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

Don’t Set Those Goals…

by Carole Brown

Whalists-freet, you say? And you have a right to ask. I wanted to grab your attention, so hence the partial statement. Here’s the sentence in its entirety:

Don’t set those goals TOO high!

Again, you might very well ask, why on earth not, especially coming from you who always advocates goals and lists?

Okay, I agree with that, but I want to throw out there some caution. Here are some reasons why I encourage you to be careful when setting your goals or making those lists:

  • When I make lists/goals I try not to make them unattainable FOR ME. I don’t include on my lists: “Paint room, wash windows, clean bathrooms, write 5000 words–today! Nope, I KNOW I can’t/won’t do all that. For one thing, I’m not much of a painter. Another thing, I hate washing windows, although I do get to it a few times a year–under pressure. I’m a slow writer, so 5000 words is pushing it for me. 

Now I mighcan-do-freet make a list like this: Clean bathrooms, write 1000 words, do one blog post, prepare supper, pay bills. 

 I know me. I know my limitations. I know I hate taking down the Christmas tree, so hubby begins right after Christmas encouraging me to work on it. I know I really don’t mind too much cleaning the bathrooms, so that’s a feasible goal. And if I attain more than a thousand words, than I’m flying high today!

So set reasonable goals.

 

  • Add some fun items along with the dreaded ones to make your list more appealing to your emotions and senses. Intermingle them. Try doing one hated chore right after or before a pleasant one. Reward yourself with a small piece of chocolate or some other read-on-vacationfavor when an unpleasant one is finished. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many unpleasant tasks.

It’s far better to finish five dreaded items a week, than end the week feeling depressed because none of the twenty got done.

 

So, Intermingle on your tasks lists with both pleasant and unpleasant tasks.

 

  • God’s Word encourages us to do our REASONABLE SERVICE–not outlandish tasksbible-free that are out of our reach. But he also wants us to be good stewards, faithful in our work, disciplined. So I would encourage you to find and use as your motto a scripture verse/passage that you can refer to as your guide to making your lists a habit, an influence in seeing the need to be profitable in our daily chores and chosen paths, and a blessing to you as you diligently do your work every day. 

No, we might not accomplish everything, every day. We’re human. Faulty. And life happens. Don’t let failures discourage you, but count them as lessons. Push ahead.

So, find a scripture that keeps you motivated.

 

RECAPPbaseball2-freeING:

  1. Set reasonable goals.
  2. Intermingle good and bad tasks together
  3. Find a scripture for encouragement.


I believe if you follow these three simple steps, you’ll find a greater satisfaction each week. Remember, reward yourself. Stay true to yourself and God. Allow time for fun. You’ll be batting a high score.                     I believe it!

Happy goal-setting!

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!

 

 

Guest Author Elizabeth Maddrey – Group Projects Really Can Be Fun

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

elizabethmaddreyheadshotToday’s guest author is Elizabeth Maddrey. Elizabeth began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.

Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website or on Facebook.

You can also find her on the web here:

Elizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who loves romance and a good happily ever after.

Group Projects Really Can Be Fun

by Elizabeth Maddrey

WorkingIf you’re like me, the words “group project” put a little stab of fear right in your belly and brings back all sorts of childhood school memories that reside on the other side of pleasant. One of the things I’ve always loved about writing is that it’s an individual pursuit. Maybe even solitary. As an introvert, I don’t mind solitary. And yet, there’s an incredible community amongst writers as well, and I’m grateful that I can count many friends from within that community.

Still, when I was chatting with one of those friends and she broached the idea of an 18-month group project, I had to stop and catch my breath. Could I do it? Or was it doomed to be a repeat of school, where one or two people do all the work and everyone else gets the credit? Despite a qualm or two, I signed on. And I’m so very glad I did.

The project is a multi-author series set in the fictional town of Arcadia Valley, Idaho. Each author will release a novella and three-book series set in this town. Our characters overlap and interact with one another from book to book, so the police officer you see mentioned in one may end up being a main character in another author’s book, and so forth. As you might expect, keeping details consistent has been a huge task, but so far between files in a drop box and careful beta reading, I think we’re doing a good job.

Working with the other authors in this group project has been an absolute delight, and it’s put to rest some of those group project qualms left over from school. Sure, we’ve had a few times when we had to all step back and take a deep breath before resuming a discussion—we’re humans, after all. But in the end, we made the decisions that needed to be made in a way that, I believe, has left everyone content. The series that has resulted is, I hope, going to delight readers. And really, that’s the best thing a writer can hope for.

Arcadia Valley Romance kicked off on January 10th with the release of Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. My contribution to this novella box set is Loaves & Wishes and I’d love to share a little excerpt to close out my guest post today.

Ruth cleared her throat as she sat. Maybe it was better to blurt it out and be done. “Naomi passed away three weeks ago.”

Corban stared at her, his mouth open in a tiny O. Slowly, his lips came together and the furrows in his forehead deepened. He set the glass down with a thunk on the antique table by his elbow, completely missing the lace doohickey that would protect the wood. “I’m sorry. What?”

Ruth’s fingers itched to move the glass but she willed herself to stay still, perched on the edge of the settee. “She had cancer. And apparently never told anyone. I’ve been her best friend since kindergarten, we talk every week, and she only told me she was sick when it was clear that treatment wasn’t a viable option. Her obituary was in the local paper.”

“I told the guys watching the farm to read and recycle them. Nothing ever happens around here that’s worth saving a newspaper. I’m not even sure why I still subscribe, except that Ernie’s been a family friend for so long. She’d been acting odd. I knew I should have pushed.”

“You two were close?” Ruth watched his face. He looked shocked, certainly, but not as destroyed as a man in love should be.

“Not like you mean.” He offered a slight smile. “Though there were plenty of old ladies at church who were hopeful. No, Naomi was like a little sister to me. When she bought this place so my parents could move south, it seemed natural to keep an eye on her at first. And then…” He shrugged. “Then we were friends.”

“Naomi could make anyone into a friend.” Ruth’s heart cracked open a little wider. How was she supposed to go through life without her? “I’m sorry you had to find out from me.”

Corban nodded and stood. “I’ll be on my way. I… my number’s in her book. If you ever need anything, just give a shout.”

“Thanks.” He probably hadn’t heard her, given that he’d been striding into the hall before she’d managed to get the word out. The kitchen door slammed.

Ruth sagged against the back of the stuffy little couch and took several long swallows of her lemonade. She was going to make a success of her friend’s business. She had to. For Naomi, and for herself. And handsome, abrupt neighbors weren’t going to get in her way.

elizabeth-maddrey-novella_webRomance Grows in Arcadia Valley includes:

Spring’s Blessing (Seasons of Faith) by Mary Jane Hathaway
Life gets complicated for Charlotte MacGregor when a motherless child and a handsome widower encroach on her carefully laid plans. Will she keep her heart above the fray, or take a leap of faith?

Loaves and Wishes (A Baxter Family Bakery Romance) by Elizabeth Maddrey
Inheriting her friend’s Bed and Breakfast in Idaho is a second chance to succeed, but falling for the farmer next door wasn’t in the plan.

Sheltered Hearts (Romance from the Heart) by Lee Tobin McClain
A curvy jilted bride gets stranded in a snowstorm with a handsome restaurant cook who’s not what he seems to be.

Sow in Love (A Garden Grown Romance) by Valerie Comer
A real estate consultant’s ideas for fulfilling a living trust are shot down by the elderly greenhouse owner’s grandson, but some of the arrows piercing her heart come directly from Cupid’s bow.

The Scent of Romance (Legacy of the Heart) by Danica Favorite
A high-powered lawyer must convince a woman determined to protect her family’s legacy to sell the family farm to his father’s development company, but finds his heart leading him away from everything he’s spent his life trying to accomplish.

A Romance Rekindled (A Homegrown Love Story) by Annalisa Daughety
When a formerly engaged couple find themselves thrown together after more than a decade apart, neither of them are thrilled about it. Can they let go of the past and consider a future together? Or are there some wounds that cannot be healed?

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?

 

Kerplunk and Jennifer Allen

by Carole Brown

I thought you might enjoy Jennifer’s article today. She’s a pre-author, but moving fast toward publication. A writer friend from Ohio, Jennifer has an active life and enjoys mingling with other authors when she can.

Here’s her bio:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

 JPC Allen started her writing career in second grade with an homage to Scooby Doo. With a B.A. in both English and history and a Masters of Library Science, she worked for ten years as a children’s librarian in public libraries. She is a member of ACFW and a 2016 Genesis semi-finalist in the YA category with the novel The Truth & Other Strangers. She hopes that novel will be the first book in a series, set in West Virginia. She is life-long Buckeye with deep roots in the Mountain State. Please visit her blog with writing tips for beginning writers at JPCAllenWrites.com and Facebook

Now, on to her post:

Patrick F. McManus wrote humorous stories and essays for Outdoor Life and Field & Stream. One of my favorites is “People Who Hunt” from Kerplunk!, a collection of his stories.
Hunters and people who hunt are two different species. People who hunt love the sport, but they have other interests with no connection to hunting. A hunter’s whole life revolves around hunting. As Mr. McManus writes:

A friend of mine is a bank president, for example, but if you ask him to identify himself, he’ll say he’s a hunter. He thinks of himself primarily as a hunter. His job as a bank president is merely a means of supporting his hunting. His business associates are merely part of the support group for his hunting. He refuses to hire another hunter for the bank, because, he says, the two of them would spend all their time talking hunting, and never get any work done.

When I read this, I marveled at how anyone could be so single-minded. I myself had so many different interests. I like old movies, especially film noir. I love being outdoors, hiking and exploring. I love kids, so I am active in the children’s ministries at my church and lead reading groups at my kids’ school. I enjoy baking and collecting shells and fossils, and I used to ride horses. If I wasn’t well-rounded, I thought I was at least oval-shaped.

Then, driving down a lonely, country road one day, I had a startling revelation. (That can happen when you drive down lonely, country roads.) I wasn’t a person who writes. I was a writer. Everything I did, I looked on as potential sources of writing inspiration.
When I watch old movies, I judge the plot and performances, seeing what I can learn from them. When I am outdoors, I look at the scenery as possible settings for stories. The kids I work with teach me about behavior and guide me when building characters. Even my hobbies can be used in my writing. On that road, I realized I wasn’t even oval-shaped, just a straight line that led to writing.1122464

Except for my faith and family relationships, I now identify myself as a writer. Even if I never publish a book, I will still be a writer. It seems to be the way God shaped me.

If you want good writing and a good laugh, visit the Patrick F. McManus page on GoodReads.
Goodreads.

Patrick_F_McManusne could be so single-minded.

 

Thanks for joining us today, Jennifer!

Missing One of these?

by Carole Brown

Want to join the people falling in love with Appleton, WV?

Want to learn who the next protagonist in this series will be?

Want to know what cozy mystery will be in the fourth book?

Then keep up with the this unique group of friends and the small town of Appleton.

Reviewers thoughts:

~~This is a fast paced, enjoyable read. In fact, when my copy ‘vanished’ from my Kindle for some strange reason, I quickly bought another so that I could finish the story!~~

~~Knight In Shining Apron by Carole Brown, is a delightful Christian book set in the beautiful little town of Appleton West Virginia.~~

~~“Undiscovered Treasure” by Carole Brown is a truly remarkable story about how true love never gives up and never dies.~~

Toby’s Troubles is the fourth book,

but in the meantime…

Enjoy:

 sabataged-christmas1-front-cover3

front-cover1-w-apple-blossom

OR…

front-cover

Happy Reading!