Friday, October 25, 2013


Meet Cheryl and Mel Hoddes. This husband and wife team up to write Christian medical romance and suspense novels. The way they first met really intrigued me.

"You're a doctor?" Cheryl leaned toward Mel and raised her voice to be heard over the din of restaurant diners. "You could help me paralyze someone, then, couldn't you?"
Mel stared at her with some trepidation. This was the "nice young lady" his pastor, wanted him to meet?
"I only want to paralyze him temporarily, of course," Cheryl continued.

Mel glanced toward the nearest exit.

"I'd better explain myself," she said with a smile. "I write novels. I'm doing research for a book."
Ah, interesting. He relaxed slightly and gave her all the information she needed in good, graphic detail. He couldn't understand why she only ate half a slice of pizza the whole evening.
This was Mel's introduction into Cheryl's world of fiction. It was Cheryl's introduction into the life of an emergency room physician. They were both fascinated. A year and a half later, they were married.
 The fascination grew as Mel downloaded at the end of his workday — never betraying patient confidentiality. Cheryl's imagination took over, and together they generated ideas for a completely new story, with a completely new novel. With Mel's medical input, encouragement and help with plotting, and Cheryl's writing skills gleaned over 13 years, they developed their first ER-style novel.Cheryl is also a Christy Award -Winning author

The Hoddes (pronounced Hoddees) have loved working together ever since that first meeting. Cheryl has been a professional writer for 19 years now. Mel is a board-certified ER physician with a degree in osteopathy. They work together under the pen name of Hannah Alexander.

KEEPING FAITH is their latest novel

Friday, October 18, 2013


According to author, Gary Chapman,  there are five of them. He says to understand them is the secret to love that lasts.

Sounds extremely helpful doesn't it?

Anything that promotes long-lasting love is a big plus!

How wonderful to reach your golden years and find that love has not only lasted but has grown deeper and more beautiful.

Find on

What are these five different languages?

Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

A character with this love language will show love--and receive love--by saying it out loud. This character won't 'feel' loved unless the other person says it, writes it as a note, or expresses love via some form of words.
This is the character (typically female) that is always at the other for 'spending time with me'. They need eye-to-eye contact.
This one is easy to pick ... they never show up at a party or dinner without something in hand, usually gift wrapped. A character whose love language is gifts will keep mementos, and delights in surprising the other person with gifts. 

She is the first to offer to clean up after a church pot luck. He has changed the oil in her car faithfully for 20 years and held down a steady job...because he loves her.

This is apparently the most common love language to men, usually expressed through sex or frequent touch--a hand to a shoulder, or sitting close on the couch. 
PROBLEM: The wife who just wants a hug vs. the husband who always buys flowers. 


Friday, October 11, 2013


Award-winning novelist and missions journalist Jeanette Windle shares her unusual story.

My husband Marty and I are both missionary kids raised in Latin America. Though my parents were missionaries in Colombia's Amazon guerrilla zones, my husband reached adolescence in the Bolivian Andes.

We first met in Bible college (Canada), and college we attended was extremely conservative regarding interaction between opposite genders, even classroom and dining-hall seating strictly segregated. So male and female of the human species had little opportunity to strike up an acquaintance. The only exception being ministry outreach assignments. Most of the Latin American missionary kids and foreign students signed up for the same Spanish-language outreach in Calgary, Alberta.

For this Colombian MK fresh from the tropics and in the throes of cultureand weathershock (I'd ever experienced that white stuff called snow, much less at 40 degrees below zero!), that Spanish outreach ministry and its team members became a homeand familyaway from home. Including a certain Montana-born, Bolivia-raised missionary kid one year ahead of me in Bible college. My husband insists he remembers vividly my expressed opinions that I would never consider marrying a "gringo" (North American foreigner), much less a blonde-haired, blue-eyed one, since growing up in Latin America had imprinted "tall, dark, and suave" as my idea of handsome. He on the other hand was convinced I was destined to be his wife from the day we'd discovered that God had laid on both our hearts during high school the same life verse (Philippians 1:6). 

Somehow by my second year, he'd changed my mind that a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Montana boy was any less romantic than those guitar-strumming, petal-strewing Antonio Bandera-lookalikes who serenaded outside my bedroom shutters back in Colombia's guerrilla zones (No joke! My father had three teenage daughters at once, and he used to threaten violence to the town youth for any serenading after midnight).  I always add the caveat that I didn't really marry a "gringo", since Marty too is a Spanish-
fluent MK and plays a rather romantic guitar himself!

That was going on thirty-three years ago.  Since then we've 
raised four kids, traveled in ministry through more than thirty countries on five continents. 

The smallest flame shines brightest against the darkest night

2013 Golden Scroll Novel of the Year

 If absolute power breeds absolute corruption, what happens when a multinational corporation with unlimited funds hires on a private military company with unbridled power? Especially in a Congolese rainforest where governmental accountability is only too cheaply for sale and the ultimate conflict mineral is up for grabs. 

Thanks Jeanette. I cannot wait to begin reading this suspense filled story myself.

Friday, October 4, 2013


How could she believe in her future when she couldn't escape her past?

The completely updated version of my historical romance, Signed Sealed Delivered will be on AMAZON Kindle by mid morning. Oct 4.

Years ago when I studied art at Sydney's National 
Art School I discovered its previous occupants were not as carefree as we art students. It was known as the Darlinghurst Gaol. Great sandstone buildings fanned out from a central roundhouse which once served as a chapel. That's where I first wondered about its many sad stories, especially if one was truly innocent. I asked myself if any Christians incarcerated there had given up hope.

The cast of characters whose lives entwine with governess Megan Trevallyn's destiny follows:
Cornelia Cantrell, scheming mistress of the Mayfair Mansion; Captain Cantrell, her love; Lieutenant John Stafford, her nemesis; Ezra Montefiore, an ardent suitor; and her Christian mentor, Caroline Chisholm, the bane of all who practice excessive adherence to rules and regulations of the new colony.
< The gates of Darlinghurst Gaol today

As Book I of the Watermark Women Trilogy it stands alone, but for readers who are waiting for the next two books in the series, I have hopes of announcing a decision  shortly.