Janet K. Brown: Aiming High

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Everyone’s Story welcomes author Janet K. Brown. It’s a joy to have Janet here this week–I read her first novel in the Wharton Rock series, Worth Her Weight, and fell in love with Janet’s storytelling. But, Janet’s uplifting writing goes beyond fiction as you’ll see here for yourselves in her very special candid but heartfelt message she shares below. Instead of offering a Giveaway Janet shares with us the first chapter of book two of the Wharton Rock series, Worth Forgiving. Janet and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Janet’s first chapter of Worth Forgiving:

 Worth Forgiving by Janet K. BrownTwin doors swung open to the outside world, and Katie Smith stepped out. Thunk! The heavy doors slammed. Sweet honeysuckle along the outside wall smelled like freedom. The sounds of passing traffic were foreign to her ears.

She smiled and glanced up at the sign giving the bus schedule. Two hours. Dropping on the park bench to the right of the exit, she prepared to wait, twisting the coins for bus fare in her hands.

A dove sang a mournful melody. A cold wind howled. If only she had asked Mom to send her a jacket. Three years ago when she went into prison, it had been hot Texas summertime. Add that to lessons learned the hard way.

She reached into her pocket and retrieved a now wrinkled picture of a girl with two front teeth missing. Katie blinked back tears, jutted her chin, and sat taller. All she had to do was stay clean, get her own place, and move her daughter back in with her.

A red Hyundai Santa Fe pulled to the curb. A tall, shapely brunette climbed out of the driver’s seat. “Care for a ride?”

Katie blinked. She barely recognized her older sister, Lacey, since she’d lost so much weight. “Mom said she couldn’t pick me up?”

“She couldn’t, but Toby agreed that I should.”

“Humph.” Katie should’ve known Mr. Police Chief would keep tabs on her. “Thanks, but I’ll wait for the bus.”

“Your choice.” Lacey shrugged but waited.

Katie walked toward the strange car and glanced at the backseat.

“Rachel isn’t with me.”

“Why not?”

Lacey shifted to the other hip and planted her hand there. “Do you really want your daughter to see you coming out of prison?”

Katie’s face was on fire. She tried to outstare her sister, but it was no use.

“My coming wasn’t my idea, you know. Mom insisted.”

“How is she?”

“Feeling rough. I had to get Joanne to keep Rachel.” Lacey’s fingers drummed the top of her car.

Only the drumming and wind sounds interfered with Katie’s tumbling thoughts.

Lacey climbed in her car, started the motor and yelled out the window. “Where to?”

How dare she? Katie’s back turned into a stiff rod. She would not be manipulated by family. This was her fresh start. “Blast it all, it won’t be Wharton Rock.”

“Surprise. Surprise.”

“I don’t need your sarcasm.”

“Then, where to? The prison system approved Mom’s house as your home.”

“They also agreed to the halfway house in Apache Falls after Mom explained you hate me.”

“I … “

“Picking me up was Mom’s idea, not yours.” Katie glared, daring her sister to disagree.

Lacey scowled.

Strains of heavy metal music pierced the quiet, bass notes rocking the ground. A black Ford F-150 pickup pulled behind Lacey’s car.

The shaved head of Katie’s old boyfriend Collin stuck out the driver’s side window. “Going my way, sweet stuff?”

He came. Katie had written him, giving him the date, but with their rocky history, she had expected no favors. His mischievous grin still made her heart go pitter-pat.

He revved his engine.

“See you round, sis. Looks like I have a ride after all.” Katie’s blonde hair whipped across her mouth. She winked, gave a sexy shake of her upper torso, and sashayed toward the truck. She climbed in moments before Collin gunned the engine, leaving Lacey in his dust.

A sense of foreboding strangled Katie the moment her bottom hit the seat. Bad choice number one on my second chance? A hand-rolled cigarette lay under Collin’s open beer can. The truck wove between cars at a heart-pumping speed. Garbage in the truck’s back floor sent such a stench she covered her nose with the curve of her hand.

She gripped an arm rest. “Slow down. The cops will be after us.”

The angry tone to her words won her a Collin glare. “They’ve got bigger criminals to go after. Like you, my sweet.” His grin turned wicked. He didn’t slow.

Katie held on and kept her mouth shut.

The hundred and fifty mile trip was made in record time with no cop stops. When they entered Apache Falls, Collin made his way to an old apartment building near the baseball complex.

“Where are you going?” Katie asked.

“I have a place here.” The truck ran over speed bumps and came to a halt near iron and concrete stairs. He leaned over and kissed her cheek. “Thought you’d need a place to stay.”

His breath stunk of mouthwash and whiskey. Good thing he hadn’t lit the cigarette.

“I’ve got a place in the Halfway house on Lucille Street. I told you that.”

Collin jumped out and slammed the door. He stomped up the stairs.

What could she do now? She was at least fifteen miles from her new home. “But not far from her old roommate, Beth,” she whispered. Maybe, Collin had a phone. “Hey, wait up.”

Before she went through his front door, he was adding to his booze buzz. Inside, he draped across her and smothered her with wet kisses. She’d been away from this too long. The smells and untamed passion made her nauseated. “Got a phone? I need to make a call” She giggled in his ear.

His eyes flashed with lechery. From his back pocket, he withdrew a cell phone and threw it her way. Just as she punched in the last digit, Collin tugged her to the sofa. The phone was answered and disconnected before Katie could free her arms.

She pushed against Collin’s chest and dashed to the kitchen. “I’m dying for a Pepsi. All we got in prison was weak tea.” In the fridge were beer, mustard, and a bowl of corn. Her stomach lurched. She ran for the bathroom and locked the door.

Collin tried the lock and beat the door. His yells escalated. Katie lost her breakfast and washed her face. What a great way to begin her new life. She’d lost Wayne, and she sure wasn’t calling Lacey when she’d just made a four-hour drive to pick up her sister for nothing.

Collin’s knocking stopped. All was quiet.

Wanting to cry, Katie slid to the floor. She blinked and stiffened. She needed something to take off the edge. Maybe she should ask Collin for some of his stash. What did it matter now? Crazy to think she could stay clean.

She punched Beth’s number again.

“Yeah.” The voice was female but fierce. “Who is this?”

“Katie Smith.” She wiped her lips with the back of her hand and tasted something like rotten eggs. “I just got out today.”

“Katie? I can’t believe it. I thought you had ten years.”

“I know, but I got out early. Hey, I need a ride.”

“From Seagoville? You’ve got to be kidding. I ain’t a taxi service.”

“I’m in Apache Falls. At Collin’s. I need to get to a halfway house on Lucille.”

Heavy breathing ensued. “Meet me at home plate, field one in fifteen minutes. And be ready, you hear?”

The line went dead.

How would Katie get out of the apartment? One small window was over the bathtub, but it was too small. Time ticked by. She stood and edged toward the door.

Crash! The door splintered. Collin rushed through the shattered wood and lunged toward her. Plunging under his arm, Katie ran for the door. Collin dropped his baseball bat to grab her arm. She scooped up the bat. “Thanks.” She ran down the steps with him on her tail. The ball park was across the street, and yet, so far away.

No one was there. Her heart pounded. Her stomach rolled. Perspiration broke out over her upper lip. She was too early, and Collin was crossing the outfield. She was doomed.

 

What’s Your Job? By Janet K. Brown

For we live by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

What does that mean?

It means we give up on tried and true methods of solving problems. We ask God to lead, while we follow.

When I weighed two hundred and fifty pounds, my self-esteem hit bottom. During my twenties, thirties, and forties, I had prayed for God to take away my craving for sweets and make it easier to lose weight. That was the path by sight, but it failed again and again. I did the yo-yo up and down, until I couldn’t do it anymore.

The path for faith came when I prayed, “Lord, I’m powerless over food. With my usual strategies, I’ll reach five hundred pounds before I die. I give up my control.”

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I gave up that I would never have the willpower or the strength to lose weight, or if by some chance I once again lost it all, I would regain it. I accepted the fact that I didn’t need a new diet, a new protein drink, or a new exercise. I needed . . . I must have . . . I can’t survive without . . . putting God on the throne of my life.

Jesus prayed and so must we, “Thy will, not mine, be done.”

Our job is to keep the line of communication open for God’s direction. Let Him drive the car of life, while we listen for His instruction. Twenty years ago, God began an emotional healing for me. I lost one hundred pounds and have kept it off all these years. I quit biting my nails. He healed my depression and took away my fear.

What is your impossible situation?

God has the answer. Give up on your tried and true methods.

  1. Let go.

  2. Listen to God’s instruction.

  3. Follow His will.

  4. Stretch toward God’s excellence, not man’s approval.

  5. With God, there is always hope.

My motto is “Writing with God’s Hope.” Each of my books deal with addictions, compulsions, or hopeless hang-ups. The latest book, Worth Forgiving will take the reader on a wild ride from depths to heights, and show God’s power to forgive where we fail.

Janet’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet author @JanetKBrownTx: writing novels about addictions, compulsions, hang-ups. (Tweet This)

What did author @JanetKBrownTx confess to God that changed her life? (Tweet This)

@JanetKBrownTx: 5 steps to overcoming your impossible situation. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Worth Forgiving, an inspirational women’s fiction, is the second in her Wharton Rock series. Worth Forgiving marks Brown’s fourth book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.

Her non-fiction book is Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.

Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, work in their church, and visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren. Janet teaches workshops on writing, weight loss, and the historical settings of her teen books. The author uses her platform of recovering compulsive overeater to weave stories of hope for addiction, compulsion, or impossible situations.

Places to connect with Janet:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

~*~*~*~*~

On Tuesday, September 27th, I’m interviewed on:

Toni Shiloh Prayerfully Lifted Romance–Blog

I hope you can stop by for a visit!!

 

 

Janet and I look forward to your comments.

 

18 comments to Janet K. Brown: Aiming High

  • Janet K Brown

    Thanks for welcoming me as a guest. I’m honored.

  • Ann Ellison

    Enjoyed her interview. I am reading Worth Forgiving now and it is a compelling story that I am enjoying.

  • I’m familiar with your story, Janet, and so respect how you’ve conquered and used your experience to encourage others.

  • Marilyn R

    Nice post about Janet K. Brown sharing a chapter in Worth Forgiving, her past compulsive overeating and victory by letting God take control. Worth Forgiving intrigued my mind as I read the chapter here.

  • I think putting God on the throne instead of ourselves is one of the hardest things to do. We surrender, then take the throne back. If we’d only learn that if God’s in control, our lives would be much easier.

    That first chapter was intriguing. I’m already rooting for Katie to make the right choices.

    • elaineadmin

      Pat, it’s definitely a sad-funny tango we humans dance with God. I am so grateful that He always leads! And I’m grateful for your weekly visits.

    • Oh, thank you, Patricia. I agree. I spent years of asking for God’s deliverance, but then getting off my knees & trying to do it my way again. It doesn’t work. Glad you’re rooting for Katie. When readers ended Book 1 “Worth her Weight,” they didn’t like Katie. In the beginning of “Worth Forgiving,” she still wasn’t real likeable, but we all deserve a second chance & God loves giving them to us.

  • Enjoyed your post, Janet, and the first chapter of your book. Good job! I wish you much success in reaching the many people who need to hear your message of hope over the oppression of addictions.

    • elaineadmin

      Yay, my beautiful friend Patti is back 💗 I’ve missed you!

      I’m glad Janet has linked (and shared) that over-eating is an addiction. It doesn’t help that food corporations put in addictive chemicals into many foods these days that Americans keep eating too much and they’re, for the most part, are not even eating “food.” My husband is seeing this: loosing weight and sticking to his diet, opening his eyes to what people really consume. He’s the first to admit that it’s not easy. I’m thankful Janet incorporates these themes into her fiction.

    • You bless me, Patti. You’ve been an encourager to me for years. Thanks for reading my post.

  • elaineadmin

    Speaking for myself–and I believe for my viewers 😊–I’ve been very inspired and encouraged this past week on Everyone’s Story and I have my wonderful guest, author Janet K. Brown to thank. Super thanks, Janet! You’ve been an awesome guest I and hope you’ll come back again.

    Blessings to all.

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