The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers.


It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young girls share a bond—and experience a tragedy.


Seasons is the telling of their stories and Mercedes Renaldi’s story is first in The Long Shadows of Summer.


Mercedes’s friend comes to her and she must now keep Simone’s secret. But Mercedes finds more than she bargained for—keeping Simone’s secret from their friends Pearl and Scarlett, and from her own family, and then Mercedes realizes that they, too, have secrets.


But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.





remI’ve always had stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!


I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa  in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.


I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.












#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book, The Long Shadows of Summer, Robin E. Mason, Seasons Series, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Winds of Spring




Sorry, folks, #TDRD is closed today…

Tuesday slipped up on me and Monday got away from me – and the review just didn’t get written. That said, I’ve moved it to the first week of March and the sequel to the second week of March – because they’re all about Irish legend! So maybe it worked out after all, maybe it wasn’t so much of an “OOPS” don’tcha know???


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review,OOPS, No Review This Week





A Sleeping Sparrow


Not far from our house, I have a place I feed and watch the birds. Off to the side, near a tree, sits my photo fort. It’s really a hunting blind Jon bought me at Cabela’s, but the only shooting that gets done there is with my camera.

Once I’m settled inside, even before I get the windows unzipped and sit in my chair, the birds start to come in a flutter of wings, flashes of color, and a chorus of cheeps, peeps, and calls.




I watch them head in from deep in the woods and across the wildflower field and out of the pine trees nearby.




They’re getting used to me talking to them, praying out loud, singing, and even my breath vapor on the cold Minnesota air doesn’t scare them like it used to.

Not long ago, a friend asked me if I had a favorite bird. I couldn’t name one because they’re all my favorites.

But it’s the sparrows that get me singing.




When I was a teenager and had just placed my faith in Jesus, Mama told me that my great-grandmother’s favorite hymn was His Eye is on the Sparrow.

One day when I was home alone, I got one of the old hymnals out of the piano bench and played the melody with my right hand while singing along. I recognized the words right away because Grandma Joy and Mama sang the same song quietly while cleaning the house or playing that same piano.

I took those lyrics straight into my heart, and to me, it was our song, and even though they are in heaven, it still is.

Back when I was a teenager, I liked the words. Now, I love them. Especially on the days when doubts and discouragement yank at my spirit.

The other day, I was feeling low – there had been a terrible hurt and tears. And my heart was broken and lonely.

Then, this sparrow decided to snuggle in close to me. He listened to me talk to him for a moment, they snuggled down on the branch and went to sleep! When four juncos joined him and also went to sleep, I stayed very still not wanting to wake them up.

Where chaos had ruled, peace now reigned.




I watched them rest and pondered Matthew 10:29-31 (ESV)

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

And I smiled. When I needed a blessing, God gave me a few peace-filled moments with a sleeping sparrow. What a sweet gift.

Don’t get me wrong – the circumstances hadn’t changed, but in that shadowy place, I was helped by God and reminded I am valuable.

And so are you! God said so, and we can take Him at His Word!

Doesn’t that truth do something to your heart?

Here are the words to this old favorite – if you don’t know the tune, just read the words out loud and let them encourage you.






Joy started reading when she was four and learned to write soon after. Words on the page fascinated and delighted her. By the time she was five, she was writing stories and dreaming about writing books for other kids.

One day while vacuuming, an idea for a novel came to mind. She resisted diligently, but the characters in Rain Dance wouldn’t leave her alone. Finally, the only way to get past their nagging, she wrote the book.

Joy married the love of her life almost forty years ago. She and Jon love their dog kids, Sophie & Tucker – a brother and sister team who stole their hearts. There’s a story behind their names, but that’s a blog post.

Joy loves Jesus and came to faith in Him when she was fifteen years old. When she’s not working she’s riding her John Deere Gator taking pictures on the 15 or so acres of wildflowers on the land she and Jon live on. Joy relaxes by taking pictures of the beauty that surrounds her. If the Oak Ridge Boys, Chris Tomlin, Johnny Cash, Donny Osmond, Toby Mac, or Nicole C. Mullen sings, she listens to it. Dragonflies, flowers, raccoons, fog, frogs, bugs (outside), and the wind fascinate her.


 You can find Joy at:











#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Joy DeKok, A Sleeping Sparrow, His Eye is on the Sparrow





It’s been a difficult week for me. I’ve been teetering on a decision I needed to make but it was not a pleasant choice. I addressed the issues (involving another person) and sadly, got the answer I expected.




When you get words like that, it’s never easy. But it had to be done. I did all I could to maintain the connection. Doing so freed me to shake the dust from my feet and walk away with a clear conscience.




Yesterday, after doing all that was in my ability to do, my decision was made.

And lo, a great weight was lifted from me. A weight I hadn’t realized I was bearing. A freedom settled in my spirit.

And the topic for today’s post was clear—Behold, I am doing a new thing.




Father spoke it to me as I drifted to sleep last night. I awoke today (Saturday as I write this) with a renewed sense of excitement and expectation. That’s my Word for 2017, after all.




My season of waiting, long agonized waiting, years of waiting—is over. Promises are being fulfilled. I’ve felt tangled in a spider web and it’s now dropped away. I am free to fly.




Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.



I’m ready for a new thing, aren’t you?


#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, New Thing, Isaiah 43:19, Expectation, Freedom, Flying, Rivers in the Desert






“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” ~Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better.



Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her 26 published novels.



rem:  Hullo, Robin, and welcome to my blog! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

ROBIN:  I was born and raised in Louisiana…now living in Little Rock, AR. I have 3 beautiful daughters and two precious grandsons.

rem:  Tell us three things about yourself.

ROBIN:  I love to scrapbook. I’m a “planner person” and the only birds I like are cardinals & hummingbirds


rem:  I’m a planner-type person, too, Level OCD. Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

ROBIN:  Sweet tea or white chocolate mocha coffee, but not first thing in the morning

rem:  That truffle bit sounds decadent! What do you do as a hobby?

ROBIN:  I’m a huge scrapbooker and planner person. It’s a way to be creative with actually making something, and letting my subconscious work out plot issues in the background

rem:  I love that plotting / writing happens in the background! Then again, when does it not happen in the background? What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

ROBIN:  My Edgar Allan Poe and Maleficent action figures

rem:  Hmmm…  Very interesting… Do you use sarcasm?

ROBIN:  It’s my first language. J

rem:  So I suppose that makes you fluent, then? Huh? Does it? Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

ROBIN:  My life verse is Philippians 4:13: I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me.

rem:  We all do well to remember that when Father gives us an [otherwise] impossible task! If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

ROBIN:  Stephen King because I admire his body of work, his sense of humor, and I’d love to just sit and chat with him


rem:  What a great choice—talented AND prolific! (Can I sit in with you?) What is your favorite bird and why?

ROBIN:  Hummingbird. I’m not a fan of birds, but a hummingbird is like a butterfly on steroids.

rem:  On steroids! LOL They are quite aggressive for their miniature-ness. Do you like to fly? What’s the furthest you’ve ever flown?

ROBIN:  It’s not a like/dislike…it’s more of a “I’d rather fly than drive” option for me. Jamaica is the furthest I’ve actually flown

rem:  Jamaica is also hard to get to if you’re driving. Jus’ sayin’ When is your birthday?

ROBIN:  August 19th

rem:  August is packed with birthdays in our family. What is your favourite birthday memory? All-time favorite birthday gift?

ROBIN:  They’re both the same: the year my husband and I went to Jamaica and for my birthday, we climbed Dunn’s River Falls. Was such a great time.


rem:  Sounds wonderful! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

ROBIN:  I think Christian fiction is great stories with real characters, but leaving the reader filled with hope. As I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, I think it’s a part of me and a part of my relationship with Jesus.

rem:  Oh yes, I’ve found that as I write (which is something He gave me) I draw closer to Him and learn more of who I am, which draws me closer to Him, and my writing is stronger for it. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

ROBIN:  If I get bored, I stop reading. Life’s too short to waste time reading the boring. J Pet peeve? Oh, I have so many. LOL Probably head-hopping. It bugs me.

rem:  I so agree! ‘specially since I read at bedtime! Which is more important: plot or characters?

ROBIN:  Both because if I don’t care about the character, I don’t care what happens to them. On the other hand, I can love a character, but if they are in a boring plot, I lose interest in them.

rem:  I totally agree, gotta have both. What would you do if you weren’t writing?

ROBIN:  Event planning

rem:  Really! I had thought I’d try that a few years ago—then came the diagnosis (RA) and I don’t have the energy, le sigh… What are you reading right now?

ROBIN:  Trying to decipher my handwritten WIP notes that I jotted at 3am

rem:  pahahahah – unique handwriting, eh? What do you munch on while you write?

ROBIN:  I love Tom’s Hot Fries, sweet tea, and M&Ms


rem:  Not so big on the hot fries but I’m right there with you with the M&M’s. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

ROBIN:  I’ve written for as long as I can remember. I’ve always made up stories for characters in my head. One day, I decided to just write everything down.

rem:  The charactersssss, they speaks to ussss… What inspired you to write suspense? You lived in Louisiana, how much did that influence your writing?

ROBIN:  I write Suspense because that’s what I love to read. Louisiana living is a different way of life. The people, culture and food….I like to pull little bits of that into my books.

rem:  I’mma gonna gotta visit there one day. I’ve too many friends who live there or are from there! You are Executive / Conference Director for ACFW (we need to talk). How do you balance that with writing and—life?

ROBIN:  I’m a big multi-tasker. Always have been. I’m a little OCD and organization is a main component to my happiness. I love my spreadsheets and planners and checking items off my to-do list. With my ACFW job, we have an amazing team in place and we all do our jobs well. When one of us are on deadline, we know how to pinch hit for the other. We’ve worked together for years, so it’s a natural flow. My husband works with me, so he understands the craziness at times. And my kids are amazing….they pick up where I leave off so there’s minimal upset in the house, even when I’m on deadline. We laugh…a lot, and don’t take things too seriously.


rem:  A fellow spread sheet aficionado! Hi, my name is Robin, and I love Excel spreadsheets! That’s so great your family is so supportive. What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

ROBIN:  I don’t really have a routine…I assign myself deadlines when I’m not on one with a publisher and try to stay on task. I usually write in my office at home. Sometimes, for a change of pace, I’ll write in my recliner. Sometimes, if my husband is working his day job in the field, I might ride along with him and write while he does inspections.

rem:  Never a dull moment, that way. What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

ROBIN:  The constant changing within the industry. [Publishing] Houses going out of business, or no longer publishing fiction…it’s more than just the ebb and flow of changes. It’s the big upsets and how it affects others that I struggle with. I don’t know if any of us handle it…I think we all just do the best we can

rem:  Maybe it’s our creative minds that allow us to adapt… Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

ROBIN:  I actually like both, but I guess the creating best. Because it’s new. It’s exciting to get to work on a brand new story. New characters. That’s kind of cool.

rem:  What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

ROBIN:  Honestly? I’m a bit of a control freak, so it’s really fun to be able to control EVERYTHING in my stories. LOL

rem:  Muwahahahahah. #bestansweryet What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

ROBIN:  Get into a good writers’ group. Go to a conference—more if you can. Study the craft as much as you can. Don’t compare yourself to any other writer. Don’t try to write for the fads of today. Don’t take criticism personally.

rem:  I’m planning to be at ACFW this year—look for me? Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?


rem:  Exactly! How do you choose your characters’ names?

ROBIN:  I use names I like…I use the Baby Name Survey Book….if I see a cool name on a namebadge

rem:  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

ROBIN:  Nope

rem:  Me neither. Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

ROBIN:  Right at this moment, I’m working on the sequel to Torrents of Destruction because I’ve gotten the most emails from readers asking for it

rem:  Gotta love that kind of reader response! What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

ROBIN:  My next release, Weaver’s Needle, releases in June. I LOVED writing this book. With recovery specialists, Native American legends, a hunt for a real treasure in the Superstition Mountains in AZ…what isn’t to love?

rem:  I’ve fallen in love with stories with Native Americans! Please give us the first page of the book.

ROBIN:  The Legend of the Dutchman’s Lost Mine


In the rugged Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, located somewhere in a twisted labyrinth of canyon juts, lies the Dutchman’s Lost Mine. The Apache Indians—Shis-Inday or “Men of the Woods”—had a secret gold cave hidden in the mountains. These mountains were the home of their Thunder God, and they held the area in reverence.

As news of gold in the Superstition Mountains spread, fortune hunters came from around the world to search. The Apaches, fierce protectors of their Thunder God’s Mountain, killed everyone who dared trespass.

As legend goes, in 1871, two German adventurers, Jacob Waltz and Jacob Wisner, came to Arizona. Waltz met and fell in love with an Apache girl, Ken-tee. Her relatives soon became convinced she had betrayed the location of their secret mine. According to their ancient ones, the gold had been placed there by the Thunder God for them to use only in time of desperation. When Ken-tee led Waltz to the mine, and they returned to Phoenix with nearly $70,000 worth of gold, the tribe warriors raided within hours. While they murdered Ken-tee, the Apaches failed to kill the Dutchman Waltz.

When Waltz was eighty years old in 1890, he decided to hide the location of the mine. As legend tells it, when he had completed his mission, he told many that “you could drive a pack train over the entrance to the mine and never know it was there.”

Several months after Waltz hid the mine, he contracted pneumonia. His only reported friend was a bread baker from Louisiana named Julia Thomas. History records the great February 1891 flood, which bore down on Phoenix, as the most ruinous in the American Southwest. It is reported Waltz survived the flood by climbing into a small mesquite tree, where he was stranded until someone cut him loose and took him to Julia Thomas’s home, who was known to take in victims of the flood.

Julia tried to nurse Jacob back to health, only he was so old and his body so feeble, he couldn’t resist his illness. He died in degrees over the summer. In October 1891, he attempted to tell Julia exactly where the mine was hidden. It’s recorded he said, “. . .the northwest corner of the Superstition Mountains. The key is a stripped paloverde tree with one limb left on, a pointing arm. It points away from the rock, about halfway from between it and the rock, and two hundred yards to the east. Take the trail in. I left a number of clues.” After speaking these ominous directions, he died.

All the Dutchman’s clues seem to focus around Weaver’s Needle. . . .


rem:  What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

ROBIN:  That with God, there is always hope

rem:  There surely is. Robin, thank you so much for chatting with us on my blog today!


Where can we find you online?








“Caroll has written an engaging whodunit, with scenes that unfold expertly and keep the action moving and suspense alive. And though the romance plot line is sweetly written, the characters’ faith journeys are also deeply explored. Fans of suspense will be pleased with this light but entertaining read.”~  Publishers Weekly





#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin Caroll, Weaver’s Needle, Native American Legends, The Legend of the Dutchman’s Lost Mine, Torrents of Destruction, Framed, Bayou Justice, To Write a Wrong, Bayou Betrayal







Love Puts These Two On the Edge!


Grand Canyon, 1914


Society girl Amber Wynott’s wintry escape to the Grand Canyon provides a chance to pursue her dream and prove she has what it takes to be a successful architect. It doesn’t take long to realize the incredible scenery can’t hide the simmering anger between ‘railroad money’ and the struggling locals.


Which side is master builder Stone Morrison on?


Amber has met her match in the handsome, hard-headed man. He’s been directed to keep an eye on her, but when iron meets iron—oh the sparks! As their unlikely old matchmaker tells them, pride goes before a fall, and this is a bad place to fall. Will danger finally knock some sense into the pair?




Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. Her published novellas include, “Alarmingly Charming” in Austen in Austen Vol 1 from WhiteFire Publishing, “Desert Duet” and “Starlight Serenade” from Forget Me Not Romances, after many unpublished contest successes including two finals for the Daphne DuMaurier award. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends















Blogwords, Special Edition, Featured Book, Why Not, Debra E. Marvin, Novella Collection, Valentine Matchmaker





note: I share my books this months because it’s my birthday month!


 Reading is My SuperPower

Bookworm Mama

Singing Librarian

Faithfully Bookish

Radiant Light

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken

Fiction Aficionado

Bibliophile Reviews




 If you’d like to join us on your blog for First Line Fridays, shoot Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower an email and let her know!




Evil words. Words that should never have been spoken. Words that she should not have heard.

But she did. And she believed them.

Everything changed when Cissy heard those words that day. She was five.


What torment is wrought when wicked words are spoken? Can Cissy’s ravaged life be redeemed? Or will she wreak havoc on all who love her?


Can the lie be undone? Is there a word powerful enough to break the curse and undo the unsavory heritage?


AUTHOR’S NOTE: Cissy is not easy reading. She faces evil and succumbs to it. She is seduced at a young age, and learns to wield her body to manipulate and wound those most dear to her. There are no graphic scenes, but neither do my scenes merely allude to what is happening.

Cissy is the dark and gritty, high-tension climax to the unsavory heritage series.



I hate you and I wish you was dead.” The window thrown wide, Cissy eavesdropped through the smudged glass of the attic window as her twin sister, Clara, permitted Virgil to kiss her, a token of their betrothal. Cissy welcomed the arctic air.



My ministry and my writing platform really become evident in this story—our words have power to shape our lives, either for good or for evil.




Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction



I can’t rate it – I wrote it!


#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Cissy, Robin E. Mason, unsavory heritage series



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