Monthly Archives: December 2016

Beaches, Friendship, & Fiction

By Janet Ferguson

Aren’t beaches great? And even more fun with friends?

Not long ago, Shelia featured my friend Jackie Layton’s book, Christmastide at Bald Head Island. http://sheliastovall.com/2016/11/21/when-dreams-come-true-by-jackie-layton/

Jackie and I critique for each other, and we both share a great love for Christian fiction and the beach. I was excited to read about Bald Head Island, a coastal are that I’ve never had the opportunity to visit. It just so happened while she was writing that story, I had set the fourth novel of my Southern Hearts Series at a beach, as well! Go figure, ha!

Blown Together is set in Mobile and Fort Morgan, Alabama. Both areas are coastal areas, but Mobile is a lovely port city in Alabama. It boasts the battleship tour of the USS Alabama, beautiful botanical gardens, and historic homes. Did you know that American Mardi Gras began in Mobile? They celebrate with parades and balls and even have the Carnival Museum which highlights the history of Mardi Gras. It’s a fun city I’ve had the privilege of visiting many times.

But where the idea for Blown Together all started was at my happy place on my annual friend trip to Fort Morgan, Alabama, aka the beach. Fort Morgan is named for the historic fort on the end of the Peninsula where the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of the Mobile River Bay meet.

Away from the touristy areas, my girlfriends and I typically leave our families make our “mental health trip” in October for “beach therapy.” The area is much less crowded in the fall and typically still warm enough to sit in the sand and just stare at the waves or read Christian fiction. This year we were blessed to witness the migration of the butterflies, too!

We don’t leave to go shopping or even go out to eat. One stop at the store on the way onto the peninsula and we’re in for the duration. I think the beach is meant for friends, reading books, and soaking in God’s amazing artistry. Did I mention I have a sunset obsession?

I’m thankful for the beauty that God has created and our ability to share it with friends. Not everyone’s happy place is the beach, though. Where is your happy place?

KOBOAmazonBarnes & Noble, Nook  IBooks

Blown Together
Southern Hearts Series ~ Book 4

When love storms in…
Wealth manager Sam Conrad is accustomed to his domineering father ordering him around, especially at the bank where they both work. But when his father demands that Sam manage the inheritance of his bossy ex-fiancée, Sam has finally had enough. He leaves in search of a new life, and attorney Big Roy Bosarge from Mobile, Alabama agrees to mentor Sam on his quest for direction. Sam didn’t expect to be thrown together with Big Roy’s eccentric and opinionated daughter.

Storm damage forces lonely romance writer Elinor Bosarge and her hairless cat, Mr. Darcy, out of her Fort Morgan Beach cottage. She plans to take refuge in the boathouse on her parents’ estate, but finds the place already occupied by one of her father’s “projects.” She’s shocked her father would allow another young man onto the property after his last mentee robbed her family and broke her heart. And from the moment she meets Sam Conrad, they disagree about everything from her cat to how to best renovate a local nursing home.

Between her mother’s health issues and the hurricane brewing in the Gulf, Elinor feels like her life is being ripped apart. It doesn’t help that she’s falling for the man she’s determined not to trust. Sam finds himself drawn to Elinor, wanting to help her and this new family he’s grown to love. But can he overcome the barrier she’s built to keep him out? When the storm rages and the two of them are blown together, can Elinor find the faith to open her heart again?

KOBOAmazonBarnes & Noble, Nook  IBooks

Gooey Brownies by Rose McCauley

Want to win a free copy of Christmastide at Bald Head Island? Just subscribe to Shelia’s blog and she’ll have a drawing on Sunday, December 17.  Four of the three authors in this book are friends with Shelia. We try to get together to brainstorm every few months, although Jackie is moving when her house sells and we are sad about that, but wish her well! We came up with this idea a few years ago while brainstorming other books at Smashing Tomato at Fayette Mall! And the brownie recipe is one that we all love to eat, especially when we get together! Merry Christmas!

Rose’s GOOEY BROWNIES

1 Devil’s Food cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter (softened)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients and mix well. Pat into lightly greased 13×9 baking dish.

Prepare filling.

FILLING

1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter (melted)
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Add butter; beat. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake mixture. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don’t over bake.

About the Author

Rose McCauley is a Christian author and speaker. Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, Girl Scout leader, MOPS mentor and Moppet worker, scrapbooker, wife, Mom and Grandmother give her a wide field of ministry to women. She supports missions and has been privileged to spend time on three mission trips.

Rose has been happily married for over 40 years to her college sweetheart. They lived and raised their family of two daughters and a son on a farm of rolling hills in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky , but recently moved to Paris, KY. Their family is growing with the addition of a two sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and five grandchildren who are definitely GRAND!

Her latest release is a novella in Christmastide at Bald Head Island.

Literature weaves it way through the hearts of the Jordan family women. Matriarch, Grace Jordan has a particular affinity for William Shakespeare, Just as his play, A Midsummer Night’s dream, spins a tale of the planning of one wedding but ends with three ceremonies, Grace and her two daughters, Rosalind and Miranda, discover rekindled love while planning, Rosalind’s daughter, Jane Anne’s Christmas wedding. In a twist of fate, ceremony plans change. However, just like Elizabeth Bennett and Anne Shirley from Jane Austen and Lucy Mongtomery’s  respective classic tales, all four Jordan women discover — what and who — will make them truly happy.

Rose Allen McCauley

Connect with Rose

Website: www.rosemccauley.com

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1IummD3

Twitter: @RoseAMcCauley

Fiction available in print and kindle by Rose McCauley:

Christmas Belles of Georgia (Barbour)

Christmas Grace

The Courageous Brides Collection by Barbour

Surrender to Peace

Fiction available in eBook only:

Home for Christmas

 

 

Slow Down by Tina Radcliffe

tinamradcliffesmallI’ve heard that message all my life. I’m a wee bit hyperactive and I tend to run through life, rather than stroll. In fact, I probably dodged around you in annoyance if you were dallying around on the track of life, in my way!

On another note, I’ve spent a good six months researching current trends in myoelectric prosthetic devices for my January release, Rocky Mountain Cowboy. My hero has Michelangelo prosthesis on his transradial amputation (below the elbow on his right arm).

Think about that. He’s a man. He’s a cowboy. He’s right-handed. He has to shave, brush his teeth, tie his shoes, saddle his horse, rope cows with only one arm and hand. That’s quite a lifestyle change. The myoelectric prosthesis is an amazing device. You can see it here at Advanced Arm Dynamics. Yet there are changes and adjustments to be made. Self-image issues to deal with.

I am a retired (by choice, not age) registered nurse. Certainly, I have experience dealing with amputations, physical handicaps and limitations. No big deal to this medical professional. Right?  But of late, God is really giving me an understanding of what it’s really like to be a handicapped.

I’ve had a temporary detour that has provided a few challenges. As I look around, I am vain enough to wonder what others think. I am also dealing with self-image at my temporary slow pace.

Irony: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

Oh, that God! Of course, I am not insinuating that my little detour is God-induced. I am wholly culpable due to neglect on my part. But this speed demon does see the irony. I am forced to slow down and join those she is accustomed to racing past. By virtue, I am noticing those around me who have slowed down as well. Yes, for the first time in my life I am looking, REALLY looking at those around me with handicaps and disabilities.

My prayer of late has been this: “Lord, let me see others as you see them.”

My eyes have been opened in a new way and with much need for repentance on my part. Yes, there is hope for this energizer author. I’m excited at what God is showing me during this time.  Already I’ve realized that if I move too quickly through life there is a chance I will miss out on what God has in store for me. I am learning that I must wait on Him and let Him guide me.

Be still, and know that I am God – Psalm 46:10

No doubt many of you have had seemingly negative situations that God has turned into opportunities. I’d love to hear about those opportunities!

I’m giving away a copy of Rocky Mountain Cowboy to one commenter today. Let me know you want it, as many of my friends have been reminded to please stop by and visit me on this lovely blog, and they already have this book. Many thanks to Shelia, for inviting me to hang out here today, and for the lovely fruit pie spread.

tinamradcliffesmallOriginally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency (a branch of the NSA) stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. Tina is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist, a 2014 ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist, a 2014 Golden Quill finalist and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over twenty short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance. You can find her at www.tinaradcliffe.com

rocky-mountain-cowboyRocky Mountain Cowboy releases on December 20, 2016. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and check out rancher Joe Gallagher and his challenges.

A Cowboy’s Second Chance

The last person cowboy Joe Gallagher thought he’d see on his ranch was high school sweetheart Rebecca Anshaw Simpson. Twelve years after she married another man, she’s back as his physical therapist. But healing his body is nothing compared to guarding his heart from the woman he never forgot. There’s much the single mom would rather forget, but Becca won’t let regret and a surly rancher get in the way of her job and the chance to start over with her little girl. She has only a few weeks to make peace with her past. But Becca never expected she’d fall all over again for her first love.