Thursday, June 18, 2020

Meet David Armstrong, Author of 'The Rising Place"

David Armstrong was born and raised in Natchez, Mississippi. He is an attorney, former mayor, and candidate for the U.S. Congress. Currently, he serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the city of Columbus, Mississippi. He received both an undergraduate and master’s degree in political science from Mississippi State University, where he also taught American and local government. After graduate school, David worked for two years as a copywriter for an advertising agency before being accepted to law school at the University of Mississippi, graduating with honors. In addition to The Rising Place, David has written four screenplays and two other novels, one of which, The Third Gift, is tentatively set to be released this summer. David is the proud father of two grown sons, and he lives in one of the oldest and most haunted antebellum homes in Columbus with a crazy cat named Butch. His website is, and he may be contacted at


Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

I read a daily devotional, several years ago, in the Upper Room magazine, about a retired school teacher who had died, leaving only one niece. One of the teacher’s former students approached the niece after the funeral and informed her what a significant impact her aunt had had on his life and the lives of most of her former students. The niece was amazed, and a bit ashamed, that she never realized how special her aunt was and how her life had affected so many people. It was a very touching devotional to me, so I decided to develop this concept into a story.

The Rising Place is based on, what I think, is an intriguing premise: What if you found a box of love letters from World War II that belonged to a reclusive old maid who had just died—would you read them? And what if you did read them and discovered a mesmerizing story about unrequited love, betrayal, and murder that happened over seventy years ago in a small, southern town?

After a young lawyer moves down south to Hamilton, Mississippi to practice law, one of his first assignments is to draft a will for Emily Hodge. “Miss Emily” is a 75-year-old spinster who is shunned by Hamilton society, but the lawyer is intrigued by her and can’t understand why this charming, southern lady lives such a solitary and seemingly forgotten life.

When Emily later dies, the lawyer goes to her hospital room to retrieve her few possessions and bequeath them as she directed in her will, and he finds an old box of letters, hidden in the back of one of her nightstand drawers. He takes the letters back to his office and reads them, and he discovers why Emily Hodge died alone, though definitely not forgotten.

At first glance, The Rising Place may seem like a romance story about unrequited love, which it is—but it is much, much more than just that. It is an inspiring story about faith and forgiveness, grief and grace, hope and healing, resilience and redemption, and the indefatigable human spirit. It also escapes you to an age of innocence—a time prior to, during, and after the Second World War in small town America, where life moved more slowly, and more emphasis was put on friendship, rather than on financial success.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

Like anything worthwhile, it was an exhausting and consuming process. I decided to focus on publishers rather than agents because I had read somewhere that the odds of finding a publisher were far better than finding an agent. But finding a big, traditional publisher these days, especially if you’re an unknown author, as I am, is virtually impossible. So, I researched small presses and independent publishers and was blessed to have found a great and very successful Indie, The Wild Rose Press. I really didn’t know what to expect, since this was a new venture for me, but The Wild Rose Press has made the entire process a true pleasure—particularly my wonderful editor, Nan Swanson, who has been such a blessing.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?

That’s a good question, plus an interesting one. I get all these great ideas for titles from my muse(s) on a fairly consistent basis. Unfortunately, there’s usually not a story to go along with the title. Definitely a bummer. Right after graduate school, when I was working as a copywriter, I actually came up with, after a few beers, the idea of opening a “titling agency,” since I had accumulated so many great titles in my head. My idea was to, somehow, let writers know that if they were struggling with finding a great title for their great American novel, all they had to do was contact me, pay for my services, and I’d render them a book title that would blow their socks off. Well…maybe it was after several beers, rather than just a few. Anyway, the next morning, I ditched that crazy idea.

But with The Rising Place, my muse(s) just wouldn’t cooperate, and by the time I was almost finished with the first draft of the manuscript, I still had no title. I went out one evening for a walk around the neighborhood, which was my custom, and the title, The Rising Place, just came to me. It’s amazing how things like this work, which is why there’s no doubt in my mind that we receive inspiration from above, rather than from within. I wasn’t even thinking, at least not consciously, about a title for the story, but when my mind received it, I knew this was the perfect title. 

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?

Yes, I did. The Wild Rose Press advises its authors, though, after an agreement with them is signed, that they will have the final say on the cover design—which made perfect sense to me since they’re the ones paying to have the book published. They do seek your input, though, and ask you to send them links to book covers in the same genre that represent what you envision your cover to look like. So, I did a little research and found five book covers that were similar to what I had in mind for the cover of The Rising Place, and I emailed those links to them. They then assigned the book to one of their cover designers, and her cover design was subsequently approved by both me and their cover design committee.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

My cover designer was Debbie Taylor, who I think did an excellent job. I didn’t find Debbie; she is a designer for The Wild Rose Press who was assigned to work with my novel.

How was your experience working with the designer?

I never worked directly with Debbie, but I was very pleased with the book design cover that she created for The Rising Place, which I definitely approved of.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

It has been very positive.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?

First, check to see if your publisher will allow you to choose your own designer and, if so, who will cover the costs of his/her work. Some publishers allow you to choose your own designer, some do not. There are many, many talented design artists available for you to choose from. I would recommend viewing as many of their previous designs on their website, as you can. One or more of their designs will resonate with you, and be sure to first consult with your muse(s) before you decide on a designer whom you like, trust, and can afford. Don’t fret over this, though, because you’ll definitely find several you feel positive about. Then sleep on it, and I’d suggest you pray about it, too.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

Yes, please go out and purchase several thousand copies of The Rising Place. Then mail them to me, and I’ll be happy to personally autograph them all for you. Thanks for the read!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Book Feature: What Did Jesus Say...The Seven Messages from the Master by Rev. Terry Allan Christian

By Rev. Terry Allan Christian
Christian / Nonfiction

This incredible book organizes the teachings of Jesus using only the words spoken by Jesus and nothing more. The book puts readers into an imagined walk with Jesus on the beach, allowing readers to hear over 500 passages spoken by Him as recorded in the 4 Gospels.

“I was asked one time, where did this book idea come from?” says Christian.

“Well, when I was suddenly called away from motivational speaking at the top of my business career, I knew, I was being called to do what Jesus told me, 30yrs earlier. When I asked Jesus what He wanted me to do that wasn’t already being done, Jesus said; ‘Tell them, what I told them and nothing more, add no comments or opinions.’ With those instructions, I composed What Did Jesus Say: The Seven Messages from the Master containing over 500 scriptures spoken only by Jesus to those who loved and followed Him and I’ve added no opinions or comments. Whoever reads this book will know and understand what Jesus said to those who loved and followed Him and what’s expected from those who call Him their Lord and Savior.

Featuring the “best of the best” of what Jesus said, this book is a ‘one of a kind’. The scriptures, stripped of everything save for the words spoken by Jesus, have been composed into seven primary messages and serves as a daily Teaching Devotional.


Amazon →

Message I
The Christ
It’s early morning and the sun is rising over the water.
You can see a crowd gathering at the water’s edge, waiting for Jesus to appear, and teach them.
As everyone begins to quiet, a deep silence falls and the only
sound to be heard are the birds flying above.
Then Jesus suddenly appears and says...

Peace be with you my brothers and sisters
I AM the Christ
I have come down from heaven,
not to do My own will,
but the will of Him who sent Me.
John 6:38
Truly, I Say to You
The Spirit of the Lord
is upon Me,
because He hath anointed Me
to preach the gospel to the poor;
He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Luke 4:18
I say to you who hear,
Come to Me, all you who labor
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you
and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy
and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30
If anyone desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
For whoever desires to save his life will
lose it, but whoever loses his life
for My sake will find it.
For what profit is it to a man
if he gains the whole world,
and loses his own soul?
Or what will a man give
in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:24-26
Again I Say
If anyone thirsts,
let him come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and
where I am, there My servant will be also. If
anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
John 7:37-38 / John 12:26
Now, take heed and listen
Do not think that I came
to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace
but a sword.
For I have come to
set a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law
against her mother-in-law
and a man’s enemies will be those
of his own household.
Matthew 10:34-36
He who loves father or mother
more than Me is not worthy of Me.
And he who loves son or daughter
more than Me is not worthy of Me.
And he who does not take his cross and
follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
I say to you who hear,
He who finds his life will lose it,
and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
Matthew 10:37-39
Most assuredly, I say to you,
he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door,
but climbs up some other way,
the same is a thief and a robber.
But he who enters by the door
is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the doorkeeper opens,
and the sheep hear his voice;
and he calls his own sheep by name
and leads them out.
And when he brings out his own sheep,
he goes before them; and the sheep follow him,
for they know his voice.
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger,
but will flee from him,
for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
John 10:1-5
Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door.
If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved,
and will go in and out and find pasture.
The thief does not come except to steal,
and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd,
one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf
coming and leaves the sheep and flees;
and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
The hireling flees because he is a hireling
and does not care about the sheep.
John 10:7-13
I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep,
and am known by My own.
As the Father knows Me,
even so I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold;
them also I must bring and they will hear My voice:
and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
John 10:14-16
Listen Closely
My sheep hear My voice,
and I know them, and they follow Me.
And I give them eternal life,
and they shall never perish;
neither shall anyone snatch them
out of My hand.
My Father, who has given them to Me,
is greater than all;
and no one is able to snatch them
out of My Father’s hand.
I say to you who hear,
“I and My Father are One.”
John 10:27-30
let these Words sink down in your ears.
I am the true vine,
and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me
that does not bear fruit He takes away;
and every branch that bears fruit
He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you,
unless you abide in Me.
John 15:1,2,4

Assuredly, I Say to You
I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him,
bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me,
he is cast out as a branch and is withered;
and they gather them and throw them into the fire,
and they are burned.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.
And by this My Father is glorified,
that you bear much fruit;
so you will be My disciples.
John 15:5-8
Peace be with you.
Then Jesus started walking and we followed Him.

Since dedicating his life to Jesus at the age of 23, Terry Allan Christian has been reading the red lettered version of the 4 Gospels as recorded in the KJV Bible. Even though Terry reads the whole Bible, his primary focus is on the words of Jesus and the example of His actions.

Terry grew up in a violent dysfunctional family where he quit school at 16 and left home. He stuttered so bad he could only say 3-5 words in a row. His family and friends mocked him and that caused much stress in his early life.

At the age of 23, he had a near death experience and in which he had a dream. In this dream, he was told that one day he would be a teacher for Jesus. Needless to say, he was scared at first because of his stuttering and lack of structured education however, he always had a child-like faith and trust in Jesus as Lord.

After the dream, he was soon hired by the Dale Carnegie Organization and trained in sales and public speaking, where he met a man who taught him how to visually read. During the next few years Terry read several hundred books on the subject of personal growth.

At the age of 30, Terry became a professional Motivational Speaker and Executive Trainer and over the next 20 years he would deliver more than 2,500 presentations to private and public audiences across America and Canada.

Several years ago, Terry retired as a public speaker after feeling the Holy Spirit redirecting his life. He was led to do what Jesus told him many years earlier. After researching the 4 Gospels he composed the book What Did Jesus Say: The Seven Messages from the Master, using only the Words spoken by Jesus as recorded in the 4 Gospels, without adding any personal comments or opinions.
As in all God called missions it took longer, cost more and challenged him to the edge of his faith. He would later say, he had to read the Book of Job just to understand why this was happening to him and was he being tested or penalized. In the end, he was being tested and by the grace of God, he prevailed.

Now after 12 years of study, obedience, difficulty and struggle, this book is now available in Paperback, eBook, Audio Book and Kindle.

Today, Author and Counselor, Rev. Terry Christian is founder of Foundations for Life ‘Online’ Ministries and he presently lives at Negril Jamaica where he does local missionary work in schools and churches while counseling Christians worldwide online thru his program Christians Helping Christians.

Negril, Jamaica is where Rev. Christian went to fast & pray while seeking divine healing for Bladder Cancer. His doctors gave him 3yrs to live so he created a healing sabbatical and after fasting & praying, and walking the beach for 21 days, he returned to his Doctors and they released him ‘cancer free’.

Terry calls this program: The Life Walk –aka- The Miracle Walk and now offers this ‘restoration’ program online or in Negril, for everyone seeking Life, Health or Marriage Restoration.
Terry believes: WITH GOD, all things are possible, all the time, wherever we live and at every given moment, when we pray, believing.




Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Q&A with Rie Sheridan Rose Author THE MARVELOUS MECHANICAL MAN @riesheridanrose #themarvelousmechanicalman

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2, and Killing It Softly Vols. 1 and 2. She has authored twelve novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. These were mostly written in conjunction with Marc Gunn, and can be found on “Don’t Go Drinking with Hobbits” and “Pirates vs. Dragons” for the most part–with a few scattered exceptions.

Her favorite work to date is The Conn-Mann Chronicles Steampunk series with five books released so far: The Marvelous Mechanical Man, The Nearly Notorious Nun, The Incredibly Irritating Irishman, The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive, and The Elderly Earl’s Estate.

Rie lives in Texas with her wonderful husband and several spoiled cat-children.


Website:  and

Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

The Marvelous Mechanical Man is the story of Josephine Mann, a young woman in 1874 New York City who is looking for a job. Fate puts Professor Alistair Conn in her path, and she becomes his lab assistant. From there, it’s one non-stop adventure after another in a Steampunk romp peopled with eccentric supporting characters and lots of gadgets.

I was inspired to write it originally by a dare to do a Steampunk project for National Novel Writing Month. I had never written in the genre, and I was a fan of it, so I thought I would give it a try. Five books into the series, and a spin-off in the works, I am still in love with The Conn-Mann Chronicles.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

This book and its sequel, The Nearly Notorious Nun, were originally published with a small press in Texas—Zumaya Publications—but she had over a hundred authors to deal with, and I had just me, so I decided to get the rights back and self-publish the series because it offers me greater control of the projects. For one thing, I only have to market one set of books, not dozens, so I can put more resources into the cause.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?

The book was originally published in 2013, so I am not entirely sure what possessed me to go for the alliteration of the title, but it does sort of roll off the tongue. It started a trend that has been continued in all of The Conn-Mann books (including the spin-off currently in revisions) of having The _______ ________ ______ titles where all the first letters are the same. After The Marvelous Mechanical Man, and The Nearly Notorious Nun we have The Incredibly Irritating Irishman, The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive, and The Elderly Earl’s Estate. (I’m saving the spin-off for now.)

I do know that after the first one, I began focusing on the title right off the bat to help guide the direction of the story. And, if you look REALLY closely, you will see that the first four books end with a person, and the fifth with a thing. This is, in part, because the first four books have a New York City story arc and the fifth starts a new story arc in Ireland.

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?

The cover of The Marvelous Mechanical Man has stayed the same through the publication transition because the first time I saw it, I fell in love. I really didn’t have much to do with the cover originally, the publisher handled all the details. She negotiated the frame around the center inset and everything. After I switched to doing it myself, I contacted the designer and asked if I could work out a deal to continue to use it. Luckily, he said yes, and we’ve used the frame to tie together all the books.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

My cover designer for The Marvelous Mechanical Man was Brad Fraunfelter of Brad Fraunfelter Illustration. His work is just amazing, and I feel extremely fortunate that he has done the covers of three books for me now, as well as a poster I had designed for my banner and marketing. He’s very much in demand, and a browse through his website shows why.

How was your experience working with the designer?

Brad is an absolute dream to work with. I wish I could afford to have him do all my books, but as his reputation has gone up, so have his prices, so I have to save up for the treat of having him do another. He has also done a frame for the cover of the new series, so I am very excited about it.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

Everyone loves the cover. Even those who don’t buy the book are likely to comment on how good the cover is. I’ve had several artists comment on what an eye-catching piece it is.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?

Don’t settle for someone just because they are in your price range. See if you can work out a deal with the artist you want, or save up for the cover of your dreams. It will be worth it in the long run. Of course, that presumes that you have say in the cover, because sometimes you really don’t have the option. If you are with a publishing house, they have the last word.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

This book is still one of my favorites. I think everyone should give Jo a try. And the Kindle version of The Marvelous Mechanical Man is always 99¢ so how can you go wrong? (Plus, if you have Kindle Unlimited, the entire series can be read for free...)

About the Book:

The Marvelous Mechanical Man is the first book in a Steampunk series featuring the adventures of Josephine Mann, an independent woman in need of a way to pay her rent. She meets Professor Alistair Conn, in need of a lab assistant, and a partnership is created that proves exciting adventure for both of them.

Alistair’s prize invention is an automaton standing nine feet tall. There’s a bit of a problem though…he can’t quite figure out how to make it move. Jo just might be of help there. Then again, they might not get a chance to find out, as the marvelous mechanical man goes missing.

Jo and Alistair find themselves in the middle of a whirlwind of kidnapping, catnapping, and cross-country chases that involve airships, trains, and a prototype steam car. With a little help from their friends, Herbert Lattimer and Winifred Bond, plots are foiled, inventions are perfected, and a good time is had by all.


Amazon →