Book News…The Newest from Sharon A. Lavy

by Carole Brown

No one begins life as a teenager.

So why can’t Pete Neper remember his childhood?

Conflict of Interest

Book Blurb
His family attended St. Anthony’s church in Florida. So why is the Old German Baptist meeting house—in Ohio, where his high school friend attended—the only one he can remember? Is he crazy like his father–the man who killed his mother years ago and recently killed his best friend?

While Pete hunts for his elusive memories, Danni Wagoner, his best friend’s widow still seeks for closure a year after she buried her husband.

Much as he wants to comfort this widow and her child—unless Pete can forgive his father, he will not be free to love or protect either of them properly.

Book Three in the “Sometimes We’re Asked to Forgive the Unforgiveable” series. 

The captivating continuation of the story of two women, raised differently and dressed differently, but close friends nevertheless, and the men in their lives. Filled with anguish and joy, sweet scenes and suspenseful ones, each character stands out in a unique and interesting way that will compel the reader to keep reading well past their bedtime. It’s a once-in-a-reader’s-life book series that hooks one to follow the episodes and exciting experiences these women are living. I recommend this book to all those who love Amish–er, German Baptist books, women’s fiction and suspenseful writing. Don’t miss out! 

Buy this book here:  

https://www.amazon.com/Conflict-Interest-Sometimes-forgive-unforgivable-ebook/dp/B06XQ9SLBF/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498135044&sr=1-1&keywords=Conflict+of+Interest+by+Sharon+A.+Lavy

 

ABOUT Sharon:

Sharon A. Lavy was born into an Old German Baptist family. This Anabaptist group are often mistaken for Amish.

While Sharon was growing up her father went to medical school at George Washington University. He interned and took his residency at a hospital in Sacramento, California.
She inherited her love of books from her father and when she wasn’t exploring the hospital where he worked, Sharon spent many hours pouring over his medical books.

When she married, Sharon moved with her husband to a farm in Southwest Ohio where they reared five children.

While she loves to read many genre, her own writing tends to feature medical drama among the Old German Baptist community.

Connect with her here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharon.a.lavy

The Day I Saw an Angel and Didn’t Know It

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

I was a poor nineteen year old college student on my way home from Sunday night service. I didn’t have any money, and the car was on empty. It wouldn’t have mattered if I did have money. It was after 9:00 at night, and this was the late 1970s, the time when gas shortages caused gas stations to close by 6:00 if they didn’t run out of gas. I went to church by faith praying I wouldn’t run out of gas until I got home.

The car sputtered then stopped. I sat in the car for a few moments considering my options. I didn’t have a cell phone in those days. Only rich people had car phones, and they were the size of today’s laptops. It was after dark, so walking to the nearest gas station was not something I looked forward to. Even if I did walk there, a couple of miles away, I couldn’t get gas at that hour – even if I had money.

I could have used the phone booth at the gas station to make a call. I was sure I could find a quarter in the ash tray or under the seat. But the idea of walking out there in the dark didn’t appeal to me.

Lord, what am I going to do?

It was at that moment a group of guys drove up. They were obviously drunk or high, and from the cat calls and whistles they made, I had no trouble discerning what they really were after.

“You run out of gas?” one guy slurred. “We can drive you to the station.”

“No, that’s all right,” I called from inside the closed window.

They shrugged and drove off. I let out a sigh of relief, but a few minutes later they came back.

The first guy, obviously the leader, got out of the car this time and banged on my window. “Give us some money, and will bring back some gas for you.”

“Someone’s coming to pick me up,” I lied hoping they would leave me alone. No such luck.

A couple of others were out of the car by now pounding on the window as hard as my heart was beating. “Come on. Let us in. We’re trying to help you.”

“No, thanks. I’m fine.”

They got in their car and drove away.

At this point, I was shaking. I knew they’d be back, and this time, they wouldn’t take no for an answer. Lord, please help me.

A police car pulled onto the road. I was sure this was my answer to prayer. I honked my horn and flashed my lights, but the car drove away. I couldn’t believe it. I knew the cop saw me, but he didn’t stop. I was on one side of the city line, and he was working for the other city. Still, he could have stopped. He had to know I needed his help.

A chill went through me. A weight rested on my chest, and I had to remind myself to breathe. My eyes darted along the street as I looked for a place to hide, a tree, a bush. No houses to run to for help, only businesses after hours.

The back of my throat ached.

Lord, you are my strength and salvation. You are my ever present help in time of trouble. Please, help me. I don’t know what to do.

A car drove up, and a man got out and walked up to the window. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what the man looked like, but a peace came over me. I wasn’t afraid anymore.

“Come with me, and I’ll get you some gas.” That’s all he said.

I didn’t take frivolous chances. I was careful about going with people I didn’t know, but it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to go with him. I didn’t even think about it. I got into his car.

The man drove down the street and turned on a gravel road. I examined where the road was so I could look for it later. At the end of the road was an old barn. The man went into the barn and came out carrying a five gallon gas tank, then he drove me back to my car and filled it up. I had a twenty gallon tank, and he filled it until the needle was on full. Then he drove away.

The next day, I drove to where the man had pulled off the road. My intention was to thank him, but the gravel road wasn’t there. I couldn’t find it. That’s when I realized he was an angel sent by God. The full gas tank lasted six months with me driving for miles every day.

I often wondered why God didn’t have the angel fill up my tank right there without me going with him. I think I’ve come up with two reasons. First God wanted me to know He was the one who rescued me supernaturally. Second, the car full of guys might have come back while I was gone. When they saw I wasn’t there, they drove off.

For what it’s worth, this story is true. You can come to your own conclusions about the man who filled my gas tank. I know what I believe.

 

Featured Novel Michel the Fourth Wise Man

katheryn-yellowKatheryn Maddox Haddad is our featured author today. Katheryn was born in the north, but moved to Arizona where she doesn’t have to shovel sunshine.  With a BA degree in English and Bible, she earned part of an MA in Bible, including Greek studies.  Every morning she sends out an inspirational thought to some 30,000 worldwide.

You can find Katheryn at her website or on Facebook.

haddad-coverMichel the Fourth Wise Man

Michel follows the footsteps of his Jewish ancestor, Daniel, and is a magus to King Phraattes of the Parthian Empire. He decides to buy the Garden of Eden where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers meet. It is now completely under water where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers meet, and the home of marsh people. He becomes the laughing stock of his friends.

He sacrifices everything to get it—his warrior father, his wife, and his estate. His dream is to replant the Garden of Eden and draw pagans on pilgrimage to it so they will learn about the one true God. Then perhaps God will walk the earth with them in the Garden as he had with Adam and Eve.

He is interrupted by a star that appears for awhile, then disappears. The other magi believe it is a sign a god was born. King Phraattes demands to know the meaning of the star, fearing it is an omen his kingdom will be taken from him.

Michel and his friends travel the world delving into the holy writings of world religions, trying to find the meaning of the star. How Michel hates this interruption.

After a year of searching, they give in to Michel’s appeals, and find their answer in the Jewish scriptures. They go to Bethlehem where Michel realizes God has already come and is walking on earth through the boy, Jesus. He goes into a meltdown. He has lost everything to buy Eden. What can he do now?

Welcoming my Author Friend, Sandra M Hart!

Happy to have my sweet friend, Sandra join me today. Sandra writes historical romance fiction. Be sure to check out her book at the links provided.

Tell us a little bit of how you were called, or began writing. Happenstance? A clear call? A chosen career?

I wanted to be a writer in elementary school. I found that books took readers on an adventure and wanted to write them by age eleven. When in sixth grade, I wrote my first novel. My favorite genre was mysteries and my story was called, The Mystery of the Missing Diamond Ring. You probably can’t guess what it was about! J  My sixth grade teacher encouraged my writings but few others did. No key people in my life bothered to read it so I released the dream. The stories never stopped coming, but I didn’t write them down.
Our choir director asked choir members to share devotions about our songs. Several years ago I wrote a devotion and shared it with the choir. The comments I received afterward reawakened the old dream.

It took some coaxing from God to accept the dream again, but I’m glad I did. I’m having a blast!

Do you like a definite spiritual theme or do you keep it less obvious as you write?

The story is what captures me first. I start with an idea and a vague notion of the ending before writing. Before long I notice a theme emerging. There is usually a main theme running through the entire novel as well as a couple of other issues. I pray over my stories before I begin and during the writing process. It amazes me to find messages I never consciously added.
What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it? JStranger cover_ new apple

A Stranger on My Land is a Civil War novella set on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Carrie finds Adam, a wounded Union soldier, on her Southern property after a battle near her home. He will die if she turns her back on him. She takes him in her family’s cave hideaway but can’t remove the bullets. He needs a Union surgeon to survive, but how can she save his life and protect her family’s hideout?

My favorite part of this book was imagining the real life dramas that happened when two people on opposite sides of the war fell in love. Sometimes the war actually brought people together…
Give us three items about yourself: hobbies, loves, fun or weird habits, food/snack kicks you like, what would you be if not a writer–that sort of thing.

  • The first weird thing about me is that I don’t like coffee. My mom used to tell me that I’d like coffee when I became an adult. Unfortunately, she was wrong in her prediction. It didn’t make sense to “acquire” a taste for something that didn’t taste good. (I know – I’m in the minority.)
  • The second thing that I never outgrew my craving for chocolate milk. I love to begin my day with chocolate milk the same way countless others need coffee, including the Civil War soldiers I write about!
  • The third thing is that I’d love to learn how to cook the “old-fashioned” way over a fire or on a wood stove. I’ve started a blog, Historical Nibbles, where I try to decipher old recipes or talk about selecting the right wood for a particular type of fire, for example. I’d love for you to visit me at https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/.

 

A Stranger on My Land by Sandra Merville Hart
Back Cover

Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find a wounded soldier on their land after a battle which later became known as “The Battle Above the Clouds.” Adam, a Union soldier, has been shot twice in the arm. Though Carrie is reluctant to take Adam to their cave where her family hides their livestock from both armies, she cannot turn her back on him. 

But her Aunt Lavinia, bitter over what Yankees have done to their land, urges Carrie to allow Adam to die. Carrie refuses, but cannot remove the bullets. Adam’s friendship with Jay softens her heart toward him. It’s not long until his gratitude and teasing manner spark a friendship between the young couple. Even though Carrie’s father fights for the Confederacy in far-off Virginia, her feelings for the handsome young soldier begin to blossom into love. 

When Adam’s condition worsens, Carrie knows a Union surgeon is needed to save his life. How can she accomplish this and keep her family’s hiding place a secret?

Buy her book here:
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GM05TQQ/

Author Bio                                                                                                                                         KCP06Sandra Merville Hart is the column writer for “History in the Making” at the popular and growing site, www.AlmostanAuthor.com.

She is Assistant Editor for DevoKids.com where she contributes many historical articles.

Her debut book, A Stranger On My Land, IRCA Finalist 2015, released in 2014. She has written for several publications and blogs. Sandra loves to find unusual facts in her historical research to use in her stories and drags her husband along on her adventures. Thankfully, he also enjoys these fact-finding missions.
To connect with Sandra:

Assistant Editor at DevoKids: http://devokids.com/category/stories/
Contributing column writer for: http://www.almostanauthor.com/category/genre/history/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.m.hart.7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sandra_M_Hart
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sandramhart7/
Sandra’s Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445068.Sandra_Merville_Hart
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100329215443000389705/posts
Sandra’s Historical Nibbles blog: https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/

Nosy Bits of Information About Andy and Caroline…

Undiscovered Treasures
(Book Three of the Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series)
By Carole Brown

book-free
Why did I write this book?

Several years ago, my agent urged me to write a romance novel for a certain publishing group. I did, and while I was at it, decided to write about three friends, all living in the made up town of Appleton, WV. Each had their own story, but the romance books didn’t go anywhere (because I’m not a “per se” romance writer. But when a current editor asked me for a new series, I thought about these three books and wondered if I could turn them into light mysteries. Ta da: the Appleton, WV series was born!
How much of myself do I put into my books?

Almost always little dabs of this and that. I love antiques and flea markets, cats, flowers (including Caroline’s favorite: daisies) and coffee. If I drink tea, I’m a Tea Snob (same as Caroline). I’m clumsy and fall over practically nothing (Caroline too!).
What are your main characters like?

In Undiscovered Treasures, Caroline Gibson, is a “home-town” girl. She doesn’t have a lot of confidence in her own looks, is clumsy, and sometimes quite outspoken. But she’s loyal, trustworthy, and soft-hearted, always watching out for the “underdog,” helps her brother run a successful business, writes plays, and oversees the local youth organization at her church. palette2-free

Andy Carrington, on the other hand, is quiet, but confident in his own abilities, friendly, a dedicated Christian, and an up-and-coming famous artist. He’s best friends with Caroline’s brother, and grew up with him and Caroline. Best of all, he’s loved Caroline forever and trusts God to direct his and her life.
Where did I get the title for this book?

When I plotted for the third friend (Caroline), I decided a junk/antique/collectibles store would be fun and unique. It also fit her personality. Having a brother and sister run the store worked well with the plot and giving them both a bit of wittiness added interest to the novel. I also thought this title played into the emotional love story part of the plot. Caroline, always dreaming of a real live prince for her life, doesn’t realize that she already has one. It’s only when she discovers Andy’s virtues that she finally clasps the truth: Andy is her treasure, chosen by God, just for her.
white-cat-free

Why a cat in the story?

It played into Caroline’s personality very well. I can just see her volunteering at the local pet shelter. Angel, the cat, also was a ready (or not) listener when Caroline needed a sounding board.

 
How does the music box play into the plot?music-box-free

It’s a constant reminder–and not a very welcome one–that her life is somewhat unsatisfactory. She thinks it’s because she doesn’t have a “prince” riding up to save her from a mundane existence, but really, it’s more like the proverbial ostrich inserting his head into the sand, and unwilling to accept the will of God for her life.
Why have Caroline travel out of the U.S. when she’s such a homebody?

Having her travel, which she isn’t totally fond of, forces her to climb out of her comfort zone. She knows what she has to do–make an apology–whether everything turns out the way she wants it to or not, and because she has to travel a distance, she has plenty of time to ruminate on her “follies.” Overall, a good disciplinarian action for her.

girl-praying-free

 

Is there a spiritual thread?

Yes. Accepting God’s will for our lives. We can’t make things happen the way we want, and if we force the issue, most times, it turns out to be an unsatisfactory situation. Caroline has to learn that, and once she does, she couldn’t be happier.

 

 

Happy Reading!

Sabotaged Christmas: A Finalist!

Sabataged Christmas1 front cover3


It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book and category:

Book Title: Sabotaged Christmas
Category: Fiction

There were hundreds of entries from around the world and your book was selected
for its high quality writing, design and market appeal. 

 

 

I’m excited, yes, and so thankful for this honor on the first book in my Appleton, West Virginia Romantic Mystery series! 

If you’re interested and would like to see what all the hoopla’s about or just want to get ready for some December holiday reading (although it can be read any time!), then go here:

https://www.amazon.com/Sabotaged-Christmas-Appleton-Romantic-Mystery-ebook/dp/B0186GF4GY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8https://www.amazon.com/Sabotaged-Christmas-Appleton-Romantic-Mystery-ebook/dp/B0186GF4GY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

HAPPY READING!

Welcome, Sharyn Kopf!

by Carole Brown

It’s good to welcome Sharyn to our site today! She’s a talented person besides being an author, and a sweet fell0w Ohioian ACFWer. Here’s a bit about her:Headshot 4.1.14

Sharyn Kopf didn’t discover her voice until she found a way to turn grief into hope. For her, that meant realizing it was okay to be sad about her singleness. In doing so, she was finally able to move past her grief and find hope in God.

It also meant writing about the heartaches and hopes of being an older single woman. She published her first novel, Spinstered, in 2014, and a companion nonfiction version titled Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40, in 2015. Her work has also appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Splickety Love magazine.

Besides writing and speaking, Sharyn is an editor and marketing professional. She loves to connect with readers and singles on Facebook or email. In her spare time, she enjoys goofing off with her nieces and nephews, making—and eating!—the best fudge (CB: I can testify to that! Lol) ever, long hikes through the woods and playing the piano.

Connect with her here:
Facebook
Website

 

Read on to find out her thoughts about writing another book and how easy it is . . . or not! 

Sharyn . . .

Someone once told me when people say they want to write a novel what they mean is they want to have written a novel. They want it to be done without going through the pain and bleeding of actually doing it.

I totally get that.

As of August 24, I’ve officially finished four books—two novels, one nonfiction work and a novella. And each time, when I’m still getting started, I wonder how “the end” will ever happen. Seriously, if feels like an impossible task.

Now, I always have ideas. Scenes roll through my head, but they’re just pictures, snapshots, really, of what will happen but without substance or context. I wonder if I can find the words—the right and perfect words—to string all those photos together, adding more scenes until it comes to life, a dream turned into reality.

But until it’s done I don’t know what’s going to work. It’s a journey, an exploration of thoughts and words. Because even though I have those images, each sentence is a surprise, creating a new, unexpected photo.

All reasons why finishing a book is, to me, a tiny miracle. One moment I wonder if it’s ever going to come together and make sense and capture everything I intended … and the next moment it’s done.

It happened again when I recently finished my second novel, Inconceived. After years of it being nothing more than a scrapbook of ideas, it came together. I’m still somewhat in awe about that. Some incidents I knew were coming; others threw me as completely off-guard as they did my characters. Health issues. Relationships ending, beginning and starting over. Trips home and broken hearts and true forgiveness—the kind that can change a person’s life.

But somehow by the grace of God it did come together. I’m stunned, again, to have this moving picture of a story complete.

And now it’s time to start again with book three!

 

Inconceived Blurb:

SequeInconceived Frontl to Spinstered (Amazon)

Realizing you’re a spinster is one thing; understanding what that means and how to handle it is another. And it would seem Jolene, Uli and Catie still have a ways to go before they truly comprehend what God is trying to show them not only in their desire to marry but in their longing to have children of their own.

As one relationship ends and another begins, Jolene Woods realizes she needs to finally deal with the guilt and regret of her past if she’s ever going to move on. And so she embarks on a journey she hopes will bring forgiveness … but may, in fact, only lead to more regret. Did the mistakes of her youth forever destroy her chance to be a mother?

Uli Odell has her own journey, though it’s more of an escape from the pain and embarrassment of a broken engagement. She ends up at her mother’s home in Iowa, separated from her friends and desperate for money. But there are some problems she just can’t run away from.

Though Catie’s heart is in a stronger place since she met God on a mountain three months ago, she still doesn’t have answers to many of her questions. Then the possibility of an unhealthy relationship and the reality of a life-altering medical diagnosis makes her wonder if she’s figured out anything at all.

As their lives head off in different directions, each of these friends will need God—and each other—to find their way to healing.

 

Readers, how hard do you think writing a book is? Have you ever thought you’d like to try to write one? 

Thanks for joining us, Sharyn. Readers, be sure to check out Sharyn’s books and her social links!