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Rocky Mountain Restoration Blog Tour + Author Interview

24 Jul

About The Book

Book:  Rocky Mountain Restoration

Author: Lisa J. Flickinger

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 29, 2021

Josephine Thorebourne doesn’t deserve happiness. Not after the mess she’s made. 

Mid-voyage, on the steamship Jameson, she learns of the tragic loss of her family’s money. Money she stole with the hopes of turning a profit. What should be a delightful voyage up the Canadian coast turns into a journey of regret. Josephine seeks the solace of the man she loves, only to find out he’s an imposter. Left with no other choice, she must return to her home town of Stony Creek and face the anger of those she’s betrayed.

Owen Kelly was given the opportunity of a lifetime to steward on the SS Jameson. The work meant he could escape his difficult upbringing along the wharves of Chicago. When his heart falls for the woman in cabin eight, Owen must decide if he will continue his work on the ship or follow the love of his life to her Rocky Mountain home.

As Josephine faces the repercussions of her decisions, the future becomes uncertain. Owen is the one person who knows everything and yet still sees the good in her. Will their love survive the challenges the Rocky Mountain town throws in their path?

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

Lisa J. Flickinger lives and writes from the cliff of a river along the majestic Rocky Mountains. When not writing or reading, you will find her scouring antique shops or sipping a maple latte with friends and family. To learn more about her other books, visit


More from Lisa

Have you ever smelled a whale’s breath? I have. The experience sparked the idea of taking the characters in Rocky Mountain Restoration on a pleasure cruise up the Canadian coast.

My husband and I vacationed in Ucluelet one summer, a quaint fishing village on the west coast of Vancouver Island. While there, we boarded a cabin cruiser with other adventure seekers to go whale watching.

Not long after leaving the rocky shore, our experienced captain spotted the flick of a tale in the rolling waves, and guided the boat to a position hundreds of yards away.  Within moments, to our delight and awe, a massive humpback breached mere feet from the boat. Its knobbed head rose before us, mouth wide open, hundreds of baleen plates dripping a murky red. The smell was one of the worst in my memory, a vulgar mixture of rotten fish, old road kill, and something indescribable. But what a privilege to encounter one of God’s magnificent creatures up close!

A logging camp, high in the Rockies, is a long way from the pacific coast. That’s the very reason our nefarious antagonists from book one of the Rocky Mountain Revival Series, Josephine and Snoop, have chosen to board the SS Jameson under assumed names

While I can’t promise you whale’s breath in the novel, I can promise you gorgeous scenery and other wildlife encounters as a backdrop for betrayal, thievery, and—of course—romance. Hop aboard!

Q&A with Lisa Flickinger

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

I’ve always loved to write, and my teachers were kind enough to encourage my efforts. In an English course I took in my thirties, I caught one of the secretaries reading my latest assignment. She blushed and told me every week she looked forward to reading my work. Her enthusiasm helped give me the confidence to finally finish the novel languishing in my closet.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

When I buckle down to write, I use a structured schedule. If I didn’t, I would never complete my novels. Typically, I will write or do research from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. five days a week. After a delicious latte, I usually work on editing or handle communications.

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

I’m a painfully slow writer. I usually plan on three thousand words a week and about twenty weeks to finish a novel. It usually ends up being thirty-five weeks to completion and another six or so weeks to finish editing.  It takes me around nine months to finish a book, much like having a baby.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

I needed the nefarious couple from the first novel in the series to make a getaway, by water seemed the most expedient. The stories of early steam ship travel I read were fascinating and inspired the escapades in Rocky Mountain Restoration

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

I hope my readers will have escaped from the chaos of everyday life and enjoyed a clean story laced with encouragement from God’s word.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, July 20

Artistic Nobody, July 21 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 21

For Him and My Family, July 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 23

By The Book, July 24 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 24

deb’s Book Review, July 25

Connie’s History Classroom, July 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 30 (Author Interview)

Blossoms and Blessings, July 31

Life of Literature, August 1

Texas Book-aholic, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2


To celebrate her tour, Lisa is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Hosea’s Heart

30 Mar

About The Book

Book:  Hosea’s Heart

Author: Linda Wood Rondeau

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release date: 2018

How much should a wronged husband forgive?

Aubrey Beaumont has spent the last fifteen years in search of his runaway, drug-addicted wife. Now a respected Silver Spring pastor and chaplain, ready to give up and move on, his life takes unexpected turns when she suddenly contacts him. Terminally ill and having found faith, she begs Aubrey’s forgiveness. How can he overlook her past prostitution and liaison with one of Washington’s most vicious drug lords?

Grateful for a chance at reconciliation, Joanna Beaumont prays that her seemingly wasted life might serve some purpose in her final days. Perhaps her testimony against her former lover’s cartel will bring her the peace she craves.

Joanna and Aubrey’s paths will crisscross the Capital District’s underworld where they discover how God weaves threads of failure into tapestries of hope.

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau has earned critical acclaim for her heart-warming stories of deliverance and forgiveness. The author now resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband of forty years. Active in her local church, she enjoys playing the occasional round of golf, a common feature in many of her books. Readers may contact the author through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Instagram or visit her website:

More from Linda

Folks ask me why I kept searching for Joanna.

I don’t really see myself as a martyr, self-sacrificing, or even like the prophet Hosea as some have compared me to.

Perhaps I searched so long because Joanna was the only woman I ever truly loved. We met at the Top Notch Lounge when I had stopped in to buy a getaway package for my parents’ twenty-fifth anniversary.

I turned to my friend, Gregg, a private detective, and said, “See that girl over there? I’m going to marry her.

Gregg shook his head “You’re crazy. That broad is nothing but trouble.”

“And you know this, how?”

“Instinct, buddy.”

I left Gregg standing at the reservation desk and walked confidently toward a future that I could only guess. She smiled at me as I approached her table and glanced at her beverage. “Cinnamon tea?” I asked.

I sniffed the scent. Then, it was like an aphrodisiac. Now the aroma makes me nauseous. If I had known then what I know now? Moot question because life rarely offers a mulligan.

Gregg gave me a sign that he’d wait for me at the restaurant.

I sat down next to her. “Aubrey Beaumont.”

“Joanna Curtis.”

We talked, though not about anything of importance. I knew no more about her after an hour than her name and that she’d been deserted by her boyfriend. Yet, I knew I loved her.

“Have you had dinner yet?”

“No. Actually, I haven’t eaten all day. I should keep up my strength. I’m eating for two.”

I suppose most men would be scared away at that point. But something tugged at me. I sensed she didn’t need me—but I needed her, as intoxicating as any drug.

“Why not join me and my friend at the restaurant downstairs.”

Despite Gregg’s loud protests, Joanna and I married two days later. I adopted her unborn daughter, though not of my flesh, a child of my heart. I didn’t know about Joanna’s addiction until the first time she left us. Though she had been to rehab numerous times, she relapsed again and again. The last time she left, I held her note in my hand, my heart sliced by the knowledge she’d not be back.

The intelligent thing would be to let her disappear … what she wanted. I always led with my heart, not common sense. Perhaps why God called me into the ministry after Joanna’s first relapse.

My fruitless search took me into the Capital District where I pastored a church in Silver Spring.  Hope waned … and I even thought I might find love again with a woman named Cynthia. Until Joanna found me and called me to her side.

Fifteen years have passed since she left me the last time. Now, here I stand … face-to-face with reality. Cancer will  take Joanna away forever. What does God require of me now? I can forgive her addiction. But sometimes a wife’s betrayal goes beyond the forgivable –her liaison with Joey Juarez, the worst drug czar in the Washington, D.C. area.

I have every right, scripturally and logically, to divorce her and move on. Yet, that same voice that called me to her so many years ago calls to me now. “Till death part us.”

READER: What would you do if you were Aubrey? How would you advise him?

Q & A with Linda Wood Rondeau

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I’ve always been a hobbyist throughout my childhood and most of my adult life. I won school awards for writing, and enjoyed being a storyteller to the kids I babysat. I even entertained my friends on the school bus by mimicking and storytelling. So, yes. I’ve known I wanted to be a writer all my life. So what stopped me?

My first instinct was to take creative writing in college. Unfortunately, I listened to well-meaning adults who counseled me to prepare for a career that would be more financially beneficial. I had little encouragement from my family, although a high school teacher encouraged me to be a writer as did one of my college professors. Life got in the way of my dreams. Instead of writing, I worked in human services for many years. Perhaps God’s way of preparing me for the type of books he wanted me to write. At age 54, God stepped in. “The time is now.” The road to publication has been hard and bruising. But I never once doubted this is what I’m supposed to be doing at this stage of my life. 

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Many times I heard seasoned writers say, “God’s timing.” Easy enough to say but very hard to trust. I secured an agent early on, but she was unable to land a contract for me until eleven years (to the day) I committed my life to writing. (The Other Side of Darkness/Pelican). I did publish short stories and articles along the way. During that time, I kept writing and had a number of completed manuscripts. Soon after, another publisher wanted to contract several works from me. A few months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I did suffer from chemo brain, a side affect of chemotherapy. God knew I’d need those completed manuscripts to fulfill my contracts. Yes … God’s timing is always perfect. There have been many obstacles. I’ve yet to release a book without stumbling blocks. Satan’s way of trying to convince me God didn’t want me to write. Truth is God is more interested in my spiritual condition than book contracts … yet, he has been my faithful companion in this journey, and the book contracts keep coming. Through this process, I have learned that I’m not called to write … this is a career he’s given me in my quest to spread the good news. I am called to be his child. 

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Seriously? A schedule? I’ve never been able to make one and keep it. By the nature of my life, I cannot assume tomorrow will resemble today in any way shape or form. I do set goals, however, and hope-to-complete tasks. I’m grateful God has given me a flexible personality and a creative mind to “adapt” to surprises. Marketing requires a portion of my brain that doesn’t exist. God makes up for this deficiency in numerous ways. While it’s important to trust, I know I have to put effort and feet into the work. 

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Hosea’s Heart is not my most recent novel. Before I started writing professionally, I worked in the human services field: family services, adult protective services, child protective services, medical services, senior services, and nursing home social services,  as well as hospital social services and as an in-school case manager. All these roles gave me many insights into the spiral of addiction and the profound impact addiction has on those who love the victim of substance abuse. Those who don’t understand are quick to judge and slow to develop compassion … much like my character Gregg Fischer, who hated drug addicts because of his personal loss. I wanted to write a book to show addicts are as much in need of love as anyone and how true love can only be extended through the power of the Holy Spirit. I hoped to show how God’s healing power transcends our failures.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I am pleased to report I have four novels under contract at this time. Actual release dates at this time are uncertain. 

First up is Wolf Mountain Legacy, an Adirondack Romantic Suspense.

A widowed high school history teacher, on leave for mental health problems, is hired as a research assistant by her former lover and college professor, on sabbatical to write a history of Adirondack Railroads. The research begins to unravel the 150-year-old mystery of the death of a railroad tycoon who died as a result of a suspicious fire that destroyed his Wolf Mountain estate. Marci is convinced she and Blake are being followed. But no one sees these people but her.

Second is The Ghosts of Trumball Mansion, a paranormal 

Set between Manhattan and New Haven, Connecticut

A romance writer and her estranged publisher husband spend a summer together in their historic  Connecticut estate. The closer the couple come toward a reconciliation, the more virulent the unexplained “ghosts” become, as if the house is determined to prevent their reunification. 

Third is G.L.I.C.K (a middle-grade science fiction)

Three earth children befriend a stranded alien, a sort of cosmic librarian sent to study Earth’s culture. His name is an acronym for Gatherer of Lore and Intergalactic Cultural Knowledge.

Fourth is Jolly Angel, a contemporary novelette expected to release in October, 2021.

A young women flees her abusive New York City home in hopes of starting a new life in Northern New York only to find her problems are compounded by an unwanted pregnancy.  

Thank you for hosting me today.  

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 17

Susan K. Beatty, Author, March 18 (Author Interview)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 19

Texas Book-aholic, March 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 24 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 25

For Him and My Family, March 26

Inklings and notions, March 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 28

deb’s Book Review, March 29

By The Book, March 30 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 30


To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a book from her Amazon Author page!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Spotlight, Author Interview, and Giveaway! — Dream Again

1 Mar

Dream Again

About The Book

Book:  Dream Again

Author: Ann Marie Bryan

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: August 20, 2020

Ann Marie Bryan - Dream Again - Front CoverOne random day. One burst of laughter. One perfect moment. That’s all it takes for Gianna Barrett to capture Carter McIntosh’s attention—and his heart. His whole life has been a series of miracles, so this falls right in line. If only it were that simple. The object of his desire refuses to give him the time of day. Not deterred, Carter is sure he’s ready to put his heart on the line for love. Big mistake. He isn’t quite prepared and finds himself wrestling a soul-deep hurt into submission.

“There has been an accident….”

That devastating revelation shattered Gianna’s life, and in that one chaotic moment, everything she had was taken away. She has spent years carefully crafting her new normal, so there is no way Carter can just insert himself into her life. The fight is on but not for long. Their attraction is instant, and before she knows it, all her cynicism goes out the door.

When Gianna learns more about Carter’s life, she gets a better understanding of her beginning. As she starts her journey to healing, she uncovers Carter’s startling secret. In the days that follow, she struggles with feelings of regret, fueling her natural tendency to retreat. But the flames of desire burn hot and it’s not easy to break their unexpected connection. As the past reaches for them, they soon realize that to move forward, they must look back. Will they allow God to be the anchor they so desperately need — before it’s too late? For all they ever wanted was to be loved.


Click here to get your copy!


About The Author

Ann Marie Bryan - Author PhotoAnn Marie Bryan is a dedicated multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO and Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire, and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Her celebrated bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, blend faith and romance that test the resilience of love.

Ann Marie’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.


More from Ann Marie

I am super excited that you are a part of this amazing Dream Again tour. I use the words — emotional, inspirational, compelling, and romantic—to describe my writing style. I love to put readers in the heart of the story to give them a chance to think how they would react in similar situations.

It was therapeutic for me to write Dream Again. Last year, my mom passed, so it was a year of grieving and adjusting for me. While I was going through, I decided to write a story about someone who suffered the loss of a parent. I wrapped that experience into a beautiful love story, Dream Again, which gives hope while showing the awesome power of God in the lives of two hurting people.

I hope you will enjoy reading Dream Again as much as I have enjoyed writing it. In this novel, you will witness the incredible transformative power of love in the lives of Carter McIntosh and Gianna Barrett as they lift their faith and develop the courage and tenacity to leave the past behind. Dream Again is laced with love, faith, friendship, and a sense of community, while demonstrating God’s desire to free people from life-altering events. I pray that you will catch a glimpse of God moving through time to secure the future of those He loves.

Thank you for touring with me and for taking the time to read Dream Again. Stay victorious!


Q & A with Ann Marie Bryan

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I’m an author but writing a book was nowhere on my list of things to do. Becoming an author never crossed my mind. However, after I got married, several of my friends and relatives (some living miles away) wanted to know how I met my husband. They knew that I had been single for some time. So, I had to share my love story, repeatedly. Of course, no one wanted to hear the short version of the story.

Six months later, I was stretched out on the sofa at home on a Sunday afternoon, still recounting my love story. After hanging up from my call, it hit me – write a book!

A long deafening pause ensued.

A book! A book!

Every reason not to write this book came to mind. But I knew that I had a story to tell. I also knew that if God called me to write this book, He would equip me and surround me with wonderful Godly helpers. So, like any well-thinking Christian woman, I took the matter to the Lord and felt the peace to proceed with this mission. 

It took me two years to write and publish my first novel, Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along.

Why did you choose Christian Fiction genre?

Currently, I write Christian Fiction Romance. It is a natural fit for me because I’m a Christian and I enjoy reading romantic stories. Above all, I get the wonderful opportunity to show the awesome power of God in the lives of my characters.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

Last year, my mom passed, so it was a year of grieving and adjusting. For me, writing tends to be therapeutic, so I wanted to write a story about someone who suffered the loss of a parent. I wrapped that experience in a beautiful love story, Dream Again, which gives hope while showing the awesome power of God in the lives of two hurting people.

In this novel, readers will witness the incredible transformative power of love in the lives of Carter McIntosh and Gianna Barrett as they lift their faith and develop the courage and tenacity to leave the past behind. Will love bloom? Let the adventure begin.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Dream Again is laced with faith, friendship, and a sense of community, while demonstrating God’s desire to free people from life-altering events. So, I hope readers will be inspired to trust God’s heart.

Importantly, I hope readers will be reminded that love is a beautiful emotion, and it is okay to love passionately, very passionately. However, loving someone is never as easy as we would like it to be. Keep in mind that, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NKJV)

Above all, I pray that readers will recognize that having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ makes a great difference. I’m hoping that this story will encourage readers, not to put God in a box.  God will come through in due season. Sometimes, God takes us out of our comfort zone to stretch us and show us that we can accomplish far more than we think.   

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

On August 20, 2020, I released Dream Again, Book 1 in the McIntosh Brothers series. I’m now writing Book 2 – Love Again. In Love Again, readers will meet Rylan (Ry) McIntosh and Savannah McKenzie, his love interest who disappeared years ago for no good reason. Well, none that Ry could think of. The two reconnected in a bizarre situation that could only have been divinely orchestrated. In a season that would bring many changes, they long for peace… and yearn for love. Will they trust God to overcome the past and find the strength to take a chance at life and love with each other? Stay tuned, Love Again will be available in 2021.



Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 19

Through the Fire Blogs, February 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 21

Susan K. Beatty, Author, February 22 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 23

Inklings and notions, February 24

For Him and My Family, February 25

deb’s Book Review, February 26

Artistic Nobody, February 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

By The Book, March 1 (Author Interview)

Spoken from the Heart, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 2

Pause for Tales, March 3


To celebrate her tour, Ann Marie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Dream Again!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Spotlight And Author Interview — A Worthy Heart

14 Feb

About The Book

Book:  A Worthy Heart

Author: Sara Beth Williams

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: January 9, 2019

Joel Bennett has always known Serena Hayes as his sister’s gregarious best friend. In the three years since Lacey began college, Serena became a regular houseguest, but lately, she’s absent more than not. When Joel discovers she’s in an abusive relationship, protectiveness from within roars to life.

With only a part-time job to support her and nowhere to go, Serena fears leaving her current relationship would jeopardize her chances of graduating college. After a brutal attack leaves her no choice, she courageously moves out. On her journey toward regaining confidence, self-worth, and independence, Joel falls in beside her, encouraging her. The way he emulates Godly love and compassion draws her close–not just to him, but to the God who can satisfy her longing for love better than any man,

Attraction sizzles between them, but events from their pasts cast shadows of doubt. When the unthinkable happens, can Serena open her heart to a second chance at love, or is she destined to be alone?


Click here to get your copy!


About The Author

Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady pit and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. She lives in Northern California. When she’s not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Bookbub and AllAuthor.


More from Sara Beth

Can I tell you a secret? When writing a new manuscript, book titles for me either come immediately, or they take years – literally – to develop into something catchy and strong. A Worthy Heart came to me almost immediately. I had no hesitation, because I knew what I wanted the story’s message to be.

Whereas the titles for my first and third book took over a year of going back and forth, with much indecision, A Worthy Heart resonated perfection.

What do you think makes a strong, unique title? I love titles with double meanings. I felt like A Worthy Heart truly captured both the romantic feel of the storyline, and the spiritual message of the storyline simultaneously. And I absolutely love when that happens!

I truly hope you enjoy Joel and Serena’s story, and I hope you can decipher both meanings in the title. More than that, I hope you take those three words to heart, because those three words are exactly what God believes about every single one of you.

Happy reading,

Sara Beth Williams


Q & A with Sara Beth Williams


BTB — Why did you choose the contemporary Christian romance genre?

Sara Beth Williams — I fell in love with the genre of Christian romance the moment I began reading it in 2012. I had a rough story idea at the time (that is now When Hearts Collide) that straddled the line between YA and adult, which is now called New Adult. The more Christian romance novels I devoured, the more I wanted to write what I was reading. 

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Sara Beth — I had four written rejection letters, and a handful of other publishers who didn’t reply back at all. I spent about 9 months querying before I finally entered a twitter pitch contest called #faithpitch, and that’s where I landed a full manuscript request. 

The year my book was undergoing edits on its way to publication was a very difficult year personally for me. A lot of family tragedy occurred, resulting in my release date being pushed back several times. By the time it finally came, I just wanted it to be done so that I could finally say I had birthed a book baby into the world. And here I am now, at last, ready to publish the third in my series! 

BTB — How long does it usually take to craft your books?

Sara Beth — It depends on the manuscript, honestly. Some manuscripts have taken me years to produce. My first manuscript (When Hearts Collide) was written in four months — but typically I go through 12 or more drafts, yep, not including professional edits by the publishing company. I have beenkeeping track though because it interests me to see which of my stories take longer. So far, my 4th book, which I am pitching to agents at the moment, has taken me the longest in terms of # of drafts. 

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

The third book in my contemporary Christian romance series releases in March 2021! It should be up for pre-order. You can follow me anywhere on social media to find out more. You can visit me on Bookbub and on Amazon to find out the latest.


Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, February 4 (Author Interview)

Rebecca Tews, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 5

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 7

For Him and My Family, February 8

deb’s Book Review, February 9

Inklings and notions, February 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 11

Artistic Nobody, February 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 13

By The Book, February 14 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 15

Happily Managing a House of Boys, February 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 17


To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of A Worthy Heart!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Book Spotlight and Author Interview — Succession

8 Dec

About The Book

Book: Succession

Author: Brett Armstrong

Genre: Christian Epic Fantasy

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Son of the Northern Realm’s Defender, raised among dwarfs of Ordumair, Meredoch was anticipated to succeed his father. Some whispered he would bring the longed-for peace between Ordumair and their ancient foe, Ecthelowall. All of that changes when Ordumair’s Thane is killed and Meredoch and his family are exiled. From prestige to poverty, the young boy must chart a new course.

As the years pass and the idol that was his father’s legacy tarnishes, Meredoch’s past resurfaces. An artifact of immeasurable worth to Ordumair is found. If recovered by the wrong hands, disaster would befall those Meredoch serves and cares about. Battling creatures believed only myths and racing against evil toward the prize, Meredoch must face the truth of his place in the world and claim his right of succession.


Click here to get your copy!


About The Author

From an early age, Brett Armstrong had a love for literature and history. At age nine, he combined the two for his first time in a short story set in the last days of the Aztec Empire. After that, writing’s role in his life waxed and waned periodically, always a dream on the horizon, till he reached college. At West Virginia University, he entered the Computer Engineering program and spent two years pursuing that degree before an opportunity to take a creative writing class, for fun, came along. It was so enjoyable, he took another and in that course he discovered two things. The first was the plot for a short story called Destitutio Quod Remissio, which the others students really seemed to love. The second, he realized he absolutely loved writing. For him, it was like the proverbial light bulb coming on. In the years since, describing that epiphany has been difficult for him, but he found the words of 1924 Olympian Eric Liddell are the most eloquent expression for it: “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” God gave Brett a passion for writing, and so feels His pleasure when writing.

Brett lives in Saint Albans, West Virginia, with his beautiful wife, Shelly. In the summer the pair gardens together, and each day Brett continues writing his next novel.


More from Brett

The Lowlands are on the edge of dramatic changes. In every era, warriors for the High King must rise to keep the light burning and hold back the beasts of the darkness that most believe only myth. But those creatures of lore wait for the nightfall that will allow them to roam free and relish that complacency.

None of the protagonists in the Quest of Fire saga — Anargen, Jason, and, in Succession, Meredoch — realize how great a change is coming. Anargen is from a quiet, little town that has stood unchanged and insular for centuries. Jason has been running from a darkness in his past so long he only looks to his next step, never what’s coming ahead. Meredoch grew up with high hopes for his future, proud of his family’s legacy. In the course of the saga, each faces a moment when what they’d clung to and trusted in fails them. For Anargen it’s his quaint life, Jason self-absorption, and Meredoch his family pride. In losing those things, however, each gains something. The chance to join the ancient Quest of Fire on behalf of the High King of All Realms. There’s a passage in The Gathering Dark that sums it up nicely. “Life is filled with losses full of greater gains.”

What excites me to write and share the Quest of Fire saga is showing through sweeping epic fantasy the way these characters stand firm. Though not the only spiritual theme woven into the stories, both The Gathering Dark and Succession invite readers to journey with these characters to the brink, risking their lives, and find there the greatest gain.


 But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. — Acts 20:24


Q&A with Brett Armstrong

By The Book — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Brett Armstrong — I’m not sure when I first started writing. I do remember very well the first time I wrote a short story that I could call original. I was nine and I had been reading about the Aztec Empire. I don’t know why I thought I should but I started writing a story about a slave from a conquered tribe who escaped being offered as a sacrifice. He wanted revenge and slipped into and rose through the ranks of Aztec society till at last he was poised to strike Emperor himself. I remember making cover art and putting a publishing house name I made up on it, so it would be like a real book. So, I guess that moment where I took what I had read and wrote something new was when I became a writer. It’s a long way from when I decided I would pursue writing seriously instead of just as a personal hobby, but that’s the inflection point I best remember.

BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Brett — There have been many. My mom got me hooked on reading and was my first editor, beta reader, and cheerleader. I had several teachers compliment my writing, but one high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Brock, seemed the most earnest about it. I will say one person who had a huge impact is my wife. There was a period of time in college where I had given up writing, because I thought I needed to be “serious” and “realistic” about my future goals. I was also kind of miserable. My wife, who was then my girlfriend, encouraged me to take some creative writing classes for fun and when I did the difference in how I felt was such a stark contrast that I realized writing, to whatever degree of skill or quality, was something I was made to do. I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t encouraged me to take those classes.

BTB — Why did you choose fantasy genre?

Brett  — This might sound like high art nonsense, but I feel like a story chooses its genre for you. The characters, setting, and events of the story all have to complement one another. Certain characters should only realistically exist in a certain world and were shaped by certain events. The events of the story further shape the characters and the characters the events, with the setting constraining what can and can’t happen. 

By the time I have one scene really fleshed out in my head, I usually have a strong sense of what genre the story will be in because of the way the story is unfolding. For Quest of Fire, high/epic fantasy just seemed right for the way history and storytelling itself had to participate in the way events unfolded. Fantasy is an ancient genre in some ways so a story that needed to feel like it spanned centuries and united such different protagonists (Anargen and Jason), felt like it had to be something that has been with and inspired and excited people for ages.

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Brett — Myself mostly. My naiveté, arrogance, self-doubt, ignorance, and over-eagerness for publishing really almost wrecked me. The Lord has really kind of had to take the reins from me a few times to show me that the way I had planned things and do still sometimes isn’t what he had in mind and that I need to develop more patience and discipline and to not have a thin skin about this. I’ve learned a lot through my mistakes but the early ones really hurt and I’m sometimes stubborn about learning my lessons.

BTB — What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

All of the above, though not necessarily all for every book. I tend to write about things I already have a pretty solid background in, because those are the things I read and think about and get inspiration from and around. That’s a big help and then I read more books, online articles, and look over a lot of images. For fantasy stories it’s about finding something real to ground the fantastical around. If it feels real, even if the circumstances are crazy then the story world comes to life. I’ve been asked about my visits to places I’ve never been physically and a lot of that has to do with finding something that will anchor the story to reality and then building the backdrop around it.

 BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Brett — I’m not very structured at all. Abysmally distant from it in fact. Part of it is I’m a procrastinator and the other part is I work full time as the infectious disease data manager for my state to support my family and I try not to take away from the family time I have in evenings. Finding a steady writing rhythm is tricky, especially with the increase in hours and stress COVID has brought to my work. So, during break times and late nights I’ll jot down notes as they hit me and flesh them out and over time work them together.

BTB — How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

Brett — It depends on a few factors so there’s a pretty wide range. The biggest thing is how long the story takes to reach a place where the story feels ready. The Gathering Dark took more than a decade and Succession took about a year. My other books fall somewhere in between those extremes. Part of it is circumstantial. At different times of year and over the years I’ve had more or less time to focus on getting a particular story finished and a lot of the time is waiting till I’ve found the right publisher and the publisher feels like it’s the right time to release. Like I said before, patience is something I have to work on so I’m usually not a huge fan of those long waits, but they’re invariably worth it. If I had to give a discrete average figure, I would say three years.

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Brett — Succession started as an outlet for the growing lore of the Lowlands in the Quest of Fire saga. There were so many things about Ord culture and history that had to be cut from The Gathering Dark. Some of the Ord histories were really compelling to me and gave significance to both elements throughout the books in the series. At the same time, I wanted to explore one character in particular from The Gathering Dark. For those who have read that book, Meredoch, of course, goes by a different name for most its events.

I’ve known parts of Meredoch’s backstory for years as I worked on book 1, but one scene really made me pause. In Chapter 15 of The Gathering Dark, Meredoch is riding through the woods singing a sorrowful song. At the time of writing that scene, the song was meant to give depth to another character’s suffering, but as I started to piece together what brought that song to Meredoch’s mind in that moment, Succession suddenly became much more than a character exercise or outlet for world-building and lore.

Forgiveness is at the core of Succession. It’s the fulcrum on which the pressures Meredoch endures will cause his rise or fall. I didn’t realize until I was getting caught up in its writing how hard Meredoch’s life had been and thus how hard that choice to forgive would be. Choosing it would mean letting go of bitterness that was mutually held. Those he hated wouldn’t stop hating him. Choosing to forgive in that way is really a reflection of Christ’s forgiveness and love. Once I saw that the story started to weave together for me.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Brett — I would feel really satisfied if at the end of each book readers felt moved. I hope my stories resonate deeply and for followers of Christ encourage them and renew the wonder and awe they have for the awesome God we belong to and serve. Life has a way of dulling our perception of Him. We see everything in a mirror darkly, as the Apostle Paul said, and I feel like Western culture does a good job of distracting us from the mirror altogether. My sincere prayer is that after reading the adventures of Quest of Fire, readers would catch the fiery and wondrous vision afresh and be encouraged to stand firmly in the faith. Entertaining and exciting readers is definitely a priority, but what I want most is to share a compelling story that readers can see themselves in and carry with them long after the last page.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Brett — Thank you for asking. I always appreciate the chance to share what’s ahead because that’s what I’m usually most excited about! Right now, I’m finishing the latest draft of a historical fiction novella set in 4th Century AD Rome about three men — a coward, a traitor, and a spy — caught up in a web of political intrigue that threatens to destroy the church in Rome during a time of persecution. It’s a story I’ve picked up and put down multiple times over the years and is really close to done.

I’m also working slowly but surely to have the next Quest of Fire novel, Shadows at Nightfall, ready for its release date in September of 2021. Some elements of the story have been with me for a long time and some are fresh so I’m super excited for sharing this one soon. Jason and Anargen are going to have to face darkness that is within them and literal manifestations of the darkness without particularly from a society of arcane assassins called the Sombra who can merge in and out of shadows at will. For those who enjoy The Gathering Dark and Succession it’s going to be tragic and sweeping and intense ride.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 3

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 4 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, December 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 7

By The Book, December 8 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 8

Texas Book-aholic, December 9

Artistic Nobody, December 10 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Stories By Gina, December 11

deb’s Book Review, December 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 12

Guild Master, December 13

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 14


To celebrate his tour, Brett is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, bookmarks, and a magnet themed around Brett’s books!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Author, Author! — Linda Thompson

3 Dec

I was introduced to Linda Thompson‘s writing last year when I read The Plum Blooms in Winter. Wow, was I blown away by this excellent WWII-era novel that has two protagonists — a US airman and a Japanese young woman. Set in China and Japan during and after the war, the novel was moving and insightful. It is definitely a must-read. Linda’s sequel The Mulberry Leaf Whispers releases this month, and I cannot wait to read it! Linda joins us today to take us on her writing journey. Thanks, Linda!

By The Book — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Linda — I have always been a reader, and as a marketing professional in technology, I wrote a great deal — of technical literature. But my fiction writing journey has been a bit backwards as compared with many other authors I know. I didn’t decide to write, then go looking for the story. The story found me and begged me to write it! 

My husband, an avid military history buff, handed me a history book one day. He had it open to the true story that ultimately inspired my debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter. 

There needs to be a book about that. I knew that instantly. But there was a lot of time and prayer involved before I concluded the Lord was calling me to write that book. And honestly, I had no idea what would be involved! If I’d known, I’m not sure I would have ventured it.

BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Linda — My parents taught me to love reading, and to appreciate the magic and the beauty in the right words. My husband is a big reader and has been a wonderful supporter of my author journey. My kids are proud of me and have cheerfully put up with a certain degree of healthy neglect! But I’m sure I would have foundered if I hadn’t found a wonderful online fiction writing course, which led me to an awesome coach / mentor and a strong critique group. Writers really need each other! 

BTB — Why did you choose the historical fiction genre?

Linda — Easy enough — it’s what I’ve loved to read as long as I can remember. I’ve always relished a book that picked me up and carried me off to a world I couldn’t visit on my own. So my reading has always leaned toward either historical novels or fantasy. And when I started writing, I was more confident that I could research a compelling world than that I could invent one, so . . . historical won out over fantasy.

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Linda — I have the same story every published author does of stacks of rejections. You have to put your thick skin on for this journey. What pulled me through was believing that the Lord had called me on this path, and that the story He’d given me was worth telling. No matter how many rewrites it took to tell it well!

My biggest challenge right now is that I’m not a fast writer. I tend to really auger into the research because I want to get the details right, and I want to look at the issues from multiple perspectives to examine some of the real-world complexities of the history. I spent seven years writing my first novel, and three years writing my second. The expectation that authors will bring out a new novel each year, while simultaneously serving as their own marketing departments, graphic artists, and website admins has just about pulled me under!

BTB — What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

Linda — Yes, lots of books. I often find myself ordering used books that are out of print, because the topics I need to explore can be pretty far off the beaten path! I have done some site visits and interviews as well. Those were very impactful.

I sure wish a research trip to Japan fit in my budget! I spent some time there in my corporate life but I haven’t visited the specific regions I write about. I would love to visit Kyushu, the island where a big portion of The Mulberry Leaf Whispers is set. It looks fascinating!

I’m sure Google is every historical author’s bread and butter today. You can find an incredible wealth of resources if you’re a determined “Google-ista.” For Mulberry, one of the most rewarding research experiences I had was when I worked on a scene set in 1948 Havana. With Google maps, you can virtually walk the streets of a place. And since, sadly, Havana hasn’t changed much since Castro, I was really able to use Google maps to put myself in the scene! Another place I’d love to visit! Now there’s an occupational hazard. 😊 

 BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Linda — I’ve always been an early riser, but my precise schedule varies based on the season. I’m a devoted afficionado of dawn and dusk, so I usually take some time for Bible study and prayer during the hour before sunrise. This time of year, I’m typically at my desk well before 5:30 a.m., with a break at dawn. 

I am a firm believer in the power of a nap!

My author-ing days are pretty long. Honestly, I worked hard in the corporate world, but I find I working even harder as an underpaid author!

BTB — How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

Linda — LOL. I haven’t arrived at a “usually” yet. At least I hope not — I hope three years isn’t going to be “my usual.”

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Linda — There is a key character in The Plum Blooms in Winter who goes dark for a number of years. So his “lost years” were crying to be explored, weren’t they? Also, I confess I was itching to try a “time slip” novel. The challenge of writing two stories, each compelling in their own right, that ultimately knit together in a way that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts was something I felt eager to try my hand at. 

I’ve learned to expect God to show up when I’m writing. When I started The Mulberry Leaf Whispers, I didn’t know what would weave the two stories together. Three hundred years is a huge abyss of time to bridge! But just at the point where I was starting to despair as to whether my story concept would work, the Lord gave me the answer. That is the amazing aspect of writing for Him!

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

You may have noticed that I don’t write about light topics! Although I hope my books are entertaining, entertainment is not my ultimate goal. My goal is to portray a BIG God, at work in a BIG way, seeking and saving and redeeming even through the darkest circumstances imaginable. I want my readers to come away heartened that no matter how dark the times, evil doesn’t win.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

At this point, I’m not sure. My first two novels were set in the 1940s in Asia. I love the time period and I’m contemplating a new series set in the 1940s in Israel. But now that I have an understanding of how big an investment a novel is, I’m really waiting on the Lord to speak to me. The author’s life is definitely not a retirement!


Thanks, Linda, for sharing with my readers!


Linda Thompson stepped back from a corporate career that spanned continents to write what she loves — stories of unstoppable faith. Her debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter, is an A.C.F.W. Genesis contest winner and a finalist for FOUR 2019 awards: a Carol Award, the Independent Book Award in two categories, and a Cascade Award. Linda writes from the sun-drenched Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, a third-generation airline pilot who doubles as her Chief Military Research Officer, two mostly-grown-up kids, and a small platoon of housecats. When Linda isn’t writing, you’ll find her rollerblading — yes, that does make her a throwback — taking in a majestic desert moonrise, or dreaming of an upcoming trip. She and her husband recently returned from tours of Israel, Jordan, and Wales.


The Plum Blooms in Winter

A Prostitute Seeks Her Revenge

In 1942, Miyako Matsuura cradled her little brother as he died on the sidewalk, a victim of the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. By 1948, the war has reduced her to a street-hardened prostitute consumed by her shame.

A WWII Hero Finds His True Mission

Dave Delham makes military aviation history piloting a B-25 in the audacious Doolittle Raid. Forced to bail out over occupied China, he and his crew are captured by the Japanese and survive a harrowing P.O.W. ordeal.

In 1948, he returns to Japan as a Christian missionary, determined to showcase Christ’s forgiveness. Convinced that Delham was responsible for the bomb that snuffed out her brother’s life, Miyako resolves to restore her honor by avenging him — even if it costs her own life. But the huntress soon becomes hunted in Osaka’s treacherous underworld. Miyako must outmaneuver a ruthless brothel owner, outwit gangs with competing plans to profit by her, and overcome betrayal by family and friends — only to confront a decision that will change everything.


The Mulberry Leaf Whispers

1587. Bartered off in a peace agreement to the ancient enemies of her illustrious house, is Sono a war prize, a hostage, or a bride? One hope sustains her. If she can provide an heir to the dashing husband she just met, she’ll ensure decades of peace for the beloved family she was forced to leave behind. But when a dark secret threatens her desperate bid to purchase their security, she must rise to a battle she never dreamed she’d fight.

1942. Akira Matsuura’s naval vessel explodes under enemy fire. Everything he has lived for disappears in flames with it. His command, his crew, his future — all lost. Worse, his honor is eternally decimated. A prisoner’s life is of value to no one. Least of all to himself. But a stunning twist reveals his family’s secret shame. Can a long-buried truth provide the vital spark that reignites his will to live?

Thrill to two poignant journeys of courage, duty, and sacrifice, deftly woven through the centuries to inspire with dynamic faith that conquers despair.



Author Interview And Book Spotlight — Widowhood

14 Sep

About The Book

Book:  widowhood

Author: Mary Bruce

Genre:  Personal Growth

Release Date: May 12, 2020

A woman may have many names and many titles, but “widow” is not necessarily one she plans for. And when the unexpected happens, she is thrust into the role of being the captain of her ship, the decision-maker, and the one solely responsible for the direction of her and her family’s future. The emotions a widow experiences as she faces her life from this new position of aloneness are as varied and unique as each widow is. But what all widows share is a calling to be a leader in the midst of the chaos of the death of their husbands.

In Widowhood: A Calling to Leadership, Mary Bruce encourages widows to embrace their new role with hope and to unashamedly rely on the resources God provides to sustain them through his Spirit and through his body, the church. She illuminates for church leaders how to direct and mentor widows in their church families and how to provide these women with opportunities to express their new God-given calling of leadership.

This book will give you a fresh perspective on widowhood. It will help widows to see the energy they possess as fuel for godly leadership, and it will help church leaders to see their widows as esteemed gifts instead of burdens.


Click here to get your copy!


About The Author

Mary Bruce is a registered nurse, a former homeschooling mother, and a widow since the weekend before 9/11. Born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut, she still resides there and works as an associate pastor. In the early 1990s, she initiated a grassroots movement to pray in Connecticut on the National Day of Prayer. Since then she has served as a state coordinator for the National Day of Prayer Task Force and is currently its National Area Leader for the nine northeast states.


More from Mary

Have you ever wanted to wake up one morning with a new start, a brand new start?

I can say that, during the 2001/2002 school year, for 360 of 365 days that is exactly what I learned to do, wake up with a new start. Mine was the school of hard knocks.   After 9/11, there were many of us who found ourselves on a daily automatic wake-up call before sunrise. No alarm clock was involved. Perhaps it was the stress of a new start for so many.  It’s not like we went to bed super early so we could wake up early.  Sleeping just wasn’t the same.


For me, by the time daylight started , I was already sitting on the steps of our back porch, waiting to greet the day, watching the eastern skies over the 5 acre mowed field behind our house.  Each morning I would grab a cup of coffee, my journal, a pen and my Bible, wrap myself in winter coat and blankets and sit there waiting: waiting on the sunrise, acknowledging the earth’s stillness, waiting for some revelation from God or insight into my own life situation. It was not a worrisome time, that came later in the day.  It was just a sitting and waiting time. Even my reading would have to wait until the dawn’s early light grew sufficient to see the print.  There was nothing to interrupt, to distract from that alone time of solitude and meditation.

Then, like a shot in the dark, the 7am bell would ring out from high school across the street, a roar of automobile sounds would drift over the house, and the magic quiet spell would be broken.


In those early moments, I saw things I had been too busy to notice before.  In spring, I watched fog roll over the field, literally roll on the grass from east to west, from the field to the road.  In summer, I noticed nearly a whole year of early mornings without pouring rain. Pouring rain was my only hindrance to sitting outside.  In autumn, I saw a female doe pulling apples off the low branches and her 3 young charges dancing on hind legs trying to reach the apples. In winter, I realized that I could sit out in freezing weather, when I did not even like to walk from the house to the car in the cold. I learned to take the outward opening storm door off before the snow fell, so that I could just open the inside door and step out.  I said, “Good morning”  to the Maker of the universe as my first spoken words of the day.


I don’t think I was alone.  2001 was a hard year for many widows.  I was fortunate to spend each start of the day with the Maker, appreciating his faithfulness, which is new every morning –  a new start.  “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”  NLT Lam. 3:23


Q&A with Mary Bruce

BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this? 

Mary — I realized this upon the publication of this first book.  I’ve been writing for years, in personal journals, in letters, in policies and procedure books, in educational materials for Bible studies, but until this publication, I could not claim the name “author”.

BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Mary — When I was age 22, a nursing supervisor asked me to write out my 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, 20 year and 50 year goals.  This started me thinking about collecting stories, descriptions, incidents which became journal entries.  Another inspiration was a soldier during the revolutionary war who wrote home to his wife that without Jesus, they would not be alive.  He wrote that personal letter to his wife over 100 years ago, and it was included in a historical publication passed on to new people coming into the town.   

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Mary — I was working full time as an associate pastor to a moderately large church, serving a national ministry as a regional coordinator for nine states, and working as a nurse for our local daycare.  These other commitments demanded much time and energy.

BTB — What types of research did you pursue?

Mary — For this book, I researched other books about widows and grief.

BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal inyour writing schedule? 

Mary — I have had to be structured due to my heavy responsibilities.  I have currently moved from the northeast to the mid-south and no longer carry those same responsibilities.  My schedule now is to study, research and write mornings, and some afternoons.

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your book? 

Mary — I was inspired by the complaints of church leaders about the lack of leadership material within the church and my recognition of the leadership qualities all widows have.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishingWidowhood: A Calling to Leadership?

Mary — For widows: a sense of camaraderie knowing they are not alone in the feelings they think or experience, for church leaders: a deeper understanding of ways to help widows develop their leadership skills.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Mary — Yes, I have two children’s books in the works: one on loss and one about my new cat, which my 9 year old grand-daughter is helping with.  

BTB — Anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Mary — I have just relocated from New England to the mid-south. I enjoy prayer-walking, praying with others for our nation, and piano worship with a team.


Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 5

Beauty in the Binding, September 6 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, September 7

Through the Fire Blogs, September 8 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 9

For the Love of Literature, September 10 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

For Him and My Family, September 12

Simple Harvest Reads, September 13 (Author Interview)

By The Book, September 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 14

Artistic Nobody, September 15 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 18



To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

A Season to Dance Scavenger Hunt! — September 11-24

10 Sep

About The Book

Book: A Season to Dance

Author: Patricia Beal

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: May 6, 2017

Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

About The Author

Patricia writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. She is a Genesis Award semi-finalist, First Impressions finalist, and the author of A Season to Dance and Desert Willow (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2017 and 2020). She writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Visit her at for more.

More from Patricia Beal

When I wrote the first line of my first novel in January of 2011, I wanted to get published because I was desperate to feel important.

I finished writing A Season to Dance that fall and hired coach Gloria Kempton via Writer’s Digest to look at the whole thing and tell me if it was any good.

She saw potential in the story of a small-town professional ballerina with big dreams, but explained I needed a clearer quest, more telling details, better scene structure, and better balance between sequels and dramatic scenes. I joined Gloria’s critique group and spent a year rewriting.

During that year, my husband got orders to move the family from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Germany, and he deployed for the sixth time soon after we settled on a lovely mountaintop in Idar-Oberstein.

When I finished rewriting, Gloria said the novel looked good and had everything a novel was supposed to have. But… “Something’s still missing. I don’t know what it is. We’ve covered it all.”

So of course I did what any writer desperate for validation would do. I told my coach that surely nothing was missing and that it was time to query. I hired a service to blast queries everywhere for me. I know… Shame on me… But God used that.

God’s Plan — Phase One

One query ended up with Mrs. Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary. The novel wasn’t Christian—I wasn’t a Christian. She shouldn’t have received my query. But she did. She sent me a note saying she liked the storyline but that in Christian novels the protagonist couldn’t live with her love interest without being married. She was very kind and said that if she was missing the point and if the novel was indeed Christian that I should resubmit explaining the living together piece.

When I read it I laughed and rolled my eyes. I started typing a condescending reply. Something about Christian fairy tale brains and me living in the real world, but I decided not to send it.

Days passed. A week passed. A month passed. And all I did was collect rejections. I became bitter. Bitterly sad at first. Then bitterly discouraged. And then bitterly ugly. I’d never been ugly before. Not like that.

See, up to that point, I’d believed that there was some kind of “god” and that somewhere, somehow, being good was right and that it paid off. But with the disappointments of the publishing journey those beliefs became a joke to me. I stood in the middle of my empty German kitchen—husband deployed, kids at school, my first dog had just died. And I looked at that inbox full of rejections and stated to whomever or whatever was out there: “God is dead.”

Mercy. Surely I said that to the “god” of my imagination, and not to the real God—God as He reveals Himself in the Bible. But I know that He was in that kitchen with me. And phase two of His plan was about to start.

Luke 22:31-32: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

God’s Plan — Phase Two

As I lost all restraint and became the worst version of myself, God removed me from my green German mountaintop.

After less than eighteen months in Germany, we were sent back to America, to the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. To a place called Fort Bliss—a place from which you can see a Mexican mountain with the words: “Cd. Juárez. La Biblia es la verdad. Leela.” That translates to “City of Juárez. The Bible is the truth. Read it.” Gotta love it. God is good.

During the first six months back in America, I went to two secular writers’ conferences and met more rejection. My lack of restraint and my selfishness didn’t really make me happy. I wanted to go to therapy. I wanted a job. I still dreamed of that book deal that had to be just around the corner. I wanted, I wanted…

But nothing happened, and it didn’t matter how hard I tried to get help, get happy, and find any kind of relief for the pain I felt. Nothing. Happened. I’d never seen so many closed doors—slammed-shut doors—ever in my life. Even the shrink kept double booking, closing early, and somehow cancelling on me. It was ridiculous.

The One Open Door

When God planted our family in the desert, He planted us two blocks from a friend from the Fort Benning years. A friend whose claim to fame was church shopping whenever the Army moved her family. I asked her to take me to church on the first Wednesday of January of 2013.

I fell in His arms. Surrendered, defeated, and dependent. Or what God likes to call—ready. I was born again two weeks later and was baptized on Super Bowl Sunday that February.

Gloria’s “Something Missing”

I had tickets to go to New York for the Writer’s Digest conference that spring, but sometime in March, it dawned on me: “You silly goose of a girl. You wrote a salvation story without the salvation piece.” My first coach, Gloria Kempton, had been right all along. There was something missing!

A Season to Dance isn’t just the story of a small-town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York and the two men who love her. It’s also the story of a girl desperately trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with often misguided career and romantic pursuits.

I deleted Mrs. Hart’s email that week. Yes, it was still in my inbox. Job well done, Mrs. Hart.

Now, I had work to do. I spent 2013 and the first half of 2014 rewriting the novel. Five ladies from my Sunday school read chapter after chapter as I produced them and cheered me on through that gruesome process. I couldn’t have done it without their support. God is good.

Jeff Gerke edited my novel in the summer of 2014 and had me read Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes. God is good.

I went to my first Christian writers conference, the ACFW 2014 in St. Louis. Two weeks later, Les Stobbe offered to represent me. God is good.

ACFW 2015 was fantastic and many houses are looking at that first manuscript. God is good.

My family got saved, too. My husband in July of 2013. Our son in December of 2013. My mom in the fall of 2014. And our little girl just this past summer, the summer of 2015. God is amazingly good.

Q&A with Patricia Beal

BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Patricia — The desire to write a novel came about 35 years ago, when as a teenage girl back home in Brazil, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist touched my heart. I wanted to do that to people, touch their hearts with a simple story that had something to say about the human condition. 

Now, the first time I saw myself as a fiction writer, was much later. That happened during a writers’ meeting at the Barnes & Noble in Columbus, Georgia, about ten years ago. 

Here’s that story –

Someone once told me that getting a book published was like shooting the moon. “What are you really going to do with the rest of your life?”

That conversation bothered me, but I started writing a novel anyway. 

When I took the first chapter of A Season to Dance – fresh out of my head and hot off my cheap printer – to my Barnes & Noble writing group, I asked the leader to read it to the group for me (my accent is something else). As she did, I saw a box of motivational cards on a shelf behind her. It read: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars…”

That hard-to-please group loved my first chapter guys, and I’d received a sign. Yay! Cinderella story, right? I felt like a writer. Big time. 

Now, two years later the novel hadn’t gone far. I stand corrected. It’d gone far – just not successfully. In the summer of 2012, the novel was rejected in three different continents in the same week.

Then Jesus passed by. 

Six months later I was born again and realized that for two years I’d been writing my own salvation story. The novel wasn’t working yet because it was missing a layer. It was more than the story of a ballerina with big dreams and dreamy suitors. It’s about a young woman trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with misguided career and romantic pursuits. 

The bad news was that the rewrite would be lengthy and painful. God gave me people who encouraged me through the fourteen months of labor, and the work got done. He gave me something else too. A Cadillac commercial that remined me of the moon sign – a reminder of where we’d been, and where we were going.

In the commercial, a kid is riding with his dad. It’s dark. There’s nothing to be seen anywhere. Suddenly you start hearing lunar landing audio:

“We are now in the approach phase–everything looking good.”
“Velocity twelve hundred feet per second.”
“You are looking great to us, Eagle.”
“Two thousand feet.”

A big moon shows up at the end of the road. Dad’s hands are strong on the wheel. The kid and Dad exchange an expectant look.

“Still looking very good.”
“Fourteen hundred feet.”

Dad goes faster. The music gets bigger. The moon gets bigger.

Narrator: “Funny thing happens when you shoot for the moon.”
Lunar landing audio: “That’s affirmative.”
Narrator: “You get there.”
Lunar landing audio: “You are GO for landing–over.”

Here’s the commercial: 

I love sharing that story because I think it’s so important to celebrate our miracles, share them and remember…

If you’re paralyzed by fear today, be free from it. Do you write? Are you doubting your calling? Most of us do. Don’t let that stop you. God already knows most of us feel that way. 

I love this conversation between Jesus and a dad who asks for help for his possessed child: Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:23-24).

God can handle our tendency to believe and not believe at the same time. He’s not surprised. Ask Him for help, like this Bible dad did. He got his miracle. You’ll get yours. Believe. Keep working. Let me be your shoot-for-the-moon box of cards today. Do it. Shoot for the moon! Write that book. Pitch. Submit. Rewrite. Repeat. Get published. 

BTB — What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

Patricia — On-site visits whenever possible. It’s like I see the characters. All I have to do is write down what I observe. 

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Patricia — Redemption. Redemption. Redemption. My name is Patricia Beal, and I write beauty-for-ashes stories 😊

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV) 


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Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Good And Faithful Servant

10 Sep

good and faithful servant-banner

About The Book:

Book:  Good And Faithful Servant

Author: Wes Daughenbaugh

Genre:  Non-fiction, leadership

Release Date: July, 2020

Good & Faithful ServentThe greatest need in the body of Christ today is for spiritual leadership training, and the first law of spiritual leadership is that you are not the leader—the Holy Spirit is! If you follow him, you will lead many to righteousness.

Veteran pastor Wes Daughenbaugh, a Christian leader for nearly fifty years and author of five books, presents a wealth of spiritual wisdom designed to help Christian leaders develop skills for true godly leadership.

Key topics:

The differences between secularized leadership and spiritual leadership.

How to avoid using people to obtain a secularized vision and instead have God’s vision for the individuals you are leading.

How to have influence with God (power in prayer).

The importance of spiritual warnings.

Seven ways to live in Christlike character virtues.

Over sixty professional drawings to help you “see” spiritual truths.

If you long for intimacy with God and want your life to glorify Jesus, you’ll find Good and Faithful Servant to be a comprehensive, timely resource to help you be a Spirit-led servant of Jesus Christ and his church.


Click here to get your copy!


About The Author

Wes D. PhotoMulti-published author Wes Daughenbaugh understands pastors and church leadership. He has served forty-six years in ministry as associate pastor, lead pastor, and traveling teacher-evangelist, preaching in fifty US states and several foreign countries. With the gift of teaching, Wes turns complex truths into easy-to-remember illustrations for leaders and readers. Ordained with the Oregon Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, Wes lives with his wife, Bonnie, in western Oregon. They have two daughters, three grandsons, and one granddaughter. Learn more at


More from Wes



During my many years in the ministry I’ve tried to feed my leadership gift with books on leadership but I never bonded with them. They were so dry. Then never talked about being rich in God, how to get supernatural faith, have a dynamic prayer life or live in the power of the Spirit. I finally decided I just must not be a leader but only a “teacher.”  During those years I “led” thousands to Christ and led thousands more into forgiveness and lessons in Christ-like maturity.       Two years ago I began to pray earnestly that God would restore spiritual POWER to the American Church. Then to my surprise, God strongly impressed me to write a book on SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP and gave me the title and subtitle.  The book gushed out of me in eight days of writing and I’ve spent the last year and a half perfecting the copy and getting the sixty plus drawings finished.  This book has the leadership lessons the Holy Spirit personally taught me.  They are not DRY.  You’ll find God’s presence in this book.  It will teach you how to be a great follower of the real LEADER of the church, the Holy Spirit.


ONE MORE THING:  These lessons are for every Christian.  We don’t need titles and positions to be spiritual leaders.  Just desire to “lead many to righteousness” by being a great follower of the Holy Spirit.  God will use YOU to bring “massive glory” to His name.


Q&A with Wes Daughenbaugh


BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this.

Wes — I started writing serial stories when I was in grade school and students would sometimes stay inside during recess to hear my next episode.  But when I was twenty-three I said to God, “I love you so much I wish I could put myself in that copy machine and make thousands of me to serve you all over the world.”  God spoke instantly and firmly, “DO IT!”  Every tract, booklet, audio CD, DVD, and book is a “copy of me.” I’ve been writing these things for forty-seven years.

BTB — What types of research did you pursue?

Wes — I’ve read many leadership books and “success” books.  My content for my book on spiritual leadership, however, came from the thousands of hours of listening to the Bible, reading it, or studying it with the aid of a computer.  My content also comes from hearing directly from God on a number of occasions and from living my entire adult life under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your book.

Wes — During the 18 years I pastored a church I’d often listen to leadership teachings, read leadership books, and sometimes go to leadership seminars.  But try as I may, I just couldn’t get excited about any of it.  It bored me.  I finally decided that I must not be a “leader” but only a teacher and evangelist.

During my 47 years in the ministry I’ve led thousands to Christ, led thousands of people into forgiveness, taught thousands to be effective in prayer, and led thousands into intimate experiences with the Holy Spirit.  But I didn’t consider myself  a “leader.”

A little more than two years ago I began to grieve over the powerless state of the American church.  I told God I would like to become a living prayer for a restoration of spiritual power in His churches.  

During a special series of meetings in Vermont I preached THE WAY BACK TO SPIRITUAL POWER.  We experienced a strong move of the Holy Spirit and a prophetic lady told me God was giving me a “trumpet.”

A few days after that I got up one morning and God clearly commissioned me to write an impassioned book on SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP.  I realized that the reason I hadn’t bonded with other leadership training was because most of it was secularized, unplugged from the Holy Spirit, the true Leader of the Church.

The book gushed out of me in eight days. Then I spent a year and a half carefully going over every word as well as thinking up the illustrations and getting my artist to adjust them to perfection.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing Good And Faithful Servant?

Wes — What I want readers to take away with them after finishing GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT—A Trumpet Call To Return To Spiritual Leadership. I want all my readers to put into practice these lessons because they are for every believer. We are all called to FOLLOW THE LEADER and bear spiritual fruit.  I want the readers to desire to be used of God, to bring Him “massive glory” and become spiritual “door openers for God.”  I’m praying that my book will be part of a great world-wide move of God that raises up powerful and godly spiritual leaders for an international revival that precedes the return of Jesus Christ.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Wes — I want to write a book called FREE INDEED — A Checklist For Spiritual Liberty. This book will have about 30 great individual lessons about how to live and walk in the Kingdom of God.  It will major on revealing Christ and minor on exposing the devil.  It will help you major on worship and minor on spiritual warfare.

BTB — Anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Wes — GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT will become a full curriculum with a DVD set of me teaching through it, along with a Teacher’s Guide (E-book) and a fillable Student Workbook (also an E-book).  My delight would be for many of you to not only read it but to TEACH IT so that you use it to train and raise up true spiritual leaders.

I believe the need for spiritual leaders is the GREATEST NEED in the world, and there are surely many needs.  To say that anything is the GREATEST NEED is quite a statement.  Nevertheless, it is true.  There is no greater need than the need for hundreds of thousands of true spiritual leaders to be raised up.


Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 9

By The Book, September 10 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 10

Inklings and notions, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 13 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 14

For the Love of Literature, September 15 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 15

For Him and My Family, September 16

Artistic Nobody, September 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 19

Through the Fire Blogs, September 20 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21


To celebrate his tour, Wes is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Top 10 Tuesday — Author Interviews

25 Aug

I have been blessed over the years in opportunities to meet fantastic authors. It’s always a thrill to interact with writers either face to face or via email and social media. In the ten plus years I have been blogging, I have interviewed a number of my favorites, and since I am not as creative as them I have a stock list of questions. For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday I decided to highlight the answers authors gave to my number one question — When did you know you were a writer? I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into their writing journeys. And to see the rest of the interviews, just click on the author’s name.

For more author info/interviews, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.  


When did you first become a writer?


Pepper Basham author of The Red Ribbon (October 2020)

I feel like I’ve always been a storyteller, but I didn’t start ‘writing’ down those stories until I was about 7 or 8. I actually still have a story I wrote and illustrated from when I was 9. Poorly illustrated . . . it was pretty clear writing was more my forte than drawing (especially from the sizes of the noses on my poor people I drew 😉 .



Lori Benton author of Mountain Laurel (September 2020)

I’ve always been a writer, making up stories as a child. Really! I was in the third grade and already a voracious reader when my best friend said out of the blue, “I wrote a story.” She showed it to me, and I was instantly intrigued. Could I write a story? It was an epiphany. I wrote a story. And never really stopped. But one day I decided to get more serious about it (I was about 21 by this time) and see if I could write a novel and maybe (if I could figure out how one did so) get it published. That novel, which I did finish, wasn’t published. Nor the one I wrote after that. It was quite a few years later (22 years in fact) before my debut novel Burning Sky reached store shelves. 



Kimberly Duffy author of A Mosaic of Wings

I wrote my first story at the age of eleven. It was about an inchworm. When I was twelve I wrote my first romance — about a girl who gets stuck in an elevator with her celebrity crush. And I really haven’t stopped writing since. Before I began writing, though, I loved stories and words and daydreams. 



Rachel Dylan of Backlash (October 2020)

I think I have always been a writer. As a child, I was a voracious reader. I gobbled up books left and right. I started writing stories and poems in elementary school. Everyone in high school assumed I was going to become an English professor. It didn’t turn out quite like that, but writing has always been a part of who I am.



Camille Eide author of Wings Like A Dove

Age 7. I wrote and illustrated my first novel. It was about Snoopy. I don’t remember it, but am fairly certain it wasn’t a bestseller.



Heather Day Gilbert of No Filter, Barks And Beans Cafe mystery series

From the time I was about four, I loved words and reading. I won a writing contest in fifth grade . . . but I didn’t realize I was a writer until I was about twelve. We came back from an ocean trip and I sat on the porch and wrote a poem . . . and Boom! It hit me — I was a writer. I promptly shared this epiphany with my mom and my grandma, and they were duly impressed. LOL. That’s not to say I launched into an immediate writing career trajectory. Goodness knows I entertained plenty of other majors in college, though I wound up with a degree in Humanities that focused on literature and writing.



Jocelyn Green author of Veiled in Smoke

My first book was writing captions in my Bugs Bunny coloring book to make it an actual story. I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t writing. My first published books were nonfiction, though, mostly devotionals, before I started writing historical fiction.


Tracy Groot of The Maggie Bright

I think it was when I sought to right what I considered was a wrong: In the early years of my marriage, my father-in-law told me that his family had rescued a Jewish boy during WWII. They risked their lives to shelter him for one year, and then they got him to England through the Dutch underground. I asked him, “Did he ever come back to thank you for what he did?” “No.” “Well — did anyone thank you?” “No.”



Richard Mabry, MD author of Critical Decision

I never considered becoming an author outside of medicine until the death of my first wife, Cynthia. Almost a year after her passing, I began to consider turning the journaling I’d done into a book, but had no idea how. Finally, at a writer’s conference, I got an inkling of 1) how to write a book, and 2) how hard it is to get one published. But I did and it was. The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse has been out for a decade and ministered to many thousands who have suffered a similar loss.



Rachel McMillan author of The London Restoration

I always loved reading and making up stories in my head. One year, my brother Jared gave me a diary for Christmas and I wrote all the time. That’s when I knew. Even if I never publish another book, I will always write stories. I enjoy it so much.