Monday, April 24, 2017

An Angel for the Cowboy by Jodie Wolfe ends June 1



I'd like to welcome Jodie Wolfe back to my blog again. Jodie has come up with a fun question and answer interview I know you will enjoy. Be sure to read on down to find out how to enter in her giveaway. Don't forget to leave your email in case you win.

An Angel for the Cowboy by Jodie Wolfe

It's a pleasure to have Jodie Wolfe back with us again. What's the most exciting thing that has happened to you in the past months?

I signed a contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for one of my full-length books. It will be out in 2018. I signed another contract for a novella with Celebrate Lit Publishing which will be out in November. I'll be writing articles and lesson plans for Heirloom Audios which produce radio theatre dramas on G.A. Henty books, an author who wrote novels in the 19th Century. Oh, and my first novella with Celebrate Lit Publishing released. You could say things have been a little hectic. :)

I like your title. How did you come up with it?
My heroine, Essie Love is a dime novelist, and when she places an ad in the paper for a husband, she specifies that cowboys are not welcome. I tried to come up with a title that was similar to dime novels in the 1800s.

A dime novelist sounds like fun. What type of stories does Essie write?
Love stories, although after being jilted by her ex-fiancé, all her stories end up having the hero turn villain, which isn't getting her any book contracts.

Chuckle. What did you find most difficult about writing this novella?
Trying to develop characters that readers will fall in love with and a plausible storyline in the expanse of only 15,000 words. It makes for tight writing.

Is there a common theme in your stories?
I try to have my characters take a journey that leads toward hope. I also work hard to create quirky characters.

What can you tell us about your personal life?
I home schooled my boys all the way through till graduation from high school. Both are married now and we have four granddaughters under the age of five. Let's see, what else can I tell you? I love to read. No surprise there. :) I love spending time with my husband and most times in the winter months you'll find us praying for snow.

I take it you live in a cold-weather winter climate?
We live in PA, and no, we never get enough snow. :)

How can your readers stay in contact with you?

Blogs I contribute to: Stitches Thru Time, Putting on the New.


An Angel for the Cowboy is part of the Let Love Spring collection.
When the bank threatens foreclosure on Essie Love's home, it's up to her to provide for her sisters. She’ll do whatever it takes to save them, even if it means marrying a stranger.

Jud Steele is wanted for a crime he didn't commit. Wounded and left for dead, he lands on Essie's doorstep. While she nurses him back to health, he finds himself longing for a home and family.

Can two desperate people find a path that leads to what they both need?


Purchase link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XVZB38Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492716872&sr=8-1&keywords=let+love+spring

ABOUT JODIE:
Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She's been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.


Thank you so much, for having me here today, Debbie Lynne. It's great to visit again. I'll be giving away an ebook of Let Love Spring to one person who comments. I have a couple questions for your readers: What do you look for in a hero and heroine and what makes a character memorable to you as a reader?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Fascinating Family History by Joan Hochstetler PLUS Giveaway!! Ends 4/24



Welcome Joan! I'm so excited to have Joan on my blog this week. Joan has a fascinating story of her family you won't want to miss. Read all the way through and find out how to enter to win a choice of
Northkill or The Return in either print or ebook format.

Thank you so much for inviting me to guest post on your blog, Debbie! I’d like to share a bit about my latest project, the Northkill Amish Series, coauthored with Bob Hostetler, which is closely based on the inspiring true story of my Amish ancestors passed down through family stories and preserved in private collections and in the Pennsylvania archives. Book 1, Northkill, published in 2014, and The Return, which completes our ancestors’ story, just released at the beginning of this month.

In 1738, along with other members of their church, twenty-six-year-old Jacob Hochstetler, his wife, whose name is unknown, and a young son and daughter, John and Barbara, undertook the arduous journey from their home in Europe to Britain’s American colonies. They were part of a tidal wave of German immigration stretching over the following century that included many Amish and Mennonites who sought sanctuary from religious persecution in Europe and the freedom to live and worship according to their Anabaptist beliefs, including the doctrine of nonresistance.

Their ship, Charming Nancy, arrived in Philadelphia on November 9. By early 1739 the family had settled with other members of their church who had come before them near Northkill Creek, for which their community was named. This settlement lay at the base of the Blue Mountain along the western frontier of the British colonies bordering Indian country in what became Berks County, Pennsylvania. They built a substantial log home and barn near a spring of fresh water, cleared the land for farming, and planted crops and fruit trees. The following year they helped to establish the first Amish church in America.

For eighteen years the settlement lived at peace with the Delaware Indians—the Lenni Lenape—who inhabited a large portion of Pennsylvania. Members of the tribe often visited and traded with the settlers in the Northkill area, and they were generally received with hospitality. Over time some even became believers in Christ through the work of Moravian missionaries along the borderlands. Peace was shattered in 1754, however, when France and England went to war over control of the territories west of the Appalachian Mountains. After the defeat of British General Edward Braddock by a combined French and Indian force in 1755, many of the native tribes allied with the French began to attack the border settlements in Pennsylvania and New York to drive white settlers out of their ancestral lands.

Between November 1756 and June 1757 a number of settlers in the Northkill area were killed and others were carried away as captives. But the summer of 1757 was comparatively quiet, although tension hung over the valley. Jacob and his wife, their sons Jacob, Joseph, Christian, and a young daughter were living at home. Barbara and John were by then married and lived on nearby farms. On the evening of September 19, 1757, the young people of the church gathered at the Hochstetler farm an apfelschnitzen, helping prepare apples for drying. Afterward they stayed to visit and play games until late. When their guests had finally gone, the family went to bed.



They were roused in the middle of the night when their dog set up a furious clamor. Alarmed, young Jacob was the first to the door. When he opened it, he was hit in the leg by a gunshot, but managed to bar the door before the attackers could force their way inside. It was a moonless night, and barricaded inside the dark house, the family could barely make out the shadows of a band of about fifteen Indians gathered near the outside bake oven, evidently conferring about what to do. Several guns and an ample supply of ammunition used for hunting were at hand in the house, but in spite of Joseph and Christian’s desperate pleas, in obedience to Jesus’ prohibition against killing, Jacob refused to allow them to take up arms against another human being even to defend their lives.

With dawn coming on, their attackers set fire to the house. The family was forced to take refuge in the cellar beneath their blazing home. When the fire threatened to burn through the floorboards, they staved off certain death by dousing the flames with the cider stored there. Choking on thick smoke and scorched by the conflagration above their heads, they endured until the light outside strengthened enough for them to see through a small window that the Indians were withdrawing into the woods. Flames and smoke made it impossible to stay in the cellar any longer, and the instant their attackers were out of sight, the parents and their children began to crawl out through the narrow window. The mother was a large woman, and it took considerable effort to drag her through the constricted opening. With his wounded leg, young Jacob also needed help to climb through. But at last everyone was free of the smoldering ruins.



Unknown to them, concealed among the trees, a young warrior known as Tom Lions had lingered in the orchard to gather some of the ripe peaches. He saw the family emerging from the cellar and immediately alerted the rest of his party. As the marauding band returned to surround his terrified family, Joseph outran two pursuers and hid behind a fallen tree on the hill above the house, unaware that one of the Indians had noted his hiding place. The Indians tomahawked and scalped young Jacob and his little sister. According to legend, some years earlier the mother had refused to give the Indians food and had driven them away. Evidently motivated by a desire for revenge, the Indians stabbed her through the heart with a butcher knife, a death they considered dishonorable. Christian was about to be tomahawked as well, but family tradition maintains that he was spared because of his bright blue eyes, along with his father, Jacob.


Dawn was just breaking when the oldest son, John, who lived on the adjoining farm, awakened to the horrifying sight of his parents’ home surrounded by Indians and consumed by flames. He hastily concealed his wife and young children in a dense thicket at a distance from their house, then watched helplessly from concealment as the Indians prepared to carry off his father and brothers. Outnumbered and alone, he could do nothing to save his family. Other neighbors gathered at the edge of the meadow surrounding the farm but were equally helpless to intervene against the armed Indian band.

Taking the father, Jacob, and Christian with them, the Indians returned to Joseph’s hiding place and took him prisoner as well. As they were being led away, Jacob received permission to pick as many ripe peaches as he could carry as provision for their journey. Then they were forced to a rapid march northwest across the mountains. When they came to an Indian village several days later, Jacob saw that they were going to be forced to run the gauntlet. Accompanied by his two boys, he approached the village chief and offered him the peaches he carried. The chief was so pleased by this gesture that he spared them from the cruel ordeal most captives were forced to undergo.

After a long, exhausting march of approximately 370 miles, the captives arrived at the French fort at Presque Isle near modern-day Erie, Pennsylvania. There they were separated and given to three different Indian clans in northwestern Pennsylvania. Before his sons were taken away from him, Jacob pleaded with them to remember the Lord’s Prayer even if they forgot their German language. Jacob was then taken to the Seneca village of Buckaloons. Custaloga, a Delaware chief who lived most of the time in Custaloga’s Town near present-day Meadville, Pennsylvania, took one of the boys. Where the other boy was taken is unknown.

According to oral tradition, Christian was initially adopted by an old Indian who died several years later, while Joseph was adopted into a family. Jacob became a slave of the Seneca, and although he pretended to be content, he never grew reconciled to the natives’ life. In early May, 1758, allowed to go hunting alone while the warriors were gone on raids, he managed to escape. Fervent prayers for guidance sustained him on an arduous journey through the wilderness until he finally came to the Susquehanna River. On the verge of starving, he built a raft and floated downstream, more dead than alive. When his raft passed Fort Augusta at Shamokin, he was spotted and pulled from the river by British soldiers. The commander, Colonel James Burd, took him to Camp Carlisle, a few miles south of Fort Harris, now Harrisburg, where the British commander, Colonel Henry Bouquet, interrogated him about the activities and locations of the French, then released him to find his way home.

At the end of the French and Indian War, the peace treaty with the Indian tribes specified the return of all white captives to their families. Little came of this agreement, however, and on August 13, 1762, Jacob petitioned the governor for the return of his sons. After considerable negotiation with Indian tribal leaders to secure the return of all the white captives, Joseph was returned to his father in 1763 or 1764. Christian did not return until the autumn of 1765 after Jacob again petitioned for his release.

As was common for white captives who were adopted into Indian families, both young men were initially reluctant to return to white society, especially Christian, who had been the youngest when captured, and who lived among the Indians the longest. Both married soon after their return, however, which helped them to reintegrate into the life of their Amish community. Joseph joined the Amish church, but tor the rest of his life he continued to visit his Indian family in order to hunt and join in their sports. Christian eventually converted and joined the Church of the Brethren, eventually becoming a minister in that denomination. Their families joined in a steady westward migration that spread Amish communities into the lands the captives had crossed and far beyond.



Has your family passed down stories about your ancestors that have inspired you? If so, please share a brief account.

Do you know what country your family originally came from? Please share if so!

Those who leave a comment on this post will be entered in a drawing for a copy of either Northkill or The Return in either print or ebook format. The contest will run for a week and the winner will be announced next Monday.

ABOUT JOAN:
J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers and a lifelong student of history. She is also an author, editor, and publisher. Northkill, Book 1 of the Northkill Amish Series coauthored with Bob Hostetler, won Foreword Magazine’s 2014 INDYFAB Book of the Year Bronze Award for historical fiction. Book 2, The Return, released April 1, 2017. Her American Patriot Series is the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution. One Holy Night, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story, won the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year Award.

Links



Northkill website: http://www.northkill.com/
American Patriot Series website: http://www.theamericanpatriotseries.com/
Jacob Hochstetler Family Association website:  https://www.jhfa.net/the-massacre

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Author and Finisher of my faith by Toni Shiloh




Please welcome Toni Shiloh to my blog this week. Toni is the President of the ACFW Virginia chapter.

When I first sat down to write a dedication page, I decided I wanted to dedicated the book to my Lord and Savior. After all, He’s the reason I write. I carefully prayed about what I wanted it to say. Then, it came down for me to pick the dedication of my second book. That is when I decided I wanted to keep the same dedication for every book I plan on writing. My dedication page reads, “To the Author and Finisher of my faith.”

It’s inspired by the verse in Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (KJV).

Writing is a gift that I recognize comes from God. It’s the only explanation on why I can sit down in front of my laptop and just type. I don’t plan the words that come out, because I’m a pantser and not a plotter. I simply have an idea and seek God’s guidance on the rest.

Writing is a gift that I have fully surrendered to God. I don’t want to ever take credit for this gift. Instead, I seek to honor and glorify the Lord with the words He places in my heart. I desire for every person who reads my book to see Him fully and in a new light. It’s the reason I write regardless if my writing is going smoothly.

Because of course, I get those moments where I’m not sure what to write next. Or I read that book review, I probably shouldn’t, because now it’s all I can focus on. Or perhaps, I’m comparing myself to another writer I believe is better at this than me.

If I didn’t surrender my gift of writing, I’m sure I would have remained paralyzed and never put words to paper. But I believe, because I surrendered this gift and asked God to help me glorify Him, that He blessed me. It’s the only explanation that makes since. How else have I been able to publish two stories, have contracts for two more, and have four others waiting for their entry into the world? It’s not by my strength, but His.

Have you surrendered your gift? How has God blessed you in the process?



A Proxy Wedding coming April 29th in A Spring of Weddings

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all. So when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he has to take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved.

Will love become real at A Proxy Wedding?
 

Will money ruin everything?
Nina Warrenton is ready for the next step in her life plan—marriage, but there is one problem. No one has proposed! Taking matters into her hand, she places an ad in the newspaper hoping to entice a willing stranger. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money.

Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant. When he sees Nina’s monetary offer for a husband, he goes for it. He’s determined to save the legacy his dad left him, but can he let it go to prove his love for her?

Can Nina and Dwight find true love, once money has entered the equation?






ABOUT TONI:
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. 
 
She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.weebly.com

Links: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/toni-Shiloh/e/B00UITVEDA/
Website: http://tonishiloh.weebly.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortonishiloh
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+ToniShiloh
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/tonishiloh
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/tonishiloh
Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/toni-shiloh
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonishiloh
Blogs I’m part of: http://puttingonthenew.com ; http://heartwingsblog.com ; http://diversitybetweenthepages.wordpress.com ; www.acfwvirginia.com/blog

Monday, April 3, 2017

Choice of Paula Mowery's books Ends April 10th





Please welcome Paula Mowery to my blog this week. Paula is giving away choice of one of her books in e-copy. Read on down to find out how to enter. 

Christian Fiction
Authors are often asked what genre they write in. My first answer is always Christian fiction. Soon after I will be more specific in adding that I write mainly in the romance sub-genre. But I have delved into women’s fiction as well as romantic suspense. But my books contain a spiritual thread, no matter the story.

The next question to follow is why I write Christian fiction. This answer is multi-faceted.
First, I responded to a calling from God to write. A file under my desk was filled with fifteen novels before I ever ventured into pursuing publication. I remember that first submission was only after much prayer and seeking wisdom. Admittedly, I asked God for a sign. If I was to really make this writing gig a ministry, He would allow that submission to touch someone. The answer was clear when an editor from that publisher sent back an email stating in the first line that my story touched her.

Second, after the affirmation for my calling, I vowed to write stories with spiritual truths. Through the eight books I have already had published there seems to be a theme of understanding that God has a plan for everyone. A Christian can follow that plan, even if he or she has messed up. God allows for corrections and second chances.

Thirdly, I like to provide stories to read for entertainment, but I like that Christian fiction is so much more. Readers have contacted me after reading one of my books and explained how the story helped them spiritually. I couldn’t ask for anything more than to be able to impact someone’s Christian faith. Writing Christian books is another way I share my faith and evangelize like I’m called to do as a believer.
 
Fourth, I like to read books that are wholesome and clean, thus I read Christian fiction myself. I like knowing that my books are added into that group. One way some of my author friends and I describe our fiction is that you can allow your daughters to read our stories.

My reading and writing choices have been questioned. Someone argued that Christian fiction isn’t like reality. In the world there is profanity and sexual immorality. That’s true, however, I choose to live a Christian lifestyle, trying to steer clear of those things. Why would I want to surround myself with reading material about things I don’t want to be involved in?

So Paula Mowery is a Christian author, striving to be faithful in portraying the truths God gives me through story. And as I promised God at the beginning of this crazy writing ministry, even if a story touches only one person for Christ, it is still worth writing.
What type of books do you like to read? Why?

GIVEAWAY:
Paula is giving away a choice of an e-copy of one of her books. Answer the question above in a comment to be entered. Check out her books here.



 














ABOUT PAULA:

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. Be The Blessing won the Selah Award in 2014 in the novella category. In November of 2013 her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. This book went to number five on Amazon’s bestseller category, historical Christian romance. Legacy and Love was her first solo romance and was a finalist in the Carolyn Readers Choice Awards in 2015. Her other titles include a Christian romantic suspense called For Our Good, a Christmas romance called Love Again, and a romance inspired from the Love Chapter called The Crux of Honor. 

Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blogs, Full Flavored Living and Putting on the New. She wrote a section for Join the Insanity by Rhonda Rhea. She has devotionals included in several collaborative books.

She is a member of ACFW and also on the faculty for the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

Learn more about Paula at her blog as well as find other links to connect with her at www.paulamowery.blogspot.com.