Friday, February 21, 2020



What you need to know and what you don’t want to know

Excerpt from the book IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU by Ada Brownell

 Chapter Five

You came into this life “empty-headed.”

When we were kids, my brother used to tell me he could look into one of my ears and see out the other. Then I had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of my brain so I could do a firsthand story on the latest technology.

I started the newspaper article with “My brother was wrong. There is something in there.”

What I mean by “empty-headed” is that no stored information existed in our brains when we came into this world. New brains are like a blank sheet of paper, although fantastic stored data governing our neurological systems and instincts operate even while we’re still in the womb. What God “programmed” into us commanded our arms, legs, fingers, toes, and so forth to move even before birth. Instincts God installed in our DNA prompted us to suck, swallow, cry, and feel hunger, as well as caused the various inner parts of our body to function. Babies arrive with a brain download to literally cry for love, care, and being held, and they won’t thrive without these things.

When we were a few months of age, we learned to coordinate movements so we could reach for things because our muscles and brains developed that capacity.

Nevertheless, we all needed outside stimuli to use the potential from the brain. Children who are given no attention often don’t learn to sit, walk, or talk.

We learned our language skills by imitating. If Mom kept saying “Mama” over and over to us, soon we worked our mouths and tongues around, using our vocal cords so we could come up with a fairly good imitation. Sometimes the child says “Dada” first and learns later what it means.

If the parents speak Chinese, the child obviously will learn Chinese instead of English, and children of Spanish-speaking parents communicate in Spanish or whatever language is spoken in the home.

All through childhood, children imitate what they see and hear. Adults imitate other people—at least in some degree—all their lives. For instance, we like to imitate the experts on everything from sports to dancing, to gardening, to playing or singing music, to doing tricks on a bicycle or skateboard.

But imitation isn’t all there is. At some point we think for ourselves.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


By Lorraine Golightly as told to Ada Brownell

An excerpt from the book What Prayer Can Do by Ada Brownell

*Summary of What Prayer Can Do follows

I became a believer in divine healing because I saw my father receive his sight when he was prayed for in a revival meeting.

The accident that caused Daddy’s blindness happened in 1950. I was 9 years old.

Daddy (John Feliciano) was doing construction work in Honolulu, Hawaii, where we lived, when dynamite exploded in his face. One eyeball was completely destroyed; the other was damaged considerably. The blast was so severe that doctors said Daddy should have been dead. Tiny pebbles embedded in his skin all over his body.

“Daddy probably will never see again,” Mom told us when she got home from the hospital.

I was panic-stricken.

“There’s still hope,” said Aunt Virginia, who had come home with Mom. “Jesus can heal your daddy.”

We didn’t know what to think of that. Daddy liked Aunt Virginia, but wouldn’t even let her talk about her religion in our house. When Daddy saw people from her church in street meetings, he’d always yell at them, “You crazy holy rollers!”

Daddy went to church, however, and believed in God. He just didn’t like Aunt Virginia’s kind of religion.

When he came home from the hospital, he had no hope of a miracle. His eyes were in bandages, and he was very depressed.

“’I’ve got seven children to support!” he’d say several times a day. “How can a blind man feed seven children? I might as well be dead!’

It was true that he couldn’t support us. Soon we had to live on welfare.

Surgeons hoped surgery would give Daddy sight in his remaining eye, but the operations were unsuccessful. After the last operation, the eye doctor told him there was nothing more they could do for him. There was no hope he ever would see again.

Because of his youth (Daddy was 31 when he was injured) he immediately was trained in a school for the blind. He learned braille and how to use a seeing-eye dog. He even learned how to feel money so he could tell denominations apart.

Yet he remained depressed and saw no reason for living.

“I’ll never be able to see my family again,” Daddy groaned one day. “I can’t take being blind. Killing myself is the only way out.”

Mom tried to talk him out of his despondency, but without success. He actually intended to commit suicide.

Finally, Mom called Aunt Virginia and asked her to come over and talk to my father.

As soon as Aunt Virginia got inside she began talking to Daddy about the Lord and told him what Jesus could do.

“We’re going to have a revival, and the evangelist will pray for the sick,” Aunt Virginia continued. “Will you come?”

“I guess I can try,” Daddy answered, “but I don’t believe it will do any good.”

When the revival started, my aunt and uncle, Dad and Mom, and all of us seven children went to the Pentecostal church. After the lady evangelist preached, it was time for prayer for the sick. Mom took Daddy by the arm and led him to the healing line.

The meeting was in a large church and people were getting healed and praising the Lord. Daddy couldn’t see what was happening around him, but he could hear, and he was scared. He began shaking.

One woman who was healed of deafness gave a big shout when her ears opened. Daddy was more frightened than ever.

Then it was his turn.

“Do you believe in Jesus?” the evangelist asked Daddy.


She began praying that Daddy would receive his sight. Nothing happened.

“Do you really believe?” she asked my father again.


She put her hand on Daddy’s eye and prayed again. Suddenly he began to shout, “I can see! I can see!”

“What do you see?” the evangelist asked.

“I can see shadows,” he cried. “Thank God.”

“The Lord isn’t through yet,” the lady minister told him. “Now believe! Believe!” She began praying for Daddy again.

“Come here,” the evangelist told us children, and we went to the front. I was scared and crying as she lined us all in front of my father.

We discovered the shadows had disappeared, and Daddy could see clearly. One by one we went to him and let him look at us. As he called each child—Margaret, Priscilla, Lorraine (me), Elenore, Johnny, Gordon, and the baby Diane, who was 3 years old, he hugged and kissed us and we cried together.

My sister Margaret and I accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior that night. Mom and Dad did too. One by one the rest of the children gave their lives to the Lord, and all of us are still serving God.

After he was healed, Daddy was supposed to go back to the doctor, so he kept his appointment. The physicians didn’t believe it when he told them he could see. They were amazed when they took tests and discovered he recovered his sight.

“God did it,” Daddy said.

Daddy had served God faithfully for 19 years when he went to be with the Lord.

I’m glad God’s healing power is available to us today. Doctors thought my sister had a brain tumor, but after she was prayed for, they could find nothing.

I had an annoying, persistent ear problem accompanied by dizziness and ringing in my ears, which doctors couldn’t seem to help and over which I couldn’t get victory. Then I remembered how God instantly healed Daddy of blindness, and knew the Lord is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.” Immediately the ear problem disappeared.

Now I can say with the Psalmist, ‘Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what He did for me: for I cried to Him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But He listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! Blessed be God who didn’t turn away when I was praying and didn’t refuse me His kindness and love” (Psalm 66:16-20 Living Bible paraphrase).

The Pentecostal Evangel, October 16, 1977


A Collection of true stories by Ada Nicholson Brownell Published by The Pentecostal Evangel

By Ada Brownell

Ennis L. Surratt clutched the cool metal handle of his .45 pistol. Through the weeds he could see three men coming. He knew they would come near where he crouched because they would be coming after the barrel of whiskey that had disappeared from his still the night before.

When the men were only a few feet from the barrel, Ennis stepped out.

“You’re not taking this barrel,” Ennis growled, keeping his right hand next to the gun. “You stole it last night, and we’re going to settle it right here.”

He drew his gun and aimed it at the thief.

“Shoot!” the thief yelled as he whirled with his double-barreled shotgun. An explosive charge sounded and Ennis fell to the ground. He raised up on one knee and fired the pistol.

With a cry of anguish, the thief dropped the shotgun and fell into the weeds.

Ennis became known as “the meanest man in town.” That caught the attention of two lady evangelists holding a tent revival who knew how to pray. Ennis Surratt became an evangelist as well as his sons and grandsons.

Read many other testimonies and truths in What Prayer Can Do, Purchase at

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Ia falling in love an unavoidable dive?

Is falling in love an unavoidable dive, or a decision?

By Ada Brownell
An excerpt from the book, IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU

Would you like your parents arranging your marriage? That still happens in many foreign countries. How would you guys feel about not knowing who your bride is until the ceremony is over and you lift the veil to kiss her? Some men experienced that.

An 11-year-old girl, apparently from Yemen, recently made a passionate plea to her parents to stop pressuring her into an arranged marriage. The resulting video caught international attention.

 In 1960, the Encyclopedia Americana reported more than one half of the total female population of India married before fifteen years of age, and sometimes while they were still infants. In the western provinces of India, a bride remained at home with her parents until she went through puberty. But in Bengal, girls commenced their married life at age nine.

In some countries, a hopeful suitor would give a girl’s father a certain amount of money or goods like cattle or sheep for his daughter, and sometimes the bride brought a dowry of property to her bridegroom. The amount depended on the status and economic circumstances of the families involved.

 Historically at the engagement, the suitor often gave an ornament of some value, which signified his pledge. That was the predecessor of the modern engagement ring.


In Old Testament times, many marriages were arranged.

Jacob met Rachel leading sheep and was so smitten he kissed her and wept (Genesis 29:11). Perhaps it was on the cheek. Who knows?

Jacob stayed with Rachel’s father, Laban, a month, working for him like a ranch hand. Finally, Laban asked what Jacob expected to be paid, and Jacob told Laban he was in love with Rachel and he agreed to work seven years for her.

Finally there was a wedding feast, and after the ceremony, Jacob discovered he had been given Rachel’s older sister, Leah, instead.

He protested, and Laban said he couldn’t give the younger daughter before the older girl married.

Despite having a wife, Jacob worked another seven years to get Rachel. In Old Testament times, God allowed men to have more than one wife.


Abraham arranged the marriage for his son, Isaac, and a servant picked her out. You can read the story in Genesis 24. He must have been worthy of the trust, because the servant traveled some distance to find her and then asked God to show him the right girl out of the dozens of women who came to a well to draw water.

“Oh Lord, God of my master,” the servant prayed, “give me success and show kindness to my master, Abraham. Help me to accomplish the purpose of my journey. See, here I am, standing beside this spring, and the young women of the village are coming to draw water. I will ask one of them for a drink. If she says, `Yes, certainly, and I will water your camels, too!’ Let her be the one you appointed as Isaac’s wife. By this, I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

As he prayed, a beautiful young woman, Rebekah, arrived with a water jug on her shoulder. She went to the spring, bent over, filled her jug, and straightened. Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a drink.”

“Certainly, sir,” she said, and she quickly lowered the jug to fill it from the well. When he finished gulping the refreshing liquid, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough!”

She emptied the jug into the watering trough and ran down to the well again. She kept carrying water until the camels’ intense thirst was quenched.

The servant watched Rachel in silence. When the camels finished drinking, he gave her a gold ring and two large gold bracelets.

The servant stayed with her family and told them about how his prayer was answered. But Isaac wasn’t even there.

The father gave Rebekah to the servant, but only after Rebekah agreed to go.

Isaac saw the servant coming home with someone. Excited, he raced out to meet them.

When Rebekah saw Isaac coming, she dismounted, covered her face with a veil, and ran to him.

Rebekah became Isaac’s wife and he loved her, the Bible says. She was a special comfort to him because his mother had just died.


There is a reason arranged marriages work: Falling in love is an act of the will. Cupid doesn’t shoot you with a poison love arrow and “twang!” you’re a goner. Love happens to you because of several circumstances.

You are around the person of the opposite sex frequently (that’s called propinquity—what happens when you are near in time and space).

You desire someone in your life.

Your God-given instincts are telling you to create a family.

 The person will build your ego. You think, Won’t everyone be surprised I have a boyfriend? Won’t everyone be impressed with how pretty she is or how handsome he is? Won’t everyone be impressed because of how popular he or she is? He’s so tall he makes me feel so feminine; or, She has such a great figure it makes me feel great to walk beside her. She or he treats me so nice it makes me feel special.

Because you decide to fall in love to create excitement in your life.

Because no one better is available.

Because you have similar interests.

Because you are lonely.

Because someone else thinks it’s a good idea.

Most important: Because while you were in the womb God had a plan for both of you, and your love is so strong you feel you can’t live without one another (Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalms 37:33).  Some Pharisees came and asked Jesus, “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for any reason?” “Haven’t you read the scriptures,” Jesus replied. “From the beginning God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:3-6KJ)

There may be dozens of other reasons you fall in love, but even if you aren’t conscious of why it is happening, you allow yourself to love someone else. It’s a decision. If love happened spontaneously without your will being involved, people who are greatly overweight would have as many proposals for marriage as others. So would the handicapped or someone with facial deformities or pure physical ugliness.

I once knew a young woman whose father was quite wealthy, but one of her eyes was noticeably higher than the other. She was an old maid, at least the last I heard. But she was a sweet, talented young woman, and really not so bad-looking.

It seems Americans don’t know the meaning of love, although it’s before us all the time.

Well, we do know how we want others to love us, but many aren’t willing to give that kind of love back. We want others to love us unconditionally— the way God loves us, no matter how we look, how we act, or what we do.

God talks to us about love in 1 Corinthians 13. The Bible chapter is read during many weddings—but most couples don’t absorb what it says or promptly forget it. That scripture passage tells us if we don’t love others, we’re like clanging cymbals—all noise and little music. The fellow who tries to persuade his girlfriend to have sex before marriage is like that clanging symbol. If he really loved her, he wouldn’t think of stealing her chastity. If he really loved himself, he wouldn’t want the sin, the guilt, the possibility of disease, the guilt of an abortion, or perhaps bringing a child into the world whom he would be required by law to support until it turns eighteen.

There is no such thing as a “love child” born out of wedlock. It is a “lust child” if it was conceived before the wedding. Of course, this isn’t the child’s fault, and it should be loved no matter how it was conceived.

The scripture tells us, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, boastful, proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8).

Spiritually, marriage is a union between a man and a woman so they can enjoy, love, and protect one another, and also to protect the family. Children need a father to help guide, discipline, love, and financially support them. Children need a mother to nurture them, guide them, discipline them, and love them.

Even biologically, the object of marriage is to ensure the survival of the species and of the race, according to Drs. Abraham and Hannah Stone’s A Marriage Manual.[1]

God invented marriage and the family when he made Eve for Adam and they began to have children.

Marriage is a wonderful thing, and there is nothing more romantic than a guy and a girl vowing before God and the public, “I will love you and you only until death parts us.”

Americans probably talk and sing more about romance than any other society. We are allowed to choose our own mates, instead of our parents choosing them for us. Yet, half of all marriages end in divorce.

Just like falling in love in the first place, staying in love involves the will. We decide we will love our mates even when they get bald, fat, ugly, wrinkled, or sick, or we’re broke. We decide we will love them even when they’re grumpy or angry.

Some people say, “Our love just died,” or “It was a mistake in the first place.”

Perhaps. But in most cases, if both ride out difficult times, the passion will rekindle, romantic sparks will fly, fireworks will go off again, and the romance will be deeper and more satisfying than it was in the beginning.

I know. I’ve been married several decades, and even though it’s all about commitment, there still is romance and deep love.

As a reporter, I collected marriage license records from couples who remarried each other after divorce. There were about a half dozen when I contacted a few and interviewed them for a story. Most said the same thing: “Although we know we’re not perfect, we couldn’t find anyone better after we divorced. We were still in love and knew what we were doing the first time. Being apart was worse than dealing with our problems and learning how to make a marriage work.”

There are four important types of love: storge, natural affection between a parent and a child; phileo, the type of affection we have for friends; eros, romantic love; and agape, God-like unconditional love. We need all three types of love in marriage, and except parent-child affection, all are a matter of the will.

When you begin to court, look for real love.

[1] A Marriage Manual (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953), 3.


A motivational Bible study by Ada Nicholson Brownell

This Bible study will help you discover evidence for faith; how to look and be your best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into your brain you can spend; and how to avoid hazards that jeopardize a successful life on earth and for eternity, all mingled with true stories that can make you smile.

Unexpected bonuses include facts about science and faith, and information about sexually transmitted diseases. The author is a retired medical journalist, and worked with youth thirty years.

Review:  How I would have loved to sit at Mrs. Brownell's knee when I was a teen. This wholesome book resounds with sage, godly advice and could be picked up again and again as needs arise. Worthwhile for parents too. Much fodder for family discussion!

Also Available in audio!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020



By Ada Nicholson Brownell

A crying infant suddenly is grasped by the ankles and hurled against the wall.  A teen-ager kills his parents, then marches into a school and shoots several students and a teacher.  A mother walks out on the most important thing in her life—her family.

Angry people are said to be mad.  Perhaps that’s appropriate, because anger sometimes causes people to act insane.

Anger can consume your happiness, rob your joy, affect your health, end relationships, mangle your faith and may even lead to murder.

When I was a child, I’d get so angry with my older brother’s teasing I’d start swinging at him. I was a scrawny freckled-faced redhead and two years younger, so no wonder he laughed hysterically as he held me at arm’s length with his hand on my forehead while I swung into the air.

After I married and had five children, I grew weary of going to bed feeling guilty about my angry outbursts that day.  I asked forgiveness from God, my husband and my children.  About that time I read Henry Drummond’s book, “The Greatest Thing in the World.”[1] In his comment on” love is not easily provoked” (1 Corinthians 13:5), he says, “No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to unchristianize society than evil temper.  For embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom of childhood, in short, for sheer gratuitous misery-producing power this influence stands alone.

Here are 10 ways to help control inappropriate responses to anger compiled from my experience, research and an interview with the late Derrald Vaughn, Ph.D., a psychologist, educator and former pastor:

1.     Realize anger is one of the emotions God gave you and is not a sin in itself.

“We all have anger,” said Vaughn, “but most of us don’t lose control.”

If you have something to be upset about, you can communicate it and probably should before the problem gets worse, Vaughn noted. For instance, this helps spouses with serious problems get into counseling and usually at least one of them will be helped.

2.     Acknowledge that being hot-blooded, a redhead or someone who needs to vent feelings are not plausible excuses for out-of-control outbursts.

3.     Realize actions are controlled by the will, so you can decide to control anger’s behavior. You can stop and pray for help. Sometimes anger should be vented to God alone. Or you can write a letter and destroy it.  You can take anger out by doing housework or washing the car.

4.     Decide what is important to be angry about.  Don’t bother with spilled milk, scratched furniture, dented cars or money. With children get upset when they rebel, disobey, lie or break any other of the Ten Commandments. Get riled when a child does things that will hurt him or someone else.

To find appropriate places for anger, study the Bible and pray for wisdom.

5.     Use anger constructively, but accept what can’t be changed. We must not take matters into our own hands, however. “Bombing an abortion clinic is inappropriate use of anger because it breaks the same commandment abortionists are breaking,” Vaughn said. “It is not righteous indignation.”

Anger at Satan’s work should take us to our knees to intercede for family, friends, neighbors and nations; cause us to volunteer to teach Christian education, visit the sick, love the broken, feed the hungry; vote and speak out on moral matters.

6.     Humble yourself and listen to other people.  Much anger is caused by pride—you are always right, you know better than anyone.

7.     Ask forgiveness from those offended by your angry outbursts.

“Sometimes we use anger inappropriately because we are rewarded for it temporarily,” Vaughn said. “However, it doesn’t solve problems in the long run.  When we ask forgiveness, that’s punishment and becomes a deterrent.

8.     Forgive those who cause anger.

9.     Avoid substances that unleash anger and investigate other causes.

Alcohol affects inhibitory pathways in the brain, sometimes causing angry outbursts, violence and even murder. Research has found drinking intoxicating beverages is the number one predictor of physical and sexual abuse.

Grief also could be involved because anger is a stage of the grieving process for any loss.

10. Cultivate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 6:22-23). When you’re filled with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, there’s little room for inappropriate anger.

 What the Bible Says About Anger

·       “A soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words sir up anger” (Proverbs 15:11).

·       “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God (James 1:19,20).

·       “Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice, and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:26-31-32).

·       “He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

·       “Anger resteth in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7-9).

·       “Provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

·       “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

The Pentecostal Evangel April 11, 1999

Reprinted in the Book, 50 Tough Questions, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO 65802, 2002.

[1] Westwood, New Jersey, Fleming H. Revell Co.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Jan. 3 Guest Blog Donna Schlachter

Double Jeopardy – Lessons learned – with Giveaway

By Donna Schlachter

Life is a series of lessons learned. Some come easy, like learning to like ice cream. Others come more harshly, like learning to trust again once your heart is broken. Or figuring out how to tie your shoes.

Lessons learned always require change, and that always requires a decision. Many times folks might try to say, “I messed up because of one bad choice.” But that isn’t true. A series of bad choices, each one more serious and life-impacting than the previous, brings us to our “bad end.”

Or our “good outcome.”

In Double Jeopardy, Becky and Zeke learn some important life lessons:

  1. Trust the person more than the lies in your head: as with most romances, both characters like the other person, but they get their communication mixed up several times and begin to distrust each other. But if we really stop and remember the good in the other person, the lies will fade away.
  2. Be willing to forgive quickly: We all mess up. And Becky and Zeke are no different. They are imperfect. But being willing to forgive quickly allows doors of reconciliation to be opened.
  3. Talk it out: Miscommunication has killed more relationships than anything else. Whether the fault lies in misremembering the words, misunderstanding their meaning and context, or simply words misspoken, just like Becky and Zeke, we must be willing to apologize and ask for clarification.

It’s never too soon to establish a firm foundation for an upcoming marriage, and it’s never too late to repair cracks in the foundations of our existing relationships.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt. Keep reading to see how you can enter to win a free ebook.


Double Jeopardy

Chapter 1

1880 Silver Valley, Colorado

Dead. Dead as her dreams and her hopes.

Dead as a doornail, as her mother would say.

Just thinking about the woman drove a steel rod through Becky Campbell’s slumping back. Perched on a chair in the sheriff’s office, she drew a deep breath, lifted her shoulders, and raised her chin a notch. She would not be like the woman who birthed her. Pretty and pampered. A silly socialite finding nothing better to do with her days than tea with the mayor’s spinster daughter or bridge with the banker’s wife.

No, she’d much rather be like her father. Adventuresome. Charismatic. Always on the lookout for the next big thing.

Now her breath came in a shudder, and down went her shoulders again. She tied her fingers into knots before looking up at the grizzled lawman across the desk from her. “There’s no chance there’s been a mistake in identification, is there?”

He slid open the top drawer of his desk and pulled out a pocket watch, a lapel pin, and a fountain pen, which he pushed across the desk to her. “He was pretty well-known around here. I’m really sorry, miss.”

Becky picked up the timepiece and flicked open the cover. Inside was a photograph of her family, taken about ten years earlier when she was a mere child of eight and Father stayed around long enough to sit still for the portrait. Her mother, petite and somber, and she, all ringlets and ribbons. She rubbed a finger across the engraving. To R. Love M. Always.

Yes, this was his.

And the lapel pin, a tiny silver basket designed to hold a sprig of baby’s breath or a miniature rosebud—a wedding gift from her mother twenty years before.

She looked up at the sheriff, tears blurring her vision. “And his ring?”

The lawman shook his head. “No ring. Not on his body or in his shack.”

“But he always wore it. Never took it off.”

He shrugged. “Maybe he lost it. Or sold it.”

“I doubt he’d do either. My mother gave it to him when I was born.”

She peered at him. Had he stolen her father’s ring?

Or maybe Sheriff Freemont was correct. Maybe something as important as her birth hadn’t meant much to her father. Maybe she didn’t either. Was that why he left?

Because surely his absences couldn’t be explained by any rift between her parents.

Although, what Matilda Applewhite saw in Robert Campbell—Robbie to his friends and family—Becky had never understood. Her mother, who ran in the same circles as the Rockefellers and the Astors, with presidents and admirals—yet much to the consternation of her family, chose a ne’er-do-well like Becky’s father.

Becky set the two items side by side on the scarred wooden desk, next to the fountain pen. The same one he’d used to write his letters to her. Signing them, Give your mother all my love too. Your devoted father. She needed no more information. No more proof.


Not what she hoped for when she left New York a month prior, against her mother’s wishes, with little else to direct her steps than a ticket to Silver Valley and her father’s last letter. Written a year before, but as full of life, promises, hopes, and wishes as ever.

She collected the only three material evidences of her father’s existence and dropped them into her reticule then stood. “Thank you for your time, Sheriff. I appreciate my father’s death must be a difficult business for you.”

He stood and dipped his head. “Yes, miss.”

“Do you know how he died?”

He cleared his throat, not meeting her gaze. “Still investigatin’, miss. Lots of things to look into.”

She bit back a groan. Unlike in the city, where manpower and resources seemed limitless, out here, there was just the sheriff and sometimes a deputy. “Thank you again. Please keep me updated.” She turned to leave. “Where is he buried?”

“Over by the church. Just ask the preacher. He can show you.”

Not like she was in any rush to see her father’s final resting place. She stepped outside and scanned the street. Surely the man who was more gypsy than family man would hate to think of his physical body buried beneath the dust of any one place.

A morose sense of humor invaded her. At least it was a way to get him to stay in one place longer than it took to eat a meal.

Sheriff Fremont joined her on the front step. “You’ll likely be returning home now, I ’spect.”

She looked up past his dimpled chin, his bushy mustache, his aquiline nose, into eyes as dark as coal. “No, sir. I have no plans to return.”

“What will you do?”


She blinked several times as she pondered the question, which was a very good one indeed. She’d not thought beyond the ache building in her bosom for the father she’d never see again. At least when he went off on yet another adventure, she had the unspoken promise of his return at some point, in the distant future. And always a letter. Or a postcard. Never many words on either, but confirmation he was alive and she was still important to him.

At least, important enough to sit a few minutes and pen a few words.

She stared at the dusty mining town. More tents than wooden structures. More mules than horses. More assay offices than churches.

Two men tumbled onto the boardwalk opposite her, rolled down the two steps to the street level, and lay prone in the dirt littered with horse apples. The barkeep, a barrel-chested man, his formerly white apron now stained beyond redemption and a dingy cloth slung over his arm, burst through the swinging doors. “And don’t come back here. We don’t need the likes of you in here bothering our customers.”

The man turned on his heel and disappeared back into the saloon. Within ten seconds, the tinny notes of a piano filtered to her ears.

The two in the street lay still.

Had he killed them?

A pack of boys ran from a nearby alley, grabbed a hat from one the men’s heads, and raced down the street, jabbering and hollering like their britches were on fire. Three mongrels loped after them, tongues lolling and tails held high.

She turned back to the sheriff. “Is there a decent boarding house in town?”

One eye squinted as he peered at her for a long moment before nodding slowly. “So, you’re going to stay?”

“I have no reason to return.”

She glanced at the two men in the street. One climbed to his feet, swaying unsteadily, while the other puked into the dust without even lifting his head. The acrid odor wafted across to her, and she wrinkled her nose, breathing through her mouth. Until the smell coated her tongue. Then she snapped her mouth shut.

Maybe this wasn’t the town for her …

No. She would never give her mother opportunity to say I told you so.

“Well, we got us a hotel above the saloon over yonder, and just about every drinking establishment in town rents out rooms, but I wouldn’t recommend those places. Mrs. Hicks over at number fourteen Front Street rents out a few rooms in her house. Tell her I sent you.”

“Thank you, Sheriff.” She took a couple of steps, her drawstring bag banging against her thigh. “I’ll also need directions to my father’s claim so I can get that transferred into my name. As his next of kin.”

“You’ll need to check with the Land and Assay Office, two doors up from the mercantile. But I don’t know what kind of a title he bought. Some can be transferred, but most who come out here can’t think past their next pay lode, so they don’t spend the money to buy that kind.”

She tipped her head. “You mean I might need to buy my own father’s property?”

He shrugged. “Not that I know much, but that’s what I’ve heard. I wish you luck, miss. You’ll need it if you plan to stay here.” He tipped his hat to her before closing his door.

Becky drew in a breath of the warm May afternoon then released it in a sigh. First the cost of the train ticket, then her meals and occasional hotel rooms along the way. And now this. Was there no end to the ways her dwindling cache of gold coins could disappear like snow in July?

First things first—a proper place to stay tonight. She picked up her carpetbag waiting on the bench outside the sheriff’s office and walked in the direction the lawman had indicated toward the home of Mrs. Hicks. Her heels beat a rhythm like a drum corps in a parade. She nodded to women and couples she passed but averted her eyes from the solitary men.

And there were many. Of all sizes and shapes, ages, and deportment. Several ogled her from the chairs they occupied outside the six—no, seven—saloons she passed, and that was only on her side of the street. A lone barber lounged in one of his three chairs, not a customer in sight, testifying to the fact that the men hereabouts were more interested in cards, booze, and loose women than in personal hygiene.

A fact she confirmed when one lout stood his ground and refused to let her pass. Cheap perfume, rotgut whiskey, and sweat mingled to create an odor that made her eyes water.

Another man stepped up behind the drunk. “Micky, are you troubling this young lady?”

Micky swayed in place, twisting the brim of his hat in gnarled fingers. “She one of your flock?”

“Doesn’t matter. Apologize and move on.”

The drunk tipped his hat to her in apology and stepped back against the building, allowing her to continue. The preacher, his collar white against the severe black suit, nodded, and she acknowledged his courtesy with a tiny smile. “Thank you. Reverend?”

The clergyman dipped his head. “Obermeyer, Pastor Obermeyer.”

She held out her hand. “I’m Becky Campbell.”

He blinked a couple of times then his brow raised. “Oh, you’re—”

“Yes. Robbie Campbell’s daughter.” She glanced over her shoulder. “The sheriff told me you could show me where my father is buried.”

He held her hand and sandwiched it between his own. “Please accept my condolences on your loss, Miss Campbell.”

“Thank you.” That now too-familiar ache swelled in her bosom. Would it never ease? “If I may call on you another time? I’m off to find lodging.”

He tipped his head to one side. “Oh, you’re staying?”

Why did everybody think that because her father was dead, she would leave?

Or was this wishful thinking on their part?

If so, why?

She nodded. “I am.”

He shook himself like a hound dog awakening from a nap. Had he stretched and yawned, she would not have been surprised. “Good. Good.” He pointed down the street. “The church is there. The parsonage is the tiny house behind. I’m in my study most days. Come any time.” He tipped his hat. “Perhaps I’ll see you in church tomorrow?”

“We shall see. Thank you for rescuing me from that horrible man.”

His shoulders slumped. “So many have too much time and money on their hands.” He quirked his chin toward the others walking along the street. “Many work all week then come into town and spend it on a Saturday, only to go back and repeat the same cycle next week.”

Sounded like a hopeless cycle. But what could she do about it? Nothing. If she wanted to make it on her own here, she had her work cut out to stay out of the poorhouse. She surely wouldn’t ask her rich-as-Midas mother for assistance. Maybe once she got on her feet … “Thank you again. Good day.”

She gripped her carpetbag and continued on her way, pleased that at least two men in this town—the sheriff and the parson—were raised by genteel women. She should count herself lucky she’d met both today. Having even one on her side might come in handy at some point. And having two—well, that was just downright serendipitous.

Three blocks through the business section, then a right for two blocks, and she soon found the house she sought. Narrow but well-kept flower gardens lined both sides of the walkway. She unlatched the gate, headed for the door, and knocked. Her gloved hands sweating, she longed for a cool drink of lemonade or sweet tea. As she raised her hand to knock again, the door swung open and a tall, thin woman of indeterminate age peered down at her.

Becky tossed her a smile and introduced herself. “The sheriff said you might have a room for rent?”

“How long?”

“I’m not certain. I plan to stay until I settle my father’s estate, at least. Possibly longer.”

The stern look on the woman’s face eased. “Sorry for your troubles. Four dollars a week including meals.” She peered past Becky. “And I only take respectable women. No children. No men. My name is Joan Hicks.”

While the amount seemed high, Becky had little choice. “My name is Becky Campbell.”

“Oh, you’d be—”

Becky sighed. Either her father was famous, or infamous. The former, she hoped. “Yes. His daughter. And yes, I’m staying in town until I get his claim sorted out.”

The wrinkles around the landlady’s eyes deepened, and her mouth lifted in a smile. “Actually, my next question was if you want dinner tonight?”

“I would. Thank you. What time?”

“Dinner’s at five. Perhaps you’d like to see your room and freshen up.”

She was going to like this obviously kindly, no-nonsense woman. So unlike her own mother. “Thank you.”

The interior of the house was dark but cool, and Becky followed Mrs. Hicks up two flights of stairs to one of three doors that opened off the top landing. The landlady stood aside and held out her hand, palm up. “Payment due in advance. Pot roast for dinner.”

Becky dug the four coins from her reticule and handed them over. “Thank you.”

“No keys for any of the rooms. I got the right to inspect the room with an hour’s notice. No cooking or smoking in the rooms. Privy is out the back door.”

Becky swallowed back a lump of disappointment. She’d expected indoor plumbing, just as she enjoyed in New York, but the modern conveniences hadn’t made their way this far west.

Or at least, not to this house in Silver Valley.

She entered what would be her home for at least the next week, longer if she could figure out how to make her remaining money stretch further. She set her bag on a dressing table, and then she closed the door. When she sank onto the bed, the springs creaked beneath her weight. She sighed.

A pang of—of what? Homesickness? Missing her father? Wishing things were different?—caught her off guard, spreading through her like a flooding river, threatening to wash away all hope. So much for her dreams of prospecting with her father in the mountains of Colorado. Of catching up on all the years they’d missed.

Rather, that she had missed.

She doubted her father had lacked any adventures or excitement.

His life had been so different from her own.

She dumped the contents of her drawstring bag onto the bed and sorted through them. Sixty-three dollars which, along with the hundred or so in her carpetbag, should tide her over for a while. If she didn’t have to buy her father’s claim. If she didn’t have to pay top dollar for every single thing she needed.

Because if there was one thing still alive in her, it was the desire to understand her father. To understand what drove him to leave the comforts of home and travel to this remote place. Was it the lure of silver? Was he simply tired of his refined life? Of his wife?

Of her?

I will randomly draw one name from all who leave a comment for a free ebook of Double Jeopardy.

Don’t forget to stop by our Launch Event at:

Double Jeopardy is available at, and fine booksellers in your area.

About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management. Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Books: Amazon: and Smashwords:

Friday, December 27, 2019


Missing Deposits – The Story Behind the Story – with giveaway

By Leeann Betts

Readers—and writers, too, for that matter—often ask me where I get the ideas for my stories. Well, in this case, I wanted to set my story in Colorado so I could enter several state-based writing contests that require a Colorado setting.

As I do with just about every book in this series, I made up a fictional town based on a part of the state I’d recently visited and which I thought readers might like to learn more about. The Grand Mesa/Mesa Verde National Park area on the western slopes of Colorado is a world unto itself. The scenery is spectacular, the weather is iffy, but the people are generally warm-hearted and compassionate.

I also wanted a politically conservative setting, because while not exclusively so, politically conservative folks also tend to be church-goers, and I wanted both Carly and Mike to be slam-dunked into a situation where they had to re-examine their spiritual beliefs. Throughout this series, a little here and a little there, Carly and her husband have been introduced to the Christian faith.

The couple who hosts Carly and Mike on their working vacation are named after very good friends—first names, only. Their last name was drawn from a desire to design a brand that I could draw. A Lazy L, in brand terms, is one that lays horizontally.

The details about the black-footed ferrets are mostly true. Not about the truck accident that dropped several of the critters on the western slope, but they were transported down I-25 into Arizona and New Mexico. At the timing of this story, 2005, they were on the “extinct in the wild” list, although they have since recovered are now on the “endangered” watch list.

Leave a comment, and I will draw randomly for a print copy (US only) or ebook version (winner’s choice) of Missing Deposits.

About Missing Deposits:

Carly looks forward to a vacation when Mike is hired to assist an association of ranchers in western Colorado catalogue their various mineral rights following the discovery of several large deposits. However, Carly soon learns that the real wealth—and the real danger—aren’t below ground. Someone is out to keep a secret bigger and more profitable than gold and copper. And they’re willing to kill for it.

About Leeann:

Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. Missing Deposits is the 11th title in her cozy mystery series, and together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Christian Authors Network, and Sisters in Crime. Leeann travels extensively to research her stories, and is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary LLC.

Website: Receive a free ebook just for signing up for our quarterly newsletter.

Books: Amazon  and Smashwords:

Monday, December 2, 2019

Cyber Monday Books With Supernatural Effect

GIFTS FOR Cyber Monday!
A great day to order one or all of this news reporter’s/ Medical Writer’s/ Christian novelist’s/Christian educator’s/ ADA NICHOLSON BROWNELL books! Browse through the summaries to find Great Inspiring books for young and old they’ll never forget! Common sense books they'll remember.

All the books are available on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle. Imagine the Future You also is available in Audio. See link to Ada Brownell’s author page at the end.

Love’s Delicate Blossom

As she prepares to leave for college, Ritah hopes to teach women how to manage money, start a business, run a farm, and even prevent and treat illness and injuries. IN 1917 few have access to a doctor while war and disease make many wives into widows -- and children into orphans.
Ritah is nearly ready to board the train when she discovers her friend Tulip, whose parents died of cholera, was kidnapped by a man who wants to make her work in a brothel.
Then wealthy Edmund Pritchitt III pressures Rita to stay home and get married.
Everywhere she turns, Rita must make choices. Will she be victorious?


The groans of a woman in the throes of birth pangs come from the barn loft of John Lincoln Parks. Who is it? He has enough to do trying to restore his horse herd and bring the peach orchards back to bearing fruit. Polly the cook/housekeeper delivers the baby, but John keeps finding people who need him or a miracle. The woman he hopes to marry, a lawyer, is trying to get people who are not insane out of an asylum Edwina Jorgenson, his rancher neighbor, has a peeping Tom. The peeper’s bootprints are like those in John’s barn after a body was dropped there.
Will John achieve his goals and dreams, regain his faith, or be tried for murder?

The Lady Fugitive

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?
In 1908 Jenny Louise Parks, 17, escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return.  
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William O’Casey and there’s a hint of romance. But while traveling around the country peddling household goods and showing one of the first Passion of the Christ motion pictures, William discovers his father’s brutal murder.
Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in?
2015 Laurel Award runner-up.
#Review You’ll laugh, bite your nails; wish you had a gun to help. Fifty-nine reviews.

The Castle and the Catapult: Joe the Dreamer

Enter an area where people are missing and radicals want to obliterate Christianity from the earth. Joe Baker’s parents are among the missing and he finds himself with someone after him.
Reader: This book is relevant to what is happening today. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in years.

What prayer can do

True testimonies of true events where God intervened.
Ennis Surratt, known as the “meanest man in town,” changed in a moment. John Feliciano, blinded in an industrial accident, sees instantly. Marjorie Eager’s family escapes death when God stops a forest fire. More amazing chapters originally published in The Pentecostal Evangel, enough for every week of the year, with three bonuses.


A motivational Bible study

Ready or not, you’re going into your future.
If you continue to do what you do now, what kind of future will you have? This Bible study will help you discover evidence for faith in God; how to look and be your best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into your brain you can spend; and how to avoid hazards that jeopardize a successful life for earth and eternity, all mingled with true stories that can make you smile.
Also available in audio. Read or listen to the first chapter free.

SWALLOWED BY LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal
13-week Bible study:

Do you believe you could live with someone else’s heart or kidneys, but not without your body? Evidence shows we’re more than flesh. Written by a prolific religion writer and medical journalist, this non-fiction inspirational book is a great text for group study.
Review: “It was wonderful how the author merged the medical with the spiritual.”

The author tells what it was like to grow up in a Pentecostal home, miracles she witnessed, and then of her own journey following the Lord. Her inspiring confessions of faith will encourage and bless believers everywhere.
Originally published by the Assemblies of God in 1978, the book was listed in 2011 and many other years among ten top recommendations on Pentecostalism by The Library Thing.
Review: Confessions Of a Pentecostal is more than just a book or a story; it is an ultimate look inside another person's faith.

Amazon Ada Brownell author page: