DEADLY DESIGNS ~ cover reveal

I’m super excited!!! It’s time to reveal the cover for DEADLY DESIGNS…

Book #2 in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series

Deadly Designs, N

Jennifer Rodewald, cover designer

 

 

 

 

 

The planned release date is September 15, 2015.

 

 

 

 

Private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels teams up again with Lt. Deputy Dawson Hughes to find a geeky radio broadcaster’s missing wife and young daughter. They fear the woman and child were taken by Islamic terrorists as revenge against a pro-Israel guest host who subbed on the talk show for a week. The investigation takes Ronnie and Hughes to manicured estates, interviewing a snobbish A-List society crowd, as well as to the seamy, drug-riddled underbelly of the fashion world. All the while, the specter of international terrorism hovers.

Ronnie is furious at both Hughes and the broadcaster for waiting two days to start the search. She knows the longer it takes, the less chance there is of finding the child alive. Talk-show host Ed Barton has been hoping-against-hope his pot-smoking, model wife is on one of her esoteric experiences and has simply taken the child while she romps for a few days. He doesn’t want to consider the other, more dangerous possibility…that his radio program has angered some very dangerous people.

Hughes, recently promoted to lieutenant in the TaylorCounty, Texas Sheriff’s Department, is on leave on a special assignment with Authorized Operations (AO), a clandestine, quasi-government agency operating out of a sea-side mansion on Long Island, NY. The only thing is, many politicians and government big-wigs claim the organization doesn’t exist.

HI Meme 5

Book One in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series

 

 

 

Amazon Author Page


Most Pastors Are NOT on the Ashley Madison List ~ most are NOT unfaithful

Lipstik on CollarReportedly there have been up to 38 million Ashley Madison users. Ashley Madison, of course, is the organization that sought to facilitate and protect those seeking extra-marital affairs. Their slogan was: Life is short. Have an affair.

Well, Ashley Madison was hacked and its list of users leaked. Apparently upwards of 400 pastors and church leaders were on that list. While I do not condone any pastors or church leaders appearing on that list, let’s keep it in perspective. That’s 400 pastors and church leaders out of a total of 38 million users.

What does the 38 million figure actually represent? It is people who have created a profile on Ashley Madison. It breaks down into approximately 32.5 million men and 5.5 million women. Journalists who have looked at the profiles have noted that a large percentage of people (especially the women) who created profiles never actually used the site. Of that 32.5 million men and the 5.5 million women with profiles who may or may not have used the site, there appears to be only 400 pastors and church leaders. I say, ‘only’ because I’m relieved about that small number. Then I take a slow breath, and of course, that’s 400 too many. Then again, the way some have been reporting it and others have been commenting on social media, you’d think half the church was on the list.

I’ve tried to find the total number of Christian pastors, world-wide, and discover it’s an elusive figure. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, there are 33,000 Christian denominations. Presumably they have numerous churches headed by pastors and they have associate pastors, youth pastors, and various church leaders. I wonder if that would even come close to 38 million? I seriously doubt it.

Most pastors are workhorses who are overburdened. The public is aware of the televangelists, the prosperity preachers who own their own private jets. These high-profile pastors keep incredibly tight work schedules often preaching for weeks on end without a day off. That is also often the case with the pastor down the street, minus the jet of course. Then you have the bi-vocational pastor whose church can’t afford to pay a salary and he works 8-hours a day as a plumber, stock clerk, customer service rep, or the like. After putting in a full work-day, he prepares his sermon and counsels distressed members of his flock. According to the website “Pay Scale,” the average senior pastor’s salary range is from $27,288 to $89,076. Yearly bonuses range from zero to less then $8K. Many small and even medium sized churches do not offer any retirement and/or healthcare package to paid staff. Just to be fair and balanced, most, if not all of the prosperity preachers do offer their staff these benefits packages.

I do not believe God condones hacking and leaking any more than He condones adultery. However, He can use it to clean house. And I must confess, when I first thought of this, I gave a mirthless chuckle. Yes, I did, out of nerves. I also thought of the 38 million Ashley Madison users and noted that the devil doesn’t protect his own. In fact he used one branch of his empire to strike at another. I couldn’t help but laugh again. Not a funny, satisfying, ha-ha laugh. Not at all, but a laugh nonetheless.

Tomorrow (Sunday) or later this week, four hundred men will resign from their church positions. There will be no laughter in the pews of those churches. It will be heart-rending and excruciating for those men, their wives and children, and for the faithful who sit in the pews. The entire body of Christ must keep them in prayer and remember we are under God’s grace. With God’s grace there is room for repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. Repentance and forgiveness can be instant. But restoration takes time…months, not days, and many times years. There’s a restoration walk to walk, an open, healthy, and honorable track record to establish. There’s also usually accountability. Those who have transgressed, especially those who are high profile and in leadership, should show a willingness to come under spiritual authority…an elder or leader in their denomination or the pastor of another church who is unbeholden to them should oversee their Christian walk.

It is time to look at this issue and the larger issue of morality in the clergy and in church leadership squarely and without hysteria. Fortunately we have a book that tells us how to do this. It’s called the Bible. Remember, the overwhelming majority of pastors and church leaders are slogging it out in the trenches, often a difficult and thankless job.


BAT CRAZY by Carole Brown ~ a new release

Bat Crazy

A new release that’s a play on words…what fun.

Nike: I absolutely love the title BAT CRAZY. How did you come up with it? It seems as if it’s a pun. Is that intended?

Carole: Lol. Yes, it is, Nikki! When I first (way back!) began with this series–although I didn’t know it would be a series at the time–I wrote Hog Insane as a short story about a couple. The woman was an adventurous type and dreamed of riding a Harley Hog; the man was kind of a stick-in-the-mud type with no adventure bones holding his self together.

Anyhow, that’s the beginning. From there, I decided to play on the word “insane” with each book’s title having an “insane” word in it.

  • Hog Insane, the hog being a Harley bike.
  • Bat Crazy, bat being bats, particularly an Australian bat that is huge!
  • The third book will be titled Daffy’s Duck: this one is kind of two-fold. Daffy being used to go w/the “insane” word and also being the name (Daffodil/Daffy) of a main character in the book.
  • Mad Dog, Horse Senseless, Touched Kitty, etc. until I run out of words.

Nike: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Carole: Denton Davies is kind of a laid back character in some ways, yet he’s not afraid to push himself/his investigation/questions out there if he thinks it’s needed. He’s a word fanatic, loves fishing, his dog, Taffy, and his wife Alex. He’s like most amateur detectives in that he can sense and figure out things quite well. He tries to hide deep feelings, and worries a bit too much for Alex’s more outward personality.

Nike: After you’ve got word count and/or marketing done for the day, tended to your job and/or family, how do you find “you time” to relax?

Carole: Love being with my family and any time I can sneak in time with my grandsons is time I count as a blessing. My husband and I always try to spend a little time together in the evenings, we love going to a few select places, traveling, and camping, soaking in the hot tub at home, gardening, photography, reading or just casual talking without any stressful subjects filtering in. I also putter with my scrapbooks, write in journals–both as the mood hits me. I’m contemplating making a quilt from my mother’s clothes, but since I’ve never, ever in my life made one, I’m hesitating. ~~ Probably for good reason. LoL

 

What’s this novel all about…

Monster Bats with red eyes that attack humans?

Denton doesn’t think so and Alex hopes not, but who are they to quibble with the local gossip?
Transmission problems and a blown tire land Denton and Alex Davies right in the middle of a dilapidated, unfriendly town that’s welcoming no strangers, least of all nosy ones with a bent toward solving mysteries.

But with support from the town detective–an admirer of the Davies–and their own tenacious personalities, Denton and Alex aren’t easily scared off. Not when warnings in the form of painted bats show up on the porch of their rented cabin, not when the mayor threatens to run them out of town and not even when Denton finds the bones . . .

An ancient story, a bit of a map, a lost jewel and even a bat clan serve to provide the Davies and their sidekick, Taffy, the dog, their hardest case so far.

 

Purchase BAT CRAZY on Amazon.

Carole Brown

A few places readers can find Carole on the internet:
Personal blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads
Stitches in Time
Barn Door Book Loft


HEARTS UNDONE by Allyson Carter ~ interview and showcase

Hearts UndoneWow, what an abfab cover. Can’t wait to get into the interview with Allyson Carter on her new romantic suspense novel, HEARTS UNDONE.  How exciting!

 

Nike: When did you start writing for publication?

Allyson: Six years ago I started writing seriously and for publication. And why? I was snowed in with the kids and going crazy. A book idea came to me and wouldn’t let me go. I had to write it down. What drives you to write? The joy I get from writing drives me to get them on paper.

Nike: How do you get inspiration for your stories (plots, characters, etc.)?

Allyson: Everywhere. That’s pretty much where I get my ideas. It can come from a song I heard on the radio, something I read in a newspaper or even on the news.

Nike: Can you give us a sneak peek or preview into the next work in progress (WIP) you’re working on? When do you expect to release it?

Allyson: I just finished and sold book two in this series. It has a working title, but that might change. This book picks up with two characters from HEARTS UNDONE. Two I think no one will expect. There’s lots of danger, romance and faith. It releases July 19, 2016.

 

HEARTS UNDONE excerpt…

Hannah’s hair bounced as she skipped down the sidewalk with her mother. Shelby unlocked the car door. A piece of paper sat on her seat. She pulled her daughter back before she could get in.

“Stay right here, sweetie.”

Reaching in, she picked up the paper and read the words: “Keep quiet or else!” Her hands shook and her bacon burger sat in the pit of her stomach like a lead weight. Nausea made her head swim.

Approaching the car, Mark spotted the white square in Shelby’s hand. “What’s wrong, Shelby?”

Shelby coughed as a lump formed, making it difficult for her to speak. Swallowing several times, she began to feel light-headed.

“What’s the matter, Shel?”

She tried to talk and nothing would come from her lips. Shelby shook her head. He rushed to her side and took the white piece of paper from her. The note had been written with words cut out from magazines and glued to the page. At first glance it looked like a preschooler put the note together. She tightened her hold on Hannah as she glanced around. Someone got into her locked car when they were only a few feet away. Why?

“Take Hannah and move to the sidewalk.” The dominant tone to his voice forced her to focus better. She blinked to stop her mind from racing.

 

A Sneak Peek…Hearts Undone, Shelby meme

After a bitter divorce, Shelby Johnson is looking to rebuild a life for herself and her daughter, Hannah, while avoiding the thing she mistrusts most: men. Her resolve is tested, however, when her brother’s best friend, Mark, moves in across the street and her long-buried feelings for him rise to the surface. Can she open up her heart again? When someone threatens her life, she realizes that her heart isn’t the only thing on the line. She turns to the only man she feels she can trust.

Hearts Undone, Mark meme

Mark Daniels returns to his hometown to solve a crime committed in the military. When he gets caught up in Shelby’s troubles, he knows she needs someone to protect her, but can he be that man? Being around her again is forcing him to face the way he feels—something he’d rather not do. When his past comes to haunt him, he vows to protect Shelby and her daughter until his last breath.

Through God’s love, Shelby and Hannah find their way into Mark’s heart. Will there be room for God too?

 

About the author…

Allyson Carter

Allyson writes Edgy Christian romance and suspense novels. In her books, readers will find emotionally stirring story lines, as well a compelling mixture of suspense and faith. She resides in Missouri with her loving husband and four wonderful children, and three cats. When not spending time with her family, you can find her knitting, and watching perhaps a few way too many suspense and reality television shows.

She can be found around the Internet at these places, website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can get a copy of HEARTS UNDONE on eLectio Publishing and Amazon.


The Assault of the Present Day World

Mummy, cartoon

 

 

You don’t have to be a Christian to feel the assault of evil in this present day and age. You don’t have to be a believer to know evil is real and tangible.

We live in a world that sucks us into it’s mire. It wraps us in bonds of ugliness, and this wrapping has layers like a mummy. Of course, as a symbol, mummies represent death.

This commonplace crassness and filth assaults our eyes and ears every day. It’s in the workplace where the most foul language is often  usual practice. By the time we get home, we feel as if we need a bath. It’s in the news, on billboards, on daytime TV programs airing in the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Things pop up on our computer screen we did not expect or want. Trash rushes toward us on all sides. We can’t escape it.

The beauty of the life of the believer is that although we live in the world, we are not of it. As long as we walk in the spirit, these things fall off us and away from us. They are there, but cannot touch us. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.

If our flesh is engaged in the mire and is screaming, we can’t hear the Spirit.  Believers must have “alone” quiet time with the Lord each and every day just to be cleansed and refreshed. It is vital to get with God and shut the door, even if it’s for fifteen minutes. Fifteen or more minutes twice or three times a day, even better. There is where our liberty will be.

Matthew 6:  5-6 [NASB]

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.


HARMFUL INTENT ~ price reduction to $1.99

HARMFUL INTENT: action-packed detective novel with zany humor and a terrific love story will be permanently reduced in price to $1.99.

Why you might ask?

Well, the second novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes detective series is about to release, titled DEADLY DESIGNS.

HI Meme 5

 Winner in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense/Historical Suspense category.

Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.

Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.

Harmful Intent: —Sweet, askance romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully.

SNEAK PEEK:  DEADLY DESIGNS cover reveal coming soon!!!


The Term “RINO” ~ Republican(s) I Now Oppose

White House

In a meme on Google+, RINO, has been used to describe Republicans Jeb Bush, Chris Christie,  Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Lindsey Graham, who are thought to be in the GOP establishment or who have won seats in “purple” states. But the term is now also being applied to Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum.

Huckabee, Jindal, Perry, and Santorum have strong conservative records. And Rand Paul is a libertarian.

The meme I’m referring to was put out by the Trump campaign. Just for the record, I have not picked a candidate and I do support Trump and his efforts. He’s revitalized the GOP campaign trail, has given it some get-up-and-go. Wow, has he. He’s brought an audience to the Republican candidates and they’re a stellar bunch with great ideas and many accomplishments. I have always liked Scott Walker. I’ve added Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorino to my potential list.

The term RINO, to my mind, has always been an ugly term I’ve chosen not to use. Not only in this latest meme, but all over social media it’s bandied about to the point it has little meaning. As far as I can tell, RINO  now has a new meaning: Republican(s) I Now Oppose.

I like a good hard political fight. I think if you dish it out, you ought to be able to take it. That’s why I didn’t feel sorry for Fox News when Trump went after them.  Not quite, but it was David vs. Goliath. And like David of old, Trump won. I have long thought news outlets and pundits should be subject to the same treatment they give to others. It’s not the job of the news media to bring a candidate down. That’s the job of the voter. Both parties have a series of “polls” called primaries and it all ends in the final “poll,” the general election. Let the voters decide. During a debate, the panel shouldn’t have more “talk-time” than the candidates, as happened in the first debate. And the panel isn’t there to be clever. They’re there to ask honest, thought provoking questions that allow the candidate(s) to present his/her positions, not trick questions or trapping questions.

However, we are in an era of the politics of destruction, where it’s not enough to defeat the opponent, but to vilify him/her. I’ve heard rants online (in back and forth comments) where Jeb Bush’s first name was ridiculed. Goodness, how banal and childish. Barbara Bush liked the name, I’m sure. Leave the name alone. Everyone has seen examples such as this. Petty attacks. Ugly attacks. He’s not our guy, let’s destroy him. I do like a good, hard political fight. I don’t mind slugging it out, but let’s keep it intelligent at least.


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