March Winners

April already? Where did March go? It was a great month and we have 4 winners of print books!

Are you on our list?

Gail Kittleson’s book, In Times Like These, has been won by Caryl Kane. Congrats!

Cynthia Lovely has been picked to win either a print copy of Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild’s book, Estate of Mind or a gift certificate to tea at Her Majesty’s in Dunlap, Illinois. Congratulations!

Melanie Dickerson’s latest book, A Viscount’s Proposal, goes to Katie Merkel!

Sandra Byrd is gifting a copy of A Lady in Disguise to Robbye Faye!

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

Don’t forget. It’s not too late to leave an answer to our prompts on our Monday and Friday posts in April and be in the running for a $40 Etsy gift card. If you don’t enter, you won’t win 🙂

Clean it Up!

By Harriet E. Michael

These are words I’ve learned to dread when coming from an editor. Cleaning up a manuscript is no fun. At least it’s no pleasure cruise for me; I understand there are strange people in this world for whom these words sound like an order to have fun. These people are sometimes called editors and they are an alien breed to me. At the same time, I need them desperately and am glad they exist.

I recently released my debut novel, “The Whisper of the Palms” published by Olivia Kimbrell Press. When my editor first received my novel, he sent it back to me telling me to clean it up. pc-1207686_1280Thankfully, he gave me specific things to do to clean it up. Here are two of them, which may help any writer trying to present as clean a manuscript as possible to an editor, whether it be a large manuscript like a book or small, like an article.

 1)      Change passive verbs to active. My editor had me doing word searches for all being verbs: is, was, were, am, are, be, being, been. He asked me to change these to active wherever possible.

2)      Do not start sentences with what he called the FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Again, my editor had me doing word searches for these words and asked me to change it anytime I had started a sentence with any of them. (And this is my favorite vice! I love starting sentences with and or but. Ugh!)

 A couple of weeks later, I was practically cross-eyed from all the word searches but I had a cleaned-up manuscript!  

Click to tweet: Cleaning up a manuscript is no fun.

Three-word prompt: I’m editing because …

Add your 3 words to the three-word prompt to create a six-word short-short story! We’ll publicize our choice of the best one on Facebook and Twitter and other outlets. One all-around winner will be chosen at the end of April!

The Whisper of the Palmsa new release from our own Harriet E. Michael!

Africa beckoned but would Ali have to go alone?

Growing up in the foothills of North Carolina, Ali Blackwell dreamed of going places she had only seen in books and magazines. She lived in a small farmhouse that her farmer father had built with his own hands, and the prospects of ever leaving her little town of Union Mills appeared unlikely. Her family barely scraped by on the sale of produce grown by her dad and brothers and the supplemental income they earned working at the nearby textile mill.

Kyle Edmonds, a few years her elder, lived in a larger house in South Carolina. He possessed things Ali only dreamed of—extra clothes and shoes, a house with indoor plumbing and electricity, a family car, a bicycle and other toys, just to name some.

They could not have been more different.

However, both heard God’s still small voice calling them to foreign missions. How will their paths cross? What obstacles will they face? What will their future hold?


Born in Nigeria, West Africa, as the daughter of missionaries, Harriet E. Michael is a writer, gardener, wife of 38 years, mother, and grandmother.

She holds a BS in nursing from West Virginia University but has discovered her passion for writing. Since her first published article in 2010, she now has over a hundred and fifty published articles and devotions.

Harriet is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Louisville Christian Writers. She is the author of three books, “Glimpses of the Savior” published by TMP Publishing and “Prayer: It’s Not About You,” a finalist in the 2011 Women of Faith book contest, published by Pix-N-Pens Publishing Company, and her debut novel, “The Whisper of the Palms” published by Olivia Kimbrell Press.

Her stories, articles, and devotions have appeared in publications by Focus on the Family, Lifeway, Standard Publishing, David C. Cook Co., Bethany House, American Life League, Crosswalk.com, Christian Communicator, Judson Press, The Upper Room, Pentecostal Publishing House, Smyth and Helwys, and more.

She is also a Christian speaker who loves to talk to women’s groups about prayer or other topics or speak at writers’ conferences on free-lance writing, non-fiction writing, and devotional writing.

You can also follow her at www.harrietemichael.blogspot.com

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Secrets & Charades by Cindy Ervin Huff

Please welcome Cindy Ervin Huff, multi-published writer and 2014 Editor’s Choice winner for her debut novel Secrets and Charades.

Hi Cindy! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Cindy: I’ve been married to my soul mate, Charles, for 43 years. We have 5 children and 6 grandchildren.  I’m a pioneer homeschool mom. (By that I mean it was back in the day when people thought it was illegal.)

I grew up a military brat so I am definitely an extrovert. I learned to make friends fast because Dad was usual transferred every few years. Talking to strangers is as natural as breathing for me.

I’ve been writing since junior high off and on. Life interrupted me. Still I managed to get published in a variety of venues. Now that I am in my jubilee years, (over 50- and then some.) I write consistently.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Cindy: I write Historical Fiction. I love placing modern day emotional dilemmas in a historical setting. At the same time, my agent is promoting my Contemporary Romance. My romances are full of surprise twists.

Do you work to an outline or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?

I am a pantster who jots down ideas and directions as they come to me when I’m not at the keyboard. Lots of scrap paper to collect later. I do a sketchy outline. The characters always take me where I least expect it. And I create a character sketch to keep the basic facts straight on my main characters. My secondary characters are more fluid. They can change a few times throughout the drafting process. Their name, profession, gender aren’t set in stone. Even some scene settings can shift from rough to the final draft.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Cindy: Believing in yourself. Doubts keep a writer from consistently putting words on the page every day. It clogs up the submission process. And slows the whole timeline for becoming the writer God desires.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Cindy: I hope to see five more books published.  Lord willing I’d like to teach some classes and continue to be an encouragement for writers. And who knows maybe Hubby and I can take our bucket list trip to the UK.

Thanks for taking time to drop by, Cindy!


Secrets & Charades 

Jake Marcum’s busy ranch leaves him no time for courting, and his wounded heart has no place for love. When battlefield nightmares disturb his peace and his tomboy niece, Juliet, needs taming, somehow a mail-order bride seems like a logical solution.

Dr. Evangeline Olson has no idea her niece is writing to a rancher on her behalf, and she sure isn’t interested in abandoning her medical practice for a stranger. But when an inheritance threatens to reveal a long-buried secret, she travels west to become Jake’s wife.

Jake soon realizes Evangeline is more than he bargained for, especially when her arrival causes a stir in the community. As the two try to find their way in a marriage of convenience, their fragile relationship is further tested by cattle rustling and kidnapping. Can their hearts overcome past hurts to create a real marriage?


Cindy Huff, a multi-published writer and 2014 Editor’s Choice winner for her first novel Secrets and Charades has a passion to encourage other writers on their journey. Check out her blog Jubilee Writer www.jubileewriter.wordpress.com or visit with her on social media.

Amazon Author page:https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946016144/

Facebook Author page:   https ://www.facebook.com/author.huff11/

Twitter: twitter.com/CindyErvinHuff

Facebook:www.facebook.com/cindy.e.huff.

Will You Find Treasure This Year?

By Tammy Trail

Spring is the time for new beginnings. The birds are out tweeting. Barnyard animals frolic through the grass with younger versions of themselves in the warm sunshine. Humans tend to frolic out of doors also. Yard work calls us into labor. We’ll wear shorts in 60-degree weather because we long for the warmth of spring days.

Cleaning takes on a new meaning in the Spring. Have you noticed any ” Yard Sale”  signs out yet? Not to worry, they’re coming. You can be sure that folks will be going through those closets soon and setting gently used merchandise in the “for sale” pile.

Most likely, there is a community of people in your town or city who love to yard sale. They will either have a sale of their own, or wake up early on a Saturday mornings and drive to them. That old saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is surely their motto.

Websites, blogs, and even Pinterest share lots of tips for setting up your own yard sale. Here are a few:

  1. Make your signs attractive and visible to the car passing by your yard. There are some cute ideas on Pinterest with catchy phrases and decorations.
  2. Prices should be easy to read. Putting them on the top of an item is better.
  3. Make sure you have enough cash to make change. Chances are everyone will want to pay with a $20 bill.
  4. Ask a friend or neighbor to help you. While you are distracted, someone could walk off with a potential sale. Another set of eyes can help discourage a thief.
  5. Selling cold beverages will add to your sales.

If you are an early riser on Saturday mornings and love to bargain, here are some tips for you as well.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. You may need to park some distance away from the yard, or stand in line before taking your treasure home.
  2. Check the box before purchasing an item. There may be something entirely different inside when you get home.
  3. When buying something electrical, ask if you can plug it in to check it. If it takes batteries, make sure the battery compartment is not corroded.
  4. Never buy used car seats for babies or toddlers from a garage sale. Once they have been involved in an accident they are useless.
  5. Purchasing your items with smaller bills will make your seller smile. She or he won’t need to worry about making a lot of change.

My favorite garage/yard sale item was found by my parents. As a young girl, I had a portrait of Jesus hanging on my wall. I talked to him every night before I went to sleep. When I grew up and moved away, I left that picture behind. Through the years, I assumed my parents had gotten rid of it, or it was lost in a move from one house to another.

Last year, I went to visit my Mom to help her get ready for a yard sale. In a corner of her basement, behind a couple of boxes, I found my old friend. He is with me now in my home. One of these days, I will get my picture of Jesus re-framed and hung on the wall in my bedroom.

Click to tweet: Have you noticed any ” Yard Sale”  signs out yet?

Here’s a good prompt: Free puppies today.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Hallmark

Today’s 3 Questions Wednesday guest is Writing Prompts’  founder and editor-in-chief, Jennifer Hallmark.

Welcome to 3 Questions, Jennifer. You know the drill–

What inspires you?

Jennifer: When I think about what inspires me to write, I go back to my youth. As a shy introvert, books meant so much. I read books like The Pilgrims Progress and Quo Vadis and dreamed of writing books some day that would mean as much to someone else as these and others meant to me. When I get tired of moving forward, I remember.

Most writers know that feeling and would agree with you. We all want to create stories that will touch lives and leave a lasting impression.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Jennifer: A light shade of pink. When I was a kid, it was a draw between purple and pink but eventually pink won out. My study is painted a super pale shade of pink and I love it. I wear a lot of pastel colors and often get my toenails painted bright pink. 🙂

Pink is such a happy color! And bright polish on the toes makes everything better. Final question…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Jennifer: First, a ballerina. Then I moved on to a singer, singing Donny Osmond tunes into my hairbrush. Then a writer and an artist. The artist won out in my early adult years as I tried all types of arts, crafts, and drawing. After my dad passed suddenly when I was twenty-eight, writing became therapy for me and eventually morphed into more than a hobby.

Jennifer has graciously offered a $10 Amazon gift card to one reader who leaves a comment. 


Jennifer Hallmark is a writer of Southern fiction and also fantasy; a combination that keeps the creative juices flowing.

She’s published over 200 articles and interviews on the internet, short stories in several magazines, and been part of three book compilations: The Heart Seekers Series, Sweet Freedom A La Mode, and Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage.

Jennifer’s website, Alabama-Inspired Fiction, and the group blog she co-founded, focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers. She sends out a monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to at her author page. You can visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max. Their daughter Mandy is married to Tim and they have two beautiful daughters, Ava, and Sadie, and a handsome son, Zeke. Their son, Jonathan, is married to Kristie and they have two beautiful daughters, Phoebe Jill and Rozlyn Claire, and a handsome son, Cohen .

Jennifer loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with all her grandchildren. At times, she writes.

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