Friday, August 31, 2012

Tammy Doherty: Smiling Between Rough Patches And Sunny Times

Everyone's Story welcomes author Tammy Doherty as its new guest this week. I've had the pleasure of knowing Tammy for a few years, cyber wise, on our NE-ACFW loop, and in early July had an awesome time meeting her in person when we met for lunch at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA (yes--there's a great restaurant there!). Tammy is a great listener, intuitive, loving . . . and a fearless driver on those Massachusetts highways! I hope you enjoy getting to know Tammy as much as I have.

Tammy is graciously offering a Giveaway of her first novel CELTIC CROSS. A blurb follows below.
Book Giveaway
Tammy is offering the giveaway of one copy of CELTIC CROSS to one randomly chosen commenter. For convenience, please leave your email address within the body of the comment. The winner will be announced on Friday, September 7th, between 4-5 EST. Please check back then.

Here's a blurb of CELTIC CROSS:

Sometime you have to forget who you are to become who you should be.
Shot…bleeding…barely conscious…she’s dying!
A stranger arrives on the Donovan ranch one breath away from dead. Matt Donovan doesn’t hesitate to help, despite the risk that the man who shot her may come riding down the trail, shattering peaceful Glenpark, Colorado. When Cristeen wakes, she remembers nothing of her pat. One thought haunts her day and night – trust no one. Matt fears  Cristeen’s independence will lead to tragedy. Can he help Cristeen see the need to trust the Lord before it’s too late? Can Cristeen overcome her belief that loving only brings heartache?

Why I Write The Stories I Do by Tammy Doherty

The short stretch of highway known as The Podunk Pike is lined with tall pines and a smattering of maple and oak trees. Along one section there is a single landmark – a cross. The whitewashed wood is inscribed with one word – my name.
It’s not easy driving past the spot where I will die. 

While The Podunk Pike really exists and there is a cross with the name “Tammy” painted upon it, I do not believe it is a prediction of my future. But the poetic, Celtic part of my nature can’t help think up morbid stories to explain its presence. That vivid imagination drew me into the writing world. I’m quick to jump into the “what if” game that fuels the mind of novelists round the world. The morbid part of my personality is offset with a twisted sense of humor – I can find something to smile about in nearly any situation. I wasn’t always so gifted, or at least the gift has gone ignore at times.

Twenty-one years ago, my brother was killed in an alcohol-related car accident. Life went downhill like a rushing stream. At one point, driving home from work I saw a tractor-trailer coming from the other direction. I thought, “If I veer in front of that truck it would all be over and no one would care.” Even I was horrified by the thought. Slowly, oh so very slowly, I learned to turn to the Lord in times of trouble or sadness. Life goes up and down, but God stays the same. 

Sixteen years ago something happened that again drastically changed my life. I had a baby. Oh what a blessing she was, and still is! I’d made great strides in strengthening my faith but that little child did wonders for my soul. I saw things I hadn’t seen in decades, perhaps I’d never seen them at all in the past. She taught me to look at every little part of each day in a new way. After five years, I did something I hadn’t done since my brother’s death. I began to write.

Recently I came to the realization that I am a character-driven writer. The relationships between my characters are most important. It’s what I look for in a book, movie or TV show as well. Drawing on life experiences, I put myself into each character as I write, seeing and feeling as they see and feel. In my first novel, “Celtic Cross”, the heroine, Cristeen, trusts no one. Not even God. Sometimes she doesn’t even trust herself. I’ve been there, though not as drastically as Cristeen. I took from my life and made it into something bigger. Then figured out how to get Cristeen through that to a place where she could rely on God. In my third novel, “Celtic Knot”, I tried to explain the love of God. I drew on the love for and from my daughter, the experience of being a mother, and let the story’s heroine, Abby, experience the same.

Ironically, I got something more from “Celtic Knot” than just the satisfaction of a romantic suspense well-told. Abby’s late husband was named Liam, a name I’ve always liked. When my son was born, just a week before the release of “Celtic Knot”, we chose to name him Liam. Now he’s linked to my writing, too.

After three historical novels, I decided to leap forward into the present time. And a setting as familiar and natural to me as breathing. My first contemporary romantic suspense takes place in a small town in central Massachusetts. I took the four towns originally part of the Quaboag Plantation, mushed them together, chucked out some parts I don’t need, and created a whole new, fictional town. Some of the quirky things that happen around here are sure to find their way into this or future stories. The one question I have, though, is the town’s name. Currently it goes by the name of Naultag, which is actually the name of a small stream that runs through the western part of the area. I wonder, though, if I should call it Podunk. What do you think?

Author Bio:

Tammy Doherty lives with her family on a small farm in central Massachusetts, growing and selling perennials. She is also a customer service rep for Northeast Veterinary Supply Company. Juggling work and family leaves little time for writing but her imagination is always on overdrive. She is the author of three inspirational Western romance novels, Celtic CrossCladdaugh, and Celtic Knot. All three are available in print online from Amazon (  and Barnes & Noble ( Look for them in eBook format later this fall. Visit Tammy at her website on her Facebook page

Blogs Tammy Can Be Found On:

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Jordyn Redwood: Thankful For The One Moments She's Graced With

Everyone's Story warmly welcomes debut author Jordyn Redwood. Involved in ACFW, I connected with Jordyn when I sought the answer to a medical dilemma I was having with one of my own characters in a novel. Jordyn, a pediatric ER nurse and a one-time marching band geek, is also the host of Redwood's Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping authors with medical advice, not only helped me with great insights but also featured me on her blog
--a true honor. This week, I have the pleasure of reciprocating and highlighting an author who surely is on her way to having an exciting writing career. 

Jordyn shares with us a recent incident that has occurred to a close friend. When a near-tragedy happens, it gives new focus to what is meaningful in life. Jordyn has taken this experience and has applied it in some ways I'm sure you will find very close to your heart. Plus, she's offering a Giveaway of her novel PROOF.

Book Giveaway

Jordyn is offering one copy of her debut novel PROOF to one randomly chosen commenter. Please leave your email within the body of the comment for contact purposes only. The winner will be announced on 
Friday, August 31, between 4-5 PM EST.

Here's an Amazon blurb on PROOF:

Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

That One Moment by Jordyn Redwood

As both a mom and a pediatric ER nurse, I recently got a call from a friend of mine (who is also both a mother of seven and ER nurse) that crushed me on all levels. As their family was packing up their belongings from a social gathering, her four-year-old wandered off.

I don't know what it is about water—but it draws curious youngsters like true north pulls at the compass’s needle and he fell into the pool when no one else was looking. The second thing I still haven’t discovered as a pediatric nurse, but understand as a mother, is that niggling that hits your gut to go check, go look, in the place that holds the worst-case scenario. My friend’s husband and another man, who was a family practice doctor, went to check the pool.

Of course, my friend first innocently thought that a child may have left something unwanted there until her husband dove in and pulled the lifeless body of her son from the bottom.

I've known Shellie for over a decade. We met as fellow nurses in the pediatric ICU and I know she is a wonderful mother and amazing nurse. And here it came—the culmination of all those years of training and experience coalescing into this one moment. As she put her lips to her son's lifeless purple ones—would he live or die? And if he lived—would he be the boy he was before?

Miraculously, she received back the same boy who took three minutes of CPR to revive.

When we chatted after the incident on the phone, as a mother, my heart broke. As a nurse, I understood the miracle that they had been given. As an author, you would think I would have all these amazing, insightful things to say and what I could muster was a prayer of thanksgiving and these words: "I think that was your one moment." If you’d like, you can read my friend’s account here.

What is that one moment? It’s that particular time in your life when "the universe lines up" and everything magically comes together for a good outcome. Personally, I call this God’s intervention. It's Sully landing that airplane on the Hudson River. If you've never read about his training background prior to that event, it quickly becomes clear that he was the man for the job!

The writing life is hard—there’re no two ways about it. On those days when you're staring at a blank computer screen, the cursor mocking your mind as you struggle to put words onto paper, I think it's fun to think about what "that one moment" in writing might be.

I'd read a post from author James Pence who'd published a book and after that, had struggled with sales. Let's just say he wasn't living the glory of a James Patterson writing career. Not yet been gifted a seventeen million dollar contract and he began to wonder if his whole foray into this writing life had been a big waste of his time.

Then he received a note from a gentleman whose house had burned to the ground. Whose family had been murdered. And when that man cried out to God for an answer, he found one burned page from James’s fiction novel about a man who’d also lost his wife and children and that page was hope for him. You can read James's talk about this amazing account here.

What I've learned is that each of our moments is going to look different. Some authors may grab the attention of the national media and others may only see an e-mail sent by a reader that was deeply touched by their novel. But what we shouldn't discount is the impact of that one moment and what it means for that one person. Both for the author and the reader.

I recently got a letter from a fellow RN that I'd never met who said she'd bought Proof mainly because she saw that it was written by a nurse. She loved the story so much that she felt it could be a bridge for an unbelieving co-worker to have a conversation about the Gospel.

I don't know—maybe that will be my one moment but I may not know until I see her in heaven.

Has something special in your life occurred to spur you to keep going? Come share with Jordyn--she looks forward to hearing from you.

Author Bio:

Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her debut novel, Proof, garnered a starred review from Library Journal and has been endorsed by the likes of Dr. Richard Mabry, Lynette Eason, and Mike Dellosso to name a few. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at

You may also find Jordyn at:

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Julie L. Cannon: Re-fashioned By God And Lovin' It

Everyone's Story welcomes this week's guest, multi-published author Julie Cannon. Although Simon & Schuster describes her Homegrown Series as Southern-fried Soul Food, I'd like to think of Julie as a role model for hope. As you will experience in Julie's personal account below, back in college Julie was involved in a horrific accident. So bad, that her parents were cautioned by specialists of what to expect--or not expect--from a brain injury. And, as you will also see, Julie is a walking miracle. 

How does one still have faith in a God when all seems doom and gloom? Sit back in a comfy chair and visit with Julie as she shares her story. Plus, she's offering a dynamic book giveaway!

Book Giveaway:
Julie is offering one copy of her new release TWANG to one commenter. The winner will be announced next Friday, August 24th. For convenience, please leave your email address within the comment.

Thanks For A Brain Injury?! by Julie Cannon

When I was a Junior at the University of Georgia in 1984, I needed a bunch of P.E. credits in order to graduate. I eagerly registered for a class called Fitness for Life; an intensive, multi-sport approach. My class was biking down Milledge Avenue, sans helmets, when an elderly gentleman’s car slammed into me. I’ve got no memory until some sketchy images weeks later in a hospital physical therapy room; learning to walk between parallel bars, squeezing sponges of water from one bowl into another, bottles of phenobarbitol lining the shelf.
When the hospital sent a brain-injury specialist to prepare my family for their new reality, I was oblivious. Apparently my mother still dwells only on the good things because she often remarks, “You’re a walking miracle! God’s been good to you, Julie.”

Well, at first I was not so sure about all the ‘God’s been good to you’ talk. Trips to the neurologist revealed a “spark” shooting from the right front temporal lobe of my brain. I was told ‘It’s not a good idea for you to drive.’ I certainly wasn’t feeling the need to say thanks to Someone who’d let this happen.
Though I’d been raised by devout, God-fearing parents who carried me to church every time the doors were open, I’d never had the time, nor the desire for any of that religious stuff. Life was all about me. But as the months passed, and as I journeyed along in my recovery (particularly as I saw the drooling folks in wheelchairs in the neurologist’s waiting room) I began to see that I had indeed been spared, and that there was a greater power at work in me. I’m sure you’re heard people say it was their suffering that drew them closer to God, that it was while in the proverbial dark valley they discovered God was all they needed. For me, this discovery was a brand new, earth-shaking realization, one that blew the door wide open to my soul.

Going through that l-o-n-g valley taught me that God uses the hard things in our lives to re-fashion us. It was the catalyst for a trusting relationship, a peace with God that I would not trade for anything in this world.

Sometimes it still hits me right between the eyes - what a miracle it is that I can walk, that I still possess the mental clarity to tell the stories I’ve always loved to tell! The wreck, the brain injury, and my subsequent journey to recovery wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. But as many challenges as I faced, still face, it was worth it all. In an odd way, I’m even thankful for what became the pivotal moment in my life. I wouldn’t erase it even if I could. What it taught me, what it brought to me is of immeasurable value. I want to tell this to the world.

I like what Donald Maass has to say about writers conveying our passions: “They are always stronger in the mouths of characters than in the prose of the author.” One of the characters in my novel Twang  is Tonilynn Hamby, beautician to country music diva Jenny Cloud. Tonilynn has gone through her own valleys, times when she was teetering on the abyss of despair. Now she feels she has wisdom to offer recording star Jenny Cloud when it comes to ugly childhood memories:

“This world would be so much poorer without your songs. You’ve got to understand, hon, in God’s economy, nothing we experience in this earthly life is wasted. Please let him pour his love on hurting, vulnerable people through you. He can make something beautiful and good come out of your ugliest experiences, if you’ll just let him! I’m begging you, just ask him to help you dig it all up!”

Jenny is not sure she can trust Tonilynn’s faith or her advice. Tonilynn is not deterred. “It’s the only way to healing, Jennifer,” Tonilynn’s brown eyes went soft with concern. “Believe me, God cares, and he understands our hurt. He used my hurts as a way of ministering to others when I finally looked them in the eye, and he can use yours. Pull up whatever it is that’s still buried and use it to write a song.”

Jenny Cloud is stubborn. It takes a natural disaster to drive her to her knees.
Twang is about how to trust God with a despicable memory, something you think is totally unredeemable, and find out he’s got something beautiful he can fashion from it. If you like spiritually daring stories, I hope you’ll consider checking out Twang.

Can you relate to either Julie's experiences, or that of her characters Jenny Cloud or Tonilynn? Julie will enjoy hearing from you if you'd like to leave a comment ♥

Julie's Books:
Twang (Abingdon Press) Coming August 1 2012
I'll Be Home for Christmas (Summerside Press)
The Romance Readers' Book Club (Penguin Plume)
Those Pearly Gates (Simon & Schuster)
'Mater Biscuit (Simon & Schuster)
Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes (Simon & Schuster)

Author Bio:

Julie L. Cannon is the author of the award-winning Homegrown series, published by Simon & Schuster and described as ‘Southern-fried soul food.’ Her novel I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Summerside Press, Sept. ‘10, made the CBA Bestseller List as well as Nielsen’s Top 50 Inspirational Titles. Abingdon Press will release Twang  in August 2012, and Scarlett Says in October 2013. When she isn’t busy tending her tomato patch, Julie can be found listening to country music or teaching memoir-writing workshops. She lives in Watkinsville, Georgia. Visit her website at and connect with her on Facebook at and on Twitter at       

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jillian Kent: Never Give Up Your Dreams--But Throw In Some R&R Too

I became acquainted with Jillian when I won her debut novel SECRETS OF THE HEART in a book giveaway featured on another blog. When I received the book I was delighted to find her autograph with the Biblical verse 2 Timothy 1:7--For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power, love and self-dsicipline (NIV). I don't know about you, but I welcome those words, and on a daily basis! Seeking to know more about Jillian, I explored her website, really liked what I saw, and invited her to be my guest. I hope you also enjoy your visit with Jillian.

Book Giveaway:

Jill is offering a special giveaway offer. One randomly chosen commenter will receive both SECRETS OF THE HEART (Book 1) and CHAMELEON (Book 2) of the Ravensmoore Chronicles Series. Family Fiction Magazine describes Jill's novels as stories of romance and suspense, and RT Book Reviews Magazine says her characters are lively and well defined.

For contact purposes only, please include your email address within the body of your comment. The winner will be announced on August 17th.

My Personal Writing Retreat: Before, During, and After 
by Jillian Kent

I took my very first personal writing retreat near the end of May this year to finish the third book in my Ravensmoore Chronicles series, Mystery of the Heart, which releases in January 2013.

I walked up and down a long beautiful road every evening, thinking about very little after spending most of the day writing and knowing the evening would be spent writing as well. There were horses and deer everywhere. 

I wasn't sure what to expect since I'd never been to this retreat center. I've never been to any retreat center to stay more than one day. A trusted friend suggested I try it. I stayed an entire week at Potter's Ranch

My cabin was awesome. I brought snacks and breakfast food with me and joined the staff and other guests for lunch and dinner every day at the lodge. There was no television channels but I could watch DVDs. The only thing I brought with me was season one of Downton Abbey. I watched the entire season again but only after I'd met my necessary quota of words for the 
day. :)

One of the horses at Potter's Ranch
I realize that everyone cannot get away from their homes to take a writing retreat. Here is why I went:

  1. To finish the book.
  2. To eliminate distractions
  3. To get away from my typical routine.
During the week I was at Potter's Ranch I:

  1. Spent more time in prayer.
  2. Found my focus.
  3. Accomplished what I set out to do.
When I returned home I had a better sense of

  1. What success means to me.
  2.  How to hang on to my peace.
  3. How to unplug and enjoy.
 I hope you will treat yourself well and think of doing something similar for yourself down the road. We can't always run away from home, but with some good planning you can find a way. Maybe you can't get away for a week but even a couple of days will bless you. And if you can't get away from home try to get out of the house and write at your local library, coffee shop, on your lunch break from your day job.

I recently had to give up my home office when one of my children moved back home. So now my desk is in the dining room! I bought a room divider and headset for my music. So even in a crowded house I can still have my personal space.

Now that I've had my retreat I'm looking for ways to keep retreat alive in my daily life. What about you? Have you enjoyed a personal retreat of some kind? What did you learn? How and where do you get your writing done most of the time? What are your challenges?

Author’s Bio:
Jillian Kent is a full-time counselor for nursing students and holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from West Virginia University. Her third book in The Ravensmoore Chronicle Series, Mystery of the Heart, releases in January 2013. She’s fascinated with human behavior, how the mind works, and why we do the things we do. Jillian resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband of 31 years, her 87-year-old mother, and an adult daughter who is an animal advocate, which is why there are four cats and a dog in the house as well. Her youngest daughter is working in the mission field.

You Can Find Jillian At:  Website Blog  Amazon Author Page  The Well Writer/Christian Fiction On-line Magazine  Realms Authors   Jill's agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sharon Srock: An Ordinary Woman Using Her Faith To Do Extraordinary Things

Everyone's Story is pleased to welcome soon-to-be debut author Sharon Srock. I became acquainted with Sharon on her lovely blog, The Women Of Valley View, saying that when both of us are published we'll be siting next to each other in a book signing since our last names are almost alike. Well, I may have some catching up to do with Sharon, but I'm happy for her that the first in a series she has sold to Harbourlight Books will be released in 3 months. It's been great getting to know Sharon better; like her own characters, Sharon is indeed a woman who uses her faith to do extraordinary things but truthfully, I should have used the term "extraordinary" to describe Sharon in the title of this segment!

Sharon will be sharing an interview, as well as an excerpt from her first book. If you're an author with an unexpected debut story, or a reader looking for inspiration within a novel, Sharon looks forward to hearing from you. Plus, she has a special treat:

Book Giveaway

If you don't mind first receiving Book 1 of the WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW, CALLIE, upon its release in October, Sharon is offering one copy to one viewer who leaves a comment. The randomly chosen winner will be announced on Friday, August 10th. Please leave you email within the body of the comment. Thanks!

Here's a blurb (the excerpt follows):
Three dire circumstances. Three desperate prayers. One miracle to save them all.
Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her.

Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities.

Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing.  And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family.
For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.

By Sharon Srock

Callie Stillman dabbed raindrops from her face with a linen napkin as Benton dodged a server with a loaded tray and took his place across from her. She smiled into her husband’s blue eyes and reached across to wipe water from his beard. “We’ll both have pneumonia if we don’t dry off soon.”
Benton took the napkin and finished the job. “I’ve been told the food is very good. A few sniffles should be worth it.”
Callie’s gaze roamed the room. “It’s…” Recognition slammed into her chest, forcing the air from her lungs. The man crossing the room behind her husband nodded and continued to his table. Was that the bailiff? Do you swear to tell the truth… She gulped for breath and fought the familiar darkness that crowded the edges of her vision.
Callie ran a finger around her collar, tugging the neck of the blouse away from skin suddenly dewed with a fine film of sweat. Too hot. She took a sip of water, dismayed at the tremor in her hand as she lifted the glass to her lips. Not here, not tonight. Callie closed her eyes and practiced the breathing techniques she’d learned over the last six months. In through her nose, hold for a few seconds, and out through her mouth. Concentrate only on the current step in the process, the next breath. The tightness in her chest began to fade away. Thank you, Jesus. She raised her water again and held the cold glass to her flushed cheek.
Callie met Benton’s eyes across the table. The concern etched on her husband’s face threatened to break her heart. Benton had been so supportive during the last few months, so protective while she tried to heal. She would beat this. For him, she would move on.
“You OK?”
Callie smiled. “I’m fine. It’s just a little warm in here all of a sudden.”
Benton cocked his head to the side. “You sure? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
A ghost? She closed her eyes, the images unbidden but ever present. Sawyer’s pale, lifeless face. Callie’s hand reaching out to stroke baby-fine hair, bruises the mortician’s makeup couldn’t hide. That tiny coffin lowered into the ground. Callie could have lived with a ghost, but her haunted memories and the never-ending what ifs that traveled with them would drive her crazy.
Two more breaths, another swallow of cold water. Callie smiled at Benton. “This was a nice surprise. Thanks for thinking of it.”
Benton took her hand. “Anything for the woman I love. Have you decided what you’d like for dinner?”
“I—“ A vicious bolt of lightning lit the dark Oklahoma sky outside the windows of the restaurant. Thunder exploded across the sky. The lights flickered and went off, plunging the room into sudden darkness and silence except for the terrified cries of a frightened child.
Callie jumped to her feet. Her chair tipped sideways onto the carpeted floor. Oh Jesus, please make the crying stop. A harsh voice cut across the child’s frantic cries. “Andy, sit down and stop that noise. It’s just thunder.”
The lights came back up and Callie’s awareness narrowed to the cries of the child. Is that how Sawyer sounded? Frightened howls as his eighteen months of life surrendered to the beating his father dealt him. Oh Jesus, I’m so sorry. So sorry I let Janette deceive me. So sorry I didn’t ask you before I testified. I know you’ve forgiven me. Please help me forgive myself. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. Callie bolted from the restaurant.
“Callie!” Benton called.
She was letting him down. Still she ran for the door.
When Benton found her several minutes later, she stood by the car. Rain cascaded over her, mixing with her tears. Benton pulled her into his arms, wet and all. He held her close, his bearded chin rested on her head. “Shh, baby, it’s OK. I’m sorry. This was a bad idea.”
Callie clung to him like the lifeline between sanity and madness he was. “Benton, no. It was a great idea. I know you were trying to distract me. Trying to make me forget Sawyer’s birthday. I thought I could.” She allowed Benton to help her into the car, only to bend double in the seat as the panicked adrenalin gave way to nausea. “How could I have been so stupid?”
Benton started the car and turned the heater up to high. “Callie, you weren’t stupid. You thought you were doing the right thing.”
Callie shook her head. “I just wanted to help. I knew Janette wasn’t abusing her kids. She didn’t deserve to lose them. Testifying to that…being at the hearing to support her…celebrating when it was over. I just wanted to help,” she repeated.
Her husband navigated the rain-washed streets while Callie huddled in the seat, head down, arms wrapped around her middle. The images in her mind took on a life of their own. Janette, sitting in her office, tearful over charges of alleged child abuse, frantic because her babies had been taken from her. Callie’s unhesitating agreement to appear in court as a character witness. The custody hearing, her nervous testimony, the endless waiting for the judge to make a decision, the joy of seeing those two babies reunited with their mother. And Sawyer died because of my interference. Jesus, give me strength. Give me the wisdom I need to never put myself in that situation again.

Some Questions For Sharon:

You openly admit your age (you brave woman) on your blog site, The Women of Valley View. Unlike actors, models, or just about anyone in a field that is deemed by society as age-controlled, writers have a bit more leeway that publication can begin at any age. Please share with us about your journey to publication. Do you accept the status of “late-bloomer” or do you see it as a misnomer?

I know that God called me to write 25 years ago. But looking back at the things I’ve walked through between now and then, and the flood gate that opened in my heart 3 years ago, I have to think that I’m blooming right where, and when, God wanted me to. Late in life, maybe. Late in God’s plan, nope.

Your characters are women who attend church together. They are ordinary women that through faith accomplish extraordinary things. Did you keep this in mind when writing your novel to entertain a specific reading audience or did you write the novel you wanted and hoped to reach the masses?

I think ordinary women accomplish extraordinary things in their lives every day. With the three stories I’ve written, Callie and Terri (contracted) and Pam (my almost completed work in progress) I tried to settle on that one thing. Callie’s was trust, Terri’s will be obedience, Pam will learn to forgive. I hope those things speak to all of us.

On your blog you also admit to following God’s call to writing 25 years ago…yet, it has taken a while. I say this as a person with a similar history. Now that your novel(s) has sold, and you have an agent working on your behalf, are you able to look back in hindsight and take a few guesses as to why God may have taken you on a detour? Or, do you believe it was all a matter of 25 years of honing your writing skills, hard work, and being in the right place at the right time?

Any detours in my life were mine, not God’s. I wonder, often, where I’d be right now if I’d stuck with writing 25 years ago. That’s a pointless question. Like I said, I’ve come to accept that I’m right where God wanted me, when He wanted me there.

How do you manage to write efficiently around working full-time at an air force base, selling Avon products, and being a loving wife, mom, and grandmother?

I’ve given up just about anything that resembles entertainment. I don’t get to read much anymore. I had to switch from reviewing books on my blog to offering excerpts because I was having problems reading a book every 2-3 weeks to review. I write on breaks and lunch periods. An hour here, thirty minutes there. I had just about developed a system that worked pretty well then the need for social media involvement raised its ugly head. That’s an hour plus out of my home time every evening. I’m thankful that my daughters are grown. My youngest grandchild is almost 12, so they are all to the self involved teenaged stage, and my husband is understanding enough that if he has to make his own dinner an extra night a week, he’s good with that.

Would you say Sharon Srock has finally arrived at the place in life she always dreamed about, or is she still traveling there?

Still traveling. Yes, my name on that book is a dream fulfilled, but what happens when you quit dreaming? We have to keep moving forward in this world or we stagnate.

Elaine, here is my little testimony. It might help viewers to understand the 25-year-thing:

I’ve been a reader all my life, but writing was never my dream. I remember cringing in English classes when a single page paper was due. One night I went to bed a reader and woke up determined to write a book. I was very involved in Star Trek fandom, had some short stories and poetry published in a fanzine here and there. My first full length project was a Star Trek story. Now, I’m Pentecostal, so you’ll have to work with me here…One night, about 25 years ago, we were in a revival. The evangelist, who didn’t know me from Eve spoke a word of prophecy over me. In para phrase…  “I’ve put a pen in your hand and a light by your side. Use it for me.” Well at that point in my life the only Christian writing I knew about were lessons or theological works of non fiction. That didn’t seem like me, so I stopped writing altogether. Three and a half years ago, a new employee stopped by my desk to introduce herself. In the course of the conversation, she mentioned that she was a writer. I told her that that was my dream at one time. She gave me the oddest look and spoke five words that have changed my life. “You gave up too soon.” That night I started writing Callie’s story.

Author Bio:
Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s writing credits include numerous poems and short stories published in science fiction fanzines.

You can reach Sharon at:

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