And One More Post…TenLove Quotes

by Carole Brownheart-balloons-free

Women are meant to be loved, not understood. –Oscar Wilde

Things are beautiful, if you love them enough. –Mademoiselle Colombe

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. –Robert Frost

People are not going to love you unless you love them. –Pat Carroll

Love betters what is best. –William Wordsworth

You know it’s love when all you want is for that person to be happy even if you’re not part of their happiness. –Julie Roberts 

Whelove-valentines-freen love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. –-unknown

The greater love is a mother’s, then co
mes a dog’s, then a sweetheart’s.
–Polish Proverb

A heart in love with beauty never dies. –Turkey Proverb

But the greatest of these is love. –Holy Bible

10 Life Hacks for When You are Overwhelmed

Hand Writing HELP on Whiteboardby Tamera Lynn Kraft

No matter how well organized we are or how well we plan, life sometimes throws us a curve ball. An illness, family emergency, or a million other things can steer us off course, and there is nothing we can do in those times but hold on tight and ride the wave through it. Here are ten life hacks to help you when those things happen.

lists-freeMake a list of things to do. Even when you don’t have time to do your to do list, it helps to write everything down. Then go through the list and cross off everything that doesn’t have to be done. Write an L for later beside everything on the list that has to be done but can wait until your past your emergency mode. For the rest, decide what you can delegate to others.

Hire help. Sometimes it is worth spending a little money to free up your time during emergencies. There are lots of companies that are willing to mow your lawn, run your errands, do your shopping, and clean your house. You can even take your laundry to the laundry mat and have them wash, dry, and fold your laundry. You may consider these services luxuries you can’t afford, but remember this is a temporary fix to get you through a tough time.

Say no. You are in emergency mode. You don’t have time to take on any new projects no matter how worthy they are.

24-1013tm-cart-professionalsGet your family on board. Explain to your husband and kids what’s going on. If you have close friends, get them involved too.Tell them you may not be there for them like you usually are and ask for their help. Also ask them to pray for you.

Give yourself permission to not be perfect. When you are in emergency mode, let your motto be “good enough is good enough.” Perfection is for people who have more time.

Use essential oils in a diffuser. This really works. I recommend Young Living Joy or Peace and Calming.

Have a cup of tea. While coffee might energize you temporarily, it will also make you nervous and on edge. Tea calms the nerves and makes everything better.

Exercise: Common sense says you don’t have time to go to the gym, but exercise helps stress levels come down and will keep your on task.

raising-handsWorship: Crank up the worship music and play it while you are doing what you need to do. Also take some time out to worship God. God will redeem the time you spend in His presence.

Ask God for peace and joy. God can give you peace and joy in the most difficult times. Peace and joy are not based on your circumstances but on God’s mercy and grace.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

10 Keys to a Happy Life

Joy Key Shows Fun Or Happinessby Tamera Lynn Kraft

The Bible talks a lot about joy. You can’t read the Bible very long without realizing God wants us find our happiness in Him. John Piper says, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. That’s the real key to a happy life, to be satisfied in God. Here are a couple of verses that show this.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Here are 10 keys to having a happy and fulfilled life. They are not the only ones. You can find the rest in the Bible.

10. Don’t worry so much. Most of what we worry about never happens.

9. Remember failure is an event, not a person.

8. Knowing Jesus is more important than knowing about Jesus.

Person Holding Sign Spreading Word of God7. Remember that the story of your life is not about you. It’s about God in you.

6. Our lives become significant by how we serve and bless others.

5. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep and gain what he can not lose.” Jim Elliot. In other words, if we don’t have anything worth dying for, we don’t have anything worth living for.

4. Stay true to the Word of God while loving others liberally. That means you love others enough to tell them the truth. The truth is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

3. God’s opinion is the only one that counts.

2. We find our greatest joy by abiding in Christ and yielding to the will of God.

1. A life without God at the center is a miserable, wasted life.

So, can you think of any I missed. Leave a comment.

Tips to Show Your Love

by Carole Brown

february-valentines-free

February 14th is almost here, and, for most of us, the thoughts of candy, cards, flowers and other romantic items–and the ones we love–fill our hearts with warmth. Here are a few thoughts I had on some newer ways to share our love:homeless-free

 

To the Homeless:

  • Drop off a hat, scarf, coat, socks, etc., to a homeless person
  • Drop off a restaurant gift card or a home cooked meal.
  • Take five minutes to talk with one of them.

 

 

To a Child in Your Life:child-blowing-bubbles-free

  • Play with them. Pretend. Enter their imaginary world. 
  • Go on a date lunch with one. Or two. Allow them to pick the eating establishment.
  • Do something really crazy and fun that you’ve never done or it’s been a long, long time. It will be worth it all to see their faces light up!
  • Introduce them (if they don’t already know) to some intellectual amusement/learning. Art shop. Biblical place like Noah’s Ark in Cincinnati, Ohio, A decent dinner/show event, a decent concert, a wildlife hike, some cave exploring, etc. Or simple things like building with blocks, blowing bubbles, splashing through a rain puddle, building snowmen or angels, reading a book, etc. 

 

husband-n-wife2-free

To the Love of Your Life:

  • If you’re a man, prepare a meal with candles, low lights, scents and the music you love in the background. If you can’t cook, hire it done/ask a favor of a good cook. If you prefer, plan the kind of casual dinner event she would prefer. 
  • Go for a short vacation. Choose a cabin, hotel, camper, tent kind of place you both enjoy. Then make it special for your other half. Find a rock that means something special. Order a dessert he/she loves. Sit under the stars wrapped in blankets and study the stars. Talk. Relax. 
  • Give her the treat of a manicure, pedicure, or massage. If that’s out-of-your-budget, then give her/him a massage yourself. Make sure you have special oils to use and light music, low lights (or sunlight) of her/his preference.
  • Buy her a little gifts that she loves: Books, scarves, accessories, hair items, socks (fun and serious), favorite snacks, etc. 

 

To the God of Your Life:praise-n-sing-free

  • Prepare to attend your worship services with nothing in your mind but praising, serving and worshiping your God. How? Don’t plan lengthy activities for Saturday evenings. Get enough sleep the night before. Eat lightly before leaving for church. If there’s time, read a passage of scripture that can put you in the correct mood for church.
  • Give! Financially if you’re able (tithes and gifts are expected, thus saith the Bible). Volunteer for church functions. If you have a musical voice, sing solo or in a choir, or join a band. Share whatever talents you have with your church and church friends. Baking, decorating, calling on phones and in person, all these and more make a difference and take loads off others. 
  • Study the word. Make a sacrifice. Fast. Do something that is hard for you to do. Ask God to search your heart. Lean on him. Draw closer. Pray a little extra. Do a kindness when others are being ugly. Compliment. Smile. Stay true when others are disloyal or acting shamefully. Pray for the sinner, the disobedient, those straying. Do your part by being faithful. 

Love, Love, Love.  

The Bible says in Corinthians, “The greatest of these is charity.” 

 

Have a lovely month!

 

 

My Favorite Top 10 Classic Romances and Love Stories

Old books on table on brown backgroundby Tamera Lynn Kraft

It’s almost Valentine’s Day when our thought turn to romance and love. There’s nothing better on Valentine’s Day than to pull out some of your favorite love stories. Here are my favorite classic romances and love stories.

10. Persuasion by Jane AustinWritten as the Napoleonic Wars were ending, the novel examines how a woman can at once remain faithful to her past and still move forward into the future. Anne Elliot seems to have given up on present happiness and has resigned herself to living off her memories. More than seven years earlier she complied with duty: persuaded to view the match as imprudent and improper, she broke off her engagement to a naval captain with neither fortune, ancestry, nor prospects. However, when peacetime arrives and brings the Navy home, and Anne encounters Captain Wentworth once more, she starts to believe in second chances.

9. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (All right. Technically it’s a play. But it’s still one of the greatest love stories of all times.)

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud.

In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers’ final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love. In part because of its exquisite language, it is easy to respond as if it were about all young lovers.

8. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield—weary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertion—this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep.

7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?

5. Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

The year is 1792. The French Revolution, driven to excess by its own triumph, has turned into a reign of terror. Daily, tumbrels bearing new victims to the guillotine roll over the cobbled streets of Paris.… Thus the stage is set for one of the most enthralling novels of historical adventure ever written.

The mysterious figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, sworn to rescue helpless men, women, and children from their doom; his implacable foe, the French agent Chauvelin, relentlessly hunting him down; and lovely Marguerite Blakeney, a beautiful French exile married to an English lord and caught in a terrible conflict of loyalties—all play their parts in a suspenseful tale that ranges from the squalid slums of Paris to the aristocratic salons of London, from intrigue on a great English country estate to the final denouement on the cliffs of the French coast.

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

3. Jane Erye by Charlotte Bronte

A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman’s quest for freedom. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London. Page 2 of a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra (11 June 1799) in which she first mentions Pride and Prejudice, using its working title First Impressions. Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighborhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth.

1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’

Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities portrays a world on fire, split between Paris and London during the brutal and bloody events of the French Revolution. After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There, two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

Next Wednesday I’ll list my favorite contemporary love stories and romances. Which are your favorites? Would you add any? Please comment.

Moving Forward!

by Carole Brown

Alrebook-freeady, almost a month has past in this new year 2017. Writers, have you advanced in your writing? Have you kept to resolves you made in your New Year’s plans for your writing journey? Have you…advanced?

Here were some of my writing plans for 2017 and how much I’ve progressed (accountability, you know. Smile):

  • Finish writing, editing and preparing for the delayed-from-last-year publication of the second book in my WWII series (A Flute in the Willows). With several obstacles that kept the publication from happening, I’m certainly looking forward to this. So far, I’ve increased the words, edited at least two times the already written words, and preparing to move ahead toward my goal. 
  • I’ve tentatively planned to finish three more books this year (not novellas). Although I’m not holding my breath on this one, if I can obtain at least the publication of a second one, I will be farther up the road than now. So…, as of today, I’ve plotted (lightly) the events in both of my newer series books (the third book in the Denton and Alex Davies series: Daffy’s Duck and the fourth book in my Appleton, WV series: Toby’s Troubles). 
  • Thirdly, I have a standalone book set in the mid-to-late 1800s, a light mystery filled with lots of romance, that I’d love to see published soon. The title is Caleb’s Destiny, and is already from a third-to half done. We’ll see about this as the months pass. 

RECAPPING:Working

  1.  Finish writing and editing A Flute in the Willows, WWII 
  2. Complete and edit either or both Daffy’s Duck and Toby’s Troubles
  3. If time permits, move on and complete Caleb’s Destiny

I’ve got my work cut out for me! 🙂

What’s your specific writing plans this year?

 

Dan Brown…and Chipper

by Carole Browndan-brown

I’m tickled pink to feature this man (and my love!) here today on this blog. He’s an inspiring, creative author, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy this short interview and a peek at all the Chipper books he has published. (More coming…) 

chipper-learns-a-lesson-copy-copyWhat messages in your Chipper books do you want children to learn about? Do you like a definite spiritual theme or do you keep it less obvious as you write? 

I want children to learn caring, helping, sharing, and to do the right thing. The spiritual theme is not an overt, in-your-face subject, but in learning right attributes, they are learning characteristics that will encourage them in the things of God. In the back of the books are short scriptures that they can learn or parents and children can discuss. And the discussion questions can help them to think about the themes in the books. Parents can gently guide their children by interacting with their children as they talk about these. 

book-two_centered-1

What’s next for you? Do you have another book being written now?

I have several short stories about Chipper ready to go, but holding off on these till at least two more of the Adventures of Chipper are ready for publishing. Life interferes (you’ve heard that before I’m sure) but I’m compiling and working on the creatures and plots for the next two books. Hopefully, God wills, these will be ready for my editor soon.

book-cover-three_centered

What or who makes a successful person/author, in your opinion?

As far as an author goes: my personal opinion is a someone who understands the power of the written word and being so intrigued and fascinated  by their own characters that they are there with them in heart and mind. 

book-four_centered

Why do you think this book resonates with readers?

Because the character Chipper helps young people and children to learn, and sometimes–most times, I think–they do not even realize that. It shows them that they are someone and that they can be a better person. They can get caught up in these fun and entertaining books and learn from them without even consciously knowing that.

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What is YOUR favorite part about these books or why do you love this series? Why should children read them?

  • Chipper’s outpouring love and concern, and being willing to give his all for the other characters in the books.
  • Why? For the children? Because Chipper and the other characters are interesting and exciting, enlightening and helpful. And funny!
  • For the parents? They are giving their children the opportunity to learn characteristics that will hopefully improve their children’s actions and attitudes. And it gives them opportunities to spend quiet, devotional times with them.

chipper-calls-for-help-book-six

Tell us a little bit of how you were called, or began writing. Happenstance? A clear call? A chosen career?

I felt a need to instruct children and young people (and yes, there are some young people who’ve read and enjoyed the books!) in things that matter.

book-seven-centered

Where do you get ideas? Character names? Do you find your characters similar to you in any way?

  • Mainly from God’s creation
  • A mystery! Seriously, through a great imagination. 🙂
  • Perhaps in some ways–I think most authors do. How could we not? 

chipper-and-the-ice-escapade-book-eight

Thanks, Dan, for joining us today and sharing a few things with us.

Readers, be sure to check out this link!

Amazon