Special Edition: Winter’s Kiss

This is a special edition of Everyone’s Story and I’m excited to share it with my lovely viewers. I’m honored and grateful to have been asked to participate with the five other authors of the Winter’s Kiss novella collection: Tanya Eavenson, Laura V. Hilton, Liwen Y. Ho, Ginger Solomon, and Carole Towriss. Each of these lovely and talented authors, under the editorial genius of author Cindy Flores Martinez, bring to the collection, which is releasing on November 7th, a special touch of love and warmth to gladden your hearts. Below, please visit with each author as she shares about her novella.

Please note: Everyone’s Story will now be published Friday mornings instead of Friday evenings. However, occasionally it may also publish at a different time or day. It will continue, though!!

 

Winter's Kiss

Here’s the link if you’d like to take advantage of the 99 cents pre-sale price

before it releases on November 7th: link

 

 

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Blurb for To Gain a Bodyguard:

Undercover ICE agent Madi Reynolds has spent years infiltrating a human-trafficking ring, but when her life is threatened, she is forced to walk away and advised to leave the country. Undeterred, she continues her plan to attend her brother’s Christmas wedding, with her partner assigned as her bodyguard. But after seeing Brice care for her niece, she finds it’s more than her life that needs protecting. Is there really any defense for the heart?

War Veteran and ICE agent Brice Johnson has been defending his country and American lives for as long as he can remember. Now, he faces the biggest assignment of his life–protect the woman he loves. He’s never been one to run from a fight, but when an old flame butts in expecting a second chance with Madi, and crippling visions of war call out to him, he begins to wonder if surrender is an option after all.

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In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

Brice and Madi have taught me that we all can be heroes in this world to one person or another. Sometimes we just have to step out in faith and do it!

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

Love conquers all, even if the road isn’t always easy.

Author BioTanya Eavenson is a bestselling and award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Visit her at http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/ on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.

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Blurb for Carousel Christmas:

Every year, Nick Trombley volunteers his time to decorate the Adirondack Carousel barn for Christmas, hoping that this will be the year when Noelle Callanan returns to the New York lakeside village to spend Christmas with her family. And that somehow, he might be able to make amends for the biggest mistake of his life.

Noelle fled from Saranac Lake, New York, four years ago when she caught Nick kissing her sister, April. He said it was innocent, but it drove her and Nick apart. Now Noelle wants nothing to do with home or her family who she believes sided with April. Even though April married another man, Noelle has no desire to see her or Nick again. She has made a new life for herself in New York City and is content. But this year her ninety-three year old great-grandmother wants to ride the carousel and have a family picture made in front of the giant Christmas tree. Her mother insists it’s past time to rebuild the bridges Noelle destroyed when she left home.

When Noelle arrives, her mother recruits her help decorating the carousel barn. She may be forced to work side-by-side with Nick, but will they be able to rekindle their high school romance? Will Noelle be reconciled with her sister and family? Or will this ride end where it started?

NewLaura

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

Sometimes forgiving others before they ask for forgiveness is healing for yourself and begins to break the ground for a restored relationship.

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

I always like to leave this up to God, because He might have a different message in mind. But forgiveness is a huge theme in this story, so I hope that if someone wronged them, they will reach out in forgiveness.

Author BioLaura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New. Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas. Visit her at http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ and http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon.

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Blurb for Tropical Kiss and Tell:

Micah Chan has loved Lucy Choi ever since they were kids, but life—and some regretful decisions—stopped him from pursuing her. Now he has a choice to make: Let her marry another man or break up her engagement to make this Christmas the most memorable one of their lives.

 

 

Liwen Ho

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

In my novella, we see Lucy and Micah’s relationship grow and
progress from childhood through adulthood. During these years, they
made mistakes and hurt one another, but their love and care for each
other never waned. I love how real and vulnerable these two
characters are and how they used their growing pains to mature in
their faith and character. They taught me the importance of embracing
each other’s strengths, as well as showing compassion and grace for
another’s weaknesses.

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

I hope readers will remember that God is in control and He works everything out for good for us. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and we may not always make the right choices, but God is faithfully walking with us every step of the way.

Author BioLiwen Y. Ho writes sweet and inspirational romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots). She lives in California with her techie hubby and their two children, and blogs about her life as a recovering perfectionist. Visit her at Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

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Blurb for Christmas Reflections:

Marisol Jones never expects to marry. Most men can’t see past her scars, but Garth Simmons isn’t most men. He doesn’t seem to notice her imperfections and neither does his daughter.

 

 

 

NewGinger

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

This quote from one of my characters encompasses what this book has taught me (even though I don’t have obvious external scars):

“Your scars don’t define you. They may have shaped the person you are, but they are not who you are. You are God’s child, a princess of the King of Kings. He loves you just as you are. We all have scars, sweetheart. Mine just aren’t as visible. Some of our scars change us, either by making us better people or by making us grumpy, like Mr. Swanson. But even then, the choice is ours — to be better or to be bitter.”

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

The world looks at external beauty, but God loves us no matter how we look.

Author BioGinger 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. Visit her at gingersolomon.com, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon.

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Blurb for A Different Kind of Christmas:

Robinson Taylor Mitchell hasn’t been home for Christmas in four years—not since he walked away from his father’s lucrative but unethical business to live a simple life in Brandon Beach. What he wants more than anything this year is a special someone of his own to celebrate with, someone like Juli, who just moved to town but won’t give him the time of day.

Juliana Hellisch won’t be home for Christmas for the first time ever. She can’t understand why God would keep her away from her mother and four brothers, especially when they need her most. But she’s stuck in Brandon Beach working off school debt as a nanny to an adorable three-year-old, and there is no way she’s getting involved with a rich snob like Rob, not after what happened last time.

NewCarole

In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you? What would you hope your readers will gather from your story? (combined answer follows)

They taught me to be patient! And to never give up. This story, and the characters, changed so many times as I was writing it, that it reminded me of what ended up being the message of the story. Sometimes God has a different plan for you, and you just have to be patient until he reveals it. Neither Juli or Rob wanted to be where they were, but they were exactly where God needed them to be to experience the blessing he had in store for them. My life looks nothing like how I would have mapped it out, but it’s wonderful. We have to stand back and give God time and room to work.

Author BioCarole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California, and now lives just north of Washington, D. C. in a Maryland suburb. She shares her home with her husband of 30 years and their four children, Three of which are adopted from Kazakhstan. She is the author of In the Shadow of Sinai and By the Waters of Kadesh, biblical fiction novels set in the time of the Old Testament. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, watches chick flicks, writes and waits for summertime to return to the beach. Visit her at her Website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon.

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Blurb for And You Came Along:

A Mother’s Christmas Wish

All single mom Jacey Tucker wants for Christmas is for her young son to have a home and a smile. What she never expected was an eviction notice from her apartment, or the loss of her job. Now she can’t leave Kindred Lake, Pennsylvania fast enough.

A Wounded Detective’s Second Chance

Zander Paxton, wounded on duty while trying to save the life of his partner, needs a new residence for the second half of his recovery. His hometown of Kindred Lake offers promises, but it may be too late to make up for his past.

She heads south. He heads north. In the middle of a blizzard, five days before Christmas, they collide and wreck their vehicles, and nearly each other, on an ice-covered road. The kindness of two strangers provides a cabin for shelter, a place where pain is soothed and hope is renewed . . . until their pasts catch up to their present and threatens a forever separation. Is true love ever mistaken?

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In writing your novella, what did your character(s) teach you?

It took Jacey a few heavy-duty life lessons, and finally getting stranded in a blizzard, and throw in a handsome cabin companion and the mercy of kind strangers, for her to finally grasp the meaning that if one believes in God that no matter what happens in life, He does NOT surrender His love and hold on you.

What would you hope your readers will gather from your story?

No matter if the time is a planned one or a complete surprise, but if you find yourself starting yet another new-beginning, with God as your #1 Partner, you can and you will come out ahead in a beautiful way you once couldn’t imagine.

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Tweet:

Meet the authors of the Winter’s Kiss novella collection. (Tweet This)

We look forward to your comments.

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Look for me to appear on author Norma Budden’s blog, on Sunday, November 5th http://www.normasbooks.com/blog

 

Like Author parties and Giveaways? Hope to see you on the Winter’s Kiss Facebook Release Party on November 7 from 12-6pm EST: link

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Michelle Kidd Speaks Up!

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Everyone’s Story welcomes author Michelle Kidd. Michelle describes herself as a Christian, author of Christian fiction, romance, and time travel… and her novel, Timeless Moments, which is her Giveaway offer, reflects not only her passion but her success! Be sure to check out her novel excerpt. Then take a few minutes to see what Michelle speaks out on. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

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BookGiveaway:

Michelle is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter a print book of Timeless Moments (if in US) or an ebook (if outside of the US). The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST (or possibly earlier that day) on November 3rd.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

 

 

Excerpt froTimeless Moments

 

From Timeless Moments by Michelle Kidd

Addie Truscott could taste the bitterness of fear, a combination of dry mouth and sour stomach. Nasty business, this sneaking around. She didn’t enjoy snooping, but like anything else distasteful she found it best to close her eyes and avoid thinking about it. After all, a person didn’t spend a lifetime cleaning up other people’s messes by being squeamish.

She let herself into the forbidden room using a ring of keys that had appeared as if from nowhere. The metal cut into her palm. She realized she was gripping them like a vise. Take it easy! She took a calming breath still curious about the mysterious ring. Something about its unusual appearance told her not to reveal her discovery to anyone. Who had ever heard of a colorized picture—colored, not painted! The American flag emblazed in front of two buildings of equal height. Addie had never been to the larger cities, but she knew such structures weren’t possible. In gold letters it had the words: Never Forget. Never forget what? She shivered and ran her thumb over the smooth trinket. Focus, old girl. Now’s not the time to lollygag.

Inside the chamber, she removed the bundle of envelopes from her apron. Many still bore smudges of blood from the day she’d found her mistress. They’d littered the floor like so much confetti. Had this been the real reason for the fight between them? She’d read through each missive countless times, puzzled and fascinated by what they contained. Such nonsense about the future.

She’d always possessed a curious mind, and if there was one thing she couldn’t resist it was a good mystery. Strange things were happening under her roof, and she didn’t like it. She’d never been one to meddle, finding it best to do her job and not get involved. But Miss Jewel was something special. Without warning, the young woman had wormed her way into Addie’s heart. She flinched as her conscience reminded her how freely she’d jumped to conclusions.

Not wanting to stay in the room a moment longer than necessary, she hastily replaced the letters. Dr. Wiltshire must never know she’d taken them. She had intended to approach Miss Jewel and ask her about this mysterious Jack, but Dr. Wiltshire’s sudden return had prevented her from questioning her. Just as well, she didn’t think in her present state Miss Jewel could remember the truth.

Addie had to wonder if it was a coincidence. Many of the things she’d read, letters penned months earlier, were now coming to fruition. This had all the elements of one of her mystery novels. Just like the pages of her books, it was hard to resist, seeing each detail through till the end. This puzzle twisted and turned with hidden compartments, secret messages, and what was shaping up to be a devious villain.

She still hadn’t solved the riddle of how the letters got into the window seat. Was it possible the correspondence was from the future as indicated in the earlier notes? Doubtful. Not that she believed in such things, but she’d left her own message and was curious to see what would happen. The room had remained locked and there were only two sets of keys. She kept one herself, Dr. Wiltshire held the only other key.

How her heart thumped with irrational anticipation. It was time to see if she’d received a response. She took a step, mindful of the boards that groaned beneath her weight; she’d have a good laugh at herself when she opened it and found her own note still there. Such a foolish old woman entertaining this nonsense. Still . . .

Addie shoved aside the cushion, spotting the folded sheet of paper that protruded halfway from the crevice. She blinked at the neat square that lay there, challenging her to deny its validity. It was not the message she had left the day before—that much was obvious. Incredulous, all she could do was stare.

Suddenly, Addie’s heart seized. Her blood froze. She heard the distinct clip of Dr. Wiltshire’s shoes on the stair, their steady pace resounding like the minor keys of a funeral dirge. Trapped! She had mere seconds.

Frantic, she snatched the note, shoved it into her apron, and scoured the room for a place to hide. Her eyes fixed on the wooden armoire. Flinging the doors open, she squeezed inside and made herself as small as possible. She hadn’t even known her stubby legs were capable of such deftness. Oh, how she regretted her midnight raids of the pantry. She waited breathless, shuddering as she tried not to think about what Dr. Wiltshire might do if he caught her.

The jingle of keys never sounded more ominous. The door swung wide as he strode into the room and over to the cushion. Watching him through the sliver between the closet doors, she saw he wasted no time checking the window seat. She was sure she heard the sound of her own heartbeat threatening to give away her location. Thank the Lord she had removed the telltale note—if she’d been seconds later . . .

Addie eased her hand into her pocket, clutching the paper to reassure herself, as she watched him lift the lid. Upon finding it empty, he let it slam close. His eyes darted about the room as if he searched for something before stopping to rest on the armoire.

Did he see her? Spikes of fear paralyzed her. She held her breath, hand flying to her mouth. Addie sought the power to disappear, but found none. All she could do was pray.

Just as she thought he’d descend upon her, he swiveled and headed in the opposite direction—to the bed. She shoved a knuckled fist between her lips to stifle the gasp of relief. She stared with disbelief. His expression was almost unrecognizable. Where was the calm, reasonable doctor who carried out orders with such efficiency? She didn’t recognize this wild-eyed man that stalked about like a hungry lion? His hair, always so meticulous and groomed fell across one eye, casting an eerie shadow on his features.

He dropped to the bed, drawing the pillow to his face with all the tenderness of a lover. What was he doing? Dear Lord!

His lips moved, but she couldn’t make out what he was saying. He pulled something from the slip cover. It looked like . . . it couldn’t be . . . was that a clump of hair—Miss Jewel’s hair . . . tied with a satin ribbon. She observed, horrified, as he caressed it, twirling it around his finger. The clothes and walls of the closet threatened to close in on her. She was hot, suffocating, she had to get out.

Addie closed her eyes and willed herself to breathe. Why wasn’t he at the hospital? She had watched him drive away this morning. Only when she was certain he had gone could she venture from the room. Did he suspect something?

It seemed an eternity passed before he gained control of himself, returned the lock of hair, and smoothed his ruffled appearance. He checked the window seat once more before turning to leave.

She waited until the sound of his footsteps faded before unfolding herself and leaving the cramped space. Her muscles were stiff from the tiny area, but better sore than the alternative. On noodle legs, she eased to the door. She hesitated, listening for sounds of movement. What if he was waiting in the hallway? With a deep breath, she turned the knob. Locked! Oh, lands! Locked in from the outside!

Addie back-stepped trying to figure out what she should do. Her face glistened, damp with sweat. She dabbed at the perspiration with the corner of her apron. The keys dangled, useless in her hand—the lock was on the other side of the door. If only . . .

Fear muddled her thoughts even as she recognized she must keep her wits to escape. Think! Culpeper would help her, but where was he? With hope, she moved to the window. Yes! There, trimming the hedges in the garden!

She pecked at the glass trying to get his attention. He had to see her. He did not look up at first, but after her persistent tapping he cast a wary glance upward. She read confusion on his face even from a distance. Why was he standing there? Didn’t he understand she needed him? She continued to motion for him. Oh, how she wished he’d hurry.

After several attempts, he seemed to understand that she wanted him to come inside. He laid aside his pruning shears, looked from side to side as if assuring himself he wasn’t being watched, and headed to what Addie hoped was the kitchen entrance. She moved to the door to await his approach. It seemed forever, before she heard the familiar shuffle of his feet.

“Addie? What you do’n in Miss Jewel’s room? You fix’n to get yourself in a mess of trouble.”

“Where’s Dr. Wiltshire?” she hissed.

“He gone.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes’m, I seen him drive away not more than five minutes ago.”

“I’m locked in and need your help. I’ll slide the key under. Can you let me out?”

“How you lock yourself in?”

“Not now.” Addie pulled the object from the ring and shoved it beneath the door. “Please, just hurry.”

There was a brief pause and the scratching of metal against metal, before the knob turned and Culpeper’s bent figure smiled at her. “There you go. You want to tell me how you got yourself locked in there? Dr. Wiltshire ain’t gonna like it when he find out.”

“He isn’t going to find out.” Addie did her best to restore her dignity, pulling herself up straight and squaring her shoulders. “This has to be between you and me. Our lives could depend on it, Culpeper. Swear?”

“I swear. You know I ain’t no fan of Dr. Wiltshire, that’s a fact. But you better be mo’ careful from now on. Ol’ Culpeper may not be around to let you out next time. This got something to do with Miss Jewel?”

“Yes, she’s in trouble. I’m just not sure to what extent. We’ve not done right by her, Culpeper. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Be alert. Things aren’t what they seem in this house.”

“I know that’s right.”

Minutes after watching Culpepper limp back to finish his gardening, Addie hurried to the privacy of her room off the dining area. It was a cozy little space filled with shelves perfect for her mysteries. She pulled the crumpled letter from her pocket. She’d put herself at risk to intercept this note. Now she was praying it would shed light on her unanswered questions. With clumsy fingers, she unfolded her spectacles, fastened her greedy eyes to the words on the page, and prepared herself for whatever truth the message may lend.

 

Consider me a friend who wishes to express my deepest concern over the disappearance of my friend, the woman I have been corresponding with named Jewel. I fear for her safety.

I am not sure how little or how much you know about me, but I write to you from the year 2014. As incredible as it seems, somehow our worlds have overlapped, allowing Jewel and I to communicate. Her letters stopped abruptly two months ago, and I’m worried that she may be in trouble. My intentions for writing were never to cause her any grief, but to learn more about our unusual circumstances. Please, if you could tell me what happened to her, I’d be so grateful.

Sincerely,

Jack Vines

 

Addie made the sign of the cross, fanning her flaming cheeks with the letter. Lands! How could this be real? If this was to be believed, Miss Jewel wasn’t crazy. All this time she’s been drugged and held against her will, and she, Addie, had a hand in it. Lord, forgive me!

It also meant she needed to use extreme caution when dealing with Dr. Wiltshire. He had tried to kill his wife, and almost gotten away with it. What would he do if he found out she had read the letters?

Oh, Lord, why? What am I doing?

Thoughts stung her mind like many bees. Her first priority would be to get Miss Jewel off the medication. That would not be easy given that Dr. Wiltshire controlled the dosage and had convinced his young bride of his devotion. Weaning her away from it could be dangerous, too. She needed a miracle, that’s what.

Then there was the business of the letters. Somehow she must let this Jack-person know that Miss Jewel was in danger. But did she dare sneak back inside the room? What if Dr. Wiltshire figured out what she was doing?

The police were not an option. Who would believe such a story? Even if she reported it, it would be the doctor’s words against her own. Who would the authorities be more inclined to trust . . . a doctor or an addle-brained housekeeper? That’s what he’d say. She’d experienced the ease in which he lied. No, she’d have to figure this out on her own.

As she collected a pen and paper, she tried to think what she should write. She positioned herself at the desk, touched the tip of her tongue to the nib, and scratched out a message. With resolve, she did her best to push down the feelings of doubt and disbelief.

 

Dear Mr. Vines,

I am writing this letter on behalf of my mistress to let you know she is in danger. Please understand that I overstep my station in telling you this information, and, I pray you are a man of honor. I find this most remarkable, and have difficulty believing that you are, as you say, from the future. Still, I have seen your letters as proof, and I must take this at face value and not some sort of hoax.

Mrs. Wiltshire is being held here in the house against her will. She is in the upper tower. My employer is a cruel man, and I fear for all our safety. He has convinced Miss Jewel that she has some sort of break from reality and that you are part of this insanity. He has her heavily medicated, and controls the distribution and dosage of the drug. I feel helpless as to how best to help. It is my duty to look after Mrs. Wiltshire.

I . . .

 

But Addie didn’t get to finish that thought. Urgent pounding at the door startled her from her deep thoughts, causing her to drop the unfinished message to the floor. What in the world!

“Addie, I need you to come quickly.”

“Dr. Wiltshire?” Her voice squeaked despite herself. With a haste she didn’t know she possessed, she gathered the letter, folded it, and shoved it as far back into the pigeonhole as she could. She piled several books to the front, hiding any trace of the paper. “Just a moment.”

She swung the door open and stepped out into the hallway. “What seems to be the problem, Dr. Wiltshire?”

“It’s Culpepper. I’m afraid he’s had a terrible accident.”

“Accident, wh-why I just saw him not more than thirty minutes ago.”

His ice blue eyes glittered. “Addie, that’s the thing with accidents, you never know when one might happen.”

The hair on her neck bristled. “Well, is he all right . . . where is he?”

“It’s a mercy I found him.”

You? But I thought you’d gone for the day?”

“Gone? Why, Addie, I never left.”

 

 

Casting Out Fear by Michelle Kidd

 

Whenever I’m asked to write anything outside fiction, I panic. Do I have anything to contribute? What can I say that anyone would want to hear? Who am I and why would anyone want to read what I have to say? Voices of doubt and insecurity creep in.

Anyone who lives with fear and uncertainty knows it can be debilitating. That’s why I’d much rather hide behind fictional characters and hang out inside an alternative reality. From there I’m safe. If someone doesn’t like my work, it’s the character’s fault—at least that’s what I tell myself. On the other hand, if I step into the world of social media, I open myself up to ridicule. I’ve been known to agonize twenty minutes over a 41-character Tweet.

Then I remember what is important.

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Sharing shouldn’t be about one’s self. It’s not even about the reader. GASP! If what we do is to truly matter, it must be about giving glory to our Heavenly Father. That’s why we have this beautiful nugget of truth: “Perfect love casts out all fear.” When we remove ourselves from the equation and make everything we do about giving glory to Him, it puts our efforts in perspective.

Many people struggle with doubts and insecurities. As writers we are especially prone to this temptation. We often take ourselves too seriously. That, in my opinion, is what the enemy counts on. If he can cause us to take our eyes off giving glory to the Father, he stops us in our tracks.

I often question the Lord why my themes tend to deal with darker matters. Why can’t I write light and fluffy feel-good books? It isn’t as if I haven’t tried. I have purposely set out to do just that, but no sooner do I start when something dreadful happens to my characters and they are forced to overcome some dark monster and conquer their own battles with self-doubt. I suppose books would be pretty boring without conflict, but it’s far different in the real world when we are forced to battle our own demons. As authors, we push our characters to do things we would never dream of doing ourselves.

So, why not just stay where things are comfy and never push ourselves to tackle fear? Why did I agree to do a blog when it causes so much anxiety? Why not make excuses, or more honestly, admit I’m afraid of what people will think of me? The answer is simple. God has promised that his grace is sufficient for us and His power is perfected in our weakness. By faith, I’m learning to allow my love for the Lord to be stronger than my fear of failure.

No one knows our weaknesses better than the Father who created us. So, when I tell him that I can’t do something, He rightly agrees, but reminds me that that is when He oftentimes gets the most glory.

After I wrote my first book, I was absolutely convinced no one would ever want to read it. It dealt with difficult subject matters, and I feared what friends, family, and readers would think. I almost let that anxiety keep me from submitting it to a publisher. I wasn’t sure I could handle dealing with that sort of rejection. Still, I loved my characters and felt the Lord was leading me to share their story. Against every instinct I had, I submitted and was accepted by Amazon’s Kindle Press. Since then, I have had countless readers, Christian and non-Christian, reach out and tell me how Jewel’s story has touched them. There is no greater feeling for a writer than to receive a “THANK YOU” letter, email, or correspondence. Have they all been positive? I wish! But even in this, God receives the glory as He continues to, as the psalmist says, “enlarge my steps under me.” Praise and criticism are a part of growth, and if I connected with one reader to show how faith can overcome adversity, it’s worth the struggle.

If fear weren’t so much a part of who we are, it wouldn’t be mentioned so many times in the Bible. Is there something you feel compelled to do? Are you being asked to branch out in a new direction that requires you to step outside your comfort zone? My question to you today is this, are you willing to lay aside your fear and do all that God asks? When we give ourselves in love, we allow God to work through us, despite our sometimes-clumsy efforts. Moving forward is never without cost, but you never know how God will use you next.

Michelle’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Like reading #ChristFic #Romance and #Timetravel? Meet author @MichelleKidd67 (Tweet This)

@MichelleKidd67 speaks up: Casting out fear in #writing and life! (Tweet This)

@MichelleKidd67: How easy is it for you to move forward? #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Born and raised in the heart of Virginia, Michelle Kidd is an author, quilter, and avid reader. Michelle lives with her husband of 25 years, two sons, the world’s craziest cat, and dorky dog. When not writing, she enjoys homeschooling and time with family. A lifelong writer, she enjoys weaving her faith through her stories. 

Michelle enjoys hearing from her readers and learning how the stories and characters have impacted them.

Places to connect with Michelle:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

 

Michelle and I look forward to your comments.

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WK and CameAlong

My novella, And You Came Along (it releases as a stand-alone novella on December 2nd) , is part of the fabulous collection, Winter’s Kiss, available for pre-orders now at only $.99!! The collection releases November 7th. You can find Winter’s Kiss here.

 

Karen Campbell Prough Speaks Up!

NewKaren

Everyone’s Story fondly welcomes back a very lovely woman and a stirring historical fiction author, Karen Campbell Prough. I’ve enjoyed a great phone conversation with Karen and hope to one day meet her!! For now, this week, we’ll all have a chance to sit back and enjoy the words Karen has chosen to speak up on. Also, check out Karen’s very generous BookGiveaway for 3, yes 3, lucky winners. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

Ella Dessa
Candles:KarenPeace:Karen

BookGiveaway:

Karen is offering 3 randomly chosen commenters  their choice of 1 of Karen’s novels, either print or ebook (outside of US ebook only). The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on October 27th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

 

       Your Words Aren’t Shocking

          By Karen Campbell Prough

 

Every person who has ever lived, or is now walking this earth, has a story to tell. Most of those stories will never be told, but every story voiced holds bits and pieces of someone else’s life.

Think about it. It’s true.

The glorious heights of human feelings or the deepest, dark secrets of a single person are not limited to only one life or to just a select group of individuals. We share emotions and a vast amount of experiences.

Writing fiction is like using snippets of everyone’s life here on this earth. Writers borrow from what is known to mankind, even when writing science fiction and other types of stories.

If you write fiction and include human experiences, your typed words don’t stand alone as a single revelation among millions of books. That might be hard to accept, but it’s true. It is what you do with those words that counts. General words of description and facts help build the background and storyline to your book. But with the unique style each writer uses … a new book is born to touch more lives.

KarenMeme

A story about a forced abortion may clutch at the heart of more than one reader. The story dealing with an elderly couple, standing up to fight for the right to raise a grandchild, could be what your neighbor is experiencing. The broken heart of a young woman is not only one person’s experience. It can be a repeated sorrow in many books, but with different story lines. The parent sitting near the bedside of an unconscious child is not a shocking story to only a few people. The examples can be never-ending.

A writer needs to inject bits and pieces of themselves in their writing. That is what makes the message or story unique. A reader may not feel the same way a writer does, but the passion and vulnerability can be difficult to pull away from, while reading a good book. As we delve into a story, we automatically tie it to experiences we have gone through or know about.

That contributes to the strength of the emotional pull.

How many times have you started to tell a story at a party, or somewhere else, and someone interrupts and starts trying to get ahead of your storytelling. That same thing happens when a book causes a reader to remember a personal event matching a character’s experience. The reader’s mind connects with the emotion. They will not forget that part of the story.

That is what creates a bond between the reader and the writer. The response to a compelling emotion pulls a reader deeper into the story, making them connect and stay with your book until the end. They begin to feel for the characters and cheer them on through the rough times.

And the readers won’t forget your characters, because they seem so real. The reader will want to cheer for the downtrodden walking the pages of your story.

Give your characters more than a lovely reference—printed on smooth paper and encased between an attractive front and back cover. Give them true to life heartaches and joys. Bring them through the fire, so they can stand on mountaintops and hear the cheers from approving readers!

Karen’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

#Inspy author @KCampbellPrough speaks up: Your words aren’t shocking! (Tweet This)

Author @KCampbellPrough shares what creates bond between #reader and #writer. (Tweet This)

Like #ChristFic historicals? Win #BookGiveaway of @KCampbellPrough (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Karen Campbell Prough’s love of the 1800’s fuels her stories of a bygone era. She is the author of short stories and a three-book series, The Girl Called Ella Dessa, Within the Candle’s Glow, and With This Peace. She and her husband live in Florida, near the beautiful Peace River.

Places to connect with Karen:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Karen and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

WK and CameAlong

My novella, And You Came Along (it releases as a stand-alone novella on December 2nd) , is part of the fabulous collection, Winter’s Kiss, available for pre-orders now at only $.99!! The collection releases November 7th. You can find Winter’s Kiss here.

 

Patricia Bradley Speaks Up!

NewPatPic

Everyone’s Story fondly welcomes back a true pal, a gracious and tireless helper, and awesome suspense author, Patricia Bradley. As many times as I’ve hosted Patricia on this blog, I always learn new things about this talented woman, and believe me, I picked up on several fascinating things about her during this interview. I hope you enjoy what Patricia speaks up on, as well as check out her newest release (which I’ve read and was riveted to!!) that she’s offering for a BookGiveaway. We look forward to hearing from you!

Plus: please check out some exciting book news from me, plus a personal invitation, following Patricia’s feature.

 

NewJusticeBuried

BookGiveaway:

Patricia is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 printed edition of Justice Buried (US residents only) or 1 digital edition of the novel (to outside of the US). The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on October 20th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

Back Cover Blurb for Justice Buried:

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league—and possibly in the crosshairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

 

Questions for Patricia Bradley:

In just a few years (I’m so thankful I’ve known you for a while now!) I’ve watched you professionally grow from having your debut novel released to a multi-published author in several genres. Huge congratulations!! Please share your dreams and goals prior to publication. How do they differ now?

First of all, thank you, Elaine, for hosting me on your fabulous blog!

Before I was published, I saw myself published. Not sure if that makes sense, but whenever I thought about my writing, somehow I knew I would be published. I just didn’t realize it would take as long as it did, though.

As for how my dreams differ now, they are the same. I am established as a romantic suspense writer, but I also want to write other genres for the general market. And that’s like starting over.

I want to write cozy mysteries and a time slip mystery/suspense. As soon as I turn in the fourth Memphis Cold Case novel, I’ll write the cozy and see where it goes. And for those who do not know what a cozy is, it’s like the old Murder, She Wrote series. And I’m thinking of, a story set in two different times, like Rachel Hauck’s The Writing Desk or The Wedding Dress.

Do you see yourself strictly writing suspense for the Christian market or plan to one day try for the ABA market?

I write for the Christian Book Association for several reasons, one of which is so that Christians will have suspense novels to read. Most ABA books are difficult to read because of the language and content, so I rarely read one.

I plan to write cozies for the ABA market, and while I can’t put scripture in an ABA book, I can write my cozy from a Christian World View. Believe me, there are many cozies that are not written from that worldview. And if readers like them, then I hope they will buy the CBA books.

PatMeme

I just received Justice Buried, Book 2 of the Memphis Cold Case series and it will be my next read—so looking forward to it! (Note: I’ve since read and enjoyed this newest Cold Case book!!) Tell us about the series. Since this isn’t your first series, I wonder whether you enjoy writing series the best?

I’ve never written a stand alone, but I’m about to try. J I enjoy writing series because of the familiarity with the setting and characters. It’s like visiting old friends.

Each of the Memphis Cold Case Novels centers on a past crime that ties to a present day crime. Justice Buried is set at the Pink Palace and I had the best time touring the museum. I went from the third floor to the basement, looking for places to hide bodies (<smiling>).

FYI, Clarence Saunders, founder of the first modern grocery store, the Piggly Wiggly, built the Pink Palace. Unfortunately for him, he lost his fortune in a battle with the New York Stock Exchange. Fortunately for Memphis they were able to acquire the partially constructed mansion when he went into bankruptcy and turned it into a museum. You can learn more about the Pink Palace at their website.

For our reader viewers: what goes into making a Patricia Bradley novel zing a reader’s interest?

I’m not sure. I just write the story God gives me, and He’s given me some a-maz-ing stories.

For our writer viewers: any tips on self-promotion?

Probably the best thing you can do is write the best book you can, and then turn around and write another one. Word of mouth sells more books than any promotion. I am active on Facebook, twitter and have a blog. One thing about a blog is, you need a hook that draws readers. I floundered with my blog until I came up with the idea of the Mystery Question. Each week I have four statements about crimes. Three are true and one is false. I challenge my readers to figure out the false statement.

Any encouraging words on following your dreams?

DO.NOT.GIVE.UP It took me thirty+ years before my novel was published. What if I had thrown in the towel at year twenty-nine?

Quick Thoughts:

Favorite childhood novel: The Black Stallion

Favorite movie: Gone With The Wind is the only one I can think of at the moment.

Country, Gospel, rock-n-roll: All three!

Fantasy place you’d love to live in: Hawaii.

Best value your parents taught you: If you’re going to do something do it well.

A trait most don’t know about you: At one time I had a bad  temper, but after it cost me $500, I learned to control it.

Hostess or partygoer: partygoer.

Favorite day escape: It’s been so long … maybe a bike trip to Shiloh National Park.

               

Patricia’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

What goes into a Patricia Bradley @PTBradley1 #Inspy #Suspense novel? #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

How does Patricia Bradley @PTBradley1 tie a past crime to a present crime in her #Suspense novels? (Tweet This)

Interview: award-winning author Patricia Bradley @PTBradley1 + #BookGiveaway of Justice Buried. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case Novels. She also has written sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming available as ebooks. When she’s not writing, she likes to throw clay on a wheel and see what happens.

Places to connect with Patricia:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

BookBub

Patricia and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

WK and CameAlong

 

 

My novella, And You Came Along (it releases as a stand-alone novella on December 2nd) , is part of the fabulous collection, Winter’s Kiss, available for pre-orders now at only $.99!! The collection releases November 7th. You can find the Winter’s Kiss here.

BookStore

 

Want a Fall Getaway? I’ll be signing Always WithYou at The Bookstore Plus bookshop in Lake Placid, NY on October 14th between 3-5 pm. I’d love to see you! 

2491 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946
(518) 523-2950 

Here’s the link.

 

Diana Cosby Speaks Up!

DianaSm.

Everyone’s Story welcomes back my long-time friend and ABA Scottish Medieval Romance fiction author Diana Cosby. Diana is also a hero in my eyes, volunteering and fundraising for Habitat for Humanity–please check out her special note following her message. And, Diana’s talent doesn’t stop with writing and helping others, she’s an extraordinary photographer of wild life–I love seeing her photos on Facebook! And, check out Diana’s lovely, original Giveaway below!! We look forward to hearing from you!

Plus: please check out some exciting news plus a personal invitation I have for you, following Diana’s feature.

 

DianaToteMug

 

Giveaway:

Diana is generously offering 1 randomly chosen commenter 1 tote bag and 1 mug, both with her personal insignia, US residents only. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on October 13th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

 

From Insecurities To Success! by ©2017 Diana Cosby

NewLadyButterfly

Dreams are visions of what we can become. But, dreams are also an invitation to doubt, to wonder if you’re good enough, or if you have what it takes. When I retired from the Navy, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a published author. After 100 rejections, I quit counting as I figured I knew how to achieve a rejection. Then, after 9 ½ years, I’m humbled to share I finally sold. The journey taught me many things, which I’d like to share with you.

-Take yourself seriously: Until you take yourself seriously, no one else will.

-Associate with people who inspire you, and encourage you to achieve your dreams. Encourage and inspire others as you grow.

ForbiddenKnight

-Set a clear goal: Once you know exactly what you want, break down steps to achieve it. If you’re unsure how to start, read biographies of people who have achieved your dream. What steps did they take? Are there any similar avenues you can pursue?

-Each step forward is exactly that: Success is a compilation of small steps toward one focused goal.

-Affiliate yourself with professional organizations: Join groups where you can learn the craft you desire. In addition to networking, there may be opportunities to learn from on-line or local sources about your area of interest.

 

NewOrangeButterfly

-Self-affirmation: Each morning reaffirm that you are good enough as well as clarify your goal of the day. Then, move forward with positive, focused steps.

-Inspirational quotes: I’m a huge fan of inspirational quotes that inspires me.

-Permission to fail: Success is more than a moment, but a journey. As we grow within our craft, there will come times when we fail at a certain steps. Focus not on the failure, but on the lessons learned. What worked, what didn’t? Move forward and make wiser decisions with that knowledge.

ForbiddenLegacy

-The way we act and talk about our goals reflects our commitment to them: What are you telling yourself? “I WILL do this!” Or, are you assuring yourself that one day you’ll really try?

-A gift of example: When you make the choice to follow your dream, you are doing more than commitment to self, but teaching your children an important life lesson — to dare to dream, and more, to dare to follow your dreams. So, be bold, believe in yourself.

I hope you’ve found inspiration from my comments. Remember, there is no right path, but the steps right for you. Believe in yourself, YOU have what it takes!

                                                                          Sincerely,

Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN Ret.

Romance edged with danger

www.dianacosby.com

International Best-Selling Author

Diana’s 13th novel, Forbidden Vow, book #3 of The Forbidden Series, will be released May 15th, 2018! *Available for preorder.

 

Diana’s Information on Habitat For Humanity:

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

Goal: Raise $55,000 to build a Habitat For Humanity Home. Now—$10,999!

Thank YOU for making an amazing difference in a deserving family’s life!

*Note: All donations, PayPal or via mail, go directly to the Grayson County, TX. Habitat For Humanity.

**Please note on your donation: ‘For the Romance Readers HFH House.’

www.graysonhabitat.org/

 

Diana’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

#ScottishMedieval #RomanticSuspense author Diana Cosby speaks up: From Insecurities To Success! (Tweet This)

Meet Diana Cosby, author of #Scottish #Romance, #HabitatForHumanity. #Giveaway (Tweet This)

Check out how author Diana Cosby’s Romance Readers Build A Habitat For Humanity Home. (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 have been 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. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and books #1 & 2 of The Forbidden Series, she’s now working on book #3, Forbidden Vow, which will be released in May 2018.

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 Page

Diana and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

Winter's Kiss

My novella, And You Came Along, is part of the fabulous collection, Winter’s Kiss, available for pre-orders at only $.99!! It releases November 7th. It will release as a stand-alone novella on December 2nd. You can find it here.

 

BookStore

 

Want a Fall Getaway? I’ll be signing Always WithYou at The Bookstore Plus bookshop in Lake Placid, NY on October 14th between 3-5 pm. I’d love to see you! 

2491 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946
(518) 523-2950 

Here’s the link.

 

Pepper Basham Speaks Up!

pepper

Everyone’s Story welcomes inspirational fiction author Pepper Basham who I now want to so badly call… ahem… a certain beverage (you’ll have to read on–just love it!). I’ve met Pepper at both the Christian Fiction Readers Retreats I and II (CFRR) and wow, you should have seen the costumes she displayed.  I’m so glad Pepper’s here this week with us. Please check out her BookGiveway, what she speaks up about, and a preview of her next novel release in November. We look forward to hearing from you!

Plus: please check out a couple of personal invitations I have for you, following Pepper’s feature.

 

A Twist of Faith

BookGiveaway:

Pepper is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 ebook of A Twist of Faith, open to international viewers. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on October 6th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

 

 

Words Wield Power by Pepper Basham

 

Words wield power.

To heal

To wound

To tear down or build up

To romance

To divide

They’re incredibly powerful.

And many times, words, whether spoken or written, can inspire.

My life has been filled with people who have spoken inspirational words into my life, but three people, in particular, comes to mind when I think about my writing journey.

For me, this writing journey started when words were still new to me. In fact, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy stories, which is a hallmark of my Appalachian culture. Stories. Except most of the time stories were oral and not written, passed from one generation to the next.

PepperMeme

Even though I come from a very small community in the southwestern part of Virginia, my parents didn’t let the smallness impact their dreams for me. They dreamed BIG. Neither had the opportunity to attend college (and college wasn’t really a common occurrence in my neck of the woods), but they both wanted that for me.

Before college even whispered on the horizon, though, they recognized I had a love, and talent, for stories. I’d write them, tell them, attempt to draw them. I’d design stories for my cousins and I to play together. I’d tell bedtime stories to my brother. I loved stories – and my parents’ willingness to let me talk their ears off with my crazy stories, allowed me the opportunity to continue dreaming about stories.

The love of story was further inspired by my Granny Spencer. She could tell family history back 5 or more generations. I loved listening to her talk about some unbelievable things that happened to my ancestors, but even with all the ‘story-love’ going on, I never thought about being a writer. (I was going to be a pediatrician so I could be Dr. Pepper!

When I was ten years old, my Granny came to my house with a present for me: a second-hand typewriter. The present was soooo sweet, but the words she spoke were what resonated through me with such power, it inspired a paper-and-ink dream. “I bought you a typewriter because a writer needs one.”

She called me a writer.CTT Cover

Her statement had power.

God used it to ignite a flicker in the coals of my creativity He’d already warmed with curiosity.

From that point on, I still wanted to go to college and get a degree (I’m a speech-language pathologist by day), but I also wanted to be a writer. The simple sentence changed my perspective on how stories could become more than just a wonderful family history, but braiding words together into meaningful tales, could inspire others…as her words had inspired me.

So, there you have it. Words matter.

And we never know how the smallest phrase can leave a lasting impact. That’s why I don’t underestimate the ‘calling’ to be a writer. There’s something almost magical about them, isn’t there? We can’t see them, but we can see by them.

Words wield power.

May we use them well.

 

Excerpt from Charming the Troublemaker,  in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series. Releasing November 1st.

 Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham

He hadn’t been impressed with her small university and even smaller town—and if what Dee had told her was accurate, his move to Ransom had been more of a demotion than a choice.

A forced decision like that had to hit anyone in the pride.

Especially a guy.

Rainey’s annoyance ebbed with a swell of compassion. Being alone, and in a new place, was hard for anyone.

He brought his head up at her gentle rap on the door, and the unique green shade of his eyes paused her brain in the same way it had the first time she’d seen him. A seafoam hue. The kind of color to cause a second look.

“So, how are things going?”

The surprise on his face took a quick spin into ‘interested.’ He unfolded to stand, showing off a solid, lean frame, and rested his palms on his hips. “Better now.”

Another sigh waited for release. Yep, it was the same guy. The flirt emerged complete with devilish grin.

The communication disorders department already housed a resident flirt in Dr. Khatri. Rainey wasn’t sure she could handle another one … and only three doors down from her own office.

“I’m sure it will only keep improving once you get to your rental house.

Mama has a meal waiting for you, and one of my brothers has already started a fire to warm up the place.”

“Are you my personal guide?” He slid a step closer, green eyes sparkling with a mischief she tried to ignore like a migraine. “Please say yes.”

Obvious much? This unrestrained flirting needed to be nipped in the bud quickly. Stepping into the room, Rainey pulled the directions from her pocket, took his hand, and slapped them into his outstretched palm. “Actually, I’m more like the delivery girl.”

His smile fell as he opened up the handwritten note and deciphered the page. He looked back up, those green eyes taking on a darker glint through his lashes. “We’ve had enough conversations for you to know I’m fun company, Rainey. Promise I’ll be good.”

Rainey’s throat closed around a rude reply, and she nodded toward the paper in his palm. “Make sure you don’t stay too long at the office or your supper will get cold.” She tagged on a tense smile. “And you really don’t want to miss Mama’s cookin.’”

The pressure at Rainey’s leg alerted her that Sarah had finally edged into the room behind her. Rainey placed her hand on her daughter’s head and started to leave.

“And who is this?” The most spellbinding transformation tempered Alex’s flirty expression with a look of genuine pleasure. Rainey’s mental snark stuttered in confusion.

“Um … my daughter, Sarah.”

Sarah’s entire body stiffened against Rainey, but Alex didn’t seem to notice.

He reached on the shelf near him and grabbed a piece of printer paper, the gentle appeal in those eyes almost mesmerizing. Even Rainey’s thoughts came to a halt in utter shock.

With a few twists of his hands, he transformed the paper into a white flower and held it out to Sarah in anticipation. “It’s magic, you see? I can only make flowers from paper when I meet a princess.”

And the eye roll commenced. This guy had enough charm to create his own Disney movie. Sarah would never fall for…

Her daughter released her hold on Rainey’s leg and reached out for the paper flower.

“Ah, I knew it! You are a princess.” Alex bowed his head as Sarah took the flower from his hand and to Rainey’s utter astonishment … her little cherub giggled.

Rainey stared at the scene, her poor attempt at deciphering the current enigma evident from the slow processing speed of the picture before her. How on earth had he managed to win over her recalcitrant little girl in a matter of seconds?

 

Pepper’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet #inspy #romance author @pepperbasham and see why worlds wield power. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

@pepperbasham shares about her Appalachian roots and its influence on her #writing. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Check out @pepperbasham’s #BookGiveaway, and excerpt of next release! (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the INSPYs, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, Just the Way You Are, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Charming the Troublemaker, releases in November 2017.

Places to connect with Pepper:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

Instagram

Pepper and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

Like Books?

You’re invited to Anne Garboczi Evan’s Love & Warfare Series Facebook Party this Saturday, September 30th. I, along with several other authors will be cohosting. My hour will be 3-4 pm EST and I’ll be offering a BookGiveaway of Always With You, plus revealing my cover for my upcoming romance novella, And You Came Along releasing this December. Hope to see you!! Here’s the link.

 

BookStore

 

Want a Fall Getaway? I’ll be signing Always WithYou at The Bookstore Plus bookshop in Lake Placid, NY on October 14th between 3-5 pm. I’d love to see you! 

2491 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946
(518) 523-2950

Here’s the link.

 

Janet W. Ferguson Speaks Up!

JanetFerguson

Everyone’s Story welcomes inspirational fiction author Janet W. Ferguson. I became acquainted with Janet first on Carrie Schmidt’s blog ReadingIsMySuperpower and experienced a “wow” factor when learning about her novels.  I’m so glad Janet accepted my invitation to appear as my guest this week! Take some time to check out what Janet speaks up about, as well as her BookGiveaway of her latest release, Magnolia Storms. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

Magnolia Storms for web

BookGiveaway:

Janet is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 ebook of Magnolia Storms. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 29th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

Blurb for Magnolia Storms:

Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.

The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.

Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live? 

 

When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers the Way We Expect by Janet W. Ferguson

Prayer is a joy, a time of praise, a song on the lips. But prayer can be work, tears, a whisper, an anguished cry of the heart. We seek help in faith and love and sorrow and desperation.

Sometimes an answer comes with a resounding yes, a miracle even.The healing comes, the storm passes over our home, or a relationship is restored.

Other times, we pound on the doors of heaven, day after day, and our cries seem to go unanswered. Our child is still sick, our relationship still broken, the storm destroys.

And we are disappointed.

I’ve been there. Maybe you have, too.

JanetMeme

I wanted, perhaps needed, to write a story that explores this disappointment. Was there an answer from God to my prayers? Don’t get me wrong. I believe He’s there. But what do I do with the hurt and sadness when life spirals out of my control? How do I reconcile those feelings?

So I did what writers do. I dug into that emotion—searched for answers for my characters and for myself.

You may not know it, but Hurricane Katrina destroyed a large part of my beloved state of Mississippi in 2005. It was catastrophic, a truly devastating event for many people I cared about. That’s the baggage my heroine carries Magnolia Storms. She lost her father, her home, almost everything in the storm, and she’s still grappling with the prayers that weren’t answered the way she wanted or expected.

What she learned, and I did, too, is that God’s still there with us through the storm. He’s still in control.

He’s with us in the pain. He’s there to lean on, or He carries us through if we can no longer stand. He’s with us through other people, a touch, a meal, a phone call. Blessings rain down on us every minute of every day in the little things, like a soft mattress, a rainbow, a sunset. I’ve heard so many times that His ways are not our ways. It becomes trite, at times. But how often have situations worked out in ways I would have never expected, could never have imagined? It just took much longer than I wanted.

My heroine is reminded that Jesus, too, was acquainted with sorrow. He wept when his friend died. He cried over Jerusalem. He went through extraordinary pain, abandonment, and loss. We have a Savior who has been there, can relate, and He cares for me. He cares for you.

No, God doesn’t answer us like some genie in a bottle, but He is never caught off guard. He warned us that in this world we would have trouble, but to take heart, He has overcome the world.

It doesn’t take much faith to believe when times are good, faith comes when life falls apart, and all we have left is to fall into the arms of a merciful God.

 

Janet’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @JanetWFerguson Speaks Up on: When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers the Way We Expect. (Tweet This)

@JanetWFerguson shares how her characters in Magnolia Storms face their storms in life.  (Tweet This)

@JanetWFerguson shares how #writers cope with their disappointments. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space. 

Places to connect with Janet:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon

Janet and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

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Megan Whitson Lee Speaks Up!

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Everyone’s Story warmly welcomes back author Megan Whitson Lee. Megan appeared here back in April  and I’m thrilled she’s back to share with us about her soon-to-be release novel, Dangerous To Know, and whether or not those good old days were really great or something we all may romanticize from time to time. Do check out the blurb for Megan’s newest novel, her generous Giveaway of an Amazon Gift Card, and her thought-provoking message. We look forward to hearing from you!

**Look for the upcoming cover reveal for Dangerous To Know

 

 

 

Dangerous to Know

Giveaway:

Megan is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  a $25 Amazon Gift Card. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 22nd.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

 

 

Character card of Lord Bromby created by Stephen Lee.

Character card of Lord Bromby created by Stephen Lee.

Blurb for Dangerous to Know:

“Don’t look at him, dear. He’s dangerous.”

Isabella Bankmill seeks a husband whose character matches her list of requirements. The man must share her faith, but he must also possess a certain je ne sais quoi. The enigmatical Lord Gregory Gordon Bromby—London’s newest literary sensation—certainly possesses the latter. Despite a deformed foot and alarming views on politics and religion, he attracts the ladies in droves.

Haunted by his past and overwhelmed by his newfound celebrity status, Lord Bromby’s obsession with his own doom leads to reckless behavior. When he is stalked by an obsessive aristocrat seeking an elopement, Bromby’s friends urge him to marry a suitable lady as soon as possible. Intrigued by Isabella’s convictions, and hoping to avoid further scandal, Bromby proposes to Isabella.

Isabella also receives an offer of marriage from kind-hearted philanthropist, David Beringer—a man equally devoted to his faith—but she only has eyes for Lord Bromby. Blinded by his talent and good looks, Isabella convinces herself that he’s not as dangerous as everyone claims. But when Bromby’s world violently collides with hers, Isabella must decide once and for all who is lord of her life. God or Bromby?

 

What Was So Good About the Good Old Days? By Megan Whitson Lee

 

As humans, we love to look back on a previous time in history as “the good old days.” Who doesn’t love Jane Austen and long to live in the charm of the Regency era? Who wouldn’t want to spend a few weeks in Queen Victoria’s kingdom? There is something wonderful about imaginative time travel which allows us to escape our modern, complicated, busy lives and return to a simpler, gentler, more civilized time.

But was the past we revere really so much better?

In Jane Austen’s day, there were no bathrooms, so chamber pots and outhouses were necessary. Bathing in a proper tub required upwards of six buckets of heated water, and full-immersion baths were few and far between. In one household, many people reused the previous person’s dirty bath water.

And wow! How l love the look of the corset, waistcoat, and cravat. But corsets caused poor digestion and dyspepsia, and women often fainted from the constriction of their organs and inability to breathe properly when the laces were pulled too tight (which was often). Men were highly restricted in their dress. They could not remove their cravats (neck cloths) or even their jacket in polite company. One can only imagine what that must have been like in the extreme heat of summer.

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No one jumped into a car and took off down the road. Travel was difficult and dangerous—some areas had poor roads or none at all, and highway robbers were a threat.

Typhus, ague (malaria), consumption (tuberculosis), Boulogne sore throat (diphtheria), smallpox, and Typhoid fever regularly took people out. Without penicillin, many were treated with crude concoctions or bloodletting. The idea of draining the blood from an afflicted person was very popular and considered as a cure/treatment for a multitude of ailments. In fact, even though many accounts attribute Lord Byron’s death to fever, scholars say that bloodletting actually killed him.

For those who had to work, life was hard and death came early. They worked an average of sixty-six hours a week (and many kept longer hours than that). In 1800, the average age of death was thirty-nine. No electricity, no air-conditioning, no refrigerators.

So really, what was so great about living in Jane Austen’s time period?

We like to think people “back then” were better behaved, but in reality, they still committed murder, adultery, and theft. They were cruel and heartless and wretched. In short, they were all sinners … like us. The Bible tells us, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” (Isaiah 43:18) It’s easy to romanticize the past, but there really were no good old days. Since the Garden of Eden, we’ve all been struggling with the same moral and spiritual pitfalls.

While escaping from the present and into another world is something I love about historical fiction, I recognize that other time periods weren’t perfect. Now, when I write historicals, I strive to reveal the gritty truth about the times and depict characters who experience the same hurts, hopes, dreams, and failures as all of us. As C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.”

Megan’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @MeganWhitsonLee speaks up on: What Was So Good About the Good Old Days? (Tweet This)

What’s Dangerous To Know in @MeganWhitsonLee’s newest #ChristFic novel? GiftCard #Giveaway (Tweet This)

Moral and spiritual pitfalls have you down? See what author @MeganWhitsonLee has to say. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Megan Whitson Lee is a wife, a mom of two greyhounds, an editor for Pelican Book Group, and a high school English teacher. Her novel, Captives, won the 2016 Director’s Choice Award and was a finalist for a Selah Award in the women’s contemporary fiction category at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

Megan writes women’s contemporary and historical fiction featuring characters standing at the crossroads of major life decisions, crises of faith, and moral dilemmas. Her novels depict real-life problems, address universal spiritual and moral struggles, and offer messages of hope, recovery, and redemption through God’s saving grace.

Places to connect with Megan:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

 

 

Megan and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

Sign up for my Author Newsletter here for upcoming news on Elaine Stock’s releases.

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Susan J. Reinhardt Speaks Up!

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Everyone’s Story welcomes back author Susan J. Reinhardt. Susan and I belong to the same literary agency, but also like many other authors and writerly friends, I’ve met Susan through the circles of social media and I’m so happy we did! This week Susan speaks up on God’s plan for us, even if we don’t initially react favorably to it. Do check out Susan’s BookGiveaway offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

Moses

BookGiveaway:

Susan is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 Kindle edition of The Moses Conspiracy. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 15th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

New Back Cover Copy for The Moses Conspiracy:

In 2025, two seemingly unconnected events set a diabolical plan in motion. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

Several years after a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C., Ellie and her son, Peter, go on a field trip to the nation’s capital. Her greatest fear is realized when they become separated. Back home, John witnesses a buggy accident with unusual circumstances.

Caught between strained family relationships and ominous warnings from a faceless enemy, the couple relies on God for wisdom and protection. When the true nature of a past tragedy is revealed, will they survive the heartache it brings?

 

God Has a Plan – A Good One! by Susan J. Reinhardt

Seventeen years ago, a counselor asked me, “What do you see for yourself in the future? What dreams do you have?” I searched my mind and heart, but there was a giant blank spot. One of the verses she gave me was Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I determined in my heart that I wanted to obey the Lord and do whatever He wanted me to do. At first, it was hard to distinguish His voice from my own thoughts, but I soon learned. If I thought He was telling me to call someone, I did it. Many small opportunities popped up – God assignments.

During this learning time, my cat, Sarah, died. I was heartbroken, and everyone wanted to give me another kitty to love. Although I liked the idea, I sensed a “wait” in my heart. Later in this story, you’ll see why.

My friends and I decided to attend a conference at a Bible School in upstate New York. The whole atmosphere seemed charged with God’s Presence. Instead of being joyful, I entered a period of intense turmoil.

The Lord nudged me to apply to this school for one year, and I wanted no part of it. I was financially stable for the first time in years. My mother lived with me, and her care presented a dilemma. Besides all that, I’d already gone to Bible School and graduated. My desires and God’s direction appeared in direct opposition to each other.

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When I said, “Yes, Lord, I’ll go to Bible School,” it seemed like I was destroying everything I’d built over the past few years. Ah, but God was at work behind the scenes. I can see that now in retrospect, but at the time, it was a mystery.

Two weeks after I made the commitment to return to school, I received a message from eHarmony.com. I’d cancelled my membership as a way of breaking ties with my past. Surprise, surprise, an email informed me, “Congratulations, you have a match. David, from Souderton, PA…” I blinked at the computer screen. “Whaaat? Is this some kind of joke, Lord?”

My best friend shrugged it off when I told her about the message. “None of the others worked out, so what’s the big deal about answering?” I figured as soon as he heard I was off to Bible School, he would make a quick exit from our communication.

Except, he didn’t.

David loved the Lord, and the Bible School element got his attention. We talked for hours on the telephone and then met in person. When he returned home from our first date, he called me and asked if I wanted to pursue the relationship. I said, “Yes.” His next statement totally shocked me. “I’m going to marry you.”

During the year at Bible School, he came to see me every weekend. He stayed in the Men’s Dorm and often did work around the school. His support helped me navigate the difficulties of studying after so many years.

You may be wondering right now and asking, “What does this have to do with writing and God’s plans for a future and a hope?”

  1. If I hadn’t listened to the Lord and gone to Bible School, David would probably have moved on to one of his other matches.

  1. If I’d taken in another cat, it would have short-circuited our fledgling relationship. He was allergic to cats.

  1. If our marriage hadn’t taken place, I wouldn’t have moved to Pennsylvania. Here I found other Christian writers, plus my wonderful husband encouraged me to pursue publication.

  1. Even though our time together was short (3 1/2 years), God used my Beloved to set me on this writing journey. When cancer robbed his life, the Lord helped me move forward with the love of dear friends and family.

  1. The Lord showed me He wanted a future and a hope, but it took my cooperation and obedience for everything to fall into place.

I’m re-learning some of these principles as challenges arise daily. As long as I know God is for me and wants the best for my future, I can face them with courage and faith.

Susan’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Can you relate to author @susanjreinhardt’s story of wondering what’s behind God’s plan for you? (Tweet This)

ChristFic author @susanjreinhardt speaks up: God Has a Plan – A Good One! (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of @susanjreinhardt’s novel, The Moses Conspiracy. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Susan J. Reinhardt began her journey as a non-fiction writer. After numerous devotionals, short articles, and several contributions to anthologies were published, she switched gears and entered the world of fiction. The Moses Conspiracy is the first book in The Moses Trilogy.

A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.

Places to connect with Susan:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

LinkedIn

Amazon

Susan and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

Sign up for my Author Newsletter here for upcoming news on Elaine Stock’s releases.

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Ann Marie Bryan Speaks Up!

Ann Marie Bryan - Profile pic

Everyone’s Story welcomes Christian fiction author and founder of Victorious by Design, Ann Marie Bryan. I became acquainted with Ann Marie through the social media circles of all things writerly and I’m honored that Ann Marie has accepted my invitation to be my guest this week.  Ann Marie speaks up on why you should share *your* story, definitely keeping in the theme of this blog! Also check out Ann Marie’s lovely BookGiveaway offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

Place

BookGiveaway:

Ann Marie is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 Kindle edition of A Place for my Heart. The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on September 8th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

Blurb for A Place for my Heart:

Crushed by heartache and desperate for an escape, he makes a life-changing choice.

When Chandler Peynard staggers into Sabrina Benjamin’s life, he is desperate for an escape route. Battling feelings of isolation, he has erected barriers around his heart, often times leaving a trail of broken dreams behind him.

Sabrina’s happily-ever-after was ripped away months ago, but she hasn’t given up on finding love. Still, she is caught off guard by her feelings for Chandler, a man who could hardly be described as a model man of God. As an unexpected bond develops between them, she wants more—a lot more than Chandler is prepared to give, because falling in love and putting down roots are not a part of his plan.

Touched by Sabrina’s kindness and faith, Chandler makes a life-changing choice; however, complication is inevitable when the past he’d thought was long buried, pushes him to confront matters he would have given anything to forget. As he struggles to release himself from his past and embrace the future, he offers Sabrina a place in his heart, but she demands all of it.

In a season that has brought so many changes, Chandler longs for peace in his soul and yearns for love. Will he trust God with all of his heart in order to overcome his past? Will he be able to testify that God’s grace wins every time? Will he find the strength to take a chance at life and love with Sabrina?

SHARE YOUR STORY: Inspire others into action by Ann Marie Bryan

I am an author. This is still surreal. Rightly so, because while I have always been an avid reader, writing a book never crossed my mind.

Why did I start writing?

After I got married, several of my friends and relatives wanted to know how I met my husband. So, I had to share my love story, over and over again. Of course, no one wanted to hear the short version of the story.

Six months later, I received a phone call from a friend whom I had not spoken with in a while. She too, wanted to hear my love story. After hanging up from my call, it hit me… write a book!

A long deafening pause ensued!

A book! A book!

Every reason not to write this book came to mind. Yes, every reason. But, I knew that I wanted to share my story. Further, I knew that if God called me to write this book, He would equip me and surround me with wonderful godly helpers.

So, like any well-thinking Christian woman, I took the matter to the Lord and felt the peace to proceed with this mission.

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Approximately two years later, I published my first Christian Fiction, “Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along”, a love story based on real-life events. Two paths, destined to cross. Friendship, faith, and love are intertwined in ways neither could have imagined. Can love conquer all things? Find out in the heartwarming and humorous story, “Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along”.

After the excitement of publishing my first book, my writing journey continued with my bestselling, Encounters of the Heart series, which is based on Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) –“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Book 1 – Shades of the Heart is a novel about the courage to love in the midst of broken promises, and ultimately about the healing power of forgiveness.

Book 2 – Mirrored Hearts: Sealed By Fire is stirring and deeply satisfying new addition in the series. It details the struggles of two broken hearts, mended by enduring love and sealed by fire.

Book 3 – A Place For My Heart is an emotionally gripping account of a most unexpected love, and a marvelous reflection of God’s grace.

Encounters of the Heart series

I write to educate, inspire and empower others. Writing has become a natural way for me to process my emotions and a conduit to inspire those around me.

What about you? Are you ready to write your story?

Perhaps you have an idea for a book. Sounds great, but you already have too many commitments… a job, family, and many other activities. The thought of adding another task to your things-to-do list would cause you to question yourself.

The truth is – there is never going to be a perfect time. Writing is a discipline. Keep at it and before you know it, you will have chapters under your belt.

To move forward, ask yourself this question – Why am I writing?

After you have answered that question, jump into action by creating an outline of your ideas for your book. Of course, you will need to educate yourself about the publishing industry. Don’t be overwhelmed by your lack of knowledge. Select an individual, group or organization with the knowledge to help you succeed. Do research to obtain information on how you can best leverage your abilities to fulfill your dream of writing.

The entire process will be very exciting and you will learn many things about yourself. Your writing journey will inspire, empower, educate, and challenge you. The amazing thing is that God will continue to multiply what you have surrendered to Him.

Don’t delay. Start writing and watch God take you out of our comfort zone, stretch you, and show you that you can accomplish far more than you think.

Ready! Set! Go with God! Write your story and share it with the world.

Ann Marie’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet Ann Marie Bryan @authorabryan, writing novels about love & God’s grace. (Tweet This)

Author Ann Marie Bryan @authorabryan speaks up: Share Your Story: Inspire others into action. (Tweet This)

Author Ann Marie Bryan @authorabryan asks: Are you ready to #write your story? (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Ann Marie Bryan is a dedicated, graceful, multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Shades of the Heart is the first book in her bestselling, Encounters of the Heart series. Book 2 – Mirrored Hearts: Sealed By Fire was released February 2016. Her new release, A Place For My Heart, is the highly anticipated third installment in the series.

Ann Marie’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.

Places to connect with Ann Marie:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

Instagram

Amazon

Ann Marie and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

Sign up for my Author Newsletter here for upcoming news on Elaine Stock’s releases.

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