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REPUBLISHED “Angelica, You Have Chosen Well.” Read First 2 Chapters!


Chapter One


“Who is the Loner?

  Jesus has already suffered the ultimate crucifixion.  Rising again causes fear in the heart of the king, jealous of any arrival of a so-called new king.

Jerusalem is in utter mayhem, crowded with soldiers and stampeding horses, a complete panic. They arrest those who believe in Jesus, and imprison them under a death sentence by Saul of Tarsus.  He zealously persecutes the church seizing men and women called the ‘followers’ or ‘Christians’ for causing an uproar.  The uproar, telling people about Jesus Christ the One many speak of who was dead and His body stolen. The Christians however, faithful to Jesus, know better.

Early one dusky morning, a man saunters down a steep, stone staircase leading into a cold, underground prison where the walls seep of water.  A retched lingering scent reeks of death throughout the dark, damp, and brisk prison.  Its walls hold the memory of those dying having perished inside the grey and black encumbrance.

At the end of the stairs sits a wooden chair and a small, round table where a candle drips of wax and remains lit.  The only light illuminates throughout the dark prison.  The man passes by the cells to the right and left, holding men and women who will soon die for their crimes.  Their only crime is preaching Jesus Christ.  The prisoners sing songs to the Lord while many others pray and fearfully eye the man who passes their cell. Thoughts prick their mind, Am I next?  His armor clinks and his sandals sweep across the hard, stone floor until he finally stops at the last cell of the prison. Disdainfully, he looks down on one prisoner.

“Woman, I have what you sent for.”  Abruptly and callously speaking, there stands the prison guard dressed in red and gold armor. He leers at the young woman through the cell bars.  She lies on a bed of hay; she tucks her legs tightly to her bosom.  She crosses her arms in sleep. Struggling to keep warm, her eyes barely open from sheer exhaustion.

The woman of fair complexion snuggles with a head wrap. She wears an off-white gown with a color, stripe sash.  In an unlit cell lying in a puddle of putrid water, her hair shines like the sun, in long ringlets.  Her sky blue eyes distract from the visible dirt and grime staining her body and clothing.

Swiftly standing to her feet, she staggers toward the guard who holds, in his rough hands, a thick stack of parchments along with a pen.

“Well?  Do not look as if you did not send for them, woman.  Just take them!”  The guard is irate at the woman’s hesitation.

“Given the charges, you are very fortunate to have been allowed these parchments!” He stomps a foot.

“I am sorry, sir. I just-”

“Well, take these parchments and your pen!  I do not see what is so important to write about since you will be put to death in several days!  Today you were arrested and brought here, along with every other Christian! And, you have a request to make?  Well, what should I do about the requests of all the others in here?  Just look around,” He points his thick, dirty finger around the prison.

Her eyes are barely able to make out the silhouettes of dozens of men and women in their cells.  Some quietly cry, while others sit in chains and shackled to the wall.  Their heads hang to their chests in agony unable to catch a breath.  It is a cruel and drawn out punishment; they suffer gradually until their ultimate doom perhaps days, hours, or minutes later.  Others cough profusely.  Many huddle together and shiver desperate to stay warm.  For everyone here, this is the only hell on earth they will ever know.  As soon as they close their eyes exhaling their last breath, they will be with Jesus.  That is the only joy that encourages them.

Tears fill the woman’s eyes as the guard bellows a triumphant chuckle mocking the woman, his arms cross vindictively.

“Keep quiet over there!”  He scowls at the others.  Some of them gasp and sniffle frightened by the jailer as they quiet their tears hastily.

“Sir, my body may be dead on this earth, but I will not be dead!”  The woman boldly states.  “I will be in heaven with the Messiah, Jesus Christ!  He has risen!  Soon, I will see Him again, face to face.”

“Yes…we will,” One of the prisoners courageously blurts.

“I will too,” another voice speaks up repeated by many others echoing throughout the prison walls.  The voices resound with faith and conviction.  Their lives full of encouragement, and service to Jesus.

“Yes, I will meet my Lord in heaven.”  “I will be there too!”  “And me!  I saw Him and supped with Him, after He rose!”  The prisoners bellow one at a time.

“Quiet! Or else I will come in there, and beat every last one of you!”  He threatens.

Those in their cells silence their voices.  However, one remains vigilant.

“You may beat this body and take my life, but you will never take my soul!”  The young woman defiantly proclaims, as her blue eyes pierce into the jailer’s very soul.

The so-called Christians begin clapping their hands rejoicing while others cry out.  The testimony of the followers resonates in the ears of the jailer. He grows irate by their uprising.  His face is glossy, and a prickly beard fits his harsh demeanor. He reaches to his side and draws his sword from its sheath.  The sword sends just the right reflection onto the walls from the lit candle; it frightens the prisoners.  The claps swiftly fade as he purposely runs the sword over the bars of the woman’s cell, one at a time.

*Clink* clink* clink* 

The sound rings through the gloomy prison.

Determined not to be afraid, she takes a deep breath.  Her blue eyes innocently gaze into his with conviction.  Pausing, from the outburst of anger, his face softens.  He furrows his brow and purses his lips.

“You really are not crazy, are you?  You truly do believe what you have just proclaimed, do you not?”

The woman readily smiles at him as if he is merely a friend.  “Yes I do, sir.  Jesus loves you!  And you can come to heaven with me if you like.  I can tell you all about-”

“Enough of this!”  The jailer hisses, he presses his tongue against his front teeth snarling at the woman’s remark.  Inconsiderately, he squeezes the parchments and pen between the thick metal bars and disdainfully tosses them onto the cell ground covering them with filth, and moisture.  He quickly stomps off leaving the heart of the prison and slamming the door at his exit.

“OHhh, you are one of those followers of Jesus, are you not?  Well, did you not know?  He was crucified not long ago?”  An old man asks from a cell next to hers.

Kneeling on one knee, the woman gathers the parchments into her hands and wipes the grime onto her clothes.

“Yes, He was, sir, but did your king also tell you the body is missing?  It is because He is alive.  Resurrected, just as He said.  I saw Him, and ate with Him, and watched as He ascended into heaven. He instructed us all to look up and wait for His return!”  The woman joyfully declares.

“With a story like that, it is no wonder you need the parchments.  It was simply some crazy disciples stealing his body, nothing more, woman,” The man shrugs.

“I heard that rumor as well,” The woman gazes up through the murkiness of the prison catching a glimpse of the old, thin man lying on his side.  Moving his fingers through his thick, white beard, he wheezes and coughs profusely.  It appears the only thing holding him together is the skin on his frail, wrinkly body.  Yet somehow, he has enough strength to speak.

“I believe you….I believe He was a great teacher,” His voice gentle yet raspy, and grows faint from apparent sickness setting into his brittle body.

Picking up the pen, she holds the parchments tightly to her bosom and nestles back onto the scattered hay.  “He was much more than that, sir, oh, much more than that,” She exhales recalling His face.

The old man wraps his fingers around the bars of the cell and scoots himself forward with intrigue at the young woman who seems like a radical in his old eyes.  It’s something he is not accustomed to seeing.

“My name is John of Samaria.  I was arrested for stealing a loaf of bread when there was a mad panic in the city.  I fled in fear when the narrow streets were suddenly filled with soldiers. I was certain they were coming for me.  They were armed. When they encircled a group of men and women, I was mistaken as one of them.  A Christian, like you appear to be.  They proclaimed we were under arrest, by order of Saul of Tarsus.  We were seized in chains, and brought down here.  The others arrested are also as you, followers of the Man, Christ.  So, I shall be put to death, with all of you, BUT I am not a follower of Jesus.  I believe I will die in this cell before being stoned by Saul of Tarsus.  Perhaps, death is better than the life of thievery I have led,” Resting his head on the cold, stone ground, the man tells his tale.

“I too was brought here by Saul of Tarsus.  It is the way of the world now.  A mad epidemic of sin, where they believe justice is being served by putting us to death for our beliefs when they know not the truth.  Their hearts and souls refuse to accept what their eyes have seen, and yet it just happened.  It was not so long ago that He came into this earth as a man, and was crucified.  He…He was so much more than that, as I have said.  He was more than I could be and it appears now…more than I will ever be.”

John shivers from the cold and drafty conditions of the prison but does not mind speaking with the young woman, who is delightful.

“And what is your name, woman?”  His teeth chatter uncontrollably.

The woman sets the parchments onto the ground.  “My name is Angelica, Angelica of Bethlehem,” She answers and takes the wrap from her head and gives it lovingly to the old man.  “The jailer allowed me to keep this blue wrap out of kindness.”

Kindness?  That jailer does not have an ounce of kindness in his body,”  He wheezes. Taking the garment through the bars, he drapes it around his body shaking his head.

“Well, he seemed kind at that moment.  The wrap is special.  It was given to me by a woman.  This woman showed me love, in the midst of her pain: A woman with an issue of blood.”

“An issue of blood?”  John, the thief, inquisitively questions his new found, cellmate.  “Woman… I mean, Angelica.  What are the parchments for?”

She solemnly glances down at the parchments and pen knowing their divine purpose.  “This bed of hay, the smell is…oh so familiar.  You see, I know I will die here very soon.  They will take me out into the courtyard. And Saul of Tarsus will be there, along with a large, angry mob.  He will ask me once more if I want to deny Jesus or die.  I will answer, the only thing I can say.  ‘I have lived every day for Jesus, and now I will die for Him.  Saul of Tarsus, I have prayed for you since the day I was arrested and placed in chains.  My prayer is this, that one day as you believe you are doing your service, the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to you.  I will die now on this earth, but I will not be dead.  I will forever be with Jesus.’  Then I imagine the mob will grow more wrathful for innocent blood, and they will drag me outside the city gates and surround me.  Then one by one, they will stone me until there is no life left in this body.  The parchments, dear sir, are to tell the story of why the blue wrap is so very dear to my heart, and why this hay in my cell has a story of its own.  A story that I pray will ring into the hearts and ears of all who hear it,” Angelica grips her pen firmly as she ponders.

“Angelica, as you write your story, will you read it to me?  Every word while I am here.  I want to know this passion you have that will surely end your life.  The passion for this Man named Jesus.”

Angelica beams from ear to ear as she begins to write onto the first parchment.  She begins to read aloud to John.  With the expectation of falling fast asleep, it engrosses him instead. He listens to her sweet, pleasant voice.  From the very first words she speaks, something begins drawing John in.

Chapter Two


“An Angelic Night”

   “It was 4 B.C. in Bethlehem of Judea where my father Phillip was a simple innkeeper.  Stout, with a large belly and very strong, he has blue eyes like mine, which is extremely rare for a Jew in Bethlehem.  He kept the inn to provide for my mother Beth who was with child, and unknowingly about to have an early birth.  My mother was a petite woman with long, curly, brown hair, and the face of an angel.  She and my father loved each other very much.  The last time I spoke to him, he still expressed his undying love for her.  Being together as a family was all they had hoped for.

“This night was different from other nights at the inn because, quite unexpectedly, it was full.  Usually, at that time of year, my father said we had rooms available.  But this night was very peculiar.  People arrived all night in search for a place to stay but, there was no room left in the inn.

“The inn of my father was very large.  There were five extra rooms beside mine, and my mother, and father’s, which adjoined to the inn.  I can still see the large dining area and sitting room. It is where we spent countless hours together.  All were built by my grandfather, who has since been laid to rest.  It was a cozy inn, and the guests who stayed with my mother and father always expressed how much it felt like home, during their stay.

“The guests were served hot bread and cheese with wine and fruit.  I can still smell the freshly baked bread and hear the sweet voice of my father calling me to the dinner table.  Oh the laughs we had together.  My father could make me laugh and laugh.

“My mother and father were very content when the guests were satisfied.  But, their happiness ended that night as they continued to send others away, for lack of room.  The only place left was a stable where the animals slept.  And no one wanted to lodge in a stable.

“Sitting on a chair in our kitchen, my mother held her bulging belly knowing full well, something was wrong.  She was in her seventh month and the physician said she was in good health, even after complaining of headaches.

“Father is a bit delirious trying to run the inn while keeping his eye on my mother.  She slowly moves onto the bed for comfort placing her hands on her belly.  Feeling the weight of the child pressing into her ribs, she quietly prays, ‘Lord if it be your will that I should live, please let me live.  But, if I die, please watch over my child, with Your ever watchful eyes.’”


“Beth, it will be okay.  I sent the stable boy to get the physician.  He should be here soon,” The expectant, nervous father calls.

“Something is wrong, Phillip.  I can feel it.  Oh God help me!”  Suddenly, a gush of water pours onto the bed as Phillip rushes to his wife’s side.

Beth begins breathing and gasping trying to cope with the pain of birth.  She grips at her gown.  There is a sudden knock at the door.  Phillip wipes the sweat from his brow, with the cloth in his hand.  He hurriedly places a bowl of water on a small table near the bed of his wife; it will surely cool her down.

“Good!  That must be him, Beth.  Now-now don’t you worry…it-it will be okay, my wife.  You just lay there.”

With a worrying pain in his heart sinking deep into his chest, he runs toward the door expecting to see the face of the physician.  Here he is!

It dismays and surprises him as he gazes upon a young man strong in stature, and standing at the door, also seemingly desperate.  Who is this now?  Phillip thinks as he peculiarly eyes the stranger up and down.

“Well?  What is it, sir!  My wife is with child, and I have no time for this!  The inn is full!”  He exclaims snapping at the young man.

The anxious young man seems to share Phillip’s feelings of worry while catching his breath. “Please, sir, are you the innkeeper?”  Hesitantly, he speaks softly.

“Yes, yes, sir, that is me, and I am sorry if you are here for a room.  I have run out tonight, as I said, and quite unexpectedly.  It seems we are overcrowded as it is!”  Phillip exclaims excitedly.

“Oh, so there is no place here?  Well, I need a place to go, you see, I have a-”

“Sir, I am sorry.  You appear like a nice young man.  I would allow you to stay here, with my wife and myself, but she is about to give birth.  We are waiting for the physician right now!”

“Your wife is about to give birth?  Sir, please, is there not anything?  My wife has been riding on the donkey all day, and she is about to give birth as well!”  The young man is afraid and tries to keep his composure he wipes the sweat from his eyes with the end of his head wrap.

Phillip furrows his brow skeptical at the young man’s truthfulness. “Well, where is she?”  Phillip asks testing the man.

“Over here, sir!”

The young man grabs onto Phillip’s shirt yanking him out of his house in a panic.  There, an even younger woman sits upon a donkey.  Phillip’s eyes widen gazing at her large belly.  The agony on her face shows the young man is telling the truth.  She is in labor, and the desperate young stranger will take anything the innkeeper can provide.

“Sir, is this your wife?  Are you responsible for this young woman?”  Phillip asks glaring and pointing his finger at the woman.

“She is my wife, sir.  Please!  Is there not a single place we can go, in Bethlehem?  My wife, Mary, needs to lie down. For tonight, she will have our baby!”

Phillip pats the young man on the shoulder and smiles reassuringly.  His heart fills with compassion. “I have only one place, and it will have to do.  Wait here, I will return.”

With alarm, Phillip runs back into his house and rifles through his belongings.  The only clothes he can find are white swaddling clothes, which he grasps quickly.

“I will be right back, Bethy!”  Phillip hollers taking hold of a lantern and makes haste outside while some in the inn begin to fall asleep.

“This way!  Please hurry, I must be with my wife!”

As they walk, a bright star unexpectedly settles in the sky over the stable.  It is the most beautiful star Phillip has ever seen.

“It seems I do not even need the lantern.  The strange star above is keeping our little town well-lit outside,” Phillip mentions.

Bringing them into the stable, Phillip guides the young man who carries his wife in his arms.  “Now, this is all I have.  I do apologize.  But given the conditions, it will have to do.  I laid out new hay, and the stable boy cleaned it today.  If you need anything else I will try to help you.  I can inform the physician when he arrives to check on you.  Is that acceptable?”  Phillip hurriedly questions thinking of his own wife.

The animals in the stable are very restless from the noise and laughter in the inn, but as the young man lays his wife on the bed of hay, the animals instantly and silently sleep in tranquility.

“That is odd.  They have been noisy all night long.  Not able to get to sleep because as I said, tonight is an unusual night, with all the extra guests at the inn.”

“Thank you, sir.  This will be fine,” The young man says kneeling by his wife.

“Thank you, sir.”  The young woman says.  Her glowing face remains joyful in the midst of the pain of labor.

“I will leave this lantern with you, in case you may need it.  My name is Phillip, and I will be next door in the house, by the inn.  Now excuse me.  My wife is in need of not only our physician but me by her side.”

“I am Joseph.  Thank you, Phillip.  May God bless you for your compassion.”

Phillip sets the lantern on the ground near a wooden manger, and sprints back to the inn.  As he rushes to his house, he notices that the star maneuvers directly over the stable, shining brightly above where the couple lodges.

Phillip steps onto his porch and bumps into the physician holding his medical bag in hand.

“Ah, Phillip, Beth is in labor?”  The physician scratches his chin, through his white beard, as Phillip nods his head.  “Phillip, I must warn you, she is two months early, and we must be prepared.  The child may not be born alive.  And your wife well, she may not ma….”  The physician pauses, noticing Phillip’s attention is toward the nearby hills.

“What do you make of that?”

The physician lifts his eyes and wrinkly brows toward the hills.  The unusual, bright, flickering lights in the sky shines brilliantly up on the hillside.  Suddenly, the lights flash like lightning across the heavens.  A beautiful, angelic sound pierces through the night sky resounding radiantly.

“Glory to God in the highest!”

“Have you ever seen anything so…?”  The incredible sight disappears as the declaration silences. “Bethy!  Come, physician, come!” Phillip shouts.

Phillip calmly catches his breath and orders the young stable boy home.  Phillip and the physician step into the house.  A long night is ahead of them, perhaps.

“Phillip, let us see how Beth is doing.”

As the people in the inn settle down for the night, a great miracle emanates, and two births take place, one prophetic.

“Ugh!”  Anguish fills her face, Beth grunts making one final push.  Her gown soaks with blood, and she drips of perspiration.  Her heart beats faint and weak.

The room is lit by a lantern that sits on the table near the bed.  Phillip rubs her face using a cloth with pink stains and repeatedly dips it into a bowl of cold water.  The cry of a newborn babe fills the room with relief and sudden joy.

“It is a girl, Phillip!  Beth, it is a beautiful girl!  It is a miracle!  She made it!”  The physician bellows to Phillip who lovingly strokes his wife’s exhausted head with the back of his hand.

The physician sits in a chair at the end of the bed as he pulls the crying baby out.  Holding her up by the feet, he wraps her in swaddling clothes and hands her to Phillip.  Tears of joy slide down Phillip’s chubby cheeks.  The naked, precious baby continues to cry in Phillip’s arms.

“Oh, Beth, she has your nose and my eyes.  Do you want to see her?”  The proud new father cradles his daughter close.

“Ah Phillip and Beth, she is beautiful.  Her face is so angelic, like an angel.  She is a couple of pounds shy of what she should be, but nothing nursing could not cure,” The physician proudly states.

Beth smiles, she lifts her head gazing at her baby.  But, her joy soon turns grim and sorrowful as she lies back onto the bed.  Her legs stained with blood are in the birthing position.  The blood suddenly seeps through the linen at an alarming rate catching the physician’s immediate attention; a great concern rises.

“Beth?  Beth!”  The physician horrifically screams at the new mother who unexpectedly loses consciousness.

“She is beginning to hemorrhage at a dreadful rate!”  Beth’s body weakens and is unable to hold her legs up any longer.  Phillip lingers.  He is unable to look away from the sudden, fragile state of his wife.  His smiles turn to concern and fear fills his eyes.

“Physician, what is wrong?”  He hollers frantically over the screaming baby.

“Phillip, wait in the other room,” The physician beckons.

“Tell me what is wrong!”

“Not now, Phillip! In the other room…please!”

The physician tries to save Beth as Phillip steps out of the room and closes the door.  Fear consumes him and fills Phillip’s eyes with tears.  He paces around the room for minutes, which seem like hours.  His heart pounds, and his mind races in a hundred different directions yet he tries to remain calm placing all of his trust in the physician, an old, trusted, family friend.

     My Bethy will make it.  I know she will. He thinks.  But, what if she doesn’t?  What is taking the physician so long?  The tears drip from his lashes.

Finally, in the doorway stands the physician. He is wiping the blood off his hands and arms with a clean cloth.  His face is grief-stricken, heartbroken for the new father and friend who looks back at him with anticipation.

“Phillip?”  He says with a low and tender voice pushing his glasses up to his eyes.  “Phillip, she was just too weak.  There was nothing I could do…I could not stop the bleeding.  I-I am so sorry, Phillip.”

“Oh Lord, no!  Not my Bethy!”  Handing the baby to the physician, he rushes into the room where his wife lay dead and covered, with a clean blanket.

“Oh, Bethy, you did not even get to hold our baby.” He caresses the side of her soft skin one last time, but it is no use…she is gone.


“My father lost my mother and gained a daughter all in one night.  He did not know what to do.  The night I was born, a nursemaid was not to be found at that hour; at least one my father did not think to ask.”


Phillip exits the bedroom.  His face red, from the many tears shed.  Taking the sleeping babe in his arms, he holds his new child and gazes at her face with gladness of heart.  I will love this baby forever.  Until the day I die.

“At least I have a piece of my wife.  She would have been so proud of our child,” Phillip says cuddling his new baby as he touches her tiny fingers and hands.

“I am sure she would have, Phillip.  Now, I know this is difficult, but would you like me to make the burial arrangements, and find a nursemaid for your daughter?”

Phillip kisses his daughter’s precious head of brown, curly hair.  “I think that would be fine, sir, and…I thank you for all you have done.”

It dismays the physician who lowers his bald head.

“The Lord bless you, and your daughter.  Now, Phillip, if there is nothing else, I will go and make the arrangements.  I know it is customary for the family, but given the conditions…”

“I know this, physician, and I appreciate you taking care of them for me.  You are more than family to me…and my wife.  Also, physician, I have one more thing to ask.  There was a young couple, with nowhere to go tonight.  I allowed them to stay in my stable.  His young wife is with child.  I fear she might have given birth without help.  Will you go look in on her?  I told her husband, Joseph, that I would ask you to visit, to see if all is well.  They may need your assistance.”

“Yes, of course, Phillip.  I would be pleased to help.  Goodnight, Phillip,”  He pats his shoulder with a sullen sigh.

“Goodnight, physician…”  His voice trails off as he glares at his precious child now peacefully sleeping.

The physician leaves the house of Phillip, tears dripping from his face.  As he heads toward the stable down the dirt path, lit by that same star in the east, the physician observes a group of men surrounding its entrance.  Shepherds, with staffs in their hands, kneel which naturally intrigues the skeptical physician. Scratching his chin through his white, straggly beard with his thin fingers, he ponders.  Who are all of these men?  Why are they here?

The smell of livestock grows stronger as he moves closer.  Suddenly, he stumbles into what are many sheep outside the stable.   Rubbing his eyes, from exhaustion, he views a large flock quietly sleeping.  The physician makes his way through and approaches the first shepherd who is standing on the tip of his toes trying to peek over a taller shepherd directly in front of him. Patiently, he waits for a glimpse of what is inside the stable.  But, what is it he is trying to see?

“Excuse me, sir?  Why are they bowing their knees?”  The physician touches one of the man’s shoulders.

As the shepherd faces the physician, his eyes are glassy and welling up with tears.  He is peacefully rejoicing in his heart.

“I am…well, we are all here to see the Child whom the angel spoke of.”

“Angel?  What is this madness you speak about?  I have lived in Bethlehem my whole life and never in all my days have I heard of angels here?”  The physician shrugs in denial.  His white hair blows in the cool breeze of the evening.

“Sir, I tell you it is not madness.  There we were, on a hillside keeping watch over our flocks by night. When suddenly, a bright light brighter than anything I have ever seen, shone down upon us from the night sky.  Then an angel appeared and spoke to us saying, ‘Fear not.  Do not be afraid.  I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the City of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’  Then a multitude joined the angel and began to say ‘Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men.’  So we departed to the City of David, Bethlehem.  We saw a star and knew this must be the place.  Assuredly, it is what the angel spoke.  See how He sleeps?”

The shepherd points his forefinger as the physician squeezes through the many that gather around. He remembers the distraction Phillip was drawn to on this miraculous night.  Could this be what Phillip had seen, the bright lights and sound?

There a young woman lay peacefully on a bed of hay.  Her husband kneels gently touching the baby asleep in the manger.

The silence of every donkey, sheep, and goat fascinates the physician.  “In all my years, I have never seen a baby such as this until today.  It is a miracle,” The physician whispers as he kneels to one knee near Joseph.

“Is this your Son?”  He whispers.

“He is the Son of the living God, and mine to nurture,” Joseph replies.

“Did your wife have a problem with the birth?”

“No, amazingly enough, once the labor pains came on she gave birth shortly thereafter.  It was hard, but God was watching out for both of us.”

The physician gently reaches his hand and touches the Babe.  He sleeps on the hay in a manger.  White, swaddling clothes, Phillip left earlier, wraps around Him.

“He looks well,” The physician stares at Joseph then back at the Babe.  “Do you mind if I check His health?”

“No, please,” Joseph picks up the new baby Boy, and carefully places Him in the arms of the physician who checks Him thoroughly.

“I see nothing wrong with Him.  He is healthy and very peaceful.  Hmm…” The physician sniffles.  “I have this strange sense of joy as I hold Him,” The physician leans into the Babe and kisses Him on the forehead.  Clearing his throat, he hands the Babe back to Joseph who carefully lays Him inside the manger.

“Most assuredly, He is the most beautiful baby Boy I have ever seen.  This is a night for births.  Earlier, the innkeeper and his wife had their first child.  She is so angelic, quite beautiful in fact.”

“I am pleased everything went well.  How is the innkeeper, Phillip?”  Joseph whispers.

The physician sadly shakes his head. “Oh, Joseph, Phillip will be rejoicing over his new child, but mourning over his wife, in the same night.”

Joseph’s countenance sinks in deep concern.  “How tragic…please send him our deepest regret…and congratulations.  Please, his heartache must be so deep, yet he was the only one willing to give my wife and I solace and shelter.  For that, I pray God bless him,” The young father says sincerely.

“That is very kind, and I will tell him word for word what you have said.” The physician replies.

The physician rises to his feet making certain that Mary is at rest, with no complications. He then leaves the stable in awe and belief at the happenings he has just witnessed.

The physician knocks on Phillip’s door hearing the baby cry.  The door swings wide open to a very shaky, new father standing on the threshold trying to comfort his baby.  Relief hits.

“Oh, physician, thank the Lord it is you!”  Phillip catches his breath.  “I thought I would have to send for you again!  It is the baby!  She is hungry, and I have nothing to feed her!  What do I do?”  Phillip panics.

“First thing, calm down.  You do not want to alarm your new baby,” The physician comes in and places his arm around Phillip sitting him down. “Now, hold the baby like so.  Rock her back and forth, Phillip.  She needs comfort.”

As he listens to the wise physician, Phillip breathes a sigh of relief. Slowly, the baby quiets down.  But, her tummy still rumbles from hunger.

“Oh, Phillip, you should have seen what just occurred.  The Babe you have in the stable is the Son of the living God!”  The physician softly speaks with enthusiasm and excitement.

The physician pulls out a wooden chair and sits down at the table. He tells Phillip all the events as they occurred.  All the while, the baby girl falls to sleep.

“This is amazing.  It is unbelievable, yet…I believe it,” Phillip states.  “But, what can be done about my baby, physician?  I do not know if I can get a nursemaid until tomorrow, for all are asleep.  I know of no one who has had a child, or may be of help near my house,”  Phillip explains the obvious situation.

The physician scratches beneath his beard moving his whiskers around, with his bony fingers. Contemplating, he quickly stands to his feet.

“I will be back, Phillip.  Rest assured, I will return.”

An hour later, the physician returns to the house.

“Phillip, bring the baby.  Come let us go to the stable.”

Phillip picks up the baby, who awakens and crying from hunger.  He wraps her in a blanket and follows the physician to the stable.  As they walk in, the baby stops crying.

“Now, the shepherds have already gone.  The young woman named, Mary, agreed to help you with your baby tonight,” This thrills the physician.

“But…she must rest. She has a child of her own.  I cannot intrude on them.”

“Phillip, all is well, come,” The physician welcomes his unsure friend.

Phillip is nervous, but notices the Babe asleep in the manger.  The lantern he had left shines dimly on the beautiful sight.  Mary is leaning against a mound of fresh hay.

“Sir, I understand you have lost your wife this night and for that, I am exceedingly sorrowful,” Mary speaks sweetly.

“Yes, thank you, but when the physician told me how you wanted to help, I did not want to intrude seeing you have a Babe of your own,” Phillip says a little apprehensive.

“Sir, for all the kindness you have shown us, and unto the Lord, I would be glad to help you this night,” Mary smiles.

“Oh thank you.  And rest assured, I will have a nursemaid tomorrow for…well, I do not have a name for her it seems.”

Phillip leans over and carefully places his daughter into the loving arms of Mary.  “Oh, she is beautiful.  She seems angelic, like an angel.”

Mary holds the baby in her arms and rocks her sweetly back and forth.  She caresses her face then touches her tiny hands.

“My wife too had the face of an angel.  She was angelic,” Suddenly, the words inspire him.  “Then that is what I shall call her, Angelica.”

“That is a lovely name, Phillip, just lovely,” Joseph says.  “Our baby is to be called Jesus.”

“Yes, that is what the angel spoke to me.  Jesus is His name,” Mary agrees.

“And one day perhaps, God will bless Joseph and I with a beautiful baby girl such as this.  But, I cannot think about giving birth again at least for the moment,”  Mary chuckles as she cradles Angelica.

Joseph places his hand lovingly on his wife’s shoulder.  “Yes.  Perhaps one day.” He says agreeing with his young wife.

The physician cannot be more pleased as he smiles at the small babes in the stable.

Phillip leaves Angelica with the couple and the physician for several hours.  Mary kindly and gently places Angelica to her bosom and nurses her to sleep for the night.


“That night, I was nursed by the mother of Jesus, the Messiah.  It was God who brought them to Bethlehem, and because of the kindness of my father, I am alive today.  It was meant for me to live that night, but now I know my time here is almost finished.  I shall be with Jesus in heaven and see Him once again.”

Angelica continues writing on her parchments and reading them to John.  A loud noise rumbles from above rattling the prison bars.  Shouts and screams from the multitude gather like low thunder.  Throughout the prison, the hearts of those bound in chains rise in fear.  The prison door opens and a loud ruckus of metal clanging down the staircase precedes several men’s footsteps.

The followers, in their cells, painfully cry as two soldiers drag a man by his arms down the staircase.  His legs fall limp behind him.  Angelica glances around realizing there is still one empty cell next to hers.  The soldiers shove the man, his wrists and ankles bound with fetters, against the cold, stone ground.  They throw him toward the empty cell.  They trail passing Angelica and stop.  One of the soldiers holding the set of keys unlocks the cell door.  Unlocking the chains on the man’s feet and wrists, a soldier strikes the man’s back shoving him into the cell.  The man stumbles headfirst, hits the wall, and falls to the floor.  The soldiers mock the injured, defenseless man.

“So…this is the famous Stephen we have been hearing about?”  One of the soldiers loudly and sarcastically proclaims.  “You followers of Jesus are ridiculous!  You will all pay for your crimes…every one of you!  Saul of Tarsus is doing right by ridding us of you Christians!”

Spitting on Stephen and laughing, they both stammer out joyfully reviling on their way up the steep stairs.

“Sir, are you okay?”  Angelica asks while Stephen sits and covers his face in the palms of his hands.  After everything, there is still love in his eyes.

“Yes, I am fine, just a little sore in the head.  I knew my time was coming, but nothing will keep me from telling people about Jesus,” He answers wiping the smelly salve onto his tunic.

“That is what happened to me.  My name is, Angelica, and it would please me greatly if you would take half of my hay to lie upon.  The ground is cold and hard.”

“Thank you.  I am Stephen, as you may have guessed, and I will gladly accept your offering.  May the Lord Jesus bless your kindness.”

“I have heard of you, from other followers.  Is it true you are preaching about Jesus?”  John asks.

“Yes, that is why I was arrested.  The Lord has spoken to me, and I will speak to the council, which may be the end of my journey.”

Angelica stands to her feet; the sandals her father had given her are worn down, and filth covers her unrecognizable feet.  She lovingly divides the hay on the floor and slides it toward the metal bars.  Stephen draws the hay through the bars, and makes a small pile to sit upon.

“I remember you.  You are Stephen. The man great with miracles, signs, and wonders.  I stole a loaf of bread after you healed a man of blindness.”  John states and crosses his arms under his tunic. He struggles to stay warm as he coughs and wheezes.

“Yes,” Stephen answers creasing his brow.  “You look familiar,”  He pauses.  “Yes, I saw you there.  You were coughing as you are now, only you seem much worse.  Sir, it is all by the power of Jesus Christ that those healings took place.  I did nothing.”

“You and Angelica seem to share the same faith.  Can you show me Jesus is real?  Can you prove it to me?”  John inquires, with a pure heart.

“Sir, I cannot reach you and I have nothing to give, riches and gold.  But what I have I will give to you.”  Stephen rips a small piece of his sash and places it between Angelica’s cell bars.

“Please, hand this to him.”

Angelica reaches for the torn cloth, and places it between the bars of John’s cell, within his reach.

“Sir, if you want to know who Jesus is then reach for that cloth.  By faith, you will be healed.”

Hesitantly, John reaches for the cloth and touches it with his fingertips.  Suddenly, he resists and pulls away.

“I am not a good man.  Perhaps, I deserve what I get.  I am not worthy to be healed,” John states defiantly.

“John, I am going to pray that before your time comes, you will reach out for this cloth.  When you are healed, you will know the power of Jesus Christ.  You too will meet Him on that day.”

Angelica gently speaks.  “Stephen, how is it that you came to be down here?”

Stephen glares at the candle on the table.  “They gathered together when I was arrested…hoping for another stoning.  I will die soon, but not until I speak to the council at the synagogue.  I wonder why I am here instead of immediately speaking to them.  I pray the Holy Spirit grant me the words when it comes time to speak. That it shakes the hearts, and pierces the ears of all those that gather.”

Angelica snuggles back into the hay and begins to inscribe again.

Stephen glances over.  “If you do not mind, may I ask what you are writing?”

“Oh, I am writing about my life following Christ.  You see, I have always been near Him one way or another.  I want to give it to my father.  I hope one day he will read it and share it with others.”

“You have been around Jesus?  May I read your parchments?  Please, it is all a man can do in a place like this. Either sleep or talk and since you are writing, I would love to see what you mean,” It fascinates Stephen.

Taking a few pages in her fingers, Angelica hands them to Stephen who is very curious by the statements made.

“I am reading it to John.  As I write you are welcome to listen.”

“Thank you I will.” Stephen says.







 Angelica Bestseller FIXED ALL3-page-001

Beautiful, historical fiction has been republished. If you love the first 2 chapters, you can purchase the novel in Ebook at a low price. Also available in paperback and hardcover!  


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Supernatural Radio Interview Is HERE!

I am blessed beyond words the Lord has opened the doors of several radio interviews this past couple of months. Last night, August 21st, I was a guest on the Unexplained Supernatural Expo with radio hosts Evan and Kelly. I speak of my novel, “Possessions of the Human Kind” Saga Chapter One, and speak of one of the most controversial topic. Ghosts, demons!

What are ghosts? What about hauntings and psychics? Are people really lost after death and need to go to a better place?

Guys, these are questions that you need to know the answers to. Listen, I am a Reverend by title however I do not have a church. I only speak what I know the Bible says about things of this nature. You don’t need a title, a degree, a plaque or anything. You just need the ONE who has the power over these creatures. His name is Jesus.

About 50 minutes in, you can catch my interview after Maggie White gypsy. Please share and I’d love to hear your feedback. If you indeed have questions, I’d be happy to help you in any way I can using God’s word. Have yourself a blessed day! Praying for you and for Maggie White for her salvation! 

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You can also learn more about me, my novels, and my publishing house right here. 

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2018 Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Sharon Kay Connell

His Perfect Love as seen on Amazon

Sharon’s New Interview! 2018

Today I’m ecstatic to interview this wonderful woman again, romantic suspense Christian Author, Sharon K. Connell.  Sharon we’re thrilled to have you join us today. The reason I am so excited is because you have been through a long road rather recently… the dreaded rewrite- which is why I’d love your expertise. I think it’s wonderful to rewrite and your insight can also help aspiring authors. We need to know when an author should rewrite and I’d like to discuss the pleading reviews. I call it “pleading” because all of us seem to be posting memes and little snippets to leave a review yet so many never do or they simply forget. Without further ado, let’s get cracking!

  1. You are a romantic suspense author. And so readers know, I’ve had the privilege of reading one of Sharon’s novels entitled, “His Perfect Love.” It did have me on pins and needles several points in the story. And that Patricia! Doh! Well, let’s just say she was not my favorite person lol. What made you want to write the genre of romantic suspense?

When I started out writing, I had no idea what I was doing, much less that I was writing romantic suspense. My reading choices were mainly historical romance set in the British or Irish realm. I knew I was writing romance, but I wanted it to be more than just boy meets girl, falls in love, someone makes their life miserable because she loves him and can’t have him, etc. There had to be an element of drama in the story, but it also had to be realistic. Little by little, Paths of Righteousness, my very first attempt at writing, evolved. It wound up being my second published book. Scenarios of danger and suspense crept in to add stumbling stones for my characters.

By the time my forth book His Perfect Love came along, I realized that romantic suspense was what I enjoyed writing. And by then, I had actually learned how to write the story in a way that kept the interest of my readers.


By the way, you neglected to mention that Patricia wasn’t so bad at the end of His Perfect Love. LOL  Me- Of course! But I didn’t wanna spoil it.

  1. Recently, I noticed you are rewriting some of your earlier works. I’ve seen this done over the last year with many authors. But this is where I’m curious- since I’ve done it myself- tell us what made you decide to rewrite your books?

My first books were written before I knew anything about writing. They were (and There Abideth Hope, my third published novels, still is) full of head-hopping and needless information that tends to slow down the reading. I made a lot of mistakes. After taking classes in writing and with the help of my critiquers and other authors, I’ve learned how to write in a way that’s exciting. My earlier readers all said they loved the stories, but I knew they could be so much better. And to me, that meant they were worth the trouble of rewriting to improve the story and flow.

  1. Is there a specific sign to look out for that will aid author’s and confirm that they too need to rewrite their novels?

I have no idea what that sign would be except that you are not happy with the way your first edition came out. If it’s just minor things that you know you should or shouldn’t have done, I wouldn’t rewrite. I’d go ahead with new stories. But if it’s like my case where you know the story is good but most people probably won’t want to read it because of the tediousness of the writing, then perhaps it should be rewritten.

Many times, an established author said to me, “Don’t bother rewriting. Just go on with a new story. However, those first three stories, A Very Present Help, Paths of Righteousness, and There Abideth Hope, would not leave my mind. A Very Present Help has been republished in a 2nd edition now, and everyone who reads it loves it. That makes it worth the time and trouble. I’m in the middle of the rewrite on Paths of Righteousness, and then There Abideth Hope will be next.

  1. What helped you (if any) with your vision of the new cover you had made?

When I did the covers of my first three novels, again, I didn’t know what I was doing. Since I’m an indie author, and I was under the restrictions of a tight budget, I used cover templates from CreateSpace. They’re okay, but not what I wanted. When I redid the cover for A Very Present Help, I told my artist what I had in mind, gave her some pictures of what I wanted in the cover, and she did the rest. I wanted a scene from the book itself, not the same old covers as everyone else had on romantic suspense. It was important to me that the cover of the book reflected something from the story, not just the genre.

  1. When beginning a new novel, what inspiration do you draw from?

Life in general, I guess. An idea for a problem in the life of a character will come into my head and stick. Then I have to figure out the old who, what, where, when, why, and how? Eventually all the pieces come together, with the help of a lot of prayer.

  1. Now, this is difficult to talk about at times because of the nature of some or misunderstandings of others, what do you do with a bad review?

I ignore it, for the most part.

Since I’ve been published, I really haven’t had any formal bad reviews. But before I actually published my first story, I had a woman who offered to beta read for me tear my writing apart. Everything was wrong. Granted, I realize now that most of my writing was terrible, but she didn’t like anything. I had to sit back and lick my wounds for a while, and then decide what I could learn from what she said. Was what she said true or not? I did a lot of research about writing and found that a lot of it wasn’t true. Mainly, I think she just didn’t like my story, and tried to set herself up as the perfect judge of writing. I doubt if she cared for Christian Romance Suspense at all, now that I look back on her comments.

However, I did learn some things from what she said. And that’s what we need to take away from reviews when they aren’t what we would like to hear. Yes, it hurts. There’s no doubt about that. But is what’s being said true? If it is, then change it. If it’s not, ignore it.

Bottom line for me is this. I don’t put a lot of stock in reviews. I do ask for them, but I don’t seek them. Not everyone is going to like what I write. I accept that.

  1. Have you ever been misquoted in a review?

Not that I know of.

  1. How high do you hold the reviews?

First, let me say this. I will not give a review on a book if I can’t give it at least a 3 star. What is the purpose of discouraging a writer that way? I rarely give a 5 star. I suppose because I’m a writer and when I read, I have a problem separating the reader from the writer. The book has to have kept my interest so well that I can barely put it down to get a 5 star. If I’ve received a book outside of the genre I love to read, it’s hard for me to really get into the story. Having said that, I have given many 5 star reviews in the genre in which I do read.

Reviews are great when they’re from people who truly love what you write. It feels good when people pat you on the back. But I also think that if someone likes what they read in the blurbs written to give a general idea of the story, and they view the sample pages to see how you write, they’ll get a better idea of what they’re getting from that than a review based on readers likes or dislikes.

  1. What encouragement can you give to authors or aspiring authors regarding reviews?

Take the good and let them encourage you to do even better for your readers. Take the bad with a grain of salt, learn from it if you can, and don’t let it discourage you. Remember, not all readers are alike any more than all writers are. They may have picked up your book and find that it’s not written in a style they like to read. There are many other reasons why they might not become engrossed in your story. Shake it off. Eventually you’ll become more thick-skinned about it in the same way actors do when they get bad reviews.

  1. Let’s talk about marketing. For a lot of authors, this is an Achilles heal. Let others know how you approach the marketing process?

After any trials with outside marketing, I’ve recently decided that my time and money is better spent on doing it myself. I set up my own memes with the use of Canva and a GIF maker program. A file keeps all my blurbs organized so that all I have to do is copy and paste into the meme or GIF, and then Tweet or Post. In a separate file, I keep the pictures I use from free picture sources like Pixabay, and I pull them up from there whenever I make a new advertising meme.

Each day, I chose which pages on Facebook I’ll post my ads. Usually about three or four different groups. I post those every day, and tweet three times a day on Twitter.

When I first started advertising, I used one of the programs for scheduling your posts, but I found that they often did not work the way I wanted them to. Now I just set aside the time and do it myself.

This works for me because I’m generally at home all day. I’m a full-time, at home author. It may not work for those who have full-time out of the home jobs. What you have to do is find out what works best for you. Through trial and error, mostly.

  1. Do you use any special marketing company to help get your novels out there?

No. Not anymore.

  1. Where do you enjoy marketing the most?

I like Twitter because of the retweeting process, and I also like Facebook because you can put more information into your ads.

  1. What is the newest thing that you’ve learning in the area of self-publishing?

For me, it’s that no one knows how to present my books the way I can. After all, I am the author. LOL

  1. Where do you like to research when learning new things about writing?

Everywhere. In books, in blogs, Facebook writing forums, new and experienced authors, Twitter tweets. There’s a wealth of information out there.

  1. I know in your work, you have elements of crime including detectives. So where do you like to go to gather some of that info?

For my stories, I’m very fortunate to have acquaintances in those fields. Just like in the medical field. And whenever I find out that someone online has experience or works in an area where I might need technical, professional advice, I write to them and ask if I can put them on a resource list for future reference. I also use the expertise of people in my offline life. People I have known for years.

Then, there’s always the internet. There are official sites for all kinds of things like the FBI, military, etc. I’ve even gone to a medical site where a doctor is available for questions. People are more than happy to give you the information you need if you ask. When I wrote A Very Present Help, there were three Des Plaines Sherriff deputies in my church and many former and current military. With Paths of Righteousness, I was working in a medical office and the doctors and nurses I worked with were more than happy to give me information. When I wrote There Abideth Hope, the Lord provided me with a direct contact to Search and Rescue. And with His Perfect Love, I used contact and information from past stories, along with contacts from new sources. All you have to do is look and ask. The file I keep lists all kinds of professionals with their contact information and expertise.

As far as the scenes and information for the backgrounds, most of that was from experience. But there too, all you have to do is put the help wanted sign out, and you’ll be amazed at how willing people are to supply the information you need.

  1. What is the number one important thing to you when you’re writing the suspenseful parts in your novels?

That the actions, feelings, and emotions are real. I don’t want the story to come off like old drama from TV shows and movies of long ago. No overacting, please. I try to put myself into the situation and feel everything in order to know how the character would feel and respond. (I just wrote a blog on this) I also contact those who know if something actually can be done the way I’ve written it. Mostly with fight scenes, or things like, would someone bleed to death before help came in this scenario.

  1. What is the number one important thing to you when writing romance in your novels?

That would be the same as with the suspense. It has to be real. The emotion has to be right for the action and vice versa.

  1. What genre do you enjoy reading the most?

As I said before, Christian Historical Romance from the area of England, Scotland, and/or Ireland.

  1. Okay, now since you’ve been interviewed by me before, you know this game. It’s called “Tell Your Readers What You Like.” I will give you options and you tell the readers what you like! Simple right? Lol. Alright, here’s the first one. Slurpee, Frozen Yogurt, or Ice cream?

Both of the last two, there’s no difference to me.

  1. Movie first, or the Book first?

I prefer to read the book first, but sometimes I’m not aware there is a book. LOL Or…if you’re asking which I like better, it’s a tie.

  1. Toilet paper stuck to your shoe, or sitting in gum?- yes you must pick one! Lol

Aimee, you should know by now that you cannot make me do anything. But for the enjoyment of your readers, I’d say TP stuck on my shoe would be better.  Me- Yes I know, but it’s so much trying to get you to answer lol.

  1. Reader contacting you by email, Reader contacting you by Direct Message?

Since I only open emails from people I know personally, I guess I would prefer DM. However, the best way is through a comment on any of my links.

  1. Killing of a Main Character or Doing Something Absolutely Shocking?


  1. Killing off the Villain or Having the Villain Make a 360?

Make a 360.

  1. Audio books or Kindles? (Paperback is not an option here girl lol.)

Since I don’t use either, I can’t answer. I guess if I had to choose, it would be audio because I can’t stand reading online after I’ve worked online all day.

  1. Bowl of pasta or a bowl of vegetables?

Pasta, of course.

  1. Chinese food or Pizza?


  1. Pizza or a cheeseburger?


  1. Fries or onion rings?

Onion Rings. Oh yeah!

  1. What do you put on your hamburger? (i.e. ketchup, mustard, mayo.)

Cheese, mayo, ketchup, tomato, lettuce…and sometimes a slice of dill pickle.

  1. Tell readers what is to come with your writing this year?

I’ll complete the rewrite on Paths of Righteousness and then start the rewrite of There Abideth Hope. I also hope to get further into the writing of my fifth novel, tentatively titled Treasures in a Field, before the end of the year.

  1. Tell readers a Bible verse that encourages you to continue pressing on in your writing.

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

  1. What helpful information can you tell the aspiring author who may doubt themselves?

Never doubt yourself. There are too many other people in the world who are willing to do that for you. If you have been called to write, do it. Learn all you can before you publish (although you will never know everything there is to know about writing), and always take everything told to you in the way of criticism with a grain of salt. Glean what you can; pitch the rest.

  1. Where can readers find your new and fabulous novels?


His Perfect Love

A Very Present Help

Here are my links:


Amazon Author Page:

Author’s book page on Facebook:

Author’s Page on Facebook:






Blogging on WordPress:


My book trailers:

His Perfect Love by Sharon K. Connell

A Very Present Help by SharonKConnell music by Ross Bugden Music by Chris Trosclaire

My current work in progress Paths of Righteousness (Book not available at this time. In process of being rewritten)

Current Book trailer:

And my first edition of There Abideth Hope (Book not available for sale at this time. To be rewritten)

Current Book trailer:




Sharon K. Connell began her writing career shortly after Hurricane Ivan hit Florida in September 2004. After constant encouragement from a dear friend, she started her first story without any training or knowledge of the craft. Since then, she has taken classes through the University of Iowa’s online courses. She holds a certificate in fiction writing from the International Writing Program and is constantly improving her skills through information obtained from reading, online writing groups, organizations, and her fellow authors.


As a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization, Sharon is active in the Scribes critique group. She is also a member of CyFair Writers and Houston Writers House. She manages her own group forum on Facebook for writers and readers, sends out a monthly online newsletter, and maintains a website.


Most of her working career included clerical positions from file clerk to office manager, in a variety of offices from advertising to the medical field. She has traveled to all but six states in the U.S. and has visited Mexico and Canada. Some of the experiences she has had are included in the fiction stories she writes.

Sharon is now a full-time author living in Houston, Texas. Her genre is Christian Romance Suspense, with as much mystery and humor as she can squeeze into a story.


I am so thankful you’ve taken the time out of your busy writing schedule to answer these questions, Sharon. I know your expertise and all the Lord has taught you throughout the years is valuable information for all of us.

Y’ all, be sure to follow her around cyber world and stay connected so you know when she releases these novels. Trust me! Christian Romantic Suspense isn’t my usual reading genre, but it’s exciting, nail-biting, thrilling, and has that touch of romance you simply can’t pass up!

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Be sure to see what God’s doing at my self-publishing house website. Stay connected and follow blog for future author interviews, and posts including book chapters, and devotionals.

Re-Post of My Guest Blog With Mark!

I recently guest blogged with Mark, and figured it would be great to share what I wrote to my own blog!  Feel free to share! Have a blessed week!




Aimée Marie Bejarano Indie Author of multi-genre novels such as: “The Gateway Series” “The Angelica Series” and “Possessions of the Human Kind” Saga Chapter One.
Owner of Dead Man Walking Publications- website coming soon!

Recently I began really praying what I can bring to the table with the blog. I began thinking of my journey as a writer, beginning at age 16. Well, then I zoomed to the present. There are many things I can indeed help bring to the table in regards to what I did wrong. Publishing isn’t easy, the same goes for writing. I’m sure Mark can tell you it’s certainly a lot of work to proofread because you are trying to polish up every author’s novel. Hours of hard work goes into every word read, and every word circled in red. Then the difficult task of: reading over all of the editor’s notes, proofreader’s, and or the beta reader’s notes- Mark feel free to fix any typos I may have as well lol.

So, this publishing thing is difficult work!  Some of us don’t have the luxury of hiring an editor from the start, and that is precisely what I’d like to delve into.

I’m sick with several diseases and on an extremely fixed income. At the time I wanted to publish, I had no author friends, neither family or friends who could spare the time to proofread for me at all.  I reached out to Createspace. It was a small loan which killed the pocketbook. I completely turned to them for everything minus editing, it was far too much and I simply didn’t have it. Once they took over, I was disheartened when they couldn’t seem to find a cover fitting to my needs and the vision I had.  Especially, the Biblical times. Then, it would cost around $200 more for access to additional photos which they can use. But the problem still rested, that no matter how often I spoke to them on the phone, their pictures were just not up to the vision I saw for my first book, “Angelica.”- Now re-titled, “Angelica, You Have Chosen Well”- Part One of the Angelica Series. I finally settled on an extremely dark cover with a candle lit. Not throwing someone under the bus, but it seemed I had someone working on my novel who barely began illustration. The front cover was in quotation marks. Embarrassing. And because I was so new to everything, did I know? Not at all. It took others asking me why it was there to even consider.

It released without so much as a bang for anything including the hard work put into it. My family did buy a copy here or there but as for gathering a readership, it was a far cry to have any. The front cover was disappointing. I figured this is what all indie authors must go through when first starting out.

So, I worked on my next book. This time, I bumped into someone who was willing to help. Unfortunately, this person is a menace to the publishing world, and I saw evidence posted in dozens of places to this person’s insanity. So guess what happened to me? I was suddenly dragged into it. I was even being called names on Twitter for my involvement with this person. I had no idea who they were, I was a newbie. But afterwards realized this person was dragging my Twitter handle into all of their insane rants. I finally blocked them.  I took everything they worked on and learned how to redo it on my own.  I even received a one star review for the book simply because I worked with this person. They made it clear they did not read the book and hated this other person and pretty much me- Amazon refused to remove it even if they mentioned they didn’t read it. Then later, this person decided to give it a chance and amended the review, but still bashed me pretty well. It must have bothered them because shortly after, I received a message on Facebook apologizing for throwing me under the bus. I have completely forgiven this person but it wasn’t enough to remove anything about that review lol.  And all the while, a lot of self-righteous authors were telling me they were going to help me and send me a list of all my mistakes- yep it does happen. D.M’s still hit me up from time to time thinking their editing is better than what I hired. It happens all the time in the publishing world- I even take peeks at best-selling book reviews or indie author book reviews and it’s almost the same case. Authors criticizing or critiquing the other author’s editors.  When will it end? Problem is it lowers who you are as a writer, as an author to what you shouldn’t be.  Most were trying to take away and strip me of my original writing style. It puts some sort of distaste as if something is wrong with you and your writing, so then the question sits, “Why write at all?” Promises from author’s to aid, and it became where I was growing irritated by it. Of course, I know we can learn new things and God knows I love to, but for this to occur with things such as, “I liked the book BUT I’m going to send you papers of all the mistakes you’ve done.” “I like the book a lot BUT you shouldn’t write it in the present tense but in the first person. Like from the main character’s point of view.” “I like the story but the editing stinks.”- of course this was nitpicking my most recent review lol. ETC.  And quite frankly, I don’t like being beholden to anyone.  Promises come and go. People giving insights on how they think I should write the book was all I needed to say, “Enough. I’m doing it as the Lord tells me to write it, and not because others declare it or push me around. And I will redo it better than before including a new cover and an editor.” The Lord knew all I needed was Him in all of this mess.  Did I change the POV as directed? No way!
I had had enough. The only good thing coming from what’s happened is I slowly began connecting with genuine, kind author’s and I listened and read all I could and learned new programs to help me along this journey.  Most of it I learned alone. The only One beside me was the Lord.

I didn’t have all my ducks in a row years ago, but was learning how to format on my own for paperbacks etc., found my own illustrator, and finally recently at the beginning of this year, all my novels were redone with brand new covers, in 2nd Editions, and edited!

The mistakes I made seem to haunt me still since there are copies of my books floating around that I know are not professionally edited, and thus the reviews that occasionally trickle in reflect that. Presently, I have issued a disclaimer to the readers that since March or April of 2017, my books are redone and edited and the reader can now update to a new version.

Am I sorry that I didn’t wait? You know, I’m sorry to the Lord for my hastiness, however I’m not sorry things turned out the way they have. I’m fully dependent on the Lord and He has used me to be able to push through each novel where I can format and do all myself, including book trailers.  The only thing I need help with is editing and illustration. But, for something good coming out of it is definitely the price I’ve paid for it. I believe even now, that there are readers out there for all of my books who will love them and stick with me as I publish. I know I’ll get another chance for these books to make it to someone’s kindle or into someone’s hands. I believe and have faith I’ll get that chance again. Mistakes are made but it isn’t a life sentence, which is why I love this meme!  I saw it on Twitter and had to share it. Whoever came up with the phrase, thank you because it is so true!

Another great thing is I’ve started my own self-publishing house in 2015 which Lord willing next year, I plan on having other authors underneath. I know God has some great things in store for me and for all of us if we simply ask and believe He can. It has been worth all of the: stress, tears, doubts, discouragements, bad reviews, name calling (Cyber bullying), belittling, and anything else that I’ve gone through. If this is what I’ve had to do to get on my feet, then I would go through it again to understand all that I should for what the Lord has called me to do.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 KJV.

What are some things He has called you to do? Just because something is hindered or bad things happen, doesn’t necessarily mean He is not in it. Get on it! Time is short and we should be about our Father’s business.  Maybe you are a writer, author, poet, illustrator, digital specialist, or artist who loves the Lord. Don’t let those things fall by the wayside.  I often hear many indie authors say, “You know my first book was a train wreck.” Or “My first book was horrible it didn’t do very well.” Or “I hate my covers.” Or “I’m a much better writer now than I was then.” I can relate with all of it.  Funny thing is, currently a ton of indie author’s I know are publishing 2nd Editions with new covers as well!  The great thing about indie authors who publish is you control everything about your book!  In five years, you can release a 3rd Edition for all you want! See? Not alone! Sure there are a lot of people doing what we do every day. But if He has called us, then no one can do it like us!

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New Author Spotlight WITH…

I’m so blessed to have a new author spotlight with Author Gigi Sedlmayer author of The Talon Series.


Gigi welcome!  I’m excited to have this time to pick your brain so let’s get started!


What made you want to be a writer?

Surviving cancer and finding myself still alive after two years of just sitting around, (but caring for our adopted twin-girls and my husband Albert) waiting to die, I finally came to my senses. Since I couldn’t work at a traditional job any longer. I couldn’t stand or sit too long, had too much damage through the radiation and it’s still very painful, and having bad feet, Albert, my husband, taught me how to use a computer.

Earlier, in my teen years, I wrote lots of little animal short stories by hand writing. Nothing came out of them, I just loved it.

I remembered this time and so I started to write, since there was nothing else for me to do.

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure, in which language I should write. But then I decided to write in English, since my English became better and we live in an English-speaking country.

I wrote many short stories and entered them into competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave me confidence to go on writing and inspired me to go on.

One of the short stories was about Talon and Matica. Judges from the competition loved the story and so I thought, I could develop a series about Talon and Matica. And so, the TALON series came to life.

Tell us your series genre?

I actually thought, it would be a series for children, reading age, from 9 to 13 years. But it turned out to be for all ages, as some reviewers tell me.

Tell us about your book series and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback or hardcovers)

I let Matica, my main character, speaking in her own voice. It’s best to describe her and her books:

My name is Matica and I am a special needs child with a growth disability. I am stuck in the body of a two-year-old, even though I am ten years old when my story begins in the first book of the Talon series, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. Because of that disability, (I am saying ‘that’ disability, not ‘my’ disability because it’s a thing that happens to me, nothing more and because I am not accepting it as something bad. I can say that now after I learned to cope with it.) I was rejected by the local Indians as they couldn’t understand that that condition is not a sickness and so it can’t be really cured. It’s just a disorder of my body. But I never gave up on life and so I had lots of adventures roaming around the plateau where we live in Peru, South America, with my mum’s and dad’s blessings. But after I made friends with my condors I named Tamo and Tima, everything changed. It changed for the good. I was finally loved. And I am the hero and I embrace my problem. In better words: I had embraced my problem before I made friends with my condors Tamo and Tima. I held onto it and I felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away or something worse. But did it help me? Did it become better? Did I grow taller? No, nothing of that helped me. I didn’t have those questions when I was still in my sorrow, but all these questions came to me later, after I was loved and was cherished. One day I looked up into the sky and saw the majestic condors flying in the air.  Here and now, I made up my mind. I wanted to become friends with them. I believed if I could achieve that, all my sorrow and rejection would be over. And true enough, it was over. I was loved. I even became famous. (You can read all about it in the series) And so, if you are in a situation, with whatever your problem is, find something you could rely on and stick to it, love that and do with that what you were meant to do. And I never run from conflicts.


How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?

I would say, very important. But again, I have med writers, they never read, they just write their book. I read a lot and review them as well.

What book genre do you enjoy reading the most?

I love reading sci-fi and fantasy. YA books.

What genre will you absolutely refuse to read?

Erotica and Romance. I never would read them.

Share with your readers, what’s the best way to handle a less than outstanding book review?

Don’t dwell too long on it. It’s horrible, the first 5 seconds. I got one only with one star. I just couldn’t understand it, but it was there. Yes, I cried, but then I said, okay, it’s not my problem, it’s his/her problem. Next review.

Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?

Live life the fullest, as much as you can. Smile as much as you can. As Crayn said in my book: Let your smile change the world, don’t let the world change your smile.

And: Smile – it’s the most beautiful attire.

And: “If you don’t know how to go on in life, whatever it might be, even if you have a disability, find a ‘condor’.” Not literally in your life, because that was for Matica, but something you can rely to, something you love doing, something to help others. Whatever it is, that makes you happy. The condors made Matica happy. You have to find yours.

What encouragement can you give to the aspiring author?

Never give up. Your book must have a good story line and a good message, as my books have, I believe.


What characteristics do you relate to with your main character Matica and why?

To face myself. When I started to write the book, I never thought of the things they came out then. I wanted to write an adventure story for children and see what came out of that. Because, like Matica, I was rejected in school, not because of the growth handicap she has. I had other things. I had to face what Matica is facing, rejection, and learned, even from writing the book, more and more to cope with myself, to overcome my own rejection and to realise that I have survived a deadly disease.

In a sense, it changed my life as well. I have more confidence now as I never had before. I never thought I could write a story like that. But now? I can and I will write more stories about Matica and Talon and her adventure, her life.


What are some of the challenges that face Matica?

I wanted to let children and parents know, that they don’t need to suffer more than they already do. So:

Children suffer from all sorts of afflictions and through my book they can learn how to coup with everything, as Matica did, the main character in my TALON books. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can find a “Condor” as Matica did. Not literally a condor, but every child or adult for that matter, they are battling with none curable afflictions, should find something that let them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome that.

Parents can read my books to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, if they have some type of affliction, but that they can overcome it in a positive way, not in a negative way.

I say:  Children with special needs or with disability, or are handicapped don’t have an illness, so there is no cure and it’s not contagious. They want what we all want, to be accepted.

My books are not only for children. As I said, adults face some illnesses as well, so my books are for adults as well as for children.


What gave you the inspiration to write this Talon series?

“Teaching Children Self-Confidence through Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. This pressure is leading to record rates of depression among preteens and teenagers and this to suicide. Parents look for ways to build their children’s self-esteem; however, teens look to their peers and popular culture for acceptance rather than their parents. This puts parents in a challenging situation. Most children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved in a positive manner within the story line of the Talon series, Matica shows children and teens that they can overcome great obstacles with love, patience and a selfless attitude toward helping others and experience exciting adventure on the way.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?

I hate to do the promotion. Mainly because I have no idea how to promote. My computer skill is not good enough for that anyway. So, why isn’t there anyone out there, who would love my books and so would take them and promote them for a fraction of the money the promoters are charging. I can’t do it myself, and I can’t give the books to someone and pay. I just don’t have the money.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.

I can’t listen to music and write, it has to be quiet. I am looking lots of times outside, to clear my head for a little while, then I go on.

What is one special goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?

Actually, no goodies. Sorry

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can. 

After I finished writing the first novel in the Talon series about Matica and Talon, I wrote query letters and sent my manuscript to several conventional publishers here in Australia. And guess what? I always got that rejection letter back. I even lost count of them. I tried for many years. I failed.

Next I approached an editor and agent and she edited my book properly. She loved my book and she tried to place it with a conventional publisher. But she too failed.

So, I looked up all the self-publishers here in Australia and decided to let my book be published by BookPal in Brisbane. At that time, they were new here in Australia and weren’t as expensive as the rest. They did a very good job with the designing of the cover page, the outlaying of the book, the distribution, and making an eBook. They also wrote a press release.

When I finished the second book in the Talon series, I approached them again. They were a bit too expensive for me then. But a friend of ours offered me to pay, because he just loved the first book and thought, the books has to go out, people have to read them. And now in the meantime I finished the third as well and published with BookPal again.

But now, since I finished the fourth and the fifth book I had to look for another publisher, since BookPal became too expensive for me. I found Aurora House.  She is doing now a very good job, even better. We re-published the first four books with new covers. Better. And she has published the fifth book as well. I am happy with them, they do editing as well.

When you need some extra encouragement when going through your manuscript, who do you turn to?

Most of the time I go to my husband. We talk it through and all is well again.

How do you market your book? If it’s a marketing service, please give the name.

Since I hate the promotion thing and marketing, I actually don’t do much. But I promote my books in Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. I have just entered a cover competition with Authorsdb with the first and fifth book. Ab to now I won the finals for both covers.  But now waiting for the GOLD, SILVER or BRONZE finals.

Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the BEST thing they’ve said to you.

When they read my book, they nearly always say, how wonderful the story is. But buying my books? They like to have a free copy. Okay, I give it to them. At least they do write a review then as well. Mostly 5 stars.

What is the worst thing someone has said to your regarding your work? How did you respond or overcome the criticism?

Didn’t had a negative yet. Not that I recall. Only one review with 1 star. That was bad enough.

Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication? 

I trust myself. So, sadly to say, no one likes reading my books from my family. All too busy to do other things or working too hard to have the time. But I give it to my editor, and she loves my stories.

Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.

Well, my first book signing was a very long time ago. But I have to say, it was great and I nearly sold all the books I had there. People were so friendly and asked what’s the story about. All in all, it was a good experience and I loved it. Did many more after that, until Angus & Robertson closed down their stores. Since then, sadly, I had no book signings anymore.

What are some of your hobbies when you’re not writing?   

I like to relax, go for a drive with my husband with our 4×4 car, into the hinterland of Australia or even further, when going on a holiday, into the outback of Australia and hunting for fossils.

I also like gardening, watching good movies and DVD’s and, I am reading a lot, real books, paper backs, or kindle.

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. Let them in to just who Gigi is.

I love blue, like the sky. All my clothes are mostly blue and grey. Favorite food? Well, potatoes and tomatoes. More German food then the food the people are eating here in Australia. Hehehehe. Can’t describe them. Love them. You have to come and I cook for you and see and test it for yourself.

Tell us your favorite novel?

My favorite series is DUNE, from Frank Herbert. All Ben Bova novels. All Sci-fi. Hehehe. But I do love YA novels as well. Like Fairies, Fantasy

What was your favorite children’s book growing up?

Since I grew up in Germany, I loved Karl May. You can’t get his books here. They are a big series as well. They were a mixture of sci-fi, adventure. I still have some of his books.

Now a fun game I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you love.  

Fantasy book or science fiction?

Actually, both. I love Fantasy and sci-fi, but sci-fi more. Love to read them anytime.

Singing Christmas carols or watching someone sing Christmas carols?

Watching someone sing Christmas carols. Don’t like singing. Well, can’t really sing. hehehe

Favorite side with your Thanksgiving turkey?

Sorry, we don’t have Thanksgiving here. Never ate a turkey. But with a chicken, it’s the leg. Hmm

Watching Christmas light shows on T.V. or driving around to see the Christmas lights?

Both again, love to see the Christmas lights in real, and watch them on TV

A kindle or a paperback?

I love reading books, real books as paperbacks, but it’s more economical reading kindle. My shelves in my house are full with books. Can’t fit any more on them. So, it has to be kindle.

Thanksgiving dinner before 3 pm. or after 3 pm.?

If we would have one, it would be after 3 pm.

Favorite pie during the holidays?

Pastry I like, but not so much pie, or yes, shepherd’s pie. Hmm

Pie or cake?

Definitely cake

Holiday flavored creamers or regular creamers?

Regular creamers

Espresso or regular coffee?

Regular coffee with milk

How many days do you eat your leftover Thanksgiving dinner?

Well, all leftovers, only a few days. No longer

Are there any mistakes you have made during the publishing process? How did you learn from them?

Not really, I only say, when you start writing, don’t give up. Go on, press on. The success maybe right around the corner. When you give up, you will never know. So, stick to it. And with writing you are becoming better each day.

And what I am doing is, reading, reading, reading other books and write reviews. That will help your writing. Well, it helps me.

When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?

My trusted husband

What is one thing you’d like to address to your readers?

Never give up, success maybe is just around the corner, as I said earlier.

When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.

I am writing on my sixed book in the Talon series. It is finish, but I am on the re-writing, and that I will do several times. I will call it: TALON, WINDSONG. So, it will be available, hopefully, early next year. With all the editing and publishing. It all takes time.






All my books are available as paper back and kindle at amazon, B/N and all the other places.


Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome books?

My website:

But my editor and publisher is just in the brink of doing for me a new and better website.

My website:

YouTube animation clips for the Talon books:

First book:

Second book:


Thank you, Aimee, for letting me express myself. Had fun answering all the questions.

You’re welcome!  We loved having you.  And I don’t know about anyone else but these novels need to be added to my reading list!  

TALON 1 Come fly with me.jpg

TALON 2 On the wing.jpg

TALON 4, Connected.jpg

TALON 5, Encounter.jpg


Ya’ all follow along for more author spotlight reviews!!

In the Author’s Spotlight Is the Wonderful Author Iris Chacon!


Please welcome the wonderful and humorous author Iris Chacon! So pleased you are here for our author’s spotlight. You’re not invisible here so let’s get crackin’!

Q. What made you want to be a writer?
A. I don’t remember deciding to be a writer; I’d wager few of us make a conscious decision to do so. Instead, we write because the ideas our brains generate are clambering to get out, and we can’t rest until we get it down on paper – or screen, as the case may be. It’s like lying awake at night with your brain running 120 miles per hour, repeating your to-do list for tomorrow, until you just get up and write the list down. Writers just happen to have a million to-do lists, some of them a hundred thousand words long!
Q. Tell us your book’s genre?
A. FINDING MIRANDA is definitely romantic and comedic, but there’s also a mystery at its center, and a little bit of action and suspense. “Clean romantic comedy” is the best description — although I’m not sure serious literary types consider that a genre. I hate to label it simply “Romance,” because many readers (perhaps unconsciously) expect naked bodies and heaving bosoms. Until the “Romance” genre is more clearly defined, I hesitate to use that term without modifiers.
Q. Tell us about your book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
A. This is the story of a shy librarian who is invisible to virtually everyone — except, strangely, a blind radio host and a pair of hired killers. One of the trailers [] reveals that the favorite character of most readers is Dave the Dog. I’ll say no more about that, to avoid spoilers.
FINDING MIRANDA is a fast, happy read, often finished in one sitting. You can get it in paperback (from or Barnes and Noble []) or in any of the popular ebook formats (from,,,, and about a dozen other ebook sellers).
Q. How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
A. It is essential to read – and not only books. Read everything that comes your way, including the articles in the old magazines in the dentist’s waiting room. You will always learn something that adds to your skill and likability as a writer.
I doubt if many of us would buy a car that was designed and built by someone who had never ridden in a car. Before that inventor designs and builds my car, I want to know he or she has personal experience with a lot of cars.
Q. How did you decide to write a book about a mousy librarian?
A. I love librarians. I know many of them personally and was one myself for a couple of years. Librarians just don’t get enough heroic roles in modern fiction, don’t you agree? Why wasn’t Clark Kent a librarian, for example? If he’s so “mild-mannered” when disguised, wouldn’t a librarian make more sense than a reporter? How many “mild-mannered” reporters do you know? They’re piranhas! And, believe me, to a reporter, that’s a compliment. No, a librarian would have been perfect in that role, but they just don’t have the PR machine that other potential heroes and heroines have. I figured the librarian’s time had come!
Q. Do you relate in any way to the librarian Miranda?
A. I remember people joking about being “invisible” when they reached a certain age, but I didn’t relate to the syndrome until my own epiphany. I well remember that moment when the realization struck: people stopped seeing me. Teenage boys stopped seeing me when I passed age 30. Single men stopped evaluating me when I got married. When I exceeded a certain body mass, nobody looked at me any more except personal trainers hoping to make a sale. I couldn’t make eye contact with strangers any more because they looked past me, over me, or through me instead of at me. I’m still waiting for Congress to approve billions of tax dollars to study the invisibility phenomenon. But, since Congresspersons tend to be wealthy and famous, they may never experience invisibility.
Q. Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
A. I want readers to experience simple joy, a range of cathartic emotions, and the conscious or unconscious realization that people are not what they appear to be.
We judge everyone the moment we encounter them, based on what we see or hear on the most superficial level. We dislike someone because they have a nose just like Bernie Gumfeld, who bullied us in middle school. We assume someone is ignorant because of their “hillbilly” accent, when they’re actually a Ph.D. in particle physics who happened to grow up in the mountains of Tennessee.
Librarians are sometimes heroic. Blind people are absolutely capable. Rich people are not always generous, and poor people often are. #BreakStereotypes is a popular tag among Wattpad writers, and so is #BreakCliches. I hope to advance that philosophy.
Q. Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
A. Proofreading the 20th draft. No matter how beloved the story initially was, the honeymoon is over after a while.
Q. Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
A. I once read that if one is a true writer, one can sit down in the middle of a busy street and write. I try to remember that when I’m trying to use noise or commotion as an excuse not to write. In a perfect world, I love a quiet spot and a view of nature. I’ve written in every imaginable atmosphere, however, including on a bus or train commuting to and from work in the city. Right now, for example, my teenager – three feet away from me – is watching Spongebob Squarepants at top volume while burping loudly and playing electronic games on her tablet. When a writer is focused on the work, few things can really hinder them. (Hint to writers: Stop making excuses. Just do it.)
Q. What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
A. I need something to sip on when I stop to ruminate or think through a problem. It can be tepid coffee, watery formerly-iced tea, water, even diet soda when I can sneak it past my health-conscious husband. I think the cup or glass just gives me something to do with my hands when I stop typing to cogitate.
Q. What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
A. I have read, or heard, that most people experience the “imposter syndrome” at some point in life. That’s the time when you just know, deep in your secret heart, that you’re not who you hope you are, and that you’ll be discovered, exposed, and publicly humiliated as an imposter at any moment. Everyone who has ever written anything – whether a poem, a song, a love note, a story, a movie, or a novel – has at some point thought, “Who am I kidding? I can’t write! And if they read what I’ve just written, everyone will know it!” I have to fall back on the statement a fledgling writer posted on a writers’ bulletin board years ago. Paraphrased, she said, “Whether or not people buy my work, read my work, or like my work, I write. I’m a writer because I write.”
Q. When you need some extra encouragement to whom do you turn?
I get encouragement from my family members and one or two very close friends. I am encouraged by much of what I read, as well. (There’s yet another good reason for writers to read.)
Q. How do you market your book?
I’m no expert on marketing, but I try to be diligent in applying every technique I learn (so long as it doesn’t swamp the budget boat). I read everything I see on how others are marketing, and I attempt as many of their methods as I can. Mark Coker at Smashwords gives many good lessons to indie authors, and I read whatever he writes. I have met some authors on Twitter who gave me pointers to improve my presence on social media. Based on advice I have read or received, I have done many things, including:
published multiple titles and in multiple formats;
book giveaways on Goodreads, and free books on Smashwords;
Countdown sales on Amazon;
presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and several online author discussion groups, such as, Goodreads, even Paperback Attack (know that one?).
I’ve given away discount coupons for my books (Smashwords has an easy system for that);
consulted professional cover artists and employed their services in creating marketable covers (I’m even having one cover redesigned at this very moment, following advice from several reviewers);
joined authors’ groups such as Florida Writers Association and Writers4Kids (Lady Lake, FL), which has led to participation in book signing event at a local Barnes & Noble store;
joined the Wattpad writers/readers website (one of Mark Coker’s suggestions), where I have met wonderful writers and readers and been able to give and receive valuable and encouraging feedback.
printed up colorful bookmarks and notecards illustrated by my book covers and containing contact and purchasing information.
Q. Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us what they said.
A. One advantage of Wattpad membership has been that writers and readers are constantly exchanging comments and questions about the writers’ stories. I have also received thank-you notes in connection with book giveaways. Mostly, readers tell me they laughed at something in the book, and that makes me very happy. Several have told me the reading experience was so joyful that they will reread the book in the future when they need to brighten a dark time in their lives.
Q. Whom do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
A. I definitely wouldn’t trust anyone who tends toward brutal honesty! I’m hard enough on myself! I need kindness and encouragement, not criticism. Too many people believe they haven’t given a thorough review of the book if they haven’t found something (no matter how small) to condemn. Nihilism and negativity are the hallmarks of what many people consider to be “serious literature” or “culture.” This is why light comedies don’t win Academy Awards, romance novels don’t win Pulitzers or Nobel Prizes. I don’t write for literary critics, and I don’t listen to them.
Q. Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
A. It was hilarious. The bookstore didn’t really have enough space; some of the writers had to bring in their own folding tables from their cars, and even then there were three or four authors at each table, politely jockeying for space to display their books. Also, it was a three-day holiday weekend, and apparently everyone who might have been shopping had gone to the beach instead. There were a dozen writers for every one potential reader who attended! And, while I remembered my notecards and books, I forgot to bring table decor or food. A good friend scattered hard candies across my table, thank goodness. Also, I didn’t have one of those fantastic easels with the three-foot-high portrait poster advertising the author’s presence. But that wasn’t the worst part. I’m a Christian author, specializing in “clean fun,” and I was wedged into the center of a table of three authors. The one on my left wrote horror novels, and each of the book covers spread across that section of table was more lurid and gruesome than the last. The one on my right had only one book displayed, and only one name for himself — which he said was his “soul’s name.” He specialized in seminars and private sessions wherein he taught people how to “go to the other side” without experiencing actual physical death. He was dressed fit to kill, if you’ll pardon the expression, in a sleek, gray suit without lapels (very Euro-chic), and had brought his own photographer to chronicle the event.
I’m truly looking forward to future book signings, because I’ve been through the crucible now and feel certain any future experiences will shine in comparison.
Q. What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
A. Music, photography, movies, and hiking.
Q. Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
A. Readers, if you’ve kept reading this far, you deserve every bit of information you can get. Pizza. Sky blue.
Q. Tell us your favorite novel?
A. I hate to answer this because it changes so frequently. I can say that the novel I have loved the longest and re-read the greatest number of times is Jane Eyre. I have to admit it’s not long on comedy, though.
Now a fun game: I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you enjoy.
Q. Library or the movies?
A. I’d like to see more movies about librarians.
Q. Valentine’s day or Easter?
A. Easter for the music, Valentine’s for the chocolate.
Q. Walk on the beach or a walk in the park?
A. Have lived in Florida all my life, but the beach is still nice. Parks are nice, too, except they’re often in cities, and I’m not huge on concrete jungles. The best place to walk is on the slick rock in places like Arches National Park.
Q. Mexican food or Italian food?
A. If I’m cooking, Italian. If I’m eating out, Mexican.
Q. Classical music or Jazz music?
A. Classical if it’s Baroque; jazz if it’s Dixieland.
Q. The smell of leather book bindings or the smell of a new car?
A. True confession: I have virtually no sense of smell. I have to remind myself to incorporate aromas into my sensory descriptions when writing.
Q. Coffee or Espresso?
A. Coffee (with lots of milk, preferable chocolate). No espresso. I’m already a Type A and definitely do not need any additional caffeine!
Q. Chips or crackers?
A. Chips, if there’s dip; crackers, if there’s peanut butter.
Q. Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
A. Pretty sure I made them all. If anybody knows of a mistake I might not have made, please let me know. But every mistake you find and fix is a good learning experience.
Q. What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
A. It doesn’t sound profound, but it is: Do not quit. Even when you’re not writing with your hands, you can be writing in your head. And if you’re going to quit, your head will quit first. Then your heart. And finally, your hands. Don’t let it go past step one. Keep writing even when you don’t feel inspired. Ten percent inspiration, ninety percent perspiration, remember?
Q. When in doubt, whom do you trust to help you out?
A. Christian writers and friends, who’ll remind me that I’m not the one in control of my ultimate success. “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for calamity; to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Q. When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
A. I hope to finish a new book this year, but long trips have cut into my writing time. I expect it may be February or March of 2017 before my sixth novel is released. It is humorous, of course, with a sally into the paranormal realm. The working title is Raising the Surburban Werewolf. I am also considering a sequel to FINDING MIRANDA, and readers have asked for sequels of other titles as well.
Q. Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
A. The paperbacks of FINDING MIRANDA and my other four novels are available on my Amazon page:
My author website is:

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I’m so glad to have had you stop by Iris. And I don’t know about you guys but my reading list is growing with books such as this!

This has been author’s spotlight. Please follow for next week’s fun interview! Feel free to post questions for Iris. She has lots of wisdom and advice to pass on.

Interview With Author Sharon K. Connell!!!

Welcome and thank you so much for joining me for this interview Sharon!

What made you want to be a writer?
I never thought about being a writer but my dear friend Alan O’Reilly, author of Sound of Battle and Desired Haven, along with many non-fiction publications kept after me about putting my experiences in a book. After going through Hurricane Ivan in Pensacola, Florida, he started in on me again and this time I took him up on it. However, what came out was not a thriller, as you would think someone would write going through an experience like that one. It would up being a love story. Yes, I did touch on the results of the hurricane in the novel, but nothing more.

What genre’s do you write or delve into?
My genre is Romantic/Suspense or Drama. I’ve also written some short pieces in the Fantasy genre, which someday will be published in a short story collection.

Tell us about your novel and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
My current work in progress is His Perfect Love. A story about a bad girl (woman) who realizes that the choices she’s made in life have done nothing but cause her trouble. She’s on the run, hiding from the villain. This character shows up in previous books published before I took any classes in writing. One other character (pulled from my previous novels) shows up in the story but my readers don’t have to worry about not having read the first three novels. All my books stand alone. Some of the characters are simply too good not to mention or have make an encore.
His Perfect Love is in the editing stage right now. I wish I could give you a date when it will be available, but I don’t like setting a deadline. I want to make sure the story is right, a good read, and therefore I don’t rush it. I will keep everyone posted, and you can always check on my website and group forum page on Facebook for updates. It will be offered on Amazon.

How important is it to read when you want and then are an author?
If you mean, how important is it for me to read while I work, I read as often as I can find the time, usually when I can’t write, doctor’s offices, etc. It helps me to see how others do it. I glean what I like.

Is it necessary to take classes to help learn how to creatively write?
I’m not really sure how necessary it is. It has helped me to learn how others in the field create their stories. In times past, people wrote great novels without the benefit of having gone to school to learn the trade. Also, one can read books to learn the various techniques of writing. I think that’s a very personal question for the writer to decide upon.

Tell us about your first three novels.
As I’ve mentioned before, my first three novels were written before I learned so much more about writing, how to attract the reader, how to keep the reader involved in the characters and story, etc. I plan to go back and edit each of those stories, although everyone who has read them thought they were wonderful tales. When I do go back, I won’t change the plot or the basic story, all I’ll do is make the reading of it better.
A Very Present Help is about a young teacher, Shannon, engaged to her childhood sweetheart. They grew up across the street from one another. He breaks off the engagement while serving in the Marines and then brings his new love home for the holidays. In the meantime, an older man decides that he must have the young teacher for his own. Shannon cannot get her mind off another Marine she only met once. She’s going through a time of having to trust God and being tested to the limit. This book was originally a short story, which wound up being made into a novel.
Paths of Righteousness was actually the first story I wrote but was not published until after A Very Present Help. The story is about a young woman, Kathryn, who has lost her entire family. It’s also about a young doctor who had a very trying childhood. They work in the same office and take a dislike to each other immediately. Another man from Kathryn’s past, someone she would rather never see again, shows up and life becomes a tangled web.
There Abideth Hope takes place in Pensacola, Florida where a young nurse, Lynne, formerly serving in the U.S. Navy has decided to settle after leaving the Corp. A killer whom she had testified against in the past shows up and things get stormy. This story touches on human trafficking, drugs and murder.

What about your first three novels do you struggle with?
I struggle with the fact that I wrote them before I knew a lot about writing technique. Therefore, I want to go back and make them better.

What audience do you want to reach and why?
My target audience is wide. The subjects are definitely for adults, however I believe that older teens would find them interesting. I do not believe in writing explicit details of worldly lives. Nor do I use language that cannot be read by anyone. If I refer to expletives, I use that word in my current work. In the previous three novels, I use symbols, such as @%#*@#. These will be changed to read “expletive” when I redo the first three books. My main goal is to show God’s grace and mercy in my tales. I believe any age and any group of people need to learn about that. Christian’s need to learn that they can trust God. The lost need to learn that there is a God who loves them and wants to be there for them.

What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?
The next generation needs to know the consequences of not following a loving God. They need to know that they can trust a loving God. They need to know that there are people who can testify to the fact that God is and has always been there for them, if they will simply look to Him.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Easy question, easy answer. Marketing. I am not a salesperson. If you’re talking strictly about the publishing end, making sure all the formatting is done correctly.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write.
I’m very fortunate in that I have a separate office from the rest of the house. It is set up with everything at my fingertips. I need all my little writing tips that I refer to almost daily right in front of me (such as the difference between Lay and Lie, the words I should avoid using, and my synonym book). I need to have a cup of coffee nearby, my ongoing outline, character traits notebook and my event in the story calendar at my right side. I really don’t need music, although I do put some on from time to time. But I really love having a window next to me where I can look out and see the front yard, birds in the birdbath and flowering plants when I need to rest my mind. Quiet helps too. LOL A vace of white roses on the end of the desk does a lot for my spirit.

Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
I wouldn’t say I need them, but I sure do like them. Preferably Mind Chocolate Cookies. Hee hee

Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
I am self-published. The reason for that is simple. I tried for two years to get someone, a publisher, or agent, to even look at my manuscript when I wrote my first book. It was a very disappointing experience. Afterward, I heard from many that because there are so many writers today, it is extremely hard to break into the traditional route of publishing. I know some who did but they are now changing over to self-publishing as well. I am self-published, and very content with it.

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel?
The worst part of publishing my book was worrying that it would not be something anyone would want to read. Those fears are gone now.

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
Most of all, I pray. Secondly, I go to those I know have given me encouragement in the past. Most are listed in the acknowledgements in my books.

How do you market your novel?
Being retired, I’m on a fixed income. There is not budget for expensive marketing. My marketing is done on social media and word of mouth. So far it’s served me modestly. I wish I had the money to hired a good marketing group, but it’s not there. Interviews like this one are a great help to get word out about my books. And I thank you for that, Aimee.

Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
The very first person is me. I also have critiquers who have been reading along as I finish editing my chapters and I have my proofreader/editor as well. I tried to go the route of a Beta Reader but found that they always want to change my style of writing. Perhaps I haven’t found the right one yet, but I think those who read along with me right now are doing a good job.

Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
I have never had a book signing. With this current book, I have toyed with the idea but I read so much from other writers who say they were either disappointed in them or don’t think they really add much to getting your books out there that I’m not really sure I will do it. Time will tell.

Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.
I do believe there is supernatural realm. I’m a Christian. God, angels, and the devil are part of that realm. I do not believe in paranormal; however, it does make for interesting stories of fiction. I’ve written about Fairies, and that would fit into that kind of fantasy in a way.

Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan?
I do believe in both. I choose not to dwell on the later or bring any attention to that being. Jesus, on the other hand is Someone I am very eager and willing to talk about.

What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
Generally, I finish my writing day at dinner time, although there are occasions when I go back to it before bedtime. After dinner I relax and do my Bible reading for the evening. Then I either watch NCIS (depending on the night) or put in a DVD, have coffee and maybe a cookie and stretch my legs. I love gardening and cooking, birdwatching and painting. The last activities are not as often as I’d like because my focus right now is on getting my current story finished.

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
Not silly at all. My favorite food, oh dear, I have so many. LOL I guess my very favorite of all types is ice cream (and there I have many favorites as well). Too many ethnic foods to mention. My favorite color is emerald green, followed by royal purple and snow white. I’m complicated.

If you aren’t writing, what is your idea of a perfect day for Sharon?
A perfect non-writing day for me would be to visit a museum, followed by dinner in a quiet restaurant and a walk in a botanical garden.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
The best advice I can give to any of you is, don’t let anyone discourage you. If you have a story in you, get it out and on paper (in our case today, the PC). Don’t worry about the grammar, if you’ve made mistakes, or if all your ducks are in a row. Get it down. Do it. When you have the complete story written out, go back and in a relaxed manner, read it to yourself (preferably aloud). That’s when you can change things to sound right, correct your spelling and grammar errors (thank God for grammar check and spellcheck), and put in all the little details you were overlooking while trying to get your ideas down. After that, the critiquers and proofreaders and editors can spiffy it up for you.

Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?
It may seem strange to you, but I don’t think I’ve ever doubted myself as a writer. Yes, I’ve wondered if I’m doing it right at times but doubting being a writer has never come into play. I’ve never had writers’ block either. Not really sure why. If I did get it or start to doubt myself, I think I would simply walk away from it for a while and then come back.

When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series.
I mentioned this above. I do not have a date but try to keep my readers posted in my Facebook group forum, on my author page, and on my website. The genre will be as before, Romance/Suspense. No it is not part of a series. I tend to shy away from series, even in my reading. It’s not my thing.

Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
Right now, I do not have a picture of my book. The cover is still in the making, although the artwork has been completed for the cover (it is a secret and will not be released until the book is published, but I can give you a mock up picture. The finished product will be spectacular). The books pictures below are my first three. I’m not sure that I will change the covers of these book, but perhaps tweak them a bit.
Below are all my links:
LinkedIn: (PenandPaperWorld)
Facebook Page:
Author’s book page on Facebook:
Amazon Author Page:
Group Forum on Facebook:
And for my book videos:
A Very Present Help by SharonKConnell
Paths of Righteousness by SharonKConnell
There Abideth Hope by SharonKConnell

Again, I’m so pleased to have you stop by and interview with us. It was so touching to hear more about you and your wonderful work. Everyone be sure to grab a copy of her novels and follow Sharon for updates of her upcoming novel!!
Sharon Pics

Thank you everyone for following along. Feel free to follow this blog for next week’s spotlight!

Interview With Fantasy Author Miranda Brock!

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Everyone please welcome the lovely and amazingly talented Author of Fantasy, Miranda Brock. We are so pleased to have her here for this interview. Feel free to post questions to her and she will get back to you as soon as she can.
What made you want to be a writer?
I love to create. I have this vivid imagination that never stops going and putting my words onto paper is the best way I can express myself. I have always enjoyed writing and for a long time played with the idea of being a writer. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I decided to really go for it, though. I was finishing up my first novel, Souls Discovered, and thought ‘Hey, maybe this is something I can really do.’ Even in college as I was studying animal science I was still writing stories or poetry whenever I had the chance.

What genres do you write or delve into?
Fantasy is what I enjoy writing the most. I find it thrilling to create new worlds and creatures and characters. I love bringing things to life that do not exist in reality. I also like throwing a little romance into what I write. Souls Discovered leans more toward an urban fantasy type of novel, no elves or wizards in that story, but still plenty of supernatural elements. Poetry is also something I have always enjoyed although I haven’t written anything new in a while.

Tell us about your novel and how it’s available
Souls Discovered is a fantasy novel that centers around Autumn, a seventeen-year-old who has just finished her schooling and has her sights set on college. As she is walking through the forest on her family farm she finds a mysterious necklace, later revealed as ‘The Window’. Autumn takes the necklace home and unknowingly unlocks her destiny as the Keeper. The very next day she encounters a small group of mysterious, and creepy, men who are intent on her capture. Autumn’s family is killed but she is rescued by seven Searchers, protectors whose job it is to look after Autumn and are good-looking, too! As Keeper it is up to Autumn to bestow Power on her Searchers so they can battle Dehmons, the evil and dead-eyed enemies who are after Autumn and the Window. Autumn forms unique and strong bonds of love and friendship with her Searchers. Souls Discovered is not only a good-versus-evil story, it is also a coming-of-age type of book. Autumn has to overcome many obstacles and find her own inner strength. Not only does she have to tap into iron willpower to fight the enemy she also as to keep the essential bonds with her Searchers from weakening through the adversity they face, all while trying to learn how to use and control the Power she suddenly has. This novel has diverse characters, a strong heroine, and supernatural elements and can be found in paperback and ebook at

Do you find yourself identifying with the protagonist Autumn in your story? If yes then tell us how?
Oh, definitely! For one thing Autumn is a country girl who hasn’t seen much of the world. That’s totally me. She also has a stubborn streak that I can really identify with. If someone tells me I can’t do something I’ll work as hard as I can to prove them wrong. I guess that can be a fault sometimes but it certainly works out for Autumn, especially since she has to hold her own in a house full of overprotective Searchers. Autumn is also a very adventurous person and isn’t afraid of a challenge and that can be me at times, too. There are a few other little tidbits of me that I’ve given Autumn. Her fear of ferris wheels, for example. I’ll ride a roller coaster but a ferris wheel? Nope!

What audience do you want to reach and why?
My writing tends to focus on a young adult/new adult audience. I think a lot of young men and women struggle at times to find who they are and what their purpose in life is. My stories often have a coming of age theme and I want my readers to find encouragement from and identify with my main characters. I want readers to see my characters overcome struggles and adversity and be inspired.

What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?
Hmm. I’ve never really given that much thought. I mostly just want people to enjoy reading my work. Souls Discovered has a very good-versus-evil element to it. It has a lot of focus on bonds forged with love and friendship and using virtues such as courage, wisdom, and hope to overcome obstacles. If my book was going to have any kind of impact on the next generation it would be that the virtues highlighted in Souls Discovered are amazing tools to get through life and that you should always fight for what you believe in.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest the most?
Waiting for my manuscript to be edited was probably the hardest part for me. Not that I detested it, really, just that I have the tendency to be impatient from time to time. I was so eager to hear back from my editor and couldn’t wait to see the finished product.

Tell us how the atmosphere need to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet, etc.
I write best when I’m upstairs in ‘my space’ as I call it. It’s just a little half of the loft that has my bookshelves, art supplies, and artwork. There’s a table and chair next to a window that I sit at. I love to open the window in the spring and summer while I write. Our house is in the country so the only sounds I hear are the chickens and the wild birds. It really creates a very peaceful setting. I do listen to music occasionally as I write and the kind of music I listen to really depends on what I’m working on at the time. For example, if I’m writing a battle scene I always listen to Dropkick Murphys. They’re a Celtic punk band and when I have them playing it really helps to set the mood for what I want in a fight scene. I also enjoy playing film scores from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies as I write. Of course, complete silence is called for sometimes, too, but with a four year old and a two year old in the house that can be hard to come by.

Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
I have a major sweet tooth so when I go upstairs to write I usually have a few cookies or a bowl of ice cream or the like with me. I don’t really need them, in fact my thighs would probably be better off if I didn’t have such a fondness for sweets, but I do enjoy them. I always have either coffee or water with me while I write.

Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
Souls Discovered is my first and only published work so far. I went the self-published route. I did a lot of research on traditional versus self-publishing before I published my novel. I decided to self-publish in large part because I want to be in control of my work and I can do things my own way and in my own time. I also love the community of self-published and indie authors. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. I may decide to go through a traditional publisher someday but right now I am content with where I am.

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? If it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Self-doubt, for sure. A lot of times I would find myself wondering if what I was writing was good enough or if people would enjoy my work. I finally told myself ‘you know what? I love writing. It makes me happy and what does it matter if people like it or not?’ I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry about whether readers like my work or not. I write because I find it freeing and invigorating. If other people happen to enjoy reading my work then that is just an amazing bonus.

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My husband, Justin. He is always there for me, whether it’s to boost my morale or to tell me to chill out and that everything will be alright. He is very patient and endlessly supportive.

How do you market your novel?
Marketing has definitely been a learning experience for me. I find marketing more difficult than writing my novel had been. Right now I do most of my promoting and marketing on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. I’m not the most tech savvy person so that in itself holds a lot of new aspects for me but I’m making progress. My husband is also a great salesman for my books. He once sold a copy of Souls Discovered to a man pumping gas next to him. A week later I received an email from the man’s mother telling me how much she enjoyed my book. Hey, whatever works, right?

Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
That would be my mom. She is an avid reader like me and also enjoys the same genres that I do. I learned from the best! I really value her opinion and I know that I can always count on her for honest and constructive advice.

Tell us about your first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, decor, etc.
I actually haven’t had one yet but I am hoping to have a book signing over sometime this summer. For my first signing I’d really like to have it in a smaller, more intimate setting, such as the local coffee shop. Who doesn’t love coffee and books? I’m really looking forward to the experience and plan on moving to bigger venues from there.

How many book signings should an author have a year?
I think that really depends on the other. Book signings are a great way for readers to engage with the author so I think the more you can have, the better. For me, personally, I would love to have at least three book signings in a year.

Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.
Well, the best way I can answer that is, yes and no. I do not believe that people can have magical powers or telekinesis or anything like that. I also do not believe in the existence of ghosts and such. I do, however, believe in God and I guess a lot of people would consider Him a supernatural being. So, in a sense, I do believe in the supernatural but only as it pertains to God and the amazing things that He can do.

Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan?
Absolutely! I couldn’t get through my days if I didn’t have Jesus!

What do you believe is the way someone can get to heaven?
In my opinion the only way you can get into heaven is through Jesus Christ. Admitting you are a sinner and asking forgiveness for your sins. Just because you are a good person, do good things, and believe in God does not mean you will go to heaven.

What sort of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
When I’m not writing I’m usually drawing or painting. I love being creative and if I’m not writing a novel I enjoy drawing characters from my works. I’m wanting to get some of my pieces up on my website sometime in the future. My mind is always full of ideas so if I’m not creating something I’ll go crazy. I’ve also gotten into sewing over the past couple of years, though my skills have only progressed so far as to make hand warmers. I also love being outdoors, whether it’s gardening, fishing, hiking, or camping. Horses are a big passion of mine, too. I don’t have any right now but hope to have horses again and get back in the saddle sometime in the next few years.

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
This is a very broad answer but I love seafood! If we go out for Italian, I get something with seafood in it. Same if we go out for Chinese or Mexican food. I can’t get enough seafood, though I don’t have it as often as I would like. I’m also very fond of cheesecake! My favorite color is green. It is such a vibrant and beautiful color. Since I’m such a nature lover I just tend to favor green.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
The best advice I can give is to just write. Don’t worry about what other people will think of your work. If writing is something you really enjoy then just do it and don’t give up. There will be times when you can’t think of anything to write and you just want to quit but keep at it. Keep writing, even if you thing what you’re writing sounds awful. It doesn’t matter what you are writing or how well you are writing, just that you are writing.

Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?
Of course. This may seem silly but when I find myself doubting or in a slump I like to get out my quote book. I love collecting quotes so whenever I find a good one I write it down. It’s always great to go back and read through them and find inspiration and encouragement. One of my favorites is “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours” by Henry David Thoreau. There are so many others that help lift my spirits, too!

When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series?
I am currently working on the sequel to Souls Discovered and plan on releasing it sometime next year, though I don’t have an exact date yet. It will be a YA urban fantasy as well and I hope to have at least four books in this series.

Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book? Also, where can readers follow you?
My website is Readers can also find me at , (I don’t have an author page on facebook as I like to connect with readers and fellow authors more personally so I accept friend requests) and

Thank you so much Miranda for interviewing! What a wonderful novel your book sounds. I hope you all will grab a copy of…

This Week In Our Author’s Spotlight We Have Author Karne Sjullie!


    Meet our wonderful new author Karen Sjullie!  Her interview will inspire you. Feel free to ask her any questions you may have!


  • What made you want to be a writer? I have always had an imagination and used it while growing up. In my teenage years I dreamed of being a writer. After I got married I wrote short stories and poetry which I never submitted. At the time I did not know where to send them. In 1992 I took a course through the mail at the Institute of Children’s Literature. I graduated July 26, 1993. I learned so much and the course was interesting and fun.  At the time I was working and raising kids so I never pursued my passion.  I still dreamed of writing a novel so in 2011 I took an online writing course on how to shape, write and sell your novel from Long Ridge Writer’s Group. I graduated June 28, 2012. I wrote the first three chapters during the course. I was determined to finish my novel since I ONLY had at least twenty-four more chapters to write.
  • What genre’s do you write or delve into? The Hostage Within is a mystery. I enjoyed filling it with action and adventure.
  • Tell us about your novel and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.) The Hostage Within is about Frank Jordess and his wife Alice. They have a happy fulfilling life until the unexpected death of their 13year-old son. Five years later both are still distraught. Frank kidnaps a young boy in hopes of filling the void in their life. Events occur and spiral out of control as other lives are changed as well as their own. The story takes place in the high desert of California and includes Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona.  The Hostage Within is available in paperback and kindle through   Also in paperback through major book stores.
  • Is there any truth to the couple who lose their child?  My story is based on fiction. As I started writing it seemed to evolve on its own.
  • What audience do you want to reach and why? The Hostage Within is for adults. It has some adult content.
  • What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation? By the time I finished writing my novel, I could tell it had a profound message for readers. We do not realize it at the time, but many events in our lives happen for a reason.
  • Which part of the publishing process do you detest most? Marketing/Promoting. It takes a lot of time, patience and a different level of creativity.  I would much rather be writing, though I know the importance of getting your novel into the hands of readers.
  • Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc. The room has to be absolutely quiet for me to write. Sometimes I will sit outside writing to hear the sounds of nature and the city. Those sounds are the only noise I want to hear.
  • Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?  I usually don’t eat while I’m writing. I get into the story and characters so much that I don’t want to stop writing.
  • Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why? I prefer self-publishing because my experience with Createspace was great. The step by step instructions were easy to understand and fun to do. The easy and yet professional process sold me on Createspace. It is also easy to track your sales, payments and royalties.
  • What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel?  I was excited to publish my novel, yet nervous for people to read it. I wondered if they would like the story as much as I did.
  • When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to? My friends, they are always there for me and have encouraged me to finish my novel and to start another one.
  • How do you market your novel? I use facebook, linkedin, twitter. I sent press releases to all the newspapers in my area as a local author and to the newspaper in California where the story takes place.  The Hesperia Star newspaper in California wrote a wonderful article by L. J. Gambone about myself and my book.  I haven’t heard from the other newspapers.
  • Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts? I was the first one to read my book. In the future I will ask a friend to read it first before publishing.
  • Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc. I have not had a book signing yet. I hoped local people would see it in the newspaper. I am trying to promote locally now and would love to have a book signing in the near future.
  • Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre. I believe in angels and ghosts. My first experience with an angel was in the 1970’s. On vacation from Iowa to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee with my husband, young daughter and mother-in-law. We had reservations for a cabin at Lorretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch. My husband drove most of the day. My mother-in-law took over driving towards evening. I was in the passenger seat. My husband and daughter were asleep in the backseat. We would arrive at our destination at ten o’clock. Something made me wake up. I screamed seeing the car off the highway and heading straight for a gray brick wall. Mom woke up and slammed on the brakes as the car skidded to a stop, a couple feet from the wall (there was a bridge over the highway). We had both fallen asleep. After crying we thanked our guardian angel who kept us safe and more alert after that.  Seeing a ghost for the first time is a real eye opener. At the time we lived in a house in Hesperia, California. It was in the 1980’s when my son and daughter were young. My husband worked nights. I woke up for some reason, as I, laid in bed I noticed at my bedroom door stood a tall man, the whitish gray image appeared to be wearing a long tailed suit coat, like in the old days. I stared not believing my eyes and too afraid to say anything. The form walked across the hall and stood for a moment outside of my son’s bedroom door. Then he walked away. My daughter’s bedroom was on the other end of the house. I told my husband, he didn’t believe in ghosts. Not wanting to scare the kids, I never told them about the ghost. I never felt threatened by it and saw it many times after that night.  Years later after the kids were grown we moved away and I never saw the ghost again.  One day my daughter said, “Remember the ghost we had on Willow street?”  I about fell over!  I asked, “Did you see him?”  She said, “Yes, he always stood at my bedroom door at night, then he would walk away.” We talked about the ghost who protected us.
  • Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan? Yes, I believe in God, Jesus and Satan.  On my facebook author page:   I posted a poem “Our Hope’ about this very subject.  It has been published.
  • What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing? I enjoy working in my yard. Taking care of flowers and pulling weeds. I love to travel. Each summer my husband and I plan at least a two, week vacation traveling to see family and sights also  cities and states we have never been to before.
  • Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you. My favorite foods are pizza, ice cream and glazed donuts.  I have two favorite colors, blue and red.
  • What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors? Start writing early in your life. Keep writing and trust your imagination.  I waited too long to seriously start writing a book. I regret I waited so long.
  • What helpful advice can you give to a couple who has endured the death of a child? Losing a child has to be the most horrific event in life. In my research, I learned Therapy is the single most important aspect of recovering from a loss. It is a form of depression. I also learned many people do not accept the help they are offered. They are too depressed and unforgiving with the circumstances to seek help. I made my story depict this type of person. If you know someone who has lost a child, hug them and let them know you care and that you are there for them.
  • Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump? I doubt myself all the time. To me the story is good. I need friends, family and fans to tell me they truly enjoyed my book. Reviews are great though not many people are willing to write a book review.
  • When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. I am working on my second novel. It will also be a mystery. My projected publishing date is this time next year.
  • Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book? (Please include a jpg of your book cover) My author page is: The Hostage Within’ is available in paperback and kindle through   also in paperback through major book stores. Kindle Unlimited and Prime reads free.  Anyone can read the first 3 chapters free on the kindle edition at



Thanks for sharing all these wonderful things with us Karen! Now readers and fellow authors, she’s all yours. Ask her anything you’d like to get to know her. And check out “The Secret Within” at any of the retailers she’s given! Follow her for future updates and follow blog for more amazing interviews!





Author Spotlight! Author Carmina Edwards!

222938_1045001648055_1316040273_30132258_9921_n[1] Welcome to the spotlight Carmina Edwards! Below is her wonderful interview. Readers feel free to post any questions and Carmina Edwards will answer them for you. You want to get to know this wonderful author!

1.) What made you want to be a writer?

Hi Aimee, thank you for inviting me for an interview. I began to read at a very young age and was an avid bookworm by the time I started school at the age of four. I had a vivid imagination even then and used to love English class assignments by the time I was ten or eleven and even more so once I started secondary school at the age of twelve. My essays became novellas.

2.) What genre’s do you write or delve into?

My first book is a biography. (An undisclosed person)…… My second is a continuation of the first one and a third for sure will follow, maybe even a fourth one. However, I used to write a lot of fiction mystery stories, though never published any of them…….Yet! I have more books rattling round my head trying to get out. They are mostly fiction, one devotional and testimonial. I also love to write Science fiction, but with Christian overtones.

3.) Tell us about your novel and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)

Okay, so my first novel, “A Door Cracked Open” is available on Amazon, both in paperback and Kindle formats. It can also be ordered through any bookstore worldwide. It tells of the struggles of a young girl brought up in an atheist home and yet despite that, she found God and determined to make something of her life, following God’s call, she persevered against the odds to break free from what she’d always known and kept going. Her “ordinary” life becomes an “extraordinary” one in terms of experiences and blessings along with many obstacles to contend with. 

4.) What audience do you want to reach and why?

My audience is mixed. It’s biographical but also a Christian tale. It’s not written specifically for Christian readers though many of my readers are. One of my readers left me a 5 star review on Amazon saying she only ever reads the likes of Stephen King, yet tried my book and couldn’t put it down! It’s a pretty versatile kind of read. 

5.) What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?

I doubt that my writing will have ANY impact on the next generation, but especially with the first book, many teenagers may be able to relate with what I wrote. I would love for it to help them in some way. I particularly hope that through reading it, they will see how God had His hand on me all through this and the next 2 books and give hope to many.

6.) Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?

Oh that’s kinda funny. I am the most computer illiterate person on the planet. I just about get my manuscript typed up and sent to my editor. When she returns it edited…..well I got lost. She talked me through how to do it. I guess I’d have to say that the editing is my least favorite part. My first book went through so many edits while I was working with a different editor. Then I found the one I have now and it went much more quickly and smoothly. This second book is being edited as I write and she has made the whole process a painless one.

7.) Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.

Oh, I need total silence in order to write. Having said that, if I go out and have to wait for a bus for a couple of hours, I pull out my paper and pencil from my bag and I somehow write and type it up when I get back to my laptop. I couldn’t write out too often though. If music is playing, I can’t write at all.

8.) Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?

Lovely question, this one. Well……owing to my current situation, money to buy treats and goodies does not exist, so no, right now I don’t have any to assist me in my writing. I crave those goodies all the time though. Coffee….I do have that and I will drink it from the moment I wake, to the moment I go to sleep. I have to have my coffee or I don’t function…..simple as that. What I NEED too, is chocolate and bags of hard candy! I can’t get those two items though so this book is being written on “fumes” so to speak.

9.) Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?

I always thought I would prefer traditional publishing. However, over the last couple of years, finding how actually, there is very little difference in terms of what the author has to do. An agent (traditionally finds a deal with a publisher for the author), but the author still has to do most of the marketing and PR stuff, so I decided not to go that way. As a traditionally published author, you lose (in many cases), most of your rights, you pay a big percentage to the agent/publisher and then still have to do most of the work yourself. I can’t see the point. I opted for self publishing in the end. Having said that…….remember how I said I am totally illiterate on the computer? Dealing with the formatting and publishers etc…………in came my wonderful editor who did it for me! I will have to learn how to do it if I continue to be self-published. I’m not totally against traditional publishing, but I’d need to be offered a pretty good deal to be interested, I think. 

10.) What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.

I made the mistake of not finding the right editor in the beginning. I had no idea of how any of this writing thing worked before. I’d only written for myself and never tried to publish until last year, so was unaware of the process and believed all the delaying tactics my first editor used. My current editor stepped in at a moment’s notice and began to work with me.  The difference was like night and day. I am happy now, but I think finding the right person to work with is the hardest thing in the whole process.

11.) When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?

Ah. That’d be my editor and a handful of amazing friends.

12.) How do you market your novel?

Marketing is no easy feat. Since November, I have used Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to advertise it. Now remember I am no good with computers so…….still finding my way around the land of tweeting and linking! My book was published in November 2015 and in the first month, I had four book signings in Oregon, USA. I am hoping to do more of those here in the UK. Contacting the newspapers and radio stations, yet to hear from them. One major bookstore in the UK is now stocking my book, but that’s as far as I have gotten with the marketing thing.

13.) Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?

With my first book, I had several readers though they never read the final edited version, that was my editor. This second book…..everything has happened so quickly and it won’t be sat on shelves for years before rewriting so my editor is the first to see any of the writing on this one. She will be the first to read the edited version too.

14.) Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.

My first book signing took place in Roseburg, Oregon, USA. Black Friday was the day and I was privileged to be given a table in the middle of a shopping mall. I had bought white tablecloths and with my display of books and a glass dish (bought in a thrift store), a mixture of peppermint candy and striped candy canes to offer to those visiting the mall that day, I sat and waited. Unfortunately, with most of the shop units in the mall vacant, not many people frequent the place. It felt like a mini ghost town and the smell of toasted sandwiches not far from my table lured me over from time to time. They served coffee, that was the important thing for me. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am rarely seen without a cup of coffee in my hand! Because the large crowds I thought there might be out shopping there on that day failed to exist, it did mean that I got to talk a lot with those who did show up. Apart from talking about my book and signing some copies, I got to meet some interesting people willing to tell me their stories.

It was a learning curve for me though. and some new friends from Roseburg made the experience a great one. Their support and friendship on the day was amazing. I nickname my friend Carolyn my “American PR Manager.” As I sat talking with folk and signing, she stood a little way from the table calling out to people who thought they might get away without even looking at my display of books. She brought them into whichever conversation was going on at the time and most of them didn’t leave until they had purchased their signed copy. Now I’m a first time author, an unknown, was over 7,000 miles from home, not even from the USA, let-a-lone their town. Why would they want to read my book? After chatting, they wanted to know more.

I may not have sold a huge amount of books at my first book signing, but I got to meet some lovely people in a town I felt at home in. It was an occasion for storytelling and sharing with people who’s own stories touched me deeply. 


15.) Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.

Some years ago, I would have said that I don’t believe in the paranormal. I would be lying if I tried to claim that now though> Over the years, I have had a few experiences which I cannot dismiss as anything but. Supernatural for me…..that would be God moments.  I have had so many of those throughout my life.

16.) Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan??

Oh yes. Absolutely.

17.) What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?

When I’m not writing, I love to read, knit or spend time with my children and friends.

18.) Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.

My favorite color has always been blue. Now food….that’s a tricky thing. There are many dishes I love and I may not eat much, but I do love food. I think if I have to pick one dish, it has to be something a friend cooked for me when I visited Louisiana back in September. Cajun Gumbo dish……..Never had anything like it before. It totally hit the spot for me. Been craving it ever since!

19.) What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?

Oh that’s a tough one. Writing can be a very lonely road to travel, mine has been much of the time. I was blessed with a few friends and family (in-laws) and my children, who kept encouraging me to continue. I think the only piece of advise I can really offer is that no matter what, NEVER give up. It’s been your dream to write? Then write. Don’t quit. That’s been my motto in life with everything.

20.) Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?

Oh I doubt myself ALL the time. Much of this stems back from childhood maybe, I don’t know. I have never believed in me enough I guess. When I do have one of those slumps, a few of my friends talk me into continuing and if I am made to feel accountable, that gets me going again. The kind comments they make about my writing spurs me back on and I take off again for a while, a hermit, with my laptop!

21.) When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series.

My next novel? I am currently writing that one now. My dead-line is the end of May and I hope to have it published in June. It is the second in the “World Cracked Open” series, so a continuation of the first one. (Biography).

22.) Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?

I have an Author Page on Facebook.

My book “A Door Cracked Open” is available in paperback and Kindle, on and worldwide.

I am trying to get my website built too, but that may take a little while. (I am stuck, because it’s computer stuff)! I will have a Blog running on there when it’s finished, so that my readers can join me there.

door cracked front&back-3


Many thanks Aimee for interviewing me. It’s been fun.

I hope this interview helped and blessed you as it did me. We wish Carmina Edwards all the blessings in her novel and future novels. I encourage you to follow her author page and keep tabs on what she has!

She’s here so feel free to ask her any questions especially regarding the wonderful book that I definitely have to add to my reading list!


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