Monday, March 28, 2016

Are You Tired of Winter?

by

Patricia Bradley


Song of Solomon 2:11-12King James Version (KJV)

11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
I am so happy that Spring is finally here!

Remember last year about this time when I was grumbling about the weather?

I'm ashamed to say, I have been complaining again this year. And God has been convicting me of that. 

I was reading in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young just this week that talked about how God hates it when we grumble, casually despising His sovereignty. 

That brought me up short. You see, I'm a grumbler, and not just about the weather. I grumble about politics and the state of the economy, and all the political ads on TV, and...unfortunately I can go on and on. 

Recently, I was studying Exodus...you know, where the Israelites grumbled about not having water and meat. I mean, they had just seen the Red Sea parted...didn't they think God would provide for them? Over and over this happened. Reading through the Old Testament has shown me how God is one of forgiveness and second chances. 

But aren't we like the Israelites? God does miraculous things in our lives and in a day or so, we're not satisfied. We want more... I believe I need to refocus. And I've picked out a verse in Philippians that will help me:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Would you like to join me in committing to stop grumbling? Can you think of other verses that address this? Oh, one more photo:



Monday, March 21, 2016

Dear Reader . . .


by Elizabeth Goddard

The fun thing about writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense is that they ask us to write letters to our readers at the end of the story. This gives me a great opportunity to share some thoughts about the story and connect with my readers in a deeper way.

Today for my devotional I'm giving you the end of the story--or rather, giving you a short snippet of the letter I wrote to readers for my upcoming release, TAILSPIN.

A question readers often ask is what part of myself I put into my stories. After all these years writing, I’ve finally learned that it’s my spiritual journey. Whatever I’m going through while I’m writing is what goes into the book. And guess what? That’s by God’s design. This is my ministry! Because if I’m going through it, that means others are also going through something similar and can use the encouragement that comes with knowing you’re not alone.

Over the course of writing Tailspin, I was in a place where I carried far too many burdens, and continued to gather more. My responsibilities continued to grow and I added more by choice, because I have goals and dreams. Things I want to achieve. But life has a way of dumping things you don’t want onto the metaphorical plate, as well. To say that I had become depressed and overstressed is an understatement. The stress made me physically ill. As I prayed and sought the Lord, He gave me this verse about eagles.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

After researching about what this could mean, I learned that an eagle’s wings are heavy and if it tries to fly on its own energy, it will quickly tire. But an eagle waits on the wind so when its lifts its wings, it can rest as its flies. In essence, God wants us to let go of our burdens and give them to Him, and that’s when good things start to happen. I know they did for me, when I let go, and they will for you, too. 

I hope this speaks to you and resonates. You've heard the old adage--Let go and let God. We certainly live in a time when we're expected to multi-task and take on more than we can humanly handle. So today maybe take some time for yourself and find that rest, that peace that you need.

Many blessings!
Beth

P.S. I love to hear from you so please stop by my website to connect at Elizabethgoddard.com. You’ll find my Facebook and Twitter links there, too. Don't forget to sign-up for a chance to win a copy of Tailspin at the Goodreads Giveaway. 























Thursday, March 17, 2016

What I'm Reading and What I'm Writing





by Elizabeth Goddard



Top of the Morning to you! Happy St. Patrick's Day. I'll be posting more frequently than usual in the upcoming weeks and I also have some book promotion for my upcoming release, TAILSPIN, coming up so today I'm just sharing what I'm reading and working on. Now that I've added Audible I'm "reading" twice as much as before.

As aspiring writers, we're told to read, read, read, then writer, writer, write. So glad I love both reading and writing or I'd be in trouble. A lot of what I read is for research purposes. I love to learn new things as I work on my books.

There are so many great books by some awesome writers out there, deciding which book to read from my TBR (To Be Read) pile is sometimes the hardest decision I make during the day. Well, that's not entirely true, but it's a tough decision.

I'm currently reading A Fool & His Monet by Sandra Orchard. Funny story about this one. I was working on creating a proposal a very similar to this story with an FBI art detective. In fact when I learned that Sandra had already sold this, we talked about it and she had bought the same books as I had for research. All I can think is the old adage, "Great minds think alike." I never submitted that proposal because, well, who needs my story when we've got this one! It's a fun and quirky mystery.

Here's the blurb:

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art--one that's surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She's joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother's pleas to do something safer--like get married--Serena's learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather's murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.



With spunk, humor, and plenty of heart-stopping moments, Sandra Orchard gives readers an exciting string of cases to crack and a character they'll love to watch solve them.


I just finished reading, You're the One That I Want by Susan May Warren. Susan is a much-loved author and her books are must-reads if you enjoy drama and falling in love. The story sucked me right in with an adventurous opening--just perfect for this adventure-loving writer.

Here's the blurb:

Owen Christiansen has been in a downward spiral since an injury ended his NHL
career. But a job on an Alaskan crabbing boat offers a fresh start . . . maybe even a shot at romance with Elise “Scotty” McFlynn, the captain’s daughter.

Used to being one of the guys, to never relying on anyone, Scotty doesn’t believe in happily ever after―especially with someone like Owen. Her instinct is confirmed when Casper Christiansen arrives to drag his prodigal brother home, bringing with him a truckload of family drama―and even worse, the news that Casper is wanted for questioning in connection to a crime back in Minnesota.

But Owen is more than the sum of his mistakes, a truth both he and Scotty discover when she escorts both brothers to Deep Haven as part of her new job on the Anchorage police force. Thrust into an unfamiliar world of family, faith, and fresh starts, Scotty begins to see potential for a happy ending . . . if she’s brave enough to embrace it.



I also just finished reading a book for research. Wildlife Wars: The Life and Times of a Fish and Game Warden by Terry Grosz.

 
"Wildlife Wars," Terry Grosz serves up fascinating stories-alternately hair-raising, hilarious, and heart-wrenching-from his 30-year struggle to protect wildlife in America. A natural storyteller, Grosz writes about the remarkable characters he met-on both sides of the law-as he matched wits with elk poachers, salmon snaggers, commercial-market duck hunters, and a host of other law-breakers. Best of all, though, these stories are so remarkably entertaining you won't want to put them down. Wildlife Wars is the winner of the 2000 National Outdoor Book Award, Nature and the Environment Category.










Next on my list to read is A Spy's Devision by Melanie Dickerson. Love this author's stories! I've fallen in love with her fair-tale stories, and now she is also writing Regencies. Isn't
this cover absolutely gorgeous! I can't wait to start reading and falling in love with her characters.

In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?


And for the writing, I just turned in my second book in a series called Wilderness, Inc, set in the Wild Rogue Wilderness of southwest Oregon, where I used to live. I love setting my romantic suspense stories in wild and scenic adventurous settings. This particular story was set on a tiger sanctuary! Loved writing this one. Like many authors, I use a Pinterest board to save images that help me with the writing. over to my Pinterest board on this story setting to get a feel for the place.
https://www.pinterest.com/bethrachg/wild-rogue-wilderness-series/ and look at the tigers while you're there! https://www.pinterest.com/bethrachg/wilderness-inc-book-2/

Two more things to share. Today I have a radio interview over at MotherTalkRadio.com. Be sure to check it out if you have time.

Last but not least, hop over to sign up for my Goodreads Giveaway of my upcoming release, TAILSPIN!

Thanks so much for joining me. Have a blessed day!

Beth






























Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What I'm Working On-Interrupted by Cheryl Wyatt


Hi all! So sorry for the late afternoon posting. I misread my calendar and just now noticed my error. I hope you all are enjoying the warmer weather. It's nice and breezy today, around 70 degrees.

What's the temp and weather like where you live?

I've been saddened this week to see the flooding down south, in and around Louisiana. If you live or have loved ones in that area, I'm so sorry. We've contended with flooding in our town and it's hard. My prayers go out to all those affected. I hope you will join me in praying for flood victims. Just heartbreaking.

I wanted to share what I'm working on writing-wise right now. Well, what I WAS working on. I had a lot of time to write today and so I was excited to really throw down some words on my next book in an Indie series I'm doing called Under His Wings.

Then, another story started intruding. So I switched gears and began to write snippets that were coming to me. Before long, I had scribbled down notes for not just one story, but a three-book series concept. I'm excited about it and glad for the intrusion. I've been wanting to come up with a new series idea for one of the publishers I work with-and it's an answer to prayer because the series idea that came today feels like a good fit. Now, to set that idea aside so that I can finish my current book. LOL!

Have you been gloriously interrupted in plans you've made? Did you see later that the intrusion was a blessing from God in disguise? Please share!

Hugs to each of you and I pray for a productive day. That you'd be encouraged by the Lord in whatever situation or struggle you face. I pray also that for God to grant us each the character to match the gifting he's given and also that we'd nurture the talents God has placed within. I pray health to you creatively, spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally so that you can run your race unencumbered.

Please pray for me as I move forward with both of these projects. I need discipline and I do not multi-task well. LOL!

To learn more about upcoming books, and for content, goodies, freebies and other fun stuff exclusive to subscribers, sign up for my newsletter: http://bit.ly/CherylWyattNewsletterSignup

Many blessings!

Cheryl Wyatt




Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Coming Soon! Shotgun Marriage!

Hey Everyone! Danica Favorite here, and I have been a busy little bee lately. My next book, Shotgun Marriage, releases next month, and life has been crazy! Not only am I gearing up for the book to come out, but I am working on edits for my September book, The Nanny's Little Matchmakers. Oh, and I have to finish writing a book that will be out in early 2017. But busy is good, especially because it means I get to write lots of books. I really do have the best job in the world.

I have lots of other good stuff in the pipeline, so I hope you'll stay tuned to this blog for more info. And, if you're in the Denver area, I've got some fun signings and events coming up, so be sure to drop me a line at danica@danicafavorite.com if you want to come see me. Or just keep on eye on my website, www.danicafavorite.com, which will be updated as soon as I have final details. There, you can sign up for my newsletter, and then you won't miss a thing!

And, because I have some books I need to get sent out, I'm going to offer a copy of Shotgun Marriage to someone who comments on the blog today. Be sure to leave a way for me to get in touch with you so I can let you know if you've won. 

 Here's a little about my book:
Conveniently Wed 
Forced to wed to protect their reputations after being trapped overnight in a mine, Emma Jane and Jasper Jackson's marriage is one in name only. Resenting the choices taken from him, Jasper's determined not to lose his heart. But it's not so easy to stay distanced from his new bride when a gang of bandits abducts them both.

Other young women might be ecstatic to land Leadville's wealthiest bachelor. But Emma Jane would rather have Jasper's love than his family's money. A true bond with her handsome husband seems impossible…until their ordeal leaves Emma Jane caring for an orphaned baby. In reach now is the one thing neither expected—the chance to turn a convenient marriage into a forever family.



Monday, March 7, 2016

Chasing after Peace!

Peace!, just the sound of the word invokes a sigh of relief and visions of the wind rustling through a flower-laden prairie or gentle waves lapping on a white shore.  Peace in the world, peace in your
home, your relationships, and more importantly, in your heart is something everyone strives for, whether they believe in God or not

Yet how can anyone have peace without living the life their Creator created them to live? If I fashioned a clay pot into a vase but the vase ran away from my home and tried to be a spoon somewhere, would the vase be happy? Wouldn't it instead be frustrated? disillusioned? Wouldn't it begin to wonder why life was so hard and what the purpose of it all was?  (I know it's a silly illustration but it's so true!)

I was struck by the extended Greek definition of peace I found in my Amplified Bible here in 1 Peter 3:11 Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) Just think about that for a minute. Complete Harmony. No fears, No agitating thoughts, desires, or feelings, and no moral conflicts!  Now, that's peace!!

I don't know about you, but my life cannot be described like that. I'm closer than I was 10 years ago, but I long for this kind of peace.  So, where can we find peace?  True peace can only be found in God. It is the fruit of our relationship with Him. It comes from our day by day walk with Him, talking with Him, laying our cares at His feet, learning to trust Him.

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7  NKJ 

But did you know that we should Pursue Peace?  The definition of pursue is  to follow in order to overtake, capture; to strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish; to chase! 

Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]
1 Peter 3:11 Amplified

In other words, don't just wish for peace or long for it. Go out and get it!!  Sail after it! Chase peace down until it is yours. How do you do this?

You do the things that attract the object of your desire (Peace loves joy, righteousness, kindness, goodness, self control, gentleness.. )

    In every confrontation, you look for the peaceful solution, even if it means you don't win.
    You apologize first
    You approach everyone with an attitude of humility
    You are quick to listen and slow to talk
    You put others ahead of yourself
    You spend time with God every day (pray without ceasing!  and listen for His voice!) 
    You guard your tongue for it can set forests aflame!


Can you think of other things you can do to pursue peace??

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Heath nut alert! - Kombucha Tea!

Hi everyone!  MaryLu here. Something you may not know about me is that I'm a bit of a health nut.  Not the kind that eats only grass, seeds, tofu and nuts, but the kind who loves eating and drinking things that keep me healthy and strong. After all, the Bible says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and I want to give Him a good home! 

So here's probably the weirdest health tip you'll ever receive. I discovered this from my sister in law who actually mailed me a Scoby (definition later) from Florida to California.  The cool thing about Kombucha tea is that you can make it easily at home for cheap. Not only that, but it's super delicious. HALT. All you non-tea drinkers out there, don't stop reading!  Honestly, I don't really like tea. I'm more of a coffee person, but this tea is different. 

First let me list just some of the health benefits


  • Improves digestion - Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.
  • Detoxification  --One of kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver. Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer. 
  • Joint care - Kombucha contains glucosamines, a strong preventive and treatment all forms of arthritis.
  • Immune System boost - Kombucha is also rich in antioxidants, which help to strengthen immunity.
  • Rich in Vitamins and Enzymes - In addition to beneficial bacteria, kombucha contains B vitamins and enzymes.
  • PMS and Menopause relief  -
    Kombucha helps to relieve PMS. How? B vitamins help to break down and flush out excess estrogen from the body (a condition called estrogen dominance). This can help to reduce PMS symptoms.
 What is Kombucha?

It is a tea made from a mushroom called a Scoby. You simply add brewed black tea, water, and sugar to the Scoby in a jar and let it ferment at room temperature for a week. “SCOBY” stands for symbiotic

culture of bacteria and yeasts. The sugar feeds the yeast and bacteria which form the SCOBY layer — the very identifiable, thick, mushroomy layer that rests on the top of the kombucha. This SCOBY adds the flavor, acidity and promotes the fermentation which creates the health benefits.

The result is a semi-sweet fermented tea that has a touch of carbonation.  Many people prefer this to soda and end up switching.  The cool thing is that when you make  your own, you can regulate the level of sweetness and carbonation to your liking.

After 7 days, what I do is take out the tea, bottle it and add fruit to it. Then I let it sit for another day before I refrigerate it. This allows the fruit to flavor the tea and the carbonation to form. It's delicious
and so so so good for you. I've noticed a dramatic increase in my health since I've been drinking it.  And don't worry about the sugar in it.. that gets used up in the fermentation process so it ends up being a very low calorie, low sugar drink. 

I bought my equipment from The Kombucha Shop.  They send you the Scoby, the jar, cloth cover, tea and sugar to start off with and they give GREAT directions.  If you're interested in trying it yourself, I highly recommend you get their kit. (I am not paid any money by them to say this!)  

If you're not sure you'd  like the tea, it is sold in most grocery stores in the health section. Rather pricey, but you can give it a try!! 

Just writing this has made me crave my daily tea... off to grab a bottle from the fridge!!  Bye bye for now!




Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Books I'm Reading...

by
Patricia Bradley

I read a wide selection of books and thought I'd share two that I've read recently. The first is Elaine Stock's debut novel, Always With You. Be warned - it is a hard book to put down!


Seeking the love she never received from her family, Isabelle falls in love with the white knight who saves her from a gang attack. Tyler has everything she ever wanted--a "family' who seems to love and respect him, and a direct line to God's love.

But, things are not as they seem and once Isabelle discovers the truth about Tyler's family, she has to decide whether to run with her newborn baby or stay and trust Tyler to protect her. 

Elaine captures the angst of young love especially when both are vulnerable and the desire to be loved and accepted overrules the warning signs that things are not as they seem. 

I'm looking forward to more books from Elaine.

The second book I just read is Sandra Orchard's A Fool & His Monet. Sandra Orchard had me at the title on this one, and she kept me with an intriguing art theft and quirky FBI agent Serena Jones who has two men vying for her.

Serena has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art. That passion is surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about who murdered her grandfather. The fly in the ointment is her mother--who wants her to do something safer--like get married and give her grandchildren. Readers who love a good mystery with a dash of romance will devour this book and want more. 

A Fool & His Monet is the first book in the Serena Jones Mysteries, and I am eagerly awaiting the next book!

So there you are..two books, widely different but don't start reading either of them thinking you'll easily put them down!

So what have you read lately?