Friday, December 30, 2022

Guest Author, Tamera Lynn Kraft

Thank you, Tamera, for sharing with us.


101 men and 4 boys landed in the New World in 1607. They hoped to establish a colony for the British and get rich in a search for gold. They built a fort and named the colony Jamestown. There was no gold, but they did find the land fertile for growing tobacco. After years of hardship and trouble with the natives, they managed to rake out a living. Only one thing was missing. Women. Now that they had a prosperous colony, they needed women to marry and create families.


The Virginia Company of London made arrangements for a ship full of women to travel to Jamestown Colony. The women had to be considered reputable to take the voyage. When they arrived, they had a choice. They could marry. If they did, their perspective husbands would pay 200 pounds of tobacco for them. If they decided not to marry, they would become indentured servants to whoever would pay the tobacco price. The masters were required to provide for them until they finished their term or until another man paid for them to be released to marry. If a woman completed the indenture, she would be provided land and resources. Most women chose to marry within the first few weeks of landing on shore.


Life in Jamestown was not easy for the women. Whether they decided to become wives or servants, they worked long, hard hours every day. Within the first year, they went through something called the seasoning where they contracted diseases from the climate. Only half of them survived. Of those who did, many died in childbirth or from the Indian Massacre of 1622.


The Seasoning of Elizabella is a novel dedicated to telling the story of these women who suffered hardships, disease, and death to settle a new land.



Elizabella can't imagine anything worse than being a Jamestown bride -- but her sister is determined to do just that. On the way to the ship to stop her sister, she witnesses a brutal murder and must flee for her life. She takes refuge on the ship, pretending to be her sister, intending to leave as soon as she is safe. Before she knows it, she is headed for the New World, trapped by desperation and deception.

Miles fled to Jamestown with his family to escape the shame from their father's actions. Tragedy has tested his faith, including the loss of his wife and newborn son. His grief makes him more determined than ever to keep his one remaining brother from following in their father's footsteps.

Will God heal their pain? How can their love grow when Elizabella desires nothing more than to return to London, and Miles desires nothing more than to remain in Jamestown?




Award winning author and Mt Zion Ridge Publisher Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. Forks in the Road, Lost in the Storm, and Red Sky Over America, Alice’s Notions, and Resurrection of Hope  are among her published works. In her spare time, she loves to watch classic movies, drink quality teas, and ride on roller coasters, but not while drinking tea. You can purchase her newest novel, The Seasoning of Elizabella: A Jamestown Bride Story at this link

Friday, December 23, 2022

Guest Author Mary Lou Cheatham, Christmas is not a pagan holiday

My friend, author Mary Lou Cheatham,, posted this on her blog this week. I appreciated it and asked if I could share it here.


Whether you're having fruitcake, chitterlings, or tamales, make it a Christmas to remember!


‌Mary Lou Cheatham

Explore the Unforgettable


Have you heard arguments that we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas—or at least avoid secular trappings—because it’s a pagan holiday? I’m not sure whether people who say such things are following the example Scrooge before his reformation or of the Grinch.


Such Christmas naysayers argue that Christmas trees are proof that Christmas is a pagan celebration. This idea makes no sense because many Christians have celebrated Christmas without cutting trees and taking them into their houses.


Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, an  Orthodox Christian archbishop and author, points out that pagans do not own all the trees. Neither do they own all the mistletoe. If we Christians delight in remembering the birth of our Savior by decorating our homes with whatever greenery we choose, we have no reason to feel guilty.


In a recent blog, <”Christmas is Not Pagan. Just Stop.” December 5, 2018> Fr. Andrew discusses other symbols considered pagan. Some actually believe that burning a log in the fireplace is a pagan custom because early Germanic tribes practiced pagan rituals involving Yule logs and bonfires.


If we use a fire to keep us warm or if our south Louisiana friends build bonfires on the levee, we need not concern ourselves by thinking we are inappropriately celebrating Christ’s birth.


Whatever a person has in his heart is not for the rest of us to judge. It’s okay to give presents—even though as Fr. Andrew points out—exchanging gifts can be considered a heathen practice. Also it is possible to celebrate Christmas without exchanging gifts.


The point is that we worship Jesus, who came to the earth in the form of a man, although he is and always has been God. Enjoy your Christmas celebrations as you wish and let God’s love shine through you.


Merry Christmas, y’all.                                                



Mary Cooke writing as Mary Lou Cheatham 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Guest Author, Patti Shene Gonzales


I love this story.





All my life, I have been a procrastinator. Lately, I have passed off the flaw with the statement, “why do today what can be done tomorrow? After all, Jesus might return tonight!” Although this thought brings a chuckle, it does not lead to a productive lifestyle.


More than once, I have found myself in situations where I lack some important food ingredient, household product, or whatever, because I failed to write it down on my shopping list.


I can’t count the number of events I have missed in town or online because I put off entering said event in my calendar at the time I read about it. I am always thinking, “I’ll do it later.”


I believe it was way back in April that I was invited to participate in a multi author Christmas novella series. I was so excited, but in my mind, April was a long way away from a November release date. HA!


The months in between flew by faster than an airliner in blue sky, and before I knew it, the summer was drawing to a close. I had not written one word of the  story. Oh, yes, ideas churned in my mind all the time, but I had nothing concrete to show for it.


I am a member of an excellent critique group who have offered me so much valuable advice about my writing over the past couple of years. By the time I settled down to write Cathy’s Christmas Confession, there was not enough time to send all of my chapters to my critique buddies.


In retrospect, this first novella would have been so much better if I had taken the time to write, get critiques, edit, and hone the finished product. As it turned out, I spent a very rushed eight weeks writing this story.


There were many days and nights when I was literally in a panic, fearful I would not fulfill my commitment to God and my fellow authors. I could not face another defeat in my writing career. I had told too many people about this novella. No way was I going to back out on the project.


God intervened at this point and gave me some solid ideas to help me craft a story worth reading. He brought scenes to mind that I had not even thought of. He spoke to me through my main characters and their shared experience of loss. He enabled me to demonstrate the theme that Christmas is not always joyful for the hurting, but there are ways to recognize the true meaning of Christmas through our pain.


Writing is hard. It takes time, patience, perseverance, skill, encouragement, creativity and guidance. I learned a valuable lesson while writing this novella. Procrastination is not a positive trait for an author.


There are hundreds of Christmas stories available to readers every year. Cathy’s Christmas Confession (A Christmas Ridge Romance Book 3) is not a story for all audiences. However, if this story appeals to you, my prayer is that it will bless you and bring joy to your heart.


Happy Jesus’s birthday!


Blurb for Cathy's Christmas Confession


Christmas is not a time of joy for the hurting.


During a snowstorm, widow Cathy Fischer creams a stop sign on her way to work at the Christmas Ridge Community Church. Acquaintance David Martin stops to help. Cathy sees signs of deep grief in David, a recent widower. She reaches out with support in an attempt to help David through this most difficult first Christmas without his beloved wife.


David Martin struggles with grief over the death of his wife. He blames God for her rapid demise after her cancer diagnosis. Cathy reaches out to him with compassion and support and soon enlists him in her mission to bring joy to others at Christmas. Will their joint quest restore David’s faith?


David needs to turn loose of the past and embrace his future. Cathy has a confession to make to the entire community that may give David a different perspective of who she really is. Will her confession set her free?


Does God have plans in mind for the two of them they did not anticipate?


Buy link:


Available now on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited


Check out our Amazon Christmas Ridge Romance page ( to learn about other books in the series and receive updates!



Patti Shene Gonzales hosts Step Into the Light, a weekly interview style podcast, where guests share their journey out of darkness or ways they lead others back to light. She hosts writers on her two blogs, Patti’s Porch and The Over 50 Writer. Patti is published in two anthologies and local publications and has three novels in progress. She enjoys writing, reading, critiquing, and spending time with family and friends. Patti lives in Colorado with her devoted feline companion, Duncan. Cathy’s Christmas Confession is her first novella.


Visit Patti at her website





Friday, December 9, 2022

Guest Author, Sharon K. Connell

This is such a fun story!

Amethyst Lights is a romantic suspense fantasy about faeries who live their lives in the world of Crystandavair. This story has a little mystery to it as well. When a glowing hamlet appears in front of our hero, Lylan, he can’t imagine where it came from. And that begins the mystery of Amythaseah, a hamlet which only appears for seven days every one hundred years. Like Lylan, you be asking yourself why. What happened to cause a town to disappear and then return for a short time?

Then a beautiful faerylette shows up, seemingly in trouble of some kind, and Lylan is compelled to help her. Is she from the purple glowing hamlet? Why is she running away? And you’ll ask, “What happens to her if she’s not back in the town when it disappears again?”


Then there’s the prince of Amythaseah. And that’s another matter.


Here are the endorsements from the back cover of my novelette.


“In Sharon K. Connell’s, Amethyst Lights, two young fairies discover a village where none had existed before. What’s going on? A young, unknown female crashes into their lives? Who is she? Where did she come from?


“You’ll visit an exciting, exotic world of fairies, missing kings, evil princes, and enduring curses, and encounter a strong dose of romantic suspense, as readers of Connell's previous works have come to expect.”


Gary L. Breezeel, multi-award-winning, short story author


"Imaginative and delightful this story transports the reader into a magical realm you won't soon forget or want to leave. A great read for fantasy lovers everywhere!"


Fantasy author, Fernanda Brady, president/CEO Inklings Publishing & Houston Writers Guild


Book link:

YouTube Book Trailer:


My Links:

WIX Website:

Amazon Author Page:

Facebook Book Page:

Facebook Author’s Page:

Facebook Group Forum:





YouTube URL:

TPS Group Page

KS Group Page

AL Group Page


Sharon is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Scribes Critique Group, Houston Writers Guild, Christian Women Writers, and CyFair Writers. She is founder of the global Facebook Christian Writers & Readers group forum. Her monthly newsletter, Novel Thoughts, goes out every month to its subscribers in all parts of the world, featuring helpful information for writers and readers. She’s also a contributing writer for Faith on Every Corner, a global online inspirational magazine. 

Friday, December 2, 2022

Grace and Truth, Jesus Calls Us Friends, John 15:9-17

Verses 9-17: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.


Dear Jesus, what a heart-stopping thought that you would call us friends. Help us to bring you joy. Teach us to love each other. Help us to better grasp that you chose to die for us. We love you.