Summer is flying by, with lots of outdoor activities. Still, we have time for a good book, It's my pleasure to highlight Wolves Don't Knock, by Catherine Mackenzie.
Catherine A. MacKenzie writes all genres but invariably veers toward the dark. Her late mother once asked, “Can’t you write anything happy?” (Yes, she does occasionally write “happy”!)
Cathy’s writings have been published in many print and online publications. She has also self-published several short story collections, books of poetry, and children’s picture books.
Her first novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, was published in 2018, and is available on Amazon and other online retailers or from the author. MR. WOLFE, the sequel, will be published soon.
Cathy lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her amazing, gorgeous grandchildren provide joy and inspiration.
Here's a few awesome reviews enticing you to devour this story!
Your writing is packed with suspense, and you have a unique voice. Loved it. —RE
A 5-star novel. Buy it. So many elements of suspense weaved through Wolves Don't Knock that you feel you can't read and turn the pages fast enough to get to the end...a real page-turner, holding this reader's attention from opening to the end. The many threads woven throughout this novel left me exhausted by the end. That is a very good thing.... A lot of the introspections were the best passages in the novel. Often beautifully written... Joyce Carol Oates uses intensive character introspections in a lot of her work. She can get away with it because she has the skills to make those introspections fascinating. So does this author...—RA
Miranda is just 22 and has already had a child and been abducted and kept captive for years. Despite the gloomy setting, this is the story of a mother's love, a child's dreams, a girl's hope, the good in people. Miranda needs all of that to start her new life. The book is well written: I could feel Miranda's uncertainty, her will to leave bad memories behind, and at the same time the need to retain something from those terrible years. I felt for her mother, always wanting to do the right thing by her daughter and the child she had been raising in her stead, even while learning that her own past played a bigger part in her life than she could ever imagine. Wolves Don't Knock is a good book, and the title rocks! —CG
Intriguing first novel: Ms. MacKenzie chronicles the first year of a young woman's life after she escapes from a psychopath in an informal style that seems eminently suitable. We learn the intimate details of Miranda's struggles to reestablish her life after six long years in captivity. A son she never knew, a mother who also struggles with emotional issues and the psychopath lurking in the background add complexity. The book's focus on emotional recovery is not one I would normally be attracted to, but I found it highly engaging. Read it and discover how all the story threads weave together. —PY
I love the parallel mother/daughter relationship and once the grandmother gets involved, it truly turns into a generational problem. The knock-knock jokes are a stroke of genius. The author has wonderful symbolism and uses it well throughout. And all the “wolf” connections and descriptions are soooo perfect this should be in a lit course to teach symbolism!—PL
Wolves Don’t Knock is a spell-binding novel that delves into the mysteries of a traumatized young woman’s psyche as she fights to regain a sense of worth. As the story progresses, the variety of well-developed characters will keep the reader turning the pages. Thumbs up and five stars to this talented author.—KA
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/
Join Cathy on social media:
Wolves Don’t Knock Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WolvesDontKnock/
Facebook “Writing Wicket” author page:
Amazon.com Author Page:
Catherine, thanks for being on Monthly Smiles. Wolves Don't Knock is surely a must read.
The lazy days of summer are here. That means we have more time to read a good book.
I know you'll want to add Diagnosis Love, by Martha Rogers to your list.
To find out more about this talented author and speaker visit her website and Face Book.
My latest release, Diagnosis Love is a novella in the collection Romancing the Doctor. I so enjoyed writing this book and getting the deputy and the doctor together. Below is an excerpt from the novel. I hope you will enjoy it.
Libby had heard tales about wild cowboys and shoot-outs, and she hoped she wouldn’t have to face much of that here. At half-past two in the afternoon on a hot, summer’s day the streets bore little traffic and few people going about their chores. She didn’t blame people for staying inside because that’s where she’d be if given the choice.
They passed the sheriff’s office where two men, both wearing badges, sat inside at a desk. The mayor waved and greeted them as he guided her past the open door.
“Good afternoon, Sheriff Turner, Deputy Lofton.”
Libby had only a glimpse, but the deputy grinned at her in the most disarming way. Heat filled her already warm cheeks. In that brief moment she noted his dark hair, square jaw, and handsome tanned face. With a jerk of her head, she turned to view the street again. Her job in this town left no time or place for a man in her life.
The mayor’s voice yanked her back from those thoughts, which she shouldn’t have in the first place. “I’m sorry, what was that?”
“I said my wife is looking forward to meeting you. In fact, she’s quite excited about it. You’ll be staying with us tonight and then tomorrow you can move things into your living quarters above the clinic.”
“That is so kind of you both, and I look forward to meeting Mrs. Bradford.” She glanced around. “Um, do you have a newspaper and a telegraph office?” Two other things she’d forgotten about. She had been in such a rush to get away from Indiana that she completely forgot the basics she’d need. That would have to change immediately.
“Yes, to both. The telegraph office is at the train station, and the newspaper is over there across the street.”
Libby followed the direction of his hand and found the green and black lettered sign for the Cactus Creek Chronicle. At least she’d be able to keep up with a little of the outside world, or maybe not if they printed only the town news.
“Here we are, the Cactus Creek Infirmary at your disposal.” He reached into his pocket to extract the key to unlock the door.
Libby stepped through the double-glass paned opening and gasped. Dust particles whirled through the air in the afternoon sunlight streaming through the windows and the doorway. A thicker layer of dust covered the wooden floor, and sheets covered some of the larger pieces of equipment. Other items littered the floor, and she could swear mice skittered toward the back room.
“Oh, my, I . . . I hadn’t expected so much dirt and mess.” This would take hours of scrubbing and cleaning before it would meet the standards she deemed necessary for an infirmary. What had she gotten herself into?
Martha, thanks for that tease.This will be a great summer read.
Readers, find Diagnosis Love at: amzn.to/2XTyLKg
Martha, thank you for joining Monthly Similes.
The lazy days of summer are fast approaching, makes me think about relaxing on the porch and reading. If you're looking for a few book titles to add to your June list J. Carol Nemeth's latest release, Mountain of Peril is a winner. She's a wonderful writer who leads an interesting life.
J. Carol Nemeth is giving away a signed paperback copy of Mountain of Peril to a lucky commenter. This book is the first in her Faith in the Parks series.
A native North Carolinian, J. Carol Nemeth has always loved reading and enjoyed making up stories ever since junior high school, most based in the places she has lived or traveled to. She worked in the National Park Service as a Park Aid and served in the US Army where she was stationed in Italy, traveling to over thirteen countries while there. She met the love of her life, Mark Nemeth, also an Army veteran, while stationed in Italy. After they married, they lived in various locations, including North Yorkshire, England. They now live in West Virginia, where, in their spare time, Carol and Mark enjoy RVing, sightseeing and are active in their church. They have a son, Matt, who is Army Special Forces and a daughter, Jennifer, her husband Flint, who serves in the Air Force, and three grandchildren, Martin, Ava and Gage. Their four-footed kid is pretty special too. Holly, a black Lab loves traveling in their RV, and when they pack up to go, she’s waiting inside for them to head out.
Carol, what do you enjoy doing when you not writing?
I love reading, traveling, RVing, crocheting, and sewing, not necessarily in that order. When I travel, I see the possibility of a book everywhere. I collect information, photos, notes and brochures. The first book in my next series I got the idea for a few years ago when my husband and I were camping. That idea never went away.
What inspired you to write Mountain of Peril?
Many moons ago I worked in the National Park Service and I loved that job. There were very few days that were the same. Mountain of Peril is based on a lot of my experiences in the Park Service. I actually wrote it many years ago, and after I debuted with my first novel, Yorkshire Lass, I had to update Mountain of Peril, to modern technology. We didn’t have cell phones when I worked in the Park Service. Oops. Did I just date myself? Let’s just say, I worked in the NPS before I met my husband and we’ve been married 34 years. I think they were using car phones back then.
How did you choose the title of your book?
The story takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it’s a romantic suspense story so it was easy to name it Mountain of Peril.
Can you tell us a little about Mountain of Peril?
When Molly Walker graduated from college, she was thrilled to be hired on as a ranger at Deep Creek Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She arrived ready to begin her career and to enjoy all the aspects of her new job, but the one thing she hadn’t counted on was the local poachers and their illegal shenanigans. Molly and fellow ranger Jake Stuart try to put a stop to the escalating poaching problem while protecting the animals. In the meantime, Molly finds that the handsome ranger, who is also a local, is a great partner to have on her side. She also finds that she’s losing her heart to him when she’d planned to stay focused on her career. Can she give her heart and have a career? She and Jake find themselves in a battle against a group of men with a hidden agenda far more sinister than poaching. Can they be stopped before Molly’s life is snuffed out?
Is there a message in this novel, you want readers to grasp?
We as Christians sometimes think we know what’s best for our lives, and we map it out on our own when God has a better plan. One that will lead us to happiness and a peace that we never could have imagined. We just have to trust Him.
I agree. There have been times when I’ve wanted to plan out things, but then I’ll recall things work best with the Lord guiding.
Are you working on a new project you can tell us about it?
Mountain of Peril is the book 1 in the Faith in the Park series. I’ve already published books 2 and 3 and now I’m working on book 4. Book 2, Canyon of Death, takes place at Grand Canyon National Park, book 3, Ocean of Fear (just released in March) at Cape Hatteras National Seashore and book 4 will take place at Denali National Park in Alaska. Book 5, the last in the series will take place at Gettysburg National Battlefield in Pennsylvania. All of these books are full-length romantic suspense novels.
Carol, thank you for letting Monthly Smiles highlight Mountain of Peril.
Readers, below are links to find all of Carol's titles.
Don't forget to comment for a chance to win a sighed copy of her book.
Canyon of Death, Faith in the Parks Book 2 Buy Link goo.gl/1B8bSY
Ocean of Fear, Faith in the Parks Book 3 Buy Link goo.gl/GdKAy4
Yorkshire Lass- Buy Link goo.gl/uodShD
Dedication to Love - Buy Link goo.gl/WU9L22
Wilderness Weddings National Park Historical Collection - Buy Link goo.gl/3SC8XZ
Prohibition Hearts – goo.gl/audwwC
A Beacon of Love – Buy Link goo.gl/vqTR7Q
A Soldier’s Heart – Buy Link goo.gl/ZRD9Yf
A Soldier’s Hope – Buy Link goo.gl/QvzkmG
A Soldier’s Healing – Buy Link goo.gl/3czJun
I'm excited to have author Kim Grist on Monthly Smiles. She is one of my critique partners and has an awesome way of telling a story.
Kim tell us about yourself.
I am married to my high school sweetheart who is a pastor and we have three adult sons, one with Down syndrome. I feel called to share experiences both good and bad in an effort to encourage others. I also tend to be a perfectionist and am forever trying to add or change things to make it better. The unfortunate side of being creative in this respect is not always positive. Often my attempts fail and my life ends up resembling an old episode, of I Love Lucy.
One of my goals, when I write, is to combine my love of history with an inspirational theme, a bit of romance and believable characters. As I researched the life of a teacher during the 19th century, I was astounded by the rules that a female teacher had to adhere to.
Boarding was both command and practical for teachers and allowed them to live within walking distance to the schoolhouse and to live as well as their students. New inexperienced students, hired by the lowest paying districts, often endured poor living conditions.
In my new novel, twenty-year-old Meriwether Walker enjoys teaching students of various ages and skills in a one-room schoolhouse. What she hates is the nomadic lifestyle that comes with it as she rotates barding with families in the community every month. From feeling like an unwanted guest to leaky roofs and bedbugs, Meriwether longs for a place to call home. Unexpectedly she inherits an estate from a devoted uncle.
A buyer is already lined up. But Meriwether snatches at the opportunity to put down roots in Trickling Springs, Texas. The handsome prospective buyer things she’s holding out for more money and she finds him rude and off-putting.
Circumstances cause them to work together and their feelings change.
Excerpt: "What about a beau? You are an attractive young woman. Was there no one special in your life?" Mrs. Baker added cream to her coffee.
She shook her head. "According to the rules of the school board, male teachers could court one evening a week and twice if they attended church regularly. But they have different rules for females. We are not allowed to be seen in public after dark unless it's for a school or church function. I was also required to spend my days off working in the community, to teach Sunday School and sing in the choir. Even if the school board allowed me to have a beau, which they didn't, I don't know when I would have found the time."
"Goodness, I never realized there were so many rules involved for a teacher." Mrs. Baker took a sip of coffee.
Meriwether giggled. "They had rules for everything including how and when petticoats and other unmentionables could hang on the clothesline."
Combining History, Humor and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends and Good Clean Fun, A Promised Land is available for purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P7F5RPF
Connect with Kimberly:
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kimberlygrist
Thanks, Kim for letting Monthly Smiles highlight your latest novella.
Florence Witkop's imagination is wide-ranging and takes readers from small towns to the depths of space and into the realm of fantasy, with stories that invoke and celebrate the wonder -- and the fun -- and the surprises -- of life and romance.
Florence has been an elementary teacher, an IT person, has owned (with her husband and 5 kids) a family-friendly resort in northern Minnesota, and at present is helping make and sell fudge and fudge-filled treats, a family business she joined after her husband passed that started with the family recipe for Christmas fudge.
Most of all, though, Florence is a writer and has been ever since driving through near-blizzard conditions to the school where she taught first grade while thinking how she’d always intended to become a writer. Being a sensible person, when the school year ended, she said goodbye to teaching, became a full-time, professional writer and has never looked back.
Since that fateful decision, she’s been a ghost writer, written confession stories, done editing, written advertising copy, written some non-fiction articles, written literary and science-fiction short stories, written both novellas and novels, and won the only literary contest she ever entered, becoming Minnesota’s Region 2 Literary Person of the Year.
When the bricks and mortar publishing industry went bankrupt and her paychecks went up in smoke, like many other writers she made the transition to electronic media, eventually ending up in the absolute best place of all, Winged Publications, where she writes for both Forget Me Not Romances and Take Me Away Books. In this clean and Christian-oriented market, she can write the romances she likes to read. Like Alfred Hitchcock, whose characters were intentionally normal, middle-class people, Florence’s characters, too, are happy and well-adjusted and not looking for love but somehow, love finds them anyway.
The Man From Yesterday:
When Cynthia Hickey of Forget Me Not Romances sent out a call for time-travel novellas, I couldn’t respond fast enough! The plot came quickly and easily. Then I sat down to write --- and discovered that if I wanted to write about life a hundred years ago, I’d have to actually know something about that time!
I was a history major and loved it but when I write I just want to hop in and tell the story. But I persevered and this is the result:
The Man From Yesterday is the kind of romance I like to write: two nice, normal people falling in love in spite of themselves, with the caveat that in this story they were born a hundred years apart.
It’s quick read novella with a surprise ending.
And incidentally, if you check out the cover and notice the golden glow suffusing everything, that’s not artistic license on the part of the cover artist. That glow presages the next hop through time and is part of that surprise ending.
The Man From Yesterday-
When Carey finds an unconscious man among the wildflowers on her farm, he awakens knowing only his name and what her farm was like a hundred years ago. He’s clearly suffering from amnesia so she offers him a place in her home, not dreaming how important he’ll become both to her business and her heart.
But, as his memory returns and they find themselves falling in love, they realize that he’s from the past. He traveled in time. And may do so again, at any moment and against his will, separating the new lovers forever. Unless they can stop it.
Can anyone stop time?
The Man From Time sounds like a wonderful read.
Thank you Florence for being on Monthly Smiles.
Readers, here is the buy link and social media links.
BUY LINK FOR AMAZON
LINKS TO MY BLOG, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
website/blog is http://www.FlorenceWitkop.com
Twitter is #fwitkop
Facebook is Florence Witkop
March is finally here. We can applaud Spring and another great novel By author Sherri Stewart.
Sherri Stewart loves a good suspense novel, sprinkled with romance and a strong message that challenges her faith. She spends her working hours with books—either editing others’ manuscripts or writing her own. Sherri loves traveling to potential settings for future stories. Israel was her last big trip. Sherri lives in the Orlando area with her family and lazy dog, Lily. She loves to chat with readers about their ideas. Contact her at www.stewartwriting.com.
5. Is there a message in this novel, you want readers to grasp? If God has put a calling on your heart, go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back.
Sherri, are you working on a new project you can tell us about? I loved writing this book The Wrong Suitcase, which will be out in early March. Imagine taking the trip of a lifetime—in this case, Regina Larson has been saving for this trip to Israel for years, and she’s finally in Tel Aviv. But she discovers she grabbed the wrong suitcase at the airport. The owner believes she took something of value from it, and her dream trip becomes a nightmare.
In Her Footsteps
Ten years have passed since Elizabeth Blackwell graduated from Geneva College—the first female medical doctor in the United States, and now Daniela Burke longs to attend the same school to fulfill her lifelong dream. But Geneva hasn’t admitted another female since Dr. Blackwell. When the dean refuses to admit Daniela, she must find another way in. How will the people who matter most to her—her father and her boyfriend, Ryan—react to her decision?
Connect with Sherri:
Amazon Author Page
Other Books by Sherri Stewart
Come Out of Hiding
A Well-Founded Fear of Death
Stranded with Pearls
Last Chance Island
The Good Little Nurse
Call Me Jane
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
Sleeping through Christmas
Thank you Sherri, it's wonderful to have you on Monthly Smiles. I know In Her Footsteps is a inspiring novel we'll all enjoy.
It's a pleasure to have Joe Siccardi on Monthly Smiles. He has a couple interesting novels, I'm sure you'll enjoy.
Joe Siccardi was an editorial writer, editor and publisher for 52 years. Now he post a blog at https://wisdomfromafather.com/.
Joe says, "I'm the ordinary Joe walking along this journey called life and sharing it with my followers. I’m the proud father of five children, 18 grandchildren and three great-granddaughters. I currently live in Dover-Foxcroft, ME, after life experiences in Paterson, Totowa, Ogdensburg and Newton, NJ; Belvidere, IL; Toledo, OH; Washington, DC; Laurel, MD; and Seneca Falls and Willard (Romulus), NY."
Check out Joe Siccardi's books on Amazon and visit his social media pages.
Buy links/website/blog/social networking links:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545624569(HeavenShiningThrough); https://www.amazon.com/dp/1727315316(WisdomFromaFather); https://www.facebook.com/wisdomfromafather; https://wisdomfromafather.wordpress.com/;
@joesiccardi (twitter); https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39704566-heaven-shining-through
Here are a few Amazon reviews
Emotional and Beautiful January 10, 2019
This was a great read. I enjoyed Samantha and seeing her life. She dealt with hardships at home, fell in love with a guy unexpectedly and was blessed with 2 beautiful kids. Samantha is a strong woman who pushed through all the loses. She may not have focused on God, but you could see Him working in her life and focusing on her.
Chad was an awesome guy from start to finish to Samantha. He always did right and apologized even when he did nothing wrong. Samantha's father was a loving man. Samantha's mother was hard woman. There were times I wanted to jump through the page and pop her upside the head, but as the ending drew near I began to love her. She may have been cold to Samantha, but her heart was pure. Wish she showed it more. I adored JR and Kate-D -- they were amazing kids and seemed to have grown into phenomenal adults towards the end.
This story brought tears to my eyes and made me smile. Totally recommend this. Great one-sitter read that will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart. – Nay Denis
Let the character speak to you. December 18, 2018
Sometimes, as believers, we are afraid to present the raw truth of what life is like. We want our churches to be friendly, our marriages to be solid, our kids to behave, and our novels to be chaste. We miss out on the beauty of the experience precisely because we deny the downs and focus on the ups. We present life in a series of vacation pics and high life selfies. In doing so, we leave out half of life and wonder why people don't take Jesus seriously.
Joe Siccardi is not one of those believers, and his story is not one of those stories. While he remains true to the faith, he uses the suffering of Samantha Watt, his everyday girl in her everyday world, to show the ragged lines of humanity. Don't be shocked, be still. Don't be judgmental, be honest. Read this story at the peril of your heart, but not in any peril of your faith. In the end, you will see heaven truly shining through. -- Michael Rogers
An Excellent Read, July 27, 2018
I want to first of all say that this book really plays on your memories and emotions I laughed and cried. I laughed because I hadn’t heard the phrase “the rabbit died” since our first daughter was born 37 years ago. I cried with the significant relationships that were introduced and the heart felt real life meaning that the author put into them. I could really identify with these characters.A good, quick read. I highly recommend it … The author did a good job all the way around and I give it a 5 star review because it is worthy of it. -- pastorR
A synopsis of Heaven Shining Through...
Samantha is dreading her return home. Throughout her life, she had a rocky relationship with her mother – and now her mother is all she has left.
Through a nostalgic look back, Samantha recognizes the presence of God in an ordinary life. She learns more about herself as a wife and mother who has had her share of sorrow and blessings.
As her faith increases, she is able to see her mother through new eyes, leading to reconciliation … and is reminded of that every time she sees Heaven Shining Through.
A synopsis of Wisdom From a Father…
Wisdom From a Father is a reflective look at life, segmented into chapters. The 52 essay chapters include reflections on life, love and family. All are written from the heart, sometimes seriously and sometimes with a touch of humor.
I know these will be wonderful reads.
Joe, thank you for allowing me to highlight your books.
Happy New Year everyone!
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