My Books

*******WORTH HER WEIGHT, my first women's fiction,

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nominees

To accept your award, here's the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Display the blogger award emblem.
3. Nominate 15 (more or less) blogs and give a link to each.
4. Go to their blog and leave a comment that you've nominated them for the inspiring blogger award.

Thanks so much to author, Beverly Stowe McClure, for nominating me for this award. I'm in awe of all the book reviews she does. In so doing she helps out a lot of us. She also puts out a line of wonderful books herself.
We were online friends that finally met for lunch one day. I so enjoyed that, Beverly. Find her at

Here's things that inspire me:

1. A lady at my church though in her upper seventies ministers personally and in classes to so many. I watch her and think I have no excuse.

2. My husband who with kindness and patience has done everything to help me during this last month when I was sick. (Even though I was cranky and hard to live with.) He's a keeper.

3. Sunsets. One thing that North Texas is known for is beautiful sunsets. Sunsets often spark my creative juices and make me grateful to be alive.

Many blogs inspire me, but here is my nominations for the blogger award nominees.

1. Diane Gates: Moving the Ancient Barriers
2.L. A. Freeland
3.Words about the Word (Cass Wessel)
4. A Writer's Life (Mary Beth Lee)
5.Winona Cross (Wandering and Wondering with Words)
6.Bonnie Lanthripe- The Next Phase
7. Blanche Day Manos
8. Books by Barnes (Crystal Barnes)!blog/c1jfh
9. Patti Shene - She has 3 blogs, Teens of Today, Patti's Porch, & the Over 50 Group -
10.  God is Here with Mary Hamilton
11. Heartfelt Stories of the Old West (Linda Broday)

Okay, that's enough. Happy blogging and reading blogs to you all. I wish for you an inspiring week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ghosts at Denton, Texas?

Who knew?

I searched for new ghost tales.

Who knew I'd learn about one less than two hours from my home. Denton, Texas (just north of Dallas) boasts its own ghost tour of the courthouse that has a gravesite on the property. Author, Shelly Cumbie Tucker conducts tours at 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday nights throughout the year, weather permitting. Ones interested are asked to meet her at Jupiter House Coffee to the east of the haunted courthouse. She tells us there are so many ghosts stories in Denton that she tells a different tale each tour.

Tucker has released a book called Ghosts of Denton. It is available on Amazon at

Of course, you can buy a copy of the book when you take the scary but historical tour of downtown Denton in the dark.

Shelley Cumbie Tucker will be the featured speaker this year at the North Texas Book Festival in April. Now, that would be a good time for a ghost tour and look at books on the same day. A win-win.

I'm busy editing my latest YA in the ghost series, and researching other tales for a third book. I'm still looking for ghost stories. If you know one, leave me a comment, or e-mail me at

Saturday, January 24, 2015

After God's Healing, What Next?

Have you ever prayed and felt God's forgiveness wash over you and cleanse you? What a wonderful feeling! The weight of sin drops from your life. You sparkle with excitement. Your energy level expands. You're free, free indeed.

You go your merry way, living your life as before, but forgiven and clean. In a few days, or weeks, or months, new burdens build up around your soul. What happened to your freedom? Why didn't it last? God forgave you. Why did you sin again?

Discouraged over not being able to sustain our salvation, we delve further into the anger and envy that plagued us before, so that the load we carry now is heavier than it was previously. Our minds fight greater demons. Our hearts break with failure. We are farther from God, not closer.

I've sensed this problem in the realm of weight loss. My mother started me on my first diet when I was fourteen. For over thirty years, I tried every diet imaginable. Some were healthy, some were not. Often, during that time, I called out to God, "Lord, keep me from craving sweets. Help me lose weight. Make this be the diet that works."

I began each new eating plan with great assurance. In the beginning, my hope and belief that I would lose my weight, keep it off, and never struggle with this problem again rose as high as the mountains that I wished to scale when we traveled to Red River, New Mexico. In later years, my hope grew weaker because of my failures. I would begin fresh, renewed with the promises of the new diet, only to find that in a few days, weeks, or months, food consumed my mind and my life.

Once again, I ate and ate. "That diet didn't work," I declared. I gained back the pounds I had lost, plus a few extra, so that by the time I tried a new program, I was even fatter than before. My situation was worse.

    But when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through dry (arid) places in search of rest, but it does not find any.
    Then it says I will go back to my house from which I came out. And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, put in order, and decorated.
    Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So also shall it be with this wicked generation.
                    Matthew 12:43-45
                  The Amplified Bible

These are Jesus' own words during a sermon to His followers.

Recently, God convicted our church leaders of the need to focus more on making disciples out of those who come to the altar for salvation. New converts were leaving the altar and going back to their usual lives without the strength and understanding that the Lord longs to give them for protection and strength from the devil's snares.

When sin is removed, God must fill the gap. After salvation must come lots of studying God's Word and lots of prayer. Friends and mentors are needed for instruction and guidance in the beginning until the new convert learns to rely on his own understanding of what God is saying to him, step by step.

In my Divine Dining Weight Controllers weekly class, this is also true in the realm of following Christ in weight loss. Just as before, if we begin a new plan and take away the food that brings us comfort and love and joy, we must fill our minds with something else or the food moves back in to take its usual place.

Food is not your friend.

Food is not your enemy.

Food is just a pleasant way of getting nutrition. Period.

Put God on the throne, instead of food.

Food doesn't belong there. God does.

When you start on the path of weight loss after years of compulsive overeating, concentrate less on what you eat or don't eat (or cleaning out your bodies) but concentrate more on drawing closer to the Lord, of filling your life with His presence.

Fill those empty places in your heart with God's love.

Fill your mind with God's wisdom.

Fill your life with truth, and the truth will set you truly free.

January is a good time to begin reading a devotion book like my Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. I find that daily reading God's Word and literature that guides us in the area of keeping our eating in God's control has helped me not only lose the 95 pounds but keep it off for nineteen years now. I recommend this to all compulsive overeaters like me.

Praise God, I'm now a recovering compulsive overeater.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Research on Guthrie, Oklahoma

It's Weird Wednesday again, and guess what? I find I need to take a trip north. Someone told me that Guthrie, Oklahoma had a ghost tour. My antenna went up.

Research takes a lot of an author's time. Even if we mostly avoid writing historical novels, like me, we can't avoid research. Even writing fiction requires research. What if someone reads your novel that knows all about that profession, or hobby, or setting? If it's inaccurate, that reader would close the book.

I wrote a YA ghost story, Victoria and the Ghost, that highlighted a real Texas ghost town, Clara. Soon, the sequel to that story, A Ghost for Shelley, will release. This book will tell about the ghost legend at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, which used to be the courthouse. It's in McKinney, Texas just north of Dallas. I began Weird Wednesday in anticipation of the new book.

So, I'm offering real ghost legends here on Wednesdays.

I researched Guthrie online and learned the following things:

1. Guthrie offers ghost tours throughout most of the year (weather permitting) every Friday and Saturday evenings.
2. Guthrie is 22 miles north of Oklahoma City just off I-35.
3. Guthrie came to be in one day.
     (Check - weird, yes, must investigate this)
4. Guests on the tour visit 6 -8 historic places.

Find Guthrie on Facebook at

Yep, I figure Guthrie, Oklahoma is about 3 hours from me, so when the weather warms up (please, Lord, soon) I intend to go on a research trip. Who knows? A new ghost story might be on my horizon.

How about you? Anyone ever been to Guthrie?
Have you ever taken a ghost tour anywhere?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Crystal L. Barnes Tells About Anthologies and Contests

Today, I've asked award-winning author, Crystal L. Barnes, to be my guest on "Writing with God's Hope" blog. With her new anthology releasing, I asked her to tell us what it's like to be part of an anthology and to also reveal something about how she reached this point in her writing. So, Crystal, take it away.
Howdy, folks! Congratulations, you get to be subjected to my first guest post! I'll try not to torture you overly much but no promises.  :) 

How many of you have ever entered a contest? 'Pert near all of us, I'd assume. Now how many of you can say you actually won something from said contest? I'm sure at least half of us had to drop our raised hands. :) Trust me, I know that feeling. Thus it was a wonderful surprise when I found out my very first attempt at writing a short story landed me a contract. (Okay, now that I think about it, I did have to write a couple in high school but that was years ago.) It was a miracle somebody didn't have to come pick me up off the floor or pull me down out of the rafters. 

My short story is called Husband Hunting (I just love fun titles, don't you?), and it's one of twelve short stories chosen to be featured in the Out of the Storm anthology. It's the tale of how a rancher borrows his love's wedding dress in one last effort to prevent her from marrying the wrong man. (Ever met a man that desperate or determined? Boy, howdy! Wouldn't that be something? :) )

Out of the Storm is a compilation of our favorite stories from the 2014 Storming the Short Story contest, hosted jointly by Chalfont House Publishing’s fiction imprint HopeSprings Books and Writers on the Storm (WOTS), The Woodlands, Texas affiliate of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Writers submitted original stories around a theme, this year’s theme was storms, and the WOTS membership voted for the stories they liked best. Proceeds from the sale of this anthology go to a scholarship fund to help financially-strapped authors travel to the annual ACFW Conference, a dream for many.

I'm thrilled that my first story will be supporting such a worthy cause, and my work is getting to appear with a host of wonderful authors. Storms come to all our lives, and I love how much good God brings from them if we'll just let Him. I'm reminded of the verses from 1 Peter 4 I read just the other morning:
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

It's a joy to know that our troubles, our storms, don't have to be the end. With our hearts anchored in Christ Jesus, we have a certain and joyous future assured for us in heaven. 

What joys are you looking forward to in heaven?

Crystal L. Barnes is an award-winning author, who also happens to be a born-n-raised Texan. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), her local ACFW chapter, 19th Century Writers, and her local church. In 2012, she was a semifinalist in the ACFW Genesis contest.
She has a degree in Computing Science because she loves putting things into their proper place, and she enjoys writing because she gets to share her love of old-fashioned things and the Lord. When she's not writing or reading, Crystal enjoys knitting, sewing, or crocheting while watching old movies/sitcoms. I Love Lucy is one of her favorites. Find out more about Crystal at or connect with her on Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, or Pinterest.
Thank you, Crystal, for sharing this. It's just the type post I love to have, filled with hope and the love of God. What encouragement that verse gives us since you are so right, there will be storms.
Good luck with the selling of Out of the Storm. It is a good cause. A lot of us might want to purchase it for that reason. I started with short stories myself, and I love them. A short reading for one sitting.
Any other short story writers out there?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Review from a Critique Partner

             Worth Her Weight                                                           


Reviewed by Sue Watson


Worth Her Weight  by Janet Brown is a story of inspirational fiction about a woman who has struggled with  her weight for many years. She has tried every kind of diet and failed. Mostly she has lost a couple pounds, and then gained them back because of treating herself to unhealthy food choices.  She eventually learns she is indulging in emotional eating due to stress, anger, or hurt feelings.


Lacey works full-time for a demanding boss, takes care of her disabled mother, and eventually takes over the responsibility for her four-year old niece after her sister is busted for drugs. She’s the person everyone seems to lean on for whatever they need done.  She finds her self-worth in doing for others even when it is not a good idea to do so.


Her long time police officer friend, Toby, comes around a lot and helps with heavy chores and gets very involved in helping her raise her niece. Unfortunately, the pastor’s beautiful, slender daughter has her eye on Toby as potential husband material.


 Author Janet Brown has lost 95 pounds and kept it off for many years. She wrote a devotional book, Divine Dining, and teaches a weight loss class at her church. Her life long battle with food addiction helps her write a story that touches on the intended and unintended unkindnesses people subject overweight people to.


Since I am a member of her critique group, I have watched this book go from a nugget of an idea to a well-written story. Anyone who reads this book, whether they have a weight problem or not, will not only read a good story, but also gain some insight into the problems over-weight people face.


You can contact Janet on Facebook as Janet K. Brown, Author, and on Twitter @janetkbrowntx, or e-mail her at You can learn more on her website/blog:  Her book is available through Pen-L Publishing on line.

Thank you, Sue, for allowing me to post your review on my blog. God bless.