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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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?


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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
Sand Creek Serenade.
Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win.

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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  Get Connected:

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This book is available in paperback, large print hardback, ebook, and Kindle Unlimited.

WHERE can the book be purchased? 

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

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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Get Connected: 

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win.

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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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of LOVING GRACE
Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win.