Sneak Preview of My Upcoming Novel

Courageous Heart Front Cover small copy

I just finished creating the book cover for my upcoming novel, “A Courageous Heart”! I’m so excited and I’m really pleased with how the cover turned out! I was rushing to get this one finished so I could display it at the book signing I’ll be attending this weekend! I’m working to get this novel published and available sometime this summer, and then I’ll be sharing the progress of another book that I just finished writing! A Courageous Heart is the third book in my “Hero at Heart” series! Check out the first two books here on Amazon.com! Now, for a glimpse at “A Courageous Heart”! Here is a sneak peek of the first chapter!

Chapter 1: Courageous Thoughts

Emiline stared into the darkness, her heart racing with fear. A low, terrifying howl broke the silence of the icy night. Then the noise of paws in the snow began to reach her ears. It was a pack of wolves, and they were coming for her.

“What do I do?” she wondered frantically. She had no one to help her. She wanted to run, but what good would that do? She would have to face them. There was no other option.

Soon, the bright eyes of the wild dogs began to appear and the footsteps came nearer and nearer. She was trapped. They had made a full circle around her. Some stood ahead of her, some behind. Each licked their chops and panted as they went.

“Be brave!” Emma told herself, gripping the handle of a knife at her side. Right then, one of the wolves let out a vicious snarl and charged forward. She pulled her knife out in a hurry, but before she could use it, she felt the wolf lunge on top of her, forcing her down to the ground. His paw weighed heavily on her chest. The moonlight glinted on the dog’s wicked teeth.

“No!” Emiline cried. She gave a wild struggle. But as she wrenched away from the weight on top of her, she felt herself rolling downward and suddenly she hit something hard.

With a startled cry the girl woke up, Her heart was still pounding in terror. But the cold night was gone and all she could see were dusty boards and a feeble glow of winter light.

“Thank goodness it was a dream!” she thought in relief. But she still felt like something heavy was weighing her down. She glared up at a golden-haired child who was lying on top of her. In the panic of Emiline’s bad dream, both of them had rolled out of bed, but Elizabeth was still fast asleep. Emma let out an irritated grunt and shoved her sister away.

“What a way to wake up,” she grumbled inside. “Falling out of bed!” But at least her bed hadn’t been far from the ground. She and Lizzy had been sleeping on a pile of pillows and blankets that were stacked in their little attic. With a moody huff, Emma stumbled to her feet and brushed the lint and dust off of her night gown.

“I’ll be glad to get out of this ugly room someday,” she thought. But, as her grumpy sleepiness wore off she began to think more reasonably. “I guess it isn’t so bad,” she told herself. “And it’s been worth it.” If she hadn’t given up her beautiful bedroom and slept in that dingy attic, her grandmother wouldn’t have had a place to stay with them. Grandma Adler had come for a long, long visit. But now that winter was falling over the town, it wouldn’t be long before the old woman headed back home. Emma couldn’t help but feel a little bit eager. She liked her grandmother’s company, but she couldn’t wait to sleep in her own bed again.

In a couple of minutes, Emiline was ready for the day. She had brushed her dark, brown hair until it looked like satin, and she had put on a tidy looking pinafore.

A pouty sort of noise reached Emiline’s ears as her sister began to wake up. The little girl was still lying on the hard, board floor, tangled up in a cocoon of blankets.

“Emma,” the girl whined, “I’m stuck!” She wriggled around, but it was no use. The best she could do was get her head out of the covers and look around in a mopey way. Confusion wrinkled the little girl’s brow with a frown. “Why am I on the floor?” she grumbled. Emma’s cheeks warmed up with a touch of guilt.

“I guess I shouldn’t have shoved her on the floor,” Emiline thought with a cringe. She knew that it had been all her fault, but she didn’t want to admit that. What Elizabeth didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her.

“Here, I’ll help you up, Lizzy,” she said, ignoring the question.

The delicious smell of food was floating up into the room. It was making Lizzy and Emma feel hungry. Trying not to waste any more time, they flew downstairs and darted into the kitchen. There, Mother had just pulled breakfast out of the oven, and the coffee was still hot.

“It’s almost time for school,” the lady said.

“I know!” Emiline cried. She took a heaping portion of the steaming, bread pudding and drenched it with creamy milk. It was a meal fit for a queen, but she hardly tasted it in her haste.

“Oh, Mother, I hope I’m not late for school!” she said between gulps of food. “Miss Weed said she was going to teach us to sing O Holy Night for the Christmas Party! I don’t want to miss it!”

From the other side of the table, Grandma Adler listened with a pleasant smile.

“Then you’ll have to run, Deary,” she laughed teasingly. “It’s getting pretty late.”

“And,” Mother added, “You still haven’t done your morning chores.”

“Oh, chores!” Emiline moaned to herself. “I really will be late if I have to do chores!”

“Your father already milked the cows, but I need you to tidy up a bit, and make sure when you sweep the floor that you sweep behind the furniture too! And don’t forget to fold the laundry neatly.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Emma said with a sigh. She never understood why her mother always liked things done a particular way. Emiline liked to get things done as fast as possible. She didn’t like taking the time to smooth each wrinkle out of the clothes as she folded them.

In a hurry, Emiline scooped the rest of her food into her mouth, ran to do her chores and then left with a rushed goodbye. She threw her coat on as she ran out the door and headed down the hill.

A burst of wind made Emiline shiver. It was a cold, December morning but winter hadn’t quite set in with it’s usual force yet. The world was still bright with a glimmer of sunshine and the fallen aspen leaves were glowing like gold on the ground. Emma’s heart filled with joy as she looked around at the countryside. Even in the winter, the woods and the hills had a certain beauty that played with the girl’s imagination. The pine needles were trembling in the breeze, and the creek was rimmed with ice. Then, high above the forest, there was a snow capped mountain that rose into the air like a towering castle.

It was quiet. But, as the girl hurried on, looking all around in joyful wonder, she began to hear a distant noise; the sound of heavy footsteps. She didn’t think much about it at first. This was the main road, and any of the townspeople could have been traveling it. But…what if it wasn’t a person at all? What if it was a horrid creature that was sneaking up on her? Emma’s blood ran cold and her dream about wolves flashed back into her mind. Did she dare to look back?

“What would I do if a wolf really was after me?” she wondered fearfully. “Would I have the courage to defend myself?” She shuddered at the thought, but then she drew in a determined breath. “I would have to!” she decided. “It would be a matter of life or death! Either I’d win or I’d die trying!”

The footsteps were getting closer than the girl realized. As she walked, dreaming about courage and danger, it stole up behind her and came near. Suddenly the girl heard a strange noise and felt a puff of hot breath on her neck. With a shriek, she flinched and braced herself for the worst. But her cry of fear was muted by the loud neigh of a horse and another startled voice.

Looking up with wide eyes, Emma saw a huge, black stallion faltering and rearing backward in nervous fear. She wasn’t sure if she was relieved or even more terrified. A boy was clinging onto the wild horse’s back and it looked like a dangerous struggle to stay in the saddle. But there was no fear on Peter McDougall’s face. His eyes were bright with the joy of his challenge, and as he gained control of the spirited creature, he laughed in victory….

       There’s more to read in this chapter. Once I get the book published, the first few chapters will be available to read on Amazon.com! I cannot wait to share this book with you all! Stay tuned for more updates! And, if you like what you’ve seen, don’t forget to give this post a like and hit follow! I love making new friends here on WordPress! Have a beautiful, spring day!

 

Upcoming Christian Novel~ A Courageous Heart

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Thirteen year old, Emiline Elmwood, wants to be courageous. She dreams of daring battles and heroic missions, but that doesn’t keep her from feeling afraid when her simple life in the West takes a perilous turn. As she and her friend, Peter McDougall, explore the wild woods, they find a little more adventure than they bargained for. Winter’s storms become perilously cold, and there’s something strange about the cave they find in the hills. The sense of coming danger makes Emiline feel uneasy. Could it just be her imagination? Or has something or someone been watching their every move? Danger lurks around every corner, and its enough to put both Emma and Peter on their guard. Will they be brave enough to face their enemy? Or will they find their courage pushed to its limit, and discover that only faith in Christ can strengthen them in their hour of peril?

This is the third book in the “Hero at Heart” series, and it’s coming soon! I hope to get this book published before the close of 2017! All it needs is some editing and some artwork. In the meantime, get ready for this exciting story and check out the first two books in this series on Amazon.com! There you can see an excerpt of both books and have your pick between paperback and kindle versions!

You can see I’ve begun to create the front cover for “A Courageous Heart”. I’m a long way from finished, and in sore need of a new laptop before I can complete it! But, I’m working on it, slowly but surely! My laptop no longer allows my Bamboo tablet and pen to function, which makes digital art very difficult! But, easy remedy! It gives me an excuse to buy a new laptop. Who could complain about that? Keep an eye out, because I’m going to be sharing an excerpt from this new story soon! And in the future, I’ll be letting you know about another book I’ve recently finished. I’m looking forward to announcing it! But so far, the book hasn’t found a proper title, hehe! So I’ll have to figure that out. If you like this post, don’t forget to follow this blog! I love making new friends, hearing your thoughts and connecting with both readers and fellow writers! And, if you love books as much as I do, you can keep up with my latest books as well as my favorite stories from other authors by following me on Goodreads! Have a wonderful spring, and a joyous summer!

The Richest Heart~Sneak Preview~A Christian Novel Coming Soon

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I just ordered my first proof copy of my second novel “The Richest Heart”! Woohoo! I’m so excited. This is the second book in my “Hero at Heart” series, if you haven’t seen the first book, check it out here! I am so close to having this novel published. All I have to do is look over my proof copy when it comes and then I will be sharing it with all of you! But, because waiting that long is far too hard, I thought I’d give  you a peek at the first chapter!

Chapter 1: The Message

Emiline gasped as her head rose above the water. Sputtering and coughing, she clung to a floating barrel and looked all around. Salt water was gushing in through a gash in the ship’s side. What had happened? Had the ship been thrown against a rock? Or had it been attacked?

It was dark in the bottom of the ship. The only light was a thin shaft that was falling around the hatch. With desperate haste, the girl left her barrel and swam toward that light. She grabbed onto the wooden ladder and put a hand against the door above her. But, before she could push it open, a noise made her stop. Clunk, clunk, clunk… It was the sound of wood thundering against wood. A frightening image flashed across Emiline’s mind. She could just picture a rogue captain staggering across the deck with his wooden leg.

“Pirates!” she thought fearfully. The water was up to her neck. Soon, it would rise over her head. What would she do? If she went on deck, the pirates would capture her. But if she stayed below, there was no hope of survival.

Clunk, Clunk, Clunk…

Suddenly, the sound shattered Emiline’s dreams. It was a loud noise, but what was it? Sleepily the girl opened her eyes. She was curled up in her own, cozy bed, snuggled under a warm blanket. For a moment, she lay still, listening carefully. Once again, the rattling noise of someone knocking on the front door came to her ears.

“A visitor?” she thought to herself. “This early in the morning? Who could it be?” She heard Mother’s footsteps hurry down stairs. The door opened quietly and two polite voices began to speak.

“Good morning, Mr. Thompson,” Mother said pleasantly. “What have you got for us today?” Emiline smiled. Mr. Thompson was the postman. Someone must have sent them a letter. A feeling of curiosity made the girl impatient to get out of bed, but she was trapped. Her little sister was still fast asleep, and the girl was clinging to her tightly.

“Ugh!” Emiline rolled her eyes in frustration. She didn’t understand why her sister had to snuggle so close to her.

“If only our house was a little bit bigger!” she yearned, “Then I wouldn’t have to share my bed.”

“Lizzy, let go of me,” she said aloud, wriggling away from the child’s arms. Elizabeth yawned and gave a mighty stretch.

“Good morning!” she exclaimed cheerfully. She threw her arms around Emma again and gave her a tight squeeze. Emiline grumbled inside.

“Good morning,” she replied, hiding her irritation. She patted the little girl on the head and then nudged her out of bed.

The floor was cold on Emma’s bare feet. She rushed to her closet and flung the door open. Lizzy bounded after her.

“Emma, I wanna wear my pretty, blue dress!” Elizabeth cried excitedly. She reached out a hand and fingered the soft, cotton skirt.

“You can’t wear that one, Silly,” Emiline laughed. “That’s your Sunday dress. If you wear it now, you’ll get it dirty.”

“Ahh,” Lizzy pouted “But I’ll be really careful!”

Emiline ignored her sister’s endless excuses and slipped on a simple plaid dress. She sighed as she watched herself in the mirror. She didn’t think her dress looked very becoming on her. But, as she unraveled her braids and watched her dark curls bounce around her shoulders, she felt better about herself. Down in the living room, Emma heard the front door shut again.

“Who would be sending us a letter?” the girl wondered. Her family didn’t get many things in the mail. Most of their friends lived close by and they visited them often. She grabbed the doorknob with an eager hand.

“Emma, what about me?” her sister whined.

“Oh, Lizzy, can’t you dress yourself this time?” Emiline begged. She was dying to go down and see what the postman had brought. The little girl shook her head sulkily.

“Oh, alright,” Emma growled. She hurried back to the closet and unbuttoned her sister’s nightgown with hasty fingers. Then she threw a dress over the girl’s head.

“Come on, Lizzy, stop being difficult,” she demanded, trying to fit the girl’s arm through the sleeve. As soon as she had fastened Elizabeth’s dress, she dashed out of the door before the girl could say another word.

Down the squeaky stairs, she found her mother sitting at her writing desk in the living room…

 

The Richest Heart ~ Self Publishing A Christian Novel

Emiline from Richest Heart Cover for blog copy.jpg

I just wanted to share my excitement! I’ve been working hard at getting my second novel edited and formatted this week and I’m getting so close to being finished. I’m hoping to have this new book, The Richest Heart, out on Amazon within a week or two! Maybe less if all goes well! This is a sneak peak of the front cover! I really enjoyed creating it using Manga Studio and the Wacom Tablet my sister was so kind as to let me barrow, hehe! I loved all of the elements that went into this project. The ocean was a lot of fun! Anyway, I’ll be sharing more about this book soon! In the meantime, you might want to check out the first book in The Hero at Heart series, here!

The Book Patch Review ~ My Novel in Print

Quite a while back, I reviewed a company called The Book Patch (TBP). I am a self published author and illustrator. For a few years now, I’ve been enjoying the adventure of building stories and sharing them with the world! I have written three children’s picture books and just recently, I completed and illustrated a middle grade novel called “A Hero at Heart”. I can’t tell you how excited I am! In the near future, I’ll be putting this book on Amazon.com and I’ll be documenting my experience using Createspace’s print on demand services. But today, I wanted to make one more review about The Book Patch.

Lately, I’ve been hearing some disturbing news about TBP. People have been noting that the company haven’t been answering their e-mails or phone calls. This kind of unnerved me. I hadn’t worked with TBP for probably a year or more, and I had to wonder whether the company had changed their quality. I can’t speak for their present customer service. When I dealt with them years ago, I had a wonderful time e-mailing them and getting all of my questions answered. I haven’t had a reason to e-mail or call recently. But, I set out to discover whether their printing quality was still good. This morning, I can say with pleasure that it is. I just received my first copy of “A Hero at Heart”, and I found it pretty satisfactory. The printing is excellent, the cover is beautiful and the paper feels quality to me. To be perfectly honest, I’ll mention the one flaw that I found. The book had a fine line where the corner got slightly bent (probably during packaging). It’s hardly noticeable and I’m not that worried about it. In the paragraph below, you’ll see that working with TBP isn’t always smooth sailing, but in my opinion, the product and quality is worth it.

For those who haven’t read my previous reviews and are interested in using TBP’s services. I’ll give you a few tips and thoughts. Tip #1. have patience with the website. When you go to upload your PDF and Front Cover image, you may find that the website glitches for several seconds and then pops up a window that says that a “script” has stopped working. Each time this happens, I find the only way to move forward is to click “stop script” and then the website will carry on. Tip #2. Make sure your PDF is the right size. The Book Patch will warn you if you’ve chosen a book size that doesn’t match your PDF. Do make sure you get this part right, or your book will not turn out. Tip #3. Don’t expect your order to come quickly. Printing takes quite a while. If you’re pressed for time and need your books printed for a specific occasion, make sure you order (I’m guessing here) about three weeks ahead of time. My book took two weeks and three days to print and ship to my house. Tip #4: Don’t expect a confirmation e-mail when you place your order or when your book ships. I don’t know if this is a set in stone fact, but I didn’t get either. It kind of scared me at first, but it didn’t mean a thing. My book still got here!

So, to sum up, I am still very pleased with TBP and would definitely order from them again.

 

Children’s Story ~ Huckleberry Pie ~ Coming Soon

Huckleberry Pie

Archie Hedgehog is very happy. The huckleberries are just right for picking, and it looks like a perfect day to bake a pie. But, as he sets out, he finds that the woods are crowded with other creatures and the juicy berries are quickly disappearing. As Archie searches for a berry patch all his own, he meets a lot of trouble along the way.

I’m so excited to share one of my latest Children’s books with you all! “Huckleberry Pie” will be the first story in a series of cozy tales that have lived in my imagination ever since I was a little girl.

A Story About True Heroism ~ Coming Soon for children ages 8 and up

a hero at heart for blog

The cold wind tossed Emiline’s hair as she stood ankle deep in the crisp snow. Her heart beat faster with fear as she looked all around. She couldn’t see a thing, only a white wall of falling snow. Where was her home? Where was the path? Which way was she supposed to go? She was lost, lost in the bitter cold of winter.

“Is anyone there?” she shouted. “Please, someone help me!” No answer came. She waited for a few moments more, but the dead silence made her heart throb with terror. If she stayed here, she was sure to freeze to death.

Feeling desperate, Emiline turned around and started to run. Surely home would be straight behind her. She hadn’t walked far. But, as she ran, the snow became deeper and deeper. Suddenly she sank up to her knees in icy wetness. Where was she? She certainly wasn’t in her own flat field. There were no deep ditches like this near her home.

“Help me!” she screamed once more. “Please, I’m lost!” Her voice quavered as tears streamed down her pale cheeks. There was no answer to her cries for help. She was doomed; doomed to die in the ice and wind with no one near to comfort her.

As Emiline sank to her knees in despair, she remembered her father’s instruction. He had warned her never to walk in a blizzard. Why hadn’t she listened to him? She felt so ashamed and terrified. But there was nothing she could do about it now. Just as she began to accept her fate she heard a noise in the distance. It was the sound of distant bells. Sleigh bells! With new hope she looked up.

“Over here!” she shouted wildly. “Help me! I’m over here!” Through the white, snowy veil she could see the flashing lights of the sleigh’s lanterns, swinging back and forth as the horses pulled their load closer and closer to her.

“Emiline!” a voice called. Then louder the voice called again “Emiline Elmwood, are you listening to me?”

In a common schoolhouse, at a common wooden desk, a little girl started in her seat. The wintery wind stopped all at once as her daydreams floated away. Emiline bit her lip nervously. She couldn’t remember a word her teacher had been saying. But, she hated to admit that she hadn’t been listening.

“Yes ma’am,” she answered hesitantly.

“Then why are you not writing?” The lady asked. Miss Weed, the school teacher, eyed Emma sternly. It didn’t really surprise the woman that her student had drifted away from their dictation lesson. Emiline was known for her wild imagination.

 “A Hero at Heart” is the story of Emiline Elmwood, an imaginative girl who dreams of becoming a hero and doing great things.  But does she have what it takes to be a real hero? Will she be strong enough to face her greatest fears and selflessly help those around her? As she discovers her own faults and weaknesses, she turns to Jesus, and asks him to be her strength. Ultimately she learns that Jesus Christ is the greatest hero of all.

I couldn’t wait to share a glimpse of  my novels first chapter with you all! I’ve been working on this story for about a year now, and it’s almost finished! It has been both a challenge and a pure joy to create. This is the first, full length novel I’ve written so far. It’s also the first story I have written for an audience of preteens. I’m getting more and more excited as I see the finish line ahead of me! I hope to share more about this story in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

Children’s Story Book~ Yours and Mine~ A Lesson on Sharing by Theresa Stinnett ~ Coming Soon

Yours and Mine

I’m so excited! I just ordered my first shipment of “Yours and Mine” my third story in the Tilford Green series! I’m hoping to have this book available to purchase by early December (just in time for Christmas!). I’m also taking them and my other two stories to a Christmas Bazaar this December! So looking forward to that!

Yours and Mine is a colorfully illustrated children’s story. It’s about a little piglet named Tilford Green. Tilford is a good little pig, but he has a very hard time sharing his toys with his sister. Soon enough though, he discovers that sharing makes everyone happy.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out my other two stories, “A Baby in the House,” and “Always Ask Before You Do”. There’s lots more to come, so keep up to date by subscribing!

Thank You!

Yours and Mine- A New Children’s Story Focused on the Lesson Of Sharing

Yours and Mine

Tilford Green is a good little piglet who always wants to do the right thing. But, when it comes down to sharing his favorite toys he has a lot to learn. This colorfully illustrated story teaches children that sharing makes everyone happy. It is the third story of “The Tilford Green Series” and it’s almost finished! I hope to have this story available for purchase soon, but in the meantime feel free to brows my blog and check out my other two books by visiting my Etsy Shop. You can also view my family’s artistic creations there including needle felted figurines, crocheted bags and giclee prints of our paintings.  Be sure to keep up to date on my future projects by following my blog. Thanks for stopping by!

A New Children’s Book Coming Soon

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My second children’s story, “Always Ask Before You Do”  will be available soon! I can’t give an exact estimate on the date yet, but I ordered a shipment of 50 and they’ll be up for sale on my Etsy shop as soon as possible. “Always Ask Before You Do.” is the second story in The Tilford Green Series. When Tilford, a little piglet, decides to do something heroic, disaster follows and he learns that some tasks are just too big for a little piglet to do. Teach your children the importance of asking for help and not being impulsive with this fun, illustrated story. Each book is printed on high quality, glossy paper by The Book Patch.com. If you’d like to see an example of each book’s quality, check out my previous posts about my first story “A Baby in the House.”