Win a free copy of With Music in their Hearts by Carole Brown

Happy Monday, readers,

CaroleAug14 (14) croppedToday we welcome Carole Brown to Home Thoughts. To win a free copy of With Music in their Hearts, please leave Carole a comment at end of interview. What inspired you to write this book? First, we had an elderly gentleman friend who wrote a self-published small book about a man who served as a civilian spy during WWII. It was said, that HE was the spy, but he never confirmed or denied it. And though I’ve been told it couldn’t have happened; that such things as civilian spies did not/could not happen, I believe the basic thought made for a great plot in With Music in Their Hearts! Secondly, I wanted a story with a heroine that honored my mother, and when I began this novel, I used my mother’s name, Emma Jane (Jaine, in the book). Mother never especially liked her name, but I love it and think it fits my female protagonist perfectly.

What do you hope readers will take away from your story? Trust God implicitly! I’ve experiencedWMITH Bk Cover small-Modified earrings it myself, and believe with all my heart that faith and trust in God is what gives us peace and strength and satisfaction. Emma Jaine came from a family who attended church, yet she didn’t know Christ as her Savior, She needed to believe and trust God: he had his perfect plan for a husband for her. She only had to reach out and accept what God offered. Tyrell Walker, on the other hand, had parents who rebelled from their upbringing and who gained popularity, riches and a life filled with unhappiness and friction. When they were killed, only his grandparents teaching saved him from the same life. But his childhood past gave him a touch of inferiority in believing his life and a prospective marriage could be different. Although a strong Christian in many ways, he couldn’t quite believe God had a perfect life planned for himself. If my readers can take away a measure of increased faith, then my efforts at creating this novel, will have been fulfilled. 

What are you working on next? The second book in my mystery series, Bat Crazy, is scheduled for release late winter. I’m working and hoping to have a late 1800s light suspense book ready soon too.(Caleb’s Destiny). I’m striving to finish the second book in The Spies Series: A Flute in the Willows, for publication late next year.

Carole Brown not only has her award winning (RWA International Digital Awards finalist in Inspiration, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? Connect with her here: Personal blog:



You can purchase With Music in their Hearts here:

Leave Carole a comment to win a free copy. Have a lovely Thanksgiving, readers! Be safe. ~ Mary

Writing Process Blog Tour

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, readers,  I hope you’ll join me in thanking all the men and women in the US. military for their service to their country!

clipstonpublicityRecently, I was invited to participate in a blog tour by my good friend, Amy Clipston. Amy writes awesome romantic fiction set in the Amish community for Zondervan and Harper Collins and has won numerous awards. Amy’s latest book is A Mother’s Secret. She asked me to share my answers to four questions that authors from all over have been answering in this Writing Process Blog Tour.  Here are my answers:

What am I working on at the moment? Right now, I’m putting the last touches on book two of the Civil War Heroines Series, called The Lady and the Officer for Harvest House Publishers. While serving as a nurse in Gettysburg, Madeline Howard saves the life of a colonel in the Confederate Home Guard. Even though Maddy’s heart belongs to Union General James Downing, Colonel Haywood never forgets the beautiful nurse. When their paths cross in Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, he’s determined to win her heart. Maddy has been busy eavesdropping on army officers and war department officials in her aunt’s palatial home. When she hears plans for Confederate attacks in northern Virginia, she passes the information along to Union officers, betraying the trust of her family and friends. Two men are in love with her. Will Maddy’s choices bring devastation on those she loves?Lady and the Officer, The

How does my work differ from others of its genre? Most fictional stories set during periods of political unrest assume a particular posture. Although my lead heroine will share my anti-slavery convictions, I attempt to portray the complexity of social issues. Usually there are no truly “good guys” by the time a war is over, no matter how well-intended people’s original motivations.

Why do I write what I do? I love to create stories about cultures I admire (I’ve written a dozen books set in Amish communities throughout the United States.) and romances set during turbulent periods of America’s past. I’ve always loved history and the way it has shaped laws governing us today. And love does have a way of surviving even during wartime, no matter how dire the circumstances.

How does my writing process work? I travel to the area where I plan to set a story to get details only available in person. In the case of historical novels, I research several times because there is always so much to learn. But in the end, I still end up making a few mistakes because so much information is ambiguous or incorrect. I’ve even seen two different accounts as to who won a particular battle at Civil War interpretive centers.

The Lady and the Officer is available for pre-book at

I hope you’ll drop by next week’s blog tour participants: Kathleen Fuller and Carole Brown.

Kathleen Fuller writes lovely Amish romances and historical romance for Harper Collins.

Carole Brown writes for Lighthouse of the Carolinas. Her book, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman was nominated for a Selah Award.

Drop by an see what these great authors have to say! Have a great Memorial Day weekend, readers. ~ Mary



The Minds of Animals

Happy Monday, readers!

Before I get started, I wanted to choose my winner from last week’s contest. Mary Preston, you’re the lucky winner of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by Carole Brown. We’ll be contacting you privately to send your copy.

Have you ever noticed that animals sometimes know who likes them and who doesn’t? I have been amazed how often they can tell friend from foe, or who happens to be afraid of them. Too bad we as humans don’t possess the same sixth sense. In my latest book, A Little Bit of Charm, my character has just moved to her cousin’s organic chicken farm. Although Rachel adores horses and takes a job working with Thoroughbred race horses, she has never met a chicken she liked—except fried on her dinner plate with a side of coleslaw. Her cousin, Sally, loves her job and has several pet hens following her around the barnyard, clucking merrily. One of those chickens takes an immediate and irrational dislike for Rachel. The bird torments my heroine any time she comes near. Never enter the free-range enclosure with bare shins becomes Rachel’s hard-learned lesson.

In real life, my aunt had a wild crow that followed her around the neighborhood when she was a child. From telephone pole to treetop, “Blackie” would keep tabs on my aunt while she rode her bike, picked blackberries, or waded in the creek. Often he sat on her shoulder if she walked slowly and fed him cracked corn. However, my aunt’s girlfriend disparaged all birds as “dirty, disease carriers.” This friend didn’t fare so well when caught in Blackie’s territory. The crow often chased her down the path and once tangled his talons in her hair.

In my personal experience, I once invited eight ladies for a summer luncheon and game of croquet on the lawn. My neighbor, who decided to join the party late, arrived with her hundred-and-fifty pound dog. As you might guess, one of the croquet players was deathly afraid of dogs. And of course, Wolfgang ran straight for this unfortunate woman, causing a major case of anxiety.

How did he know? A better question might be how is it we don’t know when fellow humans have evil intentions. Perhaps we have something to learn from chickens, crows, and man’s best friends. Little Bit of Charm, A