Thursday, April 18, 2019


We came to the United States when I turned four and my sister, Leah, was two. I’m eleven now, my name is Jack.

My dad had traveled ahead of us to find work and a place to live. Momma, Leah and I sailed a year later. I remember as we came down the gangplank the buildings took my breath away. Most were four or five stories high, much different from the cottages in Ireland.

Times were good back then. I loved the city of New York. Dad had gotten a job for a furniture maker. He’d come home in the evenings smelling of sawdust and sweat. After a wash and a hearty supper, he would sit and tell us stories of long ago in the green isle. Leah and I would listen spellbound but Momma chuckling would tell Dad he was full of the blarney. Sundays were the best days. Leah and I would hurry to dress for church, anxious to see the other children. In the afternoons, our family would walk through the park or have a picnic by the river. Dad took us once to see a marvelous bridge they had completed a few years previous called the Brooklyn Bridge. We also visited the zoo and the museums. Life was full of joy and laughter.

But things have changed in New York City. The streets have become crowded. The leisurely strolls we once enjoyed are spoiled by impatient pedestrians and dirty litter. Shouts rain down from open apartment windows. Languages I don’t understand. Dad decided to find a better place to live and took a trip out West. Excitedly he told us of the beautiful farmland and open ranges. He started saving money for us to move to Oklahoma. He said it’s the land of opportunity. Things were fantastic till Momma got sick.

I never thought anything could ever happen to Momma. So full of life and happiness. When she cooked or cleaned, she sang little songs to herself and sometimes danced a gig across the floor. If I had a bad day at school just hearing her song as I came in the door would give me peace.

But Momma died last week. Dad said she had got Typhoid. We had to use the money he saved to bury her in the graveyard. Dad is sick now. Leah and I have taken turns trying to get him to swallow water and eat a little broth. He’s getting weaker. I don’t know what to do. If dad dies, we’ll be alone. I’ll have to be the man of the house, Dad would want me to take care of Leah. But I’m only eleven.

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My Story Title:   THE PROMISE

My Story Genre:  Middle Grade

My Story Released:   March 23, 2019


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The Author of My Story:    Carolyn Torbett-Johnson

Carolyn Torbett Johnson  grew up in Connecticut surrounded by a loving family of two brothers and two sisters. Her parents also cared for three foster children, one of whom they were able to adopt and became the light of their lives. She has worked with children for over forty years and now resides in Oklahoma where her husband is the pastor of a country church. She enjoys reading, gardening and working on Quilts of Valor. 

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Thursday, April 11, 2019


Martie from MY FAMILY

Most of my family and friends call me Martie, not Martha. I guess that’s because I was a tomboy when I was a kid.

I can’t complain about my family growing up. Dad had his own business, so he was busy, not around much. Which meant that Mom was always bossy, trying to handle everything at home by herself.

But we knew they loved us.

My sister RuthAnne was beautiful, but she wasn’t snobby about it. She and I were good friends.

But I felt most comfortable hanging around with my brother John and his buddies. Playing ball, hiking through the woods, underneath somebody’s car trying to get it to run.

When I finished college, I needed to move away. John had joined Dad in his business. RuthAnne was married with a baby—so happy.

I didn’t fit in. I needed to make a place for myself in the world.

I moved to a large city, found a job and a church, started making new friends. I missed my family, but I visited on holidays. Once in a while, one of them would come to visit me. And I was making a life for myself.

Then RuthAnne and her husband died. And they made me guardian for their eight-year-old daughter Kim.

Kim doesn’t like me. She doesn’t want to stay with me. What do I know about being a parent?

My friend Jessica helps a lot. And Will, too, the cop who . . . Well, I won’t tell you about that yet.

Kim is so sad. Of course, she is. So am I. But she’s just eight, and she needs help. How can I help her? Sometimes I wish John and my parents were closer, to give me advice, to lean on.

Kim’s other grandmother, on her dad’s side, isn’t helping at all. How did RuthAnne get along with this woman? Of course, RuthAnne always got along with everybody. Maybe I should have hung around her more, let some of her sweetness rub off on me.

Kim loves my dog. She’s making new friends at school and church. But I can’t find the trigger to get her to trust me. I pray that God will help us make this work.

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My Story Title:   MY FAMILY (one novella of five in ALL MY TEARS

My Story Genre:  Women's Fiction

My Story Releases:   April 2, 2019 ~ Just THIS week!

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The Author of My Story:   Kathy McKinsey    

 Kathy McKinsey grew up on a pig farm in Missouri, and although she’s lived in cities for nearly 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl.

She’s been married to Murray for 31 years, and they have five adult children.

She’s had two careers before writing—being a stay-at-home-Mom and working as a rehabilitation teacher for the blind.

Now she lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dogs.

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Thursday, April 04, 2019

This Is My Story BEFORE The Story ~ The Wrong Suitcase

I’m Regina Larson, Reggie for short, and here I am in Tel Aviv. But instead of basking in the sun on the Mediterranean beach across from the hotel, or shopping in the eclectic markets of the old port, I’m dragging a stranger’s suitcase over cobblestoned sidewalks back to the hotel.

It’s my fault. If I hadn’t been in such a hurry to begin this trip-of-a-lifetime, this pilgrimage, I would have checked the label on the suitcase before grabbing the wrong one at the airport. So now I’m stuck in Israel with a bag full of men’s clothing. It should have been an easy exchange. The voice on the beater phone I found in the suitcase said to return ‘it’ to Halper’s Bookstore in Joppa at 4:20. The man was obviously irritated and hung up before I could ask any more questions.

But there was no man at the bookstore.

Why is this happening? After saving for years for this Holy-Land tour, I’m finally here, ready to see places that have only been words on a page before. And I’m ready to get my calling. What better place to receive God’s calling than in the promised land—the land where Abraham received a covenant, Mary discovered her purpose, and Jesus changed the lives of many. Instead, I’m lugging someone’s suitcase back to the hotel with a virtual stranger.

This stranger—Jacob Ross—seems overly curious about the suitcase. He’s asking too many questions and insists on walking me back to the hotel. Is he just being nice? He’s charming and interesting, but something’s off. All I want is a shower, a change of clothes, and a short nap. And I want MY SUITCASE!

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My Story Title:   The Wrong Suitcase

My Story Genre: Romantic Suspense

My Story Released: February 2019

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The Author of My Story:   Sherri Steward

Sherri Stewart loves a good suspense novel, sprinkled with romance and a strong message that challenges her faith. She spends her working hours with books—either editing others’ manuscripts or writing her own. Her hobby is traveling to potential settings for future stories. Next stop: Israel. Sherri lives in the Orlando area with her family and lazy dog, Lily. She loves to chat with readers about their ideas. Contact her at

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Get Connected:

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  • Amazon: The Wrong Suitcase
    This book is available in paperback, eBook, and Kindle Unlimited.

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The author will give away a signed copy of
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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Sand Creek Serenade

Sadie: Hello, everyone. I am Sadie Hoppner. Doctor Sadie Hoppner, that is. Perhaps you find it odd that a twenty-two-year-old woman like myself would become a doctor in 1864, but I’ve never wanted anything more in my life. Many of my relatives were or are doctors or nurses, so I guess the love of medicine and the healing arts is in our family blood.

Five Kills: And I am Five Kills of the Tsitsistas People, or as you might call us…the Shy-anne. I have lived twenty-five summers, but only the last fifteen have been among my mother’s people. My first ten summers, I lived with my white father in a…how do you say…house?...far from the Tsitsistas.

Sadie: I guess you could say the love of medicine was what brought my dear mama and papa together. Papa apprenticed under Dr. Garnett, my grandfather. Mama served as grandfather’s nurse, so she and papa spent a lot of time together, fell in love, and eventually married. They adored each other, or so Papa tells me. Unfortunately, I never knew Mama. She died bringing me into this world.

Five Kills: Those first ten summers were a happy time for me. Despite the many differences between my mother and father’s worlds, they loved each other. My father was a hunter and a trapper. Every day, he filled my belly with the savory meats he brought home, and every night, he filled my mind with stories of great adventures and brave feats in battle.

Sadie: I don’t remember exactly when it began, but as I grew, I started to read papa’s medical texts. Knowing that their joint love of medicine connected Mama and Papa, reading those texts helped me feel a connection to Mama as well. When I began asking Papa questions, he would sit me on his knee and help me understand the words and concepts. I grew to love that time with him, and it eventually turned into a formal apprenticeship.

Five Kills: Father shared many stories. They were written down in books, but his favorite stories were written in a special book, much larger than the others. The stories in the special book told of White Man’s God and His relationship to His people. The stories from that book lived in my mind and heart long after Father died and I went to live with the Tsitsistas. My mother’s people had other stories to tell, and Father’s stories faded in my memory.

Sadie: Before my formal training was complete, Papa fell ill. He did his best to prepare me as a doctor, but the sickness took him before either of us felt I was ready to wear the title. So…God bless him…my older brother, Ben, also a doctor, asked special permission for me to come live at Fort Lyon where he serves as the army surgeon. I packed up Papa’s texts and a few other belongings, moved across the territory, and completed my apprenticeship under my big brother’s watchful eye. That’s how I came to be at the fort while Major Ned Wynkoop worked to broker a peace treaty with Five Kills’ people.

Five Kills: When the Tsitsistas chief, Black Kettle, went to Tall Chief Wynkoop to ask for peace with the Army, we were told to camp alongside the Army fort. It was there that I saw this woman. (I have never called her Say-dee. I call her Trilling Bird, for she is pretty and her voice is soothing, like a bird’s song). The first day that I saw her, she had books. Large books like Father’s special one. I wanted very much to see them and try to remember the stories Father told me, but the soldiers were too quick to send me away, back to the Tsitsistas camp. But I vowed to return.

Sadie: Yes, he did—and caused quite a stir when he came. But we’ve probably said enough, Five Kills. They can read the rest of our story themselves by purchasing a copy of Sand Creek Serenade. I’m told the “link” (whatever that is) is below. And one lucky person will win a paperback copy of our story by commenting on our conversation here.

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My Story Title:   Sand Creek Serenade

My Story Genre:  Christian Western Historical Romance

My Story Released:   March 14, 2019

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The Author of My Story:    Jennifer Uhlarik

 Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

This Is My Story BEFORE The Story ~

I’m Abby Hobart, and my husband is missing. That’s all you really need to know until we find Peter. I’m not sure why he was kidnapped, but when I arrived at his business—Hobart Chevrolet—night before last expecting a fun night out, what I got was a dead body. One of his salesmen was lying on the floor bleeding. And not breathing. Did I tell you I’m a nurse?

Of course I’m sorry the man was killed, but frankly, I was just glad it wasn’t Peter. We’ve only been married a year, and Peter has two little boys, Andy and Gary. We need him! I don’t know how the boys will take it if Peter never comes home. Right now they’re at their grandmother’s, and they’re holding up pretty well. But if their daddy dies—

To be honest, I don’t know how I’ll take it either, so I’m not thinking about it. I have faith in God, but it’s awfully hard to trust him with something as terrifying as this. I have two brothers-in-law who are police officers, and they’re all over it. But am I banking on them finding Peter more than I’m trusting God? Maybe.

It was Harvey, the police captain brother-in-law, who introduced me to Peter. I was living with him and Jennifer, my older sister, and working at the hospital in Portland, Maine. Frankly, my love life was a mess. And then Peter came along. I think I fell in love with the boys first. Peter was widowed, and kind of shy. But the boys! Kids are always honest, you know? Andy, the six-year-old, stole my heart right away. Gary’s a couple of years older and more analytical. It took him a while to accept me, and even longer to start calling me Mom. But we’re in this together now, and I think he’ll step up as man of the house if . . . Okay, let’s not go there.

We’re going to get through this. Peter’s smart. Smarter than me. And his faith is stronger than mine. I’m a little worried about Gary. He thinks the cops could do more to find Peter, and he might try to do something on his own. Andy just cries a lot, but Gary’s a thinker. We’ve got officers in the house 24/7, and their presence helps reassure Gary. That’s the only reason I dare to sleep.

And I’ve got Harvey and Eddie on my side. Harvey’s a genius, or so they say. I think “they” may be right. He’s a great cop, and he makes connections other people don’t see. Eddie’s smart too, but in a different way. He’s charming and he can read people. With their detective squad leading the search, how can we come up empty?

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My Story Title:   Ransom of the Heart

My Story Genre:  Mystery

My Story Released:   June 2018

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The Author of My Story:    Susan Page Davis

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than eighty romantic suspense, mystery, and historical romance novels. She’s a winner of the Carol Award, two Will Rogers Medallions, two Faith, Hope & Love Readers’ Choice Awards, and she’s a finalist in the WILLA Literary Awards. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky.

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The author will give away an autographed paperback copy of
Ransom of the Heart - OR - any other book in the Maine Justice series (Reader's choice of the seven available titles - Book 1 is The Priority Unit).
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

This Is My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Glenora Carson

Hi there,
I’m Glenora Carson. That’s Glen and you think my father wished for a boy? Well, whatever his expectations, I’m playing a son’s role right now, until my brother comes back from the war. My friends say I’m making a big sacrifice, but isn’t everybody? After all, this world war demands a lot from all quarters.

If Mama hadn’t died when I was in high school, maybe I’d see it differently...but she did die, and the housekeeping chores became mine. But I had a really good friend back then. It was when Joe perished on the Arizona at Pearl Harbor that I knew I’d do whatever was necessary for the war effort. And then a couple of months later, my little brother Red enlisted.

To make a long story short, all of this led to me being here in our father’s garage. Every day, I don my overalls and roll under farm vehicles to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix things.
Nothing glorious about it, that’s for sure. I also attempt to make order from the mess behind the counter...unpaid bills and a sketchy log Dad keeps of who owes him what. These are hard times, and it’s not often someone pays cash on the spot.

It’s not often, either, that a day goes by without some distraught farmer coming in to lance complaints—we’re too slow, the blasted part broke again—you get the idea.

So you can imagine my relief when a wounded soldier returned to recuperate with one of Dad’s farmer friends. Slim dropped a hint to Dad that his nephew Hank would soon be back, and had a definite mechanical bent.
Of course, I held my peace...but one day this giant of a man walked into the garage and seemed instantly at home diagnosing engine problems. This gave me lots more time to work on the books.

I’d love for you to meet my Aunt Henrietta—I don’t see her often, with gas rationing. But when she comes for Thanksgiving or Easter, I can almost count on a trip to Damon’s Department Store in Mason City. Aunt Henrietta, would you like to add your perspective?

Of course. I’d do almost anything for my niece, the daughter I never had. I don’t know if you believe me, but I like our little excursions as much as you do. It’s good to get out, and you’re too young to be stuck in this little town.

(Readers, let me say out of Glenora’s hearing that she’s the most faithful daughter and sister my brother and nephew could have. But there is such a thing as sacrificing too much, and Glenora comes mighty close. After all, a young woman ought to have her own dreams, too. And she did...but she gave up her scholarship to Iowa State when my nephew Red enlisted. I understand her decision, but it still bothers me to see her working so hard and never having any fun.

Besides that, did she mention that she sees her height and angular face as undesirable to a man? I’m so grateful Joe, her high school beau, was looking for quality and inner beauty, because Glenora’s got them in spades. But I’m afraid she thinks love can never come her way again.

And her father...well, I have my own opinions of my brother Roy. He’s such a hard worker, and it was awful to lose his wife. But there are other women in town who could keep his house.

Of course, I would never broach this subject with him, because right now he’s hurting so much for Red, whose ship was struck by a Pacific typhoon. What else can happen?

Wait, don’t answer that. At least, as far as we know, Red is still alive. But waiting for word about him is taking its toll on Roy...on everyone.)

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My Story Title:   Kiss Me Once Again

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance ~ WWII

My Story Released:   December 2018

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The Author of My Story:    Gail Kittleson

Gail writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and watching historical documentaries. Love for the World War II era hit Gail later in life, and she’s hopelessly addicted. Her historical fiction honors Greatest Generation women who made a difference despite great odds. Her second love, teaching, leads to facilitating writing workshops and retreats, where she loves cheering others on in their vocation.

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Thursday, March 07, 2019

My Story BEFORE The Story ~

Dear Diary,

Hi! I’m Grace Summers, Watermelon Queen Extraordinaire—well at least that’s what Mrs. Baron likes to call me. BUT anyways…I’m writing to you today for two reasons. The first is so my Gramps will get off my back about starting a journal, and the other is to help me figure out how I ended up in this mess in the first place.

Okay, okay…mess probably isn’t the best word to use, I probably should go with this instead: to figure out how I ended up being the watermelon queen and being stuck with Beau Baron for the foreseeable future. (Don’t let his good looks fool you, he’s so not nice!) On second thought, maybe I should have used the word nightmare and been a smidge more specific, the watermelon part, that’s good stuff. The Beau Baron part…not so much!

Anyway, moving on…

I’m a twin…scratch that…I used to be before the accident. Growing up my brother Luke and I were inseparable. We did everything together. It started at a very early age according to my mom. So much so, Mom said we even took our first steps on the same day. Luke went a few minutes before me, but that’s it. He toddled right over to Daddy, clapped and then he turned around looking at me expectantly, like he knew I could do it too. That’s the way we rolled through life though, we both did something or neither one of us did.

As the story goes, Mom said he looked at me and sprouted off some long sentence in baby gibberish, and then clapped again. I stood up and toddled towards Daddy and Luke apparently to great applause from everyone in the room. Mom said after that, we only had two speeds…fast and faster!

Our togetherness didn’t stop there though. We made forts in the back yard, rode our bikes down the lane, and had the best time jumping on Mom and Dad’s bed. Sunday night drives to get ice-cream were always the best. Dad would turn the music up and sing loudly to Mom while Luke and I covered our ears in mock outrage about how off key and embarrassing Dad was. Sometimes the Baron boys would join us too. That made Dad sing louder and even more off key (if that was even possible).

And because our moms were best friends we basically grew up together with the Baron boys. My mom and Mrs. Baron were inseparable. Sunday lunches…playdates…even the grocery store, we did it all together. It wasn’t too bad, I learned to share Luke with Beau from an early age. Luke would make sure to include me though. It was like I had two built in best friends and sometimes protectors. Not that I needed the boys to do that—just ask Beau. There was this one time, before I learned to deal with sharing my brother, that I might have gotten a little jealous…if you ask me, Beau was being rude though, so I may have given him a tiny, little, barely even there, kick in the shin. He got a bruise and I got a time out.

I promise I’ve grown out of my shin kicking days. But honestly, growing up with Luke and even Beau made life easier. I always had a built in friend and when Beau would tag along I had two of them—until middle school happened. Boys and middle school, that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’ll save it for my next entry.

Summers were especially busy because we worked on the Baron’s watermelon farm. It was hard work, but so much fun. I loved my time driving the tractor or turning vines. Luke and I would pack our lunch and spend the entire day there helping out wherever we were needed while Mom and Mrs. Baron would work in the house making watermelon salsa and visit. I’m sure they both loved having us all outside so they could talk for hours about anything and everything. Honestly, though those were some of the best memories I have of me and Luke. Life was simple. Our biggest worries were scraped knees and what flavor of ice-cream to get.

Even as we got older and Luke started to drift towards sports and hanging out with Beau more, he still found time for me. I went to every single one of his and Beau’s baseball games—they were on the same team, that’s the only reason why I was there rooting Beau on too. Like I mentioned earlier, middle school was the start of the end of our little trio. Beau had changed towards me, and not for the better I might add.

But even today, I don’t hate those memories. They all have Luke in them. Gramps says the hurt will get better in time, and I am trying. Really, I am. I have so much to be thankful for. It’s just hard sometimes. Especially when there’s a certain boy who seems to be bent on making my life miserable!

My Story Title:   LOVING GRACE

My Story Genre:  YA Contemporary Romance

My Story Released:   March 20, 2018 ~ Happy Anniversary, Loving Grace!

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The Author of My Story:    April Smith

April grew up spending summers working on her best friend’s family watermelon farm, and was one of those watermelon queens she writes about. She has a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching, and when she’s not writing, April finds herself in front of the classroom teaching.

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  Get Connected:

  • Website 
  • You can also find author (April Smith) on: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter

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WHERE you can purchase Loving Grace:

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Our Stories BEFORE The Story ~ To Claim Her Heart

ELMER (ELSIE): Howdy, I'm Elmer Esther Smith. Most folks call me Elsie. There's often a lot of confusion over my name. I have a mix of both my pa and ma's names. You see I was the last in a string of five girls. I reckon Pa figured I was his only chance of having a son since Ma died givin' birth to me. Pa gave me his name, even though I'm a girl. Anyway, I don't know how I ended up as a main character in a book, especially since most folks ignore me on account of me not being like other gals. I wear my pa's old clothes and can't abide wearin' a dress.

BENJAMIN: Hello, I'm Benjamin David. I hear a lot of jokes about my name. I know it's unusual since David is typically a first name. I actually heard from the author that her husband was named for a great grandpa David. I think the author's husband also had a family member named Benjamin who made the Cherokee Strip Land Run. Apparently there's a lot of history with this family when it comes to the Cherokee Outlet. I think that's interesting.

ELSIE: I grew up in Kansas, farming with my pa. We had a good life for many years, despite my Aunt Kate always buttin' her nose in our business and trying to make me into a 'respectable young lady'. She's been a burr in my hide all of my life so headin' to Oklahoma Territory where she has no idea where I am sounds like pure bliss. I reckon I'll never see her again, and I'm happy about that.

BENJAMIN: I'm a preacher like my father. I heard the call to tell others about the Lord when I was just a young boy. Most thought I would follow in my father's footsteps and take over for him, but after I experienced a great loss in my life, I knew I needed a fresh start. I also had to fulfill something I promised to someone special.

ELSIE: Gettin' a claim in the land run is the only answer to my problems. The last thing I'm looking for is a man to solve all of my struggles. God's abandoned me before so I'll do whatever it takes to protect my heart from gettin' stung again. I don't need a man to come to my rescue or stake a claim on my heart. I can do things all on my own—just wait and see.

BENJAMIN: I'm open for God to use me however He feels is best as I seek a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run. I know He has something special in store for me. I just have to trust Him to lead and guide me as I move forward. I desire to touch others as I make a fresh start. I'm sure that God will use me as I reach out to my new neighbors and seek to follow and use the gifts God has given me. The only thing I'm not looking for is to marry. Some are called to be single and after my loss… well, let's just say that I have no desire to claim someone's heart. But to hear more about my run-in with Elsie, you'll have to check out what the author wrote about us. Here's a little more about it:

In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his 'Promised Land. Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancée. He hasn't counted on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he is sadly lacking.

Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith's only hope for survival, and not just any plot, she has a specific one in mind. The land's not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. She's willing to put in whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and Elsie's determined to keep it.

Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land . . . or her heart.


My Story Title:   To Claim Her Heart

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:   May 14, 2018

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The Author of My Story:   Jodie Wolfe

 Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA) and has been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. She's a contributor and co-founder of Stitches Thru Time blog. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ THE BRIDGE BETWEEN US (The Erie Canal Brides Collection)

My name is Susannah Higley. Today, I am waiting to find out if my wax flowers won a ribbon in the Orleans County Fair. I have been waiting for this day for so long! My mother taught me how to make wax flowers, and she always said I was better at making them than she was. She won several ribbons for her wax flowers and always encouraged me to place my own in contests to see if I could win a ribbon, too. Sadly, Mama passed away and will not be able to see my accomplishments if I win.

Pa is proud of me for my achievements. However, he is not proud of my ambitions of seeing my wax flowers sold in stores in New York City. Pa thinks it is fine to dream so long as those dreams do not take me away from our home in Albion. Pa is not a bad man, just afraid of being alone since Mama has passed.

I had a chance to leave Albion once, but it would have been a mistake. My former beau Richard asked me to run away with him to California to seek gold. I could not bring myself to go with him, could not leave Pa to run the house and lumber yard alone. Richard said we would never marry if I stayed here, and so he left me no choice but to carry on without him. He started over in California, and I remain here wishing adventure would come my way every day.

I do the bookkeeping for Pa's lumber yard, a job Mama always did. It helps Pa and I'm happy to help, but the desire in my heart to see places other than Albion never quiets. The Erie Canal leads all the way from Albany to Buffalo. I would love to take a boat ride all the way up and down the Erie Canal and see all of the different towns. But Pa would never let me do that. Maybe someday.

For now, I wait to see if my wax flowers gain the attention of the judges. If I win the county fair prize, my flowers will go to New York City for the state contest.

Everything bad that happens reminds Pa of a family feud between the Higleys and the Hawkinses. The feud started when Mr. Hawkins cheated Pa out of some lumber, and they dissolved their friendship and declared never to do business with each other again. That ended my childhood friendship with John Hawkins, who I believe I would have married. Pa forbid me to see him again after their business deal soured. Then when John's family was run out of town, there was no hope of us ever seeing each other again.

John lives in New York City, so I hear, and if I am ever able to make it there, I will try to find him.

Most days after I work at the lumber yard, I come home, cook dinner, clean the house and wash clothes. Sometimes I even have to repair a board on the house or clean out the chimney because Pa is too sad to do anything around here. I hope if I win in the county fair and go on to win in the state fair for my wax flowers that the prize money could bring some joy to Pa's life.

Some days it feels like we will never recover from losing Mama and from the feud with our old friends, but I keep the faith because I know God is with us and he's always watching over us. So I will not waste a moment fretting. I will enjoy today!

To start the county fair, George Williams from Brockport will walk across the Erie Canal on a tightrope! His rope is strung from the second floor of the Mansion House across the canal to the second floor of the Pierpont Dyer’s building. I wonder how fast his heart is beating. Is it as fast as mine is beating in anticipation?

I may be adventurous, but I am not that adventurous for I would not want to fall into the waters of the canal. So while I wait for Mr. Walker to do what I could never do, I shall sample some of the apple fritters and popcorn for sale at the merchant carts. Then I will come back and stand on the bridge with everyone else so I can get a better look at Mr. Walker as he performs his daring act. Won’t you join me?

My Story Title:  THE BRIDGE BETWEEN US (A novella with The Erie Canal Brides Collection)

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance  

My Story Releases:  March 1, 2019

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The Author of My Story:    Sherri Wilson Johnson 

Sherri Wilson Johnson is a multi-published Inspirational Romance novelist, speaker, and virtual assistant. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and is passionate about writing and publishing. Sherri has been published in The Erie Canal Brides (Barbour Books), 101 Simple Ways to Show Your Husband You Love Him by Kathi Lipp (Harvest House), Powerline 365 by Nicole O'Dell (Choose NOW Ministries), Open Hearts Family: Connecting with One Another by Jane Seymour (Running Press, Hachette Book Group)The Writing Academy’s Daily Devotions for Writers, and several homeschool publications. She is the author of six inspirational romances which she independently published. She lives in Georgia with her husband and her spoiled dog Sawyer. 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 and counts the days every year until she can take another trip to the beach. You can find Sherri on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Find out more about Sherri at her website:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Sherri will be gifting a winning reader a print copy of her book. 

Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

These Are Our Stories BEFORE The Story ~ THE WATCH ON THE FENCEPOST ~

KATHRYN: Hi. Thanks for dropping by. I’m Kathryn Frasier, and I would never have guessed that I would be the main character in a mystery novel. After all, I’m not one of those 21st century, aggressive, kick-boxing, superwomen who catch the bad guy while doing their nails and repairing the spacecraft’s atomic propulsion system, all at the same time.

I’m actually a quiet, nerdy kind of girl. I’m twenty-seven years old, and I work for a software development company in the tech-savvy, fictional town of Bellevue in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains. My one talent in life seems to be my analytical ability. I have a knack for looking at a problem and finding the solution. That’s a great gift for someone in computer programming, but maybe not an obvious reason to be a main character.

PHIL: Hey. I’m Phil Warren, the owner of a car repair shop in Bellevue. I was on a fast track to earn an engineering degree when I had to drop out of college because my father died suddenly of a heart attack and left a mountain of debts. I moved home to take care of my mother and sister, and I opened the repair shop back then. I met Kathryn several years ago, and we had what you might call a “miscommunication.” Let me decipher that for you: we didn’t like each other. I thought she was a conceited princess, and she had some misconceptions about me. Our entire relationship consisted of a few words exchanged whenever she brought her car in to my shop.

KATHRYN: Something terrible happened to me recently that brought me front and center in this novel. Four months ago, my parents, with whom I had a warm and loving relationship, were killed in an automobile accident. The police report indicated it was just a simple case of the car accidentally going off a mountain road at night. I was devastated, and being an only child, I was left alone in my sorrow.

PHIL: I heard about Kathryn’s parents, and I found myself thinking about her. A lot. I remembered how modest she was, always polite and quiet. And how she blushed every time I said hello to her. Then someone told me something about her that made me wonder if there was more to her than I had reckoned, and I started looking forward to our next encounter.

KATHRYN: A few months after my parents’ deaths, I was out for a run with my border collie, Barkley, when I discovered a gold watch left on a fencepost. I had a prickly sense of fear and excitement to think it might have been put there deliberately for me to find. But who would do that? And why?

My puzzle-solving impulse kicked in, and I devised a plan to find the person who owned the watch. My plan worked, and my life was turned upside down in the next few days. That watch led me to a dark secret about my family and a suspicion that my parents’ deaths were not an accident. I could hardly comprehend such a thing. My father and mother were lovely, kind people. No one would hold a grudge against them. Would they?

But the knowledge that someone may have murdered my parents transformed me from my shy, timid self into a woman on a quest to find the truth. Along the way I got better acquainted with Phil, who had always intimidated me with his good looks and success in business. Whenever I had taken my car to his shop in the past, he had acted like he was too busy to bother with me. Then one day, out of the blue, his attitude changed. Was he flirting with me?

PHIL: When Kathryn and I discovered a slip of paper glued to her car’s door frame, it set a series of events in motion that led her down a dark and dangerous path. But she is one determined young lady. I like that about her. Among other things.

KATHRYN: So join us now as we navigate a labyrinth of clues, and a cast of extraordinary characters, to find the truth. After all, life is all about finding the truth, right?


Our Story Title:        The Watch on the Fencepost                            
Our Story Genre:     Romantic Mystery
Our Story Releases: February 22, 2019
The author of our story is ~ Kay DiBianca   

Kay holds an MS degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked in the IT departments of several major corporations, including IBM, International Paper, and FedEx.
An avid runner, Kay can often be found at a nearby track, on the treadmill, or at a large park near her home. She's completed four marathons, fifteen or so half-marathons, and an unknown number of shorter races.
Kay and her husband, Frank, are retired and live in Memphis, Tennessee. They are US representatives of Bridges for Peace, an international Christian organization, whose mission is to serve the people of Israel.
You can connect with Kay through her website at


The book is available from:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

Kay will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of THE WATCH ON THE FENCE