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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Come celebrate with me as my first-direct-publishing novella appears on Amazon!  Barncastle Memorial is book #7 in the Celebrate Any Time series.

Widow Gloria Barncastle comes back to her home town, Castlebury, for a week at the Barncastle Inn for a “This is Your Life” celebration. Recently widowed Ted Barncastle, Gloria’s cousin-in-law, helps recreate the magic. Gerry had long ago asked Ted to look after Gloria if something happened to him while he was in Viet Nam. Neither one of them expects a memorial to old love to become a doorway to new love.

Available at:

Books 1-4 appear in Christmas at Barncastle Inn, which is available in print form and ebook from Barbour Publishing, Amazon, etc.

Book 5 - Spring Comes to Barncastle Inn by Lynette Sowell is available at

Book 6 - Revolution at Barncastle Inn by Susan Page Davis is available at


Sunday, April 28, 2013


Ah, the life of a professional writer.  If ever I complain, my pre-published friends remind me how blessed I am to have these kinds of problems.

This past week I survived an attack of questioning my calling to write. I know I can write. I know people read my books. Enjoy them. I have met so many new people as a writer, and they are treasures. But has my writing made a difference? Only God can measure that, and He reminded me through my own words in my blogs at of His pleasure in my writing.

You see, writing is just plain work, and like any job, I have to show up. And lately, the days I feel 100% are fewer and far between. I spent Easter week in the hospital with a bowel obstruction and ever since, I have been battling terrible allergies that resulted in a busted ear drums and a chest-wracking cough. (and yes, I'm on medicine for both.)

In the words of a writing colleague . . . I like having written better than writing itself.

May will be a busy writing month.  Coming up:
  • I have a manuscript due to the editor on June 1st. I'm not in bad shape (almost 2/3rds of the way through the rough draft) but neither have I done as many edits as I could like.
  • I have to do a lengthy, complicated art fact sheet for the cover of the book that is due June 1st.
  • I have to come up with  5-15 alternate titles since they don't like my original one (Madame Mayor.)
  • I have an appointment with an editor, to propose a book for the Love Inspired Historical line. I would really like to write for LIH and so this is scary and important to me.
  • I am selfpublishing my first ebook, Barncastle Memorial, and I'm figuring out the process.
  • I have two other books coming out in May: Hidden Dreams and Texas Brides
  • New publications mean lots of blog vsits and promotions.
So. . . pray for those of us who write. Pray for stamina and encouragement. Pray that we will write
when times are good and when times are bad. Pray that we will take comfort in knowing the contracts God gives us are the ones we are meant to write and to not envy those who have the opportunities we want instead.

In other words - pray that we will treat writing like a job, one we are called, gifted, and privileged to work at.

P.S. Microwave Society was supposed to go on My Daily Nibble blog but I stuck it here instead. I've fixed it, but decided to leave it here as well.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Today's devotional is written by Jo Huddleston. 

So many of our society hold the attitude of “me, me, me” and “now, now, now.” Some have labeled this “The Microwave Society”—obtaining things quickly for ourselves. Overall, this describes a selfish people.

When Solomon, son of King David, became king, and was in Gibeon, “the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’” (1 Kings 3:5, NIV)

This verse reminds me of little children making their Christmas lists for Santa: a list of things the children want for their personal fun. Our family draws names at Christmastime—a Southern thing. Then we each make a list of what we’d like to receive and leave all the lists in the same location for all to peruse. Of course, the Christmas lists mention personal things we’d enjoy.

King Solomon, being around twenty years old, sensed the great task ahead of him to rule the people. He answered God, “Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” (1 Kings 3:8, NIV)
Solomon’s request pleased God since Solomon had not asked for pleasures or wealth. 

God granted King Solomon’s prayer. “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.” (1 Kings 4:29, NIV) Solomon’s request so pleased God that he also granted him what he had not requested: riches and honor so that no other king would be equal to King Solomon in his lifetime.

Do you have the mindset of those in the “Microwave Society,” always striving for the pleasure of “me, me, me”? Do you ever pray to God for whatever He wills you to have in order to make life better for others? I plan to claim this scripture in my prayer life so that I will pray to God as a servant, asking for a discerning heart. I hope you will do this with me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


About the author:  Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a
mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s debut novel, The Women of Valley View: Callie released in October 2012. The second in the series, The Women of Valley View: Terri releases in April 2013.
Connect with her here:

About the book: Despite a bustling day care center and a new foster
child, Terri Hayes hungers for a family of her own. Then a plumbing mishap leaves her homeless and questioning God’s plan. Steve Evans’s gracious offer of his basement apartment as a temporary solution is an answered prayer.
Steve is a successful writer and a good father, but Terri is horrified when Steve’s book research leads him to a harsh confrontation with the parents of her foster child.  She needs to distance herself from Steve, but her efforts fall short as his two scheming daughters plot to make Terri their new stepmother.
Will harsh words and sneaky plans drive Kelsey’s family further apart and put a wedge between Terri and Steve? Or does God have another plan in store?

And now . . . behind the book:

Numbers 11:15 If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!” (NLT)
The subject for this post was given to me as this: How has writing changed me?
I’ve been writing posts for this blog tour for a couple of weeks. This one sat at the bottom of my list, staring me in the face every time I opened my spreadsheet, as if to say “you will have to answer this question eventually.”
How has the writing changed me?
I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been in a period of uncertainty the last few weeks. Yesterday I was feeling a lot like Moses in the verse above. Moses was doing the job God called him to do, and all he received was grief. I can identify. Jonah and Elijah both had their “just kill me” moments as well, so I’m in great company.
 How has the writing changed me?
It’s easy to see the negative changes.
It’s made me busier. Writing is a third job for me—and still a non paying one as I write this post--but if you lump all the writing related bits and pieces of my day into a single measurement of time, it actually takes more time than my paying second job.
It’s made me more introspective, and not always in a good way. I’ve always been a bit OCD. I like to be in control. I like making lists, and I’m most comfortable knowing my day is going to follow a predictable pattern. I have a spreadsheet that I take on vacation, detailing what activities are scheduled to happen on which day. Pity the person who gets between me and my plan. Writing is a poor career choice for people like me. Waiting is not one of my virtues and writing and waiting are interchangeable words.
It has managed to both strip me of my self confidence while giving me the greatest feeling of accomplishment I’ve ever experienced.
As I said, I’ve been in a period of uncertainty the last few weeks.
But then, the most wonderful thing happened. Wonderful beyond a paycheck, the extra dose of patience I crave, or the added three hours I might need in my day. A note arrived from a person I’ve worried about and prayed for, someone the book was never intended to reach. They read the story and found themselves touched on a spiritual level. Something I wrote made them stop and take a serious look inside their own heart.
All because I took time I didn’t really have and invested in a waiting game I’m ill prepared to play. Suddenly those negative are transformed into positives. The cloud of my uncertainty parts just enough to get a glimpse of the SON.  I guess, in God’s grand scheme, it’s all a matter of perspective.
How has the writing changed me?
God and I are still working on that.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


About the author:  Though raised in the Midwest, Jennifer Fromke writes from North Carolina where she lives with her three teenagers and husband of over 20 years. In addition to her debut novel, A Familiar Shore, Jennifer co-authored a Christmas novella (The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt) and published two short stories (“Black Tie Optional” can be purchased as part of Heart Bouquets, a short story collection and “Special Delivery” is available in digital format on Amazon). Her favorite sport is laughing with her family and her favorite daily chore is to ensure the candy dish never runs dry.


About the book: Meg Marks is a young lawyer raised off the coast of the Carolinas. An
anonymous client hires her to arrange his will, and sends her to meet his estranged family at their lake home in northern Michigan. After a shocking discovery, she finds herself caught between his suspicious family and a deathbed promise her conscience demands that she keep. Will she sacrifice her own dreams for revenge, or will she choose something more?

And now . . . Behind the book:

Reading a good story takes you away. On the flip side, writing a good story can also take you to another place . . . but when you are the writer, the destination is up to you.

My first novel, A Familiar Shore, takes place on shores very familiar to me. I’m originally from Michigan, but I live in North Carolina. The winters are great here, but I long for the lakes every summer. I miss cool summer mornings. I miss sunsets over water. I miss the sound of water lapping against rocks and docks.

I sent my character, Meg, to the place I love, northern Michigan. Not da U.P. mind ya. J Northwestern, lower Michigan. Lake Charlevoix is central to the area I visit every summer. My family has a place on a lake nearby, and when the temperature hits 90+ degrees in North Carolina, I start pining for the cool, salt-free lakes up north. 

So by sending Meg to Michigan, I tried to experience the setting for the first time, through new eyes. While the area is a great tourist draw, most visitors originate from somewhere in the Midwest. My character grew up on boat travelling up and down the Eastern Seaboard. She’d never been more than a couple hundred miles inland before. I sent her to “the middle” and she’s stunned to find that she likes it there.

When she arrives, the Traverse City cherry trees are in late bloom, the leaves are just popping out, and the cool air strikes a distinct change from the heavy humid air of the Carolinas in spring. The other distinct change Meg experiences, is a shift from living alone and growing up with only one relative, to being surrounded by a huge extended family, albeit someone else’s. And she’s always longed for a big family. But when Meg uncovers a secret in this family’s past, they pull the welcome mat right out from under her feet.

Have you ever travelled to Northern Michigan? What was the deepest impression it left on you? For me, it’s the clear air and the stunning lakes.

If you’ve never been, I hope you’ll take a virtual tour with Meg by reading A Familiar Shore. Most of the story takes place over Memorial Day weekend, so spring is the perfect time to read it. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


About Elizabeth: Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. Her debut novel, Wisdom to Know, Book 1 of the Grant Us Grace Series, was released in January, 2013. Courage to Change (April, 2013) is the second in that series and continues the story of characters from the first book. She is also the co-author of A is for Airstrip: A Missionary’s Jungle Adventure, a children’s book based on the work of a Wycliffe missionary.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website or on Facebook:

About the book: Should you be willing to change for love?
When Phil Reid became a Christian and stopped drinking, his hard-partying wife Brandi divorced him. Reeling and betrayed, he becomes convinced Christians should never remarry, and resolves to guard his heart.
Allison Vasak has everything in her life under control, except for one thing. Her heart is irresistibly drawn to fellow attorney and coworker, Phil. Though she knows his history and believes that women should not initiate relationships, she longs to make her feelings known.
As Phil and Allison work closely together to help a pregnant teen, Allison melts his defenses. But when Brandi discovers Phil's new relationship, she decides that though she doesn't want him, no one else can have him either. Can Phil and Allison's love weather the chaos Brandi brings into their lives?

Purchase Link:

And now Behind the Book:
I’ve been writing for what feels like forever. I honestly can’t recall when I haven’t had some sort of story in progress on my computer (or in a notebook.) I vividly remember sitting in the dining hall in college and writing little vignettes about the people I saw – making up character snapshots and scenarios. I figure it’s what all people watchers do, just not all of us actually go ahead and write them down. The majority of the novels prior to my debut are all more sci-fi/fantasy. Those are genres I love to read, so it always seemed a natural extension to write them. Don’t get me wrong, I also love reading contemporary romances! It just wasn’t the genre I really every felt I’d write – until I decided I needed a little break from world building. I was stuck (really, I’d written myself into a corner and couldn’t figure my way out), so I took a break and started the story that had been germinating in my heart for a while – despite trying to get out of writing it. Ultimately, this became my debut novel, Wisdom to Know.

When I got the contract for Wisdom to Know, my editor started chatting with me about whether or not it would be a series, and what I envisioned going forward. I hadn’t seriously thought about it, but I realized that there were secondary characters in my first book who had started whispering their story in my ear…and so I started writing. I knew that it this book, Courage to Change¸ would be Phil and Allison’s story. But I hadn’t counted on Lindsey, a pregnant teen, becoming such a major part of the book. I’d thought that working together on Lindsey’s case would be what brought Phil and Allison together, but hadn’t really expected to continue the story line much farther. But then Lindsey started to seriously consider adoption and I realized that she needed more time at the forefront.

Both of my boys were adopted. I’m not sure that people who haven’t adopted really think about what it means to make an adoption plan for a child. The chances I’ve had to interact with my boys’ birthparents is something I’ll treasure and I hope to be able to convey to the boys just how amazing their biological parents are. It’s a hard, hard thing place a child – but having had the experience of crying with and embracing two incredibly strong young women as they made that plan…I realized that Lindsey’s storyline was a small opportunity to offer people a glimpse into that decision-making process and do one more thing to show my gratitude.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Painless Shelter

Recently in my Bible reading, there's a lot about fighting and victory and courage.

So this morning, weakened b y my recent hospital stay (the reason for my absence last week), exhausted about two out of three sleepless nights, I remembered an image I had used of chicks sheltering beneath their mother's wings, and I prayed, Lord, please make this a shelter day, not a fighting day. 

Different seasons. Nothing new about the concept day. And  I recognize that days like this, the physical aspects are often the fight.

But today I need, I crave, comfort.

As I lay on my bed, my legs cramping, crying, screaming from fun, for the first time, I could understand why someone facing unending pain would choose to end their lives. It no longer seemed so outrageous. And that fact is scary by itself.

I tried to put a good face on it. As I spasmed and pain pressed, I tried to make it a sacrifice. May this pain --spasm--help to complete--spike of pain--Your sufferings. Gasp, screech.

I  tried to redirect my thoughts. To think of at least ten words for each letter of the alphabet that describe God. I got as far as i, I think. I AM!  Imminent. In me. (I was stretching.) Before I gave it up.

A soft feather soft bed, eyes sheltered against the bright sun, sounds like a pretty place to be right now.

My shelter.

Too bad I didn't get to S.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

BEHIND THE BOOK: Welcome Marsha Hubler

About Marsha:

Marsha Hubler, author of the best-selling juvenile fiction KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES, has a masters degree in education and lives in central Pennsylvania Dutch country, highly populated by the Amish and Mennonite, who have been a valuable firsthand resource for her latest project, THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY, a series about the Amish and Mennonite folk in the beautiful Susquehanna Valley. She had also owned horses over a twenty-year period, therefore knows her horse facts in and out. With such a background, her fiction series presents the Amish and Mennonites of Snyder County in a warm and personal way. She has 16, soon to be 17, books in print. Visit her at

About  Love Song for Louelle 

Twenty-five-year-old Amish Louellen Friesen falls in love with forty-year-old Englishman Dr. David McAndrew, a widower with two children, for whom she cleans house in Mapletown, Snyder County, PA. There’s only one problem. Louellen is already married. Well past the “marrying age” at twenty-two, Louellen Stolzfus had wed Amish man Eli Friesen three years prior, mostly because of pressure from her family. Eli, also in his mid-twenties and in danger of being “passed over,” had married Louellen for one main reason, to have sons. Louellen has some love for Eli and sets out to be the best wife. However, after three years there are no children. Louellen is devastated, and Eli becomes bitter, feeling trapped in a marriage that has produced no offspring even though he knows that he has the medical problem, not his wife. He ignores her needs, and their wedded life is nothing but a disappointment to both. What should Louellen do? Turn her back on her husband and her Amish Ordnung? Should she leave, become “English,” and marry Dr. McAndrew, a man who has promised her the moon?

And now, Behind the Book:

Living in Snyder County in central Pennsylvania the last forty-some years has afforded me the luxury of observing the Amish and Mennonite lifestyles both from a distance and up close and personal. I have several Mennonite friends who had offered home care to my ailing elderly mother before she passed away in 2010, and two of these gals still help me with housework. I also live just a few minutes from a farmers’ market, where many Amish and Mennonite frequent regularly. Thus, over the years I’ve become acquainted with their lifestyles, many of their customs, and religious beliefs.

My church supports M.A.P. (Mission to Amish People), a Christian work that seeks to share with the Amish the truths of God’s Word concerning salvation and the way to gain eternal life in heaven. I receive regular newsletters from the organization that sends Bible lessons to thousands of Amish families and helps Amish who leave their Ordnungs to find a place to live and employment in the English world.

A great misconception believed by the “English” (That’s us!) is that the Amish, because of their strict religious lifestyle, are bound for heaven. Unfortunately, many of the Amish fiction books published today lead the reader to believe that the Amish beliefs are an acceptable way to God. But many Amish don’t know that salvation is through God’s grace, a gift, and not of their own works. The vast majority of Amish are bound by tradition and most live in apprehension and uncertainty, hoping that obedience to their local Ordnung’s rules will gain them favor with God and will allow them into heaven.

Thus, from my personal contacts and in-depth study of the Amish beliefs, I felt led to write THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY SERIES. Volume one and two, BACHELOR’S CHOICE and TEACHER’S PET, are light romances, with the main characters Mennonites who believe in salvation by grace alone. Volume three, LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN, is a flashback and deals with the parents of the main characters in the first two books. The parents are Amish but discover the truth in the Bible that belief in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is the only true way to heaven. They accept Christ as their Savior, reject their Ordnung’s beliefs of working their way to heaven, are shunned, then leave their Amish community and join a local Mennonite church.

Through writing this series, I’ve learned so much about the Amish and Mennonite folks. Although both are a gentle, nonresistant people, most Amish do not have joy or peace in their lives because they work so hard to please their Ordnung, never knowing if their good works attain favor with God, who seems so removed. On the other hand, Mennonites who have accepted Christ into their lives have a sweet inner peace that reflects in their faces and in the kindness they show to each other and to us English as well.

It’s been a wonderful experience writing this series. I can only hope and pray that the truth of the scriptures in the three volumes challenges the reader to consider his/her own eternal destiny and embrace the truths of God’s Word: “For by grace are ye saved by faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).


URLs for my Social Media Sites

Note to Readers: I made an unexpected trip to the hospital. I'm okay now, and thanks for your patience!