Gail's Book Nook

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Award-winning Author Lisa Lickel Talks About Centrifugal Force, The Second Book In Her Forces Of Nature Series. Gives Away Coupons.

A Warm Welcome to Lisa Lickel

Lisa's a Grace Awards Winner for Meander Scar, the first in her Forces of Nature Series and a Jade Award Winner for The Saxon Boy: The First Children of Farmington. 

She will give away one FREE Smashwords coupon to one winner and 99-cent coupons for everyone else who leaves a comment saying why they'd like to read Centrifugal Force. 

To enter be sure to comment below and tell Lisa why you want to read the book and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

First, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a writer and editor from Wisconsin who enjoys a great relationship with a southern writer, Gail, who’s teaching and reminding me to mind my p’s and q’s in my manuscripts. I love all kinds of writing, and have been fortunate to publish in a variety of genres and methods, from large publisher, agented, to indie to DIY. I write mysteries, romance, and suspense. I enjoy mentoring writers and editing, and giving workshops. I share a lot of information on my website. My husband and I have two grown sons and five grandchildren.

I'm so glad to have made my Wisconsin connection, Lisa! Tell us about your latest book.

Centrifugal Force is the second book in the Forces of Nature series and follows Meander Scar a year later. It’s set in 2011, about the time the European Union was in the early economic crisis, and features a fictional scenario in which Germany is threatening to leave the union. Meander Scar is about Ann Michels, a woman who has a grown son, a husband who's been missing for a number of years, and a wonderful younger friend from the past who helps her out. Ann’s sister, Rachel, has a troubled young adult daughter, Maeve. Nothing is mentioned about Maeve’s father, but we meet him in Centrifugal Force and hear their story.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

In this case, around the time Meander Scar came out (Black Lyon Publishing, 2010), I read the obituary of an intriguing international personality. He had such a fascinating history, and I felt he was truly the basis for Maeve’s father. I worked with my critique group to come up with a plausible story arc, which was a lot of fun.

What themes do you write about?

While I write in different genres, I find them mostly dealing with the theme of family—what makes a family, what happens when others don’t respect the family, what results might occur when the family is damaged in some way. Relationships, perceptions, prejudice, I guess, at the deepest level. How we treat each other because of what we believe.

What are you working on right now?

Well, I’m glad you asked! I’m working on the third book in the series, Parhelion. I started with a natural phenomenon dealing with river courses in Meander Scar; the perceptual phenomenon of a created condition when circular path and speed combine. Now I’m heading off the planet toward the sun with Maeve and her love interest because planetary safety and the end of human existence on Earth is a real possibility. I don’t know what will happen yet, as I never intended to do more than consider a potential removal from Earth, so this will be a true test of my ability to create a realistic scenario. With the help of my friends, of course.

More About Centrifugal Force

Former lovers attempt to rectify the past to save their children and preserve the fragile world in crisis.

Rachel Michels made a poor choice which resulted in her biggest blessing, her daughter, Maeve. When the father of that blessing returns decades later, she knows he wants something she’s taken from him. Rachel has lived in near seclusion and mistrust, fearful of losing the one person who’s kept her life from coming unglued.

Professor Gervas Friedemann returns to Wisconsin, seeking a missing ancient artifact, along with help for his oldest daughter who is suffering from a rare genetic blood disorder. With the European Union at stake, blackmail could negatively impact a crucial vote in the German Parliament unless Gervas recovers an irreplaceable relic he left in the United States on a lecture tour a lifetime ago. He knows who took the piece of history he once flaunted—the woman who had stolen his soul. He only hopes she still has the ring.

Lisa Shares A Recipe 

Maeve is kind of a natural, whole-foods nut. She made up a gluten-free pancake recipe for a healthy breakfast.

Gluten-free, Vegan Pancakes
Makes about 4

1 cup ground oats (you can buy oat flour or grind your own quick oats in a food chopper)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 T. ground flax seed (can substitute a whole egg or 2 egg whites is preferred)
1 cup milk (can use almond or rice or other liquid, like apple juice, if preferred)
1 T. oil (melted butter, shortening, applesauce or yogurt)

Opt: ½ tsp. cinnamon

Blend well, adding more liquid if desired, or more ground oats to keep batter thicker.
Pour onto hot griddle, flip when bubbly, but don’t let them get too browned.
Double or triple batter as needed.


Buy Centrifugla Force on Amazon
Barnes and Noble

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Donna Schlachter Talks About The Mail Order Brides Collection And Her Story In It, A Train Ride To Heartbreak. Gives Away A Copy.

A Warm Welcome to Donna Schlachter

Donna will give away a print copy  of The Mail Order Brides Collection (U.S. Residents Only). To enter to win join the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Donna Shares The Story Behind Her Book, A Train Ride to Heartbreak

The idea for this story came from a love of a movie and a friend with a great story to share.

The movie was “The Fugitive”, both the original series pilot and the more recent remake. I loved the idea of a train ride leading to a second chance.

My friend had recently taken a train ride from Denver to San Francisco, and she shared several delightful stories. I wondered if a train ride might be like a cruise in that it would provide an insulated environment where the travelers might do something they’d never done before. If so, this was perfect fodder for a romance, much like the old TV show, “The Love Boat”.

And then I saw “Murder on the Orient Express”, and as a lover of anything Agatha Christie, decided to incorporate a few of the details in my story.

The result? A chance meeting, two characters with integrity, and a way for God to reach both of them.

1895, Train to California

John Stewart needs a wife. Mary Johannson needs a home. On her way west, Mary falls in love with another. Now both must choose between commitment and true love.

October 1895

Mary Johannson has scars on her body that can’t compare with the scars on her heart. She is alone in the world, with no family, no prospects, and no home.

John Stewart is at his wit’s end. His wife of three years died in childbirth, leaving him with a toddler and an infant, both girls. Theirs was the love of fairy tales, and while he has no illusions about finding another like her, his children need a mother.

Though separated by thousands of miles, they commit to a mail-order marriage. But on their journey to Heartbreak, they meet another and realize the life they’d planned would be a lie. Can they find their way back from the precipice and into the love of God and each other, or are they destined to keep their word and deny their heart?

Buy The Mail-Order Brides Collection  on Amazon

Find all of Donna's books here on Amazon

And on Smashwords

Excerpt from A Train Ride to Heartbreak

Groverton, Pennsylvania
September 1895

Chapter 1

Mary Johannson plunged reddened hands into the dishwater and scrubbed at a crusty spot on the chipped china plate.

In the yard, the vicar, shoulders slumped from the cares of his congregation, held a small child in his arms while two toddlers clutched his pants leg. And Matron Dominus, the imposing head of the Meadowvale Orphan’s Home, towered over the small group huddled before her.

Mary checked the plate. Satisfied it would pass muster, she dipped it into the rinse bucket and set the piece into the dish rack to air dry. Next she set a burnt oatmeal pot into the water to soak while she dried her hands on her apron and surveyed the scene outside.

The vicar nodded and turned to walk the gravel path he’d traversed just minutes before, the wee ones in tow as he hoisted the child to his other hip for the mile-long trip back. No doubt he was waiting for space to open in the orphanage.

Her space.

Mary would turn eighteen in two months. And despite her desire to escape the confines of the orphanage, she wasn’t excited about making her own way in the world. The last girl who aged out—as the other orphans called the act of turning eighteen—now worked at the saloon.

And everybody knew what kind of girls worked there.

Mary swiped at the scarred worktable set in the middle of the kitchen floor, her washrag sweeping crumbs into her hand. She still needed to finish the dishes and report to Matron

Dominus for her next order for the day.

By the time she returned to the sink, the vicar and his charges were out of sight.

But Matron Dominus stood outside the tiny window staring in at her.

Checking up on her, no doubt. Making certain she wasn’t lollygagging. An activity all of the residents indulged in. According to Matron.

Mary hurried through the rest of the washing up. She swept the floor, put a pot of beans on to soak for supper, and shooed the cat out from under the stove. After checking the dampers to make certain the range wouldn’t needlessly heat the kitchen—another of Matron’s accusations—she hung her apron on a nail beside the back door.

Stepping out into the fresh air, Mary drew a deep breath and leaned against the clapboard siding.

Perhaps she could work at the seamstress shop. She was a fair hand with a needle and thread. Or maybe the general store.

“Mary Johannson.”

The screech like a rooster with its tail caught in a gate startled her, and she straightened. But in her haste, she overbalanced and stepped forward to catch herself, hooking her toe in the hem of her dress, which she’d just let down last week to a more respectable length.

The sound of rending cloth filled her ears as the ground slammed toward her. She got her hands out in front of her just in time to prevent mashing her nose into the soil. The toes of Matron Dominus’s boots filled her vision.

Mary pushed herself to her feet, wincing at an ache in her lower back not there a moment before. Tears blurred her vision when she checked her dress—she had a three-inch rip just above the hem.

“Are you lollygagging about? Sunbathing? Do you think you’re on the Riviera?”

Despite her imposing height and girth, the matron’s voice—particularly when she was irked—resembled the irksome peacock Mary had once seen in the zoo in Philadelphia. Why God would create such a beautiful bird with such a nasty voice was beyond her.

But if what Matron said was true, He’d created Mary, too, only to have her burned by the flames that killed the rest of her family. Angry red scars ran from her forearms to halfway up her neck, and a collar of white tissue, the result of an inept doctor sewing her back together again, ringed her neck and inched toward her ears.

No, if God really loved her, He wouldn’t have allowed that to happen.

About Donna

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid author who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

Connect with Donna on History Thru The Ages
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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Looking Out The Window: American Christian Fiction Writers March New Releases

March 2018 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Finally a Bride by Renee Andrews -- Her dreams of love haven’t worked out, but veterinarian Haley Calhoun intends to grant an orphaned boy’s wish. She’ll heal Eli’s injured puppy—while resisting his charming counselor, Gavin Thomason, at the children’s home. Still mourning the loss of his wife and baby, Gavin believes he can’t commit again. But in losing their hearts to Eli, will Haley and Gavin discover they’ve found the family they need? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love and Roses by Sally Bayless -- Looking for a fresh start, former Manhattan lawyer Nate Redmond agrees to arrange the sale of the outdated Rose Park in small-town Missouri, not realizing it has deep sentimental value to his new neighbor, Abby Kincaid—a beautiful widow he’d like to impress. When their plans for the park clash, he learns he’s competing against the memory of her husband, a decorated war hero. With plenty of past mistakes hiding in the in the hedges, can Abby and Nate learn forgiveness and courage in time for love to grow? (Contemporary Romance from Kimberlin Belle Publishing)

Courting Her Amish Heart by Mary Davis -- In this first book of the Prodigal Daughters series, Kathleen Yoder comes home after fourteen years in the Englisher world. Practicing medicine means sacrifice—no Amish man will want a doctor for a wife. Widowed Noah Lambright offers a cottage as her new clinic, seeing how much Kathleen’s skills can help their community. But as their friendship deepens, could love and family become more than a forbidden dream? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart by Jan Drexler -- As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp is finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors' Englischer farm worker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn't part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith's own. Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers' community - even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith's steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach...if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes - and hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Reluctant Groom by Kimberly Rose Johnson -- When Ray O’Brien’s world is turned upside down, Katie Fairchild wants to help, but the personal cost is high. Neither desires a marriage of convenience, but when Katie blurts the first thing that comes to her mind Ray can’t dismiss her offer of marriage. It would solve all his problems except for one thing—they aren’t in love. Can these two friends team up for the greater good and perhaps find love along the way, or are their expectations impossible? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Anna’s Forgotten Fiance by Carrie Lighte -- An accident leaves Anna Weaver with no memory of her Amish hometown’s newest arrival—her fiancé! After a whirlwind courtship, their wedding’s in six weeks…but how can she marry a man she can’t remember? Carpenter Fletcher Chupp takes her on a walk down memory lane, but there’s one thing he wants to keep hidden: a secret that might just lose him the woman he loves. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh -- Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?
Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise. Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

General & Women’s Fiction:

Justice by Emily Conrad -- Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. (General from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel -- When her heart donor’s parents give Megan Jacobs their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. (General from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Sweet Meets by Deborah Raney -- From short stories to novellas, from contemporary to historical, all of award-winning author Deborah Raney’s short works have been gathered into one great collection for one low price.
Includes the following novellas and short stories: Going Once, Special Delivery, Haiti's Song, Prairie Lessons, Finally Home, Circle of Blessings. (Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Historical Romance:

Seven Brides for Seven Texas Ranchers Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, Erica Vetsch, and Kathleen Y’Barbo -- Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears -- In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain serves on the schoolboard, determined to protect Teaville's children from the bullying she experienced as a child. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she's dead set against him getting the job. Aaron has returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He sets out to prove to Mercy he now has the best interests of the children at heart. Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they're working for? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Jennifer Lamont Leo -- In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper, used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason -- A young man suddenly thrust into nobility is torn between the servant girl he hopes to marry and the father he’s always longed for. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Safe Refuge by Pamela S. Meyers -- Wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, is about to wed a man she loathes. The Great Chicago Fire erupts, postponing the wedding. After escaping to Wisconsin with her family she realizes she loves Irish immigrant, Rory Quinn, and prepares to break the wedding plans, which are still on. Then she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Husband by Arrangement by Angel Moore -- Abandoned by her secret fiancé, the mayor’s pregnant daughter marries the sheriff. Can she overcome her past and help him save the town from corruption? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Beneath A Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence, but when she is cast from the social registers due to her father's illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in manners and morals so they can "marry up" with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he's put off by the snooty airs of the "little city gal" in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the grooms-to-be. How can he teach her that perfection won't bring happiness? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Romantic Suspense:

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn -- After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. Leigh reaches out for help from her high school friend and volunteer underwater investigator, Ryan Parker. But when Ryan finds the body of a wealthy businessman in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh and deadly implications for them all. (Romantic Suspense from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing)

Secret Service Setup by Jessica R. Patch -- Secret Service agent Evan Novak becomes the target of multiple hit men when someone puts a two-million-dollar bounty on his head. Is it the gunrunner he’s tracking...or a traitorous agent? Framed and wanted, Evan reluctantly accepts protection from bodyguard Jody Gallagher, his former love who lost her Agency career because of him. But then the bounty is raised to include Jody… (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Fugitive Spy by Jordyn Redwood -- A spy with amnesia—and a mission he can’t remember. When Casper English lands in her ER with amnesia, Dr. Ashley Drager learns he has a picture of her…and the same tattoo as her long-missing father. With a dangerous man after Casper, and his memories possibly holding the key to finding Ashley’s father, she secretly whisks him away from the hospital. But can she keep him alive long enough to help him regain his memories? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Friday, February 23, 2018

Looking Out the Window: Read A Chapter and Vote On A Pirate At Pembroke, a Regency Novel With A Fun Twist--A Pirate

A Warm Welcome to Danielle Thorne and her dolphin friend

Get a sneak peek at A Pirate at Pembroke, nominate it, and vote!

Hi Danielle, tell us about this great deal for a sneak preview of A Pirate at Pembroke.

Hello Gail and Friends,

Are you ready for your next Jane Austen-inspired pirate regency? It's here!

A Pirate at Pembroke is now available for a "sneak peek." I'm so excited for the upcoming release of my new clean regency, and I hope you are, too. This full-length novel is a delightful tale of family, friendship, and love at first sight. It’s up for an contract, which means I'm going to need your seal of approval (vote) after reading it at Kindle Scout!

About A Pirate at Pembroke

Sophie Crestwood is never going to catch a husband, and she isn’t even sure she wants one. Her father is a gossip, her mother always has her nose in a book, and little Jack has shamefully been dismissed from boarding school. Worst of all, a pirate moves next door into Pembroke Hall!

When Sophie's sent to a matchmaking party at a neighboring estate, the pirate from Pembroke arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship that Sophie fears may come to mean much more than anyone would ever suspect.

Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good.

Information For Your Read

Read, give your opinion and nominate A Pirate at Pembroke.

 I need your opinions, nominations, and votes on the first chapter available now at Kindle Scout

Vote here

Below check out the opening pages today!

Thanking you in advance, and happy reading!

Danielle Thorne

Read an excerpt below then go over to Kindle Scout to find the chapter and vote

The sad sonata continued its siren's call. It echoed a passionate and haunting melody, just like the dark halls of Pembroke with its soiled paintings of aristocrats from long ago. Sophie examined the chamber doors through the gloom and decided the door to the second room on the left was slightly ajar with a dim light shimmering around it. She moved in silence to the small gap and caught her breath.

Captain Murdock stood in front of a languid fire burning beneath a marble mantel. One bare foot was balanced on a low, milking stool nestled up against a heavy, velvet-covered chair. The other kept time on the floor. With his cane leaning against the fireplace, Murdock stood balanced on his own. In his hands, a violin tucked underneath his chin swayed. It moved in time with his body as he performed a strange dance to the music. His profile in the firelight was sharp and clear. He stood slender and tall. In these private bedchambers, half-dressed in loose buckskin breeches and an untucked shirt open at the neck, he did not seem as rigid and menacing as before. From his dreamy stare, his thoughts were somewhere inside the flickering blue and orange flames. The reflection of the firelight made his pale eyes glow.

Sophie noticed his hair was undone. It hung far past his neck, with slight waves resting on his broad upper back on either side of his shoulders. She put a hand to her mouth realizing it had fallen open, and at the same time, that it was scandalous to spy on her host. She swallowed and stepped away. The music stopped in mid-cry. Her heart jumped in her chest, and for a brief pause, the only sound to be heard was her own loud breathing. She stepped back and pivoted on her heel.
Horrified he might have felt her examination, she strode down the rug-lined hallway as quietly as she could, but each footfall sounded like muffled thunder as she hurried back to the stairs. She reached the banister and slipped down the first step, but her shift snagged on something, and she spun about to free it.

Captain Murdock stood behind her, silent. He held a handful of her shift in his fist. She had not snagged it after all. Rather, he had snagged her. She jerked in surprise, but his hold kept her from falling backward and tumbling down the stairs. His other hand trembled as it balanced precariously on a carved dragon head at the top of his cane.

"What do you think you are doing?"

"I… I heard music and followed it."

His eyes blazed with accusation, and it unnerved her.

"I'm so sorry," she said in a choking voice. Her nose tingled again. She touched it with her fingers to make it stop.

"It's not possible you heard music from all the way down in your room."

Sophie took a nervous breath. He stood there, one step above her like a giant, her bedclothes gripped in his hand so tight it shook. She hadn't heard him shuffle down the hall after her. He moved as silent as a ghost when he wanted -- even with a cane. She found the courage to meet his penetrating gaze. "I did hear something from my room. Then I was in the hall."

Captain Murdock waited for a long pause, while the dust they had stirred up in the rugs pirouetted in the air and into Sophie's eyes and nose. "You should not be out of bed," he said.

Sophie swallowed down her frightened apprehension. She tried to beg his pardon, but her lungs failed her, and she coughed in reflex. She covered her mouth with her fingers. "I'm so sorry," she repeated between them, her cheeks hot with humiliation. She stared at the fistful of her garments he'd snatched, aware his eyes examined her from her straight, waist-length hair down to her naked ankles. With a jerk, he dropped her shift like it burned his hand.

"Go to bed," he said in a quiet voice.

Sophie's nose had not quit tingling and itching. "Yes, sir," she said at once, but not soon enough to keep a sneeze from erupting. It came so fast and without warning, she had no chance to catch it before it doused him with all her rejection.

Horrified, she stumbled down the next step, thankful the old handrail held fast. When she glanced back, he was wiping off his shirt with a look of disgust.

About Danielle

Danielle Thorne is the author of classic romance and adventure in several genres. She loves Jane Austen, pirates, beaches, cookies, antiques, cats, dogs, and long naps. She does not like phone calls or sushi. A graduate of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho, Danielle saw early work published by Every Day Fiction, Arts and Prose Magazine, Mississippi Crow, The Nantahala Review, StorySouth, and… you get the idea. Besides writing, she’s edited for both Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her growing blog, The Balanced Writer, focuses on writing, life, and the pursuit of peace and happiness. Currently, Danielle freelances as a non-fiction author while waiting to hear from readers like you through her website. During free time, which means when Netflix is down, she combs through feedback and offers virtual hugs for reviews. A Pirate at Pembroke is her newest release. Her non-fiction book, The Story of Queen Victoria 200 Years After Her Birth, is coming fall 2018.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Looking Out the Window: Tamera Lynn Kraft Talks About Red Sky Over America, An Historical Novel Tackling The Evils Of Slavery

A Warm Welcome to Tamera Lynn Kraft

First, tell us a little about yourself.

I've always loved reading adventures. I love to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. I always include strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in my stories. I've received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and was a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. I have a number of novellas and two novels, Alice's Notions and Red Sky Over America, published. I've been married for 39 years to the love of my life, Rick. I have two married adult children and two grandsons. In August, I'm expecting the arrival of my third grandson.

I've been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. I am currently the director of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where I mentor other children’s leaders, teach workshops, and am a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. I've also written children’s church curriculum. I'm honored to be a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?

I was a very avid reader. I always had my nose in a book, and was one of those children who took a flashlight to bed to hide under the covers so I could read all night. I read just about anything. I remember enjoying Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew Mysteries, but I also love Little Women, Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables, A Wrinkle in Time, and Call of the Wild. My reading tastes were pretty eclectic. They still are.

Tell us about your latest book.

Red Sky Over America is Book 1 of the Ladies of Oberlin Series. The series is about three women who attend Oberlin College, the only college before the Civil War to allow blacks and women to earn degrees beside of white men. Here's the blurb.

William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America's classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

Red Sky Over America tackles the most turbulent time in history with thorough research and fascinating characters. Tamera Lynn Kraft has woven a tale about the evils of slavery that should never be forgotten. -- Mary Ellis, author of The Quaker and the Rebel, The Lady and the Officer, and The Last Heiress.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Faith-filled, Adventurous, Heart wrenching. About the heart wrenching part, I'm not kind to my characters. I'm always placing them in horrible situations and then making it worse. I feel sorry for them.

Do you put yourself in your books?

Absolutely. I don't know of a good writer who doesn't. In Red Sky Over America, I remembered when I was a young adult trying to break away from family who wanted to tell me how to live my life. I always felt like I was being torn in two. Those emotions are what America, my main character, felt like when she confronted her father about owning slaves.

What are you working on right now?

I am editing and finishing up Book 2 in the Ladies of Oberlin Series. It centers on Lavena, the Oberlin lady who is passionate about rights for women. She is a reporter during the Civil War and convinces her boss to allow her to report on the Ohio Seventh Regiment, considered the most heroic regiment of the Union Army. The catch is she has to do an interview of an illusive Army captain who is hiding a secret and doesn't like reporters. It is due to be released in November.

Buy Red Sky Over America  on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Tamara Shares Her favorite Bible Verse and Recipe

Favorite Verse

I have a lot of favorite verses, but my all-time favorite that has helped me through some tough times is Isaiah 43:1-2. But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Favorite Recipe: Chocolate Drops

This is not only my favorite recipe, my children love it as well.


1 lb. butter (I like to use real unsalted butter.)
3 lbs. or 10 ½ cups confectioners sugar
1-7 oz. jar marshmallow crème
3-4 lbs. chocolate (I use dark chocolate. The candy is so sweet that the dark chocolate tones it down a bit.)

Thouroughly mix by hand or with dough hooks the butter, sugar, and marshmallow crème.
Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookies sheets lined with pastry or wax paper.
Freeze for at least 24 hours.

Dip in melted chocolate. (You can melt the chocolate in the microwave or buy a special dipping machine.)

For a variation, put a few drops of candy flavoring in the recipe such as mint or strawberry.


Connect with Tamara on her Website.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Looking In the Window: Happy Valentine's Day from Nine Authors

"...But the greatest of these is love."
 (I Cor.: 13 - 13)

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Prism Book Group’s Love Is Series...

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...” I Corinthians 13: 4 - 8

Nine authors each chose one of these characteristics of love to write about, so there are nine novellas in the Love Is... Series. 

Check out each book in the series here 

Mine is "it (love) is not easily angered." Look for it here

Wishing you a Valentine's Day and a life filled with love.