Welcome to my little bit of cyber-space. It is my prayer that all who enter here may be richly blessed by the God of all grace. All praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spotlight on Cynthia Hickey

Our spotlight today is on Cynthia Hickey. Let's learn more about her from her interview answers:

Welcome, Cynthia. Tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?

My favorite books as a child were the Black Stallion books and the Nancy Drew mysteries. I've always had diverse reading likes. I do not write about horses, but I do write mysteries.

What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
My favorite scripture is Philippians 3:14. Scriptures in my stories vary depending on the theme of the novel, but one message seems reoccuring. Let Go and Let God.
I love to travel. If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
Definitely Ireland or Scotland. Most of my characters are of those nationalities. Since I'm Scot-Irish, it fits.

I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
I would still write. Sometimes I still write with pencil and paper, especially plotting and designing my characters. I think today, we put so much faith in our technology that when it goes out on us, we're completely lost. We need to back up our back ups.

As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
I would prefer to sit, write the book, get it published. Done. Having to talke about, pitch, and market something has definitely stretched me. What if they don't like my book? What if they don't like me? Very difficult.

What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
DON'T GIVE UP. This is not an easy journey, and one that should not be undertaken without a true heart and calling to write.

Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?
My mysteries have been re-released as ebooks and can be found at http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.smashwords.com/

For a listing of Cynthia's titles, check out her info below:

Cynthia Hickey's books:


http://www.cynthiahickey.com/  http://www.cynthiahickey.blogspot.com/


Friday, October 28, 2011

Spotlight on Amanda Stephan and her romance novel Lonely Hearts

I've enjoyed getting to 'know' Amanda through our John316MarketingNetwork, and am happy to introduce my readers to her and her book today by shining my spotlight on her even though her bio says she doesn't like the spotlight! Here's what Amanda has to say about her book:

Lonely Hearts ~ a sweet Christian romance
by Amanda Stephan

One lonely mother. Two matchmaking kids. Three eligible bachelors, and some very yummy apple pie!

When widow Becky Callis moves to a new town, she thought it would be easier to start over in a place where she's not reminded of her dead husband. Her kids on the other hand, take it as a chance to help their mother start over romantically. The only problem is, there seems to be quite a few eligible bachelors they can choose from! They soon realize it's easier to find someone to like their mother than it is to figure out which man is best for her.

Even though this handsome cowboy is younger than Becky, Scott makes his interest plain and starts courting her almost immediately to the delight of both kids.

Jack and Becky have been friends since childhood. When they're reunited years after their lives have taken very different paths, this lonely preacher begins to wonder if God has brought her back into his life for a reason.

Pearce Morgan is a single parent raising his young daughter after his wife deserts them soon after Emily's birth. Divorced and disillusioned, an unlikely friendship arises between him and Becky when his shy daughter decides she loves Becky and her kids.

True love is harder than it looks!

Rose back: This book sounds as yummy as the apple pie to me--all the right ingredients baked up in a story to satisfy anyone who loves gentle Christian romances like me! Check out her bio and other info below and order this book right away!

Bio: Amanda Stephan is just a normal, everyday country girl. She resides near Columbia, TN with her husband and children, three cats, one dog, and multiple roosters that love to roost under their bedroom windows. She loves to laugh and have a good time, and loves to read a good book.

Out of love for her family and love for God, she finds writing to be an opportunity to share God's love for others in a fun and entertaining way. Her first novel, The Price of Trust, was published in May of 2010, her second novel, Lonely Hearts, is due for release at the end of October, 2011, and her Slade series was just picked up by TreasureLine Publishing.

If you were to ask her to share one thing about herself that most people don't know, she'd have so many to choose from that she'd probably hesitate for a moment. Not quite a recluse, she's rather camera shy, doesn't like to be in the spotlight, and absolutely LOVES to have her feet tickled. But she would say her most interesting accomplishment is that she laughs like Scooby Doo.

You can usually find Amanda lurking in several online places at once like her

Facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/thepriceoftrust
her Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/creativehomemomma
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/amandastephan
her website http://www.booksbyamanda.com/ or http://www.thepriceoftrust.com/
or her personal blog http://authoramanda.blogspot.com/
Friday with Friends (and chance to win a free book)--Tiff Stockton

Tiff and I met at the first ACFW Conference  in 2002 when she was Amber Miller. Now, one husband and two children later, she writes as Amber Stockton. I have enjoyed reading several of Tiff's books, both in draft form and published form as we used to critique for each other. I'll let her tell you the rest.


by: Tiffany Amber Stockton

I’m sitting here staring at my computer screen and loving the header graphic on Rose’s site. She invited me to come here and spend a little time with you today. As Rose will attest, she and I have traveled this long journey toward publication almost from the start. Her first book released in August this year and mine released in 2008. But many years ago, we started out as critique partners through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Btw, my name is Tiffany, but I publish under my middle and last names of Amber Stockton.
So, my latest book takes me back to my home state of Delaware and the small town of Brandywine. My first series during the Colonial era was set in the small town of New Castle, but at the time it was the center of trade and commerce. For Bound by Grace, I jump forward a little over 100 years and connect my characters to the family I featured in the Liberty’s Promise trilogy. It was a lot of fun returning to this setting and linking the stories. Many of my readers asked me if I would do that at some point down the line, and I’m happy to be able to answer with a resounding “yes!”
Now, a “small town” for a lot of people wouldn’t include many areas on the East Coast. That’s likely because so many big cities exist there. Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Baltimore, D.C., Richmond, Atlanta, etc. And this area has often been called the Megalopolis stretching from Boston to D.C. But while it’s true the interstate allows you to get from one end to the other of these cities in about 7-1/2 hours, if you zip along that highway, you miss all the charming small towns you pass along the way. You never know what little treasures could be tucked in those nooks.
That’s the focus of my first series, and now this current series. Far too often I hear folks assuming Delaware is in New England, and I almost always have to correct them by saying that’s Rhode Island. Delaware is actually a little state occupying most of the DelMarVa Peninsula right smack in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic states of Maryland and Virginia. There is a unique culture here, but most drive right on by on their way to one of the bigger cities.
When I sold my first book, the editor told me I had 3 hurdles to jump as a new historical author: 1) a unique setting (check); 2) a unique time period (check); and 3) good writing. I can check that off now, but it took a little work at the onset. Nevertheless, the editor was impressed with the story and loved the setting, so he was eager to acquire it for the line.
As much as he loved the story, though, my readers have written time and time again to thank me for opening up their eyes and taking them on a journey to an area of the U.S. they wouldn’t think to explore. In one reader’s words, I “take you into the world of an influential little state most people blink and miss." I “offer a history lesson without being boring and blend the lives of the characters seamlessly into the history of the region.”
Needless to say, this series and my first occupy quite a significant chunk of my heart, and I’m thrilled to share those stories with you.
So, when you think of small towns, what areas of the country come to mind, and why? Are you a small town kind of a person, or do you prefer the sprawling areas of suburban dwellings? Share your thoughts in the comments for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of my latest book, Bound by Grace. And visit my web site to read about this as well as my other 10 books. (http://www.amberstockton.com/) I will draw the name of the winner in one week.
Thank you for dropping by today.
* * * * *

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning author, speaker, social media consultant, and a freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and a vivacious Flat-coated retriever named Roxie. She has sold 11 books and 1 novella to Barbour Publishing with more on the horizon. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for the Heartsong Presents book club. Read more about her at her web site: http://www.amberstockton.com/.

Wow, Tiff, I feel like a slacker since you have 10 books already out! You know I am very happy for you and all your success. And, I love this cover! When Tiff mentioned the DelMarVa Peninsula it reminded me of a trip my husband and I took and Tiff came to visit us at Chincoteaque Island during the running of the ponies, an annual event there. We had a fun day in spite of all the walking in the rain we did! Memories!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Second Guest blog and book giveaway contest by Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Shannon has come back to post another guest blog today and has graciously offered to give away another copy of Rodeo Dust. Salena Stormo won a copy for her comment on last week's blog. Now here's Shannon.

Guest Blog by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
My Inkslinger Blog features inspirational authors' real life and fictional romances. It's geared to celebrate marriage and help readers discover new authors. I post one, two, or three day features with weekly book giveaways. If an author chooses to do more than one post, the first usually focuses on their real life romance. This lets the reader get to know the author. Some authors choose to write three posts about their real life romance and those are really popular with readers.

I also feature single authors. They either blog about a real life romance in their family tree or their characters' romance. Only two single authors have been brave enough to tackle my interview for singles with questions like--Are you open to romance? Many single authors choose to interview their heroes and heroines about their romances.
Writers don't have to be published on my blog. They can share their real life romance and I provide a book giveaway for them. I feature all genres of books as long as there is a romantic thread, the books are inspirational and follow the guidelines posted on my blog.
When my books release, I share something about my real life romance, then usually a romantic destination post, or interview my characters, with an excerpt from the book to wrap up the feature.
Here's the 1st post from the week that Rodeo Dust released:
I've talked about my supportive husband before. When I first started writing, we thought it was easy to get published. Once we realized it wasn’t, he never threw in the towel–even when it hit his wallet and it didn’t seem like we’d get any of the investment back.
Over the years, my writing has taken me to many locations. But I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to drive unless I know the area well and lots of traffic freaks me out. Luckily, I have a great chauffer. I was thinking of the many places he’s taken me in my pursuit of writing and research. Here’s the list I came up with:
* Little Rock, Arkansas – attended 2 conferences and 4 writers group meetings. (2 1/2 hour round trip)
* Nashville, Tennessee – attended ACFW Conference (12 hour round trip)
* Dallas, Texas – attended 2 ACFW Conferences (12 hour round trip)
* Council Bluffs, Iowa – so I could ride with my critique partner to attend the ACFW Conference in Denver. (19 1/2 hours round trip)
* Springfield, Missouri – spoke at a conference. (8 hour round trip)
* Eureka Springs, Arkansas – attended a conference once and spoke there once. (8 hour round trip)
* Scott, Arkansas – book signing at an outdoor festival. (3 hour round trip)
* Blytheville, Arkansas – book signing. (7 hour round trip)
* Cordova, Tennessee – spoke at a conference. (6 hour round trip)
* Siloam Springs, Arkansas – spoke at a writers workshop. (8 hour round trip)
* Fort Worth, Texas – researched the Fort Worth Stockyards for my Texas rodeo series. (14 hour round trip)
* Jonesboro, Arkansas – attended Book Fair (5 hour round trip)
Besides all that, he’s met my writer friends at numerous drop off points, so I could ride with them to conferences and workshops. I truly couldn’t have honed my skills, gotten published, helped other writers in their pursuit of publication, or written the Texas books without him.
We often make our trips into mini family vacations and we often have a lot of fun. But we’re both directionally challenged and are hard-pressed to read a map. We travel strictly by Mapquest and GPS–it takes both for us. Since technology isn’t perfect, we sometimes get almost to our destination, but not quite. We often end up lost. On top of that, he’s currently a bi-vocational pastor, so he basically has two jobs and is often running on empty. Usually his only reward is exhaustion and a nice steak dinner. But he carts me around anyway.
Because he loves me.
Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. Her debut novel, White Roses won the 2011 Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category. The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards named Vannatter 3rd Favorite New Author, and White Roses #1 and White Doves #8 in the contemporary category. The Arkansas Democrat Three Rivers Edition voted Vannatter one of 20 to Watch in 2011.
She has taught fiction workshops at The White County Creative Writers Conference in Searcy, AR, Life Press Christian Writers Conference in Memphis, TN, Ozark Creative Writers Conference in Eureka Springs, AR, and Ozark Romance Authors Conference in Springfiled, MO. She also taught a writing class as a continuing adult education course at the Arkansas State University.
The first book in her Texas rodeo series, Rodeo Dust will be available through Heartsong Presents in October. Rodeo Hero and Rodeo Ashes release in 2012. Learn more about Shannon and her books at http://shannonvannatter.com.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Spotlight on Gina Holmes and her new novel, Dry as Rain

Thanks for taking the time to visit, Gina. Tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?
My favorite book as a child was a Wrinkle in Time. It's been so long since I've read it. I really need to reread it. One of my friends who recently has says she got so much more out of it as an adult that she missed as a child. I can't wait to have the time. What I remember about that book is the realization that books didn't have to be just stories that entertained but could change people and their views.
My favorite book now? Oh, that's a tough one. I have a few. I guess I'll go with Jane Eyre. While it was just the best love story I've ever read, it also was more than just entertainment. The author introduced an idea that I'd never considered-that one person can be the life's ministry of another person. I've always been a save the world type and it really touched me and stretched me to consider that for some, one person is their mission field.
What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
The scripture I've had to cling to in trials is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." In recent years, I've gone through the darkest periods of my life. Year after year, I thought the light would never shine again and I clung to that verse like I would an anchor in a storm. I knew it was true and when I couldn't trust anything else around me, I could trust that. It touches me every time I read it. God got me through those dark times and the sun is shining again.
If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
 Oh wow, what a great and thought provoking question. Man. The first place I hope to travel when I can, is Israel but I don't know that it would be research at this point. I think maybe Greece. I did a layover there years and years ago and it was just the most beautiful sight with its whitewashed buildings and turquoise water.
I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
Without technology, I don't know that I'd be a writer. Back in the day, going to the library to check every fact was so very time consuming and I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I would have to check every fact. How would I find the time? Also, I learned to type on a typewriter and the thought of corrective tape sends shivers up my spine. I'm somewhat dyslexic, so I make so many typing errors that are so easy to fix on a computer, but on the typewriter, not so much. Instead of editing 10 pages a day, I'd be lucky to get one done. What I don't like about it is how the internet sucks up my day. A facebook post here, a tweet there, a few blog posts and emails and suddenly the day's over and the house still needs swept, dinner made and no real writing was done. That's a struggle.
I hear you, Gina. As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
Man, how haven't I? I'm an introvert by nature and I'm now teaching at conferences. I've been asked to keynote an upcoming event, and everything inside me cringes, but I say yes, because safety gets you little in this world. If I'm going to touch people, I need to be with them. I'm very content to sit in my little office alone with words but that's not what God would have for me, I'm fairly certain. I've also been stretched in realizing how subjective reading tastes are. I'll get a rave review that calls my latest novel, unique, unpredictable, beautifully written right beside one that calls it predictable, not very well written and familar. C'est la vie. There are a lot of other ways as well.
What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
Relax. It's not going to happen the way you think it will or anywhere near in the time you think it will. You can't make it happen. So concentrate on the writing, stop frothing at the mouth and stalking editors. Concentrate on being the best writer you can be and when you are ripe, you will be picked. No sooner.
Excellent advice. Yes, it will all happen in God's timing. Do you want to add anything about your book such as where to order it?
Sure, thanks for asking. Dry as Rain is my sophomore novel. A very different book from my debut, Crossing Oceans. Dry as Rain tells the story of a couple that drifts slowly apart until infidelity shatters any chance for reconciliation. An unexpected car accident gives our anti-hero a second chance when his wife forgets his affair and begins to look at him again with eyes of love. It is a love story and I'm told it stretches the reader to consider this sin in a new light. It's found on Books a Million, Lifeway, B&N, CBD, Amazon and in brick and mortar stores.

Bio: Gina Holmes is the President and founder of Inspire a Fire and Novel Rocket and award-winning author of Crossing Oceans and Dry as Rain. In 1998, Gina began her career penning articles and short stories, ten years, and a stack of rejection letters later, she held her first published novel. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her husband and children in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose. To learn more about her, visit http://www.ginaholmes.com/.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Blog and giveaway by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
Let me introduce you to my fellow Barbour author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter. She's going to tell you how her just-released book Rodeo Dust came to be. And after you read about this book, I bet you will want to leave a comment so you can be entered in the drawing for a copy of Rodeo Dust. Shannon's giveaway deadline will be next Friday when I post another guest blog by her--this one about her husband. So make sure you leave a comment before October 21 with your email addy so we can contact you next Friday if you win!

How I Got the Idea for Rodeo Dust by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
Rodeo Dust started as a short story. My husband and I had taken our three year old son to the Arkansas State Fair. While our son rode a miniature motorcycle round and round, I noticed a cowboy to the bone wearing his Stetson, Justin boots, and Wranglers. No surprise there. But he was holding hands with a girl wearing a business suit and black suede boots.

Where in the world did they meet? What could they possibly have in common. Thus the story began about the city girl who meets a bull rider at the State Fair of Texas. She detests all things livestock and is terrified of bulls, but she can't stay away from the rodeo because her cowboy rides bulls for a living.
I really wasn't interested in writing short stories. I wanted to write novels. But it initially came to me as a short story. But I realized there was a lot more to it. Maybe like a whole book.
During my teen years, my dad announced at a very small town rodeo. I worked in the concession stand, which provided a little bit of experience to draw from. My husband--who is not a cowboy--is from Texas, so I decided to set the story there.
I needed a rodeo where my hero could compete on a weekly basis without too much travel. The Fort Worth Stockyards fit the bill. Since the heroine is city through and through, I liked the contrast of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. But I wanted my hero to be small town. I found Aubrey--the perfect place for his dude ranch.
After the book sold, I decided I'd better get my facts straight. My family walked the brick-lined streets of the Stockyards, got lost in The Cattlepen Maze, ate at The Cattleman's Steakhouse, toured The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, witnessed The Texas Longhorn Cattle Drive, and went to the rodeo in The Cowtown Coliseum.
Though the book went through several drafts, that initial short story remained in tact toward the end of the book. My son is almost ten now and Rodeo Dust releases this month through Heartsong Presents. Here's the blurb:
Ad exec, Rayna Landers meets bull rider, Clay Warren at the State Fair of Texas. While Rayna thinks she’s content solo, Clay longs for marriage and family. Though poised to win his third world championship, his ranch is in a slump. Clay convinces his publicist to hire her advertising firm in a last-ditch effort to keep his employees and lasso her heart.
Soon the city girl is on the ride of her life, until the rodeo unearths buried memories from her past. Clay sees her through the trauma, but an injury and his stubborn determination to get back in the hypothetical saddle threatens their budding relationship. Can they rely on God to find their common ground or will they draw a line in the rodeo dust that neither will cross?

Shannon's bio: Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. Her debut novel, White Roses won the 2011 Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category. The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards named Vannatter 3rd Favorite New Author, and White Roses #1 and White Doves #8 in the contemporary category. The Arkansas Democrat Three Rivers Edition voted Vannatter one of 20 to Watch in 2011.

She has taught fiction workshops at The White County Creative Writers Conference in Searcy, AR, Life Press Christian Writers Conference in Memphis, TN, Ozark Creative Writers Conference in Eureka Springs, AR, and Ozark Romance Authors Conference in Springfiled, MO. She also taught a writing class as a continuing adult education course at the Arkansas State University.
The first book in her Texas rodeo series, Rodeo Dust will be available through Heartsong Presents in October. Rodeo Hero and Rodeo Ashes release in 2012. Learn more about Shannon and her books at http://shannonvannatter.com.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fit for Faith by Kimberley Payne and SPECIAL GIFTS if you order TODAY ONLY, October 11, 2011!

Today only! Get FREE gifts when you buy Kimberley Payne's e-book, Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual & physical health. For details see:


Book Review: Kimberley Payne has written a book I wish I had read years ago before all the other diet/health books I have consumed! She approaches health from God's viewpoint and helps us see how body, soul and spirit are entertwined with each other. I love the way she begins each day's portion with a prayer and ends it with a Scripture. She also includes many questions and places to record your own thoughts and goals to help keep you on track, and gives an extensive list of books and magazines for further reading and step by step instructions for the exercise program. Whether you are just beginning on your fitness trek or have travelled this road before, Fit for Faith will make an excellent companion on your journey.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spotlight on K. Dawn Byrd

I'd like to welcome K. Dawn to my blog and ask her to answer a few questions so we can all get to know her better. Tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?

That's a hard question. I can't give you just one book. As a child, I absolutely loved the Nancy Drew Mystery series books and read every one at the school library. Twice. As an adult, I still love a good mystery, which has led to me signing a contract with Desert Breeze Publishing for a three book mystery series for next year, the first of which will debut in January. The Zoe Mack Mystery Series is a college-age series that's heavy on the romance.

I loved Nancy Drew, too! What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 20:11

That's also one of my favorite verses. If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
To write, I love Myrtle Beach. I sit on a balcony overlooking the ocean and write as the waves kiss the shore. It's a perfect setting because Myrtle Beach is famous for golf and there's something for hubby to do while I write.
To research? I'd love to visit New York City. I have a plot rolling around in my head for a WWII romance set there.

Great choices! I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
My favorite item is my netbook. I have problems with my hands due to a neck injury from a car wreck many years ago. My hands don't hurt if I use the netbook.

Glad you found a way to write without pain. As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
I'm very much an introvert. I enjoy people, but I don't open up until I know someone quite well. I don't like large crowds at all. Since I've become published, I've attended a couple of writers' conferences. I'd never flown before until I took the leap of faith and went to ACFW last year.

I agree, the ACFW conferences can't be beat! What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
Write for fun! If you're writing for fame or money, that may never come. Write because you enjoy it. I write for the simple joy of placing words on the page.

Great advice! Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?

You tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geWeGQ6Ueu4
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mistaken-Identity-ebook/dp/B0056AT186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315948663&sr=8-1
My Publisher: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com//-strse-178/K-Dawn-Byrd-Mistaken/Detail.bok
My website: http://www.kdawnbyrd.com/
My blog: http://www,kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com/
Young adult blog: http://www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 07, 2011

Kimberley Payne's new book release Fit for Faith

I am pleased to help get the word out about Kimberley Payne's book Fit for Faith as it touches many areas near and dear to my heart. I am not able, timewise, to help promote all the books I am asked to, but when I read about Kimberley's book I knew I wanted to be involved. To help tell you about it I will share some of the back cover copy:
This is the statement that really jumped out at me:
Prayer, Bible study & journal writing are to the spirit what exercise, healthy eating and stretching are to the body.
Then it goes on to ask--Do you want to feel better?

This book is for every person who wants a balanced approach to health and weight loss,
while improving his or her spiritual walk with God.
You will discover how easy it is to:
Become more physically active
Use the clear advice on goal-planning and exercise guidelines to set up a program for active living. Apply the plan to your health through a home fitness test and three easy-to-follow strength training programs.
Improve your prayer life.
Learn the basics to get you started. Follow simple steps to an active prayer life.
Make healthy eating a habit.
Learn the secrets of eating well. Discover nutrition guidelines and hands-on, action-oriented strategies.
Read and study the Bible
Rely more on God to help you make changes in your lifestyle. Learn simple Bible study strategies to apply to your day.
Stretch your body
Find out about proper flexibility exercises and tips on stretching. Then apply them to your daily health routine.
Write a journal entry
Discover a new way to express yourself and communicate with God on a more intimate level.
Dispel common myths
Learn the facts surrounding more than 40 health and fitness myths.
This program has shown people how to improve physical and spiritual health.
You can improve your health too!
This book unites physical health and spiritual health through a 7-week program to lose weight and develop a deeper relationship with God. It is a reference on cardiovascular exercise, strength training, prayer, healthy eating, Bible study, flexibility exercise and journal writing.
I only started reading this book last night, but I can't wait to finish it soon, and can't wait to put into practice many of its excellent suggestions. Hope you will join me on this journey to a more balanced person, both physically and spiritually. After all, once you study and practice it for seven weeks, you'll see what a difference this lifestyle is making and want to continue!

Bio for Kimberley Payne:
Kimberley Payne is a motivational speaker and author of Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health. Her writings relate raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire women to live happier, healthier lives that glorify God. Kimberley is a former personal trainer and has worked in the designing and counselling fields of weight control, stress management, self esteem improvement and wellness programs. She enjoys recreational activities with her husband and two children near Peterborough, Ontario. You can visit her website at http://www.kimberleypayne.com/

Guest Blog by Mary Ellis

I am happy to introduce my readers to Mary Ellis who grew up near Amish communities and now writes stories set there. Below is the blurb for her latest book, A Marriage for Meghan, and an article Mary wrote about research she did for the book. Very interesting! Read on to find out why she is glad she eats at Subway! And I found out that Mary and I have several things in common, including marrying our college sweethearts, and retiring from teaching to pursue our writing dreams.

Blurb for A Marriage for Meghan:
Meghan Yost is eager to prove to her father, the bishop, that she’s mature enough to teach school by herself. But just as she gains confidence, a troubled student challenges her authority and an enthusiastic suitor challenges her patience. How can Meghan outgrow her nickname of “little goose” if she can’t stand on her own two feet? When a series of apparent hate crimes sweep through the district, the sheriff calls in the FBI, and Special Agent Thomas Mast arrives carrying a secret he’s hidden for years. Will he come to terms with the past and regain his relationship with God before his career hardened his heart? With more on her plate than one girl can handle, Meghan sets out to help with the investigation. Thomas works closely with the bishop, who hopes the criminals will be arrested before Meghan finds herself in love with the most inappropriate of suitors—an Englischer.

A research article for this book:
While researching my current book, A Marriage for Meghan, God placed the perfect person to help me in my path. Although my main plot focuses on a struggling teacher, I developed a concurrent sub-plot which involves escalating criminal acts against the Amish. I met Lieutenant Matthew Linnscott of the sheriff’s department where I live in a Subway Restaurant. He gave me firsthand information about crimes against the Amish in Wayne and Holmes Counties, Ohio. Thugs had been robbing them on deserted country roads as they returned from auction sales or the grain elevator. They would block the buggy’s path with their cars and then rob these pacifistic people of their cash. How does one catch criminals in sparsely populated rural areas? I’ll tell you how the sheriff’s department handled it. In a joint effort of several agencies, including the FBI, teams of detectives borrowed buggies, dressed in Plain garb, and meandered down country roads during the time period the thieves favored. What a surprise for those thugs when their “helpless victims” turned out to be well-armed, highly-trained officers of the law. Now there are a few less criminals on the streets. And I was able to “pump the brain” of one of my local department’s finest for accounts of other hate crimes aimed at the gentle-hearted Plain folk. Nothing like being in the right place at the right time!

Mary's bio and contact info:
Mary Ellis grew up near an Amish settlement and fell in love with their agrarian lifestyle. She has now written eight novels set in their peaceful communities. When she's not writing she enjoys gardening, bicycling, swimming and traveling with her college sweetheart, her husband of many years. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught middle school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate--a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Her debut Christian book, A Widow's Hope, was a finalist for the 2010 ACFW Carol Awards.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Spotlight on Linda Rondeau

I am pleased to be blog swapping with my long-time friend Linda Rondeau today. She has written an excellent post that reminds me of a modern day parable! Please leave her a comment and check out her beautiful book cover below. Also hope you will travel on over to her blog and leave me a comment, too.

Cruise Control Woes by Linda Rondeau

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26)

My pleasant daydreaming came to an abrupt end as the police car turned around and followed me. Recognizing that fact, I decided to slow down. Then those annoying, flashing lights reflected in my rear-view mirror. I pulled to the side of the road and wished my glasses were on my face instead of in my purse.
“Yes, officer?” I rummaged through my purse in search of my driver’s license. When successfully retrieved, I fumbled around the glove compartment for the registration.
“I know it’s here, somewhere.” I smiled. “Ah!” I might as well have said “Eureka!”
The officer had not been impressed by my diligent efforts to find my documents. He glanced at the wrinkled registration. “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
I didn’t think it wise to play a game of truth or dare. “Was I going too fast?” He nodded disapprovingly. “Well, I didn’t do it on purpose.”
He looked at me as if I’d just come off the boat. “Don’t you have cruise control?” Now the truth is that I dislike using cruise control about as much as I detest eating Lima beans. “I forgot to set it.”
I would have been less embarrassed if the officer had been a few decades older. “I have mine on all the time. I have a heavy foot, too.” He thought he was being polite. I let it go. He had the gun. I accepted the ticket with as much grace as I could muster, grateful he hadn’t added an extra one for operating a vehicle while vision impaired.
After the officer drove away, I sneered at the cruise control dial. Now I would have to add this feature to my ever-growing list of adaptations. Life changed too quickly. When I first learned to drive, cruise control meant curfew.
As I folded the summons and tucked it away, I felt the Lord nudge me in my spiritual ribs. I thought I heard Him say, “These controls are for your benefit.”
You don’t mean the car, right? You’re talking about my soul?
I didn’t quite understand the analogy, but I was not in a position to argue with the Lord anymore than I had been with the police officer.
“First, there are the flashing lights. Do you think the police use them to frighten you?”
I suppose the lights were his way of getting my attention.
“So, you see, in order to talk to you, I first have to get your attention. Understand?”
Well, God certainly had my attention now.
“Let’s consider your license and registration. Why do think they are important?”
It seemed the connection might be deeper than simple identification.
“They represent that driving is a privilege, and it came with a price. I gave you my one and only Son for the privilege of calling me Father. Does that mean so little that you toss Him aside and don’t call for Him unless you are in trouble?”
I vowed to keep better track of my driving documents. But, God had not finished this segment of my education. “Now, where were your glasses?”
I knew where they were, I just didn’t bother to wear them.
“How can they be of use to you if they are hidden in your purse? I have given you my Word to show you how you must live. It is my roadmap to salvation. But if you refuse to use it, you will wander, hopelessly lost.”
I squirmed with revelation, but God had one more point. “Now, what is the real reason you refuse to use your cruise control?”
I don’t like being reigned in like a horse. I want freedom.
“Did your freedom help you to be obedient? Or did you yield to temptation?”
Put that way, I had no defense.
“I have given you my Holy Spirit to corral your bent toward sin. He is the cruise control to your Faith, whether you are traveling against heavy winds or steep hills.”
I think I’ve got it. These gifts—your presence, your Word, and your Holy Spirit—serve as my cruise control panel for the road of life.
“I knew you’d catch on with a little help. Now as you say, also do.”
As I drove away, I retracted my glasses from their futile reservoir and never drove without cruise control again.

Bio: Award-winning author, LINDA RONDEAU, writes for the reader who enjoys a little bit of everything. Her stories of redemption and God’s mercies include romance, suspense, the ethereal, and a little bit of history into the mix, always served with a slice of humor. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, mother of three and wife of one very patient man, Linda now resides in Florida where she is active in her church and community. Readers may visit her web site at http://www.lindarondeau.com./ 
And you can check out her book trailer at

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Spotlight on Diane E. Tatum and her book Gold Earrings
back cover copy on the book

Daughter of a bordello madame and an Italian captain of the seas, Angelina Mercy longs for a new life, free from the condemnation associated with her mother’s home in Boston. A former navy man, Jonathan Thomson has accepted God’s call and become a minister of a small congregation. Adrift from his Yankee heritage in the Missouri plains, Jonathan longs for a family of his own. Pursuing Alice, the daughter of the town’s wealthy patron, Jonathan believes he can tame her wild ways and accomplish more as a preacher once so established. When Angelina’s guardian and Jonathan’s seminary professor learns of Jonathan’s misguided intentions, he seeks out a solution to aid both individuals, providing a new home for Angelina in St. Joseph, Angelina and Jonathan are brought together with a strong initial attraction.
Can Jonathan ignore Angelina’s Gold Earrings, a constant reminder of the implications of her less than pristine parentage? And will Alice succeed in keeping Jonathan from Angelina? The resilient heroine of Diane E. Tatum’s novel will inspire you in this touching tale of love against the odds.

author bio
While in high school in St. Louis County, Missouri, Diane E. Tatum wrote the short story that grew into this novel. After teaching middle school language arts for eleven years in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Diane “retired” in 2009 in order to write full time. She writes for AssociatedContent.com and Suite101.com. Diane works in youth Sunday school and has written Bible study materials for middle school for LifeWay and David C. Cook. Diane and her husband, Ken, live in Tullahoma, Tennessee. They have two sons and daughters-in-law, one couple in Marietta, GA, and one in Bethesda, MD.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Congrats to Diane Ashley, winner of a copy of Christmas Belles of Georgia in this month's drawing.

It will be on its way to her as soon as she sends me her mailing address. And I will giveaway another copy next month since that winner would still have the month of December to enjoy a Christmas book. So be sure to stop by and comment often to have more chances.