Writer Wednesday - T.M. Caruana

Inpired by more than a century of exploration
Today we welcome the talented, and prolific author, T.M. Caruana to the blog for #WriterWednesday!

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120x600 logo and orange back groundWhat prompted you to write this particular book
I entered into a multi-author box set collaboration and the theme was for paranormal romance. I have always liked this genre as well as my favourite, Epic Fantasy. I thought that a black dragon curse would be a lovely twist on a romantic story about a kiss of deceit instead of a true love’s kiss.

What do you do when you're not writing? 
When I’m not writing, I’m reading, or marketing my books. I host a YouTube book review channel, so I work a lot with movie editing.

Do you plot your books or plot them as you go? 
As a minimum I plot the general idea of the book with the endgame in mind, so I know where I’m heading. Some series I outline for a long while. I started plotting a trilogy in the beginning of January 2019 which I’m not finished with yet.

Is there any kind of take-away you want your readers to take with them when you’re finished with your books? 
I always try to have a moral to my books. Probably about love, kindness and charity, mixed in with some intrigues and villains. The Science Series is a bit more extensive in its message as it debates life’s existence, through a Quest Fantasy. This series is a mind twister, like the Sixth Sense film, where I hope that the reader will have to go back and read from the start to see all the hidden clues once they’ve finished it.

What made you start writing in the first place? 
As a girl I had a half an hour walk to school when I loved to imagine different stories to make the walk pass more quickly. I found the stories were influenced by Walt Disney classics, where I enjoyed heroic journeys either as a princess or a kick-ass heroine. I had quite a rough childhood and hence this was my way of escaping the everyday miseries and into a world of my own. I suppose old habits die hard. To this day I enjoy the limitless boundaries that the fantasy and sci-fi genres offer.

Get your copy of T.M.'s latest release and don't forget to sign up for her newsletter! Tell her I sent you! 

WeWriWa 2/9/2020 - Draculesti Dynasty - Torture Chamber

Find all your favorite books at booksamillion.com.
 Welcome back to this week's excerpt for the Weekend Writing Warriors weekly blog hop! We are deep in the throes of my reader letter, which precedes my newest novel, Defender of the Faith, book #1 in the Draculesti Dynasty series.

To get back to the other amazing authors featured on this weekly blog hop, click the sword and feather icon!  ----->

Without further ado . . . let's journey into the torture chamber.
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So how do we make the jump from Defender of the Faith to Vlad the Impaler? Vlad’s battlefield tactics of impaling people on stakes are legendary and make us cringe today, but history tells us that Vlad’s were tactics worked against the Turks – an enemy that utilized equally brutal tactics, as seen in Vlad’s early life and years of captivity. He beat the Turks at their own game in terms of sensationalistic brutality. Would anything less monstrous, by today’s standards, have worked against an enemy so brutal? Vlad didn’t think so – and the stories that have swirled down through history about his time(s) on the Wallachian throne proves he was right.
While Vlad is characterized as a bloodthirsty sadist remembered namely for his methods of execution, we must remember that torture and execution were very popular during the Middle Ages and were carried out almost as an art.
Public hangings and public beheadings were festival-like occasions, with people streaming into town from miles around to witness the bloody spectacle as excitedly as we might sit down in our living rooms with our families to binge a new Netflix series. Hangings and beheadings were the tamer counterparts to other torture and execution methods of the day, such as being dragged through the streets, hanged until half dead, cut down, genitalia cut off with red-hot blades, gutted while still alive, then hopefully beheaded before being torn into four sections, or quarters. No matter how death was dealt out, families watched and cheered and added to the hype and hysteria, always turning out in droves.

Thank you for stopping by! Check out some of my new releases on my website. If you're in the Houston area, check out the ABOUT ME section on my website to see a list of my upcoming appearances and book signings!

Out of the Shadow of Count Dracula . . . When Vlad III was Sold into Slavery

Welcome back to this week's edition of Out of the Shadow of Count Dracula. Last week, we looked at what the Order of the Dragon - a special, noble, chivilric society that was designed to protect Christendom (in those pre-Church-split days #CoughCoughThanksHenryVIII #MartinLutherYouGetPropsToo, Christendom was solely Catholic and Orthodox) from Ottoman (Muslim) takeover.

We learned also how Vlad III got his infamous name - Dracula. His father, Vlad II, took the name to honor the Order of the Dragon when he himself entered. In those medieval Romanian days, Dracul meant Dragon. Today, language has shifted (as language does . . . I mean, can you imagine someone in Vlad's time talking like my teenage daughter? Bro, that new edict you issued is delicious, frfr). Today, Dracul in modern Romanian means devil. What a way to get your reputation on the wrong path just through the shifting sands of history and language translation fads.

This week, let's look at Vlad III's childhood and examine when and why his father, Vlad II, sold him into slavery. 

Vlad II
Vlad III was born to his father, Vlad II of Wallachia, House of Draculesti, and his mother Eupraxia of Moldova. She was said to be his second wife, though Vlad II took many mistresses, and still not much is known about his legitimate wife other than she was a Moldavian noblewoman. 

CatholicMatch.com - Grow in Faith, Fall in LoveVlad II had a slew of children, the oldest legitimate child being Mircea - who was set to rule when Vlad II could no longer do so - and then came our beloved and historically notorious Vlad III. His little brother, Radu, came next, then a daughter, Alexandra - who also is difficult to track down historiographically. A couple of illegitimate children are in the Draculesti mix as well, one being the eldest of all, Vlad the Monk (whose cruelty, in my research, surpasses even Vlad III's . . .) and another child named Mircea. Strange . . . lots of the same names, lots of different mothers. Oh well, it is what it is. 

Radu the Fair, or Radu the Handsome

Vlad II, pictured above, wanted to rule and live a life of luxury, and he didn't think twice about selling out to do so. Actually not selling out . . . but selling his sons. But which ones should he sell? Not Mircea the heir, no no no. How about the littlest legitimate ones, Vlad III (our Vlad) and his little brother Radu (pictured to the left). Vlad III was 11 or 12 when he was sold by his father into Ottoman hands, and Radu was only 7.

As we know from the English language, to sell means to give something to someone in order to get something in return. So what did Vlad's Dad get in return for selling his sons to an empire of known pedophiles?

Peace. He got peace.

The Ottomans promised to help Vlad II regain his rightful throne and furthermore, they promised not to attack Wallachia if Vlad II supplied them with two of his sons plus a yearly supply of gold, a deal to which he readily agreed.

Without a second thought, Vlad III and Radu were dealt away like pawns by their father, ruler of the Wallachia - and into the hands of an enemy who had a well-known lust for young boys. What makes this even more disturbing is that the practice of selling young boys to the Ottoman Empire in exchange for the Ottoman's promise not to attack was commonplace at the time, with many, many countries doing the very same thing. These young boys, sold into Ottoman slavery, were numerous enough to make an army. This army even had a name - the Janissary Army - made up of young, European boys who turned from their European ways and were now loyal to the Turkish cause.

What happened once the boys arrived to Tokat Castle in modern day Turkey? Find out more next Thursday, same time, same place. 

Writer Wednesday Welcomes . . . Rebecca Corio

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Rebecca Corio, author of Rescue Me, among many other titles!

"I invite you to meet the men of my dreams. Take them home, let their heat surround you . . . Make them yours." 
-Rebecca Corio

Cara Jones deals in reality. She knows there are people depending on her to make the right decision even when it hurts. Life isn't about what she wants. It's about doing the right thing. And then one night Firefighter Trace McKinnon walks thru her door. But Trace doesn't play by any rules but his own. Everything about him upsets the balance of Cara's world. His body is a work of art like a living breathing Greek God and he doesn't mind showing her. Trace doesn't take no for an answer and Cara responds to him despite knowing she shouldn't. But just as Cara begins to trust Trace, he walks out of her life. How could she ever guess three years later, he'd be the one to find her sunning naked at the beach? Though her body is bared to him, the rest of her no longer is. Cara won't let him use her twice. She no longer trusts him. When Trace introduces her to the new station chief Cara finds herself captivated by Domino Mason. His body calls to her own promising her nights of wicked erotic pleasure. And suddenly Cara finds herself with not one fireman but two. The heat between them begins to flare and Cara knows if she isn't careful, she's the one who will get burned.

 Who is Rebecca Corio?

A former farm girl from the Midwest, Rebecca is blessed to now split her time between Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. From beaches to woods, she loves the outdoors and animals of all kinds, with a particular fondness for the Akita and the beautiful Maine Coon. Rebecca finds romance in every day life and in every setting. She loves writing characters who her readers can identify with and weaves bits of truth into all her stories. A believer in Love at first sight and Happily Ever After, Rebecca shares laughter, tears, and her passion with readers through the stories she creates. She loves being the sunshine and light for those around her. The advice she gives most often... When the Universe stops to sprinkle its pixie dust upon you, make sure your arms are open to receive it.

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Where can I find Rebecca? 
Find Rebecca and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Sign up for her newsletter, too!

Where can I find her books? 

Come find her books on her website, or her Amazon author page! You will NOT be disappointed in this fabulous author's work!

WeWriWa 2/2/2020 - Defender of the Faith (Draculesti Dynasty #1)

Welcome back for the next excerpt from Defender of the Faith (Draculesti Dynasty #1). We are still in my throes of the first section of my reader letter, which outlines why Dracula? Why this book? Why in the world would I write something positive about someone that, through history, has been little more than a devil?

In the reader letter, I answer these questions and more and prove that, just as the narrator stated in the opening lines of Braveheart, history is written by those who've hanged heroes. Perhaps that is the case for Vlad Draculea III of Wallachia.

Most boys, Wallachian and European, turned while under Turkish (Ottoman) rule and became Janissaries, or members of an army of foreign boys loyal to the Turkish cause.
Vlad’s younger brother, Radu the Handsome, was imprisoned along with Vlad. Not long after their arrival, Radu became a favorite of the Sultan, Mehmed II, and shifted his loyalty to the side of the Turks, leaving Vlad to endure the hellish captivity and experiences on his own, with only his Catholic faith to lean on. Vlad’s experiences while in Ottoman captivity that are detailed in this book, while fictionalized, are based on real events detailed by Vlad and historians alike. When Vlad’s captivity was over, he held fast to his Catholic faith and left his little brother, now a lover of the Sultan and a practicing Muslim, in Turkey.

That's it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this week's excerpt from my reader letter!

Come on over to my website to check out more of my work, including paranormal thrillers and Amish romances!

Out of the Shadow of Count Dracula . . . The Order of The Dragon

Welcome back to this week's edition of Out of the Shadow of Count Dracula. 

Today, we're going to delve into The Order of The Dragon

What was it? How does it have anything to do with Vlad Draculea III? 

Let's go see, shall we?

What was The Order of The Dragon? 

The Order of The Dragon was founded in 1408 by The King of Hungary, Sigismund von Luxembourg. Interestingly but not surprisingly, von Luxembourg later became The Holy Roman Emperor.

The Crest of The Order of The Dragon
The Order of The Dragon was a monarchical chivalric order made up of knights and fashioned after the Catholic Crusades, which we all know and love. Membership was by strict invitation only, and those invited were only those of noble and Catholic blood.

The sole reason for the establishment of The Order of The Dragon was to protect Christendom, which was solely Catholic and Orthodox in the days before Martin Luther's and King Henry VIII's splitting of the church, from the threat of invading Ottoman's.

What does The Order of The Dragon have to do with Vlad?

Vlad III's country, Wallachia (modern day Transylvania) was one of the handful of countries allowed membership into the noble order, which also included Aragon and Hungary. They were loyal to The Holy See (The Pope) and The Holy Roman Empire.

Vlad's father was the original member of The Order of The Dragon. 

The word DRAGON is an Old (medieval) Romanian word that translates Dragon from the word Dragul. Modern Romanian, however, translates Dragul -- the name Vlad's dad took to honor the Pope's holy, chivalric Order -- today translates to DEVIL. Which doesn't do Vlad any favors.

Symbolism in the Crest 

The flag of St. George rests on the dragon's curved back. The cross featured here is strikingly similar to the cross commonly associated with The Knights Templar . . . I'll let you draw your own conclusions there.

Only one dragon crest survives in its entirety and that's in the Bavarian National Museum. However, many coins, art, and writings from Vlad's time depict the dragon.

It also boasts a Latin phrase . . . O Quam Misericors est Deus, Pius et Iustus . . . which translates to O how merciful is God, faithful and just.
The ceremonial sword belonging to The Order of The Dragon 
Thank you for journeying back to medieval Romania with me today.  Until next Thursday . . . <3

Writer Wednesday Featuring Author Ann Swann

Today's featured author for Writer Wednesday is Ann Swann. Her newest release, Yeah, but I Didn't, is hot off the presses and raking in the 5-Star reviews! Come learn a little about this page-turning read and the author behind the words!

Yeah, but I Didn't by [Swann, Ann]


Ann Swann was born in a small West Texas town. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantom Pilot, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to scheduling commercials in a rock-n-roll radio station. She even taught reading in elementary school. Ann still lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, two rescue cats, and a host of other critters who only show up at feeding time. When not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.



The first rung: the betrayal
The second rung: the assault
The third rung: the rumors
The fourth rung: the painting
The final rung: no other way out
Benji Stevens is 14 years old when her world falls apart. Betrayed, bullied, and battered emotionally, physically, and spiritually, her life spirals out of control. She is certain there is nowhere to turn and nothing to live for. Yet in the midst of the darkness there appears an array of hope in the form of her crazy uncle, her single mom, and a host of other characters she never dreamed would be there to help. And when she is forced to join the Yeah, but I Didn't therapy group, she is finally able to confront her inner demons and embrace her own self-worth.


Yeah, But I Didn't is a work of teen fiction in the drama and coming of age genres, and was penned by author Ann Swann. Written with a mild caution for scenes of violence and an attempted sexual assault, the central plot focuses on the harrowing experiences of fourteen-year-old Benji Stevens. Falling into circumstances of emotional and physical trauma, a heart-breaking betrayal and a loss of faith in life, love, herself and everyone around her, it will take a real miracle for her to rise up again and be happy. Fortunately, that comes in the shape of some of her family members and those she is referred to for help.

Author Ann Swann delivers a harrowing emotional tale that offers messages of hope and renewal of spirit despite some of the darkest times that life can throw at us. Suitable for teens and adults alike, one of the most accomplished things about the novel is how authentic teenage Benji is in her thoughts, weaknesses, actions, but also in her strength and growth later on. This is a highly realistic portrayal of the devastating effects that dark interventions can have on young, fragile minds, but also an admiration of the strength and power of regrowth that young people can have too. Overall, it sends a strong, hopeful message through highly relatable characters and a well-constructed narrative of support from all around. Yeah, But I Didn't is an emotionally compelling and genuinely helpful work of fiction to create talking points for teens and adults everywhere. -- KC FINN


Yeah, But I Didn't by Ann Swann is a coming of age novel chronicling a disturbing period in the life of a young girl named Benji (Ben) Stevens. At age 14, Ben has been advanced into high school as a result of a high IQ that pushes her beyond the level of classmates her age. While intellectually she is ahead of even her high school classmates, her young age and vulnerability make her an easy target. Once little more than a wallflower, an assault in her own home after artwork she created at school goes viral means the rumor mill begins to spin out of control. Cyberbullying by classmates and a brutal response from her own older sister Janie at home (compounded by another family tragedy) push Ben over the edge, prompting her to attempt the unthinkable. The road to recovery is difficult to navigate, but Ben and her family do their best to bring stability back into their lives. As they nurse a fragile Ben, each grapples with their own personal traumas and work to make themselves whole once more.

Yeah, But I Didn't is a difficult read due to its subject matter, but timely and relevant against the backdrop of what many teenagers and families experience in their real lives. Ann Swann writes Ben's story in a first-person narrative, allowing a reader to understand her struggles from within and experience the subplots, including an unexpected death and a runaway, as a stunned observer. There are multiple issues that are addressed in a short span of time and that keeps the book rolling forward at a sometimes dizzying pace, but it allows a reader to see how a devastating chain of events can snowball and threaten to crush an entire household. One thing that struck me was Ben's age and her positioning as a high school student at a time when she'd be with students her own age in an environment more suited for a younger teen. It's not an issue I've read much about and there's this feeling that Ben's intellect--her superpower, as she describes it--actually puts her at a disadvantage, throwing a kitten to a pack of wolves because there was literally nowhere else for her education to flourish as it needed. This doesn't factor into the central plot but, as a parent, I felt it intensely. This is a tough read but a good one, and an easy five stars. -- JAMIE MICHELLE


WeWriWa 1/26 - Defender of the Faith (Draculesti Dynasty #1)

Hello all! In addition to being Sunday, today is also the day Royal Rumble (the 13 year-old requires that we attend every WWE event that comes to the general vicinity) takes place in Houston and the day AFTER five of my six children had their very first flying lesson! Exciting! It seems we've planted the seed of aviation in all of my little daredevils children and will hopefully be getting some pilot lessons underway in the not-too-distant future.

Also, I would like to apologize. I signed up to blog last week, and had full intentions of doing so, until we learned that my aunt passed away from cancer in Odessa, TX. We rented an RV, loaded up the kids, and set out across the Lone Star State, and somewhere between the Brazos and the Pecos Rivers, blogging completely slipped my mind. Thank you for welcoming me back this week!

Now . . . onward to my newest and most exciting project yet! Dracula! To get this proverbial party started, I'll begin with an excerpt from my reader letter. So without further ado, let's step out of the shadow of Count Dracula . . .

Back in 2009 when I began writing historical romance, on its own accord my work seemed to take an inspirational shift, which led (naturally) into more faith-based works, including my first Amish novel, Rebekah’s Quilt. Like the never-ending laundry pile produced by my family of eight, Rebekah’s Quilt morphed and multiplied with reckless abandon until it became book number one of a four-book series titled Rebekah’s Keepsakes. Suffice it to say, my work tends to take on a mind of its own and does as it pleases. Which pretty much describes in a nutshell how this book about Vlad came to be.
As a gal with a Bachelor’s degree in Medieval European History, I have an extreme fascination with the people of yesteryear and was thrilled when I learned that the infamous, bloodsucking Count Dracula was based on Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, also known as Vlad Ţepeş, or Vlad the Impaler. Once I started research into Vlad and his life, I began to see him as a person instead of as a fictional character, and he was nothing like what legends described.

Vlad Drăculea III was fiercely Catholic, a third-generation Defender of the Faith, and a member of the Order of the Dragon, declared so by the Pope. His grandfather took their surname, Drăculea, to honor the Order of the Dragon since, in old Romanian, drăcul translates to dragon. Today, it translates to devil, which does no favors to Vlad’s legacy.
As a child, Vlad and his younger brother Radu were handed over by his father Vlad II, ruler of Wallachia, to be a prisoner of the Turks, whose practice of taking sexual liberties with little boys and young men was common knowledge of the time. This was a selfish move on King Vlad’s behalf, as he traded his sons into Ottoman hands to ensure himself a peaceful reign without Ottoman harassment and, worse yet, this practice of trading of little boys to the Ottomans in exchange for peace with the Turks was a common practice between many European countries and the Ottomans - not just Wallachia. . .
There we have it. Ten sentences yanked from the first portion of my reader letter, thus setting the scene for this first-of-its-kind Dracula story. I hope you'll subscribe for updates for more behind-the-scenes Vlad drama which I uncovered while researching this series - and of course another excerpt from the untold story of Vlad next week! In the meantime . . . why not check out some of my fresh, new Amish romance releases? Because Vlad and Amish . . . they go together like . . . pickles and ice cream? Maybe . . . ? 

The Old Order Amish life offered in her hometown of Gasthof Village, Indiana is too restricting for spunky Katie Knepp after her return from Rumspringa. But is she really ready to turn her back on her devoted fiance Peter Wagler, on her twin sister Annie, and even her beloved parents? Katie has a tendency to act first and think later, and this time, she may pay for this with her life . . .

Rebekah Stoll has everything an Amish girl in 1888 could ask for . . . loving parents, a handsome sweetheart, and a mess of little brothers who think the world of her. However, when an English stranger arrives at her simple homestead and sets her world - and that of everyone she loves - on end, everything Rebekah thought she knew is called into question. Even her faith.
Who can Rebekah trust when the line between the Amish and the English becomes blurred? 

Out of the Shadow of Count Dracula

I have been researching a new book- well, let me rephrase that. If you know me I don't research just one book at a time, so in all fairness I can say that I have been researching a new series of books- about the medieval Romanian who inspired Count Dracula. Vlad Draculea III, also known as Vlad the Impaler.

In my research, I have uncovered (many, many, many) interesting facts that have changed the mental portrait I have of Vlad III, from one of a bloodthirsty, mindless heathen to . . . well, journey with me on this blog back to medieval Romania and see for yourself. (Clicking this link will take you to my Dracula page on this blog.) 

Next up . . . Vlad Draculea, Defender of the Faith. 

Book Signing and New Release!

Hello all!

I hope this finds you well as we go into the Thanksgiving season. What is it you are thankful for? Friends? Family? Health? Significant other? Thankful for no school for a week? Around here, we are thankful for all of the above.

Lots of fun news on the writing front! We have two more publishing contracts -- one with Prairie Rose Publications for my four-book Native American Y.A. series, The Saga of Indian Em'ly, coming Dec 20, and one with WordCrafts Press for The House of Madness, my debut horror novel.

In real life, come see me December 6 at Cocohodo in Katy, Texas where I'll be signing books! Check out my author Facebook for details and to join the event!

Happy Thanksgiving!

WeWriWa - 10/20/18 - The Witch and the Reverend

Hello fellow Weekend Writing Warriors!

Today's excerpt is from a BRAND-NEW book that is releasing EXCLUSIVELY on Radish Fiction titled The Witch and the Reverend (just in time for Halloween!)

The King's Forest. London 1554. 

“Please Reverend Wainwright, please. Let us go, please.” Their voices hung heavy beneath the canopy of frost-bright trees. I heard their teeth chatter and imagined their toes curling in against the cold, just as mine were. The other two accused girls weren't gagged. Only I received that honor. “We've done nothing wrong.”

None of the townsfolk who were gathered before us to witness our burnings acknowledged their pleas. 

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to subscribe to The Witch and the Reverend, which begins releasing Friday October 26! Exciting!

Click here to get back to the other WWWarriors and have a magical weekend!

A Heart on Hold on Radish Fiction

Come over to Radish Fiction and get your daily dose of Civil War romance! 

War. Devotion. Deceit. Death. 

How long can a heart hold on before it breaks? Most women would carry on with their lives after being thrust into widowhood, but not Charlotte Adamsland. Upon learning that her husband, Captain Sanderson Redding, was killed in a botched escape from a Confederate prison in Illinois, she clings to his promise to return to her no matter what, and quickly heads north through a war-ravaged country with only her faith in God and her beloved horse to bring her beloved Sanderson home - one way or another.

Leave me a comment and let's talk books!

WeWriWa 8/19/18 -- An Amish Settlement. An English Stranger. The Blizzard of 1888.

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope each and every one of you are doing wonderfully! It has been a while since I've been here with you at Weekend Writing Warriors and lots has happened since then! First and foremost, in February, my name changed from Sara Barnard to Sara Harris. More to come on that after our Amish snippet! Get back to the other great writers at WeWriWa here! 

In other news . . . my awesome literary agent sold this Amish novel, Rebekah's Quilt, to Vinspire Publishing. And even better . . . Rebekah's Quilt will be the first in the four-book Rebekah's Keepsakes series from Vinspire! #SuperSquee

Without further ado . . . 

The Pike, Indian Territory, 1868

“Look Elnora!” Samuel’s German accent thickened the English words and gave them a musical feel. He pointed to the vast expanse that spread out before them. “That’s what the English call The Pike. Many are traveling west on this very road.”
Elnora peeked out from the wagon, her eyes searching the desolate vastness. “So this is Indiana Territory.” She giggled. “I see, Samuel. Many are traveling this road.” The lack of fellow wagons was sadly apparent.

This snippet is from Rebekah's Quilt, book 1 in the Rebekah's Keepsakes series, coming in 2019 from Vinspire Publishing. 

In my name change news . . . February 10, 2018, I married a man who puts even the most notable romance novel heroes to shame. Now, we get to work towards our happily ever after. <3 

I welcome your comments and question! Till next time! 

Sara Harris - Author and Adventurer

Welcome! I'm historical romance and children's author Sara Harris (formerly Sara Barnard). Some of my works include the four-book dramatic Civil War romance Everlasting Heart series from Prairie Rose Publications, and the forthcoming four-book Amish romance Rebekah's Keepsakes series from Vinspire Publishing.

In a nod to #ThrowbackThursday, I'm throwing it back to 2011. It was there, on Lee Street in Lawton, Oklahoma, when I did a happy dance in traffic after receiving a call from my very first editor, the late Connie Kline of Five Prince Publishing, telling me of her accepting my novel A Heart on Hold for publication -- on the condition I write three more books in the series.

These four award-winning and Amazon bestselling books were my first published novels and spanned a time where A Heart on Hold was truly the mantra of my life. I was in a failing military marriage, had my fourth child while revising A Heart on Hold, underwent an emergency thyroidectomy, and earned my first cancer diagnosis. These adventures and misadventures are what made the characters and their trials come to life within the pages of the Everlasting Heart series.

Here's a little more about the Everlasting Heart series. 

A Heart on Hold 

Charlotte Adamsland is separated from her husband, Sanderson Redding, the day after their marriage. A captain in the Confederate Army, Sanderson must return to his unit, leaving Charlotte alone on their Arkansas homestead to fend for herself. Yankees camp around the town of Altrose, bringing their own kind of lawless danger. And then, one dark day, a Southern soldier arrives with terrible news…Sanderson has been killed trying to escape a Yankee prison.

Sanderson has found salvation and hell in a single turn of events he could never have imagined—his much-younger brother, Jackson, is his Yankee guard. When Jackson’s cruel commanding officer learns of the brothers’ family ties, he devises a wicked plan to see them both dead. Jackson is determined to get his brother to safety—but a last-minute betrayal by another prisoner could be the death of both brothers.

Charlotte can’t accept the news of Sanderson’s death—he promised to come back to her. She heads north armed with only her faith in God and her beloved horse to bring her love home—one way or the other. Will she be able to rescue him? Or will her love remained locked forever in A HEART ON HOLD…

At last, the War Between the States is over! Sanderson Redding is finally home, and for Charlotte, life is good. Until the Army comes knocking. 

Sanderson's old captors have charged him with the murder of Lieutenant Lantz, who died mysteriously on the streets of St. Louis when the South surrendered. With help from the most unlikely sort, can Sanderson convince the Yankee jury of his innocence?

Left alone when Sanderson is carted off for murder, newly pregnant Charlotte is despondent. However, when the stress of their predicament threatens the life of their unborn child, Charlotte is more grateful than ever to have Minerva as her sister-in-law, and roommate.

When the judge sentences Sanderson to a suicide mission in lieu of hanging by the neck until dead, Charlotte knows she can't go along on this adventure. Between a hard pregnancy and a rash of hydrophobia that threatens the entire Arkansas countryside, Charlotte wonders if Sanderson will have a home waiting for him, if he survives the mission, and if he wants to come home at all. 

However, a freakish dog bite in the midst of the outbreak may well be the end of them all.

Sanderson Redding is set to go west to a waiting job as an Indian Agent—if Charlotte agrees. Leaving their home in Arkansas isn’t easy, but there’s not much left of Altrose—and no jobs for men with families. War veteran Jerry Thomas has secured positions for himself and Sanderson in California, but they must leave immediately. With a heavy heart, Charlotte bids goodbye to her father, Minerva, and Cotton. There’s no time to spare, and they set out early the following day for California.

Travel is hard on Charlotte, who is pregnant, but she finds a new measure of determination to face what comes their way—including a prairie fire, hostile Indians, and a hard childbirth she is afraid she might not survive. 

But the demons of Sanderson’s military life refuse to be left behind, as he finds himself embroiled with the Earp brothers and a lady of the night who carries a grudge against Charlotte. 

Will Charlotte and Sanderson’s marriage withstand the turmoil they must overcome? And should they survive the journey through a hostile, wild country, will they find happiness in an unfamiliar place that drove them west and took them from their beloved Arkansas home?

Sanderson and Charlotte set out on the dangerous journey to California Territory along with Minerva, Jerry, and the children. Though Charlotte doesn’t want to leave Arkansas, Sanderson is looking forward to building a life for Charlotte, Cotton, and little Charlie in the vibrant new territory. But when they arrive at Fort Bidwell, Sanderson and Jerry are immediately faced with a hard decision -- free the captive Indians they have been hired to hunt down, or do what they've been hired to do.

In a world where women are expected to be silent, Charlotte refuses to ignore injustice. When she defies the powerful bank president, it causes repercussions that can devastate the Redding family. In standing up to the town bullies to protect Cotton, Charlotte finds an unlikely ally in the handsome young half-Chinese outlaw, Johnny Tan. But will Johnny prove to be Sanderson’s nemesis or his saving grace?

Charlotte knows she can’t stay in Fort Bidwell, where circumstances seem to be ripping her once-happy family apart. Determined to leave, can she convince her beloved Sanderson to give up the security of his railroad job, pull up stakes, and head for Idaho, with A HEART FOREVER WILD…

Happy reading and cheers to your own happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Writer Wednesday - T.M. Caruana

Today we welcome the talented, and prolific author, T.M. Caruana to the blog for #WriterWednesday! Click on these hot book covers to ...