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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

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Value of Friendship by Guest Blogger Donna L.H. Smith

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times. And a brother is born for adversity.” The Hebrew word for friend is re’a (ray-ah) Strong’s 7453 It means friend, companion, neighbor, fellowman, a familiar person. The present reference is a prescript for a healthy friendship; a friend should love at all times.
What are your friends like? Do they encourage you, support you, influence you in a positive way, bring out the very best in you; go out of their way to help you in time of need? Do they remember important events in your life? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you’ve got some true

We visited a friend in a retirement home. Kirby’s known this friend most of his life. I only met her about twenty-five or so years ago. Her name is Rochelle, and she is a treasure. We worked together on our local election board. We’d talked many times before I actually served on the board, first as a clerk, and eventually as judge of elections. Because of her vast experience on the board for many years, she was valuable in helping me to think ahead, especially after long lines of the 2004 Presidential election. She suggested we change the venue. Neither of us is still on the board, about three years ago, Rochelle fell and is now locally in a nursing home. This is the first time we saw her since her accident.

Prayer: Lord, help me be a friend today.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Guest Blogger Beth Wiseman Shares About Her New Novella

Today I'm privileged to welcome Beth Wiseman as she shares about her new book coming out in September. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook copy when it comes available. 

A Tide Worth Turning by Beth Wiseman

From the back cover:

Addison Burke is a successful real estate agent who specializes in high-end closings and who enjoys an elite lifestyle not often afforded someone her age (27).  But following a stroke and a recent fall, Addison is forced to hire a caregiver for her estranged mother, Lee Ann; a job Addison chooses not to take on, despite her financial freedom to do so.  She hires an agency to fill the position, and to her surprise, they send a man for the job.

Logan has somehow managed to keep his act together despite a past that is slowly catching up with him.  If he can make enough money over the next couple of months by tending to Lee Ann Burke, he should be able to flee the country before his world comes crashing down around him.  But when Lee Ann’s beautiful daughter, Addison, begins to awaken feelings in him that he thought died long ago, he begins to question whether or not fleeing from the past is worth leaving Addison forever.

Will Addison let down her guard for love and renew her relationship with her mother?  Can Logan face his past, come out unscathed, and act on his feelings for Addison?  And why is Lee Ann selling everything she owns on Ebay and Craig’s List?     

A Tide Worth Turning is a smart beach read for any season.  Mixing fun romance and mystery, this story transports the reader from historic Galveston, Texas to the beaches of Australia. Travel along with bestselling author, Beth Wiseman, for another great hit!"
     ~Kelly Long -- Zebra Books Bestseller

About A Tide Worth Turning, in Beth’s words:

I grew up about an hour from Galveston, Texas, so this seemed like the perfect beach setting for this novella.  If you are familiar with this historic city on the Gulf Coast, you might not think this looks like Galveston.  You would be correct.  This story takes my characters to another beach in a different country.  Can’t tell, though!  It would be a spoiler.  :)

Although, I’ve written a lot of romances over the years, there are always other things going on in my stories—a light mystery, humorous scenes, or maybe a parallel plot.  When it’s a novella, you really have to pack a punch in every chapter to tell a tight story within the confines of the word count. 

In A Tide Worth Turning, there are two romances evolving, but there are several subplots going on.  Our hero, Logan, is a good guy who’s gotten himself into trouble, but it’s hard not to root for him when it becomes clear what his intentions are. 

Also, Addison and her mother—Lee Ann—haven’t had the best relationship.  But when lies and deceptions come to light, can they put the past behind them and rebuild the type of mother/daughter bond they both long for? 

This was a super fun story to write!  I loved being on the beach with Addison and Logan.  In addition to watching their relationship develop, it was heartwarming to see Addison finding her way back to God.  And, Lee Ann thinks she has the rest of her life planned out, but she’s in for a surprise too.

Sprinkled with humor, A Tide Worth Turning is a double dose of romance.  It is about the mistakes we make and the wonderful way God uses our life experiences for His good.  And it’s about family secrets and the bond between a mother and a daughter.  It releases on September 12, and I’d be thrilled if you decide to check it out.  You can read the first chapter of all of my books on my website,

Thank you, Jodie, for having me on your blog.  :)   

Thank you, Beth, for taking the time to stop by and tell us about your new novella. I had the privilege of reading it before it's final draft and I really enjoyed it. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy Beth has graciously offered.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Earliest Memories

I thought I'd do something a little different today. :) I thought I'd share this photo from when I was two years old.

Recently on the group blog I'm involved with, we were asked to shared our earliest memory. Here's mine.

My earliest memory happened when I was in kindergarten. It was spring time when most of the snow had melted except where it had been piled up. After riding the bus to school a boy told the teacher I had ripped up his picture, which I hadn't. He had pushed me into a snow bank after getting off the bus and I told the teacher that. She didn't believe me and we went outside and I pointed to the snow bank and said, "There's your snow." I was appalled the teacher hadn't believed me.

I laugh when I think about it now since I am not a confrontational person at all. 

What fun memories do you have from your childhood? 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Welcome Elaine Manders

I'm excited to learn more about my friend, Elaine Manders. We both write for

Welcome, Elaine. How did you develop a 'love of story'?

My love of story began while reading and being read to as a child, the first stories being fairy tales and the Little Golden books. I can remember making up episodes to these stories for me and my friends to “make believe.” Before I began writing, I knew story must do more than perk the interest. It must transport the reader into what’s happening and make him care about what happens next. Because I like a happy ending, I gravitated to romance over the years and learned that story isn’t plot. Everyone knows there’s no new plot under the sun. My debut novella has a Romeo and Juliet plot. The h/h are in love, and a parent stands in the way, but the unique twists and turns the characters take in solving the problem is the essence of story.

I know what you mean about liking happy endings. :)

Where did you get the inspiration for your latest book?Last November I was writing an inspirational suspense to fit Harlequin’s line. Right in the middle, I realized it was going in a direction that wouldn’t fit the publisher’s requirements, so I decided to indy publish my completed western historical romance series. The conventional wisdom told me I needed a prequel to introduce the series and my writing. I began writing a novella as the prequel—only it turned into three novellas. The premise of mail-order brides seemed to fit my western romance perfectly, and by the end of the year, the first drafts were completed. Each time I edited the first one, I felt compelled to edit the other two. As a result, all three were ready for publication at the same time. I’ve decided to promote the Annex Mail-Order Brides one at the time, hopefully, to get as much traction out of them as possible before the main series is published. Adela’s Prairie Suitor is the first novella, so it’s the one I’m concentrating on right now.

You've been busy. How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?

I pray before writing that I won’t write anything displeasing to God. I don’t put in much actual scripture references in my stories, but I do search the scriptures to keep my characters straight, because they don’t know any more than the average Christian and are always struggling over what’s right and wrong, just as I do.

In other words your characters are 'real'. :) Do you have a favorite scene in your newest release?

I always love to write humorous scenes. My favorite from Adela’s Prairie Suitor is right before Adela and Byron meet. Wanting to make a good first impression, he comes to town dressed in his Sunday best. The antagonist, a spiteful woman named Hilda Jane, stops him on the way to the train station. She asks for help in getting her wagon unstuck. He’s worried about being delayed, but has to help her. Just as he gets the wagon wheel unstuck, Hilda Jane jerks the horse’s bridle, pushing Byron into a puddle full of horse manure. At that moment the train whistle blasts announcing its arrival, so he has to meet his future bride smelling like manure. What makes this funny to me is that Adela has been fretting about having to meet Byron all sooty and smelly from her long train ride.

Oh, that's funny. I love having humor in stories I read... and write. :) What is the genre you write?

Every manuscript I’ve written so far is historical romance with a strong thread of intrigue in the plot. The heroines are all strong, independent women. That’s why I say I write historical romance to inspire and intrigue.

LOL. I hadn't realized we had such similarities in our writing styles. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

Isaiah 40:31. “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.” Every time I feel over-whelmed, I recall that verse. If I but wait for the Lord, He’ll strengthen me and make me victorious.

That's a great verse. What do you plan to work on next?

I’m editing a Christmas novella to release in late October. It’s set in 1963, a pivotal year in recent history. Right after Christmas, I’ll be releasing the first long historical novel, Pursued, about a cattle baron who’s pursued by political enemies and a spirit-led librarian.

You definitely are busy. Where can readers connect with you?

My blog is currently under construction, but when it’s up and running, I hope to have a news list available.

Thanks so much for taking time to be with us today, Elaine. I truly have enjoyed it. Right now through Sunday Adela's Prairie Suitor is available free for download. Here's the link: Elaine has graciously offered ebooks of 2 and 3 in this series to one lucky commenter. :)

Next week Lillian Duncan will be sharing about her love of story. Don't forget to leave a comment this month to be entered into the drawing for the following. The winner will be picked on August 31.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Habakkuk 2: 3 (KJV)
For the vision is yet for an appointed time…though it tarry, wait for it.

I recently released a short non-fiction book entitled GOD, LIFE & HULA HOOPS:
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay
SPIRITUAL LISTENING LESSONS. It's meant to be light-hearted but with a serious message. This devotion is from Spiritual Listening Lesson 4. 

It took me fifteen years to get my first traditional contract. That’s right! Fifteen years! Fifteen years of writing. Fifteen years of rejections. Fifteen years of coming close but still not getting that contract.

To say I was frustrated was a bit of an understatement. I was firmly convinced God wanted me to be a writer so I didn’t understand why it wasn’t happening. If God wanted me to do it, wouldn’t he make it easy for me?

Absolutely not! 

God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. And look at all she and Joseph went through—shunned; humiliated; chased out of her homeland; and watching her son die on the cross.
Worthwhile ain’t necessarily easy or quick!

And then there’s Moses God gave him the assignment of leading the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. It took Moses more than forty years, and in the end he didn’t get to go into the Promised Land even though the new generation of Israelites did.

Worthwhile ain’t necessarily easy or quick!

Just because God wants us to do something doesn’t it’s going to be easy. Just as parents know (or should know) if you make everything too easy for a child, they won’t grow up—they won’t mature. God knows that as well. After all, He is the perfect parent!

It wasn’t quick or easy, but all those years of perseverance were worth it! Four years and ten contracts later, writing still brings me so much joy. But what would have happened if I’d quit in year ten? Year thirteen? Year fourteen and a half?

When I’m asked what advice I would give to unpublished writers, I always include DON’T QUIT!

Life is like that. As I write this, it’s been more than three years since I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors—and believe me, it hasn’t been easy or quick. There’s been countless times in the past 3 ½ years when I wanted to throw in the towel. Give up. Quit.

 Instead, I’ve learned to keep my eyes on Jesus, knowing that he will see me through once again. 

It doesn’t matter what goals or dreams you have, you’ve got to stick to it. If you quit, you won’t get there. Doesn’t matter if it’s to learn to play a piano, lose weight, be a writer, or even to hula hoop.

If you quit, it won’t happen.

Worthwhile ain’t necessarily easy or quick!


Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled with murder &mayhem!
Lillian is a multi-published writer with several Amazon bestsellers, including The Christmas Stalking and Betrayed. Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch or two of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us.
Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: Tiaras & Tennis Shoes is her personal blog at


God uses the oddest things to teach us what he wants us to learn—what we need to learn in order to have a better life. I’m sure there are weirder examples, but God used the hula hoop to teach me new things, give me more wisdom, and clarify some old ideas for me.
In 2012, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors. It’s not been an easy journey, nor is it over. But God has held my hand every step of the way. 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us to comfort others just as we have been comforted by God.
In God, Life & Hula Hoops, I share some of the spiritual lessons that have helped me during this difficult time in hopes that you will be comforted as well.
Thanks Lillian for guest blogging while I recover from surgery.