Monday, September 14, 2020

A Children's Book Illustrated by the Reader!


About Brooke Sanchez
: Brooke Sanchez was born and raised in southern Utah. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Utah Valley University, majoring in Integrated Studies with emphases in English and Business Management. Brooke is a wife and mother to four children, who inspired her to write a children's book. Reading, napping, writing, The Beatles, binge watching TV series, and artificial intelligence are just some of Brooke's passions. Foogle and Me is Brooke’s first published book.

 

A new concept for children’s books: Brooke created the novel concept to allow readers to illustrate a book. Children are naturally inclined to draw. Illustrated by Me was created to allow children to stretch their creative minds to accomplish illustrating a book and taking part ownership in its completion.

 

About Foogle and Me: Foogle is a kind robot who is best friends with Me, the reader. As they play, their friendship seems to irritate Next Neighbor. Foogle and Me choose an act of kindness in response to Next Neighbor’s mumbles and grumbles.

 

Take a look at a page from my book, illustrated by four year old Winnie: 

 


*Illustration drawn on a red piece of construction paper (separate from book) and inserted in the page with photo corners (also separate from the book)*

 

 

In an unprecedented time of seclusion due to efforts to heal our pandemic-stricken world, find joy in exercising your creative talents by illustrating.

 

Thank you, Brooke, for visiting my blog. I read your book and believe it will help children to be more creative. 

 

You can buy Foogle and Me by Brooke Sanchez at Amazon.

 


 

Friday, September 11, 2020

THE DATING ITINERARY: Contemporary Comedy Romance

Book Giveaway and an Amazon gift card of $15

 

As if it wasn’t bad enough to be deemed the “most single person” at her magazine’s office, budding reporter Penny has now been tapped to write a series of features called “The Dating Game.” From speed dating to Tinder, old-fashioned matchmakers to up-and-coming “dark dating,” Penny now has to go on a lot of dates. Silver lining: meeting new people should be fun, right? But running into her old rival, George, at her first dating event is decidedly not. Not only does the arrogant know-it-all have zero trouble attracting women, wherever Penny goes, somehow he just. Keeps. Showing. Up.

 

Geo knows he’s right on the cusp of writing success with the chance to have his own syndicated column. All he has to do is follow his agent’s ideas for showcasing different dating avenues, and he’ll pull in enough to help his sister’s non-profit women’s shelter get off the ground. Sure, his itinerary is starting to look strangely similar to his old rival Penny’s, but all’s fair in love and syndication, right?

 

The more they look for love in all the wrong places, though, the more they start to wonder if it was right in front of their noses all along. Still, the brutal dating scene just might end them, if these two don’t kill each other first.

 


ABOUT BROOKE WILLIAMS

Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer turned stay-at-home mom/freelance writer/author. Brooke finds that creating fictional characters and placing them in odd situations is a bright spot in any day and so she continues to do so with fervor. She has been married to her husband, Sean, since 2002 and they have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie. Brooke’s books include: Someone Always Loved You, Wrong Place Right Time, Accept this Dandelion, Dandelions on the Road, Mamarazzi, and Shower in the Rain, among others.

 

The Giveaway is for an Ebook of Accept This Dandelion and for a $15 gift card.

 


Author Website: www.authorbrookewilliams.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorBrookeWilliams

Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/brookewilliams

The Dating Itinerary on Amazon: www.amazon.com/Dating-Itinerary-Brooke-Williams-ebook/dp/B08D88KLR5

 
 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Jo Huddleston, Author of Sweet Southern Romances

EBook Giveaway: Sept 4 – 11: Anyone who comments will have a chance of winning Her Christmas Dream. A drawing will take place on the morning of the 12th.

 

Bio: Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author who writes novels inspired by her fascination with the 1950s and her love of her native American South. Novels in her endearing Caney Creek series, her West Virginia Mountains series, as well as her stand-alone release, Tidewater Summer, are sweet Southern historical romance novels. Visit Jo at her website (www.johuddleston.com), where you can sign up for her mailing list and read for free the first chapters of her novels and novellas.

 

Blurb: A Christmas romance sprinkled with suspense!

In this sweet romance set in north Georgia, all Marilyn dreams of for Christmas is a relationship with someone who cares for her. Someone who really knows her. A stranger volunteers at the rescue shelter where Marilyn and her best friend George volunteer. George has concerns about Marilyn’s safety if she dates the stranger. When George becomes overprotective of her, will Marilyn choose the bad-boy-stranger or her best friend to spend Christmas with this year?

 

Read this 20th-century story to find out which one Marilyn chooses.

 

A Fun Character Interview:

I’m here at the Promise Rescue Shelter in White Pines, Georgia, for an interview with the shelter’s director, Miss Mabel Malcolm. I’m to meet her in her office.

 

JH: Good morning, Miss Malcolm. Is it convenient for us to talk now?

 

MM: Yes, of course. Please come in, have a seat.

 

JH: Thank you. How long have you been the director of this shelter?

 

MM: For ten years now. Before that, I was first a volunteer here as a teenager, then an hourly employee in my twenties.

 

JH: So, you grew up here in White Pines?

 

MM: Yes, I did.

 

JH: You must be doing an excellent job. As I walked through the front living area, several people there seemed content.

 

MM: Yes, we offer those without stable living conditions a place where they can feel secure and comfortable to spend a few hours each day. Of course, the meals we serve bring in the most numbers. Our local merchants support the shelter by donating clothing and shoes for our clothes closet, and they generously give to our budget.

 

JH: You mentioned you were a volunteer initially. Do you have volunteers now, or are all the folks working here on the payroll?

 

MM: We still have volunteer help who spend time here dictated by their schedules. We need volunteers for mealtimes, and also for giving our patrons attention as required.

 

JH: How many volunteers work here?

 

MM: At the moment, we have three volunteers—two who have helped us for many years, and one who just started and probably won’t stay here long.

 

JH: Does that last one you mentioned find the work undesirable? Is that why you think that person won’t be here long?

 

MM: Well, yes, and no. The young man does find the work here undesirable. He has a bad attitude, thinking the work here is beneath him…I just think he won’t be here long.

 

JH: You hesitated. Is there some other reason he’s not fitted for working here?

 

MM: I’m not at liberty to discuss that person any further.

 

JH: Very well. Then, can you please tell me a little about the other two volunteers you mentioned? What do they do? How many hours do they give to the shelter?

 

MM: The other two are Marilyn and George. They also grew up in White Pines and are delightful to have around. They show love for our clientele, who love George and Marilyn in return.

 

JH: Sounds like they’re cut out for this kind of work.

 

MM: Yes, they are. Their personalities lean toward helping others. They’re compassionate and patient toward those less fortunate than themselves. They both have careers, but they’re here all day every Saturday and usually a few hours after church on Sundays. I’m thankful for the help from both of them. I’d like for you to meet them but, unfortunately, it’s not the weekend and they’re not here.

 

JH: How old are these two volunteers?

 

MM: They’re both thirty years old, neither married. Like I said, they both grew up here, went to school together, even went off to Athens for college at the same place. The whole town expected them to marry each other by now, but they’re simply best friends.

 

JH: Interesting. But your brow creased there for a second. Do you have a concern for those two?

 

MM: Well, maybe off the record?

 

JH: Of course.

 

MM. The third volunteer we have—I think he’s a fly in the ointment. I’m afraid he’s worming his way between Marilyn and George. He’s flirting a lot with Marilyn. George is aware of this, and he doesn’t trust the new guy. He’s tried to warn Marilyn about dating him because we know so little about him, but she’s not listening. I think she’s flattered that someone as handsome as this new guy is interested in her. George and I try to watch out for Marilyn, but so far, she’s ignoring our advice.

 

JH: I can see where that is a concern.

 

MM: Christmas is almost here, and I’m afraid tensions may mount and spoil everybody’s holiday. But all I can do is stand by and watch and pray for all of them.

 

JH: Thank you, Miss Malcolm, for talking with me. I hope your fears about your volunteers don’t become a reality, and you have a very Merry Christmas.

 

MM: Merry Christmas to you as well.

 

Jo Huddleston’s Links:

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2YGpKXs

Website: http://www.johuddleston.com

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1TY4uDI

Facebook personal page: https://bit.ly/30V6rdh

Monday, August 3, 2020

Caleb's Destiny: Historical Western Romance


About Carol: Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. She has found that the traveling and ministering has served her well in writing her novels. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

About writing the book:
This is book one of the Troubles in the West series. I write Romantic Suspense/Mystery in contemporary and historical, but it's the first time I've written in historical western. Set in the mid to late 1800s, it was a new adventure to me, but a fun one. I'd started it a few years ago thinking I might enter it into a contest, but never finished it then. My husband had given me the idea of the book, so I'd kept it hoping someday to finish it.

Last year was a hard year for me with little writing, but when 2020 came, inspiration came back and I was determined to finish this book, and finish it I did in a little over two and a half months. It's a book about wrongs from the past that children must make right… and in doing that, forgivenness and trust comes into play.

I hope readers enjoy reading Caleb's Destiny.

Description of Caleb’s Destiny: 
Mr. Michael, Destiny Rose McCulloch, and Hunter have a mysterious history. Why were three fathers, all business partners, murdered under suspicious circumstances while on their quest to find gold? Hunter, who is Mr. Michael's ranch manager, is determined to find the answers and protect the precocious young lady who he suspects holds a key answer to his questions. Mr. Michael wants only to be left alone to attend to his property, but what can he do when Destiny refuses to leave and captures the heart of everyone of his employees? Destiny almost forgets her quest when she falls in love with Mr. Michael's ranch and all the people there. And then Mr. Michael is much too alluring to ignore. The preacher man back east where she took her schooling tried to claim her heart, but the longer she stays the less she can remember him. She only came west to find a little boy she knew years ago. A little boy all grown up by now...unless, of course, he's dead.

Book Excerpt:

After he settled into a seat across from her, he picked up his fork and looked at her. “Dig in.”
She hated it, but her cheeks were heating up again. “Do you mind...?”
“Mind?” His first bite headed toward his mouth. “If you eat?”
Why hadn’t she just said a silent, quick prayer? “Uh, I’d like to say a prayer. I've grown used to doing it at sch—uh, home.” And Richard had always insisted on it.
He dropped his fork. “Of course. Go ahead.”
Closing her eyes, she pressed her hands together. “Heavenly Father, we ask for your beautiful—I mean, bountiful blessings on our snack—breakfast, uh, tonight.” Destiny wanted to sink through the floor. She, who was the epitome of gracefulness at school; she who wanted to impress this confident man, was stumbling like a drunken cowboy. Whispering a “Father, forgive me” for butchering what should have been a simple prayer, she hastened to finish it. “Thank you for Mr. Michael’s hospitality, and help us to further our friendship.”
Ugh. He’d think she wanted something more than friendship. Destiny cringed and refused to glance at him. “Amen.”
Had that been a snicker? Surely not. She picked up her fork and shoved a tiny bite of egg in her dry mouth. She chewed and swallowed, but the former delicious-looking omelet refused to go down. She reached for her coffee and felt the food slide down with the coffee.
Ah, reprieved.
“Tell me, Miss McCulloch—it is Miss?”
He was laughing. She could hear it in his voice without even seeing his face. Her appetite vanished just as her temper kicked in. “It is Miss McCulloch to you, Mr. Michael, and I’ll thank you not to laugh at me.”
 “I wouldn’t dream of it.” And this time his voice was serious.

Purchase Links:

Social Media Links:

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Your Family Tree


Learning about your ancestors can be so fun. When it comes to genealogy, you probably wonder where to begin, especially if you’re a beginner. A genealogy website that is free to the public is www.FamilySearch.org. There are no fees.

After you create a username and password, fill in the information about your parents and grandparents. Remember one thing! Only loved ones who have passed on will be visible on FamilySearch. Anyone who is still alive that you added to your family tree will not be visible to the public until that person passes on. It will only be visible to you. This is for the privacy of that person.

How do you begin? Here are the most important steps in order.
1. Preserve Memories: Record the memories of your parents and grandparents. Talk to your relatives and find out what they can remember. Write down their trials in life, their accomplishments, and humorous experiences. Add letters they wrote to the biography. If you don’t do this, their experiences will be forgotten. Your children need to know their heritage. When you’re done, go to that person’s page and post the biography you wrote in the section labeled: Memories. You can also have it published in paperback to give to your family.

2. Collect Photos: Scan all your family photos at a high resolution such as 300dpi. Then upload them to FamilySearch in the section labeled: Memories. When you upload them, make sure to label them, telling about who is in the photo and the date or their age. Get your children involved and have them help you with this project. The FamilySearch Center allows you to scan your photos free. There’s no charge.

3. Collect Documents: These should be birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. You can add certificates that they earned during their lifetime such as graduation, competitions they were involved in, sports, plays they were in, etc. When you’re ready, upload them to that person’s page under “documents” in Memories.

4. Record your family for two to four generations and all their children.

There are also free online classes at FamilySearch in the link below that can help you in your research. To see what classes are taught each day online, click on the “Class Schedule.” Classes are taught daily at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. On Thursdays, there is also a class at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.


The Classes I teach are in Mountain Standard Time:
Aug 13, 7:00 pm - Writing a Biography
Aug 20, 7:00 pm - Publishing Your Book


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Genealogy for Beginners


Would you like to learn about your ancestors? There is a genealogy website that is free to the public where you can learn about your heritage. It’s absolutely free. No fees at all. How do you get started?

1. Create a username and password and any other information about yourself.
2. Fill in the information about your parents and grandparents next. Record your family back two to four generations and record all their children.
3. You can upload photos, documents, stories, and audios to the pages of your parents and ancestors in the section labeled “Memories.” Preserve original photographs by scanning them and uploading them to Memories. This should be your number one priority. If you don’t record these memories, they will be lost.

Remember one thing. Due to the privacy policy, only information about deceased people will show. So if you upload a bunch of photos and stories on your own page about yourself, it won’t be visible to others until you pass on. This is the same for any of your living relatives.

Don’t get overwhelmed with too many projects! As you gradually become confident, you can set more goals such as researching your family’s history. Work on “Memories” first and make that your number one priority.

What is Genealogy?

“Genealogy is the study of a family’s origins and history and is often referred to as a family history.  The first known use was in the 14th century to display a pedigree of royal, aristocratic, or clerical blood lines as a means of gaining and commanding respect.   Some family trees, like that of Confucius, have been found to list 80 generations dating back 2,500 years.
“Initially passed down by word of mouth the family genealogy was later depicted in the form of stylish paintings and documents.   It has currently gained international interest as access to more and more on-line records has resulted in significant advances in its documentation and display capabilities.   As it was in the times of an ancient king’s genealogy which showed his relationship to the gods, today’s family histories continue to be a form of storytelling to preserve the past for future generations.   In today’s climate, the more accurately one can document the past the more likely it will survive through the ages.  Today’s genealogy can take the form of simply collecting and preserving family information, all the way up to adding information to the world tree.”
--FamilySearch

There are free online classes at FamilySearch:

To see what classes are taught each day online, click on the “Class Schedule.”
Classes are taught daily at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. On Thursdays, there may also be a class at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Below the Class Schedule is “Join Class.” When you click on that link during a class, you can listen and join in the conversation because it will be live. The teacher can answer any questions you have.

The two classes I teach each month are: Writing Your Biography twice a month and Publishing Your Biography twice a month. 

Below is my schedule for July.
July 9 at 10:00 - Writing Your Biography
July 16 at 10:00 - Publishing Your Biography
July 20 at 1:00 - Writing Your Biography
July 27 at 1:00 - Publishing Your Biography

Monday, June 22, 2020

God’s Mysterious Ways: The Colleen L. Reece Story

Colleen L. Reece: Author of 160+ published books, 6 million copies sold.
 Kindle Giveaway June 23 - July 4: Make a comment and you may be a winner for one of her three E-books below!

Cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation in 2013 at age 77 drastically changed my 40+ year writing career. God brought me through and I became the “miracle patient.” Yet the long road back left me unable to write new books or teach. To help replace income, God led me to a publisher who reprinted many of my out-of-print books. I began scanning books no longer in my computer for a Cherished Romances Historical series (Winged Publications).

Computer Problems lead to surprises
Scanning in order to edit was slow but better than retyping, until my OCR (Optimum Character Recognition) stopped working. Romans 8:28 promises that all things work together for those who love God, but how could stopping Christian books in progress be good? I couldn’t fix the problem; grounded by COV-19, I didn’t dare bring in a repair person.
Discouraged, I dug in my dormant file and struck gold. My co-author niece Julie Reece-DeMarco and I had earlier drafted an inspirational, nonfiction title. Now our Winged editor wanted short, encouraging books about over-comers. She quickly approved Doorways and Windowsills: Finding Sunlight After Storms, which advises, don’t stare at closed doors. Search for open windows.
 My OCR still didn’t work. Then my across-the-street neighbor opened a window by commenting, “Your best book is that one.” He pointed to my front yard. Walking with the Master, stories of God’s miraculous working in my life, included his putting out a 4th of July fireworks blaze, and my discovering his name was Marc Angel! I had made a collection for family and friends at the local print shop and giving them out at Christmas.
Aha! “Lord, if he likes it that much, why haven’t I offered it to my editor?” I did. It is now blessing many.
God still wasn’t through sending “interim” projects.
Guardian Angel Press, who had done many children’s books for me, fell victim to COV-19 after fifteen successful years. Books 6 and 7 of Colleen Reece Chapbooks would not be published. I grieved, then looked for a window. Laura Ingalls Wilder, beloved author of the Little House books, said, “If I had a remembrance book, I'd write about . . . Pa and Mr. Hanson and how they walked and looked and talked and how we wondered what they said.”
What if I combined Book 6 and its sequel into a two-story book? A quick go-ahead from my Winged editor and The Remembrance Book became reality.

an invitation
Join Carol (Colleen) and her family on a 3500- mile Vagabond Summer driving trip. Encounter car trouble, a bear, two parades, a prairie dog town, lions roaring in the night, and much more.
See how Wishbooks and Promises brighten the family’s lives, along with their wonderful lamp, a mysterious friend for Carol, an uncle’s desperate prayer, and Carol’s daring plan to get a bicycle when her parents cannot afford to buy her one.
These chapters show God’s loving care and can be used for bed-time reading or as part of family devotions.

Sequel to the story
1. If the OCR had not stopped working, these books would not have been written, at least not now, when readers are desperately looking for hope.
2. The day after I finished the three nonfiction titles, I fiddled with the OCR for the gazillionth time. It worked.

What’s next? More scanning? Not yet. After seven years of being unable to write new Christian fiction, He has restored my strength! I am working on a long-delayed, much-requested series finale. I thank, praise, and give Him the glory.

JULI SCOTT, SUPER SLEUTH, IS BACK WITH A BRAND-NEW MYSTERY! Bellingham, Washington's answer to Nancy Drew, and her mystery-solving friends from the Mysterious Monday through Saturday Scare series, return to confront Sunday Suspicion, their most baffling case. Available late July-early August.



Monday, June 1, 2020

A Lovely Christian Romance by Julie Spencer

Book Giveaway: June 1 – 13. Make a comment about this Guest Post and you get a free complimentary digital copy of The Farmer’s Daughter. You might get a free paperback if you figure out the secret in her book.

About the Author: Julie L. Spencer writes gritty clean fiction with snarky, flawed characters, and romantic twists and turns. She has over 30 publications, and the books just keep writing themselves. A scientist by day and moonlighting as an author, Julie is an indoor girl with very little desire to step away from her computer and loves her characters almost as much as she loves her kitten.

When I read Julie’s Guest Post, my heart was so touched with what she said. Thank you, Julie, for sharing a very special experience with us. Read her Guest Post and make a comment for a free E-book.

* * *
I’m not a farmer’s daughter. My husband calls me an indoor girl and he’s not wrong. So why did I write The Farmer’s Daughter? And why did it take me so long to publish this special story? For that you need to know the story behind the story: The Farmer’s Daughter was the 2nd novel I ever finished (approximately nine years ago). I wrote this immediately after writing my first published novel, The Cove and they are very similar. I have since written and published over thirty books, audiobooks, and science journals, along with newsletters, blog posts, newspaper articles, and one very technical 405-page watershed management plan. (Oh, and years ago I wrote Master’s Thesis, but I digress)

So, why didn’t I publish The Farmer’s Daughter? Partly because I hadn’t finished the sequel, partly because I got my dream job shortly after finishing the first draft (I’m the Gratiot County Conservation District Administrator), and partially because I haven’t felt compelled to publish the book prior to now. I put a lot of stock in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Throughout my adult life, I have found good things happen when I listen for and follow promptings from the Spirit. Up until January of this year I have felt prompted not to publish this book. I’m not sure why.

In January I had the distinct impression that it was time to publish The Farmer's Daughter in May of 2020. So here it is! Now for a more difficult conversation...

The first person to read The Farmer’s Daughter was my dearest friend, Jennifer Holiday. She was such a special person in my life that she was honestly second only to my husband as a best friend. We spent every birthday, New Years, even sometimes Thanksgiving, together with our husbands and children and often extended family. In 2017 Jennifer died, right after our sons (best friends) graduated high school. I’m getting emotional just writing this. I miss her every day. Sometimes I see people in the grocery store and do a double take because they look like Jenny. She was a schoolteacher, a mother, an honored friend in our community. Jennifer died from complications of prescription drug overdose. She is the reason I’m such an advocate about avoiding prescription narcotics for pain relief. She had shoulder surgery, started taking Vicodin, and was never able to recover.

She was the first person to take a printed manuscript of The Cove and mark it up with a red pen. She was the first person to take a printed manuscript of The Farmer’s Daughter and mark it up with a red pen. By the time I wrote Buxton Peak... she was too far gone to finish reading the draft. She never lived to see me as a published author. I’m sure she’s smiling down from heaven watching my every success and feeling proud that she had taken part in that.

Now something funny. Jennifer was offended by a part of The Farmer’s Daughter and wanted me to remove that part. I didn't. It’s still there. If you are successfully able to guess what part offended her, I’ll send you a signed copy of the paperback! If you comment on this blog post, I’ll send you a complimentary digital copy of The Farmer’s Daughter.

Now, a little bit about the book: Sometimes our dreams are right before our eyes. Ashley’s been taught all her life to find a nice Mormon boy and get married in a temple. That’s easier said than done living in rural Michigan, where members of her church are few and far between. 

Ashley drives each morning to the University of Michigan to study pre-med, while her non-member boyfriend Paul, the boy next door, heads the other direction to attend Michigan State University. Each evening they see each other in the barn to feed the animals and talk of the future. But when Ashley meets Caleb, a nice, med-school student who served as a missionary and is ready to settle down, what starts as casual flirting quickly turns to something more and Ashley fights the undeniable attraction they have. Because she’s still in love with Paul.

As she tries to convince herself she’s not ready to get serious with either man, Caleb becomes more involved in the farm life she loves, Paul becomes interested in the gospel she can’t live without, and Ashley realizes she’s going to have a tough choice to make.

If you’ve read this far in my little monologue, thank you. Please hug your family members. If you have someone in your life who is struggling with a substance abuse, please take the time to learn all you can about how to help them. God bless you, my friends. I pray you’re safe and healthy. Love, Julie

P.S. I hope you love The Farmer’s Daughter.

Check out Julie’s other books at: www.authorjuliespencer.com
Sign up for Julie’s email newsletter at: www.subscribepage.com/JulieLSpencer-Farmer
Julie loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at juliespencer1998@gmail.com