Monthly Archives: July 2014

Stone of Destiny

Mary L Ball StoneofDestiny_Ebook_med Mary L Ball shares with us about Stone of Destiny. Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Please tell us about your book.

Can a mysterious ring change lives?
The sapphire symbolizes mental clarity, faithfulness, and truth. For centuries, a legend in the Harrison family revolved around a ring.
Taylor Harrison has given up on everything but her work. The youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, her life is complete. That is, until her grandmother asks her to oversee renovations at the family home and find the missing heirloom.
First contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange dreams. Feelings surface; she doesn’t understand; thoughts that should remain unspoken, voiced.
Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself.
Is this a fairy-tale or her soul, reaching out for a life she can only find through faith and trust in God?

Do you have a favorite scene that you can share with us that won’t be a spoiler?

I enjoy creating Brent and Taylor, two different personalities that clashed.

The sun shined through the lace curtains hanging in the guest room. Taylor woke to the sound of the door chimes clanging throughout the house. “It’s too early!” she complained, groaning. Sitting up in bed, she rubbed her face, and reality hit. It must be seven o’clock. Taylor gritted her teeth and tossed the comforter off her body.
On her way out of the room, she grabbed her purple robe and slipped it on, complaining to herself, “The most big-headed contractor around.” The day hasn’t even started, and I have to deal with the likes of him.
Brent waited, fingers tapping impatiently on the frame, as she swung the door open. His vision boldly traveled the length of her legs and lingered on the clumsy tie holding her satin robe together.
Taylor bit her lower lip. The gall of this man!
Quickly, she chastised herself. Tomorrow morning I will be up and dressed before he arrives.
“Well, I see you’re on time. I’ll dress and leave you to your plans.”
Brent tossed his head sideways. He made an exaggerated point of looking her body up and down once more. “Don’t hurry on my account.” He stifled a grin. “I’ve always found silk appealing on a lady, and you wear it very well, Ms. Harrison.”

Thanks for the teaser.
Is this book part of a series?

No, Stone of Destiny just formed one day as I saw my grandson read a YA fantasy book about magic. I decided then, I wanted to create a novel based on the wonderful ways of faith which are often seen as mysterious.

What is next for you?

Redemption in Big Fork Lake will be released( late fall) by Prism Book Group. The story follows one of the characters from my debut novel, Escape to Big Fork Lake.
Redemption in Big Fork Lake
What happens when an addiction takes over?
Only after Robert Turner attempts to hurt someone does he realize how much of a hold alcohol has on his life.
For Robert, a chance meeting with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor offers hope. A new devotion to the Lord and a relationship with Belle McBride gives him expectations for a better future.
His life appears to be on the right track, until he comes full circle with his past and faces the one mistake that haunts him daily. Can forgiveness-free Robert? Will he return to the life he once had?

How old were you when you first knew you wanted to be a professional writer?

I started writing novels later in life. When my first grandson came along, I decide to quit work to keep him. Having those days free is what made me realize I had a hidden desire to create fiction stories. How old was I well…………… I’ll let you peek at my picture and guess. LOL

How long did it take you to write Stone Of Destiny?

It took me about 8 months to write Stone of Destiny.

Mary has offered to give away one copy either print or ecopy of her book to one lucky commenter. Please leave a comment to be entered.
Rules: Print copy open to USA mailing addresses only. The drawing closes August 3rd. The winner will be contacted by me via email on August 4th and have until August 10th to reply or forfeit the book. No new winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.

DSCF1653Mary L. Ball writes Christian fiction novels blended with romance. She lives in North Carolina and weaves together stories, which encourage readers to see the wonder of love, and divine mercy.
When she’s not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband.
Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter. https://twitter.com/inspires4mary
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inspirational-author-Mary-L-Ball/200478210087932?ref=hl

http://marylouwrites.weebly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inspirational-author-Mary-L-Ball/200478210087932?ref=hl

A Devotional from Cherie Burbach

Guest blogger Cherie Burbach shares with us today.

cherie-borders-300x300One of the things that has always amazed me is God’s commitment to free will. He wanted us to make choices, not just follow him because we were forced to. In the Christian life, we make choices all the time, but some choices seem bigger than others. These three have transformed my life completely.

The Choice of Gratitude
It’s only in the last couple years that I’ve really got a handle on gratitude. I used to believe that you should be grateful for the good things in your life when they happened. But what if there weren’t many good things? Or, more to the point, what if the bad things were so big they cast dark shadows on everything else?

I grew up dealing with an angry alcoholic and all the other things that happen when addiction touches a family. There were patterns everyone in my family fell into, including me. The one thing I needed to get a handle on was seeing the good in my life, because for many years I grew up believing that God loved everyone except me.

In God’s patience, I learned to choose gratitude in order to lift the blinders and remove the labels others had placed over me. I couldn’t see the positive things that God provided for me until I chose to look for them. Once I made that choice, gratitude became a practice I worked on until it became a regular part of my everyday life.

The Choice of Forgiveness

Forgiveness doesn’t just happen when we “feel better” or when we’re “over it.” It happens when we choose to forgive. In every case when I’ve forgiven something extremely difficult to get over, I have come to God beaten and broken and not feeling very forgiving. But I ask him for help, and when I take this first step as a choice, the negative feelings subside. I’m able to move on with the lessons, leaving the pain behind.

If I compare that to when I wait for forgiveness to just happen, it may takes years and years or in some cases, doesn’t come at all. By making a choice, I’m opening the floodgates of possibility, taking back the pieces of my life I’ve given away to those who would hurt me.

The Choice to Believe That God Is Good
Am I the only one that thought God really didn’t like me so much? Oh, I know he didn’t hate me. God’s not like that. But really love me? I couldn’t quite get my head around that one. His unconditional love was something I couldn’t quite understand.

My upbringing brought out negative patterns in my life. When you hear that you’re worthless over and over from the time you’re a child, you believe it. It overrides God’s voice.

But not forever. Not when you make the choice to believe that this love God has for you meets you right where you are and doesn’t expect perfection. You can’t hide a thing. You don’t have to pretend.

God has helped me embrace the uniqueness of my own path and accept the ups and downs of life. I except that I won’t always understand the things that go on in my life, or in the world. This is a new concept for me, and has only arrived when I made the choice to believe in God as he is: good. The kind of good we can’t always define neatly or wrap our heads around.

my soul is from a different place200
Cherie Burbach is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and relationships. She’s written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: My Soul Is From a Different Place: Poems. Visit her website for more info, cherieburbach.com.
 

Marcus Varitor Centurion

Ann Baxter coverCampbellMarcusCover-Flat(2) This week I am pleased to welcome Anne Baxter Campbell. Please tell us about Marcus Varitor Centurion.

Marcus Varitor, Centurion is the story of a young decanus (one rung below a centurion) who has finally decided to grow up. He had become a Jewish proselyte (a convert to the Jewish faith); now he wanted more than anything to earn the love of an Egyptian slave girl and to be promoted to a centurion. His tribune offers him that chance if he can bring in Barabbas. Trouble is, Barabbas instead kills all of Marcus’s troops and captures Marcus and his worst soldier and hauls them to his camp. They manage to escape, thanks to someone who sneaks into the tent where they’re bound and gagged and sets them free.

The Egyptian slave girl, Meskhanet, unbeknownst to Marcus, has been captured by Barabbas’ troop of brigands. She too escapes, only to be kidnapped by slavers bound for Rome.

How can Marcus prove himself to his tribune now? And how can he save Meskhanet?

How long did it take you to write this story?

It took a little over a year to write this one

Did you personally learn anything while writing Marcus Varitor, Centurion

 

My characters were always pulling surprises on me. A guy I thought was terrible has a soft spot. Quiet little Meskhanet turned out to be such a strong person. One character died that I thought would carry through to something more. So I guess you could say I learned a lot about the characters and how they felt about the One God of the Jews.


Is this book part of a series?

Yes, it is. It’s Book 2 of The Truth Trilogy.

What is next for you?

The third book, What Is Truth, is the next in the series, and it will be out later this year. It’s about some of the same characters in the first two books, principally Decimus, a Roman senator, and Joanna, the widow of one of the minor characters in the first two books.
By the way, I have a contest going to guess the release date. If you will go to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/AnneBaxterCampbellAuthor, you will see the contest. If you guess the correct release date, you will win the first signed copy of the book.

What was the last fiction book you read that you would recommend?

The one I read this year that I think was the absolute best is Invisible by Ginny Yttrup. That woman has a way of digging into your very soul and lifting it right up to God.

How old were you when you first knew you wanted to be a professional writer?

I’m not really sure. Technical writer, maybe about 25 years ago. Fiction writer, maybe 35 years ago. I did start a book then. Actually–the first book in this same series, The Roman’s Quest. That’s when I started it–over 35 years ago!

Wow!35 Years ago? That’s amazing to me that you stuck with it. The longest I’ve ever worked on a book is a few years and then it was only off and on while I wrote other books.
Thanks for sharing with us, Anne.
If you would like the chance to win a copy of Marcus Varitor Centurion please leave a comment to be entered.
Rules: Open to USA mailing addresses only. The drawing ends July 27th. The winner will be notified by email from me July 28th–please watch your box that day as I’ve recently had 2 winners never respond–so sad that they missed out. If I do not hear from the winner by August 3rd the winner forfeits the book. No new winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.

AnnBaxter Author Photo Anne Baxter Campbell is a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother who loves to write. I yearn to inspire people to take one step closer to the God who loves them so much He gave His only begotten Son that we might live forever with Him.

Shout Praises

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I love how the Psalmist expresses himself in Psalms 66. Especially in vs. one and two.http://www.biblestudytools.com/psalms/66.html

I want my worship to be like this. He is worthy of our praise, today and everyday.

I have so many things to be thankful for. Today I praise the Lord for His provision.
I also thank Him daily that I am finally published. In case you didn’t know, I also write Inspiration Romance books. I have two books out. The second, A Romance Rekindled released last month. You can paste this link into your browser if you’d like to read more about it. amzn.to/1lnTJp7

9780373487158(1)

What about you? What can you praise Him for today?

Song of the Prairie

Song of the Prairie

I’m thrilled to once again welcome Vickie McDonough. Thanks for being with us, Vickie. Please tell us about your book, Song of the Prairie. Song of the Prairie is the third and final book in my Pioneer Promise series, which is set in 1870s Kansas and features the three Harper brothers. This last book tells Aaron’s story. He’s the oldest brother. Here’s a blurb, which focuses on the heroine’s storyline: Janie Dunn’s dream of being an opera singer suddenly fades when, at her dying cousin’s request, she flees Boston with her cousin’s newborn son to protect him from his abusive father. She moves to Kansas to live with her brother, but life takes another dire change when he is suddenly killed. Is a marriage of convenience the answer to her problems? Is Kansas far enough away from Boston that they are safe from the baby’s vengeful father?

How long did it take you to write this story? Three months.

What is next for you? I’m almost finished with the first book is a new series called Land Rush Dreams, which features two of the Oklahoma land runs and a land lottery. Gabriel’s Atonement, book one in the series, is the story of a gambler who kills a man in self-defense and then tries to make amends for the deed by helping the man’s widow and young son, even though she wants nothing to do with him. It releases next January.

If you could travel anyplace this summer, where would you go and what would you do? There are so many places I’d love to go. Ireland and Scotland, Australia, Fiji, the western U.S. states, but if I had to pick one place, it would be New Zealand. As for what I’d do, I’d tour the beautiful country and see all the sites and hopefully relax for a time.

What was the last fiction book you read that you would recommend? I’d recommend any of Marylu Tyndall’s book. I LOVE her fast-paced historical romances, which are usually set aboard a ship in the beautiful Caribbean. Oft times there’s a pirate on board ship. Her hero and heroines always have such wonderful conflict and delicious chemistry. Every one of her books are keepers.

How old were you when you first knew you wanted to be a professional writer? I was 47 when I first started writing. I’d always been an avid reader, but I never once considered writing a book until a story idea started running through my mind and wouldn’t leave me alone. It was affecting my sleep and driving me bananas, so I decided to write it down in hopes it would go away and leave me alone. As soon as I finished it, another story came. I wrote it too. After finishing the second book, I got to thinking that maybe God was trying to get my attention. I jumped in with both feet and never looked back. I’ve been writing for thirteen years now and have over 30 books and novellas in print and ebook format, with around 1,000,000 copies sold. I like to encourage people to say yes when God puts a calling on your life, even if it seems like an odd one. He dreams bigger dreams for us than we can dream for ourselves.

Do you have a favorite spot to read or write? Yes. I have a soft, comfy recliner that I sit in with my feet up. I have a heating pad on my back to use when my back hurts or if I get cold. And I have a fan remote on the table next to my chair in case I get hot and a glass of water or Coke nearby. I both read and write in it.

Please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Song of the Prairie.

Rules: Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law. Drawing closes 7/20/2014. The Winner will be contacted by email on 7/21/2014 and have until 7/27/2014 to reply or forfeit the book. No new winner will be drawn.

Vickie has several books releasing in the near future.
Song of the Prairie, book 3 in my Pioneer Christmas series
Rancher Under Fire, a Love Inspired Suspense, September
Forging a Family, a novella in the Westward Christmas Collection, September
Unexpected Blessing, a novella in The Brides of Christmas Collection, September
The Fruitcake Bride, a novella in The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection, December

If you would like to sign up for Vickie’s newsletter follow this link. http://www.vickiemcdonough.com/www.vickiemcdonough.com/Newsletter_Sign-up.html

Be Still and Listen

KellyFinal1Guest blogger Kelly Irvin shares this weeks devotional

God will give us the desires of our hearts. It says so in the bible, right? I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees those words and says to myself, “oh, goody, what do I want? For what shall I ask him?” I get all giddy just thinking about the things He can do for me. Like a big, genial Santa in the sky just waiting to rain down presents on me.

When I turned forty-five, I realized the desire of my heart was slipping away. If I were going to be a published novelist, I needed to get moving and quickly. I wrote my first novel and I began to pray. I asked God to find me a publisher, to give me a book contract, to help me find an agent, in short to hand over my heart’s desire on a silver platter. And quickly, if you please.

Seven long years passed. I wrote more novels. I attended conferences. I practiced my elevator pitches and buttonholed acquisition editors in hallways. I crafted query letters and synopsis and wrote more novels. And I prayed. God, please let me be published.

Nothing happened. Even after I snagged a great agent, the manuscripts didn’t sell.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had a full-time job, two kids, two cats, a tank full of fish, and oh yes, a husband who occasionally wanted my undivided attention. If God was supposed to give me my heart’s desire, what was the holdup?

Never once did it occur to me that God knows what’s best for me, He has a plan, He gave me the talent for writing, He is in charge of when the plan unfolds and He knows what the desire of my heart is better than I do. I finally asked Him flat out: Father, what would you have me do? Give it up? Because I can’t take it anymore. I’m too exhausted to go on. Should I stop? Should I write something else? Give me a sign. Please.

A few days later I received a call from my agent telling me I had a contract offer. Not for the first novel I wrote, but for the third one. God knew I needed seasoning. He knew I needed to ride the learning curve. He knew when the time would be right, when my talent and my craft would be honed enough to produce something worthy of publication. He gave me what I needed when I needed it.

More importantly, He knows the hearts that need to be touched by the stories I write. He knows those who are in need of hope and light and encouragement. He writes the stories on my heart, not for me, but for someone else who needs to read them. He delights in giving others their heart’s desire by using me as an instrument forged by his hands.

In order for that to happen, I had to be still, listen, and be willing to accept the answer that came. Be still and listen and you will receive the desires of your heart on God’s time and by his hand and his plan. After all, the bible says so!

Plain Love Song AKelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest House Publishing. Her latest release is A Plain Love Song, set in Amish country in Missouri, which debuted July 1. It is the final installment in the series, which also included Love Redeemed and Love Still Stands.

She is currently working on The Beekeeper’s Son, the first book in the Amish of Bee County series, for Zondervan/HarperCollins. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years. They have two young adult children, one gorgeous new granddaughter, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.

In A Texas Ranger’s Arms

9780373487172 Welcome, Cynthia Hickey. Please tell us about your book In A Texas Ranger’s Arms.

KATIE GAMBLE IS ON THE RUN
After her unscrupulous stepfather accuses her of being a thief, a horrified Katie hopes to hide out until she can prove otherwise. But slipping into obscurity in a small Texas town isn’t so easy. Not with Texas Ranger Ward Alston on her tail.
Ward’s used to getting his man—or woman. But he’s not used to the accused being so resolute in her innocence or so beautifully appealing. As he uncovers the truth, Ward realizes this Harvey Girl isn’t all she seems. Together, can they evade danger and obey the law of their own hearts?

This is like a great book.
Did you personally learn anything while writing this story?

Sometimes trust comes when you least expect it.

Do you have a favorite scene you can share that won’t give too much away?

Hmmm. This is a hard one. I guess I’d have to pick the scene where the heroine goes on a picnic with the hero’s family and begins to let down her guard toward people.

Is this book part of a series?

Yes, this is the third book in a series on the historical Harvey Girls.

What is next for you?

I’ve submitted a 6-book proposal about finding love amongst natural disaster.

If you could travel anyplace this summer, where would you go and what would you do?

I’m heading home for a week to Arkansas, where I grew up. The foothills of the Ozark mountains rejuvenate me.

What was the last fiction book you read that you would recommend?

Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl

How old were you when you first knew you wanted to be a professional writer?

I don’t know the exact age, but I’ve been making up stories since I was a small child. I wrote my first “book” at the age of fifteen. It wasn’t until adulthood that I took writing seriously.

Do you have a favorite spot to read or write?

I write and my desk and read curled up in a corner of the sofa.

Thanks for sharing with us, Cynthnia!

Readers, if you enjoy Heartsong Presents books there is a group on Goodreads that hosts the authors of these books every Monday through Wednesday. It’s called Love Inspired Heartsong Presents. Here’s the link https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/129196

If you would like to be entered for a chance to win a copy of In A Texas Ranger’s Arms please leave a comment.

Rules: Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law. There must be at least 10 entries for the drawing to take place. The drawing closes July 13th. The winner will be notified by email July 14th and have until July 20th to reply or forfeit the book. No new winner will be drawn.

155126_508450599182497_734971298_n copy
Multi-published and Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013 and 2014 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 160,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at http://www.cynthiahickey.com