Face-Off with Carrie Fancett Pagels

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So, this happened on Thursday! The lovely Carrie and I had lunch at none other than Plaza Azteca. I know you are jealous. That’s right! (Hey, Regina!!! Glad you joined us too! kiss-emoji-pillow)

The truth is, we all like to try to look like we have it pulled together. This was after multiple shots. Don’t get me wrong, these two ladies are professionals! It was me that struggled getting the pic right…#BeingTruthful

This was the reality. image1

What can ya do. It’s what makes me “special”.

ANYWAY, I’m ready to tell you a little about this lovely lady! After 25 years as a psychologist, Dr. Carrie Fancett Pagels (yep, DR!!!!) decided to jump full time into writing.

“Her short story, The Quilting Contest, was Historical Fiction Winner of Family Fiction’s ‘The Story’ national contest. Her novella, The Substitute Bride was a 2016 Maggie Award published finalist for Romance Novellas. Grand Exposé was a 2014 Maggie Award honorable mention for a novel set on Mackinac Island (now entitled My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, Barbour, July 2017). All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year and The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist. Her novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican, June, 2016) received a Starred Review by RT Book Reviews.”

image3 June 1 was release day for
Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection: A Newspaper Ad for Husbands Brings a Wave of Men to a Small Kansas Town. (Click on pic of me holding a copy!!)

This book is 7 novellas by popular authors. Dime Novel Suitor is by Carrie Fancett Pagels:

Widow Caroline Kane is the proprietor of a restaurant and inn—and responsible for her five teenaged siblings. But she has no plans of finding a mail-order groom. Britisher Barden Granville IV is on a “cowboy holiday” when he finds himself flat broke in Kansas.  When he answers an old “help wanted” ad, Caroline misconstrues Barden is there as a potential husband. Will the beautiful and fiesty widow cause the new vicar to make Kansas his home?

It’s beautiful!! Be sure to pick up a copy Heart_Eyes_Emoji_large

I wanted to show you some other lovely reads by Carrie,61K8tMUepDL but let me start by giving a shout-out to Regina’s (see photo above) beautiful daughter on the cover of Lilacs for Juliana.

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(Links are in the pics!)

I have to be honest. My brain almost exploded when I saw this.

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Ok, lastly? Be sure to check back in July51J8sWR0C6L._UY250_ for the release of Carrie’s newest novel. If you are not familiar with Mackinac Island, you are in for a TREAT!!!

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Remember how Zachary Bartels was telling us about his favorite vacation spot? No cars allowed….Sounds amazing! It is definitely on my bucket list…like it passed up LOTS of other things. Looks amazing!

LET’S GET TO IT!!!!


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The rules are simple. I ask Carrie some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever eaten an oatmeal raisin cookie and been horrified because you thought it was chocolate chip?

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CarrieYes, what a bitter disappointment — especially when the person who baked them is looking at you and asking, “Is anything wrong?” and you paste on a fake smile and shake your head no, all the while thinking — ack these aren’t chocolate chip cookies after all. But I do like oatmeal raisin cookies too — as long as I know that’s what I am eating and if they are warm!

Charity – I have definitely done that. Thankfully, I never did it in front of the person that made them while they watched!!! hahaha. That would be awful!

The other one I can’t handle is when people mix Skittles and M&M’s. Now, there should be some kind of law against that. Your poor mouth would be in a constant state of paranoia because it wouldn’t know what to expect!!!! #MyWorstNightmareBelow

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– Carrie gets this one because of being put on the spot. So embarrassing!

Charity 0 / Carrie 1

2. Worst calendar idea you have seen?

Carrie – Those kind where they are so small you can’t hardly read the numbers!!!

Charity – Oh, I so have this one!

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Who can seriously put this up in their house and not be thoroughly ashamed?!

Charity 1 / Carrie 1

3. We met at Plaza Azteca for lunch (which I was 100% on board with!!) on the release date of Seven Brides for Seven Mail Order Husbands. Tell me about that.

Carrie – I started writing seriously about 13 years ago. When I would get a rejection letter, my critique partners told me to celebrate that I was doing something and working towards it. They said to “Go out for Mexican”! It started to become a “thing”. “It’s a Mexican night”!! Now I use it to celebrate for any reason!

Charity – I love that! How encouraging. I might not mind those rejection letters so much 😉

We grew up eating Mexican so often. To this day, my sister still eats it every day! Her family has it for lunch or dinner. Every day. For real.

– Totally Carrie’s point!!!

Charity 1 / Carrie 2

4. Ready for Grandkids?

Carrie – I call myself “Tired Old Mommy”. I had a son at 44 years old. I had to have my own because I couldn’t wait for a grandson!

Charity – Ok, there’s NO WAY I can compete with that. If I had a baby now, I wouldn’t ever get out of my recliner. Like, ever.

And for the record, I am SO READY for Grandbabies! My oldest son is 18, so…..????

– Lol. I have to give this one to Carrie as well! I can’t compete with starting over at 44!!!

Charity 1 / Carrie 3

5. Dream Vacation?

Carrie – Straits of Mackinac. I grew up near there and I love it.

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Charity – Ok, I am seriously needing to visit this beautiful land of Michigan!

My dream vacation would be to go alone with a journal and my Bible, have no schedule restrictions, no time or money limit and just go to England. I would spend time in all the cities and quaint villages until I was ready to move on to the next. I would just soak in the beauty and culture. It would be MAGICAL!

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– Tie.

Charity 2 / Carrie 4

6. Tell me about the pink! I see you are usually in pink 🙂

Carrie – I “came out of the closet” with pink when I realized that I was not just a historical author. I enjoy writing romance and wanted to embrace the idea of being a historical romance author. Also, I’ve had some close to me suffer with breast cancer and the pink represents awareness for that.

76952Charity – I love that! My 9 year old and our 17 year old foster son used to always wear pink and say, “We support breast cancer”!!! They would always forget to add the “awareness” portion and it was so funny because they didn’t even realize what they were saying. Their friends were a little taken aback.

Check out the link for support groups and ways to help support!

– I am getting crushed!

Charity 2 / Carrie 5

7. A cool story!

Carrie – Dina Sleiman won a Carol Award and wasn’t able to be there to accept it. Because she lives locally, I was able to deliver it home to her. I was walking around carrying this big award and everyone was congratulating me and I had to tell them it wasn’t mine.

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Charity – Oh, man! That’s both awesome and awkward! haha. How awesome is that?! You have to love having Dina so close by! She’s an AMAZING person ❤

Ok….Wow. How do I compete with that? Awards…Awards…OH! I KNOW!!! I won 20 gold medals in piano olympics when I was growing up! I never got anything less!

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– I am going to take that one SOLELY because I am SO FAR BEHIND!!!!

Charity 3 / Carrie 5

8. How do you strive to bring God glory in your life?

Carrie – Although I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, God has me writing for Him. And I pray that brings Him glory! It’s all You, Abba Father!

Charity – Girl, that’s awful. I am so sorry! No fun at all. But, God still deserves the glory for all of it because we have no idea what He’s doing behind the scenes!! ❤

– God wins!

Charity 3 / Carrie 5

9. Have you ever felt horrible and just decided it was OK to go out in public in sweatpants, yoga pants or PJ pants?

Carrie – To this day my family still teases me about this. I was hurting badly and had to go to Kohl’s. I wore boots, tall lime green socks and sweats. I did my shopping and came home. When my family saw me, they were horrified and told me that I cannot wear things like that out in public.

Charity – That’s amazing! You are my hero. I am so particular and couldn’t do this. I feel like I need to, not only get dressed, but dress nicely even when I feel horrible. Some days I feel almost hysterical trying to get ready because I can’t even wear jeans and a t-shirt out in public! Ridiculous, I know.

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– This is, BY FAR, the biggest loss I have suffered. I even gave myself a free point!

FINAL:

Charity 3 / Carrie 6

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I have SO MUCH FUN doing this face-off, Carrie 🙂giphy-1 Thanks for your candid answers and fun personality!

Guess what????

Yep!!!!! You guessed it. Not just 1, BUT 2 GIVEAWAYS!

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seven-brides-grand-prize-giveawayGrand Prize Giveaway:

Kindle Fire + Postcards of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order, bookmarks from upcoming release My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island

Maude’s Mooring, print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands

Cowboy-themed earrings

Ebook copy of Holt Medallion finalist “The Steeplechase.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But, wait! There’s MORE!!!

2_91 ****** ALERT ******

PLEASE READ THIS!!!

COMMENT ON THIS POST TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF THIS LOVELY BOOK! IT’S SUPER EASY AND YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING ARE VERY HIGH!!! —————>

So, hurry and COMMENT BELOW! Tell us your favorite part of this face-off, a great memory with Carrie, OR which one of her books you are most excited to read.

COMMENT BELOW.

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NKJV The Woman’s Study Bible

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Have you been thinking it’s time for a new Bible? Looking for a great Mother’s Day gift? Well, look no further! Click the link above 🙂

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This great new release by Thomas Nelson is full color and bold print! What’s that mean? It means that there is plenty of room in it for all you Bible journaling fans, note takers and whatever other ideas you have to make your Bible your own personalized love letter.

Features Include:
-Beautiful full-color design throughout-Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women
-Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes
FullSizeRender-Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues
-Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy
-Book introductions and outlines
-Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees
-Quotes from godly women throughout history
-Set of full-page maps of the biblical world
-Topical index
-Concordance
image2 I started a new One Year Bible reading plan and wanted to start fresh with a new Bible to highlight in different colors for specific things I was looking for. This is the perfect choice!

I love all of the great features that shed new light on things I’ve read so many times before. I’m a very visual person, so it’s fabulous to have these family tree pictures and sections dedicated to people that are quickly mentioned in Scripture. It brings it so much more alive for me!

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I definitely recommend this and hope you will pick up a copy. image3They are really bargain-priced and you are getting so much with it!

Also, check out this fabulous giveaway below!!! I want to thank Thomas Nelson and Litfuse for this fabulous Bible in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!


You’re invited to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation in the fully revised and redesigned The NKJV Woman’s Study Bible. The new edition features a beautiful, full-color redesign and poignantly reveals the Word of God with Scripture insights and the contributions of more than eighty women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

This spring, cultivate your heart’s spiritual roots and enter to win the Grow in the Word Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 27. The winner will be announced April 28 on the Litfuse blog.

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Face-Off with Zachary Bartels: Take 2!!

17264506_1662741187074521_4203841052978384135_nToday is a BIG DAY!  It’s the perfect storm for you readers. Why? Let me tell you:

  1. It’s COVER REVEAL DAY for Zachary’s newest book, All Souls’ Day.
  2. We have GIVEAWAYS (yes, plural!)
  3. Face-Off round DUEX!

So, keep on reading because there’s lots here! SQUEEZE!!!!!

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Zachary Bartels is my Author Highlight of the month, so you can check out more info on the homepage. For now, let’s get to all the fun! Woot!


Well, well…It’s time for round 2! As you know, we tied in the first face-off, so now it’s time to see who is the winner once and for all!

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The rules are simple. I ask Zachary some random questions. He replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Worst hotel/motel experience? 

Zachary – I don’t know if I have anything funny. The first experience that comes to mind is, we were in Orlando just last month and had to call the cops because of a domestic dispute in the room next to ours, but there was a crying kid and everything, and my own kid was sort of low-level traumatized by it, so . . .

Let me say this: up until I was about fifteen, I loved staying in hotels more than anything. It was exciting and special and the TV had cable and there were vending machines right outside the door and sometimes an indoor pool.  Then, I had my germaphobe-awakening and saw some footage of people bringing black lights into their hotel rooms. All of a sudden I was horrified by the idea of sleeping in those beds and showering where who-knows-what had  gone down. I started packing flip-flops to wear in the shower and sometimes my own pillow cases to put over the hotel’s. One bad-but-funny experience was the time I forgot the flip flops and tried showering with two of those hotel-issued plastic-elastic shower caps on my feet. I slipped and slid all over the place and very nearly went down . . . wound up making all sorts of skin contact with the inside of the shower curtain, which is sort of the germaphobe equivalent of spending the night inside a rotting buffalo carcass.

Charity – Oh. My. Gosh. I literally laughed out loud. I can actually say, “LOL”! That was quite the visual.

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Ok, I thought I had this one in the bag, but you with those plastic shower hats on your feet – slip-sliding all around….YIKES!

My turn. I must preface this story by saying that, first of all, I HATE West Virginia. I was headed towards Chicago area to visit my mother-in-law (shout out! holla, mom!) with the fam. We were in WV heading over one of those horrible cliff roads with nothing on either side of us but guard rails (like that’s going to do a dang thing) to keep us from plummeting to our deaths. Anyway, at that very moment, a tornado comes towards our car while I am driving straight towards it with nowhere else to go. Yep, I drove through a tornado on the road with nothing but my family’s impending death on the sides of us. Here’s the news link of that devastating storm, FYI.

After that fright, we decided, against our better judgement, to stop at a hotel in that deplorable State. We were in the capital city. How bad can it be?

Check in went great. They even had little, chewy cookies there. Nice and warm. “Oh yeah, BTW, the elevator is broken”, they say AFTER we check in. Let’s just say we were’t anywhere near the first floor. So, up the stairs we go (which is against every thing I stand for). We open the door and, SURPRISE, the room has been slept in and used. Totally not cleaned. As I am a princess and my husband and boys were carrying all my luggage, I said that I would quickly run down and get keys to a new room (which was very generous of me, considering I would be repeating the offense of the stairs). Oh yeah, BTW… the door to the stairwell locks and only opens from INSIDE the main part of the hotel. So once I made it downstairs, I was forced to go OUTSIDE into a dark alley to get back around to the doors inside. ugh.

Not very princess-y.

Needless to say, it was a nightmare. We are quite particular about hotels due to the germ-age factor. That hotel did NOT gift us with a comforting night of sleep.

— Sorry about the novel.

Charity 1 / Zachary 1

2. Stupidest (PG rated) thing you have ever done? (I know…hard to pick one…) 

Zachary – Obviously, I’m not going to tell the world my stupidest mistakes. But here are a couple bonehead moves:

In college, me and two buddies got wrapped up in some weird brand of fundamentalism that we may have accidentally invented (its sacrament was Jolt Cola–twice the sugar! twice the caffeine!)  And we drove around Grand Rapids at night, smoking cigars and duct taping Luther’s 95 theses to the doors of Catholic churches. To what end, I do not know. (When your Christian school has rules against everything from dancing to having a TV in your dorm room, you go to some great length to amuse yourself, I guess). The really pathetic thing is that this was ’96, before the “real” Internet was overly accessible on campus (remember VAX??), so we wound up getting a book about Luther from the library and taking turns typing up the theses. It took like forty-five minutes. You would have thought the process of reading/typing them would have brought us to our senses re: the stupidity of our night raids, but no . . . our stupidity was too brazen.

More recently, I started a Facebook group for people of my particular theological persuasion who live in my hometown, just for fun. Wanting to get some people in there right off the bat, I clicked the thing to promote it for $5. Only I accidentally left the campaign open-ended and, by the time I realized my mistake, I had blown $225. The net result? Twenty-one members. I have yet to do anything with or post anything on that group.

Charity – wow. You were pretty cool.face-with-tears-of-joy I am assuming you didn’t tell your wife about this until she was your wife?  And as far as your $225 “mishap”, just call it mission work and call it a day.

I was a total mess. I don’t even know how many stupid things I did. Let’s see…a couple that stand out?

I’ll start with one from the same year. ’95-’96 college year. My best friend and I going to a Christian college and hating life … and rules… (Shout out to Sue! Holla, girl!). So, what do you do in a religious school with bonkers rules? I’ll tell you. We would look at what all the weird, conservative girls were wearing (Only mentioning my sentiments at the time. This does not necessarily reflect my current feelings on how conservative people dress) and then we would show back up at class wearing an exaggerated, matching outfit (as to mock them….yeah, I was cool too).

Once I got out of school, I was really cool. Like, for real.

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Once I was older and wiser, I would enjoy pulling up at a light, next to a guy on a motorcycle and asking if I could ride with him. I would then pull into the nearest 7-11 (write down his plate # and leave it in my car because I was obviously smart enough to make sure I was safe if nobody could find me) and jump on the back of the bike. wheeee.

How am I still alive?

— I think it’s a tie again.

Charity 2 / Zachary 2

3. Funniest thing you hid from your parents growing up? 

Zachary – Starting at about 12 years old, my bedroom was in the basement, which really lent itself to hiding things from my parents. Luckily, I was a pretty upstanding young man, comparatively speaking. When I was 16 or 17, though, I did draw on (pun!!) my artistic skills to paint a replica of the little basement window in my bedroom on some corrugated cardboard. With the little curtains semi-obscuring it, you couldn’t tell the counterfeit from from the real thing. The idea, of course, was to remove the window, pull myself out of the house (thus bypassing the insanely loud wood floors and front door), and replace the window with the fake. It’s funny in retrospect, because it took days of work to get it right, but I had no real plans to sneak out, or even a desire to do so. It was just a self-challenge I guess. I did use it a couple of times to slip out into the night, but one was to attend a Christian rock concert. Yeah, I know–when I give my testimony I leave that part out because it’s just too dark.

Charity – ha! I guess so. Women would be fanning themselves and feeling faint.

I had a couple posters of Christian Slater up on my walls…Um, well, technically, in my closet. Ok, you got me. They were hanging up behind the clothes in my closet.

I sure showed my parents what was up! woot!

— We really weren’t too cool. At all.

Charity 3 / Zachary 3

4. Do you believe we, as parents, should be allowed to arrange marriages for our kids in this day and age?

Zachary – Obviously.

Charity – Oh. My. Gosh.

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My kids disagree. Whatevs.

— This is ridiculous. You need a dumb answer so I can get a point.

Charity 4 / Zachary 4

5. Would you enjoy playing rugby? 

Zachary – I don’t know; probably not. I get really overly competitive with everything. Even, like, Scrabble and Pictionary can become uncomfortably intense when I’m involved. And when I play racquetball, it becomes full-contact spazoid-ball really fast. All that to say, if I were to play an actual full-contact game, involving minimal protective equipment, I would probably get myself killed in short order.

Charity – Dude. You don’t even want to get me started in a game of SPOONS. I will take off your fingers. Without blinking.

HOWEVER, I am like 90 year old princess. I am not even joking. In my mind I would be amazing at it. In reality, I couldn’t get past the smell of the other players, let alone be on the field.

— lame

Charity 5 / Zachary 5

6. Favorite current song/band/singer? 

Zachary – It’s gotta be either The Decemberists, The Accidentals, or Trip Lee. Yeah, that’s a weird mix, I know. Also, I acknowledge that it is pathetically dorky for a just-about-middle-aged white Baptist minister to listen to hip hop. Maybe that’s why it’s so perfect… but probably not.

Charity – Uh…Have you ever heard of NF? Andy Mineo? Totally cool to be pasty white and listening to Christian rap. woot. At least I hope.

I really love 21 Pilots (which…FYI, are a couple of homeschooled, Christian boys. Yep. True story). I also love Tenth Avenue North.

Here’s a fun Andy Mineo video.

— This is more like a never ending ping-pong match! Who’s going to flinch first…BRING IT!

Charity 6 / Zachary 6

7. Recommended vacation spot?

Zachary – Mackinac Island, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It’s so beautiful and idyllic. No cars are allowed, so the streets are filled with horses and carriages. There’s an old 19th Century fort, beautiful houses, B&Bs, and the Grand Hotel (where they filmed Somewhere in Time). Also, they make the world’s best fudge there. On any given morning, I usually think at least once that I’d rather be riding my bike around Mackinac Island than doing what I’m actually doing.

Charity – Ok, I spoke WAY TOO SOON. I just looked it up and I am dying here! What in the world?!?!?! That has to be the coolest place EVER!

— Nicely done, my friend. Nicely done.

Charity 6 / Zachary 7

8. If you had to write a historical novel, what era would you choose?

-Zachary – Well, The Last Con had a series of flashbacks to 18th Century Europe, which I loved writing. That would be fun to flesh out. Having degrees in biblical studies, a biblical era novel would seem natural. In fact, I have some great ideas for biblical fiction, but the notion of getting every little detail right (i.e. doing all that research into everyday life) is just overwhelming to me. I’m going to Israel with Cliff Graham and Connilyn Cossette and some other authors in May; maybe I’ll try and steal their research secrets/methods.

Charity – Oh, yes! Do that! I went to Israel when I was in college and it was pretty dang incredible! Of course, I spent the whole time getting pictures with all the soldiers…

ANYWAY, I seriously need to read that! I can’t believe I haven’t read that yet. What up??

— Ok, you are pulling ahead now. Watch your fingers.

Charity 6 / Zachary 8

9. Worst natural disaster you’ve been a part of? 

Zachary – Oops. I just wrote something political and then deleted it. (I don’t need that kind of heat.)

[[just a side note…I couldn’t remember if I, Charity, wrote that last sentence or if you, Zachary, did. I now remember that you did…but it sounds like something I would say! haha]]

Living far away from the hotbeds of hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc. there aren’t many disasters to speak of around here. I’ve avoided tornadoes thus far. I guess my answer would have to be either the big flood of 1990 (people were rowing boats down my street) or the Great Blizzard of 1978, which apparently dumped many, many feet of snow on the High Five. Except that I was literally zero when the blizzard happened and the worst part about the flood was that my basement bedroom filled with an inch of water, ruining my box full of Breakaway Magazine back issues. Seriously, if I want to re-read that cover article about the radical skateboarding couple who were also super-radical  youth ministers, I’ll have to buy another copy online! I’m sorry, I can’t talk about this any more; it’s still too raw.

Charity – I should be a journalist. I know how to ask the deep questions.

I am going to refer back to my answer in question #1. Yes, I live on the East Coast amid hurricane after devastating hurricane. Still, my drive through WV was pure evil. (Did you ever notice that you can switch WV to VW and it becomes something wonderful??)

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Did I mention I am pretty ADHD?

— I am taking it! boom.

Charity 7 / Zachary 8

10. Funniest thing your son has said?

Zachary – How to even narrow this down? The main redeeming function of Facebook these days is that it pops up with “memories” each morning–usually hilarious stuff my little guy said and did years ago. Here’s a good one: when he was about four, he was running around the house one day, shouting, “Ovary!!!” We couldn’t get him to stop. When I asked him what he thought it meant, he just sort of shrugged. It was like a week later that we were watching one of his favorite episodes of Phineas and Ferb, and I realized he was emulating Phineas shouting, “Wolverines!” (i.e. a reference to the craptastic ’80s flick Red Dawn).  Also, he used to call his nipples, his “knuckles.” So that was great . . .

Charity – Oh my word. That’s amazing! hahaha.

Ok, so before I was following God in any way, I was a single mom in my early 20’s. My son was 2 years old and had never asked about his father (because the guy was not in the picture). We were at the beach just chillin’ and my pasty, white son sees this big, african-american man walk right by our towels and he yells, “HEY, MOM! IS THAT MY DAD?????” holy crap. That guy’s eyes were HUGE and he couldn’t have walked his big self any faster out of there. I was just horrified and laughing so hard at the same time.

–Yeah, I am taking that one.

Final:

Charity 8 / Zachary 8

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NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a worthy competitor, Mr. Bartels! Very worthy, indeed!! We will definitely need to have an instant death round soon!


Who’s ready to see the big COVER REVEAL???

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First of all, let me share the synopsis with you:

ON ALL SOULS’ DAY, THE FAITHFUL REMEMBER THE DEAD. THIS YEAR THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF DEAD TO REMEMBER.

It’s been a year since pastor Parker Saint found himself in the middle of an ancient conspiracy involving demon possession, ritual killings, holy relics, and Vatican operatives, and things are just starting to get back to normal. Well, as normal as they can be now that he’s married to Detective Corinne Kirkpatrick.

Corinne is having trouble adjusting to life as a pastor’s wife. And while she’d love to retreat to the familiarity of her precinct, she’s beginning to feel out of place there too–surrounded by younger, unfamiliar faces and beginning to feel like a relic herself.

When a new series of grisly murders rocks the quiet city of Grand Rapids, everyone is on edge, and no one more so than Parker–at every murder scene, there is some connection to him. Soon he and Corinne are thrown into a deadly game with a timer that is swiftly running out. As the stress takes its toll on their fledgling marriage, they’ll have to lean on God and each other–and even those Vatican operatives–in order to stop the killer before it’s too late.

And here it is!

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Want to pre-order your own copy? Head on over to:

Amazon or Barnes and Noble (hint: It’s cheaper at B&N)

OR……You can head on over to:

a Rafflecopter giveaway to win your own SIGNED copy when it’s released!

Zachary has graciously offered to do 2 GIVEAWAYS! You can win SIGNED copies of Playing Saint and it’s sequel, All Souls’ Day (paperback, once released). Wait, that’s just one giveaway! The second includes a hard cover copy instead of paperback! Now we’re talking!

Thanks so much for this fun post!! I hope you guys all the best! Remember:

  1. U.S. Rez only for giveaway
  2. Entries will be checked

GOOD LUCK!!!

The Elusive Miss Ellison

by Carolyn Miller

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The Elusive Miss Ellison  is a new to me author! 51qQOP3X6qLAren’t these covers gorgeous? They absolutely grab you! Now, I haven’t read The Captivating Lady Charlotte (as it will be released later this year). This review is only for her first book (the title of this post).

Smart and ostentatious Lavinia Ellison and  worn down Nicholas, the Earl of Hawkesbury, come crashing together in this Regency romance. Their journey is one of finding forgiveness and God’s love.

It’s beautifully descriptive and an exposé on the lives of the less fortunate during those times. Be sure to grab a copy and let me know your thoughts on this fairly new author!

Thanks for this great read in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Be sure to head on over here and enter for this awesome giveaway!!

Miller2

 

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

by Julie Klassen

The much awaited, new series by Julie Klassen is finally here! Well, it was here before Christmas, but I have been a bit behind…

If you have read much Klassen, you will want to know that this book is significantly different than her others. All of her books have basically stood alone while this one is absolutely part of a series. The book didn’t really end at the end of the book. That being said, it was a great read. Her writing style has really deepened and grown since her debut novel, The Lady of Milkweed Manor.

Overall, I felt it was very well written. There were a lot of people to keep up with instead of the average handful you have in a novel. The point of view would switch from character to character rapidly and I would find myself confused at times trying to remember which person it was. I believe that it was just preparing the reader for the following volumes to come. So, if you don’t have severe brain trauma as I seem to have, you should be just fine! I definitely recommend this book (and anything by Julie!). She is a truly gifted writer!!!

Thanks so much for this read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

— Check out my fun face-offs with the awesome Julie Klassen!

PicCollage(4)      julie klassen


Who thinks we should do a giveaway???????

 

Head on over and enter to win. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*US only (unless you would like to pay the shipping)

**Entries will be checked

Face-Off with Regina Jennings!!

authors20-427x640 I am SO happy to have Regina Jennings here today! What a lovely, lovely lady!!!!! She’s a homeschool mamma, avid traveler and a self-proclaimed “Redneck Bluestocking”. Love it!!

You may have seen one of my latest posts
about her new release, At Love’s Bidding. Be sure to check it out and grab a copy of this fun read!!! You won’t regret it.

Check out this cute pic of Regina in the outfit from her book, Caught in the Middle. I absolutely love this!! ❤ ❤

  You can check out a bunch of her awesome books here:

<– Only $1.99!!

Let’s do this!!!


The rules are simple. I ask Regina some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Most bizarre thing that happened on a mission trip?

Regina – We were going to a village in Mexico to have services at the farmhouse of some believers. Before we got there the missionary warned us about their dogs. They had aggressive dogs that might bite, so we were advised to stay away from them.

Of course the dogs were there at the truck just licking their chops and waiting for us to step out, but they behaved themselves. Still, I kept an eye on them as I trekked across the rough ground to the side of the house where we were having the service. Our host led us to a log bench next to a chain-link cage.

The cage was about five feet high and the size of a generous bedroom closet. It housed a rough shelter that could give you splinters just from looking at it.

“Great,” I thought. “I’m sitting next to the dog pen!” Then I see a guy sitting in the cage. He’s glaring at me, like he’s contemplating how it’d feel to chop me up with a rusty machete.

What was he doing inside the cage? Cleaning it? Then I see a shackle on his leg. What in the world? I waved the missionary over to me, too afraid to get up and leave. Turns out the man in the manacles was the son of the family we were visiting. He’d tried to kill them once, burned their house while they were sleeping, so now they have to keep him chained up for the safety of themselves and their neighbors. Likely he’s suffering from some sort of mental illness or possession, but this village family didn’t have any resources at their disposal, so they dealt with it the best they could. They cared for him, fed him, gave him clothing and tried to include him in their family life, all while keeping him chained up in a cage because he is too dangerous to let out.

After that, I wasn’t so concerned about the dogs.

Charity – 😯 Oh. My. Word. That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever heard!!! hahahahaha I have absolutely nothing to compare to that! I was thinking of how scary is was being driven around the Dominican Republic…Those people have no road rules and much road rage.

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— No comparison.

Charity 0 / Regina 1

2. As a “redneck bluestocking” and a homeschool mom, what is your favorite subject to teach (and your least!)?

Regina – I love teaching history and literature, and I chose our curriculum (Sonlight) because it is so rich in both. It seems every story connects to another story. Every reference brings up another interesting fact we can look up. Frequent referrals to the globe and our world history timeline book are required.

Ironically, what I hate to teach is reading. The mechanics of reading, the phonics and grammar, are so arbitrary, that it’s hard to get a feel for any consistent rule. Once I get a kid past that point, we celebrate.

Charity – I am a homeschool mamma too and, BOY, do we love our Sonlight curriculum! I have 3 boys and the teenage years are the best!!!!! I love all those subjects. I honestly can’t stand teaching kindergarten and the lower grades. Favorite subject is history. I’m such a history nerd and it’s so awesome that we live in the historic triangle. ❤ Least favorite is english mechanics. blah.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Regina 2

3. Have you ever been on a bucking bronco or a crazy bull?

Regina – I was on a horse with my husband and it gave a little buck. He landed on the saddle horn and got hurt. I was fine until he pushed me out of the saddle so he could regain his seat. That’s the truth, although he disputes my account. Either way I wasn’t as hurt as he was.

My only injury was on a donkey. I was helping my dad train a donkey and it got mad. It smashed my leg up against a pole fence leaving nice bruised-stripes on my leg. I didn’t go to the doctor because I was four months pregnant and thought I could do without the lecture.

Charity – Girl! You are crazy!!! haha. What in the world! I have not done either…but that could be because I am NOT an animal lover, thus I avoid them at all costs.

— Again, no comparison.

Charity 1 / Regina 3

4. Favorite BBQ on the grill recipe?

Regina – I eat a lot of Bar-B-Q, but I don’t grill. That’s my husband’s domain. Unless you are as big of a loser as I am in the kitchen, that question is an automatic win for you.

Charity – Hmm. Just look at the delightfulness of this picture and click on it for the recipe.

bangin-grilled-shrimp-skewers

— I’ll take it!!

Charity 2 / Regina 3

5. Would you have enjoyed living in the 1800’s? What would you have liked and hated?

Regina – When? Where? Am I rich or am I a servant or slave? C’mon, be more specific!!

I know I would like to live in a society that was more God-honoring and respectful. I would like to raise my kids in an environment that wasn’t as fraught with temptations and hostile to families, but as far as conveniences, I really enjoy having the time to write and pursue some of my own interests. If I was an average woman in the 1800s, spare time and access to books wouldn’t be readily available.

Charity – I have to agree with everything you said. I also wish women still wore pretty dresses!!!! I don’t care how many layers! So beautiful and ladylike.

— tie

Charity 3 / Regina 4

6. Awesome, obscure and totally useless talent that you have?

Regina – I can lick my nose. Yep. I guess it’s not totally useless, but it’s disgusting enough to render it close.

Charity – Ha! Nice. I can wave my pinky toe back and forth. Pretty cool… You’ll want to be sure to turn up the volume so you can hear me say, “Ew” at the end of this video.

— Tie

Charity 4 / Regina 5

7. What kind of food is your greatest weakness?

Regina – Dessert! I love ice cream, chocolate, cheesecake, cookies, brownies… I don’t eat a lot for supper, but I rarely skip dessert. Feel free to send me candy.

Charity – I always tell my kids to eat dessert first because you don’t want to get filled up on dinner and not have room for it!

I’m a candy love and CHIPS!!! Chips have to be my biggest weakness. I could live my life without chocolate and that would be just fine.

— Tie

Charity 5 / Regina 6

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Regina – We humans are a frail and fallible bunch. But instead of allowing us wallow in self-pity, God tells us the reason for His design. It’s because He wants no confusion over who gets the credit for our deeds (1 Cor. 1:26-29, 2 Cor. 4:7). So God is glorified through our weaknesses, but that’s kind of hard to strive for, isn’t it? Fortunately, I don’t have to work hard cultivating weaknesses. They appear way too frequently. But it’s so reassuring to remember that whenever I feel inadequate, whenever I know I’m at the end of my strength, my knowledge, my efforts, that is when I’m least likely to try to take credit for what God has done. When I’m trusting Him, submitting to Him, having faith that He is in control, that’s when I’ve seen His glory most clearly.

Charity – Love that. It’s beautiful. My sister and I were just talking about that today!!

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Regina 6

9. Do you garden?

Regina – Ha! I love gardens, beautiful landscapes, and welcoming lawns. In the spring I do my best. I plant flowers and I try to keep them alive, but the Oklahoma heat and droughts are determined to ruin my efforts. I don’t have much to show for my work.

As far as a real, producing garden, I hate vegetables, so what’s the point?

Charity – HA! Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. I actually love veggies…BUT, I have a total black thumb. I kill every plant I’ve ever had. Every. One.

— Another tie!

Charity 6 / Regina 7

10. Last item you returned to the store?

Regina – My daughter’s college textbook! It was such a rip-off. For $40 we rented the textbook and the access key for the online extras. When we tried to log into the online portion it said that the access key had already been used, but we could buy another access key for $94(!!!!) I called Amazon and they pointed out the fine print that says the access key might not work, never mind that the item is listed as “book and access key”. But they did let me return it for a refund- minus a hefty restocking fee that was almost half the purchase price.

Let me just say… textbook people, enough is enough. Now you’re putting in $100 access keys that can only be used once per student? Way to fleece our future!

Charity – Rant heard. I had no idea. That’s ridiculous, but good to know. My oldest starts college next year 😯 I will be watching them and their sneaky ways…

Last item I returned was a 49’ers shirt from Target. I ordered a Redskins shirt for my son and they sent me a 49’ers. Lame.

— Textbook drama

Final:

Charity 6 / Regina 8

you__ve_just_lost_the_game__xd_by_ponyowantsham-d3avgot

Regina–Question for you:

What is the weirdest thing you hoard?

Mine? Dryer lint and empty toilet paper rolls. I save those all year round, and then when winter comes, I stuff the dryer lint into the cardboard rolls and use them for fire starter for the fireplaces. Recycling Redneck style!

Charity – Wow! That is redneck style recycling!! haha. Love it! I am not sure what I hoard. I am a total organizer. Like, “Christmas is coming! What toys are you getting rid of to make room for the new?” Maybe skinny people clothes that I imagine I will actually wear again someday. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s a good one…By the time I fit in them, perhaps they’ll even be back in style.


Thank you, Regina! Such a blast. You are THE BEST! Custom-Balloon-design-tool

Who wants to win a book by this lovely lady? It’s easy! Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering to win At Love’s Bidding. (Remember how I gave it a GLOWING review just a few days back? Yep, it’s a good one!)

*All entries will be checked
**U.S. Residents Only (sorry! We do love the rest of you too!)

GOOD LUCK!!

Face-Off with Josi Kilpack!!

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Welcome, Josi!! It’s so awesome to have this lady here today!! Her books look so fabulous ❤

Josi began writing her first novel in 1998. Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 2007 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series, won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012.

Impressed yet? I am!!

You can check out some of her reads here:

Let’s get to it!!


 

PicCollage(2)

The rules are simple. I ask Josi some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever taken a trip on a train?

Josi – No but I want to–in England, preferably. 🙂

Charity – Oh, yes!!! That would be amazing. I actually went on a trip from Virginia to New York on a train and then another time from Connecticut to Virginia! It was a surprisingly nice way to travel…now that you don’t have to worry about bandits!

— Woot! I get that one!

Charity 1 / Josi 0

2. Do you like roller coasters? Favorite?

Josi – Nope.

Charity – Oh my stars!!! The Rock N Roller Coaster is my favorite!! It’s at MGM in Disney. It goes from 0-60mph in like 2 seconds or something.

rock-and-roller-coaster-starring-aerosmith-gallery03

— I am taking it!

Charity 2 / Josi 0

3. Favorite Jimmy Fallon series? (Hashtags, evolution of rap, lip-sync contest, etc…)

Josi – Lip-sync–the one with Emma Stone is my favorite.

Charity – Oh, that is a really good one!!!! There are too many to choose! I really like his hashtag sketch with Justin Timberlake! However, I think that my favorite are the “Ew” sketches!

— Tie

Charity 3 / Josi 1

4. What would your reaction be if you were told that you were going to have to sing the national anthem at a major, televised, sporting event?

Josi – “Uh, you’ve got the wrong person.”

Charity – ha! To the point! I would probably need a change of pants…

— Tie

Charity 4 / Josi 2

5. Biggest cooking mishap?

Josi – I was making a lemon poppyseed cake and thought I was putting in lemon extract to pump up the flavor but it was mint. Luckily, I had chickens at the time and they loved it.

Charity – Oh my gosh! I can’t compete with that. haha. That’s awesome!!!

— Josi gets that one!

Charity 4 / Josi 3

6. Are you a fan of all the cupcake shops and strange cupcakes that are offered? (like bacon and maple!!!)

Josi – Yes!

Charity – giphy

— Josi gets it.

Charity 4 / Josi 4

7. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Josi – Acknowledge that all I have is from Him and all that I can have is because of the sacrifice of his Son. I try to reflect this in my life and in my storylines.

Charity – Beautiful!

— God wins!

Charity 4 / Josi 4

8. Have you ever spent an entire day fishing? Would you enjoy it?

Josi – No and No. But I like to eat fish so I support other people who want to spend their days fishing 🙂

Charity – I concur. With every bit of your answer.

— Tie

Charity 5 / Josi 5

9. Funniest cat video on youtube?

Josi – I hate videos. Can’t multi-task.

Charity – I have to go with this one:

Final:

Charity 6 / Josi 5

computer-woman-i-won

It’s a miracle!!!


Thank you, Josi!!! Woo Hoo!!! I actually asked the right questions this time!!6ddd0-530b9ea8e4b035db7175a1af

This awesome girl has offered a giveaway of her new release, Lord Fenton’s Folly. Just head on over to the Rafflecopter Giveaway and start entering!!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Rez only (sorry! We do love the rest of you too!)
**Entries will be checked.

Face-Off with Vicki Bylin!!

victoriaaboutMiss Vicki Bylin is here today!! How exciting is that?

She is known for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing. Victoria Bylin writes both western and contemporary inspirational romance. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

Pretty awesome,huh?? You can check out some of her great reads here:

.99¢ –

$1.99 –

Let’s get to it!!

 


PicCollage(1)

The rules are simple. I ask Vicki some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Best part of living in VA?

Vicki – I live in Lexington, Kentucky now, but my family and I spent 13 years in northern VA. By far, the best thing about living there was being surrounded by history.  We made several trips to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, toured the Capitol and White House, and saw the monuments on the National Mall. I’ll never forget visiting the Vietnam wall twice in one year. On Memorial Day, it was lined with little American flags. Father’s Day was even more emotional.  The bottom of the wall was lined with red and yellow roses to represent daughters and sons.

Charity – Oh my word! I agree about the history. It is so awesome!!! I live right by Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. Love, Love, Love it!

And, you have no idea how much I am in love with Lexington, KY too though!! Such a beautiful, beautiful city ❤ I have to drive through Kentucky to get to my Mother-in-law’s house and it’s my favorite state to drive through. It’s like you drive through the evil and dirty West Virginia into the beautiful, lusciously green state of Kentucky.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Vicki 1

2. Have you ever seen the end of a rainbow?

Vicki – Oh, I wish!  No pot of gold sightings, but I saw a double rainbow over I-40 when my family and I drove cross-country.  We were at the Arizona-New Mexico border when a massive rainstorm hit.  It was so bad that cars and trucks all pulled over. When the storm cleared, we saw a brilliant double rainbow arching over the highway. Awesome moment!

Charity – Oh, how beautiful!! Well, I have, in fact, driven through the end of a rainbow TWICE! No gold except the incredible thrill of doing it! haha 🙂 Of course, that’s something you can never prepare for and have a picture of. Shame.

— I get that one!

Charity 2 / Vicki 1

3. Have you learned to enjoy the perks of living here? In other words, have you learned to love Iced Sweet Tea?

Vicki – Sorry, but I cringe even hearing the words! No sweet tea for me. I’m a coffee person all the way.

(I’ll probably lose to you on this one!)

Charity – Um, you are correct.

— Not cool, Vicki! Not cool!!

Charity 3 / Vicki 1

4. What is your favorite binge watching show?

Vicki – Downton Abbey tops the list for sure. I was late to this particular party, so when I finally caught Downton fever, the show was in season three and I was in the middle of writing Together With You. As soon as I sent off the ms, I watched the first three seasons in something like five days, then watched the fourth season the next weekend.

Charity – Oh my word! I was late too!! I am just now going through the Downton Abby seasons. I think I am on the 3rd.

I have to think though…My favorite binge show was probably Broadchurch. I really loved that one!

— Tie

Charity 4 / Vicki 2

5. Have you ever spent a day trekking through the woods?

Vicki – Back in college I hiked with friends up to Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park. We were only halfway back to the campground when the sun dropped below the mountains, so the last part of the hike was in total darkness.  No flashlights. No moon until around ten o’clock.  I’ve never been so glad to get back to a tent in my life. I’m not sure if this hike was worth it for the stunning waterfalls, or just plain stupid!

Charity – Oh wow! That is so scary!!!!!!! Yikes!

I’ve done some random hiking…but I’m a princess through and through. It’s a hotel for me. (hotel with an H, not an M).

— no contest!

Charity 4 / Vicki 3

6. Do you scrapbook (or any type of craft)?

Vicki – No. Not a thing. My biggest craft achievement was in third grade when I glued elbow macaroni to a cigar box, spray painted it gold, and gave it to my dad for Father’s Day. I have a lot of respect for people who scrapbook. It’s a storytelling, just with pictures and paper instead of words.

Charity – You don’t know how much I love you for saying that. I absolutely HATE scrapbooking. I am not sure if there is much I hate less that scrapbooking…

–Tie!

Charity 5 / Vicki 4

7. What does your dream vacation look like?

Vicki – The beach all the way!  Lots of sun and sand.  Turquoise water.  Nothing to do except read, sleep and eat wonderful food.  My husband and I spent our fifteenth anniversary in Puerto Vallarta.  It was wonderful. I’d love to go back, or how about a month on a Caribbean Island?

Puerto_vallarta-10004

Charity – Oh my word!! I can’t compete with that either!! It’s so beautiful!

— Vicki!!

Charity 5  Vicki 5

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Vicki – The most direct answer is that I strive to bring glory to God in the books I write. But there’s more here than it might seem. My biggest lesson as a Christian has been to let go of my own abilities and to rely solely on God.  I’m the person who pushes too hard, does too much and ends up exhausted from striving in her own strength.  In fact, that’s what Someone Like You (Bethany House Publishers, May 2016) is about.

To combat my tendency to push in my own strength, I remind myself to take time to breathe and rest.  I also read Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest  just about every morning. I’ve on my third read-through, and I find new insights every time.

Charity – Love it!!!! Great book, too!

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Vicki 5

9. Do your boys read your books?

Vicki – They both read Until I Found You and enjoyed it.  It’s set in a fictionalized version of the mountain community where they grew up, so they had fun spotting similarities. They recognized several details, like the twisting road into the town of Meadows and the condor sightings. They also laughed out loud to a reference to the band Nirvana. Apparently I totally missed the boat, and I still don’t know why the reference doesn’t fit.

Charity – haha. Oh man! That’s funny! I bet it was pretty cool for them to read.

— Can’t win this point!

Charity 5 / Vicki 6

10. What song makes you stop everything and dance?

Vicki – Lots of them!  Adele’s music is just plain addictive. I also like country.  The Band Perry, Gary Allan and Eric Church are among my favorites.  Each book has a soundtrack, but these artists are in constant rotation. I really do get up and dance, too. If I’m stuck on a story, moving around helps shake it loose.

Charity – Nice!! I love Taylor Swift!!! :O haha Her music makes me just want to “shake it off”!!

— Tie

Final:

Charity 6 / Vicki 7

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Thank you, Vicki!! So fun getting to know you 🙂 6ddd0-530b9ea8e4b035db7175a1af

Guess what?? Yep! Vicki is giving away a copy of her book, Until I Found You! Woot Woot!

Just head on over to the Rafflecopter link and start entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Rez only (sorry! We do love the rest of you too!!)
**Entries will be checked

Face-Off with Kathleen Fuller!!

51JTWq5R3pL._UX250_Welcome to the blog, Kathleen!! I am excited about this face-off! So fun 🙂

So, I know that you guys have heard of this fabulous lady! She’s only authored like 30+ books…

Kathleen started writing in 2000, and published her first short story a year later. Since then she has authored several short stories, novellas, novels, and have done a lot of freelance non-fiction work. She’s also worked as an editor. Kathleen has a Masters degree in Special Education, emphasis on teaching the blind and visually impaired, and a Bachelors in Early Childhood/Elementary Education.

Check out some of her great reads here:

Let’s do this!!


 

PicCollage

The rules are simple. I ask Kathleen some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Favorite Season has to be FOOTBALL SEASON! So, what team? Ever been to a game?

Kathleen – Football season is definitely my favorite season. I have several teams I root for. NFL: Browns, obviously, since I live near Cleveland. I also like Green Bay. We used to be Browns season ticket holders, so I’ve seen a lot of pro games. College: Arkansas Razorbacks (because I’m from AR), Bowling Green State Falcons (because my daughter goes to BGSU), and Ohio State (because, hello, Ohio State).

Charity – No way! Why does that sentence say, “Used to be”??? Oh man!! We love football…well, my kids and I do. My hubby could take it or leave it.

Washington20Redskins20Jerseys_xlarge

— Tie

Charity 1 / Kathleen 1

2. What would be the hardest part of living an Amish lifestyle?

Kathleen – My answer changes all the time with this question, but I think the hardest would be not having air conditioning. Yes, I’m a wimp.

Charity – I’m sorry. Did you say that I can’t have my Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV?

— tie

Charity 2 / Kathleen2

3. Is there a good Amish movie you can recommend?

Kathleen – I don’t watch Amish movies.

Charity – Uh….me either. haha 🙂

— TIE AGAIN

Charity 3 / Kathleen 3

4. What is the coolest natural thing you have ever seen? (Natural Bridge, Blood Moon, Eclipse, Thunderstorm, etc)

Kathleen – Blanchard Springs Caverns in Arkansas. Absolutely gorgeous. I’d love to visit again.

Balnachard Springs Cavern
Balnachard Springs Cavern

Charity – So cool!!!! Wow! My son and I went out and did some Blood Moon gazing. haha. It was a lot of fun!! We sat out there and stared up at the beautiful sky right by the water. It was really neat!

— I have to give that one to Kathleen.

Charity 3 / Kathleen 4

5. Best concert you’ve been to?

Kathleen – Monsters of Rock back in 1984. Yep, I’m that old. Sting comes in a close second.

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Charity – Check you out!!!!  You are a rock and roll queen!!!!! I can’t even compete with that.

And you aren’t old!! haha 🙂 I was also born in the 70’s. woot!

— Definitely Kathleen!

Charity 3 / Kathleen 5

6. Favorite song when you were a teenager? Fess up to those boy band crushes!!

Kathleen – “Save A Prayer” by Duran Duran has to be my favorite. I still have it on my playlist. I crushed hard on John Taylor back in the day. This song stands the test of time though, in my opinion.

 

Charity – haha. That video and song scared me!!! Mine is pretty scare too…

— Yeah. Frightening.

Charity 4 / Kathleen 6

7. When did you last paint your toenails?

Kathleen – Last week–dark purple!

Charity – Awesome!! Mine are just a couple days in and they are a bright, cherry red!

— Tie!

Charity 5  / Kathleen 7

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Kathleen – Through daily living (I hope!). Also through my relationships with my family and friends, and through my writing. I give God all the glory. 🙂

Charity – Beautiful

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Kathleen 7

9. Do you enjoy flying?

Kathleen – Not as much as I used to. But I love to travel, and flying gets you there fast.

Charity – I love it. It’s so fun to fly by myself and I really enjoy sitting in the airport too.

— Tie

Charity 6 / Kathleen 8

10. What chore do you dread above all else?

Kathleen – Housework. Yep, all of it.

Charity – haha. I don’t mind it. I don’t like taking the trash out though. Lucky for me, I have 3 sons… So, there’s that. I never have to do it.

— tie again!

Final:

Charity 7 / Kathleen 9

Movies_Films_L_iLost_Jack__Lost_008226_

Kathleen’s Questions:

1) Dogs or cats?

Kathleen – both–we have two dogs and one cat

Charity – neither!!!!!!!!!!

2) Cake or pie?

Kathleen – Cake, cake, cake!

Charity – PIE PIE PIE! 🙂

3) Coffee or tea?

Kathleen – Coffee, all day long. Or at least all morning long.

Charity – Too funny!! I definitely choose tea!!

4) Peanut butter or jelly?

Kathleen – Peanut butter (but it’s better with jelly)

Charity – Definitely Peanut Butter! YUMMMMM
5) Print books or electronic?

Kathleen – Electronic, because I can carry them with me easily. I hate being without a book to read.

Charity – Hmm..I like both equally. I really like to have some of each.

6) Winter, summer, spring, or fall?

Kathleen – Fall–I love it!

Charity – Fall! Everything about it!!

7) Pumpkin spice, yay or nay?

Kathleen – Nay. Not a fan of it anymore. I’m pumpkin spiced out.

Charity – Oh, yes!! I love pumpkin everything. I make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. YUM!!!


Thank you, Kathleen! So fun ❤ 6ddd0-530b9ea8e4b035db7175a1af

This awesome lady is giving away a copy of her book, A Reluctant Bride. Just head on over to the Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Rez only. (We do love the rest of you too!)
**Entries will be checked

Face-Off with Olivia Newport!!

images I am so excited to be facing-off with Olivia Newport today!!! I love my job! Woot Woot!!

Ever since I started reading Christian Fiction, about 4 years back, I have been drawn to Olivia’s books as I’m perusing the shelves. Her Avenue of Dreams series always catches my eye. I finally picked up one of them and can’t wait to let you know my thoughts!!!

A small sampling as she is author of almost 20 books! Olivia has two grown children and lives a peaceful life, with her husband of over 30 years, in Colorado. She writes a lot of Amish Fiction and some Historical too.

Let’s get to it, shall we?


 

PicCollageThe rules are simple. I ask Olivia some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever been stuck in the middle of an epic storm? Like a Category 5 Hurricane?

Olivia – Literally? When I was about 4 my family visited relatives in Texas, and I have vague memories of sirens and rushing to a town shelter during a hurricane. Now figuratively speaking, all the time!

Charity – Oh! That sounds scary!! We live on the East Coast in Virginia. When Hurricane Isabel came through, it was a big deal. We left town and went to the western part of the state thinking that we would be safe there. Would you believe it totally land jumped and HIT THERE WORSE THAN THE COAST??? What in the world?

isabel

— I am going to have to give it to Olivia. Sirens and shelters sound terrifying!

Charity 0 / Olivia 1

2. What’s the coolest DIY project you have done? Pics?

Olivia – “Coolest” is a matter of opinion, but I had fun refinishing the sewing machine cabinet that belonged to my mom when I was young. So I should get points for sentimentality with a slight demerit for not being able to produce the photo.

Charity – Hmm. No picture? Well, I suppose I shall tell you of my fun endeavors. We are trying to adopt and needed an extra bedroom in our house. SO, we took the living room and “built-in”. Using Ikea wardrobes, we completely built a new bedroom!! You can’t even tell because we painted the backs of them and put crown molding on the top and bottom of each one!

1305438_10153196698535018_1476570917_n

— I get that one!! woot woot!

Charity 1 / Olivia 1

3. What is your favorite, unique holiday tradition (any holiday)?

Olivia – Hands down, chocolate frosted shortbread squares are required at every holiday meal throughout my large extended family. When the menu planning begins, everyone’s first question is “Who’s bringing the shortbread squares?”

Charity – Yum!!!!!!! I need that tradition! We celebrate 99 Days ‘Til Christmas every year. It’s so fun! We put up a few lights, miniature tree, some decorations, eat delicious foods, do small gifts and watch Elf. After all of that, we write out our Christmas Wish Lists. IT’S ONLY 3 WEEKS AWAY!!!

— Tie

Charity 2/ Olivia 2

4. Have you ever been in a maze? Corn maze, tree maze, any kind of maze made for adults?

Olivia – Um, no. And can I say “Achoo!” is what would happen if I went into such a place? (Pity points for allergies.)

Charity – No pity here! ha 😉 I live near Williamsburg and in back of the Governor’s Mansion, there is this cool maze made out of bushes. It’s not one you can get lost in. However, hubby and I went to the one at Luray Caverns and that one is awesome!!!

governors-palace-maze2  91d6e1c2c0e1b5083d5ad5676f8157ec
–Guess who is ahead?!?!

Charity 3 / Olivia 2

5. What is one kitchen appliance that you wouldn’t want to live without?

Olivia – Two Christmases ago my husband gave me a little gadget that warms and froths milk for my coffee. I would not have guessed I’d want one, but I use it every stinkin’ day.

Charity – Now that is cool!!! Froths AND warms?! Wow. I love my keurig. It makes me very happy.

— Your gadget wins!

Charity 3 / Olivia 3

6. What is the funniest joke you know?

Olivia – I concede the point. I’m sure I know funny jokes but I can’t perform when you put me on the spot!

Charity – Oh, honey. You didn’t concede a thing. I am the worst joke teller. ever. I’ve got nothing.

— tie

Charity 4 / Olivia 4

7. Have you ever dropped eggs at a grocery store?

Olivia – No, but I’m guessing a lot of other people have based on the number of broken eggs I find when I check the cartons.

Charity – hmm. Me either. I took a guess because, same as you, I assumed most people have. Weird.

— Tie

Charity 5 / Olivia 5

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Olivia – Several years ago I felt a call to live my life more intentionally from a center of peace in God, which begins by welcoming God into the moments of my life and being more satisfied with a holy presence than I ever would be if I got everything I thought I wanted.

Charity – Beautiful!!!

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Olivia 5

9. Have you ever tried surfing?

Olivia – No, although ironically I went to college in southern California. But in my defense, a) I didn’t have a car to get to the beach; b) I was too nearsighted to get in the ocean without my contacts; and c) I actually studied! But I’m a pretty good web surfer. Does that count?

Charity – ha…it would if I HADN’T TRIED SURFING! Believe me, it wasn’t something you would want to see. I am so uncoordinated. It’s truly ridiculous.

— But…I have tried it!

Charity 6 / Olivia 5

10. Tea or Coffee?

Olivia – I came to coffee late in life–like just two years ago. But as you can guess from my favorite kitchen appliance, I do indulge in a sort of homemade latte every morning now. And when I go to the coffee shop to write on Saturday mornings, the barista knows to start a white rose, extra hot as soon as she sees me come in the door.

Charity – I still haven’t come into coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good cup every once in a while. I just don’t drink it every day. I could drink sweet or unsweet tea every day, all day though.

— Your barista knows your drink!!! I haven’t ever even heard of White Rose Coffee…

Final:

Charity 6 / Olivia 6

20130805_its_a_tie_ta WOO HOO!!


Thank you, Olivia! giveawayTimeWhat fun!!! I am sorry it ended in a tie. You were a worthy opponent!

Guess what???? Olivia has offered to give away a copy of her NEW RELEASE, which just happens to be sitting in Amazon’s “best of” category as we speak!

  Screen shot 2015-08-28 at 1.08.48 AM

So, you definitely want to head on over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you follow the instructions when you enter so you aren’t disqualified! Good luck!!!

*U.S. Rez only (We do love the rest of you too!)