Betty Thomason Owens’ Christmas Memories and a Double Giveaway!

Rose here: I Love Christmas Memories! Don’t you? Below is a very poignant Christmas memory written by my friend, Betty Thomason Owens. Enjoy!

A long time ago, in a place far, far away…okay, it wasn’t that long ago, and the place isn’t all that far away. However, it doesn’t exist anymore.

Are you wondering where it is? What I’m talking about?

One of my favorite Christmas memories occurred in a weathered gray house far out in the sticks of west Tennessee. It was an unplanned stayover with Grandma and Clarence, my step-grandfather. We’d paid a visit on Christmas Eve, when Mom and Dad decided it would be nice to stay the night.

After assuring my brothers and me that Santa would surely find us, they tucked us into bed. Then, the parents quietly left to “bring Christmas.”

The old mantel clock chimed the hours, while I tried to imagine how Santa would get in. There was only a metal pipe attached to the pot-bellied woodstove. No fireplace. The smell of wood smoke assured me the stove was too hot for anyone to come near.

But my worries were unfounded. The red-clad elf had found a way. A small, hastily cut, and sparsely-decorated cedar tree stood in the front room, blending its pungent aroma with the wood smoke. And beneath its branches, we found toys and sacks of goodies.

It probably wasn’t an especially great holiday for Mom. But it was a sacrificial gift to Grandma, giving her the rare opportunity to see some of her grandkids wake up to Christmas morning. And it was a celebration I still remember with a mixture of joy and sadness. (Betty and her grandmother below in the 1980s)

Grandma’s been gone for nearly forty years, and the house is gone, too. Where she lived and raised chickens, grew beautiful flowers, and a productive kitchen garden, is an empty parcel of land. Nothing grows on it now but weeds. Where there had been cotton fields and corn to feed the horses, and a big barn to house the horses—all gone. No trace.

But the three kids grew up to raise families of their own. My elder brother owns a large farm where he and his wife raise cattle and board horses. My younger brother helps build cars. And I write books.

When I sat down to write the Kinsman Redeemers series, I decided to place the story in those long ago days, on the small farm where I’d walked as a girl. At one time, I knew every hollow, every “critter” path, every nook and cranny. I helped dig in the earth to harvest root crops. I reaped beans and peas, tomatoes, and squash. I chopped cotton in the summer, and picked cotton in the fall.

I fell asleep to the songs of the night creepers, frogs, and crickets. Woke up to the aroma of meat frying and biscuits baking in the oven. And I will never forget the southern voices, with their warm west Tennessee drawl.

I’ve stood on the barren land, where I could still hear the echo of long-ago—children laughing, day laborers singing—the jingle of tack and harness as the workhorses delivered their loads. The plop of a fish jumping in the pond. When the whippoorwill sent up its mournful cry, I vowed never to forget.

You’ll find these memories of sounds and life recorded in the pages of my novels. And in this way, I pass on those precious times spent with loved ones and long ago friends. Through the magic of imagination, I’ve done my best to breathe life into them. I hope you’ll think so, too.

Rose here: I hope you got a taste of Betty’s beautiful lyrical writing from her memory.  I felt like I was there with her in the “weathered gray house” in Tennessee. She has written two books in the Kinsman Redeemer series, and is offering the second one, Sutter’s Landing as a giveaway, so please leave a comment to be entered. Maybe you could even leave one of your own Christmas memories! Then travel to her blog and leave a comment on my post starting tomorrow to win one of my books. A double giveaway! We will both contact the winners next weekend!

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Win inspirational romances PLUS a brand new eReader!

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you.

I’ve teamed up with 51 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of inspirational romances to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!

Oh, and did I mention you’ll receive a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering?   :)

You can win my novel CHRISTMAS GRACE, plus books from authors like Susan May Warren and Robert Tate Miller.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: http://bit.ly/inspy-holidays-nov2017

Good luck, and enjoy!

Rose Allen McCauley

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A Real Treasure Hunt by Sara L. Foust and Double Giveaway

A Real Treasure Hunt

Sara L. Foust

My husband and I were preparing to celebrate our first anniversary and I was graduating from college. My parents surprised us by offering to pay our way to the family vacation at the beach in Outer Banks, North Carolina. My parents, brother, aunt, uncle, and cousin rented a house in Corolla. In order to get there, you need 4-wheel drive. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and an adventure just finding your rental home. The island is home to a wild horse herd and if you’re lucky during your stay you’ll see them nibbling grass or standing in the surf and wind to avoid the biting flies. It’s really something to see!

It’s a beach vacation and a nature vacation all rolled into one, with the wild horses, rabbits, deer, and snakes on the land and dolphins, fish, and crabs in the ocean. This particular trip we didn’t know Uncle Jim had a special treasure hunt planned until we got there and he handed us one of his famous clues. There were references to knights of square tables, misty mirrors, cold pools, and, one in particular, that stumped us for an entire day: Revelation 6:8. Remember, now, that the ‘kids’ solving this problem were grown-ups: myself, my husband, my cousin, Chelsea, and my brother Caleb. Uncle Jim loved to stump us. I can still see his grin and hear his laugh when we would put our ideas up as questions. He’d tell us, “You’re thinking about this wrong, guys.” And there would be a definitive sparkle in his blue eyes, bright as the sun gleaming off the ocean out the window.

We eventually called Chelsea’s brother, Brett, Jim’s youngest child. Brett had been unable to come on vacation with us this time as his medical duties called, but he was happy to be our “phone a friend.” After hours spent on this one clue, walking on the beach deep in discussion and straining our brains to think of it, Chelsea finally solved the puzzle. The clues led us to use a metal detector and locate the golden treasure: buried gold coins on the beach near the perimeter of the house we had rented.

It is one of the best memories I have of our family time together. I still miss Uncle Jim every day. Callum’s Compass is part tribute to his memory, his love of treasure hunts, and his sparkle and smile. You’ll see that Revelation 6:8 plays a big factor in the book too.

Author:          Sara L. Foust

Bio: Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. Her debut novel Callum’s Compass won second place in Deep River Books’ 2017 Writer’s Contest. She also has a story appearing in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. To learn more about her, please visit www.saralfoust.com.

Title:              Callum’s Compass

ISBN-10:        1945094273

ISBN-13:        978-1945094279

Tag line:        Facing betrayal, wild animals, meth-addled drug makers, and their own fears, can Kat and Ryan discover the golden treasure and God’s love?

Publisher:      Mantle Rock Publishing

How to reach me:

Blurb:

KAT WILLIAMS’S brother died in a gruesome accident in the mountains of East Tennessee. She blames herself.

RYAN JENKINS’S fiancée was murdered. He couldn’t protect her.

With the death of her brother, Kat believes she is unworthy of love from anyone—even God. When a good friend elicits a promise that she will stop living in the past and then leaves her clues to a real-life treasure hunt, Kat embarks on an adventure chock-full of danger. To find the treasure, Kat will have to survive wild animals—and even wilder men. Can she rely on Ryan, the handsome wildlife officer assigned to protect her . . . without falling in love?

Ryan swore off love when his fiancée was murdered, but feelings long-buried rise to the surface around Kat. He volunteers to help with her treasure hunt, vowing to keep her safe. Together they venture deep into caves and tunnels . . . and even deeper into the depths of their unplumbed hearts.

Buy Links: eBook Available for preorder now for only $2.99! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076B9PBZL

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a print copy of Sarah’s debut novel, Callum’s Compass, drawing to be held next Friday. And if you visit her website you can also leave comments to be entered into a drawing for my latest novel Destination: Romance making this a true double giveaway!

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Sherri Wilson Johnson and eBook Giveaway of Grafted into Deceit

Grafted into Deceit

Answers are hard to find when there’s no one to trust.

Disappearing business funds and a missing dead body have Marina Acres doubting everyone — including the detective whose case can’t be solved without her help.

When Marina Acres launches an investigation to find her company’s missing money, she becomes a killer’s target and uncovers a tangled vine of deception in the process. Detective Steven Pennington, who suspects drugs are at the root of the problem, must keep Marina safe from the killer while keeping himself from falling for yet another victim. Marina refuses to believe that her business partner could be part of a drug trafficking ring, but when evidence points its finger at her, she must join the fight with Steven to weed out the killer.

Buy link: http://amzn.to/2xXfjD1

Bio: Sherri Wilson Johnson is a multi-published Christian novelist, speaker, virtual assistant and self-publishing coach. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and is passionate about writing, publishing, and marketing. She is the author of To Dance Once MoreTo Laugh Once More, and When Love Must Wait from her Hope of the South series, and Song of the Meadowlark and Secrets Among the Cedars from her Contemporary Suspense series, Intertwined.

She lives in Georgia with her husband and her Chihuahua, and they are empty-nesters. She loves spending time with her adult children and friends or curling up with a good book or her current work-in-progress. Sherri enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles in the winter, watching Bob Ross painting videos (although she can’t paint), and counts the days every year until she can take another trip to the beach.

Rose here: I just ordered this exciting book, which I hope you will do also. And if you wish to get in on the giveaway for it make sure you leave a comment below. PLUS, hurry on over to Sherri’s blog to read about my latest book Destination: Romance and leave a comment there to be entered into her drawing to win an eBook copy of my book. We will run this double giveaway for one week starting today, so the drawing will be held and the winners announced on Friday November 3rd. Winners will be notified by the authors.

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New book out by Darlene Franklin–Her Rocky Mountain Highness

Darlene Franklin and a couple others have written stories based on some of John Denver’s songs. Many of you will remember John Denver and his song “Rocky Mountain High.” Her book is called Her Rocky Mountain Highness, and you can order it on Amazon.com

Here’s a blurb about the book:

Krystal Black had helped foreign dignitaries before but never was tempted to join their ranks.

Prince Johann “John” van Koppelberg came to the Colorado Rockies expecting a vacation. He hadn’t planned to fall in love with his tourism director.

But like John Denver, the prince found a home and fell in love. Now if only he could get Krystal and his parents to agree.

Sounds like a fun, romantic read, so hope you will check it and her other books out on amazon and at www.darlenefranklinwrites.com/ where you can read her blog, some devotionals, and more about her books. Happy reading, and humming along!

Take Me Home: Three Romantic Novellas based on John Denver Songs, available for order on Amazon kindle.

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An Imagination Circle by Ann H. Gabhart and Giveaway of These Healing Hills

An Imagination Circle by Ann H. Gabhart

I’ve been writing for a long time. My first historical novel was published in 1978. I’ve typed a lot of words on paper or computer screen since then with These Healing Hills my thirty-third book that came out in September. Some of those books were long, over 100,000 words. Others, mostly my young adult books, came in at approximately 50,000 or less. Even so, without a doubt I’m way over two million words and counting. Well, I’m not actually counting. Computers do that for you these days. Of course, the word count does include all those short little words like the, a, an, but, and just. I stuck just in there because it’s a pesky word that pops up in my stories way too often. So often that I have to weed it out with my delete key while editing.

Having all those words slide under my writing bridge doesn’t change the excitement of a new book out for readers. Number thirty-three, These Healing Hills, is every bit as fun to see between its beautiful cover and ready for readers as my second published book way back in 1980. I said second book because it’s hard to beat the excitement of that very first published book.

But the fun of a new book is made even better when readers start sending messages telling me they’ve read my story. I’ve especially enjoyed hearing from readers about These Healing Hills since many of them have expressed how much they enjoyed following my characters’ story path up into the Appalachian Mountains.

I often say it takes two imaginations to truly make a story come to life. First the writer’s imagination as he or she comes up with the story. But then that writer needs readers to complete the circle by reading the writer’s words and making those words leap to life in their imagination. That imagination circle starts glowing each time a reader opens a new book and starts reading.

I am blessed to be able to do what I have wanted to do and have been trying to do since I was around ten–write stories. I am doubly blessed when a reader makes that circle of imagination glow by reading one of my stories. If you are a reader, thank you.

Have you ever thought about a writer and reader making a circle of imagination?

These Healing Hills Story Blurb

When Francine’s plans for her future fall apart at the close of World War II, she discovers new purpose as a nurse midwife in the beautiful Kentucky Appalachian Mountains. Will she also find healing and perhaps discover the birth of new love? RT Book Reviews says, “Gabhart’s latest historical novel intrigues, inspires and entertains. . .Humor, grace and, of course, romance give the characters life and breath, and the message of faith is gently organic and sincere.” These Healing Hills is available at bookstores or online book sites. For more information about the story and to find buy links, check out http://www.annhgabhart.com/books/these-healing-hills/

 Ann H. Gabhart bio

 ANN H. GABHART, the bestselling author of over thirty novels, has been called a storyteller, not a bad thing for somebody who grew up dreaming of being a writer. In addition to her popular Harmony Hill Shaker novels, Ann writes about family life in novels like Angel Sister and Love Comes Home as well as her cozy Hidden Springs Mysteries (as A.H. Gabhart) set in small towns like the Kentucky town where she grew up. These Healing Hills is her first historical novel set in the Appalachian Mountains. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren and enjoy country life in Kentucky. For more about Ann and her books, check out www.annhgabhart.com. You can also join the conversation on Ann’s Facebook Author Page, www.facebook.com/anngabhart or Twitter, https://twitter.com/AnnHGabhart

And Ann is offering a Giveaway to one of her commenters so please leave her a message below, and you might win.    

 

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