Monday, October 15, 2018

Seasons of love~ Joan Deppa ~ Giveaway

Seasons of Love

Guest Blog Post by Joan Deppa
                              
      

About the Author:

Hi, my name is Joan Deppa.  My husband and I have been in church ministry for over 30 years and have counseled many hurting people. I have always loved to read and now write inspirational fiction, sharing God's love, forgiveness, wisdom and ability to change lives yielded to Him in a way that people can relate to.  My hope is that my readers will find true joy, guidance and forgiveness in Christ from their past and present challenges in life. We have four adult children, eleven grandchildren and have lived mostly in the Midwest.  We enjoy seeing all the beauty of God's creation wherever we are.  I am a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Ø   My books are for women who enjoy a fun-read, contemporary and inspirational romance novels. They are available in hardcover, softcover or eBooks and published by Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson/Zondervan Publishing.

Seasons of Love Series:  This series takes place in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where we lived for 14 years.  It is a 3-part series that highlights some of the special sights and activities that we enjoyed in this beautiful area, with characters that readers can relate to.  But it also brings out how, through Christ, we can deal with the challenges of life, as well as issues from our past that keep us chained to our anger and bitterness, our fears of rejection, and the high expectations that others, as well as we ourselves, place upon us.  The books can be read separately, but are best in the order of the series.


Background of Book 1:  This book was inspired by some of my dad’s past, my family, as well as my husband’s salvation experience and our courtship and wedding.  It introduces you to Bonnie and Brad, to the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the journey to finding true joy and peace in a life that is filled with anger and bitterness from one’s past.

Summary of Whiter than Snow, Seasons of Love #1

Bonnie Turner has recently moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is enamored by its beauty in the winter time.  While enjoying the beauty, Brad Jorgenson “bumps” into her and takes it upon himself to show her the sights and how to enjoy winter in the Upper Peninsula.  But will Bonnie be able to show Brad how to release the anger and bitterness he’s carried since childhood and introduce him to the Creator of the beauty he enjoys?  Can God’s love and forgiveness really make him, “whiter than snow?”  Ps. 51:7 

Reviews by my Readers:

 “Whiter than Snow was written with enough detail to enable me to feel like I was right there with the characters in their emotions and their surroundings in the UP. Brad and Bonnie had to deal with real life struggles that could make or break their relationships. It is a gentle, pleasant read that shows you can overcome your past hurts and build a healthy relationship.”


"Sweet, graceful and engaging, I found Whiter than Snow, by author Joan Deppa, to be an inspirational read with a gorgeous book cover.”

 “Perfect for any snowy day with a cup of warm cocoa! Highly recommend!!”

Also check outSummer Dreams, Seasons of Love #2   A book that shares that when you release your fears, your dreams can come true.

Where to Purchase My Books:
Books may be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or my website: www.joandeppa.com.

Social Media sites:
Facebook – JoanDeppa

Twitter - @JoanDeppa

About the Giveaway:
Joan has graciously offered to give away TWO Kindle copies of Summer Dreams, Book 2 in her series. Entering is easy ... Just leave your name AND contact information in the comment section below, and you're in the drawing.
Giveaway Ends one week from today on Monday, October 22, at Midnight, CDT.

Thanks, Joan, for being my guest today. Blessings




Friday, October 12, 2018

What Weere You Thinking? ~ June Foster ~ devotional



What Were You Thinking?

James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves therefore to God." Our choices, our words, our activities, our relationships. (I'm still working on all of this.)
But for me, thoughts are the hardest to surrender to the Lord. The Bible offers help. 

Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

I'd like to take each Biblical adjective and flesh it out. What exactly is Paul referring to with each word? A few examples.

True. I had a short conversation with my friend about her opinion of my novel. I mulled her words over until I fumed. I found myself exaggerating what she'd really said. And her words were merely constructive criticism. Don't I always appreciate helpful advice from friends and readers? Fact check: remember what she actually meant and not what I'd conjured up in my mind.

Noble means polite, decent, gracious. Dwelling on my best friend's faults isn't noble.

Right means accurate. Yes, my friend had spoken accurately, not with criticism but with love.

Pure. Purity of thoughts. (I struggle with this one.) Every critical thought about others, every mean-spirited conclusion I make about another, every covetous desire. I ask God to help me not entertain them, but instead fill my mind with wholesome or clean thoughts.

Lovely. Dwell on the beauty of nature. Concentrate on what God sees in another and not their shortcomings.

Admirable. Could be the checkout girl at Wal-Mart isn't very friendly, but she's fast and efficient. Think about her commendable skills.

Excellent. One of my relatives is a gossip, but her home is always organized and clean. Dwell on her ability to keep house.

Praiseworthy. I can't say anything good about some of our politicians, but God is in control. Center on the Lord's goodness.

My mind is a wild horse at times. But if I rein it in and take Philippians 4: 8 to heart, I'll do better.

Now, let's take a look at June's recent release
Back cover blurb:
If there's one thing Nadia Maguire knows, Jon Maguire robbed her of a godly marriage and left her in financial ruin. The night he was killed in an accident, guilt threatened to suffocate her. She wasn't sorry he died.

When Nadia accidentally sits on a stranger's lap in the graveyard where Jon is buried, she's horrified to learn the good-looking guy with salt and pepper hair is her new boss.

Jared Abrams is a widower who longs to move on. He's intrigued by the beautiful woman who puts God first in her life. But as their friendship grows, an unexpected obstacle separates them—his daughter Sarah. No one can replace her mother. Especially not Nadia Maguire whose son harmed her in high school.

If Nadia can't find the funds to get her house ready to sell, she'll have to balance two jobs with no time left to nurture a relationship with the man she loves. Will she and Jared find a Harvest of Blessings or a season of drought?




 About June:
June Foster is an award-winning author who began her writing career in an RV roaming around the USA with her husband, Joe. 

She brags about visiting a location before it becomes the setting in her contemporary romances. 

June's characters find themselves in precarious circumstances where only God can offer redemption and ultimately freedom. Find June at www.junefoster.com.




Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Blood Moon Redemption ~ Judy DuCharme ~ book Spotlight

 Blood Moon Redemption

by Judy DuCharme

A Book Spotlight

 
An ancient relic, a puzzling prophesy, a young woman . . . tied together through the ages . . .

"I will pursue you until you pursue me.”

Throughout history, blood moons have always been surrounded by persecution and provision, great trials and triumphs. The first blood moons in 1493-1494 provided a new world for the Jewish people. The second in 1949-1950 gave them Israel, and the third in 1967-1969 presented the Jewish people with Jerusalem. Now, a fourth set of blood moons is on the horizon, and Tassie's mother is certain they will bring about great change.

Tassie, a young Jewish lawyer named for a lost religious relic, has her sights set on her career and love, and she doesn't have time for silly children's stories. Dismissing the blood moons as circumstance, her unbelief threatens to keep her from her destiny. When Tassie finds herself in the center of worldwide turmoil and a terrorist plot, can she accept her family history and fulfill her place in the future of Israel? Or will the country of her heritage finally fall to its many enemies?

Blood Moon Redemption is an end-times thriller that will keep you riveted until the very last moonrise.

Blood Moon Redemption launches October 31, 2018, published by Ambassador International Publishing. It is Judy DuCharme's sixth book.

This is my favorite review for Blood Moon Redemption. Karen Muhling Curzon wrote it:

“I had the privilege to read an advance copy of Judy DuCharme’s newest book, to be released in a few weeks, “Blood Moon Redemption” and - oh, goodness. It’s fiction and uses history, science, politics, and intrigue with a healthy fill of faith and heritage to spin a fascinating story. I didn’t want to stop reading, and I wasn’t ready for it to be over when it was.

“The storyline itself is fascinating, and the characters are easy to keep up with but well-written and believable, not flat or one-dimensional. The main character’s life is dramatically changed thanks to a prophecy - about her - from over 500 years earlier. The story moves back and forth among different eras and generations as it lays out the chain of events. It was great fun, from the science to the history to the reminders of God’s dazzling, infinite and unfailing love. All of it. I recognized some people and thought I recognized others or at least their personalities or histories, that was fun.
“I felt refreshed in my faith and am more eager to share it than ever. There were a few things that this book made me examine a little deeper than I have before, and it shed light on some things that I’d not thought about at all, just never on my radar… Have I used the words “fascinating” and “interesting” too many times?
“I realized again, for the millionth time, that though I’ve been in the church my whole life, others can always offer perspectives that I simply never thought about before and Blood Moon Redemption (need to remind you of the title, you’ll want to read it) was terrific.”

This is one of my endorsements by Dr. Craig von Buseck:

“While the Bible makes it clear that no one knows the hour of Jesus’ return, it also gives us signs of His coming and tells us to be prepared. In “Blood Moon Redemption,” Judy DuCharme weaves together the biblical signs of the coming of Jesus with today’s news headlines to craft a page-turning tale of mystery and suspense. At the same time, she delicately tells the story of a modern-day Jewish family grappling with the question of the Messiah, while interacting with Christians, Muslims, and Jews along the journey. With unexpected turns along the way, this story will surprise and delight, while inviting you to view today’s news headlines in a whole new light.” -- Dr. Craig von Buseck, Editor of Inspiration.org and author of “I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel”

Available for pre-order now at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1620208229

About Judy:
Judy is an award-winning author who lives with her family in Door County, Wisconsin. She wanted to write even as a little girl and began writing short stories and poetry in high-school. While pregnant with her second child, she took a correspondence course on writing, but with two children, her writing went dormant. Soon she was teaching Bible Studies she researched and put together on her own and then returned to college for teacher certification. Judy taught 5th grade for 22 years with a focus on Science. After retirement in 2012, the writing bug (or anointing) took over and has kept her busier than ever.

Her other books are The Cheesehead Devotional Kickoff Edition and The Cheesehead Devotional Hall of Fame Edition (Judy is a ridiculous Packer fan); Society of the L.A.M.B., a futuristic novel where life is detected in the eyes, and if detected, death may be the sentence; Run With the Wind, a historical romance novella about the Florida Cracker Cowboys; and Christmas Ivy, a short sweet story in which an unusual visitation by a young woman's grandparents brings the answer to her family's needs. Judy was also one of 12 winners in the 2014 Guideposts Magazine's Workshop Contest and has had several pieces published in the magazine.

My website: www.judithducharme.com 
Twitter: @PackerJudy
Facebook: Judy DuCharme, Judy DuCharme Author

Thank you, Peg, for inviting me.


My question to readers: Who or what are you pursuing . . . and who or what ... is pursuing you?


Friday, October 5, 2018

Fallible ~ Carole Brown ~ Devotional ~ Giveaway

Fallible

 A Devotional from Carole Brown


When we pray for those who have
despitefully used and persecuted us,
it is marvelous how soon the soul gets
calm and tender.
--Unknown


Not too long ago, I had a couple who became angry at me for a very stupid reason. I was crushed. Hurt. Troubled. Angry. How could they? After all I'd done for them. After all the love I'd poured out on them.
After all I'd done... Would something bad happen to them because of the way they'd treated me?

I cried and fretted to myself. Talked and whined to my husband. Shed more tears. Why had this happened? God, where are you when I need you? I wanted to scream the words at him.

This went on for several weeks and there was no difference. Nothing. I was sure I couldn't bear it.

But God.

God didn't forsake me. Instead, he was gently strengthening me by teaching me to lean on Him much more than I ever had before.

God talked with me:
·       Learn to lean on me.
·       Draw close to me.
·       Trust me.
·       Be willing and obedient for HIS WILL

Oh, how much I needed these lessons. They didn't happen in an hour, a day, or even a week. But as I slowly accepted God's word to me, I began to feel peace in my heart again. I began to feel forgiveness, and then the peace and tenderness flowed back into my heart.

Are things perfect because of this? No...but better. No apologies, but at least some communication. No, things aren't back to the way they were before, and that's the point. Maybe God doesn't want it to be as before. Maybe, just maybe, He wants it much better.

One thing I know. He has a plan. If I'm obedient to whatever He says, if I pray and forgive, God will give the increase. Whatever that is.

Matthew 6: 14 & 15:  For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [KJV]


Christmas Angels Blurb

Her mother called her a failure, and maybe she was. Her husband was gone—in the service, yes, but if he loved her—really loved her, why didn't he write? Or call? Or send the money she needed?

She was scared too, afraid of being alone, and though she loved this sweet little bundle of joy—her baby—well, was she smart enough and strong enough to raise her? She didn't mind doing without all the nice things she'd love to have, but not being able to provide luxuries like Christmas trees, ornaments and presents for her baby girl was beyond enduring.

What she needed was a miracle...and that wasn't going to happen.




Buy Link:

About Carole:

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Links: 

Giveaway:
Carole is giving away one Kindle copy of From the Lake to the River Anthology, in which her Christmas Angels novella is featured. To enter, leave your name and contact information in the comment section below. This giveaway will run for one week from today, ending Friday, October 12, at Midnight, Central Time.

Note: For an EXTRA entry: Answer Carole’s optional question: Have you ever had to forgive someone when you didn't feel like it? How did you get through this?


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Behind the Story ~ The Cumberland Bride ~ Shannon McNeer ~ Giveaway

The Cumberland Bride

Behind the Story

By Shannon McNear



 Thank you so much, Peg, for hosting me today! I’ve been asked to do the “story behind the story” of my new release, The Cumberland Bride, #5 in the Daughters of the Mayflower series, but I’m choosing a slightly different telling than I’ve done elsewhere.


This part of the story begins, oh, several decades ago, with a bright-eyed, story-obsessed fifteen-year-old who, at the encouragement of her mother, launched into writing her first novel. She worked hard at it, finished a draft, started right in on revising it, was encouraged to enter a contest by one of her mother’s close friends. After being blessed with an honorable mention, the young writer wondered what next? Submission to various book publishers, of course. So she applied herself to yet more editing and revising, then submitting her work, and … waiting.

Back then, a writer had to send the entire manuscript by mail (REAL mail, carried by actual people) and wait for several months for a reply, oftentimes upward of a year, depending upon the publisher. But I was reconciled to the wait. It was hard, of course—and anytime I walked into a bookstore, the longing to see my name up on there on the shelves with everyone else would grab me by the throat.

Months of waiting stretched into years. I grew up, married, kept writing, started having babies, still kept writing. When my oldest children were all very little, conviction led me to set my fiction writing aside, but the writing came out in other ways, and just after my next-to-youngest was born, I felt the nudging to pick up my fiction again. Was God finally opening the door for me to be published, after all this time? I hardly dared hope, but applied myself afresh to editing, revising, and learning the writing craft. God provided the way for me to attend my first writer’s conference, where I received some extremely encouraging feedback from a highly respected and well-known author.

But the waiting would continue. And even though we’d officially entered the digital age by this time, once again months stretched into years.

Understand, during this time I continued to get a lot of positive feedback. Did I think I had nothing more to learn? No, I knew that even bestselling authors never really “arrive” craft-wise, and I’m so grateful to those who, while they encouraged me, didn’t hesitate to call me on what they saw I could improve. Among other things, I learned that I had huge issues with what we writers call GMC—goals, motivation, and conflict—basically, why our characters do what they do, and what gets in their way. I could see it, but somehow failed to translate that to the reader. So I worked hard to learn how to do that. Set aside my first, reworked-to-death novel, started new ones.

Years stretched into a decade, and about that time God opened the door for my first contract, a historical romance novella. A second novella contract followed shortly after. And then, more waiting. I was doing my best to come up with new story ideas, but life was still crushingly busy—more so than ever, especially while I devoted several months to caring for my mother in the middle of managing my own household.

But when the time was right, God opened the door again … and this time in a way I could never have dreamed, as a close friend recommended me for a particular project.

During all those waiting years, though, I struggled hugely with having to watch so many people in the writing industry get their first contract way before me. Some of those were my own close friends—and while I desperately treasured getting to share that journey with them, it was hard. Hard not to ask why, what I was doing wrong. Hard not to feel “left behind.” Hard not to feel just plain—let’s say the ugly word, here—jealous.

I had to take that struggle back to the Lord so many times. Had to trust, over and over, that He really is God, and if I believed He was the one leading me on this road, then He had a plan and purpose. Even in the long, long waiting.

Along the way, I learned to focus more on the privilege of sharing my friends’ joy as God opened doors for them. Learned to choose gratitude for all my other blessings. To not dismiss the encouragement people might offer as just “being nice” because they knew I was struggling. To simply appreciate the friendships God had surrounded me with, and the unique perspective He was giving me of that phase of the writing journey, so I might learn it wasn’t all sunshine and roses after publication, either.

Being published is amazing, but it’s also a higher level of responsibility. There’s an increased visibility that a fragile soul can find terrifying. And it’s distressed me to discover that for all those years I struggled with envy, I’m now the focus of other people’s envy. I want to tell them … don’t! Don’t be jealous of me. You don’t want the wait I’ve endured!

But of course they can’t see that. They only see the blessings—and aren’t we all guilty of that at some point or another? We can only see the end result of something in other people’s lives, or something God has blessed them with … we can’t see the trials they suffered, getting there. And suffering is something nobody enjoys, but God often uses it to prepare us for what He has for us—or simply to conform us more to the image of Christ.

So my encouragement to you, the reader, is this: trust God with your journey, whatever that might look like. Your journey isn’t mine. God only gives you the grace you need for the trials He calls you to endure—not for my trials, and vice versa. In the same way, embrace the joy in whatever blessings He offers, even if they aren’t the particular blessings you think you want at the moment.

Just—trust Him. He’s worthy of your trust!

 About the story:

In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence, and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But naïve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?

Buy links:
Amazon (both paperback and Kindle)
Christianbook.com (both paperback and ebook)
Barnes & Noble (both paperback and Nook)


AUTHOR BIO:

After more than two decades in the South, Shannon McNear now makes her home on the windy northern plains with her husband, four of their eight children, two German Shepherds, three cats, several chickens, and a noisy flock of guinea fowl. She serves in worship and youth ministry, and has been writing novel-length fiction since age 15. Her first novella, Defending Truth, from A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® nominee. She’s a member of ACFW and RWA and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. When not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the Dakota prairies.

 Social media links:

·  Facebook
·  Goodreads
·  Twitter
·  BookBub 

Giveaway:
Shannon is offering a free copy of The Cumberland Bride to one of my readers. To enter, just leave your name and contact information in the comment section below. Giveaway will run for one week, ending Thursday, October 11, at Midnight, Central Time. Thank you.