Monthly Archives: November 2014

Blessings by Connie Pease

IMG_0246Happy Thanksgiving! Think of it – a whole day just to say thank you! What a great concept (one we gather from the Old Testament)!

We receive much for which to be grateful, both asked for and unasked. We’re told in scripture to come to God in thanksgiving with our requests. It’s easy to fall into the “ask” part and neglect the “thank you” part. Maybe the main thing we need to request is a grateful heart. Very often I ask God for the same thing over and over again. Maybe you find yourself doing that, too.

It’s good to ask. It’s good to know that our Father cares about us and the little things that take our time and thought. I would guess, though, that He would be delighted if we took those little things off our plate (or shove them to the side) so He can give us bigger things of which we now can’t even comprehend. Maybe He has, and we just don’t see them. So as we sit down at the Thanksgiving table today, let’s lift those requests of ours from our plate and see what is already underneath, blessings our Father has already given us. Below isn’t the whole thing, just some ideas. Let’s call it our sampler plate.

  • Blessings of family: Do you have a family? Are you hearing the laughter or yelling or quiet questions of someone’s child today? Do you get to chat about everything and nothing with an older person in your family? Do you have some good memories of a happy day with a family member? Be grateful.
  • Blessings of nature: Think about the year. Have you watched a little minnow darting in a shallow pool or a big whale spouting water in the ocean? Have you enjoyed the intoxicating fragrance of a rose or apple or newly cut grass or the musky scent of fallen leaves or dirt or – tea? Have you heard a rooster crow or bird call or dog bark? These things are all – every one – from the hand of Him who relishes His creation, who delights in nature, who loves small and big things both. Who loves you even more.
  • Blessings of sustenance: Maybe it’s been a difficult year. We all have them. God bless you especially, dear friend. You already know that God blesses us no matter what comes our way. He watches over us during times of hardship as well as times of happiness, and His hand of blessing is always present. Lamentations 3: 22-23 reminds us that God keeps us from being consumed by our trouble by his loving and faithful hand. Each day the sun still rises.

Has there been something good from God’s hand in your life this year? In the bright days, have you taken a deep breath and filled up your heart and soul with his generous blessing? In the hard times, the desolate days when it really does feel like there is nothing good, has He been with you: listening, waiting through your sorrow and complaint?

God is good. That thing you keep asking for? Go ahead and keep knocking on His door, but it’s just possible He has something even better in mind. God gives us what we need when we need it, and many extra blessings we don’t need, but enjoy from His generous hand. Dig in!

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ConnieUntitledWith one foot in the city and one in the north woods, Connie Pease has developed a sensitivity wrapped in equal parts gentle humor and compassionate truth.  Her creative efforts give expression to the common longings for friendship and true community found wherever God’s heart is beating in people and are found in her poetry, books, and original musicals.

Connect with Connie:
Website: http://www.myfiresidechat.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/connie.millerpease

Connie’s musical published by Meriwether Publishing: A Light At Christmas – the story of Christmas with original and fun music! http://www.contemporarydrama.com/

Connie’s book published by HopeSprings Books: Mrs. Covington Calls Roll (August 4, 2015)

What happens when a curious and energetic Sunday School teacher sets out to track down her former Sunday School students who have gone AWOL? A cross-country trip, a hiking predicament, and exposing a small time crook are only part of it. Cathy Covington’s cousin, Andi, joins her in ditching the “Kamikaze prayer” route in favor of “hand to hand combat” of the sort entered upon by two sixty year old women. The ensuing journey includes organizing the town parade, some disconcerting family surprises, and necessary mercy.

 

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The Last Toqeph and Giveaway

Lost and FoundYvonne Anderson visits with us about her new release, The Last Toqeph. Please tell us about your book.

The Last Toqeph is the final title in the four-book space fantasy series “Gateway to Gannah.”

The story unfolds on a distant planet in the far future, and it deals with such things as the struggle between truth and fallacy, racial differences, and family dynamics. Because it takes place in the future and contains space travel, it’s properly categorized as science fiction. But I prefer the term space fantasy because there’s very little science involved. The story is mostly about how human nature drives our actions but God controls the course of events.

Back cover blurb: While traveling through desolate terrain, Adam stumbles upon an impossibility: a village of Old Gannahans. Didn’t they all die decades ago? It’s hard to believe. Harder yet, it seems one of them is the true heir to the throne.

Will Adam right an ancient wrong and lose his inheritance? Or ignore the truth and lose his integrity?

 How long did it take you to write The Last Toqeph?

It seemed like forever, but it was really only a little over a year. I’ve always been a pantser, but the publisher of the first two books in the series asked for a synopsis for this one. No problem, right? Wrong. Writing when I already know the whole story is like working with one hand tied behind my back. Finally, I put the synopsis out of my mind and tackled it as if I didn’t have a roadmap. Toward the end I finally hit my stride, and things started happening I’d never envisioned. I absolutely LOVE the way it wraps everything all up—it’s much better than what I’d planned originally.

Was there a particular scene that you especially enjoyed, and why does this scene stick out to you?

My favorite scenes come at the end. I love the final scene because it’s roughly the conclusion I envisioned for the first book in the series, but too much had to happen first. Which is why I turned the book into a series. It took me four titles to finally reach the end I’d been shooting for, and it was satisfying to finally get there.

I love a scene shortly before that one for the opposite reason: because I never saw it coming. A couple of the characters told me, “Look, this is what has to happen to us. I know you don’t like it, but it simply has to be that way.” The more I thought about it, the more I realized how very right they were.
If you could be any character in your book, which one would you be and why?

I don’t know which character I’d like to be, but I’d definitely love to visit Gannah and see it in the flesh. Being there in my imagination is wonderful, but I long to breathe the air, drink the water, and eat the food grown on Gannahan soil, not to mention see the beauty of the place with my own eyes. I can almost taste it!

Do you write in any other genres?

My current WIP is a nonfiction book about the handling of venison from the field to the table. I also have a very different nonfiction project in mind offering guidelines for how to get the most from your Bible study. So yes, I guess I write in a variety of genres, but the only thing I’ve published to date is this Gannah series.

What is next for you?

See the above about genres to learn about my first foray into self-publishing nonfiction. I’m working with my cousin on the cover, and I hope he’ll be able to give me a little input in the content as well, as he’s quite the outdoorsman.

That other nonfiction book I mentioned is also a possibility, and I have another novel simmering in the back of my brain as well—or possibly another series. I never know about these things until I start writing.

Yvonne, has graciously offered to give away the winners choice of either an E-copy or print of The Last Toqeph. Please leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win. Drawing ends 11/30/2014. The winner will have until 12/1/2014 to reply or forfeit the book. No new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited by law. Print copy available to USA mailing addresses only.

headshot oct 2012Yvonne Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world.

The Story in the Stars, the first in the Gateway to Gannah series as well as her debut novel, was a Carol Award finalist in 2012. The adventure continues with Words in the Wind and Ransom in the Rock and concludes with The Last Toqeph, scheduled for release in October of 2014.

She lives in Western Maryland with her husband of almost forty years and shares the occasional wise word on her personal site, YsWords. She’s been with The Borrowed Book blog for a year or two now and has coordinated Novel Rocket’s Launch Pad Contest for unpublished novelists since the beginning of time. (Or at least, since the contest’s inception.)

Oh, yeah: she also does freelance editing.

 

He is our Hope

DSCF0956Last week was a sad week in Christian publishing. My publisher Heartsong Presents announced the line will close. I’ve loved writing for them and had hoped to continue writing for them for many years, but that is not to be.

I’m sad, but so very thankful too. My dream of publication was realized through the Heartsong Presents line. The final book in the series I wrote for them will still be published. A Match for Meghan will release in January. I’m tickled beyond words that my book will still release. To top it off, I have a fifth book, A Valentine for Kayla, with Heartsong that will release in March. I feel so blessed that the line existed long enough for me to see my dream realized.

I know it’s not all about me. I feel badly for the writer’s whose contracts were cancelled, and for those who lost their jobs because of this, and for the readers who were fans of the line.Yes, I’m disappointed that Christian publishing lost another fiction line, and  that will not get to write for them again, but my hope is in the Lord who provides for all my needs and even sometimes He fulfills my dreams.

I came upon this verse and I’m claiming it. Romans 15:13 I suggested looking it up in the NIV, but here it is in the KJV.

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

If you are facing a difficult season, or perhaps you are a writer or reader who has been affected by this line closing, this verse is for you. I pray that the God of hope will fill you with joy and peace in the midst of whatever trial you are facing.

If you would like to check out my books with Heartsong Presents here is a link to my page on Amazon.  http://amzn.to/1nXF1re

 

Postmarked Ever After and Mary L. Ball

Postmarked_Ever_After-coverThis week author Mary L. Ball shares with us about her book Postmarked Ever After (Published by Lovey Christian Romance, a division of Lovely Romance Press.)

Welcome, Mary. Please tells us about Postmarked Ever After.

A delayed letter and a message from afar unite two hearts.

Recently widowed, Serena Gray battles the daily drama of the Emergency Room, as well as her grief. When a mysterious letter arrives, it raises questions about a past she’d only heard her beloved husband speak about.

While on hospital rounds, a child has a brush with death and recounts a vivid dream that bears a message.

Will she risk happiness for the truth or keep a secret from the past?

How long did Postmarked Ever After take you to write?

It took about 4 months to write, but then the edits began. LOL

In what time of year is your story set? Is there any particular reason you choose that season or holiday?

Postmarked Ever After takes the reader through Thanksgiving and Christmas. The story revolves around learning to love again after a loss. Going through the holidays is often hard and   challenges the healing process, so I thought it was an important aspect to be included in the book.

Do you write in any other genre’s?

All my novels are Inspirational, I write romance, suspense, and mystery.

What is next for you?

My next novella titled, Christmas at Angel Ranch. Below is the blurb.

Kayla a designer for Summer Designs, or was, until a police raid proves the decorating company is laundering money. The investigation proves her innocence, but Kayla without a job, no prospects for employment, and a boyfriend convicted and on his way to prison.

Kayla’s only retreat from the dishonesty that threatens her life and the man who lied to her is to return home for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Angel Ranch, a hunting lodge that caters to elite hunters and Reed Jessup is ready to trade in his corner office for a few weeks of R&R. He arrives with his rifle and a trophy buck on his mind.

When two mistrusting hearts collide, can love prevail? Will they need a little push Or will it take faith?

“Redemption in Big Fork Lake,” published by Prism Book Group, is coming in November. It’s a follow-up of a few characters in “Escape to Big Fork Lake.” Below is the blurb.

Can he be forgiven?

Only after Robert Turner hurts a woman 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. Will heartache drive him to return to the life he once had?

Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lovely blog. It’s been nice having you, Mary. 🙂

Mary was kind and offered to give away a copy of her book. If you would like to be entered for a chance to win, please leave her a comment.

Rules: Open to USA addresses only. Void where prohibited by law. Drawing ends 11/23/2014. The winner will be notified 11/24/2014 and have until 11/30/2014 to reply or forfeit the book. No new winner will be drawn.

DSCF1649-001Mary L. Ball is an inspirational fiction author and lives in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. She writes about real-life problems, suspense or mystery blended with romance.

Mary hopes her books encourage people to see the wonder of love and a divine guidance that awaits everyone.

When Mary is not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions.

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

Why me Lord? by Cindy Loven

2011-09-09 12.24.19I will be showing my age here, but when I was a teen, there was a song out named Why Me Lord? I never fully related to that song until I became an adult and life started happening. You know life as we don’t expect it to happen. We all do this, we plan our lives the way we want them to happen. Never thinking about the fact, God may have a different plan for us.

First it started with going to college, I wanted to do one thing but was told I needed to finish another type of school first, later to find out that was wrong. BTW I never went on to the other schooling. Life happened. Then it was marriage, after going with a fellow for nearly two years, it ended, and a whirlwind romance brought marriage, all God ordained. (We will soon celebrate our 29th anniversary) But all those plans I had made, crumbled, and thus began the “Why me Lord?” questions.

After marriage, is babies right? Not always, or not in the timing that you expect. Or maybe not even the way you expect. Our family grew by adoption, which again brought on more “why me Lord” questions. Why can’t I have babies? Why? Why? Why?

Fast forward several years, and I approached the biggest “why” question of my life. Why Lord, Why did my son die? Months and years of asking that question and still I have no answer, but this is what I did feel like the Lord spoke to me one day.

“Why not your son? ” Now before rocks are thrown, please understand that this is what I felt prompted in my spirit. The Lord took me to the verses about the death of his Son, and also this verse Acts 10:34 about God not being a respecter of persons. God wasn’t being cruel, I truly believe He just wanted me to see that life happens. Bad things come to people who are doing their best. I may never understand why my son died, but I know it wasn’t as punishment to me. I know that God had His reasons, so the next time we are tempted to ask ourselves why, maybe we should ask “why not me?” instead.

Cindybio picCindy Loven, an avid reader all her life, is seeing her dreams fulfilled, with the publication of her first

novel, Swept Away Quilt of Love. She co-authored this novel with Laura V. Hilton. Born and raised in Arkansas, she loves her home state and is happy to live there with her husband of nearly twenty-nine years and her adult son. She and her family are very active in their local church, serving in many volunteer positions. She and her husband are very serious about informing parents about the dangers of the choking, after loosing their youngest son to this dreadful ‘game’ in 2009. When not busy with church or her job as a “pr gal” for another author, you can find Cindy in her craft room, ,sewing, crocheting or making cards.

Where to find me on the web:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorcindyloven

Twitter handle: @cndloven

Blog: http://cindylovenwrites.blogspot.com

Cover of Swept AwaySwept Away Blurb:

He survived a life-altering event. She is facing one.

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her grandmother who doesn’t want to be cared for. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter.

It doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

Buy Links:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Swept-Away-Laura-V-Hilton-ebook/dp/B00KIW0M3A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402602371&sr=8-1&keywords=Swept+Away+Quilts+of+Love

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/swept-away-cindy-loven/1118933288?ean=9781426773624

 Christian Books.com http://www.christianbook.com/swept-away-quilts-of-love/cindy-loven/9781426773624/pd/773622?product_redirect=1&Ntt=773622&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

The Snow Globe Giveaway with Author Laura V Hilton

This week we welcome back Laura V Hilton to share with us about her book The Snow Globe. It’s great to have you here, Laura!

snow globe cover 2Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents’ farm. When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they’ve hired Esther Beachy to be a “mother’s helper.” Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor’s grandmother’s stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi’s in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization. Victor is touched by Esther’s gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther’s gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again?  

How long did it take you to write? About three months. I had just finished a contemporary for the Quilts of Love series with Abingdon Press, and The Snow Globe was due to Whitaker House at the end of August.

Was there a particular scene that you especially enjoyed and why does this scene stick out to you? I love this whole book, but probably when Viktor talked Esther into the pond to go “swimming.”

If you could be any character in your book, which one would you be and why? Probably Esther, for the rush of falling in love—I’ve been there, happily married, but still there is nothing like that headiness.

In what time of year is your story set? Is there any particular reason you choose that season or holiday? (I’ll adjust the question to fit your answer.) The Snow Globe is set in the summer, for two reasons. 1. It was initially supposed to release in April and 2. We were in the midst of Independence Day celebrations when I wrote that scene . . .

Do you write in any other genre’s? I try. My favorite is Amish. I also play with contemporary romance, historical romance and romantic suspense. At this time, I’m only published with Amish and contemporary romance

What is your favorite genre to read? It’s not really so much a favorite genre, its authors in that genre. I have my favorite Amish authors, historical authors, suspense authors, women’s fiction, contemporary, etal.

How to you like to spend the holidays?   I’m a quiet individual. I like to spend them at home, surrounded by my loved ones, playing games, talking, snacking, enjoying each other as a family. Neither Steve or I have any extended family, really, so it is just us and our kids. No one expects us to go spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with them. Which is sad. I used to love it when my family or Steve’s family gathered for holidays. But now, almost everyone is gone.

Please tell us one thing about yourself that may surprise your readers. My favorite color is white. Like snow. And yes. I love snow.

What is next for you? I am currently writing the third book in the Amish of Jamesport series, THE BIRDHOUSE which releases in November of 2015. After that I have a whole manuscript requested and then I need to start proposals for new books. J

Thanks for sharing with us, Laura!

Readers, something went crazy with this blog post, and it disappeared from my que, so I had to quickly throw it together this morning at five something my time. I apologize for my lack of interaction with Laura, but I hope you enjoyed the interview anyway. I’m really stumped as to what happened with my original post, but moving on…

Laura is giving away one copy of her book. If you would like to be entered to win please leave a comment for her. Since Thanksgiving is so close I’d personally love to hear what some of your traditions are. If you live in another country feel free to share a tradition you have–any holiday.

Rules: Open to USA mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law. Drawing ends Nov. 16. The winner will be notified on Nov. 17, 2014 and have until Nov. 23, 2014 to reply or forfeit the book. 

35839_1469192045700_1110551537_1419357_4095333_nAward winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

 Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard in April 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

The Scary Road by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Proverbs 3:5-6

IMG_0374-1My husband and I went to New Mexico on vacation last year. One of the sites my husband and I wanted to see was Sandia Crest. There’s a tram that goes to the top of the mountain, but we decided to drive, so we typed Sandia Crest into our GPS. What we didn’t know is that there are two roads to the top of Sandia Mountain. One road is the paved one. The other road is an unmaintained state highway that you travel at your own risk. Our GPS took us up the second path.

We should have guessed how scary the road would be when the sign said “Unmaintained Roads Ahead. Travel at your own risk.” But we decided it wouldn’t be that bad. After all, we had a four wheel drive SUV, and it wasn’t winter. So when it became a gravel road we weren’t that worried.

We did get a little nervous when the road started having ruts and stones the size of the Grand Canyon. Then the road narrowed until most of the time, it was one lane. The trees cut off so we could only drive on part of the road were interesting.

IMG_0359Then there were the steep drop-offs with no guardrails. Of course, the “Beware of Bears” signs didn’t make us feel any better. We had to go slow, very slow, so the journey to the top took much longer than we expected. But the view made it all worth it. It was spectacular.

Finally we made it to the paved road. Soon after that, we reached Sandia Crest, elevation 10,689 feet. The view was like nothing I’d ever seen. We went back down over the paved road. It was a nice drive, but not nearly as fun or as beautiful as the scary road.

IMG_0395

In A Christmas Promise, I wrote about Anna and John Brunner, two missionaries who took a scary path by traveling to the wilderness of Ohio to share the Gospel with Lenape Native Americans. They were willing to go out of their comfort zone to do what God wanted.

Sometimes God takes us on scary paths. We travel those roads alone, because nobody else wants to be on those roads. And they take us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes these paths are dangerous. But God never promised us safety. He did promise to travel these roads with us. And the view is spectacular. When we reach the crest where the air is thin, so thin few travel there, then we realize it was worth it all.

AChristmasPromise_med(1)A Christmas Promise:

A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.

When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.

Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

Available at these online stores:

AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GM59GN4/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

PELICAN BOOK GROUP http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_47&products_id=512

CHRISTIANBOOK http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=48711EB&item_code=WW&netp_id=1206746&event=ESRCG&view=details

Web1Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.

Tamera is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.

Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TameraLynnKraft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tamerakraft