Archive for the ‘blogwords’ Category




Memories don’t stay suppressed, not truly. They hover, lingering near the surface, emerging to protect us. Or to frighten us.


Trauma has wreaked havoc on those memories in Noelle St. Claire’s mind, driving her to seek refuge in an unknown place, with people who know nothing about her.


But past and present will collide, and Noelle’s life catches up with her, sending her spiraling further downward where the truth lies.



Ms. Heitzmann takes the reader into the shadows of dark memory, one fragmented piece at a time. Torment trolls across every page, even when Noelle is smiling. Something is hovering just out of sight, and Ms. Heitzmann skillfully draws the reader to that edge. I felt the panic, and press of anxiety, and I heard the wings as the hovered nearby. I cringed in the shadows. I championed Noelle from my safe space as a reader and I wept with her at the seeming hopelessness of it.

A daunting story of a hidden past, and hope that lies in unexpected places.



I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical novels, including Colorado Book Award finalist The Still of Night, Christy Award finalists Indivisible and The Tender Vine, and Christy Award winners Secrets and The Breath of Dawn that won both a Christy Award and Inspirational Readers Choice Award and was a finalist for a people’s choice award in the Netherlands. She is a fiction track and workshop teacher at writers conferences. An artist and musician, she’ll also be found hiking the Colorado Rocky Mountain trails near her home where she lives with her husband, pets, extended family, and wildlife.








#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, A Rush of Wings, Kristen Heitzmann


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“We never did play tea parties like other girls. We played detective. Because that’s what Mercedes read, detective stories. And she was our Sherlock Holmes.

As children, our ventures were harmless enough. Until the day Simone fell in the river and disappeared.”

No words yesterday, after that word count, and it being a Sunday,

I gave my brain a break from the story. Going for 3K today.

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










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




#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemSepWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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In light of Sunday’s post (09-17-17) Sanctuary, and writing deadlines, there is no post today. Please enjoy the music while you wait.





#Blogwords, New Week New No Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, Sanctuary, Writing Deadlines, #amwriting, Colossians 3:17, Acts 11:23, Hebrews 13:15, 1 Peter 4:11, Psalm 69:30, Matthew 5:16, Psalm 100:2, Psalm 63:3, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Living Sacrifice, Signature Song

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Holy Spirit spoke to me the other night. “Stop fighting,” He said. Striving might have been a better word, but He used fighting.


I’ve lost track of the times I’ve seen a Scripture reference to “rest” in some form or another. Proverbs 3:5-6—you know, the one that says trust in Him?—has been in front of my face countless times.


And then… then there was the blog, oh so short-n-sweet, that talked about how the blog was suffering because its owner was on a writing deadline. See that? Writing deadline.


And the other blog, the one that was way too in-my-face about over commitment.


So, with that said, I hereby pull back from over commitment and over-blogging. And I, uh, rest in Him. Oh, and I’m writing. Lots.



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Sanctuary, Proverbs 3:5-6

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“We never did play tea parties like other girls. We played detective. Because that’s what Mercedes read, detective stories. And she was our Sherlock Holmes.

As children, our ventures were harmless enough. Until the day Simone fell in the river and disappeared.”


            had a couple of rough days this week, part of the RA I hate the most…


and since I missed posting yesterday, due to writing mode and other related tasks, Thursday wasn’t too shabby for coming out of malaise as I was…



*warning! teaser statement: Cover Reveal isn’t for a few weeks yet (early November – sorry) but my Photo Shop guru has Scarlett just about perfect – and she looks AMAZING on her cover!!!



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










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



#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemSepWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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Reading is My SuperPower

Molly’s Cafinated Reads  |   Singing Librarian   |   Bookworm Mama

Faithfully Bookish   |   Radiant Light   |   Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken   |   Fiction Aficionado   |   Bibliophile Reviews

Kathleen Denly   |   Lauraine’s Notes   |   Joy of Reading

A Baker’s Perspective   |   With a Joyful Noise   |   Romances of the Cross

Moments Dipped in Ink   |   C Jane Read

Reviews by Van Daniker   |  Iola Goulton

Christian Fiction Girl   |  A Brighter Destiny   |  Sprinkles and Pink


 If you’d like to join us on your blog for First Line Fridays, shoot an email to:

Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower and/or Rachel @ BookwormMama and/or Beth @ FaithfullyBookish and/or Sydney @SingingLibrarianBooks






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.



When I tell people I’m a writer, I immediately get “the look.



A how-to written as only Michelle Griep can write it, witty and snarky, knowledgeable and fun, it lays out the basics of being an author.



Reference, Writing Skills, Research and Publishing Guides



Five, of course



#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Writer Off the Leash, Growing in the Writing Craft, Michelle Griep

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“Mountains in my heart…sand in my shoes.”

“As a Cherokee descendant and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, it’s probably not surprising that some of my stories focus on that part of my heritage.”


rem:  Hello, Tommie, welcome to my little nest. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

TOMMIE:  I was born and (mostly) raised in Dalton, Georgia. I live in the Florida panhandle now, in Milton, near Pensacola.

rem:  Oh my goodness!!! Irma came awfully close to you! Tell us three things about yourself.

TOMMIE:  First of all, I’m a retired grey-haired great-granny. Secondly, I was a PK (preacher’s kid) and that has influenced my life in ways that I’m very thankful for. Thirdly, my husband was a career Navy man, and our travels gave me lots of varied experiences, plus, we met people who have become lifelong friends.


rem:  I’m a granny and there’s nothing like it!! ❤ Tell us about your Cherokee heritage.

TOMMIE:  I have Cherokee ancestors on both sides of my lineage, but it is my daddy’s lineage that is documented. His ancestors are listed on various Cherokee rolls. The roll that’s important is the Dawes Roll. His great-grandmother is listed on that roll, which allowed me to apply for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. I and my sons are all citizens of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.

My gr gr gr grandparents on my daddy’s side were marched off to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears, along with their two toddler sons. They later sneaked back to the mountains, but the rest of their family stayed in Oklahoma. A cousin I met online has the letters they wrote back and forth from Tennessee to Oklahoma.

On my mother’s side, a Cherokee ancestor hid in a cave and was left behind during the Removal. A white family took pity on her and supplied her with food, etc. She later married Asa Thomason, my mother’s gr grandfather. I used this incident in my latest novel. An eight-year-old Cherokee boy was left behind when soldiers rounded up his family and marched them off to the stockade to be held there until the march to Oklahoma.

Alan survives because of his own tenacity and because people took pity on him.


rem:  Oh, how awesome that you were able to gain your Cherokee citizenship. Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

TOMMIE:  Coffee. And I like it black, no sugar, unless it’s iced coffee. I like my iced coffee with cream and DaVinci Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup.

rem:  I drink mine black too, even when I drink it cold but that sounds divine. What do you do as a hobby?

TOMMIE:  I write. Before I began writing (after I retired) I loved sewing, knitting, crocheting, macramé, tatting, gardening, orchid-growing…I had a wide range of hobbies. These days, I have one: writing.

rem:  I hear ya! It is all comsuming! What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

TOMMIE:  Movie? “Overboard.” Television show? “Monk.”

rem:  I love both of those! Your movie snack of choice?

TOMMIE:  Popcorn

rem:  Slathered with lots of melted butter of course! 😉 What’s your favorite recent discovery?

TOMMIE:  Caldo Verde….Portuguese collard soup J

rem:  Are you named after someone?

TOMMIE:  Yes, I’m named Tommie after my daddy and his daddy.

rem:  It suits you… or perhaps, you suit the name. Do you use sarcasm?

TOMMIE:  Unfortunately, yes.

rem:  So do I, and proudly! Would you bungee ?


rem:  Moving on… What is the first thing you notice about people?

TOMMIE:  Whether or not they are friendly.

rem:  Yeah, that is important. Favorite season? Why?

TOMMIE:  Fall, because the tourists have gone home, it’s still warm, but the Gulf waters are clearer.

rem:  For where you live, that makes sense. Hugs or kisses?


rem:  Meeee toooo…..  Rolling stones or Beatles?

TOMMIE:  Neither

rem:  LOL Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

TOMMIE:  Yes, Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” It’s the first verse I memorized as a child in Sunday School, so it was always my favorite. Psalm 51:10 is also a favorite — “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

rem:  Oh, I love both of those. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

TOMMIE:  My hubby, because, even after almost 55 years of marriage, he’s still my best friend.


rem:  Tommie, that is so precious. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

TOMMIE:  There are a few Christian writers whose work I enjoy, but I don’t often read Christian fiction because so much of it is 1) romance, and 2) unrealistic.

I don’t know that being a novelist has impacted my life as a Christian. It would be more accurate to say my being a Christian has impacted my writing.

rem:  As it should be—our life in Christ should filter into every aspect of our lives. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

TOMMIE:  Unrealistic actions or responses by a character which I can tell were written to further the plot kick me out of a story. And my fiction pet peeve is when an otherwise good story gets ruined by the insertion of ugly language.

rem:  Yeah, makes the story unbelievable. Which is more important: plot or characters?

TOMMIE:  Characters are more important, because the plot grows out of who the characters are and how they react to life’s circumstances.

rem:  Never thought of it that way. What would you do if you weren’t writing?

TOMMIE:  Probably I’d be doing needlework or crafts or gardening.

rem:  I never did needlework, but I do enjoy crafts and gardening. What are you reading right now?

TOMMIE:  The Shark

rem:  Oooh, sounds interesting. What do you munch on while you write?

TOMMIE:  I don’t eat while I write, because I have to keep my hands on the keyboard J. If I want a snack, I take a break. As to what that snack would be, there’s just no telling…could be leftovers from supper. Could be popcorn. Could be crackers and cheese.


rem:  For some reason I’m craving popcorn… Tell us a little about your writing journey.

TOMMIE:  I always did well writing essays in high school and college, so I wrongly assumed I could write fiction. I tried writing a short story when I was in my early 20s, and it was pitiful, just pitiful. I tried again to write fiction when I was in my 30s. I wanted to write a fictionalized account of my grandmother’s coming of age story. It was pitiful, too. I decided at that point that writing fiction required a talent I didn’t possess. But I became friends with someone who told me of the experience of his Scottish ancestor who was a slave on a plantation near Savannah, Georgia. Say what?? No. No way was a white person ever a slave. He assured me that it happened. So I began doing research and discovered that he was telling the truth. There were Scottish and Irish slaves. I wondered why no one knew this unless, like me, they bothered to research it. So I decided to write about it, to let people know what happened. And my efforts were pitiful, as usual. But this topic felt too important to let it go, so I decided to take a couple of classes to see if I could learn how to write fiction. Those classes made the difference, and I was off and running.

rem:  Amazing when the right story grabs ahold of you! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

TOMMIE:  I write in my office, at my desk.

rem:  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

TOMMIE:  I don’t often struggle, but when I do, I pray for His help in dealing with whatever is causing the struggle. And usually, the struggle relates to truths I’m not ready to write.

rem:  Truly, the best way to handle any struggle, at any time. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

TOMMIE:  I really don’t have a preference. I like both parts of the process for different reasons.

rem:  I’m with you, Tommie. For me, they are integral. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

TOMMIE:  For me, writing is almost as enjoyable as reading, because I almost never know where the story is going….it’s a process of discovery, like reading. I find out where the story is going as I write it.

rem:  Ah, a fellow pantser! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

TOMMIE:  When I first published, writers had basically two avenues to publication…acceptance by a traditional publisher or paying a vanity publisher to print your book. Neither option appealed to me, so I searched out ways to publish my books myself. I even set up my own publishing company, Blackwater Books Publishing (which I later found was unnecessary). I was blessed that Smashwords and KDP and CreateSpace came along about that same time. There were almost no guidelines at that time, so I had to sort of blaze my own trail, to learn as I went along. It was simultaneously the hardest thing and the easiest.

rem:  Yeah, I remember that era. I first tried to publish 20 years ago. (it didn’t happen then) What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

TOMMIE:  First and foremost…know English grammar. A carpenter can’t build anything without proficiency in using his saw, hammer and other tools of his trade, and neither can a writer write without proficiency an ability to use the tool of his/her trade: a command of the English language. Secondly, don’t compare yourself to other writers. Each of us is different and has different things to say. Third, don’t give up when the going gets tough. Because things will get tough. As far as things not to do? Don’t say to yourself that grammar is overrated, it’s no big deal if I make a little mistake here and there. It is a big deal. Another no-no would be to compare your work to a best seller (guaranteed to discourage you). And don’t discuss your story with others until you’ve finished writing it, or you run the risk of running out of steam and having nothing more to say when you sit down to write.

rem:  I could not agree more on the grammar! I’ve read some that just made me wonder! How do you choose your characters’ names?

TOMMIE:  Sometimes they just come to me. At other times (especially for the historicals), I check sites for names that were popular during the time period I’m writing about.

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

TOMMIE:  No. I rarely know more than the next scene to be written. With the historical novels that I’ve written, I did know the backdrop, i.e., the historical events of the time in which the story is set, but the story itself? No.

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

TOMMIE:  My latest book, “On the Red Clay Hills” is the fourth in my MacLachlainn series. It is set during the mid-1800s, and is about the survival of Alan McLachlan, a little Cherokee boy who was left behind when soldiers took his family members who were working in their cornfield and marched them off to a stockade to be held for the march to Oklahoma. The family members couldn’t speak English and the soldiers couldn’t speak Cherokee, so the family couldn’t make the soldiers understand there was a little boy who wasn’t present with them.

rem:  Oh, the poor boy! ;-(  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book?

TOMMIE:  I love the scenes between Alan and Pharaoh, a slave on Belle Montagne who rescued Alan and raised him in his home.

rem:  Tell us about why you wrote this book.

TOMMIE:  When I wrote, “High on a Mountain,” the first book in this series, I had no idea of ever writing anything else. I had only wanted to tell that story. But one morning when I was sitting in a hospital waiting room while my husband had a heart cath, three additional titles came to me instantly…” Deep in the Valley,” “Across the Wide River,” and “On the Red Clay Hills.” I had no idea what each story would be, I just knew I had to write them. And since I’d written the first two sequels, it was time to write the last one.

rem:  Oh, I love that! Please give us the first page of the book.




North of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Early Summer 1839


Michel McLachlan crouched behind the outcropping of rock and listened until the sound of horses faded. He could have watched the group of riders, could have peered through the crevice between the boulder and the rocky face of the hillside, concealed from view by the thick greenery of summer foliage. But if any of those horses had been one of his own that the soldiers had stolen when the Tsalagi were rounded up for the long march to the west, he might have not have been able to contain his rage.

He knelt, brought his hands to cover his face and prayed Creator would forgive the anger in his heart, would help him endure the injustice with patience.

To the soldiers, his horses had represented money. They didn’t know or care that he had loved his animals and they had loved him.

As he prayed, the anger faded. But the ache that was ever present grew and filled his spirit. The heartache was most of all for his Nancy, who lay beside the big river in a cold, shallow grave. But he also hurt for his two youngest children, a son and a daughter, who lay in graves far from one another. He could do nothing about that. Just as he could do nothing about the injustice. He must harden himself to the pain, must keep always before him the memory of his two sons who still lived—Alan, who was lost, separated from his loved ones, and Kenneth, who was his companion on this trek to find Alan. Michel’s other family members, his father and his brother Niall, had crossed the big river, and he prayed they were safe on the other side.

As he said a silent ‘amen,’ his stomach rumbled, and he wished he had something to quiet it, even though he was certain the sound wouldn’t carry far enough to betray his presence to the men who’d passed. He hoped Kenneth had heard the horses in time to take cover.

He bowed his head again and prayed for Creator to watch over his two sons, to keep them both safe.

He wiped trickling sweat before it reached his eyes and brushed at the gnats that buzzed about his head while he strained to hear some small sound announcing Kenneth’s approach. Time dragged as the sun lowered toward the horizon, shooting golden rays through gaps in the branches. Kenneth should have reached him by now.

And, with no warning, there he was, his dirt-streaked face solemn. Thinner than it used to be, as was his body. Michel was thankful the boy’s clothing hid the sharp angles of his gaunt frame.

“We will eat tonight,” Kenneth whispered, breaking into a grin as he held up a worn leather bag. “Look.” He pulled out a cloth-wrapped bundle and laid it on the ground. “And there’s more.”

“Where did you get that?”

Kenneth’s gaze dropped from his father’s piercing stare as the smile fell away from his lips. He didn’t answer as he unfolded the cloth and revealed a couple of chunks of hardtack that were discolored with soaked-in grease from the slabs of cold, cooked meat they were packaged with. He licked his lips.

“You stole it.”

“The soldiers have more. They won’t miss this one bag.” Kenneth’s eyes flashed a challenge as his gaze met his father’s. “If we don’t eat soon—” He broke off and grunted. “We’ll never make it back to Ayadoliama. Besides, we’ve only made it this far by taking food from farms along the way.”

“But it’s different collecting eggs from under a hen or gathering food that grew up out of the ground. Things Creator provided. This meat…you took it from someone. And you took his pouch.” Michel laid defeated hands on his knees. “If we desert Creator and forsake His ways, we might as well not make the effort to reach our home.”

“You’d leave Alan there? Alone? Among those…those…” Kenneth’s face twisted into a sneer that expressed the thoughts he couldn’t voice–disdain and hatred of the interlopers who’d stolen Cherokee lands and homes clearly displayed on his face.

“You know I would never desert him. Just as I would never leave you, uwetsi.”

“Then eat.” Kenneth held out a piece of meat. “Creator provided this food because we are hungry and we need it. Do you think I could have taken it if He hadn’t helped me?”

No further argument came to Michel’s lips. His shoulders sagged as he took the morsel, bit off a chunk and chewed. Kenneth was right. How was taking this meat any different from taking food from farmers along the way?
rem:  Wow! I was right there. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

TOMMIE:  I don’t know that I would say “identify with,” but what I hope readers take away is that we are not always told the truth about what happened in the past, and the best way to get a clear idea of it is to research, read writings from that time rather than to accept pronouncements of today’s “historians.”

rem:  So true, Tommie, especially now. Where can we find you online?






rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

TOMMIE:  Thank you so much for your invitation to connect with your readers. I’ve enjoyed it.

rem:  My pleasure. Glad to have you here today.


“Only the brave dare step into her world to listen. And sometimes, the voices still whisper…”



#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Tommie Lyn, Cherokee Nation, High on a Mountain, Deep in the Valley, Across the Wide River, On the Red Clay Hills


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