Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Renee Reviews The Secret Things by Peggy Trotter

5 Star Faithful Review


The Secret Things
Unchained Souls Book 1

The Secret Things

by

Peggy Trotter


About the Book, The Secret Things:

Deep in the Smokey Mountains, secrets abound. Jerrica Rankin doesn't know who she is. But she's certain she isn't the woman in the wedding photo. So who is the stranger on her porch gripping this incriminating picture? How will Jerrica conquer her panic attacks and find her identity to prove he's wrong?
Brock Langston buried his wife three years ago. But he finds her, deep in the Smokey Mountains, very much alive and denying who she is. How could she have forgotten their relationship and why didn't anyone contact him? Is Jerrica really his wife? Or an impostor?


The Faithful Review by Renee Blare:

The Secret Things
Peggy Trotter has written an emotional and mental page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Jerrica opens the door and confronts her past...a past she's buried in the recesses of her mind. Brock discovers a future he believed to be lost only to realize the road ahead is harder than he expected.
Do we hide in a world of our own making or continue forward with the Lord? Do we resist where He may lead or trust He will protect us no matter what may come?
The Secret Things isn't predictable and takes a few turns that you least expect, but then so does life. This story of love, fear, and hope reminds us that one day life is a dream, the next it can turn into a nightmare. Ms. Trotter reminds the reader that God is the true artist of our destiny and is the only One who is in control.

I give this book five stars. Good job.


The Author, Peggy Trotter:

She’s a small town Hoosier native who teaches 1st and 2nd grade at a small Christian School and writes Christian Romance in her spare time. God blessed her with a wonderful husband who cooks and helps clean while supporting her crazy dreams. She has two incredible grown kids, one fabulous son-in-law, and two rays of sunshine, commonly called grandchildren. 
The empty-nest syndrome set her to groping for a new direction, and wow, did God answer! Year of Jubilee, a Christian Historical Romance set in southern Indiana, debuted on April 10th of 2015 through Prism Book Group. A second, a Contemporary Romance entitled, Reviving Jules, will follow on Oct. 9th, 2015 as well. She loves to reveal God’s miracles through the world’s underdogs and mix in a little love and happy endings.
She finaled in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest in 2013 in the Inspirational Category, and is a 2014 ACFW Genesis Winner in the Novella Category. Seldom does she stand still, but when she does, it’s to praise her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Creator of all gifts and Bestower of all blessings!


Renee's opinions are her own and not for sale or in exchange for any services or fees. She's not required to give a review and all books are provided by the author or purchased personally by Renee.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Caryl McAdoo's Talks Mighty on the Coffee Corner


Caryl McAdoo's on the Coffee Corner


I'm excited to welcome fellow Christian author and friend, Caryl McAdoo to the blog this week. It's going to be an exciting discussion about her writing and releases. She's also planning an AMAZING GIVEAWAY! Check it out at the end of the interview. Are you ready? Get set. Let's go!


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Renee: Hi there, Caryl! Welcome to the Coffee Corner. I can't wait to get started. I love your books and am still amazed by the amount of books you produce each year. I wish I could do that! Why don't we begin our excursion into your world with a journey down memory lane? How long have you been writing?

Caryl: Thanks for having me, Renee. I’ve been writing since the mid-eighties when my husband, an avid reader, read a book called Noah that he claims should have been Joe and the Big Boat as it had nothing that pertained to the well-known Noah of the Bible. It made him believe that if that author could get published, he certainly should. “Plus,” he tells people, “I knew I had Caryl at home to help.” We write all the titles together even though only my name is on the cover (NY agent and Simon & Schuster insisted). It works for us. He isn’t a marketer—more the strong, silent type, but a grand writer! 

Renee: I would say it definitely works! And you both are awesome writers if your books are any testament to the fact. I haven't had a chance to read your release, Mighty to Save, but what makes this story unique?

Caryl: Writing the Texas Romance family saga has been such fun, and Book Nine, Mighty to Save proved no exception! It’s very unique from all the rest in that the heroine Evelyn “Evie” (Book Eight, Covering Love), daughter of Cecelia Buckmeyer Eversole (Book Five, Daughters of the Heart) and granddaughter of Henry and Sue Buckmeyer (Book One, Vow Unbroken) and her hero, Nathaniel Hearts Stolen and Six, Just Kin) --- they are already married when their story opens. This is one reason I L*O*V*E being independently published, because this wouldn’t fit any traditional house’s pigeon holes. Yet, I believe it’s very effective. 
Nightingale, son of Charley and Lacey Rose (Books Two,

Maybe they wouldn’t even categorize it as a romance! But their history isn’t totally skipped over. She’s an author like her MayMee (grandmother, the dime novelist May Meriwether in Book Three, Hope Reborn), and so she writes her and Nathaniel’s love story as a part of this novel, but it’s all in the past as Mighty to Save opens with him overseas serving in World War One. That’s a whole ‘nother no-no in the scheme of ‘traditional’ romances, you are not supposed to separate your hero and heroine very long at all.

Renee: Well, war has a way of separating people, doesn't it? Do you have a favorite part in Mighty to Save?

Caryl: My favorite part of this story are the scenes on Bonnie Brae Street where the Azuza Street Revival got its start, and where dear Charley who I’ve loved since his introduction in Book Two, Hearts Stolen finally receives Christ as his Savior and surrenders to a call placed on his life to evangelize. Those glory-bump-producing scenes are dear to my heart as God’s Holy Spirit moves on mens’ hearts and so many folks are healed proving that God’s power and promises were not only for the First Church. We don’t “preach” in the book like I just did, but that’s why that section is my favorite!

Renee: Oh wow. Charley on Bonnie Brae. I'll have to remember that. I love the names of your books, by the way. How do you pick your titles?

Caryl: It sounds crazy to say, but I think God chooses them, not that I pick them. We may kick a few around, but most often, it’s very clear the first time my ears hear it, that’s the title! At Liberty to Love (Book Seven) came from one of the last scenes in its predecessor Just Kin (Book Six). It’s spoken there, and I knew immediately that was the title for the next book. Mighty to Save, as you all probably know is quite a famous song, and I was singing it and voila! Book Nine was named! Though searchers need to add my name ‘Caryl’ or ‘book’ so as not to have to wade through all the YouTube videos. 😊

Renee: Any favorite characters?

Caryl: I love writing children into our books. They’re usually my favorite characters, and I especially enjoy seeing them grow up in this family saga. In the latest installation Mighty to Save, readers meet Broderick Eversole Nightingale, known to most as Buddy. He’s twelve in 1926 in Chief of Sinners, Book Ten (launching in September of this year), and four in this story and such a cutie. I fashion the children after my own grandsugars, Buddy is a lot like my Benjamen . . . his granddaddy Charley (also at the age of four in Hearts Stolen, Book 2) after my number one McAdoo grandson Seth.

Renee: My mind is getting conjumbobulated. (Like my new word?) What was that now? So you already know how CHIEF OF SINNERS starts and how old Buddy is in 1926? How's that if you haven't written the book yet?

Caryl: That may be the funnest (authors get to make up words, it’s legal) part of this series. It’s last episode Chief of Sinners, Book Ten was the first novel written over twenty years ago. So we’ve been writing the family saga up to the story we've already written. There's to be a long article on it in Southern Writers’ Magazine’s September/October edition. But the first WILL BE last, just as scripture says.

Renee: Now that is cool! In addition to the fact that your series is a Family Saga. How many generations and time does your series cover anyway?

Caryl: Vow Unbroken, Book One starts in the fall of 1832 and Chief of Sinners, Book Ten goes through the year I was born, 1950. With Buddy’s son David introduced, the Nightingale and Buckmeyer branches are carried through five generations. I can’t imagine leaving these people to sit on shelves. They are so real, and I love them all so much. I’ve already had readers bemoaning the series end. I’m in full agreement!

Renee: A series is hard to let go once you start it, both as a reader and a writer. The characters become almost family. Thank you so much for sharing your Texas Romance Saga with us and now let's talk about this awesome giveaway!


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GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA

CARYL:

The Texas Romance family saga brings the Baylors, Buckmeyers, and Nightingales into your life to traipse across the early United States with. Their adventures will take you coast to coast, New York to San Francisco, and from the tundra to the tropics, Alaska and Hawaii. You’ll share their joys and heartaches and fall in love with them all. The only redeeming fragment to the series ending in September is that the stories can rest on your bookshelves to start over one day and enjoy them all again. In that respect, if Yeshua tarries, the families I’ve written about will outlive me.



For those who’ve never read any of these books, I’d like to give two print copies of VOW UNBROKEN away, and I’ll also offer an eBook of any of the others—books 2 through 8, so the third winner can get the next book they haven’t read . . . or can also choose a print copy of VOW UNBROKEN to give as a gift, and I’ll personalize it for the recipient.

To enter, please introduce me to a friend of yours on Facebook, one who reads Christian fiction. Just tag them on my page in a comment! 👪 



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About Vow Unbroken, Book One:


A spunky young widow hires a farmhand with a bad reputation to help her get her cotton to Jefferson to meet the wagon train, and sparks fly—but can she love a man who doesn’t love the Lord?

Susannah Abbot Baylor reluctantly hires Henry Buckmeyer to help her along the Jefferson Trace, the hard stretch of land between her Texas farm and the cotton market, where she is determined to get a fair price for her crop. It’s been a rough year, and she’s in danger of losing the land her husband left to her and the children, but she’ll need help getting both of her wagons to Jefferson safely. She knows Henry’s reputation as a layabout and is prepared for his insolence, but she is not expecting his irresistible good looks or his gentle manner. Soon they are entwined in a romantic relationship that only gets more complicated when Susannah learns that Henry doesn’t know God the way she does. Dangers arise on the road—but none as difficult as the trial her heart is going through.

Will Susannah and Henry’s love overcome their differences? And will she get her crop safely to the cotton market with enough money to save the farm? In this heartening and adventurous tale, a young woman’s fortitude, faith, and heart are put to the ultimate test.


About Caryl McAdoo:

Caryl McAdoo loves writing stories for all ages that glorify God and is thrilled Christian fiction fits her life purpose so well. Bold not bashful, she’s quick to share the Bible principles she lives by through her characters and hopes each title ministers His love, mercy, and grace. Known as the “Singing Pray-er”—with a YouTube channel to prove it—the prolific hybrid author also loves praising Him with new songs He gives her. Her high-school-sweetheart-husband moved the family from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods and seat of Red River County. After Ron, Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings. The McAdoos live a few miles south of Clarksville in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

Links :  Author Pages: 
     Simon & Schuster - http://tinyurl.com/S-SCarylsPage

                         (All First Chapters are offered here)
                         (Get FREE books for subscribing!)
   (Hear Caryl sing her New Songs!)

     HeartWings (Devotional) - http://www.HeartWingsBlog.com
     Stitches Thru Time (Misc.) -   http://www.StitchesThruTime.blogspot.com
     Sweet Americana Sweethearts (Historical) - 







Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Diggin' It with Darlene on Inspirational Moments (Ebook Giveaway!)


Darlene Franklin
Stops by Inspirational Moments




I'm so excited! Great writer and friend, Darlene Franklin is here. She surprised me by stopping by Inspirational Moments! She's also giving away one of her books so make sure you check out the details after our chat.

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Renee: Wow, Darlene, I'm so glad you're here! I don't have an interview ready, but we can wing it. I'll get my handy dandy hat here and toss some questions in it. Are you ready?

Darlene: I'm excited to be here, and that sounds like fun. I sure am. Go for it!

Renee: First question is: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Darlene: It’s a toss-up. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. For that matter, I’d love to make it to California! 
     But my traveling days are over. If I could make one trip only, I would return to East Boothbay, Maine, with my family. For my grandchildren to see my family’s home and to scatter my mother’s ashes in the ocean.

Renee: I've never been to Maine, but I would love to visit there someday. Australia does sound like an amazing place to go too though. Next question: How do your pick your titles?

Darlene: Titles! The bane of my existence.
    Cinderella’s Boot was extremely easy. My June novella: Acadian Hearts, equals theme (Acadia National Park) plus romance.
     I like alliteration so the title of my novella about Colorado’s state flower became Colorado Columbine. I’m also fond of Prodigal Patriot and Gunfight at Grace Gulch.
     Other titles are a lot harder to come by. I wrote more than half of my orphan train story without a title. One day I described it as my “riches to rags to riches again” story. The phrase stuck with me, and I chose To Riches Again as the title.
     The best titles will feature something unique about the book while suggesting the tone or genre.

Renee: Titles haven't been too tough for me. Well, all but Beast of Stratton. I think I went through about four different titles before finally picking that one! LOL Okay, ready for the next question? I am! This is fun. Which writing style do you prefer?

Darlene: I assume you’re talking about Plotter or Pantser? At the moment I’m a hybrid.
     Up front, I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters. What motivates them? What puts them in the situation that creates the opportunity for romance? What stands in their way? When I know the characters that well, I can put them into a scene and they take over. 
     The plotting occurs between chapters. I evaluate what happened in the previous chapter, and how I can move the story ahead in the next chapter.

Renee: Writers have many names for their methods and styles of writing. I'd like to think our styles are similar. I can't plot from beginning to end but I need structure and find it within my characters. They are the driving force of my stories as well, in a less degree, the setting. On to the next question! Oh, this is a doozy...how do you decide what to write about and when do you do your research?

Darlene: Most commonly, my publisher suggests the broad subject.
     Occasionally I suggest a story line to my publisher and they like it! This year I’m helping together a group of novellas based on John Denver’s songs to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his death this October.
     Sometimes a specific location, time period, or historical phenomenon (such as the Pony Express, orphan train, or the national parks) is connected with the theme. In that case, I do my research up front to brainstorm my story. 
     Other times, the collection is based on a plot device: pets, mail order brides, or masquerade balls. I research as I play around with time and place and story conflict.
     After the initial research, I research as I write and edit the story.
     Cinderella’s Boot was a story I had wanted to write for a long time. I had fun with the story, starting with naming my heroine Cynthia Ellen “Cinderella” Cooper. She runs away to work on a sheep station in Australia and comes back to work as a vet assistant and pet groomer alongside her ex-fiancé.

Renee: Let's see what's next...oh, fun! Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do when you aren’t working?

Darlene: I have discovered adult coloring books!
     I read—of course. Word search books. Watching classic TV. I’ve confirmed a few old favorites (Star Trek and Perry Mason), discarded some others (Columbo) and discovered new shows (The Incredible Hulk, Big Valley, Have Gun, Will Travel).

Renee: There is nothing wrong with the classics. As for adult coloring books, I haven't joined the craze...yet...but it looks like fun. Okay, two more questions. Which part of your Cinderella’s Boot, your latest release, did you struggle with the most?

Darlene: The reconciliation between Keith and Cynthia. I wanted Keith to have forgiven Cynthia for leaving him behind, but he refused. He held on to the pain. 
     In seeking their path to reconciliation, I studied the trouble relationship between the apostle Paul and the gospel writer John Mark. Paul didn’t want to have anything to do with Mark after he ran away from their first missionary journey—much like Keith feels about Cynthia.
     Something happened, though, because later Mark worked alongside of Paul. At the very end of Paul’s life, he asks Timothy to bring Mark to see Paul. 
     If Mark and Paul could reconcile, so could Keith and Cynthia.

Renee: And the final question... Is there a special quote or saying which comes to your mind in times of need or adversity?

Darlene: “I will not let pain or fear defeat me.” – I just wrote an article on the subject which will be coming out in May’s issue of Book Fun Magazine.

Renee: Now that's an inspiring quote. Thank you for surprising us today, Darlene. You're an amazing woman and author.

Darlene: Thank you for having me. Oh, I almost forgot! I want to offer one of your readers a free digital copy of the book, Runaway Brides which includes my story, Cinderella's Boot. The collection is about weddings that didn't work. Seven brides flee their grooms and find true love where they least expect it.

     To enter, all you have to do is comment or ask a question about this fun-filled interview. Oh, don't forget to leave your email address!

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E-BOOK GIVEAWAY



featuring Cinderella's Boot

Enter by commenting on interview post.

One winner will be selected by random draw on 5/17/17 from eligible entrants. Eligible entrants are blogpost commenters who include their email addresses. Winner will be notified via email by Darlene Franklin or Renee Blare following selection.

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Cynthia Ellen Cooper—known affectionately as “Cinderella”—left her wedding boot in the dust when she ran away from her wedding to work on a sheep station in Australia. 

Four years later, she’s back home—and so is her ex-fiancé, now a DVM from Oklahoma State University. They reach a truce and work side by side in his father’s animal clinic. 


Cyn soon discovers she wants more—but she has to battle bad history and a demanding pet owner for Keith’s attention.

About Darlene Franklin:

Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin's greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. This year she expects to reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in four monthly magazines. Her most recent titles are Capturing the Rancher's Heart, Romancing the Ranger, and Cinderella's Boot.

Links:
Website and blog
Facebook

Amazon author page


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Falling Rock: A Short Story




    Falling Rock: A Short Story

            Once upon a time, in a small Indian village, a brave warrior called Falling Rock fell in love with the chief’s daughter. She returned his love and they went before the chief to ask for permission to wed.
            “You say you love my daughter. Is this true?” The old chief looked to his youngest daughter, the most beautiful of his children.
            “Yes, Father. He loves me and I love him. Please let us marry.” Her small hands grasped his gnarly ones and he narrowed his beady eyes at the warrior.
            “What do you have to offer for this union, young warrior?”
            He watched as the bravery seemed to seep out of the man at his question.
            “I have nothing, my chief. I do not own any animals or fancy cloth. I can offer my service and my loyal protection.” His black eyes met the daughter’s. “To you and yours for the rest of my days.”
            “I have that already, my man. I wish you to complete me a task. If you are successful, you will have permission to marry my daughter. Do you agree?” The chief crossed his arms and stared down his hawk nose at the warrior.
            “Yes, I will do anything to marry your daughter.” The young man eagerly agreed.
            “Very well. Your task will be to search the territory, near and far, for the meaning of life.”
            The young man reared back in surprise. “The meaning of life?”
            “Yes. When you have found it, return to me and you may marry my daughter. Now go.” The chief dismissed the warrior with a wave of his hand, placing his youngest behind him.
            After many moons, the chief’s beautiful daughter fell before her father in tears. “Father, I am so frightened!”
            “What is wrong, my daughter?”
            “Falling Rock has not returned from your task and it has been a long time. I am afraid he has fallen ill or worse.”
             The chief’s heart ached to see his child suffer and he placed a hand on her shoulder. “What do you wish that I do?”
            “Can you not send some men to find him?”
            Her tears and pleas tore at the old man’s heart and he nodded. He sent out a call to the entire village. Before long, the room was crowded with elders, warriors and healers. He held his hand up and a hush fell over the entire area.
            “Thank you for coming, my friends. My daughter has petitioned my help to find her warrior. As you know, Falling Rock is on a mission to find the meaning of life. I do not know his location and he could be anywhere. We do not have many months before the winter snows so I will give anyone who is willing, two moons to find him.”
            
            Over the next months, warriors straggled into the village, worn and tired, their horses lathered with sweat. A few sported injuries and some never returned at all. The search for the young warrior continued until the day when the last searcher returned empty-handed.
            The chief called another meeting. His daughter wept quietly in the corner as the villagers filed into the room.
            “Hello, my friends. My daughter and I would like to thank you.”
            “But chief, we didn’t find Falling Rock.” One of the younger warriors spoke from the back of the crowd.
            “Yes, son, I know but you searched, did you not?” At the roomful of fervent nods, he continued, “That is all I can ask for.”
            An older man ran a hand across the back of his neck. "After a few stops, I started putting signs everywhere I went. In case someone saw him.”
            “Hey, I saw those! I started doing it too.” The younger warrior poked him in the back and soon others were telling the villagers how they had posted many signs along their journey.
            A commotion in the back turned heads and a murmuring began building through the crowd. Murmurs grew to shouts and the crowd parted to reveal a dirty, limping, tired man.            A squeal of joy came from the corner and the chief’s daughter leapt to her feet and raced toward the man. She threw her arms around him and the room erupted in applause and laughter.chief smiled.
            The chief smiled and studied the beaten warrior. “Hello, my son, I see you survived your task.”
            “Yes, Chief, I have. I thank you for the honor of such a mission.”
            “And what may I ask, did you learn on your journey?” The chief stroked his chin.
            The young warrior looked from the chief to the woman at his side. He then gazed at the people gathered around him.
            “I discovered a territory full of wonders. I found a land of steaming water and bubbling mud. I stood at a great cut of land I could not cross. I even saw a mountain of flowing water. It was almost too amazing to believe if I had not seen it with my own eyes.” He shook his head as if to clear the memories from his mind.
            “But in the end, the meaning of life is right here.” He met the eyes of those around him. “I saw the signs and they led me home.”
            “Very well done. You will be married soon. Go now and rest.” The old chief smiled and dismissed the crowd over his daughter’s cry of joy.
            The warrior and the chief’s daughter married a few weeks later to full regalia of dancing and feasting. They lived many years happily thereafter.
            As for the signs that the warriors posted? They are still around. You may have seen them yourself.  “Watch for Falling Rock.”
   
This is my variation of the story of Falling Rock.  I originally heard the story of Falling Rock from my husband, James.
Renee