Note

NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Contact

Monday, September 29, 2014

HAVE A SEAT: OGNIAN GEORGIEV!

I was honored to be Ognian Georgiev's first Christian author featured on his blog and I am thrilled he agreed to be interviewed on mine.  Please feel free to ask questions or leave a comment.   


Ognian Georgiev is a sports journalist, who currently working as sports editor at the "Bulgaria Today" daily newspaper. He covered the Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008 and in London 2012. The author of the book "The 
White Prisoner - Galabin Boevski's secret story" specializes in sports politics, investigations and coverage of Olympic sports events. Ognian works as a TV broadcaster for Eurosport Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting group, TV+, F+ and TV7. He is a commentator for fight sports events such as boxing/kickboxing and MMA. In December 2012 Nova TV and Diema TV premiered the biographical movie "Sons", dedicated to heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev. He was author and script writer of the film.

Ognian was born in the capital city of Bulgaria - Sofia. He started work as a sports reporter in 2000. In the following years Ognian Georgiev covered different sports events in USA, Germany, Switzerland, UK, France, Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Spain, and Italy.  The author lives in Sofia with his partner Ralitza and their one year old daughter Valeria.


What inspired you to become a writer?

My job is related with writing. I am working as a sports reporter in "Bulgaria Today" daily newspaper. In the last 15 years it was a daily routine for me. However, writing a real book is something very different. The main character of my first novel "The white prisoner: Galabin Boevski" was the reason that I was inspired to put everything in one big story. My editor-in-chief encouraged me to write the story and this was just the beginning.
 
  
  Which of your books do you consider your pride and joy?   Why?

Easy answer, because I've got only one book "The white prisoner: Galabin Boevski's secret story". For now it's my pride. I gave a lot in order to produce the final output. It was a joy as well, because the adrenaline during research and writing period was very high. Sometimes I had some problems with the sleep, because I was thinking non stop about the book and how to pave the readers' road.
  

 Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?

I need silence. Because of my daily assignments in the newspaper, I don't have much time to focus. This is why I worked on the novel after my work. Sometimes I was staying until 3 at the night in my office to develop the story chapter by chapter.

    If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?

The Angel Who Saved My Life. I've got many risky situations since I was born. Thanks to my personal angel, I am still alive and in good condition. Now, at the age of almost 34 (next Monday is my birthday), I started to realize many things, that before were just passing by my mind without paying enough attention.

    If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be?

I will give you Top 3, ok? The first one would be Karl May. The German writer was my favorite during my child years. He describes by incredible way his characters and is a real teacher of the best human qualities. Number two would be Raymond Feist. He is my favorite fantasy author. I was very deep into his Midkemia world and all his great personages. Number 3 - Michael Connelly. He is a great master of crime literature and a person who I would like to interview one day.

    We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project?

The sad thing is that my family suffered when I wrote my book, because not much time left for them. Sometimes I feel kind of guilty about that, but my girlfriend and my daughter always supported me. They were very happy when the book finally was published and I would like to thank them once again for all the hugs they gave to me, when I had some bad moments during writing and publishing period.

    What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that helped you the most?

Probably when I read somewhere that I need as much as possible eyes to take a look on my script before being published. I am very grateful to all test readers, who helped "The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski's secret story" to become better novel.

    Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you?

You may order the print version of the book here:

https://www.createspace.com/4808648
E-book is available here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KMFP2VK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00KMFP2VK&linkCode=as2&tag=thewhitepriso-20&linkId=NP6B3MHCASFJ4QI3

Follow me here:

Blog - http://ogigeorgiev.wordpress.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/galabinboevski
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/galabin.boevsky


Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release? Provide a brief synopsis....

I started recently with the research for my next book. Once again it will be a non-fiction sport book about the last man who beat the richest athlete in the world, Floyd Mayweather, and his incredible fate. Plans are the Bulgarian version to be published at the beginning of 2015 and the English version to be ready for the start of the next summer.








HOPE?




With a blog handle of Gridiron Granny Football Fanatic, football will be a topic from time to time. This is one of those times ... in fact, for fantasy football, probably the last time (sob).

It is week four of the fantasy season and do you know what my record is?
0 - 4.  That's right ... after all my post-draft/pre-season smack talk against my opponents, here I sit - 12th place (out of twelve, by the way).

I've lost four (averaging one per week) top players, and replacing them has been difficult because all the good ones have already been scooped up.

Recap Week One:  Sackmaster Mike (1-0) (My husband no-less) beat me in a tight match:  107 - 105.  I was the first to put up points and actually reached 20-0. That lead slipped away like a wet spaghetti noodle.

Recap Week Two:  I had two great players score zero points ...  Zero, Nada, Zilch, and wound up in last place.   

Recap Week Three:  My extremely talented running back scored zero points....why?  He broke his ankle in the first quarter (I do feel bad for him, it was a season ending injury).  I'm proudly holding steady in 12th place with a 0-3 record. No one is even close to taking away my esteemed position.

This Week:  My regular quarterback is on a bye, so I had to use a back-up.  I wasn't concerned because last week that particular QB scored 35 points. This week:  5.  He decided it was more fun to throw to the other team. Right now I have 72 points to my opponent's 177....Monday Night Football is coming and I have one player left. Think it's too much to ask a kicker to close the gap?  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up ... just needed to vent a little.  Being one of strong faith, I know God would not want me to lose hope.  So.... I'm going to pull up my big girl panties and face my future opponents with head held high and boundless determination ... and if not successful, there is always next year.......















Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Blank Zone

There's nothing more frightening for a writer -- staring at a blank page. Deep within our souls the words are there, but something keeps them from reaching the tips of our fingers and onto the keyboard.  It's the dreaded writer's block.  If I had a dollar for every time that has happened, I'd be able to afford Seattle Seahawks season tickets on the second level, fifty yard line -- plus the funds fly up there for every game.

When entering the "blank zone," I either stare at the computer screen hoping words miraculously appear or close my eyes, take a deep breath and pray. You'd think the latter would be automatic, but nooooo, not for me. I sometimes get a crazy notion I'm in control, and end up wasting a considerable amount of time frustrated with a strong desire to throw the laptop out the window ... and I know God is watching, shaking His head and smiling.

When faced with a blank page, be it while writing or waking to a new day, we need to look upwards and say, "Okay, God, it's all yours."  We will, at times, succumb to self-will; we're human.  Be comforted knowing all He wants us to do is try ... He expects progress not perfection.


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NABRE)







Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Subtle Warning


"So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."
Matthew 6:31-33 (NABRE)




I've been overachieving in the "worry department" lately to the point of distraction and carelessness. In fact, I became so preoccupied I did something I'd never done before -- I lost my cell phone.  

After chastising myself for being so scatterbrained, it got me thinking (look out folks, here it comes):  Life is full of distractions, and if we are not careful, we will lose more than a cell phone. We'll lose focus on what's really important ~ Our daily contact with God.

I believe He was sending me a subtle warning … I was letting life rather than Him be in control.  Had I turned everything over, I would not have been overwhelmed in the first place. A cell phone is a small price to pay to avoid a detour on my faith journey. 



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

HAVE A SEAT: JARROD L. EDGE!

Jarrod L. Edge was born on December 21, 1967 in North Carolina, not too far from Cascade, Virginia, where he spent many summers with his close relatives.  He grew up in Clinton, Maryland where he and his brother, James, lived with his mother Carrie and his father Thomas. Jarrod joined the United States Navy after high school and served onboard the USS Forrestal as part of Light Attack Squadron Thirty Seven, the VA 37 Bulls.  During his time in the military, Jarrod was blessed to travel around the world and visit countries such as Spain, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. As the world of information technology started to take off, Jarrod decided to take off with it.  As a Microsoft Certified Developer, he traveled the world contracting and teaching programming to businesses around the globe.  Once again he was blessed to travel across the United States and to countries such as Guam and Japan, as well as various islands in the Caribbean. In February of 2005, God introduced Jarrod to his wife Lisa via eHarmony.  She was in Wishek, North Dakota and he was in Jacksonville, FL.  They married in April of 2005 and have been happily so ever since.  Their four children, Kari, Taevon, Edward, and Isabella are, in his own words, "absolutely awesome".  Throughout his travels and his experiences, good times and bad, Jarrod has always held to one thing,  his love of the Lord.  He believes that God is his source and that Jesus died on the cross for him and for you.  When asked about the inspired book series, The Prophecy of the Seventh Elizabeth, Jarrod had the following to say: "I was blessed to be the vessel that God poured this series of books into and I am so thankful that He chose me to share this beautiful vision with.  It's like watching a movie unfold in my head.  I hope that this book, and the books that follow become a blessing and a soul altering experience to you, your family, and your friends.  Be blessed and may all the glory be to God."

What inspired you to become a writer?

I never, ever, thought about being an author.  Never had a childhood affinity for books.  In fact, I can barely spell J  (Thank the Lord for spellcheck).  But I do like to tell a story.  Some years ago God put this movie in my head.  The Prophecy of the Seventh Elizabeth, The Battle Between Light and Dark.  I think of it as a continuous download of scenes.  I’m captivated by it and I have this drive to write it down and one day see it on the big screen.  At the time I thought it was just one book, but over time realized that it’s huge.  I’m currently working on Book 2 of the Christian Science Fiction series and will soon follow with the third book of the series.  So far, everyone who has read it, loves it.  The reviews have been awesome.  I give the credit to God for the story.

Which of your books do you consider your “pride and joy”? Why?

I love book 1 of the series which is titled, The Prophecy of the Seventh Elizabeth, The Battle Between Light and Dark, Book 1.  I’m sure it will always hold a special place in my heart.  Book 2, simply titled, The Prophecy of the Seventh Elizabeth, The Battle Between Light and Dark, Book 2, of course, is outstanding in that it delivers what I would want to see in a great series of Sci-Fi movies or books.  But I think Book 3 which is title The Prophecy of the Seventh Elizabeth, Enoch will likely end up being my favorite.  The movie in my head is unbelievable and I can’t wait to release it next year.  There are more, of course, but I think these three books will be the ones that I remember most.  Each a gift from God.

Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?

Well, I don’t have a “Procrastination ritual” (Grace Yee), but I do find that I need to be on good terms with my awesome wife before I write.  I know that some authors find mornings better and some find evenings best, but time of day doesn’t really matter to me.  I wrote most of book one and two while on airplanes on my phone.  But my favorite place to write is at our timeshare in Orlando.  Truthfully, I just need to be at peace and the download begins.

If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?

I would have to borrow a snippet from the Guide.  “Mostly Harmless”

If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be? 

I think it would be an indie author.  Someone who’s not quite there yet, but who is on the right track.  Someone who had what it takes and is an incredible storyteller, but who just hasn’t been discovered yet.  Someone who likes BBQ and good conversation.  If I couldn’t find that then perhaps one of the authors of the Star Wars Fate of the Jedi series or maybe Douglas Adams!

We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project?

There’s balance? J  Well I have a beautiful loving wife and four awesome children.  Ages 14, 13, 13, and 7.  I’m also a Microsoft Certified Trainer and the Senior SharePoint Consultant for the company I work for in Des Moines, IA.  Since I live in St. Augustine, FL, you can imagine we travel quite a bit.  We homeschool our kids and I love playing online video games with the kids.  I find balance in prayer.  I believe that God is my source and that everything will get finished exactly when it’s supposed to.  The great thing is that the story, movie, never leaves my mind.  It’s always there waiting for me to finish writing it down so that I can finally read it from end to end.

What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that helped you the most?

Although we’ve never met, I received an awesome piece of advice from Chris Rock.  Yes Chris Rock, the movie star.  I was watching an interview on PBS and Mr. Rock was talking about something that he had written.  He said something like, just get through the first draft.  Don’t worry about how it reads.  Just get through it.  So, I never worry about spelling, sentence form, poetry, etc.  I just get the first draft down.  I can always make it clear, spellcheck, restructure a sentence, and add poetic liberties on the second draft.   

Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you?

Visit my website www.e7prophecy.com and keep up to date on the E7Prophecy.

The book is available at all Major Online sellers of books.
 


30% off at CreateSpace with the code from my website:  www.e7prophecy.com

Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release? Provide a brief synopsis....

Book 1 is out now.  Book 2 will be out this fall and Enoch will be out next year. 

Before his death, St. John the Apostle spoke a prophecy, sometimes referred to as "The Second Revelation of John."  The prophecy was hidden from the world to protect it from those that sought to destroy it or cast shadows over it forever.  The prophecy gives account of a child who would be chosen to stand for all mankind.  It foretells the coming of a great evil from beyond Earth's solar system.  It speaks of a soulless army that will attempt to prevent the birth of the Chosen One.  If that fails, then the enemy's mission will be to find the Chosen One and prevent her from standing on behalf of all mankind at "The Battle Between Light and Dark."

A brutal contract hit on FBI Special Agent Johnathan Sette's family leaves his life turned upside down and his newborn child missing.  In order to ensure the safety of his children, he will enlist the help of the Seven Dragons family to teach them an ancient form of martial arts.  Johnathan, his family, and faithful friends will hold on to their strong Christian faith as they search the world for his missing daughter, Elizabeth.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why God created fantasy football.....





Expectations breed resentments, and boy do I have resentments! Expectations were high for my fantasy football team (notice I said, "were"), and even though the season just started, it's already looking like my teeth will be ground down to gum level and my fingernails minus the white tips. When I see one of my players writhing in pain, I should be concerned, but do you know what I say (actually what I yell)? "It's only your knee, shake it off, get back on the field."

I firmly believe God created fantasy football to remind me I have no control over people, places or things and my heart should always be open to love, compassion and forgiveness ... I just don't know why He can't use my opponent's team as the reminder instead of mine once in awhile.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”



P.S.  A shout-out to Skye, who we met last night at Harrah's.  
Your sweet comments about my blog made my night!!!! 





Saturday, September 20, 2014

God works in mysterious ways....


I wrote the following post on August 20th:

"This last Saturday my husband and I were sitting in the living room, enjoying dinner and watching television.  The front door opened and in walked a scraggly blonde young man we'd never seen before.  He took off his jacket and hat and dropped them on the floor and said, "Hi."  Startled, the only thing I could mutter was, "Who are you, what are you doing and why did you walk into our home without knocking?"  He said he was sorry but was looking for his friends but couldn't remember where they lived. I advised him his friends were not here and politely asked him to leave. He looked hurt and hesitated for a moment, so I stood up and escorted him out.  It was the oddest experience I'd ever had, and it wasn't until a few hours later that I began to feel the fear. I reported the incident to the Sheriff and found out later the young man was arrested later that night for attempting to steal a car, and that he was definitely under the influence of drugs. God was watching over me and my family that afternoon. Had I reacted angrily or with fear, the outcome may have been disastrous."



~~UPDATE~~

Yesterday, I was totally immersed in my current work in progress when the doorbell rang. I bristled at the interruption and was tempted to ignore it.  Standing on the porch was the same young man. His clothes were clean, his hair cut and he was shaking. I double-checked the screen door lock, worrying that he was there to confront me about calling the police, but I was happily mistaken. He had come over to tell me he was entering a sober living facility to get clean ... which explained his shaking ... withdrawal. 

I unlocked the door and joined him on the porch. I told him I understood what he was going through and how happy I was that he was on the right path.  His face lit up when I shared my struggle with addiction (alcohol) and the fact I had been sober for almost seventeen years. He was obviously scared and I did my best to encourage him. I  grabbed an inspirational book on addiction (we have a large collection) as well as my book, "Moments with God", which includes my personal story of recovery.  Before he left, we hugged and I told him he would be in my prayers.

God works in mysterious ways ... Of all the homes that young man could have entered that night, it was ours. Jeremiah 29:11:  "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you...." 

Heavenly Father, please hold that young man in Your comforting and healing arms and give him the strength and perseverance to succeed.  Thank you for bringing him into my life, as a reminder of how You held me during my struggles. With a humble heart I pray my words to him conveyed what he needed to hear ... You are with him, he is loved and there is hope.   

Amen  

     











Thursday, September 18, 2014

The "If Only" Zone



My mind is in overdrive (again) and the Holy Spirit nudged me to blog about beating myself up over past mistakes.

I confess my sins to a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but there are times when I just cannot let go. The tapes of my mistakes keep replaying in my mind, and I end up entering the "if only" zone, wishing I could turn back the hands of time.  Yeah, like that's going to happen.

It is Satan that pulls out those old tapes and I can almost see him laughing as he hits the rewind button, highlighting all the ugliness and shame. What saves me from self-destruction is turning to God.  He fast forwards the tapes to lessons learned, and reminds me if I was able to turn back the hands of time, I would not be the person I am today ... defined by His mercy, not my mistakes.


I'M TAPING THIS ON MY MIRROR:




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NEW FEATURE COMING SOON!



I AM HONORED TO HAVE THE FOLLOWING
GIFTED AUTHORS AS GUESTS:












Tuesday, September 16, 2014

HAVE A SEAT: A.M. HEATH!



Being raised in a small Tennessee town, A.M. Heath grew up with a love for southern history and nostalgia. Her husband and 4 children embrace the small town lifestyle and southern standard of back porch relaxing, tea sipping, homemade comfort food, strong Christian values, and tightly woven family bonds. For many years, she has nurtured a desire to write but chose to nurture her own family until the time was right. How do you know when the time is right? You just do! With lots of prayer and support, she began to put pen to paper and explored her passion for writing. 

Inspiration can strike at any moment and spawn from a simple garden stroll, a biblical passage, one of her kid's school projects, a recipe, or a phone call from a friend. This unbridled inspiration makes A.M. Heath's stories, characters, and settings unique and fresh; an assurance for her loyal readers as new stories are projected to release in the future.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I don't know that I was "inspired" so much as I was eventually led to it. I love to read and always have. And I've always enjoyed writing. I can remember when I was a young girl folding paper together to create a book and writing stories in it. Another time, when I was in the 8th grade, I had an assignment to do and was inspired to tell a 3 page story instead of the 1 page paper it should have been.  And as an adult, I came to a place where the stories burning inside me begged to be told. I don't think I was inspired to write so much as I have been chosen to write. I can look back and see how God had been gently and slowly guiding my path all along.

Which of your books do you consider your “pride and joy”? Why?

Before I sat down to write publicly, I started out writing in private (a practice that I'm learning many authors do). I wrote one book and started another and both are tucked away in a private file. There are serveral on my waiting list. But the book that I'm most proud of is the one that is releasing this year titled Where Can I Flee. As any author can tell you, every book they write becomes a favorite of sorts, and so it is with me. But this book isn't just a piece of my heart, it IS my heart. It's me being poured out. There is such a beautiful blend of history, evangelism, and romance in this novel. And as it turns out, it's the very heart of who I am.

Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?

I don't have a ritual before starting a project. But each day as I settle down to write, I clear my head by browsing pinterest. There is something about the pressure of knowing that you're expected to preform that overwhelms me sometimes, and so it helps me loosen up to do something mindless before I begin. I often listen to Christian music while I work too. 

If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?

For Christ Alone  For Christ alone is how I aim to live my life. It's easy to get off track and I constantly have to repent and bring myself back to what matters most.

If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be?

Lynn Austin. I'm a huge fan of her work. She has written my favorite Civil War series and went on to write several more that make it to my favorites list. But I would also really like to sit down with Tamera Alexander....and since we're both settled down here in Middle Tennessee, I feel like that could be a reality some day :)

We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the
middle of a writing project?

I'm a stay at home mom with four children - two in public school and two at home. So balance is something that I often struggle with. I pray daily and repent often. I've learned that at this season it's best for me to write while the kids are in bed, so during the day I focus on the housework and children. Then once I settle them in, it's just me and the computer. There are other seasons where I try to do a little work during the day, but it doesn't normally work out very well since there are so many distractions. I pray often for God to bless my time and my efforts, and to make me productive. Since I'm self publishing, I have a little more freedom to take my time when needed.

What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that helped you the most?

There was a really long season where I struggled with stress. I felt like I was spinning my wheels more than I was writing and that time was escaping me. I was putting more pressure on myself to finish and it was hurting me more than helping me. Then I ran across this quote that God used to change my life and my writing habits. "This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard." Writing really is that hard and I soon discovered that I was that easy. I had been making the mistake of trying to write an entire novel in one day, in one hour, in one sitting. It can't be done. If I've learned anything in the last 23 months, it's that writing a novel word by word, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter is a tedious process. Nothing is fast.  I finally grasped the concept that I don't need an entire chapter floating around in my head to be productive. All I need is one word. One word. Then one more. Then one more. And before you know it, I have a page, then a chapter. Through this God led me to embrace the stress free writing and I've never looked back! 

Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you?

Here is my official site: http://authoramheath.wix.com/amheath and a link to my facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/?q=#/AMHeathfanpage? I can also be found on pinterest.com and goodreads.com under the name A.M. Heath

Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release? Provide a brief synopsis...

Where Can I Flee is my debut novel due out late this summer. (Can you snag the book cover from Goodreads or do I need to send you a pic?) Here's the blurb:

War is on the horizon during the spring of 1861. It will be an event that will change the lives of everyone in it's path. The Harper family included.

Frank Harper is a young man full of dreams and ambitions. Even when the country is split and war breaks out, Frank will do whatever is necessary to see his dreams come true, even when that means putting on a uniform and leaving home.

For the first time, Claire Harper is forced to consider the reasons behind such a conflict. Should slavery be abolished? Which side should she be on, and what does God have to say about this? Claire is torn between her own opinions and those of her family. The struggle within her only increases when she repeatedly runs into a kind and handsome Union soldier. She longs to see her brother turn to Christ before it is too late. Desperate to reach her brother with the gospel, Claire pens a series of inspiring letters. Will she be able to handle all the obstacles of war and continue to be a witness to those around her?

How long can Claire last when her heart is torn in half and she is burdened for her brother's soul? How long can Frank resist his sister's urgent pleas or the gentle tugging from within? Can a man really outrun a Holy God?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

IN THE HILLS OF MALIBU......




I've been burning the midnight oil finishing up a story for a Christmas collection so I haven't had time to come up with some witty or inspirational blogs.  I decided to go through former posts and picked out one of my favorites......Enjoy!!!!






My son, God Bless him, has a habit of reminding me from time to time how I was before I got sober. Thankfully, most of the stories he brings up are humorous ... like the time my ex-husband convinced me of the existence of "dry-land tuna"...  fish that lived in the hills of Malibu sans water (I'm turning red already).  My beer brain grabbed on to that little piece of Animal Kingdom trivia and my motor mouth shared it with family and friends. It was only after I revealed my stupidity and gullibility to the masses that my ex told me the truth...while he, my son and step-sons laughed hysterically. I was mortified at first but very quickly became infuriated and humiliated and yes...felt betrayed ....and totally justified in downing a beer or twelve and lashing out in retribution.

I learned early on in rehab that one of my biggest problems was I took myself too seriously.  I wanted to be in control every minute and heaven help those who stood in my way.  In time, I was able to give myself a break.  I found that laughing at myself actually brought me a sense of joy ... and peace.  God wants me to be happy and I know when I laugh at myself, He's laughing right along with me.

By the way....did you know there's a man in Wyoming that sells jackalopes?



Monday, September 8, 2014

HAVE A SEAT: TAMERA LYNN KRAFT!

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. She has two novellas published, Soldier’s Heart through Helping Hands Press and A Christmas Promise through Pelican Book Group. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fifth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.


Soldier’s Heart:
Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife.
Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm. But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
    What inspired you to become a writer?

    I always wanted to be a writer. I remember writing my first novel when 
    I was 10 years old. It was awful.

    Which of of your books do you consider your “pride and joy”. Why?
    I would have to say the first full length novel in my Civil War series, Red Sky Over America. It has so many nuances to it with a lot of symbolism that I didn’t intend but decided to go with once I realized they were there. It also has a theme of standing strong in the face of evil which is one of my three favorite themes for a novel.
    Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?
Yes, I grab a large glass of water, close my office door, and turn on instrumental music that goes with what I’m writing.
    If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?
It would be Work in Progress because as I’ve strived to follow
 Christ, my life has been a work in progress.
    If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be?
Wow, that’s a hard one. I have had lunch or dinner with a number of author including Carole Brown, Mary Ellis, Michelle Levigne, Mary Connealy, and Kaye Dacus, among others, and I’ve enjoyed talking about writing with them. I guess it would be Julie Lessman. I’ve become an online friend with her, and I think she would be a lot of fun.
    We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project?
My children are grown which helps. I usually tell my family not to bother me before 2:00 pm when I’m writing unless it’s an emergency, and I stick to a strict schedule.
    What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that
    helped you the most?
Mary Connealy told me how she kept writing books before she was published. She didn’t stop with one book or even two. She kept plugging away. When she finally was published, they asked if she had anything else. She had a large stash of novels ready to go.
    Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you?
You can contact me online at these sites.

Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com
Twitter: @tamerakraft
    Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release? Provide a brief synopsis....
I don’t have a book about to be released. I have a couple of novels with full reads at publishers now but am still waiting to hear about them.

I do have a Christmas novella that was released in November. Here’s a blurb about it:

A Christmas Promise
By Tamera Lynn Kraft

A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away two days before Christmas to help at another settlement, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.
When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.
Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Complacency and Consequences



A.W. Tozar wisely said, "Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth."  I find it even more deadly for those of us who have made great strides in our spiritual journey after overcoming a godless past.

Once we reach out for Christ and walk with Him, our lives change. We rejoice in His mercy and finally come to terms with our failings and forgive ourselves. We commit ourselves to Him and our new lives.  Then, years later, it happens ... We are happy, comfortable and at peace -  but instead of moving forward on the road to spiritual growth, we pull off at a rest stop.  

At first we reduce our prayer time, then miss a few church services, and before we know it, progress comes to a screeching halt. We are oblivious to the fact Satan has been patiently waiting.  He smiles and says, "Aha!  It's time."  He tempts us with behaviors from our past by warping our memories. We remember adventure, fun and excitement and forget about the disastrous consequences - and we think, why not?  

If we do not remain steadfast in fighting complacency, we will surely return to the path of self-destruction rather than redemption. 


Matthew 7:26
"And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not
act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand."




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Bittersweet Day



My birthday is coming up on September 5th, the first birthday without my mom. She always made my birthdays special growing up and did even up until last year, and I was 60!  

I consider myself truly blessed to have had my mom for 60 years, and doubly blessed to have her live with us for the last two.  I know on Friday I'll wake up, and for a split second, expect to hear her and my dad sing a rousing version of Happy Birthday and I'll tear up hearing my dad singing alone.

It will be a bittersweet day for me, but I can look back and remember the biggest blessing of all ... She held me in her arms on September 5, 1953 and said hello, and I held her on February 12, 2014 and said good bye.  And...if I listen hard enough I'm sure I'll hear her singing from Heaven.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Have a Seat: Jessica Ferguson!


Jessica Ferguson is a freelance writer/author and co-owner/co-editor of Swamp Lily Review, A Journal of Louisiana Literature & Arts. She is a staff writer for Southern Writers Magazine, specializing in author interviews. Jess is the author of The Last Daughter (2013), The Groom Wore Blue Suede Shoes (1996) and has a couple of short stories in Christmas anthologies. She has taught nonfiction classes through Leisure Learning and Continuing Education Departments at universities in Louisiana and Texas. Helping others find their passion, get published, complete a novel, sell a short story or just solve a writing problem – according to Jess, that's the thrill of being in this business.


    What inspired you to become a writer?

    As a kid, and as a young adult, I put writers up on a pedestal—they were the greatest of all people. I didn’t see myself ever being a writer—never even considered it, because that just wasn’t something a normal person did. I’ve always been an introvert, preferring to get lost in a book. I grew up with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and Grace Livingston Hill, so I think all the reading I did probably set me on the path to becoming a writer.
    Which one of your books do you consider your “pride and joy”. Why?
I don’t have that many books published, one novel, one novella and some short stories. More nonfiction. My novella, The Last Daughter, is probably my favorite because it deals with abuse and forgiveness. It’s darker, so I think I delved a little deeper than I did in my romantic comedy, The Groom Wore Blue Suede Shoes.

    Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?

    My only ritual is that I procrastinate under the pretense of “thinking” as long as I can before I sit down to write. Honestly, I have to get to a certain point in my head, visualize the hook, the characters, certain scenes. But then again, each book or short story starts in a different way. Some I may plot extensively, while other stories need me to fly by the seat of my pants so these affect my preparation ritual.

    If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?

    That’s easy. It would definitely have to be The Loosey Goosey Writer. I’m amazed that I’ve accomplished anything with my writing considering just how loosey-goosey I am. I’ve outlined a how-to book called The Loosey Goosey Writer, showing new writers how to build their publishing resume without sacrificing family and friends. I’m so loosey-goosey, I have nothing more than the outline.
We all have family, work and other obligations ... how do you
maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project?

There is no balance in my life. We recently moved from Oklahoma back to Louisiana and husband recently retired. That alone has set ‘balance’ on edge. Add to that extensive home renovation and planning our daughter’s wedding. My life is total chaos—no balance. I just have to set a goal, prioritize and get it done. I’m an experienced, long time list-maker so that helps.
    What is the one piece of advice you received about writing
    that helped you the most?

    All the traditional clich├ęs are true and have helped me: writers write, write what you know, just get the story down on paper, etc, etc. I suppose what has really helped me is to just get the story down on paper. Get it finished and then we have something to work with.

    Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you?

    I would love for your readers to check out my novella, The Last Daughter, at Amazon. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Daughter-Tales-Scrimshaw-Doll-ebook/dp/B00ES5DVI6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397318557&sr=8-1&keywords=jessica+ferguson

    If it sounds like it’s too heavy or dark, I have a couple of romantic comedies in Christmas anthologies.

    I’m on Facebook as Jessica Ferguson, Jessica Roach Ferguson and on twitter as Jessy Ferguson. I absolutely love new blog followers so check me out at http://jessyferguson.blogspot.com
    Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release? Provide a brief synopsis.

    Because of our move, major renovation and planning daughter’s wedding, I haven’t written any fiction other than a short story that I plan to send out next week. For the next few months, I’m devoting time to my nonfiction assignments (I write for Southern Writers Magazine) and a few writing projects that don’t take my total focus. I hope your readers will take a look at my Amazon page to see if anything interests them, and follow my blog. And they should always remember, time waits for no one, so don’t waste a minute of it. Write something!