Prude-Approved Reads: Greener Grasses

The Seven Deadly Sins draw boos and hisses from prudes. We hold them in greater derision than shoddy sentence construction and low-hanging pants and line-jumping. (This, of course, is wise, because God quite explicitly orders us not to engage in these evils, while uttering not a word against lazy syntax, baggy jeans or taking cuts.) Right on the cover, Greener Grasses states, ‘Love Does Not Envy,’ so of course I am hooked before I open it. And sure enough, the author proves, in the course of the story, that she also heartily disapproves of envy.

Greener Grasses is the third book in a series of novellas based on the I Corinthians 13 ‘Love is…’ descriptions. In this story about jealousy eating the heart out of the relationship between twins Erin and Ellen, author Julie Cosgrove hops from one sister’s resentful head to the other. This point-of-view switching is a no-no for novice writers and prudes pride themselves at following rules. But rules are loosened when a skillful and experienced writer like Ms. Cosgrove tackles alternating perspectives, which she does with panache.

There’s plenty to approve of in this smooth, moving story as Julie addresses the misconceptions envy creates. Does wealth relieve the stress of marriage and parenthood? Not necessarily. Well then, poor-but-happy must be the ticket to wedded bliss. Not a guarantee. If only my life was like hers, everything would be better, right? Negative.
Are mothers of grown children very, very wise? ABSOLUTELY.

As you read further—and please read further–you’ll get to know Julie, learn that she likes my favorite author and adverbs (she is a woman of taste and discernment) and find links to learn more about this admirable book. All in one post. And I’m guessing by the time you get through all that you’ll find that you want to read Greener Grasses. You won’t be disappointed!

Here is Julie:

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Her book:

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And a bit about her:

I was born in San Antonio but spent my summers at my family’s cabin (yes it really was a cabin with a screened in porch and outhouse) in the Texas Hill Country overlooking the Guadalupe River. So I was both a city mouse and a country mouse. Built in 1923, my siblings and I are in the process of “modernizing” it, complete with new kitchen and new bathroom, without it looking modern. Quite an undertaking.

I graduated from college and was awarded the Religion Major of the Year Award by the American Bible Society, which landed me in seminary. Then life happened.
But even being a working mom and volunteering in my church, the desire to tell others of Christ’s love through speaking and writing never left me. Now widowed at a fairly early age with only two cats to serve and having a grown child off on his own, God has led me back to that – I lead women’s retreats and workshops and write.

Her website
and her blog and—goodness, she is everywhere, isn’t she?
blog: Where Did You Find God Today?
Twitter@JulieBCosgrove, LinkedIn, Facebook

And video-blurb

And the all-important link to Greener Grasses on Amazon

Julie tells why she wants to write:

Is it over simplistic to say because God has called me to do so? I began as a thank you to Him for finding me freelance writing contracts to support me in my widowhood. I tithed my writing day to Him first each morning. I believe He has honored that. Now I write not only fiction but devotionals for seven publications and websites, many of them since 2009. I feel in my element and the happiest when I am writing. It is addictive!

And now answers some pressing and some piddling questions:

What book made the biggest impact on your life?
Probably Hush in the Storm (one of Julie’s earlier books) because it opened the door to writing for Prism Book Group. I just signed my ninth contract with them. I still recall blubbering on my sofa holding my cell phone and reading the acceptance letter again and again to make sure it was real. My son came in and thought someone had died!

Why were you given your particular name?
I was supposed to be born in July, thus Julie. However, I came the end of May. I am glad my parents didn’t change their mind and name me for that month. I just don’t look like a “May” or “Mae.”

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

Christina Ann. She was the heroine in one of the first suspense romance novels I read – The Ivy Tree by late Mary Stewart. She got me hooked on that genre. I read all of her novels, including the Merlin trilogy.
You’ve been writing all day. You don’t want to cook. You do want to get out of the house. Do you get pizza, burgers or Chinese?
None of the above- Tex-Mex!

What is your favorite sport?
I am not a sporty person…does floating in the river count? Seriously, I have always been a swimmer and also performed synchronized swimming, a.k.a. water ballet, in high school and college.

What is your favorite kind of music?
Contemporary Christian and Chamber Music.

What is your favorite song? Do I honestly have to choose?
I guess In Christ Alone or Stay Strong by the Newsboys. Toss up.

Would you rather be an Irish line dancer, a hula dancer, a clogger or a cabaret dancer?
Oh, definitely Irish jigs! It is part of my heritage, me lassie.

What three items would you take if you knew you were going to stranded on a tropical island for a year? (FYI: It has fresh water and plenty for you to eat and a flush toilet)
Then toilet paper, definitely. My tablet with an external battery because it has at least twenty books downloaded I have yet to read as well as my favorite Bible version on it, and sunscreen…lots of sunscreen.

You get to be any household item you want in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ What do you choose?
I liked the clock character, don’t know why.

Cooking, baking, or for pete’s sake can we please eat out?
Eat out.

Which would you prefer as a second home: Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo?
Um, the cabin. That is a given. It still is my second home and where I always “feel” closer to God.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
The moment Jesus entered the Upper Room after His resurrection.
If you could learn any new skill, what would it be?
Paint- walls, canvases, whatever. I’m the only one in my family who can’t draw a straight line. Missed out on the artistic gene. So to compensate, I paint with words.

You are offered a huge contract to write a ‘How To’ book on your area of expertise. What would it be about?
Squeeze More God-time Into Your Day. Oh, wait I wrote that! Now I just need a big contract for the second edition.

What is one of your favorite quotes?
Age is mind over matter: if you don’t mind, what does it matter? People who live that out seem happier.

You can choose any author you want, living or dead (well, they wouldn’t be dead when you met them), to be your writing coach, who would it be?
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Laundry. My machines are so needy. They are always beep at me right when I am in the middle of something else.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

How do you manage stress?
Prayer- tears – prayer.

How do you feel about adverbs?
They are legit English words. Let’s have an “ly” revolution!!! Seriously? (NOTE: BLESS HER. ADVERB-LOVERS OF THE WORLD UNITE! IMMEDIATELY!)

Do you personally find yawning contagious?
Thought that was proven.

Where do you write?
At my desk which is in a niche next to my fireplace in my living room. I live in a one bedroom apartment and hated having my computer in my bedroom. All those little lights kept me awake, and especially when my cats would jump up and awaken my keyboard, which awakens my two monitors- arrgg.

Music or silence while you write?
Classical music when I edit.

Skittles or M&M’s or…carrot sticks while you write?
Popcorn, actually, maybe with a few M&M’s mixed in…hmmm.


Thanks to Julie for spending precious time answering these questions, thanks to you readers for getting to know her better. I know you’ll enjoy Greener Grasses.

Big sisters are always right

When my older sister (or my much older sister, as I like to call her when I think she needs to be taken down a peg or two) was born, she got every single ‘ability to organize’ gene from our mother. By the time my younger (not all that much younger) sister came along, some of those depleted  genes might have built back up and passed to her.
Sadly, instead of the gene that helps me sort and collate and coordinate and prioritize, I got an extra several thousand molecules of ‘just read a book and drink coffee.’

So when Older Sister pointed out that my blog is called ‘The Tuesday Prude’ but my sporadic posts are often on any day but Tuesday, I put down my book, took a fortifying swig of coffee, and explained:
“‘Tuesday Prude’ was chosen because I like the way it sounds.”
Such a delightful internal assonance. And I had great intentions of posting every Tuesday. Just like this morning I had great intentions of beginning a paleo lifestyle. Once the loaf of bread is gone.
For some inexplicable reason, Tuesdays are SO HARD for me.

But, because Older Sister is usually right, and because I’m taking cues from the open and transparent and forthright political climate,
I’m turning over a new leaf, and posting on a Tuesday.
(Remember though, in this political climate, new leaves only last a week.)

Here is an old poem from an old book of my dad’s, that my youngest son had newly bound for my Christmas present. I like this poem. Poets always talk of geese leaving in the fall. But here in my neighborhood they are back, and clamoring in excitement over the marsh’s receding ice-line.
I’m squawking and flapping right along with them.


Wild Goose in Spring

Wild Geese
Robert P. Tristram Coffin

Beauty is coming north again
Slanting eager as the rain;
With necks like arrows on a bow
Across the sky the wild geese go.

Beauty is coming moulded by
High winds of the upper sky
Into shapes that burn to be
In a patterned symmetry.

Loveliness comes like a host
Of lean ships headed for a coast,
Every sail and every keel
Pointed at a common weal.

Comeliness in company,
Every wing where it should be,
Their feathers are communal things,
They help each other with their wings.

Prude-Approved Reads: Salsa and Speed Bumps

‘Prude-Approved Reads’ brings you Salsa and Speed Bumps by Susan Baganz, who also happens to be my editor at Prism Books. I like to think of her as my ‘very own personal editor’ and my nose gets slightly out of joint when I remember I have to share her with several other authors.


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Don’t you love when old sayings are so marvelously right?
For instance, you know fools rush in where angels fear to tread so you refuse to get involved in a facebook spat between your friends arguing who will save America—Bernie or The Donald.

Say you drop a spoon. You know from wisdom passed down through the generations this means company is coming. So you clean like crazy and then your neighbor comes over to bring a piece of your junk mail that got in their mailbox by accident and you grab them by the arm and drag them in for coffee because you dropped a spoon and now your house looks fabulous.

Stephanie and Roberto in Salsa and Speed Bumps probably wish the saying ‘Troubles never come singly,’ or the more colorful ‘When it rains it pours,’ had no basis in fact.
Because the story starts with her pregnant by date rape and him suffering from chronic pain and things just complicate from there.

Am I making this book sound like a tragedy? It isn’t. For one thing (spoiler alert) it ends with hope and a very plausible degree of happiness. Troubles pile up for the couple and while it some may think it pushes against the boundaries of the believable, Susan stops well short of caricature. We all know people who crawl from under one calamity only to have another one hit (debunking ‘lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place’).

You’ll meet Susan in a little bit, but she knows her stuff when it comes to women in crisis and people enduring round after round of heartache. She’s known women like Stephanie, who suffer disproportionate consequences for saying ‘no’ to a man.

Here at The Tuesday Prude things are usually kept light, but a recent tragedy only a few miles from my peaceful village has me thinking about the high price some women pay in relationships. A cashier at a local grocery store committed the crime of treating a co-worker with kindness. When she refused to become more involved with him, the man retaliated. He killed her as she left work.

I only wish the young woman had the same outcome as Stephanie. Salsa and Speed Bumps pulls us, ruthlessly at times, through a story crammed with a vengeful ex-boyfriend, drug addiction, family betrayal and racial prejudice. And high blood pressure. Countering the misery is life and forgiveness and grace. With so much wretchedness in our world, it did my heart good to read about love triumphing over evil.

Susan warned me that this book has a bit more spice to the romance than Pesto and Potholes, her previous book in the Orchard Hill series. But the romantic spice was sort of between a pablano pepper and a jalapeño, nowhere NEAR a habanero.

Salsa and Speed Bumps is a prude-approved read, in spite of some difficult glimpses into the evil men can do and the stresses that even a committed married couple can experience. Sometimes a prude has to move out of her comfortable, mild yellow-bell-pepper zone. Because, as the old saying goes, better late than never.

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Meet Susan:
Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.
Susan speaks, teaches, and encourages others to follow God in being all He has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology, a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its craziness. She serves behind-the-scenes in various capacities at her church. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones—snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.
You can learn more by following her blog, her twitter feed @susanbaganz or her fan page,

Little-known facts about Susan:

What book had the biggest influence on your life?
I’d have to say the Bible. It has opened my eyes to deception, convicted me, comforted me, challenged me . . . and continues to do so as I keep reading it. I try reading at times in different versions to make familiar passages new again—so I don’t skim over them. Outside of that, no other book has come close to having that kind of impact on me and at such a depth.

Why where you given your particular name? If you had to change your first name what would you change it to?
Susan was popular around the time I was born. I always wished I had been named Stephanie. My parents said they had considered that but feared I would be called Stevie and didn’t like that. At this point, since I’ve been Susan for more than half of my life (I went by Sue up till I graduated high school and then decided I wanted to use my full name to sound more adult. Ha! Doesn’t mean I act like it!). I still respond to Sue or Suz but only my Aunt Mary gets away with calling me Suzy.
Because I love the name so much is why gave my main character that name. Initially she had a different name (in Pesto & Potholes) but I eventually realized that Renata, Rachel and Roberto were too many “R’s” in a story. I kept mixing up my girls! So Rachel became Stephanie during one of Pesto’s many revisions and obviously Salsa’s.

You’ve been writing all day. You don’t want to cook. You do want to get out of the house. Do you get pizza, burgers or Chinese?
I rarely have the money for takeout so my kids often get frozen pizza or mac’n cheese. I love Chinese but rarely get take out—my characters often do though. Fortune cookies are so much fun to write! But if I’m really hungry and out and about and don’t want to cook? If I’m in a huge rush I will actually go Mexican! Taco Bell. I know, how sad is that? But if I have the time (and a little more money) Q’doba is my place to be. I love their naked burritos (steak queso with white rice, lima beans, regular and verde salsa AND cheese and sour cream – but no chips). Yum. Now my mouth is watering . . .

Your favorite sport is—
Is reading a sport? No? Bummer. To watch? I really am not into sports and neither are my kids. I love to watch ice-dancing, or dancing (Dancing with the Stars anyone?). Figure skating . . . To play it used to be volleyball. Now I have had too many health issues that make that not good thing for me to participate in. Bummer. In the sand is especially fun. I’m not good at it but if you want to be silly, and don’t care if you win, I’m your player.

How about favorite kind of music?
I love music. I wanted to be a disc jockey when I grew up. I love to talk and enjoy music so what better place for me to be? I also wanted to be a singer. Did that for a short time in the Milwaukee area.
I’m pretty eclectic in my tastes. I listen to classical when I write my Regency fiction. I also enjoy acapella, I love some swing and do-wop. Favorite artists would be: Rich Mullins, Billy Joel, 33 Miles, Burlap to Cashmere, David Meece, Newsboys (older stuff – it has some wit to the lyrics!), Jason Grey, Brian Duncan, Huey Lewis and the News (big band sound! I used to play saxophone). I lean towards more acoustic guitar sounds but great vocals and lyrics are important too. I prefer male voices to female overall. Christy Nockels is the gold standard for female voices for me).

And your favorite song?
Hold Me Jesus, by Rich Mullins resonates with me since I struggle with depression at times. “Sometimes my life just don’t make sense at all. When the mountains look so high, and my faith just seems so small . . .So hold me, Jesus, ‘cause I’m shaking like a leaf. You have been King of my glory, won’t you be my Prince of Peace.” It goes on in the bridge: “Surrender don’t come natural to me. I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want than to take what You give that I need. And I’ve beat my head against so many walls now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees . . .”
Makes me cry to realize just how much I need Him. And I’m so grateful He’s been there in those dark moments, holding me, even when I don’t recognize it at the time.

Would you rather be an Irish line dancer, a hula dancer, a clogger, or a cabaret dancer?
Aw, man. Can’t I do some country line dancing? That sounds like it would be sooo much fun! Or jazz dancing with those jazz hands! (PRUDE NOTE: SOME AUTHORS REFUSE TO COLOR IN THE LINES, OR CHOOSE FROM THE DANCE OPTIONS GIVEN. BUT PRUDES ARE FORGIVING)

What three items would you take with you knew you were going to be stranded on a tropical island for a year? (FYI: It has fresh water and plenty for you to eat and a flush toilet).
Do I need toilet paper? Please don’t tell me I need to use leaves.
(1) My Bible. (2) A Rubbermaid box filled with empty journals, notebooks and mechanical pencils/colored pencils, pencil sharpener and lead. (3) A toolbox with the basics (hammer, pliers. LOTS of nails, screwdrivers).

You get to be any household item you want in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ What do you choose?
I want to be a comfortable reading chair in the library.

Cooking, baking, or for Pete’s sake can we please eat out?
I don’t get to eat out often. I can cook or bake well. I just hate cleaning up. Take me out. Q’doba’s would be great . . .but I’m open to other suggestions.

Which would you prefer as a second home: Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo?
Mountain cabin. Something about the wilderness is so beautiful and relaxing.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
Aristotle teaching his students about ethics. The didactic teaching would be fun to watch. Sorry, that’s the first thing that came to mind? I majored in philosophy in my undergrad.

If you could learn any new skill, what would it be?
Play guitar. I mean like really well. Finger picking etc. Or Banjo. That’d be fun. You can never be sad when a banjo is playing. I love it when we have one as part of our worship teams at church.


Susan has made a big difference in my life, as she has in many others. If you don’t ever have the opportunity to meet her, you’ll get a glimpse of her heart through her books.

Meet the Author: Danele Rotharmel (you won’t be sorry)

Yesterday I reviewed ‘Time Tsunami’ and we learned how Danele created a world of time travel.

Today you’ll get a chance to meet the remarkable creator of this world. I guarantee you have never known anyone like Danele or the near-death experience that led, in part, to the creation of Time Counselor Chronicles.

Here is Danele (aka Twanda):

Danele Rotharmel

And her very unique real-life story:

Danele Rotharmel’s life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace was poisoning her. This poisoning triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity causing her to be put in quarantine. For seven years, she could only talk to friends and extended family through a windowpane. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles. The first book, Time Tsunami, was released in January. The second book, Time Trap, is scheduled for release this summer. Although her journey back to health was difficult, it provided her with the opportunity to grow closer to God and to write her books. For that, she’s forever thankful.

The links so you can buy this great book:
Danele tells us why she writes:

When I was in school, I wrote stories because it was a blast! When I was in quarantine, I wrote as a way to escape pain. Now, I want to write as a way to glorify God. God never left my side when I was ill, and He gave me back my joy and peace. I love Him, and I want to serve Him.

And shares which book made the biggest impact on her life:

If I were being dead serious, I’d say the Bible. But since I’m in a frivolous mood, I’ll say Where the Sidewalk Ends. Shel Silverstein’s poems captured my imagination when I was a child. I’ve always been a little bit nutty, but when I was a kid, I tried to keep most of my wackiness under wraps. I tried to be very polite, and very obedient, and very serious. Shel Silverstein’s poems were so absolutely silly that they made me realize it’s okay to be a wackadoodle.

Below, Danele tackles the burning questions:

Why were you given your particular name?

My mother originally wanted to name me Daniella—but my father said it sounded too much like vanilla. Eventually, they decided on Danele. Mom laughs and says they misspelled my name, but truthfully, they just wanted it to look unique. I really like my name—both how it sounds and how it looks. But most of all, I like what it means. Danele means God is my judge. When I was put into quarantine, some of my acquaintances didn’t understand Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and as a result, they decided it wasn’t real. They began spreading rumors that I was an agoraphobic hypochondriac. Oh, Anita, those rumors really hurt! And the insidious thing about rumors is that you can’t really battle them. If you try, you just end up making things worse. Around the time the rumors were flying, I learned the meaning of my name–God is my judge. I clung to those words. When people were mean, I realized that what they said didn’t matter—only God’s opinion mattered. I think for the most part, people don’t mean to be cruel. But quarantine taught me that gossip isn’t harmless, and that in the end, the only one you need to answer to is God.

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

Twanda. Years ago, I watched a movie in which the main character called herself Twanda. It wasn’t her real name, but she used it when she wanted to feel empowered. I don’t remember much about the movie, but the name Twanda stuck in my noggin. When I was in quarantine, there would be days when I’d feel like I’d never get better. On those horrible days, I’d look at myself in the mirror, grit my teeth, and tell my illness to address me as Twanda. I’d tell my pain that I was going to win out in the end! It’s probably silly, and maybe Twanda doesn’t even mean what I think it does—after all, in high school I thought a poem about angels dancing on a needle was all about God’s power when it was really about heroin—but calling myself Twanda always makes me feel powerful…Come to think of it, I should probably look up the meaning of Twanda one day. It probably means something silly like sheep gatherer or beetle watcher. But for me, it means, watch out world—clear out, negative thoughts—I’m gonna come out of this sparkling and shiny and strong!!

You’ve been writing all day. You don’t want to cook. You do want to get out of the house. Do you get pizza, burgers, or Chinese?

What?? No Mexican???

Tortilla chips. Salsa!! They call to me. They speak my name.
Oh, I must go and nibble them.
Oh! I must devour their crunchy deliciousness.
Crunch! Crunch! Yum! Yum! Contentment reigns!

(Mexican food always moves me deeply. It inspires me to indulge in ghastly bouts of hideous, uncontrollable poetry. I must apologize. But then—you DID ask…)
What is your favorite sport?

PBR bull riding. I love it!! My grandfather used to enter rodeos, and the rodeo bug has definitely gotten into my blood. In my opinion, of all rodeo events, the one that’s the most exciting is bull riding. I grew up on a dairy farm, so I’m VERY acquainted with bulls. I can’t imagine the guts (or pure insanity) it would take to ride one. When I watch a round of bull riding, my heart is in my throat the whole time. It’s a rush!

Your favorite kind of music?

That depends on my mood. If I’m angry, I want something loud and fast—Skillet will usually do the trick. If I’m strolling around the lake, I want uplifting music—Rebecca St. James, Natalie Grant, Michael W. Smith. And if I’m relaxing, I want something mellow and soft—Michelle Tumes (she’s AWESOME!! I love her CD, Listen). And regardless of how I’m feeling, lots of times I reach for Christmas music—I play it year round. But if I have to choose my absolute favorite group, I’d have to say The Sons of Korah. They sing the Psalms, and I LOVE their music!! You should check them out if you get a chance.

Your favorite song?

Right now it’s “I Will Not Be Moved” by Natalie Grant. My illness really threw me for a loop, and it made me doubt my faith in God. Eventually, I came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is intimately concerned with every aspect of my life, Jesus must be kept in the center of my faith, and God is trustworthy in spite of tragedy. Once I recommitted my life to Christ—that was it—no more wavering. I love the message in Natalie’s song: “I WILL NOT BE MOVED!!! ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND!!!” Oooo! Makes me want to stand up and cheer.

Would you rather be an Irish line dancer, a hula dancer, a clogger, or a cabaret dancer?

Oh, for Pete’s sake, Anita!! A klutz like me couldn’t be any of them. It would be dangerous for me to even attempt to dance—I’d end up falling over my feet. But secretly, just between us, I’ve always wanted to be a dancer. I know it’s laughable, but I can’t help it. I love watching dance. It’s so moving—so beautiful. I’m looking forward to heaven when my two left feet will suddenly be coordinated—or when my self-conscious brain won’t care about my clumsiness! But as far as your choices, I’d love to have the fitness level of an Irish line dancer, but I’d love to have the location of a hula dancer. If I had to choose, I suppose I would be a hula dancer. That way, after I made a complete idiot of myself, I could at least take a dip in the Hawaiian surf.

What three items would you take if you knew that you were going to be stranded on a tropical island for a year? (FYI: It has fresh water and plenty for you to eat and a flush toilet)

The first item I’d take would be you!! (Can I consider you an item??) If I had you around, I know that my time on the island would be full of laughter and fun. We’d have a BLAST!!

The second item I’d take would be a spice rack. I’ve seen quite a few episodes of Survivor, and they’re always wishing for salt and pepper to spice up their food.

The third item I’d take would be…hmmmm… I’ve got it!! I’d take satellite phone so that when we were tired of playing castaway, we could call for our luxury yacht to come and whisk us away to Tahiti. (You see—since this is my fantasy, I might as well make it a good one.) Once on the yacht, we’d be treated to foot massages, big juicy steaks, peppermint ice cream, and huge boxes of maple-cream chocolates. And pancakes. With syrup. And peanut butter. Yum!… (Can you tell that I’m still on my ghastly diet?? I’m starting to dream about swimming in marshmallow cream—I think it’s a sign that I’ve eaten WAY too many carrots.)

You get to be any household item you want in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ What do you choose?

I’d be the bookcase so I could absorb all the literature I wanted without any effort at all. Can you imagine having tons of stories floating around in your noggin? What fun!! Yep. That’s what I’d choose.

Cooking, baking, or for pete’s sake can we please eat out?

I love to bake and cook, but after seven years of quarantine, going into a restaurant is pure heaven. Each time I go, I realize just how lucky I am!! Will you think I’m silly if I admit that I almost cried at McDonalds the other day? After so many years, being able to walk into McDonalds for a quick burger was wonderful. One thing about quarantine, I’ll never take the simple luxuries of life for granted again.
Which would you prefer as a second home: Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo?

Seriously? You have to ask? I’m a Rocky Mountain girl clear to the bone. Give me a lovely mountain cabin deep in the lush green woods—preferably by a brook. Owning a place like that would be pure BLISS!! Especially if there was a bridge spanning the brook.
If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Wow!! What a stumper!! I write time travel suspense novels—you’d think I’d have a quick, pat answer for this type of question. Hmmm…..let me think…..Ooooo!! I’ve got it!!! I’d go back to the end of WWII. On V-J Day, I’d go to Times Square and gently nudge a certain nurse out of the way so the hunky sailor could plant that wonderful, historic kiss on me instead. I love the picture of the sailor kissing the nurse on V-J Day—it seems to epitomize absolute euphoric joy.

If you could learn any new skill, what would it be?

I’d like to say hang gliding, but I’m WAY too big of a chicken. So I will keep my feet firmly on the ground and say tennis. I bought a tennis racket on a whim once, and I’ve never used it. It think it’s high time that I start.

And now. folks, you know why I like Danele so much. She is sweet, slightly goofy, uniquely creative and a great encourager.

Check this back cover blurb from her book:

Time Tsunami (Book 1 of The Time Counselor Chronicles)

To stop a cruel serial killer, she must travel twenty-four years into the past…

Gil Montgomery, a cadet in the Temporal Counseling Program, can’t wait to pass her field exam and become a professional time surfer. The TEMCO program targets death-row offenders for time-based counseling while they’re children.  For her exam, Gil will travel twenty-four years into the past to counsel ten-year-old Danny Winston before he murders his abusive babysitter, Rick Olsen.  Preventing the stabbing should stop the chain of events leading to Danny’s eventual execution.

Gil’s assignment seems simple until her adviser, Dr. William Ableman, learns that Rick is a serial killer targeting Danny’s mother.  If Gil stays and protects the Winstons, she might not survive.  William wants the woman he loves to be pulled from the field, but if Gil fails to complete her assignment, it will unleash a Time Tsunami and destroy the timeline.

As TEMCO undergoes an emergency lockdown, and Gil’s fellow cadets try to figure out what’s happening, Gil and William learn the importance of faith and the price of true love. Everyone’s fate is resting in Gil’s hands, but does she have the strength she needs to defeat a ruthless serial killer intent on annihilating everyone in his path? Will she return from the deadly mission?

Time Tsunami is a fast-moving thriller with time travel twists that keep the reader guessing until the very last page.

I am looking forward to Book 2!

Prude Approved Reads: Time Tsunami

Time Tsunami

Ah. Do-overs. Let’s all take a minute and think of something that, if we could go back in time, we would do over.
-Red Sox 1st baseman Bill Buckner wouldn’t have let a ground ball dribble between his legs to lose the 1986 World Series
-The Sox wouldn’t have sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees (bringing on the curse that would lead to Mr. Buckner’s tragic error in the previous lines)
-Europe and the U.S. wouldn’t have meddled in the petty arguments that led to WWI
-Parents wouldn’t have invested their children’s college funds in Beanie Babies

You’ve thought of something by now, right? So did Danele Rotharmel in ‘Time Tsunami.’ But instead of time travel to avoid a bad blind date, Gil Montgomery’s assignment is to stop the events that would lead to the creation of a serial killer. Instead of a wardrobe to Narnia or a DeLorean to 1955, Gil travels through a television portal to 24 years in the past. She accomplishes her task with such ease, you just know the other shoe is going to drop. Right on Gil’s head. It does, and things start to get really exciting from there.

Ms. Rotharmel creates a complex world with a charming heroine, honorable heroes and a really, really nasty villain. She writes with humor and warmth. There is a love story but the romance doesn’t fully develop till the end, and by ‘fully develop’ I mean we have semi-passionate kisses. No procreation scenes are described or even hinted at. Bless you Danele.

There is blood, though! While not intensely graphic, the author doesn’t spare us from seeing how evil deeds play out. It is a sobering reminder that one act can unleash the hordes of wickedness, but love and selflessness can cover (and prevent) a multitude of sins.

‘Time Tsunami’ by Danele Rotharmel is a meaty, intense and intricately-plotted story with memorable characters and twists nobody (I guarantee) will see coming.


I had to ask Danele how she created the world of time travel. PhD. in physics, maybe? She graciously shared the fascinating process.

“Basically, “Time Tsunami” is the product of years of daydreaming. I have a clear picture of the TEMCO lab in my mind, and I had fun creating the rules and procedures that govern time travel. I tried to make TEMCO as realistic as possible–that meant giving
the program a history and also a future. I enjoyed showing my reader that
new inventions were being made and new policies were being implemented. The
TEMCO of today isn’t the TEMCO that existed five years ago, and it won’t be
the TEMCO that’s going to exist forty-five years into the future. One of the
things that always fascinated me about JR Tolkien was the fact that he KNEW
his world so well. He had backstories for everything. That’s what I tried to
do when I created my world. I know how the games were designed, the funny
story behind the archives, and why certain rules and regulations were
created. I basically LIVED within my world while I was in quarantine, and it
became my own.

As far as the nuts and bolts–I don’t have a background in physics, but I do
have a big imagination. I managed to get around some of the tricky
time-travel details by having Gil neglect to read the manuals. Her ignorance
covered some of my own. When I was writing my book, Crystal was my biggest
challenge. She was so intelligent that I had to make her words seem
believable–and that meant research. Wikipedia became my best friend. I’d
research little bits and pieces–enough to make the mechanics of time travel
seem plausible. I had such a blast polishing up the details.

One of the fun things about my books is that I wrote all six of them while I
was in quarantine. Because I wrote all six before getting any of them
published, I was able to connect them with little details. For instance, in
book 3, a time portal is opened leading back to events in book 2. Since none
of my books had been published, I was able to go back into book 2 and write
about a mysterious flash of light–a flash that suddenly takes on big
significance when you read book 3. During quarantine, I was constantly
writing and rewriting parts of my books to make the Time Counselor
Chronicles flow effortlessly from one book to the other. I hope that the fun
little details I’ve added will make my books enjoyable to read and reread.

I had so much fun living in my created world. I’m so glad that the world of
TEMCO became real to you as well!


Please come back tomorrow to learn more about Danele. Her real-life story reads almost like a nail-biter suspense book.


Friday, February 5, my second book ‘Hounded’ (published by Prism Book Group) comes out in e-readers (Kindle and Nook are the two I’m familiar with. There are probably ten thousand more that I am unaware of. The world of technology just keeps rolling along without me.)

If you prefer real, hold-able books with covers and paper pages, ‘Hounded’ will be out in that form at some future date.

This is the first book in a series called ‘Love Is’ and based on I Corinthians 13:4-8.

This is the blurb from the back of the book. (The back-cover blurb is more excruciating to compose than everything between the covers.)

Elise Amberson’s husbands always die before she can get the marriage momentum going. At least this last one left her with lots of money. Now she can hang out with her dogs, avoid men, and try to keep off God’s radar.
But her dogs are behaving oddly, a pesky pastor can’t keep his hands off her soul, and God is backing her into a corner.
It’s all more than a rich, beautiful young woman should have to bear. But when someone begins targeting Elise, she’ll have to figure out why before she becomes the late Widow Amberson.

This is the cover. If you read the book—and I hope you do—you might say,

“Jeff the mongrel dog looks remarkably like a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog on this cover.”  He photographs well.

LoveIs_Hounded copy