Thursday, October 25, 2012

Deadly Additive

Well, here's another author I've never hosted, but this latest release caught my eye, and with his background I couldn't resist checking it out. Obviously I loved it, or I wouldn't be telling you about it!

Welcome, Mr. Taylor, You've led quite an eventful life. How many years did you serve in the military? I served twenty years on active duty with the U.S. Army out of twenty-three years total. That began only half voluntarily. The draft at that time gave me a choice of twelve months “voluntary” active service with a reserve obligation or twenty-one months involuntary service. I chose the one year plus reserve. By the end of that year it was obvious that the Cold War would become hot fairly soon, so I used senior ROTC as my reserve requirement and, sure enough, the Korean War came along. It was also obvious that national defense would be an essential mission long after the Korean truce, so I changed to a voluntary category and stayed on. Well, I'll start off with, thank you for serving!

So what led you to teaching?  My father was an American literature professor and scholar, my mother a college librarian. When I was in grammar school, my father read my brother and me large chunks of Mark Twain—Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, of course, but also Life on the MississippiThe Prince and the Pauper, Connecticut Yankee, and much more. It was also assumed in our home that literature, philosophy, and theology were important. So it was natural for me to major in English in college and to become interested in writing—some very bad short stories and some not-too-bad poetry, some of which I’ve been able to resurrect and revise. As I said, the draft flushed me out of college and the Cold War needed attention. But with that background, it was fairly reasonable after retirement to go through postgraduate schooling and teach in liberal arts colleges as a second career. So you might say it was in your blood (or breeding).

Well, to me, writing and being an English teacher kind of go hand in hand. So did you always want to be a writer? Since my second year in college it  was always around in the back of my head.  While teaching, I wrote professional papers, one of which has been reprinted in an anthology of Shakespeare criticism. During much of my time as a professor there was strong anti-American and anti-military propaganda on campuses, so I wrote a number of op-ed pieces on foreign policy and some on misuse of class time for indoctrination rather than education. Given all of that, I didn’t have much time to think about creative writing. Through two careers there was always something more important to do—the military at first and then, along with succeeding as a professor, providing for four children through college. Only after the second retirement did I have time to concentrate on it. As they say, you can retire but you can’t quit.

Sounds like you have vast stores of experience to draw from for your stories so I'm sure there are always characters running around in your head. Or do you keep better control of them than some of us undisciplined types? Gosh, I wish my mind was disciplined. The minute I think of a character or an idea, imagination tries to run away with it. If I turn it loose, it covers a lot of ground and I can never remember half of it. So I try for what you might call a half-discipline: I talk the idea into a pocket voice recorder and later transcribe the gist of it onto a 3 X 5 index card. I have dozens of them cluttering up my desk all the time. Some of them I can actually use, maybe ten percent. I keep a file with a page or so of any given idea so I don't lose it. That way I hope they won't hound me! I hate manually writing anything down so at least I don't have to deal with the loose pages!

So what are you working on now? I’m working on sequels to Rhapsody in Red, a historical set just after WW II (heaven knows we have enough WW II novels!), and research for a possible sequel to Deadly Additive. That ought to keep me out of trouble for a while.

Well, good luck with those! We'll look forward to hearing more from you in the future, but for now let's take a peek at Deadly Additive.


To soldier-of-fortune Jeb Sledge, the assignment seemed simple: Rescue an heiress and her journalist friend from Colombian guerrillas and collect a sizable paycheck for his troubles. But things rarely go as planned.

After stumbling upon a mass of dead bodies, Kristin Halvorsen isn't about to leave Colombia without the proof she needs for the story of a lifetime, and Sledge soon finds himself ensnared in a chemical weapons conspiracy that involves civilians, guerillas and high-ranking government officials.

But neutralizing the factory isn’t enough. Where are the weapons that have already been fabricated? Who are the intended targets? How potent and far-reaching are the effects?

A pursuit through South America, the U.S. and the Caribbean embroils Sledge and Kristin in a mission to prevent a catastrophic attack—and leaves Sledge fighting to save both their lives.


Houston, Texas 
By habit, Jeb Sledge disapproved of people who pointed weapons at him. The present offender’s tuxedo did not qualify him for an exception, and the silencer on his pistol only aggravated the offense.

They stood in the living room of Sledge’s drab one-bedroom apartment toward the northern edge of Houston. That morning his doctor had pronounced him fully recovered from last year’s wounds by an assassin. In the afternoon he’d refused an offer of two hundred thousand dollars to rescue the daughter of billionaire Steve Spinner from her Colombian kidnappers.

Sledge needed money. But Spinner had a reputation for ruthlessness hidden under a veneer of philanthropy. And the setup made no sense at all. When Spinner’s envoy grew insistent, Sledge threw him out.

Later that day, he’d gotten a call from Roger Brinkman, the retired CIA officer who now ran an “information service” known among experts as the best source for data on international crime. Brinkman didn’t say how he heard about Spinner’s offer, but he chided Sledge for turning it down. Vague rumblings of something new among the Columbian guerrillas, Brinkman suggested, and the Skinner problem might make a good takeoff point for the right operative.

Sledge said he’d think about it.

He did—for thirty seconds over dinner at a good Italian restaurant with reasonable prices and servers who didn’t introduce themselves. The dinner celebrated his advent as “New Sledge.” The old one was a hard case with a bad habit—volunteering for dangerous jobs to support noble causes. The cantankerous Old Sledge also enjoyed throwing his weight around, all two hundred and fifty pounds of it. But that Sledge had not survived the assassin’s bullets. The new one who’d sprung from his ashes would be too smart to take risks where there was no tangible reward. He would live the quiet life—find a safe administrative job on the periphery of law enforcement. And avoid noble causes.

Savoring the thought, Sledge drank a toast to his new self.

I refuse to give up any more. LOL Suffice it to say, Sledge does not get his wish to "live the quiet life".

After just a short while of traveling with Sledge, you can see beyond the tough guy exterior. And although he strives to be on the side of good, something is always missing from making the mission complete, and it takes a missionary to bring it to light for Sledge. I love the enlightening speech and matter of fact way the truth is told. And Sledge, in his thick headed stubbornness continues to try to do things on his own.

This is a great adventure story, with added depth. Definitely keeps the pages turning. I loved it!

About the author:

Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges.

He and his wife live near Houston, Texas, where he writes fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics.

For more about Donn Taylor go to:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tuesday's Child

Welcome back, Clare! What a great series you have going! And for those who don't know about it, here's the poem that ties them all together.

Monday’s Child must hide for protection,
Tuesday’s Child tenders direction,
Wednesday’s Child grieves for his soul,
Thursday’s Child chases the whole,
Friday’s Child is a man obsessed,
Saturday’s Child might be possessed,
And Sunday’s Child on life’s seas is tossed,
Awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost.

In case you missed the first one, here's a glimpse at what Monday's Child is about:

This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn’t be so bad if Sara wasn’t such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her.

Tuesday's Child Blurb:

Tuesday's Child tenders direction...

Deaf from the age of five, Adeline Munroe operates a hospital for injured dolls, but lately her quiet life is disturbed by violent, haunting visions. Perhaps it's just her unspoken fear--a serial killer has struck in Headley Cross. But Adeline soon realizes she's seeing each murder just before they happen and reluctantly contacts the police.

Detective Sergeant Nate Holmes has enough to deal with between caring for his orphaned niece and his current assignment--the Herbalist killings, so when a woman comes forward who claims to be "seeing" the crimes in dreams, he isn't hopeful she'll be of any help. But he knows her from church, and she inexplicably describes how each crime is committed. Is God answering his prayers through Adeline?

Adeline assists the police, yet more women die and she becomes the prime target of the killer. Will Nate crack the case before the Herbalist can complete his agenda--or will the next murder Adeline foresees be her own?


All of Nate’s senses kicked into action, his copper’s antennae twitching.

She knew something, or at least thought she did.

“What is it?”

Adeline sucked her lower lip into her mouth, worrying it with her teeth. “This is going to sound stupid, but…” She took a deep breath. “I saw them. All of them. They all had their hair tied back or up.” She picked up the top clipping. “She was playing on a swing and wearing a red jacket. This one was walking the dog and wearing blue.”

Nate jolted as if he’d been struck by lightning. Those details hadn’t been released. Was he wrong about her? Was she somehow involved with the murders? “Wait a minute. How did you know any of this?”

Adeline carried on speaking as she shifted through the papers. “She was on her way to dance class in pink. This one was jogging in a gray toweling track suit and the first one…”
Nate put a hand on her arm, cutting her off.

She jerked her head upwards in surprise.

He held her gaze. “How do you know all this?”

“I told you, I saw them.”


From the start of Tuesday’s Child, I fell in love with Adeline. Her sweet and tender heart just make you want to protect her from the things she can’t hear for herself. And then Vianne came into the picture and I was well and truly hooked. Nothing like a sweet little girl to draw me in. Then Uncle Nate…oh, my goodness! What a cast of characters! I love true heroes, and Nate is surely one of them. 

Ms. Revell has a marvelous touch with heroes. I love it! She also knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat! This is certainly turning out to be a great series! I can’t wait for the next one!

Buy links:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wind Over Marshdale

Welcome back, Tracy! It's been a little while since you visited with Play It Again. So nice to hear about your latest creation!

Here's what's going on, folks! Tracy Krauss is launching her book WIND OVER MARSHDALE today, Tuesday, Oct. 16. Full of intrigue, romance, and plenty of surprises, see what’s hiding just beneath the surface in this seemingly peaceful town. You can help her achieve ‘best seller’ status by purchasing the book at TODAY – and receive all kinds of cool free gifts while you’re at it! Just check out Tracy Krauss' page for Wind Over Marshdale for some wonderful prizes!


Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens. A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?

Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty - prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.

Check out Tracy Krauss' page for Wind Over Marshdale for some wonderful prizes!

Tracy Krauss

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Unexpected Christmas Hero

I'd like to welcome another first time visitor here to my blog, and with the number of stories she has out there I'm sure we'll be seeing more of her! Welcome, Kathi, thanks for stopping by.

So glad to be here. Thanks for having me!

I just love the cover of your latest release Unexpected Christmas Hero. I don't know why, but it just brings the Christmas spirit to mind.

I thought so too. I was so pleased when the publisher first showed it to me, and I’m even more excited about it now that I know the “story behind the story.” It seems they found the man on the cover (Willard Parker) at a homeless shelter and thought he looked exactly like Rick, the homeless Vietnam vet in my book. They got his permission to take his photo and use it on the cover, and then he told them he hoped it would help him find/reunite with his family, especially his grown daughter. We’re now using the cover to ask people to help us make this happen. You can find the story and how to help/respond on my website (

Wow! That's wonderful! I pray that his family sees it, or someone hears his name who knows his daughter...It's truly a small world. I pray God will use this to bless this family!

I've noticed a lot of your stories deal with people who are under the radar of what most of us consider mainstream life. How did you come to write about these things? What's your connection?

That’s where my heart is. God birthed in me a passion for social justice long before I became a believer at the age of 26. I’m so excited about being able to incorporate that passion into my writing now. My previous novels have dealt with things like families with loved ones in jail/prison; the persecuted Church around the world; human trafficking; illegal immigration. The upcoming topics in my new series (the first one releases in January 2013 and is titled The Moses Quilt) cover issues like interracial relationships, abortion, and people with disabilities. So this new Christmas story, dealing with homelessness, fits right in, especially since I first became involved in homeless ministries more than twenty years ago.

Well, God bless you and I pray your stories create awareness and bring help in these areas. I know this one has certainly opened my eyes and heart to helping!

So here's a peek at Kathi's story:

Unexpected Christmas Hero is an inspiring and compelling story of friendship and survival. Forced by unexpected circumstances to live on the streets and in homeless shelters, Josie Meyers and her two small children share in the lives and struggles of other homeless people. Eventually, Josie meets Rick, a homeless, disabled vet who becomes their ultimate friend.While living in the shelters she continually hears the gospel, reigniting memories of the words she heard and believed as a child. Will these events lead her and her children home to the ultimate shelter?


Josie Meyers shivered as she stood in line behind her two children, waiting their turn for a free Thanksgiving meal.
            Tears bit her eyes at the memory of past Thanksgiving celebrations, particularly the most recent one the previous year. Though they had all been grieving the passing of Josie’s mother, they still managed to turn the day into a festive occasion, as the four of them gathered around the table to give thanks for the spread that awaited them.
            Sam, she thought. You stood there that day, offering a brief prayer of thanksgiving to a God I’m not sure you even believed in, and never let on for a moment that you hadn’t a clue where our next meal would come from or how we’d make the mortgage payment that month. How in the world were you able to carry it off for so long? If you hadn’t gotten sick, would you finally have found a way out of the mess we were in—or would you be standing here with the three of us now, begging for a hot meal and wondering where we’d sleep tonight?

This story just grabbed hold of me from the start and wouldn't let go. It has given me a whole new view of the homeless and made me determined to find a way to help. 

Josie's story, her fall from the life she had always known, to the depths of being homeless with two young children, is heartbreaking. And Rick shows more kindness and generosity out of his poverty than many who have more - kind of reminiscent of "the widow's mite".

I loved this story. It made me laugh and cry...and hope. Ms. Macias does a wonderful job of making it all real and bringing the truth home. I pray this story touches many hearts!

About the author:

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lori's Redemption

 I want to welcome one of the first friends I made when I decided to pursue getting my writing published. Pam Thibodeaux is near and dear to my heart with all the support she has given me (my first critique partner). And we've actually met in person (not just online friends, LOL) in Bandera, Texas!

Well, Pam has decided to try her hand in the self publishing world, so I wanted to share this wonderful story she just released with as many people as care to take a look.

I have seen the many stages she went through with Lori's Redemption and I'll be the first to say this story went through the refiner's fire. Come take a look:


Lori Strickland  has always been known as her father's "wild child" with no desire to change until she meets ex-bull-rider-turned-preacher Rafe Judson. Her attempts to change her wanton ways come to naught until she realizes redemption only comes with true repentance.


Rafe Judson made his way to the arena with a smile on his lips, a song in his heart, and the same old limp in his stride. An ex-bull-rider, he still loved everything about the rodeo…the scents—the hay, the horseflesh, the sweat—the excitement, the crowds. As a minister, he didn’t enjoy the accidents or the deaths. He could do without a lot of the language, too.
Remember where you came from old boy.
The thought brought with it a quick stab of conviction.
I remember, Lord.
Wasn’t so long ago he'd cussed and caroused along with the other cowboys. But all that changed with the accident that ended his career as a champion rodeo rider, but opened a whole new world to him, a world filled with faith and optimism.
Far cry from the cynical, bitter cowboy he once was. 


Lori Strickland grows up before your very eyes in this story. She's sweet at heart, but oh so lost and trying to find her way - not an easy thing to do in the rodeo world. And Rafe Judson, an ex-bull rider, the toughest of the tough on the circuit, has been through some very trying times and come out of it all with God in the spotlight of his life. From the time these two meet, there is no easy road for them to follow. Time and time again they cross paths, both knowing there is something special between them, and both doubting it can ever be.

What a wonderful, heart wrenching story this is!

And if Lori Strickland sounds familiar to you, she was introduced in Tempered Fire. If you liked Tempered Fire, you'll LOVE Lori's Redemption!

About the author:
Award winning Author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder, President & Treasurer of Bayou Writers' Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction and creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, "Inspirational with an Edge!" and reviewed as "steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Small Town Treasure

Welcome back, Dora. I don't know how I let this fall through the cracks, but apparently I did! And it is such a sweet story I just had to share it. Just a quick read, but it packs a punch!


Five years ago, Emily Mannerson escaped small town living and moved to the big city where nobody knew "Poor little Emily" and her miserable background. Now an attorney, Emily longs for what she left behind...her adopted mother and high-school sweetheart.

Fire Captain Matthew Westerly treasures his small town of Journey Creek and values faith, family, and friendships. When he rescues Emily from a horrific car accident, he's determined to win her back and make up for lost years.

Can a big city girl and a small town boy discover their true treasure? Will they trust God to work a miracle?


“Engine Eleven on scene. Single car accident with a four-story brick building. Engine Eleven has command.” Fire Captain Matthew Westerly spoke into the radio, his voice gruff.
He needed sleep, lots of it, to make up for the snatches he’d caught in between calls last night. Didn’t look like that would happen anytime soon.

He lumbered down from the fire truck, his bunker gear already hot and heavy in this blazing eighty-five-degree morning heat. He rubbed a hand along the back of his neck, massaging the kinks, sweeping his gaze over the destruction caused by the single car.

“Tough week, huh, Captain?”

Matthew blew out a breath, exhaustion seeping through his body. He glanced over at Simpson’s sooty face, still grimy from the kitchen fire they just worked, the scent of smoke clinging to his gear. “Yeah, I’m ready for that vacation. Catching a few rays on the beach sounds pretty good about now.”

Matthew hustled to a burly police officer who was huddled off to the side of the demolished restaurant, interviewing a trio of witnesses—two women and a man, all with aprons dangling from their necks. “Hey Sam. What do we have?”

The officer stepped away from the witnesses. “One of the servers said the old guy came barreling through the front window at a high speed. Has a tanker of a car from back in the eighties.”

Matthew grimaced, the news adding another dagger into his belly after an already full week. “Mr. Granby?”

A relative newcomer to the area, Sam nodded, his dark brows arched. “Yeah. How’d you know?”
“Matches your description. Plus he eats breakfast here every morning. I’ve been wondering when they would take his keys away. Looks like today’s the day.” Matthew shook his head, then keyed the radio. “Command to Eleven-Three. Check the driver of the vehicle.”

He turned his attention back to the officer. “How many people were inside the restaurant?”

“Besides the old man driving the car? Just one. A girl sitting at a table in the middle of the restaurant, unconscious. We evacuated everybody except the two victims. Didn’t figure you would want them moved.”

“Thanks for the heads-up.” Matthew nodded and stepped through the opening, not bothering to use the door.

Why couldn’t the girl have sat at the back of the restaurant? Then, they’d only have one injury to deal with this morning. He could end his shift on time. Go home, sleep for two days, before he came back and did it all over again.

Most of the time, Matthew enjoyed his job. But this past week had drained him, sapped all his energy, his motivation.

Four more weeks. After the Pancake Breakfast and the July Fourth festivities, he’d take that vacation. Head southeast and not stop until he found a beach to fling out his lounge chair on the sand. Next to a hotel with a comfortable bed.


Oh, what a sweet read! When 40 pages can bring tears to my eyes, you know the story is sweet!

From the time Emily shows up in town, Matthew can't stay away. Regardless of what's happening, you can tell the two of them belong together.

If you're looking for a quick read that's full of heart, this is the one. Enjoy!

About the author:

After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. Eventually, needing something more to fill her days, she started writing heart-racing, God-gracing books that glorify her Creator. Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers.
Dora and her husband make their home in Kannapolis, North Carolina. When she's not writing, Dora enjoys spending time with her family, guzzling café con leche, kicking back in her recliner with a good book, teaching Sunday School, vacationing in the mountains, watching football, walking her dog, and did somebody say shopping?

For more about Dora, check out her blog at