God & His Goodness

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Romans 8: 28

And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose.

 

This verse is one of my two go-to verses during the past six years while struggling with brain tumors and side effects from the tumors as well as from the treatments. At my lowest points (physically) I would repeat this verse as often as I needed to remind me that God hadn’t forsaken me or forgotten me. That he was with me and watching over me and that he indeed would work this out for my good–even though I couldn’t imagine how.

One of the truly miraculous things during this time has been that I could still write my stories. At times, I had to crawl up the steps to my office because I was so weak and my balance was so bad. Then I would sit down at my computer and…the fog would lift and I would write. Sometimes it would only be for five or ten minutes before the fog rolled back. But those ten minutes became a published novel and then another and another.

As I grew closer to God during this time, my writing changed. I still love and write action-packed suspense and romantic suspense but I had other stories to tell as well. I call PUZZLE HOUSE the story I never wanted to write because it came about as a direct result of my brain tumors and a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). The main character, Rachel has the same brain tumors as a result of NF2 as I have.

AMAZON LINK

I would never have written PUZZLE HOUSE if I hadn’t developed the brain tumors and NF2 and that means Puzzle House would never be a finalist for The Carol Award! The Carol Award is the American Christian Fiction Writer’s award for excellence in Christian Fiction. Puzzle House is a finalist in the novella category. The winners won’t be announced until September, but as far as I’m concerned, being a finalist makes me a winner!

So you see God really does work all things out for the good of those who love Him!

PS.  Don’t forget, I also have a devotional that goes with the novel–DEVOTIONS FROM PUZZLE HOUSE.

AMAZON LINK

 

Until next time…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

 

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

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I love Christmas but I also know that the Christmas season can be overwhelming. Too many things to do. Too many places to go. And too many good things to eat.  At the moment, Christmas is quickly approaching and that means COOKIES! I love all things sweet but Christmas Cookies are a weakness of mine. And my husband makes wonderful cookies so….

I’m so close to my weight goal–only a few more pounds to go. And it seems as if I’m surrounded by Christmas Cookies everywhere I go–except my WW meeting. I’ve been taking the all or nothing approach when it comes to Christmas Cookies this year, meaning nothing. An all or nothing approach isn’t really helpful in most areas of our life and that’s very true when it comes to weight loss. And I know that most of the time.

But this year is different. The last thing I want to do is sabotage myself but it’s a bit overwhelming to think about NO COOKIES during the holiday season. That made me think about other times when I was overwhelmed.

One of those was when I worked as a speech pathologist for schools. Any job in the education field is a bit overwhelming but being a speech pathologist is certainly one of those because there’s two parts to our job, first is to provide therapy for the students. But the other part of the job is to evaluate students who might need therapy as well as to provide ongoing evaluations to my current students while still providing service for my current students. Each year the evaluation process became more complicated and time-consuming, thus more and more overwhelming.

One of the things I learned to do was not to focus on all the evaluations that needed to be done during the year and making myself even more overwhelmed. Instead each month I would make a list of the students who needed evaluated that month–which made the process more than manageable. All the evaluations would get done on time!

That’s when it came to me. I’ve been worrying about how to get through the whole Christmas season without Christmas Cookies. But I don’t have to worry about saying no to cookies for the next 2-3 weeks, I only have to say no at the next event. It’s about keeping the focus on the present and not worrying about the future. That’s manageable–I can do that.

About now, you might be saying, “so what.” Hold on, I’m getting there.

It’s good to plan and have long-range goals but that’s not always true for every situation. Sometimes, it’s better to take the one day at a time approach. Losing weight is a good example, but I can think of others as well. Cleaning house is one. I don’t like cleaning but if I focus on only cleaning a few things each day, it makes it manageable. And what about writing a book?

When I start to write a new book, I look at the completely blank screen and it’s overwhelming. So I block that out and write the first word, then the first sentence, the first page, and before I know it I have the first chapter finished.

The holiday season can be overwhelming and before we know it, we’ve lost our Christmas spirit and that’s no fun at all. So I suggest you make a list, check it twice, and then do the next thing that needs done. Focus on one thing at a time and enjoy the season!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & GOOD READING!

PUZZLE PUZZLE HOUSE Giveaway Winners!

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I want to thank everyone who entered the contest for the Amazon Gift Card and the other goodies. So here’s the winners…

 

$25 Amazon Gift Card and choice of one my books plus Devotions from Puzzle House.–Congratulations Tammy Doherty!

These 5 lucky winners win their choice of one of my books as well as Devotions from Puzzle House:

Linda Moffit

Lelandandbecky

Beth Nagy

Joan Arming

Pamela

These 5 lucky winners receive a copy of Devotions from Puzzle House

MimiOnLife

FishingJan

Danielle H.

DK Stevens

sbmcmh

 

So…I have a bit of surprise for all my winners! Devotions from Puzzle House has been free on Amazon these past few days so you might have already “bought” it. It doesn’t seem like much of a prize since it was free but…my publisher put one of my books, GAME ON, on sale these past few days and it’s still on sale for 99 cents! Not only that but it’s the #1 Christian suspense/mystery on Amazon at the moment. So instead of giving you Devotions from Puzzle House, I’m going to give all 11 winners a Kindle copy of Game On. If you still want an ecopy of Devotions from Puzzle House, I’ll be glad to send you that as well.

AMAZON LINK

For those who won a book from me, the gift of Game On doesn’t affect your other choice so use the contact form to let me know what other book you’d like. You can choose any book except the Sisters by Choice trilogy even Puzzle House. Thanks everyone for entering! If you didn’t win, you can still purchase Game On right now for 99 cents!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

Life is Like A Puzzle…

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So my new book, Puzzle House released a week ago. So I’ve been busy tweeting and posting and visiting blogs. Time to take a break and have some fun!

AMAZON LINK

A while back I asked my Facebook friends to finish this statement, life is like a puzzle because…. And here are a few of the answers in no particular order.

Life is like a puzzle because…

Francine Troyer: Because we look at the natural instead of at the Spirit.

Nancy Sonneman: the pieces don’t always fit

Keith Summers: it has a set border we can’t go beyond but the inside pieces though a jumble of different shapes, eventually fit together to make a beautiful picture.

Tina Leary Detweiler: Life is like a box of puzzle pieces, sometimes the pieces just seem to fall into place. Other pieces take a little work, sacrifice and faith. They will all come together to create a beautiful finished product. Makes me think of our creator. He is not done with me yet! My pieces have not all fallen into place but when they do, what a celebration of accomplishment it will be!

Amy Leigh Rohrer: Trying to make the puzzles fit is frustrating. I don’t like puzzles.

Linda Race Matye:  sometimes you think the piece you found fits but it’s the wrong one and you just have to keep looking.

 Amy Leigh Roher: Trying to make them fit is a lesson & that feeling of accomplishment is joyous

Joan Kiper: Because every day-like every piece-is different!

Blanche A. Rohrer: sooner or later, all the pieces fit

Joan Kiper: every day-like every piece –is different!

Carol Young: Life is like a puzzle because we can ponder over it for hours and yet, if we stap away from it for awhile the pieces come together…the same as our problems we face every day. Eventually, God sees us through. It all comes together.

Your turn to fill in the blank. Life is like a puzzle because….

 PS…Don’t forget to leave a comment so you’ll be entered in the drawing for Amazon Gift Card. To celebrate the release of PUZZLE HOUSE, I’m giving away a virtual basket of goodies! ONE lucky winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card plus their choice of one of my books (not Puzzle House) and an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House, the devotional companion book to Puzzle House. FIVE more lucky winners will receive their choice of one of my books (Not Puzzle House) and an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House. FIVE more lucky winners will receive an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House. That’s ELEVEN winners in all!

To enter, simply leave a comment on any of the posts that have the word PUZZLE in the title, including today’s post. The last day to enter the contest will be NOVEMBER 9!

PUZZLE HOUSE–A Different Sort of Book

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So PUZZLE HOUSE is completely different from the other books I’ve written. I classify it simply as a Christian story–a parable if you will. My definition of a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly message. I like to think that defines all my books, but certainly PUZZLE HOUSE.

AMAZON LINK

Here’s the blurb:

 

Life isn’t a box of candy—it’s a puzzle!

Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers…until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.

Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?

She makes her choice, but the journey doesn’t go quite the way she expected.

And so Rachel now runs Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed, usually from a life-threatening illness. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there’s more than one kind of healing.

Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she’s angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia’s aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.

Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.

 

PUZZLE HOUSE has a much deeper spiritual message than my suspense and mystery novels. And because of that, I’ve written a companion devotional book to go along with it–Devotions from PUZZLE HOUSE.

AMAZON LINK

DEVOTIONS from PUZZLE HOUSE takes the puzzle theme from the novel and delves deeper into God’s Word.

PUZZLE HOUSE GIVEAWAY!!

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It’s that time again! A new release for me means a giveaway for you!

PUZZLE HOUSE will be released today–October 6! To celebrate the release of PUZZLE HOUSE, I’m giving away a virtual basket of goodies! ONE lucky winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card plus their choice of one of my books (not Puzzle House) and an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House, the devotional companion book to Puzzle House. FIVE more lucky winners will receive their choice of one of my books (Not Puzzle House) and an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House. FIVE more lucky winners will receive an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House. That’s ELEVEN winners in all!

To enter, simply leave a comment on any of the posts that have PUZZLE HOUSE in the title, including today’s post. The last day to enter the contest will be NOVEMBER 9!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

Devotions From PUZZLE HOUSE

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PUZZLE HOUSE (releasing in October) will be my twentieth release–sort of! I’ve had a few experimental books over the years that I’ve self-published that I don’t count. Anyway, PUZZLE HOUSE is a complete departure from my normal suspense and mystery novels. I would simply classify it as Christian fiction but my publisher classifies it as women’s fiction.

Either way, the main character is Rachel Summers and…just like me, Rachel has brain tumors because of Neurofibromatosis Type 2. I know it sounds as if it could be a depressing book but I promise that’s not the case. In fact, the subtitle of the book is a novel of healing and hope. Puzzle House has a much deeper spiritual message than my suspense and mystery novels and so to go along with the novel, I’ve written a companion devotional book to go along with it–Devotions from Puzzle House.

And I’m happy to announce Devotions from Puzzle House is now available on Amazon. Here’s the link to go to Amazon. Devotions from Puzzle House looks at eight different puzzle pieces that will help you create a beautiful picture out of the chaos of your life. I’ll be talking more about Puzzle House and Devotions from Puzzle House in the coming weeks.

This is a first for me–creating a devotional to go along with a novel. What do you think of the idea? Love it or hate it?

 

God Bless & Good Reading.

PS. Devotions from Puzzle House is not about making money. (Not that I’d be opposed to it!) So I’ll be having FREE days on the book from time to time. The first free day will be on August 10th. Don’t worry, I’ll post a reminder on that day. Thanks.