Just started my first Linda Rondeau novel last night. Now here’s a talented wordsmith. And she’s versatile, too, writing in each of her genres as if it were her sweet-spot. Here’s some info about her:


Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel (The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight),  LINDA RONDEAU, writes for the reader who enjoys a little bit of everything. Her stories of redemption and God’s mercies include romance, suspense, the ethereal, and a little bit of history into the mix, always served with a slice of humor. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, mother of three and wife of one very patient man, Linda now resides in Florida where she is active in her church and community.  Readers may visit her web site at  Her second book, written under L.W. Rondeau, America II: The Reformation, Trestle Press, the first in a dystopian trilogy, is a futuristic political now available in ebook on and Barnes and Noble.  Print edition is coming soon. She is also contracted with Trestle Press for a prequel to her America II trilogy called Rains of Terror. This will appear in serial form. Volume One will be released soon.  An Adirondack romance will be released in October by Lighthouse of the Carolinas in time for the Christmas season and is called, It Really Is a Wonderful life. 

 After finishing Darkness, I want to read America 2, dystopian fan that I am. Linda has put together a little questionnaire related to this new novel. Check it out and have a little fun with it. The answers are at the bottom ;-)



America II: The Reformation by LW Rondeau, is set in 2073, 61 years into the future. What will the world be like then? And what was the world like 61 years ago. Take this quiz and find out. Don’t cheat…answers are at the end of the article.



1.  What comic strip appeared in newspapers for the first time on March 12, 1951?


  1. Beetle Bailey
  2. Nancy
  3. Dennis the Menace
  4. Peanuts


In 2073, entertainment will be fed through a main computer, called EVE (external virtual educator). Viewers (only citizens) will project the feed. Viewers will have opportunity to take themselves into the feed and walk around.


2.  What was the average cost of a new house?


  1. $5000
  2. $7000       
  3. $9000
  4. $11000


In 2073 homes within the city will be hard to buy and only the very wealthy will afford individual family homes. Most will live in high rise facilities, small and condensed quarters. These homes will be equipped with scanners in every room and exterior hallways, monitored by EVE.




3.  What was the cost of a loaf of bread?


  1. 17 cents
  2. 19 cents
  3. 21 cents
  4. 23 cents


In 2073 there will be a huge food shortage. Only the very wealthy can afford fresh food of any kind. Most will subsist on cloned meats, often to the third and fourth generation, and cloned vegetables and fruits. The strawberry is especially rare and an extreme delicacy. Honey is almost unheard of since the bee is nearly extinct, raised only by the Border Community of the Western American outland.


4.  Cost of a dozen eggs?


  1. 24 cents
  2. 27 cents
  3. 30 cents
  4. 33 cents



In the future, meat is rare as are all dairy products.


5.  What was used to generate electricity for the first time?


  1. Coal Power Plant
  2. Hydroelectric Dam
  3. Natural Gas Power Plant
  4. Nuclear Power Plant


In 2073 solar power is the main source of energy. The cities are covered by domes that let in the solar light with engineered night glows during the dark



6. The first color broadcast transmitted in New York.  What network did it?


  1. ABC
  2. CBS
  3. NBC
  4. Westinghouse


In 2073 all entertainment is fed through a micro, a cube –like device that does everything through EVE.



7.  Who hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”?  National League playoff game that was won in the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk off home run.


  1. Mickey Mantle
  2. Bobby Thomson
  3. Roy Campanella
  4. Ralph Branca


In 2073, public entertainment consist of defector parades, those people put on display and humiliated for their decision to defect, that is to leave the cities and live in the outland. They are paraded through the streets to the Defector’s Gate where they are expelled naked, their implants, or identification ornament, purged. Other pubic entertainment takes place in an arena where crowds may witness a repatriation event or a signing of a familial contract. There is no marriage in the future, rather groups up to six who agree to form a family.


8.  What was the average cost of a new car?


  1. $1000.00
  2. $1,500.00
  3. $2000.00
  4. $2500.00


In 2073, outlanders depend heavily on rovers, or hovercrafts that travel at high speeds. They are not permitted to use air shuttles. Only the wealthy can afford air shuttles or even allowed access outside the cities. There are some entertainment areas for nature walks within the walled area from the domed city to the outland called Subcity. But by and large, most citizens use public transport. Or arrange for private transport through transport services.


9.  The first NBA All-Star game was played.  What city played host?


  1. Boston
  2. Jacksonville
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Syracuse


In 2073, sport leagues are virtually non-existent.


10.  What North African country gained its freedom from Italy?


  1. Algeria
  2. Libya
  3. Morocco
  4. Tunisia


In 2073, the world is governed by a global entity called the Constitutional Government, divided into 21 provinces. Most of the world is inhabitable. Those who agree to follow the Articles of Constitution, may abide in the domed cities and will marked by an implant. Those who refuse to abide by the articles may defect into the outland. The Western America outland is the most organized, consisting of an illegal subgovernment called The Network, an interlocking representation of six communities (formerly known as states) also linking hubs or smaller residential neighborhoods.


What do you think of the year 2073?




Answers: 1-c , 2-c, 3-b, 4-a, 5-d, 6-b, 7-b, 8-b, 9-a, 10-b

You can connect with Ms Rondeau via the following links. Highly advised; this is good stuff:

Amazon author page




Does God Love Me Just Like I Am?

Sep 10, 2011

That, my friend, is a good question.  It is also a question I have spent quite a bit of time exploring.  In fact, I wrote a book titled If My Body Is A Temple, Why Am I Eating Doughnuts? .  Through this book the reader is led to discover scriptures telling us of God’s love for us “no matter what size we are or what size we are NOT”.  I know about this first hand.  I have lost 100 pounds, and I fight and struggle daily to lose the remaining 25 pounds that are clinging to my hips and thighs.

Yet, I am convinced of God’s love like I have never been before.  I love the way Craig Groeschel puts it in his book The Christian Atheist.  He says, “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more.  And there is nothing you can do to make God love you less.  Love is not something God does.  It is who God is.  And because of who God is, God loves you.  Period.”  That so clearly explains things for me.  Isaiah 49:15 tells us “Even those may forget, but I will not forget you.”  God loves us way too much to ever forget us.  That scripture did not say He would never forget us if we wore a size 8 jeans (which is what I wish I wore), or if our hair were a certain color and style.  The scriptures teach us, repeatedly, that God loves us just like we are.

The next time the mirror or the scales disappoint you, remember God’s love for us.  Yes, He wants us to be the very best we can be, but He loves us to pieces (that’s a good Southern phrase).  As Leighton Ford put it, “God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way.”  Celebrate God’s love for you today!


Check out Carol’s latest book “If My Body Is A Temple, Why Am I Eating Doughnut” at and other fine retailers!

Guest Post by Gay Balliet

September 8, 2012


Hi, friends.  My name is Gay Balliet.  As a guest blogger for David Stearman today, I have my own version of life lived under a tropical sun: that of Africa.  My own version of international intrigue, this is an excerpt about Sonny, an elephant stolen from the jungle and cruelly enslaved into several traveling circuses in the United States.   Sonny is a character from my yet unpublished manuscript The Celebrated Pet: How Americans Memorialize Their Animal Friends. 

I write creative narrative nonfiction about animals and veterinary adventures for adults and young adults.  My first book, published by New Horizon Press in 1999, is entitled Touched By All Creatures: Doctoring Animals in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country.  Then, Lowell: The True Story of an Existential Pig, a story about pot-bellied pigs,came out in 2000.  In 2004, RDR Books put out Lions & Tigers & Mares—Oh, My!  Pet and animal lovers laugh out loud as they read about veterinary medicine, a la James Herriot, in the fields and barnyards of the Pennsylvania countryside.

My latest tome is in ebook form with Trestle Press Publishing: There’s a Bear in the Basement- Vol. 1.  Find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and upload it to any ebook device.  In a few days There’s a Bear in the Basement—Vol. II will be out: more stories of tending horses, turkeys, sheep, cats and dogs in the small towns and fields of eastern Pennsylvania.

Anyone may purchase these books at and at www.b&

The following is an excerpt from the story of Sonny’s kidnapping from his African home:

            The killing of Sonny’s elephant herd in Zimbabwe in 1983 resulted in the annihilation of his family and his sense of security.  In the settling dust along the river’s edge where the grand animals had been grazing one afternoon, eighty adult elephants, some shot through the head, others wounded in their legs and bellies, lay slowly dying.  The African bush glowed with fire-blood, and the river frothed tomato-red.  Though mortally wounded, a handful of bull elephants still struggled to rise in a last attempt to defend the youngsters.  Sitting on their haunches, blood streaming down their sides, they trumpeted in weak but insistent voices as other adult elephants shot in the throat and chest lay fighting for breath, barely able to answer the yearlings’ calls for help.  Most of those eighty adults had been luckier than those expiring by the river’s edge, for the humans’ aim had hit their targets well.  Shot in the heart or brain, most had dropped–stone dead–Sonny’s mother and many of his aunts among them.

            While the year-old elephant struggled to make sense of the chaos around him, the second phase of the attack began.  After the adult elephants had been eradicated, hundreds of two-legged creatures ran, yelling, jumping, and spitting like hyenas at the forty scared young elephants.  They leapt and charged Sonny and his brothers and sisters with an arsenal of hooks, spears, heavy chains, and ropes the diameter of grape vines.  Sonny feared this enemy more than those of the African bush.   Though he had never liked the lionesses as they eased, slinking, past his herd, their eyes watching intently for the sick amongst them, he knew they were seldom a threat.  Circling around him and the other yearlings, the adults, especially his mom and aunts, of which he had ten, had only to stomp their feet at the lioness and trumpet a warning.   Then she crawled away in search of easier prey.              

            The predator that had Sonny’s legs tied with heavy ropes was nothing like the lioness.  Unlike the solitary, hungry feline, these things killed in packs, like the wild dogs in the bush.  They maimed in large numbers–more lethal than a single large cat on the hunt.   And these comparatively small but agile creatures wielded weapons he had never seen before; their tools as sharp as the tip of a split branch, and when he got in its way, his skin ripped as easily as an elephant tearing a limb from an acacia tree.  When Sonny charged one of the two-legs, it flung something at him, and a shock of pain rippled along his back: a deep gash in his trunk gaped like a hippos’ mouth, and it leaked blood onto his front feet.

            These small nimble creatures, mostly black, some white, also knew how to use big moving steel things the size of Sonny himself.  Four round black things under each box, rolled, turned, and moved the steel compartments on top in any direction.  Those boxes could move as slow as a sick, elderly antelope, or they could dart as fast as a cheetah.  They were nightmarish–those walking, rolling vaults–and they slowly crowded him and his cousins, surrounding him, pressing them, into a tight circle. 

            Sonny leaned against the other young, panic-stricken elephants.  At least they had each other.  But Sonny longed for his mother.  She had always defended him against the other ill-tempered bull elephants and charged hungry lionesses.  Where was his she?    Why wasn’t his mother helping him?      

            The yearlings, pressed together, trumpeted balefully; some fell to the ground gasping, their trunks limp with exhaustion, and tears streamed down their skin-cracks.  This wily predator was tenacious.  Soon the baby elephants’ calls slowed, weakened. Defenseless without their elders, they massed together as one—alone and without any will to fight.  As the baby elephants leaned into each other, rigid with fear, the two-legged enemies disappeared inside their boxes—silent and staring with piercing white eyes.

              In two hours the young elephants found themselves huddled together inside those same dark containers, four elephants to each of the caravan’s ten boxes.  As each dark cave began to move, Sonny and the other yearlings braced themselves against its unforgiving metal sides.  For what seemed like days, the terrified animals hunched together to keep from falling, leaning against each other for balance as well as for courage.  The only sound was the rattling of steel beneath them and, inside, the gentle weeping of the elephants.


I hope all those who read and enjoy David Stearman’s international-themed adventure novels will find time to explore my animal adventure books, too.  Thanks.

Gay Balliet

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C. S. Lakin

List of Books/Genre:

Someone to Blame: contemporary/general fiction/inspirational

Intended for Harm: contemporary/general fiction/inspirational

Conundrum: contemporary/general fiction/women’s fiction

Innocent Little Crimes: psychological mystery

A Thin Film of Lies: suspense/crime fiction

Time Sniffers: YA fantasy/sci-fi/romance

The Gates of Heaven fantasy series (for adults):

The Wolf of Tebron

The Map across Time

The Land of Darkness

The Unraveling of Wentwater

(Three more titles to come)

Website(s): ;,

Twitter:@cslakin and @livewritethrive

Facebook: C. S. Lakin, Author


DS: What and who influenced you to become a writer?

CSL: I was raised by a mother who was a TV writer and was always surrounded by TV scripts and tons of novels. So, I was mostly influenced by all the great authors I had the joy to read while growing up. During my teen years I read a lot of Ray Bradbury and I fell for his writing (and hope his writing helped shape mine.) I didn’t think of becoming “a writer” until I was about thirty and had an idea for a novel. Once I wrote that first novel I realized I really loved that form over the poetry and short stories I’d written and so just kept going.

DS: Tell us about your very first novel and the process you used to write it.

CSL: I didn’t have a lot of “formal” training—meaning I hadn’t gone to writers’ conferences or read books on the writing craft so I winged it and relied on the models I found through my own reading experience. I wrote a lot of notes and ideas, and really, my methods going into my latest, novel #13, are not all that different. I brainstorm a lot to develop plot and characters and once I have the story down, I start writing. I did that with my first novel as well, although it’s structured so badly and has so much narrative and personal exposition that I will never publish it!

DS: Has your process changed or evolved over the years?

CSL: On that same note, now that I know so much more about structuring a novel, I take the next step after brainstorming ideas in a much more structured manner. I usually create charts, timelines, and index cards for all my scenes and put the whole (or a good part) of the novel down in a way that I can just pick up an index card and write my scene for the day, knowing the book has been well plotted out.

DS: I’ve been browsing your website and you are a very busy woman.  Writing, editing, mentoring, guest speaking!  How do you find the time for everything?

CSL: I don’t. And I often feel like I get little done! I don’t have any kids at home, only a pesky dog, so I do have more time, and I’m disciplined—get up at 6, run two miles, do an hour of email and marketing, then dig in to my editing jobs. I edit mostly full-time, and I try to teach workshops and help other writers as much as I can. I believe in giving and helping and doing what I can to see other writers succeed. It’s very satisfying. But I have no time to write!

DS: I see that you’re also a writing coach.  What does a writing coach do?  What are the benefits of working with a writing coach?

CSL: I wish I’d had one 25 years ago when I started my first novel. A writing coach teaches you lots of tips and technique to save you years of making stupid mistakes. One client told me he learned more from my four-page sample edit than he learned in four years of college English and writing classes. I am very encouraging to my clients but I’m honest and make them work hard to make their book the best it can be. Many of my clients have gone on to get agents, publishing contracts, awards, and movie deals. I highly encourage new writers to have a writing coach or editor to help them—preferably a published novelist, if they are working on a novel. Many editors and coaches don’t write fiction or don’t really know much about structuring a novel.

DS: When you’re not working on your own projects, what genre do you read? 

CSL: I love fantasy and sci-fi. I love good contemporary fiction of all kinds. I try to read a lot of highly touted best sellers to see why they are so successful. I like mysteries and crime/thrillers. I will even read an occasional Western. I do not, however, read romance or chick lit or anything overly fluffy. I like to be affected, changed, moved, inspired by what I read. I mostly read what friends recommend to me. I’m very picky and a snob, I’ll admit, for there are not a whole lot of authors or books I like, and I often can’t get past the first chapter, or sometimes even the first page. I also hate seeing tons of copy errors!

DS: Seems we have the same taste in reading material. So what are you looking forward to in the next year? New projects? Speaking engagements? Conferences?

CSL: I am teaching some workshops, attending a conference or two, but I mostly am looking forward to writing these last two fantasy books and then hopefully taking some time off writing novels so I can read, blog, and teach more. I have two nonfiction books in the works and want to get those done and selling.