Happy Autumnal Equinox!

As a Washingtonian transplanted in Texas, let’s just say this is my FAVORITE time of year (even though it will feel like summer for another month…it’s the promise of things to come when the season changes). There’s just something about a nip in the air and –yes, I’ll admit it–a Pumpkin Spiced Latte that make me feel like I’m getting a cozy hug from my heavenly Father 🙂 And the bonus? BOOTS!

‘Nuff said. Now then, let’s hear some good news, shall we? We have some excellent reviews that two of our writers wish to share.

A Waltz for Amber by Kimberly Rose Johnson

A Waltz for Amber by Kimberly Rose Johnson

A Waltz for Amber by Kimberly Rose Johnson was reviewed on Goodreads this past week. The book releases Oct. 2, 2017.

Melissa Henderson rated it: Amazing!
Each story I read from this author is wonderful and special. The characters are brought to life through vivid descriptions and details. How would you handle seeing someone from your past and that person had hurt you deeply long ago? Could you forget and forgive? The main characters each have their own difficult issues from the past. Read this heartwarming story and find out what happens with these sweet people. I received a copy of this story from the author and this is my honest personal opinion.

Also, don’t miss this free eBook! A Christmas Surprise by Kimberly Rose Johnson is free until Tuesday. Originally published by Heartsong Presents. http://amzn.to/2vIDH74




Pursuing Gold

Pursuing Gold
By Cynthia L. Simmons
Elk Lake Publishing
Synopsis: With his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis. With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner’s daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue gold on behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.

Critique: Exceptionally well written by an author with a genuine flair for deftly created memorable characters, Pursuing Gold is a riveting and original Civil War era story by Cynthia L Simmons. Very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction & Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Pursuing Gold” is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
Additionally, this review will be archived on our Midwest Book Review website for the next five years at http://www.midwestbookreview.com

Author Cynthia L. Simmons


Important Questions for Seasoned Authors
by Judith Couchman

In the early stages of a writing life, every publishing opportunity thrills us. We accept almost anything we can authentically create, and hope for much more. We’re excited to exercise our writing gift, and sense we’re stepping in the impressions of God’s footsteps. Anything seems possible.

A decade or so later, if we’re still writing, we can effuse these same joys. Or not.

As circumstances morph, we do, too. When we explore and transform spiritually, we might uncover fresh ways of thinking and serving. Or we could lose enthusiasm for our publishing persona, subjects, and audience. At the same time, we keep trodding the same publishing path, although our interest might have waned or even flatlined. We don’t know how to change, muster the courage to change, or even realize we need to change.

However we feel about our publishing place, periodic checkups–maybe every five or ten years–can clarify purpose, direction, and enthusiasm. We could discover we’re satisfied with our writing path. Or we might pinpoint a few tweaks or major alterations for the future.

To evaluate, it helps to get away, get with God, and look with physical and spiritual eyes. These topics can help with this analysis. There are no right or wrong answers.

  1. Purpose. What was your original call from God and purpose for writing? Do you still resonate with this purpose? Why, or why not? Does your purpose need to change?
  2. Audience. Who was your original audience? Do you still serve that group? Why, or why not? Do you want to keep serving that readership? Why, or why not?
  3. Brand. What is your brand as a writer? Are you comfortable with this, or could it shift? In other words, are you comfortable in your skin as a writer? Your public image? Why, or why not?
  4. Success. How have you succeeded in fulfilling your publishing purpose? How do you feel about this?
  5. Failure. How have your writing endeavors failed in your eyes? How do you feel about that?
  6. God. Have you sensed God speaking to you about a new direction, topics, or audience for your writing? If so, what do you think He’s saying? Do you pray about your writing?
  7. Questions. Do you harbor nagging questions or disappointments about your writing life? What are they? How can you find answers and healing?
  8. Feeling. At a gut level and feeling–without input from anyone else–where do you want to take your writing? Why? What would this require?
  9. Improvement. Do you consciously work to improve your writing? How so, or why not? How can you commit to becoming a better writer, and not rely on past techniques?
  10. Marketing. Are you spending more time social networking and marketing than actually writing? How can you better balance these two?
  11. Fears. What fears emerge about your writing and publishing? How can you address and move through them?
  12. Direction. What new direction do you want to pursue for your writing, if any? How can you prepare?
  13. Scripture. Can you identify a Bible verse to express your call as a writer now? If so, write it out. How do you identify with it?
  14. More. What other questions can you pursue?

Best wishes as you move ahead!

Judith Couchman is an author with 42 traditionally published works, including articles, books, Bible studies, and compilations. She is also a university professor who sets aside time for missions work. Currently, she’s on sabbatical from coaching writers.



Buck Storm
Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer

Greetings from Colorado. Davalynn Spencer, here, excited to introduce this week’s author, Buck Storm.

Welcome, Buck. Tell us about your book, Truck Stop Jesus.

An eccentric, damaged actress and a washed-up ball player collide in an epic road-trip story. Throw in a couple oddball bounty hunters, a forgotten movie-star boat captain, a cowboy priest, and a dashboard Jesus that’s more than meets the eye. It’s a quirky, heartfelt ride!

With a setup like that, I can’t wait to read it. What inspired you to write this book?

Buck Storm

Buck Storm

The story basically came to me in full on a road trip from Idaho to Seattle. The characters that showed up entertained me immediately. It was a fun book to write start to finish. And, I hope, encouraging and meaningful. While I never set out to write a sermon or grand lesson disguised as a novel, I pray my relationship with Jesus comes through and speaks naturally and gently. Read More →


Rags to Riches By Julie B. Cosgrove

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6a).

An eighty year-old friend told me of a cruel joke her older siblings would play on her when she was a little girl.They told her they were going to give her to the “rag man.”

She explained a man came through the streets with a horse-drawn carriage collecting old rags and other broken items people no longer wanted. Her brothers and sisters were in essence telling her she was junk. Unwanted.

Originally homemade rag dolls were sewn from leftover clothes, odd buttons, and whatever stuffing was around the house. But the cool thing? Each was unique. Each took time and imagination to create. Each came from junk but transformed into a gift of beauty by the labor of love.

God can take whatever has become ragged and junky in our lives due to sin and make it into something good and of worth. We will never be thrown into the garbage pile once we agree to become the King of Heaven’s invaluable child.

I’m another rags-to-riches story in the making. How about you?

Julie Cosgrove is an editor and writer for Cru Canada’s internet ministry, Power to Change. Her income, like any missionary’s, is dependent upon prayer and financial partners. She is also a professional speaker and a multiple award-winning author of ten novels with four more under contract.


Hope you’ve had a wonderful week despite the weather challenges in Florida and the southeast. I believe there will be a collective sigh of relief once this hurricane season is history!


If you’re in the mood for a fun, laugh-out-loud art crime mystery, good news! Right now, you can download A Fool and His Monet, for free on kindle: bit.ly/AFAM-E and nook: http://bit.ly/Nook-AFAM

The deal is pending on iBook and Kobo as well.

And…for the rest of September books 2 & 3—Another Day Another Dali and Over Maya Dead Body—are deeply discounted as well.

Prairie Sky Book Reviews says: “Sandra Orchard has once again penned a can’t-put-it-down mystery novel, made even better by humor that even a Royal Guardsman would have to crack a smile at.”