Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring time! Do you need some pruning?


 By Author Paula Mowery

Have you ever seen a fruit tree of any kind? We lived in a house that had an apple and a pear tree in the back yard. Now, I had no idea how to care for those trees or prune them. Since I didn’t care for them in the proper way, the fruit they produced wasn’t of good quality.

This is the way it is with our Christian life. We can accept Christ and even be baptized, but to live a truly fulfilled Christian life, we must live by the Spirit. How do you live that way?

In Galatians five, Paul writes to the church to encourage them to live by the Spirit. He explains that living by the Spirit is contrary to the sinful nature. This means that living by the Spirit is the opposite of what a Christian was before turning to Christ.

When a person accepts Christ, what we often call being saved, that person receives the Holy Spirit. This is what is meant by the phrase, Christ lives in you. Jesus told his followers that though He was going away back to the Father in heaven, He was sending another, a comforter. This comforter is the Spirit. 
In light of knowing that the Spirit comes to reside inside of the Christian, let’s return to Paul’s encouragement to live by the Spirit through containing the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

To live by the Spirit means yielding each day to His guidance in your life and following the instructions spelled out in the manual called the Bible. The Spirit is provided to help us interpret Scripture to guide our lives. The Spirit acts as a leader and provides conviction and a pricking of the conscience.

How can you and others know if you are living a true Christian life through the Spirit? Your life will show fruit. Paul has listed those fruit for us in Galatians.

A Christian who crucified the old self that was full of sin will live by the Spirit and keep in step with Him. We will willfully and deliberately yield to the Spirit’s leading and instruction. This is similar to the pruning and care that my poor fruit trees in my yard needed. Paul then says that the proof that we are living this way will be the fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So, how is your fruit? I’m afraid I often need to allow some care and pruning so my fruit will turn out the way God intends.

Blurbs for Legacy and Love

The Prayer Shawl

Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?


Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill.

Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due to visit Miss Olivia.

Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?


Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance. Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a first year college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

You can follow Paula at Learn more about Paula at her blog at or enjoy her monthly columns on


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Anti-anxiety without a pill?

Don't Be Anxious, Stand! 

by Nike Chillemi

Have you ever had one of those weeks when your flesh and the devil seem to have teamed up and are having a field day? I have. It could go something like this. The week starts off with a cold and while I'm sneezing, sniveling and having a pity party, the credit card company calls and I find out someone has made a multitude of charges on my card. Now I'm frustrated and angry (far from a love walk) and then I get a flat tire. That's a bad week.
Philippians 4:6-7 [NASB] ~  6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is one of those Scriptures I hear a lot when Christians start saying we're supposed to ask God for stuff. Now don't get me wrong, I do believe God wants us to have all our needs met, with some left over to share and especially share in a way that lifts Him up. So, asking is on my spiritual to do list.

However, this Scripture, in my opinion, is mainly talking about anxiety vs. peace. We have been instructed to be anxious over nothing. But what's the antidote, or prescription for anxiety. The words that follow are the key. We're told to pray and to give thanksgiving with supplication. In this Scripture, I note thanksgiving comes before letting our requests be known to God. Then we are assured the peace of God will be ours in a way that passes all understanding. Further we're told that peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. That sure seems to be the solution to anxiety.  It's not always easy to practice, but in my experience, thanksgiving chases away the blues.

I like to write about real things in my novels. In DARKEST HOUR, the fourth and final book in my Sanctuary Point series, things get very real for Lucinda Walsh. Someone is framing her for murder. The fellow she fancies, she's been warned is a louse. And then her small son goes missing, possibly kidnapped. But she comes from a family rooted in faith and she uses her faith to get through these bad situations. She could be the poster child for standing.

To contact the author: Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista


Here's the summary:

Darkest Hour: (Murder Mystery w/Romance, late-1940s)
---Sweet romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully
A petite widow, secretary and sole support of her son and grandparents, is framed for the murder of her boss. Wealthy village residents conspire with the DA to indict her and stop further investigation. The medical examiner thinks the shooter was a tall individual and when his report is shoved aside, starts snooping trying to clear her and in the process falls in love with her.

Lucinda Walsh lost her husband and parents at sea. When she discovers the body of her boss, his A-List society fiancĂ©e, backed up by her powerful family and a corrupt DA, accuses Lucinda of murder.  She struggles on shielding her five-year-old son, her feisty grandfather and arthritic grandmother from the ugliness of her situation. She mistrusts the dapper ME, thinking he's a ladies' man, but soon realizes he may be the only one in her corner.
Hank Jansen, the county ME who's had his share of pain and  loss, doesn't know if this little widow was in on the murder, but he knows by the trajectory of the bullet she's too short to have pulled the trigger. His professional opinion ignored, he begins his own investigation and at least one cop accuses him of an ethics violation. He certainly can't deny he's fallen head over heels for the accused, and also is crazy about her son. A huge problem is there's a leak inside the investigation and the murderer is always one step ahead of them.

Here's the Amazon Purchase Link:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rock and a Hard Place: Deanna KIingel tells how writing helped her spiritual growth


By Deanna Klingel

Sometimes the writing journey takes writers into surprising arenas or corners. My host has asked for a blog story about writing or devotion. So I’m going to tell you how those topics often overlap for me as a writer in inpredictable ways.
Right now, during Lent, my own blog is Stations of the Cross. I post Mondays and Thursdays, each time a new station. This can be a private or a group devotion. But in my devotional text at each station I relate how I will use this station to help me carry my cross as a writer and as a marketer. That’s predictable.
What’s not been so predictable for me is the way writing can become a devotion when I least expect it, when I didn’t plan for it.  My first book, Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, is a collection of moments when my therapy dogs made a difference in other people’s lives. I didn’t realize at the time I was writing a book on ministry. When I realized that, the stories became illuminated in an unpredicted way that touches readers’ hearts. The little book continues to bring joy and comfort to readers who I thought would merely be entertained. God had other goals in mind.
    Two true hero stories I’ve written, Bread Upon the Water and Rock and a Hard Place, A Lithunian Love Story, took me deep into the lives of the subjects of my interviews. They shared difficult memories with me, how their faith sustained them and gave them courage to bear their heavy crosses. Both books were arduous journeys into history and spirituality with people I’d gotten to know, care about and prayed for. I needed to read and find scripture to go with my text, and learn more about their churches in early times and different places. Writing their stories was an opportunity for spiritual growth for me the writer. It was also an exercise in faith. Both books are outside the box of genre. Finding publishers would be as difficult as writing.  I, like the subjects I wrote about, had to put the whole thing in God’s hands. I would work hard and make it as good as I could. He would see to the rest. He didn’t leave me out on that limb for long, and writing once again intersected with personal devotion.
Rock and a Hard Place, A Lithuanian Love Story released in early March. This is a true story of children born in Lithuania  in 1930. They have happy childhoods until 1939, when Russia invades the country they
love. Their families become displaced persons wandering Eastern Europe for several years while bombs fall from the sky and neighbors disappear. The title refers to the time they are caught between a Russian invasion and a German betrayal; their love of two countries (Lithuania and the U.S.), family, God and Church. The very week the book released it could have been retitled Rock and a Hard Place, A Ukrainian Horror Story, as we watched history repeat. The couple I wrote about, now 84 years old, live in my small town placed there by God who had looked out for them and reunited them.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fear death? Flying? Rollercoasters? Heights? Find peace.

By Jo Ann Durgin 

Do you remember the first time you felt afraid? I mean really afraid? I do. Even though I was barely over a year old, I can recall my entire house shaking—photos on the wall rattling and my crib moving across the floor—and the sheer panic I experienced. It was coming. That big old scary monster called a train.

When I heard the ear-piercing, loud whistle announcing its approach, I just knew that monster was coming to get me. What I find interesting is my reaction to that panic. Instead of cowering in my crib and screaming to get out, I didn’t even cry. What did I do? I somehow propelled myself over the bars of my crib and onto the hardwood floor and then ran into my parents’ room. My dad once told me this went on for months. I never cried but just climbed in and curled up beside him. It was there I found my safe place, my comfort and protection. To this day, though, I’m not scared of trains.

As I’ve gotten older, like many people, I’ve become more afraid of heights. Not that I was ever overly fond of them. When I visit a very tall building and travel to the observation deck, I usually hesitate to go to the outside railing or wall. Although fascinated by the beautiful view from atop something so high up in the air, it makes me realize how small I am in the world when I look down from a dizzying height. Is it the fear of being up so high or the fear of falling? I’m not afraid to fly in a plane and it’s actually one of my favorite things in life—that feeling of power and speed as that magnificent, manmade bird lifts off the ground and soars into the air. In the case of an airplane, though, I have something around me to protect me.

On the flip side, roller coasters scare me to death. I’ve always avoided them until I decided to try Space Mountain at Disney World many years ago. Disney represents safety and security, right? Mickey and Winnie wouldn’t steer me wrong. I actually loved it (but still won’t ever go on another roller coaster), but I think it’s because it’s dark in Space Mountain and you can experience the speed and the ups and downs yet not see what lies beyond it. So, is it the fear of falling or the fear of what’s out there?

The bad things in our life sharpen and refine us and, in the end, they make us stronger. As difficult as it was, I wouldn’t be the same person today if I hadn’t gone through those trials. But in working through the pain and finding the truth, I’ve learned that God has everything under His control. We have to put our trust in Him to work out the details. That’s hard for a lot of people, and I’m so thankful I found Him. I guess I should say I’m blessed He found me. I am His child, and that knowledge gave me such an unbelievable comfort when I needed it most and felt as if I was truly all alone in the world. His love was my security blanket to wrap around me. He’s a God of everyday miracles and He certainly worked several in my life. 

Writing my latest novel, Catching Serenity took me through a gamut of emotions—a roller coaster of ups, downs and all-arounds. As much as any character I’ve ever written, Serenity McClaren has faced a lot of issues in her life, including profound loss and rejection. So many times in penning her story, I paused and wondered how I would react given identical circumstances. Honestly? A few times, I couldn’t presume to know how I’d personally react. But it made me think, and as much as anything else, I want my readers to think while still being entertained. As much as the issues we face, it’s our response to events and people that matters and shapes our life


Serenity has been through so much yet she’s much stronger than she realizes. She’s been deeply hurt by circumstances in her life that might cause many people to turn away from God. Before these things happened, she didn’t know the Lord. What’s interesting is that she finds Him in the midst of working through her pain. Some might wonder how she could praise a God who allowed bad things to happen? She ran away from home because she couldn’t stand the sadness, the loneliness and the pain. But as the story opens, she’s come back home to stare her fears in the face. Bolstered by her new and fragile faith, she recognizes the only way she’ll be able to truly live again with purpose and meaning is to conquer her fears and work through the pain.

Dr. Jackson Ross is falling in love with Serenity. He also recognizes that until she finds answers to what happened to send her running away from home, she won’t be free to love him. Then he unlocks the key to her past and discovers the shocking truth. Have you ever had a secret you were dying to tell someone but couldn’t for whatever reason? Within Jackson’s grasp is the key to setting her free from her past. However, sworn and bound by ethics and professional standards, he can’t tell her. Jackson’s greatest fear? He’ll lose Serenity’s friendship and love no matter what he does. A believer for a number of years, Jackson turns to the only One he knows can shoulder his burden and give him the desires of his heart. 

Ultimately, I believe it’s all about trust. The theme verse in Catching Serenity is Psalms 18:2 says: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Have you ever had a time in your life when you’ve had to stare down fears or forces you felt were working against you? What was your reaction and the outcome? I’d encourage you to ponder that today with the knowledge there’s no greater comfort than that which comes from the One who laid down His very life for you and for me. 

Many blessings, friends, and many thanks to Ada Brownell for allowing me to share a bit about Catching Serenity with you.

Matthew 5:16

Catching Serenity is JoAnn Durgin’s fifth full-length novel. The author of The Lewis Legacy Series and Christmas novellas, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and its sequel, Starlight, Star Bright, she’s an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm and lives in southern Indiana. Visit her at or via her Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Wannabe or are you a Writer? Consider These Ten Commandments for Writers by Delia Latham

By Delia Latham

A writer friend recently mentioned (on her blog) writing a personal 10 Commandments of Writing as an exercise. I loved the idea, and immediately set out to do so.
I discovered it isn’t as easy as it sounds—not if you want to come up with a solid, sincere set of writing tenets. It requires some prayer time and serious thought. But once I’d written mine, I was so glad I had. I recommend the exercise for every writer, and not just as an “exercise.” It forces a bit of focus: Why do I write? What do I want to accomplish with my words? Who do I want to reach, and what do I want to say to them? Where does writing fall on my priority list? What’s ahead of it? Why?
Each writer will have their own questions to help them create a “tablet of commandments.” Each person’s commandments will have different meanings to them, even if they read similarly to someone else’s—and that’s okay. But I firmly believe every writer who makes the effort to create his/her own personal 10 Commandments will be glad they did so.
Mine are below. Maybe they’ll be an inspiration to someone else.

My Personal 10 Commandments of Writing
1.       Thou shalt not make writing thy god.

II Peter 2:19b—People are slaves to whatever has mastered them.

Whatever has top priority in our lives becomes our god. In my life, only God is God. I will control my career; it will not control me. Writing is high on my priority list, but God is #1 on that same list. Family is #2. Then comes Career…#3.

2.       Thou shalt never forget Who gave thee the talent to write. Allow this Giver of Gifts to dictate the words thou writest, and never forget that thou art nothing more than a scribe for Christ.

God is the author. I am only His transcriptionist. ALL the glory…ALL the honor…ALL the recognition belong to Him. Should I ever be blessed with success in the publishing industry, I will never fail to recognize the true Author of the books whose covers bear my name.
1 Corinthians 10:31—Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
3.       Thou shalt write something every day.

A journal entry, a blog, a short story or article.  A chapter in your current WIP. Something. Every. Day.

That said, life sometimes hands out a slice of “Surprise Pie” that puts a kink in the works of my best-laid plans. Things will happen that I cannot control. As often as possible, I will push aside, climb over or dig under the road blocks and write anyway. But on days when it “just ain’t happenin’,” I will not let that little kink clog my writing arteries. I will make up for the day’s loss by writing more the next day or two.

Proverbs 24:16— For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.

4.       Thou shalt write a certain number of words per week on a current WIP.

Even when certain days do not include working on my WIP, by the end of the week, my specified word count goal should be met. Consistently. Every week. Otherwise I’ll end up being buried someday with a stack of journals no one wants to nose into tucked into the folds of my satin-lined casket…and very few completed, published and well-received novels.

Proverbs 16:3— Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.

5.       Thou shalt not be kind to thy hero/heroine.

Effective conflict does not happen with spoiled characters.hardship, heartbreak and hopelessness. Take away the things they love most. Put them in situations that seem impossible to overcome…and then help them overcome them. (Or, in the words of James Scott Bell, “Get your lead up a tree, throw things at him, get him down.”) Just like in real life (and the Army, of course), sometimes a little tough love is necessary to make a person “be all they can be.”
As a writer, my job is not to mollycoddle my hero and/or heroine. I must toss them into a rink with the three H’s:

Ps. 66:10-12 (NIV)— 10 For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let people ride over our heads;  we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.

6.       Thou shalt be a ruthless killer of thy “darlings.”

My words are not sacred. I will cut them. Edit them. Scratch them. Toss them. Learn to tell the difference in gold and “fool’s gold.” I’ll keep the best, toss the rest…then put the “best” to the test and start the process all over again. Eventually, I will hold in my hand a shining nugget of pure literary gold. A true darling.

Pro. 25:4—Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

7.       Thou shalt accept constructive criticism with grace, and willingly learn from the wisdom already gained by more experienced authors.
The Bible has a lot to say about the ability to receive instruction…and the woes that befall those who refuse to do so. Success comes from applying oneself to learning from others who have already “been there.” No one is born knowing everything he or she needs to know to be successful in life or in any chosen field.
It’s crucial that I develop a thick skin and absorb instruction and constructive criticism like the water of life…because, as far as my career is concerned, it is. I will ask for it. Accept it. Take it with a smile. Apply it. And I will become a better writer.
Proverbs 23:12—Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
8.       Thou shalt not forget that someone helped you, nor fail to return the blessing by helping other writers traverse the path you’ve already walked.

The circle of writing life. One learns, and then passes on that acquired knowledge to less experienced writers…even as one continues to learn more. I will never stop learning and never stop passing on the blessing of knowledge. The circle never ends.

Genesis 12:2— And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.

9.       Thou shalt not covet thy fellow author’s gift, nor compare thy gift with another’s.

Learning writing techniques and mechanics from more experienced authors is a good thing. Trying to duplicate their writing styles is not. I will learn from others, but I will apply my own skills and talents and experiences and uniqueness to develop a voice and writing style of my own. I will write like me. Mimicry and uncomplimentary comparison of myself to another writer is not beneficial.

2 Corinthians 10:12—…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

10.      Thou shalt write with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and will all thy strength, and with all thy might.

I will write with joy. Nothing offered half-heartedly is ever good enough.

I will love what I’m doing for as long as I do it. If I stop loving it, I will stop doing it. I cannot write with passion if I don’t love to write. And if I can’t write with passion, I’m wasting my time and my readers’ time. I will love it or leave it.

However, I must remember that “the gift and calling of God are without repentance.” God has called me to write, and He’s not going to change His mind. But He wants me to be joyful in my journey. Based on Ps. 16:11 (see below), it would stand to reason that, if I lose joy in doing what God called me to do, then I must have somehow taken myself out of the presence of the Lord. If that happens, I must find Him again… absorb myself in His presence…and find my way back to a joyful writing journey.

Col. 3:23— Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

Ps. 16:11— Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Author bio:
Delia Latham is a born-and-bred California gal, currently living in the beautiful mountain town of Tehachapi with her husband Johnny and a Pomeranian she calls Boo. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend—but above all, she treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. She’s got a “thing” for Dr. Pepper and absolutely loves hearing from her readers.

Contact Delia at any of the following locations:

About Love in the WINGS:
(Release date pending: Easter season)

Church Secretary and Praise Team leader, Aria Robbins, finds it necessary to work with the new Youth Minister. She also has to grin and bear it when he moves into the cottage next to hers at Heart’s Haven…but she doesn’t have to like him. Truth is, she’d be much happier if Corbin Bishop took his charm and his big, fancy ideas right back to Austin, where he belongs. Then a spiritual attack on Angel Falls lands them both on the front lines of battle as part of a team of Prayer Warriors in God’s Service (WINGS). As Aria and her handsome neighbor fight for their town, their church, and their pastor, she sees him in a whole new light. But emotional scars from an unspeakable childhood have distorted Corbin’s acceptance of certain scriptural truths, and Aria won’t trust her heart into the hands of a man whose faith is unsure. Can she wrap her own prayer wings around him tightly enough to save his soul…and any chance they might have of a future together?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Pet Peeve


Brief Bio of James R. Callan

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grantsWho’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing.  He wrote a monthly column for a national magazine for two years, and published several non-fiction books.  He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mysteries, with his sixth book releasing in Spring, 2014.
from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in

My Pet Peeve
By James R. Callan

I was listening to the network news the other day and they managed to broadcast one of my pet peeves – to the entire world!  So, if this blog is annoying to you, blame it on the networks. How can we expect our young people to get the English language right if the highly paid professionals of television don’t.

My pet peeve? The misuse of badly. Of course, I feel the same way about other common words, but badly seems to irritate me the most. 

Badly is an adverb.  Bad is an adjective.  So, if you are modifying a noun or a pronoun, please use bad and not badly.  Here are some examples. “He was feeling badly today.”  This implies that his tactile sense was not working well.  If we mean that he was a little under the weather, then we need to say, “He was feeling bad today.”

Watch for sentences in which you really want the adjective “bad” to modify a noun or pronoun.  Carefully avoid using the adverb “badly” which needs to modify a verb or another adverb.  “The pilot was in a bad mood, so he was handling the boat badly.” “Bad” modifies a noun, his “mood,” so we need an adjective.  “Badly” modifies a verb, “was handling,” so we need an adverb.

More confusing, and more difficult (so they don’t come up to the level of Pet Peeve), are effect and affect

Effect is the result of something happening.  “Bright lights can have a bad effect on your eyes.”  Affect means to influence, or pretend. “Bright lights affect the eyes.” Or, “He affected surprise, but I knew he had expected it.”  It’s easy to see why these two give some of us a lot of trouble. Generally, effect is a noun and affect is a verb - but not always. And that explains the great difficulty with these two.

 Easier to understand, but just as incorrect, is the misuse of “its” and “it’s.”  Just remember that “it’s” is an abbreviation for “it is.”  Remember, the apostrophe takes the place of the “i” in the “is.”  Try reading “it’s” as “it is.”  If that doesn’t make sense take out the apostrophe.  (“Its cover was torn,” doesn’t make sense if you were to read it as, “It is cover was torn.)

“Lose” and “loose” often get mixed up.  Lose is the opposite of win.  Loose is the opposite of tight.

“Alot” is not a legitimate word.  “A lot” is correct.

And lastly, “farther” and “further.”  Both can be adjectives or adverbs.  But “farther” means at a greater distance. Examples:  It is farther to the health food store than to the ice cream shop. He ran farther than I did.  “Further” means to a greater extent. Examples:  I will investigate the offerings at the bakery further. His look made us believe there would be further desserts.

This distinction is easy to remember.  FARther refers to distance.

I apologize for my ramblings on such matters.  These words pop up often in our writing, and we should be careful they are not used incorrectly. “But their misuse of the word “badly” always affects me badly (or has a bad effect on me) and its obvious the book needs its editors to do further work or they’re going to lose a lot of readers farther down the road.”

I know I’ve made some mistakes in this post.  Let me know about them. I promise not to say bad things about you, nor will I speak badly about you.  (Okay, I know that was bad, or written badly.)

A Ton of Gold
A contemporary suspense novel
By James R. Callan

Can long forgotten, old folk tales affect the lives of people today? In A Ton of Gold, one certainly affected young, brilliant Crystal Moore.  Two people are killed, others threatened, a house burned and an office fire-bombed – all because of an old folk tale, greed and ignorance. 

On top of that, the man who nearly destroyed Crystal emotionally is coming back.  This time he can put an end to her career.  She’ll need all the help she can get from a former bull rider, her streetwise housemate and her feisty 76 year-old grandmother.

A Ton of Gold
By James R. Callan
From Oak Tree Press,  2013

On Amazon, in paperback, at: 
Or the Kindle edition at:    
Or from Oak Tree Press at: 

Blog site:           
Book website:   
Amazon Author page:
Twitter:                                    @jamesrcallan 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Meet author Christina Rich

When she was younger, Christina tried to dig herself to China, loved Three Billy Goats Gruff, and had an obsession with maps. She gave up her dig to China but still jumps at the chance to travel even if it’s just down the road. She loves watching modern takes of fairytales and mythologies on the big screen and still has a huge obsession with maps. The older the better.
Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research,  take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus.
Her debut novel, The Guardian’s Promise, is available now from Love Inspired March 2014.

By Christina Rich

I was asked awhile back by another writer how I got over my fear of success. It's a good question and an easy one to answer. Well, the words are easy, but the application isn't always easy.
Trust in the Lord.
If you're like most writers you had the inkling that you'd like to write. For some of us we had no idea what that was, for others we knew right from the start. For those of us who had no idea, we dabbled, doodled and scribbled. We read books and told ourselves how cool it would be to write like that, or that we could write better. After all, how hard could writing be? Really?
And then an idea hit us and we wrote a bunch of words. In my case, most were flowery to the point of choking, just ask my first critique partners. And if the words weren't choking, they were jarring. In the beginning, we learned a little about the craft, mainly basics, and then if we were teachable we grew. Not everyone is teachable, I tried to be.
There came a time when I knew I loved writing and wanted to continue, but if I wanted to be like the greats I knew I needed to put my work out there for others to criticize. However, I was scared. I wanted people to like me, and my writing was a big part of me. I didn't want to face criticism and rejection, most of all I feared failure. Failure at doing what God called me to do; write.
When I started to meet little successes, a few contest finals here and there, I realized I no longer feared failure, but success. There is a scripture in Luke that says to whom much is given, much is required. I'm not a huge fan of The Message, but I do like the translation of this particular verse.
Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities! (The Message Luke 12:48)
That's a lot of weight to put on the shoulders of a spastic worry wart, and I tell you it scared me to death. Sometimes it still does. I mean, seriously, who wants to become successful only to have people start coming out of the woodworks and telling all of your past fumbles through life? And trust me when I say I've had a lot of fumbles. But I had to get over that, especially if I was to really step into the calling God had/has for my life.
Have you heard the song by Jeremy Camp Overcome?
We will overcome by the blood of the lamb, and the word of our testimony.
Each word in this short little verse is poignant, especially the small words we and our.
We/our- each of us
We are not only overcomers by the blood of the lamb, the blood that Jesus shed on the cross to cover our sins, but also by the word of our testimony. If not for the testimonies of others I never would have accepted the fact that God loves even me. If not for the testimonies of others I never would have fully understood God's grace and mercy.
And so it is, that with the gift I've been given, much has been required and will continue to be required. I may never stand before thousands as Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore do, but God has given me a platform. With the success God has allowed me to have in publishing my stories I will be able to spread my testimonies throughout the world and prayerfully to many languages as well. God has given me the opportunity to write romance fiction set in ancient Judah, and prayerfully, my stories point to the cross and Savior.
I know, without a doubt, whatever success I may or may not have is God's will. I have no idea what is around the corner, but I know as long as I'm seeking Him, He's in it, whether He wants me to write about drug addiction, teen parenting, rebellious children, cancer etc... However, whatever He leads me to write, I pray I'm obedient so that my testimony may encourage others to look to the Lord and see the unconditional love He has for them.
If you fear success, you need to examine why? Is it because of what's in your closet, or is it because of something else altogether? Pray, seek God about the fear choking you and ask him to remove it from your presence so your testimony can shine in a dark world.
I leave you with this:
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.


A Kingdom in Jeopardy
An evil queen and her royal guards will stop at nothing to find—and kill—the rightful heir to the throne of Judah. When their pursuit leads them to Mira’s village, only her father’s bond servant, Ari, a man shrouded in secrets, can keep Mira safe.
Abandoning his life as a temple guard and becoming an indentured servant was the only way Ari could protect young Joash, the true King of Judah, from Queen Athaliah. But his sacred duty prevents him from confessing his feelings for his master’s daughter. With the future of their nation on the line, Ari and Mira will risk everything to save their people.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Heartbreak of Giving Baby Up for Adoption Turns to Heart Healing

ONLY HEAVEN CAN REPAIR—by Christine Lindsay

My journey from being a young woman who gave up her child for adoption—to that of being happily reunited mother with my birthdaughter, and now sharing in my daughter’s joy as she gives birth to her first child—has been a journey of great heights and lows.

The lows...having to relinquish my baby because I knew it was in her best interests, broke my heart in ways that only Heaven can repair.

The heights...thirty-five years after relinquishing Sarah to a closed adoption, I am now looking forward to holding my biological grandson. To add to that joy, Sarah has given me the honor of choosing whatever grandparent name I would like her son to call me. My husband and I will be Nanny-Chris and Papa Dave, so as not to be confused with Sarah’s adoptive mom or her husband’s parents.

But in the middle of my journey, the lows were more prevalent. I had first given Sarah up as an infant in 1979, and we were reunited 20 years later in 1999. But in 2006 I was still struggling with my emotions from the reunion. It didn’t appear that the close relationship I desired with my birthdaughter was going to transpire.

I tried all sorts of things to nurture that relationship—even arranged for Sarah to join my daughter Lana and me on a trip to my homeland, N. Ireland. I thought a trip like that would draw the three of us together.

At first Sarah planned on going. But sadly, just before we were to leave, Sarah lost her baby. This was to be the first of eight miscarriages over the years for Sarah.

Off to Ireland I went with Lana, with Sarah on my mind too. While I wanted that close mother-daughter bond with Sarah, I knew I couldn’t have it because she shared that with her true mom—her adoptive mom. And I was Lana’s true mom. But while Lana and I toured Ireland, I hid my sadness from Lana, that with the loss of her baby Sarah was grieving an empty womb in a similar way that I had done when I relinquished her.

The two losses are hard to compare—like apples and oranges. But the loss of a baby no matter how that happens just plain hurts.

On the trip, Lana and I shared some close times. And on a personal level I felt the Lord’s encouragement when I viewed the Ruth and Naomi stained-glass windows in the ancient church St. Augustine’s in Londonderry. 

While I was praying for a close bond with both my daughters, the Lord reminded me of the tender love between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi. I had to trust God for that long-held desire for my daughters.

And our tender-hearted heavenly Father has done that for me. As the years passed, Sarah and Lana and I have grown closer. Both my daughters were the models on the front covers of my first two books, Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight.

But it was the ancient church St. Augustine’s in Londonderry, and the Ruth and Naomi stained glass windows, that were the inspiration behind my romance novella Londonderry Dreaming. Click here to open up the first chapter of Londonderry Dreaming.

As I have been encouraged by the Lord in the highs and lows of my life, I pray that my books will encourage you.

Acclaimed New York artist, Naomi Boyd, and music therapist, Keith Wilson, loved one another five years ago, until her grandfather with his influence over Naomi separated them.

That root of bitterness keeps them apart until a letter from Keith’s grandmother, Ruth, draws Naomi to Londonderry to find she’s too late. Ruth has passed on. After the death of his beloved grandmother, Keith has also come to Londonderry only to open the door to his past…Naomi...beautiful as ever, the girl who broke his heart.

A mysterious painting in Ruth’s attic brings up questions about their grandparents’ entwined past and their own broken romance. But more comfortable with the unspoken languages of art and music, Naomi and Keith find it difficult to share their old hurts and true feelings.

Will the majestic coastline of Northern Ireland inspire them to speak the words to bring peace to their grandparents’ memory and to rekindle love?


Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.

It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her Multi-award-winning historical series Twilight of the British Raj. Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.

Christine makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.


Please drop by Christine’s blog site or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest and Facebook