Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Morning Devotional - June Foster

Prayer for Others
by June Foster

I like to take time in the morning to read the Word and spend some time with the Lord. Then I pray for friends and family. Some, if I'm not sure of their salvation status, I lift them up before the Lord and reinforce my prayer with 1 Timothy 2:4. "The Lord wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

As each person drifted through my mind, I prayed for them. Then I hit a brick wall. One I'd prayed for multiple times in the past, came to mind. But tragically that person had died of cancer several months ago. The thought hit me. I could no longer pray for the individual. There's no hope after death.

Only God can judge a heart and only He knows where my family member is today. Maybe that person made a profession of faith earlier in life or on his deathbed. It wasn't for me to know. But the reality of the situation struck me. We only have this lifetime to receive God's grace through our Savior Jesus Christ. After death it's too late.

I think the situation has helped me to pray even more fervently for others. Ephesians 6:18 says to pray on all occasion with all kinds of prayers and requests. Salvation is a serious matter. Keep praying for others who may not know Him.


Sharing June's new release: Prescription for Romance

Pharmacist Stephanie McCoy grew up in an opulent home with an aeronautical engineer father who never had time for her and a socialite mother who put clubs and charities before her daughter. Now as an adult, Stephanie's looking for affirmation—and affection in the wrong place. Only thing, the guy she pursues is a Christian with solid moral values. When her mother becomes ill, Stephanie can't imagine life without her.

Scott Townsend teaches history at the high school in Oak Mountain, Alabama, and lifts weights after school hours. His younger brother borrows a large sum from Scott's father then disappears. But after Scott's sibling returns penniless, Scott is furious at his parents' acceptance of their wayward son. When Scott is invited to a welcome-home celebration, he drives to the house but refuses to come inside though his father pleads with him.

After Scott confides in Stephanie about his bitterness toward his brother, the beautiful pharmacist offers Godly encouragement he never expected. Can Scott relinquish his pride and forgive his brother? Will Stephanie find faith in Scott's God and allow Him to heal her heart? The sequel to Letting Go, this story is loosely based on the Biblical parable of The Prodigal Son.


About June:
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's Laurel Awards.

 June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is published by WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern-day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, is available from Amazon.com. The Almond Tree series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, What God Knew, and Almond Street Mission are available at Amazon.com. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. 

 Recently June has seen publication of Christmas at Raccoon Creek, Lavender Fields Inn, Misty Hollow, Restoration of the Heart, and Letting Go. Visit June at junefoster.com.







Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wrinkles for Free - A Tongue-in-Cheek Look at a Hard Truth

Wrinkles for Free!

Picture from Google Images
“Two Minutes? I have two minutes and that’s all it takes to remove fifty-one years of child, marriage, job, stress ... induced wrinkles! You can tell by the results; the faces look pathetic in the before pictures and amazing in the after pictures!  And the wrinkle-free me will last for up to nine hours. If I hide out until noon, and watch TV after nine pm, I’ll look fabulous and I won’t be wasting any of my miracle cream! The best part is, I only have to pay $5.99 for the sample!”

So my friend took them up on their amazing Facebook offer and counted down the days to the arrival of her packages. Yes, packages. What could possibly be better than a sample of an amazing serum? Two samples of amazing serums. She could compare the results and decide exactly how young she wished to look. Perhaps she could even double up and look like a new-born babe.

The first box arrived. No company logo, no packing slip, and no paperwork for re-ordering. The one ounce container was plain for such huge promises, but miracles can be found in the most unexpected places. And don’t forget, it came with an eye cream promising to remove every bit of darkness and puffiness known to man or woman!

The second box arrived. Same thing, boring containers and no contact information.  My friend was undeterred, new skin awaited! Undeterred, that is, until she received her credit card bills. Apparently in the fine print, the ad says the sample costs only $5.99 IF you return it within fourteen days (less the eight days it took to arrive, giving you six days to return the sample.) If not, the cost of your sample is a mere $350.00. And out of the kindness of their hearts, the company will send you a new sample every thirty days for another $350.00. My friend now owed $700.00 dollars to the first company, and $400.00 dollars to the second one.

Yikes!

Thankfully, contact numbers were listed on her credit card bills and she could cancel both automatic orders. The first credit card company considered the $700.00 dollars a fraudulent sale and insured it; however, the second credit card company considered the sale, although unethical, valid and she was stuck with the $400.00 charge.

I must admit, I was tempted to sign up for my own free sample when I saw the remarkable results while I was researching for this post. My friend says the cream doesn’t work – not for a minute, let alone nine hours.


I guess I’m stuck with my wrinkles, but at least they’re free!

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Prov. 31:30 ESV



1883 California Trail, Kansas

Missouri mules were the best. Alda grew to love the creatures working side by side with her pa on their farm along the banks of the Missouri River. He would be hopping mad when he realized his wife and daughter colluded behind his back to sell a pack string. It wouldn’t matter that they were trying to save the farm.
Alda struck out on her own to drive the team over fifteen hundred miles. By day three, her lead mule Bessie refused to take one more step. It was a good thing the handsome cowboy Cord stopped by to lend a hand or Alda might still be sitting in the dust.
Now, Alda needed the man to move on so she could continue her journey. Judging by the spark in Cord’s eye … it just might take some convincing.

Fool’s Notion is a new release  by Forget Me Not Romances, September 14, 2017, and the purchase link is   http://amzn.to/2kQvWus


Author Bio
Lisa J. Flickinger, author of historical novels Ella, and All That Glitters, lives and writes from the cliff of a river along the majestic Rocky Mountains. When not writing or reading, you will find her scouring antique shops or sipping a maple latte with friends and family. 



Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One Writer's Journey - Susan Baganz

It’s hard to believe that I started writing fiction almost eight years ago. It started with a dream. I woke one morning believing God was telling me to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It was October and I was stunned. Me? Write a book? I’d had a story I tried to write years before but now I had three kids and life was crazy. Then I reasoned it would cost me nothing, wasn’t illegal, and if I didn’t win, who cared? I knew people who had done it and with nothing to lose, I signed up.

That was 2009. November 1st hit and I started writing. 21 days later I had 110,000 words written for a novel titled The Virtuous Viscount. Now I seriously thought I had a best-seller on my hands. Ah, the delusions of a novice novelist! Only later did I realize there were several problems with my book. Head-hopping was running rampant. Too many points of view and too long. I ripped out one character and his plot line and rewrote the book from scratch. The next year I wrote another book using a character from Viscount. That one was Lord Phillip’s Folly. Subsequent years produced more in the series, all written during November: Sir Michael’s Mayhem, Lord Harrow’s Heart and finally, The Captain’s Conquest.

Two years ago, I was asked to write a novella for a collection. It also serves as a prequel to this series and thus, The Baron’s Blunder was born that December. I wrote a full length—around 85,000 word—novel that November, and a novella a week later.

You don’t have to tell me I’m insane. My kids have already diagnosed me as such.

Eight years. At the end of this November 2017, after Thanksgiving, the first novel I ever wrote will be available for sale. The Baron’s Blunder has been revised and will be offered for free and not only with The Virtuous Viscount release, but also Lord Phillip’s Folly—All on the same day! They are available for preorder now. I’m also going to try to write another novel during NaNoWriMo, just because I can and I’m mentoring some young writers on their journey as well.

Now I must caution the reader. These are not Jane Austen Regencies, nor Georgette Heyer. They are a bit darker in their tone and filled with suspense and evil that must be defeated. For that reason, they have been categorized as The Black Diamond Christian Gothic Regencies. Cue the music of doom and suspense.

I’d been writing Gothic Regencies all along and never even knew it. I guess I sometimes even surprise myself. The fact is, I only ever intended to write one book but since then I’ve published a series of contemporary novels as well. By the end of this year I’ll have 12 books published. Five more books are slated for release next year (two contemporary and the other three finish out The Black Diamond series).

I have a new publisher who inherited these books which is why the series was delayed in being released, but that’s cool, because she really liked my Regencies so much that this December I have another Regency novella releasing, a sweet Christmas story. Gabriel’s Gift will be part of Pelican Book Group’s Christmas Extravaganza. It is in no way related to the Black Diamond series.

A dream morphed into a calling and a passion was birthed. Dream on, friends!

The Baron’s Blunder (novella, prequel)
Fighting evil is a hobby, fending off marriage-minded women—a chore.

When Lord Charles Percy seizes a highwayman robbing a carriage in broad daylight, he conceals his identity to the debutante he rescues. It wouldn't do for her to know a member of the peerage is secretly in pursuit of the infamous Black Diamond. Instead, he claims to be a mere mister who happened along perchance at an opportune moment.

Despite the fact she's a woman, the Honorable Henrietta Allendale doesn't need a man to fight her battles, especially one whom she suspects is hiding things of import. So why can she not stop thinking about the gallant Mister Percy and his selfless act of heroism on her behalf?

Meeting again in London, Charles begins to enjoy verbally sparring with the intrepid young woman, and his heart is soon captivated as well. But he’s playing a deep game, and Henrietta's presence in his life puts hers at risk.

When a successful rescue results in possible scandal, the baron’s biggest challenge will be to convince the marriage-adverse young woman that his love is true.

The Virtuous Viscount (Book 1)
Lord Marcus Remington has decided it is time to find a wife. He didn't expect her to be in the wreckage of a carriage in the middle of a spring storm, but rescuing Miss Josephine Storm challenges his heart and very character of the man known as the Virtuous Viscount. But when the injured young woman weighs heavy on the viscount's mind, convention goes out the window.As Miss Josephine Storm recovers her physical health, her heart is in even more danger. When The Black Diamond's plot to take over Britain puts Marcus and his friends in the criminal's cross-hairs, Josie's life is threatened. Marcus must chance losing her good favor and risk his virtuous reputation in order to save her life. Can Josie believe in the man she thought she knew when the facts say otherwise?



Lord Phillip’s Folly (Book 2)
No good deed goes unpunished. Lord Phillip Westcombe is a younger son and sufficiently independent. He has no need upset his tidy life with the messiness of love, but when he comes to the rescue of the lovely Lady Elizabeth Follett, and the two are found in a compromising position, his life takes an unexpected turn. Barely knowing each other, they are forced to wed. Embarking on a new life they must learn to trust God as they face an evil which threatens their lives and the security of the British Empire. Will the minions of the Black Diamond—the bounder who owns the soul of Elizabeth's father—succeed in their evil plans? Will Phillip and Elizabeth's new love and faith survive the test that awaits them? Or will they all fall to the Black Diamond?



Gabriel’s Gift
When Gabriel moves into the parsonage on his first assignment, the last person he expected to find would be his childhood friend, Mattie. He had fully intended to marry Matilda, but when he returned from university she had disappeared. Now he not only found her along with an abandoned infant.

Matilda lived her life under a cloud of shame after her father’s suicide. Running into Gabriel only heightened the reality of how far she’d fallen. As much as she’d always loved him, she could never marry a man of the cloth.

Gabriel seeks to minister to the hurting in his congregation, especially the woman of his dreams. Can a Christmas miracle give them all the greatest gift of love?

About Susan:
Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Editor with Pelican Book Group’s imprint: Prism Book Group, specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.

Susan speaks, teaches and encourages others to follow God in being all He has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology, a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its craziness. She serves behind-the-scenes in various capacities at her church. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones—snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.

Find Susan on Social Media:



Friday, October 13, 2017

Driving with God






Driving with God


by Bonnie Engstrom
This is not Bonnie, though I think it looks like her. Image from Pixabay

He’s following too close.

The black SUV behind me was so close I could see the drivers face in my rearview mirror. I’d put my right turn signal on at least a block before. Either he didn’t see it because he wasn’t paying attention, or he was “cowboy driver” testing fate.

Thankfully, as I slowed down for the turn, he must have eased on his throttle. Still, he was close enough if I’d had to stop suddenly, there would have been a rear-ender collision.

Turning onto the side street I checked the rearview mirror again and saw the blur of his car as it sped up. I whispered a quiet “Thank you, Lord” and relaxed my hands on the wheel.

Then I prayed that God would guide him so he wouldn’t hurt anyone, himself included. I did ask the Lord to maybe give him a little scare, a reminder to drive more safely. Nothing major, just something to frighten him enough to be a more cautious driver.

Do you ever feel like you’re being dogged, followed too closely by circumstances and people in your life? Maybe you have no breathing room from your spouse or your kids or friends. Everyone wants a piece of you. You are interrupted during your morning devotions, although kindly, by your spouse chatting, or a phone call from a child who needs advice. You feel as if you’re always watching your back; you check the caller I.D. before answering the phone. It’s your dearest friend, your sister in Christ. You decide to call her back, later. She doesn’t leave a message, so you wonder, and worry. Does she have an emergency, or does she just want to chat?

Guilt takes over, and you close your book of devotions setting it and your Bible aside. You pour another cup of decaf Hazelnut coffee, stir in a lot of cream and dial.

Thank heavens she just wanted to chat, to share a small victory she had with a child in her Sunday School class. It really was a cute moment for her, and you laugh together.

You close your eyes and thank the good Lord you have such a dear friend. You feel blessed. Tomorrow you vow you will call her, just for no reason at all. Just to chat.

Prayer:Thank you, Lord, for special friends, for godly sisters. Help me to appreciate my friends more and be there for their needs, their trials and their triumphs. Make me a better friend, a friend who is sensitive and caring and who is willing to take time from a busy day to listen.


About Bonnie:

Bonnie Engstrom and her psychologist husband, Dave, live in Arizona near four of their six grandchildren. The other two live in Costa Rica where they surf. But, they share their Arizona home with Lola and Sam, their two rescued mutts in charge of the household.

She used to bake dozens of Christmas cookies in November and freeze them so she would have a lot to pass out to neighbors. Now … well, that was a long time ago. Instead of cookies for Christmas, she writes. Her Candy Cane stories set in Newport Beach, California, where her family was raised and where they have many fond memories, are perfect for gift giving. Or, for just cuddling up by the fire for an inspiring romance read.

Learn more about Bonnie and her books HERE

Thursday, October 12, 2017

From Death to Life in Forgiveness

From Death to Life

 by Lynne Tagawa

Not long ago, my daughter-in-law told me her mother was reading my new book, A Twisted Strand, and enjoying it. Her eyes widened a bit. “I read the back and it sounds scary.” She wasn’t sure she’d like it herself.

It’s true, there are suspenseful parts. Blood on the grass, that sort of thing.  But I did give her some further explanation, a few small spoilers, so she’d know exactly how scary it was.

I’m not even sure “suspense” is a favorite genre of mine, come to think about it. I’m very much a drama or romance person, preferring multi-layered characters who respond and grow in response to various situations.

But I couldn’t resist a good virus. I am, after all, both a biology teacher and a Michael Crichton fan (Timeline, Airframe). I love a good serving of (accurate) science or medical knowledge supporting a plot. So yeah, there’s a virus in the story, man-made and all that.

But the real story isn’t in the blood spilled on the bluebonnets. It’s in the blood painted on the doorframe, the blood of the Passover lamb, prefiguring the blood drenching another piece of wood: the wood of the Cross.

For it’s the death of Christ that gives us life. And this is the core of the story. Two lonely people, estranged from God and each other, with bitterness creeping into their hearts.

How can a woman forgive the worst of all betrayals? Can her ex-husband humble himself enough to ask for that forgiveness?

And even if they can forgive, can they be truly reconciled?

No, I’ve never faced adultery myself. But I’ve had to forgive rather large offenses, and I’ve seen what can happen when others don’t forgive. It’s like swallowing poison.

I’ve also read what the Bible says about both subjects, forgiveness and reconciliation: when we are justified, we have peace with God, and this includes both forgiveness of sin and a reconciliation of the creature-Creator relationship.

But between people, sometimes forgiveness happens without reconciliation. “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Rom 12:18 [KJV]

What about my characters, Rachel and Will? I’ll let you find out!

About the book:

After dragging her heart through a divorce, Rachel Davis is ready to settle down on their South Texas country home, raise her kids, and find some peace. Can she find the secret to making her heart whole again?

William Davis, MD, would do anything to take back his horrible mistake, but infidelity is more than his wife can forgive. He goes home to an empty house in Austin every night, trying his best to be a good dad to his kids from afar.

When Rachel discovers their Jersey heifer dead from a hemorrhagic fever, she quickly realizes that the danger may spread to humans. Working for an epidemiologist, she joins the investigation. Is it natural? Or terrorism?

The family vet sickens, and Will enters the fray. Could this become an epidemic? 

Estranged from God and from each other, both Rachel and Will encounter the truth of the gospel and struggle to make sense of it all. Is there hope? And is there hope for their relationship?

Endorsements:

"The Twisted Strand is a realistic, vivid, and frightening scenario that will keep you thinking long after the end of the book. A timely story exploring the threat of bioterrorism and the faith it takes to [get]Rachel and her family through, I believe this story will inspire everyone who picks it up." -Amber Schamel, author of Dawn of Liberty (2017 CSPA Book of the Year Award Winner)


“Lynne Tagawa takes us deep into the world of biological warfare with a mystery that is plausible and scary.” -Laura V. Hilton, author of The Christmas Admirer (Whitaker House)


About the author: 


Lynne Tagawa is an educator, author, and editor. The author of Sam Houston’s Republic, she lives in Texas with her husband.

Website: Line Upon Line www.lynne.tagawa.com





A Twisted Strand is available from amazon in both print and kindle versions. Book purchase link: http://amzn.to/2zhwX1Y


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Love of God Never Ceases

Peg here: (This post was originally scheduled to post yesterday, Oct 9, but we didn't have the preorder link yet.)

Today's guest, Sara Foust, shares a combination of a lovely devotional, and information about her upcoming book release, Callumn's Compass. So sit back with your favorite hot beverage on this cool October day, and enjoy.


God’s Everlasting Love

by Sara L. Foust

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 [KJV] 

We all have pasts. Good memories and bad. Things we have done we are proud of. Others we are ashamed of. Those are the ones I find that keep me awake sometimes at night. The memories of my shortcomings before I came to know God. And, though I know He has forgiven me, sometimes when I am weak I wonder, “Have I truly forgiven myself?” Jeremiah 31:3 reminds us that not only does God love us with a kind of everlasting love we can’t completely comprehend, He created us, drew the plans for each of us, with a lovingkindness that required forethought. He knows the ins and outs of me, good and bad, and chooses to love me anyway. No part of me is random.

My first novel, Callum’s Compass, is available for eBook preorder today! (See below) It is fiction, but I hope its truths speak to my readers.

My heroine, Kat, and my hero, Ryan, both have past events they are ashamed of. Ones that keep them rooted to a moment in time which leaves them filled with guilt. It is my hope that readers will see the journey they both take from broken and guilt-filled to finding freedom and forgiveness in God. That their stories will speak to someone who is still dealing with regret, guilt, or fear and help them realize that God loves us, from the moment He thinks to create us, with an unexplainable, unending, perfect love. 


 About the book:
Author:          Sara L. Foust
Title:               Callum’s Compass
Publisher:      Mantle Rock Publishing

KAT WILLIAMS’ brother died in a gruesome accident in the mountains of East Tennessee. She blames herself.

RYAN JENKINS’ fiancée was murdered. He couldn’t protect her.

With the death of her brother, Kat believes she is unworthy of love from anyone—even God. When a good friend elicits a promise that she will stop living in the past and then leaves her clues to a real-life treasure hunt, Kat embarks on an adventure chock-full of danger. To find the treasure, Kat will have to survive wild animals—and even wilder men. Can she rely on Ryan, the handsome wildlife officer assigned to protect her ... without falling in love?

Ryan swore off love when his fiancée was murdered, but feelings long-buried rise to the surface around Kat. He volunteers to help with her treasure hunt, vowing to keep her safe. Together they venture deep into caves and tunnels … and even deeper into the depths of their unplumbed hearts.

NOTE: Callum's Compass is available for preorder as of today—October 11, 2017—for $2.99 (price goes up to $3.99 on November 7th at the official release). Just click on the link: 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076B9PBZL

About the Author:

Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Tennessee Mountain Writers. Her debut novel Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com

How to reach Sara:
·       Website: www.saralfoust.com
·       Email: sfoust25@hotmail.com
·       Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/SaraLFoust/
·       Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Sfoust25
·       Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sfoust25/

Friday, October 6, 2017

Be a Joshua

“Be strong and of a good courage.” 


a Devotional Post from author Angela Carlisle

At the walls of Jericho
Recently I noticed how often these words were spoken to Joshua. In Deuteronomy 31, Moses tells him twice. Skip to the beginning of the book of Joshua and you’ll read similar words coming directly from God (Joshua 1:6,7,9).  Then what happens at the end of the chapter? The people tell him the same thing (Joshua 1:18). 


Now, I’ve never thought of Joshua as a man who struggled with courage. I mean, look at him. He is the only one of the Israelites allowed to hike part-way up Mount Sinai with Moses (Exodus 24:13). He’s the one who kept worshiping at the tabernacle long after everyone else left (Exodus 33:11). He’s one of the two spies who were brave enough to say, “God will fight for us” when the other ten said “There’s no way” (Numbers 14). He was chosen to lead the children of Israel after Moses’ death (Numbers 27), and he didn’t bat an eye when God said to simply be quiet and march around Jericho, probably the most formidable fortress he’d ever seen (Joshua 5). Yet, he had to be reminded not to be afraid – to have courage – over and over again within just a few chapters. Why?

I can’t say I have the answer to that question. The Bible doesn’t tell us. But maybe Joshua was like some of us. Our desire is to serve God, so that’s what we do. We work, we go to church, we pray, we try to be the person we know we should be. To others, we look like we have it all together. But inside we’re screaming “I can’t do this!” “What was I thinking?” “Why did Moses have to die and leave me with all this?”

Perhaps God wants to whisper to you today, just like He did to Joshua. “Be strong and of a good courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed. For the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9, KJV)

Take time to listen to His voice today. Remember that whatever God has given you to do, He will enable you to do it. After all, He is God – He’s got it under control.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for reminding us that You use real people with real fears to accomplish Your work. Give us, like Joshua, the courage to do Your will, knowing that You are the source of our strength. Amen.


Angela Carlisle is a writer and pharmacy technician from Northern Kentucky and holds degrees in Biblical Literature and Bible Studies. Angela prefers to spend her free time reading, writing, and drinking insane amounts of hot tea. Her work has appeared in Splickety Magazine

Connect online at www.angelacarlisle.com