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.

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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

Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Great Esthetician



I would like to introduce to you an Esthetician that I’m so impressed with. She has done my nails for the past ten years and I love her technique... not only because she is so talented but because she is my daughter. (Haha) She just got married last year and is so happy. Because she is an artist and paints on canvas, she is very artistic when it comes to nails.

Felicia worked at "Got Beauty" in Salt Lake but moved to Orem recently and has set up her own little booth in Lindon, Utah. This being her new location, she is now searching for more clients. With this being a time of the Pandemic, she wears a mask and rubber gloves so she can protect her clients. Below is information about her with reviews and photos. If you mention my blog when you make an appointment, she will take $10.00 off your bill to do your nails.

Hello! I’m Felicia Clarke Acosta and I’ve been an Esthetician for 10 years. I’ve gained many clients and friends in this field and am grateful for any opportunities to make more. I love doing shellac manicures. There’s something so satisfying about painting such clean polished lines that I’m addicted to! Even though I’m just doing mostly nails right now, I’m actually an Esthetician and love having the variety and being able to do multiple types of services. I’m happy doing what I do and would love to work on you. I would be happy to book you at any time. I am located at 396 W 200 S St in Building 2, Unit B in Lindon, Utah.

You can reach me by email at feliciaclarke1@yahoo.com or you may text me at 4356191422 for an appointment.

Reviews On Yelp…

Annie N wrote: “I went to Felicia Clarke for a soak-off and shellac manicure, and she is sweet and friendly and did an AMAZING job! As I write this two full weeks later, my nails still look great! I have no lifting or peeling, and will continue to go to Felicia over and over. She's fantastic!”

Heather G wrote: “I've now had multiple mani/pedi experiences with Felicia & I simply adore her! She does an immaculate job, is friendly & genuinely enjoys what she does.”

Rebecca U wrote: “Felicia did my pedicure today and she was gentle, attentive and constantly asked for feedback. She was also careful to angle the emery board up so it only filed my nail, not the skin below my nail.”

Jasmin L wrote: “I get my brows waxed by Felicia, and she is just the warmest person ever.”

This is Felicia's Workplace in Lindon. Doesn't it look comfortable?



Here are some samples of nails Felicia has done for clients.



Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Cooking Up a Mystery: A Cozy Mystery

Book Giveaway May 5 - 20: To celebrate the release of Cooking up a Mystery, Gail will give away a Kindle copy of Stopped Cold, a previous Amazon Best Seller in Christian Teen and Young Adult Mysteries and Thrillers.

Welcome, Gail, to my blog. I always enjoy it when you stop by to visit. Gail has a Guest Post all about her new book that was just released. Please tell us about your book, Gail.

My publisher asked how much of my life I put into Cooking up a Mystery, and I couldn’t help but smile. The story’s about a young woman, Laney, running a tea house and catering business. She and her mother started it in her mother’s kitchen after Laney’s husband left her for another woman. After both of Laney’s parents succumb to an untimely death, Laney fears she can’t run the restaurant without her mother’s help. However, George, her assistant tells her she has him and God, who knows her needs. Then he adds, “You ... have your mom’s wonderful recipes and you whip them up like a pro.”

That’s where I come in with my real life experience. I learned to cook when I was ten years old. The reason, according to my father—I’d know how when I got married. I didn’t marry until I was thirty. By then, I’d received lots of instruction, so I knew how to prepare some pretty good dinners. After we were married my husband said, “You could start a restaurant.” I wanted to do other things instead, such as write, but I started one in this book.

Book Blurb: Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She's on edge from the emotional scars and her parents' deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it's all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney's in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? And when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There's more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

Reviews:

From the delicious first paragraph until the sweet final scene, Cooking Up a Mystery by Gail Pallotta is a treat on every level. The author creates fantastic scenes, her characters are realistic and well-developed, her prose sparkles like polished silverware and her plotting is imaginative and impeccable. The author has written a book with all of the ingredients that will completely satisfy her readers. A bonus section of reader’s recipes at the end (each one named after a character in the book!) is the perfect finishing touch to make this delectable mystery an irresistible indulgence. I can't wait for the next book from this talented author. --Regina Andrews, Family-Friendly Romance Writer, author of Destiny’s Designs, In Good Faith, and more.

***

A wounded but determined chef and a commitment-phobic university professor fight their attraction. When they decide to take on an overheard terrorist plot, they must decide what’s more important—their personal hangups or the fate of the nation.

Laney finally landed on both feet and set off running. She’s got a great business, an assistant whose loyal and trustworthy, and a burgeoning catering clientele. She’s done the marriage thing and it didn’t work for her. That’s okay. Laney’s got enough on her plate and counting on only herself is a refreshing change, even though the weird noises coming from the other side of the wall creep her out. Then she meets Eric and his avant-garde taste in art.

Bachelor Eric’s broken-footed helplessness tugs at Laney’s heartstrings. He only needs dinner for a few weeks, thank you. Or does he? Na… Maybe… Could he? Could they? Every relationship has a few hiccups, and when these two souls accidentally overhear some truly frightening threats, they realize life is bigger than their issues. Besides, they make a pretty good team investigating things that go bump in the night. What happens after they save the world…well, you’ll just have to read the book.

Told from both sides of the oven, Laney and Eric’s humorous and poignant story of modern-day romance among the faith-filled set will leave Christian romantic mystery lovers smiling. --Author and Reviewer Lisa Lickel.


***

A wounded but determined chef and a commitment-phobic university professor fight their attraction. When they decide to take on an overheard terrorist plot, they must decide what’s more important—their personal hangups or the fate of the nation.

Laney finally landed on both feet and set off running. She’s got a great business, an assistant whose loyal and trustworthy, and a burgeoning catering clientele. She’s done the marriage thing and it didn’t work for her. That’s okay. Laney’s got enough on her plate and counting on only herself is a refreshing change, even though the weird noises coming from the other side of the wall creep her out. Then she meets Eric and his avant-garde taste in art.

Bachelor Eric’s broken-footed helplessness tugs at Laney’s heartstrings. He only needs dinner for a few weeks, thank you. Or does he? Na… Maybe… Could he? Could they? Every relationship has a few hiccups, and when these two souls accidentally overhear some truly frightening threats, they realize life is bigger than their issues. Besides, they make a pretty good team investigating things that go bump in the night. What happens after they save the world…well, you’ll just have to read the book.

The recipes in the back of the book are authored by my friend, Pam Nichols Griffin, as a fundraiser for Mission Love Seeds, a charity that helps children throughout the world and responds locally after disasters to demonstrate God’s love. They’re online at missionloveseeds.org and on Facebook.

Buy Cooking Up A Mystery  

Brief Bio: Gail’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Nominee. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her website at https://gailpallotta.com.