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Guest Post + #Giveaway: Vannetta Chapman

13 Feb

Hi, friends!  I’m thrilled to welcome Vannetta Chapman back to the blog!  Today, she is sharing a few quotes that relate to her latest release, Raging Storm.

raging-storm-cover

About the book:

In the Darkness,
 Anarchy Awakens

When a massive solar flare wiped out all modern technology across the globe, the small town of Abney, Texas, was thrown into chaos. Shelby Sparks and her teenage son, Carter, have found refuge, but Shelby knows she can’t simply remain hidden forever. Carter is a type 1 diabetic in need of insulin—and Shelby will risk her life traveling to Austin to make sure he gets it.

Shelby’s best friend and high school sweetheart, Max Berkman, won’t even consider letting her make the perilous journey alone. Together, they manage to get to the capital—only to discover that while things are desperate in Abney, Austin has turned into an urban nightmare on the brink of anarchy.

Shelby and Max’s search for medical supplies will lead them into terrifying territory, where the only thing more uncertain than finding what they need is the hope of making it out of the city alive.

In this second book in an eerily plausible, action-packed dystopian series, survival will be threatened and faith will be put to the ultimate test as a raging storm engulfs America.

 

FROM THE AUTHOR: 

Thanks so much for having me on your blog. Readers often ask me what inspires me to write the characters and stories that I write. The answer is a lot of things–sermons, music, news stories, people I know. But once I have a story in mind, I will notice quotes from things I’m reading that seem to apply, that move the story in the direction I want it to go, that speak to my heart.

“Pray for the remnant that still survives.” This is a verse from 2 Kings, Chapter 19, verse 4. In this part of the Bible, the kings are warned by the prophets, both about Jerusalem’s destruction as well as its deliverance. King Hezekiah understands what lies ahead, and he utters these words, “Pray for the remnant that still survives.” As I was envisioning a world vastly changed, I have complete faith that there will always be a remnant of Christ, those who hold to the faith and share the Gospel of Christ.

“That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen.” This is a quote from C.S. Lewis in The Case for Christianity. I find it beautiful and chilling. Lewis seems to be saying that a time will come when we will find our self on one side or the other. And so, we should choose now, and choose wisely.

“We are living on the brink of the apocalypse, but the world is asleep.” This quote is by bestselling author Joel Rosenberg. There are times when I feel like we are hyper-aware of the world around us, that we allow events beyond our control to rob us of our sleep and our joy. But I also feel that we take many things for granted. We rise and work and play and sleep, and rarely take the time to prepare for the future, or to connect with one another while we can. In that sense, Raging Storm is a call to action.

“In the blink of an eye everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart. You may not have that chance again.” ~Zig Ziglar. I saw this quote on social media, and it resonated in my heart so much that I printed it out and kept it posted beside my computer as I wrote all 3 books of this series. I know personally that life can change in a breath–for better and sometimes for worse. We have all been guilty of taking today and even tomorrow for granted. My hope is that when readers finish with these books, they’ll have a deeper appreciation of the time they have, of the people around them, and of the grace that God offers to us all. 

Thank you so much for sharing these quotes, Vannetta, and for graciously offering a copy of Raging Storm to one of my readers!  

 

About the author:

copy-of-vc-profile-1

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace, including romantic suspense and Amish romance novels. She is the author of seventeen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. 

Purchase a copy of Raging Storm:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook

Author links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

giveaway-raging-storm

GIVEAWAY DETAILS – (US only) 

One lucky reader will win a print copy of Raging Storm!

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment below, and be sure to include your email address. The giveaway ends Monday, February 20 at midnight CST. The winner will be drawn and announced on February 21.

To earn additional entries:
Follow this blog and/or share the giveaway. Be sure to let me know what you’ve done to earn additional entries!

What is a quote that speaks to YOUR heart?

Guest Post + #Giveaway: Vannetta Chapman

27 Jun

Giveaway- Deep Shadows

Welcome back to the blog, Vannetta!  Thanks so much for visiting with us today and for graciously offering a copy of Deep Shadows to one of my readers.  Please tell us about dystopian fiction and your latest release.

A Dystopian Setting—Deep In the Heart of Texas

Deep Shadows is the first book in my upcoming Remnant Series. It’s a dystopian Christian fiction novel, and instead of using a fictional setting I decided to use the area I know best—central Texas.

So what is dystopian fiction? At its core this type of story deals with a major shift in society—a plague or a global natural disaster or a man-caused universal change across the breadth of society. In Deep Shadows, a solar flare causes a disruption in all things electrical for the foreseeable future.

Yikes! No cell phones or a/c or television? No internet? I know. It’s a horrible thing to imagine. I had a lot of fun with it because I love torturing my characters and seeing if they are strong enough, smart enough, faithful enough to survive.

But it’s not all fiction.

Bob and Phoebe

Gorman Falls and Colorado Bend State Park do actually exist, and it provides a dramatic, remote setting for the opening scene of Deep Shadows.
Fort Hood is located in central Texas and is one of the largest US military installations in the world. The close proximity of this base provides a nice tension to my plot.
• There is no town called Fort Croghan; however, the US government established Fort Croghan in 1849 to protect settlers from hostile Indians along the Texas frontier. You can still visit the grounds and museum. I had a lot of fun imagining that a town had grown up around this historic site.
• Townsend Mills was established in 1856 and was a base camp for surveying crews. It no longer exists today but the small town Adamsville is located near the old site. Townsend Mills provides a nice transition from small town living to a life spent hunkering down on the farm, waiting for things to improve.
• There are more than 2900 natural springs in 183 Texas counties. Water quickly becomes a scarce resource in Deep Shadows, which would especially be true in central Texas where much of the area is exceedingly dry. In my story, any place with a water resource becomes a place of refuge as well as a designated target for those in need of that resource.Small town Texas

 

While I enjoyed using real places, the main setting—Abney, Texas—does not exist. I could not bear to destroy a town that I know and love, so instead I used a compilation of several towns in central Texas.

 

Deep Shadows is a story about relationships and how they survive or crumble when what we’ve feared, as a society, occurs. It’s also a story of faith and hope. What do I hope readers take away from this story? The assurance that God’s grace is always sufficient. Take the worst scenario that you can imagine, and you can still count on our Heavenly Father—maybe not to make things instantly better, but to lead, guide, and care for us regardless the circumstances. 

I can’t wait to read this story!  Thank you so much for sharing, Vannetta!

 

Giveaway- Deep Shadows

GIVEAWAY DETAILS – (US only)
One lucky reader will win a print copy of Deep Shadows!

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment below, and be sure to include your email address. The giveaway ends Monday, July 4th at midnight CDT. The winner will be drawn and announced on July 5th.

To earn additional entries:
Follow this blog and/or share the giveaway. Be sure to let me know what you’ve done to earn additional entries!

What would YOU miss most if an electrical disruption occurred?

 

Deep Shadows

Deep Shadows by Vannetta Chapman

Purchase a copy:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook

All It Takes Is One Night to Plunge the World into Darkness

Life in Abney, Texas, is predictable and safe–until the night a massive solar flare wipes out all modern technology.

Shelby Sparks, novelist and single mom, had one goal: to provide for her diabetic son. In the wake of this global disaster, her mission hasn’t changed. Only now, medication is a priceless commodity and the future resembles an apocalyptic nightmare.

Max Berkman and Shelby were once sweethearts, but he lost his chance at claiming her love years ago. When the abrupt loss of power ushers him into a leadership role, he rises to the occasion. But his highest priority–to keep Shelby and her son safe–could prove to be the biggest challenge of all.

As the brilliant northern lights give way to deep shadows, Max and Shelby’s faith will be tested like never before. Only one rule remains: Find a way to survive.

In this first book in an eerily plausible dystopian series, a memorable cast of characters must navigate a familiar world thrown into chaos.

 

vc author photo, DS

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace, including romantic suspense and Amish romance novels. She is the author of seventeen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. 

Connect with Vannetta:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Guest Post + #Giveaway: Mary Alford

3 Mar

I’m happy to welcome Mary Alford to Buzzing About Books!
Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Mary, and for graciously offering a copy of Rocky Mountain Pursuit to one of my readers! 

Guest Post- Mary Alford 

The Dance

A few years ago, my oldest granddaughter was certain she wanted to be a dancer after she watched Angelina Ballerina. Unfortunately, for the dancing world that has since changed many times over.

I was about my granddaughter’s age when I read my first Nancy Drew mystery and knew that I wanted to create stories when I grew up. That was it. Career settled. Life put into place. If only it were that easy. At the time, I had no idea I was about to embark on the dance of a lifetime.

MAlford- 1

Just like dancing, writing requires a lot of discipline and training.

First, you must learn the proper steps: There is nothing scarier than sitting in front of a blank computer screen for the first time and trying to write…something. It’s a huge leap to go from reading inspirational romantic suspense to actually writing it. When I wrote my first story, I had no idea all the intricate steps involved in creating a suspense story, but I wrote, I read about my craft, and I found a great network of seasoned authors who willingly shared their knowledge.

Practice, Practice, Practice: It you don’t use it you lose it. In other words, to improve as a dancer or a writer, you have to work through all the self-doubt and times when life gets in the way.

MAlford- 2

In the beginning, writing was a trial and error experience for me. I confess I tried other genres in the process before I came back to my first love, inspirational romantic suspense. Some wise author once told me, write what you enjoy reading and then perfect it. In other words, if you don’t read contemporary romance, then don’t try to write it.

Submitting a manuscript the first time can be a frightening experience. After you’ve polished and perfected your baby, it’s time to send it out into the world and let it stand on its own. And that’s just the beginning. You wait and wait until one day you receive news about your baby. Only it’s not what you were hoping. The dreaded rejection letter arrives and it feels as if someone slugged you in the stomach hard. This wasn’t what I expected. To quote my granddaughter, “Now what”? Well, some rejection letters are form letters. Those you file away. Others have comments from the editor who reviewed it. Those you can gain little pearls of wisdom to help you along your way…but you have to put aside your hurt feelings and listen. You can’t take it personal. Publishing is a business. A very hard one at that.

It’s finally Showtime! What do you mean I’ll be dancing by myself?

MAlford- 3

For me, ten years of writing came down to five minutes in the spotlight. In 2012, I entered the Speed Dating Contest that editor Emily Rodmell hosted and I was one of the lucky ones who got an appointment to chat with Emily. On the day of the pitch, I was on vacation in Colorado. At our cabin, internet service is nonexistent. I could have given up and said, well, that’s it, better luck next time, but I didn’t. My husband and I drove into the small town of Pagosa Springs where I did the entire chat on my laptop in the parking lot of the Ace Hardware Store.

Emily was kind enough to request a synopsis although I was so nervous she probably didn’t understand anything I told her. I promptly sent the synopsis out to her. Then she requested the first three chapters followed by the full manuscript. With each request, I tried not to get my hopes up.

Forgotten Past

In December 2012, Emily called. To this day, I can’t tell you what she said to me other than that she wanted to buy FORGOTTEN PAST for Love Inspired Suspense. It was a surreal moment. One that still hasn’t fully sunken in yet. It’s a great feeling to have your dream become a reality and even greater to hold your book in your hands.

But Would There Be A Second Dance? For most authors who have been published, selling the second book can be even more daunting. For me, the answer to that question was yes, there would be a second dance.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN PURSUIT is available now!

Rocky Mountain PursuitEveryone believes agent Jase Bradford is dead—everyone but Reyna Peterson. Only he can protect her now that someone wants the information her CIA husband died to secure. As the one member of their spy team not killed, Jase must remain in the shadows. Yet when Reyna leads the enemy right to his mountain refuge and blows his cover, Jase risks his life for hers. As his best friend’s beautiful widow scales the walls around his heart, whether out of loyalty or love, he makes it his duty to secure her safety. But when their pursuers trap them in the snowy Colorado mountains, will it become his final mission?

Available at:
Harlequin, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine booksellers

 

MAlford- 4

So to quote Garth Brooks’ famous song, The Dance, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance”.

And what a dance it is.

What about you? What dreams are dancing around in your head? Whether it is becoming a published author or something else, I’d love to hear how you’ve overcome the obstacles along the way to your Showtime?

I’ll be giving away a signed print copy of ROCKY MOUNTAIN PURSUIT, my second Love Inspired Suspense, to one random person who comments. Thanks for stopping by! ~ Mary

Giveaway- Rocky Mountain Pursuit

GIVEAWAY DETAILS – (US only) 

Thanks to Mary’s generosity, one lucky reader will win a signed copy of Rocky Mountain Pursuit!

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment below, and be sure to include your email address. The giveaway ends Tuesday, March 8 at midnight CST, and a winner will be chosen and announced on March 9th.

To earn additional entries:
Follow this blog, Buzzing About Books, and/or share the giveaway. Be sure to let me know what you’ve done to earn additional entries!  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Contest Rules:
◦No purchase is necessary.
◦Odds of winning are based on number of entries.
◦US residents, 18 and older, are eligible to enter.

 

Mary AlfordMary Alford is a Texan whose debut novel, FORGOTTEN PAST is now available at Love Inspired Suspense.  When Mary’s not dreaming up people in dangerous situations and writing them down, she’s also a mom, wife, grandmother, avid reader, a proud geek-girl.  For occasional updates and news about upcoming publications, please go to the contact form on her website and subscribe to her newsletter!

Author links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Guest Post + #Giveaway: Vannetta Chapman

28 Jan

Guest Post- Vannetta Chapman

It’s my pleasure to welcome Vannetta Chapman back to Buzzing About Books!  Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Vannetta, and for graciously offering a copy of Joshua’s Mission to one of my readers.  

Thank you for allowing me to visit your blog today, Britney. I’m very excited about the release of Joshua’s Mission (2-1-16), which is book 2 in my Plain & Simple Miracles series. This book is a Christian romance story, but some of you may wonder … how do you find romance in the midst of a disaster? And how is this sort of story about the grace of God? Great questions!

Joshua's Mission

Joshua’s Mission – Finding romance and grace in the midst of disaster

Joshua Kline travels from his farm in Oklahoma to offer aid to an Englisch town on the gulf coast of Texas after a category 4 hurricane has ravaged the area. What will Joshua find when he arrives in Texas? A budding romance? A call from God? A possible healing of his relationship with his brother? Joshua’s Mission is a story of love, forgiveness, and the grace of God that carries us through even the worst situations.

1. Romance? I love writing romance. I adore happily-ever-after, and I can find those stories in just about any situation. Middle of a hurricane? No problem. While your brother is intent on finding trouble with the law? Yeah. I can do that. During a recovery mission? Absolutely! I think love is, literally, all around us. And sometimes, it’s when we have trouble in our lives that we’re most open to a new relationship.

2. Grace? Disasters are a terrible thing. If you’ve ever experienced a first hand natural disaster, or been on site soon after one, you know what I mean. It’s heartbreaking to see people’s lives ripped apart. So how can we possibly have a story about grace in such a terrible situation?
The answer is in the way that we comfort one another. Christ told us to be His hands and feet, and during disasters we find people doing that very thing. We put down our cell phones, unplug from the internet, turn off the television, and we become involved with each other’s lives.

wimberley

I had the awesome chance to experience this recently after we had massive flooding in central Texas. On May 25, 2015, the towns of Wimberley and San Marcos were hit by catastrophic flooding from the Blanco River. The river crested at an estimated 41.5 feet, nearly 30 feet above flood stage. Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. But the people in the area pulled together. Volunteers showed up in droves. Donations came in. Rebuilding began. The experience I had helping one family certainly changed my outlook. As one of the men told my husband, “We had no idea where to begin, and then you all showed up. You gave us hope.” Wow. Grace in the midst of disaster.

3. Fiction. Joshua’s Mission is a fictional account of a hurricane that hits the Texas gulf, but I was able to use first hand testimonies of hurricane victims in other areas, my own experience working on an emergency response team, and interviews with people in the area to weave together a story. There’s a little romance and a whole lot of grace. I hope that you’ll give it a try.

 

Giveaway graphic- Joshua's Mission

GIVEAWAY DETAILS – (US only)
One lucky reader will win a print copy of Joshua’s Mission!

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment below, and be sure to include your email address. The giveaway ends Monday, February 1 at midnight CST. The winner will be drawn and announced on February 2nd.

To earn additional entries:
Follow this blog, Buzzing About Books, and/or share the giveaway via social media. Be sure to let me know what you’ve done to earn additional entries!

Have you ever experienced a natural disaster or helped in a recovery effort? If not, maybe you know someone who has. Tell us your story.

 

VC

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her novel, Falling to Pieces, was a 2012 ACFW Carol Award winner for best mystery. Chapman was a teacher for 15 years and currently writes full time. She lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

Connect with Vannetta:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Purchase a copy of Joshua’s Mission:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Guest Post: Laura McNeill

13 Jan

Britney, Laura McNeill

I had the privilege of meeting Laura McNeill at the RT Booklovers Convention last year, and I’m excited to welcome her here today!  Thanks so much for sharing your writing passion, Laura!

 

 

Guest Post - Laura McNeill    

Why I Write
Laura McNeill

Writing is a calling. It’s a part of me—an extension of myself. Writing, that amazing and sometimes elusive trifecta of plot, character, and emotion, equally fills me with joy and challenges me. It’s what I contemplate during stolen moments in my day and before I fall asleep at night.

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult has been asked many times why she writes, and I love her answer from this Huffington Post article because it resonates so much with me.

I write because I can’t not write. If I have an idea circling in my brain and I can’t get it out, it begins to poison my waking existence, until I’m unable to function in polite company or even hold a simple conversation. I write because it’s a way of puzzling out answers to situations in the world that I don’t understand.

I share Picoult’s passion, and though I have always loved writing, I didn’t start out my career with the goal of being a novelist. I was an English major, a journalist, and a girl who dabbled with law school. I’ve been a public relations director, had a job in pharmaceutical sales, and now work as an instructional designer for a major university.

It was my time as a reporter in TV news, though, when I was really bitten by the writing bug and the possibility of actually writing a novel began to gel in my mind. Challenged every day with putting together new, fresh stories by a 5 pm deadline, I learned to craft words quickly, creatively, and effectively. I interviewed everyone from senators and schoolteachers to police officers and peanut farmers. I spent time in court, at crime scenes, and in the classroom. And with each assignment I covered, if I asked the right questions, really listened, and kept an open mind, I often discovered a bit of magic.

With those bits of magic, that wealth of experience, and dozens upon dozens of story ideas, I took a break from the news business to raise my children. It was then that I really felt a compelling drive to write, to create, and to share stories with the world. I wanted to become a novelist—not just any novelist—a really good one. So, I began studying books on writing, attending conferences and lectures, and soaking all of the advice I possibly could from experienced writers, hoping to find the key to author success. In turn, I wrote terrible first drafts, revised and polished those awful manuscripts, and plodded forward; often questioning what in the world I’d ever been thinking to set such a lofty goal for myself.

What I quickly found is that there are no shortcuts, no real rulebooks, no secrets, or special advice to make a book sing. It’s work. Hard work. And it’s not for the faint of heart. Writing requires a lot of trial and error, much staring at a blinking cursor on a laptop screen, and long, solitary hours with your derriere in a chair. It takes tenacity, a will to persevere, and an almost reckless willingness to try and fail, and try again.

It’s also a dangerous gamble, an opening of one’s heart and soul and laying everything out for the world to examine, weigh, and measure. And when it’s all said and done, whether it’s your first, fifth, or fifteenth novel, it’s done with the goal of reaching readers, of moving people, and leaving a lasting impression long after the last page has been read.

For me, writing is not, and never will be, about fame, fortune, or the New York Times bestseller list. The reward is connecting with readers. The reward is when sharing your novels makes people cry, laugh, smile, remember, think, dream, or imagine. The reward comes when readers say that your book struck a tender chord or touched their hearts. For a writer, there is no better feeling or higher compliment—and that is why I write.

 

Laura McNeill

Laura McNeill is the author of CENTER OF GRAVITY. When she is not running, reading or drinking coffee- she is hard at work on her next book. Look for SISTER DEAR on 4/19/16.

Connect with Laura:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Review + Sale: Love’s Unfading Light

26 Mar

Love's Unfading Light

Love’s Unfading Light by Naomi Rawlings

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1HB8vJa

Lake Superior, 1880
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?

My thoughts:

Love’s Unfading Light is a captivating tale of history and romance! Naomi Rawlings paints a vivid picture of life in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, bringing the story and its characters to life. My heart ached for Tressa Danell and her struggles, as it did for Mac Oakton and the scrutiny he faced. I loved these special characters and their emotional and spiritual journeys!

Love’s Unfading Light is a compelling story and a highly recommended read for fans of historical romance. I can’t wait for the next book in the Eagle Harbor series!

A complimentary copy of Love’s Unfading Light was provided to me by the author. I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and offer my honest opinion.

 

Now through Saturday, the e-book is on sale for $1.99!

Love's Unfading Light sale

 

Naomi RawlingsA 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. Naomi writes bold, dramatic stories containing passionate words and powerful journeys.

To learn more about Naomi and her books, please visit her website.

Guest Post: Niki Turner + GIVEAWAY

13 Oct

tuberculosisThere’s so much we can learn from history. The research I did for my Christmas Traditions novella, Sadie’s Gift, set in 1921, was enlightening.

Did you know that the United States suffered a mini-recession immediately after WWI that dealt quite a blow to our economy before the “boom” in the ‘20s?

Did you know that one of the main reasons spitting in public was outlawed in so many states (and still is against the law in a number of places) has less to do with how nasty the practice is and more to do with an attempt to prevent the spread of tuberculosis?

In Sadie’s Gift, Nurse Sadie Hubbard lives in an era when everything is hard… the United States has just come out of World War I, the economy is in the toilet, and after the devastating Spanish Influenza epidemic in 1918 the country continues an ongoing battle with tuberculosis.

NurseSadie’s parents died during the Spanish Flu epidemic while she was in nursing school. When she graduated, she headed west to Colorado Springs and went to work in a preventorium, caring for children who had been exposed to tuberculosis, but had yet to exhibit symptoms of the deadly disease.

Commonly known as consumption, or the “White Plague,” tuberculosis was at its peak during the latter half of the 19th century, and even in modern times, TB is still active. According to the CDC one third of the world’s population is infected with TB, and more than 1 million people died from TB-related illness in 2012. According to the World Health Organization, TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.

Tuberculosis is believed to have originated in Africa some 5,000 years ago. In the early 1920s a French vaccine provided a measure of preventive relief, and the development of antibiotics nearly eradicated the disease, although resistant strains continue to present a threat.

sanitariumsSanatoriums were created in an attempt to limit the spread of the illness and to try to help TB victims overcome the disease. As the dry climate of the western U.S. was thought to be beneficial for TB patients, many of those sanatoriums were established in western states. For Colorado Springs, Colo., sanatoriums proved an economic boon.

The preventoriums, on the other hand, tended to serve more as orphanages. The children of tubercular parents or siblings who were not sick, but had nowhere else to go, ended up in preventoriums where nurses and doctors attempted to keep their patients’ physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in top shape, in hopes that the bacteria they’d been exposed to wouldn’t have a chance to take hold. Treatment involved plenty of fresh air (even sleeping outside on cold Colorado winter nights), a strenuous physical exercise regime, and healthy food.

Sadie's GiftIn Sadie’s Gift, our heroine believes the children in her care need something more in their treatment plan: the magic of Christmas. She sets out to create a genuine Christmas experience for these forgotten children, complete with a tree and toys and treats and decorations and the message of the Gospel. Her efforts are very nearly thwarted by a chance encounter with Nathan Wells, whose brother has just died of tuberculosis in one of the sanatoriums.

Today, Sadie and Nathan’s story is more timely than ever, as our world and our nation are threatened by another deadly disease, the Ebola virus. How will we, as Christians, respond to this situation? Will we respond like Sadie, giving of ourselves to help the less fortunate around us, in spite of our own losses? Or will we respond like Nathan at the beginning of the story, angry and fearful and hardened to the needs of others?

 

About the Author:

NikiTurnerNiki Turner is a novelist, journalist, blogger, and the production manager for the Rio Blanco Herald Times weekly newspaper. Her first completed manuscript earned second place in the Touched By Love 2009 contemporary category romance contest. She writes for local newspapers, and won second place for best agriculture story at the 2013 Colorado Press Association annual convention. She also blogs at www.nikiturner.net and is a co-blogger at www.inkwellinspirations.com. Niki is the Colorado Area Coordinator for American Christian Fiction Writers and is involved in establishing an ACFW chapter on Colorado’s Western Slope, where she resides. She published “Sadie’s Gift” as one of the Christmas Traditions novella collection. Her next project, “Santiago Sol,” will be published by Pelican Book Ventures, LLC, as part of the Passport to Romance novella collection.

Connect with Niki on Facebook, or on Twitter.

The graphics used in this post were taken from Niki’s “Sadie’s Gift” Pinterest Board.

 

GIVEAWAY!

Niki has graciously offered to give away one e-copy of Sadie’s Gift!  Leave a comment, including your email address, to be entered to win this wonderful novella.  This giveaway ends Saturday, Oct. 18 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:
◦ Let me know you follow my blog
◦ Sign up to follow my blog if you are not a follower
◦ Share this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email

Be sure and leave a comment letting me know what you have done to earn additional entries.