Friday, May 29, 2015

Caryl McAdoo: Passion, You Gotta Have It!

Everyone's Story gives a big welcome to author Caryl McAdoo. This is Caryl's first appearance on this blog and I'm excited she's here and hope you are too. Actually, Caryl's the one who is super enthusiastic… about everything she ventures into, whether it's writing, her favorite color green, and May! Please settle back and read Caryl's excerpt of her newest release, one you can take a chance on winning as a BookGiveaway. I hope Caryl's energy spreads and you will be inspired to leave a comment since both Caryl and I look foreword to hearing from you.

**Caryl lives in Texas, and although she has escaped harm from this past week's storm, Praise God, please consider offering a prayer for those impacted in Texas and Oklahoma… thanks.

Caryl is offering 1 copy of her newest release SINS OF THE MOTHERS, Book Four of Caryl's Texas Romances series, to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, June 5th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment.

Excerpt from SINS OF THE MOTHERS: 


With everyone on the porch for the clan’s sendoff, Mary Rachel decided for sure and for certain and could wait no longer. She took a deep breath and hugged his neck. “Daddy, I’m sorry. I really am, but I can’t go. No, I mean I’m not going. I can’t leave. I won’t.”
He leaned back and stared at her for too long a minute, his face suddenly stone cold. “What did you just say?”
She grimaced; steam rose to her cheeks. He softened just like he always had when her mother turned on him. Saying it aloud made it all the more real, strengthened her resolve. “I cannot be gone for seven months. I thought for a while maybe I could, but I can’t, Daddy.”
Her new mother stepped close. “But Mary Rachel, why? It’s the trip of a lifetime. I promise you’ll adore Europe.”
“It’s just Mary now, please. No Rachel. That’s what Caleb calls me.”
His voice lowered to almost a whisper, he slipped some of the steel back on. “So. This is about that boy.”
“He’s a man, Daddy, and you know it. We love each other.”
“If he loves you, baby, then he’ll wait. It’s only seven months. He should be thrilled you have this opportunity to travel Europe.”
“Well, I’ve made my decision, and I’m not going.”
“We’ve booked your passage.”
“I know, and I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner, but I knew you wouldn’t be happy about my decision.” She looked off at the tree line, hating the disappointment in his eyes. But that was a coward’s way, so she faced him again. “Like I said, I thought I could. Anyway, let Bonnie take my place.”
From somewhere, her youngest sister burst into the middle. “Can I, Daddy? Please take me! I’ll be good. Mama, tell him how good I’ll be.” She turned those doe eyes on him. “Pleeeease.”

* * * * *

Six miles, north by northwest as the turkey vultures soar from Clarksville, Texas, the very reason Mary stayed home, rode his best mule as he skidded the black walnut saw log back to his cabin. Caleb looked behind. “Slow, girl, almost there.” 
He nudged the animal a bit further, the timber only feet from his makeshift hoist. Two more steps, then he eased Harley Sue to a stop. He hopped down then rubbed the old girl’s near ear. “You sure are a good mule.”
The distant rattle of trace chains turned him east, for a minute he stared, then she waved. “Well, look here what the cat drug in.”
He unhooked the skid and led Harley Sue to the barn’s corral; got back before Lanelle had the brake set on her wagon. “She go?”
He nodded. “You sure? Saw it with your own eyes?”
“Yep, he took the three younger girls, but not the princess.” She stood and threw him a smirk. “Help me down.”
“Sure.” He stepped toward her with his arms held out, she fell into them. He caught her then twirled her around as she wrapped hers around his neck. He set her feet to the ground then stepped back a bit. Business first. “Anyone see you turn on my road?”
“No, but what difference would it make? I’m only bringing supplies for my kin.”
“True, you get it all?”
“A pound of salt pork, two ounces of salt, and a pound of coffee, but you best get yourself to town. Old man Hobbs wants a word with you. Wasn’t too happy when I told him to put it on your bill ‘stead of Pappy’s.”
Caleb nodded toward his wagon. “I should have this lumber loaded by Saturday. I’ll see to him on my way to Jefferson.”
She shrugged then turned and moseyed toward the cabin. “That last batch any better?”
Heading the opposite direction to the well, he soon went to cranking; retrieved the jug, pulled the cork, and sipped a taste. When he didn’t follow, she looked around then trotted to him grinning. He extended his home brew. “You tell me.”
Always a sight to behold, she accepted the jug without an ounce of pretension. Licked her lips then took a short pull and wiped her mouth. “Boogers, Caleb.” She grinned then got herself a real drink. “Woo! I’d say that may be the best you’ve cooked yet.”
He took the jug back and sipped a few gulps more. Burned good all the way down. Replacing the cork, he nodded toward the cabin. “You got time?”

Passion! By Caryl McAdoo

It’s May! It’s May, the lovely month of May! That’s about as far as this Christian author can go singing that old Camelot song. J But I do love the month of May. Back in 1950, at the St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach, California, I was born on the third day of May. So as I grew enough to become aware, the fifth month in the year became my favorite one.

Do you have favorites? I have favorite everythings! In VOW UNBROKEN, my first historical Christian Texas Romance, the heroine, Susannah Baylor is very passionate—about most everything, and that’s one of the reasons my hero Patrick Henry Buckmeyer loves her so much, even though she often takes her passion to the extremes and not always in a good way.

My poor husband Ron of almost forty-eight years and poor Henry, but they both desire to share their lives with a passionate woman. J Passion is a noun, an emotion described in dictionaries as strong and barely controllable, powerful and compelling. It’s used more specifically in relation to being amorous and also to describe the sufferings of Christ in His last days on earth as a man.

The Urban Dictionary says: ‘Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body, and soul into something as is possible.’ So I don’t believe it’s a bad thing.

Acts 14:15 speaks of it: ‘We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God…’ And in the fifth chapter of James, seventeenth verse, ‘Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.’ Woo Hoo! Being passionate can be great. God can use my passions for His Kingdom!

I am passionate about bringing God glory! I have adopted a mantra for my writing: Praying my story gives God glory! And that’s the fourth sentence I’ve ended with an exclamation point. Tee hee hee My passion is showing. In my novels, I don’t, but in my life, exclamations come so naturally! I think that has to do with my passion.

So, one of my favorite things is the color GREEN, for as long as I can remember, emerald is the birthstone of May and my younger eyes were bright green. I have green rings, clothes, car, purses, sunglasses, towels, dishes, walls, furniture, sheets, roofs…need I go on? This has served me well, when I go out, strangers think I am so ‘together’ and if I should leave anything somewhere – like my brush at a baby shower, the hostess called and said, “I’m sure this is yours, Caryl. It’s green.”—I get my stuff back. And yet another benefit is that I get occasional little gifts when people I know are out and see something green J and they think of me.

I also have a favorite food in TACOS! Think about it, with a dollop of sour cream, they encompass all the basic food groups—and with a wallop when sprinkled with jalapenos. Praise and worship is my favorite music. Sweet tea is my favorite drink. Chocolate is my favorite flavor of anything!

My afore mentioned mantra and passion for God leads me walk in His Holiness and to be bold in telling others about the Truths His Holy Spirit has revealed to me. It causes some to think I’m being judgmental. I unintentionally hurt some people because of my passion and they don’t like being around me because of it. In my passion I am compassionate, and it hurts me to know I’ve hurt someone, but my passion will not allow compromise. Truth is Truth and right is right, and two wrongs never make a right!

So what are YOU passionate about?

Caryl's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
#ChristianFiction author @CarylMcAdoo shares true writing passion on Everyone’s Story (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway of @CarylMcAdoo’s newest release of SINS OF THE MOTHERS (Tweet This) 

@CarylMcAdoo: should passion allow compromise in your writing? (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Christian, hybrid (Simon and Schuster; Indie) author Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series, all from a perspective of faith: her historical Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fifteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying each story gives God glory, she hopes it will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

Places to connect with Caryl:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Davalynn Spencer: On Writing and Control

Everyone's Story welcomes author Davalynn Spencer. I've had the privilege to get to know Davalynn the past couple of years and she has been a blessing and role model of inner strength. While you check out her excerpt for her upcoming novella and read her special message, and I hope will be uplifted by her words, would you please offer a little prayer for this very special woman? Consider sharing this post with others in hope of encouraging a friend, relative, or special someone. Davalynn and I look forward to hearing from you!

Davalynn's novella, The Columbine Bride, will be out in a Walmart's exclusive, Old West Summer Brides in stores July 15th, and in the ebook collection 12 Brides of Summer releasing September 1st. Enjoy this excerpt:

Excerpt from The Columbine Bride by Davalynn Spencer

Lucy lay awake between her children, their shallow breath rising together as one. She rubbed calloused hands over her face, her muscles aching from the unaccus­tomed work. But these moments of predawn peace were priceless, for in them she heard the Lord’s soft whisper again: “Trust me.”
The storms made it difficult.
Every afternoon for a week they had rolled in over the mountains, each thunder clap and lightning strike reminding her of what she’d lost and how. She could bear the hard work, her dried and cracked hands, even the pain in her neck. But the storms mocked her, delivering again the blow of losing William.
Slipping from the bed, she checked each angelic face before padding to the stove and stoking the fire for coffee. Water flowed freely into the pot, and Buck came to mind, his bulk filling the kitchen corner as he primed the pump. As he sat at the table’s head. As he chucked Elmore under the chin and tugged Cecilia’s braids. If a body were to judge by outward appearances, one would think Buck Reiter liked being around her family. If a body were to judge by hidden feelings, one would think Lucy liked having him around. Somehow his presence lessened the drudgery.
Thin light seeped above the eastern ridge, and she quickly dressed and pulled on her boots. As she tied off the end of her braid, a wagon rolled into the yard and stopped at the barn. Elmore would be thrilled.
After returning the second and third day as Elmore had requested, Buck had since been gone for four. Each morning the child hung from the porch railing, dangling his feet off the edge, waiting for the familiar wagon to drive up the road. And each morning it did not come he’d gone about his chores like a lost pup. Yes, Elmore would be happy. So would Cecilia.
Lucy’s insides fluttered as she ground the coffee and added it to the pot. Glancing at her sleeping children, she slipped out the back door, surprised that she hadn’t yet adjusted to the altitude. She couldn’t quite get her wind.

Control Freak or Freaking Out of Control By Davalynn Spencer

“If things would just go my way, I’d be fine!”

Years ago, my mother didn’t realize what she’d said, but I did. And I never forgot the overtones.

For the past five months, circumstances have gone anything but my way. I’ve been dealing with ramifications of a serious fall by a family member. Hospitalization, paralysis, confusion. Rehab, bills, the day job. Writing.


“Isn’t it stressful for you to keep writing?” a well-meaning friend asked.

“No, it isn’t. I have to write.”

She didn’t get it, so I explained. I have to write for the same reason I have to breathe, eat bacon, and sleep on flannel sheets in the winter. Writing is therapeutic. I can self-medicate with words.

You see, about the only thing in my day-to-day life over which I truly have control is my response to God, people, and situations. However, when I write, I am in complete control of everything. Every single detail can “go my way.”

That’s what we want, isn’t it. Just like Mom, we want everything to go our way. Yet as an author, I must remember that no one wants to read a story where everything goes the hero or heroine’s way. B.O.R.I.N.G.

As I’ve told my writing students, if there’s no conflict, there’s no story.

When I write—whether therapeutically or not—I get to decide what goes wrong and right in my characters’ lives. It doesn’t matter if what I’ve written wouldn’t make good shoe-box liner. I can edit later and I always do. What matters is that I’m getting a break from my life and all the necessary things that need to be done—things over which I have no control. I am escaping for a minute or two or ten, the same way readers escape when they pick up a book in their favorite genre.

What happens if I’m under a deadline? Contracts are signed and kept, regardless of what is going on in the real world. Unless I break all my fingers at once or fall over dead, I have to fulfill the agreement.

So during this season of heart-twisting grief and frustration, I’ve recommitted on that response thing I mentioned earlier, particularly where God is concerned.

Will I respond to Him with trust? Will I let Him do what He does? Will I spend time with Him, worship Him, and praise Him even especially when my real life isn’t so fun?

When it comes to problems, I doubt that Jesus would say, “I told you so,” though He could, you know. He told us we’d have trouble down here, yet he beat it. We can take heart.

He said He’d give us His peace—different from world peace.

He said He’d never desert us. Ever.

That’s where I am these days of writing-because-I-have-to and trusting God to take care of me. He’s the one in control.

How about you? What does God do for you when everything falls apart and nothing goes your way?

“The peace of God which surpasses our understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” –Apostle Paul

Davalynn's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Inspirational Western Romance author @davalynnspencer asks: control freak or freaking out of control? (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: @davalynnspencer Do authors self-medicate with writing? (Tweet This)

Author @davalynnspencer: how to keep writing when life gets tough. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Davalynn Spencer writes inspirational Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. Her work has finaled for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the Selah, and the Holt Medallion. Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College and at various writing workshops. She and her handsome cowboy make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue.

Places to connect with Davalynn:

***I'll love for you to take a moment and take this month's short poll on the right-hand sidebar. Thanks so much.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sandra Orchard: Lessons A Published Author Still Learns

Everyone's Story welcomes back multi-published suspense author Sandra Orchard. Sandra is proof that guests don't wear out the welcome mat on this blog--I love hosting her, watching her career grow, absorbing vicariously her energy and drive, and sharing this author with my viewers. This week Sandra discloses lessons from writing, yet I'm thinking that book readers may appreciate them as well. Do check out Sandra's surprise for everyone below. Both Sandra and I look forward to hearing from you.

Instead of a BookGiveaway, Sandra offers a book for everyone:

The first book of the Port Aster Secrets series, DEADLY DEVOTION, is offered by Revell as a free Ebook download at all major retailers. Here's the link for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ChristianBook. Enjoy!

By Sandra Orchard

As I daily claw words out of my brain in an attempt to break through the impasse in my current work-in-progress—the book that will be number 12, if it doesn’t kill me first—I can’t help but wonder why we writers torture ourselves. 

Then the UPS guy arrives on my doorstep with a brand-spanking-new copy of Desperate Measures—book number 9—and I share my excitement with my Facebook fans, who… (and how heartwarmingly humbling is this?) can’t wait to read it!  

And I’m so glad I didn’t give up when I was so frustrated with that particular book that I killed the heroine.

Yes, it’s true. I did. It was extremely satisfying, I must say. She’d been giving me nothing but trouble for weeks. Of course, afterwards, I had to take a lot of grief from the hero, but he got over it.

Since writers’ emotions seem to be on one continual roller coaster ride that can wreak havoc on our sanity if…well…we don’t kill off the occasional character, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share five life lessons writing has taught me.

     1. Things could be worse.

Writers are taught to send their characters headlong into trouble. Then, when things look as if they are finally getting better, make it worse.

Of course, my characters should count themselves lucky, because I can think of a lot worse things that could’ve befallen them than what I subjected them to. The upswing of that, is I can also imagine a lot worse things that I could be dealing with besides unwieldy characters and a brooding muse.

(And a copy editor who will have a conniption that I ended that second to last sentence in a preposition. )

The moral: Buck up, things could be worse.

     2.  What you think you want is probably not what you really want.

Characters tend to think: “if I could just ‘fill in the blank’ I’d be happy.” When really, what they think they want is just how they think they might get what they really want. Or maybe they don’t even know what they really want.

But in the end, if the story isn’t a tragedy, they figure out that what the author wants to give them is even better.

The moral: God is the author and perfector of my life’s story.

3.  I’m living a lie.

This came home to me at a ladies’ retreat I recently attended, in which the speaker was sharing about her troubled childhood and the lie about herself that it caused her to believe—she’s unlovable—not a lie she’d consciously recognized so much as she’d made life choices based on it.

She used the exact same language I use when messing up my characters’ lives. I dig deep into their pasts to figure out how they were emotionally wounded and what lie about themselves or the world they believe as a result.

Intuitively, I knew that to a certain extent the concept was true of all of us, but personally, I wasn’t interested in digging too deep to root out my own. I like my emotions on an even keel, remember?

Now … let’s just say I have new empathy for my characters.

The moral: The truth will set you free.

4.  It’s okay for the first draft to be…ur…there’s no indelicate way to say it… they can often be crap.

But that’s okay. We can learn a lot from our mistakes, whatever “endeavor” our first draft might be in.

One thing is for certain, we’ll never get anything done if we never start. And just as you could write an entire novel in a year by writing only one page a day, you can take daily baby steps toward whatever you yearn to accomplish—improving communication with your spouse, getting in better physical shape, learning how to knit, leading a Bible study.

The moral: The only failure is in not persevering.

5.   If you don’t like someone, you can kill them off.  

Oops, sometimes the line between the fictional world and reality gets a little blurred, but of course, I would never kill off a real person. What I meant to say was…

Hmm, okay, maybe I’ve only learned 4 life lessons so far.

Desperate Measures, Book 3 in the Port Aster Secret series, releases June 1st.

But be sure to read Blind Trust first, too, because although each book is a standalone mystery, there are lots of elements that build through the series to the final culmination.

About Desperate Measures:

Kate won’t be safe until all of Port Aster’s secrets are revealed.

Researcher Kate Adams has finally pinpointed the supposed “miracle plant” that tore her family apart years ago. She’s certain that discovering its secrets is her only hope of solving the mystery surrounding her father’s disappearance. She’s willing to risk anything to find the truth, including her relationship with Detective Tom Parker. But with so many people in pursuit of the plant, going it alone might be a fatal mistake
Award-winning author Sandra Orchard pulls out all the stops in this breakneck and breathtaking conclusion to the Port Aster Secrets series.

You can visit Sandra's past Everyone's Story's guest appearances: First, Second, and Third.

Sandra's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Suspense author Sandra Orchard: 5 Lessons Writing Has Taught Me. (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: Sandra Orchard shares lessons for writers and readers. (Tweet This)

Check out multi-award-winning author Sandra Orchard’s free novel bonus. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time…when not doting on her young grandchildren. Learn more about Sandra’s books and bonus features at or connect at

***I'll love for you to take a moment and take this month's short poll on the right-hand sidebar. Thanks so much.

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