Phyllis Clark Nichols: Let’s Chat!

Welcome, everyone!

Phyllis Clark Nichols grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.

Multi-Faceted Phyllis

Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis Clark Nichols brings creativity and compelling storytelling. Her character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Now here’s Phyllis Clark Nichols:

How grateful I am to Linda for inviting me to share this blog today and to connect with you. I have such tremendous respect for her and her writing that this is quite an honor. So, thank you, Linda.

As a life-long reader, I have always found it intriguing to discover why writers write what they do. I’ve been asked that question myself on many occasions. My answer is simple. I write stories to tell the Truth.

Phyllis Nichols writes Truth.

Stories by Phyllis Clark Nichols

Realizing that many readers enjoy the escape that a good book brings, I want to provide a safe place where readers feel comfortable and a time with characters who are not that different from the folks around them. But on occasion, I do like to take them to some places where they might not have been before and introduce them to some characters who are differently-abled. My character-driven stories always include a bit of romance, humor, mystery, and food. After all I’m Southern, and food is important, and so are those stories told as we put our feet under the same table at mealtime.

Looking back over my writing, I have discovered a theme—people surviving life’s hardships because God is present.  

Family Portrait Series

In my Family Portrait Series set in Kentucky, I write in the voice of ten-year Kate whose family is learning to live after the death of Kate’s mother. Kate has learned the value of family traditions, and as Mama taught her—the importance of faith, family, and forever. Although grief is a theme, the books are not sad. They are filled with hope and joy and life lessons that Kate learns from the memories of her mother, from Granny Grace, and from the mysterious Mr. Josh. The Christmas Portrait and The Birthday Portrait tell the Harding family’s story of love, faith, and healing from loss. I have plans for two more books in this series in the next couple of years.

Rockwater Suite Rockwater Suite

The Rockwater Suite

Set in Georgia and Kentucky, The Rockwater Suite is a series telling the story of Caroline Carlyle, a gifted pianist whose life took a sudden turn with the death of her fiancé six weeks before their wedding. In her crisis of faith when she can no longer hear the “Music,” Caroline stays close to people who do hear the music. Slowly as new characters enter her story, her life purpose is renewed, and her music and joy return. Again, you’ll find romance, mystery, hope, and humor.

Return of the Song

This story introduces you to Caroline and her family and friends and to Roderick Adair, the Kentucky gentleman who causes her heart strings to resonate again. Phyllis is offering a signed copy of Return of the Song as a giveaway to someone who joins our chat.

Freedom of the Song 

In this story you learn much more about Bella, the gifted musical savant, as the relationship grows between Roderick and Caroline. 

Ransom of the Song will be released in April, and the fourth book in the series (which I’m keeping secret) will be out in November in time for a special Christmas “event.” 

My bookshelves are filled with Christmas books and Christmas music. It is my absolute favorite time of the year. So, if you want a good Christmas read, you might check out Christmas at Grey Sage, endorsed by Debbie Macomber, or Silent Days, Holy Night. They’re both tender stories that have that resounding theme I’ve been telling you about—that theme of a faith that sustains us through life’s hardships.

Phyllis Nichols

Dark Days Brightened by The Light

On a more personal note, my husband was diagnosed with a very serious cancer in September 2018 and began “industrial-strength” chemotherapy before the removal of his kidney on December 31, 2018. What a way to end that year!

With treatment and a much more difficult recovery than we expected, we were advised by doctors to basically hibernate for seven months. We only went to doctors’ appointments, and I made a weekly trip to the grocery store. It was a quiet time of solitude where we were alone. Oh how we missed our extended family and friends and our church! They called and wrote and kept us encouraged with their words. But I can tell you, in our solitude, we experienced Immanuel. God was truly with us providing the peace of His presence.

Phyllis Nichols

And on the darkest days, we could always find things throughout each day for which to be grateful. We expressed our gratitude out loud all throughout the day to our Father who cared for us. His presence brought us peace, and our expressions of gratitude brought us joy. I’m happy and grateful to say after one year, my beloved is cancer-free and healthy again.

Highlands of Guatemala: God Is Here

Phyllis Nichols ministering in Guatemala

I recall a scene, a real one, from one of our mission trips to the Highlands of Guatemala to work in an orphanage in a remote area. Four Cappucine nuns cared for about thirty young girls. It was an incredibly beautiful morning. We had delivered the medical team to a one-room clinic in the middle of a cornfield. And our teaching team had arrived at the orphanage. We gathered the girls in the open courtyard for a morning of our version of Vacation Bible School.

God Is Here

We started our day with robust singing that echoed through those cinder block hallways to the heavens above. All of a sudden, Sister Grettel came running from the laundry where she was working. She slammed on brakes just as she reached me and raised her hands high in the air. She raised her cherubic face to the sky. With a big smile she said, “God is here.” Then she ran back to the laundry room, her habit flying in the wind.

Truth in Stories

That’s the story, my friends, and that’s the Truth I write about. The characters may change. The setting may change, but the Truth remains. No matter our circumstances, God is present. I write to tell that Truth.

I hope you’ll visit my website, www.phyllisclarknichols.com to learn more about my books and to read my blogs. 

~ ~ ~

Lord, please bless each word Phyllis writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

30 thoughts on “Phyllis Clark Nichols: Let’s Chat!

  1. I found this blog very interesting,as I have never read any of your books. I will be exploring your selections because the topics you write about interest me. I am an avid reader and always appreciate authors who include faith in our God and creator of all that we enjoy. Southern topics and food are a natural interest to those of us that come from a southern heritage. We need all the positive energy you can generate during this time in our history where our county is embracing everything that the Bible says is wrong. Keep on writing. Thanks for sharing this author, Linda.

     
     
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jane. I agree that we all need some hope and light, and we know whence that comes. Blessings on you, my new friend. Phyllis

       
       
    2. Welcome, friend Jane. You always lift up authors. Thank you.

       
       
  2. Linda Hibner

    It’s exciting to see you featured on Linda Davis’ website! Both of you are wonderful story tellers. With every book you’ve released I’ve seen your skills as a wordsmith develop and grow. I’ve enjoyed my 2nd and 3rd reading of your books as much as the initial one. Your characters are well developed and memorable and your story lines are rich with meaning. I know that your readers will be delighted to read today’s blog post.

     
     
    1. Thank you so much, Linda. There’ll be a special place in heaven for you because of the encourager that you are to all of us. Love you, friend. Phyllis

       
       
    2. Welcome, Linda. So glad to see you in our circle. What an encourager you are. Please come back.

       
       
  3. Phyllis, I am glad someone’s FB post sent me to this site to read your words and desire to have those words be the vehicle to deliver truth. I sense that women may be your audience and readers for most of your books. I’m a guy and surely can’t change that. I found a resonance in the hints you gave of the contents of your books and look forward to reading them. I usually read about my field of work in healing trauma, abuse, and neglect, spiritual disciplines, and brain based learning. I’ve needed to read the types of books you write. Thank you for reminding me with your words here. I look forward to meeting your well-crafted characters and catching the Truth they deliver. Blessings!

     
     
    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful message. Sounds like you have volumes you could write about, and you certainly have the heart. I do pray you’ll find some Truth as you read my books. Blessings on you and the important work you do.
      Phyllis

       
       
    2. Hi, Ernest. So glad you stopped by. I know Phyllis’s books will both engage and encourage you. Please come back—- a new author to meet every-other Wednesday.

       
       
  4. Cecilia Childree

    Phyllis,
    Your characters come to life so vividly, and their struggles and joys have become my own. Thank you for the reminder that no matter what we face, God is our strength and goodness prevails. Can’t wait until April. Thanks for sharing your storytelling gift. Hope to see you real soon!
    Love to you & Bill!

     
     
    1. Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving that sweet message friend. Sorry I missed seeing you on our last visit. Love to you and that handsome fellow you married. Phyllis

       
       
    2. Amen, Cecilia. Thanks for joining us. I hope you’ll come back to meet a new author every-other Wednesday.

       
       
  5. Blanche Armendariz

    Phyllis, how can I ever tell you how much joy your books bring me . Your characters have become my friends and companions! I have loved them from the very first page I read in your very very rough draft of your first book. Blessings and love my good friend.

     
     
    1. Blanche, your my forever friend and encourager. I’m so grateful to you and for you. Much love, Phyllis

       
       
    2. Welcome to our chat circle, Blanche. What an uplifting message you’ve left. Thank you and please come back—a new author every-other Wednesday.

       
       
  6. Peggy McAuley

    Love Phyllis as she and her family were my Grandmother’s neighbors growing up in South Georgia . Now I am in the Fort Worth TX area.

     
     
    1. Hi, Peggy — you’re in Texas??? I went to seminary in Fort Worth. Lots of sweet memories of you from Georgia. I saw your mom at the library when I was there back last fall. Thanks for dropping by and letting me know. Blessings on you and your family.

       
       
    2. Thanks for stopping by, Peggy. I love hearing from people who have known authors for years. I know you’ve encouraged Phyllis. You’ve encouraged me. Please come back—a new author ever-other Wednesday.

       
       
  7. Debbie Dunbar

    We love Phyllis and Bill Nichols! You will NEVER meet more wonderful people! Phyllis’ books are so enjoyable because it’s easy reading and the characters are very real. I have to warn you, when you start reading one of her books you won’t want to put it down, it’s that good.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Debbie. Wow, what a tribute you’ve written. I’m so glad to have gotten to know Phyllis. Thank you for your encouraging remarks. I hope you’ll visit Let’s Chat again.

       
       
    2. Thank you so much sweet friend. Just so you know I love and admire you and Ken and your kids and grandkids. Would that the world had more salt of the earth people like you.

       
       
  8. Marti Wilson

    Love Phyllis Clark Nichols ❤️ My favorite is Christmas At Grey Sage. Have read Return Of The Song and Freedom Of The Song. Just finished The Christmas Portrait. Cannot wait for the next “song” book. So glad your family is well and blessed.

     
     
    1. Hi, Marti. Love your encouraging remarks. I hope you’ll come back.

       
       
      1. Thanks, Marti. I appreciate your comments and the time you take to share with me.

         
         
    2. Thanks, Marti. I appreciate your comments and the time you take to share with me.

       
       
  9. Mary Jo Burton

    Love this lady and her wonderful books.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Mary Jo! It’s great to have you join our circle. You’ve encouraged both of us. Please come back.

       
       
    2. Thank you Mary Jo. Looking forward to May 18.

       
       
  10. I can identify with your year of quietude following your husband’s treatment. Four years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Before he was finished with his cancer meds, he suffered a subdural hematoma, requiring two surgeries. Even with his chemo, stem cell treatment, and surgeries, the most difficult thing for him was not being able to drive for a year! Thanks be to God, my husband is doing better and back to driving. I am celebrating his renewed strength.

    Your stories do sound encouraging. Though I’m from New England, I have family in GA, and I love southern writers!

     
     
    1. Thank you for sharing your story. I celebrate with you your husband’s recovery. I understand completely your role. God bless you.

       
       

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Leanna Sain: Let’s Chat!

Welcome, everyone!

Leanna Sain joins our chat circle today. Leanna earned her BA from the University of South Carolina before moving back to the mountains of western North Carolina. Her stories are plot-driven and successfully combine elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon.

Her writing accolades include: Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year; nominations for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and the Global Ebook Award; and the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the NC Society of Historians for her time travel trilogy (Gate to Nowhere; Return to Nowhere; Magnolia Blossoms.) She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs.

I‘m honored to turn over the reins to this North Carolina author of romantic southern suspense, or “GRIT-lit.”

Leanna Sain and Hush


T
he idea for a story about a serial killer who uses the verses of the lullaby, “Hush, Little Baby” as staging or directions for his murders had been percolating in my brain for a while. But I didn’t actually begin writing it until Mama’s battle with Alzheimer’s took a turn for the worse. I was struggling badly with the pain, anger, and frustration of it all and I needed the outlet that writing would allow. I used this book as a sort of therapy. It was a way to filter out some of the negative emotions as I dealt with this terrible disease.

Hush and Alzheimer’s


A
lzheimer’s is a horrible disease, straight from the pit of hell, as far as I’m concerned. It did so much more than simply kill my mother. It stole away everything that made her who she was, leaving behind an empty shell. The person I loved and who loved me died long before that empty shell did, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I decided to create a minor character (in this case, Lacey, my protagonist’s mother) and I gave her Alzheimer’s. I know, I know…it was a mean thing to do, but at that point in my life, it felt necessary, and it allowed me to honor Mama by weaving some of the things she said and did into my story. I guess Lacey was sort of my alter ego during this difficult time. I know God is in control even when everything feels chaotic, but writing this book helped me by giving me a tiny measure of control over one small thing in a fictional world.

Leanna’s Books

Leanna Sain Leanna Sain
Leanna Sain Leanna Sain Leanna Sain

Because of all that came with the writing, Hush is a little “darker” than my six previous books. I consider it a sort of memorial to Mama. Just like Lacey’s mom in the book, many, many students knew my mama as the ‘Reading Lady.’ She read hundreds of books to thousands of children over the years, but Alzheimer’s stole that woman away.

To honor my mother, I will donate the royalties from “Hush” to Alzheimer’s research through the Rotary Club’s CART fund. (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust)

So, if you like Christian suspense with a bit of romance, you’ll love this book. Treat yourself or a friend to a copy today and you’ll not only get a great read, you’ll be helping to find a cure for this terrible disease. And please don’t forget to write a review!

A Taste of Hush by Leanna Sain

Lacey Campbell can dream murders before they happen. The problem is her dreams are in fragments—bits and pieces—not enough clues to allow her to stop the murders from happening. She dreams flashes of a man singing “Hush, Little Baby” while he strangles a young woman. When she awakes, she tried to convince herself it doesn’t mean anything, but the next night she dreams a second murder—same scenario—the lullaby… another strangulation. It’s time to tell the police.

State Bureau of Investigation sends in their man, Detective Ford Jamison, to help the local police which results in the typical territorial skirmish between the two forces. Ford soon has a two-part working theory: the killer is using the lullaby to stage his murders and he’s targeting women who look remarkably like Lacey. That knowledge doesn’t slow the killings, though and the police are always one step behind. Now Lacey is afraid to go to sleep because the next face she sees in her dreams might be her own.

As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?

Leanna Sain Links

Book: https://shoplpc.com/hush/

Kindle: https://amzn.to/36du3Lj

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Leannasbooks

Twitter: https://LeannaSain@Leannasbooks

Website and blog: http://leannasain.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LeannaSain

For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com

~ ~ ~

Lord, please bless each word Leanna writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

3 thoughts on “Leanna Sain: Let’s Chat!

  1. Marilyn

    Leanna, I’m so sorry about your mother’s illness with Alzheimer’s. It is an awful disease. I’m thankful you were able to write during this time for therapy. Blessings and may your book increase the odds of finding a cure.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Marilyn. Thank you for encouraging us.

       
       
    2. Thank you so much, Marilyn. Praying they find a cure soon. Help spread the word about Hush.
      Leanna

       
       

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