Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s finally Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget about the Writing Prompts Crew and our Christmas giveaway which is going on now and ends December 13th! I think you’re going to like this year’s celebration! We’re giving away a basket full of goodies! Three blessed winners will receive prizes that include gift cards and books—among other things—just our way of thanking you for visiting our blog.

We’ll be using RaffleCopter this year and by using it, you’ll be able to enter by leaving a comment on a blog post, and following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Prizes include:
$25 Barnes & Noble gift card
$25 Subway gift card
$10 StarBucks gift card
Print books
E-books
Jewelry and more

After you finish eating turkey and pumpkin pie, find a place on the couch, whip out your phone, and take a moment to enter our contest. This might be your year to win big!

3 Questions Wednesday with Gail Kittleson

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Author Gail Kittleson loves interacting with her readersSo, let’s see how she answers our latest 3 Questions–

Question: What inspires you?

Gail: I love quotes. Years ago, I discovered a certain brand of tea that has a quote hanging from each and every richly flavored and scented bag. The tea itself tastes wonderful—I look forward to a cup about mid-morning every day. But anticipating what the quote will say has become part of that little personal ritual.

Sometimes the message can be a tad hokey…some bland, over-used sentiment. But often, real truth awaits me. For example, short pithy statements from the likes of President Abraham Lincoln. “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Or this one from Steve Jobs—“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice.” Oh boy… if I’d only followed that one decades ago.

Of course, powerful quotes from the Bible have inspired me through many a pitfall, along with many others from various poets and authors. What would the world be like without powerful words?

 Powerful words take writing to another level. And I love the Steve Jobs quote. 🙂

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

Gail: A new color in the crayon box…I think I’d be yellow. While wearing yellow makes my skin look jaundiced, I use as much of this vibrant color as possible in our home. With encouragement from our artist daughter, I painted our dining room a deep shade, and sunshine literally dances on the walls from the room’s south window a good share of the day.

Yellow for brightness, yellow for joy, yellow for passion…yep, I’d choose to be yellow.

Good choice. Yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

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

Gail: Actually, I don’t recall pondering what I’d be some day when I was a child. Back then, you had three choices—housewife, secretary, or teacher. Well, maybe nurse, too. Nursing attracted my “rescuing and fixing” nature, but my favorite subjects were English and history. As a teen, I embraced the dream of writing, but it took a loooong time to truly make it a priority. Teaching others to write and cheering them on in their endeavors brought me a lot of satisfaction, but deep down, I still recalled that dream.

And finally, here I am, doing World War II research and interacting with fictional characters more than with the people around me at times. It’s never too late.

It’s never too late to follow your dreams! Thanks, Gail, for visiting 3 Questions Wednesday. READERS – See below for a chance to win an e-book copy of Gail’s latest book, A Purpose True. And take a moment to watch the trailer for her book, With Each New Dawn, below:

Click to tweet: What inspires Gail Kittleson? Find out on today’s 3 Questions Wednesday @InspiredPrompt #3QW


A Purpose True

Southern France – Spring, 1944

German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.

Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens?

Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion – L’Invasion

Buy here


About Gail:

A late-blooming author, Iowa farm girl Gail Kittleson’s characters contribute to the World War II effort against great odds. Her Women of the Heartland series includes In Times Like These, With Each New Dawn, and A Purpose True, which releases on December 7th, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The best compliment her writing has received? “Thanks for not giving your heroine easy ways out, and for avoiding pat answers, no matter how complicated the struggle.”

When Gail’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit, she does a limited amount of editing and facilitates writing and creativity workshops. In  winter, she and her husband spend time hiking in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim.

Gail’s loves interacting with readers.

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From My Grandmother’s Kitchen: No Elves in Nan Nan’s Kitchen

By Steve Connolly

Photo from Pixabay

The house at 106 Cadima Avenue in Coral Gables, my grandmother’s house, will be one of those addresses that stick in my memory banks forever.  As a kid, I was fortunate to spend time with her during my summer vacations from school.

My grandmother was known as Nan Nan to her 33 grandchildren. She was fondly given this name by my oldest cousin, Cathy Tracy Dickinson. I am not sure where she came up with such a moniker, but it stuck over many years.

A visit to Nan Nan’s house broke up the endless summer days of playing army with my buddies, shooting basketballs, or fighting with my brothers. With Nan Nan you were guaranteed to have an adventure. When I was very young, I remember her walking me to the park to do arts & crafts.  Later years we would walk several miles to downtown Coral Gables for a hot fudge sundae. For a real treat, we would hop a city bus to downtown Miami. We would explore parks, museums, libraries or go to a movie. Being the oldest of five (Peter waited until we moved to New Hampshire to be born) I enjoyed the personal time she spent with me.

I remember my grandmother as the school librarian at a small Christian School.  I’m told Nan Nan started teaching there as the Home Economics instructor. Later at the age of sixty, she continued her education and became the school’s librarian. Being a Home Ec teacher I often wondered if this is why she was a fantastic cook. I have known only one other Home Ec teacher in my life, Mrs. Bernice Kyte, and she, too, was an excellent cook.

My Nan Nan was famous for her cookies. Visiting her house, the first thing we kids would do is check in the bottom cupboard to see if there were any cookies in her original Tupperware container. And you know, we were never disappointed. Nan Nan had several cookie recipes that we loved as kids. One was her Chocolate Chip cookies and another was her Easy Peasy Sugar Cookies. For years I have tried to duplicate her Chocolate Chip cookies without success. She must have kept something secret as I have her original recipe and have never successfully made them good as she did. One of her many cooking shortcuts must have been an unwritten instruction in her recipe. Someday I may resolve this mystery!

Click to tweet: My Nan Nan was famous for her cookies. #holidays @InspiredPrompt

However, I have mastered her Easy Peasy Sugar Cookies recipe. I know they are good as my wife often forbids me to make them. She claims they are addictive. I must disagree with her as I can limit myself to ten or twelve of them a day! I hope you enjoy them. Make sure and pay attention to the little tricks Nan Nan taught me about making these cookies.

Easy Peasy Sugar Cookies (must be her original name)

  • 1-1/2 Cups of Sugar
  • 2-1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • 14 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature (or squishy)
  • 3 teaspoons of Vanilla
  • 2 Large Eggs plus the Egg White of One Egg
  • ¼ teaspoon of Nutmeg

 It is best to start off by having all your ingredients measured out – this way you can double check and prevent missing something. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees after you evenly space the racks in the center of the oven.

  1. Next, sift into a separate bowl all the dry ingredients (except the nutmeg).
  2. With an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar and beat till light and fluffy
  3. Mix in the egg products one at a time beating until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Slowly mix in the flour to the egg/sugar mixture – about ½ cup at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary (You may need to chill the dough depending on your eggs).
  5. Roll the dough into one-inch size balls. Then roll them in a mixture of sugar and nutmeg (I always measure by eye – personal taste can dictate this – for Christmas use colored sugar)
  6. Put onto cookie sheets – I find aluminum sheets work the best.
  7. Start one sheet on the lower oven rack and bake 5 minutes. After 5 minutes move it to the top rack. When the 5 minutes is up, check to make sure the cookies are slightly browned around the bottom edges.  Time may have to be adjusted according to your oven.
  8. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack – I start mine out flat then stack them after a few minutes to let them fully cool.
  9. Wash your sheets in cool water between batches – Careful not to burn yourself.

My grandmother lived just shy of her 101st birthday.  She was an incredible person whom I think of most days.  In my house of five boys and one girl, it was required that we all learned to cook. Thinking of the skills I have developed over the years I find the majority are from things my grandmother taught me.  And by the way, my grandmother’s daughter, my Mom is a great cook too!

The Wisdom Tree by Lisa Worthey Smith

I’m so happy to welcome one of my Alabama friends, Lisa Worthey Smith, to our blog. Lisa finds truths in everyday events and nature itself and uses those truths to show a patternplan, and purpose intentionally designed by the loving hand of The Creator.

Hello, Lisa! Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Lisa:  I’m a simple Southern girl, who would rather be outside than inside any day of the week! I relished my time as a full-time mom then transitioned into the corporate workplace for a number of years, then taught high school students at a small Christian school.

Then when my health would no longer allow me to work at all, God sent a hummingbird to teach me about suffering. Yep, a real hummingbird who I named Oscar. The story was so unique people often asked me to write it down, so I did. Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird was published in 2015.

God used that story to guide me into this phase where I minister by writing and speaking occasionally. After a recent speaking engagement, several kind people requested I publish that story, and The Wisdom Tree was put into book form October 2017.

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

Lisa: I intended to write non-fiction, Christian inspirational (like Oscar). “I just don’t have the creativity to write fiction.” Then God gave me the fictional story of The Wisdom Tree. (Hint- Don’t tell God what you can’t do. God has a sense of humor and might just change your course!)

Both have Bible studies included which is where my heart lies. My mission is to draw people to the Word, to point them to the hand of God all around us and create an eagerness to learn more about Him.

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

Lisa:  Some of both. My short stories tell themselves, then I go back and block in chapters and outlines. If I ever write a novel length piece, I’m sure it will start with an outline.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Lisa:  Finding a way to say “the end.” I know readers want a satisfying conclusion, but I enjoy the stories so much that it is hard to stop! I tell myself if I don’t finish, I won’t be able to share – so I make myself cross the finish line in order to be able to share them with you!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Lisa:  Tippy tapping on the keyboard for His kingdom as long as He desires, and there is life within me!

Thanks, Lisa, for dropping by! Sounds like a good book…

Click to tweet:  Alabama author Lisa Worthey Smith latest book, The Wisdom Tree. #amreading #InspiredPrompt


 The Wisdom Tree

An ordinary tree, in an extraordinary place, in an extraordinary time, being prepared for an extraordinary event. If you listen closely to the trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, you might hear this story of a little olive tree named Sprout, and how he came to be known as The Wisdom Tree.

Often compared to the writing style of Max Lucado, this parable includes a Study Guide with the most basic and important questions in Christianity and provides the biblical answers for each.

Simple enough for middle readers, and yet adults who are acquainted with the New Testament love to hear the familiar story told from a unique perspective.

Suitable for book clubs, Bible study groups, homeschool, and personal growth.


 A long-time Bible student with a passion to help people grasp the depths of God’s love, Lisa Worthey Smith has been called “the parable teacher”. Using stories of everyday life and Creation, she weaves gentle stories of inspiration, hope, and love with the common theme of seeing the hand of God at work.

She and her husband live in northern Alabama where she spends time in her yard which includes a hummingbird garden and of course, an olive tree.

Contact Lisa

Twitter 

Life in My Father’s World Facebook 

Bible Study 101 Facebook

Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird Facebook

Lisa Worthey Smith Facebook

Website –  www.BibleStudy101.net

Blog – www.LifeInMyFathersWorld.blogspot.com

From My Grandmother’s Kitchen: Mamaw’s Chocolate Pie

By Jennifer Hallmark

Mamaw’s chocolate pie. Rich, creamy filling in a flaky crust with no meringue or whipped topping. No, sir. Mamaw didn’t like meringue. My dad’s parents spent a lot of their life in Arizona before moving back to Alabama to retire. My brother, Jesse Lee Dison III, and I enjoyed visiting my dad’s parents during our teen-age years, a time to get out of the house.

When Mamaw passed in 2010, my brother, living in Alaska, could not make the trip. But he had a way to honor our grandmother. He wrote a tribute which he had me place in a stand-up photo frame and asked my mom to bake a chocolate pie. We set them in the funeral parlor, a fitting acknowledgement of her love and cooking skills…

Here’s what Jesse wrote:

Since I could not attend I wanted to have something there that meant a lot to me when I think of Mamaw.  Now chocolate pie may seem like an odd thing, but every time we would get together that was one thing that I knew she would have and what I looked forward to.  Without the whipped cream! Whenever I see a chocolate pie, it reminds me of her and I know that they won’t be as good as hers. Just a very special memory to me.

Most of my memories of her would range from her being mean, not letting me answer the phone when my girlfriend was calling (had to climb through a window to grab the phone), to her relationship with Papaw.  I truly believe that strong family trees start at the roots and you learn from what you watch while growing up.  Mamaw and Papaw had that relationship where you know they loved each other and it was passed on although not out loud, but through watching and being around them.

Being in Alaska has been hard since it is so far away.  Holidays are hard because I miss being there with all the family.  When Mamaw would yell “Jesse” and Papaw, my dad and I would holler “yes” at the same time. She would get so mad.  I know when I would call to talk to her and hear everyone in the background it would bring back good memories.  To know that all her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren have and are raising close strong families in today’s society is a testament to how great Mamaw and Papaw were.

I am saddened by Mamaw’s passing but I know she is where she wants to be now, with my dad and Papaw.  And someday we will all be together.

And I know we will. Here’s her pie recipe. You can always add meringue or whipped topping, of course. 🙂

Click to tweet: Just in time for the holidays. Mamaw’s Chocolate Pie. #InspiredPrompt #food

Mamaw’s Chocolate Pie

3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Blend together sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt in a boiler. Add milk. Cook over low heat. Stir constantly util the mixture has thickened. Add a small amount of hot mixture to beaten egg yolks, stirring well. Add to mixture. Cook until it is a thick consistency. Add vanilla and butter or margarine. Pour into baked pie shell. Let cool…