HUSBAND WENT TO BE WITH THE LORD

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Dewey Jack Shelton, 79, peacefully went to be with the Lord Saturday, June 6, 2015, at his home in Arlington. Jack, as he was referred to during his lifetime, was born in McAlester, Oklahoma. He entered the Army at the young age of 18 and successfully became an officer retiring as a Major. He served in Korea, two tours in Vietnam as a pilot, as well as Panama. Upon his retirement from the Army (20 years), he was employed by the City of Dallas Love Field Airport as an Assistant Director retiring after 20 years of service. He was preceded in death by: son, Dewey Jack Shelton Jr.; and grandson, Terrance Fickett. Jack is survived by: his wife of 40 years, Barbara Shelton; he was a wonderful dad to 8 children, Jack’s, Barbara’s and their own, Shanna Elizabeth Shelton of Arlington, Robert Shelton and wife Jennifer of Virginia, Patricia Shelton of Louisiana, Angela Quiros-Shelton and husband Eduardo of Panama, Michael Fickett and wife Carla of Illinois, David Fickett and wife Jessica of Waco, and Amy Fickett of Arlington; grandchildren, Michael Fickett, Samantha Fickett, Nathen Fickett, Noah Fickett, Brandon Fickett, Sabrina Fickett, Marcus McFarland, Rachael Shelton, Rebecca Shelton, Steve Shelton, Kevin Sheppard, Stephanie Fuit, Timothy Fuit, Jack Shelton III, Katcha Currier, Eduardito Quiros, Mariangela Quiros, and Angel Quiros; along with many great-grandchildren. Funeral Service will be held Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 12:30 PM at Moore Funeral Home with Rev. Dr. Sarah Howe Miller officiating; and Graveside Service with military honors at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery at 2:30 PM. The family will receive family and friends on Monday, June 15, 2015 from 6-8 PM at Moore Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.   

MY REVIEW OF

“SURPRISED BY LOVE”

BY JULIE LESSMAN

(Book #3 in the Heart of San Francisco series)

FIVE STARS

5 STARS

surprise

Shy and unattractive as a child, Megan McClare has always been teased by her classmates. But when she returns home from her senior year in Paris, the wallflower has suddenly blossomed into a beauty. With ambitions to become a lawyer or doctor, Megan accepts an internship at the district attorney’s office only to discover that she will be working with Devin Caldwell, a boy who mercilessly mocked her at school–and with whom she was hopelessly enamored. She turns to her dear friend Bram Hughes for support and advice. But Bram’s vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a kid sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man?

Fan favorite Julie Lessman draws a romantic triangle that will have readers in a tizzy in this glittering Gilded Age tale of transforming love.

…….MY REVIEW…….

Megan McClare has metamorphosed into a stunning butterfly during her year with the Rousseau’s family in Paris.  None of her family or friends expected it – let alone her best friend Bram Hughes.  Bram is unpredictably attracted to Megan and plays like a turtle withdrawing into himself confused.   Stunned even more when Megan attempts to tell him her true feelings, which drives him further away.  Bram is the one man who could make a shy and awkward little girl feel beautiful despite the baby fat and glasses.   The confidante to Meg for years in regard to the bullying Meg received from classmate Devin Caldwell.  Being older – he has been the big brother to Meg –affectionately referring to her as “Bug.”

 

The story begins at a happy reunion of the McClare family, Caitlyn McClare, matriarch to this clan; cousin Cassie McClare McKenna and her new husband, Jamie; Alli McClare and her fiancé Nick; Uncle Logan McClare, once engaged to Caitlyn and still in love with each other – secretly; Blake McClare, still single; seven year old Maddie McClare; Bram Hughes; and of course their housekeeper Rosie O’Brien and Hadley, the butler who is nearly deaf and blind.  Not to forget Miss Behave – the family parrot.

 

Julie Lessman is true to her excellence in constructing a story, leaving one breathless as she ends almost every chapter with a question.   Ms. Lessman has a knack for creating page turners – consolidating several stories – each with a conclusion, some predictable – most all surprising!  However, be aware for explosions and mysteries to happen throughout.   You may think you can predict what might happen, but do not be too quick to assume anything where Julie Lessman’s writing is concerned.

 

Meg’s mother Caitlyn has arranged for Meg to be an intern for District Attorney Andrew Turner, who just happens to be Logan’s worst enemy, ex-best friend.   To complicate matters, Andrew is in love with Caitlyn and pursues a courtship with her.  And then – lo and behold – Devin Caldwell is also a summer intern for DA Turner and does not recognize Meg – until she prompts his mind.  Devin falls in love with Meg and they become close.  Meg cannot forget Bram and feels rejected.  Meg’s kindness helps turn Secretary Bonnie Roof from a weed into a flower so that George, the executive assistant DA would notice her.  One of Meg’s better qualities was her interest in bettering life for everyone.

 

All of the above led to heartache, romance, mystery, humor and exhilaration – even dirty politics melds into this story to thwart Caitlyn and Meg’s plans to wipe out the horrible plight of women and girls ensnared in the brothels of the Barbary Coast.   Hopefully you have read the first two books in this series.   You might better understand this tale – however “Surprised by Love” is easily a stand-alone story.  There is much more activity to entertain you including Jamie’s mother and sister’s story from a preceding book.  Believe me, you will never be bored!

 

Bram’s mature faith in God spoke to me time and again.  He mentored Logan into praying and believing.  You will not be able to hold your tears while he describes how he feels trapped into marrying Amelia Darlington to help his father’s business survive.  Bram’s guilty conscience over his involvement in hurting his father’s health and sight is well hidden – but just another reason why he cannot entertain the idea of being in love with Meg.  Julie Lessman’s own faith in God is so apparent in the prose and scripture that fill this novel with the beauty and splendor of God’s intervention with the characters.  Ms. Lessman has a proverbial pen that does not disappoint.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books in exchange for an honest review

INTRODUCING AUTHOR JULIE LESSMAN……..

10389436_10153010917093455_3619818035950028069_nHello … I’m Julie Lessman, an Inspirational Romance author with a passion for God and a passion for romance. Since the age of twelve, I’ve been in love with the idea of being “in love.” It happened the moment Scarlett seared Rhett with a look on the winding staircase of Twelve Oaks. Suddenly I was a goner, spellbound by the emotional ebb and flow of romantic relationships.

As an adult, I quickly learned that true romance is spiritual as well as physical and emotional. And one pass through the “Song of Solomon” in the Bible told me that God was the biggest romantic of them all, deeply passionate in His love for each of us. Through my love affair with Him, I have discovered that romance can transcend to another dimension where romantic passion and spiritual passion merge, creating a 3-D love story: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together. I hope you enjoy my stories … and may they bring you closer to the Father’s heart.

I am a lucky wife, mother, and grandmother who also happens to write inspirational family-saga romance!! My tagline is “Passion with a Purpose,” so if you want to know what that is, check out my website at julielessman.comand/or my Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/JulieLessmanAuthor

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”

Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her “Winds of Change” series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

You can connect with Julie on her websiteblogFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

MY REVIEW

OF

THE DAUGHTER OF HIGHLAND HALL

(Edwardian Brides Series Book II)

BY

CARRIE TURANSKY

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ABOUT THE BOOK…….What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor… what if it isn’t enough?

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.
 
When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served. 

…….MY REVIEW…….

5 STARS

What can I say that has not already been said in prior reviews regarding Carrie Turansky’s captivating story about Kathryn, The Daughter of Highland Hall?  How can Ms. Turansky always be at her best with each novel that she writes?  I really adored this book!  It has been quite a while since I read the first book in this series, and I had double the fun of re-reading parts of The Governess of Highland Hall – about William and Julia to refresh my mind and it picked up right where this book left off.

 

It is now April 1912 in London, England and the young teenager Katherine Ramsey is preparing for her presentation before the King and Queen of England, followed by her debut.  Where Katherine behaved as a bratty kid in the previous novel, it appears that she and Julia have come to a new understanding of congeniality.  Of course, when a woman like Lady Louisa Gatewood, Katherine’s aunt, insists that every well-bred young lady must be made ready for her debut into English society and ready for marriage – frustration sets in with all the curtsy practice involved.  Lady Gatewood aided Katherine in creating a list of qualifications for her future husband.  He would need to be a man of wealth and title. 

 

Let us refer to Katherine as Kate from here on.  Before coming to London from Berkshire, England – a bit of family history.  Kate would have inherited Highland Hall, but lost control of her inheritance upon her father’s death.  Her second cousin William Ramsey had taken her father’s title as baronet and became the master of Highland Hall as well as her guardian until she married.  Highland Hall in Berkshire had been partially destroyed by fire necessitating a move to Ramsey House in London.  Much of this story concentrates on Julia Foster and her family.  Jonathan Foster, her brother, was a medical student intending to return to India to continue the mission his family had begun.  Jon was employed by Dr. Pittsford who had moved his practice to the East End of London, a slum full of danger.  Jon lived in William’s home in London.  A wedding for William and Julia was in the future.  There was already strife between William and his brother David.

 

A nervous Kate had made a big faux pas at her presentation before royalty.  Imagine the uproar from Aunt Louisa!  Jon’s shoulder was available for Kate’s commiseration.  More trouble abounds when Kate’s lady’s maid learns her unmarried sister Helen is pregnant and in an abusive situation.  However at her debut, she met Edward Wellington who met every detail of her list.  Could this be her future husband?  Edward asked to court her, but was strongly influenced by his parents.  Then, emanated the big scandal involving Williams brother David.  Edward dropped out of the picture and Jon and Kate began to fall in love.

 

All of this and more creates a novel reminiscent of Downton Abbey….and I am fond of that series.  Ms. Turansky weaves together fascinating facts, mystery, humor, and faith in God and well developed characters with accurately researched Edwardian etiquette.  I am not at all certain how Carrie Turansky gives such a great pen to her ideas, but I am glad she is an expert doing so.  I am in awe of her writing – naturally making it all about God’s answers.  If you haven’t read The Governess of Highland Hall, I suggest you do before you read The Daughter of Highland Hall.  Both are stand-alone novels – that go together.  I am certainly looking forward to the third book, A Refuge at Highland Hall.  Might Ms.Turansky bring war and the wounded into this novel?  We won’t know unless we read it!

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group for my review.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…….

Born and raised in Oregon, my heart longs for tall evergreens, the rugged Oregon Coast, and the pristine Cascade Mountains. . . but I presently live in beautiful, but very flat, central New Jersey. This is the Garden State, so we enjoy shopping at our local farmers’ market for sweet corn and juicy tomatoes or picking strawberries, blueberries, and peaches at local farms. We are close to Princeton University, Philadelphia, and New York City, so we sometimes take day trips in and enjoy museums, plays, and touring around.

I am married to Scott and we have five great kids, two lovely daughters-in-law, a wonderful son-in-law, and four adorable grandchildren. My roles of wife, mother, and grandma are very rewarding and fulfilling for me. Scott and I partner in ministry at Calvary Chapel Living Hope, a church we helped plant along with a team of hardworking, Jesus-following friends. Our ministry at Calvary has been very gratifying and exciting for us. We feel blessed to have the privilege of serving the Lord with these dear frineds. If you would like to know more about Calvary Chapel Living Hope you may visit our website at http://www.takejesushome.com.

My husband is the author of several great parenting books filled with practical insight and godly wisdom. We invite you to visit our ministry website for parenting tips, articles, resources and much more. That web site is www.biblicalparenting.org.

I have been writing since 1999 and have published several articles, short stories, devotions, and essays. Writing fiction is my passion, and I thank the Lord for all the creative ideas and characters He puts in my mind and heart. I am very thankful for friends and family who have believed in me and encouraged me on my writing journey.

When I’m not writing you will find me enjoying time with my family, working outside in my flower gardens, cooking healthy meals for family and friends, or walking around the lake near our home.

http://carrieturansky.com

carrie.turansky.3@facebook.com

MY REVIEW OF TREASURY OF BIBLE STORIES:

 RHYTHMICAL RHYMES OF BIBLICAL TIMES

 BY KELLY PULLEY

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Magnificent Tales are rhyming Bible stories with clever art and clear lessons that the whole family will enjoy. The stories and illustrations are so engaging that you won’t grow tired of reading and rereading a Magnificent Tale night after night! From “The Salty Tale of Noah and the Ark” to “The Lasting Story of the Last Supper,” the rhyming tales in this book remind us that God loves his people—in the Bible and today!

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years

…….MY REVIEW…….

5 STARS

5 STARS

What gifted artistry this gentleman uses to educate children four through eight about the Holy Bible.  Actually, it does not matter the reader level, child through adult.  This beautiful book will be a treasured storybook for years to come for each family fortunate enough to own a copy.  It appears that most of the reviews are written by much younger persons than I am.   My husband and I hold dear to us eighteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren (at last count), who we would enjoy sharing these stories.  Even though the grandchildren are grown I am sure they would want a copy of this book in their households for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to come.  Just one glance at the animation on the cover of this book would convince anyone of enchantment between the covers.

 

The poetry is so musically rhythmical that I can imagine David playing his harp….and singing the stories into Psalms.  That might seem a bit farfetched, but the book touches me this way.   The story titles are very witty; the subtitles thought-provoking.  Several reviewers have pointed out what they deem to be a scriptural discrepancy and repetitive in rhyming.  I disagree with that.  Mr. Kelly Pulley did a remarkable job with this publication which is a delight to youngsters and adults alike.  The graphics are fun and appeal to children brightly and imaginatively.  I could not pick a favorite story; each one charmed me for different reasons.  In fact, I even picked up new information or something I had forgotten long ago.

 

Kelly Pulley has created an heirloom.  He talks about God’s love for all.  I pray this book will become as important to families as a book of regular nursery rhymes.  It definitely is a treasury of Bible stories, magnificent in every way.  God bless you, Mr. Pulley for your unique gift.  Many will become aware of God’s love for the very first time – no matter what age.  Hey, I just started my Christmas list – can you guess what I will be giving this year?!

 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT AUTHOR KELLY PULLEY…….

Born and raised in Wabash, Indiana, a small and quaint Midwestern town surrounded by miles upon miles of corn and soybean fields. Kelly was brought up to love art and creating art along with his three older brothers and younger sister by their artistically talented mother, while their father, ex-WWII bomber pilot, fireman and electrician, worked multiple jobs to keep them all in new converse sneakers. 

While still in high school Kelly took a job at The Shirt Shed, a large local sportswear screen-printing company. He remained in that industry for seventeen years working his way up from Production Artist to Art Director. 

At age 24 Kelly gave his life to Jesus Christ at a Free Will Baptist revival, changing every aspect of his life including the direction that his career would eventually take.

In 1995 Kelly made his way to Tennessee to illustrate the Beginner’s Bible series of books for Performance Unlimited and later, Mission City Press. He has illustrated dozens of books, most notably the best-selling latest edition of the Beginner’s Bible, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies.

Kelly now works from his Middle Tennessee home where he writes and illustrates original children’s books and freelance illustrates for others.

 
His authorial debut was, Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn, which was released in August 2010. His second book, The Cycling Wangdoos, was released in August 2011. 

October, 2012 was the release date for the first two books in the Magnificent Tales series of Bible stories by David C. Cook, which was followed by two more in February, 2013.

Member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Young Kelly Pulley

Children’s book author and illustrator.
http://www.kellypulley.com/

MY REVIEW

of

THE RIVER

by

BEVERLY LEWIS

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She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna’s death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.
            
A line I can’t move beyond…
The River 

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn’t entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can’t undo?

…….MY REVIEW…….

Unsure of what the title “The River” had to do with an Amish story, my choice to read this book was easily made when I saw Beverly Lewis was the author.  This story is written with twists and turns different from other Amish writings.  The Point of View was about two Amish sisters who had left Eden Valley, Lancaster, Pennsylvania before their baptisms to live the “fancy” life – in the English world.  The Conestoga River plays its part as the location where little sister Anna drowned one July afternoon leaving behind broken emotions on the entire family.  Tilly blamed herself that she was unable to save Anna and locked her feelings deeply within.  Tilly left her plain life behind – the memories of Anna’s drowning still raw and real.  She couldn’t face seeing the Conestoga every day.  She moved to Rockport, Massachusetts and eventually married Kris and gave birth to twin daughters, Jenya and Tavani.  Tilly’s younger sister Ruth left for different reasons two years after Tilly.  Will Kauffman had been courting her for a couple of years and suddenly jilted her.  With damaged emotions Ruth sought Tilly’s help to move to Massachusetts.

 

In 1977, eight years since Tilly had left; the Amish family was planning an anniversary celebration for their parents, Lester and Sylvia Lantz.  An older brother Melvin wrote a note to Tilly about their plans.  Tilly and Ruth decided to ignore the invitation and not attend – until Melvin called Ruth and told her of the recent news that their father was very ill and needed a pacemaker.   They reluctantly decided to go for the four day weekend.  They were apprehensive about being accepted and dreading their time in Eden Valley for different reasons.  For reasons unknown to Tilly, she and her father batted heads constantly and no love shown in Daed’s sternness toward Tilly.  Ruth did not want to see Will.  Particularly because she had a new love interest in her life, Jim Montgomery who was quite active in the church she and Tilly had joined.

 

Ruth planned to stay in her parent’s home, but Tilly decided it was best to stay with her favorite Uncle Abner and Aunt Naomi.  The large Lantz family spread over Eden Valley included twins Melvin and Joseph, Chester, Sam and his wife Josie who had been Tilly’s best friend.  The reunion did not go well at first mainly for Tilly – but wait – there is plenty to come!!  Tilly had kept Anna’s kapp without telling her Mamm and decided she needed to risk the telling of that secret.  It seems everyone had secrets and I wondered how the web would ever be unwound.  Ruth sees Will again and resists him at first, but finally joins him for a meeting at his insistence.  Uh oh, would she be tempted to return to the plain life?  You will need to find that out by reading the book.

 

Unresolved issues and relationships continue to plague all concerned.  It is not as though the sisters forgot the values and good upbringing they had, they remembered and still kept a deep faith In God.  Unexpected circumstances complicated life even further when Daed had an attack and needed to spend time in the hospital.  The sisters found out that their parent’s property had been deeded to Sam and plans were to move their Mamm and Daed into the Dawdy house.  They decided to stay a week longer to help.  Tilly moves to her parent’s house and sleeps in the Anna’s room where nothing had been changed since her death.  It was there that Tilly discovered a box which holds a long kept secret.  Now I must stop, because I’ll be telling you the entire story.

 

Let me just add that I felt much anger at the father for his treatment of Tilly.  I speak from experience of a relationship close to me where the father treated his step-daughter in that manner.  It is impossible to tolerate – only constant prayer will help.  I was also angry with Mamm for allowing it.  The truth will shock you, but good things begin to happen when God takes over.  Ms. Lewis has indeed written a very intriguing story and I am thankful from a personal standpoint to have read it.  There were some parts of the book that I deemed unnecessary to the story.  Overall it was excellent and I congratulate Beverly Lewis for still coming through with new ideas after the numerous novels she has written.

 

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…….

AUTHOR BEVERLY LEWIS

AUTHOR BEVERLY LEWIS

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in eleven languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family. Learn more at www.beverlylewis.com

♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.

AN INTERVIEW WITH

LISA LICKEL

AUTHOR OF

BRAVE NEW CENTURY

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With the recent release of Brave New Century, author Lisa Lickel adds yet another contributing piece to her already-brimming resume. Set in Milwaukie at the turn of the century, Lickel writes of history, romance and of finding your way, even if it means blazing your own trail.
 
Blazing trails and finding her way when the path wasn’t so clear is a concept Lickel has mastered. Her career spans two decades, includes the death of a close friend in a space shuttle accident, and beyond writing to a successful pursuit into editing and mentoring. Perhaps the secret to her success can be found in the verse perched on her website’s home page: “Let us hold unswervingly to our faith, for He who promised is faithful.” ~Hebrews 10:23
 
In our recent interview, Lickel was transparent as she talked about her friend’s accident, her contributing story, Three Rings for Alice, that kicks off the Brave New Century novella, and of course, she filled me in on the impressive 160 year old house she currently resides in.
LISA
 

AUTHOR LISA LICKEL

MN-You have a fascinating bio, which includes reference to a former classmate who was killed in a space shuttle accident. How did that event contribute to your writing career?
LL-I still remember when I heard the news—I was driving and had to pull over. Hearing of Laurel’s death wasn’t exactly a catalyst, as I’d been taking the Christian Writers Guild course, but writing about it and seeing the piece published in the local paper helped me continue to pursue writing and make connections within the local publishing community.
MN-Of all the pieces that you have written, fiction and non-fiction, contributions to magazines as well as writing in the historical, romance and mystery genres, you say that your passion is inspirational fiction. What do you hope to ccomplish through your writing, especially as it relates to inspirational fiction?
LL-Fiction is almost always for recreation, for pleasure, though naturally most readers want some value for their entertainment money, whether learning about new places, customs, or taking a peek into an unfamiliar world. I hope to provide clean entertainment, maybe even some clean shock value, to show people who live in faith but still go through worldly troubles. People who practice faith have a different perspective in reaction to problems, so I show readers another path out of the woods, and hopefully make those who don’t have a faith system see that it’s not scary.
MN-You recently contributed to an anthology titled Brave New Century. Tell me a little about Three Rings for Alice and how you came up with the concept for this particular story.
LL-The story was originally written for Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents monthly newsletter that went out to their subscribers. Each newsletter contained a chapter from a serial story; no more than 500 words, one contemporary and one historical, alternating years. So, I tried writing a historical story about a young woman facing the turn of the twentieth century in the big city instead of on the prairie where so many historicals were taking place. When it didn’t sell, I re-wrote my story to pad it out a bit and put out a call for others to join me writing similarly themed stories for a potential anthology.
MN-I love your lead character, Alice. She has such spunk; I’d love to see her character alive and well in 2014. Do you think she would be more of a feminist or activist for those in poverty?
LL-Thank you. I enjoyed Alice, too, and really immersed myself in newspapers, photos, books, and reports of the era to get a feel for her personality. It was a changing time all over the world; people couldn’t rely on old family money, and women had to enter the workforce in order to survive, often even if they were married. I think she might be a social worker or at least a very benevolent business owner today.
MN-Why set your story in Milwaukee? Is there something about it that especially intrigues you?
LL-I live near that city; my concept was to show life in big cities as opposed to the prairie. Milwaukee is interesting, as it was settled by people of strong ethnicity who created neighborhoods for themselves and supported each other. It’s still the most culturally segregated city in the US, which is both bad and good. But Wisconsin was always a progressive state, and we have a rich heritage in producing goods and manufacturing. Milwaukee had a series of socialist mayors for decades into the twentieth century. When I read about building the new city hall and the modern innovations they used, I had the foundation for my story.
MN-So, tell me about this 160 year old house that you live in. I can only imagine the history connected to it.
LL-It’s a fun house, and as a historian of course I found out everything I could about it. Surprisingly it hasn’t been handed down from family to family, but each generation has been a different family coming in. It was built by a Great Lakes ship captain, then purchased by a German family who later built a hotel in a nearby city; I have a photograph of the house from that era, in 1881, when the house was already 30 years old. Then it was purchased by an Irish family who had ties to the little Catholic chapel in the neighborhood, then owned by a couple of other families who had family in the neighborhood. We bought it in the ’80s, and my youngest son learned to walk here. I’ve enjoyed it more than my husband, I think, as there isn’t a straight edge or 90-degree angle in the entire place, and we had to update the electrical and plumbing systems.
MN-What is your ideal writing location and how often are you able to go there and create?
LL-As an empty-nester I have the run of the house. I like to get up and down, move around, when I’m working, so I’m all over the place. I have a desk and a couple of chairs I’ll alternate between, even a deck. I have to discipline myself to take time for my own work as well as that of my editing clients.
MN-What is the go-to mantra that keeps you focused on your goals when life throws its many distractions your way?
LL-“It’ll be nice when it’s done.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…….

Author Bio- Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include the Buried Treasure mystery series (The Last Bequest, The Map Quilt and The Newspaper Code) and the Fancy Cat Mystery Meow Mayhem; as well as the award-winning romance, Meander ScarA Summer in Oakville co-authored with best-selling author Shellie Neumeier, Healing Grace, Brave New Century, a historical anthology, an anthology A Wisconsin Harvest, Vol II, and The Last Detail. She has penned dozens of feature newspaper stories, short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin magazine and loves to encourage new authors. Lisa also is an avid book reviewer and blogger, a freelance editor, a writing mentor, and blogger. She is married to a high school biology teacher, and they have two sons and daughters in law, grandchildren and a grand-kitty.
You can connect with author Lisa Lickel at her website and on Facebook.

Meet Our Journalist

MARYMary is an avid reader, writer, editor and self-proclaimed advocate for the authors that make Christian publishing the great industry it is. She supports publishers by interviewing authors and promoting their new releases, as well as upholding a standard of ethics that defines the word “Christian”.  Her passion is to see the publishing business excel by promoting literature that speaks to our generation without compromise. Mary is the host of Marysworld Internet radio talk show, maintains a website affiliated with several publishers, and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association. (EPA) 

             Mary Nichelson
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MY REVIEW

 An anthology!  Actually, my first anthology review of four unique delightful novellas revealing a few significant chapters from the lives of four young women experiencing life changes through God’s grace during the time period of the early 1900’s.

 

Lisa Lickel authored Three Rings for Alice.  The title lead me to think of rings worn on fingers, however my thoughts were modified when I read this amusing story of telephones ringing, mystifying the young lady Alice with an intriguing voice she hoped to meet.  Alice was an emerging modern woman of her day, among the first women to work as the secretary to the Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Orphaned as a child, she is forced to make her own way, vowing to never marry….but….the fellows interested in marrying her are uninteresting.  Is it possible to fall in love with a voice over the phone?  Ms. Lickel displays her expertise to write a completely entertaining story.

 

Forgiven, written by Paula Mowery and set in Knoxville, Tennessee is a sweet classic story of Henry Smith and Jessie Lee Capelle, two young people falling in love at first sight.  Neither is aware that a tragic historic event involving both their fathers will come to light causing tumultuous interference to their engagement to marry.  Henry’s mother, widowed and losing a son in the past tragedy, has her mind set on Cassandra to become Henry’s wife.  The twists and turns in this romantic mystery kept me awake late.  A satisfying read that you will surely enjoy.

 

Kathleen Rouser brilliantly wrote The Pocket Watch – about Isabel Jones, an orphan, and  Dr. Daniel Harper so attracted to one another through an accident that the possibility of marriage to one another could cause tremendous scandal over this forbidden union by God and society of Detroit, Michigan.  Two inanimate objects, first a pocket watch lost, and a ring cause possible ended destiny for this beautiful couple in love.  Ms. Rouser has written a fascinating story with a blend of great characters – you won’t want to miss this read.

 

A Flame of Hope, composed by Teena Stewart is an ignited story of love during the disastrous San Francisco earthquake in 1906. Petite Lily McMinn works in her family’s mercantile and eagerly anticipates the visits of handsome Policeman Gideon Light who often drop by for lunch at the mercantile’s refreshment deli.  This couple is just beginning the blessing of a real love relationship when the earthquake occurred.  Gideon becomes the hero for Lily and her family. Learning to live through a deathly time for others is greatly challenging to all involved in this story.  Ms. Stewarts descriptive penning of events is excellent and enlightening as to how God works through dire situations to deepen faith.

 

Each of these authors encompasses the imagination to extend their writings to complete novels, if they had so chosen.  Their novellas are absolute breath takers, in that the wonders of compassion, forgiveness, new faith, soul searching and turn of the century occurrences for women to express their individuality has been well researched and expressed.  Lisa Lickel, Paula Mowery, Kathleen Rouser and Teena Stewart – you have glorified our Lord through your finely penned hands.  Thank you for bringing tears of emotion to my eyes.  To me, when I cry over a story, that’s a sign of a great writer.  We all need a good cry once in a while….after all, God does gather our tears in jars.  He understands why we shed them.  My prayers for each of you are that He will continue to bless you with words for readers to find praiseworthy.

All the above originally was published in The Wordsmith Journal Magazine in the past three months.

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