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I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

#ThursdayThoughts: Guest Post by The Writing Sisters

Good Morning Friends!

Today is is with great pleasure I bring to you a pair of sisters I met at a women's conference in September. The Writing Sisters is comprised of Betsy Duffy and Laurie Myers and they'd like to talk to us about Prayer, so without much further ado here they are....



Prayer Made the Difference

The Shepherd’s Song was a different writing experience for us.  After twenty years of writing children’s books for the general market we were now writing our first book for God.  The books we wrote before were from a Christian worldview.  What made this book different was our desire to submit every word to God and to reflect in our words what He would say. An overwhelming task on our own. 

But what if we could connect with God and hear from Him as we worked.  C.S. Lewis wrote once about “taking dictation”  from God. The connection with God was key.  But how?

As we shifted from our writing for the general market to the idea that we would write for God, prayer became important and critical.  We prayed individually, together in groups with others and we enlisted a prayer team to pray for the writing of the book.

Three times stand out as we reflect back over how prayer entered our work and kept us grounded and focused as we wrote The Shepherd’s Song.

The first came at the beginning of our efforts. When we began writing together, we were full of enthusiasm and ideas.  We both took off with to do lists and ideas and quickly we became stressed and anxious.  A book by Andy Stanley, Visioneering pulled us back and helped us focus.

The book challenged us to look at whether we prayed first, then acted, or acted first, then prayed.

The question was convicting  - the notebooks full of our plans and ideas were the evidence against us.  In our enthusiasm we had gotten ahead of God.  What to do?  We stopped and made two decisions:

We decided we would stop all action and spend one week just praying for the book and for direction.

And we also agreed we would never move forward on an idea or action unless we were unified through prayer about the decision.

Throughout the week anxiety vanished. Clarity came, peace descended.  As we individually surrendered the work to God He brought us into unity.

The second prayer time came later.  The book was finished and accepted and paralysis set in.  Now what.  The second book, The Father’s Prayer, was drafted and outlined but we were blocked.  At the same time we were working to build a platform and determine what we should be doing for marketing the first book.

Was it right?  How did we know?  We stopped again and brought the work and ourselves into a time of deeper prayer. 

This time God spoke to us through a book by Mark Batterson,  Draw the Circle, The Forty Day Prayer Challenge.  For forty days we read the devotions and “circled” our work in prayer during our personal time with God.  It was amazing how God used these devotions to speak to us separately and together as we submitted to Him through these prayer times.

Reading this devotional series together and praying through Batterson’s forty days helped us to connect with each other and with God and allowed God access to us through our time with Him.

The third was a prayer for protection. During the year leading up to publication we both went through difficult times with friends and family, mostly medical issues.  We were both pulled off track and struggled to keep focus while undergoing struggles to take care of those we loved.  We remembered our great grandfather’s favorite scripture from Ephesians 6, the armor of God.

We began to pray this daily for each other.  Each morning we would turn to this passage and pray each article of armor for the other –belt, shield, helmet, breastplate, sword, shoes. As soon as we started, peace reigned and through our outward circumstances did not change, we had peace and we able to resume our work on the book.

The end result? 

We don’t know how the book will be received or what will happen as it goes out into the world but the end result for us is peace.  We have no regrets about the writing, no doubts about any decision along the way.  We have assurance that the book is in God’s hands to use as He will. 

Prayer is the key.





The Writing Sisters, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers were born into a writing family, and began critiquing manuscripts at an early age for their mother, Newbery winner Betsy Byars.  They went on to become authors of more than thirty-five children’s novels. Their first book for adults is  The Shepherd’s Song,  Howard Books, March 2014. Find out more by visiting their website and facebook page and be sure to sign up for their newsletter!

Follow the incredible journey of one piece of paper—a copy of Psalm 23—as it travels around the world, linking lives and hearts with its simple but beautiful message.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures…

Shortly before a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote down the powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper for her wayward son. Just before she loses consciousness, Kate wonders if she’s done enough with her life and prays, “Please, let my life count.”

Unbeknownst to Kate, her handwritten copy of Psalm 23 soon begins a remarkable journey around the world. From a lonely dry cleaning employee to a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing her country, to a Kenyan runner in the Rome Invitational marathon, this humble message forever changes the lives of twelve very different people. Eventually, Kate’s paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God changes lives, even through the smallest gestures.

With beautiful prose evocative of master storyteller Andy Andrews’s The Butterfly Effect, this story will touch your heart and remind you of the ways God works through us to reach beyond what we can imagine.

The Shepherd's Song: A Story of Second Chances can be purchased at Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback & Kindle. Also at Barnes and Noble Hardcover, Paperback, Nook and Large Print!

Now, enjoy an Excerpt:

Kate McConnell opened her eyes. Where was she? There were bright lights above her. Movement. The sound of a siren wailing.
She closed her eyes and opened them again, hoping somehow this all would go away. It didn’t.
An ambulance. She was in an ambulance.
What had happened?
A man’s voice called out behind her. “Female, age about forty-five, multiple injuries. BP: ninety over sixty. Pulse: one-forty. Respirations: twenty-five, short and shallow.”
Each bump and jolt of the ambulance brought pain, crushing pain in her chest and stabs of pain down her right leg. Kate tried to grab her chest, but her arms were strapped down. She shivered uncontrollably. Her blue sweater and pants were covered in something wet—gooey and wet. Blood. He was talking about her.
A brief memory came—her car sliding on the slick road, the sound of breaking glass and crunching metal. A car accident. Panic rose in her chest. She had been in an accident.
The newspaper would later say it was the worst traffic accident ever on that section of I-95 between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore—twenty-five cars, six semis, and one bus. The temperature Thursday had been fifty-five degrees, a beautiful day. Then, Friday, it fell to thirty-one, unusual for October. A sudden snowstorm dropped more than two inches of snow in just ten minutes, creating whiteout conditions that took everyone by surprise, including the drivers on I-95.
The voice behind her continued its calm clinical assessment. “In and out of consciousness. Possible head injuries.”
“Help,” she whispered. Each breath was raw. There wasn’t enough air. Dizziness swept over her. She tried again. “Help.”
“Hold on. Try to stay awake.” A young man leaned over her, making eye contact. His voice was calm, but she saw fear in his eyes.
She tried to nod but couldn’t.
“Be still; we’re on the way to the hospital.”
Everything in her wanted to fight free of the straps and the stretcher, but she couldn’t even move her head. Pain radiated from her chest and leg.
The voice began again. “Bleeding profusely from a gash in right leg—looks like an open fracture. Possible internal injuries.”
For a few seconds there was silence, the only sound the hum of tires on the road.
“Will do. We’ll be there in five to eight minutes, depending on traffic.”
What had happened? Kate remembered her morning, speeding from one activity to the next, pushing her old station wagon to the point where it shook. An early-morning run to the grocery store, then back home, then a twenty-mile drive to deliver dinner to a friend who was recuperating from surgery, then a stop to drop off the dry cleaning, then five more things on her to-do list. Then the snow had started.
The cleaner’s. She had been trying to get back to the dry cleaner’s, but for what?
She felt a hand on her forehead, and she opened her eyes. The young man’s face came into view again. His nervous eyes studied her.
“What’s your name?”
She tried to focus. Her name?
“Kate . . . McConnell.” She gasped out each word.
“Your birthday?”
She tried to come up with the answer, but it was too confusing. Tears welled up.
“It’s all right. Just stay with me.”
“What hap—?” She wanted to finish the sentence but could not.
“You were in a car accident on the interstate.” He held her arm, feeling for a pulse. “There was a pile-up. It’s a mess out there.”
Her mouth opened and closed with a question unasked. She wanted to say the words, but nothing came out.
“Matt,” she finally gasped out the name of her son. “John.” Her husband.
“No one was with you in the car. Just rest and stay calm. We’ve got you.”
She could feel the sway of the ambulance as it passed other cars. The voice faded in and out. She closed her eyes.
A new thought came. She might die. Would it be like this, the end? So fast? With so much undone?
Kate’s mind drifted back and forth, weaving in and out of the events of the past week.
“I don’t think my life matters,” she had told a friend. “I’ve been a Christian for almost twenty-five years, and I haven’t accomplished anything. I can’t point to one single person that I’ve had an impact on, even in my own family.”
“Of course you have. You serve on the church worship committee, you deliver meals every week to people in need, and you’re always writing down scriptures for people.”
“But are those the important things?” Kate had asked. “Do those things matter?”
John. He mattered. And Matt.
“Oh, Mom,” she could hear Matt say. “You don’t believe all that stuff.”
Matt, who had drifted away from faith when he’d started college, now refused to go to church at all.
She couldn’t get through to him.
Was she really dying?
Someone lifted her eyelid. It was the young man. He looked closely into her eye, as if he was examining her soul.
“Stay with me now.”
She felt the ambulance sway, then the jolt of a sharp turn.
“Help,” Kate gasped again as pain stabbed through her side.
“Stay with me.”
A wave of dizziness. Then nothing.


Hope you enjoyed this Thursday Thoughts... I sure did! 

Hope to see you next week but until then....Take care & Be Blessed!
PamT

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#TuesdayTreasure: Book Reviews

Good Morning!

Yesterday I received a wonderful review on The Visionary and thought...What better to share as something I treasure than my readers and the reviews they take time to write.....



Reader, Amy (Seasons of Grace) said about The Visionary....

"This book was captivating from the start. The characters will grab your heart. Taylor and her brother Trevor grew up in a home filled with any kind of abuse you can imagine. Although they are both in their adulthood now, the past still has a fierce grip on them. They have also kept the past a secret. None one has been allowed to enter that territory with them. They desperately need to heal and be able to move on so life can be stable. Together, they have built a successful construction and renovating business.

Enter Alex, a business man himself, looking for someone to fix up an old home he owns. Taylor has a gift - the ability to envision what places looked like in the past. That gift, although at times, a curse, enables her to design the most magnificent homes and renovate them true to their previous state. As Alex gets to know Taylor better, his heart slowly becomes involved. But can Taylor move past the abuse she has suffered and allow herself to love and be loved?

This book is loaded!! Pam is know as an author of "inspirational with an edge". I would definitely say this book has an edge. It is wonderfully written, but I would caution on age due to what I felt was a bit graphic content of the abuse itself. It doesn't take away from the story, but a may be difficult for young readers to grasp. Trevor and Taylor have been extremely emotionally damaged by their abusive father, and because of that have a difficult time trusting God. Taylor seems to slowly grasp the faith, but Trevor struggles. He especially cannot comprehend why God would allow such horrible things to happen if He is a loving God. Pam handles it beautifully, and presents the gospel openly. She does a wonderful job with the faith aspect of the book."


So this morning I'd like to THANK Amy again and say how VERY much I appreciate EVERY and ALL Readers and Reviews!!

May God Bless you ALL this & EVERY day for taking time to read my books and stories because Every Sale is a Soul for God!

The Visionary is available @Amazon in Hardcover, Softcover, and Kindle also at Barnes & Noble in Softcover, Nook!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

#SaturdaySpotlight: #VegasVacation by @ClareRevell!

Today we round out Clare's vacation with us with her brand new release Vegas Vacation a Passport to Romance novella!

In case you don't know.... the Passport to Romance is a series of contemporary romances that are set in specific locales and feature a special set of objects. 

So here's Clare's Vegas Vacation!


Former protective services officer, Sgt. Martin Ames, is five weeks short of medical retirement from the Vegas PD when he lands one last case: spoiled English heiress, Lady Tamlyn Bradshaw, whose bodyguard is hospitalized with suspected food poisoning.

Tamlyn is on holiday, her first without her father and his ever present bodyguards. She wants to have fun, not spend the time stuck in a hotel room with a disabled cop, even if he is tall, dark and disturbingly handsome.

When food poisoning becomes murder, passions and tempers flare as Martin attempts to keep Tamlyn safe from the assailant who gains everything on her death.

Excerpt:
“Martin, you’re the only person in the department with the security clearances and the experience to do this.”

“I haven’t worked protective services for over three years and for good reason. I’m five weeks from early retirement, and I don’t want to spend them running around after a spoiled heiress.”

“Did I ask what you wanted? This woman’s father is royalty and I just got off the phone with him—”
Tamlyn cringed in her seat, her cheeks burning. This was a bad idea. She’d go back to the hotel and trust God to protect her. No one knew who she was; she was just one more tourist in a city of thousands.

The angry voice continued its tirade in the office. “Royalty? In that case, I’m sure she can afford a replacement bodyguard. Even better…ask the British Embassy to provide one. My days of babysitting people are over.”

“Unless you want to be fired five weeks before your retirement date, your assignment for the next three weeks is to be Lady Bradshaw’s bodyguard. There’s the door. She’s by your desk waiting for you.”

The door flung open, and Tamlyn glanced down. She focused her gaze on her fingernails. Maybe she could just pretend she hadn’t heard.

Heavy steps crossed the room as muted conversations started up again. They stopped by the desk. “Lady Bradshaw, I presume?”

She looked up into the most intense, glittering pair of blue eyes she’d ever seen. His hair was pulled back in a long black ponytail, and he leaned on a cane. They had to be kidding. A disabled cop? His navy blue shirt and tie at least gave an appearance of professionalism. Although the gun holster on his shoulder made her shiver.


She stood, grateful he couldn’t read her mind, because she was already regretting that first thought about his gorgeous eyes. She held out a hand. “I am. You must be Sgt. Ames.” 

Vegas Vacation is available now from Pelican Book Group, and Amazon for Kindle!

Well Friends, I don't know about you, but I sure enjoyed my visit with Clare Revell, my fellow Pelican Book Group author from across the pond.

Stay tuned next week for more great Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlights!

Until later....take care, God Bless and remember....Regardless of your mistakes~God LOVES You! Therefore walk tall, proud & in confidence that HE is on your side!

Something to think about!
"Inspirational with an Edge! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Special Spotlight: Cassie's Wedding Dress by Clare Revell!

Well our week with Clare is winding down. Today we're spotlighting her book, Cassie's Wedding Dress and tomorrow she'll be back for Saturday Spotlight so without much further ado.....

Steeplechase jockey Cassie Hinton's dream was to walk down the aisle in her medieval wedding gown to become Mrs. Jack Chambers. Injured in the Grand National, she returns home...only to find Jack is now the Pastor of her parent's church.

Jack Chambers, now a widower and single parent, still has feelings for Cassie, but she sees him as nothing more than a Pastor. Even if he could change her mind, there is still his position to consider.

With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, Cassie makes her dress, little dreaming of the consequences of doing so.

Excerpt: 

“Everyone else has photos of the royal couple and ribbons, silver bells, hearts and balloons. I wanted something more sophisticated but this…” she gestured at the window, “…isn’t it.”

“Maybe tie it in with what Danny sells. After all, the bakers did a wedding cake and the printers did invitations.”

Cassie nodded, her mind whirling. “Yeah…thank you.”

Jack glanced at his watch. “I’d best be off and get Lara from school. She complains if I’m late. I hope you find a solution to your problem.”

“Thank you. Bye.” Cassie smiled and turned back to her display, watching Jack’s reflection in the glass as he walked away. He’d always been a Godly man, even as a teenager, and despite everything that happened he kept his faith—unlike her. Her life and her faith lay in ruins.

She used to hope he’d ask her out one day, but it never happened. And now it never would. She was down and out before anything even got started.

He was a pastor, and she was his parishioner. A fallen- without- hope- of- redemption parishioner, at that. Strike one.

He was a widower with a small daughter. Strike two.


Her leg—her disability. No man would ever want a one-legged ex-jockey. Strike three.

Cassie's Wedding Dress can be purchased directly from Pelican Book Group for any e-reader, also on  Kindle and Nook!

Well friends, hope you enjoy this book also. Stay tuned tomorrow for Saturday Spotlight!
PamT

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#Thursday Thoughts: Guest post by Clare Revell @ClareRevell

Well the week is winding down but Clare will be here through Saturday so stop by!

Today she shares some thoughts with us on Tidying Up.....


I don’t know about you but tidying up is one of my least favourite activities. And my kids like it even less than I do. Having said that I do put things away. I just don’t like turning stuff out and going through it. But… that’s another story in itself.

Turning out a box from the attic led to the discovery of a piece of paper with a list written on it. A box containing the following: a shopping list, a journal, length of rope, box of matches, paraffin, nails, a pick axe, set of overalls, and a tin of black paint, a charred fragment of a letter and a tape recording. And that led directly to the main plot behind After The Fire.


So maybe tidying up isn’t such a bad thing after all. Maybe I send hubby back up into the loft today to see what other gems I have tucked away up there. Perhaps there’ll be a box of photos or another folder with story ideas hidden. Perhaps you have something put away that you’ve forgotten all about. It might just be worth turning out that cupboard after all.

Private investigator, Freddie Flynn, wants nothing to do with the man who left her fifteen years ago—or the God he abandoned her for—especially if reports of corruption within high ranking levels of the P.I. firm are true. She might have to accept him as the company V.P., but she doesn’t have to trust him.

Jason Bryant knows his leaving to enter the ministry cut Freddie deep, but now he’s returned to Headley Cross and wants to make amends. But Freddie’s different—jaded, distant, distrustful—so what’s he to think when a file claims Freddie is the traitor who’s sabotaging the company?

Thrown together on a case that could cost them everything, including their lives, Freddie and Jason must look beyond suspicion and innuendo to catch the real traitor before it’s too late…and maybe, just maybe, they’ll find the love they once shared by listening to the still small voice that comes after the fire.

Excerpt: 
She paused. "I’m sorry, Jason. I shouldn’t have said all that stuff, and I shouldn’t have been rude to you. I suppose you called the office and told the boss I’m working the forbidden case?"

"Now why would I do that?" He looked at her over the coffee cup. His tone was abrupt, and she knew he was mad at her.

"Because you’re the vice president, and I’m defying orders."

Jason gave her a long hard look. "Yes I am, and yes you are. But no, I haven’t rung the office. I rang the boss before I left work. He knows you’re undercover on one of the cases, but I didn’t tell him which, because I didn’t know at the time."

"You can’t tell him." Fear knotted her stomach, and the tiny bit of sandwich she’d eaten felt like a ten-pound rock.

"Why not? Because he specifically said to leave the Rafferty case alone?"

"Partly. I can’t tell you. I’m sorry. You have to trust that I have a very good reason."

Jason ate silently and finished his lunch, so deep in thought that Freddie could almost see the cogs turning in his mind. For the first time in her career, she had crossed the line and was dragging someone else down with her.

After the Fire is available in Ebook & Print from Pelican Book Group; Also on Kindle & Nook!

Well friends, hope you enjoyed this Thursday Thoughts from Clare! Stay tuned tomorrow when we feature another of her great titles and of course, she'll be here on Saturday Spotlight!

Until later...take care, be blessed & remember...when the going gets tough, the tough go dancing!

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge! (tm)