Monday, October 31, 2016

Big Dreams and Mother Theresa

 By Lora Young

Sometimes I daydream about doing something truly amazing for God. You know, like Mother Theresa amazing.

Mother Theresa has recently been declared a saint by the Catholic Church. Now, whether or not you subscribe to the teaching that the Pope can decide someone’s sainthood, you have to admit, she was an amazing Jesus-follower.

She went to the poorest of the poor to minister God’s love and compassion. She led and inspired others to do the same. She stood for life when many others were being politically correct and she inspired others to do the same. When glory and praise came her way, she re-directed it toward God and inspired others to do the same.

Do you sense a trend?

One of my favorite quotes attributed to Mother Theresa (or is it St. Theresa?) is: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” I don’t know if she actually said those words or not, but they ring true, and for that I’m grateful.

The Christian church has a very human tendency to admire people who do great things. Billy Graham. Ravi Zacharias. Rick Warren.

And we should.

But what about admiring that dad in church who faithfully goes to work every day to provide for his family. That’s not a given anymore. In truth, it never was.

How about if we admire and even recognize the woman who has been a faithful volunteer at the local food pantry for 25 years? Or the woman who cleaned and cared for her blind neighbor without remuneration for years?

Once, when I was a new mom of a six week old, I had to go to the grocery store by myself. (Well, with the baby too.) Halfway through my shopping, when my cart was too full to abandon, he started screaming. I mean blood-curdling screams! And he wouldn’t be comforted. By the time I made it through the check-out, I was in tears and so was he.

As I stumbled to my car, with my groceries and son, a wonderful woman came alongside me. She said, “May I help you get your things in the car?” And proceeded to do just that. She told me I was doing fine and that I would be fine.

When my dad died, the funeral home needed his burial clothes as soon as possible. My mom had passed away seven years before and my older sister lived far away. At 25, the responsibility was all mine. Dad seldom wore his only suit, so it needed to be cleaned. When I explained it to the dry cleaner, he not only did the job in less than an hour, he did it for free.

Those people don’t even remember me or the kindesses they performed. But I’ll never forget them.

And the next time I daydream about doing amazingly big things for God, I’m going to remember that to God, even the little things are amazingly big.

MEET LORA: Lora Young has never lived outside the state of Missouri. She grew up reading the Little House books and Trixie Belden mysteries, so it makes sense that novels would entail history, mystery, and adventure.

Lora lives in rural Platte County with her husband, three cats, and the constant interruption of her children and grandchildren. In addition to reading, she enjoys riding her tadpole recumbent, ballroom dancing, the Oxford comma, and making stuff up. Please visit her at

 For an excerpt of Malicious Conspiracy, or to the buy the book, please go to

 Back cover copy: Samantha Eastman is Boonville, Missouri’s unofficial expert in fashion, flirting, and how to get a man, as evidenced by the prosperous, young banker waiting for her to say “yes.” So why isn’t she happy? She can’t quite say what keeps her from accepting Thad’s proposal, but she certainly wouldn’t list a small red-haired boy and outlaws on the railroad as among the reasons.

Heck Brady, trainmaster for the MK&T Railway, knows exactly what he wants. Go to college. Become a pastor. Settle down with a book-learned woman and raise a family. He hadn’t counted on a series of train robberies, a murder, and a feather-brained female derailing his plans.
As Heck tries to stay out of the robbery investigation and Sam tries to worm her way in, they both have to figure out how to achieve

Saturday, October 29, 2016


By Ane Mulligan

I've been asked how did the Chapel Springs series come about. The first book, Chapel Springs Revival, developed from an overheard conversation. Yes, I eavesdrop. You can hear some great stuff that way. Of course, my friends are wary now.

While I was writing Chapel Springs Revival, our eldest son married a 21st Century mail-order bride. Okay, she wasn't actually mail-order. She was cyber-order. He met her in a chat room for women in Columbia, South America, to meet men in the U.S. He knew her online for a year, then flew to Columbia and married her. He then came back home and worked for a year to get her and her two young sons into the U.S. legally.

All the while, his dad and I knew nothing.

Remember that old margarine commercial with the motto "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature"? Well, it's not nice to keep Mama in the dark, either. I told them for that, it was going in a novel. And it did: Chapel Springs Survival. In real life, Zully (our daughter-in-law) is the best thing that ever happened to our son, but that wouldn't do in a novel. So with their knowledge and consent, I made it novel-worthy. Well, after all, I am a professional liar.

When Chapel Springs Revival came out, I got a small fan base. I love saying that and giggle every time I do. Fans! Me? Anyway, I started a Facebook group for them and named it after the bakery in Chapel Springs, Dee's 'n' Doughs. Then they started to interact as the characters in Chapel Springs. When Mayor Felix Riley said the town needed its own cookbook, they sent in recipes. I told my publisher about it. He loved it and published The Chapel Springs Cookbook. Claire wrote the back cover copy and the Mayor wrote the Introduction. It's becoming a collector's cookbook, being the only one I know of by imaginary cooks.

The third book, Home to Chapel Springs, also came from my own life. In 2009, I found my birth sisters. You can read that story here. As with Chapel Springs Survival, I used my own reunion story as the "what if?" basis for Home to Chapel Springs, where a homeless author has to retreat to the house she inherited from her grandmother … a house that's been gutted. Then a stranger knocks on her door—one that will change the course of her life.

By the final book in the series, Life in Chapel Springs, I'd run out of personal life events to inspire the book. However, I had begun to explore what would happen if a person's looks were so altered, it changed her whole life. What would that look like for shy, quiet Lacey Dawson? Lacey is a character who is in all the Chapel Springs books. She's part of Claire's inner circle. It was a difficult book to write. Lacey is so quiet, she wasn't even talking to me. Eventually, I won her trust, and she opened up. I turned it in at the end of August, so I imagine it will be out next August or September.

So there you have it. That's the story behind the stories.

Home to Chapel Springs Summary

A homeless author, a theatre ghost, and a heartbroken daughter ~ there’s trouble in Chapel Springs

There’s always someone new in Chapel Springs, either coming home or stirring up trouble. Bestselling author Carin Jardine’s latest book is a flop. Homeless and broke, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she inherited from her nana in Chapel Springs—the house that’s been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life. With one of her daughters in love with the wrong boy, a theatre rumored to be haunted, and Howie Newlander and Mayor Riley go head-to-head in a hot election, Claire gets caught in the middle.


While a floppy straw hat is her favorite, novelist Ane Mulligan has worn many including pro-family lobbyist, drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Ane writes her Southern-fried fiction in Sugar Hill, GA, where she resides with her artist husband, chef son, and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, her Amazon author page, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


By LeeAnn Betts

    There was a picture on the news of a horse that got stuck in mud for three hours and it took a number of rescue personnel three hours and a lot of hard work to haul it out. Apparently, the horse’s owner was walking along the beach with this horse when it sank unexpectedly into this quicksand-like mud.

As I read this story, I thought about the quicksand-like mud I often find myself in. Situations I didn’t expect, repercussions I hadn’t envisioned. Like this woman, walking merrily along on my way, when suddenly and without warning the ground gives way beneath me and I’m sucked down.

While I’ve never actually fallen into quicksand of the physical icky kind, I have been entrapped in spiritual quicksand. This most often happens when I listen to the wrong voices in my head.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. As writers, we all have voices in our heads. Characters, plots, subplots all dance around our noggins like fireflies at a flashlight convention.

I’m talking about the wrong voices. That would be the ones that say things like, “Who told you that you could write?” or “Nobody wants to read this drivel.” How about, “You need to get out and get a real life.” And the killer one, “God can’t use you. Look at all the bad stuff you’ve done.”

I hear these voices, and I suspect you hear them, too.

Up until recently, I listened to a voice that told me I shouldn’t get involved in any form of social networking because it would just eat up my time. That voice also said nobody wants to be your friend, nobody wants to read what you write, nobody signed up for your devotional before, stop wasting your time and spend more time doing “real” writing.

All of that was until my agent told me, “You need to get on Facebook. You need a blog.”

Since then, I’ve met some great people, laughed at some good jokes, and seen some funny cartoons. I’ve also connected with a bunch of people who blessed me with their kind comments, and I’ve met a couple of ladies who need some encouragement.

When I look at the picture of the woman and her horse in the mud, I think of all the great people who have come alongside me as I take this next step in my writing career, standing by me, encouraging me, comforting me when I get scared. I think of how God has placed them there for me. And how, perhaps, He has placed me here for someone else.

This week, as you contemplate your writing journey, consider the direction the Lord would take you. He has good plans for you, for your writing, and He just might bring someone else into your life through this plan so you are both encouraged, uplifted, and edified.

Here is the spotlight for “Broke, Busted, and Disgusted”:
Join forensic accountant Carly Turnquist in her fifth adventure in the By the Numbers series. Carly’s best friend in Bear Cove, Maine is smitten with a younger man, and Carly is suspicious of his motives in courting her friend. When a previous client who blamed husband Mike’s computer program for losing inventory and money is found dead, Mike is the prime suspect. And he’s missing, with video showing a man matching his description maxing out their credit cards and emptying their bank account. Can Carly find Mike before the police do? And can she save her friend from making a huge mistake?

Author Bio:

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released four titles in her By the Numbers series, with Broke, Busted, and Disgusted due for release November 2016. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft. She publishes a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at or follow Leeann at All books are available on in digital and print.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

God's Timing. By guest Denise Weimer

Spiritual Stepping Stones On the Writing Road

By Denise Weimer
Denise Weimer
Getting ready to speak to a women’s church group about my writing and publication background, it hit me that I’ve learned a specific lesson in each phase of my journey. Even in a delay or failure, God had something to accomplish or teach. I share those in hopes other writers and readers might identify and be encouraged.
I started writing at age 11, when my parents took me to historic sites and my imagination had me scribbling stories in the back seat of our car. Just after receiving my journalism degree, I queried multiple Christian publishers about my Civil War trilogy and finally got a call from my favorite publisher. Surely this was it! But while the employee told me my chapters had gone to the final review committee and she encouraged me to keep writing, they couldn’t publish my story because they’d just committed to one too similar. Knowing I’d done all I could at that time, I put my writing away and worked full-time until starting a family, when I did free-lance layout and editing from home.

That was lesson #1. Our timing isn’t usually God’s timing. While sometimes He has to work on a situation or another person, often He has more work to do on us! Looking back, I probably didn’t possess the maturity to handle success at 22.

When my younger daughter started napping, I decided to write a novella. But the publisher set the price so high I lost money placing the book in any store and could only do direct sales. By most standards, the project failed. But lesson #2 came from Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings.” The man who became my historical mentor and cover artist for The Georgia Gold Series (four books of mid-1800s romance with a touch of mystery) read Redeeming Grace and offered his help with future research.

After a year of research and about three years of writing, I spent a year searching for a publisher for The Georgia Gold Series. A new house not only contracted it but hired me, then folded as book one, Sautee Shadows, released. Lesson #3: When something we hold dear falls apart, we must be willing to put it on the altar. After agony and embarrassment, I told God He could redirect me to a “real job” if He so chose. If something is meant to move forward, God will give it back to us with His blessing attached. A year later, I connected with Canterbury House.

Lesson #4 came as I publicized The Georgia Gold Series: Watch out for distractions! These may be people who distract our focus or commitments that drain our resources. One day as I prayed, God showed me several specific things to take off my plate. Nehemiah 6:3: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.” Now, we do have to cook our families dinner, but sometimes we say no to the lesser good to say yes to the greater great.

Yesterday I shared White, Widow and Witch of The Restoration Trilogy. This series was birthed out of watching my parents restore a historic doctor’s house and apothecary shop. It struck me that the spiritual restoration God wants to do in each of us can mirror that type of physical restoration. The series has been described as defying genres. There’s romance, humor and suspense, but the books deal with deeper issues that sometimes raise eyebrows. Lesson #5: Don’t be afraid to be different … just do what God shows you to do.

Many authors tend to be introverts. But finally, I’ve learned in publicizing The Restoration Trilogy lesson #6: We’re not meant to be lone gunmen! I need to connect with other authors and readers in person and online. In that community of faith, we encourage and support each other, and God opens blessings and opportunities that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Along my rocky road to publication, I now see the stepping stones God used. He wasn’t as interested in my success as He was in my character. Looking forward to seeing where I’m going next! How about you? How has God worked in your life journey?

Please leave a comment and tell us how God helped you.

The Georgia Gold Series on Amazon:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


The Heart Healing of The Restoration Trilogy

By Denise Weimer

The Restoration Trilogy features a modern bachelor who inherits property from ancestors he doesn’t know much about – a doctor’s house, apothecary shop, and log cabin – and the female preservation graduate he brings in to oversee the restoration project. As neighbors meddle, armadillos root and strange accidents threaten, Michael and Jennifer butt heads over the way this restoration should occur. Michael wants it livable and masculine, while Jennifer feels compelled to stick to authenticity as outlined by her textbooks. Functioning with unhealed past hurts, they’re also great at offending each other, despite their mutual attraction.

So with this modern romantic suspense series set in a Mitford-like community, what are three historical gals doing on the front covers? I’m just waiting for someone to ask me. So far, no one has, but I’d love to share the reason for that anomaly.
As Michael and Jennifer work side-by-side, they uncover items from the past in each building that allow them to piece together the stories of Michael’s ancestresses. In White, as they renovate the house, they learn about Georgia Pearl of the 1920s. In Widow, as they restore the apothecary, post-Civil War letters reveal Charlotte’s haunting tale. And in Witch, an artifact hidden in the log cabin and a rare journal stashed away by a family member highlight the Colonial-era mystery of Verity.
God times the revelation of each tale perfectly, striking the modern characters with how they need to apply the lessons from the past in their own lives. These lessons of family, forgiveness and faithfulness are at the heart of the trilogy, and that’s why Georgia Pearl, Charlotte and Verity grace the covers rather than Michael and Jennifer. (Besides, I was always a sucker for beautiful historical costuming!)

As I illustrated through our unlikely couple, God sometimes moves us, puts us in unusual or uncomfortable circumstances, drops someone new into our lives or allows a trial to shine a light on something broken or decayed in us. This might be an unhealed wound, a personality weakness, or a lie we’ve believed about ourselves or God. In order to be fixed, the flaw must be exposed. Then we just have to ask for His healing. He gently goes to work, removing the old debris and spackling on His truth. Isaiah 60:15: “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no one went through you, I will make you an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations. (NKJV)” And who wouldn’t want that?

What about you? Have you ever seen God working to uncover and heal something in your life? Which character/story intrigues you the most?

The Georgia Gold Series on Amazon:

Monday, October 17, 2016


Title:  War of the Heart
Sub title: Snow Globe Christmas Collection

Publisher: Lovely Christian Romance Press
Blurb:  When a vintage snow globe sends Boston dress designer Louise Martin & British B&B owner George Walker back in time to London, December 1940, they race against the clock to reconcile a feud between their families and solve a 75-year-old mystery. As Louise relies on God; and on George for guidance, friendship then love, will the future George envisions strangle her own dreams? Will their love survive generations of mistrust, the Blitz and being stranded in wartime 1940, possibly never to return to their former lives? 

Release Date: September 6, 2016
Format: Paperback and E-book
Amazon Link:

·         Autographed copies available

#christianromance #WWII #Blitzmas
#london #christmas #mystery #novella
Jenna Victoria

Through it all

By Jenna Victoria

We've all met them; the Christian families in our churches or community who seem to have golden lives. Strong solid marriages. Pretty babies. Comfortable incomes. Nice homes. Sporty cars. It often seems as if their blessings fall like flower petals from the sky, doesn't it?

Then there was my Christian family. We all loved Jesus, made honest professions of faith—I was so proud to be baptized as a teen—and yet our lives were a complete 160 degrees from those perfect families. My mother suffered from bipolar disorder and was hospitalized several times. My father didn't finish grammar school as he had to go to work to help support his mother and sisters, and then his own family. He struggled in his blue-collar job to provide necessities. My fraternal twin, a girl, died at birth. My younger sister, born with Down's Syndrome, died on Christmas Eve at the Mayo Clinic having open heart surgery when I was twelve and she was 4 1/2 years old. My parents divorced soon after. There was no money for college. My siblings had joint brushes with the law and one is in prison for a long time. Then came my ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages and infertility, bankruptcy, divorce, and my parent's deaths in 2009 and 2011. In 2012, ten years after being happily married to my knight-in-shining-armor, came the biggest hit - my diagnosis of breast cancer, followed by chemotherapy, mastectomy, and radiation. After an all-clear, the cancer returned as metastatic breast cancer in 2013. More surgery and treatment. My knight then decided he didn't want a wife with cancer. So, fast forward to 2016, where I continue to receive chemotherapy every 21 days until the Lord calls me home.

Kind of reads like a soap opera, doesn't it? I share these personal details not as a litany of woes, but to illustrate where I ended up, spiritually—and that is front and center, praising God.

Praise Him? How can anyone praise God after reading a paragraph that could almost be lifted from the pages of the book of Job or twelve months of soap opera episodes?

Confession time. If I take an honest look back over the years, I could describe myself as a born again Christian who never graduated from a seat in children's church to sit in the big sanctuary. Sure, I attended church (sporadically, though I went more than others, I reasoned). I listened to Gospel music almost exclusively. I prayed now and again, read the Bible once in awhile. I amassed quite a library of theology and Christian non-fiction and fiction books and enjoyed reading them all. My head had the knowledge, my heart had the love, but they never merged. I picked up my Christianity and put it down so often it moved like a see-saw.

One funny thing about my cancer diagnosis is—I never asked why—even when it returned in its rarer triple-negative, highly aggressive form. From that first awful day in May of 2012, I felt a quiet nudge. "Come to me." The words were silent, but I heard them nonetheless. I knew they were from the Lord. I knew after 40 years of see-saw Christianity it was time—past time—to grow up, go all-in, and give God the glory, in all circumstances. No more lukewarm-being-a-hearer-and-not-a-doer. To minister to others suffering, as He directed. To speak openly and earnestly about God's provision and faithfulness.

I obeyed His command. I turned to Him with every fear and worry. I sought Him in regular prayer and devotions. It didn't happen overnight, but as I fed on the meat of His word I started to  live it every day. I praised God for each of my experiences and my horrific medical side effects even if I didn't feel it. In time, that "head" knowledge aligned with my "heart" and formed a lasting commitment and steadfastness that will not be shaken.

It is an honor and privilege to glorify God in the trials. 1 Peter 4:13 says, "But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."

I've graduated to a first-row pew, rejoicing all the way.  I hope you'll join me there in revealing His glory.

r since her grandfather co-created Twinkies, Snowballs & Hostess cupcakes for Intercontinental Baking Company, circa 1959, Jenna's yet to taste a cake she hasn't liked.

Jenna is the author of
 fiction that feeds your faith” – Happily-Ever-After romance & romantic suspense stories with a Christian world view. She also writes clean, wholesome romances. Her stories emulate those she enjoys reading…with a heroine who is in grave danger & a hero who is smart enough to get out of her way as she kicks butt & takes down names… and those that feature the sweetest of fairy-tale-ending love stories.
She writes romances that glorify God and His sacrificial love through His Son, Jesus Christ and show how He gives us hope & peace amidst unbearable situations. After her first breast cancer diagnosis in 2012, several reoccurrences and metastasis, Jenna continues to praise God and trust His oversight in her life; and continues to write more books.

Social Media Contacts
Amazon Author Page
Heroes of Song Personal Blog
Book Review Blog
Pinterest https://www.pint
bearable situations. After her first breast cancer diagnosis in 2012, several reoccurrences and metastasis, Jenna continues to praise God and trust His oversight in her life; and continues to write more books.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Writing Your Family Story

By Donna Schlachter

A couple of years ago, I had the unhappy fortune to be with my father as he answered questions for the intake counselor at a hospice facility. He patiently answered her questions about his family, his children, what he’d done for a living, until he grew tired. And then he simply said, “If you want to know any more, read the book.”

“Read the book?” She looked at each sibling. “What book?”

“There on the bookcase.”

I handed her the book. “It’s the first part of his life, up until he married my mom, and then the last part, where he found his half-siblings from his father’s side of the family.”

She thumbed through the book then she looked up at us again. “You won’t believe how many family members come through here every year who say they wished they’d listened more closely to their parent’s stories. Or how many parents who say they wished they’d taken time to write down the stories. This is the first time I’ve met anybody who actually did it. You have a treasure here.”

Here is the process we used to write the book for family only and then prepare it for the general market.

1.      Decide what your goal is: first and foremost, this was a history book for the family. Secondly, he knew his story wasn’t unique, but the setting and the characters were, and we felt that would set the book apart in the general market.

2.      Decide the structure: he wanted to tell three separate stories including how he came to be born and placed in the family he was raised in, his life growing up in a unique setting, and finding his half-siblings on his birth father’s side of the family. So we went with the three-books-in-one approach, from two different points of view, his birth mother’s and his.

3.      Decide what to include: a person’s life has innumerable stories, so we kept to the ones that best described my father—pragmatic, logical, forward-thinking.

4.      Decide whom to protect: in the family-only version, we toned down some stories where we felt we knew the truth but couldn’t prove it, while in the market version, we changed the names of the characters, kept the name of the town, and wrote it the way we believed it happened.

5.      Decide what to exclude: my father came to Christ three weeks before he passed away, so that was a huge part of the family-only book, even though it was a short part of his life on this earth. The title, My Cup Has Overflowed, came from a song I love called “I’m drinking from my saucer, Lord, because my cup has overflowed”. We decided not to include much of that story in the market version.

So, if you’re thinking about writing your family story, don’t wait. If you’re tired of hearing Uncle John’s stories or Grandma Mary’s tales, don’t tune them out. Write the stories. They won’t always be here.

The Physics of Love releases October 31st at

Donna lives in Denver with her husband Patrick, who is her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She has published four cozy mysteries and a devotional for accountants under her pen name, and a collection of short stories, a book on writing tips, and several devotionals under her own name. She is currently under contract with Barbour Books in a novella collection on the Pony Express. Donna is a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in March 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and online at: and Her books are available at in digital and print.

Friday, October 7, 2016


The Story behind the Story
By James R. Callan

Several years ago, I read a short article in the L.A. Times about a woman who was held a virtual slave. There were no chains, but threats to kill one of her family if she escaped or even told anybody about it. I had trouble believing it, so I did some research. I found the practice is widespread in the U.S.  with tens of thousands caught in this web.

I knew I had to write a book around this. I discussed it with a top-notch editor I know. She was intrigued and said I should write a non-fiction book, interview some who had been trapped in this practice, talk to the immigration agencies and really expose the practice.

I thought about this for a long time. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could not do that.  It would bring the situation to close and quickly become too emotional. The book would never be written.

Finally, I decided to write a completely fictionalized version, where I could highlight the problem, but at the same time, I would not be dealing with actual people.  I could do that.  As I got into it, even the fiction version became emotional for me. To this day, I can read parts for the twentieth time and still find it difficult to continue reading.

In A Silver Medallion, Crystal Moore discovers the plight of Lucita, a young Mexican woman. She and her husband were raising two young girls, when he suddenly died. Lucita found it impossible to support her family.  She met Jose Rodriquez who offered to get her a job in Texas making "big Yankee dollars."  He would pay for her travel. The two girls could stay at his hacienda until Lucita saved the $1,200 necessary to bring them to her in Dallas.  Desperate, she accepted the offer.

But once in Texas, she is told should she escape or even tell anybody of her situation, her daughters would be killed.  She is paid $5 to $10 per month.  Another Mexican woman in Dallas tells her Jose is evil and would indeed kill or sell the girls if Lucita escapes.

Crystal is appalled and seeks possible ways to free Lucita. But all are discarded because of the treats to the daughters. Crystal tries to forget about it.  But her conscience will not let her. She cannot sleep or concentrate and is haunted by the plight of Lucita and her daughters. Crystal is not an adventurer, but the only solution she can find is to go into the jungles of Mexico and rescue the two girls.

If she succeeds, then Lucita will be free to escape and reunite with her daughters. But Crystal will have two powerful and ruthless men who want her dead.

A Silver Medallion is fiction. But it is rooted in a terrible truth.

James R. Callan, 2016

A Brief Bio of James R. Callan

James R. Callan had a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who's Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans.  He left the technology field to pursue his real love, writing.  He has had four non-fiction books published, but his passion is mystery and suspense novels.  His eleventh book was published in June, 2016.

Webpage and blog

A Silver Medallion on Amazon  

Comments About A Silver Medallion

"A Silver Medallion is a gripping, action-packed adventure from talented author James Callan.  Crystal Moore is a tough and savvy heroine who knows no fear."

New York Times Bestselling Author Bobbi Smith

"A Silver Medallion, the second title in the Crystal Moore Suspense series, reads like a gold-medal thriller from page one, when Crystal Moore and her grandmother take in a young Hispanic woman who escaped from a drug-dealing, modern-day Texas slaveholder. Crystal emerges as a compelling heroine with a big heart and bold personality, and her fierce independence allows Callan the creative freedom to take his character into the heart of Mexico to rescue two young girls she’s never met. ..."

From BookLife Prize in Fiction, Critic's Report

In July, 2016, A Silver Medallion won the ETWG novel contest for mystery/thriller over entries from across the U.S. and several foreign countries.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


By Sandy Nadeau

            My latest novel is called, Rescue Me. I wanted to write something pertaining to emergency workers since my husband spent five years as a volunteer firefighter. Not only do they put their lives on the line on every call they receive, but they still have personal lives and issues to deal with like everyone else. I wanted to write a story that blended those elements. They can also have a whole lot of fun as you’ll also see in my book.

              In this story, Ronnie has to deal with loss and grief. She has sworn off dating firefighters. She used to date Steve, a firefighter, and she would even admit to herself that she was in love with him.

             When I started out, I really didn’t know what the depth of her grief was, but as her story unfolded, so did her grief. All of us have to deal with some level of grief. Some loss may feel deeper than others, but all are equally difficult for the one going through it. It should never be minimized, the pain is real and in a sense, necessary. Ronnie’s grief is from losing her firefighter father in a fire as he was trying to save another firefighter.

            Ronnie had allowed her grief to stop her from experiencing life. She let it stand in the way of her own happiness. Have you ever put yourself in that position? I know I have. Loss of a loved one is such a difficult challenge. Heartbreak is an all-consuming entity. It’s also oppressive.

            Then we find Steve, our hero. Again, as the story unfolded, Steve “let me know” that he had some guilt issues to deal with that niggled at his mind trying to rob him of peace. He does all he can to hold onto his faith to see him through it.

            Ronnie has an important lesson to learn about how she needs to trust God. No matter the situation, the pain, the trial, we have to believe that God is in control, that He knows what we’re going through and He will see us through it. It’s still hard, and trusting is one of the hardest things to learn, but it’s still one of the most important things.

            As Ronnie learns that trust, in an on-going process with the help of a close friend and Steve, she begins to let the chains loosen on her heart. But when tested, can she hold on to that trust? Can you?

            “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5,6

            Trust Him in ALL things and lean on Him. He loves you!

Sandy Nadeau loves to go on adventures, photograph them and equally loves to write about them. She and her husband did a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado and shared those experiences with others by taking them up in the mountains. Her writing experience includes a community news column in a small newspaper for twelve years, magazine articles and two novels with adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. She is currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Married for a whopping 40 years, she and her husband are loving life as grandparents to their three grandchildren after the big move to Texas. Travel is their favorite thing to do and they don’t get to do it as often as they’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain.