Surrender to Peace, by Rose Allen McCauley

website-photos-002-640x427I am honored to welcome to my blog, Rose Allen McCauley, a fellow Kentuckian and Christian writer, who has just released her novel, Surrender to Peace.

Rose McCauley has been writing for over ten years and was first published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals which are listed on her website/blog at www.rosemccauley.com . A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over four decades, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and grandmother to five lovely, lively kids! Although Rose grew up in the largest city in Kentucky, she has lived on a farm of almost four hundred acres for the past forty-two years, and last month moved to a small town in Kentucky. She loves to read and write small town stories. If you have a small town story you’d like to share, please stop by her website and leave a comment. She would love to hear from you. You can also reach her on twitter @RoseAMcCauley and Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1LrXNoS

In the Spotlight

Betty: Rose, you’ve written a beautiful, inspiring story. Where did you get the idea?

Rose: After brainstorming with some friends, one of them mentioned she was born in Puerto Rico, another said she grew up there as a child while her dad was stationed there in the service, and the third one said she’d enjoyed her stop there on a cruise. I said if I wrote a book set there I would have to visit! So, we decided to each write a story set in Puerto Rico. Although they didn’t work out as a series, that discussion is what gave me the original idea. And I did visit the Island after I had written most of the book, to make sure I got the details correct. I had to make a few changes when I saw certain places in person! One restaurant advertised as being on the waterfront had a small view of the water a block away!

Betty: Please tell us about your main character.

Rose: Joy Worth is a travel agent who had often set up lodging etc. for her clients, but had never visited Puerto Rico herself. When she gets engaged she decides to go there, but her fiancé breaks the engagement, and she ends up going on a honeymoon-for-one!

Betty: What is her most intriguing or interesting characteristic?

Rose: Her mom died when Joy was 10, and her dad is a loner, so she is very independent.

Betty: Can you give us a sort of “snapshot” (brief description) of the young man she meets in Puerto Rico?

Rose: Benigno Cook considers himself 100% Puerto Rican although his father was an American who left Ben and his mom when Ben was only two. He is a strong Christian and very kind and dependable, just the kind of man Joy always wanted! But now, she is afraid to trust him and to trust her own discernment, after the mess she made with her first engagement.

Betty: Okay, I have to ask, did you do all the things your character did in the book? Are you the adventurer, or do you live these adventures through your characters?

Rose: I do some of both. My husband and I were only in Puerto Rico for 4 days, but we did go to both forts, and took the hike to La Mina Falls in El Yunque National Rainforest, We also ate at several places on the Flavors of San Juan tour. We did not have time to do the zip lining in Puerto Rico, but we had done that in Costa Rica a few years ago, so I used that experience to write that scene which one of my critique partners told me was very realistic. Hope you thought so too. My husband and I also walked the Promenade de la Princessa and saw the Raices fountain and other sites and took pictures, of course. A beautiful country, with very friendly people.

Betty: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about this story?

Rose: The spiritual message. Like most books I write, Joy learned a lesson God has been impressing on me—to be still in His Presence and learn to hear and discern His voice. Hope my readers take that away, too, and that if we are following Him, He can work things out much better than we could have asked or imagined! To Him be the glory! (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Betty: I love that. As a Christian, I am very aware God often uses the circumstances, the results of our personal choices to teach us and draw us back into His perfect will for our lives. Now, what’s up next for you?

Rose: I recently was asked to join a Christmas boxed set with six other authors set to come out in November—working title Joy to the World, but that may change. Then the day after I returned from Puerto Rico, my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, called with the great news that my novella idea I had submitted many months ago had been contracted by Barbour Publishing to be part of their Courageous Brides collection. That is the story I am working on right now, as it is due by December 1st, and will be out next July, 2016! I’m very excited about the story as the heroine is named for my granddaughter who lives in a pre-Civil War home in Cynthiana, just like in the story! I hope I can tell your readers about it next year! Thanks so much for having me, Betty. I always enjoy our visits, whether they are in person or cyber-visits! God’s blessings on you and your readers!

And you and your readers are the first to know that I am starting a new weekly blog day today—Tuesday’s Travelogues. For the next few weeks I will be blogging about photos I took in Puerto Rico to help my readers enjoy the reading experience even more! Please stop by and let me know if you enjoy them. And I have many more countries I have visited that I will be featuring if the interest is great enough! www.rosemccauley.com

Betty: Thanks so much, Rose. It’s always a pleasure to talk with you. I’m excited about your newest release and wish you continued success!

Surrender to Peace - minus logo (2)Surrender to Peace – Now Available!

Joy Worth arrives in Puerto Rico on her honeymoon trip–without her ex-fiancé. On a tour, she meets Park Ranger Benigno Arroyo.

On several more outings, he shows her the joy of living through the beauty of his beloved island. She begins to hear God’s voice again.

Joy so loves the island she decides to stay. Benigno falls in love with Joy but realizes her pain is still fresh. Joy loves him but doubts her judgment.

On a hike, Joy falls and is knocked unconscious. At her bedside, thinking she is still unconscious, Benigno proposes. Opening her eyes, she accepts. They make plans to marry on an island cruise a month later.


Buy Link at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1fsTxcG

More books by Rose Allen McCauley: Christmas Belles of Georgia and Christmas Grace (both available in print and in e-book).

Gibson County Tennessee

Gibson County, Tennessee is the location I chose for the Kinsman Redeemer series. Annabelle’s Ruth, the first book in that series, takes place almost entirely in Gibson County–specifically–Trenton, Tennessee. Trenton is the county seat and one of the three main towns in Gibson County.

11666289_10205133027745183_2390596382820159736_nI recently returned from a trip to the area. This photo shows the house my family rented in Trenton (a number of years ago–not telling how many years). Guess what? It’s still a rental! There was a “For Rent” sign in the yard. The weeping willow tree I used to climb is gone, and the green color of the house has changed from a pale green to a brighter, darker one, but little else has changed. Of course, there was no ramp or satellite dish in those days either. There were only two bedrooms in the house, so I–the only girl in the family–got to sleep on the built-in back porch. How many girls get to have a washer in their bedroom? The porch wasn’t insulated, so in really cold weather, I slept on the couch in the living room.

TrentonSign31

31 mph speed limit in Trenton

After visiting our little house, we headed for the town’s centerpiece – the elegant Victorian-style courthouse. On the way, we passed this speed limit sign, mentioned in Annabelle’s Ruth.

Trenton has tons of interesting history, including David (Davy) Crockett. He was an early resident statesman who started the process to organize the area into Gibson County. In those early days, the courthouse was a log cabin. The present courthouse was erected in 1899.

Note: In these photos, the flags are at half-staff to honor the fallen soldiers in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

TrentonCollageAfter leaving the courthouse, we took a little tour of the town and it’s lovely old houses, including the one pictured below, which I used as a model for Jensen Wade’s house in Annabelle’s Ruth. It’s a Greek revival style home built in 1831. It was said the residents stood on the balcony and watched the Battle of Trenton during the Civil War.

HighStHouseTrentonOh, by the way–this one’s for sale. You can see inside it and check out the details here.

Present-day Trenton is a pleasant little town of approximately 4,300 residents in a mainly agricultural community. But the town does boast a world-famous collection of Night Light teapots. You can view them on display and read their history here.

After our little tour, I paid a visit to the Gibson County Memorial Library and librarian Connie Bates. She has now read Annabelle’s Ruth and told me she loved it, especially the familiar places referenced in the story. The library has a copy of the book, and I’ll be returning in the future to speak to the local book club.

Annabelle's Ruth FRONT final CoverNow I’m all set to begin the second novel in the Kinsman Redeemer series with scenes of the home town fresh in my mind. The cotton is tall and green in the fields, the temps this past weekend topped 100 degrees. Ah, West Tennessee summers! So fry up some fresh okra and put the cornbread in the oven. Call me when dinner’s ready. I can’t wait to see what happens to Annabelle and her family next.

Annabelle’s Ruth is available on Amazon.

Michelle Griep – Authorview

Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep

I’m a fan of humor, so when I stumbled across a few posts by Michelle Griep, I was hooked. I liked her Facebook page, I followed her blog, I found her books. Why? Because she’s pleasantly funny in a smart, down-home comfortable kind of way (my favorite). So I’m honored to welcome her to Authorview. I hope you’ll enjoy her answers as much as I did. I’m pretty sure you will want to get to know her better!

Michelle Griep:

I am a…Dreamer. A bubble-blower. A java drinking craze-o-maniac with a penchant for beautiful words and stories that feed my soul.

You would like me when I’m…Super angry . . . at least my kids always do because the most ridiculous things fly out my mouth.

You wouldn’t like me when I’m…Singing. No, really. Think rock badger with a sore throat. And a lisp. And possibly a fatal case of bronchitis.

What qualities I like to see in others:    Raw, unadulterated, honesty slathered with a coating of compassion.

Favorite way to spend an evening:   A tub of buttered popcorn and a movie that’s so engrossing, I feel like I’m one of the characters. Bonus if Jim Caviezel is in it.

Who I love to spend an evening with:  The man who’s been shaking his head at me for the past thirty years.

Am reading (or want to read):   Currently enjoying a dystopian binge and am just finishing up the Divergent series.

If I had a hammer…I’d bang a roll of caps on the sidewalk. Love that sulphery smell and the satisfying ear-cracking smack of ignition.

My favorite genre is:   Seriously? I can choose only one? Grr. All right then, I’ll go with door number three: historical romance.

My work-in-progress:   Ahh! Thought you’d never ask! Here’s a blurb:

Officer ALEXANDER MOORE goes undercover as a rogue gambler to expose a traitorous plot against the crown—and a master he is with his disguise, for JOHANNA LANGLEY believes him to be quite the cad. But when Johanna is swept up in the intrigue, Alex must choose between his mission and reputation as a crack lawman or the woman he’s come to love.

My favorite food is:   There is nothing I like better in my mouth than dark chocolate. Wedding cake is next on the list. Yep. I’m the one who elbows grannies out of the way when cake is served and have no shame whatsoever in going up three or four times. Oh? What’s that? You have cake left on your plate? Here, I’ll help you.

I’m a collector of:    Happy thoughts, if not quirky ones, tucking them away in the back of my mind for the days that are narrow and bleak.

My favorite happily-ever-after:    An eternity becoming one with the One who created me.


 

Betty: So now, I’m fairly certain you’re going to want to know more about Michelle. I’ve provided you more information right here:

Brentwood's Ward Cover PeekBRENTWOOD’S WARD

There’s none better than NICHOLAS BRENTWOOD at catching the felons who ravage London’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice carried out—but this time he’s met his match. Beautiful and beguiling EMILY PAYNE is more treacherous than a city full of miscreants and thugs, for she’s a thief of the highest order…she’s stolen his heart.

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine booksellers.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHELLE GRIEP

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager.

She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones.

Follow her adventures at her blog WRITER OFF THE LEASH or visit michellegriep.com, and don’t forget the usual haunts of Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

 

Perception

Art. According to Webster’s Dictionary, art is something created with imagination and skill that is beautiful, or expresses important ideas or feelings.

You might be wondering what that has to do with perception. The best and most beautiful art inspires. It touches the heart, or spurs the imagination. But do we all perceive it the same?

_MG_0490 as Smart Object-1Photography as art can please the eye…

9a4ea-kalnik2b050stimulate the imagination…

cooking-chocolate-674508_1280even make you hungry.

oldhouseFor a writer, a photograph can spur a memory, and inspire a story. One person’s perception.

Because…

writing is also art. It is definitely something created with imagination and skill. The outcome can be beautiful, thought-provoking, expressive.

Poetic…prosaic…melodic…

These three words sound nice, but two of them can imply beauty. One of them means ordinary, commonplace, run-of-the-mill. Prose: ordinary language.

Why did I toss an ordinary word in there? To show how perception plays a part in everyday life. The most ordinary things become extraordinary on occasion.

bird-838735_1280Gaze at this photo for a moment.

What stirs inside you? Feral. Stark. Dangerous.

But quite ordinary, if you’re the bird.

My aunt lost her sight and had a difficult time adjusting. She lived in a rural area, bordered by several acres of woods. She lived in fear of stepping on a snake, or touching poison ivy, so she seldom went outside. Her world was dark. Feral, stark, and dangerous. A world haunted by memories of what she could no longer see.

A friend of mine also lost her sight. Perhaps it was her age, she was younger when it happened, and she adjusted to it. Her world was filled with light, but not the kind you see. We stepped out onto her back porch on a beautiful day.

I took a deep breath and exhaled, thankful for the gift of sight.

She touched my arm. “Isn’t it a lovely day?”

I said yes, but wondered how she knew.

She gave a soft laugh. “I feel the air, the warmth of the sun. I hear the birds singing, and I know it’s a beautiful day.”

We live in troubling times, often bombarded by shocking images and violent words. Your perception, when your soul is darkened by worry, fear, even weariness, or illness–any or all of these things–can send you into a panic. You may want to withdraw and stay inside your shell, where it’s safe. Until you can’t function.

But when your soul is full of light, your perception is enlightened also. You see beyond the ugliness of the images. It doesn’t make them go away, but your perception helps you deal with what you see. It’s not always easy. I start each day with prayer. It calms me and turns my thoughts to something or someone other than myself.

Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.–the words of Jesus Christ, John 12:45-46 The Message

Perception.


 

Annabelle's Ruth FRONT final CoverI think you’ll like my latest release, especially if you’re a fan of the biblical story of Ruth. It’s inspired by Ruth, set in 1950’s rural West Tennessee. Annabelle’s Ruth is book one in the Kinsman Redeemer series, from Write Integrity Press.

11112210_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_o

 

And I am one of several Write Integrity authors featured in the romantic novella, Unlikely Merger, just 99 cents on Kindle.

You can find all my books here: Betty Thomason Owens at Amazon.com

The Gift of Joy

Friends

I made this meme for a dear friend who was going through a difficult time. Her name is Robin, and back in the day when we lived closer together, she was always the ray of sunshine in my life. Kicking up her heels and celebrating. So when I heard she was facing a tough challenge, I wanted to make her laugh, or at least giggle, and remember those times. So I made the meme.

You know the kind of person who always seems to rise to the top? I had an aunt like that. No matter how bad things got, she always found a way to lighten the mood. She sang a silly song, or danced a little dance. Before we knew it, we were giggling then joining in on the silliness. That’s probably why I was drawn to Robin. Or maybe it was her red hair and the way her nose crinkled when she laughed.

We raised our kiddos at the same time, so when we needed a break, we got together and let them all play while we visited. She’d never let me cower in the corner, she made me play cards, whether I wanted to or not. I got involved because she made me and I always enjoyed myself immensely. But I’d still rather be a troll. It’s my nature. I’m the owl in the tree. She’s a…well…a robin. Robins sing beautifully and flit about. They’re given to hospitality, always catching worms and working on their nests.

So Robin and I, back in the ’80s, used to exer-dance (aerobics) to Donna Summer’s She Works Hard for the Money, dressed in our 80’s exercise get-up with our sweatbands and legwarmers and all that. How we managed to keep a straight face, even part of the time, I do not know. The aerobic part was breathing through the laughter.

I’ve shared the ancient video here.

Is there someone in your life like my friend, who can always make you laugh? Or, maybe you’re the one who has the gift of Joy. I’d love for you to share one of those funny moments in the comments section. And if you do choose to share it, let me know if you’d like me to include it in a collection of funny stories I’ll blog about later!–Thanks for your help.

There are humorous situations in my latest release, Annabelle’s Ruth, sometimes provided by animals. If you love a warmhearted love story, I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s only $4.99 on Kindle and also available in print.

AnnabellesCollageBuy it at Amazon ♥   Buy it at GoodReads ♥ Thank You!

Unlikely Merger’s SAM List

Caribbean Beach2It all started on a Love Boat Cruise to the Caribbean. You might wonder how Mercy Lacewell ended up on a cruise like that with her semi-invalid father…

Well, that’s the kind of thing that happens occasionally, even in real life. It seems like the wrong place, at the wrong time, when it could just be wrong place at the right time. Or right place, wrong time. Anyway, Mercy went on a cruise with her dad. She met a young minister named Brent Teague and something happened to her heart. The almost-romance softened her heart a little and prepared her for what was coming next.

What was coming next–

Back home, Daddy and his assistant, Madeline, decide Mercy needs more life experience. They send her out as acquisitions analyst for Lacewell Limited. Her job: to assess the companies and businesses they find, and decide if the businesses are a good investment for the company. Sounds like fun, right? Except that it’s something Mercy has never done, never thought about doing, never wanted to do. She’s perfectly happy in Denver, taking care of Dad.

First trip out: wouldn’t you know they’d end up in Texas during a freak ice storm? Mercy and Lacewell Limited’s other acquisitions analyst (Dustin Rogers) never actually make it to the destination, but they find something better, and are able to add it to the list. And Dustin gets added to Madeline’s SAM list. What’s a SAM? Single, available male (remember that).

Next stop, Watkins Glen, New York, to check out an inn. This adventure includes snow, sledding, and Landon Gates. Now we’re ready for a warmer climate. How about San Diego, CA? Nice, very nice. And once again, Mercy bumbles through her first meeting with the owner of Montoya Olive Oil–yes, that’s MOO for short. Enrique Miguel Montoya, “Ric” for short–doesn’t seem to mind. He makes her feel very much at home among his clan in their beautiful home. Mercy learns not to bite an olive fresh from the tree, no matter how ripe it looks. Ric is a welcome addition to the SAM list.

alligator-439887_1280Staying with the warmer weather, Mercy is headed to Titusville, Florida, and a gator farm. Yes, you read that right. Adventure. For this one, she takes Uncle Thomas along. I don’t blame her. Mr. Mann welcomes her–Gabe Mann. Great name, huh? After a full assessment and a medical procedure, she says goodbye to Titusville, but Gabe finds a place on the list.

Headed north, Mercy stops in Madison, Alabama for a quick look at Diana’s Burger Bistro. Will this be a good investment? She has a rather unfortunate first meeting with the chef, a surfer-type named Talon Hawthorne. But he makes a nice save by cooking a meal that pleases her palate.

Fourteen Quarters Repertory Company is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. And Douglas “Digger” Grant is the contact. Chemistry! Mercy learns all about small productions and develops a nice friendship with a man named Icky. You’ll need to read the chapter to understand that one.

Chapter Eight takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, where Mercy looks at McBride Mortgage. She feels uncertain about this one and tries her best to talk Uncle Thomas into accompanying her. But…ends up on her own with the formidable Mason McBride, until she meets IT director, Levi Shepherd. Mercy was more than happy to spend quality time getting technical with this guy. Another addition to the SAM list!

Great Barrington, Massachusetts is Mercy’s next stop, to look at a trucking company. Ahhh, New England in the spring. Rob and Steve LeClerc of LeClerc Trucking, at your service. Mercy falls pretty hard for Steve. Or 9cb57-shutterstock_40179583maybe his dog.

All the way back across this wide country of ours, Mercy lands at LAX and hits the road for Santa Monica, CA. She quickly learns there is no avoiding L.A. traffic, but that’s nothing compared to the crankiness of St. Andrew. She ends up trapped in a very small room with Reuben Miller. For three hours. Kind of a crash course, ending with Rube Miller on the SAM list.

So that brings us to the final stop on Mercy’s itinerary–in Lexington, KY–land of blue grass, beautiful horses, and Knight-Link & Associates. After a near head-on collision with someone she believes to be a handyman or plumber, she meets with Philip Knight, the owner of the architectural engineering firm. He introduces her to his nephew Daniel Knight, aka handyman/plumber, who turns out to be a designer of equine habitats. And his cowboy charm wins him a place on the list.

11112210_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_oFinal chapter, readers’ choice. One of the ten handsome, young fellows you met in the above summary has won the chance to woo Mercy. Our readers voted for their favorite. Who is it? Well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out. Today, and for the rest of the 4th of July holiday weekend, you can download it absolutely free. Don’t have a Kindle? Did you know you can get a free Kindle app on your phone or computer? Just go to Amazon Kindle and check it out.

If you miss out on the free download, Unlikely Merger be available through the remainder of July for just 99 cents.

LandingRelated articles, blogs, and posts…

Write Integrity Press: Book Release Day – Free on Kindle!

Jennifer Hallmark: 3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Hallmark

            Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Suzy Moore

Write Integrity Press: One Moose of a Summer

Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Jennifer Hallmark

        Write Integrity Press: That’s When the Crazy Started

Jennifer Hallmark: Collaborative Projects by Fay Lamb

Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Fay Lamb

Another Meet-Cute Adventure

MomandDad

My Mom & Dad

After I posted Book o’ My Heart, with the story about my parents (pictured here), I received a comment from a friend telling me of her parents’ similar experience. This involves someone who was very important in my life–my pastor during my teens and early adulthood. He presided over my wedding and witnessed many important events in my and my parents’ lives. He and his first wife and my parents had a lot in common. I wanted to share it with you as a follow-up to the earlier post.


When I read Betty’s blog recounting the “meet-cute” story of her parents’ relationship, it reminded me so much of my own parents’ story! My father was raised on a farm in middle Tennessee with no electricity or indoor plumbing. He always says they did have running water, because his mother would say, “Roy, run down to the creek and get some water!”

My mother was a small-town Kentucky girl. She was voted football queen, won state awards in Glee Club, and had a large group of girl and boy friends. After his military service, Dad attended Murray College to study to be a minister. One day he was walking across campus and saw my mother standing in a line. He says he knew at that moment she was his wife. He wasn’t sure how to meet her, but when he went to the mandatory chapel, his assigned seat for the year was next to hers. I don’t think Mother had the same “this is the one” feeling that he had, but they dated steadily that semester.

Her Mom & Dad

Her Mom & Dad

Dad drove her to her home at Christmas break and met her family. However, during the break, she dated several of her former beaus, and the boys gave her wonderful Christmas presents. She told Dad she wanted to make sure he was really the one she loved! When she got back to college, Dad must have convinced her that he was “the one,” because they went to Mississippi to elope on January 6th. When Mom called her family to tell them she had gotten married, they were shocked and didn’t get all the details. They had to phone her back to find out who she had married!

Mom and Dad ministered as pastor and pastor’s wife for many years in both Kentucky and Tennessee. They were married for nearly 57 years, until my mom’s death in 2009.

Dad told the story of seeing her for the first time and knowing she was ‘the one’ many times from the pulpit. Mom would always laugh and say, “Oh Roy, you did not!” I don’t know if she ever believed it, but I do; for my Dad, it was love at first sight. –Contributed by Teresa Stanulis

TeresaLamberthTeresa Stanulis is an artist who creates with a sewing machine, embroidery machine, and knitting needles. She has an Etsy site at Stitchin’ Gal, a place you really need to visit.

Teresa is a stay-at-home mom of two sons. She’s been sewing and knitting since she was about 9 years old, and she loves fabric and yarn. In business since 2001, she makes personalized gifts for babies and for the home.

Here are a few of her creations:

StichinGalQuilt StitchinGalKnit StitchinGalBibb

Stitchin’ Gal @ Etsy


Read the story–

Annabelle's Ruth FRONT final CoverNow available in paperback and on Kindle!

Annabelle’s Ruth, Book I Kinsman Redeemer Series

Click here to purchase.