Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Clash of the Titles Oct-Nov 2016

It's the end of our CLASH year, and we've lined up some awesome holiday reading (and gift ideas!) for this month's Clash of the Titles.
Vote for your Ideal curl up in front of a fire read!


Scroll through these releases and cast your vote for your perfect idea of a next read.
It's a tough choice, but it's up to you to determine our Clash Champion!


30901142

Risking Love
Brenda S. Anderson


A play-it-safe bank employee falls for a down-on-his-luck, risk-taking widower.
Can she risk loving a man whose home she may have to take away?

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An Unexpected Role
Leslea Wahl


Josie's island getaway becomes the summer of her dreams as friendships grow,
romance blossoms and a series of thefts surround her with excitement. But as
she sets out to solve the mystery she has become entangled in, she not only
realizes the importance of relying on her faith but along the way also
discovers her true self.

26001111

Forest Child
Heather Day Gilbert


Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable,
conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life and is Book Two in the
bestselling Vikings of the New World Saga.


29430781 

Can't Help Falling
Kara Isaac


A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a
mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and
picturesque Oxford, England.


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The Cautious Maiden
Dawn Crandall


In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with
a taciturn acquaintance; Vance Everstone. With danger stalking her and a new
fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust
and who to leave behind. 




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The Thorn Healer
Pepper D. Basham

A wounded nurse battles resentment against a German prisoner as the two work together to save an Appalachian town from deception and disease in the wake of World War 1.




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Friday, November 25, 2016

"Greater Love" - a novel by Carol Kinsey

 Please welcome author Carol Kinsey as she shares a bit about her new book release, Greater Love.

 Greater Love
Trey Netherland is an FBI agent on a mission. Working undercover at a Christian university, Trey tries to win the heart of Rainey Meadows, the woman who can help him solve this case. What Trey didn’t expect was for her to steal his heart. Deceived by the man she thought she loved, Rainey wants answers. Trey wants the bad guy. Together, Rainey and Trey find themselves in the heart of Columbia searching for different things. 

As Rainey struggles to learn who she is, Trey is torn between the lies he’s told her and the Truth that is fighting to reach his heart. Tangled in a dangerous plot, can Rainey trust the man whose lies put her heart in turmoil? Will Trey finally cry out to the only One who can truly set him free? There is only one Truth and it’s in Him they find Greater Love.

Buy Link for Greater Love:


Social Media Links


Additional Thoughts:

An author friend of mine once told me my writing is “unapologetically Christian.” Her compliment was a huge encouragement to me. While I want my novels to be action packed, suspenseful stories my readers can’t put down, my number one priority is that my writing brings glory to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I want it to represent truth, to be honorable and pure. I don’t want to write anything that would make a person stumble morally. 
Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (NASB). 

Writing brings me joy, and much of that joy comes from seeing my writing used as a tool to encourage my readers in their walk with the Lord, answer tough spiritual questions, and help non-believers understand what it means to be a follower of Christ. Philippians 4:8 is my standard and I pray that God will use my books not only to entertain but to bring glory to Himself.


Carol Kinsey lives with her husband and their two daughters on a farm in rural Ohio. She and her husband have been involved in youth ministry for over twenty years and currently serve at a small country church, which inspired her first published novel, Under the Shadow of a Steeple. She has also independently published Greater LoveUntil Proven Innocent, and a writing curriculum, Creative Writing Through Literature, which launched in 2016. Carol is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and co-founded The Writing Family with authors, Amy C. Blake and Colleen Scott. Together with Amy and Colleen, Carol speaks on developing the writer in yourself and your child at various homeschool conventions, libraries, and author events. Along with her fiction, Carol is also published in several nonfiction venues. She has a passion for writing exciting, Christ-centered fiction that uplifts, encourages, and gives glory to God. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Hymn Story ♦ Lucy Adams

 Once again, I'm thrilled to bring you another of Lucy Adams' Hymn Stories especially for today.  Enjoy!

 Come Ye Thankful People Come
by Lucy Adams

What messages were we speaking when we were 16 years old?  Maybe a lot of silly talk and probably not what a young boy, named Henry, wrote in the front of his Bible:

      "I do this day, in the presence of God and my own soul, renew my covenant with God and solemnly determine henceforth to become His, and to do His work as far as in me lies."

Henry Alford was born in London, England on October 7, 1810.  He was nurtured by Christian parents and greatly influenced by a grandfather and a father who were Anglican clergyman.  Their example before him, apparently led to his personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

Upon graduation from Trinity College, Cambridge, he began his lifelong ministry as theologian, poet and musician.
Dr. Alford was eventually appointed as dean of Canterbury Cathedral, known as the "mother-church of England".

His death in 1871 at the age of 61 left a void in the hearts of many people whom God had touched through his ministry.  But the world was left with one of the most memorable hymns of thanksgiving.  It was written to celebrate the times of harvest festival in the English countryside.  It is an invitation to join the festivities in loving response to a faithful God:
        "Come ye, thankful people, come.  Raise the song of harvest home.  All is safely gathered in er'e the winter storms begin."

The following two stanzas summarize the parable that Jesus tells about the wheat and tares in Matthew 13 .  The hymn closes with a prayer of anticipation about "our final harvest home" which is heaven!

After it was first published in 1844, it appeared later in the Anglican church hymnal to be sung to a tune composed by the organist, George Elvey, in the royal chapel of Windsor Castle.  It is the one we still use today.

Henry Alford fulfilled  his commitment to his Lord, as he lived out the promise he made at age 16.  His life was a testimony to that promise and this one song is a tribute to that life.

Praise God that we can also  joyfully  read in Psalm 100: "Make a joyful noise to the Lord" and we are free to "enter His gates with thanksgiving!"

Lucy N. Adams

http://www.52hymns.com/ 

Below is a YouTube video of the choir and congregation of (I assume, according to the caption) St. Georges's Cathedral at Windsor. The lyrics are provided so you can sing along.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy for Your Winter Reading Consideration

 What a fun post we have up for today. Author Tanya Eavenson put together a fun Q&A for herself and the six other authors in this new set of novella stories just for winter reading. Sit back, relax, and enjoy finding out a bit about these authors and their individual stories that make up this set.

Ready?

Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy: 7 Christian Winter Romances

Snuggle up with seven brand new, never before published Christian winter romances from bestselling and award-winning authors. Kids and babies abound in this collection of novellas that will warm your heart all winter long.
Exciting 7-Book Novella Set for Winter Reading- Buy links below

One Winter Kiss - Lindi Peterson - Deena Ross travels to Ohio to try and sway her grandfather from making a big mistake, a mistake his neighbor Andrew has been encouraging. When a winter storm hits, and Deena is forced to stay with Andrew and his young son, Evan, Deena's vision of love is tested and she might lose her heart in one winter kiss.

Childish Ways - Jenn Faulk - Kevin Peterson, a teacher at a small town elementary school, is unexpectedly reunited with Lisa Walker, a girl who spent most of their childhood tormenting and bullying him, when she comes back to town where she helps organize a winter carnival to benefit her niece's school. Lisa has no idea who he is, though, and as they work alongside one another and Kevin sees how much she has changed, he begins to question whether or not he can really trust her and let her into his life.

The Baby & the Bachelor - Cindy K. Green - Playboy bachelor, Alec, discovers a baby on his doorstep only days away from being appointed to a political office, prompting him to appeal his assistant, Jane, for help.  Misunderstandings and accusations from the press abound, leading Alec to wonder, even if he were prepared for a ready-made family, could sweet, church-going Jane ever find it in her heart to marry a sinner like him?

For Tracy - Trisha Grace - One phone call led to Sarah Carter becoming the guardian of her favorite student, Tracy, while waiting for Tracy’s Uncle Keith to show up. But Sarah has no idea Uncle Keith was Keith Sutton, Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, and doesn’t realize how much trouble she is heading for.

Tropical Kiss Or Miss - Liwen Y. Ho - Therapist Olivia Chan can’t wait to escape it all—a failed marriage, a struggling practice, and her son’s recent health scare. The Hawaiian getaway she planned, however, gets rained on—quite literally—by a tropical storm and the unexpected arrival of her estranged husband Matthew, who’s determined to win her back.

To Gain a Mommy - Tanya Eavenson - When Hope Michaels decides to face her past, she unknowingly purchases the house across the street from her former fiancĂ©—the man her twin sister married, then widowed. Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him—some things never change.

Foolish Heart - Cindy Flores Martinez - Judy and Graham have feelings for each other, but they won’t admit it. After all, she lives in America and he lives in Scotland with his daughter, Mairi, who he could never leave to be with the woman he loves.

♦ ♦ ♦

Fun Q & A for the Authors: Would You Rather . . .

1) Would you rather drink coffee or tea?

Cindy K. Green: This is an easy one for me. I am a total tea drinker. (In fact, I am one of those odd ones who actually hates coffee!) If you came to my house, I would have a myriad of different types of teas to choose from, and I would serve it to you in a proper cup and saucer (no mugs please). My favorite is green tea with a bend of acai and blueberry.

2) Would you rather live on the east coast or on the west coast of the US?

Lindi Peterson: I love this question because I’m on the east coast, in Georgia, while my brother and his family live in Seattle, the city I call my favorite city in America. I’ve spent a few weeks in Seattle over the years, but never for an extended period of time. If you’ve never been you must go! The green is different in Seattle. It’s hard to explain, but it’s how I see it. The city itself is amazing, Lake Washington and the surrounding area is beautiful. Seattle is my west coast experience and I’ve said for years if the rest of my family would move there with me I’d go in a heartbeat. But they won’t, and I’m kind of partial to living with my husband, so I’m staying on the east coast. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful here, too. We have coastline and mountains within a short driving distance. So my east coast body wants to live on the west coast, but that may simply be a case of the grass is always greener on the other side. (No pun intended on the green thing!)

3) Would you rather have a castle in Scotland or a countryside villa in Italy?

Trisha Grace: This is a tough one! I love historical romance, so a castle in Scotland would be a dream come true. But I have a soft spot for Italy, too. It’s a beautiful country, and I went there for my honeymoon. If I really have to choose, I’ll rather have a . . . castle in Scotland. As beautiful as a countryside villa in lovely Italy would be, I’ve never been to Scotland. For a city girl, a castle is something I’ve only ever seen in movies and pictures. So yeah, castle in Scotland it is!

4) Would you rather watch a football game or baseball game?

Jenn Faulk: Honestly, I would much prefer to watch a basketball game over football or baseball either one! But if given a choice between the two in this question, I would pick football, mainly because baseball moves sooooo slowly. I went to a MLB game with my husband a couple of months ago (he got me there by promising me a lot of trips to the concession stand), and we made it all the way to the fifth inning with NO home runs! I told him, “If this was an NBA game, we’d be up seventy points by now.” (See why I prefer basketball?) Football is the same! I like seeing action on the field, not everyone just standing around, ha ha!

5) Would you rather vacation on the beach or in the mountains?

Cindy Flores Martinez: I’m fortunate to live close enough to the beach and the mountains that I can visit both places. But if I had to choose only one of them to vacation at, it would have to be the beach. Although the mountains are beautiful, there’s just something about being by the ocean that’s much more exhilarating for me. I also find that the mountains are a bit more isolated compared to most beach towns, which is awkward for this suburb girl who is used to being around a lot of people.

6) Would you rather go horseback riding or whitewater rafting?

Tanya Eavenson: I love horses so horseback riding for sure! My husband and kids are another story. They go whitewater rafting every year in Georgia. I rather stay dry! =)

7) Would you rather live in Hawaii or Alaska?

Liwen Y. Ho: Definitely, without a doubt, in a heartbeat—Hawaii! I am a beach girl and the beaches of Hawaii are breathtakingly beautiful. I love Hawaii so much that I made the island of Oahu the setting for my story, Tropical Kiss Or Miss. I wouldn’t mind visiting Alaska though; I have an aunt who’s lived there for over thirty years.

 BUY LINKS for the set:


 ~ Tanya Eavenson is a bestselling author who enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and writes for Christ to the World Ministries. You can find her at her website http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/ on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Whispers for Whispers ♦ Ada Brownell

This guest post today really tickles me, and perhaps you can see why, given the title of this blog (big grin!)

Please welcome author Ada Brownell as she shares some thoughts about the subject, and talks about her new book, Peach Blossom Rancher

Also please note: FREE Books!
Ada Brownell’s book, Peach Blossom Rancher, an Inspirational Historical Romance, will be FREE from 11/20 to 11/24 on Amazon: A handsome young man inherits a ranch in ruin and hopes to bring it back to its former glory and also marry a beautiful young widow who is an attorney. But she takes up the case of a brilliant doctor committed to an asylum because of one seizure. Will the rancher, the attorney, and the asylum patient achieve their dreams?

Suspense, romance, humor, murder, insanity, hope, fun, wrapped in a Western you won’t forget.
http://amzn.to/2arRVgG                                                        



Now, read on...

WHY WHISPER?
By Ada Brownell

We whisper for different reasons.

For instance, whispers can be romantic. Here a quote from my historical romance, Peach Blossom Rancher:

The next morning at the railroad station John disregarded Valerie’s black mourning dress, pulled her close and pressed his ready lips to her lightly painted ones. She blinked, and her eyes opened with surprise. Yet elegance radiated from her whole body.

“We didn’t have much time together,” he whispered near a small ear that held a diamond earring. A pleasing fragrance filled his nostrils. “I don’t want you to forget me when you get to Boston."

A whisper can also keep the wrong people from hearing what you say. This conversation occurs in an asylum for the insane in the same book.

Dillon, a physician committed because of one seizure, introduced them to Jimmy Cook, a former teacher paralyzed from the waist down, admitted only because of the paralysis.

A short distance from the other patients, Dillon told about Curly Hicks who had a thought disorder and Bobby Ward, who tried to kill his stepfather.

Archibald grasped Dillon’s shoulder. “Is there any way you can contact me?”

Dillon bent toward his ear, but Valerie could hear. “There is one really nice guard. I think he might mail a letter for me.”

“We anticipated that.” Archibald slid paper, two envelopes, and stamps from underneath his shirt.

Valerie turned her back, reached into her bosom, and brought out two pencils and handed them to Dillon. “Be careful,” she whispered. “The wrong person could use these as a weapon.”

The Bible talks about whisperers, who cause harm. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 47:1 “All who hate me whisper together against me; Against me they devise my hurt.”

Some of us whisper when we pray. Here’s another example from Peach Blossom Rancher:

Abe prayed a powerful prayer for each person around the table, and goose bumps raised over John as he whispered his own prayer before lifting his head. Tears pooled in Bellea’s eyes but didn’t spill onto her cheeks.

Another quote: The sheriff’s voice sounded like he’d been eating sauerkraut. He stared at John. “I’ll wait until after Doc examines him and talk to a few people, but if I don’t get some answers, I’ll have to put you in jail.”

“Jesus, help me,” John whispered. With all he had to do on the ranch, he didn’t have time to sit in jail and wait for an incompetent sheriff to decide how B.J. died.

Many times I’ve sent a heavenward prayer in a whisper.

“God carries a big stick, doesn’t he Ada?” a co-worker asked me in the midst of a debate I wasn’t even a part of. What could I say? I knew everyone in the newsroom could hear my answer.
“Help, Lord!” I whispered.

Immediately I said, “I don’t know how we can look at [the]cross and say that.”

Another time a young friend came to see me and told me her widowed dad had remarried.

“I hate her!” she said. “He does all sorts of nice things for her he never did for my mom.”

I didn’t want to encourage such feelings. “Help me, Lord,” I barely breathed.
Immediately I had the answer. “Your dad gives her those good things because he wishes he’d done them for you mother,”

The girl and the stepmother developed a loving relationship after that.

God even whispers.

Elijah ran for his life when Jezebel wanted to kill him. Thinking he was the only prophet left, he hid in a cave. When God first tried to get Elijah’s attention the Lord commanded, “Go out, and stand on the mountain.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind, an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 
Elijah heard it, wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. God said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13 (KJV)

That experience set Elijah’s feet back on the right path doing things for God.

Solomon wrote, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is the author of seven books and more than 350 articles and stories published in Christian magazines. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers. She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Her books: Read sample chapters on Amazon or listen to the first chapter of Imagine the Future You. Her Amazon author page is https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

Connect with Ada at:

Monday, November 21, 2016

What goes into creating a book cover design? ♦ Jean Ann Williams

For the past several months, this blog has been featuring many author releases as spotlights, sometimes including a 'Story Behind the Story' article. This time, I thought it would be fun to focus on a 'Story Behind the COVER' article, and for that, I'm very pleased to bring you "Just Claire" with some details about this cover. So sit back and enjoy . . .

♦ ♦ ♦

The Story Behind Just Claire’s Book Cover & Trailer

by Jean Williams @JeanAnnWilliams

I opened my email and gasped. Staring at me was my first ever book cover, Just Claire. Not only did I think it perfect, but I liked the vibrant colors. I leaned closer. The girl model is facing the river with her back to the viewer, and she seemed familiar. As though one of the river boulders shot off the book cover, I gasped, again.This book cover character was the very image of my granddaughter, Carley Rose, everything down to the model’s colorful outfit. At the age of my main character, Carley wore out the colors pink and red. Also, Carley’s hair is the exact shade of red, and she has a well-rounded head just like the model. My granddaughter has always been lanky, so is the character on the book cover.

I wrote the designer and told her my story, and she, also, was astonished.

Last but not least, Carley had read Just Claire’s manuscript and gave detailed suggestions. In my opinion, the book cover model should look like my granddaughter.

For Just Claire’s You Tube book trailer, I worked with the designer. Because Carley was so evident on the book cover, I chose Carley for the voice over and she read off of the book blurb. The first photo in the book trailer is of Carley, when she was the same age as my MC.

Computer savvy, Carley made this experience a delight with helping me figure out how to send the taped voice over to the designer. Being in school drama, Carley knew how to become the main character in the voice over.

Also, the designer did an excellent job using video footage of young people who reflect secondary characters in Just Claire. One student even wore a lavender shirt, and I used lavender as part of the name of a girls’ club.

Author Jean Williams
After working on Just Claire for twenty years, I believe in the publication process God sprinkled sweet blessings on this book by making the cover and trailer a perfect fit.

And here, as promised, is the video book trailer for Just Claire: (Be sure your sound is on!)


Friday, November 18, 2016

Another 'Story Behind the Story' ♦ Janetta Fudge Messmer

Please welcome author Janetta Fudge Messmer as she shares the Story Behind the Story here this week. Thank you so much, Janetta, this is a great behind-the-scenes peek into your books.  Now, take it away, as they say!

My debut novel, Early Birds, was a God thing from the beginning. And the story started when we rescued our dog, Maggie, in 2012.

Every night when we came home from work, our new pooch would have such a forlorn look on her face when we let her out of her crate. One evening my hubby said, “Hon, I think she’s telling us to quit our jobs, get an RV, and hit the road. She wants us to spend more time with her.”

Trust me, Maggie didn’t audibly tell us to do all of the above, but us teasing about her ‘saying’ it got us thinking. Since Ray would turn 60 on his next birthday and could retire early—this RV thing sounded like something to pursue.

The idea got me thinking, too. What a splendid idea for a book? And it came from our four-legged friend. Who’d have thought?

September 1, 2013 the three of us headed out in our truck and 5th wheel trailer. November of that year, during NaNoWriMo (National Novel WritingMonth), I wrote a rough draft (52,000+) of Early Birds.


I tell people (at book signings or anyone who will listen), “The book is loosely based on our life. Our dog told us to quit our jobs, sell everything, buy an RV, and hit the road. I added two other quirky characters, since we’re boring. Ben, Betsy, Rose and Larry get On the Road Again. J

Yes, Willie Nelson came along for a ride in my book, or at least his song did. But first I had to get permission to use the lyrics to On the Road Again. This proved harder than writing the novel, but six months after I first contacted Mr. Nelson, I had the okay to use his song.

A happy day, for sure. But an even happier one occurred when Cynthia Hickey (Winged Publication) published Early Birds January 25, 2016. Ever since, I’ve been doing a joyful jig (and promoting the book, writing Book #2—Southbound Birds, and traveling in our RV). 


Southbound Birds (another NaNoWriMo—November 2015) happened because the characters, especially Rose Wilford, wouldn’t shut up. She kept talking and the other characters followed along. What could I do, but listen to them and write another book?

Back cover blurb:

Rose and Larry Wilford are hitting the highway on their next RV adventure. Ben and Betsy Stevenson are right behind them in their 5th wheel. The other two Early Birds, Jeff and Mary Miller, promise to hook up with them as soon as they finish some ‘business’ in Colorado.

On their way to Florida, they make a stop in Mississippi. Soon Rosie wonders if they’ll ever get On the Road Again. The RVs have stalled in Biloxi and it has nothing to do with mechanical issues in any of their rigs. They’ve found another church that needs their help.

Rose, Betsy and Mary spend their days as fashion consultants, dressing young women for success (or as Rosie says, “Playing dress up.”). Larry, Ben and Jeff, they’re up to their eyeballs in sheetrock and drywall mud, and any other handyman task they can find to do.

The one thing Rosie has decided, if and when they start traveling toward the Sunshine State, she’ll still occupy the passenger seat of their dually. No driving for her. Larry can pester her all he wants.

And the fact her bestest friend, Betsy, drove their albatross on I-10 and lived to tell about it, won’t change her mind either. The only way Rose will get behind the wheel is if the Lord, Himself, figures out a way to put her there. ‘Cause at the moment, F.E.A.R. is her middle name.

Instead of legally changing her name or letting trepidation win, Rosie does what she does best. She PRAYS. Larry, on the other hand, is having troubles too. His prayer is that their 5th wheel survives his driving and he’s not sure it will. One more mishap and he’s handing the keys to his wife.

The Early Birds continue to have as many surprises as the state of Florida has palm trees. So why don’t you come along, if you dare. Rose, Larry, Ben, Betsy, Jeff and Mary (and some new friends) would love to have you join them on their travels across the U.S.A.  

There you have the story behind my debut novel, Early Birds and the sequel, Southbound Birds. I’m working on a third called Girly Birds (remember, it’s November again). It’s a novella set in Estes Park, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain National Park. Release date: June 2017.

So you see, it’s always good to listen to the voices in your head. In my case, it was the Lord and our precious pooch, Maggie. Together we were able to make people laugh and share the gospel. Life doesn’t get any better than that.

Happy Writing!!!
Janetta Fudge Messmer

PS: If you’ve never done NaNoWriMo, try it. I’m not sure why this method works for me, but it does. I believe it’s the challenge of writing every day and sticking to the word count. The challenge also helps me stay on track.


Janetta Fudge-Messmer is an inspirational author, editor and speaker. She's received Honorable Mention for fiction and nonfiction articles from Byline Magazine. She also received Honorable Mention for a fiction article from Writer's Digest Magazine. Her article, "A Working Relationship" was published in Guideposts Magazine. Guideposts Books published, "Shorthaired Miracle”. Along with writing, Janetta also speaks at seminars, helping others to “Tell Your Story”. Janetta, her husband Ray and precious pooch Maggie, became full-time RVers in 2013 and love traveling around the USA in their Minnie Winnie.


SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Early Birds and Southbound Birds are Available on Amazon: https://goo.gl/rd0X4T  




Thursday, November 17, 2016

God's Calling to Write ♦ Kathy Ide




God’s Calling to Write

By Kathy Ide

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
Have you ever read an article, book, or story that really touched your heart? Did you ever think about what had to happen for that piece to get into your hands?
Before you could read it, someone had to buy it from someplace. That place had to purchase it from a publisher, who had to get it from an author. Before that, the author had to have the idea to write it. Even before that, God had to touch that author’s heart with a call to write.
God knows how long it takes to get a manuscript written (and rewritten, revised, edited, proofread), accepted, and published. He also knows who is going to need to read what He wants an author to write, and He knows precisely when those people are going to need it.
Since God knows all that, and since His timing is perfect, we can relax! We can trust that He called us at the right time, and He gave us everything we need to fulfill His plan.
Think again about that piece you read that touched your heart. What if the author had let rejection letters or the cost of a writers’ conference or some critical comments from an editor crush her spirit so that she turned her back on God’s calling? Then the moment when God touched your heart would never have happened.
If God is calling you to write, that’s every bit as important as if He were calling you to a foreign missions field. Being a writer is a lot like being a missionary.
Missionaries go through extensive training, including learning the language and cultures of the countries they’re traveling to. Writers need to learn everything they can about how to best reach their target audience.
Missionaries need sponsors. Writers need people who can support them emotionally, financially, and through prayer.
Missionaries are often misunderstood. Your loved ones may question why you’re working so hard at something that seems to have so little reward.
Missionaries sometimes suffer squalid conditions and adverse circumstances because they believe in their calling. If God has called you to write, you may have to squeeze in writing time and costs among all your other priorities.
Missionaries are often rejected by the people they are trying to reach. If you submit queries, proposals, or manuscripts to publishing houses, you will be rejected. But you mustn’t let a few—or even several—rejections sway you from the task God has called you to.
A missionary can reach many people. An author can reach countless individuals through a book or article or story or play script or screenplay.
If God is calling you to be His witness through writing, you have His promise to receive power from the Holy Spirit to fulfill that task.

Kathy Ide is a published author/ghostwriter, editor/mentor, and writers’ conference speaker. In addition to being the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, she is the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover's Devotional series.

Kathy is a co-owner of the Christian Editor Network, parent company to The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, the Christian Editor Connection, the PEN Institute, and PENCON. She is also the director for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference and the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference.

To find out more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com.


Peg here: Many thanks to Kathy for sharing this post here today. In a  newsletter I used to write many eons ago, I frequently closed with "If you can't write . . . write anyway . . . anything . . . even if it's complete gibberish."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Behind The Hymn/Song ♦ Lucy Adams


     "GOD BLESS AMERICA"

by Lucy Neeley Adams


Throughout the year it is a joy to sing this lovely song.  From January to December there are various celebrations in which it is used.  July 4th with the bright fireworks, our beautiful flags and our voices singing ,bring back memories of fun and fellowship.  Now we are singing it as we anticipate new presidential leadership in America.  Our great country is built on prayers from our past,  for our present and our  future.  That is what has made America such a powerful nation.

During the happy times we can also remember the dark times, when we have sung this with voices of sadness.  Through tears, we prayed that God would "stand beside us and guide us through the night, with His light, from above."

One such time was September 11, 2001.  Nothing went as planned that day. We sat frozen in horror before our television sets and saw destruction like we had not ever seen in our beloved land.  But hearts were comforted as we came together with love and compassion.  This song was sung by thousands and it was an appropriate response to such sadness in our country.

The amazing thing about "God Bless America" is that it was composed by Irving Berlin for a Broadway play in New York City.  After it was written in 1918, it was replaced by another.  Filing it away, Berlin thought, "there may be some other time when that song will be needed."

Years later, he retrieved the old song he had written twenty years earlier.  He rearranged the lyrics, wrote the beautiful melody and "God Bless America" was born in 1938 to a very receptive audience - our whole country!

Berlin was a gift to America.  He was born in 1888 in Russia, and his family came to this country at the turn of the century.  He became an American citizen and wrote hundreds of unforgettable songs.  Evidence of his devotion for his adopted homeland can be found in this song of prayer.  Millions of Americans continue to sing about the "land that I love."

The popular vocalist of that day, Kate Smith, agreed to sing it.  She introduced it to America on Nov. 11, 1938 and her dynamic voice carried it with great enthusiasm.  The rest of the story is well known history to the people who heard her on stage or on radio.  She never ended a performance without singing her trademark song, "God Bless America."

Now, watch and hear the American songstress as she performs this wonderful song for the first time:



We give praise for our great heritage and God's promise in Psalm 33:12, "Blessed be the nation whose God is the Lord."

Lucy Neeley Adams

Monday, November 14, 2016

God is at Work in Me - A Devotional offering from Sue Fairchild



GOD IS AT WORK IN ME

By Sue A. Fairchild @suefair48

About a year ago, a friend of mine asked if I would be available to edit her friend’s devotional book. I agreed and the friend contacted me. Since then, we’ve been slowly working on editing her work two to three chapters at a time. We’ve been doing it this way due to her limited budget for the work, but I’ve found that stretching out the editing has helped me as well.

At first, her work needed something more. Although her theology was spot on, the devotions lacked a sense of familiarity—a personal touch. I encouraged her to dig deeper into her own relationship with God in order to spill that onto the page for her reader. She took my advice and her work started to transform into something that began to touch my soul.

One day, after reading one of her revised chapters, I sat and cried. She had dug deep all right—deep enough to open a part of me that I hadn’t realized needed light. I marveled at the dichotomy of the situation. Here I was, her editor, correcting her words—helping her writing to shine—but really her words were helping me draw closer to God. She had achieved what she’d set out to do with her devotional: share God’s grace and love with a reader.

I thought about the verse, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 [NIV]

God was using this newfound business relationship to push and mold both of us at the same time for His greater purposes! In addition, once published this devotional book will help to bring light to even more readers! How great is our God?

Paul wrote to the believers of Philippi, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:12-13 [NASB].

God is working in both this writer and me, as her editor, for His good pleasure. He is accomplishing His will, both in us and, soon, in others, through our work together. Even in the smallest of things of our life, God is in control and is working out the details for His purpose. It is only our job to “work out our salvation” with Him so that we may be used for His will.

Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for this revelation and this friendship you have bestowed upon me. When I thought this was merely a job for me to complete, you showed me how it is so much more. May I always be open to the leading of your Spirit in all that I do. Amen.

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Sue A. Fairchild is a freelance editor and writer who specializes in substantial edits and Christian writing. She has been published in The Secret Place and The Upper Room devotion magazines as well as numerous other publications. She’d love to talk with you about editing your next big project! 

Follow and contact Sue through Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.