Monthly Archives: August 2013

What Stands Forever?


1 Peter 1:24

This old oak tree sits on the property behind my house. It’s branches hang above a corner of my yard and it puts a smile on my face when I look at it’s beauty. Admittedly, I don’t enjoy raking up the huge leaves it drops in the fall that cover half of my yard, but it’s worth it to have such a wonderful tree nearby. I think I may enjoy this old oak as much after all the leaves have fallen as when it’s branches are covered.But unlike the word of the Lord this oak won’t stand forever.

There is something that will stand forever and that is God’s word. The truth inside the Bible is worth digging into and following the guidance offered. Let’s spend time daily in God’s word. I like to read a chapter or two from the New Testament and then something from Psalms or Proverbs.

What works for you? Perhaps you’d be willing to share how you get into God’s word for those who haven’t yet tried, or don’t regularly.


Climbing Heartbreak Hill


Welcome, Joselyn. Please tell us about Climbing Heartbreak Hill.

Professional runner, Ryan Grant, blows out his knee training for another attempt at the Boston marathon and the dreaded Heartbreak Hill. Ryan retreats home, not looking for anything more than a fast recovery, but he finds solace in the arms of his tax preparer, Tara Mansfield.

Tara’s cheerleading career ended abruptly and she faces an upward climb beating the stereotype as dumb blonde in her new calling as an accountant. Framed with defrauding the IRS during the last weeks of the tax season, Tara’s tentative confidence is shaken, but Ryan coaches her in ensnaring the true perpetrator. She cheers him on in discovering his identity as a coach rather than an athlete.

With the help of the junkyard king and a mechanical bull, can Tara and Ryan find the courage to climb Heartbreak Hill together?

A portion of my proceeds from Climbing Heartbreak Hill will be donated to the One Fund Boston to help those injured at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

This sounds like a great book and something I would enjoy reading. 🙂 Is this a stand alone or part of a series?

It is a part of several related books involving Minnie and the Ladies Night Out in the little town of Carterville. Other related books are CEOs Don’t Cry, Hauntings of the Heart, and Sucker for a Hot Rod.

Great titles! What is next for you?

I have a short story coming out at the beginning of September called Sparking a Change. It’s set during a small town Independence Day celebration. I also have a full length novel in the works involving a canoe race and a multi-level marketing scheme.

Thanks for sharing with us, Joselyn and for offering to give away a copy of your book. If you would like to be entered for a chance to win a copy of Climing Heartbreak Hill you must answer the following question, which I must say is very fun and original. 😀

What is your favorite type of shoes?

Rules: You must have a U.S. address to be included in the drawing. You must answer the question. Ten qualifying comments are required for the drawing to take place. The winner will be notified September 2, 2013. You will have until September 8th to reply or forfeit the copy of the book. No other winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.

vaughn publicity

I live in the Great Lakes state with my husband, three rambunctious children and two barking Beagles (I suppose that is redundant.) When not suffering the woes of potty training three toddler/preschoolers, I enjoy reading, running (sometimes it’s fleeing the craziness at home), reconstructing clothing, thrift store shopping and surfing (I spend way too much time there and am getting all kinds of exciting ideas for projects for my husband to do. He is less than thrilled by this.)

I love writing romance because I enjoy stories where everything works out all right in the end and the main characters have a happily ever after. My stories are set in small towns with quirky characters that take on a life of their own.



Hebrews 11: 1, 3

If you read this blog regularly you may have noticed the number of comments on Monday’s post in response to our guest author’s question “Would you ever give up your faith if your spouse or fiancé asked you to?”.

For me the answer is a resounding no, but I know there are people out there who would disagree. I’m not here to judge, but to encourage. I encourage everyone with faith in the Lord to stay true to Him. The Lord will never leave you or turn His back on you.

Let’s dig into the Bible and discover what He has for us. Let’s put our hope in Him in all things, including our relationships.

A Little Bit of charm

Little Bit of Charm, A

Thanks for joining us Mary. Please tell us about A Little Bit of Charm:

A dream come true…a loss like no other…but is the price of happiness worth the cost? Rachel King, still recovering from the death of her parents, watches both of her older sisters find happiness in homes of their own with husbands who adore them. She yearns for her own new beginning. Her cousin Sarah lives near a Thoroughbred stable in Kentucky, and the opportunity to work around beautiful horses has always been Rachel’s dream. She leaves Lancaster County to find a home with Sarah and her husband, Isaac. When a job at Twelve Elms Stables opens up unexpectedly, it seems as though God has answered Rachel’s prayers. Then she meets Jake Brady, one of the owners of Twelve Elms, and her life becomes complicated. He’s attractive and charming, and his interest in her is flattering. But he’s also English as well as her boss. When Amish men she meets at church and singings start pursuing her, Rachel has important decisions to make. What does a young woman do when her heart puts her faith in jeopardy?
Is this the final book in the series, or is there more to come?
Yes, this is the final book in the New Beginnings series. It was preceded by Living in Harmony and Love Comes to Paradise. In April, Harvest House will release, A Plain Man, my next Amish fictional story, primarily from a man’s point of view.
Please tell us what inspires you to write Amish fiction.
I love writing Amish fiction! I grew up close to a large eastern Ohio Old Order settlement and now my husband and I live close to  the largest concentration in the US. I love researching, interviewing and crafting stories about these devout Christians. I lose some of my own stress and worries whenever I’m around their tidy farms and shops. I get a better perspective of what’s truly important in life, and what’s not. I can’t think of a better way to make a living!
Thanks for sharing! If you would like to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win A LIttle Bit of Charm you must answer the following question.
Would you ever give up your faith if your spouse/fiancé asked you to?
Rules: There must be at least ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Drawing is open to U.S. addresses only. I will contact the winner Monday August 26th. You will have until September 1st to respond or forfeit the book. No other winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.
Mary Ellis low res full

Mary Ellis grew up near the Amish and fell in love with them. She has now written nine bestselling novels set in their communities. When not writing, she enjoys gardening, bicycling, and swimming. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Living in Harmony, book one of her current series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Her debut Christian book, A Widow’s Hope, was a finalist for the 2010 ACFW Carol Awards. Her current release, Love Comes to Paradise has been nominated for a 2013 Lime Award from The Christian Manifesto. She can be found on the web at:


An Event to Remember

I spent this past week at the Oregon Christian Writers conference in Portland Oregon. It was an amazing time of learning and reconnecting with old and new friends. This is the view from the conference hotel.


My coaching class taught by Karen Ball was amazing. I’ve been working at learning the craft of writing since 2006, and it was cool to have an editor that I pitched to through the years teach my class. To those who don’t know, Karen is now an agent with the Steve Laube Agency.

Karen Ball and me Pic

The highlight of my week had to be when Karen asked us to do a writing exercise. At first my mind blanked, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do what she asked, then I calmed and focused. She then asked for volunteers to read what they wrote, and I bravely rose my hand–I rarely participate in group things like this, so trust me when I say this was a leap for me. I read my scene out loud, and when I was finished Karen had a huge smile on her face, and said something like good job, or well done. Let me tell you, coming from an editor that has turned down my work in the past this felt amazing! Absolutely the highlight of my week.

No matter how wonderful it felt to hear to words coming from Karen’s mouth, what ultimately matters is pleasing the Lord in all I say, do, and think. Someday I want to hear good job or well done from my savior. Now that would be a moment to celebrate! I don’t know about anyone else, but I think I would want to go dancing through the streets of heaven praising Him from the joy of hearing those simple words.

Psalm 150:6

The Rancher’s Second Chance

Cover again_2

Davalynn Spencer’s new release The Rancher’s Second Chance released August 1st. I’m always tickled to have the opportunity to interview another Heartsong Presents author. Welcome, Davalynn. Please tell us about your book.

Laura Bell returns to her childhood home in the California foothills bearing emotional wounds from a failed engagement. Thanks to the old dog belonging to rancher Eli Hawthorne III, Laura and Eli are soon reacquainted.  A veteran of battles in Afghanistan, Eli bears his own more visible scars and bristles at Laura’s insistence that our wounds do not define us. God can make all things new, she says, pointing out the fire-gutted oak that still grows and thrives in the lower pasture. But she is as reluctant as Eli when it comes to trusting the Lord for a second chance.

Is this book part of a series or a stand alone?

The Rancher’s Second Chance is a stand-alone title, my first with Heartsong. I’ve contracted with Heartsong for a three-book historical series set to release in 2014.

Congratulations on your historical series!

How long have you been writing?

In the sixth grade I realized that words were important little things, and I liked the challenge of arranging them and making them reveal what I saw or felt or heard. My sixth-grade teacher had me read an original story for an activity at science-camp that spring, but I didn’t write seriously until many years later as the wife of a rodeo bull fighter. I sold many pieces to Prorodeo Sports News, Western Horseman and other national publications, and eventually took a job as a crime-beat reporter and religion editor for our local Colorado daily.

What an interesting way to get into the business ( I mean that in a good way). Do you still write for Colorado daily?

I string (freelance) for the Canon City Daily Record and write a regular column for them.

If you could have a conversation with your heroine what would be the topic?

I’d like to ask Laura how she can be angry at Eli for allowing his scars to define and limit him when she does the very same thing.

What are you currently reading or can you recommend a couple books that you’ve read recently?

I just finished Chocolate Beach by Julie Carobini and Shadows in the Sand by Gayle Roper. They are not my genre of western romance, but they are so well written and full of such witty moments that they are at the top of my favorites list.

Thanks, Davalynn. I think I have Chocolate Beach on my kindle. Maybe I’ll have to move it up on my to be read list. 🙂

Davalynn is giving away a copy of The Rancher’s Second Chance to one lucky commenter. You must answer the following question to be entered.

What leads you to read other titles by the same author after reading that author’s first book?

Rules: You must have a U.S. mailing address. You must answer the question to be included in the drawing. There must be at least 10 qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Void where prohibited by law. The winner will be notified August 19, 2013. You will have until 8/25/2013 to respond or forfeit the book. No other winner will be drawn.


Novelist and speaker Davalynn Spencer is an award-winning journalist whose background spans the city crime beat and the national rodeo circuit. These authentic experiences help her craft fictional characters who face struggle and heartache but find faith and fresh hope along the way. When she’s not writing inspirational romance or teaching as an adjunct English professor, she enjoys speaking and leading worship at women’s retreats. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Mike, and their Queensland heeler, Blue, and has absolutely no trouble at all being amazed by God’s creative splendor.


STOP Anxiety

Camp Crestview 2010 045

1 Peter 5:7

Wow! Isn’t it amazing that God cares so much for us that He wants us to give Him everything that causes stress or anxiety in our lives?

Do you ever lose sleep worrying about something? I think it’s safe to say most of us do, but when this happens I encourage you to STOP.

S–sing praises to Him.

T–Tell Him your worries and fears

O–Offer your cares to Him

P–Praise Him for the answer

Did you catch that I suggested praising Him twice? That’s because it’s hard to feel anxious when you are worshiping.