Monday, January 30, 2017



Week Three




Eileen is a wonderful author and I highly recommend any of her books. She isn't afraid to write about the difficult subjects in life and I greatly admire her for it. She is a veteran homeschool mom, like myself, which is another reason I admire her. 

 "Healing words for hurting hearts," is how Eileen Rife describes her books. Whether through fiction or nonfiction, Eileen wants readers to come away with love that extends beyond themselves, faith that can see the impossible, and hope that endures against all odds.

As a child, Eileen loved writing and telling stories. Walking to school every morning, she created characters, then talked to them as she ambled down the road, which was often her way of dealing with grief and loss. After the death of her brother, Eileen learned to empathize with the underdog. Many of Eileen's stories revolve around issues that many find difficult to talk about--death, homosexuality, sex trafficking. Through her characters, she offers readers an opportunity to draw close, peel back the layers of their own hearts, and examine what lies within. 

And added to the mix--romance, always a romance around one corner or another!

An alumna of Christian Writers Guild and member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Eileen has published several nonfiction books, written newsletters, a marriage column, and over ten church dramas. Her byline has appeared in magazines, such as Discipleship Journal, Marriage Partnership, Mature Living, Christian Home & School, Drama Ministry, and ParentLife, as well as other print and online publications. Her fiction works include Second Chance and the Born for India trilogy (Journey to Judah, Restored Hearts, and Chosen Ones). Look for Laughing with Lily and Wit & Wisdom from the Wee Ones--coming soon from OakTara. She and husband, Chuck, a licensed professional counselor and marriage/family therapist conduct marriage seminars for churches and organizations in the states and overseas. They have three married children and six grandchildren. 


I asked Eileen to talk about two of her favorite books today. Here are the books she chose and the reasons why she wrote them:

 Why I wrote my novel,  Second Chance

As I brainstormed characters and plot for my fourth novel, I knew I wanted to honor the Christian inner city ministry God had led my daughter and son-in-law to be involved in. Thus, my fictional ministry, Second Chance, was born.
In addition, a few years prior to this project I entered the empty nest with all its adjustments and confusing emotions. Now that I had a better handle of what was occurring in my life during that transition period, I decided to include a character who was fresh to the empty nest. She actually shared the protag position with an African American teen who was also going through a transition of his own—trying to leave a gang he didn’t want to be a part of.
Mave, empty nest mom, and Dareece, inner city teen, seemingly have little in common, yet this thread of transition binds them in a way that surprises them and provides a second chance for both of them.
Though my empty nest journey was only partly similar to Mave’s, I discovered continued healing in my own life as I unpacked the pieces of both Mave’s and Dareece’s stories. And I gained a greater appreciation for the work of inner city ministries around our country, especially our own right here in Roanoke, Virginia: Straight Street led by long-time friends.
In fact, I’m so passionate about this ministry that I have a children’s book in the works that revolves around an inner city theme. This book will be part of my Missionary Kid collection, as all my grandchildren are missionary kids and provide me with much fodder for stories.
I love how God works a theme into my heart and uses that passion to stimulate additional stories and articles. Second Chance has been that type of project.

Book Description:
Mave wants the life back in her marriage. Dareece just wants a life. Could they be the answer to each other's dream? Mave Robertson, a recent empty nester, wants the fire back in her marriage, but her husband, Jerry, remains aloof. Is he having an affair? A midlife crisis? When a neighbor suggests she 'get a life' Mave accepts the challenge and volunteers at an inner-city teen ministry where she is thrown into a culture of drugs, gangs, and unwed teen moms. She soon discovers someone she can help, but might he also be the cure for both her stale marriage and her crumbling relationship with her father? Dareece Jackson, a teen from the projects, wants something in Mave's purse...and he'll stop at nothing to get it. A poignant story of middle age, surprising friendships, and unexpected places.  

 You can buy your copy HERE.


  Why I wrote 4R Rejuvenation Retreat for Women (nonfiction)
Perhaps the best way to tell you why I wrote 4R Rejuvenation Retreat for Women is to take you to the book preface . . .
Rest. Seems an illusive word for most of us. Yet if there was ever a time when women needed to rest, it’s in the day in which we live. Even with all the conveniences we own, like microwaves, cell phones, fax machines, and other electronic equipment, we’re busier and more stressed than ever. Our work-saving devices haven’t reduced our load one iota. We’ve merely taken on more work, because after all, our plethora of gadgets has saved us time. Right?
Even well-meaning Christians can fall into this trap, substituting much-needed R & R for just one more ministry project. But I wonder: Does God applaud all our crazed activity?
Finding balance in relationship, work, and recreation has been a passion of my heart for several years. Because truth be told, I’m task-driven. I love to check off items from my daily to-do list. If someone enters my office and strikes up a conversation, I inwardly wilt and often outwardly rant and rave. Sadly, my husband, Chuck, can testify to this. “Just let me get this one thing done,” I groan. But that one thing leads to another . . . and another, and soon I’m spiraling down an endless funnel of activity, robbing myself of rest, relationships, and recreation.
Indeed, I’ve noticed a pattern over my 60 years of living. Transition times are the hardest. Instead of taking a deep breath and pulling back to rest and consider my options, I plunge full steam into more work. The activity becomes my addiction of choice for soothing my jumbled emotions and uncertainty over what lay ahead.
At no time did I experience this to a greater degree than when I entered the empty nest. Several life dynamics converged over the course of a year. I turned 50, entered menopause, graduated my last daughter from home schooling, married two other daughters off within two months of each other, wrote a novel, increased my speaking engagements, redecorated our home, entered into a new business with Chuck, helped care for my aging parents, and lost my mother. The previous year Chuck and I placed our oldest daughter on a plane to pursue career missions in India.
My emotional thermometer registered on high, but I kept right on ticking, until I rounded the corner into a new year. The activity level plummeted, but my head was still reeling. I felt unsteady on my feet and very uncertain as everyone and everything else seemed to whirl around me at a frenetic pace. Kinda like the feeling you get when you step off a merry-go-round or spin your grandchild around the room.
Stuffed emotions now rose to the surface in unhealthy ways, spilling out in the form of obsessive-compulsive tendencies. My need to control my out-of-control feelings coupled with an honest fear of the future propelled me into anxiety-driven depression.
In hindsight, I now know I should (ah, the “shoulds” of life) have taken a personal retreat to reflect, remember, renew, and release. Just a little R & R and R & R. Indulge me—like I said I tend to obsess. Even a weekend to wrap up with the Lord, let Him love on me and I on Him, would have been great. But I was so busy celebrating everyone else’s milestones and achievements that I denied myself the joy of celebrating a few of my own. Even when deep inside, I knew I ought to.
Perhaps you can identify. No matter your season of life, transition, or loss, you can benefit from your own personal 4R Rejuvenation Retreat. But please, don’t wait until some catastrophic event takes place in your life to realize you desperately need to get away. Treat yourself on a regular basis before a crisis of need arises. If you’re the type that doesn’t enjoy going it alone, pull in a girlfriend or two with whom you can share the time.
The information provided in 4R Rejuvenation Retreat for Women serves as a guide for your retreat. But consider it just that—a guide, not a hard and fast formula for rejuvenating your body, mind, and spirit. As you read, you may think of other ideas tailor-made to your personality, situation, and time frame. Wonderful! Jot them down. If you’re like me, make a list and check it twice.
Above all, take your retreat! Don’t just dream and plan. Follow through. You won’t regret the investment. You’ll only regret not doing it.
Learning to rest,

Book Description:

“Oh, for a little time to myself!” Hasn’t every hurried, harried woman uttered those words at some time in her life? Eileen Rife shares how a 4R rejuvenation retreat just might be the thing you need to refresh body, mind, and spirit. Bonus feature: Women from around the world share their secrets on reflecting, remembering, renewing, and releasing via the Scriptures, prayer, exercise, diet, decorating, and beauty regimens.

You can buy your copy HERE.



Eileen has graciously agreed to give away a copy of each of the two books mentioned above to two commenters. So, leave a comment below AND your email address in order to get your name in the drawing. Winners can choose either an ebook or paperback...paperback for US residents only.

I wish to thank Eileen for allowing me to feature her on my blog. 


More of Eileen's books and a link to her page:







Thanks fer coming aboard! God bless.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Week Two



Elaine Cooper is a very talented author who writes books that will give you the sense of 'being there'. Her detailing is perfect and her characters are so real. I have been moved so much by her books and I've learned a lot as well. If you've never read any of Elaine's books, I highly encourage you to do so.



Elaine Marie Cooper is the award-winning author of Bethany’s Calendar and Fields of the Fatherless. Her re-release of the Deer Run Saga is now complete with Road to Deer Run, Promise of Deer Run, and the recent release of Legacy of Deer Run. Saratoga Letters was released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in October, 2016. Elaine's passions are her faith, her family, and the history of the American Revolution, the era in which her historical fiction novels are set.


I asked Elaine to talk about her DEER RUN SAGA series today. This is her response to my question: What made you write this series?

It’s such a seemingly simple question with such a complex answer. Here is why:

On the fourth Anniversary of my daughter passing away from cancer, I stayed in bed hiding under the covers. I had no intention of getting up. These anniversaries of losing Bethany never seemed to get easier. Indeed, I wanted to shut the world away. I had already determined that I would not write again. I had numerous magazine and newspaper stories in my resume, but after she died, my desire to write seemed to expire with her last breath.

What happened that morning nearly nine years ago was the strangest “calling” I can ever recall. A voice without sound filled my heart with the message that I was to write a book about my ancestors from the American Revolution. I questioned the message. It seemed completely absurd. Yet there it was again—an inaudible voice that might as well have been a shout to my soul. I could not ignore it. I threw off my bedcovers, confused. I was embarrassed to share this with my husband. Would he think I’d lost control of my senses? Yet that nagging in my spirit would not cease. I forced myself to tell him. Instead of laughing at me, he took me to the used bookstore, and I began my research for “Road to Deer Run.”

I only intended to write the one book. Yet with the encouragement of others, I kept writing and turned the one book into a series of three. It became known as the Deer Run Saga and is a fictional account of my ancestors that covers three generations from 1777 to 1802.

During my research, I had the pleasure of discovering many facts about my real ancestors from whom my mother was descended. It was a special gift to present to my mom before she died at the age of 99. It filled her with such joy and I’m so grateful I could reveal to her some of her family history!

It’s always a bit awkward sharing this story. Some may smirk at the inspirational aspect. But all I know is that God seemed to have His reasons to shake a grief-stricken mother out of the depths of sorrow and give her a new mission—a desire to write again and share stories from long ago that hopefully touch hearts and inspire faith in a God Who will never leave us or forsake us.

I pray that this saga will bless many.


I hope that you will treat yourself to this will truly bless you. Knowing the reason why Elaine wrote this series makes it so much more interesting and enjoyable to read. 


Here are the covers and descriptions of each book in the Deer Run Saga series....along with a link to where you can purchase a copy:

The year was 1777 and the war has already broken the heart of Mary Thomsen, a nineteen-year-old colonial woman from Massachusetts. Her brother, Asa is dead — killed by the King’s army, so when she stumbles across a wounded British soldier, her sense of right and wrong is challenged. Should she help a soldier of the enemy who took her brother’s life, or let him die, cold and alone? The war has also broken British soldier Daniel Lowe’s spirit. A severely wounded prisoner of war, he escaped his rebel captors while on a death march to Boston. As the pain in his injured leg worsens, he wonders if the young woman looking down at him is an angel or the enemy. Need and compassion bring these two young lives together, but will the bitterness of war keep them apart? Or can they find their way to love and forgiveness on the Road to Deer Run?

You can buy your copy HERE.


The year is 1790 and the American Revolution is long since over, but a battle still rages in the hearts of survivors. Painful memories of war haunt one young veteran. He still waits for a father who never returned from battle and feels the sting of betrayal from a former love. Withdrawing into his own world, he clings to one hope — perhaps his father still lives. Only one person in Deer Run seems to understand him — nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, who struggles to bury her own war memories. The veteran’s search for his father touches a chord in her, as she feels the loss of a father she never knew. While the couple begins to find hope in a mutual affection, others are determined to destroy it. Slander and misunderstandings ignite a fire of doubt and mistrust, destroying any faith they had in each other. Can two souls longing for healing and trust love again? Can faith — and family — be restored?

You can buy your copy HERE.


The year is 1800 and young Daniel Lowe forges weapons for the defense of America, still a fledgling nation. He also protects his heart from the allure of Susannah Dobbins who seems so far above his station in life he cannot win her. Susannah fights her own battle against loneliness and grief. Despite her finery and airs, she is drawn to the young armory worker, who is distant yet disarming. But the nation’s enemies are afoot, and Daniel finds himself in the cross-hairs. Who are these enemies? When and where will they strike? And who will survive their terrorism? In this final book of the Deer Run saga, Elaine Marie Cooper brings the tale of the Lowe family to a gripping conclusion.

You can get your copy HERE.



Elaine has graciously agreed to give away a copy of any of her books to one commenter. So, leave a comment below AND your email address in order to get your name in the drawing. Winner can choose either an ebook or paperback...paperback for US residents only.

I wish to thank Elaine for allowing me to feature her on my blog. 


More of Elaine's books and a link to her page.




Thanks fer coming aboard! God bless.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Ahoy Mateys! Next week, Chappy will share another favorite author and her books....Elaine Cooper. This week, I am going to dedicate me blog to all of me favorite blog sites. Grab yerself a barrel and sit and enjoy these wonderful blogs. I have posted links to each blog at the end of each section. 


THE CROSS & CUTLASS  is MaryLu Tyndall's blog. She shares posts 3x a week...Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Each post is inspiring and thought-provoking. Each Wednesday, MaryLu posts the most gorgeous pictures, featuring tall ships...and she includes a Bible verse to go along with the picture, to bless you.

Head on over and check out her entire on the tabs at the top of the page to see all that she has to offer. 

You can find THE CROSS & CUTLASS.....HERE.


        Writer Off The Leash

               Thoughts from a semi-deviant, mostly                     sane, hormonally-challenged author.

WRITER OFF THE LEASH is Michelle Griep's blog. This lady is hilarious! She will inform AND entertain you. If you are a budding author, Michelle will steer you in the right direction. She gives great advice....for the novice and the seasoned author. She, too, shares on her blog 3x a week...Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

You don't want to miss out on this blog....even if you aren't a writer, you will always find Michelle's blog helpful....and most of the time humorous.



The Write Stuff

Miscellaneous musings on life, love, and good books
THE WRITE STUFF is Eileen Rife's blog. If you are looking for posts that will uplift your soul and help you to focus on staying 'on track' in life, I encourage you to check out Eileen's blog. She is such a sweet soul and she wrote the most amazing devotional....Breathe Deeply God's Grace. She doesn't post every day, but when she does post, it is always SO worth the read. 

What first drew me to Eileen was the fact that she is a veteran Homeschool am I. I highly recommend her blog.

You can find THE WRITE STUFF......HERE


Woman of Faith

Christian Living with Author Linore Rose Burkard.
Because there's a world of living to do besides writing.

WOMAN OF FAITH is Linore Burkard's blog. If you love Regency Romances, then you will love Linore's blog and her books. She has also penned a great thought-provoking series about the possibility of a EMP....That series is SO good. More on that when I feature her on my blog. 

Linore is also a Homeschooling mom, so that is a HUGE plus for me. 

You can find WOMAN OF FAITH.....HERE



 SUSPENSE SISTERS is a blog run by several wonderful authors. It has book reviews, author interviews and lots of giveaways. If you love mysteries and suspense stories, I highly recommend this blog. 

There are nine Suspense Sisters and one Mister:
Mary Ellis, Elizabeth Goddard, Cynthia Hickey, E.E. Kennedy, Linda Kozar, Marji Laine, 
Dr. Richard Mabry, Nancy Mehl, Dana Mentink and Roxanne Rustand.



         Stitches Thru Time

STITCHES THRU TIME is a blog run by a lot of wonderful people. This blog has so much to offer, including: Musing Mondays, Tidbit Tuesdays, Woven Wednesdays (which I was honored to guest on), Thought-Full Thursdays and Fun Fridays.

Here is a list of those who make this blog so great: 

Jamin Baldwin, Heidi Main, Crystal L. Barnes, Elaine Manders, Carole Brown, Linda Matchett, Catherine Castle, CAryl McAdoo, Susan Craft, Laura Poole, Angela K. Couch, Shirley RAye, Josette Downey, Shirley Raye Redmond, Jennifer Fromke, Amber Schamel, Norma Gail, Terri Wangard, Teresa Ives Lilly and Jodie Wolfe.



Heroes, Heroines, and History

HEROES, HEROINES, AND HISTORY is a blog that will send you back in time with their wonderful posts. Each blogpost is a lesson in History that will inform and amaze you. I have learned so much from this blog and I truly appreciate the people behind these 'lessons'....So fascinating! 

Here is a list of those who make this blog so great:

Moderators:  Debbie Lynne Costello, Vickie McDonough and Nancy Farrier
Bloggers: Margaret Brownley, Lynn A. Coleman, Susan Page Davis, Susanne Dietze, 
                Anita Mae Draper, Linda Farmer Harris, Pam Hillman, J.M. Hochstetler, 
                Tamara Lynn Kraft, Gabrielle Meyer, Pamela S. Meyers, Michele Morris, 
                Alanna Radle Rodriguez, Martha Rogers, Kathleen Rouser, Amber Schamel,
                Tiffany Amber Stockton, Marilyn Turk, Jennifer Uhlarik, Janalyn Voigt,
                Stephanie Grace Whitson and Erica Vetsch

Head over and learn a few things in History that you never knew before.



COLONIAL QUILLS is a wonderful blog dedicated to Colonial times. It has some wonderful contributors that write some amazing posts. The highlight of this blog for me is their tea parties. So Much Fun! This blog was founded by Carrie Fancett Pagels and she has gathered together this great list of contributors: Carla Olson Gade, Cynthia Howerter, Elaine Marie Cooper, Janet Grunst, Roseanna White, Susan F. Craft, Shannon McNear, J.M. Hochstetler, Pegg Thomas, Denise Weimer, Gabrielle Meyer, Angela K. Couch, Andrea Boeshaar, Tina Rice, Christy Distler and Tamera Lynn Kraft.

I highly recommend this blog!

You can find COLONIAL QUILLS.....HERE.


MontanaMade by Jasmine

MONTANAMADE BY JASMINE is a great blog by a great young lady. Jasmine shares reviews of books, movies and has occasional giveaways. I really enjoy her WORD Wednesdays...very inspiring. I recommend you give this blog a look-see, you won't be disappointed. Head over and take a look around at all that Jasmine has to offer.



OVERCOMING WITH GOD is another blog by Carrie Fancett Pagels. This blog deals with overcoming life's difficult times. Inspiring and uplifting posts will have you feeling loved and blessed. There are book reviews and author interviews.

Head on over and be blessed.



God's Little Bookworm

GOD'S LITTLE BOOKWORM is Debbie Wilder's blog. Debbie shares some wonderful reviews on her blog. She has a great way with words and she makes me want to read every single book that she reviews. Head over and check out her blog. You won't be disappointed.



There ye have it, Mateys. These be the blogs that Chappy visits frequently. I hope ye can find one or more that ye will enjoy. 



CONTACT ME AT debsbunch777(at)gmail(dot)com


Thanks fer comin' aboard this week, Mateys. Next week Chappy will be featurin' author Elaine Cooper and her Deer Run Saga.

God bless.