Get to Know my books!

Here are my published books and some review quotes for each:

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Review quotes:

This delightful Christian romance delivers a smile, a few tears, and page after page of warmth and compassion.

Want to feel good? Read this book!

This is a delightful read.

This beautiful story touches the heart and soul. Don’t miss it!

‘The Right Ingredients’ is a charming romance novel with honest characters and a realistic plot line. What makes the book work is the basic decency of the main characters and the people who love them.

The two main characters in The Right Ingredients are so well-developed that you really feel like you’re in the middle of their souls. Lots of depth here—this isn’t just your typical boy-meets-girl romance. There is plenty to think about spiritually as well as emotionally. Nancy Shew Bolton has cooked up a fine, believable world and given us plenty of sweet treats along the way!

A very well written take about trusting God and what happens when you finally feel you can.

This is a wonderful book. I loved the read. We need more books and characters like this.

Each page was like a tasty bite. I wanted more.

The various themes of friendship, love, family life and spiritual development will warm your heart. There is an honesty in the writer’s voice that is compelling.

The Right Ingredients is such a wonderful read! I love the characters as they discover who they are and the path God guides them on.

This book is a delight. The characters are so real.

A beautifully sweet love story that touches your heart and soul. Anxious to read other books by this delightful author.

A lovely tender romance with a strong Christian message.

What an adorable love story!

http://amzn.to/1spDrG2 

To buy on Barnes and Noble

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Here are some endorsements for Hidden Storms

She believed the lies which scarred her more than the marks on her neck. Almost poetry, Hidden Storms is a novella to be savored. The words roll in the mouth and find their way to the heart. A young girl spurned by her parents and feared by strangers feels unworthy of love, even the love of God. Go with her on the search for life, for validation to be happy. Hidden Storms will stay with the reader long after the last page. Lee Carver: author of A Secret Life, and Love Takes Flight

 

Hidden Storms addresses issues most of us, like those around Lilli, would much rather avoid—those we’d rather hide than deal with. A suspicious, superstitious, and prejudicial upbringing ingrained in young Lilli that she was marked by God and the cause of disaster wherever she went and whoever she touched. We might all feel that way sometimes without a champion or a kind word that triumphs over our self-doubt and pity. Nancy Bolton gives us an enduring story that will mark our hearts. Lisa Lickel, author of The Last Detail

 

Nancy Bolton’s gripping tale of a young woman’s overwhelming shame is set against the tragic dust bowl years.  Nancy’s descriptive voice sends you right back to that difficult time period as you struggle right with Lilli Clark as she strives to recover her health.  Yet it’s not just health that Lilli needs.  It’s redemption—God’s redemption. This story, Hidden Storms, molded after the fairy tale, The Ugly Duckling, really exemplifies how God takes us, sinful, filthy, ugly and unacceptable, and wipes away all our hideous flaws and makes us whole. Follow Lilli as she trudges towards God’s truth, learns to accept her imperfections, and embrace a new life free of shame. Peggy Trotter, author of Year of Jubilee

 

Hidden storms took me back to the dust bowl era, a place I’d never want to live within. The imagery was so vivid, though, I felt like I was there. I followed the character through her trying ordeals and when I wasn’t reading, I thought about her. I’m a mother of two young girls and I don’t get a lot of reading time. This book was time well spent in every way. The characters were riveting and the important themes underlying the plot took center stage by the end. My biggest question is, can there be a sequel? I want to see what happens to the young girl! Brooke Williams, multi-published author

Nancy Bolton weaves an amazing, timeless tale, told through the eyes of a teenage girl in pre-WWII America marked by tragedy as long as she lets past injustices define who she is. Bolton’s descriptions are so rich and vivid, they yanked me into the plot at the first sentence and never let go. Julie B Cosgrove, freelance Christian writer and multi-published author.

 

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Here are some review quotes:

The cast of characters from Nancy Bolton’s, “A Work In Progress,” seems bound to involve us in the individual stories of their lives, ‘til with one broad-palette-knife-stroke across the canvas of her novel Ms. Bolton blends their lives into a riveting tale of sorrows and trials, laced with underlying love, joy, and hope in the journey. Ms. Bolton weaves an intriguing, yet realistic, story—a passionate love story—that screams for a series or at least a sequel. Great story. Great read. Great Book. With the promise of more to come from this very talented author and story teller? I certainly hope so.

Nancy Bolton serves up a satisfying romance with ‘A Work in Progress.’
She whets our appetites with a study in contrasts—Julie views life with exuberance and quiet generosity, Mark with anxiety and prickly reserve.
Ms. Bolton tosses in some engaging minor players like Chris, the untidy, smoking, gum-chewing chef and a valiant little boy trying to care for his war-wounded father.
We get just a soupçon of parental wisdom, a few spicy kisses, and the fragrant aroma of good deeds done in secret.
Then the author brings on the meaty heart of the story.
Just when Mark and Julie think they have each other figured out, the complexities of human nature rear up and the relationship goes on the rocks. They need to work through challenges and misunderstandings and some near-heartbreak before we reach the sweet resolution. ‘A Work in Progress’ delivers its message that ‘love does not boast’ with subtlety and depth. I recommend that you don’t read it hungry, though!

I love this story, especially the intimate view of each character’s inner life, which is a hallmark of Nancy Shew Bolton’s writing. She has a talent for guiding us deeply into the thinking and motivations for each person’s responses, feelings, and choices. Then when her protagonists connect in a scene together, you can feel the fireworks of all that is going on from the core of truth for each one. Also, I so admire the subtheme of freeganism (very cool). A lot to hold your interest, and the characters are believable and engaging. I highly recommend this entertaining, thoughtful book!

I have read Nancy Shew Bolton’s other novels, so I expected this one to be great as well. Yep. it is! It has all the right ingredients for a sweet romantic story, with a little of spice added as two opposites attract and mix things up. Somehow,like any great dish, despite their combination of ingredients you’d think would always clash, it comes out made to perfection in the end. Another great Love Is Series novella.

Amazon buy link:

http://www.amazon.com/Work-Progress-Nancy-Shew-Bolton-ebook/dp/B01AGMJGHO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1455519591&sr=8-2&keywords=nancy+shew+bolton

 

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After a fire destroys their home when she was a girl, Sarah’s family rebuilds their lives, yet the echoes of the fire’s damage remain. Sarah learned to turn inward, and keep her curious mind to herself, asking God all the questions that her own father used to delight in. But the fire silenced her father, and spread the stillness to the rest of them. Yet Sarah longs to express herself, to find answers to all her questions. A new, young pastor arrives, and captivates her heart. The prospect of a challenging and unexpected life dances before her, but then is held out of her reach. And with the new possibilities come questions she’s never asked herself before. Is she ready for the answers?

Here are some reviews:

I’d read Hidden Storms by Nancy Bolton and loved it, so I eagerly purchased this one. Bolton has such an easy way of dipping the reader into the pool of her characters’thoughts. You wade in deeper through each page until totally emersed in the story. A refreshingly wonderful experience, the way reading historical fiction should be. It is like you soaked into Sarah’s skin and lived out her life in upper New York in the 1890s with her. You’ll want to dive in as well.

Ms. Bolton’s word crafting skills make my heart sing. This book was a privilege to read. The cadence of her words tapped a pleasing tempo up to and including the final lines. She almost has a lyrical flow to her sentences and phrases.
Answering Sarah is one of two books that have changed my attitude to enjoy historical fiction and romantic fiction. I’m more of an action/adventure kinda gal, but Ms. Bolton’s research into the setting and time of her story satisfies my need for action and adventure.
Her characters are developed as are the settings. I was right there with this family as they struggled to survive. The sights, sounds, and smells all woven into a historical novel that is sure to become a classic. I’d love to see this become a series.

Ms. Bolton has a pleasant writing style and with her well-hewn skills draws the reader into her characters. The descriptions of the hard life of a farmer and the development of the community atmosphere enhance the story.

Answering Sarah was a very good book. I was intrigued by the reactions everyone had to adversity in the story, and saw myself in many of them. I liked how inquisitive Sarah was and how God helped her and others along the way.

Heartwarming and sensitive Christian Romance novel. Pioneer times depicted authentically and characters believable. Coming of age depicted with a tender, thoughtful love interest.with strong family values.

The was the first book I’ve read by Nancy Shew Bolton, so I was not sure what to expect, but I enjoyed the book very much. I felt she wrote the characters in a realistic way that made it easy for me to imagine them going about their day. Their reactions were in line for the time period, as were their views. I have to admit, reading this made me wish our world today could go backwards into a time when people put God first rather than themselves.

 

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A Haven in the Woods is a contemporary romance. It shows the growth of a relationship between two opposite people who are forced by circumstances to interact and the unexpected growth of feelings between them as they face a life-changing event whose impact rocks both of them.

Here’s a description:

Ellen is running away. Heartbroken and carrying the ever growing shame of her foolishness in trusting a man, she rents a remote cabin in the woods. All she needs to do is survive until the baby is born. Once that happens she’ll be free to start a new job and a new life. The last thing she expected was to be pulling out her gun on a strange man walking out of the woods.

Robert loves the solitude of the mountains. Tracking the wildlife with only his dog for company. It’s not the profitable career his family would desire for him. He wished they’d understand. But the woman in the cabin, while an annoyance, also concerns him. She’s not prepared for the brutal winter in the mountains. And pregnant? He resolves to help her.

Robert falls for the taciturn woman and even more for the child she carries. When her home is destroyed he brings her to his…offering protection and shelter from the harsh winter. He can’t understand why she won’t talk about the baby, or make plans for it.

Can two lonely souls trapped together, testing the limits of solitude and friendship, find true love?

Here are some reviews:

Bolton’s lush setting paints a perfect backdrop for these people who learn that protecting each other, no matter who they came together, as well as living under the protection of God’s wings, makes life worth living. Told in multiple viewpoints from the perspectives of the main characters, this sweet novella clips right along at a quick pace. Full and satisfying, readers will root for both Robert and Ellen, even in the darkest moments.

Ellen isn’t in the mood to be loved or trust a man and she keeps Robert at arms length. He, however, falls for the unborn baby and tries everything he can to help Ellen as she nears delivery. I don’t want to give away the story but lets just say he really has to work for this and is an example of love that protects, no matter what. Great story.

I loved this book! It had so many things I enjoyed. A quaint, quiet place in the woods, complete with snow. A cute dog and a sweet cat. A stubborn heroine who doesn’t want help but needs it. A gentle, loving hero who lives Christ’s example and shows this to this poor lost woman. I only wish the ending were a little longer because I wanted to savor the happily ever ending. Don’t miss this book. Well written.

Ellen was interesting and I’m glad she was an imperfect and flawed character. It felt good that she didn’t do the things that I expected her to do. This story had so much depth that I was sad to see it end. Great story and definitely worth every minute of my time.

 

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Kay is a widow who has moved to Oregon in the 1920’s to live with her brother and his wife. She sews shirts while he makes hats. Intrigued by the rough-hewn men who come in and out of their shop, she wonders if love would ever come her way a second time.

Aaron intrigues Kay with his quiet demeanor, especially after she finds him drunk. Leaving her brother to care for him, she often wonders what led the man to that point. While challenging herself to try new things, she takes a risk in getting to know the taciturn man.

Can shy love break through the hurting hearts of these two lonely people?

Here are some reviews:

Beautiful is the word that comes to mind when I think about this book. The pages are full of gentle tenderness. Most of the action occurs within the thoughts of Kay and Aaron as they struggle to come to terms with their painful pasts. Kay is a widow who desperately misses her husband, and Aaron is a man who is facing trauma from an abusive childhood and PTSD. As both Kay and Aaron reach toward God, they also begin reaching toward each other. This is a story about bravery—not the bravery that comes from facing criminals or rescuing people from burning buildings—but the bravery that comes from analyzing one’s own shortcomings and determining to carve out a new way of thinking and living. I appreciated the discussions about God’s forgiveness, and I appreciated the depth of honesty conveyed by the characters. This uplifting story shows that with God all things are possible—even second chances.

Two lonely people who are afraid of love find each other in 1920 Oregon. She’s a widow working in the family hat shop, he’s a battle weary soldier making his way as a cowboy. Can they find comfort in each other? Touching, well written story.

Nancy Bolton has given us a wonderful story in Hats Off. It takes place in Oregon in the 1920’s. Kay, a widow, has moved there to be with her brother and his wife. She works making shirts and the lining for custom hats. She’d known love once but could there be a second chance for her?

Aaron is a quiet man who does his job but one night gets drunk and is discovered by Kay who gets her brother Philip to care for the man. He intrigues her in their few shy interactions. She steps out and tries new things including challenging the quiet man with his own dark past. Their brief interactions ignite sparks quickly.

Love blooms in the cold of winter as both learn that sometimes, hope at Christmas, is a powerful thing if one is willing to reach for it.

 

Julie Cosgrove’s Latest Book!!

Julie Cosgrove’s Latest Book!!

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Who would leave a newborn baby in thebathtub of a condo in Sunset Acres, a retirement community, and why? And was a young woman slain behind the convenience store across the highway it’s mother? Janie and the Bunco Biddies want to find out, but soon they discover sleuthing can get a bit dicey.

 

Award-winning author Julie Cosgrove has written another riveting story in her delightful Bunco Biddies series! The second one, due out today is called “Baby Bunco.”

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of one of Julie’s books!

Now let’s find out some more about Julie and her series!

Julie, what’s your writing schedule?

I carve out time to write since I have a “day job”, which really is more like an afternoon and evening job. Since I often speak professionally on weekends, I fence off my own private pajama party time, which means I will spend the whole day, and possible most of the night, at my computer in my p.j.s. My family and friends know not to call unless someone is in the E.R. Even my cats have learned to leave me alone on those days, until dinner time that is.

 

How did you come up with the title?

The Bunco Biddies are a group of spinsters in a retirement community who play on Thursday evenings and solve crimes on the sly. So all the titles related to the game. Book One was Dumpster Dicing, a play on words because it involves a murder in the community dumpster. Book two is Baby Bunco, which describes rolling three of one number that isn;t the number you are trying to roll. Don’t worry, I explain that better in the books. Book Three is Threes and Sixes. Whoever rolls three sixes wins the game, but for a faith-based book to be called Three Sixes, well… I am writing the fourth, Til Dice Do Us Part and hope to star on the fifth, A Dicey Deal.

 

What makes your hero and heroine likable?

Janie is the main heroine. A widow of a renown police detective, she is sharp, a bit hard headed, and a natural born leader. Her side kicks are Ethel, who is a mystery buff and has sub-categorized her cozies by crime, and Betsy Ann, who is a bit ditzy but would do anything for anybody. They have known each other for decades, so they don’t pull punches and their banter is humorous.

Last, but of course not least, is Janie’s son-in-law, Chief Detective Blake Johnson who slowly begins to see her as someone else than a slightly meddling mother-in-law and eventually values her wittiness.

 

What makes this book special to you?

The series is special to me for the following reason: As I approach old age, I want people to appreciate the senior set a bit more. Just because someone is in their last decades, doesn’t mean they are feeble. These ladies are vital members of their community, and even though they prefer to live in a fifty-five plus place, it doesn’t mean they are out to pasture just “waiting on God”. Our culture is so youth orientated that wrinkles have become a sin and liver spots similar to leprosy. We don’t honor the acquired wisdom of the older generation and often consider them as useless because they are not up to date on the latest technology. That is nothing less than sad.

What makes this particular book, Baby Bunco, meaningful is the subplot that deals with a growing problem in our country and around the world- organ harvesting. There is also the underlying theme that all babies, no matter how they came to be, are precious and deserve to be loved.

What does your family think of my writing?

At first they thought it was a nice hobby. But when I landed a traditional contract, and then another, and then five more, they began to take notice. After winning several awards for my writing over the past two years, suddenly they are my biggest fans and prayer supporters. Last spring when almost all of them showed up at an award dinner and gave me a standing ovation, I became quite teary.

And now to give you a taste of Julie’s captivating story written in her wonderful style, here is an excerpt from Chapter One of Baby Bunco:

Chapter 1

“Did you say she found a baby?” Janie stopped mid-roll, the pink and white dice warming in her clutched fist. “Here in Sunset Acres, a retirement community?”

Babs, seated to her left at the Bunco table, nodded. “That’s what Mildred told me as we were walking up to your front stoop tonight. Right, Mildred?”

“I went to collect a few more of my things since I’m staying with Ethel, and no more than three minutes later the leasing agent pounded on my door. ‘Come see,’ she motioned to me. Her eyes grew as wide as those mega donuts at the Crusty Baker.” She thumped her pencil against her score pad and groaned. “It took every ounce of gumption to follow her into that—ugh!—place next door.” She quivered her shoulders.

Janie shifted her gaze to the woman sitting across from her. “Ethel, you knew about this?”

“I did.”

“And you didn’t tell me?” Her voice elevated to echo-off –the-ceiling volume. She humphed and pivoted to face the storyteller. “Mildred. What happened?”

The other eight ladies halted their Bunco round. Each swiveled to listen in, their eyes fixated on the first card table.

Mildred leaned. “I paused at the steps, determined to not go inside. Only peek in from the front door. Then high-pitched, frantic cries came from the direction of the bathroom. Well, I had to rush to its aid. Every motherly fiber in my being dictated it.”

Murmurs and head bobs filtered through Janie’s living rom.

Mildred sniffled. “Poor little thing. Alone, scared and red as a beet from wailing so hard. That house is cursed, I tell you.”

Janie patted her hand. “Now, dear. Just because someone murdered Edwin soon after he moved in there doesn’t mean…”

Mildred shot from her seat and paced, her arms flaying in circles, resembling the duck windmill on top of the antiques barn down the road. “Ever since I relocated into Sunset Acres it’s been one thing after another. Edwin murdered, then my nephew Bobby arrested, and now an abandoned newborn in a bathtub? This is supposed to be a quiet retirement community.”

“Maybe because you live on Solar Boulevard.” Annie huffed. “Nothing weird ever happens on my street, Sunrise Court, except for an occasional stray golf ball. Then again, if you kept your nose out of everyone’s business…” Her voice trailed off with a smug cock of her head.

My nose?”

The other ladies mumbled to each other.

Ethel blew a whistle through her teeth. “Okay, everyone calm down. We all lived through the ruckus of one of our neighbor’s brutal murder last month. It’s not Mildred’s fault. Nor mine or Janie’s that this happened…”

Betsy Ann raised her hand, as if her legs once again dangled from under her desk in Ms. Everett’s kindergarten classroom.

Janie rolled her eyes. “What?”

“Well, it is sort of our fault.” She pointed to Janie, Ethel and herself. “We helped solve the case and Bobby did wind up in the middle of all of the commotion. That’s why he threatened you and tried to break into your house.” She folded her hands and gazed down at them. “I’m just saying…”

“Duly noted.” Janie felt the healing, pinkish wound on her neck where his knife grazed her skin. “I must add, my dear son-in-law, Chief Detective Blake Johnson, appreciated all of our…” her hands encircled the room…”research, sleuthing and cunningness. He told me so.”A smile curled along the edges of her mouth. “Besides, it did beat back the doldrums a while, right?’

A few silvery head bounced in agreement as the condo sprinkled with giggles. Annie crossed her arms and harumphed.

Janie eased over to Mildred and led her back to her designated chair. She patted her on the shoulders and scanned the room, making certain every slightly glaucoma-pressed or cataract-corrected eye fixated on her. “Now we must figure out who placed a newborn baby in a vacant garden home bathtub and why?”

Babs cocked an eyebrow. “We do?”

“Absolutely. Let’s face facts. Someone put the little thing in a home in our community so she would be discovered. Therefore it is our responsibility…”

“Well, now. I’m not sure…” Mildred frowned.

“We are all over fifty-five, correct? The child certainly doesn’t belong to one of us. If so, we should be renamed Sarah after Abraham’s elderly wife in Genesis.”

“Or Elizabeth in the New Testament.” Betsy Ann added, this time with a forefinger, not a full hand, aloft.

“Exactly. Therefore, unless one of you wants to confess…”

Cackles ensued.

Janie allowed the cacophony to settle, her eyes glimmering with escalating excitement. “I, for one, do not think this is a coincidence that this wee one ended up in Edwin’s old garden home. There may be a connection we overlooked. Blake never discovered who left long, black hairs in that comb or ruby red lipstick on those empty beer cans when the police searched his place for clues.”

Ethel scoffed. “Pffft. We all can guess what she was, even if we don’t know who.”

The women eyed each other and chuckled.

Annie shook her head. “But the officials only released him from prison a couple of days before he died, right? Last I heard it takes nine months to make a baby.”

Mildred arched her eyebrow. “I thought it only took one night.”

Several of the elderly ladies laughed so loud Janie’s china tea service jiggled.

Janie pumped her hand toward the floor. “All right. All right. Even so, someone knew that home remained unoccupied.”

Babs flipped up her palms. “His demise dominated the local news for several weeks.  Which means thousands of readers learned it.”

Roseanne Rodriguez spoke up. “More than that. Hundreds of thousands. It was all over the news, too.”

Mildred flayed her arms. “That narrows it down a bunch.”

More laughter.

Janie tapped her fist to the card table. The hum of comments faded. “True, Roseanne. However, I don’t recall them specifically giving out the address, even if everyone heard Betsy Ann and I discovered him in the community dumpster here at Sunset Acres.”

“So, whoever dropped the baby girl off cased the joint and determined no one lived there anymore.” Ethel, the one with the massive catalogues mystery paperback collection, offered the proverbial gumshoe response.

“Which means they planned to leave her at that garden home.” Janie snapped her fingers. “Yes, that has to be it. So a person or persons unknown, who wouldn’t attract attention as they wandered around our senior retirement village, knew about this pregnancy and somehow persuaded the mother to give up the poor thing.”

Babs clucked her teeth. “Well, it does happen.”

“Yes, but what gets me is they figured someone would find the infant fairly quickly.”

“A ‘For Lease or Sale’ sign is planted plain as day on the front lawn.” Annie shoved the last bite of butterscotch brownie into her mouth.

Janie gave her a nod. “Good point. Still, there must be homes all over this area for sale or rent. Why our little corner of the world? A fifty-five plus community. Why not a neighborhood with young families? That’s what we must discover. Something tells me the answer might be the key to the whole dilemma.”

Ethel leaned into Betsy Ann. “Get a load of Janie. Proud as a peacock and giddy as a school girl. She’s in her element. A new game’s afoot.”

Betsy Ann lowered her auburn, curly head into her hands. “Here we go again. Bunco Biddies to the rescue whether anyone wants us involved or not.”

Now, here are a couple reviews for Bunco Biddies:

Cosgrove wove the story with such humor, I found myself laughing out loud at the antics these sleuths got themselves into as they went to great lengths to help in the investigation! Not only dishing out information with each other, but dishing up amazingly delicious comfort food…totally in character with the elderly.     Christian Book Reviews

Cosgrove does an excellent job of leaving a breadcrumb trail of clues that leads you in circles right along with the characters. I laughed at and fell in love with the charming trio of women would-be-sleuths in their stubborn and relentless resolve to figure out who killed their neighbor. Sometimes authors shove a Christian message in between crime scenes and car chases. However, Cosgrove seamlessly threads her message throughout the book…the characters exemplify what it means to live a life of Christian love. Beautifully done!    Amazon reviewer

 

Purchase links for Julie’s books:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=Julie+B+Cosgrove&search-alias=digital-text&text=Julie+B+Cosgrove&sort=relevancerank

 

Thanks for visiting my blog, Julie!

Five Books Are Out Now!!

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Hi there! Here are my five books so far, with another one due out in November, and one in February!

You can read the reviews and excerpts on my Amazon author page. Here’s the link to my page, and from there you can click on any of the books to see reviews and excerpts, as well as purchase information. If you read my work, please leave a review. I love to hear feedback from readers! Thanks!

Amazon Author page:https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Shew-Bolton/e/B00NU9LQHO/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1465792433&sr=1-2-ent

Answering Sarah has been released!!

Here’s the back cover blurb for Answering Sarah:  After a fire destroys their home when she was a girl, Sarah’s family rebuilds their lives, yet the echoes of the fire’s damage remain. Sarah learned to turn inward, and keep her curious mind to herself, asking God all the questions that her own father used to delight in. But the fire silenced her father, and spread the stillness to the rest of them. Yet Sarah longs to express herself, to find answers to all her questions. A new, young pastor arrives, and captivates her heart. The prospect of a challenging and unexpected life dances before her, but then is held out of her reach. And with the new possibilities come questions she’s never asked herself before. Is she ready for the answers? And here’s the front cover first, then the front and back cover together:      AnsweringSarah_Cover copy (2)      AnsweringSarah_Print copy (1) This is my fourth book release, and there will be two more of my books released by the end of this year! I remember wondering when my first book, The Right Ingredients, came out, if I’d have more books published. Guess I know the answer to that by now. I’m thankful to Prism Book Group, my publisher Joan Alley, and to my editors Jacqueline Hopper and Susan Baganz, and all the wonderful authors at Prism Book Group. What  a great group of people to be connected with as I travel through this writing journey of mine. If you’d like to know more about Answering Sarah, just click on the page with that title, and I’ll tell you how to read a preview which includes the prologue and the first chapters. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did while writing it! Thanks for visiting my page!

My Third Book is Out!!!

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There’s something cooking outside the kitchen….

They’ve worked together for two years, but that’s all they have in common. Like oil and water, they just don’t mix. Julie thinks he’s a shallow flirt, Mark thinks she’s a cold fish. Despite their mutual dislike, they’ve carved out a civil work relationship at the restaurant. But after each of their inner worlds suffer a jolt; the careful, polite kitchen routine becomes a stew of conflicting emotions. Things are about to get interesting.

Yippee! My third book is out now!!

This one is part of a series from Prism Book Group, called the Love Is… series, and all the novellas are based on one of the characteristics of love written about in First Corinthians chapter 13. My novella is called A Work in Progress, and is based around the concept that love does not boast itself.

It’s got a lot of dimensions to it. It has some light-hearted moments, thoughtful and dramatic ones, some soul-searching, and plenty of chemistry between the two main characters! It’s all about love and the many twists and turns it creates, especially between two people who didn’t plan on even liking each other. Buckle up for a fun ride!

 

 

Now here’s the first chapter, followed by some reviews:

CHAPTER ONE

What a glorious day. Julie indulged in a slow walk to the steakhouse, reveling in the autumn breeze and its hint of chill. No need to hurry. She’d be early as usual. The sight of the varied trees lining the sidewalk, sporting their vibrant colors, with a bright blue sky above them, ignited a sudden desire to skip.

After a humid summer, there couldn’t be a more magnificent time of year than harvest time in the Finger Lakes. Cool air, clear skies. She glanced at passersby and wondered about their response if she did skip down the walkway. So what if she was almost thirty?

A grin spread. Why not? Joy was way more fun than heartache, after all. She launched into a series of skips. Laughter bubbled up, as much at herself as the scandalized reaction of a nearby cat, who shot off a porch and into the shrubs. She couldn’t help giggling at the frantic exit, with the cat’s tail fluffed out to twice its size. Too bad the poor thing couldn’t appreciate her joy.

She gazed upward. Who could fail to take delight in such a perfect day? God deserved some recognition for creating all this beauty. She almost sang, but figured the skipping would do for now. She beamed in response to the few odd glances she received from pedestrians, and strolled on.

The familiar scent of the steakhouse greeted her as she drew near the back door. The outer exhaust fan blew a warm, aromatic breeze into the back lot, laden with hints of caramelizing onions, simmering soup, and grilling meats. Better advertising than any media spot or food photograph could be. How many customers had said they first showed up just from the inviting aromas?

She sniffed the air and grinned before she shrugged out of her coat, hung it, and curbed her spirits to prepare for focusing on work. Though demanding, she enjoyed the job. Showing up at three in the afternoon hadn’t lost its charm, even after two years. After a long stint of morning-shifts at diners and cafeterias stressed her night-owl blood, this place was a true blessing. Day jobs left too much evening time for brooding.

Mark and Chris trimmed out steaks at their stations, while a rack of ribs wearing a shiny coat of sauce sizzled on one of the grills, and a large tray of shrimp waited at her station. Time for prepping. The two nodded a greeting at her. Chris’s big bald head shone, and he chewed on his ever-present wad of gum. Mark openly teased Chris about his “oral fixation” and said if he wasn’t chewing or smoking, he was eating or asleep. The two loved to harass each other in ways that seemed rough to Julie. But they obviously delighted in the practice.

Strands of Mark’s crop of thick dark hair shifted onto his forehead before he swiped them in place with the heel of his hand. He really should wear a headband or his chef’s hat, to make sure no strand of hair got on the food. And the boss ought to insist Mark wear it every day, not just when an inspection was due. Forget saying anything, to Mark, though. The first time she mentioned it, he’d fixed her with a displeased look and said, “Don’t concern yourself. I know what I’m doing.”

His dismissive tone offended her. Maybe she hadn’t cooked as long as he had, and wasn’t a chef, but everywhere she worked before, people were expected to cover their hair. If he did, he wouldn’t need to scrutinize each finished plate with such intensity. She gave her almost invisible hairnet a few quick pats to assured her of its proper position.

She tied on an apron and got to work. “Hey guys. I smell something different today.”

Mark grinned at her, his dark blue eyes holding a delighted twinkle. “I added Thai spices to the sauce for the shrimp in tonight’s surf and turf.”

Julie stopped peeling shrimp to glance at him. “Barlow okayed that? I thought he didn’t want us to use anything more exotic than a spicy barbeque sauce.”

Chris, large and burly as a bear, let out a snort. “You know how he listens to customers.”

Julie rolled her eyes. “Not all of them.”

“Just the rich ones who come in a lot.” Mark gave a wry laugh. “Anything they want is A-OK. So I got the go ahead for Thai-spiced shrimp.”

Mark stepped over to a simmering pot, his athletic form moving with quick grace as he stirred, then dipped a spoon into the concoction. He nodded and smiled. “Oh, yeah. This is good.”

He turned to Julie. “Grill some shrimp, will you, and we’ll all try a sample of it later with our meal.”

It tickled her that she ate lunch when most other people were preparing or thinking about their dinner. After ten years in food service, she relished having work she loved. Something to look forward to. The hard work and fast pace suited her, while providing excitement at the same time.

Thanks, Lord. I appreciate this job.

* * *

In a second, with no warning at all, everything changed inside Mark. He swallowed, blinked his eyes and breathed in. A strong wave of disorientation chilled through his body and prickled the skin on the back of his neck. Panic rose like bile in his throat. What on earth was going on?

His frantic gaze traveled the familiar terrain of the restaurant. He inhaled the warm, fragrant air, and flicked his sight to the half-eaten food arranged on the shiny plate below him. He’d planned to hurry and finish his meal before the dinner preparation began and hectic hours would pass before he’d get another chance to eat.

He wanted to ask Chris what he thought of the sauce he’d created, but the strange sensation overcame him and stopped his motions, his question, his life. Chris continued to chew his own portion, eyes trained upward while he sampled the food and let his palate analyze the flavors. After five years of cooking together, the two men were each other’s best critics and supporters.

Mark’s attention diverted from Chris’s upcoming verdict, eclipsed instead by the overpowering chilliness consuming his brain. Why did everything look different, and feel so odd? Was he on the verge of some sort of collapse? A stroke or something? No, people in their early thirties didn’t have strokes. At least, he hoped not.

The uncomfortable, vulnerable sensation refused to leave even after a few slow breaths. He glanced at the light coming from the window. Were these his last moments? No. He needed to move, and escape from this feeling. Now. He popped off the chair, and like a leaf blown by the wind, he swept to the front door and scooted outside. As the door closed, he heard Julie’s voice raised in a quizzical tone. “Mark?”

He gave a quick glance through the window as he strode past it. Julie stood near the table he’d left, her face and Chris’s wearing the same puzzled expression as they stared at him. He looked away. It didn’t matter. He had to leave.

The cool early fall wind failed to jar him back to his familiar internal terrain, that comfort zone that seemed a million miles away now. The street sounds of traffic and people hurrying and conversing fell on muffled ears. He almost screamed help in order to test his hearing and try to halt the creepy, doomed sensation, but quickened his pace instead.

God, please help me. Something’s really wrong with me.

Desperate to make sense of his plight, he cast about for something, anything similar to connect the experience with. Perhaps the time he got in the fender-bender with Grandma. He’d slammed his head on the door frame of the car, followed by a rush of adrenaline that numbed his skin and blunted his senses. The odd disoriented haze had taken a while to clear.

But he hadn’t hit his head, or anything else. Had he suddenly become allergic to the food he’d been eating? A spontaneous shellfish or spice allergy? And why did he feel like running? The car accident years ago made him dazed, not poised to flee like a spooked deer.

This same street he walked down every day now sported details he’d never noticed. Numerous cracks in the sidewalk’s uneven surface, the aged, brick facades of buildings with signs he’d ignored perched across their tops. Somebody worked inside each of these places, trying as hard as he did to make a living, and really get somewhere. Funny how he’d never thought of that before. They were mere buildings to walk by on his way to work, while his thoughts percolated on the day’s challenges.

“Hey, Mark.” A short older man gave him a nod and a quick smile as Mark hustled past him. Bob, that’s who it was. He came in for dinner sometimes, always sat at the same corner table and ordered a medium-well strip steak. Mark remembered because once he’d undercooked it and needed to re-fire it for him. He’d been polite about it, not like some customers who talked to him as if he were stupid if their food wasn’t just right.

By the time he turned his head to acknowledge Bob, the man was far down the sidewalk. He stopped to watch his retreat, wondering at the odd impulse to talk to the man, connect with someone who knew him. The wind gusted, and he crossed his arms, wishing he’d put his chef’s jacket on over his t-shirt. At least he could sense temperature on his skin again. The numbness had receded somewhat.

A small brown and white dog with short fur came to a stop in front of him. After staring up for a long moment, it blinked its round hazel eyes and scuttled past him. The novelty of an unleashed canine caught Mark’s attention, as well as the intent eye contact. The animal seemed to grasp his unease. As though borrowing direction from the dog, he followed it.

While he scanned the storefronts and tracked the dog’s progress, the nearby “Free Clinic” sign stood out. He walked in and sank onto one of the empty plastic chairs. He should get examined. They’d figure out what was wrong with him.

I should be at work. Poor Chris and Julie.

He patted his pocket, but his phone was back at the restaurant, in his coat. Still disoriented, he slumped his shoulders and clasped his hands together near his knees. Why was he sitting here? A round, dark-haired woman in blue scrubs sat at a desk, brows pinched while she scribbled on a sheet of paper, eyes darting to the face of the slender woman seated beside her, holding a wiggling little boy.

A rumpled man of indeterminate age who had an unhealthy appearance slouched in a nearby chair, head down, while a slight snore sounded from his nose. Dark stubble covered his sallow cheeks. Mark wondered what disease the man might have. At least he was comfortable enough to sleep.

The skinny woman and restless boy rose from the desk and disappeared behind a long rectangular curtain that bisected the room. The nurse caught his eye and beckoned to him. He shuffled over and parked in the chair.

“Name?”

“Mark Hannigan.”

“Age?”

“Thirty-two.”

“Been here before?”

“Two years ago for a flu shot.”

The woman glanced up from her paperwork and gave him a quick once-over. “What’s wrong today?”

Mark paused, stifling a surprising urge to laugh, and took in a breath instead. “I don’t know. Something.”

One of the woman’s brows spiked upward. “Can you be a tad more specific?”

He stared at her. “All of a sudden, I felt really weird. Sort of cold all over, and my skin felt numb.”

“Are you on any drugs?”

“No.”

She leveled a searching gaze at him, pen poised above the paper. “Any other symptoms? Pain anywhere, nausea, double vision, dizziness?”

“No.”

“Has this happened before?”

He fidgeted in the chair, wondering if he should mention the childhood car accident. “Not really, no.”

“What were you doing when it started?”

“Eating lunch.”

She pursed her mouth and emitted a slight humming sound. When she straightened up, he caught sight of her nametag. Cindy. She asked, “Any food allergies?”

“Not that I know of. Could I have developed one all at once?”

“It’s possible. Did you experience swelling or itching of the tongue or lips, or hives anywhere?”

He shook his head.

“Difficulty breathing, swelling in your throat?”

“No. Nothing like that. Just a strange, disoriented feeling all of a sudden.”

Cindy set the pen down and scrutinized him. “Have you had a lot of caffeine today, or energy drinks?”

“Only my usual two cups of coffee.”

A squeal from a small child interrupted the interrogation. The cry ended in a broken sob, followed by a woman’s soothing tones from somewhere behind the curtain. A male voice murmured, “All done, all done now.”

Cindy turned her head from the room divider back to Mark. “And how are you feeling right now?”

Mark turned his senses inward, trying to introduce some sort of focus to the drifting fog inside him. He seemed to have lost his anchor somewhere, but how would he describe that? “I feel strange. Like I’m not myself.”

“Have you ever been treated for mental or emotional disorders, or recently stopped taking anxiety medication?”

He gave her a slight smile with a head shake. “No.”

“And you’re not on any prescriptions presently?”

“No.”

She pressed her lips together and shot him a quizzical look. “Well, that in itself is rather unusual. Most people I know are taking medication for something.”

He supposed that was a good sign. Maybe there wasn’t anything seriously wrong with him. But something was off.

Cindy scribbled more information on the sheet. The slender woman, carrying the little boy, emerged from behind the curtain. Cindy shot the woman a nod, sighed, and handed the paper to Mark.

“Go on back. Doorway on the left,” she said.

Mark glanced at the sleeping man. “Isn’t he next?”

“No. He’s waiting for his son.”

“Oh.” Mark rose and stepped around the room divider, paper in hand. Echoes of childhood doctor visit nerves rippled through the inner numbness while he regarded the door to his left. He drew in a breath. Might as well go in.

 

Now, for the reviews:

By Julie C on February 26, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

I have read Nancy Shew Bolton’s other novels, so I expected this one to be great as well. Yep. it is! It has all the right ingredients for a sweet romantic story, with a little of spice added as two opposites attract and mix things up. Somehow,like any great dish, despite their combination of ingredients you’d think would always clash, it comes out made to perfection in the end. Another great Love Is Series novella.

 

By LW on February 27, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I love this story, especially the intimate view of each character’s inner life, which is a hallmark of Nancy Shew Bolton’s writing. She has a talent for guiding us deeply into the thinking and motivations for each person’s responses, feelings, and choices. Then when her protagonists connect in a scene together, you can feel the fireworks of all that is going on from the core of truth for each one. Also, I so admire the subtheme of freeganism (very cool). A lot to hold your interest, and the characters are believable and engaging. I highly recommend this entertaining, thoughtful book!

 

By Lisa J. Lickel on February 26, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

Nancy Shew Bolton, author of other Prism novella favorites of mine, Hidden Storms, and The Right Ingredients (both on sale at 99 cents each), adds another winner to the Love Is line, based on the apostle Paul’s famous biblical passage in I Corinthians 13. “Love does not boast” means gifted, talents chefs Julie and Mark, who work at the same steakhouse restaurant, each with their special creative abilities to turn out new special dishes, should not let stress affect their work. When Mark visits a clinic for troubling symptoms, he meets new friends who help him put his life into perspective. But when he learns about Julie’s secret outside-of-work life, his sense of duty wars with his curiosity. Used to getting the attention of girls, Julie is a puzzle Mark is determined to unlock. When their lives circle around and a mutual project brings them a fresh purpose, these cooks definitely sizzle.

Told from contrasting viewpoints, A Work in Progress follows two individuals with strong passions as they learn to meld and help each other grow.

 

Well, there you have it! A preview! Here’s the Amazon purchase link:

http://www.amazon.com/Work-Progress-Nancy-Shew-Bolton-ebook/dp/B01AGMJGHO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

If you enjoy the story, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads! Thanks!

 

 

“HIDDEN STORMS” IS OUT!!

HiddenStorms_Print copy (4)

HURRAY!! My second book is out, and I’m very happy. This book is a bit of a departure from the first one. The Right Ingredients is a contemporary Christian Romance. Hidden Storms is historical Christian fiction set during the year 1938. A storm-tossed year, and a life-changing one for Lilli Clarke, the young woman who tells her story as it happens. I will include the endorsements here, and an excerpt to give you an idea of this unique story.

Here are the endorsements:

She believed the lies which scarred her more than the marks on her neck. Almost poetry, Hidden Storms is a novella to be savored. The words roll in the mouth and find their way to the heart. A young girl spurned by her parents and feared by strangers feels unworthy of love, even the love of God. Go with her on the search for life, for validation to be happy. Hidden Storms will stay with the reader long after the last page.Lee Carver author of A Secret Life, and Love Takes Flight

 

Hidden Storms addresses issues most of us, like those around Lilli, would much rather avoid—those we’d rather hide than deal with. A suspicious, superstitious, and prejudicial upbringing ingrained in young Lilli that she was marked by God and the cause of disaster wherever she went and whoever she touched. We might all feel that way sometimes without a champion or a kind word that triumphs over our self-doubt and pity. Nancy Bolton gives us an enduring story that will mark our hearts.

Lisa Lickel, author of The Last Detail

 

Nancy Bolton’s gripping tale of a young woman’s overwhelming shame is set against the tragic dust bowl years.  Nancy’s descriptive voice sends you right back to that difficult time period as you struggle right with Lilli Clark as she strives to recover her health.  Yet it’s not just health that Lilli needs.  It’s redemption—God’s redemption.

This story, Hidden Storms, molded after the fairy tale, The Ugly Duckling, really exemplifies how God takes us, sinful, filthy, ugly and unacceptable, and wipes away all our hideous flaws and makes us whole. Follow Lilli as she trudges towards God’s truth, learns to accept her imperfections, and embrace a new life free of shame.

Peggy Trotter, author of Year of Jubilee

 

Hidden storms took me back to the dust bowl era, a place I’d never want to live within. The imagery was so vivid, though, I felt like I was there. I followed the character through her trying ordeals and when I wasn’t reading, I thought about her. I’m a mother of two young girls and I don’t get a lot of reading time. This book was time well spent in every way. The characters were riveting and the important themes underlying the plot took center stage by the end. My biggest question is, can there be a sequel? I want to see what happens to the young girl!

Brooke Williams, multi-published author

 

Nancy Bolton weaves an amazing, timeless tale, told through the eyes of a teenage girl in pre-WWII America marked by tragedy as long as she lets past injustices define who she is. Bolton’s descriptions are so rich and vivid, they yanked me into the plot at the first sentence and never let go.

 Julie B Cosgrove, freelance Christian writer and multi-published

 

And now the excerpt:

Southwestern Kansas, 1938
My time grows short, while my fevered brain wonders if I’d ever existed to begin with. The inevitable stands before me. The world consists of nothing more than wind and dust, endless storms swallowing all life with their voracious appetites.

If I want to, I can rise from my bed and struggle outdoors in my threadbare, flour-sack dress to stand and release the spark of life within me. To let mind, body, everything, disappear into the whirlwind. Its ceaseless roar can consume me at last and perform the final conclusion left to my imagination. My sixteen years of life at its end. Six years of dust storms had almost done the job anyway. Might as well let them finish it.

But I can’t go. I won’t. I don’t know why.

One more breath. A rattle and rasp scrape in my chest while I fight to draw in air through the wet cloth covering my face. I’ve lost the remembrance of the former blessing of easy breathing. Now, my entire will bends toward the intake of air that will feed the tiny flame of life inside me.
My grandmother’s hands adjust the cloth. I know she sits by my bed and wills me to breathe while the duster pummels our home. She and I, the only ones left in the howling world, are cut off from everyone else as though we lived alone on the moon.

Is Cousin Gerald’s house really down the road, he and Bert hunkered inside? Is the town still there somewhere, standing against the shrieking monster clawing at it? Perhaps, once the sounds cease, anything left alive will creep out to view an endless brown world of dust, all signs of human habitation wiped away. Why do I try so hard to stay alive? Let me go, Gram. Ask me to give up.

But her fingers smooth back wisps of my hair, and the low sound of her murmured prayers gives me something to focus on, along with my labored breaths. Anything but the sound of the wind and the dust scouring the house, trying to destroy our tiny lives and meager possessions.
Gram’s voice rises when she takes my hand. “When you’re better, Lilli, I’ll send you somewhere pretty. Somewhere with trees and grass. Until the land comes back. Then you’ll come back to me, too. And I’ll be here and we’ll plant a garden again.”

Another lifetime ago. Our garden. Greens, corn, and potatoes to have with side meat. Cucumbers for pickling. Berries for dessert.
Oh, Gram, those days are long gone. Swallowed in the dust. I don’t care if there are trees or grass somewhere. I can’t leave you. The only one who ever loved me. I’ll die here, with the sound of your prayers disappearing into the wind, along with my last breath. I’m sorry, Gram.
* * *
Maybe the silence woke me. Had I finally died? My eyes blink open and the ever-present grit hurts my eyeballs while I survey the room. The weathered clapboard walls and roof still stand. I lift a pale hand and study it. I’m still here, too.

The front door yawns open, and the two windows on either side are un-shuttered. A portion of cloudless blue sky shines above the flat, brown landscape. I draw in a shaky breath, relieved that only a slight rattle sounds in my chest. Voices flutter in from somewhere on the porch.

Gram says, “I decided. When she’s strong enough, I’ll send her to my sister.”

“What if Aunt Margaret don’t want her?” Cousin Gerald clears his throat. “Lilli’s bad luck. Cursed. Everybody knows that. She’s marked.”

If I had enough damp in my eyes, I might cry. How unfair people are. It always surprises me, though by now I should have wised up.

Gram’s sweet voice calms my flush of anger. “It’s wrong to blame her for things that happened. It’s not her fault. And I don’t believe in luck.”

“Aunt Helen, open your eyes. When bad things happen, you got to ask why. Cousin Sally lost her wits after she birthed Lilli. She was fine after she had Frank and Jasper. Then, after Lilli, there goes her right mind.”

“It’s not Lilli’s doing. I’ll never believe that.”

“Well, you’re the only one who don’t. This family’ll never live down what happened.” A chair leg scrapes and Cousin Gerald’s boots sound on the porch steps. “I’m glad she’ll be going, though, for your sake. You ain’t had a moment’s peace the years you’ve had her.”

My heart breaks for Gram. Maybe he’s right. Nothing has gone well for her since I came. The few pleasures she did enjoy have been stripped away. Invitations to social gatherings and friendly drop-by visits have dried up like the creek in our back yard. People avoid her, even at church, because she brings me there. They say God marked me, like Cain, though I never murdered anyone like he did. But murder followed me anyway, so they say.
God can smile on her once I leave. The slight, rhythmic thump of her rocker punctuates her humming of “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

His eye is on you, Gram. But He doesn’t care a lick about me. Why do I have to go live with Great-Aunt Margaret? I hardly know her, but she’ll hate me like everyone else does. Everyone except Gram and Bert. I heave out as big a sigh as I can manage and drift back to sleep.

The smell of food cooking wakes me and Gram’s soft singing from the porch makes me smile. Bert will come by soon, like he does every afternoon. I roll onto my side and sit up on the edge of the bed. Dust plumes up from the mattress and settles on the floor, coating my bare feet. I stifle a cough. If Gram knows I’m up, she’ll leave her singing and come see about me. Let her have a few moments of enjoyment.

“Lilli? You awake, hon?”

Oh, well. “Yes, Gram. I’m okay. Don’t need anything.”

She hustles in and settles her tall, spare frame next to me. Dust motes dance in the sunlight from the windows. The sight of her heart-shaped face and gentle, blue eyes always cheers me. I get my baby-fine, brown hair from her, and my blue eyes, but not her calm, even temper. Or her hopeful faith. She studies me and pats my left shoulder. Nobody else except Bert ever touches my marked shoulder.

“What you need is some water and food. Your cousin, Gerald, brought us a jackrabbit this morning and I fixed some stew. Think you could manage some?”
I nod. While she fetches a bowl and wipes the dust out of it, Bert’s tall body comes into view across the yard.
“Best dish up some more, Gram. Bert’s coming.”

He stands in the doorway and grins at me. Though adopted by Cousin Gerald as a toddler, Bert acts more like family to me than my own ever did. “Well, well. She lives, after all. You finished scarin’ Auntie?”

Gram clucks her tongue at him. “Let her eat something before you rile her with teasing.”

“She must be better if she’s up to getting riled.”

Gram chuckles. “Sit down and have some stew with us. Your daddy brought us a jackrabbit.”

Bert pulls out one of our chairs and parks himself. Heads bowed, Gram gives thanks while I peek at Bert’s dusty head and shoulders. Years of short rations had carved any extra flesh off his sturdy body. We all look the same now, rangy as starved wolves.

The watery jackrabbit and turnip stew is devoid of fat, like we are. Fat. The days of butter melting on vegetables, glasses of creamy milk, and stews made with fattened meat, are the stuff of fond memory now. The crispy fat of a pork chop haunts my dreams. If it weren’t for food relief, we’d live on thistles.

Bert slurped his stew and thankfully refrained from any jokes about how dust improved the flavor. “Sam Gordon up and left. Must have gone before this last storm.”

Gram nodded, her face drawn down in sorrow. “I figured, once he lost his boy, he’d leave. He looked mighty sick at the funeral. Poor soul.”

Though hungry, I had to force down the stew. What’s the sense of hanging on? How many more awful stories can I bear, how many more storms? If I had the strength, I’d jump up from the table and run, past all the dust. Faster than an automobile. I’d outrun all of it. But not without Gram or Bert. Does she hang on for me, the way Sam Gordon had for his last living child? With my family gone, she wants to leave the farm to me. She says someone with our blood has to remain.

But there is no farm. Only acres of dust. Once she sends me from here, will she give up? No, she’ll still have Cousin Gerald and Bert. And all the folks in town will come around again once I’m gone. I can see that. They’ll greet her at church the way they used to, with big smiles, not the careful nods they dish out now.

I’m tired of it all. Tired of being judged. When I go, Bert and Gram won’t have to stick up for me anymore or try to keep me alive. At least I have that much to hold on to.

END OF EXCERPT

 

Here’s where to go to get your copy:

On Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Storms-Nancy-Shew-Bolton-ebook/dp/B00X0FZUYI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431117799&sr=1-1&keywords=hidden+storms

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hidden-storms-nancy-shew-bolton/1121881579?ean=2940151385480

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/541197

 

 

 

 

Year of Jubilee!

 

Year of Jubilee 300 by 450 pixelsSONY DSC

Scars from Jubilee’s past keep her in constant fear of her new husband. Can she learn to trust again?

Hi everyone! My friend and critique partner, Peggy Trotter launches her debut novel today! It’s a historical Christian romance that I greatly enjoyed reading.I hope you enjoy this chance to learn more about Peggy, and her book!

Let’s get started with the interview!

This is such an interesting story. Where did you get the idea for it?

Wow.  This is such a hard question.  A form of this story has been in my head for years, but I finally wrote it down about six years ago. It started with an idea of a woman trying to make it on her own before modern conveniences.

How much of yourself is in Jubilee and your other characters?

Jubilee has fears, both real and imagined.  I think I overthink things too much, much like Jubilee, and allow fear to creep in where it doesn’t belong.

What’s your favorite part of creating your story and characters?

I love the sparring scenes between the hero and heroine. Right where it twists from witty or angry words to a realization of attraction. That silent realization that there is something deeper. The part that warms your belly. That’s my favorite part.

What was the first story you remember writing?

Well, I wrote one about, “A Puppy’s Surprize” in grade school! LOL Yes, misspell and all. But I suppose you are talking about adult years. My first serious book is called Three Gifts of the Heart.  I’ll be re-editing that someday for publication. It’s also a historical.

How do you feel about being a published author?

Blessed.  I don’t know what other word to use. Being published is something I’ve dreamed of since being a young girl. Now, knowing the difficulty of publishing first hand, I know it wasn’t anything I did. God lined out the steps in perfect order. There’s just an extreme sense of accomplished fullness inside me. Much like a person’s first ride on a huge Ferris wheel.

Do you have a main theme or goal for your stories?

Always my stories start with someone who is beaten down with life. Who sees no answer or option. That’s where I pull in God’s healing and guidance. Once the characters start to realize they need to go God’s way, the pathway starts straightening out. It often happens before a person recognizes it, and it’s only after they’ve scaled the mountain of hopelessness that they look back agape with thanksgiving to God. At least that’s the way it seems to happen in my life. God leaves me with my mouth hanging open all the time when I trail back and see his orchestration of removing the difficulties in my life. Amazing. I want people to always feel there’s hope, no matter what.

Do you write with or without an outline?

Yowza!  Confession time! So without. So, so! LOL As a matter of fact, I have to do the synopsis after the product is finished. Not my fav.

What’s the biggest misconception you had about being a writer?

The hermit life.  I thought I would sit at my computer and punch, punch, punch! LOL Even the movies make it look that way.  It is NOT! So much editing, networking, advertising, event planning, conferences, contests, etc. Lately, I spent very little time actually, “writing.”

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?

Nope.  And I adore music!!!  But I like it fast and fun.  So I use it instead to motivate me to clean!! J No, I prefer a total empty, quiet house.

What do you want your readers to take away from your stories?

Hope. Faith. Jesus. Pretty much explains it all. Entertainment, as well. Life is so busy, demanding, and hard. I hope it takes them away a bit, but gives them so much more. Hope. Faith. Jesus.

What are you working on now?

Editing one, writing two. Working on social networks always. Helping other writers. Trying to keep up! LOL Can’t complain!  I love the rush! Praise, God, it proves I’m alive!

You certainly are alive! And it’s a pleasure to have you on my blog! Thanks, Peggy!

Here’s an excerpt from Year of Jubilee:

Come in.” Jubilee had to utter it twice to be heard then caught her breath as Rafe’s huge form filled the doorway.

Mornin’,” He removed his hat and hung it on the peg near the window.

The table was a simple trestle with two bench seats on either side. Rafe chose the one against the wall in front of the only glass pane. Jubilee fidgeted nervously by the stove.

Okay if I sit here?” He gestured.

She nodded and shrugged one shoulder. The man owned the place yet asked her where to sit. She snatched up a fork, a knife, and a clean cloth napkin to lay them on the table close to the lone plate.

He sat and stared at her. “Is this my plate or yours?”

She cleared her throat. “Yours.”

He glanced around the table before spreading his search to the kitchen area. “Where’s yours?”

I…thought I’d eat later. This way I can get you anything you need and such…” She gnawed her lip and looked away from him, but not before she caught the half-smile that crossed Rafe’s face.

So you’re just gonna stand and fetch while I eat?”

Jubilee made the mistake of letting her gaze wander back to his. There he sat with that quirky grin, eyebrows lifted, humor lighting his eyes.

 

Makes you want to keep reading, doesn’t it? Peggy’s a wonderful storyteller! Here’s a short bio about her:

Peggy Trotter has been writing something for over 30 years. The empty-nest syndrome set her to groping for a new direction, and wow, did God answer! Year of Jubilee, a Christian Historical Romance set in southern Indiana, will debut in April of 2015 through Prism Book Group. A second, a Contemporary Romance entitled, Reviving Jules, will follow in 2015 as well. She loves to reveal God’s miracles through the world’s underdogs and mix in a little love and happy endings. 

 She finaled in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest in 2013 in the inspirational Category, and is a 2014 ACFW Genesis Finalist in the Novella Category. Seldom does she stand still, but when she does, it’s to praise her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Creator of all gifts and Bestower of all blessings!

Here are Peggy’s social links and the purchase links for her book:

 

peggytrotter.com
diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/PeggyTrotterAuthor
https://twitter.com/peggy_trotter
https://www.pinterest.com/pegtrotter/.

To purchase Year of Jubilee:

On Amazon:

Year of Jubilee

Barnes and Noble:

Year of Jubilee

Smashwords:

Year of Jubilee

Prism Book Group:

Year of Jubilee