Friday, November 28, 2014

Seeking God's Direction


Sometimes I lack “honesty of heart” meaning that my selfish ways take over and though I may think I’m waiting to serve God, I’m just waiting. I busy myself with egocentric thoughts and deeds. How do I get out of this rut?

I must sincerely look for God’s direction through prayer and the Holy Spirit’s leading. I need to read and study on the Holy Scripture. Wait and listen.

I can’t be impatient, self-righteous (though I should be righteous), or look to the world for answers. If I need to talk with someone and get their opinion it should be another Christian.

Eventually, in God’s time, He will give me direction.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Let God Take the Initiative



I've learned from Philippians 2:13 that 
for God it is who is working in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
That was a difficult verse for me to figure out. I understand it to mean that God Himself works in me to help me want to do His will. Alone I could accomplish nothing, but in the spiritual realm He does the heavy lifting for me. He has a purpose, a good one, and with his help and guidance I can act toward that purpose and accomplish anything.

So if God calls you to do something you've never done before (speak in front of thousands, for example) he will also give you the tools you need (confidence, subject matter, composure) and work it out so you succeed.

Truths to take away from this simple verse:

1)  I can do nothing without God.

2) God is the one who does the work.

3) God is present in my life.

4)  He wants to energize in me “to will and to act”, that is, he wants me to have a desire (drive) to please Him and He wants me to work at it. I take that seriously and that is why this blog’s focus has changed to a Biblical perspective instead of just self-promoting my books.

5) I can please God. Whoa! That is mind-boggling, but that’s what this verse says at the end: it’s all for His good pleasure. Amazing. So I should just “let go, and let God,” right? Right. I’ll let God take the initiative.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Is God My Genie?


How many times do we tell God what we want? I do it every day. I want God to be like my own personal genie. I pray “Please, God, do this, help me here, grant this wish, protect my family, heal our illness, give us this and that” and I go on and on. 

I really need to change this and start praying “What are you doing, God? How can I help You?”

If I look around and watch what’s happening in my life I will find plenty of things that I can do. God is always at work. Instead of expecting God to fuss with my life I need to join God and find a way to help Him with whatever He is already doing.

I need to remember to:

          Do things God’s way.

          Be His servant.

          Yield to His will.

         Stop telling God what to do in my life and join Him in His work around my life.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

A God-Centered Life


Self-centered life vs. God-centered life

It’s so hard not to be self-centered, but with a bit of awareness I can turn my life away from me-me-me, me-first, only-me, looking-out-for-number-one to a purposeful, God-centered, God-is-number-one, fulfilling life. I’d rather be on track for an eternal purpose than just trying to be popular or rich or beautiful in this short earthly life.

Questions to answer no to:

Am I focused on myself from the time I get up until the time I go to bed?

Am I proud of my accomplishments and believe that I am solely responsible for each and every good thing I've done?

Do I try to make myself acceptable in the world’s eye; am I caught up in fashion, wealth, status, and beauty?

Questions to answer yes to:

Do I keep myself available for conversation with God (prayer) from the moment I wake up until the time I go to bed?

Do I trust God to meet my daily needs and give Him the credit for every good thing in my life?

Do I ignore the world’s standards and try to be like Jesus, knowing the Scriptures, living the truth, standing up for Biblical principles?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

And the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop Winner is ....

Drum roll and keep reading after you see the winner because I have a consolation prize for everyone else.

And the Winner of the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is  "Joe Hawk". I hope you enjoy your paperback copy of the scary story SHELTERED. I've emailed you, so check your spam folder.

Now for a consolation prize:
You can download a FREE digital copy of THE GUARDIAN'S DIARY from Smashwords by using this Coupon Code: LL37V at check-out. The coupon expires December 1, 2014.

By the way, EDGE OF ESCAPE and SHELTERED are in the Kindle store for 99 cents for a couple more days.

And A SOUL'S KISS is at its lowest price, $3.99, right now.

Thanks, everyone, for participating in the Spooktacular Hop! It was fun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop October 15th to 31st

Spooktacular2013

Enter to win a paperback copy (US mailing only) of the spooky, scary, YA novel

Paranormal meets psycho meets Goth in this story of a supernatural haunting and budding love. 
 ***Dark and Completely Engrossing*** ***Intriguing*** ***Not for the faint hearted***


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Find all the participating blogs HERE.

Monday, October 6, 2014

There's a Blog Hop Coming!

The 5th Annual Spooktacular Blog Hop is almost here!
Hundreds (!) of book bloggers and authors will be GIVING AWAY books and gift certificates and other swag thanks to the amazing organizational skills of Kathy at IMAREADERNOTAWRITER.
I just wanted to give you a heads up.
You'll have plenty of time to participate since it runs from October 15 through the 31.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Plugging Some Books, last part


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In 2002 a teacher friend of mine was challenging his English students to write a novel during the school year. I decided to give it a try myself on summer break. I was amazed at how much fun it was. The characters took over the work and my first novel, a chapter book for middle grade kids titled The Secret in the Hidden Cave, practically wrote itself.

Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Absolutely – how could they not? There are always pieces of those experiences in my novels, though through the filters of time and understanding some of those events get more exciting. In A Soul’s Kiss , The Guardian's Diary, and Sheltered there are vestiges of several teenage events that involved boys and butterflies in my stomach.

Which writers have influenced you the most?
I wish I could name two or three, but seriously every single author I’ve ever read has had some kind of impact on me. My favorites are John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Michael Connelly, Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Meyer, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, and Brad Meltzer, to name just a few – very eclectic mix, I know.

What can we look forward to from you in the future?

I’m currently working on a young adult novel set at the end of this century with some anachronistic twists and a love triangle. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Plugging Some Books, part 3

What does your family think of your writing?
My mom and my husband are my first readers and they’re pretty proud of me. I think my kids are impressed, though they’re more stingy with their compliments.

Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I was an obedient child, followed the rules, stayed out of trouble (what I mean is: I didn't get caught), and invented time machines and secret hideaways which were places of refuge, not traps. (I used the idea of secret traps in my psycho thriller EDGE OF ESCAPE.)

Did you like reading when you were a child?
I loved to read. My favorite place to read was six feet up in a tree in our front yard. That old poplar was so huge that the trunk was as thick as any six oaks put together.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Plugging A SOUL'S KISS, part 2

How long did it take you to write this book?
It took something like 6 to 8 months for a full first draft and then another year for tweaking, editing, and rewrites.

What is your writing routine?
Early every morning I sit on a loveseat in the sunroom of my deep-in-the-woods log home and, with my feet up, I type for a couple of hours until I get hungry for breakfast. Then I eat, go for an hour walk, and return to the laptop to proofread that morning’s work.

How did you get your book published?
For A Soul’s Kiss, instead of going through an agent, I submitted directly to a new indie publisher, Creative Prose Publishing, which is dedicated to “clean fiction.” They loved it.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to play games like Dominion, Settlers, Scrabble, etc. Currently my husband and I consistently play Qwirkle for about an hour every day.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Plugging A SOUL'S KISS, part 1

What sparked the idea for this book?
I once read a book in which the main character was in a coma but still aware of her surroundings. I started thinking some “what ifs”: what if a girl was in a coma, but she could leave her body and her surroundings? What if she could get inside her friends’ and enemies’ minds? What if she unknowingly collected their secrets and spread them to others? From those “sparks” the story grew.

What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The ending, of course. I pretty much had a ball writing each of the five different points of view. Each character had a unique personality and quirks so advancing the plot was a lot of fun. But endings have to be satisfying and tie up any loose ends and leave the reader pleased.

How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope that readers see the connections between what we think and what we do, how we treat others and how others see us, and how much deeper everyone is than just the outer persona. We are such complicated beings and so much goes on in our heads that no one else can ever comprehend. Oh, gee, I just hope readers enjoy A Soul’s Kiss.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, part 3

We saw how the Kingdom of Heaven was presented in two previous parables (part 1 and part2). We can’t look at just these two when there’s a third parable about the kingdom of heaven in the next 4 verses. Matthew 13: 47 – 50:
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Just before these verses Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was like a treasure hidden in a field or like a merchant looking for pearls. Now it’s a net. And not any kind of net. There were 2 types of nets back then. One was thrown from shore by the fisherman and the other, the kind mentioned here, a sagene, was a drag net. This term is a unique term. It is a very, very large net maybe covering one half mile of area.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, part 2


In Matthew 13: 45,46 Jesus said:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
In part 1 we saw that the kingdom of heaven was like a man (Jesus) finding a treasure (the Jews) in a field (the world). In this next parable the kingdom is likened to a merchant looking for fine peals.

Pearls were not known or valued by Jews at that time (they’re only mentioned once in the Old Testament) so Jesus’ audience was probably frowning at one another at that point though they understood that the Greek word here, margarites, meant pearl or proverb (word of great value).