Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Meet today's guest:
K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance, romantic suspense, and non-fiction. She is an avid blogger and gives away several books per week on her blog at, most of which are signed by the authors. She's also the moderator of the popular facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at!/group.php?gid=128209963444.

When not reading or writing, K. Dawn Byrd enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

Lessons from the Open Road
A couple of years ago, the idea of writing a devotional about the lessons I learned while riding a motorcycle came to me. I jotted down notes for weeks, hoping to come up with enough lessons to take the reader through a month. Lessons from the Open Road ended with 33 lessons, each followed by Scripture and prayer.
Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes learning new things is hard. Just when I thought I'd mastered the parking lot where I was learning to ride my little Yamaha Virago starter bike, I pulled out, forgot to hit the brake, did an Evel Knievel, and jumped a short concrete wall, landing in some trees. My poor little bike limped home with a hole in the crankcase the size of a quarter. J-B Weld to the rescue!

I'm stubborn, too stubborn to quit. After I recovered from the sore neck that resulted from my stunt, I climbed back on the old iron horse. Eventually, I graduated from the parking lot and hit the streets. When I'd learned to ride well enough to satisfy hubby, he bought himself a new Harley and I inherited his anniversary edition Harley Davidson Sportster. And, when I graduated with my masters degree, you'd never guess what I wanted. Yep, a new bike. I became the proud owner of a Screamin Eagle V-Rod (picture attached.)
All good things must eventually come to an end. I enjoyed my days on the road, but found another passion. Writing. I work a full-time job and since there's only so much time in the day, I have to choose what's most important to me. The bike had to go. Occasionally, I miss it, but for the most part, I'd rather be writing. I'm hoping the devotions in Lessons from the Open Road will minister to your heart as much as writing them did to mine.
Lessons from the Open Road is currently available in ebook format and will be coming soon in print. I had planned to list it at no cost, but Amazon wouldn't allow me to do so. I've listed it at the lowest price Amazon allows, 99 cents, and all proceeds will be donated to my church's building fund for the new church that's currently under construction.
For more information about Lessons from the Open Road, you can check it out on Amazon at

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10


The morning-after pill, which would be included in the proposed mandate in ObamaCare to provide every woman with access to contraception, seems the lesser of other evils forced upon us such as abortion pills and abortion. The purpose of the morning-after-pill is to prevent a fertilized human egg from attaching the womb. Planned Parenthood says a woman is not pregnant until the egg attaches. True. But invitro fertilization shows us a fertilized egg, however, is pregnant with life.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Christy Barritt Shares How She Creates Suspense Novels

Christy Barritt is an author, freelance writer and speaker who lives in Virginia. She's married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious--but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. She's only won one contest in her life--and her prize was kissing a pig (okay, okay... actually she did win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery for her book Suspicious Minds also). Her current claim to fame is showing off her mother, who looks just like former First Lady Barbara Bush.
When she's not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is.

For more information, visit her website at:

Were it not for her cop neighbor, widowed mother Madison Jacobs would be dead. Thankfully, Detective Brody Philips interrupts an attempt on her life in the nick of time. But the would-be killer hasn't given up, and each tick of the clock brings the madman closer to finishing what he started. Brady vows to catch the serial killer plaguing the sleepy Virginia town…especially when he realizes the danger has followed him from the big city. With everyone around him at risk, it'll take everything Brody's got to do his duty and keep Madison and her son safe

1. How did you go about plotting the book and writing the first page?
The idea actually developed because of my five-year-old son. I came home one day from dropping him off at preschool and I heard a timer ticking as soon as I walked into the house. For just a moment my imagination went crazy with the “what if” possibilities. It turned out my son had simply left the egg-timer on in the bathroom. Sometimes we set it for him to brush his teeth! The story grew from there. It seems every good story starts with those “what if” questions.
2. The ticking timer is eerie, and a great instrument for creating suspense. Did you think of that early, or did it appear in a rewrite?
The ticking timer was definitely the catalyst for the entire story!
3. The other things involved in the first attack were unusual for a murderer and quite involved. Did you need to think those things through to be sure the victim could do the things commanded, especially under stress?
I always try to think each scenario through and run them past my husband

(who’s way more logical than I am!) for potential flaws. Every once in a while, you’ll catch me acting something out to see if a person can move a certain way or drag a person weighing 200 pounds behind them. It’s a little strange, I suppose, but I do try to think each situation through!
4. Do you read a lot of suspense?
I do! I love mystery and suspense. In fact, it’s hard for me to read a book without any mystery or suspense!
5. Know anything about law enforcement, suicides, and how a coroner works or did you have a good source?
I try to stay away from being too procedural with my writing. I’m not a police officer, so it’s hard to know exactly how they would handle every situation. I try to focus more on the other aspects of the investigation, things that are less technical. I have been through a citizen’s police academy, as well as the FBI citizen’s academy. One of my friends is a medical examiner also, and she’ll answer my questions for me!
6. What is your background in writing and publication?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember! I went to college to study communications, and afterward I got a job as an assistant editor at Christian publishing house. I moved back home to be with my father who was terminally ill. It was during that time that I decided to try my hand at writing a novel again. I also became a reporter for my local newspaper and began freelancing for several other publications.
7. Do you have another novel in the works now? Give us your short summary of it.
I actually have several things in the works right now. I’m re-releasing two previously published novels in April—The Trouble with Perfect and Hazardous Duty. I also wrote a nonfiction book called The Novel in Me: The Beginner’s Guide to Writing and Publishing a Novel. In May, my cozy mystery, Death of the Couch Potato’s Wife, releases, and in September my next Love Inspired Suspense, Ricochet, will hit shelves. Whew. Yes, I’ve been very busy! All the information about the books is up on my website.
8. What have you done that makes you most proud?
My boys! I love my kids, and nothing makes me happier than being with them.
9. Finally, how do you believe faith should affect the outcome of a novel?
I think that as Christians faith saturates every part of our lives. I really try to let the faith elements in stories grow naturally from the characters and situations. But I want every story to end with hope and redemption because that’s what the Christian life is about.
10. Where can we contact you?
Please visit my website at It’s being revamped right now, but will launch in April. I’ll be having a huge Reader Appreciation Month then and am doing tons of fun giveaways—including winning a part in one of my novels! Please stop by for a visit. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Desperate Housewife? A devotion from Fay Lamb

Leah: A Desperate Housewife

“And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban,
What is this thou hast done unto me? Did not I serve with thee for Rachel? Wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?” Genesis 29:25

I’ve never watched the television show Desperate Housewives. Not one minute of it, but I’ve seen the commercials. That’s enough for me. I can’t imagine living in a neighborhood of catty, conniving women. I wouldn’t want to live there, and if I found myself surrounded by such woman, I’d do everything I could to move.
The concept of desperate housewives isn’t new. We have a glimpse of two desperate women wanting the attention of the same man when we read the life of Jacob and his marriages to Leah and Rachel.
What must it have been like for Leah? She couldn’t remove herself from the situation her father placed her into. Her father had given her in marriage to a man who had eyes only for her sister, a man who when he found he’d been tricked into the marriage, immediately set about to marry the woman he loved? And in some ways, Leah’s sister was as bad as the woman of Wisteria Lane.
Genesis 29:31 tells us that God saw that Leah was unloved—that Jacob had no feelings for her. His true affection belonged to Rachel. Leah could have resorted to conniving, as Rachel later did when she wanted Leah’s mandrakes. She also could have decided to make Jacob’s life miserable as Rachel had done when she demanded from Jacob things that were not his to give. “Give me children, or else I die,” she said. Instead, Leah quietly endured. This desperate housewife turned her attention to God.
And because God saw that Jacob loved Rachel and not Leah, He chose to bless Leah with children while Rachel was unable to bear children for a time. With each birth of her first four sons, Leah’s conversation with God showed the depth of her desperation:
Leah named her firstborn Reuben, which literally means, See, a son. Then she said, “Surely, the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.” Can’t you just imagine this woman’s broken heart crying out, “Lord, my husband doesn’t see me”?
When she gave birth to her second child, she said, “Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore give me this son also,” and she named this son Simeon, which means, Heard. In other words, Leah was saying, “Lord, my husband doesn’t hear me.”
Her third son, Leah named Levi, which means attached, and she said, “Now, this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons.” How sad it is to know that Leah was actually saying to the Lord, “Father, my husband’s heart is not joined with mine.”
And still in the face of Jacob’s lack of devotion, Leah continued to have faith in the Lord. When she conceived her fourth son, she named him Judah, which means Praise, and she declared, “Now will I praise the LORD. “
Leah may never have come to terms with the fact that her husband’s affections belonged to Rachel. In naming her younger sons it was clear she still longed for Jacob to love her, but Leah, a truly desperate housewife, gave her sorrows over to God, and God blessed Leah with children, and through the lineage of this quiet woman of prayer, the world received a blessing. . .Jesus Christ.

Fay Lamb works as an acquisition/copyeditor for Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books), offers her services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel is published by Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing.
Fay has a passion for working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010.
In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board.
Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

Because of Me:

Not your typical Christian fiction.

Michael’s fiancée, Issie Putnam, was brutally attacked and Michael was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s home to set things right.

Two people stand in his way: Issie’s son, Cole, and a madman.
Can Michael learn to love the child Issie holds so close to her heart and protect him from the man who took everything from Michael so long ago?

Available through all fine book retailers,, and Mountainview Publishing, a division of Treble Heart Books.
Purchase the book at Amazon at:
Or at Treble Heart Books at:
Purchase the book at:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Truth or Spin?

How do we know truth?
Law enforcement, juries, judges, media, schools and parents search for truth, but are they really looking for it?

The attorney who nearly always enters a “not guilty” plea, even when his client was caught in the act by cameras and there are multiple witnesses?

Even television anchors and other reporters who allow the source to “spin” a story?

The pastor or priest who teaches something he knows doesn’t agree with the Bible?

For centuries before us, people have tried to determine truth. The second chapter of my new book, Swallowed by LIFE, is titled “Truth Sleuth.” Many things in life are so important, we need to know the truth.

One of most important areas we should investigate when we should search for truth is what happens when our time on earth is over. Will we cease to exist, or will we enter somewhere else? Will we come back as bugs, animals or another person?

You could be surprised at some of the truth tactics used down through the centuries and the lack of reliability of current methods such as the polygraph. But you also may be surprised how we determine truth about eternity. I'll give you a few hints. You look at the evidence, read the transcript of witnesses, and make your decision.

To see some of the answers for determining truth read the book. Swallowed by Life is available at
The Kindle version is
It is also available at

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Free lance writing courses by Janice Thompson

Make Money Writing Interview Janice Thompson/ Welcome, Janice. Can you tell us about your latest venture? Thanks for having me. I’m thrilled to share about my latest book, MAKE
MONEY WRITING, which is now available from amazon for kindle users. The book, which is loaded with helpful hints for freelancers, is free from March 12th – March 17th. After that, it will sell for $4.49. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your writing experience? Sure! I write under the names “Janice Thompson” and “Janice Hanna.” I just signed contract #79 (For QUEEN OF THE WAVES) and have written in a variety of genres, including romance, historical, contemporary, cozy mystery, juvenile fiction, non-fiction and more. I’m best known for my light-hearted contemporary novels and for my quirky characters. I’m pretty passionate about writing, and even more passionate about helping others discover their writing talents and abilities. For the past seven years I’ve worked as a full-time freelancer, earning my living with my books, teachings, articles, and write-for-hire work. Why did you decide to write this book? For several years now I’ve divided my time between freelance writing
and teaching. So many aspiring writers discover that I’ve published several books and they come to me to ask the inevitable, “How do I get published?” question, usually followed by, “Is there really money to be made in publishing?” Over the past couple years I’ve put together several freelance writing courses to answer their questions, but I felt the need to do more, so I compiled all of my mini-teachings into one book. Will readers get all of the same materials they would get in one of your courses? No, the courses are very specific to their individual topics. MAKE MONEY WRITING covers a variety of areas of interest to the freelance writer, including: earning top dollar, magazine article writing, write-for-hire work, writing the novel and/or non-fiction book, the submission process, succeeding as a freelancer, and more. The book is not a textbook. Instead, it is motivational in tone and focuses on offering encouragement to freelancers and giving them basic tips for success in each of the areas listed above. Can you tell us a little more about the book? Sure! It might make more sense to share some of the chapter titles because they will give you an idea of some of the topics readers will find in the book. Earning Top Dollar Jumping the Hurdles In the Beginning. . .the Writer Set Goals What Industry Pros are Saying about Goal-Setting Write. . .for Hire! Revolutionize Your Writing Girls Just Wanta Have Funds Double Your Word Count in Two Weeks Cash in on Magazine Articles Sync Up Freelance Lingo Stop, Drop and Roll (Adding the Crisis Scene) From Mii to Wii (learning how to incorporate the “we” factor) Make ‘Em Laugh Elevating Your Elevator Pitch Seven Days to Better Writing Five Things a Writer can Learn from American Idol Got Moxie? Becoming a Public Speaker Writers are from Mars, Readers are from Venus . . .and much, much more! What other projects are you working on? I’m currently writing QUEEN OF THE WAVES, a novel set aboard the Titanic. Very compelling story, I must say! And I’m tickled about my upcoming release, Wedding Belles. You mentioned your courses. Can you tell us what’s going on in that world? Yes, thanks for asking. I’m tickled about the recent release of my Non-Fiction Writing Course. I recorded this course in the studio several months ago and had a blast doing it. I’m convinced this is the most comprehensive package I’ve ever put together. Non-Fiction writers should be able to take this course and find some degree of success building their platform, writing short pieces and fully developing a non-fiction book. There’s even information on how to pitch (and ultimately market) the non-fiction book. Here are the ten topics within the course: From Magazines to Books: Building Your Platform Understanding Non-Fiction Book Types Best Selling Topics Compiling Your Information (Braiding the Book) 33 Tips to Strengthen Your Writing Incorporating Fiction Techniques in Your Non-Fiction The Submission Process Making the Sale (Includes all aspects of the contract/sale/edits/production) Marketing Your Book How to Stay in the Game As with all of my courses, this one is available online at How can readers get the free kindle book? They can follow this link to amazon: The book will be free from March 12th – March 17th and will revert to is usual $4.49 price after that. Janice, how can readers reach you? I love to chat with my readers! To learn more about my books, visit: To learn more about my writing courses, including my new non-fiction course, visit:
Facebook: JaniceHannaThompson Twitter: booksbyjanice

Monday, March 5, 2012

Eternity: Why we Sing Contemporary Church Music

I imagine most of the youth in churches today have never heard the song, “When the Roll is Called up Yonder I’ll Be There.” Or, “It’s Just Like His Great Love.” They probably haven’t even heard “When We all Get to Heaven.”
The youth from evangelical churches who are in their 40s and 50s heard them all. They’re the ones who threw them out.
Older people are still mystified by the loss of their beloved hymns and gospel music. Yes, every generation has its own “beat.” But I don’t agree that the sound of the old music was the main problem, even if we clapped on the first and third beats instead of two and four. There is a deeper, spiritual problem behind running hymns and gospel music out the church's back door.
The reason: This generation isn't very interested in heaven, the Second Coming of Christ, and they certainly don't want to sing about what happens when you die.
I'm not knocking the new music. It is changing from the 7-11 choruses from years past where we sang seven words eleven times. At least in our church, the majority of the songs are powerful. Part of the reason is the lyrics evolved beyond worship and now include doctrine.
My brother, Dr. Joe Nicholson, spent years as head of the music department at Evangel University and he has written music textbooks. He wrote in Enrichment Journal a few years ago that the older generation's songs have worship, but also doctrine, testimony, invitation, spiritual commitment, encouragement, repentance. I can’t remember the whole list.
Those things aren’t offensive to the sensibilities of younger people. At least I wouldn’t think so. But I do know, at least from appearances, that young people today don’t want to think about—let alone sing about—their mortality.
I didn't notice how many of the gospel songs and hymns speak about the joy of eternity and Jesus going through the valley with us until recent years.
I imagine because so many people died young and as recently as 1900 the life expectancy was only in the 40s, generations before us sang constantly about the eternal. They accepted that our journey here is short and they looked forward to living forever with Jesus. Because they didn’t have clean water, immunizations and antibiotics, families were fortunate to have all their children survive into adulthood.
Now, we almost view ourselves as immortal on earth. So why should we think or sing about eternity? We can ignore we have enemies like Iran, terrorists among us and that our unequaled health care may be in jeopardy.
Especially since we lost a daughter, I believe we need to understand the joys set before us by our Heavenly Father. We need to prepare for eternal life before a crisis. For some, it will be an emotional moment. Historically, most people who accepted Christ wept. I think it was partly because when sinners accept Jesus as Savior, they repent. But they also shed joyful tears knowing they’ve created a relationship with the Creator of the universe, and will live forever with Him.
That’s why we sing some of these old songs and invite others to experience this joy and wonder.
The third verse of "It's Just Like His Great Love," says "When sorrow's clouds o'er take me, And break upon my head. When life seems worse than useless, And earthly hopes are dead; I take my grief to Jesus then, Nor do I go in vain, For heav'nly hope He gives that cheers, Like sunshine after rain."
The last verse continues with joy: "O I could sing forever, of Jesus' love divine; Of all His care and tenderness For this poor life of mine...." The choruses continues, "It's Just Like Jesus to roll the clouds away...."
How can that not be worship? Look at these titles about eternity.
Look for Me for I’ll be there
It is Well with my soul
Victory (We will sing it on that shore when this fleeting life is o’er)
I’ll meet you in the morning
How beautiful heaven must be
There’s Great Day Coming
His Way with Thee (Will you in His kingdom find a place of quiet rest?)
Hallelujah we shall rise
Will the Circle be unbroken?
I am on my way to heaven (shouting glory!)
In the Great Triumphant Morning
Sunlight, Sunlight (Soon I shall see him as He is)
Be still, my soul
When the roll is called up yonder I'll be There
Face to Face
Saved by Grace
When the Saints Go Marching In (there are verses most people haven't heard)
O That Will Be Glory for Me
The King is Coming
When Jesus returns for His own
Old songbooks are full of them. Check them out sometime.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Parenting Affects More than Genes

                                            Compassion is Catching
By Guest blogger Jennifer Slattery
(Photo is of Jennifer and her daughter, Ash)
Do you ever catch yourself saying something, then clamp your mouth shut with the realization you’ve become your mother? Or maybe you’ve glanced behind you to see your child rolling their eyes…just like you…at something that normally gets you annoyed. It’s rather sobering how pervasive a parent’s reach is. I find it quite humbling. And challenging. Each day as I watch our daughter grow I’m reminded of the power of my unspoken words.

Lately my daughter’s talked a lot about her future dream–or perhaps future mission would be more accurate. It’s quite a unique vision, and one that brings tears to my eyes. When she grows up she wants to get her veterinary license and treat the pets of the homeless. She plans to open a private practice to fund her mission. (Now obviously, she’s thirteen, so her plans may change.) This dream unites her two loves–animals and others, in a Christ-centered way.

But here’s the funny thing…I’ve never told her she needs to serve the homeless. I’ve never talked with her about her future ministry, except in terms of living life in full surrender. However, she’s served with us at homeless shelters. She’s helped distribute bagged lunches to those standing on street corners. She’s stood beside me as I’ve talked with them, shaking their soiled hands and taking the time to look them in the eye…. And clearly, those moments have left a lasting impact.

This “on the job training” applies to every area of life. In our home, we all serve together.  Not only because it’s great family time, but because we want our daughter to develop a servant’s heart. We want her to understand church isn’t a place to rest your behind, but instead, where you extend the love of Christ. We are here not to be served, but instead to serve. Only lectures, no matter how logical or eloquent, won’t produce the results we want. Our children learn best by doing. By living life in community and continual surrender and by watching their parents do the same.

You see, compassion is caught as much as it is taught, and our children watch us very closely. When we turn up our noses at the less fortunate and pop off justifications for walking by, they learn to do the same. When we speak words of judgment, they develop an attitude of cynicism.

Their hearts are pliable, easily swayed by every experience.

Jump forward twenty years. How might our world be if we modeled lives of compassion, raising children with compassion who created positive change in their world?

Our family took a mission trip to El Salvador last year. Although missions are important, that wasn’t why we brought our daughter. Our primary goal was to train “others” thinking. During our visit, our daughter experienced what life was like for the impoverished. She spent time among girls her age who live in an orphanage without a mom or dad to tuck them in each night.

The experience changed her. And it is our prayer, our hope, and in many ways our confidence, that her experience will in turn lead her to initiate change.

What can you do today to show your children the world beyond them? You see, our first tendency is to look upon ourselves. As parents, we long to shower our children with blessings and shelter them from every difficulty. But surrounded by abundance, what kind of adults will our children grow up to be? They already know how to look out for themselves. It’s our responsibility to help them turn that focus outward.

I’d love to hear from you. How has serving helped you train your child to be a fully devoted follower of Christ? How has it helped you draw closer to God? How has reaching out to someone else changed your perspective or blessed you in some way? Share your “Reach Out to Live Out” stories with us so we can spur one another toward good deeds. To participate in my “Reach Out to Live Out” campaign, send a photo, video, or story of you reaching out to someone else and tell us what you gained from the experience. To find out more shoot me an email at jenniferaslattery(at)gmail(dot)com, and make sure to visit my devotional blog at

Jennifer Slattery lives in the Midwest with her husband of sixteen years and their fourteen year old daughter. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, Internet Café Devotions, Jewels of Encouragement, and the Christian Pulse and maintains a devotional blog at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud.