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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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Today, I'm going to tell you a story I overheard and thought we'd all enjoy it. Maybe learn from it.

His wife said, "If I die, will you marry again?

"No."

He rubbed his chin. Why is she frowning? Sad? He let it go.

Later, she asked him again. "Will you marry again if I die?"

He was ready. Maybe he'd get it right this time. "Yes." Her eyes flooded with tears, and she walked away. There's two answers to this question. He'd said them both. What was the answer? What did she really want to hear. What wasn't he getting? Head hung low, he walked away and pondered this.

A week later, she asked him again.

He said, "I can't really answer that question, because the thought of losing you is a devastates me. What would I do with you? I love you. You're a part of me. I'd be lost without you."

She smiled, hugged and kissed him.

He grinned. From now on, he'd wait to answer her questions. No more off the cuff answers. He'd take time to communicate with her on a deeper level, because he never wanted her doubt his love for her.


This was a story from an older couple married for many years. It touched me in a special way. I hope you enjoyed it.





 
 
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Lauren Keller posted this picture of Debbie Bugezia today on facebook. Debbie is my treasured and dear friend who means so much to me. She has a kind heart and is always helping someone need.

I'm writing about her today, because out of thousands of employees at Kettering Hospital Network, she was chosen for one of her random acts of kindness toward a woman in need. She went to great lengths to help this woman, and it didn't go unnoticed.

I'm thrilled to celebrate her today. She's an inspiration and a reminder to us to stop and not look away when we see someone who needs assistance. In our busy lives, it's easy to do. Harder to give the most precious gift we have to pass on. Our time. Take a moment and congratulate her!

 
 
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I've got just the tool you need to pick your next winner!

Random.org


Contests are popular on blog sites, parties, sports events, etc.


Baby, wedding, engagement showers are also great events to play games and give away door prizes.

Having trouble picking randomly picking your winner?

Don't want to have everyone take time to write out names?

Eliminate numbered tickets.

Go to Random.org. Put in how many winners you want, and then put in how many you are drawing from 1 - 10 for example. Hit enter and it gives you a random number, and you have your winner.

Debbie Bugezia - sweet wonderful smart friend - thank you for this tip!

 
 
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Rumschpringe is a time where Amish boys and girls leave their Amish community to explore the world at the age of 16. They are considered adults. Most teens return. Those who do not are excommunicated from their family, friends and Amish people.
The journey for these teens during this time can be difficult in a world offering modern conveniences, technology and worldly views.

What is your opinion of this?