Chirp and Chatter Pages

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Release: OH BABY (Delia Latham)

I am beyond excited to announce the long-awaited release of OH BABY! This Heart's Haven novella will be available tomorrow -- Friday, April 28.

Oh, Baby is a Heart's Haven novella, available in electronic format only. It's one of four stories in the Heart's Haven Babies collection, along with:

by Tanya Stowe

Can one oversized Malamute
and one very discerning dog whisperer
help guide Jaci back to her true path?

by Mary Manners

Sometimes letting go
is the best way to hang on.

by Marianne Evans

A struggling adoptive father,
a woman bent on protecting
a troubled boy,
the love that binds them together

Here's the "back cover text" of my electronic book, which has no back cover... Hmmm...

Dawni Manors is happy to see San Antonio in her rearview mirror. In search of peace, she rents a unit at Heart's Haven, a quaint cottage-rental complex in East Texas. The place is said to be a hangout for angels—and for love. Dawni's not looking for love, and she's not convinced angels exist. What she yearns for, after a chaotic childhood as an orphan, is tranquility and hope. Maybe she'll find those things at Heart's Haven.

Instead, she finds Pro Cowboy Gavin Sampson, an abandoned infant, and a whole lot of emotional chaos. If the Heart's Haven angels really are there, what in the world are they thinking?

Now hop on over to Amazon and grab your copy! Better yet, drop in at Pelican Book Group, where you can get it at half off TOMORROW ONLY (on release day).

Also, you're invited to attend the Facebook "Baby Shower" for this collection. It's tonight, on Facebook, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., Eastern time. Here's the link:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Guest Author: Leeann Betts

Writing on a Deadline

Just when you think things can’t get any busier, they do—you have a deadline to produce a certain number of words by a certain date. Maybe you’re under contract for a book. Maybe it’s a magazine article, a devotional, or even a simple blog post like this one.

And yet that date looms like a guillotine over your head.

You sit at the computer and will the words to come. But they won’t.

Maybe if you watched some television, that might get the creative juices flowing. But it doesn’t.

Perhaps a walk around the block. An hour later you limp home after twisting an ankle stepping off the curb. Ice the swelling. Then heat. Then a nap. Then –

Wait a minute. What about that deadline.

Back to the computer. Sit in the chair. Stare at the screen.


Now what?

Now is the time to do what you should have done the first time you sat down.


Yes, you read that correctly.


This is my favorite version: Lord, give me ears to hear the words You dictate. Let me transcribe this story/blog article/devotional/poem for You. And thank You for letting me be the first person to hear these words. May Your words change me first, and then change others. Amen.

Not only is this prayer on target, it also reminds me who is the Boss. This prayer humbles me to my rightful position. And being a transcriber is biblical. Even the Apostle Paul says he had scribes who wrote for him.

That’s our job. That’s our goal. Write the only story worth telling, from the One who is the creator of story.

And by the way, once I have my priorities right, it’s not a deadline; it’s a lifeline.


Wherever you find Carly Turnquist, trouble is sure to follow.

At least, that's what her husband Mike says.

Back in Bear Cove, Carly's best friend is being courted by a smarmy stranger, and Mike's latest client is unhappy with him.

When the client turns up dead and Mike is nowhere to be found, the police suspect him, and the video and paperwork they have that shows someone matching Mike's description maxed out their credit cards and cleaned out their bank accounts is compelling.

But Carly knows her husband couldn't kill anybody.

Could he?

About Leeann

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released five titles in her cozy mystery series, By the Numbers. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft. She publishes a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at or follow Leeann at All books are available on in digital and print.




Monday, April 24, 2017

An Historical Tidbit from Sofi's Bridge

Guest post By Christine Lindsay

I love to be swept away in a novel. I want romance, settings where I can feel the wind on my face, taste the air, breathe in the scent of flora and fauna, feel the touch of human skin, the softness of animal fur, and on and on. I want danger, adventure, a touch of mystery. But I also love history.

One of the fascinating historical tidbits in Sofi’s Bridge was not a new one to me, growing up. My great-grandfather and his 14-year-old son (my grandfather) were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. In fact, the Titanic was my grandfather’s very first ship in the Belfast shipyard where many of Great Britain’s ships were built. Naturally this unique trade that my paternal ancestry was so involved in was a subject I absolutely had to include in a novel one day.

But, still I had to do a fair amount of research on how the riveters worked. Below is a short excerpt from Sofi’s Bridge describing that trade, not in Ireland, but where the brother of my Irish hero in Sofi’s Bridge brought the riveter’s skill to building a bridge in Washington State.
Neil picked out his brother from among the men, and expelled a long sigh. On the bridge deck, or on one of those meager platforms hanging over the side, one slip, one fumble...from that height...and a man could die.

On the deck, Jimmy rapped his elongated tongs against the cone-shaped catcher can, waiting for the man known as the heater. The heater sent Jimmy a nod and thrust the peg of steel into the portable cast iron forge. When the peg of metal glowed to a molten white, he pitched it forward. Jimmy caught it in the catcher can and inserted the glowing rivet into a hole in the girder. With the same concentration Neil would use with a scalpel, Jimmy waited for the bucker to place his buckling tool against the head of the rivet, and for the riveter to hammer it home.
Sofi’s Bridge has loads of other historical tidbits to recreate for my reader, what life was like in Washington State in 1913.

About Christine: Irish born Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction and non-fiction. Readers describe her writing as gritty yet tender, realistic yet larger than life, with historical detail that collides into the heart of psychological and relationship drama.

Christine's fictional novels have garnered the ACFW Genesis Award, The Grace Award, Canada’s The Word Guild Award, and was a finalist twice for Readers’ Favorite as well as 2nd place in RWA’s Faith Hope and Love contest.

This author’s non-fiction memoir Finding Sarah Finding Me is the true-life story that started this award-winning career in Christian fiction and non-fiction. This book is a must for anyone whose life has been touched by adoption. Christine is currently writing a new fictional series set on the majestic coast of Ireland and loaded with her use of setting as a character that will sweep the reader away. Subscribe to her newsletter on her website

About the Book: Seattle Debutante Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father's death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the

handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

Buy Now:

Visit all the stops along the tour

Sunday, April 23, 2017

COTT: Husband and Wife Team up to Write Christian Fiction

Danny and Wanda Pelfrey are longtime writers of non-fiction books in the educational and inspiration markets. They have for most of their lives been avid readers of mystery/suspense. AS A SHIELD and a previous mystery title are the result of a desire to entertain themselves and others as well as drive home important spiritual messages. Their passion is now “mysteries with a message.”
AS A SHIELD is one of four planned Davis Morgan mysteries set in a small North Georgia town. Davis, a pastor for almost twenty-five years, returns to his hometown after the death of his wife, to operate a rare and used bookstore. He is promptly appointed chaplain of the small police department and recruited by city officials to write a history of his home town. Mystery and romance seem always to be lurking around the corner for the popular bookseller.The reoccurring characters such as Charley Nelson, young police officer; Amy Morgan, Davis’s young daughter who is an English teacher; her roommate Deidre, who Davis is more and more drawn to as time passes; Miss Helen, the local historian and a host of others add to the fun and excitement.

 A visit to little Adairsville, Georgia will surely be a memorable event for anyone who chooses to drop-in. In AS A SHIELD, Davis, through his encounters with two strange villains, comes to experience for himself the truth of Psalm 5:12, “For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

About the Authors: Danny and Wanda Pelfrey are a husband/wife team who in the past were active writers of non-fiction material, having, between them, cranked out several books. They are both graduates of Point University and Danny has a Masters from Kentucky Christian University. Danny has spent most of his adult life as a pastor and Wanda as a teacher.Their interest at present lies in the creation of mysteries with a message.

Danny and Wanda are the proud parents of two daughters and five grandchildren. They reside in a little Cape Cod style cottage in the small town in North Georgia that is the setting for their mysteries.

About the Book: Davis Morgan, having left the ministry after the death of his wife, returns to Adairsville, Georgia, his hometown. There he operates a used and rare bookstore while being appointed chaplain of the police department. He and Charley, a young policeman, after discovering the body of a tattooed man find themselves in a serious battle to bring justice to two strange villains who are threating the safety of Davis's daughter. While all this is going on, Davis is struggling with interpreting his relationship with a young history teacher who happens to be his daughter's roommate.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Guest Author: Elle E. Kay

Today is a Beautiful Day

Today is a beautiful day. The sun is coming up through the woods behind my house. When I look out front, I can see that the daffodils are beginning to open. The grass is turning green again. I can hear the birds singing their lovely songs. I can choose to focus on all these wonderful things. I can choose to trust God and enjoy the gifts He’s provided.
My stomach issues are bothering me this morning. A migraine is destroying my concentration. My son came home upset that he and his girlfriend had another fight. I can choose to focus on all these negative things. I can choose to be miserable and wallow in the difficulties of life in this world.
Which would you focus on?

Stella chooses God. She chooses life. And she focuses on her blessings. I want to be like her. To focus on God when everything around me falls apart. I want to be like the birds and sing songs to the Lord.  Life isn’t easy for me. I don’t think it’s easy for anybody. We all suffer different things. Yet, we can choose joy anyway. We can remind ourselves to spread the joy of the Lord instead of the pain of the world.
I recently finished my major edits for Claudia, the second book in the Edinsville Series. It is now in the hands of my capable editor and several beta readers. I struggled with the edits for that book. I wrote most of it in a month, but put it aside for a year and half before I finally sat back down to finish it. I don’t know why I procrastinated on editing Claudia, but what I do know is that I can celebrate the accomplishment of finally sending it off to the editor, or I can focus on my failure to do it sooner.
We have that choice with almost everything in life. Often I choose wrong, but today with the sun shining, the birds singing, and the flowers blooming, I’m choosing joy. I’m going to enjoy the blessings of the day and focus on them. I’m going to lift my voice in song unto the Lord. I will praise the Lord, focusing on the blessings.
I hope you will join me.

Psalms 146:2 (KJV)—While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

About STELLA (Edinsville Series, Book 1):
Heart-pounding suspense meet heart-warming faith and romance as Stella faces an evil beyond her control. Holding on to a thread of faith, she follows it home to Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountain region, where she meets Jason. A complication she’d rather not get entangled with. Stella must decide if she will let her circumstances destroy her, or if she will find the good and praise the Lord through the downpour.
This novel tackles the difficult subjects of rape, pregnancy, and kidnapping through a lens of faith and hope.

About Elle E Kay

Elle E. Kay lives on a farmette in the Back Mountain region of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband, dog, and farm animals. She enjoys playing with goats and sheep.
Elle is a born-again Bible believing Christian. Stella is her debut novel. The next book in the Edinsville Series, Claudia is expected to be released this year. Elle writes children’s books under the pen name, Ellie Mae Kay. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Guest Author: Donna Schlachter

Writing What You Don’t Know

We’ve all heard that we should write about what we know. But what if you find out about a project that you don’t know anything about but would like to learn?

I discovered since I started writing seriously that I love history. I met up with Mary Davis at an ACFW conference  and asked her what she was working on. She said she and three other authors were putting together a proposal on the Pony Express. I said if there was an opening, I’d love to join.

I told my husband about this meeting, and he said, “Sounds like an excuse for a road trip.” So I researched the Pony Express and learned that the only station in Colorado was in Julesburg. So we picked a long weekend and set out. Along the way, we stopped at the visitor center at Sterling, Colorado. I asked if they had information about the Pony Express, and she showed me the couple of pieces they had. She also said I should talk with the past president of the Colorado Pony Express Association. She called him, Gary came down, and we spent an hour talking about the Pony Express.

Prior to this trip, before I even knew if I’d be able to get in on Mary’s collection, I’d visited the library and read a bunch of stuff about the Pony Express. I’d researched online, and I’d ordered a couple of books from Amazon.

A month later, Mary Davis emailed and said one of the ladies had to drop out and now there was an opening. Because I’d done the research, I was ready to submit a proposal.

What I’ve learned:

  1. Writing only what I know boxes me in. Writing what I’d like to know allows me to learn and explore. I don’t need to be an expert; I just need to know enough to sound credible. If I don’t know a particular detail, I can always look it up online or find a book with the information.
  2. Writers conferences are great places to connect with other authors as well as with agents and editors.
  3. The more I learn about a subject, the more excited I get, and the easier it is to write about it.
  4. No matter the topic, there is a book, a museum, or an expert out there.
  5. Folks love talking about their jobs. Plan to interview someone.
  6. Research the kind of museum you’d like to visit—many have virtual tours if you can’t physically visit. 

About the Book

This is a 9-in-1 novella collection from Barbour Books centered on the Pony Express, which ran from April 1860 through November 1861. The Pony Express already seems to be a romantic snippet of Americana, and so it seemed to make sense to write a collection of historical romance set on the trail. My story, Echoes of the Heart, features a mail order bride responding under an assumed name, a crippled station master who thinks no woman will want him, and their search for a future—together or separately.

About Donna

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and  under her own name. Her current release, Echoes of the Heart, a 9-in-1 novella collection titled "Pony Express Romance Collection" released April 1. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Guest Post: June Foster

June Foster

Who Do You Think You Are?

I love to write characters who find healing in their lives after discovering their identity in Christ. Janie Littleton in my latest novel, Restoration of the Heart, has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful, older sister. Janie is a bit overweight, wears glasses, and isn't exactly pleased about her appearance. No guy would ever find her attractive, so why bother to lose those extra pounds. When the state of Idaho hires her as historian to oversee the restoration of a hundred-year-old mining town, she accepts.

Luke Chamberlain owns the construction company hired to restore the 1890s historical buildings at Silver Cliff Ghost Town. Though now a Christian, Luke once dabbled in the world, including his engagement to the gorgeous woman crowned Miss Idaho two years before. He saw her narcissism and now wants nothing more to do with the shallow lifestyle she represents. When he meets the godly woman Janie Littleton, he sees beauty instead of a Plain Jane, as she's labeled herself.

When Luke proclaims his love, Janie believes he's merely playing with her heart. Surely when their project is finished, Luke will return to the big city of Coeur d' Alene and forget all about her.

Janie reads her Bible but has never taken seriously 1 Samuel 16:7 where Samuel is choosing Saul's replacement for king of Israel. "But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart."

Part of the inspiration for my heroine in Restoration of the Heart came from something that happened years ago. Way before I wrote my first novel, I used to teach elementary kids. I participated in a program with the local university in my city in which they placed a student teacher in my classroom.

One of my student teachers was so gorgeous, she could've won a Miss America contest. But because of some personal issues in her life, she became quite difficult with which to work. Some days, in my own frustration, I saw her, not as beautiful, but unattractive. I don't mean to speak ill of her, but I perceived the disagreeable behavior, not the outer appearance.

On the other hand, I've known others whom the world probably wouldn't label as attractive but were beautiful in my eyes because I looked into their souls—that part of them where our Lord dwells.

In many ways, I, too, think like Janie. I'd never make it into a Cover Girl ad or a Ralph Lauren commercial, but my confidence comes from knowing how God sees me as He looks upon my spirit redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus.


Though a Christian, Luke Chamberlain ignored his values and indulged in his beautiful fiancé's world of alcohol, parties, and nights at her apartment. After rededicating his life to the Lord, he vows never to fall into the lifestyle again. When the state of Idaho's Tourism Department offers his construction company the contract to renovate Silver Cliff, an 1890s silver mining ghost town, he accepts.

Janie Littleton studied history in college because life in the past is simpler than the uncomfortable reality of the present. With her extra pounds, eye glasses, and mousy brown hair, no man would find her attractive. When she's offered the job of project historian at the restoration of Silver Cliff, she accepts. But as Luke Chamberlain shows an interest in her, she doubts his sincerity. To make matters worse, someone claiming to be the miner who founded Silver Cliff in 1890 intimidates her with frightening midnight visits.

Can Luke convince Janie he's in love with the godly woman she is? Can Janie hold onto her faith as she's harassed by frightening appearances of old Ezra Barclay who died a hundred years ago?

Purchase this book

About the Author
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is published by WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, is available from The Almond Tree series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, What God Knew, and Almond Street Mission are available at June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. Recently June has seen publication of Christmas at Raccoon Creek, Lavender Fields Inn and Restoration of the Heart. Visit June at