Friday, May 29, 2020

THE STORY FROM MY DREAM. . .(Part 1)

Stephanie Payne Hurt              @StephanieHurt4
Romance Author





What makes a story powerful? That’s the elusive goal of every writer. Does your story do something to people? Does it bring out tears, laughter, or deep thought? Maybe all of them… Maybe none…

To Dance with Dragonflies came to me in a dream a couple of years ago. When I woke up, only bits and pieces were there. As other stories came into my mind, this one nagged at me. Some days my fingers would hover over the keyboard, wanting it to all come back, but it didn’t. Well, not at first.

Then last fall, it happened. I was in the middle of writing the largest book of my writing career, Christmas at Mistletoe Ranch, when a dragonfly landed beside me. To say I was mesmerized doesn’t even come into the ballfield of how I felt. That simple dragonfly, just going about life brought the dream back to me. My heart began to race. My mind ran at full speed ahead. But, I was on a deadline, so how could I do this?

I knew that I had to get as much of it on paper as I could before it left me again. So, I grabbed a notebook and sat down to outline the story. It was as though I couldn’t write fast enough. My mind was skipping ahead, whole chapters. But, somehow I managed to get the story outlined.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

What Has Happened To Your Writing During the Pandemic?

Susan Reichert







I would think every person on the planet has heard about the pandemic.

It has conjured up fear in millions of people, cost the lives and lively hood of many.

Yet, as with in times past, we have to remember we will get throuigh this.

Maybe things will be somewhat different than before, but we will see the light at the
end of the tunnel, as they say.

I pray during these times, if your children still live at home, that you have reacquainted yourself with your spouse and children. It is such a blessing to have family.

Sometimes we go at such a fast pace, we don't slow down to enjoy what we have.

When this is over, I hope all of us remember, how special our families and friends are and make concerted efforts to spend quality time with them.

It can be a lonely life without family or friends. While we have them let us show them how much we love them and how much they mean to us.

If your children are grown, like mine; call them, text them, zoom them, but make efforts to talk several times during the week. Don't lose touch. When all is said and done, they matter the most.

During this time, have you found yourself putting off your writing? Or have you spent more time creating and developing a new book?

There are many things we can write about, especially right now. Who knows, you just might pen the next best-selling book of all time.

May God bless each of you and your families.



Retired Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine. Facilitator of Collierville Christian Writers Group, President of Southern Writers Author's Services, Gallery of Stars, and Suite T. Author of Storms in Life and soon to be released book, God's Prayer Power.

                                                



Wednesday, May 27, 2020

When the Unexpected Throws a Curve Ball


Pat Nichols    





In March 2019, I was deep into writing Willow Falls series book three. The second book had been edited and approved for an early 2020 release. All we needed was a title and back cover copy.


Then in one heart-wrenching moment, everything screeched to a halt.


My managing editor moved on to new horizons and the new editor informed me the manuscript needed one, perhaps two substantive edits. My first reaction? Disbelief. Followed by frustration.


How could two professional editors have such different opinions?


My writing journey began following the tragic passing of a young woman who had drifted in and out of our lives for twenty-five years. As a cathartic exercise I started working on a fictional story based on her life, but with a happy ending. During the process something amazing happened. God planted a seed that led me to come out of retirement and launch a second career as an author. It didn’t take long to discover that seed needed a ton of water and huge quantity of fertilizer.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Fascinaton Turned Into A Series (Part 2)

Patricia Bradley      @PTBradley1


The stories. I always knew I’d write a series about National Park Rangers since I’d always wanted to be one. I just didn’t know I’d have to do so much research. I thought I’d just write my usual story and have a ranger solve the crime. Not. I quickly learned the Natchez Trace Parkway Rangers were a separate entity from the National Park Service. Sort of.

The National Park Service Rangers at places like Mount Locust, Melrose, and the William Johnson House, etc. have interpretive rangers who are responsible for providing an enlightening experience to visitors of the historical sites. Natchez Trace Parkway Rangers are law enforcement rangers with their main office in Tupelo, Mississippi. Which was good for me since I could easily drive down and talk to the Superintendent.

The  superintendent was so helpful. I learned that just like police officers, full-time law enforcement rangers have to undergo training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. She filled me in on their duties, and told me about the special agents who plan and conduct investigations as part of the Investigative Services Branch (ISB). BINGO! The perfect job for my hero who is out to stop the drugs traveling up the Trace.

Luke Fereday is an undercover agent working for ISB, and that causes a lot of problems with the heroine, Brooke because he keeps it a secret. She’s been an interpretive ranger for several years, but she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps as a law enforcement ranger. When the story opens, her dad is the district ranger for the Trace from Jackson, Mississippi, to Natchez. (That was something else I had to research—all the different levels of authority which is sometimes confusing since some carry the same designation.) She’d graduated at the top of the class at Glynco, and her dad was supposed to swear her in, but he died before that could happen. When the coroner ruled his death a suicide, Brook set out to prove it was murder. Of course, that put her in the murderer’s crosshairs, and in close contact with Luke.

Researching the Natchez area and the Natchez Trace Parkway was a wonderful experience. I’ve made three trips so far, and if this pandemic had not happened, I would have gone again this spring. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this small city set on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, try to go during either the Spring or Fall Pilgrimage. Natchez has more than 600 examples of Antebellum Architecture and many of them are on display during the pilgrimages. Several of them are on property owned by the Parkway. And don’t forget to go by the Natchez cemetery.

I’m sure it must sound strange to suggest a cemetery as a must-see, but if you go, you’ll see why. The Turning Angel is there and more than one novel has featured it. In fact, I’ll be featuring it in one of my books.

I guess you can tell that research is one reason I write—it gives me an opportunity to delve into things I don’t know. I’ve always heard writers should write what they know, but I think writers should write what they want to know.


Bio and Social Media links
USA Today Best-selling author, Patricia Bradley is a Carol finalist and winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense. She and her two cats call North Mississippi home--the South is also where she sets most of her books. Her romantic suspense novels include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case Novels. Standoff, the first book in the Natchez Trace Park Ranger’s series released May 5, 2020, and she’s finished the second book, Obsession and is hard at work on the third, Crosshairs.

Writing workshops include American Christian Fiction Writers online courses, workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference, the KenTen Retreat where she was also the keynote, Memphis American Christian Fiction Writer group, and the Bartlett Christian Writers group. When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

Links:
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2S6DKGY



Monday, May 25, 2020

Fascination Turns Into a Series (Part 1)

Patricia Bradley     




For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with the Natchez Trace. From start to finish, it’s 444 miles, and if you’re traveling the Trace, (most people familiar with the Natchez Trace shorten the name), there are several places where you can get out of your car and walk on the original road. 


I always get goosebumps when I walk the trail and think about the men who had traveled it before me—Indians, traders, trappers, Kaintucks, Andrew Jackson’s troops when they marched to New Orleans. Meriwether Lewis died on the Trace in what has been a mystery from the day his body was found. Was it foul play? Or natural? Or even perhaps suicide? So, it’s no wonder I wanted to set a book on the Trace.




I just didn’t expect to set it in Natchez. I thought I’d set it near me since a segment of the Trace is only thirty miles from my house. I was familiar with the northern half of the Parkway. But my publisher fell in love with the idea of it being set at the southern terminus—Natchez, a place I’d never been. And I’m so glad. I discovered a town so unique and rich with history and beautiful antebellum homes and lovely people. And the restaurants—Fat Mama’s Tamales, Jughead’s, the Tea Room, King’s Tavern (where there’s a ghost!), and many more that will likely show up in my stories.


The stories. I always knew I’d write a series about National Park Rangers since I’d always wanted to be one. I just didn’t know I’d have to do so much research. I thought I’d just write my usual story and have a ranger solve the crime. Not. I quickly learned the Natchez Trace Parkway Rangers were a separate entity from the National Park Service. Sort of.


The National Park Service Rangers at places like Mount Locust, Melrose, and the William Johnson House, etc. have interpretive rangers who are responsible for providing an enlightening experience to visitors of the historical sites. Natchez Trace Parkway Rangers are law enforcement rangers with their main office in Tupelo, Mississippi. Which was good for me since I could easily drive down and talk to the Superintendent.




The superintendent was so helpful. I learned that just like police officers, full-time law enforcement rangers have to undergo training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. She filled me in on their duties, and told me about the special agents who plan and conduct investigations as part of the Investigative Services Branch (ISB). BINGO! The perfect job for my hero who is out to stop the drugs traveling up the Trace.


Bio and Social Media links
USA Today Best-selling author, Patricia Bradley is a Carol finalist and winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense. She and her two cats call North Mississippi home--the South is also where she sets most of her books. Her romantic suspense novels include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case Novels. Standoff, the first book in the Natchez Trace Park Ranger’s series released May 5, 2020, and she’s finished the second book, Obsession and is hard at work on the third, Crosshairs.

Writing workshops include American Christian Fiction Writers online courses, workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference, the KenTen Retreat where she was also the keynote, Memphis American Christian Fiction Writer group, and the Bartlett Christian Writers group. When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

Links:
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2S6DKGY


Friday, May 22, 2020

Sunshine Through the Rain


C.A. Collins






I wrote, Sunshine Through the Rain, which is a semi-autobiographical novel that follows Christie Ann Cook, a wise beyond her years young girl growing up in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. So, what was it like for a smart, headstrong young woman in 1960s era Deep South growing up in a family that wants her to either be a “Southern belle” or a tomboy? You will have to read the book to find out!

I’ve always been interested in those tumultuous years in the South. I was raised in Louisiana where the 'n' word was the norm, but my parents taught me to judge someone by their character, not the color of their skin. In this book, I really wanted to show a young girl who had diverse people in her life that she loved and cared for and how she was torn between her small insular world and the uncertain bigger world around her.

Sunshine’s protagonist, Christie, tries to find her place in that world and in her own home. Her mother wants her to be a traditional, “Southern” woman while her dad wants to make her into the son he always wanted. Thanks to the wisdom of the family’s housekeeper, Ernestine, Christie makes up her own mind as she grows from a child, to a teenager to a young adult.

Readers follow Christie through national events such as the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., and personal events such as the rape of a college roommate and a racially charged murder.

There are several instances in the book when Christie is faced with very tough dilemmas, such as the murder of Ernestine's young nephew by two white men. When Christie’s father testifies and helps put the men in prison, the family knows that he will be threatened and harassed for standing up for a black family but also know it is the right thing to do. It becomes a teaching moment for Christie … setting the stage for many of her life decisions going forward.

Watching Christie stand up and do what’s right is a key part of the book. I wrote the main character as a feminist so hopefully young girls can read this book and know it’s OK to say ‘no,’ to stand up for yourself, not to be a doormat. If someone is doing something or saying something that makes you uncomfortable it is within your rights to shut that down immediately. Never depend on someone else for your livelihood or your happiness. It's OK to throw a hissy fit sometimes to get your way.

Before writing full time, I worked as a director at nonprofit agencies including the United Way and Habitat for Humanity. Writing this book has always been at the back of my mind but sometimes life gets in the way. Becoming a writer is a large part of the story and follows my own dream of becoming an author. Because I did not actually grow up during the Civil Rights Movement, I did a considerable amount of research to make sure I had the dates and timeframes correct. This book floated around in my head for many years before I sat down and put it on paper. I wrote the book in three months. Once I started the book it just flowed. I am currently working on a second book about the murder of a young women that was never solved. It is written from the point of view of the Sheriff who is trying to solve the case.

I hope readers of the book have a better understanding of race relations in the South’ that young girls realize it is okay to be strong and outspoken. Also, I hope this book shows that integrity and loyalty are two traits we should all strive for. 


C. A.  Collins was born and raised in the Deep South where sweet tea, seafood gumbo, and “bless your heart” were commonplace. Ms. Collins was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Crazy Family. She began writing short stories when she was six years old, and two years ago, she decided to try her hand at writing a full-time. Before taking time off to write, she was the director of several nonprofit agencies, including United Way and Habitat for Humanity. She lives in the upper Midwest with her husband, Mike, and their Coondog, Lincoln. Ms. Collins has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and a master’s degree in organizational leadership both from Concordia University Ann Arbor. Ms. Collins is currently working on her second book, a true crime account of a murder that occurred in the south and was never solved.  The book is written from the viewpoint of the Sherriff who worked the case. Sunshine through the Rain is her first novel. Sunshine Through the Rain is available on Amazon, Kindle version and paperback, as well as Barnes and Noble Nook.

Igniting Your Book Launch (Part 2 Continued)


DiAnn Mills  @diannmills

Expect an Adventure



Continuing from May 20 on Igniting Your Book Launch . . . 

What does a writer do for a street team?

My mission is to do more for my street team than I ask from them. Frequent communication is vital and shows we care, but don’t be a pest. Send a weekly update with a quote, humorous happening, or a devotion. Be creative. Update the team on what is happening in your professional life. Be loving and transparent. This is business, but it can be personal. Let them know where you’ll be speaking or teaching. Share new book covers and exciting pre-release information to them before anyone else. Your street team is your “First to know” group.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Errors in Our Books

Susan Reichert    @swmeditor




One thing for sure, having to stay home has given me the time to write. For that I am most grateful.

Normally my schedule is so busy I have little time to write for myself.

As writers you may have experienced the same.

Last year, recuperating from surgery, I told a dear friend who was visiting, that God had laid it on my heart to pull together the prayers I had written over the years and publish them.

When this pandemic hit, obviously, here was my opportunity to do that. So, going through journals and boxes, I found them.

As I reread each one, it brought to my memory the things that were going on at the time of writing the prayers. So, I could see firsthand, again, how God answers our prayers.

I say all of this, to remind everyone who has written things and put them away, maybe now is the time to look for them. Perhaps you will find material for a book or two.

The funny thing about your on writing, is you can be harder on yourself than you would be on someone else.

I have reviewed books, as Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine and have written blurbs for author’s books. I have edited stories for others, and critiqued writings at conferences. But when it comes to my own writing, I choose an editor to edit my work and others to critique.

It is important before we publish, or send our work to agents, that we make sure our writings are in the best shape possible.

Many times, when reading books, in the first chapter, errors pop up. I certainly understand how a few errors occur in books. Even with traditional publishers, we still find errors.

The best thing we can do, is to hire someone to edit our work. Will you still find some errors? Possibly. After all, we are human.

The important thing is to do the best you can to make sure your book is as error free as possible. 



Susan Reichert, is the retired Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine. President of Southern Writer's Author Services. President of Collierville Christian Writers Group for the past ten years, (CCWriters) Author of Storms in Life, author of 11 short stories published in magazines and anthology books. Currently writing  a prayer book that will release this year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Igniting Your Book Launch (Part 2a)



DiAnn Mills  @diannmills
Expect an Adventure



Last month we discussed the why, who, and when of igniting your book launch. This month we’ll continue with the where, how, and the value of a street team. Let’s dive in!

The where and how of a book launch are linked together
1.           What are the uniqueness and strengths of the writing project?
2.           Establish a list of objectives with the book launch?
3.           How have you focused on your target market?
4.           Can the writer cross-promote with other writers in the same genre?
5.           What are the pitch angles?
6.           Are you active where your readers hang out online?

Organization is key to establishing a book launch that showcases the book. The where and how is also tied to a street team.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

As Author and Reader, “Tension” a Must for Creston Mapes


Creston Mapes    @CrestonMapes






My Signs of Life series began with the book Signs of Life, which explored how a mass shooting in Portland, Oregon impacted several specific survivors—including the young shooter, Rogan Sneed; the lead interrogator, Wayne Deetz; and a city school teacher, Tyson Cooper, who lost his wife and faith in the shooting.


The organic, grass roots themes of each of my eight novels have reflected upon where I’ve been, spiritually, at the time of writing. So, Signs of Life hit on the topic of, how and why God allows tragedy in the lives of human beings, especially those who love him? As a Christian, I was struggling with that, and that crucible came out in the pages of Signs of Life.

As a novelist, I am not a plotter, but write by the “seat of the pants” each day. So I walked with the characters in the aftermath of the shooting, day by day. It was extremely emotional. I found myself questioning God and trying to experience what the characters would be feeling in the midst of such anguish. Especially Tyson Cooper, whose wife died in the attack, and Wayne Deetz, a Portland PD investigator close to retirement, who repeatedly interviewed the young shooter, Rogan Sneed.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Spark of an Idea

Wendy Wilson Spooner     @Wendy_W_Spooner

https://www.amazon.com/Irish-Summer-Wendy-Wilson-Spooner/dp/1620209349/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1578519299&sr=8-2


Allen Hamilton is a name that inspires me to my core.

The first time the idea sparked to write his story was on a research trip to Ireland where I was hunting for ancestral records with my husband and parents. As we searched archives in tiny villages surrounded by deep green hills, and combed through the records in town halls flanked by ancient castles and cathedrals, something deep within me stirred—a connection to the past as tangible as the cobblestones beneath my feet.

Allen was the oldest son of my 3rd great-grandfather. When he turned 18, he met a man from “the states” at his great-aunt’s manor house in County Donegal that lit the fire of the American dream in his heart, and compelled him to cross the Atlantic alone to find a way to save his family. Allen’s father was a Clerk of the Crown and one of 17 sons of a landed gentry family near Enniskillen Castle in Northern Ireland. But when the British forced oppressive fees and tax laws on the people it imploded the economy—three decades before the Irish Famine. And seeing no hope for recovery, Allen borrowed the six-pence for passage and crossed the ocean in search of an answer.

BASED ON A 2OO-YEAR-OLD LETTER COLLECTION

A faded and worn letter collection survives today, written by Allen’s parents to him after Allen went to America. My mom and my daughters and I transcribed many of the faded, damaged letters which copies can be found on microfilm in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah as well as the genealogical library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The correspondence is both inspiring and heart-breaking, filled with the family’s trust in God as they suffered, while Allen journeyed thousands of miles away through antebellum America, seeking for a way to make a success of himself so he could bring his family to him before it was too late.

As starvation and typhus fever raged throughout his homeland, it was who and what Allen became in the U.S. that still inspires me today.

I wrote Once Upon an Irish Summer through the eyes of Allen’s fictional descendant, a young gifted artist struggling through debilitating grief, because what we learn from the past entirely holds the promise of changing our future.

NO REGRETS

Writing this story in dual timeline was one of the hardest tasks I could have taken on as a debut novelist. But I would do it again because the outcome has inspired countless people to delve into the lives of their own ancestors. And I believe that those who came before us want nothing more than for each generation to become a little better. And that is what Once Upon an Irish Summer is all about. To learn about the people we come from, to honor them, and then to stand on their shoulders to become someone even better. 




Wendy Wilson Spooner, Lic. G., LCoT, is a Genetic Genealogist by day, a writer by night, and an artist in between.
Her love of what we can learn from history compels her to write the true stories she unearths during her research because she has found that truth is indeed, much more exciting and inspiring than fiction. 
Wendy is a member of the International Society of Genetic Genealogist, The Association of Professional Genealogists, Romance Writers of America, and The American Night Writer’s Association. As an award-winning author of professional articles and poems, she’s turned to novel writing to share what she has learned with a greater audience.
When not writing or researching, Wendy paints, hikes, binges on Bollywood movies, and spends time with her greatest loves—her family.



http://KnowMyRoots.com

Friday, May 15, 2020

Patriotic Service Leads to Victories in Romance Part 3 and Part 4


Homefront Heroines Novella Collection


continued from May 14




Part 3    "Blue Moon" by Johnnie Alexander

               1943, Oak Ridge, Tennessee


After humiliating each other, a WOOPs officer and an Army Intelligence agent team up to protect a top-secret atomic bomb facility from sabotage.

You may have noticed our stories are named for song titles from the 1940s. The lyrics to “Blue Moon” inspired the opening of my story, which occurs on a blue moon night. My heroine, Kathleen, serves with the Women Officers of Public Safety (WOOPS), tasked by the Tennessee Valley Authority to guard the dams and other important facilities in the area.

My story was also inspired by Oak Ridge, also known as the Secret City and the Atomic City. I toured a museum dedicated to preserving the town’s unique history and listened to hours of recorded interviews with people who had lived in and worked at the government-built town.

My hope is that my characters’ fighting spirit honors the courageous men and women who sacrificed so much to protect our country both in the battlefields and here at home.

Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won't forget. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, is a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. She also writes contemporary romances, cozy mysteries, light-hearted suspense and historicals. A fan of classic movies, stacks of books, and road trips, Johnnie shares a life of quiet adventure with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her on her website and on Facebook.




Part 4     “Dream a Little Dream” by Amanda Barratt

               
               1945, Palm Springs, California


When an army nurse and a former film star are reunited at a wartime hospital, can they move beyond their past and into a future together?


Dream a Little Dream was inspired by the courage and tenacity of the men and women who served in WWII in a variety of capacities. From nurses caring for the wounded in veterans hospitals (like my heroine), to fighter pilots in the Pacific Theater (like my hero), to entertainers like Bob Hope who brought laughter into places rife with grim realities, each had a role to play.

I especially loved exploring the stories of the actors and actresses who gave up safe careers in Hollywood to fight for victory alongside their fellow countrymen, as well as those of the brave nurses who served overseas and on the home front. Their dedication and willingness to devote themselves to a greater cause inspires me. 


Amanda Barratt,  ECPA best-selling author, fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical fiction, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. Her novel My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love, released from Kregel Publications in June 2019. Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe. Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net. 



Thursday, May 14, 2020

Patriotic Service Leads to Victories in Romance - Part 1 and Part 2


Homefront Heroines Novella Collection

Four authors come together and write four wonderful stories. You will find
information with each author in four parts

Relive life on the American Homefront as four women of the WWII era join the workforce and discover romance in surprising ways.





Part 1 "Moonlight serenade" by Rita Gerlach

            
 1941, Washington D.C.




When Kate St. Claire takes over a sailor’s job at the Naval Yard in Washington, DC, she is thrown into a romance she never expected.


The inspiration for Homefront Heroines occurred to me when I read the V-Mail poem my grandmother wrote to my dad in 1942. It caused me to think about what the women on the homefront experienced. And so, Kate and Ronny's story evolved.

It was a joyful writing experience for me, being able to develop their romance, and include a mention of my mother working at the Navy Yard and my dad serving on the USS Vulcan.


Rita Gerlach lives in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland. In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists, with a sprinkling of both American and English history. Rita incorporates into her newer fiction what she learned through her journey --- courage, faith, and the precious gift of family and friendship. Connect with her on her website and on Facebook. 











Part 2     "Only Forever" by Lauralee Bliss


                1943, Springville, New York



Marilyn and Arthur learn the hard way that it’s not the outside that matters, but the inward working of the heart that is precious to God and each other.

With the summer here comes gardening and the thought of fresh vegetables. I’ve already harvested baby lettuce with much more to come. During World War II, the setting for the Homefront Heroines collection, families turned to planting victory gardens to supply food and supplement the nation’s economy. The characters in my novella, Marilyn and Art, work together to see victory gardens established in their humble town.

But never did they imagine the stranger who appeared willing to help in their endeavor would be the one to subvert the people, steal their hard-earned money, and ruin the vital project. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is always on the hunt to prey upon the innocent. We try to grow gardens of peace, joy, patience, and endurance in our lives. But these fruits can be easily preyed upon in unknowing ways.

We must put on our glasses of spiritual insight, equipped with the weapons of faith and prayer and the truth of scripture so wolves will not steal, kill and destroy our garden and we may enjoy its fruits. Stand tall then in these tough times until you see the fruit of your garden of life! And then rejoice! 


Lauralee Bliss is a published author of many romance novels and novellas both historical and contemporary. Lauralee’s hope is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that speaks to the heart and soul. When not out hiking her favorite trail, Lauralee is home tending her garden of veggies, a bed of roses, and her favorite orchid. Connect with Lauralee on her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter at @LauraleeBliss.