Carole Towriss

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Today we welcome author Carole Towriss to 3 Questions Wednesday.

(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded]

Carole: Right now, my favorite book is Excavating Kirjath-Sepher’s Ten Cities: A Palestine Fortress from Abraham’s Day to Nebuchadnezzar’s. (Wow, that makes me sound like such a nerd.) But I write biblical fiction, and this was a book I bought for research as it is the setting for my current wip. It was written in 1934 by Dr. Kyle Grove, who accompanied (and funded) the archaeologist William Albright on his digs of the ancient city of Debir. But it’s the way he writes—with such love and awe for not only the site, the history, the people he works with and the people who lived around the site, but especially for Christ Himself, that make this work so incredibly amazing. Everything is tied up in Christ, which is the way biblical archaeology was then, as opposed to now, where they basically try to debunk the Bible.

(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Carole: I would love to be any character who hung around Moses, Joshua and Caleb.

(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Carole: Right now, Italy. My oldest daughter is there for a semester abroad and I really miss her!

Thanks, Carole, for joining us on 3 Questions Wednesday! Leave a comment for a chance to win Carole’s book, By the Waters of Kadesh, in print, e book or audio, winners choice.

By the Waters of KadeshWok front Cover

Kamose, once Egypt’s most trusted soldier, no longer has a country to serve or king to protect. Moses insists God has a plan for him, but Kamose is not so sure. Tirzah’s cruel husband died shortly after they left Egypt. She escaped his brutality, but now she’s alone, and once they reach their new land, how will she survive? Gaddiel, Tirzah’s brother-in-law, is chosen as one of the twelve spies sent to scout out Canaan. He’s supposed to go in, get information and come back, but all he really wants is to bring down Joshua.

Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, writes, watches chick flicks and waits for summertime to return to the beach. Her first novel, In the Shadow of Sinai, released November 1. You can find her at

Kadesh Buy links:

• Amazon
Barnes and Noble
DeWard Publishing

Thanksgiving Thankfulness: My Grass Really is Greener Than Yours


Now is the time of year everyone posts their “I’m thankful” list on Facebook. Sometimes it can feel like a boast list.

I’m thankful my marriage is so perfect (unlike your train wreck). I’m thankful my child learned how to read by 3 (unlike your dumb kid). I’m thankful I don’t have fertility issues (unlike you). Or in the reverse, I’m thankful I don’t have a million runny-nosed kids to chase since I actually know how to use birth control (unlike you). I’m thankful my teen didn’t just get his fifth tattoo and a nose ring (unlike yours.)

What’s the point of thankfulness? Is it essentially a boast list lining up your pros against everyone else’s cons so you can feel good about your life? As an American, I have the advantage in pro/con list style thankfulness since America is one of the most affluent and free countries in the world.

But I don’t think that’s what thankfulness is. Over 3,000 years ago, the Psalmist said in Psalm 50:14a, “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God . . .” In modern times, research studies have shown that an attitude of thankfulness helps those struggling with depression to regain good mental health.

As a mental health counselor, I know that mental health isn’t just an issue that plagues the extreme edge of society. Just like we all have physical ailments, all of us have aspects of our mental health that is stronger or weaker. Thankfulness helps us with our mental health. Thankfulness helps us. Comparing to others in pro/con list style doesn’t.

So this Thanksgiving, don’t just think about what you’re thankful for. Think about why you’re thankful for it. Are you thankful because you have something no one else has? Or are you thankful because you want to be a content, happy person.

Speaking of comparing to others, my Thanksgiving recipes are a sloppy mess. ;) A pinch of this, a pinch of that, and cook long enough that it looks right. My husband is always asking, “Why don’t you set a timer on your food?” Because I . . . am gourmet? :) Not really.

So here’s my sloppy Thanksgiving recipe. Cranberry applesauce. It’s absolutely delicious and so much better than the canned stuff.


1 bag of cranberries

A saucepan full of apples (more apples make it less red; less apples makes it tarter).

Sugar to taste


Boil apples and cranberries until cranberries float to top and apples are very soft. Using a foodmill that removes skins and seeds, (I bought mine for 2 bucks at the thrift store. You can also get awesome $300 versions that don’t necessitate wrist-burning cranking), crank all the cranberries and apples and some of the liquid through the food mill. Add sugar to taste. (Note: The cranberry-apple sauce will thicken in the refrigerator.) You can serve with whip cream and walnuts if desired.

3 New Winners on the Writing Prompts Blog

Gift-20There are so many ways to win on the Writing Prompts Blog. Every Wednesday, we interview an author, blogger, publisher, editor, or other person connected with the writing business. Most give away books or other prizes.

We also are in the middle of our Christmas Extravaganza! Go to our home page and look down on the right hand side under Christmas Extravaganza for more information.

If you follow our blog, especially if you are a writer, then you’re already a winner. Every Monday and Friday, we share a myriad of information on a monthly topic. Plenty of fodder for that fertile imagination. Maybe you’ll glean an idea that leads to that next best seller.

Oh, and about our 3 winners? They are…drum roll please…

Elizabeth Noyes won Paula Mowery’s book, Legacy & Love.

Amy C. won Alice J. Wisler’s book, Under the Silk Hibiscus.

DK Stevens won Angela D. Meyer’s book, Where Hope Starts.

Will you be our next winner? Leave a comment or enter the rafflecoptor contest to find out…

Thanksgiving With Cranberries on Top

by Betty Thomason Owens

Thanksgiving: Giving of thanks, an annual celebration of harvest.

For me, the Thanksgiving holiday is a celebration of family. I used to prepare a feast and invite so many people, we could barely fit them all into our small home. This required days of preparation. I enjoyed the cooking, but most of all, I reveled in the few moments of fame as everyone expressed their pleasure while eating the feast I had prepared.

Our lives changed a couple of years ago when my husband and I both lost our jobs due to companies closing. I still made dinner, but we needed to cut the guest list to immediate family. My husband is back at work, but I’m staying home now, so we still keep to the smaller celebration, and I continue to do all the cooking. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but I’m thankful that I can do it.

I love the hustle and bustle of the day before and then the morning of Thanksgiving. I love the wonderful aromas that fill the house as the turkey bakes. I love the time spent with family members we don’t get to see often. And I love the traditional foods we enjoy.

ID-100182Not everyone likes cranberry sauce, but the ones who do, have specific preferences. Some like the jellied sauce from the can. Some like the canned whole berry sauce. I love the homemade cranberry orange sauce. It’s super easy to make, and so delicious. Since only two or three of us like it, there’s always leftovers—yum!

My recipe comes from Martha Stewart, with one adjustment: I toned down the ginger, using only about a teaspoon.

Cranberry Orange Sauce
(Makes about 3 cups)

3 cups fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 navel orange, peel and pith removed, flesh cut into segments with a sharp knife

1) Stir together cranberries, sugar, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and cranberries begin to pop, about 7 minutes.

2) Add 1 cup water; simmer until thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in orange. Let cool.

Note: Do be careful to watch this closely while it’s cooking. I burned it one year and it was devastating to the pan! You can make it ahead and spoon it into containers (I use jelly jars) and it keeps well for several days. It’s delicious on turkey.

I have several other dishes my family REQUIRES for their Thanksgiving Dinner, like sweet potato casserole—the kind with marshmallows browned on top. The traditional turkey dressing is made with breadcrumbs and a few of my own secret ingredients. I make a pineapple-cranberry jello salad that most of the family loves. And of course, there must be black olives on the table. My husband and sons love them.

One other thing – my husband’s family brought along the tradition of oyster casserole (scalloped oysters). I don’t really like it, but it’s super easy to make. My youngest son usually prepares it. You can find a recipe here.

So what traditional favorites do you include (or enjoy) at Thanksgiving? What is your favorite thing about the celebration?

Betty Thomason Owens

Allie Owens Crockett


Today we welcome our own Crew Member, Allie Owens Crockett, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded]

Allie: I love, love, love Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I began reading it about the same time I took on the challenege of writing my first novel. None but Rivers could paint the splendor of redemption the way she did, in the retelling of Hosea and Gomer the prostitute. Unless of course, I mention Les Miserables, but alas, I have never read the book.

(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Allie: Do comics count? If so, I have an entirely different answer for you. Since I’m pretty sure they don’t, I’m going to say – Susan Pevensie, the eldest sister of the children from the Chronicles of Narnia. I feel like I may relate to her because I am also an older sibling. She thinks very logically and responsibly. Also, Prince Caspian totally digs her, and why not? She’s a beast with a bow.

(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Allie: I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. First of all – the accents. Of course! Second, for the music. Third, for the history and rugged, beautiful scenery. I want to lay my eyes on all that green! Last, I’d like to go just so I can check it off my list and say I’ve been.

Thanks, Allie, for dropping by!

Allie Owens Crockett resides in the great Bluegrass State with her husband, Chris and their son, Shiloh. She is a singer-songwriter, aspiring actress and part-time naturalista. She loves photography and all things eclectic and also happens to be a professional day-dreamer. Her favorite day dream involves living on a farm with horses, ducks, sheep and two stunning German Shepherds named Maverick and Ace.

Being raised on the outskirts of horse country; this offered a wealth of inspiration to an imaginative young girl. Allie often pretended to be both the author and illustrator of her earliest works.

As a child, Allie had dreams of winning a major voice-over role with Disney or appearing on the set of Reading Rainbow. She plays piano and guitar by ear and has performed at various functions, weddings, churches and other venues around town; with her (Christian Artist/Producer) husband.

Allie is a Christian writer of Contemporary and Inspirational fiction. Currently, she is working to finish-up her debut novel A Perfect Tuesday, (this is the first book in a series entitled Home Sweet Blakely) along with its sequel, Welcoming Jubilee. She plans to make original music available, inspired by this work.

Thankfulness and a Sweet Potato Casserole


By Jennifer Hallmark

The holiday season has begun for many people around the United States. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I’ve had my house decorated in pumpkins, autumn flowers, and harvest items for a while now and soon I’ll be switching them out for Christmas. Today, however, I have much to be thankful for.

A family and friends who loves me and accepts me for who I am.

A God who delights in me and does everything for my good with a plan and purpose in mind.

The basic necessities of life and far beyond.

A church home where I feel safe.

Work that keeps my mind and body healthy.

A home in Heaven awaiting me one day.

What do you have to be thankful for? My list could go on and on, but I wanted to take a moment and post a recipe I cook every year at Thanksgiving. I guess you could call it a Thanksgiving tradition. Enjoy!

Writing Prompt: While you are at a holiday dinner this year, soak in the sights, smells, and tastes of the event and later record it. This could be a great scene in an upcoming bestseller!


Sweet Potato Casserole

3 large cans sweet potatoes ( I prefer mashed)

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 stick butter or margarine (softened)


Drain and mash potatoes if not already mashed.  Add 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1 stick butter (softened); mix well.  Spread into pan.



2 cups brown sugar

2/3 cup flour

2 cups chopped pecans

2/3 c. butter or margarine, melted


Mix brown sugar, flour, pecans, and melted butter; crumble on top of casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.