November 28, 1997

DAD-TN 1962

This picture was taken on one of his many business trips. Some of you will recognize the setting. Click to enlarge and you’ll see the date and time. And all that time we thought he was working! Smile

Early in 1997 I was working on building a website in tribute to my parents, trying to collect stories and anecdotes from them. I asked Dad if he would be willing to send me an abbreviated–mostly because of space limitations at the time—autobiography for me to use.

Before I go any further, I want you to know that I loved my daddy. More than that, I adored him. He was my ultimate hero right up to the day he left these earthly bonds. We had a very close father/daughter relationship down through the years, and I am a lot like him in many ways.


Okay, back to Daddy’s autobiography. Below is what he emailed me on the date above:

Dear Peggy,

Preparing an abbreviated autobiography is pretty difficult! I tried to put together some highlights in a condensed form. Since my memory and dates are fallible, I asked Mom to look at my draft and she wants to expand it!

So my purpose is to give you a background from which to extract whatever you want to condense further. The dates are as accurate as Mom can supply.

We were married while I was in Graduate School at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, after going together for several while in college at Oneonta, NY. A year and a half without Alta was long enough, so we became one in Corning, NY just two days after Christmas in 1937.

On January 18, 1939, Peggy was born at Northville, NY…the same home and place where I was born on July 6, 1914.

[With a Master’s Degree in Chemistry] My first job was with American Cyanamid Chemical Company in Stamford, CT, where we built our first home at 145 Ridge Park Avenue.

In Stamford we were active in the Swedish Evangelical Congregational Covenant Church, where we made many wonderful friends. It was in Stamford that Martha was born on April 16, 1941, and Bobby on March 17, 1943.

While living in Stamford, my work evolved into developing a sugar refining process, and working in Meridian, MS; Baton Rouge, LA; Alvarado, CA’ Clewiston, FL; Manatee Cuba, and Chicago, IL Then I accepted a position as Plant Superintendent at Inland Sugar Company, and moved to Milwaukee, Wi, in 1949. There we bought our second home.

In Milwaukee we helped start the first Pilgrim Holiness Church in the state of Wisconsin. One of our favorite pastors there was Dr. O. D. Emery. After the merger with the Wesleyan Methodist Church, or pastor was Rev. Lowell Davis, who is with us here today. [at the time of this writing.]

When the Inland Sugar was sold, I was employed at Allis Chalmers Mfg. Co. for 12 years in Process Engineering. The first project to which I was assigned was the the starting of of a Soybean Plant sold to Spillers Ltd in Cardiff, Wales, during part of 1952/53. Upon returning to the States, I entered the Pyro Processing Division working with Rotary Kiln processing of paper Mill Lime sludge., Florida Phosphate Rock, Limestone and Cement. I had a special experience in the selling of and the starting up of a new limestone process for Dow Chemical Company in Ludington, MI, which involved many tripe on the car ferry across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee and back.

In 1956, responding to an urgent call for help, we moved to Wilson, AR for a period, to serve as Superintendent at a soybean mill at Wilson Soya where the company built us a new house for us to occupy. While there we found a Pilgrim Holiness Church to attend Sunday mornings–60 miles away in Jonesboro, AR. There, at that church, daughter Martha met her husband-to-be, Jerry Payton, one of the Payton twins. Peggy, for the last part of our year there was at Owasso Bible College in Michigan.

At South Shore, KY, Charles Taylor & Sons purchases a special Traveling Gate-Kiln Plant to process making high temperature furnace rock. The success of this process evolved into the sale of a similar plant erected in the Negev in Israel, where Alta and I spent several months there, living in Beersheva and Mitzpe Ramon.

After returning from Israel in 1966, radical change was taking place within Allis Chalmers and I decided to retire, and for several years worked with a friend (Rev, Don R. Good) as house builder and Real Estate Broker in Manitowoc, WI. Back in Milwaukee (1972) my next position was with Globe Union Mfg. as an Environmental Engineer for lead battery plants in 14 different states. After 6 years at Globe Union–now The Johnson Control Co.–I retired and spent some time as Vice President at Ackerlow Industries in Grafton, WI. Following that I worked for a friend for a time in Brandon, MS, before moving to Brooksville, FL in 1980.

We became active in the Brooksville Wesleyan Church where Dr. Jack Adams had become pastor. When a group gathered tor starting a new church in Spring Hill [Florida] we moved there to be part of building it. Our Founding Pastor was Rev. Jim Den, and then Dr. Jack Adams [again] after Jim retired. Soon after that Rev. Wesley Wright was called to be pastor there.

We left Florida to be with our daughter  Martha in Missouri for a few years, but just had to return to Mom’s beloved Florida in June 1995.

Peg here. As I retyped this from the email Dad sent me that day, my mind flashed back through all the years and my heart swells with pride. Daddy was a remarkable man, earning the love and respect of all with whom he connected. Through many of those years and his travels, we frequently traveled with him–except Cuba and his overseas trips—even during school months, some of my most treasured memories. I think Mom was the pioneer homeschooler, taking our lessons with us as we traveled around the country. Smile

For more information about my dad—if you’re interested–visit my two previous posts at: and

Thank you all so much for letting me talk about my dad, whom I loved so much…and still do… and whom I miss so terribly much.

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Happy Birthday, Daddy

Dad-edgedToday, were he still living, my daddy would be celebrating his 101st birthday. I’ve been going through some old email correspondence between Daddy and me over the years, and came across a copy of his personal testimony. Please allow me to share.

“It was July 6, 1930, my birthday. I was sixteen years ole. My dad, pastor in the church where I was born (we lived upstairs over the church auditorium,) a building in the center of town. The US Post Office was across the street. You might say I was born IN the church.

Every year since I can remember, we went to a camp-meeting called the Victory Grove Camp, held over the 4th of July, so I was always there for my birthday. The camp was located on the main highway connecting Schenectady and Albany, New York. It was a delightful, rustic setting in the woods with several small cottages with just enough room for several beds and a few chairs. The main attraction was the Tabernacle with benches of pine made rom the trees on the property. Camp lasted for ten days, and the best preachers in the country were booked for the speakers and Bible study services. Sawdust and straw covered the ground inside. The other structures were a dining hall and a bookstore.

Since I was brought up in Church and Sunday School (I had a wonderful teacher; he owned a glove factory in our town,) I not only knew the Bible from my mother and father, but my Sunday School as well. And the Plan of Salvation was completely familiar to me. Actually, I was teased and sort of persecuted at school because I was a PK…a Preacher’s kid.

But there came a time when I deliberately chose to go all the way and make a firm commitment to follow the Lord Jesus. And it was on that specific date: July 6, 1930! In the straw and sawdust at the rough wooden altar, with my brother-in-law, Theodore K. Knapp, at my side that it happened…a lifetime decision…and it is still good today, July 6, 1997.

An old song we sang back then tells the story. I use it today to explain that event in my life.


I remember when the Lord spoke to my soul,

I would feel the heavy burden from me roll.

When He spoke the gracious words, “wilt thou be whole?”

Then I settled the question forever.


I no longer walk the ways of sinfulness,

But I daily tread the paths of righteousness.

Since the day the Lord has come my life to bless

I have settled the question forever.


I will choose the holy joys that always last,

And reject sin’s pleasures that will soon be past.

To the treasures of true worth I’m holding fast,

I have settled the question forever.


Others my deny the Lord and live in sin,

But the race that I have entered I must win,

Through the pearly gates I mean to enter in,

I have settled the question forever.



I have settled the question, hallelujah!

I will never turn back from the narrow way.

I am going through with Jesus, hallelujah!

Till I reach the gates of glory some sweet day.

Peg here:

And Daddy gained those Gates of Glory on Sunday, April 7, 2002.

If you will forgive a daughter’s pride, indulge me one more time and come back tomorrow as I share Daddy’s autobiography. To say I loved my dad is a massive understatement.

If you’d like, you can read a previous post I shared that reveals what a true Bible scholar Daddy was. Just go to: 


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COTT Presents Sedona Sunset

Welcome, readers! As summer moves into full swing and fireworks can be heard ringing through the skies, we’re still cranking out a steady stream of must-read books! Today we are taking a closer look at one of our recent competitors, Sedona Sunset by Tanya Stowe

About the Book

After an auto accident leaves her crippled and takes her mother’s life, Lara Fallon completes her mother’s dream of opening a school and offering scholarships to promising young artists. Although Lara is struggling with survivor’s guilt, she is thrilled to fulfill one more of her mother’s dreams when she hires Alexander Summers, world-renown Flamenco player and professor of art, to perform at the grand opening of The Fallon School of Art.

But Alex has a secret. He investigates art theft for UNESCO, and when pieces of Chaco pottery suddenly appear on the black market, Alex is certain The Fallon School of Art is a cover for this illegal operation. He’s determined to uncover the link…even if it means romantically pursuing the lovely Lara Fallon.

Alex’s investigation leads him on collision course with Lara’s inner struggle to cope with her mother’s death and her own wavering faith in God. Now, Lara’s school and her heart are in danger. But is her life as well?

Woo! Art! Flamenco! Scandal! What’s not to love??

Readers’ Comments

A great story. Wonderful characters. A joy to read.

Lara is a woman coming into her own potential and personal power. She is encouraged to create a new life for herself by a mysterious man hoping to be there when she does. Alex is just as intriguing as Lara with his secrets and double life. The characters were strong and real, both individually and together. I was impressed with how Stowe beautifully handled the budding relationship with passion, but without the need for graphic sex. The Sedona, AZ area has always had a special mystique and it is a perfect location for this tale. Add in a well-thought out mystery and you have one of the best books I’ve read so far this year.

I was given this book in return for an honest review and I am very happy to give it high marks. It’s a truly well-written story that I can recommend highly. This book makes it to my “save and reread” list.

~Amazon reviewer K. Frost
I loved the characters. Lara is left to finish what her mom started a school for the gifted and being able to offer scholarships to the young artist. Lara hires Alex Summers to help bring in the donations needed for the school. But there is something shady going on at the school and Lara is determined to see what is going on. She is wondering what happened to the 3 missing checks? Who all is involved ? Loved the story and has a romance but done in good taste which Tanya always does. Look forward to what is next. You like mystery with some romance you will want to read this book by Tanya Stowe.

~Amazon reviewer D. L. Montgomery

Ready to dive in? Purchase Sedona Sunset here:




About the author:

Tanya Stowe is a Christian Fiction writer with an unexpected edge. This Pelican Book Group author fills her romances with the unusual…gifts of the spirit in Tender Touch and spiritual warfare in Haunted Hearts. In Never Ending Night she explores the horrors of a Civil War battle and unravels a mystery. Tender Trust treks to the Old West. Leap of Faith brushes wings with an angel and White Christmas wraps romance in the traditions of a small town holiday. No matter where Tanya goes…on a journey through the past or contemporary adventures in new lands…be prepared for the extraordinary.

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Repeat Offender – Book Review

When you hear the name Las Vegas, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  Elvis? Jerry Lewis? CSI? Long-running shows with BIG names, like Wayne Newton or Celine Dion? Lavish shows with half-naked dancing girls? The Strip with all those fantastic bright lights and flashing marquees?

Yes, there is that, but everyone’s first thought is G.A.M.B.L.I.N.G. Am I right? High-rollers with millions of dollars exchanging hands 24/7.  In his debut novel, Repeat Offender, Det. Bradley Nickell, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police [LVMPD] will introduce you to a different kind of high-roller.


*This is a spoiler free post*

Basic Info: 434 pages, released April 4, 2015, from WildBlue Press. The book has 76 customer reviews, 91% of which are 5 Stars, and the rest have 4 Stars! Impressive. Read on to see what this reviewer thinks.

From the Back Cover:

Las Vegas Police Detective Bradley Nickell brings you the inside scoop of his harrowing investigation to catch the most prolific criminal Las Vegas has ever known. Daimon Monroe looked like an average guy raising a family with his schoolteacher girlfriend, but just below the surface he was an accomplished thief and sex offender with an uncontrollable lust for excess. REPEAT OFFENDER gives an insider’s view of the intense crusade to stop Monroe, set against the bright lights, colorful personalities, and seamy underbelly of America’s Sin City. It’s an epic battle between a driven cop and the remorseless criminal who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted, including a plot to kill his pursuer and others.


My rating: 5 STARS! (5/5)

“Early one evening, I left the Detective Bureau and soon noticed the same compact car had been in my mirror for a few blocks. A silver-colored Toyota, beat-up looking with no front license plate, driven by two Hispanic-looking men. I wasn’t sure if they were following me, but I didn’t want to take a chance. My nerves were shot. I’d been dreading this exact thing for weeks.”

Whoa, how’s that for an attention-grabbing opening paragraph?! It sure pulled me right in. The next paragraph shows that Detective Nickell was prepared for what he expected might happen…with a shotgun across his lap.

Nickell, as the narrator, obviously writing in first person, is, of course, the main character. But master-thief Daimon Monroe is always present in one form or another, along with his partners-in-crime. Monroe is as narcissistic as they come. A man with neither conscience nor remorse. He delighted in thumbing his nose at the law, playing a  ‘Catch me if you can…I’ll deny everything’ game. But the overly self-confident, egotistical Daimon hadn’t counted on the bulldog tenacity of one Las Vegas Police Detective named Bradley Nickell.

REPEAT OFFENDER is a True Crime novel that takes the reader through the years-long–even life-threatening–pursuit to take this habitual criminal down.

I guess, in a way, this could be called a legal thriller. The author takes us step-by-step through his investigation. The long grueling, endless hours spent listening to recorded phone calls from inmates to the outside, for example. These guys know they’re being recorded but they need that outside communication. So they invent a special code when they discuss ‘’’business,’ and it’s up to our detective to decipher them. Along with Det. Nickell, we sit in court rooms listening to testimonies for both defense and prosecution. We read his own testimony when called on. We wait, along with him, biting our nails, for the juries to return with their verdicts. Yes, I used plurals. Our man Daimon, so self-assured, loves litigation.

I like court room scenes. It’s fascinating to me to ‘watch’ each attorney try to one-up the other with their arguments, examination and cross-exam, opening and closing statements.

Would I recommend this book? Oh, yes. We have the privilege of seeing behind the scene police work. Their tenacious pursuit for justice to protect you and me, our loved ones, our neighborhoods, communities, and cities from predators like Daimon Monroe.


IMG_1665About Bradley Nickell:

Out of high school, Bradley Nickell spent almost four years in the United States Air Force, working on the super-secret SR-71 and U2 spy planes. In the last two years of his military service, Bradley also worked as a Reserve Police Officer in Marysville, California.

In 1992, Bradley joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and was promoted to detective in 1999. For the past sixteen years, Bradley has been assigned to the Repeat Offender Program, specializing in identifying, catching, and helping convict career criminals who prey on the citizens of Southern Nevada.

Although still a police detective, Bradley is a credentialed member of the press and has written several law enforcement-themed features for both American COP Magazine and POLICE Magazine.

Bradley has been interviewed on TruTV (formerly Court TV) as a subject matter expert and was a key speaker at the Fifth Annual LeadsOnline ® Law Enforcement Leadership Conference (2012).


What others have to say:

“This will be the ride-along of your life…Fasten your seat belts!” ~Anne Bremmer, attorney and television legal analyst

“If you like mayhem, madness, and suspense, Repeat Offender is the book to read. It’s a provocative journey into a world one rarely uncovers, with shocking twists and turns that will keep you riveted!” ~Aphrodite Jones, New York Times bestselling author

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One song can spark a moment,

One flower can wake the dream.

One tree can start a forest,

One bird can herald spring.


One smile begins a friendship,

One hand clasp lifts the soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea,

One word can frame the goal.


One vote can change a nation,

One sunbeam lights a room.

One candle wipes out darkness,

One laugh will conquer gloom.

                                                                                                                                     Author Unknown.  “One”

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“In Firefly Valley” Takes the Crown!


If you had a novel release any time in 2014, you’re invited to submit to Clash of the Titles’ Laurel Award.

SUBMISSION DATES: June 1-July 3, 2015

Novels participating in the Laurel are judged by their audience—readers who are well-versed in Christian fiction yet not a part of the CBA industry. The Laurel judges the first two chapters (or 3,500 words) of published novels. Any genre of Christian novel (30,000 words or more) is eligible, including indie.

Subscribers to our quarterly newsletter will be entered into a drawing to receive a refund of their $15.00 submission fee! Subscribe HERE. Learn more about the Laurel Awards HERE.


And now for our latest Clash winner…!
I know, technically Summer just started, but…

Thank you all for participating in our special May releases Clash of the Titles. We appreciate the efforts of all of our fans, and particularly our authors this month: 

Rachel JamesJennifer RodewaldHeather Day Gilbert, and Sarah Loudin Thomas


Some of the very encouraging words from our readers include:

–Love reading your books. Can’t put them down.

–Great looking reads. All new authors to me. So, looks like I have great TBR pile for the rest of the summer.

–Love all of Amanda Cabot’s books. I have Firefly Valley here ready to read.

–I love Heather Gilbert’s books. She writes in such a fresh and wonderful way, I feel I’m right there with her characters. I especially love Tess’s character!

–Sarah Loudin Thomas, I have loved both of your books! Keep ’em comin’!

–Trial by Twelve is a masterful suspense novel. I love that it is set in West Virginia and has a married couple as main characters. I hope there is a sequel! Bravo, Heather Gilbert!

–Blue Columbine is a favorite and can’t wait for more of Jen’s books to come out.

–Rachel James is an exciting new author of engaging historical characters.

And the champ of this clash is…

Amanda Cabot, In Firefly Valley


She’s lost her dream job—but has she found the man of her dreams?

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?

This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.

Buy the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble


My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who helped make In Firefly Valley the winner of this month’s Clash of the Titles. Your support means so much to me! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you’re the reason I write. Thank you for your belief in me and my writing.

I’ve been delighted with the response to this book. A number of you have told me you think it’s even better than the first of the Texas Crossroads stories, At Bluebonnet Lake. Since I hope that my writing improves with each book, hearing that has been the encouragement I need to work even harder on the next book.

I’ve also been pleased with the praise reviewers have given In Firefly Valley. RT BookReviews rated it a page turner and said, “Cabot’s heartfelt storytelling rings true as she addresses the pains of bitterness and resentment, as well as the hard fight to love again and forgive all hurts. …Charming secondary characters and the beautiful Texas Hill Country setting cap off a story that is a delight to read.”

Blogger Trudy Shiroma Koeffler had the following to say: “To say I have a new favorite author is an understatement! This book was absolutely fantastic on so many levels! First of all it brought deep spiritual truths into the story naturally and realistically. The love story was the sweetest one I’ve read in a long time, but it was not a predictable love story at all. It had twists and turns, and nail biting episodes that had me guessing till the end. I was impressed with the mature way love was displayed in this story on all fronts with the various characters. This book is not some fairytale romance but rather a tale of characters with real issues, fears, heartaches and hang-ups. The author deals with each issue in a detailed, emotionally healthy and spiritual rich way. The description of landscape, cabins, cooking and friendships will make you wish you could take a little trip to Dupree and visit Firefly Valley yourself!”

Thank you again for your support. I’m excited, overwhelmed and more pleased than I can ever say at having In Firefly Valley win this award. And, for those of you who’ve asked “what’s next?” the third of the Texas Crossroads books, On Lone Star Trail, will be released in February 2016. If you’d like to learn more about that and my other books, I invite you to sign up for my online newsletter. It’s simple: just send me an email. You’ll find the address on my web page. I look forward to hearing from you.

About Amanda: Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.

Visit her website and Facebook page Twitter  Blog

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What Floats Sally Chambers’ Boat? Oh, a Giveaway, too.

I AM SO DELIGHTED TO HAVE AS MY GUEST TODAY, DEBUT AUTHOR SALLY CHAMBERS, A LONGTIME (ONLINE) FRIEND. I was trying to remember when we first connected, but I think–correct me if I’m wrong, Sally–in 1995 through Sandy Brooks on AOL and her Christian Writers Fellowship International [CWFI] organization.

Anyway, I shot her some interview questions and she graciously answered them, though she said I make her work!. So sit back to learn more about Sally Chambers. Oh, we’ll talk about her debut book, The Stonekeepers, too. (See below for giveaway details.)

Sally Chambers 70 percent

So, Sally, let’s chat.

When people find out we’re writers, someone will inevitably say ‘I’ve always wanted to write a book’ or, ‘I’d like to write a book someday,’ and you’re probably no exception. What is/would be your response?

My blog title speaks to that! A year ago, I named it, Everyone Has a Story, because I believe everyone does. I think God has tucked the bud of a thought into our hearts that’s hungry to bloom—that each of us have stories to tell about a time/s in our lives we think others will enjoy hearing or profit from reading about. But! If you’re serious, learn the craft of writing well and since writing is a lonely business, join writing organizations and a critique group. Find someone who shares your passion and write your heart out! Literally.

Where is your favorite writing place?

On the southeast corner of the house, away from the living areas, there’s sunshiny, airy room that’s my haven. With large windows facing south and east, when the weather permits, they are wide open. I hear the water splashing from the small fountain in the front pond, hear the birds, and feel the breeze. The area is calm, peaceful, and conducive to putting words to work.

I’m always curious about other writer’s habits, quirks, and the like background music, or complete silence? Share some of yours.

I enjoy the serenity of silence or the sounds of nature – birds, wind through the trees, splashing water, in the background as I write. In reality though, the sounds of life happen. Like the air conditioning cycling on and off or my husband working on a noisy project or mowing the yard. And I can usually tune those out.

Do you snack when you write?

It’s probably a good thing I’m not much of a snacker, especially around my keyboard! It’s been blessed with a coffee bath (and I like honey in my coffee—a keyboard killer) as well as water and it somehow survived, so I’ve learned to head for the kitchen if I get thirsty or crave something chocolate.☺

Ooh, that must have been a sticky mess. How much of yourself goes into your characters?

I think my younger self was much like the main character in The Stonekeepers, Lexi. But, at eighteen, Lexi’s smarter, savvier, and a lot more gutsy. We’re both very loyal to our friends and family, our faith and growth as Christians is a work-in-progress, pray (still working on our trusting), and we do a lot of self-talk. Like Lexi, I’m still working on training my impulse gene. She’s impatient—it makes her crazy when her friends are late. I’m much more laid back. We share an innate curiosity about everything, love to research, and are pretty much perfectionists in many areas of our lives.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I’m fascinated with names and titles. They get prayed over and chosen with a lot of care. I comb through the baby-namer sites, listen for unusual names and look up their meanings, go through the Bible for names, and more. They have to fit and feel right to me and sometimes they get changed. Each part of the character’s name has significance to me.

What genres do you like to read?

Variety! I enjoy spiritual/inspirational fiction and nonfiction, techno-thriller, mystery, spy fiction, action-adventure, thriller-suspense, historical, and romance, many of the newer light inspirational romance novels.

And what are you reading right now?

I’m finishing Terri Tiffany’s debut novel, The Mulligan, and it’s good . . . nice twists, and has me emotionally involved. I’m also a quarter of the way through Baldacci’s King and Maxwell, but I’m able to put it down much too easily.

Let’s say you’re planning a writing retreat and there’s only space/room enough for four other authors. Who would they be, and why? Where would it be? Why there?

Well, since you didn’t hem me in with the caveat that they must all be living authors, I’ll invite, Catherine Marshall, Mark Twain, Anna Sewell, and Billy Graham. I’d invite these four because I’d like to learn why they were/are so beloved as writers. I’d invite them to be my guest for a week at the historic Baker House  1650 in the Hamptons. (Since expense is not an issue when the imagination is playing!) I opted for renting the entire Baker House because it has a reputation for having luxurious accommodations, lovely gardens, spacious, and access to nearby beaches. Amidst impeccable English gardens with sweeping lawns, is an elegant landscape with matured, natural beauty. We’d meet and walk beside vine-covered garden walls and a 200 year-old wisteria, that evokes the perfection of the English countryside.

Ah, that was my mistake. But I like your choices. What is your favorite food?

Parmesan crusted chicken or pepperoni-pineapple pizza

That sounds yummy, except the pineapple part. Fun question: If you’d been born into the animal kingdom instead of the human race, what would you be, and why?

A German shepherd trained to search and rescue. I’d be on call to go all over the world to search and rescue those lost. I’d be physically fit, smart, obedient, and agile!

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not family) who would it be, and, of course, why?

JK Rowling. why? Aside from doing so much good with her wealth and her volunteering, since her last book was published, she said openly that she was a Christian. I’d like to listen and learn how large a part her faith played as she wrote her books.

Okay, now let’s talk about your debut book. How did you come to write it?

The Stonekeepers Cover 2First, a name that leapt from the page of a magazine and sparked my imagination. Then ideas that caught fire as I mentored junior high school girls to help lower the school dropout numbers in my area. I’d been writing for children and the desire grew to write for the older girls—a novel, but nothing like what they were used to reading. Through story, I wanted them to get to know a girl a little older than they were, someone they could relate to, learn from, and look up to. But . . . someone who faced the things of life from a background of faith. A girl similar to the teenaged Christian girls I was teaching in a Sunday school class, who had plenty of problems, but chose to pray about them. Girls who read the Bible and learned from it, and who loved the Lord, all just as naturally as breathing.

Fascinating! What kind of research did you have to do?

Since I wanted my protagonist to face a variety of challenges, I threw mountains at Lexi to deal with, like suddenly secretive and overly protective parents, finding herself involved with something priceless, having her life threatened, and more. That meant every time I imagined and wrote about one of those challenges, I had to make sure it was believable. That took me into researching things like airline schedules, early 19th century door handles, paparazzi, night vision goggles, papyrus, the strength of gold, and the effects of ether, Israeli Intelligence and Special Operations, shaay,—endless and fascinating research.

What’s on the back cover (the ‘blurb’)?

For the past eighteen years, Lexi Christensen has been sheltered from the truth by a soft-cushioned life of normalcy, until the contents of an envelope link her to an ancient vow. All Lexi wants is to get out from between the vise grips of her suddenly protective parents, rescue an historic mansion before she leaves for college, and stop herself from falling in love with the man her best friend claims to love. But finding the envelope thrusts her into difficult and dangerous choices. Someone knows more about Lexi’s heritage than she does, wants what she’s found, and threatens her life to get it.

As her future twists into an incredible mission that propels her from her sand-ringed island home to a foreign mountaintop, Lexi is in a race against both time and danger. Her faith may be strong, but is God asking too much?

Great teaser. That’s usually the first thing I check when I’m looking for a new book to read.

How can readers find you on the Internet?


Sally is giving away one free paperback copy of The Stonekeepers to one of you readers. Sorry, Lower 48 States only. TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with your name and contact information, like this, zippity (at) doodah (dot) com, replacing the red words with your info. so we can notify you in case you win.

Giveaway ends at Midnight, Tuesday, July 7 Central Time. To make it fair, I require  a minimum of 5 (five) entries. So, if you want to win, tell your friends to enter. Hey, one chance out of five or more, is better than no chance at all. Right?

Winner will be determined through

Many thanks to Sally for sharing herself and her time with Whispers in Purple, and to YOU READERS who visit. Be sure to come back on July 15 for an interview with Sally’s character Lexi Christensen. 

God Bless!


Posted in Interviews, Whispers | 22 Comments