Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Kuwaiti Seeker" - Behind the Story - Jim Carroll - Giveaway


 How Kuwaiti Seeker Happened

~ a 'Behind the Story' post by ,Jim Carroll,
PLUS giveaway. (Details below)

After halfway retirement, I decided to take up fiction writing, something I had long intended. Since I had more than forty years’ experience in scientific writing related to my medical research career, I thought: no problem. So I began to write some stories and even a novel related to my experiences in the Middle East. I took my work to a writers’ conference where everyone was polite and kind, but I got the message. The stuff really wasn’t any good.

But I did get a helpful suggestion. My wife and I had served as missionaries in Kuwait back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. While my wife was back in the US awaiting surgery for one of our seven children, I ended up trapped in the US Embassy in Kuwait when the Iraqis invaded in August 1990. Their suggestion, “That’s a great story. Why don’t you write about that?”

My time surrounded by a half million Iraqi troops was scary, and I didn’t know if I was getting out alive. In order to preserve a record for my family if I didn’t make it home, I kept a detailed journal. My wife, Shirley, did the same as she fretted back in Augusta, Georgia with seven children and no money. Faith in Crisis – How God Shows Up When You Need Him Most pretty much wrote itself.

But I still had to learn how to write fiction (still learning). Scientific writing is ‘telling.’ “The rats were sacrificed for scientific analysis.” I had to learn to ‘show.’ “As I approached the cage, the rat perked up his ears. The hair on his back stiffened straight up. When I opened the cage, he bared in his front teeth.” There’s little place for “showing” in scientific writing.

I don’t know why it was so hard for me to get difference between telling and showing. I’m still dense on it. But after lots of criticisms, Kuwaiti Seeker was born.
Why Kuwaiti Seeker? The Lord developed in us a love for the Kuwaiti people. The novel is a prayer for their conversion.

About the Book:
Yacoub, a young Kuwaiti, pursues truth in Islam. His search takes him to King’s College, London, where he abandons his traditional Islamic morals, and then to the University of Arizona for his PhD in the history of Islamic law. In his thesis, he confronts the Sunni hadiths, the words and deeds of the prophet Mohammed. Frustrated by his discoveries that many hadiths are not authentic, he continues as a Muslim, but one no longer grounded in his beliefs.

His PhD professor lures him into an affair and bears his child. Yacoub kills a child in an auto accident and avoids legal consequences through his family’s wealth.
Upon return to Kuwait to teach at Kuwait University, he marries Rabea, who becomes a Christian solely through her Bible reading. She can’t convince Yacoub. He proceeds with his shrewd lies as he cheats in currency trading and assists the Iraqis in obtaining nerve gas. He flees Kuwait and deserts his family during the Iraqi invasion.

But Rabea is still there waiting when he returns. See how God saves the reluctant Yacoub. See how much God cares for you.

About Jim:
Jim and his wife, Shirley, live in Augusta, Georgia. They have been married for 50+ years with eight children and fifteen grandchildren. Jim is a physician on the faculty at the Medical College of Georgia and an elder at First Presbyterian Church.

Jim and his family served as missionaries in Kuwait. He was held hostage in the US Embassy in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion. He has worked and traveled extensively in the Middle East.

Jim writes about the Middle East, the weakness of men and women, and the strength of God.

Social Media Contacts:
Twitter: Jim Carroll@JcarrollJames

Books by Jim:
Faith in Crisis – How God Shows Up When You Need Him Most
Diwaniya Stories
Kuwaiti Seeker
About the Giveaway:
Jim is offering to give away TWO paperback copies of Kuwaiti Seeker to two of my readers who leave a comment. Winner will be notified via email, so be sure to leave that information in your comment. Giveaway ends one week from today, July 3, 2018, at Midnight, CDT.

Monday, June 25, 2018

My “Entangled” Regret + #Giveaway ~ Julie Arduini

Whispers in Purple is pleased to once again welcome author Julie Arduini back, this time sharing her writing story on Everything Old is New Again. PLUS, she's offering a free copy of this featured bool. See below for details.

Take it away, Julie. 

My “Entangled” Regret + #Giveaway

by Julie Arduini

One fun tradition I enjoyed with my Surrendering Time Series was hosting a book club at my home church after each release. What made the meetings different was I gave exclusive behind-the-scenes secrets to chapters, scenes, plot twists, and characters.
I remember the last meeting for Entangled, Book 2, we talked about the ending and I also shared the first chapter for the final book in the series, Engaged. Then I shared my final secret.

I really struggled writing Entangled.

I still feel guilty about that, because the feedback was strongest for that book. The theme was surrendering regret, and I believe God takes me through the theme first. When I was writing Entangled I felt God leading me to start my own writing and speaking ministry, so I created Surrendered Scribe Media. It also meant I had to re release the first book, Entrusted, under Surrendered Scribe Media. Formatting for print and eBook are separate, so by the end of Entangled, I actually released four books within two weeks.
I also attended our oldest son’s out-of-state wedding and hosted our other son’s high school graduation.

My stress was so high I literally made myself ill. I forgot to eat and drink and ended up dehydrated and honestly, bitter.

Yet, a month or so later after starting the book club, I was struck with my own regret. The ladies were devouring Entangled. They were finding treasures from God I didn’t even know I wrote. They dug far deeper into the book than I had. They were having fun. I had not, and I regretted that.

I think being overwhelmed was a big factor, and I also couldn’t relate to the heroine like I had with Jenna in Entrusted. Carla is a single mom full of regret because she became a mom when she was still in high school. She was gifted an amazing opportunity and struggled the entire time because she felt undeserving. Carla’s unworthiness was so deep she sabotaged her blessings. It was a difficult situation to write. Two years later, I’m in awe of Carla. She’s stronger than she gives herself credit for. Turns out, I learned a lot about myself through her, especially when it comes to surrendering regret.
Now I can say I’m really proud of Entangled.


A twenty-minute run. That’s all I need. Just enough time to feel free.
Instead, the Hamilton County DA places a neon green gift bag in my hand. He then looks to the crowd. “Just forty-eight hours and our very own Carla Rowling will go from handcuffs to haircuts.”
The Piseco Inn meeting room is wall-to-wall people. My fellow law enforcement, paramedic, and fire and rescue colleagues hand me gifts and joke at the idea of me leaving for beauty school.
I paste on a smile as I lift a pair of black running shoes with hot pink trim from layers of tissue paper, but my focus is on my breathing. Steady and even. Like when I’m running.
“From squad car to standing all day. What a switch.” Fred Beebe, retired bank president, grins.
I stand and balance my arm on Joanie, the county dispatcher, as I slip off the three-inch heels I borrowed from my best friend Jenna and try on the comfy shoes.
“Hey, Carla! Will you wear those as you run with scissors to chase perps out of your hair salon?” Jack Hunt, my replacement, snorts from laughing too hard.
“Do they fit?” Joanie looks to the empty box on the floor where wrapping paper and ribbon litter the area.
I nod, let go, and sit. “They’re so comfortable I’m going to wear them for the rest of my party.” And as soon as I can, break these sneakers in. There's nothing like the feel of new running shoes, and no better time to use them than when the walls feel like they’re closing in.
Will Marshall, my truck-driving boyfriend of less than a year, adjusts his bright orange hunting cap and places his hand over mine. “Carla, those shoes are going to be great for the long days at your salon.” He turns to Joanie and winks. “What a nice gift. You all have the best ideas to transform our favorite sheriff to our new stylist.”
Looking around, I see my former colleagues from around Hamilton, the only county in New York State that doesn’t have traffic lights. The people smile and chant my name. Their grins seem sincere as they point to the table full of packages. Gifts I’ll never deserve.
“C’mon, keep opening your presents so we can have cake.” My thirteen-year old son, Noah, never wastes time, especially when it comes to food. He walks over and grabs a stack of wrapped boxes
I sigh and rest my moist hands on my lap. “Okay. Hand me another. By the looks of that pile, we’ll be here all week.”
Will chuckles. “Sweetie, you don’t have that kind of time. You start beauty school in two days.”
I glance at the door, my breathing no longer steady, but fast. Beads of sweat form at my hairline and I regret not putting my hair in a ponytail without bangs. Probably everyone’s counting the perspiration drops falling on my jeans.
I have to run.

Where to find Julie:

Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG

Julie says ... I’d love to give away a free copy of Entangled. Leave a comment below with something that was hard for you to surrender, and I’ll choose a random winner to receive a copy of Entangled. US winner can choose between softcover or eBook. International winner automatically receives eBook. If you need ideas, Entrusted was about surrendering fear, loss, and change. Entangled was about regret, and Engaged was about surrendering dreams for God’s plans. Drawing ends one week from today on Monday, July 2, at Midnight CDT.

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Devotional Within a Devotional ~ June Foster ~Giveaway

Scripture Comes Alive: A Devotional Within a Devotional

by June Foster

I love the Bible app on my phone because there are an abundance of devotionals available.https://www.bible.com/ For example, some of the devotionals can be found under categories such as peace, joy, love, anxiety, healing, anger, hope, depression, and on and on.

I chose the topic joy and have learned so much. With the wealth of scriptures in this plan, I read each, thinking of its relevance in my life.

For example, "And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10 is one to ponder and take to heart.

The author, Craig Denison, (https://www.first15.org/sites Psalm 16:8-11:

 "I have set the Lord always before me because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices. My flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make know to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." 

Wow. I'm reminded to take each one of those words to heart.

At the end of the devotional, the author writes of Paul's prayer to the Colossians. As I read it, I pictured the first century apostle with eyes closed and bearded face bowed down. He seemed to place a weathered hand on my shoulder, "May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy."

I could see him and hear those words. What a blessing to start the day with! You can read the scriptures in the same way as well.

About the book:
All Brooke Cantrell wants is two weeks to live Brooke Radcliff's life. But the one person who knows the truth resides in the room next to hers at Sunlight Peaks Guest Ranch. When Brooke falls in love with the handsome wrangler who works on the ranch, will her employer's daughter tell him the truth Brooke hides?

Garrett Bowman has finally found peace under Wyoming skies at Sunrise Peaks Guest Ranch. Never again will he return to the demanding corporate life in Seattle, Washington. But will the guests recognize him from the incriminating newspaper and magazine articles eighteen months ago?

When Garrett's dog, Fritz, is in grave danger, an intriguing guest helps Garrett get his golden doodle to the vet. As Fritz heals, he whines and begs until he can lay his head in Brooke Radcliff's comfortable lap. Fritz has fallen in love, but so has Garrett.

If Garrett discovers Brooke's secret, will he walk away from her? If Brooke learns Garrett's true identify, will she turn from him like all the others?

 Purchase link: https://tinyurl.com/ycjfrd7q  

June Foster
About June:
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. Her characters find themselves in tough situations but overcome through God's power and the Word. She writes edgy topics wrapped in a good story. To date, she's seen seventeen contemporary romances and several short stories published. Find June online at http://www.junefoster.com

June is offering to give away an autographed copy of A Home for Fritz to one commenter on this post.Winner will be drawn on Saturday, June 16. Be sure to leave your contact information where you can be reached if you'rethewinner. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Writer's Calling ~ Author Sherri Stewart

The Writer’s Calling
By Sherri Stewart
When I read the biographies of other writers, it always amazes me how early the writing bug caught them. Some say they started writing stories as soon as they learned to form letters. Others say they filled journals with short stories when they were in high school.
That wasn’t my experience.

If we can judge calling by what we were drawn to as children, my calling would have been teaching. I was cleaning out my mother’s attic in preparation for putting her house up for sale, and I unearthed my early report cards at the bottom of a container holding plastic plant arrangements and old Christmas cards. Apparently, my kindergarten teacher was “concerned.” She wrote that I had a proclivity for helping other students do their work instead of my own. She even suggested that my mother should consider seeking professional help for me.

Yes, Mrs. McDonald might have been right about me seeking professional help. Yet she should have recognized a budding teacher. And I did end up teaching for most of my adult life, yet I always wanted something more, and God permitted me short times to realize my dreams. In my twenties, I was a flight attendant, a very cool job. In my thirties, I taught in Christian schools and studied zoology. In my forties, I was a principal. In my fifties, I passed the California bar and worked for an immigration law firm. And in my sixties, I became a writer.

Eleven books later, I’ve come to realize two things: Callings change many times, and vocation doesn’t matter. God is at work around us. If we listen with a heart to obey even if it means making major or minor adjustments in our lives, He calls us to join him in His work. That’s what I want more than anything. To be sensitive to His slightest prompt. To be open to move at a moment’s notice. To have enough faith to put logic and comfort aside and step out. Abraham did it. Moses did it. The disciples did it. Paul did it. Corrie Ten Boom did it. I want my name to be on the list.
About the book:
Ramona Hathaway dreams of becoming a fashion designer, which will give her a chance to escape her daily struggles with a drunk stepfather and cross the railroad tracks for the last time. But she’s also a realist—with one ragged dress to her name, no one gives her a second glance. Until she meets Ben Farris, the son of the wealthiest man in town. Their love deepens with every tryst on Hidden Ledge. 

But when Ben’s father finds out, he issues an ultimatum—promise never to see Ben again and he’ll help her realize her dream, but if she refuses, he’ll make sure she spends the next ten years in prison for what she did to her stepfather. 

Ramona makes her choice, but how will she forgive the men that forced her choice, and how will she forgive herself?

About Sherri:
Sherri Stewart loves a good suspense novel. When life threw a curve at her family, she picked up pen and paper (well, she opened her laptop) and started writing. Was it therapy or an obsession? Probably both. Her careers as teacher, principal, flight attendant and lawyer have provided fodder for her books. She's a member of Word Weavers, ACFW, (American Christian Fiction Writers) and the California Bar. She lives in the Orlando area with her husband Bobby, son Joshua, and Lilith the dog. When she's not writing or teaching, you'll find her walking the Disney parks for exercise and thinking through plot lines.

Social Media Contacts

Books by Sherri Stewart

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Kimberly Rose Johnson ~ Behind the Story ~ Sleuth's Miscalculation

The Story Behind The Sleuth’s Miscalculation

By Kimberly Rose Johnson

Hi, Kimberly. Welcome to Whispers in Purple! II'm eager to hear all about this mystery! So let's go.
Thanks for having me back on your blog Peggy. It’s always fun to visit.

As I ponder the story behind The Sleuth’s Miscalculation, I need to dig deep into the recesses of my mind. I first started this story several years ago. I was between projects and the idea came to me, so I sat at my computer and started writing. Thankfully, I also wrote a synopsis, because when I revisited this story I couldn’t remember what I’d had planned. Sometimes I don’t have time to finish a project. That’s what happened with this book. I had to quit writing it to work on a series for a book that I’d sold while I’d been working on this.

Let’s back up to what inspired this book. I’ve always been intrigued by the Nancy Drew Mystery series and those books are what inspired this series. My sleuth is Nancy Daley and her mom is the county sheriff. Nancy consults for the department when there are petty crimes that need to be solved.

In The Sleuth’s Miscalculation, Nancy is tasked with helping the new deputy in town figure out who is stealing license plates off of cars. He is none too happy about the arrangement either. I’ve never had the desire to write a murder mystery, so that is why my Nancy helps solves petty crimes.

Because I love romance, all of my books have romance including this one. My publisher and I are calling this a romantic mystery. Basically, it’s a romance story with a strong mystery thread. I think I’ve been moving this direction with all of the books I’ve written for my current publisher. She has asked me without fail to include a small mystery in every book I’ve written for her, but in the case of this book, the mystery is an integral part of the plot.

There you have it, the story behind the story. I had so much fun writing The Sleuth’s Miscalculation that I immediately dove into the next book in the series. My only regret is I can’t start writing the third book just yet because I have another project I need to work on.

I hope you enjoyed hearing how this book came to be. Have you ever read a romantic mystery? Not to be confused with a cozy mystery, or a romantic suspense. If so, what was you favorite thing about it? If not, I hope you’ll check out The Sleuth’s Miscalculation.  Thanks for joining me today!

The Sleuth’s Miscalculation: 

Two strong-willed sleuths team up to solve a mystery. Can they work together, or will their differences pull them apart?

Librarian Nancy Daley loves a good mystery and enjoys moonlighting as a consultant for the sheriff’s department. When license plates go missing in Tipton County, she’s on the case. This time things are different—she’s been partnered with the new deputy, and he’s not interested in her help. To make matters worse, she’s angered the wrong person and is now being threatened.

Sheriff Deputy Carter Malone expects Tipton, Oregon to be a sleepy small-town, but he miscalculated. He’d come to town for a fresh start with his nephew—one without the issues big cities deal with. Had he made a mistake? To complicate matters, he’s told he must consult with the sheriff’s daughter, who is not in law enforcement. When the minor case they are working morphs into something more, things quickly go from harmless to scary.

Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late, and more importantly, what will they do about their growing attraction?

Kimberly Rose Johnson: 

Faith Hope and Love Reader's Choice Finalist, Kimberly Rose Johnson, married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

You can sign up for Kimberly's newsletter via her website at: http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/index.html

Where to Contact Kimberly: