Behind the Story: The Seer Locations #1

Lots of guesses were given on the photo that I posted last week. I had fun reading all of them!

I had one person that was the closest! Makenzie, a member of my beta reading group called The Hive, guessed that it was a church.

The picture is actually what’s left a wall that was once the National Headquarters of the Cumberland Presbyterian church located in Memphis TN. When the headquarters moved, Chick-fil-A bought the land and kept the front side of the building. The back side is now a patio for outdoor eating.

Memphis has played a huge role in our lives since 12/29/16, so I knew I had to use some locations from there. We love Chick-fil-A, (my favorite is the nuggets) so once Jacob and I saw the wall we had to find out what it once was. I was so surprised when I read that it was once the location of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church National Headquarters. I grew up attending a Cumberland Presbyterian Church (that my ancestors helped to found in 1870) and I knew instantly I had to use this location.

Most of the locations in The Seer have to do with portal locations. However, I don’t want to spoil what’s at this location in case you haven’t read it yet.

Are you ready for the next picture?

Or how about three?





Please comment with your guess and next Thursday I will reveal the location, why it’s important to me, and give you another picture.

If you haven’t had a chance to read The Seer, it’s available on Amazon and Books-A-Million.




Behind the Story: The Seer Locations

Locations play a huge part in a novel. It sets the tone of the story, and gives the reader something to help connect them to the story so it seems more real and believable.

For The Seer, I didn’t want to just use any random locations. Since The Seer is an urban fantasy (which uses today’s world and fuses it with supernatural/paranormal/fantasy elements) I wanted it to be somewhere that would feel familiar. However, I also wanted to use locations that have special meanings for me.

Over the next few Thursdays, I will post a different location picture and give you the opportunity to guess where it is and what scene it is used for in the book. I will also let you in on all my little secrets as to why it’s special to me.

Here’s your picture for next Thursday! If you think you know where it is and what scene it is used in, or if you just want to guess, comment below and I will announce who was correct next week. (For those of you that are in my special group, The Hive, you have already got a sneak peak!)



If you are local, please stop by my Scavenger Hunt & Book Signing event at the Benton Library on Saturday (June 2nd) from 2-4. I will also be available for a Meet & Greet, book signing, and FAQ.

Can’t wait to see you all there, and to read your guesses!



Wisdom Wednesday: Michelle De Bruin

I’m sorry for the delay in my Wisdom Wednesday post! Sometimes, life does not always go as planned, especially when your daughter inherited your balance skills, or rather, the lack thereof. I spent the majority of the day at the doctor for her sprained ankle. They do not think it’s broken, but we have to wait for swelling to go down for another checkup on it.  She’s in a walking boot and it’s still hurting some, but she is doing better!

This week, our guest is author Michelle De Bruin. Thanks for joining us, Michelle.

Name: Michelle De Bruin

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Upcoming Novel: Hope for Tomorrow 

Writing Tip: 

Read as much as you write. Become familiar with what others in your genre are doing. Stay informed on current events and world happenings. Choose a trusted voice in non-fiction to read for your own growth and spiritual formation.

This is my favorite tip because it keeps me in relationship with fellow authors. It helps me stay sensitive to people’s deepest needs, and it encourages me as I continue on my own faith journey.

Great tips! I’m always amazed at people who say that want to write but do not like to read. Reading is a must to stay updated in the industry and to learn the craft.

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers: 

Take the time and make the effort to find and develop your own voice. Not necessarily the voice that is heard when you speak, but the one that is felt when you begin to put words on paper. It belongs to you and is the unique gift the Lord gave you to share your faith experiences. Over time, a new writer will have much to offer if they follow the tip above and then share how they are learning and growing through the blessing of their own voice.

If you’re genuine with your voice, your readers will connect with you on a deeper level. Great tip!



Please take a moment and connect with Michelle on social media and subscribe to her blog so you can stay up to date on the latest news for her upcoming novel!

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 Thank you for joining us today, Michelle! 

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Wisdom Wednesday: Laurean Brooks

One of my favorite things to do is curl up under my comforter, open a window, and listen to the rain. There’s just something so soothing and peaceful about hearing the rain softly hitting the earth, especially if there are still leaves on the ground. The gentle swooshing of it cascading down the window, as the wind blows in a cool breeze. It makes we want to burrow under the covers and take a long nap.

Working from home, and taking care of a four year old, I don’t have much time to linger under the covers listening to the rain as I would like. There’s a mountain of laundry that needs to be taken care of, dishes to wash, books to edit, new story worlds to create. However, I did take a moment and step outside to the patio and listen for a few minutes. I know we’ve had so much rain lately, and I long for sunshine and warmth, but there’s also a nice stillness that floods over me when I listen to the rain fall.

Whether you have bright sunny weather or another rainy day like me, take a moment and read this week’s Wisdom Wednesday by author, Laurean Brooks.

I know I could use some writing wisdom to help pull me through the week!

Name: Laurean Brooks

Genre: Historical and Contemporary Christian Romance

Latest NovelNot What He Ordered

Writing Tip: 

Always be true to your own inner voice. As new authors, we may tend to imitate established authors whom we admire. We can learn from reading and studying their techniques, but we must not “become” them. God gave to each a special gift to be used in a unique way to serve Him. Let God guide you and be yourself, if you want to honor Him.

Join book promotion sites, especially those where readers and writers meet. Promote regularly, and do not get discouraged. Rome was not built in a day. Keep your name before the throngs on social media. Interact with your readers, comment about other things besides your books and writing. Very important: (preaching to myself) Cut out time to write, daily, if possible. To borrow a slogan from a best selling author, “Your best marketing tool is your “next” book.

Great advice. We are always telling each other to read, read, read, but it’s also important to keep your writing voice yours and not someone else. 

This was actually on my “to-do” list today, to join more book promotion sites and network with other authors and readers. 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers: 

Do not get discouraged. When sales are down, or if we get a bad review, we sometimes want to crawl into fetal position and have a pity party. Instead, go to Amazon or GoodReads and re-read all the great reviews. Then re-read that bad review. Can you learn anything from it? If not, forget it and move on.

I’ve seen where a few mean-spirited reviewer slapped an author with an undeserving one or two star review and added scathing remarks that made no sense. I doubt they have even read the book. Ignore these people. Only God know why they do what they do. Even pray for them. We are told to, “Pray for your enemies,” and “Bless those who persecute you.” Remember: Hurting people hurt people.

I love this. We all can get discouraged from time to time, but in those moments, just remember why you wrote your book in the first place. It wasn’t for that bad review, but for all the others who enjoyed your book, and because you had a story that needed to be told.



When Carrie Franklin struggles with a drunk, leaving him unconscious or perhaps dead, she flees. Forgetting the promise to her deceased mother, she deserts her feckless brother and takes the train to Abilene, Texas.

Carrie soon learns that her traveling companion, with whom she shares a seat, is a Mail Order Bride en route to meet her finance. Molly tell Carrie that her friend, Katy, who was set to join her as a Mail Order Bride, backed out of her betrothal to rancher, Josh Kramer.

When Molly learns that Carrie will disembark at Abilene, Katy’s destination, she pleads with Carrie to explain to Josh, that his Mail Order Bride changed her mind. Due to missed communication, interruptions, and an empty purse, Carrie finds herself seated beside Josh, assuming the name of Katy Davis, and headed for the Kramer Ranch.

Carrie tries to tell Josh’s aunt the truth, but before she can, Aunt Em reveals a deception of her own. Carrie finds herself in a quagmire. If she reveals her true identity sweet Aunt Em will also suffer.

Leery of Katy Davis, Josh never suspects his aunt’s role in the deception. Is Katy out to get his ranch? His attraction to her grows, but he was  once burned by a woman and swore, “Never again.”

Carrie has fallen for Josh, but her secret threatens to destroy any future they might have together. Did she kill the drunk? Is the law looking for her?

Will God’s forgiveness help Carrie and Josh find true love and happiness?



Laurean Brooks lives in rural northwest Tennessee near the Tennessee/Kentucky border, with her flea-marketing, antique-hunting husband, two labs and a black cat. She writes inspirational romance with heart, humor, and unpredictable characters. Chivalrous heroes stand by to rescue their spunky ladies from a plethora of self-inflicted disasters. Ms. Brooks’s sassy heroines are all too familiar with the taste of their own shoe leather, since. “Foot-in-mouth disease” prevails throughout her stories.



Thank you for joining us today, Laurean! 

Please take a moment and connect with Laurean on social media, and check out her latest release, Not What He Ordered. 

Check out Not What He Ordered on Amazon: Click Here




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It Finally Got Us

The past week has been rough around the Howard household. Daniel had the flu, (type A) and then gave it to me.  Normally, this would be an annoying but manageable thing, but since our youngest is still in treatment for Leukemia, it became a larger concern. Our doctor told us that if anyone in the house comes down with the flu to call them immediately so they could call in a prescription of tamiflu for Gabe.  So we did, and he’s on that for ten days.  Gabe’s counts dropped to 200 ANC on Monday, so we are now on extra high alert to watch out for sickness this week.  Hopefully his counts will go back up, and he can receive his chemo next week at his weekly appointment. Daniel and I managed to stay mostly to our rooms, trying to keep separated from the rest of the family.  I’m ready to feel better, for spring, and warmer weather.

I’m back at my computer this week, continuing editing for MRP and working on two projects of my own. A completely new story for a contest, and book 2 of The Kalila Chronicles! I can’t wait to share more information about both new works, but the new story has to be secret until after the contest.

Until I can reveal more, have you read The Seer? Which character are you hoping to learn more about in book 2 and why? Leave me a comment below, you never know, your character may just be the one!



You can purchase The Seer on Amazon in both Kindle and print versions. 




Wisdom Wednesday: Regina Merrick

Today, I have Regina Rudd Merrick, author of Carolina Dream, and upcoming new release, Carolina Mercy on the blog for Wisdom Wednesday!


Name: Regina Rudd Merrick

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Latest NovelCarolina Dream

Upcoming Release: Carolina Mercy

Writing Tip: 

I am a writer, not an editor. While I try to be careful and edit as much as possible, there are things that I am not going to catch. There are even things that editors aren’t going to catch. So, if there are those irritating things that NEITHER the author or the editor might catch, what’s a writer to do?

READ IT OUT LOUD. Seriously. That’s my favorite writing tip. Yes, you feel silly when there are people around, reading to yourself. Yes, it takes longer than reading it silently.

But that’s the whole point. Reading aloud makes you slow down and look at every letter, every word, every punctuation mark, every paragraph, and every scene.

In my first book, Carolina Dream, I had worked on that puppy for over eight years. You’d think there would be no kinks left TO work out, wouldn’t you? Alas, if only that were true.

Carolina Dream had gone through my edits, my editor’s edits, the publisher’s edits, and then my edits again, when I remembered a tip I had heard somewhere – maybe from my publisher, Kathy Cretsinger? – READ IT ALOUD.

So I did.

I got to chapter three, happily reading aloud a story so familiar, I thought, that I could almost read it with my eyes closed. I started the chapter, and WHAM! I’ve read that before! I mean, RECENTLY!

I looked back, and sure enough, I had inadvertently COPIED and pasted, when I meant to CUT and paste an entire scene. The first scene in the BOOK, no less.

Wow. I literally had to change the entire first scene of the book at that point. And I learned a valuable lesson. Read it aloud at EVERY POINT.

  • Before you turn it in to your publisher, who sends it to your editor
  • Before you send it to the next editor
  • Before you send it back to the publisher
  • After you get the proof file.

That last one? That’s when I discovered my glaring error.

Don’t be me. Don’t neglect reading you manuscript aloud. In addition to catching mistakes, you get to know your story more thoroughly. I discovered that, even on the umpteenth read-through, I still liked my story!

I had a similar experience with my book, The Seer.  I read it out loud before and after each phase, and found a few things on the last read through. I think I have my story memorized by now.  😉 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers: 

My favorite piece of advice is this: You can’t edit what you haven’t written. So, so true. You can spend so much time agonizing over outlines, plots, character maps, etc., that you neglect the most important part of writing – THE STORY!

Happy, happy writing and editing, and thanks for having me, Erin!

I couldn’t agree more. I spent a very long time doing this. There comes a point when you to decide to write it and get it finished, no matter what. 


Sarah Crawford wants more from life than to attend the wedding of her ex-fiancee. An unexpected inheritance in South Carolina comes at the perfect time, just as Sarah is willing to use any excuse to get out of town.

When she meets potential business partner Jared Benton and discovers that a house is part of the inheritance, she is sure that God has been preparing her for this time through a recurring dream. But will a dream about an antebellum mansion, many rooms to be explored, and a man with dark brown eyes give her the confidence to take a leap of faith, leaving friends, family, and her job behind?

RMheadshotRegina Rudd Merrick has written all her life. From the scribbling of a young child writing “I love you” notes to her mother, to the teenager who tried to write a more satisfying sequel to Gone with the Wind, she developed a distinct love of “happily ever after.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and she is the former director of a small public library in Marion, KY.

She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online. In fact, it was after writing Christian-themed stories based on a television show that ended too soon that she decided to pursue original fiction. With encouragement from some writing friends, she attended her first ACFW conference and met like-minded writers that were as concerned with building others up as with their own careers.

Regina is now an active member of the Ken-Ten Writing Group which has participants from Western Kentucky and Western Tennessee, and is currently helping to plan their second writing conference scheduled for June of 2018. She is an instrumentalist and vocalist in the music program of her church, and has participated in many areas of ministry over the years.

Married for 30+ years, Regina and her husband, Todd, have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. They live in Marion, in Western Kentucky, in a county where there are, literally, more deer than people. Her hobbies include watching other people work on houses on HGTV, decorating, antiquing (otherwise known as “picking”), cooking, reading, playing music, and dreaming of the beaches of South Carolina. Her first novel, Carolina Dream, book one of the “Southern Breeze” series, was released in April of 2017 with Mantle Rock Publishing, and book two, Carolina Mercy, will release in the summer of 2018.

Thank you for joining us today, Regina! 

Please take a moment and connect with Regina on social media and check out her novel and upcoming release! 






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Wisdom Wednesday: Susan Page Davis

Sometimes it seems like my “to-do” list is too long for my attention span at that moment. If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you know I love lists. I don’t think I feel like I can get through my tasks if I don’t have a list made.  We travel to Memphis every week, and a lot of things I leave in my suitcase, but I still need that list to feel like I’ve packed everything.

This week, I’m continuing my editing on Carolina Mercy for MRP, working on a new story for a contest, and of course book two in The Kalila Chronicles, but first, let’s get to Wisdom Wednesday.

I’m so excited to have Susan Page Davis share her writing tips today!

Name: Susan Page Davis

Genre: mystery/suspense

Latest NovelBreaking News

Writing Tip: 

Write something every day. It’s easy to get sidetracked with non-writing stuff. Make the effort to set aside some time for only writing. You may have to remove distractions. Lock the door and turn off the phone and email if you have to. I remind myself of this often, because there is so much to the business side of writing. Don’t let promotion, networking, or any of the other “good stuff” replace the best stuff—your uninterrupted writing time!

Did she know I was going to be struggling today? HA! Susan’s so right, you have to set aside time to write, and stick with it, no matter what! Doesn’t it take like twenty one days of doing something every day to make it a habit? 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers: 

Don’t give up. The business is constantly changing, and it can be a steep learning curve, but hang in there. Remember, writing great stories is the most important thing.


My mother in law wrote in my copy of The Seer at my Launch Part, “Hard work pays off!” and that’s so true. Don’t give up!


A Senator who vanished. . .

An old man with regrets. . .

Editor Kurt Borden’s star reporter is struggling with depression. Long before Kurt bought his lakeside house in Maine, a senator owned the cottage next door. When Mick Tyler shows interest in the story, Kurt sends him out to do a feature on the senator, who disappeared more than 40 years ago. Maybe Mick’s fascination with the tale will lift his depression.

But Mick never comes back.

Kurt’s wife finds an elderly neighbor ill in his home. The old man, Elwood Fairmont, begs Janet to give a cryptic message to his grown children. Elwood’s children gather, but their father’s words mystify them. Was what he told Janet a dying confession?

Kurt assigns bright young reporter Dave Carpenter to write about Mick’s disappearance. When Dave investigates the story his colleague was pursuing, Kurt’s life is threatened. Janet finds a clue that makes them wonder: Are Elwood’s regrets and Mick’s disappearance connected to things that happened decades ago?

To unravel the close-woven mysteries, Kurt and Janet must rely on their faith and use all their wits and diplomatic skills.

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Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 80 published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and historical romance genres. She has won the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky with her retired editor husband Jim. They are the parents of six grown children and the grandparents of ten.




Thank you for joining us today, Susan! Breaking News is added to my reading list.  Go check out Susan’s book on Amazon, and connect with her on social media.


You can purchase Breaking News by clicking here.

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