Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Serious Wednesday: Author Eddie Jones Visits!

Welcome To Nick (and Eddie!). 

Using a young person's viewpoint, Eddie captures their doubts, questions, and suspicions of what is real and what is not. In today's world, plenty of young people are searching for faith of some sort, for answers. 

We're excited to read about this opportunity for writers who want to learn about writing for the young adult age group. Read on to find out what makes Nick tick and some of his history and a bit about what Nick's adventures are won't be disappointed!

Some readers have asked the guy who helps me write my stories (Mr. Jones) if I’m a Christian. I doubt that I am. I’m in my teens, which means I sort of question everything. Especially people who say they know for sure something is true.

I know Mom and Dad aren’t Christians. Neither is my sister. But then again, a lot of the people I meet who say they are Christians don’t act like it. They’re mean or rude or don’t do hardly any of the things the Bible says you’re supposed to do, like treat your neighbor like you want to be treated or (and this is a big one) treat God like he’s actually GOD.

Pop, my grandfather, is a Christian. He used to teach religion at a college in Sleepy Hollow. When I was a kid he told me every person who’s ever been born was messed up in God’s eyes. Some worse than others. But Pop said being even a little messed up is enough to send you off the road and into the ditch. Except he didn’t say ditch. He used a word I can’t repeat because Mom says it’s a cuss word. Pop said that’s how come we need God’s help to get fixed.

I know most of the boys my age don’t think a lot of stuff in the Bible actually happened. Like, how can there have been dinosaurs during the Jurassic Park era and the earth only be 6000 years old? 6000 years old! My grandfather has packing peanuts that old. My grandfather never throws away bubble wrap or packing peanuts. “Never know when I’m going to need to mail something.” By the way, my grandfather hardly ever leaves the house so I’m not sure when he thinks he’s going to mail something to someone.

But then my science teacher swears we came from some single-cell-ameba-whatever that crawled from the sea a gazillion years ago and eventually grew into a human. How’s that even possible? And where did the single-cell-ameba-whatever come from? Or the earth? Or our solar system? See what I’m saying? There had to be something or someone before there was the single-cell-ameba-whatever. I’ll be honest: I’m not sure either side knows the real facts.

Only thing I know is that the more I read in the Bible about ghosts and the “walking dead,” and “men turned into wild beasts” (that could or could not have been a “wolf-man”), the more I wonder if maybe some (maybe all) of what’s in the Bible might be true.

And if it is, then the Bible is about the scariest book I know of.

By the way, did you know that:
  • According to the National Assessment of Education Progress' latest report, 64% of all eighth-grade students are unable to read proficiently.
  • 82% percent of black students and 77% of Hispanic students are not reading proficiently.
  • More than 30 million Americans cannot read or write above a third-grade level.
  • 85% of the juveniles in the court system are functionally illiterate, as are 60% of prison inmates.
  • The reading gap between boys and girls increases as they age. By 12th grade girls are two times more likely to score higher on reading tests than boys.

I wrote the 'Caden Chronicles' series with boys in mind. The 'Caden Chronicles' books are short murder mysteries with a spiritual supernatural element. For example, 

Dead Man's Hand addresses the myth of ghosts. 

Skull Creek Stakeout addresses the myth of vampires (it started in the Upper Room). 

Dead Low Tide addresses the myth of zombies and the walking dead. 

Rumor of a Werewolf deals with powerful men who refuse to honor God 
and are turned into beast-like creatures (Book of Daniel).

"Immediately his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. Let him live with the animals of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal." ~ the Bible "werewolf"

Opportunity for writers:
By the way, if you know a boy or girl who likes to make up stories and stuff, send them my way. The Cool Ghoul Gazette, at needs some new writers/reporters. No experience required. We will teach you how to write a lead, build upon the “who, what, when, where, how” reporting style, and help you improve your writing skills. Think of this like your high school newspaper, only way more fun.

The man who helps me write the Caden Chronicle series (Mr. Jones) graduated with a journalism degree back when reporters published the facts, not their opinions, and sought to present both sides of a story fairly. (Mr. Jones added that last part.) And if you’re too old to be called young (or whatever), you can still write for us. It’s just that we give kids my age first priority on the big stories.You can contact me, Nick Caden, at: The scarier the story, the better. If The Cool Ghoul Gazette had been around when that fellow Edgar Allan Poe was alive, he’d have probably written for us. Anyway, we need lots of scary stories so send us some strange writers.

Thank you so much for joining us Nick (and Eddie)!!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Sunshine: Another God-given Day!

What's more beautiful than a summer morning
The gorgeous blue sky
the rising golden sun
The mist over a valley
and the many prospects ahead for the day.

Let us be glad and rejoice!
God's given us another day to enjoy.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Rambling Friday: Up, up and Away!

Up, up and away!

Summertime --although to be truthful--
is too hot for me,
but I love the activities!

Water at the lake and beach,
flowers in bloom and the green of the earth,
visiting U.S. sites filled with history, fun and interest.

Traveling, camping, cookouts, visits.
Way too busy,
but who NOT wants it to continue?

have a fun-filled and safe summer!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Serious Wednesday: Cozy Mystery Author Carol Heilman Visits!

I'm tickled to introduce you to my friend, Carol Heilman! Her books are delightful and intriguing mysteries that are bound to keep your interest. Do check out her links to purchase them!

Is there a story behind your books?
Yes indeed. Agnes Hopper began as a short story—a writing assignment from a creative writing class. The story ended when Agnes walked away from a retirement home where the administrator ran a tight ship for sinister reasons. When I began asking
What if Agnes stayed to help her friends?”
the story evolved into a book, and then a series. It’s been an adventure.

What started you on your writing journey?
I began writing in my fifties when I purchased a book on “free writing.” Completing those exercises took my breath away. I was hooked.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Mostly historical fiction
  • The Cigar Factory by Michele Moore,
  • The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd, and
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Which character in your newest release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Nellie, a recent resident of the retirement home, who claims to be Minnie Pearl’s cousin twice removed. She looks like the little old woman who lived in a shoe. She is a kleptomaniac, a quirky character who lends a sense of humor to the story.

Why do you write in the genre you do?
I love the people and their lives in small southern towns where a mystery thrives in the hot, humid air.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
Summer evenings spent listening to my coal miner daddy and uncle tell stories on our front porch while lightening bugs danced along the wood’s edge.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to 
you. (and why it's special)
2nd Samuel 22:17 NIV

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters."

I was in my early thirties at the time when the Lord spoke to me through this verse. I was drowning in deep waters of bitterness yet He rescued me with His steadfast love. He has remained faithful and true.

Buy her books here:

About Carol:

Carol Heilman, a coal miner's daughter, married her high school sweetheart, a farmer's son. She began writing family stories, especially about her dad's Appalachian humor, for newspapers and magazines. One day her mother said, "We don't have any secrets any more!"

Carol's book series, Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar and Agnes Hopper Bets on Murder, was inspired by her mother's spunky spirit and her dad's humor.

She has relocated, along with her husband of fifty-plus years, from the mountains of NC to Charleston, SC. The low country is now their home. They love to play cards, go antiquing, hike, and visit grandsons on the east and west coasts.

Be sure to check out her books. You'll not want to miss them!

Friday, July 05, 2019

Rambling Friday: The Face of a Child

I do believe there are few things more wonderful than a child. Big eyes, expressive faces, laughing/sad/angry mouths, skipping legs, chubby legs, skinny ones too. As I always say: they are God's gift.

Enjoy these that I share with you today of a few favorite children I love:

"I'm busy, Gwandma!"

"Are you sure he won't bite?"

Brothers forever!

I might be little but I still don't want those carrots!

"I'm just not sure I can do this, Gwandpa!"

Sunburned cheeks, "all in" in the sandbox!

Summertime enjoyment

What's your favorite child picture?
Share if you like!

Spend a day with a child.
Make a difference in his/her life.
Experience the difference in YOUR life!

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Serious Wednesday: Enjoy Your Freedom!

Freedom! What does it mean? What is freedom?

Big questions in this world of -- should I say...turmoil? Change? Disagreements? Injustice?

BUT...we do have freedom of:

  • religion
  • press
  • freedom to have a trial by jury
  • freedom to assemble peaceably
  • freedom to petition the government
Freedom means more than just the right to act however I choose. It's greater than that: it stands for everyone to have an equal opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The definition of liberty is having the ability to act according to your will as long as it doesn't affect the ability of someone else to act according to his/her own will. 


Freedom:  to be free from something
liberty: to be free to do something

Today, as we celebrate Independence Day, July 4th, let's remember how important it is to have freedom. Because without it, we would have to SAY what the government wants us to say. Because without it we would be thrown out (or worse) of the country if we didn't believe what the government believed.

Let's never take our freedom for granted, but be thankful we live in the great United States of America!

Happy 4th!

Serious Wednesday: Author Eddie Jones Visits!

Welcome To Nick (and Eddie!).  Using a young person's viewpoint, Eddie captures their doubts, questions, and suspicions of what is ...