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Tell us about yourself . . . .

As for why I started writing…I’m not one of those writers who always thought she’d grow up and write books. I thought I’d do something like ride horses in rodeos or maybe jump those hurdles. But I was always a reader, and checked out books before I went to school. Had to use my mom’s library card because kids couldn’t have cards unless they were in school. Now how crazy is that?

Anyway, when I was thirty-five I was having trouble sleeping, and these people set up residency in my head, telling me their story. And they wouldn’t shut up until I wrote it down. And it was pretty good, so I sent it off to Woman’s World, and wonder of wonder, they bought it. And that’s how I started writing stories.

That was 34 years ago. And my first book came out last February. Yep. Took me 34 years to get a book published. So, I’d like to tell unpublished writers out there—DON’T.GIVE.UP. Learn the craft of writing, either from writing books—and there are a lot of them out there—writing retreats, conferences and workshops. Another thing is to write every day. The discipline will come in handy after you get a contract.

Oh, some of the writing books I’ve used: Susan May Warren’s workbook Writing Your Novel from the Inside Out, her Kiss and Tell workbook, James Scott Bell’s Write Your Novel from the Middle, Stanley Williams’ The Moral Premise.

If your mind goes blank, set a timer and write for 5 minutes. Anyone can write for 5 minutes. And most of the time, you’ll discover you can write for a much longer time. When I’m writing the first draft of my novel, I set a word count of 3,000 words. That means I have to turn off my internal editor. I’ve found it takes a lot of will power to write and not go back and edit. But it can be done.

My second book in the Logan Point series just released--A Promise to Protect. Here’s the back cover blurb:

In a steamy small town of danger and broken promises, can a woman prevent her secret from being revealed?

Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn’t heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn’t mean he can get her—or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago—out of his head. When she calls out of the blue it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. But when Tony dies just days later, Ben is charged with a different task—protecting Leigh and her nine-year-old son, TJ, from the killers. But how can Ben keep an eye on Leigh if she’s doing everything in her power to avoid him? And could the secret that Leigh is keeping change Ben’s life forever?

Suspense, intrigue, and a touch of romance make A Promise to Protect perfect for readers who like their stories with a hearty dose of mystery.

I hope you will enjoy. You can find me at:

www.patriciabradleyauthor.com
www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor
https://twitter.com/PTBradley1

And on Pinterest you can find a board with the characters of my 4th Logan Point Book!


 
 
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Meet Tamera Kraft . . .
Welcome Tamera! Meet Tamera Lynn Kraft, author of Christian historical fiction  . . .

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.

Tamera is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.

Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TameraLynnKraft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tamerakraft


By Tamera Lynn Kraft . . .

A Christmas Promise:

A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.

When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.

Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

Julie Lessman, author of Love at Any Cost and Dare to Love writes: Revel in the spirit of a Colonial Christmas with this achingly tender love story that will warm both your heart and your faith. With rich historical detail and characters who live and breathe on the page, Tamera Lynn Kraft has penned a haunting tale of Moravian missionaries who selflessly bring the promise of Christ to the Lenape Indians. A beautiful way to set your season aglow, A Christmas Promise is truly a promise kept for a heartwarming holiday tale.

A Moravian Christmas in 1773: 

In the wilderness of Ohio in 1773, a band of missionaries and Lenape Indians celebrated Christmas at Schoenbrunn Village, the first settlement in Ohio. They’d come to this wilderness and started the village a year earlier to preach the Gospel to the Lenape, also known as the Deleware who had been forced out of Pennsylvania.

Life was hard in Schoenbrunn. Cabins were quickly made and community gardens were planted that included beans, corn, and squash. Most villages also planted potatoes and turnips next to their cabins. The rest of their food came from hunting. But the real danger came from the many Indian tribes surrounding the village, some of them hostile.

The villagers were excited to celebrate their first Christmas in their new church. They had many traditions that we still use today. They would have a candlelight Christmas Eve service called a Lovefeast. During this service, they sang Christmas hymns, shared sweet rolls and coffee together, and prayed for each other. The service concluded when they gave each child a bleached beeswax candle and a scripture to hang on their trees at home. The white candle symbolized the purity of Christ and the flame showed that Jesus is the light of the world. A red ribbon would be wrapped around the candle to symbolize how Jesus shed His blood for a lost world.

In every home, families decorated artificial Christmas trees with candles and papers with scriptures written on them. The trees were made by putting together a wood frame and decorating it with real pine branches. The family would also make a putz, a nativity village that included the nativity scene, the wise men, and other Biblical scenes and place it under the tree. Most Moravians gave small gifts at Christmas, but resources were so limited that the children in Schoenbrunn were happy with their candles they received at the church. After a Christmas feast, the family would read the verses hung on the tree and talk about God’s blessings at Christmas.

A Christmas Promise is a story about a family who celebrated Christmas and faced dangers in Schoenbrunn in 1773.

Available at these online stores:

AMAZON

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GM59GN4/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

 PELICAN BOOK GROUP

http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_47&products_id=512

 CHRISTIANBOOK

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=48711EB&item_code=WW&netp_id=1206746&event=ESRCG&view=details

 
 
Have you got a stain on your favorite shirt?

Try this: Wet the stain, coat with Oxyclean powder, spray with Oxyclean spray and let it soak on top of the washer for an hour. Put the shirt in the washer as it is. You don't need to rinse it. You can include any other like colored clothing. This has worked for me numerous times. I hope it helps you!
 
 
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Granny’s Cocoa Cream Pie

It’s simple and tasty. This really was a simple desert often used during the 30’s and 40’s.

½ c. cocoa
¼ cup cornstarch/or arrowroot powder (or ½ c. all purpose flour)
3 egg yolks
1 ½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks; sugar and salt, then add milk gradually, while stirring in a pot over med-high heat. Cook until thick, beating it smooth. Cream pies take some time to thicken, so stir... and stir (10-15 min). Using a heavy bottom pan really helps. Pour into a pre-baked pie shell. Put in the fridge to chill. Add whipped cream if you like or use the left over egg whites for a meringue topping!

Follow me or Friend me for even more great posts and fun stuff! Andrea Greenree

Love Yourself Healthy - Get Fit, Have Fun, Make Friends


 
 
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Susan Page Davis is joining me today. She's a published author and I'm featuring her book, Westward Christmas Brides. Tell us about yourself, Susan.  1.     How did you get your idea for this story?

I have done a lot of research on the Oregon Trail, both for other books and for family history. My husband’s family had several branches that went West in the 1800s, and some of their true stories are heart-wrenching. My own family mostly stayed in New England, but I always felt drawn to westerns and historicals in other faraway places. One of my husband’s ancestors, Daphne Haynes, the mother of several children, became ill and died along the trial (in Iowa). Another, Mollie Perkins, saw her little sister accidentally shot along the trail in Arizona.

 2.     What is the direct tie-in with your story?

In Another Christmas Story, my novella in the Westward Christmas Brides collection, the tale opens with another tragedy. Beryl’s father has been shot in a hunting accident and is critically wounded. His dire condition forces Beryl and her little brother, Sam, to leave the wagon train and stay with the family that runs the nearest trading post on the Oregon Trail. Their mother has previously passed away, and with their father’s death imminent, Beryl has to make some hard decisions. Will she take Sam on to Oregon, as her father had planned, or go back East to live with relatives there? In the meantime, they are stranded by bad weather with the Lassen family for the winter. Beryl can’t see what’s ahead, but God has plans for her and Sam’s future.

 3.     What is your writing day like?

I usually get to my desk by 7 a.m. and do morning tasks such as e-mail, banking, and marketing chores. Then I break for breakfast. Around 9, I start writing on my “WIP,” my work in progress. I spend three or four hours on that, usually producing at least 2,000 usable words a day. In the afternoon, I tend to writing-related chores like editing and revisions if needed. Today is a bit different. This morning I had a phone conference with two editors about the next book I will write. This afternoon I will also spend some time preparing for sessions I’ll be leading at a conference in a couple of weeks.

 4.     What are you working on now?

I am writing a cozy mystery called The Not-So-Civil War, and I just finished a full-length historical romance called The Outlaw Takes a Bride. Both will release in 2015.

 In Westward Christmas Brides, take the journey into the American West alongside nine women who are chasing their dreams—Cynthia, for security; Beryl, for a new family; Adeline, for freedom; Molly, for marriage; Beth, for a new start; Belinda, for a place to heal; Suzette, for adventure; Juliet, for peace; and Caroline, for a future for her children. Celebrate Christmas alongside these pioneers as love finds them in nine distinctly different romances penned by leading Christian fiction authors, including Wanda E. Brunstetter, Vickie McDonough, Melanie Dobson, and more.

 Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 50 novels and novellas in the historical romance, mystery, and suspense genres. She is the mother of six and grandmother of nine. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky with her husband Jim. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com

 Links for Westward Christmas Brides

Buy from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Westward-Christmas-Brides-Collection-Historical/dp/1628368128/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407968261&sr=1-1

Buy from Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-westward-christmas-brides-collection-wanda-e-brunstetter/1118019084?ean=9781628368123

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I'm spotlighting Carole Brown. She's a talented author I'm honored to call friend.

Brown not only has her award winning (Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.

November, 2013, the first book in her mystery series, Hog Insane, released. It’s a fun, lighthearted novel introducing the characters, Denton and Alex Davies.

Releasing November, 2014, is the first book in a new romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. 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. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with her here:

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

I also am part of several other blogs:

Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/

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Carole's got a new book you won’t want to miss. Here’s a little bit about it.

A dead body, a missing motorcycle, a strange key, and dope are at the bottom of the trouble Denton and Alex Davies, and Taffy, their Jack Russell Terrier, run into when they head for their first stop in the Smoky Mountains immediately after early retirement.

All Denton wants is to fish and recapture his wife’s love. Instead, they find the body of Anthony Risler with a bullet hole in his head. None of the campground people, or even the sheriff, pretend to like Denton and his snoopy questions, and everyone seems to be lying.

Denton figures Risler’s missing bike has to hide some kind of evidence that incriminates the murderer. Archie McGhee, the campground manager is self-centered and greedy enough to hide the motorcycle for the murderer, so why doesn’t he know where the bike is now? The Stillwells, although good-looking and popular, brag way too much to suit the Davies. The expensive S-shaped, ruby watch they foist onto Alex ought to play into the mystery, yet Denton can find no evidence of it. The drug-using, gun-toting man who chases Taffy knows more than he’s telling and raises questions in Denton’s mind even when forced to partner with the man.

Why is the sheriff ignoring obvious clues, and why would he leave a bribery note lying around where Denton’s suspicious eyes can see it? When Denton finds the keys with the strange looking C charm Alex and Denton realize only their pastor’s wife, back in Ohio, and the small, cherry-wood box Risler gave her, can provide the final clue they need to reveal the killer.

Denton wrestles with his personal demons of self-blame over his nephew’s death while riding a bike. Alex resents Denton’s riding roughshod over her feelings. When he thinks her love is fading, he’s determined to woo her back. But if he doesn’t find the young man’s murderer, their love may stretch to the breaking point.

 

Amazon print:  http://bit.ly/1fd3cCQ

Amazon kindle:  http://amzn.to/1eDC39t

 

Books a Million:  http://bit.ly/1fd3cCQ
Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1dvNA6z


 
 
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Thanks to Debbie Bugezia - my treasured friend looking out for me - so blessed to have her in my life - I'm sharing this delicious recipe with you! Ingredients

1 can of cherry pie filling

1/2 cup butter

16 ounces sour cream

8 ounces cream cheese

16 ounces marshmallows

2 regular size Keebler ready graham pie crusts (save plastic as cover)

Directions

1. Inside medium-large bowl,  mix together sour cream and cream cheese until smooth and set aside.

2. On stovetop, melt stick of butter and mix in marshmallows little at a time until smooth.

3. Quickly add marshmallow mix into the sour cream/cream cheese mix and quickly mix those together.

4. Pour equal amount of cheesecake into each of the ready pie crusts. Cover the pies with the plastic that came with the pie. Place in fridge overnight.

5. Once pie is firm, you may top with cherry pie filling or fruit of your choosing.




 
 
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What's in your suitcase? Hot air balloons fit snug in a suitcase before they are opened to Wow us with their colors and float with through the air with ease. We look at them in wonder.

What dream, change, room you want to change, picture you want to paint, trip you want to take or whatever it is that you've put off - take it out of your suitcase - make it happen. For me, it was writing. Easy, no. Long road, yes. But worth it and fulfilling. No matter how small or large it seems. Don't put it off. Plan it, and

 
 
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I heard an interesting story on the radio today . . .

Hot air balloons fold up tight in case carried by a small trailer. Opened up - it's a WOW factor. Colorful, exciting, big and moves through the sky catching everyone's attention.

What is in your "suitcase"? What dream, idea or something you've always wanted to do or  is hiding inside your "suitcase"? Take it out, plan it, make it happen. Show us what you can do. Mine was writing. Four years later, a book deal. Easy, no, but rewarding, yes. Paint that picture, take that trip, change that style of the room you've always wanted to redo, contact that friend, eat that cupcake. Just do it.
 


 
 
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Sandra Merville Hart is joining us today. She's written a very entertaining and delightful civil war romance you won't want to miss.

Sandra, tell us a little about yourself and your book . . . 1.         How did you come up with the idea for your book?

My book, A Stranger on My Land, is an inspirational Civil War romance set on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Carrie finds Adam, a wounded Union soldier, on her family's property the day after a battle while her father fights for the Confederacy. Her family has been hiding out in a cave to protect the livestock from soldiers. She and her younger brother take Adam to their hideaway where they help him despite her aunt's advice to the contrary.

I read a variety of books by Civil War soldiers to research for another novel. When I discovered that several families on Lookout Mountain hid in caves while the soldiers occupied Chattanooga, the idea was born.

2.         Do you write in more than one genre? If so, why?

Yes, I do write in more than one genre. Historical novels are my main area of interest. These stories generally require extensive research, but I love learning the background.

I write the stories that come to me. I enjoy reading romantic suspense novels and recently a story idea sparked my imagination. This is my current writing project. My next writing project is another Civil War romance set in Gettysburg.

But of all the genres, inspirational historical romance is my favorite.       

3.         When did you first become interested in writing?

My love for books began in the third grade when my teacher took us on weekly visits to the school library. (Teachers and librarians, introduce your students to books at a young age! It sparks the imagination.) When I was in sixth grade, I wrote my first book, a mystery. I didn't receive encouragement to pursue writing, so I regretfully let the dream die.

It returned to me about ten years ago and has steadily grown. My debut novel released on August 21, 2014.

4.         Do you revise on paper or on the computer?

I make revisions on the computer. It's easier. Sometimes printing it out causes the mistakes to jump out at me more clearly than on a computer screen.

5.         Are you a morning, afternoon, evening, or midnight oil writer?

I write all day. When deadlines press in, I write in the evening, too. Only on rare occasions do I write late at night because I don't think as clearly when tired.

6.         Have you ever suffered from writer's block?

Every once in a while, my well of ideas runs dry. One way to combat this, especially for historical writers, is to go back to your research notes. I usually find tidbits to enliven the story. I also pray for God to give me His story.

The ideas begin to flow again.


Thank you, Sandra for stopping by. Don't delay, you'll want to buy her book today - before it's sold out!
 
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    Pre-order today on Amazon Available in ebook and bookstores July 7, 2015.

    A modern new century brings a young Amish woman an unexpected new life—and a chance to discover love's true way home…


    Ohio, 1899.  Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith's strict rules—until her fiancé jilted her before their entire community. She's never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt's wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

    With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

    Author

    Welcome to my blog. You'll find recipes, stories, author spotlights and more each Monday! Please feel free to comment or ask a question.

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