July 14, 2020

COVID-19 AND THE URGENT NEED FOR PROPER PERSPECTIVE


 

PLEASE WELCOME

TRINA BRESSER MATOUS

TO

DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY

 

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses.
They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt
to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” ~Ex.17.3

 

There’s no doubt thirst can be a powerful force. It doesn’t take very many days for the body to start shutting from lack of water. From the perspective of potential death, it is easy to see why the Israelites were grumbling and so demanding.

At this point in the Israelites’ journey, they had seen God work in miraculous ways on their behalf, including:

Being protected from the angel of death who killed the firstborn of all their Egyptian neighbors, both human and livestock, during the final plague. (Ex. 12.29)


Leaving Egypt with silver, gold jewelry, and clothing. (Ex 12.35-36)


Miraculously escaping Pharaoh when he changed his mind about allowing the people to leave. (Ex. 14.15-31)


Having their need for food met by quail and bread raining down from heaven. (Ex. 16.11-18)

The people grumbled and complained because they couldn’t see any further than their immediate need for water. Had they been able to broaden their perspective, they would have realized God had taken care of their needs each step of their journey.

Broader Perspective

In many ways, the Israelites’ narrow focus on satisfying their thirst is not much different from the sudden narrow focus most of the world has on COVID-19. Phrases such as self-quarantine, social distancing, and community spread are invading our vocabulary. In the United States, after a dire several months, things are looking better. Yet reports of spikes in numbers of COVID cases are cause for concern and creating anxiety for many.

In the midst of what is happening, it is important to remember what the Israelites failed to comprehend. God is in the midst of what we are experiencing. For believers especially, we can look back at the ways God has been leading, guiding, and providing for us.

Events such as COVID-19 are invitations to trust God, to trust that He will continue to do what He has been doing for us and millions of others over thousands of years. It is a time to remember how God has worked in our lives, to resist panic, and rest in how God will work in our future.

ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN LIVING BIBLE STUDY SERIES

The Christian Living Bible Study Series is designed to assist readers in their relationship with God, help them understand difficult passages, shed new light on familiar verses, and gain an appreciation for statements made within the confines of ancient cultural practices. Through these books, readers not only learn about the life and work of Jesus Christ, but also personally experience the love, grace, mercy, and redemption offered by the Father through the sacrifice of His Son. Learning more about the history and purpose of each verse will enable readers to grow in wisdom and knowledge.

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Trina-Bresser-Matous/e/B00MTYTAD8

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

            https://www.shoplpc.com/product/pauls-letters-to-the-early-church/

            https://www.shoplpc.com/product/birth-of-the-church/

            https://www.shoplpc.com/product/the-epistles-of-james-peter-and-jude/

ABOUT TRINA BRESSER MATOUS

Trina has a Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry from Ashland Theological Seminary and is a passionate Bible teacher and writer. For over 20 years, she has shared Biblical truths in compelling and memorable ways as a Bible study leader and a member of the Restorative Prayer Team at her church. Her trip through Turkey visiting historic sites including Istanbul, Ephesus, Cappadocia, Haran and Antioch, as well as two trips to Israel’s holy sites bring reality to Trina’s teaching and writing.

Additionally, Trina is an avid birder, loves to cook, travel, work in her garden, and knit.

Connect with Trina:

Website

            https://www.TrinaBresserMatous.com

FaceBook:

            https://www.facebook.com/TrinaWrites

July 12, 2020

THE SWEET COUPLE HOLDING HANDS


PLEASE WELCOME

MELISSA HENDERSON

TO

HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE

 

My husband Alan and I enjoy taking leisurely walks in our neighborhood, especially when the temperatures are not too warm. Sidewalks provide safe areas to stroll and share conversation. We often comment about the bluebirds, eagles, gray herons, egrets, lizards, and occasional alligators we see along the way. The low country of South Carolina is filled with the beauty of God’s creations.

The world has changed due to the coronavirus and our conversations with neighbors now take place while we stand on the sidewalk and the neighbor stands more than six feet away. We are adjusting to this new way of walking and chatting with friends and strangers.

Although we must follow the rules for the health and safety of everyone, Alan and I still hold hands while we walk. This is something we’ve always done throughout our 41 years of marriage. Whenever we are together and walking, we hold hands.

Something as simple as holding hands can have a wonderful effect on other people.

Many times in our married life, we have been told “You two are so cute. Holding hands like that is so sweet!” or “Still holding hands? Did you just get married?” or “How precious! You two must be in love.”

We hold hands because we love each other. The quiet and sweet gesture of my husband reaching for my hand, even after all these years, truly touches my heart.

As for the comments from friends and strangers, we welcome conversations about love and long-lasting marriage. Through ups and downs, sickness, taking care of aging parents, job changes, moving from location to location, and more… we continue to be in love and show our love by being “the sweet couple holding hands.”

ABOUT MELISSA HENDERSON 

Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages. Her first book for children, “Licky the Lizard”, was released in 2018. She also has a story in the compilations “Heaven Sightings” and “Remembering Christmas”. She contributes articles and devotions to various magazines and websites. Her passions are helping in community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon, and Stephen Minister. The family motto is “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons”.

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com

ABOUT LICKY THE LIZARD

 

Licky the Lizard is one nice lizard, and just like you and me, he’s one of God’s own creations. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget that we’re really all the same—because He created everything in our world. We feel afraid because of our differences.
What happens when Licky the Lizard comes face to face with a lady who’s going in and out of her house? When the lady sees Licky, he causes her quite a fright! But guess what? Licky is also scared. Of her. They’re scared of each other! Then Licky and the lady remember that there is no need to be afraid. They were both created by God, and that’s what makes them very special.
In Licky The Lizard, author Melissa Henderson offers parents, grandparents, and educators a tale that teaches young children a simple, yet important message: There is no need to fear any of God’s creatures because we are all created by Him—and He loves us all.

buy link: “Licky the Lizard” http://a.co/d/0a3COnd


July 9, 2020

REMODELING: AN AUTHOR'S STORY



PLEASE WELCOME

SHANNON VANNATTER

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

A few years ago, we changed satellite packages. Yes, I said satellite. I live in rural Arkansas where the houses are too far apart for cable. Now we’re streaming. But I digress, our new package included the DIY channel. As we watched Bath Crashers, Barnwood Builders, and Rehab Addict, we began to dream.

Grant and I started having conversations like, ‘It sure would nice if we had a big family room instead of a den.’ Or, ‘I wish the kitchen wasn’t right by the front door, so it’s the first thing people see whether it’s clean or not.’ Months of discussion ensued, as we threw out ideas on how we could change our layout. He wanted to hire someone. I convinced him we could do it ourselves.

The biggest project we’d taken on in the past was turning my old beauty shop into a guest room and adding a shower in the bathtub. This time, we went big with a three-month demolition. We ripped out all our carpet and put in laminate. We moved the kitchen from the front of the house to our back den, turned the old living room into a huge family room and made the old kitchen on the front of the house a living room.

We hired a plumber and electrician, and then a carpenter to add on an office for me, a screened porch, and a walk-in closet. Our builder did the exterior, we took care of the rest. We designed the new kitchen and put in the cabinets. In the old kitchen/new living room, we patched walls where there used to be counter height plug-ins. In the addition, we did the insulation, floors, ceilings, and walls.

Since the remodel, if the house is messy, we stop company in the living room we always keep neat and clean. If my kitchen is cluttered, no one knows even if they step into the adjoining family room since the pantry and microwave block the view of the sink. We have room for family gatherings, more space for our clothes, and I have a quiet place to write.

Since the major demolition and restructure, we added a second vanity for Grant in the old shower nook in our master bathroom. Now he can literally stay out of my hair while we both get ready in the morning.

 

Our most recent project, we closed in that screen porch we added a few years ago. It started with a conversation, ‘It’s so nice out here. I wish we could enjoy it more than a dozen times a year.’ We started looking for huge windows on Facebook Marketplace and found just what we needed at a fraction of the cost.

We’ve done the insulation, but still have to do the floors, walls, and ceiling to transform it from a porch to a room. We have the materials and should have it finished soon. But even in its unfinished state, our new sun room is enjoyable year-round. Furnished with white wicker furniture and thick comfy cushions and offering a pristine view of my parents' farm equipment, I’ve been writing and editing out there.

In the near future, we plan to turn our smallest guest room into a laundry room since my washer and dryer are in an alcove in the hall. And now that my screen porch is gone, I miss my bug-free, outside-but-not-really zone. We’re planning to screen in our front porch.

Remodeling isn’t typical romance, but through it all, we enjoy the process. It’s something we do together to make our home better and more enjoyable. Sometimes, we get frustrated or cranky during a project, but we’ve learned that’s when we need to stop for the day. I don’t know what we’ll do when we get it all done. We’ve talked about flipping houses. Maybe someday.

Do you like to remodel? What do you and your spouse like to do together?

FOLLOW SHANNON’S BLOG TOUR

I’m giving away five copies of The Cowboy’s Missing Memory and five copies of my Western Collection two in one with Jill Lynn – Counting on the Cowboy and Her Texas Cowboy will be split among commenters. Winners will be revealed on Shannon’s Blog on July 15th. 

TO ENTER COMMENT ON THE FOLLOW POSTS:

June 2: Jennifer Heeren’s Blog: https://jenniferheeren.com/blog/

June 11: Joy Avery Melville’s Blog: https://www.journeystojoy.net/

June 13: Patti Shene’s Blog: https://pattishene.com/pattisporch

June 25: Laurie Wood’s Blog: https://www.lauriewoodauthor.com/author-my-blog

June 25: Reading is My Superpower Blog: https://readingismysuperpower.org

June 30: Catherine Castle’s Blog: https://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/

July 3: Inkslinger Blog: https://shannontaylorvannatter.com/inkslinger-blog/

July 6: Amy Anguish’s Blog: https://abitofanguish.weebly.com/blog

July 7: Inkslinger Blog: https://shannontaylorvannatter.com/inkslinger-blog/

July 10: Linda Rondeau’s Blog: https://lindarondeau.com/snarksensibility

ABOUT SHANNON TAYLOR VANNATTER

Award-winning author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter writes contemporary Christian cowboy romance and has over a dozen published titles. A romance reader since her teens, she hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as she demonstrates that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does.

She gleans fodder for her fiction in rural Arkansas where she spent her teenage summers working the concession stand with her rodeo announcing dad and married a Texan who morphed into a pastor. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband and son, flea marketing, and doing craft projects.

Connect with her: Shannon’s Website, Shannon’s Blog, Shannon’s Facebook, Shannon’s Goodreads, Shannon’s Pinterest, Shannon’s Twitter, Shannon’s Newsletter Archives, Shannon’s Amazon Author Page and Shannon’s Bookbub. Sign up for her newsletter to get a free e-book, recipes, behind the scenes info, & enter exclusive giveaways: Shannon's Newsletter

ABOUT THE COWBOY’S MISSING MEMORY

Can he reclaim his past…and build a future?

He needs to remember.

She’s his best hope…

After a rodeo accident took away Clint Rawlins’s mobility and two years’ worth of memories, occupational therapist Lexie Parker is his only shot at recovering and regaining independence. Lexie is drawn to Clint…but she’s wary of the amnesiac’s all-too-vulnerable feelings. And with the possibility of him returning to his dangerous bull-riding side job, she refuses to risk her heart. But resisting her charming patient may be harder than she expected…

(Available in Walmart mid-June through mid-July)

The Cowboy’s Missing Memory - Amazon

The Cowboy’s Missing Memory – Christian Book

July 7, 2020

THE ONE THING I HAVEN'T HOARDED


PLEASE WELCOME

MEREDITH SAGE KENDALL

TO

DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY

 

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

 

The year 2020 was a marketing guru’s dream. There was an endless supply of puns and memes, but by April, the world as we knew it had come to a stop.

No toilet paper, cleaning supplies, or hand sanitizer.

The grocery shelves were bare of all the basic staples. And people were hoarding anything they could get their hands on as if their lives depended upon it.

To add to the hysteria, the first few weeks of social media were filled with nothing but gloom and doom. The one thing I don’t think most saw coming was the company closures. One day they were, as I like to say, “blowing and going,” then overnight letting all their employees go and shutting the doors.

The world we had come to love, came to a screeching halt, and I quickly noticed that there was NO HOPE!

Our world had been wrapped up in being able to go places.

Work.

Eating out.

Coffee Shops.

Kids being able to go to school. 

You name it, in a matter of two or three day’s time, we lost many earthly privileges that we took for granted. Now months later, many live in fear.

Fear that it’ll happen again.

Fear of getting sick.

Fear that we will run out of food.

Fear of being homeless.

                                                   Fear of dying.

I hate to admit all the earthly treasures I have stored up. I too had lost track of what was really important, but the one thing I learned during quarantine is that God has given us time. He also reminded me that the only things that matter are souls.

I don’t want to spend what time I have left on this earth worrying about having toilet paper or basic cleaning supplies. I want people to know about the hope that I have in the midst of this crazy world.

I want to hoard souls for God so that we can spend eternity in Heaven, together.

ABOUT MEREDITH KENDALL

As a nationally recognized sales leader, Meredith Kendall learned how to build bridges and make connections with the heart of what people need. Now she is known as a change agent, driven by her God-given passion to equip struggling families to achieve their unique God-given potential.

Meredith’s works can be found at My GiGi’s House: Finding HopeThe 180 Program, and her podcast can be found here. Finding Your Purpose

July 5, 2020

SURPRISE! SURPRISE! SURPRISE!


Photo by pixpoetry on Unsplash

 

Remember Jim Neighbors, Gomer Pyle, who smiled with every new twist and turn in his life? I love surprises. And I hope I never get too old to appreciate the new or the old with a twist. 

Not every surprise brings joyous news, like a flooded kitchen sink in the middle of a holiday dinner. But every surprise is a reminder that life is far from boring.

I am reminded of a stop we made some years ago at IHOP on our way to New York City to visit our son for Thanksgiving. Even an IHOP was a treat since back then we didn’t eat as much and there were no IHOPs in our town.

We were met with a surprise in a place where we thought no one would know anything about us or that we were approaching our 33rd anniversary.

I left for a few minutes to go to the ladies' room. When I came back, I saw my husband’s neck stretched, perhaps looking for me. Maybe I was gone a little longer than expected. When I sat down, an elderly man came to our table and handed us a poem he’d scribbled on a napkin, written in the voice of my husband. What a special moment, found at random. Made us want to give back a little…a random kindness in return to perhaps give someone else the pleasure of a surprise.

 

YOU LEFT ME by Joe Testo

 

My Darling, you left me

                For a minute or two

                Though that is not much

                Still, I missed you

                So I thank the Good Lord up above

                For giving me you

                My Darling, to love.

 

                Give someone a random surprise today. In fact, come back and let us know about it. God bless.

 

ABOUT SECOND HELPINGS: MY NEWEST RELEASE

Today is Jocelyn Johnson’s 45th birthday. Unhappy with her marriage of 22 years, the parenting talk show host has planned a noonday tryst with her cohost. A phone call from her college daughter, a peek into her teenaged son’s journal, a sick preschooler, a Goth daughter’s identity crisis, a middle-school son’s prank, and her husband’s inflamed suspicions, not only interfere with her hopeful birthday plans but throw her family into more chaos than a circus on steroids.

In desperate need of counsel, Jocelyn invites a Christian to dinner, her guest from her morning talk show segment. However, the evening holds little promise of calm. In the midst of bedlam, a forgotten faith rekindles causing Jocelyn to rethink her life and her marriage.

You will laugh and you will cry from the first page to the last as you journey through the day’s events and Jocelyn’s search for Second Helpings.

 

COMING IN SEPTEMBER: LEGACY OF REGRET (to be retitled)

 

COMING IN NOVEMBER: WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT (NONFICTION)

 

COMING IN MARCH, 2021  DAYS OF VINES AND ROSES  (to be retitled)

 

THE AUTHOR IS AVAILABLE TO SPEAK AT YOUR LOCAL CHURCH OR COMMUNITY MEETINGS, IN PERSON OR ONLINE

              



July 2, 2020

RISK MANAGEMENT



PLEASE WELCOME

LEEANN BETTS

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

 

 

EXCERPT FROM LEEANN’S BOOK/RISK MANAGEMENT

When the office phone rang, Carly glanced at the caller ID.

And groaned.

Amanda, from Well Dressed, the only boutique shop in Bear Cove, Maine, which offered designer dresses for the discerning shopper. At least, that’s what the sign over the door read.

Should she answer? Or let it go to voice mail?

Truth be told, she’d ignored the previous dozen or so calls. And the three messages over the past week—each one more frantic and making less and less sense.

She sighed. Yes, several months ago, fresh off her last extra-curricular crime-solving spree, she’d promised to help Amanda, her on-again, off-again friend. At the time, the woman’s problem was tenuous. Something about an order from Peru that didn’t arrive. Or didn’t come in as expected. Or —

She snatched up the receiver. “Hello, Amanda.”

A hiccupping half-sob traveled the telephone wire to her ear. “Oh, Carly, I’m so glad you finally answered.”

Carly leaned back in her chair and propped one foot on the corner of her desk. “Sorry. I’ve been busy. Finishing up with a client. Preparing for the next. What can I do for you?”

From this angle, she had a delicious view of her backyard. Of course, February in Maine was nothing to write home about. Snow. Heavy cloud cover. Wind. She sighed. Maybe she’d convince Mike to move them south for the winter. Being self-employed, they could work from anywhere, so long as they had the Internet. Then again, six months without seeing her kids or grands seemed a poor trade for sunshine and no snow.

“Well, my problem—which you aren’t taking seriously, by the way—hasn’t gone away. I’m sure you were probably hoping it would vanish like Christmas canes in January.”

“Not at all. I never said that.”

A deep inhale and exhale. “I know you didn’t. But really. This is super serious.”

Ah, now Amanda had her attention. Using those magic words: super serious. Still, Amanda was a tad more personable than her predecessor, Susan Markham. Perhaps dress shops emitted some kind of ion that sent its employees down the loony-bin trail. Like mercury did to Mad Hatters of old.

Carly plopped her foot to the floor and sat upright. “I’m all ears. Tell me what’s going on.”

“Can we meet for coffee? I’ll close the shop. Heaven knows it’s slower than cold molasses running uphill in January.”

“Um. Sure. The Dew Drop Inn? At eleven? That’s twenty minutes.” A respite from these four walls would be good. “If you get there before me, order me a breve.”

“What in the world is that?”

“Cappuccino made with half-and-half. It’s decadent.”

“If I drank that, my hips would be as wide as—”

Carly silently completed the sentence. As yours. “Victoria knows what it is.”

“Eighteen minutes.”

The line went dead. Funny how a woman who usually talked her leg off didn’t take the time or energy to say goodbye.

ABOUT RISK MANAGEMENT

Carly Turnquist, Forensic Accountant, can never ignore a good mystery. Or in this case, three. When her sometime friend tells her a mystery is afoot, with links to a Quechuan temple, a Peruvian jungle monster, and murder, Carly is hooked. But when her investigations come close to home, she must decide whether to step back or continue, because now her family—and her own life—are at stake. Never one to give up without a good fight, Carly finds herself under attack from a third direction—her body is failing her. Will she continue? Or will she retire gracefully? Perhaps she can do both.

Buy here:

https://www.amazon.com/Risk-Management-Name-Book-12-ebook/dp/B087LTY9S3

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1017588

 

ABOUT LEEANN BETTS

Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. Risk Management, which released June 30th, 2020, is the 12th and final story in her cozy mystery series, “By the Numbers”. Watch for a segue novella in September that weaves Carly’s story with the upcoming new cozy mystery series, “Mysterious Ink Bookstore Mysteries”, with its first title releasing in December 2020. Together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Christian Authors Network, Pikes Peak Writers, and Sisters in Crime. Leeann travels extensively to research her stories and is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary LLC.

Website: www.LeeannBetts.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Bonanza Books-in-a-Flash: order autographed print copies of books that are shipped directly from the author.

Blog: www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/1pQSOqV

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1qmqvB6

Books: Amazon http://amzn.to/2dHfgCE  and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2z5ecP8

What Can Be Online University: online courses on the craft of writing

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items

July 1, 2020

UNDERTOW

BY: JULIE COSGROVE

My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.  Psalm 25:15

fernando-pelaez-cubas-nbt_zlrzb8i-unsplash.jpg

My parents used to take us to the coast each summer. We were told to be wary of the undertow. My sister and I find pockets of this mild quicksand, and at first, it was weirdly intriguing to watch it surround my feet. Cooler than the surrounding sand, untouched by the sun, it held a strange sensation.

I could feel the sand particles almost come alive as they encased my feet. But the longer I stood still, the more the sand developed my lower extremities, up past my ankles. I was stuck! I couldn’t wiggle free.  I was helpless.  TALK ABOUT A SAND TRAP!

My eyes scanned for my mother or father as my breaths quickened and the sand crawled higher.  When our gazes locked and my father dashed to free me, I sighed in relief.

An intriguing, not-so-legal situation, a temptation, a movie with iffy scenes can be intriguing. We are drawn to it. Yes, it may not be proper or wholesome or upright. The Holy Spirit may whisper for us to back off, turn away or be careful…even so….  we venture toward the experience.  A little of it won’t hurt.  I’ll just watch it for a few minutes. Everyone else is doing it, right?

Then, we might go deeper, watch longer, become more entangled in the deceit.  Soon, we are stuck. This isn’t fun anymore.  Two choices. Try to get free on our own with our eyes solely on the problem as panic begins to gurgle up from our stomach juices, or…

Raise our eyes and seek our Father. Call out to Daddy for help.

Of course, if we had kept our eyes on Him in the first place, we never would have wandered. But no sense going back to woulda, shoulda.  Instead, it is best to ask forgiveness, receive His help, and move forward while holding on to His hand. It may take a while to shake the wet sand from our feet.

Actions do have consequences. But if we walk with our Lord in the way He deems, then the undertows in our world will no longer be a snare.

Just as my father splashed seawater on my toes that day to release the sticky, itchy granules, we can be washed in His waves of mercy.

ABOUT JULIE COSGROVE

Julie B Cosgrove writes contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and mysteries with a smidgen of romance. She also writes Bible studies and devotionals. She is a Grace Award finalist, INSPY award semifinalist, and was awarded “One of the 50 Authors You Should Read” by the nationally syndicated Author Radio Show in both 2015 and 2016. Her books won Best Inspirational Fiction and Best Cozy Mystery by the Texas Association of Authors.

Discover more about Julie
www.juliebcosgrove.com  
blog: Where Did You Find God Today?
Twitter@JulieBCosgrove, LinkedIn, Facebook


June 28, 2020

FROM FICTION TO NON-FICTION AND BACK AGAIN


PLEASE WELCOME

GAIL KITTLESON

TO

HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE

 

There’s plenty to grumble about these days. But as I get older, I’ve seen how that’s always an alternative. The old saying “You either get bitter or you get better” shows in the nursing-home faces I’ve witnessed.

Right now, my husband’s 86 year-old aunt is recovering from a fall and subsequent surgery. Her consistently cheerful attitude stands as a role model, and at times, puts me to shame. It’s tough to have body parts betray you—you’ve relied on them for so long, why should they fall apart now?

But she long ago adopted gratitude as a life philosophy and joy as her modus operandi.

During the past year, I’ve seen the release of Until Then, the first WWII novel I’ve written with the plot taken from the life of a real live evacuation hospital nurse. That was a “novel undertaking for me—and so was integrating another true story from the era that took place in an entirely different setting.

Looking back, that project was a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. Those two so often go together…and at the release of that novel in the home territory of the nurse who inspired it, I met one of my “fans,” who went out of her way to attend the party. We began corresponding, and this winter wrote a non-fiction WWII book called The Food That Held The World Together, about to be released in July.

That proved such a delight, we penned another one about the way holidays were celebrated during World War II. It’s called A World War II Holiday Scrapbook and will be a companion release to the FOOD book.

Last year at this time as I drove six hours for the Until Then release, I had no idea that author Cleo Lampos would be there. Certainly, I had no thoughts of collaborating to produce more about this incredible time in history. And in non-fiction—that was quite a switch, but writing is writing, right?

What’s next? I’m working on a novel set in the Texas Hill Country. My research is unearthing a travesty that occurred during the war that I’d never before heard mentioned.

Wow…one thing leads to another. With so much to research, I may never get a chance to rest and all this while struggling with a recalcitrant hip!

 

WHERE TO FIND GAIL


http://www.gailkittleson.com/
www.facebook.com/GailKittlesonAuthor

http://amazon.com/author/gailkittleson

www.twitter.com/GailGkittleson @GailGkittleson

@gailkittlesonauthor (Instagram)

 

ABOUT GAIL KITTLESON

Dare To Bloom became Gail’s website’s name for a reason. A late bloomer, she’s so grateful to be blooming! Her background in Teaching English as a Second Language, college expository writing, and other courses colors her fiction, as does her rural upbringing. Honoring the heroines and heroes of the Greatest Generation motivates her while editing and facilitating writing workshops is the frosting on her proverbial cake, although she’s become gluten and sugar-free. 

 

June 25, 2020

COOKING UP A MYSTERY


PLEASE WELCOME

GAIL PALLOTTA

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM COOKING UP A MYSTERY 

Laney Eskridge took a breather from polishing the bakery display case and surveyed the dining area in her small tea house. A soft glow from the lamppost out front shone through the large window and danced on the blue-flowered curtains. She rubbed the fabric of a tie back between her thumb and forefinger. Sometimes in the quiet moments after the customers and George, her assistant, left, she gazed around and marveled that the place belonged to her. Mom had named it Laney’s Delectable Delights. She would’ve loved the decor.

Pots and pans clanged in the kitchen.

Laney jumped. Was the rolling worktable bashing into the wall? Not by itself. Horror that an intruder wrecked the new appliances buckled Laney’s knees. She leaned against the counter and slid to the floor.

Clanks, bonks, and crashes reverberated. Laney buried her head between her legs and trembled like a leaf in a storm. Rattling and slamming resounded. Tears cascaded down Laney’s face. Had she lost everything? Silence fell as suddenly as the commotion had started, and the aroma of her bread baking tickled her nostrils. She raised her head and wiped her cheeks. Calling on all the strength she had left inside, she stood. Would her wobbly legs take her to the kitchen?

***

Laney rolled the gray food warmer up a cement walkway past a white hydrangea. Each click pounded the importance of every customer in her head. How could a person with no college degree run a business? She never would’ve opened the place if she’d known Mom would die. She breathed in false confidence and pressed the bell by the beveled glass door. No one answered.

She shielded her eyes from the May sun and tapped her foot. Come on. I have work to do. Her gaze fell on a mountain laurel bush and nearby dogwood blossoms. Soon summer would bring tourists to the North Carolina Mountains, and she’d hardly noticed the spring flowers. She rushed around like a mosquito in a chef’s hat trying to cook and serve enough food to keep Laney’s Delectable Delights afloat. If only she and Mom could’ve run the business together, as they’d planned.

Mom would be minding the restaurant, and the future would look secure. Laney wouldn’t wake each day trembling with fear she might have to close because she’d mismanaged money and supplies, or she hadn’t cooked enough gourmet meals to bring in customers. Last night after hearing those horrible noises, she’d dreamed the sheriff evicted her and padlocked the business.

Was anyone here? Laney shifted her weight and mashed the bell several times. Still, no one responded. She glanced at the food warmer, then the SUV and started to leave. Instead, she cracked the portal. “Mr. Crider, it’s Laney’s Delectable Delights here with dinner.”

ABOUT COOKING UP A MYSTERY

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She's on edge from the emotional scars and her parents' deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it's all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney's in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him … and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There's more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

Buy links: Amazon -  https://www.amazon.com/Cooking-up-Mystery-Gail-Pallotta-ebook/dp/B085LJMH5V/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Cooking+up+a+Mystery+by+gail+pallotta&qid=1584746377&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cooking-up-a-mystery-gail-pallotta/1136612098?ean=9781522398806

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cooking-up-a-mystery

ABOUT GAIL PALLOTTA

Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets, and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Nominee. She’s published six books, poems, short stories, and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. She loves to connect with readers. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.gailpallotta.com/mainphp.html and visit her website at https://www.gailpallotta.com

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsandMore

 

 

June 23, 2020

TRUST GOD IN THE FOG OF UNCERTAINTY

PLEASE WELCOME

TRINA BRESSER MATOUS

TO

DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY

 

Following God has sometimes felt like walking in the fog. I don’t really have any sense of where I am going. To make matters worse, I can’t see anything to give me any objective means of determining which direction I should be moving.

What I’ve learned is that in God’s economy taking the next step is what matters. I may only be able to see five steps in front of me. When I’ve taken those five steps, one at a time, I can see only five more. Yet the encouraging part is that the distance is ten steps from where I started.

God Can Be Trusted  

Sometimes it is difficult to follow God because we trust ourselves more than we trust God. We think we are better off relying on our own ability and skills than trusting God. Yet God never walks in the uncertainty. He knows the future. God has full knowledge and there is nothing that surprises Him. As a result, God is trustworthy.

Determining to trust God when things don’t make sense releases us from the burden of having to determine our own way. While God often does not make the entire path forward clear, He will never lead us astray. We can trust that He sees what we cannot.

And the exciting thing about trusting God when the way doesn’t seem clear is that the uncertainty seldom lasts. At some point, the fog lifts and we have greater clarity. What didn’t make sense begins to have greater meaning. God doesn’t always answer our questions. Just read Job for confirmation of this fact. But that doesn’t mean He never provides answers. Perhaps the more trust we have, the less important answers are because we know we will be taken care of.

I may not be able to see where I am headed, but I can trust the One who has perfect vision in all circumstances, knows the plan, and orders my steps.

ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN LIVING BIBLE STUDY SERIES

The Christian Living Bible Study Series is designed to assist readers in their relationship with God, help them understand difficult passages, shed new light on familiar verses, and gain an appreciation for statements made within the confines of ancient cultural practices. Through these books, readers not only learn about the life and work of Jesus Christ, but also personally experience the love, grace, mercy, and redemption offered by the Father through the sacrifice of His Son. Learning more about the history and purpose of each verse will enable readers to grow in wisdom and knowledge.

ABOUT TRINA BRESSER MATOUS

Trina has a Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry from Ashland Theological Seminary and is a passionate Bible teacher and writer. For over 20 years, she has shared Biblical truths in compelling and memorable ways as a Bible study leader and a member of the Restorative Prayer Team at her church. Her trip through Turkey visiting historic sites including Istanbul, Ephesus, Cappadocia, Haran and Antioch, as well as two trips to Israel’s holy sites bring reality to Trina’s teaching and writing. Additionally, Trina is an avid birder, loves to cook, travel, work in her garden, and knit.

Links

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Trina-Bresser-Matous/e/B00MTYTAD8

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

            https://www.shoplpc.com/product/pauls-letters-to-the-early-church/

            https://www.shoplpc.com/product/birth-of-the-church/

            https://www.shoplpc.com/product/the-epistles-of-james-peter-and-jude/

Website

            https://www.TrinaBresserMatous.com

FaceBook:

            https://www.facebook.com/TrinaWrites

 

COVID-19 AND THE URGENT NEED FOR PROPER PERSPECTIVE

  P LEASE WELCOME TRINA BRESSER MATOUS TO DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY   But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled ag...