John M. Cunningham, Jr: Let’s Chat!

 

linda brooks davis


Welcome, everyone

John CunninghamJohn M. Cunningham, Jr visits with us today. John is a Southern boy, professional writer, and former history teacher. He writes both nonfiction and historical fiction. His articles have appeared in numerous publications. He’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Gather ’round for a delightful chat with this intriguing author. John is offering his book of devotions–Reflections of a Southern Boy–as a giveaway to someone who joins the chat below.

John M. Cunningham, Jr: Roots

John M. Cunningham

John’s Past

John Cunningham
I learned how to hunt and fish at an early age.

My family roots are deeply Southern, and I do mean Deep South. I grew up in Mobile, Alabama. Like many Southern boys, I learned how to hunt and fish at an early age. My older sister and my father were the real athletes in the family, my father an avid golfer and my sister a tennis player.

Because I possessed no athletic gifts, I developed a love for reading. Dreams of becoming a writer often entered my thoughts.

One Christmas my parents gave me a present that changed my life’s trajectory: The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War. Pulitzer-prize winning historian Bruce Catton wrote its narrative, and it sparked my interest in that conflict which soon broadened into other historical eras.

Though I’ve never served in the military, I have a military background that’s helped me with my novels.

John’s Youth

On my way to school

In the late 1960s and early 70s, I attended high school at Marion Military Institute, an ROTC-sponsored military academy in Marion, Alabama. At the time, it had both a high school and a junior college. Though it has since discontinued its high school program, its junior college continues. Many graduates go on to a military career.

John Cunningham
Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Also during my high school years, I participated in the Naval Sea Cadet program sponsored by the Navy League of the United States. My father, a World War Two Navy veteran and dentist, served as our medical officer. This program gave me many wonderful experiences. I  spent two weeks at a Canadian Forces military base in Nova Scotia, two weeks at Navy boot camp in Orlando, Florida, went on a turnaround cruise in Boston Harbor aboard the USS Constitution, spent another two weeks on the training carrier USS Lexington (based in Pensacola, Florida), and even spent the day on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico aboard a Coast Guard cutter. Many a time, I’ve drawn on these memories when writing my historical novels.

John’s Professional Life

Upon graduation from the University of Alabama with a degree in history, I moved to the New Orleans area where I taught high school. Here, the Lord launched me into a professional writing career with my first published article, a devotional I sold to The Upper Room in 1983.

John Cunningham
Book Signing in Gretna, Louisiana

During my time in New Orleans, I taught a writing class, sold numerous articles to Christian magazines and Sunday school publications, and contributed to a men’s devotional series published by Broadman & Holman.

My devotional book, Reflections of a Southern Boy, was published in 2019 under the byline Jack Cunningham. My three Civil War novels are published under the byline John M. Cunningham, Jr. The third novel is a dog story set during the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana (1863) titled Squire, A Mascot’s Tale.

John M. Cunningham, Jr: Present

Currently, I’m working on a novel set against the backdrop of Thoroughbred racing in antebellum Mobile. Horse racing was a huge sport in this era. I do not have a definite title for the book yet.

John’s Books

John Cunningham

What do kudzu, fiddler crabs, and an undeserved trophy have in common? They’re all part of Mister Cunningham’s experiences growing up in the Deep South. He compiles these stories and others into a series of devotionals and Bible studies. A few stories, though, just have a Southern theme. Some are humorous and others more serious, but all teach life lessons readers can apply to their own faith journeys.
https://bit.ly/3eFGsMg or https://amzn.to/2Xl6vSU  
John M. Cunningham, Jr.

 

At the outbreak of the Civil War and against his wife Rachel’s pleadings, Captain Jesse Webb takes his beloved dog Squire to war as his regiment’s mascot. Will Squire survive his ordeal and find his way home while the Union army battles the Rebel garrison? https://amzn.to/3gGXbAz John M. Cunningham, Jr.

 

Southern Sons ~ Dixie Daughters

John M. CunninghamA sweeping saga of the Civil War’s western naval campaigns, with a large cast of characters, Book 1 in the Southern Sons-Dixie Daughters series follows four Southern families living on the Gulf Coast—the Westcotts, the Jessups, the Soileaus, the indomitable and devout slave Danny who escapes bondage and finds service aboard a Union warship and his wife Nancy, cruelly whisked out of his life decades before the war. https://amzn.to/2XTH7CK John M. Cunningham, Jr.

 

John M. CunninghamWhile Moxley Westcott flees to Mobile to escape arrest by the Union army his brother Ben, a critically wounded prisoner, hovers at death’s door. Their parents and their sister Annie return to their plantation upriver, unaware that danger lurks very near in the person of the evil Xavier Locke, who plans their demise.

This second installment of Southern Sons-Dixie Daughters continues the triumphs, conflicts, and tragedies of these four Southern families against the sweeping saga of the Civil War’s western naval campaigns. Who will live to see the end of the war? Who will die? And who will choose change rather than a hardened heart?
https://amzn.to/36QQRlB  John M. Cunningham, Jr. 

John M. Cunningham, Jr: Links

Facebook John M. Cunningham, Jr, Author
Blog  John M. Cunningham, Jr: The Author’s Cove

 ~ ~ ~

Dear Lord, please bless each word John M. Cunningham, Jr. writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

14 thoughts on “John M. Cunningham, Jr: Let’s Chat!

  1. From one Southerner to another – Congratulations! I find Southerners excellent story tellers. Looking forward to reading your work.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Phyllis. We understand Southern-speak, don’t we? So good to welcome you today. God bless!

       
       
    2. Thank you, Phyllis. I hope you enjoy my books!

       
       
    3. David Elmore

      Sounds like an author I need to be familiar with.

       
       
      1. Hi, David. Welcome! What a treat. Yes, I think you’ll enjoy Jack’s books. I hope you’ll join us again. 🙂

         
         
  2. My father loved the Navy. I get my love of the sea from him.

     
     
    1. Welcome to the Let’s Chat family, John.

       
       
      1. Thank you so much, Linda.

         
         
  3. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    Looks like I need to put these on my wish list.

     
     
    1. Thanks, Leila! If you do, I sincerely hope you will enjoy them.

       
       
    2. Thanks for dropping by, Lucy. You’re an encourager. You name’s in the hat. Bless you.

       
       
  4. Paula Shreckhise

    I love Christian Fiction with a Southern flair. These look especially good. My hubby was in the Navy from 1968 for 6 years. I got to accompany him to Homestead, Florida, Portsmouth, Virginia and Guam.

     
     
    1. Hi, Paula. Great to see you in our circle. You encourage John and me both. Bless you.

       
       
    2. Thanks, Paula. I’ve always wanted to visit Guam and other islands in the South Pacific since that’s where my father served during World War Two.

       
       

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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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