Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Have a wonderful holiday with family and friends.
See you in 2016.
Have you made your New Year's Resolutions?

Monday, December 21, 2015


Quote for the Week: Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another new week. Where do the days go? I'm delighted today to tell you about a couple of books I recently read. So sit back, relax, and meet some very interesting characters created by Author L. X. Cain.

From Goodreads:
Something is waiting for Cody and Luke at the Mission. And it doesn’t want them to leave. Ever.

As in Stephen King’s It and Dan Simmon’s Summer of Night, curiosity is what lures kids down a dark path and pits them against their town’s most deadly secret.

The Mission sits in the desert like a crumbling tomb, silent and cold … but not empty. It plays host to a rising evil, one that wants victims. And it’s used to getting what it wants.

Cody and Luke are looking for adventure and thrills when they ride out to visit the place on a dare. Before the night is over, they’ll learn how far their friendship can stretch, and if they’re strong enough to survive the terrifying danger that waits for them.
My Review:
By L. X. Cain
Have you ever visited a building that you’d almost swear was alive? The place seemed to be breathing and whispering your name. If so, were you brave enough to go inside, or did you run away as fast as possible?
In Author L. X. Cain’s short story THE MISSION, Cody and Luke go to the Mission where rumors claim that a naked woman can be seen in the doorway carvings when you shine a light on the archway just right. Well, thirteen-year-olds are curious, and Cody doesn’t want Luke to laugh at him the way the other kids at school do, so to prove he’s not chicken he goes inside the Mission, while Luke waits outside. When Cody shines the light over his head, he sees the illusion of a woman’s face, but before he can tell his friend, a frightened squeal from outside  changes the boys’ night of adventure into a nightmare. Luke has disappeared, and Cody is the only one around to solve the mystery and possibly save his friend’s life. 
L. X. Cain has written a deliciously scary story. I don’t want to spoil anything, but vivid descriptions of what the boys are facing make the reader wonder whether they’ll survive or not. To find out, I recommend you read the story. I think you’ll be happy you did.

Now this cover scares me.
From Goodreads:
A desperate woman hides in a fortified farmhouse. Outside, her former neighbors and friends prowl the night. Dead. And hungry. Her only ally in the coming battle — Biggun. If there’s blasting to be done, Biggun is ready for it.
My Review:
By L. X. Cain
Have you ever been awakened suddenly by a spooky sound, and perhaps you even saw a scary image? Was it a dream, or was it real? How did you know?
In Author L. X. Cain’s short story BIG GUN, the sound of wood splitting apart wakes Cora, and she soon finds herself in a battle for her life and the life of her two month old baby. From the first sentence to the end, questions rose in my mind. Who or what was this terror that had invaded her home? Would she escape the danger? Could she save her baby? I didn’t know exactly what was after her, but tension grew with each scene, and I knew that something terrible was about to happen. No spoilers here.
BIGGUN is a story that you might want to read in daylight, or at least with the lights on.  Recommended for readers that enjoy a walk in the dark, with unknown characters beside you. You might want to carry a weapon with you, not that it will do you a lot of good.
Books make wonderful gifts for those eReaders.
Update on my forthcoming book. UNDER A PURPLE MOON is now available for pre-order at:
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


All right! I know this isn't Monday, the day Ripples in the Inkwell is supposed to be posted. I'm posting it anyway, cause it's so exciting.

Good News! The Meme #InkRipples will continue into 2016. There will be some changes. The name has changed from Ripples in the Inkwell to #InkRipples. A lot of other things are changing too, and it sounds like a lot of fun. For details, go to one of the ladies that started the meme: Katie L. Carroll, Kai Strand, and Mary Waibel. I think you'll want to join.

They have new images too. Here's one of them.

The Topics for 2016 are:

January - Travel
February - Chocolate
March - Feminism
April - Poetry
May - Memories
June - Movies
July - Inspiration
August - Guilty Pleasures
September - Banned Books
October - Masks
November - Heritage
December - Cookies

And the last meme for 2015 is Celebration/Gifts.

These days, when I think of "gifts" I think mostly of being together with family. That doesn't happen often because we're so scattered. We talk on the phone, and when my grandson-in-law was in Korea last year, he talked to his kids on Skype, which was neat. This year? I'm not sure.

My son that lives nearby, my son that lives in SC but is coming for a visit, and the cats and I will celebrate Christmas quietly this year. We'll maybe see the granddaughters, except for the one in California. I'll play Christmas carols on the piano. And we'll celebrate the birth of Jesus.

How will you celebrate this year?  


Monday, December 14, 2015


Quote for the week:  Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas A. Edison

I am so excited to host Authors Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson on their blog tour for THE SECRET FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW. 

Release date: DECEMBER 1, 2015

MIDDLE GRADE/ ages 10 and up

ISBN: 978-0-385-74471-3

Authors: Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson

Illustrator: Roman Muradov
Publicity contact: Samuel Terris

Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled that her family is moving thousands of miles from civilization to the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, where she’s absolutely certain she’ll die of boredom.

As if leaving Manhatten and her best friend, Lizzy, the only other member of the elite Detective Mystery Squad, weren’t bad enough, Fairday is stuck living in the infamous Begonia House, a creepy old Victorian with dark passageways, a gigantic dead willow tree, and a mysterious past. 
Before she can even unpack, strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where she finds an ancient mirror, a brass key, and a curious portrait of a red-haired lady. These seemingly unrelated items prove to be the first in a series of clues that takes Fairday, the visiting Lizzy, and their new squad member, Marcus, on an amazing adventure.

Can the members of the Detective Mystery Squad piece together the puzzle before it’s too late? Or will whatever’s causing trouble find Fairday and her friends first? 
Catch the Book Buzz...


"I really enjoyed this book. It was a marvelously done, debut, thriller novel. Ms. Robinson and Ms. Haight are great authors that really pull you into their story. I couldn’t get out until that final sentence. And, by then I wanted more. To say I want a second book is an understatement. The writing style is compelling, and makes me feel as if I was there with Fairday and her friends. I really like the illustrations in the book. They are like the ribbon on a present, or the icing on the cake. I give this book five out of five bookworms!"
~ Erik Weibel/ This Kid Reviews Books  


"Mixing realism and fantasy, Haight and Robinson’s debut opens with 11-year-old Fairday’s move from Manhattan to a small town in Connecticut, where her relentlessly cheerful parents plan to turn a dilapidated Victorian into a bed and breakfast. No sooner has the family arrived than eerie sights and sounds begin to haunt Fairday. The house turns out to hold dark secrets that everybody in town suspects but nobody can explain: a perfect mission for Fairday and her best friend Lizzy’s Detective Mystery Squad (DMS)."
~ Publishers Weekly


"Fifth-grader Fairday Morrow's new home lives up to its spooky reputation, but she and her companions in the Detective Mystery Squad find out why. At Begonia House, strains of bagpipe music issue from behind a padlocked door, grains of sand in an hourglass have stopped falling, and a malevolent weeping willow looms in the backyard. A magic mirror shows an invisible door; a wardrobe hides secrets and a portal. Ruby Begonia vanished more than 50 years ago. Is there also a ghost? Fairday has a new, helpful friend in classmate Marcus, and her best friend Lizzy can visit on weekends to help solve the mystery. What more could readers want?"
~ Kirkus Reviews


Jessica Haight is a true New Englander, with a deep desire to be near the ocean and a love of the four seasons. She enjoys drawing while standing up and cultivating magic in her garden. She easily floats away in the pages of a good story and is still waiting for her owl from Hogwarts.

Stephanie Robinson lives with her husband in a quiet town, though not as quaint as Ashpot. After teaching fifth grade for almost fifteen years, she is now enjoying her role as a school media specialist. 


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas trees come in all sizes. Some are live; some are artificial. Have you ever seen a tree made of tumbleweeds? If not, here's a fascinating one, at least to me.

Since 1957, the community of Chandler, Arizona, has built a tumbleweed tree with tumbleweeds they gathered from around town. Chandler is the only city in the southwestern United States that has such a tree. The crew gathers nearly 1,000 tumbleweeds each year and builds a 25 foot tall tree over a wire frame. They spray the tumbleweeds with white paint, flame retardant and sprinkle with glitter. Around 1,200 lights decorate the tree, and the town has a ceremony to switch the lights on. I think it would be neat to see this tree.

Here's another tumbleweed tree.

One day, when I was taking a walk, a tumbleweed rolled across the path in front of me. Now, there's a story there, I thought. I took it in the house and decorated it. I had to be careful, though, because they do have sharp branches. I also wrote a story for early readers about the tumbleweed.
Barnes& Noble                       
A Reminder
The Good Reads Giveaway ends today, December 9th. The publisher and I are giving away an Unproofed ARC of UNDER A PURPLE MOON, my YA Contemporary Novel due out March 15, 2016.
Happy Reading!

Monday, December 7, 2015


Quote for the week: True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost. Charles Caleb Colton.

Please welcome my guest today, Multi-Award Winning Author Christine Lindsay. She was kind enough to answer some questions for me. Thanks for stopping by, Christine.


Hi, Christine, Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.


I knew I was a writer in college, but was too scared to pursue what my heart wanted, so I took accounting instead. Big Mistake!!! Anyway, a couple of years later I became pregnant out of wedlock and relinquished my baby girl to adoption. That changed me in so many ways. Many years later, after I married and had 3 more children, my birth-daughter Sarah and I were reunited. She was 20 at the time. The reunion was so difficult for me, and I went through an emotional breakdown. My husband found me crying one day and went out and bought me a new journal and pen, and said, “Here, honey, write it.”


That was the start. That journaling turned into a writing and speaking career where I love to share how God can turn our broken hearts into joyful hearts.


What a touching story. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Twitter your newest release in 140 characters or less.


Multi-Award-Winning #christianauthors #fiction Veiled at Midnight by @CLindsayWriter Exciting historical like @masterpiecepbs Indian Summer



How did you come up with the idea for your book and were there any glitches along the way?


There were lots of glitches in my debut novel Shadowed in Silk, but I feel now I was cutting my writing teeth on my first book. The rest of the books in that trilogy were quicker and easier to write as well as my other stand-alone books. But with each book I’m ready to make the changes whenever I feel the book isn’t right. I’m one of those oddballs that doesn’t mind revising and cutting. I’ve got to get the story right.  That’s more important to me that making a sale.  


I started out writing the kind of book I love (epic historicals from the likes of MM Kaye) but from a Christian perspective.


You’re shipwrecked on a deserted island. What character from a book other than yours would you want to be stranded there with you? Why?


Captain Alex Randall in MM Kaye’s novel Shadow of the Moon. Still to this day that is the most romantic book I’ve ever read. Alex appears to be a stiff upper-lipped Englishman, but that only covers up a sensitive heart brimming with courage. When Alex and the love of his life, Winter de Ballesteros a beautiful English heiress with some Indian blood, are stranded in the jungle during the 1857 Indian Uprising I am swept away with Alex finally giving in to his feelings for Winter. Oh my, is it getting hot in here?


If you could choose to live in another time, would you prefer the past or the future?


Past, that way I can choose the era and know if it was a safe time. I’ve always had a desire to go back and spend a day in my childhood, playing in my old backyard, walking down my old street, seeing my old school and friends. Just feeling 10 again.


Are you working on any new books? Tell us about them.


This 2016 I have two new books coming out. One is my non-fiction account of my relinquishment of my first child to adoption and about our painful reunion 20 years later. Relinquishing my child taught me so much about the Father’s love for us. That book called Just Like Hannah has other people’s reunion stories braided in with mine. Connect with me on some of the links below (especially my quarterly newsletter) to be alerted when that book comes out.


The other book I have coming out in 2016 is a historical romance. Here is the link to read the first chapter of SOFI’S BRIDGE.


And I’ve started a new series set on the rugged coastline of Ireland where I was born.


Where can your fans learn more about you?


My Quarterly Newsletter: What’s Christine Up To Next?


Would you like to share anything else with your fans?


I’d love to keep you informed about my books coming out. I only do a newsletter once a quarter but pack it fill of giveaways and gifts for my special readers.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy day, Christine, to visit with us.  Stop by anytime.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


I am excited to introduce you to two of the cutest characters that you will fall in love with the minute you see them. I know I did. So, join Award Winning Author Donna M. McDine in a look at her latest picture book DEE AND DEB OFF THEY GO KINDERGARTEN FIRST DAY JITTERS.

Aren't the girls adorable?
Book description: The anxiety of finding one’s own place and friends in kindergarten without the comfort of having her fraternal twin sister nearby at first overwhelms Dee until she realizes even without her fraternal twin sister, Dee and her classmates for the most part are in the same boat.

About the author:

Donna McDine’s creative side had laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. With several early reader children’s picture books to her credit:
 ·      A Sandy Grave (Purple Dragonfly 2014 Award First Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved and Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014);
·      Powder Monkey (Purple Dragonfly 2015 Award First Place Historical Fiction and Story Monster Approved 2014);
·      Hockey Agony (Purple Dragonfly 2015 Award Honorable Mention Picture Books 6 & Older and New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014 and Story Monster Approved 2014);
·      The Golden Pathway (Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader 2011 and Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention) and;
·      Dee and Deb, Off They Go - Kindergarten First Day Jitters (December 2015) all with Guardian Angel Publishing.
McDine’s adventures continue as she ignites the curiosity of children through reading while she writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, New York State Reading Association and Family Reading Partnership.
You can order copies now at Donna's blog The book will be available at Amazon and other book stores soon.



By Donna M. McDine

Illustrations by Jack Foster

A child’s first day at kindergarten, with new kids and a teacher, is difficult enough. If they’re also facing the day separated from their twin for the first time in their life, it’s frightening. Who will they talk to? Who will they play with?

Multi-Award-Winning author Donna M. McDine’s latest picture book, DEE AND DEB OFF THEY GO, KINDERGARTEN FIRST DAY JITTERS, is an adorable story about Dee and Deb, fraternal twins who learn the answers to the above questions. Told from Dee’s point of view, the reader follows her through the first day of kindergarten as she discovers a whole new world. And it’s not quite what she had expected.

The artwork by Award-Winning Illustrator Jack Foster is bright and colorful. His drawings of the two girls, with their big eyes and freckles on their cheeks, sometimes smiles on their faces, other times puzzled looks in their eyes, show the emotions the girls feel on being away from each other for the day. Foster’s excellent drawings bring the story to life making the reader love Dee and Deb, at least this reader did.

The author and artist have done a remarkable job, resulting in a story that young readers should find interesting and fun, especially children that have a twin. I recommend DEE AND DEB OFF THEY GO, KINDERGARTEN FIRST DAY JITTERS for everyone that loves a sweet story with characters you’d like to meet in real life and a true-to-life plot. This picture book would make a nice addition to school libraries and classrooms, public libraries and, of course, your own private library.

Goodbye, Dee and Deb. Enjoy kindrgarten.

I was given a copy of this novel for my honest review.


December 2 is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP. The purpose is to share and encourage writers. Awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of the IWSG. If you'd like to join and/or see who else is signed up, go here. It's very easy and fun.

His awesome co-hosts for this month are Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell!

Now, I'm not really insecure. A lot of exciting things are happening in my writing world. My cat story will be in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL MY VERY GOOD, VERY BAD CAT, due out in February. I'm reading the Unproofed Advance Copy of my YA novel UNDER A PURPLE MOON, scheduled for a March release, for mistakes. (Yes, there are a few, but they'll be corrected.) 

And I do have a bit of insecurity there.
What will readers think about the story?
Will they like the characters?
Will the story bore them?
I know those questions are out of my hands, so I try not to think about them, but they're in my mind.

How about you? What are your emotions when your new book is published?

Have a great December.

Happy Writing.


Monday, November 30, 2015


Quote for the week:  Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson

Today I'm delighted to be a part of the tour for the anthology FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.


Fright Before Christmas Book Blurb:

It's the most wonderful time of year...or is it? 

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.

‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts. Monsters. Demons. And more! 

This Christmas, be careful what you wish for... 

Pre-Order sale price of just $1.99 through November 29th.


Author Bio – Judith Graves:
Judith Graves loves tragic romance, werewolves, vampires, magic and all things a bit creepy. A firm believer that teen fiction can be action-packed, snarky and yet hit all the right emotional notes, Judith writes stories with attitude. She lives in northern Alberta and when she’s not writing, she works in a school library.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter


13 tales of holiday horrors

Anthology by Shannon Delany and Kelly Hashway


Christmas, a time for Nativity Scenes, baby Jesus, Christmas trees, Santa, reindeer, gifts and magic and spells. Wait! Wait! Magic? Spells? What kind of Christmas are we talking about here?
The anthology FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS may be talking about Santa, but not the Santa one normally pictures. The reader may be looking at coal in a boy’s stocking because he was naughty. Aw, Santa wouldn’t do that, would he? Or is it even coal? And usually the snow men we read about in most books remind us of cute and friendly Frosty the Snow Man, right? Since when did snowmen start carrying weapons? Add a nutcracker that I dare not describe and other most unusual  characters, unusual to be found in a Christmas story, that is, and we have a book that may make us want to avoid Christmas this year, and maybe forever.
The authors in the anthology FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Lea Storry, Richard Ankers, Laura Pauling, Patrick Hueller, Jackie Horsfall, Boyd Reynolds, Ally Mathews, Jessica Bayliss, Judith Graves, Andrea Stanet, Dax Varely, Medeia Shariff, and Ty Drago have turned the Night Before Christmas into a Fright Before Christmas with characters that may give the reader nightmares. My suggestion is to read the stories with the lights on and preferably not alone. The stories are creative and imaginative and will give you chills. You also may want to read them over again. Happy reading.
I was provided with a copy of the anthology for my honest review.
Happy Reading

Book Trailer Code:

Rafflecopter Code ($10 Amazon GC):
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway Code:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fright Before Christmas by Shannon Delany

Fright Before Christmas

by Shannon Delany

Giveaway ends December 05, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


A new book is on the way. Don't you just love to hear those words? I do. CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: My Very Good, Very Bad Cat will be published February 9, 2016. My story, A Tiger-Sized Heart, is in it. YAY! Here's the cover.

I wonder what Tiger will think when he sees it. I hope Patches isn't jealous. This is my third CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL story that's been published.

And now, from my house to yours
Have a lovely time with family and friends, doggies and kitties, and whoever else shows up.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Quote for the week: If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou

I am delighted to host Stephanie Burkhart on the Book Tour for her latest picture book JOSEPH'S CRADLE.

The cover is lovely and I want to know more about the cradle.
COVER BLURB FOR Joseph’s Cradle:
Joseph and his wife, Mary, expect a baby. With all that is happening, including the government requiring a census, Joseph feels a little overwhelmed and a bit left out of the preparations for the baby. Is there something he can do?
Reviews: “Artist Mathew Hughes' soft, time-friendly paintings take us back to Biblical times. This is a sweet Christmas book that could start a discussion about what a young child might like to give the Christ Child for Christmas.” – Patricia Karwatowicz
The Christmas story about the birth of Jesus is one of the most popular and well known stories around the world. We can only imagine how anxious Joseph and Mary were when they arrived in Bethlehem. Throughout the story, Mary carries herself with dignity and grace. Joseph is steadfast and loyal. Becoming a parent isn’t easy and both Mary and Joseph have to find their own way.
#1: What inspired you to write the story?
STEPHANIE: I wanted to write the Christmas story from the view of being expectant parents.  I wanted to show how Joseph grew into fatherhood. I think these are all aspects of life we all can identify with.
#2: How long did it take?
STEPHANIE: The story took about a day to write.  After editing, I’d say it took about a week.
#3: Did you pick the illustrator?
STEPHANIE: No, I did not.  4RV Publishing selected the illustrator.  I think Matthew Hughes did a fantastic job with the illustrations.  They have a very soft hearted feel and compliment the story well.
#4: What makes this book special?
STEPHANIE: It’s a look at the Christmas story from a different perspective.
#5: How long have you been writing children's books?
STEPHANIE: About 5 years now. My first children's book, "The Giving Meadow" was published with 4RV Publishing in 2010. It has a great message about sharing and caring for young children as well as telling about Caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly. It's perfect for Easter as it helps young children understand Jesus' story.

Author Bio:

Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, but now calls California her home. She currently works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. Stephanie has been writing since she was five, when she crafted homemade comic books on the kitchen table. Her previous books with 4RV Publishing include: The Giving Meadow, and First Flag of New Hampshire.  Stephanie enjoys coffee, adores chocolate and is currently the Den Leader for her son's Cub Scout Den.
JOSEPH’S CRADLE:  is available in print from 4RV Publishing.
A Different Perspective
By: Stephanie Burkhart
Have you only believed there was one way to do a task and when you learned there was another way, you were surprised? That’s happened to me a couple of times. Every time I’m always amazed. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The Christmas story with Mary ad Joseph is one of the oldest, memorable stories in the world. In the Bible, Luke and Matthew share their accounts. We know Mary and Joseph traveled a good distance while Mary was about to have her baby. What an inconvenience that must have been! We discover how Mary embodies dignity and grace and we learn the depth of Joseph’s faith when he listens to the angel who visits him. Once they say ‘yes’ to God, what happens next?
I wanted to show another perspective of the story, one more personal and one we can all relate too. Mary and Joseph are going to be parents. The thought can be overwhelming. What must it have been like for them preparing for a baby? “Joseph’s Cradle” shows how Mary and Joseph approach parenthood. I hope you enjoy the story!
Question for you: What gift would you give Jesus for Christmas?
 Thank you, Stephanie for writing a lovely story. Now for my thoughts.

Story by Stephanie Burkhart
Art by Matthew Hughes
Expecting a new baby in the family, whether in times past or in today’s world, is a big event. Mom prepares for the baby’s arrival by sewing little outfits or buying the latest styles for him or her to wear. Dad makes sure the soon to be addition to the family has a crib or cradle to sleep in, as well as other items to make the little one comfortable.
In Author Stephanie Burkhart’s newest picture book, JOSEPH’S CRADLE, Mom and Dad do the same. Dad builds a new cradle for his child. Mary knits booties and clothes for the baby. And so they wait for the happy day to arrive. This is a sweet and gentle story about the parents of Jesus and how they might have passed the time in the months before his birth.
The artwork by Matthew Hughes is realistic for the timeframe of the story, with beautiful, soft pastel shades for the scenery and characters that very well could be from hundreds of years ago. The illustration at the end of the story is my favorite in the book. 
A lovely story for this special time of year and for anytime, in fact. Children should enjoy learning about the Christ Child’s family. This book would make a nice addition to school libraries, public libraries and of course your own library.
Happy Reading.