Monthly Archives: November 2015

Spiritual Spring Cleaning with Author Golden Keys Parsons

front only Spritiual Spring CleaningKeep the spiritual dust and grime cleared away from the corners of your spirit. Like the revealing sunlight flooding through the windows of our physical houses, the spotlight of the Holy Spirit investigates the corners of our hearts exposing filth which has accumulated unnoticed through the winter of our souls, and we realize the need to take a spiritual inventory.

Spiritual Spring Cleaning, by Golden Keyes Parsons, takes us on that spiritual inventory by addressing issues such as spiritual indifference, pet beliefs and traditions, bad habits, anger, bitterness, forgiveness, gossip, a critical spirit, and prayerlessness. An encouraging study peppered with down-to-earth examples to use individually or with a group.

Golden Keyes Parsons is a popular retreat and conference speaker and author of historical novels. Her book, In The Shadow Of The Sun King, (Thomas Nelson Publishing), first in a three-book series based on her family genealogy, released in the Fall 2008, and was named a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Debut Author category. Her second book, Prisoner Of Versailles, was released September 2009 and was named a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Daphne contest and was also a finalist for the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association Golden Scroll Novel of the Year. The concluding book in the series, Where Hearts Are Free, released September 2010 and was a Women of Faith Book Club selection. Her fourth novel, His Steadfast Love, a Civil War novel set in Texas, released November 2011, and was a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards.

Her current series, Hidden Faces: Portraits of Nameless Women in the Gospels, (WhiteFire Publishing), contains four novellas, Trapped! The Adulterous Woman, Alone, The Woman At The Well, Broken, The Woman Who Anointed Jesus’s Feet, and Hopeless, The Woman With The Issue Of Blood. Parsons’ most recent release is her first non-fiction book entitled Spiritual Spring Cleaning (BoldVision Books).

Golden and her husband, Blaine, are retired from the pastorate and reside in Waco, TX. When she isn’t writing or speaking, she is busy with their three grown daughters, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren or attending sporting and alumni events at Baylor University. She can be reached at


Joline’s Redemption with Author Vickie McDonough

Joline's RedemtpionJoline has fallen as far as any woman can. She once had lofty dreams of love and luxury, but she made a series of dreadful decisions, leaving her bereft of all hope. Jo has a long list of secrets to keep and has to continually look over her shoulder, as the man she’s running from may show up anywhere, anytime.

Vickie McDonough 3 smallBest selling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She lives out her childhood dream by penning romances set in the Old West. Vickie is an award-winning author of more than 35 books and novellas.

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Heroes, Heroines, and History blog:

Merry Kisses with Author Valerie Comer

MK-200x300Can Sonya and Heath embrace each other — opinions, traditions, and all — in time to share merry kisses for Christmas?

Fired from her retail position for saying Merry Christmas to a customer, Sonya Simmons chafes at the over-commercialization of the season and the difficulties of finding a new job. If only she’d actually said Merry Christmas instead of Merry Kisses to the tall, good-looking man buying enough toys for at least a dozen children. How embarrassing!


It was fun to fluster the pretty toy store clerk, but Heath Collins, the mall’s volunteer Santa Claus, hadn’t meant to get her fired. When his elf assistant comes down with a bad cold, Heath offers Sonya a few days’ work, only to discover she believes Santa is nothing but a liar and a fraud instead of an opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives.


“Maybe.” She slid back into the chair. “Do you really go to the same church as I do? But that doesn’t make sense. You play Santa.”

It was his turn to be confused. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

Sonya picked a bit of glaze off the top of her doughnut with a pink fingernail and popped it in her mouth. She eyed him and heaved a sigh. “I don’t think it’s right to lie to little kids. They have enough trouble keeping fantasy and reality separate.”

His fingers began twirling his coffee cup again. “I see. So you think my job is right up there with the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Isn’t it?”

“I don’t see it that way.”

“Of course you don’t. Just another day at the office, right?”

Heath couldn’t help his sardonic laugh. “Right. I work ten hours a week for one month a year as Santa, plus a party here and there. You can’t seriously think I’m in this for the money.”

Uncertainty crossed her face. “Okay. But why?”

“Why be Santa?”

“Why pretend to be.”

Heath shook his head. Of course she’d distinguish. “I like making little kids happy. I like their hugs and their shy smiles. I like being a bright spot in their day.”

“But it’s a lie.” She picked another fleck of maple off her doughnut.

“Sonya, I am real. I’m the guy who brightens their day.”

“Only because you’re in that red suit.” She eyed him. “Must take a lot of padding.”

Valerie-Comer-300x300Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.


Merry Kisses

A Dash of Daring with Elizabeth Maddrey

DashFrontGod doesn’t always call us to do what’s easy.

Amy Harris is the after-school care coordinator and long-term sub at the same inner city high school she graduated from. She’s always avoided the complications of dating outside her multi-ethnic heritage. Until Zach got hired.

Zach Wilson took a teaching job in a D.C. public school as part of a student-loan forgiveness program. Nearing the end of his commitment, a possibility arises to move to a magnet school in the suburbs. But will leaving the city end things with Amy before they really have a chance to start?

As Zach and Amy work together on the school’s annual holiday program, they must each decide if they’ll dare to follow where God calls.

Buy Links: Amazon

ElizabethMaddreyHeadshotElizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.

Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website or on Facebook:




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Twitter: @elizabethmaddre



“Got a minute?”

Zach looked up from the math test he was grading. His heart skipped a beat, as it always did, when he saw Amy standing in the door of his classroom. “For you? Always.”

She grinned and crossed to one of the student desks, pulling it closer to his desk before sitting. She crossed one long, slender, jeans-clad leg over the other. “What are you working on?”

“Gave a test today in Algebra. If I can get them turned back tomorrow, I’ll know how many make-up exams I have to put together over the weekend. It pushes off grading the quiz I gave in geometry on Monday, but I can finish that at home tonight if I need to. The Algebra kids are struggling, so I try to get them feedback faster. Give them a chance to see the problems worked through before they completely forget why they made the choices they did. And you have no interest in that. What’s up?”

Pink tinted her cheekbones. “I’m not uninterested…just preoccupied. Sorry. Have you given any thought to the Christmas—pardon me, holiday—program?”

Zach closed his eyes. This wasn’t the conversation he wanted to have with her right now. Or possibly ever. “Not really. There’s time, isn’t there? It’s barely October.”

“Ten weeks. And one of those has Thanksgiving. Plus we have report cards and a workday in there. December eighteenth will be here before you can blink. Zach, please.” Amy leaned closer, her amber eyes locked with his. “I need your help. The kids need your help.”

His math students needed his help, too. Diving in to help with a holiday program was going to eat up any of his spare after school time. And it wasn’t like he had a lot of that to start with. And yet…it would earn him points with Amy. That counted for a lot. The principal would be pleased, too, but that meant a lot less. “Fine.”

Her whole face lit. “Really? You’re the best, Zach. I knew I could count on you.”

He forced a smile. “Sure. Just let me know what you need me to do. Or do you want to get together, maybe dinner tomorrow, and talk about it?”

“Dinner’s good. I’ll bring the notes I’ve made so far. Maybe Terri can join us, I’ll have to ask her.”

“Wait, Terri’s helping? If you got the music teacher on board, why do you need me?”

“It’s a big job, Zach. We need all the help we can get.”

“Ah.” He cleared his throat. “I was kind of hoping dinner could be just the two of us. Like a date.”

She blinked, her mouth dropping open before one corner poked up. “In that case, why don’t we have a meeting with Terri after the final bell tomorrow? That way we don’t ruin a perfectly good date talking about something you don’t really want to do.”

Zach winced. “That obvious?”

“Yeah. But you’re doing it anyway, that counts. See you tomorrow.” Amy stood and pushed the desk back to its row. Zach watched her turn down the hall toward her own classroom. On the one hand, he’d finally worked up the courage to ask her out on a real date. On the other…the holiday program? What was wrong with him?


Author Spotlight Alexis A. Goring ~ Hope in My Heart

Alexis A. Goring, Autumn 2012Author bio: Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).

 Hope in My HeartBook blurb:

Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.

In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.

Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.

In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.

Excerpt from Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories written by Alexis A. Goring

Story: Peace and Love

Chapter 1

Elle Brighton drove her black BMW coupe into the guest parking lot of the Four Seasons Hotel.

“Look, baby,” she said, talking to her car, “there’s your cousin, the BMW convertible. I think you’re a lot cuter, but we’re going to park next to your kin, okay?”

Elle laughed at her own attempt at humor. Talking to herself—and her BMW—was one of her quirks. People either thought she was crazy or gifted as an actress. Elle, who lived off of freelance work as an artist, believed that to be successful in the world of arts, a person

had to be a combination of both crazy and gifted.

Elle exited her car and locked the doors. She then opened the trunk and tugged out her oversized purple Traveler’s suitcase. Elle turned her eyes heavenward and sent up a silent prayer for success in her job hunt.

The holiday season is going to be beautiful, she thought. I just know it.


Kristine Amanda Thompson paused in the photo frame aisle at Target. Her gaze fixed on a beautiful silver frame with the words Mother and Daughter engraved across the bottom. Tears welled up in her eyes as she picked up the lovely design.

Maybe this year will be different, she thought, gently placing the frame into the shopping cart.

Kristine worked as a senior sales associate at Stylish Comfort—an upscale women’s apparel store in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. With her reliability, natural kindness, and demand for excellence, everyone—including Kristine—believed she’d be first choice for the manager position this holiday season. But the promotion was the furthest thing on Kristine’s wish list. She only wanted one thing—to be reunited with her birth mom.

After graduating from college and moving back into her adoptive parents’ house, she told them what she’d been thinking for years—she wanted to know who her birth mother was. Now, as an adult engaged to marry her college sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, Kristine

very much wanted to find her birth mother. It was tough for her to do all the planning for the wedding with her adoptive parents and fiancé Derek, but not with the woman who gave her life.

Kristine picked up the empty picture frame and gazed at it once more. Please, Lord, if it is Your will, bless my search for my birth mother. You’ve blessed me with adoptive parents who love me, and I am forever grateful. But You understand that there’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled with the love of my birth mom. Please, Lord, help me find her. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


Eric Stewart sighed out of exasperation. Not again. Not this Christmas.

He was looking at the brief for his latest family law case—what looked like a very nasty divorce. While Eric enjoyed his job, there was a bit of irony to it. There was Eric, a family law attorney who prosecuted everything from divorce cases to custody battles, yet he couldn’t get his own life straight in the category of romance.

He blamed it all on his parents who suffered a bitter divorce when he was only fifteen. Life had not been the same since. Despite being a twenty-eight-year-old man, Eric still harbored resentment over his parents’ failed marriage. Now, years later, Eric was more resentful than ever, and the holiday season just made him more of a Scrooge.

“Why did you have to do it?” Eric, who rarely talked to himself, said aloud.

“Why did who have to do what?” a feminine voice inquired.

Eric turned his attention from his memories to his paralegal Rebecca Heart. “It’s nothing, Rebecca. How may I help you?”

“Are you okay?” she asked. “Should I get you a latte?”

All the lattes in the world aren’t going to help me. He smiled at Rebecca’s thoughtfulness.

“That’s very sweet of you, but no, I don’t need coffee.”

Rebecca smiled. “Okay. Well, have a happy holiday season.”

Eric managed a small smile. “Thanks Rebecca.” He turned his attention to the case briefing on his desk.

“Hey, have you talked to Bridget Andersen?”

“Yes, she calls every day asking for you.”

“Thank you for not telling me.”

Rebecca tried not to show frustration. “But you told me that you always call your clients first.”

“Rebecca, it’s okay,” Eric said. “I have to phone both parties tomorrow morning. If Mrs. Andersen calls before then, let her know I will be in touch with her soon.”

“Okay. Have a good night,” Rebecca said before leaving for her desk.

Eric looked at his wall clock. Seven o’clock. Wasn’t there something I had to do at seven?

“Rebecca!” Eric called.

She rushed into the inner office with her agenda book in hand.

“Don’t I have something planned for tonight? Check the calendar.”

She quickly flipped through the book to December first. Her face fell.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she said, looking up at him and trying to hide her disappointment. “You have a date with Mariana Santiago tonight, and you’re supposed to pick her up right now.”

Eric began to pack his briefcase and grabbed his coat. He handed his office keys to her.

“Lock up the office when you leave, would you?”

Rebecca nodded.

“And don’t stay here too late.”

Rebecca nodded again.

As Eric rushed out of the door for the elevator, his Blackberry to his ear, Rebecca locked the door and settled into her chair. She took a look at the clock and then at the remaining stack of work due tomorrow morning.

Another late night, she thought, spent working.

Quietly, Rebecca began to type.

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Blog, “God is Love” –

Twitter handle, @pennedbyalex