms, but the key to all healing is true Christian love. I write for the "walking wounded" if you will. At the end of every story is a theme that even if they could go back and take away all the pain, they wouldn't because it is often the very thing that brought them closer to God and to each other.

When Love Collides releases, where will readers be able to purchas it?

The best place to get it is directly from the publisher (who sells it in every is for kindle and epub is for other ereaders.) That address is here. However, it will also be available on Amazon directly as well as Nook, Sony, Ibooks, and a number of other places that sell ebooks.

Although December is usually filled with much happiness, we know there are many people whose hearts are heavy this time of year. What Christmas message would you like to leave with our readers to let them know how their hearts can be healed?

The scripture that comes to mind is one that Jesus said in John Chapter 14. "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

Thank you, Michelle, for those inspiring words from the Bible. I know our readers have enjoyed finding out more about your book today.

Michelle would like to give away a free copy of her book in pdf form. Leave a comment about a time when God healed your heart, and you could be the winner.

Have a Merry Christmas, dear friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One of my favorite holiday traditions is gathering with all of my sisters and mother and cooking Christmas dinner. I'm Hispanic, so of course our meal consists of a few non-traditional side-dishes, tamales being one of my favorites. But there are plenty of traditional items as well, and one that is quickly becoming a family favorite is homemade pretzels! I picked up this Vintage Pretzel Recipe when traveling to St. Louis last September for a writer's conference. I'd like to share it with you in hopes that it will become something you share with your family for many years to come.

Vintage Pretzels

Originally named “pretiola”, which came from the Latin meaning little reward, pretzels are considered one of the oldest snack foods in history. Documentation revealed French monks first baked pretzels as rewards for children learning their prayers as early as 610 A.D. Other historians trace the hard, brittle glazed pretzel to Germany where the dough was shaped in the form of the letter B, which stood for Bretzel. It was the immigrants from these countries who are credited with bringing the pretzel to America.

While pretzels were baked in America since colonial times, the first successful American pretzel bakery opened in Lititz, Pennsylvania in 1861. There, the hard pretzel had its beginnings when a baker’s apprentice dozed off while baking soft pretzels. The result was a crisp, crunchy snack. However it was the soft pretzel that was favored in the Midwest, which has been sold on the streets of Saint Louis since the late 19th century.

*Information borrowed from Levee Mercantile at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. To learn more about the Levee Mercantile or the Jefferson National Parks Association, visit them at

Merry Christmas from The Borrowed Book!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's that time of year - so let's take a part of Christmas past and apply it to Christmas present!

I recently watched It's a Wonderful Life with a few friends, and it really touched me. Here is the story of a man who sacrificed for his family and ended up staying at home his whole life, never even getting to go away to college or travel for his honeymoon or serve overseas in World War II. The movie shows parts of George Bailey's past leading up to the moment when everything seems to be falling apart, and then it turns the viewers' perceptions upside down - or is that right-side up?

What makes this movie so enchanting? It tells the tale of a simple hometown life, lacking in grand adventure and exceptional danger. And yet its authenticity and applicability make it a beautiful story.

  • Authenticity: This story deals with real issues and feelings - anger, frustration, financial problems, low self-esteem, and familial discord. Seeing all the trials that George goes through creates sympathy for his character, helping the viewer to take a walk in his shoes and see what leads him to the lowest point in his life as well as the surprise that comes when George discovers just how important one life can be. When writing stories, we want readers to be able to relate to our characters, understand their difficulties, and become so involved in their lives that the readers experience emotions right alongside the characters. Stories that bring us to tears or cause us to verbally reprimand characters (or cheer them on) are ones that better stick with us than ones that don't demand any sort of response. And I think most writers want to write unforgettable stories!
  • Applicability: It's a Wonderful Life has the message embedded in the title, for it's a story that shows viewers how precious the gift of life really is for a person and all the people that one person's life affects. Simple but profound. While we can't see what the world would be like if we were never born as George did, we can praise God for the glimpses we are given of His amazing weaving of lives and circumstances that ultimately brings Him glory. And as writers, may our stories show God's truth and offer readers a take-away message that can encourage, challenge, and inspire them. The goal isn't to "preach" at readers, but to show them through a well-told story the wonder of God's love.

It's a Wonderful Life is a great example of a story that incorporates authenticity and applicability in order to move and inspire viewers. But while we can learn from the movie regarding the craft of story-telling (whether through movies or books or some other means), we can also learn from the movie regarding the life of a writer (or whatever lifestyle God has called you to embrace).

Perhaps you won't always be able to see the way your work blesses others. Perhaps your work doesn't pay well, or God doesn't lead you in the way you always thought you would go. But no matter what God has in store for us, He is good - and it's a wonderful life!

(Movie cover image from

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner is:

Missy Tippens - After the Snow Falls by Carey Jane Clark

Congratulations, Missy! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and you have several chances to win. Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Carey Jane Clark and her new release, After the Snow Falls.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I am delighted to have Precarious Yates as a guest on The Borrowed Book today. Precarious whose real name is Sarah Smith has lived in eight different countries but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter,and their mastiff. When she's not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying, and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky. You can learn more about Precarious and about the issues discussed in her novel by visiting

Welcome to The Borrowed Book, Precarious. You've just released your debut novel The Elite of the Weak, and it sounds intriguing. Tell us what the story is about.

The Elite of the Weak is set in the near future when Babylon is rebuilt over the ancient ruins. Odd political alliances are forged and strong earthquakes occur in strange places.

Trained to do covert missions from a young age, Hadassah enjoys few things more than thrills, whether it's jumping out of an airplane, a high speed chase after a Somali pirate or crawling through the air ducts in a mafia-owned warehouse. But nothing is more thrilling than rescuing kids from human trafficking. The only thing is, she might do better on a team than on her own.

Enter Revelation Special Ops and their unique short-term mission trips. This elite group of people, R.S.O., is trained to rescue kids from the darkest forms of human trafficking. And they may be willing to take seventeen-year-old Hadassah on board.

It sounds exciting. There has been a lot in the media recently about human trafficking. What made you write this story for a YA audience?

When I was twenty-two and first learning about human trafficking, I was appalled not only by what I learned, but also by what I believed. Beforehand, I thought (1) slavery was eliminated across the globe, and (2) most prostitutes chose their lifestyle.

I was wrong on both accounts. I was dead wrong.

When I sat down to write The Elite of the Weak, I geared it toward Young Adult. I wanted teens to not only be aware of the situation, but to know there are solutions to the problems. Organizations such as IJM, Exodus Cry
and Love146 actively work toward rescue, restoration, and prevention.

I love the name of your heroine. How did you come up with the name for Hadassah?

Before the summer 2010, I had never seen so many crepe myrtles blooming everywhere. I looked up the Hebrew for 'myrtle' and discovered that the name Hadassah, Queen Esther's original name, means 'myrtle'. I knew from that moment my main character would have this name.

Not only do I like your heroine's name, I like your pen name. What made you choose it?

When I was 23, I wrote a five act play called The Precarious Redemption of Laodicea. The main character, Precarious, was a bull-in-the-china-shop evangelist who grew honest with herself and dedicated her life to the Lord's will to rescue girls caught in sex slave trafficking. She needed to see the light of day even if the play never would. Yates is a family name.

I can tell you have a heart for the oppressed. What has fostered that concern for others in your life?

Eleven years ago I worked with my dad's friend who was putting together a film about the issue of human trafficking in Eastern Europe. After the fall of the Soviet Bloc, girls were promised jobs as actresses, waitresses, or dancers in more prosperous countries. Once they crossed the boarders, the girls were thrown into brothels and their passports confiscated. I was horrified when I learned about this, and from that summer on I set my heart to become an abolitionist.

Since then, every time I wrote creatively, the issue of human trafficking sprang onto the page. My heart was too broken about this to ignore it. So I decided to plot and plan a novel that came from this place in my heart.

Was there a special reason why your book with such a sobering message released at this time of the year when people are focused on celebrating Christmas?

December 2 is the day designated by the UN as the day to stand against human trafficking. But more than that, there is The Advent Conspiracy. In the true spirit of Christmas, Christians all over the globe are banding together to see 1,000,000 people resuced from forced labor.

There are at least 27,000,000 children who are forced laborers. If you can't donate, please pray for those rescuing slaves!

What message would you like to leave for our readers about how they can help in the fight against human trafficking?

First of all, Jesus is the Great Abolitionist and the Great Emancipator. This is not a hopeless situation because in Him there is great hope!

Connect with organizations that work to end human trafficking. Also, befriend or mentor someone within the foster care system. Around 95% of kids exploited in the US have been through the foster care system.

Thank you for this enlightening interview, Precarious. My eyes have been opened to the injustices that many are facing in the world today. I know our readers have also been made of aware of the great need of many individuals.

Precarious would like to give one of our readers the gift of her autographed book. If your heart has been touched by this interview, leave a comment, and you may be the winner.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome to Riga, Latvia: Birthplace of the Christmas Tree.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Last week, I was thinking this morning about milestones in history, perhaps because it was December 7, or Pearl Harbor Day in the United States.

Not all milestones are tragic, of course, but the important ones profoundly changed how we lived. On 4 September 1882, Thomas Edison threw the switch on the first electrical power distribution system. For the very first time, electricity was provided directly to people’s homes. On 18 October 1952, the transistor radio – the Regency TR-1 – hit the shelves. For the first time, recorded music was now portable.

For creativity, I think one of the milestones is an unnamed day in April 1973, when IBM announced the Correcting Selectric II. An improvement from the original IBM Selectric, this advanced typewriter had a key allowing the typist to back-space and then overstrike the previous character, thereby erasing it.

How could a single key be such a milestone?

Think about it. Two opposing forces, working simultaneously. You could interrupt your creativity with the negative act of censuring and editing. That can’t be good for the brain. It’s like a car trying to go forward and backwards at the same time.

The effect was more than just yin and yang. The act of editing was also an act of distraction. As distractions increase, our ability to focus on one thing would soon be gone forever.
This idea is incomprehensible to anyone who grew up without an easy keyboard. They never learnt how to create by hand. Before QWERTY, we composed our thoughts a nano-second before they came out of our head. Because you couldn’t easily change your mind, you gave a bit more consideration to how you expressed your ideas and transferred them from head to paper.

By April 1973, you could now adjust a word, a phrase, a clause. Edit out sentences. Remove a whole damning paragraph. The need to edit became as equally available – if not addictive? – as the need to create. Two steps forward, one step back. Or worse, one step forward, and two steps back.

I am constantly amazed at how many things there are in life which prohibit and damped one’s creativity. I can understand the outside influences – distractions and politics at work, society and peer pressures, traditional mores and negative attitudes. The one I don’t understand are the ones which we impose upon ourselves. Self-doubt is poison, and ironically we make it ourselves and its most dangerous to ourselves. Why we allow things – simple things, like a back-space key – to intrude on our ability to create is beyond me. If I ever got a tattoo, I’d put Lao Tzu quote from Chapter 33 of the Tao Te Ching on my fore-arm, to remind me every day that “Those who overcome themselves are strong.”

As an experiment, I tried to go back to those days. I did, for a week. I found a gorgeous old typewriter in Sydney at a garage sale for $10. Steely industrial blue with firm keys printed with white Arial letters.

It was heady at first. The convincing whirl of the cylinder as I rolled in a spotless white page. The click-clack of the hammers as they struck the paper with my ideas. The enormously satisfying swing to throw the carriage back to the beginning and start a new line.

The romance ended the moment I typed something I didn’t like. I stopped, I read the entire sentence. I was editing my thoughts before I’d even finished the sentence. I typed a new word, but didn’t like that one either. So I re-typed the sentence.

As I struggled to get to the end of the second paragraph, I realized this one would be preferable to the first. I whisked out the paper, made some jotting notes in red pen, and scrolled in a new paper. Hold on, I needed more coffee. I came back to my desk (after I stopped to add something to the grocery list), and realized I hadn’t called someone. Then I found myself typing and talking on the phone at the same time. I started taking notes from my conference call in the middle of my writing.

Later than day, the typewriter went back in its box, and I hugged by wireless keyboard.

I found this marvelous quote from author Will Self, in an interview with The Guardian in 2008. “Writing on a manual typewriter makes you slower in a good way, I think. You don't revise as much, you just think more, because you know you're going to have to retype the entire (expletive) thing. Which is a big stop on just slapping anything down and playing with it."

You don’t have to throw out your iPhone-droid and pull out the Smith-Corona because the concept of the back-space key isn’t going away. But I do think all of us need to learn how to control both the one on our keyboards and the one in our mind.

Perhaps to be more creative, all we really need to do is slow down and think. We need to allow our thoughts to come out, to be expressed. Do we really need to instantly judge our thoughts the moment they’re born? I can tell you this about egg farmers. They don’t grade the eggs the moment they’re hatched.

I’m also not a big fan of bashing modern technologies, because many of them have value. But rather than complain and damn these improvements, perhaps we simply need to put them into proper context. There is a time for efficiency and accomplishment. But there’s also a time for creativity and thoughtfulness.

Wouldn’t it be the most pleasurable holiday to simply turn off the mind? Ah, to let our mind wander and think. To focus on just one thing.

“Do one thing well and the world will beat a path to your door,” said Emerson.

Imagine. What could you do if you stopped using the back-space key?

Andy Eklund is a professional facilitator, specialising in creativity and brainstorms. In the past 15 years, he’s accumulated more than 35,000 hours conducting meetings, working in 19 countries on 4 continents. His company AQUS LLC works in the areas of strategic planning using LEGO Serious Play, creativity, and communications skills training. His blog can be found at, and his website at

Monday, December 12, 2011

A new women's fiction title!

About the Book:

"In the middle of a soccer drill, in an awful, awkward moment, Celia Bennett's eight-year-old son Caleb lands on his face and chest in the grass. The diagnosis blindsides her, bringing her face-to-face with every parent's worst nightmare.

Desperate to save her son’s life, Celia pursues a cure through alternative medicine, but her quest ends in frustration and disappointment. Facing despair, hope walks in on the most unlikely set of legs, when her father returns after a 30-year absence. Can she release pain to embrace hope? Will it make a difference, or is it too late?"

About the Author:

Carey Jane Clark - "I'm a homeschool mother by day, writer by night. The writing bug afflicted me early in life. The first two stories I recall writing were about kidnapped insects and dancing pumpkins. It's been a few years since those stories were penned. Thank goodness, no copies remain.

Now, I write to inspire courage, hope and conviction. After the Snow Falls is my first novel."

Book Trailer:

After the Snow Falls Trailer from Carey Jane Clark on Vimeo.

Want more?

*Stop by on Friday to put together a puzzle and learn how to gain extra entries in the drawing for an e-book copy of After the Snow Falls!*

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner is:

cluedn - Thyme for Love by Pamela S. Meyers

Congratulations, cluedn! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and you have several chances to win. Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry.

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FOUR entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Pamela S. Meyers and her new release, Thyme for Love.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Today I'm delighted to welcome Roseanna White to The Borrowed Book. Roseanna grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, the beauty of which inspired her to begin writing as soon as she learned to pair subjects with verbs. She spent her middle and high school days penning novels in class, and her love for books took her to a school renowned for them. After graduating from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, she and her husband moved back to the Maryland side of the same mountains they equate as home. In addition to writing, Roseanna is the senior reviewer at the Christian Review of Books, which she and her husband founded, the senior editor at WhiteFire Publishing, and a member of ACFW, His Writers, and Colonial Christian Fiction Writers.

Welcome, Roseanna. I know you have a book releasing from Summerside Press titled Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland. Tell us a little about the book.

Usually I put these descriptions in my own words, but I actually wrote this back cover copy (with minor tweaking from Summerside), so. . . .:)

In 1784 peace has been declared, but war rages in the heart of Lark Benton.

Never did Lark think she'd want to escape Emerson Fielding, the man she's loved all her life. But when he betrays her, she flees to Annapolis, Maryland, the country's capital. There Lark throws herself into a new circle of friends who force her to examine all she believes.

Emerson follows, determined to reclaim his betrothed. Surprised when she refuses to return with him, he realizes that in this new country he has come to call his own, duty is no longer enough. He must learn to open his heart and soul to something greater...before he loses all he should have been fighting to hold.

That sounds great. I can hardly wait to read it. But I know you had written two Biblical fiction novels before this. What made you decide to write in a different time period?

My love has alwasy been for history, not a particular time or place. My first historicals were set in Victorian England, I've written in 20s America, in 20s Egypt. . . the Biblical novels were stories of my heart, and I'd done so much research into the time in college that they feel like home to me.

Then I had this desire to set a book in Annapolis, where I attended college. I love the town and the history it exudes when you walk down the streets by the waterfront. So I did some research into when it was the capital of the young U.S., and decided it would be the perfect setting for this heroine I had in mind to run away to. At the time Colonial and Early Federal books were pretty rare, so I thought it was a long shot to pitch to publishers. You can imagine my delight when Summerside loved it!

It seems like you've done a lot of research for this book. In writing it, what did you hope readers would take away from this story set in the early days of our nation?

All my stories come down to hope. In the case of Lark and Emerson's story, I pray the readers not only feel the hope that comes of putting their trust in the Father, in finding a true and lasting love, but also that they have fresh hope in the liberty and freedoms that our forefathers worked so hard to guarantee for us.

Lark Benton seems like an interesting heroine. What is it about her that will appeal to readers?

One of my favorite things about Lark is that though she lived the first 20 years of her life according to expectation, she finally reached the point where spirit took over. She combines a healthy dose of whimsy and optimism with a newfound determination to claim for herself this freedom her brother and Emerson fought for, even if it means defying what her family and society expects. Yet for all this, she thinks herself always lacking, never measuring up to her friends. Never worth fighting for.

As a reader of romance, I always want to see a dashing hero. What is it about Emerson Fielding that is going to make readers fall in love with him?

My best friend and critique partner, Stephanie Morrill, offered this as her endorsement: "At first you will want to give Emerson a good smack upside the head. But then you'll decide, okay, he's not a bad guy. And then it'll be like, Okay, I guess he's kinda cute. I can see some appeal. And then he'll completely melt your heart."

That's a pretty good summation of Emerson. He's someone known as a charmer but who has shut down after the war. At first he comes off as a cold, distant jerk. But when Lark flees to Annapolis, it's like cold water has been poured over him, and he finally wakes up and realizes what he's lost through his own stupidity.

What I love best about Emerson is that after years of being distant out of self-defense, he's finally vulnerable. And when a hunky hero starts to question himself, you can't help but wanna give him a hug and assure him he's on the right path.

Now I'd like to ask a few questions about you, Roseanna. You've described yourself as an optimist who leads a hectic life. How does your faith guide you each day?

It's easy to question the path you're on, to feel overwhelmed, to get discouraged or just fed up. I'm so thankful to have a Lord who speaks to me through His Spirit. I'm so, so grateful for the constant reminders that it isn't about how I feel on a given day--it's about trusting in Him. Right now I'm in a season where I can see very clearly where He's led me and take joy in that. But I only got here because I trusted Him through the valley.

You are also a reviewer of Christian books. How did you get involved in doing that?

It actually all began thanks to The DaVinci Code. I read it soon after its release, so soon afterward that there weren't any Christian reviews out on it. I thought there should be--a measured, fair review that evaluated it both as an entertaining story and also took a look at the issues Christians should be aware of. That was when my hubby and I decided to found the Christian Review of Books, a place to give reviews of both mainstream bestsellers from a Christian perspective, and also of Christian books out there. over the past seven years, the CRoB has just exploded, and though there are many Christian review sites now that blogs gained in popularity, it's really humbling to realize we were among the first.

That's wonderful, Roseanna. Now as we come to the end of our interview, what Christmas message would you like to leave with our readers?

In Annapolis, Lark is away from home for Christmas for the first time, and on that holy day she misses her family desperately--and also makes a decision to give to a stranger solely because her eyes have been opened to how blessed she is. In light of that, my prayer for everyone this Christmas season is that we take true joy in those people who mean the most to us; that we make a new friend that lends the season an extra light; and that as we give, we are all the more conscious of how the Lord has blessed us so richly.

Thank you for those moving words, Roseanna. It has been a joy to have you with us today. I'm sure our readers will look forward to reading Lark and Emerson's story.

I'm sure Roseanna would like for you to leave a comment today and give her a Christmas wish, too.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Have you checked out The Great December Christmas Caper page? We want to give all 214 of our Followers a gift this Christmas as a way of saying thank you for being a loyal follower!
I came across an interesting video awhile back when I was conducting research for my upcoming novel from Bethany House Publishers, No Safe Harbor. In it my heroine, a young Irish immigrant, goes to work for a chandler. Because many of the scenes take place in the candle shop, I thought it might be interesting to learn a little about the candle making process. Keep in mind, the chandler in my novel doesn't use soy to make his candles. Still, I thought you might enjoy this brief video on the art of environmentally friendly soy candles.

This video was brought to you courtesy of Candle Science. To learn more about them and the products and services they offer, visit them at

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Follow Pam on Twitter @PamelaMeyers

Monday, December 5, 2011

I've been on a bit of a Sherlock Holmes kick lately, and I recently finished The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. What a story! Definitely thrilling and mysterious. In considering what makes this story so terrifying, the setting stands out almost as a character in its own right. It's a living force that swallows victims whole and cries in the night. It's just downright creepy!

Below is an image from the Crime Scraps Review blog to set the mood:

So what can we learn from this story that will help us master the setting?
  • Force - The moor is a force to be reckoned with, especially the Grimpen Mire, where people and creatures can be sucked into the mud and never be seen again. (Oh, how I detest thoughts of quicksand and the like! *shudder*) Watson sees and hears a pony dying in the mire, and it certainly adds to the terror of the story - especially with characters on the hunt (or the run), and just one misstep can be very dangerous indeed... While some of us might not be writing mysteries or suspense, our settings in all our stories play a huge role. What challenges will the setting present to our characters? Think of Wild West stories and how the ruggedness of the land really creates a sense of adventure and/or hardship.
  • Fear - The moor leads to an emotional reaction in most of the characters, namely fear. The howling of the hound on those dark nights, the thrashing of the trees in the wind by Baskerville Hall, the one pinpoint of light or the silhouette of a man signalling a presence in the wilds of the moor... No matter the setting, if it's a good one it will elicit some emotion. Contentment at a cozy resort. Awe at the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. Sorrow at the cemetery. Happiness at the beach. You get the idea! And the more senses involved in the descriptions the better!
  • Foundation - The moor gives the characters a place to hide, Sherlock a place to play ;) , and a stage for the mystery to unfold. While setting isn't everything, per se, it's important as it can either limit or expand the action of the story. Will your characters move during the course of the story? How does the contrast in settings fit in with the theme? Will your characters travel? Or does the setting serve as a trap for them?

Let's connect the past with the present! Where is your current WIP set? What can you learn from The Hound of the Baskervilles and the scary moor that might help you use setting to deepen your story?

And one last, very important question - anyone else excited to see this story in the second season of the PBS Masterpiece version of Sherlock coming in May 2012???

(Moor picture from Crime Scraps Review. Book picture from

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winners (both of whom had MULTIPLE entries in the drawing) are:

ida ~ Ten Plagues by Mary Nealy
Marjorie Roy ~ Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Congratulations to you both! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address so I can forward your information to the authors. Then, sit back and wait for your books to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and you have several chances to win. Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry.

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FOUR entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Mary Nealy and her new release, Ten Plagues, and Dan Walsh with his book, Remembering Christmas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'm delighted to welcome Dan Walsh to The Borrowed Book today. Dan is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). His first novel, The Unfinished Gift, won 2 ACFW Carol Awards. The sequel, The Homecoming, received 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews. His 3rd noel The Deepest Waters, released this past April. His newest book, Remembering Christmas, just came out in September. Dan writes fulltime in the Daytona Beach area, where he lives with the love of his life,Cindi, his wife of 35 years. They have two grown children, both married, and one grandson. As they await more grandchildren, they enjoy the company of two mini-aussies, Bailey and Darcy.

Welcome, Dan. It's great to have you with us today. We're all eager to hear about your book Remembering Christmas that released in September. Tell us a little about it.

Here's a paragraph some very skillful folks at Revell put together to describe it. (I'm terrible at condensing an entire book into a short space.)

Rick Denton is a young successful CPA who lives his life on his own terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. So when his mother calls on Thanksgiving weekend begging him to come home after his stepfather has a stroke, Rick is more than a little reluctant. He's never liked Art and resents the man's presence in his life, despite that fact that his own father abandoned the family when Rick was just twelve. What was supposed to be just a couple of days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and running off the homeless man who keeps hanging about. Slowly but surely, the little bookstore and its quirky patrons, as well as the lovely young woman who works at his side each day, work their magic on him, revealing to Rick some startling truths about his family, his own life, and the true meaning of Christmas.

Well, you've got me hooked. I can't wait to read it. I know it's been called a modern day prodigal parable. How does coming home change your hero Rick Denton's life?

It changes everything, literally. But unlike the prodigal story, Rick isn't coming home broke and begging for mercy. He sees himself at the top of his game and is totally broadsided by the changes coming his way, expecially the ones in his heart.

Besides the prodigal comparisons, I think there's an Ebeneezer Scrooge element at work in this story, as well. Except instead of ghosts appearing at night, we have a number of quirky store patrons and a homeless man who inadvertently help Rick see some things he really needs to see, but can't without some help.

Remembering Christmas is set in 1980. What made you choose that time period?

I'm not totally sure. The story is loosely based on a real bookstore called The Book Nook. The real store looked just like the one in the book (my wife actually worked there for a few years). As I pondered and thought about the story, I just saw it at this time. My editor was initially apprehensive about the time period, until she read the book. Then she said,"It's perfect!"

I know your book The Deepest Waters was based on a true event in history. Is that true of Remembering Christmas?

As I said in the last question, some of it is based in reality, but not near as much as in The Deepest Waters. The bookstore was real, set in a church basement and in an old downtown area, just as I described. I based the little town on a fictitious version of Daytona Beach where I live. Sort of a "what if" thing (what if Daytona Beach had stayed small, had never become a major tourist town and the home of NASCAR?) The wonderful couple in the book, Are and Leanne Bell, were inspired by a real couple who owned the real Book Nook. But all the other characters come from my imagination.

Speaking of those characters from your imagination, tell us about a few of these quirky folks and how you came up with such interesting individuals.

You know, it's funny, but I don't know where I get all these characters. Not just in Remembering Christmas, but in my other books. People ask me that a lot, assuming they must be based on real people, because they seem so real to the reader (they feel real to me, too).

There's JD, the homeless man who keeps hanging around the store, hoping to get more Egg McMuffins. And Father Charlie, a sophisticated church bishop whose learned a simpler approach to faith by spending time with Art. And the two elderly sisters from upstate New York, Molly and Fran. And Mack the surfer dude who just came to Christ a year ago.

Congratulations on recieving a 4.5 star rating and a top pick from Romantic Times Magazine for the book. How did you feel when you heard that?

Relieved, then amazed. I hoped they'd give it a decent review but had no idea things would go that well. My editor at Revell, Andrea Doering, did. She won ACFW's editor-of-the-year this past September (had to say that, so proud of her). She loved the book the moment she read it. I guess it's harder for me to see my work the way others do.

Tell us what's next for you. I've heard you're writing a 4 book series with Dr. Gary Smalley.

I am, and it's so exciting. Gary's a wonderful man, and he's done some great things for the Lord, both with his books and his marriage/family seminars over the years. At first I was a little intimidated by the idea. I mean, it's not as though we play in the same league. He's written or co-authored 16 bestselling books and appeared on national TV shows like Oprah and the Today Show. His series with Karen Kingsbury was hugely successful (over 1.5 million copies sold). But I've gotten to know Gary in a behind-the-scenes way over the last year. He's the real deal. gracious and humble and really loves the Lord...and people.

I'm actually working on our first novel right now (just finished chapter 10). I'm drawing from material in two of Gary's latest books. I send the chapters to him as I write, and he sends back his thoughts and input. He's been so easy to work with.

This first novel will come out in the spring of 2013. Between now and then, I have two more of my own coming out in 2012, both with Revell. The Discovery releases in April, then The Reunion in September.

It sounds like you've really been busy. As a parting thought, what Christmas message would you like to give our readers today?

Draw near to the Lord every day and allow His love and mercy to fill your heart. Let His peace impart to you the strength to face all of life's ups and downs. He can and wants to do this. It's why that little baby came to Bethlehem, so that we might know the Father's love and experience it, firsthand, as we humble ourselves and live in a close, dependent relationship with Him (like Jesus did).

Do this, and you will most certainly have a Christmas worth remembering.

Well said, Dan. Thank you for being a guest on The Borrowed Book today. I'm sure our readers have enjoyed finding out about you book Remembering Christmas.

Dan is giving away a copy of his book this week. If you'd like to be entered in the drawing for Remembering Christmas, leave a comment about something you remember from a past Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More fun facts:

The world’s largest commercial office building is Merchandise Mart located at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza

The world’s largest illuminated fountain is Buckingham Fountain located in Grant Park

The world’s largest public library is Harold Washington Library Center located at 400 S. State St.

The Lincoln Park Zoo, one of only three free major zoos in the country, is the country’s oldest public zoo with an attendance of three million people.

The world’s tallest masonry building is Monadnock Block located at 53 W. Jackson Blvd.

The world’s largest free-admission food festival is the Taste of Chicago located in Grant Park

The world’s largest convention facility is McCormick Place located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive

The world’s highest steeple above ground is at the United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington St.

The world’s busiest futures exchange is the Chicago Board of Trade located at 141 W. Jackson Blvd.

The Chicago Park District has the nation’s largest municipal harbor system.

The world’s largest stand-alone theater is the Uptown Theatre located at 4810 N. Broadway

The world’s largest parochial school system is the Archdiocese of Chicago

The world’s largest water filtration plant is the Jardine Water Purification Plant located at 600 E. Grand Ave.

Chicago produced the first Roller skates in 1884

Chicago produced the first Elevated railway in 1892

Chicago produced the first Cracker Jacks in 1893

Chicago produced the first Zipper in 1896

Chicago produced the first Steel-framed skyscraper in 1885

Chicago produced the first Window envelope in 1902

Chicago is home to eleven Fortune 500 companies, while the rest of the metropolitan area hosts an additional 21 Fortune 500 companies.

McCormick Place, Chicago’s premier convention center, offers the largest amount of exhibition space in North America (2.2 million square feet).

The first Ferris wheel made its debut in Chicago at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Today, Navy Pier is home to a 15-story Ferris wheel, modeled after the original one.

The game of 16-inch softball, which is played without gloves, was invented in Chicago.

In 1900, Chicago successfully completed a massive and highly innovative engineering project – reversing the flow of the Chicago River so that it emptied into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan.

Chicago was one of the first and largest municipalities to require public art as part of the renovation or construction of municipal buildings, with the passage of the Percentage-for-Arts Ordinance in 1978.

The Chicago Cultural Center is the first free municipal cultural center in the U.S. and home to the world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome.

When it opened in 1991, the Harold Washington Library Center, with approximately 6.5 million books, was the world’s largest municipal library.

The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 110 stories high. Its elevators are among the fastest in the world operating as fast as 1,600 feet per minute.

The first steel rail road in the United States was produced here in 1865.

The first mail-order business, Montgomery Ward & Co., was established here in 1872.

The world’s first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Company, was built here in 1885.

The first televised U.S. presidential candidates’ debate was broadcast from Chicago’s CBS Studios on September 26, 1960, between John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard Milhous Nixon.

**This Field Trip Feature was brought to you by The Borrowed Book and Mary Nealy, author of Ten Plagues (Barbour Books, 2011). Check out ALL of Mary's books, and visit her at A Season of Suspense.

Monday, November 28, 2011

S. Dionne Moore started writing in 2006. Her first book, Murder on the Ol’ Bunions, was contracted for publication by Barbour Publishing in 2008. In 2009 she moved on to writing historical romances as an outlet for her passion for history. In 2010 her second cozy mystery, Polly Dent Loses Grip, was a 2010 Carol Award finalist and she was also named a Barbour Publishing 2010 Favorite New Author. In 2011 her first historical romance, Promise of Tomorrow, was nominated a 2011 Carol Award finalist.
For more information, visit her Website at
Follow her on Twitter: @sdionnemoore 

Tell readers about your newest release: 

I have two this month, which is really exciting! Promise Brides, my first 3n1 historical, is available EVERYWHERE (rather than just the Heartsong Presents book club). A Shepherd’s Song is available through Barbour Publishings, Heartsong Presents Bookclub. A Shepherd’s Song is the first book in a new historical romance series set in Wyoming. 
Renee Dover made a foolish decision. . .
When fiery Renee Dover seeks adventure and searches for a gang of outlaws, she never expects she’ll find them. Captured by the gang and certain her recklessness has gotten her brother killed, she escapes right into the arms of Tyler Sperry, a quiet sheepherder with a mysterious past.
Compelled to accompany him on his journey leading sheep to summer pasture, Renee finds it impossible to return home. She must endure the silence of this man and the solitude he’s chosen. And Tyler must decide what to do with Renee as every option he sees risks her life or challenges his.
Along the way, Renee discovers there’s much more to this shepherd who keeps his history hidden. Something he’s found that she desires. But when Tyler’s past comes back to haunt him, it just might get them both killed.

Promise Brides, is a compilation of three historicals, Promise of Tomorrow (a 2011 Carol Award finalist), Promise of Yesterday and  Promise of Time, set in 1889 Johnstown, PA., Mercersburg/Greencastle, PA, and Gettysburg, PA, respectively. 

Love never comes without sacrifice.

Promise of Tomorrow
Alaina Morrison loves Jack Kelly. So why won t he realize that all she wants is to get married and begin their new life together? She doesn t need a large home or new clothes or other things. She only needs him to actually spend time with her and to show how much he loves her. As dangerous floodwaters threaten their home of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, will Alaina and Jack allow God to bridge their growing differences with His unifying love?

Promise of Yesterday 
Escaping the horrors of slavery, Chester Jones returns home after many years. After meeting the enigmatic Marylu, sparks fly as he gently pushes his way into her heart. As love blossoms, secrets from Marylu's past arise, causing her to question her newfound feelings. And then what about those rumors linking Chester to a murder. . .? Will Marylu allow God to heal her heart or will it be shattered again?

Promise of Time
Ellie Lester sees time stretching endlessly after the death of her husband in the war. She manages to find some purpose in helping slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. When her husband's cousin arrives, however, time seems to stand still. Is her heart awakening to something new? Theodore Lester is determined to reach his cousin's widow in the North with the truth of her husband's death, even if he must flee from the Confederate Army. Seeing her again sparks something in his heart and makes him want to stop running. But he can t escape from his dreams. . .or himself.

What made you choose the setting for A Shepherd's Song

I became fascinated with the Johnson County Wars. Early on, I read that much of the tension was between sheepherders and cattle barons, though that was later discounted. But the career of herding sheep intrigued me and I knew it would make a good story. Using Psalms 23 as a parallel, I rediscovered and came to better understand why God used that particular analogy in that first verse. And I read. . .

A book on a woman's adventures as a sheepherder which helped shape some of the tragedies and challenges inherent in those who undertook the career. And the loneliness. Many men of Basque descent came to the states to be sheepherders. If you ever get the chance to see some of the carvings the Basque sheepherders left on Aspens in the high elevations during the lonely months of herding sheep, it's an interesting glimpse into the psyche of the men as they worked to overcome the terrible separation from family and friends as they fulfilled their contracts.

What does your office look like?

Oh dear. Messy right now, but here it is in all its glory. For those who might be interested, I'm working on editing the third book in the Wyoming series.

Parting words for those interested in become published?

Writers write. They don't talk about it or imagine it, they do it! That might seem over simplistic, but you wouldn't believe how many people have said, "Oh, I'd love to write a book one day." But they never do. LOL! Maybe it's not their calling, and that's fine, but if you truly want to pursue publication, you'll have to discipline yourself to make the time for writing and learning about writing.

Comment to win an autographed copy of A Shepherd's Song. 

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