Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring into Love: Jenna Victoria's devotional about her book

At the Crossroads
A devotional written by Jenna Victoria, author of Love Among the Lilacs

In my latest release, Love Among the Lilacs, several characters encounter challenges that put them at a crossroads. Do they turn left, towards anger, resentment, and defeat? Do they turn right, towards hope, strength, and resilience–embracing the difficulties of life?

It says in Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

My heroine, Mollie Wright, needs to choose whether or not to forgive her stepbrother Bryce and mother Lucille for deep emotional wounds. Will she remain hopeful when circumstances point her towards being homeless again?

The hero, attorney Sean Grady, had his heart broken by his fiancé and younger brother, who left town together five years before. Professionally, he protects elderly clients from abuse and financial losses by ruthless relatives. He wears his mistrust of others like a shield. Will he forgive and forget or allow his heart to thicken into granite?

Bryce Wright is treading a dangerous path with his ‘gangsta’ friends. His latest theft pulls Mollie and Sean into a no-win situation. Will he repent and turn himself in?

We’ve all been there. Crossroads prompt us to choose the right path, or the wrong one. My own no-win situation occurred in May 2012, with a diagnosis of recurrent metastatic breast cancer. A mastectomy, radiation, lumpectomy, re-radiation and continual chemotherapy followed. I will be receiving chemo every 21 days until Jesus calls me home.

I could have chosen to blame God, to turn bitter and move away from Him. Instead, undergirded with strength from the Holy Spirit, claiming the truth in Joshua 1:9–I moved even closer to Him. At first, my confidence and faith was all “head knowledge.” I was like the father of the mute son in Mark 9:24: “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

Eventually, gradually, through consciously choosing that “right path” over and over - even when I didn’t feel a connection or felt my words were echoes in my empty room - my closeness with the Lord blossomed into a core heart knowledge. In time I experienced the truth and promise found in James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” 

Today, my head and my heart are in alignment, and at perfect peace, despite my circumstances.

The most brilliant of diamonds come into being only by intense pressure and high heat. Pastor Greg Laurie is quoted as saying, “Suffering does not create character, it reveals it.” 

May your own trials and crossroads reveal a heart willing to experience whatever is in store, remaining in faith and expectation of His provision.

In Him,

Jenna Victoria

*All Scripture in this devotional is quoted from the King James Version of The Holy Bible.

Author bio: 

Ever since her grandfather co-created Twinkies, Snowballs, and Hostess cupcakes for Intercontinental Baking Company, circa 1955, Jenna has yet to taste a cake she hasn't liked.

Jenna writes books for readers who enjoy sweet and compelling romances, and also for those who look for her “fiction that feeds your faith” titles. 

She writes happily-ever-after romance and romantic suspense stories with a Christian worldview. Her stories emulate those she enjoys reading, ones with a heroine who is in grave danger and a hero who is smart enough to get out of her way as she kicks butt and takes down names. Jenna also enjoys stories that feature satisfying fairy-tale-endings.

Jenna's clean romances won’t put you into a diabetic coma, and her faith-based romances aren’t preachy or unrealistic. It is her glad purpose to glorify God and His sacrificial love through His Son, Jesus Christ through books that illustrate hope and peace in unbearable situations. Her first triple negative breast cancer diagnosis in 2012 has led to surgeries, radiation, reoccurrences and incurable metastasis. Still, Jenna continues to praise God and trust His oversight in her life, and she continues to write more books.

Blurb for Jenna Victoria's book:
 Bookkeeper Mollie Wright knows about living on the streets, and her purchase of sweet Lilac Cottage is a dream come true. She is determined to stay and fight when a legal error puts her ownership at risk. 

Attorney Sean Grady never wanted his great-aunts to sell their cottage in Westchester County, New York, so when a paperwork snafu puts the deal on hold, he moves swiftly to evict the pretty, feisty squatter. 

Mollie finds unexpected allies in Grady Cove neighbors and a member of Sean's own family but knows the clock is ticking. 

Will a theft and her past secrets force a showdown to heartache, or will Mollie and Sean discover home is truly where your heart is? 

Buy Love Among the Lilacs on Amazon

Connect with Jenna Victoria:
Amazon Author Page -
Twitter -
Facebook -
Blog -
Book Review Blog -

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: SaveSave

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Litfuse blog tour: Chasing Famous

Book: Chasing Famous: Living the Life You’ve Always Auditioned for
Author: Lisa Lloyd
Review written by Alexis A. Goring

Actress Lisa Lloyd wrote this book. As an author, she shines.

Throughout this book, she bares her soul. She’s not afraid to be transparent because she knows from experience that God can use your true story to help someone. So she bravely puts her heart on the line from the start of this book to the end, with bold determination to tell her story in the most honest, raw and real way. As a reader, I think that her bravery is admirable and her story was impactful. Her words gave me hope and reminded me of God’s power to redeem.

Lisa’s storytelling style is engaging. I thought it was quite clever and fitting that as a seasoned actress, she chose to use terms from her industry as the titles for each chapter such as: “The Cast List,” “Method Acting”, “Projection”, “Encore”, “Find Your Light,” “The Go-See,” and “Wait for Your Cue.” Each chapter peels back another layer of Lisa’s experience and gives the reader insight into the world of Entertainment.

There are three sections in this book. Section One covers using your story to bring God glory. Section Two shows the reader how they can use their gifts for God’s purposes and Section Three teaches the reader how to live a life that makes God famous worldwide.

Lisa’s concept of looking at your life as an audition is catchy. She backs it up page by page as she reminds the reader that regardless of their station in life, they are a key witness for God. She taps into every reader’s inner self and touches on their need to feel accepted, affirmed and loved. She reminds the reader that God accepts you. He affirms you and adores you better than any human can.

In writing this book, Chasing Famous, Lisa achieves her goal of encouraging the reader to take the focus off of themselves, and refocus it onto the glory of God. She effectively teaches the reader how to turn the spotlight on God and make him famous to the world.

This book deserves a five-star rating and the author deserves an encore!

*Alexis A. Goring received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for an honest review.


About the book: Have you ever considered your life as an audition?

Regardless of who or where we are, we are constantly, often unconsciously, auditioning for a part. Loving wife. Amazing employee. Crafting queen. Socialite. All we really want is to be loved, affirmed, and accepted. What if we could learn to live the life we have always been auditioning for without all the stress?

Chasing Famous is a redemptive book that teaches us how to take the focus off ourselves and shift it back on to the glory of God. Written by a professional actress who readily admits that she is the most self-centered person she knows, Chasing Famous provides practical and sometimes humorous examples of scriptural truth that will help you master the natural self-centered tendencies of life. 

Once you've mastered these issues, and you can, your story will turn the spotlight on God where, you'll soon discover, what it means to truly live.

Learn more and purchase a copy here.

About the author:

Lisa is a speaker, emcee, actor, and writer. 

Since receiving her bachelor of fine arts in theater from Southern Methodist University, Lisa has been featured in many major performance mediums. 

Her television credits include What Would You Do?, Prison Break, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful. You may see her on television commercials, highway billboards, or TV screens at the local airport. She has performed with many theaters, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Montana Shakespeare, the Dallas Theater Center, and Casa Mañana Theater. 

She is a highly sought-after speaker at women's retreats, conferences, and events across the country. She and her husband Markus live in McKinney, Texas, and have two boys.

Here's the link to the Landing Page for this tour,

A Special Message from Litfuse Publicity Group:

Did you know you're constantly, often unconsciously, auditioning for a part? Learn how to master these issues and turn the spotlight on God with the help of Lisa Lloyd's new book, Chasing Famous. Chasing Famous is a redemptive book that teaches us how to take the focus off ourselves and shift it back on to the glory of God. Written by a professional actress who readily admits that she is the most self-centered person she knows, Chasing Famous provides practical and sometimes humorous examples of scriptural truth that will help you master the natural self-centered tendencies of life.

Discover what life really means when the focus is on God and enter to win Lisa's Spotlight on God Prize Pack!

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 28. The winner will be announced May 1 on the Litfuse blog.


Interview with Hope Andrews, heroine of "Hope's Design" (book)

Welcome my friend Dawn Kinzer to the blog today. She's written this lovely story called Hope's Design and wants to give YOU a FREE copy of it! Details on the book giveaway contest are toward the end of this blog post. 

But before you enter the book giveaway contest, take the time to read the blurb of Dawn's book and read my interview with the lead female character in Hope's Design. Her name is Hope. Isn't that perfect? 


Blurb for Hope's Design (book): In 1904, Hope Andrews, an aspiring fashion designer, struggles with leaving New York City. But with no job, her parents leaving the country, and an abusive ex-fiancé refusing to accept their broken engagement, Hope doesn’t have much choice but to give into her parents’ wishes that she move far away and live with her cousin indefinitely. 

Talented Benjamin Greene can’t deny his passion for painting, but guilt over a painful incident in his past keeps him from sharing his gift. Instead, he devotes much of his days to helping his younger sibling rebuild a farm inherited from a great-uncle. Only his brother is aware that Ben spends his spare time in a studio on their property.

In the small rural town of Riverton, Wisconsin, Hope and Ben can’t help but be thrown together. But as feelings for each other deepen, tension thickens over how talent should be used. Their mutual passion for art brings them together, but will it also drive them apart?

Character interview questions for Hope Andrews of Hope’s Design:

Alexis: Good day, Hope! How are you today? Are you ready for the interview?

Hope: Hello! It’s such a beautiful spring day, I feel inspired to take my sketch pad outside. But, first the interview. Yes, I’m ready!

Alexis: When the reader first meets you, you’re on a train. Where are you headed and why?

Hope: My journey took me to a small farming community in Wisconsin called Riverton. It’s quite a change from my life in New York City. But, my father left for several years to work on the Panama Canal with the Army Corp of Engineers, and my mother decided to go with him. She has a heart for the families who have joined their husbands and fathers there, and she wants to serve wherever she can. I was planning on marrying Henry Shelton, a prominent lawyer, but when I realized he was controlling and abusive, I broke off the engagement. Unfortunately, he didn’t take it well. My parents have been concerned about my safety while they’re out of the country, and they asked me to stay with my cousin in Riverton.

Alexis: One of the first things we find out about you in Chapter One is that you’re ambitious and want more than marriage and children. You want a career, preferably in fashion design. How did you feel about your friends who were all married in their 20s and bore children, not being able to understand your ambitions?

Hope: I truly support their desires to be wives and mothers. It’s certainly something I want for myself, but I also feel that God wants me to use whatever creative talent he’s given me. It saddens me when friends can’t understand my need for more. Besides finding a way to feed that creative part of me, I’ve always had an independent nature. I believe if I can find a way to financially take care of myself, a marriage will feel more like a partnership. 

Alexis: Why is it your dream to be a fashion designer?

Hope: I’ve always found great joy in drawing and painting since I was a young child. But, my art teachers wanted me to paint like the great artists. It just wasn’t in me. I slowly realized that I could look at a woman’s shape and see how a style might suit her. It all came together for me one day when I helped two neighbors. One girl was quite thin and the other was . . . well, heavier looking. Neither thought themselves pretty, and they’d become reclusive. They were so delighted with what I created—dresses that flattered their shapes—that I knew then what I was supposed to do with my life. Design clothes that helped women feel pretty on the outside so they could feel confident enough to show how beautiful they are inside.

Alexis: I’m sorry to hear that your ex-fiance was abusive toward you. How did you get the courage to end your engagement? Now that you’ve left him behind, what are you moving forward to?

Hope: I credit my parents for giving me the strength to leave that relationship. Although they didn’t know about the abuse until after I’d broken off the engagement, they’d instilled in me a sense of worth and the right to be respected. Leaving Henry has given me the freedom to focus on my own dreams—something he never supported.

Alexis: Who was your closest confidant when you were trying to heal from your abusive relationship? Why did you choose to confide in this person, and how did they help you?

Hope: After my parents, I told my closest friend, Charlotte Ransom, about Henry’s hurtful behaviors. At first, I was embarrassed by the fact that I was taken in by his charm and then had allowed the abuse to go on for as long as I had. My friends thought he was quite a catch. After all, he’s a handsome lawyer with a prestigious firm, and he’s quite popular in high society. I confided in Charlotte so she would understand why I left that relationship and why my location needed to be kept a secret from him. Of course I confided in my cousin, Annie, in Riverton. Both women helped me by being loving and understanding—and believing me.

Alexis: How did your abusive relationship with your ex-fiance affect your mind and heart? Did it hold you back when you first met the swoon-worthy hero of this story, Benjamin Greene?

Hope: After being in a bad relationship, I think it’s difficult for most women to trust men again. Although attracted to Ben, I was also guarded. It wasn’t easy for me to open my heart to him.

Alexis: What is it about Benjamin that draws you to him? Is there anything about him that you do not like?

Hope: From the moment we met, his gorgeous blue eyes mesmerized me. Ben is quiet, but when he speaks, what he relays has meaning. He’s introspective, and he feels deeply. As a Christian woman, it’s attractive to see a man who embraces his faith, but who also struggles with it. To me, it shows that he wants to learn and grow—and be in relationship with his Lord. Ben’s artistic ability draws me to him. His paintings are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen, and they touch my heart in ways that’s difficult to explain.

As for what I don’t like . . . It frustrates me when he has a hard time believing in his great talent, and it makes me crazy when he’s tempted to hide his artistic gift from the world.

Alexis: Benjamin loves painting and you love drawing. They say that it’s not a good idea for two artists to be romantically involved with each other. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

Hope: There are definitely pros and cons. Sometimes only an artist is able to understand the mind and heart of another artist. On the other hand, artistic people are also sensitive, and it can be difficult to hear and accept constructive criticism from someone who thinks they know better. People involved in a romantic relationship or a friendship also have to be careful about not getting too competitive. Because Ben and I focus our talents in different areas, we may find it easier to be supportive of each other than if we were both painters or designers.

Alexis: As a reader, I inferred that Benjamin is a family man who loves helping people in need. When you first learned that he spent much of his time helping his younger sibling rebuild a farm that was an inheritance from a great-uncle, how did you feel? Why?

Hope: The fact that Ben was so loyal to his family and friends warmed my heart. It also showed me how self-sacrificing he could be for someone he cared about. I can respect and love a man like that.

Alexis: The small rural town of Riverton, Wisconsin, is the setting for your story. What do you love about that town? Is there anything you do not like about it? Explain.

Hope: Riverton is a peaceful, pretty town, with a wonderful community spirit. At times, it’s been surprising to see how caring the farmers and townspeople are and how they rally support when someone needs help. However, it’s difficult getting used to having much of your life exposed. Maybe it’s not true, but sometimes it feels like everyone in town seems to know what’s going on in other households. You can’t hide in a crowd like you can in a large city. 

Alexis: As a woman of faith, how does your belief in God affect your life story as you endeavor to follow your dreams?

Hope: It’s so important to me that I use my talents to serve God. I think we’re accountable to use our gifts and not waste them. Even though my desire is to create beautiful clothing designs, I strive to seek God’s design for my life. Because I believe I’m on the right path, I try not to let failure discourage me to the point of quitting. Instead, I try to trust God’s timing, and I keep working at getting better at my craft so I’ll be ready when the door to opportunity opens.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Hope! God bless you.

Hope: Thank you for having me as your guest!

Author Bio: 

Dawn Kinzer writes fiction because she believes in the power of story to comfort, challenge, and inspire. 

Her work has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends (magazine), The One Year Life Verse Devotional, A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love, and featured on the radio ministry, "The Heartbeat of the Home". 

Dawn’s historical romance series, The Daughters of Riverton, takes place in the early 1900s. The setting and some of the characters were inspired by her rural Wisconsin hometown. Sarah’s Smile is the first story in the series, and Hope’s Design is the second. A third novel, Rebecca’s Song, will be released in 2017.

A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things that she loves include dark chocolate, cinnamon, popcorn, strong coffee, good wine, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre. 

Buy Dawn's book:
Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Paperback:
Barnes & Noble – Paperback:
Books-A-Million – Paperback:

Connect with Dawn:
Website -
Blog -
Goodreads -
Facebook -
Pinterest -
Instagram -
Amazon Author Page -

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 24, 2017

Litfuse Publicity Group's blog tour stop for "Unsinkable Faith" (book)

Let's welcome the famous Tracie Miles to the blog today! She's written this beautiful book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live.

She's been on tour all month (April 2017) with Litfuse Publicity Group, stopping by a different blog each day to tell people about her new book. Today, she's stopping by my blog!

I hope that you will learn more about this wonderful author and enter the giveaway contest (details are toward the end of this blog post) for your chance to win cool treats from Tracie!

God bless you!

Book: Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live 

Author: Tracie Miles

Book Reviewer: Alexis A. Goring

The Review: Whenever I read a new book, I make marks with my ink pen on its pages. I mark the words, phrases, quotes and anecdotes that stand out to me. Often, I’ll underline entire passages and I’ll circle the page number for the section that I highlighted so that I can easily find it and refer to it in the future. The more marks I make in a book show how much the author’s message impacted me.

Unsinkable Faith is an unforgettable book that was skillfully written by Tracie Miles. I marked nearly every page from the start to finish.

As an author, Miles knows how to captivate her reader’s attention and take them on a journey that ends in a satisfying destination. She knows her target audience and she’s not afraid to speak to them directly by sharing scenes from the struggles in her own life story.

In this book, Miles wears her heart on her sleeve as she details her heartbreak caused by with divorce and describes her battle against negative thinking. She’s openly honest. The reader can infer that she believes that her transparency and straightforward talk will help to heal hearts.

Miles opens the door for readers to get a front seat view of the silent battle she’s faced against negative thinking. But she doesn’t just open her heart up, she shows readers solutions in Bible-based strategies that they can use defeat the enemy and overcome negative thinking.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, she’s passionate about sharing her faith in God on the pages of this book. It’s clear to the reader that through years of practice and pressing forward, she’s learned how to take her thoughts captive and allow God to transform her mind. Romans 12:1-2 is a key text that is referenced in this book. Look it up. It will breathe life into your soul.

Life is hard. But it’s not impossible to win at life. They say if you change your mind, you’ll change your life. In this book, Miles does more than support the cause for positive thinking, she shows how the reader how they too can achieve unsinkable faith.

As a reader who has struggled with overcoming negative thinking, I found this book to be very inspiring and encouraging. The author’s storytelling style in this nonfiction narrative is fluid and carries the ability to touch your heart. I love how the author kept God in the center of the story and showed me how I can overcome anything—negative thinking included—with His help.

Miles encourages the reader to get into God’s Word and rise above the challenges in the battlefield of their minds by applying Biblical principles and utilizing God-given tools to win the battle against spiritual warfare. She shows the reader that when your heart is anchored in God, you will not sink. No matter how strong the storms of life rage around you, you are safe in His arms. She proves that in her words, “When we change the way we think, we can change the way we feel and live, even if our circumstances remain the same. Intentionally embracing the opportunity to experience a transformed heart and a renewed mind opens the door for a changed life because a positive mind will always lead to a more positive life.”

Women all over the world should read this book. It’s so encouraging and contains a message that has the capacity to help you change your thinking and in turn, improve your life story as you journey through this imperfect world.

The message in Unsinkable Faith will bring joy to your heart. It will enrich your life, if you are persistent in applying the Bible-based words of wisdom. Miles is now one of my favorite authors. I look forward to reading more books by her that encourage and inspire!

*Alexis A. Goring received a complimentary copy of "Unsinkable Faith" from Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for an honest review. 

About the book:  For many people, remaining optimistic and feeling positive about themselves and their lives is a constant battle - especially when circumstances are difficult and life is hard.

For others, negativity is something that only sneaks up from time to time, yet still wreaks havoc in their hearts. Regardless of the root causes, once pessimistic thoughts permeate our minds, our feelings and emotions begin to control us instead of us controlling them. 

Eventually it doesn't seem possible to stay positive, happy, and full of joy, and negative thought patterns shake our faith, causing us to sink emotionally, mentally, and spiritually over time. But it doesn't have to be that way. Despite what storms roll in, hearts anchored in God don't sink. When we change the way we think, we can change the way we feel and live, even if our circumstances remain the same. Intentionally embracing the opportunity to experience a transformed heart and a renewed mind opens the door for a changed life, because a positive mind will always lead to a more positive life.

In Unsinkable Faith, author and Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Tracie Miles offers hope for women who struggle with negativity. Each chapter explores Tracie's and other women's personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. 

Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life. This book will equip you to:

-Replace pessimism with positive thinking by becoming the captain of your thoughts;

-Learn how true joy and happiness are based on choice, not circumstances;

-Overcome unhealthy habits of negative thinking by intentionally implementing three easy mind-renewing steps;

-Stop feeling hopeless and pitiful, and start feeling hope-filled and powerful instead; and

-Discover that when you change the way you think, you change the way feel, and in turn you can change your life completely.

About the author: 
Tracie Miles is a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries and a bestselling author who's spent the last twelve years inspiring women to become who God called them to be. 

She's the author of "Your Life Still Counts" and "Stressed-Less Living," and a contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotions.

Find out more about Tracie by selecting this link.

A Special Message from Litfuse Publicity Group: Tracie Miles' "Unsinkable Faith" Prize Pack Giveaway

Have negative thought patterns overtaken your life and shaken your faith? Learn how to anchor your heart in God despite what storms roll in in Tracie Miles' new book, Unsinkable Faith. Each chapter explores Tracie's and other women's personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life.

Join Tracie and other readers on April 25th for a fun Facebook Live event and the Anchored in Faith Prize Pack Giveaway (details below)!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 25. The winner will be announced at the Unsinkable Faith Facebook Live event. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and others searching for unsinkable faith, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word! Tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 25th!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spring into Love: Donna Schlachter's story about The Pony Express

Interview with Donna Schlachter, author of “Echoes of the Heart”:

Alexis: Tell me about The Pony Express Romance Collection. What is it about? How did you become one of the authors for this story collection?

Donna: This is a 9-in-1 novella collection from Barbour Books centered on the Pony Express, which ran from April 1860 through November 1861. The Pony Express already seems to be a romantic snippet of Americana, and so it seemed to make sense to write a collection of historical romance set on the trail. My story, “Echoes of the Heart”, features a mail order bride responding under an assumed name, a crippled station master who thinks no woman will want him, and their search for a future—together or separately.

I met up with Mary Davis at a writers’ conference a few years ago, and asked her what she was working on. She told me about a Pony Express proposal she was putting together. I said, “I’d like to do something like that”. She said she had her authors, but would contact me if anything came up. I did some research, visited a few stations within a day’s travel, and about a month later, she emailed and said one of the authors had to drop out and was I still interested. I sure was!

Alexis: What inspired you to write your story in the collection, “Echoes of the Heart”?

Donna: The process I described above sounds easy, but in reality, the project was out for consideration for a long time. I’d given up on it, actually, but I loved my original story, so I went ahead and turned it into a full-length novel. When we got the approval for the proposal, I had to come up with another idea and move the story to another station since the new 9-in-1 had the stories take place at different stations. I’d had this idea in my head, although not originally set at a Pony Express station, so the transition was easy.

Alexis: Let’s talk about the heroine of your story, Catherine Malloy. What is she running from? Why is she running? What does she fear? What are her greatest hopes and dreams?

Donna: Catherine is running from an employer who made indecent advances toward her. She was raised in a loving family, but basically sold out when her parents died and a crooked uncle became her guardian. Her best friend, Maggie, saw an advertisement for a mail order bride, answered the advertisement, and was going to travel west when she died. Catherine, wanting to escape her situation, decided to pretend she was Maggie. She doesn’t want to get found out and sent back, and longs to have a husband and family—a marriage like her parents had.

Alexis: What makes Catherine answer a personal ad in a magazine? Would you say this is the inciting incident in her journey? Why or why not?

Donna: Catherine didn’t answer the ad, but she wrote the letters because Maggie was illiterate. During the writing, she began to have feelings for the man Maggie became engaged to. The inciting incident is the indecent advances and expectations of her employer. She is stuck—she cannot stay, and she has nowhere to go. When Maggie dies suddenly, this seems like her way out.

Alexis: Why does Catherine believe that the God who her parents believed in abandoned her?

Donna: Like many people, Catherine had only a surface relationship with God. She was living on the faith of her parents. When her parents fell ill, she prayed for God to heal them, and when He didn’t, she felt He had abandoned her.

Alexis: Benjamin Troudt is the hero of your story. Describe his looks, personality, strengths and character flaws.

Donna: Benjamin has brown hair and eyes, a cleft chin and strong jaws. He also has a pronounced limp because he was thrown from a horse when he was trying to qualify to ride for the Pony Express.

Alexis: Why is Benjamin resistant to romantic love and how does his faith in God help him?

Donna: Benjamin had big dreams of making enough money to buy his own place while he worked for the Pony Express as a rider. However, when he is injured then offered the job as station master, then his employment is tenuous because he is illiterate and he can’t keep up with the work, plus he has a pronounced limp, he doesn’t think any woman will want him. With all the bad luck heaped on him, he is certain God doesn’t hear his prayers.

Alexis: What does Benjamin like about Catherine? Is there anything about her that he dislikes?

Donna: Benjamin has no idea Maggie/Catherine is coming, because he didn’t place the ad. Once he gets her to stay, he appreciates her feminine touch and the fact that she is a good cook, but he doesn’t want to get too close because he knows she will leave. 

Alexis: How does Catherine feel when she first meets Benjamin? Is it good or bad? Why? 

Donna: Catherine is confused about why a man would advertise for a mail order bride and then not want her. He must see something lacking in her. She won’t stay where she’s not wanted. But she agrees to stay to help out the woman in labor. She doesn’t want to get too close to him because she knows he’ll send her away as soon as the woman is well enough to travel.

Alexis: What is the moral of this story?

Donna:  That God is bigger than our past if we’ll only surrender to Him.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Donna! God bless you.


Author bio:

Donna Schlachter lives in Denver with husband Patrick who is her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. 

She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. 

Her current release, "Echoes of the Heart", a story within the 9-in-1 novella collection titled "Pony Express Romance Collection", released April 1. 

Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. 

Donna loves history and research and travels extensively for both.

Blurb for “Echoes of the Heart” and The Pony Express Romance Collection: 

This is a 9-in-1 novella collection from Barbour Books centered on the Pony Express, which ran from April 1860 through November 1861. The Pony Express already seems to be a romantic snippet of Americana, and so it seemed to make sense to write a collection of historical romance set on the trail. My story, Echoes of the Heart, features a mail order bride responding under an assumed name, a crippled station master who thinks no woman will want him, and their search for a future—together or separately.

Buy Donna’s story “Echoes of the Heart”:

Connect with Donna:
Blog -
Website -
Facebook -
Twitter -
Amazon Author Page -

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thankful Thursday: A God Who Calls Us to Be Still

It’s Thursday and I’m thankful for a God who calls us to be still.

Growing up, a classic song that often played on my favorite Christian radio station at that time was “Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman.

I never knew what that song meant until I grew up. The lyrics to this song are based on a Bible verse. Psalm 46:10 reads: He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

But what does God mean when He tells us to “be still” and “know that He is God”? As I was driving one day earlier this week, this thought came to me and I realized several real-life scenarios in which God calls us to be still.

Here’s a short list (because the scenarios are boundless):

For Mothers of young children: When your babies are turning your house into chaos with activity, noise, and wailing, God calls you “be still” even if it’s just for a moment and “know that He is God”. In your situation, that means that He will bring peace and order to your household. Remember, Jesus loves the little children and beckons them to come to Him. He gave you those kids because He loves you and trusts you will raise them well. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you are tempted to think that because of the chaos, you are failing as a mother. God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, He expects you to be faithful to Him and He’ll take care of all the details. So by taking a moment to be still, breathe and remember He is in control, you are recognizing that He is God and He knows what He’s doing even when you feel that you don’t. He will help you and bless your efforts to be a faithful servant of His and a good mother to your kids.

For students in school: Assignments and tests given to you by your teachers can be stressful, especially when you’re struggling with learning the content. So for you, being still and knowing that God is God means that you’re taking a moment out of your rigorous life as a student to turn to God and ask Him for guidance. The very act of being still and acknowledging God, even if it’s just for a moment, should bring you peace and a better perspective on your situation. The Bible says to ask God for wisdom and He’ll give it to you. God created your brain. He’s perfectly capable of helping your brain master the content of what you’re studying. He can bless you with understanding and help you get good grades. If you have a tough teacher, God can soften your teacher’s heart and inspire them to grade a challenging test “on the curve” or make it so that they become a more effective teacher that helps every student—struggling or not—understand the content and ace every test. When you’re a student and you’re taking all of those classes, trying to get a good education because your parents said it is the key to your future, being still and knowing that God is God will help calm your nerves. God’s got this! Believe it.

For professionals working in careers: Congratulations on getting and keeping a job! Maybe you’re working your dream job or maybe you’re transitioning from another career. Maybe you love your work or you strongly dislike it. Either way, there is great value in taking  time to be still and know that God is God. Start your mornings with prayer and devotional time with God. My pastor always says that “Mornings are better when you talk with God first.” Christian leaders say that “Prayer is the most important conversation of the day.” Why? Because when you talk to God first—not reaching for your phone to check messages and reply to texts, or engage in any other activity before spending time with your Creator—and you ask Him for guidance throughout your day, you will experience His peace and sense His presence. You will be calm when dealing with a difficult boss, employee or client. You will be peaceful when your colleagues are stressed about deadlines. People will notice your peace and inquire why there’s something different about you and then my friend, God’s given you a chance to witness for Him!

Those are just three key examples that I believe a lot of people in those situations can relate to in real-life. But when it comes to situations in my own life, let me tell you what it means for me to “be still” and “know” that God is God…When I’m stressed or worried, I take a moment to be still, breathe and acknowledge that God is God. He is Lord over all! He is in control, not people. When I recognize His Lordship over my life, it creates a sense of peace in my mind and calms my heart. I put my faith and trust in Him because He is Good and His plan for my life is perfect (Jeremiah 29:11). So I know that when I’m bothered by the troubles of the world and struggling in my personal life, all I need to do is send my problems up to Him in prayer then leave it at His throne and trust Him to work all things together for my good (Romans 8:28). Someone once said that when you have “F.A.I.T.H.”, it means that you are “Forwarding All Issues to Heaven.” It’s an acronym. Get it?

I take solace in the fact that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and since He lives in the heart of believers (in God), I can trust Him to give me peace. But His peace is not just for me; it’s for everyone He sends my way. See, being still and knowing that God is God doesn’t just help you, it helps everyone because like it or not, we are all connected and affected by each other. So when you’re peaceful in the midst of chaos, people are going to marvel and wonder why. They may even be bold enough to ask you and then again, you have a chance to share your faith in the One who is Lord over all.

Sharing your faith in God with words of love (Ephesians 4:15) instead of shoving the gospel truth down someone’s throat (metaphorically speaking) attracts people to God and encourages their heart when they see how much He loves them.

I know that when I take the time to reflect on all God has done for me and I read in the Bible how God is good and He will never change, I am encouraged and inspired to live my life for His glory. His goodness and love for humankind, at times renders me speechless. My heart overflows with joy to know that God is my Father (and yours too). The lyrics to this song “Be Still and Know” encourage me to go to God for rest and embrace His heart of love that beats so strongly for His children. 

Knowing that God is God and just taking a moment every day to be still and remember that truth will change your life!

So there you have it, that’s why I am thankful this Thursday!

In closing, I’d like for you to listen to the song.

God bless your hearts!



Sunday, April 16, 2017

What Easter Sunday means for you

What does Easter Sunday mean for you?

It means that if you believe in God and accept Jesus Christ as your Risen Lord and Savior then you have the HOPE of gaining eternal life when your time on Earth is over and Jesus Christ returns to take His people home to Heaven.

I think that this Biblical truth is best described in this song "Forever" by Kari Jobe.

Enjoy this song and know that there is a God who loves YOU with ALL of His divine heart! :)

A beautiful testimony from music recording artist Lacey Sturm

Spring into Love: Safe Harbor by Kristen Terrette

Let's welcome Kristen Terrette to the blog today! She's here to share an excerpt from her novel, Safe Harbor. She's also giving away a copy of her book to one lucky winner! Details for the book giveaway contest are toward the end of this blog post. Enjoy! 

Book blurb for Safe HarborEva Elliott is left with a jaded heart after the death of her boyfriend while she was pregnant. She pushed away the idea of God and love, focusing solely on her daughter, Willow. She accepts an offer from her mom to move to Moanna Island, off the coast of Georgia. She hopes the move will help her tuck away the guilt for the role she thinks she played in her boyfriend’s death. 

Thad Smith is the local youth mentor and football coach, who’s finally recovered from his fall from grace when his NFL career ended. The day Eva arrives, Thad saves her daughter from drowning in the ocean the day, instantly connecting the pair. Eva stubbornly fights the stirring in her heart the moment Thad smiles, but since Thad coaches the football team where Eva teaches, and lives down the street, God continues to intertwine their lives. Eva will not agree to a date, so Thad uses his adventurous spirit to his advantage.

She doesn’t expect Thad’s ex to throw a kink in the fragile plan, nor for Thad’s relationship with God to convict her own shame and brokenness. Just when she opens the door to God, finally ready to make things right, an accident occurs that could leave Willow an orphan and Thad all alone again.

Book Review:
Inspiring - a great read!, February 4, 2017
By Vanessa Trainor
This review is from: Safe Harbor (Moanna Island Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

"From heartbreaking to heartwarming, this book takes you along Eva's wavering journey to discovering love, learning forgiveness and ultimately finding her way back to God again. An inspirational read that really allows you to connect with the characters! I look forward to this author's next book!"

Chapter One excerpt from the book, Safe Harbor:



The gurgling, panicked voice snapped me out of my stare on the horizon. I spun around to see a flash of tanned skin and muscles dive into the water after Willow.

“Willow!” I screamed as I took off into the water. I dove for her, but she was too far, and in between my strokes and pulls, I watched my baby roll and tumble, unable to gain her footing.

“Willow!” I screamed though the water hitting my face muffled the sound as I kicked harder, my adult body having to fight hard against the waves.

I will not lose anyone else!

In between the crashing waves, my vision cleared long enough to see the man snatch her up in his arms. I planted my feet as he gained his balance, stood up and hugged her to his chest.

“Baby! Is she alive?!” He rushed to shore, his giant frame unmoved by the powerful tugs and pulls of the ocean as I chased after him, horrified, terrified, and scrambling. When he was out of the reach of the waves, he laid her down and I heard her cough.

My knees hit the sand. “Willow! Are you breathing?!”

The guy sat back to give her some room, and I got down to her face. She tried to talk, but couldn’t through her coughing.

“Turn on your side so you can breathe better.” The guy pushed on her shoulders, prompting her to roll over. “That’s it. Take a deep, solid breath, and try to let it out slowly.”

His husky voice settled over us, and I found myself doing what he was telling Willow to do.

Willow recovered some, and locked her beautiful blue eyes on me. “Yeah, Mama,” she said softly, though a sob that was beginning to take over, “I’m…I’m breathing.”

She started coughing again, though this time it didn’t have so much force behind it. I pulled her to me and she gripped me tight around the neck. “Oh, Willow, my goodness, you scared me to death!” I closed my eyes attempting to ward off the tears, though it was useless. The utter vastness of the ocean had always unnerved me, and now my very worst fear had almost come true in it. I took a deep breath to compose myself. “I’m sorry honey. I didn’t mean to sound so mad. I was just scared, really scared. But I’m not mad at you, okay?”

She nodded into my neck. I looked up and locked eyes with Willow’s savior. His relief shown by the happy grin he wore. Through my range of emotions—panic, relief, and even anger—I now had to add giddy as his smile shot through my heart like an arrow.

“You know, I didn’t want us meet like this.” He laughed when I knitted my brow. “Never mind.” He was still showing off his killer smile and now I noticed he had a rather country accent. It didn’t seem to fit this dark tanned, completely drool-worthy man who looked like he was from Hawaii. He stood and reached to help us stand.

I took his hand, gripping Willow tight with the other, as he heaved us up. I realized just how tall he was as his frame hovered over my head, and I had to look up cause my eyes stared right at his chest. “Th…th…thank you,” I rambled. “I’m not sure how I could ever properly say thank you for…” I squeezed Willow, now resting on my hip, “for rescuing my girl.”

“Well, you just did. And don’t worry about it. I take any excuse to get wet.” He laughed and ran his fingers through his shoulder-length, almost black, wavy hair.

“We were not planning to get wet.” I held out my free hand to refer to our clothes, dripping with ocean water.

“Oh, that’s not your bathing suit?” He cocked his head and looked at Willow.

She giggled. “No, my bathing suit is hot pink with ruffles.”

He looked at me. “Are you and your husband new to the island?”

“Uh, no husband.” I stuck my hand out to him to cover the flush on my face. I always dodged that question. Being an unwed mother brought sadness, shame, and embarrassment. “I’m Eva by the way, and this is my daughter Willow.”

What is it about this guy that makes me nervous? Oh wait, maybe it’s the muscles and the four tattoos I’ve already noticed on his six-foot-something-really-tall frame.

No, even as those thoughts left my brain I knew they weren’t true.

“I’m Thad.” He shook my hand, but lingered a moment before letting go. The heat from his hand lit more than just my fingers. He had this easy way about him, this peacefulness that dripped off him and made its way into your soul.

Uh, what’s happening?

Author bio: Kristen Terrette has been an avid reader since childhood, a self-confessed book nerd, and always had characters running through her mind- ones she made up. She went back to school years ago to obtain a Master's degree in Theological Studies because she felt God's tug towards ministry, but she didn't know then what God had in mind.

After five years on staff at her church, she followed God's leading to a different kind of ministry: one with words, love, pain, and real-to-life characters. She now stays at home during the day while the house is quiet writing stories she hopes will bring readers to a stronger understanding of how God works and His love for sinners like us. 

She always has contemporary romance characters and plots running through her mind and considers romance her first love...but she has a few amazing literary fiction novels up her sleeve as well. Both genres fight for time occupying her mind.

Buy Kristen's book on Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

Connect with Kristen:
Facebook -
Twitter -
Pinterest -

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway