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

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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.

 

Kelly Klepfer: How To Knock Down Brick Walls

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Everyone’s Story welcomes debut author Kelly Klepfer, whose novel Out of the Frying Pan, is co-authored with Michelle Griep. What I appreciate from Kelly is a sense of humor when tackling the angst of getting published. I believe readers will also appreciate what Kelly shares here since much is applicable to Life 101! Do check out Kelly’s BookGiveaway. Kelly and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

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BookGiveaway:

Kelly is offering 1 PDF version of Out of the Frying Pan, to 1  randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, September 23rd 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.

 

Processing The Hard Things by Kelly Klepfer

I’m no stranger to discouragement. Likely, you could say the same. How many opportunities are there to find a brick wall, a difficult situation or challenging person in our lives? Yeah, that many. Sigh.

I’m sharing about a trudge through the mud of discouragement I suffered while co-writing my book, Out of the Frying Pan. More importantly, what I learned in that season.

My co-author, Michelle Griep, is far more disciplined and prolific. As a matter of fact, this is her sixth or seventh book release and she’s just contracted for three more.

She’s very good. I mean, the woman can write. We met at an on-line Christian author critique group. She and I hit it off right away. We bantered, shared sarcasm and even began sharing lives. Soon our families got involved and bonded. We became sisters separated at birth and became aunties to each other’s kids.

Michelle plugged away at writing. I played with it. We both got little pieces published and had some bigger successes, too. But I hung on the fringes. Not that I didn’t want to write and be published, but I didn’t want to pursue publishing if I didn’t feel like there was something that I specifically needed to say. I did have an idea for a story. About elderly sisters-in-law who happen upon a murder scene. Michelle loved the idea and we decided to write it together. I was given the task of putting the skeleton together and then we’d each pick main character points of view to write and add the muscle, skin and personality.

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Other than the fact that I would drag my feet, this worked well. She would pester me to write a few scenes, I would, she’d write a few. Then I’d suggest she write another book and we’d put it on hold. This novel has been a very long labor. Because Michelle was the stronger writer, I deferred to her. The woman loves to edit, too. At one point she sent me the manuscript so I could get up to speed and I noticed my scenes had been edited to sound very much like her voice. Now picture Pac-Man and that sound he makes when those little ghost things get him. That is the sound my confidence made.

The changes were in rewording some of my stiffly written prose. My heart was still in my scenes but I couldn’t see that. I sunk into a funk. Finally, we talked about it, and she agreed that she could just send me suggestions and I could fix the problems, but the arrows of insecurity and failure had sunk deep into my joy. I told her I needed a break from the story and went to a corner to lick my wounds. I’d love to give you deep spiritual truths and applications revealed by the Lord through my prayer and immersion in the Word in my time of need. But I have to admit that taking this to the Lord wasn’t a priority. My pity party was.

Delighted that Michelle had another project to work on I slowly began to process and deal with my insecurity. I continued to read, review and blog, working on my writing skills that way. But Michelle eventually asked me to pick up where we left off. The story was too good not to tell and we needed to finish it. I agreed and persevered. What I noticed was that the tools, the conference knowledge, the how-to book sense, I’d packed in the back of my brain somehow had come to the surface through the reading and processing I’d been doing which was using those neural pathways.

Since I had shared my heart with Michelle, and my commitment to work on the book was short term and a close family member was hospitalized leaving me hours sitting in a quiet hospital setting I set out to finish as soon as I could. I just wrote scenes on my phone and sent them to her telling her to let me know what I needed to fix.

I will never forget the comment I received from her after: “Did you seriously just crank that scene out in twenty minutes? Because if you did, I hate you. It would take me hours to get a scene that ready.” Another critique partner read it and said I had grown leaps and bounds as a writer.

I don’t tell you this because I think I’ve arrived and am a good author. Far from that. But I share because of what I learned:

  1. Sometimes we have to process hard things. And in the processing we mature. However, if we ignore what we are supposed to work through we get stinky.

  1. A real friend is willing to tick you off, even hurt you to help you deal with something that’s holding you back.

  1. What you’ve learned and poured into your mind isn’t wasted. God has created an amazing brain for each of us and it doesn’t sleep. If  something is important to you and you are willing to do the addition and subtraction you will eventually wake up and realize you understand more complex things.

  1. God’s faithfulness to me isn’t dependant on my attitude or choices. He lets me pout in the corner until I come to my senses. And teaches and  blesses me anyway.

And on the chance that you are a writer or want to be, take heart. If you plug away and follow the wisdom of those who have gone before and you read good books, books like you’d like to write, you might be amazed at what happens when it clicks.

Kelly’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

4 lessons @KellyKlepfer learned en route to publication. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Does @KellyKlepfer’s co-author really hate her? (Tweet This)

@KellyKlepfer shares why it’s necessary to process the hard things to get published. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Kelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite a while ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly lives with her husband, two Beagles, and two hedgehogs in Iowa.

Places to connect with Kelly:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon

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elk-lake-publishing-logo-3

My publisher for Always With You, Elk Lake Publishing,

is under the new direction of Deb Haggerty. Check

out the awesome author pages she’s set up. Here’s mine:

http://www.elklakepublishinginc.com/authors/elaine-stock/

 

 

Kelly and I look forward to your comments.

 

Tracey Casciano: Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

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Everyone’s Story welcomes Tracey Casciano, author, speaker, and missionary. Tracey contacted me with the hope of sharing her personal story of rising from a troubling childhood by keeping her eyes and heart focused on God. This week Tracey shares the same message, which you can find in detail in her non-fiction book Out of the Darkroom, Into The Light. I know she’s encouraged me and I’m hoping the same for all of you. Also, please check out Tracey’s BookGiveaway offer of this same title, a book I’m sure that will resonate with your own heart. Tracey and I look forward to hearing from you.

**Only 1 more week to go to earn a $20 Amazon Gift Card. Time is almost running out!

Check below, after Tracey’s feature.

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BookGiveaway:

Tracey is offering 1 ebook version of Out of the Darkroom, Into The Light, a non-fiction title, to 1  randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, September 16th 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.

 

 

Faith Can Be Scary by Tracey Casciano

“Why would you share something so personal with complete strangers?” This is what the voice inside my head was saying as I contemplated writing my book. I was 41 years old and not who people thought I was. I had a secret and was about to go public and even though I had a sick feeling every time I thought about it, I knew that God wanted me to do this. I had been called.

It all started about a year and a half earlier…I was struggling with the guilt, shame and doubt that accompanied a life of abuse. I was an only child and had survived a life with an alcoholic mother and sexually abusive father. After being estranged from my parents for many years, I began to worry. I would be unable to sleep at night thinking about what I would do if something happened to my dad. My mom was a stroke victim and he took care of her. As much as I tried to ignore my conscience, the thoughts wouldn’t go away. My sons wanted to know why they couldn’t go visit their other grandparents. As I wrestled with this, God knew it was time for me to face my past and spoke to me very clearly one morning.

It started out as any other Sunday as my family headed to church. Our four sons went to their respective classes and my husband and I sat next to each other enjoying the worship music. When our pastor began speaking I froze. He started talking about forgiveness. I knew he was talking to me. The message hit my core and I was confused and angry as I thought that by forgiving my parents, it would release them from their actions. I talked to my husband and he suggested that I talk to our pastor. Scared to open up to my past, I was hesitant to talk to my pastor, but knew that I needed to. After telling him about my past, he told me the truth about forgiveness. By forgiving my parents, I was not excusing them from their behavior, rather, I was releasing myself from the pain of the past.

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Six months later my father died and I was left to care for my mother. During this trial, I sought the advice of a Christian counselor. As I unpacked my complicated, messy past and current situation, she smiled and said, “You are a perfect example of God’s grace.” I thought about it and realized that I was. During our next session together, she said it again and then asked me a question that changed my life. “Would you ever consider sharing your story to help others?”

I left her office feeling scared, excited and nauseous. I immediately made a list of all the reasons that I wasn’t qualified. I tried to forget about it, but I’ve learned that when God wants to get your attention, He will keep trying until you respond. I had spent most of my life trying to avoid and deny my past for fear of being judged by others and was fearful of how the people in my life would respond when they learned the truth. I prayed and asked for wisdom and as scary as it was, I knew that I needed to trust God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

As I timidly told my closest friends about my past and that I was going to write about it to help others who may be hurting, I received overwhelming support.

As I reflect on my journey to writing this book and speaking to groups, I am amazed by what God has done with my life. By sharing our stories, we allow God’s good works to shine and give Him the glory that He deserves.

Is it scary? ABSOLUTELY! But God calls us out of our comfort zone so that we can show others what true faith looks like. Are you willing to take the risk to show God that you fully trust Him?

Tracey’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

@TraceyCasciano: Can you step out of your comfort zone and leave fear behind? (Tweet This)

How @TraceyCasciano left a troubling past behind, and how you can too. (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway of @TraceyCasciano’s Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Tracey is a passionate speaker and writer ready to shine a light for Jesus. She shines that light through encouraging words as a blogger, speaker, and writer to help others who may be suffering or doubting themselves on their current path in life. After a childhood with an alcoholic mother and abusive father, her love for the Lord helped rise above her past. She describes this in her book, “Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light: A Story of Faith and Forgiveness After Child Abuse.” She is happily married and in the midst of raising four wonderful sons. Tracey has a background in Special Education, has taught History in public high school for eight years, and has been a missionary in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Places to connect with Tracey:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

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Here’s a way

to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

Deadline of 9/17 is fast approaching!

3foldAmazonContest

 

Tracey and I look forward to your comments.

 

Ginger Solomon: Facing A Season of Transformation

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Everyone’s Story welcomes Ginger Solomon who is making her first appearance here, but I hope not her last. I had the fleeting pleasure of “meeting” Ginger at last week’s ACFW Conference while taking the up escalator and she the down and Ginger called out my name with such warm enthusiasm. You just never know when and where you’re meant to meet someone! Ginger shares with you this week some candid thoughts on how to cope when life thrusts at you changes. Also, check out Ginger’s BookGiveaway offer and blurb on the novel. Ginger and I look forward to hearing from you.

**Plus, want to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card? Time is almost running out!

Check below, after Ginger’s feature.

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BookGiveaway:

Ginger is offering 1 PDF version of Second Choices to 1  randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, September 9th 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.

Second Choice Blurb:

Set to be married in less than a month, Princess Anaya Vallis’s intended runs away, leaving only a cryptic note behind. Her father insists the wedding go forth as planned with a new groom. She has days to make a second choice.

Titus Vasco is like a ship without a rudder, floating through life without purpose. Until she calls. He accepts her proposal without hesitation.

But wedded bliss does not come easily. Two virtual strangers brought together by unforeseen circumstances must learn to trust each other and God’s plan for their lives in order to achieve the happily-ever-after they both long for.

 

An Uncertain Future By Ginger Solomon

Have you ever felt at a loss for where to go in your life?

I have.

I usually feel like I’m floating along with the current of my life with no discernable direction. Or to change my metaphors… I feel like an unfinished pot on the Master Potter’s shelf, waiting to be fired, painted, or glazed.

But one thing I’ve noticed during those times of waiting, I tend to look at life from a different perspective. God shows me another view of the world—His view.

I’ve felt like I was on the shelf for a long time, but times are changing. I’m feeling the heat of the fires (both emotionally and physically).

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Emotionally because I have two sons engaged to be married, one in November and the other in June, and my oldest daughter is moving out for school as this post goes live. My children are growing and becoming independent, just like I trained them. It’s still bittersweet.

Physically because I have some health issues that I will be dealing with over the next few months, including at least one surgery.

It’s the beginning of what could be an unpleasant situation (not the kids getting married), but I know that I WILL come out on the other side transformed into something greater. I will be more like Him because while I’m going through the fire, my eyes will remain focused on Him. I have made the determination beforehand. I’m trusting my Master Potter to control the heat, so I don’t shatter, and to pull me out at the right time to be perfect for His purpose.

In my book, Second Choice, my hero, Titus, has felt adrift since he first met Anaya, my heroine. Nothing he does seems to fill that place in him that searches for contentment. When Anaya contacts him and asks him to be her husband, he immediately agrees. He knows, deep down, that this is what he’s been waiting for…his purpose. Except it’s not as easy as he thought it’d be, nor is everyone as accepting of his choice.

Check out this excerpt where he’s having dinner with his family:

“Busy doing what, might I ask? Last I heard you were still without a position.” Father’s tone cut through Titus’s well-constructed walls.

He kept his eyes on his plate. His siblings and their spouses also kept quiet.

“I’ve met someone, and we’re to be married in a few weeks.”

Gasps sounded around the table, but he didn’t look up.

“Who would be foolish enough to marry an out-of-work, good-for-nothing fourth son with no money?”

Titus stood. “If that’s truly the way you feel, Father, well… I’m sorry I’m not good enough for you. Thankfully, Anaya does not feel the same way.” He faced his mother. “Maman, thank you for trying. I will come by tomorrow or Friday to say goodbye. I will be leaving town on Saturday and will not return for some time.” He nodded to his siblings and stepped away from the table.

“Anaya?” His father scratched his head. “I only know one person with that name. It is an unusual one.”

Titus shrugged and continued out the door.

A chair fell to the floor behind him. He didn’t stop.

“You were in Belikara, and you’re marrying a girl named Anaya in a few weeks?” His mother screeched at the top of her lungs.

She connected the dots faster than he’d expected.

“I assume I’ll see you there, Maman. Goodnight.” He was almost in his car when his father opened the front door with a crash. Titus got in, closed the door, and started the engine. He didn’t want to hear anything his father had to say.

Titus’s world turns upside down, but when he comes out on the other side of his particular fire, he’s a better man.

Have you ever been through a time of waiting or maybe a time of fire? Answer below for a chance to win an PDF-copy of Second Choice.

Ginger’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author Ginger Solomon @GingerS219: A different perspective on life while waiting. (Tweet This)

How author Ginger Solomon @GingerS219 has confidence during adversity. (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway: Ginger Solomon’s @GingerS219 Second Choice, a #ChristianRomance (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly). She writes or reads inspirational romance of any genre, and if she’s busy homeschooling, doing laundry, or fixing dinner, it’s on her mind. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and blogs regularly for InspyRomance.com and at gingersolomon.com. She has two full-length novels and three novellas published. In addition she has several manuscripts scheduled to release in 2016.

Places to connect with Ginger:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

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Here’s a way

to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

Deadline of 9/17 is fast approaching!

3foldAmazonContest

Ginger and I look forward to your comments.

 

 

Everyone’s Story: What 7 Authors Want Readers To Know

Different

It’s been my pleasure and honor to host some of the most talented authors and fabulous, beautiful people… and now friends, since starting Everyone’s Story in April of 2011. I’ve been blessed for a little more than 5 years and I hope I’ve shared such amazing wonders with you, my viewing audience. Next week, while away restoring the creative juices at the ACFW conference I’ve decided to take my first blog vacation. The traditional format of Everyone’s Story will resume on September 2nd, with of course, another wonderful guest. Meanwhile, please enjoy this special post on what these awesome authors hope to share with their reading audience. I hope to see all of you again on September 2nd

 

Pat

Justice Delayed

Author Patricia Bradley

“When I’m writing, I want my readers to see that a Christian’s life is not always easy and that Christian’s have problems just like everyone else. It’s how they discover God in the problem that is different, and how to depend on Him. Story wise, I want readers to identify with my characters and try to solve the crime along with them.  I always leave enough clues that the villain can be identified.”

website: www.ptbradley.com

 

 

Tanya Eavenson

Box Set Cover

Author Tanya Eavenson

“I hope readers will take away the fact that God is faithful–when those tough times come, and they will, He will never leave us. He is the One who gives us hope, a future, and a peace that transcends all understanding.”

 

website: http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/

 

 

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RTM Cvr

Author Kathy Harris

 

“I love to write about detours. Even if we’re sidetracked — because of our own misstep or because of a redirection from God — it does’t mean we can’t reach our goal. God uses detours if we will give them to Him.”

website: www.KathyHarrisBooks.com

 

Autumn Macarthur

Least Expected novella

Author Autumn Macarthur

“I love to write deeply emotional stories to make you smile and remind you how big and wide and deep God’s love and forgiveness can be. That’s it, completely. I write love stories about a man, and a woman, and the God who loves them both. The One, who they can’t be whole without.”

website: http://faithhopeandheartwarming.com/

 

 

005Broken Butterfly Cover (1)

Author Cindy Patterson

“Through Broken Butterfly, I wanted to give a glimpse of how God can use brokenness and make it whole. I also wanted to share a remarkable love story that gives hope.”

website: http://www.cindypattersonbks.com/

 

 

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Rumors and Promises Cover

Author Kathleen Rouser

“My desire is for my characters to resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in everyday life. Also, the  the importance of finding trust in the Lord, even when it doesn’t make sense to trust Him, and having the ability to move forward in life with faith in Christ.”

website:   www.kathleenrouser.com

 

ElaineStock2AlwaysCoverFinalcopy copy

 Author Elaine Stock

“My stories fuse family drama and psychological suspense, with a goal to encourage others that as long as they hold tight onto God, they can face joys despite trials.”

website: www.elainestock.com

 

 

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Everyone’s Story: What 7 inspirational authors want readers to know. (Tweet This)

What’s the common denominator these 7 Christian authors share? (Tweet This)

 

~*~*~*~*~

In appreciation

of all those who downloaded their Free Kindle copy of 

Always With You, helping

to make it a Kindle Best Seller list, here’s a way

to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

AmazonGiftCardContest

 

Looking forward to seeing you back on September 2nd!!

Christine Lindsay: Thinking Twice About Closed Publishing Doors

Me and Tim Hortons cup

Everyone’s Story welcomes back with a queen size hug the amazing and caring Christine Lindsay, author of historical and contemporary Christian fiction, as well as her new release, Finding Sarah, Finding Me, her first non-fiction book. I met Christine at my first ACFW conference and have been blessed since with by her friendship even though more than 3000 miles separate us. This week Christine shares about her non-fiction book, which is a piece of her heart, the blurb of the book, and a lovely  BookGiveaway. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you.

**Plus, want to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card? 

Check below, after Christine’s feature.

Small size Finding Sarah Finding Me girl (1)

BookGiveaway:

Christine is offering 1 ebook version to 1  randomly chosen commenter. Plus, if you share this post on Facebook and note it within the comment, you’ll receive an extra bonus point. The winner will be announced here on Friday, August 19th 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.

 

 

Back of the book blurb:

Adoption. It’s something that touches one in three people today, a word that will conjure different emotions in those people touched by it. A word that might represent the greatest hope…the greatest question…the greatest sacrifice. But most of all, it’s a word that represents God’s immense love for his people.

Join birth mother Christine Lindsay as she shares the heartaches, hopes, and epiphanies of her journey to reunion with the daughter she gave up…and to understanding her true identity in Christ along the way.

Through her story and glimpses into the lives of other families in the adoption triad, readers will see the beauty of our broken families, broken hearts, and broken dreams when we entrust them to our loving God.

Note: 100 % of Christine Lindsay royalties for this non-fiction book will be donated to the Mukti mission in India.

My books

Read for Free the first chapters of all Christine’s books on her website, but click HERE to read Chapter One of Finding Sarah Finding Me.

 

The Resurrection of a Book – by Christine Lindsay

Way back in 2000 I was convinced that God wanted me to write a non-fiction book. I had relinquished a baby girl to adoption in 1979 and we had been reunited 20 years later. I was more than convinced—I’m sure I was downright militant. I had an agenda for my book! I was a birth-mother, oh hear me roar. That sort of thing. I shudder now with the memory.

Not surprising the Lord stopped me just short of publication. That was, until 16 years had passed. But at the time I had no idea the book would take all those years to become a reality. All I felt then was a burning need to tell others about my rocky road as a birth-mother and equally rocky reunion with my daughter.

The following is an excerpt from my new release Finding Sarah Finding Me:

In addition to (my counselor’s) suggestions, (my husband) has one of his own. He finds me crying, as usual, in the living room one day when I assume the house is empty. He goes out and returns a while later with a brand new journal and lapis blue fountain pen. Gently placing these items in my lap, he says, “Here honey, write it. You’ve been an artist all your life, either with paint or words. Write your book.” . . . Like a blind man receiving his first braille writing slate and stylus, I accept my husband’s gift.

~*~

How many of us writers use literature to express our personal vents or agendas? I smile at this answer—probably all of us, and there is nothing wrong with that.

But if you are a writer you will understand the frustration, to feel so convinced your book should be published and then to see the doors to the publishing world bolted shut, is tantamount to torture. Why does God put us through that?

Another excerpt below from Finding Sarah Finding Me:

Whenever I share with people about my writing, quite often they give me a perplexed smile, and a patronizing tone laces their words. “Good that you have a hobby. Must be so cathartic.” Thank God I have friends who don’t think I’ve just arrived from Mars. My writing is not a hobby but something seeded in me as far back as the days when I sat in the maternity ward and held baby Sarah . . .

And I’m sure by this time that all the catharsis I needed from writing is complete . . . I’m ready to launch what my experience has taught me about the Lord on the world. Just let me at ’em.

Typical. Most people going through emotional healing think they’re healed long before they actually are.

My journey to publication is like my search for Sarah— agonizingly slow. But I am learning, and I control my urge to growl at the Lord and pray with only a hint of my old whine, “Okay, okay, if you don’t want me to write this non-fiction account, how do you want me to use this writing gift?” The impression gradually emerges that I’m to paint what I’ve gained of emotional and spiritual healing into fiction to—God-willing—help others.

~*~

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Back in 2000 I didn’t know that the Lord would use my journey as a fiction writer to help me discover my birth-mother role. The past 16 years have been filled with moments such as when I asked my publisher if Sarah could be the cover model for my debut novel. At the time Sarah and I were still working out a tenuous relationship, but somehow the Lord put it all together, and her beautiful face is on that beautiful cover.

A few years later the Lord used my writing and Sarah’s career as a nurse to draw us into the close birth-mother/birth-daughter relationship that I longed for. Sarah came to visit and told us as a family she was going to be a missionary with *GAiN that oversaw various orphanages around the world. One orphanage she would be working with very closely was the **Muki Mission in India.

Excerpt below from Finding Sarah Finding Me:

Sarah looks at me with a little grin, a half-knowing look in her eyes. “I think I remember now. You know about the Mukti, don’t you?”

“Yes.” My pulse leaps like a hysterical rabbit. “I’ve been interested in that mission for years. In fact, a portion of the book I’m currently writing features the Mukti.”

She gives me a wide, uninhibited smile, complete with the shared knowledge that God has entwined both of our callings—me as a writer and her as a nurse—for this one shining moment in time, upon this one mission in India…of all the missions in all the world.

~*~

As time went by and my writing career bloomed, I considered my birth-mother book a thing of the past. I’d matured as a Christian, been healed of my emotional trauma of losing my first child to adoption, was rejoicing over the good things God was doing in my life, and then . . . out of the blue my publisher said they wanted to publish my non-fiction book.

God is the God of resurrections, the God of new beginnings. I shouldn’t have been surprised. He was just waiting until He had taken me through my complete apprenticeship as a writer, and until I had grown as a writer to write a very different book than the one I wanted to write in 2000.

Finding Sarah Finding Me, releasing this August 15, 2016, was written by a woman who can look back on the past with her hindsight untarnished by pain and cleansed by the love of God.

*GAIN

**Muki Mission

Christine’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Why does Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter question shut publishing doors? (Tweet This)

Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter : A birth-mother is reunited with daughter after 20 years.  (Tweet This)

#Giveaway of Finding Sarah, Finding Me, a birth-mother’s story by Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction with complex emotional and psychological truth, who always promises a happy ending. Tales of her Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and explosive finale Veiled at Midnight.

Christine’s Irish wit and use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romances Londonderry Dreaming and Sofi’s Bridge.

A busy writer and speaker, Christine, and her husband live on the west coast of Canada. Coming August 2016 is the release of her non-fiction book Finding Sarah—Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story.

Places to connect with Christine:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

Amazon

~*~*~*~*~

In appreciation

of all those who downloaded their Free Kindle copy of 

Always With You, helping

to make it a Kindle Best Seller list, here’s a way

to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

 

AmazonGiftCardContest

 

I’m interviewed on The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction

Wednesday, August 17th.  Hope to see you there!

diamonds on black surface

 

Christine and I look forward to your comments.

 

Karen Campbell Prough: Holding Dreams High

Karen

Everyone’s Story welcomes back warm and wonderful Karen Campbell Prough, author of historical Christian fiction. I’ve known Karen for a few years now and have had the joy of watching her bloom from debut author to “sophomore” with the release of her second novel in the Ella Dessa series. This week Karen shares with you an excerpt from Book 2, Within The Candle’s Glow, offers a dynamic BookGiveaway, as well as talks candidly on rejection that both the reader and writer might appreciate. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you

**Plus, want to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card?

Check below, after Karen’s feature.

Karen Prough's Cover Image

JPEG Book Cover, Book #2

BookGiveaway:

Karen is offering 1 print or ebook (winner’s choice) of either The Girl Called Ella Dessa or Within the Candle’s Glow to 1  randomly chosen commenter. The winners will be announced here on Friday, August 12th 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 Karen on Everyone’s Story’s previous appearance: Why I Chose Not to Give Up

Excerpt from Within the Candle’s Glow:

 Within the Candle’s Glow by Karen Campbell Prough

Chapter 9

 

Ella moved past a cluster of people in Inez’s kitchen and slipped out to the covered dogtrot between the buildings. She paused at the top of the worn steps.

 

It was almost twilight, and the unusual heat of the day had cooled. The sky glowed with a blush of gold and pink. It feathered out along the visible tops of the mountains. With a gasp of appreciation, she felt drawn to the gorgeous sight.

 

She made her way to the corral. Three workhorses occupied a rocky pasture and chewed at a pile of freshly cut grass. Behind her were eight or ten wagons, some with mules or horses still in their harnesses. Their outlines faded with the dusky light dipping between the mountains.

 

Attending Ephraim’s wake had brought back raw memories of her mama’s death.

 

She leaned against the top rail of a fence. Lord, why must death be a part of life?

 

“Are you all right?” A familiar voice spoke from the shadows.

 

“Duncan?”
Jim’s brother stepped away from the door of the dark barn. His eyes were still the cool green she remembered from childhood. A full red beard concealed much of his lower face, and he was hatless. His wild fiery hair hung long about his ears.

 

“I startled you.”

 

“No.” She tried to smile.

 

“That’s good to hear.” He smoothed the wooly texture of his hair.

 

“You weren’t inside.” She hadn’t seen him in years. He no longer resembled a slight built teenage boy. Hefty muscles showed where his homespun shirt tightened on his upper body and arms.

 

Duncan rested his elbows on the top rail and stared at the shadowed horses milling around the feed. “I can’t bear the sad voices and repeated condolences. I’m sick of staring at Papa’s body and eating food at the same time. I felt I’d gag.”

 

“I hated that part of Mama’s wake.” Ella found it strange she’d actually grasped an instant connection to his private feelings.

 

He cleared his throat. “Years ago, I never said I was sorry for your suffering—at the time of your mother’s death.” He spoke without looking at her.

 

“No. You didn’t.” She raised her eyebrows and waited.

 

“Well, I’m sayin’ it now.” He laced his fingers together on top of the rail fence. “I’m clearing my conscience, asking for forgiveness. I was heartless.”

 

Her fingers tightened on the rough railing. “I still miss her.”

 

Beyond the rail fence, somewhere in the dusky edges of the field, a whip-poor-will sent out its signature call—its name. She knew the mottled-brown and elusive nighthawk would call during the first part of the evening and then go silent for the night. Ella loved its special call at dusk. But it would soon fly away and disappear for the winter.

 

On the porch, someone coughed. An arm hung a lit lantern, and the shadowed person went back inside.

 

Duncan bowed his head and rubbed the back of his neck. “Papa thought of you as part of our family.”

 

“I’ll miss him.”

 

He took a deep breath. “I will, too. But Jim doesn’t believe it.” The shadows of the coming night darkened his features.

 

Hmm, ‘cause you’re gone from the homestead so much?” She saw his eyes skitter away. The lantern’s beam highlighted their muted green color.

 

“Yup.” He swatted at an invisible mosquito. “There seems to be no one who understands me. I’m alone. I muddle through life, and yes, I’m gone for a year or more at a time. But don’t ever think I forget my family. I loved Papa. I’m glad I got back in time to talk to him before … before this. He was good. He stood by his strict beliefs.”

 

“He loved God.”

 

Hmm. I chafed under his strictness, but it doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God. God created the uncharted wildernesses I travel through and places I get lost in—for months at a time. I feel close to God when I walk alone on a trail made by Indians or wild animals.” He paused. “Is that crazy?”

 

“Crazy?” She blinked and turned. His figure was a mere shadow in the fading light, but she could sense his proximity. “I su’pose I understand. If I were a man, I’d run away and see the world.”

 

“That true? Did Jim or Samuel tell you I went west—where mountains dwarf these?”

 

“No. I thought you were in the south, helpin’ with surveys.”

 

“Only one winter and spring with a surveying team. When the mosquitoes got bad, I scurried back to Georgia. I worked at a mine in Lumpkin County. I hated it and despised the greedy breed fighting for a piece of momentary wealth. The camp followers are skilled in fleecing the ragtag bunch of what gold is dug out of the mountains or panned in the creeks.”

 

“Well, I heard your name mentioned durin’ talks of Florida.”

 

Hmm, the Florida territory does fascinate me. It’s a challenge to those who explore or settle near the swamps, piney woods, and flats. But the warm waters and coastal areas surroundin’ it—Ella Dessa, I can’t begin to describe them. The tepid caress of its waters, the flocks of colorful birds, and extensive wildlife are too wonderful for mere words. A person needs to see it and touch it. I hoped to talk Papa into moving, but the dream’s gone.” He shifted his weight and faced the last reddish-gold hint of the sun, vanishing near the mountain’s peak.

 

She heard the pure exhilaration in his voice die to deep remorse. “Death doesn’t wait.”

 

“I know that full well.” He cleared his throat. “Can I call you ‘Ella’?”

 

“If you wish. Some do. Samuel always calls me ‘Ella Dessa.”’

 

Darkness enclosed them, with only the lantern’s faint beam reaching where they stood. The promised radiance of the rising moon lit the mountaintop on the other side of the cove, and she could make out filmy clouds drifting near it. Nearby insects began their night trills.

 

“The moon will be beautiful,” she said and sensed he came closer in the cool shadows. She heard the intake of his breath.

 

“Ella, I want to say something for your ears only. I need you to understand me as what I am—a changed man.”

 

“Why me?”

 

“It’s something of our shared past. The day of your mother’s wake, I hiked up to your place, without my family knowin’. They were all sick in bed. A girl I was madly in love with was at your place. I was young—not like now. I feel ancient.”

 

“I know who you’re talkin’ about. You hurt her,” she whispered. “Don’t you know that? How is that love?”

 

“You fail to understand the way of a man … a boy, when the sight of a girl steals his heart and mind. Breaking her heart wasn’t my intention that day.”

 

“But you did.” Her eyes adjusted to the lantern’s yellow glow and the new silver light inching its way above the rugged heights.

 

“She promised to kiss me when we met. When she resisted—said ‘no’, it made me crazy. I had thought about kissing her for weeks. It was in my head she would, so I took the kiss she refused to give. I ruined everything with her. I lost her. You saw me force her to kiss me.” He went silent and then muttered, “Why am I standing here talking of this?”

 

“To ease your mind?”

 

“No, it’s to erase your dislike of me.”

 

“Duncan, I’ve no feelin’s either way. God’s the one you must talk to—if it’s guilt you feel. I hold nothin’ ag’inst you. It’s the past. Yes, you were relentless in getting’ what you wanted—a kiss. It don’t matter today.” She changed the sticky subject by asking, “How long will you stay home this time?”

 

“Ahh—me, the constant wanderer?” He gave a low chuckle. “It’s the big question on Jim’s mind. Ella, I want to leave now. There’s a full moon rising over that mountain. I can see to travel through the cove. I want to go—”

 

“Where?”

 

“Who knows?”

 

“Don’t do it. Think of your mother. She needs all her children nearby … for a short time, at least.” The moon’s silver light inched its way above the rugged heights.

 

He faced her. “You’ve grown to be a charming young lady.”

 

A strange tingly feeling passed over her. She was shocked to realize his words pleased her.

 

REJECTION CAN BE A GOOD THING! By Karen Campbell Prough

In this written piece, I am addressing writers, but rejection hits all walks of life.

As a writer, we all have our stories and articles rejected, but do not worry yourself sick over it or swear you will never write another word. You must realize rejection is not always a bad thing. It can be a good thing! Be thankful.

Now, you are thinking I have totally lost all connection to what rejection means and what being published is all about.

I can hear you say, “What? You’re kiddin’! Be thankful? I want my book or story accepted—right now! I want someone to say they love it and yearn to publish it. I do not want them to give me vague reasons as to why they rejected my manuscript.”

So, how can we be thankful for rejections?

It is hard to believe, but a rejection may direct us to a better fit with a different agent or publishing house. Sometimes, it pays to give ourselves the freedom to accept rejection as step in the path we will always walk as writers. So, we ought to thank those who take the time to consider our work—an article or story—but reject it.

After the rejection, we must move on and search for a better fit.

KarenMeme

I have received rejections from agents and publishing houses. Yes, it can hurt. Nevertheless, one rejection really stood out! The incident stays with me, because my manuscript was not read—not even the first paragraph got a cursory glance. I was stunned. It was rejected, because I mentioned part of the storyline. An animal dies. Dead people did not matter, but a dead animal was a “no-no”! I wanted to protest and beg the person to just read it!

But, instead, I collected my manuscript and pride and said, “Thank you.”

I wandered away feeling alone and puzzled.

Yes, it upset me. I felt there was no hope.

But I then spotted another author/reviewer waiting for a hopeful writer to arrive. I introduced myself and asked if she had the time to read just a couple paragraphs and give an opinion on my work.

She agreed to read, so I handed her the proposal and sat down. She read the first couple pages of the manuscript. Silence prevailed . . . then a tear appeared. She looked up and asked if I had an agent.

“Not yet,” I mumbled.

She replied, “You are ready for one.”

Going from rejection to being brave enough to ask a stranger to read my story is the best thing that could have happened. The rejection hurt, but it drove me to the right person, who would say the perfect words. I suppose, some people might say it was like I stepped back into the “path of bullets”.

You also could consider me crazy to risk another painful rejection, or … you can see yourself in my shoes and realize you have the courage to seek another opinion. Say “thank you” for a rejection, and stay on the path you feel God called you to hike.

Now, say to yourself, “Rejection is only one person’s response!”

The next person you talk to might be sitting nearby—waiting to give encouragement. So, keep a good supply of dauntless fortitude and march forward with your talent!

Compare past rejections to an icy snowflake. One does not count for much. You can ignore its frosty touch. And a huge snowstorm might try to trap you in despair, but remember this—the cold snow eventually melts. In the meantime, keep reaching upward. Hold your dreams high. Be thankful God gave you the desire to write or to do anything else in your life! You may be an artist, a speaker, or a trail guide! It does not matter. Rejection can be a good thing!

Karen’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Everyone’s Story: How did author @Kcampbellprough’s bounce back from rejection? (Tweet This)

Like #HistoricalChristianFiction? Visit with Karen @Kcampbellprough #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author @Kcampbellprough: Comparing past rejections to an icy snowflake (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Karen Campbell Prough writes historical fiction and a broad range of short stories. Seven of her short stories have been published in a variety of magazines. She has won awards at the 2014 BRMCWC, the 2015 FCWC, and the 2016 FCWC. She has had two books published. The Girl Called Ella Dessa, came out in 2015, and Within the Candle’s Glow was released in 2016.

Places to connect with Karen:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

~*~*~*~*~

In appreciation of all those who downloaded their Free Kindle copy of

Always With You, helping

to make it #1 on the Kindle Best Seller list, here’s a way

to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card:

AmazonGiftCardContest

 

Karen and I look forward to your comments.

Heather Blanton: Standing Up To Negativity

Heather

Everyone’s Story welcomes Christian Western Fiction author Heather Blanton. This is Heather’s first guest appearance on this blog and I hope not the last! Please join Heather this week as she shares from experience why it’s essential to stand up to negativity. Also check out Heather’s excerpt from A Promise In Defiance, her newest release that is Book 3 of the Romance in the Rockies Series. Heather’s offering a great BookGiveaway to 2 commenters so settle back and enjoy! We’re both looking forward to hearing from you.

***Plus, I have exciting news! From August 1-5, my novel Always With You is FREE on Kindle. Help yourself to what reviewers are calling an exciting read! Details on the bottom of Heather’s blog feature.

 

 

Collage

BookGiveaway:

Heather is offering 1 print or ebook of any 1 of her novels to 2  randomly chosen commenters. The winners will be announced here on Friday, August 5th 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.

Excerpt from A Promise in Defiance, Book 3 in the Romance in the Rockies series:

 A Promise in Defiance by Heather Blanton

Logan jerked the warped, dilapidated door nearly off its hinges to get inside the Broken Spoke. The door’s resistance was a harbinger. The inside sucked the wind out of his soul.

No part of the saloon had gone untouched by the elements. The canvas walls, anchored to waist-high pine knee walls, were ripped in a dozen places and flapped lazily in the late summer breeze. The roof, all but gone, hung in mildewed tatters. The back wall of warped, graying pine still stood, but leaned inward at a sharp angle. If it fell, it would crash onto the sagging, rough-sawed plank bar. Broken chairs, dead leaves, and shards of glass littered the floor. He wandered in and brushed his hand over a rusty heap of a buck stove crumbling in the center of the room.

Disheartened, Logan exhaled and rubbed his neck. “Lord, I’ll need an army to fix up this place.”

“So why bother?” The sultry feminine voice from behind him made Logan whirl.

A woman stood in the doorway, beautiful, curvaceous . . . dangerous. She had her lovely auburn hair swept up and back in a bun while jaunty little curls ran down her neck. The unusual olive tint to her skin fascinated him. Her red silk dress clung to her tightly, almost like a second skin, and ample breasts fought their restraint. Her eyes, the color of polished amber, glittered like a cat eying easy prey.

Logan removed his hat. He could appreciate her beauty. He could also appreciate the way she wielded it like a sword. “Can I help you?”

She strolled in slowly, smoothly, each movement of her body calculated to entice and mesmerize her prey. “I’m Delilah. You the owner of this place?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Her method of hunting to him was, however, an old, worn-out strategy.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

In more ways than one, Logan supposed. He sensed his first battle in Defiance had walked right through his door. He scratched the thick stubble on his jaw. “I suppose you want to buy me out?”

Her eyebrows rose almost imperceptibly.

“I’ve heard you’re trying to shut out the competition.”

“Hmmm.” She pondered that a moment before sauntering over to the bar. “Doesn’t that make me a smart businesswoman?”

“I suppose so.”

She turned to him and leaned back on the bar, striking a seductive pose. “I’d rather be friends than enemies, mister. This place is a wreck. It’ll cost you more to fix it up than you’ll make in a year. I’ll give you what you paid for it.”

“Long as I leave?”

“Or at least don’t open another saloon.”

“Well,” he rubbed his eyebrow and meandered over to the bar to stand beside her. “You don’t have to worry about that. I’m not opening a saloon.” He fought to hold back a smile. “But I can honestly say I hope my business will be in direct competition with yours.”

She scowled and stood up to him, her pink lips forming a tight, unhappy line. “What is your business?”

“I’m going to open a church.”

It took a moment, but when his meaning registered Delilah’s mouth fell open. “A church?”

“A church.”

“So, that means you’re a . . .?”

“Preacher. I’m here to share the Gospel with all the sinners in Defiance—professional and otherwise. I hope to win souls for the Lord . . . help make this town a place for decent folk to live.”

“Oh,” she chuckled, backing away from him, “oh, if this don’t beat all.” Delilah shook her head as if she either couldn’t believe her luck or his foolishness. “Preacher, have you got your work cut out for you.”

“So my Boss tells me.”

She rested her hands on her hips and looked up at him through long, dark lashes.

She sure has pretty skin. My, if I was a weaker man . . .

“I’ve come here to put Defiance back on the map, Preacher. I’m gonna turn this town back into one hell-raising, hard-drinking boomtown.” Her eyes flickered with heat. Licking her lips, she dragged dainty, manicured hands slowly across the tops of her breasts. “If I were you, I wouldn’t stand in my way.”

Don’t Listen to Negative Nellie by Heather Blanton

I hate it when I hear a parent tell a child, “Stop dreaming. You’ll never make a living at that. You should be more practical.”

Once, my mother was embarrassed I sent a manuscript to the editor of Tiger Beat Magazine—because I shouldn’t bother the person. When I had a shot at an internship with the Dallas Morning News, she voiced concerned about the cost of sending the Fed Ex package. What she was really saying, of course, was I didn’t have a shot at it and I was wasting our money.

My mom has never been much for holding onto her dreams. She didn’t exactly come through the Depression unscathed—her father was an abusive alcoholic who couldn’t hold a job. Later on, she married a mechanic who never made a lot of money. She scrimped and saved and worried about paying the bills her whole life. She’s also buried three children. Hope has always been in short supply for Momma.

My daddy was also the son of an abusive alcoholic. In the 30’s, he bounced around from orphanage to foster family and back again. He was a mechanic who never made much money and had to provide for us six kids and a wife. He was there when those three children were laid to rest. But for Daddy, hope always overflowed. I wish I had a dime for every time he said to me, “You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.”

All I’ve ever wanted was to be a writer.

More specifically, I wanted to be a published author. In 2012, I got so close I could smell the ink on the offer. My book, A Lady in Defiance, made it all the way to the contract meeting at a major Christian publisher. This means that every editor at that company endorsed my book. At the same time, I had self-published A Lady with the goal of selling 200 copies for my Relay for Life team.

The publisher turned me down; the marketing department said my sales projections were too low. Talk about a punch to the gut. When I got the email at work, I went into the bathroom, looked up at Heaven and said, “God, this really hurts … but I know you have a plan for me. I trust you.”

I couldn’t see over the hill, but God could. My book went on to sell more than 4000 copies that year. No marketing, no pr, no publisher. To date, it has sold over 40,000 copies. I made enough money to quit my job and start writing full time. I have written five books since then. I have highs and lows in sales, feast and famine, but I also have a husband who believes in me as a writer. God has allowed us to keep the bills paid. There’s not a lot of feasting, but there is never famine.

My point is, if you have a dream and it’s God’s plan for you, he will make a way for it to come to pass; it just may not be exactly what you were expecting. Either way, don’t listen to the Negative Nellies. Listen for God’s voice and keep reaching for the stars until or unless he closes that door. Then be ready for the new path.

If you know someone who is chasing a dream and it seems ridiculous to you, don’t be an Eeyore. Pray for that person, and pray you can be wise counsel. Keep your negative, spirit-crushing comments to yourself. And if the dream slips away, be ready with a hug. God is probably about to do something awesome and if you’re focused on the I-told-you-so, you’ll miss it.

Heather’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

@HeatherFBlanton: Don’t Listen to Negative Nellie! #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Like #ChristianWesternFiction? Visit with author @HeatherFBlanton (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway of #ChristianWesternFiction by @HeatherFBlanton (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Heather Blanton is the independent bestselling author of several Christian Westerns, including the Romance in the Rockies series, which has sold over 40,000 copies. Intrigued by the concept of three good sisters stranded in a lawless Colorado mining town, a few notable Hollywood producers have requested the script for her first book in that series, A Lady in Defiance. Heather’s writing is gritty and realistic. In fact, her books have been compared to AMC’s Hell on Wheels series, as well as the legendary Francine Rivers book, Redeeming Love.

A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among the fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in her hand.

She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!

Places to connect with Heather:

Website/Ladies In Defiance

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon

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Always With You is FREE on Kindle from August 1-5th! Please share the news—thanks May Isabelle and Tyler’s story bless you with hope:

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Tweet This for Always With You:

FREE on Kindle August 1-5: Always With You by Elaine Stock: Will #faith, #family, and power sway you? (Tweet This)

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

Click “Comments.”

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

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Check what reviewers are saying:

Amazon

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.”