Tuesday Travelogue–Puerto Rico Part Two

We flew into San Juan, Puerto Rico on a Wednesday evening and were met by someone from AAA who drove us to the hotel. On Thursday morning we awoke for the first of our four full days on the beautiful island. We ordered breakfast from room service and ate while looking out at this spectacular view from our 16th floor balcony, mesmerized by the ever-changing blues, greens and grays of the ocean and sky. FullSizeRender(4)

We rented beach chairs and an umbrella to enjoy the sights and sounds of the surf while reading and lounging. FullSizeRender(5)I enjoyed an exciting story by Virginia Smith, and especially loved the closeness of the ocean all around us. We strolled along the shore, then walked to a neighborhood shop to get an acai berry yogurt parfait for a snack. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of that, but it was really good.

Back to the room to cool off in the heat of the day, then that evening we walked to another local shop for our first taste of authentic mofongo! It was delicious!FullSizeRender(6) Then we  capped our evening off with a lovely sunset walk on the beach. A perfect day!FullSizeRender(7)

Please come back again next Tuesday for our adventures on Friday where we traveled to some of the sites my character Joy in Surrender to Peace visited. And for an opportunity to win a copy of the book, read my blogpost from yesterday to see how you can get three chances.

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Want to win a copy of Surrender to Peace?

Surrender to Peace - minus logoThe whole month of August, anyone who signs up for my blog or newsletter on my blog or author Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/RoseAllenMcCauley?ref=hl  will be entered into a drawing. Be sure to leave a comment to let me know which ones you signed up for. Each place counts as one entry, so you could earn up to three entries in the contest toward a copy of Surrender to Peace –ebook or print version. The winner will get to choose which one, and I will announce the winner on September 1st here on my blog and on FB. And feel free to share this if you’d like–the more the merrier!

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Fridays with Friends, Betty Thomason Owens

Rose here: I am starting back up my “Fridays with Friends” posts. I enjoyed reading about the intriguing story Betty Thomason Owens wrote for a more modern-day telling of the story of Ruth. I think you will, too.

Annabelle's Ruth Final-SmallBy Betty: The Book of Ruth has always fascinated me. After reading through the story again, I settled back and thought it through. I wondered if anything like this had happened since biblical times.
What if?
That’s the place where most of my stories begin–with the question–what if? What if I told a similar story and set it, say…in the 1950’s…in West Tennessee, where I spent most of my childhood?
And, what if…I wove it together with a story I’d always wanted to tell, of my mother’s early married life? Intriguing.
Mom left her middle-class urban Seattle home to elope with a sailor. After the wedding, he left her with his family in West Tennessee. They were not middle-class, but “dirt” poor tenant farmers eking out a living by raising cotton. Yikes.
I remember that existence. No indoor plumbing, even in the sixties when I was growing up. Endless rows of cotton. Exhausting, relentless heat that didn’t even let up overnight.
And what if, when these women arrive back home in Tennessee, they encounter racial tension, which was strong in the fifties. My Ruth character–Connie Cross–is half-Hawaiian, so her complexion is dark. She doesn’t quite fit in. Just like Ruth, the Moabite woman. But she quickly endears herself to everyone who meets her. Well, everyone except Jensen Wade, a haughty relative who can make a lot of trouble for the ladies. There’s always one.
His brother Alton has other ideas when he meets Connie. He sees a beautiful woman who gave up her former life to stay with her beloved mother-in-law, Annabelle.
Jobs are scarce and the two women have a difficult time supporting themselves, so Connie goes to work in Alton’s cotton fields. He watches her work and admires her strength and sense of purpose, even in such harsh conditions.
But Connie has a secret–one she hasn’t even told Annabelle, which could interrupt any plans Alton has for her future.
I loved writing this story, and as it unfolded, some of the characters seemed quite familiar. I had drawn them from my memories. I recreated their language and the feel of their lives as they were then–when I was a child. I guess that’s why Annabelle’s Ruth is so close to my heart. I hope you’ll want to get to know them as well. Come in and “set a spell” — you may find yourself craving an ice cold glass of sweet tea and a plate of old-fashioned tea cakes.

 

Buy-link http://ow.ly/QkcId

Back cover blurb:

“If you think you can come back here and throw yourself on my mercy, you are quite wrong.” –Jensen Wade, Annabelle’s Ruth.

After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could change everything once again.

Inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth is a 1950’s era “Ruth” story, set in western Tennessee. How will Connie adapt to her new life amid the cotton farms, racial tension, and culture shock.

My BioACFWPhoto(1)

Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s also a mentor, assisting other writers. She is a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers, and a contributing editor for the online magazine, Imaginate.
Annabelle’s Ruth, a 1950’s historical novel based on the Book of Ruth, is the first book in the Kinsman Redeemer Series (Write Integrity Press). Her 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series, released October, 2014 (Write Integrity Press). She also writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger. She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.
Betty still lives in Kentucky, though in a more urban setting, with her husband Bob, close to her grown-up sons, their wives, and seven precious grandchildren.

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Tuesday Travelogue–Colors of Puerto Rico

Blue and green are my favorite colors, and I think God must be partial to them too, since He used them so much in our lovely earth.

My husband and I traveled to Puerto Rico last month to do some last-minute research for my book set in Puerto Rico. Today I am giving you an over view of the country, then each Tuesday for the next few weeks, I will tell  you more about the things we did there, especially the places that my characters also visited in Surrender to Peace.

FullSizeRender(2)In this first picture taken from our hotel balcony (which doesn’t really do justice to the beauty of Puerto Rico) I wanted to show some of the shades of blue and green which you see all over the Island, especially in the ocean.

This second photo shows some of the greenery we saw in El Yungue National Rainforest which we as well as my characters also hiked into.

IMG_3242(1)If you don’t want to wait until next Tuesday to hear more about Puerto Rico, you can check out Betty Owen’s interview of me about my book and trip  It is up today at http://wp.me/p65lTH-ex

Then tomorrow you can visit Deb Vogts Recipe blog at http://www.countryatheartrecipes.com/ where I share the time my husband and I made Mofongo, one of the local dishes, while there!

Maybe it will inspire you to make some yourself! Hope you will return next Tuesday for more photos. And if you have ever been to Puerto Rico, please leave a comment to share your favorite part of your time there.

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MaryAnn Diorio’s book Surrender to Love

PicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm (2)I love this beautiful cover, and I love the beautiful story my friend, MaryAnn Diorio shares with us below about her reasons for writing this book. Welcome back to my blog, MaryAnn.

Thank you, Rose, for having me as a guest on your blog today. Not only are you a respected fellow author, but you are also a dear friend and sister in Christ. It is an honor to be here.

You asked me to tell of my journey writing my latest novella, SURRENDER TO LOVE. Years ago, my dear writing mentor, Nikki Arana, taught me that writing a story is much more than a literary journey. It is a spiritual journey in which, during the writing process, the author learns more about herself and about God. This is exactly what happened to me while writing SURRENDER TO LOVE. Continue reading

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Fun Visit With Virginia Smith

FullSizeRenderOur Book Club at Unity Christian Church had a very fun luncheon meeting last week at Joseph Beth Cafe with Virginia Smith. Left to right: Ellen Whitaker, Jean Fowler, Ellen Kipela, myself, and Ginny Smith.

Ginny and I have known each other for several years from ACFW. I love her books, and while we ate she regaled us with several funny stories–some true and some from her upcoming fiction. We all laughed so much, I am sure we worked off the calories in our desserts! Continue reading

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