Wednesday, November 5, 2014

J.T. Patten, The Safe Havens Black Ops Series & The Green Beret Foundation

J.T. Patten, The Safe Havens Black Ops Series

In the world of black operations, often neither the public nor the participants know what it transpiring as innocents can be targeted and the enemy can be allowed within secured gates of National Security. Author J.T Patten, a former guest of the show, gives us an update about his Safe Havens black ops series, which has been described by best selling authors as “Blacker than black”, “Authentic”, and a “new loud voice in thrillers”.

The first of the series, Shadow Masters, has been highly ranked and rated on Amazon and Goodreads. The indie debut novel has sold over 1,100 copies and has sustained ranking in the top Thriller categories for the past eleven months since its release. Its audiobook, narrated by actor, Charles Kahlenberg, will be released in early December.

Patten, a former intelligence specialist and special operations advisor with degrees in Foreign Languages, Intelligence, and Counterterrorism, blends espionage, conspiracy, and military thriller sub-genres in what he describes as the emotional and operational blends of realistic warrior and spy situations. Having worked integrally with U.S. Army Special Forces groups in intelligence training and operational intelligence support, this Veteran’s Day, Patten will be donating book sales to the Green Beret Foundation.

In a brief conversation with Patten about the Green Beret Foundation, J.T. stated, “Green berets have been perhaps my favorite SOF group to work with. For as much as I have had the opportunity to train and support them, they have mentored me, taught me, and included me with their team family on numerous occasions. Those members and my experiences with them have inspired many of the story scenes that I write. Despite my writings being fictional (and approved by the CIA and DOD for release), I feel that I need to give something back to that community. In Shadow Masters, there is a powerful scene that involves the loss of a special forces warrior and the ripple effects that many readers don’t realize can happen in the real world. It still gives me a lump in the throat to read.” The root of that segment, again, highly fictionalized according to Patten, was actually taken from Patten’s experience as a youth, which inspired him to seek a career with intelligence and special activities.

Learn more about the Green Beret Foundation at or visit J.T. Patten on Twitter @jtpattenbooks and at

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

No, I Won’t Use an e-Reader by Mark Rubinstein

No, I Won’t Use an e-Reader

Let me begin by saying I love books, whether electronic or paper. I’ll read on my Kindle or a “regular” book. Frankly, I’ll read on whatever’s available. I just love reading and being transported to another world beyond my own. It’s pleasurable to share the domain the writer has created. It’s a realm to which I bring my own thoughts, feelings, fantasies and experiences, all of which no doubt, color my reading experience. It’s the experience of taking in the writer’s creation that’s so meaningful, not the medium by which it’s delivered.

I’ve heard many people refuse to consider using an e-reader. There seems to be an impenetrable wall of resistance to even the notion of using a reading device. It’s the usual mantra about loving the “feel” or “smell” of paper, or the pleasure derived from holding a real book in hand; or perhaps it’s the physical act of turning pages; or the heft of the book itself.

I too, love the sensory elements of reading a paper book, but that hasn’t precluded me from using an e-reader. After all, one reading medium doesn’t rule out the other.

Why do some people refuse--absolutely reject--the idea?

It’s not that they’re knuckle-draggers or technophobes because they often have smart phones, iPods, computers and Skype. And, I’ve noticed the repudiation of e-readers isn’t limited to older people. I know plenty of people under forty who, despite being completely comfortable with the technology of our times, want absolutely nothing to do with reading devices.

So, what exactly causes them to spurn this one technology?

I’ve thought about it as a psychiatrist, writer and avid reader. Maybe it’s because reading is something cultivated over the course of a lifetime, often beginning in childhood. Many book-lovers were read to as children—by a parent, babysitter, or some other adult. It was, for most of us, a very special thing.

“Read me a story” is something most of us can remember asking, if we think back to our earliest formative years. “Being read to” is an experience which becomes embedded in our psyches as a distinct and unique childhood pleasure. It’s loaded with meaning, and is suffused with memories of nestling on Mommy’s or Daddy’s lap; the look of the book with its bright, colorful illustrations; or the feel of the paper while we helped turn the pages. The physical book itself became the symbol housing the powerful emotional satisfaction of having parental attention bestowed upon us, with all its attendant meanings.

The book encapsulated a deep sense of pleasure, safety, wonder, satisfaction, and above all, love. These early experiences, and their residue, linger with us, and can have enormous emotional resonance.

On a pre-conscious level, perhaps some of us refuse to even try an e-reader because our minds view it as a renunciation of one of life’s earliest pleasures.

It’s merely my theory, but when I reflect upon how readily other technologies are embraced, none of them carry the primal significance of a “book in the hand.”

Mark Rubinstein,
Author, “Mad Dog House”

Monday, August 4, 2014

Three Lessons Learned From Adopting Older Children from Foster Care By Sue Badeau

Three Lessons Learned From Adopting Older Children from Foster Care
By Sue Badeau

1. Everyone can heal and grow. Healing and growth may look different for each individual and we may never see the wholeness we are hoping for, but we can continue to work towards it. I learned this lesson at an early age from my grandfather as he showed me how he cared differently for the various plants in his vegetable garden so that each would have the best chance of growing and bearing fruit. I have come to understand that this analogy also applies to children and teens – they are not all easy to grow – like zucchini – but then, what a boring garden it would be if we grew nothing but zucchini!

2. There is as much value in the journey as in the destination. I know, I know, it sounds like a worn cliché, but we have found it to be true. Years ago, we went on a family hike and this message came home to me in a powerful way as I saw my son who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and predicted that he would never walk, clambering along the hiking trail with his brothers and sisters. Years later as we experienced everything from teen pregnancy to a son in prison, I have had to remind myself again and again of this important lesson.

3. God makes all things new. While God does not “fix” everything in the sense of removing all obstacles, curing all diseases or unlocking all disabling conditions, He does, indeed, make all things new. I learned this after experiencing a car wreck – I still have some scars and there are things I cannot do, yet I was changed by the experience and “made new” in important ways. And as I think about some of my children viewed as most “damaged” by the world – whether physically or emotionally “damaged” by all kinds of brutal early life experiences – turning to drugs, early pregnancies or other outlets for their pain– I know that some people look at them and only see the wreck – but I like to look at them and see them as survivors. And I am always amazed how – in spite of the “damage” they have sustained they – through God’s grace and healing power – are able to find amazing new ways to do old things that many of us take for granted – communication, relationships, eating, moving, getting through the day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to have a GLEEFUL Summer by Sue Badeau

Sue Badeau has had a lot of experience with children (read her bio, below!), and she has lots of wisdom to offer not just about parenting, but also about embracing life with joy. I love this super summer UPGRADE!

“As a child, I couldn’t wait for summer,” Sue writes. “What’s not to love? Fireflies. Popsicles. Campfires. Books. Barbeques. Beaches.

“As an adult I dreaded summer. What’s not to hate? Ants and Mosquitos. Oppressive humidity. Sunburns. Poison Ivy. And this body in a bathing suit? NOOOOOOO!”

HA! That’s the best description of summer—pros and cons—I (Dawn) have ever read!

Sue continues …

Memorial Day 1985. Only May and temperatures were already blistering. It was our first summer with multiple foster children—three teen boys— along with our “littles” (five kids under the age of five!). The prospect of a hot, miserable summer drained the life right out of me. Like the Psalmist said,

“My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer” (Psalm 32:4).

And then I looked around at the gleeful faces on my beautiful children as they ran back and forth under the sprinkler their awesome dad had set up on the lawn.

I decided that I was going to find a way to change my own attitude from “grumpy” to “gleeful” and take summer back!

I developed a seven-step plan for upgrading my summer from grumpy to gleeful. Perhaps my plan will help you upgrade your own summer as well!

The underlying principle is to become like a child.

Summer was made for children and childlike wonder. “Children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in” (Luke 18:15-17, The Message).

You can do all of these things on your own, even as a fifty-something “empty-nester,” but they are better when shared with a child—so grab your children, grandchildren or neighbor’s children and get your glee on!

1. GROW something: Get your hands dirty. Experience the thrill of eating a tomato from the vine, letting the juices run down your chin. Bring new life to the lesson of the sower and seeds.

2. LEARN something: Read. Check out that museum in town you’ve never visited. Add a new word to your vocabulary every day. Practice sign language.

3. ELIMINATE something: Put the song “Let it Go!” on. Sing it loudly—off-key is okay!—and get rid of stuff. Donate. Recycle. Toss. It’s freeing.

4. EXPLORE & Experiment: Try something new. That first “gleeful” summer we boldly took eight kids on a cross-country camping trip. We explored and took risks. We experimented with the idea that we could live as frugally on the road as we could at home. And we did!

5. FLIP over something: Somersault on the lawn. Jump on the trampoline. Cannonball into the pool. Be silly and find what excites you. Catch fireflies. Watch fireworks. Be present, in the moment, completely head-over-heals enjoying the activity at hand.

6. UPLIFT someone: One year, our kids held weekly lemonade stands to raise money for earthquake victims in Haiti. Find your passion and make a difference.

7. LEAVE a lasting LEGACY: More than anything money can buy, children crave your time and presence. Sleep under the stars. Tell ghost stories by candlelight during a thunderstorm.

To this day, the memories our now-grown children talk about the most are from the lazy, hazy, crazy and gleeful days of summer. Don’t sit it out being grumpy.

Upgrade to a GLEEFUL summer—what’s not to love? Fireflies. Popsicles. Campfires. Books. Barbeques. Beaches. And always, amazing memories!

Which of these “get your glee on” ideas inspired you? How can you “become like a child” today?

Sue Badeau is a nationally known speaker, author, and child welfare and trauma expert. Sue and her husband Hector are lifetime parents of twenty-two children—two by birth and twenty adopted. They wrote the book Are We There Yet: The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting and Raising 22 Kids. Sue’s new Kindle book is Volume 3, “Never Too Old” in the Summer in Sweetland series. Learn more about Sue at and

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Patti J. Smith - New Release - "Behind The Smile: Overcoming Depression through Scripture and Prayer"

Behind our smiles are tears. We are the victims of depression. We are the ones who are fighting a war within ourselves – a war that consists of many battles on many fronts. Of those won, the losses always seem to eclipse the triumphs.

This book addresses the spiritual side of the battle by utilizing personalized scripture, to bring the reader into God's word with the goal of providing serenity and hope.

We can be victorious … through treatment, scripture and prayer.

The Amazon Kindle link for “Behind The Smile” is:

Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator.

Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and sings in her parish choir.

Her writing includes devotionals, light romance and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre.

She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

Follow her blog:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lester Ray Tibbett, one of the characters in Tracy Krauss' fun filled romance series "Neighbors"!

Here is a fun interview with one of the characters from my series NEIGHBORS:

What is your full name?
Lester Ray Tibbett. My parents were country people - old fashioned, and they named their kids accordingly. My sister's name is Patsi Mae. She hates it and goes by Pat, but I don't mind so much. You can call me Lester, or Lester Ray - just don't call me late for supper.

Very funny. I take it you and your sister are close?
Yes. I've been her guardian for the last nine years since our parents died. She was only nine at the time. I took over both the farm and the responsibility of looking after her. I suppose you could say I'm more of a father figure than a brother.

That was quite a responsibility. Are you quite a bit older than she is?
I was twenty-three when my folks passed. You do the math.

So what brought a thirty-two year old boy from the country to the city of Calgary? (I did the math, as you can see...)
A combination of things. Bad debts (which I hate to admit) and old equipment, combined with several years of drought. Plus, Patsi finished school and it seemed like it was a good time to move so she could go to college.

What are you doing now that you've moved?
I got a job with a big construction company called 'Titan'. They're in the process of building a high rise downtown. It's new work for me, but I've always been pretty handy, and I learn fast. And you don't grow up on a farm without knowing how to work hard.

Speaking of growing up on a farm, I hear you are also quite the rodeo cowboy. Is that true?
I've done my share. I used to ride broncs, but after an injury I gave it up. There wasn't really any money in it for me and let's be honest - it's a dangerous sport. I still love watching, though, and I don't mind getting back in the saddle just for fun.

Where is your favourite place to hang out in Calgary?
I go to this pub downtown called the 'Urban Cowboy' a lot with my friend Jed Malloy. I don't drink much, but I like to play pool and it also has one of those old school mechanical bulls, which is a hoot.

Is there anyone special in your life?
You mean besides Jesus?

Is that a joke?
No. I'm a Christian and not ashamed to say it. If you mean a special woman, maybe, but that might be privileged information.
I see. If you did have a girlfriend, what kind of woman would she be?
Down to earth, I guess. I'm a pretty down to earth kind of guy myself. Not too pretentious and not too needy. And obviously she'd have to share my values.

Doesn't sound too difficult, but then again you are over thirty and still haven't found her. Do you think you're being too choosy?
Absolutely not. I've been busy looking after the farm and raising my sister. I just haven't had time for a serious relationship. Now that Patsi is grown, I'm starting to think more about my own needs for companionship. A life partner.
More than anything else, what do you want in life?
To be happy. To see my sister settled. That's about it. Like I said, I'm not a very complicated sort of guy.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
That's about it, I guess. I'm not that comfortable talking about myself. I don't like being in the limelight. I just like to mind my own business and live a quiet life.

Thanks for this interview, Lester.
In fact, living a quiet life isn't really part of the equation for Lester. See how he deals with a rebellious sister, nosy neighbours, danger on the job site, and his attraction to a woman that probably wouldn't have made his 'must have' list... All in the continuing series NEIGHBORS.

The Amazon Kindle link for “Neighbors” is:

"Homeowner With A Gun" by Samule Hawley

Samuel Hawley was on The G-ZONE yesterday, we covered a variety of topics including a new release he has coming up in October. Here is the cover, the synopsis and the link for the show:

The G-ZONE show link:
From Samuel Hawley:
It was great to be on the show, Giovanni. Thanks!
Here is a synopsis of "Homeowner With a Gun," and the cover .
“HOMEOWNER WITH A GUN” (release date- October 2014)
It’s the middle of the night. You’re awakened by a noise. Someone is in your house. What do you do?
When it happens at 148 Maple Drive, homeowner Jeff Shaw gets his gun and goes downstairs to investigate while his wife calls 9-1-1. It’s their home, after all. Jeff has to protect it. He finds two men in the kitchen and shoots them both. Dead.
The incident puts great strain on Jeff and his family. He wants to believe they just need to get on with their lives and everything will return to normal. But it’s not that easy. The dead intruders belonged to a gang, ANG, “Ain’t No Game,” that now wants revenge. And one of the gang, an ex-con who goes by the name I-Man, knows more about the break-in than he’s letting on.

It starts with a threatening phone call. Then it gets worse. The police, unable to protect the Shaws, suggest they move away for a while. What should Jeff do? Homeowner With a Gun takes the reader on a white-knuckle thrill ride as this everyman fights to save himself and his family, while something a detective said plays in the back of his mind: "Maybe the intruders broke into the wrong house. Happens all the time. You wouldn’t believe how often..."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Meet Bryan Leland Tate MD from "The San Francisco Wedding Planner" by Jen Cudmore

Today I’m going to tell you about Bryan, the handsome ortho surgeon from the short stories I’ve been writing. I’m part of a 5 author team working together on the San Francisco Wedding Planner series.

I picture Bryan much like Paul Rudd. Not a total hottie but definitely a cutie pie. He’s about 6 feet tall with blue eyes and typically clean shaven. He’s 36 years old when he first meets Heather, owner of Donovan’s Wedding Service.
So, Bryan. You grew up in San Francisco?
Yes. Spent most of my childhood here, playing baseball. Mom and I moved to Seattle when I was in high school. I enjoyed Washington state, but I’m glad to be back.
And you’re much older than your brother Raul.
I was twelve when he was born. After my parents split, I stayed with my mom, so we didn’t live in the same house, but I was over there all the time. He was my little buddy until I moved away. I wouldn’t say we’re close, but we understand each other and respect our differences.
Tell me some ways you’re different from Raul.
I don’t get into as much trouble. Hehe! No, I mean, he likes to wear a ton of bling and cologne; it takes him two hours to get ready each morning. I’m more simple; I prefer jeans and T-shirts. He makes fun of my flannels all the time, but that’s what I mostly wore in Seattle. Raul has a million friends, and I’m happy to just have a few. He’s very much a people person, which is why he’s always doing karaoke. He keeps trying to get me to go, but I don’t like to be in the spotlight. Give me a guy with a broken femur or a rotator cuff injury and I can handle that, no problem. Just don’t make me give a speech or sing in public!

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy cooking. I cooked all the time for my mom before she passed. She especially loved my omelets. My favorite is lasagna – love to cook it, love to eat it! I also enjoy hunting. Just took my first trip to Alaska last fall to hunt for moose.

Tell us about the women in your life.
Well, my first steady girlfriend was Jocelyn. We dated when I was in high school but I botched that up pretty bad when I went to college. I dated a few girls in college but nothing serious until I met Mandy. I actually thought she was the one, and we spent 5 years together. But unfortunately I was wrong about her.

And now you’re dating Heather. Is it true that Raul set you up?
Hehe. Yes, actually, it was pretty much his fault we’re together. But I don’t give him all the credit. Heather is great. I love how simple she is, and yet so beautiful. She really cares about people, you know? She works so hard to give her clients what they want and make sure they have the perfect wedding. I love that. She makes me want to be a better person.

Heather describes herself as persistent and a worrier. Would you agree?
Uh, yeah, I guess so. She’s a bit too hard on herself, really. But I think we balance each other out pretty good. I hope she thinks so, too.

What do you think of her mother? And her best friend Skye?
Well…what can I say about Gloria? She’s a sweet lady – a teenager trapped in a grandmother’s body! She means well. Heather’s friend Skye is … different. I don’t know her that well, but I’m hoping to become better acquainted with her soon.

COMING SOON! All 6 stories have been combined into one book and will be released in paperback this weekend!
The next segment of short stories will be released in only a few weeks. All the characters from the series tell a bit more of their backstory – what shaped who they are today. I’ll let you know the release date just as soon as I’m informed!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meet Private Calvin Mitchell—a female soldier during the Civil War and one of the main characters in ‘The Officer’s Daughter’

Meet Private Calvin Mitchell—a female soldier during the Civil War and one of the main characters in ‘The Officer’s Daughter’

I’m part of the Summer Reading Blog Tour and today it is my turn to interview a character in my latest release, The Officer’s Daughter – a Civil War romance, part of Murray Pura’s American Civil War series ‘Let Freedom Ring’.

I invited Private Calvin Mitchell for a cup of tea and a nice little chat. It may surprise you that this private is not a man but a woman. In 1864, women were not allowed to fight in the war between the States – but Calvin did. She has tried hard to keep her true gender a secret, but the captain of her company found out.

What is your real name?
You didn’t really think I was going to answer this question, I hope. I haven’t even told Captain Andrew Burns. But maybe I will spill my secret at the end of my story . . .

All right, Calvin, let’s go on to the next question. Why did you join the Union army? It is not allowed for a woman to fight, because it is a man’s job. So why did you change your petticoats for trousers?
I’m a tomboy really. My mother died when I was young and my father and six brothers were my daily examples. I loved doing what they did. So when everyone from my family had joined up and left me alone, I decided to do the same thing they did – just like I have done my whole life.

Weren’t you afraid to get shot or die?
I don’t like to admit it, but yes, I was afraid. Especially during my first battle when I realized that I had two options; shoot the enemy or get shot by them. I was terrified when I saw everyone in my company changing into blood thirsty animals – and even more frightened when I realized that I was one of them.

I can’t imagine how that would have been. Did you ever regret your decision?
Sometimes I doubted if I had made the right decision, but somewhere deep inside I knew I was in the right place and that kept me going. When I was wounded, it was the first time I regretted my decision – especially when Captain Burns discovered my secret.

You sound like a tough girl – but are you really?
Well, I do like to believe I’m tough, but one person can make me vulnerable. I don’t always like it, but I guess that’s part of falling in love.

All right! Then now I want to know who that one person is, of course. J
Well, he is a warm and friendly man with his heart in the right place – a natural leader. And he is tall and muscular and handsome *swoon*. . . Yes, you’ve guessed it right – it is Captain Burns.

Oh, I think I’ve seen him. Brown hair, brown eyes?
Yes, that’s him! *smile*

Besides Captain Burns, did you make other friends during your time of enlistment?
I tried to be the quiet boy that no one noticed so I wouldn’t be found out, but there were some soldiers I worked with very closely. One of them is Corporal Shane Dean. He is an all right fellow, I guess. Always likes to tease me and Bubba, my pet squirrel.

You have a pet squirrel? How nice! I’d love to see him some day.
He’s outside, waiting in a tree for my return. He doesn’t like to come inside. But you can meet him before I go home.
I’d like that!

You’re still young. What do you hope to do with your life when the war is over?
I’d like to live on a farm with many animals and have children with Captain Burns. *blush*

Sounds like a good plan. I hope you will get what you long for. Thanks for being with us today and answering my questions. All the best to you and the captain!
Thank you!

Here is the complete list of participants. Visit the blogs you haven't read yet and keep an eye on what is yet to come. Some authors are hosting a giveaway, so you might win free ebooks along the way!

Monday, July 14 – Ruth L. Snyder –
Tuesday, July 15 – Cindy Noonan –
Wednesday, July 16 – Mishael Witty –
Thursday, July 17 – Michele Huey –
Friday, July 18 – Patti J. Smith –
Saturday, July 19 – Amber Schamel –
Sunday, July 20 – Mark Carver –
Monday, July 21 – Marian Baay –
Tuesday, July 22 – Jen Cudmore –
Wednesday, July 23 – Tracy Krauss –
Thursday, July 24 – Marcia Laycock –
Friday, July 25 – Joy Ross Davis –
Saturday, July 26 – Travis Perry –
Sunday, July 27 – Mark Venturini –
Monday, July 28 – Iola Kirkwood –
Tuesday, July 29 – Marsha Hubler –

Did you like this post? Please share on your social media. Thank you!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Strong Root Systems by Sue Badeau

While having our coffee this morning, and listening to the wind whip through our neighborhood, my husband remarked, “Its amazing that the trees in our backyard have survived all the windstorms and hurricanes that have run through here.”

“They must have good root systems,” I casually replied.

Root systems – that's what holds trees firm in the face of brutal storms and gale-force winds. Root systems – its what we all need to hold our lives firm in the face of the brutal storms and gale-force winds that besiege and beset us in life. Children need roots most of all.

We understood this intuitively when, as young, naïve kids, we decided to start our own agency focusing on permanence for youth in foster care. We named the agency, “Rootwings Ministries,” drawing upon the quote generally attributed to journalist Hodding Carter, II - "There are two things we should give our children: one is roots and the other is wings."

All children need both roots and wings. Sounds simple. Yet so many children’s root systems have been ripped out from under them as a result of trauma. Then, when the storms of life come along they are tossed about like tumbleweed rather than holding fast like the trees in our yard.

This is especially true for children who experience out-of-home placement in foster care or juvenile justice systems. First, they often experience traumatic events in their life-before-the-system such as domestic violence, abuse, neglect or abandonment. Then, they experience the profound grief associated with being separated from their birth parents, as well as grandparents, siblings, school, friends, neighbors, church and others who are significant in their lives.

All too often, in our culture, we are eager to fit them with wings and launch them into the world, hoping that by providing them with a few life skills, a little education and opportunities for employment, they will fly high and soar.

The good news is, often they do.

The question is, what happens on the windy days of life? Do they have roots that will help them weather the storms?

Children who have experienced trauma need roots in a family, in their community, in their culture and in a community of faith. Each of us can play a role in helping children develop the sturdy root systems that will serve them well in every storm life brings their way.

We strengthen children’s root systems when we work to ensure that every child is entitled to a safe, stable, permanent, legal family of their own – either their family of origin, kin or through adoption. We can never satisfy ourselves by saying that some children are “unadoptable” or “too old” or “too disabled” or “too competent” to need a family.

We strengthen children’s root systems when we welcome children who have experienced trauma into our neighborhoods and communities and never consider any child a “throw-away.” In our schools, the child who bullies may need our help and love just as much as the child who is bullied. Instead of “zero-tolerance” we need to offer help, hope and healing to all children, reaching out in a supportive way to all families.

We strengthen children’s root systems when we embrace them within our faith communities. The biblical concept of hospitality refers to loving the “stranger” and we are instructed again and again throughout both the old and new testaments to welcome the alien, the orphan, the stranger, the “least of these”. If you are part of a community of faith – have you taken an inventory lately to truthfully assess how welcoming you are to the alien, orphans and strangers in our neighborhood, community or in the global community? If not, maybe today, while you listen to the wind outside your window, it might be time to start.


Meet Gloria Donovan ... The San Francisco Wedding Planner's Cougar! by Patti J. Smith

Meet Gloria Donovan ... The San Francisco Wedding Planner's Cougar!

When The San Francisco Wedding Planner series was in the planning process, each of us was asked to select the character we would most like to focus on for round two. Surprise, surprise! I chose Heather's mother, Gloria Rasmussen Donovan. We are alike in a few ways. I have a thirty-four year son who cringes when the phone rings, waiting to hear my honest opinion of his life and how to raise my granddaughters ... And let's not forget my academy award worthy guilt-trip provocations.

Gloria meddles in every aspect of her daughter's life (isn't that a mom's job?). Being widowed, she is trying to find herself ... Unfortunately, it's in the teen and make-up section of Nordstrom's. "Dress Young, Feel Young" is one of her mantras, the other being, "Date Young, Feel Young." Both a source of embarrassment for Heather and entertainment for her staff.

Close your eyes -- picture a 50+ woman in a hot pink tank top, skin-tight leopard print capris, spiked heels, and pouty, over-painted lips....and listen to “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cindy Lauper!

That's Gloria!

Check out any and all of Patti J. Smith's contributions to "The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series" on Amazon Kindle:

Friday, July 18, 2014

What are you going to read this weekend? Looking for Romance,maybe some Humor? Try Tracy Krauss' "Navigating The Neighborhood"!

Lester Tibbett is back after a near death experience that has put a few things in perspective. It hasn’t stopped his friend Jed from harassing him about women or the upcoming bull riding competition. Nor has it made life any easier when it comes to dealing with his teenage sister. Just when he is at the end of his rope, he makes an unexpected discovery. Is it fate or mere coincidence?

Tracy Krauss is an author, playwright, artist, director, and teacher. She grew up in small town Saskatchewan and received her Bachelor of Education Degree in Saskatoon with majors in Art, English and History. She has lived in many interesting places in northern Canada, many of them north of the 60th parallel. She is currently a full time High School teacher of Art, Drama, English and History. She is currently working on several novels and stage plays, and resides with her husband in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC.

The Amazon Kindle link for “Navigating The Neighborhood” is:

- Website:
- Goodreads:
- FB Author page:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mark Rubinstein- Why Crime Fiction?

Why Crime Fiction?

I’m often asked why I write crime-thriller novels. Sometimes, I think the answer is easy: I love to read them, so I write them, too.

But why crime? You can tap the range of human emotions and experiences in virtually any genre, so what about crime novels is so attractive?

I suppose partly it’s because these things could actually occur—they could really happen to people like you and me. I mean, the chance you’ll encounter a ghost, be transported to another planet, or have some paranormal or sci-fi experience is pretty remote. Often, it’s pure fantasy. Basically, these aren’t possible. But you could very well be the victim of some thug’s violent intentions, or end up being the target of extortion, or threats, or you could unwittingly run afoul of some criminal enterprise.

In other words, crime novels tap into the prospect of possibility which makes them ever more frightening. These things could actually occur.

But more than fear drives these novels. Greed, lust, avarice, revenge, cowardice, nobility—all run rampant in crime novels. And it’s vicarious, so the tension, anxiety, and outright fear occur to someone else—not you. You can live it through a character’s experiences, not your own. That makes it tolerable—even enjoyable. You can pull back anytime you want.

Even more striking (and this is not limited to crime fiction) is that many characters in crime novels are larger-than-life. If they’re well-developed they draw the reader inexorably into their spheres.

Think of Vito Corleone in The Godfather, of Harry Bosch in Michael Connelly’s novels, or imagine Ben and Chon in Don Winslow’s novel Savages, or Eddie Coyle in George V. Higgins’ classic crime novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle (made into a movie starring Robert Mitchum). Or think about characters in novels like Get Shorty, by Elmore Leonard, or those in Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane. (Also a great movie by Clint Eastwood, starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and other fabulous actors). They live and breathe on the page. You can’t help but love some, and hate others. You end up worrying about and rooting for some, while you loathe and want to see the demise of others.

Maybe it all boils down to basics—the Good versus Evil dichotomy of human existence. Maybe it’s more complicated than that. I’m not really sure.

I just love a good crime thriller.

Mark Rubinstein,
Author, Mad Dog House and Love Gone Mad (due Sept.1st, 2013)

Meet Skye Jansen from "The San Francisco Wedding Planner" series by Mishael Austin Witty

Meet Skye Jansen

For the second round in the wedding planner series, we’re each supposed to concentrate on one character and write a back story for them. I’ve chosen Heather Donovan’s best friend, Skye Jansen, as my main focus. Her story, entitled AN URGENT AFFAIR, is going to be a fun look at some of the most important relationships in her life, including her relationship with Heather.

Today, Skye has agreed to take some time out from her incredibly busy schedule (you know she’s a devoted wife and mother of two young children AND she’s just opened her own cafe, The Cucumber Sandwich) to come talk to me and tell everyone a little more about herself.

Hi, Skye. Thanks for being here today.

Skye: I’m glad to do it. Actually, if you want to know the truth, I’ve been kind of looking forward to this because it gives me a little time to breathe. I haven’t had much of that recently.

I’ll bet! I can’t imagine how you do it all, but you really have made a success of it so far, haven’t you?
Skye: So far. I’ve had some amazing support, though, from my husband Abe and his mother…and, of course, my wonderful kids, Bram and Britt. Plus, everyone in Heather’s sphere of influence – Mario, especially – has been more than willing to help in any way they can. Heather’s got a marvelous team working with her.

She is one very lucky lady.
Skye: Hmm…Lucky, maybe. I’d call it blessed.

Right. You’re blessed too, though, aren’t you?
Skye: Oh, absolutely!

But things haven’t always been easy for you.
Skye: No, I’ve had my fair share of trouble.

Like your father dying when you were still in college?
Skye: Yes. That was especially hard because he and I became so close after Mama died when I was 10. He never did remarry. I don’t have any brothers or sisters, so it was just the two of us. I wish he was here to see me now. He’d be so proud.

I’m sure he would. Of course, your father’s death was one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to go through. What has been one of the best things that’s ever happened?
Skye: Oh, there are so many things, I don’t know where to start. Marrying my husband, of course. He’s just one of the most wonderful men you could ever hope to meet. And, of course, my children. Finally realizing the dream of opening my own store is the most recent good thing that’s happened. But that didn’t really “happen.” It took a lot of time and planning.

So, tell me about The Cucumber Sandwich. Why cucumbers, specifically? Are they your favorite food?
Skye: They really are! Organic, of course. They have to be organic. Everybody thinks I’m crazy for this focus on organic food and environmental responsibility, but they’ll be thanking me one day. Just wait and see.

Speaking of the future, what do you see happening in the future for you? For your family? For your business?
Skye: Goodness. I can’t even think very far past tomorrow. Of course, the kids will finish school, and I hope they’ll be admitted to the best colleges in the nation – full scholarship, of course, to make it a little easier on Mom and Dad’s pocketbook. But that’s WAY off in the future. I’d hope that my business will be thriving in another year…maybe it’ll even become one of the hottest spots in San Francisco eventually. That would be amazing! And I hope I’ll be there to enjoy it all. It would be nice to see some big rewards from all this labor.

Nice, indeed. I really hope everything turns out well for you. Thank you so much for stopping by for our chat.
Skye: Oh, you’re so welcome. It was so much fun!

And thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to get to know Skye a little better. If you want to know even more, be sure to check out AN URGENT AFFAIR and any of the stories in the series. The Amazon link for Mishael's stories is:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meet Moses, a Twelve-year-old Runaway Slave from Cindy Noonan's "Dark Enough To See The Stars"

My novel for middle grade and junior high kids, Dark Enough to See the Stars, tells the story of twelve-year-old Moses as he escapes from slavery on the Underground Railroad. Meet Moses, as he gives you a glimpse of his story.

My name is Moses. My mama gave me that name. She been telling me since I can remember that I was named after Moses in the Bible. She always said that Moses’ mama didn’t want him growing up no slave. She didn’t want me growing up one neither. Mama thinks that someday I’m gonna save my people just like he did. So no matter how many times Buck, the overseer, calls me darkie or boy or nigguh, I think about my real name that Mama gave me.
The day that Master Bill told us he was selling Mama and a bunch of other folks, Mama and I made a plan. She taught me how to follow the North Star so I could run away. If they was gonna rip her away from me like seed outta cotton, then I was gonna be free.

Buck was gonna walk all of us to the train station so’s those of us who was staying could say goodbye. Besides, he feared we’d run away if we was left with nobody watching us on the plantation. Mama’d been talking with somebody who helps slaves get free. He told her about a miller downriver who took in folks who was running away. She told me, “Mose, all you got to do is find the river and follow it to the mill. That river’s gonna save you just like it saved Moses in the Good Book.”

Mama cried like earth reaching out to heaven when it was time for her to board the train. But I didn’t shed no tears. I had to be brave for Mama. I knowed that deep down inside she was happy her boy was gonna be free. Her prayers was getting answered.

Some of the slaves boarding the train threw a ruckus and said they wasn’t going. Buck and the other overseers started breaking up the fight. “Them poor souls,” Mama said. But she knew this was my best chance to run away without being seen. “You gotta go now,” she said.

I ran down the gully into the woods praying I wouldn’t cut my bare feet on any sharp rocks or drop the ash cakes Mama made for me. I hoped I could find the river. I ain’t never seen a river before. Mama said it was bigger’n the creek. She warned me not to wade in too far or it might swallow me up and have me for dinner. Well, I wasn’t gonna let no river eat me alive. No, that river was gonna save me, just like Mama said.

Will Moses find his way to freedom? What dangers will he face? What will happen to Moses when it’s Dark Enough to See the Stars?

Cindy's YA Historical novel is available in ebook and paperback,here is the Amazon link that will take you to both:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Your Life in a Transcript by Karen Lange

Your Life in a Transcript
By Karen Lange

Part of my work with homeschoolers includes helping parents create high school transcripts. The process includes compiling and documenting a student's work for the high school years. This summary becomes a polished transcript that is used for college, job applications, etc.

These transcripts are a reflection of a student's life through high school. Not a total reflection (for they do not show character traits such as kindness and patience), but these transcripts do help a student move into the next part of their life. Of course, the writer in me takes this concept a step further. What do our lives reflect that can translate into writing? If we think in transcript terms, we can boil our life down to subjects and hours accrued, volunteer and other activities, specialized training, jobs, and more. Whether we realize it or not, we each have a rich past from which to draw.

Think of all the possible avenues that you could write about. Are you a stay at home mom? A counselor, volunteer, or big brother or sister? Are you interested in sports, sewing, or stamp collecting? Do you have contracting, legal, or automotive experience? Are you a movie or antique car buff? There are trade magazines, ezines, newsletters, websites, and other publications for all the items that make up your life's transcript.

It might help to make a list of things that you have done - past and present, and maybe even things you'd like to do in the future. Include who you are - mom, grandpa, sister, uncle, only child - and include every relationship you can think of. You may be an only child but you are probably a cousin, godparent, friendly neighbor, or dozens of other things. Include your interests, hobbies, awards, and special certifications, anything that you can think of. I am sure your list will include many things that you can write a story about, generate an interview idea, or produce a how-to article. Why not start that list and get your very own transcript? Be prepared, you'll probably be adding to the list regularly, as you live, interact with people, and write.

What writing possibilities might spring from your life's transcript?

Karen Lange is a freelance writer, an online writing instructor, and the author of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Connect with Karen on her blog,, on TwitterKLELange, on her Facebook author page,

Friday, July 11, 2014

"Open Your Mouth"...Speaking UP for the Voiceless by Sue Badeau

“Open Your Mouth” . . . .
Speaking UP for the Voiceless

By Sue Badeau

They say you never forget your first love. You also never forget the first person who breaks your heart.

For me, it was not a boy. The first boy I loved, I married. We’ve had much heartbreak in 34 years together, raising 22 children, burying three, but he wasn’t the first to break my heart.

That was Mary, a scared, pregnant 19-year-old girl.

I was 22 when I met Mary. I was a recent bride and newly licensed foster parent. A nurse friend asked me to reach out to Mary, who had been hospitalized after a suicide attempt. She had no family.

I visited Mary, gently getting to know her. She began to share her life story, growing up in foster care, but quickly became confused. She couldn’t remember all of the places she’d lived or people she’d been told to call “mom” or “dad.” Foster homes blurred together until the cold December morning when she woke up in a group home, expecting a day like any other.

When a staff person knocked on her bedroom door telling her to gather her things because she was moving, she didn’t flinch. It was a common occurrence in her life. As they walked toward the front door, she asked, “Where am I going this time?”

He opened the door, looked out upon the snowy winter day and said, “Happy Birthday, Mary! You’re 18, you’re free of the system now – go anywhere you want.”

A year later, she was 19, pregnant and alone.

We cried, hugged and prayed together. I connected her with resources. I’m not sure if her life changed.

But mine was never the same.

With a broken heart, I sank to my knees, sobbing, asking God what I could do to make a difference for all the other Marys – frightened, disconnected and alone.

“Open your mouth for the mute” God said to me, “For the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. Proverbs 31: 8-9
This is why I speak. Dear Mary, I opened my heart to you, and you broke it. From that brokenness, God taught me to open my mouth and speak up for lonely, brokenhearted children in our midst.

I’ll never forget you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Faith and Doubt by Patti J. Smith

Faith and Doubt
Many circumstances in life can have a significant impact on faith journeys. Having doubts and the guilt that follows can be overwhelming. In my case, no matter how hard I prayed, the void in my heart and soul was immense. Those "dark periods" frightened me, because I thought a "true believer" would never have doubts.Praise God, I summoned the courage to share my pain with a friend in my faith community and how relieved I was to find out I was not alone! That's when I was introduced to the Diary of St. Faustina. She described my feelings perfectly,

"My mind became dimmed in a strange way; no truth seemed clear to me. When people spoke to me about God, my heart was like a rock. I could not draw from it a single sentiment of love for Him. When I tried, by an act of the will, to remain close to Him, I experienced great torments, and it seemed to me that I was only provoking God to an even greater anger. ... I felt in my soul a great void , and there was nothing with which I could fill it. I began to suffer from a great hunger and yearning for God, but I saw my utter powerlessness." You see, being a perfectionist, any weakness to me was a failure ... but after reading her diary, I understood that God does not see it that way. He sees those struggles as a victory, because it's through those struggles I strove harder to be closer to Him. God's answer to St. Faustina confirms this,"My daughter, during the weeks when you neither saw Me nor felt My presence, I was more profoundly united to you than at times when you experienced ecstasy. And the faithfulness and fragrance of your prayers have reached Me."

It's comforting to know I am not alone...the words of St. Faustina stay with me as well as those spoken by Pope Francis in one of his general audiences,“Who among us - everybody, everybody! - who among us has not experienced insecurity, loss and even doubts on their journey of faith? Everyone! We've all experienced this, me too. Everyone. It is part of the journey of faith, it is part of our lives. This should not surprise us, because we are human beings, marked by fragility and limitations. We are all weak, we all have limits: do not panic. We all have them,” Francis affirmed. "However, - the Pope continued - in these difficult times it is necessary to trust in God, through prayer, and at the same time, it is important to find the courage and the humility to be open to others and ask for help, to ask for a hand: 'Give me a hand, I have this problem.' How many times have we done this? And then, we overcame the problem and found God again. In this communion - communion which means 'common union', all united, common union - in this communion we are a big family, all of us, where all the components help and support each other."

Prairie Dog Stew, Hammock Cakes, and news from "The Outlaw Unchained" series

“The Outlaw Unchained” series has a new release next week,7/17.
The author remains nameless at this time and the direction of the story has yet to be released other than to say, you haven’t seen either of them coming, if you know what I mean.
Here is what the author team has sent me though, two recipes, circa 1863: Prairie Dog Stew & Squaw Cakes or as some call them, Hammock Cakes.
Please remember they didn’t have modern kitchens or utensils out on the Range back in the day!
Without further ramblin’ here are the recipes:

2-3 prairie dogs, some kind of grease or fat, a pinch or two of salt, beans(whatever you have squirrelled away in your ruck sack), if you can steal them- corn and tomatoes (okay any veggie you can scrounge), and an onion or two if you got’em.
Grab your cast iron pan or whatever you cook on and skin and brown them dogs in whatever grease you got.
Season to taste with the salt and whatever “herbs” you have.
If you have a kettle fill it with water and cook the beans, corn, and whatever else you borrowed.
Add the onions.
Add those delicately sautéed dogs when the beans and borrowed items are half cooked and finish it off.
You can serve this fine gourmet meal with these bad boys of the Trail:
A little bit of butter or whatever kinda grease you are using out there on the dusty trail, flour, a pinch of salt, and blasting powder,…. Wait that should be baking powder or talcum powder if you have it. Basically some kind of powder to make the biscuit not be a piece of saltine cracker.
If you don’t have a wire wisk, (I think I would have one with me on my horse out there on the Range), somehow mix it all together and try to mix enough clean water into it to make a slightly thin batter. It should run from whatever utensil you are using, or your hand-whatever, but kinda slow like.
To cook these bad boys, get’em onto a hot greased skillet or shovel and hold’em above the fire until they start to rise, then lower onto a hot fire until cooked on one side, turn and repeat and eat. If you got it, spread some jam or something on ‘em, dip ‘em in Prairie Dog Stew, whatever your hankerin’ is.
Hey, what happens on the Range, stays on the Range. Am I right or am I right?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How a Fortune Cookie Changed My Fortune by Cindy Noonan

How a Fortune Cookie Changed My Fortune By Cindy Noonan

I’ve opened many fortune cookies in my life, but never read one that actually influenced my destiny—until now. One day while dining on take-out Moo Goo Gai Pan, I broke open my cookie. It read: When it’s dark enough you can see the stars.

This was a pretty profound statement to find in my cookie. After all, the platitude is usually something like these gems:
You will live a long and happy life.
You will come into a lot of money real soon.

My immediate thought? I had found a pearl. This would be a perfect title for my book about a slave boy who follows the North Star on the Underground Railroad. This title had richness and luster. I pinned the fortune on my bulletin board where it still remains.

As I finished my manuscript, now called Dark Enough to See the Stars, I decided to Google the title. I was curious about the origins of this phrase. Ralph Waldo Emerson first coined it. However, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. borrowed it for his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in 1968. This was a “wow” moment for me. Now my quote had even more significance for my story about African-American freedom.

I think there are many layers of meaning to this phrase. For me, it says that when life gets tough, God’s light shines in the darkness. And if we follow that light, He will bring us to our destiny. We can’t see stars in the daylight, and we don’t often look for God’s direction when everything is going well.

My next book is about the Revolutionary War. I wonder how many fortune cookies it will take to find my title? Just kidding.

What is your take on the phrase “When it’s dark enough you can see the stars?”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

5 Steps to Crafting a Personal Vision Statement by Ruth L. Snyder

5 Steps to Crafting a Personal Vision Statement
Recently in a study of Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray, we discussed the topic of work and were challenged to write our own vision statement. If you've never written a personal vision statement, try the process outlined below. If nothing else, you'll learn more about yourself and what motivates you. Hopefully you'll also come up with a statement that inspires and motivates you to be the very best you can be.
Step 1: Answer these questions
1. How do you want to be seen in ten years?
2. What do you want to be known for in ten years?
3.What do you want your family to be like?
4.What makes your heart sing?
5.Who in your life will tell you the truth about yourself?
Step 2: Select key words
Go through what you've written and select words you've repeated or that are important to you.
Step 3: Read Other vision statements
Here are some sites you may want to visit:
30 Example Vision Statements from Non-profits
Best Examples of a Vision Statement
Sample Mission, Vision, Values Statements
Step 4: Write your vision statement
Jot ideas down and combine them in different ways. Play with different words. Try to capture the key themes you selected in step two. You may find one statement that you know fits, or perhaps you'll end up with a few to choose from. Can you condense the ideas? Once you've written your vision statement, let it sit for a few days and then go back to it and see if it still resonates with you.
Step 5: Share your vision statement
Do you have people in your life who will give you honest feedback? People who know you really well and care about you? Those are the people you should share your vision statement with. Ask them if you've captured who you they see you as. If not, ask them for suggestions on how to tweak your statement so that it really fits you.

Check out this post: Mission and Vision Statements for more helpful information.
Need some inspiration? Here's one of my favourite songs:
Here's my vision statement:
"Wholeheartedly seeking God, then serving others with excellence through music, writing, and speaking."
My life verse is:
"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death." (Philippians 3:10 NASB)
I'd love to hear if this process helped you, and what your vision statement is.

Monday, June 30, 2014

In The Hills of Malibu by Patti J. Smith

My son, God Bless him, has a habit of reminding me from time to time how I was before I got sober. Thankfully, most of the stories he brings up are humorous ... like the time my ex-husband convinced me of the existence of "dry-land tuna"... fish that lived in the hills of Malibu sans water (I'm turning red already). My beer brain grabbed on to that little piece of Animal Kingdom trivia and my motor mouth shared it with family and friends. It was only after I revealed my stupidity and gullibility to the masses that my ex told me the truth...while he, my son and step-sons laughed hysterically. I was mortified at first but very quickly became infuriated and humiliated and yes...felt betrayed ....and totally justified in downing a beer or twelve and lashing out in retribution.

I learned early on in rehab that one of my biggest problems was I took myself too seriously. I wanted to be in control every minute and heaven help those who stood in my way. In time, I was able to give myself a break. I found that laughing at myself actually brought me a sense of joy ... and peace. God wants me to be happy and I know when I laugh at myself, He's laughing right along with me.

By the way....did you know there's a man in Wyoming that sells jackalopes?

Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator.

Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and sings in her parish choir.

Her writing includes devotionals, light romance and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre.

She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji,... Read More
Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator.

Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and sings in her parish choir.

Her writing includes devotionals, light romance and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre.

She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

Follow her blog:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What do you think of the cover? "The Transformation of Bitty Brown" comes out in paperback this week!

In 1940's Ireland, Bitty Brown was abandoned by her mother at four years old and spent the next years of her life in an orphanage. At nineteen, the mute girl escaped from the orphanage, and with no where to go, lived on the streets. A stranger named the Beggar Jude and his friend, Mr. Jones found her huddled in the cold, sick and dying. Their miracle of friendship not only saved her life but gave her a new home and family. But what miracle would it take to convince this young girl that she was good enough to be loved?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sue Badeau wants you to "Tell me a story..."

Tell me a Story . . .

From the time our children were small, they loved story time. Our son Jose, adopted from El Salvador, learned English primarily through the reading, and re-reading of children’s storybooks. We read the entire Narnia series aloud, a chapter at a time, and have many other wonderful family memories of snuggling together on the couch sharing in a good book.

Beyond reading stories in books, our family also loves to sit at the dining room table after a meal, or around the fireplace in the winter and re-tell stories of past events. These sessions often start with the question, “Do you remember the time when . . . . “ and end with howls of laughter, and occasional tears.

This year, I have had the great privilege to participate as one of the authors telling a series of stories set in the small fictional town of Sweetland. “Summer in Sweetland” contains 8 volumes – short novellas – and each is filled with many of the moments – silly and sad, endearing and gripping, challenging and victorious – that families like ours have experienced in life.

As I wrote by installment – Volume Three, “Never Too Old,” I was not just putting words to paper, but to some extent re-living and re-shaping events that I wrote about. This re-living can be challenging, and yet, it is also remarkably healing and restorative. I can only imagine how much more healing it can be for a trauma survivor to give voice to his or her own story.

For children or adults who have experienced trauma, one of the most critical elements of healing is learning how to make sense and meaning of their trauma story. Stories that heal are not typically of the fairy-tale happy-ending variety. The healing power of stories is often realized through their very messiness, as the telling of even the most difficult stories allows us to see the places where we were still loved, where we exhibited strength, where God carried us across rocky terrain and where the seeds of hope for the future are planted and nurtured.

Long before science “proved” the value of story telling through research our ancestors and elders understood this intrinsically. Every tribe and community has its own powerful storytelling tradition and from these stories and tales come wisdom and hope that nurtures and guides individuals and whole communities.

God teachers us deep spiritual truths through stories, the Bible, for example, is a great collection of stories – not always fairy-tales, often messy, confusing, even painful – but with themes of grace, mercy, redemption, hope and peace woven throughout.
“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” Psalm 107:2

I hope you will enjoy the Sweetland stories and then ask yourself, “Do I have a story to tell today? Or do I know someone who needs me to listen as they share their own story?”

Please visit Sue’s Amazon Author Page:
or drop by here website and say hello:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Are you ready for "The Herman Thrice Series - Volume 2 - Seeds of Destruction" by CQ Scafidi

December 21, Helsinki, Finland. Annual Winter Global Agriculture Summit
Sponsored by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, The Nordic Genetic Research Center (Nordgen) and the Nordic Council of Ministers, , all the major Agribusiness giants that produce GMO seed and agrichemicals, and major philanthropic associations, whose overt mission is to end global hunger and disease.
Held within the sumptuous surroundings of the historic Hotel Kamp, the Global Elite are meeting within the extremely tight security of its confines to discuss the future of Global Agribusiness. Often attended by the world’s wealthiest people, the Summit is held in Finland because of its proximity to the key players who oversee the operation of the now famous Doomsday Seed Vault or the Svalbard Global Seed Vault located inside the Arctic Circle on a remote island in Norway, Spitsbergen.
It’s time for Stan Gideon to act:
“Pack your bags tonight after your shift; you are coming with me to Finland to help with the Nord-gen Annual Conference of Nordic Ministers. Many bigwigs will be there and I need my best people. You are my best Sous chef and so you are coming with me. Questions?” Chef Gio stared at Stan with a look of impatience and arrogance as he waited for an answer.
Stan was a little stunned by his kind words, a rarity for Chef Gio, so after clearing his throat, he replied, “What time do we leave?”
Welcome to Volume Two of “The Herman Thrice Series”!

Christian Gideon was born with the ability to speak, apparently learned while in his mother’s womb. He was reading at two and had taught himself Spanish by four. His father, Stan Gideon, knew his son was special, but never imagined the destiny that lay in wait for his gifted progeny. As a former agent for D.A.R.P.A., Stan was now working deep undercover. In his years with the government, he had encountered others like his son. It was for this reason that he allowed his son to be mentored by those only known to Christian as “the immortals.” Within a short few years, Christian was writing peer-reviewed scientific papers on particle physics, while his father successfully got him employment at a secret particle accelerator in the shadows of Mount Shasta.
With his assignment to infiltrate the nefarious C.E.R.E.S. cabal, Stan was investigating their plan for global depopulation, while his young son was being schooled in the ancient arts of alchemy by his quirky project manager, Dr. Herman Thrice. Unbeknownst to Stan, Christian would soon be selected to hone his special talents as a Light Worker for the planet Earth. Via the power of Inter-Dimensional travel, Christian would join other “millenials” with similar talents at the Light Worker Academy located on a planet circling one of the Seven Sisters or Pleiades. It was here that they would learn that they are actually the next step in human evolution.
Utilizing the top secret information uncovered by his father, Christian would soon return to Earth with his teammates, to stop the depopulation agenda and return the planet to its original pristine condition utilizing their newfound alchemical skills. Will the father and son be successful at thwarting the ongoing attempts by C.E.R.E.S. to cull the human population through the systemic poisoning of the planet? Will they overcome the dark forces at work within the government to aid C.E.R.E.S.? Read the Herman Thrice series and follow the Gideon’s as they work in tandem to save the planet Earth from its ultimate destruction.
The Amazon Kindle link for the story is: