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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Friday, June 26, 2015

Now & Forever by Mary Connealy

Shannon Wilde enjoys life on her simple homestead, tending sheep until she gets swept over the side of a cliff by Matthew Tucker. Well, in all actuality she's the one responsible for hurling them down the side of the mountain and into the raging river full of rocks, rapids, and treacherous water.

Matthew Tucker was content with his life in the backwoods until his eyes met the blue gaze of one Shannon Wilde. He wasn't fooled by her dress and immediately knew she was a woman, especially when he find himself strapped to her in order to keep them alive through the rapids.

Mary Connealy weaves a delightful tale in her Wild at Heart series featuring the Wilde sisters. I found this book to live up to Mary' reputation of writing lively historical romances. I rate it a 4 out of 5 for happily-ever-afters.

This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers - 2015.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Love of Story Featuring Authors Begins July 1st

In one week, I'll be starting a new weekly feature on my blog - 'Love of Story'. Authors with new releases will be interviewed and share a portal into their writing world. I'm excited to meet new authors and to help encourage them along in their writing journey. You'll want to stop by each week to meet a different author.

Here's the line up for July:

July 1 - Betsy St. Amant
July 8 - Christina Rich
July 15 - Michelle Ule
July 22 - Erica Vetsch
July 29 - Sandra Orchard

Tell a friend and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Check Out This Interview of My Experience with Editor Conferences :)

Today my agent, Linda S. Glaz has a post about my experiences. You can check it out here.

Jodie's Interview

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Beyond the Mask - Great Summer Movie

My husband and I went to see this movie opening weekend (last week) and really enjoyed it. It was especially fun for us too, knowing that the producers had been homeschooled. After 16+ years homeschooling my two sons, I can remember when they worked on making movies too. This is a great family film, full of faith, romance and swash-buckling action. I highly recommend it. :) 

Here's some great info about the movie and its producers. You don't want to miss it.

Homeschooled Filmmakers Go From Kickstarter to
100-City Theatrical Premiere With Groundbreaking New Movie

LOS ANGELES – June 10, 2015 – The swashbuckling family, action-adventure film BEYOND THE MASK—with CGI and green-screen effects unprecedented for the faith genre—scored with fans and at the box office in its theatrical debut this weekend.

Fans on Rotten Tomatoes awarded BEYOND THE MASK a 94 percent approval rating—the second-highest for films opening on the June 5 weekend. Combined with record-breaking on-demand sales, the film’s box office topped $1 million.

BEYOND THE MASK is a big favorite with family audiences,” Director Chad Burns said. “The 100-city theatrical opening took it wider, more audiences responded, and we’re loving the response.”

From Burns Family Studios and Freestyle Releasing, BEYOND THE MASK is a rousing, epic, historical drama that reviewers called “stunning” and “groundbreaking.”

“Go watch this great movie,” one Variety reader commented. The next comment: “Director great
 . . . story great and full of surprises. MUST SEE.”

“A wonderfully balanced mixture of Zorro-esque action/adventure, Jane Austen romance, with a James Bond-inspired villain set in the familiar and resonant pages of our own American history,” Caleb T. Carrol wrote on Fandango.

BEYOND THE MASK brings history to life with the story of Will Reynolds, leading mercenary for the British East India Company. Will has been double-crossed and now is on the run in the American colonies. To redeem his name and win back the woman with whom he's never been fully truthful, Will takes on a new mask to thwart his former employer. As his past closes in on him, Will must somehow gain the trust and the help of his beloved Charlotte—as well as Ben Franklin—as he races time to defuse a plot of historical proportions. The revolutionary BEYOND THE MASK is a faith-filled adventure celebrating grace, liberty and the true freedom found only in Christ.

Critical praise for BEYOND THE MASK:
“Stunning special effects.” Christian Post

"On the same stage as NATIONAL TREASURE and ZORRO.” Plugged In

“Simply put—Amazing!”

“A groundbreaking, fast-paced action adventure with computer-generated images rivaling anything out of Hollywood.” The Baptist Press

Besides the 100-city debut, BEYOND THE MASK is available in other locations in theaters on demand. The film initially opened in April on Gathr’s on-demand platform at a record-setting 440-plus theaters nationwide.

“If BEYOND THE MASK isn’t in your city, just reserve a theater through Gathr and bring it,” Producer Aaron Burns said. “Everything a fan needs to see the movie in a local theater is on our website at”

The story-behind-the-story of BEYOND THE MASK is another compelling tale. Aaron and Chad Burns are homeschooled cousins who began making films with family members for fun and school projects. Early efforts morphed into Burns Family Studios, creators of PENDRAGON, an action-adventure film that won awards and played nationally.

Starting the process for BEYOND THE MASK four years ago with a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Burns cousins marshaled an army of volunteers and movie professionals to shoot the film in 2012-13. They even attracted international star John Rhys-Davies of The Lord of the Ring series to the project.

The on-demand release posted record box office results for the Gathr platform. In the two weeks following the opening, it managed a box-office-leading per screen sales average for the Monday-Wednesday time frame. That strong on-demand opening then paved the way for the full theatrical release.
BEYOND THE MASK is from Director Chad Burns and Producer Aaron Burns, with a script co-written by Stephen Kendrick (COURAGEOUS, FIREPROOF) and Paul McCusker (Adventures in Odyssey). It stars Andrew Cheney (SEASONS OF GRAY) and Kara Killmer (Chicago Fire) and John Rhys-Davies (RETURN TO THE HIDING PLACE, THE LORD OF THE RINGS).

For interviews, contact:  Michael Conrad 214-616-0320

For more information, visit:

For press material, visit:

About Burns Family Studios
Burns Family Studios happened when families with a passion for creative storytelling aimed to share the joy of Christ. Its first feature film, PENDRAGON: SWORD OF HIS FATHER, a historic epic, was set in the Dark Ages of Britain. Since its 2008 debut, PENDRAGON has been recognized at 15 film festivals, purchased by the world’s largest Christian TV network, distributed across North America and dubbed by foreign distributors into Spanish, German and Portuguese.

Jodie again.... Show your support by watching this in the theaters and let Hollywood know how much Christian films are needed and appreciated.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Charlotte Atherton is determined to keep her three young charges safe, even after losing her position at Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths. She is particularly driven to protect Lily, the young girl she pledged to raise after the girl's mother died, even if it means keeping her away from her dishonest grandfather.

Stone Hammond is determined that after he tracks down the kidnapping teacher, it will be his last assignment and he'll finally have the money he needs to settle down and purchase his own property. How hard can it be to bring in one pesky female?

Karen Witemeyer weaves a delightful tale of two who are at odds with each other but must find a way to protect a young girl. I found her new novel to be a 5 out of 5 when it comes to happily-ever-after endings.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Bethany House Publishers - 2015.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When You Pass Through the Waters....

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you."

Isaiah 43:1b-2 (HCSB)

Do you ever feel like you are passing through the waters... or being swept away by them? I have to admit to being in that state on Tuesday when three inches of rain swept across our area in a very short amount of time. Fifteen minutes after the rain began my husband and I went downstairs to check on the status of our basement, only to find water pouring in from the window wells.

We used two shop vacs. One no sooner filled and my husband went to empty it before I had the next one filled as well. It was the worst flood we've ever experienced in our home. Two rooms were completely flooded. One room has linoleum and the other has a very thin carpet. Since the carpet is put down right on top of cement, we should be able to salvage it.

After hours of moving things out of harm's way, sucking up water, and trying to dry things out, we were exhausted. Now we're handling the aftermath... dealing with everything that had to be moved, etc. Tuesday I felt numb.... I didn't even have words. Yesterday I felt overwhelmed by the task before us of downsizing so that if/when this happens again, it won't be such a struggle to deal with in the future.

I couldn't help but think of a future scene in the novel I'm working on. It's a scene that will depict what was the worst flood my town experienced. This is the bridge that I'll be writing about.
Through all the struggles I face in this life I take comfort in the first section of the scripture above:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you."

What storms have you been going through lately? How can I pray for you?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Falcon by Ronie Kendig

Salvatore "Falcon" Russo is committed to his special forces team even if it means having to work with a former flame that destroyed his life. While the two have a history, he has no desire to dredge up the bad memories from his past or forgive the woman. He'll do what it takes for the mission but nothing beyond.

Cassandra Walker has regrets from her history with Salvatore but try as she might, she can't sponge him from her heart. How can she convince him to trust her again? Perhaps if she helps his team it will help to pave the way back to a relationship.

The two have issues with trust, communicating with each other, and so many other things. Will they be able to put aside all the hurts of their past and find new common ground together? Can they work as one to take down the terrorist who has been wreaking havoc?

Falcon is book three of Ronie Kendig's The Quiet Professionals series. For a glimpse into the lives of those who daily defend our country, this book is a great reminder of all they face.

This book was provided free for review by Shiloh Run Press, 2015.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stitches, Funeral and Wedding

It's been a crazy couple of weeks and this one is a busy one as well. Almost two weeks ago I had surgery for a release of a trigger finger... and no, I didn't get it from shooting a gun. If all goes well I'll have the stitches removed in a couple days. I definitely am looking forward to having the use of my hand back again. Although being hindered these two weeks has made me much more grateful for many things I had taken for granted.

After six months of waiting, we'll be having the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for my mother-in-law. It will be a mix of sadness, remembering, and time of rejoicing as a family. What a joy to know she is no longer in pain and is in heaven with her Heavenly Father.

I'm especially looking forward to time with both of my sons. It's been a while since we've all been together.

Then to top off the week, my youngest son will be getting married to the love of his life. Our hearts are overflowing as we reflect upon the many blessings God has bestowed on us.

What struggles and blessings do you have for this week?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Family of Her Dreams by Keli Gwyn

Tess Grimsby longs for a family of her own. Instead, she must be content with being a caretaker to a recently widowed man's children. Raised in an orphanage, Tess is well aware of the trauma and stages of grief that children go through and hopes to make a difference in the lives of her two young charges.

Spencer Abbott has his hands full as a stationmaster and trying to create some semblance of order for his children. He hadn't counted on a headstrong nanny that questions him on what seems like every decision. But he can't deny the good Tess has provided either.

Is Tess worth the trouble?

This was the second book I've read by Keli Gwyn, and I found it quite enjoyable. She provides a sigh-worthy happily-ever-after. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Crazy Life

It's been a crazy couple of weeks with lots of activities that have prevented me from posting. It's been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, medical tests, an ultrasound, a biopsy, imminent hand surgery... not to mention attending two writing workshops, searching NUMEROUS retail and thrift stores to find a dress for my son's upcoming wedding in a few weeks.

Then throw in a sprinkling of family times, preparing for and teaching a Ladies Bible Study, trying to arrange the rehearsal dinner and location, and I'm not sure what else...

I'm thankful that even in the midst of whirlwind days, God knows about each day and its activities, even before I do. I can trust Him.

Do you ever feel like you are in the midst of a whirlwind?