Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Looking in the Window: Updates - TBCN Give Away - Fun Blog on Friday

Give a cheer for your favorite team and enter to win a $10.00 Starbuck’s gift card and an e-book of Stopped Cold in the Teens Read Too Room on The Book Club Network (Leave cheer under the Discussion Forum)  

Join me at the Decatur Book Festival, August 30 and 31, booth 426, Sweet Romance, Mystery & Inspy Fiction


Coming Soon Mountain of Love and Danger, a Fairwilde Reflection Novella 

Jack Greenthumb finds romance in Fairwilde Kingdom—a different day—a different girl. Then a cruel mystery begins. Dad’s beaten, the family farm destroyed and Jack’s true love, Gwendolyn Bante, kidnapped. Jack’s undercover operation reveals Gwenie’s a captive atop a mountain accessible only by helicopter. Reaching her is a dangerous expedition even for a champion rock climber like Jack. However, a Greenthumb Acres employee plants a miraculous seed from Heaven for the rescue. Suspense mounts as Jack scales the perilous cliff to face a brute and a treacherous descent in this retelling of the fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Fun for Friends Friday on Friday, August 29th - Unwrinkling without Ironing, on Lillian Duncan's Blog


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Winner of Joe the Dreamer



Hats, Horns...

Congratulations...

June!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Ada Brownell Talks about Writing and Her Latest Book, The Lady Fugitive. Give Away.


 
A Warm Welcome to Ada Brownell
 
Ada will give away a copy of Joe the Dreamer, either paper or e-book.
To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below. 

When Joe's parents disappear, he becomes the target of the radical militant group that enslaves them and his fate could be worse than death.
 


Hi Ada, first, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the youngest of eight children, six of us redheads, not including Mama. One by one my family became born-again Christians after I was born. Our house was filled with gospel singing and instrumental music.

I’ve been a Bible student most of my life and started writing for Christian publications at age 15. I worked as a reporter for 17 years, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo, and have a degree in mass communications.

 My husband was a telegraph operator for the Rio Grande Railroad . We lived in a cabin on top of Colorado’s Tennessee Pass, in railroad depots and even in a railroad  car. God blessed us with five children, one of them now in heaven, and  they are a blessing to us.

 In retirement, I continue 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. I am critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Why do you write?
 I had hoped to be a secretary. I wrote because I had a fire in me to share the gospel, but also a love for Christian fiction and fun interesting stories. In one of my first writing courses, however, the instructor said a thousand novels are rejected for every one published. I decided to write non-fiction, although once in a while I’d write fiction for a Sunday school paper. In retirement, I decided to write both and now have three non-fiction books and two novels.

Tell us about your latest book, The Lady Fugitive.
How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?

Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her or he won’t inherit her parents’ ranch.
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.

 Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

What inspired you to write this particular book?
My grandmother was an elocutionist who performed her original poems and songs on stage in Colorado as a teenager before the turn of the 20th Century.

Some relatives say when Grandma’s parents died she moved in with an uncle, a judge, who lived in Pueblo, Colo. Grandma graduated from Centennial High School at a young age and earned a teaching certificate. But one day, knowing she was in danger of being abused by the judge, she packed a suitcase and took off down the road walking. She ended up in Florence, Colo., where she was hired as a schoolteacher.

A portion of my family denies Grandma had to run from the judge. I wasn’t there.
Grandfather was dead before I was born, but he sounded like an interesting character who traveled about the country in his youth showing one of the first Passion of the Christ moving pictures created. My brother has the reel.

Like William in The Lady Fugitive, Grandpa’s dad was murdered.
As a widower, Great-grandfather had remarried, supposedly because he needed a cook. He was age sixty or so and his wife decades younger, and she was pregnant. When his wife’s lover kept coming to see her, Great-grandpa tried to stop it and the man beat him so badly he died.
Although I’ve used similar situations, The Lady Fugitive is the story of Jenny Louise Parks and William O’Casey, created from my imagination. They, all characters and events in the book are fiction.

How do you get to know your characters?
I made short profiles of each character in a notebook, but they grew their own personalities as I wrote. Sometimes a character pops in out of no where. That’s the way it was with Stuart, a young orphan whose living on the streets because his parents died of cholera.

Here’s how he dropped in:

“What ya doin’?”

Jenny jumped and banged her head on a board above her. She edged her fingers under her tightly secured bun to rub the spot.

A skinny boy with a dirty face and ragged clothes leaned in behind her and took a peek at the judge and William. “Is that man botherin’ the peddler? I kinda like the peddler. Gave me apples one day.”
“SShhhhhh.” She put her shaking index finger across her lips and considered holding her nose. The boy needed a bath.

He lowered his voice. “Why you hidin’?”

“I don’t want the man who is bothering the peddler to see me. But I need to hear what they say.”
William and the stable boy appeared to be giving the judge directions.

“Need a job?” Jenny asked. “I’ll bet the gentleman would like to have someone carry his suitcase to the rooming house.” She reached out and shook his dirty hand. “I’m Jenny Parks. The new schoolteacher. Hope to see you in school Monday. What is your name?”

“Stuart Ripley.”

My editor also loved the wife of the antagonist who Jenny called “Grouch.” She also just popped in.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
My husband and I are retired and writing takes commitment even now. I try to be organized, clean dirt the instant I see it, wash and fold that laundry, plan those meals, and budget my time. My husband likes that I’m a writer, but he doesn’t particularly like all the time I spend at the computer.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
 Know your goal, pray, study writing and other people’s writing, then sit down and do it.

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.

Among her books: The Lady Fugitive, released July 18, 2014, Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.

Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at www.Audible.com  Free book with new Audible membership.

The Lady Fugitive  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LYDWAIW
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06       
 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AdaBrownellWritingMinistries
Twitter: @adellerella
Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
BarnesandNoble.com   http://ow.ly/rFSW3
Google https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdaBrownell/posts
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1654534.Ada_Brownell

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE LADY FUGITIVE

At http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com
Sign up for her newsletter and learn more about her writing ministry

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Winner of Beyond I Do




The winner of Beyond I Do is...

Hat, Horns....

Congratulations Connie Almony!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Jennifer Slattery Shares a Beautiful Devotional and Talks about Her New Book, Beyond I Do. She'll Give Away a Copy.

 
A Warm Welcome to Jennifer Slattery

To enter to win a copy of Beyond I Do, leave a comment with your name and an e-mail address.

Closed Door
 
I’m not sure when this started or where it came from, but somehow, over the years, my view of obedience has become tainted. I’ve heard so much about open and closed doors and letting go and letting God that I’ve developed this idea that obedience is going to be easy. And successful. But when I read the Bible, that’s not what I see. Consider how many doors Moses had slammed in his face. His own people opposed him, Pharaoh ridiculed him, and the harder Moses pushed, the worse things became. At least initially. And what about Joshua and his encounter with Jericho? He didn’t just have a closed door. He had an entire, seemingly impenetrable, wall standing in his way. Then there’s the prophet Elijah. His life wasn’t exactly a bed of roses. At times, he even thought his work was pointless. But he kept on. As did Isaiah, John the Baptist, Stephen, and Paul, just to name a few.

Paul has become the super hero of Christianity. We like to talk about all the great things he did for Christ, about all the churches he planted, and how faithfully he suffered for God. But if we really stop and study his life, we won’t see very many open doors. That’s not to say his work didn’t produce amazing results. What I’m saying is his road to obedience wasn’t this peaceful, well-paved, flower-lined path we’d like to see in our own lives. It was fraught with intense, life-threatening obstacles at every turn. Hop on over to Acts and tell me you don’t see all the heavily fastened dead bolts–prison, beating, slander, ridicule. (Pay special attention to Acts 20: 22-28) Paul didn’t wait for a nice, wide, open door. He looked for those tiny cracks then worked, with God’s leading, to wiggle himself in. Not because he was forging his own way with single-minded stubbornness, but because he knew-knew-knew God’s will and focused on obedience with unwavering determination. Walking with intentional blinders on, he kept his eyes on his Savior and not the obstacles all around him.

The result? Many came to salvation, and numerous churches were planted. I’m not saying that closed doors don’t exist or that we shouldn’t pause for re-evaluation every once in awhile. What I am saying is if you know in your heart of hearts God is calling you to do something, don’t let anything get in the way. And don’t expect the obedience journey to be easy. When doubts and obstacles arise, put your blinders on and withdraw within, closing off everything else until that still, small voice shines through. Then, once God has confirmed or perhaps reaffirmed your route, walk forward in confidence.

What about you? Do you feel like you’ve hit a closed door? Maybe you have. Or maybe, God is stretching and growing you, developing perseverance while drawing you closer to Himself. There’s only one way to know for sure, and that’s through consistent prayer.

I love to pray Romans 12:1-2, which says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

As we come to God in prayer, offering all we are and have to Him, He begins to transform our thinking, aligning our will with His. Then we can move forward in confidence, trusting He will redirect us if need be. What about you? Where are you in your faith journey? Have you hit a few hurdles and speed bumps, maybe enough that you’ve considered turning back? Could be. But what if He’s asking you to persevere and keep stepping?

Thank you for that wonderful devotional.

About Beyond I Do.

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
 
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Purchase it on Amazon and
Barnes and Noble

 Bio:
Jennifer Slattery is an avid reader who enjoys long, leisurely strolls with her husband; mall dates with her daughter; and chatting with her girlfriends over hot, flavored milk with a hint of coffee. She writes missional romance novels for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions. She also writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries, an international ministry that broadcasts via radio waves in 32 countries. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her serving in her church, community, or home.
Connect with her online at her blog, http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.comblogblog , on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte, and Twitter at https://twitter.com/Jenslattery

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Winner of Deadly Communications

Hats and Horns...

The winner of Deadly Communications is...

Congratulations, Ashley!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Lillian Duncan Talks about Writing, Murder and Mayhem. Gives away a Copy of Deadly Communications.


                                                     
A warm welcome to Lillian Duncan.
 
She'll give away an e-book of Deadly Communications. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.

Hi Lillian, you mentioned the town where you live to me. Tell me about it.
I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have 1 traffic light. But I love living here. I grew up in the area, but moved to the big city of Cleveland for many years. Like Dorothy, I love being home again.

Yes, to use the cliché, there’s no place like home. Lots of people like to know what writers read. What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
The answer to both is Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in from time to time. I guess writing is sort of like eating. You are what you read, and for me that means I’m a suspense/mystery writer.

Tell us about your latest, Deadly Communications.
Deadly Communications features Maven Morris, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who gets a little too involved with her clients. Okay, a lot too involved. When a client she’s working with leaves abruptly, Maven is suspicious and she won’t rest until she finds her.

How long did it take you to write this book?
Deadly Communications is a novella so it didn’t take anywhere near as long as a full-length novel would. I would say I finished my first draft within a month. Then another month to revise and polish before I submitted it.

Tell me a bit about your main characters. Who did you have the most fun creating? Why?
I had a great time creating Maven Morris—a crime-fighting speech pathologist! In many ways, we are quite similar. I was a speech pathologist for more than 30 years! She’s short just like me, but not as short. She has Bell’s palsy, just like me. But we’re also different. I would never get myself into the trouble she gets herself into. I’m not very adventurous and would never get myself into that kind of situation!

What’s the setting for Deadly Communications?
It takes place in the city of Wooster, Ohio. Coincidently, it’s a city I’ve lived near most of my life. But, of course, the story is fictional and not based on reality!

How did you come up with the title for Deadly Communications?
How could that not be the title? When a speech-language pathologist (SLP) gets involved in a murder mystery, what else could you name it?

Is Deadly Communications the first book you published?
No, I’ve been blessed to have several books published in the past few years. My last release was Betrayed in January of this year. It was the second in my Sisters By Choice series. The third, Redemption, will be released in September.

Why did you write Deadly Communications?
Three things happened within a few days of each other to inspire Deadly Communications.
First, my brother asked why I didn’t write a story featuring a speech-language pathologist. To which my answer was that it would be difficult to come up with a suspense story and an SLP.
Secondly, a few days later I was talking with someone whose daughter had been involved in an accident and was now experiencing communication difficulties. Thirdly, as writers are prone to do, I was sitting daydreaming and had a vision of a young woman running through the woods and into ongoing traffic. That’s all it took! My writer mind took over from there and Deadly Communications was born.

So, then it sounds as if you were a speech-language pathologist. Tell us a little about that job.
I retired as an SLP from a large city school district in Ohio, then spent several more years working part-time in smaller, rural districts near where I live. Between the two jobs, I don’t think there is any type of child I haven’t worked with at least once.

I loved my job and still miss it. Mostly I miss the children, not the paper work involved. If it weren’t for serious health issues, I would still be working.

What do you want readers to take away from Deadly Communications?
Before the story starts Maven has experienced a series of life-changing events that have led to depression. Maven chooses to get out of bed and keep moving. It’s not easy when life throws us a curve ball or two. It may not seem fair, but how we react to those things will determine the quality of our future.
As the story moves forward we see Maven struggle with her spirituality as she faces some difficult circumstances in her life. I want readers to know they can do the same.

Was it difficult to write a character with communication problems?
Not at all. In fact, that was part of the fun of writing Deadly Communications. In the scenes where Maven is working with her client, all I had to do was close my eyes, imagine the interaction, then open my eyes, and write it.

Are you planning a sequel to Deadly Communications?
At this point, I have 3 novellas written featuring Maven, the crime-fighting speech pathologist. The second has been submitted to my publisher and I’m waiting to hear back. It’s titled Nowhere To Belong. It’s about a little boy found abandoned in a park that Maven ends up fostering. He refuses to communicate with anyone but Maven has her ways to get past that!

What is your writing process?
I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?
Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers. Deadly Communications was no exception. I wasn’t sure who the culprit was until the very end. Maven and I suspected one person, but we were wrong!

Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?
I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.

Then what makes your stories Christian Fiction?
I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories in any way. My characters experience the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions.

My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.

One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.

What are you working on now?
I have a devotional blog Power Up with God’s Word: Secrets For a Better Life at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com. I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors two years ago and so many of the devotions focus help others who are facing a crisis—physical or
spiritual.

The third book in The Sisters By Choice series (Redemption) will be released in September.

How can readers find you on the internet?
My website is www.lillianduncan.net and I have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at www.lillian-duncan.com.  I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan


About Deadly Communications
Improving communication skills is never easy. In this case, it could be murder!
Maven Morris is a speech-language pathologist on medical leave–or as she likes to put it: out to pasture.

When she’s offered a lucrative position by one of the community’s most powerful men to help his traumatic-brain-injured daughter improve her communication skills, Maven discovers deadly secrets behind the iron gates of the mansion.

Now, she must find the courage to seek justice no matter who gets hurt–even if it’s her.

Bio: Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband, two parrots, one Jack Russell, and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel she’s thinking of renaming Clifford since he keeps growing and growing and….
As a speech pathologist in the public schools for over thirty years, she worked with students of all ages with a wide variety of conditions, but especially with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives. especially God’s Word.
Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced mystery and suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian and her books, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-
duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.