Archive for July, 2016




It’s been in my heart for a while now, to share a bit of devotional with you. And I decided the time has come. I’ll be putting together some nuggets I’ve discovered in the Word of God, Truths that I’ve learned, personal revelations that will encourage others.


Freely has the Word been given unto me, freely I give.





Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Coming Soon, Nuggets of Wisdom, Word of God, Truth and Revelation





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 friday feature post - debut banner



Two weeks in a row and it’s just not gonna happen. Forgive me? At least this week I’m not leaving you with crickets!



Let me explain. I am crunching timewise, working furiously on the final pages and chapters of novel number three, and she has basically sucked all my energy and attention for the past few weeks! (She being Cissy, the main character and title of the book)


cissy cover - teaser


Lest I leave you dangling for two weeks in a row, I offer you an excerpt from the aforementioned Cissy. Here, for your reading enjoyment, is where the story catches up with the prologue.


I hate you and I wish you was dead,” Cissy repeated. She had watched as Virgil had gone down on his knee, brought Clara’s hand to his lips. Cissy couldn’t read lips but she knew what he was saying: “Clara Amelia, I love you. Will you marry me?”

Nothing original. Just the time proved words, the questions all girls waited their whole lives to hear.

Ain’t nobody ever gonna say them words to me.

Cissy watched as Clara’s free hand came to her cheek, tears captured the glow of the moonlight, faceting the emotion on Clara’s face. Clara nodded, and Cissy could tell she said the anticipated yes.

Virgil tugged Clara’s glove from her left hand, and slid the ring onto her extended finger. He rose and beamed, brighter than the moonlight on the snow, pleased with his choice. Clara splayed her hand in front of her, head tilted, gnawing at her bottom lip, and admiring the token of her new status.

Virgil drew her into an intimate embrace, brushed his lips against her, then deepened the kiss. A promise of his affections to come.

Cissy burned with jealous rage. You stole him from me, Clara. You knowed I loved Virgil a’fore you did.


Cissy played the part of the happy sister, donning her pleasant personality costume. Inside she seethed, a tumult raging.


Ready to read more? I sure hope so! ‘Cause there’s plenty more to Cissy’s story. And it’s a deep dark journey, heartbreaking and unthinkable. It’s the culmination of the unsavory heritage series. It’s the how and why, the origin of the uncanny heritage. It all began with Cissy. When she heard those awful words. The lie that destroyed her young life.




Cissy releases 30 September. Keep your eyes open, though, there’s going to be a Blog Blitz all month long, starting with the cover reveal 31 August. And ending with a Release Party on Facebook and a live party here locally, at Stomping Grounds Coffee House. Hope to see you at one or the other!


Oh! And if you don’t already have copies of Tessa and Clara Bess, the first two unsavory heritage books, you can find them on Amazon.




unsavory - series covers


For that matter, here are a few other spots where I hang out. Be sure to stop by and say hullo! (and follow me, too!)











rem“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head 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, and made countless notes for story ideas.  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.


Tessa and Clara Bess are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print, with the third book in the series, Cissy, coming out in September of this year.   I also have several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, http://maryblowers.com, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. I will also be working on a personal anthology of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.




Blogwords, Stories by Design, Research, Research and Historical Accuracy, Cissy Excerpt, Cissy Release, Cover Reveal, unsavory heritage series, Tessa, Clara Bess



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Manly Man July Blitz Author Interview – DAVID ALDERMAN

Author Interview – DAVID ALDERMAN


“If there’s one piece of advice I would love to give you, it’s this: Don’t listen to the naysayers. They naysay because they don’t have the courage to do what those they naysay do. Let them live their lives in mediocrity. Let them live their lives tormented with the broken and rotted dreams they never pursued. You are not them. Do not let them set your compass.”




“I write Christian fiction that the Christian publishing companies wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Yes, they adhere to Biblical standards. No, they do not adhere to the G-rating found in many kids movies. To clarify, I’m not into shock-and-awe. I just write stories the way the stories want to be written without being constrained to the unquestionable ‘rules’ of the Christian publishing industry.”



rem:  I’d like to give a big welcome to David Alderman to my blog.  David, thank you for joining me today. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

DAVID: I was born in Mountain View, California. I lived there for about ten years before my family moved to New Mexico. Live there for four years, which is where I developed my love for writing in the sixth grade. Then we moved to Modesto, California for a year and a half before moving here to Arizona. My wife, son, and I moved to Daly City (San Francisco) for two years, and have been back here in Arizona for the last year now.

rem:  And I thought I moved a lot! JK! I gotta ya beat by… a mile and then some! Tell us three things about yourself.

DAVID:  I was born with a club foot. I was also born with ADHD and was on Ritalin for almost 15 years of my life. I love video games.

rem:  I have to confess, I was not familiar with club foot (heard of it, of course, just didn’t know particulars) Did it affect one or both of your feet? And how did they treat it for you?

DAVID:  My right foot. I had to have three surgeries to help correct it by the time I was eight.

rem:  Wow! That’s rough for a kid! Moving on to more fun stuff: cookout—steaks or brats?

DAVID:  Steak. I hate pork.

rem:  Gotta love a good steak! (I do love pork, though!) Beer in a bottle or a can? (*please don’t be offended by this question! It’s all in good fun, if it doesn’t apply to you just skip right over and keep going.) (or give me a snarky answer…)

DAVID:  I don’t drink beer, but I tend to prefer bottles to cans, as bottles seem to be more sanitary if that makes sense.

rem:  I don’t like drinking (anything) from cans because of the metallic taste! Star Wars or Star Trek? Which character do you most resemble? Why?

DAVID:  Star Wars, although I was in love with Star Trek: Voyager while it was on television. I would say I’m most like Han Solo as I’ve gotten into more trouble than I’d like to admit, but have always managed to get out of it.

rem:  Well then I’m a great fan! #HanSoloFanGirl Superman or Batman?

DAVID:  I like them both for different reasons. But I think my fav would be batman because he relies on wit and ingenuity over superpowers.

rem:  Good answer. I prefer Batman, too, it’s a “robin” thing….. Marvel Comics or DC?


rem:  If you could have any super power what would it be?

DAVID:  teleportation

rem:  I KNOW RIGHT! Kids or pets? Names and ages?

DAVID:  My son will be turning five next month. His name is Nolan.

rem:  I’ve seen pics on FB, he’s a cutie. Vacation: beach or mountains?

DAVID:  Beach.

rem:  What is your most treasured possession?

DAVID:  My late grandfather’s wallet with a Korean Veteran patch embroidered into the surface.

rem:  Priceless treasure! What is your greatest fear?

DAVID:  Betrayal by those closest to me.

rem:  Ouch! (and yes, I know the burn… :-/ ) What is your greatest regret?

DAVID:  Not getting to know my uncle better before he passed.

rem:  That’s probably something most of us share in common, not getting to know someone before they were gone. What is your favourite quotation and why?

DAVID:  It is never too late to be what you might have been.

rem:  SOOOO TRUE!!!! (I’m 57 (and proud of it) and finally embracing my writer self!) What do you do as a hobby?

DAVID:  I love playing video games. I also read. Lately, I have been trying to start a patio garden here in my apartment, but the Arizona sun keeps killing all of my plants.

rem:  Maybe a cactus garden??? What do you most value in a friend? What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?

DAVID:  Loyalty.

rem:  I agree. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

DAVID:  When I can tell that a writer has written themselves into a corner and they use outrageous means to bring about resolution in the story.

rem:  But… but… isn’t that what good fiction is??? “outrageous means… JK Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

DAVID:  I’ve read The Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin at least twice.

rem:  must.check.this.out. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

DAVID:  Han Solo in books, and Jack Bauer in television.

rem:  Han Solo I know (already established this), Jack Bauer not so much! If you could chose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?

DAVID:  It would be interesting and terrifying to be one of the students in Battle Royal. But I’ve always been curious…

rem:  um, yeah, that’s pretty intense story!!!  :-O Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?

DAVID:  I love sci-fi with a mix of horror. Stephen King fulfills that requirement for me with his Dark Tower series. I have also enjoyed some of Orson Scott Card’s novels – namely Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. I also like Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas.

rem:  Not so much into horror, but I do want to read Stephen King for his skil in the craft. Which is more important: plot or characters?

DAVID:  Characters.

rem:  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

DAVID:  Game design.

rem:  It’s all creative, isn’t it! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

DAVID:  I started writing when I was 11. It was a classroom assignment, and I wrote a story inspired by Spy vs Spy and Mission: Impossible. I loved writing it so much that I started writing short stories with characters based off my friends. I finished my first novel at 16. I stopped writing for a long while once my grandmother died and I moved here to Arizona. I picked it up again near 2000, and self-published for the first time back in 2004, I believe. I’ve written seven novels, a novella, and numerous short stories so far. I started this publishing company – The Crossover Alliance – in 2015.

rem:  Color me impressed. I know a lot of authors started at a young age (I wrote one called Pinky the Pink Elephant when I was six) but not many who were published at 16! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

DAVID:  With how busy the work has gotten with this publishing company, I have found it to be easier to set one day a week aside to write instead of trying to write every day. So Thursdays are my writing days. I usually write at my home computer, as I can type fairly fast – at least as fast as the ideas spill out of my head. I also have a weekly coffee shop writing meeting with a buddy of mine who also writes.

rem:  As an Indie, I’m juggling my writing / marketing and my blog… OY!! What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

DAVID:  I struggle to get all of my ideas on paper in a way that is understandable. I used to detest outlines, but I find them to be useful nowadays.

rem:  I’m 100% pantzer! My next series, though, I’m going to have to do at least basic outline / story arc to cover the four books in the series! (did I mention I hate outlines! LOL) Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

DAVID:  Creating by far. I hate editing. I just love that feeling when a new character or situation arrives on the page and you don’t know what’s going to happen or who’s going to show up.

rem:  It’s like meeting a new friend, isn’t it! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

DAVID:  The creative control.

rem:  ohhhh, yessss!!! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

DAVID:  Marketing. Formatting.

rem:  Yes, and yes. What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

DAVID:  1. I would make it a habit to write, whether that’s every day or every week. 2. I would also write what you want BEFORE getting opinions from friends or family, that way you are writing what YOU want to write. 3. Don’t ever stop writing.

  1. I would recommend not leaving a manuscript unfinished. 2. I would recommend not writing for an audience. 3. I would recommend not letting criticism hinder your creative license.

rem:  Great recommendations. I have to confess, I am not very familiar with speculative fiction (although one of my best author friends writes spec fiction!) How would you describe the genre?

DAVID:  It’s fiction that speculates. Could be science fiction, could be fantasy, could be paranormal.

rem:  Well that was easy! #facepalm Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

DAVID:  The world around me. I find myself taking notes on the strangest things because I love to observe people and things around me while I’m out and about. Then I merge those things with my real-life experiences.

rem:  I know right! They’re everywhere! What’s the most interesting or fascinating world you’ve created?

DAVID:  Anaisha. This is the planet from my Expired Reality series. It is surrounded in a haze of a chemical known as rhodenine which changes the genes in certain individual’s bodies, giving them super-like powers.

rem:  And  now Iwanna read it! As authors we sometimes give our characters one or more of our personal traits. Have you ever taken on a trait of your character that you didn’t have before?

DAVID:  I’ve become more observant as my characters have become more observant. I think sitting down to patiently write a scene where the character is observing the room, I find myself copying those actions in my daily life. It enables me to view the world through a new lens and see things I never saw before.

rem:  And that’s a really good habit to have as an author! Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

DAVID:  Well, I love the first book in my Expired Reality series, Endangered Memories, because it is based off the novel I finished when I was 16. However, I also love the first book in my Black Earth series, End of the Innocence, because it was the first book that showed me that I could cross the lines of content in a Christian novel and come out the other side with a new genre – if you will – of fiction.

rem:  Which character in the story is most like/least like you?

DAVID:  Nathan Pierce in Black Earth: End of the Innocence. He’s definitely me. In fact, some of the things that happen to him in that book, actually happened to me.

rem:  Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

DAVID:  I’m ‘supposed’ to be writing the third book in my Expired Reality series, as it’s almost 10 years overdue. So I am in fact working on that. But I also just finished the first draft of a novella called Red Crane, which is my first supernatural detective story. I am planning to publish Red Crane and Expired Reality 3 next year. I am also working on a short story for The Crossover Alliance’s upcoming superhero-themed anthology.

rem:  See? That makes my head spin! But I’m going to have to learn to juggle multiple story lines so I can move forward with my own writing. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

DAVID:  That God is not to be put in a box with walls made of our rules and preconceived notions.

rem:  Amen to that! David, thank you so much for chatting with me on my blog today!





Of Dreams and Faith
Pursuing God-given dreams is a futile effort unless we are doing so in faith. Many of us neglect to go to God with our dreams because we think they are too small or too insignificant to bother Him with them. But what we forget is that some of these dreams that are burning within us were planted there by God Himself, and He’s waiting fervently for us to turn to Him and partner with Him to fulfill these dreams.

What would happen if we took our dreams, placed them in the hands of God, and placed our faith in God to turn these dreams into reality? Instead of trusting in the temporary, instead of putting our hopes in the ones who will undoubtedly disappoint, what if we turned to the One who has power over all creation?








Link to Black Earth: End of the Innocencewww.thecrossoveralliance.com/black-earth-end-of-the-innocence


072816 - david alderman - book images


David Alderman, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Black Earth, Endangered Memories, Lost Birth, Of Dreams and Faith


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Today we welcome author and fellow Crew member, Robin E. Mason, to 3 Questions Wednesday! Hi, Robin! So glad you can share your thoughts with us today. First question. What books have fortified you…

Source: 3 Questions Wednesday with Robin E. Mason

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When mistakes from the past cripple your future—and the present—it’s time to rebuild your purpose.


Callie Stillman has a big heart. And she’d gladly lend a helping hand to anyone in need. But when that helping hand backfires, and a baby ends up dead, Callie blames herself. And shuts herself off from ever being in that position again. She has convinced herself like is complete with her husband, their daughter, and grandchildren.


But when a child obviously in need begins attending Callie’s Sunday School class, is it God’s way of telling her it’s time to reach out again? And can Callie open her heart to the risk?

Or will she let the child continue in her compromised family situation? Will she turn her concerns over to agencies who can help, knowing it would wreak more heartache for the little girl she has become so attached to in spite of herself? And more importantly, will her husband support her if she reaches out or will she wreak havoc on her blissful marriage?




Ms. Srock has created characters that are so real I felt I had made new friends. Characters who are living real life crises. The pull to do what is right pitted against the instinct of self-preservation is a tightrope, and Ms. Srock has balanced her characters precariously on the high wire. She unfolds the conflict deftly and skillfully, adding layers to already complex layers, and brings the story to its fitting end with page turning twists.


slide 3Author Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Twenty five years ago, she cut her writer’s teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Sharon lives in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. When she isn’t working or writing, she loves to read, cook, and travel. She’s still working on a way to do all three at the same time.
Connect with her at www.sharonsrock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SharonSrock#!/SharonSrock

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6448789.Sharon_Srock

Sign up for her quarterly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bwxPmb



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Callie, Tuesday Reviews-Day, Book Review, Sharon Srock, Women of Valley View, Terri, Pam, Samantha, Karla

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Danele Rotharmel—Romans 8:28


Sometimes, it’s really hard to understand why things happen the way that they do. I was a Christian my whole life, and I thought that being a Christian would protect me from “bad things.” Unfortunately, my viewpoint was rather naive. I’ve learned through experience that when we become Christians, God doesn’t promise to keep us from every hardship, but He does promise that He will be with us always. This message was demonstrated to me in graphic detail when I almost died.

You see, after college, I began to feel ill. My doctors were puzzled, and they grew even more puzzled as my symptoms became more severe. Eventually, I couldn’t walk without staggering or talk without stuttering. My body was shutting down, and no one knew why. Finally, it was discovered that a low-level leak from a faulty furnace in my home was slowly poisoning me. If the leak hadn’t been exposed, I wouldn’t have lived much longer.

I thought that when the furnace was replaced, things would get back to normal, but the carbon monoxide had triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and whenever I was around perfumes or other chemicals, I would become extremely ill. This illness progressed until I ended up quarantined in my home. I thought the quarantine would last for a few months; instead, it lasted for seven years. For seven years, I could only talk to friends and extended family through a closed window. For seven years, I couldn’t go to church, restaurants, stores, or out to lunch with friends. Seven years is an extremely long time.

During quarantine, I began reexamining my faith. I felt betrayed by God, but I came to the conclusion that Christianity isn’t a magical formula for warding off bad things—it’s an invitation to experience God’s peace through the good times and the bad times too. Eventually, I decided that in spite of quarantine—and in spite of all my shattered hopes and dreams—God was still real, God was still good, and God was still trustworthy.

I began using my time to study the Bible and write my books. I’d always enjoyed writing, but I’d never had the hours needed to pen my novels—now, I had all the time in the world. I began immersing myself in “The Time Counselor Chronicles.” I would sit at my computer for eight to eighteen hours a day—it was as if I couldn’t stop writing. Once I finished my first book, “Time Tsunami,” I couldn’t stand parting with the characters I’d come to love, so I began immediately writing “Time Trap.” Once I finished “Time Trap,” the other novels quickly followed: “Time Search,” “Time Awakening,” “Time Inferno,” “Time Nightmare,” and “Time Flashback.”

I used my novels as a distraction from pain and loneliness. I filled my books with comedy, romance, friendship, action, and suspense. I used them to brighten my days and bring me joy. I also used them as vehicles to explore my journey back to faith. In the novels, my characters explore hard questions about God, and eventually, they find the answers that I personally found—God is real and God is trustworthy.

My books are clean, and I filled them with plot twists and surprises. When you read them, you’re not just reading a book, you’re looking at how I dealt with disillusionment and pain. I included a time travel aspect in my novels because I wished desperately that time travel existed. I wished that I could go back through time and warn my younger-self to buy a carbon monoxide monitor. I included serial killers in my books because I was facing a serial killer of my own. Many people don’t survive what I went through. Each time my characters stood up against a killer and won, I would cheer—knowing that I was metaphorically trying to do the same thing in the real world.

Eventually, my quarantine began to work. As I slowly recovered, I took brief fieldtrips from the safety of my “chemical-free” house. Going into a grocery store and choosing my own vegetables felt amazing! During this time, I felt God telling me that it was time to publish my books. I still became ill very easily, but I stepped out in faith and went to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park. While I was there, I had an interview with a representative from Prism Book Group. Prism took an interest in my books, and they published the first book in “The Time Counselor Chronicles,” “Time Tsunami,” in January 2016. “Time Trap,” the second book in the series, was published by Prism in June. The third book, “Time Search,” is scheduled to be released soon.

Prism encouraged me to start a blog, and after prayer, I decided to name my blog https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/ and write about the lessons I learned in quarantine. I wasn’t sure that anyone would read what I had written, but to my surprise, my articles about God’s faithfulness resonated with the public. Currently, my blog is being read in over 80 nations around the world.

When I look back on my life, I have to admit that things haven’t gone the way I expected. The plans I made before my illness have all faded and withered away. During the first part of my seven-year quarantine, I really thought my life was over, but God had new plans in mind for me. These plans were better than the ones I had made for myself. If I hadn’t become ill, I never would have written my books or become a blogger. God took what I thought was a death sentence, and transformed it into a doorway of ministry, and now my words are reaching people all around the globe.

Romans 8:28 says that God will transform everything into something good in our lives. Before I became ill, I didn’t comprehend the reality of those words—but I understand them now. Christianity doesn’t ensure that we won’t have problems, but it does ensure that we have a God to run to when those problems hit. Even though I’ve spent almost a third of my life ill—and even though I’ve spent over seven years in quarantine—I can say without reservation—God is real, God is good, and God is trustworthy.


Time Trap


My newest book, “Time Trap,” has just been released by Prism Book Group. Here’s a look at the back cover blurb: When problems arise during a field exam, Director Peter Matthews and Dr. Laura Nelson are sent through a time portal to investigate.  While they search for their missing cadets, they encounter an enemy who is calculating and brutal—a mysterious nemesis who is holding a grudge against the TEMCO program.  As Peter and Laura race to unravel clues directing them to their kidnapped cadets, their own survival comes into question.  A deadly trap has been set, and they are forced to pit their wits against a serial killer who is intent on playing a deadly chess game through time itself.




Danele RotharmelDanele Rotharmel’s life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace was poisoning her. This poisoning triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity causing her to be put in quarantine. For seven years, she could only talk to friends and extended family through a windowpane. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.  Although her journey back to health was difficult, it provided her the opportunity to grow closer to God and write her books. For that, she’s forever thankful.


If you would like to learn more about me, please visit my blog.

My Blog: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/24LKruh

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/time-trap-danele-j-rotharmel/1123886056?ean=2940153055428





Danele Rotharmel, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, Romans 8:28, Time Trap

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Once upon a time, and thanks to the magic of the single-mom tax return, I was able to make a dream come true for my kids. I don’t say children, because they weren’t little kids anymore; they were t…

Source: Favorite Summer Vacation

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Manly Man July Blitz Blogger Interview – GENE WHITEHEAD



“Hi, I’m Gene Whitehead and I write about the world we live in and the experience of life through the lens of scripture. Another way to say that is simple theology for a messy life. And by simple, I don’t mean easy!




 “My promise is to be truthful and honest. I’m not going to tiptoe the truth around the ideology of social acceptance, but I will be respectful.


rem:  I’d like to give a big welcome to GENE WHITEHEAD to my blog.  Gene, thank you for joining me today. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

GENE:  I was born in the Bay Area California, in Oakland, and spent my first 25 years or so there. After that I lived near Los Angeles for about 10 years. Most recently, home was in Eastern Europe, and we’ve been temporarily in North America for a year and will soon be moving to Sweden.

rem:  Tell us three things about yourself.

GENE:  I roast my own coffee, I’m a grandpa, I can speak Russian.

rem:  Russian?!?!?  Really!!!! Do you give lessons??? (I’m serious!) Cookout—steaks or brats?

GENE:  There’s an “or” to that?  I’ll take the steak… first 🙂

rem:  LOL! Beer in a bottle or a can? (*please don’t be offended by this question! It’s all in good fun, if it doesn’t apply to you just skip right over and keep going.) (or give me a snarky answer…)

GENE:  Bottle. Always a bottle and sometimes even in a glass!

rem:  I hear ya! Don’t like the “tinny” tast of (anything) in a can! Star Wars or Star Trek? Which character do you most resemble? Why?

GENE:  Star Trek, Scotty. Scott is my middle name, I have plenty of Scottish ancestors, and I take life at full speed… give it all it’s got!

rem:  Love that answer!! Two points! Marvel Comics or DC?

GENE:  Marvel

rem:  Kids or pets? Names and ages?

GENE:  2 daughters, Aryana is 23 and Kayla is 20. I had a Labrador Retriever that now lives with Aryana.

rem:  What is your most treasured possession?

GENE:  My family. Even though I don’t technically possess them, everything else is replaceable.

rem:  Best.answer.ever. What is your greatest regret?

GENE:  Not surrendering and serving God sooner in life.

rem:  I’m sure that’s true for all of us! What is your favourite quotation and why?

GENE:  “Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.” -Charles Reade. Just like everyone else, I’ve lived this. It fits the human condition. It’s totally applicable.

rem:  Good quote! What do you most value in a friend? What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?

GENE:  Honesty. And telling things just the way they are.

rem:  Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

GENE:  Edmund Pevensie. His spiritual journey in the Narnia stories is relatable and familiar.

rem:  The foibles and failures of the human condition! If you could chose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?

GENE:  Reepicheep. He’s noble, loyal, courageous and faithful.

rem:  Oh yes! I love him also! (confession: had to look up the name!) Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?

GENE:  Fantasy. I like reading CS Lewis, Ted Dekker, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, R.J. Larson. And non-fiction, I read a lot of Andrew Murray and A.W. Tozer.

rem:  Good list of author peeps! Which is more important: plot or characters?

GENE:  Character. Every time.

rem:  Most of my interviewees are authors of books, but I rather imagine it’s not such a different beast. Tell us a little about your blogging journey.

GENE:  I’ve really enjoyed writing since 4th grade, when I won a pretty nice award for elementary students. I had teachers that encouraged me. Eventually, life got in the way. Careers, focusing on family, laziness. When I was in Eastern Europe and had begun transitioning out of my work and projects there, I found the time to write as a means of processing what I was experiencing at the time, so I began my blog.

rem:  Have you ever thought about writing a book? A compilation of blog posts perhaps?

GENE:  I have thought about it. I have some ideas down for some fiction, and I’ve begun writing about anxiety and worry, not from a clinical position but from a spiritual one. Blog post compilations could give me some more ideas as well!

rem:  Refer to your favorite quote, and DO IT! You say on your website that your “desire is to help people understand Scripture in a way that it can be applied to our daily lives…” Bravo for that by the way! I know our heart desires are God given and God ordained. How did you discover this passion and what prompted you to make blogging your platform?

GENE: I’ve always loved writing, putting my thoughts, experiences and even stories to paper. I had just never found a real outlet for that, but it was while experiencing that time of deep reflection during monumental transition that I realized blogging was the perfect platform for expressing and sharing the deepest truths of God’s love.

rem:  There are countless blogs out there, many of them fun or silly, but yours is solid and encouraging. Thank you for that. You also make it clear that the Christian walk is not a fairy tale, but is real and gritty, and in fact, spiritual warfare. Can you expand on that?

GENE:  I think for many Christians, we’ve grown tired of hearing people talk about coming to Christ and everything falling in line. Well, in my experience, when I’m most focused on my relationship with Christ is when my ducks are least in a row and things are just messy. I think we lose a lot of people in that illusion of the perfect Christian life. I want to communicate that the unseen is real, and if it was good enough for God’s prophets and Jesus’ own apostles to be brutally exterminated for their faith, then we should not communicate to followers of Christ in this fallen world a perfect Facebook-post life, where people share only their greatest moments. But how to communicate that side of reality with the fact that God does in fact take care of His people and that there is hope and good reason to embrace Christ– that is the challenge.

rem:  Ohhhh, that is so true! My personal testimony is ugly, and shows up in different ways in my own writing. What’s the most interesting or fascinating thing you’ve discovered in your research?

GENE:  Actually, that has more to do with blogging as a writing platform. It’s interesting to understand that writing for an online audience is very different than any other writing platform. An online reader tends to skim, and if they don’t find any interest in what they’re looking at within seconds, you’ll lose them. We have to get their attention with quality images while connecting with them in the first sentence.

rem:  I’ve been blogging for just over two years now, and I couldn’t agree more! I’m still learning! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

GENE: I usually write in an upstairs room. I’m in a temporary living situation, preparing to return to Europe so when that happens I’ll have my own quiet space to write in. Sometimes, I write with headphones on in my writing environment. It helps.

rem:  You have lived in Eastern Europe and are planning to return. How many times have you been, and how long do you stay?

GENE:  We’ve been to Europe 3 times, 3 years this last time which was in Eastern Europe. In those 3 years, we assisted nationals with opening 3 coffeehouses that in turn assist them in creating income and building relationships in their community.

Our next move is to Sweden and we will be there indefinitely.

rem:  What makes you struggle as a writer? How do you handle it?

GENE:  Looking at results. I’m a results guy, I like analytics of every kind so my struggle is looking at my blog’s analytics and then comparing my results to others. My tendency can be to assume that a lack of shares or a lack of subscribers means I’m not making a difference. It’s a lie of course, and I handle that by reaffirming that even if no one ever read a single word I write, I would still write it. Not because what I have to say is more profound than anyone else, but because I’m just compelled to put the words down. And most times, I’m my first audience. I need the truth and the hope in the stuff I write as much as anyone.

rem:  Ditto for me with my fiction! (my blog posts, too!) Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

GENE:  Creating. When the flow starts it’s just very satisfying to see the ideas come together.

rem:  Gotta love when that happens! What do you enjoy most about blogging?

GENE:  When one person is changed, when someone grows from something I’ve written. Not because I need that accolade, and I never even share this, but because I’m usually writing from a perspective of experience, of struggles I’ve endured and when someone sends a message that they were helped in some way it blows away any amount of analytics results or social media shares in the world.

rem:  Yes and amen! What was the hardest thing about blogging? The easiest?

GENE:  The hardest thing is content because I don’t want to write simply to fill a space, or put a check mark on having published that week. I want to write to share truth that will encourage, challenge or somehow provide something someone needs to grow.  The easiest thing is logging out!

rem:  LOL to “easiest!” What are your top 3 recommendations for a new blogger?


  1. Don’t give in to the temptation to compare yourself to others. Not your writing, not your results. Fight that temptation. The only place to compare yourself to another blogger is design. Some do that really well and that’s a good resource!
  2. Don’t overcommit. If you can write a new post every week or every 2 weeks or every day is up to you, but don’t overcommit. Try to stick to a routine so your readers know when they can expect something new. (rem: big fat amen to that!)
  3. Don’t do this alone. You’re going to need the advice and influence of other bloggers. I’m still looking for that, by the way, but I know it’s a must!

rem:  Do you have a favorite post that you’ve written? If so, why?

GENE:  “Here’s Permission to Rest from Psalm 23.” (http://genewhitehead.com/permission-to-rest-from-psalm-23/)

This was written when we were struggling with that transition of leaving Eastern Europe and deciding what was next. Every time I prayed and wrestled with the options, I felt like God was impressing on me to just be still, close the chapters I had just finished and rest before beginning the new ones.

rem:  Ya, I’ve taken the long route (the very long route) to this! And now the value and benefit of resting! What is one take-away from your blog that you hope readers identify with?

GENE:  Simply put, that God’s truths are reality and there is hope.

rem:  So spot on! I think all of us, as followers of Christ, should be a light to this Truth. Gene, thank you so much for joining us today!  It has been my pleasure to have you here!









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Gene Whitehead, Chat Thursday, Author Blogger Interview, Simple Theology for a Messy Life, Reading the  Bible to Strengthen Your Faith, Jesus Bubble

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You may have noticed that Tuesdays are when I post reviews on my blog. Due to—I’m not even sure what all!—I never got a copy of this book and cannot review. I do, however, want to give a shout out to Ms. Blanton and her newest book, A Promise in Defiance. Here, in lieu of my personal review, is an excerpt for your reading pleasure.




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“I believe Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because the human condition is … and God loves us anyway.”  – Heather Blanton




a promise in defiance by heather blanton



“Preacher! Preacher! Wake up!”

The pounding passed from Logan’s dream to the fuzzy edges of wakefulness, fading into the sound of thunder. Rain beat on his tin roof, steady and peaceful—

“Preacher!” the voice screamed again. “The church is burnin’!”

Logan’s eyes flew open. The orange glow reflecting on his bedroom walls pulsed with the pounding on his front door. He tossed back the covers, shimmied crazily into his breeches, and raced outside, still buttoning his fly. He nearly knocked down Deacon Taylor, the man who had been hammering on his door. Waving an apology, Logan raced past the man toward the burning building. He skidded to a stop though, halted by the hellish heat. Several men had formed a line leading from the water trough to the church, but the heat held them at bay as well, their buckets still full.

“Where’s that fire engine?” someone yelled over the roaring flames.

Logan pushed a hand through his dark, soaking-wet blond hair. God, no, not my church . . . my church.

Only then did he notice the rain. Hard and cold, huge drops drenched the futile firefighters, ran down his back, into his eyes. Yet his church burned at an astonishing speed, the ravenous beast of fire gulping it down from pew to steeple.

Deacon Taylor stepped up beside him and shook his head. “I’m sorry, Preacher. If this rain isn’t stopping it, then we might as well be spittin’ on the flames for all the good those buckets are gonna do. Shoot, they can’t get close enough to toss the water anyhow.”

Logan bit down the bitterness. If he’d only listened. And obeyed.

He’d clamped his hands over his ears, turned away from scriptures he knew he should study, avoided quiet time before the Lord, anything to drown out the still, small voice. Therefore, God had taken the final step to get this new preacher’s obedience.

Content shepherding a flock of good, God-fearing folk, Logan would not entertain the possibility the Lord had something else, someplace else, in mind. He couldn’t mean to send him there. Not back to real sinners.

Taylor slapped a hand on Logan’s back. “Don’t take it so hard, Preacher. You can do services in my barn until we get the church rebuilt.”

“I reckon you’ll be rebuilding it without me, Deacon.”

Taylor cocked his head as if he hadn’t heard quite right what with the flames and the rain.

“What’s that you say?”

“He’s been telling me to move on. If I’d listened, you’d still have a church.”

Taylor’s mouth worked futilely for a moment. Finally, he managed, “Well, where you going?”

Logan watched the flames claw at Heaven and heard the scripture as clear as if God were standing beside him.

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.

Dread pooling in his heart, he answered Taylor with one word: “Defiance.”

heather blanton


Heather Blanton is the independent bestselling author of several Christian Westerns, including the Romance in the Rockies series, which has sold over 40,000 copies. Intrigued by the concept of three good sisters stranded in a lawless Colorado mining town, a few notable Hollywood producers have requested the script for her first book in that series, A Lady in Defiance. Heather’s writing is gritty and realistic. In fact, her books have been compared to AMC’s Hell on Wheels series, as well as the legendary Francine Rivers book, Redeeming Love. A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among the fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in her hand. She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!


She can be reached several different ways:





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Christian Westerns is the genre that lets her write about strong pioneer women and men who struggle to find God and then live out their faith in real ways. Romance is always a strong element in her stories because it is such a beautiful gift from God, and a perfect reflection of how he loves His children: sacrificially and lavishly. Heather’s stories aren’t preachy or cheesy, but she hopes they are heart-warming, realistic, illuminating, and glorifying to God. Like good old fashioned Westerns, there is always justice, a moral message, American values, lots of high adventure, unexpected plot twists, and more than a touch of suspense.




Blogwords, Special Report, Book Excerpt, A Promise in Defiance, Heather Blanton, Hearts in Defiance, A Lady in Defiance

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Hey Author, What’s Your Favorite Book?

What’s your favorite book? As an author, I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve been asked that. And worse? When I’m asked which of my own books is my favorite. My usual reply … that’s like asking which one of my children do I prefer. Okay, yes, I admit I have a favorite son and a favorite daughter, but don’t ask me to choose between my two children.

Yet, if my wife is in earshot, she’ll quickly answer. Her favorite of my books is Indebted, the story of a young girl who gets pregnant out of wedlock in the late 1960’s. The story begins as she wakes up to find her child missing, along with all of his paraphernalia, and continues with a journey full of suspenseful twists and turns. Why is it her favorite? Perhaps because it speaks to a mother’s heart more than my other thrillers.


How do you decide which books are your favorites? Notice I didn’t ask which one is your favorite. That’s a much harder task and most people, like me, will beg off on that question. I can’t be limited to just one. But, again, how do you decide?


Is it the subject of the book? For most of my thrillers, I tackle social injustices, issues that stir me up whether I write about them or not. Human trafficking. Medical kidnapping by the state. Government corruption and control. I want to not only entertain my readers, but get them thinking as well. And yet, do I consider the subject when I read books by others? In honesty, not so much. Yet, that might be because the subjects in so many books are vague or pure fiction, as opposed to my real-life, “taken from the headlines” topics.


Perhaps you can identify with and like the characters. My wife quickly identified with Alice in Indebted. Again, it’s that maternal thing. As I guy, I can easily identify with some of the kick-butt protagonists in the thrillers I enjoy. It’s a form of living vicariously. I love seeing the bad guys defeated, even though I recognize that in real life the hero would likely end up in jail for the actions he, or she, takes. Of course, there’s more to a character than his actions. Real characters, like real people, are multi-faceted and layered. They have emotions, challenges, faults, and so on. They interact with others and how they do can be part of their attraction. As I reader, I can’t identify with a one or two-dimensional character. If they don’t seem real, I lose my compassion for and interest in them. But, getting back to the original question, characters alone don’t define my favorite books.


Maybe it’s plot. Well, this gets closer to the mark for me. I like an intriguing plot, full of twists and turns, ready to put the heroine in jeopardy … a plot that make me want to keep reading. Actually, the kinds of books I like often have more than one plot line weaving through the story. Perhaps there’s one main plot and two or more subplots. Sometimes two story lines share equal billing.


What is it about a story that keeps you up past your bedtime? Well, it’s not someone moving from point A to B. It’s all about tension, and tension comes in many forms. One leading literary agent who studied “break-out” novels – those books that made the author a recognized name – says that such novels have tension on every page. Maybe it’s something as tense as a gunfight or fisticuffs between two parties. More commonly it’s tension in a relationship, or a character fighting his proverbial inner demon, or one character’s rebellious tendencies and refusal to do something another character wants. Sometimes it’s sexual tension, which is, to me, always more interesting than the physical act, on whatever level that is portrayed.


However, a plot isn’t much without characters and vice versa. So, while I like a good plot, I need great characters driving that plot.


What about other characteristics of a book? Does description make or break a book? For me it can, if it breaks the flow of the story. I don’t want to stop for flowery paragraphs of luxuriant, erudite, yet wordy prose just as the action is taking off. Still, I want some description of the location, the character, and more. Enough to help me “see” the scene in my mind. What about pacing? I don’t want a story that speeds up, slows down, speeds up, slows down… I might get motion sickness. A steady pace that accelerates toward the grand finale is good. Or fast-paced throughout. Sentence structure? I recently gave up on a book. Filled with choppy sentences. They dominated the writing. I couldn’t continue. A good book will have variety and when read aloud, the sentences will flow from your mouth.


So, I think you can tell from what I’ve written above that, for me, a good book is a well-rounded book. It has story lines that make you want to keep reading to see what happens next to its great characters. The craft of the writing is well done, so that it doesn’t hinder the storytelling. It’s a book I don’t want to put down until I get to the end, yet, I don’t want to see it end.


Yes, I have a lot of “favorite” books, but I don’t think I could ever whittle that list down to one grand champion. In fact, other than some classics that I had to read twice for different classes in school, I don’t think I’ve ever read a work of fiction twice. It’s not that I don’t think they’re unworthy of reading twice. My reason is that there are so many other books I’d like to read. And regarding those books I really enjoyed, those authors keep coming up with something new and I want to keep up. Which gets me to another question. Who’s your favorite author?


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Braxton DeGarmo spent over 30 years in Emergency and Family Medicine, both in and out of the military, before retiring to focus on writing in 2014. Many of the incidents in his books are based on real occurrences, people, and experiences in his own life, such as learning to escape a water crash in a helicopter. And the technologies described in his books are all current…

and possible.


Fortunately, he did not pull the events of the main plots from his personal life, although they are issues that affect us all. Human trafficking, medical kidnapping, the insanity of Washington, DC, and other injustices have become the premises used for his stories.

He writes from a Judeo-Christian worldview, but he writes his stories to reach and entertain people of all backgrounds. Now, he just needs to find a way to fit his experience with the incredible shrinking woman of Ft. Campbell,KY into a story. Hmmm…


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“A Zealot’s Destiny” – coming soon

“Wrongfully Removed” – a medical thriller (MedAir Series #4)

“The Silenced Shooter” – a political thriller (MedAir Series #3)

“Rescued and Remembered” – a thriller (MedAir Series #2)

“Looks that Deceive” – a medical thriller (MedAir Series #1)

“Indebted” – a story of hope and redemption

“The Militant Genome” – a medical thriller



You can find Braxton at:


Website: www.braxtondegarmo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Braxton.DeGarmo.Author



#braxtondegarmo, #newweeknewface, #NWNF, #azealotsdestiny, #wrongfullyremoved, #thesilencedshooter, #rescuedandremembed, #looksthatdeceive, #indebted, #themilitantgenome



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