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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