Monday, April 16, 2018


Stepping Stones

Sara L. Foust

Five years ago, I had no clue what God had planned for the next phase in my life. I had just turned 30 with three beautiful little girls when I felt an overwhelming call to become a foster parent. It was terrifying. My husband and I completed the training and soon enough we had our first placement, then our second, and then our third. Little did we know at that time our third placement would result in our fourth when her biological half-brother was born. In September 2014, with four children in our home, God impressed upon us to pull our eldest two children from public school and begin homeschooling. I had a lot of support from friends and family, thankfully, because I had no idea what I was doing.

When we brought our newborn son home from the NICU on August 31, 2015, I quickly realized working full-time as a medical transcriptionist from home was no longer going to work. There simply weren’t enough hours in the day or enough coffee in the world to keep my exhausted eyes open. We began to earnestly pray for God to show us what career I should take. It was crystal clear this was the opportunity I’d been longing for my whole life. It was time to write. Not just tinker with the craft. Really write.

It was an amazing and scary time all at once. We went from two full-time incomes to one, cutting our income literally in half, with a new baby and a new mortgage. But God worked out all the details.

By August 2016, our adoption was final and we had a new son and daughter. What a blessed day that was! In the coming months I finished up my first manuscript and, with a lot of prayer, found a publisher who liked my work. In November 2017, Callum’s Compass released. Though we (almost desperately at times) needed the money, I again had an overwhelming sense that God was pressing me to something different. You see, in October I had prayed and cried and prayed about attending a mission trip to the Philippines. And no matter how I tried to talk myself and God out of it, the burden to go would not leave me. I called my friend and mission trip coordinator and told her I would be joining them in April 2018. So the money we had really been waiting for to help with bills, God impressed upon me to donate 100% of sales profits to the mission trip. I’m not going to lie. At first I don’t think I was exactly a “joyful giver.” I was scared. I was worried. But now five months after my debut’s release, I can honestly say it’s been a joy to place the profits toward God’s plan for me on this mission trip.

I can look back now and see how each of the steps from foster parenting to homeschooling to writing full-time to adoption have led to this mission trip. God was putting all the pieces in line so that I could go without worrying about my children missing school, without worrying about taking time off from work (for 2 weeks!), and providing extra money toward the finances needed to go. I am so thankful that I followed His leading, even though at times I didn’t know why He was pushing us toward one direction or another. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV. I am reminded every day that God’s plans are not without reason. That His gentle nudgings are not without purpose. He knows what He’s doing, and all we have to do is trust Him enough to follow blindly no matter where the stepping stones lead.

Tag line:         Facing betrayal, wild animals, meth-addled drug makers, and their own fears, can Kat and Ryan discover the golden treasure and God’s love?
Publisher:      Mantle Rock Publishing
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Author Bio:
Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Tennessee Mountain Writers. Her debut novel Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit
Medium bio:
Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and is a member of ACFW and Tennessee Mountain Writers. Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest.  Sara also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Gain access to a FREE digital scrapbook detailing some real-life places from Callum’s Compass by signing up for her newsletter:

Wednesday, April 4, 2018



By Lillian Duncan


Deception is the first in my Sisters By Choice series. I never planned Deception to be part of a three-book series but it just sort of happened. Each of the Sisters By Choice novels feature courageous women who make the choice to help “a sister”in need in spite of the danger involved.

 Deception features a set of estranged twins that couldn’t be more different from each other or so it seems. Patti is a go-by-the-rulebook type of person while Jamie is a “free spirit” or at least that’s the persona she portrays to the world.

But Deception is the title of the book so there are more than a few surprises waiting for Patti as the story unfolds.

For those of you who aren’t writers, editors love to chop out what they consider as unnecessary scenes. It’s their job so I harbor no ill will toward them. This was the first chapter in my book, but my editor chopped it. However, it makes a great prologue so without further ado…


Jamie glared at the white leather sofa, the plush pristine white carpet, the white walls. Splashes of color from accent pillows provided the only relief from the white. The room was perfect. It could have been featured in House Beautiful.

Jamie detested it. All she wanted was to go back home so her precious daughter could experience a normal childhood and to meet her aunt Patti.

Jamie stopped pacing like a caged tiger and put a hand over her heart. The pain of missing her twin so real she could barely breathe.

It would all end soon—very soon.

Then she could go back home. As much as she wanted to quit right that second, she wouldn’t until the job was finished. Innocent people would die if she quit and she couldn’t live with herself if that happened.

She moved to the sliding glass door leading to her patio and opened it. The steamy Florida air rushed into the coolness of the air-conditioned house. Darkness enveloped her as she stepped out. She inhaled the scent of the tropical flowers adorning her patio.

She welcomed the quiet of the night.

Guilt tugged at Jamie once again. Sabrina deserved a full-time mother, not one who spent a handful of days with her every month. This craziness would soon stop, and then she could make a real home for Sabrina.

It would all end soon—very soon.

She hit a button and the cover of the hot tub slid away. Steam bubbled up. The warm water caressed her skin as she lowered herself into the hot tub. Her muscles relaxed. She had a ton of things to do before she left once again, but she needed this.

A slight rustling in the bushes caught her attention. Jamie turned toward the noise and peered into the darkness. Nothing. Still, she felt a chill in spite of the warmth of the water. Her senses went on alert.

Time to go in.

She stood and turned toward the patio door. Strong arms encircled her from behind. She struggled to break the hold. Too strong. Her training kicked in and she allowed herself to go limp. Her attacker’s arms went slack for a moment.

 It was the moment she needed.

Slipping through his arms, she whirled to face her attacker and in one fluid movement slammed her foot into stomach. The man grunted and fell back. She jumped out of the hot tub, water sloshing over the patio. 

Her gun was in the house. But so was Sabrina.

She turned, running away from the house but then out of the darkness, someone grabbed her…

NOTE: If you right click on the photo you can save it just as if I’d sent it in a separate file. Thanks.

I loved writing the story of Patti and Jamie which is how it ended up being a three book series. Deception (e-book) is on sale for a limited time for only 99 cents or you can buy the complete anthology as well.



Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem!

Lillian is a multi-published writer with several Amazon bestsellers, including The Christmas Stalking and Game On. Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch or two of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us

Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word. To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: or at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes, her personal blog at She also has a devotional blog at






Monday, April 2, 2018


By Ada Brownell

Note: This is a true story from the book, What Prayer Can Do
James DeBoer is now a Sunday school officer, and his wife, Ruth, is a Sunday school teacher. To see how greatly they enjoy the services at First Assembly of God Church in Lakewood, Colorado, one would never suspect they used to drink alcohol and quarrel constantly.

Today they are a happy couple and their home a haven of peace, but a few years ago it was anything but that. The children were allowed to smoke and drink any time they wanted. The parents never took them to church.

But a member of Lakewood First Assembly started coming by and giving the children a ride to church. One day she asked the oldest boy what he would like most in all the world. He replied, “I would like my parents to be saved.”

Jim and Ruth talked it over and decided it was time they started going to church for the sake of the family, for they had reached the brink of disaster. They were desperate.

Both of them knew something about the gospel. Ruth had been converted prior to her wedding. She was not living for the Lord, however, when she married Jim. They started writing to each other in 1950 when he served in the Army. After corresponding eight months, Jim made the trip from Colorado to Nebraska to be with her. Three days later he gave her a ring. Four days after that, they were married, and the next day he had to go back to the Army base.

Ruth wasn’t married long when her church had a revival meeting and she rededicated her life to Christ. She was so excited she wrote Jim about it immediately. He was not as thrilled as she was. “Don’t get religion on me now,” he wrote back, bitterness oozing from his words.

Jim could recall when he was age six and his greatest hero was not some famous cowboy, but Moses. He wished he had been named after the great leader of Israel! In his young heart, Jim had a desire to serve God, and he told his mother he wanted to be baptized. She said he was too young. From that time on his attitude toward life was different. Rebellion increased. By the time he was age nine he was such a problem his mother was told he would have to go to a reformatory. Instead she sent him to live on a ranch with an older sister and brother-in-law.

Jim’s brother-in-law let him drink a little whiskey one night. Jim liked the effect. It made him act silly and he thought it was fun, so the next time he had the chance he drank again. By age 16 he bought his own liquor or made it himself. He learned how to make peach brandy, cherry wine, and potato whiskey. He drank so much when he went to bed, he sometimes thought the bed floated in the air—so he got up and tied the bed down.

Then came military training, marriage and overseas service. After his discharge he arrived home to find Ruth still serving the Lord.

“I’m having none of that,” he said.

Every Sunday they fussed because she wanted to go to church and he didn’t.

Jim went to Sunday school with her once, but the teacher knew about his habits and switched from the regular lesson topic to teach about the evils of smoking and drinking. Jim refused to go back.

They quarreled over other things too. When Jim went to the movies, Ruth waited outside in the car. When their first child was born they fussed over how to rear him. Then they fought about Jim’s drinking.

Finally Ruth decided if she would stop going to church maybe peace would come to their home. So she conformed to Jim’s wishes—but this did not solve their problems. If the quarrel pattern changed at all, the quarrels became more frequent.

By May 1961 their lives reached such a crisis point that Jim began to make desperate plans. There was a man he hated. He desired to kill him. The drinking, the quarreling, the frustrations of life had so confused his mind that he focused all his anger on this one enemy. Life had become so meaningless he was willing to trade all hopes of future happiness for one moment of revenge.

He decided he would kill the man, and it would be a brutal murder. That was the kind of treatment Jim felt his enemy deserved. He knew what he would do with the body. When it was all over, he would confess the crime to the authorities. He thought the satisfaction from getting revenge would make it all worthwhile.

One day while at work he meditated on his plans—considering the best way to attack his enemy, when he remembered the Bible says, “Whoever hateth his brother is a murderer,” (1 John 3:15). He knew enough about the Scriptures to realize in God’s sight it is not necessary to commit the deed—the thought alone makes a man guilty in God’s eyes.

Suddenly it seemed Jim could see the crime scene he planned. He was looking into the lifeless face of the man he had killed. The bloody scene in his imagination might have nauseated some people, but the sickness Jim felt was in his soul, not his stomach. A crushing load of sin pressed against his body. The weight seemed more than he could bear. His breath came in gasps. In agony he clinched and unclenched his fists again and again.

A moan escaped his lips, though no one else heard it above the clatter of machinery. “Oh, God,” he cried aloud. “Forgive me!”

Instantly peace and quietness flooded his soul. He felt the load lifted from his back. He had never known the full meaning of salvation, but now he knew he had been forgiven.

When he went home, he read his Bible and prayed again. He read a Scripture portion and prayed every day, but he didn’t tell Ruth.

It was at this time the woman from Lakewood First Assembly told Jim about what his son had said he wanted more than anything in the world.

The boy said, “I would like my parents to be saved.

 Jim and Ruth decided to go to church.

Jim took a stand for Christ—and Ruth rededicated her life to the Savior at church on Sunday morning. They knew what to do with all the beer and liquor in the refrigerator. After church they took it out and dumped it in a creek near their home. But the cigarette habit hung on to Jim for several months. Not until he was baptized with the Holy Spirit in a revival meeting was he delivered from the craving for tobacco. Ruth also received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit one night later.

God made Jim a new man. He found the old hatred for the one he planned to murder was gone. He went to his enemy, made peace with him, and invited him to church. The man attended church a few times, amazed at the change God made in his would-be-murderer.

Jim and Ruth are now students of the Bible. They are faithful in church attendance and active leaders in Sunday school. Jim served on the deacon board for consecutive terms and Ruth is a Missionettes leader.

God snatched them from the brink of disaster and placed them on mountaintops of joy and satisfied living.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The spies of World Ward II: A Flute in the Willows

By Carole Brown

If you were a man in the 1940s, what style of hat would you prefer?

As a woman during this era, would you prefer volunteering as a WAC or working in a factory?

The 1940s is my favorite time period, I suppose, for many reasons, so writing these books is something I anticipate each time I begin another one. The research, yes, is vast, but I love research and work hard to get it right.

My mother lived through WWII and from her tales and pictures she shared, I was hooked on the era early on. Such romantic and swift marriages, clothing, hats, language, and music! I'm a romantic at heart, so it is easy to see how the WWII Spies series was born. I also was raised on the story of a civilian spy—we knew the man who wrote the book—and it was always suspected that he was that spy. It captured my attention that a person could serve as a spy and never be able to share their service or be recognized as such.

When I first thought of the idea of three red-headed sisters, it was with the knowledge I wanted to write the first book as a dedication to my mother and her love for her family and me. I also wanted to portray each sister as their own persons, with individual traits, but all of them beautiful and talented in her own way. This second book, A Flute in the Willows, deals with the second daughter, Josie Rayner Patterson, who eloped with Jerry Patterson in the first book.

That time period speaks to me in such a vivid way.

·       The dangers and spy activities,

·       The romance of the 1940s era,

·       The gorgeous fashions, the hats, and styles for both sexes

·      The men's bravery and the women's strength and determination in stepping up to fill their missing men's jobs,

·       The music—so much nostalgia, and particularly the flute

·       The slang and language,

·       Hair—both the styles and shades of red. (I wanted the right shade for each sister),

·       Germany

·       Ice Skating and the Olympics

·       The city of Cincinnati

·       The food, and/or lack of certain items

·       and so many other things resonate inside me.

All in all, the first two books have been a delight to write, and I'm looking forward to the writing the third book soon.


AfitW Blurb

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other's love...and keep the German enemy at bay.

She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she's scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?

Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life...especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife's life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can't stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.

These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Buy the Book:

Sample Chapter

AfitW by Carole Brown 
First Chapter

Chapter One
Jerry Patterson stared out the yawning black hole in the side of the plane. Seconds to go before he dropped. Night time parachuting was always a risky thing, but the pilot was one of the best who’d keep this baby right on target, lessening the chances he’d have to hit water. Trees were another matter, but with any kind of luck, the landing would go smooth.
Then to meet his contact and move into the German military high life. His pulse revved up. It was a dangerous game he was about to play.
Josie’s face flashed in his mind, and Jerry felt his heart soften. How he loved his tomboy wife. She was a beautiful butterfly dancing on ice, but put her in a social setting, and she was like a wild creature let lose in a maiden aunt’s prim parlor.
Three weeks of marital bliss. It’d been heaven on earth for him. One rapturous day—and night—after another. She’d cried the night before he’d left, but had been strength personified when he’d boarded the train the next morning.
If—no, when—he got home, he’d wrap his arms around her and not let her out of his sight.
Jerry stepped into the hole and dropped rapidly, counting. One thousand...One thousand one...One thousand two... With a jerk he pulled, the parachute opened above him, and he drifted earthward toward his assignment.


Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Saturday, March 24, 2018


What I’ve learned about doing a Kindle Scout campaign while I run one.
By Terri Luckey

First thing I learned is that lots of people don’t know what Kindle Scout is. Kindle Scout is a site where readers help decide if an e-book gets published through Kindle Press. If a book gets enough nominations, the author receives a contract on publishing their e-book that includes a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, and featured Amazon marketing. To qualify, the book must be fiction and unpublished.

Since Amazon wants the public to nominate books they like, there’s an incentive. If an author
receives a contract, everyone who nominated the book will receive a free kindle book. There’s no cost but it requires an Amazon account to nominate and people can only nominate three books at the same time. 

Even if authors don’t receive contracts, Kindle Scout still can give them exposure, and after the campaign Kindle Scout sends everyone who nominated the book the authors website to follow up.

When I decided to do a campaign, I jumped right in, without learning what I should have first. The
idea for my latest novel came from the headlines of teens being convinced by terrorist groups to commit atrocious acts. So after doing some research, I wrote a fiction book about some teens that are recruited from a group home by the government to infiltrate these terror groups. Since my main characters are age 17, it’s considered Young Adult, but it also is an action-adventure thriller, with suspense and romance thrown in. It’s secular, but clean and doesn’t have swearing or sex.

When I uploaded my book to the Scout site, I chose Young Adult for my top book category. This can’t be changed once the campaign starts. Then I learned from previous participants that YA books don’t do as well in Kindle Scout and I should have selected the thriller category first with YA second.

I also discovered that Kindle Scout doesn’t disclose the nominations received, just the page views. I’ve been told some participants have received over 50,000. The hot and trending books get the most views, but it takes lots of nominations to get in hot and trending and stay there. Anyone who wants to run a campaign should be prepared to do tons of promotions and marketing. They should learn as much as they can before starting, unlike me. Fortunately, some Christian authors have gone out of their way to help me. Some even started a support group for authors of clean or Christian fiction who want to do Kindle Scout and readers who want to support them in reaching those publishing goals. You can find them at 

The most crucial thing I learned is I need people to vote so PLEASE take a few seconds, click on my link and nominate my book Fearless. I REALLY appreciate your support!!!

(cover by Art 4 Artists

Those who fight alone, lose.

To stop the terrorists who are recruiting kids, Derrick must band together with the delinquents from Fallentier group home, but should he risk their lives?

BIO: Terri Luckey is the author of the Kayndo series, the children’s picture book, Silly Dogs and the soon to be released YA novel, Fearless. She worked previously in the media industry as a reporter, news editor, scriptwriter and promotional writer.

To learn more about Terri Luckey’s books visit


Scout program: 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Write so Heaven will be Different

By Patty Hall

I hit a hiccup in my writing journey recently. For the first time in over twenty years, I had no desire to write, no new ideas to work on, no bits and pieces of scenes playing out in my head. My family and friends blamed it on my aggressive writing schedule and a recent bout of flu that had left me sick for almost two months.

But I’m not that easy on myself. There had not been a day in the last twenty years that I haven’t woken up with this overwhelming urge to write something. So what was wrong with me now? Was God trying to tell me my writing ministry was over?

Whenever I have doubts about my writing, I pick up two books of my favorites when I struggle with my writing—the Bible and Marlene Bagnull’s Bible study for writers, Write His Answer. But this time, after breezing through the first few chapters, I still was no closer to an answer than I was before.

Then I came to the chapter called Learning to Wait. While reading through it, I came across a challenge from Lee Roddy that cut me to the quick—Write so heaven will be different. Those words haunted me even after I put the book away. Wasn’t that what I was doing? Or had I pushed God aside in my effort to make the next deadline or work on a new proposal? Was I truly writing so that people would want to know the Lord?

I thought about what my writing was like early in my ministry. Even if I only got to sit down at my computer for a couple of hours, I rose refreshed and at peace, as if I’d been in a private conversation between me and the Lord. It was a time when I stood in awe as God used an inferior vessel like me to write extraordinary things!

Now, my writing has become a job with meeting deadlines, the endless marketing, and the business of publishing. A delicate balance was needed with God always the focus of every word I put to paper.

No wonder I had no desire to write. When I realized my mistake, I asked God for forgiveness and put Him at the center of my writing where He belonged. I spent time in prayer and reading my Bible.

And I’m itching to write again!

Are you struggling to write? Are you ‘writing so that heaven will be different?’ Make God the focal point of your writing today and every day!


A multi-published author with Love Inspired Historical and Barbour, Patty lives in North Georgia with her husband of 35 years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters, her son-in-love and a grandboy who has her wrapped around his tiny finger. When she’s not writing on her back porch, she’s spending time with her family or working in her garden.

Friday, March 9, 2018


By Debbie Beck

As told to Ada Nicholson Brownell
Excerpt from the new book, What Prayer Can Do

As a child I cried when I heard the story of the Crucifixion. It seemed so sad that the Lord Jesus Christ should be tortured to death!

In the church I attended they did not explain to me why He died. They did not teach what the Bible says about the day of salvation.

I accepted Christ and was baptized, but only because that’s what the rest of the Sunday school kids did. It had no special meaning for me.

But I had a longing for spiritual life as I grew older, I experimented with many weird things. I started with the Ouija board and took the route of witchcraft, tarot cards, fortune-tellers, trances, parapsychology, and mind control.

 I searched for answers to life’s mysteries. I hungered for God, and I was ready to try anything I could find that pertained to the supernatural.

But none of these satisfied. They increased my emptiness.

I did discover there is supernatural power in the occult, but it was Satan’s power, not God’s. I have felt Satan’s heavy presence. I dressed in black and went to so-called “haunted houses” for séances. It was not all fake. I communicated with the spirit world. I’ve seen spirits take form in front of my eyes. But this only gave me fear—not peace. It did nothing for the emptiness I felt inside.

A fortune teller said I would die in a car accident at a certain time and place. The accident happened. The circumstances were almost the same as predicted—only I wasn’t there. I avoided going to the place at that time and escaped death.

What I was doing was fascinating, but it didn’t bring me the peace and joy I craved. It only made me afraid. Fear seemed to predominate the spirit world in which I found myself...
Read the rest of the story in Ada Brownell's book, What Prayer Can Do 
Buy What Prayer Can Do here