I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
Readers, Please research and use wisdom before buying

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

#TuesdayTreasures with Tom Donnan

Good Morning!

Last month I introduced you to Tom Donnan when he shared thoughts with us. Please welcome him back to share something he treasures.

Welcome Tom!

So often, life is lived in an ongoing stream of time. Death on the other hand sits on outside outer reaches of conscience thoughts like that of finding the edge of our universe. Knowing what really matters in life slips behind the veil of everyday events as we move from one day to the next. Odd, how we can live life and not really ever comprehend it. When I looked into the face of my own mortality and I was changed!

February 6th 2006 I had my second heart attack with no notice. They refer to it as the widow maker. It was 5:30 in the evening, I am working out on the treadmill at the health club and the chest pain began. By 6:30 pm I was dead. There are several main factors in me typing this today. First I did not waste time in seeking help. Second, it was not my time to go. I was laid out in the ambulance, paramedic feverously working on me when my heart stopped. It happened so fast I did not notice my status change, meaning one instant I was in the world and the next I was in the spiritual world. It is here God gave me a message in His deep masculine voice saying: “It is only while you are on earth that you can work for Jesus!”

In my left ear, a paramedic is telling me not to worry all my stats look great. I had no idea of what had just happened until three days later while I was in ICU. A doctor came in and asked how it felt to be back from the dead?  BAM! In the back of my mind, before this happened, I knew I was heaven bound. I invited Jesus to come into my heart and life on May 7th 1983 and I was born again. I did not count on being 54 and being with God so soon. I was only halfway through the universe at this point, the anticipated end of my life.

During my months of recovery I had all the time in the world to think about life. What matters the most? God, love, time and investing are important. Knowing God and living in His love and blessings in paramount. Relationships, children, grandchildren, siblings, extended family and people became the focus of my time and learning to invest in them. I have had an additional twelve years now. When I look into the eyes of my children I am grateful to God. Loving them is all that matters. When grandpa walks in the front door they know it is play time and the chase is on. It is a joy to figure out how many different ways to say I love you and esteem them. And, I share my relationship with God with others in hopes of leading them into knowing Him through His son Jesus Christ. I have learned, finding my way to being spiritually born into God’s family is the meaning of life (John 3:3-8).

I've got to tell you about mindset awareness. You know, those mind set decisions we make in our minds and then move on in life. Well, I remember driving past Calumet Harbor on the Bishop Ford express when a Mindset surfaced. Out of nowhere I felt in fullness this thought: “I never wanted to live here.” Meaning, while I was growing up, I told myself I would grow up and move to another place. However I fell in love and built a life in Chicagoland. Now as I am  driving, the full weight of my desire to live in another place of the country hit me like a freight train. Why it surfaced right there going sixty plus miles per hour, I don’t know.

Then, while I am in the ambulance, looking for the light, really, I was looking for the light and there wasn’t any. It gave me a false sense of security. Then, again, with the full emotional weight I felt, I have lived a good life! What? Where did that come from? I am not ready to go but if I do, I feel and  know I have lived a very good and blessed life.

A few years ago, my oldest sibling was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer. While she was going through the treatment, I felt with deep concern, it will only be me and one other sibling left if her treatments are unsuccessful. My sisters are a hidden foundation now that our parents have passed many years ago. We were once five, now we are only three with the possibility of being only two. To God’s glory, the treatments worked and she is in full remission. But, the hidden foundation of family was temporarily exposed and I was shocked how much it threatened me, possibly being alone in the near future.

The love I felt in marriage, for those twenty five years, was deep and powerful. The love with my heavenly father is deep and powerful. My quest in life is to make a difference and leave a spiritual legacy. I have now written five books all with a message on how to be saved, to grow closer to God and opening a window to heaven over our lives and loved ones.  God’s plan of salvation is simple, we have sinned, ask for forgiveness through Jesus' gift and invite Him into our hearts and lives and live for Him.

Tom Donnan
Author of: Healing the Nation
Spiritual House Cleaning
Pastors and the Presence of God
7:14 Angels on Assignment
One Door Between Us
Facebook: Healing the nation ministries
Authors page on Amazon.

Oh wow, Tom what an incredible testimony! Thank you for sharing and YES, LIFE is one of the greatest treasures of all.

Hope you enjoyed Tom's post friends and that you'll check out his book and you'll check back here for more Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlights.

Until next time take care and God Bless.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Gay N Lewis!

Good Morning Friends!

As always it is my pleasure to introduce to you a new-to-me author and today's guest may be new to me but no stranger to the publishing world, so please welcome Gay N Lewis!

A native Texan, Gay lives in Fulshear, a small town west of Houston.  She loves to travel and engage in artistic ventures.  Two videos she produced —The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, sold well in international markets. Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.

As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. She also writes articles for Texas Hill Country.  Gay is also a published author for Pelican Book Group in romance and fantasy fiction. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles.

All of the Sarah books have appeared on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List. The Sarah series is available in eBook format as well as print at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Pelican Book Group, and other book sellers. Some additions are available in Amazon Audible. Each book in the series is a standalone novel.

Her latest books, Mattie’s Choice, and Clue into Kindness are not fantasy and romance. 
These books are women’s fiction. The stories are about abusive men and women who are addicted to an unhealthy relationship.

The books are available in print, eBook, and audio.
For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/
Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog. http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.
Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand

Thursday, February 14, 2019

#ThursdayThoughts Q&A with Carla Laureano

Good Morning Friends!

Last year we got to meet Tyndale author, Carla Laureano when she shared thoughts and visited our spotlight with her book, The Saturday Night Supper Club. Today Carla is sharing some Q&A with us and her new book, Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe (love the name of that!)

Welcome Carla....

1. What inspired you to write Brunch at Bittersweet Café?

Typically, I can pinpoint one moment that inspired the direction of a story, but this book came along far more gradually. I knew after writing Melody in The Saturday Night Supper Club that her relentless positivity and cheeriness hid some deeper issues, so it was really just a process of exploring what those might be—particularly after the hints I gave about her mother in the first book.

The spiritual themes, however, came from growing up as a Christian and how often I’ve seen outward happiness mistaken for true joy. The fake-it-’til-you-feel-it mentality is prevalent in some Christian circles, even today, and it’s one that Millennial Christians are rejecting in greater numbers.

2. How do you expect the novel to resonate with your audience? What are you
most excited for your readers to experience through reading this story?

I feel like Melody is a character that most of us can relate to in some way. She has all the ingredients to have her dream life, but she still stumbles along because she’s so inwardly conflicted on what she wants. It can be so tempting to live your life in a holding pattern, especially when the Bible emphasizes patience, but that attitude can also lead us into the trap of simply waiting and hoping without taking any steps of our own. That, combined with the pressure to always show a cheerful exterior, can lead us to magical thinking, where we just know that everything will be all right if we keep going as we are, rather than to a deeper faith in which we are tested and strengthened by trials.

3. What role does faith play in this story?
Through both Melody’s and Justin’s journeys, I explore the meaning of faith and the different—and erroneous—ways we can look at God. I think without meaning to, we can start to view God as the magical gumball machine in the sky: put in a quarter (your prayer), get your gumball (your wish). But our experience with God is not transactional; it’s a relationship. Both characters have to learn that true faith is releasing your dreams, hopes, and sorrows to a God who loves us and trusting Him to give us what we need, not what we think we want.

4. What lessons or truths do you hope people take away from Brunch at Bittersweet Café?

I hope that readers will be encouraged by the idea that they can trust God in both their best moments and their worst, because He knows what lies ahead when we can’t even begin to anticipate. I’m a bit of a control freak, so this is a lesson I have to learn over and over and over again. I’m sure God looks down on me with exasperated amusement from time to time, like “This would go a lot faster if you’d just let me steer.”

5. As an author, what did you particularly enjoy about writing this story?

I love learning about new things, so researching the aviation component for Justin’s career was so much fun. I spent hours reading FAA publications, scouring pilot forums, and learning the ins and outs of general aviation airports. Fortunately, I have a pilot friend who answered my questions, reviewed the flight scenes for accuracy, and even took my sons and me to his hangar to see the experimental plane he built. Were it not for the fact that I’m terrified of tiny planes (airliners don’t count), I would be tempted to get my private pilot license. I find the technical details fascinating.

6. What was the most difficult part of writing this story?
I struggled a bit with revealing Justin beyond what he wanted Melody to see. He’s such a charming, charismatic, keep-it-together kind of guy that at first even I was fooled. It wasn’t until the very end that I finally figured out the things that he was hiding and was able to portray him as an interesting three-dimensional person.

7. The first book in this series, The Saturday Night Supper Club, introduced
us to Melody Johansson. What will we discover about Melody in this book
that may surprise us?

I don’t want to give away all the fun details, but one thing that you definitely wouldn’t expect is her educational background. She was homeschooled, entered college at sixteen, finished at twenty, and promptly abandoned her plans of further literature degrees in favor of something she loved more—baking. I actually borrowed the details from my own history: I turned seventeen shortly after high school graduation and finished college a couple of months before my twentieth birthday. I never intended to become a professor like Melody, but I did at the last minute decide I had no interest in grad school and decided to go into the workforce instead. I was afraid that studying literature was killing my love for it, and I’d rather write it than analyze it.

As for the rest, you’ll have to read to find out!

8. Can you tell us more about Melody’s love interest, Justin Keller? Why did
you decide to give him the job and the backstory that you did?

One of the “rules” for writing romance is to create a potential love interest who seems to be the worst possible match in every way. For a woman who secretly craves permanence and has been betrayed by a man she loved, who could be worse than a pilot who travels more than half the month and stays away from serious relationships because of the demands of his job? Then there’s the fact that Melody is very much a free spirit, and pilots tend to be very focused and literal-minded, so there was the instant potential for interesting conflict.

Because of all those differences, it was fun to discover that they both have hurts in their past that affect their relationships with God and their willingness to commit to each other. In the end, they have far more in common than first appears.

9. Part of Melody’s past involves pain, which tends to influence her decisions and the way she lives her life. Can you tell us why you included those painful circumstances in her story? How do you hope reading about Melody’s story will encourage readers?

Pain is unavoidable in this life, and how we deal with it shapes us as people, whether we mean it to or not. But it’s a topic that isn’t often discussed among Christians. We want to gloss over the hard stuff to get to the part where God makes it okay again, even though it’s the space between the two that forms our strength, our character, and our faith. I wanted to make a statement that acknowledging your pain does not make you a bad Christian. It does not mean you don’t have faith. It means you’re human. That’s one reason that Jesus experienced life as fully human when he could have easily made
everything go his way—he understands what it means to be hurt, betrayed, and alone. I hope that readers who have felt obligated to plaster on a cheerful facade when they’re hurting will say, “No more.” It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to ask for help. None of that makes you weak. It takes more strength to deal with your pain in a healthy way than it does to push it down and ignore it.

10.How do you hope Melody’s story encourages single women specifically?

It can be so tempting to think your life will begin as soon as you find “the one” and get married, but the result is often living as small a life as possible while you’re waiting. The world can use your gifts and your talents, regardless of your marital status. Trust me, God knows where to find you . . . you’re not going to miss the man He has for you while you’re off being the person He meant you to be. I hope my single readers realize that they are complete just as they are and feel empowered to pursue their dreams, trusting that God will bring all the elements of their lives together at the right time.

11.Why do you think it’s important that this series talks about the intersection of culture, feminism, career, and faith for the Christian woman?

It’s downright difficult to be a modern Christian woman! We pursue career aspirations, but we often have traditional plans for our personal lives. We are dedicated to paving a way for the women after us, but we want to be open to God’s detours. So often, we are told that not only can we have it all, we must have it all . . . and if we’re struggling with keeping it together, there must be something wrong with us. In this series, I wanted to show that everyone struggles at times, and although Rachel, Melody, and Ana share similar beliefs, their paths are all incredibly different. It’s okay if your life looks different than everyone else thinks it should, because God’s plan for you is as unique as you are.

Tyndale Author, Carla Laureano, is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.  Find out more and connect with Carla on Social Media by visiting her website.

Her book, Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe, book 2 in her "Supper Club" series is available through Tyndale House Publishing and other online retailers as well as your local book store!

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back regularly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

ALSO: Today I'm over at Penelope Marcez's blog & Pelican Book Group's Blog talking about Love in Season which releases today!

Until next time take care and God bless.