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Guest Post — Lindsey Brackett, Author of The Bridge Between

11 Nov

Please welcome my friend Lindsey Brackett to the blog today. How cool is that? Referring to an author as a real friend! Lindsey will tell you how we met, but let me tell you I am the one who has been blessed to have gotten to know this talented author. Lindsey has introduced me to Edisto Island and the Coultrie-Halloway family and friends in her two Southern/Women’s fiction novels, and I cannot wait to get back there  . . . or anywhere her storytelling will take me. If you like this genre, please put Lindsey up at the top of your TBR list. Be sure to check out the blurbs at the bottom of the post.

Thanks so much, Lindsey, for helping me celebrate my 10 Year Blogiversary! (For a link to the Big Box of Books Giveaway post, click HERE.)

Guest Post by Lindsey Brackett

Last spring when I was named a regional author for a local literary festival, I realized quickly I was out of my league. Despite having a marginal amount of popularity in my local community, within this sphere of academic and literary minded authors, readers, and teachers, I was convinced no one would care about my inspirational women’s fiction. 

I was also convinced I’d have my first failed book signing in which I sat at a table alone, awkward, and surrounded by piles of unsold books. 

Then Beckie Burnham came. We’d met in a round about way—a mutual friend recommended I ask Beckie to review my book. I did and she chose it for her book club and then took the extra time to interact with me on social media. She could have stopped with a follow, but that’s not Beckie. She appreciates authors and is genuinely interested in who we are beyond the back cover copy. 

So when I was sitting — not alone but between two authors whose names I can’t remember — at the literary festival, just hoping someone would be interested in me, Beckie showed up. She was on a weekend away in the mountains, and the morning had been rainy, but she came over anyway. “I wanted to meet you in person!” she told me as I hugged her gratefully. 

We hung out all morning and then she took me to lunch, where we talked books and reading and book clubs and Jesus and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. She made me feel like a real author — someone who had fans and was known and who had written words that mattered. 

It’s no surprise to me Beckie has lasted ten years in the blogging world which can, unfortunately, wear a person out. She’s built a strong following and gained the respect and friendship of authors like myself because she cares about more than our next book. She wants to know who the writer is behind the voice, and I am so very thankful for our connection. 

Here’s to ten more years — and then ten more, Beckie! Congratulations on your achievement. May your enthusiastic spirit for good books never cease and may we all benefit from your discernment, grace, and willingness to serve. 

Still Waters

Cora Anne Halloway has a history degree and a plan: avoid her own past — despite being wait-listed for graduate school. Then her beloved grandmother requests—and her dispassionate mother insists — that she spend the summer at Still Waters, the family cottage on Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

Despite its picturesque setting, Still Waters haunts Cora Anne with loss. At Still Waters her grandfather died, her parents’ marriage disintegrated, and as a child, she caused a tragic drowning. But lingering among the oak canopies and gentle tides, this place also tempts her with forgiveness — especially since Nan hired Tennessee Watson to oversee cottage repairs. A local contractor, but dedicated to the island’s preservation from development, Tennessee offers her friendship and more, if she can move beyond her guilt.

When a family reunion reveals Nan’s failing health, Cora Anne discovers how far Tennessee will go to protect her — and Edisto — from more desolation. Will Cora Anne choose between a life driven by guilt, or one washed clean by the tides of grace?

The Bridge Between

Louisa Coultrie Halloway has returned home as caretaker for the family home on Edisto Island, but years before she left this world behind. Now she flounders to find her place. When Liam Whiting, a local professor studying tidal creek preservation, invites Lou to join his research team, she welcomes the opportunity for purpose.

David, her ex-husband, has followed Lou and their children to Edisto. As he finds his footing in this new life, their once strained relationship eases into a familiar rhythm — and he hopes for more.

But the past still has a hold on them all, especially in the presence of Grace Watson, whose son intends to marry Lou and David’s daughter. Somehow, Grace and Lou must let the past of a shared love settle between them.

In this idyllic setting, relationships deepen and shift. And once more, Lou finds herself caught between the life she’s chosen — and the love that might be meant to be.

Award-winning writer, Lindsey P. Brackett just writes life — blogs, columns, articles, and stories — in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications. She writes a popular bimonthly column for several local newspapers in which she meditates on small town southern life.

Her love of family ties and southern places prompted her first novel, Still Waters, a Lowcountry story about the power of family and forgiveness. Thanks to her four kids, in her home you’ll find wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee.

Connect with her at, where she just writes life, on Facebook as Lindsey P. Brackett, on Twitter @lindsbrac, or Instagram @lindseypbrackett.




Guest Post — Heather Day Gilbert, Author of An Exotic Pet Sitter Mystery Series

8 Nov

If Heather Day Gilbert confined her writing to the back copy of cereal boxes, I would be the first in line to get those Wheaties! Thankfully, this talented author is still writing novels. The first book I read of Heather’s was Miranda Warning, the first book in her Murder in The Mountains series (review HERE). I am a big mystery fan, and I knew I had found a new favorite author. Then I read God’s Daughter, a Viking-era novel (review HERE). Oh my! It is fantastic too. Is there anything she cannot write? I don’t think so.

Today Heather is sharing about her writing journey and the decision to focus on cozy mysteries. Yay! I love those too! Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Heather!

(Be sure to check out the 10 Year Blogiversary Giveaway link at the bottom of this post.)


Why I Write Mysteries By Heather Day Gilbert

If you’ve read any of my books (I know Beckie has!), you’ll understand that I’ve basically run the gamut as far as genres I’ve written. From historical Vikings to contemporary romantic suspense/mystery to a nonfiction how-to book for independent authors, I’ve “been there, done that.” 

But there comes a time in almost every author’s life when they have to decide which genre they really enjoy writing most. Although I loved researching and writing my Viking historicals, I felt my writing voice fit most naturally with contemporary mysteries, so I decided to pursue that path when I began proposing books to general market editors.

It’s a comfortable fit, because mystery is what I’ve read most in my life. Starting with Encyclopedia Brown, Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew, I moved on to Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, and Phyllis Whitney in my teen years. To be honest, Agatha is the one author I can reread a hundred times and never get tired of. Although the mysteries I mentioned above are now considered older, they were all “contemporary” in their own time, when you think about it.

I also love writing in first person point of view, and although it’s unusual to do that in historical circles, it’s commonly done in mystery circles.

But I narrowed my genre down even more — I wanted to write cozy mysteries. There are many online articles about what constitutes a true cozy mystery, but I think it’s easiest to explain by pointing to the Murder, She Wrote TV series. The general setup is that an amateur sleuth who lives in a small town gets involved in solving murders that are not graphic/gross, with no sex scenes or heavy cursing. So cozy mysteries are usually clean reads (some more than others, but mine definitely are) that have cozy (not horror) overtones. 

I’ve always loved exploring family relationships in my books, not to mention the psychological motivations for things, and I don’t write gore, language, or sex scenes, so you can see why cozy mysteries are an attractive genre to me. Plus, there’s room to inject humor/wit, which I love in Agatha’s mysteries and I hope to replicate in my own.

Not to mention, I love constructing a plot that twists and fools the reader — and since I’ve read so many mysteries, I try to fool myself as I’m writing, as well. I’ve written mysteries where I’ve switched whodunit as I wrote, just to make it more difficult to figure out. 

I figure you’ve found your niche in writing when it’s not hard to come up with ideas for an entire series based around characters you’ve created because they make you laugh and cry and wonder what they’re going to get up to next. When your readers say that your characters feel like friends and they can’t wait for the next-in-series books.

So for the foreseeable future, you can find me writing cozy mysteries. I hope you can try one and see if it’s a genre you enjoy, as well!

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, is the author of the bestselling Exotic Pet-Sitter mystery series. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Like her amateur sleuth Belinda Blake, Heather plays video games, although so far she hasn’t done any exotic pet-sitting or hunted any murderers. Find out more on







10 Year Blogiversary Giveaway

To enter, click HERE!

Guest Post — Rachel Dylan, Author of The Atlanta Justice Series

6 Nov

Bookish friends are some of the best! Rachel Dylan and I go back quite a few years. We first connected when I reviewed her indie published Windy Ridge series. (My review of book 1, Trials And Tribulations, can be found HERE.) I think I have read every book Rachel has published, including her Love Inspired Suspense books, the Danger in The Deep South series and the Atlanta Justice series. She is definitely a must-read author! If you like romantic suspense, you really need to read her books. Now, if we could only meet in person. I keep pestering her to have a book signing here in middle Georgia. 😉

Rachel has another series set to debut next year. Today she is telling us all about the Capital Intrigue series. Thanks, Rachel for sharing with us!

(The link to my 10 Year Blogiversary Giveaway is at the bottom of this post. Check it out!)

New Beginnings . . . by Rachel Dylan

Wrapping up a series is difficult. You become so connected to the characters and their stories. Sometimes it’s hard to let go because you want to keep following all of the characters in their journey. But as they say, all good things come to an end. 

I finished up the Atlanta Justice series this year, and it was bittersweet. I loved writing about three women attorneys in Atlanta, and seeing how their lives would unfold amidst the dangers and tribulations they faced inside and out of the courtroom. Writing the Atlanta Justice series was also special because I’m a Georgia girl, and enjoyed writing about home.

But today is a new day, and I’m super excited to launch a new series called Capital Intrigue! This series is set in Washington, DC, and it focuses on three women who graduated from Georgetown Law but all took different career paths. They are an FBI agent, a CIA analyst, and a State Department Attorney. 

I think my readers will still get to see some of the elements they enjoyed from Atlanta Justice, but I get to branch out and explore some of my other interests as well. Before I went to law school, I actually spent two summers working in Washington, DC. I actually thought I was going to end up working in intelligence or foreign policy. Even though I ultimately ended up a lawyer, I still love engaging in those other topics, and I hope you’ll feel my genuine excitement coming through on the pages! This series will also include the legal elements my readers have come to love, but there will be lots of other law enforcement action as well. One thing I’m super excited about is being able to include the military in this series, including my personal favorite — Navy SEALs.

Check out the blurb for END GAME and let me know what you think. Do you like jumping into a new series? 

I hope you’re excited to start this new journey with me. You can pre-order END GAME from your favorite retailer now! It releases on January 7, 2020. 

Each New Clue . . .
Every Crime Scene . . .
Brings Them Closer to Discovering the End Game

When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper who Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, they wonder if there’s a deeper cover-up at play. After Bailey is targeted, it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment, Bailey and Marco rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust in this twisted conspiracy. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of them all.

Rachel Dylan is an award-winning and bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Lone Witness is the winner of a Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and is a Selah Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at

Guest Post — Sarah Sundin, Author of Sunrise at Normandy Series

4 Nov

I discovered Sarah Sundin early in my blogging career. Her first novel, A Distant Melody, was released in March 2010, and I was offered the opportunity to review it. (You can read my review HERE — don’t judge! 😉 ). I was immediately hooked! Sarah is a must-read author for me. Her books have also become favorites of my book club. We just cannot wait for the next book to be released. Sarah has a wonderful website where she shares her writing adventures. Be sure to check it out. Also make sure to check out the link to the 10 Year Blogivesary Giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Today, Sarah is sharing about her research travels for the Sunrise at Normandy series. Thanks so much, Sarah!

Guest Post — Sarah Sundin

Touring England and Normandy . . . I call it, tongue in cheek, “suffering for my art.”

Whenever possible, I visit the settings for my novels. Each novel in my Sunrise at Normandy series has scenes in England and culminates on D-day, so I was able to lump research for all three books in one trip. My husband was a trouper and let me hijack most of his vacation for research.

Sarah Sundin at Big Ben in London, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

We started in London, which is the main setting for the first novel, The Sea Before Us, and is featured in the other two novels as well. Of course, we saw the big London attractions — because my characters visit these sites too — and because we had to see them! But we also strolled through the Kensington area to find the house where my heroine Dorothy Fairfax “lives,” found the building on Grosvenor Square where the US Western Naval Task Force had its headquarters in the lead-up to D-day, and saw Norfolk House on St. James’s Square, which served as Allied Naval Headquarters.

For The Sea Before Us, we also took a tour of Southwick House near Portsmouth, which served as Battle Headquarters for the Allied Naval Expeditionary Force, where Gen. Dwight Eisenhower made his famous final decision to carry out the invasion — and where Dorothy Fairfax serves on D-day as a Wren (Women’s Royal Naval Service), monitoring the action on the far shore.

In The Sky Above Us, the hero serves on D-day as a fighter pilot, so we visited the Duxford Air Museum to see the workings of a real airfield in Britain. Plus, we saw several

US P-51 Mustang, Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

P-51 Mustangs, the plane my hero Adler Paxton flies.

To travel to Normandy, we took the ferry from Portsmouth across the English Channel to Ouistreham, France. Since Wyatt Paxton, the hero of The Sea Before Us, serves as a naval officer on an American destroyer on D-day, I loved approaching Normandy from the sea and imagining what all those soldiers and sailors must have been thinking as that same shoreline came into view on June 6, 1944.

In Normandy, we toured the German gun batteries at Longues-sur-Mer, walked along Omaha and Utah Beaches on gray and blustery days, and lingered in the American cemetery, an incredibly moving experience.

Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

In The Land Beneath Us, the final book in the series (coming February 2020), the hero, Clay Paxton, serves in the US 2nd Ranger Battalion, legendary for scaling the 100-foot cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-day. We spent another gray and blustery day visiting Pointe du Hoc, pockmarked with giant craters from naval shells and littered with chunks of concrete. We also hiked through the infamous “bocage” (hedgerows) and saw where the Rangers found the German guns and destroyed them.

I had the time of my life! And my husband . . . ? As we were traipsing through a muddy gun emplacement on a gray and blustery day (did I mention it was gray and blustery?), my husband was thoroughly enjoying the adventure and history. I said to him, “Aren’t you glad I don’t write novels set in pretty little English tearooms?”

The look of horror on his face . . . Sadly, I did not get a picture of that.


Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of historical novels, including The Sea Before Us, The Sky Above Us, and The Land Beneath Us (coming February 2020). Her novel The Sea Before Us received the 2019 FHL Reader’s Choice Award, When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award and won the INSPY Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California. Please visit her at


One fateful night of tragedy and betrayal drove the Paxton brothers apart. Now, as D-day approaches, they battle the Nazis on the sea, in the air, and on the ground. Three women capture their hearts — a British naval officer striving for acceptance, a Red Cross volunteer searching for purpose, and a librarian longing for family. Will the battles they face lead them to redemption . . . or destruction?


10 Year Blogivesary Giveaway!

Be sure to enter HERE.

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Bound to Be Free by Marta E. Greenman

16 Oct

About The Book

Book: Bound To Be Free

Author: Marta E. Greenman

Genre: Non-Fiction, spiritual growth, Christian studies

Release Date: June 12, 2015

Dr. Minirth, President of Minirth Clinic says, “Bound To Be Free is an exceptional book – Theologically correct, psychologically warm, physiologically health producing. I recommend it with enthusiasm. Christians around the globe need this book. Read it and be healed. This book is riveting, but more important, it is life transforming!”

Learn to live in FREEDOM. Free of the consequences of pain inflicted upon us, and pain inflicted by ourselves. God’s Word tells us true freedom is found in HIS word and presence. Christ’s desire is for believers to be transformed, not just saved.

Bound To Be Free leads believers step-by-step through God’s healing process and transformation. The study focuses heavily on scripture, as the only path to lasting restoration, and leads believers through the process of identifying and overcoming hindrances. This enables believers to achieve power in their daily Christian walk and show the transforming power of Christ in the church.

Our Father knows each person’s story. He knows how each one of us can overcome the pain and disappointment in our lives. While some numb the pain others walk through the fire, allowing The Refiner to mold us into the precious treasure He created us to be. Take a step in your journey to victory today

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

For over twenty years, Marta has traveled extensively as a missionary, evangelist and Bible teacher sharing God’s message of truth and redemption. She is a teacher of teachers. She is host of Under God Radio Show and Co-host of Refining Friends. She is the author of three Bible studies, Bound to Be Free, Leaders, Nations, and God, and ACTs420NOW. Marta founded Words of Grace & Truth in 2011 whose mission is to teach God’s Word to the nations and teach others to do the same. She has been married for over twenty-five years to Marshall and they reside in the Dallas, Texas area.


Q&A with Marta

BTB: Tell us a little about your research methods. 

Marta: The Bible is always my primary source and from that, I also research the original meanings of the Greek or Hebrew from the English text. My last two Bible studies incorporated the foundation of American history and the genesis of English Christian history, so I utilized biographies and other secular materials in my research of those topics. 

BTB: What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule? 

Marta: Writing is not a daily habit for me. I have a full schedule as the founder of a ministry and a Christian radio host. When God places a topic on my heart, I make time to write until the project is completed. 

BTB: How long does it usually take to write your books — from first outlines/drafts to final edits. 

Marta: I am fond of saying, “It takes a lifetime,” since every Bible study has come from the deep examination of His Word for twenty-six years. Each has taken a different amount of time. While writing, the process, not time, is most important. My studies are organized by weeks and days. Each completed day is reread and rewritten. At weekly editing meetings my team works through each of those days. I then work on any rewrites. After this daunting process, I teach the study to a small group as a test for fine-tuning. Finally, it goes to the publisher. It can take twelve to eighteen months to finish a study. But this investment produces the best product available. 

BTB: Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share? 

Marta: Time permitting, I have an endless number of books to write! Currently, I am involved with two projects. One is a collaborative devotional with hosts from my internet radio station. The second is an end-times Bible study focused on the events leading to the rapture of the church, the tribulation and second coming of Christ. 

BTB: Please share with my readers a little bit about your life leading up to the present. 

Marta: My first mission trip took me to Romania in 1997 and it changed my life forever. The next year I left corporate America for a church planting organization. I traveled with American churches to churches in foreign lands to establish churches and for discipleship. Marshall, my husband of twenty-six years, and I moved to Romania in 2002 to help start a church and work with street children. After seven years God called me to write Bible studies and to teach and train others to study the Word. GraceAndTruthRadio.World was launched in 2018 to provide a platform for people with biblical messages to reach others for Christ. 

Thanks for sharing with us today, Marta!

More from Marta

Are you tired of hurting? Do you want long term answers…not a band aid fix? Bound To Be Free will take you on a journey of understanding, self-contemplation, and questions to ask the Almighty! At the end of your journey you will realize how much God has healed your soul and how to handle hurts and disappointments in the future.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 14

Creating Relationship, October 15

Mary Hake, October 16

By The Book, October 16 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, October 17

Through the Fire Blogs, October 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

Texas Book-aholic, October 23

A Baker’s Perspective, October 24 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, October 25

A Reader’s Brain, October 26

Inklings and notions , October 27


To celebrate her tour, Marta is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click HERE to enter.

Author, Author! Joel Thimell

9 Sep

Today, Joel Thimell, author of The Saga of The Patriarchs series is visiting By The Book. The two books in the series, Long Road Out of Ur and Where Your Treasure Lies, are Biblical fiction featuring Abraham, Sarah, and Lot. Joel is a new-to-me author, so I am very interested in his books and his writing life. Welcome, Joel!


By The Book: Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Joel: I studied journalism after college and worked as a writer for several years — but I never believed in my ability to write fiction. Dialogue, in particular, frightened me. How could I know what all these people were going to say all the time?

BTB: Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Joel: I had two English teachers (a mother and her daughter) my senior year of high school. One taught Creative Writing and the other, American Literature. They would read my papers out loud, first to each other over the phone, then in front of the class the next morning. Although I would have happily buried myself in a hole rather than feel all those eyes upon me, somehow I also found it quite gratifying that they seemed to enjoy these silly little creations of mine.  

BTB: Why did you choose Biblical fiction?

Joel: I did not choose Biblical fiction — it chose me. I used to sit in church and Sunday School and listen to Bible stories and wonder: “How did those people have the strength to do such amazing things? Someone ought to write a book about them.” Years later, it finally hit me, that maybe I was that someone . . .

BTB: Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Joel: Like most people who write a novel, I dreamed of it appearing on the shelves of my local library and in bookstores around the country. And like 99.9% of new authors, I discovered that was just a dream . . .

Publishing houses used to have staffs of people who read new manuscripts looking for hidden treasures. Not anymore. Agents used to hunt for new talent.  No longer.

Most new authors can’t even get their queries answered by a publisher or an agent. I was “lucky.” I have a close friend whose sister is the non-fiction editor for a major Christian publishing house. She ran my three sentence blurb by her colleagues in the fiction aquisitions area who told her that I didn’t fit their formula.

And even if an agent or publisher likes your work, most won’t consider accepting it, unless you have a ready-made social platform with thousands of subscribers. So after 8 months of no’s or no answers, I decided to publish myself using Amazon.

BTB: What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

Joel: Although I have never been to Iraq, Egypt or Israel (the setting for my books), I have traveled extensively in primitive areas of Africa. I took a dugout canoe safari with a native guide through the Okavango Swamp which inspired several scenes in Long Road Out of Ur. A whitewater rafting trip down the Zambezi River found its way into Where Your Treasure Lies.

I spent eighteen months in the library researching Ancient Sumer and Egypt before writing the first line of my first book, Long Road Out of Ur. If I was going to make the story of Abraham and Sarah more meaningful to a modern audience, I needed to immerse myself in their culture. I needed to understand what they wore, what they ate, how they thought and spoke, lived and died.

I read over 20 books and hundreds of internet articles detailing Sumerian religion, history, politics, laws, trade, commerce, food and drink, literature and family relations.

BTB: What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Joel: I have discovered that I need to write whenever the inspiration strikes. Often, a scene will pop into my head as I’m turning the lights off, so I jump out of bed and jot it down before I lose it. I usually walk at least one hour per day (to fight my diabetes) and I will hash out diaogue and the next scene while I’m out. As soon as I return, I write it down.

BTB: How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

Joel: My first book took nearly nine years to complete. I owned a small cafe which kept me busy during the day, so I could only write after my two daughters were tucked into bed late at night. After closing the cafe, I decide to write full-time, so that I would not wake up in retirement one day wishing that I had finished my books. So the sequel, Where Your Treasure Lies, only took about eighteen months.

BTB: Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Joel: I started with the intention of writing the backstory of Abraham and Sarah. The Genesis story begins when he is seventy-five years old and God calls him to leave his family and the Land of Ur. When I read that, I wondered why God would want him to leave his family and what had they been doing for those 75 years in Ur.

I tried telling the story in the third person, but it felt too distant and impersonal. I tried letting Abram tell the story, but I struggled to relate to someone who spoke to God face-to-face. So I told the story through the eyes of Lot, who I thought might be more relatable to someone like myself who don’t feel like a spiritual giant.

BTB: What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Joel: My hope is that readers will see that the God of the Old Testament is full of love, compassion and grace for rebels like Lot and me, just as He is in the New Testament.

BTB: Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Joel: I haven’t decided what’s next yet. My current series, The Saga of the Patriarchs, was purposely left open, so I could move forward with Isaac or Jacob, or backwards with Shem or Eber. Or I might shift gears and try my hand at a Western (I love Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour) or a mystery/suspense novel.  Any reader suggestions are welcome.

Although the Flood remains a vivid memory, and the Tower of Babel lies in visible ruins–man continues to rebel against God.  Savage wars, brutal slavery, and pagan idols rule life in ancient Sumer.  Still, a faithful remnant have not bowed the knee to Nanna, the dread moon god.

Long Road Out of Ur introduces us to Abraham, Sarah and Lot before they were famous.  As the eldest son of the next Patriarch, Lot expected a life of comfort while his father, Haran, commander of the mighty Horse Warriors, expected him to follow in his footsteps. But nobody expected God to make young Abram leader of the family, and somebody isn’t happy.  Soon, the entire clan is thrust into the middle of a shadowy struggle for wealth and power with no clear sides, no holds-barred, and no end in sight. And Lot is the fall guy.

Everyone knows that Noah was the righteous man that God rescued from the Flood. And serious Bible students remember that God sent ravens to feed Elijah during a lengthy drought. But Lot? The guy who barely escaped the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with his daughters? Why was he rescued by God? Was it just because his Uncle Abraham pleaded with God for him? Or is there more to the story?

Where Your Treasure Lies, tells the dramatic story of the calling of Abraham and Sarah into the Promised Land through the eyes of Lot, one of the most misunderstood heroes of the Bible. Many Christians think of him as a villain or a fool, at best. But the Apostle Peter called him a “righteous man” who was “tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.”

As the eldest son of the Patriarch, Lot expected to lead his family someday. But God had other plans. When his father dies in the land of Ur, Lot loses everything to Abraham, whom God chose in his place. Despite this, Lot follows Abraham into the Promised Land trusting that God will provide, only to find that the Land of Canaan isn’t the Garden of Eden.


Passionate about writing, food and travel, his love of adventure led Joel Thimell to hitchhike from Kenya to South Africa, whitewater-raft the Zambezi River, canoe the Okavango Delta, explore the Ngorongoro Crater, climb Mt.Kilimanjaro, and hike the Chimanimani Mountains. The thrill and terror of those first-hand experiences are brought to life in Lot’s own adventures.

Joel began his career as a government bureaucrat and erstwhile journalist and is now making amends to society as a starving author. He shares his non-existent garden in Tennessee with endless hordes of mosquitoes, six squirrels, three jack rabbits, a ravenous herd of deer and an elusive mole named Darwin.


Thanks Joel for sharing with us today!


The Mosaic Collection — Spotlight on Hannah R. Conway

20 Jul

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for The Mosaic Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


For His glory…
The Mosaic Collection is an international community of women authors who use faith-based fiction to touch hearts with the good news that Christ’s finished work on the cross has made us one family, and to nurture affection for the people God has placed within our circles of influence, so that the grace and glory of God may become visible and personal to everyone we meet.

…and our good
We are sisters, a beautiful mosaic united by the love of God through the blood of Christ. We have experienced the redemptive, restorative power of God’s grace in our marriages and families, and we believe our God is able to heal, restore and redeem our brokenness. His love fills us with the courage to persevere, and to offer others a Christ-like compassion that is full of His wisdom and grace.

Visit the Mosaic Collection Website to stay posted on each new release & follow the collection blog for meaningful posts from the authors!


Hannah R. Conway is a military wife, mother of two, middle school teacher, best-selling author, and popular speaker. Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists and turns. Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My Book Therapy. She and her family live in Tennessee.

CONNECT WITH HANNAH: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pnterest

Cornerstone message from the collection:

My cornerstone message is about freedom. Freedom from the past, from the messes, the mistakes, regrets, fears, and failures. As a military wife, freedom means so much to me, but as a Christian, I want to be as free on the inside as I am on the outside. This cornerstone message resonates with many believers. We say we’re free, but often we’re in that freedom.


Favorite place to read:

Curled up on my couch with a cup of coffee. A front porch is a pretty good place too.

Favorite book character from childhood:

Robin Hood. I love that story!

Favorite movie:

Ever After, or the Harry Potter Series. I seriously could watch all of these movie on repeat.

Favorite quote or Bible verse:

John 15:17–”This is my command: Love one another.”

Favorite splurge/treat:

Movie theater popcorn! Melting chocolate chips with peanut butter and rice krispies! DELISH!

Favorite character you’ve created:

Audria Rylatt from my novella, “Christmas on a Mission”. She has this heart for helping others, and mexican food–we could totally be best friends.

Last 3 great books you read:

The Line Between by Tosca Lee

Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bishchof

Dream vacation: 

A month long tour of Europe. I’m imagining it now…train rides, a sea breeze, castles, cobblestone roads…a little piece of heaven!

Hidden talent/little-known fact:

It’s a little strange, but I can pick up almost anything with my toes. It comes in handy when cleaning the house. Socks on the floor? No problem! My toes can pinch them up.

Plotter or pantser:

Definitely a plotter, but I do have moments of pantsing when my characters just take over and do what they want. Crazy characters!

In no particular order, ten of your favorite things (i.e. hot cocoa, a warm breeze, the sound of my kids’ laughter, etc.) :

1: The way my kids come and find me in the morning…warm hugs and sleepy smiles

2: The smell of coffee and toast in the morning…it reminds me of waking up to the smell of my mom making breakfast

3: Dogs: I love animals in general…I adore our dog, Albus

4: Cuddling: I can’t sit close enough to my husband; I’m a cuddle bug and thankfully he’s okay with that

5: History: all things history; old buildings, old graveyards, any old historical site, antiques…I just adore anything that screams “history”

6: The woods: the beach is wonderful, but there’s something about being amongst the trees, dirt path beneath my feet that resonates with me

7: Bookstores: I have a serious book buying problem…but it’s a good problem

8: Fall: hands down my favorite season; pumpkin-spiced everything, festivals, corn mazes, cool nights, campfires, big scarves–YES!

9: Chocolate: Is there anything better than sweet chocolatey treats? I didn’t think so. Chocolate takes a good day and makes it great!

10: Traveling: love, love, love to visit new places and meet new people. Walking the streets, taking in the sites and sounds…sampling the local cuisine–wonderful!


Giveaway_MosaicBlitz_JRnew(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card & an ebook prize pack*!

Winner will receive an ebook of:

  • Where She Belongs
  • Pieces of Granite
  • Lifelines
  • Christmas on a Mission
  • Vigilant
  • Other Side of the River
  • The Third Grace
  • Carolina Grace
  • The Benefit Package (a devotional)
  • Dance of Grace
  • When Love Calls

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 10, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 24, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open internationally, but international winner will receive a gift card only *(may be substituted for a Book Depository gift card if winner cannot accept from US Amazon)

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway


See tour landing page for a complete list of authors & book release dates.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.