Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Transforming a Daily Prayer and Devotions Journal Into a Book ~ Donna Schlachter #Giveaway

 Transformation: a chronological walk through the Bible in a year
By Donna Schlachter

Hi, Donna here:
Have you ever noticed that the voice of God often comes in the most unexpected moments asking the most unexpected things of us? This happened to me early in January of 2017 during my daily reading. Without a doubt, He stood beside me and said, “Write this book”.

Now, normally when God tells me to write a book, I don’t have any problem. I mean, I have so many stories floating around inside my head, I don’t think I’ll live long enough to get them all written down.

So, naturally, I asked, “Which book?”

“This book.”

“This isn’t a book.” Like I need to tell God that, or anything for that matter. “It’s just my daily journal.”

“Yes. That book.”

Honestly, that was the last thing I wanted to hear. Like I said, I have plenty of other books to write without God adding a devotional to the list. But I couldn’t escape the instruction.

So this book has been a true transformation for me. The way I read was different; I expected God to show up every day; and I was able to be more real in what I wrote. As I transcribed, I saw days where I was upbeat; days where I was discouraged; days where I was angry. And yet God used every one of those days.

So, here are three things I learned while writing this book:
  1. Because it was also my daily reading and quiet time, I had to be honest with my own thoughts, feelings, and understandings, but also be willing to be completely transparent with my reader. In fact, when I transcribed this book into my computer, I only changed about three words, and that’s because I’d written the wrong word in my journal.
  2. I waited until almost the end of the year to transcribe the book. Stupid me. I could have started almost immediately. The lesson learned is never put off what God is telling you to do.
  3. The process of writing a book kept me on track so I couldn’t skip days or skim the reading. At the end of every reading, I asked God what He wanted me to learn, and what He wanted the reader to learn. As a result, I didn’t use any of the “usual” verses we see in devotionals, and God gave me fresh insight every single day.
 If we let Him loose in our lives, He is faithful to change us—to transform us into His likeness and image.

PLS Bookworks (December 20, 2017)
From the Back cover:

366 devotions that will chronologically walk you through the Bible in a year If you've ever wished you could start a devotional at some time throughout the year other than January 1st, then this is the devotional for you! 

Each day is numbered, so you can start any day of the year and still walk through the Bible in a year. If you like to start out the year on the right foot on January 1st, then this is the devotional for you! However you like to structure your quiet time, today is the absolute best time to start!

Donna Schlachter
About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters In Crime, and Writers on the Rock; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!
Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

Donna is offering a Giveaway of Transformation. 
 Answer this question for the opportunity to win a free print (US only) or digital copy of Transformation: How would knowing you were writing a book change the way you journal your quiet time?

Leave a comment below with your contact email address so we can reach you if you're the winner. 

Giveaway ends: One week from today on Tuesday, July 24 at Midnight CDT. Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, July 25. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

"Victory In Jesus" ~ Hymn Story ~ Lucy Neeley Adams

 Victory In Jesus
a hymn story by Lucy Neeley Adams

The Sunday night worship service at our church was not complete until we heard a familiar voice on the back row.  Our friend, Louis, always asked that we sing, "Victory In Jesus" as the closing hymn  And it was a joy to sing of hope and thankfulness to God, who will lead us to victory in Him. 

Another friend, Dan Pratt, author of TEARS ON THE CHURCH HOUSE FLOOR, writes about his son Bill, who is a non-reader.  But he can make a joyful noise with music that touches the heart.  "That is especially true if the song is, "Victory in Jesus". Many people have said that Bill's rendition brings tears to their eyes."

Recently, when I heard a young woman's testimony, based on this old favorite, it inspired me to dig deeper into its meaning.  The message came from the Prison Fellowship ministry (www.prisonfellowship.org) and a former inmate, Deborah, shared it to bring hope and healing in the midst of suffering.  Her first sentence to prison, initially scared her, so she reached out for God after her release.  But she soon returned to her previous rebellion and was arrested again. 

"I was angry and felt isolated", Deborah [the woman mentioned above] says, "like God had deserted me and this was my fate in life.  But then one day in 1995, I heard that a group of people from Prison Fellowship were coming to sing. One particular old hymn caught my attention ..." 
 'I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory.  How he gave his life on Calvary to save a wretch like me.  I heard about his groaning, of his precious blood atoning.  Then I repented of my sin and won the victory.'

"Everything seemed to come together about my pitiful past life and that I had been a wretch.  So I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.  Even though I had to remain in prison to complete my sentence, I was free in the Lord.  Deborah Daniels, is now a staff member with Prison Fellowship, and is an inspiration to many people." 

The musical talents and Christian faith of composer, Eugene M. Bartlett, spread throughout the south and in 1918, he established the Hartford Music Company of Hartford, Arkansas.  He published a monthly music magazine, Herald of Song, which promoted local musical groups.  After he composed, "Victory In Jesus", he spoke of the joy of his  salvation in this personal testimony.  It was first published by Vaughn Publishing in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. 

Eugene Bartlett died in 1941 at the age of 56, only two years after he had written this powerful hymn of confession and praise.  At the gravesite, there is a beautiful inscription on the headstone.  The first six musical notes are inscribed and underneath each note are the words, "I heard an old, old story."   

In 1973, Bartlett was posthumously inducted into the Gospel Music Associations Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. Praise the Lord, that this hymn continues to grow in its ministry to lift up God's glory!

We are blessed and will always praise God for this beautiful story and pray will continue to bring victory with these words of faith. 

Lucy Neeley Adams

Peg Here: As usually happens whenever I get to post one of Lucy's wonderful Hymn Stories. I'm inspired to looking for a video to go along with it. So, here's the one I found. Enjoy! 

Video from one of the Bill and Gloria Gaither Homecoming gatherings.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Plain Everyday Heroes ~ Laura Hilton ~ Amish Fiction

 It's been quite a while since I've featured any Amish fiction on Whispers in Purple so I'm especialy pleased to bring you author Laura Hilton to remedy that. And she has included what looks like a delicious chili recipe! (Below)
 Welcome, Laura!  
Plain Everyday Heroes

by Laura Hilton 

Release date: July 4, 2018
Genre: Christian Amish
Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing Group

  • Playing with Fire:
Arie Zimmerman has been in love with Noah Behr from almost the moment they met, but after a devastating wildfire destroys the community, everything changes. Noah questions how a loving Gott could allow such things to happen. As Arie and her family struggle to rebuild their home and lives, Noah escapes to California to fight another son wildfire—and maybe find Gott in the process.
When Noah returns, he promises Arie the prize money if she will help him with a chili cook-off to fund the fire department. Of course, in order to spend more time with the girl he loves, he’s also willing to pitch in unloading the new furniture and animals her daed bought at an auction. He’ll even help Arie slice and dice vegetables if he can taste test the recipes.
More than just the kitchen heats up as they spend time together. But will Noah find a still missing Gott in the process and discover there’s more to life than what he initially believed?
  • Hometown Hero

Mysteries intrigue secondhand shop owner Benuel Miller. Although strangers may think a blind man would be easy to cheat, those who know Benuel realize he’s honed his other senses to pick up clues his eyes don’t see, making him a savvy business owner. When a stranger enters Benuel’s secondhand shop, the man is shocked by Benuel’s accurate assessment and unsolicited advice. Wary, he hopes Benuel won’t find out his true intentions, but the shopkeeper is already on the case.
Later, Mari and her twin sister, Frannie, stop in Benuel’s shop with Frannie’s three-year-old son, and Benuel senses trouble. His hunches have never led him astray, but is he misreading something here? He can’t help being drawn to Mari, yet is she as sweet and loving as she seems? Or is she hiding a deep, dark secret?
One explosive night when tragedy strikes, Benuel risks his life to find out the truth. Can he unmask the stranger from his shop to foil a sinister plot? And will what he discovers destroy his only chance for love?
  • Racing the Slow Girls:

Racing the Slow Girls— a recipe for fast-paced, comical, Amish adventure— Ingredients: Three fun-loving teenage boys on bicycles. An adorable little girl on a pony, a few spunky teenage girls, and a hint of romance. Directions: Place the characters in a beautiful setting, such as Holmes Co. Ohio. Roll in the boys on bikes. Stir up a few harsh words spoken carelessly. Add plenty of retaliation by the girls. Place in the heat of a family emergency until everyone is completely undone. Sit back and enjoy an Amish adventure with a cup of coffee.
About Laura:
Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife and homeschools her two youngest children.
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.
About the other authors:
  • Rachel J. Good is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming—Sisters & Friends, Love & Promises, and two books in theHearts of Amish Country series—as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Visit Rachel at her website: www.racheljgood.com.
  • Thomas Nye writes novels about horses and Amish life, with a touch of romance, and a foundation of faith in Christ. He and his wife, Shari, live on her family farm where they raised five children. Their six grandchildren love to visit Karma and Karla, a team of draft horses which Thomas purchased from an Amish friend. To find out more, visit: amishhorses.blogspot.com
Where to find Laura:

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Purchase Laura'sbooks:

1 lb stew meat: venison, or beef
1/4 cup bacon bits
1/2 Onion, diced
Green pepper, diced
2 cans of habanero Rotel
1 can tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup sliced jalapenos
1 TSP cayenne pepper
3 TB chili powder
2 TB beef bouillon
1 TSP paprika
1 TSP pepper
2 TB garlic
salt to taste

Saute onion and pepper, set aside. Sear stew meat in hot pan until brown. Do not over cook. Add meat and other ingredients to pot and simmer until done. Add water if necessary. Serve with cornbread. Approximately 7 servings
Recipe compliments of Michael Hilton (Laura’s son)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"Carolina Mercy" ~ by Regina Merrick ~ Behind the Story ~ #Giveaway

Hello, readers! Welcome to another 'behind the story' article. These seem to be quite popular these days, and I'm happy to introduce author Regina Merrick with hers. Sit back and enjoy!  

Oh, I suppose I should also mention Regina is offering to give away an eBook copy of this featured book. Details below. 

The Story Behind Carolina Mercy

by Regina Merrick

Carolina Mercy (Available TODAY!!!!) is book two in my Southern Breeze series. Book one was Carolina Dream, and it began as – you guessed it – a dream! How do you follow a direct signal from God like THAT?

Well, you realize that the story isn’t over.

As I wrote Carolina Dream, I realized that some of my characters were taking on a life of their own. You never want secondary characters to be one-dimensional, so I made Sarah and Jared’s (main characters from CD) friends, Lucy and Tom, characters you wanted to know more about.

Playing supportive roles, Lucy and Tom were easy to flesh out in book one. They were the voice of reason. They were the comedy. They said the right thing at the right time.  Making them the main characters in Carolina Mercy meant that I needed to show a few more dents and dings.

In writing Carolina Mercy, I learned that I not only needed to make sure I had continuity in my story, but also that I needed to “wound” my characters. Hmmm . . . That was tough, because who wants to hurt their friends? I certainly don’t, but when I brainstormed at last year’s writing retreat with my KenTen Writers Group, we came up with all kinds of ways of “wounding” my characters in book 2. Nothing was sacred (well, except the Scripture!), so as I plotted and wrote, I kept in mind, “What would keep these two apart?”

The obvious conclusion? A wedding! Oh, and a hurricane . . .

So, when you get stuck on how to injure, maim, depress, or anger your character, find a group of friends that will help you beat up on them a little bit. I have to say, it changed my way of looking at my back-story, and the way my characters interact.

Every person on earth, Christian or not, has a hurt, habit, or hang-up that keeps them from trusting God to the fullest, or at all. That’s what I write about. Overcoming those wounds, bringing characters to the end of themselves, to live the abundant life that God has promised us, through Jesus!

About the book:
She’s always gotten everything she’s wanted. He thinks he has to give up everything.

Her best friend’s wedding is foremost on Lucy Dixon’s radar. Her biggest concern is once again meeting Tom Livingston, who has ignored her since an idyllic date on the boardwalk of Myrtle Beach the previous summer.
At least, it is her biggest concern until tragedy strikes. Where is her loving, merciful God, now?

When Tom Livingston meets Lucy, the attraction is instant. Soon after, his mother is diagnosed with an untreatable illness and his personal life is pushed aside. His work with the sheriff’s department, his family – they are more important. He knows about the love of God, but circumstances make him feel as if God’s mercy is for everyone else, not him.

Can a wedding and a hurricane – blessing and tragedy – bring them together?

About Regina:
Regina Merrick is a writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Having lived most of her life in Western Kentucky, she dreams of the sound of crashing waves and sandy beaches. Married to her husband of 30-plus years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. She is the author of two books, Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017) and Carolina Mercy (July 2018) in the Southern Breeze Series. Book 3 in the series releases in February 2019.

Where to find Regina:

Where to buy Carolina Mercy:

Regina has graciously offered to give away one eBook copy of Carolina Mercy to one of this blog's readers. To enter, just leave a comment below with your name AND contact informatio, and answer Regina's question: What hurt, habit, or hang-up would you give a character to work out? Answering the question is optional, but it would be fun to hear your ideas.
Giveaway ends one week from today on July 17, at Midnight, CDT. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

A Beautiful Love Story – Behind the Scenes - Kelly Goshorn #gGiveaway

Hi, readers, please welcome author Kelly Goshorn as she share a beautiful love story turned into fiction. 

Writing my Real-Life Romance
by Kelly Goshorn
When I first began tinkering with storytelling in 2011, I wrote about an Irish mail order bride. I’m not sure what it is about mail order bride stories that fascinates me, but I will read every one I can get my hands on. When my husband discovered that I was writing creatively he looked over my chapter and advised that it “wasn’t bad,” then suggested I write our story

Honestly, God had whispered in my heart a long time ago that I would share our story, but I assumed I’d give my testimony in a ladies Bible study or something. I never imagined I’d share some of the most painful moments of my life with the world in written form. However, the more I thought about it, the more I agreed that our story had all the elements needed for a great romance—interesting characters, a strong spiritual arc, and enough conflict to drive a Mac truck through the hardest of hearts.

Like my full-figured heroine, Ruth Ann, I’ve struggled with weight issues my entire life. I’ve had cruel things said about my appearance. Oftentimes by people who were supposed to love me.

Boys don’t date chubby girls.
With those broad shoulders and hips, you wouldn’t be petite even if you lost weight.
You have such a pretty face, you really should do something about your figure.
Men don’t marry overweight women.

But their insensitive words failed in comparison to the ugly way I spoke to myself.
You’re fat.
You’re ugly.
No one likes you.
No man…will ever…love you.

I’d become so defined by the negative comments and opinions of those surrounding me, I no longer saw anything to esteem. I’d allowed my self-worth to be determined by a yardstick that measured my value according to the size of my waist or the flatness of my stomach, always coming up short.

Then one night the unthinkable happened. Mike, the man I’d previously been dating told me the real reason he ended our relationship weeks earlier. “I made a vow that I wouldn’t marry a woman who was overweight.” My mind spiraled out of control recalling every unkind that myself or others had spoken about my appearance. Within an hour I was curled up on my bathroom floor contemplating swallowing an entire bottle of ibuprofen.

Thankfully, that is not where the story ended. Weeks earlier, knowing I was sad about the breakup with this man, my pastor’s wife asked if I had been thinking about suicide. Shocked, I told her no. Prompted by the Holy Spirit the two of us prayed against the spirit of suicide and that no harm would come to me by own hand. I firmly believe those prayers saved my life in that dark moment when the voice of the enemy was silenced, and I chose to live.

Although I learned that God loved me in a way no man ever could, he brought a soul mate into my life. A loving husband who, despite my fuller figure, often greets me in the morning with a loving salutation, “Good morning, Beautiful.”

Mike and I celebrated twenty-eight years of marriage in 2018.

Yes, the same Mike whose other words had sent me into a life-threatening tailspin.
God had to purge those negative thoughts from the minds of both Mike and me. We had to experience the fullness of God’s love for us before we could give and receive love unconditionally in marriage—to anyone. He could have decided to bring us new relationships, start over with a clean slate. Instead, He taught us about forgiveness, trust, and unconditional love.

He had not only chosen to heal, but to restore.

Our journey to unconditional love and acceptance is told through my characters in A Love Restored. At its core, A Love Restored is not only a story of love, romance, heartache and restoration, but also a story about the power of words over our lives. It is a story about the struggle each of us faces to take our thoughts captive to the truth of Scripture so we may experience the fullness of God’s unequivocal love for us. As my husband and I discovered, it is only then that we are truly able to give and receive love, unconditionally.

My prayer for you and your lovely readers is that you will not allow the enemy to steal the joy that is rightfully yours as a child of God. Speak the truth of the gospel over yourself every day and ask God to give you His eyes to see yourself as He does (1 Samuel 16:7b).

About the Book:

She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.

With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.

When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

About Kelly: 

Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi. Her debut novel, A Love Restored, released June 29th from Pelican Book Group.

Purchase on Amazon https://amzn.to/2J2wBAz
Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble https://bit.ly/2KhDiCE
You can connect with Kelly on:

About the Giveaway:
Kelly is giving away a $5 Amazon gift card and a charm with a quote from A Love Restored. You won't want to miss out on this one!
Kelly writes ... Your Turn: Have you ever been plagued by self-doubt? If so, in what area of your life? How did you overcome it? 
To be entered in the drawing is easy: Just leave a comment with your name and email contact info (in case you're the winner) and respond to her question ... this part is optional, but it would be great to share. Our readers can encourage you.
Giveaway ends one week from today on Thursday, July 12, at MIDNIGHT CDT.

Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your beautiful romantic story with our readers.