Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Trustworthiness and Proverbs 31

Trustworthy - deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable

11.  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Trust is an extremely important characteristic of relationship, no matter if they are in marriage, family, friendships, businesses, and others.  To be considered worthy of someone's trust is just about the highest compliment they could give you.  In my opinion, one measure of trustworthiness in marriage is that you do not seek physical or emotional intimacy outside of that relationship.  In a business setting, it could mean that when you accept an assignment, that assignment will be completed satisfactorily and on time.

27.  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

In the setting and Proverbs 31, and in many cultures today, the household is the purview of the woman or wife.  (Please note I am making no judgment whether it looks that way in your family or not.)  When I was growing up, my father worked as a PhD in Chemical Engineering to provide the means for our family to thrive.  My mother stayed home and kept the household running smoothly by cooking, cleaning and the like.  He provided the 'investment' and she managed the same; neither would last without the other.  Both my mother and father trusted the other to fulfill their part of the agreement, and trustworthily fulfilled their own duties.


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Success and Proverbs 31

Successful - having attained wealth, position, honors, or the like.

20.  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

What better measure of success is there than when we can say, "You know what?  I have enough.  I am happy.  Let me help others find their miracle."  There are as many different roads to happiness as there are people:  a full belly, a pair of glasses, a well-timed hug, help mastering a subject or technique.  (Note to self:  A-Z Blessings would be a GREAT topic for the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge!) :O)

28.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

OK.  Maybe this one isn't necessarily 'better' than the previous example, but it's pretty dang nice to receive kudos from those closest to us, be they family or friends (or associates).  Our first year in Kentucky, I worked four 10-hour night shifts a week during the Christmas season at the Amazon warehouse in Lexington.  When I came home (close to 7:00 AM) I could barely move.  But when I opened the door, my (then) 2 YO daughter would run through the house towards me, arms flung wide and shout, smiling, "MOMMY!"  I will have a tough time achieving more success than that.


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

BOOK TOUR: Love, Life and Happiness I & II by Sheena Binkley

I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone when I arrived at Shaw University. After my last stint at love, the only thing I wanted to focus on is getting through my first semester of college without any drama. That was my intentions, until I met Shawn Walker. At first I didn’t like him. He was arrogant and cocky; someone that I could easily despised, if he wasn’t so damn sexy. But one night changed my thoughts about him. I was able to let down my guard and be myself. Now, I have a second chance at love. Will I let myself love again, or will I continue to live in the past?

After my last girlfriend cheated on me, love was not on my agenda. I tried to escape it at all costs, until I met Riana Robertson. After thinking she was like every other girl, I easily avoided being around her, but that night, when I saw what happened to her, I had to help her. I had to protect her. That night changed the way I felt about her and I realized I could fall hard for her. But will our relationship survive once she finds out the truth about me. Or will I lose her forever…

Falling in love is something I’d never imagined. I didn’t think love existed, mainly because of the way I was raised. Relationships were never in the cards, especially since I gave a chance on one, and it nearly destroyed me.
When I met Marcus Walker, I was only looking for a fling, nothing more; but the more time I spent with him, the more I realized he could be so much more. Not only has he helped me through my family drama but also with a situation I thought was way behind me. Now, I understand what love is and how powerful it can be. But will I let myself be loved, or will I continue to believe that love is not for me?

One thing I said I will never do in my life is fall in love. Being in love is great for some people, but not for me. That all changed when I met Cheryl Thompson.
At first, I thought she would be like the rest, just a one-night stand, but when I saw what she was going through, I realized she was much more than a fling; she was someone I wanted to commit to. Will I be able to trust myself and give her what she needs, or will I end up destroying her even more?

Sheena Binkley first discovered her love for storytelling when writing her first story for a class project at the tender age of nine. Since then, she has composed several short stories and numerous tales that are not only engaging, but simply entertaining. She is also a freelance writer, penning articles on various topics including education and entertainment. Besides writing, she loves reading, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Houston (where the weather is always unpredictable) with her husband and son.

1. In five words, describe you as a writer?
Entertaining, exciting, unpredictable, quirky, romantic, and drama

2. What is your inspiration for writing?
I have a vivid imagination, so I think that’s the inspiration I need to come up with storylines, characters, etc.  But I also think it’s my love for writing and being a reader that makes me want to create stories that are interesting and engaging.

3. What are some things that you have to have while writing?
My laptop or iPad (when I don’t feel like turning on my computer), food, and music. Music is the most important element, because that is how I set-up scenes for my stories. Most of the scenes in my stories are based off of songs that I was listening to while writing. That is also why I have playlists for all of my books.

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years with your writing career?
Even though I love the fact that I’m an indie author, I would love to be with a publishing company. Also, I would love to see one of my books on either The New York Times or USA Today best-sellers list.

5. Name five things that are on your bucket list?
1. To be a New York Times best-seller
2. Go to Disney World (which I plan on doing with my family next year)
3. Go to New York
4. Visit Vegas
5. Try zip-lining (which would be an accomplishment since I’m terrified of heights)



RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Love's Sorrow by Terri Rochenski

Happy Book Birthday to Love's Sorrow!

Today marks the kick-off of Love's Sorrow blog tour AND part one of ...
 a sneak peak at the entire first chapter!
Follow along during the tour for parts two through ten, and be sure to check out the rafflecopter below for some Love's Sorrow goodies!


Love's Sorrow
Means of Mercy #1
Historical Romance
Release Date: April 21, 2014
Publisher: Roane Publishing

Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.

Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow's unrelenting waves of grief.

CreateSpace (best option) * Amazon



Chapter 1 / Excerpt 1
With a loud grind and clanking, the train came to rest at King’s Cross Station. The engine car let out a hiss like the sigh that escaped my lips every night when I laid on my pallet after a long day’s work.

Pressing my face to the window, I stared in amazement at the mass of moving people. When boarding the train in Birmingham, excitement kept me from giving the well-to-do folks more than a mere glance, but I sat captivated as my fellow passengers disembarked around me.
Lavish bonnets and bright-coloured dresses of silky material made me ashamed of the threadbare gingham frock and tattered straw hat I wore.

Aunt Martha and Mary always tried to keep up with the latest fashions by ripping and sewing old dresses—garments beyond repair became an extra flounce or two, and the nicer threads unwoven and made into lace collars or cuffs. I hadn’t ever been allowed time for such frivolous activities, so I made myself content with proper skirt length and suitable patches for worn elbows.

Content, until I gazed upon the ladies of London in all their finery. Aunt Martha would say those folks sinned by squandering their money in such a way.

For about the tenth time, I imagined my aunt’s kitchen minus its scullery maid and target for hurled objects. I choked back a giggle for what must have been the fifth time that morning. My days of being a slave were over, for I had been offered employment.

Fingers trembling, I stood and wrapped my thin shawl tight around my shoulders, clutched my bundle closer, and walked the train’s narrow aisle. I stepped onto the platform and peered around the sea of faces for Joanna Telford.

I had never met my cousin from London. Until a few weeks earlier, I wasn’t even aware I had family beyond Uncle Edward and Aunt Martha. Mrs. Telford wrote to tell me she and her husband were in need of a nanny and governess for their two young sons, and being the merciful guardian he was, Uncle Edward decided to send me away from his wife.

Without her knowing.

Another smile lifted my lips, and I shifted on my feet, moving my tied bundle from one hand to the other. I grimaced as a whiff of body odour rose. Aunt Martha allowed me to bathe once a week, which would have been on the morrow, but asking to do so early certainly would have aroused suspicion. Sneaking away from her house before sunrise as I did would never have occurred with success.

No one spared the poor farm girl a second glance, and insides buzzing like a honey bee, I stood unmoving, a white-knuckled grip on my worldly possessions.

Minutes moved passed slower than a lazy stream and the surrounding crowd began to disperse. I waited. Despair crept closer with every passing heartbeat.

A stooped man in black livery made eye contact with me, and a pleasant smile lit his face as he started my way.

“Miss Tearle?” His voice rasped like a rusty barn door hinge.

“Yes. I am Anne Tearle.” I was grateful to my aunt for one thing. My accent matched almost perfectly with those buzzing around me. Aunt Martha's hatred of the Black Country we lived in and the cane across the back of my legs every time I slipped into the bouncing regional lilt had eradicated all but the barest traces of it.

The elderly gentleman removed his hat, tucked it under one arm, and dipped his head. "Welcome to London, missy.” His smile widened and the skin around his watery blue eyes crinkled. “I’m the Telfords’ coachman, Emanuel. The missus has sent me to collect you.” 


About Terri Rochenski
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

Tour Schedule

Book Blitz and Tour-wide Giveaway
Signed paperback copy of Love's Sorrow, 
$10 Amazon gift card, & swag package.
Ends 5/16/2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Also linking with:

COVER REVEAL: When Camels Fly by NLB Horton

Publisher: NLB Horton, via Amazon’s White Glove (May 15, 2014) 
Agent: Mary Keeley at Books & Such Literary Management 
Category: Contemporary suspense, thread of Romance 
Tour Date: May/June, 2014 
Available in: Print & ebook, 370 Pages 

A mother’s fatal shot. A daughter’s deadly choice.

In Israel, archaeologist Grace Madison shoots her daughter’s abductor. Seconds later, a handsome shepherd drops from the sky to kill a second assassin. Their world changes in two blinks of an eye. Unbeknownst to them, a fiercely ambitious evil is destroying everything in its path—the unconventional path Grace and Maggie take. They struggle to right a wrong as old as time, and discover time is running out in the race for their lives. Family and friends are swept into their vortex, extinguishing old flames while igniting new loves. While the scale tips dangerously toward disaster, millions of lives hang in the balance. And the mother-and-daughter team soon realizes nothing is as it seems. Even each other.

Because choosing what’s right is all that’s left.


Advance Praise for When Camels Fly:

The main character is a delightful woman named Grace, who is a brilliant archaeologist, but definitely no Indiana Jones. More comfortable digging and researching than getting involved in international “incidents,” Grace is lured (or dragged, she’d admit) into intrigue and danger when she discovers her daughter, Maggie, has been kidnapped. Like a mama grizzly, Grace heads out to find and rescue her daughter, get the bad guys, and make her daughter comply with her demands (essentially, go home and stay out of trouble). But Maggie has uncovered a disastrous plot that could affect the entire Middle East. And only Maggie (and now Grace) can do something to stop the mayhem and evil. 

Ginger Kolbaba, author of Desperate Pastors Wives and A Matter of Wife and Death


"NLB Horton’s debut novel, When Camels Fly, incorporates features I have never before encountered in one novel: suspense, science, family, religion, and Middle Eastern intrigue. 

One charming surprise — and there are many in this novel — is Grace’s octogenarian seminary professors, former spies for Mossad who converge in Israel and Jordan to assist the family they hold dear. Their espionage skills, masked by the perceived harmlessness of the elderly, allow them to move about undetected, and assist the Madison family in creative and unexpected ways. 

When Camels Fly empowers women and family in an entertaining adventure. Unstoppable women, well-placed humor, and critical contemporary issues make this book my top read so far in 2014, and I’m watching for news of Horton’s second manuscript, scheduled to release later this year."

- Leigh Bennett, Reader


Author NLB Horton’s vigorous dialogue moved the story along, and portrayed each character as uniquely intriguing. Her descriptions of Israel and Jordan were an enjoyable way to learn more about that part of the world, and it’s obvious she’s “been there, done that.” I felt as if I were in the markets and atop the camels, participating in the story. 

One of the most interesting aspects of When Camels Fly is that it’s contemporary suspense from a woman’s viewpoint, set in a part of the world normally filtered through a male lens. And it presents the region in a realistic, approachable way. 

The Madison family is a refreshing, healthy model in the world of contemporary literature, where dysfunctional or overly simplistic family portrayals reign. 

When I discovered the end of the novel alluded to the story continuing in the next book in the series, I was delighted. I look forward to continuing the adventure begun in When Camels Fly."

- Lillian Bohannon, Reader

About the Author


NLB Horton

Links:  Website:  FacebookTwitterPinterest

After an award-winning detour through journalism and marketing and a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, NLB Horton returned to writing fiction. She has surveyed Israeli archaeological digs accompanied by artillery rounds from Syria and machine gun fire from Lebanon. Explored Machu Picchu after training with an Incan shaman. And consumed afternoon tea across five continents.

When Camels Fly is her first novel. Her second, The Brothers’ Keepers, will be available November 2014.

#AtoZChallenge - Respect and Proverbs 31

Respectful - full of, characterized by, or showing deference or politeness.

12.  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

When you respect someone, how do you treat them?  When someone respects you, how are you treated?  Hopefully, the answers are similar and positive in nature.  One's 'station' in life does not matter.  Albert Einstein said, "I speak to everyone in the same way, whether is a garbage man or the president of the university."

Think of it this way, could the White House have nearly as many state dinners if the President and his family had to do all the cooking and cleaning up?

23.  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

"The gates" are where the men of the day went to hobnob.  The equivalent in our part of rural Kentucky would be the gas station/convenience store.  Most of the local men (and some of the women) stop in for coffee or a sausage biscuit (etc), to check in on the pulse of the community.  How you act while there and what you accomplish outside of the setting sets at least part of your reputation.  

When you respect someone close to you, you help them reach their goals, encourage them, and want to be counted on their list of 'assets'.  I've heard spouses called, "my better half".  Someone who is called that shows a lot of respect for their spouse, and their spouse knows it.


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Qualified Proverbs 31

Qualified - having the required skills, qualities, talents or accomplishments

18.  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

We all have things to do during the day, whether it's work outside or inside the home.  Maybe we want to learn something new.  That seems to happen for a lot of adults in the evenings (or after the kids have gone to bed).  Maybe we want to improve a skill we already have.  That can be a new recipe, scientific research, writing a book, making a business plan.  We are only limited by the level of our desire to learn.

26.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Before we were married, my husband once asked me what I thought was the difference between ignorance and stupidity.  My response ran along the lines of, "Ignorance is the simple not knowing of a subject.  Stupidity is refusing to learn."

None of us come into this world knowing everything.  Precious few, if any, leave the world that way, either.  What we learn on the way, and what we do with that knowledge is a measure of living "a good life".  

Tell us a little today about a skill or talent that you have developed, improved or mastered, and how that made (makes?) you feel.  Have a great weekend!


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)