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Sunday, April 22, 2012

With the changes made to Blogger I'm feeling a bit frustrated.   Please find me on Facebook, where at least I can figure out how to post properly.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guest Post!!

Finding Courage to Follow your Dreams

by Joanne Troppello

I recently came across this quote by Sidney Smith and it really struck a chord within me. "A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage."

This quote does make me wonder how many books that could be written are never written. How many inventions are in the inventor’s mind but do not find their way to an invention for lack of courage? How many dreams are never realized because we are afraid? Are we wasting away our talents?

Lack of courage is something that has held me back in the past and I still struggle with it, but I’m trying to get a handle on it. Trusting in God that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me has been helping me to find that courage to achieve my dreams.

I agree with Scarlett O’Hara, that “after all…tomorrow is a new day.” No matter what happened yesterday or if today is not going exactly as you planned, keep your chin up and be courageous in your heart because the sun will come up again.

I received an encouraging email from a reader saying that she loved how one of my characters exhibited such strong faith throughout the story. She enjoyed reading the journey of how another character lost her way and then found the road back to a strong faith in God. It’s awesome to know that one of my books has encouraged a reader. It helps to keep me going, knowing that my words can inspire others.

The other day, just when I needed to hear it, one of my husband’s cousins posted on my facebook page to keep giving status updates on my book because he loves to hear when family members are doing well and that I’ve been giving God the glory. He was encouraged by me, but I felt even more encouraged by what he wrote. Some times as authors, it’s very lonely; especially when you don’t always get feedback and know if your work is making a difference in this world.

After being married for six years, Gwen and Lucas DeStefano are dealing with the pain of a childless marriage and trying to trust God for their future. On a weekend getaway to the Poconos, they attempt to relax and renew their marriage, but witness an event that turns their lives upside down. They see a body dump in the woods while they are on a hike and their lives become entangled in a web of suspense and God’s ultimate blessing in the form of a little baby girl, named Bella Lucia. Will Gwen learn to trust God with childlike faith and wholeheartedly accept His plan?

Det. Marc Abrams is assigned to the murder investigation of Sabrina Reysen and he will do whatever it takes to find her killer. He has his suspicions and is pleasantly surprised when he meets Samantha “Sam” Collins, the attractive US Marshall assigned to protect one of the witnesses in this case. Will Det. Abrams find the killer before it’s too late and is the attraction between him and Sam strong enough to survive?

Order here!

Joanne Troppello
is an author of romantic suspense novels. She has published three books: Shadowed Remembrances, Mr. Shipley’s Governess and Bella Lucia. Currently, she is working on her new writing project, The Paradise Redeemed Series. Joanne is married and loves spending time with her husband and family. She enjoys interacting with readers at The Mustard Seed Blog.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


April 15, 2012

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
-- 1 Timothy 4:15-16

"Be diligent!" That's not a phrase you hear much about these days. We want things to come easily. Sweat in the world of pseudo-faith is frowned upon. But, Paul wanted Timothy (and us) to know that maturity in Christ requires genuine effort. Having a redemptive influence on others is hard work. While it is God's power that transforms, our effort is also required. God gives us the assurance that this effort will not only bear fruit in our own lives, but it will also lead others to salvation as well.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Release!

Sierra Malone trusted the wrong man and now he’s trying to kill her. After narrowly escaping Kevin Eason’s brutal attack, Sierra leaves her home, her family, and everything familiar. She finds temporary shelter, but it provides little relief from her constant fear. Desperate and alone, she considers an offer of protection from a stranger—but she soon learns he’s harboring a potentially deadly secret.

Chase Price wants Eason behind bars, and he’s willing to do anything to get him there, even if it means waiting for Eason to strike again. With an innocent life on the line, Chase sets out to finish this battle once and for all—but he soon learns guarding Eason’s beautiful victim leaves him wanting much more than he anticipated.


Seattle, Washington

Stark terror brought Sierra Malone fully awake as a heavy body pressed her deep into the mattress. Darkness cloaked the room, but she didn’t need vision to know who had invaded the privacy of her home. His sickening, familiar scent washed over her, confirming Kevin Eason’s reign of terror continued.
His sweaty palm clamped over her mouth and powerful fingers closed around her throat, constricting her airway. She clawed his skin and thrashed her legs. Sheets tore from the bed, wrapping her in a shroud of tangled cotton. His bruising strength outmatched hers, dooming her attempts at freedom. Pinpricks of light danced before her eyes. Just when she feared she’d pass out, Kevin removed his hand from her mouth and eased the ironclad hold on her throat. Sierra filled famished lungs to capacity and opened her mouth to scream, but managed only a strangled sound.
He shifted and switched on the lamp. As light flooded the room, Kevin’s face—contorted with fury—came into focus. Revulsion turned her stomach. How could she ever have thought him charming and handsome? Blood beaded along his jaw where her
fingernails had penetrated, and a heavy drop fell onto Sierra’s bare shoulder.
"If you kill me, they’ll put you in prison for the rest of your life." She forced the words through her raw throat.
"They didn’t catch me before. They won’t this time."
"What do you mean?" Sierra rasped the question as panic squeezed her chest.
"You’re about to find out." Heated breath, tinged with peppermint, scorched her skin. "Did you really think I would let you walk away from me? Did you think a flimsy piece of paper could protect you?"
"I have a right to live my own life."
Molasses-colored eyes, which once regarded her with adoration, now projected contempt. "I thought I made myself clear, bien-aimée. You have no life apart from me." Rage saturated his words. He straddled her waist and backhanded her.
White hot pain flashed across Sierra’s face as her head whipped to the side. She tasted blood, and nausea rolled her stomach again. She braced her arms across her face, knowing another forceful blow could knock her unconscious.
"Now look what you made me do." Perspiration rolled down his temples to land on mangled sheets. He wiped his brow as his breaths came in ragged gasps. "If you had obeyed me, none of this would’ve happened."
If she had obeyed him, she would’ve been his prisoner. A life with Kevin would be no life at all. Physically no match, Sierra searched for an escape. "I’ll try harder. W-we can work things out. We can talk about what I’ve done wrong. We’ll be together just like you’ve always wanted."
"You’re lying."
"No, Kevin. I never should’ve left you. I should have accepted your gifts and returned your calls. I…I made mistakes. I’m sorry I pressed assault charges against you and filed for the restraining order. Let me make it up to you."
Confusion flickered in his expression. He climbed off the bed and paced the room. Fisting his hands, he pressed them against his forehead as if fighting an inner battle only his twisted mind could comprehend.
Sierra ignored her throbbing cheek and seized the moment. She wedged her hand between the mattress and box springs, and grabbed hold of the pepper spray she’d recently purchased. She took aim. When Kevin lowered his hands, she took a deep breath and pressed the lever. A stream shot forward, bathing his face in debilitating fluid.
High-pitched wails tore from his lips, and he stumbled, crashing about the room. Coughing spasms wracked his body as he spun, hands splayed wide, long fingers aiming for her slender neck. Blinded and off balance, he swept his palm across her dresser. Perfume, hair brushes and make-up clattered in disarray. The restraining order, which had instigated his brutal attack, fluttered uselessly to the floor.
Sierra tossed aside the canister and unwound her legs from the sheets. Residual particles of the spray hung in the air, choking her and stinging her eyes. She gasped for breath and dashed toward the hallway. Her bare feet slapped against cool hardwood, but she took no time to slip on shoes. In the foyer, she grabbed her purse and yanked open the front door. Freezing air blasted through her thin nightgown, frosting exposed skin. She stumbled across the threshold, alone and vulnerable, praying God would lead her to safety.
"You…can run, but…you cant hide. Ill find you." Kevin's malicious words cut through fitful coughs. "And then Ill kill you."

Order this intriguing book here!

Visit the author at

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Movies about Writing

Thanks to Steve Laube's blog for this link--I haven't seen any of these!

Posted by
Jennifer Paull

5 Great Movies About Writing

The other night I slammed the brakes on a film—something I rarely do, but this one managed to be both florid and boring, like a PT Cruiser. It was Nora, a biopic of James Joyce. Even Ewan McGregor couldn’t save it, and he’s got plenty of lit-flicks to his name, from Pillow Book to Miss Potter.

Filming a writer’s working life is admittedly a tall order. Some famous writers may have throbbingly dramatic personal lives (when are we going to get Norman Mailer stabbing his wife?), but the work itself, what makes them great, is hardly cinematic. Scribbling with a pen, tapping at a keyboard, scratching things out, hitting a backspace key, hour after day after year… not exactly a feast for the peepers.

We’ve been debating whether or not books are particularly good fodder for film adaptations. But I also wonder whether great movies can be made about writing itself, one peculiarly mental art form translated to a visual medium. And not just a protagonist who’s a writer (cue the shaggily endearing crank à la Wonder Boys), but showing an author at work, conveying the euphoria of a good writing day or the frustration and sweaty palms of writer’s block.

Below are a few contenders. How about you? What would you recommend?

Find the 5 movie titles here.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Teen Assassin. . . . Nuns?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae was fathered by Saint Mortain, the God of Death, and one dark and stormy night, she is brought to a mysterious convent where his many daughters are trained as assassins. When she is given an important assignment to protect the Duchess of Brittany and kill the traitor in her court, Ismae begins to learn that being a handmaiden of Death may not mean what the nuns taught her. But her burgeoning independence comes with consequences, and the fate of an entire country–and the only man she could ever love–hangs in the balance. Set in medieval France with historically accurate details, Grave Mercy is the first book in a gritty, fast-paced trilogy, and gives thrilling new meaning to the term “girl power.” –Juliet Disparte (Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012)

Read an inspiring post by this author here--

We’ve all heard it; how the biggest advances and best promotional opportunities are reserved for those splashy debut authors with their shiny new ideas and their untarnished sales records. Debut authors are a clean slate on which a publisher can project the P&Ls of their dreams.

This is especially painful if the first time you hear it is after your first—or third—book has just come out with little fan fare. It does not matter a whit that many of those splashy debuts don’t come close to earning out or breaking even; the myth persists. Honestly? It feels a lot like that old line about how men only marry virgins and never the girls they mess around with.

So what’s a multi-published, mid-list author to do?

See what Robin LaFevers advises here.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Women of Valley View

Three dire circumstances. Three desperate prayers. One miracle to save them all.

Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her.

Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities.

Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing. And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family.

For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.

The Women of Valley View. Ordinary women using their faith to do extraordinary things.

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 writing credits include numerous poems and short stories published in science fiction fanzines. Sharon can be contacted at Her BLOG can be found at:

Check this blog often for release info on this exciting book!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

From the members of Novelist's, Inc

TWENTY-EIGHT LEADING VOICES IN FICTION – INCLUDING ELEVEN NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHORS – JOIN TOGETHER IN A CELEBRATION OF GREAT STORYTELLING. We love fiction. It’s in our blood and it’s in our souls. Great stories thrill us and inspire us in a way that nothing else can. If you’re like us, then we invite you to revel in this anthology of all-original stories we’ve created for you.


Order your copy here.

In CAST OF CHARACTERS, you’ll meet a collection of unforgettable personalities. The devoted wife who discovers her husband’s devastating secret. The Black Death survivor who reinvents herself. The woman who finds love in the arms of a dark, dangerous artist. The devoted scientist faced with a daunting ethical dilemma. The woman who hears ghosts. The gorgeous but fated young man. The small-town beauty queen with a world-class mean streak. The inventor who fears his invention. The man seeking a reunion decades later with his first love. The stalker who understands too late who he is stalking. The dreadful athlete who gets one opportunity to win. The man who loves a woman society will not allow him to love. These are only a few of the figures who will leap from the page and take residence in your heart.

(This collection is multi-genre and may have explicit scenes.)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Featured on the Wordsmith Journal---

Use Book Reviews to Help Others

by Terry Whalin

(c) April 2012

One of the ways that I broke into publishing on a consistent basis was writing book reviews. As more books are being published, there is an ever-increasing demand for book reviews. If you read books, then you can tap into this important area of publishing. You will help others and also gain visibility for you and your writing in the marketplace.

For a number of different publications, I wrote individual book reviews. Then one of these publications asked me to be their book review columnist. For this assignment, I wrote a series of book reviews for each issue of their magazine. I selected the books, received review of books from various publishers, then I wrote my reviews and sent them into the magazine on deadline to be published. Over several years, I held this role with this magazine until it came to an end. Then I became the book review columnist for another publication for another season.

Neither one of these magazines where I was a columnist are in print today. I learned a tremendous amount from my experience of writing those book review columns.

Read more here.

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and publisher lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. A former acquisitions editor, former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at:

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