Monthly Archives: October 2014

Who or What Influences You?

photo(10)As I was reading in the book of Proverbs today a verse stuck out to me. Proverbs 13:20 read here– http://bit.ly/1v3i24G basically says who we spend time with has a direct impact out how we think.

I took this a step further and added all influences–books, television, movies, news, just about anything in our daily lives good or bad. This made  me consider who or what influences do I have in my life. Do these influences make be wise or do they cause me harm?

Have you ever heard the saying “garbage in garbage out”? I suggest the opposite is true as well. Insert good things into your life and good things will come out.

I pray each of us will consider the influences in our lives and weed out the unhealthy ones.

 

 

 

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Rancher Under Fire by Vickie McDonough

Rancher Under Fire 446233Welcome back, Vickie! I always enjoy having one of my critique partners visit my blog.:) Readers, you won’t be disappointed with this book. Keep reading to find out how to enter for a chance to win a copy.

Please tell us about Rancher Under Fire.

Rancher Under Fire is a Love Inspired Suspense set in Oklahoma. It’s the story of a former pro quarterback who left football to raise his daughter on a quiet ranch, but lately, things haven’t been quiet. Here’s the back cover info:

SABOTAGE AT ANGELFIRE RANCH

Jackson Durant would go to any lengths to protect his young daughter and his ranch. He knows the puzzling incidents on his homestead are no accidents. Someone is after him…but who? And why? Reporter Mariah Reyes is determined to find out. She never

expected her pursuit of a story on the reclusive rancher would endanger her life—nor that she’d fall for the cowboy. But when Jackson’s daughter is kidnapped, she’ll do anything to help save the little girl—even if it means becoming a target herself.

Will you share a short excerpt?

The familiar ta-dump, ta-dump of tires crossing the cattle guard pulled Jackson’s gaze down the long gravel drive. Though people frequented the ranch often, he wasn’t expecting anyone today. He studied the approaching vehicle—a sports car that was going far too fast.

He started toward his daughter. “Hailey, bring the filly back. Right now.”

Hailey stopped in the middle of the road and stared at the car, barreling toward her. Jackson increased his pace. His daughter tugged the prancing horse off the road and onto the dried winter grass. The filly pawed the ground. The closer the sports car came, the more agitated she grew.

Baron barked. Jackson broke into a run. A shrill whinny rent the air as the black filly reared, her front hooves pawing the air just inches above Hailey’s head. Jackson’s heart took a dive. He raced toward her, but his legs felt as if they were encased in cement.

“Let go! Hailey! Let go of the rope.”

Do you write in more than one genre? Yes. Most of the novels I’ve written have been historical romances, but my latest novel is a contemporary suspense. Some times it’s nice to write something different.

It’s fun to see you hop into a new genre. Vickie. I know when I critiqued this story, I really enjoyed it. 🙂

If your book is set in a real location, have you visited it? Rancher Under Fire is set in northeastern Oklahoma, but Angelfire Ranch and the nearby town are fictional. I live in northeastern Oklahoma, so I’m very familiar with the area. It’s filled with rolling hills, trees, lakes, and mostly small towns filled with friendly people.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? I love reading Christian historical romances the best. I grew up watching cowboy shows with my dad and fell in love with the Old West.

What is next for you? I’m currently working on Joline’s Redemption, the second book in a series called Land Rush Dreams, which is set in the Oklahoma Territory in the late 1800s. The first book, Gabriel’s Atonement, is finished and releases in January.

Here’s what it’s about: Gambler Gabe Coulter is content with his comfortable life—but when a man with a gun confronts him in a dark alley, everything changes. Guilt riddles him for killing Tom Talbot, even though it was self-defense. The dying man said the money he lost to Gabe was meant for his destitute wife and son. The only way Gabe knows to rid himself of the guilt over killing Talbot is to return the money he won to the man’s wife.

Lara Talbot doesn’t believe Tom had money. She sees Gabe as a charming con artist like her irresponsible husband and wants nothing to do with him. She struggles to feed her family, keep her rebellious sister in line, and care for her young son and sick grandpa. The land rush in the Oklahoma Territory seems the only way for them to get a home, so Lara rides, but her dreams don’t turn out as planned. Could God have a bigger dream for her than she could imagine?

Thanks for sharing with us, Vickie!

If you would like to be entered to win a copy of Rancher Under Fire, please leave a comment for Vickie. If you follow this blog you will receive one extra entry–please mention you follow in the comments. If you are a new follower–I will know, but it helps me if you mention it in the comments.:) All new followers will receive an extra entry as well.

Rules: Open to USA and Canada mailing addresses only. Drawing ends November 2, 2014. The winner will be notified on November 3, 2014 and have until November 10th to reply or forfeit. No new winner will be drawn.

Vickie McDonough 3 smallBestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams in her fictional stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie is the award-winning author of thirty-four published books and novellas. Her books include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and End of the Trail, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel winner. Whispers on the Prairie was a Romantic Times Recommended Inspirational Book for July 2013. Her latest book, Rancher Under Fire, is a contemporary suspense.

Vickie has been married thirty-nine years to Robert. They have four grown sons, one of whom is married, and a precocious eight-year-old granddaughter. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, antiquing, watching movies, and traveling. To learn more about Vickie’s books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website: www.vickiemcdonough.com

Pre-order links:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Gabriels-Atonement-Land-Rush-Dreams/dp/1628369515

Christianbook.com – http://www.christianbook.com/gabriels-atonement-land-rush-dreams/vickie-mcdonough/9781628369519/pd/369519?product_redirect=1&Ntt=369519&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

 

Profitable Aerobics By Ada Brownell

ada brownell In this day of aerobics, weight lifting and jogging, I’ve pondered why the Apostle Paul wrote, “Bodily exercise profits little” (1 Timothy 4:8KJ).

Then I got to thinking about it. It makes no sense to wave my arms around and kick the air for 30 minutes when dust is hiding everywhere, dirt streaks the windows, and clutter threatens my every move.

Instead, I found it more profitable to reach and stretch, reach and stretch, reach and stretch moving the vacuum sweeper back and forth; bend and stand, bend and stand, bend and stand, picking up toys, unloading the dishwasher, loading the dishwasher, loading the washing machine, unloading the dryer, bend and fold, bend and fold.

I lived in homes with stairs most of my life and when I delivered laundry it was better than a stair stepper at the health club.

But let’s be honest here. I did like to jog, walk, swim and play tennis. After the five children grew up and I worked in a job where I sat much of the time, I started getting pudgy around the middle, so I increased activity. Paul’s admonition to Timothy, however, was still not far from my mind. Almost as soon as I started my early morning jog, my body would go on automatic and I could forget the motions my feet were making. I could whisper praises to the Lord with my running shoes hitting the pavement. I could petition God for needs, especially for the family. I made use of that time for spiritual benefit.

This extra prayer brought wonderful answers.

I learned I could pray, work on a Sunday school lesson, memorize scripture and outline books or articles while my hands and feet accomplished other things—whether fixing dinner, washing dishes, vacuuming, making beds, jogging or riding a bike.

Thinking time is profitable time. In Philippians 4:8-9, the Apostle Paul told the Philippians church about thinking profitable thoughts. We need to feed our mind good things, then ponder them, meditate on them, and allow them to bear fruit.

If we read Paul’s words about exercise in context in the New International Version we understand more about what the Apostle was talking about. Please read 1 Timothy 5:7-8 here is a link. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Timothy+5%3A7%2C+8&version=NIV

ADA BROWNELL BIO

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 critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

 THE LADY FUGITIVE COVER 2 AdaBlog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement

Ada Brownell Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

ADA BROWNELL AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

Watercolor Dreams

NEW Watercolor Dreams coverThis weeks guest is Sherry Kyle. She is here to share about her new release Watercolor Dreams. Welcome, Sherry!

Please tell us about Watercolor Dreams.

 Watercolor Dreams is a historical romance set in beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea about a young woman who longs to become a premier watercolor artist instead of marrying her father’s business partner.

Will you share a short excerpt?

Chapter 1                                   Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 1910

With each stroke of her paintbrush, Anna Lewis’s heart soared. The watercolor painting of Carmel’s white sandy beach and gently rolling Pacific Ocean would surely give her recognition. The wind blew a lock of hair across her face as she sat on the wood bench next to a cypress tree, her easel before her. She tucked the wispy strand behind her ear, pushed up her leg-o’-mutton sleeves, and dipped her brush into the cerulean blue, adding a few touches to the paper. Horse’s hooves clip-clopped behind her. She glanced over her shoulder. A buggy passed on the narrow street, driving by the quaint bungalows bordering the shoreline.

A man strode up the beach, his hands deep in his trouser pockets and his hat pushed low on his forehead. Anna brought the pointed end of the brush to her mouth and watched him tread near the water’s edge with long, determined steps. She adjusted her wide-brimmed hat and squinted for a better look. From the way the man walked, he must be mulling over something important. He stopped and faced the ocean. The waves crashed against the shore, the water rushing close to his feet. His lone figure added a touch of poignancy to the landscape and beckoned to be part of her painting.

But before she had a chance to paint his form, he turned and walked up the beach toward her. His brows were furrowed and his lips pressed together in a firm line. And yet even with this worried expression, he was a most handsome man.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Nine months.

Do you write in more than one genre? If so what other genre do you write in?

Yes, I also write nonfiction books for tween girls and contemporary women’s fiction.

If your book is set in a real location, have you visited it?

Yes, Watercolor Dreams is set in a real location. Carmel-by-the-Sea holds a special place in my heart since my husband and I spent part of our honeymoon there, as well as many anniversaries.

What is next for you?

My next book is titled The Girl’s Guide to Life, a nonfiction book for girls ages 9-13 set to release in 2015. My other titles in that series from Legacy Press are The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style and The Girl’s Guide to Your Dream Room.

 Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!

It was my pleasure, Sherry, and thanks for doing an eBook giveaway. Readers, if you’d like to be entered to win an eCopy of Watercolor Dreams, please leave a comment for Sherry.

Rules: Drawing ends Nov. 2, 2014. The winner will be notified by email by either myself or Sherry and have until November 9th, 2014 to respond or forfeit the eBook. No new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited by law.

Sherry Kyle author photoSherry Kyle is an award-winning author, and writes books for tween girls as well as novels for women, including Delivered with Love (Abingdon Press, 2011) and The Heart Stone (Abingdon Press 2013), and her newest title Watercolor Dreams (HopeSprings Books, October 2014), a historical romance set along the lush beaches of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Sherry lives in California with her husband and four children, loves to decorate her beach house, and enjoys taking walks by the ocean. www.sherrykyle.com

When Knowing God is Better than Knowing Why, by Alexis A Goring

Author Alexis A. Goring, favoriteSometimes I wonder, is knowing God really better than knowing “why”?

People who say that “Knowing God is better than knowing why” have never been through anything really tough, I often conclude. Surely if they had been stretched to their emotional, psychological and physical limits with a situation or pain they’ve endured then they deserve to know why, right? I used to think that if you’ve been through a tragedy, injustice or endure pain that shakes you to your core then certainly God owes you an explanation! Who hasn’t at one point in their life, shaken their fist toward the heavens and demanded answers from God? If you have not done that yet, maybe you haven’t been through enough in life to be pushed to that reaction. If you reach the end of your life and never have wondered or asked God “why” then God bless you, you are a saint!

When I shared stories with my grandma of a few situations I’ve faced in life that pushed me to ask God, “Why?” My grandma simply said, “Knowing God is better than knowing the why.” My grandma’s words made me more upset and frustrated with what I was going through because I felt like with the serious, deep and dark depths of the situation I’d experienced, it would help me understand and feel better if I only know why. Why would God allow this to happen to me? Why isn’t God doing anything about this situation? Why, why, why! Cleary such a simple answer could not be the answer to my problems!

But lately I wonder, maybe my grandma’s advice is right? Enter a song by a group of four male Christian contemporary music artists called 4HIM. The song is called “Why” and there within it, is my answer. Here’s my summary of the song lyrics:

Rain (trials, tribulations, tragedies and issues) fall into everyone’s life because pain does not discriminate (it happens to everybody). Life can be unfair and when bad things happen to good people, it leaves you wondering why. But despite all this, you should not second-guess God’s plan because He has a purpose for your pain that’s beyond what you can understand. God is not afraid of honest prayers so don’t be afraid to ask him “Why?” But in the pondering process do not let go of God’s Unseen Hand (keep your faith) because the beautiful thing is no matter what you’re going through in this life, God has a good plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11) and you are safe in His care. Read the full lyrics to the song “Why” here, http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/0-9/4him/why.html) and listen to the song here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baRHkrw10uY

I love that song! Why? Because it reminds me that though I may not understand horrible things that happen in this world, I can rest assured that the Creator of the Universe, the Keeper of this Planet, the God of Grace knows why. And that’s all that matters.

So if you’ve been like me, questioning God to tell you why bad things happen to you or your loved ones in this world, I encourage you to keep holding onto your faith in God and stay connected to Him (as the song advises you to not to let go of God’s Unseen Hand). You may not always be able to figure out what God is doing or why He is doing it. But you can rest assured that anything God permits to happen in your life is not without purpose. Do you hear that? Your pain is not without purpose. God can take any broken situation and create something beautiful!

I know because He did that for me and He can do that for you too! So keep holding onto God’s hand, keep trusting Him with your life and watch God work, taking your broken and transforming it into beauty, taking your questions and giving you His Peace (Isaiah 26:3) to the point where you may stop wondering “why.”

God bless you!

Love, Alexis

Media imageAlexis A. Goring is a college graduate with a degree in print journalism from Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland. Writing is her passion. She hopes that her stories will touch hearts, bring smiles to faces, and inspire minds to seek God whose love for humanity is unfailing!

Author’s official website, www.alexisagoring.com

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Where Treetops Glisten and Sarah Sundin

Where Treetops GlistenWelcome back to Kimbely’s Musing, Sarah.

Please tell us about your book.

Where Treetops Glisten is a Christmas novella collection which follows three siblings through World War II. In my story, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, fighter pilot Lt. Pete Turner is running on empty, but coming home for Christmas doesn’t help him fill his tank. When he encounters a precocious little girl in need of his friendship, can he convince her widowed mother, Grace Kessler, that he’s no longer the bully she once knew? And will Pete’s Christmas gift fill the empty places in their hearts?
Will you share a short excerpt?

Friday, December 3, 1943

Lafayette, Indiana

The door of Loeb’s department store opened, and Pete held the door for two ladies burdened with packages. When they thanked him, he said, “You’re welcome” but couldn’t smile. How could he with that infernal song billowing through the open door? “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” made false promises, as if home could make you whole again. Baloney.

He let the door swing shut. Ahead of him, a little girl in a red coat pressed her face to the window. Pete stopped behind her to see the display.

A Christmas tree. A fake Santa Claus, and fake elves playing in fake snow. A wooden airplane that almost looked like a B-17 Flying Fortress, but not quite—too fat. A baby doll. A teddy bear. Lots of Built-Rite paper dollhouses and paper towns and picture puzzles, made right here in Lafayette.

Years ago, Pete and his brother, Alfie, filled with wonder, had pressed their noses to this same window. Golden-haired golden boy Alfie. Black-haired black sheep Pete. Was the display this cheesy back then? Granted, they had toys made with metal and rubber back when he was a boy.

Back when he was a boy? When had he turned into an old man?

The little girl in front of him hadn’t moved. She belonged on the cover of a Christmas toy catalog with her red coat, her red mittens flat on the glass, and two little brown braids sticking out from under her red hat. Twenty-five years earlier, Pete would have tugged one of those braids just to hear her squeal.

“Please,” she said, her voice no more than a whisper. “Please, Lord. Please.”

For the first time in months, Pete felt something. A twinge in his chest. He remembered that longing for the perfect gift, the hope of seeing it under the tree, the joy of ripping off paper to discover his dreams fulfilled.

Her breath fogged the window. “Please, God. I promise I’ll be good. I promise.”

His lips twitched with the same emotion. How many times had he made that promise in vain?

“Do you see something you’d like for Christmas?” he asked.

The girl pushed back from the glass and met Pete’s gaze in the window reflection. For her sake he had to smile, so he located dead muscles and coaxed them to do their job.

Slowly she faced him. She had wide greenish-blue eyes and a button nose. A cute little thing. She reminded him of his old friend Scooter at that age, except Scooter never wore braids or a red bonnet with a bow under his chin.

A grin revealed two missing teeth—one of her front teeth and one farther back. The asymmetry made her even cuter.

Pete’s smile felt more natural now. “Well, do you? Do you see something you’d like for Christmas?”

She studied him with a satisfied smile as if he were one of the toys on display. “Yes. Yes, I do.”
Thanks for sharing that with us. It makes me want to read it! How long did it take you to write Where Treetops Glisten?

This story flew together for me. The whole story came to me in a rush at Christmastime, and I had the complete outline down in a week. When I was finally able to write the story, I wrote it in only a month. This is unusual for me, but I had far less research to do for the story, which helped considerably.
How did you fall into writing? Was it something you always wanted to do, or did it come to you later in life?

Falling into writing is about right. I’m a pharmacist and never planned to write novels. But in 2000, a story idea came to me in a dream and it wouldn’t let me go. It quickly became apparent that God really wanted me to write, so I obeyed—with much fear and trembling.

If the story is set in a real location, have you visited it?

The Turner family in Where Treetops Glisten lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and my entire story is set there. Cara Putman, one of my co-authors, lives there, and I had the privilege of spending a few days with Cara and her delightful family. Cara gave me the full tour, showing me all the sites on my story list. We toured her friend’s house which we used for our fictional family, found a charming Victorian for Grace and Linnie to live in, sampled the wares at McCord’s Candies, and walked across the bridge over the Wabash River. We also spent time at the Lafayette Library, where I pored over the 1943 Lafayette phone book and issues of the Lafayette Journal and Courier, which were fascinating! I loved seeing the sites and finding the color to make the story come to life.

Very cool!
What is next for you?

My next novel, Through Waters Deep, comes out summer of 2015, the first book in the Waves of Freedom series. In 1941, as America teeters on the brink of World War II, Mary Stirling works at the Boston Navy Yard and renews an old friendship with naval officer Ens. Jim Avery. Jim’s destroyer escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic, but problems on his ship point to a saboteur at the shipyard. As Mary works to find the culprit and Jim battles U-boats, their friendship promises to blossom into something more. But could a deeper friendship rip them apart?

Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Sarah is giving away one copy of her book. If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win Where Treetops Glisten please leave a comment for Sarah.

Rules: The Drawing is open to USA and Canadian mailing addresses only. The drawing closes midnight Pacific time, Oct. 19th 2014. The winner will be notified via email the following day by me, so be sure to keep an eye out and even check your spam just in case. The winner has until Oct. 26 to reply or forfeit the book. No new winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.

Sundin #D70 ©2008 Linda Johnson Photography web  (2)Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014) as well as a novella in Where Treetops Glisten. Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. You can find her at http://www.sarahsundin.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SarahSundinAuthor

A Holiday Proposal and Kimberly Rose Johnson

9780373487318I’m excited to share about my new release with all of you. A Holiday Proposal is the third book in my series that takes place in Leavenworth, Washington. Each book stands alone, but the female leads were all introduced in The Christmas Promise.

Here is the back cover blurb for A Holiday Proposal.

Holly Miller Is Steering Clear of Mistletoe 

Just out of nursing school, Holly can’t risk any distractions. She knows a slip up could cost a life. Like the mistake she made years ago that still plagues her conscience. When she runs into old high school friend Matthew Cook, she hesitates to let romance into her life. Even if the handsome baker is as delectable as his fabulous pastries.

She didn’t notice him back in high school, but things have sure changed. Now that Matthew has Holly’s attention, maybe the holiday season is the perfect time for him to show her that she deserves to have it all—work, family, friends and a love that lasts a lifetime.

I’m going to interview myself today, but using the same questions I sent to all the other authors who will be featured here this month. I hope you enjoy.

Do you write in more than one genre? I currently write only contemporary romance.

If your book is set in a real location, have you visited it? Yes, Leavenworth is a real location nestled in the Washington Cascade mountains. The views from the village are absolutely beautiful.

2013-11-08 04.38.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? I enjoy a variety of genres, but the one thing a book must have to draw me in is romance. If the romance isn’t there, I have a hard time sticking with a book.
What is next for you? The final book in the series releases in January. That book is about Meghan. It was especially fun to write. 🙂 Here is the back cover blurb.

MEGHAN BLACK HAS FINALLY MET HER MATCH 

The veterinary assistant never backs down from a dare…and what greater challenge than finding die-hard bachelor Ben Young his ideal mate? But what’s an incurable cupid to do when the handsome vet turns the tables and asks her out?

Ben is perfectly content with his single life. And he figures there’s only one way to get the petite dynamo to quit her matchmaking—date her himself! But his plan backfires when he realizes that Meghan could be The One. Can he convince a woman who believes in happy endings for everyone but herself that he’s her Mr. Right?

I hope you enjoyed learning about my new release and will leave a comment for a chance to be entered to win your choice of any of my three books. The Christmas Promise, A Romance Rekindled or A Holiday Proposal. Commenters who subscribe to my newsletter will be entered twice. You can sign up for my newsletter on my Home page. Just click on home above. Let me know in your comments that you signed up. I will also be notified from Mailchimp, but it’s a good idea for you to let me know too, so I don’t miss you.

Rules: Open to USA mailing addresses only. Drawing closes Oct. 12th, 2014. The winner will be notified via email by me on Oct. 13th, 2014 and have until Oct. 19th to respond with their mailing address or forfeit the book. No new winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.
KJ_063 vs 2Kimberly married her college sweetheart and is a graduate of Northwest University. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two teenage sons and their yellow lab. Kimberly is an avid reader and loves romance, suspense and romantic suspense. She enjoys playing the piano, hiking and coffee with friends. She loves hearing from her fans. You can connect with her on her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Link to purchase any of Kimberly’s books.  or visit the books button above for more options.