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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday Treasures: The Ho'oponopono Prayer

Good Morning Friends!

I've often shared prayers and meditations with you that I've found beneficial in my own life. One was from Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love: I love you, I forgive you, I release you to God (or the Holy Spirit) OR if you don't believe in God and the Holy Spirit you can just end the prayer with I release you. Personally I believe in the Blessed Trinity and always have God/Jesus/Holy Spirit as my center in every prayer. I know Marianne is considered a "new age" author so please be aware of this should you decide to read her books.*

Anyway, I've discovered the Ho'oponopono (pronounced HoAPonoPono) prayer I'd like to share with you because the words are beautiful and they line up with Jesus' teachings on love and forgiveness.

This 'prayer' contains 4 simple phrases: I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.

Jessica Ortner incorporates this prayer in her Surrogate Tapping video and I found the words healing and soothing, but I never knew they were an ancient Hawaiian prayer!

I've practiced this over the last several weeks concerning a difficult situation in my life and it has made a huge difference. Not so much in the situation (yet!) but in me.

Jason Stephenson, whom I discovered on YouTube has a beautiful, meditative voice and he shares this prayer focusing on different areas of your life. It's a short video but powerful.

I've always believed short, sweet, simple and to-the-point prayers were more effective than long, eloquent words that you spend so much time trying to remember, the heart of them gets lost in the process.

So I challenge you to use this prayer today to heal or change the energy around a certain area of your life.

Imagine a situation (or person) you're having trouble with--Even (especially) if you need to forgive yourself for something! Bring all of the details you can firmly to mind and then say these words....

I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.

Repeat for several minutes - being in a relaxed meditative state would be more beneficial, but even if you're driving or showering or cooking or cleaning....say and feel the energy of these words then take note of changes you see, feel or experience.

If you are a proponent of (or practice) *EFT, use tapping while praying and you get the double benefit of rewiring your thought patterns around this particular situation or person.

Granted, some situations take more than one application of any type of prayer or self-growth technique (like EFT or Tapping) but isn't it worth the time and energy for YOU to be healed?

I think so!

Something to think about...
"Inspirational with an Edge!"

Hope you enjoyed today's post. Oh and check out these new banners I had created for my coaching practice!

Aren't they beautiful?! Many thanks to Delia Latham of Heaven's Touch Designs - my 'go to' girl for all of my book cover, promo and banner needs :-)

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back often for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

I'd LOVE to hear if you use this prayer and how it worked for you so leave a comment. It is something I'll definitely use and treasure from here on out

Until next time, take care and God bless and remember...when the going gets tough, the tough take steps to be healed!


*This post has been edited since I wrote it this morning because it was brought to my attention that EFT/Tapping has origins in Eastern Mysticism and the "new age" movement. However, it was introduced to me through a clinical psychologist so I will be doing my research. Please be aware of the connotations if you choose to investigate this technique. Above all things, stay true to who you are in Christ.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday Spotlight is on John Prather author of The Nephilim Virus

Good Morning Friends,

If you've followed me for long you know how much it excites to me to introduce to you brand new-to-me authors and today's guest is no exception! Brought to us by Adams PR Group, please welcome John Prather.....

John Prather grew up with seven siblings in Memphis, Tennessee, on a steady diet of BBQ and southern values. After graduating from the University of Memphis, he moved to Hollywood to try his hand at the entertainment industry. He has been featured in TV series such as Scream Queens on Fox as well as WWE Raw. His commercial work has included ads for FedEx, Old Navy, Burger King, and Ruffles, in addition to various other major corporations. As a model, he has been featured in national magazines such as People, GQ, Men’s Health, as well as on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine, among others. John and his wife are expecting twins in early 2018, and hope to adopt their foster daughter very soon. 

For more information, visit www.JohnTPrather.com or 
Follow the Author on: Facebook  Twitter  &  Instagram

Welcome John! Tell us a little more about your book.....

Q: What inspired you to write “The Nephilim Virus”?A: I always had this idea for a story where two thirds of the world was infected with a blood disease, but I never knew how I was going to tell it. There are several obscure verses in Genesis 6 about the Nephilim, a race of beings created from the sons of god sleeping with the daughters of men and that passage always fascinated me. One day, I decided to put those two ideas together and tell a story where I got to imagine what the world would look like if that race of super humans were still around.
I have been a writer and lover of stories ever since I was young. My grandfather was a wonderful storyteller and I used to listen to his stories over and over to learn the rhythm and pace and punch line of a good story. I had dozens of unfinished stories lying around, but I never sat down and made myself finish one. Then in 2013, I decided it was time I finished a manuscript. And I did. And it was bad. But it showed me I could finish one. Then I had the idea for The Nephilim Virus, so I started writing that in 2014 as a short story. I knew I had to get the idea out of my head or it wouldn’t leave me alone. As I kept writing, the story kept coming. Five months or so later, I had another finished manuscript. This one seemed publishable. Now, almost four years later, here we are.

Q: What do you hope readers will experience with this novel?A: All the great themes, like redemption and sacrifice and love, of all the great stories are just tiny versions of the greatest story, God’s story. That is the reason a reader can feel them in his or her soul—regardless if the work is Christian or non-Christian. I want readers to connect to the greatest story by reading a book that has little glimpses of that story woven into it. The overall theme of the book is the idea that every human has been infected with a blood disease, but there is a cure. I want readers to be entertained while subconsciously connecting to the truth —sometimes in ways they might not even realize.

Q: In addition to being an author, you are also an actor and model. How does that affect your work as a writer?
 Working in the entertainment industry allows me to continually learn about people. Being an actor is a great way for me to be in touch with my own emotions and internal motivations and also to see and feel my fellow performers’ emotions and motivations. Everyone has tics and mannerisms that are specific to them and I feel being aware of these individual characteristics helps me create strong characters for my stories. It has also helps me hone the art of storytelling to see how other artists tell their own stories, whether they are writers, photographers, actors, directors, or whatever.
Q: Why do you believe this novel will appeal to both Christians as well as non-Christians? A: My all-time favorite author is C.S. Lewis and he said something that has always stuck with me. He said, “What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent.” The novel will appeal to Christians who like stories that can be taken seriously by the world while still holding deeper truths. Sometimes “Christian” entertainment can avoid or sugar-coat real life topics that people deal with every day. This novel is one a Christian could enjoy and pass on to their friends who might not read something blatantly Christian. The novel has no cussing or sex, but at the same time, it has death and villains and adventure. It shows the battle between good and evil without being offensive on one hand or preachy on the other. Non-Christians will enjoy the book because it reads like a movie or a Netflix series. It has short chapters and short sentences and lots of cliffhangers. The deeper truths are hidden just below the surface so a non-Christian could read it simply for its entertainment value and not realize the Christian themes, imagery, and symbolism right away. The Nephilim Virus doesn’t talk overtly about God, but you can see Him throughout the work, similar to the book of Esther in the Bible.
Q: How difficult is it to live your faith in the entertainment industry?A: Being a Christian is the norm in the South. Everyone has a church, even if they never go to church. In the South, it costs you very little to be a Christian. But in Hollywood, it costs you a lot. Christians are the enemy out here. No one understands them. The good thing about that is that it cuts out the lukewarm Christians. Out here, if you aren’t deep with God, you will soon be done with Him because it costs too much. I’ve been to countries where faith costs much more than it ever will here, but it probably costs more to be a Christian in Hollywood than it does anywhere else in the United States. Being a follower of God in L.A. can get you ostracized, fired, friendless, and broke. For example, I literally got screamed at by a casting director because I turned down a role that I wasn’t comfortable doing. He screamed at me about how the role could make my career and how I was a moron and other unrepeatable things. And that was one of the more tame encounters I’ve had with someone who doesn’t understand my worldview.

Another difficulty of having faith in Hollywood is that, as an actor, you often don’t get to see the whole project for which you are auditioning. The small part of the script that they show you could be acceptable, but you don’t know what overall story they are telling. So you really have to trust God to keep you away from the wrong projects. The thing people outside of Hollywood don’t understand is the difficulty of the industry. Even someone who has no morals and no qualms about doing anything in any project has a one in a billion shot of making it. Being a Christian further narrows their odds by being an outcast who refuses to do something or represent something that is against their morals. I often think of Hollywood as America’s version of “the gates of hell” that Jesus talked about. Christians out here are the tip of the spear. They are in the hottest spot. They need lots of support. But that’s ok because Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail.

Q: Talk about why you and your wife decided to be foster parents. 
A: My wife and I met on a mission trip in Brazil where we took a medical boat down the Amazon river. That is another story for another time, but one of the first things we connected on was our desire to build a family through adoption as well as biologically. We were both big believers in adoption. We also wanted to try to save a kid who wouldn’t have a great chance at life without us. We think adoption is a wonderful thing in all its forms, but we wanted to take a child from a situation where they had no hope of a family otherwise. We aren’t rich, and we don’t have a lot, but we do have a heart for children without a family. So we decided to adopt out of the California foster care system. We were very naive as to the difficulty of that process, but we started taking foster classes and getting certified two months after we got married. We planned on having our own children first and then coming back to adopt when the time was right. It is a very long story, but God had other plans. We ended up bringing a little foster boy into our home in order to adopt him. He was later given back to a family member. Giving up my son was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Two months later, we brought a little girl into our home. We brought her home from the hospital and she just became a one-year-old. We are currently in the process of trying to adopt her, and everything looks good so far, but things could change in an instant. It breaks my heart and scares me to death that a social worker could call tomorrow and say, “pack up your daughter, I’m coming to get her and you will never see her again.” The foster system is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my entire life, and I hope that one day I will be in a position to help make changes in the system. Until then, I’m very open and write about our journey in my blog in hopes of helping other people and shedding light on the subject. God willing we will adopt our daughter shortly after our twins are born. Then, in a few more years, we will try to adopt another child from the system.

Q: As a sought-after model, you obviously keep yourself very fit. How do you believe your physical health impacts your spiritual well-being?
A: I believe the physical body and spiritual body are closely linked. As a Christian I believe that God himself lives inside the human body. God’s spirit should permeate every part of a person’s life, including the physical and mental aspects. The Bible says to love the Lord with all your heart and soul and strength —mind, soul, and body. I think sometimes Christians emphasize the mind and soul, but neglect the body. But God asks for all three. Your physical life is your spiritual life. You couldn’t say, “my mouth is eating donuts, but my body uses it like broccoli.” It doesn’t work that way. The outside begins on the inside.

In addition to the close link of your physical life and your spiritual life there is the idea that the discipline of building your body by exercising builds discipline in other areas as well. It builds self-control (another spiritual trait). The strength to build the discipline to work out every day translates to the strength and discipline to read your Bible and pray every day. God told Joshua four times in three verses to be strong and courageous. Paul often used physical examples to teach spiritual truth. When Samson failed spiritually, he also lost his physical strength.  God asks for all of you. Every piece. Body and soul.

OH Wow, John what a story! Your book sounds fascinating. Where can we find a copy?

The Nephilim Virus can be found on Amazon and my website.

Thank you very much for visiting with us today, John. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings with your novel (and adoption!!!).

Well friends, hope you have a great day also and that you'll drop by often to see what's happening on Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday Thoughts on Time Management

Good Morning Friends,

In my last personal post I mentioned my dream of being a Life Coach. In pursuing that dream I am faced with the dilemma of scheduling time to study and be certified, which prompted this post.

Time management is a big issue with anyone who wears more than one hat. This is especially true with writers. Most of us have outside work, home, families...the list goes on and on....and we're ruled by the clock.

So how do we manage?

I wrote an article years ago in which I stated, budget your time just like you budget your money--sage advice for those who know how to prepare and follow a budget. But what happens when you do your best to budget or schedule your day down to the minute, but life throws a monkey wrench in the mix?

Here's a thought......

Albert Einstein said, "Time is an illusion."

Therefore, time expands to meet your needs.

This does not mean we can lollygag around and then get in a mad rush-that never works! Doing so will disrupt your energy flow and unless gotten under control by a purposeful shift, rule your day. However, if you're on track but keep getting interrupted by unexpected people and events, you can calm yourself and change your energy by focusing on that one thought....Time expands to meet my needs.

Time is valuable and we always make time for what we value. Our dreams, desires and goals are important and should be given priority in our daily/weekly/monthly schedules.

So next time you glance at the clock and think...I just don't have enough time! Take a deep breath (or several) and remind yourself....Time expands to meet my needs and see how quickly things turn around.

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll drop by often to see what's happening on Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

#TuesdayTreasures Guest Post by Saundra Dalton-Smith

Good Morning Friends,

As you know I always love bringing new-to-me authors to your attention and today is no exception.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan teaching courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women’s Day, Redbook, and First For Women magazine. She is the author of “Set Free to Live” and “Come Empty” (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist). She is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and a repeat keynote speaker at their annual gathering. She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 health care professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person. Find out more about Saundra at http://ichoosemybestlife.com.

Welcome Saundra! So happy to have you share something you treasure with us today....

This little gift was hand-picked by my 11-year-old son after learning about my publishing contract for Sacred Rest. It perfectly captures his love for science and his adventurous nature. His ladybug pen was an excellent reminder that God speaks through creation.  We are often just too busy rushing to enjoy the beauty around us. We don’t see the small wonders because we are so focused on the big picture.  One of the challenges from Sacred Rest is to make space in our lives to allow God to revive us through rest. I describe seven different types of rest, one of which is creative rest. I define creative rest as the experience of allowing beauty to inspire awe and liberate wonder. What better example in nature than the ladybug?

When writing, I can spend hours pouring out over my laptop, and it can quickly drain my creative reserves. This little ladybug pen would encourage me to take breaks from my word count goals. I would head outside and ask God to show me the small doses of beauty hidden in my yard. God was faithful to use those moments of rest to restore my energy and revive my creativity.

I now keep a copy of the pen on my writing desk as tangible evidence that my writing journey may happen in solitude but it is a family journey. They may not be in the room with me when I write, but they are dreaming with me and supporting me with their love and acceptance along the way.

Awww....Saundra, how sweet!  This is definitely something to treasure always! Thanks for sharing! Now tell us a little about your newest release, Sacred Rest.....

Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested— there’s a challenge.
How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In Sacred Rest, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.

Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative—and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. Sacred Rest combines the science of rest, the spirituality of rest, the gifts of rest, and the resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest as something sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.

By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, Sacred Rest gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.

Learn more and purchase a copy HERE.

Sounds like a book we could all benefit from reading. Thank you so much for dropping by. I pray you enjoyed today's post as much as I did and that you'll stop by often for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Jaylon Martin

Good Morning Friends,

As you know I always enjoy featuring authors and their books, even more so when the guest is new to me and our blog. Today it is with great pleasure I bring to you 16 year old Jaylon Martin with the first two in a series of YA Sci-Fi books. What is amazing is that this young man not only has the courage and confidence to write, the covers are his own artwork!

Jaylon is a member of Bayou Writers Group and when I think of talent this young man has I remember why I (co)founded this group!

Black Star Universe Book 1: Black Star
16 year old Petra Fields lives in a post apocalyptic universe where she discovers that she's a supernatural warrior called a Black Star after she's attacked by a vicious army called the Gunners. Then, she is sent to the Incorporation where she meets friends, enemies, falls in love, and learns to use her powers. When the Gunners pose a threat to humanity, Petra and the Black Stars must protect the ones they love from the enemies who set out to destroy them.

Black Star Universe Book 2: Black Reality

In the explosive sequel to Black Star, Petra finds herself hunted by dark forces when she discovers the dark side of being a Starsiah. Petra, Chris, Gray, and the others shelter at the surviving society of Anickan when the Gunners attack again revealing that their mission is far from being accomplished. They meet new allies like Lucas Gabriel, the former Starsiah, and Alchemy Hex, a Black Star who can harness magic. Both who are from a realm called the Black Reality. When reality is unbalanced and the universe is at risk of ending, evil rise on the surface and plot to destroy humanity and end the universe once and for all.

Both books can be purchased through Lulu.com

Now let's find out a little more about Jaylon in his own words....

My name is Jaylon Martin, and I live in Lake Charles, Louisiana with my family. I go to school at Lake Charles College Prep. My favorite thing to do is to write stories so I can encourage and inspire kids and teens with characters they can relate to. I am also a Christian. My faith brings up my confidence to write stories.

Thank you Jaylon for your incredible courage to write and publish your work! Good luck and God's blessings with it.

Well Friends, I hope you enjoyed today's spotlight as much as I did bringing it to you and that you'll drop by weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and of course, Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

#ThursdayThoughts with E.A. West

Good Morning Friends,

Last month my friend and fellow Pelican Book Group author, EA West shared something she treasures with us. Today she'll share thoughts about the story behind the story of her brand new YA Christian Fiction Novel, Crash Course.

Take it away EA!

My latest young adult novel, Crash Course, involves freestyle motocross and a girl who loves to ride dirt bikes. The funny part is that I’ve never ridden a dirt bike in my life and I don’t personally know anyone who does. My hobbies include reading, knitting, and crochet. So, how did someone like me end up writing this book? Simple. I love watching freestyle motocross on TV.

Of course, watching a few competitions isn’t nearly enough to write a book. I did research in addition to my weekends watching the Dew Tour, the X Games, and a few supercross races. I spent a lot of time reading articles and blog posts on freestyle motocross and dirt bikes in general. Forum posts enabled me to create realistic dialogue for my characters. YouTube became my new best friend. It’s amazing how much you can learn by watching videos that dissect each trick and show the techniques to be a successful motocross rider.

Here’s a fun fact for you. The character Brady Scott was inspired by the real freestyle motocross rider Travis Pastrana, who was fifteen years old the first time I saw him in a competition. The fact that someone so young could do such amazing things on a dirt bike stuck with me, and the idea for including a teenage freestyle motocross rider in a novel blossomed. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but the research is what brings realism to the story.

You are SO right, EA, research IS what brings realism to any story. Thank you so much for sharing.

E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

You can find, follow and Like EA at the following locations:

Website: http://eawest.mcphitty.com
Blog: http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/EAWestAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/eawest
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authoreawest
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/eawest

Crash Course can be found at Amazon, B&N, iTunes & Kobo.

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends and that you'll drop by often to check out Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#TuesdayTreasures Guest post by Gail Nordskog

Good Morning Friends!

Our guest today shared thoughts with us last month so let's see what she treasures....

A Day in the life of Gail Nordskog

I very much enjoy rising early.   5:30 a.m. is my favorite time no matter what the season is.

This started years ago when my children were young.   At the time I had 4 school age children who were full of chatter from the time they woke up until they fell asleep at night.

In order to start my day peacefully I found 5:30 gave me plenty of time to make a pot of coffee, snuggle with my puppy, read my Bible and Journal. 

I have pretty much kept that schedule all these years although I can sleep in a little longer.  I only have one school age daughter at home.   Kiana is now a junior in High School and my puppy is ten years old. Mitzi is joined by our 3- year-old Pomeranian, Foxi who faithfully follows the same routine with us.

Usually after an hour and 2 cups of coffee I will go outside to feed the Ducks.   We can have anywhere from 5 to 35+ ducks waiting to be fed.   We live in a harbor with a channel that leads to the Pacific Ocean behind our home.   These ducks are not native to ocean waters.  Most are mallards the other 5 are just farm yard type of ducks who are too fat to fly.  These are my favorite as they hang out here in the keys all year round. 

By now my husband is up and helping with the ducks and the dogs.   Jerry usually leaves for work these days between 9 and 10.   He is a man who does not see the word “retirement” in the Bible and has been in the Publishing Business for years.  Nordskog Publishing Inc. is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.  My husband just celebrated his 79th birthday this year!   I am not going to tell you what birthday I just celebrated but I am grateful for another year!

I usually have several projects going on at the same time.  Filming and editing my TV program, Hearts of Purpose is a continual project.   The Interviews of most of the authors can be seen on my web-site, Heartsofpurpose.com.   I will be in studio 2X’s this week to help edit one of the shows.   I’ve just recently purchased my own professional video camera and have been able to film on location.  Our 20 year old son, Daniel is often available to help.

I try to get exercise in several days a week, meet with good friends for lunch and support our children and grandchildren in their school and sports activities.

Jerry likes to say we live a rich and full and bountiful life!   Yes, indeed we do!

Jerry and I have raised 6 children, four of our children were adopted from China.   We also enjoy spending time with our 7 grandchildren.

Wow, Gail sounds like you have much to treasure in your busy life!
Thanks for sharing with us.

Gail Grace Nordskog has established the “Gail Grace Nordskog Collection” to embolden readers to live their lives with a “heart of purpose” for God’s glory.

Gail has been involved in media for over two decades. She presently produces and hosts a program called Hearts of Purpose, that can be seen on her website, heartsofpurpose.comHer book, Hearts of Purpose Volume 1: The Call brings you ten real-life stories about ten ordinary women doing extraordinary things for the Glory of God. As you read of how God called these women to service, you will be motivated to explore His call in your own life. Let this reading experience be an invitation for you to take a step closer to fulfilling your God given calling in Christ Jesus and can be found at Amazon.

Gail and Jerry Nordskog live in Ventura, California, where they have raised six children, four of whom were adopted from China.

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends and that you'll drop by Thursday as EA West shares some thoughts with us and then on Saturday I have 16 year old Jaylon Martin in the spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God Bless

Saturday, January 13, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Linda Maran & The Stranger!

Good Morning!

Baby, it's COLD outside here in SW Louisiana....35 & NOT supposed to get out of the 40's! Way too cold for my blood LOL!

Linda Maran shared some thoughts with us last month on Amish fiction. Today we get a sneak peek into her debut title, The Stranger.

Low-rise jeans and skimpy T-shirts come face-to-face with aprons and bonnets when a young woman discovers she’s Amish. 

When Kristen Esh loses her mom in a tragic accident months before her eighteenth   birthday, she suddenly finds herself among Amish relatives she never knew she had. The dramatic change from the Jersey Shore to the remote Stone Arabia in upstate, New York is difficult enough, but abiding by the Amish rules and lifestyle is a challenge unlike any other.

When anonymous notes begin to arrive for her to go back to where she came from, Kristen longs for her past life and her mom. As she discovers secrets that unravel her true identity, she finds an unlikely ally in John Wagler, the step-son of her aunt. He lessens Kristen’s fears and encourages her faith.

Interwoven with gradual revelations is the growing love between Kristen and John. One that encourages forgiveness and helps seal Kristen’s fate.

Excerpt: A gentle nudge on the shoulder gave Kristen pause as to where she was. “Mom? OK. I’ll go up to bed.”
She received another nudge. This time she sat up and looked over at the source of the gentle push.
A small girl with honey-blonde braids stood there, wearing a sheer white head veering and a blue dress and apron. A miniature version of Aunt Elizabeth, except that her hair wasn’t tucked into a bun and her dress was a lighter shade of blue.
Oh no! This wasn’t a dream!
“Hi. I’m Anna. And you’re Kristen, my Englisch cousin. Mamm said to wake you from your nap for supper.”

The Stranger can be purchased directly from Pelican Book Group or on Amazon.

Linda Maran has been writing since she was a young teen, mostly poetry back then.
In her late twenties she became ill and was unable to work at her current job as a secretary for a large firm, so she turned idle time into writing time.
Having a love for cooking she wrote many food articles and even put together a regional cookbook. Unfortunately, two such books had already been published, but she had a lot of fun doing it, and learned quite a bit about discipline and organization.
In 2004, she wrote and self-published: Confronting The Bully of OCD. She felt that there was a need for such a book and put herself out there in order to help other sufferers. The book contains the techniques taught to her by a New York City OCD specialist, who graciously allowed her to do that and who wrote the forward to the book.
She also had a small self-help booklet published by Liguori in 2002, Living with Pain 25 Practical Steps.
Linda always loved to read good stories with a twist and tried her hand at fiction. At the time she submitted it to literary agent, Mary Sue Seymour. It was she who encouraged her to keep writing (despite the fact that her submission was not up to par at the time.)
She suggested that Linda join RWA and a Christian critique group and finally, asked her to try to write an Amish romance.
Linda never heard of Amish Inspirational Romance. But  remembered how she enjoyed and was fascinated by a trip to Lancaster, PA earlier, and so embarked on setting her goals in that direction. She then read her first Amish book called, The Shunning, by Beverly Lewis and was hooked.
Having a place an hour and a half from Montgomery County, NY, where the Amish reside, has been and continues to be, a great help in her research.
Linda also writes contemporary Inspirational romance and is completing such a novel at present.  She maintains several self-help blogs and continues to use personal circumstances to try to help others. 
Find out more about Linda by visiting one of her many blogs and connecting with her on Face Book and Amazon.

Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and that you'll drop by weekly for more great authors and their books and an occasional Tuesday Treasures and Thursday Thoughts.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

#ThursdayThoughts Random Ramblings on Juggling Life, Writing and Other Dreams & Desires

Good Morning!

It's been a few weeks since I posted a personal Thursday Thoughts and on Dec. 30th I mentioned I was re-thinking my blogging schedule. I'm currently reading Waking Up in Winter by Cheryl Richardson and let me tell you, this personal journey of hers is so ON Topic with my life at this time!

Let me begin by saying I Love Writing. I love every aspect from conception to publication to marketing. I love helping writers become published authors and I love ministering to people in whatever capacity I can.

But for quite a while I've struggled with my writing, then, when Keri's Christmas Wish finaled in 2017 IDA's I got all excited again.

Sure, it's easy when I have a guest, but personal posts can be difficult to come by, especially when your year begins as mine has with having to put down my beautiful, beloved Cassie....

Another thing I've wrestled with over the last few years is the desire to pursue a dream that was placed in my heart years ago--that of being a Life/Writing Coach/Spiritual Mentor and focusing my writing on those areas. Even my son said I should write in the Self Help/Personal Growth genre.

Hence the question as to where my life is going and whether or not to continue thrice weekly posts.

So that leaves me with this decision for today.... I will continue posting Tuesday Treasures and Thursday Thoughts when I have a guest or when I feel led. That may be regularly. May not.

Saturday Spotlight will continue weekly.

Thank you for your continued love and support. I hope you will continue to drop by and see what's happening until I get clear direction on what to do.  Meanwhile, Mistletoe, Snow and Suspense (which includes Keri's Christmas Wish) is STILL available for the next couple of weeks and check out this new collection of Christian Suspense books, Timeless Suspense, which includes my novel, The Visionary. Both are limited editions and available for only .99 cents! 

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

#TuesdayTreasures: Guest Post by Tyndale Author, Chris Fabry!

Good Morning Friends,

I am pleased to bring to you today's guest, a brand-new-to-me & my blog author from Tyndale Publishing, Chris Fabry to share with us something he treasures.

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris’s novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, and The Promise of Jesse Woods, have won five Christy Awards, an ECPA Christian Book Award, and a 2017 Award of Merit from Christianity Today. His eightieth published book, Under a Cloudless Sky, is a novel set in the coalfields of his home state of West Virginia. His books include movie novelizations, like the recent bestseller War Room; nonfiction; and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and the Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. 

Books have meant so much throughout my life. A few years ago I lost my treasures—signed copies of stories that touched me deeply, my writing books, stories from my childhood. All I had to do was look at them for inspiration. Devastating is too soft of a word.

Someone in South Carolina read about my loss and on my fiftieth birthday went to the home of one of my favorite writers, Pat Conroy. She knocked on the door and asked him to sign a book for me.
As a writer and a private person, I would not like that. I don’t know what the conversation was like. All I have is his inscription.

“To Chris, Happy 50th Birthday. My best to you in your writing life. Go deeper. Always go deeper.”

I treasure that not only because Pat died in 2016, but because his words are a challenge and a call to my writer’s heart. I hear him blowing a whistle and urging me to go into the mine of the soul and dig for nuggets of truth and beauty. Because words mean so much, this is one of my treasures.

Oh wow, Chris what a treasure! Thank you so much for sharing with us today.

Hope you enjoyed today's post. You can find out more about Chris by visiting his Website and/or Blog and by connecting with him on FaceBook and Twitter. Under a Cloudless Sky can be purchased at Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback and on Kindle.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Tanya Stowe & her DEBUT Love Inspired Novel, Mojave Rescue!

Good Morning Friends,

It is my extreme pleasure to bring to you today's guest, fellow Pelican Book Group author, Tanya Stowe. Tanya has shared Thoughts with us and been in the Spotlight before but today, she brings us a sneak peek into her brand new, debut, Love Inspired novel, Mojave Rescue.

Welcome, Tanya, please tell us a little about Mojave Rescue....

Electronics engineer Drina Gallagher has created a powerful weapon that will protect soldiers’ lives—and it’s put her own at risk. Kidnapped and locked in a desert shack, she’s desperate to stop her plans from getting into enemy hands, but whom can she trust? Especially when the expert who rescues her isn’t what he seems. Forced to blow his cover after spending two years infiltrating a black market ring, CIA agent Cal Norwood blames Drina’s recklessness though he admires her courage. And while his mountain cabin provides temporary refuge, protecting Drina  means—outwitting and defeating—a relentless foe determined to have the weapon at any cost.

Excerpt: “Bill, I did it!” Drina Gallagher almost dropped her cell phone in her excitement.

“What?” Bill Underwood’s sleepy voice rolled across her senses…setting off a thread of regret for waking her boss in the middle of the nigh…which was quickly over-ridden by her excitement.

“I did it, Bill. I fixed the problem.”

“Drina? Do you have any idea what time it is?”

She didn’t. She’d been secluded in the little office at the desert test facility, completely focused on the set of equations that had turned up in today’s field test. Not only had she lost track of time, but Drina was on the West Coast for the test. Bill was at the company headquarters on the East Coast. Three hours earlier.

“I’m sorry, Bill. I forgot the time again. But I knew you’d want to hear his now.”

“Wait…did you say problem? Is there a problem with the test?”

“No…well yes, there was. I set up today’s test based on the parameters you and I discussed yesterday and everything went haywire. The numbers didn’t make sense.”

Drina’s company had been awarded a military contract to develop a non-lethal laser weapon to protect soldiers against supersonic missiles and unmanned aerial weapons. Their laser needed to impact machines only, destroying the electronics of the missiles and UAV’s rendering them useless against ground troops. But the laser weapon needed to be rechargeable to full power in a short time and above all, small enough for transport on a ground vehicle. So far, Drina and her company had failed to meet those parameters with their laser.

Until today. Today faulty mathematical equations led Drina to an epiphany. The answer came to her in an amazing eye-opening moment. The following hours of crunching numbers proved her theory possible.

“I did it.” Drina repeated for the third time, just to hear the words out loud again. Succeeding meant everything to her. Creating a non-lethal laser weapon would secure her company’s position and create jobs. It would solidify Drina’s place in her parents’ exclusive scientific community, but most importantly, it would fulfill her deepest desire to protect American soldiers. 

No one knew the secret that pushed Drina to work long hours, to forget to eat and sometimes even to sleep. Not even Bill, her mentor who had hired her straight out of MIT four years ago, knew what drove her. It was her secret alone to nurse, obsess about and guilt over. Sometimes Drina wondered if even God knew.

“Bill, I found the answer. We’ll be able to recharge the laser to full power in less than twenty minutes.”

“Full power?” For the first time, Bill’s voice sounded awake and alert.

“Full power. And I think we’ll be able to reduce the weight. We might even be able to go small enough to be carried on a soldier’s back. We just need—”

“Stop Drina! Don’t say another word. This is my home phone. It’s not a secure line.”

Drina’s breath caught in her throat. She was an electronic warfare engineer. She thought in numbers not words. Most the security hype sounded like Hollywood fiction to her and she paid little heed. No matter how hard Bill tried, his emphasis on protocol and top-secret measures usually went right through her.

But not tonight. Tonight his words sent a wave of cold washing through.

Perhaps the briefing by the head of the base’s security had more impact than she’d realized. He’d definitely made an impression but it was more along the lines of his All-American good looks.

Tall, dark hair, more handsome than he had a right to be. Cal Norwood looked like he came straight out of one of those Hollywood movies Drina abhorred. She hadn’t paid much attention to his talk about eyes and ears everywhere. Now she wished she’d listened.

Just then a click echoed over her connection with Bill…sounding like someone had just hung up the line.

Yep. Definitely should have paid attention.

Wow, sounds like a wonderful story! Where can we get a copy?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and wherever LI books are sold.

Now tell us a little about you....

Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary. WebsiteFacebookBlog.

Thank you so much for visiting with us today Tanya. Congratulations on your debut title with Love Inspired. We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings!

Hope you enjoyed today's post as much as I have, Friends. 

Until next time, take care and God bless.