Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Write to the Point with Jake Byrne July 29, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:41 pm
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jake byrneToday we get write to the point with Jake Byrne. I am sure his story will inspire you. His book sounds amazing, especially for the football fans in your life 🙂

Tell us about your newest book.

First and Goal, What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up, published by Harvest House Publishers. Just newly released.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Jake Byrne dreamed of playing professional football. He had the size, the talent, the drive…but at age 14, he found out he also had type 1 diabetes.

Still, Jake was determined to reach his goal. And God was determined to guide and empower him all along the way.


Jake’s journey to the NFL is the backdrop for this collection of inspiring devotions based on nearly a hundred football terms. Jake takes you to the weight room, practice field, and even across the goal line. You’ll feel as if you’re lined up next to him, facing a very large defender you’re about to take down. He also includes Scripture and then ties up each story in a way that feels real and encouraging. You’ll discover…

  • what to do when God calls an audible in your life
  • how to respond when God puts you on special teams
  • why prayer is never an incomplete pass


These quick daily readings will help you press through your own difficulties and experience God’s dream for you.first and goal

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Now that I’m no longer playing professional football, I’m working for Champion Management, a marketing firm in Dallas. I also got recently married to beautiful, supportive Christian woman, Emma. She’s amazing. And I’m starting a foundation – Type Won – to help kids with Type One Diabetes lead healthy, active lives.

Where did you get your book idea?

When I got diagnosed with Type One Diabetes as a teenager, I didn’t have mentors. I really struggled with managing diabetes while competing as an athlete. It took a lot of trial and error to excel in the sport of football. I learned a lot through those difficulties and went on to play football at the University of Wisconsin. Then, while in the NFL, playing for the San Diego Chargers, my mom called me.

She’s a Christian author and was planning to attend a writer’s conference. She suggested I write a devotional about my experiences with Type One Diabetes and my journey into the NFL. I had mentored kids with type one diabetes in college and agreed writing a devotional would be a great way to encourage youth to reach their goals in spite of obstacles. We put together a one-sheet and my mom pitched the book and Harvest House offered us a contract.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer? OR HOW DID YOU WRITE FIRST AND GOAL, THEN?

I got together with my mom (the ghostwriter) through Skype or phone or in person and we put anecdotes of my life together in the form of short devotionals and added football terminology. We really enjoyed working on the project together and she even has one last devotional in the book called, Extra Point. Moms always get the last word, or extra point.


Are you working on a new project now?

While working full time and getting my foundation going, I’m pretty busy, but I’d like to write another book –  an informational, practical book based on my experieces with diabetes and geared toward helping those with diabetes stay healthy and active and succeed in life, whatever their goals.

Anything you would like to add?

Well, like in football, getting cut from a team is pretty commonplace. So is getting a few pages or words cut in the final edits in writing. Here’s an excerpt from First and Goal about being “cut” that we had to “cut” due to too many pages for the book. Though my devotional is aimed at the teen market, it’s really a book for all who need a little inspiration. In the end, in a fun and inspiring way, readers might learn some football terms to impress family and friends.

jake byrne collageCurl Route

On the curl route, the receiver runs hard downfield as if to run deep, and then—between 12 and 20 yards—he turns sharply and takes two steps back to face the football. The comeback route generally is run along the sideline. To work effectively, the quarterback usually throws the ball before the receiver turns. He throws to a spot where he expects the receiver to stop and turn.


Joining the New Orleans Saints my first year in the NFL, I survived rookie camp and regular camp only to get cut before the start of the season. I took the news like a deer lost in the glare of oncoming headlights.

I had worked hard and come a long way from OTAs (Organized Team Activities), learning a lot, but of course nowhere near the playing ability of seasoned veterans. At the end of camp, the Saints acquired a nine-year player and I was bumped out of my spot on the roster.

Moping at home in Arkansas with no job, I didn’t know what to do next. Had my NFL career, which started out with so much promise, ended so soon?

I hung in there for weeks, working out and traveling across the country in tiny airplane seats when teams called me for a tryout. I grew weary of hearing, “If someone gets hurt, we’ll call.” No one called. I wanted off the NFL roller coaster. After prayer and a long conversation with my dad, I called my agent and told him I was done with the NFL and returning to finish college.

Within an hour, he called me back. “The Texans have a spot for you. A tight end got injured.”

“But I quit the NFL—”

“No more tryouts. Just get to Texas and you’ll be on the practice squad.”

In the dying embers of my passion for football, a spark ignited. Why not? With only two games left in the season, if it didn’t work out, I could return to college, finish my last few classes, and return to job searching.

I flew to Houston and had a great end-of-season with the Texans. I was called into the office after the last game, where Rick Smith, the general manager, and Coach Gary Kubiak waited for me.

“We want you for next year,” Rick said.

Now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).

Those few words from God in Isaiah are loaded with hope, promise, and love. They are God’s words, not only for me, Jacob, or for the Israelites, but for all of humanity.

The Bible is chock-full of comeback stories. Jesus, being crucified and coming back to life, of course, is the greatest story. Joseph’s experience in Genesis 30–50 is another amazing one. He was sold into slavery by his brothers and endured years of false imprisonment. At all times, Joseph maintained his integrity and faith.

Even while in prison, God had a plan for His servant’s future. Joseph became one of the most powerful figures in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. And in the end, when Joseph could have taken revenge on his brothers, he chose to forgive them, understanding that through the worst situations, God was preparing him for his destiny. If Moses, Joseph, and even someone like me can make a comeback, you can too.

Ultimately, even if we’ve made mistakes, God wants us back. He doesn’t abandon His children. He wants us reaching our goals and living our life to the fullest. If things aren’t going well or according to our plan, we might have to run fast, turn around, and take a couple steps forward, like the comeback play. When we turn to face God, He will be there to redeem us and bring us to the place where He needs us. He loves us enough to open the right doors at the right time—and occasionally close them at the right time too.

BIO: Jake Byrne has battled with type 1 diabetes since a young teen and has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end and went on to compete in the NFL. Originally with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, Jake has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger.


Jake blogs at

Facebook Page (Type Won):

Twitter: @sugarfreejb82

Instagram: Jakebyrne81


Thanks so much for sharing with my readers, Jake. Your story and devotional are sure to inspire many people. I pray God will use you in big ways 🙂





Write to the Point with Rebecca DeMarino (and giveaway) July 22, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:55 pm
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Demarino-291-200x300Rebecca DeMarino writes love, legends and lore as a historical romance author and lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Her travels have taken her from Alaska to Nebraska and Florida, from Long Island to England and Italy, and from Washington DC to Texas, California and Guam. But usually you can find her at home, enjoying her grandchildren and baking crisp little ginger cakes. From Publisher’s Weekly ~ DeMarino’s … strong suit is recreating history and relating it to readers.

Tell us about your newest book.

I’d love to! In 1653 Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, celebrates her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, kills the groom and kidnaps her. Though her ransom is paid, she is nonetheless bound by her captors and left to die—until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of Englishman Ben Horton, a longtime friend of her people. But despite Ben’s affectionate attentions, she can’t stop thinking about the handsome Dutchman who saved her from certain death. Can she find peace again among her own people? Or will her growing affection for her rescuer draw her into conflict with everyone she loves? Does she choose loyalty or love?

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to travel, I like exploring genealogy and my roots, and gardening, hiking and baking are all to capture her heartpastimes I enjoy.

Where do you get your ideas?

The Southold Chronicle Series is based on the real lives of my ninth great-grandparents. They came over on a little ship called The Swallow in the 1630’s. My plan for the series was to take each book about the Hortons up a decade or two. While researching the first book, A Place in His Heart, I discovered a gold nugget of information about Heather Flower, the daughter of the Montuakett sachem, who was kidnapped on her wedding day by a fierce rival tribe. Tradition has it that the Englishman, Lion Gardiner, paid her ransom. The story was too good to ignore and it fit perfectly for the time period for book #2, so the story picks up after the ransom is paid. The Hortons and Southold are still the backdrop for the story, but Heather Flower is my lovely heroine.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

I am definitely a seat-of-the-pants writer! I’ve tried to jot things down, even loosely, but I find that I write best if I brainstorm my way through the story!

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

Well, I can truly say no, and I realize that is not the norm. A Place in His Heart was not only my first published novel, but the first book I’d ever written. It is truly the book of my heart, and book #2, To Capture Her Heart, was just plain fun to research and write! I love that story!!

Are you like any of the characters in your book?

There might be little pieces of me in all of my characters. Heather Flower’s happily-ever-after is snatched from her when she least expects it and she has many decisions to make, none of them easy. Like her – and most of us – I have had dreams dashed and losses to bear. But thank goodness we have a God who cares and will walk with us through it.

Are you working on a new project now?

I am working on the edits for the third book in the series, To Follow Her Heart. This story amazed me as I brainstormed through it! It’s Patience’s story and I love it!

Anything you would like to add?

Thank you so very much, Melissa, for featuring me today! I love your heart for helping readers connect with books and their authors! You are a blessing to me!

Thanks so much for visiting with us again, it’s great to hear what you are up to 🙂 

Readers, below is a link to a giveaway Rebecca’s publisher is holding. If you click on it you will be redirected to another page to enter that giveaway.

To Capture Her Heart Book Launch

If you want to check out my review of her book click here. You will also find links to Rebecca’s website and where you can purchase her book.


Write to the Point with Patricia Bradley (and giveaway) July 15, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:35 pm
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I am so excited because today we get write to the point with Patricia Bradley. I have read all of her books in the Logon Point Series and they are wonderful. If you missed my review of her newest release click here. Then come back and learn more about Patricia and enter to win a signed copy of her book 🙂

Patricia Bradley is the winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award and a 2012 Touched by Love Award and was also a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award. The author of Shadows of the Past and A Promise to Protect, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at

Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi and is a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum. But her heart is tuned to suspense. Patricia’s romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series—Shadows of the Past, A Promise to Protect, and Gone Without a Trace. Her workshops on writing include an online course with American Christian Fiction Writers and workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference in Collierville, TN. When she’s not writing, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Long, long ago I grew up in Memphis when it was a place that seemed like a small town. I rode public transportation all over the city, often arriving home after ten and walked a half mile from the bus stop to my home. I loved reading, beginning at around five with the comicstrips and graduated to books before I went to school. I thought about writing, as in… “I believe I could write a story like that.” Little did I know how hard it was. 🙂 But I never put feet to the idea until these people came to live in my head and wouldn’t go away until I told their story. So I did. And that story became the first story I ever wrote and the first story Woman’s World bought. But it would become 32 years before I received a contract for my first book that I revised for 5 years.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was nine years old, in church on Sunday like always, when I felt Jesus tugging on my heart. Couldn’t tell you what the sermon was about, but I knew I had to say yes. Fast forward a few years and you’ll find me a rebellious teenager. I walked in the wilderness for 30 years—not quite as long as the Israelites. Then, one day I realized what a mess I’d made of my life, doing things my way. I asked God to help me to live for Him, and from that day forward, I’ve tried to do that. I am so glad we have a God of second chances. Not that I always get it right, even now. 🙂

None of us do J

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after theGone without A Trace last page?

Gone Without a Trace is a book about forgiveness and that no matter what and even when things don’t go like you want, God is in control.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

Matt Jones has created a new website and blog for me, and I am now blogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesdays, it’s about my life and writing journey. I write about my characters, the writing process as well as my personal journey and how God is working in my life. Thursdays are reserved for guest writers and book reviews.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

I’ve found that I don’t need others to try and harm me—I do it very well on my own. When I was seventeen, I became pregnant and then got married. Many years later I use what God taught me in the hard years that followed to speak to teens and preteens, trying to get them to make good choices for their lives by telling them my story. God doesn’t waste anything, especially the mistakes we make.

So true.  


Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

It’s hard to pin a verse down to one, but Psalm 37:4 and 7 have special meaning to me. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart…wait patiently on the Lord.”

Where can we find you on the web?;;;

Twitter: @PTBradley1




Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

I want to thank you for hosting me on your blog. I love the concept of a Genesis 50:20 blog.

You’re welcome and it’s definitely a pleasure having you here.



Gone without a Trace

A Novel

Patricia Bradley

The past is repeating itself—and time is running out


It’s been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds’s cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts her concerning a senator’s missing granddaughter who was last seen in Logan Point, Livy notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. With self-doubt plaguing her after killing a teenager in the line of duty and an almost instant dislike of the self-assured PI, she’s finding this investigation an uphill battle. But with the prospect of finding her cousin on the horizon, she’ll have to find a way to work with Alex—before it’s too late.


Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps you on the edge of your seat with a case—and a relationship—that is anything but certain.


“Patricia Bradley has hit a home run. The suspense is high, the romance is sweet, and the villain is one you want to see caught and brought to justice. Gone without A Trace, a novel of forgiveness and finding one’s place in the world, brings home the point that while not everything in life may go the way you want, God is still in control. Can’t wait for the next book!”—Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Hidden Identity series


Links to books:

Shadows of the Past: CBD; Amazon; B&N; Books A Million

A Promise to Protect: B&N; CBD; Amazon; Books A Million

Gone Without a Trace: Amazon; CBD; B&N; Books A Million


Matthew’s Choice:  to buy a paperback—Harlequin:

For an e-book: B&N, Kobo Amazon


Shadows of the Past, A Promise to Protect and Matthew’s Choice can be found at my Author Page on Amazon:

Readers, Patricia has given me a signed copy of her book to giveaway to one lucky commentator. Leave a comment for Patricia by July 27th for your chance to win the copy. Winner will be chosen by (U.S. addresses only. I am not responsible for replacing books lost or damaged in the mail.)


Write to the Point with Caryl McAdoo (Part 3) July 1, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:44 pm
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Today we get write to the point with Caryl McAdoo. She has visited us before. You can check out her other interviews here and here. Read on to see what she is up to now.

HI Melissa! Great to be here again. Thank you for inviting me!


Tell us about your newest book.


Well, my ‘newest’ is a non-fiction book I wrote titled Story & Style, The Craft of Writing Creative Fiction. It’s written in a conversational tone and makes the tools of this craft easy to understand with lots of examples. Some of the chapter names are Hooks, Point of View,caryl non Characterization, and Dialogue, and there’s a lot as to using an active voice rather than passive. I count it a part of my payback for all the wonderful mentoring I received as a new writer.

Now my almost newest fiction title is one I’m excited about. A contemporary Red River Romance, third in the series, is my thickest book released yet with 101,000 words (375 pages). One and Done has a fun weather girl heroine, Samantha Danielle, who meets her hero, George Herman Walter Johnson, when the station sends her to Mexico on the rumor that the Texas Rangers are interested in a pitcher playing for the Rojos. She’s the everyday girl today, a little full of herself with a Godless, anything goes attitude. He’s loved the Lord since childhood caryl one and doneand isn’t looking for any one-night-stands; he wants a wife. His tight relationship with his God threatens to end one with Sammi Dan before it even gets started. The Rangers sign him alright, and the unlikely couple is set on an almost fantasy journey finding love on the way to the World Series.


What inspired you to write this book?


We’ve been a baseball family since having three sons with my one girl. My husband (of 47 years this month!) coached all our boys in little league, and we spent our summers at the ballpark. I’d spread out my three sons, so by the time the last one was old enough not to play little league, our grandson was! So Ron kept coaching and I kept being the Team Mom, and Team Grami, too! With eight grandsons, that meant we didn’t stop until



recently. He always coached T-ball, the five and six year olds, staying down for the next grandson as the older ones moved up. He said it was like organizing earthworms, but talk about fun! J      I wrote One and Done for the fun of the game, but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking if I can just get ANY of those boys to read it, they might decide their Mama or Grami can pen a worthwhile story and go on to read the rest! What is it in scripture about a prophet having no honor in his hometown?


What was your favorite part to write?


The games were the most fun. My husband, also a writer, helped a LOT with all the lingo and baseball terms. One man at my writers workshop couldn’t believe I had it so right on! J Of course, I also loved Sammi Dan’s growth and the romance part. G.H. is the kind of man every girl surely dreams of. He’s a lot like my husband.





What was the hardest part to write?


Right back to the games for me…while I hollered the loudest at the ballpark cheering on my little Bulldogs, the Major League was never as much fun of non-stop action! So keeping those games exciting—leaving out all the boring part of a real game—didn’t come easy.



What kind of research did you do for this book?


Well, a little, but my Dearest knows more than most people have forgotten about the game and was my go-to-man on all the management and intricacies of America’s game! Sure made my life a lot easier have my own personal walking research man!



What’s the best thing about being an author?


Being able to reach so many and touch their hearts with a bit of God’s love. I pray my stories will cause them to remember a Truth they already knew or introduce them to one they hadn’t thought of. L love to hear that something I wrote sent them to the Word to check something out. I’m so blessed that God called me to His purpose and gave me this awesome outlet to share his Good News with the whole world in an entertaining manner!



What’s the hardest thing about being an author?


Staying organized! I keep trying to implement new SOP to keep me in line – my latest being colored, pocketed file folders to keep “piles” assimilated J I’m sure attempting to launch eleven titles in 2015 has a lot to do with feeling behind all the time J



What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring writers?


Get into a great read-and-critique group, not a slap shop but one where the other writers almost make you feel bad telling you so much is wrong. Toughen up and keep going, listen and learn. If the people only tell you always, good read, I liked this or that, go find another one J Iron sharpens iron! (I started to say Get my new Story & Style, The Craft of Writing Creative Fiction book! I believe it will help writers in almost any stage. Why, it’s already helped me! J)



If you were writing about your life what would the title be?


Lady Who Loved the Lord



Anything you would like add?


A great big THANK YOU, Melissa. God bless you a hundred fold as you’ve blessed me! J

Thanks so much for stopping by again, Caryl. It’s great to hear what you are up to:)


Write to the Point with Donna Robinson June 24, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:05 pm
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SONY DSCToday we get write to the point with Donna Robinson. Read on to learn more about her and her writing journey.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’ve been married to my wonderful pastor-husband for 36 years. We have four children and eleven grandchildren. We live on the north side of Denver, near the Rocky Mountains—and of course we seldom visit them! My husband and I plan to rectify that by taking a mini-vacation to the mountains at least once this summer.

My journey into writing started when my husband had a friend who was working on a book. I thought, “I’d like to write a book.” That was in 1986, and my first book wasn’t contracted until 2007! It was a long apprenticeship.


How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

Even though I grew up in a Christian home, I didn’t accept the Lord until I was 15 years old. The Lord scared me with a pain in my chest (I have no idea what that was), but I thought for sure I was going to die, and I knew I wasn’t prepared. I had “professed” to be a Christian, but deep down in my heart, I knew I didn’t “possess” the Lord. In John 6:44, Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…” I believe the Lord used that pain to draw me to Himself at the age of 15, and that’s when I was saved. Now I’m a pastor’s wife, and I praise God for the journey He’s led me on with my husband, my family, and my writing.


Tell us about your latest book. What do you want your readers to take away after the last page?

This book is called The God of All Tomorrows. Here’s the back cover copy:

In 1934, Launi Fairfield goes to the jungles of Peru to translate the Bible into an Indian dialect. She The God of All Tomorrows coverthought missionary work would be exciting, but her days are taken up with the tedious translation project.


Miles Stone has been a missionary doctor for ten years. He’s a confirmed bachelor, not wanting to be saddled with a wife and children as he moves around to the different Peruvian tribes. He’s content with his life, until he meets Launi.


Together, they end up having more adventure than Launi ever bargained for. They battle snakes, jaguars, sickness, earthquakes, and an Indian chief who wants to add Launi to his harem. Will they trust God for all their tomorrows?


The God of All Tomorrows is a heart-stopping adventure story combined with a sweet romance. But more than that, it’s a story about trusting in the Lord, no matter what happens. Launi and Miles have to trust God for their very lives, and I hope my readers will realize they can trust Him for everything and in every situation.


How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I had a blog several years ago, and I loved it, but it was taking up too much time. I was blogging instead of writing books. Also, I felt I didn’t have enough readers to make it worthwhile, so I gave it up.


Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

A series of books that influenced my writing was Robin Jones Gunn’s Glenbrooke series. This was a Christian contemporary romance set of eight books, set in the fictional town of Glenbrooke, Oregon. I loved reading about the new romance in each book, as well as finding out what happened to previous couples. I’m hoping to write my own set of romances in a fictional town. Maybe you’ll see it here someday.


Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?  

I can’t really think of something or someone that harmed me, but I did have a light-bulb moment where I saw how God’s way was much better than mine, and He meant it for good. As I said before, I had a long apprenticeship in writing books. I eventually had three small books published by Heartsong Presents, and then they closed their book club. I tried to get published by other publishers, and I especially tried to get an agent, but nothing worked out. Other people got agents and book contracts, why couldn’t I? The only thing I could do was keep trying. Then in May 2014 I attended a writing conference, specifically to meet with an agent, hoping she would take me on. Well, we were not a good match, which was discouraging. Later that day, I attended a workshop about self publishing. A whole new world opened up to me! I suddenly realized the Lord didn’t give me an agent or a publisher because He was leading me to publish my own books. I decided to try it as an experiment, and my first eBook was “published” by Amazon in November 2014. Now I have three books out, and I hope to publish two more books in 2015. So during those long discouraging years, God was simply waiting until I was ready to publish on my own, and He intended it for good.


Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

2 Timothy 1:9 (KJV) — “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” I use this as my writing verse. The Lord called me to write Christian fiction, and He has His own plan and purpose for calling me to write. I might have dreams and desires for my books, but it’s the Lord’s purposes I want to fulfill to glorify Him.


Where can we find you on the web?

My website:

Author page at Amazon:


Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Thank you for hosting me on your interesting blog, Melissa. I enjoy reading it.

Thanks for sharing with my readers. I pray God will continue to guide your writing journey.


Write to the Point with Anita Higman June 17, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:05 pm
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Today we get write to the point with Anita Higman. Read on to learn more about her and her writing journey.

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, traveling to exotic places, and brunch with her friends.

Please check out Anita’s latest novel, Summer’s List, through Moody Publishers. Feel free to drop by her website at or connect with her on her Facebook Reader Page at She would love to hear from you!

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I grew up in Western Oklahoma on a farm where we raised wheat, cattle, and hogs. Now I live near the city of Houston, Texas. I’ve been married for thirty-five years to Peter Higman, and we have two married children. I have been writing for thirty years, and I have forty books published. To be honest about my career, I have known a lot of failure before I ever knew any success, but that is a common tale among writers.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I accepted Christ when I was a wee girl, and He has been my dearest friend all these years.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Here’s a short blurb about my new novel entitled, Summer’s List. I am hoping readers will be entertained, challenged, and inspired.

Life and love keep going awry for Summer Snow, until her grandmother sends her on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree—a kind and quirky young man from Summer’s past. With Laney Summer's List front coverthe Chihuahua along for the ride, a childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?


How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I used to do a very short blog on my website, but I noticed it was taking time away from my other writing. So, eventually it got put aside just like I’ve had to lessen my time doing social media. Some things are good to do, but even the good things in life can keep us from doing what God has truly called us to do.


Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Recently I read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. It’s a masterwork—a true story about slavery in America—and a book that everyone should read.


Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

Growing up on a farm in Oklahoma may sound idyllic, but I had kind of a rough ride. Not because of the hard work. That part was good. I guess you could say that I was emotionally injured because I grew up in a dysfunctional family. There was a lack of normalcy, affection, and positive influences. However, God saw fit to take these hurts from my youth and redeem them, using them for good as he promises in His Word. God knew that I could be healed from these emotional afflictions by transforming my childhood pain into art and then releasing it out into the world to help others. God gave me the ability to be a writer, and this gift from Him has made all the difference.

Thanks so much for sharing that with us, Anita. And I’m so glad you were able to find good from the pain and pour that into your writing.


Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

You could say that this scripture is my life-verse:

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 (NIV)


Where can we find you on the web?

Feel free to drop by my website at or connect with me on my Facebook Reader Page at I would love to hear from you!


Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

If you have taken the time to read one of my books, I thank you with all my heart. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers. I pray God will continue to bless your journey.



Write to the Point with Johnnie Alexander June 10, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:54 am
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Johnnie Alexander

Today we get write to the point with Johnnie Alexander. Read on to learn more about her and wonderful books.

Johnnie Alexander writes inspiring stories that linger in the heart. Where Treasure Hides, her debut novel, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011) and Golden Leaf Award (2014). The first of her three contemporary romances, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series), releases from Revell in January 2016.

She also has won Best Novel and Best Writer awards (Florida Christian Writers Conferences), and Bronze Medalist (My Book Therapy Frasier Contest).

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area where her morning chores include feeding dogs, cats, chickens, and a small herd of alpacas.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

After growing up in Ohio and raising my children mostly in Florida, I’m now living with twelve alpacas, a flock of chickens, and a few dogs and cats in the Memphis area. It’s an interesting life, especially when the resident raccoon scavenges in the garage and the family of foxes decide to have a chicken dinner . . . but I miss my kids and grandkids.

I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember, but for years my publishing history was sketchy—a few poems and essays. I got serious about fiction writing several years ago after participating a couple times in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and discovering the joy of creating characters.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home but it wasn’t until I attended a small Bible college that I truly understood the importance of a personal relationship with Christ. Though I’ve gone through times in the “Valley of Superficiality” since then, my spiritual growth is now intentional and ever-deepening.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

The next few months will be so exciting.

In August, Tyndale is releasing the print edition of my debut novel, Where Treasure Hides. (It was released as an ebook a couple of years ago.) The story, set in World War II Europe, is about a Dutch-Where-Treasure-Hides-682x1024 new coverAmerican artist’s love for a British soldier and their struggle to survive the difficulties of war.

Then, in January, Revell is releasing my first novel in the Misty Willow series. Where She Belongs is a contemporary romance set in central Ohio. A young widow longs to raise her children in her grandparents’ home which has been abandoned for several years. But as she uncovers long-ago betrayals, she realizes her family’s spiritual legacy is much more valuable than their material one.

Both these stories explore the blessings and burdens of family legacies and heritages. My prayer is twofold: 1) that readers will be encouraged to create and pass along their own treasured family memories, and 2) that these stories will linger in the readers’ minds and hearts long after they close the last page.

If you’d like to read chapter one of Where Treasure Hides click here.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

My guests have an option of what type of posts they’ll write, but a favorite choice is Story Spark. Authors share the creative inspiration behind their novels—a topic I always find fascinating.

I also participate in Christian Fiction Fridays, a blog hop where authors post snippets of a work-in-progress on their own blogs. The story I’m sharing, When Memory Whispers, is an unpublished World War II story that I wrote before Where Treasure Hides. It’s about a young American actress who gets caught up in war-time espionage and falls in love with a German soldier.

The blog itself is a work-in-progress. If you take a peek, you’ll see there wasn’t much activity in recent weeks but that’s because I was traveling without my laptop. My whirlwind trip from Memphis to Ohio to Tampa to New York City to Washington DC to Orlando then back to Memphis didn’t leave much time for social media interaction. (But I sure had a lot of fun!)

What are you reading right now?

Room with a View by E. M. Forster

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Safed and Keturah by William E. Barton

Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

At first, I struggled to come up with something big and dramatic—but my siblings never threw me in a pit (though they may have wanted to) and I doubt I’ll ever be Pharaoh’s second-in-command.

But harm is often subtle. And sneaky.

A few years ago I was assailed by parenting guilt. Again and again I was burdened by things I wish I’d done and things I wish I hadn’t done. I longed for that most impossible of things—a do-over, a second chance to get it right. Often I kept these thoughts to myself but sometimes I shared them with my too-soon-grown-up kids. One day, after another listening to my regrets, my middle daughter glared at me. “Mom,” she said, her voice firm and unwavering. “Your daughters are happily married and your son’s a youth minister. We’re all Christians and serving God in some way. Even if you had done things differently, would the outcome be any better?”

She was right. Because of that conversation, those ugly doubts don’t have the power to injure my soul anymore.

Love it! Thanks for sharing that with us. The enemy would’ve loved for you to keep silent and continue to beat yourself up over those lies. So glad you daughter was able to speak truth to you 🙂

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

More than one! But Colossians 3:1-2 is definitely my most significant passage. It advises us to set our hearts and minds on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (paraphrase).

Where can we find you on the web?


Facebook Profile

Facebook Author Page 



Amazon Author Page


Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Thanks for having me as your guest, Melissa. I appreciate the opportunity to become better acquainted with you and your readers. God bless you and your ministry.

Thanks so much for visiting with us. You’re books sound wonderful and need to be put in my TBR pile. May God continue to bless your writing journey.



Write to the Point with Angela Strong May 27, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:31 am
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Jordan and MeToday we get write to the point with Angela Strong. She has visited here a couple of times before. You can read her other interviews here and here. Read on to see what she is up to now.

Tell us about your newest book. I wrote a novella that is included in Love on the Run with a couple of Love Inspired Suspense authors that live here in Boise. We call ourselves Team Love on the Run. Here’s the blurb from my novella, False Security:


Alex Pierce needs Laney Winters to help him prove neither of them is responsible for the millions of dollars that went missing after Laney arrested him for bank robbery five years ago. Besides Laney not believing he truly repented in prison, there’s the problem of the real thief trying to kill her and the police department treating her like a dirty cop. With the possibility of anotherLove on the Run crime being pinned on them, Laney finally teams up with Alex to save her life. If only she could trust him with her heart, as well.


What inspired you to write this book? I love heist movies like Ocean’s Eleven, but I know the motives for robbery are not uplifting. So I took a character like Danny Ocean, had him get saved in jail then had him attempt to change his ways…except he has to make one more heist to prove himself innocent of a crime he didn’t commit. Now we’ve got the excitement of robbery plus a motive I can agree with. Win-win.


What was your favorite part to write? The ending is the most important part of a novel to me. I like it to be over the top with a twist that makes the reader want to go back and reread the story. And I love it when the reader knows what’s coming and the characters have no clue. So I had some fun with that.


Noses in booksWhat was the hardest part to write? This was a really fun book to write. No deadlines. No editor’s guidelines. I just wrote it for fun, and I wrote it in two weeks. Needless, to say I had to make some edits. Those were harder than writing the actual story. But they are so important because I want a book to work on multiple levels, and in two weeks, I didn’t have enough time to evolve all those different levels.


What kind of research did you do for this book? I researched gangs and guns and what you are supposed to do when getting shot at. I actually sat my kids down and told them what I’d learned in case, God forbid, there is ever a school shooting at one of their schools. I said, “You duck and run. You don’t hide behind anything because bullets can go through stuff. You get away as fast as you possibly can while making yourself as little as you possibly can. And you don’t stop outside the school and wait for emergency workers. You keep running until you know you are safe.” Scary stuff.


What’s the best thing about being an author? Making a difference. I love creating stories, and I get so much out of my own writing, but it’s when I get a letter from someone who learned something or was inspired by my words, that I’m like, “Yes. This is why I do this.”


What’s the hardest thing about being an author? Sometimes I wish I could get a normal job to make a reliable paycheck and not always have characters running around in my head that keep me from sleeping at night if I do get a normal job and have no time to write. That’s when it feels like a curse.


What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring writers? You have no idea how God will use you if you are true to the gifts he’s given you and open to learning to use those gifts through hard work and patience. No idea. So keep writing and find out!


If you were writing about your life what would the title be? Becoming Mrs. Strong.


Anything you would like add? Happy birthday to my son! He’s 16 today!

Yay for May birthdays. Both of my kids have May birthdays 🙂

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers again. It’s always great to hear from you and see what you are up to.




Write to the Point with Mary L. Hamilton May 20, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:38 am
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SeeNoEvilFrontDropCropToday we get write to the point with Mary L. Hamilton. She visited us a while ago. You can read her first interview here. Read on to see what she is up to now.

Tell us about your newest book.

See No Evil is the third and final book in the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp Series. It features Steven Miller, a blind but capable camper who has appeared in both of the first two books. He guards a dark secret that he’s carried since his dad’s death three years earlier. When a friend begins a sexting relationship while at camp, Steven tries to keep his buddy from going down a familiar path without exposing his own shameful past.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

We’ve recently moved to a new town, so I’m still getting adjusted as we look for permanent housing. But I read a lot. I also like to knit sweaters and afghans, although summer in Texas is usually too hot for that. But I love being outdoors, enjoying nature.

Where do you get your ideas?

My ideas for this series came from real life. I grew up at a Bible camp, so I used some of my experiences there. Some of my characters were inspired by people I knew at camp. Others grew out of watching the struggles of my children’s friends. I like to think about situations I observe in real life and think about how to build a story around them.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

I start with an outline of sorts. I generally know the beginning and the end and a couple of high points in the middle. See No Evil was different, because I didn’t really know how it would end until the day before I wrote the final scene. It was a struggle all the way through that book, not knowing exactly what target to aim for. I hope not to ever repeat that experience!

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

I was very fortunate to have the first book I wrote published. I expect there will be others in the future that will have a hard time getting published. From what I hear, most every writer goes through that at some point.

Are you like any of the characters in your book?

I don’t see myself in any of the characters in this book. The main character in the first book, Hear No Evil, probably shared some of my own characteristics, such as timidity, holding back and not really being proactive, keeping things locked up inside.

Are you working on a new project now?

I’ve been rolling an idea around in my head and am starting to flesh it out. This will be more of an adult novel, one that came to me out of my own family. It’s kind of an Odd Couple situation where a soldier returns from deployment and must share an apartment with his free-spirited younger brother.

Anything you would like to add?

I’d like to give the Lord credit for See No Evil. Being a new writer, I didn’t plan well when I created Steven in the first book. He was the ever-cheerful, well-adjusted kid. That doesn’t make for an interesting main character. Then, my original plot for Steven’s story fell apart. There were times I considered giving up and admitting I couldn’t write. But I had a signed contract to fulfill, and I decided since God had provided this opportunity, He’s probably able to help me write the book. He does, after all, know something about writing a book! I determined to put forth my best effort, and He was faithful to the very end. I hope your readers will enjoy See No Evil, as well as the other two books, and know that God is faithful in all things.

 Bio: Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the settingMary Hamil for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, including serving as a camp counselor for a week. She decided once was enough.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.

Connect with Mary:






Back Cover blurb:

Steven Miller guards a dark secret.

Dad drilled into Steven that blindness should never be used as an excuse. So when Steven finds an old triathlon medallion among Dad’s belongings, he’s inspired to follow in his footsteps. Maybe it’ll quiet the guilt he’s carried since Dad’s death three years ago.

While Steven continues his triathlon training during his final summer at camp, a serious illness keeps Rustic Knoll’s beloved Nurse Willie from managing her clinic. When Steven teams up with his friend Claire to encourage Willie’s recovery, his feelings for Claire grow beyond friendship.

But his buddy, Dillon, has started down a dangerous path that Steven knows all too well. Can he keep his friend from falling into that sin without exposing his own past?


Book link:

It was great to hear from you, Mary. Thanks so much for taking time to share with my readers.




Write to the Point with Caryl McAdoo (Part 2) May 13, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:12 am
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caryl2Today we get write to the point with Caryl McAdoo. She visited us a few weeks ago. You can read her first interview here. Read on to learn about her newest release.

Tell us about your newest book.

I love writing this TEXAS ROMANCE series and am so very blessed that it seems readers are liking each story better than the last. Music to an author’s ears, right? I’m saying! And I love music!      SINS OF THE MOTHERS, book four of these historical Christian, western-adventure novels is set in 1851-1853 and continues the saga of Henry and Sue Buckmeyer. Their offspring are growing into young adults, and this story begins the next generation featuring their oldest daughter, Mary Rachel.    Blind love propels my seventeen-year-old heroine to defy her father and elope with Caleb Wheeler. The newlyweds run off to California and partner with his cousin in a dry goods business. Unbeknownst to the young bride, her new husband sends his kissing cousin ahead, wanting both his love and his new wife’s money.    Betrayal and murder drive Mary, soon a young mother, to the depths of despair. But she cannot stand the man who might be the only one to love her enough to cover her sins and deliver her out of the horrible pit she’s dug for herself.      Mary Rachel travels from frontier Texas to the raw bone boomtown of 1850’s San Francisco gold rush days, then all the way to genteel New York to find redemption for the sins of her mothers.


What do you do when you’re not writing?

Marketing probably takes up the most of my non-writing time. If only it were finished when I wrote ‘The End’ on my manuscript, but in reality, it’s only the beginning of the new phase—namely getting the news of your novel out to the masses of readers.    The industry changes so much—it seems every day, but a few months race by and there’s new technology and software, promotion groups, and places to build your platform.      Though a sixty-five-year-old Grami, I still am primary guardian to two of my fifteen grandsugars (ages fifteen and twelve), so I still have school and sports events and sixth-graders to pick up from band practice. Those boys are always hungry, bottomless pits! And they create mounds of laundry weekly, too.      We go to church three, sometimes four times a week. I have two or three Writers’ Workshops a month and a book club. I love gardening and plating flowers, working on making my little space on this world God loves so much a beautiful garden.      And, last but so close to the top of my most favorite things to do, I sing! Praise and worship songs—many that God’s given straight to me—scoop me up and carry me to His throne room where I love to bask in His presence. Certainly, I stay plenty busy!


Where do you get your ideas?

Life, personal experiences and those of my close friends, and the Bible. It’s full of wonderful stories!

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

A panster, though I prefer to say that I write ‘for discovery’. Much classier for an older lady who loves the Lord? Besides, I don’t wear ‘pants’ because God said He doesn’t want women wearing any garments that pertain to a man.      When I was little, in the 50s’, I wore dresses. It was the norm. I still do, by choice, trying to please my Father. Fashion needs no statement for me. Long full skirts are a thousand times more modest. I take “Be ye Holy as I Am Holy” quite seriously.      Since my thirties (in the ’80s), my heart desire has been to please Him, be satisfied with myself as He created me. This led to quitting make-up and coloring, cutting, or curling my hair.    Back to writing for discovery. One reader asked me if I knew how Hearts Stolen would end in the beginning, and I can truthfully say, as the mess got deeper for my hero and heroine, I had no clue how it could ever work out. Didn’t know until I got to the end, what would happen, how God was going to untangle the knots I’d created.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

Well, yes. A historical romance that is set in the Texas hill country though it also takes readers to be beaches of Normandy, too. It opens in 1926 and ends in 1950. One of the first novels I wrote back in the ’80s, THE CHIEF OF SINNERS, proved too ‘religious’ for the secular publishers and too secular for the Christian houses. When I acquired a New York agent, and she asked for a historical Christian romance set in the 1800s, I used the last names of the characters in the Texas Romance series – – – Buckmeyer, Nightingale, Baylor, and Abbott. I knew the backstory of those families already, so I included that, but in the present in the 1800s.      For example, in the early ’50s, Travis Buckmeyer starts renovations of the old family mansion. The west wing had burned due to a lightning strike. So in the 1800s’ story. His ancestor—Henry Buckmeyer—builds that house.


Are you like any of the characters in your book?

Oh, yes, of course. There’s a part of me in every heroine and the villains, too. And I have such strong wonderful heroes because they are all in-part, my husband Ron. Many of my friends appear, too, some only in attitude or dialogue patterns, and some by name as well. I can’t imagine writing any character totally different from someone I know.

Are you working on a new project now?

I am. Book five in this series, DAUGHTERS OF THE HEART, due to release in September, four months away, and we all know how fast the summer flys by!


Anything you would like to add?

Only that I pray my story gives God glory!


carylBio: Christian, hybrid (Simon & Schuster & Indie) author Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series, all from a perspective of faith: her historical Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fifteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying each story gives God glory, she hopes it will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.



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Thanks so much for visiting us again Caryl 🙂 See you next month.