Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Win a Book!

Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, December 2, 2012 you'll be entered in the DRAWING for an eBook in pdf format of the book I review below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left column “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I’ll add your name a second time in the drawing. You can read details about my book giveaways hereSome commenters  are still not leaving their EMAIL ADDRESS.  I can't enter you in the drawing unless you leave your email address with your comment. Also be certain you are on the page where the blog appears when you leave a comment. Some comments are appearing on other pages of my website.   

Song of the Meadowlark by Sherri Wilson Johnson

Sherri Wilson Johnson is a writer and speaker who loves to make people laugh and forget their troubles. She loves Jesus and hopes to inspire and encourage others because life is tough and can seem hopeless without God! She is a former homeschooling mom and a graduate from the two-year Christian Writers Guild course. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

She lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. Sherri is a bird-watcher, loves the ocean, dolphins, roller coasters, tigers, ice cream, her family and her Chihuahua, who faithfully sits by her side every day when she writes. She longs to do something exciting like sky diving one day.

From the book's back cover:
When trusting others leads only to pain, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again?
Cora Buchanan’s car breaks down while on a road trip, leaving her stranded in a small Georgia town. While Cora stays at a ranch, little Susie O’Reilly unexpectedly fills a void in her heart. Widower Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father, stands in Cora’s way. The news reports of missing and murdered women don’t help her comfort level. Cora has no idea how close to home the crimes will hit…or how the song of the meadowlark will impact her future.
From Jo:
Cora Buchanan leaves Lake Murray, South Carolina a year after her husband walks out and never returned. Cora plans to go to Florida to make amends with her estranged parents who disapproved of her marriage three years ago. She never reaches Florida because of car trouble and loving grandparents who hire her to watch after Susie, their granddaughter. Susie’s daddy, a widower, runs the family ranch, giving almost no time to his daughter. Once at the ranch Cora bonds with Susie but Rex either avoids Cora or speaks harshly around her. Both Cora and Rex carry baggage from their former lives, which they choose not to reveal to one another. An attraction develops but neither will admit it and, after all, Cora is still a married woman. Sherri Johnson describes her settings and the reader feels as if she is there in the moment. All the characters but one is strong and memorable, and the reader won’t know until the last pages which is the bad guy.

Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, December 2, 2012 and you'll be entered in the drawing for an eBook in pdf format of Song of the Meadowlark by Sherri Wilson Johnson. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where prohibited. Please, please remember to leave your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address. I’ll announce the winner in Monday’s blog.

Till next time … keep on smiling.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Favorite Pet Peeve

Monday Musings on This 'N That

This past Thanksgiving holiday has brought to mind a pet peeve I have for several things in the same categories. Just like Thanksgiving—we don't have to wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful. If we get a glimpse of the world we can be sure we have much to be thankful for. We can and should be thankful every day.

And then there's Father's Day and Mother's Day. Do we recognize our fathers and mothers on only one day a year? Of course not! We even have Secretary's Day. I've been a secretary all the way from temp work to private secretary. It's nice for the boss to recognize you on Secretary's Day, but a good boss will be thankful and compliment you for your work more than one day a year.

And what is that day in October that's my favorite pet peeve? A day set aside to do a good deed. Why, oh why, do we need to wait for a special day in October—one day a year—to express our generosity to folks? Sure that day is nice, I guess, but what about the other 364 days of the year? We could do good deeds every day if we really wanted to. We don't have to wait for permission to be nice to people on a certain day.


I don't know how many of you reading this are beginning writers. But those who are—if you have a question about becoming a beginning writer send that question along in the comment section below and I'll do my best to answer it for you. I'd be happy to hear from you about your aspirations to become a writer.


So, what pet peeves do you have? Leave a comment to let me know of those things that really get you aggravated and frustrated. Things that maybe you think you could do better. Please don't get political or church denominational in your comments. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Till next time ... keep on smiling.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My New Novel!

Monday Musings on This 'N That

My debut novel, That Summer, is scheduled to release December 8, 2012! That Summer is the first in the Caney Creek Series, and will be followed by book #2 in April, 2013, and the final book #3 will release in September, 2013.

That Summer is an inspirational Southern historical novel. The story is set in the Southern Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee. I and my ancestors grew up in that region and I know and care about the people there. The book sweeps from 1928 to the 1950s, following the Callaway family as they experience struggles and successes, as their faith falters, and as they face temptations.

A little about the book cover. The top half of the cover shows a peaceful creek named Caney Creek. The 1929 car on the bottom half of the cover…well, you'll have to read the book to find out the significance of the car.

Here's an interview I did with Jim, one of my main characters:

Hello, Jim. Are you the young man who doesn’t enjoy growing up on a farm?
JIM: Yes, ma’am, that’s me.

What’s so bad about growing up on a farm?
JIM: To begin with, our house and everythin' belongs to a Mr. Thomas. We’re sharecroppers I guess you would call it. As I understand it, when Poppa settled on livin' on Mr. Thomas’s land, the owner wanted rent money, not a share of the crops we grew. That way, Mr. Thomas gets his money whether the crops make good or not.

How many are in your family?
JIM: I have two brothers, who are twins, and two sisters. And there’s Momma and Poppa.

Tell me about your house.
JIM: The house is pretty crowded. We just have two small bedrooms. One, Momma and Poppa use and then in the other bedroom we have two beds, one for my two sisters and the other for me and my two brothers. We have a little kitchen and a room big enough to put a round oak table where we can all sit down and eat together. Then we have a small livin' room, I guess you’d call it, where we have a fire grate. The fire in the livin' room and in Momma’s cook stove in the kitchen is all the heat we have in the winter. And in the summer we just open our windows to try to get cooled down. The only chairs we have to sit in are wooden straight-backed chairs, some with cane bottoms. We use them to sit in the livin' room and carry them to the eatin' table to use there too.

What are your happiest memories of living with your family?
JIM:  Well…I guess I can’t think of too many. I can remember when I was a little boy, Poppa would play with us. He would cross his long legs and let me sit on his foot. He would swing his foot up and down and we’d play “ride the horsey.” For a while now there’s been no playin' with Poppa. He’s turned mean. Nothin' any of us do is the way he wants it done. He’s mighty hard on me and the twins. My older sister, Shirley Ann, is even afraid to be around him now. He spews out his anger at whoever stands nearest to him and his anger is usually misdirected or unfair.

What can you do about this situation with your poppa?
JIM: Well, not a whole lot. Just try to stay out of his reach. Momma just takes it, says the Bible tells her to be submissive to Poppa. I don’t think the Bible means she should be submissive to a man that treats his family as harsh as Poppa does. But I know what I’d like to do.

What would you like to do, Jim?
JIM: I’m the oldest, I’m seventeen, and I want to move to town. I want to get a job and have me some money, meet some girls, and make my own choices. That way, I wouldn’t have to listen to Poppa’s rantin' and ravin' every day.

But the Bible tells us to honor our fathers and mothers.
JIM: Yes, ma’am, it does. But do you think that means we’re just supposed to be treated no better than the farm animals? If Poppa has his way me and the twins would stay here forever and he’d work us on the farm. But I’ve got to get away from all this. I’ll hate to leave Momma but she won’t even talk about leavin'. And my sisters and brothers will get their chance to leave as they get older. I’ve just got to get away. Someday I will.

The winner of last Thursday's blog post for a copy of Murder in Marietta by Deborah Malone is KayM. I'll email you to get your mailing address and get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time ... keep on smiling.