Archive for March, 2019



I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it. That prayer that says, “If it be His will.”


Please pray for me. I need thus and such.


To which I get the response, “I will pray thus and such for you, that if it is I accordance with God’s will, He will answer you…”


“For all the good intention of, “If it be Thy will, Lord,” I cringe at that. His Word tells us His will.”



Of course we are to pray in accordance with Father’s will. To ask what we will, and it will done unto us. Does this mean we waltz into the throne room of heaven and lay our demands at His feet?


Goodness, no! God is not a genie in a bottle, and our wish is not His command.


Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. Mark 11:24


It does mean to know His will for us, and ask accordingly. And He does desire for us good things, not just necessary things, but things that bring us joy in life.


Saw this post on Facebook the other day.

Wait! Father God cares about an old couch? What?


Yes. Yes He surely does. When we are grounded in Him, when we make Him the priority in our lives, when He is our passion and treasure, and the desires of our heart line up with His will and His Word, then it is His good pleasure to make a way for us to have them. Whether it’s an antique couch, or healing from disease, it is absolutely His will, and the desire of His heart.


How do I know this? His Word tells us so.


Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4


Notice the second half of that verse: He will give you the desires of your heart. Several years ago, Father showed me something about this verse—when we delight in Him, when we seek His face and His Truth, when His Word is living and breathing in our hearts, then the desires of our heart are the very desires He placed in us to begin with.


Matthew 6:33 says it this way:


But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.


It’s contrary to our human nature—of course it is. It’s our spiritual nature, the part of us He referred to when He said, “Let us make man in our own image.” Genesis 1:26


Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”


With that comes authority and responsibility. But that’s another post for another time.


So what about the times our prayers go unanswered?


Wrong question.

Our prayers are never unanswered. But we might not like the answer we get when we pray.


Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.  Matthew 19: 16, 21-22


Jesus answered the man; he just didn’t like what Jesus said. As to giving all our earthly wealth away, that’s also another topic for another time, but for now, suffice to say, Father can and will—and does—bless us in our obedience.


To wit, Solomon.


God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place… Now give me wisdom and knowledge…”  II Chronicles 1:7-9


He could have asked God for riches, or favor, or a beautiful wife—any number of things. But Solomon asked for wisdom—He sought the Father’s heart.


Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”  verses 11 & 12


Seek Ye First, Extreme Edition. Or perhaps, First Edition.


So back to making requests before God. Back to tacking “If it be Thy will” at the end. Sounds so humble, so noble. (It’s not, it’s a cop out.)


We’re not called to be humble and noble. Neither do we approach the throne in arrogance, but knowing and standing on His Word, His promise to us, we can approach the Throne of God boldly and in confidence:


Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16


And it all circles back to relationship with Him. CINO’s (Christians in Name Only) no more have the privilege of private audience with Him than I have with Queen Elizabeth.


The thing about His Word, though, is that it is living and breathing, and when we read it, meditate on it, it connects us to Him. He inhabits our hearts in the most intimate relationship there is.


And from that relationship comes confidence. Confidence in Who He is, in His Word, and His promises to us. And prayers that have power to change the world.




#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, If It Be Thy Will and Expectations, Mark 11:24, Psalm 37:4, Matthew 6:33, Genesis 1:26, Matthew 19:16, 21-22, II Chronicles 1:7-9, 11-12, Hebrews 4:16, Ephesians 18:23


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BLOGWORDS – 30 March 2019 – NEWSLETTER – a little birdie told me

30 March 2019

Edition X


Roll Call

HALLLOOO!!! Tell me who you are and where you’re at!


The Bird House Book Club

What I am / have been reading!

The End Begins by Sara Davison

Kelly’s Search for Family by Bertha Schwartz

The Scroll by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge by Pepper Basham

The Secret of Willow Inn by Pat Nichols

Ladies of Intrigue by Michelle Griep

Edisto Stranger by C. Hope Clark

Between Stairs and Stardust by Pepper Basham

Beauty in Flight by Robin Patchen

Beauty in Hiding by Robin Patchen

Beauty in Battle by Robin Patchen

Mist O’er the Voyageur by Naomi Musch

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Dying on Edisto by C. Hope Clark


What are you reading?


Friends of Authors Society

Who knows the best way to show your love for your favorite authors? (I’m one, right? Your favorite?) Besides the obvious of buying and reading my books, leaving a review on Amazon tickles their calculations and formulas and moves my books up in their ranks, which in turn means more peeps see my books, which means more peeps are likely to buy them.

There are other things you can do, as well. Suggest my books to your library or book club. Tell your friends, buy gift copies to give to your friends. Heck, tell ME how much you love ‘em!


Robin’s Readers Flock

I appreciate every one who has read or will read my books, and this group is for you!

“This group, as with my blog and (languishing and sadly neglected) website—and my writing—are all about community and family. It is a place to gather to chat and discuss my books, but also to become better acquainted and to encourage and pray for one another.”

If you’re interested, gimme a holla! I’d love to have you as part of my Flock!


Robin’s Nest, Stories by Design

I have been diligent this year to revive the blog. The second half of 2018—after publishing two novels and my knee surgery in June—depleted me, and I’ve had a hard time making a come-back. So the blog is looking pretty good, with all daily features restored…


FourSquare, the Series

… while the new series is gasping for air like a fish out of water. The characters—all of them, for all four books—are milling around in my head like circus performers before the big show! I’ve been working on details, at least, things I’ve learned through the process of writing seven novels. For instance, I have maps of the main town where the series takes place, the college campus where four of them met, the road to and layout of the retreat in the mountains. In an exercise that may or may not be ‘slightly’ excessive, I know all the key players and their birthdays and anniversaries—and all their family members… You know, in case Main Character’s best friend’s sister has a fight with her husband, or Other Main Character’s cousin celebrates a new job, or Other Main Character’s sister in law has a baby… ‘Cause you never know when that will show up in the story! Right?


FourSquare, the Covers

I have the covers for all four books laid out; it’s how I do this series cover thing. I’ve purchased the images of the models, and am working on the background images. And blurbs.


One for the Price of Two – The Blurb

* subject to change

Twin sisters Elizabeth and Meredith Elliott are so identical their own parents can’t even tell them apart. And the pranks abound. Their identities are so entwined, wrapped up in each other, it becomes near impossible even for them to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Even as their distinct personalities emerged, they mimicked one another, living parallel lives, mirroring each other.

It’s all fun and games till Bethy’s reticence holds her back from love. And Mere’s flamboyant personality nearly casts her in the midst of more trouble than she bargains for.


 Also in the works

Yes, I’ve got my next series in mind, The Steppe House. A literary tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright, the Steppe House is fashioned after Mr. Wright’s Falling Water House. Built into the side of a mountain, each of seven (I think) levels is home to a different family, each with their own story. It’s set in the 1940’s, a la Dame Agatha Christie, along the lines of Ten Little Indians (And Then There Were None,) and there is a character named Francis Llewellyn Wiggins; beyond that, I don’t know much about it at all.



A Christmas novella, The Key on the Christmas Tree.

* not the final cover

I started this story a while back as part of a series, The Key, and have a short story, The Key in the Mailbox, included in an anthology by my friend, Mary Blowers, Blood Moon, that can be found on Amazon.



All in the Family

I turned sixty this year. Six-oh. Six decades. As The Steve Miller Band says, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…” That’s about how I feel. Time is slipping away and there’s so much I want to do. Guess that’s called a bucket list.


Not a bucket list item, but a pressing need is a car. Being on Disability, it’s not in the budget to make loan payments, so I have a GoFundMe Campaign set up. Please pop over and take a look, and help if you can.



A robin with clipped wings is a sad thing indeed.



Manchild #2, Russell, will be riding in the Ride for a Cure again this summer. The link for anyone who would care to donate (or share) is:







Manifesto and Author Tag

The manifesto short version is,

“Stories for Christians to see or remember the ugly effects of the lies of the enemy, and for unbelievers to see the beauty of the Truth of the Word of God.”

And my author tag:

“the battle for identity, one story at a time.”


Chatcha’ll next time.

Got questions? Email me at robinemason212@gmail.com.

Here endeth Edition X of

Thank you for subscribing!













“the battle for identity, one story at a time”



A Little Birdie Told Me, #newsletter, Roll Call, Bird House Book Club, Friends of Authors Society, Robin’s Readers Flock, FourSquare, the Series, One for the Price of Two, The Steppe House, The Key on the Christmas Tree, All in the Family, Manifesto and Author Tag


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I like to cook. And I like to invent my own recipes. And I like to try other people’s recipes. And now I’m going to share them with you.




            * adapted from a recipe by DiAnn Mills


2 cans              cherry pie filling
2 cups              chocolate chips
1 cup               chopped pecans – toasted
1 package        Devil’s Food cake mix

1 package        instant dark chocolate pudding mix (3.9 oz)

1 ½ sticks        butter, melted



Preheat oven to 350°


Stir the dry cake mix and pudding mix together.

Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Layer the following:

Cherry pie filling

1 cup chocolate chips

½ cup pecans, toasted

Cake and pudding mixes

Remaining chocolate chips and pecans

Drizzle the melted butter over all


Bake for 50 minutes.



Top with whipped cream and maraschino cherries.




If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at robinemason212@gmail.com


NOTE: All recipes must be original or used with permission.


#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, Black Forest Fudge Cake, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook

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Welcome to First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books!!!

Tell us your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!




Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London… Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth.



Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security.


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.



I will ever be enamored of this story solely owing to Colin Firth in the role of William Darcy. Not really, the story speaks for itself, and is not only a classic but is a favorite of mine.



#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

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“I have my eye on the prize- the publication of my very first novel! I’m excited! I’m scared! I’m emotional!”


“This is huge for me and I need all the support I can get. So, thank you for reading this. Thank you for your continued support whether it’s a quick simple prayer that I don’t lose my mind or a Facebook note stating, “You got this!” or even a Facebook thumbs up on my posts. I need the encouragement. I didn’t know how excruciating and cut throat this business can be.”





Congratulations to


Maria will be in touch with you to send your gift!

Thanks to everyone who entered!











Maria is giving a $10 Amazon gift card.



#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Maria Henriksen, Giveaway Winner, #WINNER

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“Finding God’s encouragement along life’s road.”


“As a single mom for over twenty years, my goal is to encourage women on both sides of the marriage fence.”


Please join me in giving a feathered welcome to Karen Jurgens.


Dogs or Cats   DOGS

Eggs or Pancakes        EGGS

Facebook or Twitter    Facebook


rem:  Hullo Karen! Welcome to my little nest! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

KAREN:  I was born and raised in the beautiful Queen City, Cincinnati. Now I live deep in the heart of Texas, Dallas.

rem:  Sadly, I’ve not been to either of those cities. Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

KAREN:  I can’t stand brussel sprouts; I want to visit Petra someday; I talk to my plants.

rem:  Aren’t we supposed to talk to our plants?!?!?  What is your favourite quotation and why?

KAREN: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” We fail only because we quit trying. Success is waiting for each of us if we’ll just push through.

rem:  So, so true!! The greatest failure is in giving up! What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

KAREN:  After my first speaking engagement a couple years ago, my daughter Cait bought me a miniature globe of the world that says, “Adventure awaits.”

rem:  Ooohh, I love that! What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

KAREN:  Movie is Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. TV show is a Canadian series called Wind at My Back.

rem:  That sounds like a great show! Must needs check it out. If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

KAREN:  Definitely the late 20’s or 30’s, before computers and technology. I love formal tradition and a stable culture, and I would have loved living in England between the two world wars. The Industrial Revolution was in its infancy. People understood hard times then and worked together. God was pouring out His Spirit anew.

rem:  Oh yes, the Roaring Twenties!! I’ve just finished binge watching (for the second time) Miss Fisher Mysteries, set in 1929. Also, it is set in Melbourne, Australia—a country I want to visit! (some scenes are a tad racy… ) Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

KAREN:  My life verse is from James 1:2-4: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  The Lord gave me this Scripture in a prophetic dream to prepare me for my road of life.

rem:  Isn’t that the crux of our faith?? The difference in us that draws unbelievers to Him? Knowing that, no matter what, He is with us, and He will carry us through. Whatever the circumstance or situation. If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

KAREN:  I would sit down with Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. She ruined her life because she was jilted at the altar. I would tell her that her fiancé was actually a crook, and she should have been grateful she didn’t get into that legal mess. I would have consoled her for suffering and wasting the rest of her life away, and I would also share the gospel with her.


rem:  * Refer back to your life verse—joy in all things, even being jilted at the altar! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

KAREN:  Christian fiction is significant because your published story can reach farther than an author ever could. Your book can go far and wide. You never know who will read and be impacted by its Christian message. My relationship with Christ has grown in ways where I’m humbled, thankful, and more faithful to Him. My story is written for the Lord to use as He wills.

rem:  So true, Karen. I am a firm believer in “friendship evangelism,’ and it occurs to me that my stories are an extension of that. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

KAREN: My inner editor can’t stand any bad grammar or punctuation mistakes.

rem:  Yikes! So true!! What are you reading right now?

KAREN:  I recently finished Fahrenheit 451, which I’ve taught numerous times. I usually read whatever I’m teaching or editing at the time and save my TBR pile for summers.

rem:  I’ve not read that one…  #hangsheadinshame  What do you munch on while you write?

KAREN:  Graham crackers with chocolate chips

rem:  Now, that sounds yummy! You were a teacher by profession. What did you teach and what did you love most about teaching?

KAREN:  I have always taught English and French in high school. I enjoyed teaching French the most because it is so interesting and fun to learn. I am a true grammarian, and you must be because students have to learn their native language’s grammar along with the new language. Face-to-face interaction is absolutely required for learning any subject, in my opinion, and limited computer learning.

rem:  Je ne parle pas français… But I wanna! I’ve always been fascinated by grammar and rhetoric, which makes learning a new language pretty easy for me.  You traded your teaching hat for women’s ministry and have a couple of different ministry venues—BlogTalk, Front Porch, and HeartWings. Tell us a little about each one and how they came about.

KAREN:  I joined Heart“wings” as a member about three years ago when I ran across it on Facebook. I quickly became a regular member of their blogging team, but now I do guest blogging. I also was a guest on BlogTalk radio with Patty Shene where we discussed the importance of forgiveness. Back in the fall of 2018, Joyce Graves advertised for a Bible Study leader for Heart“wings” Ministry. I felt the Lord tap me and push me forward to volunteer. I had been planning to write about the Fruit of the Spirit on my own blog, so I transferred that idea to the new ministry. I write the content on my blog and share it weekly to the ministry’s Facebook community page along with monthly videos.

rem:  So many times our paths have crossed—I know I’m blessed and my life is richer for it. I love the name of your blog, Touched by Him. Where did that come from and what does it mean to you?

KAREN: Originally, I had my heart set on the name Morningstar Ministries. After I googled it, I discovered that there were already several big ministries with that name. I was so disappointed! So I began googling other names and Touched by Him was free. I liked it because I could see Jesus touching readers through my words for salvation, healing, and especially encouragement along life’s road.

rem:  He is our bright and morning star, but I must say, the name you chose feels far more personal. Karen, you and I first met through the Writing Prompts, Thoughts, and Ideas Blog, now Inspired Prompt Blog. How did you first connect with this blog, and what is your role now?

KAREN:  I found it online when Jennifer Hallmark advertised for bloggers to write for her. She took me on in January, 2015, and I continued until 2018 when her blog’s theme changed course. One year I also helped her with part-time editing and marketing. I enjoyed my time with everyone at Inspired Prompts and learned a lot along the way.

rem:  Tell us a little about your writing journey.

KAREN:  I have always enjoyed writing stories from the time I was about ten years old. In fact, I still have my stacks of old stories. I took creative writing classes in high school and college, and I later began writing articles and fiction stories for my church’s newspaper. I always loved writing about other people’s lives, and one article I wrote about one of my students was published in a national magazine called “American Cowboy.” I tried writing fiction while I was a teacher, but my profession was too demanding and my time too short. After retirement, I finally began by reading lots of books on writing fiction and joined a local critique group. My first story was published as a novella in an anthology from that group, and I later published it under a new title.

rem:  How precious—and priceless—that you still have those first stories!! I still have one I wrote in second grade (I think) called Pinky the Pink Elephant. What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

KAREN: I have a home office where I write. The best time for me is either right after breakfast or after dinner. I’m a night owl and love to work late into the night when the house is quiet.

rem:  That much we have in common (among other things) I’m definitely a night owl! What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

KAREN:  I struggle with confidence. Encouragement is one thing I need lots of, like most authors. I’ve handled it by surrounding myself with faithful friends who honestly can help and support me. I pray about it a lot and trust the Lord for everything related to my writing, since everything I write is for His glory.

rem:  Here’s me, cheerleading you on!! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

KAREN:  I love producing and creating. It’s so satisfying at a deep level when a story comes, and suddenly it flows together, chapter by chapter. Right now I write weekly Bible studies that the Lord lays on my heart, and I love doing that. Since we are made in His image, I suppose we get that talent from Father God, who is the author of creativity.

rem:  Oh, my, yes!! And what an honor it is that He shares even a fraction of His creativity with us. What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

KAREN:  To Do: Research your genre, read all you can about how to write it, and get in a good critique group for support. Not To Do: Don’t let criticism hurt your feelings, don’t stop writing, and never lose sight of your goal.

rem:  Short and succinct, and so powerful suggestions! (I do love my research.) How do you choose your characters’ names?

KAREN:  I choose names that fit the prototype for the reader’s sake. I consider the time period and research lists within those dates for choices. I especially vary the first letter of names so the reader can keep the characters straight.

rem:  Again with the importance of research. Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

KAREN:  Yes, I have a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Then I fill in the gaps as I go.

rem:  Ah! A consummate planner and plotter, are ya. Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?


My current project is my weekly Bible study series on The Fruit of the Spirit. I have the entire year planned, concentrating on one fruit every month. For the other three months, January was a general introduction to the study, April will be devoted solely to the events leading up to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, and December will revel in Christmas and the birth of Messiah.

My latest book is A Perfect Fit, which promotes godly dating and marriage. I’m also one of the authors in Heart“wings” Devotional, a collection of devotions from Heart“wings” Blog Co-hearts.

rem:  I need to tap into your study more thoroughly; I see it in Heart”wings,” and skim through it. (also, I’m not so good at following podcasts and live posts – I get distracted too easily.) What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

KAREN:  My favorite part in A Perfect Fit is how Carlie, the protagonist, personally handles the sinful life of her college roommate. Instead of dropping her as a friend, Carlie sticks by Meredith and eventually leads her to salvation.

rem:  That’s the best kind of friend! Tell us about why you wrote this book.

KAREN:  I’m very concerned about our culture today, especially for college-age students. I wanted to write about real-life issues and how to shine and share Jesus with those who desperately need a savior. Young adults should witness for the Lord and have neither fear nor intimidation. The fields are ripe for the harvest.

rem:  I couldn’t agree more. I’m trying my hand at more light-hearted stories than I’ve done in the past, but plan to include some current hot topics, too.

Please give us the first page of your book.


Carlie Livingston jolted. Now, what? Her fingers froze over her computer keyboard as sharp rapping echoed into her bedroom from the other side of the door.

“May I come in?” Her mother’s quivering voice echoed through the wooden frame.

Carlie rolled her eyes. Another interruption.

“Sure. Entrez.” She sugared the tone, then let a slow sigh escape between her lips. Her brain bookmarked the spot on her to-do list. Hopefully, she’d remember where she had left off.

As the door creaked open, the fragrance of jasmine, laced with vanilla, announced her mother’s entrance. The familiar scent smoothed Carlie’s ruffled nerves as it wafted through the room.

“I hope I’m not disrupting anything important.” Gwen Livingston glided past the canopy bed and sat on the window seat. She twisted to adjust the slats on the shutters,

Carlie eyed her forty-five-year-old mother’s slim, youthful figure with a twinge of feminine envy. How could Dad…? She shook the thought away.



rem:  Well, missy, you sure got me hooked!! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

KAREN:  No matter what trials you may face in life, Jesus will guide you to your destination if you trust and walk with Him. He will give you the desires of your heart.

rem:  Yes and amen!! (Refer to your life verse… #winkwink) Anything you’d like to add?

KAREN:  I’d like to invite you and your readers to join me for Bible study every week on the “Front Porch.” Come by and be blessed! (www.KarenJurgens.com)

rem:  Delighted, Karen. Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!












“The best lesson I have learned from life, which can often be unfair, is how to get through the hard times with joy. Enjoying our lives and being grateful for the life we have been dealt is the name of the game–not envying others or regretting the past.”



But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control ~ Galatians 5:22



Karen is offering one copy each of A Perfect Fit and Heart”wings” Devotional, print or e-book, winner’s choice.

(Paperback copy to a US address, only.)

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at 12:oo A.M. on Thursday 28 March and end at 12:oo A.M  on Thursday 4 April. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.







#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview and Giveaway, Karen Jurgens, Touched by Him Ministries

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Are you a writer at heart? How can you tell? And if you are, how do you go about composing and selling the next Great American Novel? WRITER OFF THE LEASH answers these questions and more–all in an easy to understand, tongue-in-cheek style. This is more than a how-to book. It’s a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level. Award-winning author Michelle Griep blows the lid off stodgy old-school rulebooks and makes it clear that writing can–and should–be fun.





I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write–except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager.







#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book, Writer Off the Leash, Michelle Griep

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One death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup.
A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover! (A standalone mystery)

When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Police Chief Callie Morgan of Edisto Beach agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself.

When death turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture. Because poison is growing on this plantation, and someone knows how to use it well.



Hope Clark is founder of FundsforWriters.com , a writer’s resource awarded 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest Magazine each year for over a decade. Her weekly publications reach 40,000 readers. She works from her study overlooking Lake Murray in beautiful central South Carolina.

Hope comes alive at conferences across the country, from Mississippi to Oklahoma, from Pennsylvania to Florida, South Carolina to Iowa. She motivates and educates writers to step up, take charge, and create their careers. Her latest FFW release often discussed at conferences is The Shy Writer Reborn: An Introverted Writer’s Wake-up Call.

Hope, however, is most excited in her mystery fiction. She’s the author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, published by Bell Bridge Books, Memphis, TN. With an agriculture degree from Clemson University and a two-decade history of working with US Dept of Agriculture, Hope can walk the walk of protagonist Carolina Slade who reviewers are falling in love with per the long list of five-star reviews at Amazon.

However, Hope branched out with The Edisto Island Mysteries in 2014 with Murder on Edisto, Edisto Jinx in 2015, and Echoes of Edisto in summer 2016. Her writing voice now well seasoned, she dives into a coastal world with Callie Jean Morgan, who finds that the beach isn’t all that relaxing. The series is set on Edisto Beach, South Carolina, Hope’s second home.



I am now officially a fan of Chief Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade, and will be reading as many of Ms. Clark’s books as I can.

As an author, I enjoyed the merging of two different series. As a reader, I enjoyed the two main characters getting acquainted. How they both sized the other up—and had definite opinions on the other one.


The story was edgy and delicious, and Ms. Clark certainly kept this reader turning pages. I wilted in the humidity that steamed off the pages. While not actually Edisto, I live in the state and have been to the coast, and Ms. Clark’s story brought it all vividly to life.

I wanted to throttle a certain Charleston detective for his Neanderthal mentality. Or seeming Neanderthal mentality. I didn’t trust “Sweet,” though I didn’t truly suspect him of murder. Security Guard Marion seemed worthless in his position, and the pirate, Drummond, was as annoying as the gnats on the beach.


So many suspected, each of them with legitimate motive for doing the guy in. And only Chief Morgan was true to the case, even in the face of blatant opposition. Her courage and integrity was not only admirable, but authentic, and I was glad to see her and Slade finally come to terms and work together to solve the case.


One tiny clue tipped this reader to the murderer—but even so, too many people had reason to want the guy gone, and I had to read to the end to see who actually did the deed.


NOTE: To my readers who are off put by cuss words, there is some vulgar language in this book.






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Dying on Edisto, C. Hope Clark

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How Much Author Research Can a Reader Handle?


Mystery is the one genre that pits author against reader. The reader picks up the story accepting the author’s dare, with the author swearing the reader will not predict the ending before it’s properly revealed. It’s as old as Edgar Allan Poe and classical as Sherlock Holmes.

One would expect an intense amount of research required to create realistic red herrings and proper forensics, but the magic is not in the details of the science and facts. It’s in the reactions of the characters and escalated suspense achieved as a result of those details. . . something most readers don’t realize.


What is Too Many Details?


Andrew Horowitz’s 2018 runaway bestseller Magpie Murders is a ridiculously detailed mystery within a mystery, and a double whodunnit you won’t see coming. A tale with meticulous, exhaustive examination of every character both in the story and the mystery manuscript contained within the story. One needs a map and spreadsheet to keep up with names, places, dates, times, and relationships, and the absorption of it all will have you stopping every couple of chapters to ponder and take a breather. There’s always the fear that the book is running away from you.

Brilliant in the end . . . but a longer than normal read because of the intricacies. Intricacies the reader won’t necessarily take away with them after the read. They’ll simply be amazed at whodunnit.

Yet a tremendous amount of effort goes into those insipid details, because there will be one reader who will write the author back, having highlighted the mistake on page 182 about how fingerprints were taken or a gun was loaded. The knife was too close to the edge of the plate to be clearly seen, or the boat could not have sunk that fast due to the construction of the interior hull.

Authors break a lot of sweat in this sort of research for fear of individuals who seek mistakes. It comes with the territory, remember? The author daring the reader? That reader expects the facts to be legit, the events clearly revealed, no mistakes, and no faking the clues.


Keep Up the Pace


On the other hand, regardless what they say, readers hate being entrenched in too much detail. Four pages of analysis stops the story’s pace and makes a mind wander off. Frankly, after the story is over, the reader can’t exactly recall what those details were that tripped up the bad guy and raised the brow of the sleuth. Admittedly or not, they were into the story for the intensity, passion, and reactions of the beings in play with each other rather than the factuality.

They want adrenaline, not a lesson in forensics. But they want to feel smart, too.

That’s why there’s an art to the mystery and the research going into it. Simple, yet crisply wise is the point. It’s easy to overdo the clues and spoil the cleanness of a well-oiled tale.

Think Silence of the Lambs. We didn’t get involved in the facts of skinning an overweight people to make a woman suit.  We just wanted the EWWW factor.


Plant Just Enough


Readers crave a book that trots briskly, dropping just enough clues and elements to make them feel intelligent and able to keep up with the detective or private investigator. Too much detail about automobile mechanics, thunderstorm formation, toxic formulas, or shoe sizes has the potential to frustrate even the most keen of mystery readers.

The vial contains poison. Do we need to understand it’s composition’s breakdown when exposed to air, or just know it dissolves lungs? An author doesn’t want Do we need to know that? to flit unexpected and unwelcome through their reader’s mind, because that pause. . . that stepping away from the page. . . is enough to interrupt the storytelling and lessen their opinion of you, the storyteller.

Writing the perfect mystery still pits the reader against the author, but it’s the shrewd author who enables the reader to believe he was keeping up all along. . . and understood all those clues. All it takes is planting enough information to sound smart without coming off scientific, enough facts to raise that adrenaline and excite, not educate for a final exam. After all, again, the reader needs to think he was right there with the protagonist. . . not stumbling ten yards behind.



C. Hope Clark’s latest release is Dying on Edisto, where her research took her into the art of growing indigo, and the ability to identify poison. The fifth book in the Edisto Island Mysteries, the book is a crossover between this series and her Carolina Slade Mysteries, and the two protagonists finally meet and solve a case together in the jungle Lowcountry of coastal South Carolina. Hope is also founder of FundsforWriters.com, a newsletter that reaches 35,000 readers and earned Writer’s Digest’s choice in its 101 Best Websites for Writers. www.chopeclark.com







#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, C. Hope Clark

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I like to cook. And I like to invent my own recipes. And I like to try other people’s recipes. And now I’m going to share them with you.





1 ½ cups          coleslaw mix OR 1 ½ cup shredded cabbage

7 oz                 cooked shrimp

½ cup              shredded carrots

½ cup              chopped red onion



2 tbsp              peanut butter

1 tbsp              soy sauce

2 tbsp              rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp              sesame seeds

1 tbsp              olive oil

1 tbsp              minced ginger

1/8 tsp             crushed red pepper




  • Combine cole slaw mix, shrimp, carrots, and onion in a medium sized bowl.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl.
  • Pour over shrimp and veggies.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Serve with rice or Chinese noodles.



If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at robinemason212@gmail.com

NOTE: All recipes must be original or used with permission.

#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, Shrimp Slaw, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook

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