Short, but Powerful

PBS Release Tour Banner

I had the privilege to read this short story and give my opinions of it to Amanda. When she announced she was releasing it, I was excited to read the updated version. I am glad I did. I needed to hear the message of this book again and it came at the perfect time. What book am I talking about? The title is Peace, Be Still. Today I’m reviewing the book as my part in her blog tour. Be sure to check out the giveaway, too.

Peace Be Still - blurb

Introduction

This book is so powerful. I’m amazed how someone can pack so much into a short 2,600 word story. If you ever feel anxious about anything (who hasn’t?), get this book and read it. Then read it again when you are anxious again. It’s worth it. Continue reading

Coffee Cake Days Blog tour

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Today I have the privilege of introducing you to a sweet, short story called Coffee Cake Days by Amanda Tero.

About the Book

Coffee Cake Days cover 02 light smallMeg has finally graduated and has the time she’s dreamed of for months: time to “sit at the feet of Jesus” and soak up His Word as she seeks what future plans He has for her.

She soon runs into a problem: her family. Unwanted interruptions and household duties tear her away from the time she longs to spend in the Bible. Journey with her as she strives to learn the balance of spending time in God’s Word and applying it to her daily life. Continue reading

‘Twas a dark and stormy night in a galaxy not that far away…

In a land far, far away, on a dark and stormy night, I sit typing away on my keyboard. Thoughts of family, friends, and other trivial things are far from me. I’m immersed into the lives of people living in the late 1880s in Athens, Tennessee. The final read through before sending the manuscript to the proofreaders was almost finished. Will I make it on time?

Two days earlier

I practically bounce around throughout the day. After finishing half of the final read through, I finally decide on a publication date. With beating heart and shaky fingers, I push the magic button that will make my book available for preorder about twelve hours later. Continue reading

Opinion Poll

Coming Soon

I would like your opinion and input. As I figure out what I want to do on my blog in 2015, I would like to know what my readers think. Of the posts I have written, what have you liked the most? Here is a list of a sampling of the types posts I did in 2014 and some I’m mulling around in my brain: Continue reading

Happy New Year!

New Year 2015

When you read this post, I will be on my way to Tennessee for a conference, but I did want to make sure I wished everybody a Happy New Year. I am looking forward to the year 2015. Four friends are getting married between January and June and I get to help with two of them. For one, my family and I have been asked to take the pictures for the wedding and we (especially me) are very excited to help with that. For the other wedding, I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing besides being music consultant and probably playing either piano and/or flute, though not at the same time. 😉

The new year is a time when people make resolutions. Well, I don’t really get into all of that, and I always like being a little different, so I’ll just list some of the goals I have for the coming year.

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Some goals for 2015:

  1. Publish at least two novels and one short story. ( More details on that will be posted early next week.) Completed and then some (two novels and three novellas).
  2. Not get stressed out trying to accomplish goal #1. Yes! I did do that!
  3. Have fun helping my friends with their weddings. Who wouldn’t have fun helping with weddings?
  4. Crochet lots of doilies for the wedding in March. Finished with time to spare.
  5. Be more purposeful in my study of God’s Word and in prayer. For the most part, yes, but it is still a work in progress.
  6. Learn how to format my own books and get better at marketing. I am a little better at both, but I guess we’ll see how it goes later in 2016 when I try to format three novellas (ebook only).
  7. Read more non-fiction books than fiction books. I’m really bad at this. I’m still really bad at this. I have too many author friends who want reviews. And they all write fiction. 😦
  8. Be more diligent about practicing piano. So-so on this one.
  9. Survive tax season (I work at an accountants office, but am not an accountant). I survived and don’t have to worry about it this year.
  10. Be more thankful. Yep.

Do you have any resolutions or goals for 2015?

Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe + Cover Reveal + Giveaway

I know I said I was taking a hiatus from the blog, but when this opportunity came up, I couldn’t resist. Without further ado, here’s some info on a newly released book along with a cover reveal and a giveaway. Be on the lookout in the future for reviews of The Unexpected Bride and Sleigh Bells & Mistletoe.

Released Today!

Sleigh-Bells-Mistletoe2What’s a wife to do when her Christmas plans fall apart?

Join Becky and Isaac from The Unexpected Bride in a romantic short story complete with sleigh bells, mistletoe, and sweet holiday surprises.

It’s Christmas Eve, and smoke isn’t just rising from the chimney—it’s pouring from the stove due to yet another batch of burnt biscuits. Becky wants everything to be perfect for her family, but a ruined meal spells disaster for all her high hopes. Will the night end in despair…or with a happy Christmas dream?

Reconnect with your favorite characters from Book 1 of “The Brides” series and learn more about Jem (the hero of Book 2) in Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe. Includes an excerpt from Book 2, The Bartered Bride. Continue reading

“Jed’s Father” by Abigail L.

Stories by Students

This is an exciting and sad day. Today we have our last story from the students at the school my friend teaches at. Today the story is about Jed’s father and is written by Abigail L. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.

Jed’s Father

By Abigail L.

I loved my wife. I thought I could protect her from anythin’,but I was wrong. She was stolen from me by my own child, if I could even call ‘em that. She was fine for most of the pregnancy, but, towards the end, she got real sick. I did everything I could do, I called the doctor in every week, sometimes every other day, but he couldn’t do anything for her. The doctor said that she probably wouldn’t make it, and neither would the baby, but I didn’t believe ‘em. She would get through this, she had some problems with my other children, but she pulled through, she was so strong. I remember her telling me about what she wanted me to do when she was gone, she never spoke like that before. She said no matter what, she still loved her unborn child. I didn’t believe her, how could she? She couldn’t love this “thing” that could possibly kill her. I know that if she knew she would have died, she wouldn’t have love that boy of mine.

I remember her in pain, every day. I wanted so badly to take the pain from her, but I just knew that I couldn’t. She kept saying she knew where she was going, and that I wouldn’t be able to take the pain from her, she said only one person could, Jesus. How could she tell me this?! Who is this Man that is going to take her pain away? If anyone was goin’ to take her pain away, it was me. What I never got was why she didn’t find this guy and have Him take her pain. Most of the time, I could read my wife, she was so easy to read, but this time, I couldn’t.

She kept getting worse, after a while, she couldn’t even get up from bed. My daughters were making food by this time, but no one, not even my daughter, could make as good of food as my beautiful wife. She was thankful to everyone for everything, not a single act went by that she didn’t give thanks for, and that included being sick. Each day she grew more content with the fact that she wouldn’t make it. I don’t know how she knew she wouldn’t make it. Did she just give up on hope? No, she couldn’t have, she was… happy. With each passing day, she grew more beautiful, even though she was sick.

Then the day came. The moment of truth. Will she make it? We wouldn’t be able to tell until it was all over. She was always strong, she could overcome anything. But this time, she wouldn’t. She gave birth to my son. She held him, even though she could barely lift her arms. I told her she should rest, and that when she would wake up, she could hold him. But no, she was going to hold him. She said she had to. She took him in her arms and smiled. She was so happy with him. She just kept smiling until her face hurt, and then she started to cry. She said she was never going to see him grow up, she was never going to see any of her children get married. Suddenly, she stopped crying. She said that this boy was going to be perfect. She said he was her Beloved. I felt envious of this boy that was taking my wife’s last moments, her last words were going to this boy. I said she needed to sleep, so I roughly grabbed the boy out of her arms. She didn’t have enough energy to resist.

She whispered an inaudible word to me. I crouched down next to her and asked her what she said. She said, “Jed, the Lord’s Beloved.” And with those few word’s she died. She said nothing to me. She only spoke of the child. The child that was just fine, but she was dead. The child was alive and well, nothing was wrong with him! Why couldn’t it be him not her, why couldn’t he be dead, and she be alive! I half handed, half threw the baby boy to my daughter and stormed out of the house.

 ***

I didn’t say any more than ten words to Jed until he was two. I hated him. There was nothing and no one who could change my mind. He killed my wife. I will never forgive him for it. When he came to me one day to try to impress me yet again, I hit him. I couldn’t stop myself, blow after blow, hit after hit. I kept hitting him until my arms and legs tired. He was on the ground, crying and screaming. I walked away. I didn’t want to even look at the mistake that was lying on the ground. I didn’t even feel sorry for him.

“The Unnamed Cherokees” by Nikki S.

Stories by Students

Kind of sad, but this is the second to last story from the students. Nikki S. took a very creative perspective. She wrote a story about the Cherokee Indians I never named or developed. In case today is the first time you’ve seen this series of posts, my friend is reading A Mighty Fortress to her students for their Christian Literature class and challenged them to write back stories of one of the characters in my first book. It was a lot of fun reading them all.  Enjoy the story and watch for the last story tomorrow! Note: The stories will all be unedited and posted as each high school student wrote them.

The Unnamed Cherokees

By Nikki S.

The sun beat down on my dark skin as I lay in the middle of an open prairie. My eyes were closed and I could feel the sun rays seeping through my eyelids. The tranquility in the rushing wind captivated me.I breathed in deeply and various smells met my nose. I tried to determine the origin of each scent. Using the skills my father had taught me, I found five. First I smelt the scent of two different types of flowers, daisies and Lavender. Next was the smell of the grass waving all around me and brushing against my face. The air around me had the distinctive smell of summer.The last smell that met my nose was that of a horse. I suddenly felt a gust of air blow onto my face. I opened my eyes to see the nose of my horse above me.

“HelloMoondance!” I say pushing her nose away from my face then briskly standing to my feet. My beautiful grey horse pranced sideways, swishing her silver tail, as if to tell me she wanted to run. I lay my hand on her smooth muzzle and her blue eyes glistened as if she knew what I was thinking. In one quick motion I swing my body onto her sleek back. “Let’s run” I whisper into her ear. Moondance heaves herself forward with such force and power I felt as though I would be left behind. Her legs moved rhythmically with my heart beat, and our bodies moved as one. My silken black hair whipped back and forth around my face as we ran into the strong wind. I let go of Moondance’s mane and spread my arms out and tilted my head back. As I looked at the sky I saw an eagle soaring high above us. Moments like these freed my mind to imagine impossible things. Continue reading

“Esther” by Alejandrina R.

Stories by Students

Three stories left counting this one and another one about Esther, Joshua and Ruth’s older sister! Today’s special guest is Alejandrina R. In case today is the first time you’ve seen this series of posts, my friend is reading A Mighty Fortress to her students for their Christian Literature class and challenged them to write back stories of one of the characters in my first book. It was a lot of fun reading them all.  If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s on sale right now for 99 cents. Enjoy the story and watch for the next story on Monday! Note: The stories will all be unedited and posted as each high school student wrote them.

Esther

by Alejandrina R.

It was fine spring day on April 11th the year 1843. The wind was blowing ever so gently, sun shining bright on God’s creation, all was calm and quiet. However, there was one house in Illinois that was anything but calm. Something big and exciting was about to happen. A baby was to be born this very day.

It was the mother and father’s very first child and you can imagine how excited and nervous they would be. The mother had been in labor for quite some time and the child was to be born any moment now. The midwife was preparing for the delivery, the mother was in great pain, and the father was anxiously waiting with his wife. This went on for a few short minutes until finally; “whhaaa” the first cry was heard.

“I am a little girl, what is my name?” the midwife announced pretending to talk for the baby. Immediately the proud Mother shouted Esther May Hopewell! The father and mother were both holding their little bundle of joy with great smiles of pride and happiness on their faces. They kept praising God for the blessing little Esther was to them. They prayed for the wisdom to guide Esther throughout her life. Continue reading

“Tom” by Caroline L.

Stories by Students

Today’s special guest is Caroline L. Her story is about the outlaw leader, Tom. In case today is the first time you’ve seen this series of posts, my friend is reading A Mighty Fortress to her students for their Christian Literature class and challenged them to write back stories of one of the characters in my first book. It was a lot of fun reading them all.  If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s on sale right now for 99 cents. Enjoy the story and watch for the next story on Monday! Note: The stories will all be unedited and posted as each high school student wrote them.

Tom’s Story

by Caroline L.

At the moment Tom is an outlaw. But he didn’t start that way. Tom grew up just outside of town. He was very rich and lived in a big mansion. His father was a business man and owned a lot of oil. He had a brother and a sister, Eli and May. May was 16, Tom was 12, and Eli was 1. He had a lot of friends in school and had okay grades.

On a Thursday afternoon Tom went to his friend Adam’s house to hang out. Suddenly his sister came running to him crying her eyes out. It took about an hour to get the words out. Then she told him that there house burnt to the ground and Mom, Dad, and Eli were trapped inside and had no way of getting out. May was the only one spared. From that moment on everything changed. Tom wanted to be rebellious. Continue reading