Confessions of a Wallflower

by S.D. Grimm

 

 

I’m not particularly noticeable. I’ve been thought of as standoffish and snobby by people who didn’t know me yet. I’ve been the person no one in the room wants to get to know. I’m often the person no one remembers seeing even though I was there. The first to leave. Invisible. Quiet. Elusive.

It’s not that I dislike people.

It’s not that I want to hide from conversations, either.

In fact I love to sit down and talk to people about deep, soul-searching things. I cherish my friendships and desire to be able to be myself in social situations.

It’s just that social situations are terrifying. Talking to people on the phone? Rare form of torture. Being called out as the center of attention? The stuff of nightmares. The thought of being tossed into a room filled with strangers and being told to mingle? Enough to keep me at home huddled in my zombie-apocalypse room.

Talking one-on-one with someone about things that have nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with revealing something personal, be it a deep-seeded emotion or favorite comic book character or greatest fear or anything Star Wars related? My idea of awesome. Getting to know a small group of people with whom I think there’s a real possibility of cultivating friendships? One of my favorite things. Hanging out with people I’m already friends with so I can be my crazy, witty, shy, adorably awkward self? Heaven on earth.

Recently I was invited to hang out with some friends, who I am just getting to know. Excitement and anxiety started to mix in a dangerous concoction. What starts out as “Yes! People actually like me!” “I wasn’t completely awkward,” and “I managed not to accidentally tell them to ‘back off’ with a look.” Turns quickly into, “But what if they hate me?” “What if they didn’t really want to invite me, but I was just there?” Or “What if this is some long, drawn-out prank to get me to go meet them and then no one else shows up?” “What if they change the time and then forget to tell me because they don’t even remember inviting me in the first place?”

You can laugh. It’s okay. But you should also know that these thoughts (and more) literally crossed my mind. Not in a funny way, either. Looking back, I can sort of laugh at myself and at least think “why would you go there?” In reality, these thoughts put me in a serious state of panic.

I almost stood them up because I thought no one would notice anyway.

For me, starting a friendship is something that not only terrifies me, but is also something I crave. I LOVE my friends. I wish they knew how much they meant to me. And yet, I have to conquer stupid fears and sometimes crippling doubts to believe that my friends like me too.

That got me thinking.

A lot.

It does matter to me what the people I like think to some degree. I mean, I value their thoughts and opinions. On the other hand, my friendships aren’t just about what they think of me. It’s a give-and-take relationship. I make them feel loved and appreciated. They do the same to me. So … that means even if I’m scared, even if I’m anxious, even if I think an actual invite to hang out could be a ploy to make me feel stupid, I have a choice to make:

I can let fear win.

Or I can let my friendship win.

And when I choose to let my friendship win, guess who benefits? My friends. (Me too, actually!) But that’s what matters: that my friends feel the love and appreciation. Knowing that in my head helps me when the fear grips. Allowing myself to believe that other people could actually be interested in the shy wallflower helps me to take those brave steps forward.

And that’s what life is about, isn’t it? Taking brave steps forward? Because, yeah, bad things could happen. But so could good things.

That’s the risk of bravery. I saw this quote on a meme about being brave: Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you have to do it afraid. And that spoke to me.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t still have thoughts of relationship sabotage or that I won’t be afraid and stand off to the side when the room is full. It doesn’t stop me from sometimes sneaking to the next aisle at the grocery store when I see someone who might know me, or slow my heart from racing when the phone rings. But it does allow me to stop and think. To make deliberate choices.

So maybe I should title this Confessions of a Braver Wallflower. Because every day that’s what I strive to be. Braver.

But remember, you can’t call it bravery unless you’re pushing through fear.

 

Author Bio:

S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction—everything from urban fantasy to superheroes. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her, her debut novel Scarlet Moon, and her upcoming books at www.sdgrimm.com

Check out Scarlet Moon!

 

 

 

 

Reconnecting with Your Vision

pixabay.binoculars-1209011_640.vision.Ralene BurkeFor the past several months, I have been preparing for my current book release and there are days I don’t know if I’m a marketer or a writer. I spend more time redesigning my website, answering emails and writing blog posts than I do writing stories. Honestly, there are days I walk into my office space and feel overwhelmed and want to quit. Kind of sort of, but not really. I know that is not an option.

The Bible says without vision the people perish. Right now, my writing is in danger of perishing if I don’t reconnect with my writing vision and adjust my choices accordingly. I have found the following action steps to be helpful in this process.

Go back to the beginning. Remind myself why I’m writing in the first place. Visit that place of inspiration in my heart. Wake up the joy in writing story. What worked or didn’t work as I split by time between writing and marketing. Then make room in my life for what brings me joy about writing. Let some of the other stuff go and breathe.

Clearly define success for myself. Comparison is a dangerous trap. It is far too easy to be jealous of another author’s success and waste emotional energy bemoaning my lack of success.  What works for another author may not even work for my audience. Instead, I need to carefully examine where I want to be in 1, 5, or more years given my particular heart for writing.

Set clear and sustainable goals that are not pie in the sky goals, but realistic, reachable goals that won’t burn me out. Then once I have well defined goals in place, handle each day’s goal on that day. If I want to reach 1000, it starts with the one I reach today. When I worry about tomorrow, I miss out on enjoying the NOW.

Take the first step. Inaction will only frustrate me, stealing my joy of writing.

Focus on where I am going. Once I start moving, wherever I look is the direction I will go. If I use a compass to arrive at a destination, one degree off over long distance will take me far off course. The goals I set are my path and if I want to stay on that path, I need to keep my eyes on where I am heading.

Give myself grace for when I mess up. I will veer off course from time to time whether by life interrupting or my own reluctance to keep my eyes focused ahead. If I wallow in regret, I give away part of my joy.

Taking these steps will help ensure I don’t lose my joy in writing even if I occasionally lose my way.

What steps have you taken to reconnect with your vision for this writing life?

 

pub pic 2016 tempAuthor Bio:

Angela D. Meyer, author of The Applewood Hill Series, lives in NE with her husband of 25 years and their high school daughter. Their son serves our country in the Marines. Angela enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, connecting with friends and encouraging women to grow in their faith. One of her dream spots to vacation is next to the ocean and someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon.

 

Connect with Angela:

Website  Facebook  Pinterest  Google+  Twitter

 

 

Coming Soon:

Cover reveal of Where Healing Starts Angela’s new release.

Pre-order special for Where Healing Starts: At the time of your purchase, receive a free download of Where Hope Starts, book 1 in the Applewood Hill series.

Sign up for Angela’s Newsletter so you don’t miss these announcements.

 

Coming Soon.temp book coverWhere Healing Starts

Release date: September 22, 2016

 

Joanna, full of bitterness over the past, can no longer ignore the growing storm inside her and is bent on self-destruction as she seeks to ease her pain. But the refuge she seeks is always out of her reach.

 

Her brother Blake must choose between what has always been safe and what he has always wanted. One mistake after another leads him down a dangerous path.

 

The one for all, all for one sibling bond can’t help them now. They are both determined to hang onto their anger, never forgetting. Never forgiving. They see no reason to trust God.

 

After so many years of turmoil, will the Hannigan siblings find refuge in the God who loves them? Or will they get lost along the way?

 

A Season to Shine Beyond

candles_2aAs my friend and I began to redesign my website to reflect more of my fiction writing than my editing (although I still do both), I found myself reflecting on what themes connected me, my writing, and my editing–not an easy task. I didn’t want to take away from my editing tagline (Making your next project S.H.I.N.E.), but I needed something that was more.

Shine Beyond is a vision for me, for my life, for my writing, and even spreading into my editing. As a born again child of the King, I have this light that I am responsible for. (“This little light of mine . . .” Yes, you’re welcome.) A light that needs to shine beyond me, beyond the darkness in this world.

This year, on Wednesdays, I’m inviting my friends–writers and non-writers–to share stories, articles, devotions, etc. that encourage others to Shine Beyond. If you haven’t already signed up to receive my blog posts/newsletter, I encourage you to do so. You won’t want to miss these posts!

If you are interested in participating, shoot me an e-mail! (My name at gmail.com–all lowercase.) In the meantime, I’m curious . . .

What or who has made a difference in YOUR life?

Stand in Faith (by Sandra Ardoin)

Our church choir sings a praise song on occasion. It’s called “I Will Not Be Shaken.” It’s the kind of song to set your toes tapping and hands clapping. Maybe you know it. If not, here’s a YouTube link to another choir’s version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoxbKyCoaPM. Enjoy!

I mention this song because of the words in the chorus. As I listened to them one Sunday, my creativity sprang to life, and I saw them as a basis for a story. I began to get ideas right there in the pew. Does that ever happen to you? Frankly, I don’t care for those moments that interfere with my worship time, so I highlighted the words in my bulletin, something I normally throw away, and brought them home with me to ponder later.

If there is one thing we can blame on this writing gig, it’s that it shakes our faith on occasion. No, I’m not referring to our faith in Christ. Hopefully, that’s solid in anyone who writes for Him. I’m writing of our faith in our abilities.

How often have you entered a writing contest, received your feedback, and wanted to curl up on the bed with your thumb in your mouth? (Okay, for writers, it’s a chocolate bar—for me, a Three Musketeers.) Maybe you’ve received rejection after rejection for a story you’ve poured your heart into, one you believed God whispered in your ear as you took dictation. Perhaps, you’ve received rave reviews, but the book isn’t selling as well as others in the same Amazon category. Do you ever wonder why you bother to open the computer in the morning?

Writing is a tough on the self-esteem. We have a tendency to think that, because God gave us the desire to write stories and we spent months (sometimes years) practicing the craft and sweating over each sentence, we’re automatically entitled to hit the ECPA bestseller list. When we don’t, we can sink into discouragement.

Throughout the years, I’ve returned over and over to Isaiah 55:8 when I need a reminder of WHO God is and who I am in relation to Him.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

FINAL AReluctantMelodyWhew! What a powerful statement—and a humbling one. In my mind, those words go hand-in-hand with Jeremiah 29:11. If both are not a call to trust Him, even when we don’t understand why our plans are “unsuccessful,” I don’t know what it will take.

It can be hard to accept that His will for our writing may be as simple as teaching us something about ourselves through the experiences of fictional characters. I know I’ve grown in my faith through writing about the journeys of my invisible friends. As my hero, Kit Barnes, learns: Be Strong! Be strong in the power of God’s might. Be strong and stand.

He has a plan for each of us in our writing career. Yours will be different from mine. Whatever it is, it’s right for you. Whatever mine is, it’s right for me.

So when you doubt your ability to create, STAND. Stand firm in your trust of His plan. Stand firm in the knowledge that God has placed the desire to write in you for a reason, even if those words never reach anyone but you.

 

Sandra Ardoin_HeadshotBIO:

Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction who writes inspirational historical romance, such as her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel and her January release, A Reluctant Melody. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.

Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Receive her newsletter updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ivy and the Shears (by Peggy Trotter)

12164959_1026096070773880_323249653_oI once bought a lovely little plant. A vine, really. It was quite small, but beautiful. I kept the ivy inside for a few months and it didn’t do very well.  I started to wondering if it would grow outside. I thought of how wonderful it would be if it would grow along the house in the landscaping and how attractive that would be.

So I took it outside, the feeble thing, with much hope. I found a great place beside the house and planted it, and watered it. Directly it wilted. Hmmm. Apparently it was too feeble to handle being outside.  But I shrugged and continued watering it for several days.

The plant’s gorgeous triangular leaves didn’t perk up in the next week.  It drooped and looked worse than ever. So, I planted another one, the variegated type. If one was going to die, the first just as well have company.

I’ll admit, it was touch and go for the first season.  I determined it wasn’t the outdoorsy kind of ivy, but some kind of gentle houseplant kind of variety. But the next year, it had taken off, sending runners here and there.  I was ecstatic! The shiny leaves grew thick and vibrant. The ivy soon covered the entire area I had planned for it. And more. Then it’s hungry creepers began to covet the house’s foundation. No, no. I cut it away. I just wanted it to grow along the ground.

Nope. Soon I was back into my busy schedule and didn’t give it the attention I needed to. Now the foundation is covered, and the greedy ivy stretches toward the siding. And more ground. And around the bushes. And flowers.

I whack it away, but since it is such a fine grower now, I plant the cuttings in another spot. Now, some fifteen years later, I’m inundated with ivy. Trust me, it’s not the gentle houseplant kind of ivy. It’s the invading, eat your house kind of ivy.

In my heart there’s a runner. It waits deep and silent. And when I’m wronged it starts to grow. Feeble at first. Justified. I water it with my own discontentment and anger. The creepers aren’t satisfied with just a small area. No, it invades my storehouse of love and forgiveness. It’s not a gentle type of the houseplant variety that is satisfied with a small bit of sunshine and tepid temperatures.  No. It’s the parasitic kind that sucks the life out of its host.

This ivy in my heart begins to wrap around every vestige of my heart attacking further and further toward my soul. I whack at it occasionally, but it’s aggressively determined, and I realize I cannot do this alone. Can . . .not. That ivy, bitterness, will win.

I go to the only source I know that can defeat any enemy. The Scriptures.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 KJV) 

It’s not exactly the magic cure I thought it would be. I look some more. I study, I read. There had to be some kind of thing to actually do. I was looking more for a step by step procedure to completely yank bitterness from continuing to grow and flourish. I love step by step instructions.

Then I realize, you just stop. You actually put it away and stop obsessing over it. Instead you turn to kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. Simply, put away. Done. Caput.

I can’t say I always do this “putting away” thing with much success. It’s much more difficult that it appears. And that wicked ivy often springs up, vibrant and covetous. Perhaps you’ve been in the bitter barn hothouse as well? After all, your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  I Peter 5:8b (KJV) And every time I think in my head. Okay, fine, but who is stronger? God or the Devil? Oh, yes. God is stronger. And once more I clip that creeper, day by day, one after another. I pray you do too.

Great. Someone just jabbed me on Facebook. Again. Grrr. Sigh. Hand me the pruning shears.

 

12047702_1026096430773844_1985967413_nAbout the Author:

Peggy Trotter has been writing something for over 30 years. The empty-nest syndrome set her to groping for a new direction, and wow, did God answer! Year of Jubilee, a Christian Historical Romance set in southern Indiana, debuted in April of 2015 through Prism Book Group. A second, a Contemporary Romance entitled, Reviving Jules, just released on Oct. 9th, 2015 as well. She loves to reveal God’s miracles through the world’s underdogs and mix in a little love, a dash of romantic heat, and of course, a happy ending.

 

She took third place in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest in 2013 in the 12119697_1026096577440496_2077627812_oInspirational Category, and won the coveted Genesis Award in 2014 from the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) in the Novella Category with her entry, Spun, a Historical Romance.

 

God blessed her with a wonderful husband who cooks and helps clean while supporting her crazy dreams. She has two incredible grown kids plus two fabulous in-law kids, and two rays of sunshine, commonly called grandchildren. Seldom does she stand still, but when she does, it’s to praise her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Creator of all gifts and Bestower of all blessings!

A Kind Word (by Carole Brown)

A kind word doeth good like medicine.

The other day a Facebook friend sent me one of those memes that showed a bear, a saying and the word hugs. When I thanked her, she said she’d be thinking of me and hoped all was good.

At that moment, it was.

Kind words usually give a tiny spark of joy, warmth, laughter or peace. I always like to think of those who use them, as a special person. Let’s think about how kind words benefit:

Never be afraid to pass on a kind word. Have you ever seen a store clerk’s face when you said, “Have a good day”? We were in a farm store the other day, and a lady was in training. She wasn’t familiar with all the ins and outs of ringing up a customer, but her trainer did a good job of instructing her. When I assured them I was fine with the slower pace we were receiving, the trainee’s face lit up. I made sure to assure her she’d done a good job when our transaction was completed.

ŸAlways remember: most people have bad days or “dips” in their lives.  Be that person who shares a smile, a word of encouragement, a friendly act. Don’t pass on ugly attitudes or actions because the world thinks it’s the thing to do. Be different and bold and encouraging!

ŸThere are many types of people with all kinds of personalities. No matter how YOU try, some people will never change. There are always going to be constant complainers and whiners, depressive people with negative attitudes, grouchy people who are angry at everyone and everything. Don’t let that stop you. It’s so easy to allow yourself to be tainted by those ugly personalities and attitudes. Don’t! Remember, a kind word may do more good than you realize. Corrie Ten Boom went to one person’s home MANY times before she convinced that person. Be that persistent.

ŸLastly, it’s important to YOU to be kind. Not only will it give you satisfaction in doing/giving a worthwhile action/word, but it will bring a peace and joy to your own self. Less stress. Less worry about what you can not do. And . . .

Relaxation.

 

Who doesn’t need that? Have a wonderful day, people!

 

 

CaroleAug14 (14) croppedAbout the Author:

Brown not only has her award winning (Winner of the 2015 Christian Small Publisher Award in General Fiction, nominated for an Epic Award, RWA International Digital Awards finalist in Inspiration, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia.

A fun, lighthearted mystery series began with the first book: Hog Insane, introducing Denton and Alex Davies and now her second book in this series, Bat Crazy. Her WWII romantic suspense Spies series began with With Music In Their Hearts, featuring the first of three red-headed sisters, three spies, and three stories.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=67381031

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/

 

 

 

Book Cover Centered-smallBack Cover Blurb for Bat Crazy

Red-eyed Monster Bats that attack humans?

Denton doesn’t think so and Alex hopes not, but who are they to quibble with the local gossip?

Transmission problems and a blown tire land Denton and Alex Davies right in the middle of a dilapidated, unfriendly town that’s welcoming no strangers, least of all nosy ones with a bent toward solving mysteries.

But with support from the town detective–an admirer of the Davies–and their own tenacious personalities, Denton and Alex aren’t easily scared off. Not when warnings in the form of painted bats show up on the porch of their rented cabin, not when the mayor threatens to run them out of town and not even when Denton finds the bones . . .

An ancient story, a bit of a map, a lost jewel and even a bat clan serve to provide the Davies and their sidekick, Taffy, the dog, their hardest case so far.

Available on Amazon and other online stores:

http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Why I’m Glad it Took 11 Years to Get my First Novel Published (by A.J. Cattapan)

 

I started my writing journey about eleven years ago when I enrolled in a class on writing for children and teens. Although I’d harbored secret desires of being a novelist since the sixth grade, my initial ambitions were pretty humble: just get published in a children’s magazine. It took nearly six years before I saw my first short story in print.

Around that time, my ambitions (and my courage) grew and I took a class in writing novels for children and teens, but it took another five years before I held my first book in my hands. You might think I would’ve gotten discouraged and given up somewhere along the way. Well, you’d be half right. I did get discouraged, but I didn’t give up. In fact, now that my debut novel is out and has become an Amazon bestseller for Christian teen fiction on social issues, I’m actually really glad it took me a long time to get published.

Why?

Because without all those years of preparation, there’s no way I would’ve been ready to tackle a book launch or even signing a book contract for that matter.

You see, I’ve recently been asked to mentor a few aspiring writers, and what I’ve learned is that many of them just want to sell their book (which they are sure is not just an Amazon bestseller but a New York Times bestseller, too!) and thus hit it big quick. When they tell me about their attempts to get published, I hear about all the mistakes they’re making.

I ask, “Have you joined any writing groups?”

They say, “No, I was waiting until I got my first paycheck from the publisher.” (Mind you, they don’t have an agent or publisher yet.)

“No, don’t wait,” I respond, “Join now! You need to show the agents and publishers that you take your craft seriously, and you can learn so much from them. Do you have any kind of writing platform? Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest followers?”

“Nope, none of those.”

“Not even a personal Facebook account?”

“No.”

“Have you been to any writing conferences?”

“No. Why would I go there?”

“Have you learned the proper way to write a query letter?”

“Oh, I just mailed them my entire manuscript. And if they reject it, they’d better return it because I paid lawyers to help me get it copyrighted already.”

Yikes! And this is why I’m so glad it took me eleven years to get a novel published. It gave me time to learn not just the craft of writing but the business as well. While I never made any of the mistakes listed above, it did take me a lot of time to get my website in order (in fact, I played around with a couple different blog ideas first) and to build up my social media platform.

God had a plan for my writing career. He knew I needed time to be ready to handle the demands and stress of marketing a book. He knew I’d need to meet and learn from many different authors who would help guide me along the way. Honestly, if it hadn’t taken about eleven years for me, I don’t think Angelhood would have made it on the Amazon bestseller list the day it released. I wouldn’t have had the marketing and networking skills to pull that off.

If you’re not yet published and feeling frustrated, please know that most of us have been there. It’s a very rare author who doesn’t spend at least a few years learning their craft and the business. If you haven’t made that book deal yet, take heart. It means you’ve got time to network, build that email list and social media platform, and improve your craft. Then when the big day finally arrives, you’ll be ready to tackle it like a pro!

 

IMG_8231Author bio:

A.J. Cattapan is an author, speaker, and middle school English teacher living in the Chicago area. Her published works include the young adult novel Angelhood, a guardian angel story in the tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life. She’s also been a Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor and had numerous short stories and articles published in magazines for teens and children, including Highlights, Pockets, and Hopscotch for Girls. She will also be featured in a recipe and corresponding story anthology due out later this year.

 

Angelhood2 500x750Book blurb:

Seventeen-year-old theater geek Nanette believes her life is headed toward stardom on Broadway. But when her dream theater college rejects her and her best friend dies in a terrible accident, Nanette decides the world would be better off without her. Unfortunately, the afterlife offers something less than a heavenly situation. Trapped between alternating periods of utter darkness and light, Nanette is stuck following a high school freshman around. Soon, she learns she’s a guardian angel, and the only way she can earn her wings is to keep her young charge, Vera, from committing the same sin she did—taking her own life.

Unfortunately, Nanette is missing more than just her wings. She has no tangible body or voice, either. Frustrated by her inability to reach out to Vera and haunted by memories of her old life, Nanette wants to give up, but then she sees what happens when another Guardian at the high school turns his back on his charge. The shock is enough to supercharge Nanette’s determination. If she’s going to find peace in the afterlife, she’s going to have to discover what living is really all about.

Links below:

Social Media Links:

Website: www.ajcattapan.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/acattapan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJCattapan

Instagram: https://instagram.com/a.j.cattapan/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ajcattapan/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24553425-angelhood

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+AJCattapan

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/ajcattapan

 

Purchase Links for Angelhood:

Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/nam26ek

Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/nvaphgk

Nook: http://tinyurl.com/q973qz8

iBook: http://tinyurl.com/qya98ya

All ebook versions are currently only $1.99!

 

Please Don’t Faint! (by Ada Brownell)

Clara has always been a fainter. She passes out at the sight of blood. Once she fainted when she bumped her head on a door.

Due to her habit of fainting, Clara is not much help in an emergency. When she was a teenager she worked for her Uncle Matt and Aunt Marge. One day Matt broke his leg. Marge was away, so Matt shouted for Clara to call for help. Clara rushed to see what happened, and fainted. Matt had to crawl to the phone.

Years later, Clara and her family were camping at high altitude on Grand Mesa near Grand Junction, CO. Her son, Dean, had a heart murmur and in the middle of the night and gasped for breath.

Clara’s husband awakened her and said, “We’re going to have to take Dean off this mountain. He can’t breathe.”

She sat up, looked at Dean, and then lay back again. “I think I’m going to faint.”

Her husband laughed. “Don’t be silly. You can’t faint lying down.”

But she did.

Doctors say Clara’s fainting was the result of a depression in the action of the heart. This can be caused by cold, heat, hunger, mental shock, weakness, pain, or fright.

Not many people suffer physical fainting as often as Clara did, but in the church there are many spiritual “fainters.” The Bible reproves those who faint when the going gets rough. “If you faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small,” we’re told in Proverbs 24:10.

Another scripture addresses those in the Lord’s work. “Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galations 6:9).

“Spiritual fainting” is not necessary. As long as God lives and answers prayer, there is a way to recover strength, according to Isaiah 40:31, which says “if we wait upon the Lord, we can run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.” Luke 18:1 has further guidance: “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

Don’t faint. Don’t give up in your well doing. Pray instead, and God will strengthen you.

Note: Clara Miracle was one of Ada Brownell’s older sisters. A similar version to this story appeared in The Pentecostal Evangel years ago.

 

ada brownellMEET ADA BROWNELL

Ada Brownell blogs and writes with Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement. She is the author of six books, about 300 stories and articles in Christian publications, and she spent a large chunk of her life as a reporter, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. A Bible student since her teens and a youth educator, she also taught on the Bible and science; courses from Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict; and other faith-building courses. She now lives in Missouri, a beautiful state except for tornadoes and chiggers.

Among her books: The Lady Fugitive, an historical romance; Imagine the Future You, a youth/parent Bible study;.Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, a novel for middle grade up; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, includes evidence we’re more than a body; Facts, Faith and Propaganda, a book that unmasks propaganda as well as reveals amazing truth; and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; Most books are available in paper or for Kindle. Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at www.Audible.com  Free book with new Audible membership.

Amazon Ada Brownell author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AdaBrownellWritingMinistries

Twitter: @AdaBrownell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1654534.Ada_Brownell

Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com

Barnesandnoble.com http://ow.ly/PUWHO

 

 Copyright © 2015 Ada B. Brownell

Be Strong, Fear Not (by Patrick E. Craig)

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.

Often these days, as I look back over the last year, that little song from The Lord of The Rings has been going through my head. In February of 2014, Jenny’s Choice, the last book in my Apple Creek Dreams series for Harvest House reached print, and it arrived just in time for a huge drop in the publishing business that saw major publishing houses dropping their fiction departments and jettisoning new authors.

My agent had my latest proposal, the people who read my first series gave me wonderful feedback, Jenny’s Choice had a 4.8 star rating on Amazon, but I still didn’t have a new contract.  In the midst of that, I had been working full time and getting ready to sell the home that I had lived in for fifteen years while preparing to move to another state.  So by the time I would finally sit down to write, my mind was la table rasa, the blank slate.  Oh, it’s not that I didn’t have any ideas for books; it’s just that with everything that was happening I just couldn’t put my stories into words.

Has that ever happened to you?  So what’s the solution?

The-Amish-HeiressWhen I signed my first deal to write the Apple Creek Dreams series, the road to that event was totally engineered by the Lord.  I really didn’t do anything except listen to Him and go where He directed.  And of course I had to write the books.  But here’s what I discovered.  If you are a Christian who loves to write, that is a gift from God.  After all, He is The Word, and He communicates to us through His written word.  So when we write, we are living in His image.  And we have to remember then that what we write is from Him and it is to be used for His purpose, in His time, and for His glory.  That takes a real load off.

A good book is not about fame and fortune, even if your mind is demanding recognition.  For a Christian, writing should be about presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that impacts the spirit and soul of those who read your book.  And that could be millions or maybe only one.  But that one person may find eternal life in the words you write, and that is reward enough.

So I just kept writing, and finally the next book began to take shape. In June of 2015, I put “The End” on the story of Rachel Hershberger, The Amish Heiress.  I am self-publishing the book because I believe it is a story the Lord gave me to write.  And if I never get another contract, I will keep writing, because that’s what the Lord has for me.

So, going back to the little song:  if you have a story, you are on a road that is going somewhere, even though you may not know where it will lead.  So keep writing, be strong, fear not.  For the Lord is with you and you must follow, if you can.

PCraig2aAbout the Author:

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the western United States. In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. The books are historical Amish fiction and the first book, A Quilt for Jenna, was released February 1, 2013.  The second book in the series, The Road Home, was released September 1, 2013.  Book number three, Jenny’s Choice, came out February 1, 2014.  His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and the first book, The Amish Heiress, will be out in August, 2015. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.

 

Where can readers find me online?

www.patrickecraig.com  (Webpage)
https://www.facebook.com/PatrickECraig (Facebook)
https://twitter.com/PatrickECraig (Twitter)
http://tinyurl.com/pn5rzf9  (LinkedIn)

Where can readers purchase the Apple Creek Dreams Series?

http://tinyurl.com/n6sfagg (Amazon)
http://tinyurl.com/ou2kb2y (Barnes & Noble)

 

The Amish Heiress will be available in August on Amazon, B&N and GoodReads.

 

 

 

 

I Wrote a Novel (by DJ Mynatt)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wrote a novel.

It’s not what I expected to write; yet when I sat down to write, the words just flowed onto the page.

I had lots of ideas … Amish Romance, Contemporary Romance, Sci-Fi, and plans for several non-fiction devotionals. But when I sat down–and began my Amish romance–almost immediately it changed into an Amish Suspense novel. Definitely suspenseful … and I love writing it. Some of the other ideas I had are in the works now, some are still in the planning stage, but the Amish suspense is the one I love to write.

But today I want to talk about my non-fiction book. When several readers asked me to write about my experiences when I competed in the NaNoWriMo event, I felt it was important enough to complete. National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known to its’ users as NaNoWriMo, isn’t looked upon favorably by many writers/authors. I’m not sure why … they don’t claim to teach you how to write, or how to get published, or how to do anything except to teach yourself how to develop a habit of writing.

That’s it. If you’ve always wanted to pen the great American novel, or be the next J.K. Rowling, do whatever it takes to write your novel. And that’s my message to you today. Don’t let anyone–or anything–stop you. And if you need a little nudge, or something to help you create a good habit of writing, NaNoWriMo can help with that.

If you don’t need help with making time to write, then I encourage you to sign up for a creative writing class at your local community college, or find a workshop that specializes in creating the perfect query letter or one-sheet–or join the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization and take their online classes.

There are also lots of books on how to make your writing better … and how to find an agent, or editor, or even a publisher. But the main thing is to get that novel written. And you can do it–I know you can do it–if you really want to. It doesn’t matter if you work full-time, or if you’re a full-time stay-at-home mom, or if you’ve just retired and need something to fill the empty hours.

One of my favorite Bible verses, that has encouraged me many times is “Ask, and it shall be give you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” ~Matthew 7:7

These words are not just words of encouragement … these words have been proven time and again. God promises whatsoever we desire, we only need ask for it to receive it. Now hold on, I’m not talking about earthly fame or fortune; I’m talking about having a desire to write–to reach out to others–words that God has given you to share.

Because honestly, if it isn’t in God’s will for me–I DON’T WANT IT! I make enough mistakes on my own. When I pray, I ask God to direct my path, to guide me in my words, to reach out to others with good news for others. I believe God has given me a love and a desire to write. All I need to do is write and ask God to make a way for those who need to read it – to find it.

Yes, I am coming to the place where I need my writing to support my family, but God has a much better plan than I could have – to help me reach this goal.

Write. Trust God to do the rest. It’s that simple.

1 - Author Photo - DJM - SM - 06-2015Author Bio:

DJ Mynatt is a newly-published author, who works full-time for the State of Tennessee, as well as beginning a new career as an author, editor, and speaker. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization, The Christian PEN (TCP) and the Non-Fiction Authors Association (NFAA).

DJ lives with her daughter and grandchildren in the beautiful hills of Tennessee When she leaves her “day job”, DJ’s time is spent focusing on her writing, editing, blogging, reviewing books (especially for authors featured on her BookShelf blog) and attending workshops and writers conferences.

In her first published book, DJ shares her experiences while participating in the NaNoWriMo challenge in November, and she encourages others to sign up for this amazing adventure!

“If you’ve always wanted to write, but haven’t been able to get started, NaNoWriMo is a great idea for you. It’s not meant to teach you how to write, but to give you the opportunity to create a habit of writing. It might just be the push you need to begin your writing career!”