Friday, January 30, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Shirley Kiger Connolly-Dad Influenced Me

Today we welcome author: 
Shirley Kiger Connolly

To win a copy
of Shirley's new release:
Not Quite an Angel

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

Mary Vee here. Fancy this. My first writing course was with the Institute of Children's Literature. I can't express enough kudos for this writing program. I took all the courses including the advanced ones and owe much of what I know to it. Years later, I still refer to my binders containing lessons and my textbooks. What does this have to do with Shirley? 

I met Shirley at the ACFW conference. She was so friendly, took time to chat with me. Totally amazing. I heard about her new release and asked her to be a guest with us. The connection did happen until I SAW her name. I am a visual learner. Hearing her name didn't click. The instant I saw her name in our exchange of emails, I remembered she was one of the faculty at the Institute of Children's Literature. I wished so much that I had realized it at the conference. This is one gifted writer and teacher. 

I asked her to join us and share how God has led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

Dad Influenced Me

I'm often asked by my readers how God led me to become a writer, or specifically, why it has become my life. 

Many don't know this, but my dad was a writer. Back in the 40s he enjoyed writing short mystery stories for those old crime magazines they used to have that he apparently devoured in his spare time. From the time I was eight years old, I knew I would one day be a famous writer of something and teacher of much. 

Well, I may not be famous, but I do know writing has become my life and I absolutely love to teach and work with woman about faith and growing in the Lord. 

It was back in the eighties that I believe the Lord was pushing me ahead. My husband was a senior pastor, and I directed the women's Koinonia in our community, which included doing retreats, conferences, and workshops. I took a creative writing course, and everything went from there. How that led to romance is another story.

My writing journey has not slowed down, whether I've been writing devotionals, reflections, Bible Studies for women, curriculums for ministry retreats, or inspirational historical romances. I plan to write till I can no longer see or use my fingers to work their way across a keyboard of some kind. 

Writing leads me to research, more prayer, keeping focus, and networking with other Christian women and readers who are interested in what I write. It is an exciting journey.

If it hadn't been for my writing adventures, I never would have had the privilege of meeting you, Mary.  I'm so glad I did. 

I'm so glad, too!!

The fellowship with others of like mind is reward in itself.

More than anything else. I totally agree.


Award winning author, Shirley Kiger Connolly, daughter of 1940s mystery writer, CH KIGER, enjoys penning historical fiction romances. In her spare time, Shirley writes books filled with lighthearted reflections. She majored in English and Journalism, later joining the graduates of ICL. As one of the winners of the 2014 OKRW-IDA awards for SECOND TIME PROMISE, Shirley was blessed to be nominated for the RONE award with THAT IMPOSSIBLE DREAM which also joined in the finals for the CAROLINE AWARDS through RWA. Shirley's SAY GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY, to her surprise, finalized in the OKRWA-IDA in 2012. When not traveling with her husband, while writing, Shirley and her husband reside on the beautiful Southern Coast of North Carolina with her beloved animals.

Readers can visit Shirley at anytime on her blogs 
She looks forward to saying hello to you!


Sir Geoffrey Wentworth, the second son of an ailing British viscount has been given a mission with a deadline—find an American bride to share his family title and bring forth an heir, or return to England and marry his Viscount father's choice. Unsuccessful in his endeavor, after meeting every alluring woman in San Francisco , Sir Geoffrey tires of his search, until on the night before his return to England he meets and is mesmerized by the mysterious Lady Delphia, the daughter of a French Marquis. Not only has she appeared out of nowhere, she unwittingly steals his heart. When Sir Geoffrey tries to learn more about this irresistible lady of the night, the two are caught in the middle of a severe San Francisco earthquake. Sir Geoffrey soon learns this woman of mystery is no daughter of a marquis, at all, but is the nothing more than the sister of a simple country parson. Worse yet, she's already engaged to be married.

If there is anything the honorable Sir Geoffrey Wentworth, 2nd son to the Viscount of Salisbury cannot abide is being duped by a woman

Raised by an unstable and controlling guardian, an over-protective brother, and a boat-captain grandfather, Collette Moreau's upbringing has hardly been conventional. Seeking a more refined future, she sets her hopes on marriage to an English Baron's nephew -- a choice any woman would make.

When the wedding gets postponed, Collette decides to visit an ailing uncle and learns he's not only been keeping family secrets, he highly disapproves of her fiancé. He's already engaged the services of the passionate Christian Jordan -- suspected womanizer. Uncle's plan is to induce Collette away from her betrothed toward Mr. Jordan, or, if necessary, toward Christian's pious and meddling brother, the community parson.

But should Collette comply with this preposterous whim of some distant kin? What sensible woman would agree to be wooed by a possible Romeo or religious zealot when she's about to wed Baron Kirkland Dewey's distinguished nephew?

To enter the contest for a copy of 
Shirley's  new release: 
"Not Quite an Angel"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

International Readers are invited to enter, too!!
eBook if winner is international, paperback or eBook if US winner

The winner will be announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Shirley, for Joining us This Weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, hey, or ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mischief, A Number Two Child

Photo by Mary Vee
I walked this mountain trail on my own
while daughter was in college classes.
Mountains around Tucson, Arizon
As a child, I tended to be the one who found trouble. I was a number two kid. Followed my older sister around, didn't mind riding out of the neighborhood on my bike, looked for ways to get out of weeding Mom's flower garden, and hated vegetables. In my own defense, I didn't know which were flowers and which were weeds.

Yeah, I had a lot of talks with Dad. He did the talking, I did the listening.

I loved/love adventure. If I could choose between sitting with a group of people having tea and chatting, and dragging those same individuals on a ride along a mountain pass with sheer drop offs, guess which I'd pick?

Then it should be no surprise that I am having a wonderful time delving into the life of Amy Carmichael, an Irish missionary to India. On this family and kids of all ages blog: God Loves Kids, I have missionary Mondays. We walk through the lives of well known missionaries telling stories in the first person. This year, God led me to present Amy's ministry and I'm thankful. I'm learning right along with my readers, refusing to read ahead and diving into many resources to present as much of her story as possible.

Amy is a little girl, so far. If you want to follow along, each Monday the next piece of Amy's story, written as though she is telling you, will be presented. Here is the link: Mary Vee's God Love Kids blog Today, she is saving a mouse. This is only the third story this year, so feel free to scroll down to previous two stories on the page.

Photo Courtesy
One of the events I am absolutely looking forward to this year is a trip to Alaska in June. Hubby has a conference there, which will pay for most of the trip. We'll be in the mountains an hour and a half from Anchorage. While he attends classes, I'll be looking for things to do. muwhahahah. 

We plan to stay an extra day, and drive close to the Yukon and visit missionaries I've only known from church. I can't wait to meet them in person. 

My birthday will fall during the extra day we'll be staying. Is that awesome or what? I might see a moose. Who knows what God has placed there in His creation. Oh, can you imagine seeing the northern lights? They don't shine all the time, but maybe, just maybe.

Of course, I'll take you along with me. I hear the mosquitos are like birds in Alaska. You have until June to stock up on lots of bug spray.

I hope you have a wonderful day!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Sarah Varland-God Works in Funny Ways

Today we welcome author: 
Sarah Varland

To win a copy
of Sarah's new release:
Tundra Threat

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

Sarah is the middle of one of those moves. The kind where you move across country and have to change everything. Wow. I've done that twice and can say, hold on, Sarah--there is a light at the end of this huge tunnel!! From her hotel, she is hopping in to visit with us.  I asked Sarah to share how God has led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

God Works in Funny Ways

I had been writing seriously for almost a decade by the time I got married and had kids. This dream I’d been chasing, that logically it seemed would have been better accomplished by my younger, single self, still hadn’t seen it’s end. I wrestled with it, probably cried over it. Then finally I realized that my family was an even greater dream, and that even if I never saw a book with my name on the cover, I really would be content and still consider myself so blessed beyond anything I could describe.

And then the call came.

It seemed like the craziest timing—in a good way. I’d just left my part-time teaching job so it was amazing that God had brought another job right to me. It also seemed crazy in a….well, crazy way. I was 38 weeks pregnant with my second son, my oldest was not quite 2 ½.

But God really does know what He is doing. Ever since the timing for writing projects has been obviously something God has His hand in, and even now as I keep working and waiting (hoping!) that contract #3 is around the corner somewhere, knowing how He has worked so far, knowing that He has done things in a way I never would have but that has been perfect, helps as I wait. And hopefully if you’re waiting for something, writing related or not, you’ll remember what God has done in the past and have some peace in the waiting too.


Sarah Varland lives with her husband John, their two boys, and their dogs. Her passion for books comes from her mom, her love for suspense comes from her dad who has spent a career in law enforcement. Her love for romance comes from the relationship she has with her husband and from watching too many chick flicks. When she’s not writing or chasing her boys around, she’s often found reading, baking, kayaking, or hiking. 

For more information about Sarah, please visit 

Twitter: @sarahvarland


Two murdered men are the last thing wildlife trooper McKenna Clark expected to find in the stark Alaskan wilderness. As the only law enforcement in the area, the responsibility for the case rests on her shoulders—along with the danger. Hunting guide and pilot Will Harrison wants to ease the load, but McKenna balks at the thought of letting him close enough to break her heart again. When McKenna's investigations put her in harm's way, Will must race against the clock to save his second chance at love from becoming the killer's final victim    


It's been five years since Shiloh Evans encountered the murderous gold hunters seeking Blackbeard's hidden stash. After they killed her policewoman cousin, Shiloh left town to regroup, and earn her own police badge. Because she would see this case solved—someday. She just didn't expect the killers to attack her new home in Treasure Point, Georgia…on the same day her ex-fiancé arrived in town. Adam Cole has tried to overcome his love for Shiloh. But he won't just sit by when she's in danger. Working together, they plan a trap. But springing it requires getting to centuries-buried treasure before the killers get to them.

To enter the contest for a copy of 
Sarah's  new release: 
"Tundra Threat"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry US or Canada only

The winner will be announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Sarah, for Joining us This Weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, hey, or ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to Focus 2015 Into One-Word

Last week we discussed choosing one words for this year. Last year I chose:

I think God gave me many opportunities to practice. Opportunities I'm thankful for.

For any of you who put your word in the comment section last week or in the weeks to come, I will send you a copy of the One-Word certificate below with your name and word for you to print out as long as you include your email address. 

Here is my one word for 2015:

I chose the word driven because I've been feeling rather lazy lately. It's cold. Great ideas pop in my head, I make plans and at the end of the day, only a few have happen. I want to be driven to serve God. 

Okay, time for some God shine driven. I really don't want to waste a single day that God has blessed me with or a single task. The Bible says our time is like a breath. That means I need to do better with each day serving Him the best I can.

Am I off to a perfect start? Nope. Is God helping me? Yep.

Here are some ways I hope to be working on this year's one-word

Driven to being a good mom.
Driven to being a good wife.
Driven to clean my house.
Driven to spend a daily personal time with God.
Driven to write a quality posts on this site.
Driven to writing/editing my manuscripts the best they can be.
Driven to completing one new manuscript this year.
Driven to learn more about the writing craft.

LOL-The more I listed, the more I thought of to add to my list.

So, now it's your turn.

Consider the one word you'd chose. Your homework: make a list of ways your one word can be morphed into every area of your life.

Remember the purpose of the one-word is to bring growth to your life. MISTAKES ARE ALLOWED. God is more than happy to help us all year long. Be persistent. If you make a mistake….try again. 

Your turn: 
How can your one-word be used in random situations (like my list above). Your suggestion could help someone else, so please comment.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Feature-Naomi Rawlings-God's Blessings through Tragedy

Today we welcome author: 
Naomi Rawlings

To win a copy
of Naomi's new release:
Falling for the Enemy

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

Talk about a small world. As Naomi and I were chatting about this weekend's visit, we found out we grew up close to each other, have visited the same places (and these were obscure locations), and had many of the same interests. Isn't it awesome when God brings people together to learn they had so much to share?  I simply had to ask her to join us and share how God has led her on her writing journey, knowing it would be exciting. Here is what she said:

God's Blessings through Tragedy

I’ve always been an insanely big book lover. My mom used to kick me out of the house in the summer and tell me I’d spent too long reading and I needed to go outside and do something. (Um, like reading wasn’t doing something? I still don’t understand that logic.) ;-). 

Being the obedient girl that I was, I took my book, grabbed a blanket, and laid in our backyard under the tree while I read. After an hour or so, my mom would poke her head out the back door and say, “Naomi! That is NOT what I meant when I told you to go outside!”

Fast forward twenty years, and that burning desire to read, read, read, somehow translated into both a talent and determination to write, write, write. I’ve spent the past six years of my life writing, and I’ve been published for the last three of them, but the idea of writing my own book never really occurred to me until tragedy struck my life.

It’s amazing how God works, isn’t it? Romans chapter eight tells us that God works everything out for good for those who love Him, but when we’re going through heartbreak, tragedy, or struggles, it can be very hard to see God’s goodness and plan amid our pain and suffering.

For me, God cultivated a desire to write shortly after I suffered a miscarriage. This miscarriage was particularly hard on me for reasons I won’t go into publically, but please understand that I had an extremely difficult time with it. Once my tears and emotions settled a bit, I found myself rather bored. I stayed at home and had one child, and I was planning on spending my days caring for a new baby. Suddenly I had just one child who took really long naps in the afternoon and went to bed several hours before I did. I needed something to do.

So I read. I read, and read, and read some more, until I exhausted my friends’ libraries. My problem was that the more I read, the pickier I got about the books. I liked certain authors, sure, but not all authors. In fact, half the time I was rewriting the ending to books in my head, or adding scenes to the middle, or wondering what would have happened if Author A had made her characters say Y instead of Z. I soon found myself dragging my eight-year-old computer out and starting my first manuscript.

During the ensuing years, I’ve often looked back at that time period and wondered whether I’d be writing today had I not lost that baby. I honestly don’t think I would. I’d probably be reading. I’d maybe even have a book blog. But I really doubt I’d be writing. I needed that fallow period in my life, that time of struggle and sorrow, for God to take away my plan and show me His.

While writing novels is far from a perfect, easy job, it has its blessings and rewards. I know it’s what God has for me right now, and God has continued to use my writing through tragedies. My oldest son has chronic Lyme disease, which is very hard and expensive to treat. Nearly all of my writing income for the past two years has gone toward his treatment. So I can look back at how and why I started writing and see the blessings, see why God’s plan was better than my plan to have a baby in 2008, and see how God is ultimately working everything out for good, just like He promises to do in Romans 8.

Whether you’re a writer or a reader or something in between, I hope my story encourages you to look to God through the hard times and trust His leadership. He really does know better than we do.

So very true, Naomi. Thank you so much for sharing from such a deep wound.


A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. Her fourth novel, Falling for the Enemy is available now, and her fifth novel, Love’s Unfading Light releases in March 2015. 

For more information about Naomi, please visit her website at


Click here to buy or see
Falling for the Enemy
Falling for the Enemy:

Betrayed and stranded in France at the height of war, Lord Gregory Halston has few options. After rescuing his ailing brother from jail, they struggle to survive in hostile territory without outing themselves as Englishmen. Gregory hopes the feisty French peasant woman he meets is willing to guide them to safety. 

Danielle Belanger doesn't wish to protect any man from the same country responsible for her brother's demise. But there's something about the determined Englishman that makes her willing to try. Though a match between Danielle and Gregory is impossible, their attraction can't be denied. 

The only thing more dangerous than aiding the enemy…is falling in love with him.

Click here to buy or see
 Love's Unfading Light
Love’s Unfading Light:
Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to pay off her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again.

Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks. 

But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence ... and being obligated to a man again?

To enter the contest for a copy of 
Naomi's  new release: 
"Falling for the Enemy"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry US only

The winner will be announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Naomi, for Joining us This Weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, hey, or ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!