Stone Impact Media

I am very excited to have launched a new production company, where our team’s desire is to make a positive impact through inspired stories. It’s been a long-time dream of mine to write projects that I can see through from start to finish.

Our first project will be a new streaming series, These Stones:

When her mother is killed, a wayward daughter takes over a supernatural program to help others. Though she struggles to believe in God, she finds herself matching mysterious visitors from the past to those facing challenges today.

We are starting with the first season of 6 episodes, hoping the show can run for many seasons to come. Principle Photography will be Fall 2022. To read more about our project, my incredible teammates and those involved, visit the series website:

Joy comes in the morning

JC TitleIt’s unusual for me as a screenwriter to come across someone’s life story that I feel so compelled to chase on my own. Normally, producers find stories, option the rights, then hire to me to help draft the scripts. Two recent movies I co-wrote were Extraordinary and Indivisible both based on true stories.  One comes out in Fall 2017 and the other in 2018. Even though I love coming up with original works of fiction, there’s just something about working on true stories. People relate to them because of that raw honesty that can come from people’s life experiences.

Marcus and Maryann Kauffman


What has turned into the screenplay, Joy Comes, is the story that captured my heart and hasn’t let go since I started working on it.


It’s about firefighter, Marcus Kauffman, who was shot in North Carolina during a home invasion robbery in Dec. 2013 when his wife, Maryann, was 7 months pregnant with their first child. The aftermath of what happened to this family and how they responded to the shooters is extraordinary. The way the family, especially Marcus’ parents and Maryann, were outspoken about their faith really caught my attention in news stories and videos. I felt for this young woman, facing life as a new mother without her husband. I couldn’t imagine going through what she went through. Seeing what God has done with her life since shows me how big our God is.

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Even though I followed their story from Facebook newsfeed shares, what really caught my attention was an article that Christian Healthcare Ministries wrote about Maryann in March 2014, after her baby Landon was born. I hadn’t really thought of it in terms of a movie story at that point. It was the way the family lived through this tragedy that inspired me through their online presence.

Sheila Walsh once wrote in one of her books about how she looked at a situation someone she knew was going through but didn’t understand how they were able to make it through the tragedy. Then she felt God whisper to her spirit that she didn’t know how she’d deal with it because it wasn’t her trial. God hadn’t given her the grace to go through it like she’d given her friend.

That concept struck me deeply.

Especially as I watched this remarkable young woman, Maryann, go through an extreme trial I found unimaginable–as a newlywed myself at the time–with such grace and forgiveness on her heart.

In 2015, after my husband and I had relocated from Los Angeles to Georgia, I thought of her, since she lives in Georgia as well. I checked online to see how her life was progressing for her and her son. As I read the updates, that’s when the idea for sharing her story through a film was born. Thankfully, after reaching out to both sides of the family and meeting with them, they were open to giving this a try. They allowed me to option the rights to try to produce this as a film.  And I recently completed the screenplay.


Maryann, Cheryl

My hope is to honor Marcus and share Maryann’s story and honor God through a feature film that I hope to produce in Georgia. Joy Comes still needs a lot of elements to make that dream come true. But I’ve believed this story must be told from the beginning. I hope God leads and that others will help me pull that off.

Meeting both Marcus and Maryann’s family has been life changing for me. Here are some photos that my husband and I took during our visits with Marcus’ family in North Carolina and Maryann’s family in Georgia:

20160604_125802Cheryl, Linda Kauffman, David A. Kauffman


David, Landon, Maryann, Cheryl


Sarah, Barbara Ann, Ashley, Maryann, Cheryl, Margaret


David, Maryann, Cheryl, Chris


Margaret, Sarah, Milton, Barbara Ann, Seth, Ashley, Maryann, David, Landon, Cheryl


Brian, Josiah, Cheryl & Cheryl, Linda, David


I don’t want to blog too much about their full story to save some for the potential movie to come. But I have no doubt the world will be blessed by getting to know this family. It’s a story that shows, “Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5, WEB)


“I love how God turns the devil’s curses and things he throws at us to try to trip us up into some of the biggest blessings we could ever imagine. That’s my God.”

– Marcus Kauffman



Indivisible: Based on a True Story


As a writer, every movie that gets made is a dream come true. I believe stories have the power to change hearts and the world.

I had the extreme privilege of working on a feature film based on a true story about a U.S. Army Chaplain, Darren Turner. I got to work with David Evans, the co-writer and director of Indivisible. (He also did the movie The Grace Card.) I have a new love for movies about marriages.

From IMDB story synopsis: “Upon returning from serving in the U.S. Army, Chaplain Darren Turner faces a crisis that shatters his family and faith in God but through the help of former soldiers, they help him return to his faith and family.”


It’s always neat to see what you envision on the page come to life. Through the cast, set design, locations etc. Movie making takes a lot of people and teamwork. I was very impressed with Calvary Church in Memphis for the many ways they gave of themselves tirelessly in support of the production team.  They also blanketed this project in prayer 24-7. It showed; God’s hand was all over this.

My hubby and I also got the chance to be extras in a scene. I love sharing these experiences with him:


We really enjoyed meeting some of our cast: Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy) who is also one of our producers, Justin Bruening, Tia Mowry, Samara Lee, Madeline Carroll, Abigail Hummel, Leyah Brown, Lucas Boyle.

I love this screen family photo Sarah Drew shared on Twitter. They look so great together:


We also enjoyed meeting some great people on the crew. Bob Scott was our D.P. (War Room). Rebekah Cook, Gwendelynn Martindale, and our BTS crew.

I’m very thankful for Bill Reeves, the Working Title Agency team and the Provident team for inviting me to the party on this project.  It was fun to see two of them on set: (Bill Reeves & Laurie Chimento.)



Lastly, we really loved meeting director / co-writer David Evans and his wife, Esther. Lovely people with great hearts. I loved knowing what he was envisioning from the page and then seeing him realize this dream.


I look forward to seeing this story released in 2018.


Extraordinary, the Movie

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We had a wonderful time in Lynchburg, VA visiting the set of my next movie. I co-wrote Extraordinary, which is the true story of Ultra-Marathon legend, David Horton. It was such fun to see the talented cast and crew bringing the story to life.

Scotty Curlee (producer, director, co-writer) has such great vision and innovative ideas for visuals. My husband and I learned a lot just watching him and his team work.


David Horton is being played but Canadian actor / comedian, Leland Klassen. (We enjoyed discussing the story of my dual citizenship between US and Canada.)


David Horton’s wife, Nancy, is being played by Shari Rigby (who we loved in the film, October Baby. I’m currently reading her riveting autobiography, Beautifully Flawed.) What a wonderful lady, inside and out.


I was so happy Karen Abercrombie was cast in this film as Nina. I’ve written a project for her before, and then she played the forever-memorable role of “Miss Clara” in War Room. Cameron Arnett was cast as her husband, Mike. That was a thrill for us since we met him at our first film industry event in Atlanta.


Two very delightful actresses to spend time with on set were Lindsley Register (as Allison Horton) and Taylor Lyons (as Becky).


While I don’t have pictures of them, we also enjoyed getting to know other cast members, like Alex Bartz, Jeremy Webb, Chris Ashworth, and Jamie Ridgeway. Kirk Cameron is also in the cast but wasn’t shooting while we were in town.

Chris and I got to be extras during a race scene. Scotty put us right by the lead cast, so we had many opportunities to get to know them during the long days of standing around and “acting” when the cameras rolled:


I can’t show too many set pictures because I don’t want to give away any story points. But here’s a few of Chris and I hanging around some locations:

And since it’s about a runner…why not get my running on?


It was a joy to meet our Line Producer, Justin Tolley. I’ve heard wonderful things about him for years about his work on sets. He and his wife, Kara, shared their son’s first birthday with us on set.


I have to say being on set reminded me why I love what I do. I love to connect with people, to use story to touch the hearts of others. Extraordinary is a story with a lot of heart to it, and it shares about the importance of prioritizing marriage and family. No goals or dreams should overshadow that. Not even my own desires for movie-making. This story will serve as a great reminder.


Stop Waiting on Hollywood To Tell Your Story

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If you are anything like me as a writer, you don’t like waiting to see your work come to life. It’s often a long wait between movies getting filmed. I have one movie I co-wrote that is in production right now, but it’s been years since that’s happened. I’m thankful that during those years between I get the opportunity to work in novelizations. And that’s the process where my scripts get turned into novels.

I’m so thankful I was able to get to know the talented novelist, Rene Gutteridge, after she novelized my script for The Ultimate Gift. We went on to work on Never the Bride, Greetings from the Flipside, Love’s a Stage and O Little Town of Bethany. I also novelized Song of Springhill on my own, a story I’ve been working on since the late 90s. I so appreciate having an outlet to share stories, instead of waiting on productions to get funded. Releasing a story this way, I know it will get told in this one way. But naturally, the hope is it will also get considered as a film once it gains a reader base.

Have you thought of adapting your scripts into novels, so you could get in published while waiting for someone to take notice of your script?

Rene and I teach how to do this through our Udemy class, which is a mix of videos and PDF docs of our How To book. We’re offering this to friends, family and followers of our blogs for 50% off the original $30 price. So you can get the class for $15. So if this interests you, use the link below to get the discount.

Here’s a description of the class from the Udemy website:

Are you a screenwriter who has wondered what it would be like to write your script as a novel? Are you tired of not seeing your work produced? Releasing your story as a novel is a great way to get it out there and see if you can find an audience. This could help Hollywood take notice. Novelizing your script is also a way to share your story with the world and not wait anymore. Especially in the age when self-publishing is available to all of us. I got tired of waiting for “Hollywood” to decide my stories were worth telling and started getting into the novelizations process after my film, The Ultimate Gift, was produced. I’ve done six of these now. One novelization on my own, and five with my writing partner, Rene Gutteridge, who has been a published novelist over thirty times. She’s also a produced screenwriter. This class will walk you through what has to change from screenwriting to novel writing. Rene Gutteridge joins me for quite a few of the video lectures so you have an expert in screenwriting and an expert in novel writing teaching this class. Each section has PDF downloads. Together these include all segments of our published book Novelizations: How to Adapt Scripts Into Novels. You’ll see real live samples from many of our published works so you can get a complete understanding for how a screenplay translates into the very different writing form of a novel.

PLEASE NOTE: Udemy estimates this class has 4.5 hours of lecture content. This includes both video lectures and written PDF documents. The run time on video content is approx. 100 minutes.


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Merry Christmas

Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year. And my favorite type of story to write involves Christmas. That’s a good thing this year since I worked on quite a few projects with Christmas themes. One was an episode of CBN’s Superbook, a Bible series for kids. I wrote what will be their 2016 Christmas episode.

The other was a script, then a novella called O Little Town of Bethany. This story is near to my heart as it captures the life of a girl who needed to figure out how to live a life worth remembering. Making memories is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. Traditions within my family drives my excitement this time of year. And the older lady in the story, Bethany, is losing her memory. I can’t imagine what I would be like to one day not remember it’s Christmas. These were themes that excited me in creating this story in script form first. Then I teamed up with my favorite novelist on the novella, Rene Gutteridge. We hope this story will become a Christmas tradition and encourage families to build traditions together.


O Little Town of Bethany: inspirational holiday romance (Hometown Romance) (KINDLE)


Holly left her unhappy life behind, hoping for a Christmas miracle…

Everything about Holly Truesdale’s existence is, well…forgettable. The only good memory of her childhood is their family Christmas in the quaint town of Bethany. Tired of the high society life, Holly leaves the big city, longing to recover the sense of belonging she felt in the Victorian town. She opens a scrapbooking store, ready to help others preserve the important moments she missed as a child.

Holly is drawn to Liam, the widower who runs the B&B next door, but doesn’t fully trust herself in a new relationship. As Holly and Liam grow closer, Holly becomes concerned for the town matriarch, Miss Bethany. But even as Yuletide celebrations are in full swing, Holly and Liam can’t help but notice that Miss Bethany harbors a secret. One that could change Christmas in Bethany forever…

Love’s a Stage: a novel


Today marks the release of one of two novels coming out this fall as part of my partnership with Rene Gutteridge and now Redbud press. Both are based on my screenplays. This first one is called Love’s a Stage. After I got married, I started to notice a lot of marriages around us crumbling. I wanted to explore themes of what it means to keep vows and how to make marriage last. My quirky, yet good-hearted lead character may go through great (and often comical) lengths to save a marriage while also learning along the way what it takes to make a marriage work and to find a lasting true love.

Hope you enjoy the read and to one day bring you the feature film version:

Love’s a Stage (Hometown Romance) (KINDLE)

SYNOPSIS for Love’s a Stage:

Grad student and future marriage counselor Aly Brewster had a perfect childhood with perfect parents. Now she’s heading into her own perfect life: Finish her Master’s. Build a successful practice. Husband at twenty-six. But when her parents blindside her with the news they’re getting divorced, her perfect world shatters.

Actor Nick Armstrong has been in love with Aly since they met during freshman year. He’s happy to accept his assigned place in her Friend Zone because it lets him be close to her. But it’s been over five years—time to move on. Then the usually-unflappable Aly comes to him begging for help to save her parents’ marriage. Nick has the perfect plan: fake an engagement to each other to inspire her parents to fight to save their marriage. And who knows? It might trigger Aly’s feelings for him. But when Aly takes the ruse to the next level—planning a wedding in her parents’ backyard and hiring additional actors to play his family—enough is enough!

As the lines between acting and reality grow decidedly blurred, these two improvised fiancés must decide: are they going to finish the play…or exit stage right. Alone.

* * *

Later this fall, our other novella will be out. We participated in a book of novellas called The Boy Next Door, where all the authors wrote different love stories about falling for the boy next door. The one Rene Gutteridge and I wrote is called O Little Town of Bethany.

We’ll let ya know when it’s out.

Both projects have scripts available for production.

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

boynextdoor copy 2

pinterest_loves a stage

A little spoof on Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest

Here’s a little commercial we shot while we were home for Christmas as a bit of a spoof on all of those Crash the Superbowl commercials for Doritos. We’ve had many friends enter the contest over the past few years, and known quite a few winners who aired during the Super Bowl.

Of course, given the story of ours, we couldn’t enter ourselves with this one. Doritos wouldn’t be very interested. However, this is based on a humorously true story. When it happened, we knew we had to shoot it.

My nephew Jake, the kid starring in this, came home from a home school convention much wiser about health foods. When my husband, Chris (the other star of this commercial) was about to eat Doritos, Jake threw this fit, trying to take them away so he could let him know all the bad ingredients they contained. I won’t tell you how the situation turned out. You’ll have to watch.

Enjoy the little story we call: “Doritos Interception”

Author Interview with Cheryl McKay

Author Janice L. Dick interviewed me for her website. Check it out here:

Janice L. Dick

Today’s author interview takes us to Los Angeles, California to speak with Cheryl McKay, author and screenwriter, as well as producer. Hello, Cheryl and thanks for taking time to share with my blog readers and me.

Cheryl McKay Cheryl McKay

Janice: How long have you been writing and how did you come to it?

CHERYL:  It started around the time I was 5 years old. I wrote a play based on my Winnie the Pooh lunch box and we acted it out for neighborhood kids. I was always writing plays and short stories. I wrote about 10 plays the year I was fifteen. Well, that’s what I called them. I didn’t realize they were actually screenplays. (Too many locations to be on a stage.) I’d write them on loose paper and then recopy neatly into a notebook, and that was my idea of “rewriting.” I began to study screenwriting in…

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Song of Springhill Sample Chapter

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October 30, 1956

Hannah peeked out of the guestroom. Rhythmic snores droned from the master bedroom, like they were in stereo sync. They wouldn’t wake for hours. Maybe even noon. But today, she wouldn’t be here at noon. Adrenaline surged through her thin frame. Her legs trembled.

This had to work. This was not time for one of her miscalculations or poor judgment calls. She’d been accused of that a lot lately. Whether it was true or not.

She clutched two suitcases, then took one last look around her room.

So much she was leaving behind. Clothing, shoes, cheap jewelry. Most of it chosen for her anyway. She had packed what mattered; she was sure of it. One last glance at the closet. There was that garment bag. A knowing settled over her, as warm as the midday sun. She would never wear what was inside that bag. It was not coming with her.

Memories flooded as she ducked into the shadowed hallway. She held her breath. Too long, she’d endured the bitter here. Wave upon wave, it had pounded her shores, overwhelming the sweet. Now, with each creak of the floorboards beneath her feet, her spirits lifted.

As she neared the front door, she couldn’t bring herself to look into the living room. The shiny, black grand piano she’d dusted every single day before she’d played for the past three years would stay behind. She’d find a way to buy one of her own someday; she was sure of that. Even if she had to find twenty extra music students to pay for it.

Outside, the gravel crunched beneath her feet. At the car door, the key shook in her hand. It clattered against every part of the metal except the hole. She used her other hand to steady it, till it finally went in.

Gently, she put the suitcases into the backseat, the same two she’d used since she was a teenager. All she’d keep of her life’s belongings fit inside a pair of cubes. But she had what she needed, including the journal.

His journal.

The only treasure she had of his, tucked inside the pocket of one of the suitcases. All of it, in her daddy’s handwriting. She’d read it so many times that she had most of his entries—his prayers—memorized.

A thud resounded. Hannah whipped around toward the cottage. Had someone heard her? She didn’t spot anyone, and the front door remained closed.

It was time to test her 1947 blue Studebaker Champion to see if she still had enough champ left in her to make the trip. The Champ was hardly new when Hannah bought her. Winters and salt laden roads had eaten away parts of the frame since, yet she had a hum to her—some may call it a rattle—that soothed Hannah like the lullaby her mama used to sing. It was familiar and always there. But not a sound she wanted lighting up the neighborhood when trying to escape unnoticed. The Champ was her first big possession, paid for with what little money she’d managed to tuck away from those music lessons she’d given.

Those kiddos were the only people she’d miss from this city. The way Eli cheered when he finally got the C sharp minor chord right on the guitar. Or the way Joy beamed when her right hand could play a different rhythm than her left on the piano. Now, that was a special talent. Not everyone had it. Hannah knew well how to blaze across the keys in different rhythms; it came so naturally to her. But the same did not characterize her life; it always seemed out of sync, especially with her desires.

An ache knotted Hannah’s throat. She couldn’t say goodbye to those kids. She’d had to keep far too many secrets these days. Telling them about this—planning for this exact moment—she couldn’t do it.

Headlights turned the street corner, startling her. She ducked down behind the car in the driveway, hoping whichever neighbor was coming home at this hour didn’t see her. The vehicle passed with a whir. She waited a couple more seconds, released her breath, then slid onto the driver’s seat.

She steeled herself against tossing up a prayer as she pulled the door closed. No, it wasn’t needed; this was up to her alone. She could do this. And she wasn’t sure anyone would listen anyway. She had prayed enough for intervention in the past.

That her mother wouldn’t die, for starters.

But it would be fine. All she had to do now was push on that gas and fix her eyes on her destination.

Her neck throbbed. As she glanced in the rearview, the purple bruises were still visible. Why didn’t she grab her collared sweater? Well, maybe because she hated that dark pink and white garment. It made her look like a wrapped up piece of ribbon candy.

And this would be the last time someone would leave a mark.

Hannah turned the key in the ignition. The Champ sparked to life. Just like that engine, she had the power within her to run, the power to not be a victim any longer. How had she forgotten that for the past three years? It was all a blur. But with the Champ’s racket, it was time to get out of here. She pressed on the gas, knowing she’d never see that little yellow cottage again. An unfamiliar feeling, the corners of her mouth turned up.

Her stomach fluttered; she’d waited her entire life. Now, it was time to return to the place her father used to call home until twenty-seven years ago.

Until his death, a smattering of hours before her birth.

A place called Springhill.


October 31, 1956

HANNAH STRETCHED OUT HER FINGERS. They hurt, throbbed from her grip on the steering wheel. She had to calm down. Gripping herself tightly wasn’t necessary anymore, right?

How many miles had she driven by herself before this trip? Ten, maybe fifteen at a time. Her odometer had logged over one thousand since yesterday morning. She’d stopped only for fuel or a quick bite, and to sleep in Quebec. The silver-haired motel attendant there didn’t appear to notice that she’d lied about her name. Not when he handed over keys to her room, or when she dropped them back off this morning before she left. “Have a safe one out there,” he’d said, as he slid the keys back onto the nail below Room 21.

Safe. Something she hadn’t known in a long time, but fully intended to find.

The sun glared off her back windshield. Within a few hours, it would settle in for the night.

Energy surged through her as she read:

WELCOME TO SPRINGHILL. Population 7,802.

The brown wooden sign tilted slightly to the left. Yet it looked as sturdy as the hills she’d passed on her way into this idyllic town.

And she did feel welcome. Even as a stranger. Maybe a small town was just what she needed. A place with roots, with personal history. Would she like living where most people knew one another by name? And probably their quirks, habits, let alone their secrets? It wasn’t a place to remain anonymous. But maybe people here had your back.

Maybe Springhillers—as her mama used to call them—would care if something felt or seemed off. Maybe they actually looked each other in the eyes instead of turning the other way. How could she feel like a stranger and at-home, all at once?

She snaked the Champ through a few side streets off Junction Road. Slowing to a crawl, she surveyed a few homes—all different styles and colors. And small. Very small. Cozy was a nicer way to look at it, especially since they seemed so inviting. So different from where she grew up.

If only her mother had moved them back here. Or even stayed here from day one. Maybe life would have been different. Her mother would still be alive.

As she surveyed the neighborhoods, she felt like a new homeowner, taking a stroll through a brand new house, eyeing fixtures, moldings, and windowpanes. Not that she really knew what that felt like. Having a place of her own lived only in her imagination. Her dreams.

The Champ turned up Main Street, a hilly road that was home to businesses on both sides: gift shops, bakeries, a grocery store, a church. A newspaper office, a furniture store, a café, a hardware store, a pharmacy, a diner. Well, they sure had what they needed here.

Just about every store was personalized with a name, whether a surname or first. No doubt, the people of this town ran Springhill’s Main Street. A rounded clock tower on the post office showed it was almost two-thirty.

On the sidewalk, two old men sat on a white bench with black lettering on it. They laughed heartily at some private joke. When the old fella with the overalls and straight metallic looking hair leaned forward, doubled over, she made out the phrase behind him: “Liars Bench.”

“What on earth?” A chuckle escaped her lips. What kinds of lies were they telling each other? Was one pretending to be a hero? Was the other spinning tall tales of his royal British roots? With a bench like that in town, she might fit right in.

Though she preferred to think of her lies as protection.

When the two old guys looked over at her, one signaled his salute. She returned the gesture, then continued the Champ’s crawl up Main Street by All Saints Church. There was a place she knew from Mama. A little girl played hopscotch out front. Oh, to be as safe as that little girl seemed.

It was time to focus. She had to find her. In a town this size, someone must know if Aunt Abigail still lived here. Or “Abby” as her mother used to call her. Hannah’s heart would rest better when she tracked her down. What if she wasn’t alive anymore? What if she didn’t want her here? There wasn’t any reason she wouldn’t, was there?

Regardless, Hannah would never retrace her steps to where she’d been. No matter what happened here, going back to Toronto was not an option.

Did her aunt look anything like Daddy? Maybe she’d see for herself. Today, perhaps. Her stomach fluttered again.

At the top of Main Street, on her right, rested a building that had plenty of lights. The sign out front blinked: Hector’s Pool Hall. The P in pool was dimmer, barely hanging on like the last of a candle’s wick. Hopefully, someone in there could help her.


♫ ♫ ♫


The eleven ball ripped into the corner pocket with a clunk. Josh Winslow blew on the end of his cue stick. Blue talc puffed into the air. Josh had no intention of losing this round to his comrade, Moosey. No, he couldn’t, or Moosey would be an insufferable braggart all night underground, like a vulture circling its fallen prey.

When Josh first coined the name Moosey, it had nothing to do with the giant taxidermied head mounted over Moosey’s fireplace. A hunted down trophy of Moosey’s grandfather. No. The moniker had everything to do with Moosey’s rotund frame getting caught between the coalface and a stone pack. This was during Moosey’s first night on Josh’s team, 4500 feet below the earth’s surface. Moosey may not have appreciated the comedy with a side of pain at the time, but Josh and his buddies sure did. They still laughed about it. Thankfully, Moosey had a healthy sense of humor to go with his appetite.

Josh sunk his number nine as Hector delivered chips and vinegar to the pool table. “Smack it up, now, Josh. Don’t got much time left.”

“Thanks, Hector.”

When Hector opened this pool hall, it was his way of finding a new path in life, outside “the deeps,” those dark, musty shafts carved deep into the earth’s surface. Hector was a one-man show. Couldn’t afford any employees. Josh liked to give him business whenever he could. Well, that, and he liked to beat Moosey at Eight Ball or Snooker.

Moosey grabbed a fist full of Josh’s fatty delight. “Hector, you need to teach my Rosalie how to crisp up chips like this. Mmm, mmm.”

Josh wondered how—on a miner’s salary—Rosalie could keep Moosey fed.

“Don’t you two gotta get to the mines?” Hector asked.

Josh looked at the clock: two-thirty. Hector was right. When the rake operators brought miners up from the prior shift, there’d better be a new crop to head down and keep that production going. Three o’clock, on the dot.

Mine productivity controlled this town’s survival. More than once Josh had to wait underground while the rake operators sent up coal cars with the black stuff, instead of letting their aching bodies warm the rail cars. Moving coal took priority. But was the company paying them for their time waiting? Not a chance. Well, at least he had a job and could put food on his table.

Even if it was a table for one.

Josh sunk his last striped ball. He aimed for that black eight when the front door chimed someone’s arrival.

A female. An attractive one at that. Seeing an unfamiliar woman around here was momentous. Even Springhill Record newsworthy.

“So and so’s Great Uncle Marv visited this weekend.” Yes, they did report that stuff. Sometimes, Springhill was a slow news town. Slow news days were good because it meant there were no problems in the mines.

Maybe this chestnut-haired beauty was unattached. A man could hope, right?

Too many months, years even, had passed since he’d been willing to request a date. Much to the chagrin of Mary Lou Lipnicki, who relentlessly dropped the most obvious hints.

Hector waved. “Good aft’noon, young lady.”

Moosey’s elbow met Josh’s ribs. “Classy chassis, eh?”

Josh tossed his pool stick on the table and strolled over, calm, collected and—

“Ow!” Where did that table come from?

After glancing Josh’s way, Classy Chassis spoke to Hector: “Good afternoon, Sir. I’m looking for a woman named Abigail Wright. Do you happen to know if she still lives in Springhill?”

Josh stepped in before Hector could answer. “Abigail Percy is her name now. She and her family live across the way from me. At Five Maple Street. Her husband, Ray, he’s one of my best friends.”

“Wonderful!” Relief swam in her deep brown eyes. Her olive skin was so clear, so untouched by the harsh sun.

“Where is Maple?”

“Who would be askin’?” Josh ignored Moosey’s snort.

“Hannah Wright. I’m Abigail’s niece.”

Hector asked, “Are you Melvin’s daughter?”

Josh swallowed. He hadn’t heard that name in a long time.

She looked at Hector. “You knew my father?”

“Well, color me overjoyed.” Hector reached over the counter to gather her into an enthused embrace. Josh noticed her upper torso tense. Hector kept on hugging. At least she was polite about it.

“Everybody knew Mel. ‘Specially us fixtures who’ve been here for more decades than we can high enough count. I’m Hector.”

“Nice to meet you, Hector.” Hannah smiled. It may have been small, perhaps even reserved, but it lit up her whole face.

Josh jabbed a thumb over his shoulder toward his friend. “That big guy over there…he’s Moosey. And I am Joshua Theodore Winslow the sixth. Don’t tell anyone…” He leaned in a bit closer, catching her scent. A fragrant lotion. Feminine, but not overpowering. “There’s only a fifth and a fourth Joshua Theodore. Three, two, and one…they were made up. And unless I settle down soon, there won’t be a seventh.”

Moosey chortled.

Was he coming on too strong? Josh didn’t care. It never hurt to let a seemingly kind and attractive young woman know he was available. He took her hand in a gentle shake. If she were Melvin’s daughter, she was in her late twenties, five years younger than he was. As he lingered, she removed her hand from his. This woman wasn’t going to make it easy.

He searched for a sparkle in her eyes but sensed something else. Fear, maybe? One who protects herself with walls. Thankfully, breaking down barriers didn’t scare him. After all, he was a miner adept with a pick. He considered this woman a welcome challenge.

Moosey gave his shoulder a nudge. “Come on, Winnie. Pit time.”

Winnie. Not exactly a strong name to impress a lady. But silly names underground signaled acceptance as part of a team. She’d learn that soon enough if she were going to stick around. His insides warmed at the thought.

“Hannah, I can escort you to Abigail’s on my way to the mines.”

“That won’t be necessary. If you could just give me directions?”

He swung his arm the direction of the doorway. “Head down Junction Road. Turn right on Maple. You can’t miss it. It’s where Oreo, the Dalmatian, sits.”


♫ ♫ ♫


As Hannah drove down the road, she wondered why that man looked at her the way he did. Josh was his name. She was a stranger to him, right? At his age, had he not found a suitable wife? He was pleasing to the eyes, certainly, with his chiseled nose and strong jaw line. But he was glancing the wrong direction. She may be here to seek connection, but that was not the kind she was looking for.

As Hannah spotted the street sign for Maple, there he was. Oreo, the Dalmatian, right on the corner. Josh was right. The dog’s abdomen rose and fell rhythmically with each pant. If only life were that simple for humans. This was a predictable place in many ways.

And for Hannah, predictable—like the classics she’d played on the ivory keys for the past decade—was just what she needed.



To read the full book, see the links below.


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Below are the links where you can find it in US and Canada. (Other countries, check your Amazon sites.) I’ve also put a synopsis below if you’d like to know more about the story before you buy.


In the United States:

Song of Springhill – a love story: an inspirational romance based on historical events (on Paperback)

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Song of Springhill – a love story: an inspirational romance based on historical events (on Kindle)

In Canada:


Song of Springhill: a love story (On Kindle

For paperback orders, you can order through Createspace, a division of that will send the book to Canada. You will need to create an account with them separate from your account.

For those Springhillers who want the book in Canada, I strongly suggest you get a group together and try to order in bulk to save on the shipping costs per book. I’m supplying the following coupon code for anyone ordering through Createspace so it will knock $3 off the cost of each book to help defray the cost of shipping. (Regular book price 14.99, sale price will be 11.99 each plus shipping / tax / duties.)

Upon check out, use promo code: 9LAMJJC6. This code will take $3 off every book on your order. Here’s the link to the book page on Createspace:

Song of Springhill: a love story (On Paperback –order through Createspace)

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The Companion Book: Spirit of Springhill

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000448_00018]

The Ebook version is available on in Canada:

Click Here to Buy Spirit of Springhill in Ebook Format from

If you want to order the paperback in bulk through Createspace, you can use the same discount code: 9LAMJJC6, to get $3 off the retail price of Spirit of Springhill as well. (Regular price $11.00, with discount $8 per book plus shipping, tax, duties.)

Click Here to Buy Spirit of Springhill in Paperback from Cheryl’s Createspace Store

For U.S. orders, use the following links:

Spirit of Springhill (PAPERBACK VERSION)

Spirit of Springhill (KINDLE VERSION)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00026]