Jean C. Gordon: Ways To Lighten Your Worries

Jeanne Gordon-1431-LR-Color

Everyone’s Story fondly welcomes back inspirational author Jean C. Gordon. I’m very blessed to have Jean as a dear friend for many years now. We met back in my RWA days (Jean’s still a member!) when we attended monthly chapter meetings up in Saratoga, NY. I’ve had the pleasure to see Jean’s career grow through the years and have cheered her along as she has placed smile after smile on readers’ faces. Please join Jean this week as she shares right from her heart about a very personal subject for her, one that’s reflected in her just released Love Inspired The Bachelor’s Sweetheart, which she’s also offering as a BookGiveaway. Also check out Jean’s excerpt from that novel. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you.

***Jean has a surprise for all viewers!!! Check out below!

JeanBook

BookGiveaway:

Jean is offering 1 print copy of The Bachelor’s Sweetheart,  to 1 randomly chosen commenter (US only) AND 1 ebook worldwide, so please do leave a comment. The winners will be announced here on Friday, July 29th between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: email contact information within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

 

 

Jean’s past visits on Everyone’s Story:

A Multi-published Author With a Big Heart from a Small Town

Author of Heart, Home and Faith Stories

Excerpt from The Bachelor’s Sweetheart:

Excerpt from The Bachelor’s Sweetheart by Jean C. Gordon:

Chapter One

The heat was unbearable, worse than anything Josh Donnelly had ever experienced, even during his National Guard tour of Afghanistan. A rivulet of sweat ran down his back. He wanted to pull at his collar so he could breathe, cool off his back. But people would see him.

“The ring,” the guest minister prompted him.

Josh felt like he was aiding and abetting the enemy as he dug in the pocket of his tuxedo jacket. All through high school, after their older brother, Jared, had left Paradox Lake, he’d protected their younger brother, Connor, from their father and the fallout of his being the town drunk. He should be protecting him now from making a potentially huge mistake. Josh handed the wedding band to Connor. Not that his baby brother’s soon-to-be wife wasn’t a good person. Nor did he doubt that Connor and Natalie Delacroix loved each other—for now.

But the Donnelly men weren’t cut out for marriage. That was what he and Jared had always said. They’d agreed they had too much of their father in them to let any woman get close enough to love them. They couldn’t risk ultimately hurting someone the way Dad had hurt Mom. That is, they had agreed until last summer when Jared had married Becca Morgan. Now Connor had fallen victim.

Pain squeezed Josh’s chest as he caught the loving look on Connor’s face when he slipped the ring onto Natalie’s finger. Don’t do it. Josh glanced around to make sure he hadn’t said that out loud. He was good. No one was staring at him. No one except his bud Tessa Hamilton, who was sitting halfway back in the church, her bulletin covering her mouth, eyes sparkling. She was laughing at him.

Tessa knew how he felt about marriage and didn’t hold it against him—one of the many reasons they got along so well. But that didn’t mean he was going to let her get away with laughing at his discomfort. Josh smiled to himself. He had the perfect revenge. He’d ask her to dance at the wedding reception. Tessa didn’t dance. She said her dancing wasn’t for public consumption.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife,” the minister declared. “You can kiss your bride.”

Connor pressed his lips to Natalie’s. Then they turned and faced the guests hand in hand.

“I present Mr. and Mrs. Connor Donnelly,” the minister said.

The guests stood and applauded. Josh’s gaze went to his mother, who was standing next to his grandmother and stepgrandfather, Harry, in the front pew. Harry smiled down at Grandma with almost the same expression Connor had had when he’d slipped the ring on Natalie’s finger. Josh glanced across the aisle to Natalie’s parents. Terry and John Delacroix stood hand in hand much like Connor and Natalie. Connor was different than him and Jared, more like their mother—although Jared appeared to have become the poster boy for marital bliss. And Connor was a minister, the pastor here at Hazardtown Community Church. Maybe he and Natalie would make it work.

The organist began the recessional and the applause stopped. As Connor and Natalie started up the aisle, Josh stepped front and center and offered his arm to Claire Delacroix, Natalie’s sister and maid of honor. Jared fell into step behind them with Natalie’s oldest sister, Andrea Bissette, and the rest of the wedding party.

Josh bit the side of his mouth to keep from laughing as he passed Tessa and she glanced from him to Claire with a raised eyebrow. Tessa had been trying to fix him up with Natalie’s sister since Connor and Natalie became engaged last Christmas. And Connor had been warning him off as if he wasn’t good enough for Connor’s future sister-in-law. At one point, Josh considered asking Claire out just to irritate Connor but had thought better of it. Why jeopardize the brotherly bond for a woman he’d only move on from in a month or two? Not that there were many available women left in Paradox Lake for him to move on to. Even more reason for him to finish his engineering technology degree and blow this burg.

The wedding party lined up with his mother and Natalie’s parents outside at the bottom of the church steps to greet the guests. Their grandparents were the first in line.

“You’re next,” his grandmother said when she reached him in the line. Her husband chuckled. A chill ran down Josh’s spine, remembering Gram saying something on that order about Jared before he succumbed to Becca’s charms.

“Josh and Claire do make a cute couple,” Claire’s grandmother added, kissing Claire on her cheek.

“Oh, Marie, I thought I’d told you he’s seeing Tessa Hamilton, Betty’s granddaughter.”

Marie Delacroix nodded with a sympathetic look at Claire. Josh smiled at the lovingly tolerant look Claire returned. Being in their early thirties, he and Claire were fortunate to still have their grandmothers.

“Gram,” he said, “Tessa and I are friends. That’s all.”

“Famous last words. Jared and Becca and Connor and Natalie were friends first, too.”

Josh looked over his grandmother’s head at her husband, who chuckled again. “Edna, we’re holding up the line.”

Gram gave Harry “the look,” the one that Josh recognized as a silent “you’re pushing it.” But she continued down the line, giving Jared a hug and telling him how handsome he looked. Friends and family filed by behind his grandmother, shaking his hand and exchanging small talk.

“Natalie, I’m so happy for you and Connor.”

Josh’s ears perked up at the sound of Tessa’s voice. A smile spread across his face as he thought about his plans for the reception.

“Josh, this is my uncle,” Claire said, breaking his private gloat.

“Nice to meet you,” he said, shaking the man’s hand.

Tessa stepped up next. “Claire, you look beautiful. I love the bridesmaid dresses.”

Some guy Josh didn’t recognize stood close behind Tessa, as if he was with her.

“I know.” Claire dropped her voice. “I was thinking I wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear the dress again in public.”

Josh narrowed his eyes, thinking back to the ceremony. A date? He didn’t remember seeing anyone sitting close enough to Tessa in the pew to suggest they were with her. Tessa stepped in front of him, and the man bent and gave Claire a hug.

“Hi,” Tessa said. “I see you didn’t expire up there. For a minute it looked touch and go.”

He ran his gaze across her face, masking the irritation her comment ignited. He’d had things in hand up at the altar, totally in control. His mood softened. Tessa looked different. Her rich chestnut hair was down, softly framing her face. And her eyes…he couldn’t put his finger on it. They were different, more defined. He dropped his focus to her lips and took in the pink sheen along with the creamy tan of her flawless skin. Makeup. He stared at her. Tessa was wearing makeup.

“What?” she said. “Are you so traumatized you can’t talk?”

“You look nice.”

She blinked and drew her head back.

Smooth Donnelly. Way to give a compliment. But he was used to seeing Tessa on a buddy level.

“As in not how I usually look?” Tessa tilted her head and drilled her gaze into his.

“Yeah.” It slipped out as if his mouth had no connection to his brain. Time to bring out the reinforcements. Josh drew his mouth into the slow half smile that always worked on women. “Unbelievably, you look even more beautiful than usual.”

Tessa rolled her eyes. She rolled her eyes. Not dating for the past few months had put him more out of practice than he’d thought. The Smile always used to work.

“Catch you later at the reception.” He nodded toward the people lined up behind her and squelched the urge to glare at the man in front of him.

“This is my cousin Pierre, from Montreal,” Claire said.

Josh sized up the competition as they shook hands. “Nice to meet you.”

“Ravi de vous rencontrer également.”

Josh’s gaze pierced the back of Pierre’s head as he moved on. Was the guy showing off, or didn’t he speak English? Josh shook his head. He didn’t know what had gotten into him. There was no competition. Josh liked Tessa too much to let their relationship become anything more than a friendship.

One Day at a Time by Jean C. Gordon

My latest book, The Bachelor’s Sweetheart, deals with alcoholism. At the beginning of the story, my hero Josh doesn’t know that my heroine Tessa is a recovering alcoholic. When Josh finds out by accident, it almost destroys them. Josh, who grew up as the son of the town drunk, has no tolerance for alcoholics.

Of all my books, this one was the hardest to write and, ultimately, the most rewarding to me. I’ve seen first hand with my youngest brother the toll alcoholism, any addiction, takes on family and friends. Josh and his brothers have dealt with their father’s alcoholism most of their lives. Tessa and her family with hers only more recently. Tessa and Josh’s story is a tribute to what love can overcome when it has the power of God behind it.

One thing Josh and Tessa learn is to take things one day at a time. Taking life “one day at a time” is a primary tenet of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-anon, the organization for family and friends of alcoholics. Many people whose lives have been adversely affected by the problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend have found one day at a time to be a lifeline that gives them the courage to change things they’re able to change.

While my brother has been gone for many years, I still open Courage to Change — One Day at a Time and read the meditation for the day. Through these meditations, I’ve found that taking life one day at a time can help in many other life situations, too. Such as when:

  • You’re trying to reach a goal — Reaching a long-term goal, such as writing a book, can be daunting. Breaking a goal down into a day-by-day process can make it doable and improve your chances of success.

  • You’re worried about the future — Concentrating on what you have and can do today will move you forward and lighten your worry. We don’t have the power to know for sure what will happen tomorrow or next week. Worrying about it is wasted energy.

  • You have to deal with a difficult person on a regular basis — Limit your thought timeframe to today. Don’t dwell on the last time you had to deal with the person or the next time you may have to. And when today’s time is done, it’s over. The next time you have to deal with the person will be a whole new day.

  • You’re trying to break a bad habit— Let’s say you want to avoid junk food. You’ll be more successful breaking your junk food habit you tell yourself you’ll avoid junk food today and leave open the possibility of having it tomorrow. The next day, do the same thing. Soon the habit will be broken.

  • You have small children or grandchildren—It’s a cliché, but children are young for such a short time. Enjoy each day with them. You can, and should, plan for their future, but don’t plan the wonder and joy of today’s time with your children away.

  • You feel overwhelmed — Similar to meeting long-term goals, determine what you can reasonably accomplish today and take joy in accomplishing it.

And I’m sure there are others. Can you think of some?

Jean’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet #LoveInspired author @JeanCGordon. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: See why @JeanCGordon’s newest novel was the hardest but most rewarding to write. (Tweet This)

Like to read #SweetRomance? @JeanCGordon has a surprise for you! (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

For Amazon Bestselling inspirational and sweet romance author Jean C. Gordon, writing is a natural extension of her love of reading. From that day in first grade when she realized t-h-e was the word “the,” she’s been reading everything she can put her hands on. She and her college-sweetheart husband tried the city life in Los Angeles, but quickly returned home to their native small-town Upstate New York, where she sets her books.

A founding member of the Capital Region Romance Writers (Albany, NY), Jean currently serves as membership chair. She’s also a member of the Romance Writers of America and its Faith, Hope and Love Chapter, the American Christian Fiction Writers, and Novelists, Inc.

The Bachelor’s Sweetheart, book three of her Love Inspired series, THE DONNELLY BROTHERS: Hometown boys make good  and find love releases in August. Jean is currently working on a new series for Harlequin Love Inspired and looking forward to the release of her first single title romance, Mending the Motocross Champion, in October.

Places to connect with Jean:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Harlequin

***Jean has a  special GIFT to all readers: A Free ebook of Bachelor Father, a sweet romance, available from your favorite ebook vendor:

Kindle

Nook

iBooks

Kobo

~*~*~*~*~

DefeatLove

Check what reviewers are saying:

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

 

Tweet This for Always With You:

Always With You by Elaine Stock: a story of ‪#‎love‬, ‪#‎faith‬, & ‪#‎family‬ challenged. (Tweet This)

Jean and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below.

Click “Comments.”

 

Barbara Ann Waite: Memories in Heart and Words

Barb Headweblg

Everyone’s Story welcomes back Barbara Waite. It’s funny, I’m not quite sure where I’ve bumped cyber elbows with Barbara, but it seems like I’ve known her for years and it’s a lovely feeling! What I admire most about Barbara is her passion and respect for family, as evident in her touching memoirs of her grandmother, Elsie. A former missionary now taken to the keyboard, Barbara shares with you this week more glimpses into the very special life of Elsie. I hope you find her life experiences as fascinating as I have, and hope it fills you with encouragement. Please check out Barbara’s great BookGiveaway offer of  the 2nd Elsie memoir, Elsie’s Mountain. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you.

 

 

ElsieBook

BookGiveaway:

Barbara is offering 1 copy of Elsie’s Mountain,  to 1 randomly chosen commenter, so please do leave a comment. The winners will be announced here on Friday, July 22nd between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: email contact information within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

 

Barbara’s past visit on Everyone’s Story: Using One’s Past To Enrich One’s Present

 

When Words Live On by Barbara Ann Waite

BarbFlower

Across the peaks of Palomar a winter wind is blowing;

The mountain air is crisp and keen: tonight it may be snowing.

Against the slopes of mauve and bronze the evergreens are looming,

Where only flowers of memory still linger in their blooming.

–Elsie Hayes Roberts**

As I walk among the apple trees on Palomar Mountain, I marvel at the beauty of the blossoms on the gnarled trees, planted over 100 years ago, many of them by my grandfather and great-grandfather. I experienced through reading Elsie’s diary and journals the mountain culture and the day-to-day life of California ranchers of the time. Elsie loved words. She lived nearly a century and during that time her love affair with words never waned. She loved words in books, spoken words, and words in her diary. Words were the essence of this vivacious woman. Elsie was a wellspring of kind, always-gentle words. Yet, as I looked deeper into my grandmother’s life, I know that she withheld some words. Perhaps the words she avoided using are the story behind this exuberant yet occasionally reticent woman. I tried to preserve these times, in my grandmother’s memoir, “Elsie’s Mountain- Memories of Palomar & Southern California 1897- 1987.”

One newspaper writer described, Elsie (at age 97), as having, “…a mind as sharp as an Ansel Adams photograph.” She viewed life as a glorious adventure, recording a rich diary account of the serenity and beauty of her beloved mountain.

Elsie first traveled to Palomar in 1904 by horse and wagon, a three-day excursion from Long Beach. In the summer of 1918 Elsie, her husband Jack Roberts and their baby Catherine moved to Palomar to work on the apple ranch purchased by her parents in 1904. They eventually operated a small resort.

BarbaraChurch

Barbara in vintage costume speaking at a one-room school in Julian , California to the Julian Historical Society. The school was built in 1888, the same year Elsie was born.

During the apple-season, they hired pickers with diverse backgrounds and Elsie’s husband often employed British cooks. The combination of personalities proved to be humorous. The sheriff showed up one afternoon to explain that the man hired to chop wood was a convicted ax murderer that had escaped. Elsie served dinner for the sheriff and his prisoner.

I find value in viewing the past, the ordinary, if it causes us to pause and examine our own lives. Elsie never seemed too busy to notice the first flowers of spring, often found peeking through the snow-dusted earth. She often slowed her pace, read, and sometimes moved her bed outside to view the stars, experience the wind, the night sounds, and the earthy mountain smells. Perhaps her story will encourage you to stop and see the beauty everywhere. Perhaps it will even encourage you to extend grace to those around you.

I have tried not to interpret Elsie’s story. In the book by Markus Zusak,*** The Book Thief, Max says to Liesel when giving her a blank notebook, “Words are life Liesel. All those pages, they’re for you to fill. I’m not lost to you Liesel. You will always be able to find me in your words. That’s where I’ll live on.” Elsie’s words live on to tell her story.

**These are blossoms from this year’s crop from trees of 1904.

***Barbara wrote the author of The Book Thief and was thrilled when his agent wrote back saying she could use his quote in her book. A lovely surprise!

 

Barbara’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @BarbaraAWaite: how memoirs on others help you to examine your own life. (Tweet This)

@BarbaraAWaite offers #BookGiveaway of memoir Elsie’s Mountain, tribute to a special woman. (Tweet This)

@BarbaraAWaite: Could it be that slowing down to see life helped Elsie live as long as she had? (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Barbara Anne Waite grew up in San Diego, California, spending weekends at the family cabin on Palomar Mountain. Summers were spent on Palomar with her grandmother Elsie. When Elsie died in 1987 (at almost 100 years of age), Barbara read the diaries and letters Elsie had saved. These compelling diaries contained the adventure and love story of her Grandmother’s three years teaching in rural Arizona, and from them Barbara created her memoir, “Elsie – Arizona Teacher 1913-1916.” During her life, Elsie wrote for magazines and newspapers but none of those stories compared to the story revealed in the diaries.” The first “Elsie” book was published weeks before the State of Arizona celebrated its centennial in 2012. That book, published 4 years ago has been voted on Goodreads as the #1 memoir “Old West in First-Person.” It has sold over 3,000 print copies and 5,000 e-books.

Many readers requested the rest of the story, Elsie’s California years before and after her Arizona experiences, when her family operated an apple ranch and resort on Palomar. The first copies of “Elsie’s Mountain” went on sale in October, 2015 at the Apple Festival on Palomar Mountain.

Barbara has been sharing Elsie’s stories and selling her books at community groups, book clubs, historical groups, Rotary meetings, women’s events, libraries and genealogical societies. Historical non-fiction books seem to have potential sales opportunities that novels might not experience.

Places to connect with Barbara:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

~*~*~*~*~

LoveFaithConquer

 

Check what reviewers are saying:

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

Tweet This for Always With You:

Always With You by Elaine Stock: a story of ‪#‎love‬, ‪#‎faith‬, & ‪#‎family‬ challenged. (Tweet This)

Barbara and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”

Catherine West: Right Where I Dwell

Catherine-West-Author-Headshot-001

Everyone’s Story welcomes back Catherine West an author who first appeared here when her novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, debuted. And here’s Catherine now, with another novel making its appearance from a considerably larger publishing house–congratulations, Catherine! The Things We Knew launches on July 12th–this coming Tuesday–and with the story taking place on Nantucket, this is the perfect time to join what I’m sure will be many fans of this novel. Reach for your glass of iced tea or lemonade and give Catherine a big hello. Please check out Catherine’s generous BookGiveaway offer of The Things We Knew, and Catherine’s invitation to her FaceBook party. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you.

 

 

ThingsWeKnew

BookGiveaway:

Catherine is offering 1 print copy of The Things We Knew,  to 1 randomly chosen commenter, so please do leave a comment. The winners will be announced here on Friday, July 15th between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: email contact information within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

 

Check out Catherine’s previous Everyone’s Story visit when she was a debut author: Interview With Author Catherine West   Please excuse my beginner blogger’s formatting!

 

How To Offer Hope To A Broken World by Catherine West

You have a choice. You can stay in this place of despair and despondency, waiting for things that may never happen . . . or you can move on.

Find another place to dwell. 

If you’ve had that revelation, you know it’s life changing. You never forget that moment, the way you stood up, shaky on legs unused to standing firm. You never forget the way it felt when you tipped your chin just so, raised your eyes and faced down that fear. And took that first step, when you thought you might stumble, but instead you had hands to hold and arms to get all wrapped up in, and words were whispered through the tears . . . and then . . . and then the laughter came.

When you’ve been there so long, in that place of despondency, listened to the same lies over and over, even bought into them when you swore you wouldn’t, it’s hard to believe things can change. But they can.

You just have to move.

So often in victory, once we’ve climbed the mountain, we do forget. We forget what it felt like back there, in that hard place, and we don’t think about what we left behind. We don’t want to think about the ones who may still be struggling.

CathyMeme

Remember that feeling of inadequacy? Feeling like no matter what you do, what you say, how you dress, what gifts you give, it is never enough. That you . . . you . . . will never be enough. It’s an ache like damp cold that seeps in and stays and you know you need to shake it off but you’ve tried time and again and today . . . you’re tired. Today you can’t. Just. Can’t. They just can’t.

Let them know they’re not alone.

There’s a broken world out there, so desperate for something new and life giving, and they’re looking at us . . . and we are failing.

Why? Because we’ve forgotten. We’ve forgotten that moment we made the choice to change our lives and move. Forgotten that we were once in that place with no way out, desperate to escape cloying darkness determined to snuff out all our light.

And now that we’re here, rescued and rested and ready for this new thing . . . warm and safe and secure . . . we don’t want to look back.

Sometimes it hurts to remember the reality of being vulnerable and wounded and scared. Sometimes we don’t want to admit that even now, we’re still not perfect. We don’t have it all together. Some days we’re still just faking it.

So what if we just get real? Because nobody wants your fake perfect. They just want your love.

Brokenness is not contagious. But it can kill a spirit. 

Self-righteousness slices deep and wounds so dangerously.

And judgment? Bleeds life right out of a person. 

I wonder if we can do better?  In all our moving on and moving up and moving out I wonder if there is room for more in the place we now dwell.

More love. More laughter. More life.

Because we don’t have to have it all together.

You can take my vulnerable and my honest and my blunt and wrap it all up pretty if you want, but it still comes from that same hard place. That place I left behind not so long ago. The place that marked me and left a few scars and some not so pretty stories to tell. And I’m okay with that. You want to know me? Really know me? Get ready for real. That’s all I’ve got.

But you are welcome to walk alongside and listen. Maybe together we can embrace the here and now, the saving grace, love and mercy. And maybe, with a deep breath and a whole lot of courage, maybe I can just put my arms out and help somebody else.

Right where I dwell.

And maybe you can too.

 

chocolate-cake-1285954__180

Celebrate with Catherine…

Join Catherine July 14th as she celebrates the release of  The Things We Knew at a FaceBook Party. There will be fun chatter, book conversation, special guests, and Giveaways: Event Page.

 

 

Catherine’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Catherine West @CathWest: How To Offer Hope To A Broken World. (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of The Things We Knew by Catherine West @CathWest. (Tweet This)

Catherine West @CathWest: Can you give to others when you don’t have it all together? (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s novel, Bridge of Faith, won the 2015 Grace Award. Her latest novel, The Things We Knew, releases July 12th, 2016, through Harper Collins Christian Publishing.

Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com

Places to connect with Catherine:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

Google+

Amazon

 

~*~*~*~*~

Isa'sQuote

Check what reviewers are saying:

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

Tweet This for Always With You:

Always With You by Elaine Stock: a story of ‪#‎love‬, ‪#‎faith‬, & ‪#‎family‬ challenged. (Tweet This)

 

Catherine and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”

 

Derinda Babcock: When Destiny Finds You

DerindaBabcock

Everyone’s Story welcomes fellow Elk Lake Publishing author Derinda Babcock. Derinda’s intriguing book covers, as well as the questions she asks her readers (what is your destiny and have you ever tried running from it?) lured me into asking Derinda if she’d like to make a guest appearance. I’m glad she accepted! This week Derinda poses the question of what to do when your plans don’t exactly match the Planner’s plans for us.  Please check out Derinda’s  BookGiveaway offer of In Search of Destiny, Book 2 of the Destiny Trilogy. Both Derinda and I look forward to hearing from you.

Plus, a little self-promo: I’d be pleased if you check out the video of my novel Always With You below Derinda’s feature. Thanks

 

37.1940.142

BookGiveaway:

Derinda is offering 1 print copy of In Search Of Destiny,  to 1 randomly chosen US only commenter, so please do leave a comment. The winners will be announced here on Friday, July 8th between 5-6 PM EST.

A quick blurb of In Search of Destiny: Lexie Logan didn’t realize how much influence she had, yet the people she left behind made life-changing choices based on her knowledge of the future.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: email contact information within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

RESIZEDodgingCover

 

A quick blurb of Dodging Destiny:

Lexie Logan flees the command of God and, like the Prophet Jonah, faces a life-storm of epic proportions.

 

When Ducks Don’t Cooperate by Derinda Babcock

Take a little road trip with me through my life. Sometimes the road has been smooth and the drive pleasant, but often, I’ve hit bumps and potholes or smashed into frustrating roadblocks. Surprisingly, I’m still running into obstacles as I travel “over the hill.” You’d think by now I would’ve learned to avoid them, right?

Oscar Wilde said, “The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.” I suspect he’s right. I’m the eldest of four siblings, and we grew up in a little oil-patch town. We didn’t have much money, but I never noticed the lack because we had so many other things to do. I was a good tree-climber, but the strong belief I had in my own abilities led to one of my first important lessons.

The setting:

A hot summer day in 1967.

No air conditioning, only a screen door.

A large cottonwood tree in the yard I’d climbed thousands of times.

The characters:

Me ― age ten, Dad ― early thirties. Dad’s ex-military.

Plot:

Increase the excitement in my life by dropping ice cubes down Dad’s back.

Run out the front screen door.

Climb into the tree and taunt him from my perch.

What do you think I learned?

DerindaDuckMeme

How could someone as old as Dad move so fast? He climbed that tree as well as I did, hauled me out of it, and turned a hose full of cold water down the back of my shirt.

Soon, I came to a major crossroad. I met Jesus Christ and my decision to follow Him changed the direction of my life forever. He has impacted my thoughts, the lens I use to view life, and the focus of my stories. I’ve never been sorry I chose this path.

I married on my nineteenth birthday. My husband brought a three-year-old into the marriage, and together, we had two more daughters. Wow, ― bump, smash, crash!

When my youngest daughter was five, the Lord impressed upon me His will: get a teaching degree and teach in the public schools. Major obstacle! I resisted His urging with all my might. I didn’t want to be a teacher. I wanted to be an interior designer, an architect, or a commercial artist. My own children were hard enough to deal with, so why would I put myself in the position of working with someone else’s kids? Crazy, huh? Finally, grudgingly, I surrendered, “Okay,” I told the Lord, “If You want me to go back to school, You’re going to have to provide the money, because I don’t have any.”

His answer?

– tuition, fees, and books covered by scholarships

– a living stipend sufficient to put gas in the car for the two years it took me to finish my B.A.

I wanted my students to learn self-control, self-discipline, and good work ethics, so I had to be a model. A few times during my career, when the alarm went off at 5:30 a.m., I’d groan and beg my husband, “Please don’t make me get up this morning,” or I’d bow my head at my teacher’s desk and pray, “God, how am I going to get through the rest of the afternoon, much less the school year?

Ever had days like this?

I tootled up to another crossroad. Decision time. Do I write lesson plans for another ten years, or do I write novels? Should I write for a general audience, or for the Christian market? Since I’d signed with a literary agent the first choice was easy. The second, a little more difficult, but I chose to write novels that would encourage Christian readers in their daily walk.

When I made a total career change, I knew I’d have to get my ducks in a row. I traded in students, their parents, other teachers, administrators, and the critical public for beta readers, critique groups, a literary agent, editors, cover designers, publishers, and critical readers.

However, ducks don’t always cooperate and stay in an orderly line, so the question is, how do I handle the situation? Pout? Get frustrated? Quit? Or do I continue to learn and grow even when the experience is painful?

After editing a manuscript for what feels like the hundredth time, I’ve thought of throwing a tantrum and quitting, but I usually take a day or two off, take a deep breath, and start again. The effort’s worth it. The end results are stories that entertain and inspire readers.

Derinda’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Like #HistoricalInspiration? Meet @DerindaBabcock, author of the Destiny Trilogy. (Tweet This)

@DerindaBabcock asks: What do you do when your ducks won’t line up tidy in a row? (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of @DerindaBabcock’s In Search of Destiny. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

For almost 25 years, DERINDA BABCOCK was an English Language Acquisition teacher. During this time, she worked with students of all ages and many different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The richness of this experience lends flavor to the stories she writes. She enjoys historical research and crafting stories that entertain, encourage, and inspire. She writes from a Christian worldview. Since her retirement, she continues to tutor students in reading, though she divides much of her time between earning an A.A.S. degree in Digital Media Arts and Design and researching for her historical novels. She is married, and lives on a ranch in Southwestern Colorado.

Places to connect with Derinda:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon for Dodging Destiny

Amazon for In Search of Destiny

 

~*~*~*~*~

I’ll be appearing on Southern Writers Magazine’s Suite T

on Monday July4th

Suite T

Check it out here.

 

Derinda and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”

Sara Goff: How To Soar!

NewSara

Everyone’s Story welcomes back–with much fondness–author Sara Goff. Sara is a wife, mother of two handsome little boys, friend, and an amazing author. It’s always a pleasure to host her! This week Sara shares a lesson that I believe we all face at one time or another, or if you’re like me, face on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy Sara’s feature. Do check out her blurb on I Always Cry At Weddings, which she’s offering as a BookGiveaway!! Both Sara and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

I Always Cry at Weddings-girl

BookGiveaway:

Sara is offering 1 print copy of I Always Cry At Weddings,  to 1 randomly chosen commenter, so please do leave a comment. The winners will be announced here on Friday, July 1st between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: email contact information within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

 

 

Visit with Sara during her past features on Everyone’s Story:

I’ll Volunteer

The Two Keys To Success

Book Blurb of I Always Cry At  Weddings:

Ava Larson is the envy of brides everywhere. She has a glamorous career as a handbag buyer at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City; Josh, her wealthy, New York socialite fiancé; and a lavish wedding on the horizon, to be planned and paid for by her adoring mother-in-law-to-be. But things go terribly wrong for Ava when her friends spontaneously decide to get married at City Hall, and Ava is reduced to tears by the obvious signs of true love exhibited by the newlyweds. Their raw emotion makes her question her own relationship and she wonders whether Josh really and truly loves her.

After an embarrassing attempt to re-ignite sparks in her love life, Ava throws her impending future with Josh away, cancels the wedding, and flees to her tiny, dingy studio apartment on the West Side of Manhattan. In order to find true, enduring love she makes a vow to remain a virgin.

Ava is brought to tears over a lot more than weddings when she learns her mom may be succumbing to the ravages of cancer, she gets sacked by Bergdorf’s, her former mother-in-law-to-be decides to move in, and her financial status leaves her in jeopardy. Now she needs to figure out how she wants to live her life and what love really means.

 

Are We Living For Our Fears Or Our Dreams? By Sara Goff

If you were engaged to be married, wedding planned, and then realized the relationship was a mistake, you had been following the wrong path, would you break your engagement? Or would you stay the course, because you didn’t want to disappoint your friends and family, and it was the easier option?

I spent many years writing my first novel, I Always Cry at Weddings. So long, in fact, that I felt I had disappointed my friends and family. When anyone asked what I did for a living, I would joke about the book, rather than hold my head high and proclaim I was a writer. It was easier to give into my insecurities.

These are two very different scenarios with the same premise: Are we living for our fears or our dreams?

The most important lesson I learned while writing I Always Cry at Weddings was to break away from the insecurities impeding my progress. It was the key to me finishing the book and even the key to my main character Ava’s ultimate happiness. And, I might add, I’m still breaking up with my fears; it’s a lesson for life.

SaraMeme

Just to give you a little backstory: I started a charity in 2010, called Lift the Lid. We sponsor underprivileged schools and support the education of students living in poverty. We also encourage them to explore self-expression through writing. I first made a commitment to myself to stop living in fear, to be faith-focused, while judging a writing competition hosted by Lift the Lid at Lenana Girls High School in Kitale, Kenya. The competition required that the girls write about a female role model in their life. As I read the girls’ essays, I noticed a reoccurring theme between the women inspiring them. Women like Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey, Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan activist, and a simple woman selling vegetables, to name a few. They experienced hardships in pursuit of their goals, and they were ruthless in shaking off their fears. They made sacrifices, took risks, and stayed focus on the results they wanted.

Whether you’re trying to write a book or find true love, make a job change or start a family, whatever your goal is, in order to achieve it to the best of your abilities, you need to let go of your inhibitions. It’s a requirement. Call yourself a Writer, if your goal is to write. Free yourself to think and act creatively, test your full potential! You can’t care what anyone else thinks.

In 2000 I gave up a demanding career in fashion to write and pursue charity work. I feel fortunate today that I can still do both and stay at home to raise my boys, but there were many years of uncertainty, working in a nightclub just to pay my bills. If I had let fear control my thoughts and actions, I would have given up my dreams and gone back to corporate America. I would’ve taken the safe route. But I didn’t.

My novel I Always Cry at Weddings is about a woman who finds out who she is and what she wants, while simultaneously discovering what it means to be unconditionally loved. Ava Larson is a flawed leading character in that she makes wrong decisions and suffers the consequences of those decisions, but we love her because she learns from her mistakes and she never stops trying for her dreams.

The story is also about homelessness. I used to be an instructor at a writing workshop for the homeless through Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Manhattan. A group of regulars from the soup kitchen, along with two or three instructors, got together in the vestibule of the church on a weekly basis throughout the spring to free write. I wrote stories from my life, keeping in mind sentence structure and vocabulary, while the homeless participants poured out their souls, lost themselves in self-expression, and let their hearts guide their pens. I always left the workshop in awe, wishing I could achieve that level of unfiltered emotion put down in writing. They wrote for themselves and no one else. By not trying to impress others they were able to be completely open and honest. No fear.

I heard a lot of life stories that expanded my understanding of homelessness and inspired my leading male character, Chris. He’s homeless, he’s got a plan, and he’s living true to himself. Throughout much of the story, his life is more stable than Ava’s. She reaches a point where she realizes her wedding, her entire life, meets other people’s expectations. Will she start over on her own and get to know the real Ava . . . or will she take the ‘safe’ route and get married? I think we know that answer!

We’re always evolving, experiencing new phases and learning about ourselves, but are we letting our fears undermine our dreams or are we making decisions that feed our passions, our needs and beliefs? Live for your goals, not your fears, and let your abilities surprise you!

Sara’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @sarajohannagoff asks: Are we living for our fears or our dreams? (Tweet This)

How did unconditional love, homelessness, and charity work influence author @sarajohannagoff? (Tweet This)

Like #ChristianFiction? Check out @sarajohannagoff’s #BookGiveaway on Everyone’s Story. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Sara Goff is a former New York City fashion designer and merchandiser who, after seven years in the industry, left her career to follow her dreams of making a difference in the world. In 2010, Goff founded the global education charity Lift the Lid, Inc., which supports underprivileged schools and encourages young people to exercise their creative expression through writing.

Philanthropy has always been part of Goff’s lifestyle. While living in Manhattan, Goff especially loved being a writing instructor for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers Workshop, which was founded by author Ian Frazier. Goff has also participated as a writing instructor for The National Arts Club’s creative writing program for students. She has spoken at the Soup Kitchen, several inner-city schools, and Saint Francis College in Brooklyn about the writing process and the power of the written word. Ever the world-traveler, Goff was also accepted into Sewanee Writers’ Conference and received two fellowships to Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia and Nairobi, Kenya.

Goff recently moved to Connecticut with her husband of 14 years, their two children, and a Yorkie named Pia after living in London and Sweden. I ALWAYS CRY AT WEDDINGS is her first novel, and proceeds of the book will go towards Lift the Lid, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization. Visit www.lift-the-lid.org for more information on the charity.

Places to connect with Sara:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

~*~*~*~*~

Starting today on my Facebook Author Page

www.elainestock/AuthorElaineStock

A little something different–hope you will visit!

 

 

Sara and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”

Jo Huddleston: Going The Extra Mile

JO PK b2 copy (2)

Everyone’s Story welcomes author Jo Huddleston, who I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know through our connection on ACFW over the years. I had the honor of guest appearing on her blog this past March when my novel was pretty much still a debut (the link to Jo’s interview is below **). Now it’s my turn to host the fabulous and most kind Jo.  I hope you enjoy her feature. Both Jo and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

Promise Me

BookGiveaway:

Jo is offering 1 ebook of Promise Me,  to 1 randomly chosen commenter, so please do leave a comment. The winners will be announced here on Friday, June 24th between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: email contact information within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

 

 

A tease of Jo’s Promise Me from Chapter One, Page One:

August 1960 – Morgantown, West Virginia

“Good night, Chet. Good night, David. And good night for NBC News.” The program signed off with the Texaco Gasoline red star logo across the screen.

In Dean Loreen Fletcher’s apartment, Patrick Fitzgerald sat closest to the television when NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley Report ended. He stepped to the floor-standing console and turned off the television. He took his time returning to sit on the sofa beside Adriana Montagna. A somber silence settled over the living room and its six occupants.

Patrick scooted forward to the edge of the sofa cushion. “I don’t want my first job after graduation to be in Vietnam.”

 

Someone Who Influenced My Writing and My Life

by Jo Huddleston

As we live life, many and varied folks pass through our days—some in reality, others we read or hear about. Of those many, a few make a lasting impression on us. They impress us with their lifestyle, their personality, and their words. I remember my seventh grade homeroom teacher who personified sophistication, my high school principal whose life was an example of accountability, a boss who wasted no words but walked the straight and narrow every day.

I especially remember Karen Ball. Karen is an editor, agent, and published novelist who loves being immersed in words. I met Karen at the first writers’ conference I attended, when she was an acquisition editor for fiction at Tyndale House Publishers. She loves, among other things, people, words, and Siberian huskies.

At that time I had been published in magazines. I had an idea for a book of prayers that women would pray and took five of those prayers with me to the conference. I was an introvert on steroids and completely out of my comfort zone. I mistakenly made a 15-minute appointment with Karen at that conference.

Karen could have dismissed me by telling me she only worked with fiction, but she didn’t. She spent the entire 15 minutes focused on me and my five pages of sample nonfiction writing. She even asked if she could take them back to Tyndale House with her. That request was so significant, although I didn’t realize it then.

JoH'sMeme

In the following weeks, Karen communicated with me, finally telling me Tyndale wanted to publish two books of my prayers. At a later writers’ conference, she told me she’d wanted to be my editor on the two books but Tyndale had said no. After all, she worked with fiction and my prayers were nonfiction.

I saw Karen annually for several years, catching up with her at writers’ conferences. She’s such an excellent example of a positive attitude. Every time I’ve been in her presence, she’s effervescent—bubbly and smiling. My mood improved just being around her.

I haven’t seen Karen for years now, but I keep up with her through her writing. She currently is the owner of Karen Ball Publishing Services, LLC and is a literary agent with the prestigious Steve Laube Agency.

Karen is co-creator of Write from the Deep with Erin Taylor Young. On their website, they’re self-described as “Let’s face it, life is hard no matter what your profession or station. Everyone goes through deep places, and we all want someone willing to walk with us.” Their goal is to help writers to “be encouraged, refreshed, and equipped.”

Karen Ball has down times as we all do, but she presents herself to others as if each day is a blessing, a day to celebrate life. At my first writers’ conference, she encouraged me, when she could have easily sent me on my way. That day she was a true example of what we call the Golden Rule as stated in the Bible: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12, NIV).

And isn’t that what life is all about? Treating others as we hope they will treat us? Yes, many times, life would be simpler if we ignored instances where we might go the extra mile to profit someone else. When I first met Karen Ball, she didn’t choose simple, but shared with me through her heart of love.

When I think about Karen and that first day I met her, she continues to inspire me in my writing life as well in my life generally. Even on days when I think I can write no more, having known Karen Ball encourages me to continue writing.

Jo’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

See who has influenced Amazon Bestselling author Jo Huddleston’s writing. (Tweet This)

How the Golden Rule came to life for Inspirational author Jo Huddleston. (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of Jo Huddleston’s Promise Me. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Jo Huddleston is an Amazon Top 20 Bestselling author of books, articles, and short stories. Novels in her West Virginia Mountains series and her Caney Creek series are sweet Southern historical romances. Her novels are endorsed by Amanda Cabot, Cara Lynn James, Sharlene MacLaren, and Ann Tatlock. The redeeming story of God’s pursuing love is the foundation of her novels, and in them you will find inspiration, hope, and gentle stories that are intriguing and entertaining. Jo is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN).

Places to connect with Jo:

Website

Blog

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon

**If you’d like to check out Jo’s interview on me, please visit Jo Huddleston’s Sweet Southern Romance blog.

~*~*~*~*~

Like family drama fused with psychological suspense?

 

 

WheatCouple

 

 

Amazon   Barnes&Noble

 

Jo and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”

Norma Warrick: There’s Hope For Tomorrow

norma-warrick-portrait-source

Everyone’s Story welcomes author Norma Warrick, someone I’m very excited to be hosting this week because it seems as if I’ve known Norma for a long time now and have Twitter to thank! I encourage my guests to share personal stories with my viewers, tying their interest in storytelling with an inspirational message. And, I believe Norma has done an excellent job. I hope you agree.  Please check out Norma’s message, as well as her super BookGiveaway offer of her novel Love Agape Style to 3–yes 3–viewers.  Both Norma and I look forward to hearing from you.

Plus, please check out the special FaceBook Party of the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat that I’m involved in on Monday, June 13th. Details at the bottom of this post.

 

LASFinal_Ebook

BookGiveaway:

Norma is offering *3* signed paperbacks of Love Agape Style,  to 3 randomly chosen commenters, so please do leave a comment. The winners will be announced here on Friday, June 17th between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: email contact information within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

 

 

 Blurb of Love Agape Style:

College student Sherry is kicked out of her family home by an irate father who is demanding an abortion. Almost immediately she meets an Agape Group couple who help her with housing, marrying her boyfriend, and the birth of her baby. The Agape Group uses a hands-on approach to their pro-life ministry when they come to the aid of the newly-weds.

Beginning her walk of renewed faith, Sherry is faced with enormous challenges. Her unstable father resorts to violence to regain control of his family. Sherry’s mom and siblings, having been victims of her father’s rage, respond to the outreach of kindness and care from Sherry’s new friends. The Agape couples again become God’s tool to surround Sherry and her family with loving support.

In this inspirational Christian fiction, the Agape Group lives out their love during highly-charged times. However, when another disaster hits Sherry’s embattled family, will it be too much for the newer believers?

 

And When I Am Old…. by Norma Warrick

I’ve discovered that at my age, I’m bored. Tired of re-doing all the things that I’ve done before, year after year. I’d always kept busy with family, volunteer work, shuttling kids around, and various craft projects. However, in these later years when the girls have flown the coop and grands are no longer a novelty, I found myself looking for some new horizon to enter into. Actually, the new horizon wasn’t planned, it was just a lucky stumble.

 I had been discouraged when looking for a book to buy my then ten-year- old grandson. When I returned home from the bookstore, discouraged by the quality of the selection, I decided to write a story to encourage Christian children in their faith. I’d had years of experience with kids of all ages in all kinds of church and Bible study gatherings. I thought that the endeavor would be a snap since I had so many years of being around kids under my belt. I also have well over fifty years of being an avid reader to guide me along the way. To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I started writing novels in the summer of 2013. What an adventure this has been. I wrote one manuscript that followed middle school kids who belonged to the same youth group. They have obstacles to overcome at home, with friends, and even in their youth group meetings.

I signed up with a publisher, who I later found out, were what experienced writers called a vanity press. I paid them a lot of money and then they wanted more to edit my manuscript. I refused and learned a lot from my first big mistake. Long story short – I parted ways with that company, got several decent edits and tried my hand at self-publishing. Then I turned the manuscript into two short early-reader books.

NormaMeme

The following year I wrote a novel for adults and indie-published it also. Indie publishing was an adventure in itself. I had to learn all kinds of new things. Then there was the whole area of marketing books that opened new vistas for me.

I’ve spent the last year working on another adult novel. I tried a different method that I’d read about in an article aimed a new writers. Through these enlightening articles, I’d learned that I was at first a “Pantzer” style writer. I wrote by the seat of my pants. This last year I’ve tried being a “Planner” making an outline first and then making it into a story. I’m still working on a new book using this method.

As wonderful as this all has been, I also struggle with depression and that plays into the overall feeling of dullness with life for me. After being on anti-depressants for twenty-some years, I’ve discovered that my memory had developed a “sieve” affect. What goes in tends to leak out quickly. I do have to say that the challenges I face in this latter-life adventure have been overcome and rewarded by my stepping out, by just going for it. My older daughter was encouraged and has become a novelist. Grandson number two has tried his hand at making up stories and getting them down on the computer. My mind might work sluggishly, but it’s still working. There’s hope for tomorrow.

Norma’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Inspirational author Norma Warrick @saysnorma: Getting older or getting better? #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: Author Norma Warrick @saysnorma on why there’s hope for the older writer. (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of Norma Warrick @saysnorma’s novel Love Agape Style. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Norma Warrick lives in the Denver area with her husband Bob.  They have two adult daughters, one son-in-law, and four grandchildren. Considering today’s world affairs, she feels it is extremely important to raise up our Christian families in God’s word and encourage them in their Faith Walk.  Being an avid reader all her life, the Lord has now given her a few stories to write; using fun, interesting characters who lean on God when their adventures go awry.

Places to connect with Norma:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

*~*~*~*~*

Pre-Event Party

I’ll be part of this FB party on Monday, June 13th

between 6:45-7 PM EST and will offer a BookGiveaway of Always With You  

Hope to see you!

 

GreenBackGround

 

Norma and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”

 

Gail Kittleson: On Choosing Hope

gail

Everyone’s Story welcomes author Gail Kittleson. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Gail the past few years through blogging–hers and mine! It’s a delight for me that Gail is my guest this week, and I hope you agree. Please check out Gail’s special feature on why one should remain hopeful, as well as check her lovely BookGiveaway offer of her newest release. Both Gail and I look forward to hearing from you.

Plus, please check out news on the fabulous Christian Fiction Readers Retreat at the bottom of this post.

 

 

 

In times like these cover

BookGiveaway:

Gail is offering 1 Kindle version of In Times Like These,  to 1 randomly chosen commenter, so please do leave a comment. The winner will be announced here on Friday, June 10th between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: emails within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

 

Always Bear in Mind by Gail Kittleson

Quotes keep me going. The ones on my morning tea bags usually offer some tidbit of encouragement, which I rarely fail to need. We have access to a steady, cheering voice on our journey—right inside us—but sometimes old voices drown out the divine reassurance forever emanating to us.

Those voices drag us down, remind us of our failures, our smallness, our sometimes petty choices. It’s one thing to know nobody’s perfect in our heads, but try to tell that to your heart on one of your downcast days.

The poets of old referred to this state as melancholy, and there’s actually much to be said for the wonderful art it motivates. So many artists, poets, and authors know well the depths of depression. Writing, sort of a “loner” activity, can isolate us, and we need a wellspring of hope to turn to on gloomy days when it seems we’ll never be published, never get a break, yada, yada.

Well, I’m going to share one quote that has swept me up from the morass of despair more than once. On November 5, 1855, he responded to a letter from Isham Reavis, who had requested to be able to “read” with Lincoln to become a lawyer.

Lincoln wrote:

If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already. It is but a small matter whether you read with any body or not. I did not read with any one. Get the books, and read and study them till you understand them in their principal features; and that is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read at New-Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places. Mr. Dummer is a very clever man and an excellent lawyer (much better than I, in law-learning); and I have no doubt he will cheerfully tell you what books to read, and also loan you the books.

 Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.

Very truly Your friend, 
A. Lincoln

His final statement particularly inspires me to keep on keeping on with my writing. Sometimes my late start gets me down, but why waste another day lamenting that? Sometimes all the changes in the publishing world, especially promises made that weren’t kept, discourage me.

But didn’t I learn through it all? Didn’t the rejections stir me to research more, read more, and hone my skills?

I have to say yes, even though at times the temptation to quit loomed in the shadows. But quotes helped me then, too. Always Bible verses, but little sayings, as well, all along the way.

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”

Ooh, don’t you love that one? Anything is possible.

I kept believing that about my most recent women’s fiction release. About three years ago, an agent suggested I toss all I’d written so far and start over. What a blow to my writerly gut! She also made great suggestions for ways to improve, and grateful for the time she took with me, I followed them.

If I’d thrown that women’s fiction out, I’d have had to part with a wonderful World War II heroine and her story. That would have been such a waste.

I couldn’t do it, and am so glad I didn’t. Hearing readers say how much they relate to Addie’s home front struggles with her controlling husband does it for me. As A. Lincoln counseled, that resolution to succeed proved vital.

Gail’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Everyone’s Story: Visit with #WomensFiction author @GailGKittleson on choosing #hope. (Tweet This)

Author @GailGKittleson: Shares powerful words from a “surprise” powerhouse on secret to success. (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of historical #WomensFiction by @GailGKittleson. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Gail taught college expository writing and ESL. Now she focuses on writing women’s fiction, facilitating writing workshops and women’s retreats and doing first edits for other authors. She and her husband enjoy family in northern Iowa, and the Arizona Ponderosa forest in winter.

WhiteFire Publishing released Gail’s memoir, Catching Up With Daylight, in 2013, and her debut women’s historical fiction, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Imprint) released in 2015. She also contributed to the Little Cab Press 2015 Christmas Anthology. The first novel in her World War II series has released, and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas will release a sequel in February, 2017.

You can count on Gail’s heroines to make do with what life hands them, and to overcome great odds. Meeting new reading and writing friends is the meringue on Gail’s pie, as her heroines would say.

Places to connect with Gail:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

~*~*~*~*~

Please visit with me on Jodi Wolfe’s blog,

History, Hope, Laughter, and Happily-ever-after

on June 8th

 

I’ll be at this amazing event that unites readers and authors. Will you be there? Let me know!

Come join us at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat One Day Event (CFRR) in Nashville, TN this summer! Our event theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction.”  Enjoy speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings with your favorite Christian fiction authors! With 30+ authors, food, swag (including free books), games and TONS of giveaways, you don’t want to miss this event!

When is it, you ask?

August 24, 2016
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
 

For more information, including schedule, authors list, registration info and other logistical questions, check out our website HERE, or click on the image above.  Registration is now open! Late registration begins on June 16th. Once capacity is reached, registration will close. So hurry up and register!

Standard Registration Fee: $98
Late Registration Fee: $120
 

To go ahead and register, just go right HERE.

AND for the first giveaway at the event, all those registered can enter for the chance to win a BOX of Christian Fiction from the stewards of the event.  Just click on the image below to enter. (Link also available on our website).

We hope to see you there!

Gail and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”

 

Diana Cosby: A Helping Heart

Diana Cosby

Everyone’s Story gives a super warm welcome to author Diana Cosby. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Diana for years and I’m happy she’s back with us this week. Diana is a very special, heart-sweet woman who is not only a talented novelist but a dedicated roll-up-her-sleeves person who is very active with Habitat For Humanity, combining her love for helping others, as well as her love of romance writing. Please check out Diana’s special Giveaway offer for 2 different winners. Both Diana and I look forward to hearing from you.

Plus, after reading what Diana shares, please check out the information on the fabulous Christian Fiction Readers Retreat at the bottom of this post.

 

NewDianaMug

BookGiveawayDiana is offering a lovely Giveaway offer: 1 randomly chosen winner will receive the Scottish historical novel His Woman, Book #2 in the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series(written for the ABA general market), 1 randomly chosen winner will receive Diana’s specially crafted mug.  If you have a preference please state so, although there is no gurantee. The winners will be announced here on Friday, June 3rd. 

 

Burst

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: to further protect your privacy, and since email contact info is appearing for “my eyes only” when the comments go into my moderation box, emails within comments are no longer required. However, if yours does NOT appear I will leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning

 

 

Blurb for His Woman:

Trusting Her Was Unthinkable Lady Isabel Adair is the last woman Sir Duncan MacGruder wants to see again, much less be obliged to save. Three years ago, Isabel broke their engagement to become the Earl of Frasyer’s mistress, shattering Duncan’s heart and hopes in one painful blow. But Duncan’s promise to Isabel’s dying brother compels him to rescue her from those determined to bring down Scottish rebel Sir William Wallace.

Resisting Her Was Impossible Betraying the man she loved was the only way for Isabel to save her father, but every moment she spends with Duncan reminds her just how much she sacrificed. No one could blame him for despising her, yet Duncan’s misgivings cannot withstand a desire that has grown wilder with time. Now, on a perilous journey through Scotland, two wary lovers must confront both the enemies who will stop at nothing to hunt them down, and the secret legacy that threatens their passion and their lives. . .

Diana’s past blog feature on Everyone’s Story: Author Diana Cosby on Writing, Volunteering, and the Art of Camel Riding

Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity Home by Diana Cosby

Romance readers are AMAZING! And . . . so is Habitat For Humanity, a charity that I love supporting and volunteering for. So, I thought, why not pair the two and help a deserving family receive a home? And, the Diana Cosby’s Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity Home fundraiser was born.

HFH TMC

I contacted Habitat For Humanity office in Grayson County, Texas, where I’ve had the honor of helping with several builds and spoke with Laurie Mealy, Executive Director. She embraced the project, and was thrilled at the thought of pairing romance readers, who love stories where heroes and heroines overcome challenges to make their dreams come true, with making the dream of a home for a deserving family a reality.

HFH a Womens Build Week 2015

How it works:

As readers send contributions to Habitat for Humanity of Grayson County, a bar beneath the home on the upper right side of the homepage on their website will fill in, with total donations to date listed below. The goal is to fund an entire home – $55,000. Donations can be sent via PayPal by ‘clicking’ on the house, which takes you to the donation page, or by mailing a check or money order to:

Habitat for Humanity of Grayson County

901 N. Grand Avenue

P.O. Box 2725

Sherman, TX 75091

I kicked off the challenge by donating $200. As I write this, we’ve raised $7,550. I have total faith that romance readers together are an unstoppable force, and as the stories they love, they will leave a deserving family with a happy ending.

HFH 2011 Habitat For Humanity WomenBuild,Day

Habitat For Humanity in Sherman has begun a new feature called, “Books For Homes.”  When they have home improvement sales or other similar venues, they now have a table with donated books.  The books are available ‘by donation.’  All funds raised by ‘Books For Homes’ is added to the Diana Cosby’s Romance Readers Build A Habitat For Humanity Home fundraiser.  If anyone is interested in donating books for ‘Books For Homes,’ please mail them Media Mail to:

Habitat for Humanity of Grayson County

901 N. Grand Avenue

P.O. Box 2725

Sherman, TX 75091

Attn:  Laurie Mealy – Books For Homes

My sincere thanks to Elaine for inviting me to visit Everyone’s Story, and another thank you to everyone for helping make an incredible difference in a deserving family’s life. For when they walk into a Habitat For Humanity house, it’s more thank mortar and wood, but a place where they can call home.

God bless,

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author

www.dianacosby.com

Diana’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

#ScottishRomance author Diana Cosby: How #writers & #readers can help with Habitat For Humanity. (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: Win #Giveaway of #ScottishRomance author Diana Cosby. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series are translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. With the release of the third book in The Oath Trilogy and the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series, she is now preparing for the release of the first book in The Forbidden Series, Forbidden Legacy, on 16 August 2016!

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

Places to connect with Diana:

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Amazon

~*~*~*~*~

I’ve been blessed by some lovely reviews–check them out:

Amazon   Barnes&Noble

BeganWithLove

 

I’ll be at this amazing event that unites readers and authors. Will you be there? Let me know!

Come join us at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat One Day Event (CFRR) in Nashville, TN this summer! Our event theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction.”  Enjoy speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings with your favorite Christian fiction authors! With 30+ authors, food, swag (including free books), games and TONS of giveaways, you don’t want to miss this event!

When is it, you ask?

August 24, 2016
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
 

For more information, including schedule, authors list, registration info and other logistical questions, check out our website HERE, or click on the image above.  Registration is now open! Late registration begins on June 16th. Once capacity is reached, registration will close. So hurry up and register!

Standard Registration Fee: $98
Late Registration Fee: $120
 

To go ahead and register, just go right HERE.

AND for the first giveaway at the event, all those registered can enter for the chance to win a BOX of Christian Fiction from the stewards of the event.  Just click on the image below to enter. (Link also available on our website).

We hope to see you there!

 

Diana and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”

Kristy Cambron: What I Learned Since Becoming An Author


KCambron_ headshot 1

Everyone’s Story gives a big welcome to author Kristy Cambron. A fan of Kristy’s novels, I  was so excited when she accepted my invitation to appear on my blog. While Kristy’s message will resonate with writers, I believe it will also hit home with readers who don’t write since Kristy’s words carry hope in dreams and in believing in yourself. Also, here’s something to be jazzed about: check out Kristy’s BookGiveaway of her soon-to-be released The Ringmaster’s Wife–a novel I definitely want to read! Both Kristy and I look forward to hearing from you.

Plus, after reading what Kristy shares, please check out the information on the fabulous Christian Fiction Readers Retreat at the bottom of this post.

 

Ringmaster_FINAL cover_Nov 11

BookGiveaway:

Kristy is offering 1 signed copy of The Ringmaster’s Wife, once it releases in June, to 1 randomly chosen commenter, so please do leave a comment. The winner will be announced here on Friday, May 27th between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: to further protect your privacy, and since email contact info is appearing for “my eyes only” when the comments go into my moderation box, emails within comments are no longer required. However, if yours does NOT appear I will leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.

 

5 Truths About Becoming an Author by Kristy Cambron

I may not be one of those super-hip YA authors out there (I’m a little more of the history-loving, museum type), but I do understand the awkwardness of those formative teenage years. Even as an adult, the first line of Taylor Swift’s Fifteen, always gets me:

“Take a deep breath and walk through the doors; it’s the morning of your very first day…”

I wasn’t fifteen– in fact, I was a 31 year-old corporate America-working wife and mother of two– but I stepped off a plane to attend my first writers’ conference in 2011, through invisible doors that led into the publishing world.

It was the morning of my very first day as an author. I was about as wide-eyed as they come. And in the years that have followed, I’ve released three books, have another in the editing stage, and am researching what I plan to write next. I’ve had book signings, speaking engagements in many cities I’d never visited before, radio interviews and promotional tours… Where I’ve been is worlds away from that conference, but not so far that I don’t remember what it felt like that very first day.

KristyMeme2

If I could go back and tell that aspiring author a few things to help make her wiser, a little braver and the journey a whole lot easier, I’d give her some truth to tuck in her back pocket for the road:

  • Embrace Failure – If you want to read about epic failure, spend some time in Acts Chapter 9. Paul’s example in mind, we have to understand that failure can be the harbinger of amazing things to come! I performed poorly in several writing contests early in my career. Though I would have loved to win those contests or avoid rejections, I wasn’t ready for publication. Even as a published author, failure is part of the job. Not every reader will love the stories you write. 1-star reviews and mediocre sales can happen to any writer. Look at failure as an opportunity to learn, grow, and lean on Christ as you keep walking.

  • Make Friends – Networking is a valuable tool in any business, but developing authentic relationships will be critical on your journey to publication. In that first conference, I met a group of aspiring writers who were dream-chasing just like me. I also met many experienced authors. We developed a bond to support through the ups and downs of not just publication, but in everyday things. Now we’re just doing life together. And one by one, we watch (and celebrate!) as another friend receives a contract. It’s been a special tribe to be a part of.

  •  Read – They say that behind every good writer is a stack of books they’ve just read. (More like ten stacks, right?) If you love storytelling, then reading is a pleasure instead of a chore. You’ll cultivate your understanding of plot design, character development, story structure and the mechanics of writing well. You’ll learn what publishers are looking for. You’ll also treat the industry like a business because you’ll be learning and feeding your soul with encouragement for the road ahead.

  •  Step Away – When I transitioned from my old corporate career to the author life, it was new for writing to become more than a hobby. A trusted friend once asked me: “What hobbies do you have?” I was dumbfounded to come up with an answer. I knew I needed to enjoy my profession, but also understand who I am as a child of God – even if I were to be without writing for a while. Slow down in the dream-chase. Relax. Pray. Read the Word. Spend time with family and love every minute of the journey– especially when you feel like it’s taking longer than it should.

  • Carry a Sharpie – It’s an invaluable piece of advice I received from a very wise (also award-winning and bestselling) author. She said that you have to think like you’re an author before you sign a contract. Own your dreams! You’re an author whether you have a book on the shelves or not. And once you are published, carry that marker with pride and get ready to write when you’re asked to sign a book. (It happens all the time!)

So get out there, dream-chasing friends! Step through the doors to your new life. Just like Taylor sang, “Count to 10… take it in… This is life before you know who you’re gonna be.”

I can’t wait to see you on the other side.

Kristy’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Kristy Cambron @KCambronAuthor: 5 Truths About Becoming An Author. (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: What Kristy Cambron @KCambronAuthor would tell her former aspiring writer self. (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of Kristy Cambron @KCambronAuthor’s new release The Ringmaster’s Wife. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN, was named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books of 2014 and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best of 2014 lists, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel. Her second novel, A SPARROW IN TEREZIN, was named to Library Journal Reviews Best of 2015 list, and received a nomination for RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Book of 2015. Kristy’s third historical novel, THE RINGMASTER’S WIFE, was named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10 and will release from HarperCollins in June, 2016.

Kristy is a Speaker and Design Manager at TheGROVEstory.com, and holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

Places to connect with Kristy:

Website 

Twitter

Facebook 

Pinterest

Instagram

~*~*~*~*~

I’ve been blessed by some lovely reviews–check them out:

Amazon   Barnes&Noble

InWoodsMagnet5

 

I’ll be at this amazing event that unites readers and authors. Will you be there? Let me know!

Come join us at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat One Day Event (CFRR) in Nashville, TN this summer! Our event theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction.”  Enjoy speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings with your favorite Christian fiction authors! With 30+ authors, food, swag (including free books), games and TONS of giveaways, you don’t want to miss this event!

When is it, you ask?

August 24, 2016
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

For more information, including schedule, authors list, registration info and other logistical questions, check out our website HERE, or click on the image above.  Registration is now open! Late registration begins on June 16th. Once capacity is reached, registration will close. So hurry up and register!

Standard Registration Fee: $98
Late Registration Fee: $120

To go ahead and register, just go right HERE.

AND for the first giveaway at the event, all those registered can enter for the chance to win a BOX of Christian Fiction from the stewards of the event.  Just click on the image below to enter. (Link also available on our website).

We hope to see you there!

 

 

Kristy and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”