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Joy Avery Melville–Writer of the Day

My Writer of the Day is Joy Avery Melville. Her latest book in SOWN IN PEACE. She’s been gracious enough to offer an autographed print copy of the book to one lucky reader. So leave a comment at the end of the post to be entered for the giveaway.

Joy Avery Melville’s heart’s desire is to be the author God has called her to be by sharing Him with readers in such a way they long to have a deeply committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord. Fully intending to write Historical Romance—had in fact— she had no plans to deviate from that. God had something else in mind for that ‘call’ He’d made on her life back in 1967. A mere eighth grader at the time, she had no clue about the topics she’d be drawn to write about.

Surrendering to the genre God placed on her heart has given Joy new insight into the hearts and lives of those who too often hurt in silence. The settings of Joy’s books are near where she lives in Schoolcraft, Michigan with her husband of 47 years and their 2-year-old Yorkie, Is-A-Bella Bindi, (Is-a-beautiful little girl) who thinks she’s a much larger breed with tomboy tendencies.

Joy loves to hear from readers and will respond!

 

Here’s the back cover info:

How much can one wounded soul take?

Victoria (Tori) Archer has the heart of a soldier. Taken down by an IED during her fourth deployment, she’s permanently separated from her military career and left with physical scars as well as PTSD. Moving back to her hometown of Three Rivers, Michigan, she’s forced by circumstances to live with an irascible and unsympathetic aunt. Tori’s battle with pain, horrific memories, and loss of independence creates a deep yearning for peace. Will God grant her even a small measure of it?

Retired Military Dog Handler Griffin (Griff) McKay turns to training dogs at his farm for wounded warrior therapy, desiring to bring former military men and women emotional and mental healing. Implementing his plan proves to be more difficult than visualized with the arrival of one stubborn soldier. Why has God placed that particular warrior in his path?

 

This sounds like a wonderful book, Joy.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to win the print copy of the book, leave a comment! Winner will be picked on October 5.

 

God Bless & Good Reading

 

IN HIGH COTTON by Ane Mulligan

Ane Mulligan is my Writer of the Day.

She’s been a voracious reader ever since her mom instilled within her a love of reading at age three, escaping into worlds otherwise unknown. But when Ane saw PETER PAN on stage, she was struck with a fever from which she never recovered—stage fever. She submerged herself in drama through high school and college. One day, her two loves collided, and a bestselling, award-winning novelist emerged. She lives in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler. Find Ane on her website, Amazon Author page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and The Write Conversation.

 

Trusting God

by Ane Mulligan  @AneMulligan

Her husband died. The stock market crashed. Her little boy was kidnapped by his grandfather. How can she find the strength of faith to go on?

That’s from my new novel, In High Cotton. But I drew from my life’s darkest moments for Maggie’s emotions. I interviewed friends for their hardest time of trusting God. A mother whose twenty-one-year-old son was leaving for a three-month missionary tour. He went fishing with his father that afternoon before he had to leave. He slipped on a rock and drowned in three inches of water.

As each story unfolded, one thread was common to all. God showed up in the form of good friends to help them through.

All my life, I wanted sisters. My brother and I were both adopted. While our childhood was idyllic, I missed having sisters. When I was sixty-two years old, I discovered my birth sisters. I won’t go into that whole story here. You can read it on my website. The point is God showed up. He was faithful with my dreams when I left them at His feet.

In my story of Maggie, she didn’t see God stop the bad things. When she wondered where He was, she only needed to look at those “angels” closest to her. He surrounded her with four strong women to help her.

In High Cotton

Southern women may look as delicate as flowers, but there’s iron in their veins.                            

While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?

 

In High Cotton is available online in both print and eBook:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WOLShX

ShopLPC: https://shoplpc.com/in-high-cotton/

Target: https://www.target.com/p/in-high-cotton-by-ane-mulligan-paperback/-/A-80663388

And in bookstores.

 

 

 

 

Double Jeopardy by Donna Schlachter

Book Giveaway!

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both.

You can connect with Donna at www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor.

About DOUBLE JEOPARDY:

Set in 1880, Becky Campbell leaves her wealthy New York lifestyle in search of her father, only to learn he was murdered in the small town of Silver Valley, Colorado. Unable to return to her mother in humiliation and defeat, she determines to fulfill her father’s dream—to make the Double Jeopardy profitable.

Zeke Graumann, a local rancher, is faced with a hard decision regarding his land and his dream. After several years of poor weather and low cattle prices, he will either have to take on a job to help pay his overhead expenses, or sell his land. He hires on with this Easterner for two reasons: he can’t turn his back on a damsel in distress. And he needs the money.

Becky isn’t certain Zeke is all he claims to be, and after a series of accidents at her mine, wonders if he isn’t behind it, trying to get her to sell out so he can take over.

Zeke finds many of Becky’s qualities admirable and fears he’s losing his heart to her charms, but also recognizes she was never cut out to be a rancher’s wife.

Can Becky overcome her mistrust of Zeke, find her father’s killer, and turn her mine into a profitable venture—before her mother arrives in town, thinking she’s coming for her daughter’s wedding? And will Zeke be forced to give up his dream and lose his land in order to win Becky’s heart?

 

Sounds like an interesting book, Donna. Thanks for sharing your story with my readers. Donna has generously offered to give away a copy of her book to one readers. Leave a comment to be entered in the contest. Winner will be chosen on January 11th.

 

God Bless & Good Reading!

 

 

 

Acts of Malice by Nike Chillemi

Nike Chillemi is my Writer of the Day and is here today to talk about her latest book–Acts of Malice.

Nike writes classic murder mysteries/detective novels. It’s been said she writes literature that reads like pulp fiction. Plenty of action, a dash of grit, wry humor as her characters navigate through situations and relationships, and there’s as an uplifting message. There’s usually a national security/public safety underlying theme to her work. She likes her bad guys really bad, her good guys smarter and better. 

Tell us about Acts of Malice in a nut shell… A taut and compelling classic murder mystery with a national security underlying theme. Interpersonal relationships, greed, dry humor. Uplifting.

AMAZON LINK

Q: What is the key theme in the book?

A: In ACTS OF MALICE there are two murders. The story is driven by the murders, the search for the killers, and need for justice for the victims. The main characters are either trying to stay out of the crosshairs of the killers, trying to find the killers, or both. Closely related to this is the subtheme about the widows and families left behind, and how they mourn and struggle in the wake of these devastating, senseless murders And, there is a strong inspirational, Christian message. Still it’s the search for the killers and the desire for justice that pushes the story forward. That’s why I say that I write from a Christian World View, rather that saying I write Christian fiction, because what I actually write are classic murder mysteries. Many of the most important characters in my mystery novels happen to be Christians.

Q: Villains can be hard to write. How did you write yours?

A: I find most villains disturbing, even the ones I create. That’s why I don’t get into their mindset too much. I show them in social situations where they’ve got their public face on. Of course, I do give an inkling as to their devious interior being so that when it turns out at the end that they are the killer, it’s believable. I have put down and stopped reading thrillers by talented authors that delight and revel in the demonic mindset of the psychopathic killer. Of course, it almost goes without saying, I’d never write anything like that.

Q: What comes first, plot or characters?

A: The murder and its motive come first. Then the main characters drive the story and the plot forward as they hunt the killer(s) and/or try to stay out of harm’s way. It becomes a question of what would they do next to find the killer(s) and to survive the killer(s).

 

Back Cover Blurb:

Lavender Raines gets the ‘doorbell ring’ no wife ever wants to get. Her husband has been brutally murdered, and the FBI is more secretive than helpful. The problem is, his body was found in Caracas when she thought his business trip had taken him to New Orleans.

Mackenzie just opened a second beach resort-town restaurant, this one in Ribault Beach, Florida…but now the clandestine national security organization that from-time-to-time sends him on covert missions wants him to find Lavender’s husband’s killers.

Forces from within the “Deep State” have shaped circumstances that will alter the course of both their lives. Then a local man is murdered. Lavender and Mackey are polar opposites. He is emotionally shut down about his life, but protective of others. She is a pillar of strength in her family, but distrusting of Mackey and guarded around him. Can they find common ground amidst this treachery and turmoil?

 

Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Nike. How can my readers contact you?

Nike’s blog. https://nikechillemi.com/

Nike on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/nike.chillemi

Twitter: @NikeNChillemi

 

God Bless & Good Reading!

Hiding From Christmas by LoRee Peery

Hiding from Christmas

After her grandparents as forced to live apart through assisted living, and then die within nine days of each other, intrepid entrepreneur Calissa Ladd is devastated. She’s always wanted to experience the same lifelong love modeled by her grandparents, but her heart isn’t where it needs to be as she clings to the past for answers and then starts having vivid dreams of a long-ago time period.

Deferential banker Monte McQueen has loved Calissa since they were children, but he procrastinates making a commitment to her. He stands by as Calissa gets stuck in the past.

Calissa clings to the decrepit homestead that belonged to her family, searching and seeing visions into the past. Will she overcome her skewed beliefs and reclaim her relationship with the Lord as Monte pushes his love of Christmas on her? Or will she forfeit her happily-ever-after?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hiding-Christmas-Holiday-Time-travel-Extravaganza-ebook/dp/B07YSY7W87/ref

A little about LoRee:

Nebraska country girl LoRee Peery writes fiction that hopefully appeals to adult readers who enjoy stories written from a Christian perspective, focusing on the romance. These include novels and novellas for women and men in the Contemporary, Romance, Historical, Time Travel, and Mystery/Suspense categories. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother and great-, sister, friend, and author. Connect with LoRee through these links:

www.loreepeery.com,

https://twitter.com/LoreePeery

https://www.facebook.com/LoReePeery

Thanks for stopping by today, LoRee. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

 

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Clear As Ice by Penelope Marzec

CLEAR AS ICE by Penelope Marzec

When Ethan’s prayers for his mother’s life go unanswered, he abandons his faith, tossing it out with his mother’s Christmas ornaments. The loss of his hope leaves him empty and he begins to shy away from relationships, but when his dog Rufus, a rescue from a shelter, develops a fondness for a woman skating on the frozen lake behind his house, he’s annoyed. Not only does he resent her using his pond, he doesn’t understand her fear of dogs.

Haylie, once an Olympic figure skater, is afraid of more than just Ethan’s dog. She lives in constant fear due to threats from a stalker, but one day Ethan’s dog chases the danger away, so Haylie decides to try to lose her fear of dogs…But then the stalker’s plans expand to include revenge toward Ethan as well. If they are to remain safe and live to see a happily-ever-after, Haylie and Ethan must put aside differences and learn to trust each other. This Christmas season promises to be the most challenging and the most meaningful of their lives.

 

Now that you read a bit about the book, the question becomes–Who is Penelope Marzec? Let’s find out.

The author of CLEAR AS ICE, Penelope Marzec, grew up along the Jersey shore. She started reading romances at a young age and fell hopelessly in love with happy endings. Two of her inspirational romances won EPIC’s eBook Award and another was a finalist in that contest. Her paranormal, Irons in the Fire, was a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award. Visit her website at http://www.penelopemarzec.com for more information.

Penelope’s favorite Christmas tradition is setting up the Nativity scene. When she was young, her family didn’t own a Nativity scene. Money was tight, since Penelope was one of four children, and so while her family always set up a Christmas tree and scraped together enough for some gifts, there never was a Nativity set.

When Penelope married, more responsibilities came along–like buying a house and having children. She wanted her very young daughters to understand the true meaning of Christmas. She knew a Nativity set would be helpful in that undertaking. While there were many lovely Nativity sets, most of them were very easy to break.

Then she found a set of large, plastic figurines. While the set did not have the delicate beauty of those more expensive sets, she knew it would stand up to the inquisitive hands of toddlers. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with a stable.

Penelope set about looking for housing for the Holy Family. She found it at a Christmas bazaar in a nearby church. Handmade by a local artisan, it just happened to be the right size.

The figurines stood the test of time with children who once decided to make our set a “living” Nativity scene by placing the guinea pigs inside and added Timothy hay so they would stay there. It didn’t work out well. The guinea pigs liked the hay but the figurines got in their way.

The figurines aged over time. Every now and then, they need a dab of paint when the original paint flakes off. After Thanksgiving, Penelope sets up the Nativity scene each year, adding a bit of dried grass since hay is far too large in scale. Though Penelope could buy a more fanciful set, she loves this one and it has become a wonderful tradition in the family.

Thanks, Penelope, for spending some time with my readers today.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

Writer of the Day–Tamera Lynn Kraft

Award winning author Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. Some of the novels she has written are Red Sky Over America, Alice’s Notions, and Lost in the Storm. You can check Tamera out on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net.

Tamera been married for 40 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. She has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

She’s here to talk about her new book,  Lost in the Storm (Ladies of Oberlin Book 2)

 

 

Will war bring them love or will they be Lost in the Storm!

Lavena, a journalist during the Civil War, wants to become a war correspondent. She finally gets her chance, but there’s a catch. She has to get an interview from a war hero who has refused to tell his story to every other journalist, and she has to accomplish this impossible task in a month or she’ll lose her job.

Captain Cage, the war hero, has a secret that will destroy his military career and reputation. Now, a new journalist is trying to get him to tell what he’s been hiding. He wants to ignore her, but from the moment she came into camp, he can’t get her out of his mind.

Leading up to the turbulent Battles for the city of Chattanooga, will Lavena and Cage find the courage to love and forgive, or will they be swept away by their past mistakes that don’t want to stay buried?

Let’s learn more about Tamera in this author interview:

 

What would you say has been the most rewarding part of writing?

Every story I tell has a theme that shows God working throughout history. I love researching historical events and seeing how God has weaved Himself throughout our nation’s history. I love when someone reads one of my stories and gets that. My faith permeates through everything I write because it’s a major part of who I am. Even when I don’t write something “Christian”, my faith still shines through the pages.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I have always loved to write. I remember writing my first novel when I was ten years old. It was awful. I think what sparked my love for books was my grandmother. She only had an 8th grade education and was a coal miner’s wife, but she loved to read. I remember sitting on her lap in her rocker and her reading great novels like Black Beauty to me.

In high school, I took all the English and literature classes I could to prepare for my career in writing. I even majored in English in college in preparation of being a writer. At some point in my twenties, my writing career was put on hold for decades. Between raising children and becoming a children’s pastor on staff at my church, there just wasn’t time. I still couldn’t keep from writing. I would write children’s church curriculum and puppet skits for my lessons. Some of it even got published.

Finally about twelve years ago, I resigned as a children’s pastor and started a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where I travel to other churches to do teacher training, kid’s crusades, and children’s ministry consultations. I also am launching Revival Fire for Kids children’s church curriculum in about a year. This keeps me very busy during the summer, but the rest of the time, I have time to write fiction.

My writing career is back on track and moving along. I feel like God has brought me full circle. I put Him first in raising my children and ministering to other children, and He is fulfilling the desires of my heart by opening up doors for me to write again.

Where do you get your ideas for your books? How did you decide to write Lost in the Storm or the Ladies of Oberlin Series?

I get my ideas from historical events. I love studying history. When I read about an event in history, I wonder what it would have been like for the people living during that time.

The way the Ladies of Oberlin Series began was when I thought about writing about strong Christian women in the 19th century. The more I researched, the more I noticed almost every women I read about had a connection with Oberlin College. That intrigued me enough to research Oberlin. What I found astonished me.

Oberlin College was the first college to give degrees to men, women, and blacks before the Civil War. Almost every missionary who went overseas between 1860 and 1900 was a graduate of Oberlin College. Oberlin’s president was the fiery Second Great Awakening evangelist Charles Finney. Oberlin graduates were involved in abolition, women’s suffrage, prohibition, education, laws protecting children, and many other causes of the late 1800s.

I knew I wanted to write stories about women who graduated from Oberlin shortly before the Civil War. The first novel, Red Sky Over America, is about America Leighton the year before she graduated. She went home to Kentucky to try to convince her father to free his slaves. In the second novel, Lost in the Storm, Lavena Falcon is a woman’s rights activist and a journalist during the Civil War and wants to be a war correspondent. In the third novel, The Aftermath, which will be released in 2021, Betsy Teagan fights for prohibition after the war. Each lady has a love interest to keep things interesting.

What advice/tips do you have for budding authors who are just starting out?

Don’t give up too early. It takes years to get to a point where your writing is good enough to be published. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you work hard, continue to improve, and don’t let discouragement stop you, you’ll make it. I’ve always believed that the published authors are not the ones who are the greatest or who have the most potential. They’re the ones who work hard and persevere.

What are your future plans?

I am currently writing the first of a series of novels about women who came to Jamestown in 1619 to marry. The series is called Jamestown Brides, and the first novel is The Seasoning of Elizabella.

Thanks, Tamera, for being my Writer of the Day.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Writer of the Day–Carol McClain

Author Carol McClain is an eclectic artist and author. Her interests vary as much as the Tennessee weather—running, bassoons, jazz, stained glass and, of course, writing. She’s a transplant from New York who now lives in the hills of East Tennessee with her husband and overactive Springer spaniel. She is also the president of ACFW Knoxville and the secretary of the Authors’ Guild of Tennessee.

She’s here to talk about her new novel–A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek.

Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/New-York-Yankee-Stinking-Creek/dp/057849115X/ref

What was your inspiration for A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek?

So many things inspired me to write this novel. I moved to Tennessee about four years ago. A hamlet near us had a name that made me laugh . Who’d name their town Stinking Creek, especially as this sweet town has no malodorous water?

I’ve always loved Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The novel is an anachronous romp into medieval times. I figured I’d play up the idea in a modern day world. I worked in Manhattan for many years. Then I considered Stinking Creek, a small rural village and wanted to play up the perceived differences of the liberal know-it-all and the conservative know-it-all and create a world where we see ourselves, see love and sacrifice, and see what really matters in life.

Which character in the book was the easiest for you to connect with, and why? Which, if any, character proved most difficult, and why?

Ironically, I connect more with Delia Mae “Lia” McGuffrey, the Southern conservative Christian. She’s bound by rules and the desire to please God and to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). I manage to get myself bound up in trying to please God (and others). I can make the whole world—even the Lord—crazy. I started the last paragraph with the adverb ironically. Most people who know me think I’m the more liberal, free-spirited, artistic protagonist. In reality, they’re two halves of a black and white cookie.

What did God teach you during the writing of Stinking Creek? What spiritual truths or nuggets of wisdom do you hope your readers take away from the book?

The extremes of anything are out of balance—extreme religion or no-religion, extreme liberalism or ultra-conservativism. The adage goes there’s a fine line between genius and insanity (which says I’m borderline genius). So too, only a fine line separates the radical liberal and fanatical conservative

What do you do when you’re not writing?

One might ask, what don’t I do? My passions are words and glass. When not writing, I create stained glass, glass garden flowers, and sun catchers.

I’m a member of ACFW Knoxville, and I am the current president. I am also the secretary for the Authors Guild of Tennessee. I love teaching. When situations arise and I can teach, I do so. Life is short. Grab it all.

When I’m not involved with the above, I play Candy Crush.

 

Thanks, Carol for being my writer of the day.  A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek sounds like a great read.

 

God Bless & Good Reading.

 

 

Writer of the Day–Gail Kittleson

Gail Kittleson is my Writer of the Day. Gail writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband of forty-one years enjoy grandchildren, gardening, traveling and historical research. After instructing college writing and English as a Second Language, Gail wrote a memoir. Then the World War II bug big her . . . hard! Seven novels later, she’s still hopelessly addicted to this riveting era. Her women’s fiction honors Greatest Generation characters who made a difference despite great odds. Gail’s second love, teaching, has her facilitating workshops and retreats, where she cheers others’ creativity.  You can connect with Gail at http://www.gailkittleson.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GailKittlesonAuthor.

She’s here today to talk about her new book-UNTIL THEN. But first, she shares how the book came to be.

Creativity in Wartime

Madeline L’Engle wrote that when we create, we co-create with Spirit or our muse and also with the recipient. We weave seeds of our imagination into our artistic work and hope they take root, flourish, and touch or change our readers.

My D-Day release Until Then (after the World War II song), features a real WWII nurse/heroine. Dorothy Woebbeking grew up down the street from the Sullivan brothers in Waterloo, IA. The Woebbeking children played with the five Sullivan boys, who all enlisted in the Navy. Like many from rural Iowa, three of Dorothy’s brothers also enlisted in the Army or Marine. And so did Dorothy.

I think she would like this tea bag message I read the other day.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Milton Berle, a comedian in the fifties and sixties, said this. Other versions exist, but this one, short and sweet, fits Dorothy’s modus operandi.

So often in the dangerous trek of the Eleventh Evacuation Hospital across North Africa, through the Invasion of Sicily, up the boot of Italy, northward through France and into Germany, opportunity failed to knock. But Dorothy and others built doors everywhere they went.

They suffered from terrible heat, torrential rain, snowstorms, and enemy fire. A ruthless enemy that didn’t mind aiming at the white cross clearly exposed on hospital tents. But these incredibly faithful workers determined to use every ounce of their expertise to save wounded GIs—or to stay with them through the throes of death.

Someone recently asked me why I wrote this book. Well, Dorothy’s real-life story gripped me, and so did another one. At about the time Dorothy deployed, the worst civilian tragedy of the war occurred in a poor London borough, a horrific loss of life that would affect the community for decades.

Verbalizing our pain helps at times like this, but the war department ordered survivors to keep silent, lest that bugger Hitler hear and think he’d gained the upper hand against the populace. This added suffering—being forbidden to talk about your lost loved ones—is understandable, but so difficult to grasp.

And so Until Then took shape. I’d never tied together two such divergent stories, but the more I wrote, the more I loved them both. I hope readers do, too!

 

Thanks, Gail, for sharing how the story came to be. Here’s the book cover–front and back.

AMAZON LINK

 

Thanks, Gail for being my Writer of the Day today! It looks like an intriguing book.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

STOPPED COLD by Gail Pallotta

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Read to the bottom to have a chance to win a review copy of STOPPED COLD or a Kindle copy of BARELY ABOVE WATER–winner’s choice. Barely Above Water is a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Award Winner! Now let’s find out a little more about Gail Pallotta and her new book, STOPPED COLD.

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta is a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s a former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, a 2013 Grace Awards finalist for an earlier edition of Stopped Cold and a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Award winner. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and two-hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. To learn more about Gail and her books visit her website at www.http//gailpallotta.com.

Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.

Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school swimming and hanging out with friends—until the day her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking steroids. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital.

Anger sets a fire for retribution inside her, and Margaret vows to make the criminals pay. Even the cop on the case can’t stop her from investigating. Looking for justice, she convinces two friends, Jimmy and Emily, to join her in a quest that takes them through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture they discover deep in the woods behind the school. Time and again they walk a treacherous path, and come face-to-face with danger.

All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.

The high school in Stopped Cold, Meriwether Christian, has its own twitter page. Margaret would love to have you follow it at Meriwether Christian @ MeriwetherCS (https://twitter.com/MeriwetherCS/followers). What a fun idea!

 

The theme for Stopped Cold, you don’t have to be number one for God to love you, rattled around in my head for years. As a college student and later as a Mom I saw children, teens and young adults suffer heartache and sometimes, devastating results because they didn’t always excel. The results ranged from sadness over not winning a race, or making all As to suicide attempts and suicide in young adults. The more pain I witnessed, the more I wished these children, teens and young adults had believed they did not have to be the best, but do their best. Even though the drive seemed to originate from different sources – parents, siblings, peer pressure or within – I wanted to tell them that God had given each of them a gift or gifts to use for Him, and they didn’t need to be #1.

Over the years I’ve seen quite a few newspaper articles exploring this subject. In “A Young Athlete’s World of Pain and Where It Led,” published on June 22, 2016, in “The New York Times,” Tim Rohan tells the story of a young football player suffering from concussions. He didn’t mention it to anyone because he thought it wasn’t the manly thing to do. He ended up killing himself.

In today’s society the sports media lambasts us with their opinions of the best and worst players in a game. While accolades about the best and demeaning remarks about the worst may make good headlines, they’re anything but healthy for young people. They also fail to promote healthy competition, which is unfortunate because it’s a good thing. Healthy competition pushes us to do our best. We may achieve success beyond our goals, or not, but when the game or contest ends, we realize it was only a competition and doesn’t define our worth as a human being.

People compete in so many things, and it’s fun—everything from pie tasting, quilting and sports to writing contests, the list goes on and on, but neither the competition, nor the hoopla surrounding it, are the reason for our existence. The Westminster Catechism tells us our
chief end” is “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

Thanks for visiting us, Gail. This sounds like a great book to read.

Stopped Cold is available at most online book stores including Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

AMAZON LINK

BARNES & NOBLE LINK

 

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Thanks to Gail’s generosity, one  winner gets their choice of  a review copy of STOPPED COLD or a Kindle copy of BARELY ABOVE WATER. Barely Above Water is a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Award Winner! Now let’s find out a little more about Gail Pallotta and her new book, STOPPED COLD. To enter the giveaway leave a comment. Winner will be chosen June 10.