Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet Tom Blubaugh - Night of the Cossack - on the John 316 Summer Tour

Tom Blubaugh is a freelance writing living in southwest Missouri with Barbara, his wife.  They have six children and fourteen grandchildren. Tom has written non-fiction most of his adult life, but has recently written a historical fiction titled Night of the Cossack, published by Bound by Faith Publishers. This is Tom’s first novel. He co-wrote a devotional journal in 2009 for Barbour Publishing titled The Great Adventure. His other writings include articles for a denominational magazine and an insurance publication. He also self-published a book, Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry, in 1974.
Tom started writing poetry at the age of fourteen. His vision of turning them into lyrics for rock and roll songs for popular artists didn’t develop. He considers writing to be a God given talent and feels he should continue developing it. His first novel was published at his age of 69. Tom says it’s never too late. He is now writing a sequel.
Tom spent twelve years as an insurance agent and eleven years as a financial planner. He is the past president of Jericho Commission, Inc. and still serves on the board of directors.

Nathan Hertzfield was forced into the life of a Cossack soldier. He was stripped of his identity and found himself on a path of life or death decisions. Follow him as he works through emotions when he is confronted with fear, anger, separation, sorrow, betrayal, love and the unknown. Will he be able to stay ahead of the tsar’s secret police? 

Join Nathan on his exhilarating journey through parts of Russia and Europe during the early 1900's. Don't miss the adventure and suspense in the riveting story, Night of the Cossack.
 Night of the Cossack signed paperback. Shipped free in USA. reviews of Night of the Cossack

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Meet Eddie Snipes, I Called Him Dancer, on the John 316 Summer Tour

What made you write I CALLED HIM DANCER? Have you ever danced, taken lessons?

The only dance lesson I’ve received came when I was walking in the woods. A yellow cloud surrounded me and I began swatting yellow jackets like a break-dancer. Upon reflection, I don’t think I had the grace needed to make it big, so I quit after my first lesson. No more bees for me.

The inspiration for I Called Him Dancer came from a song performed by Tralena Walker and co-written by Tom Webster. I attended a meeting at the Atlanta Writers Club. Tralena and Tom were guest speakers. The topic was on how to write a story in lyrics for songs. Not my cup of Formosa Oolong, but at least it was entertaining. After performing the song, "Dancer" either Tom or Tralena said, “We’ve been looking for someone who will turn the song into a novel. We think it would make a great story.”

Until those words were spoken, I was a passive observer. I looked up and words were swarming around me like those yellow jackets. They attacked my head while I lay screaming on the floor. Okay, maybe I didn’t scream – but my mind did. In an instant, the story unfolded in my mind and I knew this was something I was to write.

I knew nothing about dancing (other than what the bees taught me). Tom and Tralena gave me the lyrics and I started researching and writing. I have to admit that I worried about the dancing scenes, but I knew things took shape when people began asking how I became so knowledgeable about dance. I thought back to the bees and said, “It’s just something that hit me while walking in the woods.”
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I was a child, I got my first book. I flipped through the pages, then tore it apart. I didn't know it at the time, but that's exactly what you do when editing a manuscript.

I hated writing when I was younger. I only did what I had to do, and sometimes not even that. Writers block was more like writers dementia. My mind didn't return to me until after... hmmm. What were we talking about?

In 1998, I became active in prison ministry. Many of the men I ministered to were eager to learn. Someone asked me if I had my studies or notes on paper. I agreed to write out the next study and then my writing career was born. The problem wasn't that I couldn't write. It was that I didn't have something to say. Or didn't realize I had something to say. Over time writing transformed from a task to a passion.

Is I Called Him Dancer your first fictional story?
My first fictional story was written in high school. It wasn’t supposed to be fiction, but hey, the best fiction looks like the real world, right? I’ll tell you the story.

In high school, I had a class that was dedicated to writing a 30 page research paper. I chose the topic, The Arms race between the US and Russia. It was the 1980s when the Cold War was still on everyone’s mind. We spent weeks in the library researching our topic. I say ‘we’ in the general sense. My research was sports and other useless browsing. At the halfway point, we had to turn in our research note cards. The teacher graded them and as she returned them, she said, “Some of you aren’t going to pass this class.” She paused in front of my desk as she said this, and then dropped my notecards on my desk. She continued, “You cannot write this paper with less than 70 research cards.”

I counted my cards. Seven. A very weak seven. This information must have shocked my brain, for I didn’t even think about this again until the teacher informed the class that the rough draft was due in the morning. “Holy cow! It’s due tomorrow?” I said.

After school, I visited a few friends, ate dinner, and watched TV. It was now nearly bedtime. No more goofing off. I sat down and began to write. The information flowed. I clearly needed more research sources, so I interviewed military experts born mere minutes ago. But hey, Colonial Imagination was still a source. I wrote thirty pages – somehow. And I got a good grade in the class. After all, no one had more expert sources than I did.

I should have known then that writing was in my future, but it would be more than two decades before I discovered a passion for writing.

Tell us a little about your book, I Called Him Dancer.
For a moment, Michael danced on top of the world, but one bad choice turned his life upside down. The once promising Broadway star now washes windows for tips and lives among the homeless. When his former dance partner recognizes him behind the fray of whiskers, shame drives him away from her. Angry at God and the world, the Dancer refuses to allow anyone into his life. When everything is stripped away, three things remain: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.

I Called Him Dancer is a story about how one woman’s enduring faith and unconditional love drives her to reach out to a homeless friend, who has given up on life.

Who is your favorite character in I CALLED HIM DANCER?
The character that inspired me the most is Kenyon. Many readers have stated the same. He’s human, struggling to do what is right, and lives by a genuine faith. At times he wrestles between what he knows God wants him to do, and what he wants. Kenyon is down to earth, not preachy, yet his life has an impact on others.

In the story I tried to present Christianity in an honest light. Many who claim to be Christians show hypocrisy and drive others (like the Dancer) away from the faith. This is a real problem in the Christian culture. Kenyon shows what sincere faith looks like. He’s far from perfect, but his simple faith impacts those around him. Kenyon’s sincerity is something the Dancer can’t understand and it piques his curiosity.
What would you like your readers to take away from this novel?
I want people to look at the reality of how faith impacts the world around us. Hypocrisy is being pretentious about faith, and there is a difference between failure and hypocritical behavior. Christians shouldn’t feel dejected when they fail. It’s part of this life of reaching upward.
Also, we all know someone who appears hopeless and hostile toward God, but we don’t know what the Lord is doing behind the scenes. Ultimately, hope is what everyone should take away. Hope that readers are not alone in their struggles. Hope that our lives can make an impact – even with our imperfections. Finally, hope that the people we care about are never out of God’s reach.
How can readers get in touch with you?
You can flash a light on the clouds that says, ‘Free chicken fingers,’ and I’ll play Batman music and come running. Some people prefer the simpler route of connecting with me on Twitter @eddiesnipes. My facebook username is eddiesnipes. It might seem like a strange coincidence, but my LinkedIn name is also eddiesnipes. Even more crazy is my website: On each of these, I just closed my eyes and typed out random letters. I might have peeked on a few letters.
You can get Eddie’s novel I Called Him Dancer for only 99 cents at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meet SE GREGG on the John 316 Marketing Network summer tour

Book: The Christian Olympics: Going for the Gold Crowns, the unveiling of the Bible's comparison of the Christian race to the Olympic Games, is the spin-off from the newspaper article titled "The Christian Olympics are still going on!" written by the author. Today more than ever Christians are discouraged in their walk with God because of the multitudes of personal problems, suffering, and worldly events that have occurred. Some have given up, lost hope in their faith, and/or don't feel that living holy lives matters anymore. The Christian Olympics will stir up Christians, igniting their spiritual fires to look forward to what is ahead. When Christians see themselves as players in an Olympic game, it gives them a new understanding and exhilaration for the Christian life, as spiritual athletes. Readers will actually visualize themselves in a spiritual athletic competition which has never been done before in a Christian book.

Bio: A marathon runner in the Christian Olympics for several decades, S. E. Gregg is a Bible school graduate and the founder of Sound Doctrine Christian Ministries. An award winning author, gifted Bible teacher and Bible curriculum writer, Gregg has authored the best-selling books,"Evangelism Counseling- How to Counsel People About Salvation," "The Christian Olympics-Going for the Gold Crowns," and the salvation tract,"God Became A Man." The salvation tract has been translated into the Burmese language and over 100,000 have been printed.

Gregg lives in the Philadelphia, PA area.

Blog: The Christian Olympic blog is a list of articles about worldly events that are happening along with sports and how they relate to the Christian marathon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: The Blessed by Ann Gabhart

The Blessed

By Ann Gabhart

Revell, a division of Baker

c. 2011

ISBN 9780800734541

Historical Romance

From the publisher:

“Let the child go, Lacey. Right now! We’ve come into this community to leave things of the world behind and do as they say” said Preacher Palmer. “But she needs me.” She spoke barely above a whisper. “She needs discipline. And so do you...” he said.

It is a time of spiritual revival in the mid-1840s when the Shakers worship services received many spiritual messages from Mother Ann and other Shaker leaders. Harmony Hill was a place offering a different way of life from the world. This village was a place where the people were dedicated to community, hard work, practicing their worship, and engaging in long hours of worship each week.

My review:
The Blessed adds to the author’s collection of novels dealing heavily with a Shaker theme. This is the first novel I’ve read by Gabhart, and the first that features Shaker characters.

I appreciated the author’s brief history of the society before reading the book. The Blessed takes place in the mid nineteenth century in a small rural community at the home of the local Baptist preacher and his ailing wife. As a teenager, Lacey Bishop was sent to be the hired girl for Miss Mona. During this time, a newborn baby is left on the preacher’s doorstep, taken in and raised by Miss Mona and Lacey. When Miss Mona passes on, Lacey is forced into a marriage of convenience on her part, but not the pastor’s, in order to maintain propriety and stay in the preacher’s house and continue to care for the growing child. After a visit from two gentlemen from the nearby Shaker community who come proselytizing, the pastor leaves his church and moves his household to join with the Shakers. Once there, Lacey is oddly attracted to a young man, Brother Isaac. But Isaac is another refugee from the outside world, who has been in mourning and rejected after the death of his wife, a prominent judge’s daughter. Isaac was befriended by a Shaker brother who’d come to town on business, and decided to accompany the brother to his home, where he eventually meets Lacey.

The style of writing is introspective, mournful, dour, yet ribboned with snatches of joy and hope as Lacey attempts to keep memories of her happy childhood alive for her young charge. Brother Amos, the man who befriends Isaac, is a delight. But in all honesty, Isaac’s story of guilt and widowhood was a tough start to the book, and I was confused about the preacher’s household setup. The marriage of convenience took place so early in the book that I wondered what would happen to free Lacey even while she met her true love interest. Life in the Shaker community reminded me a lot of other nonfiction books I’ve read about closed societies. People are people no matter how they worship or how they live, and this early Shaker society held little attraction for me.

Gabhart’s fans will surely enjoy this story as an addition to the collection. I'm not sure the story exactly fits in the “romance” category, category, however, so if you expect any sparks to fly or relationship ups and downs between the protagonists throughout the book, you won’t find that with The Blessed.

“Available July 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Amanda Stephan, romance writer, on the John 316 Marketing summer tour

Meet Amanda Stephan

Amanda Stephan is a Christian romance author and homeschooling mother. Her first novel, The Price of Trust, was released in May of 2010, and her second novel, Lonely Hearts, will be released in October, 2011. She loves to write in different genres, all with a Christian world view. After Lonely Hearts is released and she's able to breathe again, she'll be polishing up her next novel which is so large, she decided to turn it into a series.

The Price of Trust - Christian Romance/Suspense
Beaten and betrayed by the one who was supposed to love her, Carly Richards is on the run. Forced to live as a fugitive as he stalks her across country, she finds refuge in a small town in Montana. Her emotional scars are reluctant to heal, and Carly resists the friendliness of those around her ~ especially handsome farmer and eligible bachelor Joe Baird.

Caught in the circumstances, the kind people around her begin to creep into her softening heart. God is at work, and she has to trust Him not only to take care of her, but care for the people she is learning to love.

Lonely Hearts - Sweet Christian Romance
One lonely mother. Two matchmaking kids. Three eligible bachelors. What could possibly go wrong?

Becky Callis is the widowed mother of two. When they move to a new town, she only intended it to be a safe haven where she didn't have to be reminded of her late husband. Her children had other plans.
~*~ releases October 2011 ~*~

You can read the first three chapters of The Price of Trust as well as the first chapter of Lonely Hearts HERE!

**follow Amanda's blog, Facebook, or Twitter for exciting release news as well as many opportunities to win great prizes**

you can find The Price of Trust at, Amanda's website The Price of Trust , or

Amanda says:

I've always loved to write. Many times in my childhood, if I couldn't find a book to read, I would write my own and hide it away for future perusal. Yes, I still have quite a few of my stories hidden away in our attic! But The Price of Trust I wrote for a specific reason. It's a love letter to my children so they could know that they're worth so much more than abuse and they should never settle for it in their futures. I love The Price of Trust, because it's my first venture out of my comfort zone, and I've learned a lot during this journey.

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, my Facebook Fan Page, my Website, and The Christian Indie Authors site, as well as a slew of other places I like to frequent.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rose McCauley, the Christmas Belles of Georgia, on the John 316 Summer tour

Bio: Rose Allen McCauleyis happy to live in the beautiful bluegrass region of Kentucky on a farm surrounded by God’s creation. She has been writing for over ten years and has been published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals. She is thrilled for this to be her first published fiction because Christmas books are her favorites. She has a growing collection of Christmas books, and this one will takes its rightful place among them.

A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over 43 years, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and Mimi to three lovely, lively grandkids! You can reach her through her website or blogsite at

Rose says:  

I wrote this book because I liked the intriquing idea, and I love it because it is a Christmas book and also one that includes a tradition we did with our family when our kids were younger.

The book is published by Barbour Publishing, so can be bought through them or anywhere that carries their books--WalMart, most Christian bookstores and or or It's release date is September 1, 2011. You can also pre-order by clicking on the links on the home page of my website.

CEnjoy the Back cover copy – Christmas Belles of Georgia

Surprised by Life—and Love—at Christmas

Four letters are mailed from Monticello, a small antebellum town in Georgia. Sisters once, now heirs to a historic plantation, each young woman must come to terms with the circumstances of her birth. . . .

When she learns in a letter she’s adopted, Holly feels betrayed by her parents—and she books a flight out of Missouri immediately. Will she ever be able to love again?

Raised in a wealthy, loveless home, Carol rushes to Monticello from college in Atlanta when she receives her letter. She’s searching for family, but finds instead a boy she once mistreated. Will he remember her? . . .forgive her?

In one year, Starr has lost her parents, boyfriend, and job, so she’s sure her letter is more bad news. When the attorney flies to California to offer proof, Starr takes a second look—at the message and the man.

Noelle always knew she was adopted—and she’s always loved the foreman on her father’s Texas ranch too. But he’s so distant. . .perhaps a trip to Georgia is the break in life she needs.

Will the sisters receive a traditional Christmas gift. . .of love?

Rose invites everyone to visit her blog, and she hopes they will become a follower. Since her first book releases on Sept. 1, 2011, she will do a drawing that day and choose one follower to receive a hot-off-the-press copy of Christmas Belles of Georgia. Please leave an email address so she can contact you for your mailing info.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Microbusiness for Teen Tips with Carol Topp


Celebrate Independence: Start a Micro Business!

By Carol Topp, CPA

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country's independence and appreciate our freedoms as Americans to follow our dreams. This is a great time to encourage our children, especially teenagers, to cherish their freedoms. Not every country in the world allows a teenager to have as many freedoms and opportunities as the United States. One important area of freedom that our children probably take for granted is the freedom to become whatever they want to be, which includes starting a business.

My 16 year old daughter, Sarah, was introduced to a man who grew up in East Germany. He described his youth where he had no choice in what he would study in high school or what career he would have. He was assigned to a technical high school where he learned science and math. There was no consideration of his abilities or talents. Sarah began to appreciate her country in a new way. She has an artistic bent and would have hated being forced into a math and science-oriented high school. Instead, she has been allowed to purse her love of art and photography.

Sarah celebrated her independence by starting a micro business. She used her interest in photography to take senior pictures of a few friends. More friends saw her work and hired her for their senior pictures. She was kept quite busy for several weeks and grew in her skills and business knowledge. It is quite easy for a teenager to start a very small business—a micro business—and learn a lot while making some money.

A teenage micro business owner will learn business skills such as marketing, customer service and salesmanship, but they will learn also life skills such as time management, planning and careful use of money. As a parent you will see them develop confidence, responsibility and the ability to overcome fear as they face new challenges in running a business.

We should encourage any spark of entrepreneurial spirit we see in our children because it helps them grow in many ways, but it is also good for our country. Small business ownership is the backbone of our economy, paying 44% of the total US private payroll.[1] But not only are small businesses responsible for America's wealth, they encourage free enterprise, responsibility and leadership.

The GrasshopperGroup has produced a short video, “Entrepreneurs Can Change The World,” that inspires us to remember the entrepreneurial spirit on which our country was built. You can view the video at YouTube and it says, in part:

“In case you haven't noticed, we live in a place where one individual can make a difference. Want proof? Just look at the people who built our country: our parents, grandparents, our aunts, our uncles. They were immigrants, newcomers ready to make their mark. Maybe they came with very little; or perhaps they didn't own anything except a single brilliant idea. These people were thinkers, doers and innovators until they came up with the name entrepreneurs.”[2]

Remember the freedoms we have in America this Fourth of July, and especially the precious freedom to work for ourselves, start a business and follow a dream. Encourage your teenager to exercise their freedom by starting a micro business

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at All other standard copyrights apply.

[1]    Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Book Review: The Final Hour

The Final Hour

By Andrew Klavan

Thomas Nelson publishers

ISBN: 9781595547156


General Juvenile Fiction, Action & Adventure

“You’re not alone. You’re never alone.”

The Final Hour completes the four-pack of Charlie West’s adventures with the Homelanders. Charlie is a high school student, perfectly normal in studies, a black belt in karate, a young man of great faith, with loving parents and a sister. His biggest problem is that he woke up one day with no memory. Accused and convicted of murdering one of his closest friends over a girl, he’s been on the run ever since.

This last novel begins with Charlie imprisoned in a federal petitionary with hardened criminals and guards who are only a little lower on the social scale. Sent to his knees on occasion with flashes of memory detailing the last several months, Charlie realizes that he’s been on an undercover mission for the US government to infiltrate a terrorist group who call themselves the Homelanders. But like an Impossible Mission gone wholly wrong, he’s been disavowed and his one living contact to the truth, Detective Rose, has no way to convince his superiors to clear Charlie now that the terrorist cell has been broken up.

When Rose reveals to Charlie that the leader of the cell has not been caught and Charlie must remain in prison where his treatment is less than fine, Charlie connects with his former karate master and friend, Sensei Mike.

In a desperate plan to thwart the terrorists final act of mass murder, the detective, the karate master, and the imprisoned high school student work together to get past not just the remaining zealous Homelanders, but the US government officials who refuse to believe in the danger.

Fast-paced, thrilling, and fingernail-biting action kept me reading the story until the last page. Klavan manages to make me hang on Charlie’s every decision, to root for him, groan in pain and despair with him, and pray with him when nothing else can possibly make a difference. If Charlie makes it in the Air Force, I bet he’ll be cooler than Jack Ryan. Recommended for junior high and up readers.

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher.

New from Splashdown Books

Ebook Lovers

Ah, yes....a *SPECIAL OFFER*
The weekend of July 2-4...

...all Kindle books from Splashdown Books...

...will be 99 cents at AMAZON!

Don't miss your chance to get all the books you've been holding on your wish-list.
This weekend only - at

And if you prefer another ebook format, we won't leave you behind - all formats are available at Smashwords.
If you want one of those, EMAIL ME here (or leave a comment
on the blog with your email address)
saying which book/s you're after, and I will send you a coupon for 99c.

New books, new worlds, old favorites...and special offers on ebooks*.

Do the impossible…Change the future…Save the world…
All you need is one odd little miracle.

We’re doing the miraculous at Splashdown Books this month. Or rather, publishing the miraculous stories of our own Fred Warren. Twenty-two bizarre tales—where odd is commonplace, little things make all the difference, and miracles are everywhere, if you know where to look...

Available July 1, 2011 from Splashdown Darkwater.
Ebook versions coming soon.

Tuesday July 5th, 8pm Central
No login required. See you there!

Avenir Eclectia at Digital Dragon
This month's issue of Digital Dragon magazine is devoted to stories set in the world of Avenir Eclectia. Many of the same characters you've met already can be found in the pages of DDM—in longer stories than you'll find at

Check out stories by Kat Heckenbach, Greg Mitchell, Frank Creed, Walt Staples, Grace Bridges, Ed Erdelac, and Holly Heisey. And don't miss the interview with Avenir's artist and song writer, Eleon.

Splashdown's First Group Anthology

Coming soon is Splashdown's first group anthology, Aquasynthesis. Stories from all the current Splashdown authors fill the pages, and are linked together by a special narration from top Avenir Eclectia writer, Walt Staples.

Gizile follows her mysterious teacher, Tok, to contemplate a series of strange and mystical visions that appear upon the ice of an ocean pool: Astonishing tales of technology and transcendence, aliens and elves, space and time, dragons and demons, prophecies and scriptures, humor and horror, the gifted and the enslaved, virtual and supernatural reality, insanity and inspiration. Dive into the creations of the Splashdown wordsmiths. Cross the borders into novel worlds you love already, and taste their delights if you are new to Splashdown's universe.

Look for it in print and ebook August 1, 2011.

Congrats to Keven Newsome
Our release of Winter by Keven Newsome couldn't have been better. An instant in-house best-seller, Winter has been met with enthusiastic readers and amazing reviews.
Great job, Keven!

Winter is available from Splashdown Darkwater in print and ebook formats.

Splashdown's Soundtracks: ELEON
CONTINUUM on Amazon - includes our theme song SPLASHDOWN!