Friday, December 26, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Winner

The 12 Days of Christmas giveaways presented by  Creative Prose Publishing have finished and Michelle W. won Day 4 which was also posted here on my blog (A Log Cabin Christmas).

During this time of year many of my Kindle books are only 99 cents so take a look at My Author Page . And please keep all of us authors at Creative Prose in mind when you're looking to purchase good books. We are dedicated to writing clean fiction.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Log Cabin Christmas

Merry Christmas and Hello! I’m Debra Chapoton, author of A SOUL’S KISS, and I have the honoring of guest posting on day 4 (Four Calling Birds) of The Twelve Days of Christmas over at the Creative Prose Publishing website. I thought I'd show you what Christmas is like when you live in a full log home. To decorate our place, Big Pine Lodge, there are four fundamental elements that are indispensable — think four calling birds — and they are: a giant wreath, railings that drip with greenery and lights, a sentimental display of Christmas music boxes collected over many years and a big tree decorated with rustic ornaments.

Editors are always telling authors to “show, don’t tell” so here are a few pictures:

The wall in the sunroom, right behind where I write, is 26 feet tall and needs a large wreath to fill the space. My husband and I made this one ourselves, decorating it with outdoorsy ornaments featuring a moose, a canoe, a birdhouse, fishing gear, and more. But one wreath isn't enough. We hang them by the front door of the lodge, the guesthouse, and the bunkhouse, and we also have to have one over the fireplace.

You can’t have a log home without a massive fireplace, right? Hubby and I found every one of those rocks on our property, over six tons worth.

We have a wide bridge between the loft and an upstairs bedroom so I have about fifty feet of railing, plus stairway railing, to drape with garland, lights, and tiny decorations. You can see some of it in the last picture. The railing continues into the loft which is open over the kitchen.

You may have noticed in those pictures that the tops of my kitchen cabinets are safe places to display 22 Christmas music boxes. I started collecting one per year when the kids were little. Each one holds a special memory of Christmases past. And yes, I have favorites.

The great room and dining room flow together so at Christmas we can tuck a nine-foot tree into a corner of the dining area and enjoy it from the first or second floor.

Yup, this is a log cabin Christmas. There’s a lot more, too, like Christmas tapestries, handmade Santas, bugles and ice skates and, of course, the prominently displayed manger scene. I could go on and on, but let’s keep it at these “four calling birds.”

Oh, and I guess I have four other birds, that is, I've written four young adult  novels that would make good Christmas gifts for anyone, any age. They are A SOUL’S KISS, THE GUARDIAN’S DIARY, SHELTERED, and EDGE OF ESCAPE. You can also find my chapter books for kids HERE and I've written a couple of non-fiction works: BUILDING A LOG HOME IN UNDER A YEAR and CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES.

By the way, did you know that the four calling birds represented the four gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? The story of Jesus’ birth is in Luke chapter 2. We always read it before we dive into those presents under the tree. Speaking of presents, I have a $10 gift card for one of you. Please enter below for a chance to win it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 12, 2014

How Do I Know If That's God's Voice?

The key to recognizing God’s voice is to have an intimate relationship with him. You’d recognize your spouse’s voice on the phone, right? But what about someone you’d only spoken to once twenty years ago? Not likely. It is of utmost importance that you spend time in worship and prayer EVERY DAY, not just once a week or, worse yet, Christmas and Easter. What if your spouse said he loved you, but only spent a couple hours with you twice a year? Not much of a relationship, is it?

Once you have a regular relationship with God that little voice in your head (your conscience, you think) will clearly give you the answers you seek. Don’t ask God for a sign. Asking for a sign is a huge mistake; it shows your unbelief. When the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign he condemned them as “wicked and adulterous” so don’t be like them. Stick to reading the Scriptures and praying. A lot.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hearing God's Voice

God speaks through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If you hear him it is because you belong to Him. If you don’t hear Him it is because you don’t belong to Him. Why would I make such a divisive statement? Because that is what the Bible says. Here’s the New Living Translation of John 8: 47:
Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don't listen because you don't belong to God.
Now read this from 1st John 4: 6:
We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Do you want to hear God’s voice? Pray. Wait. Listen. Read (the Bible). Join a church. Join a Bible study. Have fellowship with other Christians. God will speak to you. You will hear His voice.



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Friday, Cyber Monday Deals on young adult books

Get your copies of these popular titles from Creative Prose Publishing at 75% off! Black Friday through Cyber Monday only. 

Purchase by clicking on book cover!

In dystopian America, sixteen-year-old Kaleigh finds out quickly what having a big mouth and not enough brains to keep it shut can earn you. A one-way ticket to the work camps that no one even knows exists. But, even inside the camps, Kaleigh’s fiery spirit refuses to be extinguished. In a single moment of defiance, she manages to spark a riot that ignites into a full-blown rebellion.


When a tragic accident leaves Jessica comatose, her spirit escapes her body. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half dead has its advantages.
Like getting into people’s thoughts.
Like taking over someone’s body.
Like experiencing romance on a whole new plane - literally.

Jamie Peters plans to spend the summer before her junior year with her nose stuck in a book—not saving lost souls. Usually the girl that blends into the crowd, Jamie’s world is turned upside down when a mysterious ghost begins to follow her.
But Sophia isn’t just any ghostDetermined to set Sophia free, Jamie blows the dust off her family’s past and unearths clues to discover what she must do to save Sophia’s soul.

According to ancient legend, the forest surrounding Elise's small town is enchanted, and any stranger unworthy to enter the village would be stopped. Then a stranger enters and she is forced to make a startling choice between following her dreams and following her heart. 

Starting her senior year of high school, Raine Patterson is content with being invisible. When she discovers a hidden ability to control the elements, she finds herself the target of a madman, and her enemy Kaden is the only one who can help her. Can she trust him? When Raine becomes the target of an unknown aggressor, Kaden is forced to decide which path he will follow.

Four authors, using a famous first line from a classic novel, weave their own tales.
       ENJOY THE SILENCE by Laurie Treacy
Young fae Zander only wishes to live in the human realm, and leave Ashwoulde behind. But his reckless actions in one night might forever change his world - and that of those who love him.
ETERNITY CRUX by Jamie Canosa
Aurelia and Sayer are on the run from the Legion, who would have them killed for what they know. In a moment of desperation, Aurelia is forced to leave Sayer behind, and manipulate the bounds of time itself to save him.
Kaesen, an elemental princess, lives on a distant star called Maia. She loves Alwen, but as her sworn protector they're forbidden to be together.  Prequel to Raine.
TRAIN STATION: 3:00 P.M. by Candace Gleave
A ball of gold the size of a cow's eyeball and a man worth his weight in fortune bring together a motley group of criminals, all who will do anything and everything to obtain both treasures.

When their parents are taken, triplets Juliet, Cilla, and Emiah Tripp set out to locate them, and soon discover they are at the center of a hunt to capture them. Evading the Collaborative across Senca One s harsh terrain, they’re confronted with the trials of survival. They unwittingly spark the revolution they want no part of and discover something more dangerous than they suspected.


Eight Love Stories, normally 99¢ each or $4.96 for the full book, save 80% on this anthology!
 Xeno:  by Alyssa LaFever 
Temptationby Jamie Canosa
Seeds of Love:  by JC Willibat 
I Was Here Before You Came: by Camelia Miron Skiba 
In the Beginning: by Cindy C Bennett
Haven: by Ranee S Clark 
Ye Olde Summertime of Love:  by Calvin Kern
Pete & Tink: by Sherry Gammon

When sixteen year old Olivia Adams wakes from a horrible car accident that killed her parents, she knows she’s something different. Olivia died, and now the soul inhabiting her body needs to find out who - and what - she is. A glimpse of a world called Razari burning is the only clue to her previous existence—a tragic memory, sparking events that endanger the people helping her.

An anthology of horror stories by 6 different authors.
SIMON SAYS by Rachel McClellan
WATCHED by Cindy C Bennett

Thank you for stopping by,

Creative Prose Publishing

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.



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.


Building a Log Home in Under a Year

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.





Check out these:

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


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***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, part 1

In Matthew 13: 44 Jesus tells us about the kingdom of heaven:
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
In this verse we have Jesus giving a comparison for what the kingdom of heaven is like. I've found some scholarly debate about what exactly is meant here. I've even found some commentaries condemning the man in verse 44 because he was digging in somebody else’s field so therefore he was really a thief. I don’t think that’s what Jesus was saying. He knew his audience would get this. It was common practice to bury money in fields to keep it safe.

So, who is the man, what is the field, and what is the treasure? You may think that “the man” is us and the “treasure” is Jesus, but we don’t have to buy our salvation – it’s a free gift. I believe the man in the parable is Jesus, the field is the world (as explained in other parables), and the treasure refers to the Jews, to Israel. Here’s why:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Analyzing Isaiah

We’re going to analyze the first three verses of Isaiah 55:             
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. 
Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”
When God issues His invitation to come to Him, He offers water, wine, and milk. There’s a lot of symbolism here so let’s look at that.

Water is one of the most important substances to us. Our bodies are comprised of 60-70% water. The average human can live three days without water, but don’t try that. We have to have water to live. In the Bible water is often a picture of the new birth. When Jesus talked with Nicodemus in John 3:5, Jesus said,
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4:13-14, He said,
Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Jesus promises complete satisfaction to everyone who drinks of the water that He offers. Unlike physical water, which we better not go more than three days without, the spiritual water that Jesus offers will forever satisfy the soul who will take just one sip. Jesus makes this offer in John 7:37, 38:
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
Wine in biblical times was just as important as water. Most of the water was not fit to drink, so wine was added to the water to kill the bacteria and made the water drinkable.

In the Bible, wine is often used as a picture of joy,(Psalm 104:15) and is also a picture of the Holy Spirit, who enters a child of God at the moment of salvation. In 1st Peter 1: 8 it says that when we believe we will be filled with “an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Remember that on the Day of Pentecost, the Jews thought that the Spirit-filled disciples were drunk with new wine (Acts 2:13). Peter told the crowd that these men were not drunk with wine; they were under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Milk, the third item here, is essential for healthy growth. In the Bible milk is a picture of the Word of God (Scripture). God gives us the water of life that saves us, and the Spirit of God that gives us joy, and He also gives us the Word of God, the Bible, that teaches us all about God. The Bible is referred to as milk in 1 Pet. 2:2; 1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12-13. So these three things, water, wine, and milk symbolize new birth, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Scriptures.

Now look at the end of verse one: you can buy these three things without money or cost. God places everything as a free gift. He offers salvation and contentment to all who will come to Him free of any charge. (Rev. 22:17)
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
Wow, that was a lot. Now let’s get to verse 2: Why spend money on what is not bread? Bread is a symbol of the complete and never-failing provision for our spiritual nourishment. Why spend money on cardboard food? Think about it.

Verses 2 and 3 tell us what will happen if we receive the Lord’s free offer.  First, God promises those who come to Him that their “soul will delight in the richest of fare.” This is a picture of salvation! Secondly, God promises that He will “make an everlasting covenant with you”. What is that covenant? Find it in the rest of the verse: His faithful love!