What’s Next?

That’s the question I ask myself once I’ve finished writing and publishing my latest book. Awake into the wee hours, my mind is a whirlwind of activity. Will I dive into writing a trilogy? Dabble with a stand-alone novel? Maybe come up with a couple of short stories for giveaways?

Decisions, Decisions.

A lot of my stories start with a series of “what-ifs.” The possibilities are endless.

And so, the idea for my next novel, The Preacher and the Shopkeeper, began to take shape:

What if my heroine lived in a declining city where homelessness is on the rise? And, what if she owns a thrift shop and uses the proceeds to benefit those in need?

What if a young preacher accepted a pastorate at a church only to find an empty building with no congregants except for a slightly eccentric live-in custodian?

Excellent! We now have a heroine and a hero.

And, fleshing it out, we have a back-cover synopsis for our story:

Industrial City, Ava Starling’s hometown, is struggling to survive with businesses and industries closing and jobs at a minimum. She’s desperately trying to help assist the needy through the thrift store she owns and operates, but homelessness is on the rise. Ava doubts the recent assignment of the young and handsome Brandon Sparks as senior pastor of the defunct Union Street Church can breathe hope into empty hearts.

When Ava and Brandon meet, sparks fly but misunderstandings and trust issues ensue. Only Ava’s mother knows the true reason behind her daughter’s resistance to the new pastor, but it’s only a matter of time before Brandon discovers why Ava holds animosity toward him. Will she learn to accept his offers of help or continue to resist his hand of friendship? Working together to meet the needs of the community might forever change both their lives more than either can ever anticipate.

Coming Soon!


Motivation VS Discipline

coffee-156144__340I’m just sitting here waiting for my second cup of coffee to magically move from the kitchen counter, where I left it, to my office, where I’m too lazy to get up and go get it. Maybe if I see hubby going that way…

mission-3568221__340Here’s a thought. Totally random. I remember when a friend and I went to a writer’s conference where we listened to two motivational speakers. One was very interesting, the other, meh. Anyway, we all left the room pumped up after the one particular guy’s presentation. Yeah, we’re gonna do this! Wow, wasn’t he good? Man, am I amped up. Woo-hoo!

image.pngBut what it all amounted to, come to think of it, was getting our psychological balloons inflated with hot air. Then, when the rah-rah-rah wore off, we were in the same boat as before. We all wanted success, and it was nice to hear about his series of lucky breaks, how pieces fell into place, and the stars lined up to create stair-steps to the pinnacle of literary fame.

So why’d I bring this up, anyway? I dunno. The coffee’s still in the kitchen. I want it. Bad. I know how good it’ll feel to have it. To wrap my hands around my favorite mug, feel the warmth penetrating the ceramic shell, making my skin feel wonderful. The anticipation and want-to is there.

I’m motivated!

But I’m not disciplined.

Where are all “Disciplinal” speakers? Do they exist? Or, maybe they’re just too busy “doing” to put down their hoes, wrenches, and battle gear to get on stage and give a talk to us lazy, undisciplined, deflated slugs?

Man, I really, really want that coffee.

Rant over. As you were.divider-36856_960_720

Click HERE to visit me and my books on Amazon.

Book collage


Old Memories

Happy Valentines Day!

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.37.13 AM

My good friend, author Linda Robinson, has been married for over 60 years.  I love her fictional characters, Nellie and Herman, who so apty paint laugh-out-loud pictures that illustrate what it’s like to be in a long-term marital relationships. Here’s one of Linda’s tales…


Old Memories

A satire on aging by Linda Robinson

“Here it is.” Herman flipped his turn signal and steered the car left onto a washboard dirt road.

Nellie gasped and white-knuckled the armrest. “Geez, slow down to turn next time!”

“Who’s driving? You or me?”

“Well, with you almost deaf and won’t wear your hearing aids, plus your bad eyesight, it takes two of us.”


“Uh…I don’t think this is the right road, Herm. Don’t remember that old run-down shanty swallowed in kudzu,” Nellie leaned forward and rotated her snow-capped head ninety degrees, “or that stagnant old fish pond covered in lily pads.”

“That, dear Nellie, is not a pond. It’s Lake Jessup.”

“Pond, lake, lagoon or mud hole…what’s the difference? I don’t remember it.”

“Well, I may be nearly deaf and half blind, but at least I’ve still got a good sense of direction and some memory left. Yours went south!”

“What a crappy thing to say, Herm!”

“Speaking of crappy, I sure hope we catch a mess of ’em.”

“Quit changing the subject. Apologize.”

“Do you think making fun of my hearing and eyesight was a compliment?”

“I was just stating facts.”

“Pfft! So was I.” He slapped the steering wheel with his palm. “Remind me what it is I’m s’posed to be sorry for.”

“Herm, this was a terrible idea you had for us to celebrate our seventieth anniversary by going fishing.”

“Anniversary? When…I didn’t…who suggested…?”

“Oh Lord, Herman! Turn around right now. You talk about my memory going south, but at least I do remember…eventually. We live in Alabama now. Lake Jessup is way out in the sticks in Florida, where we went fishing over fifty years ago. Remember the baby gators we saw in the deep ditch?”

“Yeah, how could I forget you freakin’ out on me?”

“No, I freaked out a week later when I read a long article in the Orlando Sentinel about Lake Jessup. Locals nicknamed it Alligator Lake, and that’s why nobody was fishing there except us. Only people to ever go there were gator poachers who went at night.”

Whatever. Now, Nellie, don’t you go telling our young’uns ’bout this. They’ll have another pow-wow and try to take my car again.”

“Tell them about what, Herman? I declare. Sometimes your crazy notions flabbergast me. Watch out for that pothole! How much longer before we get to Lake Jessup?”

The End!

Copyright © 2016 Linda Robinson, all rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission from Truth & Southern-Fried Fiction

Click on the images below to learn more about each of Linda’s fantastic books.


Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 8.55.59 AMScreen Shot 2019-02-06 at 8.56.30 AMScreen Shot 2019-02-06 at 8.56.48 AMScreen Shot 2019-02-06 at 8.57.08 AMScreen Shot 2019-02-06 at 8.57.29 AMScreen Shot 2019-02-06 at 8.57.56 AMScreen Shot 2019-02-06 at 8.58.20 AM


The Art of the Kiss


The art of the kiss 


Every romance novel you’ve ever read, with few exceptions, starts out with several things in common. The couple meets. There is an undeniable attraction. Eventually, there’s a first kiss; an important kiss that sets the tone for the rest of the hero and heroine’s relationship.

It is the author’s job to get this initial smooch just right. And, with the help of a popular Internet star, I hope to show you what goes through the author’s mind before their fictional hero and heroine lock lips for the very first time.

The Internet star I’m speaking of is April, a fifteen-year-old giraffe who is expecting a calf any day at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY. This will be the fifth calf for April, and the first for Oliver, her five-year-old mate. (Uh-oh. Does this make April a cougar?) A live-feed camera lets visitors view the April’s every move, and several of my Facebook friends seem enthralled with monitoring the long-necked expectant mother.

So, without further ado, here are some things an inspirational romance author like me considers when formulating that first kiss…

giraffe tongue 3


Here, whether initiated by the hero or heroine, the invitation for the kiss is waaay too forward. Eyes closed, neck extended, the tongue… Whoa, Nellie. Nix that idea.

giraffe kissing pole




Next we have the lips-only kiss. If anyone is going to “practice” this one, it’s going be the heroine. We’ll call her April. April figures tonight’s the night the hero will finally kiss her. So, a little rehearsal is in order.

giraffe tongue 4







But what if the hero is a bit more passionate. Or, maybe he’s the aggressive type. What kind of kiss then? April steps up her game and gets a little feistier with her “practice” kiss.



Any way you look at it, the author has to describe that first kiss in a way that will make the reader feel that she is there, feeling the winter wind, the summer breeze, or the grass underneath her toes as the hero delivers what can henceforth never be a “first” again.

Therein lies the daunting task of a romance writer.

Dying to Eat at the Pub


Dying to Eat at the Pub

A Jim and Dotty Weathervane Cozy Mystery

by Beatrice Fishback


Dying to Eat at the Pub, is set in a small English village adjacent to a U.S. military base. It’s the perfect place for Americans Jim and Dotty Weathervane’s leisurely life after Jim’s retirement from the U.S. armed forces. This backdrop of mixed cultures is ripe for misunderstandings and perhaps even murder.

Join the gregarious Dotty and her husband Jim, along with a slew of locals who try their hand at solving two deaths: one an American ex-serviceman and the other a beautiful woman named Amy.

DEP cover.jpg

ON SALE NOW! Click HERE for more information on purchasing.

Connect with Bea:




A Writer’s Fear of Plagiarism

A Writer's Fear of Plagiarism.jpg

A funny thing happened after midnight. Jim was tossing and turning, so I went to the bedroom across the hall to sleep. As I lay there, I kept thinking that maybe the song I’d written for a chapter I’d penned that day wasn’t really an original from my brain, but the lyrics from a song from the Miss Potter movie. Was I plagiarizing without realizing it? I had to find out.

I grabbed my phone and was going to research the song on YouTube, but was afraid the light from it would brighten the room and also spill out into the hallway and into Jim’s bedroom. Both our doors were open. Too lazy to get up and close the door, I sat in the bed and tossed the covers over me like a tent and listened to “When You Taught Me How to Dance” from Miss Potter. With the volume turned super-low, I strained to hear the music.

Meanwhile, in the master bedroom, Jim thought he heard music and wondered where it was coming from. So, he got up and peeked out the blinds to the backyard. Nothing. Then, he figured maybe the neighbor was playing the radio and came to my room to look out my blinds.

He said he stopped in the doorway, saw a musical, glowing mound in the middle of my bed, and almost laughed.

“What are you doing?” Jim said.

I jumped out of my skin at the sound of his voice, let out a scream, and threw off the covers — then screamed again when his dark figure stood against the backdrop of white mini blinds.

The good news? I didn’t steal the lyrics after all.

Meet Author Beatrice Fishback

38588850b6f6fd8f89b2623302627b731ac8c8e2Bethel Manor, an inspirational romance, takes place during the Victorian era with engaging characters such as the wealthy Fredrick Shaw and his feisty daughter, Clare. Enjoy the rugged countryside as James Winthrop Blackwell travels across England. Revel in the setting, Bethel Manor, a place of magnificence and style where servants know secrets and the owner is a man of propriety and integrity. James Winthrop comes of age and searches for answers after being abandoned as an infant at Alpheton House Orphanage. He must come to terms with the reasons for his abandonment and resolve how God can still use someone whose parents chose to cast them aside. Join James, Fredrick and Clare at Bethel Manor and discover for yourself how others can bring optimism and encouragement when life seems difficult and without hope. Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy Bethel Manor!


Bea Fishback Author photoBeatrice Fishback, originally from New York, lived in the East Anglian area of Great Britain for over twenty years and traveled extensively in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. She is the author of Loving Your Military Man by FamilyLife Publishing and, with her husband Jim, is the co-author of Defending the Military Marriage and Defending the Military Family. She has been published in various compilations, magazines and online websites.
She and her husband have spoken to audiences in the USA, Germany, England, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Korea, and Japan. They have also presented to international audiences in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Latvia.
Beatrice and Jim currently reside in North Carolina where scones are called biscuits and are topped with gravy, and tea is served over ice.

Interview with Bea:

What has been the most challenging thing about your new release, Bethel Manor?

This inspirational romance was written about the Victorian era, and although the Internet allows for easier access to information, I still had to double-check certain details to make sure I had the right information for that time period.

Where did you get the title for your book?

We lived in a home in England that was dubbed Bethel Manor by our pastor at the time. Bethel means “house of God,” and our small home had actually been a farmer’s cottage fifty-years prior to us owning it. Because it was so small, our pastor titled it a Manor—a bit tongue-in-cheek.

What is one thing about the book you’d hope to achieve by writing it?

My hope was that this story could be an alternative for people looking for a clean, wholesome romance with a faith-based backdrop.

I understand you have another book release in November. Is this the same genre?

No, I’m excited about the next upcoming book titled Dying to Eat at the Pub. This book is a contemporary, cozy mystery but is also set in Great Britain.

What’s a cozy mystery?

It’s a light-hearted murder-story-line with humor and gregarious characters. It’s intended to be a great read for a relaxing evening or a day at the beach.

When will we expect to see this next book?

Dying to Eat at the Pub will be released November 2016 by eLectio Publishers.

Amazon Box