Welcome Ruth

by Carole BrownChristmas ebook cover

It’s wonderful to have Ruth here today sharing about her new devotional book and a bit about her life. Do check it out and leave a comment too! 

Enjoy the interview!

Welcome, Ruth! How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was nine years old. My first story, “The Hunchback Bug,” is now a writing tool for my students. Your first story doesn’t have to be good, but if you keep working at it, your writing will improve.

Wise advice. What made you want to write this Christmas devotional?

I had already written a lot of stories for children as well as a lot of devotions over the years. It seemed logical to combine them to create something unique for whole families to use during the Christmas season. I mentioned it to my friends and it became a project we worked on together.

What a fantastic project. Since this is a Christmas devotional, can you share a favorite Christmas memory?

Oh, goodness, there so many! I remember getting up super early with my siblings when I was a child. My parents would allow us to open our stockings, which was probably an effort to let them sleep a little longer, although I’m not sure how quiet we were.

Then there was the tree my husband cut down with our children one year. I’m not very good at spatial things and that tree looked a lot smaller outside. My husband had to cut a couple of feet off the bottom to fit it in the house, and the tree was so big around, it took up half of our living room. That was my favorite tree ever!

Fun!! I remember a couple times of “oversized, underbranched” beauties in our living room too! Lol. What made you want to be a writer?

That must’ve been God. I never struggled as a teenager with what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always knew I would write.

Me, too! Seems I’ve always loved writing. What are some of your other favorite things to do?

I enjoy quilting – that’s my thinking time. If I’m stuck on a writing project, I can go sew for a little while and then all of a sudden ideas start to come. I also enjoy being outdoors. As a family we enjoy hiking and camping.

Sisters blog (2)

In this picture of you, as a child, which one are you?

I’m the one on the right, the oldest. 

 

Family time is the best, and I do that too to energize my writing muse again. There’s a song for each day of the devotional. Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

There are so many beautiful ones. I’m not sure I have A favorite. I enjoy “Home for Christmas,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (the Steven Curtis Chapman version), “O Holy Night.” I could go on, but I won’t. Christmas songs just make me happy and help me focus on the reason for the celebration.

Where can we find you?

Blog – http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com/

Website – http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RuthONeilAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writerrutho

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Ruth-ONeil/e/B00AJ5S3YQ

Buy link for the book – https://www.amazon.com/Days-Christmas-Family-Devotional-Meaningful-ebook/dp/B01N1LTH26

Thank you for joining us today, Ruth!

Readers, don’t forget to check out Ruth’s links and her book!

 

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Don’t Let Your Fears…

by Carole Brown

…keep you from writing.

Fear #1: Fear of the Unknown

Yes, cost you some money — marketing costs, training costs, etc.

But if something costs you, say, $500 over the course of a year, and you generate, say, $3,000 during that year, is the cost really what’s most important?

Don’t let the fear of investing some money now blind you from the many different avenues to profit and readers.

 

Fear #2: I don’t have the time

Yes, writing does take time. There is no way around this.

So if you literally have no time to invest in building an audience and developing your talent in writing, you probably should give in to this fear and walk away now. But in my experience, most people do have enough time to at least get moving — even if it’s not as much time as they’d like to have (a distinction that is critical).

The key is to actually prioritize your personal goals and your future (because no one else is going to do it for you), and then make smart choices about what to do with the available time that you do have.

 

Fear #3: But I’m an unknown! How will I ever get enough sales to make money?

 

Patience with your timeline, take a big-picture view, and smartly follow the proven path laid out by so many people who have come before you.

 

Fear #4: Okay, but how can I be confident that I’ll make good decisions and not screw everything up once it’s growing?

Because you’re more capable than you think. And because there are so many mentors and examples out there whose lead you can follow.

And, more importantly, because your own intuition — once it is honed by the deep experience you will gain growing an audience and learning how to serve them — is the greatest and most underrated guide you will have.

 

 

Fear #5: This all just a crazy pipe dream.

It’s definitely not a pipe dream. The thousands of successful writers out there, and the billions upon billions of dollars they generate every year, are proof of that.

As to whether it’s “crazy,” well … maybe it is a tad bit crazy.

But you know what? Most successful writers tend to be a little bit crazy. So this fear is actually a sign that you’re on the right track. 

 

And just for good measure, here is one more fear you might be feeling …

Bonus Fear: How will I know what specific steps to take to succeed?

This is probably the most unreasonable fear of them all.

Why?

Because so many successful paths and successful strategies have already been tried, judged, improved, and refined by those who have come before you.

 

Take a moment and reflect on any of the fears above that may be affecting your thinking. If any of those fears are stopping you from taking meaningful steps forward, now is the time to consider whether or not they should be.

Because if they shouldn’t be, then these fears are holding you back from living the life you truly want to be living.

And that’s not a fear to respect.

That’s a fear to reject.

A New Mystery Book from Karen Robbins

by Carole Brown

Karen has some fun mystery books, and here’s her newest! 

The second book in her Annie Pickels Story

Pickle Dilly

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Links to purchase books:

In A Pickle:  https://www.amazon.com/Pickle-Annie-Pickels-Story-Pickes/dp/1974391868/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Pickle Dilly:  https://www.amazon.com/Pickle-Dilly-Annie-Pickels-Story/dp/1974397092/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

KAREN_2

 

KAREN ROBBINS is a writer, author, and speaker. She and her husband are travel addicts and many of her stories are enriched by their adventures in different parts of the world. She has written six novels, collaborated on two non-fiction books and contributed often to Chicken Soup For The Soul books. She is currently working on a Christmas novella, A Pocketful Of Christmas. While the world is fun to explore, Karen most likes to spend time with her grandchildren. They offer the greatest adventures of all.

 

Catch up with Karen at her blog, Wandering Writer (www.karenrobbins.com), Twitter (https://twitter.com/writerwandering), Facebook (www.facebook.com/KarenRobbinsAuthor) or Amazon (www.amazon.com/author/karenrobbins)

Recommended!

Happy Reading

 

A New Comedy Romance from Catherine Castle

by Carole BrownAGroomforMama2_200

A Groom for Mama

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal.There’s a new romantic comedy, by multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle, on the EBook shelves at Amazon, titled…

A Groom for Mama.

The book, which is full of plot twists, humor and drama, is loosely based on a play she and her author husband wrote as a contest entry for a local radio contest.

Readers are calling A Groom for Mama “simply delightful” and “an enjoyable read full of fun and wit and heart-felt emotion.”

Catherine’s going to give us a peek into the book today.

Enjoy!

A Groom for Mama

By Catherine Castle

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

Excerpt:

With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.

“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”

“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”

“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.

“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”

Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”

Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”

A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”

“And just how do you know?” she asked.

“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”

“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”

Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”

Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”

He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”

“I don’t want—”

“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”

Want to read more? You can find A Groom for Mama at:

http://www.amzn.com/B074SZSGB1

About the Author:
CT Bio 8x11

Catherine Castle, author of the multi-award-winning inspirational suspense romance, The Nun and the Narc, and the sweet romantic comedy, A Groom for Mama, loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she quilts and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place is in her garden. She’s a passionate gardener who won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

 

Connect with Catherine here:

Website:  https://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com

Blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle

Goodreads page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AuthorCCastle @AuthorCCastle

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/catherinecastleauthor

Google+ :  https://plus.google.com/109253925035989625956/posts

Stitches Thru Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

SMP authors blog site:  http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

HAPPY READING!

Rebel in My House by Sandra M. Hart: Welcome!

by Carole Brown

It’s with real pleasure that I welcome Author Sandy Hart to the blog today. First, here’s her YouTube video for a taste of her book:

 

Enjoy reading her interview!

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

SandraMervilleHart_Headshot2

I wanted to become a writer as a little girl, but I received no encouragement. The dream died. I remained silent about it even as friends dreamed of writing for a career. I simply encouraged them.

My church choir director invited members to share devotional thoughts about weekly songs. I finally gathered my courage, wrote a devotion, and shared it. Among the many encouraging comments I received was one from a dear lady who has since died from cancer. She asked me to submit it for publication. I only knew of one place who published devotions. I didn’t hear back from them, but the writing dream blossomed again.

I was a bit like Moses. I argued with God that someone else could do a better job. He asked for my obedience. Conversations with friends, life events, and sermons solidified my belief that God called me to write.

However, the road has been difficult, winding, and narrow. Each obstacle and struggle usually strengthened my resolve to keep going.

And I’m so glad you obeyed that call! What is the message(s) in the book you’re promoting today? Do you like a definite spiritual theme or do you keep it less obvious as you write? Can you give us a very brief scene (paragraph) as an example?

There are definite spiritual themes in this story, including a character’s reliance on God through prayer. Here’s a short paragraph from the novel:

The battle unfolded before her eyes. Five men in gray fell but didn’t rise. She’d just witnessed multiple deaths. She wrung her hands in agony and implored God to save their souls. The cost of Southern lives in the horrible war had been something she shielded her heart from. Now the truth unfolded in terrible clarity right before her.

Very touching! What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

Oh, yes, please read it! 😊

This novel revolves around the Battle of Gettysburg. It shows not only how the soldiers suffered, but also the townspeople. Most of the men fled Gettysburg when the Confederated Army crossed into Pennsylvania. This left the women and children to deal with the horror of the Confederates seizing the town and the battle surrounding them. Many called on strength they didn’t know they possessed and rose to the challenge.

Like Sarah, a Gettysburg seamstress who meets Jesse, a Confederate soldier caught behind enemy lines, on the first day. She makes a compassionate decision that leads to more hardships than she ever imagined.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg in particular. I traveled to Gettysburg to find this story.

Writing this novel changed me. I’m not the same person who began the journey.

As I’ve read a tidbit of this book, I’m hoping to acquire it soon! Share a fun or weird habit.

Most folks drink coffee in the morning. I drink chocolate milk. I know—most of us outgrow this stage by the teen years. Not me!

Lol. I love people who do interesting and different things. Lastly, share an incident when you’ve been very happy/excited or very disappointed/depressed because of your writing career? How were you able to get past the bad and move on to the good?

This writing journey is a difficult one. Instead of a tree-lined road, it is a rejection-lined road. I remember a period of 4-5 months when rejections came with brutal regularity. Three came in one week. I was devastated and ready to quit.

I had planned to attend a writers’ conference. It seemed pointless now, but I had already paid. I drove there, planning a final goodbye to writer friends who meant so much to me.

The second evening found me alone in the lobby with another writer. I told him that I had done a terrible thing—I quit my job to write full-time. He had a different spin on that. He believed that trusting God this way was a courageous act.

Somehow, that conversation renewed my spirit. I set to work again. If not for that chance meeting, this novel would have remained unwritten.

That would be encouraging: talking with the person you were meant to talk with and having him give you such encouragement. Thanks for joining us today, Sandy!

A Rebel in My House Book Blurb

ARebelinMyHouse 500x750When the cannons roar beside Sarah Hubbard’s home outside of Gettysburg, she despairs of escaping the war that’s come to Pennsylvania. A wounded Confederate soldier on her doorstep leaves her with a heart-wrenching decision.

Separated from his unit and with a bullet in his back, Jesse Mitchell needs help. He seeks refuge at a house beside Willoughby Run. His future lies in the hands of a woman whose sympathies lay with the North.

Jesse has promised his sister-in-law he’d bring his brother home from the war. Sarah has promised her sister that she’d stay clear of the enemy. Can the two keep their promises amid a war bent on tearing their country apart?

Amazon buy link:   https://www.amazon.com/Rebel-House-Sandra-Merville-Hart/dp/1941103383/

Connect with Sandy here:

Website: https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j3JI-wECyY&feature=youtu.be

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.m.hart.7

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sandramhart7/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100329215443000389705/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445068.Sandra_Merville_Hart

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sandra_M_Hart

Guest Author Jennifer Slattery – Staying Strong for Whatever Comes

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

My guest author today is Jennifer Slattery. Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.

Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com

Staying Strong for Whatever Comes

by Jennifer Slattery

They didn’t know it, but a small group of ordinary men—most of them fishermen—in ancient Palestine were about to experience the greatest challenge to their faith imaginable. This incomprehensible tragedy was so unexpected, they never thought to prepare. How does one prepare for an unforeseen, faith-rocking encounter, anyway?

Grit their teeth and determine to stand firm?

No, that would only work against them, for we are at our weakest point possible whenever we take on the position of self-reliance.

It was the night Jesus was about to be executed, and His Spirit was filled with deep anguish, not only for Himself, but for the twelve who’d given up everything to follow Him, the Man whom they believed would soon change the world and set all the wrong things right. Not only would their hearts be broken; their very faith would take a devastating hit. And they had absolutely no idea the incredible trial that lay ahead.

They couldn’t have imagined such anguish, such fear and confusion, had they tried. But Jesus knew, and, visualizing the depth of their struggle, He gave them an action plan, one that would provide more strength and peace than any other act they could dream up—they were to pray.

But first, a warning:

“When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples. While they were eating, He said, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you will betray Me’” (Matthew 26:20-21 NLT).

Then, perhaps knowing this revelation didn’t sink in, He repeats this warning on the way to the Mount of Olives, where He would show them, through His heart-felt actions, just how serious their impeding threat was:

“Tonight all of you will desert Me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered’” (Matthew 26:31 NLT).

But they weren’t listening, maybe because, as Jesus talked of challenges, all they could think of were their victories: the time when they cast out demons and healed the sick, or perhaps when they watched their Master multiply a small basket of fish and loaves which He used to feed a crowd. Or perhaps Peter remembered when, upon Jesus’ beckoning, he walked on water. True, he sank a moment later, but the next time he’d do better. He’d remain focused, strong, confident. He’d keep his eyes on Jesus and could overcome anything that came his way.

For truly, what could be more challenging than a ruthless storm or men and women oppressed by demons?

No, they had this, and this, whatever this was.

And it was precisely that type of thinking that led to their failure.

If only they’d listened to Jesus instructions spoken on that dark, quiet night:

“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matthew 26:41)

Did they listen? Or were they still too confused, too unsuspecting, too focused on their strength and ability to “stand strong?”

Whatever lies ahead, I want to heed Jesus’ words. I want to regularly pray for the strength to stand strong when temptations and difficulties come. Because a trial is coming, and I’ve—we’ve—been given everything we need in Christ to stand and stay strong. May we take the time, regularly, to tap into that power source.

Healing Love

Genre: Women’s fiction with a strong romantic thread

Dual setting—Southern California, and El Salvador

A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

You can buy Healing Love at this link or on Goodreads.

Song of Solomon Devotion

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

This devotion was written by Jen Sherman, a Bible student at Bethesda Bible College, in the style of Song of Solomon. I hope you enjoy it.

A Song of Songs

In the style of the Song of Solomon

by Jen Sherman

The Beloved:

You’ve pulled me under the ocean of Your Love;

Your waves crash over me like the breakers against the shore.

Your beams of joy dance upon the surface overhead as I sink deeper into You.

The Bridegroom:

Just as the lotus blossoms from the surface of the deep,

So have I grown you in the depths of My Love and grace.

It is time, My Beloved! Bloom into what I have chosen you to be.

My beautiful Beloved, clothed in grace and splendor for the pleasure of Myself.

Daughters of Zion:

Through the rushes we have seen your splendor;

It is no wonder The King comes for you as He does!

The Beloved:

You have given me the new wine,

My cup overflows.

I am captivated by the intoxication of Your Love.