Monday, January 21, 2019

LOVE'S DELICATE BLOSSOM - Ada Brownell - One Free Book

Welcome back, Ada. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Since I completed Love’s Delicate Blossom, the third novel in the Peaches and Dreams series, I’m going to rewrite the courses I taught for mid-grade youth in an after-school program when I retired. They are God in American History, Love is Dynamite, and Dynamite Decisions for Youth. Each will be a short, non-fiction book.

In addition to working 17 years as a newspaper reporter so I’d have a real job, I’ve written inspirational non-fiction and fiction for years because I feel the Lord called me to a be a witness about Him, His love, and humankind’s need for Jesus. He shed his blood to forgive our sins, give us abundant life, and most of all, eternal life. My brand is Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement that covers both fiction and non-fiction.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I believe joy is an ongoing blessing when you live for Jesus. The Bible says, “In His presence is fullness of joy,” and I’ve experienced that. My husband makes me happy frequently. One time he gave me a new piano with big red bow around it. Our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends make me happy. Those joys are difficult to measure.

How has being published changed your life?
I’ve grown into a different person than I would be otherwise. I was 15 when I began writing ideas for youth services 65 years ago for a leadership magazine. I’d already had hunger to know the Word, and I became a Bible student, and spent a lot of time in prayer. Everywhere I’ve been, God opened doors for ministry, and all I expected to be was a secretary someday. I taught Sunday school. I became the youth leader. In a little town in Utah that had no church, I started a Sunday school and every kid in town enrolled. I was just beginning to write. I sold an article to David C Cook, so I enrolled in a writing course, advertised my accordion, and bought a typewriter. On the advice of my writing instructor, I became a newspaper correspondent and later moved to staff jobs, taking out nearly 20 years to be a stay-at-home mom, and then going back.
The rest is history.

What are you reading right now?
I’m going through the devotional Jesus Calling again. I’ve started Faith and Physics by Joseph Callender. A favorite recently is Living Like Lions and I’m leaving that in my Kindle for re-reading. I pick up a lot of free books and my fiction right now is Temporary Bride by Linda Ford. Recently I read The River Between by Jacquelyn Cook and The Shepherd’s Voice by Robin Lee Hatcher.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I try to choose places I’m familiar with and fit the story line.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would like to see my friend that helped me start that Sunday school in Utah, Doris Louton. I lost track of her and she was a miracle God sent to me. I told God if he’d sent me a helper to that town with four bars and no church, I’d start a Sunday school. Within a week God sent Doris, a born-again Baptist gal with two little boys and all sort of talent.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I used to like to swim and play tennis. I love to sing in groups, play the organ and piano, and board games such as Rook.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Marketing, and I overcome it by just doing it and learning, learning, learning.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Study, pray, practice and do it.

Please give us the first page of the book.
September 1917, Woodburn, Iowa
A horse and buggy clattered toward Ritah O’Casey, rocking. The elaborate fringed buggy swayed, and the woman sitting beside a man nearly tumbled into the street.

Ritah jumped aside, her packages scattering on the boardwalk. Clutching her pocketbook to her chest, she gasped, as Tulip Quinlan, almost fell into her path. The driver grabbed the girl’s arm and yanked her back into the buggy.

Her friend looked mighty strange. Her eyes nearly shut as a frown twisted her lipstick-smeared face into a ghastly masque.

The buggy turned the corner, the left wheels lifting off the road and Ritah shivered at the driver’s scraggly beard, bushy brows and the crooked scar puckering one eye. His vision caught hers as she stared. His dark beady eyes pulsed a warning.

Her chest heaved, while her body shaking and her throat dry, she reached for the strings binding her three packages. How she wished her young friend had responded to the gospel when she went to church with her. The girl, two years younger than Ritah, matured early and looked much older than fourteen.

Only a few weeks ago, Ritah had tried to leave a Christian witness with the girl when her parents died of diphtheria.

“Move into town,” she told her. You might be able to stay with my parents. I’m leaving for college and maybe you could use my room.”

Her lovely chin set firmly Tulip had said, “I’m not moving. I am young, but I want to stay home and try to make it on the farm. I know how to do farm work. My parents are buried on this land. What I need is a good older man who needs a job and knows how to farm to help me.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Connect with Ada:
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06
Book Fun Network: http://www.bookfun.org
Twitter: @adabrownell
Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement

Thank you, Ada, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Love's Delicate Blossom (Peaches and Dreams) - Paperback
Love's Delicate Blossom (Peaches and Dreams Book 3) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Sunday, January 20, 2019

WINNERS!!!

IMPORTANT: Instructions for winners  - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) If you don't do this, your email could get lost in my hundreds of emails per day. I WILL SEARCH FOR POST TITLES STARTING THAT WAY.

Susanne (IN) is the winner of Of Walls by Sara L Foust. 

Anne (VA) is the winner of Escape to the Biltmore by Patricia Riddle Gaddis.

Janet (FL) is the winner of Promises to Keep by Judythe Morgan. 

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. Reviews are such a blessing to an author.

Also, tell your friends about the book you won ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.
Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

TAILOR YOUR FICTION MANUSCRIPT IN 30 DAYS - Zoe M McCarthy - One Free Book


Welcome, Zoe. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
In 2011, my husband John and I moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and built a house on a hill overlooking a valley and the mountains. I became a full-time author working weekdays from nine to six in the office John allowed me to design in the house blueprint. In 2012, I concentrated my blog posts on writing, including what I learned from conference workshops, books on writing, Writer’s Digest, and online articles.

Tell us about your family.
John and I are both retired actuaries. We have two sons, two daughters-in-love, and six grandchildren.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days is my first.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
My novella Good Breaks released January 11 in the Love, Sweet Love collection. I’m working on The Identical Woman in a Black Dress, the book that follows The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress in my Twisty Creek Series,.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
John and I canoe the New River, spotting bald eagles occasionally, and spend time at our lake cabin. Once we finish remodeling the cabin, I hope to host writing and spiritual retreats there. I enjoy developing the Bible studies I teach in a community Bible study and teaching writing workshops. For a prayer shawl ministry, I knit and crochet men’s and women’s shawls.

Why did you write the featured book?
After I had published over one hundred fifty blog posts on writing, an agent and a publishing house editor suggested I write a book based on my blog. The idea interested me, and I attended a workshop on the dos and don’ts for turning blog posts into a book. I wanted to share more than the information I’d accumulated. I desired to organize the material into a guidebook to help writers who had manuscripts but didn’t know how to get them ready for publication, writers whose manuscripts received rejections, writers whose self-published novels received poor reviews, and writers who wanted to write the stories on their hearts but needed help to put them to paper. Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days was born.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
Confidence and a marketable manuscript. Writers’ works are continually under spotlights—book acquisition professionals, editors, and public and professional reviewers. My hope is to give writers the help they need to produce a worthy product and fare well under the spotlights.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about your book?
I’d like to share the back-cover blurb, which is a few of the endorsements for Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days.

Zoe McCarthy’s book, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, is a fresh and innovative refocusing of your novel or novella. Through a few simple—and fun—steps, Zoe helps writers take their not-ready-for-publication and/or rejected manuscripts to a spit-polish finish. Writing is hard work, yes, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
—Eva Marie Everson, best-selling and multiple award-winning author, conference director, president of Word Weavers International, Inc.

If you want to increase your chance of hearing yes instead of sorry or not a fit for our list at this time, this book is for you. If you want to develop stronger story plots with characters that are hard to put down, this book is for you. Through McCarthy’s checklists and helpful exercises and corresponding examples, you will learn how to raise the tension, hone your voice, and polish your manuscript. I need this book for my clients and the many conferees I meet at writer’s conferences around the country. Thank you, Zoe. A huge, #thumbsup, for Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days.  
—Diana L. Flegal, literary agent, and freelance editor

Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript is a self-editing encyclopedia! Each chapter sets up the targeted technique, examples show what to look for in your manuscript, then proven actions are provided to take your writing to the next level. Whether you are a seasoned writer or a newbie, you need this book! 
—Sally Shupe, freelance editor, aspiring author

Please give us the first page or two from the book.
Send Your Characters on a Journey
A story is not a series of unconnected events, interesting or not. Your story must have a theme, a plot, and interesting characters.

Day 1
Welcome to Day 1. Today, we’ll look at the high-level elements of your story. I suggest you create a word-processing document or purchase a notebook to record your answers to ACTION exercises. Examples for this chapter come from the movie, Love Comes Softly, based on Janette Oke’s novel by the same name. Often, even in a romance, one character’s journey dominates the story. This is true for Love Comes Softly; therefore, we’ll follow Marty’s story in the examples.
You’ll spend three days addressing problems you identify in your story’s theme and plot. So, let’s get started.

Theme
Why do we begin with your theme? You’ll want to be ready to state your theme when you write a proposal, pitch to an editor, write a back-cover blurb, and have conversations with readers. Identifying and becoming comfortable with your theme will help you improve your story.

ACTION
State your theme. (Don’t worry if you can’t. I’ll give you ways to uncover your theme.)
Whether or not you had difficulty expressing your theme, let’s test what you wrote.

ACTION
First, jot down the main values your protagonist struggles with throughout your story.
Example:
Marty has traveled in a covered wagon from the East with her husband to find the perfect spread to raise a family on. Immediately after they stake their claim, her husband, Aaron, dies. A settler, Clark Davis, has lost his wife and proposes marriage in name only so he can provide a mother for his daughter, Missie. Marty wants only to go back East. Throughout the story, Marty struggles with grief, fear of the unknown, anything she can’t control, and having a place to belong.

ACTION
Next, recalling your protagonist’s main struggles, peruse the list of short themes in the table at the end of this section. Which best describes what your protagonist grapples with in your story?
Example:
For Marty’s story, I marked Abandonment, Loss/Grief, Uncertainty, and Place to Belong. These all apply, but Marty’s main struggle is with a Place to Belong. Arriving in the unknown West, she thinks she’ll be fine as long as she’s with her husband. When he dies, she wants to go back to familiar territory, refusing to accept there’s no one to go back to in the East. She’s sure she doesn’t belong with strangers—a man who wants her to mother his child and his daughter who wants her to leave.

ACTION
Now, expand on that theme. What does your story say about this short theme? Write it in the form of a general question, one that’s universal for people
Example:
What happens when circumstances leave a person with no place to call home?

ACTION
Finally, turn your question into a statement that is specific to your protagonist.
Example:
A widow finds security and love in a place she can call home.
Congratulations. You have a theme to work from as you improve your story.
When you include your theme in your proposal you may want to accompany it with a guiding quote or Scripture from the Bible. For Marty’s journey to a place to call home, the Scripture might be Haggai 2:9. “’And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
If your theme is different than what you first wrote down, keep the revised theme in mind as we move forward, and you evaluate your plot.

Interesting. Where on the Internet can the readers find you?

Thank you, Zoe, for sharing this book with me and my blog readers. I look forward to reading the whole book and trying your system.

Readers, here's a link to the book.
Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

THIS HOMEWARD JOURNEY - Misty M Beller - One Free Book

 Dear Readers, Misty is one of my favorite Christian western historical authors. I always eagerly await the release of the next one. Her well-developed characters leap into my heart and take me along on their adventures. The authenticity of her settings and storylines grab me from the first page of each book.

Author Bio: Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty's heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God's abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. 

Welcome back, Misty. Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?      
New avenues? I’m blessed to be able to write the books I love to read: frontier romance centered around Christ’s love. I’ll continue to publish 2-3 books on my own each year, and I also have a 3-book series releasing from Bethany House beginning in October, 2019. I can’t wait to share that series with readers!

That’s awesome, Misty. I’m so happy for you. And you know I’ll want to feature each of them on my blog. What conferences will you be attending this year? Will you be a speaker at any of them?      
Great question! I’m excited to be participating in several conferences. At the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference in March, I’ll be teaching a couple of classes (indie publishing and growing your reader email list). I’m also excited about that conference because my family is planning to tag along for a mini vacation after the conference. Then in April, I’ll be a participating author at the Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat in Washington, DC! This will be my first year attending and participating, and I’m so excited to spend a full day celebrating books with readers. Also in April, I’ll be teaching three classes at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference in California (indie publishing, marketing a new book release, and finding your target reader). Whew! It’s going to be a busy spring, but I’m ready!

Of course, I always look forward to ending the conference season at the ACFW national conference in September!

You really will be busy. Blessings on you. If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?        
Hmm… One of my favorite panel discussions is on all things historical! I love the research and breadth for imagination that comes with writing historical fiction. My grandparents live in a Civil War era farmhouse fully decorated with antiques, and when I was a girl, I loved imaging we had to cook on the old wood burning cookstove, and our only light came from the oil lanterns. I still love to imagine life that way! (although I’m quite thankful for electricity)

How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?        
I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) early in my writing journey, and I can’t begin to express how much I’ve learned from the amazing people in that group! I love giving back any time I can, and it’s such a pleasure to see newer writers grow and develop the gifts God has given them.

That is so true. Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?   
My oldest daughter and I both volunteer in the praise team at church, and I love both the music and opportunity to worship with the congregation, but also the chance for the extra time with my daughter doing something we both enjoy. Our church is active in the community, too, and we often participate in service projects to help those around us. 

Who are the five people who have made the most impact on your life, and how?       
I love how this question made me stop and think. This list is not necessarily in order:
My grandmother (Nana): Watching her faith lived out had the biggest impact on my own faith.
My father: He’s never been hesitant to tell us he loves us, and to live out that love through hard work and special kindnesses.
My mother: She gave of herself tirelessly for everything we needed. I don’t think I truly realized it until I became a mom of my own. Now, she’s my best friend.
My grandfather (Pop): He’s taught me so much wisdom about life, including finances. The older I get, the more I want to apply everything he says!
One of my bosses when I worked in the corporate world (Cindy): She’s such a classy lady, and has an incredible mind for business. I so appreciated the wisdom she shared, and the way she truly cared about those around her.

If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?         
This is a tough one! I guess my ultimate wish would be that these words are true:
“Her love for God shone through to everyone around her.”

Tell us about the featured book.    
I’d love to!

She’s desperate for a new life in the Canadian mountains…He’s the last person she should trust to get her there.

Montana mountains to be so treacherous. When two brothers invite her to join their small group traveling to the same area, she refuses. After she and her son narrowly escape a bear attack, she’s forced to admit they need the safety of numbers in this untamed land. If the men prove dangerous, she can always leave with her son and strike out alone again.

Seth Grant has made some bad choices in his life, but God healed him from the addiction that mired him in his sins. Now, he’s determined to live the life God called him to, starting with a journey northward to see the Canadian mountain both his brother and sister have fallen in love with. When he discovers the woman and boy who plan to travel the same mountain trail, he can’t fathom why she refuses to join in the safety of their larger group. Though her decision seems unwise, he has no other choice but to pray God provides her protection.

Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to Seth—until a secret from his past proves he’s not at all the man she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all.
After her husband’s death, Rachel Gray is finally free from the turmoil his addictions caused. She wants nothing more than a new life with her twelve-year-old son. If she can reach her brother in the wilderness of the Canadian territories, they’ll have help to start over in peace. She knows better than to put her life in the hands of another man, but she never expected the

Please share the first page with us.
Chapter One

Only a final massive obstacle lies between us and a new life. I can push through the last of this journey. I must.
~ Rachel

June, 1869
Fort Benton, Montana Territory
Rachel Gray straightened her shoulders as she scanned the dim interior of Fort Benton’s trade store. The high brick ceiling made the room feel less hemmed-in than she’d expected, but her vision still spotted with remnants of the bright afternoon outside.

Men's laughter echoed from a back room, tugging the knot in her middle. She’d come into this tiny trade room tucked inside fort walls because she’d hoped to avoid all the raucous men sloshing down the streets of the town. Through the week she and her son had camped outside the town, she’d had her fill of mountaineers sated from an afternoon of drinking and gambling.

It seemed when the men stumbled from their bedrolls late each morning, they headed straight for the gambling tables. Not that a man could help his addictions once the demon was planted inside him. But these were a sorry lot. Maybe they’d come west hungry for gold or to escape their lawless past. She worried some were even running from a hangman’s noose. But all they’d found was drink and cards. The sights and sounds of their den still churned her stomach into a tight wad. 

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

I love to connect at my website, FacebookGoodreadsTwitter, Bookbub, and Pinterest

Thank you, Misty, for sharing this new book with me and my blog readers. I’m eager to read it. I’ve loved all the books in this series.

Readers, here are links to the book.
This Homeward Journey (Heart of the Mountains) - Paperback
This Homeward Journey (Heart of the Mountains Book 5) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, January 14, 2019

AT THE HEART OF FRIENDSHIP - Kathy Collard Miller


Welcome, Kathy. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
I’d always wanted to be a writer since middle school but had no clue what it entailed. God had a plan and now I have more than 50 published books and numerous articles. I’ve spoken in over 30 US states and 8 foreign countries. God has opened wonderful doors including being on the 700 Club, and many other podcasts, TV, and radio programs. I’m amazed at what God has done.

How did your ministry start?
After God delivered me from being a child abuser when our daughter was three years old and our son was a newborn, God stirred within me a desire to share my story. I sent a query letter about my story to the primary Christian magazine of the time, and asked if accepted, it be published anonymously. I was so ashamed. I was so thrilled when my article was accepted, I had to tell people not knowing they would ask, “What’s your article about?” God used that to help me share the horrible truth. From that sharing, came my first speaking engagement at our church and when I saw the response of the women, I was convinced God wanted to use my story.

Tell us about your family.
My daughter whom I abused calls me her best friend and supports my sharing. We even wrote a book together and she has completed a novel. She is a wife, mom of two (my grandkids!), and MOPS leader who loves the Lord. Our son lives close by in Southern California. My husband and I married in 1970 and look forward to soon celebrating 50 years of seeing God work. We often speak and write together and are lay-counselors.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
Yes, I have written Christian Living books, other women’s Bible studies for my Daughters of the King Bible Study series, and commentaries. My topics have included marriage, parenting, godly living, and overcoming perfectionism, worry, anger, wrong motives, and other practical ideas. Some of those titles are No More Anger (my story), Pure-Hearted, Never Ever Be the Same (co-written with husband Larry), Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries, Why Do I Put So Much Pressure on Myself and Others?, and many others.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Yes, I’m writing a devotional book that will look at 100 questions God asks in the Bible (including Jesus, of course). (There are more questions than that, by the way.) For instance, have you ever wondered why Jesus asked the handicapped man at the Pool of Bethesda “Do you want to get well?” Or why God asked Adam and Eve “Where are you?” If God knows everything, and the answer is obvious, what was His purpose in asking questions? I will look at how His questions cause people to evaluate their motives and also reveal His wonderful qualities.

What kinds of other ministry activities, hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I love my grandkids!!!! I’m sad they live at a distance but we are together as often as possible. A lot of my time is giving “soul care counseling” to many on a weekly basis. My husband and I minister in this way together in our home.

Why did you write At the Heart of Friendship?
I originally wrote the 12 women’s Bible study books in my Daughters of the King Bible study series in the 80’s and 90’s. They sold for over a decade until they went out of print. With my current publisher, Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. my publisher, Deb Haggerty agreed with my desire to update and revamp those books. Now they not only include questions but commentary. They are used by individuals and groups. The topic on friendship is one of immense importance especially to women so I knew I had to include that topic. I’m editing and enlarging the twelve as time goes along. Right now, also available is Choices of the Heart (godly choices) and Whispers of My Heart (prayer). Next will be Heart Wisdom on Proverbs.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
The assurance that God wants to be a part and trusted for every area of life including friendships. There’s a lot about friendships in the Bible and I include many examples of Biblical women characters and how they interact with each other. I trust and pray that women and especially groups will be more wisely devoted to ministering to others and receiving help. The ten lessons include dealing with conflict, envy, competition, marriage, children, mentoring, and friendship with God, among others.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
No matter what you might be struggling with, be assured God is not only interested and cares, but He is strong and sufficient. If He could deliver me from being a child abuser, heal our family, and give me opportunities for His glory because of it, He can help you!

Please give us the first page or two from the book.

At the Heart of Friendship
Contents

Lesson 1 Rejoicing Together
Lesson 2 Resisting Envy and Jealousy
Lesson 3 Friends in Marriage
Lesson 4 Overcoming Competition
Lesson 5 Times of Need
Lesson 6 Being Friends with Our Children
Lesson 7 Handling Conflict Between Friends
Lesson 8 Differing Personalities
Lesson 9 Mentoring Friendships
Lesson 10 The Ultimate Friendship
Lesson 1
Rejoicing Together

Friendships are a wonderful gift from Godespecially when those friendships are relationships which are God centered. Although not every friendship in your life will include God, a friendship including the Lord is cause for rejoicing.

In the weeks we have together studying about friendships, we’ll seek God’s perspectives and principles for all aspects of friendship—with friends, husbands, and children. In addition, we’ll look at obstacles to healthy friendships. We’ll also find encouragement for ministering to others and allowing others to minister to us. Sometimes allowing others to minister to us is the hardest challenge.

God wants us to have friends because he designed the idea of friendship in the beginning, knowing we need them and they are good for us. The longing for relationships was built into the first man in the Garden of Eden. “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’” (Genesis 2:18). Friendships aren’t just for a husband and wife, though. They are to be a part of every relationship—to some degree—especially in the Body of Christ.

Be assured your desire for relationships is to be celebrated. Let’s find out how we can rejoice in this gift from God and then develop healthy connections with others in every area of our lives.

1. How do you define friendship”?
2. What do you look for most in a friend?
3. Read Luke 1:26-56. Why do you think the angel tells Mary the news about Elizabeth?
Although Mary and Elizabeth are relatives, what indicates they are also friends?
What positive characteristics(s) of a friendship do you see in their relationship?

As far as we know Mary was not instructed as to what she should do next after being given the news she would be the Messiah’s mother. The angel does mention what has happened to her “relative” Elizabeth but he doesn’t say she should go to visit her. We could easily wonder why Mary’s family members, especially her mother, weren’t mentioned. To leave her immediate family could indicate her family wouldn’t be supportive or none or few of them were alive. There could be other reasons because the Word of God doesn’t always give us details about everything that occurred. We will never know for sure, but Mary may have believed the angel mentioning Elizabeth indicated she should go visit her.

Another purpose of Mary hearing the news about Elizabeth’s pregnancy was a means of building Mary’s faith to believe God’s outrageous plan of a virgin becoming pregnant. God’s gift of pregnancy for Elizabeth in her older age was truly remarkable.

Some versions of the Bible use “relative” and some use the word “cousin” to indicate the relationship between Elizabeth and Mary. They knew each other but the distance between their towns prevented a lot of communication or visiting. Obviously, before the angel showed up, Mary had not yet heard the news Elizabeth was expecting a child and was six months along.

We don’t know the exact location when Mary travels “to a town in Judah.” Judah could be a territory or a town. Currently, there is no town named Judah in Israel. Some commentators believe the distance Mary traveled was at least seventy miles because no “hill country” was closer than that to Nazareth, where she lived. 

Where on the Internet can readers find you?
website and blog: www.KathyCollardMiller.com
Instagram: @KathyCollardMiller

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing this book and Bible Study with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Sunday, January 13, 2019

WINNERS!!

IMPORTANT: Instructions for winners  - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) If you don't do this, your email could get lost in my hundreds of emails per day. I WILL SEARCH FOR POST TITLES STARTING THAT WAY.

Connie (TX) is the winner of Until He Returns by Judythe Morgan. 

Allison (MI) is the winner of The Runaway Brides Collection by Vickie McDonough and others.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. Reviews are such a blessing to an author.

Also, tell your friends about the book you won ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.
Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Friday, January 11, 2019

PROMISES TO KEEP - Judythe Morgan - One Free Book


Welcome back, Judythe. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I’ve chosen to write love stories because I love a happily-ever-after ending. I write from a Christian worldview because that’s my life and I want to share its principles.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married my husband. Looking back, I can say my wedding day was as God ordained as the day He called my name. We’ve had quite a journey these fifty-something years and I can’t wait for the next fifty.

How has being published changed your life?
Being published has opened opportunities for me to shed my introvert tendencies. I’ve come to enjoy sharing about my books in conversations and discussing my books at signings and book clubs. I still get butterflies, but because so many readers tell me how much they love my stories, I’m eager to talk about my books.

What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading Susan Wiggs, Map of the Heart.

What is your current work in progress?
I’m plotting the next books in the Fitzpatrick Family series - Eight preacher kids, each with a sweet romance story of his or her own. At the same time, I’m doing final edits on a romantic suspense. It’s a new genre for me, and I’m excited about it.

What would be your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be to rent a cottage in Ireland and wander around the countryside and drink in the beauty, relish the culture, and visit friends I’ve made on previous visits. It’s where I recharge.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
My settings depend largely on the story. I do tend to select places I’ve visited or where I’ve lived. As a military brat and spouse, that’s many, many places. If the story and a place I’ve lived connect for a plot, then I’m able to give authenticity to the setting.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’d love to spend some one-on-one time talking with Dr. Tony Evans. I listen to his radio broadcasts on a local Christian radio station and love his down-to-earth approach to spiritual living.

My pastor, Robert Morris, is a good friend of Tony Evans. He often comes to our church. And one year, I was privileged to be a teacher at a Christian Writer’s Workshop at his church. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I recently started attending Sacred Harp Sings, also called Fasola singing. It’s shape note singing born from colonial “singing schools.” It’s not performing but sitting in a square with the four parts facing one another to sing hymns and anthems from traditional songbooks. “Sacred harp” refers to the human voice —the musical instrument we were given at birth. If you’re unfamiliar, check it out on YouTube.

You’ll also find me swimming and doing water aerobics or baking and cooking. I love to experiment with recipes. The exercise helps to balance the calorie intake from all the taste tasting.

I have never heard of “Sacred Harp.” I will check it out. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Once I understood story structure, my next obstacle became planning or plotting my stories. Every writer has their own system and I spent years trying to mold my style from theirs. Most of the time I failed miserably, but I learned my system. I’m not a strict plotter or a pantster. I’m somewhere in between. I use Michael Hague’s Six Stage Plotting as my guide and let my characters offer twists and turns as their story unfolds in my head. I call it being a plan-ster.

That’s a lot like what works best for me, too. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read lots, study craft and, most important, WRITE something, anything every day. Your creative juices thrive when you write.

Tell us about the featured book.
One night, in that twilight zone of falling asleep, David Sands, a secondary character in the PROMISES series, told me he’d lost his Shirley to cancer. I told him he was wrong, but he insisted. Then Debra Hughes, another secondary character, confided she’d half-fallen in love with her dead best friend’s husband. The romantic in me knew I had to find a way for the two to be together. Since a pendant’s promise started the PROMISES series, it was only fitting that keeping promises should end the series.

The story: 
David Sands lost his wife three years ago. Debra Hughes was his wife’s best friend and business partner. Debra and David have been friends for years. They both made promises to his wife before her death.

He promised to sell their condo and donate the proceeds to their foundation that support families of MIA and POW soldiers. Debra promised to look after David. They’ve comforted each other in their grief now as they work together to close out the wife’s estate, their bond grows into mutual attraction. Will keeping their promises open their eyes and hearts to a future together?

Though Promises to Keep is book four in the PROMISE series, all the books are standalone stories.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Knoxville, Tennessee, 1995
David Sands bypassed the elevator and took the stairs two at a time hoping to slip unnoticed into his Until They Return (UTR) office in the Cabot Enterprises building.

“You’re late.” Alex Cabot fell in step beside him when David exited the stairwell door. The unspoken again hung in the air.

“I got a late start, and traffic was heavier than I anticipated.” He walked into the office he’d shared with Shirley and swung his briefcase onto the reproduction desk he hated before he met Alex’s gaze.

“And you stopped at Old Gray again, didn’t you?”

“There was that.”

David braced for the oft-repeated lecture about his lengthy stops at the Knoxville cemetery. Although they had been best friends since their duty days in Vietnam, and he knew Alex meant well, he could never quit visiting his wife’s gravesite.

Alex slid into the chair in front of David’s desk. “I want you to join Lily and me for dinner tonight.”

The muscles in David’s neck went stiff. He rolled his shoulders. “Alex, I—”

“That wasn’t a request.” Alex’s words snapped with military authority.

David’s shoulders drooped. The dinner discussion would undoubtedly be about selling the contents of Shirley’s condo. How was he going to let go of the last physical things they’d shared while her toothbrush was still on his bathroom counter?

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit Judythe’s website to learn more about her.
Read her award-winning blog View from the Front Porch
Friend her on Facebook and Goodreads
Follow her on Twitter

Thank you, Judythe, for sharing this novel with me and my blog readers. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Promises to Keep - Paperback
Promises to Keep - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: