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 🙂

Will You Find Treasure This Year?

By Tammy Trail

Spring is the time for new beginnings. The birds are out tweeting. Barnyard animals frolic through the grass with younger versions of themselves in the warm sunshine. Humans tend to frolic out of doors also. Yard work calls us into labor. We’ll wear shorts in 60-degree weather because we long for the warmth of spring days.

Cleaning takes on a new meaning in the Spring. Have you noticed any ” Yard Sale”  signs out yet? Not to worry, they’re coming. You can be sure that folks will be going through those closets soon and setting gently used merchandise in the “for sale” pile.

Most likely, there is a community of people in your town or city who love to yard sale. They will either have a sale of their own, or wake up early on a Saturday mornings and drive to them. That old saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is surely their motto.

Websites, blogs, and even Pinterest share lots of tips for setting up your own yard sale. Here are a few:

  1. Make your signs attractive and visible to the car passing by your yard. There are some cute ideas on Pinterest with catchy phrases and decorations.
  2. Prices should be easy to read. Putting them on the top of an item is better.
  3. Make sure you have enough cash to make change. Chances are everyone will want to pay with a $20 bill.
  4. Ask a friend or neighbor to help you. While you are distracted, someone could walk off with a potential sale. Another set of eyes can help discourage a thief.
  5. Selling cold beverages will add to your sales.

If you are an early riser on Saturday mornings and love to bargain, here are some tips for you as well.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. You may need to park some distance away from the yard, or stand in line before taking your treasure home.
  2. Check the box before purchasing an item. There may be something entirely different inside when you get home.
  3. When buying something electrical, ask if you can plug it in to check it. If it takes batteries, make sure the battery compartment is not corroded.
  4. Never buy used car seats for babies or toddlers from a garage sale. Once they have been involved in an accident they are useless.
  5. Purchasing your items with smaller bills will make your seller smile. She or he won’t need to worry about making a lot of change.

My favorite garage/yard sale item was found by my parents. As a young girl, I had a portrait of Jesus hanging on my wall. I talked to him every night before I went to sleep. When I grew up and moved away, I left that picture behind. Through the years, I assumed my parents had gotten rid of it, or it was lost in a move from one house to another.

Last year, I went to visit my Mom to help her get ready for a yard sale. In a corner of her basement, behind a couple of boxes, I found my old friend. He is with me now in my home. One of these days, I will get my picture of Jesus re-framed and hung on the wall in my bedroom.

Click to tweet: Have you noticed any ” Yard Sale”  signs out yet?

Here’s a good prompt: Free puppies today.

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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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3 Questions Wednesday with Clarice G. James

Today, we welcome author Clarice G. James, to 3 Questions Wednesday. She enjoys writing smart, fun, relatable contemporary fiction with a dash of humor, love, and mystery.  Clarice is also graciously offering you a choice of Double Header or Party of One (print copy) to one person who leaves a comment.

So let’s get to the first question:

What inspires you?

Clarice: Most of my inspiration to write stems from interacting with people. All kinds: odd, serious, funny, sad, bubbly, shallow, super intelligent and not-so-much, and a little bit weird. I love to listen to their stories. Another good chunk of my inspiration comes from the wacky and challenging conversations I have with my husband. He’s a bright man with a quirky sense of humor and a quick wit. We laugh every day. I love our times together.

He sounds like a great source of inspiration, and conveniently close by. Now…

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

Clarice: I would be a neutral color, like “fresh cream” or “warm gray,” because that would allow me to use every other color in the box to make my life pop! I have this thing about colors. I love mixing and matching them to find new complimentary combinations. You should see how long it takes me to match my coffee mugs, cereal bowls, and Tupperware tumblers each morning! (I fall under the “little bit weird” people category. 🙂

Sounds very festive! 🙂 Last question: 

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

Clarice: As a pre-teen, I wanted to be almost every character I read about in dusty library books: Cherry Ames, nurse (Helen Wells and Julie Tatham); Nancy Drew, detective; Peggy Lane, actress (Virginia Hughes); Sally Baxter, reporter (Sylvia Edwards); Kit Hunter, horseman and show jumper (Peter Grey); and Vicki Barr, flight stewardess (Helen Wells, Julie Tatham, and Trixie Bedlen).

That’s certainly a wide variety of occupations, and great imagination.  Thanks, Clarice, for dropping by…

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to win. Here’s more information about Double Header…


Double Header 

After learning she has a brother no one knew existed, a rising Boston sports columnist fears losing the unblemished memories of her father, but soon discovers that God’s playbook is less about her well-ordered plans and more about His. 

Casey Gallagher credits a carefully crafted game plan for her wins: her solid marriage to Sam; her lucrative marketing career in Boston; and her popular sports column, Double Header, which she writes with her brother, Griffin McGee. When Casey discovers that her late father, the one man she idolized, had an affair which produced a son even he didn’t know about, she’s determined to find him before he can do any harm.

She narrows the field to three: two Boston Red Sox rookies who’ve recently befriended her and a rookie state cop who works with her husband. When Casey attempts to fit the changes that life throws at her into her idealistic plan, she’s challenged by the dialogue running in her head. Is it her conscience or her imagination? Or is it the voice of the God she’s not sure she believes in?


After years of writing and editing for business and ministry, Clarice G. James now enjoys writing smart, fun, relatable contemporary fiction with a dash of humor, love, and mystery to keep things interesting.

Double Header [Published by Mountainview Books LLC] was one of three winners in the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel contest. Her next novel, Party of One [Published by Elk Lake Publishing Inc.] has a Spring 2017 release date.

Clarice and her husband, David, live in Southern New Hampshire. Together they have five children and ten grandchildren. She has been a follower of Jesus Christ for over 36 years.

Website: https://claricejames.com

Blog: https://claricejames.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14592059.Clarice_G_James

Facebook: Clarice Gregoire James https://www.facebook.com/clarice.g.james

Twitter: Clarice G James https://twitter.com/ClariceGJames

 Email: cjames@claricejames.com

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