Thursday, January 28, 2021

Happy 60th!

Yes, it is true. I’ll be 60 in a few weeks. As that time approached, I could feel a bit of unease.


But now, I am so excited!


My new book, Gifts of Grace, is being released on my birthday, February 23.


What a lovely 60th birthday present.


I wanted to challenge myself with a couple things in these three novellas.


It’s been more than forty years since I moved away from our family farm. I decided it would be fun to set a story on a farm.


Besides the internet, my research included questions for my brother Jim, who is currently raising cows on our home place. This story was delightful to write.


I also wanted to have a main character be blind.


Since I am visually impaired, it seems like this would be easy for me, wouldn’t you think?


But, even though I have to struggle to put much visual description in my writing, it certainly is easier to go by the assumption that everybody can see everything.


Facial expressions, body movements to show emotions and feelings toward others. Visual recognition of where things are located in a room or in an outside setting.


“She blinked, then turned her back to me and walked to look out the window.”


“My stomach clenched and my hands grew moist as soon as I saw him turn the corner and come toward me.”


I didn’t go into great detail about how the blind character performed everyday tasks, and I found that the story flowed more naturally than I’d expected.


I enjoyed writing these characters’ stories, sharing in their relationships.


Gifts of Grace


Three novellas. Three women search with hungry hearts, and God shows them surprising answers.


Tammy needs a new goal to fill her empty nest, and she needs to find forgiveness for her heart.


Mourning the loss of her baby, Judy flees to the home she abandoned twelve years ago. The family farm. Is something new waiting for her at this old home?


Iola, who is blind, struggles to prove herself as a professional and to be the mother her sixteen-year-old daughter needs during a rough time.


Watch as God opens doors these women would never expect. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Guest Author, Sherri Stewart

Welcome my guest, Sherri Stewart. Her book, A Friend in High Places, sounds like a delightful, surprising read.


Hi, I’m Sherri Stewart. I love writing clean novels, sprinkled with romance and a strong message that challenges your faith. I spend my working hours with books—either editing others’ manuscripts or writing my own. My passion is traveling to the settings of my books, sampling the food and visiting the sites. Sadly, my trip to Pasadena was cancelled due to COVID. I’m a recent widow and live in the Orlando area with my lazy dog, Lily, and my son, Joshua, who can fix anything. I share recipes, tidbits of my books’ locations, and pix in my monthly newsletters. Subscribe at



A Friend in High Places is my first attempt at time travel romance, which is a new genre for me. I usually write romantic suspense or historical romance. Once a year, my publisher asks for volunteers for different novella collections, so this year I signed up for a genre outside my comfort zone. And surprise, I really enjoyed writing it. And no, it isn’t sci fi, fantasy, or hocus pocus. The book is about a niece who has to clean out her aunt’s attic and discovers things about her aunt’s past that both surprise and sadden her. All the characters in the book are named after the members of my cousin, Claudia’s family. Of course, I asked for permission ahead of time.


A bit about the plot. Kelly Thomas must settle her Aunt Claudia’s estate. She stays in her aunt’s Pasadena bungalow while she plans the funeral and goes through her favorite aunt’s things. During the burial service, she notices an elderly gentleman standing next to a tall red-headed man away from the crowd of mourners, so she approaches them to introduce herself. What she discovers about the old man’s identity rocks her world apart. Aunt Claudia has always been her hero, and Kelly has modeled her life after her independent aunt. Now she’s confused. She thought her aunt’s husband had died in the war decades before. Kelly enlists the help of Chris, the young man with Mr. Collins at the cemetery, to help find the truth. They discover that a simple misunderstanding decades before led to the demise of a beautiful romance. If only she could go back to the sixties to fix it.


Each of my main characters has a bit of me in them. They are believers, but there is some issue they’re dealing with, such as grief, envy, guilt, unforgiveness, or lack of self-confidence. In this book, Kelly has grown up resenting being her parents’ second-best love. They are missionaries, working with Aids children in Nigeria. She knows they are doing God’s work, but she wants a more normal life, like that of her Aunt Claudia, with whom Kelly spent her summers in Pasadena, California, while her parents were overseas. As a child she loved going to the studio with her aunt, who worked as an assistant producer.


As a former teacher and principal at a Christian school, I often taught missionary kids (mk’s) and pastor’s kids (pk’s). Not all but many of them had issues that the other kids didn’t have to deal with—having to behave a certain way, being socially ostracized, and being left alone a lot because their parents were busy with the church. My son was the principal’s kid, so you can imagine what that was like!



I’m what’s called a plantser. That means I write a rough summary of the book beforehand, and then I write by the seat of my pants. Sometimes the book takes a glorious detour. It was a God moment when  the #MeToo movement came to mind. What if Hollywood actresses and studio workers of the sixties were warned about their so-called auditions ahead of time? What if the producers were also warned about what could happen if they didn’t treat women with proper respect?


Here is the purchase link for A Friend in High Places:

Friday, January 15, 2021

Resh, Psalm 119:153-160

ר Resh

Look on my suffering and deliver me,

    for I have not forgotten your law.

Defend my cause and redeem me;

    preserve my life according to your promise.

Salvation is far from the wicked,

    for they do not seek out your decrees.

Your compassion, Lord, is great;

    preserve my life according to your laws.

Many are the foes who persecute me,

    but I have not turned from your statutes.

I look on the faithless with loathing,

    for they do not obey your word.

See how I love your precepts;

    preserve my life, Lord, in accordance with your love.

All your words are true;

    all your righteous laws are eternal.


Father God, thank you for the great compassion you have for us. Thank you that we can call to you from our suffering, that we can beg you to help us with our requests. You love us, Lord. Stay near. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Lord, Tame My Tongue

James 3

Verse 6: The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.


Lord, I am angry at what is happening in our country. I want to speak out with anger and blame, and demand consequences.


Verses 9-10: With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.


Verses 14-16: But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.


I long for righteous justice, Father, but does this come from my own selfish desires?


Verses 17-18: But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.


Lord, tame my tongue. Help me to strive for your wisdom and peace. Help me to slow down my anger, make room for your grace, and wait for your justice.     

Friday, January 1, 2021

A Collage of Books and Authors

Here are a few fun things I offer for your reading enjoyment.


Denise Hunter, Married ‘Til Monday and THE LAKE SEASON; romance and allowing God to help through fear.


The faithful spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the plot to kill Hitler by John Hendrix. A short history of the Nazis in Germany and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s part in the conspiracy to kill Hitler.


James Scott Bell, Greater Glory and Angel of Mercy; mystery stories with a female lawyer in 1905 Los Angeles. Courtroom drama, suspense.


Laurie Alice Eakes, Midwives; series includes Lady in the Mist, Heart's Safe Passage and Choices of the Heart. Stories about midwives in early 1800s Virginia, around the time of the War of 1812.


Dani Pettrey, Alaskan Courage Series; romantic suspense.


Robin Lee Hatcher, contemporary and historical romance and women’s fiction.


Joel C. Rosenberg, suspense.


Jimmy Wayne and Travis Thrasher, Paper Angels; a modern story of Christmas hope.


A different kind of Christmas, by Alex Haley. 1863, son of a prominent slave owner gets involved with the underground railroad and helps slaves from his family plantation escape on Christmas Eve.


Shelley Shepard Gray, Amish stories; romance, mystery and suspense.