THE BATTLE FOR EASTER

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Easter is the most holy and most precious of our Christian holidays.

Without Easter, there would be no Christianity. Easter is the cornerstone of our faith. We all love Christmas, the celebration surrounding the birth of the baby Jesus. We love that that He was born in a manger on a star-filled night. We love that the angels announced the Good News of his birth first to the humble shepherds that kept watch over their flocks. We love that the magi came bearing gifts for the newborn king.

Jesus was born a man. Just as God gives each of us free will to choose or not to choose Him, Jesus had that same right. He didn’t have to go to the cross for us. At any time he could have said no. He could have called 10,000 angels.

He didn’t because he loved us.

Instead, He made the ultimate sacrifice. For us. He chose mercy, grace, and love. He chose us.

Have you ever wondered what happened during those three long days between Jesus’s crucifixion on the cross and His resurrection, the first Easter? 

I have.

As a writer when I wonder something for long enough, something usually gets created. And that’s true this time. I wrote a short story called THE BATTLE FOR EASTER a few years ago. It’s not available all the time, but it’s available right now during this Easter season–and IT’S FREE for the next few days! Click on the link to get it through Amazon.

AMAZON LINK

HAPPY EASTER!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

APRIL’S FOOLS DAY!

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It’s April 1st, better known as April Fools Day. A day when we pull silly pranks or jokes on those around us–all in good fun. It’s a day I’ll never forget. And that’s no joke!

Nine years ago today, my life changed forever! I developed Bell’s palsy and from there my brain tumors and Neurofibromatosis Type 2 were diagnosed. It’s not been an easy journey but God has been with me through it all, strengthening me, giving me peace and joy, and giving me the best husband ever!

As I sit here and reflect on what I’ve learned during my journey, I ask myself what can I share to help others who are on their own difficult journey. Many answers come to mind. In fact, I’m in the process of writing a memoir/devotional book about my journey so there’s lots I could say.

God has promised us many things, but one thing He never promised us was that life would be easy!

But what exactly does He promise us? Ahh…that’s the question, isn’t it. And that’s the one thing I’ve learned on this journey.

God’s Word is crucial.

God’s Word is crucial if we want to live our best life.

God’s Word is crucial if we want to experience God’s promises.

God’s Word is crucial if we want to access God’s power, his peace, and his joy.

God’s Word is crucial if we are to complete our race.

God’s Word is crucial if we want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Can we go to heaven without studying God’s Word? Yes, but…

Can we get blessings without studying God’s Word? Yes, but…

Can we have faith without studying God’s Word? Yes, but…

Yes, but… We can struggle and muddle our way through this life or we can make the choice to do it God’s Way. And the only way we can do it God’s Way is to spend time with God and His Word.

And that’s no joke!

Writer of the Day–ANN BRODEUR

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ANN BRODEUR is an award-winning novelist who writes inspirational and contemporary romances offering sweet hope and happy endings. When she’s not reading, writing, chasing after her kids or enjoying long chats with her husband, Ann can be found drinking coffee, that’s been reheated several times throughout the day. She aspires to someday drink a hot beverage in one sitting. Her debut, SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS released Nov 6, 2020 by Anaiah Press.

You can connect with Ann at  https://www.facebook.com/annbrodeurauthor  or by signing up for her newsletter on her website: http://brodeurwrites.com/

Let’s learn a bit more about Ann Brodeur.

How or why did you become a writer? I’ve always wanted to write. A couple of months ago I discovered my diary from when I was ten years old. In it, I’d written how I wanted to become a Christian author someday so that I could tell people about Jesus with my words. Looking back over my career in the non-profit world, I can see how everything I did led me to writing novels (like grant-writing amongst other things).

 

Why do you write Christian Fiction? I write Christian Fiction because it gives people hope that general market and literary fiction can’t give them. It’s about writing the stories God has placed on my heart and letting Him lead as I write.

 

In the summer of 2019 I was challenged by a family camp speaker. In his sermon he threw out this challenge – with the little talent God has given you, how can you use it to make the most impact for God? I come back to this challenge every so often to remind myself of why I’m writing the stories I do.

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself. (Can be funny, serious, or spiritual) I hated chocolate up until my third trimester when I was pregnant with twins – then I couldn’t eat enough!

 

Tell us a little about your books. (General not a specific book promo but you can list titles.) I write stories with sweet hope and happy endings. My debut novel released at the beginning of November, SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS, a contemporary inspirational Christmas romance. At the moment, I write contemporary inspirational romances but I do have some other novel ideas I’m eager to jump into which would be considered women’s fiction and historical fiction. Those stories (in my head anyway) don’t have a strong romantic thread and may not even be considered romance by the time I’m done. There will definitely be the hope aspect and at the moment, happy endings for all the stories I plan to write.

 

Tell us a little about your current book. (1 paragraph) SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS is a novel about uncovering the pain of the past and trusting God’s leading. It’s a story of redemption and second chances, set in the fictional town of Winterberry Falls, Vermont during the most celebrated season of all, Christmas. A winter storm thrusts my heroine back into a town that only holds bittersweet memories for her, and onto the doorstep of the man who’d stolen her heart and disappeared twelve years earlier. The only way to protect the woman he fell in love with is to stay out of her life, but what’s a guy to do when she shows up out of the blue? And how will he ever keep her safe from the secret that will destroy her family when she’s stuck in town indefinitely?

 

Why do you consider this book a modern-day parable? It’s a story most any one can relate to. Have you ever been lied to? Has someone kept something from you as a way of protecting you? Have you ever had that wrestling match with God wanting to do things His way, but just not ready to give up yours?

 

This story grapples all of those things and more, but through it all there’s a message of hope. If we confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive us. If we follow His lead, blessings will flow.

 

SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS

AMAZON LINK

Unwrapping their past – one secret at a time.

Owning her own PR firm is all reporter Stephanie Clark wants for Christmas, but the idea of running a prestigious election campaign in the country’s capital throws her stomach into knots. A last minute vacation road trip to focus and seek God’s direction for her life ends up in disaster when she gets caught in the worst snowstorm to hit Vermont in over a decade, crashing her into a small town and the one person she’d rather forget.

 

GIVEAWAY!

There’s a BookSweeps going on from Dec 7-16. Category is Holiday Inspirational Romance and my book is up for a giveaway there (as well as a couple of other ACFW writers). The link to include (if you’re inclined to include it, but don’t feel that you have to since Dec 16 is the last day): https://www.booksweeps.com/giveaway/december-2020/inspirational-romance-holiday-extravaganza/

 

WORDS! WORDS! WORDS!

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I’m a writer so, yes, I love words! Before I was a writer, I was a speech pathologist in schools. And being a speech pathologist for children is all about… you guessed it… WORDS! Understanding words… saying words…reading words…and writing words! Of course, you have to put the words together to communicate your message. But it all starts with WORDS!

So, I love it when I learn new words.

I learned a new word today–CUPIDITY. Just in case you don’t know the word any more than I did, it means greed for money or possessions. Some synonyms would be lust; greediness; or avarice. Another one I liked was money-grubbing. I think that pretty much sums it us.

Anyway…that got me to thinking. I’m always looking for new ways to connect with my readers so I thought it would be fun to play STUMP ME! You give me a word and I’ll try to give you the definition. I promise not to look it up on the Internet before I answer. But to be fair, you can’t do that either.  It has to be a word you actually know.

SO GO…STUMP ME!

Writer of the Day: NANCY SHEW BOLTON

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My Writer of the Day is Nancy Bolton. Nancy’s here to talk about her new novel–LOVE STUMBLED IN. But first a bit more about Nancy…
Nancy Shew Bolton is a widow after 44 years of marriage, a mother of five grown sons, and grandmother to a boy and girl. Ever since she learned to write, she would jot down her thoughts and impressions in little snippets of inspiration in the form of poetry, song lyrics, or short essays. About 10 years ago, she decided to try her hand at writing a full length book. She’s since written 8 more works of fiction, one non-fiction, and is working on an idea for a children’s book, as well as more fiction manuscripts.
Writing a full-length work is much more challenging than she thought, and she has received so much valuable assistance from other writers, especially from the ACFW critique groups. Her husband had been supportive of her long hours spent at the keyboard. Many thanks to her beloved Johnny!
Nancy loves to write character-driven stories about relationships of love and faith, since she is fascinated by the complexities within this emotional terrain. She thanks God and His Son for her life, her loved ones and the spark of creativity inside every person. She believes each person is a unique creation, with their own special voice and place in this amazing universe. God’s handiwork amazes her every day!

LOVE STUMBLED IN

In the years of World War I and the flu epidemic that followed, American society and its people underwent profound changes. Carrie and her adopted family are not spared these changes and tragedies, yet what can they do but continue on the best way they can? As Carrie comes of age, she is faced with a future very different than the one she hoped for. She gave her heart, only to have it returned back to her and now she must search herself to find a new direction or give in to the temptation to simply give up and let circumstances dictate her life.

Judd has spent his young adult years coping with the aftermath of war injuries and profound family losses. With no time to grieve or recover, he is thrust into the role of family head and pours himself into steering his brothers and Carrie to adulthood while also seeing to the needs of the family farm. Like Carrie, his losses have caused him to grow cold towards God, leaning only on himself to bear the weight of his responsibilities. The pressure has forged a resolute hardness in him and an unwillingness to be close to anyone. The life journey of both is in need of new direction, if they will choose to take a chance and step toward it.

Sounds like a wonderful book, Nancy. Thanks for sharing it with my readers.

 

Alexis A. Goring–Writer of the Day

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My Writer of the Day is Alexis A. Goring. She’s a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

Alexis has written a new devotional–STORIES OF SONGS AND FAITH: MY JOURNEY WITH GOD. She’s sharing one of her devotions with us today.

AMAZON LINK

A God Who Hears

“Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.”

– Psalm 34:17 (MSG)

The idea for this devotional struck me when I interviewed for a part-time position at a daycare. This daycare was for children as young as six months until about Pre-K. I remember that part of the interview process was to have me observe a classroom to give me a real taste of what working there would be like. They placed me in the quietest classroom. But the teacher in that classroom told me that it was only quiet because the children were sleeping.

We sat at a table in the middle of the classroom. The adorable toddlers surrounded us, sleeping peacefully on their blue and red mats. They looked like little, sweet cherubs. The teacher of this classroom and I spoke in soft tones as not to wake the children. She informed me about the tasks that she and her classroom aide were responsible for each day and then she said something that still stays with me today.

“I couldn’t work in that classroom,” she said, pointing down the hall to the Cradle Roll, which was where the noise I noticed from the moment when I entered the secure hallway near the classrooms, originated.

“Really? Why?” I asked.

“Because those babies cry all day!”

We shared a quiet laugh (so not to wake the children in her classroom).

As I walked away from my hour spent interviewing and observing at that daycare, the humor stuck with me and I smiled, but then realization hit me. I realized that no matter how much we cry – in joy, in despair, in anxiety or what have you – we have a God who hears! Not only does He hear our cries, he never tires of hearing us cry. He wants us to cry out to Him. He is completely invested in caring for us and meeting our every need. We can never wear God out! He never gets tired of taking care of us! The Bible says that He never sleeps! The Bible says in Psalm 121:4 (MSG): “He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep.”

God never gets tired listening to our cries even if they are constant and never stop. His patience, perseverance and kindness in caring for us reminds me of the song by Scott Krippayne, “Every Single Tear.”

Here is my paraphrase of that song: We may feel like we’re not that important. We may feel invisible like nobody knows our name. But we’re priceless to God. He sees us and He knows each of our names! He sees every single tear that we shed on any given day, noon or night. His empathy is unique because He feels everything that we feel. God looks past our tears and sees our heart. He gets to the core of our pain and as the Master Physician, He carefully and effectively works on us in a way that will heal us and bring about complete restoration. We cry, He cries. But He doesn’t just empathize when He hears us cry, He listens to what we cannot even put into words and then He answers the cries of our heart in only ways that He can.

To the world, our cries may be annoying and misunderstood. But to God, our cries draw Him near to us because He’s concerned about everything that concerns us! He wants to be there for us and He’s readily available to help.

Bottom line: We don’t have to face pain alone because we have a God who hears and answers us!

The Bible says in Matthew 6:25-26 that if God takes care of the sparrows (He does) then He will take care of us too! The sparrows don’t worry about where they’re going to sleep or what they’re going to eat because they know that their Creator (God) will provide for their every need. The Bible says that we’re worth more than sparrows. So we can trust that God will meet all of our needs, from the food that we need to eat to the clothes that we need to wear and to the bills that we need to pay.

Here’s how The Message Bible (MSG) words Matthew 6:25-26: “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”

You are a child of God and He is a Good Father who loves you with all of His divine heart. Cry out to God. Pour your heart to Him. Go to Him for help that only He can give. Remember, God is always listening and ready to rescue you!

Reflection Questions:

  1. When was the last time that God meet your needs?
  2. How does reflecting on how God met your needs in the past, help you to not fear the future?

Readers, feel free to answer her questions here so others can learn from you. Thanks so much, Alexis, for sharing your devotion with us today.

Joy Avery Melville–Writer of the Day

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My Writer of the Day is Joy Avery Melville. Her latest book in SOWN IN PEACE. She’s been gracious enough to offer an autographed print copy of the book to one lucky reader. So leave a comment at the end of the post to be entered for the giveaway.

Joy Avery Melville’s heart’s desire is to be the author God has called her to be by sharing Him with readers in such a way they long to have a deeply committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord. Fully intending to write Historical Romance—had in fact— she had no plans to deviate from that. God had something else in mind for that ‘call’ He’d made on her life back in 1967. A mere eighth grader at the time, she had no clue about the topics she’d be drawn to write about.

Surrendering to the genre God placed on her heart has given Joy new insight into the hearts and lives of those who too often hurt in silence. The settings of Joy’s books are near where she lives in Schoolcraft, Michigan with her husband of 47 years and their 2-year-old Yorkie, Is-A-Bella Bindi, (Is-a-beautiful little girl) who thinks she’s a much larger breed with tomboy tendencies.

Joy loves to hear from readers and will respond!

 

Here’s the back cover info:

How much can one wounded soul take?

Victoria (Tori) Archer has the heart of a soldier. Taken down by an IED during her fourth deployment, she’s permanently separated from her military career and left with physical scars as well as PTSD. Moving back to her hometown of Three Rivers, Michigan, she’s forced by circumstances to live with an irascible and unsympathetic aunt. Tori’s battle with pain, horrific memories, and loss of independence creates a deep yearning for peace. Will God grant her even a small measure of it?

Retired Military Dog Handler Griffin (Griff) McKay turns to training dogs at his farm for wounded warrior therapy, desiring to bring former military men and women emotional and mental healing. Implementing his plan proves to be more difficult than visualized with the arrival of one stubborn soldier. Why has God placed that particular warrior in his path?

 

This sounds like a wonderful book, Joy.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to win the print copy of the book, leave a comment! Winner will be picked on October 5.

 

God Bless & Good Reading

 

IN HIGH COTTON by Ane Mulligan

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Ane Mulligan is my Writer of the Day.

She’s been a voracious reader ever since her mom instilled within her a love of reading at age three, escaping into worlds otherwise unknown. But when Ane saw PETER PAN on stage, she was struck with a fever from which she never recovered—stage fever. She submerged herself in drama through high school and college. One day, her two loves collided, and a bestselling, award-winning novelist emerged. She lives in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler. Find Ane on her website, Amazon Author page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and The Write Conversation.

 

Trusting God

by Ane Mulligan  @AneMulligan

Her husband died. The stock market crashed. Her little boy was kidnapped by his grandfather. How can she find the strength of faith to go on?

That’s from my new novel, In High Cotton. But I drew from my life’s darkest moments for Maggie’s emotions. I interviewed friends for their hardest time of trusting God. A mother whose twenty-one-year-old son was leaving for a three-month missionary tour. He went fishing with his father that afternoon before he had to leave. He slipped on a rock and drowned in three inches of water.

As each story unfolded, one thread was common to all. God showed up in the form of good friends to help them through.

All my life, I wanted sisters. My brother and I were both adopted. While our childhood was idyllic, I missed having sisters. When I was sixty-two years old, I discovered my birth sisters. I won’t go into that whole story here. You can read it on my website. The point is God showed up. He was faithful with my dreams when I left them at His feet.

In my story of Maggie, she didn’t see God stop the bad things. When she wondered where He was, she only needed to look at those “angels” closest to her. He surrounded her with four strong women to help her.

In High Cotton

Southern women may look as delicate as flowers, but there’s iron in their veins.                            

While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?

 

In High Cotton is available online in both print and eBook:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WOLShX

ShopLPC: https://shoplpc.com/in-high-cotton/

Target: https://www.target.com/p/in-high-cotton-by-ane-mulligan-paperback/-/A-80663388

And in bookstores.

 

 

 

 

And the Winners are…

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Here are the winners of my Jane Doe Giveaway. Each winner will get a $10 Amazon Card!

R.Bayne

Jeanna M.

KKJamm

Please send me an email so I have your correct email address to send the gift card. If you don’t send me an email, you won’t get your prize.

Thanks to everyone who commented. Sorry you didn’t win this time, but I so appreciate your participation and support.

God Bless & Good Reading!