December 31, 2022



Just two more days and we welcome a new year

 a new slate, and new opportunities!

December 29, 2022

Three Days Left?

Time is running out for 2022.

As of today

 we have three days left

 in 2022.

 Feelings of sadness and nostalgia

accompany saying goodby.

A new year is dawning

 filled with optimism and hope.

Perhaps counting down to the New Year

in some way slows the time down.

Bringing to our remembrance

the good and the bad in 2022.

To be sure some created fear

but many are of love and joy.

Through God's grace

we will recall love we received

and love we gave.

As we gather our thoughts of 2022

may we learn from our mistakes

and remember what is important.

Let us leave the hurt and pain behind.

Above all remember a New Year

is about to befall

full of opportunities and love

for one and all.

December 28, 2022

Introducing Kids to Grumpy New Year!

                                 Kids feeling a little stressed?   Perhaps a little board? Grab a   good book and spend a special   time with them.
Grumpy New Year by Katrina Moore.

This funny and heartwarming follow-up to Grandpa Grumps celebrates Lunar New Year and the love of a doting grandparent.

"You should sleep on the long flight," said Mama.
Daisy should have slept-
but she didn't.
She was too excited to see Yeh-Yeh!

Daisy is traveling to China, and she's excited to see her Yeh-Yeh again! She has big plans for all the fun they'll have together in preparation for Lunar New Year, like flying kites and making jiao zi. But when she arrives, she has trouble sleeping and is less jolly than she hoped. Throughout the week, Yeh-Yeh tries all sorts of things to help her have a fun holiday and get her past her grumpiness. Will Daisy be able to get some rest and have one perfect day before she goes home?

Katrina Moore writes in New Jersey. She holds a M.A. in Teaching and has been an elementary teacher for thirteen years. Her mission is to create books that children will hug for ages. She is the author of the picture books, SOMETIMES LOVE, a powerful and poetic exploration of love---from giving, to growing, to sometimes letting go, illustrated by Joy Hwang Ruiz (Penguin/Dial, Summer 2022), ONE HUG, illustrated by Julia Woolf (HarperCollins/Tegen Books, Dec. 2019), GRANDPA GRUMPS, illustrated by Xindi Yan, and its companion, GRUMPY NEW YEAR (Little Bee Books, Dec, 2022), and the forthcoming HOPE IS A HOP, illustrated by Melissa Iwai (Penguin/Dial, March 2023). Her humorous TEENY HOUDINI chapter book series, illustrated by Zoe Si, star the magical, mischievous, mayhem-maker Bessie Lee. TEENY HOUDINI: THE DISAPPEARING ACT, TEENY HOUDINI: THE SUPER SECRET VALENTINE, and TEENY HOUDINI: THE GIANT PANDA PLAN are all available now (HarperCollins/Tegen Books).

​When she is not writing or teaching, she is cooking without a recipe, painting outside the lines, or snuggling up with her two kids, husband, pups, and of course, a cozy book. Connect with her on twitter @kmoorebooks or at

December 27, 2022

As You Grow!

Kirk Cameron

As You Grow is written by the legendary Kirk Cameron. This fun story with brilliant art teaches the Biblical truths of the Fruit of the Spirit. Follow Sky Tree's journey from a small acorn to a mighty tree that provides shade, sustenance, and lodging!

#1 Best Seller in Children's Christian Values Fiction

December 26, 2022

Telling Others What They Mean to Us

Christmas 2022 is soon going to be over. Beginning today, the 26th, there are five days until the end of 2022. Hopefully, we can look back at the year and find blessings we received. We have five days to look back at the year.

I hope everyone has had joys and blessings in 2022 that will present wonderful memories.

For me, I am most thankful for my family. They are my greatest blessing.

To my friends, I love all of you and am grateful to have you in my life. 

I am convinced we should be sure and tell our family and friends throughout the year how special they are and what they mean to us. Telling them is wonderful, but we want to be sure we show them too.

For Suite T, we are most grateful to the authors who share their stories with us throughout the year. Learning more about them as a person and as a writer endears them in our hearts.

So, as we look back over the year, let us give some thought to the books we've read. For those we enjoyed, I pray we will take a few minutes, and let the author know what their book meant to us.

This is one of the greatest gifts we can give to an author. We can do so by putting a review on their author page and also find their website/blog and let them know.

The one thing we each can do is let others know what they mean to us. This will be a blessing for them as well as us throughout the year.

So, to all our readers and authors, we want to tell you how much you mean to us. We pray for you to be blessed and joyful now and next year, too.

December 23, 2022

December 22, 2022

Find the Joy, Warmth and Spirit of the Season

Marianne Richmond

"Okay," said Little Bird. "But where do we find Christmas?"

She had looked in a lot of places, and she was tired.

"In your own heart," said Mama. "In my heart. In all the grateful, giving hearts. It's our thank-you to God for His gift to love us."

An adorably sweet new Christmas story from a bestselling author whose books have become family classics, Little Bird Finds Christmas is a delightful journey of finding the joy, warmth, and spirit of the season wherever you are—in your heart.

A delightful holiday book from beloved author Marianne Richmond, Little Bird Finds Christmas reminds us all of what's really important during the holidays.

Bestselling author Marianne Richmond has touched the lives of millions over the past two decades through her delightful picture books that give voice to the heart and help you connect with the people you love.

For 16 years, Marianne ran her own publishing company, winding down in 2010 to make way for a partnership with Sourcebooks, Inc., one of the leading and largest independent publishers in North America. Since then, she has traveled the country, reading to and speaking with thousands of children about celebrating their own voice and stories. Though Publisher’s Weekly calls her “an author on the rise,” Richmond's favorite letter is from an elementary school teacher who said, “I feel like a better me after reading your books.”

Marianne lives in Franklin, TN with her husband, four kids, and one beloved dog, Otis.

December 21, 2022

Can You Keep Secrets?

Zoey Marie Jackson

Keeping this secret gets complicated with the family she wished for right next door.

Swapping places with her identical twin over the holidays sounds easy enough to Chanel Houston. But playing the role is trickier than expected when it comes to maintaining frosty relations with her sister’s neighbor and nemesis—especially since he has an adorable little girl and a rowdy puppy. Ryder Frost’s supposed to be grumpy and rude…so why does Chanel find the single dad so irresistible?

Zoey Marie Jackson loves writing sweet romances. She is almost never without a book and reads across genres. Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, she has earned degrees from New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook, Teachers College Columbia University and Argosy University and has been an educator for over 20 years. Zoey loves interacting with her readers. 

You can connect with her at

December 20, 2022

Perfect Book for Kids to Enjoy!

Kizzi Roberts

Sing and march along with Santa's elves as they pack Santa's sleigh for Christmas. This silly song is sure to get kids excited about the Christmas season and eager for Santa to arrive. The included educational activities will make parents happy too.

A delightful book for children.

Kizzi lives in the Ozarks with her family. She spends a lot of time writing, but more time chasing around her toddler. She writes stories that she wanted to read as a child. She hopes readers can laugh, learn and have fun with her stories. She also takes on the occasional non-fiction project.

December 19, 2022

Christmas Changes Everything

Elisa Morgan

Beloved author and God Hears Her podcast cohost Elisa Morgan takes a closer look at the characters of the Christmas story—from Zechariah and Mary to the Magi and King Herod—to reveal how the birth of Jesus changed them, and how it can change us too. Discover how their stories point to the transformation we can experience as we learn to say yes to God with confident hope and true joy. Christmas changes everything—including you!

Elisa Morgan was named by Christianity Today as one of the top 50 women influencing today's church and culture and is one of today's most sought-after authors, speakers and leaders. She has authored over 25 books on mothering, spiritual formation and evangelism. Her latest works include Christmas Changes Everything: How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World, and You Are Not Alone: Six Affirmations From a Loving God. Her other books include When We Pray Like Jesus, Hello, Beauty Full, The Beauty of Broken and the NIV Mom's Devotional Bible.

Connect with Elisa at and subscribe to the Really blog for weekly encouragement. Also, visit her website for discussion guides and videos to use her books in group studies. You can also connect with Elisa at the following social media platforms:

Currently, Elisa is the co-host for the daily syndicated radio program Discover the Word (by Our Daily Bread Ministries) and writes for the devotional, Our Daily Bread and also co-hosts the God Hears Her Podcast with Eryn Eddy. For twenty years, Elisa Morgan served as CEO of MOPS International and now serves as President Emerita.

Elisa received a BS from the University of Texas and an MDiv from Denver Seminary. Currently she serves on the board of Denver Seminary. She is married to Evan, (Founder and President of and has two grown children and two grandchildren who live near her in the Denver, Colorado area.

December 15, 2022

For Every Child To Enjoy!

The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Edition

The Night Before Christmas is an enchanting Christmas story by Clement Moore, author and Charles Santore, illustrator, that has brought Santa Claus to life for generations. Me being one of them as a child.

Celebrate the holiday season with this #1 New York Times bestselling edition of the classic poem. This is the classic hardcover edition featuring an embossed cover and a four-page foldout, perfect for gifting!

Every child should experience the joy of having this wonderful book read to them by their parents.

December 14, 2022

We've All Experienced Sadness and Tragedy

Ann H. Gabhart

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart explores the tender places within the human heart in this character-driven story of trusting God to turn our burdens into something beautiful.

If any place on God's earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law's Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past--the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls' experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, hope blooms as their past troubles become rich soil in which their faith can grow.

Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother's widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again. But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.


"Her best historical inspirational yet."--Publishers Weekly, starred review of Along a Storied Trail

"Absorbing."--Booklist on Along a Storied Trail

"Compellingly crafted."--Midwest Book Reviews on An Appalachian Summer --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she's published many books for both adults and young adults. Her books cover several genres from historical to small town family stories to cozy mysteries (mysteries published with author name A.H. Gabhart). Her ideas are sparked by events in Kentucky history and by experiences in her own family. Her first Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for the ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award, and These Healing Hills was the Faith, Hope & Love Readers' Choice Women's Fiction Book of the Year.

Ann lives on a Kentucky farm not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann enjoys hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. 

See more about her books at or join the conversation on her Facebook page,

December 13, 2022

Are You Depressed? You're Not Alone


Changes in light during the wintertime seem to cause depression for many people. Although I've read it is more common in northern climates I feel quite sure it happens in the southern climates as well. The American Psychological Association found that 38% of people felt their stress levels increase during the holiday season.

We think of the holidays as cheerful times when we get to be with family and friends, enjoying special foods for the holidays. We decorate our homes with the bright and brilliance of lights which brings delight for the kiddies and grownups too.

For some there is no laughter or joy.

Courtney Maum has taken us into her world when depression appeared and some of
 the normal things didn't help. But see what did help heal and restore.

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Costalegre (a GOOP book club pick and one of Glamour Magazine’s top books of the decade), I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and Touch (a New York Times Editor’s Choice and NPR Best Book of the Year selection), the popular guidebook Before and After the Book Deal: A writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting, and surviving your first book, and the forthcoming memoir, The Year of the Horses. Courtney’s writing has been widely published in such outlets as the New York Times, and O, the Oprah Magazine, and her short story This is Not Your Fault was turned into an Audible Original at Amazon. Courtney is the founder of the collaborative retreat program, The Cabins and she has a creativity advice newsletter "Get Published, Stay Published" that you can sign up for at

December 12, 2022

Why Have We Lost Our Attention Span?

Can we get our 'Focus' back?

Yesterday, we were out to dinner. While we were waiting for them to seat us, I looked around the room. Practically everyone in the restaurant was eating and texting.

Couples were oblivious to each other. Once in a while, a server stopped by their table, but only then did one of them look up and respond. My question to myself was why did they not enjoy each other's company? Why did they find what they were doing on their phone more interesting than the person they were with?

Even when a few looked up and spoke, it was quick, and then they were back in their phones.

Johann Hari, is the author of Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention–and How to Think Deeply Again. He 
has learned how we can reclaim our focus—as individuals, and as a society—if we are determined to fight for it. Stolen Focus will transform the debate about attention and finally show us how to get it back.

This has become an issue for many people, and it isn't just young people.

Hari wrote:
"In the United States, teenagers can focus on one task for only sixty-five seconds at a time, and office workers average only three minutes. Like so many of us, Johann Hari was finding that constantly switching from device to device and tab to tab was a diminishing and depressing way to live. He tried all sorts of self-help solutions—even abandoning his phone for three months—but nothing seemed to work. So Hari went on an epic journey across the world to interview the leading experts on human attention—and he discovered that everything we think we know about this crisis is wrong. 

We think our inability to focus is a personal failure to exert enough willpower over our devices. The truth is even more disturbing: our focus has been stolen by powerful external forces that have left us uniquely vulnerable to corporations determined to raid our attention for profit. Hari found that there are twelve deep causes of this crisis, from the decline of mind-wandering to rising pollution, all of which have robbed some of our attention. In Stolen Focus, he introduces readers to Silicon Valley dissidents who learned to hack human attention, and veterinarians who diagnose dogs with ADHD. He explores a favela in Rio de Janeiro where everyone lost their attention in a particularly surreal way, and an office in New Zealand that discovered a remarkable technique to restore workers’ productivity.
Crucially, Hari learned how we can reclaim our focus—as individuals, and as a society—if we are determined to fight for it. 
Stolen Focus will transform the debate about attention and finally show us how to get it back.


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Our ability to pay attention is collapsing. From the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections comes a groundbreaking examination of why this is happening—and how to get our attention back.

“The book the world needs in order to win the war on distraction.”—Adam Grant, author of Think Again

“Read this book to save your mind.”—Susan Cain, author of Quiet


Definitely a book worth reading!

Johann Hari is the New York Times best-selling author of 'Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs', and one of the top-rated TED talkers of all time.

December 8, 2022

If The Enemy Came!

F.D. Adkins

F. D. Adkins ask the question:

If the enemy came to lay his claim, would you bear the seal of the Holiest Name?

Do you like action-packed Christian Suspense with a dose of dystopia, explosions, and twists and turns you can’t see coming?

Here is an excerpt of F. D. Adkins new book, Truth in the Word: A Political Thriller.

After escaping from President Dennis Denali’s facility and stopping his evil plot to create a world with no knowledge of God, Ellie Hatcher is finally living the life of her dreams—married to Steve, reunited with her sister, Eileen, and starting a new job with the FBI.

But when outbreaks of violence across the country start claiming innocent lives, and authorities discover that the perpetrators all have one thing in common—they were all victims of President Denali’s training facility—Ellie must break the peace and calm of her new life. An executive order is issued, and everyone who was held at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex must return to those same grounds for testing.

As Ellie’s perfect life plummets, her hopes of a quick return home are shattered when she realizes that her return to the facility may have nothing to do with saving innocent lives…

Searching for the truth in a mountain of lies and deception, Ellie, Steve, and Eileen must come to terms with the fact that their reunion might be signaling another assignment from God.

Check out this video:

F. D. Adkins is a Christian fiction author and freelance writer. Her hope is to pass along the comfort that comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus while offering her readers a brief escape from life's struggles through an action-packed story full of suspense, twists, turns, love, and a few laughs. In other words, her passion is sharing her faith through fiction.

She has been married to the man of her dreams and her best friend for 23 years. She loves spending time with her family, reading, writing, and always enjoys a good cup of coffee. She also has a soft spot in her heart for all animals, especially dogs.

She lives in South Carolina with her husband, Steve, and their two teenage children, Landon and Layna, and their dog, Lucy. She posts stories of faith and devotions weekly on her blog. SIgn up for her newsletter and follow her blog at

December 7, 2022

It’s About Me? Or Is It?

Sara Robinson

It’s About Me? Or Is It?

In a recent New York Review of Books, I read an extended essay titled, “The Illusion of the First Person.” I was quite intrigued by the contents and saw that much of what the article contained applied to poetry. In fact, some of the types of essays can be compared to types of poetry.

For instance: structural essay is similar to a sonnet in that both present an argument or premise, then conclude or resolve. The formal/impersonal essay is meant to inform or persuade. This is similar to a lyric poem which also can be compared to a personal essay. In poetry, contrasting to the prose of the essay, the poet is using poetic forms to state the case, as it were.

There are just as many poems that have the plural form, “we” to present the personal essay. In this case the writer wants to pluralize as if there are many who feel the same way. For instance, the acclaimed poet, Nikki Giovanni, started her notable speech/ poem, “We are Virginia Tech” with the lines “we are sad today and we will be sad for quite a while…” Often the use of “we” can bring comforting inclusiveness.

The challenge for us poets in the use of First Person is to ensure our writing does not become petty or show a lack of poetic finesse. We don’t want to come across as preachy or sanctimonious; but we want our wordsmithing to capture attention and commitment from the reader. Consider your poetry as an offering of your “self.”

So the question is: Poetry in the First Person; It’s About Me? Or Is It?

We strive to be the best we can!

Until next time…

Sara M. Robinson, founder of the Lonesome Mountain Pro(s)e Writers’ Workshop, and former Instructor of a course on Contemporary American Poets at UVA-OLLI, was poetry columnist for Southern Writers Magazine and inagural poetry editor for Virginia Literary Journal. She has served as guest lecturer at UVA’s College at Wise, Wise, VA. Her poetry has appeared in various anthologies, including We Grew Wings and Flew (2014), Scratching Against the Fabric (2015), Virginia Writer’s Club Centennial Anthology (2017), Blue Ridge Anthologies and Mizmor Anthology (2018). Journals include: Loch Raven Review, The Virginia Literary Journal, vox poetica, Jimson Weed, Whisky Advocate, and Poetica. She is poet and author of Love Always, Hobby and Jessie (2009), Two Little Girls in a Wading Pool (2012), A Cruise in Rare Waters (2013 Stones for Words (2014), Sometimes the Little Town (2016), a finalist for the Poetry Society of Virginia’s 2017 Book Award. In 2019, Needville, her poetry about effects of coal mining on SW Virginia was released and in 2020 debuted as play in Charlottesville. Her most recent publication is Simple River (2020, Cyberwit).

December 5, 2022

Introducing Tennessee Author Bonnie Blaylock

Suite T would like to introduce you to Bonnie Blaylock.

 I wander a lot, through books, life, and the world, picking up treasures as I go. Some of those I can’t help but share.

I’ve been drawn to the written page from early days, reading and writing my way through the classics and all sorts of genres for my MA in creative writing from the University of Tennessee. It took me awhile to follow the muse. I spent several years in technical and research writing for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and sales support writing for a software outfit, all the while hungrily studying the fiction craft, reading endlessly.

Living in the Southeast has left its mark, and I have a fondness for the roots and culture here, the language, pace, and quirks of the people. In my first novel, Light to the Hills, this is easy to see.

But I also appreciate travel. There’s so much of the universal in us, despite differences in tastes, families, or culture. Those fascinating morsels from other people and unfamiliar places often show up in my writing as well.

I try to find humor in imperfection. I love words, language, books, and a solidly written sentence. Our home is full of books, top to bottom (it’s a wonder the floors don’t cave in!), so it’s only natural that I see life as story. Growing up in a large military family gave me great material.

I raised two children and live on a mini farm in central Tennessee with a garden, chickens, and bees. I’m married to a small-animal veterinarian, my partner in faith, parenting, and life.

In my blog, you’ll find my “thoughts along the way,” stories from our life, and ways I’ve found grace through the Ordinary. 

You can visit Bonnie at her website:

Bonnie's book Light to the Hills is historical fiction, set in Depression-era Appalachia, and is slated for publication (by Lake Union Publishing) December of 2022. Light to the Hills, won the 2021 Porch Prize for fiction and an excerpt was printed in Vanderbilt’s Nashville Review.

The folks in the Kentucky Appalachians are scraping by. Coal mining and hardscrabble know-how are a way of life for these isolated people. But when Amanda Rye, a young widowed mother and traveling packhorse librarian, comes through a mountain community hit hard by the nation’s economic collapse, she brings with her hope, courage, and apple pie. Along the way, Amanda takes a shine to the MacInteer family, especially to the gentle Rai; her quick-study daughter, Sass; and Finn, the eldest son who’s easy to warm to. They remind Amanda of her childhood and her parents with whom she longs to be reconciled.

Her connection with the MacInteers deepens, and Amanda shares with them a dangerous secret from her past. When that secret catches up with Amanda in the present, she, Rai, Sass, and Finn find their lives intersecting—and threatened—in the most unexpected ways. Now they must come together as the truth lights a path toward survival, mountain justice, forgiveness, and hope.

Don't miss this exciting new author and her debut book!

December 2, 2022

Meet The Giving Snowman

Julia Zheng

On a snowy night, Snowman lends a helping hand to Bird, Rabbit, Farmer, and Traveler when they are in need. The next day when the sun comes out and melts Snowman, Bird, Rabbit, Farmer, and Traveler work together as a team to rebuild Snowman.
The Giving Snowman is a book about kindness and gratitude. Children can learn through the story that giving to others is a virtue that connects all of us and makes our lives more beautiful.

(A perfect Christmas gift for children ages 3-8)

Julia Zheng is a children’s author from Fujian, China. She now lives in Massachusetts. Zheng graduated from Nanchang University, where she majored in English and studied Western culture. She taught English in a primary school in southern China before moving to the United States. Her teaching experience and passion for writing have inspired her to write children’s books, especially stories that convey important messages through humor, warmth, and a happy or unexpected ending.

Here is her story:

I was born and grew up in a small town in southern China. My childhood was very different from those of the American children that I have seen in the past seven years. When I was little, I used to pick water chestnuts in the mud, roast sweet potatoes in the backyard, raise silkworms as pets, and jump rope with my neighbors.

Those memories are forever precious to me because they always remind me of how caring my mother was and how close my bonds with my siblings were.

At school, my favorite thing to do was write. At first, I wrote in Chinese. Once I learned more English, especially after I went to University and majored in English, I started to love to write in English too. I have always dreamed of being a writer, a storyteller, creating interesting stories.

After I graduated from University, I became an English teacher in a primary school in China. I loved teaching children, and my students loved me. They showed me their pure minds and beautiful souls. That was the first thing that inspired me to write children’s books. The second was my passion for traveling. I have traveled to five continents, and I hope to travel more. During my trips I have seen beautiful children, nature, animals, and adults. I have heard many fascinating stories from different cultures. This, too, has been a big inspiration for me to write children’s books.

Last, but most importantly: I’m a proud aunt of my niece, Candy, and nephew, Leon. Their bubbly personalities always give me new ideas to create. I am the kind of aunt who loves to tell stories. Watching Candy and Leon growing up has inspired me to create stories for children.

I hope you enjoy my books. There is more to come!

If you would like to write to me and see the updates of my books, please follow my instagram author page@ julialovestowrite. Thank you!

December 1, 2022

Kay DiBianca Tells Us About Corporal Charlie Henderson

Kay DiBianca

A couple of years ago, I was invited to participate in the creation of an anthology dedicated to honoring U.S. military veterans who had served during wartime. I accepted that invitation and agreed to write the story of a 98-year-old WWII veteran, Charlie Henderson,(


Charlie said he wasn’t thrilled when he was drafted into the army in 1942. He came from a close family in Mississippi, and he hated to leave, but he answered the call and spent most of his service in Europe. They assigned him to the 449th Gasoline Supply Company, a dangerous situation since the Germans wanted to destroy all gasoline supply depots. Charlie talked openly about the fear he felt when he and his fellow soldiers heard the sound of buzz bombs overhead, but he was proud of the part he played in delivering gasoline to the Allied front lines during the Battle of the Bulge.

After we completed our interviews, I sent Charlie and his nephew, John, the first draft of my article. They made suggestions and corrections and we repeated the process until we were all satisfied with the results. I sent the final copy to them and to the editors of the Forever Young Veterans Anthology. Charlie’s nephew called me about a year ago to tell me Charlie had passed away at 99. John wanted me to know how grateful Charlie was to me for having written his story. He had even asked John to hand out copies of the article at his funeral. I was humbled that Charlie was grateful to me while it is I who owe so much to him. After all, I had only written a story. He had fought a war.

Kay DiBianca, author of The Watch on the Fencepost, (won an Illumination Award for General Fiction and an Eric Hoffer Award for Mystery), and Dead Man’s Watch. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Collierville Christian Writers Group. She has also been published in several anthologies. Kay and her husband, Frank, live, run, and write in Memphis, Tennessee.

November 30, 2022

Search and Rescue by Lisa Phillps

        Lisa Phillips

A search-and-rescue mission turns into a deadly wilderness escape.

When a plane carrying a federal witness crashes in the Montana backwoods, Officer Kelly Wayne and her K-9, Nico, track it down—and discover Ethan Harrigan injured with amnesia. Now with the mafia on their trail, Kelly must protect the man she thinks ruined her career. But nothing’s as it seems, and trusting the wrong person could get them all killed. 
Wilderness Hunt is Book 7 in Lisa Phillips K-9 Search and Rescue series. 

Lisa Phillips is a USA Today and top ten Publishers Weekly bestselling author of over 50 books that span Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line, independently published series romantic suspense, and thriller novels. She’s discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.

Lisa is a British ex-pat who grew up an hour outside of London and attended Calvary Chapel Bible College, where she met her husband. He’s from California, but nobody’s perfect. It wasn’t until her Bible College graduation that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her). As a worship leader for Calvary Chapel churches in her local area, Lisa has discovered a love for mentoring new ministry members and youth worship musicians.

November 29, 2022

Berni Dodd Talks About Forever Young Veterans Book

 Berni Dodd

Berni Dodd is one of the authors who volunteered to interview a veteran and write his story for the Forever Young Veterans book. 

She is sharing that day with us.

"I believe we all have perspectives about war, death and dying. Some are obtained from books, movies and often first hand experience which sticks with you for life. I never saw the ‘levels of war-made death or destruction’ from anything but one perspective…until interviewing Luke Layton McLaurine, Jr. (Lieutenant)

"I found it especially interesting, and a blessing, that as a Bombardier, Luke’s experience with death during the war was totally from air battles or mishaps. Even as a POW, he never witnessed death, only the process of slowly dying from starvation and the elements. So many veterans I’ve known speak of the horror of war and no doubt were scarred for life. I didn’t quite know what to expect from our first meeting and I was in awe of Luke’s infectious smile and robust joy for life. He expressed so much pleasure regarding his time in the Army and the people he met along the way. It was incredible how he could recollect the tiniest of details about the plane, his training and POW time. Seemingly, he has such a positive outlook on any and everything he would encounter, serving as a role model for those he served and fought beside."

Berni Dodd is a retired Navy Commander/05 after twenty years of service. Semi-retired from a second career of managing government contracts and expanding business opportunities in Memphis, Berni focused on her writing. Her first book, Nine Days to Glory, was published in 2018. She is a member of Collierville Christian Writers Group. Berni resides in Memphis, Tennessee, with her spouse Peggy Lau and golden fur babies Bailey and Shugg.

November 28, 2022

Why Is It Important For Me to Read Poetry?

 Sara M. Robinson

In an earlier essay, I discussed the importance of reading poetry in order to be a better poet. But let’s take another view. Why is it important for me to read poetry, even if I don’t write poetry?

For starters, reading poetry is about taking a short journey in a very small boat across a very small lake all by yourself. You can easily accomplish the reading of several poems in a small amount of time. Contrast this to a novel. To start and continue a novel requires a commitment of time that may not be easy to give. Novels are long (200-1000 pages); while poetry books are typically less than a hundred.


And there are the lines. In novels they can be long and winding. In poems lines are short and direct. Both have heroes and heroines. Both can have plots. A poem can tell you about the death of a soldier in an airplane in five lines. Whereas a novel may take three hundred pages to get you to the same thing. Another big difference is that poems use metaphors to grab your attention. Can you envision a combat gunner inside a fighter plane’s rear glass turret fending off the enemy only to be killed by a rocket? What if he, as part of the metaphor, is telling the story of his impending death in the same context as being shocked out of his mother’s womb. All in five lines.


There is another truth of why to read poetry. The striking language in a small space lets you do all the expansive thinking. Poetry in a few lines with creative words has to do a lot of “showing.” A novel gets the excuse of doing most of the “telling.”


In Maxine Kumin’s poem, “Woodchucks,” (which I have written about before), we learn about The Holocaust in thirty lines. How many books have been written about this history? By using amazing metaphors, we get the real meaning of her poem. That is why it is important to read poetry. No wasted words. In poetry every word has a purpose. As a poet, I can tell you that I can spend an afternoon struggling on whether or not to use a particular word in a draft.


A poet can write about selfishness, lament and regret, using plums in a refrigerator that were intended for someone else, but were eaten instead by another. And the poem was only twelve lines long. Yet it spoke volumes about the person speaking, and the human experience.


I tell you this: I read poetry to gain appreciation for brevity with meaning. I read to learn the specialness of words and how so often less is more.


Keep reading!  

Until next time…

Sara M. Robinson, founder of the Lonesome Mountain Pro(s)e Writers’ Workshop, and former Instructor of a course on Contemporary American Poets at UVA-OLLI, was poetry columnist for Southern Writers Magazine and inagural poetry editor for Virginia Literary Journal. She has served as guest lecturer at UVA’s College at Wise, Wise, VA. Her poetry has appeared in various anthologies, including We Grew Wings and Flew (2014), Scratching Against the Fabric (2015), Virginia Writer’s Club Centennial Anthology (2017), Blue Ridge Anthologies and Mizmor Anthology (2018). Journals include: Loch Raven Review, The Virginia Literary Journal, vox poetica, Jimson Weed, Whisky Advocate, and Poetica. She is poet and author of Love Always, Hobby and Jessie (2009), Two Little Girls in a Wading Pool (2012), A Cruise in Rare Waters (2013 Stones for Words (2014), Sometimes the Little Town (2016), a finalist for the Poetry Society of Virginia’s 2017 Book Award. In 2019, Needville, her poetry about effects of coal mining on SW Virginia was released and in 2020 debuted as play in Charlottesville. Her most recent publication is Simple River (2020, Cyberwit).

November 25, 2022

Faith Still Moves Mouontains!

Harris Faulkner

From FOX News anchor and author Harris Faulkner comes a collection of powerful, true-life stories of resilience, healing, rescue, and protection.

We need reminders of God’s power now more than ever.
We often think about prayer as a wish list, with God as Santa Claus. The reality is that the power of prayer reminds us not only how small we are, but also how big God is. Prayer is hope put into action. And prayer work.         From the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti to the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, believers testify to how God inspired hope even when all seemed lost.

Two teenagers who were saved from treacherous seas by a vessel named Amen now give thanks for the rescue that changed their lives. A woman’s near-death experience with COVID-19 turned out to be the crisis freeing her from despair. Others speak to how prayer helped them navigate family trauma, overcome abuse, and cope with mental illness and depression. Historical accounts of miracles testify to God’s power throughout time, and Faulkner recounts the role of faith and prayer in her own life and the life of her father.

Along with these stories of God’s presence, the book includes an exclusive packet of newly written prayers. Created to reflect the current times, this prayer booklet will provide a road map for putting the lessons of these stories into action.

Faith Still Moves Mountains reminds us that God’s light always shines through the darkness. Through these testimonies, we learn prayer isn’t just a ritual, it’s a vital spiritual strategy in a world that wants us to give up the fight.

Harris Kimberly Faulkner is an American newscaster and television host who joined the Fox News Channel in 2005. She anchors The Faulkner Focus, a daily daytime show, and hosts Outnumbered. Additionally, she hosts her own primetime political franchise called Town Hall America with Harris Faulkner.