Wednesday, July 30, 2014


By Chad Young

I think sometimes I forget who the real Chad is. As a believer in Christ, my thoughts often go awry when I don’t spend time praying or studying my Bible daily. I forget that my identity is in Christ. I beat myself up through my selfish thoughts and attitudes, or I forget I have a new life in Christ and become disobedient to God.

When we find our identities in other things besides Christ, such as our careers, athletics, our friends, our social networking, or even our sexual desires, we forget who we really are. We pursue fantasies and lifestyles that the world has to offer but that are the polar opposite of the Christian lifestyle depicted in the Bible.

Whether we’re plagued by guilt over what we are doing that we know isn’t good for us or living in rebellion, we are holding back on our true identity that’s found in Christ. In short, we all have an identity crisis that needs attention at times. Living our lives with a mistaken, borrowed identity of the person we are without Christ isn’t really living life at all; it causes terrible frustration, confusion, and danger to us and to those we love and do life with as well.

An important verse I’ve memorized to help me to remember my identity in Christ is Colossians 1:18: “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent (ESV).”

Jesus didn’t die for us so that he could just be a passenger in our lives. He really didn’t. He came and died for us so that he could be in the driver’s seat. When we received Christ as our Lord, we surrendered control of everything – our hopes, our dreams, our careers, our sexual desires, and yes, even our money. By entering into God’s family and becoming an adopted child of God, we agreed to let Christ be preeminent.

Without Christ being preeminent in our lives, we can’t please God nor find our identity in anyone or anything else. We can only find our true identity and bear fruit that’s of the best kind, when our lives are in Christ. With Christ, everything changes and we no longer find ourselves frustrated, spinning our wheels, trying to attain something that’s out of our reach. When we find our identity in him, we find real happiness, an inner peace, and the satisfaction our hearts desire.

We don’t have to wait until we experience pain and suffering to remember our identity is in Christ and turn to the Lord for direction and counsel. He’s waiting right now to be in the driver’s seat of our lives and to give us the joy and adventure we were created to have. Will you turn to God now and experience his love, or will you wait until you have a crisis and suffer great pain? Either way, God’s ready for us. He loves us and will always be faithful, even when we’re unfaithful to him.

About the Author:
Chad Young is the author of Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World, available at Amazon.  Chad is Cru Global’s national director over the southeast region, leading the ministries in FL, GA, AL, and MS.  He resides in Atlanta, GA, with his wife Elizabeth and their four young children.  He has served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ for twelve years. He holds an undergraduate degree from Clemson University and a graduate degree from Georgia Tech; Chad worked in the paper industry for 6 years before going into full-time ministry. He has a passion for helping students learn what it means to have an authentic relationship with Christ.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mini Blog Tour

By Ada Brownell

Dear Friends, I'm honored to have been invited by author Mary L, Ball, to participate in this book tag. 

 Mary L. Ball writes Christian fiction.  She lives in North Carolina and weaves stories about real life problems, blended with romance. Mary hopes to encourage people to see the wonder of love and a divine guidance. Her novels include, Escape to Big Fork LakeStone of Destiny and Redemption in Big Fork Lake.  When she’s not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at various functions. Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter. 

Since I (Ada Brownell) agreed to join the blog tour and even after contacting four blogger friends, I ended up with no one interested in joining the tag. So I'll answer the questions and my portion of this tour will end with me. Writers are busy people and have to choose where they will spend their time.

Here are the tag questions and my answers:

1) What am I working on? 
I've been proofing the paperback version of The Lady Fugitive which was released by Elk Lake Publishers for Kindle on July 18. I've also been marketing the new book, a Christian historical romance, but have barely touched the surface of all I need to do. Several folks are waiting for the paperback. I also am doing a blog tour, writing inspirational pieces, testimonies or posts on writing techniques. I'd like to have time to write op-ed pieces for newspapers and stories and articles for Christian publications. I'll get back to that soon, as well as start on sequels.

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre? It's different because it's a woman whose face appears on the Wanted posters. My work in general is more faith building and encouraging than most. Although I hope it's not preachy, my goal is to give people engaging suspenseful stories in my fiction, and facts for faith in my non-fiction, which I don't generalize, but show and document. Preachy is a person's attitude and approach, not sharing the gospel. Frank Luntz says in his book, Words that Work, “Tell the truth,” he said, “but don’t do it in a condescending manner.”

3. Why do I write what I do?

I didn't intend to be a writer, but I had a burning in me to share what the Lord taught me from the Word, and testimonies of how he blessed me and others. Over the years I've written many wonderful testimonies from other people, using my experience as a newspaper reporter. As a reporter I also learned about most of the problems and interviewed people from almost all levels of society.  I've been a student of the Bible since my teens. This gives me a viewpoint of life that helps me and others see what is important and what really makes a difference, and I feel called to share the ideas and the insight I feel God has given me and apparently it met a need because I've been selling to Christian publications since my teens. Yet, I'm still learning, still seeking God every day, because without Jesus and God's redemption I am nothing.

4) How does my writing process work? 

I've always grabbed time when I could get it. One time I wrote an article on the arm of the chair while I rocked a colicky baby. An idea, complete with the hook and illustrations popped my mind and I asked the older kids for paper and pencil. I wrote it in long hand, got up early the next morning and typed it, sent it out that day, and in six weeks it was on the back page of The Pentecostal Evangel where they often placed articles for the unsaved.

What helps me is a drive to complete what I start (usually) and stopping mid-sentence so it's easier to pick up a thought. But, when I have an idea I often create a document and write the lead I have in my head at the moment, although I'm interrupted. Right now my husband is in the kitchen wanting breakfast. So, I'll go, do breakfast, shower and hopefully have a few minutes to write before we go to have teeth cleaned and meet relatives for lunch.

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and sold articles and stories to 45 publications. She spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers. and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Among her books: The Lady Fugitive, released July 18, 2014, Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.
Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at  Free book with new Audible membership.
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: 
Twitter: @adellerella
Blog: Stick to Your Soul Encouragement


Saturday, July 26, 2014


Note from Ada Brownell:

If you are a writer who seeks publicity and you don't know how to write a news release, here's a sample that's about one of my new books. Imagine the Future You.  As a newspaper reporter I received hundreds of news releases from public relations professionals. I opened every one because you never know when you'll run into a good idea, and I'm an idea person. Yet, I knew some editors on staff put many of them in the "round file" (waste basket) unopened.

I've had quite good response from my news releases, triggering a story in my small home town paper, as well as an interview for the large newspaper where I worked before retirement. I was amazed a reporter did a feature despite my book being an "Indie" book.

A few times, such as when I was doing a book signing, I got a blurb.

Here's the sample. It's not formatted as as it was on the document and I eliminated personal info and thumbnail cover photo here.

Ada Brownell
                        NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate release

Dec. 12, 2013 -- Ada Brownell started her writing career as a teenager while she was youth leader at Fruita Assembly of God Church in Colorado. More than 50 years later, she still writes for youth. Why?

"The young are the most precious asset of a nation and the church," she says, "but in today's world too many of our youth are in a hurricane of doubt, fear, abuse, sorrow, emptiness, hate, guilt, rebellion, and have no anchor. The condition of our youth is the result of a secular world that tries to strip away faith in God. The Ten Commandments are outlawed and obscenity assigned."

Brownell's latest book, Imagine the Future You, a motivational Bible Study, released Nov. 10, 2013 on Amazon, was written to help youth understand they are in charge of their future because of their attitudes and their decisions. After a career as a  reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado, writing articles and stories for 45 different Christian publications, decades teaching youth, plus having five children of her own, she feels teens need to believe in their unique talents, establish  goals, learn how to be and do their best, and examine evidence for faith in God. She believes serving the Lord makes a difference in all our tomorrows.

The book reveals how unbelievers work to destroy religious faith through the media, use of propaganda and brainwashing, and even deception. Yet, neither atheists nor Christians can prove God is there, she says. "The reason is faith is necessary for salvation. We have to decide whether we will believe in God or man's theories. No one can make the decision for us."

Available in paperback, for Kindle or as an audiobook, Imagine the Future You  has study questions and answers for each chapter, so is appropriate for group study and is especially good for family discussion, according to a reviewer.

 Imagine the Future You is available in paperback as well as for Kindle, and also is for sale at The Greatest Gift Bookstore in Pueblo, Colo., and Christian Publishers Outlet in Springfield, MO.

The links: Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at  Free book with new Audible membership. 
The Lady Fugitive (fiction)
The books below may be purchased on the Ada Brownell author page
Imagine the Future You
Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal (Bible Study)
Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult (Fiction)
Confessions of a Pentecostal

Blog: Stick to Your Soul Encouragement

For more information or for an interview phone ********* or email at ***********
 Note: Bio attached.

Friday, July 25, 2014

TRUST: Sandy Nadeau tells how she became a writer and encourager

By Sandy Nadeau

The way I see it, God put me on earth to love Him, find adventures and write about them. To share about Him and His creation. It’s amazing how much you can love what you do, when you’re in the right place with God.

For many years, I struggled with a strong desire to write, but it never seemed to go anywhere. What I’ve learned in hindsight is that every little thing I’ve done, God led me to where He wants us to be. In His timing. I know it hasn’t been in my timing.

I have often been the sounding board for friends, I can even remember that back in grade school (a long time ago) and it puzzled me why they would turn to me. Then there was that writing thing. Looming, niggling at me, causing me to turn to pen and paper. I journaled for a good outlet to write. 

Writing. Lending an ear. Giving a hug. Listening. Why, I wondered.

When I dug a little deeper into discovering my Spiritual Gifts, I finally figured it out. One of my “gifts” was encouragement. Encouragers do all those things that I wondered about including writing. THAT’S why I love to write. Who knew? Well, God did. And over these many years of learning the craft, writing more and more, submitting and even getting rejected, twelve years of writing a column in a newspaper, exploring more of the state I live in, He has worked me into a position where I can share through story about adventures and what a difference believing in Him can make in a life.

My husband and I love to get into the back country to experience God’s creation. Then to have the privilege to write about it is such a blessing. All the places I’ve been to and see from across a large canyon I can incorporate into story. That whole, “write what you know” thing.

My first book was published by the wonderful people at Pelican Book Group under the Harbourlight Imprint just this year. I was blessed by the process. And it’s been a long road to get here. Like thirty years of “traveling”. A road with a lot of ups and downs, muddy waters to pass through, dark seemingly endless tunnels sometimes including despair and a lot of tears. But the road continued ahead of me. I kept driving forward, sometimes slipping back down the long hill I had just climbed. God lit the way, directed me, guided me to the right lessons, the right people, the right time. His time. His.

Now with every book I sign for some generous soul that chooses to read my book out of the many thousands of choices, I sign it with Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

Follow Him. Love Him. He’ll get you where you want to go. 

Summary of Sandy's book, Red Gold

Mandy Phillips loves life with her husband running an adventure ranch in the Colorado mountains, but when Mr. Shonee, their crotchety old neighbor, tries to stop them from building a kid-size old west town their dreams of expansion are crushed.

Is Shonee just being a difficult neighbor, or is something more sinister going on? A discovery on the property of Colorado's state mineral leads to more mysteries for the ranch, and then a teenage guest finds herself thrust head first into danger.

Mandy will have to rescue her, but who will rescue Mandy? Her faith in God is her only source to keep the guests safe, solve the mysteries surrounding her ranch, save her neighbor from himself, and discover the secrets of the Red Gold. 

Sandy Nadeau loves to go on adventures, photograph them and equally loves to write about them. She and her husband do a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado and share those experiences with others by taking them up in the mountains. With a background in writing a column about her community for a local newspaper, she also has had several magazine articles published. She loves to write novels about adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. She is currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Vice President of the ACFW South Denver Chapter. Married for 37 years, she and her husband are loving life as grandparents to their two grandchildren. Travel is their favorite thing to do and they don’t get to do it as often as they’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Guest author Lisa Grace giving away four of her best-selling books--and pondering leaky vessels.

Note from Ada: We planned Lisa Grace's post yesterday when she had a sale on her latest book. 
Her day was so exciting she had this report and decided to give away four books to readers who comment on this blog.: Amazon gave an extra day, so the book is still free today. Links are imbedded, or you can find them at the end of this post. 

FROM LISA: It's been a great week. 4 of my books are on best seller lists, plus "How Science Proves the Bible" is #1 in "Hot New Releases" for Wisdom literature on Amazon

If you want to mention on your blogs, The 15th Star (history mystery) is free, but since I'm pulling the book out of KU/Select this is the last time it will be free,

True Treasure (history mystery) was selected by several sites including Ereader News Today as the Book of the Day, and it's last day at 99 cents is tomorrow also. It's

All 3 of these are on various bestseller lists at Amazon.

Ada, Thank you for having me on Ink From An Earthen Vessel. Some of us are not only earthen vessels, but leaky ones. I missed my commitment to get this post in by a certain date, which I like to think is not like me, but we all fail at some point, so I’d like to offer a sincere apology to Ada, and her readers.
What do we do when we fail?
Admit it, apologize, ask for forgiveness and continue on. Isn’t that exactly what we expect of our characters in our books?
And isn’t that exactly what Christ expects of us?
Well, I’ve repaired the leak as best I can. And will give away two paperbacks one each of The 15th Star, and one of True Treasure, plus an ebook of each. It’s up to Ada to decide who to give them to.

I started writing adult real life history mysteries because I ran across an article mentioning that The 15th Star from the Star Spangled Banner was missing. Louisa Armistead used to cut parts of the flag off (it was huge, as long as a four story building) and give it to people she thought were war heroes.
This led me to research the War of 1812 time period an era I knew little about. So much was happening across the world at this point that it led me deeper into the political structure and intrigue of what was going on across several countries.
Through it all, I researched the real people and events that happened, like the burning of the White House, the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and the loss of all the ships and sailors (over 900 ships taken or sunk, their sailors conscripted into the British Royal Navy to fight against Napoleon) from the port of Baltimore, Maryland. I want the reader to feel how awful it felt not to know what was going on, and feel the fear that the British could attack any minute. Putting the book together took months of research.

For True Treasure, my search began with a bit of my husband’s family folklore, that they were related to the pirate, Bloody Graham. Turns out Bloody Graham, was a Royal Naval Captain turned rogue pirate.
The Royal Navy did not begin keeping records until the 1850s, and Bloody Graham was roaming the coast of Costa Rica around the 1812 to 1827 time period. How perfect that this coincided with all my research I’d just done for The 15th Star! If this wasn’t the hand of God at work, (and I know it was).then nothing is.
It still required a bit of research.
I did weave a modern story in with Keiko finding the letters and the clues at the Smithsonian, because I wanted to highlight the parallels in modern life with the past.
Now you know my motivations for this earthen vessel, and her ink, and how my Creator has chosen to use me. Thank you Ada, and your readers for spending time with me.

LIsa Grace - Where Good Meets Evil
Watch: Self Publisher's Roundtable Interviews Lisa Grace
First two books are optioned for a major movie through Motion Picture Studios

The 15th Star:is free today July 24, and the 25th:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why Vintage Clothing and Antiques are loved by this author

It’s All in the Details

By Tisha Martin

I’ve heard that the life of a story is in the details and without details, writing careens to a sickening halt. We writers have our favorite genre and succinct, well-researched details that make our stories pop off the page. It’s what we write best and what we’re most proud of. For some, it may be science-related, westerns, Amish, mystery, modern, whether fiction or non-fiction. For others, it might be World War II.

I’m not sure when I fell in love with the classic eras of the 1940s-50s where the average citizen donned a hat and pair of gloves or a fedora to go shopping or attend a baseball game. It could be that the fascination began when I bought a simple yellow straw hat with a white flower at a garage sale. I was twelve. From there, I collected hats and vintage garnish from the ‘40s. Classic pride, stunning beauty, dedicated sacrifice, and pure simplicity begged my attention to such a strong era. Even though I had just started writing a western fiction series, I didn’t decide it would be World War II- themed until I was fifteen; but at twelve, the idea was forming.

That sixteen-book semi-western series developed into a World War II home front trilogy set in my hometown. To give myself some deeper hands-on experience with my trilogy, when I was in college pursuing a professional writing degree, I would take sections of my trilogy and see if I could write a short story. That’s the hardest part of writing—to take something large and pare it into a stand-alone. Of course, there were a few stories where even though they did stand alone, the reader knew there was more to the story.

One of those stories didn’t even come from my trilogy. A classmate told me a story about a deaf girl who got into a lot of trouble because she was adopted and was still learning sign language.
I decided to give the story a try—in my own words, moral lesson involving tomatoes, and favorite era.
My writing instructor loved it.

When I decided to submit it for the Commencement Contest my senior year, I was delighted and surprised that it was a finalist in the Original Narrative Fiction category. There comes a moment of sheer delight that what we’ve written wins the heart of whoever we’re trying to impress. It was that moment for me. I had entered commencement three years running and only made it in the top ten choices. To actually be a finalist!

 After a grueling month of prayer, re-writing, and research to get the details just right, I slid “Puddle of Remorse” underneath my instructor’s door and awaited the final results.
Two weeks later. “Congratulations,” the email said.
I was ecstatic. Honored. Blessed.
My story will be published in the 2015 Fountains, the student literary publication. It’ll be my first story in Fountains. Now that’s an exciting detail.

Meet Tisha Martin

Tisha Martin graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a bachelor’s degree in English and
Professional Writing. Even though she is pursuing a master’s in English Education, freelance writing is the heartbeat of her life’s calling. She has been published in several print and online magazines; Faithwriters’ anthology, Come Away with Me; and Answers Magazine (Oct.-Nov. ‘13 Impact section, “Keeper of God’s Word” and “Unleashing the Lion,” and the July-Sept. ‘13 online promotional). Her World War II historical fiction series is a work in progress, which she hopes to publish in two years. Her commencement winner, “Puddle of Remorse,” will be published in spring 2015. For more Fountains book information, please visit For more information about Tisha, please visit or LinkedIn.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Summary of Cleansed by Fire
Churches are burning and a man is murdered. Father Frank DeLuca is thrust into an impossible dilemma when he learns another church will be burned. But the information comes to him via the confessional, and church law forbids him telling anyone—even the police.
 He doesn’t know which church, when, or by whom. Still, he can’t sit idly by, and no law prevents him looking into the matter himself.
Countering this are a young widow whose mission is to make others shine, and a youth choir determined to help those whose churches have been destroyed by the arsonist.  
His investigation leads him dangerously close to the local drug scene and he soon discovers the danger has come to him. Can he save his own church? Can he save his own life?

Last month, one of my mysteries, Cleansed by Fire, was released as an audio book.  Oh, it had been released as a paperback book and then later as an e-pub.  But there was still a bit of excitement when it came out in audio.  Maybe it was because the narrator (Jonathan Mumm, an Emmy Award Winning TV journalist) seemed to capture the characters as I had heard them as I was writing the book.  Maybe it was a hope to make some more money from the same book.

 But, I think it’s more than that. A writer wants, most of all, to have his or her work read and enjoyed. I really like the book and this gives the book yet another avenue to reach readers, or listeners in this case.

 I had had an earlier book of mine turned into an Audio book.  While it sold well, reaching number seven on the publishers list, the process was rather impersonal.  I had no say in who narrated it.  I had no say in what the cover looked like.  I had no say – in anything.

That has changed, at least at Audiobook Creation Exchange, or ACX.  As the name implies, it is an exchange that brings the rights holders of books and producers/narrators together.  If you own the rights to a book, ACX will post information about the book and a short selection from the book (something that can be read in less than five minutes). Prospective narrators can then submit their rendition of that short piece, giving you, the rights holder, a chance to hear how they sound on your work.

 Please note, I am saying “rights holder,” not author.  If you have assigned the audio rights to a publisher, ACX cannot deal with you, even though you are the author.

 Having someone narrate a full length novel can be an expensive process.  What do I mean by that?  Of course, it depends on the length of your book.  It might cost $350 to $450 per finished hour of the book.  So, a 75,000 word book could cost between $2800 and $3600 for the narrator.  Keep in mind that the narrator and producer (could be the same person) will spend a number of hours to produce one hour of a finished product.

ACX offers another path. You can offer to split the royalties with the narrator, 50-50. If ACX pays 40% royalty, then you would get 20% and the narrator would get 20%.  It’s a gamble for you and for the narrator.  Still, it offers the writer (rights holder) an opportunity to broaden her reach with no outlay of money.

 Of course, you may not find a qualified narrator who will go to the work of producing a quality recording (ACX demands high quality) unless you do a good job of selling your book.  This is much the same way you have to entice an editor or agent to work on your book for no guarantee of a return. 

 ACX does offer yet another possibility for you.  You can narrate the book yourself.  ACX does require a high quality finished recording and can return your effort with instructions of how to improve it. Their site even offers advice on how to set up a home recording studio. 

 ACX is trying to help authors get their book into audio. Once the product is released, ACX will make it available through Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.

 The point here is, in today’s changing publishing world, you have more choices than ever before. One of them is an easier route to an audio book.  If you have a book on Amazon and you hold the audio rights, it is worth your time to investigate ACX and what they have to offer.  Go to and check out what they have to offer. I did and I’m glad I did.  Take a look at:

Brief Bio of James R. Callan

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’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, mystery/suspense, with his sixth book releasing in 2014.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

THE LADY FUGITIVE: Historical Romance


Back cover copy for The Lady Fugitive by Ada Brownell

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?
Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her.
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.
      Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

NOTE: Perhaps the book will be available from Elk Lake Publishers before the end of the month. Get your order in early!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No App will replace a friend

About the Author

Cari has worn numerous hats in life. She proudly wore the uniform of the US Air Force. After serving, she worked as a critical care RN for almost a decade. She also owned her own Personal Chef and Catering company for six years. Finally, she chose to turn her attention back to her family.

Closing her business hasn’t made her a couch potato. She cooks at the weekly Wednesday night dinners for her church, and volunteers at the Cross Talk CafĂ© in support of the Celebrate Recovery church ministry on Friday nights. She has volunteered her time as a Mentor Mom for two MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups. When she’s not busy in the church doors, she’s happily entertaining people in her home.

She not only has a passion for writing, but also for serving. She views writing as a form of service for people from all walks of life. Jesus used story-telling to convey life principles, why can’t we do the same?

She lives in southern Illinois with her ridiculously patient husband of twenty four years, three children, and her two Chihuahua guard dogs, Snoopy and Stanley. Faith, Hope, Love, and Chocolate is her first novel.

About the Book

Run, run, run...

Run away. That’s what Faith Strauss has done for twenty years. She was destroyed by one tragic event. An event so horrific, she didn’t share it with anyone, not even her husband. She buried it deep inside, where it can’t hurt anyone.

If God is good, then where was He? Why didn’t He stop it? How can she trust Him ever again?

Run, run, run…

She’s not good enough. Never has been. Never will be. She could lose it all again, if she’s not careful. She married, had children, and carved out a life for herself. But Fear is her ever-present companion, always reminding her never to reach too far, or too high.

Run, run, run…

God has another plan. A plan that she never saw, even though she has walked it her entire life. Will the unexpected exposure of her secret and the truth behind it restore her or destroy her all over again?

It’s time to stop running.

There’s No App for That

By Chef Cari aka Cari Schaeffer

In our society, there seems to be an App for everything. There are Apps to count your steps, count your calories, and one that even tells you when to go to the bathroom during a movie so you won’t miss an important scene (I saw that on the news recently – it’s real!). So many people are so plugged in that they’ve tuned out the world around them.
I’ve spent countless times in a variety of situations where I’ve had to wait. As I look around the room at my fellow human beings waiting with me, invariably the vast majority have their faces glued to tiny screens. It’s unnerving, but not surprising, that I also see an increasing number of children with their faces glued to tiny screens. After all, they will mimic what they see.
I don’t foresee that there will ever be an App that can replace a real, present friend.
I have chosen to be counter cultural. I don’t own a smart phone and I don’t plan to get one any time soon. When I do, probably because there won’t be another option available, I will not enable email or social media alerts. I prefer to cultivate REAL relationships with people who are REAL in my life. That’s not to say that social media outlets have no place – I am connected with real friends and family that way, too. However, that will never replace true relationships.
Case in point, I had a wonderful lunch with a wonderful friend yesterday. She’s a woman of culture with fine tastes and not a snobby bone to be found in her body. She’s suffered much in her life and yet has emerged triumphant through multiple tragedies. She told me that she believes God has given her life as a gift and she intends to live it to the fullest. I wholeheartedly agree with her and plan to do the same. How about you?
When I am with my friend(s), I will always put my phone on silent and away so that they have my full attention at all times. That’s what voicemail is for. Texts can wait, too. They are worthy of that courtesy and I hope they feel the same way about me. There have been a few times when I haven’t been given the same consideration. I have tried in a tactful manner to let them know how I felt. Those who aren’t receptive tend to fade as friends. I bear them no ill will and wish them only the best. But I prefer my friendships to be deeper and better than that.
If you’re one of those who are addicted to technology, please step back and reconsider. Cultivate true friendships in your life and teach your children to interact face to face with people rather than a screen.
Remember, there is no App that can replace a Friend.

Friday, July 11, 2014

DO YOU KEEP SECRETS? Author Gail Sattler knows secrets.

By Gail Sattler

Have you ever had a secret that you couldn't tell?
I think everyone has at least one secret, but there are a million or more reasons that people have for keeping those secrets.
Some secrets are fun  - like a surprise gift or birthday party for someone special.
Some aren't so fun - you know something that would embarrass someone else if it was told. Or maybe it could be you that would be embarrassed.

When the secret is for a good reason, and fun, it's even more fun when the secret can be told - like that surprise birthday party.  But then, the fun part is not holding the secret, but finally being able to reveal it.

What does God think about secrets?
Many things, actually. 
First, if you are trusted with a secret, then keep it
Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secret Prov 25:9
If you are doing something good, keep it in perspective - don't shout your good deeds from the rooftops, because then you've given yourself all the reward you will get. There are lots of references for that.
But here's one I really like
God will bill bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecc 12:14

God doesn't say not to have secrets. He just says, have the right ones.

I won't ask what your secrets are. I hope they are for the right reasons.

Gail Sattler

From Gail's new book from Heartsong:

Serious Comedy, no kidding!
The Best Man's Secret – Can you figure out Dave’s
You might like Gail's other books, too:
Aug 2013-The Path to Piney  Meadows - 4 1/2 star review Romantic Times
Feb 2013-When Pigs and Parrots Fly - Is love really for the birds?
Also-Take The Trophy and Run! -Can you find Gnorman?
>From March 2012
-Seattle Cinderella -

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LET'S EAT GRANDMA: The Importance of Proofreading

The Importance of Proofreading

by Kathy Ide

            Have you seen the plaques and T-shirts that say:

                        Let’s Eat Grandma.
                        Let’s Eat, Grandma.
                        Commas Save Lives.

            I love that! It shows how one tiny bit of punctuation can change the entire meaning and tone of a sentence.
            You may think that as long as you’ve got life-changing content in your nonfiction manuscript, or an intriguing story with lots of conflict and interesting characters in your fiction manuscript, that should be enough. And yes, content and story are extremely important. But no matter how good those things are, you’ll be running some pretty big risks if you don’t bother proofreading your manuscript carefully for typos, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies … and learning the industry-standard rules regarding punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.
            OK, you won’t be putting your grandmother’s life on the line or joining a tribe of cannibals. But tiny mistakes in your writing can have disastrous consequences. Here are my top ten:

1. Mechanical errors can decrease your chance of acceptance by a traditional publisher.

2. Mechanical errors can cause miscommunication.

3. Mechanical errors can cause confusion.

4. Mechanical errors can give an unprofessional appearance to publishers and readers.

5. Mechanical errors can be embarrassing.

6. Mechanical errors may cause readers to take you and your message less seriously.

7. Mechanical errors can affect the sales of your book.

8. Mechanical errors could cost you money.

9. Mechanical errors can be distracting.

10. Mechanical errors can give you a poor reputation.

Professionalism Is Key
            If you’re writing just for family and friends, it may not matter so much whether every comma is in exactly the right place or if you have a few typos here and there. But if you want to get your book published in today’s highly competitive commercial market, you need every edge you can get. If you expect people to buy what you write, you need to take the time to do it right.
If you have a hard time finding typos, inconsistencies, and “PUGS” errors in your writing, consider hiring a professional proofreader. If you go to and fill out the form for Authors Seeking Editors, you’ll be connected with established, professional editors who can make your manuscript shine.

            A comma may not save Grandma’s life. But a careful proofread might make a life-or-death difference for your manuscript.

Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, is a full-time freelance editor/mentor for new writers, established authors, and book publishers. She speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and director of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network and the Christian Editor Network. For more about Kathy, visit

Book Summary
Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, by professional freelance author, editor, and proofreader Kathy Ide, is the essential go-to tool for aspiring and experienced writers and editors. This book includes all of the material from Ide’s popular Polishing the PUGS book (now out of print), with added PUGS guidelines and helpful tips from multi-published authors on how to catch typos and other common mistakes.

In Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Kathy Ide identifies the industry-standard references for books, magazines, and newspapers (which are different from the guidelines for other types of writing, such as college term papers). Using these official references, she highlights the most common mistakes writers make in the areas of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling (for which she uses the acronym PUGS). She also includes guidelines from The Christian Writer's Manual of Style for authors and editors who work in the inspirational market.

Sunday, July 6, 2014



Your name becomes your identity

Excerpt from the book, Imagine the Future You

July 7 is last day to comment about how God has used your past to bless your future and enter to win a copy of the audiobook

Print and Kindle copies available at 

Join Audible and get a free audiobook at

       “Hey, Joseph!” said the baker, his two chins bobbing in sync with his laughter. “I heard you had a tumble with Potiphar’s wife. Way to go! Who would have thought it?”
      “Since Potiphar committed all he has into your care, I guess that was all that was left!” the lanky butler added. His cold, accusing eyes mocked.
      Anger and embarrassment shot through Joseph. His chains tinkled as he shifted position where he sat on the hard stone floor. “You are wrong. I did not do that great wickedness and sin against Potiphar, myself, or God.”
      “You worried about God when you could have had her?” the baker said, chuckling, his round face showing he didn’t believe Joseph.
      “I decided long ago to follow God’s will for my life, and I haven’t changed my mind,” Joseph answered firmly as he tried to stand.
     “You are a fool,” the baker shot back at Joseph as he and the butler walked away, heads together and laughing.
     Joseph stared after the pair, the chains on his wrists and ankles causing his whole body to ache. He wondered why the two men accused him. After all, they offended the king of Egypt and were sentenced to prison, too. Joseph had no idea what they had done.
     One day weeks later, Joseph noticed the butler and the baker didn’t pick up their bowls of food when it was time to eat. By now, Joseph’s chains were gone because once again Joseph found favor with his captors. But he was still a prisoner. He picked up the bowls and then slowly walked to where he’d heard the      “Here’s breakfast,” Joseph said. “You should eat.”
     “It’s nothing but swill,” spat the baker, holding his head in his hands.
      As Joseph held out the bowl, a loud groan rushed from the butler’s throat. His fingers ran nervously through his dirty curly hair.
     “What’s wrong?” asked Joseph.
      “We’ve had some terrible nightmares,” the baker answered, adding his cry of anguish. “They seem so real we need to have someone tell us what they mean, but there is no interpreter.”
      The butler stopped his guttural groans and took two deep breaths. “I’m sure the dreams have a meaning. Do you know anyone…? Hey, Joseph! You talk with God, don’t you? Sure you do!” He got up from the floor and patted Joseph on the back.
     Quickly the baker tried to stand. His humpty-dumpty body rocked back and forth three times before Joseph reached and pulled him to his feet.
     Panting, the baker put his arm around Joseph and let out a blast of putrid breath. “Yes, Joe, old buddy.  We’ve been stuck together in this prison a long time. You are such a wonderful fellow to keep on speaking terms with God! You’ve been a good cell-block mate. Haven’t even seen you in any of the fights. Now the captain of the guards has you serving us, and you do it well. Would you like to hear my dream?”
      “And mine?” added the butler.
      All the noise brought a crowd of other prisoners. They stood, watching expectantly. The butler and the baker stared at each other, then Joseph. The butler stepped forward and whispered in Joseph’s ear for a long time. Then the baker stood at Joseph’s other ear, whispering and nervously shaking one leg.
     Afterward, Joseph turned away and lifted his hands toward heaven. His lips moved, but no sound came out of his mouth.
     Finally, Joseph turned to look at the butler. “Within three days, Pharaoh shall give you back your job. Please remember me and ask that I be released from this prison.”
     “Thank you! Oh, thank you!” A deep laugh rumbled from the butler. He shook hands with Joseph and some of those watching. ‘I will be sure to give them your message.”
     Then Joseph looked solemnly at the baker. “In three days, Pharaoh will hang you.”
     The baker stood speechless, his mouth dropped open and his eyes filled with terror. Then obscenities flowed from his fat, drooling lips. When those were spent, his deep, wrenching sobs echoed in every prison cell.
      Three days later, the butler was back at work and the baker was dead.
And Joseph’s release didn’t come. The butler didn’t tell Pharaoh about Joseph’s request.
     Three men. The butler and the baker had names, of course, but they were not included in the biblical account. But even if we knew their names, they probably wouldn’t be worth mentioning or remembering.
     But we won’t forget Joseph. Today’s youth would have called Joseph “hot” in his youth. I despise the term myself, but you know by the way Potiphar’s wife flung herself at the young man his handsome face could put girls’ hearts in a flutter.
     Some biblical scholars believe Joseph lived about four thousand years before Christ.[1] That’s a long time ago for his name to come up now. Even though Joseph has no last name, his name will never be forgotten. Joseph is on the minds and lips of many people even today because of who he was and what he did.
     Who could forget the sound of Joseph’s weeping in the desert cistern as he heard his brothers planning to kill him and then deciding to sell him as a slave? His years in prison suffering because he wouldn’t tumble into bed with Potiphar’s wife, who then ripped her dress and accused him of rape? Or after Joseph’s promotion to governor, his heart-wrenching sobs when he recognized his brothers bowing before him in Pharaoh’s Egyptian palace asking for food?
      Or can any Bible student forget how Joseph forgave those brothers and fell on their necks, weeping and kissing them?
      And what Joseph said? “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”[2]
            Our tongues still speak Joseph’s name with respect because of who he was and what he did.
Joseph’s name remained on a small pyramid in Egypt, according to Bible historians and archaeologists, until Moses led the Israelites in their exodus. When Joseph knew he was dying, he prophesied God would take them from Egypt back to their own land, and when they went asked them to take his bones with them. The Bible says the Israelites took the bones back to Israel, and Joseph was reburied in Shechem. That’s where the Jews of modern times found a tomb they identified as Joseph’s in 1921. His name appeared on the tomb in the heart of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria. But then on February 23, 2003, the carved stone over the grave was destroyed and the tomb vandalized and filled with burning garbage. In February 2008, vandals set burning tires inside the tomb. Yet, until September 2008, Jews journeyed to the tomb to pray, although         Muslims have attempted to make it a holy site to Islam.[3]
      Despite the damage to his tomb, Joseph’s name is remembered—not because it is so unusual, but because it belonged to an unusual man.
What about your name? Your name has already appeared in many places. It first appeared on your birth certificate and the wristband you wore in the hospital after you were born. The newspaper might have run your name with the births. It certainly was on the birth announcements your parents mailed to friends and relatives.
Your doctor has a whole file that begins with your name. The school has files with you as the star. If and when you get a job, there will be files on you.
The government has archives on you, beginning with your Social Security number. The driver’s license bureau will keep records under your name. Your name will appear on loans, titles, and deeds.
Your name will be in the news in many cities if you make the honor roll or you receive awards or do notable things. Your name will be listed with marriage licenses and your engagement and wedding announcements may be in the newspaper—but hopefully it won’t be in the divorce column. If you are in a serious accident or arrested after age eighteen, your name would be in the news.
If you become a screen star, a politician, an inventor, a hero, extremely wealthy, a philanthropist, a model, a successful businessman, a writer, or just someone who voices an opinion in the right place, people will see your name. Your name could become a household word.
Mostly, however, our names are spoken more than written, as Joseph’s was. Sometimes your name just runs around in people’s heads.
For sure, unless the Lord Jesus Christ returns first or you are lost at sea or buried in an unknown tomb, someday your name will appear on a tombstone or an urn containing your ashes.
For the most part, your name reflects who you are and what you do. Today is the day to prepare for the future and decide who you will be and what you will do.
That brings us to an important book where you’d want your name to appear.
Your success at achieving the ultimate life begins with your name in the Book of Life, the “Who’s Who” of who is going to live forever in heaven.
How do you get in?
Different from some other Who’s Who books, you aren’t required to pay a fee or buy that edition. An entry is free of cost to you—but a huge amount already has been paid in blood for your name to be included. That’s called redemption because we were born into sin and the penalty for sin is death.
Jesus told his disciples to rejoice that their names were written in heaven.[4] The last book of the Bible, Revelation, has multiple references to the “Book of Life.”[5]
Revelation chapter 20 describes the vision the Apostle John saw of the Great White Throne Judgment: “I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to things written in the books.”
 In chapter 21, we’re given a description of heaven that “has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, there will be no night, nothing evil will be allowed to enter, and the only humans who will be there are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s (Jesus) Book of Life.”
It all begins when we make a decision to believe, and when we repent of our sins and accept the redemption, the abundant life, Jesus promised.
That’s when your name becomes special.

Copyright Ada Brownell December 2013

[1] You can read about Joseph and his family in Genesis 30–50. Even the creation account didn’t use this much space!
[2] Genesis 5:19–21 NKJ
[3] David M. Rohl and Dr. Thomas S. McCall, Th.D., “Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest,” Levitt Letter, June 1999.
[4] Luke 10:20
[5] Rev. 3:5; Rev. 20:12; Rev. 21:27