Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […] (April Gardner)
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    • An Excited Welcome to Diane and David Munson!
      I'm thrilled to welcome mult-published authors David & Diane Munson to the Barn Door Book Loft! I've read their books and enjoy the plots and their talent! David, Diane: Can you tell us a bit about your family, and what it is like where you live?It’s interesting that you ask that question. Facing Justice was our debut novel and the publisher as […]
    • Facing Justice by Diane and David Munson
      Back CoverExFeds, former Federal prosecutor Diane Munson and former undercover Federal Special Agent David Munson draw on their true-life experiences in this debut suspense novel about Special Agent Eva Montanna, whose twin sister died at the Pentagon on 9/11. Eva dedi cates her career to avenge her death while investi gating Emile Jubayl, a member of Eva’s […]
    • Congratulations to This Week's Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.Before we announce our three winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:Sarah Sundin who offered her Historical Romance  In Perfect Time.Carrie Stuart Parks who offered her Thriller  A Cry From The Dust. And Chawna Schroederwho  offered her High School Curriculum  Bearing […]
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    • July New Releases Clash
      Here at Clash of the Titles, the end of another month calls for the beginning of another Clash.We present to you five brand new novels for your perusing pleasure. Which would you pick up first? Let us know by casting your vote below! Check back here on Thursday, September 4th for the contest results.Big secrets never stay hidden, and it’s the darkest ones th […]
    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
    • "A Place in His Heart," a New World Romance!
      Today's featured novel,A PLACE IN HIS HEART is a historical romance authored by Rebecca DeMarino. It's her debut novel and book one of The Southold Chronicles."I hope my readers find pure entertainment! I hope they enjoy the love story, with all of the ups and downs of Mary and Barnabas. I hope they get lost in a time period that was so far di […]
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    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
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    • Susan Rush's Just Over the Horizon - great story!
      Just Over the HorizonSusan Rush c. July, 2014 Astrea PressInspirational fiction e-book, 250 pp $3.99 Buy on Amazonalso on Kobo From the Publisher: While grieving the death of her eccentric nana, Sarah discovers an unexpected gift. She soon grows dependent on the heirloom, a little box, for comfort and guidance. Feeling restless and needing a change, Sarah ac […]
    • Get on Board and Stay on Board by Pearl Nsiah-Kumi
      My friend Pearl Nsiah-Kumi, who is a multi-published Christian Author, has put together an inspiring book for us, Get On Board and Stay On Board. It is a collection of poems, short articles and short Bible studies based on scripture, to encourage non-Christians to place their faith in Jesus, and also to support Christians to have a closer relationship with G […]
    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at, […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

      From the moment I started this book by Ray Blackston I couldn’t put it down. I can’t attribute it to one particular thing but to a gift of combined talents that hooked me. These include his superb writing, keen observations, ability for humor, and a unique story telling style, all from a single man’s perspective.The main character, Jay, an investment broker […]
    • Book Review: Healing Grace by Lisa Lickel
      When Grace Runyan experiences the loss of her husband, she moves to escape her pain and her past. She rents a home in a small Michigan town next door to a seriously  ill man with a young son. Grace’s personal tragedy and hurts run deep. The  more we get to know her, the more secrets we learn about her. As she begins to care for the little boy, and finds hers […]
    • Book Giveaway: Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship
      Here's your chance to win a print or electronic copy of my book, Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained RelationshipHere's a bit more about the book.Mothers and daughters. In perhaps no other relationship are our hopes so high, and the dysfunction so disappointing. You feel locked into a hurtful relationship that you must deal with, and it' […]

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘inspirational novels’

Tuesday Promotion in Motion with Allie Pleiter

Posted by Lisa Lickel on April 24, 2012

Welcome back, Allie Pleiter!

About the Author:

An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction.  The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework.  Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the Midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois.  The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced two parenting books, fourteen novels, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing.  Visit her website at or her knitting blog at

About the Book:

Homefront Hero by Allie Pleiter

Love Inspired Historical

May 2012

ISBN: 978-0-373-82916-3

Back cover copy: Dashing and valiantly wounded, Captain John Gallows could have stepped straight out of an army recruitment poster. Leanne Sample can’t help being impressed—although the lovely Red Cross nurse tries to hide it. She knows better than to get attached to the daring captain who is only home to heal and help rally support for the war’s final push. As soon as he’s well enough, he’ll rush back to Europe, back to war—and far away from South Carolina and Leanne. But when an epidemic strikes close to home, John comes to realize what it truly means to be a hero—Leanne’s hero.

Allie, what things did you learn with this publication experience?

I learned how much fun it can be to combine your passions. By fusing my love for knitting with my love for romance, I discovered the sum is greater than its parts. Not only was writing this story an adventure of love–diving into the history of something I hold dear–but I became so very excited about the project that I’m impossible to live with lately! Before this book, I would have thought it odd to make knitting romantic (well, let me rephrase that: I would have been sure other people would find it odd). The more I watched how learning to knit under Army orders forced John and Leanne together in close quarters, fed their conversation, enabled them to learn things about themselves and each other, the more ideal the plot became.

That is definitely outside the box. What can readers do to help you spread the word about your books?

Online reviews like and have become important ways “word of mouth” happens in the information age. The best way to spread the word is to do just that–tell your friends. Gift an e-book, purchase a second copy and hand it off to someone you know will enjoy it, tell what you liked on Twitter and Facebook. Readers can also go to to sign up for my newsletters so they catch more of my work.

Do you have a favorite recipe related to the book? if so – share.

No, I don’t, but I know some people who can provide the next best thing: a knitting pattern. We still have soldiers, and they still need socks. has information on how we can still support our troops with yarn and needles. You can also find patterns and groups on the social networking site

Oh, I like that, Allie! Thanks so much for those sites. Do you have a funny story about the blog tour so far you can share?

 It’s a bit early for hi-jinx, but I’ve had a great deal of fun researching this book. People have been wonderfully helpful. One memory I will keep forever took place on Jackson Army Base in Columbia, SC (which is Camp Jackson during the time of my book). I was there just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and was on site for the base’s memorial ceremony. It was incredibly moving to be among so many patriots for such a somber event–I’ll never forget it.

Moments that like help define us, don’t they? Anything else you’d like to tell us – motivation-wise, reader-advice, writerly.

Only that I truly believe the words all over my website: the adventure starts right where you are!  Adventures are everywhere, even in the saddest of places. You do not need to be equipped or strategic, they can start here and now, right where you are. If you don’t like where you are, start your adventure to where you want to be–it has to begin somewhere, so why not here? The important thing is not where you begin, it’s that you begin.

What great inspiration, Allie! Thanks so much for stopping by today, and best wishes with your future work.

Posted in Author Marketing, Author Spotlight, Encouragment, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Sunday Book Review: A Short Life Well Lived by Tom Sullivan

Posted by Lisa Lickel on January 8, 2012

A Short Life Well Lived by Tom Sullivan

Howard Books, a division of Simon Schuster

c. 2011

ISBN: 9781439192276



Genre: general fiction

A Short Life Well Lived is an achingly realistic novel about a family’s life and loss and the lessons of not always getting the miracle you ask for.

I had to flip back several times to make sure I was reading a novel as I skimmed through the Introduction and opening chapters. Sullivan, who is blind, pens the tale of a blind attorney and his traditional family so well and true I thought it might have been nonfiction.

Brian O’Connor has everything going for him, nice family, loving wife, the ability to function in society without eyesight, even coaching his son’s baseball team. Brian treats faith as a sideline issue while his wife, Bridgette, challenges him. Both are generous in sharing their talents. When tragedy strikes their son, do they cave as many families would when facing insurmountable odds, or do they dig deeper and find the true Branch to graft on to?

Sullivan begins the story with a prologue that is really the end of the story. The back of the book clearly tells the reader that their young son Tommy is stricken with cancer. The book is a faith journey beautifully written with nothing of the pain, fear, doubt and anguish left out.

Excellent for those who like the style of nonfiction authors Laura Hillenbrand or Janette Walls, A Short Life Well Lived is a great fictional complement to the growing library of  realistic fiction.

♦♦♦♦ Reflections

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The Sunday Book Review – The Smoke of History with Naomi Musch

Posted by Lisa Lickel on November 13, 2011

Empire in Pine, Book Two

The Red Fury, by Naomi Musch

c. October, 2011 Desert Breeze

ISBN 97812162520919

Price $6.99 ebook

Nearly a generation after The Green Veil, set in the great north woods of Wisconsin in the lumber era, Naomi’s second story in the series, The Red Fury, ramps up the tension and tosses decorum to the wind in the hustling 1870s Midwest.


Lainey Kade found true love once, but after her fiancé’s death, can’t seem to hold onto another engagement. After a second humiliating breakup she’s ready to leave town and reinvent herself. Adventure comes in the form of a lengthy business/pleasure trip with her brother and cousins when her father sends them to Chicago with sight-seeing around the state and cities expected.

In this time when nightmares still haunt those affected by the recent Civil War, a pair of young veterans roam the area, looking for adventure and a means to quell the grief at the loss of their parents. Kelly and Zane Beaumont live fast and furiously; Zane always on the edge as a card playing, pleasure-seeking high-roller and his younger brother Kelly his sidekick. The six young people meet briefly in Chicago, then again on the train north. They decide to travel together when they realize how well they get along. Lainey, definitely not looking for romance, pretends to be married to her cousin. She doesn’t fool the sharp-eyed Zane for long, however. Her adventuresome unconventional spirit attracts him, but he buries any feelings deep, especially when it’s obvious Kelly has fallen for her hard.

While staying in Green Bay, Lainey sketches. Her drawings present an opportunity for livelihood, which she seizes, much to the horror of her family. Lainey is insistent, however, and they reluctantly let her stay, deciding to reveal that she has inherited a piece of property in nearby Peshtigo. When she invites the brothers to check out the area, they decide to stop traveling and find work and stay in the growing lumber town. Zane and Kelly act as benevolent watchdogs and even accompany Lainey on a visit home for a wedding.

Lainey, Zane, and Kelly work hard at their respective jobs, tiptoeing around their feelings and in Zane’s case, his demons. Kelly dreams of a future with Lainey, while she holds only platonic feelings for him and fights her admiration for the haunted Zane. A terrible accident, a horrific fire that gives rise to the title of the book, and the aftermath of devastation show them how precious life and faith are.

Naomi’s attention to detail, scene and setting are pitch-perfect true to era. I felt the flames and terror of the great fire of 1871, the same night as the Great Chicago fire. I loved Lainey’s spirit, mourned and rejoiced with them all as they realized dreams, loved, fought for life and independence, and breathed the smoke of history. Another winner for those who revel in the drama of the past.

♦♦♦♦♦ Reflections

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Making or Breaking Ranks

Posted by April W Gardner on November 9, 2011

Today is a special, yet odd, day. Warring Spirits, the long awaited sequel to my debut novel, Wounded Spirits, is now available on Amazon. Yay!

That’s the special part.

The odd part is that it’s already #35 in the category Inspirational Historical Fiction. How many copies had to sell to get that number? Well, I bought a copy. LOL. Besides that, I have no idea.

What does that tell us about ranking? It tells us that labeling can make or break a Best Seller status.

Yesterday, within a few minutes of stumbling across my book on Amazon (it wasn’t due to release for another 3 weeks), I had Author Central on the phone. Three minutes later, they were well on their way to setting up the labels according to my specifications, which were exactly how they listed for Wounded Spirits. I simply said, “Please copy the labels from my first book.”

Today, the adjustment was complete and appeared on Warring Spirits’ main page as this:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

A small press book available for purchase 24 hours and already a Best Seller? Who would have thought, right? Actually, there are many authors on the John 3:16 Marketing Network who probably aren’t very surprised. These are the excellent marketing techniques we discuss and practice every day on the John 3:16 MN.

If you’re a Christian author and you’d like to learn more about this amazing group, founded by author Lorilyn Roberts, please visit our site.

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Sunday Book Review: The Measure of Katie Calloway

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 23, 2011

The Measure of Katie Calloway

By Serena Miller

c. October 2011

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780800719982


Historical Fiction


Miller’s story about an antebellum abused wife fleeing north to Michigan timber country and winds up as a cook in a rough and tumble lumber camp is a satisfying step back in time.

 Katie Calloway, young and naïve Pennsylvania minister’s daughter, marries her brother’s West Point friend and moves south to become
mistress of a slave-run plantation. Not only does she enter the strange and confusing world of ownership of other humans, the War Between the States becomes a reality and she is left alone when her husband goes to fight. The story begins a couple of years after the conclusion of the war, when all that’s left to Katie and her young orphaned brother is her pride. Realizing that her husband does more than just despise her, she takes Ned and runs.

Blessed with jumping into the right place at the right time, Katie meets Robert Foster, owner of a lumber camp, who is in need of a cook. At the camp filled with rough lumbermen for a winter of work, Katie is thrust into an experience that will either make her stronger or break her spirit for good. Getting along with the wounded camp cook who is supposed to help her is only the first bump in the road. Falling in love with the wounded widower, Robert, and his children, and keeping her secret, is compounded when a former slave of her husband’s shows up to work at the camp. And when her brutal husband eventually tracks her down, will anyone come to her rescue?

Miller’s use of shanty song refrains to open each chapter is a delight, and adds just the right nuance to each section. I could hear the singing and fiddle playing, smell the pine trees and the flapjacks during her wonderfully smooth narrative. Characters that capture your heart, from the surly trickster Jigger, to the gentle carver Cletus, to Moon Song and her baby, to Skypilot, the once-upon-a-time preacher, readers of historical romantic inspirational fiction will escape to the years immediately following the Civil War in the boom time of Michigan with this lovely read. Reminiscent of other great reads, like Naomi Musch’s Empire in Pine series.


Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

♦♦♦♦◊ Reflections

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Sunday Review with Barbara Robinson

Posted by Lisa Lickel on November 28, 2010

Guest reviewer Barbara Robinson writes about Jerry B. Jenkins’s upcoming novel.

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 1, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1414309228

ISBN-13: 978-1414309224

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 1, 2011)

Language: English


ISBN-10: 1414309228

ISBN-13: 978-1414309224

List: $14.99


The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins is a moving novel to say the least. It’s 371 pages and 24 chapters with an epilogue, copyright 2011, published by Tyndale House Publishers. Jenkins is a New York Times best-selling author well known for The Left Behind series. His new book showcases his talent in a police thriller with Boone Drake as the main character, a young officer blessed with success in his career and personal life. He has a beautiful wife, Nikki, who taught school until they were blessed with Josh, his son.

Boone is living the American Dream and knows it, but the unthinkable, unspeakable takes him by surprise and spirals him from a life of sunshine and happiness to a dreary world with storm clouds raging inside. In the blink of an eye his entire world is changed. He wanted a home for his young family with a yard “. . . with enough grass to mow.” God provided his heart’s desire, but little did he know the price he’d pay.

Tragedy strikes. Nikki’s parents are miles away, and Boone must face reality immersed in bittersweet memories. He doesn’t understand how a loving God can allow such good, sweet, innocent people like Nikki and Josh to come to such violent harm. His partner, Jack Keller, is a rock who stands beside him, and his pastor texts Bible quotes to comfort and keep him in God’s Word.

If it isn’t enough with his personal life demolished, his career is on the line, and it’s all he has left until he meets Haeley, the new secretary that he’s been warned about, and her young son, Max, who reminds him of his own loss, Josh. The most vicious Chicago gang leader in decades teaches him that God allows second chances. This is a book you won’t want to put down until completed. It’ll wrench your heart out early.

Grab your copy and get ready for an impact you won’t soon forget! It’s available in hardcover or paperback at Amazon and Barnes and as well as through brick and mortar stores. Visit Jerry on Facebook and check out

B.J.’s rating:

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊ 4 1/2 Reflections

The Brotherhood releases in February 2011 and is available for pre-order at Amazon, And other online retailers.


B. J. Robinson lives in Florida with her husband, cocker spaniel, Sunflower, and an adopted shelter cat named Frankie. Visit her at

Posted in Author Spotlight, Book Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


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