Chirp and Chatter Pages

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Extravaganza: A Semi-Precious Christmas

by Jan Elder

On a bright, crisp December morning, jewelry store manager, Peridot Keaton-Jones, arrives at work expecting to find her beloved uncle, Marty. Instead, she’s greeted by the muzzle of a gun pressed to her temple. When thugs assault her, threaten her life, and steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, Peri can only pray her uncle is late for the first time in his life. 

Christopher Lane is a TV news cameraman in the right place at the right time. He witnesses the heist, calls the police, and offers help when Peri needs it most. She can't deny her attraction, but is he really her hero, or is he just after a story? And with Christmas right around the corner, can Peri and Chris avert a holiday disaster?

About Jan Elder

Jan Elder is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, introducing the reader to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.

Happily married for thirteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.


My first-ever Jan Elder book…and it was well worth the read.
First, there’s Peridot Keaton-Jones. Peri’s not your everyday romantic heroine with silly dreams of matrimony and over-sized stars in her eyes. She’s a sensible, down-to-earth, responsible young woman who manages her aging uncle’s jewelry store during the day and goes home to her two cats at night. Neither is Christopher Lane the typical knock-your-socks-off knight in shining armor. He’s a television news cameraman with an adorable little girl and unpleasant memories of a failed marriage. But when Peri’s life is in danger after she interrupts a heist on the jewelry store, Chris happens along—adorable little girl in tow—at just the right time to become a hero.
And that’s just the appetizer. It’s followed by an entrĂ©e of fun romance with a side of danger, and culminates with a sweet helping of happy-ever-after.
I like Jan Elder’s writing style, and especially enjoyed her portrayal of the heroine as an up-front, no-nonsense, WYSIWIG kind of gal. Christopher is the perfect foil to the heroine’s somewhat eccentric personality. 
Overall, a well-written, beautifully executed tale. The tantalizing taste of danger in the sub-story adds just the right amount of “extra.” A Semi-Precious Christmas is the perfect reason to steal away for an hour or so during the hustle and bustle of the holidays and treat yourself to a little Christmas romance.


What inspired you to write A Semi-Precious Christmas?

A few years ago, the jewelry store right up the road from my husband and I was robbed. The saleswoman we know best (yes, my husband is a sweetheart!) was threatened by the criminal. When she was relating the story of how the thug had pointed a gun at her face—half scaring her to death—I could see the residual fear in her eyes and feel her trembling angst down to my tippy toes. I got to thinking how I would feel and react if I were in the same situation. I put myself in my friend’s shoes and tried to relive the moment. And thus, a story was born!

What makes you laugh out loud?

I have two cats that make me crack up on a regular basis. They are both very “dog-like” and every night they “perform” in order to remind us that dinner time is right around the corner. Jamie (chubby black and white tuxedo, age nine) chatters up a storm and cocks her head winningly (at least in her estimation.) She’s even been known to bat her eyelashes. If that doesn’t work, she lands in your lap—surprise!

Shu-Shu (skinny tortoiseshell, age 14) is a little subtler with her efforts to win us over. She has a favorite toy she will drop at our feet. Then she will fall over on her side, ker-plunk (she also plops down when you say “bang” and rolls over on command.) Who could resist their antics?

Please share a verse of scripture that is especially meaningful to you, and why it is special? Do you usually insert a spiritual theme into your books?

When I started to write a few years back, I wanted whatever I came up with to be worth reading. It had to have a Christian message of some kind, subtle or broad, whatever the book required. It’s who I am, it’s what I know, but more importantly, there really is a reason I write. Psalm 9 has always meant a great deal to me, and now the first two verses hold a brand-new meaning.

I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart,
I’m writing the book on your wonders.
I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy;
I’m singing your song, High God.

In A Semi-Precious Christmas, I wanted to show God’s perfect timing running throughout the book. Have you ever noticed that God shows up just when you need Him, and it’s often in the shape of a person? In the novella, He sent my hero, Chris, to help someone who desperately needed help. The Lord used officers, doctors, friends, a child, and even an unwilling accomplice to be His hands and His feet. God can take something terrible and turn it into something good.

But since I also write romance, the inevitable eligible guy and my heroine, Peridot, the single jewelry store manager, needed to find each other. They worked through their respective baggage together and in the end, it was their trust in God that saves the day.  

Christmas Extravaganza: A Christmas Promise

by Tamera Kraft

A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.

When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.

Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

Available at these online stores:


About Tamera Lynn Kraft
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and was a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. Her novellas Resurrection of Hope and A Christmas Promise are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.
Tamera is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.


Colonial America. Christian missionaries to the Lenape Indians, John and Anna live in dangerous times and, by way of their ministry, insert themselves into dangerous situations.

Anna once lived for the opportunity to serve God, to take His word to others. But now that she has three little girls to care for—and has lost a child—her faith is sorely tried. She’s no longer sure it’s worth the risk. John tries to protect her by keeping much of the danger from her, but his lies only increase Anna’s lack of faith and trust.

While John is off on yet another dangerous mission, Anna tries to bring the spirit of Christmas into their home with her daughters. At the same time, she struggles to maintain faith—in God and in her husband.

I enjoyed A CHRISTMAS PROMISE. It’s definitely a different kind of Christmas story, one that holds a message of trust and faith for every reader. Well written and researched, Kraft brings a special treat for history lovers during the holiday season. Recommended.


What inspired you to write A Christmas Promise?

I was considering writing a historical novella set at Christmas time in Ohio. I started researching and came across the Moravians who settled the first Ohio village in Schoenbrunn Village. The more I studied them, the more fascinating they became. The Moravians came to Ohio as missionaries to evangelize the Natives. I also found many of our American Christmas traditions date back to the Moravians.

What smell do you love most, and why?

I love the smell of Christmas: cookies baking, nutmeg, and evergreen. Whenever I smell these, I know Christmas is just around the corner.

Please share a verse of scripture that is especially meaningful to you, and why it is special.

There are two verses that I call life verses. The first reminds me of God's promise to me. The second is my commitment to God.

The first is Isaiah 43:1-2. It reminds me that no matter what trial I am going through, I belong to God, and He will be with me.

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

The second life verse became my life verse when I was saved. It was the passage the youth pastor preached on. I decided then to become a living sacrifice to God. It is Romans 12:1-2.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

TWO Amazon Giveaways!

I have ongoing giveaways of ebooks on Amazon...but they end tomorrow, so don't dilly-dally! Here are the links. Enter now for a chance to win!

And...have a Merry Christmas! :)

Bells on Her Toes

 Do You See What I See?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Extravaganza: Gumbo Weather

by Marian P. Merritt

Colorado sports reporter, Noel Winters heads to Louisiana after finding love letters in her deceased mother’s belongings. When her car breaks down near Bijou Bayou, a handsome, struggling pitcher and part-time mechanic comes to her rescue by fixing her car, and offering to help her find her father. Only problem? As her alias, Micki Barrett, Noel wrote an article criticizing Justin Gravois's big league debut. Now she’s fallen for him, can she ever find the courage to tell him the truth? 
Justin Gravois, professional pitcher, wanted to make his uncle proud. When he finally got his shot, his dream turned into a nightmare. It didn’t help that sports reporter, Micki Barrett, wrote such terrible things about him. Now, Justin wants to forget about the past and move forward to next season. When he falls in love with Noel he wonders if she’s an answer to his prayer.

About Marian Merritt
Marian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. Her tagline, Where the Bayous Meets the Mountains, grew from both loves.
This Louisiana native writes her Christmas romances and Southern women’s fiction with a Louisiana/Colorado connection from the Texas home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle.

Connect with her through Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter


Welcome to Bijou Bayou…a place where everyone knows everyone else, and they all love one another like family—but then, many of them actually are.

Noel Winters isn’t too sure what she’s gotten herself into when she first arrives—in someone else’s car, at someone else’s home, hoping to meet a man who may or may not be her father. In the next few days, Noel will experience soul-deep hurt and disappointment, but she’ll also be welcomed into family and friendship unlike anything she’s ever known. Love will come calling, and Noel will face the terrifying prospect of watching that love die on the vine.

I very much enjoyed this heart-warming Christmas tale. It’s full of angst and regret, but also overflowing with faith, hope and love. The author did not trade quality for quantity, but instead, found a way to pack a well-told and wonderfully delivered story into fewer pages. Made me want to drop in at Bijou Bayou, knock on Miss Vivian’s door, and beg a bowl of gumbo—no matter the weather.


Which character in your new release did you most enjoy writing? Why?

The hero, Justin's uncle—Nonc AL was my favorite to write. He said very little but was the voice of reason throughout the book. He was also the type of uncle we'd all love to have.

What household task do you most dislike? Which do you most enjoy?

I hate mopping the floors. Urgghhh. It takes such a long time and the results are so short-lived.

Marian's "hideaway"
There's really no task I love, but I don't mind folding laundry. It's something I can do while watching a movie or show.

Where do you hide away when you want to pray, meditate, read, or just cuddle up with God?

I have a wingback chair in a small living area next to my dining room. It faces the front yard and I love sitting there to do my Bible studies. It's a place that puts my heart in the right place to visit with my Lord, Jesus.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Keri's Christmas Wish

by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Can Keri get past her angst over Christ’s birth and enjoy the Christmas season?

For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?

A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?

Find out in Keri’s Christmas Wish

About Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Twitter @psthib


She awoke in another dimension. Keri had no idea if she was in Heaven, but neither did she fear Hell. Her surroundings were reminiscent of a dense forest at dusk. Shadows danced against a sunset where brilliant colors bled from the sky. A light shone in the distance but as she moved toward it, Keri felt as though she plowed through molasses. Unease pricked her skin. The sound of water drew her deeper into the woods until she stood at the base of a vast waterfall and rapids so swift she dared not attempt to cross the river.

The light grew stronger, brighter. Beckoning.

I need to get to the light.


Disclaimer: NOT your typical Christmas novella. In Keri's Christmas Wish, the author weaves a tale of spiritual confusion, discovery, healing, and even adventure. The latter, while now and then a tad confusing due to special circumstances withing the story line, somehow manages to culminate into perfect sense and even a light, sweet romance. Keri's journey to understanding Christmas is guaranteed to be one you won't find in most holiday novellas. Thibodeaux takes modern psychology, holistic medicine, religious questions, and spirituality to a whole new level. While admittedly not my usual "cup of Christmas tea," I enjoyed this short walk outside the ordinary. If you're looking for something a little meatier than the typical silver bells and snow globes, with an exciting story within the story, Keri's Christmas Wish may be just what the Christian psychologist ordered.


What inspired you to write your newest release Keri’s Christmas Wish?

Answer: When I look back on the beginning I can honestly say Keri’s Christmas Wish was totally inspired by God. I’d finished a short story and sent the collection off to my editor when a vision of a young woman scrolling through her newsfeed came to mind with the words: Bah Humbug…. The entire story evolved from that one image and I completed the manuscript within a very short time. Since this was the first, original fiction story I’ve written in its entirety since 2009 I’m very excited to see it come to fruition.

What is the message you hope to get across in this story?

That regardless of where you are in your faith journey God and His angels are always there to guide and guard and that He loves you in spite of your doubt and fears.

Question: What is your goal or mission as a writer?

A committed Christian, I firmly believe in God and His promises. God is very real to me. I believe that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them and I do my best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with Him. The deepest desire of my heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust, and forgiveness to a hurting world. My hope is that all of my stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and - in some way - bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him.

Be sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Pamela's gifting 5 E-copies & 5 Print copies of Keri’s Christmas Wish!

Dec 7thDiana Rubino Blog
Dec 8thTina Gayle Blog
Dec 10thMarilyn Leach Blog
Dec 11thRobin Bayne Blog
Dec 12thRaquel Byrne Blog
Dec 13thCami Checketts Blog
Dec 14thLinda McLaughlin Blog
Dec 15thDiane Burton Blog
Dec 16thMaureen Bonatch Blog
Dec 17thAlicia Dean Blog
Dec 18thJody Day Blog
Dec 19thMarian Merritt Blog
Dec 20thKim Headlee Blog

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you enjoy Keri’s Christmas Wish check out Pam’s other books, all of which are on sale through Jan 3rd @ Amazon; B&N; and Smashwords!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Extravaganza: Christmas 'Couragement

About Christmas 'Couragement

Liam once approved of helping others, but not anymore. He lost his mother due to a crazed street person, and he's hardened his heart. Now a successful photographer, he’s returned to set up shop in his hometowndirectly across the courtyard from his sister’s best friend.

Zoe runs an outreach center and encourages the homeless and needy, especially at Christmas. Nursing a soft spot for Liam that started as a girlhood crush, she sets out to help him by creating her unique brand of encouragement cards. Her hope is to reignite the fire and love for Christmas and God, which Liam once had.

The cards and ornaments countdown to Christmas, but what if Liam doesn’t want to be one of Zoe’s projects? What happens when her crush grows into something more? What if they both receive more than expected?

About LoRee Peery

Inspirational romance author LoRee Peery strives to remember the Lord’s redeeming grace each day when she surveys her sense of place in Him and where He has placed her. Often that gift comes from nature, when the call of a cardinal draws her to look for the distinctive flash of crimson (especially against a backdrop of snow). A meadowlark’s melody always transports her to the farm where she grew up. She clings to I John 5:4 and prays her blended family and dozen grandchildren see that faith. Her Frivolities Series and other publications are available at:

Website                             Twitter


Love, love, love this beautiful, sweet story of reunion, forgiveness, and compassion. Zoe is a wonderfully captivating heroine with a heart for the hurting, and a reason to be eternally grateful for God's grace. Liam is the quintessential strong, uncompromising gentleman who finds it hard to look past a person's station in life to the heart and soulthe storybeneath. These two characters seem, at first glance, to be polar opposites, and completely incompatible, despite their shared childhoods. But, much like the grimy, downtrodden men and women who sleep in alleyways and cardboard boxes, they each have a story beneath the story...and God is the Master Planner who makes parallel pathways meet and converge to become one. Christmas 'Couragement is a bright spot of cheer for any time of year. Without question, my favorite LoRee Peery work to date.


What inspired you to write Christmas ‘Couragement?

I noted several ideas or concepts that kind of piled on top of each other. The renovation, or I should say the expansion of downtown Lincoln’s historic Haymarket area incorporating the old railyard to the west, is impressive beyond words. Thus, the setting.

Like Zoe in the story, I cannot pass a red kettle without putting in something, even if I’m down to a quarter of change in my wallet. My heart always goes out to the homeless. I’d like to say I pray for the individual whenever I see a man loitering on a corner, but I don’t. “He,” or the homeless in general, comes to mind later.

Christmas is an emotional time for most of us, no matter where we are in life. Each and every one of us needs encouragement. In the years preceding so much of my life in front of a computer screen, I tried to send encouraging cards through the mail as often as I could.
Reunion stories are the ones I connect with the most, especially as God pulls two hurting people together through reconciliation. The title was one of the first things that came to me, based on an encouraging email message sent by Nicola Martinez, Pelican Book Group’s editor-in-chief.

What household task do you most dislike? Which do you most enjoy?

There is no elaborated answer when it comes to housekeeping and me. I don’t like to dust because country dirt is pervasive and returns three hours after a surface gleams. I most enjoy the fragrance of fresh laundry.

Please share a verse of scripture that is especially meaningful to you, and why it is special.

First John 5:4-5:  “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (NASB)

Whatever, used in the text, equals whomever to me. I am born again because I recognized my sinfulness, placed my faith in Jesus as the Son of God, and asked Him into my life.

Overcomer is an awesome word to me that says so much more than survivor. Without details, I’ll say I’ve overcome several knocks in life that have strengthened my faith and made me a stronger woman. No grandiose accomplishment is to be placed on my shoulders. I pray each day that what I do and say is for His glory.

Victory resonates with me because the literal meaning of the root of my name is a crown of laurel leaves. The character quality is victorious spirit. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Author Barbara M. Britton: TV interview

It's common knowledge that authors find their muse in many different places, but one author found her muse while teaching Sunday school.

Author Barbara M. Britton recently was featured on the Books of the Month TV program. Today we host the episode, now available online, on demand, courtesy of Preach the Word Worldwide TV Network. Learn how teaching Sunday school to children helped to spur Barbara's story ideas for her now-popular Biblical fiction series "Tribes of Israel."

(If you can't see the video, click here to visit the Preach the Word Worldwide Network TV station page.

Purchase Providence: Hannah's Journey today

Pre-order Building Benjamin: Naomi's Journey


Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Extravaganza: Bella Natale!: A Florentine Christmas Romance

by Marianne Evans

When the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true…

Ashley Coratini is bucking her family, and the odds, by embracing the chance to pursue a dream. During a three-week trip to Florence, Italy, she’s determined to immerse herself in the world of art and to explore the gifts God has given her.

Widower Luca DeRosa owns and operates a premiere art gallery at the heart of Florence. He’s just over a year away from turning forty, but doesn’t mind the milestone. He enjoys a life spent raising his five-year-old son and scouting artistic talent. When he comes upon Ashley, he’s captivated by her artistic skills and fluid grace, and he sees to it that Ashley’s dreams take off at high velocity.

But as love blooms, questions mount. Will Ashley embrace her gifts and a life in Italy that’s worlds different than the one waiting at home in America? Can Luca trust his heart and instincts enough to embrace the love of a vibrant young woman whose spirit speaks to him so deeply?

What comes next when the dreams they dare to dream really might come true…?

About Marianne Evans

Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create.

Readers laude her work as “Riveting,” “Realistic and true to heart,” “Compelling.” Her Christian women’s fiction debut, Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Hearts Communion earned a win for Best Romance from the Christian Small Publisher's Association. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award for her books Then & Now and Finding Home.

Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. You can connect with Marianne at

Purchase:  ePub/Mobi/Adobe          Kindle

Connect with Marianne:


A young woman, alone in Italy. An older man, suave and charismatic, with promises that seem too good to be true. All the earmarks of danger…and all the expectation and excitement of love and a beautiful future.

Charcoal artist Ashley Coratini made a promise to her beloved grandmother. That’s why, despite a myriad of questions, doubts and uncertainties, she makes a gigantic leap of faith and hope when a handsome stranger offers to take her and her drawings of the city of Florence to a level of success she’s only ever dreamed of achieving. Those dreams were part of the promise she made to her grandmother. She has this one chance to make them a reality.

The lightning-quick sweep of feelings between the hero and heroine in this novella is lovely—and exciting—as are the glimpses of Florence the author shares in vivid, beautifully portrayed detail. Bella Natale is a sweet, heart-stopping romance with additional touches of beauty provided by the historic and picturesque setting. Florence is as much a character as are the people who make up the “cast.”

Marianne Evans loses none of her signature style of smooth writing full of deep emotion and vivid personality, woven throughout with subtle strokes of incredible spiritual wisdom. Bella Natale may well be my favorite of this author’s works to date.


What inspired you to write BELLA NATALE?

I wrote Bella Natale following a trip my DH and I took to Italy. We began our voyage in Rome, which took my breath away. After that, we headed north, to Florence. We intended to take a day-trip to Venice via train the following morning, but once we hit Florence, we literally looked at each other and without even speaking a word, we knew we were going to stay put in Florence and savor. It’s ancient, and gorgeous, and compact enough for wonderful walks and eating, and meandering along the Arno River, or going still before dazzling window displays, or listening to church bells sing out at noon across the city. The history is so rich and so ever-present that you can’t help but stop every few feet and absorb. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and I wanted to commemorate a slice of that journey for readers.

What smell do you love most, and why?

It’s a dead-heat tie between two: Freshly-buttered, stove-top prepared popcorn and the aroma of my family recipe onion bread baking in the oven. Both are heavenly!

Do you usually insert a spiritual theme into your books? If so, do you have a favorite?

A good number of my books center on the theme of redemption, and the return of the prodigal. I haven’t done so by design—it’s all God’s handiwork, which means there must be a reason for it! I do love a good reclamation story, don’t you?