Sunday, August 31, 2014

How Great Thou Art

Going back through my archived posts, I found this one from 2011 and thought I would share it again today. 

Arthur Rice sang a long time ago with The Payne Family from Candler, NC (my husband's family). I found this video of The Kingdom Heirs on YouTube...what a blessing to hear How Great Thou Art sung by this wonderfully gifted Christian man!

Have a blessed Sabbath,


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Author Inteview with Dawn Crandall & Giveaway

UPDATE: This is for an eBook ONLY!!!
But that means it is open INTERNATIONALLY!!!

I was supposed to post a book review but due to family stuff happening and putting me behind, Dawn graciously agreed to do an interview. Be sure and read to the end because there is an opportunity to enter to win some prizes.

Share with us a little of your writing journey. (Did you always want to be a writer?)

Ever since I was in 4th grade, the idea of writing a book has appealed to me. I remember my teacher had us choose some contact paper for the "cover" and then bound papers together for us—I thought that was so cool!! And I couldn't wait to fill it with a story!! Don't ask me what I ever wrote in that little book, but I do know that from then on my favorite time in school was when we were supposed to write something. :) I never thought of "being a writer" until I was in high school and (finally!) came across the kinds of books that thrilled me to read—Rebeccaby Daphne du Maurier, Gone with the Windby Margaret Mitchell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott... and then later in college, books by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I'd made up some stories for my friends at the time and wrote out synopsis-like drafts, but nothing beyond that. At that time it was still just a dream of mine that I didn't know when I'd ever get around to actually being serious about. It wasn't until I married my husband in my late twenties and he found out the hidden secret of my heart... and believed in me 110% more than I'd ever believed in myself. He eventually had me quit working to focus on writing, and in 2010 I began writing “Amaryllis.” It was pretty clear to me that I was on the right track when I had two offers of agent representation after attending my first ACFW conference in 2011 and then continued to either semi-final or final in the Genesis Contest with all three of my manuscripts in 2012 and 2013 while my series was on submission. Whitaker House held on to my manuscript for a year a half before offering me the three book contract. 

Have you visited the places you set your story in? What’s the one place you would love to visit above all others?

I have visited a few of the “hypothetical” places in The Hesitant Heiress. There
image credit
are some ruins near the Portland Head Lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth, Maine that inspired me to add that whole aspect of the story. I’ve been to Bar Harbor, Maine on Mount Desert Island twice and stayed at The Cleftstone Manor, which was once one of the glorious “summer cottages” built in the late nineteenth century. Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, and I had so much fun exploring the rocky coast that means so much to Amaryllis Brigham.

What do you think makes a good story?

My favorite books are ones that take readers on an emotional journey, as well as a physical one, with lots of twists and turns that make the characters uncomfortable enough to grow past the person they are at the beginning of the book.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I like to write at my desk in my study, usually with a very quiet house—which doesn’t happen much now that there’s a five month old in the house!

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just have to get up and write down a thought? If so, do you keep a tablet on your bedside table or go to the computer?

I do sometimes have things I think up while I get up in the morning to feed the baby. I usually type them up in the notes on my phone and then email them to myself later.

Do you talk to your characters? Keep story boards? Pictures?

I don’t usually talk to my characters myself, but I do make them talk to each other. J I’ll give them something interesting to say or think and let it go from there. It’s really fun, because I usually get something really good to put into a scene, or sometimes I get a whole new scene out of the process!
And I definitely have story boards! Way before Pinterest was around, I would do Google image searches and save photographs that fit into my story into files on my laptop. I do now have a Pinterst Board dedicated to The Hesitant Heiress here:

Do you have a favorite book? What about it makes it stand out from others?

My favorite books ever areJane Eyre, all of Jane Austen’s books, and Rececca by Daphne du Maurier.  But my favorite “modern” authors are Julie Lessman, Jody Hedlund, Elizabeth Camden and Lori Benton. I don’t think any of them write anywhere close to the same style that I do, but there is always something about their characters that feels deeper than characters in other books. None of them write first person like me, but I try very hard to write my characters as realistically as I possibly can, the way they do. I also like the way the plots of their stories go—I’ve never actually read a book on “How to Write a Book”, but from the very beginning, searched out books I loved and studied how they were constructed, and what it was about the characters exactly that made me love them so much.   

What’s the one food item you can’t live without?

Can my answer be dessert? Any and every kind of yummy sweet—cookies, pies, cakes… yeah, those are pretty much what I can’t live without food-wise. J

What’s in store for you next? Are you working on another book?

I’m finishing up the last revisions of book three of The Everstone Chronicles right now. After that, I’m free to work on whatever I like, but I haven’t decided what that will be. Here are the descriptions of the next two books in the series:
The Bound Heart[Book 2] releases this November! It's about Amaryllis's friend Meredyth Summercourt, from her first person POV as she struggles to choose between the two men in her life who want her. Lawry Hampton has loved her for years, and Vance Everstone, whom she’s thought she loved for just as long… one man who loves her in all the right ways, and the other who has a shameful grip on her from years past. 

The Captive Imposter [Book 3] releases next February! It follows Estella Everstone as she’s sent away from her family to live in anonymity as a lady’s companion at one her father’s mountain resorts. While there, she comes in close contact with Jay Crawford, an ex-love set on making her as uncomfortable as possible. While coming to terms with her lack of feelings for one man she’d thought she’d always love, she is simultaneously drawn to Dexter Blakeley, the one man she’s been forced to trust since setting foot in the hotel.   

Thanks so much for being here today, Dawn! I appreciate the time you took
from your busy schedule to answer these questions and share with my readers about your writing journey.

Okay Y'all...How about leaving an encouraging comment for a debut author and first time mom. If you do, Dawn is offering a copy of The Hesitant Heiress to one of my blog readers. Ends Sept 5th. eBook ONLY - OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!!!

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THE FOLLOWING GIVEAWAYS HAVE ENDED- Plus, as part of the book launch, she is giving away a prize pack every weekend for the six weeks of the blog tour, and then one larger prize pack at the end. Each of YOU who comments on any post will be entered into the drawing for that specific week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize–all of which will be announced on this blog. Many of the blogger's posting in the blog tour are also giving away a digital copy of The Hesitant Heiress.

 THE FIVE WEEKLY PRIZE PACKS: a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal!

 THE GRAND PRIZE (at the end of week six): a Kindle Fire, PLUS a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal!

Then...Just click on the link below to get a teaser and then hop on over to your favorite bookseller and grab a copy. This is a great book!

READ THE FIRST CHAPTER FREE!!! {link for free chapter photo ß

{About The Hesitant Heiress}

After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own… and without a husband.

Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all.

{About Dawn Crandall}

A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit working in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013. 


Book Review Blog: 
Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst

Monday, August 25, 2014

WINNER of A Stray Drop of Blood is...

I sent you an email with your Gift Certificate so you can redeem it at Amazon for your KINDLE copy of 
A Stray Drop of Blood!

Anyone who wants to purchase a copy, just click here

Thanks to all who entered. Stay tuned for more giveaways...

Have a blessed day,

Sunday, August 24, 2014


From Death to Life


Oh, praise the Lord for victory,

From death to life He lifted me;

By His great love and pow’r divine

Eternal life is truly mine.

 Ulysses Philips

Have a blessed Sabbath,


Friday, August 22, 2014

Review ~ Operation Zulu Redemption: Act of Treason - Part 4 by Ronie Kendig

Operation Zulu Redemption: Act of Treason - Part 4 by Ronie Kendig

Synopsis - The Explosive Ending to a Brand-new 5-part Serial Novel!  

It’s Zero hour for Zulu.  They’ve been targeted, hunted, deceived, and betrayed. Zulu is crumbling in their pursuit of justice. Even rifts within the team are tearing them apart.  Téya can’t seem to unravel her bizarre connection with deadly assassin The Turk—and it’s causing her team to question her loyalty.  Annie is unable to focus and sort out her strong feelings for Trace and Sam—and she fears she’ll end up losing them both.  Nuala vows to support Boone, but a devastating tragedy pushes her limits.  And Trace hates sending the team on dangerous missions alone, but there are some secrets he can’t reveal.  In the shocking, explosive finale of Operation Zulu: Redemption, Trace has one last plan to draw the enemy out and take them down—for good. But will it work? Who can they really trust? Ultimately, what price will justice demand? 

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My Review

Shock and awe doesn’t begin to describe the inner workings of Team ZULU and their betrayer. With expert writing skill and some surprising plot twists, Kendig brings full circle this amazingly fast-paced military thriller. Reading this serialization has been like watching a season of 24. I was totally blind-sided by the traitor in the midst. I did not see that one coming. 

I’m fond of all the characters, especially Trace and Annie (love the interaction between them) but another stands out to me. It seems crazy to be enchanted by a character who is supposed to be an enemy, but I am. ‘The Turk’ is one beguiling assassin. We don’t know much about him except he and Téya have been in several violent altercations with each other and now he is a potential love interest! I’m intrigued J

I highly recommend this series to fans of intense contemporary military fiction. I’m anxiously awaiting Season Two, the new missions that ZULU will be sent on, and thinking this really should be made into a TV series. It’s that good.

I was provided a copy from the publisher for review purposes. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, just my honest opinion of the book. No compensation has been received.

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Start the mission with Operation Zulu Redemption: The Beginning and then don't miss any of these extended length 200 page episodes...

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Collateral Damage -- Part 1

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Out of Nowhere -- Part 2

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty -- Part 3

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Act of Treason -- Part 4

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Giveaway ~ A Stray Drop of Blood (Kindle Edition)

I read this book when it first came out in 2010, and was completely captivated by the story. Truly, it is a powerful, raw and redemptive tale that swept me along from the first page to the last. The author took my breath away with her prose. I remember thinking this book rivaled the masterful storytelling in A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. And that is the best biblical fiction book I have ever read! A Stray Drop of Blood is second. There is nothing easy in Abigail's story, as you can see from reading the synopsis below.  

But God never promised easy, did he?

Beautiful is a dangerous thing to be when one is unprotected. That is a lesson Abigail learns well when her master's son, Jason, takes her to his bed. Jason's mother, Ester, may have educated her as a daughter instead of a slave, his father, Cleopas, may have obeyed Hebrew law rather than Roman in the running of his household, but none of that matters to their son. At least, it doesn't until he has a child of his own on the way.

Over her seven years in the Visibullis household, Abigail has gotten accustomed to being a slave. She loves her fellow servants, she adores her mistress, and she respects her master. She does not welcome change, neither when Jason decides she is better fit for a lover than a handmaid nor when he discovers he loves her too much to leave her as anything but a wife. But she carries his child, so she can hardly argue. And maybe, given time, she could come to love him too....

Israel s unrest finds a home in her bosom, but their rebellion tears apart her world. Death descends with Barabbas s sword, and Abigail is determined to be there when he is handed the penalty for the crimes that destroyed her family. But when she ventures to the trial, heavy with child and heavier still with hatred, it is not Barabbas that the crowd demands be crucified. Instead, it is the teacher Cleopas and Jason had begun to follow, the man from Nazareth that some call the Son of God....

She was born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds. But she never really knew freedom until she felt the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter. She was disowned by Israel, despised by Rome, desired by all. Yet she never knew love until she received the smile of a stoic Roman noble.


Be sure and leave me an email address (someone[at]someplace[dot]com) so I can send you a gift certificate that you can redeem at Amazon, if you win!

If you don't own a Kindle, Amazon has FREE Kindle App's! 

Giveaway Ends 
August  24that midnight  (EST)

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Genesis 8:22

“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”

Friday, August 15, 2014

Just some pictures...

 Gorgeous Carolina Sky filled with formless, swirling clouds, makes a pleasant sight.

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Taken through the windshield during a deluge of rain while sitting at a red light. This one was featured at Camera Shy for the Abstract Photography – Take 52 Week 28 critique. You can click here to see the video critique.

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Glorious clear sky after four days of dark and gloomy weather.

We are experiencing unseasonably cool weather here in the foothills of NC. 
I am not complaining! For August, it is fabulous to be able to have the windows open. 
That means a lower electric bill, as well :)

How's the weather where you are?

Sharing with

Weekly Top Shot

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty - Part 3 by Ronie Kendig

Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty - Part 3 
by Ronie Kendig

Synopsis - The odds are stacked against them, but Zulu refuses to surrender.  After all the hits they’ve taken, it’d be easy to quit. But Annie, Teya, and Nuala didn’t train so intensely to be part of the first all-female special ops team to let their enemy win. Now that the fight’s been incited so fiercely with Jessie, Candice, and Keeley, the rest of Zulu won’t go down without a fight. They’ll find answers, justice, and vindication for that tragic night they were set up in Misrata. Or die trying.  Giving up isn’t in the bones of Sam Caliguari either—not even after thugs snatch him from Manson. He won’t be muzzled in his effort to get Annie out of trouble.  Annie knows Sam will use every bit of his SEAL training to track her down, but she didn’t expect the tangle of strong feelings she’d have for him and Trace.  Téya never imagined the nightmare that would hit after crossing the deadly path of The Turk. What could he possibly want with her so specifically?

And while Trace anticipates physical threats, he’s also watching his back for the next political fallout, because Francesca Solomon is unyielding in her quest to bring him down. Will Zulu ever catch a break?


My Review

With a stunning cliffhanger, Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty - Part 3 met and exceeded every expectation possible!

I felt like I was riding at an accelerated speed the whole time I was reading this installment. Not one moment did the momentum lag, but swept me along with an energy so palpable I could almost feel electricity in the air. From crackerjack sniper shots to stealth maneuvering, the depth of dedication and unrelenting determination is unmistakable in Team ZULU. Adding a little more romance into the mix only makes the heart beat more rapidly and the adrenaline flow a little faster. The characters are fascinating, and I am totally stumped in this puzzle of who is behind the hunting down and killing of the team’s members. I’m wholeheartedly looking forward to the conclusion!

I was provided a copy from the publisher for review purposes. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, just my honest opinion of the book. No compensation has been received.


Start the mission with Operation Zulu Redemption: The Beginning and then don't miss any of these extended length 200 page episodes...

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Collateral Damage -- Part 1

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Out of Nowhere -- Part 2

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty -- Part 3

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Act of Treason -- Part 4


Monday, August 11, 2014

Operation Zulu Redemption: Out of Nowhere - Part 2 by Ronie Kendig

Operation Zulu Redemption: Out of Nowhere - Part 2 
by Ronie Kendig

Synopsis - Zulu races around the world fighting for answers—and their lives!  The remnant of the first all-female Special Forces team, Zulu, will do whatever it takes to determine what really happened that night five years ago—when a trap entangled the team in the deaths of twenty-two innocent people in Misrata, Libya. With Lieutenant Colonel Trace Weston and Boone Ramage leading the way, Annie Palermo, Téya Reiker, and Nuala King are training harder and stronger, digging deeper for clues, and tracking down leads in the U.S. and Europe to clear their names.  Former Navy SEAL Sam Caliguari refuses to believe Annie left of her own free will, not after what they shared. But his determination and efforts to find her have put Zulu at greater risk of being discovered—and eliminated—before they can find the truth.  Francesca Solomon is determined to bring down Trace Weston, whom she believes is responsible for the tragedy in Misrata, for ruining her father’s career, and for tarnishing her family’s good name. When a source gives her pivotal information, Francesca leaps at the chance to make Trace answer for his crimes. Just when things start to turn for Zulu, a member of the team is targeted by one of the world’s deadliest assassins. Then another vanishes. Zulu wants the truth, but they didn’t know it might cost every one of their lives.

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My Review

I’m trying to think of any positive adjectives that I haven’t already used to describe this series. Truly, the writing is unparalleled. With precision skill, Kendig has drawn me into the lives of Team Zulu. I’m a huge dialogue fan and this is some of the most impressive I have read. Her attention to detail is obvious but not overly done. I find myself not skipping a single word because I might miss something important, it’s that precise. There are some shocking situations that the team is involved in, and yet they are written with so much realism, I have no trouble believing that these events could actually happen. These women are facing formidable opponents and doing some serious butt-kicking. I felt like I was watching Jennifer Garner in Alias! Out of Nowhere ends on another cliffhanger and I am eagerly anticipating the next installment.

I was provided a copy from the publisher for review purposes. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, just my honest opinion of the book. No compensation has been received.


Start the mission with Operation Zulu Redemption: The Beginning and then don't miss any of these extended length 200 page episodes...

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Collateral Damage -- Part 1

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Out of Nowhere -- Part 2

Available Now -- Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty -- Part 3