3 Questions Wednesday with Jo Huddleston

Happy Wednesday! Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories and our guest.  She’s offered to give away an eBook copy of With Good Intentions. So read on and see how you can win…(There’s also a short excerpt of her book at the end of the interview)

First Question:

What inspires you?

Jo: Along the way, I’ve known people who have inspired me with their principles and work ethics. Four come to mind—a seventh grade teacher, my high school principal, an employer, and an editor. The messages in books by Andy Andrews have inspired me. However, if this question asks what inspires me to write, then my answer would be this: What writing ability I have comes from God and I must be the best steward of that gift that I can be. How could I not write?

A good question to ponder. Now…

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Jo: I would be cobalt blue. That is my favorite color in my clothes and in any room in my home. I don’t favor beige and blending in, but as an adult prefer an electric cobalt blue.

How true. We should all be ourselves. 🙂

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Jo: A librarian. In the seventh grade, a teacher assigned me to work in the school library, helping the librarian there. I had always loved everything about attending school. Now I had a new world to discover—a room full of books. It was many years later that I realized I had grown into an adult who treasured being organized and loved to read, both probably as an extension of my days working in that school library.

Working in a library would be a dream job. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Make sure and leave a comment if you’d like to be entered in the giveaway of With Good Intentions.


With Good Intentions

A sweet romance spiced with deception, set in 1959.

Jean Stewart and her mama stand firm to protect their family business from a big-city developer’s takeover. Oscar Wainworth sends his son William to convince the ladies to sell their property. William has an instant attraction to Jean, believes he shouldn’t be the one to discuss the sale with the Stewarts, and gives them a fake name. If they know he’s a Wainworth, he’s likely to find himself out on the sidewalk.

One lie leads to another until William may have dug a hole too deep to escape. By stealth he learns that Jean can’t associate with anyone who is dishonest. To win Jean’s love, William must convince her that his lies flowed from good intentions.

 Book’s Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2lTR7LF


Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Novels in her West Virginia Mountains series, her Caney Creek series, and her standalone novel, Tidewater Summer, are sweet Southern historical romances. Jo is a member of ACFW and the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN). Learn more at www.johuddleston.com where you can read first chapters of her novels and novellas and also sign up for her mailing list.

Links to Huddleston Online:

Website and blog (Read novel first chapters here): http://www.johuddleston.com

Sign up for Jo’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/1ZFaZwG

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2cfSroU

Facebook author page: http://bit.ly/2aqFEeT

Facebook personal page: http://on.fb.me/1Ubic69

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1QAPtFv

Inspirational blog: http://bit.ly/2gttKVr

BookBub Profile: http://bit.ly/2liB0G3


With Good Intentions

Chapter 1

October 1959—Birmingham, Alabama

William Wainworth shifted in his chair, stretched his long legs beneath the massive conference table, and braced for the impending reprimand from the CEO. This regular Monday morning meeting of Wainworth Development sales staff had gone on longer than he’d expected.

He would loosen his necktie but doing so would violate the expectations Wainworth’s CEO held for his male employees: wear a coat and tie when representing Wainworth Development. His daddy being the CEO of Wainworth Development, William had that rule ingrained in him from an early age.

Among other stellar traits, his daddy dressed immaculately, and he expected his workforce to follow his example. His appearance had favorably impressed many clients who sat with him in his Birmingham office. Every weekday, he never ventured outside his home without the requisite coat and necktie. William had never seen him wear wrinkled pants or curled-up shirt collars.

Now, Oscar Wainworth stood tall, slender, and good-looking between the head of the table and an easel, his index finger tapping on a sketch positioned there. William moved his attention from his daddy to the sketch, a street-level drawing of storefronts along a sidewalk in Conroy, Alabama.

Wainworth Development sought to purchase that entire block of businesses, demolish the buildings, and replace them with an apartment complex having a bookstore on the first floor. Sitting across the street from a growing college, the location proved ideal for Wainworth’s purpose.

The building plans had received the city’s approval. Wainworth representatives had successfully gained signatures on real estate contracts to acquire all the properties except one. The smallest business on the block refused to sell, despite repeated overtures from Wainworth Development.

Oscar Wainworth faced the dozen or so men seated around the table in chairs upholstered in rich, brown leather. He put his palms on the gleaming tabletop and leaned forward. “Gentlemen, this one small store is the monkey wrench in this whole deal. We’ve bought up all the properties on the block, yet here’s this little hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop smack-dab in the middle that you’ve not convinced to sell. Why is that? Why this one store?”

Cleaning and Organizing the Pinterest Way

By Jennifer Hallmark

What is better than a clean, organized home? I can’t think of much. I love the smell of a freshly laundered, dust-free, and everything-in-its-place house. But with six grandchildren who enjoy visiting Mamaw and Papaw and a full-time job writing, who has the time? Or the money to hire someone to scrub and scour?

Betty has already shared the way she schedules her cleaning. If you missed it, check it out here. But maybe you’re like me and can’t seem to follow a schedule when it comes to cleaning. I’ll start with a schedule but then notice that something (not on the list) needs to be done that day and I just have to clean that item. Then I’m off schedule. Again.

So, what’s a person to do?

Pinterest.

I’ve found so many great ideas and tips to first organize, then clean. So I thought I’d share some straight off my page and maybe they can help you create that clean and organized living space. https://www.pinterest.com/jenlhallmark989/cleaningorganizing-tips/

Organize

  1. Tips for Organizing Your Home for Spring Cleaning- This article takes your house, room by room, and shares good tips for putting it back in shape.
  2. 22 Things to Get Rid of Right Now-I loved this simple list.
  3. 20 Mind-Blowing Organization Ideas-Good all-around organizing tips.
  4. How to Organize Your Entire House: A Ten-Week Plan-For you planners, here it is, all written out.

Clean

  1. 3 Genius Hacks For Swiffers That Will Save You Money-I loved this one because, well, I love my Swiffer and it saved me money. 😊
  2. How to Wash Walls in 5 Easy Steps-Simple tips for that normally hard job.
  3. 20 of the Most Popular Cleaning Tricks on Pinterest-And here are twenty tricks all in one place.
  4. How To Clean Your Microwave In 3 Easy Steps-Am I the only one who looks in the microwave and can’t believe the mess? Here’s your answer.

Try out some of these ideas and tips and let me know what you think by leaving a comment. I’ve got to go now. I’m in the middle of organizing and cleaning the “toy” room I’m creating for the grandchildren. Now where are my rubber gloves?

Writing prompt: Needed: Money to

Click to tweet: I’ve found so many great ideas and tips to first organize, then clean.

3 Questions Wednesday with Kathy C. Houser

Welcome my friend, Kathy Houser, a local children’s author with her debut children’s book, Houser Post Office. 

With great pleasure, we welcome her to 3 Questions Wednesday!

First question–

What inspires you?

Kathy: The laughter of children, their imagination and their love. I’m also inspired by all God’s creations. Sometimes one word can start a story, sometimes one glance at beauty can start a story.

That’s so true. 🙂 Now…

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Kathy: Rainbow, because all the colors you see are beautiful. Like a butterfly, each a beauty in its own way!

I love a rainbow, especially while it’s still raining and the sun peeking in. Last question…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Kathy: Veterinarian, because of my love of animals.

My granddaughter, Sadie, wants to be a veterinarian also. Thanks so much for stopping in, Kathy!

Kathy will soon be releasing her second children’s book, Dino’s Adventure. Read more about it below…


Dino Adventure

 I was inspired to write because my son, Jamie and his daughter, Ellie have such a love for the giant creatures. While doing research, I found myself intrigued by the mystery of the dinosaurs. I wanted to know more about these creatures and I even took a biblical look into the creation of these giants that roamed our earth so long ago. Research on dinosaurs brings out the imagination and intriguing aspects of how they existed and how they evolved into some creatures that still exist today!

During the writing of this story, I put together dinosaurs that were plant eaters and could have possibly traveled together in the same period of time. Even though Dino Adventure is completed, I still enjoy reading about them. Join me on this awesome journey of your imagination into the world of dinosaurs!


Houser Post Office

One day, the arts council asked me to read a story at the Chicken and Egg Festival that would be held in a small town that I lived in. I asked them if I could just write a short story to read to the children instead. So this is how the story about mail on a farm started!

I started on the story one night. I thought about how unhappy some of my customers were when they didn’t get any mail. Then I thought about how happy my son was when I would read animal stories to him. The combination of the two inspired me to write this story!


Author Kathy C. Houser

Kathy C. Houser, after I grew up, I worked full-time with the Post Office as a City Carrier and raised my son.  After thirty-two years, I retired and here I am, six months later, with two new books! My debut book is Houser Post Office and my second one is Dino’s Adventure. It thrills me to know that children all over the place will be reading my books. I look forward to writing more!

Terry Jo Compton-Illustrator of Dino’s Adventure 

I live in Decatur, Alabama, with my wife, Paula. I became passionate about art at the young age of five years old and spent some of my teenage years working as an artist on signs for businesses, lettering, illustrations, commercial buildings, giant water trucks, and even stage props, stationary, and home decor.

Framed art is my favorite to produce and I love that my art hangs on the walls of someone’s home. I am inspired by fine art, architecture, and old buildings dating back years and years ago. I consider it an honor and privilege to produce artwork that will last for years to come. My love for art has also led me to oils, water colors, and acrylic painting.  The talent I have is all-natural and God-given…no lessons!

Christina Travis-Illustrator of Houser Post Office 

I’m sixteen years old, born in San Marcos, Texas, and raised in Trinity, Alabama. I’ve always had a love for the arts, whether it’s music or drawing. I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember, every day when I would come home from school that was always the first thing I wanted to do. It wasn’t until the seventh grade when I realized that I had talent. I would normally do a quick sketch, but when I really sat down and committed to drawing for hours, from then on I knew that I wanted to draw professionally. So I began drawing portraits for friends and family. I am so thankful for all the love and support I have received while on this journey.

March Winners

April already? Where did March go? It was a great month and we have 4 winners of print books!

Are you on our list?

Gail Kittleson’s book, In Times Like These, has been won by Caryl Kane. Congrats!

Cynthia Lovely has been picked to win either a print copy of Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild’s book, Estate of Mind or a gift certificate to tea at Her Majesty’s in Dunlap, Illinois. Congratulations!

Melanie Dickerson’s latest book, A Viscount’s Proposal, goes to Katie Merkel!

Sandra Byrd is gifting a copy of A Lady in Disguise to Robbye Faye!

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

Don’t forget. It’s not too late to leave an answer to our prompts on our Monday and Friday posts in April and be in the running for a $40 Etsy gift card. If you don’t enter, you won’t win 🙂

Secrets & Charades by Cindy Ervin Huff

Please welcome Cindy Ervin Huff, multi-published writer and 2014 Editor’s Choice winner for her debut novel Secrets and Charades.

Hi Cindy! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Cindy: I’ve been married to my soul mate, Charles, for 43 years. We have 5 children and 6 grandchildren.  I’m a pioneer homeschool mom. (By that I mean it was back in the day when people thought it was illegal.)

I grew up a military brat so I am definitely an extrovert. I learned to make friends fast because Dad was usual transferred every few years. Talking to strangers is as natural as breathing for me.

I’ve been writing since junior high off and on. Life interrupted me. Still I managed to get published in a variety of venues. Now that I am in my jubilee years, (over 50- and then some.) I write consistently.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Cindy: I write Historical Fiction. I love placing modern day emotional dilemmas in a historical setting. At the same time, my agent is promoting my Contemporary Romance. My romances are full of surprise twists.

Do you work to an outline or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?

I am a pantster who jots down ideas and directions as they come to me when I’m not at the keyboard. Lots of scrap paper to collect later. I do a sketchy outline. The characters always take me where I least expect it. And I create a character sketch to keep the basic facts straight on my main characters. My secondary characters are more fluid. They can change a few times throughout the drafting process. Their name, profession, gender aren’t set in stone. Even some scene settings can shift from rough to the final draft.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Cindy: Believing in yourself. Doubts keep a writer from consistently putting words on the page every day. It clogs up the submission process. And slows the whole timeline for becoming the writer God desires.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Cindy: I hope to see five more books published.  Lord willing I’d like to teach some classes and continue to be an encouragement for writers. And who knows maybe Hubby and I can take our bucket list trip to the UK.

Thanks for taking time to drop by, Cindy!


Secrets & Charades 

Jake Marcum’s busy ranch leaves him no time for courting, and his wounded heart has no place for love. When battlefield nightmares disturb his peace and his tomboy niece, Juliet, needs taming, somehow a mail-order bride seems like a logical solution.

Dr. Evangeline Olson has no idea her niece is writing to a rancher on her behalf, and she sure isn’t interested in abandoning her medical practice for a stranger. But when an inheritance threatens to reveal a long-buried secret, she travels west to become Jake’s wife.

Jake soon realizes Evangeline is more than he bargained for, especially when her arrival causes a stir in the community. As the two try to find their way in a marriage of convenience, their fragile relationship is further tested by cattle rustling and kidnapping. Can their hearts overcome past hurts to create a real marriage?


Cindy Huff, a multi-published writer and 2014 Editor’s Choice winner for her first novel Secrets and Charades has a passion to encourage other writers on their journey. Check out her blog Jubilee Writer www.jubileewriter.wordpress.com or visit with her on social media.

Amazon Author page:https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946016144/

Facebook Author page:   https ://www.facebook.com/author.huff11/

Twitter: twitter.com/CindyErvinHuff

Facebook:www.facebook.com/cindy.e.huff.

3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Hallmark

Today’s 3 Questions Wednesday guest is Writing Prompts’  founder and editor-in-chief, Jennifer Hallmark.

Welcome to 3 Questions, Jennifer. You know the drill–

What inspires you?

Jennifer: When I think about what inspires me to write, I go back to my youth. As a shy introvert, books meant so much. I read books like The Pilgrims Progress and Quo Vadis and dreamed of writing books some day that would mean as much to someone else as these and others meant to me. When I get tired of moving forward, I remember.

Most writers know that feeling and would agree with you. We all want to create stories that will touch lives and leave a lasting impression.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Jennifer: A light shade of pink. When I was a kid, it was a draw between purple and pink but eventually pink won out. My study is painted a super pale shade of pink and I love it. I wear a lot of pastel colors and often get my toenails painted bright pink. 🙂

Pink is such a happy color! And bright polish on the toes makes everything better. Final question…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Jennifer: First, a ballerina. Then I moved on to a singer, singing Donny Osmond tunes into my hairbrush. Then a writer and an artist. The artist won out in my early adult years as I tried all types of arts, crafts, and drawing. After my dad passed suddenly when I was twenty-eight, writing became therapy for me and eventually morphed into more than a hobby.

Jennifer has graciously offered a $10 Amazon gift card to one reader who leaves a comment. 


Jennifer Hallmark is a writer of Southern fiction and also fantasy; a combination that keeps the creative juices flowing.

She’s published over 200 articles and interviews on the internet, short stories in several magazines, and been part of three book compilations: The Heart Seekers Series, Sweet Freedom A La Mode, and Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage.

Jennifer’s website, Alabama-Inspired Fiction, and the group blog she co-founded, focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers. She sends out a monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to at her author page. You can visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max. Their daughter Mandy is married to Tim and they have two beautiful daughters, Ava, and Sadie, and a handsome son, Zeke. Their son, Jonathan, is married to Kristie and they have two beautiful daughters, Phoebe Jill and Rozlyn Claire, and a handsome son, Cohen .

Jennifer loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with all her grandchildren. At times, she writes.

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Summer’s Refrain by Sue A. Fairchild

Please make welcome freelance editor, writer, Christian and blogger, Sue Fairchild. She joins us today to talk about all things writing and her latest release, Summer’s Refrain.

Hello, Sue! Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Sue: I’m a small town girl, but I’m pretty savvy. I have a BA in graphic design, and I love words. I’m a nitpicker at heart and can find the littlest of errors. I think that’s what makes me a good editor, but it is a trait that sometimes makes my husband a little crazy.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Sue: I’ve finished two books at this point, one is a young adult and the other is women’s contemporary. I think both look at how woman grow and learn from one another, though. I’m draw to strong female characters. I want to show how woman can support one another, how we can encourage one another and can learn from each other. If we go it alone – it’s so much harder.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Sue:  I never use an outline. Not on paper anyway. I usually have a general idea in my head where I want the story to go, but the characters typically start to take on a life of their own, so I just let them guide me. Both of my published novels did not start out the way they’ve come to be, but they are exactly what they should be now.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Sue: Starting with that first word. I have a lot in my head, but I’m often away from my computer and I don’t like to hand write things. Then, all too often, I get busy with life stuff and it doesn’t get put down. When I commit – it flows.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Sue: As a well-respected part of the editor community with several more books behind me. I have a non fiction Bible study aimed at negative thinkers in the works as well as a sequel, of sorts, to my YA. I’d love to also be a speaker at conferences.

Thanks for dropping by, Sue!


Summer’s Refrain

A refrain can be a repeated action, but also can mean to abstain from doing an action – which will Summer choose?

Summer Stewart is ready to run. Again. 

Running away from relationships and hardening her heart to love—that’s what Summer does best. When her boyfriend, Lou, unintentionally hurts her, she decides it’s time to hit the road once again. But Mrs. Delwich, her eccentric neighbor, intervenes and takes her on a powerful and thought-provoking supernatural trip through Summer’s past. As Summer is confronted with the choices both she and her mother have made, she realizes her life has been repeating for decades—well before she was born.

Now, faced with the biggest decision of her life, will Summer repeat the refrain or will she choose a different song?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBP4CS2

What You Think You Know

What would you do if your lifelong friend betrayed you?

Fifteen-year-old Emily Forester is sure of one thing: Beth Myers will be her friend forever. Friends almost since birth, they even share the same nervous habit—biting their cuticles. They’re like sisters and nothing can ever change that, or so Emily thought.

Now, Emily discovers Beth displaying disturbing new habits, and begins to doubt how well she knows her best friend after all. When Beth betrays their sister-like bond, Emily is crushed and considers what life would be like without Beth. She’s already lost her mom; will she lose Beth, too?

The one concrete thing in her life, her friendship with Beth, starts to crumble. Longing to talk with her mother, Emily confides in her dad instead and he reveals more shocking secrets. Will these new revelations bolster her relationship with Beth, or tear them apart forever?

What You Think You Know is a young adult novel for every young woman in your life who may be faced with betrayal, broken friendships and the heartbreaks of youth. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTKKEKR


Sue A. Fairchild is a blogger, writer, and editor. She has been a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series twice and has recently published a young adult novel, What You Think You Know as well as a contemporary women’s novel, Summer’s Refrain. Sue also edits professionally for Christian Editor Connection and is a member of ACFW. For more information on her professional services and to read more of her simple snippets, please visit her website Sue’s Simple Snippets: Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness. You can also connect with her on Facebook, or Twitter.