Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Book Giveaway & Guest Jo Huddleston

It's Wednesday! Welcome to my blog. I'm giving away another book and I have a guest - Jo Huddleston. It's wonderful to have you here, Jo.

Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her novels in the West Virginia Mountains Series and the Caney Creek Series are sweet Southern historical romances. She is a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and holds a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University.

Visit Jo at: where you can sign up for her mailing list and read her blogs.
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Cure for Loneliness

One late September day, my parents and I loaded the majority of my possessions into the car and prepared for the trip. On previous occasions, I had visited the college campus with my parents, taking along another friend or two.

Those earlier trips had been round trips. Today would be a one-way trip for me, with no return home. This was the long-anticipated day when I would get to sprout my wings and finally be on my own, away from home and parents.

My elementary school years had begun during World War Two at a time when my daddy moved from location to location, wherever the better defense jobs were—aluminum companies that made materials for wartime airplanes. Thus, from kindergarten through high school, I changed to a new school eight times.

In the primary grades I remember the changes as being nothing more than an exciting venture. But in junior high and high school, the changes proved much more traumatic. I’ll never forget changing schools in mid-tenth grade. Mother drove me to the school and spent time with me in the principal’s office getting me

enrolled. Then she went home. The school secretary gave me directions to my first class.

To get to that classroom, I had to walk the length of a mile-long (to me) hallway lined with lockers. It seemed the entire student body gathered at those lockers preparing for the upcoming class period.

That walk took an eternity. Even though I looked straight ahead, I sensed in my peripheral vision every head turning and following me as I walked by. I heard their loud whispers, “Look. There’s the new girl.” Even though I’d been the new girl many times before, each time didn’t get any easier.

The unmerited attention at each new school contributed to my withdrawing farther into my shell of protection—I became quiet and withdrawn. It’s a wonder I made any friends in high school. With such an introverted attitude many might have mistakenly called me conceited or stuck up.

But, instead, the senior class voted me as the Most Sophisticated Girl. This resulted from a combination of my reserved quietness and mature behavior. I was a mess. Going to college where nobody knew me or my past, I determined I would “reinvent” myself.

Once on the college campus that September day, my bravado vanished and reality settled in when my parents’ car drove out of sight. I was finally “in college,” but words couldn’t describe how lonely I felt in the first moments after my parents’ farewell. My assigned roommate hadn’t arrived. I had met no one. I was alone.

My parents had raised me as their only child. I had spent much of my growing-up time in the company of adults. People have said that’s why I behaved in such a mature way—adults had been my role models with hardly any input from anyone my age except during school days.

But this day at college sixty miles from home, loneliness draped heavily across my shoulders. I felt isolated despite the bustle of other people moving around me. A painful longing choked off my ability to move. I wanted to run after the departing car and wrap myself in the comfort of the two people inside.

In spite of these consuming feelings, I wanted to burst victoriously onto this new scene and belong. To combat being lonely, it’s easy to depend on others and surroundings for help. Peer acceptance seems to fill most voids at any age. But gaining that acceptance sometimes requires that we step knee-deep into peer-pressure quagmire. That decision can suck us into a position where we’re never alone, yet still lonely.

Society presents attractive cures for loneliness. We only have to watch television commercials. They show us beautiful people flooded with pleasure, seemingly with no responsibility. The not-so-subtle messages lure us into the false belief that life could really be that much fun, that attractive, all the time, for everybody.

When loneliness doesn’t wait for an invitation and sometimes overstays its welcome, God’s support provides comfort. We don’t have to depend on exaggerated beauty of worldly pleasures and acceptance.

God gives his Holy Spirit to help and comfort us in our weaknesses—even in loneliness (Rom. 8:26). We don’t have to feel weak and alone. God sent the Holy Spirit as one we can turn to. God lives within us by the Spirit. Even when we don’t know what to pray for, he intercedes with the Father on our behalf (Rom.8:26-27).

The Holy Spirit did his job for me that crisp, fall day I started college. He gave my legs the will to move, protected me, and supplied me with the right words to say. Today we can ask God to give us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and strengthen us (Luke 11:13).

Jo, thank you for sharing your story. How good to know no matter what we face, God stands with us.

Jo has a new book! 

Trust Me

West Virginia, 1960

A mine owner. An elegant lady.

Seductive voices that scoff at trust.

Loreen Fletcher has suffered heartbreak. She resolves never to trust a man again.She has earned a respected position with no help from anyone, especially not from a man. At thirty-six, Loreen knows loving brings inevitable misery, and she won't pick at that scab again.

Claude Capshaw's life has taken another detour. Things that drove him no longer motivate him. Nothing fulfillls him anymore - except that elegant lady at West Virginia University. Why won't she trust him when he tells her he'l never betray her?

Purchase Links

This looks like another good read. 

Jo is giving away a FREE copy of Trust Me. All you need to do is leave a comment along with your email address and you'll be included in a drawing for an e-book copy of Jo's new book.

And last week's winner of Gail Kittleson's Catching Up With Daylight is Sonnetta Jones. Congratulations!

Grace and peace to you from God,



  1. Bonnie, thanks so much for having me on your blog. I look forward to "talking" with your readers through the comments. Good luck to all in the book drawing!

  2. Jayne8:52 AM

    Both my parents were from West Virginia! I am a coal miner daughter, lol. This looks like a good book. Look forward to reading it.

  3. Anonymous9:26 AM

    I so wish I'd been more mature in school and would've/could've reached out to new students. Never gave it a thought... Never been taught! Your new book sounds good! Thanks for opening us up to your author pals, Bonnie!

  4. Jayne, a coal miner's daughter--interesting. Hope you read Trust Me and enjoy it.

    Patti, we sometimes live and learn. Glad you find my new book interesting.

  5. Enjoyed reading your post. I experienced the same thing in high school changing schools at the end of my sophomore year and then again at the end of my junior year and I remember that feeling of walking into a school I knew no one. But I did survive and I was made stronger from the experience. Looking forward to reading your new book.

  6. I am so excited for this release. I have had it on my wish list since reading Wait for Me. Thank you so much for this wonderful post with Jo.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  7. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Sounds like a good read. kamundsen44(at)yahoo(dot)com. Kim

  8. Ann, glad you enjoyed the post. You can relate! Hope you get to read my new book soon and enjoy it. Thanks for leaving your comment.

    Amy, maybe you won't have to wait much longer to read Trust Me. Thanks so much for your interest and excitement. Thanks for leaving your comment.

    Kim, glad you think my new book, Trust Me, sounds like a good read. Thanks for commenting.

  9. There have been many times when I couldn't find the right words to pray. I am so grateful that during the times when we don’t know what to pray for, we have the Holy Spirit to intercede with the Father on our behalf (Rom.8:26-27).
    I look forward to reading this book.
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

  10. Connie, I agree with you concerning the Holy Spirit's help to us. Thanks for leaving your comment. I hope you enjoy reading Trust Me.